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英语美文:The strenuous life 艰辛的人生

A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as an individual.

一种怠惰安逸的生活,一种仅仅是由于缺少追寻伟大事物的愿望或能力而导致的悠闲,这对国家与个人都是没有价值的。

We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious efforts, the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort. Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past. A man can be free from the necessity of work only by the fact that he or his fathers before him have worked to good purpose. If the freedom thus purchased is used aright, and the man still does actual work, though of a different kind, whether as a writer or a general, whether in the field of politics or in the field of exploration and adventure, he shows he deserves his good fortune.

我们不欣赏那种怯懦安逸的人。我们钦佩那种表现出奋力向上的人,那种永不冤枉邻人,能随时帮助朋友,但是也具有那些刚健的性质,足以在实际生活的严酷斗争中获取胜利的人。失败是艰难的,但是从不曾努力去争取成功,却更为糟糕。在人的一生中,任何的收获都要通过努力去得到。目前不用作任何的努力,只是意味着在过去有过努力的积储。一个人不必工作,除非他或他的祖先曾经努力工作过,并取得了丰厚的收获。如果他能把换取到的此类的自由加以正确地运用,仍然做些实际的工作,尽管那些工作是属于另一类的,不论是作一名作家还是将军,不论是在政界还是在探险和冒险方面做些事情,都表明了他没有辜负自己的好运。

But if he treats this period of freedom from the need of actual labor as a period, not of preparation, but of mere enjoyment, even though perhaps not of vicious enjoyment, he shows that he is simply a cumberer on the earth's surface; and he surely unfits himself to hold his own place with his fellows, if the need to do so should again arise. A mere life of ease is not in the end a very satisfactory life, and, above all, it is a life which ultimately unfits those who follow it for serious work in the world.

但是,如果他将这段不需从事实际工作的自由时期,不用于准备,而仅仅是用于享乐(尽管他所从事的或许并非邪恶的享乐),那就表明了他只是地球表面上的一个赘疣;而且他肯定无法在同僚之中维持自己的地位,如果那种需要再度出现的话。安逸的生活终究不是一种令人很满意的生活,而且,最主要的是,过那种生活的人最终肯定没有能力担当起世上之重任。

As it is with the individual, so it is with the nation. It is a base untruth to say that happy is the nation that has no history. Thrice happy is the nation that has a glorious history. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

于个人如此,对国家也是这样。有人说一个没有历史的国家是得天独厚的,这是卑鄙的谎言。一种得天独厚的优越感来源于一个国家具有光荣的历史。冒险去从事伟大的事业,赢得光荣的胜利,即使其中掺杂着失败,那也远胜于与那些既没有享受多大快乐也没有遭受多大痛苦的平庸之辈为伍,因为他们生活在一个既享受不到胜利也遭遇不到失败的灰暗境界里。

英语美文:The strenuous life 艰辛的人生

 

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