英语阅读 学英语,练听力,上听力课堂! 注册 登录
> 轻松阅读 > 英语文化 >  内容

《四季随笔》节选 - 春 22

所属教程:英语文化

浏览:

qinting

2021年07月22日

手机版
扫描二维码方便学习和分享

《四季随笔》是吉辛的散文代表作。其中对隐士赖克罗夫特醉心于书籍、自然景色与回忆过去生活的描述,其实是吉辛的自述,作者以此来抒发自己的情感,因而本书是一部富有自传色彩的小品文集。

吉辛穷困的一生,对文学名著的爱好与追求,以及对大自然恬静生活的向往,在书中均有充分的反映。本书分为春、夏、秋、冬四个部分,文笔优美,行文流畅,是英国文学中小品文的珍品之一。

以下是由网友分享的《四季随笔》节选 - 春 22的内容,让我们一起来感受吉辛的四季吧!

Were one to look at the literary journals only, and thereafter judge of the time, it would be easy to persuade oneself that civilization had indeed made great and solid progress, and that the world stood at a very hopeful stage of enlightenment. Week after week, I glance over these pages of crowded advertisement; I see a great many publishing houses zealously active in putting forth every kind of book, new and old; I see names innumerable of workers in every branch of literature. Much that is announced declares itself at once of merely ephemeral import, or even of no import at all; but what masses of print which invite the attention of thoughtful or studious folk! To the multitude is offered a long succession of classic authors, in beautiful form, at a minimum cost; never were such treasures so cheaply and so gracefully set before all who can prize them. For the wealthy, there are volumes magnificent; lordly editions; works of art whereon have been lavished care and skill and expense incalculable. Here is exhibited the learning of the whole world and of all the ages; be a man's study what it will, in these columns, at one time or another he shall find that which appeals to him. Here are labours of the erudite, exercised on every subject that falls within learning's scope. Science brings forth its newest discoveries in earth and heaven; it speaks to the philosopher in his solitude, and to the crowd in the market-place. Curious pursuits of the mind at leisure are represented in publications numberless; trifles and oddities of intellectual savour; gatherings from every byway of human interest. For other moods there are the fabulists; to tell truth, they commonly hold the place of honour in these varied lists. Who shall count them? Who shall calculate their readers? Builders of verse are many; yet the observer will note that contemporary poets have but an inconspicuous standing in this index of the public taste. Travel, on the other hand, is largely represented; the general appetite for information about lands remote would appear to be only less keen than for the adventures of romance.

如果只看文学报纸,并据此对时代进行评判,便很容易相信文明的确已取得长足坚实的进步,世界很有希望步入一个开明时代。周复一周,我浏览报纸时满眼都是广告。我看到许多出版社热忱积极地出版各种新旧书籍。看到各类文学工作者数不清的名字。宣传的作品大都要么只有短暂的意义,要么没有丝毫意义。不过,值得勤思好学者注意的印刷品真是堆积如山!一册册装帧精美、价格低廉的经典作品呈现在读者大众面前,这些宝贝对于珍视它们的人从来没有像现在这样实惠和体面。对于有钱人,可选择的有华丽的书卷,气派的版本,以及保养细致、制作精良、价格不菲的艺术品。这里呈现的是全世界古往今来的所有学问,不管一个人的研究领域是什么,在这里的浩繁卷帙中,他总能找到自己感兴趣的。这里陈列的是治学之人在学问各个领域苦心孤诣的研究成果。科学带来了它在天上和地下的最新发现,它既启迪孤独中的哲学家,又教育市井里的百姓。闲暇时刻在精神世界寻幽探胜的文字在许多出版物里都能找到;学问领域的奇闻轶事,以及人们感兴趣的旁门左道的知识荟萃,也都俯拾即是。对于其他的阅读心境,还有寓言家的作品,说实话,它们在名目繁多的书目中通常占据比较尊崇的地位。谁去计算它们呢?谁又去计算它们的读者数量呢?写诗的不乏其人,但观察一下就会发现,当代诗人在以大众趣味为尺度的排名榜上的位置并不显眼。另一方面,旅游图书为数众多,介绍遥远国度的书籍似乎很符合大众趣味,走红程度仅次于浪漫爱情作品。

With these pages before one's eyes, must one not needs believe that things of the mind are a prime concern of our day? Who are the purchasers of these volumes ever pouring from the press? How is it possible for so great a commerce to flourish save as a consequence of national eagerness in this intellectual domain? Surely one must take for granted that throughout the land, in town and country, private libraries are growing apace; that by the people at large a great deal of time is devoted to reading; that literary ambition is one of the commonest spurs to effort?

把这些书放在你面前,岂不是要相信思想求索已成为我们这个时代的首要关切?是谁在购买从印刷厂源源流出的书籍?规模宏大的图书产业如此繁荣,岂能不是举国上下热心向学的结果?举国上下,不管城市还是乡村,私人图书馆的数量激增,大多数人都将很多时间用在阅读上,文学上的雄心是催人奋进的最寻常的动力之一。这些你都可以视为理所当然吗?

It is the truth. All this may be said of contemporary England. But is it enough to set one's mind at ease regarding the outlook of our civilization?

以上都是事实。在当代英国确实如此,但这就足以让人们对文明的未来有信心了吗?

Two things must be remembered. However considerable this literary traffic, regarded by itself, it is relatively of small extent. And, in the second place, literary activity is by no means an invariable proof of that mental attitude which marks the truly civilized man.

必须要记住两件事。尽管我们看到文学事业本身很繁荣,但相对来说它的规模不大。另外,文学活动绝不是代表真正文明社会思想态度的最可靠证据。

Lay aside the "literary organ," which appears once a week, and take up the newspaper, which comes forth every day, morning and evening. Here you get the true proportion of things. Read your daily newssheet—that which costs three pence or that which costs a halfpenny—and muse upon the impression it leaves. It may be that a few books are "noticed"; granting that the "notice" is in any way noticeable, compare the space it occupies with that devoted to the material interests of life: you have a gauge of the real importance of intellectual endeavour to the people at large. No, the public which reads, in any sense of the word worth considering, is very, very small; the public which would feel no lack if all book-printing ceased tomorrow, is enormous. These announcements of learned works which strike one as so encouraging, are addressed, as a matter of fact, to a few thousand persons, scattered all over the English-speaking world. Many of the most valuable books slowly achieve the sale of a few hundred copies. Gather from all the ends of the British Empire the men and women who purchase grave literature as a matter of course, who habitually seek it in public libraries, in short who regard it as a necessity of life, and I am much mistaken if they could not comfortably assemble in the Albert Hall.

将每周一期的“文学机关报”放在一边,拿起每天早晚都会出版的报纸,你便会看到事情的真正情形。阅读一份标价三便士或半便士的日报,然后回想它留给你的印象,你可能会记得有几本书受到“关注”;而这种“关注”几乎让人注意不到。对比一下它占据的空间和讨论生活中物质利益的版面,你就能计算出思想求索对大多数人的重要性到底几何了。真正阅读的人凤毛麟角,而在所有书停印后不会感到任何缺憾的却大有人在。那些对博学之作让人鼓舞的宣传,实际上针对的只是散落在英语国家的几千个人而已。许多最有价值的书,销量以蜗牛的速度爬升,最后能卖掉几百本。习惯购买严肃文学书籍并经常在公共图书馆借阅的人—也就是将严肃文学视为生活必需品的人,从大英帝国的各个角落聚拢起来,并舒服自在地在阿尔伯特纪念堂集会,我相信我不会估计错的。

But even granting this, is it not an obvious fact that our age tends to the civilized habit of mind, as displayed in a love for intellectual things? Was there ever a time which saw the literature of knowledge and of the emotions so widely distributed? Does not the minority of the truly intelligent exercise a vast and profound influence? Does it not in truth lead the way, however slowly and irregularly the multitude may follow?

即便如此,我们的时代确实在向文明的思维习惯靠拢,对学问的热爱正表明了这一点,这一点不是显而易见的吗?传递知识和情感的文学最广泛地得到传播,哪个时代能与现代比肩?真正智慧的少数人不是发挥了广泛深刻的影响力吗?不管大众的脚步多么缓慢杂乱,实际上不还是在追随着精英们的指引吗?

I should like to believe it. When gloomy evidence is thrust upon me, I often say to myself: Think of the frequency of the reasonable man; think of him everywhere labouring to spread the light; how is it possible that such efforts should be overborne by forces of blind brutality, now that the human race has got so far?—Yes, yes; but this mortal whom I caress as reasonable, as enlightened and enlightening, this author, investigator, lecturer, or studious gentleman, to whose coat tails I cling, does he always represent justice and peace, sweetness of manners, purity of life—all the things which makes for true civilization? Here is a fallacy of bookish thought. Experience offers proof on every hand that vigorous mental life may be but one side of a personality, of which the other is moral barbarism. A man may be a fine archaeologist, and yet have no sympathy with human ideals. The historian, the biographer, even the poet, may be a money-market gambler, a social toady, a clamorous Chauvinist, or an unscrupulous wire-puller. As for "leaders of science," what optimist will dare to proclaim them on the side of the gentle virtues? And if one must needs think in this way of those who stand forth, professed instructors and inspirers, what of those who merely listen? The reading-public—oh, the reading-public! Hardly will a prudent statistician venture to declare that one in every score of those who actually read sterling books do so with comprehension of their author. These dainty series of noble and delightful works, which have so seemingly wide an acceptance, think you they vouch for true appreciation in all who buy them? Remember those who purchase to follow the fashion, to impose upon their neighbour, or even to flatter themselves; think of those who wish to make cheap presents, and those who are merely pleased by the outer aspect of the volume. Above all, bear in mind that busy throng whose zeal is according neither to knowledge nor to conviction, the host of the half-educated, characteristic and peril of our time. They, indeed, purchase and purchase largely. Heaven forbid that I should not recognize the few among them whose bent of brain and of conscience justifies their fervour; to such—the ten in ten thousand—be all aid and brotherly solace! But the glib many, the perky mispronouncers of titles and of authors' names, the twanging murderers of rhythm, the maulers of the uncut edge at sixpence extra, the ready-reckoners of bibliopolic discount—am I to see in these a witness of my hope for the century to come?

我愿意相信这一点。当令人沮丧的证据摆在面前时,我常对自己说:想想那些频频出现的理智的人们,想想他在到处努力地播洒光明,人类现在已经进步到这个阶段,这种努力怎会被盲目的野蛮力量征服呢?是的,没错。但是这个我想象中理智、开明、给人启迪的人,这位作者、调查者、演讲者或是勤学的绅士,这个令我马首是瞻的人,他是否会一直代表正义与和平、温文尔雅的举止、纯洁的生活等真正文明必不可少的所有事物呢?这是一个学究式思想的谬误。人生的各方面经验证明,丰富多彩的精神生活可能只是性格的一面,另一面则是道德上的野蛮。一个人或许是一名优秀的考古学家,但却并不认同人类的理想。而历史学家、传记作家,甚至诗人,也许是一个金融市场的赌徒,一个社交马屁精,一个叫嚣的沙文主义者,或是一个恬不知耻的幕后操纵者。至于“科学的领军人物”,哪个乐观主义者敢为他们的优良品德打保票呢?如果连这些杰出的人,这些公认的教导者和激励者,都要受到这样的质疑,那些只知道言听计从的人,他们又怎样呢?读者大众—对,读者大众!谨慎的统计学家几乎没人敢说,二十个确实阅读过那些精装书籍的读者中能有一个真正理解了作者的意图。这些装帧精美的书,气派十足,赏心悦目,似乎买者甚众,你以为所有买书的人都能真正欣赏它们吗?别忘了,有人买书是跟风,或是向邻居炫耀,又或者只是为了抬高自己;有人买书是想把它们作为便宜的礼物,还有的只是喜欢书籍的外观。最要记住的是那些攘攘众生,他们的热情既非源于知识亦非信仰,他们是些受教育不多的人,是我们时代的特征和威胁。他们的确买书,而且买得很多。凭天地良心,我必须承认,他们中确有几个人的头脑或觉悟可以解释对书的热情,对这样的人—在一万个人中可能有十个—要不吝帮助和亲切慰藉。然而,对于那些油嘴滑舌的多数人,那些将书名和作者名字念错的装腔作势之徒,那些谋杀韵律的朗读者,那些多花六个便士将未裁切书页糟蹋了的人,那些在书的折扣上精打细算的人—在他们身上焉能看到下个世纪的希望?

I am told that their semi-education will be integrated. We are in a transition stage, between the bad old time when only a few had academic privileges, and that happy future which will see all men liberally instructed. Unfortunately for this argument, education is a thing of which only the few are capable; teach as you will, only a small percentage will profit by your most zealous energy. On an ungenerous soil it is vain to look for rich crops. Your average mortal will be your average mortal still: and if he grows conscious of power, if he becomes vocal and self-assertive, if he gets into his hands all the material resources of the country, why, you have a state of things such as at present looms menacingly before every Englishman blessed—or cursed—with an unpopular spirit.

我听说,他们残缺的教育最终会完整。我们正处在一个过渡阶段,身后是一个糟糕的旧时代,只有少数人有受教育的权利,面前是所有人都能自由接受教育的美好未来。不幸的是,这个论点并不成立,因为教育只有少数人才能获得。你可以教授所有人,但只有少数人能从你热情的授业中获益。贫瘠的土地上长不出好庄稼,平庸的人最终仍归于平庸:如果他有了权利意识,如果他学会宣传自己并专断独行,如果他掌握了这个国家的物质资源,那么,每个幸运的或不幸的并且怀抱不得人心思想的英国人都会面对目前这种悄悄逼近的险恶事态。


用手机学英语,请加听力课堂微信公众号:tingclass123
用户搜索

疯狂英语 英语语法 新概念英语 走遍美国 四级听力 英语音标 英语入门 发音 美语 四级 新东方 七年级 赖世雄 zero是什么意思临沂市张家王庄花园小区英语学习交流群

  • 频道推荐
  • |
  • 全站推荐
  • 广播听力
  • |
  • 推荐下载
  • 网站推荐