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英语美文精华必背(音频):十三项美德

2016-03-29    来源:小e英语    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
Thirteen Names of Virtues
十三项美德
 
I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right or wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my case was employed in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our slipping; and that the contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct. For this purpose I therefore contrived the following method.
我曾想出一个达到完美品德的大胆而又费力的计划。我希望这一辈子都不犯任何错误,我要克服所有的缺点,不管它们是由天生的爱好而引起的,还是由于习惯或交友不慎引起的。因为我知道,或者自以为知道,什么是对的、什么是错的,所以我觉得自己能够只做好事而不做坏事。但不久我发现,自己想做的工作比原先料想的要困难得多。正当我的注意力放在克服某一缺点时,另一个缺点却出乎意料地冒了出来。习惯利用一时的疏忽,而理智有时又绝非癖好的敌手。后来,我终于得出结论,仅仅抽象地相信完美的品德对我们是有利的,但还不足以防止我们的过失,坏习惯必须打破,好习惯必须培养和建立起来,然后我们才能希望我们的举止能够坚定不移、始终如一地正确。为了这个目标,我想出了下面这个方法。
 
In the various enumerations of the moral virtues I had met with in my reading, I found the catalogue more or less numerous, as different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name. Temperance, for example, was by some confined to eating and drinking, while by others it was extended to mean the moderating of every other pleasure, appetite, inclination, or passion, bodily or mental, even to our avarice and ambition. I proposed to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annexed to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurred to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully expressed the extend I gave to its meaning.
我在阅读的过程中,发现在列举各种道德品质时,各种分类都或多或少地存在分歧,因为对于同一个词的涵义,不同的作者可以做或多或少的阐释。例如“节制”这个词,有人把它的意义限于饮食,而另外一些人却把它的意义扩展到调节其他快乐、欲望、癖好和肉体的或精神的情欲,甚至将其推广到贪婪和野心上面。我总结出了13种美德,这是我当时认为必需的或适合的所有美德条目,并在每一项底下加了一条简单的箴言,它充分说明了我认为这个词的涵义所应有的范围。
 
 
These names of virtues, with their precepts, were:
这些道德的名目及其涵义如下:
 
1.Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
节制。食不过饱,饮酒不醉。
 
2.Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
沉默。说话必须对自己或他人有益;避免无益的聊天。
 
3.Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
生活秩序。将每一样东西放在它们应该放的地方;安排好做每件日常事务的时间。
 
4.Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
决心。做该做的事;决心做的事应坚持不懈。
 
5.Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i. e. waste nothing.
俭朴。花钱必须于人于己有益;换言之,切忌浪费。
 
6.Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
勤勉。不浪费时间,只做有用的事,戒掉一切不必要的行动。
 
7.Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
诚恳。不欺骗人;思想纯洁公正;说话也要如此。
 
8.Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
公正。不做害人的事情,不要忘记履行对人有益而且又是你应尽的义务。
 
9.Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
中庸适度。避免极端;要容忍你认为别人应得的处罚。
 
10.Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, or habitation.
清洁。身体、衣服和住所力求清洁。
 
11.Tranquility.Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
镇静。不要因为小事或普通的、不可避免的事故而惊慌失措。
 
12.Chastity. Rarely use ornery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
贞节。除非为了健康或生育后代,不常进行房事,切忌房事过度,伤害身体或损害你自己或他人的安宁或名誉。
 
13.Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
谦逊。仿效耶稣和苏格拉底。
 
My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judged it would be well not to distract my on of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arranged them with that view, as they stand above.
我的目标是养成一切美德的习惯,因此我认为,为了不至于分散注意力,最好还是不要立即全面尝试,而是在一段时期内集中精力于其中之一。当我掌握了那项美德之后,接着再开始注意另外一项,如此这样,直到我做满13条为止。因此先获得的一些美德可以方便其他美德的培养,而我就按照这个主张把它们排列起来,就像上面的次序一样。 


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