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長腿叔叔 (39)

20th December

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

I've just a moment, because I must attend two classes, pack a trunk and a suit-case, and catch the four-o'clock train—but I couldn't go without sending a word to let you know how much I appreciate my Christmas box.



我只有幾分鐘的時間可以寫信了,因為我得去上兩堂課,然後打包一大一小的行李箱,趕四點的火車 - 但在我出發之前,我一定要跟你說我有多麼感謝你寄來的耶誕禮盒.

I love the furs and the necklace and the Liberty scarf and the gloves and handkerchiefs and books and purse—and most of all I love you! But Daddy, you have no business to spoil me this way. I'm only human—and a girl at that. How can I keep my mind sternly fixed on a studious career, when you deflect me with such worldly frivolities?

我好愛你送的皮草,項鍊,圍巾,手套,手帕,書和錢包 - 但更重要的是我好愛你!但是,Daddy,你不可以這樣子寵我.我只是一個平凡人 - 一個女孩.當你送我這麼世俗的奢侈品時,我如何專心致力於學習這件事呢?

I have strong suspicions now as to which one of the John Grier Trustees used to give the Christmas tree and the Sunday ice-cream. He was nameless, but by his works I know him! You deserve to be happy for all the good things you do.

Goodbye, and a very merry Christmas.

                               Yours always,

PS. I am sending a slight token, too. Do you think you would like her if you knew her?





PS    我也寄了一個小禮物給你.如果你認識她,你會喜歡她嗎?

11th January

I meant to write to you from the city, Daddy, but New York is an engrossing place.

I had an interesting—and illuminating—time, but I'm glad I don't belong to such a family! I should truly rather have the John Grier Home for a background. Whatever the drawbacks of my bringing up, there was at least no pretence about it. I know now what people mean when they say they are weighed down by Things. The material atmosphere of that house was crushing; I didn't draw a deep breath until I was on an express train coming back. All the furniture was carved and upholstered and gorgeous; the people I met were beautifully dressed and low-voiced and well-bred, but it's the truth, Daddy, I never heard one word of real talk from the time we arrived until we left. I don't think an idea ever entered the front door.



我度過一個有趣的 - 而且耀眼的 - 耶誕假期,而且我很慶幸我不屬於這麼一戶人家.我真心的寧願我的出身是孤兒院.不管成長過程有多少不順,至少其中沒有偽裝.現在當人們說到身外之物所造成的負擔時,我瞭解他們真正的意思了.那戶人家的物質氛圍令人喘不過氣來;直到搭上回來的火車,我才真正的髮了口氣.他們的家俱充滿了華麗的雕刻和軟墊;在他們家遇到的人個個都打扮高貴,壓低聲音說話,而且教養良好;但說真的,Daddy,從我到達的那一刻起,我沒有聽到一句真心話.我想真心話在他們家是不存在的.

Mrs. Pendleton never thinks of anything but jewels and dressmakers and social engagements. She did seem a different kind of mother from Mrs. McBride! If I ever marry and have a family, I'm going to make them as exactly like the McBrides as I can. Not for all the money in the world would I ever let any children of mine develop into Pendletons. Maybe it isn't polite to criticize people you've been visiting? If it isn't, please excuse. This is very confidential, between you and me.


I only saw Master Jervie once when he called at tea time, and then I didn't have a chance to speak to him alone. It was really disappointing after our nice time last summer. I don't think he cares much for his relatives—and I am sure they don't care much for him! Julia's mother says he's unbalanced. He's a Socialist—except, thank Heaven, he doesn't let his hair grow and wear red ties. She can't imagine where he picked up his queer ideas; the family have been Church of England for generations. He throws away his money on every sort of crazy reform, instead of spending it on such sensible things as yachts and automobiles and polo ponies. He does buy candy with it though! He sent Julia and me each a box for Christmas.

我只有見到哲維少爺一次,他在午茶時間來訪,但我沒有機會和他單獨說話.我好失望,因為去年夏天我們一起在農場玩得好開心.我不認為他有多關心他的親戚,反之亦然.茱莉亞的媽媽說他人格失衡.他是一個社會主義者 - 不過謝天謝地的是他沒有留長髮戴紅領帶.她不知道他那些奇思怪想是哪來的;他們全家好幾代都上英格蘭教堂.他在各種瘋狂的改革上一擲千金,而不是把錢花在有意義的事物上,例如遊艇,汽車和打馬球時騎的小馬.不過他倒是有用他的錢買糖果.他送我和茱莉亞一人一盒耶誕糖果.

You know, I think I'll be a Socialist, too. You wouldn't mind, would you, Daddy? They're quite different from Anarchists; they don't believe in blowing people up. Probably I am one by rights; I belong to the proletariat. I haven't determined yet just which kind I am going to be. I will look into the subject over Sunday, and declare my principles in my next.


I've seen loads of theatres and hotels and beautiful houses. My mind is a confused jumble of onyx and gilding and mosaic floors and palms. I'm still pretty breathless but I am glad to get back to college and my books—I believe that I really am a student; this atmosphere of academic calm I find more bracing than New York. College is a very satisfying sort of life; the books and study and regular classes keep you alive mentally, and then when your mind gets tired, you have the gymnasium and outdoor athletics, and always plenty of congenial friends who are thinking about the same things you are. We spend a whole evening in nothing but talk—talk—talk—and go to bed with a very uplifted feeling, as though we had settled permanently some pressing world problems. And filling in every crevice, there is always such a lot of nonsense—just silly jokes about the little things that come up but very satisfying. We do appreciate our own witticisms!

我看到好多好多的劇院和飯店和漂亮的房子.腦中塞滿了混亂的瑪瑙和鍍金和馬賽克地磚和手心.我還沒有恢復平靜,但很興趣回到校園和我的書堆中 - 我相信我真的是個學生;學校的平靜氣氛比紐約更令人振奮.大學生活讓人心生滿足;書籍,學習和固定的課程讓人精神充實,讀累了可以去體育館或是操場運動一下,而且還有很多氣味相投的朋友和你思考著相同的事情.我們整晚除了說話什麼也沒做,然後精神奕奕的上床睡覺去,好像我們解決了重要的世界大事似的.而在每一個生活中的細縫是無止盡的廢話 - 一些對瑣碎小事脫口而出的蠢笑話.我們還蠻欣賞我們的俏皮話的.

It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones—I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be for ever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant. It's like farming. You can have extensive farming and intensive farming; well, I am going to have intensive living after this. I'm going to enjoy every second, and I'm going to KNOW I'm enjoying it while I'm enjoying it. Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose all sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not. I've decided to sit down by the way and pile up a lot of little happinesses, even if I never become a Great Author. Did you ever know such a philosopheress as I am developing into?

                                   Yours ever,

PS. It's raining cats and dogs tonight. Two puppies and a kitten have just landed on the window-sill.

並不是最大的喜悅才是最重要的;喜悅是來自無數的小事 - 我已經發現快樂的秘訣了,Daddy,就是活在當下.不要老是對過去的事感到後悔,或是對未來抱有期望;而是讓眼前的這一刻過得最最飽滿.就跟種田一樣,你可以在廣大的農場努力工作著,而我則打算努力的生活著.我要充分享受每一秒,而且在我享受著每一秒的生活時,我要知道自己正在享受人生.大部份的人不是在過生活,而是在比賽.他們努力的想要達到遠在地平線的目標,他們熱切的追逐,跑得氣喘噓噓,導致沒空欣賞沿途美麗寧靜的鄉村景緻;當他們回過神來時,發現自己已經年老體衰,驚覺有沒有達到目標根本不重要.我決定要在路邊坐下,把所有的小幸福疊起來堆得高高的,即使我因此而不能成為一個大作家.你有聽過如我這般的女哲學家嗎?



PS    今晚下著傾盆大雨.兩隻小狗和一隻小貓才剛落到窗台上.(註)

註:英文的傾盆大雨是 raining cats and dogs,字面的意思是下貓跟狗;關於這個片語的起源有一些不同的說法,我也不知道哪個是正確的.



Just for fun


Image from: http://mylearningpod.org/2011bcps44/?p=9896






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