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HomeModern Chinese EssaysFang Zhimin Essay: 方志敏《清贫》 -- Honest Poverty

Fang Zhimin Essay: 方志敏《清贫》 — Honest Poverty

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◎ 方志敏 Fang Zhimin

清贫

◎ 方志敏

我从事革命斗争,已经十余年了。在这长期的奋斗中,我一向是过着朴素的生活,从没有奢侈过。经手的款项,总在数百万元;但为革命而筹集的金钱,是一点一滴地用之于革命事业。这在国民党的伟人们 〔1〕  看来,颇似奇迹,或认为夸张;而矝持不苟,舍己为公,却是每个共产党员具备的美德。所以,如果有人问我身边有没有一些积蓄,那我可以告诉你一桩趣事 〔2〕  :

就在我被俘的那一天——一个最不幸的日子,有两个国民党军的兵士,在树林中发现了我,而且猜到我是什么人的时候,他们满肚子热望在我身上搜出一千或八百大洋 〔3〕  ,或者搜出一些金镯金戒指一类的东西,发个意外之财 〔4〕  。那知道从我上身摸到下身,从袄领捏到袜底,除了一只时表和一枝自来水笔之外,一个铜板都没有搜出。他们于是激怒起来了,猜疑我是把钱藏在那里,不肯拿出来。他们之中有一个左手拿着一个木柄榴弹,右手拉出榴弹中的引线 〔5〕  ,双脚拉开一步,作出要抛掷的姿势,用凶恶的眼光钉住我,威吓地吼道:

“赶快将钱拿出来,不然就是一炸弹,把你炸死去 〔6〕  !”

“哼!你不要作出那难看的样子来吧!我确实一个铜板都没有存;想从我这里发洋财,是想错了 〔7〕  。”我微笑着淡淡地说。

“你骗谁 〔8〕  !像你当大官的人会没有钱 〔9〕  !”拿榴弹的兵士坚不相信。

“决不会没有钱的 〔10〕  ,一定是藏在那里,我是老出门的 〔11〕  ,骗不得我。”另一个兵士一面说,一面弓着背重来一次将我的衣角裤裆过细的捏,总企望着有新的发现。

“你们要相信我的话,不要瞎忙吧 〔12〕  !我不比你们国民党当官的,个个都有钱,我今天确实是一个铜板也没有,我们革命不是为着发财啦!”我再向他们解释。

等他们确知在我身上搜不出什么的时候,也就停手不搜了;又在我藏躲地方的周围,低头注目搜寻了一番,也毫无所得,他们是多么地失望呵!那个持弹欲放的兵士,也将拉着的引线,仍旧塞进榴弹的木柄里,转过来抢夺我的表和水笔。后彼此说定表和笔卖出钱来平分,才算无话。他们用怀疑而又惊异的目光,对我自上而下地望了几遍,就同声命令地说:“走吧!”

是不是还要问问我家里有没有一些财产?请等一下,让我想一想,啊,记起来了,有的有的,但不算多。去年暑天我穿的几套旧的汗褂裤,与几双缝上底的线袜,已交给我的妻放在深山坞里保藏着——怕国民党军进攻时,被人抢了去,准备今年暑天拿出来再穿;那些就算是我唯一的财产了。但我说出那几件“传世宝”来,岂不要叫那些富翁们齿冷三天 〔13〕  ?!

清贫,洁白朴素的生活,正是我们革命者能够战胜许多困难的地方!

Honest Poverty

Fang Zhimin

I have been engaged in the revolutionary struggle for more than a decade. During these long militant years, I have lived a plain life with no luxuries to speak of. Millions of dollars passed through my hands, but I always saw to it that every single cent of the money raised for the revolution was spent for no other purposes. This may sound like a miracle or an exaggeration to Kuomintang VIPs. Self-discipline and self-sacrifice, however, are the virtue characteristic of a Communist. Therefore, should anyone inquire of me about my personal savings, let him read the following amusing episode:

On the day of my capture — a most inauspicious day it was — two Kuomintang soldiers discovered me in a wood. Sizing me up, they thought they had come upon a windfall and started making a frantic body search, hopefully to find on me hundreds of silver dollars or some jewellery like gold bracelets or rings. They frisked me from top to toe and passed their hands over everything on me from the collar of my jacket to the soles of my socks, but, contrary to their expectation, they found nothing at all, not even a single copper, except a watch and a fountain pen. They were exasperated, suspecting that I had my money hidden somewhere and refused to give it up. One of the two men had in his left hand a wooden-handled grenade. He pulled out the cord from inside the wooden handle and moved his legs one step apart as if he was about to throw the grenade. Glowering at me ferociously, he threatened loudly,

“Out with your money quick, or you die!”

“Hey!” I said drily with a faint smile. “Don’t you put on such nasty airs! True I haven’t got a single copper with me. You’re barking up the wrong tree to seek a fortune from me.”

“Shit! Nobody can ever believe a big shot like you ain’t got no money!” the soldier with the grenade remained wholly incredulous.

“No money?” the other soldier joined in. “Impossible! It must be hidden somewhere. No fooling an old hand like me.” Meanwhile, he bent low to pass his hand again meticulously over every nook and corner of my clothes and the crotch of my trousers, still holding out high hopes of making a new discovery.

“You should believe me and stop messing around!” I explained again. “Unlike your Kuomintang officials who’re rolling in money, I’m really penniless. We join the revolution not for personal gain.”

Finally, when they knew for certain that there was no money on me, they gave up the body search. Nevertheless, they lowered their heads to scan here and there the place where I had hidden myself, but again in vain. How frustrated they must have felt! The soldier holding the grenade pushed the cord back into its wooden handle, and turned round to scramble for my watch and fountain pen. The two men, however, settled their dispute by agreeing to divide the money equally between them after selling the spoils. They eyed me up and down with suspicion and amazement before barking out in chorus, “Come along!”

Dear readers, maybe you wish to know if I have any private property at home. Just a minute! Let me see … Ah, here it is, but nothing much though. I have left with my wife for safekeeping a few changes of used underwear and a few pairs of socks with mended soles, all of which I used to wear last summer. She has now put them away in a remote mountain valley to prevent them from being stolen in case of Kuomintang attack, so that I may wear them again this summer. These are all the property I have to my name. But wouldn’t the declaration of my “family treasures” make myself an object of lively ridicule to the rich?

To remain honest though poor, to live a clean and simple life — that is what we revolutionaries count on to overcome innumerable difficulties!

《清贫》是方志敏烈士(1899—1935)1935年英勇就义前在江西国民党监狱中写下的不朽散文。文章通过真人真事表达作者清廉朴素的生活和崇高的人生目的,情挚意深,爱憎分明。

注释

〔1〕 “国民党伟人们”指“国民党要人们”,故译为Kuomintang VIPs。

〔2〕 “一桩趣事”可译为amusing event、occurrence、episode等,但以episode较为合适,因它指一系列事件中的一件。

〔3〕 “一千或八百大洋”中的“大洋”指“银元”,故译为silver dollars。

〔4〕 “发个意外之财”译为had come upon a windfall,其中windfall本指a piece of fruit blown off a tree by the wind,现指a piece of unexpected fortune。

〔5〕 “拉出手榴弹中的引线”中的“引线”不是“引信”(fuse),故译为cord。

〔6〕 “不然就是一炸弹,把你炸死去”本可按字面直译为or the bomb finishes you off,现译为or you die,简洁明白,较口语化。又,动词die用现在不定式,不用将来式will die,是为了表达一种必然将发生的事(a certainty)。

〔7〕 “想从我这里发财,是想错了”译为You’re barking up the wrong tree to seek a fortune from me,其中to bark up the wrong tree是常见于口语的习语,意即“找错地方”或“找错人”。

〔8〕 “你骗谁”是粗鲁话,相当于“胡说”,不宜直译,现译为Shit。

〔9〕 “像你当大官的人会没有钱”译为A big shot like you ain’t got no money?,其中ain’t等于hasn’t,常见于口语。又,译句中用两个否定(double negative)表达一个否定,为文化低的人所用的不规范英语。

〔10〕 “决不会没有钱的”是恶狠狠的话,不宜逐字直译,现根据人物对话情景译为No money? Impossible,取其神似。

〔11〕 “老出门的”意即“老手”,故译为an old hand。

〔12〕 “不要瞎忙吧”意即“别胡闹”,可译为don’t act or speak stupidly,但欠口语化,现译为stop messing around或stop mucking around。

〔13〕 “叫那些富翁们齿冷三天”意即“被那些有钱人尽情嘲笑”,现译为make myself an object of lively ridicule to the rich。

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