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亨利·莫顿·斯坦利 穿过黑暗大陆

2006-07-07 17:07

Henry Morton Stanley

THROUGH THE DARK CONTINENT

November 27,1886

  Mr.Chairman and gentlemen of the Lotos Club:—One might start a great many principles and ideaswhich would require to be illustrated and drawnout in order to present a picture of my feelings atthe present moment.I am conscious that in my im-mediate vicinity there are people who were greatwhen I was little.I remember very well when Iwas unknown to anybody,how I was sent to re-port a lecture by my friend right opposite,Mr.George Alfred Townsend,and I remember themanner in which he said:“Galileo said:”The worldmoves round,' and the world does move round,“upon the platform of the Mercantile Hall in St.Louis—one of the grandest things out.The nextgreat occasion that I had to come before the publicwas Mark Twain's lecture on the Sandwich Is- lands,which I was sent to report.And when Ilook to my left here I see Colonel Anderson,whosevery face gives me an idea that Bennett has gotsome telegraphic dispatch and is just about to sendme to some terrible region for some desperate com-mission.

  And,of course,you are aware that it was ow- ing to the proprietor and editor of a newspaper thatI dropped the pacific garb of a journalist anddonned the costume of an African traveler.It wasnot for me,one of the least in the newspapercorps,to question the newspaper proprietor's mo-tives.He was an able editor,very rich,desperate-ly despotic.He commanded a great army of rovingwriters,people of fame in the news-gatheringworld;men who had been everywhere and hadseen everything from the bottom of the Atlantic tothe top of the very highest mountain;men whowere as ready to give their advice to National Cabi-nets as they were ready to give it to the smallestpolice courts in the United States.I belonged tothis class of roving writers,and I can truly saythat I did my best to be conspicuously great in it,by an untiring devotion to my duties,an untiringindefatigability,as though the ordinary rotation ofthe universe depended upon my single endeavors.If,as some of you suspect,the enterprise of theable editor was only inspired with a view to obtainthe largest circulation,my unyielding and guidingmotive,if I remember rightly,was to win his favorby doing with all my might that duty to which ac-cording to the English State Church Catechissm,“ithad pleased God to call me.”

  He first dispatched me to Abyssinia—straightfrom Missouri to Abyssinia! What a stride,gentle- men! People who lived west of the Missouri Riverhave scarcely,I think,much knowledge of Abyssinia,and there are gentlemen here who canvouch for me in that,but it seemed to Mr.Bennetta very ordinary thing,and it seemed to his agent inLondon a very ordinary thing indeed,so I of coursefollowed suit.I took it as a very ordinary thing,and I went to Abyssinia,and somehow or othergood luck followed me and my telegrams reportingthe fall of Magdala happened to be a week ahead ofthe British Government's The people said I haddone right well,though the London papers said Iwas an impostor.

  The second thing I was aware of was that I was ordered to Crete to run the blockade,describethe Cretan rebellion from the Cretan side,andfrom the Turkish side; and then I was sent to Spain to report from the Republican side and fromthe Carlist side,perfectly dispassionately.Andthen,all of a sudden,I was sent for to come toParis.Then Mr.Bennett,in that despotic way ofhis,said:“I want you to go and find Livingstone.”As I tell you,I was a mere newspaper reporter.Idared not confess my soul as my own.Mr.Ben- nett merely said:“Go,” and I went.He gave me aglass of champagne and I think that was superb.Iconfessed my duty to him,and I went.And asgood luck would have it,I found Livingstone.I re-turned as a good citizen ought and as a good re- porter ought and as a good correspondent ought,to tell the tale,and arriving at Aden,I telegrapheda request that I might be permitted to visit civiliza-tion before I went to China.I came to civilization,and what do you think was the result? Why,onlyto find that all the world disbelieved my story.Dear me!If I were proud of anything,it was thatwhat I said was a fact; that whatever I said Iwould do,I would endeavor to do with all my might,or,as many a good man has done before,as my predecessors had done,to lay my bones be- hind.That's all.I was requested in an off-handmanner—just as any member of the Lotos Club here present would say—“Would you mind giving us a little résumé of your geographical work?” Isaid:“Not in the least,my dear sir;I have not theslightest objection.”And do you know that to make it perfectly geographical and not in the leastsensational,I took particular pains and I wrote apaper out,and when it was printed,it was justabout so long [indicating an inch].It containedabout a hundred polysyllabic African words.And yet“for a' that and a' that” the pundits of the Geo-graphical Society—Brighton Association—said thatthey hadn't come to listen to any sensational sto-ries,but that they had come to listen to facts.Well now,a little gentleman,very reverend,full of years and honors,learned in Cufic inscriptionsand cuneiform characters,wrote to The Timesstating that it was not Stanley who had discoveredLivingstone but that it was Livingstone who haddiscovered Stanley.

  If it had not been for that unbelief,I don't be-lieve I should ever have visited Africa again; Ishould have become,or I should have endeavoredto become,with Mr.Reid's permission,a conser-vative member of the Lotos Club.I should havesettled down and become as steady and as stolid assome of these patriots that you have around here,Ishould have said nothing offensive.I should havedone some“treating.” I should have offered a fewcigars and on Saturday night,perhaps,I wouldhave opened a bottle of champagne and distributedit among my friends.But that was not to be.I left New York for spain and then the Ashantee War broke out and once more my good luck followed meand I got the treaty of peace ahead of everybodyelse,and as I was coming to England from theAshantee War a telegraphic dispatch was put intomy hands at the Island of St.Vincent,saying thatLivingstone was dead.I said:“What does thatmean to me? New Yorkers don't believe in me.How was I to prove that what I have said is true?By George!I will go and complete Livingstone'swork.I will prove that the discovery of Living-stone was a mere fleabite.I will prove to them thatI am a good man and true.” That is all that Iwanted.

  I accompanied Livingstone's remains to West-minster Abbey.I saw those remains buried which Ihad left sixteen months before enjoying full life andabundant hope.The Daily Telegraph's proprietorcabled over to Bennett:“Will you join us in sendingStanley over to complete Livingstone's explo-rations?”Bennett received the telegram in NewYork,read it,pondered a moment,snatched ablank and wrote:“Yes.Bennett.”That was my commission,and I set out to Africa intending tocomplete Livingstone's explorations,also to settlethe Nile problem,as to where the headwaters ofthe Nile were,as to whether Lake Victoria consist- ed of one lake,one body of water,or a number ofshallow lakes; to throw some light on Sir SamuelBaker's Albert Nyanza,and also to discover theoutlet of Lake Tanganyika,and then to find outwhat strange,mysterious river this was which hadlured Livingstone on to his death—whether it wasthe Nile,the Niger,or the Congo.Edwin Arnold,the author of“The Light of Asia,” said:“Do youthink you can do all this?”“Don't ask me such aconundrum as that.Put down the funds and tell me to go.That is all.” And he induced Lawson,the proprietor,to consent.The funds were putdown,and I went.

  First of all,we settled the problem of the Vic- toria that it was one body of water,that instead ofbeing a cluster of shallow lakes or marshes,it wasone body of water,21,500 square miles in extent.While endeavoring to throw light upon Sir SamuelBaker's Albert Nyanza,we discovered a new lake,a much superior lake to Albert Nyanza—the deadLocust Lake——and at the same time Gordon Pashasent his lieutenant to discover and circumnavigatethe Albert Nyanza and he found it to be only a mis-erable 140 miles,because Baker,in a fit of enthu-siasm had stood on the brow of a high plateau andlooking down on the dark blue waters of Albert Nyanza,cried romantically:“I see it extending in-definitely toward the southwest!” Indefinitely isnot a geographical expression,gentlemen.We found that there was no outlet to the Tanganyika,although it was a sweet-water lake; we,settlingthat problem,day after day as we glided down thestrange river that had lured Livingstone to hisdeath,were as much in doubt as Livingstone hadbeen,when he wrote his last letter and said:“I willnever be made black man's meat for anything lessthan the classic Nile.”

  After traveling 400 miles we came to the Stanley Falls,and beyond them,we saw the river deflect from its Nileward course toward the north-west.Then it turned west,and then visions of towers and towns and strange tribes and strangenations broke upon our imagination,and we won-dered what we were going to see,when the riversuddenly took a decided turn toward the southwestand our dreams were put an end to.We saw thenthat it was aiming directly for the Congo,andwhen we had propitiated some natives whom we encountered by showing them crimson beads and polished wire,that had been polished for the occa-sion,we said:“This is for your answer.What riv- er is this?”“Why,it is the river,of course.”Thatwas not an answer,and it required some persua- sion before the chief,bit by bit digging into hisbrain,managed to roll out sonorously that,“It isthe Ko-to-yah Congo.”“It is the river of Con-goland.” Alas for our classic dreams! Alas forCrophi and Mophi,the fabled fountains ofHerodotus! Alas for the banks of the river whereMoses was found by the daughter of Pharaoh!

  This is the parvenu Congo! Then we glided on andon past strange nations and cannibals—not pastthose nations which have their heads under theirarms—for 1,100 miles,until we arrived at the cir-cular extension of the river and my last remainingcompanion called it the Stanley Pool,and then fivemonths after that our journey ended.

亨利·莫顿·斯坦利

穿过黑暗大陆

1886年 11月 27日

  主席先生,荷花俱乐部的先生们:

  为了表达我现时的情感,不妨从许多需要加以阐发的原则和思想开始。我意识到,在我身边就有早在我孩提时代即已闻名遐迩的伟人。记得我还是个无名小卒时被派去报道坐在对面的老友乔治 ·阿尔弗雷德·汤申德的一次讲演,他在圣路易斯商业会堂讲台上讲话的情景依旧历历在目:“伽利略说过,'地球在旋转’,地球确实在旋转”,——真是了不起的说法。另有一次我务必到场的重大场合是在桑威奇群岛聆听马克·吐温演讲,我也是被派去作报道的。当我朝我的左边看时,看见了安德森上校,他那面容使我觉得贝内特接到了电报,正准备派我到某一可怖地区去执行某种紧急使命。

  而你们当然知道,我之所以脱下温文尔雅的记者服装,披上非洲旅行者的外衣,是由于一家报纸的老板兼编辑的缘故。像我这样一个在新闻队伍里职位低微的人是不配问报纸老板的动机的。他是位能干的编辑,很富有,又专横跋扈。他指挥着一大批流动作家,都是新闻界的出名人物,他们走遍天下,见识过从大西洋底到世界最高山峰的一切事物;他们愿意像给各国政府进言一样给美国最小的违警罪法庭提建议。我属于这个流动作家营垒,现在我的确可以说那时我竭尽全力、孜孜不倦地恪尽职守,想以此崭露头角,仿佛宇宙的正常运转全靠我的努力。正如你们有人猜想的,要是那位能干的编辑的企业以最大的发行量为目标,那么如果我没记错的话,我的百折不挠的行动方针就是按照《英国国教教义问答手册》全力以赴地对此尽责,以博取他的欢心,“召我升天正合上帝心意”。

  老板让我干的第一件事是派我去阿比西尼亚——从密苏里直赴阿比西尼亚。先生们,这是多大的跨越呀?我想居住在密苏里河西岸的人们对阿比西尼亚几乎一无所知,这一点在座的一些绅士可为我作证,但是,阿比西尼亚对贝内特先生来说是件极平凡的事,对他在伦敦的代理人来说也是件极平凡的事,我当然就得照办。我认为这是件极平凡的事情而去了阿比西尼亚。不知为什么好运会落到我头上,我报道马杰达拉陷落的电文碰巧比英国政府的早一星期,人们说干得漂亮,虽然伦敦报纸说我是个骗子。

  第二件事是我受命去希腊的克里特偷越封锁线,从克里特方面和土耳其方面报道克里特叛乱。接着,我被派到了西班牙,从共和派方面和西班牙王室正统派方面进行不带任何偏见的报道。随后,我又突然奉召去巴黎。于是,贝内特先生以他那种霸道的口气说:“我要你去找利文斯通。”正如我告诉你们的,我仅仅是一名新闻记者,我不敢自行其事。贝内特先生说“去”,我只好去了。他给我一杯香槟酒,我想那是特别香醇的。我向他表示必将尽职,随后就出发。我吉星高照,居然找到了利文斯通。我回来后讲述了经过,那是一个好公民,一个好通讯员,一个好记者应该做的。到了亚丁,我发电请求在去中国以前可否访问文明世界。我来到了文明世界,你们猜,结果又如何呢?嗨,不料谁都不信我讲的故事。哎呀!我若有什么值得自豪的,那就是:我所讲的全是事实;凡我说过要做的事就一定全力做到,或者,像许多好人以前所做的那样,像我的先辈所做的那样,不惜埋骨异乡。这就是我所引以自豪的。对我的要求是即席提出来的,正如这里的荷花俱乐部会员都会说:“你不介意将你的地理探测的梗概告诉我们吧?”我说:“先生,一点也不介意;我没有丝毫反对意见。”你们是否晓得为了使那份梗概完全探讨地理知识而不带一点感情色彩,我可费尽了心机,写了一篇论文,印出来有那么厚(做手势约一英寸)。论文约有一百个多音节非洲语单词。然而由于这样那样的原因,布赖顿地理学会那些博学的权威们仍说,他们来此并非是要听耸人听闻的故事,而是要了解事实真相。喔,有一位非常可敬的身材矮小的先生,精通库法字体铭文和楔形文字,写信给《泰晤士报》说,并非斯坦利发现了利文斯通,而是利文斯通发现了斯坦利。

  如果不是由于此类怀疑,我不信自己还会再访非洲;我本应经过里德先生同意,成为或者争取成为荷花俱乐部的一名保守会员。我本应定居下来,像你们这里的某些爱国者一样过安全平静的生活,不说任何无礼的话。我本应讲究“客套”。我本应向人敬烟,也许周末晚上,我要开瓶香槟酒,款待我的朋友。但是事实并非如此。我离开纽约去了西班牙,接着阿散蒂战争爆发了;而我又一次吉星高照,我比其他人更早获得缔结和约的消息,而当我从阿散蒂战场去英格兰时,在圣文森特岛收到电报说利文斯通已谢世。我说:“这消息对我来说意味着什么?纽约人不相信我,我怎么才能证明我说的话是真的?确实难呀!我要去完成利文斯通的未竟之业,我将证明我发现利文斯通算不了什么,我要向纽约人证明我是一个出色的人,是真正的人。”这就是我之所求。

  我将利文斯通的遗体护送到了威斯敏斯特教堂,看着遗体下葬,而在16个月前分别时,他还生机勃勃,满怀希望。《每日电讯报》老板打电报给贝内特说:“你是否同意我们共同派遣斯坦利去完成利文斯通未竟的探险?”贝内特在纽约接到电文,沉思片刻,拿起一张白纸写道:“同意。贝内特。”那就是我的使命,我动身去非洲意欲完成利文斯通的探险任务,还要解开尼罗河之谜,弄清尼罗河的源头在哪里,维多利亚湖仅由一个湖泊、一个水体构成还是由若干浅湖组成;弄清塞缪尔·贝克爵士发现的阿伯特湖;还要找到坦噶尼喀湖的出口,然后找出那条诱使利文斯通走上死亡之路的奇怪、神秘的河流是尼罗河,尼日尔河,还是刚果河?《亚洲之光》作者埃德温·阿诺德说:“您认为能办到这么多事吗?”“请不要问我诸如此类难以回答的问题,拿出资金来,命令我出发。就这样。”是阿诺德劝说劳森老板同意,拿出了钱,我就这样走了。

  首先我们解决维多利亚湖是不是一个水体的问题,它不是由一串浅湖或者沼泽地组成,而是一个水体,面积约21500平方英里。在探查塞缪尔·贝克发现的阿伯特湖时,我们发现了一个比阿伯特湖大得多的新湖(洛卡斯特死湖)。与此同时,戈登·帕夏派他的副官绕阿伯特湖探查一圈,结果伤心地发现其周长仅140英里,因为贝克曾满怀热情地站在高原之巅俯瞰阿伯特湖深蓝的湖水,夸张地惊叫:“我看到它往西南无限延伸!”先生们,无限不是一个地理词语。我们发现坦噶尼喀湖虽然是淡水湖,却没有出口;我们解决了这个问题后,就夜以继日地沿着那吸引利文斯通走上绝路的神秘的河顺流而下,想起利文斯通在其最后一封信中写道: “我不会为任何不及尼罗河古老的河流去冒成为黑人口中之食的危险。”我们和利文斯通一样怀有许多疑问。

  旅行400英里之后,我们来到斯坦利瀑布,从瀑布这边,看到那条河偏离流向尼罗河的方向而朝西北流淌。然后它折向西,此时我们脑海中出现堡垒、城镇以及奇异的部落和奇特的民族的幻象。河流突然往西南转弯,我们不知道将会见到什么,我们的梦想也结束了。然后我们看到河流径直向刚果河流去。我们路遇一些土著,给他们看绯红色的念珠和精美的金属丝,对他们进行抚慰并说道:“我们拿这些来换你们的回答。这是什么河?”“噢,当然它是河。”答非所问,看来必须给头人作些开导,让他逐步开窍,最后终于使他声音洪亮地说道:“这是科托亚刚果。”“这是刚果河”,主呀!美梦成真了!是希罗多德传说中的克洛菲泉和莫菲泉!是法老之女发现摩西时的河岸!这就是暴发户般的刚果!我们随之慢慢漂流了约1,100英里,途经奇特民族和食人生番居住的地方(没有遇见头生在腋下的民族),直抵那条河的环形外延部分,最后剩下来一直陪伴我的旅伴称它为“斯坦利水塘”。5个月之后,我们的旅行结束了。

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