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巴金《朋友》英译

2014-04-18    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

这一次的旅行使我更了解一个名词的意义,这个名词就是:朋友。

七八天以前我曾对一个初次见面的朋友说:“在朋友们面前我只感到惭愧。你们待我太好了,我简直没法报答你们。”这并不是谦虚的客气话,这是真的事实。说过这些话,我第二天就离开了那个朋友,并不知道以后还有没有机会再看见他。但是他给我的那一点点温暖至今还使我的心颤动。

我的生命大概不会很长久罢。然而在短促的过去的回顾中却有一盏明灯,照彻了我的灵魂的黑暗,使我的生存有一点光彩。这盏灯就是就友情。我应该感谢它,因为靠了它我才能够活到现在;而且把旧家庭给我留下的阴影扫除了的也正是它。

世间有不少的人为了家庭抛弃朋友,至少也会在家庭和朋友之间划一个界限,把家庭看得比朋友重过若干倍。这似乎是很自然的事情。我也曾亲眼看见一些人结婚以后就离开朋友,离开事业……

朋友是暂时的,家庭是永久的。在好些人的行为里我发见了这个信条。这个信条在我实在是不可理解的。对于我,要是没有朋友,我现在会变成怎样可怜的东西,我自己也不知道。

然而朋友们把我救了。他们给了我家庭所不能给的东西。他们的友爱,他们的帮助,他们的鼓励,几次把我从深渊的边沿救回来。他们对我表示了无限的慷慨。

我的生活曾经是悲苦的,黑暗的。然而朋友们把多量的同情,多量的爱,多量的欢乐,多量的眼泪分了给我,这些东西都是生存所必需的。这些不要报答的慷慨的施舍,使我的生活里也有了温暖,有了幸福。我默默地接受了它们。我并不曾说一句感激的话,我也没有做过一件报答的行为。但是朋友们却不把自私的形容词加到我的身上。对于我,他们太慷慨了。

这一次我走了许多新地方,看见了许多新朋友。我的生活是忙碌的:忙着看,忙着听,忙着说,忙着走。但是我不曾遇到一点困难,朋友们给我准备好了一切,使我不会缺少什么。我每走到一个新地方,我就像回到我那个在上海被日本兵毁掉的旧居一样。

每一个朋友,不管他自己的生活是怎样苦,怎样简单,也要慷慨地分一些东西给我,虽然明知道我不能够报答他。有些朋友,连他们的名字我以前也不知道,他们却关心我的健康,处处打听我的“病况”,直到他们看见了我那被日光晒黑了的脸和膀子,他们才放心地微笑了,这种情形的确值得人掉泪。

有人相信我不写文章就不能够生活。两个月以前,一个同情我的上海朋友寄稿到《广州民国日报》的副刊,说了许多关于我的生活的话。他也说我一天不写文章第二天就没有饭吃。这是不确实的。这次旅行就给我证明;即使我不再写一个字,朋友们也不肯让我冻馁。世间还有许多慷慨的人,他们并不把自己个人和家庭看得异常重要,超过一切。靠了他们我才能够活到现在,而且靠了他们我还要活下去。

朋友们给我的东西是太多、太多了。我将怎样报答他们呢?但是我知道他们是不需要报答的。

最近我在一个法国哲学家的书里读到了这样的话:“生命的一个条件就是消费……世间有一种不能跟生存分开的慷慨,要是没有了它,我们就会死,就会从内部干枯。我们必须开花。道德,无私心就是人生的花。”

在我的眼前开放着这么多的人生的花朵了。我的生命要到什么时候才会开花?难道我已经是“内部干枯”了吗?

一个朋友说过:“我若是灯,我就要用我的光明来照彻黑暗。”

我不配做一盏明灯。那么就让我做一块木柴罢。我愿意把我从太阳那里受到的热放散出来,我愿意把自己烧得粉身碎骨给人间添一点点温暖。

Friends
Ba Jin

On my recent travels, I came to realize still more fully the significance of the word “friend”.

Seven or eight days ago, I said to a friend whom I had just come to know, “I can’t help feeling embarrassed before my friends. You’re all so nice to me. I simply don’t know how to repay your kindness.” I did not make this remark out of mere modesty and courtesy. I truly meant what I said. The next day, I said goodbye to this friend, not knowing if I could ever see him again. But the little warmth that he gave me has been keeping my heart throbbing with gratitude.

The length of my days will not be unlimited. However, whenever I look back on my brief past life, I find a beacon illuminating my soul and thereby lending a little brightness to my being. That beacon is friendship. I should be grateful to it because it has helped me keep alive up to now and clear away the shadow left on me by my old family.

Many people forsake their friends in favor of their own families, or at least draw a line of demarcation between families and friends, considering the former to be many times more important than the latter. That seems to be a matter of course. I have also seen with my own eyes how some people abandon their friends as well as their own careers soon after they get married…

Friends are transient whereas family are lasting—that is the tenet, as I know, guiding the behavior of many people. To me, that is utterly inconceivable. Without friends, I would have been reduced to I don’t know what a miserable creature.

Friends are my saviors. They give me things which it is beyond my family to give me. Thanks to their fraternal love, assistance and encouragement, I have time and again been saved from falling into an abyss while on its verge. They have been enormously generous towards me.

There was a time when my life was miserable and gloomy. My friends then gave me in large quantities sympathy, love, joy and tears—things essential for existence. It is due to their bountiful free gifts that I also have my share of warmth and happiness in my life.
I accepted their kindnesses quietly without ever saying a word of thanks and without ever doing anything in return. In spite of that, my friends never used the epithet “self-centered” when referred to me. They are only too generous towards me.

I visited many new places and met new friends on my recent trip. My time was mostly taken up by looking around, listening, talking and walking. But I never ran into any trouble because my friends had done their utmost to make sure that I would be short of nothing. Whatever new places I called at, I always felt at home as if I were back in my old residence in Shanghai which had been already been raged to the ground by Japanese troops.

No matter how hard up and frugal my friends themselves were, they would unstintingly share with me whatever they had, although they knew I would not be able to repay them for their kindness. Some, whom I did not even know by name, showed concern over my health and went about inquiring after me. It was not until they saw my suntanned face and arms that they began to smile a smile of relief.
All that was enough to move one to tears.

Some people believe that, without writing, I would lose my livelihood. One of my sympathizers, in an article published two months ago in the Guangzhou Republic Daily Supplement, gives a full account of the conditions of my life. He also says that I would have nothing to live on once I should lay down my pen. That is not true at all. It has already been proved by recent travels that my friends would never let me suffer from cold and hunger even if I should go without writing a single word. There are a great many kind-hearted people in the world who never attach undue importance to themselves and their own families and who never place themselves and their families above anything else. It is owing to them that I still survive and shall continue to survive for a long time to come.

I owe my friends many, many kindnesses. How can I repay them? But, I understand, they don’t need me to do that.

Recently I came across the following words in a book by a French philosopher:

One condition of life is consumption… Survival in this world is inseparable from generosity, without which we would perish and become dried-up from within. We must put forth flowers. Moral integrity and unselfishness are the flowers of life.

Now so many flowers of life are in full bloom before my eyes. When can my life put forth flowers? Am I already dried-up from within?
 
A friend of mine says, “If I were a lamp, I would illuminate darkness with my light.”

I, however, don’t qualify for a bright lamp. Let me be a piece of firewood instead. I’ll radiate the heat that I have absorbed from the sun. I’ll burn myself to ashes to provide this human world with a little warmth.

(张培基 译)



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