Bacon On Studies

王佐良譯《論讀書》

水天同《論學問》


STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.

讀書足以怡情,足以傅彩,足以長才。

讀書為學的用途是娛樂、裝飾和增長才識。


Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment, and disposition of business.

其怡情也,最見於獨處幽居之時;其傅彩也,最見於高談闊論之中;其長才也,最見於處世判事之際。

在娛樂上,學問的主要的用處是幽居養靜;在裝飾上學問的用處是辭令;在長才上學問的用處是對於事務的判斷和處理。


For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best, from those that are learned.

練達之士雖能分別處理細事或一一判別枝節,然縱觀統籌、全域策劃,則舍好學深思者莫屬。

因為富於經驗的人善於實行,也許能夠對個別的事情一件一件地加以判斷;但是最好的有關大體的議論和對事務的計畫與佈置,乃是從有學問的人來的。


To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar.

讀書費時過多易惰,文采藻飾太盛則矯,全憑條文斷事乃學究故態。

在學問上費時過多是偷懶;把學問過於用作裝飾是虛假;完全依學問上的規則而斷事是書生的怪癖。


They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need proyning, by study; and studies themselves, do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.

讀書補天然之不足,經驗又補讀書之不足,蓋天生才幹猶如自然花草,讀書然後知如何修剪移接;而書中所示,如不以經驗範之,則又大而無當。

學問鍛煉天性,而其本身又受經驗的鍛煉;蓋人的天賦有如野生的花草,他們需要學問的修剪;而學問的本身,若不受經驗的限制,則其所指示的未免過於籠統。


Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation.

有一技之長者鄙讀書,無知者羨讀書,唯明智之士用讀書,然書並不以用處告人,用書之智不在書中,而在書外,全憑觀察得之。

多詐的人渺視學問,愚魯的人羡慕學問,聰明的人運用學問;因為學問的本身並不教人如何用它們;這種運用之道乃是學問以外,學問以上的一種智慧,是由觀察體會才能得到的。


Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.

讀書時不可存心詰難作者,不可盡信書上所言,亦不可只為尋章摘句,而應推敲細思。

不要為了辯駁而讀書,也不要為了信仰與盲從;也不要為了言談與議論;要以能權衡輕重、審察事理為目的。


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

書有可淺嘗者,有可吞食者,少數則須咀嚼消化。換言之,有只須讀其部分者,有只須大體涉獵者,少數則須全讀,讀時須全神貫注,孜孜不倦。

有些書可供一嘗,有些書可以吞下,有不多的幾部書則應當咀嚼消化;這就是說,有些書只要讀讀他們的一部分就夠了,有些書可以全讀,但是不必過於細心地讀;還有不多的幾部書則應當全讀,勤讀,而且用心地讀。


Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them bothers; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books, else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things.

書亦可請人代讀,取其所作摘要,但只限題材較次或價值不高者,否則書經提煉猶如水經蒸餾、淡而無味矣。

有些書也可以請代表去讀,並且由別人替我作出摘要來;但是這種辦法只適於次要的議論和次要的書籍;否則錄要的書就和蒸餾的水一樣,都是無味的東西。


Reading make a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.

讀書使人充實,討論使人機智,筆記使人準確。

閱讀使人充實,會談使人敏捷,寫作與筆記使人精確。


And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know, that he doth not.

因此不常作筆記者須記憶特強,不常討論者須天生聰穎,不常讀書者須欺世有術,始能無知而顯有知。

因此,如果一個人寫得很少,那末他就必須有很好的記性;如果他很少與人會談,那麼他就必須有很敏捷的機智;並且假如他讀書讀得很少的話,那麼他就必須要有很大的狡黠之才,才可以強不知以為知。


Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtitle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores.

讀史使人明智,讀詩使人靈秀,數學使人周密,科學使人深刻,倫理學使人莊重,邏輯修辭之學使人善辯:凡有所學,皆成性格。

史鑒使人明智;詩歌使人巧慧;數學使人精細;博物使人深沉;倫理之學使人莊重;邏輯與修辭使人善辯。“學問變化氣質”。


Nay, there is no stand or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as diseases of the body, may have appropriate exercises.

人之才智但有滯礙,無不可讀適當之書使之順暢,一如身體百病,皆可借相宜之運動除之。

不特如此,精神上的缺陷沒有一種是不能由相當的學問來補救的:就如同肉體上各種的病患都有適當的運動來治療似的。


Bowling is good for the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach; riding for the head; and the like.

滾球利睾腎,射箭利胸肺,慢步利腸胃,騎術利頭腦,諸如此類。

踢球有益於節食和腎臟;射箭有益於胸肺;緩步有益於胃;騎馬有益於頭腦;諸如此類。


So if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again.

如智力不集中,可令讀數學,蓋演題須全神貫注,稍有分散即須重演;

同此,如果一個人心志不專,他難好研究數學;因為在數學的證理之中,如果他的精神稍有不專,他就非從頭再做不可。


If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the Schoolmen; for they are cymini sectors.

如不能辨異,可令讀經院哲學,蓋是輩皆吹毛求疵之人;

如果他的精神不善於辨別異同,那麼他最好研究經院學派的著作,因為這一派的學者是條分縷析的人;


If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases.


如不善求同,不善以一物闡證另一物,可令讀律師之案卷。

如果他不善於推此知彼,旁徵博引,他頂好研究律師們的案卷。


So every defect of the mind, may have a special receipt.

如此頭腦中凡有缺陷,皆有特藥可醫。

如此看來,精神上各種的缺陷都可以有一種專門的補救之方了。



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