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经典散文:论幸运

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  摘要:幸运的机会好像银河,他们作为个体是不显眼的,但作为整体却光辉灿烂。同样,一个人若具备许多细小的优良素质,最终都可能成为带来幸运的机会。

  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,幸运与偶然性有关一例如长相漂亮、机缘凑巧等;但另一方面,人之能否幸运又决定于自身。正如古代诗人所说:“人是自身幸福的设计师。

  有的时候,一个人的愚蠢恰是另一个人的幸运,一方的错误恰好促成了另一方的成功。正如谚语所说:“蛇吃蛇,能成龙。”炫耀于外表的才干徒然令人赞羡,而深藏未露的才干则能带来幸运。这需要一种难以言传的自制力。西班牙人把这叫做“潜能”。一个人具有优良的素质,能在必要时发挥这种素质从而推动幸运的车轮转动,这就叫“潜能”。历史学家李维曾这样形容老加图说:“他的精神与体力都是那样优美博大,因此无论他出身于什么家庭,都一定可以为自己开辟出一条道路。”因为加图具有多方面的才能。这话说明,只要对一个人深入观察,是可以发现对他是否可以期望幸运的。因为幸运之神虽然是盲目的,却并非无形的。

  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.

  幸运的机会好像银河,他们作为个体是不显眼的,但作为整体却光辉灿烂。同样,一个人若具备许多细小的优良素质,最终都可能成为带来幸运的机会。

  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.

  意大利人在谈论精明的人时,除了夸赞他别的优点,有时会说表面上带一点“傻气”。是的,有一点傻气,但并不是呆气,再没有比这对人的更幸运的了。然而迷信愚妄的人是不会幸运的。他们把思考权交付给了他人,就不会走自己的路了。意外的幸运会使人冒失、狂妄,然而经过磨练的幸运却使人成为伟器。幸运是令人尊敬的,至少这是为了他的两个女儿一一位叫自信,位叫名誉。他们都是幸运所产生的。前者产生于人良身的心中,后者产生于他人的心中。

  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,为避免招人嫉恨,很少对自己的幸运进行夸耀,他们把一切归功于“神”。事实上,也只有伟大人物才能得到神的护佑。凯撒对大风浪中的水手说:“镇静,有凯撒坐在你的船上!”而苏拉则不敢自称为“伟大”,只称自己为“有幸的”。从历史可以看到,凡把成功完全归于自己的人,常常得到不幸的终局。

  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,雅典人泰摩索斯总把他在政治上的成就说成:“这决非幸运所赐,而是因为本人高明。”结果他以后再做什么事却很少成功了。世间确有一些人,他们的幸运,流畅得有如荷马的诗句。例如普鲁塔克就曾把泰摩列昂的好运气与阿盖西劳斯和埃帕米农达的运气相对比但这种幸运成功的果实,最终也还要到他们的德性中去找原因呵!

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