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论读书

“Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”
Francis Bacon

写在前面

读书,是个永恒的话题。

从小到大,每个不同的人生阶段,我都会不时反思这个命题。比如 2016 年,我曾这样总结

上一篇文章是读书记录,所以这个问题又出现了。

有必要再咂摸一番…

论读书

如果你对得起语文老师,相信会对这段话很熟:“读史使人明智,读诗使人灵秀…”

再多的,大多数人都已忘记。

今天,我找来了培根的这篇英文原文,一来用经典充电,二来学习英语,一石二鸟,何乐不为。

原文

Of Studies
——Francis Bacon

  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. 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.
  To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament is affection; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humor of a scholar. They perfect nature and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study, and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.
  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. Read not to contradict and confuse; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.
  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 ready wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy and extracts made of them by others; 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.
  Reading makes 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.
  Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.
  Abeunt studia in mores. Nay there is no stond 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. 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 sectores. 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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翻译

论读书
——喵小哥译

  读书可以供人怡情,让人文雅,获得技能。怡情,常见于归休独处之时;文雅,常见于高谈阔论之中;技能,常见于明辨是非之际。有经验但无学识的人虽能处理好细节或判断一事一物,但纵观统筹、全局策划,只有博学之人才能做到。
  读书费时过多则容易让人犯懒,过度炫耀学识则会变得矫作,全靠书本知识办事则显得像书呆子。读书可完善天性之不足,经验又能补读书之不足:天生的植物需要人工修剪,人类的本性也需要学问指导;而学问又必须通过经验来检验,否则大而无当。
  机灵的人鄙视读书,愚笨的人羡慕读书,明智的人用心读书。读书本身并不会告诉你有什么用,而是靠你依傍生活得到智慧。读书不能钻牛角尖,也不能尽信书中言论,更不能只为高谈阔论,而是应该仔细推敲,独立思考。
  书,有的闻个味道即可,有的狼吞虎咽即可,但还有少数则必须细嚼慢咽。也就是说,有的书只须选读跳读,有的书只须快速通读,有的少数书籍则需逐字逐句,全神贯注,孜孜不倦。书可以请人代读,取其所作摘要,但只限题材较为不重要或价值不高的书,否则书经提炼犹如水经蒸馏,食之无味。
  读书使人充实,讨论使人机智,写作使人精细。因此不常动笔的人须记忆特强,不常讨论的人须天资聪颖,不常读书的人须狡诈有术,掩饰自己的无知。
  读史使人明智,读诗使人灵秀,数学使人周密,科学使人深刻,论理学使人庄重,逻辑修辞使人善辩。
  凡有所学,皆成性格。不仅如此,读书可以解除心智上的障碍,就像通过锻炼可以消除身体疾病一样。滚球有益于睾肾,射箭有益于胸肺,慢步有益于肠胃,骑术有益于头脑,等等。如果不善集中注意力,就去学数学,因为计算时须全神贯注,稍有分神就得从头再来;如果不能明辨差异,就去读经院哲学,因为他们都吹毛求疵;如果不会处理事务,不善举一反三、触类旁通,就去读律师的案例。因此,心智上的每一种缺陷都有专门的补救良方。

结语

读书,是一件 投资回报率最高 的事情。

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