韩愈《祭十二郎文》 -英语翻译教程-中英双语赏析

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祭十二郎文

韩愈

An Elegiac Address to the Twelfth Nephew

Han Yu

韩愈与其侄十二郎自幼相守,历经患难,感情特别深厚。但成年以后,韩愈四处飘泊,与十二郎很少见面。正当韩愈官运好转,有可能与十二郎相聚的时候,突然传来十二郎去世的噩耗。韩愈尤为悲痛,写下这篇祭文。

 

年月日,季父愈闻汝丧之七日,乃能衔哀致诚,

Day, month, year. I, your youngest uncle, Han Yu, overwhelmed with grief, sent Jianzhong on my behalf to offer you sacrifices to express my deep feelings for you, seven days after I heard about your death.

🎈文言词汇:「季父」:父辈中排行最小的叔父,这里指的是韩愈。「衔哀」:心中含着悲哀。「致诚」:表达赤诚的心意。

🎈结构分析:这句话中的主要动词应为「致诚」,所以原文中的其它信息要处理成次要结构,译文结构梳理如下:

我,你最年轻的叔父,韩愈,怀着悲痛的心情,(让建中)替我献祭(下一小句),传达我对你的心意,(时间是在)你听闻你去十七日之后。

🎈offer sacrifices献祭

 


使建中远具时羞之奠,告汝十二郎之灵:

Jianzhong had bought seasonal delicacies from a distant place as sacrificial offerings to your departed soul.

🎈文言词汇:「建中」:人名,当为韩愈家中仆人。「时羞」:应时的鲜美佳肴。羞,同「馐」

🎈应时美味佳肴seasonal delicacies

🎈亡灵departed soul


 

呜呼!吾少孤,及长,不省所怙,惟兄嫂是依。

Alas! I lost my father during my early childhood. When I grew up, I did not know what my father was like. I was dependent on my eldest brother and his wife.

🎈「孤」:幼年丧父称「孤」。译作「lost my father during my early childhood」

🎈「怙」:《诗经·小雅·蓼莪》:「无父何怙,无母何恃。」后世因用「怙」代父,「恃」代母。

🎈be dependent on依赖于/依靠于


 

中年兄殁南方,吾与汝俱幼,从嫂归葬河阳;

My eldest brother, your father, was middle-aged when he died in the south, and together we accompanied his widow to bury him in Heyang.

🎈「从嫂归葬河阳」意思是说「跟随嫂嫂把兄长的灵柩送回河阳安葬」,这里「归葬」的宾语一定要补出,译文用了代词「him」,指代前文的「my eldest brother」


 

既又与汝就食江南,零丁孤苦,未尝一日相离也。

Then you and I went to the south to make a living. We two were orphaned and helpless and clung to each other’s company everyday.

🎈「就食江南」意即「在江南谋生」,「谋生」译作「make a living」或「earn a living」

🎈cling to是「依附」、「依靠」之意。


 

吾上有三兄,皆不幸早世,承先人后者,在孙惟汝,在子惟吾,

I had three brothers older than I, but unfortunately they all died early. In our family, you and I were the only descendants, you being of the third generation and I of the second generation.

🎈「上有三兄」是说「有三个兄弟年长于我」,译作了「older」

🎈「承先人后者,在孙惟汝,在子惟吾」是说「继承先父的后代,在孙子辈里只有你,在儿子辈里只有我」,其中「在孙惟汝,在子惟吾」处理做了独立主格结构,分别以「汝」和「吾」作主语。


 

两世一身,形单影只。

Of those two generations, each had only one successor remaining. We two were extremely lonely, with only our shadows left to us.

🎈「两世一身」:子辈和孙辈均只剩一个男丁。其中「两世」译作了「those two generations」,指代前文的「the third generation and the second generation」

🎈「successor」释义为「a person or thing that comes after sb/sth else and takes their/its place 接替者;继任者;接替的事物;后继的事物」

例句

Who’s the likely successor to him as party leader?

谁较可能接替他担任党的领袖?

🎈「形单影只」采用了「意译+直译」的翻译方法,译作「were extremely lonely, with only our shadows left to us」


 

嫂尝抚汝指吾而言曰:「韩氏两世,惟此而已!」

My sister-in-law used to fondle you while pointing her finger at me, saying, 「You two are the only survivors of the Han family.”

🎈「fondle」是「爱抚」之意,释义为「to touch and move your hand gently over sb/sth, especially in a sexual way, or in order to show love」

🎈嫂子sister-in-law


 

汝时尤小,当不复记忆;吾时虽能记忆,亦未知其言之悲也。

You were only an infant and could not understand her. And although I was able to recall what she said, I did not recognize the sadness in her words.

🎈「吾时虽能记忆」意为「我当时虽然能够记事」,这里指的是「记得嫂子说过的话」,译作「was able to recall what she said」


 

吾年十九,始来京城。

When I was nineteen, I went to the capital.

🎈首都/京城the capital


 

其后四年,而归视汝。

Four years later I came home to visit you.

🎈「视」:古时探亲,上对下曰视,下对上曰省。这里译作「visit」


 

又四年,吾往河阳省坟墓,遇汝从嫂丧来葬。

Another four years passed. I went to Heyang to visit the graves of our ancestors, and met you there where you had the coffin of your mother interred.

🎈「省」:探望,此引申为凭吊,译作了「visit the graves of our ancestors」

🎈「遇汝从嫂丧来葬」 意为「碰上你护送嫂嫂的灵柩来安葬」,这里注意代词的转换,韩愈的嫂子是十二郎的母亲,代词使用要准确。

🎈「inter」是「埋葬(遗体)」之意。


 

又二年,吾佐董丞相于汴州,汝来省吾:止一岁,请归取其孥。

Two years later, you came to see me in Bianzhou as I was working for Chengxiang Dong. You stayed for a year, and then went home, intending to bring your family over.

🎈「止一岁」意为「留下住了一年」,译作「you stayed for a year」

🎈「取其孥」:把家眷接来。孥,妻和子的统称,译作了「intending to bring your family over」,分词短语做目的状语。


 

明年,承相薨,吾去汴州,汝不果来。

But in the following year Chengxian Dong died and I left Bianzhou before you could come back.

🎈「不果」:没能够。「不果来」译作了「before you could come back」,意为「在你来之前」

 


是年,吾又佐戎徐州,使取汝者始行,吾又罢去,汝又不果来。

That year I took office in Xuzhou, working as an official in charge of military supply. When the man I sent to fetch you had just set out, I left my post. Again you did not come.

🎈 文言词汇:「佐戎」:辅助军务。「取」:迎接。

🎈take office是「就职」之意。

🎈「使取汝者始行,吾又罢去」中「始行」发生在「吾又罢去」之前,所以前者的时态应为过去完成时,译作「had just set out」,英文中时态和语态都非常重要,要格外注意。


 

吾念汝从于东,东亦客也,不可以久,图久远者,莫如西归,将成家面致汝。

I thought even if you had come to the east, you would not have stayed long, for, after all, the east was not our native place. As a long-term plan I had better return to the west, establish myself and welcome you into my household.

🎈「吾念汝从于东,东亦客也,不可以久」意思是「我想,你跟我在东边的汴州、徐州,也是客居,不可能久住」,其中「不可以久」是这句话的主句,「汝从于东」是条件状语从句,「东亦客也」是原因状语。

🎈「东亦客也」译作了「for, after all, the east was not our native place」,是「for+原因状语」的结构,而且采用了正说反译的翻译方法,原句意为「在东边也是客居」,译文转换角度,处理做了「东边也不是故居」

🎈native place籍贯


 

呜呼!孰谓汝遽去吾而殁乎!

Alas! Who could have thought that you would suddenly die and leave me behind?

🎈文言词汇「孰谓」:谁料到。「遽」:骤然。

🎈could have done虚拟语气,对过去事情的假设,本来可以做却没能做。

🎈「leave behind」:「If you leave someone or something behind, you go away permanently from them. 永远离开」

例句

“I’d go and live there and leave Kentucky behind,” says Brown.

「我要去那里生活,永远离开肯塔基州」,布朗说道。


 

吾与汝俱少年,以为虽暂相别,终当久相与处,故金汝而旅食京师,以求斗斛之禄;

You and I were both young and I believed that although we might part for a brief period of time, we would eventually live together for a long time. Therefore, I left you and took up my residence in the capital to earn an official’s meager salary.

🎈「旅食」意为「旅居」,译作「took up my residence in」

🎈「斗斛(hú):唐时十斗为一斛。斗斛之禄,指微薄的俸禄。」译作「meager salary」,其中「meager」意为「small in quantity and poor in quality 少量且劣质的」

例句

She has moved to a small house and is living off her meager savings.

她搬进了一幢小房子,靠自己微薄的积蓄过日子。


 

诚知其如此,虽万乘之公相,吾不以一日辍汝而就也!

Had I known what would happen, I would not have left you for a single day, even if I were appointed to the highest office with ten thousand carriages at my command.

🎈「万乘」:指高官厚禄。古代兵车一乘,有马四匹。封国大小以兵赋计算,凡地方千里的大国,称为万乘之国。

🎈would have done虚拟语气,表示与过去的事实相反。


 

去年,孟东野往,吾书与汝曰:「吾年未四十,而视茫茫,而发苍苍,而齿牙动摇。

Last year, when Meng Dongye went south, I asked him to bring a letter to you in which I wrote, 「I am barely forty years old, but my eyesight is failing, my hair is graying and my teeth are loose.

🎈「孟东野」:即韩愈的诗友孟郊。

🎈「吾书与汝」与「孟东野往」的关系是孟东野前去(你那里),我写书给你,请他带去。这些隐含信息和信息要译出。

🎈「视茫茫」是指视力模糊,译作「my eyesight is failing」,「fail」是衰退之意。

 


念诸父与诸兄,皆康疆而早世,如吾之衰者,其能久存乎?

My uncles and brothers were all physically strong, but they all died in the prime of life. Delicate as I am, how can I live long?

🎈「皆康疆而早世」意为「在健康强壮的盛年早早去世」,其中「身体健康」译作了「physically strong」,「早早去世」译作了「died in the prime of life」。「in the prime of life」是「盛年之际」之意。


 

吾不可去,汝不肯来,恐旦暮死,而汝抱无涯之戚也。」

I cannot leave my post and you will not be coming. I might die at any moment, and you would be brought to eternal grief.”

🎈「恐旦暮死」意为「随时有可能死去」,译作「I might die at any moment」


 

孰谓少者殁而长者存,疆者夭而病者全乎?

Who can explain why the younger one dies whereas the elder one lives on, and why the healthy one succumbs early whereas the fragile one survives?

🎈「whereas」表对比/转折,相当于while。

🎈「live on」to continue to live or exist 继续活着;继续存在。

🎈「succumb」释义为「to not be able to fight an attack, an illness, a temptation , etc. 屈服;屈从;抵挡不住(攻击、疾病、诱惑等)」

例句

His career was cut short when he succumbed to cancer.

他的事业随着他死于癌症而中断。


 

呜呼!其信然邪?其梦邪?其传之非其真邪?

Alas! Was the news true? Or was it a hallucination? Or was it mere misinformation?

🎈「信然」「梦」「非真」指的都是十二郎去世这件事。


 

信也,吾兄之盛德而夭其嗣乎?

If it was true, then why is it that my brother, who was a man of virtue, should have his son die young?

🎈品德高尚之人a man of virtue


 

汝之纯明而不克蒙其泽乎?

Why couldn’t his innocent and brilliant son be blessed by his goodness?

🎈文言词汇:「纯明」:纯正聪明。「不克」:不能。「蒙」:承受。

🎈「纯明」译作了「innocent and brilliant」

🎈「其泽」的「其」指的是十二郎的父亲,这里用了代词「his」


 

少者疆者而夭殁,长者衰者而存全乎?

Was it fair that the frail, elderly man should outlive the vigorous youth?

🎈这句话的意思是「谁能料到年轻的却先死了,而年老的反而还活着,强壮的早早死去,而衰弱的反而还活在人间呢」,意思就是这样的结果是一般人料想不到的,是不公的,译作了「Was it fair that…」

🎈这两个小句都是在说寿命长短,译文将两个句子合起来译,只用了「outlive」一个动词,非常简洁,这种翻译方法很值得学习。


 

未可以为信也。

I could not believe it was true.

🎈这里是说听闻噩耗之时不能相信,用过去时。


 

梦也,传之非其真也,东野之书,耿兰之报,何为而在吾侧也?

It was a hallucination, or a rumor. Then why is it that Dongye’s letter and Genglan’s obituary notice are at hand here?

🎈英文中时态不同要注意断句,「梦也,传之非其真也」是指十二郎去世这件事,发生在过去,而「东野之书,耿兰之报,何为而在吾侧也」指的是如今作者的境况,用一般现在时。


 

呜呼!其信然矣!吾兄之盛德而夭其嗣矣!

Alas! Then the news must be true. A virtuous man like my eldest brother had the life of his son taken away at an early age.

🎈「其信然矣」意思是「大概是真的了」,这里用了「must+动词原形」,表示对现在的推测。

🎈「have sth done」让(他人)做某事


 

汝之纯明宜业其家者,不克蒙其泽矣!

An innocent and brilliant man like you, who should have carried on the family line, could not enjoy the blessings of his father.

🎈「业其家」意即「继承家业」,译作「carried on the family line」


 

所谓天者诚难测,而神者诚难明矣!

How unpredictable is Heaven’s will! And how unfathomable is God’s disposition!

🎈难以预测/神秘莫测unpredictable/unfathomable

🎈「disposition」是「安排」之意,与这个词相关的俗语如下:

Man proposes and God disposes.

谋事在人成事在天。

 


所谓理者不可推,而寿者不可知矣!

That is why the logic of things can never be reasoned out, and the continuation of one’s existence cannot be foretold.

🎈翻译这句话要注意主动与被动的转换,原文没有被动标志,但是译文要体现出被动语态。

 


虽然,吾自今年来,苍苍者或化而为白矣,动摇者或脱而落实。

Nevertheless, since the beginning of this year, my gray hair has faded to white, and my loose teeth have decayed or fallen off.

🎈「苍苍者」和「动摇者」要结合前文「而发苍苍,而齿牙动摇」来翻译,分别指的是头发和牙齿,在译文中要指明。


 

毛血日益长,志气日益微,几何不从汝而死也。

I am growing weaker and weaker and my vigor is waning. It won’t be long before I follow you and die.

🎈「毛血」:指体质。「志气」:指精神,译作了「vigor」,释义为「energy, force or enthusiasm 精力;力量;活力;热情」

例句

His health and vigor were unimpaired by a stroke.

中风并未损害他的健康和活力。


 

死而有知,其几何离;其无知,悲不几时,而不悲者无穷期矣!

If you should have consciousness after death, then our separation won’t be long. If not, my grief will not last long either; eternity will follow in which I will be oblivious of grief.

🎈「其几何离」:分离会有多久呢?译文处理了陈述句,即「分别不会很久了」,译作了「our separation won’t be long 」

🎈「不悲者无穷期矣」意思是「(死后)不悲痛的时间却是无穷无尽的」,译作了「eternity will follow in which I will be oblivious of grief」,其中「be oblivious of」是「not aware of sth 不知道;未注意;未察觉」之意。


 

汝之子始十岁,吾之子始五岁,少而疆者不可保,如此孩提者,又可翼其成立邪? 呜呼哀哉!呜呼哀哉!

Your son is just ten years old and my son is five. There exists no guarantee that these young and healthy ones will live long. How can we expect them to grow up to fulfill their careers? Alas! Alas!

🎈「少而疆者」就是指 「年轻强壮的人」,译作了「young and healthy ones」

🎈「成立」意为「成人立业」,译作「to grow up to fulfill their careers」


 

汝去年书云:「比得软脚病,往往而剧。」

Last year you wrote to me, saying, 「I am suffering from numbness in the feet and sometimes it is growing worse.”

🎈「比」:近来。译文用了现在进行时态,表示是最近这个阶段发生的事。


 

吾曰:「是疾也,江南之人,常常有之。」

I replied, “Many people in the south suffer from that kind of illness,”

🎈在对话翻译中,回答别人的话常用「reply」。


 

未始以为忧也。

It did not cause me much anxiety.

🎈上句讲到了「illness」,这句用代词「it」作主语,与上句衔接更自然。


 

呜呼!其竞以此而殒其生乎?抑别有疾而致斯乎?

Did you actually die of it? Or was it some other illness?

🎈「殒其生」和「致斯」都指的是丧失生命这件事,在译文中只在第一句话中译出,第二句中省略,避免重复。


 

汝之书,六月十七日也;东野云,汝殁以六月二日;耿兰之报无月日。

I received your letter which was written on June the seventeenth. Dongye said that you died on June the second. The obituary notice Genglan brought me gave no date of your death,

🎈「汝之书」不是写给别人的,而是写给作者的,这一层信息要译出。

🎈日期的表达:月份+序数词

涉及年月日时:月/日/年(美式表达);日/月/年(英式表达)


 

盖东野之使者,不知问家人以月日;如耿兰之报,不知当言月日;

but it was very likely that Dongye’s messenger did not even ask your family about the date of your death. Genglan should know that an obituary notice should mention the date of death. How could he fail to mention yours?

🎈obituary notice讣告

🎈「yours」指代「the date of your death」,英文中常用代词,是变换说法的一种体现,在汉英翻译时非常重要。


 

东野与吾书,乃问使者,使者妄称以应之耳。

Perhaps when Dongye was writing the letter to me, he asked the messenger about the date, and the messenger mentioned a date at random.

🎈「使者妄称以应之耳」意为「使者胡乱说个日期应付」,译作了「the messenger mentioned a date at random」,其中「at random」是「胡乱地/随便地」之意。


 

其然乎?其不然乎?

Was this guess true? Or not?

🎈以上是作者的猜测,这里增译了「guess」一词,属于增词不增义。


 

今吾使建中祭汝,吊汝之孤与汝之乳母。

Now I am sending Jianzhong to offer you sacrifices and pay condolences to your children and your wet nurse.

🎈「吊」:此指慰问,译作「pay condolences to」

🎈「孤」:指十二郎的儿子。

🎈wet nurse奶妈,乳母


 

彼有食可守以待终丧,则待终丧而取以来;如不能守以终丧,则遂取以来。其余奴婢,并令守汝丧。

If they do not lack for food, they will remain beside you till the days of mourning have passed. Then I will welcome them to my place. If they cannot do so, I will have them brought to me without delay, and let the remaining servants carry on mourning until the end.

🎈「取以来」:指把十二郎的儿子和乳母接来。

🎈「遂」是「立刻/马上」的意思,译作了「without delay」,正说反译。


 

吾力能改葬,终葬汝于先人之兆,然后惟其所愿。

If I can, I will move your coffin back home and re-inter you in the ancestral burial grounds in order to fulfill my life-long wish.

🎈「力能改葬」:假设之意。即先暂时就地埋葬。

🎈「先人之兆」指的是「祖坟」,译作了「ancestral burial grounds」

🎈「然后」是「这样以后」之意,译作「in order to」,和后文的内容一起做了目的状语。


 

呜呼!汝病吾不知时,汝殁吾不知日,

Alas! I did not know when you were ill. Nor did I know the date of your death.

🎈否定副词nor放于句首用部分倒装。


 

生不能相养以共居,殁不能抚汝以尽哀,

When you were alive, I did not live with you to support you. When you were dead, I did not mourn over your remains to give vent to my bitter grief.

🎈「抚汝以尽哀」意为「抚尸痛哭」,译作了「mourn over your remains to give vent to my bitter grief」,其中「remains」是「the body of a dead person or animal 遗体;遗骸」之意;「give vent to」是「发泄/吐露」之意。


 

敛不凭其棺,急不临其穴。

When you were lying in the coffin, I did not follow the funeral procession. When you were interred, I did not come to your grave.

🎈「凭其棺」就是「为你送葬」之意,译作「follow the funeral procession」


 

吾行负神明而使汝夭,不孝不慈,而不得与汝相养以生、守以死,

I fear I am the cause of your untimely death as I have failed to live up to the expectations of the gods. I am neither kind nor filial. I did not live together with you to take care of you, nor die in your company.

🎈live up to意为「做到/不辜负」

🎈「不孝不慈」意思是「对上不孝,对下不慈」,译作了「neither kind nor filial」


 

一在天之涯,一在地之角,生而影不与吾形相依,死而魂不与吾梦相接,

Now you are in the remotest edge of the heaven while I am in the remotest corner of the earth. When you were living, we were not always together as body and shadow, and now that you are dead, your soul does not meet me in my dream.

🎈「天之涯,地之角」一是指「我」,一是指「你」

🎈「生而影不与吾形相依」结构:生时我们没有相互依靠,像形与影那般,译作「when you were living, we were not always together as body and shadow」


 

吾实为之,其又何尤!

It was all my own doing. Who else can I blame?

🎈「其又何尤」意思是「我又能抱怨谁呢」。


 

彼苍者天,易其有极!

Oh! That unreachable blue sky above! When will my grief come to an end?

🎈意谓青苍的上天啊,我的痛苦哪有尽头啊。


 

自今已往,吾其无意于人世矣,当求数顷之田于伊、颍之上,以待馀年;

I have no wish to live on, and will buy several hundred mu of land by the Yi and the Ying rivers upon which to spend the rest of my life.

🎈「以待馀年」意为「度过余生」,译作「to spend the rest of my life」


 

教吾子与汝子,幸其成;长吾女与汝女,待其嫁:如此而已。

I will educate my son and your son, hoping they will grow up to be men and I will bring up my daughter and your daughter and marry them off. Then can my wish be fulfilled.

🎈「幸其成」译作了分词短语,做目的状语。

🎈marry sb off把…嫁给/为…娶亲

 


呜呼!言有穷而情不可终,汝其知也邪?其不知也邪?呜呼哀哉!

Ah! My words have expired, but my grief has no end. Do you know or don’t you know? Ah! How sorrowful I am!

🎈「expire」在这里与「run out」同义。

🎈「呜呼哀哉」上文都译作了「Alas」这个语气词,而这里译为一个感叹句,在文末表达作者的悲痛之情。


 

尚飨。

May you partake of the offerings.

🎈意即「希望你享用祭品」,「祭品」可译作「offerings」或者「sacrifices.」

🔥重点词汇

successor     n.接替者;继任者;接替的事物;后继的事物

英义

a person or thing that comes after sb/sth else and takes their/its place

例句

Who’s the likely successor to him as party leader?

谁较可能接替他担任党的领袖?

 

fondle     v.爱抚

英义

to touch and move your hand gently over sb/sth, especially in a sexual way, or in order to show love

例句

He tried to kiss her and fondle her.

他试图亲吻并爱抚她。

 

residence     n.居住;定居

英义

the state of living in a particular place

例句

They were not able to take up residence in their new home until the spring.

他们到第二年春天才住进了新家。

 

meager     adj. 少量且劣质的

英义

small in quantity and poor in quality

例句

She has moved to a small house and is living off her meager savings.

她搬进了一幢小房子,靠自己微薄的积蓄过日子。

 

succumb      v. 屈服;屈从;抵挡不住(攻击、疾病、诱惑等)

英义

to not be able to fight an attack, an illness, a temptation , etc.

例句

His career was cut short when he succumbed to cancer.

他的事业随着他死于癌症而中断。

 

vigor      n.精力;力量;活力;热情

英义

energy, force or enthusiasm

例句

His health and vigor were unimpaired by a stroke.

中风并未损害他的健康和活力。

🔥重点表达

献祭offer sacrifice

应时美味佳肴seasonal delicacies

亡灵departed soul

依赖于/依靠于be dependent on

谋生make a living/earn a living

依附/依靠cling to

嫂子sister-in-law

籍贯native place

永远离开leave behind 「旅居」,译作「took up my residence in」居住,定居

盛年之际in the prime of life

继续活着/继续存在live on

品德高尚之人a man of virtue

继承家业carry on the family line

谋事在人成事在天Man proposes and God disposes.

不知道/未注意/未察觉be oblivious of

讣告obituary notice

胡乱地/随便地at random

奶妈,乳母wet nurse

发泄/吐露give vent to

做到/不辜负live up to

把…嫁给/为…娶亲marry sb off

祭品offerings/sacrifices

🔥表达对比

收入微薄/勉强度日有几种表达?

 

吾与汝俱少年,以为虽暂相别,终当久相与处,故金汝而旅食京师,以求(斗斛之禄);

You and I were both young and I believed that although we might part for a brief period of time, we would eventually live together for a long time. Therefore, I left you and took up my residence in the capital to earn an official’s meager salary.

 

我靠父母给的那点钱只能(勉强度日)。

I can just scrape by on what my parents give me.

 

许多家庭只能(勉强维持生计)。

Many families struggle to make ends meet.

 

未经允许不得转载:帕布莉卡 » 韩愈《祭十二郎文》 -英语翻译教程-中英双语赏析

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