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美国语文第五册 第300期:弗吉尼亚人(02)

Their hospitality was boundless. No stranger was ever sent away from their gates. 弗吉尼亚州贵族世家的豪爽待客令人称奇,他们不会打发上门的陌生人, The gentry received one another, and traveled to each other's houses, in a state almost feudal. 在几乎完全封建制的全州境内,上流家庭彼此经常设宴款待,达官名媛争相登门互访。 The question of slavery was not born at the time of which we write. 当时奴隶制问题尚未见争端, To be the proprietor of black servants shocked the feelings of no Virginia gentleman; 该州贵族世家拥有众多黑奴,使得贵族名流圈外的下层阶层颇为震惊, nor, in truth, was the despotism exercised over the negro race generally a savage one. 事实上,那类专制管理未必将黑人种族作为野蛮人肆意欺凌。 The food was plenty: the poor black people lazy and not unhappy. 当地黑人食物充足,他们贫困懒惰,也并非不快乐。 You might have preached negro emancipation to Madam Esmond of Castlewood as you might have told her to let the horses run loose out of the stables; 你或许向卡斯尔伍德庄园埃斯蒙德夫人兜售过黑奴解放之类新潮思想,如同你曾经对她游说,不妨解开拴马桩上的马群缰绳,两者间该有异曲同工之妙。 she had no doubt but that the whip and the corn bag were good for both. 倘若鞭子或玉米对主人及黑奴并非缺一不可,埃斯蒙德夫人没准对你的观点深信不疑。 Her father may have thought otherwise, being of a skeptical turn on very many points, 由于对诸多观点持怀疑态度,埃斯蒙德夫人的父亲想法或见解有所不同, but his doubts did not break forth in active denial, and he was rather disaffected than rebellious, 但他的怀疑不会在主动否认中爆发,与其说他的行为颇为格格不入,倒不如说是更为愤懑不平的表露。 At one period, this gentleman had taken a part in active life at home, and possibly might have been eager to share its rewards; 有一段时期,这位绅士在家里极为活跃,很可能他急于分享家庭管理之类悬赏, but in latter days he did not seem to care for them. 但后来似乎对此又失去兴趣。 A something had occurred in his life, which had cast a tinge of melancholy over all his existence. 假如他生活中发生什么事,他的全身都会留下阴郁味道。 He was not unhappy,—to those about him most kind, 老绅士倒不是不开心,对周围所有人,他都极为仁慈钟爱, most affectionate, obsequious even to the women of his family, whom he scarce ever contradicted; 甚至到了顺从附和的地步,哪怕对家里女流之辈亦不例外。他极少与她们发生牴牾或产生矛盾, but there had been some bankruptcy of his heart, which his spirit never recovered. 然而始终内心沉沦、难以自拔,精神上从未彻底放松。 He submitted to life, rather than enjoyed it, and never was in better spirits than in his last hours when he was going to lay it down. 老人逆来顺受地屈从生活,而非自在地享受生活;即便死亡将至,不得不撒手尘寰面对死神,他的心境绝不见得比平时更糟。 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20180414/550059.html