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胡适的演说 Speech by Hu Shi

(2011-07-06 11:35:04)
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胡适

这是1932年的6月27号,时任北大文学院院长的胡适发表的一个演说. 如果有错误的话, 那请告诉我
This is my translation of the June 7th 1932 speech by Dean of the Literature Department at Beijing University. If there are any mistakes let me know.
胡适的演说 <wbr>Speech <wbr>by <wbr>Hu <wbr>Shi


  这一两个星期里,各地的大学都有毕业的班次,都有得多的毕业生离开学校去开始他们的成人事业。
学生的生活是一种享有特殊优待的生活,不妨幼稚一 点,不妨吵吵闹闹,社会都能纵容他们,不肯严格的要他们负行为的责任。现在他们要撑起自己的肩膀来挑他们自己的担子了。在这个国难最紧急的年头,他们的担 子真不轻!我们祝他们的成功,同时也不忍不依据自己的经验,赠他们几句送行的赠言,--虽未必是救命毫毛,也许做个防身的锦囊罢!

    During these couple of weeks, Universities all over will be holding their graduation ceremonies, and all of them have students getting ready to leave and start their adult lives. A University student’s life is a special and privileged one, a time when you might as well be child-like, might as well be wild. Society can contain you without giving you any serious responsibility. Now is the time to throw back one's shoulders and face the world bravely. In these times of national crisis, you must be a brave bunch! We wish you every success, without denying our own experience to give you some advice: "Don't try to be a great man, just try to be a man." 


   
你们毕业之后,可走的路不出这几条:绝少数的人还可以在国内或国外的研究院继续做学术研究;少数的人可以寻着相当的职业;此外还有做官,办党,革命三条路;此外就是在家享福或者失业亲居了。
   
走其余几条路的人,都不能没有堕落的危险。堕落的方式很多,总括起来, 约有这两大类:
   
第一是容易抛弃学生时代求知识的欲望。你们到了实际社会里,往往学非所用,往往所学全无用处,往往可认完全用不着学问,而一样可认胡乱混饭, 混官吃。在这种环境里即使向来抱有求知识学问的人,也不免心灰意懒,把求知的欲望渐渐冷淡下去。况且学问是要有相当的设备的;书籍,实验室,师友的切磋指导,闲暇的工夫,都不是一个平常要糊口养家的人的能容易办到的。没有做学问的环境,又谁能怪我们抛弃学问呢?

    After you graduate, there are various roads you can take: an extremely select group of you will be able to continue your studies at home or abroad; a few people will be able to pursue your true calling; others include becoming an official, entering a political party, and taking part in a revolution. Others include stay at home and simply enjoy life, or stay at home and live off your family. But whatever road you take, you will all face the possibility of wilting. There are many ways in which a person can wilt, it is a constant threat, and there are two main reasons for it:


   The first is that it is easy to give up the hunger for knowledge of your student years. When you've entered the real world, bookish knowledge often lacks a practical use, a place where bookish knowledge is welcome is often hard to find, you are often unable to use any of the things you learned, it is easy to lose direction. In this kind of environment, even if you maintain a strong hunger for knowledge, it is hard to avoid being disheartened, and let the pursuit of knowledge recede. Besides, the quest for knowledge requires a material basis; books, laboratories, the guidance and mentoring of like-minded people, and enough leisure time to do other things, these are not things that an ordinary person in an ordinary family-life has access to. Without a learning environment, who can blame you for giving up on learning?

   
第二是容易抛弃学生时代理想的人生的追求。少年人初次和冷酷的社会接触, 容易感觉理想与事实相去太远,容易发生悲观和失望。多年怀抱的人生理想,改造的热诚,奋斗的勇气,到此时候,好像全不是那么一回事了。渺小的个人在那强烈 的社会炉火里,往往经不起长时期的烤炼就熔化了,一点高尚的理想不久就幻灭了。抱着改造社会的梦想而来,往往是弃甲抛兵而走,或者做了恶势的俘虏。你在那 牢狱里,回想那少年气壮时代的种种理想主义,好像都成了自误误人的迷梦!从此以后,你就甘心放弃理想人生的追求,甘心做现在社会的顺民了。要防御这两方面 的堕落,一面要保持我们求知识的欲望,一面要保持我们对人生的追求。

    The second reason is that, after your student years end, it is easy to give up your ideals. When young people come in touch with the big bad world for the first time, it is easy to feel that their ideals are a long way away from reality; it is easy to feel that life is just tragedy and disappointment. The ideals you've lived your life by, your desire to make a difference, your courage to compete, all seem to go in the same direction. One measly person in this brutal furnace of a society will often grow disillusioned with any beliefs they may once have had. The dreams you had about changing society for the better are often beaten out of you, or you become a tool of evil. When you're imprisoned by real life, you may come to the conclusion that all the idealism that grew in you was all the pipedream of a different person. From then on, you are willing to give up on everything you once strived for, are willing to become just another obedient citizen. In order to prevent these two things from happening, you first must preserve your hunger for knowledge; you also must remember the very things that you originally wanted from life.

    有什么好方法子呢?依我个人的观察和经验,有三种防身的药方是值得一试的。
   
第一个方子只有一句话:总得时时寻一两个值得研究的问题!问题是知识学问的老祖宗;古往今来一切知识的产生与积聚,都是因为要解答问题,--要解答实 用上的困难和理论上的疑难。所谓为知识而求知识,其实也只是一种好奇心追求某种问题的解答,不过因为那种问题的性质不必是直接应用的,人们就觉得这是 无所谓的求知识了。

    So, what are the solutions? According to my research and experience, there are three remedies for this. The first one is this sentence: "Always be looking for one or two questions that are worth researching!" Questions are the mother of scholarship; for the entirety of human history the foundation of all knowledge and advancement has been the necessity to answer questions, eg. The attempt to explain practical problems and theoretical doubts. So called "living the life of the mind," is actually just the curiosity of seeking to answer questions, but whenever the content of the question is not of immediate practical use, people think it's unimportant.

   
我们出学校之后,离开了做学问的环境,如果没有一二个值得解答的问题在脑子里盘旋,就很难保持求学问的热心。可是,如果你有了一个真有趣的问题逗你去想 他,天天引诱你去解决他,天天对你挑衅你无可奈何他,--这时候,你就会同恋爱一个女子发了疯一样,坐也坐不下,睡也睡不安,没工夫也得偷出工夫去陪她, 没钱也得缩衣节食去巴结她。没有书,你自会变卖家私去买书;没有仪器,你自会典押衣物去置办仪器;没有师友,你自会不远千里去寻师访友。你只要有疑难问题 来逼你时时用脑子,你自然会保持发展你对学问的兴趣,即使在最贫乏的知识中,你也会慢慢的聚起一个小图书馆来,或者设置起一所小试验室来。所以我说,第一 要寻问题。脑子里没有问题之日,就是你知识生活寿终正寝之时!古人说,待文王而兴者,凡民也。若夫豪杰之士,虽无文王犹兴。试想伽利略 GALIEO)和牛顿(NEWTON)有多少藏书?有多少仪器?他们不过是有问题而己。有了问题而后他们自会造出仪器来解决他们的问题。没有问题的人们,关在图书馆里也不会用书,锁在试验室里也不会有什么发现。

    After we've finished our formal education, and we've left the learning environment, if we don't have one or two questions rattling in our brain, it is difficult to maintain the enthusiasm for learning. But if you're being teased by a truly interesting question, you are every day compelled to seek an answer, you can't help but be enthused: this turns you into an adolescent in love, you can't sit still, you can't stay in bed, if you have no time off, then you make time off to be with it, if you have no money then you save money on clothes and food for it. If you don't have books, you will sell your house to buy them, if you don't have study apparatus, you will pawn the clothes on your back to obtain it; then you won't mind traveling a thousand miles to find one. As long as you always have a challenging question in your brain, you will naturally maintain your love of learning, even when you most lack knowledge, you will create you own little library, or construct your own little laboratory. So I say, the first thing you need to do is look for questions. The day there are no questions in your mind is the day when your intellectual life has ended! The ancients said,  “Whether you’re a King or a pauper. With the right attitude, you can achieve anything.” Ask yourself how many books Galileo and Newton had? How much equipment did they own? All they really needed was questions. Once they had questions, they got all the apparatus they needed. A person without questions would not know what to do in a library. If you locked that kind of person in a laboratory, nothing would happen.

    第二个方子也只有一句话:总得多发展一点非职业的兴趣,离开学校之后,大家总是寻个吃饭的职业。可是你寻得的职业未必就是你所学的,未必是你所心喜的,或者是你所学的而和你性情不相近的。在这种情况之下,工作往往成了苦工,就感觉兴趣了。为糊口而做那种非性之所近而力之所能勉的工作,就很难保持求知的兴趣的生活的理想主义。最好的救济方法只有多多发展职业以外的正当兴趣与活动。

    The second approach also has a saying to back it up: “know the difference between a career and a calling.” After you finish your formal education, you will all seek a means of putting food on the table. But the career you end up in will not necessarily be the thing you’ve studied, or necessarily be the thing that you’re passionate about, or everything you’ve learnt, or it could be something that isn’t suited to your personality. In this kind of situation, work often becomes toil, unless you learn to have a genuine interest. When you have that kind of hand to mouth, make ends meet, existence, it is difficult to preserve your idealism and hunger for knowledge. The only thing for it is to make the most of those recreational activities that you engage in outside of work.


   
一个人应该有他的职业,也应该有他非职业的玩艺儿,可以叫做业余活动。往往他的业余活动比他的职业还更重要,因为一个人成就怎样,往往靠他怎样利用他的闲暇时间。他用他的闲暇来打麻将,他就成了个赌徒;你用你的闲暇来做社会服务,你也许成个社会改革者;或者你用你的闲暇去研究历史,你也许成个史学家。你的闲暇往往定你的终身。英国十九世纪的两个哲人,弥儿(J. S, MILL)终身做东印度公司的秘书,然而他的业余工作使他在哲学上,经济学上,政治思想史上都占一个很高的位置;斯宾塞(SPENCER)是一个测量工程师,然而他的业余工作使他成为前世纪晚期世界思想界的一个重镇。古来成大学问的人,几乎没有一个不善用他的闲暇时间的。特别在这个组织不健全的中国社会, 职业不容易适合我们的性情,我们要想生活不苦痛不堕落,只有多方发展。

    A person ought to have a career, they also ought to have a life outside their career - leisure activities. To many people, their leisure activities mean more to them than their career, because a person’s all around caliber often depends on how they spend their leisure time. If he spends his leisure time playing Mah Jong, then he is a gambler; if you spend your free time working for the community, then you may be a social reformer, or if you spend your time researching history, then you might become a historian. Your leisure activities often end up mapping out your life journey. Take two nineteenth century English philosophers; John Stuart Mill’s job was to be a secretary in The East India Company; his persistence at his leisure activities led him to become a leading thinker in the fields of philosophy, economics, politics, and history; Spencer was a measurement engineer, but his hard work during his leisure time led him to become a global institution in late nineteenth century intellectual life.  Of almost everybody who’s ever been to University, there is barely a single one who does not use his free time well. Especially in such an imperfectly organized society as China, it is hard to find a career that suits oneself perfectly; there are only so many ways to prevent your quality of life from deteriorating.

 

    有了这种心爱的玩艺,你就做六个钟头抹桌子工作也不会感觉烦闷了,因为你知道,抹了六个钟的桌子之后,你可以回家做你的化学研究,或画完你的大幅山水,或写你的小说戏曲,或继续你的历史考据,或做你的社会改革事业。你有了这种称心如意的活动,生活就不枯寂了,精神也就不会烦闷了。

    When you’re truly passionate about something, it doesn’t matter if your day job is wiping a table for six hours a day, because you know, after wiping away for six hours, you can go home and do your Chemical research or finish your landscape painting, or finish writing your novel or play, or continue your historical text, or do the work involved in your social reform. When you have an activity that makes you feel like you’re on a bed of roses, life is not a struggle; your spirit will never be broken.


    
第三个方法也只有一句话:你得有一点信心。我们生当这个不幸的时代,眼中所见,耳中所闻,无非是叫我们悲观失望的。特别是在这个年头毕业的你们,眼见自己的国家民族沉沦到这步田地,眼看世界只是强权的世界,望极天边好像看不见一线的光明--在这个年头不发狂自杀,已算是万幸了,怎么还能够保持一点内心的镇定和理想的信任呢?我要对你们说:这时候正是我们要培养我们的信心的时候!只要我们有信心,我们还有救。

    The third method also has a catchphrase: “you must have faith.” Life will have sad times, when everything you see, and everything you hear will convince you that life is tragic. Especially you who are graduating in a time such as this, when you’ve seen your country’s people sink as far as they have, the world around us is one in which might is right, and it seems that no matter how hard you look at the sky, you can’t see the beginnings of a sunrise. In a time such as this, not going insane and killing yourself is an achievement in itself, but how can you maintain some inner peace and faith in your ideals? I want to tell you: now is the time when faith is most important! As long as we have faith, then we’ll always have a savior.  


   
古人说:信心(FAITH)可以移山。 又说:只要工夫深,生铁磨成绣花针。 你不信吗?当拿破仑的军队征服普鲁士,占据柏林的时候,有一位教授叫做费希特(FICHTE)的,天天在讲堂劝他的国人要有信心,要信仰他们的民族是有世界的特殊使命的,是必定要复兴的。费希特死的时候,谁也不能预料德意志统一帝国何时可以实现。然而不满五十年,新的统一的德意志帝国居然实现了。

    The ancients said: “Faith can move mountains.” I would add: “As long as you have patience, pig iron will turn into a stitching needle.” Don’t you believe me? When Napoleon’s troops entered Prussia and occupied Berlin, a Professor named Fichte persisted in his lecture hall every day telling his people that they needed to have faith, and believe that their nation had a special destiny in the world, and this belief needed to be revised. When Fichte died, nobody could have anticipated the rise of the German Empire. But within less than fifty years, a new German empire had grown.

    一个国家的强弱盛衰,都不是偶然的,都不能逃出因果的铁律的。我们今日所受的苦痛和耻辱,都只是过去种种恶因种下的恶果。我们要收获将来的善果,必须努力种现在新因。一粒一粒的种,必有满仓满屋的收,这是我们今日应有的信心。我们要深信:今日的失败,都由于过去的不努力。我们要深信:今日的努力,必定有将来的大收成。

    The rise of a nation does not happen by chance, you can’t ignore the rules of cause and effect. All of the bitterness and frustration we are currently going through is the result of the seeds of evil planted in the past. If we want to have a pleasant future, we need to work hard to plant new causes. One seed at a time, we need to plant through the whole granary and the whole house, this is the confidence we need to have now. This is what we need to convince ourselves: the failure of the present is begotten of the failure to work hard in the past. We need to convince ourselves: the hard work of the present will lead to great success in the future.     

    佛典里有一句话:福不唐捐。唐捐就是白白的丢了。我们也应该说:功不唐捐!没有一点努力是会白白的丢了的。在我们看不见想不到的时候,在我们看不见的方向,你瞧!你下的种子早已生根发叶开花结果了!你不信吗?法国被普鲁士打败之后,割了两省地,赔了五十万万法朗的赔款。这时候有一位刻苦的科学家巴斯德(PASTEUR)终日埋头在他的化学试验室里做他的化学试验和微菌学研究。他是一个最爱国的人然而他深信只有科学可以救国。他用一生的精力证明了三个科学问题:(1)每一种发酵作用都是由于一种微菌的发展;(2)每一种传染病都是一种微菌在生物体内的发展;(3)传染病的微菌,在特殊的培养之下可以减轻毒力,使他们从病菌变成防病的药苗。

    There is an old Buddhist saying that says: “joy never runs dry.” We should also say: “achievements never run dry!” That is to say, all hard work ultimately leads to something. It is at that moment when you can’t see or anticipate any gratification, look harder, the seeds you planted will have already blossomed! You don’t believe me? When France lost the Franco-Prussian war, and conceded two areas of its sovereign territory, it amassed 5 billion Francs in national debt. At this time there was a very hardworking Scientist named Pasteur, at the end of the war he decided to bury his head in research at the laboratory alone with his micro-bacteria. He was a huge patriot and believed that only science could save his country. He dedicated his life to three scientific questions: 1. Every fermentation is caused by micro-bacteria; 2. Every infectious disease is caused by micro-bacteria growing in the body; 3. The micro-bacteria that cause infectious diseases, in certain situations can combat illness, it’s possible to turn them from the causes of illnesses to a cure.


   
这三个问题在表面上似乎都和救国大事业没有多大关系。然而从第一个问题的证明,巴斯德定出做醋酿酒的新法,使全国的酒醋业每年减除极大的损失。从第二个问题的证明巴斯德教全国的蚕丝业怎样选种防病,教全国的畜牧农家怎样防止牛羊瘟疫,又教全世界怎样注重消毒以减少外科手术的死亡率。从第三个问题的证明,巴斯德发明了牲畜的脾热瘟的疗治药苗,每年替法国农家减除了二千万法朗的大损失;又发明了疯狗咬毒的治疗法,救济了无数的生命。所以英国的科学家赫胥黎 HUXLEY)在皇家学会里称颂巴斯德的功绩道:法国给了德国五十万万法朗的赔款,巴斯德先生一个人研究科学的成就足够还清这一笔赔款了。巴斯德对于科学有绝大的信心,所以他在国家蒙奇辱大难的时候,终不肯抛弃他的显微镜与试验室。他绝不想他有显微镜底下能偿还五十万万法朗的赔款,然而在他看不见想不到的时候,他已收获了科学救国的奇迹了。

    On the surface, answering these three questions has nothing to do with saving one’s country. But from the discoveries made from the first question, Pasteur discovered a new way of producing vinegar, and in doing so saved France’s vinegar industry a phenomenal amount of money in losses. From the second question, he taught his country’s entire silk industry new methods of disease prevention, he taught France’s livestock farmers how to prevent plagues among sheep and cattle, he also taught the entire world some disinfection methods that would reduce deaths during surgery. Pasteur used the third question to invent a disease prevention method in livestock that saved French agriculture at least 20 million Francs in losses, he also invented a cure for infectious dog bites, which has saved countless lives. In his tribute at the Royal Society, British Scientist Huxley observed: France amassed 5 billion Francs in debt, but the achievements of Pasteur, just one scientist, have just about cleared that debt. Pasteur had phenomenal faith in Science, so in his country’s hour of need, he refused to abandon his microscope and laboratory. He didn’t understand exactly how his research might solve his country’s problems, but just when he couldn’t see or anticipate the results, that was when he created the miracle that saved his country.


   
朋友们,在你最悲观失望的时候,那正是你必须鼓起坚强的信心的时候。你要深信:天下没有白费的努力。成功不必在我,而功力必不唐捐。

 

     Friends, it is when you feel most lost and defeated, that you must have the utmost and unshakeable confidence. You must truly believe: no hard work is done in vain. I may not reap the benefits myself, but somebody somewhere will.

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