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(reminder: all quotes here are fiddled, probably.)


Of Studies by Francis Bacon


A1/ 讀書足以怡情,足以傅彩,足以長才。其怡情也,最見於獨處幽居之時;其傅彩也,最見於高談闊論之中;其長才也,最見於處世判事之際。
STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment, and disposition of business.

A2/ 練達之士雖能分別處理細事,或一一判別枝節,然縱觀統籌、全局策劃,則舍好學深思者莫屬。
For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best, from those that are learned.

A3/ 讀書費時過多易惰,文采藻飾太盛則矯,全憑條文斷事乃學究故態。
To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar.

A4/ 讀書補天然之不足,經驗又補讀書之不足,蓋天生才幹猶如自然花草,讀書然後知如何修剪移接;而書中所示,如不以經驗範之,則又大而無當。
They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need proyning, by study; and studies themselves, do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.

A5/ 有一技之長者鄙讀書,無知者羨讀書,唯明智之士用讀書,然書並不以用處告人,用書之智不在書中,而在書外,全憑觀察得之。
Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation.

A6/ 讀書時不可存心詰難作者,不可盡信書上所言,亦不可只為尋章摘句,而應推敲細思。
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.

A7/ 書有可淺嘗者,有可吞食者,少數則須咀嚼消化。換言之,有只須讀其部分者,有只須大體涉獵者,少數則須全讀,讀時須全神貫注,孜孜不倦。
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

A8/ 書亦可請人代讀,取其所作摘要,但只限題材較次或價值不高者,否則書經提煉猶如水經蒸餾、淡而無味矣。
Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them bothers; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books, else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things.


B1/ 讀書使人充實,討論使人機智,筆記使人準確。因此不常作筆記者須記憶特強,不常討論者須天生聰穎,不常讀書者須欺世有術,始能無知而顯有知。
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know, that he doth not.

B2/ 讀史使人明智,讀詩使人靈秀,數學使人周密,科學使人深刻,倫理學使人莊重,邏輯修辭之學使人善辯:凡有所學,皆成性格。
Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores.

B3/ 人之才智但有滯礙,無不可讀適當之書使之順暢,一如身體百病,皆可借相宜之運動除之。滾球利睾腎,射箭利胸肺,慢步利腸胃,騎術利頭腦,諸如此類。
Nay, there is no stand or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as diseases of the body, may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach; riding for the head; and the like.

B4/ 如智力不集中,可令讀數學,蓋演題須全神貫注,稍有分散即須重演;如不能辨異,可令讀經院哲學,蓋是輩皆吹毛求疵之人;
So if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again. If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the Schoolmen; for they are cymini sectors.

B5/ 如不善求同,不善以一物闡證另一物,可令讀律師之案卷。如此頭腦中凡有缺陷,皆有特藥可醫。
If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases. So every defect of the mind, may have a special receipt.




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