Toast: The Babies

马克吐温祝酒词《婴儿》赏析
时间:2018-01-13 单词数:11750

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导读:美国文学之父——马克.吐温,美国文学史上的现实主义文学家和著名的幽默讽刺作家,他也是著名的演说家,幽默诙谐的《婴儿》是他在将近130年前的芝加哥田纳西陆军团宴会上的演讲。这篇演讲译文曾收录在人教版高中语文课本,如今我们终于有能力一睹它的原版。

马克吐温祝酒词《婴儿》赏析_英语新闻

I LIKE that. We have not all had the good fortune to be ladies. We have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground. It is a shame that for a thousand years the world’s banquets have utterly ignored the baby, as if he didn’t amount to anything. If you will stop and think a minute -- if you will go back fifty or one hundred years to your early married life and recontemplate your first baby -- you will remember that he amounted to a good deal, and even something over.

“为婴儿祝酒!”真是妙不可言。 我们并非都能有幸做过女人;我们也并非都做过将军、诗人或政治家。但是,轮到为婴儿祝酒,我们就有了共同点──因为我们都做过婴儿(笑声)。几千年来,世界各地在举行宴会时竟完全忽视了婴儿,好像婴儿一点也不重要。这太不像话!先生们,如果各位静思片刻──如果各位回到50年或100年前,回到婚后不久的岁月,并再度凝视你们的第一个小宝贝──各位就会记起他非常重要,而且岂止是重要(笑声)。

You soldiers all know that when that little fellow arrived at family headquarters you had to hand in your resignation. He took entire command. You became his lackey, his mere body-servant, and you had to stand around too. He was not a commander who made allowances for time, distance, weather, or anything else. You had to execute his order whether it was possible or not. And there was only one form of marching in his manual of tactics, and that was the double-quick. He treated you with every sort of insolence and disrespect, and the bravest of you didn’t dare to say a word. You could face the death-storm at Donelson and Vicksburg, and give back blow for blow; but when he clawed your whiskers, and pulled your hair, and twisted your nose, you had to take it. When the thunders of war were sounding in your ears you set your faces toward the batteries, and advanced with steady tread; but when he turned on the terrors of his war-whoop, you advanced in the other direction, and mighty glad of the chance, too. When he called for soothing syrup, did you venture to throw out any side-remarks about certain services being unbecoming an officer and a gentleman? No. You got up and got it. When he ordered his pap bottle and it was not warm, did you talk back? Not you. You went to work and warmed it. You even descended so far in your menial office as to take a suck at that warm, insipid stuff yourself, to see if it was right -- three parts water to one of milk, a touch of sugar to modify the colic, and a drop of peppermint to kill those immortal hiccoughs. I can taste that stuff yet.

你们军人都知道,当那个小家伙来到你家的大本营,你就得递交辞呈。他掌管了全部指挥权。你成了他的随从,他的保镖。你还得侍奉左右,恭候吩咐。他这个司令官不考虑时间早晚,距离远近,天气好坏,或其他任何情况。不管有无可能,你都得执行命令。而且,他的战术教程只有一种行军方式,那就是跑步(笑声)。他对你百般蛮横,百般无礼,而你就算浑身是胆,也不敢吭声。你可以面对多纳尔森和维克斯堡的死亡风暴奋勇反击(指美国内战期间,格兰特指挥的军团在多纳尔森和维克斯堡两地大败南军);但是,当他抓你的胡子,扯你的头发,拧你的鼻子,你却不得不忍气吞声(笑声)。当战争的雷声在你的耳际响起,你迎着炮火迅猛前进;但是,当他像印第安人那样开始发出令人恐怖的战斗呼喊(笑声),你却大踏步地后撤,而且你还很高兴有这样的机会。当他嚷着要喝止咳糖浆,你敢脱口说出自己的意见吗?你敢说有些服务项目不适合一位军官和绅士吗?不,你会起身去拿糖浆!如果他吩咐你去拿奶瓶,但瓶里的奶不热,你会顶嘴吗?不,你会行动起来,你会去把奶热一下!你在“仆人工作室”里竟然如此屈尊俯就,以至于亲口尝尝那不冷不热的玩意儿,看看是否正好!嗯──3份水,1份奶,加一点糖来减轻“肚子疼”,再加一滴薄荷油来防止那顽固的呃逆。我至今还记得那玩意儿的滋味!(哄堂大笑)

And how many things you learned as you went along! Sentimental young folks still take stock in that beautiful saying that when a baby smiles in his sleep, it is because the angels are whispering to him. Very pretty, but too thin -- simply wind on the stomach, my friends. If the baby proposed to take a walk at his usual hour, two o’clock in the morning, didn’t you rise up promptly and remark, with a mental addition which would not improve a Sunday-school book much, that that was the very thing you were about to propose yourself? Oh! you were under good discipline, and as you went fluttering up and down the room in your undress uniform, you not only prattled undignified baby talk, but even tuned up your martial voices and tried to sing! -- Rock-a-by Baby in the Tree-top, for instance. What a spectacle for an Army of the Tennessee! And what an affliction for the neighbors, too; for it is not everybody within a mile around that likes military music at three in the morning. And when you had been keeping this sort of thing up two or three hours, and your little velvet-head intimated that nothing suited him like exercise and noise, what did you do? You simply went on until you dropped in the last ditch.

你这样下去学会了多少东西哟!多情的年轻人仍然笃信一个古老的传说:婴儿如果在睡梦中微笑,是因为天使在对他讲悄悄话。太美了,但是太不可信了──那只是肠胃发出的嘀咕声而已,朋友们(笑声)。如果你的小宝贝提议在老时间,即在凌晨两点半散步,你难道不立即起身,并说你正想提议这样做吗?哦,你是训练有素的!你穿着“便服”(笑声),怀抱宝宝,在房间里来来回回踱步;你不顾尊严地、咿咿呀呀地信口胡扯;你甚至还亮出军人的嗓门,努力唱上一曲“宝宝乖——宝宝睡——”。田纳西军团真是出足洋相了!而邻居也真是苦恼透了!因为在一英里之内,并非人人都喜欢在凌晨3点欣赏军乐(笑声)。你这样持续了两三个小时,而你的茸头小上司却示意,操练和歌声对他再合适不过,并建议在这条战线上打到底,即使要打一个整夜——继续战斗吧!你怎么办?你只能继续战斗,直到筋疲力尽倒下为止(笑声)。

The idea that a baby doesn’t amount to anything! Why, one baby is just a house and a front yard by itself. One baby can furnish more business than you and your whole Interior Department can attend to. He is enterprising, irrepressible, brimful of lawless activities. Do what you please, you can’t make him stay on the reservation. Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind, don’t you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot. And there ain’t any real difference between triplets and an insurrection.

我喜欢“婴儿一点也不重要”的想法!为什么?因为一个婴儿只会把整幢房子都占为己有,并搞得一团糟;一个婴儿就会使你和你的内务部忙个不停;他勇于进取,难以控制,往往目无法纪;无论你采取什么手段,都无法使他恪守常规。一个孩子就够你受的了。如果你还有理智,千万不要祈求生双胞胎。双胞胎意味着骚乱不已,而三胞胎无异于造反(笑声)。

Yes, it was high time for a toast-master to recognize the importance of the babies. Think what is in store for the present crop! Fifty years from now we shall all be dead, I trust, and then this flag, if it still survive (and let us hope it may), will be floating over a Republic numbering 200,000,000 souls, according to the settled laws of our increase. Our present schooner of State will have grown into a political leviathan -- a Great Eastern. The cradled babies of today will be on deck. Let them be well trained, for we are going to leave a big contract on their hands.

是的,现在是敬酒高手认识到婴儿重要性的时候了。想一下现在这些摇篮里的祖国花朵有多么不可限量的未来!我相信,五十年后,在座的我们都已不在。如果这面国旗如我们所愿还依然矗立不倒,那么到时这面国旗将会漂浮在两亿人口的美利坚共和国上空(根据我们现有的人口增长率)。我们如今举杯祝福的美利坚合众国将成长为一个政治大国 -—— 一个伟大的东方。今天尚在摇篮的婴儿将在甲板上保家卫国。要让他们训练有素,因为我们要亲手让他们接力一份关于美国的重要合同。

Among the three or four millions cradles now rocking in the land are some which this nation would preserve for ages as sacred things, if we could know which ones they are. In one of those cradles the unconscious Farragut of the future is at this moment teething -- think of it! -- and putting in a world of dead earnest, unarticulated, but perfectly justifiable profanity over it, too. In another the future renowned astronomer is blinking at the shining Milky Way with but a languid interest -- poor little chap! -- and wondering what has become of that other one they call the wet-nurse. In another the future great historian is lying -- and doubtless will continue to lie until his earthly mission is ended. In another the future President is busying himself with no profounder problem of state than what the mischief has become of his hair so early; and in a mighty array of other cradles there are now some 60,000 future office-seekers, getting ready to furnish him with occasion to grapple with that same old problem a second time. And in still one more cradle, somewhere under the flag, the future illustrious commander-in-chief of the American armies is so little burdened with his approaching grandeurs and responsibilities as to be giving his whole strategic mind at this moment to trying to find out some way to get his big toe into his mouth -- an achievement which, meaning no disrespect, the illustrious guest of this evening turned his entire attention to some fifty-six years ago; and if the child is but a prophecy of the man, there are mighty few who will doubt they he succeeded .

现在,在全国三四百万个摇篮中,有几个摇篮将被我国视为神圣的文物而世世代代地保存起来──如果我们知道是哪几个的话。因为在其中一个摇篮中,一位迷迷糊糊的未来的法拉格特(美国海军上将,在美国内战中立下显赫战功)此时正在出牙──各位想一想出牙时的情景吧──他还非常热切地咕哝了一句什么,虽然口齿不清,但是情有可原;在另一个摇篮里,未来的大史学家正躺在那儿,无疑要躺到这平凡的使命完成为止;在还有一个摇篮里,未来的总统并不在为国家大事而操劳,却在为头发这么早出了问题而烦神(笑声);在一长列其他摇篮里,大约有6000名谋求官职者,现在正准备再向这位未来的总统提供解决这一老问题的机会!在美国国旗下的某地还有一个摇篮,里面躺着未来的总司令,他此刻并不在为将来的威严和责任犯愁,而是开动着他的全部战略头脑,想方设法把大脚趾伸进嘴里──这并非对今晚显赫的贵宾有何不敬,而是说,56年前他也曾把注意力放在这件大事上!如果说从小看到大,三岁看到老,那么,只有极少数人才会怀疑他取得了成功。(笑声、经久不息)

来源:爱语吧爱语吧作者:一片很蓝的天

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