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Tribute to the dog 向狗致敬

2006-02-22 00:00

  Tribute to the dog 向狗致敬

  本文是一篇法庭辩护词,作者George Graham (1830-1904) 是美国密苏里州的一个议员,是当时杰出的演讲家和辩论家。本篇是他早年从事法律工作时在法庭上所作,其时他为一位因狗被杀而起诉的人做辩护。辩护时,Vest 没有要求任何证词,只是凭借其辩论就赢得了官司。他辩词的撼人之处在于:拿出人类兽性的一面与狗人性的一面作对比,引起法官们对狗的感激和同情,以及对杀狗人的强烈憎恶。这不仅仅是一篇辩护词,也是一篇优秀的讲演稿,更是对人性的呼唤……

  Gentlemen of the Jury:

  The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith.

  The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

  The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer.

  He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

  If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.

  注释:

  * jury:“陪审团”。

  * turn against:“反目”、“反对”的意思。最好的朋友有时候也会反目成为敌人。

  * rear:“抚养”的意思。用爱心抚养出来的儿女也会不知感激。那些和我们亲近的人、我们信任的人也可能成为traitors(背叛者)。

  * prone:“易于……的”。

  * malice:“恶意”、“伤害某人的意愿”。有些人在我们成功时,随时都会跪倒在面前以示尊敬,而当我们遭遇失败时,会第一个恶毒地向我们扔石头。

  * treacherous:“阴险的”、“奸诈的”等意思。上面提到的那些不知感恩和借风使舵的人都属于阴险的人。而狗却不是这样,狗在任何时候都对主人忠心耿耿,无论其穷富、身体健康与否。

  * wintry:winter的形容词形式,表示“冬天的”、“寒冷的”意思。只要能靠近它的主人,哪怕是睡在冰凉的地上、任由寒风侵袭,狗都无怨无悔。

  * pauper :“贫民”、“非常穷的人”。再贫穷的主人熟睡时,狗也象守侯王子一样守侯他。

  * outcast:“被抛弃、被驱逐的人”。当主人被世人抛弃、无家可归时,狗也总是形影不离。

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