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What is immortal

To see the golden sun and the azure sky, the outstretched ocean, to walk upon the green earth, and to be a lord of a thousand creatures to look down giddy precipices or over distant flowery vales, to see the world spread out under one's finger in a map, to bring the stars near, to view the smallest insects in a microscope, to read history and witness the revolutions of empires and the succession of generations, to hear the glory of Sidon and Tyre of Babylon and Susa, as of a fade pageant and to say all these were and are now nothing. to think that we exist in such a point of time, and in such a corner of space, to be at once spectators and a part of the moving scene to watch the return of the seasons, of spring and autumn, to hear—
我们看到金色的太阳,蔚蓝的天空,广阔的海洋;我们漫步在 绿油油的大地上,做万物的主人;我们俯视令人目眩心悸的悬崖峭壁,远眺鲜花盛开的山谷;我们把地图摊开,任意指点全球;我们把星辰移到眼前观看,还在显微 镜下观察极其微小的生物,我们学历史,亲自目睹帝国的兴亡,时代的交替;我们听人谈论西顿、推罗、巴比伦和苏撒的勋业,如同听一番往昔的盛会,听了以后, 我们说这些事确实发生过,但现在却是过眼云烟了;我们思考着自己生活的时代,生活的地区;我们在人生的活动舞台上既当观众,又当演员;我们观察四季更迭, 春秋代序,我们听见了——
The stock dove plain amid the forest deep,
That drowsy rustles to the sighing gale.
—to traverse desert wildness, to listen to the dungeon's gloom,or sit in crowded theatres and see life itself mocked, to feel heat and cold,pleasure and pain right and wrong,truth and falsehood, to study the works of art and refine the sense of beauty to agony, to worship fame and to dream of immortality, to have read Shakespeare and Beloit to the same species as Sir Isaac Newton to be and to do all this and then in a moment to be nothing to have it all snatched from one like a juggler's ball or a phantasmagoria...
——我们横越大漠;我们倾听了子夜的歌声;我们光顾灯火辉 煌的厅堂,走下阴森森的地牢,或者坐在万头攒动的剧院里观看生活本身受到的摩拟;我们亲身感受炎热和寒冷,快乐和痛苦,正义和邪恶,真理和谬误;我们钻研艺术作品,把自己的美感提高到极其敏锐的程度;我们崇拜荣誉,梦想不朽;我们阅读莎士比亚,或者把自己和牛顿爵士视为同一族类,正当我们面临这一切,从事 这一切的时候,自己却在一刹那之间化为虚无,眼前的一切像是魔术师手中的圆球,像是一场幻影,一下子全都消失得无影无踪……