培根随笔 8.0分
读书笔记 培根《论真理》的逐句翻译与注释(转载)
提拉米苏

我只读了三篇最有名的:论真理,论死亡,论读书。读的英文。转了一篇精读的文章。来源忘了。思想还可以,请大家自动忽略语法教学部分:)

培根《论真理》的逐句翻译与注释

《论真理》首先提出“真理是什么?”这是在哲学与人类思想史上自古至今一直没有彻底解决的课题。显然,培根反对真理的怀疑论,认为这些人“喜欢轻率”(delight in giddiness或译“过于轻率”),但他没有纠缠于(也许是有意回避)该问题的辩论;而是用诗的语言热情地歌颂追求真理的人们:“需要真理(即热爱或追求真理),了解真理(即求知真理),相信真理(即享受真理)——这是人类本性的最大优点。”同时他还严厉与巧妙地指出作为真理反面的虚伪与谎言对人类的极大危害;文章的结尾也是警句良言:“人间没有诚信之日,就是基督降临之时。”文章短小精干,语言优美,诗意盎然。

《论真理》是本选本的第一篇。特逐句注释,并进行译法探讨。原文共二十一句,因此共二十一注如下:

(注1) 原版原貌What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an

answer. 按现代英语的书写规则应写成:What is truth? said jesting Pilate and would not stay for an answer.“真理是什么?”彼拉多说时是为了取笑,其实他并不想等待回答。

关于Pilate彼拉多其人其事,参见《圣经故事一百篇》第88篇(1983年商

务印书馆香港有限公司出版,后同)或《圣经》新约全书第23章;他是负责审判耶稣的“总督”或“巡抚”(两书的译文不同)。不过这两处都没有涉及本文关于“真理是什么”的情节,虽然有些译者与作者都提到过此情节:彼拉多审问耶稣时耶稣说自己“为真理作证”或“为传播真理”,因此引出彼拉多的问句:真理是什么?最近我又查了一位德国作者的《耶稣传》(共两卷),他写的情节也大体类似,但也没有从《圣经》中提供任何根据。

现在分词jesting用做状语,修饰动词said;它不是动名词,更不是名词,不能表示“笑话”作said的宾语。Jest作动词时表示“开玩笑”,而jest作名词时才表示“笑话”。

(注2) 原版原貌Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness; and count it a

bondage, to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting.按现代英语的书写规则应写成:Certainly there should (或must)be people that delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free will in thinking, as well as in acting. 由此可见,培根喜欢用逗号,凡是语调停顿处他就用逗号。此句译文是:“的确有人喜欢轻率,他们认为:一种信仰就是一种束缚,影响思想与行动的自由。” 请注意:Certainly there be 改为Certainly there should (或must);现代英语也可以说:Certainly there are some people that delight in giddiness and count it a bondage to fix a belief;关系代词that前省略了先行词people,所以要求动词delight(谓语)不加s。affecting是现在分词用做独立状语,动词affect表示“影响”,按词典也并不表示“喜好”,而形容词affecting则表示“动人的”。另外,当时已经出现代替人物名词的关系代词who,但不如that常见。当时关系代词that,who,which等前面通常都用逗号。现代英语里,只有which引出的非限定性定语从句前后用逗号。it a bondage to fix a belief中,it是“形式宾语”,a bondage是宾语补足语,不定式短语to fix a belief做“真正宾语”。

从这几句就可以看出:培根反对真理的怀疑论,认为这些人“喜欢轻率”(delight in giddiness或译“过于轻率”),但他没有纠缠于(也许是有意回避)该问题的辩论,因为这是哲学上与人类思想史上一大课题。无论在理论上还是实践上都没有解决。比如哲学家几乎都承认“相对真理”。但对“绝对真理”至今意见不一;人们不由得还会联想到《三国演义》开头的那首名诗(电视剧还变成了主题歌)。特别是开头那几句:“滚滚长江东逝水,浪花淘尽英雄,是非成败转头空,青山依旧在,几度夕阳红;” “是非成败转头空”,(还有俗语“成则为王,败则为寇。”)那么真理何在?难怪本文实际上一开头就批评彼拉多对耶稣关于真理的提问。培根后来用诗的语言热情地歌颂追求真理的人们:“需要真理(即热爱或追求真理),了解真理(即求知真理的存在),相信真理(即享受真理的乐趣)——这是人类本性的最大优点。”同时他还严厉与巧妙地指出作为真理反面的虚伪与谎言对人类的极大危害;文章的结尾也是警句良言:“人间没有诚信之日,就是基督降临之时。”译者认为:了解该文的上述基本思想,对准确翻译十分必要。

(注3)原版原貌And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet

there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them, as was in these of the ancients.按现代英语的书写规则应写成:And though the sects of philosophers of that kind are gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits which are of the same veins, though there is not so much blood in them, as was in those of the ancients.培根当时,不仅出现上述Certainly there be这样的句型,其他如让步从句(还有条件从句)谓语也都多用不定式be。原版原貌此处由连词though引出的两个让步从句be gone与there be 就是例证,译者把它们分别改为are gone与there is;另外,as was in those of the ancients里的as是关系代词,代替先行词blood,而代名词those代替前面的名词veins,而不是代替前面的wits。

这句的译文也颇费心思。“这一类哲学家作为流派”就是对真理的怀疑派,

“已成过去”的原文是are gone,这里显然不应该改为were gone或have gone;下面though there is not so much blood in them, as was in those of the ancients.直译是:“虽然他们的血管里现在已经没有他们祖先血管里那么多的血液。”我见到的两种译本对这句的真正意思有截然不同的理解。问题的关键出在两点上:一、这些译本显然都没有认为in them, as was in those of the ancients里的them 与those是代替前面的veins(血管);而是代替前面的名词wits;二、但他们对wits的词义在理解上却又有差别:有的理解为“智慧”或“哲言慧语”,有的理解为“智者”或“人才”。词典里,wits的确可以表示“智慧”与“智者”。我则把discoursing wits 译成“聪明机智的论辩家”。对于古今的哲学家“血管”里“血液”流量的多少,我则做如下理解:他们跟他们祖先理论上一脉相承,虽然他们的作用或影响远不如古代大师们。因此我译成:“虽然这一类哲学家作为流派已成过去,但至今仍然有某些聪明的论辩家,属于这种怀疑论者,虽说其才智已不如古代大师们。” the ancients表示“古人”、特别是古希腊、罗马时代的“古人”,有时表示“古典作家”,因此这里译成“古代大师们”,或译成“他们的先辈”。后半句也可改成“虽说他们已不如古代大师们那样理直气壮、振振有辞了。”原先我还采取了较大程度的“意译”:“他们跟古代大师们一脉相承,虽说已是强弩之末,势单力薄。”我还见到有的译本采取了程度更大的“意译”,几乎抛开原文的语言形式,但也保留原文的大意。本来,“直译”与“意译”是就原文的语言形式而言,本来就可以有不同程度的“直译”与“意译”。译者我一直主张以“信”(忠实原文的思想内容)为准心,在“直译”与“意译”之间进行不断的“微调”,力求“信”、“达”、“雅”和谐统一(三位一体)。但究竟具体怎样做,需要推敲;何况仁者见仁,智者见智,所以也需要讨论,。

(注4)But it is not only the difficulty and labour, which men take in finding out

of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposes upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favour; but a natural, though corrupt love, of the lie itself.按现代英语的书写规则应写成:But it is not only the difficulty and labour which(关系代词代替the difficulty and labour,做take的宾语)men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that(连词)when it is found it imposes upon men’s thoughts that(关系代词代替men’s thoughts做does bring的主语)does bring lies in favour; but a natural, though corrupt love of the lie itself.人们之所以喜欢谎言,并非仅仅因为人们发现真理的艰难与辛苦,也不是因为真理被发现后要强加于人的头脑而促使人喜欢谎言,而是因为人们对谎言本身有一种自然的、虽说是腐蚀性的痴情。

原文是一个复杂的复合句。包含两个句型:一个是 it is not only(名词)…,

but(名词)…;另一个是it is not …that(连词后跟主语从句)。该主语从句本身又包含一个复杂的复合句:when it(指truth is found, it(指truth) imposes upon men’s thoughts that does bring lies in favour; 译成“真理被发现后要强加于人的头脑而促使人喜欢谎言;” 这个that不是连词,而是关系代词,代替men’s thoughts,做does bring的主语;“而促使”本来可直译为“因此反而使”——原文的这种细腻思想容易被忽略。but a natural, though corrupt love of the lie itself译成“而是人们对谎言本身有一种自然的、虽说是腐蚀性的痴情”。Corrupt是形容词,不是动词;corrupt love表示“具有腐蚀性的爱”。

(注5)原版原貌:One of the later school of the Grecians, examineth the matter,

and is at a stand, to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie’s sake. 译者稍微改动:One of the later school of the Grecians examines the matter and is at a stand to think what should be in it,(指the matter) that(连词,引出同位语从句)men should love lies where(关系副词)neither they make for pleasure as with poets, nor for advantage as with the merchant; but for the lie’s sake.晚期某学派的一位希腊学者研究了这种现象,并且专门思考人们痴情于谎言的内在原因,发现他们既不像诗人那样是为了制造快乐,也不像商人那样为了利益,居然只是为了谎言本身。Examineth换成现代英语examines;neither , nor ; but三者为并列连词,连接三个同等成分;be at a stand to think直译“停下来思考”;意译“专门思考”;上海译文出版社《新英汉词典》(后同)词典里就有“come to a stand陷于停顿”的例子。译者也联想到同属于印欧语系的俄语:остано-виться本义是“停下来”,但остановиться转义是“仔细讨论”。但be at a stand to think也可以直译成“思考不下去”或意译成“百思不得其解”,有的译本就译为“不能理解”。这两种译法都合乎行文的逻辑,都顺理成章。

(注6)原版原貌:But I cannot tell:this same truth, is a naked, and open

day-light, that doth not show the masques, and mummeries, and triumphs, of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights.经译者改动:But I cannot tell; this same truth is a naked and open daylight that does not show the masques, and mummeries, and triumphs of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights.但我说不明白,只觉得:真理就像是赤裸裸的、毫不掩饰的白昼,没有月色朦胧的美感,也不像烛光那样把世上的假面具舞会、哑剧、庆典照得半明半暗,亦真亦幻,扑朔迷离,引人入胜。“只觉得:”与“没有月色朦胧的美感,也”是译者后来加添的,是为了更明确表达原文的意思:真理不如谎言那样迷人。俗话说:“良药苦口利于病,忠言逆耳利于行。”“真理刺眼。”(俄罗斯谚语)都是说的同样的意思。half so stately and daintily直译是“半庄严与半阴暗地”,我试过好几种意译,但都不满意。masques(假面舞会)被现代英语masks所取代,但mask首先还是表示“面具”、“面罩”;“假面具”、“伪装”。

(注7)原版原貌:Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that shows

best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that shows best in varied lights.按现在英语的书写标准,关系代词前面的逗号应该省略:Truth may

perhaps come to the price of a pearl that shows best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle that shows best in varied lights.真理也许有珍珠的价值,珍珠只在白天光彩夺目;但真理不会升值到珠宝钻石,钻石珠宝在不同的光照下晶莹剔透,熠熠生辉。that是关系代词,一般情况下,代替最靠近的名词。这两个that分别代替 pearl和carbuncle。best是副词,这两个best原先分别译成“光彩夺目”与“ 璀璨耀眼”,但后者改成了“晶莹剔透,熠熠生辉”。原文重复两次的shows best直译是“表现最好”。我见到的几种译本对此都采取的“意译”。

(注8)A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. 这里只把原来的doth改成

了does。a mixture of a lie直译为“谎言的混合体(物,料,剂,液)”,看来作者有意借此表示:“谎言”往往不以赤裸裸的、露骨的、单一的、纯粹的形式出现,而是与其他东西混在一起,这样可以鱼目混珠,混水摸鱼。因此这里译成“鱼目混珠的谎言总能增添快乐”。A mixture of a lie也可以译成“真假难辨的谎言”或“鱼龙混杂的谎言”、或“混水摸鱼的谎言”、或“以假乱真的谎言”、或“真假难辨的谎言”、等等。只要弄懂了原文,丰富多彩的汉语有足够的词汇去表达。在现代英语,只有疑问句与否定的陈述句必须用助动词do(does),肯定的陈述句一般不能用助动词do(does),除非需要强调某动词。但在十六、七世纪的早期现代英语,肯定的陈述句一般也都要用助动词do(does),这里不是为了强调,而起强调作用的是副词ever。副词ever与副词never对应,前者用于肯定,后者用于否定。

(注9)Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain

opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? 原版原貌的原文里有太多的冒号!按现在英语标点规则改动如下:Does any man doubt that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?

这是一个很长的复合句,但结构并不复杂。主句是疑问句Does any man doubt that?连词that引出的宾语从句包含着一个“虚拟”关系的主从复合句:if there were…,but…. if引出的虚拟式条件从句中,主语是vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, 其中as one would是后置定语,修饰前面的名词imaginations;主句中的but似乎也可省略,但最好保留,因为but表示“反而”;but后面的it指条件从句说的内容,可以译成“这”,but it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things可以直译成:这反而给一些人的头脑里留下可怜的、收缩了的东西”。掌握英语it的用法,对理解原文非常重要。过去分词shrunken表示“收缩了的”、“被压缩的”、“被抽空的” 、“减少了的”;full of melancholy and indisposition和 unpleasing to themselves是并列关系,都是修饰前面的名词things。

整个复合句的翻译,需要处理好疑问号的位置。这句可以有几种译法:

一、如果从人的头脑里去掉虚妄的意见、迷人的幻想、虚伪的评价、随意的想象、诸如此类,许多人的心情反而会变得空虚可怜,充满忧虑与厌恶、甚至厌恶自己——这一点有谁会怀疑呢?

二、如果从人的头脑里去掉虚妄的意见、迷人的幻想、虚伪的评价、随意的想象、诸如此类,许多人的心情反而会变得空虚可怜,充满忧虑与厌恶、甚至厌恶自己——谁会对此表示怀疑呢?

三、如果从人的头脑里去掉虚妄的意见、迷人的幻想、虚伪的评价、随意的想象、诸如此类,许多人的心情反而会变得空虚可怜,充满忧虑与厌恶、甚至厌恶自己——对此没有谁会怀疑的

四、如果从人的头脑里去掉虚妄的意见、迷人的幻想、虚伪的评价、随意的想象、诸如此类,许多人的心情无疑反而会变得空虚可怜,充满忧虑与厌恶、甚至厌恶自己。

五、没有谁会怀疑(或译“不用怀疑”,或译“毫无疑问”):如果从人的头脑里去掉虚妄的意见、迷人的幻想、虚伪的评价、随意的想象、诸如此类,许多人的心情反而会变得空虚可怜,充满忧虑与厌恶、甚至厌恶自己。

六、如果从人的头脑里去掉虚妄的意见、迷惑人的幻想、虚伪的评价、随意的想象、以及诸如此类,谁会怀疑许多人的头脑变得空虚可怜,充满忧虑与厌恶、甚至厌恶自己呢?

我们选用了最后这种译法。总之,不要把原文开头的主句Does any man doubt直译成“谁会对此表示怀疑” 也放在译文的开头,因为“疑问号”的位置不好处理。

(注10)原版原貌:One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy, vinum daemonum, because it filleth the imagination; and yet it is, but with the shadow of a lie. 经过改动:One of the fathers in great severity called poesy vinum daemonum because it fills the imagination; and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie.这句结构不复杂,意思也好懂。可以基本按原文结构直译如下:先贤中有一位严肃地用拉丁文把诗叫做“美酒似的魔鬼”,因为诗充满想象;尽管诗只带有谎言的影子。One of the fathers我见过不同的译文;the fathers在词典里就表示“祖先”、“先辈”、“长辈”;“元老”、“议员”、“长老”;“神父”、“教士”等等;我们译成“先贤中有一位”,“先贤”的词义广泛而含糊,表明他既是“先辈”、“长辈”;又是“贤人”,既可能是“神父”、“教士”,也可能是“元老”、“议员”,甚至是“学者”、“哲学家”,等。至于这位先贤是谁?可参考水天同、何新、阎秀荣三位译者的注释。但究竟是谁?是古罗马诗人卢克莱修(Lucretius公元前99——约55)还是圣杰罗姆(St. Jerome347——180)或者奥古斯丁(Aurelius Augustinus约354——430)呢?还有没有可能是其他人物呢?但无论如何,他们的这些注释给读者提供了有益的信息。值得提到的:此书第一个译者水天同先生表明自己的根据是“英国学者的注”。

vinum daemonum是拉丁文,daemonum即现代英语demon(魔鬼);与vinum意义相当的是wine (葡萄酒),而vine的意义是“葡萄树”。如果拉丁文vinum daemonum译成现代英语,wine demon或demon wine似乎都可以。

(注11)原版原貌:But it is not the lie, that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt; such as we spake of before. 经过改动:But it is not the lie that passes through the mind, but the lie that sinks in and settles in it, that does the hurt; such as we spoke of before.这里包含三个以that引出的定语从句,that是关系代词,代替前面的名词the lie。特别要注意的是:后两个并列的定语从句修饰它们前面的同一个名词the lie。the lie译成“谎言”。这里全句直译如下:“但造成危害的并不是从头脑里一闪而过的那种谎言;而是沉淀、落户在心里的、即我们前面讲到的被当成信仰的那种谎言。” 我们也没有像其他有些译本那样采取过分的意译!只是根据原文原意添加了“被当成信仰的”,这样有助于理解“沉淀、落户在心里的”的含义。

另外,such as we spoke of before可以译成“这样的东西是我们前面讲到的”,such as 也是关系代词,代替前面的the lie,用做spoke of 的宾语;spoke当时写成spake.

(注12)原版原貌:But howsoever these things are thus, in men’s depraved judgments, and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it; is the sovereign good of human nature. 经过改动:But howsoever these things are thus in men’s depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only does judge itself, teaches that(连词)the inquiry of truth, which(指the inquiry of truth)is the love-making or wooing of it(指truth); the knowledge of truth, which(指the knowledge of truth)is the presence of it(指truth); and the belief of truth, which(指the belief of truth)is the enjoying of it(指truth); is the sovereign good of human nature.但无论如何,这些东西之所以如此,是在人们丧失判断力与存有偏爱的情况下;不过只有真理能判断自己;真理还教导我们:需要真理(即热爱或追求真理),认识真理(即寻找真理),相信真理(即享受真理)——这是人类本性的最大优点。

如括号所指明的,三个which是指前面的三个短语,而不单是指truth;而三个it 则指truth。love-making, or wooing直译是“做爱或求婚”;sovereign good或译“最高的美德”;good是名词,用做主语,不是表语。

摘录如下片段,可以看成格言:

The inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it; is the sovereign good of human nature.需要真理(即热爱或追求真理),认识真理(即寻找真理),相信真理(即享受真理)——这是人类本性的最大优点。

(注13)原版原貌:The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last, was the light of reason; and his Sabbath work, ever since, is the illumination of his spirit.经过改动:The first creature of God in the works of the days was the light of the sense; the last was the light of reason; and his Sabbath work, ever since, is the illumination of his spirit. 上帝在那几天的创造过程中,第一件作品就是感觉之光,最后一件作品就是理智之光,从此以后,他安息日的工作就是发出自己的精神之光。Sabbath是名词,表示“安息日”,犹太教为星期六,基督教为星期天。因此in the works of the days按原文译为“那几天的工作”,没有指明是“五天”、“六天”、还是“七天”。如果按基督教的《圣经》,上帝在头几天创造天地万物(其他动物),第六天造出人类。只有人具有理智,所以这里说“最后一件作品就是理智之光”。(见《圣经故事一百篇》第一篇写的开天辟地的故事)

原文是一个并列的复合句,由三个分句并列而成。请注意谓语的时间:前两个用一般过去式,后一个用一般现在式,表示经常发生的事情。因此and his Sabbath work, ever since, is the illumination of his spirit.也可以译成:“此后每一个安息日的工作就是发出他的精神之光。”下一句也有这个“时间”问题。

(注14)原版原貌:First he breathed light, upon the face, of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light, into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light, into the face of his chosen. 经过改动:First he breathed light upon the face of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light into the face of man; and still breathes and inspires light into the face of his chosen. 首先要注意谓语的时间:比较breathed ——breathes and inspires。译文如下:上帝首先把光轻轻吹到混沌世界的表面,然后吹进人类的脸上,至今继续不断地把灵光吹进自己选民的脑里,鼓舞他们的思想。into the face直译为“进入脸里”,意译就是“进入脑里”,也就是“进入心里”;因此“鼓舞他们的思想”也可以相应地改为“鼓舞他们的心”。

(注15)原版原貌:The poet, that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, said yet excellently well: ‘it is a pleasure, to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth:’ (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene;) ‘and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below;’ so always, that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling, or pride.

经过改动:The poet that beautified the sect that was otherwise inferior to the rest says yet excellently well: ‘It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth ‘(a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene;) ‘and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below;’ so always, that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling, or pride.

译文:一个名列最次的学派,却出了一位光照学门的杰出诗人;下面的话他说得非常精彩:“站在海岸看颠簸在海面上的船只是一种快乐,站在城堡的窗口看下面一场冒险的战斗也是一种快乐;但占据真理的优势,审视谬误与疑虑,如同站在一个空气始终清新宁静、没有硝烟、而且不会被人占领的山头,俯看山谷里的迷雾与风暴,——这是无以伦比的快乐。”不过你任何时候都应该带着怜悯而不是吹嘘或骄傲。

开头一句结构容易,但不容易翻译。首先要正确理解原文的本意。译者把原版原貌的The poet, that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, says yet excellently well:中的三个逗号去掉,以免把两个由关系代词that引出的定语从句误看成并列关系。

原文由于将“真理的优势”比喻战斗中的有利地形“山头”:the vantage ground of truth ‘(a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene;)译者有意把to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests分开翻译:一方面,“占据真理的优势,审视谬误与疑虑”;一方面,“站在山头,俯看山谷里的迷雾与风暴。”这样可以避免“谬误与疑虑”、“迷雾与风暴”这两类不同领域的词汇不和谐地(至少对汉语来说)混在一起。

关于这位诗人与他的一派,参看水天同先生的注释,以及何新先生的译文与注释。他们都认为是罗马诗人卢克莱修;但水天同先生在注释中称该学派为“快乐派”,而何新先生在译文中称该学派为“感性主义哲学”。水先生说:“卢氏所著长诗《物性论》(De Rerum Natura)是世界哲理诗中最伟大之名著也。”何先生指出他的“名著《特质论》,认为感觉是一切的尺度”;何先生还把自己的这种理解翻译进正文里。

(注16)原版原貌:Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth. 经过改动:Certainly, it is heaven upon earth to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence and turn upon the poles of truth.一个人因慈悲而动,顺天意而安,面向真理之巅——这境界肯定是人间天堂!

这是直译,也可意译:“心怀慈悲,顺乎天意,面向真理——是人生最高境

界。”

这是培根给后人的另一条格言。

(注17)原版原貌:To pass from theological, and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear, and round dealing, is the honour of man’s nature; and that mixture of falsehood, is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it.

经过改动:To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear and round dealing is the honour of man’s nature; and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy in coin of gold and silver which may make the metal work better, but it embases it.

译文:如果从神学与哲学上的真理谈到日常生活的真理(后者即实事求是、求真务实、真实真诚的思想作风——译者注),,即使没有亲身经验的人们也会承认:光明正大的做法是人性的尊严,而搀假的东西如同加了银的金币,虽然这合金有利于金币的铸造,但贬低了金币的价值。

the truth of civil business可以译成“世俗真理”或“日常工作中的真理”;有的译本译成“日常之理”,有的译本干脆译成“实践”。这些都合乎原文的意思。按《英汉新词典》,形容词civil表示“公民的”或“市民的”,“世俗的”或“非神职的”等八项词义;而每项词义又可以有多种翻译,有的译法是词典所没有收入的。我们这里译成“日常生活的真理”,还特别加了“译者注”。那是根据英语truth的词义特点与原文的本意。所谓“日常生活的真理”或“日常之理”,就是讲的“讲真话、做实事、做真正的人”,也就是“实事求是”、“求真务实”、“正派忠实”的思想作风。这样就能理解为什么本文接着就讲“光明正大的做法是人性的尊严”。但要注意到:培根在书里多次使用civil business,比如在《论赞扬》里,civil business就要译成“世俗事情”或“世俗事务”,原来是指军事、外交、司法、等国务部门的活动或职务。

这里再重点讨论单词truth的词义。大体说来,英语truth主要相当汉语有密切联系又互相区别的两种意义:“真理”与“真话”。在学术上truth相当“真理”,其反面是“谬论”——error;在日常生活里,truth相当“真话”,其反面是“谎言”——lie。当然 truth还可以相当其他意义,如“真相”、“真情”、“真实”、“真诚”;其反面是“虚伪”——falsehood;这些英语词也都在文章里遇到过的。这种语义学的分析对于理解原文To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the truth of civil business显然有直接帮助。

按《英汉新词典》,形容词round表示“圆的”等十二项词义。其中11项就是“率直的”、“耿直的”,还收了本短语clear and round dealing(光明正大的做法)作为例子。

仅从词义的多样性就可以看出译法的丰富多彩,以及“重译”的可能与必需。比如这句,我见到的几种译本就有不同的译法。虽然都符合原文意思,而且大同“小异”,但“小异”却也呈现丰富多彩的语言图景、细微精妙的翻译技巧,以及字斟句酌、精益求精的翻译风格;从中也可见译者们耗费的精力与心血。如果能加以对比,一定很有趣;这是翻译教学与研究的常见方法。

这里就单词embase顺便讨论构词法问题。embase在词典里查不到,但它多次用于培根的这本书里,显然不可能是作者的笔误。原来,base是形容词,表示“卑鄙”、“卑贱”之类意思,“词头en+形容词”可以构成某及物动词,如enable使能够,enlarge扩大,enclose关闭,等等,培根显然是按这条构词法自造及物动词embase(使贬值),词头之所以是em 而不是en,那是因为字母b或p前n要改写成m。(因为字母b或p前n要读成m)。比较另一个常用的构词法:“词头en+名词”可以构成某及物动词,如encourage鼓励,endow资助,embody体现,等等。再比较表示否定意义的词头in:例如inactive(不活动的),invisible(看不见的),inadequate(不充足的);但:imbalance(不平衡),impossible(不可能的),等。

(注18)原版原貌:For these winding, and crooked courses, are the goings of the serpent; which goes basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet.

经过改动: For these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent which goes basely upon the belly and not upon the feet.

译文:因为这种欺诈行为使人想起《圣经》里那条卑鄙的蛇,它是用腹部弯曲地爬行,而不是立着用足走路的。

the serpent特指《圣经》里那条狡猾的蛇,它唆使女人夏华吃了上帝禁止吃的“知识树”上的果实,上帝惩罚它“终生用肚皮爬行”。见《圣经故事一百篇》15页。

(注19)原版原貌:There is no vice, that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be found false, and perfidious.

经过改动:There is no vice that does so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious.

译文:再没有比被人发现是弄虚作假与背信弃义更可耻的恶行了。

或译:再没有什么比被人发现是虚伪欺诈更可耻的了。

注释:前面说过,在培根当时,肯定式的陈述句也要用助动词do(does)。

(注20)原版原貌:And therefore Mountaigny saith prettily, when he enquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge? saith he, ‘If it be well weighed, to lay that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men.’ For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.

经过改动:And therefore Mountaigny says prettily when he enquired the reason why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace and such an odious charge? says he, ‘If it be well weighed, to lay that a man lies, is as much to say as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men.’ For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.

译文:所以,当蒙田探询谎言这个词为什么如此可耻、如此可恨时,他说得非常好:“说一个人撒谎,就等于说他对上帝勇敢而对人类胆怯——这话也许是经过斟酌的。” 因为谎言敢面对上帝而害怕面对世人。

注释:蒙田(Michel de Mountaigne 1533——1592)是法国著名的人文主义思想家与散文家,他的Essai《随笔集》在我国也早有译本。

复数形式的men与单数形式而不带冠词的man都表示“人类”或“世人”。

(注21)原版原貌:Surely the wickedness of falsehoods, and breach of faith, cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal, to call the judgements of God upon the generations of men, it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, He shall not find faith upon the earth.

经过改动:Surely the wickedness of falsehoods and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgements of God upon the generations of men, it being foretold that when Christ comes He shall not find faith upon the earth.

译文:固然,弄虚作假与背弃诚信的罪恶怎样表达也不为过,因为那将是召唤上帝裁判人类的最后一次警钟;这钟声警告人类的世代子孙:人间没有诚信之日,就是基督降临之时。

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