高兹沃斯·洛斯·狄金森《圣山》 -经典文学英译-中英双语赏析

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A SACRED MOUNTAIN

By G. Lowes Dickinson

A SACRED MOUNTAIN, from Appearances: Being Notes of Travel, by G. Lowes Dickinson, published by G. Allen.

Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson (1862-1932), English philosopher who spent a lifetime as fellow at King’s College, Cambridge University. Dickinson rose to international fame with his Letters from a Chinese Offcial: Being an Eastern View of Western Civilization(1901). He called himself a socialist in that he was moved by a profound dislike of the existing social disorder, but he looks rather to the past than to the future, to things of the spirit rather than to continued material progress. The views of such a man upon the Orient was certain to be sympathetic and penetrating; sent thither by the trustees of the Albert Kahn Traveling Fellowships, he made a striking brief report upon the spiritual and cultural estates of India, China, and Japan in An Essay on the Civilizations of India, China, and Japan.

It was midnight when the train set us down at Taianfu. The moon was full. We passed across fields, through deserted alleys where sleepers lay naked on the ground, under a great gate in a great wall, by halls and pavilions, by shimmering, tree-shadowed spaces, up and down steps, and into a court where cypresses grew. We set up our beds in a veranda, and woke to see leaves against the morning sky. We explored the vast temple and its monuments—iron vessels of the T‘ang age, a great tablet of the Sungs, trees said to date from before the Christian era, stones inscribed with drawings of these by the Emperor Chien Lung, hall after hall, court after court, ruinous, overgrown, and the great crumbling walls and gates and towers. Then in the afternoon we began the ascent of Tai Shan, the most sacred mountain in China, the most frequented, perhaps, in the world. There, according to tradition, legendary emperors worshiped God. Confucius climbed it six centuries before Christ, and sighed, we are told, to find his native state so small. The great Chin Shih Huang was there in the third century B. C. Chien Lung in the eighteenth century covered it with inscriptions. And millions of humble pilgrims for thirty centuries at least have toiled up the steep and narrow way. Steep it is, for it makes no detours, but follows straight up the bed of a stream, and the greater part of the five thousand feet is ascended by stone steps. A great ladder of eighteen flights climbs the last ravine, and to see it from below, sinuously mounting the precipitous face to the great arch that leads on to the summit, is enough to daunt the most ardent walker. We at least were glad to be chaired some part of the way. A wonderful way! On the lower slopes it passes from portal to portal, from temple to temple. Meadows shaded with aspen and willow border the stream as it falls from green pool to green pool. Higher up are scattered pines. Else the rocks are bare—bare, but very beautiful, with that significance of form which I have found everywhere in the mountains of China.

To such beauty the Chinese are peculiarly sensitve. All the way up, the rocks are carved with inscriptions recording the charm and the sanctity of the place. Some of them were written by emperors; many, especially, by Chien Lung, the great patron of art in the eighteenth century. They are models, one is told, of calligraphy as well as of literary composition. Indeed, according to Chinese standards, they could not be the one without the other. The very names of the favorite spots are poems in themselves. One is “the pavilion of the phœnixes”; another “the fountain of the white cranes.” A rock is called “the tower of the quickening spirit”; the gate on the summit is “the portal of the clouds.” More prosaic, but not less charming, is an inscription on a rock in the plain, “the place of the three smiles,” because there some mandarins, meeting to drink and converse, told three peculiarly funny stories. Is not that delightful? It seems so to me. And so peculiarly Chinese!

It was dark before we reached the summit. We put up in the temple that crowns it, dedicated to Yü Huang, the “Jade Emperor” of the Taoists; and his image and those of his attendant deities watched our slumbers. But we did not sleep till we had seen the moon rise, a great orange disk, straight from the plain, and swiftly mount till she made the river, five thousand feet below, a silver streak in the dim gray levels.

Next morning, at sunrise, we saw that, north and east, range after range of lower hills stretched to the horizon, while south lay the plain, with half a hundred streams gleaming down to the river from the valleys. Full in view was the hill where, more than a thousand years ago, the great T‘ang poet Li Tai-p‘o retired with five companions to drink and make verses. They are still known to tradition as the “six idlers of the bamboo grove”; and the morning sun, I half thought, still shines upon their symposium. We spent the day on the mountain; and as the hours passed by, more and more it showed itself to be a sacred place. Sacred to what god? No question is harder to answer of any sacred place, for there are as many ideas of the god as there are worshipers. There are temples here to various gods: to the mountain himself; to the Lady of the mountain, Pi Hsia-yüen, who is at once the Venus of Lucretius—“goddess of procreation, gold as the clouds, blue as the sky,” one inscription calls her—and the kindly mother who gives children to women and heals the little ones of their ailments; to the Great Bear; to the Green Emperor, who clothes the trees with leaves; to the Cloud-compeller; to many others. And in all this, is there no room for God? It is a poor imagination that would think so. When men worship the mountain, do they worship a rock, or the spirit of the place, or the spirit that has no place? It is the latter, we may be sure, that some men adored, standing at sunrise on this spot. And the Jade Emperor—is he a mere idol? In the temple where we slept were three inscriptions set up by the Emperor Chien Lung. They run as follows:

 

“Without labor, O Lord, Thou bringest forth the greatest things.”

“Thou leadest Thy company of spirits to guard the whole world.”

“In the company of Thy spirits Thou art wise as a mighty Lord to achieve great works.”

 

These might be sentences from the Psalms; they are as religious as anything Hebraic. And if it be retorted that the mass of the worshipers on Tai Shan are superstitious, so are, and always have been, the mass of worshipers anywhere. Those who rise to religion in any country are few. India, I suspect, is the great exception. But I do not know that they are fewer in China than elsewhere. For that form of religion, indeed, which consists in the worship of natural beauty and what lies behind it—for the religion of a Wordsworth—they seem to be preëminently gifted. The cult of this mountain, and of the many others like it in China, the choice of sites for temples and monasteries, the inscriptions, the little pavilions set up where the view is loveliest—all go to prove this. In England we have lovelier hills, perhaps, than any in China. But where is our sacred mountain? Where, in all the country, the charming mythology which once in Greece and Italy, as now in China, was the outward expression of the love of nature?

“Great God, I’d rather be

A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, Standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn.”

That passionate cry of a poet born into a naked world would never have been wrung from him had he been born in China.

And that leads me to one closing reflection. When lovers of China—“pro-Chinese,” as they are contemptuously called in the East—assert that China is more civilized than the modern West, even the candid Westerner, who is imperfectly acquainted with the facts, is apt to suspect insincere paradox. Perhaps these few notes on Tai Shan may help to make the matter clearer. A people that can so consecrate a place of natural beauty is a people of fine feeling for the essential values of life. That they should also be dirty, disorganized, corrupt, incompetent, even if it were true—and it is far from being true in any unqualified sense—would be irrelevant to this issue. On a foundation of inadequate material prosperity they reared, centuries ago, the superstructure of a great culture. The West, in rebuilding its foundations, has gone far to destroy the superstructure. Western civilization, wherever it penetrates, brings with it water-taps, sewers, and police;but it brings also an ugliness, an insincerity, a vulgarity never before known to history, unless it be under the Roman Empire. It is terrible to see in China the first wave of this Western flood flinging along the coasts and rivers and railway lines its scrofulous foam of advertisements, of corrugated iron roofs, of vulgar, meaningless architectural form. In China, as in all old civilizations I have seen, all the building harmonizes with and adorns nature. In the West everything now built is a blot. Many men, I know, sincerely think that this destruction of beauty is a small matter, and that only decadent æsthetes would pay any attention to it in a world so much in need of sewers and hospitals. I believe this view to be profoundly mistaken. The ugliness of the West is a symptom of disease of the soul. It implies that the end has been lost sight of in the means. In China the opposite is the case. The end is clear, though the means be inadequate. Consider what the Chinese have done to Tai Shan, and what the West will shortly do, once the stream of Western tourists begins to flow strongly. Where the Chinese have constructed a winding stairway of stone, beautiful from all points of view, Europeans or Americans will run up a funicular railway, a staring scar that will never heal. Where the Chinese have written poems in exquisite calligraphy, they will cover the rocks with advertisements. Where the Chinese have built a series of temples, each so designed and placed so as to be a new beauty in the landscape, they will run up restaurants and hotels like so many scabs on the face of nature. I say with confidence that they will, because they have done it wherever there is any chance of a paying investment. Well, the Chinese need, I agree, our science, our organization, our medicine. But is it affectation to think they may have to pay too high a price for it, and to suggest that in acquiring our material advantages they may lose what we have gone near to lose, that fine and sensitive culture which is one of the forms of spiritual life? The West talks of civilizing China. Would that China could civilize the West!

Notes

Taianfu, 泰安府,山东省,a city in Shantung Province, at the foot of Tai Shan(泰山), the sacred mountain.

alleys, very narrow streets.

shimmering, trembling, quivering, or faint, diffused light.

court, or courtyard, a space inclosed by walls or buildings; quadrangle.

cypresses, 柏树,straight, coniferous tree with shuttle-shaped mass of dark foliage. In the West, cypresses are usually associated with graves;in our country they grow in temples or around graves.

veranda, open portico or colonnade along the side of a house with roof supported on pillars.

T‘ang age, 唐朝,the golden age of Chinese literature and art, under the rule of the T‘ang dynasty (618-907).

the Sungs, 宋朝,a later dynasty (960-1126), note for its philosophers.

before the Christian era, before the birth of Jesus Christ; any time before Christ, B.C.

Chien Lung, 乾隆(1736-1796), perhaps the most illustrious of the emperors of the Ching dynasty (清朝,1644-1911). Chien Lung was a great patron of the arts; he himself wrote a vigorous calligraphy.

legendary emperors, emperors who are famous or exist only in legends.

his native state, the province in which he was born, Shantung.

Chin Shih Huang, 秦始皇,the founder of the Chin dynasty (246-206 B.C.).

pilgrims, persons who journey to sacred places as an act of devotion.

detours, roundabout ways; roads that depart from and then rejoin the direct route.

bed of a stream, bottom of a stream; the ground over which a stream flows.

ravine, deep, narrow gorge; deep, narrow opening between hills; a depression in the ground worn out by running water, larger than a gully and smaller than a valley.

sinuously mounting, going upward in winding curves.

precipitous face, cliff or rock-face that is or looks so steep that one could fall headlong from top to bottom.

daunt, frighten into giving up his purpose.

to be chaired, to be carried in sedan chairs.

aspen, 摇白杨树,trees of the poplar family with tremulous leaves.

border, be a border or edge to.

significance of form, expressiveness of form; form that is very significant or expressive.

sanctity, sacredness or saintliness.

calligraphy, beautiful handwriting.

poems, metrical or beautiful sounding in themselves.

quickening spirit, spirit that animates or inspires.

prosaic, suitable for prose, which is commonplace or dull or unromantic as compared to poetry, so it is commonly assumed.

mandarins, formerly, Chinese offcials.

converse, chat or talk.

crowns, sits on the top of the mountain, just as a crown is on the head of the king.

Taoists, 道教徒,followers of one of the chief religious sects of our country.

disk, circular object.

Li Tai-p‘o, 李太白(701-762), famous poet of the T‘ang dynasty.

symposium, ancient Greek drinking party, now more commonly used to denote a philosophical or other friendly discussion.

Pi Hsia-yüen, 碧霞云.

the Great Bear, 北斗,Ursa Major, the Dipper, a northern constellation of stars seven in number, two of which point to the Pole Star.

Psalms, a book of the Old Testament of the Bible, often called the Psalms of David, because they are the songs chanted by King David in praise of his God.

Hebraic is the adjective of the noun Hebrew, Jew. Hebraic here refers to the religion of the Jewish people, to the Holy Bible of the Christians, which is a history of the aspirations of the Jewish people. King David, author of the Psalms, Jesus, all the people of the Bible are Hebrews.

retorted, said by way of answer.

Wordsworth, William (1770-1850), English romantic poet, worshiper of Nature.

cult, study and pursuit of worship.

mythology, body of myths or primitive tales imaginatively describing or accounting for natural phenomena, especially by personification.

suckled,fed from the breast or udder. A pagan is a person who does not acknowledge Jehovah, Christ, nor Allah. The poet says that he would much rather be a pagan brought up in a religious creed that is out of fashion, that is out of date, . . . .

forlorn, forsaken; in pitiful condition.

“pro-Chinese,” a foreigner who favors or sides with the Chinese.

candid, unprejudiced; free from dissimulation or reserve.

insincere paradox. A paradox is a statement that is contrary to the generally accepted opinion, that conflicts with preconceived notions of the reasonable or possible. When Mr. Dickinson makes the statement that China is more civilized than the modern West, he states an opinion that seems to be contrary to the generally accepted opinion that China is not as civilized as the modern West. People suspect that he is not sincere when he makes such a statement.

unqualified. You qualify statement by putting limitations to or modifying it. An unqualified sense is a meaning that has not had this limitation or modification put on.

irrelevant, not concerned with the matter in hand; not pertinent to.

superstructure, what rests on a foundation; a building in relation to its foundations.

water-taps, the tubular plug with internal valve by which the flow of water from a pipe can be allowed or checked.

sewers, covered underground drains for carrying off the refuse of houses or towns.

the Roman Empire, established by Augustus (27 B.C.), divided by Theodosius (A.D. 395) into western and eastern. Western down till 1806.

scrofulous,the adjective of the noun scrofula, a constitutional disease with glandular swellings.

corrugated iron roofs, iron sheetings bent into wavy ridges, used to cover the roofs of buildings, especially buildings for manufacturing and other industrial purposes.

blot, blemish; something that spoils or mars the beauty and perfection.

decadent æsthetes, lovers or appreciators of beauty who cling to theories that are declining or dying.

Western tourists, holiday travelers from the West; Occidental travelers.

funicular railway, railway worked by cable and stationary engine.

advertisement, billboards with pictures and writing painted or printed on, in glaring colors, to advertise a particular kind of goods.

paying investment, a business investment that pays profits in return for the capital that you have put into the project.

affectation, artificial or studied display of modesty.

Questions

  1. How was the way wonderful?
  2. How do the Chinese show that they are peculiarly sensitive to such beauty?
  3. When men worship the mountain, what is it that they worship?
  4. For what sort of religion do the Chinese seem to be pre-eminently gifted ?
  5. On what did we Chinese rear the superstructure of a great culture? What does Western civilization bring?
  6. Is the destruction of beauty a small matter? What have we Chinese done to Tai Shan? What would the West do to Tai Shan, given the inducement?
  7. Why does the author say, “Would that China could civilize the West!”

参考译文

【作品简介】

《圣山》一文选自高兹沃斯·洛斯·狄金森所著《面面观:旅途琐记》,阿伦出版公司出版。

【作者简介】

高兹沃斯·洛斯·狄金森(1862—1932),英国著名哲学家,他终身就职于剑桥大学国王学院,并因出版《来自中国官员的信札:东方人眼中的西方文明》(1901)而享有国际声誉。狄金森称自己是社会主义者,他的转变是出于对当时混乱社会秩序的极度不满。但他关注的是过去,而不是未来,是精神世界,而不是持续的物质进步。此人对于东方的观点定是富有同情且充满洞见的。狄金森由阿尔伯特·卡尔旅行奖学金的委托人派到中国,并在《论印度、中国、日本的文明》一文中对三个国家精神及文化财富做了简短而出色的报告。

圣山

火车到达泰安府时已是子夜时分,其时月满如盘,我们越过田野,穿过几条裸躺着一些睡客的旧巷子,之后跨进了一座嵌在高墙上的大门。途经之处,厅堂、凉亭三三两两,又路过几处空地,那里月光如泄、树影斑驳。上下了一段台阶后,我们终于到达了一座柏树成群的庭院。当夜,我们便在一条游廊里休憩,翌日清晨一睁眼,看到头顶的树叶似乎与天相接。我们先行游览了巍峨的寺庙,参观遗迹——这里有唐代的铁器,宋朝的石碑,还有据说在公元前就生长于此的古木,以及刻满乾隆御笔的石碑和一间间破败不堪的厅堂。另外,一座座院落杂草丛生,偶有残垣断壁、大门和高塔。下午,我们便开始登泰山,此山是中国众山之首,也大抵是世界上最常为游人所造访的名山。相传泰山是上古帝王祭天的地方。听说孔夫子于公元前六世纪就曾登顶并感叹“登泰山而小天下”。伟大的秦始皇也于公元前三世纪至此,而乾隆皇帝则于十八世纪在这里题词铭文。三千年来,数百万谦卑的香客在这条陡峭而狭窄的山路上艰难跋涉。山路陡峭因其从无迂绕,而是沿一条小河的河床径直而上,通过石阶沿着山体一路爬上,约有五千英尺高。泰山十八盘有双崖夹道,犹如天门云梯,自下向上望去,蜿蜒耸立,险峻丛生,直到与天穹相接,这足以让任何一个狂热的旅者望而却步。我们比较有幸,可以在部分路段乘轿子通过。旅程异常精彩,路过那些低缓的山坡,我们途经了一道道大门和一座座庙宇。杨树叶的影子点缀着草地,成荫的柳树环绕着小溪,溪水一路上好像从一片碧绿的水塘落入了另一片碧绿的水塘。地势较高处散种着几棵松树。此外还有光秃秃的岩石,虽然光秃,却也极美,充满了奇形意趣,这与我在中国其他地区的山中所见到的一样。

中国人更宜于欣赏此类美景。沿山路而上,岩石上镌刻着文字,它们记载的是泰山的魅力与神圣。这其中有些出自帝王之手,十八世纪伟大的艺术赞助人乾隆皇帝便题字不少。到此的游人被告知,那些文字既是书法艺术之经典,又是文学创作之范例。实际上,据中国标准来看,书法艺术与文学创作彼此依存,浑然一体。最受游客青睐的景点,其名字本身就充满诗意。有亭曰“凤凰亭”、有泉称“白鹤泉”、有塔名“灵岩塔”、有山顶之门叫作“云门”。另有更为朴实却魅力不减的一处景致是块刻着“三笑处”的石头,因为有官员聚集于此饮酒时畅谈了三个极其有趣的故事而得名。很有意思吧?的确,中国人颇具谐趣。

登峰之时天已暮黑,于是我们就在山顶的寺庙里留宿。这庙是为道教神祇玉皇大帝而建,因此,我们就在玉帝和他身边诸位神明的塑像注视下休息,但直到月亮升起之时我们方才入睡。那是一轮橙色的圆月,从地平线上升起,轻盈地爬上天空,月光从五千英尺的山顶一泄如注,将山底流淌的河流映成了一条银色的带子。

翌日清晨日出之时,只见北边和东边山群叠嶂,绵延不绝,一直伸向地平线;而南边则地势平坦,五十多条小溪闪着光芒从山谷奔向河流。放眼望去,百山坐落,千峰林立。一千多年前,唐代著名诗人李白与五位友人一同退隐于此,饮酒作诗,史称“竹溪六逸”。我有时在想,他们相聚之时大概也沐浴在这晨光之中吧。我们在山上停留了一整日。随着时间的消逝,这里愈发显现出“神圣之地”的端倪。但何以为“神”呢?在这“神圣之地”,此类问题总是难以回答,因为有多少敬神者,就有多少关于神的理解。泰山的寺庙为不同的“神”而建,有的为泰山本身而建,有的为泰山娘娘——碧霞元君而建。泰山娘娘就像卢克莱修为之献上颂词的维纳斯女神——一处碑文称她泽被万物,霞光万丈,宛如青天——是一位慈祥的母亲,为女人送子添女,为孩子祛除病痛。有的为北斗星君而建;有的建给青帝,因为他为树木披上绿装。也有建给追云者的,或建给其他神仙。在这诸庙宇中,难道没有天神之位吗?如果真的这样认为,就太缺乏想象力了。当人们膜拜泰山时,他们敬拜的是山上的岩石,还是山之灵魂,或是那无实地寄放的神明?我们相信,日出中站立于此进行敬拜之人,他们敬拜的是后者。那么玉皇大帝只是一座神像吗?在我们留宿的庙宇中,有三行乾隆皇帝的题词:

 

佐天生万物,护国福烝民,造万世福祉。

 

这些诗行好似《诗篇》的文字一样,它们的宗教色彩不亚于任何一段希伯来文字。倘若众人在泰山的拜神被以“迷信”之名反对,那么从古至今任何地方的拜神都应以迷信论之。世上任何国家的宗教信徒都是少数人,我想印度则是个明显的例外。但我无法理解中国的宗教信徒为何少于世上任何一国。中国人对华兹华斯式的宗教有着特别的天赋,那种宗教崇尚的是自然之美和美之后所隐藏之物。人们对泰山和中国其他名山的仰慕、寺院和庙宇的选址、精美的石刻以及建立于秀丽景色中的各种亭台楼阁都印证了这种天赋。在英格兰,我们的山之秀美堪比中国的任何一座,但我们的“圣山”位居何处?在古希腊、意大利、现今的中国等所有国度都有迷人的神话传说,那么人类对自然之爱的外在表现又在何处寻觅呢?

 

伟大的神啊,

我宁愿是个,

沉浸于旧教规的异教徒,

站在这令人神怡的草原,

看着那缓解我内心之苦的世界。

 

若是生在中国,这位出生于赤裸世界的诗人绝不会发出那样动情的呐喊。

以上游历便引发了我这最后的反思。当那些热爱中国的人——如今在东方被蔑称为亲华派——宣称中国比现代西方更加文明时,坦率却对真相一知半解的西方人都对这个有失坦诚的谬论提出质疑。然而,这些关于泰山的文字或许有助于澄清这一事实。一个将自然之美视为神圣的民族一定是一个能够很好感知生活核心价值的民族,尽管这个民族可能会是肮脏、混乱、腐败、无能的——即使果真如此也无关宏旨,况且从广义上讲这远非实情。数百年前,他们在尚未高度富足的物质基础上建立了伟大的文化上层建筑。西方人则在重建物质文明的同时毁坏了上层建筑。西方文明所渗透的地方不仅带来了象征着现代文明的水龙头、下水管和警察,还带来了由罗马帝国首开先河的丑陋、虚伪和庸俗。中国的第一次“西潮”顺着铁路、河流和海岸将病态的广告、波纹状的铁屋顶、庸俗而毫无意义的建筑形式卷入中国,此景令人痛惜。如同在许多古老文明中一样,我在中国看到的建筑,都与自然和谐统一,并为自然之景增添色彩。如今,西方所建的一切都是败笔。我知道许多人都真心认为这种对美的破坏无所谓,他们以为在当下对下水道和医院需求量如此之大的世界,只有颓废的艺术家才会着眼于美。我认为此言甚为荒谬。西方世界之丑陋是灵魂痼疾之表征。这暗示着西方人行为的目的已隐藏于手段之后而难见其貌。而在中国,情况恰好相反,尽管达到目的之手段并不富足,但目的本身却明晰可见。试想中国人如何对待泰山,而不久之后当西方游客大量涌入泰山时,西方人又会有何举动?中国人修筑蜿蜒石径,从任何角度看上去都美不胜收,而美国人和欧洲人只会在石径上方架构索道,看上去就像一道永难愈合的显眼的伤疤。中国人用优雅的书法在山岩上作诗,西方人则会在上面写满广告。中国人在山上修建寺庙,每一座都像是为美景锦上添花,而西方人则在山上经营餐馆和旅店,好比自然之美颜上多了许多疥疮。我可以自信地讲,西方人定会如此为之,因为他们已经在任何有机会投资的地方采取了相同的举动。不错,中国人需要我们的科学、组织和医药,但倘若认为中国人必须为此付出极高的代价,或者认为在获取我们物质优势的同时,中国也势必同样丢弃我们几乎丢弃的那种精神生活形式——一种优秀而细腻的文化——那就是我们自以为是了。西方总是大谈启蒙中国,而我愿中国也能启迪西方。

 

(罗选民 译)

未经允许不得转载:帕布莉卡 » 高兹沃斯·洛斯·狄金森《圣山》 -经典文学英译-中英双语赏析

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