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【双语】雪(上)

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发表于 5 天前 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式


Snow

梁实秋

Liang Shiqiu



李白句:“燕山雪花大如席。”这话靠不住,诗人夸张,犹“白发三千丈”之类。据科学的报道,雪花的结成视当时当地的气温状况而异,最大者直径三至四寸。大如席岂不一片雪就可以把整个人盖住?雪,是越下得大越好,只要是不成灾。雨雪霏霏,像空中撒盐,像柳絮飞舞,缓缓而下,真是有趣,没有人不喜欢。有人喜雨,有人苦雨,不曾听说过谁厌恶雪。就是在冰天雪地的地方,爱斯基摩人也还利用雪块砌成圆顶小屋,住进去暖和得很。

Li Bo once wrote that “the snowflakes on Mount Yan are as large as straw mats.” This statement is, of course, as much a poetic conceit as “white hair thirty thousand feet long.” Poets tend to exaggerate. Science tells us that the structure of snowflakes varies with weather conditions, the largest being no more than three or four inches in diameter. If they were as large as straw mats, would a person then be completely covered by a single snowflake?

The more snow there is, the better, as long as it does not cause any damage. As it falls, it flutters gently down, like salt cast into the air or dancing willow catkins. How could anyone fail to enjoy such an appealing sight? Indeed, though some people like rain and others detest it, I have never heard of anyone disliking snow. Even in frigid places enveloped in white, Eskimos use large chunks of ice to build igloos that are quite warm to live in.

赏雪,须先肚中不饿。否则雪虐风饕之际,饥寒交迫,就许一口气上不来,焉有闲情逸致去细数“一片一片又一片……飞入梅花都不见”?后汉有一位袁安,大雪塞门,无有行路,人谓已死,洛阳令令人除雪,发现他在屋里僵卧,问他为什么不出来,他说:“大雪人皆饿,不宜干人。”此公戆得可爱,自己饿,料想别人也饿。我相信袁安僵卧的时候一定吟不出“风吹雪片似花落”之类的句子。晋王子犹居山阴,夜雪初霁,月色清朗,忽然想起远在剡的朋友戴安道,即便夜乘小舟就之,经宿方至,造门不前而返。假如没有那一场大雪,他固然不会发此奇兴,假如他自己膻粥不继,他也不会风雅到夜乘小船去空走一遭。至于谢安石一门风雅,寒雪之日与儿女吟诗,更是富贵人家事。

A person can’t appreciate snow on an empty stomach. Pressed on all sides by hunger and cold in drifting snow and a howling wind, one might be more concerned with the problem of staying alive. How could one have the leisurely mood of counting “one by one by one…snowflakes waft amid the plum blossoms and are seen no more”? In the later Han period (A.D. 25-220), there was once a man named Yuan An (A. D. ?-92). One day, a blizzard blocked his door and all the roads were cut off, so people assumed he must already have dies. When the magistrate of Loyang ordered that the snow be removed from the streets, they discovered Yuan An lying inside his house, frozen still. When asked why he had not come out, he replied, “When there is a blizzard, everyone goes hungry, and it would not have been right for me to trouble other people.” What a dear dumbbell to have assumed that because he was hungry, everyone else must be, too! I don’t suppose that as he lay there freezing, he could ever have come out with a line such as “Snowflakes in the wind like petals fall.”



One winter evening, when Wang Huizhi (A. D. ?-388) of the Jin dynasty (A.D. 265-420) was living in Shangyin, the snow tapered off and the moon was clear and bright. Wang suddenly thought of his friend Dai Andao in the far-off Shan area, and set out in a small boat to visit, traveling all night before reaching his destination. Upon reaching Dai’s door, however, he turned back without going in. Had it not been for the snowfall, he would not have been seized by this sudden refined impulse. If, on the other hand, he had had to worry about where his next meal was coming from, he would not have had the equanimity to take the trip in the middle of the night, only to abandon the purpose of his visit after getting there. It seems that Xie An’s (A.D. 320-385) genteel practice of gathering his sons and daughters together to compose poetry on snowy days is a luxury that only noble and wealthy families can afford.

一片雪花含有无数的结晶,一粒结晶又有好多好多的面,每个面都反射着光,所以雪才显着那样的洁白。我年轻时候听说从前有烹雪淪茗的故事,一时好奇,便到院里就新降的积雪掬起表面的一层,放在甑里融成水,煮沸,走七步,用小宜兴壶,沏大红袍,倒在小茶盅里,细细品啜之,举起喝干了的杯子就鼻端猛嗅三两下——我一点也不觉得两腋生风,反而觉得舌本闲强。我再检视那剩余的雪水,好像有用矾打的必要!空气污染,雪亦不能保持其清白。有一年,我在汴洛道上行役,途中车坏,时值大雪,前不巴村后不着店,饥肠辘辘,乃就路边草棚买食,主人飨我以挂面,我大喜过望。但是煮面无水,主人取洗脸盆,舀路旁积雪,以混沌沌的雪水下面。虽说饥者易为食,这样的清汤挂面也不是顶容易下咽的。从此我对于雪,觉得只可远观,不可亵玩。苏武饥吞毡渴饮雪,那另当别论。

Each clump of snow has numerous crystals, and each crystal has many surfaces. Snow is as white as it is because each of these surfaces reflects light. When I was young, I heard that people sometimes brewed tea from melted snow. Curious about how it would turn out, I went into the courtyard, scooped up the top layer of some fresh snow, and put it in an urn to melt. I then boiled it, and after cooling it for a minute or two, poured it over some “Big Red Robe” tea leaves in a Yixing teapot to brew. I then poured the tea into a teacup and savored it. After I had finished, I raised the cup to my nose and took several sniffs. However, I failed to feel the uplift – “the wind under the wings” – that one is supposed to experience; on the contrary, my tongue felt stiff and wooden. I took a second look at the water remaining in the urn, and thought that it could probably use some sodium carbonate to purify it. In these days of polluted air, I suppose it’s too much to expect that snow will still be clean and white.



One year, I was traveling between Kaifeng and Luoyang, and my car broke down in the middle of a snowstorm far from any town or village. My stomach was grumbling, so I stopped at a roadside stall to buy something to eat. To my delight, the owner went to the trouble of cooking some noodles for me. Since there was no water around, however, he scooped up some snow from the side of the road with a washbasin and cooked the noodles in this muddy slush. Although it’s sometimes said that a hungry person can make a meal of anything, this particular bowl of noodle soup I found a little hard to stomach. From that point on, I began to think of snow as something to be admired from afar, not toyed with up close. When Su Wu was reduced to eating his blanket and gulping down snow to quench his hunger and thirst, however, it was a different story.



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