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文学作品汉译:Hilaire Belloc - A Conversation with a Cat

2014-10-08    来源:en84    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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文学作品汉译:Hilaire Belloc - A Conversation with a Cat

文学作品汉译:请欣赏H. 白洛克作品《A Conversation with a Cat》

A Conversation with a Cat

Hilaire Belloc

The other day I went into the bar of a railway station and, taking a glass of bear, I sat down at a little table by myself to meditate upon the necessary but tragic isolation of the human soul. I began my meditation by consoling myself with the truth that something in common runs through all nature, but I went on to consider that this cut no ice, and that the heart needed something more. I might by long research have discovered some third term a little less hackneyed than these two, when fate, or some fostering star, sent me a tawny silky, long-haired cat.

If it be true that nations have the cats they deserve, then the English people deserve well in cats, for there are none so prosperous or so friendly in the world. But even for an English cat this cat was exceptionally friendly and fine—especially friendly. It leapt at one graceful bound into my lap, nestled there, put out an engaging right front paw to touch my arm with a pretty timidity by way of introduction, rolled up at me an eye of bright but innocent affection, and then smiled a secret smile of approval.
No man could be timid after such an approach as not to make some manner of response. So did I. I even took the liberty of stroking Amathea (for by that name did I receive this vision), and thought I began this gesture in a respectful fashion, after the best models of polite deportment with strangers, I was soon lending it some warmth, for I was touched to find that I had a friend; yes, even here, at the ends of the tubes in S.W. 99. I proceeded (as is right) from caress to speech, and said, “Amathea, most beautiful of cats, why have you deigned to single me out for so much favor? Did you recognize in me a friend to all that breathes, or were you yourself suffering from loneliness (though I take it you are near your own dear home), or is there pity in the hearts of animals as there is in the hearts of some humans? What, then, was your motive? Or am I, indeed, foolish to ask, and not rather to take whatever good comes to me in whatever way from the gods?”

To these questions Amathea answered with a loud purring noise, expressing with closed eyes of ecstasy her delight in the encounter.

“I am more than flattered, Amathea,” said I, by way of answer; “I am consoled. I did not know that there was in the world anything breathing and moving, let alone so tawny-perfect, who would give companionship for its own sake and seek out, through deep feeling, some one companion out of all living kind. If you do not address me in words I know the reason and I commend it; for in words lie the seeds of all dissension, and love at its most profound is silent. At least, I read that in a book, Amathea; yes, only the other day. But I confess that the book told me nothing of those gestures which are better than words, or of that caress which I continue to bestow upon you with all the gratitude of my poor heart.”

To this Amathea made a slight gesture of acknowledgement—not disdainful—wagging her head a little, and then settling it down in deep content.

“Oh, beautiful-haired Amathea, many have praised you before you found me to praise you, and many will praise you, some in your own tongue, when I am no longer held in the bonds of your presence. But none will praise you more sincerely. For there is not a man living who knows better than I that the four charms of a cat lie in its closed eyes, its long and lovely hair, its silence, and even its affected love.”

But at the word affected Amathea raised her head, looked up at me tenderly, once more put forth her paw to touch my arm, and then settled down again to a purring beatitude.

“You are secure,” said I sadly; “mortality is not before you. There is in your complacency no foreknowledge of death nor even of separation. And for that reason, Cat, I welcome you the more. For if there has been given to your kind this repose in common living, why, then, we men also may find it by following your example and not considering too much what may be to come and not remembering too much what has been and will never return. Also, I thank you, for this, Amathea, my sweet Euplokamos” (for I was becoming a little familiar through an acquaintance of a full five minutes and from the absence of all recalcitrance), “that you have reminded me of my youth, and in a sort of shadowy way, a momentary way, have restored it to me. For there is an age, a blessed youthful age (O my Cat) even with the miserable race of men, when all things are consonant with the life of the body, when sleep is regular and long and deep, when enmities are either unknown or a subject for rejoicing and when the whole of being is lapped in hope as you are now lapped on my lap, Amathea. Yes, we also, we of the doomed race, know peace. But whereas you possess it from blind kittenhood to that last dark day so mercifully short with you, we grasp it only for a very little while. But I would not sadden you by the mortal plaint. That would be treason indeed, and a vile return for your goodness. What! When you have chosen me out of seven London millions upon whom to confer the tender solace of heart, when you have proclaimed yourself so suddenly to be my dear, shall I introduce you to the sufferings of those of whom you know nothing save that they feed you, house you and pass you by? At least you do not take us for gods, as do the dogs, and the more am I humbly beholden to you for this little service of recognition—-and something more.”

Amathea slowly raised herself upon her four feet, arched her back, yawned, looked up at me with a smile sweeter than ever and then went round and round, preparing for herself a new couch upon my coat, where on she settled and began once more to purr in settled ecstasy.

Already had I made sure that a rooted and anchored affection had come to me from out the emptiness and nothingness of the world and was to feed my soul henceforward; already had I changed the mood of long years and felt a conversion towards the life of things, an appreciation, a cousinship with the created light—and all that through one new link of loving kindness—when whatever it is that dashes the cup of bliss from the lips of mortal man (Tupper) up and dashed it good and hard. It was the Ancient Enemy who put the fatal sentence into my heart, for we are the playthings of the greater powers, and surely some of them are evil.

“You will never leave me. Amathea,” I said: “I will respect your sleep and we will sit here together through all uncounted time, I holding you in my arms and you dreaming of the fields of Paradise. Nor shall anything part us. Amathea; you are my cat and I am your human. Now and onwards into the fullness of peace.”

Then it was that Amathea lifted herself once more, and with delicate, discreet, unweighted movement of perfect limbs leapt lightly to the floor as lovely as a wave. She walked slowly away from me without so much as looking back over her shoulder; she had another purpose in her mind; and as she so gracefully and so majestically neared the door which she was seeking, a short, unpleasant man standing at the bar said, “Puss, Puss, Puss!” and stooped to scratch her gently behind the ear. With what a wealth of singular affection, pure and profound, did she not gaze up at him, and then rub herself against his leg in token and external expression of a sacramental friendship that should never die. 


对猫一席话

H. 白洛克

前些日子,我走进某火车站酒吧,买了一杯啤酒便独自在一张小桌旁坐下,默想人类灵魂虽属必需却又悲哀的疏离。开始想时还以为万物总有某种相通之处,尚可聊以自慰,不过继而一想,这不解决问题,人心还需要更多的东西。正当我可能通过长期研究发现不像灵魂、人心二词那么陈腐的另一个词,忽然,命运或福星给我送来了一只毛光如丝的茶色长毛猫。

各国的人都有值得他们称道的猫,如果此话不假,那么英国人则应当好好称道他们的猫,因为世上没有如此顺遂、如此友善的猫。但即便就英国猫而言,我这只猫格外友善聪明——尤其是友善。它优雅地一跳,跳到我的怀里,舒舒服服地安顿下来,伸出可爱的右前爪,怯生生地碰碰我的胳膊,算是作了介绍,那眼光里充满乖巧然而天真的友爱,打量我,然后暗暗一笑,表示认可了。

经过这般亲近之后,谁也不会胆小到不作某种回答。我作了回答。我甚至冒昧地抚摩阿玛西亚(我正因这名字才有这番幻想);虽然我以尊重的方式开始作此表示,完全以最佳的对待陌生者的有礼态度为典范,但很快就增加了几分亲热,因为我发现我有了一个朋友而感动不已;是的,即便在这里,西南99路的地铁终点站。我继而(做法是得当的)由抚摩转入说话,说道:“阿玛西亚,美丽至极的猫,你为了得到宠爱为何偏偏挑中了我呢?是你看出我是一切有生命之物的朋友,还是你自己也因孤独而痛苦(尽管我相信你离你自己心爱的家很近),还是因为动物之心如同某些人的心一样有怜悯之情?那么,你的动机是什么?我这样问实在是蠢,天神以任何方式赐给我的任何幸福难道我反而不愿接受了?”

对这些问题,阿玛西亚都以很响的咕噜声作了回答,以欣喜的紧闭的眼睛表示它对这次邂逅相逢感到高兴。

“我无比荣幸,阿玛西亚,”我说,算是回答;“我得到了安慰。我原先不知道世上有生命、能活动的东西,当然更不用说有如此完美的茶色猫了,会为了自身起见愿意献出友谊,而且以奥妙的感情从各种有生之物当中寻求某一个同伴。如果你不用言语跟我交谈,我知道是何原因并且表示称赞;因为一切分歧的根源就在于言语,而最意味深长的友爱总是无言的。至少,这是我从一本书上读到的,阿玛西亚;是啊,就在前些日子。但是我承认,我这胜过言词的表示不是这本书告诉我的,我以我脆弱的心灵的感激之情继续向你表示的爱抚也不是这本书告诉我的。”

阿玛西亚对此略表谢意——并无轻蔑之意——微微地摇摇头,然后称心如意地安顿下来。

“啊,美丽的阿玛西亚,你发现我赞美你之前已有许多人赞美过你了,当我不再隶属于你时,将要赞美你的还会多得很,有的会用你的语言赞美你。但是不会有人比我更真诚地赞美你。因为,世上没有一个活着的人比我更了解猫的四大魅力就在于它那紧闭的眼睛,漂亮的长毛,默默无言,甚至还在于它那种假情假意的友爱。”

阿玛西亚听到“假”这个字时,抬起头,敏感地仰望着我,又伸出右前爪碰碰我的胳膊,然后又安顿下来,咕噜咕噜,好不幸福。

“你是安全的啊,”我哀伤地说,“你面前不存在人终有一死的问题。你自得其乐,对生离死别都无先见之明。惟其如此,猫啊,我才越发欢迎你。因为,如果你们猫类乐于在尘世悠然自得,那么,我们人类也许能通过效法你们,不过多考虑将来,也不过多回忆以往那早已逝去而且永不再回来的一切,从而悠然自得。还有,我要感谢你,阿玛西亚,我可爱的尤普洛卡谟(相识已有整整五分钟,也未见有何不顺从的表示,所以我变得亲热些了)。“你使我想起了我的青年时代,你梦幻般地、瞬息间地把我的青年时代归还给了我。因为,(哦,我的猫啊!)就连不幸的人类也有过一个时代,一个幸福的青年时代。那时候,万物皆与肉体生活协调一致,睡眠有规律而且睡得久,睡得熟;仇恨或是无从知晓或是成了寻乐的话题;整个生命躺在希望的怀抱中,就像你现在安睡在我膝上一样,阿玛西亚。是的,我们,我们这受诅咒的人类也懂得安宁平和。不过,你们从懵懵懂懂、活蹦乱跳的幼年到幸好极其短暂的那个倒霉的末日,都保持着安宁而不变,而我们把握住安宁而不变,而我们把握住安宁的时间却极其短暂。但我不愿以生命必有终结的哀叹使你悲伤。那样做实在是不忠,是以恶行回报你的善意。什么?既然你从伦敦700万大众中挑中我是为了给我以好心的安慰,既然你如此突然地表示要和我亲近,那么我能不能把一些人——你只知道他们给你吃让你住而从不过问你,此外你对他们一无所知——的苦难对你讲一讲,行不行?至少你不像狗一样把我们看作偶像,因而我越发谦卑地承你的情,感激你的这般赏识——以及其他种种。”

阿玛西亚慢慢地站起来,弓弓背,打个哈欠,带着比刚才更美妙的微笑望着我,然后走来走去,已想好把我的上衣当作它的新床榻,然后安顿下来,又开始咕噜咕噜,好不惬意。

我已经确信,从那空虚无聊的人世中,已有一种根深蒂固的爱来到我的身边,并将从此安慰我的灵魂;我已改变了长年的心绪,对万物的生命的看法有了转变,开始有了一种鉴赏,有一种跟福祉很亲密的关系——这一切都通过新的慈爱之杯而来——忽然,不是什么东西这时撞翻凡人嘴边的至福之杯,并把它撞得粉碎。那时恶魔撒旦把致命的判决进了我心里,因为我们是更大力量的手中玩物,而有些更大力量是邪恶的。

“你永远不离开我,阿玛西亚,”我说,“我要让你安睡,我们要永无尽期地坐在这里,我抱着你,你梦到乐园的田野。不会有什么把我们分开,阿玛西亚;你是我的猫,我是你的人。从今以后一直在完全的和平之中。”
就在此时,阿玛西亚又站了起来,轻轻一跳,跳到地上,完美的四肢动作优雅、谨慎、轻盈,美如波浪。它慢慢离我而去,甚至不回头看看我;它心里另有打算;当它优美而庄重地走到它要找的门口时,站在酒吧柜台旁的一个令人讨厌的矮个子说,“小猫咪,小猫咪,小猫咪!”接着弯下腰轻轻地搔它的后颈。它抬头注视着他,充满爱意,即纯朴又奥妙,然后它在那人的腿边蹭着,象征了也表明了一种永远不会消亡的神圣的友谊。

(张禹九 译)



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