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經典散文:論幸運

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  摘要:幸運的機會好像銀河,他們作為個體是不顯眼的,但作為整體卻光輝燦爛。同樣,一個人若具備許多細小的優良素質,最終都可能成為帶來幸運的機會。

  It cannot be denied, but outward accidents conduce much to fortune, favour, opportunity,death of others, occasion fitting virtue. But chiefly, tile mould of a man's fortune is in his ownhands.(Faber quisque fortunae suae; saith the poet )

  And the most frequent of external causes is, that the folly of one man is the fortune ofanother. For no man prospers so suddenly, as by others' errors. Serpens nisi serpentermcomederit non fit draco. Overt and apparent virtues bring forth praise; but there be secret andhidden virtues, that bring forth fortune; certain deliveries of a man's self, which have noname. The Spanish name, desemboltura, partly expresseth them: when there be not stonds,nor resdveness in a man's nature; but that the wheels of his mind keep way with the wheels ofhis fortune. For so Livy (after he had described Cato Major, in these words; in ilh viro, tanturnrobur corporis et animi fiit, ut quocwique loco natus esset ,fortunarus sibi facturs videretur)falleth upon that, that he had versatile ingenium Therefore, if a man look sharply, andattentively, he shall see fortune: for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.

  一方面,幸運與偶然性有關一例如長相漂亮、機緣湊巧等;但另一方面,人之能否幸運又決定于自身。正如古代詩人所說:“人是自身幸福的設計師。

  有的時候,一個人的愚蠢恰是另一個人的幸運,一方的錯誤恰好促成了另一方的成功。正如諺語所說:“蛇吃蛇,能成龍。”炫耀于外表的才干徒然令人贊羨,而深藏未露的才干則能帶來幸運。這需要一種難以言傳的自制力。西班牙人把這叫做“潛能”。一個人具有優良的素質,能在必要時發揮這種素質從而推動幸運的車輪轉動,這就叫“潛能”。歷史學家李維曾這樣形容老加圖說:“他的精神與體力都是那樣優美博大,因此無論他出身于什么家庭,都一定可以為自己開辟出一條道路。”因為加圖具有多方面的才能。這話說明,只要對一個人深入觀察,是可以發現對他是否可以期望幸運的。因為幸運之神雖然是盲目的,卻并非無形的。

  The way of fortune is like the Milken Way in the sky; which is a meeting or knot of a number ofsmall stars; not seen asunder, but giving light together. So are there a number of little, andscarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate.

  幸運的機會好像銀河,他們作為個體是不顯眼的,但作為整體卻光輝燦爛。同樣,一個人若具備許多細小的優良素質,最終都可能成為帶來幸運的機會。

  The Italians note some of them, such as a man would little think. When they speak of one thatcannot do amiss, they will throw in, into his other conditions, that he hath poco di motto. Andcertainly, there be not two more fortunate properties; than to have a little of the fool; and nottoo much of the honest. Therefore, extreme lovers of their country, or masters, were neverfortunate, neither can they be. For when a man placeth his thoughts without himself, he goethnot his own way. An hasty fortune maketh an enterpriser, and remover (the French hath itbetter, entrepreneur, or remuamt), but the exercised fortune maketh the able man. Fortuneis to be honoured, and respected, and it be but for her daughters, Confidence, andReputation. For those two felicity hreedeth: the first within a man's self; the latter, in otherstowards him.

  意大利人在談論精明的人時,除了夸贊他別的優點,有時會說表面上帶一點“傻氣”。是的,有一點傻氣,但并不是呆氣,再沒有比這對人的更幸運的了。然而迷信愚妄的人是不會幸運的。他們把思考權交付給了他人,就不會走自己的路了。意外的幸運會使人冒失、狂妄,然而經過磨練的幸運卻使人成為偉器。幸運是令人尊敬的,至少這是為了他的兩個女兒一一位叫自信,位叫名譽。他們都是幸運所產生的。前者產生于人良身的心中,后者產生于他人的心中。

  All wise men, to decline me envy of their own virtues, use to ascribe them to providence andfortune; for so they may the better assume them: and besides, it is greatness in a man, to bethe care of me higher powers. So Caesar said to me pilot in the tempest, Caesarem portas,etfortunam ene. So Sulla chose the name of Felix, and not of Magnus. And it hath been noted,that those that ascribe openly too much to their own wisdom, and policy, end unfortunate. Itis written, that

  古代的智者,為避免招人嫉恨,很少對自己的幸運進行夸耀,他們把一切歸功于“神”。事實上,也只有偉大人物才能得到神的護佑。凱撒對大風浪中的水手說:“鎮靜,有凱撒坐在你的船上!”而蘇拉則不敢自稱為“偉大”,只稱自己為“有幸的”。從歷史可以看到,凡把成功完全歸于自己的人,常常得到不幸的終局。

  Timotheus the Athenian, after he had, in the account he gave to the state of his government,often interlaced this speech, 'and in mis fortune had no part', never prospered in anything heundertook afterwards. Certainly, mere be, whose fortunes are like Homer's verses, that have aslide, and easiness, more than the verses of other poets: as Plutarch sailh of Timoleon'sfortune, in respect of that of Agesilaus, or Epaminondas. And that this should be, no doubt itis much in a man's self.

  例如,雅典人泰摩索斯總把他在政治上的成就說成:“這決非幸運所賜,而是因為本人高明。”結果他以后再做什么事卻很少成功了。世間確有一些人,他們的幸運,流暢得有如荷馬的詩句。例如普魯塔克就曾把泰摩列昂的好運氣與阿蓋西勞斯和埃帕米農達的運氣相對比但這種幸運成功的果實,最終也還要到他們的德性中去找原因呵!

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