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              Language to be decoded:  English             Auxiliary Language : Chinese 

  
                                  
解密文本:《除夕》  作者 查尔斯兰姆,  中文译者 谢国芳(Roy Xie)          
 
New Year's Eve
 by Charles Lamb

 

          除夕      
                                                                       
[英] 查尔斯兰姆           谢国芳(Roy Xie) 选译   
                                                                

      只看英语(English Only)                                     英汉对照(English & Chinese)                                     只看汉语(Chinese Only


  


      Every man has two birthdays; two days, at least, in every year, which set him upon revolving the lapse of time, as it affects his mortal duration.

The one is that which in an especial manner he terms his. In the gradual desuetude of old observances, this custom of solemnizing our proper birthday has nearly passed away, or is left to children, who reflect nothing at all about the matter, nor understand any thing in it beyond cake and orange.

But the birth of a New Year is of an interest too wide to be pre- permitted by king or cobbler. No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.

Of all sounds of all bell -- (bells, the music highest bordering upon heaven) – most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year. I never hear it without a gathering-up of my mind to a concentration of all the images that have been diffused over the past twelvemonth; all I have done or suffered, performed or neglected in that regretted time. I begin to know its worth, as when a person dies. It takes a personal colour; nor was it a poetical flight in a contemporary, when he exclaimed --

I saw the skirts of the departing Year.

It is no more than what in sober sadness every one of us seems to be conscious of, in that awful leave-taking. I am sure I felt it, and all felt it with me, last night; Though some of my companions affected rather to manifest an exhilaration at the birth of the coming year, than any very tender regrets for the decease of its predecessor. But I am none of those who --

Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.

I am naturally, beforehand, shy of novelties: new books, new faces, new years, -- from some mental twist which makes it difficult in me to face the prospective. I have almost ceased to hope; and am sanguine only in the prospects of other (former) years. I plunge into foregone visions and conclusions. I encounter pell-mell with past disappointments. I am armour – proof against old discouragements. I forgive, or overcome in fancy, old adversaries.

I play over again for love, as the gamesters phrase it, games, for which I once paid so dear. I would scarce now have any of those untoward accidents and events of my life reversed. I would no more alter them than the incidents of some well-contrived novel.

……

In those days the sound of those midnight chimes, though it seemed to raise hilarity in all around me, never failed to bring a train of pensive imagery into my fancy. Yet I then scarce conceived what it meant, or thought of it as a reckoning that concerned me. Not childhood alone, but the young man till thirty, never feels practically that he is mortal. He knows it indeed, and, if need were, he could preach a homily on the fragility of life; but he brings it not home to himself, any more than in a hot June we can appropriate to our imagination the freezing days of December.

But now, shall I confess a truth ? -- I feel these audits but too powerfully. I begin to count the probabilities of my duration, and to grudge at the expenditure of moments and shortest periods, like miser 's farthings. In proportion as the years both lessen and shorten, I set more count upon their periods, and would fain lay my ineffectual finger upon the spoke of the great wheel.

I am not content to pass away "like a weaver 's shuttle." Those metaphors solace me not, nor sweeten the unpalatable draught of mortality. I care not to be carried with the tide, that smoothly bears human life to eternity: and reluct at the inevitable course of destiny.

I am in love with this green earth; the face of town and country; the unspeakable rural solitudes, and the sweet security of streets. I would set up my tabernacle here. I am content to stand still at the age to which I am arrived; I, and my friends: to be no younger, no richer, no handsomer. I do not want to be weaned by age; or drop, like mellow fruit, as they say, into the grave.

       



 


         每个人都有两个"生日":一年当中至少有那么两个日子,它们会促使他思考时间的流逝对于他有生之年的影响。

其中一个他以一种独特的方式称作“他的”,随着旧礼仪的逐渐废弃,这种隆重庆祝我们自己诞辰的习俗也差不多销声匿迹了,或者只保留了孩子们,而他们对此是根本不加思索的,除了蛋糕和柑橘之外也不理解任何别的事情。

但是“新年”的诞生所引起的关注实在是太广泛了,不需要国王或者补鞋匠预先的许可。从来没有一个人冷淡地看待过元旦,大家都是从这一天标记他们的日期,指望剩下的时光。它是我们的共同祖先亚当的诞辰。

在一切钟发出的声音当中——钟是最接近天堂的音乐——最庄重、最动人的莫过于辞别旧岁的钟声。每次听到它时,我总是会集中心智,聚敛起散布在过去的十二个月里的一切印象——在那令人惋惜的时光里我所做过的或者经历过的一切,完成的或者漏做的一切,都一一掠过我的心头。我开始懂得这些时光的价值,就像当一个人死去,我们才懂得他的珍贵。这些时光带上了一种个人的色彩;这并不是一位当代诗人诗意的奔放,当他惊呼:

我瞥见了逝去的年华的裙裾。

这是在那可怕的辞别旧岁的时刻,我们每个人在清醒的悲哀里都意识到的。我确信昨天晚上就感受到了这种情绪,当时在场的诸位也都和我有同感;虽然我的同伴当中有几位假装对新年的诞生表示欢喜,而不愿对其前任的消逝流露出丝毫温情的惋惜。但是我是不属于那一种人的,他们

欢迎即将到来的,而催促要离去的客人。

我天生对一切新玩意存有戒心:新书,新脸孔,新年——我心里的一些怪僻使我很难面对将来。我几乎不再抱什么希望,只有当追忆流年时,我才充满激情。我一头跳进先前的梦幻同结局里,狂乱地遭遇过去的失望,穿着能抵抗昔日挫折的盔甲,我在幻想中原谅或者战胜了那些旧冤家。

 

我又一次玩起了爱的游戏(像赌徒们说的那样),我曾经为它付出了那么高昂的代价。我一生遭遇的种种不顺遂的事故和事情,几乎没有一件是我现在愿意取消的。我不愿意改变它们,正如我不肯更改一本构思极好的小说里边的情节。

……

在那些日子里,那(除夕)子夜的钟声尽管好像总能令我周围的人们欢喜乐呵,却每每将一连串忧愁的影像带进我的幻想里。然而那时的我几乎完全不理解它的意味,也不认为这是一个同我有关的结算。不独是童年时代,直到三十岁以前的年轻人都绝不会真正感觉到他是会死的。他诚然知道这一点,倘若有必要,他还能就生命的脆弱作长篇的说教,但是他自己是并没有切身体会到的,正如在炎炎的夏日我们不能把寒冻腊月的冰冻天真真切切地放进我们的想象里。

可是现在,要我坦白真相么?——我实在是太强烈地感受到这些结算了。我开始计算我还可能活多久,我吝惜片刻的光阴和最短的时间的耗费,犹如一个守财奴舍不得他的最小的铜币。随着剩下的年数不断减短,我愈加珍惜它们的每一个时段,我真想把自己软弱无力的手指搁在“时间大轮”的辐条上,止住它的转动。

我不甘心“像织布者的梭子”那样逝去。那些个比喻不能安慰我,也不能使死亡这一口苦酒变甜。我不喜欢被平稳地将人生带入永恒的大潮载着,我厌恶命运不可避免的进程。

 

我爱上了这青翠的大地和城镇与乡村的面貌,那难以言喻的田园的幽僻和街道的可喜的安全。我愿意在这里设立我的住所。我乐意在我现在所到达的年纪静止不动;我和我的朋友们都不要更年轻、更富有、更英俊。我不想被老年的衰颓弄得厌倦了生活,或者像他们说的,像成熟的果实一样掉进坟墓里去。


 





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