沈从文《箱子岩》中英双语 -《湘西散记:汉英对照》

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箱子岩

十五年以前,我有机会独坐一只小篷船,沿辰河上行,停船在箱子岩脚下。一列青黛崭削的石壁,夹江高矗,被夕阳烘炙成为一个五彩屏障。石壁半腰约百米高的石缝中,有古代巢居者的遗迹,石罅隙间横横的悬撑起无数巨大横梁,暗红色长方形大木柜尚依然好好的搁在木梁上。岩壁断折缺口处,看得见人家茅棚同水码头,上岸喝酒下船过渡人也得从这缺口通过。那一天正是五月十五,河中人过大端阳节。箱子岩洞窟中最美丽的三只龙船,早被乡下人拖出浮在水面上。船只狭而长,船舷描绘有朱红线条,全船坐满了青年桨手,头腰各缠红布。鼓声起处,船便如一支没羽箭,在平静无波的长潭中来去如飞。河身大约一里路宽,两岸皆有人看船,大声呐喊助兴。且有好事者,从后山爬到悬岩顶上去,把“铺地锦”百子鞭炮从高岩上抛下,尽鞭炮在半空中爆裂,形成一团团五彩碎纸云尘,嘭嘭嘭嘭的鞭炮声与水面船中的锣鼓声相应和。引起人对于历史回溯发生一种幻想,一点儿感慨。

当时我心想:多古怪的一切!两千年前那个楚国逐臣屈原,若本身不被放逐,疯疯癫癫来到这种充满了奇异光彩的地方,目击身经这些惊心动魄的景物,两千年来的读书人,或许就没有福分读《九歌》那类文章,中国文学史也就不会如现在的样子了。在这一段长长岁月中,世界上多少民族皆堕落了,衰老了,灭亡了。即如号称东亚大国的一片土地,也已经有过多少次被来自西北方沙漠中的蛮族,骑了膘壮的马匹,手持强弓硬弩,长枪大戟,到处践踏蹂躏!(辛亥革命前夕,在这苗蛮杂处的一个边镇上,向土民最后一次大规模施行杀戮的统治者,就是北方清朝的一个宗室!辛亥以后,老袁梦想做皇帝时,又有两师北老在这里和滇军作战了大半年。)然而这地方的一切,虽在历史中照样发生不断的杀戮,争夺,以及一到改朝换代时,派人民担负种种不幸命运,死的因此死去,活的被逼迫留发,剪发,在生活上受新朝代种种限制与支配。然而细细一想,这些人根本上又似乎与历史毫无关系。从他们应付生存的方法与排泄感情的娱乐上看来,竟好像今古相同,不分彼此。这时节我所眼见的光景,或许就和两千年前屈原所见的完全一样。

那次我的小船停泊在箱子岩石壁下,附近还有十来只小渔船,大致打渔人也有玩龙船竞渡的,所以渔船上妇女小孩们,无不十分兴奋,各站在尾梢上或船篷上锐声呼喊。其中有几个小孩子,我只担心他们太快乐兴奋,会把住家的小船跳沉。

日头落尽云影无光时,两岸渐渐消失在温柔暮色里。两岸看船人呼喝声越来越少,河面被一片紫雾笼罩,除了从锣鼓声中尚能辨别那些龙船方向,此外已别无所见。然而岩壁缺口处却人声嘈杂,且闻有小孩子哭声,有妇女们尖锐叫唤声,综合给人一种悠然不尽的感觉。天已经夜了,吃饭是正经事。我原先尚以为再等一会儿,那龙船一定就会傍近岩边来休息,被人拖进石窟里,在快乐呼喊中结束这个节日了。谁知过了许久,那种锣鼓声尚在河面飘荡着,表示一班人还不愿意离开小船,回转家中。待到我把晚饭吃过后,爬出舱外一望,呀,天上好一轮圆月。月光下石壁同河面,一切如镀了银,已完全变换了一种调子。岩壁缺口处水码头边,正有人用废竹缆或油柴燃着火燎,火光下只见许多穿白衣人的影子在移动。问问船上水手,方知道那些人正把酒食搬移上船,预备分派给龙船上人。原来这些青年人白日里划了一整天船,看船的已慢慢散尽了,划船的还不尽兴,并且谁也不愿意扫兴示弱,先行上岸,因此三只长船还得在月光下玩个上半夜。

提起这件事,使我重新感到人类文字语言的贫俭。那一派声音,那一种情调,真不是用文字语言可以形容的事情。要一个长年身在城市里住下,以读读《楚辞》就“神往意移”的人,来描绘那月下竞舟的一切,更近于徒然的努力。我可以说的,只是自从我把这次水上所领略的印象保留到心上后,一切书本上的动人记载,全看得平平常常,不至于发生任何惊讶了。这正像我另外一时,看过人类许多不同花样的愚蠢杀戮,对于其余书上叙述到这件事情,同样不能再给我如何感动。

十五年后我又有了机会乘坐小船沿辰河上行,应当经过箱子岩。我想温习温习那地方给我的印象,就要管船的不问迟早,把小船在箱子岩下停泊。这一天是十二月七号,快要过年的光景。没有太阳的阴沉酿雪天,气候异常寒冷。停船时还只下午三点钟左右,岩壁上藤萝草木叶子多已萎落,显得那一带斑驳岩壁十分瘦削。悬岩高处红木柜,只剩下三四具,其余早不知到哪儿去了。小船最先泊在岩壁下洞窟边,冬天水落得太多,洞口已离水面两三丈以上。我从石壁裂罅爬上洞口,到搁龙船处看了一下,旧船已不知是坏了还是早被水冲去了,只见有四只新船搁在石梁上,船头还贴有鸡血同鸡毛,一望就明白是今年方下水的。出得洞口时,见岩下左边泊定五只渔船,有几个老渔婆缩颈敛手在船头寒风中修补渔网。上船后觉得这样子太冷落了,可不是个办法,就又要船上水手为我把小船撑到岩壁断折处有人家地方去,就便上岸,看看乡下人过年以前是什么光景。

四点钟左右,黄昏已逐渐腐蚀了山峦与树石轮廓,占领了屋角隅。我独自坐在一家小饭铺柴火边烤火。我默默的望着那个火光煜煜的枯树根,在我脚边很快乐的燃着,爆炸出轻微的声音。铺子里,人来来往往,有些说两句话又走了,有些就来镶在我身边长凳上,坐下吸他的旱烟。有些来烘烘脚,把穿着湿草鞋的脚去热灰里乱搅。看看每一个人的脸子,我都发生一种奇异的乡情。这里是一群会寻快乐的正直善良的乡下人,有捕鱼的,打猎的,有船上水手和编制竹缆的工人。若我的估计不错,那个坐在我身旁,伸出两只手向火,中指节有个放光顶针的,肯定还是一位乡村里的成衣人。这些人每到大端阳时节,都得下河去玩一整天的龙船。平常日子特别是隆冬严寒天气,却在这个地方,按照一种分定,很简单的把日子过下去。每日看过往船只摇橹扬帆来去,看落日同水鸟。虽然也同样有人事上的得失,到恩怨纠纷成一团时,就陆续发生庆贺或仇杀。然而从整个说来,这些人的生活却仿佛同“自然”已相融合,很从容的各在那里尽其性命之理,与其他无生命物质一样,唯在日月升降寒暑交替中放射,分解。而且在这种过程中,人是如何渺小的东西,这些人比起世界上任何哲人,也似乎还更知道的多一些。

听他们谈了许久,我心中有点儿忧郁起来了。这些不辜负自然的人,与自然妥协,对历史毫无担负,活在这无人知道的地方。另外尚有一批人,与自然毫不妥协,想出种种方法来支配自然,违反自然的习惯,同样也那么尽寒暑交替,看日月升降。然而后者却在慢慢改变历史,创造历史。一份新的日月,行将消灭旧的一切。我们用什么方法,就可以使这些人心中感觉一种对“明天”的“惶恐”,且放弃过去对自然和平的态度,重新来一股劲儿,用划龙船的精神活下去?这些人在娱乐上的狂热,就证明这种狂热能换个方向,就可使他们还配在世界上占据一片土地,活得更愉快更长久一些。不过有什么办法,可以改造这些人的狂热到一个新的竞争方面去,可是个费思索的问题。

一个跛脚青年人,手中提了一个老虎牌新桅灯,灯罩光光的,洒着摇着从外面走进屋子。许多人见了他都同声叫唤起来:“什长,你发财回来了!好个灯!”

那跛子年纪虽很轻,脸上却刻画了一种油气与骄气,在乡下人中仿佛身份特高一层。把灯搁在木桌上,大摇大摆的坐近火边来,拉开两腿摊出两只大手烘火,满不高兴的说:“碰鬼,运气坏,什么都完了。”

“船上老八说你发了财,瞒我们。怕我们开借。”

“发了财,哼。用得着瞒你们?本钱去七角,桃源行市只一块零,除了上下开销,二百两货有什么捞头,我问你。”

这个人接着且连骂带唱的说起桃源后江娘儿们种种有趣的情形,使得一帮人活泼兴奋起来。话说得正有兴味时,一个人来找他,说“什长,猪蹄膀炖好了,酒已热好了”,他搓搓手,说声“有偏各位”,提起那个新桅灯就走了。

原来这个青年汉子,是个打渔人的独生子。三年前被省城里募兵委员看中了招去,训练了三个月,就开到江西边境去同共产党打仗。打了半年仗,一班兄弟中只剩下他一个人好好的活着,奉令调回后防招募新军补充时,他因此升了班长。第二次又训练三个月,再开到前线去打仗。于是碎了一只腿,抬回省中军医院诊治,照规矩这只腿得用锯子锯去。一群同乡都以为从辰州地方出来的家乡人,“辰州符”比截割高明得多了,信他个洋办法像话吗?就把他从医院中抢出,在外边用老办法找人敷水药治疗。说也古怪,不到三个月,那只腿居然不必截割全好了。战争是个什么东西他也明白了。取得了本营证明,领得了些伤兵抚恤费后,于是回到家乡来,用什长名义受同乡恭维,又用伤兵名义作点儿特别生意。这生意也就正是有人可以赚钱,有人可以犯法,政府也设局收税,也制定法律禁止,又可以杀头,又可以发财那种从各方面说来都似乎极有出息的生意。我想弄明白那什长的年龄,从那个当地唯一的成衣人口中,方知道这什长今年还只二十一岁。那成衣人还说:

“这小子看事有眼睛,做事有魄力,瘸了一只腿,还会一月一个来回下常德府,吃喝玩乐发财走好运。若两只腿全弄坏,那就更好了。”

有个水手插口说:“这是什么话。”

“什么画,壁上挂。穷人打光棍,一只腿打坏了不顶事。如两只腿全打坏了,他就不会卖烟土走私赚了钱,再到桃源县后江玩花姑娘了!”

成衣人末后一句打趣话,把大家都弄笑了。

回船时,我一个人坐在灌满冷气的小小船舱中,屈指计算那什长年龄,二十一岁减十五,得到个数目是六。我记起十五年前那个夜里的一切光景,那落日返照,那狭长而描绘朱红线条的船只,那锣鼓与热情兴奋的呼喊……尤其是临近几只小渔船上欢乐跳掷的小孩子,其中一定就有一个今晚我所见到的跛脚什长。唉,历史,多么古怪的事物。生恶性痈疽的人,照旧式治疗方法,可用一星一点毒药敷上,尽它溃烂,到溃烂净尽时,再用药物使新的肌肉生长,人也就恢复健康了。这跛脚什长,我对他的印象虽异常恶劣,想起他就是一个可以溃烂这乡村居民灵魂的人物,不由人不寄托一种幻想……

二十年前澧州镇守使王正雅部队一个平常马夫,姓贺名龙,兵乱时,一菜刀切下了一个散兵的头颅,二十年后就得惊动三省集中十万军队来解决这马夫。谁个人会注意这小小节目,谁个人想象得到人类历史是用什么写成的!

Chest Precipice

Fifteen years ago I chanced to charter a little boat with a bamboo canopy to sail up the River Chen. We stopped at the foot of Chest Precipice. The river here was flanked by looming black cliffs irradiated by the setting sun into a prismatic screen.In crevices half way up the cliffs, a hundred metres or so above the river were the remains of the men of old who had lived here.Countless huge beams spanned the crevices, and on these still rested big oblong wine-red chests. By an inlet in the cliff were mat sheds and a wharf. People going up the cliff for a drink or going down to the ferry all had to pass this way. It happened to be the fifth day of the fifth month, so everyone was out on the river celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival. Three beautiful dragon boats had been lowered to the water from the cave in Chest Precipice which served as boat-house. These long narrow boats had vermilion designs on their prows; their young oarsmen wore red girdles and red turbans. When drums sounded, the boats shot out like featherless arrows to the middle of the stream, unruffled by waves. The river was about one li across, and the banks were packed with spectators, shouting to spur on the rowers. Some enterprising youngsters had climbed up the back of the mountain to the cliff top, to throw down firecrackers which went off in mid air, discharging whorls of confetti and luminous dust, their explosions an antiphony to the gonging and drumming on the boats. This made me recall the past and ruminate over history.

I thought: How fantastic everything is! If Qu Yuan, a minister of the kingdom of Chu, had not been banished two thousand years ago and wandered in his frenzy to a fabulous place like this, to see such stirring sights, the scholars coming after him might not have had his glorious Nine Odes to read, and the history of Chinese literature might have been different. In those two thousand years,many races declined, grew moribund or were wiped out. This great country in the Far East was often invaded by barbarians from distant deserts in the northwest, who ran amok on sturdy horses, armed with bows, spears and halberds.(On the eve of the 1911 Revolution, it was a prince of the Manchu imperial house from the north who launched the last massacre of the Miao and other national minority people in a border town here. And after the establishment of a republic, when Yuan Shikai dreamed of making himself an emperor, two more divisions from the north fought here for more than half a year with troops from Yunnan.) And yet despite all this, the endless contention and slaughter throughout history and the dynastic changes which inflicted such calamities on the people, killing some off and forcing the survivors to grow queues or cut their queues, subject to the restrictions imposed by their new rulers, on careful consideration the people here seem basically to have had no connection with history. Judging by their methods of survival and the distractions with which they work off their feelings, there appears to be no difference between past and present. The scene before me that day may have been exactly the same as that seen by Qu Yuan two thousand years ago.

My boat moored at the foot of Chest Precipice near a dozen small fishing boats. As the fishermen had gone to join in the boat race, there were only excited women and childen on board,standing at the stern or on the canopy cheering. I was afraid some of the children, who were dancing with excitement, might capsize the little houseboats.

After sunset the light faded. By degrees both banks were swallowed up in the soft dusk. The shouts of the spectators subsided too. A purple mist covered the river and the dragon boats were lost from sight, though gonging and drumming disclosed their whereabouts. Still a babel of voices could be heard from the inlet, the crying children and vociferous women combining to induce a sense of infinitude. It was dark now, time for a meal. I had intended to wait till the dragon boats came back to rest and were hauled up into the cave as the festival ended amidst jubilant shouts. But although a long time went by, gonging and drumming still floated over the river, showing that most people were not yet willing to leave their boats and go home. By the time I finished supper and crawled out of my cabin to look round, why, a fine full moon had risen! Moonlight had silvered the cliffs and everything on the river, transforming the scene. By the wharf, fires of old hawsers or firewood had been lit. The firelight showed shadowy white figures milling around. I learned from the boatmen that they were carrying food and liquor aboard to deliver to the crews of the dragon boats. The young oarsmen had rowed all day, yet now that the spectators were scattering they wanted to keep it up, no crew willing to give up or be the first to go ashore. So those three boats would go on racing till midnight.

Mention of this brings home to me again the poverty of human language. For the truth is that no words can describe those sounds or that atmosphere. Townsfolk may be exhilarated by reading the Songs of the South, but to describe that moonlight boat race to them would be virtually labour lost. I confess that since retaining my impression of the river that night, any exciting descriptions in books strike me as nondescript, nothing to marvel at. Just as, at a different period, I witnessed so many kinds of senseless slaughter that no accounts of such things in other books can stir me.

Fifteen years later I chanced again to take a small boat up the River Chen. We would pass Chest Precipice. In the hope of reinforcing my impression of the place, I asked the skipper to moor there regardless of the hour. It was the seventh of the twelfth month, not long before New Year. The sky was overcast,a snowstorm was brewing, and it was bitterly cold. We dropped anchor at about three in the afternoon. Most of the leaves had withered on the plants and creepers on the precipice, making the mottled rock appear very gaunt. Only three or four red chests remained hanging high on the cliff. Who knows where the rest had gone? We first moored by the cave at the foot of the cliff,already thirty feet above the water because the river was so low in winter. I scrambled up along crevices in the rocks to where the dragon boats were kept; but the old boats had gone, worn out or washed away. I saw just four new boats on a stone rack, with chicken blood and feathers on their prows, showing that they had only been launched this year. Emerging from the cave I noticed five fishing boats at anchor to the left below the cliff, with some old women huddled in the prows mending their fishing nets in the biting wind. Back aboard, I felt the place too cold and dreary,and asked the boatmen to punt us to some turning where I could find some human habitations. There I went ashore to see what the villagers were doing before New Year.

At about four, dusk started to corrode the outlines of hills,rocks and trees and to occupy the corners of the buildings. I sat down along in a small eating house to warm myself by the wood fire. I stared in silence at the brightly burning log blazing merrily by my feet with a faint crackling. People kept coming and going, some saying a few words before leaving, while others sat down on the bench beside me to smoke a pipe. Some came to dry their feet, taking off their wet straw sandals to thrust their feet in the warm ashes. Looking at the faces of each, I felt strangely at home. They were decent, honest villagers who knew how to find happiness. Among them were fishermen, hunters, boatmen and artisans who wove bamboo cables. If I was not mistaken, the man sitting next to me, hands held out to the fire, with a bright thimble on his middle finger, must be the village tailor. At the Dragon Boat Festival every year, they all spent the whole day on the river enjoying the boat race. At other times, especially in the cold winter, they gathered here as if by common consent to while away the time. Every day they watched the boats rowing or sailing up and down, watched the sunset and waterfowl. At the same time, though, they had their share of success and failure,and if involved in a love affair or fight this would end up with celebrations or a vendetta. But generally speaking, their lives merged with Nature, and they placidly fulfilled their destinies like other inanimate objects, their metabolism determined by the rising and setting of the sun and moon and the changing seasons.Moreover in this process, in which men are so insignificant, these villagers seemed wiser than any philosopher.

A spell of listening to their talk disheartened me. These people who were not insensitive to Nature but came to terms with it shouldered no responsibility for history, living in this unknown place. But there were people of a different kind who would not come to terms with Nature, but devised all manner of means to control and defy it. They too lived through the changing seasons and watched the rising and setting of the sun and moon. But these were the people who gradually altered history and made history. A new sun and moon would destroy all that was old. How could we make these villagers dread the future and scrap the peace made with Nature, to summon up the energy to live with the gusto with which they rowed dragon boats? The frenzy of their enjoyment proved that this frenzy could find a new outlet, enabling them to gain ground, to lengthen their lives and spend them more happily.But how to divert their frenzy into a new struggle was a problem demanding careful consideration.

A young cripple limped in swinging a new mast-head lantern,its shade brightly polished. Many people called to him, “That’s a fine lantern, captain. So you’ve made a killing!”

Although the cripple was so young, he had the smug assurance of a veteran soldier and seemed a cut above these villagers. He put the lantern on the table and plumped himself down by the fire, his legs apart, his hands held out to the warmth.“I had foul luck,” he swore. “Cleaned me out.”

“Number Eight on your boat said you’d made a pile. You’re fooling us for fear we ask for a loan.”

“Made a pile, pah! Why should I fool you? Seventy cents an ounce it cost me, but the market price in Taoyuan was only one dollar. What with the cost of the trip, how much could I make on two hundred ounces, I ask you.”

He went on, with curses and snatches of song, to divert everyone with stories about Back River women in Taoyuan. He was holding forth cheerfully when a man came to fetch him.“Captain,” he said, “the pig trotters are done to a turn and the wine’s ready heated.” Then the cripple rubbed his hands, called“So long” and limped off with his lantern.

I learned that this young fellow was the only son of a fisherman. Three years ago the provincial recruiting officer had been struck by him and enlisted him. After three months’ training he went to the border of Jiangxi to fight the Communists. After half a year’s fighting he was the only one unwounded in his squad, and he was ordered to the rear to complement a new squad,of which he was made the leader. He trained for another three months, then went back to the front. This time he was wounded in the leg and carried to the military hospital in the provincial town, where the doctors decided his leg should be amputated.Some villagers from his home had more faith in Chenzhou sorcery than in this foreign method of amputation. So they kidnapped him from the hospital to treat him in the traditional way, applying ointment. And strange to say, in less than three months his leg had healed. By now he knew what fighting was like. He asked for his demobilization papers, and having drawn compensation for his disablement went home, where he was respectfully addressed as a captain and, as a disabled soldier, could trade in opium. This business might rake in big profits but it was illegal, forbidden by the government tax office. As it might cost you your head or might make your fortune, from every point of view it seemed a most admirable business. I asked the sole village tailor the captain’s age and learned that he was only twenty-one.

“That young fellow has good judgement and drive,” the tailor told me. “Even with his game leg he makes the trip to Changde and back every month, eating, drinking and enjoying himself—what luck! If both his legs had been crippled that would have been still better.”

“What do you mean?” asked a boatman.

“A coat must be cut according to the cloth. A poor bachelor with one game leg can still get by. If both his legs were crippled he couldn’t smuggle opium or go to Taoyuan to fool about with women!”

This crack set the company laughing.

Back on the boat I sat alone in the small icy cabin, reckoning that if you subtracted fifteen from twenty-one—the captain’s age—the result was six. I vividly remembered that evening fifteen years before, the reflection of the setting sun, the long narrow boats with their vermilion designs, the gonging and drumming, the excited shouting, and especially the children jumping up and down for joy on the nearby fishing boats. One of them must have been the lame captain whom I had met this evening. How fantastic history is! The old way to cure an ulcer was to apply some slightly toxic medicine to make it rot, then use a different medicine to heal the flesh, so that the patient was cured. In spite of the extremely bad impression the lame captain had made on me, I felt he could act as a toxin to destroy these villagers’ apathy and give them some kind of hope.

Twenty years ago, Garrison Commander Wang Zhengya of Lizhou had an ordinary groom called He Long, who during a mutiny cut off a deserter’s head with a cleaver. Now, twenty years later, two hundred thousand troops of three provinces had had to be mobilized to cope with this groom. Who could have paid any attention to this episode, or imagined how the history of mankind is written!

未经允许不得转载:帕布莉卡 » 沈从文《箱子岩》中英双语 -《湘西散记:汉英对照》

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