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托马斯·亨利·赫胥黎 科学和艺术

2006-07-07 17:09

Thomas Henry Huxley


May 5,1883

  I beg leave to thank you for the extremely kind andappreciative manner in which you have received thetoast of Science.It is the more grateful to me tohear that toast proposed in an assembly of thiskind,because I have noticed of late years a greatand growing tendency among those who were oncejestingly said to have been born in a pre-scientificage to look upon science as an invading and aggres-sive force,which if it had its own way would oustfrom the universe all other pursuits.I think thereare many persons who look upon this new birth ofour times as a sort of monster rising out of the seaof modern thought with the purpose of devouringthe Andromeda of art.And now and then a Perseus,equipped with the shoes of swiftness ofthe ready writer,with the cap of invisibility of theeditorial article,and it may be with the Medusa-head of vituperation,shows himself ready to tryconclusions with the scientific dragon.Sir,I hopethat Perseus will think better of it; first,for hisown sake,because the creature is hard of head,strong of jaw,and for some time past has shown agreat capacity for going over and through whatevercomes in his way;and secondly,for the sake of justice,for I assure you,of my own personal knowledge that if left alone,the creature is a verydebonair and gentle monster.As for the Androme-da of art,he has the tenderest respect for that la-dy,and desires nothing more than to see her hap-pily settled and annually producing a flock of suchcharming children as those we see about us.

  But putting parables aside,I am unable to un- derstand how any one with a knowledge of mankind can imagine that the growth of science can threaten the development of art in any of itsforms.If I understand the matter at all,scienceand art are the obverse and reverse of Nature'smedal,the one expressing the eternal order of things,in terms of feeling,the other in terms ofthought.When men no longer love nor hate;whensuffering causes no pity,and the tale of great deeds ceases to thrill,when the lily of the fieldshall seem no longer more beautifuly arrayed thanSolomon in all his glory,and the awe has vanishedfrom the snow-capped peak and deep ravine,thenindeed science may have the world to itself,but itwill not be because the monster has devoured art,but becuase one side of human nature is dead,andbecause men have lost the half of their ancient andpresent attributes.




  请允许我感谢诸位极其友好、极有眼光地听取了为科学而作的祝酒辞。在今天这样的会上听到这个祝酒辞,更使我感激不已。因为近年来我注意到,在那些被戏称为生于前科学时代的人当中,出现了一种日益强大的、把科学视为一股侵略势力的倾向。他们以为,如果科学要想随心所欲的话,就会把其他行业逐出宇宙。我想,现在有许多人都认为当代的这个新生事物是一头从现代思潮的海洋中冒出来的怪兽,它想要吞噬艺术的安德洛墨达。于是,一位帕修斯就会不时出现。他脚登写作快手的 “追风靴”,头戴重要评论的“隐形盔”,也许还长着装满谩骂之词的“美杜萨脑袋”,摆出了欲与科学之龙决胜负的架势。诸位,我希望这位帕修斯三思。首先要为自己着想。因为怪兽的头很坚硬,颚也很强壮,而且一段时间以来,它在冲破任何羁绊方面已大显身手。其次要为公正着想。因为我向诸位担保,依本人之愚见,这头怪兽如果不去惹它的话,本来是非常温文尔雅的。至于艺术的安德洛墨达,它对那位女士非常敬慕,而且别无他求,只盼她幸福地安家落户,年年生育一大群招人喜爱的儿女,就像我们在自己周围所看到的孩子们那样。


秦文勇 译

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