書名idols of the tribe 是著名的F Bacon之名言。意思為1. [logic]由於種族關係或一般人性而產生的謬見；中文版翻譯為群氓之族
Money is like muck - not good unless spread. (Francis Bacon, Essays XV, 1625) 論謀叛與變亂 Of Seditions and Troubles
Above all things, good policy is to be used that the treasure and moneys in a state be not gathered into few hands. For otherwise a state may have a great stock, and yet starve. And money is like muck, not good except it be spread. This is done chiefly by suppressing or at least keeping a strait hand upon the devouring trades of usury, ingrossing 9 great pasturages, and the like.
Francis Bacon, 1609
論古人的智慧作者 : 培根
譯者 : 李春長
簡介· · · · · ·
目錄· · · · · ·
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- Chapter I - Cassandra, or Divination
- Chapter II - Typhon, or a Rebel
- Chapter III - The Cyclops, or the Ministers of Terror
- Chapter IV - Narcissus, or Self-Love
- Chapter V - The River Styx, or Leagues
- Chapter VI - Pan, or Nature
- Chapter VII - Perseus, or War
- Chapter VIII - Endymion, or a Favourite
- Chapter IX - The Sister of the Giants, or Fame
- Chapter X - Acteon and Pentheus, or a Curious Man
- Chapter XI - Orpheus, or Philosophy
- Chapter XII - Cœlum, or Beginnings
- Chapter XIII - Proteus, or Matter
- Chapter XIV - Memnon, or a Youth Too Forward
- Chapter XV - Tythonus, or Satiety
- Chapter XVI - Juno's Suitor, or Baseness
- Chapter XVII - Cupid, or an Atom
- Chapter XVIII - Diomed, or Zeal
- Chapter XIX - Dædalus, or Mechanical Skill
- Chapter XX - Ericthonius, or Imposture
- Chapter XXI - Deucalion, or Restitution
- Chapter XXII - Nemesis, or the Vicissitude of Things
- Chapter XXIII - Achelous, or Battle
- Chapter XXIV - Dionysus, or Bacchus
- Chapter XXV - Atalanta and Hippomenes, or Gain
- Chapter XXVI - Prometheus, or the State of Man
- Chapter XXVII - Icarus and Scylla and Charybdis, or the Middle Way
- Chapter XXVIII - Sphinx, or Science
- Chapter XXIX - Proserpine, or Spirit
- Chapter XXX - Metis, or Counsel
- Chapter XXXI - The Sirens, or Pleasures
I NTRODUCTION - The fable of the Sirens is, in a vulgar sense, justly enough explained of the pernicious incentives to pleasure ; but the ancient mythology seems to us like a vintage ill-pressed and trod; for though something has been own from it, yet all the more excellent parts remain behind in the grapes that are untouched.
F ABLE - The Sirens are said to be the daughters of Achelous and Terpsichore, one of the Muses. In their early days they had wings, but lost them upon being conquered by the Muses, with whom they rashly contended; and with the feathers of these wings the Muses made themselves crowns, so that from this time the Muses wore wings on their heads, excepting only the mother to the Sirens.
These Sirens resided in certain pleasant islands, and when, from their watch-tower, they saw any ship approaching, they first detained the sailors by their music, then, enticing then to shore, destroyed them.
Their singing was not of one and the same kind, but they adapted their tunes exactly to the nature of each person, in order to captivate and secure him. And so destructive had they been, that these islands of the Sirens appeared, to a very great distance, white with the bones of their unburied captives.
Two different remedies were invented to protect persons against them, the one by Ulysses, the other by Orpheus. Ulysses commanded his associates to stop their ears close with wax; and he, determining to make the trial, and yet avoid the danger, ordered himself to be tied fast to a mast of the ship, giving strict charge not to be unbound, even though himself should entreat it; but Orpheus, without any binding at all, escaped the danger by loudly chanting to his harp the praises of the gods, whereby he drowned the voices of the Sirens.
E XPLANATION . - This fable is of the moral kind, and appears no less elegant than easy to interpret. For pleasures proceed from plenty and affluence, attended with activity or exultation of the mind.  Anciently their first incentives were quick, and seized upon men as if they had been winged, but learning and philosophy afterwards prevailing, had at least the power to lay the mind under some restraint, and make it consider the issue of things, and thus deprived pleasures of their wings.
This conquest redounded greatly to the honour and ornament of the Muses; for after it appeared, by the example of a few, that philosophy could introduce a contempt of pleasures, it immediately seemed to be a sublime thing that could raise and elevate the soul, fixed in a manner down to the earth, and thus render men's thoughts, which reside in the head, winged as it were, or sublime.
Only the mother of the Sirens was not thus plumed on the head, which doubtless denotes superficial learning invented and used for delight end levity; an eminent example whereof we have in Petronius, who, after receiving sentence of death, still continued his gay frothy humour , and, as Tacitus observes, used his learning to solace or divert himself; and instead of such discourses as give firmness and constancy of mind, read nothing but loose poems and verses.  Such learning as this seems, to pluck the crowns again from the Muses' heads, and restore them to the Sirens.
The Sirens are said to inhabit certain islands, because pleasures generally seek retirement, and often shun society. And for their songs, with the manifold artifice and destructiveness thereof, this is too obvious and common to need explanation. But that particular of the bones stretching like white cliffs along the shores, and appearing afar off, contains a more subtile allegory, and denotes that the examples of others' calamity and misfortunes, though ever so manifest and apparent, a have yet but little force to deter the corrupt nature of man from pleasures.
The allegory of the remedies against the Sirens is not difficult, but very wise and noble: it proposes, in effect, three remedies, as well against subtile as violent mischiefs, two drawn from philosophy and one from religion.
The first means of escaping is to resist the earliest temptation in the beginning, and diligently avoid and cut off all occasions that may solicit or sway the mind; and this is well represented by shutting up the ears, a kind of remedy to be necessarily used with mean and vulgar minds, such as the retinue of Ulysses.
But nobler spirits may converse, even in the midst of pleasures, if the mind be well guarded with constancy and resolution. And thus some delight to make a severe trial of their own virtue, and thoroughly acquaint themselves with the folly and madness of pleasures, without complying or being wholly given up to them; which is what Solomon professes of himself when he closes the account of all the numerous pleasures he gave a loose to, with this expression, "But wisdom still continued with me." Such heroes in virtue may, therefore, remain unmoved by the greatest incentives to pleasure, and stop themselves on the very precipice of danger; if, according to the example of Ulysses, they turn a deaf ear to pernicious counsel, and the flatteries of their friends and companions, which have the greatest power to shake and unsettle the mind.
But the most excellent remedy, in every temptation, is that of Orpheus, who, by loudly chanting and resounding the praises of the gods, confounded the voices, and kept himself from hearing the music of the Sirens; for divine contemplations exceed the pleasures of sense, not only in power but also in sweetness.
[ edit ] Endnotes
- ^ Most of these fables are contained in Ovid's Metamorphoses and Fasti, and are fully explained in Bohn's Classical Library translation.