在电影刊物上看见一个影片的名字：《我若为王》 〔1〕 。从这影片的名字，我想到和影片毫无关系的另外的事 〔2〕 。我想，自己如果作了王，这世界会成为一种怎样的光景呢？这自然是一种完全可笑的幻想，我根本不想作王 〔3〕 ，也根本看不起王，王是什么东西呢？难道我脑中还有如此封建的残物么？而且真想作王的人，他将用他的手去打天下，决不会放在口里说的。但是假定又假定，我若为王，这世界会成为一种怎样的光景？
我若为王，我的儿子，假如我有儿子，就是太子或王子了。我并不以为我的儿子会是一无所知，一无所能的白痴 〔4〕 ，但纵然是一无所知一无所能的白痴，也仍旧是太子或王子。一个太子或王子是如何地尊贵呀，会如何地被人们像捧天上的星星一样地捧来捧去呀。假如我能想象，倒是件不是没有趣味的事。
我若为王，我的女儿就是公主，我的亲眷都是皇亲国戚。无论他们怎样丑陋，怎样顽劣，怎样…… 〔5〕 也会被人们像捧天上的星星一样地捧来捧去，因为她们是贵人。
我若为王，我的姓名就会改作：“万岁”，我的每一句话都成为：“圣旨”。我的意欲，我的贪念，乃至每一个幻想，都可竭尽全体臣民的力量去实现，即使是无法实现的。我将没有任何过失，因为没有人敢说它是过失；我将没有任何罪行，因为没有人敢说它是罪行。没有人敢呵斥我，指摘我，除非把我从王位上赶下来。但是赶下来，就是我不为王了。我将看见所有的人们在我面前低头，鞠躬，匍匐 〔6〕 ，连同我的尊长，我的师友，和从前曾在我面前昂头阔步耀武扬威的人们。我将看不见一个人的脸，所看见的只是他们的头顶或帽盔。或者所能够看见的脸都是谄媚的，乞求的，快乐的时候不敢笑，不快乐的时候不敢不笑，悲戚的时候不敢哭，不悲戚的时候不敢不哭的脸。我将听不见人们的真正的声音，所能听见的都是低微的，柔婉的，畏葸 〔7〕 和娇痴的，唱小旦的声音：“万岁，万岁！万万岁！”这是他们的全部语言。“有道明君！伟大的主上啊！”这就是那语言的全部内容。没有在我之上的人了，没有和我同等的人了，我甚至会感到单调，寂寞和孤独。
我是民国国民，民国国民的思想和生活习惯使我深深地憎恶一切奴才或奴才相 〔8〕 ，连同敬畏的尊长和师友们。请科学家们不要见笑，我以为世界之所以还有待于改进者 〔9〕 ，全因为有这些奴才的缘故。生活在奴才们中间，作奴才们的首领，我将引为生平的最大耻辱，最大的悲哀。我将变成一个暴君，或者反而是明君：我将把我的臣民一齐杀死，连同尊长和师友，不准一个奴种留在人间。我将没有一个臣民，我将不再是奴才们的君主。
我若为王，将终于不能为王 〔10〕 ，却也真地为古今中外最大的王了。“万岁，万岁，万万岁！”我将和全世界的真的人们一同三呼。
If I Were King
◎ Nie Gannu
Recently in a movie magazine I came across the title of a film: If I Were King. It has put me in mind of something entirely foreign to the film in question. I wonder what would become of this world if I myself were king. This is of course a ridiculous fancy, for being a king is the last thing I aspire to and also a thing I utterly despise. What the hell is a king? How can I still be so feudalistic in my mind? Moreover, if one is really bent on being a king, he will try to carry out his design by deeds instead of by words. But, to put it hypothetically, suppose I were king, what would this world look like?
If I were king, my wife would of course be queen. With all her moral excellence, of which I make no doubt, she would be more than qualified for being a queen. But even if she had no virtue to speak of, or were just a whore, she would be queen all the same. Imagine how noble and dignified a queen would be and how people would keep lauding her to the skies like mad! It is indeed great fun for me to visualize all of this.
If I were king, my son, if any, would be crown prince or prince. I don’t think my son will be ignorant or worthless in every way like an idiot. But, even if that were not the case, he would still be crown prince or prince. Imagine how noble and dignified a crown prince or prince would be and how people would keep lauding him to the skies like mad! It is indeed great fun for me to visualize all of this.
If I were king, my daughters would be princesses, and my relatives by marriage would all become members of the royal family. No matter how ugly or perverse or whatnot they were, people would keep lauding them to the skies like mad just the same because they were dignitaries.
If I were king, I would be addressed as “Your Majesty” and every word of mine would become a “royal edict”. All my subjects would leave no stone unturned to carry out every will, every avaricious desire and even every whim of mine, even though they were all beyond the possible. I would do no wrong simply because no one dared to call it a wrong. I would commit no crime simply because no one dared to call it a crime. No one would dare to berate or find fault with me unless I was removed from the throne, which meant that I was no longer the king. I would see all people hang their heads, bow low or prostrate themselves at my feet, including my respected elders, teachers, friends and even those who had used to swagger arrogantly in front of me. I could see none of their faces; all I could see were the tops of their heads or the hats or helmets on their heads. The only faces I could see would be ingratiating or supplicating — faces that dared not smile to express joy; faces that dared not refrain from a forced smile when there was no joy at all to justify a smile; faces that dared not cry to express sorrow; faces that dared not refrain from a feigned cry when there was no sorrow to justify a cry. I could hear no true voices of my people. All I could hear would be the feeble, soft, timid and affected voice, like that of a female Peking opera singer, chanting, “Long live the King!” That would be their language in to. “Great is the King, our enlightened lord!” That would be the sole content of their language. There would be no one above me or on an equal footing with me. I would even feel bored, lonely and isolated.
Why would people behave like that? Why would they flatter my wife, my children and my relatives? Because I was king, their master. It would suddenly dawn on me that living among these flunkeys, including my esteemed elders, teachers and friends, I myself, too, was nothing but a mere head flunkey.
I am the citizen of the Republic. Being accustomed to the mode of thinking and living of a republican citizen, I would deeply abhor all servility and flunkeys, including my esteemed elders, teachers and friends. Dear scientists, please don’t laugh at me. Methinks the world is very much in need of reform simply because of the presence of these flunkeys. I would regard it as the deepest disgrace and sorrow of my life to live among the flunkeys and become their chief. I would rather become a tyrant or an enlightened king so that I could kill off all my subjects, among them my respected elders, teachers and friends, and have the flunkey species exterminated once for all. Then, with all my subjects gone, I would no longer be the king of flunkeys.
If I were king and ultimately ended up becoming no king at all, I would indeed be the greatest king that had ever breathed since time immemorial. I would join true people all the world over in giving three cheers for myself.
〔1〕 “我若为王”译为If I Were King，其中King的前面省略了冠词a。在指职位、头衔、等级等的名词前面大多不用冠词a或an。
〔2〕 “和影片毫无关系的另外的事”译为something entirely foreign to the film in question，其中foreign to为成语，作having no relation to或unconnected with解。又，in question是添加成分，作being talked about（正被谈论的）解。
〔3〕 “我根本不想作王”译为being a king is the last thing I aspire to，其中last一词作least likely或most unlikely（最不可能的）解。
〔4〕 “一无所知，一无所能的白痴”译为ignorant or worthless in every way like an idiot，其中in every way作“完全”或“彻头彻尾”解。
〔5〕 “无论他们怎样丑陋，怎样顽劣，怎样……”中的最后一个“怎样……”意即“诸如此类的事”或“等等”，现译为or whatnot。英语whatnot作other such things解，为what may I not say？的省略。
〔9〕 “我以为世界之所以还有待于改进者”译为Methinks the world is very much in need of reform，其中Methinks等于I think或It seems to me，为无人称动词，本为古体词，现常作诙谐打趣用语。
〔10〕 “我若为王，将终于不能为王”译为If I were king and ultimately ended up becoming no king at all，其中ended up是成语，作“告终”解。例如：He never dreamed that he would end up owning such a big fortune。