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The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 富兰克林传(英汉对照)3

(2011-03-13 20:04:19)
标签:

美国文学

富兰克林传

英汉对照

杂谈

The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 富兰克林传(英汉对照)3

转自:正文翻译论坛

本篇被收录 Reading and Researching America-The Founding Fathers: Benjamin Franklin-Part 1 Early years(6-9)

My brother had, in 1720 or 1721, begun to print a newspaper. It was the second that appeared in America, and was called the New England Courant. The only one before it was the Boston News-Letter. He had some ingenious men among his friends, who amused themselves by writing little pieces for this paper, which gained it credit and made it more in demand, and these gentlemen often visited us. Hearing their conversations, and their accounts of the approbation their papers were received with, I was excited to try my hand among them; but, being still a boy, and suspecting that my brother would object to printing any thing of mine in his paper if he knew it to be mine, I contrived to disguise my hand, and, writing an anonymous paper, put it at night under the door of the printing-house. It was found in the morning, and communicated to his writing friends when they called in as usual. They read it, commented on it in my hearing, and I had the exquisite pleasure of finding it met with their approbation, and that, in their different guesses at the author, none were named but men of some character among us for learning and ingenuity.
我的哥哥在一七二○年或一七二一年曾创刊一报。这是我在美洲出现的第二个报纸,名曰「新英格兰新闻」。而之前仅有则是「波士顿新报」,在他的朋友之中有几位智慧的人,他们为此报写小品文而聊以自娱,这件事使此报的信誉与销路大为增加,而这几位先生常常来拜访我们。听他们的谈话,和他们的文章备受称赞的叙述之中,激励我想在他们之间一试身手之决心;但是,我仍是个孩子,深怕哥哥如果知道是我的作品会拒绝刊登在他的报上,我设法改变我的字迹,并且不署名号,在晚上我把它放在印刷部的门下。这篇文章在早上发表了,并且当他的几位写文章的朋友如往常聚会时,传给他们看。他们读了之后,我听到他们的评论。而我敏锐且快乐的听到他们的赞赏,并且在他们不同的作者中猜测,只提起我们之间的几位有学识和智慧的角色。
I suppose that I was rather lucky in my judges, and that they were not really so very good as I then believed them to be. Encouraged, however, by this attempt, I wrote and sent in the same way to the press several other pieces that were equally approved; and I kept my secret till all my fund of sense for such performances was exhausted, and then discovered it, when I began to be considered a little more by my brother's acquaintance. However, that did not quite please him, as he thought it tended to make me too vain.
现在想起我那时是比较幸运,合了这几位审判官的心意,也许这几篇文章不是真的如我以后理想中那样好呢?无论如何,这些赞赏而大受鼓励,我几次写文章都用同样的方法出刊;我守住这个的秘密,直到我掩饰不了才揭露出来。这时我开始为我哥哥的朋友们更加器重。而我的哥哥却有不悦之态,据他看来,那会使我太过骄傲了。

This might be one occasion of the differences we began to have about this time. Though a brother, he considered himself as my master, and me as his apprentice, and, accordingly, expected the same services from me as he would from another, while I thought he degraded me too much in some he required of me, who from a brother expected more indulgence. Our disputes were often brought before our father, and I fancy I was either generally in the right, or else a better pleader, because the judgment was generally in my favor.
也许这就是我们之间出现裂痕的起因。虽然是哥哥,他看他自己像一个主人,而视我为学徒,所以他希望我像其它学徒一样地工作,而有些我必做之事则是太鄙视我,就兄弟而言希望能宽容一点。经常我们的争辩会告诉父亲,或许是我的理直气壮和辩才,因此这审判常是有利于我。
But my brother was passionate, and had often beaten me, which I took extremely amiss; and, thinking my apprenticeship very tedious, I was continually wishing for some opportunity of shortening it, which at length offered in a manner unexpected. Perhaps the harsh and tyrannical treatment of me might be a means of impressing me with the aversion to arbitrary power that has stuck to me through my whole life.
但是我的哥哥性情浮躁,经常打我,这使我深深地以为憾事;想到我的学徒生涯很漫长,我希望用什么机会来缩短它,而这机会终于让我遇到了。或许就是我哥哥这种严厉待我的方式,才令得我一生都厌恶此种独断横行的权势。
One of the pieces in our newspaper on some political point, which I have now forgotten, gave offense to the Assembly. He was taken up, censured, and imprisoned for a month, by the speaker's warrant, I suppose, because he would not discover the author. I too was taken up and examined before the council; but, though I did not give them any satisfaction, they contented themselves with admonishing me, and dismissed me, considering me, perhaps, as an apprentice, who was bound to keep his master's secrets.
我们的报在某几点政治上有一篇文章(什么几点政治我已忘掉了)反抗议会。他被捉去受责罚,议长判决他徒刑一个月,我猜想,是因为他不肯宣布作者的名字。我也被拘提而对簿公堂,但是,虽然我不能取悦他们,他们也只好略加训斥就放了我,因为想我以一个学徒的地位,是必然替他的主人保守秘密。
During my brother's confinement, which I resented a good deal, notwithstanding our private differences, I had the management of the paper; and I made bold to give our rulers some rubs in it, which my brother took very kindly, while others began to consider me in an unfavorable light, as a youth that had a turn for libeling and satire. My brother's discharge was accompanied with an order (and a very odd one), that "James Franklin should no longer print the newspaper called the New England Courant."
当哥哥受幽禁时,我抛开我们私人的恩怨,为此甚为愤慨。我有了这报的管理权,于是勇敢地给予我们的所谓统治者一点触犯,这件事我的哥哥欣然接受,而别人以少年才子的毁谤和讥讽的意图,赋予一种不好的看法。我的哥哥释放时一张议会里的(很古怪的一个)命令却颁布下来,说道,「詹姆斯富兰克林不能再发行称为新英格兰新闻的报纸。」
On a consultation held in our printing-office among his friends, what he should do in this conjuncture, it was proposed to elude the order by changing the name of the paper; but my brother, seeing inconveniences in this, came to a conclusion, as a better way, to let the paper in future be printed in the name of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN; and in order to avoid the censure of the Assembly, that might fall on him as still printing it by his apprentice, he contrived and consented that my old indenture should be returned to me, with a discharge on the back of it, to show in case of necessity; On a consultation held in our printing-office among his friends, what he should do in this conjuncture, it was proposed to elude the order by changing the name of the paper; but my brother, seeing inconveniences in this, came to a conclusion, as a better way, to let the paper in future be printed in the name of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN; and in order to avoid the censure of the Assembly, that might fall on him as still printing it by his apprentice, he contrived and consented that my old indenture should be returned to me, with a discharge on the back of it, to show in case of necessity; and, in order to secure to him the benefit of my service, I should sign new indentures for the remainder of my time, which was to be kept private. A very flimsy scheme it was; however, it was immediately executed, and the paper was printed, accordingly, under my name for several months.
At length, a fresh difference arising between my brother and me, I took upon me to assert my freedom, presuming that he would not venture to produce the new indentures.
他的许多朋友,在印刷所中开会讨论,这件案子该怎样办。有人建议改变名称来规避这个命令;但是我的哥哥认为这个方法不大合适,最后决定一种较好的办法,让未来的这张报刊发行时用拜雅明富兰克林的名字;但是为避免议会的责罚,如果仍旧以他的学徒刊行还是不行,最好办法是暗地里把旧合约给我,合约的后面注明作废,这样一旦有事就可以给人家看了。他的许多朋友,在印刷所中开会讨论,这件案子该怎样办。有人建议改变名称来规避这个命令;但是我的哥哥认为这个方法不大合适,最后决定一种较好的办法,让未来的这张报刊发行时用拜雅明富兰克林的名字;但是为避免议会的责罚,如果仍旧以他的学徒刊行还是不行,最好办法是暗地里把旧合约给我,合约的后面注明作废,这样一旦有事就可以给人家看了。但是为保护我为他工作的利益,剩下的年限我再签一张新合约,这是私自保存的。这是一个下等的计策;但不论怎样,这个计策立即执行了,而这份报依此刊行,用我的名字已有几个月了。终于我和我哥哥之间又起了新的争执,我臆测他不敢拿出这张新合约来。

It was not fair in me to take this advantage, and this I therefore reckon as one of the first errata of my life; but the unfairness of it weighed little with me, when under the impression of resentment for the blows his passion too often urged him to bestow upon me, though he was otherwise not an ill-natured man: perhaps I was too saucy and provoking. When he found I would heave him, he took cards to prevent my getting employment in any other printing-house of the town, by going round and speaking to every master, who accordingly refused to give me work.
便藉以保障我的自由手段来换取利益是不大合适的,往后认为是我终身一大过错;但是他浮躁的性情,常常对我拳打相向,以这种悲愤情感和这一点点的不相称的平衡,还是他重我轻呢?虽然他不是一个坏脾气的人,也许是我太冲动而容易与人起争执吧!。当他知道我要离开他时,他为了防止我为这镇上印刷厂工作,他便跑去告诉每一个老板,他们因此拒绝给我工作。
I then thought of going to New York, as the nearest place where there was a printer; and I was rather inclined to leave Boston when I reflected that I had already made myself a little obnoxious to the governing party, and, form the arbitrary proceedings of the Assembly in my brother's case, it was likely I might, if I stayed, soon bring myself into scrapes; and further, that my indiscreet disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror by good people as an infidel and atheist.
于是我决定到纽约去,因为那里是最近有印刷厂的地方。当我回想到我被统治集团所憎恨时,我离开波士顿,但自从我的哥哥被议会恣意拘捕以来,如果我留下来,好像我也立即陷于困难之境;进一步说,关于我对宗教不严谨的辩驳,善良的民众开始怀着恐怖心情指责我为不信仰、不敬神的人。
I concluded, therefore, to remove to New York; but my father now siding with my brother, I was sensible that, if I attempted to go openly, means would be used to prevent me. My friend Collins, therefore, undertook to manage my flight. He agreed with the captain of a New Your sloop to take me, under pretense of my being a young man of his acquaintance, that had an intrigue with a girl of bad character, whose parents would compel me to marry her, and that I could neither appear nor come away publicly.
关于这方面我决定了,但是我的父亲现在站在我哥哥那一边,我觉得如果我想出去的企图明显,会用各种方法来阻止我。我的朋友柯林斯,于是为我想一个法子。他和三个纽约帆船船长替我想出奇妙出路,说我是他的一个小朋友,曾和一个顽劣的少女私通,而她的家族,决意要强迫我和她结婚,所以我不能出现或明目张胆离开。
I sold my books to raise a little money, was taken on board the sloop privately, had a fair wind, and in three days found myself at New York, near three hundred miles from my home, at the age of seventeen (October, 1723), without the least recommendation, or knowledge of any person in the place, and very little money in my pocket.
于是我卖掉一些书,得到一点钱,私自上船。恰巧风平浪静,三天后我已置身纽约了,离开家乡近三百里,一个只有十七岁的孩子,(此时是一七二三年的十月),最基本的介绍信函也没有,人生地不熟,在我的口袋中只有微薄的钱。

 

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