2015年12月26日 星期六

Edward Gibbon: Memoirs of My Life, 吉本自傳

"Gibbon is not merely a master of the pageant and the story; he is also the critic and the historian of the mind." (Virginia Woolf).
「許多於平常人十分重要的東西對他失去了意義。當他的目光超越了眼前景象而投向遼遠的群山,當他專注於『我的另一個妻子,《羅馬帝國衰亡史》』,而對一個活生生的女人視而不見,他的人生觀也就與眾不同了。」維吉尼亞.吳爾芙如此論述〈THE HISTORIAN AND “THE GIBBON” 1937 歷史學家與「這種吉本」〉

愛德華·吉本(Edward Gibbon173758日─1794116日),英國歷史學家,《羅馬帝國衰亡史The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 》的作者。

* 《論文學研究》 (法文,1761)
* 《羅馬帝國衰亡史》 (I, 1776; II III, 1781; IV, V, VI, 1788) 六大卷71章,敘事縱橫1250年,註腳超過8000個,徵引學者409人,書籍800餘種。
* 《羅馬帝國衰亡史中第15章和16章某些段落的考證》 (1779)
* 《對法國法庭報告回答的證明訴狀》 (法文,1779)
* 《我的作品和生活回憶錄》(1794)

Edward Gibbon: Memoirs of My Life,

這本書(英文 Gutenberg Project等收錄) 有許多種編輯方式
()吉本著 吉本自傳』、戴子欽*譯,三聯書店,1989/2002【根據1907/1978 牛津世界古典文學叢書 節譯編輯。】
1984年企鵝版 The Penguin English Library
還有 ed. G.A. Bonnard (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969;1966). portions of EG's memoirs arranged chronologically, omitting repetition.

本自傳 內容簡介
一 楔子
二 家族的歷史和軼聞
三 我的出生和童年
四 從出門求學到母親去世
五 進入和離開威斯敏斯特公學
六 在牛津的十四個月
七 改信天主教和離開牛津
八 到洛桑後的生活和再改變
九 為渴求進步而奮力學習
十 戀愛的始末和回返英國
十一 在倫敦和伯裏頓的兩年
十二 我的第一本著作
十三 漢普郡民兵生活的回憶
十四 回返到做學問的道路
十五 初訪巴黎、重游洛桑
十六 遊歷義大利的前後
十七 編輯·寫作·論爭
十八 開始寫《羅馬史》和當議員
十九 寫作生活和政治活動
二十 離開英國定居洛桑
二十一 羅馬史引起的毀譽和感觸


2015.12.26   8點起。拿Edward Gibbon 的Memoirs of My Life

Memoirs of My Life - Google Books Result

Edward Gibbon - 2006 - ‎Biography & Autobiography
spot in which I could unite the comforts and beauties of my establishment at Lausanne? ... My seraglio was amplemy choice was free, my appetite was keen.


2015.12.26 查Edward Gibbon在YouTube,是近50分鐘的讀稿

Will Durant---The Life of Edward Gibbon


我hc印象最深刻的是:David Hume 在過世那年寫給 Gibbon的信
A letter from Mr. Hume
overpaid the labour of ten years, but I have never presumed to
accept a place in the triumvirate of British historians.
That curious and original letter will amuse the reader, and his
gratitude should shield my free communication from the reproach of
"DEAR SIR, EDINBURGH, 18th March 1776.
"As I ran through your volume of history with great avidity and
impatience, I cannot forbear discovering somewhat of the same
impatience in returning you thanks for your agreeable present, and
expressing the satisfaction which the performance has given me.
Whether I consider the dignity of your style, the depth of your
matter, or the extensiveness of your learning, I must regard the
work as equally the object of esteem; and I own that if I had not
previously had the happiness of your personal acquaintance, such a
performance from an Englishman in our age would have given me some
surprise.  You may smile at this sentiment; but as it seems to me
that your countrymen, for almost a whole generation, have given
themselves up to barbarous and absurd faction, and have totally
neglected all polite letters, I no longer expected any valuable
production ever to come from them.  I know it will give you pleasure
(as it did me) to find that all the men of letters in this place
concur in the admiration of your work, and in their anxious desire
of your continuing it.
"When I heard of your undertaking, (which was some time ago,) I own
I was a little curious to see how you would extricate yourself from
the subject of your two last chapters.  I think you have observed a
very prudent temperament; but it was impossible to treat the subject
so as not to give grounds of suspicion against you, and you may
expect that a clamour will arise.  This, if anything, will retard
your success with the public; for in every other respect your work
is calculated to be popular.  But among many other marks of decline,
the prevalence of superstition in England prognosticates the fall of
philosophy and decay of taste; and though nobody be more capable
than you to revive them, you will probably find a struggle in your
first advances.
"I see you entertain a great doubt with regard to the authenticity
of the poems of Ossian.  You are certainly right in so doing.  It is
indeed strange that any men of sense could have imagined it
possible, that above twenty thousand verses, along with numberless
historical facts, could have been preserved by oral tradition during
fifty generations, by the rudest, perhaps, of all the European
nations, the most necessitous, the most turbulent, and the most
unsettled.  Where a supposition is so contrary to common sense, any
positive evidence of it ought never to be regarded.  Men run with
great avidity to give their evidence in favour of what flatters
their passions and their national prejudices.  You are therefore
over and above indulgent to us in speaking of the matter with
"I must inform you that we all are very anxious to hear that you
have fully collected the materials for your second volume, and that
you are even considerably advanced in the composition of it.  I
speak this more in the name of my friends than in my own; as I
cannot expect to live so long as to see the publication of it.  Your
ensuing volume will be more delicate than the preceding, but I trust
in your prudence for extricating you from the difficulties; and, in
all events, you have courage to despise the clamour of bigots.
I am, with great regard,
Dear Sir, &c.  DAVID HUME."
Some weeks afterwards I had the melancholy pleasure of seeing Mr.
Hume in his passage through London; his body feeble, his mind firm.
On Aug. 25 of the same year (1776) he died, at Edinburgh, the death
of a philosopher.

It was on the day, or rather night, of the 27th of June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page in a summer house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains. The air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of the moon was reflected from the waters, and all nature was silent. I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and, perhaps, the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind by the idea that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that whatsoever might be the future date of my History, the life of the historian must be short and precarious."

當我完成了一部辛苦撰寫、終獲成功的著作之後,如今在我的五十二歲上,我打算利用一部分閒暇時間,回顧一下個人文墨生活上的簡單事務。這篇個人生活的敘事文章,必須以真實作為它的唯一可以推許的特點,這就是嚴肅一點的歷史書所應具有的首要品質:赤裸裸的、不怕出醜的真實。文筆 應當是質樸而且平易的。不過文筆是性格的映像;而認真寫作的習慣,很可能不費甚麼經營或設計,就將技能和學問顯示出來了。

我的動機是自娛,能白娛就使我得到了報償。這批文稿倘使傳送到某幾位審慎而又寬容的朋友手裡,我希望在我未能逃脫世人的批評或譏笑之前, 暫時不要將它公開發表。







我的姓名日後也許會列入一部《英國名人傳記集》的上千篇文章裡,因此我必須想到,要介紹我的一系列思想和行動,沒有人能像我自己那樣完全合格了。我所崇奉的大師,如莊嚴的圖阿努斯①和冷靜的休謨,他們的權威性言論大概足以說明我這打算是充分有理的。我也不難就古往今來用各種方式描成自身畫像的人物開出一份長長的名單來。這類畫像往往是他們著作中最有趣的,有時還只有這一部分著作使人感到有興趣。而且,只要描述真摯,我們對於這類個人往事記錄的瑣細或噦唆之處,也不大覺得討厭。小普林尼、彼特拉克以及伊拉斯謨的生平事蹟,是從他們自己留與世人的許多書簡中表述出來的。蒙田和威廉·坦普爾爵士的小品文,使我們充分了解到這兩位作家的家庭和胸襟。我們讀到本佛奴多'切利尼的任性愛憎和科利·西伯的憨傻作樂,會莞爾而笑而無輕視之意。聖奧古斯丁和盧梭的懺悔錄,揭示了人類心靈的秘密。博學的於埃所寫的許多註解文字,比他的傳道活動留存得更長久。哥爾多尼的回憶錄,比他用意大利文所寫的戲劇具有更真實的戲劇性。在惠斯頓和紐頓主教的性格和運氣上,明顯地標示了不信國教與信仰國教者的差別。甚至米夏埃爾·德·馬羅勒和安東尼'伍德的遲鈍性格,也從他們為人處世的忠實描寫上獲得了若干價值。 ①謙虛或偽裝的一切效用, 都不能迫使我遮掩住我可以比得上或者勝過上述人物中的某幾位。pp. 3-6 ;