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瓦尔登湖:经济篇8

2006-07-28 18:41

  If I should attempt to tell how I have desired to spend my life in years past, it would probably surprise those of my readers who are somewhat acquainted with its actual history; it would certainly astonish those who know nothing about it.  I will only hint at some of the enterprises which I have cherished.

  In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too;to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future,which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.  You will pardon some obscurities, for there are more secrets in my trade than in most men's, and yet not voluntarily kept, but inseparable from its very nature.  I would gladly tell all that I know about it, and never paint "No Admittance" on my gate.

  I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle dove, and am still on their trail.  Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to.  I have met one or two who had heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud,and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.

  To anticipate, not the sunrise and the dawn merely, but, if possible, Nature herself!  How many mornings, summer and winter,before yet any neighbor was stirring about his business, have I been about mine!  No doubt, many of my townsmen have met me returning from this enterprise, farmers starting for Boston in the twilight,or woodchoppers going to their work.  It is true, I never assisted the sun materially in his rising, but, doubt not, it was of the last importance only to be present at it.

  So many autumn, ay, and winter days, spent outside the town,trying to hear what was in the wind, to hear and carry it express!

  I well-nigh sunk all my capital in it, and lost my own breath into the bargain, running in the face of it.  If it had concerned either of the political parties, depend upon it, it would have appeared in the Gazette with the earliest intelligence.  At other times watching from the observatory of some cliff or tree, to telegraph any new arrival; or waiting at evening on the hill-tops for the sky to fall,that I might catch something, though I never caught much, and that,manna-wise, would dissolve again in the sun.

  如果说一说我曾希望如何度过往昔岁月中的生命,我会使许多熟悉我实际情况的读者感到奇怪,更会使对我不熟悉的人大为惊讶。我只略述我心头的几件事就行了。

  在任何气候任何时辰,我都希望及时改善我当前的状况,并要在手杖上刻下记号;过去和未来的交叉点正是现在,我就站在这个起点上。请原谅我说话晦涩。我那种职业比大多数人的有更多的秘密。不是我故意要保密,而是我这种职业有这种特点。我极愿把所知的全都说出来,在我的门口并没有“不准入内,的招牌。

  很久以前我丢失了一头猎犬,一匹栗色马和一只斑鸠,至今我还在追踪它们。我对许多旅客描述它们的情况、踪迹以及它们会响应怎样的叫唤。我曾遇到过一二人,他们曾听见猎犬吠声,奔马蹄音,甚至还看到斑鸠隐入云中。他们也急于追寻它们回来,像是他们自己遗失了它们。

  不仅要观日出和黎明,如果可能,还要瞻仰大自然本身!多少个冬夏黎明,还在任何邻居为他们的事务奔波之前,我就出外干我的事了!许多市民无疑都曾见到我干完事口来,清晨赶到波士顿的农夫,或去干活的樵夫都遇到过我。真的,我虽没有具体地助日出以一臂之力,可是不要怀疑,在日出之前出现是最重要的事了。

  多少个秋天的,嗳,还有冬天的日子,在城外度过,试听着风声,听了把它传布开来!我在里面几乎投下全部资金,为这笔生意而迎着寒风,使我连气都喘不过来了。如果风声中有两党政治的信息,一定是一些党的机关报上抢先发表了的。别些时候,守望在高岗或树梢的观察台上,用电信宣布有任何新的客人到来,或守候在山巅黄昏中,等待夜幕降落,好让我抓到一些东西,我抓到的从来就不多,这不多的却好像是“天粮”一样,那是会在太阳底下消溶的。

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