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文学作品汉译:Francis Bacon - Of Truth

2014-09-18    来源:en84    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

文学作品汉译:Francis Bacon - Of Truth

文学作品汉译:请欣赏培根作品《Of Truth》

Of Truth

Francis Bacon

WHAT is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them, as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labor, which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural, though corrupt love, of the lie itself. One of the later school of the Grecians, examineth the matter, and is at a stand, to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie’s sake. But I cannot tell; this same truth, is a naked, and open day-light, that doth not show the masks, and mummeries, and triumphs, of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?

One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy vinum daemonum, because it fireth the imagination; and yet, it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt; such as we spake of before. But howsoever these things are thus in men’s depraved judgments, and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last, was the light of reason; and his sabbath work ever since, is the illumination of his Spirit. First he breathed light, upon the face of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light, into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light, into the face of his chosen. The poet, that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure, to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure, to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below; so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling, or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.

To pass from theological, and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear, and round dealing, is the honor of man’s nature; and that mixture of falsehoods, is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding, and crooked courses, are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice, that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be found false and perfidious. And therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge? Saith he, If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood, and breach of faith, cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal, to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth.

谈真理

弗朗西斯·培根

真理何物?皮拉多笑而问曰,未待人答,不顾而去。却有见异思迁之徒,以持见不变为束缚,而标榜思想与行动之自由意志。先哲一派曾持此见,虽已逝去,尚有二三散漫书生依附旧说,唯精力已大不如古人矣。固然,真理费力难求,求得之后不免限制思想,唯人之爱伪非坐此一因,盖由其天性中原有爱伪之劣念耳。希腊晚期学人审问此事,不解人为何喜爱伪说,既不能从中得乐,如诗人然,又不能从中获利,如商人然,则唯有爱伪之本体而已。余亦难言究竟,唯思真理犹如白日无遮之光,直照人世之歌舞庆典,不如烛光掩映,反能显其堂皇之美。真理之价,有似珍珠,白昼最见其长,而不如钻石,弱光始露其妙。言中有伪,常能更增其趣。盖人心如尽去其空论、妄念、误断、怪想,则仅余一萎缩之囊,囊中尽装怨声呻吟之类,本人见之亦不乐矣!事实如此,谁复疑之?昔有长老厉责诗歌,称之为魔鬼之酒,即因其扩展幻想,实则仅得伪之一影耳。为害最烈者并非飘略人心之伪,而系滞留人心之伪,前已言及。然不论人在堕落时有几许误断妄念,真理仍为人性之至善。盖真理者,唯真理始能判之,其所教者为求真理,即对之爱慕;为知真理,即得之于心;为信真理,即用之为乐。上帝创世时首创感觉之光,末创理智之光,此后安息而显圣灵。先以光照物质,分别混沌;次以光照人面,对其所选之人面更常耀不灭。古有诗人信非崇高,言则美善,曾有妙语云:“立岸上见浪催船行,一乐也;立城堡孔后看战斗进退,一乐也;然皆不足以比身居真理高地之乐也;真理之峰高不可及,可吸纯洁之气,可瞰谷下侧行、瞭徨、迷雾、风暴之变”。景象如此,但须临之以怜世之心,而不可妄自尊大也。人心果能行爱心,安天命,运转于真理之轴上,人间诚为世上天国矣。

如自神学哲学之真理转论社会事务,则人无论遵守与否,皆识一点,即公开正直之行为人性之荣,如掺伪则如金银币中掺杂,用时纵然方便,其值大贬矣。盖此类歪斜之行唯毒蛇始为,其因无公行之足,唯有暗爬之腹也。恶行之中,令人蒙羞最大者莫过于虚伪背信。谎言之为奇耻大辱也,蒙田探究真理,曾云:“如深究此事,指人说谎犹言此人对上帝勇而对人怯也,该说慌者敢于面对上帝,而畏避世人”。善哉此言。虚伪背信之恶,最有力之指责莫过于称之为向上帝鸣最后警钟,请来裁判无数世代之人,盖圣经早已预言,基督降世时,“世上已无信义可言矣”。

(王佐良 译)

论真理

善戏谑的彼拉多曾说:“真理是什么呢?”说了之后并且不肯等候回答。世上尽有一般人喜欢把意见变来变去,并且认为固定了一种信仰即等于上了一套枷锁;在思想上和在行为上他们都一样地要求意志底自由。并且虽然这一流的各派哲学家已成过去,然而仍有些心志游移的说者和他们同声同气,——虽然这般人比起古人来血气薄弱一点。但是使人们好伪说的原因,不仅是人们找寻真理时的艰难困苦,亦不是找寻着了真理之后真理所加于人们底思想的约束,而是一种天生的,虽然是恶劣的,对于伪说本身的爱好。希腊晚期哲学学派中有人曾研究过这个问题,他不懂得伪说之中有什么东西竟会使人们为伪说底本身而爱它,因为伪说既不能如诗人之所为,引人入胜;亦不能如商人之所为,导人得利。我亦不懂得这是什么缘故:可是“真理”这件东西可说是一种无隐无饰的白昼之光,世间的那些歌剧、扮演、庆典在这种光之下所显露的,远不如灯烛之光所显露的庄严美丽。真理在世人眼中其价值也许等于一颗珍珠,在日光之下看起来最好;但是它决够不上那在各种不同的光线下显得最美的钻石和红玉底价值。搀上一点伪说的道理总是给人添乐趣的。要是从人们底心中取去了虚妄的自是,自谀的希望,错误的评价,武断的想象,就会使许多人底心变成一种可怜的、缩小的东西,充满忧郁和疾病,自己看起来也讨厌。对于这一点会有人怀疑么?早期的耶教著作家中有一位曾经很严厉地把诗叫做“魔鬼底酒”,因为诗能占据人底想象,然而诗不过是伪说底影子罢了。害人的不是那从心中经过的伪说,而是那沉入心中,盘据心中的伪说,如前所言者是也。然而这些事情,无论其在人们堕落的判断力及好尚中是如何,真理(它是只受本身底评判的)却教给我们说研究真理(就是向它求爱求婚),认识真理(就是与之同处),和相信真理(就是享受它)乃是人性中最高的美德。

当上帝创造宇宙的那几日中,他所创造的头一件东西就是感官底光明;他所创造的末一件东西就是理智底光明;从那以后直到如今在他工作完毕而休息的期间内,他底作为全是以他底圣灵昭示世人。最初他在物或浑沌底面上吹吐光明;然后他由人底面目中吹入光明;到如今他还在往他的选民面目之中吐射光明。有一派哲学在别的方面都不如他派,可是有一位诗人为这派哲学增光不少。这位诗人曾说:“站在岸上看船舶在海上簸荡是一件乐事;站在一座堡垒底窗前看下面的战争和它底种种经过最一件乐事;但是没有一件乐事能与站在真理底高峰(一座高出一切的山陵,在那里的空气永远是澄清而宁静的)目睹下面谷中的错误、漂泊、迷雾和风雨相比拟的”;只要看的人对这种光景永存恻隐而不要自满,那末以上的话可算是说得好极了。当然,一个人底心若能以仁爱为动机,以天意为归宿,并且以真理为地轴而动转,那这人的生活可真是地上的天堂了。

从教义中的真理和哲学中的真理再说到世事上的真理。即使那些行为并不坦白正直的人也会承认坦白正直地待人是人性底光荣,而真假相混则有如金银币中杂以合金一样,也许可以使那金银用起来方便一点,但是把它们底品质却弄贱了。因为这些曲曲折折的行为可说是蛇走路的方法,蛇是不用脚而是很卑贱地用肚子走路的。没有一件恶德能和被人发现是虚伪欺诈一般使人蒙羞的。所以蒙泰涅在他研究为什么说人说谎算是这样的一种羞辱,一种可恨之极的罪责的时候,说得极好。他说:“仔细考虑起来,要是说某人说谎就等于说他对上帝很大胆,对世人很怯懦”。因为谎言是直对着上帝而躲避着世人的。曾经有个预言,说基督重临的时候,他将在地上找不到信实;所以谎言可说是请上帝来裁判人类全体的最后的钟声。对于虚假和背信底罪恶再不能比这个说法揭露得更高明了。

(水天同 译)



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