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        Of Love 論愛情 - 培根


        The stage is more beholding to love, than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever matter of comedies, and now and then of tragedies; but in life it doth much mischief; sometimes like a siren, sometimes like a fury.
        You may observe, that amongst all the GREat and worthy persons (whereof the memory remaineth, either ancient or recent) there is not one, that hath been transported to the mad deGREe of love: which shows that GREat spirits, and GREat business, do keep out this weak passion. You must except, nevertheless, Marcus Antonius, the half partner of the empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius, the decemvir and lawgiver; whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man, and inordinate; but the latter was an austere and wise man: and therefore it seems (though rarely) that love can find entrance, not only into an open heart, but also into a heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept.
        It is a poor saying of Epicurus, Satis magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus; as if man, made for the contemplation of heaven, and all noble objects, should do nothing but kneel before a little idol, and make himself a subject, though not of the mouth (as beasts are), yet of the eye; which was given him for higher purposes.
        It is a strange thing, to note the excess of this passion, and how it braves the nature, and value of things, by this; that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole, is comely in nothing but in love. Neither is it merely in the phrase; for whereas it hath been well said, that the arch-flatterer, with whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man's self; certainly the lover is more. For there was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself, as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, That it is impossible to love, and to be wise. Neither doth this weakness appear to others only, and not to the party loved; but to the loved most of all, except the love be reciproque. For it is a true rule, that love is ever rewarded, either with the reciproque, or with an inward and secret contempt.
        過度的愛情追求,必然會降低人本身的價值。例如,只有在愛情中,才總是需要那種浮夸陷媚的詞令。而在其他場合,同樣的詞令只能招人恥笑。古人有一句名言: “最大的奉承,人總是留給自己的。”----只有對情人的奉承要算例外。因為甚至最驕傲的人,也甘愿在情人面前自輕自賤。所以古人說得好:“就是神在愛情中也難保持聰明。”情人的這種弱點不僅在外人眼中是明顯的,就是在被追求者的眼中也會很明顯----除非她(他)也在追求他(她)。所以,愛情的代價就是如此,不能得到回愛,就會得到一種深藏于心的輕蔑,這是一條永真的定律。
        By how much the more, men ought to beware of this passion, which loseth not only other things, but itself! As for the other losses, the poet's relation doth well figure them: that he that preferred Helena, quitted the gifts of Juno and Pallas. For whosoever esteemeth too much of amorous affection, quitteth both riches and wisdom.
        This passion hath his floods, in very times of weakness; which are GREat prosperity, and GREat adversity; though this latter hath been less observed: both which times kindle love, and make it more fervent, and therefore show it to be the child of folly. They do best, who if they cannot but admit love, yet make it keep quarters; and sever it wholly from their serious affairs, and actions, of life; for if it check once with business, it troubleth men's fortunes, and maketh men, that they can no ways be true to their own ends.
        I know not how, but martial men are given to love: I think, it is but as they are given to wine; for perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures.
        There is in man's nature, a secret inclination and motion, towards love of others, which if it be not spent upon some one or a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, and maketh men become humane and charitable; as it is seen sometime in friars.
        Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth, and embaseth it.

        (1) 古希臘神話,傳說地中海有魔女,歌喉動聽,誘使過往船只陷入險境。
        (2) 原文為“Flries”,傳說中的地獄之神。
        (3) 安東尼,愷撒部將。后因迷戀女色而戰敗被殺??藙诘讈?,古羅馬執政官,亦因好色而被殺。
        (4) 埃辟克拉斯(前342--前270年),古羅馬哲學家。
        (5) 古希臘神話,傳說天后赫拉,智慧之神密納發和美神維納斯,為爭奪金蘋果,請特洛伊王子評
        判。三神各許一愿, 密納發許以智慧,維納斯許以美女海倫,天后許以財富。結果王子把金



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