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英语辅导报大学二年级版:Of Beauty 论美
http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/04/27 15:12  英语辅导报

  Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set; and surely virtue is best, in a body that is comely, though not of delicate features; and that hath rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect.


  Neither is it almost seen, that very beautiful persons are otherwise of great virtue; as if nature were rather busy, not to err, than in labor to produce excellency.


  And therefore they prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study rather behavior, than virtue. But this holds not always: for Augustus Caesar, Titus Vespasianus, Philip le Belle of France, Edward the Fourth of England, Alcibiades of Athens, Ismael the Sophy of Persia, were all high and great spirits; and yet the most beautiful men of their times.


  In beauty, that of favor(1), is more than that of color; and that of decent(2) and gracious motion, more than that of favor.


  That is the best part of beauty, which a picture cannot express; no, nor the first sight of the life.


  There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. A man cannot tell whether Apelles, or Albert Durer, were the more trifler; whereof the one, would make a personage by geometrical proportions; the other, by taking the best parts out of divers faces, to make one excellent. Such personages, I think, would please nobody, but the painter that made them.


  Not but I think a painter may make a better face than ever was; but he must do it by a kind of felicity (as a musician that maketh(3) an excellent air in music), and not by rule.


  A man shall see faces, that if you examine them part by part, you shall find never a good; and yet altogether do well.


  If it be true that the principal part of beauty is in decent motion, certainly it is no marvel, though persons in years seem many times more amiable; pulchrorum autumnus pulcher(4); for no youth can be comely but by pardon(5), and considering the youth, as to make up the comeliness.


  Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last; and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of countenance; but yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtue shine, and vices blush.



  1. favor: appearance模样,容貌

  2. decent: free from indelicacy; modest高雅体面的

  3. maketh:古英语中make的第三人称单数形式

  4. pulchrorum autumnus pulcher: beautiful persons have a beautiful autumn

  5. pardon: allowance or forgiveness原谅


  弗朗西斯·培根(Francis Bacon,1561-1626)17世纪英国著名的思想家、政治家和经验主义哲学家,同时又是实验科学的先驱者,出身于伦敦的一个新贵族家庭。他12岁进入剑桥大学三一学院读书;1576年受命赴巴黎,出任英国驻法国大使随员;后于1582年转而从事律师工作,并当选为国会议员;1618年被任命为大法官兼上议院议长。1626年因在一次关于雪的防腐作用的野外试验中受风寒而逝世,终年65岁。




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