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培根散文欣赏:论善与性善(中英文对照)

时间:2015-10-09 15:15:13   来源:
of goodness, & goodness of nature论善与性善

i take goodness in this sense, the affecting of the weal of men, which is that the grecians call philanthropia; and the word humanity (as it is used) is a little too light, to express it goodness i call the habit, and goodness of nature the inclination.
我所采取的关于“善”的意义,就是旨在利人者。这就是希腊人所谓的“爱人”(philanthropia);这个字底字义用“人道”(humanity)一语来表现(如目下之所为)是有一点薄弱的。爱人的习惯我叫做“善”,其天然的倾向则叫做“性善”。
this of all virtues, and dignities of the mind, is the greatest; being the character of the deity: and without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing; no better than a kind of vermin. goodness answers to the theological virtue charity, and admits no excess, but error. the desire of power in excess, caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess, caused man to fall; but in charity, there is no excess; neither can angel, or man, come in danger by it. the inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man: in so much, that if it issue not towards men, it will take unto other living creatures: as it is seen in the turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and give alms to dogs, and birds: in so much, as busbechius reporteth; a christian boy in constantinople had like to have been stoned, for gagging, in a waggishness, a long billed fowl. errors, indeed, in this virtue of goodness, or charity, may be committed. the italians have an ungracious proverb; tanto buon che val niente: so good, that he is good for nothing. and one of the doctors of italy, nicholas machiavelli, had the confidence to put in writing, almost in plain terms: that the christian faith had given up good men, in prey, to those that are tyrannical, and unjust which he spoke, because indeed there was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much magnify goodness, as the christian religion doth.
这在一切德性及精神的品格中是最伟大的;因为它是上帝底特性;并且如没有这种德性,人就成为一种忙碌的,为害的,卑贱不堪的东西,比一种虫豸好不了许多。“善”与神学中的德性,“仁爱”相符合,并且不会过度,只能有错误。过度的求权力的欲望使天神堕落;过度的求知识的欲望使人类堕落;但是在“仁爱”之中却是没有过度的情形的;无论是神或人,也都不会因它而受危险的。向善的倾向是在人性中印得很深的;怎样深法?就是如果这种倾向不发向人类,也要及于别的生物的;这可由土耳其人见之,土耳其人是一种残忍的民族,然而他们对待禽兽却很仁慈,并且施舍及于狗和鸟类。据布斯拜洽斯底记述,君士坦丁堡有一个耶教青年,因为在玩笑中撑住了一只长喙鸟底嘴的缘故,差一点被人用石头打死了。土耳其人爱物底程度有如此者。在这种“善”或“仁爱”的德性中,错误有时是不免的。意大利人有一句骂人的成语:“他太老好,好得简直成了废物了”。意大利底宗师之一,尼考劳·马基亚委利,也居然有这种自信,几乎明明白白地写道:“耶教把善良之人做成鱼肉,贡献给那些专横无道的人”。他说这话,因为真的从来没有一种法律、教派或学说曾如耶教一样地尊重过“善”的。

therefore to avoid the scandal, and the danger both, it is good to take knowledge of the errors of an habit so excellent. seek the good of other men, but be not in bondage to their faces, or fancies; for that is but facility, or softness; which taketh an honest mind prisoner. neither give thou aesop's cock a gem, who would be better pleased, and happier, if he had had a barley corn.
因此为避免诽谤及危险起见,顶好研究研究象如此优良的一种习惯,其错误安在。我们要努力利人,但是不要作人们底面貌或妄想底奴隶;因为若是那样,就是易欺或柔懦了;易欺或柔懦是拘囚诚实的人的。也不要给《伊索寓言》中的雄鸡一颗宝石,这雄鸡要是得到一颗麦粒,他要快乐欢喜得多了。

关键字:性善 培根 散文

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