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梭罗《瓦尔登湖》4:经济篇 Economy

(2011-09-02 17:05:39)
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梭罗

瓦尔登湖

经济篇

情感

分类: 生存生活

      大多数人似乎从来没有想过,一座房屋算什么,虽然他们不该穷困,事实上却终身穷困了,因为他们总想有一座跟他们邻人的房屋一样的房屋。好像你只能穿上裁缝给你制成的任何衣服,你逐渐放弃了棕桐叶的帽子或上拨鼠皮的软帽,你只能对这时代生活的艰难感慨系之了,因为你买不起一顶皇冠!要发明一座比我们所已经有的,更便利、更华美的房屋是可能的,但大家承认,已有的房屋我们都还买不起。难道我们老要研究怎样得到越来越多的东西,而不能有时满足于少弄一点东西呢?难道要那些可尊敬的公民们,庄严地用他们的言教和身教,来教育年轻人早在老死以前就置备好若干双多余的皮鞋和若干把雨伞,以及空空的客房,来招待不存在的客人吗?我们的家具为什么不能像阿拉伯人或印第安人那样地简单呢?我们把民族的救星尊称为天上的信使,给人类带来神灵礼物的使者,当我想到他们的时候,我想来想去,想不出他们的足踵后面,会有仆役随从,会有什么满载着时式家具的车辆。如果我同意下面这种说法,那会怎么样呢——那不是一种奇怪的同意吗?——那说法就是我们在道德上和智慧上如果比阿拉伯人更为优越,那未我们的家具也应该比他们的更复杂!目前,我们的房屋正堆满了家具,都给家具弄脏了呢,一位好主妇宁愿把大部分家具扫入垃圾坑,也不愿让早上的工作放着不干。早上的工作呵!在微红色的曙光中,在曼依的音乐里,世界上的人该做什么样的早晨的工作呢?我桌上,有三块石灰石,非得天天拂拭它们不可,真叫我震惊,我头脑中的灰尘还来不及拂拭呢,赶快嫌恶地把它们扔出窗子去。你想,我怎么配有一个有家具的房屋呢?我宁可坐在露天,因为草叶之上,没有灰尘,除非是人类已经玷辱过了
的地方。

 

Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have. As if one were to wear any sort of coat which the tailor might cut out for him, or, gradually leaving off palm-leaf hat or cap of woodchuck skin, complain of hard times because he could not afford to buy him a crown! It is possible to invent a house still more convenient and luxurious than we have, which yet all would admit that man could not afford to pay for. Shall we always study to obtain more of these things, and not sometimes to be content with less? Shall the respectable citizen thus gravely teach, by precept and example, the necessity of the young man's providing a certain number of superfluous glow-shoes, and umbrellas, and empty guest chambers for empty guests, before he dies? Why should not our furniture be as simple as the Arab's or the Indian's? When I think of the benefactors of the race, whom we have apotheosized as messengers from heaven, bearers of divine gifts to man, I do not see in my mind any retinue at their heels, any carload of fashionable furniture. Or what if I were to allow -- would it not be a singular allowance? -- that our furniture should be more complex than the Arab's, in proportion as we are morally and intellectually his superiors! At present our houses are cluttered and defiled with it, and a good housewife would sweep out the greater part into the dust hole, and not leave her morning's work undone. Morning work! By the blushes of Aurora and the music of Memnon, what should be man's morning work in this world? I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust. How, then, could I have a furnished house? I would rather sit in the open air, for no dust gathers on the grass, unless where man has broken ground.

 

      骄奢淫逸的人创设了时髦翻新,让成群的人勤谨地追随。一个旅行者,投宿在所谓最漂亮的房间里,他就会发现这点,因为旅店主人们当他萨达拿泼勒斯来招待了,要是他接受了他们的盛情,不多久他就会完全失去男性的精神。我想到铁路车厢,我们是宁愿花更多的钱于布置的奢侈上,而不在乎行车的安全和便捷的,结果安全和便捷都谈不到,车厢成了一个摩登客厅,有软褥的睡椅,土耳其式的厚榻,遮阳的帘予,还有一百种另外的东方的花样,我们把它们搬到西方来了,那些花样,原先是为天朝帝国的六宫粉黛,天子的后妃,后宫中的妻妾而发明的,那是约拿单听到名称都要难为情的东西。我宁可坐在一只大南瓜上,由我一个人占有它,不愿意挤在天鹅绒的垫子上。我宁可坐一辆牛车,自由自在来去,不愿意坐什么花哨的游览污去天堂,一路上呼吸着污浊的空气。

 

It is the luxurious and dissipated who set the fashions which the herd so diligently follow. The traveller who stops at the best houses, so called, soon discovers this, for the publicans presume him to be a Sardanapalus, and if he resigned himself to their tender mercies he would soon be completely emasculated. I think that in the railroad car we are inclined to spend more on luxury than on safety and convenience, and it threatens without attaining these to become no better than a modern drawing-room, with its divans, and ottomans, and sun-shades, and a hundred other oriental things, which we are taking west with us, invented for the ladies of the harem and the effeminate natives of the Celestial Empire, which Jonathan should be ashamed to know the names of. I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way.

 

     原始人生活得简简单单,赤身露体,至少有这样的好处,他还只是大自然之中的一个过客。当他吃饱睡够,神清气爽,便可以再考虑他的行程。可不是,他居住在苍穹的篷帐下面,不是穿过山谷,使是踱过平原,或是攀登高山。可是,看啊!人类已经成为他们的工具的工具了。独立自然地,饥饿了就采果实吃的人已经变成一个农夫;而在树荫下歇力的人已经变成一个管家。我们不再在夜间露营,我们安居在大地上,忘记了天空。我们信奉基督教,不过当它是一种改良农业的方法。我们已经在尘世造好府邸家宅,随后就建造家墓坟地。最杰出的艺术作品都表现着人类怎样从这种情形中挣扎出来,解放自己,但我们的艺术效果不过是把我们这屈辱的境遇弄得舒适一点,而那比较高级的境界却会被遗忘了。真的,在这村子里,美术作品没有插足之地,就算有些作品是流传
下来了的,因为我们的生活,我们的房屋或街道都不能为美术作品提供恰当的垫座。挂一张画的钉子都没有,也没有一个架子来接受英雄或圣者的胸像。当我想起我们的房屋是怎样建筑的,是怎样付款或付而未清帐的,它们家庭的内部经济又是怎样的一回事,我不禁晴暗纳罕了,为什么在宾客赞赏壁炉架上那些小玩意儿的时候,地板不会一下子坍下去,让它掉落到地窖中去,一直落到坚固的、忠实的基岩上。我不能不看到,世人是在向着所谓富有而优雅的生活跳跃,我一点也不欣赏那些点缀生活的美术品,我全神贯注在人们的跳跃之上,想起人类肌肉能达到的最高的跳高纪录,还是某一些流浪的阿拉伯人保持的,他们从平地上跳到二十五英尺之高。没有东西支持的话,跳到了这样的高度上也还是要跌到地上来的。因此,我要问问那些太不恰当的产业所有者,第一个问
题是,谁支持你?你是在九十六个失败的人当中呢,还是在三个成功的人当中?回答了这些问题之后,也许我会去看看你的华丽而无价值的玩物,鉴赏鉴赏它们的装饰风味。车子套在马前面,既不美观,也没有用处。在用美丽的饰物装饰房屋之前,必须把墙壁剥去一层,还得剥除一层我们的生命,还要有美好的家务管理,美好的生活作为底子要知道,美的趣味最好在露天培育,在那里既没有房屋,也没有管家

 

The very simplicity and nakedness of man's life in the primitive ages imply this advantage, at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature. When he was refreshed with food and sleep, he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain-tops. But lo! men have become the tools of their tools. The man who independently plucked the fruits when he was hungry is become a farmer; and he who stood under a tree for shelter, a housekeeper. We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on earth and forgotten heaven. We have adopted Christianity merely as an improved method of agri-culture. We have built for this world a family mansion, and for the next a family tomb. The best works of art are the expression of man's struggle to free himself from this condition, but the effect of our art is merely to make this low state comfortable and that higher state to be forgotten. There is actually no place in this village for a work of fine art, if any had come down to us, to stand, for our lives, our houses and streets, furnish no proper pedestal for it. There is not a nail to hang a picture on, nor a shelf to receive the bust of a hero or a saint. When I consider how our houses are built and paid for, or not paid for, and their internal economy managed and sustained, I wonder that the floor does not give way under the visitor while he is admiring the gewgaws upon the mantelpiece, and let him through into the cellar, to some solid and honest though earthy foundation. I cannot but perceive that this so-called rich and refined life is a thing jumped at, and I do not get on in the enjoyment of the fine arts which adorn it, my attention being wholly occupied with the jump; for I remember that the greatest genuine leap, due to human muscles alone, on record, is that of certain wandering Arabs, who are said to have cleared twenty-five feet on level ground. Without factitious support, man is sure to come to earth again beyond that distance. The first question which I am tempted to put to the proprietor of such great impropriety is, Who bolsters you? Are you one of the ninety-seven who fail, or the three who succeed? Answer me these questions, and then perhaps I may look at your bawbles and find them ornamental. The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful. Before we can adorn our houses with beautiful objects the walls must be stripped, and our lives must be stripped, and beautiful housekeeping and beautiful living be laid for a foundation: now, a taste for the beautiful is most cultivated out of doors, where there is no house and no housekeeper.

 

     老约翰逊在他的《神奇的造化》中,说起他的那些最初移殖到这个城市来的同时代人,他告诉我们说:“他们在小山坡上,挖掘窑洞,作为最早的荫蔽处所,他们把土高高地堆在木材上,在最高的一边,生了冒浓烟的火,烘烤泥土。”他们并不“给自己造房子”,他说,直到“上帝赐福,土地上生产了足够的面包喂饱了他们”,然而第一年的收成却不好,“他们不得不有很长的一季减少口粮。”一六五0年,新尼特兰州州秘书长用荷兰文写过一段话,更加详细地告诉预备往那里移居的人说,“在新尼特兰的人,特别在新英格兰的人,起初是无法按他们的愿望建造农舍的,他们在地上挖个方方的地窖似的、六七英尺深的坑,长短随便他们自己,然后在墙壁上装上木板,挡住泥土,用树皮合缝,以免泥土落下来,当然也有用了别种材料的,还用木板铺了地板,做了天花板,架起了一个斜桁的屋顶,铺上树皮或绿草皮,这样他们全家可以很温暖很干燥地在里面住上两年、三年,或者四年,可以想象,这些地窖中,还隔出了一些小房间,这要看家里的人口数目了。新英格兰的阔气的要人,在开始殖民的时候,也住在这样的住所里面,那是有两个原因的,第一,兔得筑造房屋,浪费了时间,弄得下一季粮食不够吃:第二,不希望他们大批地从祖国招来的苦工感觉到灰心。三四年之后当田野已适宜于耕种了,他们才给自己造漂亮的房子,花上几千元的钱。”

 

Old Johnson, in his "Wonder-Working Providence," speaking of the first settlers of this town, with whom he was contemporary, tells us that "they burrow themselves in the earth for their first shelter under some hillside, and, casting the soil aloft upon timber, they make a smoky fire against the earth, at the highest side." They did not "provide them houses," says he, "till the earth, by the Lord's blessing, brought forth bread to feed them," and the first year's crop was so light that "they were forced to cut their bread very thin for a long season." The secretary of the Province of New Netherland, writing in Dutch, in 1650, for the information of those who wished to take up land there, states more particularly that "those in New Netherland, and especially in New England, who have no means to build farmhouses at first according to their wishes, dig a square pit in the ground, cellar fashion, six or seven feet deep, as long and as broad as they think proper, case the earth inside with wood all round the wall, and line the wood with the bark of trees or something else to prevent the caving in of the earth; floor this cellar with plank, and wainscot it overhead for a ceiling, raise a roof of spars clear up, and cover the spars with bark or green sods, so that they can live dry and warm in these houses with their entire families for two, three, and four years, it being understood that partitions are run through those cellars which are adapted to the size of the family. The wealthy and principal men in New England, in the beginning of the colonies, commenced their first dwelling-houses in this fashion for two reasons: firstly, in order not to waste time in building, and not to want food the next season; secondly, in order not to discourage poor laboring people whom they brought over in numbers from Fatherland. In the course of three or four years, when the country became adapted to agriculture, they built themselves handsome houses, spending on them several thousands."

 

     我们的祖先采取这个做法,可以看出,他们至少是非常小心的,他们的原则似乎以满足最紧迫的急需为第一。而现在,我们最紧迫的急需满足了没有呢?想到要给我自己置备一幢奢华的广厦,我就垂头丧气了,因为看来这一片土地上还没有相应的人类文化,我们至今还不得不减少我们精神的口粮,减得比我们的祖先节省面粉还要多。这倒不是说一切建筑的装饰甚至可以在最初的阶段里完全忽略掉;而是说可以把我们房屋里和我们生活有联系的部分搞得美一点,就像贝壳的内壁那样,但千万不能搞得过分的美。可是,唉!我曾经走进过一两座房屋,从而知道它们的内部是如何布置的呵!

 

In this course which our ancestors took there was a show of prudence at least, as if their principle were to satisfy the more pressing wants first. But are the more pressing wants satisfied now? When I think of acquiring for myself one of our luxurious dwellings, I am deterred, for, so to speak, the country is not yet adapted to human culture, and we are still forced to cut our spiritual bread far thinner than our forefathers did their wheaten. Not that all architectural ornament is to be neglected even in the rudest periods; but let our houses first be lined with beauty, where they come in contact with our lives, like the tenement of the shellfish, and not overlaid with it. But, alas! I have been inside one or two of them, and know what they are lined with.

 

     当然我们没有退化到今天住窑洞,住尖屋,或穿兽皮的程度,自然罗,那付出了高价换来的便利人类的发明与工业的贡献也还是应该接受的。在我们这一带,木板、屋面板、石灰、砖头总比可以住人的洞窟,原根的圆木,大量的树皮,或粘土或平坦的石片更容易得到,也更便宜。我说得相当内行吧,因为我在理论和实际上都熟悉这一些事。只要再聪明一点儿,我们就可以用这些材料,使我们比今天最富有的人还更加富有,使我们的文明成为一种祝福。文明人不过是更有经验、更为聪明一些的野蛮人,可是,让我赶紧来叙述我自己的实验吧。

 

Though we are not so degenerate but that we might possibly live in a cave or a wigwam or wear skins today, it certainly is better to accept the advantages, though so dearly bought, which the invention and industry of mankind offer. In such a neighborhood as this, boards and shingles, lime and bricks, are cheaper and more easily obtained than suitable caves, or whole logs, or bark in sufficient quantities, or even well-tempered clay or flat stones. I speak understandingly on this subject, for I have made myself acquainted with it both theoretically and practically. With a little more wit we might use these materials so as to become richer than the richest now are, and make our civilization a blessing. The civilized man is a more experienced and wiser savage. But to make haste to my own experiment.

 

     一八四五年三月尾,我借来一柄斧头,走到瓦尔登湖边的森林里,到达我预备造房子的地点附近,就开始砍伐一些箭矢似的高耸入云的还年幼的白松来做我的木材。开始时要不东借西借,总是很难的,但这也许还是唯一的妙法,让你的朋友们对你的事业发生兴趣。斧头的主人,在他出手借给我的时候,说它是他掌中的珍珠;可是我归还他时,斧头是愈加锋利了。我工作的地点是一个怡悦的山侧,满山松树,穿过松林我望见了湖水,还望见林中一块小小空地,小松树和山核桃树丛生着。湖水凝结成冰,没有完全融化,只化了几处地方,全是黝黑的颜色,而且渗透着水。我在那里工作的几天之内,还飘过几阵小雪:但当我回家去的途中,出来走到铁道上的时候,在大部分的地方,它那黄沙地一直延伸过去,闪烁在蒙蒙的大气中,而铁轨也在春天的阳光下发光了,我听到云雀、小鹅和别的鸟雀都到了,来和我们一块儿开始过这新的一年。那是愉快的春日,人们感到不满的冬日正跟冻上一样地消溶,而蛰伏的生命开始舒伸了。有一天,我的斧头柄掉了,我伐下一段青青的山核桃木来做成一个楔子,用一块石头敲紧了它,就把整个斧头浸在湖水中,好让那木楔子涨大一些,这时我看到一条赤练蛇窜入水中,显然毫不觉得不方便,它躺在湖水底,何止一刻钟,竟跟我在那儿的时间一样长久;也许它还没有从蛰伏的状态中完全苏醒过来。照我看,人类之还残留在目前的原始的低级状态中,也是同样的原因;可是人类如果感到万春之春的影响把他们唤醒了起来,他们必然要上升到更高级、更升华的生命中去。以前,我在降霜的清晨看到过路上一些蛇,它们的身子还有一部分麻木不灵活,还在等待太阳出来唤醒它们。四月一日下了雨,冰溶了,这天的大半个早晨是雾蒙蒙的,我听到一只失群的孤鹅摸索在湖上,迷途似的哀鸣着,像是雾的精灵一样。

 

Near the end of March, 1845, I borrowed an axe and went down to the woods by Walden Pond, nearest to where I intended to build my house, and began to cut down some tall, arrowy white pines, still in their youth, for timber. It is difficult to begin without borrowing, but perhaps it is the most generous course thus to permit your fellow-men to have an interest in your enterprise. The owner of the axe, as he released his hold on it, said that it was the apple of his eye; but I returned it sharper than I received it. It was a pleasant hillside where I worked, covered with pine woods, through which I looked out on the pond, and a small open field in the woods where pines and hickories were springing up. The ice in the pond was not yet dissolved, though there were some open spaces, and it was all dark-colored and saturated with water. There were some slight flurries of snow during the days that I worked there; but for the most part when I came out on to the railroad, on my way home, its yellow sand heap stretched away gleaming in the hazy atmosphere, and the rails shone in the spring sun, and I heard the lark and pewee and other birds already come to commence another year with us. They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself. One day, when my axe had come off and I had cut a green hickory for a wedge, driving it with a stone, and had placed the whole to soak in a pond-hole in order to swell the wood, I saw a striped snake run into the water, and he lay on the bottom, apparently without inconvenience, as long as I stayed there, or more than a quarter of an hour; perhaps because he had not yet fairly come out of the torpid state. It appeared to me that for a like reason men remain in their present low and primitive condition; but if they should feel the influence of the spring of springs arousing them, they would of necessity rise to a higher and more ethereal life. I had previously seen the snakes in frosty mornings in my path with portions of their bodies still numb and inflexible, waiting for the sun to thaw them. On the 1st of April it rained and melted the ice, and in the early part of the day, which was very foggy, I heard a stray goose groping about over the pond and cackling as if lost, or like the spirit of the fog.

 

     我便这样一连几天,用那狭小的斧头,伐木丁丁,砍削木料、门柱和椽木,并没有什么可以奉告的思想,也没有什么学究式的思维,只是自己歌唱,——
   

So I went on for some days cutting and hewing timber, and also studs and rafters, all with my narrow axe, not having many communicable or scholar-like thoughts, singing to myself, --

 

    人们说他们懂得不少;Men say they know many things;
    瞧啊,他们生了翅膀,—— But lo! they have taken wings --
    百艺啊,还有科学,The arts and sciences,
    还有千般技巧;And a thousand appliances; 
    其实只有吹拂的风 The wind that blows 
    才是他们全部的知觉。Is all that any body knows
.

 

     我把主要的木材砍成六英寸见方,大部分的间柱只砍两边,椽木和地板是只砍一边,其余几边留下树皮,所以它们和锯子锯出来的相比,是同样地挺直,而且更加结实。每一根木料都挖了榫眼,在顶上劈出了榫头,这时我又借到一些工具。在林中过的白昼往往很短;然而,我常常带去我的牛油面包当午餐,在正午时还读读包扎它们的新闻报纸,坐在我砍伐下来的青松枝上,它们的芳香染到面包上,因为我手上有一层厚厚的树脂。在我结束以前,松树成了我的密友,虽然我砍伐了几枝,却依然没有和它们结冤,反而和它们越来越亲了。有时候,林中的闲游者给斧声吸引了过来,我们就愉快地面对着碎木片瞎谈。

 

I hewed the main timbers six inches square, most of the studs on two sides only, and the rafters and floor timbers on one side, leaving the rest of the bark on, so that they were just as straight and much stronger than sawed ones. Each stick was carefully mortised or tenoned by its stump, for I had borrowed other tools by this time. My days in the woods were not very long ones; yet I usually carried my dinner of bread and butter, and read the newspaper in which it was wrapped, at noon, sitting amid the green pine boughs which I had cut off, and to my bread was imparted some of their fragrance, for my hands were covered with a thick coat of pitch. Before I had done I was more the friend than the foe of the pine tree, though I had cut down some of them, having become better acquainted with it. Sometimes a rambler in the wood was attracted by the sound of my axe, and we chatted pleasantly over the chips which I had made.

 

     我的工作干得一点不紧张,只是尽力去做而已,到四月中旬,我的屋架已经完工,可以立起来了。我已经向詹姆斯·柯令斯,一个在菲茨堡铁路上工作的爱尔兰人,买下他的棚屋来使用他的木板。詹姆斯·柯令斯的棚屋被认为是不平凡的好建筑。

 

By the middle of April, for I made no haste in my work, but rather made the most of it, my house was framed and ready for the raising. I had already bought the shanty of James Collins, an Irishman who worked on the Fitchburg Railroad, for boards. James Collins' shanty was considered an uncommonly fine one.

 

     我找他去的时候,他不在家。我在外面走动,起先没有给里面注意到,那窗子根深而且很高。屋很小,有一个三角形的屋顶,别的没有什么可看的,四周积有五英尺高的垃圾,像肥料堆。屋顶是最完整的一部分,虽然给太阳晒得弯弯曲曲,而且很脆。没有门框,门板下有一道终年群鸡乱飞的通道。柯夫人来到门口,邀我到室内去看看货色。我一走近,母鸡也给我赶了进去。屋子里光线暗淡,大部分的地板很脏,潮湿,发粘,摇动,只有这里一条,那里一条,是不能搬,一搬就裂的木板。她点亮了一盏灯,给我看屋顶的里边和墙,以及一直伸到床底下去的地板,却劝告我不要踏人地窖中去,那不过是两英尺深的垃圾坑。用她自己的话来说,“头顶上,四周围,都是好木板,还有一扇好窗户,”——原来是两个方框,最近只有猫在那里出进。那里有一只火炉,一张床,一个坐坐的地方,一个出生在那里的婴孩,一把丝质的遮阳伞,还有镀金的镜子一面,以及一只全新的咖啡磨,钉牢在一块幼橡木上,这就是全部了。我们的交易当下就谈妥,因为那时候,詹姆斯也回来啦。当天晚上,我得付四元两角五分,他得在明天早晨五点搬家,可不能再把什么东西卖给别人了;六点钟,我可以去占有那棚屋。他说,赶早来最好,趁别人还来不及在地租和燃料上,提出某种数目不定,但是完全不公道的要求。他告诉我这是唯一的额外开支。到了六点钟,我在路上碰到他和他的一家。一个大包裹,全部家产都在内,——床,啡磨,镜子,母鸡,——只除了猫;它奔入树林,成为野猫,后来我又知道它触上了一只捕捉土拨鼠的机关,终于成了一只死猫。

When I called to see it he was not at home. I walked about the outside, at first unobserved from within, the window was so deep and high. It was of small dimensions, with a peaked cottage roof, and not much else to be seen, the dirt being raised five feet all around as if it were a compost heap. The roof was the soundest part, though a good deal warped and made brittle by the sun. Doorsill there was none, but a perennial passage for the hens under the door board. Mrs. C. came to the door and asked me to view it from the inside. The hens were driven in by my approach. It was dark, and had a dirt floor for the most part, dank, clammy, and aguish, only here a board and there a board which would not bear removal. She lighted a lamp to show me the inside of the roof and the walls, and also that the board floor extended under the bed, warning me not to step into the cellar, a sort of dust hole two feet deep. In her own words, they were "good boards overhead, good boards all around, and a good window" -- of two whole squares originally, only the cat had passed out that way lately. There was a stove, a bed, and a place to sit, an infant in the house where it was born, a silk parasol, gilt-framed looking-glass, and a patent new coffee-mill nailed to an oak sapling, all told. The bargain was soon concluded, for James had in the meanwhile returned. I to pay four dollars and twenty-five cents tonight, he to vacate at five tomorrow morning, selling to nobody else meanwhile: I to take possession at six. It were well, he said, to be there early, and anticipate certain indistinct but wholly unjust claims on the score of ground rent and fuel. This he assured me was the only encumbrance. At six I passed him and his family on the road. One large bundle held their all -- bed, coffee-mill, looking-glass, hens -- all but the cat; she took to the woods and became a wild cat, and, as I learned afterward, trod in a trap set for woodchucks, and so became a dead cat at last.

 

     这同一天的早晨,我就拆卸这棚屋,拔下钉子,用小车把木板搬运到湖滨,放在草地上,让太阳再把它们晒得发白并且恢复原来的形状。一只早起的画眉在我驾车经过林中小径时,送来了一个两个乐音。年轻人派屈里克却恶意地告诉我,一个爱尔兰邻居叫西莱的,在装车的间隙把还可以用的、直的、可以钉的钉子,骑马钉和大钉放进了自己的口袋,等我回去重新抬起头来,满不在乎、全身春意盎然地看着那一堆废墟的时候,他就站在那儿,正如他说的,没有多少工作可做。他在那里代表观众,使这琐屑不足道的事情看上去更像是特洛伊城众神的撤离。

 

I took down this dwelling the same morning, drawing the nails, and removed it to the pond-side by small cartloads, spreading the boards on the grass there to bleach and warp back again in the sun. One early thrush gave me a note or two as I drove along the woodland path. I was informed treacherously by a young Patrick that neighbor Seeley, an Irishman, in the intervals of the carting, transferred the still tolerable, straight, and drivable nails, staples, and spikes to his pocket, and then stood when I came back to pass the time of day, and look freshly up, unconcerned, with spring thoughts, at the devastation; there being a dearth of work, as he said. He was there to represent spectatordom, and help make this seemingly insignificant event one with the removal of the gods of Troy.

 

     我在一处向南倾斜的小山腰上挖掘了我的地窖,那里一只土拨鼠也曾经挖过它的丘穴,我挖去了漆树和黑毒的根,及植物的最下面的痕迹,六英尺见方,七英尺深,直挖到一片良好的沙地,冬天再怎么冷,土豆也决不会冻坏了。它的周围是渐次倾斜的,并没有砌上石块;但太阳从没有照到它,因此没有沙粒流下来。这只不过两小时的工作。我对于破土特别感到兴趣,差不多在所有的纬度上,人们只消挖掘到地下去,都能得到均一的温度。在城市中,最豪华的住宅里也还是可以找到地窖的,他们在里面埋藏他们的块根植物,像古人那样,将来即使上层建筑完全颓毁,很久以后,后代人还能发现它留在地皮上的凹痕。所谓房屋,还只不过是地洞入口处的一些门面而已。

 

I dug my cellar in the side of a hill sloping to the south, where a woodchuck had formerly dug his burrow, down through sumach and blackberry roots, and the lowest stain of vegetation, six feet square by seven deep, to a fine sand where potatoes would not freeze in any winter. The sides were left shelving, and not stoned; but the sun having never shone on them, the sand still keeps its place. It was but two hours' work. I took particular pleasure in this breaking of ground, for in almost all latitudes men dig into the earth for an equable temperature. Under the most splendid house in the city is still to be found the cellar where they store their roots as of old, and long after the superstructure has disappeared posterity remark its dent in the earth. The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow.

 

     最后,在五月初,由我的一些熟识的人帮忙,我把屋架立了起来,其实这也没有什么必要,我只是借这个机会来跟邻舍联络联络。关于屋架的树立,一切荣耀自应归我。我相信,有那么一天,大家还要一起来树立一个更高的结构。七月四日,我开始住进了我的屋子,因为那时屋顶刚装上,木板刚钉齐,这些木板都削成薄边,镶合在一起,防雨是毫无问题的,但在钉木板之前,我已经在屋子的一端砌好一个烟囱的基础,所用石块约有两车之多,都是我双臂从湖边抱上山的。但直到秋天锄完了地以后,我才把烟囱完成,恰在必需生火取暖之前,而前些时候我总是一清大早就在户外的地上做饭的:这一种方式我还认为是比一般的方式更便利、更惬意一些。如果在面包烤好之前起风下雨,我就在火上挡几块木板,躲在下面凝望着面包,便这样度过了若干愉快的时辰。那些日子里我手上工作多,读书很少,但地上的破纸,甚至单据,或台布,都供给我无限的欢乐,实在达到了同阅读《伊利亚特》一样的目的

 

At length, in the beginning of May, with the help of some of my acquaintances, rather to improve so good an occasion for neighborliness than from any necessity, I set up the frame of my house. No man was ever more honored in the character of his raisers than I. They are destined, I trust, to assist at the raising of loftier structures one day. I began to occupy my house on the 4th of July, as soon as it was boarded and roofed, for the boards were carefully feather-edged and lapped, so that it was perfectly impervious to rain, but before boarding I laid the foundation of a chimney at one end, bringing two cartloads of stones up the hill from the pond in my arms. I built the chimney after my hoeing in the fall, before a fire became necessary for warmth, doing my cooking in the meanwhile out of doors on the ground, early in the morning: which mode I still think is in some respects more convenient and agreeable than the usual one. When it stormed before my bread was baked, I fixed a few boards over the fire, and sat under them to watch my loaf, and passed some pleasant hours in that way. In those days, when my hands were much employed, I read but little, but the least scraps of paper which lay on the ground, my holder, or tablecloth, afforded me as much entertainment, in fact answered the same purpose as the Iliad.

 

     要比我那样建筑房屋还更谨慎小心,也是划得来的,比方说,先考虑好一门一窗、一个地窖或一间阁楼在人性中间有着什么基础,除了目前需要以外,在你找出更强有力的理由以前,也许你永远也不要建立什么上层建筑的。一个人造他自己的房屋,跟一头飞鸟造巢,是同样的合情合理。谁知道呢,如果世人都自己亲手造他们自己住的房子,又简单地老实地用食物养活了自己和一家人,那末诗的才能一定会在全球发扬光大,就像那些飞禽,它们在这样做的时候,歌声唱遍了全球。可是,唉!我们不喜欢燕八哥和杜鹃,它们跑到别个鸟禽所筑造的巢中去下蛋,那叽叽喳喳的不协和乐音并不能使行路经过的人听了快乐。难道我们永远把建筑的快乐放弃给木匠师傅?在大多数的人类经验中,建筑算得了什么呢?在我所有的散步中,还绝对没有碰到过一个人正从事着建造自
己住的房屋这样简单而自然的工作。我们是属于社会的。不单裁缝是一个人的九分之一,还有传教士,商人,农夫也有这么多呢。这种分工要分到什么程度为止?最后有什么结果?毫无疑问,别人可以来代替我们思想罗;可是如果他这么做是为了不让我自己思想,这就很不理想了。

 

It would be worth the while to build still more deliberately than I did, considering, for instance, what foundation a door, a window, a cellar, a garret, have in the nature of man, and perchance never raising any superstructure until we found a better reason for it than our temporal necessities even. There is some of the same fitness in a man's building his own house that there is in a bird's building its own nest. Who knows but if men constructed their dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged? But alas! we do like cowbirds and cuckoos, which lay their eggs in nests which other birds have built, and cheer no traveller with their chattering and unmusical notes. Shall we forever resign the pleasure of construction to the carpenter? What does architecture amount to in the experience of the mass of men? I never in all my walks came across a man engaged in so simple and natural an occupation as building his house. We belong to the community. It is not the tailor alone who is the ninth part of a man; it is as much the preacher, and the merchant, and the farmer. Where is this division of labor to end? and what object does it finally serve? No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself.

 

(待续)

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