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Sir John Lubbock--The Delights of Books 汉译

2015-07-15    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Sir John Lubbock--The Delights of Books 汉译

The Delights of Books

Sir John Lubbock

Books are to mankind what memory is to the individual. They contain the history of our race, the discoveries we have made, the accumulated knowledge and experience of ages; they picture for us the marvels and beauties of nature; help us in our difficulties, comfort us in sorrow and in suffering, change hours of weariness into moments of delight, store our minds with ideas, fill them with good and happy thoughts, and lift us out of and above ourselves.

There is an Oriental story of two men: one was a king, who every night dreamt he was a beggar; the other was a beggar, who every night dreamt he was a prince and lived in a palace. I am not sure that the king had very much the best of it. Imagination is sometimes more vivid than reality. But, however this may be, when we read we may not only (if we wish it) be kings and live in palaces, but, what is far better, we may transport ourselves to the mountains or the seashore, and visit the most beautiful parts of the earth, without fatigue, inconvenience, or expense.

Many of those who have had, as we say, all that this world can give, have yet told us they owed much of their purest happiness to books. Ascham, in The Schoolmaster, tells a touching story of his last visit to Lady Jane Grey. He found her sitting in an oriel window reading Plato’s beautiful account of the death of Socrates. Her father and mother were hunting in the park, the hounds were in full cry and their voices came in through the open window. He expressed his surprise that she had not joined them. But, said she, I wist that all their pleasure in the park is but a shadow to the pleasure I find in Plato.

Macaulay had wealth and fame, rank and power, and yet he tells us in his biography that he owed the happiest hours of his life to books. In a charming letter to a little girl, he says: “Thank you for your very pretty letter. I am always glad to make my little girl happy, and nothing pleases me so much as to see that she likes books, for when she is as old as I am, she will find that they are better than all the tarts and cakes, toys and plays, and sights in the world. If any one would make me the greatest king that ever lived, with palaces and gardens and fine dinners, and wines and coaches, and beautiful clothes, and hundreds of servants, on condition that I should not read books. I would not be a king. I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading.”

Books, indeed, endow us with a whole enchanted palace of thoughts. There is a wider prospect, says Jean Paul Richter, from Parnassus than from a throne. In one way they give us an even more vivid idea than the actual reality, just as reflections are often more beautiful than real nature. “All mirrors,” says George Macdonald. “The commonest room is a room in a poem when I look in the glass.”

Precious and priceless are the blessings which the books scatter around our daily paths. We walk, in imagination, with the sublime and enchanting regions.

Without stirring from our firesides we may roam to the most remote regions of the earth, or soar into realms where Spenser’s shapes of unearthly beauty flock to meet us, where Milton’s angels peal in our ears the choral hymns of Paradise. Science, art, literature, philosophy, -- all that man has thought, all that man has done, -- the experience that has been bought with the sufferings of a hundred generations, -- all are garnered up for us in the world of books.

译文:

读书之乐趣

[英]约翰·卢伯克爵士

书籍之于人类,犹如记忆之于个人。书籍既可记录人种之演变,亦可记载人类之发现;既有日积月累之知识,亦不乏世代相传之经验;书籍之于人类,可描绘自然之奇迹与美丽,于困难无助之际予以提携,于悲伤痛苦之时施以抚慰;让困倦之时刻变为欢乐之时光,让头脑充满丰富之想象,让心灵布满美好快乐之思想,恃此而人可走出自我,超越自我。

有一东方典故,言及二人:一为国王,一为乞丐。国王夜必有恶魇,魇中成乞丐;乞丐晚必做美梦,梦中变王子,居宫殿。国王是否泰然处之,余不敢肯定。想象之于现实或更栩栩然。是否如此,姑且不论,然读书时,恁可想象自己即为国王,居宫殿;且读书乃美差之事:既可使人纵情山川,嬉戏海滩,亦可使人遍访世之美景;既可使人除身心疲惫之虑,亦可使人解囊中羞涩之忧。

其实,造物恩宠,应有尽有者不少。然多有感于心,曰,其真正之快乐源自书籍。阿斯克姆著有一书,题曰《教师》。书中云及其最后拜访简·格雷小姐之故事,甚为感人。书中描写,格雷小姐坐于飘窗之前,览读柏拉图所写之精彩文章:《苏格拉底之死》;然其父母狩猎公园,人喧犬吠,敞窗之内亦可闻见。然阿斯克姆甚为惊奇,狩猎之乐,格雷小姐竟无动于衷,无意与焉。格雷小姐曰,虽然,园中狩猎之乐,较之于柏拉图书中之乐,不过皮毛耳。

麦考利既有财富与名望,亦有地位与权力,然其传记曰,其一生最快乐之时光在于读书。麦考利尝书信一封于一女童,曰:“来信收悉,内容精彩,深表感谢。悉知汝喜好读书,且能乐焉。余倍感欣慰,若到吾今日之年岁,汝定会晓解,较之于馅饼与蛋糕,较之于玩具与游戏,较之于世之名胜风景,读书之乐远胜焉。若有人请余当史上最伟大之国王、享宫殿花园之乐,品美味佳肴,驾华车着丽服,差数以百计之奴仆,惟无读书之条件,余宁可弃做国王,而做穷人,居斗室,享书无数,亦勿做厌书之国王。”

书籍确能予人以思想宫殿,魔力无比。里希尔特曰,帕纳塞斯山较之于御座,视野广而阔焉。较之于客观现实,读书所予于人者,更栩栩然,犹如投影之美,常胜于自然。“凡事必有镜像,”麦克唐纳曰,“镜中视屋,平常之屋则成诗中之屋。”

有书则有福,且其贵无价,无时不在,无处莫有。有书,则可驰骋想象,畅游美景圣地。

即或静坐炉火之旁,亦可遨游地球之边际;既可翱翔斯宾塞所绘之王国:仙女婀娜群相迎;亦可畅游弥尔顿所述之天堂:天使娓娓歌乐园。科学、艺术、文学、哲学——人之所思、人之所做——即或以世代痛苦换来之经验——凡此种种,书海之中,应有尽有,享之不尽。

(颜林海 译)



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