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 Chapter XXIII

  第二十三章

  Would that I could enrich this sketch with the names of all those who have ministered to my happiness! Some of them would be found written in our literature and dear to the hearts of many, while others would be wholly unknown to most of my readers. But their influence, though it escapes fame, shall live immortal in the lives that have been sweetened and ennobled by it. Those are red-letter days in our lives when we meet people who thrill us like a fine poem, people whosehandshake is brimful of unspoken sympathy, and whose sweet, rich natures impart to our eager, impatient spirits a wonderful restfulness which, in its essence, is divine. The perplexities, irritations and worries that have absorbed us pass like unpleasant dreams, and we wake to see with new eyes and hear with new ears the beauty and harmony of God’s real world. The solemnnothings that fill our everyday life blossom suddenly into bright possibilities. In a word, while such friends are near us we feel that all is well. Perhaps we never sawthem before, and they may never cross our life’s path again; but the influence of their calm, mellow natures is a libation poured upon our discontent, and we feel its healing touch, as the ocean feels the mountain stream freshening its brine.

  我所以不惜笔墨地提到很多人的名字,是因为他们曾带给我无尽的快乐!其中一些人已经被记载在文献中,并且成为世人瞩目的焦点。还有一些人则完全不为我的读者所知,虽然他们默默无闻,但是他们积极而崇高的生活态度对我的影响是永恒的。当我们遇到像一首绝妙诗歌一样令我们怦然心动的人时,那一刻就是我们生命中的节日。同这些人握手时,你能感觉到他们的手掌充满了无言的同情;对于饥渴而烦躁的心灵而言,他们那美好而富足的情怀带给我们奇妙的宁静感,而这种宁静的本质,就是神圣。种种的困惑、恼怒和忧虑就像令人讨厌的梦境一样占据了我们过去的生活,当我们再次醒来时,我们会用全新的眼睛和耳朵来感受世间的美丽与和谐,来感受神所创造的真实世界的伟大。我们的日常生活蓦然间变得一片光明,带来这种奇效的唯有“神圣”,而非他物。一言以蔽之,有这类朋友相伴在左右,我们就会感到无比充实。也许我们以前从来没有见过他们,而且萍水相逢过后,他们可能再也不会同我们相遇,但是,他们那沉静而成熟的气质一定会对我产生深远影响,我们所有的不快都会随着他们敬拜天地的杯中酒一饮而尽;我们会感受到它疗伤时的轻柔触摸,正如大海能感受到咸涩的苦水正在被融入的河流所冲淡。

  I have often been asked, "Do not people bore you?" I do not understand quite what that means. I suppose the calls of the stupid and curious, especially of newspaper reporters, are alwaysinopportune. I also dislike people who try to talk down to my understanding. They are like people who when walking with you try to shorten their steps to suit yours; the hypocrisy in both cases is equally exasperating.

  我经常被人问及这样的问题:“难道人们不会令你心烦吗?”我实在不明白这是什么意思。我猜想这种愚蠢而怪异的声音可能来自新闻记者的报道。当然,这类报道往往是不合时宜的。我也不喜欢那些对我的理解力品头论足的人,他们在和你一起走路时,总是试图缩短他们自己的步幅,只为了迎合你行走的速度。事实上,这两类虚伪的人同样令人无法容忍。

  The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me. The touch of some hands is animpertinence. I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm. Others there are whose hands have sunbeams in them, so that their grasp warms my heart. It may be only the clinging touch of a child’s hand; but there is as much potential sunshine in it for me as there is in a loving glance for others. A hearty handshake or a friendly letter gives me genuine pleasure.

  我所接触的那一双双手虽然默默无语,但是它们却对我有着非比寻常的意义。其中,有一些手的触摸是傲慢而无礼的。我曾遇到过一些相当缺少快乐的人,当我紧紧握住他们那冷若冰霜的指尖时,我的感觉就好像正在同一场来自东北的暴风雪握手。而另外有一些人,他们的双手似乎存有阳光的余温,所以,同他们握手可以温暖我的心。也许只有小孩子的手才会抓住你不放,因为他们对你有一种强烈的信任感;我可以感觉到,他们(小孩子)的手中为我储藏了大量的阳光,正如他们为别人预备了充满爱意的眼神一样。总之,一次热情的握手,或者一封表达友情的书信,都会带给我最真切的快乐。

  I have many far-off friends whom I have never seen. Indeed they are so many that I have often been unable to reply to their letters; but I wish to say here that I am always grateful for their kind words, however insufficiently I acknowledge them.

  我有许多相隔万里而从未谋面的朋友。他们为数众多,乃至于我无法一一回答他们的来信,但是我愿意在此重申,对于他们那情真意切的话语,我始终心存感激,虽然我对他们知之甚少。

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