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培根散文第7章:Of Parents & Children 论父母与子嗣

时间: 02-23     手机版

7 of parents & children 论父母与子嗣

the joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs, and fears: they cannot utter the one; nor they will not utter the other. children sweeten labours; but they make misfortunes more bitter they increase the cares of life; but they mitigate the
remembrance of death. the perpetuity by generation is common to beasts; but memory, merit, and noble works, are proper to men: and surely a man shall see the noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men; which have sought to express the images of their minds where those of their bodies have failed: so the care of posterity is most in them that have no posterity. they that are the first raisers of then-houses, are most indulgent towards their children; beholding them, as the continuance, not only of their kind, but of their work; and so both children and creatures.
父母底欢欣是秘而不宣的,他们底忧愁与畏惧亦是如此。他们底欢欣他们不能说,他们底忧惧他们也不肯说。子嗣使劳苦变甜,但是也使不幸更苦。他们增加人生底忧虑,但是他们减轻关于死亡的记忆。由生殖而传种是动物同有的;但是名声、德行与功业则是人类特有的;而最伟大的事业是从无后嗣的人来的这种事实也是确实可见的;这些人是在他们底躯体底影象无从表现之后努力想表现他们精神底影象的。所以,无后代的人倒是最关心后代的人了。首先树立家业的人们是对于他们底子嗣最为纵容的;他们把子嗣看做不但是本族底继嗣,而且也是自己事业底继续;因此,他们对自己底子嗣与自己所造的事物都是一样的看法。

the difference in affection of parents towards their several children is many times unequal; and sometimes unworthy; especially in the mother, as solomon saith; a wise son rejoiceth the father, but an ungracious son shames the mother.
父母对子嗣之间的慈爱往往是不平均的,而且有时是不合理的。尤其以母亲底爱为然;如所罗门所说:“智慧之子使父亲欢乐,愚昧之子使母亲蒙羞”。

a man shall see, where there is a house full of children, one or two of the eldest respected, and the youngest made wantons; but in the midst, some mat are, as it were forgotten, who many times, nevertheless, prove the best the illiberality of parents, in allowance towards their children, is an harmful error, makes them base; acquaints them with shifts; makes them sort with mean company; and makes them surfeit more, when they come to plenty: and therefore, the proof is best, when men keep their authority towards their children, but not their purse. men have a foolish manner (both parents, and schoolmasters, and servants) in creating and breeding an emulation between brothers, during childhood, which many times sorted to discord, when they are men; and disturbed! families. the italians make little difference between children, and nephews, or near kinsfolk; but so they be of the lump, they care not, though they passe not through
their own body. and, to say truth, in nature it is much a like matter, in so much,
that we see a nephew sometimes resembleth an uncle, or a kinsman, more then his own parent; as the blood happens. let parents choose betimes the vocations and courses they mean their children should take; for then they are most flexible; and let them not too much apply themselves to the disposition of their children, as thinking they will take best to mat, which they have most mind to. it is true, that if the affection or aptness of the children be extraordinary, then it is good not to cross it; but generally, the precept is good; optimum eli ge, suave et facile illud faciet consuetude). younger brothers are commonly fortunate, but seldom or never where the elder are disinherited.
常见在一子嗣满堂的家中,有一两个最长的受尊重,还有最幼的受过度的纵容;但是居中的几个则好象被人忘却了似的,而他们却往往成为最好的子嗣。父母在对儿子应给的银钱上吝啬,是一种有害的错误;这使得他们卑贱;使他们学会取巧;使他们与下流人为伍;使他们到了富饶的时候容易贪欲无度。因此为父母者若对他们底子嗣在管理上严密,而在钱包上宽松,则其结果是最好的。人们(父母,师傅,仆役皆然)有一种不智的习惯,就是当弟兄们在童年的时候,在他们之间养成一种的争竞。其结果往往在他们成人的时候,弟兄不和,并且扰乱家庭。意大利人在自己底子女及侄甥或近亲之间无所分别;只要他们是本族,即令非己身所出,亦不介意。说真的,在自然界亦大类此;我们看见有时侄子象伯父或叔父或某位近亲而不甚象自己底父亲,这是血气使然。由此可见以上所言之不谬也。为父母者当及时选择在他们意中他们底子嗣所当从事的职业及训练;因为在那个时候他们最易训导;同时为父母者亦不可过于注意子嗣底倾向,以为他们心中所最好的他们会最为乐就。如果子嗣底所好和能力是超群的,那末最好不要拂逆他,这是真的;但是就一般而言,下面这句话是很好的:就是“选择最好的(职业或训练),习惯会使它成为合适而且容易的”。兄弟中为幼弟者多半结局良好,但假如长兄辈被剥夺或削除继承权,则鲜有或永无如是者矣。

 

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