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文学作品汉译:From the Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

2014-12-30    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

文学作品汉译:George Gissing--From the Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

文学作品汉译:请欣赏乔治·吉辛作品《From the Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft》

From the Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft、

George Gissing

(1)Englishman

It is easy to understand that common judgment of foreigners regarding the English people. Go about in England as a stranger, travel by rail, live at hotels, see nothing but the broadly public aspect of things, and the impression left upon you will be one of hard egoism, of gruffness and sullenness; in a word, of everything that contrasts most strongly with the ideal of social and civic life. And yet, as a matter of fact, no nation possesses in so high a degree the social and civic virtues. The unsociable Englishman, quotha? Why, what country in the world can show such multifarious, vigorous and cordial co-operation, in all ranks, but especially, of course, among the intelligent, for ends which concern the common good? Unsociable! Why, go where you will in England you can hardly find a man—nowadays, indeed, scarce an educated woman—who does not belong to some alliance, for study or sport, for municipal or national benefit, and who will not be seen, in leisure time, doing his best as a social being. Take the so-called sleepy market-town; it is bubbling with all manner of associated activities, and these of the quite voluntary kind, forms of zealously united effort such as are never dreamt of in the countries supposed to be eminently “social.” Sociability does not consist in a readiness to talk at large with the first comer. It is not dependent upon natural grace and suavity; it is compatible, indeed, with thoroughly awkward and all but brutal manners. The English have never (at all events, for some two centuries past) inclined to the purely ceremonial or mirthful forms of sociability; but as regards every prime interest of the community—health and comfort, well-being of body and of soul—there social instinct is supreme.

(2)Tempest

Today I have read The Tempest…Among the many reasons which make me glad to have been born in England, one of the first is that I read Shakespeare in my mother tongue. If I try to imagine myself as one who cannot know him face to face, who hears him only speaking form afar, and that in accents which only through the labouring intelligence can touch the living soul, there comes upon me a sense of chill discouragement, of dreary deprivation. I am wont to think that I can read Homer, and , assuredly, if any man enjoys him, it is I; but can I for a moment dream that Homer yields me all his music, that his word is to me as to him who walked by the Hellenic shore when Hellas lived? I know that there reaches me across the vast of time no more than a faint and broken echo; I know that it would be fainter still, but for its blending with those memories of youth which are as a glimmer of the world’s primeval glory. Let every land have joy of its poet; for the poet is land itself, all its greatness and its sweetness, all that incommunicable heritage for which men live and die. As I close the book, love and reverence possess me. Whether does my full heart turn to the great Enchanter, or to the Island upon which he has laid his spell? I know not. I cannot think of them apart. In the love and reverence awakened by that voice of voices, Shakespeare and England are but one.

(3)Winter Fog

After two or three days of unseasonable and depressing warmth, with lowering but not rainy sky, I woke this morning to find the land covered with a dense mist. There was no daybreak, and , till long after the due hour, no light save a pale, sad glimmer at the window; now, at midday , I begin dimly to descry gaunt shapes of trees, whilst a haunting drip, drip on the garden soil tells me that the vapour has begun to condense, and will pass in rain. But for my fire, I should be in indifferent spirits on such a day as this; the flame sings and leaps, and its red beauty is reflected on the window-glass. I cannot give my thoughts to reading. If I sat unoccupied, they would brood with melancholy fixedness on I know not what. Better to betake myself to the old mechanic exercise of the pen, which cheats my sense of time wasted.

I think of fogs in London, fogs of murky yellow or of sheer black, such as have often made all work impossible to me, and held me, a sort of dyspeptic owl, in moping and blinking idleness. On such a day, I remember, I once found myself at an end both of coal and of lamp-oil, with no money to purchase either; all I could do was to go to bed, meaning to lie there till the sky once more became visible. But a second day found the fog dense as ever. I rose in darkness; I stood at the window of my garret, and saw that the street was illumined as at night, lamps and shop-fronts perfectly visible, with folk going about their business. The fog, in fact, had risen, but still hung above the house-tops, impermeable by any heavenly beam, my solitude being no longer endurable, I went out, and walked the town for hours. When I returned, it was with a few coins which permitted me to buy warmth and light. I had sold to a second-hand bookseller a volume which I prized, and was so much the poorer for the money in my pocket.



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