鲁迅 聪明人和傻子和奴才(思考网易裁员事件)

聪明人和傻子和奴才
The Wise Man, the Fool and the Slave

奴才总不过是寻人诉苦。只要这样,也只能这样。有一日,他遇到一个聪明人。
What a slave did was just to look for someone to listen to his own grievances. That was the only thing he wanted to do and also the only thing he could do. One day he came across a wise man.

“先生!”他悲哀地说,眼泪联成一线,就从眼角上直流下来①。“你知道的。我所过的简直不是人的生活②。吃的是一天未必有一餐,这一餐又不过是高粱皮,连猪狗都不要吃的,尚且只有一小碗……”
“Sir!” said he sadly, tears trickling down from the corners of his eyes. “As you can see, I lead a subhuman life. I’m not even assured of a single meal a day. If I have one, it’s only a small bowl of kaoliang husks, which even a pig or dog would disdain to eat …”

“这实在令人同情。”聪明人也惨然③说。
“What a wretched life you lead!” the wise man replied with pity.

“可不是么!”他高兴了。“可是做工是昼夜无休息的:清早担水晚烧饭,上午跑街夜磨面,晴洗衣裳雨张伞,冬烧汽炉夏打扇。半夜要煨银耳,侍候主人耍钱④;头钱从来没分,有时还挨皮鞭……”
“Isn’t it?” the slave followed up with exaltation. “And I toil day and night without rest. I carry water at dawn and cook dinner at dusk. I run errands all morning and grind wheat at night. I wash the clothes when it’s fine and hold an umbrella for my master when it’s rainy. I take care of the heating stove in winter and keep cooling my master with a fan in summer. I boil white fungus for him late at night. I wait on him at his gambling table without ever getting a tip. Instead I sometimes get a good thrashing …”

“唉唉……”聪明人叹息着,眼圈有些发红,似乎要下泪。
“Oh, dear!” the wise man said with a sigh, the rims of his eyes looking somewhat red as if he were about to shed tears.

“先生!我这样是敷衍不下去的⑤。我总得另外想法子。可是什么法子呢?……”
“Sir! I can’t put up with it any more. I’ve got to find a way out. But what can I do?…”

“我想,你总会好起来……⑥”
“I’m sure you’ll pull through sooner or later …”

“是么?但愿如此。可是我对先生诉了冤苦,又得你的同情和慰安,已经舒坦得不少了。可见天理没有灭绝……”
“Really? I hope so. But, sir, I already feel much better now as you’ve given me sympathy and encouragement after listening to my grievances. It’s thus clear that Heaven always upholds justice …”

但是,不几日,他又不平起来了,仍然寻人去诉苦。
A few days later, however, he again began to grumble and look for somebody to listen to his complaints.

“先生!”他流着眼泪说,“你知道的。我住的简直比猪窠还不如。主人并不将我当人⑦;他对他的叭儿狗还要好到几万倍……”
“Sir!” he cried out tearfully. “You know, I live in a place even lousier than a pigsty. My master treats me like dirt. He treats his Pekinese ten thousand times better …”

“混账!”那人大叫起来,使他吃惊了。那人是一个傻子。
“Damn it!” the listener swore in such a loud voice as to make the slave start. This man was a fool.

“先生,我住的只是一间破小屋,又湿,又阴,满是臭虫,睡下去就咬得真可以⑧。秽气冲着鼻子,四面又没有一个窗……”
“Sir, I live in a run-down small hut which is wet, dingy, stinking and full of bedbugs. They bite me all over when I lie down to sleep. And the place doesn’t even have a single window …”

“你不会要你的主人开一个窗的么?”
“Why not ask your master to have a window made?”

“这怎么行?……”
“How can I do that? …”

“那么,你带我去看去!”
“OK, you show me around!”

傻子跟奴才到他屋外,动手就砸那泥墙。
As soon as they came to the slave’s dwelling, the fool started to pound its mud wall.

“先生!你干什么?”他大惊地说。
“What the hell are you doing, sir?” the slave yelled with alarm.

“我给你打开一个窗洞来。”
“I’m trying to knock a hole to make a window for you.”

“这不行!主人要骂的⑨!”
“No, you can’t do that! The master will be mad at me!”

“管他呢!”他仍然砸。
“To hell with your master!” The fool continued pounding away.

“来人呀!强盗在毁咱们的屋子了!快来呀!迟一点可要打出窟窿来了!……”他哭嚷着,在地上团团地打滚。
“Help! A robber is breaking down our house! Hurry up, or he’ll knock a big hole in the wall! …” Sobbing and shouting at the top of his voice, the slave rolled round and round on the ground.

一群奴才都出来了⑩,将傻子赶走。
Thereupon, a whole troop of slaves arrived on the scene and drove away the fool.

听到了喊声,慢慢地最后出来的是主人。
The last one that came out unhurriedly on hearing the commotion was the master.

“有强盗要来毁咱们的屋子,我首先叫喊起来,大家一同把他赶走了。”他恭敬而得胜地说⑪。
“A robber came to smash up our house,” the slave spoke respectfully and smugly. “I was the first to shout the alarm. We together drove him away.”

“你不错。”主人这样夸奖他。
“You did well,” the master praised him.

这一天就来了许多慰问的人,聪明人也在内。
A great many people came that day to express their solicitude, among them the wise man.

“先生。这回因为我有功,主人夸奖了我了。你先前说我总会好起来,实在是有先见之明……”他大有希望似的高兴地说。
“Sir, I’ve just been praised by my master for my meritorious service,” the slave said to the wise man very happily and hopefully. “I remember you said the other day that I would pull through sooner or later. So you’re really a man of foresight …”

“可不是么……”聪明人也代为高兴似的回答他。
“Oh, yeah …” replied the wise man as if he, too, were happy for the sake of the slave.

说明

《聪明人和傻子和奴才》是鲁迅(1881—1936)写于1925年12月的一篇短文,选自他的散文诗集《野草》。正如该书其他一些篇章,此文也以揭露和冷讽社会相为特点,刻画聪明人的刁巧与奴才之不可救药。

注释

①“眼泪联成一线,就从眼角上直流下来”译为tears trickling down from the corners of his eyes,未译为tears falling down in a string from the corners of his eyes,因trickling down表达“一连串落下”或“一滴滴流下”之意。

②“我所过的简直不是人的生活”译为I lead a subhuman life,其中subhuman作“非人的”(more like an animal than a human being)解。此句也可译为I lead a dog’s life。

③“惨然”在此应作“怜悯地”解,故译with pity。

④“侍候主人耍钱”意即“侍候主人赌钱”,故译I wait on him at his gambling table(或mah-jong table、gambling parties等)。

⑤“我这样是敷衍不下去的”意即“我无法凑合下去了”或“我不能再忍受了”,故译I can’t put up with it any more。

⑥“我想,你总会好起来……”可按“你迟早会渡过难关的……”译为I’m sure you will pull through sooner or later …。此句也可译为I believe things will improve eventually …。

⑦“主人并不将我当人”可译为My master treats me like dirt或My master doesn’t treat me like a human being。

⑧“咬得真可以”可按“浑身都被咬了”译为They bite me all over。

⑨“主人要骂的”可按“主人会对我大发脾气”之意译为The master will be mad at me。也可直译为The master will curse me或The master will swear at me。

⑩“一群奴才都出来了”译为A whole troop of slaves arrived on the scene,其中troop比group可取,因前者有“一起行动”的含意。

⑪“他恭敬而得胜地说”可按“他恭敬而沾沾自喜地说”译为the slave spoke respectfully and smugly。