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培根散文欣赏:论贵族(中英文对照)

时间:2015-10-09 15:15:46   来源:
of nobility 论贵族

we will speak of nobility, first as a portion of an estate; then as a condition of particular persons. a monarchy, where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny; as that of the turks. for nobility attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of me people somewhat aside from the line royal. but for democracies, they need it not; and they are commonly more quiet, and less subject to sedition, then where there are stirps of nobles. for men's eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons: or if upon the persons, it is for the business' sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree.
关于贵族,我们将先以之为国家中的一个阶级,再以之为个人底一种品质而论之。一个完全没有贵族的君主国总是一个纯粹而极端的专制国;如土耳其是也。因为贵族是调剂君权的,贵族把人民底眼光引开,使其多少离开皇室。但是说到民主国家,它们是不需要贵族的;并且它们比较有贵族巨室的国家,通常是较为平静,不易有叛乱的。因为在民主国中,人们底眼光是在事业上而不在个人上的;或者,即令眼光是在个人身上,也是为了事业的原故,要问某人之适当与否,而不是为了标帜与血统的。
we see the switzers last well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion, and of cantons. for utility is their bond, and not respects. the united provinces of the low countries, in their government, excel: for where there is an equality, the consultations are more indifferent, and the payments and tributes more cheerful. a great and potent nobility addeth majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power, and putteth life and spirit into the people, but presseth their fortune. it is well, when nobles are not too great for sovereignty, nor for justice; and yet maintained in that height, as the insolence of inferiors may be broken upon them, before it come on too fast upon the majesty of kings.
我们看得到瑞士人底国家很能持久,虽然他们国中有很多宗教派别,而且行政区也不一致:这就因为维系他们的是实利而不是对在位者个人的崇仰也。荷兰合众国政治很优良;因为在有平权的地方,政治上的集议是比较重事而不重人的,并且人民对于纳税输款也是较为乐意的,一个巨大有力的贵族阶级增加君王底威严,可是减少了他底权力;使人民更有生气,更为活泼,可是压抑了他们底福利。最好,贵族不要高出君权或国法之上,同时却要被保持在一种高位上,使下民想犯上的时候,那种桀鹜之气,必得在过速地达到人君底威严以前,先与贵族冲撞,如水击石而分散其势力然。

a numerous nobility causeth poverty and inconvenience in a state: for it is a surcharge of expense; and besides, it being of necessity, that many of the nobility fall in time to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind of disproportion, between honour and means.
贵族人数众多则国贫而多艰;因为这是一种过度的消费;并且,贵族中人有许多在经过相当时间后必然变为贫乏,结果在尊荣与财富之间将造成一种不相侔的情形。

as for nobility in particular persons; it is a reverend thing, to see an ancient castle or building not in decay; or to see a fair timber tree, sound and perfect: how much more, to behold anancient noble family, which hath stood against me waves and weathers of time.
至于个人之身为贵族者——我们看见一座古垒或建筑物依然完好,或者一棵好树坚实而完美的时候,总觉得那是一种令人生敬的景象。如斯,要是见到一个曾经度过时间底风浪的古老贵族之家,其可敬之甚较上述者又当多出若干。


for new nobility is but the act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time. those that are first raised to nobility are commonly more virtuous, but less
innocent, than their descendants: for there is rarely any rising, but by a co-mixture, of good and evil arts. but it is reason the memory of their virtues remain to their posterity; and their faults die with themselves.
因为新的贵族不过是权力所致,而老的贵族则是时间所致也。头一个升到贵族阶级的那些人多是比他们底后人富于才力而不如其纯洁的;因为很少有能够腾达而在手段中不是善恶交混的。但是这些人留给后代的记忆中只有长处,而他们底短处,则与身俱灭,这也是合理的。

nobility of birth commonly abateth industry: and he that is not industrious envieth him that is. besides, noble persons cannot go much higher, and he that standeth at a stay, when others rise, can hardly avoid motions of envy. on the other side, nobility extinguished! the passive envy, from others towards them;
because they are in possession of honour. certainly kings, that have able men of their nobility, shall find ease in employing them; and a better slide into their business: for people naturally bend to them, as born in some sort to command.
生为贵族则多半轻视劳作;而自己不勤劳的人是要嫉妒勤劳的人的。再者,贵族中人不能再升到多高的地位去了;而那自己停留在某种地位而目睹他人上升的人是难免嫉妒之念的。在另一方面,贵族身分能消灭别人对他们的那种消极的嫉妒;因为贵族中人好象生来就应享某种荣华富贵似的。无疑地,为人君者,在他们底贵族中若有人材而能用之,则他们将得到安适,并且国事底进行也要得到顺利;因为人民会自自然然地服从他们,以为他们是生来就有权发号施令的。

关键字:培根 贵族 散文

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