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IF amidst the infinite number of subjects contained in this book there is anything which, contrary to my expectation, may possibly offend, I can at least assure the public that it was not inserted with an ill intention: for I am not naturally of a captious temper. Plato thanked the gods that he was born in the same age with Socrates: and for my part I give thanks to the Supreme that I was born a subject of that government under which I live; and that it is His pleasure I should obey those whom He has made me love.

I beg one favour of my readers, which I fear will not be granted me; this is, that they will not judge by a few hours' reading of the labour of twenty years; that they will approve or condemn the book entire, and not a few particular phrases. If they would search into the design of the author, they can do it in no other way so completely as by searching into the design of the work.

I have first of all considered mankind; and the result of my thoughts has been, that amidst such an infinite diversity of laws and manners, they were not solely conducted by the caprice of fancy.

I have laid down the first principles, and have found that the particular cases follow naturally from them; that the histories of all nations are only consequences of them; and that every particular law is connected with another law, or depends on some other of a more general extent.

When I have been obliged to look back into antiquity, I have endeavoured to assume the spirit of the ancients, lest I should consider those things as alike which are really different; and lest I should miss the difference of those which appear to be alike.

I have not drawn my principles from my prejudices, but from the nature of things.

Here a great many truths will not appear till we have seen the chain which connects them with others. The more we enter into particulars, the more we shall perceive the certainty of the principles on which they are founded. I have not even given all these particulars, for who could mention them all without a most insupportable fatigue?

The reader will not here meet with any of those bold flights which seem to characterise the works of the present age. When things are examined with never so small a degree of extent, the sallies of imagination must vanish; these generally arise from the mind's collecting all its powers to view only one side of the subject, while it leaves the other unobserved.

I write not to censure anything established in any country whatsoever. Every nation will here find the reasons on which its maxims are founded; and this will be the natural inference, that to propose alterations belongs only to those who are so happy as to be born with a genius capable of penetrating the entire constitution of a state.

It is not a matter of indifference that the minds of the people be enlightened. The prejudices of magistrates have arisen from national prejudice. In a time of ignorance they have committed even the greatest evils without the least scruple; but in an enlightened age they even tremble while conferring the greatest blessings. They perceive the ancient abuses; they see how they must be reformed; but they are sensible also of the abuses of a reformation. They let the evil continue, if they fear a worse; they are content with a lesser good, if they doubt a greater. They examine into the parts, to judge of them in connection; and they examine all the causes, to discover their different effects.

Could I but succeed so as to afford new reasons to every man to love his prince, his country, his laws; new reasons to render him more sensible in every nation and government of the blessings he enjoys, I should think myself the most happy of mortals.

Could I but succeed so as to persuade those who command, to increase their knowledge in what they ought to prescribe; and those who obey, to find a new pleasure resulting from obedience — I should think myself the most happy of mortals.

The most happy of mortals should I think myself could I contribute to make mankind recover from their prejudices. By prejudices I here mean, not that which renders men ignorant of some particular things, but whatever renders them ignorant of themselves.

It is in endeavouring to instruct mankind that we are best able to practise that general virtue which comprehends the love of all. Man, that flexible being, conforming in society to the thoughts and impressions of others, is equally capable of knowing his own nature, whenever it is laid open to his view; and of losing the very sense of it, when this idea is banished from his mind.

Often have I begun, and as often have I laid aside, this undertaking. I have a thousand times given the leaves I had written to the winds: I, every day, felt my paternal hands fall. I have followed my object without any fixed plan: I have known neither rules nor exceptions; I have found the truth, only to lose it again. But when I once discovered my first principles, everything I sought for appeared; and in the course of twenty years, I have seen my work begun, growing up, advancing to maturity, and finished.

If this work meets with success, I shall owe it chiefly to the grandeur and majesty of the subject. However, I do not think that I have been totally deficient in point of genius. When I have seen what so many great men both in France, England, and Germany have said before me, I have been lost in admiration; but I have not lost my courage: I have said with Correggio, "And I also am a painter."

1. For the better understanding of the first four books of this work, it is to be observed that what I distinguish by the name of virtue, in a republic, is the love of one's country, that is, the love of equality. It is not a moral, nor a Christian, but a political virtue; and it is the spring which sets the republican government in motion, as honour is the spring which gives motion to monarchy. Hence it is that I have distinguished the love of one's country, and of equality, by the appellation of political virtue. My ideas are new, and therefore I have been obliged to find new words, or to give new acceptations to old terms, in order to convey my meaning. They, who are unacquainted with this particular, have made me say most strange absurdities, such as would be shocking in any part of the world, because in all countries and governments morality is requisite.

2. The reader is also to notice that there is a vast difference between saying that a certain quality, modification of the mind, or virtue, is not the spring by which government is actuated, and affirming that it is not to be found in that government. Were I to say such a wheel or such a pinion is not the spring which sets the watch going, can you infer thence that they are not to be found in the watch? So far is it from being true that the moral and Christian virtues are excluded from monarchy, that even political virtue is not excluded. In a word, honour is found in a republic, though its spring be political virtue; and political virtue is found in a monarchical government, though it be actuated by honour.

To conclude, the honest man of whom we treat in the third book, chapter 5, is not the Christian, but the political honest man, who is possessed of the political virtue there mentioned. He is the man who loves the laws of his country, and who is actuated by the love of those laws. I have set these matters in a clearer light in the present edition, by giving a more precise meaning to my expression: and in most places where I have made use of the word virtue I have taken care to add the term political.

上一篇:The Translator to the Reader

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英译者序 - 来自《政治经济学的国民体系》

大约五年前,当弗里德里希·李斯特(Friedrich List)的作品在德国出版并广泛流行的时候,《泰晤士报》驻柏林记者就本书当时在德国所发生的有利于采行保护贸易政策的巨大影响,及时地写了一篇评论。   最初引起我对李斯特著作的注意的,就是他的经济学说这种在实际影响上的确凿现象。经仔细阅读了他的著作以后,使我感到有译述这本书的必要,这是为了让英国读者有机会自己来判断李斯特的说法是否正确,论据是否可靠。   本书包括四个部分——历史、理论、学派和国家经济政策。应当注意到,所有这一些都是在1844年以前写的,尤其是其中第……去看看 

第四章 充公 - 来自《面包与自由》

据说大富豪罗斯齐尔德①在1848年法国发生革命的时候,看见他的财产有点危险,便想出了下面的方法:他说:“我完全承认我的财产是靠了别的无数的人帮忙积蓄起来的;可是倘使把我的财产分配给那么多的欧洲人,每个人也不过得着四个先令。好罢,无论谁要向我讨还这四个先令,我随时都可以拿给他。”  ①Rothschild一姓在十九世纪欧洲银行界中占着极大的势力,是一个豪富的犹太的家族。这里指的是JamesdeRothschild(1792—1868),他创办巴黎银行。1822年他任奥匈驻巴黎总领事,给路易·腓力普的政府帮过大忙。—&mdas……去看看 

第九章 江西受困 6、塔死罗走,曾国藩感到从未有过的空虚 - 来自《曾国藩 第1部 血祭》

塔齐布盛年溘然去世,是曾国藩根本不能想象的事。正是曾国藩将塔齐布由一名都司衔署理抚标中营守备,一年多时间,便迅速提拔为湖南水陆提督。也正是这个塔齐布,知恩图报,尽心尽力为曾国藩打赢了几场大仗,为湘勇大壮声威。曾国藩需要塔齐布带兵打仗,更需要塔齐布为他制造一个满汉亲密无间的形象,以消除朝野内外的各种猜忌、嫉妒以及形形色色的流言蜚语。如今在战时进退维谷、局面晦暗不明的时候,塔齐布却因九江久攻不下呕血归天,曾国藩整整一夜为此而黯然神伤。  第二天一清早,曾国藩便带着一批高级将官和幕僚,骑马离南康赴竹林店。……去看看 

第十章 赶乘战车 - 来自《战争赌徒山本五十六》

德军闪电惊倭日,战车紧迫下南洋;     山本用兵破旧习,两眼盯住珍珠港。   话说山本五十六被任命为联合舰队司令长官,正值第二次世界大战爆发,也是日本深陷中国而寸步难行的时候。面对这样一种进退两难的局势,日本迫切想打开局面,以便在大战中大捞一把。这一时机不久就来到了。   1940年4月,在欧洲,经过了长达半年多的“奇怪战争”之后,德国突然在西线发起了“闪电战”,其后,战争即以惊人的速度发展起来。4月,希特勒先征服了丹麦和挪威, 5月10日,又下令他的装甲部队和伞兵部队对比利时和荷兰发起闪电战。4天后的黄昏,荷兰总司令……去看看 

第一章 - 来自《中越战争秘录》

1.白宫。邓小平语出惊人,确认中国集结军队   他俯视微呈弧形的太平洋。在一万公尺高空。   第二次飞越太平洋,壮阔感一如前次。   五年前,他率领中国代表团参加联合国大会第六届特别会议,在那个讲坛上,他首次向全世界阐述了毛泽东主席的三个世界的宏论。而这一次,巨人已经作古,他本人也在同他的国家经历又一次大起大落之后,作为中国的新的巨人,亲往大洋彼岸。   这是一九七九年一月二十八日,按中国的农历是正月初一——已未年春节。   由于逆地球自转飞行, 银白色的波音707座机迅速地没入夜空。片刻,一位机组人员走到他……去看看