《瓦尔登湖》 梭罗著 宋德利译

作者 05月22日2018年

 

 

《瓦尔登湖》 梭罗著 宋德利译

 

2.  我住在哪里,为什么活着

Where I Lived, and What I Lived for

 

 

按:这部分较长,共有23个自然段,恐怕不能一次发出,因此只节取精华部分。从第10自然段开始摘录。作者先是妙笔生花,精致地描绘生存环境,美轮美奂,惊艳得简直令人窒息!此后夹叙夹议,海阔天空,浮想联翩,口若悬河,意蕴隽永。不愧为不朽杰作!但译者心情忐忑,唯恐译笔粗陋,难以将原作庐山真面目展示出来,但好在这里有英语原文,可供参照,也恳请朋友批评指正。多谢!

 

 

[10]   

 

我坐在一片小湖的岸边。这里地处康科德村以南大约一英里半,地势比村子微高一些,位于城镇与林肯乡之间一大片树林的中间。我们那里只有一片广阔的田野,以康科德战场闻名,那片树林就在它以南大约两英里的地方。但是我在湖岸对面林中的地势很低,那里离湖边半英里,和其它地方一样都被茂密的树林覆盖,而这就是我最远的视野。第一个星期,无论我何时眺望窗外的湖面,它给我的印象都像是镶嵌在峰峦叠嶂之间的一泓清潭,地势高出半山腰,即便湖底也要远远高于其它湖面,真乃“高峡出平湖”也。一轮红日,冉冉升起,将夜间的云衣雾裳四散开来;湖面时而柔波细浪,涟漪轻泛;时而平静如镜,光洁可鉴;或隐或现,宛若幽灵,仿佛在宗教夜会开幕之时将那氤氲的山岚,偷偷地从四面八方拉拽进树林。露珠晶莹,悬于绿树,挂于高坡,步履逡巡,迟迟不敢进入光天化日之下。

 

[10]    I was seated by the shore of a small pond, about a mile and a half south of the village of Concord and somewhat higher than it, in the midst of an extensive wood between that town and Lincoln, and about two miles south of that our only field known to fame, Concord Battle Ground; but I was so low in the woods that the opposite shore, half a mile off, like the rest, covered with wood, was my most distant horizon. For the first week, whenever I looked out on the pond it impressed me like a tarn high up on the side of a mountain, its bottom far above the surface of other lakes, and, as the sun arose, I saw it throwing off its nightly clothing of mist, and here and there, by degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface was revealed, while the mists, like ghosts, were stealthily withdrawing in every direction into the woods, as at the breaking up of some nocturnal conventicle. The very dew seemed to hang upon the trees later into the day than usual, as on the sides of mountains.

 

[11]   

 

八月里,雨暴轻柔,时而间歇,作为邻居,此时此刻,小湖极为珍贵。空气清新,湖水蒙蒙,天空阴翳,宁静异常,午后不久,犹如夜晚一般平静。画眉尽情吟唱,隔岸聆听,不觉欣欣然。一泓湖水如斯,从未像此时这般宁静。空气清新,云笼雾罩,湖光熠熠,倒影清晰,俨然一派下界天国的奇异景象,此情此景,弥足珍贵。附近的山顶,近日林木刚刚砍伐,从那里向南眺望,目光可以毫无遮拦地掠过湖面,穿过山间一片宽阔的锯齿状地带,那便是形成湖岸的所在。那里的山坡互相倾斜,似有一条小溪汩汩流出,继而穿过一片林木蓊郁的山谷,最后销声匿迹。峰峦叠嶂,翠绿欲滴,我的视线掠过山间,扫过峰巅,时而投向远方,时而投向高处,那里便是晕染蓝色的天际。我踮脚眺望,的确能瞥见西北方逶迤的山岭,以及更加遥远,更加湛蓝的山峰,那就是天国造币厂铸造的纯蓝色硬币,也是乡村的组成部分。然而从其它方向,即便从我眼前这里,我也看不到我周围树林以上,或以外的景致。在你的社区最好有一些水,它可以给大地一些浮力,甚至将大地漂浮起来。即便最小的水井也有价值,当你往里窥视的时候,你可以看到大地并不是大陆,而是与世隔绝的。这就好像使黄油保持凉爽一样重要。我的视线从这座山峰出发,越过湖面,投向加萨德伯里牧场,在洪涝季节,犹如脸盆中硬币一般的峡谷会出现海市蜃楼,我也许能依靠它将高地辨别出来。湖泊前面的大地看起来颇似一个薄薄的外壳,即便这一小片水也能渗入其中,甚至将其漂浮起来。这使我想起我居住的地方原来只是一片干地。

 

[11]    This small lake was of most value as a neighbor in the intervals of a gentle rain-storm in August, when, both air and water being perfectly still, but the sky overcast, mid-afternoon had all the serenity of evening, and the wood thrush sang around, and was heard from shore to shore. A lake like this is never smoother than at such a time; and the clear portion of the air above it being, shallow and darkened by clouds, the water, full of light and reflections, becomes a lower heaven itself so much the more important. From a hill-top near by, where the wood had been recently cut off, there was a pleasing vista southward across the pond, through a wide indentation in the hills which form the shore there, where their opposite sides sloping toward each other suggested a stream flowing out in that direction through a wooded valley, but stream there was none. That way I looked between and over the near green hills to some distant and higher ones in the horizon, tinged with blue. Indeed, by standing on tiptoe I could catch a glimpse of some of the peaks of the still bluer and more distant mountain ranges in the northwest, those true-blue coins from heaven's own mint, and also of some portion of the village. But in other directions, even from this point, I could not see over or beyond the woods which surrounded me. It is well to have some water in your neighborhood, to give buoyancy to and float the earth. One value even of the smallest well is, that when you look into it you see that earth is not continent but insular. This is as important as that it keeps butter cool. When I looked across the pond from this peak toward the Sudbury meadows, which in time of flood I distinguished elevated perhaps by a mirage in their seething valley, like a coin in a basin, all the earth beyond the pond appeared like a thin crust insulated and floated even by this small sheet of interverting water, and I was reminded that this on which I dwelt was but dry land.

 

[12]   

 

虽然从我门口向外望到的各个景点还要紧凑得多,但至少我并不感觉拥挤和狭窄。那里还有牧场足够我展开想象的翅膀。一片高地上面布满低矮的栎木丛,湖的对岸就是从那里逐渐升高的。这片高地一直向西方的大平原和鞑靼草原延伸开去,这为游牧家庭提供了充分的天地。“除了当一个自由享受广袤天地的人之外,在这个世界上别无幸福可言” – 印度至尊达摩达尔在其牧羊需要新的和更大的牧场时如是说。

 

[12]    Though the view from my door was still more contracted, I did not feel crowded or confined in the least. There was pasture enough for my imagination. The low shrub oak plateau to which the opposite shore arose stretched away toward the prairies of the West and the steppes of Tartary, affording ample room for all the roving families of men. "There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon" — said Damodara, when his herds required new and larger pastures.

 

[13]   

地点和时间都发生了变化。我住的地方距离宇宙的那些部分以及我最感兴趣的历史时代更近了。我居住的地方如同很多夜间被天文学家观察的地区那样遥远。我们偶然间会想象那些罕见的令人愉快的地方,这些地方处在仙后星座的座椅后面银河系中一些遥远的、更具天上色彩的角落里,这里远离尘世间的喧嚣和干扰。我发现我的房子地处宇宙的一个偏僻之地,这里历久弥新、从未受过污染。如果在接近昴宿星、毕星团、毕宿五和牵牛星的地方定居非常值得,那我已经真的居住在那里了,或者说已经住在一个距离我所抛弃的尘世同样遥远的地方,那里熠熠生辉,光芒照射着我最近的邻居,而这里只有在无月的夜晚才能被他看到。这就是我在宇宙间蜗居的那个地方,“那里居住一位牧羊人,他认为自己的思想犹如群山那样崇高,而他的羊群无时不刻都在山上喂养他。”如果牧羊人的羊群总往高于他思想的草原跑,我们该如何看待他的生活呢?

 

 [13]    Both place and time were changed, and I dwelt nearer to those parts of the universe and to those eras in history which had most attracted me. Where I lived was as far off as many a region viewed nightly by astronomers. We are wont to imagine rare and delectable places in some remote and more celestial corner of the system, behind the constellation of Cassiopeia's Chair, far from noise and disturbance. I discovered that my house actually had its site in such a withdrawn, but forever new and unprofaned, part of the universe. If it were worth the while to settle in those parts near to the Pleiades or the Hyades, to Aldebaran or Altair, then I was really there, or at an equal remoteness from the life which I had left behind, dwindled and twinkling with as fine a ray to my nearest neighbor, and to be seen only in moonless nights by him. Such was that part of creation where I had squatted, — 

"There was a shepherd that did live, 
    And held his thoughts as high 
 As were the mounts whereon his flocks 
    Did hourly feed him by."

What should we think of the shepherd's life if his flocks always wandered to higher pastures than his thoughts?

 

[14]   

 

每一个早晨都是一个愉快的邀约,它使我的生活每天都是一样简朴,和大自然在一起,我会说我变得天真无邪。 我一直都像希腊人那样,对曙光是一个虔诚的崇拜者。我早早起床,湖里沐浴,顶礼膜拜,这是我做的最佳课业。据说中国商代成汤王的浴盆上刻有这样的箴言:“苟日新,日日新,又日新。”意思是“如果能够一天新,就应保持天天新,新了还要更新,要永远新下去。”黎明时分,我正开着门窗坐在室内,一只蚊子在我的房间里做了一次看不见,猜不着的旅行,发出轻轻的嗡嗡声,就像喇叭唱出名誉赞美歌那样深深地感动了我。那是荷马的安魂曲,空中的《伊里亚特》和《奥德赛》,唱的是它自己的愤怒和漂泊。其间也有一些有关宇宙的东西,那是一种落地式广告,一直在宣传这个世界永恒的活力和生生不息的能力,直到被禁为止。清晨是一天中最值得记忆的时光,它是万物苏醒的时刻。此后我们就不再困倦,至少有一个小时,我们的一部分官能处于苏醒过程,而这部分官能会使我们在日夜之间其余的时间里都处于麻木不仁的状态。如果我们的苏醒不是靠自己的精神,而是靠他人的机械性推动;如果我们的苏醒不是靠自己最新获得的力量和抱负,以及陪伴它们的那种悠扬美妙的宇宙之乐,而是靠工厂的铃声;如果我们的苏醒不是靠一股弥漫在空气中的香气 – 如果一觉醒来,没有获得一种比睡觉前更崇高的生命,黑暗就会结出甜果,它会证明自己黑倒是黑,并不比光明差。而如果这也可以被称之为白天,那么我们从这样的一天里所能期待的就会少之又少。一个人如果不相信每天都包含一个比他已经亵渎的那个更早一些,更加神圣的黎明时刻,这个人对生活就是绝望的,而他正在追求的则是一条每况愈下和日益黑暗的道路。一个人感觉上的生命有一部分停止之后,他的灵魂,或者生命的器官每天都会更新,他的精神就会重新尝试它所能创造的高贵的生命。一切值得记忆的事件,我应该说,都是在早晨的时间里和在一个早晨的氛围中发生的。印度的吠陀经说:“一切智力都是和早晨一起苏醒的。”诗歌和艺术,还有人们最好的,最值得记忆的行动都是从这一时辰开始的。一切像神话人物门农那样的诗人和英雄都是黎明之子,他们的音乐都是在日出时刻产生的。活力四射的思想都与太阳同步,对他而言,一天的时间就是一个永久的早晨。这和时钟说的,和人们的态度和劳动无关。早晨是我清醒的时间,在我心中有一个黎明。道德的修炼就是为抛弃睡眠而努力。如果他们从来就没有睡过觉,那他们何以将一天的时间搞得如此糟糕?他们的计算能力也并非如此之差。如果他们不是成天昏昏沉沉,懵懵懂懂,他们本来是可以有所成就的。数以百万计的人为了体力劳动而醒来的,但是一百万个人里只有一个人是为有效地运用知识而醒来的,在一亿个人里只有一个人是为了追求一种诗人的或神圣的生活而醒来的。醒着就是活着。我从来就没有遇到过一个相当清醒的人。如果遇到,我该如何凝视他那张脸呢?

 

[14]    Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself. I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora  as the Greeks. I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did. They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tching Thang to this effect: "Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again." I can understand that. Morning brings back the heroic ages. I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame. It was Homer's requiem; itself an Iliad and Odyssey  in the air, singing its own wrath and wanderings. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Little is to be expected of that day, if it can be called a day, to which we are not awakened by our Genius, but by the mechanical nudgings of some servitor, are not awakened by our own newly acquired force and aspirations from within, accompanied by the undulations of celestial music, instead of factory bells, and a fragrance filling the air — to a higher life than we fell asleep from; and thus the darkness bear its fruit, and prove itself to be good, no less than the light. That man who does not believe that each day contains an earlier, more sacred, and auroral hour than he has yet profaned, has despaired of life, and is pursuing a descending and darkening way. After a partial cessation of his sensuous life, the soul of man, or its organs rather, are reinvigorated each day, and his Genius tries again what noble life it can make. All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas  say, "All intelligences awake with the morning." Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour. All poets and heroes, like Memnon,  are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise. To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning. It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep. Why is it that men give so poor an account of their day if they have not been slumbering? They are not such poor calculators. If they had not been overcome with drowsiness, they would have performed something. The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

 

[15]   

 

我们必须学会不靠机械帮助,而是靠一种对黎明的无限期待,使我们再度觉醒,并保持觉醒状态,这不会在我们熟睡的时候放弃我们。一个人凭借其自觉的努力,凭借其毋庸置疑的能力来提升自己的生命,我真不知道还有什么别的事例比这更令人鼓舞。它就是那种能够画出一幅特殊的画作,或者制作一尊雕像,从而使一些物品显得十分美丽的东西。然而,雕出和画出我们能够看穿的大气和介质却是更加荣耀的事,而这件事我们确实能够做得到。影响一天的质量,这是最高的艺术。 每个人都致力于使自己的生活,甚至生活的所有细节值得深思,深思那些最高尚、最重要的时刻。如果我们拒绝,或者白白消耗尽我们所获得的这点微不足道的信息,神谕就会毫无疑问地告诉我们该如何做。

 

[15]    We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. If we refused, or rather used up, such paltry information as we get, the oracles would distinctly inform us how this might be done. 

[16]   

 

我走进森林是因为我希望去谨慎地生活,仅仅是为面对生活的基本事实,看一看我是否能够学会它所教给我的东西,并不是为了在我回来死去的时候发现我其实并没有活着。我不希望活着不像活着,活着是如此惬意。我也不希望隐遁于世,除非有必要。我想深入地生活,以便吸吮生命的精华,我想如同斯巴达人那样踏踏实实地生活,以便将那些非生活的东西全部铲除,我想划出宽宽的一块地,在那里精心耕耘收割,把生活逼近一个角落,将它的地位压缩到最低限度。如果证明这很卑鄙,那我何不将全部真正的卑鄙公诸于世;如果它很崇高,那就凭借经验去认识它,并在我的下一次远游时给它一个真正的诠释。因为在我看来,大多数人都很奇怪,居然说不清生活属于魔鬼,还是属于上帝,而且还多少有点草率地下结论说“赞美上帝,永远喜欢上帝”这是此地人的首要目标。

 

[16]    I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."

 

[17]   

 

虽然寓言告诉我们,我们很早以前就变成人,但我们仍然在卑贱地生活,犹如蚂蚁一般;犹如我们用仙鹤攻击的侏儒一般;这是错上加错,补丁上打补丁,我们最美的德性中偶然有一种多余的和本可以避免的不幸。我们的生活被细节切碎。一个诚实的人在数指头的时候几乎不会多于十个,或者在极端个别的情况下,可能会添加十个脚趾,和其他的手指混还一起算。简单,简单,简单啊!我说,让你的事情只有两件或三件,而不是一百件或一千件;这样就不必数上一百万遍,数上五六遍足够,要坚持把你的账记在你的拇指指甲上。在文明生活这片波涛汹涌的大海之间,这就是云,这就是风暴,这就是流沙,这就是一千零一件必须考虑到的风险,如果一个人不想失败,不想靠航位推测法而修筑港口,他就不得不活着,他就必须是一个成功的计算家。简单,简单啊。如果有必要每日只吃一顿饭,那就用不着一日三餐;如果每餐只需五个菜,那就用不着一百个菜;其他的事情可以此类推地按比例减少。我们的生活犹如德意志联邦,是由小邦构成,边界永远变化不定,即便一个德国人都不能告诉你在任何时候是如何划定的。大凡国家,都有所谓的内政改革,但其实都是外部的,表面的东西。其实它只是一种笨拙的,生长过快的机构。像这片土地上上百万的家庭那样,它凌乱地塞满家具,败于自己设置的陷阱,毁于奢侈和不经意的开支,毁于缺乏估量和一种有价值的目标。对于他们来说,唯一的治疗办法就存在于一种严峻的经济中,存在于一种比斯巴达人还要简朴的生活和目标的提升中。现在的生活节奏太快啦。人们认为一个国家的根本问题是要有商业,包括出口冰,通过电报谈话,每小时驱车三十英里,毫无疑问,不管他们是否这样做了。但是我们是否应该像狒狒一样地生活,还是像人一样地生活,答案都是很清楚的。如果我们不把枕木做出来,不锻造铁轨,不夜以继日地工作,只是靠修补来改善我们的生活,那有谁来修建铁路呢?如果不修建铁路,那我们该怎样根据时令上天堂呢?然而如果我们待在家里,只关心自己的事情,那谁还需要铁路呢?我们没坐火车,是火车坐我们。你就没有想过那些躺在铁轨下面的枕木是什么吗?每一根枕木都是一个人,一个爱尔兰人,或者一个美国人。铁路就铺设在它们上面,它们都被沙土覆盖着,列车在它们上面顺利地驰骋着。它们都是响当当的枕木,我敢向你保证。每隔几年就有一批枕木躺下来,被飞驰的火车碾压而过,因此,如果一些人享受了乘坐火车的乐趣,其他人就要遭到被乘坐的不幸。当它们从一个在睡梦中行走的人身上,也就是一根出轨的枕木上飞驰而过时,就要把那个人唤醒,它们突然停下列车,大叫一声,仿佛这只是一次例外。我非常高兴地得知,把枕木放到它们的床位上,并保持平躺的姿势,这要求每过五英里就要有一群人在那里忙乎,因为这是一种标记,表示有时候它们可以重新起床。

 

[17]    Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quick sands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion. Our life is like a German Confederacy, made up of petty states, with its boundary forever fluctuating, so that even a German cannot tell you how it is bounded at any moment. The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan  simplicity of life and elevation of purpose. It lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the Nation have commerce, and export ice, and talk through a telegraph, and ride thirty miles an hour, without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men, is a little uncertain. If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads? And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season? But if we stay at home and mind our business, who will want railroads? We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon. And when they run over a man that is walking in his sleep, a supernumerary sleeper in the wrong position, and wake him up, they suddenly stop the cars, and make a hue and cry about it, as if this were an exception. I am glad to know that it takes a gang of men for every five miles to keep the sleepers down and level in their beds as it is, for this is a sign that they may sometime get up again.

 

[18]   

 

我们为何就应该活得如此匆忙,简直就是浪费生命?我们应该下决心在饥肠辘辘之前就饿死。人们说及时缝一针能省九针,所以他们今天缝一千针为了明天省九千针。关于工作嘛,我们从来没有做过任何有结果的工作。我们患了舞蹈症,连脑袋都不可能保持平静。如果教区着火,我拉几下教区的钟绳,在康科德郊区几乎没有一个人,我可以说,没有一个男孩,没有一个女人,会舍不得离开自己的田园奔着钟声跑,尽管他们今天早晨一遍又一遍地强调自己很忙,这可以是他不去火场的借口。但是我要说的是,他们放下手里的事朝着钟声跑的目的主要不是为了抢救财产免遭火灾,恕我们直言,其目的主要是看火在燃烧。既然火已是经燃烧起来,我们应该让人知道我们并没有放火,我们并不会隔岸观火,相反,如果面子上过得去,还会帮一把手,是的,即便着火的不是我们家而是教区教堂,也是如此。一个人在吃过晚饭之后刚刚小睡半小时,醒来的时候,他抬着头问;“有新闻吗?”似乎除他之外的全人类都在为他站哨。有些人还会告诉别人每过半小时就把他叫醒一次,毫无疑问,他没有什么别的目的,而后他还为此付钱感谢人家,甚至还把梦到的事情说出来。睡了一夜之后,新闻就像早饭一样不可或缺。“请你把这个地球上任何一个地方的任何一个人发生的新闻告诉我”- 他一边喝咖啡,吃蛋卷,一边读新闻,今天早晨,美国中南部沃希托河上,有一个人的眼睛被人凿了出来。他做梦都没想过他会住在这个世界上无人涉足的猛犸黑洞里,而且他只有一只眼睛的雏形。

 

[18]    Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow. As for work, we haven't any of any consequence. We have the Saint Vitus' dance, and cannot possibly keep our heads still. If I should only give a few pulls at the parish bell-rope, as for a fire, that is, without setting the bell, there is hardly a man on his farm in the outskirts of Concord, notwithstanding that press of engagements which was his excuse so many times this morning, nor a boy, nor a woman, I might almost say, but would forsake all and follow that sound, not mainly to save property from the flames, but, if we will confess the truth, much more to see it burn, since burn it must, and we, be it known, did not set it on fire — or to see it put out, and have a hand in it, if that is done as handsomely; yes, even if it were the parish church itself. Hardly a man takes a half-hour's nap after dinner, but when he wakes he holds up his head and asks, "What's the news?" as if the rest of mankind had stood his sentinels. Some give directions to be waked every half-hour, doubtless for no other purpose; and then, to pay for it, they tell what they have dreamed. After a night's sleep the news is as indispensable as the breakfast. "Pray tell me anything new that has happened to a man anywhere on this globe" — and he reads it over his coffee and rolls, that a man has had his eyes gouged out this morning on the Wachito River; never dreaming the while that he lives in the dark unfathomed mammoth cave of this world, and has but the rudiment of an eye himself.

 

[19]   

 

就我而言,没有邮局依然很容易地生活。我想我也没有什么重要的信息要通过邮局来传递。说正经的,我在生活中收到的信只有一两封而已 – 写信只是我在几年前的事 – 那两封信是值得邮递的。便士邮政一般来说就是一种特殊的制度,通过它你可以一本正经地把一个便士交给一个人,这样就可以得到他通常在笑谈中安全表达的思想。我敢说,我从来没有在一份报纸上读到过任何值得纪念的新闻。如果我们读到的新闻是关于一个人遭抢劫,或遭谋杀,或死于事故,或一所房子失火,或一条船被撞毁,或一只汽艇爆炸,或一只牛从西铁的铁轨上跑过,或一只狗被杀,或一群蝗虫在冬天里出现 – 我们从来不需要读到其他的新闻。一条足够。如果了解相关原则,你对它的应用和无数事例还在意什么呢?对于一位哲学家来说,所有的新闻,正如人们所说,都是道听途说。编者和读者都是一边喝茶一边扯淡的老年长舌妇。然而即便如此,对这种小道传闻贪婪有加的仍然大有人在。正如我听说的,有一天,大家争先恐后地涌向报馆一个办公室前去听国际新闻,我最后一个到那里时发现报馆几块厚玻璃给挤碎了 – 我认真地想想,这可是一条好新闻,只要耍一点小聪明,提前十二个月,甚至二十年就可以写得准确无误。以西班牙为例,如果你知道如何把唐·卡洛斯和公主,唐·彼得罗,以及塞维利亚和格拉纳达这些名字一遍又一遍地按照正确比例放到一起 – 自从我看到相关报纸以后,它们可能发生一点变化 – 当其他娱乐形式失败之后,这些名字改头换面,可能就会变成一条斗牛的消息,字母是对的,而且向我们提供的也是有关西班牙一些东西的现状或遗存所隐含的思想,犹如报纸上与此相关的绝大多数简洁和清晰的报告那样。再来说说英国吧。来自那个地区有意义的最新的新闻片段总是与1649年革命相关。如果你了解那里每年平均年成的历史,你就根本无需在意那件事,除非你的投机行动带有金钱特点。如果一个人可以判断究竟是谁难得读报,在国外就什么新鲜事也不会发生了,即便法国革命也不例外。

 

[19]    For my part, I could easily do without the post-office. I think that there are very few important communications made through it. To speak critically, I never received more than one or two letters in my life — I wrote this some years ago — that were worth the postage. The penny-post is, commonly, an institution through which you seriously offer a man that penny for his thoughts which is so often safely offered in jest. And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter — we never need read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications? To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea. Yet not a few are greedy after this gossip. There was such a rush, as I hear, the other day at one of the offices to learn the foreign news by the last arrival, that several large squares of plate glass belonging to the establishment were broken by the pressure — news which I seriously think a ready wit might write a twelve-month, or twelve years, beforehand with sufficient accuracy. As for Spain, for instance, if you know how to throw in Don Carlos and the Infanta, and Don Pedro and Seville and Granada, from time to time in the right proportions — they may have changed the names a little since I saw the papers — and serve up a bull-fight when other entertainments fail, it will be true to the letter, and give us as good an idea of the exact state or ruin of things in Spain as the most succinct and lucid reports under this head in the newspapers: and as for England, almost the last significant scrap of news from that quarter was the revolution of 1649; and if you have learned the history of her crops for an average year, you never need attend to that thing again, unless your speculations are of a merely pecuniary character. If one may judge who rarely looks into the newspapers, nothing new does ever happen in foreign parts, a French revolution not excepted.

 

[20]   

 

什么样的新闻啊! 知道什么是永远不老的东西该是何等重要!蓬伯玉(卫大夫)派使者到孔子那里去了解情况。孔子和他坐在一起问:“你的主人想做什么事?”使者回答说:“我的主人想减少自己的过错,可是做不到。”使者离开后,孔子说:“多么可敬的使者,多么可敬的使者啊!”周末休息日里,传教士没有用冗长的传道词打扰昏昏欲睡的农夫的耳朵 - 因为如果一周时间都没有很好地度过,星期天则是恰如其分的结局,但并不是新一周新鲜而勇敢的开始 – 他就会带着传道活动被拖长的尾巴,如雷贯耳一般地大声喊到:“打住!停止!为什么看起来这么快,而不是很慢?”

 

[20]    What news! how much more important to know what that is which was never old! "Kieou-pe-yu (24)(great dignitary of the state of Wei) sent a man to Khoung-tseu to know his news. Khoung-tseu caused the messenger to be seated near him, and questioned him in these terms: What is your master doing? The messenger answered with respect: My master desires to diminish the number of his faults, but he cannot accomplish it. The messenger being gone, the philosopher remarked: What a worthy messenger! What a worthy messenger!" The preacher, instead of vexing the ears of drowsy farmers on their day of rest at the end of the week — for Sunday is the fit conclusion of an ill-spent week, and not the fresh and brave beginning of a new one — with this one other draggle-tail of a sermon, should shout with thundering voice, "Pause! Avast! Why so seeming fast, but deadly slow?"

 

[21]   

 

伪装和错觉被视为最佳真理时,事实便成了荒唐无稽之谈。如果世人只是持续不断地观察事实,不会允许自己受骗,生活,当我们把它和我们所知道的这些事情相比时,就会像一个神话故事和天方夜谭。如果我们尊重的只是必然之物,并且是有权这样做,那么音乐和诗歌就会浪迹街头。当我们从容不迫和聪明伶俐的时候,我们就认为只有伟大的和有价值的事物才会永久而绝对的存在,小怕小乐只是现实的阴影。现实总是令人愉快和令人尊敬的。闭上眼睛麻木不仁,甘愿被各种表演所欺骗,世人就到处建立和确认的自己的日常生活习惯,其实这依然是建立在纯粹虚幻的基础之上的。有些人生活失败,但却认为自己凭借经验,其实就是凭借失败,就能变得更聪明,但孩子们比这些人更能清楚地识别真正的规律和关系。我曾读过印度教的书,说是“曾经有一个国王的儿子,从小就从他出生的城市被放逐。后来被一名护林人抚养长大,并在那个国家成熟起来。他想象自己属于他生活的那个野蛮种族。他父亲的一位大臣发现了他,把他的身世告诉给他,于是对他性格的错觉被消除了。他知道自己原来是一位王子。因此,这位印度哲学家继续说,灵魂从其所在的环境中误解它自己的性格,直到真相被某个圣父揭发出来,它才知道自己原来属于婆罗门。我认为我们这些新英格兰的居民过着一种低贱的生活,那是因为我们的视线没有穿透事物的表面。我想那就是外表看上去像什么的东西。如果一个人应该穿过这座城镇只为去看看事实,你认为“防洪闸”的走向应该在哪里?如果他向我们讲一讲他在那儿见到的事实,我们就不必去确认他所描述的地方。看一看教堂、法庭、监狱、店铺、住屋,而后说说这些东西在你真正凝视它们之前该是什么样子,它们在你的叙述中就都变成了碎片。世人估计真理渺远至极,处在最远的星星后面那个体系之外,在亚当之前,在末代之后。在来世中的确存在一些真实的和超凡的东西。然而所有这些时间和地方以及场合却又都在此时此地。上帝之伟大,此时此刻已然登峰造极,在所有时代的流逝中,他永远也不会比现在更神圣。只要持久地发掘并向我们的头脑中灌注周围的事实,我们就能够理解所有那些超凡而崇高的东西。宇宙持续而忠贞地回应我们产生的概念。无论我们的旅行是快是慢,轨道已经为我们备好。让我们用毕生的精力来继续构想吧。诗人和艺术家从来也没有做出一个完美而高贵的设计,但其后代至少可以完成此事。

 

 [21]    Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights' Entertainments. If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets. When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality. This is always exhilarating and sublime. By closing the eyes and slumbering, and consenting to be deceived by shows, men establish and confirm their daily life of routine and habit everywhere, which still is built on purely illusory foundations. Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure. I have read in a Hindoo book, that "there was a king's son, who, being expelled in infancy from his native city, was brought up by a forester, and, growing up to maturity in that state, imagined himself to belong to the barbarous race with which he lived. One of his father's ministers having discovered him, revealed to him what he was, and the misconception of his character was removed, and he knew himself to be a prince. So soul," continues the Hindoo philosopher, "from the circumstances in which it is placed, mistakes its own character, until the truth is revealed to it by some holy teacher, and then it knows itself to be Brahme." I perceive that we inhabitants of New England live this mean life that we do because our vision does not penetrate the surface of things. We think that that is which appears to be. If a man should walk through this town and see only the reality, where, think you, would the "Mill-dam" go to? If he should give us an account of the realities he beheld there, we should not recognize the place in his description. Look at a meeting-house, or a court-house, or a jail, or a shop, or a dwelling-house, and say what that thing really is before a true gaze, and they would all go to pieces in your account of them. Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. And we are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us. The universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions; whether we travel fast or slow, the track is laid for us. Let us spend our lives in conceiving then. The poet or the artist never yet had so fair and noble a design but some of his posterity at least could accomplish it.

 

[22]   

 

让我们像大自然那样审慎地度过一天的时间,不要因落在铁道上的每一个坚果壳儿和蚊子翅膀而出轨。让我们早早起床,或者禁食,或用早餐,轻抚慢揉,莫要骚动,任凭人来人往,让钟声响起,让孩子哭叫 – 决定就这样度过这一天。我们为何要认输,为何要随波逐流?让我们莫伤悲,莫卷入那位于子午线浅滩之上、被称之为正餐的可怕的激流漩涡。度过危难,便会平安,其余的路都在山下。仿效尤里西斯,莫放松,振精神,扬帆起航,另找出路,寻寻觅觅,永不止息。如果发动机发出哨声,那就随它的便,直到它痛苦万分,声嘶力竭。如若钟声响起,我们为何要撒腿就跑?我们将思考它们像何种音乐。让我安定下来,努力工作,脚踏实地,穿过污泥浊水一般的意见、偏见、传统、欺骗、外观,所有这些都如洪水泛滥,淹没地球,流经巴黎和伦敦,流经纽约、波士顿及康科德,流经教会和政府,穿过诗歌、哲学和宗教,直到我们来到一个可称之为坚硬的底部和岩石的地方,而且说,这就是,没错,而后开始,这里有一个支点,处在大洪水与寒霜烈火之下,你可以修筑一堵墙或建立一个国家,或安全地竖起一根灯杆,或者也许是一只计量器,然而不是测量尼罗河的水位计,而是一只测量现实的仪器,将来的年代会知道欺骗和虚假的洪水一次又一次地聚积,最后该有多深。如果你面对面地站在事实前面,你就会看到太阳照射在它两边的表面上,那似乎就是一只匕首,你能感觉到它甜蜜的刀刃,劈开你的心脏和骨髓,将你一分为二,以便使你愉快地决定自己的道德生涯。或生或死,我们渴望的只是现实。如果我们濒临死亡,那就让我们听一听喉咙里的咯咯声,感觉一下四肢的寒冷;如果我们还活着,那就让我们开始做事。

 

[22]    Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito's wing that falls on the rails. Let us rise early and fast, or break fast, gently and without perturbation; let company come and let company go, let the bells ring and the children cry — determined to make a day of it. Why should we knock under and go with the stream? Let us not be upset and overwhelmed in that terrible rapid and whirlpool called a dinner, situated in the meridian shallows. Weather this danger and you are safe, for the rest of the way is down hill. With unrelaxed nerves, with morning vigor, sail by it, looking another way, tied to the mast like Ulysses. If the engine whistles, let it whistle till it is hoarse for its pains. If the bell rings, why should we run? We will consider what kind of music they are like. Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through Church and State, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin, having a point d'appui, below freshet and frost and fire, a place where you might found a wall or a state, or set a lamp-post safely, or perhaps a gauge, not a Nilometer, but a Realometer, that future ages might know how deep a freshet of shams and appearances had gathered from time to time. If you stand right fronting and face to face to a fact, you will see the sun glimmer on both its surfaces, as if it were a cimeter, and feel its sweet edge dividing you through the heart and marrow, and so you will happily conclude your mortal career. Be it life or death, we crave only reality. If we are really dying, let us hear the rattle in our throats and feel cold in the extremities; if we are alive, let us go about our business.

 

[23]   

 

时光只是一条我前往垂钓的溪流。我饮水于斯,然而当我畅饮之际,看到细沙漫布的水底,便察觉原来它是多么地浅显。舒缓的溪流悠然流淌,逝去的是溪水,留下的是永恒。我将到更深处饮水,到高空中垂钓,那里的水底卵石与星儿同处。我连一都数不清。字母表中的第一个字母我都浑然不知。我总是后悔我不像出生那天那样聪明。智力是一把砍刀,看准了,一刀下去,进入神秘之物的途径便立即开出。我不希望我的双手没有必要地忙忙碌碌。我的头颅就是手脚。我感到自己最佳的器官全都集中于此。我的本能告诉我,我的头颅就是一个为探索而生的器官,犹如一些动物利用它们的鼻子和前爪一样,有了这个器官,我就将开采和寻找我通向这些山岭的路。我认为最富有的矿脉就在附近这一带,因此,凭借探测杖和冉冉升起的薄雾我就能做出判断,而我即将在此进行开采。

 

[23]    Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things. I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it. My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snout and fore paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills. I think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts; so by the divining-rod and thin rising vapors I judge; and here I will begin to mine.

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