7. Why not to seek Crowds? 为何不寻找人群呢?

Do not copy the bad simply because they are many,

Nor hate the many because they are unlike you.

On Crowds

Do you ask me what you should regard as especially to be avoided? I say,

crowds;

for as yet you cannot trust yourself to them with safety.

I shall admit my own weakness, at any rate; for I never bring back home the same character that I took abroad with me. Something of that which I have forced to be calm within me is disturbed; some of the foes that I have routed return again.

To consort with the crowd is harmful;

there is no person who does not make some vice attractive to us, or stamp it upon us, or taint us unconsciously therewith.

Certainly, the greater the mob with which we mingle, the greater the danger.

But nothing is so damaging to good character as the habit of lounging at the games; for then it is that vice steals subtly upon one through the avenue of pleasure. 

What do you think I mean? I mean that I come home more greedy, more ambitious, more voluptuous, & even more cruel & inhuman,

– because I have been among human beings.

Come now; do you not understand even this truth, that a bad example reacts on the agent?

The young character, which cannot hold fast to righteousness, must be rescued from the mob; it is too easy to side with the majority.

Even Socrates, Cato, & Laelius might have been shaken in their moral strength by a crowd that was unlike them; so true it is that none of us, no matter how much One cultivates their abilities, can withstand the shock of faults that approach, as it were, with so great a retinue. 

Much harm is done by a single case of indulgence or greed;

the familiar friend, if they be luxurious, weakens & softens us imperceptibly;

the neighbour, if they be rich, rouses our covetousness;

the companion, if they be slanderous, rubs off some of their rust upon us, even though we be spotless & sincere.

What then do you think the effect will be on character, when the world at large assaults it!

You must either imitate or loathe the world.

But both courses are to be avoided;

you should not copy the bad simply because they are many,

nor should you hate the many because they are unlike you.

Withdraw into yourself, as far as you can. Associate with those who will make a better person of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for people learn while they teach. 

There is no reason why pride in advertising your abilities should lure you into publicity, so that you should desire to recite or harangue before the general public.

One or two individuals will perhaps come in your way, but even these will have to be molded & trained by you so that they will understand you.

You may say: “For what purpose did I learn all these things?”

But you need not fear that you have wasted your efforts;

it was for yourself that you learned them.

In order, however, that I may not to-day have learned exclusively for myself, I shall share with you three excellent sayings, of the same general purport, which have come to my attention.

This letter will give you one of them as payment of my debt; the other two you may accept as a contribution in advance.

Democritus says:

“One person means as much to me as a multitude, & a multitude only as much as one person.” 

The following; they asked them what was the object of all this study applied to an art that would reach but very few. They replied:

“I am content with few, content with one, content with none at all.”

The third saying – & a noteworthy one, too – is by Epicurus:

“I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other.” 

Lay these words to heart, Lucilius, that you may scorn the pleasure which comes from the applause of the majority. Many people praise you; but have you any reason for being pleased with yourself, if you are a person whom the many can understand?

Your good qualities should face inwards.

Farewell。

Stoic, Seneca, StoicTaoist。

为何不寻找人群呢?

不要简单地抄袭它,只 因为它是多数,

也不要因为它与你不同,而憎恨他们。

在人群中

你问我你认为什么是特别应该避免的?我说,

人群;

因为到目前为止,你还不能把自己安全地交给他们。

无论如何,我要承认我自己的弱点;因为我从来没有把我带到外的那性格带回来。我强迫内心平静的东西被扰乱了;我击溃的那些敌人又回来了。

与群众交涉是有害的;

没有人不让某些恶习而吸引,或不把它印在身上,或不自觉地玷污了我们。

当然,我们与之交往的人群越多,危险就越大。

但是,没有什么比在会上,懒洋洋的习惯更能损害良好的品行了;因为正是这样,恶习通过欲乐之路潜移默化地向人袭来。

你认为我是什么意思?我的意思是我回家后更贪婪,更野心勃勃,更淫荡,甚至更残忍,更不人道,

–因为我于人群中交涉。

现在;你难道连这个事实都不明白吗,一个坏榜样会对人产生影响?

不能坚守正义的年轻人必须从暴民中解救出来;站在大多数人一边太容易了。

即使是苏格拉底、卡托和莱利厄斯,他们的道德力量也可能会被一群与他们不同的人所动摇;诚然,无论我们如何培养自己的能力,我们中没有一个人能够承受如此庞大的随从所带来的失误的冲击。

纵容或贪婪的单一案例造成了巨大的伤害;

好朋友,如果他们很奢侈,会在不知不觉中削弱和软化我们;

邻居如果富有,就会激起我们的贪婪;

即使我们一尘不染、诚恳,同伴如果诽谤我们,也会在我们身上留下一些污垢。

那么,当整个世界都在攻击人格时,你认为人格会受到什么样的影响呢!

你要么模仿世界,要么厌恶世界。

但这两条路都要避免;

你不要简单地抄袭它,只因为它是多数,

你也不要因为它与你不同,而憎恨他们。

尽你所能地融入自己。与那些能使你成为更好的人交往。欢迎那些你自己可以改进的人。这个过程是相互的;因为我们边教边学。

没有理由为你的能力做选传而感到自豪,只为吸引公众的视线,儿你渴望在公众面前朗诵或高谈阔论。

可能会有一两个人认同你,但即使是这些人也必须由你塑造和训练,以便他们理解你。

你可能会说:“我学习这些东西的目的是什么?”

但是你不必担心你浪费了你的努力;

你是为自己而学。

然而,为了使我今天不至于只为自己而学,我将与你们分享我注意到的三句具有同样普遍意义的绝妙格言。

这封信将给你其中一封作为我的债务偿还;另外两个您可以提前接受作为供款。

德谟克利特说:

“对我来说,一个人和一大群人一样重要,一大群人只和一个人一样重要。”

以下内容:;他们问,这项研究的目的是什么,应用于一门艺术,但涉及面很小。他们回答说:

“我满足于少数人,满足于一人,满足于一无所有。”

第三句话——也是一句值得注意的话——出自伊壁鸠鲁之手:

“我写这篇文章不是为了很多人,而是为了你;你我是对方的听众足已。”

卢西柳斯,把这些话牢记在心,这样你就可以蔑视来自大多数人掌声的喜悦。许多人赞美你;但是,如果你是一个大多数人都能理解的人,你有什么理由对自己感到满意吗?

你的优秀品质应该面向内心。

再会。

斯多葛,塞内卡,坚道学。

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