|Chinese to English: Excerpt from On the Spirit of Obligations （English-Chinese）|
|Source text - Chinese|
Excerpt from On the Spirit of Obligations
William Hazlitt (1778-1830)
The difference of age, of situation in life, and an absence of all considerations of business have, I apprehend, something of the same effect in producing a refined and abstracted friendship.
The person whose doors I enter with most pleasure, and quit with most regret, never did me the smallest favour. I once did him an uncalled-for service, and we nearly quarrelled about it. If I were in the utmost distress, I should just as soon think of asking his assistance, as of stopping a person on a highway.
Practical benevolence is not his forte. He leaves the profession of that to others. His habits, his theory are against it as idle and vulgar. His hand is closed, but what of that?
His eye is ever open, and reflects the universe: his silver accents, beautiful, venerable as his silver hairs, but abundant, flow as a river.
I never ate or drank in his house; nor do I know or care how the flies or spiders fare in it, or whether a mouse can get a living. But I know that I can get there what I get nowhere else - a welcome, as if one was expected to drop in just at that moment, a total absence of all respect of persons and of airs of self-consequence, endless topics of discourse, refined thoughts, made more striking by ease and simplicity of manner - the husk, the shell of humanity is left at the
All you have to do is to sit and listen; and it is like hearing one of Titian's faces speak. To think of worldly matters is a profanation, like that of the money-changers in the Temple; or it is to regard the bread and wine of the Sacrament with carnal eyes.
We enter the enchanter's cell, and converse with the divine inhabitant. To have this privilege always at hand, and to be circled by that spell whenever we choose, with an "Enter Sessami," is greater than sitting at the lower end of the tables of Great, than eating awkwardly from gold plate, than drinking fulsome toasts, or being thankful for gross favours, and gross insults!
|Translation - English|