◎ 梁实秋 Liang Shiqiu
最令人怵目惊心的一件事，是看着钟表上的秒针一下一下的移动，每移动一下就是表示我们的寿命已经缩短了一部分。再看看墙上挂着的可以一张张撕下的日历，每天撕下一张就是表示我们的寿命又缩短了一天。因为时间即生命。没有人不爱惜他的生命，但很少人珍视他的时间。如果想在有生之年做一点什么事，学一点什么学问，充实自己，帮助别人，使生命成为有意义，不虚此生，那么就不可浪费光阴。这道理人人都懂 〔1〕 ，可是很少人真能积极不懈的善为利用他的时间。
我自己就是浪费了很多时间的一个人 〔2〕 。我不打麻将，我不经常的听戏看电影，几年中难得一次，我不长时间看电视，通常只看半个小时，我也不串门子闲聊天。有人问我：“那么你大部分时间都做了些什么呢？”我痛自反省，我发现，除了职务上的必须及人情上所不能免的活动之外，我的时间大部分都浪费了。我应该集中精力，读我所未读过的书，我应该利用所有时间，写我所要写的东西。但是我没能这样做。我的好多的时间都糊里糊涂的混过去了，“少壮不努力，老大徒伤悲。”
例如我翻译莎士比亚，本来计划于课余之暇每年翻译两部，二十年即可完成，但是我用了三十年，主要的原因是懒。翻译之所以完成，主要的是因为活得相当长久，十分惊险 〔3〕 。翻译完成之后，虽然仍有工作计划，但体力渐衰，有力不从心之感 〔4〕 。假使年轻的时候鞭策自己，如今当有较好或较多的表现。然而悔之晚矣。
再例如，作为一个中国人，经书不可不读。我年过三十才知道读书自修的重要 〔5〕 。我披阅，我圈点，但是恒心不足，时作时辍。五十以学易，可以无大过矣 〔6〕 ，我如今年过八十，还没有接触过《易经》，说来惭愧。史书也很重要。我出国留学的时候，我父亲买了一套同文石印的前四史 〔7〕 ，塞满了我的行箧的一半空间，我在外国混了几年之后又把前四史原封带回来了。直到四十年后才鼓起勇气读了《通鉴》 〔8〕 一遍。现在我要读的书太多，深感时间有限。
无论做什么事，健康的身体是基本条件。我在学校读书的时候，有所谓“强迫运动”，我踢破过几双球鞋，打断过几只球拍。因此侥幸维持下来最低限度的体力。老来打过几年太极拳，目前则以散步活动筋骨而已。寄语年轻朋友，千万要持之以恒的从事运动，这不是嬉戏，不是浪费时间。健康的身体是作人做事的真正的本钱 〔9〕 。
Time Is Life
◎ Liang Shiqiu
It is most startling to hear a watch or clock clicking away the seconds, each click indicating the shortening of one’s life by a little bit. Likewise, with each page torn off the wall calendar, one’s life is shortened by another day. Time, therefore, is life. Nevertheless, few people treasure their time as much as their life. Time must not be wasted if you want to do your bit in your remaining years or acquire some useful knowledge to improve yourself and help others, so that your life may turn out to be significant and fruitful. All that is foolproof, yet few people really strive to make the best use of their time.
Personally, I am also a fritterer. I don’t play mahjong. I seldom go to the theatre or cinema — I go there maybe only once every few years. I seldom spend long hours watching TV — usually I watch TV for no more than 30 minutes at a sitting. Nor do I go visiting and gossiping from door to door. Some people asked me, “Then what do you do with most of your time?” Introspecting with remorse, I found that apart from the time earmarked for my job and unavoidable social activities, most of my time had been wasted. I should have concentrated my energies on reading whatever books I have not yet read. I should have utilized all my time in writing anything I want to write. But I’ve failed to do so. Very much of my time has been frittered away aimlessly. As the saying goes, “One who does not work hard in youth will grieve in vain in old age.”
Take the translation of Shakespeare for example. I had initially planned to spend 20 years of my spare time in doing the translation, finishing two plays a year. But I spent 30 years instead, due primarily to my slothfulness. The whole project would probably have fallen through had it not been for my fairly long life. After that I had other plans for work, but, because of my approaching senility, somehow I failed to do what I had wished to. Had I spurred myself on in my youth, I would have done more and better work. Alas, it is too late to repent.
Another example. The reading of Chinese classics is a must for all Chinese. But it was not until I was over 30 that I came to realize the importance of self-study in the matter of classics. I did read carefully though, marking words and phrases for special attention with small circles and dots. But my efforts at self-study were off and on. Confucius says, “I shall be free of great faults if I can live long enough to begin the study of Yi 〔10〕 at the age of 50.” I feel ashamed to admit that I haven’t even touched Yi though I’m now over 80. Chinese history books are equally important. When I was leaving China to study abroad, father bought a set of the Tong Wen lithographic edition of the First Four Books of History 〔11〕 , and crammed them into my travelling box, taking up half of its space. Several years later, however, after drifting along abroad, I returned home carrying with me the same books all unread. It was not until 40 years later that I plucked up enough courage to read through Tong Jian 〔12〕 . So many books still remain to be read, and I much regret not having enough time to do it.
Whatever you do, you need a sound body first of all. In my school days, in response to the so-called “compulsory physical exercises”, I went in for many sports at the expense of many pairs of sneakers and rackets, thus luckily building up a minimum of good physique. When I was approaching old age, I did taiji quan (shadow boxing) for several years. Now I only do some walking exercises. Dear young friends, my advice to you is: Do physical exercises perseveringly. That has nothing to do with merry-making or time-wasting. Good health is the wherewithal for a successful life and career.
〔1〕 “这道理人人都懂”译为All that is foolproof，其中foolproof作very simple to understand解，意同“不言而喻”或“简单明了”。此句也可译为All that is self-evident。
〔2〕 “我自己就是浪费了很多时间的一个人”译为Personally, I am also a fritterer，其中fritterer一词在用法上既可泛指“时间、金钱等等的浪费者”，又可专指“不爱惜时间的人”（a person who wastes time）。
〔3〕 “翻译之所以完成，主要的是因为活得相当长久，十分惊险”的意思是“幸亏自己命长，否则可能完成不了莎士比亚的翻译”。其中“十分惊险”的意思是“险些完成不了”。现全句译为The whole project would probably have fallen through had it not been for my fairly long life。
〔4〕 “但体力渐衰，有力不从心之感”译为because of my approaching senility, somehow I failed to do what I had wished to，其中senility指因年迈而导致身心两方面的衰退。
〔5〕 “才知道读书自修的重要”中的“读书”，根据上下文应指“读经书”，故此句译为came to realize the importance of self-study in the matter of classics，其中in the matter of作in relation to或in regard to（就……而论）解。
〔6〕 “五十以学易，可以无大过矣”出自《论语·述而》中的“子曰，加我数年，五十以学易，可以无大过矣。”其意为“让我再多活几年，到五十岁时去学习《易经》，就可以没有多大的过错了。”现按此意用加字法译为Confucius says, “I shall be free of great faults if I can live long enough to begin the study of Yi at the age of 50.”。
〔9〕 “健康的身体是作人做事的真正的本钱”译为Good health is the wherewithal for a successful life and career，其中the wherewithal意同the necessary means（必要的资金、手段等）。又，“作人做事”指“生活”与“事业”两方面，故参照上下文译为a successful life and career。