1.21 Maxims

  • The constancy of the wise is only the talent of concealing the agitation of their hearts.

  • Neither the sun nor death can be looked at without winking.[直视太阳和死亡,不能不眨眼。]

  • If we had no pride we should not complain about that of others.

  • We have not enough strength to follow all our reasons

  • We are never so happy or so unhappy as we suppose.

  • What grace is to the body, good sense is to the mind.[优雅之于身体,犹如良知之于精神。]

  • Our distrust of another justifies his deceit.

  • In the intercourse of life, we please more by our faults than by our good qualities.

  • There are different kinds of curiosity: one springs from interest, which makes us desire to know everything that may be profitable to us; another from pride, which springs from a desire of knowing what others are ignorant of.

  • There are relapses in the diseases of the mind as in those of the body; what we call a cure is often no more than an intermission or change of disease.

  • We easily forget those faults which are known only to ourselves.

  • Sovereign ability consists in knowing the value of things.

  • There is great ability in knowing how to conceal one’s ability.

  • Interest sets at work all sorts of virtues and vices.

Humility is often a feigned ( 假装的)submission which we employ to supplant others. It is one of the devices of pride to lower us to raise us; and truly pride transforms itself in a thousand ways, and is never so well disguised and more able to deceive than when it hides itself under the form of humility. [谦卑往往是一种假装的顺从,人们利用它来排挤掉别人。谦虚还是骄傲的一种诡计,它以退为进,以贬求扬。虽然骄傲形式各异,却没有任何一种能比隐藏在谦卑的形象下更具隐蔽性和欺骗性了。] Good taste arises more from judgment than wit. [良好的品味更多来自判断而非理性] What we call liberality is often but the vanity of giving which we like more than that we give away. [被称之为“慷慨”,往往不过是赠予者的虚荣心,人们对这种虚荣心花费的心思远远超过自己所赠送出去的东西] Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great one as the wind blow out a candle, and blow in a fire. Pride, which inspires, often serves to moderate envy. [骄傲,既激起我们对他人的嫉妒心,也不断地帮助我们缓和它。] What commonly hinders us from showing the recesses of our heart to our friends is not the distrust we have of them, but that we have of ourself. [能阻止人们向朋友透露自己内心隐私的,通常不是对朋友的不信任,而是对自己的不信任。] Weak persons can’t be sincere. We pardon in the degree that we love. To be a great man one should know how to profit by every phase of fortune. We hardly find any persons of good sense, except those who agree with us. The greatest miracle of love is to eradicate flirtation. [爱情的最大奇迹在于它杜绝了调情] Ordinary men commonly condemn what is beyond them. The desire of talking about ourselves, and of putting our fault in the light we wish them be seem, forms a great part of our sincerity. [谈论自己和把我们愿给别人看的那些缺点亮出来的欲望,构成了我们的真诚的一大部分] A man is often more clever than one other, but not than all others. It appears that nature has hidden at the bottom of our hearts talents and abilities unknown to us. It is only the passions that have the power of bringing them to light, and sometimes give us views more true and more perfect than art could possibly do. [本性是潜藏在我们心灵深处的不为我们所知的各种才智和能力,有能力揭开它面纱的只有激情] We reach quite inexperienced the different stages of life, and often, in spite of the number of our years, we lack experience. [我们毫无经验地抵达人生的不同时期,而且无论我们在哪个年龄阶段,我们总是缺少那一时期的经验] “To most men experience is like the stern lights of a ship which illumine only the track it has passed———Coleridge”

The most dangerous folly of old persons who have been lovable is to forget that they are no longer so.

Hui: hope it is not that bad……

In love the quickest is always the best cure. Few knows how to be old. Penetration has a spice of divination in it which tickles our vanity more than any other quality of the mind. [洞察力有一副预言家的神奇,它比精神的其它特性都更能满足我们的虚荣心。] In the old age of love as in life we still survive for the evils, though no longer for the pleasure. Nothing prevents our being unaffected so much as our desire to seem so.[没有什么比期望看起来不矫揉造作更加矫揉造作的了] However disposed the world may be to judge wrongly, it far often favors false merit than than does justice to true. [无论这个世界如何规划布置,它仍可能是不公平的,它总是宠爱伪善的德行,而非公正地对待真正的德行] There are few women whose charm survives their beauty. It is only people who possess firmness who can possess true gentleness. In those who appear gentle, it is generally only weakness, which is readily converted into harshness.[只有那些拥有坚强力量的人,才能拥有真正的温文尔雅。那些仅仅外表表现为温文尔雅的人,通常不过是软弱而已,并且这种文雅会轻易地转变为粗俗不堪] Usually we are more satirical ’tɪrɪkl from vanity than malice. [一般来说人们的尖酸刻薄主要来自虚荣心而非心怀恶意] We have more idleness in the mind than in the body. Quarrels would not last long if the fault was only on one side.