Attaining Moral Perfection
In the various enumerations of the moral virtues I had met with in my reading, I found the catalogue more or less numerous，as different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name. I proposed to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names，with fewer ideas annexed to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurred to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully expressed the extent I gave to its meaning.
These names of virtues, with their precepts, were:
1.TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2.SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3.ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4.RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5.FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6.INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7.SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8.JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9.MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10.CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
11.TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12.CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
13.HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues,I judged it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone through the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arranged them with that view, as they stand above. Temperance first，as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head, which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits，and the force of perpetual temptations. This being acquired and established, Silence would be more easy; and my desire being to gain knowledge at the same time that I improved in virtue, and considering that in conversation it was obtained rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue, and therefore wishing to break a habit I was getting into of prattling, punning，and joking，which only made me acceptable to trifling company, I gave Silence the second place. This and the next, Order, I expected would allow me more time for attending to my project and my studies. Resolution, once become habitual,would keep me firm in my endeavors to obtain all the subsequent virtues; Frugality and Industry freeing me from my remaining debt, and producing affluence and independence, would make more easy the practice of Sincerity and Justice, etc., etc. Conceiving then, that, agreeably to the advice of Pythagoras in his Golden Verses, daily examination would be necessary.
1.英语常用搭配“rather... than...”连接两个并列成分，表示“宁可……而不……”。句中连接的并列成分为“more names”以及“a few names”。
2.“so much as”在此等同于“as much as”，表示“和.......样多”。一般而言，“so much as”常用于否定句中。
4.句首的独立主格结构 “my intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues” 用作原因状语。
5.此句是只有主语“temperance”的省略句，谓语省略。连词“as”引导原因状语从句，关系代词“which”引导非限制性定语从句，修饰“that coolness and clearness” ,定语从句中的“where”为连词，在此起连接前后分句的作用。
6.这是一个由独立主格结构和两个分词结构共同构成的原因状语，说明作者把沉默摆在第二位的原因。独立主格结构中的“that”从句为定语从句，修饰“knowledge”。两个分词结构之间存在因果关系。第一个分词结构中的“that”从句为宾语从句，其中“it”代“knowledge”。第二个分词结构中的两个定语从句均用于修饰“habit”， 其中一个是省略 “that” 的定语从句 “I was getting into of prattling, punning, and joking” ,另一个为“which”引导的非限制性定语从句“which only made me acceptable to trifling company” 。