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2013年1月9日 星期三

LAUGHTER, 1920. part 4

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LAUGHTER, 1920.


By Max Beerbohm


出處

But (it seems that I must begin every paragraph by questioning the sincerity of what I have just said) has the gift of laughter been withdrawn from me? I protest that I do still, at the age of forty-seven, laugh often and loud and long. But not, I believe, so long and loud and often as in my less smiling youth. And I am proud, nowadays, of laughing, and grateful to any one who makes me laugh. That is a bad sign. I no longer take laughter as a matter of course. I realise, even after reading M. Bergson on it, how good a thing it is. I am qualified to praise it.


可是(似乎我得在每段的開頭質問,對我所說的是否真心)大笑這項天賦的禮物是否已從我身上收回?我堅持認為我仍然,在四十七歲之年,經常笑得既大聲又長久。卻不似我在較少微笑的年少時那麼大聲長久了,我相信。如今,我既驕傲於仍能大笑,也對那些使我大笑的人心存感激。這是個壞徵兆。我不再視大笑為理所當然之事。我認識到,即使在讀完Bergson先生關於此的文章後,大笑是件美好的事。我夠格去對它讚美歌頌。

As to what is most precious among the accessories to the world we live in, different men hold different opinions. There are people whom the sea depresses, whom mountains exhilarate. Personally, I want the sea always — some not populous edge of it for choice; and with it sunshine, and wine, and a little music. My friend on the mountain yonder is of tougher fibre and sterner outlook, disapproves of the sea's laxity and instability, has no ear for music and no palate for the grape, and regards the sun as a rather enervating institution, like central heating in a house. What he likes is a grey day and the wind in his face; crags at a great altitude; and a flask of whisky. Yet I think that even he, if we were trying to determine from what inner sources mankind derives the greatest pleasure in life, would agree with me that only the emotion of love takes higher rank than the emotion of laughter. Both these emotions are partly mental, partly physical. It is said that the mental symptoms of love are wholly physical in origin. They are not the less ethereal for that. The physical sensations of laughter, on the other hand, are reached by a process whose starting-point is in the mind. They are not the less ' gloriously of our clay.' There is laughter that goes so far as to lose all touch with its motive, and to exist only, grossly, in itself. This is laughter at its best. A man to whom such laughter has often been granted may happen to die in a work-house. No matter. I will not admit that he has failed in life. Another man, who has never laughed thus, may be buried in Westminster Abbey, leaving more than a million pounds overhead. What then? I regard him as a failure.

我們所生活的世界上各式各樣伴隨的事物中,什麼最為珍貴?不同人有不同看法。有人樂山而厭海,我個人永遠想要與海為伍,選擇人煙稀少之海邊,享受陽光,葡萄美酒,和一些音樂。選擇山那頭的吾友,有較強硬的性格與剛毅的外貌,不喜海的閒散與無常,不能欣賞音樂,亦無對葡萄的品味,把太陽當做令人精力耗盡的設施,像是屋子裡的中央暖氣。他所受的是陰暗的天,拂面的風,高聳的峭壁以及一瓶威士忌酒。但即便是他,若問何種情感產生生活中的最大樂趣,亦會同意,惟有愛能排在大笑的前面。兩種情緒皆是心理與生理參半。據說愛的情感所產生的心理徵狀完全是源自於生理。這並不使其美好稍減。另一方面,大笑之生理激動情緒,源頭全在心理。其肉體上的美妙並不遜於心理上的。有種大笑持續太久以致於完全失去與最初起因的連結,成為純然的大笑。這是大笑的極致。一個人若經常得以如此大笑,即使死於濟貧院,我亦不以為其生活失敗。另一人若從未大笑,即使身後留下萬金,安葬於西敏寺,又怎樣?我視其為失敗者。
sincerity [記憶法] [sɪn`sɛrətɪ; sin'sɛrəti] 真實,誠懇
withdraw [記憶法] [wɪð`drɔ, wɪθ; wið'drɔ:, wiθ] 收回
protest [記憶法] [prə`tɛst; prə'tɛst] 堅決聲明
grateful [記憶法] [`grɛtfəl; 'grɛitful] 感激的
realise [記憶法] [`riəˌlaɪz, `rɪə-; 'riəlain] (英)=realize 認識到, 體會到
qualified [記憶法] [`kwɑləˌfaɪd; 'kwɔlifaid] 有資格的
praise [記憶法] [prɛz; prɛiz] 稱讚,讚揚
precious [記憶法] [`prɛʃəs; 'prɛʃəs] 要的,寶貴的,貴重的
accessory [記憶法] [æk`sɛsərɪ; æk'sɛsəri, ək-] 附屬品,配件; 裝飾品
opinion [記憶法] [ə`pɪnjən; ə'pinjən] 意見,見解
depress [記憶法] [dɪ`prɛs; di'prɛs] 使<人>意志消沉,使…沮喪,使…憂鬱
exhilarate [記憶法] [ɪg`zɪləˌrɛt; ig'zilərɛit] 使<人>興高采烈,使<心情>快活
populous [記憶法] [`pɑpjələs; 'pɔpjuləs] 人口稠密的; 人口多的
sunshine [記憶法] [`sʌnˌʃaɪn; 'sʌnʃain] 日光,陽光
yonder [`jɑndɚ; 'jɔndə] 在那邊
tough [記憶法] [tʌf; tʌf] 頑固的,頑強的
stern [記憶法] [stɝn; stə:n] 嚴肅的,令人害怕的
laxity [記憶法] [`læksətɪ; 'læksəti] 鬆弛,懶散
palate [記憶法] [`pælɪt; 'pælət] (對於食物、飲料的) 味覺
grape [記憶法] [grɛp; grɛip] 葡萄
enervating [記憶法] 使人失去活力的
crag [記憶法] [kræg; kræg] 危崖,峭壁
altitude [記憶法] [`æltəˌtud, -ˌtjud; 'æltitju:d] 高度,海拔
flask [記憶法] [flæsk; flɑ:sk] (裝威士忌等的) 攜帶用扁瓶 (玻璃或金屬製)
whisky [記憶法] ['hwiski] 威士忌酒
derive [記憶法] [də`raɪv; di'raiv, də-] 起源[於…],衍生[於…]
mental [記憶法] [`mɛntl; 'mɛntl] 心理的,精神的
physical [記憶法] [`fɪzɪkl; 'fizikl] 身體的
symptom [記憶法] [`sɪmptəm; 'simptəm] 徵候,徵兆
ethereal [記憶法] [ɪ`θɪrɪəl; i:'θiəriəl, i-] 微妙的
sensation [記憶法] [sɛn`sɛʃən; sɛn'sɛiʃn] 感覺,知覺
clay [記憶法] [klɛ; klɛi] 肉體
motive [記憶法] [`motɪv; 'moutiv] 動機,動因
grant [記憶法] [grænt; grɑ:nt] 授與;給予
Westminster Abbey [`wɛstˌmɪnstɚ; 'wɛstminstə] [`æbɪ; 'æbi] 西敏寺 (Westminster Abbey)
overhead [記憶法] [`ovɚˌhɛd; 'ouvəhɛd] 用費