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Francis Bacon - Of Studies 汉译

2014-05-15    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Of Studies

Francis Bacon

Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men condemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books, else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things.

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores [Studies pass into and influence manners]. Nay, there is no stond or impediment in the wit but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach; riding for the head; and the like. So if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again. If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen; for they are cymini sectores [splitters of hairs]((吹毛求疵之人)). If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases. So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.

谈读书

读书足以怡情,足以傅彩,足以长才。其怡情也,最见于独处幽居之时;其傅彩也,最见于高谈阔论之中;其长才也,最见于处世判事之际。练达之士虽能分别处理细事或一一判别枝节,然纵观统筹、全局策划,则舍好学深思者莫属。读书费时过多易惰,文采藻饰太盛则矫,全凭条文断事乃学究故态。读书补天然之不足,经验又补读书之不足,盖天生才干犹如自然花草,读书然后知如何修剪移接;而书中所示,如不以经验范之,则又大而无当。有一技之长者鄙读书,无知者羡读书,唯明智之士用读书,然书并不以用处告人,用书之智不在书中,而在书外,全凭观察得之。读书时不可存心诘难作者,不可尽信书上所言,亦不可只为寻章摘句,而应推敲细思。书有可浅尝者,有可吞食者,少数则须咀嚼消化。换言之,有只须读其部分者,有只须大体涉猎者,少数则须全读,读时须全神贯注,孜孜不倦。书亦可请人代读,取其所作摘要,但只限题材较次或价值不高者,否则书经提炼犹如水经蒸馏,淡而无味矣。
 
读书使人充实,讨论使人机智,笔记使人准确。因此不常做笔记者须记忆特强,不常讨论者须天生聪颖,不常读书者须欺世有术,始能无知而显有知。读史使人明智,读诗使人灵秀,数学使人周密,科学使人深刻,伦理学使人庄重,逻辑修辞之学使人善辨:凡有所学,皆成性格。人之才智但有滞碍,无不可读适当之书使之顺畅,一如身体百病,皆可借相宜之运动除之。滚球利睾肾,射箭利胸肺,漫步利肠胃,骑术利头脑,诸如此类。如智力不集中,可令读数学,盖演算须全神贯注,稍有分散即须重演;如不能辨异,可令读经院哲学,盖是辈皆吹毛求疵之人;如不善求同,不善以一物阐证另一物,可令读律师之案卷。如此头脑中凡有缺陷,皆有特药可医。

(王佐良 译)

论学问

读书为学底用途是娱乐、装饰和增长才识。在娱乐上学问底主要的用处是幽居养静;在装饰上学问底用处是辞令;在长才上学问底用处是对于事务的判断和处理。因为富于经验的人善于实行,也许能够对个别的事情一件一件地加以判断;但是最好的有关大体的议论和对事务的计划与布置,乃是从有学问的人来的。在学问上费时过多是偷懒;把学问过于用作装饰是虚假;完全依学问上的规则而断事是书生底怪癖。学问锻炼天性,而其本身又受经验底锻炼;盖人底天赋有如野生的花草,他们需要学问底修剪;而学问底本身,若不受经验底限制,则其所指示的未免过于笼统。多诈的人渺视学问,愚鲁的人羡慕学问,聪明的人运用学问;因为学问底本身并不教人如何用它们;这种运用之道乃是学问以外,学问以上的一种智能,是由观察体会才能得到的。不要为了辩驳而读书,也不要为了信仰与盲从;也不要为了言谈与议论;要以能权衡轻重、审察事理为目的。

有些书可供一尝,有些书可以吞下,有不多的几部书则应当咀嚼消化;这就是说,有些书只要读读他们底一部分就够了,有些书可以全读,但是不必过于细心地读;还有不多的几部书则应当全读,勤读,而且用心地读。有些书也可以请代表去读,并且由别人替我作出节要来;但是这种办法只适于次要的议论和次要的书籍;否则录要的书就和蒸馏的水一样,都是无味的东西。阅读使人充实,会谈使人敏捷,写作与笔记使人精确。因此,如果一个人写得很少,那末他就必须有很好的记性;如果他很少与人会谈,那末他就必须有很敏捷的机智;并且假如他读书读得很少的话,那末他就必须要有很大的狡黠之才,才可以强不知以为知。史鉴使人明智;诗歌使人巧慧;数学使人精细;博物使人深沉;伦理之学使人庄重;逻辑与修辞使人善辩。“学问变化气质”。不特如此,精神上的缺陷没有一种是不能由相当的学问来补救的:就如同肉体上各种的病患都有适当的运动来治疗似的。“地球”有益于结石和肾脏;射箭有益于胸肺;缓步有益于胃;骑马有益于头脑;诸如此类。同此,如果一个人心志不专,他顶好研究数学;因为在数学底证理之中,如果他底精神稍有不专,他就非从头再做不可。如果他底精神不善于辨别异同,那末他最好研究经院学派底著作,因为这一派的学者是条分缕析的人;如果他不善于推此知彼,旁征博引,他顶好研究律师们底案卷。

如此看来,精神上各种的缺陷都可以有一种专门的补救之方了。

(水天同 译)



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