《黎明前的北平》 -英语翻译文学-中英双语赏析

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黎明前的北平

天气一天比一天寒冷 。北海公园的湖上已经结了厚厚的冰层,马路两旁树木上的叶子已经落尽了,只有光秃秃的树枝在寒风中瑟瑟颤抖着。

北平已被强大的人民解放军包围,城门紧闭,粮食、蔬菜、鱼肉都运不进来。我们吃着早已准备的酱萝卜,有时也用黄豆泡豆芽。

时不时可以听见解放军的炮声。但是北平城内还有着数量庞大的国民党军队,虽然已如瓮中之鳖,但如果负隅顽抗,仍将给人民的生命财产造成巨大损失。何去何从?急待抉择。当时,统率这批军队的傅作义将军在无可奈何的情况下,邀请了北平的一些学者名流,征询意见。

会场设在中南海内,空气异常严肃紧张。傅作义将军作了简短的致词,表示愿意虚心听取大家的意见。墙上的挂钟“滴答滴答”地响着,很长时间没有人发言。大家只是用疑虑的眼光互相探询着,担心如果发言要求和平解放北平,会带来很大的风险。

最后,沉默的空气还是被打破了。许多人纷纷发言,热烈希望傅作义将军以北平人民的安全和保护故都文化胜迹为重,尽量争取早日和平解放北平。

傅作义将军一直耐心而认真地听着大家的发言。最后,他站起来,表示感谢大家直言不讳。

会后,人们奔走相告,感到北平和平解放的希望越来越大,漫长的黑夜终于即将过去。

译文

Predawn Peiping

It was getting colder with each passing day. The lake in Beihai Park was covered with a thick layer of ice. The roadside trees had been stripped of their foliage, leaving their bare branches and twigs shivering in the biting wind.

Peiping had been besieged by the powerful PLA forces. The city gates were shut tight and supplies of grain, vegetables, fish and meat were cut off. We had to make do with the pickled turnips we had laid in long beforehand and sometimes ate home-grown soybean sprouts instead.

Now and then the PLA artillery was heard booming while entrenched inside the city were an enormous number of Kuomintang troops. Though bottled up like turtles in a jar, they could nevertheless cause a tremendous loss of life and property to the local inhabitants should they put up a last-ditch resistance. To surrender or not to surrender ― that was the question awaiting prompt solution by General Fu Zuoyi, then in command of the KMT troops. Faced with the dilemma, the General was obliged to call in some local scholars and celebrities for consultation.

They met in Zhongnanhai amidst an extremely solemn and tense atmosphere. General Fu made a brief opening address, in which he expressed his willingness to listen with an open mind to all opinions. Thereupon, all was quiet except for the tick-tock of the clock on the wall. For a long while, the whole gathering kept silent and looked questioningly from one to another with eyes full of misgivings. They were afraid they could get themselves into great trouble by speaking in favor of the peaceful liberation of Peiping.

At long last, however, silence was broken when many began to speak up one after another to urge the General to give first priority to protecting the local people and the cultural relics of the onetime capital, and therefore do everything he could to ensure a peaceful solution as soon as possible.

The General, who had been listening with patience and attention, finally rose to his feet to thank everybody for speaking their minds plainly.

After the meeting, people lost no time in spreading the good news, feeling more and more hopeful of the peaceful liberation of Peiping and the final speedy conclusion of the long dark night.

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