主题:Andrew Marr:我们英国人——英国诗歌文学简史 -- 万年看客

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2020-01-01 22:18:55
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万年看客`28000`/bbsIMG/face/0000.gif`70`238`25651`188150`正五品下:朝议大夫|宁远将军`2008-09-25 10:28:43`
理性时代以及奴隶与污秽等等5 1

尽管索莫韦尔笔下景象看上去十分祥和,但是“囊中羞涩的船长”一句还是提醒了我们,十八世纪的英国社会在大部分时候都处于战争状态并且高度军事化。上文中我们见识了乔纳森.斯威夫特的凶猛反战诗歌,下文中我们还要接触到小说家多比亚斯.斯摩莱特旗鼓相当的反战文学。但是战争的确为许多青年男性提供了就业机会与社会地位,待到英国与敌国签订合约时这些人往往痛心疾首。比方说理查森.派克,此人是一位职业士兵,曾经参加过西班牙王位继承战争,退伍后先后定居在伦敦与阿伯丁。1713年英法两国签订了《乌德勒支和约》,就此终结了欧洲的王朝冲突(就是这份协议将直布罗陀割让给了英国)。消息传来举国欢庆,但是派克却另有想法。他以一位“收入微薄、住在乡间的军官”的身份向伦敦的朋友抱怨道:

CURSE on the star, dear Harry, that betrayed

My choice from law, divinity or trade,

To turn a rambling brother o' the blade!

Of all professions sure the worst is war.

How whimsical our fortune! how bizarre!

This week we shine in scarlet and in gold:

The next, the cloak is pawned- -the watch is sold.

Today we re company for any lord:

Tomorrow not a soul will take our word.

Like meteors raised in a tempestuous sky,

A while we gitter, then obscurely die.

Must heroes suffer such disgrace as this?

0 cursed effects of Honourable Peace!

亲爱的亨利,该死的星运竟敢背叛

我遵从法律、神意与技艺做出的决断,

让持剑的兄弟沦为喋喋不休的闲汉!

一切行当当中战争的确最糟糕,

可是我们的命运怎么会如此蹊跷!

这个礼拜我们身穿大红军装,金色勋章多么骄傲,

下个礼拜就要将大衣送进当铺,怀表也要卖掉。

今天我们身边都是各位贵族相伴,

明天磨破嘴皮也得不到正眼相看。

恰似流星划过动荡的天空,

上一刻熠熠生辉,下一刻无影无踪。

大英雄莫非必须蒙尘纳垢?

啊,光荣的和平真该受诅咒!

在战争期间他桃花运不断,喝够了香槟酒。现在的情况可是无法与那时候相比了:

Must now retire, and languish out my days

Far from the roads of pleasure or of praise:

Quit sweet Hyde Park for dull provincial air,

And change the playhouse for a country fair;

With sneaking parsons beastly bumpers quaff,

At low conceits and vile conundrums laugh;

Toast to the Church and talk of Right Divine,

And herd with squires- -more noisy than their swine.

Must heroes suffer such disgrace as this?

0 cursed effects of Honourable Peace!

现在我不得不退伍,徒劳追忆往昔,

远离了享乐道路上的怒马鲜衣,

离开美丽的海德公园,忍受沉闷的农村空气,

将大剧院替换成粗鄙的地方土戏;

獐头鼠目的教区牧师端着大杯牛饮咕咚,

花言巧语和倒霉糗事逗得他们大笑出声;

他们向教会祝酒,胡扯什么神意奥妙,

跟他们厮混的乡绅比猪猡更加聒噪。

大英雄莫非必须蒙尘纳垢?

啊,光荣的和平真该受诅咒!

如今他不仅伙食标准大为下降,而且还丧失了女人缘:

There was a time- -oh yes! there was a time-

(Ere poverty made luxury a crime)

When marigolds in porridge were a jest,

And soups were used to introduce the feast.

Then French ragouts were orthodox and good,

And truffles held no heresy in food.

Nor to eat mackerel was judged high treason,

Though gooseberries as yet were not in season.

But under Harley's frugal dispensation,

These vanities require a reformation.

Scourged by his wand and humbled by his sway,

I've learned to suit my diet to my pay;

And now can sanctify with solemn face

A heavy dumpling with a formal grace.

In awkward plenty, slovenly I dine,

And nappy ale supplies the want of wine.

No nice desserts my learned palate please:

To fill up chinks- -a slice of Suffolk cheese.

And must then heroes nibble Suffolk cheese?

0 cursed effects of Honourable Peace!

曾几何时——啊,确实有过那样的时节,

那时贫困尚未抹杀奢侈与犯罪的区别。

那时粥碗里点缀着金盏花瓣,

汤菜的作用无非是引导正宴;

法式蔬菜炖肉量大味鲜,

松露也不算出格的异端;

来一条鲭鱼算不得叛国重罪,

尽管醋栗的时节总是不对。

但是小气的哈利削减了退伍津贴,*1

上述美食只能长期欠缺。

他一挥魔杖,我只得低头弯腰,

摸索着让伙食符合日常开销。

如今我总是摆出一脸严肃

小口吞咽死沉的汤团果腹。

份量倒是管够,我吃得慢慢腾腾,

喝不起红酒,只能用麦芽啤酒补充。

再也没有餐后甜点让我眉开眼笑,

只能凑合着嚼一片萨福克奶酪。

大英雄干嚼萨福克奶酪?何以沦落至此?

啊,光荣的和平究竟多么可耻!

*1【即罗伯特.哈利,安妮女王时代的首相。】

But ah! the hardest part is still behind-

The fair too, gentle Harry, prove unkind.

Think then how wretchedly my life must pass!

For what's this world, my friend, without a lass?

Poor be my lot, inglorious be my state,

Give me but woman, I'll absolve my fate.

But 'tis in vain. Th' ungrateful sex, as senseless as unjust,

To feed their pride will even starve their lust;

And fooled by equipage and empty show,

Quit the tough soldier for the lathy beau.

I who so oft their forward zeal have showed,

And in their service spent my warmest blood,

Am now reduced (hard fate!) for want of pelf

To fight the Jesuit's battle by myself.

Must heroes suffer such disgrace as this?

O cursed effects of Honourable Peace!

可是啊,最艰难的部分还在后面,

亲爱的哈利,如今美女们对我都不待见。

你想想我的生活现在多么惨淡,

亲爱的朋友啊,我的世界缺少了姑娘的陪伴!

纵然命途多舛,纵然世事艰难,

只要不缺女人,我就能与命运周旋。

可是这不知感恩的性别,全然不讲道理,

为了满足骄傲,就连情欲都置之不理。

花言巧语将她们哄得团团转,

只喜欢小白脸,大头兵看都不看。

她们也曾向我殷勤频献,

我也曾为她们浴血奋战,

如今(艰难的命运!)手头缺少阿堵物,

只能独自将奸人的攻势顶住。

大英雄莫非必须蒙尘纳垢?

啊,光荣的和平真该受诅咒!

以上诗文描写了战争世界不太常见的一面,但是听上去依旧十分真诚。当然,缅怀一场发生在其他国家并且早已过去的冲突的确不太难。这首抱怨诗问世三十年后,英国经受了1745年的詹姆斯二世党人叛乱。这是英国本土上的最后一场全面战斗,决战地点在卡洛登。查尔斯.爱德华.斯图尔特王子的军队在这里被康博兰公爵击败。苏格兰高地随后经受了一轮严酷镇压,留下的伤口很久之后方才愈合。多比亚斯.斯摩莱特是一名人气旺盛且争议缠身的小说家,他离开故乡苏格兰来到伦敦为海军工作。他的小说极少直接涉及政治,但是他最早发表的作品就是一首充满激情的后卡洛登时代挽歌。请看《苏格兰之泪》(The Tears of Scotland):

Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn

Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn!

Thy sons, for valour long renown'd,

Lie slaughter'd on their native ground;

Thy hospitable roofs no more

Invite the stranger to the door;

In smoky ruins sunk they lie,

The monuments of cruelty.

悲恸吧,加勒多尼亚,尽情的悲恸

桂冠被撕碎,和平遭到断送!

你的子弟,长久以来英勇无双,

如今惨遭屠戮,丧命在家乡;

曾经好客的住宅再也不会

将陌生人请进房门之内;

如今只剩下冒烟的残垣断壁,

提醒人们将残忍行径铭记。

The wretched owner sees afar

His all become the prey of war,

Bethinks him of his babes and wife,

Then smites his breast and curses life.

Thy swains are famish'd on the rocks

Where once they fed their wanton flocks;

Thy ravish'd virgins shriek in vain;

Thy infants perish on the plain.

五内如焚的房主远远看见

战争将他的所有化作焦土一片,

想起他的妻儿如今已然没救,

他捶胸顿足将人生诅咒。

青年曾经在岩地放养牲畜,

如今却躲在这里饥肠辘辘;

惨遭蹂躏的少女嘶喊疯狂,

幼弱的婴儿在平原上夭亡。

What boots it then, in every clime,

Through the wide-spreading waste of time,

Thy martial glory, crown'd with praise,

Still shone with undiminish'd blaze?

Thy towering spirit now is broke,

Thy neck is bended to the yoke;

What foreign arms could never quell

By civil rage and rancour fell.

这一切根源何在,在各种天气当中,

漫长的时光到头来都是一场空,

尚武的荣耀,也曾饱受礼赞,

雪亮的锋刃如今怎堪验看?

高昂的精神如今遭到摧折,

脖颈上被强加了一副重轭;

异邦军队从未能将此地降服,

如今却惨遭内战怨憎的荼毒。

……

O baneful cause, O fatal morn,

Accursed to ages yet unborn!

The sons against their father stood,

The parent shed his children's blood.

Yet, when the rage of battle ceased,

The victor's soul was not appeased;-

The naked and forlorn must feel

Devouring flames and murdering steel!

哦,可恨的根由,哦,致命的哀悼

遭受诅咒的世代眼下尚未来到!

谁成想儿子竟会将父亲攻打,

父辈竟会将子女的鲜血泼洒。

可是待到战争怒火平息之后,

胜利者的灵魂却还嫌不够,

赤裸的难民们必须再经受一遭

吞噬无度的烈火与杀人的钢刀!

The pious mother, doom'd to death,

Forsaken wanders o'er the heath:

The bleak wind whistles round her head,

Her helpless orphans cry for bread;

Bereft of shelter, food, and friend,

She views the shades of night descend;

And, stretch'd beneath the inclement skies,

Weeps o'er her tender babes, and dies.

虔诚的母亲,注定难逃一死,

无助地在荒野里游荡不止。

凄厉寒风刮过她耳边,呼啸声高,

无助的孤儿哭喊着想要面包;

没了家园,没了粮食,没了亲友依靠,

眼看着夜幕降临将天地笼罩;

在冷酷的天空下,她喘出最后一口气,

为了娇儿流下眼泪,然后死去。

While the warm blood bedews my veins,

And unimpair'd remembrance reigns,

Resentment of my country's fate

Within my filial breast shall beat;

And, spite of her insulting foe,

My sympathising verse shall flow.

Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn

Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn!

火热的血液在我的血管里流淌,

脑海中的记忆永远不会被遗忘,

我怨憎祖国遭到的厄运,

胸怀里跳动着人子的愤恨;

我要怒斥竟敢侮辱她的敌人,

源源不绝地写下同情的诗文。

悲恸吧,加勒多尼亚,尽情的悲恸

桂冠被撕碎,和平遭到断送!

斯摩莱特很熟悉军旅生涯。他曾经在皇家海军担任外科医生,他在小说当中也花费了不少笔墨来描写军队的肮脏暗面。但是如果读者们真想了解在一艘乔治二世国王时期的战舰上生活是怎样的感受,斯摩莱特的文笔还是略逊一筹,倒不如去读一读某无名诗人撰写的讽刺诗:《一名海上随军牧师就船尾瞭望台的使用情况向指挥室各级军官请愿》(A Sea Chaplain's Petition to the Lieutenants in the Ward-room, for the Use of the Quarter Gallery)。诗文的标题虽然拗口,内容却很直白。战舰上的随军牧师不想继续与其他水兵一起在船尾解大手,而是希望能使用相对隐秘舒适的军官们专用厕所。当然,诗人也知道自己仅仅在靠岸期间才有资格与军官同桌吃饭,但是他依然忍不住请求军官们给个方便:

You that can grant or can refuse the pow'r,

Low from the stern to drop the golden show'r

When nature prompts,Oh! patient deign to hear,

If not a parson's, yet a poet's pray'r!

E'er taught the difference, to commissions due,

Presumptuous I aspir'd to mess with you :

But since the diff'rence known 'twixt sea & shore,

That mighty happiness I urge no more,

An humble boon, and of a different kind,

(Grant heav'n a diff'rent answer it may find)

Attends you now (excuse the rhyme I write),

And tho' I mess not with you--let me shite!

你若有权拒绝或者允许

从船尾向下洒落黄金雨

在自然督促之际,哦!请耐心听我分说根由,

就算这不是牧师发言,至少是诗人的祈求。

在下早就学过军衔高低之分,

也曾放肆地胆敢与各位厮混;

但是海上与岸上的规矩不能相提并论,

我自然也再不敢寻求此等天大福分。

只有一点卑微的请求,源自另一方面

(惟愿上天赐予我不同的答案),

允许我加入你们(请原谅我强行押韵)

——我绝无冒犯之意——当我必须排粪!

当然,缺乏隐私还远远算不上是最严重的问题。接下来的诗文更是直言不讳地描述了船上的如厕方式:

Of those more vulgar tubes that downward peep,

Near where the lion awes the raging deep,

The waggish youths, I tell what I am told,

Oft smear the sides with excremental gold,

Say then, when pease, within the belly pent,

Roar at the port and struggle for a vent,

Say, shall I pludge on dung remissly down,

And with unseemly ordure stain the gown?

Or shall I - terrible to think - displode,

Against the unbutton'd plush the smoky load?

The laugh of swabbers? - Heav'n avert the jest !

And from th' impending scorn preserve your priest!

那些更粗鄙的管道自然也会向下窥探,

位置就在那傲视波涛的船首狮头侧面。

那些顽劣的青年——这话也是别人告诉我

——惯于将后门出产的黄金在狮头两边涂抹。

例如当豌豆在某人腹中起劲翻搅,

自然要跑到船舷将宣泄场所寻找。

莫非我排放污秽时只能马虎随意,

听任这身法袍沾染上刺鼻的臭气?

又莫非我只能——天可怜见——原地爆破,

解开绒毛裤,喷发出热气腾腾的负荷?

沦为拖地勤务兵的笑柄?——上天开恩!

别让你们的教士被奚落得无处容身!

十八世纪英语诗歌全都彬彬有礼的成见到此就可以休矣了。接下来随军牧师又抱怨说他嫉妒船上的皮匠,因为皮匠有专属的厕所。他此前空耗光阴接受教育与祝圣,可是现在的如厕条件还赶不上区区一个“收拾皮革的家伙”:

Ah! What avails it, that in days of yore,

The instructive lashes of the birch I bore.

For four long years with logic stuff'd my head,

And feeding thought went supperless to bed,

Since you with whom my lot afloat is thrown,

(O sense! O elegance! to land unknown)

Superiour rev'rence to the man refuse,

Who mends your morals, than who mends your shoes.

啊!这么多年的辛苦,究竟为了什么?

桦树枝教鞭的抽打我曾无数次挨过。

整整四年研究逻辑,塞满我的头脑,

空着肚子上床睡觉,脑子里只顾思考。

现在我与你们几位一起漂流在海上,

(啊理性!啊优雅!都留在了陆地的方向)

诸位却拒绝授予更高一等的尊敬,

振奋士气之人还赶不上鞋匠的处境。

以上诗文肯定无法与蒲柏的手笔相提并论,甚至与斯威夫特都相差甚远。但是诗文当中的确蕴藏着源于个人尊严与阶级歧视的真切愤怒。在笔者看来,这一首诗对于皇家海军生活的描述足以与一大摞历史著作相提并论。


2020-01-01 22:18:55

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