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培根散文欣赏:论勇(中英文对照)

时间:2015-10-09 11:36:34   来源:
of boldness 论勇

it is a trivial grammar school text, but yet worthy a wise man's consideration. question was asked of demosthenes; what was the chief part of an orator? he answered.
有人问德冒斯尼斯,一位演说家最主要的才能是什么?他说

action; what next? action; what next again? action. he said it, that knew it best; and had by nature, himself, no advantage in that he commended. a strange thing, that that part of an orator, which is but superficial, and rather the virtue of a player, should be placed so high, above those other noble parts, of invention, elocution, and the rest: nay almost alone, as if it were all in all. but the reason is plain. there is in human nature, generally, more of the fool than of the wise, and therefore those faculties, by which the foolish part of men's minds is taken, are most potent wonderful like is me case of boldness in civil business; what first? boldness; what second, and third? boldness. and yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts. but nevertheless, it doth fascinate, and bind hand and foot, those that are either shallow in judgment, or weak in courage, which are the greatest part; yea, and prevaileth with wise men, at weak times. therefore, we see it hath done wonders, in popular states; but with senates and princes less; and more ever upon the first entrance of bold persons into action, man soon after, for boldness is an ill keeper of promise.
表情:其次呢?表情:又其次呢?表情。这虽是小学读本中一段滥熟的故事,然而值得明哲之士底思索。说这话的人是最懂得所说的事情的人,又是一个在他所称扬的事情上没有天生的优势的人。表情在一位演说家所有的才能中不过是表面的一种,并且是属于优伶的一种长处,然而竟会被抬得这样高,超出那些其他的长技,如独创,口齿清晰等等;不特此也,简直好象这一种表面的才能是唯一无二的,是一切底一切似的,这真是怪事了。然而其理由显而易见的。人性之中总以愚者底部分比智者底部分为多;因此那些能够引动人心中愚蠢之一部的才能是最有力的了。同这个非常之相似的,就是在世务中的勇气:头一件是什么?勇气:第二件第三件是什么?勇气。是勇气不过是无识与卑贱的产儿,比较别的关于世务的知识贱得多了。然而它真能迷惑并控制那些见识浮浅或胆量不足的人,而这种人又是数目最多的。更甚者,勇气也能把有智之人在他们意志不坚强的时候克服了。因此我们常见勇气在民治国家中曾有奇效,而在有统治阶级或君主的国家中则不如此之甚:又勇气总是在勇敢的人们初次活动的时候功效大,而以后就没有这样大了;因为勇气是不善于守信的。
surely, as there are mountebanks for the natural body, so are there mountebanks for the political body: men that undertake great cures; and perhaps have been lucky, in two or three experiments, but want the grounds of science; and therefore cannot hold out nay you shall see a bold fellow, many times, do mohammed's miracle. mohammed made the people believe, that he would call an hill to him; and from the top of it, offer up his prayers, for me observers of his law. the people assembled; mohammed called fee hill to come to him, again, and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said; if the hill will not come to mohammed, mohammed must go to the hill. so these men, when they have promised great matters, and failed most shamefully, (yet if they have the perfection of boldness ) they will but slight it over, and make a turn, and no more ado.
对于人底肉体既有江湖医生;对政治团体也确是有江湖医生的;这就是那些担任奏奇功,而也许在两三次试验里有好运气的人;但是他们缺乏真知识的原理,所以是不能持久的。真的,你可以看到许多大胆的人们屡次实行谟罕默德底奇迹。谟罕默德教民众相信他,说他要把某一座山叫到他面前,然后从那座山顶上为那些信奉他底教律的人祈祷。民众都聚集在一起了;谟罕默德一次又一次地叫那座山到他面前来;然而那座山屹立不动。在这时候,他一点也不沮丧,反而说道:“要是山不肯到谟罕默德这儿来,那么谟罕默德要到山那儿去了”。类此,那些江湖派的人,当他们预先答应了很重大的事迹而很可耻地失败了的时候,依然(假如他们有完全的勇气的话)会把这种失败轻轻放过,并且转而之他,再不一顾。

certainly, to men of great judgment, bold persons are a sport to behold; nay, and to the vulgar also, boldness hath somewhat of the ridiculous. for if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not, but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity. especially, it is a sport to see, when a bold fellow is out of countenance; for mat puts his face into a most shrunken and wooden posture; as needs it must; for in bashfulness, me spirits do a little go and come; but with bold men, upon like occasion, they stand at a stay; like a stale at chess, where it is no mate, but yet me game cannot stir. but this last, were fitter for a satire, than for a serious observation.
因为,假如“荒唐”是引人发笑的一种性质的话,那么你可以确信很大的豪勇是很少没有一点荒唐之处的。尤其可笑的是在一个勇夫被人揭穿而失败的时候;因为这样一来,就使得他底面容变得极其萎缩呆板了,这是必然的;因为在退让之中、人底精神是有来有去的;但是那些勇夫在如上述的情形之中他们底精神就只能呆着,好象下棋下成和局一样,输是不算输,然而那一局棋是无法走了。但是这一种最后所说的事或者较适于讽世的文章而不适于庄肃的论说。
this is well to be weighed; that boldness is ever blind: for it seem not dangers and inconveniences. therefore, it is ill in counsel, good in execution: so that the right use of bold persons is, that they never command in chief, but be seconds, and under the direction of others. for in counsel, it is good to see dangers; and in execution, not to see them, except they be very great.
这一点最值得考虑;就是大胆永远是盲目的;因为它是看不见危险和困难的。因此,大胆在议论中是不好的,在实行中是好的;所以勇夫底适当用途是永不要让他们统帅一切,而应当让他们为副手,并听他人底指挥。因为在议论之中最好要能看出危险;而在实行之中最好不要看出危险,除非那些危险是很重大的。

关键字:培根 散文

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