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無論你的生活如何卑微
無論你的生活如何卑微
楚塵文化     阅读简体中文版


無論你的生活如何卑微,要正視它,生活下去;不要躲避它,也不要惡語相加。你的生活不像你本人那么糟糕。你最富有的時候,你的生活看上去倒是最貧窮的。


吹毛求疵的人即便在天堂也能挑出瑕疵。要熱愛你的生活,盡管生活一貧如洗。即使身處貧民院,你也可能享受一段愉快、興奮、輝煌的時光。西斜的落日映照在貧民院窗戶上的余暉,與照射在富貴人家的豪宅上一樣光芒萬丈;門前的積雪一樣在早春消融。我只看到,一個氣定神閑的人在那里可以過著自得其樂的生活,抱著振奮樂觀的思想,如同居住在皇宮里一般。依我之見,城鎮的貧民倒是往往過著最獨立的生活。也許他們十分偉大,對任何事情皆可坦然受之。大多數人認為他們不屑于接受城鎮的施救;但是實際上他們經常使用不誠實的手段來維持自己的生計,這是更為不體面的。像圣賢一樣,如同栽培花園中的花草一般來培養貧困吧。犯不著千辛萬苦以求獲得新東西,無論是衣服還是朋友。把舊的翻新,回到它們中去。萬事萬物沒有變,是我們在變。


衣服要賣掉,思想要保留。上帝會證明,你并不需要社會。如果我被終日關閉在閣樓的一隅,如同一只蜘蛛,只要我還有自己的思想,那么世界還是原來那樣大。一位哲人曾說過:“三軍可奪帥也,匹夫不可奪志也。”不要急于謀求發展自己,不要讓自己受到各種影響的利用,這全都是浪費。謙卑如同黑暗,展現著天國之光。貧窮與卑賤的陰影籠罩著我們,“看啊!天地萬物在我們的眼界中擴大了”。我們常常被提醒,假使上天賜予我們克洛索斯一樣的財富,我們的目標必須依然保持不變,我們的手段也將維持基本不變。此外,如果你受到貧困的約束,比如買不起書和報紙,你的經驗不過是僅限于最有意義、最為重要的那一部分;你將不得不與那些可以產生最多的糖和淀粉的物質打交道。但是最接近骨頭的地方的生活最甜美,你不可能再成為一個無所事事的人。較高層次上的寬宏大量,不會使任何人在較低層次上獲得損失。多余的財富只能夠買多余之物。人所必需的靈魂是不需要花錢購買的。


我蟄居在一堵鉛墻的角落里,鉛墻里澆注了一點鐘銅的合金。在我正午休息的時候,常常有一陣陣嘈雜不堪的喧鬧聲從外面傳入我的耳中。這是我同代人發出的噪音。我的鄰居向我講述他們與那些知名的紳士淑女之間的奇遇,他們在宴會桌上碰見了哪些顯要人物;但是我對這些事情,如同我對《每日時報》的內容一樣,毫無興致。興趣的對象和談話的主題主要是圍繞服飾打扮和禮節舉止;但是呆頭鵝總歸是呆頭鵝,隨便你怎么去刻意裝扮它。他們向我不斷嘮叨加利福尼亞和得克薩斯,英格蘭和東西印度群島,來自佐治亞或馬薩諸塞的尊敬的某某先生,全是短暫易逝、曇花一現的事情,直到我幾乎要像馬穆魯克大人一樣從他們的庭院中逃之夭夭。


我喜歡進入我自己的世界——不愿引人注目地走在盛大的游行慶祝隊伍中,而愿與宇宙的締造者平等地并肩同行,如果我可以的話——不愿生活在這個浮躁不安、神經質的、喧囂忙碌、輕浮淺薄的19世紀,而愿隨著19世紀一天天地消逝,或立或坐,思考著。人們在慶祝些什么呢?他們都參加了某個籌備委員會,時時刻刻盼著某個大人物的演說。上帝只是今天的輪值主席,韋伯斯特是他的演說家。那些強烈地、合情合理地引起我注意的事物,我喜愛掂量它們的分量,處理它們,被它們吸引——決不吊在秤桿上來試圖減輕重量——對任何事情不妄加推測,而是完全按照其實際情況來處理;只走我自能夠走的那條唯一的道路,在這條路上,沒有任何力量可以阻止我。在打下堅實穩固的基礎之前,就開始著手建造起一座拱門,這不會給我帶來任何滿足。任何地方的底部都是結實的。我們讀到過這樣一個故事,一個旅行者問一個男孩,他面前的這塊沼澤底部是否堅固。男孩回答說是堅固的。可是不久,旅行者的馬深陷沼澤,直到馬的腰部,他對男孩說:“我還以為,你告訴我的是這塊沼澤底部是堅固的。”“是堅固的啊,”男孩回答,“可是你還沒有到達它的底部一半深呢。”社會的泥沼和流沙也是如此,但是只有少年老成的人才了解這一點。


圖@Noell S. Oszvald 文@《盛放在呼嘯而過的青春》


However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace. The town's poor seem to me often to live the most independent lives of any. Maybe they are simply great enough to receive without misgiving. Most think that they are above being supported by the town; but it oftener happens that they are not above supporting themselves by dishonest means, which should be more disreputable. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change.

Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do not want society. If I were confined to a corner of a garret all my days, like a spider, the world would be just as large to me while I had my thoughts about me. The philosopher said: "From an army of three divisions one can take away its general, and put it in disorder; from the man the most abject and vulgar one cannot take away his thought." Do not seek so anxiously to be developed, to subject yourself to many influences to be played on; it is all dissipation. Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights. The shadows of poverty and meanness gather around us, "and lo! creation widens to our view." We are often reminded that if there were bestowed on us the wealth of Croesus, our aims must still be the same, and our means essentially the same. Moreover, if you are restricted in your range by poverty, if you cannot buy books and newspapers, for instance, you are but confined to the most significant and vital experiences; you are compelled to deal with the material which yields the most sugar and the most starch. It is life near the bone where it is sweetest. You are defended from being a trifler. No man loses ever on a lower level by magnanimity on a higher. Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.

I live in the angle of a leaden wall, into whose composition was poured a little alloy of bell-metal. Often, in the repose of my mid-day, there reaches my ears a confused tintinnabulum from without. It is the noise of my contemporaries. My neighbors tell me of their adventures with famous gentlemen and ladies, what notabilities they met at the dinner-table; but I am no more interested in such things than in the contents of the Daily Times. The interest and the conversation are about costume and manners chiefly; but a goose is a goose still, dress it as you will. They tell me of California and Texas, of England and the Indies, of the Hon. Mr. --- of Georgia or of Massachusetts, all transient and fleeting phenomena, till I am ready to leap from their court-yard like the Mameluke bey.

I delight to come to my bearings -- not walk in procession with pomp and parade, in a conspicuous place, but to walk even with the Builder of the universe, if I may -- not to live in this restless, nervous, bustling, trivial Nineteenth Century, but stand or sit thoughtfully while it goes by. What are men celebrating? They are all on a committee of arrangements, and hourly expect a speech from somebody. God is only the president of the day, and Webster is his orator. I love to weigh, to settle, to gravitate toward that which most strongly and rightfully attracts me -- not hang by the beam of the scale and try to weigh less -- not suppose a case, but take the case that is; to travel the only path I can, and that on which no power can resist me. It affords me no satisfaction to commerce to spring an arch before I have got a solid foundation. Let us not play at kittly-benders. There is a solid bottom everywhere. We read that the traveller asked the boy if the swamp before him had a hard bottom. The boy replied that it had. But presently the traveller's horse sank in up to the girths, and he observed to the boy, "I thought you said that this bog had a hard bottom." "So it has," answered the latter, "but you have not got half way to it yet." So it is with the bogs and quicksands of society; but he is an old boy that knows it. .......



2015-08-23 08:43

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