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论美

  作者:王佐良  来源:翻译界  浏览次数:4520  添加时间:2008/2/6

Of Beauty  

论美

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.

  德行犹如宝石,朴素最美;其于人也:则有德者但须形体悦目,不必面貌俊秀,与其貌美,不若气度恢宏。

  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.

  人不尽知:绝色无大德也;一如自然劳碌终日,但求无过,而无力之制成上品。

  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.

  因此美男子有才而无壮志,重行而不重德。但亦不尽然。罗马大帝奥古斯提与泰特思,法王菲律浦,英王爱德华四世,古雅典之亚西拜提斯,波斯之伊斯迈帝,皆有宏图壮志而又为当时最美之人也。

  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.

  美不在颜色艳丽而在面目端正,又不尽在面目端正而在举止文雅合度。

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

  美之极致,非图画所能表,乍见所能识。

  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.

  举非凡最美之人,其部位比例,必有异于常人之处。阿贝尔与杜勒皆画家也,共画人像也,一则按照几何学之比例,一则集众脸形之长于一身,二者谁更不智,实难断言,窃以为此等画像除画家本人外,恐无人喜爱也。

  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.

  余不否认画像之美可以超绝尘寰,但此美必为神笔,而非可依规矩得之者,乐师之谱成名曲亦莫不皆然。

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

  人面如逐部细察,往往一无是处,观其整体则光彩夺目。

  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.

  美之要素既在于举止,则年长美过年少亦无足怪。古人云:"美者秋日亦美"。年少而著美名,率由宽假,盖鉴其年事之少,而补其形体之不足也。

  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.

  美者犹如夏日蔬果,易腐难存;要之,年少而美者常无行,年长而美者不免面有惭色。虽然,但须托体得人,则德行因美益彰,恶行见美而愈愧。

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