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【名人家书】马克吐温致妻 (双语)

2015-04-14    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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马克·吐温是美国批判现实主义文学的奠基人,他的主要作品已大多有中文译本。他经历了美国从初期资本主义到帝国主义的发展过程,其思想和创作也表现为从轻快调笑到辛辣讽刺再到悲观厌世的发展阶段,前期以辛辣的讽刺见长,到了后期语言更为暴露激烈。被誉为“美国文学史上的林肯”。

Hartford, Conn, 9 May 1869

Livy, darling,

Break our engagement, darling? I would infinitely rather die. No, Livy, if note is taken of the deeds of men, our troth is writ in the eternal records of Heaven. We were created for each other, and can no more willfully separate than can the forces of nature defy the God that created them. We are bound to each other by viewless chains that are strong as the granite ribs that link the mountains together, and more enduring than the Pyramids that mock at the perishable vanities of men – for these chains are of eternity itself, and cannot know death.

You are right when you say we shall not break our engagement. My life thenceforward would be only a vain and foolish sort of existence, for I know by every instinct that is in me that I am not capable of loving any other woman as I love you. And life is but a dull, eventless captivity without love.

To say that I am sorry for Emma, but ill expresses it – for I can, after a fashion, divine what my torture would be if I were in her place. That I can divine one-half the magnitude of the terrible calamity, though, I do not pretend. It suggests graves, madness, winding-sheets and death! – in a word, all horrors that can befall the unfortunate. In presence of the thought, I feel as if I want to put my arms about you and clasp you close to my breast, and know and feel that you are my darling yet, that I have not lost you.

I am more than sorry for Emma – I feel more kindly toward her than I ever did before – and my rebuking conscience iterates and reiterates to me that all the time that I would have stood between you and her and bolted the sheltering doors against her, she was seeking restful words for a troubled spirit and balm for a sore heart.

All the ill news comes at once. A friend of Winchell’s is in misfortune – a young minister whom I met, with his wife, at Twichell’s house several times heretofore. He loved her to idolatry, and now she is taken from him. She had a miscarriage two years ago, and what with her bodily sufferings and grief for the loss of the child, she came near dying. Last week she had another miscarriage, and did not survive it. The young widower is well nigh beside himself with despair. Death is for us both, my Livy, but not broken engagements. Our marriage – for marriage it is – is for time and eternity.

“Livy, Livy, Livy”(I love the name,) I am so sorry, but we can’t have proofs to send you. The publisher and the electrotyper are at daggers ’points, and as the latter is not obliged by custom or contract to furnish duplicate proofs, Bliss has little hope of getting them. He will try, but expects a refusal. And I have put so much “poetry In the margin” that it seems hardly worth while for me to make an attempt, especially as Bliss says he is a crusty, ill-natured Englishman – still, I mean to make the attempt anyhow. I have read over fifty pages of proofs this morning – dull, stupid, aggravating, tiresome drudgery it was. It seems incredible to me that these are the very same kind of proofs I used to love to read with my darling and string out as long as possible. But this time I galloped through them and was perfectly delighted when I got through. It took me about two hours – or even less. I haven’t even made a start toward answering your dear good letters (7th and 8th received to-day,) and yet I must stop writing now, for at 3 or 3:30 o’clock I must be at Mrs. Hooker’s, and it is considerably after 2, now and I am not yet shaved.

Hat’s gone, now I suppose, and I am most sincerely sorry, for if she isn’t a blessing to a household, all my judgments are gone astray. And she was such company and such a help to you, that I feel a grateful glow around about my heart every time I think of her. Anybody that is good to Livy can command my love and respect. I shall write her, to Lisbon, I’ll.

Livy dear, you must deliver my love unto your father and mother (andin no stinted measure or in frozen parliamentary pomp and circumstance, I warn you,) and unto your sister Sueand Theodore as well. I love all those parties.

Confound it, I forgot to give Hattie the mocking-bird.


The peace of God be with you, my own darling, and His angels keep you.

Sam


 亲爱的,解除我们的婚约?那我宁可去死。不,莉维,如果音符能记载人们的行为,那么我们的婚约已写在了天堂里永恒的唱片上了。我们是为对方而创造出来的,即使自然的力量反对创造它的上帝,我们也不愿意分离。我们被无形的链子相互捆绑着,这条链子就像连接山脉的花岗岩那样坚不可摧,比嘲弄人类短暂的虚荣心的金字塔更持久,因为这些链子本身就是永恒的,不会死亡。

你说我们不应该解除婚约,你是正确的。否则,从此以后我的生活就将失去全部意义,因为我每时每刻都知道,我已经不可能像爱你那样去爱别的任何女人。没有爱,生活就像枯燥无味、死气沉沉的监禁生活。

要说我对埃玛感到难过,这还不确切——因为我多少能预感到,若我处于她的位置我将会多么痛苦。我能预感到一半的灾难,我不是假装的。它意味着坟墓、疯狂、裹尸布和死亡!——简言之,一切恐怖都会降临在不幸者的头上。一想到这些,我就感到似乎想拥抱你,想把你紧紧地拥抱在胸前,我知道并且感到你仍是我亲爱的人,我还没有失去你。

对埃玛我不仅仅是感到难过——我对她比过去任何时候都友好——我内疚的感觉一次又一次地告诉我,我一直都站在你和她之间,并且一直向她关闭着庇护的大门,她正在为忧虑的情绪寻找安宁,为痛苦的心灵寻找慰藉。

所有的坏消息都一起来了。特威彻尔的一个朋友也正处于不幸之中,他是一位年轻的牧师,我曾经几次在特威彻尔的家里遇到过他和他的妻子。他把她当做偶像那样崇拜和热爱,而现在她却被带走了。两年前,她曾经流产,失去孩子给她带来了肉体的痛苦和精神上的创伤,她几乎濒临死亡。上周,她又一次流产,没能逃脱死神的魔掌。这位年轻的鳏夫几乎绝望得发狂。我们俩人都会面临死亡,我的莉维,但我们的婚约是不会死亡的。我们的婚姻——正因为它是婚姻——将属于时间和永恒。

“莉维,莉维,莉维”(我爱这个名字,)我很抱歉,我们无法送你校样。出版商和电版印刷商针锋相对,因为后者不信守惯例和合同,不提供两份校样,所以布利斯也没有希望弄到。他会试一试,但很可能遭到拒绝,而且我在页边的空白处写了那么多的诗,看来我不值得做此尝试,尤其是布利斯说他是个顽固的、脾气很坏的英国人——尽管如此,我仍打算无论如何也要尝试尝试。今天上午我已经看了50多页校样——这真是枯燥、乏味、令人恼火、单调无味。真让我难以置信,我过去与我亲爱的人一起看那些完全相同类型的校样时,我是那样爱看,并尽可能多看一会儿。可这次,我匆匆忙忙地把它们看了一遍,当我完成任务后,心里感到特别高兴。大概花了两个小时——也许还不到。我甚至还没有动笔给你那可爱动人的来信写回信(今天收到你7号和8号写的信),可我现在得停笔了,因为三点或三点半,我必须到胡克夫人家,现在已经两点过了,我还没有刮胡子呢。

我猜想哈特现在已经走了,我感到非常难过,因为,若连她都不算是管理家务的好手,那么我所做的一切判断则都是错的。她对你是如此好的一个伙伴和帮手,以至于我每次想到她时,心里都有一种感激之情。任何一个对莉维好的人都会得到我的爱和尊敬。我会给她写信,寄到伊利诺斯州的里斯本。

莉维,亲爱的,你一定要向你的父母转达我的爱,(我告诉你,要用毫不吝惜的方式,或者用庄重有礼的华丽气派的方式),也向你的姐姐苏和西奥多问好。我爱所有这些人。

我真该死,忘了给哈蒂那只反舌鸟。

愿上帝的平和与你同在,我亲爱的,上帝的天使守护着你。

萨姆

于哈特福特,康乃狄格州

1869年5月9日



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