時間︰2014-07-17 00:54 作者︰未知 點擊︰

John Milton/約翰·彌爾頓(1608~1674),17世紀英國杰出的文學家,出生清教徒家庭,自幼愛好文學,博覽經典著作與歐陸各國文學,代表作《失樂園》、《復樂園》。

Good and evil we know in the field of this World grow up together almost inseparable; and the knowledge of good is so involved and interwoven with the knowledge of evil and in so many cunning resemblances hardly to be discerned, that those confused seeds which were imposed on Psyche as an incessant labour to cull out and sort asunder were not more intermixed. It was from out the rind of one apple tasted that the knowledge of good and evil as two twins cleaving together leapt forth into the World. And perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, that is to say of knowing good by evil. As therefore the state of man now is, what wisdom can there be to choose, what continence to forbeare, without the knowledge of evil? He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true warfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but sinks out of the race, where that immotal garland is tobe run for not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary…

我們所認識的善與惡在這個塵世的範圍內總是相伴生長,密不可分的;而善與惡的知識又是這樣的錯綜糾纏,且慣以形容酷肖的面目出現,這中間的紛紜程度,較之作為長期苦役而罰使塞娥不停分揀的混雜敗種,可能更有過之。誰能料到,善與惡的知識這對緊緊相依的孿生兄弟便是從一只吃過的隻果之中,破皮躍入這個世界的。這或許也即是昔年亞當曾經墜入其間的那個劫數——明善惡之辨,或曰,藉惡以知善。因此,既然人類已成為今天這種情形,試問離開對惡的知識,智慧將何得而選擇,堅忍又何從而施行?那種能將罪惡及其一切誘餌與聲色之樂一並擒拿在手,細加審視,而仍能知所趨避,而仍能明辨是非,而仍能擇善而從的人,這種人方不愧為真正善戰的基督徒。至于那種于德無所施,于行無所表的逋逃隱遁性的道德,那種從未有沖殺應敵之勞,而只是臨陣一逃了事的道德,我委實不敢贊一詞;須知不朽之花環是很少可以不備極艱苦而後得到的。顯然,我們所攜入這個世界的並非純真一片,我們所帶來的倒無慮是種種之不潔;致我們于純潔者是考驗,而考驗則必借相反的事物……

For as in a body, when the blood is fresh, the spirits pure and vigorous not only to vital but to rational faculties and those in the acutest and the pertest operations of wit and subtlety, it argues in what good plight and constitution the body is, so when the cheerfulness of the people is so sprightly up, as that it has not only wherewith to guard well its own freedom and safety but to spare, and to bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of controversy and new invention, it betokens us not degenerated, nor drooping to a fatal decay, but casting of fthe old and wrinkled skin of corruption to outlive these pangs and wax young again, entering the glorious ways of Truth and prosperous virtue destined to become great and honourable in these latter ages. Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant Nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks. Methinks I see her as an Eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam, purging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance, while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.

正像在軀體方面,當一個人的血液鮮活,各個基本器官與心智官能中的元氣精液純潔健旺,而這些官能又復于其機敏活潑的運用中恣騁其心智的巧慧的時候,往往可以說明這個軀體的狀況與組織異常良好那樣,同理,當一個民族心情歡快,意氣欣欣,非但能綽有余裕地去保障其自身的自由與安全,且能以余力兼及種種堅實而崇高的爭議與發明,這也會向我們表明了它沒有倒退,沒有陷入一蹶不振的地步,而是脫掉了衰朽腐敗的陳皺表皮,經歷了陣痛而重獲青春,從此步入足以垂懿範于今茲的真理與盛德的光輝坦途。我覺得,我在自己的心中仿佛瞥見了一個崇高而勇武的國家,好像一個強有力者那樣,正從其沉酣之中振身而起,風鬢凜然。我覺得,我仿佛瞥見它是一頭蒼鷹,正在掙脫著它幼時的健翮,它那目不稍瞬的雙楮因睜對中午的炎陽而被燃得火紅,繼而將它的久被欺誆的目光疾掃而下,俯瞰蕩漾著天上光輝的清泉本身,而這時無數怯懦群居的小鳥,還有那些性喜昏暗時分的鳥類,卻正在一片鼓噪,上下翻飛,對蒼鷹的行徑詫怪不已;而眾鳥的這種惡毒的唧唧喳喳將預示著未來一年的派派系系。

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