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培根散文第24章:Of Innovations 论变更

时间: 03-29     手机版

24 of innovations 论变更

as the births of living creatures, at first, are ill shapen: so are all innovations, which are the births of time. yet notwithstanding, as those that first bring honour into their family, are commonly more worthy, than most that succeed: so the first precedent (if it be good) is seldom attained by mutation.
一切生物底幼儿在最初的时候都不好看,一切的变更也是如此,变更者时间之幼儿也。虽如此,有如初创家业者总比后嗣为强,最初的先例(如果是好的)也是不常易以模仿及之的。

for ill, to man's nature, as it stands perverted, hath a natural motion, strongest in continuance: but good, as a forced motion, strongest at first surely every medicine is an innovation; and he that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for time is the greatest innovator: and if time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end? it is true, that what is settled by custom, though it be not good, yet at least it is fit and those things, which have long gone together, are as it were confederate within themselves: whereas new things piece not so well; but though they help by their utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity. besides, they are like strangers; more admired, and less favoured.
因为在尚未归正的人心上,“恶”是有一种自然的动力的,这种动力在继续中最强;而“善”所有的却是一种勉强的动力,那动力是在起始时最强的。每一种药无疑地都是一种新创之事;不愿用新药的人就得预备着害新病;盖时间乃是最大的革新家也。并且,假如时间会自然地使事物颓败,而智谋与言论又不能使其改良,其结局将不堪设想了。

all this is true, if time stood still; which contrariwise moveth so round, that a froward retention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an innovation:and they that reverence too much old times, are but a scorn to the new. it were good therefore, that men in their innovations, would follow the example of time itself; which indeed innovated greatly, but quietly, and by degrees, scarce to be perceived: for otherwise, whatsoever is new, is unlocked for; and ever it mends some, and pairs other: and he that is holpen, takes it for a fortune, and thanks the time; and he that is hurt, for a wrong, and imputeth it to the author. it is good also, not to try experiments in states, except me necessity be urgent, or the utility evident: and well to beware, that it be the reformation, that draweth on the change; and not the desire of change, that pretendeth the reformation. and lastly, that the novelty, though it be not rejected, yet be held for a suspect: and, as the scripture saith; that we make a stand upon the ancient way, and then look about us, and discover what is the straight and right way, and so to walk in it.
习俗之所立,虽不优良,不失为适合时世,这是真的;又长期并行的举动好象是互有关连的,而新的事物则与旧者不甚契合;它们虽有用,可是因为与旧的事物不融洽,所以会引起纠纷。再者,新的事物好象异邦人,很受人艳羡,可是不大得人欢心。这些话当然都对,假如时间是停留不动的;可是时间是动转不停的,所以,固执旧习,其足以致乱与革新之举无异;而过于尊崇古昔者将为今世所僇笑也。因此,人们在更革之中最好能学时间底榜样。时间确常大事更革,但是它是以安详出之的,并且其来也渐,几乎是不为人所觉察的。如不然者,凡是新的事物都将被认为出乎意料的事物;有所改进就必有所损坏得益的人将以之为幸运,归功于时间;受损失的人则将以此为怨仇,而归罪于行革新之事的人了。还有,除非是极为必要而且显然有益的时候,最好不要在国家中试行新政;并且应当注意,须是改革底必要引起变更而不是喜新厌故的心理矫饰出改革底必要来。并且,最后,应当注意者,革新底举动虽不一定要拒绝,却应当把它认为是一种嫌疑犯,不可率尔置信;并且,如《圣经》上所说,我们应当立足于古道然后瞻顾四周,见有正直的大道,然后行于其上。

 

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