中小学生必读丛书:富兰克林自传(txt+pdf+epub+mobi电子书下载)

作者:本杰明·富兰克林

出版社:北京联合出版公司

格式: AZW3, DOCX, EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT

中小学生必读丛书:富兰克林自传

中小学生必读丛书:富兰克林自传试读:

第一章

(Part 1)(1771年,写于都怀伏特镇,圣阿萨夫主教家)

亲爱的孩子:

我一直对收集祖上的各种奇闻轶事相当感兴趣,乐此不彼。我就曾经为了这个目的而四出旅行,你可能还记得,当我们在英国的时候,我就经常向我们家族中的老人们询问、调查有关这个方面的情况。我觉得,同样,你们中的一些人可能也很想知道我的生活情况(就好比我渴望知道我的先人的生活一样),因为这其中的很多事情你们是并不清楚的。正好,我现在有一个星期的休假时间,预计在这一个星期的乡村假期里是没有什么东西会来打扰我的。(Twyford, at the Bishop of St. Asaph's, 1771)

DEAR SON,

I have ever had pleasure in obtaining any little anecdotes of my ancestors. You may remember the inquiries I made among the remains of my relations when you were with me in England, and the journey I undertook for that purpose. Imagining it may be equally agreeable to some of you to know the circumstances of my life, many of which you are yet unacquainted with, and expecting the enjoyment of a week's uninterrupted leisure in my present country retirement, I sit down to write them for you.

因而,我可以坐下来把我的生活情况原原本本地告诉你。其实,写这些东西,我还有另外一个目的。我出身贫贱,后来才在这个世界上获得了财富和荣誉,为世人所称道。上帝保佑,我至今一帆风顺,万事如意。我的处世之道如此成功,我的后世子孙也许想知道它们,并且找到些和他们的境况相适应的立身之术,然后模仿它们。

当我回望、审视这种幸福的时候,我有时候禁不住会想,如果上帝再给我一次机会的话,我会毫不犹豫地重新度过我的此生,一切从头开始。我只要求像作家那样,在修订版本的时候可以改正初版的某些错误,把某些不幸的事情变得稍微顺利些。但是,要是我的这些要求都不被接受的话,我仍然愿意接受上帝的恩赐,按照我原来的样子重新活过一次。事实上既然这种重来是不可能的,那么最接近这种重演的好像只有回忆了。为了让这种回忆尽可能地保持久远,就只好把它用笔记下来了。

在这里我将顺着老年人常有的偏好,来谈谈他们自己,谈谈他们过去的所作所为。我这样做,将不会使那些尊敬老人的人感到厌烦,他们往往处于尊敬老人的考虑而被迫听我们唠叨。而将之写下来,他们可以看也可以不看。最后,我还是自己承认吧,就算我死不承认也没有人会相信,那就是,写这个自传可以极大地满足我的虚荣心。实际上,我经常听到或在书上看到,在人们说完“我可以毫不夸张地说”之类的开场白之后,紧接着的就是一堆自吹自擂的话,而丝毫不觉得脸红。绝大多数人厌恶别人的虚荣,但却不管自己有多么虚荣。但是,无论我在什么地方碰到虚荣,我都会给它一个正确的位子。因为我觉得,这样做,对虚荣的人来说是有好处的,对其周围受其影响的人来说也不无益处。因此,在很多情况下,一个人在感谢生活给他带来的种种便利和舒适之外,然后感谢上帝恩赐于他的虚荣心也是很正常的。

现在,我真的要说感谢上帝,我由衷地感激它在以往的日子里给予的幸福,正是它指引我前进,并取得了成功。虽然这些并不一定在我的预测范围之内,但是深信它们会使我实现渴望,同样的苍天之善仍旧指引着我,使我持续拥有这样的幸福,或者是能够使我容忍他人都会经历的那些致命的困苦。我未来要面临的幸福、甚至是痛苦,全能的上帝全都知晓,并且都在它的掌握之中。

To which I have besides some other inducements. Having emerged from the poverty and obscurity in which I was born and bred, to a state of affluence and some degree of reputation in the world, and having gone so far through life with a considerable share of felicity, the conducing means I made use of, which with the blessing of God so well succeeded, my posterity may like to know, as they may find some of them suitable to their own situations, and therefore fit to be imitated.

That felicity, when I reflected on it, has induced me sometimes to say, that were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults of the first. So I might, besides correcting the faults, change some sinister accidents and events of it for others more favorable. But though this were denied, I should still accept the offer. Since such a repetition is not to be expected, the next thing most like living one's life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing.

Hereby, too, I shall indulge the inclination so natural in old men, to be talking of themselves and their own past actions; and I shall indulge it without being tiresome to others, who, through respect to age, might conceive themselves obliged to give me a hearing, since this may be read or not as any one pleases. And, lastly(I may as well confess it, since my denial of it will be believed by nobody), perhaps I shall a good deal gratify my own vanity. Indeed, I scarce ever heard or saw the introductory words, "Without vanity I may say," edc., but some vain thing immediately followed. Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within his sphere of action; and therefore, in many cases, it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life.

And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence, which lead me to the means I used and gave them success. My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness, or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done: the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless to us even our afflictions.

我一位伯父的手记曾经落在我的手上,他也有收集家族奇闻轶事的癖好。这部手记使我了解到我们祖上的一些详细情况。从这部手记可以看出,我们家族在洛斯安普敦教区的埃克敦村至少住了不下于300年之久。究竟在这之前有多少年,我这个伯父自己也不知道了。(也许可以从他们采用“富兰克林”这个词作为他们的姓开始。“富兰克林”在这之前,是一个平民阶层的名称。当时英国各地都在使用姓氏。)那个时候,他们拥有30亩的自由地,附带着以打铁为副业。一直到我伯父这一代为止,打铁的副业都没有断过。家里的老大总是被培养来接替这个打铁的生意。作为一个惯例,伯父和我父亲在他们长子的职业安排上也服从这样一个规矩。当我在埃克敦查阅相关记录时,我发现了我们祖先从1555年开始的出生、婚姻、丧葬情况。在这之前,就没有任何记录了,因为那个时候教区还没有开始建立记录制度。通过那份记录我得知我是前五代人中最年幼儿子的儿子。

我的祖父托马斯,他生于1598年,他一直住在埃克敦村,直到他老得不能再做生意为止。然后他就和他儿子约翰——一个染工一起住在牛津郡班伯里。那个时候,我父亲就在给约翰当学徒。我祖父一直生活在那里直到死亡并安葬在那里。1758那一年,我们见到了他的墓碑。他的长子托马斯仍然住在埃克敦,他死后将房屋和土地都留给了他惟一的女儿。他的女儿和女婿(威灵堡一个叫费希尔的人)又把它们卖给了现在的主人伊斯特德先生。我祖父有四个儿子,他们是托马斯,约翰,本杰明,约塞亚。我手边没有资料,我将把我记得的尽量给你写下来。如果资料在我离开期间没有丢失的话,你就会在其中发现更多的细节。

托马斯在他父亲的培养下学打铁,但是由于他天性聪慧,当地教区的大绅士帕尔默先生就不断鼓励他去学习。后来他成为了一名合格的书记员,成为地方上相当有影响的人物。他是他自己村庄,也是洛斯安普敦镇以及该郡所有公益事业的推动者。他得到了人们的注意也得到了哈利法克斯勋爵的奖赏。托马斯于阴历1702年1月6日去世,四年后的那天是我出生的日子。我曾记得爱克顿的老人们向我们讲述他的生平和他的性格的时候,你被强烈地震动了。因为你觉得那些东西很像你知道的我。你说,“如果他死在你出生的那一天,人们可能会认为你是他转世投胎呢!”

The notes one of my uncles(who had the same kind of curiosity in collecting family anecdotes)once put into my hands, furnished me with several particulars relating to our ancestors. From these notes I learned that the family had lived in the same village, Ecton, in Northamptonshire, for three hundred years, and how much longer he knew not(perhaps from the time when the name of Franklin, that before was the name of an order of people, was assumed by them as a surname when others took surnames all over the kingdom), on a freehold of about thirty acres, aided by the smith's business, which had continued in the family till his time, the eldest son being always bred to that business; a custom which he and my father followed as to their eldest sons. When I searched the registers at Ecton, I found an account of their births, marriages and burials from the year 1555 only, there being no registers kept in that parish at any time preceding. By that register I perceived that I was the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations back.

My grandfather Thomas, who was born in 1598, lived at Ecton till he grew too old to follow business longer, when he went to live with his son John, a dyer at Banbury, in Oxfordshire, with whom my father served an apprenticeship. There my grandfather died and lies buried. We saw his gravestone in 1758. His eldest son Thomas lived in the house at Ecton, and left it with the land to his only child, a daughter, who, with her husband, one Fisher, of Wellingborough, sold it to Mr. Isted, now lord of the manor there. My grandfather had four sons that grew up, viz.: Thomas, John, Benjamin and Josiah. I will give you what account I can of them, at this distance from my papers, and if these are not lost in my absence, you will among them find many more particulars.

Thomas was bred a smith under his father; but, being ingenious, and encouraged in learning(as all my brothers were)by an Esquire Palmer, then the principal gentleman in that parish, he qualified himself for the business of scrivener; became a considerable man in the county; was a chief mover of all public-spirited undertakings for the county or town of Northampton, and his own village, of which many instances were related of him; and much taken notice of and patronized by the then Lord Halifax. He died in 1702, January 6, old style, just four years to a day before I was born. The account we received of his life and character from some old people at Ecton, I remember, struck you as something extraordinary, from its similarity to what you knew of mine. "Had he died on the same day," you said, "one might have supposed a transmigration."

约翰被培养成了一名洗染工,我觉得是染羊毛的。本杰明被培养成为了染丝绸的,他是在伦敦学的手艺。他是一个很机灵的人。我记得很清楚,当我童年的时候,他来到波士顿我父亲住的地方和我们一起住了些个年头。我一直活到很大的年纪。他的孙子塞缪尔·富兰克林现在住在波士顿。他死后留下了两卷4开大的书本,里面是他自己写的一些诗,包括他写给他朋友和亲戚的一些即兴短诗。下面是他给我的一首诗,就是一个样本。

致和我同名的人(基于一份好战的报告)1710年7月7号

本,相信我,战争是一个危险的交易,

剑锻造好以后也就意味着毁坏。

它让许多人失败而不是成功;

它让许多人贫穷,少数人富裕,更少数人变的富有智慧;

它让村镇衰败,田野血迹斑斑;

它鼓励懒惰,保护傲慢。

美丽的城市,现在河水泛滥,

明天就会被战争的稀缺和悲伤填充,

还有破败的国家,罪恶,残肢,伤疤,

这些都是战争造成的荒凉。

他还创造了自己的速记法,并且把它教给了我。不过,由于我从来没有练习过,所以我就忘记了。我的名字是跟着他起的,因为我父亲和他有种特别的感情。他非常虔诚,只要有好的布道者来布道他都会去,并且用他自己的速记法把内容记下来,最终,他记了好几卷笔记。他还经常参加政治活动,当然,就其身份来说,他过分地关心政治了,他参加的政治活动太多了。我在伦敦的时候,他有份收藏品落在了我的手里,里面全是从1641年到1771年所有和公共事务有关的重要的小册子。从编号来看,很多小册子遗失了,但还是有8册对开本的和20册4开本的、8开本的。一位认识我的旧书商人碰到这些书就买了下来送给我。好像大概在50年前,我叔叔来美国的时候把它们忘在了那里。在书边上还有很多他记的笔记。

John was bred a dyer, I believe of woolens. Benjamin was bred a silk dyer, serving an apprenticeship at London. He was an ingenious man. I remember him well, for when I was a boy he came over to my father in Boston, and lived in the house with us some years. He lived to a great age. His grandson, Samuel Franklin, now lives in Boston. He left behind him two quarto volumes, MS., of his own poetry, consisting of little occasional pieces addressed to his friends and relations, of which the following, sent to me, is a specimen.

To my Namesake upon a Report of his Inclination to Martial Affairs, July 7th, 1710

Believe me, Ben, war is a dangerous trade.

The sword has marred as well as made;

By it do many fall, not many rise—

Makes many poor, few rich, and fewer wise;

Fills towns with ruin, fields with blood, beside

'Tis sloth's maintainer and the shield of Pride.

Fair cities, rich today in plenty flow,

War fills with want tomorrow, and with woe.

Ruined states, vice, broken limbs, and scars

Are the effects of desolating wars.

He had formed a short-hand of his own, which he taught me, but, never practising it, I have now forgot it. I was named after this uncle, there being a particular affection between him and my father. He was very pious, a great attender of sermons of the best preachers, which he took down in his short-hand, and had with him many volumes of them. He was also much of a politician; too much, perhaps, for his station. There fell lately into my hands, in London, a collection he had made of all the principal pamphlets, relating to public affairs, from 1641 to 1717; many of the volumes are wanting as appears by the numbering, but there still remain eight volumes in folio, and twenty-four in quarto and in octavo. A dealer in old books met with them, and knowing me by my sometimes buying of him, he brought them to me. It seems my uncle must have left them here, when he went to America, which was about fifty years since. There are many of his notes in the margins.

我们这个卑微的家族很早就参加了宗教改革运动(开始信奉新教)。在整个玛丽女王统治时期,我们家族成员都是新教徒,也正因为他们狂热地反对天主教会而处于巨大的麻烦之中。他们有一本英文的圣经。为了保护它,他们把它藏了起来。他们把书打开,下面缠上带子,绑在折凳的后面。当我曾祖父给家人念圣经的时候,他就把折凳打开放在自己的膝头上,在带子下面一页一页地翻读。每当这个时候,祖父都会叫一个小孩在门口望风,要是他看到宗教裁判所的使者来的话就可以知会大家,好让曾祖父有足够的时间把折凳反过来放好,那本圣经就又像原来那样藏好了。这件奇闻轶事是我从本杰明叔叔那里听来的。我们全家族都是英国国教教徒,一直到查里二世王朝覆灭的时候。那时候,一些不信奉国教的而被驱逐的人在洛斯安普敦秘密集会,本杰明叔叔和乔赛亚都终生追随着他们,家里的其他人则继续留在国教里面。

我的父亲乔赛亚很早就结婚了。大概在1682年的时候,他带着他的妻子和三个孩子来到了新英格兰。那个时候,非国教徒的集会是法律所禁止的,并常常受到骚扰。这就促使我父亲认识的一些有思想的人想到新大陆去。父亲也被劝说和他们一道去那里。他们希望在那里能够有宗教自由。在那里,他的妻子又给他生了四个孩子,他的第二个妻子又给他生了十个孩子,共十七个子女。我还记得有一次,我们十三个人围坐在一张桌子旁边的情形。现在,我们都长大成人结婚了。我是其中最小的一个儿子,出生在波士顿;我在所有的孩子中排行倒数第二。

我的母亲是我父亲的第二个妻子,她的名字叫阿拜雅·福尔杰,她是彼得·福尔杰的女儿。彼得·福尔杰是最早到新英格兰定居的移民之一,如果我没有记错的话,科顿·马瑟在他的那部有关宗教史的《美洲基督大事记》曾称赞他是位善良且博学的英国人。我还听说外祖父写过多种即兴短诗,但其中只有一首付印,我在很多年前读过这首诗。那首诗写于1675年,采用了当时民间流行的诗体,是写给当地政府有关人士的。

This obscure family of ours was early in the Reformation, and continued Protestants through the reign of Queen Mary, when they were sometimes in danger of trouble on account of their zeal against popery. They had got an English Bible, and to conceal and secure it, it was fastened open with tapes under and within the cover of a joint-stool. When my great-great-grandfather read it to his family, he turned up the joint-stool upon his knees, turning over the leaves then under the tapes. One of the children stood at the door to give notice if he saw the apparitor coming, who was an officer of the spiritual court. In that case the stool was turned down again upon its feet, when the Bible remained concealed under it as before. This anecdote I had from my uncle Benjamin. The family continued all of the Church of England till about the end of Charles the Second's reign, when some of the ministers that had been outed for nonconformity holding conventicles in Northamptonshire, Benjamin and Josiah adhered to them, and so continued all their lives: the rest of the family remained with the Episcopal Church.

Josiah, my father, married young, and carried his wife with three children into New England, about 1682. The conventicles having been forbidden by law, and frequently disturbed, induced some considerable men of his acquaintance to remove to that country, and he was prevailed with to accompany them thither, where they expected to enjoy their mode of religion with freedom. By the same wife he had four children more born there, and by a second wife ten more, in all seventeen; of which I remember thirteen sitting at one time at his table, who all grew up to be men and women, and married; I was the youngest son, and the youngest child but two, and was born in Boston, New England.

My mother, the second wife, was Abiah Folger, daughter of Peter Folger, one of the first settlers of New England, of whom honorable mention is made by Cotton Mather in his church history of that country, entitled Magnalia Christi Americana, as 'a godly, learned Englishman," if I remember the words rightly. I have heard that he wrote sundry small occasional pieces, but only one of them was printed, which I saw now many years since. It was written in 1675, in the home-spun verse of that time and people, and addressed to those then concerned in the government there.

他代表浸礼会、教友派及其他受迫害的教派,他颂扬良心自由。他认为我们所遭受的印第安人战争和其它灾害是迫害教徒的结果,是上帝对这种重罪的严判和重惩,以规劝政府取消那些严酷的法令。在我看来,整个诗篇都充满了正直坦诚和豪迈的气概。尽管我忘记了前两节,但我记得最后六节。文章的主要意思是说他的责难都是出于善意,所以他不想隐晦自己的名字。

他说,

因为我从心底憎恶,

做一个匿名诽谤的人。

我住在修彭城,

我绝无恶意,

我把名字留存在这里。

您真诚的朋友:彼得·福尔杰。

我的兄长们都在不同的行业学习。我8岁的时候被送到文法学校学习,这是因为父亲想要我致力于教会事业,当做是父亲这么多儿子的什一税。我很早就开始学习(应该是非常早,在我印象中我没有不识字的时期),父亲所有的朋友都说我将来一定能成为大学者,这些让父亲更坚信了他的意图。本杰明叔叔也赞同我读书,并提议把他全部的布道速记材料给我。如果我能学他的速记的话,我想这些都可以作为我未来的资本。我在文法学校学习还不到一年,但在这一段时期内我已经从班级里的中等生一跃成为优等生。然后父亲要我升到二年级,这样我年底就可以升入三年级。

It was in favor of liberty of conscience, and in behalf of the Baptists, Quakers, and other sectaries that had been under persecution, ascribing the Indian wars, and other distresses that had befallen the country, to that persecution, as so many judgments of God to punish so heinous an offense, and exhorting a repeal of those uncharitable laws. The whole appeared to me as written with a good deal of decent plainness and manly freedom. The six concluding lines I remember, though I have forgotten the two first of the stanza; but the purport of them was, that his censures proceeded from good-will, and, therefore, he would be known to be the author.

Because to be a libeller(says he)

I hate it with my heart;

From Sherburne town, where now I dwell

My name I do put here;

Without offense your real friend,

It is Peter Folgier.

My elder brothers were all put apprentices to different trades. I was put to the grammar-school at eight years of age, my father intending to devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the Church. My early readiness in learning to read(which must have been very early, as I do not remember when I could not read), and the opinion of all his friends, that I should certainly make a good scholar, encouraged him in this purpose of his. My uncle Benjamin, too, approved of it, and proposed to give me all his short-hand volumes of sermons, I suppose as a stock to set up with, if I would learn his character. I continued, however, at the grammar-school not quite one year, though in that time I had risen gradually from the middle of the class of that year to be the head of it, and farther was removed into the next class above it, in order to go with that into the third at the end of the year.

但是,同时,父亲考虑到我以后上大学的费用,这样大的一个家庭,父亲没有办法供养我上大学,并且许多受过高等教育的人活得并不富裕,这是父亲当着我的面对他的朋友说的。所以,父亲改变了他的看法,让我从文法学校退学,而把我送到一所读写和算术的学校去读书。这所学校是当时一个著名的叫做乔治·布郎纳的先生开办的。总的说来,他办学还是不错的,他用的是最温和的最鼓舞人心的教学方法。在他的教导下,我不久就能写一手漂亮的字,但算术却不及格,并且一直没有进步。10岁那年我被父亲带回了家,做父亲生意上的帮手,制作蜡烛和肥皂,父亲在这个方面并没有受过训练,但是当父亲到达新英格兰的时候,他发现漂染的活根本没有生意,无法维持全家人的生计,所以我就帮着做些剪烛芯、灌烛模、照看店面、跑腿送货诸如此类的事。

我不喜欢这个行当,我对航海有着强烈的向往。不过父亲说他反对我的想法。但由于生活在海边,我对海很熟悉,我很早就学会了游泳和划船。我经常是个领导者,尤其当我们遇到什么麻烦的时候。我有的时候也会让孩子们陷入窘镜。在这里我就举个事例吧,尽管我当时那样做是不对的,但也显示出了我早期突出的公共精神。

那个地方是个盐碱滩,就在磨房旁边。我们经常在涨潮的时候站在滩边钓鱼。由于经常被踩踏,盐碱滩变成了烂泥潭。所以我提议在烂泥潭那里建一个小码头以便我们立足。我领着大家在附近不远的地方,看到了一大堆别人用来建新房子的石头,这就是我们想要的。因此,当晚上工人们都走了的时候,我组织了一帮玩伴像一群蚂蚁那样工作起来,因为有的时候一块石头要两三个人才能搬动。我们把这些石头搬来做成了我们自己的码头。第二天早上,工人们看到石头不见了很吃惊,后来他们发现我们用他们的石头来修码头了。我们的码头被拆除了并受到他们的指责。我们中的一些人还受到了他们父亲的处罚。尽管我不断强调这项工作的好处,但它也使我确信靠不诚实得到的东西是不会有任何用处的。

But my father, in the meantime, from a view of the expense of a college education, which having so large a family he could not well afford, and the mean living many so educated were afterwards able to obtain—reasons that be gave to his friends in my hearing—altered his first intention, took me from the grammar-school, and sent me to a school for writing and arithmetic, kept by a then famous man, Mr. George Brownell, very successful in his profession generally, and that by mild, encouraging methods. Under him I acquired fair writing pretty soon, but I failed in the arithmetic, and made no progress in it. At ten years old I was taken home to assist my father in his business, which was that of a tallow-chandler and sope-boiler; a business he was not bred to, but had assumed on his arrival in New England, and on finding his dying trade would not maintain his family, being in little request. Accordingly, I was employed in cutting wick for the candles, filling the dipping mold and the molds for cast candles, attending the shop, going of errands, etc.

I disliked the trade, and had a strong inclination for the sea, but my father declared against it; however, living near the water, I was much in and about it, learnt early to swim well, and to manage boats; and when in a boat or canoe with other boys, I was commonly allowed to govern, especially in any case of difficulty; and upon other occasions I was generally a leader among the boys, and sometimes led them into scrapes, of which I will mention one instance, as it shows an early projecting public spirit, tho' not then justly conducted.

There was a salt-marsh that bounded part of the mill-pond, on the edge of which, at high water, we used to stand to fish for minnows. By much trampling, we had made it a mere quagmire. My proposal was to build a wharff there fit for us to stand upon, and I showed my comrades a large heap of stones, which were intended for a new house near the marsh, and which would very well suit our purpose. Accordingly, in the evening, when the workmen were gone, I assembled a number of my play-fellows, and working with them diligently like so many emmets, sometimes two or three to a stone, we brought them all away and built our little wharff. The next morning the workmen were surprised at missing the stones, which were found in our wharff. Inquiry was made after the removers; we were discovered and complained of; several of us were corrected by our fathers; and though I pleaded the usefulness of the work, mine convinced me that nothing was useful which was not honest.

我想可能你也想知道有关我父亲的事情吧。他身体相当好,中等身材,体格很强壮。他天资聪慧,善于绘画,音乐很好,嗓音洪亮动听。他经常在工作结束或者一天结束的时候坐下来,拉着小提琴,自个儿唱歌,非常好听。我父亲在使用机械上也很在行,他很擅长摆弄其他工匠的工具。但他最大的长处在于他深刻的理解能力和对重大事情的判断力,无论是公事还是私人小事。不过,他从没有吃过公家饭,因为他有一大家人要抚养,这些都离不开他的生意。但我清楚地记得,经常有些头面人物来拜访父亲,询问父亲对镇上事情或者教区事情的意见。他的意见得到了人们极大的尊重,他还经常被邀请做争执双方的裁决人。

他经常喜欢邀请思维敏锐的朋友或者邻居来家里围着桌子谈话,并且总是谈些充满智慧和有用的话题。因为这有益于孩子们的思维发展。通过这种方式,我们知道了生活里什么是好的,什么是善良的,什么是公正的,什么是谨慎。我们基本上不会注意饭桌上吃的东西,比如花样多少,流行与否,面粉的好坏,是否合胃口等。我就是在这样不注意小节的环境下成长的,因此,我对饭桌前吃的什么是非常淡漠的。直到今天为止,如果在吃饭以后的几小时有人问我吃了什么,我基本上是回答不上来的。这些习惯对我的旅行是十分便利的,但我的朋友们却因长期讲究饮食,在旅行的时候因饮食得不到满足而非常不高兴。

我母亲的身体也很好,她养大了所有的十个孩子。在我印象中,除了他们死前得病,我从来不知道我父亲和母亲有得过病的记录。我父亲89岁去世,母亲85岁去世。他们死后合葬于波士顿。多年以后我在他们的墓前立了一块碑,碑文如下:

I think you may like to know something of his person and character. He had an excellent constitution of body, was of middle stature, but well set, and very strong; he was ingenious, could draw prettily, was skilled a little in music, and had a clear pleasing voice, so that when he played psalm tunes on his violin and sung withal, as he sometimes did in an evening after the business of the day was over, it was extremely agreeable to hear. He had a mechanical genius too, and, on occasion, was very handy in the use of other tradesmen's tools; but his great excellence lay in a sound understanding and solid judgment in prudential matters, both in private and publick affairs. In the latter, indeed, he was never employed, the numerous family he had to educate and the straitness of his circumstances keeping him close to his trade; but I remember well his being frequently visited by leading people, who consulted him for his opinion in affairs of the town or of the church he belonged to, and showed a good deal of respect for his judgment and advice: he was also much consulted by private persons about their affairs when any difficulty occurred, and frequently

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