佛蘭克林自傳

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佛蘭克林自傳
作者:本杰明·富兰克林
1916年1月
譯者:刘文典
本作品收錄於《新青年/卷1

Benjamin Franklin(1706—1790)為十八世紀第一偉人。 於文學科學政治皆冠絕一世。其自疆不息勇猛精進之氣。尤足為青年之典型。斯篇乃其七十九歲所作自傳。吾青年昆弟讀之。倘興高山仰止之思。群效法其為人。則中國無疆之休而不侫所馨香禱祝者也。原書辭繁不可備譯。譯其青年時代者。叔雅識。

一、予八歲入小學。予父有子十人。欲如當時習俗。以其什一事上帝。望予將來得為僧侶。蓋予幼而善讀。(不能讀時予竟不復記憶故知能讀必甚早也)諸父執復群許其他日必成學者。故予父遂有此意。予叔父班家明亦贊成之。且謂予茍有意習速記術則將舉其所記牧師說教辭若幹卷。盡以授予。以為初學模擬之資也。予入小學之年雖由一年級之中漸升為全級首席。尋遷至上一級以備年終更升入第三年級。然在校實不及一年。因予父以家族之累過重。大學教育之資無力籌措。又聞其與友朋談。謂為僧侶者前途難期榮達。故遂變其初誌。命予退學。轉入當時頗負盛名之焦吉包雷氏所設書算學校。此君溫良善誘。教育有方。克盡厥職者也。予從彼未久即能書。然於算術則絕無進步。十歲時遂退學而歸。助予父從事業務。予父業造燭及肥胰。此業本非其素習。抵美洲後始從事於此。以其所操染業需要甚少。所入不足以支家計也。故予既歸遂使予切燭心。納熔臘於型中以制燭。照拂店務或供奔走焉。

二、予不喜此業。堅欲浮海。而予父。大不然謂然以所居近水。常遊泳蕩舟其中。夙能泅水操舟。與群兒乘舟時例由予操縱之。遇困難時尤然。余時予大抵為群兒之首領。往往陷彼曹於困境。今試舉一端。雖當時之處置未當然亦足以見少時急公之精神也。

三、與水車相接處。有鹽沼焉。潮滿時吾曹慣立其邊以釣鰷魚。踐踏既甚。遂成泥塗。予建議築一埠頭以便立足。適有在澤畔建新屋者。其傍堆積石瑰甚多。極便吾曹築埠之用。予以示吾之儕輩。使取材焉。其晚工人既去。予遂集嘻戲之伴侶多人。同運石塊。奔走甚勤。有如群蟻。石之巨者有時以二三共舉之。終盡運之而吾曹之小埠頭遂成。次晨工人亡石大驚。卒得之於吾曹之埠頭。乃查究為孰所運。吾曹之事遂發。儕輩皆大遭呵斥。多有為其父所痛責者。予雖力辯此役之有功。予父終喻予以不正之事必難有功之理也。

四、予意讀者當欲知予父為何如人也。彼之體格極佳。修短適中。且甚強健。頗有才。既工繪事復稍能音樂。其聲清朗悅耳。一日之事務既終。時時奏忽雷而歌。其音極可聽也。彼又有機械學之天才。遇無可如何時。能使他業工人之器具。然其最大長處則在聰明睿智。能於公私疑難下正確之判斷也。彼有多數子女賴其教養加之生計艱難不得不委身業務。未嘗從事於公共事業。然予憶常有顯者來訪。與之商酌城市及其所奉教會之公事。於其判斷忠告皆深表敬意也。私人遇有困難來求其教者亦不少。且常被推為調人以排難解紛焉。又好招良朋鄰裏會宴於家。每以賢明有益之事為談資。籍以啟迪其子女。以此使吾曹致意於人生之善良正直敏勉諸德。至於酒饌則不甚措意。烹調之美惡。入時與否。滋味若何。及比較若何。皆非所顧慮。故予於此等事亦遂絕不措意。無論進何食品視之全若無關。雖至今日。茍於進膳數時後。叩予所進何物。不能答也。予之不知味在旅行之際頗覺其便。而予之伴侶以辨味過精。難得可口之食物。往往覺其良苦也。

五、今更述予之事。予從事於予父之職業者更歷二年。直至予年十二時止。予兄約翰。素習此業。會彼授室。去予父而獨立自營於羅德島。予似必將繼彼而為制燭工矣。然予厭此業如故。予父憂茍不使予就適宜之業則予將效予兄焦霞逃之海上為舟子。故時時攜予散步。使觀木工、瓦工、轆轤工、銅工之操作。欲觀予性之所喜。使執業於陸上。予自是乃好觀良工之操作。且獲益不少。茍工人不易覓時。能於家中辦小工作。實驗之興勃發時且能自制實驗之機械焉。予父其後終決意使予操刀劍業。予叔父之子撒密爾習此業於倫敦。此時方設肆於波士頓。乃送予往其肆學習。彼以望報致予父不懌。故未幾予復歸家。

六、予自孩提時即好讀。錢到手盡以購書。愛讀天路厯程。初得之書即班揚氏著作也。書已敝。分裝為數小冊。其後賣此以購布爾頓氏之厯史叢書。此書為仿間小本。價甚廉。凡四五十冊。予父略有藏書。大都神學之著作。予皆嘗讀之。然既決計不為僧侶。而當此勤求知識有如饑渴之年竟無適當之書可讀。思之每引為大憾也。有蔔奴達齊氏英雄傳一冊。予讀之多通。及今思之。此光陰良非虛擲。又有戴福氏之規畫論。馬塞博士之為善論。是書感予至深。他日之大業多受其影響也。

七、予雖已有一兄(名詹姆士)操印刷業。予父以予有好書癖。決意命予亦業此。千七百十七年。予兄詹姆士自英格蘭攜印刷機及活字歸。開業於波士頓。予愛此遠過於制燭業。然欲為舟子之念猶未或忘。予父防予逃之海上。急欲托予於兄。予初抗父命。終乃勉從其意。簽名契約。時年僅十二也。據此約予當服役至二十一歲。唯最終一年可得賃金如工人。未幾予業大進。兄倚如左右手。斯時予遂能得良書。蓋與書肆生徒相識。可時時借閱。讀畢即還。不敢損汙。往往夕借一書。夜坐讀之。至於深宵。次晨早還之。懼或失之也。

八、其後有馬秀亞丹君者。賢智之商人也。藏書甚富。時往來予之印刷肆。予邀其眷顧。招予至其齋中。惠然假予以所欲讀之書。予此際頗知好詩歌。嘗作短詩數章。予兄以為可觀。甚獎進予。使作詠時事詩二章。一曰燈塔之慘劇。敘船長王錫類與其二女遇風壞舟事。一為舟子之歌詠海盜黑髯公之就擒。此二詩固下裏巳人之音。印既成。兄使子走城市賣之。第一章以其事方新。人爭購讀。聲名大振。此頗使予自豪。然予父笑之且謂詩人大抵皆乞丐。大挫予氣。予乃免為俚鄙之詩人矣。然散文於予生之用至宏。予之立身。斯為至要。以當日之地位。果以何術得成此薄技。將為公等道之。

九、時予得見殘本斯貝臺陀雜誌一冊。此為第三卷。予於此雜誌未之前見。購歸反覆諷誦。大好之。深愛其文。思摸擬之。乃取其其章句中所含趣意。以簡單之辭書之別紙。置之數日。乃掩卷不觀。取前所書短句。試以所能運用之字敷衍之。務求盡達其旨。與原文等。然後取原文比較觀之。得見疵謬。即加改正。然予識字甚少。且不善遣辭。自思將作韻文必先能此。蓋作詩歌當多識同義而異形之字以為辭藻。同義異音之字以葉聲韻。勢不得不勤為搜討。識之於心。且求善用之也。故予取書中故實。演以韻文。俟稍厯時日。其原文已忘。復取此韻文演為散文。予時又取別紙所書簡短之辭而散亂之。數星期後乃盡心排列之。求其通順。然後敷衍辭句。連綴篇章。以為全文。此予學文章章法之方也。然後以予所作比之原文。見有瑕玷。即加改削。惟予幸時能見原文章法辭句之小疵而改正之。沾沾自喜。益自奮勵。思將來或能成英文作家。此蓋予中心所切望者也。予學文讀書之時為夜間事畢。清晨事前。或星期日。予居父膝下時。星期日常命予必往教堂之祈禱大會。予則務避不往。獨居印刷室以讀書。然予雖無暇遵行父命。至今猶覺其當遵也。

十、方予專心修辭時。得見英文法一冊。(憶為葛林武德氏書)其卷末載有短文二首。一為修辭學論略一為名學論略。後者之末附有梭格拉底氏論法之問答。未幾予得讀宰羅逢氏之梭格拉底言行錄。其中載有此論法之例題不少。見其於吾最安全而能窘人。遂大好之。練習不輟。術漸精。能使知識高於已者辟易退讓。不知其極。陷之於困難。弗能自脫。以予之無俚。所持論又至淺薄。然竟往往博奇捷也。

一一、予用此法者數年。然後亦漸棄之。惟措辭謙遜之習慣尚存。有所爭辯不用“確然”“無疑”或其他稍涉獨斷之辭。寧謂“予思其如是如是”。“覺其如是如是”。或“以是因緣。予見其如是”“予料其如是”“使予非謬。此殆如是”而已。予信此習慣於余之誨人及時時勸人從已所倡之法皆所利甚多。談論之要在於教人、求教、悅人、勸人。願明達之士慎勿以獨斷自是之風招恐樹敵。轉減卻勸人為善之效。使天賦吾人以為授受知識樂利之資者失其功用也。茍欲教人而以自是獨斷之風出之。則易招反對而虛懷聽納者蓋寡。茍欲受教於人。而又固執已見。則謙抑君子。不好爭辯。將望而去之。任汝過誤。不復容啄矣。蓋以此道行之。必難望聽者之樂從也。

善哉潘蔔之言曰。

教人如非教。

不知唯不知。

又戒吾人曰。

事雖真且確。言之如有疑。彼本當以此下所舉句為上二句之對。而乃對以他句。予頗思其不當。

以無沖懷者。即無意識故。茍問何謂。請視下文。

發為不遜辭。厥咎無可恕。

以無沖懷者。即無意識故。

嗚乎。“無意識”(人茍不幸而無此)寧非不遜之解耶。改之如下寧不更切當耶。

發為不遜辭。厥咎無可恕。

以無沖懷者。即無意識故。

然此尚當質之高明也。

一二、千七百二十一年頃。予兄創刊一新聞紙。名新英蘭報。此在美洲為第二報紙。前所有者唯一波士頓報耳。憶予兄友人多有諫阻其事者。彼輩以為美洲有一報紙已足。再刊一報。恐難期發達也。今則已不下二十五種矣。予兄毅然行之。排印既畢。使予挾之。周厯街衢而致之讀者焉。

一三、予兄友朋中頗有能文者。好作小品文投之彼報以自娛樂。以是頗得信用。讀者益眾。諸文士時來訪。予聆其談論。聞世人褒美其文之辭。不禁躍躍欲試。思作一文。分彼曹之席。然予固猶一童子。竊意予兄茍知為予作。將不許其載之報紙。乃變易筆跡。草隱名文一首。夜半投之印刷室戶下。次晨予兄見之。其文友來時。循例以示。彼輩讀且贊於予前。予以此文為所嘆賞。且諸人猜度其作者。所舉皆以才學著稱之人。不禁為之大樂。及今思之。當日予之得此鑒識。真為僥幸。且諸人亦非真衡文家。如吾當時之所崇奉也。

一四、予於此行敘之加詳。於初入此城時之狀況亦特詳敘之。俾讀者心中一較予困窮無似之發端。及他日於此之自致通顯也。予之衣由海道來。故所衣為工人服。長征既久。塵土滿衣。囊中滿塞^078。既無故舊復不知投止何所。陸則徒行。水則蕩舟。夜復少眠。故疲且饑。囊金僅荷蘭銀幣一圓及銅幣約一先零。予以銅幣盡與舟人為舟資。彼輩以予為之蕩舟。始卻不受。予強彼輩受之。人當囊空往往視多金時為輕財。此殆恐人謂其此外無所有也。

一五、予於是遊覽街中。至市場近處。遇一挾面包之童子。予既常以面包為膳。詢其何處購此。彼示予在二道街。予急奔往。向沽餅幹。意欲如在波士頓所沽者。然此類費拉特爾費亞似不制之。予乃向沽價三片尼之面包。肆中人答以無之。予既不知波士頓與此地面包之價相懸殊。又不能舉其面包名。乃命其勿拘種類但與我以三片尼之物。肆主遂授予膨然三巨塊。予驚其過多。然亦遂受之。囊不能容。乃以二腕各挾其一。一則行且食之。如斯遊行市場街四道街。過李德先生之門。彼蓋他日予之婦翁也。予妻時立門首。見予狀至鄙陋可笑。此誠然也。予於是轉往栗街胡桃街。行時食面包不輟。行一周復至市場街埠頭。去予所乘來之舟不遠。乃復往其舟飲河水一杯。予食面包一塊既果腹。乃以余二塊與一婦人及其幼兒。彼與吾同舟來此尚將他往者也。

一六、予飲食休憩。復徘徊市上。斯時道上衣冠整潔者甚多。皆向一處行。予隨之。遂至魁加派之大會場。乃坐於眾中。予以前夜過勞且未得眠。疲不可支。舉目略矚四周。亦未聞會眾作何語。遂熟睡其中。直至散會始有喚予醒者。故此會場者。予在費拉特爾費亞所居所眠之第一家也。

英文[编辑]

1. I was put to the grammar-school at eight years of age, myfather intending to devote me, as the tithe[註:Tithe本義為什一稅。 乃由區中土地牧畜等收入徵其十分之一以供教會及牧師之俸給者。Franklin之父有十子。當時有以財產十分之一獻教會之習慣。故借此為喻。]of his sons, tothe service of the churcb. My early readiness in learning to read (which must have been very early, as I do not remember when I couldnot read),and the opinion of all his friends that I should certainlymake a good scholar, encouraged him in this purpose of his. My uncleBenjamin, too, approved of it, and proposed to give me all his short-hand volumes of sermons, I suppose as a stock to set up with, if Iwould learn his character.[註:His character=his method of short-hand.]I continued, however, at the grammar school not quite one year, though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of theclass of that year to be the head of it, and, farther, was removedinto the next class above it, in order to go with that into the thirdat the end of the year. But my father, in the meantime, from a viewof the expense of a college education, which, having so large afamily, he could not well afford, and the mean living many soeducated were after wards able to obtain—reasons that he gave to his friends in my hearing—altered his first intention, took me from thegrammar-school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a then famous man, Mr. George Brownell, very successful in his profession generally, and that[註:And that之“that”當上文之very successful]by milde, encoura-ging methods. Under him I acquired fairwriting pretty soon, but I failed in the arithmetic, and made noprogress in it. At ten years old I was taken home to assist my fatherin his business, which was that of a tallow chandler and soapboiler —a business he was not bred to, but had assumed on his arrival in NewEngland, and on finding his dyeing trade would not maintain his family, being in little request. Accordingly, I was employed in cuttingwick for the candles, filling the dipping-mould and the moulds forcast candles, attending the shop, going of errands, etc.

2. I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the sea, but my father declared against it. However, living near the water, I was much in and about it, learned early to swim well, and to manageboats; and when in a boat or canoe with other boys, I was commonlyallowed to govern, especially in any case of difficulty. And uponother occasions I was generally a leader among the boys, andsometimes led them into scrapes, of which I will mention one instance, as it shows an early projecting public spirit, though notthenjustly conducted.

3. There was a salt marsh that bounded part of the mill- pond, onthe edge of which, at high-water,[註:ligh-water 潮滿]we used to standto fish for minnow. By much trampling, we had made it a mere quagmire. My proposal was to build a wharf there fit for us to stand upon, and I showed my comrades a large heap of stones which were intendedfor a new house near the marsh, and which would very well suit ourpurpose. Accordingly, in the evening, when the workmen were gone, I assembled a number of my play-fellows, working with them diligentlylike so many emmets, sometimes two or three to a stone, we broughtthem all away, and built our little wharf. The next morning theworkmen were surprised at missing the stones, which were found in ourwharf. Inquiry was made after the removers; we were discovered, andcomplained of; several of us were corrected[註:corrected 譴責] by ourfathers; and, though I pleaded the usefulness of the work, mine [註:Mine=my father.]convinced me that nothing was useful which was nothonest.

4. I think you may like to know something of his person andcharacter. He had an exceellnt constitution of body, was of middlestature, but well set, and very strong. He was ingenious, could drawprettily, was skilled a little in music, and had a clear, pleasingvoice; so that when he played psalm tunes on his violin and sungwithal, as he sometimes did in an evening after the business of theday was over, it was extremery agreeable to hear. He had a mechanicalgenius too, and, on occasion, was very handy in the use of othertradesmen's tools; but his great excellence lay in a soundunderstanding and solid judgment in prudential matters,[註:Prudentialmatters.=Matters requiring the exerci e of prudence or foresight. ]both in private and public affairs. In the latter, indeed, he wasnever employed, the numerous family he had to educate and thestraitness of his cireumstances[註:Straitness of his cir cumstances生計艱難]keeping him close to his trade; but I remember well his beingfrequently visited by leading people, who consulted him for hisopinion in affairs of the town or of the church he belonged to, andshowed a good deal of respect for his judgment and advice. He wasalso much consulted by private persons about their affairs when anydifficulty occurred, and frequently chosen an arbitrator betweencontending parties. At his table he liked to have, as often as hecould, some sensible friend or neighbor to converse with, and alwaystook care to start some ingenious or useful topic for discourse, which might tend to improve the minds of his children. By this meanshe turned our attention to what was good, just, and prudent in theconduct of life; and little or no notice was ever taken of whatrelated to the victuals on table, whether it was well or ill dressed, in or out of season, of good or bad flavor, preferable or inferior tothis or that other thing of the kind;[註:Inferior to……of the kind 較其同種類者之優劣,如此肉較彼肉如何此魚較他魚如何。 ] so that I wasbrought up in such a perfect inattention to those matters as to bequite indifferent what kind of food was set before me, and sounobservant of it that, to this day, if I am asked I can scarce tell, a few hours after dinner, what I dined upon. This has been aconvenience to me in travelling, where my companions have beensometimes very unhappy for want of a suitable gratification of theirmore delicate, because better instructed;[註:Better instructed 更知味,辨味更精之義。]tastes and appetites.

5. To return: I continued thus employed in my father's businessfor two years, that is, till I was twelve years old; and my brotherJohn, who was bred to that business, having left my father, married, and set up for himself at Rhode Island, there was all appearance thatI was destined to supply his place, and become a tallow-chandler. Butmy dislike to the trade continuing, my father was under apprehensionsthat if he did not find one for me more agreeable, I should breakaway[註:Break away 逃亡]and get to sea, as his son Josiah had done,tohis great vexation. He therefore sometimes took me to walk with him, and see joiners, bricklayers, turners, braziers, etc., at their work,that he might observe my inclination and endeavor to fix it on some trade or other on land. It has ever since been a pleasure to me tosee good workmen handle their tools; and it has been useful to me, having learned so much by it as to be able to do little jobs myselfin my house when a workman could not readily be got, and to constructlittle machines for my experiments [註: Experiments 謂電學之實驗也] while the intention of making the experiment was fresh and warm in my mind. My father at last fixed upon the culler's trade, and my uncle Benjamin's son, Samuel, who was bred to that business in London, being about, that time established in Boston, I was sent to be with him some time on liking.[註: On liking=On trial, at the pleasure of both,]But his expectations of a fee[註:A fee= A sum paidto a master. ] with me displeasing my father, I was taken home again.

6. From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little moneythat came into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with the Pilgrim's Progress,[註:Pilgrim's Progress 即 Bunyan(1628—1688 英之宗教家)所著天路歷程。]my first collection was of John Bunyan's works, in separate little volumes. I afterwards sold them to enable me tobuy R. Burton's Historical Collections; [註:Burton's Historical Collections.此書為倫敦 Nathaniel Crouch 所發行,其時在十七世紀, 與著Anatomy of Melancholy 之 Robert Burton 為兩人。]they were smallchapmen's books, and cheap, forty or fifty in all. My father's little library consisted chiefly of books in polemic[註:Polemic—Controversal.]divinity, most of which I read, and have since often regretted that, at a time when I had such a thirst for knowledge, more proper books had not fallen in my way since it was now resolvedI should not be a clergyman. Plutarch's Lives[註:Plutarch's Lives為希臘史家 Plutarch所作英雄列傳,Emerson稱其為“the Bibble of Heroisms”者也]there was, in which I read abundantly, and I still think thattime spent to great advantage. There was also a book of De Foe's,[註: Daniel Defoe(1661—1731)英之小說家即著 Robinson Crusoe 者。]called an Essay on Projects, and another of Dr.Mather's, called Essaysto Do Good, which perhaps gave me a turn of thinking that had an influence on some of the principal future events of my life.

7. This bookish inclination at length determined my father tomake me a printer, though he had already one son ( James) of thatprofession. In 1717 my brother James returned from England with apress and letters, to set up his business in Boston[註:Rev. Dr.cottonMather(1663—1728)美之神學家。] I liked it much better than that ofmy father, but still had a hankering for the sea. To prevent the apprehended effect of such an inclination, my father was impatient tohave me bound ot my brother.I stood out[註:Stand out.違抗。]some time, bnt at last was persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yetbut twelve years old. I was to serve as an apprentice till. I wastwenty-one years of age, only I was to be allowed journeyman's wagesduring the last year. In a little time I made great proficiency inthe business, and became a useful hand to my brother. I now hadaccess to better books. An acquaintance with the apprentices ofbooksellers enabled me somteimes to borrow a small one, which I wascareful to return soon and clean. Often I sat up in my room readingthe greatest part of the night, when the book was borrowed in theevening and to be returned early in the morning, lest it should bemissed or wanted.

8.And after some time an ingenious tradesman, Mr. Matthew Adams, who had a pretty collection of books,and who frequented our printing-house, took notice of me, invited me to his library, and very kindlylent me such books as I chose to read, I now took a fancy to poetry, and made some little pieces. My brother, thinking it might turn toaccount, [註:Turn to account 可用,可觀。]encouraged me, and put me on[註: Put me on=Induced me.] composing occasional ballads.One was called The Lighthouse Tragedy, and contained an account of the drowingof Captain Worthilake, with his two daughters;the other was a sailor'ssong, on the taking[註:The taking捕獲。]of Teach (or Blackbeard), thepirate. They were wretched stuff, in the Grub Street[註:Grub Street A street in London, "much inbabited (in 18th centnry) by writers of small histories, dictiouaries, and temporary poems, whence any mean production is called grubstreet.]ballad style; and when they wereprinted he sent me about the town to sell them. The first soldwonderfully, the event been recent, having made a great noice. Thisflattered my vanity; but my father discouraged me by ridiculing myperformances, and telling me verse-makers were generally beggars. SoI escaped being a poet, most probably a very bad one; but as prose-writing has been of great use to me in the course of my life; andwas a principal means of my advancement, I shall tell you how, insuch a situation, I acquired what little ability I have in that way ……

9. About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. Itwas the third.[註:The third=The third volume.]I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. With this view I took some of the papers,and,making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by afew days, and then, without looking at the book, tried to completethe papers again by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, andas fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words thatshould come to hand. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found Iwanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I hadgone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of thesame import, but of different length[註:Different length.字母多寡之不同者。]to suit the measure, or of different sound for the ryhme, wouldhave laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety [註:Variety.謂字異義同或字同義異等變化。]and also have tended to fixthat variety in my mind, and make me master of it. Therefore I tooksome of the tales and turned them into verse, and, after a time, whenI had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again. I alsosometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and aftersome weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before Ibegan to form the full sentences and complete the paper. This was toteach me method in the arrangement of thoughts. By comparing my workafterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amandedthem; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certainparticulars of small import. I had been lucky enough to improve themethod or the language; and this encouraged me to think I mightpossibly in time to come be a tolerable English writer, of which Iwas extremely ambitious. My time for these exercises and for readingwas at night, after work, or before it began in the morning, or onSundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evadingas much as I could the common attendance on public woiship which myfather used to exact of me when I was under his care, and whichindeed I still thought a duty, though I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.

10. While I was intent on impr ving my language, I met with an English grammar(I think it was Greenwood's),[註:Greenwood' — James Greenwood 氏千七百十一年始刊行於倫敦之文法書]at the end of which there was two little sketches of the arts of rhetoric and logic, the latter finishing with a dispute in the Socratic method;[註: socratic Method—The mode of arguing pursued by Socrates, the illustrious Greek philosopher(B.C.471—399).]and, soon after, I procured Xenophon's Memorable Things of Socrates,[註:Zenophon(B.C.444? ). 希臘名將而Socrates 之弟子也 ] wherein are many instances of the same method. I found this method safest for myself and very embarassing to those against whom I used it, therefore I took a delight in it, practised it continually, and grew very artful and expert in drawingpeople, even of superior knowledge, into concessions, the con equences of which they did not foresee,entangling them in difficultiesout of which they could not extricate themselves, and so obtaining victories that neither myself nor my cause always deserved……

11.I continued this method some few years, but gradually left it ,retaining only the habit of expressing myself in terms of modestdiffidence; never using, when I advanced anything that may possiblybe disputed, the words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others thatgive the air of positiveness to an opinion; but rather say, I conceiveor apprehend a thing to be so and so; it appears to me, or, Is ouldthink it so and so, for such and such reasons; or, I imagine it to beso; or, it is so, if I am not mistaken. This habit, I believe, hasbeen of great advantage to me when I have had occasion to inculcatemy opinions, and persuade men into measures that I have been fromtime to time engaged in promoting; and, as the chief ends ofconversation are to inform or to be informed, to please or topersuade, I wish well-meaning, sensible men would not lessen theirpower of doing good by a positive, assuming manner, that seldom failsto disgust, tends to creat opposition, and to defeat every one ofthose purposes for which speech was given us —to wit, giving orreceiving information or pleasure. For if you would inform, apositive and dogmatical manner in advancing your sentiments mayprovoke contradiction, and prevent a candid attention. If you wishinformation and inprovement from the knowledge of others, and yet atthe same time express yourself as firmly fixed in your presentopinions, modest, sensible men, who do not love disputation, willprobably leave you undisturbed in possession of yonr error. And bysuch a manner, you can seldom hope to recommend yourself in pleasingyour hearers, or to persuade those whose concurrence you desire.

Pope[註:Alexander Pope( 1688 — 1744 )英之大詩人。 所引句見彼所作Essay on Criticism]says judiciously:"Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown proposed as things forgot."[註: 二句之義蓋謂誨人當出以婉辭不可以師自居。不知之事當不提及有如忘卻也。]further recommending to usTo speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence." And he might havecoupled with this line that line that which he has coupled withanother, I think,less properly,[註:He might have coupled …… less properly.——that which=that lime which,指下“For want of modesty”&c.句。“this line”指“To speak, though sure”&c.句。 ‘ Another ’指“Immodest words odmit”&c.句。詳言之即“To speak, though sure”句當與“For want of modesty”句為對偶,今以與“Immodest words” 句相偶似覺失當。]"For want of modesty is want of sense."If you ask, why less properly? I must repeat the lines——"Immodest words admit of no defence,For want of modesty is want of sense."Now, is not "want of sense"(where a man is so unfortunate as to wantit)some apology for his "want of modesty"? And would not the linesstand more justly thus?"Immodest words admit but this defence,that want of modesty is want of sense."This,however, I submit to better judgments.

12. My brother had, in 1720 or 1721, begun to print a newspaper. It was the second that appeared in America, and was called the NewEngland Courant. The only one before it was the Boston News- Letter. Iremember his being dissuaded by some of his friends from theundertaking, as not likely to succeed, one newspaper being, in thierjudgment, enough for America. At this time there are no less thanfive-and-twenty. He went on, however with the undertaking, and afterhaving worked in composing the types and printing off the sheets, Iwas employed to carry the papers through the streets to the customers.

13.He had some ingenious men among his friends, who amusedthemselves by writing little pieces for this paper, which gained itcredit and made it more in demand, and these gentlemen often visitedus.Hearing their conversations, and their accounts of the approbationtheir papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand amongthem;but,being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother wouldobject to printing anything of mine in his paper if he knew it to bemine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymouspaper, I put it in at night under the door of the printing-house. Itwas found in the morning, and communicated to his writing friendswhen they called in as usual. They read it, commented on it in myhearing, and I had the exquisite pleasure of finding it met withtheir approbation, and that, in their different guesses at the author,none were named but men of some character among us for learning andingenuity. I suppose now that I was rather lucky in my judges, andthat perhaps they were not really so very good ones as I thenesteemed them……

14. I have been the more particular in this description of myjourney,[註:My journey.上文所略甚多,此 my journey 謂其出印刷店而往Philadelphia之行也。]and shall be so of my first entry into that city,[註:That city 謂 philadelphia.]that you may in your mind compare such unlikely beginnings with a figure I have since made there. I wasin my working dress, my best clothes being to come round by sea.I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuffed out with shirts aud stockings, and I knew no soul, nor where to look for lodging. I was fatigued with travelling, rowing, and want of res; I was very hungry, and my whole stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar, and about a shilling in copper. The latter I gave to the people of the boat for my passage, who at first refused it on account of my rowing; but I insisted on their taking it. A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little.

15. Then I walked up the street, gazing about, till, near themarket-house, I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker'she directed me to, in Second Street, and asked for biscuit, intendingsuch as we had in Boston; but they, it seems, were not made inPhiladelphia. Then I asked for a threepenny loaf, and was told theyhad none such. So, not considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater cheapness nor the names of his bread, I bade himgive me threepenny-worth of any sort. He gave me, accordingly, threegreat puffy rolls. I was surprised at the quantity, but took it, and,having no room in my pockets, walked off with a roll under each arm , and eating the other. Thus I went up Market Street as far as FourthStreet, passing by the door of Mr. Read, my future wife's father; when she, standing at the door, saw me, and thought I made, as Icertainly did, a most awkward, ridiculous appearance. Then I turnedand went down Chestnut Street, and part of Walnut Street, eating myroll all the way, and, coming round, found myself again at MarketStreet Wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draughtof the river water; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave theother two to a woman and her child that came down the river in theboat with us, and were waiting to go farther.

16. Thus refreshed, I walked again up the street, which by thistime had many clean-dressed people in it, who were all walking thesame way. I joined them, and thereby was led into the great meeting-house of the Quakers,[註:Quaker—a religious sect founded by GeorgeFox (1624— 90)in Philade lphia.]near the market. I sat down amongthem, and, after looking round awhile and hearing nothing said,[註:Hearing nothing said —此派多好默禱故無所聞。 ] being very drowsythrough labor and want of rest the preceding night, I fell fastasleep, and continued so till the meeting broke up, when one was kindenough to rouse me. This was, therefore, the first house I was in, orslept in Philadelphia.

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PD-icon.svg 本作品在全世界都属于公有领域,因为作者逝世已经超过100年,并且于1923年1月1日之前出版。
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PDmaybe-icon.svg 这部作品在1925年1月1日以前出版,其作者1958年逝世,在美国以及版权期限是作者终身加60年以下的国家以及地区(包括两岸四地、马来西亚),属于公有领域

这部作品也可能在本国本地版权期限更长,但对外国外地作品应用较短期限规则的国家以及地区(包括新加坡、加拿大、韩国、新西兰),属于公有领域