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梭罗《瓦尔登湖》1:经济篇 Economy

(2011-08-24 08:46:58)
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分类: 生存生活

瓦尔登湖  Walden

亨利.戴维.梭罗 Henry David Thoreau 

 梭罗《瓦尔登湖》1:经济篇 <wbr>Economy

    当我写后面那些篇页,或者后面那一大堆文字的时候,我是在孤独地生活着,在森林中,在马萨诸塞州的康科德城,瓦尔登湖的湖岸上,在我亲手建筑的木屋里,距离任何邻居一英里,只靠着我双手劳动,养活我自己。在那里,我住了两年又两个月。目前,我又是文明生活中的过客了。

 

When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.

 

    要不是市民们曾特别仔细地打听我的生活方式,我本不会这般唐突,拿私事来读请读者注意的。有些人说我这个生活方式怪僻,虽然我根本不觉得怪僻,考虑到我那些境遇,我只觉得非常自然,而且合情合理呢。有些人则问我有什么吃的;我是否感到寂寞,我害怕吗,等等。另外一些人还好奇得很,想知道我的哪一部分收入捐给慈善事业了,还有一些人,家大口阔,想知道我赡养了多少个贫儿。所以这本书在答复这一类的问题时,请对我并无特殊兴趣的读者给以谅解。许多书,避而不用所谓第一人称的“我”字;本书是用的;这本书的特点便是“我”字用得特别多。其实,无论什么书都是第一人称在发言,我们却常把这点忘掉了。如果我的知人之深,比得上我的自知之明,我就不会畅谈自我,谈那么多了。不幸我阅历浅陋,我只得局限于这一个主题。但是,我对于每一个作家,都不仅仅要求他写他听来的别人的生活,还要求他迟早能简单而诚恳地写出自己的生活,写得好像是他从远方寄给亲人似的;因为我觉得一个人若生活得诚恳,他一定是生活在一个遥远的地方了。下面的这些文字,对于清寒的学生,或许特别地适宜。至于其余的读者,我想他们是会取其适用的。因为,没有人会削足适履的;只有合乎尺寸的衣履,才能对一个人有用。

 

I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent. Some have asked what I got to eat; if I did not feel lonesome; if I was not afraid; and the like. Others have been curious to learn what portion of my income I devoted to charitable purposes; and some, who have large families, how many poor children I maintained. I will therefore ask those of my readers who feel no particular interest in me to pardon me if I undertake to answer some of these questions in this book. In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference. We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking. I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men's lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me. Perhaps these pages are more particularly addressed to poor students. As for the rest of my readers, they will accept such portions as apply to them. I trust that none will stretch the seams in putting on the coat, for it may do good service to him whom it fits.

 

    我乐意诉说的事物,未必是关于中国人和桑威奇岛人,而是关于你们,这些文字的读者,生活在新英格兰的居民,关于诸君的遭遇的,特别是关于生逢此世的本地居民的身外之物或环境的,诸君生活在这个人世之间,度过了什么样的生活哪;你们生活得如此糟糕是否必要呢;这种生活是否还能改善改善呢?我在康科德曾到过许多地区;无论在店铺,在公事房,在田野,到处我都看到,这里的居民仿佛都在赎罪一样,从事着成千种的惊人苦役。我曾经听说过婆罗门教的教徒,坐在四面火焰之中,眼盯着太阳,或在烈火的上面倒悬着身体;或侧转了头望青天,“直到他们无法恢复原状,更因为脖子是扭转的,所以除了液体,别的食品都不能流入胃囊中”,或者,终生用一条铁链,把自己锁在一株树下:或者,像毛毛虫一样,用他们的身体来丈量帝国的广袤土地;或者,他们独脚站立在柱子顶上——然而啊,便是这种有意识的赎罪苦行,也不见得比我天天看见的景象更不可信,更使人心惊肉跳。赫拉克勒斯从事的十二个苦役跟我的邻居所从事的苦役一比较,简直不算一回事,因为他一共也只有十二个,做完就完了,可是我从没有看到过我的邻人杀死或捕获过任何怪兽,也没有看到过他们做完过任何苦役。他们也没有依俄拉斯这样的赫拉克勒斯的忠仆,用一块火红的烙铁,来烙印那九头怪兽,它是被割去了一个头,还会长出两个头来的。

 

I would fain say something, not so much concerning the Chinese and Sandwich Islanders as you who read these pages, who are said to live in New England; something about your condition, especially your outward condition or circumstances in this world, in this town, what it is, whether it is necessary that it be as bad as it is, whether it cannot be improved as well as not. I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways. What I have heard of Bramins sitting exposed to four fires and looking in the face of the sun; or hanging suspended, with their heads downward, over flames; or looking at the heavens over their shoulders "until it becomes impossible for them to resume their natural position, while from the twist of the neck nothing but liquids can pass into the stomach"; or dwelling, chained for life, at the foot of a tree; or measuring with their bodies, like caterpillars, the breadth of vast empires; or standing on one leg on the tops of pillars -- even these forms of conscious penance are hardly more incredible and astonishing than the scenes which I daily witness. The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They have no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra's head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.

 

    我看见青年人,我的市民同胞,他们的不幸是,生下地来就继承了田地、庐舍、谷仓、牛羊和农具;得到它们倒是容易,舍弃它们可困难了。他们不如诞生在空旷的牧场上,让狼来给他们喂奶,他们倒能够看清楚了,自己是在何等的环境辛勤劳动。谁使他们变成了土地的奴隶?为什么有人能够享受六十英亩田地的供养,而更多人却命定了,只能啄食尘土呢?为什么他们刚生下地,就得自掘坟墓?他们不能不过人的生活,不能不推动这一切,一个劲儿地做工,尽可能地把光景过得好些。我曾遇见过多少个可怜的、永生的灵魂啊,几乎被压死在生命的负担下面,他们无法呼吸,他们在生命道上爬动,推动他们前面的一个七十五英尺长,四十英尺宽的大谷仓,一个从未打扫过的奥吉亚斯的牛圈,还要推动上百英亩土地,锄地、芟草,还要放牧和护林!可是,另一些并没有继承产业的人,固然没有这种上代传下的、不必要的磨难,却也得为他们几立方英尺的血肉之躯,委屈地生活,拼性命地做工啦

I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. Who made them serfs of the soil? Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt? Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born? They have got to live a man's life, pushing all these things before them, and get on as well as they can. How many a poor immortal soul have I met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it a barn seventy-five feet by forty, its Augean stables never cleansed, and one hundred acres of land, tillage, mowing, pasture, and woodlot! The portionless, who struggle with no such unnecessary inherited encumbrances, find it labor enough to subdue and cultivate a few cubic feet of flesh.


    人可是在一个大错底下劳动的啊人的健美的躯体,大半很快地被犁头耕了过去,化为泥土中的肥料。像一本经书里说的,一种似是而非的,通称“必然”的命运支配了人,他们所积累的财富,被飞蛾和锈霉再腐蚀掉,并且招来了胠箧的盗贼。这是一个愚蠢的生命,生前或者不明白,到临终,人们终会明白的,据说,杜卡利盎和彼尔在创造人类时,是拿石头扔到背后去。诗云:

 

But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before. It is said that Deucalion and Pyrrha created men by throwing stones over their heads behind them:--

 

    Inde genus durum sumus,experiensque laborum,
    Et doeumenta damus qua simus origine nati。

 

    后来,罗利也吟咏了两句响亮的诗:Or, as Raleigh rhymes it in his sonorous way,--
   

    “从此人心坚硬,任劳任怨,
    证明我们的身体本是岩石。”

 

"From thence our kind hard-hearted is, enduring pain and care, Approving that our bodies of a stony nature are."

 

     真是太盲目地遵守错误的神示了,把石头从头顶扔到背后去,也不看一看它们坠落到什么地方去。

 

So much for a blind obedience to a blundering oracle, throwing the stones over their heads behind them, and not seeing where they fell.

 

    大多数人,即使是在这个比较自由的国土上的人们,也仅仅因为无知和错误,满载着虚构的忧虑,忙不完的粗活,却不能采集生命的美果。操劳过度,使他们的手指粗笨了,颤抖得又大厉害,不适用于采集了。真的,劳动的人,一天又一天,找不到空闲来使得自己真正地完整无损;他无法保持人与人间最勇毅的关系;他的劳动,一到市场上,总是跌价。除了做一架机器之外,他没时间来做别的。他怎能记得他是无知的呢——他是全靠他的无知而活下来的——他不经常绞尽脑汁吗?在评说他们之前,我们先要兔费地使他穿暖、吃饱,并用我们的兴奋剂使他恢复健康。我们天性中最优美的品格,好比果实上的粉霜一样,是只能轻手轻脚,才得保全的。然而,人与人之间就是没有能如此温柔地相处。

 

Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them. Their fingers, from excessive toil, are too clumsy and tremble too much for that. Actually, the laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day; he cannot afford to sustain the manliest relations to men; his labor would be depreciated in the market. He has no time to be anything but a machine. How can he remember well his ignorance -- which his growth requires -- who has so often to use his knowledge? We should feed and clothe him gratuitously sometimes, and recruit him with our cordials, before we judge of him. The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.


    读者之中,这些个情况我们都知道,有人是穷困的,觉得生活不容易,有时候,甚而至于可以说连气也喘不过来。我毫不怀疑在本书的读者之中,有人不能为那吃下了肚的全部饭食和迅速磨损或已经破损的衣着付出钱来,好容易忙里偷了闲,才能读这几页文字,那还是从债主那里偷来的时间。你们这许多人过的是何等低卑、躲来躲去的生活啊,这很明显,因为我的眼力已经在阅历的磨刀石上磨利了;你们时常进退维谷,要想做成一笔生意来偿清债务,你们深陷在一个十分古老的泥沼中,拉丁文的所谓aes alienum——别人的铜币中,可不是有些钱币用铜来铸的吗;就在别人的铜钱中,你们生了,死了,最后葬掉了;你们答应了明天偿清,又一个明天偿清,直到死在今天,而债务还未了结;你们求恩,乞怜,请求照顾,用了多少方法总算没有坐牢;你们撒谎,拍马,投票,把自己缩进了一个规规矩矩的硬壳里,或者吹嘘自己,摆出一副稀薄如云雾的慷慨和大度的模样,这才使你们的邻人信任你,允许你们给他们做鞋子,制帽子,或上衣,或车辆,或让你们给他们代买食品;你们在一只破箱笼里,或者在灰泥后面的一只袜子里,塞进了一把钱币,或者塞在银行的砖屋里,那里是更安全了;不管塞在哪里,塞多少,更不管那数目是如何地微少,为了谨防患病而筹钱,反而把你们自己弄得病倒了

Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath. I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by experience; always on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latins aes alienum, another's brass, for some of their coins were made of brass; still living, and dying, and buried by this other's brass; always promising to pay, promising to pay, tomorrow, and dying today, insolvent; seeking to curry favor, to get custom, by how many modes, only not state-prison offenses; lying, flattering, voting, contracting yourselves into a nutshell of civility or dilating into an atmosphere of thin and vaporous generosity, that you may persuade your neighbor to let you make his shoes, or his hat, or his coat, or his carriage, or import his groceries for him; making yourselves sick, that you may lay up something against a sick day, something to be tucked away in an old chest, or in a stocking behind the plastering, or, more safely, in the brick bank; no matter where, no matter how much or how little.

 

    有时我奇怪,何以我们如此轻率,我几乎要说,竟然实行了罪恶昭彰的、从外国带进黑奴来的奴役制度。有那么多苛虐而熟练的奴隶主,奴役了南方和北方的奴隶。一个南方的监守人是毒辣的,而一个北方的监守人更加坏,可是你们自己做起奴隶的监守人来是最最坏的。谈什么——人的神圣!看大路上的赶马人,日夜向市场赶路,在他们的内心里,有什么神圣的思想在激荡着呢?他们的最高职责是给驴马饲草饮水!和运输的赢利相比较,他们的命运算什么?他们还不是在给一位繁忙的绅士赶驴马?他们有什么神圣,有什么不朽呢?请看他们匍伏潜行,一整天里战战兢兢,毫不是神圣的,也不是不朽的,他们看到自己的行业,知道自己是属于奴隶或囚徒这种名称的人。和我们的自知之明相比较,公众舆论这暴戾的君主也显得微弱无力。正是一个人怎么看待自己,决定了此人的命运,指向了他的归宿。要在西印度的州省中谈论心灵与想象的自我解放,可没有一个威勃尔福司来促进呢。再请想一想,这个大陆上的妇人们,编织着梳妆用的软垫,以便临死之日用,对她们自己的命运丝毫也不关心!仿佛磋跎时日还无损于永恒呢

 

I sometimes wonder that we can be so frivolous, I may almost say, as to attend to the gross but somewhat foreign form of servitude called Negro Slavery, there are so many keen and subtle masters that enslave both North and South. It is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself. Talk of a divinity in man! Look at the teamster on the highway, wending to market by day or night; does any divinity stir within him? His highest duty to fodder and water his horses! What is his destiny to him compared with the shipping interests? Does not he drive for Squire Make-a-stir? How godlike, how immortal, is he? See how he cowers and sneaks, how vaguely all the day he fears, not being immortal nor divine, but the slave and prisoner of his own opinion of himself, a fame won by his own deeds. Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate. Self-emancipation even in the West Indian provinces of the fancy and imagination -- what Wilberforce is there to bring that about? Think, also, of the ladies of the land weaving toilet cushions against the last day, not to betray too green an interest in their fates! As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.


    人类在过着静静的绝望的生活所谓听天由命,正是肯定的绝望。你从绝望的城市走到绝望的村庄,以水貂和麝鼠的勇敢来安慰自己。在人类的所谓游戏与消遣底下,甚至都隐藏着一种凝固的、不知又不觉的绝望。两者中都没有娱乐可言,因为工作之后才能娱乐。可是不做绝望的事,才是智慧的一种表征

 

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

 

    当我们用教义问答法的方式,思考着什么是人生的宗旨,什么是生活的真正的必需品与资料时,仿佛人们还曾审慎从事地选择了这种生活的共同方式,而不要任何别的方式似的。其实他们也知道,舍此而外,别无可以挑选的方式。但清醒健康的人都知道,太阳终古常新。抛弃我们的偏见,是永远不会来不及的。无论如何古老的思想与行为,除非有确证,便不可以轻信。在今天人人附和或以为不妨默认的真理,很可能在明天变成虚无缥缈的氤氲,但还会有人认为是乌云,可以将一阵甘霖洒落到大地上来。把老头子认为办不到的事来试办一下,你往往办成功了。老人有旧的一套,新人有新的一套。古人不知添上燃料便可使火焰不灭:新人却把干柴放在水壶底下:谚语说得好:“气死老头子”,现在的人还可以绕着地球转,迅疾如飞鸟呢。老年人,虽然年纪一把,未必
能把年轻的一代指导得更好,甚至他们未必够得上资格来指导;因为他们虽有不少收获,却也已大有损失。我们可以这样怀疑,即使最聪明的人,活了一世,他又能懂得多少生活的绝对价值呢。实际上,老年人是不会有什么极其重要的忠告给予年轻人的。他们的经验是这样地支离破碎,他们的生活已经是这样地惨痛的失败过了,他们必须知道大错都是自己铸成的;也许,他们还保留若干信心,这与他们的经验是不相符合的,却可惜他们已经不够年轻了。我在这星球上生活了三十来年,还没有听到过老长辈们一个字,可谓有价值的,堪称热忱的忠告的。他们什么也没告诉过我,也许他们是不能告诉我什么中肯的意见了。这里就是生命,一个试验,它的极大部分我都没有体验过;老年人体验过了,但却于我无用。如果我得到了我认为有用的任何经验,我一定会这样想的,这
个经验嘛,我的老师长们可是提都没有提起过的呢。

 

When we consider what, to use the words of the catechism, is the chief end of man, and what are the true necessaries and means of life, it appears as if men had deliberately chosen the common mode of living because they preferred it to any other. Yet they honestly think there is no choice left. But alert and healthy natures remember that the sun rose clear. It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new. Old people did not know enough once, perchance, to fetch fresh fuel to keep the fire a-going; new people put a little dry wood under a pot, and are whirled round the globe with the speed of birds, in a way to kill old people, as the phrase is. Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose. Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me; but it does not avail me that they have tried it. If I have any experience which I think valuable, I am sure to reflect that this my Mentors said nothing about.

 

    有一个农夫对我说:“光吃蔬菜是活不了的,蔬菜不能供给你骨骼所需要的养料;”这样他每天虔诚地分出了他的一部分时间,来获得那种可以供给他骨骼所需的养料;他一边说话,一边跟在耕牛后面走,让这条正是用蔬菜供养了它的骨骼的耕牛拖动着他和他的木犁不顾一切障碍地前进。某些事物,在某些场合,例如在最无办法的病人中间,确是生活的必需资料,却在另一些场合,只变成了奢侈品,再换了别样的场合,又可能是闻所未闻的东西。

 

One farmer says to me, "You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with"; and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle. Some things are really necessaries of life in some circles, the most helpless and diseased, which in others are luxuries merely, and in others still are entirely unknown.

 

    有人以为人生的全部,无论在高峰之巅或低陷之谷,都已给先驱者走遍,一切都已被注意到了。依熙爱芙琳的话:“智慧的所罗门曾下令制定树木中间应有的距离;罗马地方官也曾规定,你可以多少次到邻家的地上去拣拾那落下来的橡实而不算你乱闯的,并曾规定多少份橡实属于邻人。”希波克拉底甚至传下了剪指甲的方法,剪得不要太短或太长,要齐手指头。无疑问的,认为把生命的变易和欢乐都消蚀殆尽的那种烦谦和忧闷,是跟亚当同样地古老的。但人的力量还从未被衡量出来呢;我们不能根据他已经完成的事来判断他的力量,人做得少极了。不论你以前如何失败过,“别感伤,我的孩子,谁能指定你去做你未曾做完的事呢?”

 

The whole ground of human life seems to some to have been gone over by their predecessors, both the heights and the valleys, and all things to have been cared for. According to Evelyn, "the wise Solomon prescribed ordinances for the very distances of trees; and the Roman praetors have decided how often you may go into your neighbor's land to gather the acorns which fall on it without trespass, and what share belongs to that neighbor." Hippocrates has even left directions how we should cut our nails; that is, even with the ends of the fingers, neither shorter nor longer. Undoubtedly the very tedium and ennui which presume to have exhausted the variety and the joys of life are as old as Adam. But man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedents, so little has been tried. Whatever have been thy failures hitherto, "be not afflicted, my child, for who shall assign to thee what thou hast left undone?"


    我们可以用一千种简单的方法来测定我们的生命;举例以明之,这是同一个太阳,它使我种的豆子成熟,同时竟然照耀了像我们的地球之类的整个太阳系。如果我记住了这一点,那就能预防若干的错误。可是我锄草时并没有这样去想。星星是何等神奇的三角形的尖顶!字宙各处,有多少远远隔开的不同的物种在同时思考着同一事实啊!正如我们的各种体制一样,大自然和人生也是变化多端的。谁能预知别人的生命有着什么远景?难道还有比一瞬之间通过彼此的眼睛来观察更伟大的奇迹吗?我们本应该在一小时之内就经历了这人世的所有时代;是的,甚至经历了所有时代中所有的世界。历史、诗歌、神话!——我不知道读别人的经验还有什么能像读这些这样地惊人而又详尽的。

 

We might try our lives by a thousand simple tests; as, for instance, that the same sun which ripens my beans illumines at once a system of earths like ours. If I had remembered this it would have prevented some mistakes. This was not the light in which I hoed them. The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles! What distant and different beings in the various mansions of the universe are contemplating the same one at the same moment! Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant? We should live in all the ages of the world in an hour; ay, in all the worlds of the ages. History, Poetry, Mythology! -- I know of no reading of another's experience so startling and informing as this would be.
 

    凡我的邻人说是好的,有一大部分在我灵魂中却认为是坏的,至于我,如果要有所仟悔,我悔恨的反而是我的善良品行。是什么魔鬼攫住了我,使我品行这样善良的呢?老年人啊,你说了那些最聪明的话,你已经活了七十年了,而且活得很光荣,我却听到一个不可抗拒的声音,要求我不听你的话。新的世代抛弃前一代的业绩,好像它们是些搁浅的船

 

The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well? You may say the wisest thing you can, old man -- you who have lived seventy years, not without honor of a kind -- I hear an irresistible voice which invites me away from all that. One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.


    我想,我们可以泰然相信,比我们实际上相信的,更加多的事物。我们对自己的关怀能放弃多少,便可以忠实地给别人多少的关怀。大自然既能适应我们的长处,也能适应我们的弱点。有些人无穷无尽的忧患焦虑,成了一种几乎医治不好的疾病。我们又生就的爱夸耀我们所做工作的重要性;然而却有多少工作我们没有做!要是我们病倒了,怎么办呢?我们多么谨慎!决心不依照信仰而生活,我们尽可能避免它,从早到晚警戒着,到夜晚违心地析祷着,然后把自己交托给未定的运数。我们被迫生活得这样周到和认真,崇奉自己的生活,而否定变革的可能。我们说,只能这样子生活呵;可是从圆心可以画出多少条半径来,而生活方式就有这样的多。一切变革,都是值得思考的奇迹,每一刹那发生的事都可以是奇迹。孔夫予曾说:“知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也。”当一个人把他想象的事实提炼为他的理论之时,我预见到,一切人最后都要在这样的基础上建筑起他们的生活来。

 

I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere. Nature is as well adapted to our weakness as to our strength. The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well-nigh incurable form of disease. We are made to exaggerate the importance of what work we do; and yet how much is not done by us! or, what if we had been taken sick? How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties. So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant. Confucius said, "To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge." When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men at length establish their lives on that basis.

    让我们思考一下,我前面所说的大多数人的忧虑和烦恼又是些什么,其中有多少是必须忧虑的,至少是值得小心对待的呢?虽然生活在外表的文明中,我们若能过一过原始性的、新开辟的垦区生活还是有益处的,即使仅仅为了明白生活必需品大致是些什么,及如何才能得到这些必需品,甚至翻一翻商店里的古老的流水账,看看商店里经常出售些什么,又存积哪些货物,就是看看最杂的杂货究竟是一些什么也好。时代虽在演进,对人类生存的基本原则却还没有发生多少影响:好比我们的骨骼,跟我们的祖先的骨骼,大约是区别不出来的。

 

Let us consider for a moment what most of the trouble and anxiety which I have referred to is about, and how much it is necessary that we be troubled, or at least careful. It would be some advantage to live a primitive and frontier life, though in the midst of an outward civilization, if only to learn what are the gross necessaries of life and what methods have been taken to obtain them; or even to look over the old day-books of the merchants, to see what it was that men most commonly bought at the stores, what they stored, that is, what are the grossest groceries. For the improvements of ages have had but little influence on the essential laws of man's existence; as our skeletons, probably, are not to be distinguished from those of our ancestors.


    所谓生活必需品,在我的意思中,是指一切人用了自己的精力收获得来的那种物品:或是它开始就显得很重要,或是由于长久的习惯,因此对于人生具有了这样的重要性,即使有人尝试着不要它,其人数也是很少的,他们或者是由于野蛮,或是出于穷困,或者只是为了一种哲学的缘故,才这么做的。对于许多人,具有这样的意义的生活必需品只有一种,即食物。原野上的牛只需要几英寸长的可咀嚼的青草和一些冷水除非加上了它们要寻求的森林或山荫的遮蔽野兽的生存都只需要食物和荫蔽之处。但人类,在天时中,其生活之必需品可分为:食物、住宅、衣服和燃料;除非获有这些,我们是无法自由地面对真正的人生问题的,更无法展望成就了。人不仅发明了屋子,还发明了衣服,煮熟了食物;可能是偶然发现了火焰的热度,后来利用了它,起先它还是奢侈品哩,而到目前,烤火取暖也是必需品了。我们看到猫狗也同样地获得了这个第二天性。住得合适,穿得合适,就能合理地保持体内的热度,若住得和穿得太热的话,或烤火烤得太热时,外边的热度高于体内的热度,岂不是说在烘烤人肉了吗?自然科学家达尔文说起火地岛的居民,当他自己一伙人穿着衣服还烤火,尚且不觉得热,那时裸体的野蛮人站得很远,却使人看到了大为吃惊,他们“被火焰烘烤得竟然汗流浃背了”。同样,据说新荷兰人赤裸身体而泰然自若地跑来跑去,欧洲人穿了衣服还颤抖呢。这些野蛮人的坚强和文明人的睿智难道不能够相提并论吗?按照李比希的说法,人体是一只炉子,食物是保持肺部内燃的燃料。冷天我们吃得多,热天少。动物的体温是缓慢内燃的结果,而疾病和死亡则是在内燃得太旺盛的时候发生的;或者因为燃料没有了,或者因为通风装置出了毛病,火焰便会熄灭。自然,我们不能把生命的体温与火焰混为一谈,我们的譬喻就到此为止。所以,从上面的陈述来看,动物的生命这一个词语可以跟动物的体温作为同义语用:食物,被作为内燃的燃料,——煮熟食物的也是燃料,煮熟的食物自外吞入体内,也是为增加我们体内热量的,——此外,住所和衣服,也是为了保持这样地产生和吸收的热量的。

 

By the words, necessary of life, I mean whatever, of all that man obtains by his own exertions, has been from the first, or from long use has become, so important to human life that few, if any, whether from savageness, or poverty, or philosophy, ever attempt to do without it. To many creatures there is in this sense but one necessary of life, Food. To the bison of the prairie it is a few inches of palatable grass, with water to drink; unless he seeks the Shelter of the forest or the mountain's shadow. None of the brute creation requires more than Food and Shelter. The necessaries of life for man in this climate may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success. Man has invented, not only houses, but clothes and cooked food; and possibly from the accidental discovery of the warmth of fire, and the consequent use of it, at first a luxury, arose the present necessity to sit by it. We observe cats and dogs acquiring the same second nature. By proper Shelter and Clothing we legitimately retain our own internal heat; but with an excess of these, or of Fuel, that is, with an external heat greater than our own internal, may not cookery properly be said to begin? Darwin, the naturalist, says of the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, that while his own party, who were well clothed and sitting close to a fire, were far from too warm, these naked savages, who were farther off, were observed, to his great surprise, "to be streaming with perspiration at undergoing such a roasting." So, we are told, the New Hollander goes naked with impunity, while the European shivers in his clothes. Is it impossible to combine the hardiness of these savages with the intellectualness of the civilized man? According to Liebig, man's body is a stove, and food the fuel which keeps up the internal combustion in the lungs. In cold weather we eat more, in warm less. The animal heat is the result of a slow combustion, and disease and death take place when this is too rapid; or for want of fuel, or from some defect in the draught, the fire goes out. Of course the vital heat is not to be confounded with fire; but so much for analogy. It appears, therefore, from the above list, that the expression, animal life, is nearly synonymous with the expression, animal heat; for while Food may be regarded as the Fuel which keeps up the fire within us -- and Fuel serves only to prepare that Food or to increase the warmth of our bodies by addition from without -- Shelter and Clothing also serve only to retain the heat thus generated and absorbed.

 

(待续)

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