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2008-07-16 14:15  来源:     我要纠错 打印 收藏   

The Delight of Books
书之乐趣

  1. Books are to mankind what memory is to the individual. They contain the history of our race, the discoveries we have made, the accumulated knowledge and experience of ages; they picture for us the marvels and beauties of nature, help us in our difficulties, comfort us in sorrow and in suffering, change hours of weariness into moments of delight, store our minds with ideas, fill them with good and happy thoughts, and lift us out of and above ourselves.
  1、书籍之于全人类,犹如记忆力之于个人。书籍记录了我们人类的历史,记录了我们的新发现,也记录了我们世世代代积累的知识和经验:书籍为我们描绘了自然界的奇观和美景;书籍帮助我们摆脱困境,在我们悲哀困苦的时候,给我们以安慰,在我们烦闷的时刻带来欢乐,给我们的头脑装进各种观念,使我们的脑海充满了美妙高尚的思想,从而使我们超越自我,高于自我。

  2. There is an oriental story of two men: one was a king, who every night dreamt he was a beggar; the other was a beggar, who every night dreamt he was a prince and lived in a palace. I am not sure that the king had very much the best of it. Imagination is sometimes more vivid than reality. But, however this may be, when we read we may not only (if we wish it) be kings and live in palaces, but, what is far better, we may transport ourselves to the mountains or the seashore, and visit the most beautiful parts of the earth, without fatigue, inconvenience, or expense.
  2、有一个东方的故事,谈到了两个人:其中一个是国王,他每晚梦见自己成为一个乞丐;另一个是乞丐,他每晚梦见自己成了一个王子,住进了王宫。我不知道国王是否真正成了乞丐。想象有时比现实更加生动。然而,不管怎么样,我们读书时,不仅可以成为国王,住在王宫里,—假如我们想成为国王的话,而且更妙的是,我们可以神驰群山,或畅游海滨,我们也可遍访世界上最美丽的地方,而无须经受任何劳顿,也没有什么不方便,更无须花费分文。

  3. Many of those who have had, as we say, all that this world can give, have yet told us they owed much of their purest happiness to books. Ascham, in "The Schoolmaster", tells a touching story of his last visit to Lady Jane Grey. He found her sitting in an oriel window reading Plato's beautiful account of the death of Socrates. Her father and mother were hunting in the park, the hounds were in full cry and their voices came in through the open window. He expressed his surprise that she had not joined them. But, said she, "I wist that all their pleasure in the park is but a shadow to the pleasure I find in Plato."
  3、我们说,许多人拥有这个世界能给予的一切,然而他们却告诉我们,他们真正的幸福在很大程度上还是得之于书籍。阿斯克姆在《教师》一书中生动地叙述了他最后一次去拜访简·格雷小姐的经过。他看到她正坐在一个飘窗下,阅读柏拉图关于苏格拉底之死的有趣描述。她的父母正在猎苑打猎,猎狗正引吭狂吠,狺狺之声通过开着的窗子传进了屋内。他感到奇怪,问她为什么没有跟父母一起去打猎。她却回答说:“我觉得他们在猎苑狩猎所得到的乐趣与我读柏拉图所得到的乐趣相比乃是微不足道的。”

  4. Macaulay had wealth and fame, rank and power, and yet he tells us in his biography that he owed the happiest hours of his life to books. In a charming letter to a little girl, he says, "Thank you for your very pretty letter, I am always glad to make my little girl happy, and nothing pleases me so much as to see that she likes books, for when she is as old as I am, she will find that they are better than all the tarts and cakes, toys and plays, and sights in the world. If any one would make me the greatest king that ever lived, with palaces and gardens and fine dinners, and wines and coaches, and beautiful clothes, and hundreds of servants, on condition that I should not read books, I would not be a king; I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading. "
  4、麦考利既有财富又有声望,既有地位又有权势,然而他在传记中告诉我们,他生活中最幸福的时刻还是读书。他在给一个小女孩的一封信中风趣地写道:“谢谢你给我写了一封有趣的信。能叫我的小女孩愉快,我总是感到非常欣慰,没有什么能比看到她喜欢书籍更教我高兴的了。因为当她到了像我现在这样年龄的时候,她会发现,书籍比所有馅饼和糕点、玩具和游戏以及世界上所有的名胜更吸引人。真要是有人拥戴我为世上最显赫的国王,拥有宫殿花园、珍肴美味、佳酿华辇、龙袍华衮,以及成群成群的奴仆,但若不让我读书,我则决不愿为国王,我宁愿做一个穷人,与众多书籍为伴,蜗居阁楼斗室,也不愿成为一个不爱读书的国王。”

  5. Books, indeed, endow us with a whole enchanted palace of thoughts, there is a wider prospect, says Jean Paul Richter, from Parnassus than from a throne. In one way they give us an even more vivid idea than the actual reality, just as reflections are often more beautiful than real nature. "All mirrors," says George Macdonald, "The commonest room is a room in a poem when I look in the glass."
  5、事实上,书籍赋予我们一个思想魔宫。吉恩·保尔·里希特尔曾说,从帕纳萨斯看景色,比坐在宝座上看,视野更开阔。从某种意义上说,书籍给我们的形象比现实的东西更生动,正如影像往往比真实的风景更美丽。“书是反映现实的镜子,”乔治·麦克唐纳这么说过,“从镜子中看时,最普通的房间也是诗一样美的房间了。”

  6. Precious and priceless are the blessings which the books scatter around our daily paths. We walk, in imagination, with the noblest spirits, through the most sublime and enchanting regions.
  6、在我们日常生活的途程中,书籍所赐予的恩惠是最宝贵的、无价的。在无限的遐思中,怀着最崇高的精神,我们漫步在最高尚、最炫丽的境界。

  7. Without stirring from our firesides we may roam to the most remote regions of the earth, or soar into realms where Spenser's shapes of unearthly beauty flock to meet us, where Milton's angels peal in our ears the choral hymns of Paradise. Science, art, literature, philosophy,—all that man has thought, all that man has done,—the experience that has been bought with the sufferings of a hundred generations,—all are garnered up for us in the world of books.
  7、无须离开家门,我们便可遨游世界上最遥远的地方,可以飞到斯宾塞笔下的梦境般的王国,那里会有成群的仙女结队欢迎我们;也可飞到弥尔顿描绘的天国,那里天使们合唱的天国赞美诗如雷贯耳。科学、艺术、文学及哲学,所有这一切人类思想行为的结晶,还有我们祖祖辈辈经受了无数磨难而获得的经验,都为我们贮藏在书籍的世界里了。

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