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長腿叔叔 (38)

9th November

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

I started down town today to buy a bottle of shoe blacking and some collars and the material for a new blouse and a jar of violet cream and a cake of Castile soap—all very necessary; I couldn't be happy another day without them—and when I tried to pay the car fare, I found that I had left my purse in the pocket of my other coat. So I had to get out and take the next car, and was late for gymnasium.



今天我到鎮上去採購,買了一罐鞋油,一些做一件新上衣的材料,一瓶紫羅蘭乳霜,一塊香皂 - 都是生活必須品,一些令生活開心的必須品 - 但是當我想要付錢時,我發現把錢包忘在另一件大衣的口袋裏了.所以我得離開商店搭車回來,因此上體育課遲到了.

It's a dreadful thing to have no memory and two coats!


Julia Pendleton has invited me to visit her for the Christmas holidays. How does that strike you, Mr. Smith? Fancy Jerusha Abbott, of the John Grier Home, sitting at the tables of the rich. I don't know why Julia wants me—she seems to be getting quite attached to me of late. I should, to tell the truth, very much prefer going to Sallie's, but Julia asked me first, so if I go anywhere it must be to New York instead of to Worcester. I'm rather awed at the prospect of meeting Pendletons EN MASSE, and also I'd have to get a lot of new clothes—so, Daddy dear, if you write that you would prefer having me remain quietly at college, I will bow to your wishes with my usual sweet docility.

茱莉亞潘得敦邀請我去她家過耶誕節.你可以想像嗎,史密斯先生?想像孤兒院的潔若莎愛柏坐在一戶富有人家的餐桌邊.不知道為何茱莉亞會邀請我 - 她最近似乎挺喜歡我的.老實說,我比較想要去莎莉家,但茱莉亞先開口邀請,所以如果我要去某處過耶誕節,那也會是紐約,而不是渥爾切斯特了.對於見到潘得敦家族這件事,我有點害怕,再者我得去買很多新衣服 - 所以親愛的Daddy,如果你來信要求我安靜的留在學校過節,我會一如以往的順從你的指示.

I'm engaged at odd moments with the Life and Letters of Thomas Huxley—it makes nice, light reading to pick up between times. Do you know what an archaeopteryx is? It's a bird. And a stereognathus? I'm not sure myself, but I think it's a missing link, like a bird with teeth or a lizard with wings. No, it isn't either; I've just looked in the book. It's a mesozoic mammal.

最近在讀湯瑪斯赫胥黎(註)的自傳和信件 - 閒暇時的輕鬆閱讀.你知道什麼是始祖鳥嗎?是一種鳥?而且是扁鍬?我也不確定,不過我猜那是進化過渡期的化石,像是有牙齒的鳥,或是有翅膀的蜥蝪.喔,不是.我剛看了書,那是一種中生代的哺乳類.


I've elected economics this year—very illuminating subject. When I finish that I'm going to take Charity and Reform; then, Mr. Trustee, I'll know just how an orphan asylum ought to be run. Don't you think I'd make an admirable voter if I had my rights? I was twenty-one last week. This is an awfully wasteful country to throw away such an honest, educated, conscientious, intelligent citizen as I would be.

                           Yours always,

今年我修了經濟學 - 一個深具啟發性的科目.修完後我要進行慈善事業和改革,然後,理事先生,我會知道如何運作孤兒院.如果我有投票權,你不覺得我會是一個令人欽佩的投票者嗎?上週我剛滿二十一歲.把如此誠實,勤奮,聰明的知識份子排除在選舉之外,這個國家真是浪費人材.



7th December

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Thank you for permission to visit Julia—I take it that silence means consent.

Such a social whirl as we've been having! The Founder's dance came last week—this was the first year that any of us could attend; only upper classmen being allowed.



謝謝你同意我去茱莉亞家 - 我想你的沈默等於同意.

最近真是身處於社交漩渦中啊!上週有創校舞會 - 今年是首度所有的學生都可參加;以前只有高年級生才可去的.

I invited Jimmie McBride, and Sallie invited his room-mate at Princeton, who visited them last summer at their camp—an awfully nice man with red hair—and Julia invited a man from New York, not very exciting, but socially irreproachable. He is connected with the De la Mater Chichesters. Perhaps that means something to you? It doesn't illuminate me to any extent.

我邀請了吉米麥克白,莎莉邀請他在普林斯頓的室友,去年這名室友有去他們家的夏日野營 - 他是一個非常好的紅髮男孩 - 茱莉亞邀請了一個來自紐約的男子,他並不有趣,但舉止合宜.他和德拉麥特奇契斯特有關係.我完全沒聽過這個人,也許你知道他是誰.

However—our guests came Friday afternoon in time for tea in the senior corridor, and then dashed down to the hotel for dinner. The hotel was so full that they slept in rows on the billiard tables, they say. Jimmie McBride says that the next time he is bidden to a social event in this college, he is going to bring one of their Adirondack tents and pitch it on the campus.

總之 - 我們的客人在週五下午到達,剛好趕上大四生廳堂的午茶,然後衝回飯店吃晚飯.他們說因為飯店客滿了,所以他們得排排睡在撞球桌上.吉米麥克白說下回他再受邀到我們學校參加活動時,他要把他們家夏日野營的帳蓬帶來,在我們校園中紮營.

At seven-thirty they came back for the President's reception and dance. Our functions commence early! We had the men's cards all made out ahead of time, and after every dance, we'd leave them in groups, under the letter that stood for their names, so that they could be readily found by their next partners. Jimmie McBride, for example, would stand patiently under 'M' until he was claimed. (At least, he ought to have stood patiently, but he kept wandering off and getting mixed with 'R's' and 'S's' and all sorts of letters.) I found him a very difficult guest; he was sulky because he had only three dances with me. He said he was bashful about dancing with girls he didn't know!


The next morning we had a glee club concert—and who do you think wrote the funny new song composed for the occasion? It's the truth. She did. Oh, I tell you, Daddy, your little foundling is getting to be quite a prominent person!

第二天早上我們有一個很開心的演唱會 - 你知道會中那首有趣的新歌是誰寫的嗎?沒錯!真的是她寫的.跟你說,Daddy,你的小棄兒已經變成一個蠻傑出的人了.

Anyway, our gay two days were great fun, and I think the men enjoyed it. Some of them were awfully perturbed at first at the prospect of facing one thousand girls; but they got acclimated very quickly. Our two Princeton men had a beautiful time—at least they politely said they had, and they've invited us to their dance next spring. We've accepted, so please don't object, Daddy dear.

總之在這愉悅的兩天我們玩得很開心,我想男士們也是.想到要見到一千個女孩子,有些男士一開始還挺擔心的,但他們很快就調適過來了.我們來自普林斯頓的那兩位男士度過了快樂的時光 - 至少他們是這麼說的,而且他們邀請我們春天去參他們學校的舞會.我們已經接受了,請不要反對,Daddy.

Julia and Sallie and I all had new dresses. Do you want to hear about them? Julia's was cream satin and gold embroidery and she wore purple orchids. It was a DREAM and came from Paris, and cost a million dollars.


Sallie's was pale blue trimmed with Persian embroidery, and went beautifully with red hair. It didn't cost quite a million, but was just as effective as Julia's.


Mine was pale pink crepe de chine trimmed with ecru lace and rose satin. And I carried crimson roses which J. McB. sent (Sallie having told him what colour to get). And we all had satin slippers and silk stockings and chiffon scarfs to match.


You must be deeply impressed by these millinery details.


One can't help thinking, Daddy, what a colourless life a man is forced to lead, when one reflects that chiffon and Venetian point and hand embroidery and Irish crochet are to him mere empty words. Whereas a woman—whether she is interested in babies or microbes or husbands or poetry or servants or parallelograms or gardens or Plato or bridge—is fundamentally and always interested in clothes.

當你想到雪紡紗,威尼斯針法,手工刺繡和愛爾蘭針織對一個男人是如此空洞的字眼時,忍不住會想到男人被迫面對的是多麼沒有色彩的生命啊!然而一個女人 - 不管她是不是對小孩,微生物,丈夫,詩詞,傭人,平行四邊形,園藝,柏拉圖,或是橋牌有興趣 - 對衣服的興趣是永遠根本不變的.

It's the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. (That isn't original. I got it out of one of Shakespeare's plays).


However, to resume. Do you want me to tell you a secret that I've lately discovered? And will you promise not to think me vain? Then listen: I'm pretty.

I am, really. I'd be an awful idiot not to know it with three looking-glasses in the room.

A Friend

PS. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters you read about in novels.




PS    這是一封你在小說中會讀到的匿名信.

始祖鳥 Archaeopteryx 長這樣

這個單字 (t不發音喔) 我大概一輩子也背不起來吧

Image from: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinos/Archaeopteryx.shtml

茱蒂參加舞會的洋裝的蕾絲滾邊的蕾絲原文是ecru lace


我也不知道 ecru lace lace 有什麼差別


Image from: http://www.pinklillyhandbags.com/fabrics.html



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