罗素:闲暇赋

In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell

《闲暇颂》中英文对照

正如和我同时代的大多数人一样,我是在这样的谚语中长大的:“游手好闲,魔鬼也嫌。” Like most of my generation, I was brought up on the saying: ‘Satan finds some mischief for idle hands to do.’

我是个乖孩子,人们说什么,我就信什么。这种道德信条,让我勤奋工作至今。

Being a highly virtuous child, I believed all that I was told, and acquired a conscience which has kept me working hard down to the present moment.

但是,尽管我的道德信条仍控制着我的行动,我的看法却已经历了一场革命。

But although my conscience has controlled my actions, my opinions have undergone a revolution.

我认为在这个世界上,人们做的工作实在是过多了。工作即美德的观念,对人们造成了极大的损害。现代工业国家需要宣扬一些与过去全然不同的信念。

I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached. 大家都知道这个故事:到那不勒斯的游人看到十二个叫花子躺着晒太阳(事情发生在墨索里尼时代之前),要给其中最懒的一个一里拉,有十一个跳起来说自己最懒,该给自己,他却把钱给了第十二个。

Everyone knows the story of the traveler in Naples who saw twelve beggars lying in the sun (it was before the days of Mussolini), and offered a lira to the laziest of them. Eleven of them jumped up to claim it, so he gave it to the twelfth.

这个游人是对的。但是,在不欣赏地中海阳光的国家里,想要闲散就困难多了,得要大规模的宣传来开新风气。

this traveler was on the right lines. But in countries which do not enjoy Mediterranean sunshine idleness is more difficult, and a great public propaganda will be required to inaugurate it.

我希望,在读了下面的文字后,基督教青年会的领袖们能掀起一场运动,劝导好青年们闲散一些。这样的话,我也算没白活了。

I hope that, after reading the following pages, the leaders of the YMCA will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

在我为懒惰进行辩解之前,我得先撇清一种我无法接受的说法:一个生活已经富足的人,如果还打算从事日常的职业,比如教书或打字,人们会说他(或她)这种行为是恶劣的,无异于从别人嘴里抢面包。

Before advancing my own arguments for laziness, I must dispose of one which I cannot accept. Whenever a person who already has enough to live on proposes to engage in some everyday kind of job, such as school-teaching or typing, he or she is told that such conduct takes the bread out of other people’s mouths, and is therefore wicked. 如果这种说法不错,那我们大家就都只须闲呆着,我们的嘴里就能塞满面包了。

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