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拉塞勒斯:第三章

原作者:塞缪尔·约翰逊 (Samuel Johnson)

译者:青云子 ( @道长回来啦)

 

第三章:此身无所欲,茫茫意若何

 

第二天,他那上了年纪的导师自以为找到了他内心症结所在,想以一番忠告治他的心病,自告奋勇地提出要和他聊聊。王子长久以来一直觉得导师的才智已经枯竭,所以不是很乐意,他说:“这人怎么非得打扰我呢?难道我永远都不能享受忘掉那些说教的快乐吗?刚开始听着还行,但要回到刚开始的感觉,我就必须把它们都忘了。”接着他便走进树林,在惯常的冥思中恢复内心的平静。他的思路还没理顺,便察觉到那不依不饶的导师就在旁边,于是一下子不耐烦起来。他的导师匆匆退下。王子不想冒犯这个他曾经尊重,至今依旧有感情的人,遂请他一同坐在河岸边。

老人见机开始为王子最近表现出来的改变而哀叹,问他为何总要离开宫殿中的娱乐,选择孤独和沉寂。王子说:“我逃离享乐,因为享乐已不再使我快乐。悲伤使我选择孤独,我不想因我的存在而给别人的快乐带来阴影。”这位哲人说:“殿下,您是第一个抱怨幸福谷的不幸的人。听我的吧,您的抱怨是没有理由的。您在这儿享有阿比西尼亚之王所能赐予的一切,既免于劳累,又免于危险。别人辛苦操劳,以身试险所能换来的东西这里都有了。看看这一切再告诉我您还有什么需求没有得到满足,如果没有,您又怎么会不快乐呢?”

“我不缺什么”,王子说,“或者说我不知道我缺什么,这就是我的抱怨的原因。如果我知道我缺什么,我就可以有一个确切的愿望。这个愿望会刺激我去竭尽所能,这样我就不会抱怨日落西山落得太慢,或者在日出时哀叹,感慨睡眠再也不能使我逃避自己。当我看见孩子和羊羔互相追逐嬉戏,我就在想,假如我也有什么可以追逐,我也会快乐起来的。但是,我所想要的我都拥有了,我发现这一天和那一天,这一个小时和那一个小时,是一模一样的。所不同的只有后者比前者更沉闷。用您的经验告诉我吧,怎样才能使一天像孩提时那么短,那个时候大自然还是那么鲜活,我在每一刻里都能看到从未看到过的东西。我已经过度沉耽于享乐了,给我一个渴望吧。”

老人惊诧于这从未遇到过的苦恼,不知如何作答,但也不愿沉默,说:“殿下,如果您见过世间的苦难,您就会知道该如何珍惜现在的生活。”“现在”,王子说,“你倒是给我一个渴望了。既然目睹世间的苦难对于幸福是必要的,那么我就应该去看看。”

 

英文原文:

《The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia》

Chapter Three The wants of him that wants nothing

On the next day his old instructor, imagining that he had now made himself acquainted with his disease of mind, was in hope of curing it by counsel, and officiously sought an opportunity of conference, which the prince, having long considered him as one whose intellects were exhausted, was not very willing to afford: “Why, said he, does this man thus intrude upon me; shall I be never suffered to forget those lectures which pleased only while they were new, and to become new again must be forgotten?” He then walked into the wood, and composed himself to his usual meditations; when, before his thoughts had taken any settled form, he perceived his persuer at his side, and was at first prompted by his impatience to go hastily away; but, being unwilling to offend a man whom he had once reverenced and still loved, he invited him to sit down with him on the bank.

The old man, thus encouraged, began to lament the change which had been lately observed in the prince, and to enquire why he so often retired from the pleasures of the palace, to loneliness and silence. “I fly from pleasure, said the prince, because pleasure has ceased to please; I am lonely because I am miserable, and am unwilling to cloud with my presence the happiness of others.” “You, Sir, said the sage, are the first who has complained of misery in the happy valley. I hope to convince you that your complaints have no real cause. You are here in full possession of all that the emperour of Abissinia can bestow; here is neither labour to be endured nor danger to be dreaded, yet here is all that labour or danger can procure or purchase. Look round and tell me which of your wants is without supply: if you want nothing, how are you unhappy?”

“That I want nothing, said the prince, or that I know not what I want, is the cause of my complaint; if I had any known want, I should have a certain wish; that wish would excite endeavour, and I should not then repine to see the sun move so slowly towards the western mountain, or lament when the day breaks and sleep will no longer hide me from myself. When I see the kids and the lambs chasing one another, I fancy that I should be happy if I had something to persue. But, possessing all that I can want, I find one day and one hour exactly like another, except that the latter is still more tedious than the former. Let your experience inform me how the day may now seem as short as in my childhood, while nature was yet fresh, and every moment shewed me what I never had observed before. I have already enjoyed too much; give me something to desire.”

The old man was surprized at this new species of affliction, and knew not what to reply, yet was unwilling to be silent. “Sir, said he, if you had seen the miseries of the world, you would know how to value your present state.” “Now, said the prince, you have given me something to desire; I shall long to see the miseries of the world, since the sight of them is necessary to happiness.”

 


 

拉塞勒斯:第三章
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拉塞勒斯:第三章

 

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