带一盏牛眼灯在身上,泥泞的日子便不再卑微。

***

之前读这篇的英文,似懂非懂,却深受那种情绪感染,终于读到完整的中译,很有些感动。
日子,挺烦的, 然后,那个灯, 就被拨亮了一点点。。。

wanganguo

**** I

These boys congregated every autumn about a certain easterly fisher-village,
where they tasted in a high degree the glory of existence.
The place was created seemingly on purpose for the diversion of young gentlemen.
A street or two of houses, mostly red and many of, them tiled;
a number of fine trees clustered about the manse and the kirkyard, and turning the chief street into a shady alley;
many little gardens more than usually bright with flowers;
nets a-drying, and fisher-wives scolding in the backward parts; a smell of fish, a genial smell of seaweed;
whiffs of blowing sand at the street-corners;
shops with golf-balls and bottled lollipops;
another shop with penny pickwicks (that remarkable cigar) and the LONDON JOURNAL,
dear to me for its startling pictures, and a few novels, dear for their suggestive names: such, as well as memory serves me, were the ingredients of the…

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Robert Louis Stevenson: The Lantern-Bearers

The Lantern-Bearers,  可以译成《带灯笼的人》么?

很不容易读懂的文章。 没有找到完整的中译,终于在林语堂《美国的智慧》一书中找到威廉·詹姆斯的评论和书摘,詹姆斯“认为这才称得上是不朽的作品”。 可惜我借助这些文摘再读,仍有大段的文字不懂。没有精力去细敲,走马观花。另外,书中译作《挑灯笼的人》,感觉不够直接。

I

The Lantern-Bearers,  是指一群男孩子在海边做的一种什么游戏,事关他们的荣誉。 具体怎样游戏,作者没有指明。只是说,每个参加游戏的男孩身上都带有一盏白铁皮做的牛眼灯,灯被系在腰带上,并且,在外面再穿一件带扣的长大衣。

… 那是这个游戏的艰苦之处。带有疱疤的白铁皮气味难闻。它们的燃烧从来不会充分,却总是会灼伤我们的手指。它们没有一点用处,它们的乐趣纯粹是为了标新立异,一个男孩在大衣下面挂着一盏牛眼灯就别无所求了。… 在过去的岁月里灯笼的使用更加普遍,在某些故事书里它们出现的频率非常高。但是,如果把它当作最爱,这个东西真是乐趣无穷;能在大衣下面藏着一盏牛眼灯,对男孩子来说是再好不过了。

牛眼灯被带在大衣里,外表看不出来,而带灯的人却可以感受到彼此的“气味”:

当这样的两个傻瓜碰到一起的时候,会有一句焦急的问话‘ 你带灯了吗’?和一句心满意足的回答‘带了!’ …… 四五个孩子有时会爬到十人四角帆船的船舱里,那里,除了上面的坐板之外别无他物——因为船舱通常是锁着的——或者他们会找到沙丘的某个凹坑,在那里风可能会在头顶上呼啸……

不知道具体的游戏怎样,或带一盏牛眼灯就是游戏本身,牛眼灯带给孩子们一种单纯的快乐。

II

(些许看懂的文字)

对旁观者来说,诗人,如夜行中带着牛眼灯。他的生命看似泥泞,但心中却拥有一个金制的密室,容居他的快乐。

And, so with others, who do not live by bread alone, but by some cherished and perhaps fantastic pleasure;

外人眼中,他们是卖肉的商贩,而在他们自己眼中是莎士比亚,是拿破仑,是贝多芬。 我们在街上看到他们,能数数他们外衣上的扣子。

but heaven knows in what they pride themselves! heaven knows where they have set their treasure!

一则寓言,山林中,一和尚沉醉于动人鸟鸣,转瞬,发现五十年已逝。… 记忆中,那些幸运的时光,如鸟儿的鸣唱。当我们翻回到现实这一页,真实的生活充满泥泞、烂铁、廉价的欲望与恐慌,我们羞愧去记忆,也不在意是否遗忘。

在这样一个现实主义的传奇经历中,我们开始做某种如同我的带灯人在沙丘上所做的那类事情,并且将孩子们描述成非常寒冷、被骤雨拍打、被凄凉包围的形象,他们当时的境况的确如此;他们的谈话愚蠢而下流,这也是事实。在观察者的眼中,他们浑身湿透,寒冷无比,并被凄凉包围;但是问一下他们自己的感受呢,他们简直是在鲜为人知的快乐的天堂里,他们快乐的理由竟是一盏气味难闻的灯。

III

因为,重复一下,人的快乐的理由往往是很难找到的。有时,它可能要靠一个纯粹的小物件来决定,像这盏灯;它也可能存在于神秘的内心深处…… 它与外部世界的联系非常少……甚至它可能都不会接触外面的事物;而且,人类的真实生活,他愿意去过的生活,也一同存在于想象的天地之中…… 在这种情况下,诗歌走入了地下。观察者(可怜的人呀,还有他的文章!)是完全离谱的。看看这位观察者的行为,会有一种受骗的感觉。我们将会看到他赖以汲取养分的树干;可他自己却是高高在上,置身于树叶的绿色穹顶之外,风呼啸而过,夜莺在上面筑巢。真正的现实主义是诗人笔下的现实主义:像一只松鼠一样跟在他的后面攀爬,并对他生活的天空瞥上几眼。

真正的现实主义,无论在何时何地,都只能是诗人笔下的现实主义:去发现哪里有快乐,并对它热情讴歌。And, the true realism, always and everywhere, is that of the poets: to find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing.

因为,错过快乐就是错过一切。For to miss the joy is to miss all.

In the joy of the actors lies the sense of any action. That is the explanation, that the excuse. To one who has not the secret of the lanterns, the scene upon the links is meaningless.

 IV

在高贵的书中:

In nobler books we are moved with something like the emotions of life; and this emotion is very variously provoked.

我们被感动,当Levine在田里劳动,当Andre 沉浸于情绪之外,当Richard Feverel 和 Lucy Desborough 相遇在河边,当 Antony, “not cowardly, puts off his helmet, ” 当 Kent 无限同情垂死的 Lear, 当在陀斯妥耶夫斯基的“Despised and Rejected” 中,the uncomplaining hero drains his cup of suffering and virtue (无怨的英雄饮干他那杯苦难与美德).

These are notes that please the great heart of man.

Not only love, and the fields, and the bright face of danger, but sacrifice and death and unmerited suffering humbly supported, touch in us the vein of the poetic. 

 (GGB Vol. 7, pp. 112-121)

PS. 中文引文摘自林语堂 美国的智慧(全本)当一位注重现实的人成为一个恋人的时候(1)

***

虽然很多地方读不懂,但还是被一种情绪所感染。

卑微的我

仿佛也带着那样一盏牛眼灯,走在风雨飘摇的夜晚

遇到你,问一句:

你带灯了么


Hume, David: “Of the Study of History”

The advantages found in history seem to be of three kinds, as it amuses the fancy, as it improves the understanding, and as it strengthens virtue. (鼓励女性以历史为职业。学习历史有三大收获:娱乐、知识、美德。)

Love is not the only passion which governs the male world, but is often overcome by avarice, ambition, vanity, and a thousand of other passions. (男人的世界里,不是只有爱情。)

A man acquainted with history may, in some respects, be said to have lived from the beginning of the world, and to have been making continual additions to his stock of knowledge in every century. (学历史的人,从古活到今)

和现实与哲学相比,历史是中庸的。

(GGB, Vol. 7, pp. 89-92)