• 作者: 马克吐温
  • 来源:
  • 发表于2017-03-28 14:26
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  •  By Mark Twain

    A few months ago I was nominated for Governor of the great State of New York, to run against Stewart L. Woodford and John T. Hoffman, on an independent ticket. I somehow felt that I had one prominent advantage over these gentlemen, and that was, good character. It was easy to see by the newspapers, that if ever they had known what it was to bear a good name, that time had gone by. It was plain that in these latter years they had become familiar with all manner of shameful crimes. But at the very moment that I was exalting my advantage and joying in it in secret, there was a muddy undercurrent of discomfort "riling" the deeps of my happiness -- and that was, the having to hear my name bandied about in familiar connection with those of such people. I grew more and more disturbed. Finally I wrote my grandmother about it. Her answer came quick and sharp. She said:

    [美]马克.吐温 唐萌荪译

    几个月之前,我被提名为纽约州州长候选人,代表独立党与斯坦华脱·勒·伍福特先生和约翰·特·霍夫曼先生 竞选。我总觉得自己有超过这两位先生的显著的优点,那就是我的名声好。从报上容易看出:如果说这两位先生也曾知道爱护名声的好处,那是以往的事。近几年 来,他们显然已将各种无耻罪行视为家常便饭。当时,我虽然对自己的长处暗自庆幸,但是一想到我自己的名字得和这些人的名字混在一起到处传播,总有一股不安 的混浊潜流在我愉快心情的深处“翻搅”。我心里越来越不安,最后我给祖母写了封信,把这件事告诉她。她很快给我回了信,而且信写得很严峻,她说:

    You have never done one single thing in all your life to be ashamed of -- not one. Look at the newspapers -- look at them and comprehend what sort of characters Woodford and Hoffman are, and then see if you are willing to lower yourself to their level and enter a public canvass with them.


    It was my very thought! I did not sleep a single moment that night. But after all, I could not recede. I was fully committed and must go on with the fight. As I was looking listlessly over the papers at breakfast, I came across this paragraph, and I may truly say I never was so confounded before:
    PERJURY. -- Perhaps, now that Mr. Mark Twain is before the people as a candidate for Governor, he will condescend to explain how he came to be convicted of perjury by thirty-four witnesses, in Wakawak, Cochin China, in 1863, the intent of which perjury was to rob a poor native widow and her helpless family of a meagre plantain patch, their only stay and support in their bereavement and their desolation. Mr. Twain owes it to himself, as well as to the great people whose suffrages he asks, to clear this matter up. Will he do it?
    “伪证罪——那就是1863年,在交趾支那的瓦卡瓦克,有34名证人证明马克·吐温先生犯有伪证罪,企图侵占一小块香蕉种植地,那是当地一位穷寡妇和她那 群孤儿靠着活命的唯一资源。现在马克·吐温先生既然在众人面前出来竞选州长,那么他或许可以屈尊解释一下如下事情的经过。吐温先生不管是对自己或是对要求 投票选举他的伟大人民,都有责任澄清此事的真相。他愿意这样做吗?”
    I thought I should burst with amazement! Such a cruel, heartless charge -- I never had seen Cochin China! I never had beard of Wakawak! I didn't know a plantain patch from a kangaroo! I did not know what to do. I was crazed and helpless. I let the day slip away without doing anything at all. The next morning the same paper had this -- nothing more:
    我当时惊愕不已!竟有这样一种残酷无情的指控。我从来就没有到过交趾支那!我从来没听说过什么瓦卡瓦克!我也不知道什么香蕉种植地,正如我不知道什么是袋 鼠一样!我不知道要怎么办才好,我简直要发疯了,却又毫无办法。那一天我什么事情也没做,就让日子白白溜过去了。第二天早晨,这家报纸再没说别的什么,只 有这么一句话:
    SIGNIFICANT. -- Mr. Twain, it will be observed, is suggestively silent about the Cochin China perjury.
    [Mem. -- During the rest of the campaign this paper never referred to me in any other way than as "the infamous perjurer Twain."
    Next came the "Gazette," with this:
    WANTED TO KNOW. -- Will the new candidate for Governor deign to explain to certain of his fellow-citizens (who are suffering to vote for him!) the little circumstance of his cabin-mates in Montana losing small valuables from time to time, until at last, these things having been invariably found on Mr. Twain's person or in his "trunk" (newspaper he rolled his traps in), they felt compelled to give him a friendly admonition for his own good, and so tarred and feathered him and rode him on a rail, and then advised him to leave a permanent vacuum in the place he usually occupied in the camp. Will he do this?
    “需要查清——是否请新州长候选人向急于等着要投他票的同胞们解释一下以下一件小事?那就是吐温先生在蒙大那州野营时,与他住在同一帐篷的伙伴经常丢失小 东西,后来这些东西一件不少地都从吐温先生身上或“箱子”(即他卷藏杂物的报纸)里发现了。大家为他着想,不得不对他进行友好的告诫,在他身上涂满柏油, 粘上羽毛,叫他坐木杠①,把他撵出去,并劝告他让出铺位,从此别再回来。他愿意解释这件事吗?”
    Could anything be more deliberately malicious than that? For I never was in Montana in my life.