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2012/04/03

長腿叔叔 (26)

5th March

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

There is a March wind blowing, and the sky is filled with heavy, black moving clouds. The crows in the pine trees are making such a clamour! It's an intoxicating, exhilarating, CALLING noise. You want to close your books and be off over the hills to race with the wind.

三月五日

親愛的長腿叔叔:

外面三月的風在吹著,在天空中移動的是厚厚的烏雲.松樹中的烏鴉吵吵鬧鬧的.那是一種誘人的,激動的,呼喚的聲音.讓人想閤上書本,到山丘上跟風賽跑.


We had a paper chase last Saturday over five miles of squashy 'cross country. The fox (composed of three girls and a bushel or so of confetti) started half an hour before the twenty-seven hunters. I was one of the twenty-seven; eight dropped by the wayside; we ended nineteen. The trail led over a hill, through a cornfield, and into a swamp where we had to leap lightly from hummock to hummock. Of course half of us went in ankle deep. We kept losing the trail, and we wasted twenty-five minutes over that swamp. Then up a hill through some woods and in at a barn window! The barn doors were all locked and the window was up high and pretty small. I don't call that fair, do you?

上週六有一個追彩紙的比賽(下有圖),我們在濕濕的鄉村小路上追逐了五英里.狐狸(由三個女孩和一堆彩紙組合而成)比二十七個獵人提早半個小時上路.我是那二十七個之一,其中有八個半途放棄,最後剩十九個.灑上彩紙做記號的小路引我們越過一個小山丘,穿過一片玉米田,進入一個沼澤,我們得踩著其中的小圓丘跳躍著前進.當然還是有一半的人腳踝踩進爛泥巴.我們一直找錯路,在沼澤區浪費了二十五分鐘.然後我們爬上另一個山丘,穿過一些樹林,來到一個穀倉的窗邊.穀倉的門鎖著,窗戶又高又小.我覺得那並不公平,你覺得呢?

註:一英里約等於1.6公里

But we didn't go through; we circumnavigated the barn and picked up the trail where it issued by way of a low shed roof on to the top of a fence. The fox thought he had us there, but we fooled him. Then straight away over two miles of rolling meadow, and awfully hard to follow, for the confetti was getting sparse. The rule is that it must be at the most six feet apart, but they were the longest six feet I ever saw. Finally, after two hours of steady trotting, we tracked Monsieur Fox into the kitchen of Crystal Spring (that's a farm where the girls go in bob sleighs and hay wagons for chicken and waffle suppers) and we found the three foxes placidly eating milk and honey and biscuits. They hadn't thought we would get that far; they were expecting us to stick in the barn window.

但是我們沒有進去.我們在穀倉繞了一圈,然後挑了一條從小木屋的屋頂通向籬笆頂端的路.狐狸以為擺脫了我們,但是我們把他騙倒了.經過兩英里崎嶇不平的草原,而且好難追,因為彩紙記號變得稀疏.規則是彩紙間的距離要有六英尺,但那是我見過最長的六英尺.終於,在整整跑了兩個小時之後,我們在水晶之泉農場的廚房(一個我們會駕著大雪橇和乾草馬車去吃雞肉和鬆餅的地方)抓到狐狸,三隻狐狸安靜的在那兒喝著蜂蜜牛奶吃餅乾.他們沒想到我們會追到這麼遠,以為又高又小的穀倉窗戶把我們難倒了.

註:一英尺約等於三十公分.

Both sides insist that they won. I think we did, don't you? Because we caught them before they got back to the campus. Anyway, all nineteen of us settled like locusts over the furniture and clamoured for honey. There wasn't enough to go round, but Mrs. Crystal Spring (that's our pet name for her; she's by rights a Johnson) brought up a jar of strawberry jam and a can of maple syrup—just made last week—and three loaves of brown bread.

兩邊都堅持自己是贏家.我覺得我們贏了,你不認為嗎?因為我們在他們回去校園之前抓到他們.總之,我們十九個像蝗蟲般的吵著要蜂蜜.但蜂蜜吃完了,水晶之泉太太(那是我們幫她起的小名,她夫姓強生)拿出一瓶草莓果醬和一罐楓糖漿 - 上週才做的 - 以及三條全麥麵包.

We didn't get back to college till half-past six—half an hour late for dinner—and we went straight in without dressing, and with perfectly unimpaired appetites! Then we all cut evening chapel, the state of our boots being enough of an excuse.

我們到六點半才回學校 - 晚餐遲到半小時 - 我們衣服也沒換就去吃晚餐,而且胃口絲毫不減.飯後我們沒有去教堂,用我們的髒靴子當藉口綽綽有餘.

I never told you about examinations. I passed everything with the utmost ease—I know the secret now, and am never going to fail again. I shan't be able to graduate with honours though, because of that beastly Latin prose and geometry Freshman year. But I don't care. Wot's the hodds so long as you're 'appy? (That's a quotation. I've been reading the English classics.)

我還沒跟你提考試的事.我輕鬆無比的全部過關 - 我現在知道秘訣,而且絕不會再考不及格.雖然我無法光榮的畢業,因為大一時那可惡的拉丁散文和幾何學.但我並不在乎.只要我開心就好.(引用自最近在讀的英文經典作家.)

註:原文的Wot’s the hodds so long as you’re ‘appy? 應該是引用自一首歌名“What's the Odds so Long as You're Happy”,作者是Charles James Dunphie (1820-1908),愛爾蘭記者,藝術及文學批評家,歌詞作者及詩人.

Speaking of classics, have you ever read Hamlet? If you haven't, do it right off. It's PERFECTLY CORKING. I've been hearing about Shakespeare all my life, but I had no idea he really wrote so well; I always suspected him of going largely on his reputation.

說到經典,你有讀過哈姆雷特嗎?如果沒有,請立刻讀.寫得實在太棒了.我常聽到莎士比亞,但不知道他的作品這麼棒,之前老懷疑他的名聲是言過其實.

I have a beautiful play that I invented a long time ago when I first learned to read. I put myself to sleep every night by pretending I'm the person (the most important person) in the book I'm reading at the moment.

小時候剛學認字時,我編了一個美麗的劇本.而現在每晚入睡前,我都假裝自己是目前正在讀的書裏面的人物(最重要的那個).

At present I'm Ophelia—and such a sensible Ophelia! I keep Hamlet amused all the time, and pet him and scold him and make him wrap up his throat when he has a cold. I've entirely cured him of being melancholy. The King and Queen are both dead—an accident at sea; no funeral necessary—so Hamlet and I are ruling in Denmark without any bother. We have the kingdom working beautifully. He takes care of the governing, and I look after the charities. I have just founded some first-class orphan asylums. If you or any of the other Trustees would like to visit them, I shall be pleased to show you through. I think you might find a great many helpful suggestions.

此刻我是奧菲莉亞 - 而且是理性的奧菲莉亞.我逗哈姆雷特開心,我寵他也訓他,在他感冒時提醒他把脖子包好.我把他的憂鬱完全治好.國王和皇后都去世了 - 海難,所以不需要葬禮 - 哈姆雷特和我沒有阻礙的統治丹麥王國.我們把國家治理良好.他負責國事,我負責慈善事業.我剛成立了一間一流的孤兒院.如果你或任何其他理事有意來訪,我很樂意帶你們參觀.我想也許你會獲得許多有幫助的建議.

I remain, sir,

Yours most graciously,OPHELIA,

Queen of Denmark.

        最優雅的,

        奧菲莉亞

        丹麥皇后

 

 

追彩紙比賽 paper chase 的圖片

 

Image from: http://www.mkheritage.co.uk/sga/games/chasing-games.html

 

 



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