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2013年经典散文译文欣赏:论幸运 Of Fortune

 It cannot be denied, but outward accidents conduce much to fortune, favour, opportunity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue. But chiefly, tile mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands.(Faber quisque fortunae suae; saith the poet )

  And the most frequent of external causes is, that the folly of one man is the fortune of another. For no man prospers so suddenly, as by others' errors. Serpens nisi serpenterm comederit non fit draco. Overt and apparent virtues bring forth praise; but there be secret and hidden virtues, that bring forth fortune; certain deliveries of a man's self, which have no name. The Spanish name, desemboltura, partly expresseth them: when there be not stonds, nor resdveness in a man's nature; but that the wheels of his mind keep way with the wheels of his fortune. For so Livy (after he had described Cato Major, in these words; in ilh viro, tanturn robur corporis et animi fiit, ut quocwique loco natus esset ,fortunarus sibi facturs videretur) falleth upon that, that he had versatile ingenium Therefore, if a man look sharply, and attentively, he shall see fortune: for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible.
  The way of fortune is like the Milken Way in the sky; which is a meeting or knot of a number of small stars; not seen asunder, but giving light together. So are there a number of little, and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate.
  The Italians note some of them, such as a man would little think. When they speak of one that cannot do amiss, they will throw in, into his other conditions, that he hath poco di motto. And certainly, there be not two more fortunate properties; than to have a little of the fool; and not too much of the honest. Therefore, extreme lovers of their country, or masters, were never fortunate, neither can they be. For when a man placeth his thoughts without himself, he goeth not his own way. An hasty fortune maketh an enterpriser, and remover (the French hath it better, entrepreneur, or remuamt), but the exercised fortune maketh the able man. Fortune is to be honoured, and respected, and it be but for her daughters, Confidence, and Reputation. For those two felicity hreedeth: the first within a man's self; the latter, in others towards him.
  All wise men, to decline me envy of their own virtues, use to ascribe them to providence and fortune; for so they may the better assume them: and besides, it is greatness in a man, to be the care of me higher powers. So Caesar said to me pilot in the tempest, Caesarem portas, etfortunam ene. So Sulla chose the name of Felix, and not of Magnus. And it hath been noted, that those that ascribe openly too much to their own wisdom, and policy, end unfortunate. It is written, that
  Timotheus the Athenian, after he had, in the account he gave to the state of his government, often interlaced this speech, 'and in mis fortune had no part', never prospered in anything he undertook afterwards. Certainly, mere be, whose fortunes are like Homer's verses, that have a slide, and easiness, more than the verses of other poets: as Plutarch sailh of Timoleon's fortune, in respect of that of Agesilaus, or Epaminondas. And that this should be, no doubt it is much in a man's self.




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