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梭罗《瓦尔登湖》12:访客 Visitors

(2011-09-10 21:47:28)
标签:

梭罗

瓦尔登湖

教育

分类: 生存生活

      我想,我也跟大多数人一样喜爱交际,任何血气旺盛的人来时,我一定像吸血的水蛭似的,紧紧吸住他不放。我本性就非隐士,要有什么事情让我进一个酒吧间去,在那里坐得最长久的人也未必坐得过我。

 

I think that I love society as much as most, and am ready enough to fasten myself like a bloodsucker for the time to any full-blooded man that comes in my way. I am naturally no hermit, but might possibly sit out the sturdiest frequenter of the bar-room, if my business called me thither.


    我的屋子里有三张椅子,寂寞时用一张,交朋友用两张,社交用三张。访客要是来了一大堆,多得出乎意料,也还是只有三张椅子给他们支配,他们一般都很节省地方,只是站着。奇怪的是一个小房间里竟可容纳这么多的男人和女人。有一天,在我的屋脊底下,来了二十五至三十个灵魂,外加上他们这许多个身体;然而,我们分手的时候似乎不觉得我们曾经彼此十分接近过。我们有很多幢房屋,无论公共的,私人的,简直有数不清的房间,有巨大的厅堂,还有贮藏酒液和其他和平时代的军需品的地窖,我总觉得对住在里面的人说来,它们大而无当。它们太大,又太华丽,住在里面的人仿佛是败坏它们的一些寄生虫。有时我大吃一惊,当那些大旅馆如托莱蒙,阿斯托尔或米德尔塞克斯的司阍,通报客来,却看到一只可笑的小老鼠,爬过游廊,立刻又在铺道上的一个
小窟窿里不见了。

 

I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society. When visitors came in larger and unexpected numbers there was but the third chair for them all, but they generally economized the room by standing up. It is surprising how many great men and women a small house will contain. I have had twenty-five or thirty souls, with their bodies, at once under my roof, and yet we often parted without being aware that we had come very near to one another. Many of our houses, both public and private, with their almost innumerable apartments, their huge halls and their cellars for the storage of wines and other munitions of peace, appear to be extravagantly large for their inhabitants. They are so vast and magnificent that the latter seem to be only vermin which infest them. I am surprised when the herald blows his summons before some Tremont or Astor or Middlesex House, to see come creeping out over the piazza for all inhabitants a ridiculous mouse, which soon again slinks into some hole in the pavement.


    我也曾感到我的这样小的房间不大方便,当客人和我用深奥字眼谈着大问题的时候,我就难于和客人保持一个适当的距离了。你的思想也得有足够的空间,好让它准备好可以开航,打两个转身,到达港岸。你的思想的子弹必须抑制了它的横跳和跳飞的动作之后,笔直前进,才能到达听者的耳内,要不然它一猾就从他的脑袋的一边穿过去了。还有,在这中间我们的语句也要有足够的地盘来展开它自己,排成队形。个人,正像国土一样,必须有适度的、宽阔而自然的疆界,甚至在疆界之间,要有一个相当的中立地带。我发现我跟一个住在湖那边的朋友隔湖谈天,简直是一种了不得的奢侈。在我的屋子里,我们太接近,以致一开始听不清话——我们没法说得更轻,好使大家都听清;好比你扔两块石子到静水中去,太近了的话,它们要破坏彼此的涟漪的。如果我们仅仅是蝶蝶不休、大声说话的人,那未,我们站得很近,紧紧挨着,彼此能相嘘以气的,这不要紧;可是如果我们说话很有含蓄,富于思想,我们就得隔开一点,以便我们的动物性的热度和湿度有机会散发掉。如果我们中间,每一个都有一些不可以言传,只可以意会的话语,若要最亲呢地享受我们的交流,我们光是沉默一下还不够,还得两个身体距离得远一点,要在任何情况下都几乎听不见彼此的声音才行。根据这个标准,大声说话只是为了聋子
的方便;可是有很多美妙的事物,我们要是非大喊大叫不可,那就无法言传了。谈话之中当调子更崇高,更庄重时,我们就得渐渐地把椅子往后拖,越拖越后,直到我们碰到了两个角落上的墙壁,通常就要觉得房间不够大了。

 

One inconvenience I sometimes experienced in so small a house, the difficulty of getting to a sufficient distance from my guest when we began to utter the big thoughts in big words. You want room for your thoughts to get into sailing trim and run a course or two before they make their port. The bullet of your thought must have overcome its lateral and ricochet motion and fallen into its last and steady course before it reaches the ear of the hearer, else it may plow out again through the side of his head. Also, our sentences wanted room to unfold and form their columns in the interval. Individuals, like nations, must have suitable broad and natural boundaries, even a considerable neutral ground, between them. I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond to a companion on the opposite side. In my house we were so near that we could not begin to hear -- we could not speak low enough to be heard; as when you throw two stones into calm water so near that they break each other's undulations. If we are merely loquacious and loud talkers, then we can afford to stand very near together, cheek by jowl, and feel each other's breath; but if we speak reservedly and thoughtfully, we want to be farther apart, that all animal heat and moisture may have a chance to evaporate. If we would enjoy the most intimate society with that in each of us which is without, or above, being spoken to, we must not only be silent, but commonly so far apart bodily that we cannot possibly hear each other's voice in any case. Referred to this standard, speech is for the convenience of those who are hard of hearing; but there are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout. As the conversation began to assume a loftier and grander tone, we gradually shoved our chairs farther apart till they touched the wall in opposite corners, and then commonly there was not room enough.

 

    我的“最好的”房间,当然是我退隐的那间,它是随时准备招侍客人的,但太阳却很难得照到地毯上,它便是我屋后的松林。在夏天里,来了尊贵的宾客时,我就带他们上那儿去,有一个可贵的管家已打扫好地板,抹拭好家具,一切都井然有序了。

 

My "best" room, however, my withdrawing room, always ready for company, on whose carpet the sun rarely fell, was the pine wood behind my house. Thither in summer days, when distinguished guests came, I took them, and a priceless domestic swept the floor and dusted the furniture and kept the things in order.

 

    如果只来了一个客人,有时要分享我的菲薄的饭食;一边说话一边煮一个玉米糊,或者注意火上在胀大、烤熟的面包,是不,130·会打断谈话的。可是一来来了二十个人的话,坐在屋里,关于吃饭问题就不好提了,虽然我所有的面包还够两个人吃,可是吃饭好像成了一个大家都已戒掉了的习惯;大家都节欲了;然而这不算失礼,反倒被认为是最合适的,是考虑周到的办法。肉体生命的败坏,向来是急求补救的,现在却被拖宕了,而生命的活力居然还能持续下去。像这样,要招待的人如果不止二十个,而是一千个人的话,我也可以办到;如果来访者看到我在家,却饿了肚子失望地回去,他们可以肯定,我至少总是同情他们的。许多管家尽管对此怀疑,但是建立起新规矩和好习惯来代替旧的是容易的。你的名誉并不靠你请客。至于我自己,哪怕看管地狱之门的三个头的怪犬也吓不住我,可是有人要请我作客,大摆筵席,那稳可以吓得我退避三舍,我认为这大约是客气地兜圈子暗示我以后不必再去麻烦他了。我想我从此不会再去这些地方了。我引以为骄做的是,有一个访客在一张代替名片的黄色胡桃叶上写下了这几行斯宾塞的诗,大可拿来做我的陋室铭,

 

If one guest came he sometimes partook of my frugal meal, and it was no interruption to conversation to be stirring a hasty-pudding, or watching the rising and maturing of a loaf of bread in the ashes, in the meanwhile. But if twenty came and sat in my house there was nothing said about dinner, though there might be bread enough for two, more than if eating were a forsaken habit; but we naturally practised abstinence; and this was never felt to be an offence against hospitality, but the most proper and considerate course. The waste and decay of physical life, which so often needs repair, seemed miraculously retarded in such a case, and the vital vigor stood its ground. I could entertain thus a thousand as well as twenty; and if any ever went away disappointed or hungry from my house when they found me at home, they may depend upon it that I sympathized with them at least. So easy is it, though many housekeepers doubt it, to establish new and better customs in the place of the old. You need not rest your reputation on the dinners you give. For my own part, I was never so effectually deterred from frequenting a man's house, by any kind of Cerberus whatever, as by the parade one made about dining me, which I took to be a very polite and roundabout hint never to trouble him so again. I think I shall never revisit those scenes. I should be proud to have for the motto of my cabin those lines of Spenser which one of my visitors inscribed on a yellow walnut leaf for a card:--


   到了这里,他们填充着的小房屋,"Arrived there, the little house they fill,
    不寻求那些本来就没有的娱乐;Ne looke for entertainment where none was; 
    休息好比宴席,一切听其自然,Rest is their feast, and all things at their will:
    最高贵的心灵,最能知足自满。”The noblest mind the best contentment has."
   

    当后来担任普利茅斯垦殖区总督的温斯罗跟一个伴侣去正式访问玛萨索特时,他步行经过了森林,又疲倦又饥饿地到了他的棚屋,这位酋长很恭敬地招待了他们。可是这一天没有提到饮食。夜来了以后,用他们自己的话吧,——“他把我们招待到他自己和他夫人的床上,他们在一头,我们在另一头,这床是离地一英尺的木板架成的,上面只铺了一条薄薄的席子。他手下的两个头目,因为房屋不够,就挤在我们身旁,因此我们不乐意于住所,尤甚我们不乐意于旅途。”第二天一点钟,玛萨索特“拿出了两条他打来的鱼”,三倍于鲤鱼的大小;“鱼烧好之后,至少有四十个人分而食之。总算大多数人都吃到了。两夜一天,我们只吃了这点;要不是我俩中间的一人买到了一只鹧鸪,我们这旅行可谓是绝食旅行了。”温斯罗他们既缺少食物,又缺少睡眠,这是因为“那种野蛮的歌声(他们总是唱着歌儿直唱到他们自己睡着为止)”,他们害怕这样可能会使他们晕倒,为了要在他们还有力气的时候,回得到家里,他们就告辞了。真的,他们在住宿方面没有受到好的招待,虽然使他们深感不便的,倒是那种上宾之礼;至于食物呢,我看印第安人真是再聪明也没有了。他们自己本来没有东西吃,他们很聪明,懂得道歉代替不了粮食;所以他们束紧了裤带,只字不提。温斯罗后来还去过一次,那次正好是他们的食粮很丰富的季节,所以在这方面没有匮乏。

 

When Winslow, afterward governor of the Plymouth Colony, went with a companion on a visit of ceremony to Massasoit on foot through the woods, and arrived tired and hungry at his lodge, they were well received by the king, but nothing was said about eating that day. When the night arrived, to quote their own words -- "He laid us on the bed with himself and his wife, they at the one end and we at the other, it being only planks laid a foot from the ground and a thin mat upon them. Two more of his chief men, for want of room, pressed by and upon us; so that we were worse weary of our lodging than of our journey." At one o'clock the next day Massasoit "brought two fishes that he had shot," about thrice as big as a bream. "These being boiled, there were at least forty looked for a share in them; the most eat of them. This meal only we had in two nights and a day; and had not one of us bought a partridge, we had taken our journey fasting." Fearing that they would be light-headed for want of food and also sleep, owing to "the savages' barbarous singing, (for they use to sing themselves asleep,)" and that they might get home while they had strength to travel, they departed. As for lodging, it is true they were but poorly entertained, though what they found an inconvenience was no doubt intended for an honor; but as far as eating was concerned, I do not see how the Indians could have done better. They had nothing to eat themselves, and they were wiser than to think that apologies could supply the place of food to their guests; so they drew their belts tighter and said nothing about it. Another time when Winslow visited them, it being a season of plenty with them, there was no deficiency in this respect.


     至于人,哪里都少不了人的。林中的访客比我这一生中的任何时期都多;这是说,我有了一些客人。我在那里会见几个客人,比在别的场合中会见他们更好得多。可很少是为小事情而来找我的人。在这方面,由于我住在离城较远的乡下,仅仅我那一段距离便把他们甄别过了。我退入寂寞的大海有这样深;社会的河流虽然也汇流到这海洋中,就我的需要来说,聚集在我周围的大多是最优秀的沉积物。而且还有另一面的许多未发现、未开化的大陆,它们的证物也随波逐浪而来。

 

As for men, they will hardly fail one anywhere. I had more visitors while I lived in the woods than at any other period in my life; I mean that I had some. I met several there under more favorable circumstances than I could anywhere else. But fewer came to see me on trivial business. In this respect, my company was winnowed by my mere distance from town. I had withdrawn so far within the great ocean of solitude, into which the rivers of society empty, that for the most part, so far as my needs were concerned, only the finest sediment was deposited around me. Beside, there were wafted to me evidences of unexplored and uncultivated continents on the other side. 


     今天早晨来我家的,岂非一位真正荷马式的或帕菲拉戈尼亚的人物吗,——他有个这样适合于他身份的诗意的名字,抱歉的是我不能在这里写下来,——他是一个加拿大人,一个伐木做柱子的人,一天可以在五十个柱子上凿洞,他刚好吃了一顿他的狗子捉到的一只土拨鼠。他也听到过荷马其人,说“要不是我有书本”,他就“不知道如何打发下雨天”,虽然好几个雨季以来,他也许没有读完过一本书。在他自己那个遥远的教区内,有一个能念希腊文的牧师,曾经教他读《圣经》里的诗;现在我必须给他翻译了,他手拿着那本书,翻到普特洛克勒斯满面愁容,因而阿基里斯责怪他的一段,“普特洛克勒斯,干吗哭得像个小女孩?”——

 

Who should come to my lodge this morning but a true Homeric or Paphlagonian man -- he had so suitable and poetic a name that I am sorry I cannot print it here -- a Canadian, a woodchopper and post-maker, who can hole fifty posts in a day, who made his last supper on a woodchuck which his dog caught. He, too, has heard of Homer, and, "if it were not for books," would "not know what to do rainy days," though perhaps he has not read one wholly through for many rainy seasons. Some priest who could pronounce the Greek itself taught him to read his verse in the Testament in his native parish far away; and now I must translate to him, while he holds the book, Achilles' reproof to Patroclus for his sad countenance. --


    “是不是你从毕蒂亚那里 "Why are you in tears, Patroclus, like a young girl?"
    得到什么秘密消息? "Or have you alone heard some news from Phthia? 
    阿克脱的儿子,伊苦斯的儿子,They say that Menoetius lives yet, son of Actor,
    还是好好儿地活在玛密同;And Peleus lives, son of AEacus, among the Myrmidons,
    除非他俩死了,才应该悲伤。”Either of whom having died, we should greatly grieve."


   

      他对我说,“这诗好。”他手臂下挟了一大捆白橡树皮,是这星期日的早晨,他收集来给一个生病人的。“我想今天做这样的事应该没有关系吧,”他说。他认为荷马是一个大作家,虽然他写的是些什么,他并不知道。再要找一个比他更单纯更自然的人恐怕不容易了。罪恶与疾病,使这个世界郁忧阴暗,在他却几乎不存在似的。他大约二十八岁,十二年前他离开加拿大和他父亲的家,来到合众国找工作,要挣点钱将来买点田产,大约在他的故乡买吧。他是从最粗糙的模型里做出来的,一个大而呆板的身体,态度却非常文雅,一个晒焦了的大脖子,一头浓密的黑头发,一双无神欲睡的蓝眼睛,有时却闪烁出表情,变得明亮。他身穿一件肮脏的羊毛色大衣,头戴一顶扁平的灰色帽子,足登一双牛皮靴。他常常用一个铅皮桶来装他的饭餐,走到离我的屋子几英里之外去工作,——他整个夏天都在伐木,——他吃肉的胃口很大;冷肉,常常是土拨鼠的冷肉;咖啡装在一只石瓶子中间,用一根绳子吊在他的皮带上,有时他还请我喝一口。他很早就来到,穿过我的豆田,但是并不急急乎去工作,像所有的那些北方佬一样。他不想伤自己的身体。如果收入只够吃住,他也不在乎。他时常把饭餐放在灌木丛中,因为半路上他的狗咬住土拨鼠了,他就口头又走一英里半路把它煮熟,放在他借宿的那所房子的地窖中,但是在这之前,他曾经考虑过半个小时,他能否把土拨鼠浸在湖水中,安全地浸到晚上,——这一类的事情他要考虑很久。早上,他经过的时候,总说,“鸽子飞得多么地密啊!如果我的职业无需我每天工作,我光打猎就可以得到我所需要的全部肉食,——一鸽于,土拨鼠,兔子,鹧鸪,——天哪!一天就够我一星期的需要了。”

 

He says, "That's good." He has a great bundle of white oak bark under his arm for a sick man, gathered this Sunday morning. "I suppose there's no harm in going after such a thing to-day," says he. To him Homer was a great writer, though what his writing was about he did not know. A more simple and natural man it would be hard to find. Vice and disease, which cast such a sombre moral hue over the world, seemed to have hardly any existance for him. He was about twenty-eight years old, and had left Canada and his father's house a dozen years before to work in the States, and earn money to buy a farm with at last, perhaps in his native country. He was cast in the coarsest mould; a stout but sluggish body, yet gracefully carried, with a thick sunburnt neck, dark bushy hair, and dull sleepy blue eyes, which were occasionally lit up with expression. He wore a flat gray cloth cap, a dingy wool-colored greatcoat, and cowhide boots. He was a great consumer of meat, usually carrying his dinner to his work a couple of miles past my house -- for he chopped all summer -- in a tin pail; cold meats, often cold woodchucks, and coffee in a stone bottle which dangled by a string from his belt; and sometimes he offered me a drink. He came along early, crossing my bean-field, though without anxiety or haste to get to his work, such as Yankees exhibit. He wasn't a-going to hurt himself. He didn't care if he only earned his board. Frequently he would leave his dinner in the bushes, when his dog had caught a woodchuck by the way, and go back a mile and a half to dress it and leave it in the cellar of the house where he boarded, after deliberating first for half an hour whether he could not sink it in the pond safely till nightfall -- loving to dwell long upon these themes. He would say, as he went by in the morning, "How thick the pigeons are! If working every day were not my trade, I could get all the meat I should want by hunting-pigeons, woodchucks, rabbits, partridges -- by gosh! I could get all I should want for a week in one day."

  
      他是一个熟练的樵夫,他陶醉在这项艺术的技巧之中,他齐着地面把树木伐下来,从根上再萌发的芽将来就格外强壮,而运木料的雪橇在平根上也可以滑得过去;而且,他不是用绳子来把砍过根部一半的大树拉倒的,他把树木砍削得成为细细的一根或者薄薄的一片,最后,你只消轻轻用手一推,就推倒了。

 

He was a skilful chopper, and indulged in some flourishes and ornaments in his art. He cut his trees level and close to the ground, that the sprouts which came up afterward might be more vigorous and a sled might slide over the stumps; and instead of leaving a whole tree to support his corded wood, he would pare it away to a slender stake or splinter which you could break off with your hand at last.


     他使我发生兴趣是因为他这样安静,这样寂寞,而内心又这样愉快;他的眼睛里溢出他高兴而满足的神情。他的欢乐并没有搀杂其他的成分。有时候,我看到他在树林中劳动、砍伐树木,他带着一阵无法描写的满意的笑声迎接我,用加拿大腔的法文向我致意,其实他的英文也说得好。等我走近了他,他就停止工作,一半克制着自己的喜悦,躺倒在他砍下的一棵松树旁边,把树枝里层的皮剥了下来,再把它卷成一个圆球,一边笑着说话,一边还咀嚼它。他有如此充溢的元气,有时遇到使他运用思想的任何事情,碰着了他的痒处,他就大笑得倒在地上,打起滚来了。看看他四周的树木,他会叫喊,——“真的呵!在这里伐木真够劲;我不要更好的娱乐了。”有时候,他闲了下来,他带着把小手枪在林中整天自得其乐,一边走,一边按时地向自己放枪致敬。冬天他生了
火,到正午在一个壶里煮咖啡,当他坐在一根圆木上用膳的时候,小鸟偶尔会飞过来,停在他的胳膊上,啄他手里的土豆;他就说他“喜欢旁边有些小把戏”。

 

He interested me because he was so quiet and solitary and so happy withal; a well of good humor and contentment which overflowed at his eyes. His mirth was without alloy. Sometimes I saw him at his work in the woods, felling trees, and he would greet me with a laugh of inexpressible satisfaction, and a salutation in Canadian French, though he spoke English as well. When I approached him he would suspend his work, and with half-suppressed mirth lie along the trunk of a pine which he had felled, and, peeling off the inner bark, roll it up into a ball and chew it while he laughed and talked. Such an exuberance of animal spirits had he that he sometimes tumbled down and rolled on the ground with laughter at anything which made him think and tickled him. Looking round upon the trees he would exclaim -- "By George! I can enjoy myself well enough here chopping; I want no better sport." Sometimes, when at leisure, he amused himself all day in the woods with a pocket pistol, firing salutes to himself at regular intervals as he walked. In the winter he had a fire by which at noon he warmed his coffee in a kettle; and as he sat on a log to eat his dinner the chickadees would sometimes come round and alight on his arm and peck at the potato in his fingers; and he said that he "liked to have the little fellers about him."


      在他身上,主要的是生气勃发。论体力上的坚韧和满足,他跟松树和岩石称得上是表兄弟。有一次问他整天做工,晚上累不累;他口答时,目光真诚而严肃,“天晓得,我一生中从没有累过。”可是在他身上,智力,即一般所谓的灵性却还是沉睡着的,跟婴孩的灵性一样。他所受的教育,只是以那天真的,无用的方式进行的,天主教神父就是用这种方式来教育土人,而用这种方式,学生总不能达到意识的境界,只达到了信任和崇敬的程度,像一个孩子并没有被教育成人,他依然还是个孩子。当大自然创造他这人的时候,她给了他一副强壮的身体,并且让他对自己的命运感到满足,在他的四周用敬意和信任支撑着他,这样他就从可以像一个孩子似的,一直活到七十岁。他是这样单纯,毫不虚伪,无须用介绍的方式来介绍他,正如你无须给你的邻居介绍土拨鼠一样。他这人,还得自己慢慢来认识自己,就跟你得慢慢地才能认识他一样。他什么事都不做作。人们为了他的工作,给他钱;这就帮他得到了衣食;可是他从来不跟人们交换意见。他这样地单纯,天然地卑微,——如果那种不抱奢望的人可以称作卑微的话,——这种卑微在他身上并不明显,他自己也不觉得。对于他,聪明一点的人,简直成了神仙,如果你告诉他,这样一个人正要来到,他似乎觉得这般隆重的事情肯定是与他无关的,事情会自然而然地自己办好的,还是让他被人们忘掉吧。他从来没有听到过赞美他的话。他特别敬重作家和传教师。他认为他们的工作真是神乎其神。当我告诉他,说我也写作甚多,他想了一会儿,以为我说的是写字,他也写得一手好字呢。我有时候看到,在公路旁的积雪上很秀丽地写着他那故乡的教区的名字,并标明了那法文的重音记号,就知道他曾在这里经过。我问过他有没有想过要写下他自己的思想来。他说他给不识字的人读过和写过一些信件,但从没有试过写下他的思想,——不,他不能,他就不知道应该先写什么,这会难死他的,何况写的时候还要留意拼音!

 

In him the animal man chiefly was developed. In physical endurance and contentment he was cousin to the pine and the rock. I asked him once if he was not sometimes tired at night, after working all day; and he answered, with a sincere and serious look, "Gorrappit, I never was tired in my life." But the intellectual and what is called spiritual man in him were slumbering as in an infant. He had been instructed only in that innocent and ineffectual way in which the Catholic priests teach the aborigines, by which the pupil is never educated to the degree of consciousness, but only to the degree of trust and reverence, and a child is not made a man, but kept a child. When Nature made him, she gave him a strong body and contentment for his portion, and propped him on every side with reverence and reliance, that he might live out his threescore years and ten a child. He was so genuine and unsophisticated that no introduction would serve to introduce him, more than if you introduced a woodchuck to your neighbor. He had got to find him out as you did. He would not play any part. Men paid him wages for work, and so helped to feed and clothe him; but he never exchanged opinions with them. He was so simply and naturally humble -- if he can be called humble who never aspires -- that humility was no distinct quality in him, nor could he conceive of it. Wiser men were demigods to him. If you told him that such a one was coming, he did as if he thought that anything so grand would expect nothing of himself, but take all the responsibility on itself, and let him be forgotten still. He never heard the sound of praise. He particularly reverenced the writer and the preacher. Their performances were miracles. When I told him that I wrote considerably, he thought for a long time that it was merely the handwriting which I meant, for he could write a remarkably good hand himself. I sometimes found the name of his native parish handsomely written in the snow by the highway, with the proper French accent, and knew that he had passed. I asked him if he ever wished to write his thoughts. He said that he had read and written letters for those who could not, but he never tried to write thoughts -- no, he could not, he could not tell what to put first, it would kill him, and then there was spelling to be attended to at the same time!


      我听到过一个著名的聪明人兼改革家问他,他愿不愿这世界改变:他惊诧地失笑了,这问题从来没有想过,用他的加拿大口音回答,“不必,我很喜欢它呢,”一个哲学家跟他谈话,可以得到很多东西。在陌生人看来,他对一般问题是一点都不懂的;但是我有时候在他身上看到了一个我从未见过的人,我不知道他究竟是聪明得像莎士比亚呢,还是天真未凿,像一个小孩;不知道他富于诗意呢,还是笨伯一名。一个市民告诉过我,他遇到他,戴了那紧扣的小帽,悠悠闲闲地穿过村子,自顾自吹着口哨,他使他想起了微服出行的王子。

 

I heard that a distinguished wise man and reformer asked him if he did not want the world to be changed; but he answered with a chuckle of surprise in his Canadian accent, not knowing that the question had ever been entertained before, "No, I like it well enough." It would have suggested many things to a philosopher to have dealings with him. To a stranger he appeared to know nothing of things in general; yet I sometimes saw in him a man whom I had not seen before, and I did not know whether he was as wise as Shakespeare or as simply ignorant as a child, whether to suspect him of a fine poetic consciousness or of stupidity. A townsman told me that when he met him sauntering through the village in his small close-fitting cap, and whistling to himself, he reminded him of a prince in disguise.


      他只有一本历书和一本算术书,他很精于算术。前者在他则好比一本百科全书,他认为那是人类思想的精华所在,事实上在很大限度内也确实是如此。我喜欢探问他一些现代革新的问题,他没有一次不是很简单,很实际地作出回答的。他从没有听到过这种问题。没有工厂他行不行呢?我问。他说他穿的是家庭手工织的佛蒙特灰布,说这很好嘛。他可以不喝茶或咖啡吗?在这个国土上,除水之外,还供应什么饮料呢?他说他曾经把铁杉叶浸在水里,热天喝来比水好。我问他没有钱行不行呢?他就证明,有了钱是这样的方便,说得仿佛是有关货币起源的哲学探讨一样,正好表明了pecunia 这个字的字源。如果一条牛是他的财产,他现在要到铺子里去买一点针线了,要他一部分一部分地把他的牛抵押掉真是不方便啊。他可以替不少制度作辩护,胜过哲学家多多,因为他
说的理由都是和他直接关联着的,他说出了它们流行的真正理由,他并不胡想出任何其他理由。有一次,听到柏拉图所下的人的定义,——没有羽毛的两足动物,——有人拿起一只拔掉了羽毛的雄鸡来,称之为柏拉图的人,他却说明,膝盖的弯向不同,这是很重要的一个区别。有时候,他也叫嚷,“我多么喜欢闲谈啊!真的,我能够说一整天!”有一次,几个月不见他,我问他夏天里可有了什么新见地。“老天爷,”他说,“一个像我这样有工作做的人,如果他有了意见不忘记,那就好了。也许跟你一起耘地的人打算跟你比赛;好啊,心思就得花在这上头了:你想到的只是杂草。”在这种场合,有时他先问我有没有改进。有一个冬日,我问他是否常常自满,希望在他的内心找一样东西代替外在的牧师,有更高的生活目的。“自满!”他说,“有的人满足这一些,另外的
人满足另一些。也许有人,如果什么都有了,便整天背烤着火,肚子向着饭桌,真的!”然则,我费尽了心机,还不能找出他对于事物的精神方面的观点来;他想出的最高原则在乎“绝对的方便”,像动物所喜欢的那样;这一点,实际上,大多数人都如此。如果我向他建议,在生活方式上有所改进,他仅仅回答说,来不及了,可并没有一点遗憾。然而他彻底地奉行着忠实与其他这一类美德。

 

His only books were an almanac and an arithmetic, in which last he was considerably expert. The former was a sort of cyclopaedia to him, which he supposed to contain an abstract of human knowledge, as indeed it does to a considerable extent. I loved to sound him on the various reforms of the day, and he never failed to look at them in the most simple and practical light. He had never heard of such things before. Could he do without factories? I asked. He had worn the home-made Vermont gray, he said, and that was good. Could he dispense with tea and coffee? Did this country afford any beverage beside water? He had soaked hemlock leaves in water and drank it, and thought that was better than water in warm weather. When I asked him if he could do without money, he showed the convenience of money in such a way as to suggest and coincide with the most philosophical accounts of the origin of this institution, and the very derivation of the word pecunia. If an ox were his property, and he wished to get needles and thread at the store, he thought it would be inconvenient and impossible soon to go on mortgaging some portion of the creature each time to that amount. He could defend many institutions better than any philosopher, because, in describing them as they concerned him, he gave the true reason for their prevalence, and speculation had not suggested to him any other. At another time, hearing Plato's definition of a man -- a biped without feathers -- and that one exhibited a cock plucked and called it Plato's man, he thought it an important difference that the knees bent the wrong way. He would sometimes exclaim, "How I love to talk! By George, I could talk all day!" I asked him once, when I had not seen him for many months, if he had got a new idea this summer. "Good Lord" -- said he, "a man that has to work as I do, if he does not forget the ideas he has had, he will do well. May be the man you hoe with is inclined to race; then, by gorry, your mind must be there; you think of weeds." He would sometimes ask me first on such occasions, if I had made any improvement. One winter day I asked him if he was always satisfied with himself, wishing to suggest a substitute within him for the priest without, and some higher motive for living. "Satisfied!" said he; "some men are satisfied with one thing, and some with another. One man, perhaps, if he has got enough, will be satisfied to sit all day with his back to the fire and his belly to the table, by George!" Yet I never, by any manoeuvring, could get him to take the spiritual view of things; the highest that he appeared to conceive of was a simple expediency, such as you might expect an animal to appreciate; and this, practically, is true of most men. If I suggested any improvement in his mode of life, he merely answered, without expressing any regret, that it was too late. Yet he thoroughly believed in honesty and the like virtues.


      从他这人身上可以察觉到,他有相当的,不管如何地少,积极的独创性;有时我还发现他在自己寻思如何表达他自己的意见,这是稀有的现象,我愿在随便哪一天跑十英里路,去观察这种景象,这等于温习一次社会制度的起源。虽然他迟疑,也许还不能明白地表现他自己,他却常常藏有一些非常正确的好意见.然而他的思想是这样原始,和他的肉体的生命契合无间,比起仅仅有学问的人的思想来,虽然已经高明,却还没有成熟到值得报道的程度。他说过,在最低贱的人中,纵然终身在最下层,且又目不识丁,却可能出一些天才,一向都有自己的见解,从不假装他什么都知道;他们深如瓦尔登湖一般,有人说它是无底的,虽然它也许是黑暗而泥泞的。

 

 

There was a certain positive originality, however slight, to be detected in him, and I occasionally observed that he was thinking for himself and expressing his own opinion, a phenomenon so rare that I would any day walk ten miles to observe it, and it amounted to the re-origination of many of the institutions of society. Though he hesitated, and perhaps failed to express himself distinctly, he always had a presentable thought behind. Yet his thinking was so primitive and immersed in his animal life, that, though more promising than a merely learned man's, it rarely ripened to anything which can be reported. He suggested that there might be men of genius in the lowest grades of life, however permanently humble and illiterate, who take their own view always, or do not pretend to see at all; who are as bottomless even as Walden Pond was thought to be, though they may be dark and muddy.


      许多旅行家离开了他们的路线,来看我和我屋子的内部,他们的托辞往往是要一杯水喝。我告诉他们,我是从湖里喝水的,手指着湖,愿意借一个水勺给他们。住得虽然远僻,每年,我想,四月一日左右,人人都来踏青,我也免不了受到访问;我就鸿运高照了,虽然其中有一些古怪人物的标本。从济贫院或别处出来的傻瓜也来看我;我就尽量让他们施展出他们的全部机智,让他们对我畅谈一番;在这种场合,机智常常成了我们谈话的话题;这样我大有收获了。真的,我觉得他们比贫民的管理者,甚至比市里行政管理委员会的委员要聪明得多,认为大翻身的时期已差不多了。关于智慧,我觉得愚昧和大智之间没有多少分别。特别有一天,有一个并不讨厌的头脑单纯的贫民来看我,还表示愿意跟我一样地生活。以前我常常看到他和别人一起好像篱笆一样,在田野中站
着,或坐在一个箩斗上看守着牛和他自己,以免走散。他怀着极大的纯朴和真诚,超出或毋宁说低于一般的所谓的自卑,告诉我说他“在智力上非常之低”。这是他的原话。上帝把他造成这个样子,可是,他认为,上帝关心他,正如关心旁人一样。“从我的童年时代起,”他说,“我就一向如此,我脑筋就不大灵;我跟别的小孩子不同;我在智力方面很薄弱。我想,这是神的意志吧。”而他就在那里,证实了他自己的话。他对我是一个形而上学的谜语。我难得碰到一个人是这样有希望的——他说的话全都这样单纯诚恳,这样真实。他越是自卑之至,他却真的越是高贵。起先我还不知道,可是这是一个聪明办法取得的效果。在这个智力不足的贫民所建立的真实而坦率的基础上,我们的谈话反倒可以达到比和智者谈话更深的程度。   

 

Many a traveller came out of his way to see me and the inside of my house, and, as an excuse for calling, asked for a glass of water. I told them that I drank at the pond, and pointed thither, offering to lend them a dipper. Far off as I lived, I was not exempted from the annual visitation which occurs, methinks, about the first of April, when everybody is on the move; and I had my share of good luck, though there were some curious specimens among my visitors. Half-witted men from the almshouse and elsewhere came to see me; but I endeavored to make them exercise all the wit they had, and make their confessions to me; in such cases making wit the theme of our conversation; and so was compensated. Indeed, I found some of them to be wiser than the so-called overseers of the poor and selectmen of the town, and thought it was time that the tables were turned. With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole. One day, in particular, an inoffensive, simple-minded pauper, whom with others I had often seen used as fencing stuff, standing or sitting on a bushel in the fields to keep cattle and himself from straying, visited me, and expressed a wish to live as I did. He told me, with the utmost simplicity and truth, quite superior, or rather inferior, to anything that is called humility, that he was "deficient in intellect." These were his words. The Lord had made him so, yet he supposed the Lord cared as much for him as for another. "I have always been so," said he, "from my childhood; I never had much mind; I was not like other children; I am weak in the head. It was the Lord's will, I suppose." And there he was to prove the truth of his words. He was a metaphysical puzzle to me. I have rarely met a fellowman on such promising ground -- it was so simple and sincere and so true all that he said. And, true enough, in proportion as he appeared to humble himself was he exalted. I did not know at first but it was the result of a wise policy. It seemed that from such a basis of truth and frankness as the poor weak-headed pauper had laid, our intercourse might go forward to something better than the intercourse of sages.

 

      还有一些客人,一般不算城市贫民,实际上他们应该算是城市贫民;无论如何可以说是世界贫民;这些客人无求于你的好客,而有求于你的大大的殷勤。他们急于得到你的帮助,却开口就说,他们下决心了,就是说,他们不想帮助自己了。我要求访客不能饿着肚子来看我,虽然也许他们有世上最好的胃口,不管他们是怎么养成这样好的胃口的。慈善事业的对象,不得称为客人。有些客人,不知道他们的访问早该结束了,我已经在料理我自己的事务,回答他们的话就愈来愈怠慢了。几乎各种智能的人在候鸟迁移的时节都来访问过我。有些人的智能是超过了他们能运用的范围的;一些亡的奴隶,带着种植园里的神情,不时尖起耳朵来听,好像寓言中的狐狸时时听到猎大在追踪它们,用恳求的目光看着我,好像在说,——

 

I had some guests from those not reckoned commonly among the town's poor, but who should be; who are among the world's poor, at any rate; guests who appeal, not to your hospitality, but to your hospitalality; who earnestly wish to be helped, and preface their appeal with the information that they are resolved, for one thing, never to help themselves. I require of a visitor that he be not actually starving, though he may have the very best appetite in the world, however he got it. Objects of charity are not guests. Men who did not know when their visit had terminated, though I went about my business again, answering them from greater and greater remoteness. Men of almost every degree of wit called on me in the migrating season. Some who had more wits than they knew what to do with; runaway slaves with plantation manners, who listened from time to time, like the fox in the fable, as if they heard the hounds a-baying on their track, and looked at me beseechingly, as much as to say, --

 

    “啊,基督教徒,你会把我送回去吗?”

 

"O Christian, will you send me back?

 

    其中有一个真正的逃亡者,我帮他朝北极星的那个方向逃去。有人只有一个心眼儿,像只有一只小鸡的母鸡,有人却像只有一只小鸭的母鸭;有些人千头万绪,脑子里杂乱无章,像那些要照料一百只小鸡的老母鸡,都在追逐一只小虫,每天在黎明的露水中总要丢失一二十只小鸡,——而争得它们羽毛蓬乱、污秽不堪了;此外还有一些不是用腿而是用智力走路的人,像一条智力的蜈蚣,使得你周身都发抖。有人建议我用一本签名簿来保留访客的名字,像白山那里的情形;可惜,啊!我的记忆力太好了,不需要这种东西。

 

 One real runaway slave, among the rest, whom I helped to forward toward the north star. Men of one idea, like a hen with one chicken, and that a duckling; men of a thousand ideas, and unkempt heads, like those hens which are made to take charge of a hundred chickens, all in pursuit of one bug, a score of them lost in every morning's dew -- and become frizzled and mangy in consequence; men of ideas instead of legs, a sort of intellectual centipede that made you crawl all over. One man proposed a book in which visitors should write their names, as at the White Mountains; but, alas! I have too good a memory to make that necessary.


     我不能不发现我的访客的若干特点。女孩子,男孩子,少妇,一到森林中就很快活。他们看着湖水,看着花,觉得时间过得很愉快。一些生意人,却只感到寂寞,只想着生意经,只觉得我住得不是离这太远就是离那太远,甚至有些农民也如此,虽然他们说,他们偶尔也爱作林中闲游,其实很明显,他们并不爱好。这些焦灼不安的人啊,他们的时间都花在谋生或者维持生活上了;一些牧师,开口闭口说上帝,好像这题目是他们的专利品,他们也听不见各种不同的意见;医生,律师,忙碌的管家妇则趁我不在家的时候审察我的碗橱和床铺,——不然某夫人怎样知道我的床单没有她的干净?——有些已经不再年轻的年轻人,以为跟着职业界的老路走,是最安全的办法了,——这些人一般都说我这种生活没有好处。啊,问题就在这里!那些衰老的,有病的,胆怯的人,不管他们的年龄性别,想得最多的是疾病、意外和死亡;在他们看来,生命是充满了危险的,——可如果你不去想它,那又有什么危险呢?——他们觉得,谨慎的人应当小心地挑选个最安全的地区,在那里的医生可以随唤随到。在他们看来,村子真是一个com一Munity,一个共同防护的联盟,你可以想象的,他们连采集越橘时也要带药箱去呢。这就是说,一个人如果是活着的,他就随时随地有死亡的危险,其实这样的死亡危险,由于他已经
是一个活着的死人而相对地减少了。一个人闭门家中坐,跟他出外奔跑是一样危险的。最后,还有一种人,自名为改革家的,所有访客中要算他们最讨厌了,他们以为我是一直在歌唱着,——

 

I could not but notice some of the peculiarities of my visitors. Girls and boys and young women generally seemed glad to be in the woods. They looked in the pond and at the flowers, and improved their time. Men of business, even farmers, thought only of solitude and employment, and of the great distance at which I dwelt from something or other; and though they said that they loved a ramble in the woods occasionally, it was obvious that they did not. Restless committed men, whose time was an taken up in getting a living or keeping it; ministers who spoke of God as if they enjoyed a monopoly of the subject, who could not bear all kinds of opinions; doctors, lawyers, uneasy housekeepers who pried into my cupboard and bed when I was out -- how came Mrs. -- to know that my sheets were not as clean as hers? -- young men who had ceased to be young, and had concluded that it was safest to follow the beaten track of the professions -- all these generally said that it was not possible to do so much good in my position. Ay! there was the rub. The old and infirm and the timid, of whatever age or sex, thought most of sickness, and sudden accident and death; to them life seemed full of danger -- what danger is there if you don't think of any? -- and they thought that a prudent man would carefully select the safest position, where Dr. B. might be on hand at a moment's warning. To them the village was literally a community, a league for mutual defence, and you would suppose that they would not go a-huckleberrying without a medicine chest. The amount of it is, if a man is alive, there is always danger that he may die, though the danger must be allowed to be less in proportion as he is dead-and-alive to begin with. A man sits as many risks as he runs. Finally, there were the self-styled reformers, the greatest bores of all, who thought that I was forever singing,--


    这是我所造的屋子;This is the house that I built;

    这是在我所造的屋子中生活的人;This is the man that lives in the house that I built;
    可是他们不知道接下来的两行正是,——but they did not know that the third line was,
    而正是这些人,烦死了 These are the folks that worry the man 
    住在我所造之屋中的人。That lives in the house that I built.

 

 

    我并不怕捉小鸡的老鹰,因为我没有养小鸡,可是我最怕捉人的鹫鸟。

 

 I did not fear the hen-harriers, for I kept no chickens; but I feared the men-harriers rather.


      “除开最后一种人,我还有一些更令人愉快的访客。小孩子来采浆果,铁路上的工人们穿着干净的衬衣来散步,渔人、猎户、诗人和哲学家;总之,一切老老实实的朝圣者,为了自由的缘故而到森林中来,他们真的把村子抛在后面了,我很喜欢向他们说,“欢迎啊,英国人!欢迎啊,英国人!”因为我曾经和这一个民族往来过。

 

 

I had more cheering visitors than the last. Children come a-berrying, railroad men taking a Sunday morning walk in clean shirts, fishermen and hunters, poets and philosophers; in short, all honest pilgrims, who came out to the woods for freedom's sake, and really left the village behind, I was ready to greet with -- "Welcome, Englishmen! welcome, Englishmen!" for I had had communication with that race.

 

(待续)

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