论法的精神 ( 对古人有关风俗的一个悖论所做的解释)

at 4年前  ca 论法的精神经典语录  pv 1498  by FOR  

Explanation of a Paradox of the Ancients in respect to Manners.

That judicious writer, Polybius, informs us that music was necessary to soften the manners of the Arcadians, who lived in a cold, gloomy country; that the inhabitants of Cynete, who slighted music, were the cruellest of all the Greeks, and that no other town was so immersed in luxury and debauchery.

【Polybius:波利比乌斯,古罗马历史学家,本是希腊人,晚年才成为罗马公民。Arcadian:阿卡迪亚,曾是法国的殖民地,范围覆盖北美洲的东北部。Cynete:西内特。slighted music:忽视音乐。Immerse:沉浸。Debauchery:沉湎酒色(或毒品)】

Plato is not afraid to affirm that there is no possibility of making a change in music without altering the frame of government.【柏拉图直言不讳地说,要改变音乐就要改变国家的政治体制。】 Aristotle, who seems to have written his Politics only in order to contradict Plato, agrees with him, notwithstanding, in regard to the power and influence of music over the manners of the people.【在音乐对风俗的影响力方面,他与柏拉图的观点是一致的。】 This was also the opinion of Theophrastus, of Plutarch  and of all the ancients — an opinion grounded on mature reflection; being one of the principles of their polity.【Theophrastus :提奥夫拉斯图斯,提奥夫拉斯图斯早年来到雅典,在柏拉图指导下学习。柏拉图死后,亚里士多德第一次在莱斯波斯岛遇见了提奥夫拉斯图斯,从此他们结下了终生的友谊。Plutarch:普鲁塔克罗马帝国时代的希腊作家,哲学家,历史学家,以《比较列传》(又称《希腊罗马名人传》或《希腊罗马英豪列传》)一书闻名后世。】 Thus it was they enacted laws, and thus they required that cities should be governed.

This I fancy must be explained in the following manner. It is observable that in the cities of Greece, especially those whose .principal object was war, all lucrative arts and professions were considered unworthy of a freeman. 【尤其是在那些崇尚战争的城市,一切能够以赚取金钱为驱动力的工作和职业都被认为是一个自由人所不应该做的】"Most arts," says Xenophon, "corrupt and enervate the bodies of those that exercise them; they oblige them to sit in the shade, or near the fire. They can find no leisure, either for their friends or for the republic." It was only by the corruption of some democracies that artisans became freemen. This we learn from Aristotle, who maintains that a well-regulated republic will never give them the right and freedom of the city.【 lucrative :赚大钱的; 获利多的。Xenophon:色诺芬,雅典人,历史学家,苏格拉底的弟子。他以记录当时的希腊历史、苏格拉底语录而著称。enervate:使感到衰弱(或虚弱、无力)。】

Agriculture was likewise a servile profession, and generally practised by the inhabitants of conquered countries, such as the Helotes among the Lacedæmonians, the Periecians among the Cretans, the Penestes among the Thessalians, and other conquered people in other republics.【农业在当时仍然是一种奴隶性的职业,通常是由被征服地某些民族从事操作的】

In fine, every kind of low commerce was infamous among the Greeks; as it obliged a citizen to serve and wait on a slave, on a lodger, or a stranger. This was a notion that clashed with the spirit of Greek liberty; hence Plato in his Laws orders a citizen to be punished if he attempts to concern himself with trade.


Thus in the Greek republics the magistrates were extremely embarrassed. They would not have the citizens apply themselves to trade, to agriculture, or to the arts, and yet they would not have them idle. They found, therefore, employment for them in gymnic and military exercises; and none else were allowed by their institution.【gymnic:体育锻炼】 Hence the Greeks must be considered as a society of wrestlers and boxers. 【wrestler:摔跤运动员。boxer:拳击手】Now, these exercises having a natural tendency to render people hardy and fierce, there was a necessity for tempering them with others that might soften their manners. For this purpose, music, which influences the mind by means of the corporeal organs, was extremely proper. It is a kind of medium between manly exercises, which harden the body, and speculative sciences, which are apt to render us unsociable and sour. It cannot be said that music inspired virtue, for this would be inconceivable: but it prevented the effects of a savage institution, and enabled the soul to have such a share in the education as it could never have had without the assistance of harmony.【音乐遏制法律产生的凶恶,并且使心灵受到一种只有通过音乐的帮助才有可能受到的教育。】

Let us suppose among ourselves a society of men so passionately fond of hunting as to make it their sole employment; they would doubtless contract thereby a kind of rusticity and fierceness. But if they happen to imbibe a taste for music, we should quickly perceive a sensible difference in their customs and manners. In short, the exercises used by the Greeks could raise but one kind of passions, viz., fierceness, indignation, and cruelty. But music excites all these; and is likewise able to inspire the soul with a sense of pity, lenity, tenderness, and love. Our moral writers, who declaim so vehemently against the stage, sufficiently demonstrate the power of music over the mind.【音乐不但能刺激所有这些感情,而且能使心灵感知柔和、怜悯、仁慈和温情似水的情感。】

If the society above mentioned were to have no other music than that of drums, and the sound of the trumpet, would it not be more difficult to accomplish this end than by the more melting tones of softer harmony?【trumpet:喇叭】The ancients were therefore in the right when, under particular circumstances, they preferred one mode to another in regard to manners.【为了敦化民风,古人在某种情况下对音乐的形式加以更替是有其道理的】

But some will ask, why should music be pitched upon as preferable to any other entertainment? It is because of all sensible pleasures there is none that less corrupts the soul. We blush to read in Plutarch that the Thebans, in order to soften the manners of their youth, authorised by law a passion which ought to be proscribed by all nations.【Plutarch:普鲁塔克 Theban:底比斯】【在普卢塔克的著作中,我们不无羞怯地读到,底比斯人为了使年轻人的行为趋于柔和,竟以法律的形式规定了一种世界各国都应该禁止的爱情方式。 】

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