時間︰2014-07-15 00:08 作者︰未知 點擊︰

Luck

好運氣

Mark Twain

馬克·吐溫

I was at a dinner in London given in honor of one of the most celebrated English military menof his time. I do not want to tell you his real name and titles. I will just call him LieutenantGeneral Lord Arthur Scoresby. I cannot describe my excitement when I saw this great andfamous man. There he sat, the man himself, in person, all covered with medals. I could not takemy eyes off him. He seemed to show the true mark of greatness. His fame had no effect onhim. The hundreds of eyes watching him, the worship of so many people did not seem to makeany difference to him.

事情發生在倫敦的一次宴會上。這次宴會是為當代英國威名顯赫的兩三位軍事將領之一舉行的。由于下面即將說明的原因,我將不提他的真實姓名和各種頭餃。我將稱他為陸軍中將阿瑟·斯考茲比勛爵、皇家護衛騎士、巴斯爵士,等等,等等,等等。鼎鼎大名的人物具有多大的魅力130年前他在克里米亞戰役中嶄露頭角,名聲大噪,歷久不衰。從那時以後我曾無數次聽見人們談到他,而此刻他本人就坐在那兒。我盯著這位半神半人似的人物,看呀,看呀,看呀,好像這就是我的美酒佳肴。我注視著他,搜尋他的一切特點並默記在心︰他的面部表情安詳、矜持、高貴、嚴肅;他的氣質中具有樸素、誠實的品格,這是一眼就看得出的;他對自己的豐功偉績雖然躊躇滿志,但卻不露聲色——好像不知道成百雙充滿崇敬之情的眼楮正注視著他;好像不知道出自人們內心的一股深厚的愛慕之情,一種真誠的崇拜,正朝他涌來。

Next to me sat a clergyman, who was an old friend of mine. He was not always a clergyman.During the first half of his life he was a teacher in the military school at Woolwich. There was astrange look in his eye as he leaned toward me and whispered – "Privately – he is a completefool." He meant, of course, the hero of our dinner.

坐在我左邊的牧師是我的老相識。他現在是牧師,可前半輩子卻是在戎馬生涯中度過的,而且還當過伍立奇軍事學校的教官。就在我剛談到的這個時刻,他眼中隱隱約約閃現出一種十分離奇的目光,一邊用手勢指著宴會上的那位英雄,一邊俯過頭來輕輕地,但卻是滿有把握地對我說︰“私下說說一他是個頭號大傻瓜。”

This came as a shock to me. I looked hard at him. I could not have been more surprised if hehas said the same thing about Nepoleon, or Socrates, or Solomon. But I was sure of two thingsabout the clergyman. He always spoke the truth. And, his judgment of men was good.Therefore, I wanted to find out more about our hero as soon as I could.

這個評語使我大吃一驚。如果他說的是拿破侖、甦格拉底或是所羅門,我也不會感到更驚奇了。有兩點我是清楚的︰這位牧師說話句句真實可靠;而且他很有知人之明。因此我斷定,毫無疑問,世人是錯看了這位英雄︰他的確是個傻瓜。于是我就想在方便的時候向這位孤身獨處的牧師問清楚,他是怎樣發現這個秘密的。

Some days later I got a chance to talk with the clergyman, and he told me more. These are hisexact words:

過了些日子,機會來到了,下面就是這位牧師告訴我的話︰

About forty years ago, I was an instructor in the military academy at Woolwich, when youngScoresby was given his first examination. I felt extremely sorry for him. Everybody answeredthe questions well, intelligently, while he – why, dear me – he did not know anything, so tospeak. He was a nice, pleasant young man. It was painful to see him stand there and giveanswers that were miracles of stupidity.I knew of course that when examined again he wouldfail and be thrown out. So, I said to myself, it would be a simple, harmless act to help him asmuch as I could. I took him aside and found he knew a little about Julius Ceasar's history. But,he did not know anything else. So, I went to work and tested him and worked him like a slave. Imade him work, over and over again, on a few questions about Ceasar, which I knew he wouldbe asked.If you will believe me, he came through very well on the day of the examination. Hegot high praise too, while others who knew a thousand times more than he were sharplycriticized. By some strange, lucky accident, he was asked no questions but those I made himstudy. Such an accident does not happen more than once in a hundred years. Well, all throughhis studies, I stood by him, with the feeling a mother has for a disabled child. And he alwayssaved himself by some miracle.

大約40年前,我在伍立奇軍事學校當教官。年輕的斯考茲比參加初試時,我在他那個小組。班上別的學員回答問題都很漂亮,而他一一唉,天啊,他可說是一無所知,我的憐憫之心不禁為之大動。誰都看得出他是個好孩子,可親可愛,又很天真;此刻他站在那兒,呆若木雞,回答問題時的愚昧無知真是荒謬絕倫,叫人看了十分痛心。我的憐憫心都被他激發起來了。我暗自思忖,復試時他肯定是要被刷掉的;既然如此,盡我所能來減輕他摔下來的痛苦,也就只不過是一種無害的慈悲舉動而已。我把他叫到一旁,發現他還知道一點兒愷撒大帝的歷史,既然他別的什麼也不知道,于是我就輔導他,逼他像奴隸船上的奴隸一樣拼命準備有關愷撒大帝的一些老生常談的問題,而我知道這些問題是會考到的。信不信由你,考試那天他居然名列前茅!就憑這點兒純釋是表面功夫的“死記硬背”他過了關,而且還受到贊揚;而別人呢,雖然比他強一千倍,卻被淘汰了。由于某種奇妙幸運的機遇一—這種機遇—百年也難踫到第二次,除了他準備的狹窄範圍之外,沒其妙。這麼說吧,自始至終我都守護著他,我對他的感情就像一位母親對待自己的瘸腿小孩一樣;但他卻總是能從困境中自己解脫出來——明擺著全是憑奇跡。

I thought that what in the end would destroy him would be the mathematics examination. Idecided to make his end as painless as possible. So, I pushed facts into his stupid head forhours. Finally, I let him go to the examination to experience what I was sure would be hisdismissal from school. Well, sir, try to imagine the result. I was shocked out of my mind. Hetook first prize! And he got the highest praise.

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