冰心《记萨镇冰先生》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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记萨镇冰先生

冰心

萨镇冰先生,永远是我崇拜的对象,从六七岁的时候,我就常常听见父亲说:“中国海军的模范军人,萨镇冰一人而已。”从那时起,我总是注意听受他的一言一行(1),我所耳闻目见的关于他的一切,无不加增我对他的敬慕。时至今日,虽然有许多儿时敬仰的人物,使我灰心,使我失望,而每一想到他,就保留了我对于人类的信心,鼓励了我向上生活的勇气。

底下所记的关于萨先生的嘉言懿行,大半是从父亲谈话中得来的。——事实的年月,我只约略推算,将来对于他的生平材料搜集得比较完全时,我想再详细的替他写一本传记。——在此我感谢我的父亲,他知道往青年人脑里灌注的,应当是哪一种的印象(2)。

海军上将萨镇冰先生,大名是鼎铭,福建闽侯人,一八六〇年(?)生,十二岁入福州马尾船政学校,作第二班学生。十七八岁出洋,入英国格林海军大学(Greenwich College),回国后在天津管轮学堂任正教习。那时父亲是天津水师学堂驾驶班的学生,自此和他相识。

在管轮学堂时候,他的卧室里用的是特制的一张又仄又小的木床,和船上的床铺相似,他的理由是,“军人是不能贪图安逸的,在岸上也应当和在海上一样。”他授课最认真,对于功课好的学生,常以私物奖赏,如时表之类,有的时候,小的贵重点的物品用完了,连自己屋里的藤椅,也搬了去。课外常常教学生用锹铲在操场上挖筑炮台。那时管轮学堂在南边,水师学堂在北边,当中隔个操场。学堂总办吴中翔住在水师学堂。吴总办是文人,不大喜欢学生做“粗事”(3)。所以在学生们踊跃动手,锹铲齐下的时候,萨先生总在操场边替他们巡风,以备吴总办的突来视察。

父亲和萨先生相熟,是从同在“海圻”军舰服务时起(一九〇〇年左右),那时他是海军副统领,兼“海圻”船主,父亲是副船主。

庚子之变,海军正统领叶祖珪,驻海容舰,被困于大沽口。鱼雷艇海龙、海犀、海青、海华四艘,已被联军舰队所掳。那时北洋舰队中的海圻、海琛、海筹、海天等舰,都泊山东庙岛,山东巡抚袁世凯,移书请各舰驶入长江,以避敌锋,于是各船纷纷南下,只海圻坚泊不动。在山东义和团杀害侨民的时候,萨先生请蓬莱一带的教士侨民悉数下船,殷勤招待,乱事过后,方送上岸。那时正有美国大巡洋舰阿利干号(Oregon)在庙岛附近触礁,海圻又驶往救护,美国国会闻讯,立即驰函道谢,阿利干舰长申谢之余,也恳劝萨先生南下,于是海圻才开入江阴。

在他舰南开,海圻孤泊的时候,军心很摇动,许多士兵称病上岸就医,乘间逃走,最后是群情惶遽,聚众请愿,要南下避敌。舱面上万声嘈杂,不可制止,在父亲竭力向大家劝说的时候,萨先生忽然拿把军刀,从舱里走出,喝说着:“有再说要南下的,就杀却!(4)”他素来慈蔼,忽发威怒,大家无不失色惊散,海圻卒以泊定。

萨先生所在的兵舰上,纪律清洁,总是全军之冠(5)。他常常捐款修理公物,常笑对父亲说,“人家做船主,都打金镯子送太太戴,我的金镯子是戴在我的船上。”有一次船上练习打靶,枪炮副不慎,将一尊船边炮的炮膛,划伤一痕。炮值二万余元,萨先生自己捐出月饷,分期赔偿。后来事闻于叶祖珪,又传于直隶总督袁世凯,袁立即寄款代偿,所以如今海圻船上有一尊船边炮是袁世凯购换的。

他在船上,特别是在练船上,如威远、康济、通济等舰常常教学生荡舢舨,泅水,打靶,以此为日课,也以此为娱乐。驾驶时也专用学生,不请船户。叶统领常常皱眉说:“鼎铭太肯冒险了,专爱用些年轻人!”而海上的数十年,他所在的军舰,从来没有失事过。

他又爱才如命,对于官员士兵的体恤爱护,无微不至。上岸公出,有风时舢舨上就使帆,以省兵力。上岸拜会,也不带船上仆役,必要时就向岸上的朋友借用。历任要职数十年,如海军副大臣、海军总长、福建省长等,也不曾用过一个亲戚。亲戚远道来投,必酌给川资,或作买卖的本钱,劝他们回去,说:“你们没有受过海上训练,不能占海军人员的位置(6)。”

萨先生和他的太太陈夫人,伉俪甚笃。有一次他在烟台卧病,陈夫人从威海卫赶来视疾,被他辞了回去,人都说他不近人情。而自他三十六岁,夫人去世后,就将子女寄养岳家,鳏居终身。人问他为何不续弦,他说:“天下若再有一个女子,和我太太一样的我就娶(7)。”

他的个人生活,尤其清简,洋服从来没有上过身,也从未穿过皮棉衣服,平常总是布鞋布袜,呢袍呢马褂。自奉极薄,一生没有做过寿,也不受人的礼。没有一切的嗜好,打牌是千载难逢的事,万不得已坐下时,输赢也都用铜子。

他住屋子,总是租那很破敝的,自己替房东来修理,栽花草,铺双重砖地,开门辟户。屋中陈设也极简单,环堵萧然。他做海军副大臣时,在北平西城曾买了一所小房,南下后就把这所小房送给了一位同学。在福建省长任内,任前清总督衙门,地方极大,他只留下几间办公室,其余的连箭道一并拆掉,通成一条大街,至今人称肃威路,因为他是肃威将军。

“肃威”两字,不足为萨先生的考语,他实是一个极风趣极洒脱的人。生平喜欢小宴会,三五个朋友吃便饭,他最高兴。所以遇有任何团体公请他,他总是零碎的还礼,他说:“客人太多时,主人不容易应酬得周到,不如小宴会,倒能宾主尽欢。”请客时一切肴馔设备,总是自己检点,务要整齐清洁。也喜欢宴请西国朋友。屋中陈设虽然简单,却常常改换式样。自己的一切用物文玩,知道别人喜欢,立刻就送了人,送礼的时候,也是自己登门去送,从来不用仆役。

他写信极其详细周到,月日地址,每信都有,字迹秀楷,也喜作诗,与父亲常有唱和之作。他平常主张海军学校不请汉文教员,理由是文人颓放,不可使青年军人沾染上腐败的习气。他说:“我从十二岁就入军校,可是汉文也彀用的,文字贵有自修,不在乎学作八股式的无性灵的文章。”

我有二十多年没有看见他了,至今记忆中还有几件不能磨灭的事:在我五六岁时候,他到烟台视察,住海军练营,一天下午父亲请他来家吃晚饭,约定是七时,到六时五十五分,父亲便带我到门口去等,说:“萨军门是谨守时刻的,他常是早几分钟到主人门口,到时候才进来,我们不可使他久候。”我们走了出去,果然看见他穿着青呢袍,笑容满面的站在门口。

他又非常的温恭周到,有一次到我们家里来谈公事,里面端出点心来,是母亲自己做的,父亲无意中告诉了他。谈完公事,走到门口,又回来殷勤地说:“请你谢谢你的太太,今天的点心真是好吃。”

父亲的客厅里,字画向来很少,因为他不是鉴赏家,相片也很少,因为他的朋友不多。而南下北上搬了几次家,客厅总挂有萨先生的相片,和他写赠的一副对联,是“穷达尽为身外事,升沉不改故人情”。

听说他老人家现在福州居住,卖字作公益事业。灾区的放赈,总是他的事。在福州下渡,他用海军界的捐款,办了一个模范村,村民爱他如父母,为他建了一亭,逢时过节,都来拜访,腊八节,大家也给他熬些腊八粥(8),送到家去。

此外还有许多从朋友处听来的关于萨先生的事,都是极可珍贵的材料。夜深人倦,恕我不再记述了,横竖我是想写他的传记的,许多事不妨留在后来写。在此我只要说我的感想:前些日子看到行政院“澄清贪污”的命令,使我矍然的觉出今日的贪污官吏之多,擅用公物,虽贤者不免。

我不愿提出我所耳闻目击的无数种种的贪污事实,我只愿高捧出一个清廉高峻的人格,使我们那些与贪污奋斗的朋友们,抬头望时,不生寂寞之感……

在此我敬谨遥祝他老人家长寿安康。

A Profile of Sa Zhenbing

Bing Xin

I’ll always hold Mr.Sa Zhenbing in high esteem.When I was six or seven,I often heard my father say,“Of all personnel in the Chinese Navy,Sa Zhenbing is the only one deserving the title of model officer.”Since then,whatever Mr.Sa says or does has held my respectful attention and added to my admiration for him.Many people whom I used to look up to in my childhood have turned out to be very disappointing.Now the thought of Mr.Sa,however,has enabled me to retain confidence in mankind and forge ahead with renewed courage.

Here I’m going to write about his fine words and deeds as I’ve mostly learned from my father.I’m unable to recall the exact dates.I intend some day to write a biography of him when I’ve collected sufficient material about his life.Now gratitude is due to my father,who has tried to inculcate only the best example into a young mind.

Admiral Sa Zhenbing,whose formal name is Ding Ming,was born in Minhou County,Fujian Province,in 1860(?)[1].He enrolled at Fuzhou Mawei Naval Academy at the age of 12,among its second batch of cadets,and then entered Greenwich College in England at the age of 18.After he came back from abroad,he served as an instructor at the Academy of Marine Engineering in Tianjin.It happened that my father was then receiving training in navigation at Tianjin Naval Academy.That’s how they got acquainted.

While at the Academy of Marine Engineering,Mr.Sa slept on a specially made narrow,small plank bed like in a ship.He said,“We soldiers shouldn’t seek ease and comfort.Our life on sea or shore should be alike.”He worked conscientiously as an instructor.He would often award to good cadets his personal belongings,such as his watch,or even his cane chair when he had nothing valuable to spare.Outside class,he would often teach cadets how to dig out gun emplacements on the drill ground with spades and shovels.The Marine Engineering Academy was situated on the south and the Navel Academy on the north,with the drill ground in-between.President of the Marine Engineering Academy Wu Zhongxiang,who happened to live in the Navel Academy,disapproved of cadets doing rough work,being himself a bookish type.So,when the cadets were in the middle of wielding their spades and shovels,Mr.Sa would stand at the side of the drill ground to keep watch lest President Wu should crop up making his rounds.

Father and Mr.Sa began to know each other better when they both served on the warship Hai Yin around 1900.Mr.Sa was then Deputy Navy Commander and concurrently captain of the ship while father was its second in command.

During the 1900 Boxer War[2],the warship Hai Rong directly under the personal command of Navy Commander Ye Zugui was pinned down at Dagu by the eight-power allied forces,and the torpedo boats the Hai Long,Hai Xi,Hai Qing and Hai Hua were captured by them.Meanwhile,Governor of Shandong Yuan Shikai sent out a letter suggesting that the Hai Yin,Hai Chen,Hai Chou and Hai Tian,ships of the Northern Fleet then anchored at Miao Island,Shandong Province,all move to the Yangtze River so as to steer clear of the formidable foe.Thereupon all the ships retreated southward except the Hai Yin.When Yihetuan[3] threatened the lives of foreign residents in China,Mr.Sa let all foreign missionaries and nationals take shelter in his ship and be well taken care of until the uprising was over.When the US cruiser Oregon struck a reef near Miao Island,the Hai Yin rushed to the scene for its rescue,for which American Congress immediately sent a message of thanks.And the captain of the US ship,while expressing gratitude to Mr.Sa,also advised him to move his ship to the south.Consequently the Hai Yin sailed into Jiangyin near the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The departure of the other ships had shaken the morale of the men on the lone vessel.Many deserted after going ashore under pretext of seeing a doctor.All were in a state of alarm and together petitioned for the ship to seek shelter in the south.There was a horrible hubbub of voices on the deck.Father was making every effort to pacify the men when suddenly Mr.Sa emerged from the cabin sword in hand,shouting sternly,“Stop the racket,or you die!”Shocked by the great anger on the otherwise benevolent face,the ship crew rapidly dispersed,and the Hai Yin remained moored at the same old place until the American captain offered his advice.

Discipline was exemplary on Mr.Sa’s ship.He often donated money from his personal purse for repairs of public property,saying jokingly to father,“Other captains make gold bracelets for their wives,I make them to deck out my ship.”Once,during a shooting practice on the ship,a gun officer through carelessness damaged the bore of a light gun worth more than 20,000 yuan.Mr.Sa gave away his monthly salaries to pay for the damaged gun by instalments.When the news later reached Navy Commander Ye Zugui and Yuan Shikai,then Governor-General of Hebei Province,the latter immediately remitted money to pay for the damaged gun.Hence,one of the light guns on the Hai Yin has since been known as Yuan’s gift.

Often on his ship,especially on a drill ship like the Wei Yuan,Kang Ji or Tong Ji,Mr.Sa would teach the cadets how to row a sampan,swim across the water or practise shooting—not only as daily military training,but also as recreational activities.In navigating,he would let the cadets do the piloting instead of hiring a boatman to do it.That made Navy Commander Ye complain with a frown,“Sa is too reckless,always trusting the young chaps!”Yet,for several decades no mishap has ever befallen the ship under Mr.Sa’s command.

Mr.Sa is very fond of talent and shows deep sympathy and care for officers and men.When he went ashore on business by sampan,he would have the sails unfurled on a windy day so as to save labor on the part of the sailors.He had no orderly with him when making visits on land,but would,when necessary,borrow a servant from a land-based friend of his.He never tried to find a job for any of his relatives during the several decades when he was in a position of power as Naval Vice-Minister,Naval Minister or Governor of Fujian Province.When relatives came from distant places to seek his patronage,he would persuade them to return home after giving them traveling expenses or some money with which to go into business,saying,“To hold down a post in the navy without naval training,you would be a real dog in the manger.”

Mr.Sa and his wife Chen were deeply in love with each other.Once,when Mr.Sa was bedridden in Yantai,his wife came hurriedly from Weihaiwei to visit him,but he immediately sent her away.People,however,looked on it disapprovingly.When he became widowed at the age of 36,he entrusted his children to the care of his in-laws.He has since been wifeless.When people asked him why he didn’t remarry,he said,“Not unless I can find a woman precisely like my late wife.”

He lives a simple life.He never wears a Western suit,nor fur or cotton-padded clothes.Generally,he wears cloth shoes and socks,and a woolen mandarin jacket and long gown.He denies himself every luxury in life.He has never held a birthday party for himself,nor has he accepted any birthday present.He has no hobby except mah-jong which he plays for fun once in a long,long while—and that with copper coins only.

He lives in a very humble house.He did all the repairs for the landlord.He grew flowers and plants,paved the ground with bricks and renovated the gate and doors.His rooms with bare walls are simply furnished.When he was Naval Vice-Minister,he bought a house in the western part of Peiping,which was later given to a former classmate of his after he moved to the south.When he was Governor of Fujian,he worked in the huge compound which used to be the yamen of the former Qing-Dynasty governor-general.He had most of the yamen buildings,together with the surrounding walls,pulled down except a few rooms where he held office.The nearby street has to this day been generally referred to as“Su Wei Street”in honor of Mr.Sa ,the“su wei”(meaning“awe-inspiring”) Admiral.

“Su wei”,however,is not an adequate epithet for him,for he is in fact a very witty and outgoing man.He is fond of giving a dinner for just a small number of friends.After attending a banquet collectively hosted by some people,he will give a return dinner for them in small batches.He said,“When there are too many guests,it’s hard to take very good care of everyone.On the contrary,at a small dinner everybody can thoroughly enjoy themselves.”In preparing a dinner,he will personally check up every dish and see to it that everything is neat and clean.He also likes to entertain foreign friends at a dinner.He likes personally to rearrange from time to time the simple furnishings in his house.If any article of daily use or ornamental object happens to catch the fancy of a guest,he will immediately give it to him,usually by calling at the latter’s house in person instead of by sending a servant.

He writes letters in a beautiful hand,always paying attention to small details,such as dates and addresses.He also likes to write poems,and he and father often write poetry in response to each other.He disapproves of naval academies employing scholars to teach Chinese on the ground that decadent literati may taint young cadets with unhealthy habits.He said,“Though I entered the naval academy at an early age of 12,my Chinese is passable.Language can be mastered through self-study,not by learning to write empty stereotyped essays.”

Though it is more than twenty years since I last saw Mr.Sa,several things have left an indelible impression on my memory.Once,when I was about six,he came to Yantai on an inspection tour and put up at the local naval training camp.One afternoon,at the invitation of father,he was to have dinner at our home at 7 pm.At 6:55 pm,father went with me to the gate to wait for him,saying,“The Admiral is punctual to the minute.He always comes to a host’s gate several minutes earlier and refuses to come in until exactly the appointed time.Now we shouldn’t let him wait too long.”As soon as we stepped out,we saw him already standing at the gate as expected.Dressed in a black woollen gown,he was all smiles.

He was very courteous and considerate.Once,when he was in our home to discuss official business with father,he was treated to some pastries,which,as father told him inadvertently,had been prepared by mother.Then as he was about to leave us at the gate,he suddenly turned back to say to father thoughtfully,“Thanks a lot to your wife for the real delicious pastries.”

Father’s drawing room has always been decorated with few pieces of calligraphy and paintings because he himself is not a connoisseur of art.The same with photos because he has not too many friends.But,although he has moved several times,from north to south or vice versa,his drawing room is always hung with Mr.Sa’s portrait and written couplet given to him as a gift,which reads as follows:

Rich or poor,all is vanity,

Ups and downs,old friends remain true.

I hear that he now lives in Fuzhou,selling the calligraphy he writes to subsidize public welfare undertakings and providing relief to people in disaster areas.In Xiadu,Fuzhou,a model village has been set up with donations he collected from the naval circles.The villagers love him deeply.They have erected a pavilion to pay tribute to him.They visit him on New Year’s Day and other festivals.On laba Festival[4],they call on him to present him with laba porridge—a kind of rice porridge they make,as a tradition,with nuts and dried fruit.

Numerous other things I’ve heard about him will make valuable material too.But pardon me for leaving off now,for it is deep night and I’m tired.Anyway,I might as well put the rest in the biography I’m going to write about him in the future.Now I would like to speak my mind about the present situation in our country.Some time ago,an order issued by the Executive Yuan[5] to“stamp out corruption”shocked me to realize how the country is being plagued by countless corrupt officials and how they have even been joined by some otherwise honest officials in seizing public property at will.

Now,rather than enumerating the many cases of corruption I’ve seen or heard of,I hold aloft the noble image of an honest and upright man so that our friends now fighting corruption may look up at it and feel they are not isolated…

Let me from afar wish the venerable old man to enjoy good health and longevity.

[1] Sa Zhenbing,of Mogolian origin,was born in 1858 into an impoverished family that had been living in Fuzhou,Fujian Province for generations.He died in April 1952 in his hometown Fuzhou.

[2] When an anti-imperialist armed struggle was launched by north China peasants and handicraftsmen at the end of the 19th century,known in the West as the Boxer Rebellion,Britain,the United States,Germany,France,tsarist Russia,Japan,Italy and Austria jointly sent aggressive troops to China in 1900,known as the eight-power allied forces,to brutally suppress the uprising and occupy Beijing and Tianjin.

[3] The anti-imperialist organization formed by peasants and handicraftsmen in north China at the end of the 19th century.

[4] The eighth day of the twelfth lunar month (on which porridge made with cereals,beans,nuts and dried fruit is served).

[5] The highest administrative organ of the Kuomintang government (before 1949).

《记萨镇冰先生》是冰心(1900—1999)写于1936年3月23日的一篇称颂旧海军耆宿萨镇冰(1858—1952)的散文。萨与冰心的父亲是同乡、同僚,清廉正直,爱国反蒋,深受梓里人民爱戴敬仰。作者以真挚感情介绍这位杰出老前辈的方方面面,文章率真坦陈,写得无拘无束,洋洋洒洒。此文英译时略作删节。

注释

(1)“从那时起,我总是注意听受他的一言一行”译为Since then,whatever Mr.Sa says or does has held my respectful attention,加用respectful一词,表达“恭敬”的内涵,比译…has held much of my attention更为确切。

(2)“他知道往青年人脑里灌注的,应当是哪一种的印象”未逐字直译,而作较灵活处理:…my father who has tried to inculcate the best example into a young mind (父亲总用最好的榜样教育年幼的我),其中to inculcate的意思是“谆谆教诲”、“灌输”等。

(3)“吴总办是个文人,不大喜欢学生做‘粗事’”译为President of the Marine Engineering Academy Wu Zhongxiang…disapproved of cadets doing rough work,being himself a bookish (或scholarly) type,其中type作“具有某种特点的人”解,因此bookish (scholarly) type的意思就是“书生气十足的人”、“斯斯文文的人”。

(4)“‘有再说要南下的,就杀却!’”译为“Stop the racket,or you die!”或“Any more racket,and you die!”未逐字直译“有再说要南下的”,而用Stop the racket (吵闹)表达,因口头下达命令,用词应尽量简短。又you die比you’ll die可取,因前者有“必杀无疑”之意。

(5)“萨先生所在的兵舰上,纪律清洁,总是全军之冠”译为Discipline was exemplary on Mr.Sa’s ship,用墨不多,却能概括原意,其中exemplary作“堪称楷模”解。

(6)“‘你们没有受过海上训练,不能占海军人员的位置’”意即“‘没有受过海上训练,勉强担任海军职务,就会占着茅坑不拉屎’”,故译To hold down a post in the navy without naval training,you would be a real dog in the manger,也可译作Holding a post in the navy without naval training means usurping the position of a naval officer or man without ability to do your duties。

(7)“‘天下若再有一个女子,和我太太一样的我就娶’”译为Not unless I can find a woman precisely like my late wife,其中Not unless…是I won’t remarry unless …之略。又“我太太”指“已故妻子”,故译my late wife。

(8)“腊八粥”译为laba porridge—a kind of rice porridge they make,as a tradition,with nuts and dried fruit,其中laba porridge后面的释义词是译文中的增益成分。

未经允许不得转载:帕布莉卡 » 冰心《记萨镇冰先生》 -经典散文英译-中英双语赏析

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