中英双语版《沉思录》在线阅读朗读 - Book 4

时间 : 2013-10-05 12:25来源 : VOA官网 收听下载次数 :

THAT which rules within, when it is according to nature, is so affected with respect to the events which happen, that it always easily adapts itself to that which is and is presented to it. For it requires no definite material, but it moves towards its purpose, under certain conditions however; and it makes a material for itself out of that which opposes it, as fire lays hold of what falls into it, by which a small light would have been extinguished: but when the fire is strong, it soon appropriates to itself the matter which is heaped on it, and consumes it, and rises higher by means of this very material.

那在我们心中的支配部分,当它合乎本性时是如此爱好那发生的事情,以致它总是容易地使 自己适应于那可能发生和呈现于它的东西。因为它不要求任何确定的手段,而是在无论什么 条件下都趋向于自己的目标;它甚至从它对立的东西中为自己获得手段,就像火抓住落进火 焰中的东西一样。爝火会被落在它上面的东西压熄,但当火势强大时,它很快就占有和吞噬 了投在它上面的东西,借助于这些东西越烧越旺。

Let no act be done without a purpose, nor otherwise than according to the perfect principles of art.


Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest. For with what art thou discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to thy mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual enmity, suspicion, hatred, and fighting, have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes; and be quiet at last.- But perhaps thou art dissatisfied with that which is assigned to thee out of the universe.- Recall to thy recollection this alternative; either there is providence or atoms, fortuitous concurrence of things; or remember the arguments by which it has been proved that the world is a kind of political community, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps corporeal things will still fasten upon thee.- Consider then further that the mind mingles not with the breath, whether moving gently or violently, when it has once drawn itself apart and discovered its own power, and think also of all that thou hast heard and assented to about pain and pleasure, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee.- See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee.

人们寻求隐退自身,他们隐居于乡村茅屋,山林海滨;你也倾向于渴望这些事情。但这完全 是凡夫俗子的一个标记,因为无论什么时候你要退入自身你都可以这样做。因为一个人退到 任何一个地方都不如退入自己的心灵更为宁静和更少苦恼,特别是当他在心里有这种思想的 时候,通过考虑它们,他马上进入了完全的宁静。我坚持认为:宁静不过是心灵的井然有序。 那么你不断地使自己做这种隐退吧,更新你自己吧,让你的原则简单而又基本,这样,一旦 你要诉诸它们,它们就足以完全地净化心灵,使你排除所有的不满而重返家园。因为,你是 对什么不满呢?是对人们的邪恶不满吗?那就让你的心灵回忆起这一结论吧:理性的动物是 互相依存的,忍受亦是正义的一部分,人们是不自觉地行恶的;考虑一下有多少人在相互敌 视、怀疑、仇恨、战斗之后已经死去而化为灰烬;那就会终于使你安静下来。-但也许你是 不满于从宇宙中分配给你的东西-那么转而回忆一下这一思想:想想要末是神存在,要末是 原子,即事物的偶然配合存在;或者想想这些论据,它们证明了这个世界是一个政治社会, 那最终会使你安静。-但也许有形的事物还是要抓住你-那么进一步考虑一下:当心灵一旦 使自己与身体分开,发现了它自己的力量,它就不论是在平缓还是激烈地活动中,都不会使 自己与呼吸相混;也再想想你在痛苦和快乐方面所有你听到的和同意的;你将最终使你安静。 -但也许对于所谓名声的愿望将要折磨你-那么看一看一切事物是多么快地被忘却,看一看 过去和未来的无限时间的混沌;看一看赞美的空洞,看一看那些装作给出赞扬的人们判断的 多变和贫乏,以及赞扬所被限定的范围的狭隘,那么最终使你自己安静吧。因为整个地球是 一个点,你居住的地方又是地球上一个多么小的角落啊,在它上面存在的东西是多么的少啊, 而要赞扬你的人又是什么样的人呢?

This then remains: Remember to retire into this little territory of thy own, and above all do not distract or strain thyself, but be free, and look at things as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal. But among the things readiest to thy hand to which thou shalt turn, let there be these, which are two. One is that things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain immovable; but our perturbations come only from the opinion which is within. The other is that all these things, which thou seest, change immediately and will no longer be; and constantly bear in mind how many of these changes thou hast already witnessed. The universe is transformation: life is opinion.

那么仍旧把这牢记在心:记住退入你自身的小小疆域,尤其不要使你分心或紧张,而是保持 自由,像一个人,一个人的存在,一个公民,一个有死者一样去看待事物。在你手边你容易 碰到并注意的事物,让它们存在吧,那无非是这两种事物:一种是不接触心灵的事物,它们 是外在的,不可改变的,但我们的烦仅来自内心的意见;另一种是所有这些事物,你看到它 们是很快改变和消失的;始终牢记你已经目击过多少这样的变化。宇宙是流变,生活是意见。

If our intellectual part is common, the reason also, in respect of which we are rational beings, is common: if this is so, common also is the reason which commands us what to do, and what not to do; if this is so, there is a common law also; if this is so, we are fellow-citizens; if this is so, we are members of some political community; if this is so, the world is in a manner a state. For of what other common political community will any one say that the whole human race are members? And from thence, from this common political community comes also our very intellectual faculty and reasoning faculty and our capacity for law; or whence do they come? For as my earthly part is a portion given to me from certain earth, and that which is watery from another element, and that which is hot and fiery from some peculiar source (for nothing comes out of that which is nothing, as nothing also returns to non-existence), so also the intellectual part comes from some source.

如果我们的理智部分是共同的,就我们是理性的存在而言,那么,理性也是共同的,因此, 那命令我们做什么和不做什么的理性就也是共同的;因此,就也有一个共同的;我们就都是 同一类公民;就都是某种政治团体的成员;这世界在某种意义上就是一个国家。因为有什么 人会说整个类是别的政治共同体的成员?正是从此,从这个共同的政治团体产生出我们真正 的理智能力、推理能力和我们的法治能力,否则,它们是从哪里来的呢?因为,正像我身上 属土的部分是从某种土给予我的,某种属水的部分是从另一种元素得来的,某种炎热如火的 部分是从某一特殊源泉而来的(因为没有什么东西是来自无,也没有什么东西会复归于无), 所以理性的部分也来自某种源泉。

Death is such as generation is, a mystery of nature; a composition out of the same elements, and a decomposition into the same; and altogether not a thing of which any man should be ashamed, for it is not contrary to the nature of a reasonable animal, and not contrary to the reason of our constitution.

死亡像生殖一样是自然的一个秘密,是同一些元素的组合与分解,而全然不是人应当羞愧的 事情,因为它并不违反一个理性动物的本性,不违反我们的结构之理。

It is natural that these things should be done by such persons, it is a matter of necessity; and if a man will not have it so, he will not allow the fig-tree to have juice. But by all means bear this in mind, that within a very short time both thou and he will be dead; and soon not even your names will be left behind.

这些坏事应当由这样一些人做是自然的,这是一种必然的事情,如果一个人不允许这样,就 等于不允许无花果树有汁液。但无论如何要把这牢记在心:你和他都要在一个很短的时间里 死去,不久甚至连你的名字都要被人忘却。

Take away thy opinion, and then there is taken away the complaint, "I have been harmed." Take away the complaint, "I have been harmed," and the harm is taken away.

丢开你的意见,那么你就丢开了这种抱怨:"我受到了伤害。"而丢开"我受到了伤害"的抱怨, 这伤害也就消失了。

That which does not make a man worse than he was, also does not make his life worse, nor does it harm him either from without or from within.


The nature of that which is universally useful has been compelled to do this.


Consider that everything which happens, happens justly, and if thou observest carefully, thou wilt find it to be so. I do not say only with respect to the continuity of the series of things, but with respect to what is just, and as if it were done by one who assigns to each thing its value. Observe then as thou hast begun; and whatever thou doest, do it in conjunction with this, the being good, and in the sense in which a man is properly understood to be good. Keep to this in every action.

把一切发生的事情都看做是正当地发生的事情,如果仔细地观察,你将发现它就是这样。我在此不仅是指事物素列的连续性,而且指正当本身,仿佛它是由一个分派给每一事物以价值 的人所做的。那么像你开始时那样观察,无论你做什么,都参照着善,参照着你将在此意义 上被理解为是善的来做它,在一切行动中都贯彻这一点。

Do not have such an opinion of things as he has who does thee wrong, or such as he wishes thee to have, but look at them as they are in truth.

不要对事物抱一种那错待你的人所抱的同样意见,或者抱一种他希望你有的意见,而是要按 其本来面目看待事物。

A man should always have these two rules in readiness; the one, to do only whatever the reason of the ruling and legislating faculty may suggest for the use of men; the other, to change thy opinion, if there is any one at hand who sets thee right and moves thee from any opinion. But this change of opinion must proceed only from a certain persuasion, as of what is just or of common advantage, and the like, not because it appears pleasant or brings reputation.

一个人应当总是把这两条规则作为座右铭:一是仅仅做那支配的和立法的理性能力所建议的 有关对待人们利益的事情;另一是如果身边有什么人使你正确和使你摆脱意见,那就改变你 的意见。但这种意见的改变必须仅仅来自某种说服,就像对于何为公正或何为合乎共同利益 之类问题的说服一样,而不是由于它看来仅人愉快或带来名声。

Hast thou reason? I have.- Why then dost not thou use it? For if this does its own work, what else dost thou wish?

你有理性吗?我有。那为什么你不运用它呢?是因为当它要走这条路,你却希望别的东西 吗?

Thou hast existed as a part. Thou shalt disappear in that which produced thee; but rather thou shalt be received back into its seminal principle by transmutation.

你是作为一个部分存在。你将消失于那产生你的东西之中;但更确切地说,你将通过变形而 被收回到它的生殖原则中。

Many grains of frankincense on the same altar: one falls before, another falls after; but it makes no difference.

在同一祭坛上的大量乳香:一滴是先前落下的,一滴是后来落下的;而这并不使它们有何区 别。

Within ten days thou wilt seem a god to those to whom thou art now a beast and an ape, if thou wilt return to thy principles and the worship of reason.

如果你回到你的原则并崇敬理性的话,过十天你对人们就会像是一个神,而现在你对他们却 像是一头兽和一只猿。

Do not act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good.

不要像仿佛你将活一千年那样行动。死亡窥伺着你。当你活着,当善是在你力量范围之内, 你行善吧。

How much trouble he avoids who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only to what he does himself, that it may be just and pure; or as Agathon says, look not round at the depraved morals of others, but run straight along the line without deviating from it.

那不去探究他的邻人说什么、做什么或想什么,而只注意他自己所做的,注意那公正和纯洁 的事情的人,或者像厄加刺翁所说,那不环顾别人的道德堕落,而只是沿着正直的道路前进 的人,为自己免去了多少烦恼啊!

He who has a vehement desire for posthumous fame does not consider that every one of those who remember him will himself also die very soon; then again also they who have succeeded them, until the whole remembrance shall have been extinguished as it is transmitted through men who foolishly admire and perish. But suppose that those who will remember are even immortal, and that the remembrance will be immortal, what then is this to thee? And I say not what is it to the dead, but what is it to the living? What is praise except indeed so far as it has a certain utility? For thou now rejectest unseasonably the gift of nature, clinging to something else...

那对身后的名声有一强烈欲望的人没有想到那些回忆他的人自己很快也都要死去,然后他们 的子孙也要死去,直到全部的记忆都通过那些愚蠢地崇拜和死去的人们而终归湮灭无闻。但 假设那些将记住他的人甚至是永生不死的,因而这记忆将是记恒的,那么这对你又意味着什 么呢?我不说这对死者意味着什么,而是说这对生者意味着什么。赞扬,除非它的确有某种 用途,此外还是什么呢?由于你现在不合宜地拒绝了自然的这一礼物,而依附于别的一些事 物……

Everything which is in any way beautiful is beautiful in itself, and terminates in itself, not having praise as part of itself. Neither worse then nor better is a thing made by being praised. I affirm this also of the things which are called beautiful by the vulgar, for example, material things and works of art. That which is really beautiful has no need of anything; not more than law, not more than truth, not more than benevolence or modesty. Which of these things is beautiful because it is praised, or spoiled by being blamed? Is such a thing as an emerald made worse than it was, if it is not praised? Or gold, ivory, purple, a lyre, a little knife, a flower, a shrub?

在各方面都美的一切事物本身就是美的,其美是归于自身的,而不把赞扬作为它的一部分。 因此被赞扬就不使一个事物变好或变坏。我坚信这也适用于被平民称为美的事物,例如,物 质的东西或艺术的作品。那真正美的东西除了法则、真理、仁爱或节制之外,不需要任何别 的东西。而这些事物哪一个的美是因为它被赞扬才美,或者谴责会使它变丑呢?像祖母绿或 者黄金、象牙、紫袍、七弦琴、短剑、鲜花和树丛这样的东西,难道没受到赞扬就会使它们 变坏吗?

If souls continue to exist, how does the air contain them from eternity?- But how does the earth contain the bodies of those who have been buried from time so remote? For as here the mutation of these bodies after a certain continuance, whatever it may be, and their dissolution make room for other dead bodies; so the souls which are removed into the air after subsisting for some time are transmuted and diffused, and assume a fiery nature by being received into the seminal intelligence of the universe, and in this way make room for the fresh souls which come to dwell there. And this is the answer which a man might give on the hypothesis of souls continuing to exist. But we must not only think of the number of bodies which are thus buried, but also of the number of animals which are daily eaten by us and the other animals. For what a number is consumed, and thus in a manner buried in the bodies of those who feed on them! And nevertheless this earth receives them by reason of the changes of these bodies into blood, and the transformations into the aerial or the fiery element. What is the investigation into the truth in this matter? The division into that which is material and that which is the cause of form, the formal.

如果灵魂继续存在,大气怎么无穷地容纳它们呢?-然而大地又怎样容纳那些古往今来被埋 葬的人的尸体呢?在此正像这些尸体在保持一段时间之后变化一样,不论它们变成什么样 子,它们的分解都为别的尸体腾出了空间,那移入空气中的灵魂也是如此,在继续生存一段 时间之后变被改变和分解了,通过融入宇宙的一种再生的智慧而获得一种如火焰一样的性 质,以这种方式为到达那里的具肉的灵魂腾出地方。这就是一个人对灵魂继续存在的这种假 设可能给出的回答。但是我们不仅必须考虑如此被埋葬的尸体的数目,而且要考虑每天被我 们吃掉的动物以及别的肉食动物的数目。因为,被消费的是多大一个数目啊,这样,它们就 以某种方式被埋葬在那些以它们为食的人的身体中!不过大地依然通过把身体化为血,化为 如空气或火焰一般的元素而接受它们。在这件事上怎样探究才能接触到真理呢?通过划分质 料和形式因。

Do not be whirled about, but in every movement have respect to justice, and on the occasion of every impression maintain the faculty of comprehension or understanding.


Everything harmonizes with me, which is harmonious to thee, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early nor too late, which is in due time for thee. Everything is fruit to me which thy seasons bring, O Nature: from thee are all things, in thee are all things, to thee all things return. The poet says, Dear city of Cecrops; and wilt not thou say, Dear city of Zeus?

啊,宇宙,一切与你和谐的东西,也与我和谐。那于你是恰如其时的一切事情,对我也是恰 如其时。啊,自然,你的季节所带来的一切,于我都是果实:所有事物都是从你而来,都复 归于你。诗人说,亲爱的西克洛普之城;我不是也要说,亲爱的宙斯之城?

Occupy thyself with few things, says the philosopher, if thou wouldst be tranquil.- But consider if it would not be better to say, Do what is necessary, and whatever the reason of the animal which is naturally social requires, and as it requires. For this brings not only the tranquility which comes from doing well, but also that which comes from doing few things. For the greatest part of what we say and do being unnecessary, if a man takes this away, he will have more leisure and less uneasiness. Accordingly on every occasion a man should ask himself, Is this one of the unnecessary things? Now a man should take away not only unnecessary acts, but also, unnecessary thoughts, for thus superfluous acts will not follow after.

哲学家说,如果你愿意宁静,那就请从事很少的事情。但是想一想是否这样说更好:做必要 的事情,以及本性合群的动物的理性所要求的一切事情,并且像所要求的那样做。因为这不 仅带来由于做事适当而产生的宁静,而且带来由于做很少的事而产生的宁静。因为我们所说 和所做的绝大部分事情都是不必要的,一个人如果取消它们,他将有更多的闲暇和较少的不 适。因而一个人每做一件事都应当问问自己:这是不是一件必要的事情?一个人不仅应该取 消不必要的行为,而且应该丢弃不必要的思想,这样,无聊的行为就不会跟着来了。

Try how the life of the good man suits thee, the life of him who is satisfied with his portion out of the whole, and satisfied with his own just acts and benevolent disposition.


Hast thou seen those things? Look also at these. Do not disturb thyself. Make thyself all simplicity. Does any one do wrong? It is to himself that he does the wrong. Has anything happened to thee? Well; out of the universe from the beginning everything which happens has been apportioned and spun out to thee. In a word, thy life is short. Thou must turn to profit the present by the aid of reason and justice. Be sober in thy relaxation.

你见过那些事情吗?也要注意观察一下事情的另一面。不要扰乱你自己。要使你十分单纯。 有什么人对你行恶吗?那他也是对他自己行恶。有什么事对你发生吗?好,那亘古以来就从 宇宙中发生的一切是分配给你和为你纺织的。总之,你的生命是短促的。你必须借助理智和 正义而专注于利用现在,在你的放松中保持清醒。

Either it is a well-arranged universe or a chaos huddled together, but still a universe. But can a certain order subsist in thee, and disorder in the All? And this too when all things are so separated and diffused and sympathetic.

这要末是一个秩序井然的宇宙,要末是一团胡乱聚在一起的混沌,但仍然是一个宇宙。但怎 么可能在大全中无秩序,而在你之中却存在某种秩序呢?当所有事物都如此分离、分散和共 振时,在你之中也保持某种秩序。

A black character, a womanish character, a stubborn character, bestial, childish, animal, stupid, counterfeit, scurrilous, fraudulent, tyrannical.

一种凶恶的品格,一种懦弱的品格,一种顽固的品格,残忍的、稚气的、动物的、笨拙的、 虚伪的、下流的、欺诈的、专横的。

If he is a stranger to the universe who does not know what is in it, no less is he a stranger who does not know what is going on in it. He is a runaway, who flies from social reason; he is blind, who shuts the eyes of the understanding; he is poor, who has need of another, and has not from himself all things which are useful for life. He is an abscess on the universe who withdraws and separates himself from the reason of our common nature through being displeased with the things which happen, for the same nature produces this, and has produced thee too: he is a piece rent asunder from the state, who tears his own soul from that of reasonable animals, which is one.

如果他对宇宙是一个不知道其中有什么的局外人,那么他也是一个不知道其中在进行什么的 局外人。他是一个回避社会理性的逃亡者;是一个关闭理解之门的盲人,是一个需要别人而 非从自身中汲取对生活有用的所有东西的可怜虫。他是宇宙间的一个赘物,通过不满于发生 的事情使自己撤离和分隔于我们共同本性的理性,因为正是同一本性产生了这些事情,也产 征了他:他是从国家裂出的一块碎片,使自己的灵魂同那融为一体的各个理性动物的灵魂分 开。

The one is a philosopher without a tunic, and the other without a book: here is another half naked: Bread I have not, he says, and I abide by reason.- And I do not get the means of living out of my learning, and I abide by my reason.

一个是没有一件紧身外衣的哲学家,另一个是没有一本书的人,这后一种人也是一个半裸的 人。他说,我没有面包,我与理性同在。-我不从我的学识中获取衣食,我与我的理性同在.

Love the art, poor as it may be, which thou hast learned, and be content with it; and pass through the rest of life like one who has intrusted to the gods with his whole soul all that he has, making thyself neither the tyrant nor the slave of any man.

热爱胸所学的艺术吧,不管它可能是多么贫乏,满足于它,像一个以他整个的身心、全部的 所有信赖神的人一样度过你的余生,使你自己不成为任何人的暴君也不成为任何人的奴隶。

Consider, for example, the times of Vespasian. Thou wilt see all these things, people marrying, bringing up children, sick, dying, warring, feasting, trafficking, cultivating the ground, flattering, obstinately arrogant, suspecting, plotting, wishing for some to die, grumbling about the present, loving, heaping up treasure, desiring counsulship, kingly power. Well then, that life of these people no longer exists at all. Again, remove to the times of Trajan. Again, all is the same. Their life too is gone. In like manner view also the other epochs of time and of whole nations, and see how many after great efforts soon fell and were resolved into the elements. But chiefly thou shouldst think of those whom thou hast thyself known distracting themselves about idle things, neglecting to do what was in accordance with their proper constitution, and to hold firmly to this and to be content with it. And herein it is necessary to remember that the attention given to everything has its proper value and proportion. For thus thou wilt not be dissatisfied, if thou appliest thyself to smaller matters no further than is fit.

考虑一下例如维斯佩申的时代,你将看到所有这些事情:人们婚育、生病、死亡、交战、饮 宴、贸易、耕种、奉承、自大、多疑、阴谋、诅咒、抱怨、恋爱、聚财、欲求元老和王者的 权力。而这些人的生活现在已全然不复存在了。再回到图拉真的时代,所有的情况也是一样, 他们的生命也已逝去。也以同样的方式观察一下别的时代和整个民族,看看有多少人在巨大 的努力之后很快就倒下了,分解为元素。但是你应当主要想想那些你自己熟知的人们,他们 使自己分心于无益的事情,而不知道做合乎他们恰当的结构的事情,由此你坚定地坚持自己 的结构,满足于它。在此有必要记住,给予一切事物的注意,有它自己恰当的价值和比例。 因为这样你将不会不满足,只要你不过度地使自己注意小事。

The words which were formerly familiar are now antiquated: so also the names of those who were famed of old, are now in a manner antiquated, Camillus, Caeso, Volesus, Leonnatus, and a little after also Scipio and Cato, then Augustus, then also Hadrian and Antoninus. For all things soon pass away and become a mere tale, and complete oblivion soon buries them. And I say this of those who have shone in a wondrous way. For the rest, as soon as they have breathed out their breath, they are gone, and no man speaks of them. And, to conclude the matter, what is even an eternal remembrance? A mere nothing. What then is that about which we ought to employ our serious pains? This one thing, thoughts just, and acts social, and words which never lie, and a disposition which gladly accepts all that happens, as necessary, as usual, as flowing from a principle and source of the same kind.

先胶熟悉的词现在被废弃了,同样,那些过去名声赫赫的人的名字现在也在某种程度上被忘 却了,克米勒斯、凯撒、沃勒塞斯、利奥拉图斯以及稍后的西皮奥、加图,然后是奥古斯都, 还有赫德里安和安东尼。因为所有的事情很快就过去了,变成仅仅一种传说,完全的忘记亦 不久就要覆盖它们。我说的这些也适用于那些以各种奇异的方式引人注目的人,至于其余的 人,一旦他们呼出最后一口气,他们就死去了,没有人说起他们。总而言之,甚至一种永恒 的纪念又是什么呢?只是一个虚无。那么,我们真正应该做出认真努力的是什么呢?

Willingly give thyself up to Clotho, one of the Fates, allowing her to spin thy thread into whatever things she pleases.


Everything is only for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered.


Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are and to make new things like them. For everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be. But thou art thinking only of seeds which are cast into the earth or into a womb: but this is a very vulgar notion.

不断地观察所有在变化中被取代的事物,使你习惯于考虑到,宇宙的本性喜欢改变那存在的 事物并创造新的类似事物。因为一切现存的东西在某种意义都是那将要存在的东西的种子。 但你要仅仅考虑那撒在大地里或子宫里的种子:但这是一个很模糊的概念。

Thou wilt soon die, and thou art not yet simple, not free from perturbations, nor without suspicion of being hurt by external things, nor kindly disposed towards all; nor dost thou yet place wisdom only in acting justly.

你已不久于人世,但还没有使自己朴素单纯,摆脱烦恼,还没有摆脱对被外在事物损害的怀 疑,还没有养成和善地对待所有人的性情,还没有做到使你的智慧仅仅用于正直地行动。

Examine men's ruling principles, even those of the wise, what kind of things they avoid, and what kind they pursue.


What is evil to thee does not subsist in the ruling principle of another; nor yet in any turning and mutation of thy corporeal covering. Where is it then? It is in that part of thee in which subsists the power of forming opinions about evils. Let this power then not form such opinions, and all is well. And if that which is nearest to it, the poor body, is burnt, filled with matter and rottenness, nevertheless let the part which forms opinions about these things be quiet, that is, let it judge that nothing is either bad or good which can happen equally to the bad man and the good. For that which happens equally to him who lives contrary to nature and to him who lives according to nature, is neither according to nature nor contrary to nature.

对你是恶的东西并不存在于别人的支配原则之中,也不存在于你的身体的变化和变形之中。 那它在什么地方呢?是在你的这一部分。那儿存在着形成有关恶的意见的能力。那么让这种 能力不要形成这种意见,一切就都会正常。如果那最接近于它的可怜的身体被害破、灼伤、 化脓和腐烂,也还是要让那形成对这些事的意见的部分保持安静,亦即让它作出这样的判断: 即能同等地发生于好人和坏人的事情决不是恶。因为,同样发生于违背自然而生活的人与按 照自然而生活的人的事情,既不有悖于也不顺应于自然。

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being;and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web.

永远把宇宙看做一个活的东西,具有一个实体和一个灵魂;注意一切事物如何与知觉相关联, 与一个活着的东西的知觉相关联;一切事物如何以一种运动的方式活动着;一切事物如何是 一切存在的事物的合作的原因;也要注意那继续不断地纺线和网的各部分的相互关联。

Thou art a little soul bearing about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say.


It is no evil for things to undergo change, and no good for things to subsist in consequence of change.


Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too.

时间好像一条由发生的各种事件构成的河流,而且是一条湍急的河流,因为刚刚看见了一个 事物,它就被带走了,而另一个事物又来代替它,而这个也将被带走。

Everything which happens is as familiar and well known as the rose in spring and the fruit in summer; for such is disease, and death, and calumny, and treachery, and whatever else delights fools or vexes them.

每一件发生的事情都像春天的玫瑰和夏天的果实一样亲切并且为人熟知,因为疾病、死亡、 诽谤、背叛以及任何别的使愚蠢的人喜欢或烦恼的事情就是这样。

In the series of things those which follow are always aptly fitted to those which have gone before; for this series is not like a mere enumeration of disjointed things, which has only a necessary sequence, but it is a rational connection: and as all existing things are arranged together harmoniously, so the things which come into existence exhibit no mere succession, but a certain wonderful relationship.

在事物的系列中,跟在后面的总是与在前面的那些恰恰配合,因为这系列并不像一些无关联 的事物的单纯列举,仅只有必然的次序,而是一种合理的联系:正如一切存在的事物都被和 谐地安排在一起一样,新出现的事物不仅表现出继续,并且表现出某种奇妙的联系。

Always remember the saying of Heraclitus, that the death of earth is to become water, and the death of water is to become air, and the death of air is to become fire, and reversely. And think too of him who forgets whither the way leads, and that men quarrel with that with which they are most constantly in communion, the reason which governs the universe; and the things which daily meet with seem to them strange: and consider that we ought not to act and speak as if we were asleep, for even in sleep we seem to act and speak; and that we ought not, like children who learn from their parents, simply to act and speak as we have been taught.

始终记住赫拉克利特所说:土死变水,水死变气,气死变火,然后再倒过来。也想想那忘记 -3 1-了路向何处去的人,想想他们与他们最常接触的人的争吵,想想支配宇宙的理性,以及每日 发生的似乎对他们是陌生的事情;考虑我们不应当像仿佛我们睡着一般行动和言语(因为甚 至在睡眠时我们也有言行); 我们不应当像从父母学习的孩子一样,仅仅因为我们被教诲 而这样行动和言语。

If any god told thee that thou shalt die to-morrow, or certainly on the day after to-morrow, thou wouldst not care much whether it was on the third day or on the morrow, unless thou wast in the highest degree mean-spirited- for how small is the difference?- So think it no great thing to die after as many years as thou canst name rather than to-morrow.

如果有神告诉你,你将明天死去,或肯定在后天死去,你将不会太关心是否是明天还是后天, 除非你确实是精神极其贫乏,因为这差别是多么微小啊!所以,不要把按你能提出的许多年 时间后死去而非明天死去看成什么大事。

Think continually how many physicians are dead after often contracting their eyebrows over the sick; and how many astrologers after predicting with great pretensions the deaths of others; and how many philosophers after endless discourses on death or immortality; how many heroes after killing thousands; and how many tyrants who have used their power over men's lives with terrible insolence as if they were immortal; and how many cities are entirely dead, so to speak, Helice and Pompeii and Herculaneum, and others innumerable. Add to the reckoning all whom thou hast known, one after another. One man after burying another has been laid out dead, and another buries him: and all this in a short time. To conclude, always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what was yesterday a little mucus to-morrow will be a mummy or ashes. Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature, and end thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew.

不断地想这些事:有多少医生在频繁地对病人皱拢眉头之后死去;有多少占星家在提前很久 预告了别人的死亡之后也已死去;又有多少哲学家在不断地讨论死亡或不朽之后死去;多少 英雄在杀了成千上万人之后死去;多少暴君,仿佛他们是不死的一样,在以可怕的蛮横手段 使用他们对于人们生命的权力之后死去;又有多少城市,比如赫利斯、庞培、赫库莱尼恩以 及别的不可计数的城市被完全毁灭。再把你知道的所有人一个接一个地加在这上面,一个人 在埋葬了别人之后死了,另一个人又埋葬了他:所有这些都是发生在一段不长的时间里。总 之,要始终注意属人的事物是多么短暂易逝和没有价值,昨天是一点点黏液的东西,明天就 将成为木乃伊或灰尘。那么就请自然地通过这一小段时间,满意地结束你的旅行,就像一棵 橄榄成熟时掉落一样,感激产生它的自然,谢谢它生于其上的树木。

Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.


Unhappy am I because this has happened to me.- Not so, but happy am I, though this has happened to me, because I continue free from pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearing the future. For such a thing as this might have happened to every man; but every man would not have continued free from pain on such an occasion. Why then is that rather a misfortune than this a good fortune? And dost thou in all cases call that a man's misfortune, which is not a deviation from man's nature? And does a thing seem to thee to be a deviation from man's nature, when it is not contrary to the will of man's nature? Well, thou knowest the will of nature. Will then this which has happened prevent thee from being just, magnanimous, temperate, prudent, secure against inconsiderate opinions and falsehood; will it prevent thee from having modesty, freedom, and everything else, by the presence of which man's nature obtains all that is its own? Remember too on every occasion which leads thee to vexation to apply this principle: not that this is a misfortune, but that to bear it nobly is good fortune.

我是不幸的,因为这事对我发生了。-不要这样,而是想我是幸福的,虽然这件事发生了, 因为我对痛苦始终保持着自由,不为现在或将来的恐惧所压倒。因为像这样的一种事可能对 每一个人发生,但不是每一个人在这种场合都始终使自己免于痛苦。那么为什么不是一件幸 事而是一个不幸对我发生呢?你在所有情况下都把那并不偏离人的本性的东西称为一个人 的不幸吗?一个事物,当它并不违反人的本性的意志时,你会把它看成对人的本性的偏离 吗?好,你知道本性的意志,那这发生的事情将阻止你做一个正直、高尚、节制、明智和不 受轻率的意见和错误影响的人吗?难道它将阻止你拥有节制、自由和别的一切好品质吗?人 的本性正是在这些品质中获得所有属它自己的东西。记住在任何可能使你烦恼的场合都采用 这一原则:即这并非是一个不幸,而高贵地忍受它却是一个幸运。

It is a vulgar, but still a useful help towards contempt of death, to pass in review those who have tenaciously stuck to life. What more then have they gained than those who have died early? Certainly they lie in their tombs somewhere at last, Cadicianus, Fabius, Julianus, Lepidus, or any one else like them, who have carried out many to be buried, and then were carried out themselves. Altogether the interval is small between birth and death; and consider with how much trouble, and in company with what sort of people and in what a feeble body this interval is laboriously passed. Do not then consider life a thing of any value. For look to the immensity of time behind thee, and to the time which is before thee, another boundless space. In this infinity then what is the difference between him who lives three days and him who lives three generations?

通过重温那些紧紧抓住生命的人,对于蔑视死亡来说是一个通俗却仍不失为有用的帮助。他 们比那些早死的人获得了更多的东西吗?他们肯定最终仍得躺在什么地方的坟墓里。克迪斯 亚卢斯、费比厄斯、朱利安卢斯、莱皮德斯或任何类似于他们的人,他们埋葬了许多人,然 后是自己被埋葬。总之,生与死之间的距离是很短的,仔细想一下吧,生命是带着多少苦恼, 伴随着什么样的人,寄寓于多么软弱的身体而艰难地走过这一距离的,那么就不要把寿命看 做是一件很有价值的东西,看一看在你之后的无限时间,再看看在你之前的无限时间,在这 种无限面前,活三于和活三代之间有什么差别呢?

Always run to the short way; and the short way is the natural: accordingly say and do everything in conformity with the soundest reason. For such a purpose frees a man from trouble, and warfare, and all artifice and ostentatious display.

总是走直路,直路是自然的,相应地说和做一切符合健全理性的事情。因为这样一个使一个 人摆脱苦恼、战争及所有的诡计和炫耀.