1. This time two hnndred years ago—in the beginning of January,1666—those of our forefathers who inhabited this great and ancient city[1.謂英京倫敦] took breath[2.生息.] between the shocks of two fearful calamities:one not quite past, although its fury had abated; the other to come.[3.The other to come=The other calamidy is to come.]
2.Within a few yards of the very spot on which we are assembled,so the tradition runs, that painful and deadly malady, the plague ,appeared in the latter months of 1664; and, though no new visitor [4.直譯當作“雖非生客”意譯作“雖非創見”]smote the people of England, and especially of her capital, with a violence unknown before, in the course of the following year. The hand of a master [5.大家之手筆.] has pictured what happened in those dismal months; and in that truest of fictions, The History of the Plague Year,Defoe [ 6. Daniel Defoe（1661?—1731）即著魯賓生漂流記者也。] shows Death,[7. 此 Death之用法在修辭學謂之 Personification. 擬之為人者也。 ] with
every accompaniment of pain and terror,stalking through the narrow streets of old London, and changing their busy hum [8.倫敦市中之喧聲] into a silence broken only by the wailing of the mourners of fifty thousand dead; by the woful denunciations and mad prayers of fanatics; and by the madder yells of despairing profligates.[9.此Profligates 不作無賴解乃謂絕望之余而自暴自棄者也]
3.But, about this time[1.指正月]in 1666, the deathrate had sunk tonearly its ordinary amount; a case of plague occurred only here and there,and the richer citizens who had flown from the pest had returnedto their dwellings. The remnant of the people began to toil at the accustomed round [2.The accustomed round & c.如常.] of duty or ofpleasure; and the stream of city life bid fair[3.有望。]to flow backalong its old bed, with renewed and uninterrupted vigor.
4.The newly kindled hope was deceitful. The great plague indeed,returned no more; but what it had done for the Londoners, the great fire, which broke out in the autumn of 1666, did for London; and, in September of that year, a heap of ashes and the indestrucible energy of the people were all that remained of the glory of five sixths of the city within the walls [4.The city within the walls=London, 蓋古代倫敦固有城垣也。]
5.Our forefathers had their own ways of accounting for[5.解釋。 說明。]each of these calamities. They submitted to the plague in humility and in penitence, for they believed it to be the judgment of God. But towards the fire they were furiously indignant, interpretingit as the effect af the malice of man, as the work of the Republicans,or of the Papists, according as their prepossessions ran in favor of loyalty or of Puritanism. [ 6. Their prepossessions ran …… of Puritanism. 彼等之偏見傾於忠君及清教徒主義。]
6.It would, I fancy, have fared but ill [1.Have fared but ill —but=only, fared ill=happed ill. ] with one who, standing where I now stand, in what was then a thickly peopled and fashionable part of London, should have broached to our ancestors the doctrine which I now propound to you—that all their hypotheses were alike wrong; that the plague was no more, in their sense, Divine judgment, than the fire was the work of any political, or of any religious, sect; but that they were themselves the authors of both plague and fire, and that they must look to themselves to prevent the recurrence of calamities, toall appearance [2.To. all appearance=由各方面觀之] so peculiary beyond the reach of human control—so evidently the result of the wrath of God or of the craft and subtlety of an enemy [ 3 .Enemy 謂共和黨及舊教徒。]…
7.Some twenty years before the outbreak of the plague, a few calm and thoughtful students banded themselves together for the purpose,asthey phrased it, of "improving natural knowledge. " The ends they proposed to attain cannot be stated more clearly than in the words ofone of the founders of the organization: "Onr business was(precluding matters of theology and state affairs) to discourse and consider of philosophical enquiries, and such as related thereunto:—as Physick, [4. Physick, Staticks; Magneticks, etc 當日之綴字法如是 ] Anatomy, Geometry, Astronomy, Navigation, Staticks, Magneticks, Chymicks, Mechanicks, and Natural Experiments; with the state of these studies and their cultivation at home and abroad. We then discoursed of the circulation of the blood, the valves in the veins, the venae lactae, [5.Venoe lacteoe 乳糜管] the lymphatic vessels, the Copernican[ 7 .Nikolaus Copernicus(1473—1543)波蘭之天文學家首倡太陽居中地球繞行之說者] hypothesis, the nature of comets and new stars, the satellites of Jupiter, the oval shape (as it then appeared) of Saturn, the spots onthe sun and its turning on its own axis, the inequalities and selenography[8.Selenography. 月體學 descriplon of the moon,] of the moon, the several phases of Venus and Mercury, the improvement of telescopes and grinding of glasses for that purpose, the weight of air, the possibility or impossibility of vacuities and nature's abhorrence there of,[9.Mature's abhorrence thereof, —thereof當上文之Vacuities直譯之作自然深惡真空， 其義即天地間無處無物質也] the Torricellian[10.Enangelista Torricelli(1608—1647) 意大利之物理學家以實驗水銀而發明晴雨表者] experiment in quicksilver,the descent of heavybodies and the degree of acceleration therein, with divers other things of like nature, some of which were then but new discoveries, and others not so generally known and embraced as now they are; with other things appertaining to what hath been called the new Philosophy, which, from the times of Galileo[11.Galileo( 1564—1642)意大意之天文家] at Florence, and Sir Francis Bacon[12. Francis Bacon.(1561—1626)英之大哲學家](Lord Verulam)in England, hath been much cultivated in Italy, France,Germany, and other parts abroad, as well as with us in England." The learned Dr. Wallis, writing in 1696 , narrates, in these words, what happened half a century before, or about 1645. The associates met at Oxford, in the rooms of Dr. Wilkins, who was destined to become a bishop; and subsequently coming together in London, they attracted the notice of the king ……
8.Thus it was that the half-dozen young men, studious of the "NewPhilosophy," who met in one another's lodgings in Oxford or in London , in the middle of the seventeenth century, grew in numerical and inreal strength, until, in its latter part, the "Royal Society for theImprovement of Natural Knowledge" had already become famous; and hadacquired a claim upon the veneration of Englishmen, which it has eversince retained, as the principal focus of scientific activity in ourislands, and the chief champion of the cause it was formed to support .
9.It was by the aid of the Royal Society that Newton publishedhis Principia,. If all the books in the world except the PhilosophicalTransactions were destroyed, it is safe to say that the foundationsof physical science would remain unshaken, and that the vastintellectual progress of the last two centuries would be largely, though incompletely, recorded. Nor have any signs of halting or ofdecrepitude manifested themselves in our own times. As in Dr. Wallis's days, so in these, "our business is, precluding theology andstate affairs, to discourse and consider of Philosophical enquiries. "But our "Mathematick" is one which Newton would have to go to schoolto learn; our "Staticks, Mechanicks, Chymicks, and NaturalExperiments" constitute a mass of Physical and chemical knowledge, aglimpse at which would compensate Galileo for the doings of a scoreof inquisitorial cardinals;[2.A glimpse at which …… inquisitorialcardinalo.昔Goliles 倡地球公轉說宗教裁判所捕之下獄備受酷虐今茍得一瞥科學之昌明足償往日所受之苦也]our "Physick" and "Anatomy" have embracedsuch infinite varieties of being, have laid open such new worlds intime and space, have grappled, not unsuccessfully, with such complexproblems, that the eyes of Vesalius[3.Andreas Vesalius (1514—1564) 和蘭國人解剖學之始祖]and of Harvey [4.William Harvey(1578—1657)英之醫學家發明血液循環者也]might be dazzled by the sight of the tree thathas grown out of their grain of mustard seed.
10.We have learned that pestilences will only take up their abodeamong those who have prepared unswept and ungarnished residences forthem. Their cities must have narrow, unwatened streets, foul withaccumulated garbage.[ 1. Garbage 本義為動物之臟腑此則作糞穢解] Theirhouses must be ill-drained, ill- lighted, ill- ventilated. Theirsubjects must be ill-washed, ill-fed, ill-clothed. The London of 1665was such a city. The cities of the East, where plague has an enduringdwelling, are such cities. We, in later times, have learned somewhatof Nature and partly obey her. Because of this partial improvement ofour natural knowledge and of that fractional obedience, we have noplague; because that knowledge is still very imperfect and thatobedience yet incomplete, typhus is our companion and cholera ourvisitor. But it is not presumptuous to express the belief that, whenour knowledge is more complete and our obedience the expression ofour knowledge,[2.Our obedience ……our knowledge —Our obedience tonature and the expression of our knowledge is more complete 之略也]London will count her centuries of freedom from typhus and cholera, as she now gratefully reckons her two hundred years of ignorance ofthat plague which swooped upon her thrice in the first half of theseventeenth century.
11.Surely, there is nothing in these explanations which is notfully borne out by the facts. Surely, the principles involved in themare now admitted among the fixed beliefs of all thinking men. Surely, it is true that our countrymen are less subject to fire, famine, pestilence, and all the evils which result from a want of commandover and due anticipation of the course of Nature, than were thecountrymen of Milton;[3. John Milton( 1008—1674) 英之大詩人。 ] and health, wealth, and well being are more abundant with us than withthem. But no less certainly is the difference due to the improvementof our knowledge of Nature, and the extent to which that improvedknowledge has been incorporated with the household words of men, andhas supplied the springs of their daily actions.[4.Improved knowledgehas been incorporated……their daily actions. 謂因科學進步而科學名詞化為家常日用之語。科學遂為日常行為之原動力。]
12.Granting for a moment, then, the truth of that which thedepreciators of natural knowledge are so fond of urging, that itsimprovement can only add to the resources of our material civilization; admitting it to be possible that the founders of theRoyal Society themselves looked for no other reward than this. Icannot confess that I was quilty of exaggeration when I hinted thatto him who had the gift of distinguishing between prominent eventsand important events,[1.Prominent events and important events 前者謂大疫大火。後者謂用學術以利人生也。]the origin of a combined effort onthe part of mankind to improve natural knowledge might have loomedlarger than the plague and have outshone the glare of the Fire; as asomething fraught with a wealth of beneficence to mankind, incomparison with which the damage done by those ghastly evils wouldshrink into insignificance.
13.It is very certain that, for every victim slain by the Plague, hundreds of mankind exist,[2.For every victim……mankind exist. 謂一人染疫而死醫生由此所得之經驗可以治愈多人也]and find a fair share ofhappiness in the world, by the aid of the spinningjenny.[ 3. Spinning -jenney,千七百六十七年 James Hargreave 所發明紡績機器。 ] And the Great Fire, at its woist, could not have burned the supply of coal, the daily working of which, in the bowels of the earth, made possibleby the steampump, gives rise to an amount of wealth to which themillions lost in old London are but as an old song.[4.Are but as an old song不足道]
14.But spinning-jenny and steam-pump are, after all, but toys ,possessing an accidental value; and natural knowledge creates multitudes of more subtle contrivances, the praises of which do not happen to be sung because they are not diroctly convertible iuto instruments for creatiug wcalth.
15.I cannot but think that the foundations of all naturalknowledge were laid when the reason of man first came face to facewith the facts of Nature: when the savage first learned that thefingers of one hand are fewer than those of both; that it is shorterto cross a stream than to head[1.to head 上溯其源而過]it;that a stonestops where it is unless it be moved, and that it drops from the handwhich iets it go; that light and heat come and go with the sun; thatsticks burn away in a fire; that plants and animals grow and die; that if he struck his fellow-savage a blow, he would make him angry, and perhaps get a blow in return; while if he offered him a fruit, hewonld please him, and perhaps receive a fish in exchange. When menhad acquired this much knowledge, the outlines, rude though they were ,of mathematics, of physics, of chemistry, of biology, of moral, economical and political science, were sketched. Nor did the germ ofreligion fail when science began to bud. Listen to words which, though new, are yet three thousand years old.[2.此希臘詩人Hesiod 之辭也所謂 though new 者以其為近人所譯也]
"When in heaven the stars about the noon Look beautiful, when allthe winds are laid And every height comes out, and jutting peak Andvalley, and the immeasurable heavens Break open to their highest, andall the stars Shine, and the shepherd gladdens in his heart,"
If the half-savage Greek could share our feelings thus far, it isirrational to doubt that he went further, to find, as we do, thatupon that brief gladness[3.That brief gladness謂睹宇宙間森羅萬眾而心喜] there follows a certain sorrow,[4.A certain sorrow 謂繼思宇宙之玄妙非人智所能明而自傷智靈之不完全也] —the little light of awakened human intelligence shines so mere a spark amidst the abyss of the unknown and unknownable; seems so insufficient to do more than illuminate the imperfections that cannot be remedied, the aspirationsthat cannot be realized, of man's own nature. But in this sadness, this consciousness of the limitation of man, this sense ofan open secret [ 5. Open secret 以目所能見之物而其秘奧又不可探求故謂之公然之秘密]which he cannot penetrate, lies the essence of all religion; and the attempt to embody it in the forms furnished by theintellect[ 6. To embody it in the forms &c.—it 指 the essence of all religion. 義謂以科學方法組織而表現之也。]is the origin of the higher theologies.
16.Thus it seems impossible to imagine but that th feoundationsof all knowledge, secular or or sacred,[1.Secular or sacred 俗與神聖即學術與宗教之義] were laid when intelligence dawned, though thesuperstructure remained for long ages so slight and feeble as to becompatible with the existence of almost any general view respectingthe mode of governance of the universe.[2.As to be compatible. ……ofthe universe.謂關於宇宙攝理但知一班而已。]
No doubt, from the first, there were certain phenomena which, tothe rudest mind, [3.The rudest mind=The savage.]presented a constancyof occurrcnce,[4.A constancy of occurrence 謂同一原因必生同一之結果 ]and suggested that a fixed order ruled, at any rate, among them. Idoubt if the grossest of fetich- worshippers[ 5. The grossest offetichworshipers 崇拜偶像中之最愚者，fetich 之義為 a material thing, living or dead which is made the object of superstitious worship. ]ever imagined that a stone must have a god within it to make it fall ,or that a fruit had a god within it to make it taste sweet. Withregard to such matters as these, is is hardly questionable thatmankind from the first took trictly positive and scientific view.
17.But, with respect to all the less familiar occurrences whichpresent themselves, uncultured man, no doubt, has always takenhimself as the standard of comparison, as the centre and measure ofthe world; nor could he well avoid doing so. And finding that his apparently uncaused will has a powerful effect in giving rise to manyoccurrence, he naturally enough ascribed other and greater event toother and greater volitions, and came to look upon the world, allthat therein is, as the product of the volitions of persons likehimself, but stronger, and capable of being appeased or angered, ashe himself might be soothed or irritated. Through such conceptions ofthe plan and working of the universe all mankind have passed, or arepassing. And we may now consider what has been the effect of theimprovement of natural knowledge on the views of men who have reachedthis stage, and who have begun to cultivate natural knowledge with nodesire but that of "increasing God's honor and bettering man's estate .[6. man's estate=man's condition.]"
18. For example; what could seem wiser, from a mere materialpoint of view, more innocent, from a theological one, to an ancientpeople, than that they should learn the exact succession of theseasons, as warnings for their husbandmen; or the position of thestars, as guides to their rude navigators? But what has grown out ofthis search for natural knowledge of so merely useful a character? You all know the reply Astronomy,—which of all sciences has filledmen's minds with general ideas of a character most foreign to theirdaily experience, and has more than any other, rendered it impossibiefor them to accept the beliefs of their fathers! Astronomy —, whichtells them that this so vast and seemingly solid earth is but an atomamong atoms, whirling, no man knows wither, through illimitable space; which demonstrates that what we call the peaceful heaven above usis but that space, filled by an infinitely subtle matter whoseparticles are seething and surging, like the waves of an angry sea; which opens up to us infinite regions where nothing is known, or everseems to have been known, but matter and force, operating accordingto rigid rules; which leads us to contemplate phenomena the everynature of which demonstrates that they must have an end, but the verynature of which also proves that the beginning was, to ourconceptions of time, infinitely remote, and that the end asimmeasurably distant.
19. But it is not alone those who pursue astronomy who ask forbread and receive ideas[2.Ask for bread and receive idea, 此句引自Carlyle 所作 Burns 傳者也原文作 "Ask for bread and receive a stone" 喻詩人為世所輕也今 Huxlay 更" a stone" 為"idea" 意義大不同矣] What moreharmless than the attempt to lift and distribute water by pumping it; what more absolutely and grossly utilitarian? But out of pumps grewthe discussions about Nature's abhorrence of a vacuum[ 3. Nature'sabhorrence of a vacuum解見前];and then it was discovered that Nature does not abhor a vacuum, that the air has weight; and that notionpaved the force which produces weight is coextensive with theuniverse,—in short, to ihe theory of universal gravitation andendless force [4.Universal gravitation and endless force. 重力之於宇宙無所不在故謂之普遍重力，力者絕不消滅故謂之無窮力也。 ] while learninghow to handle gases led to the discovery of exygen, and to modern chemistry, and to the notion of the indestructibility of matter.
20. Again, what simpler, or more obsolutely pracitcal, than the attempt to keep the axle of a wheel from heating when the wheel turnsround very fast? How useful for carters and gig- drivers to knowsomething about this; and how good were it, if any ingenious personwould find out the cause of such phenomena, and thence educe ageneral remedy for them! Such an ingcnious persen was Count Rumford; and he and his successors have landed us [2.Landed us &c. 使吾人臻於何境，使吾人造詣至何程度。 ] in the theory of the persistence, orindestructibility, of force. And in the in6nitely minute, as in theim6nitely, great, the seekers after natural knowledge, of the kindscalled physical and chemical, have everywhere found a definite orderand succession of events which seem never to be infringed;
21. And how has it fared with [3.How has it fared with — it 乃 indefinite。fared=happend.] "Physick" and Anatomy? Have the anatomist. the physiologist, or the physician, whose business it has been todevote themselves assiduously to that eminently practical and dir ectend, the alleviation of the sufferings of mankind, —have they beenable to confine their vision more absolutely to the sirictly useful? I fear they are worst offenders of all [4.Worst offenders of all. Has done most to overthrow old established notions. ] For if thestronomer has set before us the infinite magnitude of space, and thepractical eternity of the duration of the universe; if the physicaland chemical philosophers have demonstrated the infinite minutenessof its constituent parts, and the practical eternity of matter and offorce; and if both have alike proclaimed the universality of adefinite and predicable order and succession of events. the workersin biology have not only accepted all these, but have added morestartling theses of their own. For, as the astronomers discover inthe earth no centre of the universe, but an eccentric speck, so thenaturalists find man to be no centre of the living world but oneamidst endless modifications of life; and as the astronomer observesthe mark of practically endless time set upon the arrangements of thesolar system, so the student of life finds the records of ancientforms of existence peopling the world for ages, which, in relation tohuman experience, are infinite. Furthermore, the physiologist findslife to be as dependent for its manifestation on particular moleculararrangements as any physical or chemical phenomenon; and, wherever heextends his researches, fixed order and unchanginy causation revealthemselves, as plainly as in the rest of Nature……
22. Such are a few of the new conceptions implanted in our mindsby the improvement of natural knowledge. Men have acquired the ideasof the practically infinite extent of the universe and of itspractical eternity; they are familiar with the conception that ourearth is but an infinitesimal fragment of that part of the universewhich can be seen; and that, nevertheless, its duration is, ascompared with our standards of time, infinite. They have furtheracquired the idea that man is but one of innumerable forms of lifenow existing in the globe, and that the present existences are butthe last of an immeasurable series of predecessors[1.The last of animmeasursble series of predecessors.此predecessors 乃以前之existence之義，與present existence相對， 謂今之狀態乃經以前無數狀態始成之最後狀態也。]Moreover, every step they have made in natural knowledge hastended to extend and rivet in their minds the conception of adefinite order of the universe—which is embodied in what are called, by an unhappy metaphor[ 2. unhappy metaphor. 此unhappy= ill- chosen, incorrect.]the laws of Nature—and to narrow the range and loosen theforce of men's belief in spontaneity, or in changes other than suchas arise out of that difinite order itself[3.Changes other than ……difinite order itself.一定秩序所不生之變化即偶起之變化].
23.Whether these ideas are well or ill founded is not thequestion.No one can deny that they exist, and have been theinevitable outgrowth of the improvement of natural knowledge. And ifso,it cannot be doubted that they are changing the form of men's mostcherished and most important convictions.