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2012/05/03

長腿叔叔 (46)

26th December

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?

十二月二十六日

最最親愛的Daddy

你難道不知道給一個女孩子十七件耶誕禮物是一件不對的事嗎?請別忘了我是社會主義者,難道你想把我變成富豪財閥嗎?

Think how embarrassing it would be if we should ever quarrel! I should have to engage a moving-van to return your gifts.

如果我們吵架了,想想看那會有多可怕!我可能得僱一輛搬家的貨車,才能把所有你送我的禮物退回給你.


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.

請原諒我寄給你的領巾,我知道我的編織技巧還不夠純熟(無疑的你可以從中發現證據).天氣冷的時候請記得繫上,大衣的鈕釦要扣緊.

Thank you, Daddy, a thousand times. I think you're the sweetest man that ever lived—and the foolishest!

Judy

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.

                        茱蒂

 

Here's a four-leaf clover from Camp McBride to bring you good luck for the New Year.

隨信附上我在麥克白家營地撿到的四葉幸運草,祝你新年好運.

9th January

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.

一月九日

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!

當人們仰望上天並說,“也許這樣對我們是最好的,”其實他們心知肚明並非如此時,總是讓我憤怒.謙卑,順從,或是不管你選擇何種字眼去稱呼這種心態,對我而言只是單純的惰性.我相信的是孜孜不倦的宗教.(註)

註:酒鬼凱特十分贊同茱蒂對惰性的解釋,有人老說台灣的失業率多高又多高,但天知道有多少需要勞力的辛苦工作沒有人願意去做.雙手萬能,只要你手腳勤快,貧窮只是兩個字而已.

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?

我相信我的裁縫女孩對世事的存在毫不懷疑.

你知道我寫的新書哪裏去了嗎?在垃圾桶裏.我自己都知道那本書對地球沒什麼幫功,而當作者本身都這麼認為時,一般大眾的批評又會如何?

Later

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.

Yours,

J. A.

稍後

從病榻中寫信給你,Daddy.我的扁桃腺腫了兩天了,除了熱牛奶什麼也吞不下.“為什麼小時候妳的父母沒有把妳的扁桃腺割掉呢?他們在想什麼?”這是醫生問我的話.我一點也不知道為什麼,而且我懷疑他們到底有多關心我.

Next morning

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.

                        Affectionately,

Judy

隔天早上

在把信封起來之前我又讀了一回.我不知道為何我在人生投入如此迷濛的氣氛.忍不住要跟你保證其實我又年青又快樂又生氣勃勃,我相信你也是.年輕跟生日無關,而是跟活力有關,所以即使你的頭髮已經灰白,你還是可以當一個男孩子的.

                        衷心的,

                        茱蒂

 

 

幸運草 clover 通常是三葉的

老實說我從沒親眼見過四葉的幸運草

 

Image from: http://www.illustrationsof.com/26359-royalty-free-clover-clipart-illustration

 

桌上擺飾也有一個英文單字 centerpiece (英式拼法是 centrepiece)

我第一次看到這個單字有點迷惑

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

我在找圖片時發現大部份的擺飾都是出現在婚禮上,而且大多是鮮花

我覺得鮮花這種裝飾如果是放在家裏,一次可以放個幾天倒也還好

但是放在婚禮上裝飾的鮮花往往過了婚宴那幾個小時就丟掉了

為了一個浪漫的婚禮而這樣浪費,是幫浪費找一個堂而皇之的藉口吧

而婚禮的浪費又豈只是這區區的桌上飾品而已

我對台灣浪費至極的婚禮文化感到很不可思議

你結婚了嗎?砸了很多錢花了很多心血拍的婚紗你拿出來看過幾次?

愛護生命保護地球,請把這些錢捐給需要幫助的生命吧

 

Image from: http://pinterest.com/susie140/wedding-or-baby-showers/

 

 



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