My Dear, Dear, Daddy,
Haven't you any sense? Don't you KNOW that you mustn't give one girl seventeen Christmas presents? I'm a Socialist, please remember; do you wish to turn me into a Plutocrat?
Think how embarrassing it would be if we should ever quarrel! I should have to engage a moving-van to return your gifts.
I am sorry that the necktie I sent was so wobbly; I knit it with my own hands (as you doubtless discovered from internal evidence). You will have to wear it on cold days and keep your coat buttoned up tight.
Thank you, Daddy, a thousand times. I think you're the sweetest man that ever lived—and the foolishest!
謝謝你，Daddy．一千個謝謝你．我想你是世上最貼心的男人 － 也是最傻氣的．
Here's a four-leaf clover from Camp McBride to bring you good luck for the New Year.
Do you wish to do something, Daddy, that will ensure your eternal salvation? There is a family here who are in awfully desperate straits. A mother and father and four visible children—the two older boys have disappeared into the world to make their fortune and have not sent any of it back. The father worked in a glass factory and got consumption—it's awfully unhealthy work—and now has been sent away to a hospital. That took all their savings, and the support of the family falls upon the oldest daughter, who is twenty-four. She dressmakes for $1.50 a day (when she can get it) and embroiders centrepieces in the evening. The mother isn't very strong and is extremely ineffectual and pious. She sits with her hands folded, a picture of patient resignation, while the daughter kills herself with overwork and responsibility and worry; she doesn't see how they are going to get through the rest of the winter—and I don't either. One hundred dollars would buy some coal and some shoes for three children so that they could go to school, and give a little margin so that she needn't worry herself to death when a few days pass and she doesn't get work.
你想做些事以獲得永恆的救贖嗎？我認識一家人正陷入無比的困境中．這一家人有一個母親，一個父親和四個看的到的小孩 － 有兩個男孩出門賺錢但從此一去不回．父親在一個玻璃工廠工作，得了肺結核 － 非常有害健康的工作 － 目前住院中．住院的費用花去他們所有的積蓄，家中的經濟重擔落在長女肩上．她才二十四歲，靠做衣服一天賺一塊半（當她有活可做時），晚上則做桌上擺飾的刺繡．母親身體不夠強壯，一無是處且信仰虔誠．她只知兩手交握的坐著，無奈的順從命運，而她的女兒則是拼死拼活的工作在盡義務，操心家計；她不知道要如何度過這個冬天 － 我也不知道．一百元便夠他們買些煤塊，三個孩子可以買鞋穿好去上學，甚至可以她讓沒裁縫活可做時，還可以撐個幾天，不至於擔心到死．
You are the richest man I know. Don't you suppose you could spare one hundred dollars? That girl deserves help a lot more than I ever did. I wouldn't ask it except for the girl; I don't care much what happens to the mother—she is such a jelly-fish.
你是我認識的人之中最有錢的．你可以撥一些錢幫助他們嗎？那個女孩比我更值得獲得你的幫助．如果不是因為她，我也不會向你開口；我一點也不在意那個母親 － 她真是軟弱無能．
The way people are for ever rolling their eyes to heaven and saying, 'Perhaps it's all for the best,' when they are perfectly dead sure it's not, makes me enraged. Humility or resignation or whatever you choose to call it, is simply impotent inertia. I'm for a more militant religion!
We are getting the most dreadful lessons in philosophy—all of Schopenhauer for tomorrow. The professor doesn't seem to realize that we are taking any other subject. He's a queer old duck; he goes about with his head in the clouds and blinks dazedly when occasionally he strikes solid earth. He tries to lighten his lectures with an occasional witticism—and we do our best to smile, but I assure you his jokes are no laughing matter. He spends his entire time between classes in trying to figure out whether matter really exists or whether he only thinks it exists.
哲學課我們正上到最可怕的部份 － 明天全部都是叔本華（註）．教授似乎不知道我們還有修其他的科目．他是一隻古怪的老鴨子．他的頭彷彿置之雲中，偶然碰到地面時茫然的眨眨眼．偶爾他會試著說些俏皮話輕鬆一下上課的氣氛， － 我們得努力的微笑，因為他的俏皮話一點也不好笑．課堂以外的時間，他全拿來思考世事是否真的存在，還是只是他認為有存在．
註：叔本華 Schopenhauer 是德國哲學家 (1788-1860)．
I'm sure my sewing girl hasn't any doubt but that it exists!
Where do you think my new novel is? In the waste-basket. I can see myself that it's no good on earth, and when a loving author realizes that, what WOULD be the judgment of a critical public?
I address you, Daddy, from a bed of pain. For two days I've been laid up with swollen tonsils; I can just swallow hot milk, and that is all. 'What were your parents thinking of not to have those tonsils out when you were a baby?' the doctor wished to know. I'm sure I haven't an idea, but I doubt if they were thinking much about me.
I just read this over before sealing it. I don't know WHY I cast such a misty atmosphere over life. I hasten to assure you that I am young and happy and exuberant; and I trust you are the same. Youth has nothing to do with birthdays, only with ALIVEDNESS of spirit, so even if your hair is grey, Daddy, you can still be a boy.
幸運草 clover 通常是三葉的
桌上擺飾也有一個英文單字 centerpiece (英式拼法是 centrepiece)
中間的 piece 是什麼啊？
其實望文生義就是一個 piece 擺在 center 當裝飾品嘛