文/蕭伯納

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
精準的觀察力常會被反應慢半拍的人指為冷嘲熱諷。
──巴塞托所聆聽一八九○至九四年的倫敦音樂 The World (18 July 1894), Music in London 1890-1894

What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.
一個人信以為真的事,也許並非來自他的個人信念,而是來自他習以為常的假設。
──給革命者的箴言 Maxims for Revolutionists

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
自由意味著責任。這就是多數人懼怕自由的原因。
──人與超人 Man and Superman

When will we realize that the fact that we can become accustomed to anything, however disgusting at first, makes it necessary to examine carefully everything we have become accustomed to.
不論任何事一開始多令人作嘔,人終究會對它習以為常。意識到這事實之後,我們才會仔細檢視周遭司空見慣的事。
──《父母與子女專題研究》(A Treatise on Parents and Children)

The vilest abortionist is he who attempts to mould a child’s character.
最卑劣的墮胎者,即是試圖刻鑿孩子性格的人。
──《給革命者的箴言》(Maxims for the Revolutionists)

He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
他很無知,卻自視無所不知。政客就是這副德性。
──《巴巴拉上校》(Major Barbara)

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
每當蠢男人做出顏面盡失的事,總會宣稱自己是義不容辭。
──凱撒與克麗奧佩特拉 Caesar and Cleopatra

Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal.
科學一旦自視解決了所有問題,就會開始變得危險。
──《醫生的兩難》(The Doctor’s Dilemma)

There is only one religion, though there are hundred versions of it.
世上只有一門宗教,然而版本卻有百種。
──《快意與不快意的戲劇》(Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant)

All progress means wars with Society.
所有進步都是一場與社會的鬥爭。
──《婚姻》(Getting Married)

My way of joking is telling the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.
我開玩笑的方式就是吐露真相。真相乃世界上最荒誕的笑話。
──《英國佬的另一個島》(John Bull’s Other Island)

※ 本文摘自《真相,是世上最荒誕的笑話:蕭伯納精言集》立即前往試讀

 
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