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《颜氏家训》·《序致第一》 (汉英对照)

2014-02-18    来源:en8848    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

颜氏家训

Admonitions for the Yan Clan— A Chinese Classic on Household Management

序致第一

I. Introduction

夫圣夫圣贤之书,教人诚孝,慎言检迹,立身扬名,亦已备矣。魏、晋已来,所著诸子,理重事复,递相模学,犹屋下架屋,床上施床耳。吾今所以复为此者,非敢轨物范世也,业以整齐门内,提撕子孙。夫同言而信,信其所亲;同命而行,行其所服。禁童子之暴谑,则师友之诫不如傅婢之指挥,止凡人之斗阋,则尧、舜之道不如寡妻之诲谕。吾望此书为汝曹之所信,犹贤于傅婢寡妻耳。

In their books, ancient sages preach loyalty and filial piety, advocate careful speech and prudent behavior, and urge people to attain integrity and celebrity. Their discussions are sound and fully developed. Since the time of the Wei and Jin Dynasties, books in plenty have been produced expounding the teachings of the sages, but the authors seem to have modeled their works on those of their predecessors, in needless duplication, harping on the same old themes.

Such being the case, why do I bother to write another book in the same vein? I do not presume to set any code of conduct for the world; I only wish my book to serve for the regulation of my family, and as admonition for the good of my posterity. Counsel is the more willingly followed when it comes from a loved one; orders are the more readily executed if they come from an authority. The mischief of children is best checked not by the reasoning admonitions of tutors or friends, but by a commanding maid; a discord between brothers is soonest resolved not through the teachings of Yao and Shun (1), but through the good offices of their sensible wives. I hope this book will prevail upon you just as well as, or even better than, the maid upon the children or the wife upon the husband.

Notes:

(1) Yao and Shun were two legendary sage rulers in prehistoric China.
 
吾家吾家风教,素为整密。昔在龆龀,便蒙诱诲;每从两兄,晓夕温凊,规行矩步,安辞定色,锵锵翼翼,若朝严君焉。赐以优言,问所好尚,励短引长,莫不恳笃。年始九岁,便丁荼蓼,家涂离散,百口索然。慈兄鞠养,苦辛备至;有仁无威,导示不切。虽读《礼传》,微爱属文,颇为凡人之所陶染,肆欲轻言,不修边幅。年十八九,少知砥砺,习若自然,卒难洗荡。二十已後,大过稀焉;每常心共口敌,性与情竞,夜觉晓非,今悔昨失,自怜无教,以至于斯。追思平昔之指,铭肌镂骨,非徒古书之诫,经目过耳也。故留此二十篇,以为汝曹後车耳。

I was born into a family that has a tradition of adequate home education and strict domestic discipline. Instruction began when I was a mere child. Following my two elder brothers, I learned to attend on my parents as a filial son does, keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer. I learned to keep calm, speak at ease, and walk with a proper gait—always striving gingerly to conform to the exact norms required, as if I were to have an audience with a sovereign. My elders would quote for me some wise sayings, ask about my inclinations, and give me the most sincere and earnest of encouragements and admonitions.

At the age of nine, I had the misfortune to lose my father. Our family came down in the world, and its members scattered—a deplorable sight. One of my elder brothers went through all kinds of hardships and deprivations for my upbringing. But, loving and kind as he was, he lacked the weight and authority for my guidance. I did study the ancient classics, having even a vague interest in writing, but under the influence of vulgar people, I became unkempt in my dress and unbridled in word and deed. Not until I was in my late teens did I begin to pay attention to self-culture, but I had a hard time overcoming my inertia and turning over a new leaf.

It was only after I had turned twenty that I put behind me gross misconduct. I have often had the experience of my brains holding my tongue in check and my conscience saying no to my impulses.

Sometimes I become aware in the stillness of the night of a mistake I committed in the morning; sometimes I am caught in the bustle of the day by a feeling of remorse for yesterday's lapses. These lingering failings, I think, can be traced to a lack of good education in my youth.

However, I always feel greatly reassured whenever I reflect upon my unswerving aim, now enshrined in my innermost being, which I believe cannot have been fostered by the teachings, read or heard, of the ancient sages alone. In light of the above, I have decided to leave you these chapters, hoping they will steer you away from similar follies to those of my youth.

宗福常 译



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