论法的精神 (民主政体的原则)

at 4年前  ca 论法的精神经典语录  pv 1485  by 名著  

1.Of the Principle of Democracy.

There is no great share of probity necessary to support a monarchical or despotic government. The force of laws in one, and the prince's arm in the other, are sufficient to direct and maintain the whole. But in a popular state, one spring more is necessary, namely, virtue.

Probity:正直,诚实

君主政体和专制政体的维护和支持并无更多的道德可言。君主政体有法律作支撑,专制政体有君王永远高悬的手臂,两者治理着一切。但是在平民政体的国家里,却更需要另一种动力,这就是美德。

    

What I have here advanced is confirmed by the unanimous testimony of historians, and is extremely agreeable to the nature of things.

Unanimous:无异议的

我所叙述的观点不但被历史学界证实,而且非常符合事物的性质。

 

For it is clear that in a monarchy, where he who commands the execution of the laws generally thinks himself above them, there is less need of virtue than in a popular government, where the person entrusted with the execution of the laws is sensible of his being subject to their direction.

因为那是显而易见的,在君主政体里,下令执行法律的人自认为是凌驾于法律之上的,因此应具备的品德水准低于平民政治的国家。而平民政体中,下令执行法律的人觉得自己也要受法律约束,并且要承担其责任。

   

Clear is it also that a monarch who, through bad advice or indolence, ceases to enforce the execution of the laws, may easily repair the evil;

因为听信不良的劝告或是由于疏忽而出现法律无法执行的情况,君王能够较容易地弥补这个过失,这一点也是显而易见的。


he has only to follow other advice; or to shake off this indolence. But when, in a popular government, there is a suspension of the laws, as this can proceed only from the corruption of the republic, the state is certainly undone.

 indolence怠惰

他只需听取其他人的正确意见,或是纠正自己的错误就行了。但是在平民政体下,如果法律一旦无法执行,就只能被认为是由于共和国的腐败所致,此时的国家已经危在旦夕。

   

A very droll spectacle it was in the last century to behold the impotent efforts of the English towards the establishment of democracy.

Droll:滑稽古怪的;离奇可笑的

上世纪英国人竭尽全力要建立民主政体,但是最终徒劳无功,就像上演了一场壮观的话剧。


As they who had a share in the direction of public affairs were void of virtue; as their ambition was inflamed by the success of the most daring of their members;as the prevailing parties were successively animated by the spirit of faction, the government was continually changing:

Prevailing:占优势的 Faction:派系

因为那些参政的人们毫无品德,却有被某个最有魄力的成功之人激起的野心;占有优势的派系往往被另一种宗派主义遏制,因此,政府不断地更迭;


the people, amazed at so many revolutions, in vain attempted to erect a commonwealth. At length, when the country had undergone the most violent shocks, they were obliged to have recourse to the very government which they had so wantonly proscribed.

Commonwealth:联邦;共和国;团体   recourse:依靠;求援;诉诸

Wantonly:有意伤害的;肆无忌惮的    proscribed:宣布禁止

惊愕的人民寻求民主政体无果,不得不寄希望于之前被废除的政体,因为他们已经受够了无数的动乱,

   

When Sylla thought of restoring Rome to her liberty, this unhappy city was incapable of receiving that blessing. She had only the feeble remains of virtue, which were continually diminishing. Instead of being roused from her lethargy by Cæsar, Tiberius, Caius Claudius, Nero, and Domitian, she riveted every day her chains; if she struck some blows, her aim was at the tyrant, not at the tyranny.

Lethargy [ˈleθədʒi]:慵懒;倦怠;没精打采         rivet['rɪvɪt]: 铆钉;包头钉

当苏拉意欲还自由于罗马,可罗马气数已尽,它只残留下微弱的美德且日益减少。罗马在经历了恺撒、提贝留斯、盖犹斯、格老狄乌斯、尼禄和多密先之后,依旧没有醒悟,倒是被奴役程度越来越深,所有的责任都归于暴君,却没有一次是归于暴政。

  

The politic Greeks, who lived under a popular government, knew no other support than virtue. The modern inhabitants of that country are entirely taken up with manufacture, commerce, finances, opulence, and luxury.

生活在平民政治中的希腊政治家很清楚,自身的品德是赢得支持的关键。而今天的希腊人只是谈论工艺、贸易、财政、财富、奢侈。

   

When virtue is banished, ambition invades the minds of those who are disposed to receive it, and avarice possesses the whole community.

当道德沦丧时,几乎所有的人们都变得贪婪、野心勃勃。


The objects of their desires are changed; what they were fond of before has become indifferent; they were free while under the restraint of laws, but they would fain now be free to act against law;

人们的目标随着欲望改变而改变:过去喜爱的事物,现在已不再喜爱了;过去人民依据法律寻求自由,现在利用这种自由去对抗法律;


and as each citizen is like a slave who has run away from his master, that which was a maxim of equity he calls rigour; that which was a rule of action he styles constraint; and to precaution he gives the name of fear. Frugality, and not the thirst of gain, now passes for avarice. Formerly the wealth of individuals constituted the public treasure; but now this has become the patrimony of private persons. The members of the commonwealth riot on the public spoils, and its strength is only the power of a few, and the licence of many.

Maxim:准则;格言;箴言       Frugality:节约,朴素  avarice:贪婪       patrimony:祖传财产;世袭财产 

每一个公民都好似从主人的家中逃跑的奴隶;过去的公平规则,现在被人们称为禁令,过去的行为规则被视为桎梏,过去的谨慎被视为怯懦。节俭在此被看做贪婪。以前个人财产是公共财产的组成部分;然而现在,公共财宝却变成了个人世袭财产,共和国像是可以巧取豪夺的对象。它只能从公民的权力以及民众的准许中汲取力量。

    

Athens was possessed of the same number of forces when she triumphed so gloriously as when with such infamy she was enslaved. She had twenty thousand citizens when she defended the Greeks against the Persians, when she contended for empire with Sparta, and invaded Sicily.

Infamy:声名狼藉     contend:竞争;争夺

雅典无论是在它称霸四方的时期,还是在它受尽屈辱奴役的年代里,它的兵力都是一样的。雅典始终拥有两万公民,无论是在它保卫希腊而反对波斯的时候,还是在它与斯巴达争夺帝国的时候,抑或是在它攻打西西里的时候。


She had twenty thousand when Demetrius Phalereus numbered them as slaves are told by the head in a market-place. When Philip attempted to lord it over Greece, and appeared at the gates of Athens she had even then lost nothing but time. We may see in Demosthenes how difficult it was to awaken her; she dreaded Philip, not as the enemy of her liberty, but of her pleasures.

当狄米特里乌斯(Démétrius de Phalère)如同在市场上清点奴隶的数量一样核查雅典的人口时,雅典只有两万公民。当腓力决心征服希腊而兵临城下时,公民数量依旧未变。雅典失去的依然仅仅是时间。在德谟斯提尼斯的著作里,可以看到警醒雅典人是很艰难的:雅典人畏惧腓力,并非因为他限制自由,而是他憎恨逸乐。


This famous city, which had withstood so many defeats, and having been so often destroyed had as often risen out of her ashes, was overthrown at Chæronea, and at one blow deprived of all hopes of resource. What does it avail her that Philip sends back her prisoners, if he does not return her men? It was ever after as easy to triumph over the forces of Athens as it had been difficult to subdue her virtue.

Avail:效用,利益

从前这座城市经受过很多惨败,人们也多次看到它从废墟中再度复兴。但是喀罗尼亚战役之败彻底使它土崩瓦解了。腓力虽然遣返了全部战俘,那又能产生什么作用?他遣返的并不是勇士! 想要战胜雅典的军队总是轻而易举的,就如同战胜它的品德总是极为困难。

   

How was it possible for Carthage to maintain her ground? When Hannibal, upon his being made prætor, endeavoured to hinder the magistrates from plundering the republic, did not they complain of him to the Romans?

迦太基也有心无力,当汉尼拔当上了行省总督时,他阻止官员们篡夺共和国,那些官员不就到罗马人面前去告发他吗?


Wretches, who would fain be citizens without a city, and be beholden for their riches to their very destroyers! Rome soon insisted upon having three hundred of their principal citizens as hostages; she obliged them next to surrender their arms and ships; and then she declared war.From the desperate efforts of this defenceless city, one may judge of what she might have performed in her full vigour, and assisted by virtue.

beholden有责任的,有义务的

可悲的是他们放弃安身之所,却还要当公民,甚至还要借助他们的毁灭者的力量维护自己的财产!不久罗马向他们索取了三百个公民,并扣为人质,而且又令他们交出武器和船只,然后向他们宣战。武装被解除后,迦太基进行了绝望之战,由此可以判断出,当迦太基还有军力且具有美德时所拥有的力量。


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