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背影

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背影

作者:朱自清

译者:深圳大学 赖小琪

译文一篇,和朱自清先生一道,纪念天下的好父亲

---------题记

与父亲不相见已二年余了,我最不能忘记的是他的背影。

I have not seen my father for more than two years. What impresses me most is the sight of his back.

那年冬天,祖母死了,父亲的差使也交卸了,正是祸不单行的日子。我从北京到徐州,打算跟着父亲奔丧回家。到徐州见着父亲,看见满院狼籍的东西,又想起祖母,不禁簌簌地流下眼泪。父亲说:“事已如此,不必难过,好在天无绝人之路!”

I remember it was winter that year, when my grandmother passed away. Misfortune never comes alone. My father was out of work. At that time, I went to Xuzhou City from Beijing, planning to go back home with Father to deal with the affairs about my grandmother. When seeing father in Xuzhou and witnessing everything was messy in the backyard, I could not help thinking of the death of my grandmother and tearing heavily. Father said to me, “Everything has been set now, so we do not need to feel sad. Luckily, there will always be a way out.”

回家变卖典质,父亲还了亏空;又借钱办了丧事。这些日子,家中光景很是惨淡,一半为了丧事,一半为了父亲赋闲。丧事完毕,父亲要到南京谋事,我也要回北京念书,我们便同行。

After coming back home, Father sold out all our possessions to pay the loans, but we were still in debt. Worse still, we had to again borrow some money to bury my grandmother. Therefore, during those days, our situation was less than worse due to the funeral affairs and my dad’s unemployment. After all was done, Father set out to Nanjing to hunt for a job, while I had to go back to Beijing to finish my education, so we went together.

到南京时,有朋友约去游逛,勾留了一日;第二日上午便须渡江到浦口,下午上车北去。父亲因为事忙,本已说定不送我,叫旅馆里一个熟识的茶房陪我同去。他再三嘱咐茶房,甚是仔细。但他终于不放心,怕茶房不妥贴;颇踌躇了一会。其实我那年已二十岁,北京已来往过两三次,是没有什么要紧的了。他踌躇了一会,终于决定还是自己送我去。我再三劝他不必去;他只说:“不要紧,他们去不好!”

After reaching Nanjing, some friends invited me for a trip around the city, so we stayed in the city for a day. The next day in the morning, I must take a ferry across the river to Pukou, and in the afternoon I must take a train for Beijing. Father had originally told me he would not see me off because of his busy affairs. He had asked one of his acquaintances in the hotel to accompany me to the railway station. However, he was still in great concern about me, and after hesitating for a while, he decided to go with me. Actually I was already 20 years old then and had been commuting between Beijing and Nanjing for several times. So I tried to persuade him not to go with me, but he insisted, saying, “It does not matter. I will go with you. I am afraid they cannot take good care of you.”

我们过了江,进了车站。我买票,他忙着照看行李。行李太多了,得向脚夫行些小费才可过去。他便又忙着和他们讲价钱。我那时真是聪明过分,总觉他说话不大漂亮,非自己插嘴不可,但他终于讲定了价钱;就送我上车。他给我拣定了靠车门的一张椅子;我将他给我做的紫毛大衣铺好座位。他嘱我路上小心,夜里要警醒些,不要受凉。又嘱托茶房好好照应我。我心里暗笑他的迂;他们只认得钱,托他们只是白托!而且我这样大年纪的人,难道还不能料理自己么?唉,我现在想想,那时真是太聪明了!

After sailing across the river, we entered the railway station. I went to buy a ticket when he kept an eye on the luggage. As our luggage is too heavy, we had to employ a porter to carry it onto the train. So dad was busy bargaining with them about the price. I was kind of displeased with his bargaining over pennies, so I always interrupted. Finally, he managed to settle the price and accompanied me to the train. He picked a seat by the door for me and I stretched the large-sized purple coat made by him across the seat. He enjoined me to be alert all the way for fear to catch a cold at night. Again he asked the servant to take good care of me. I was then laughing ironically at him in heart, for it was known to all that those servants merely recognized nothing but money. Besides, I was old enough to take good care of myself. Now looking back on that day, I have to laugh at myself for being too clever!

我说道:“爸爸,你走吧。”他往车外看了看说:“我买几个橘子去。你就在此地,不要走动。”我看那边月台的栅栏外有几个卖东西的等着顾客。走到那边月台,须穿过铁道,须跳下去又爬上去。父亲是一个胖子,走过去自然要费事些。我本来要去的,他不肯,只好让他去。我看见他戴着黑布小帽,穿着黑布大马褂,深青布棉袍,蹒跚地走到铁道边,慢慢探身下去,尚不大难。可是他穿过铁道,要爬上那边月台,就不容易了。他用两手攀着上面,两脚再向上缩;他肥胖的身子向左微倾,显出努力的样子,这时我看见他的背影,我的泪很快地流下来了。我赶紧拭干了泪。怕他看见,也怕别人看见。我再向外看时,他已抱了朱红的橘子往回走了。过铁道时,他先将桔子散放在地上,自己慢慢爬下,再抱起橘子走。到这边时,我赶紧去搀他。他和我走到车上,将橘子一股脑儿放在我的皮大衣上。于是扑扑衣上的泥土,心里很轻松似的。过一会说:“我走了,到那边来信!”我望着他走出去。他走了几步,回过头看见我,说:“进去吧,里边没人。”等他的背影混入来来往往的人里,再找不着了,我便进来坐下,我的眼泪又来了。

I said to him, “Dad, you can leave now.” He looked out of the window and said, “I am going to buy some oranges. You should stay here.” I looked to the railway platform, over whose fences there were several sellers waiting for customers. One should walk across a railroad, jumped down and then jumped up to the platform before he reached the sellers. Father was very fat, so it would be more painstaking for him to go there. I intended to go by myself, but he did not permit, so I just let him go. I saw him wearing a big black coat and deep green cotton clothing, staggering to the railroad. It was not difficult then. But when he tried to walk across the road and climb to the platform, it was no easy thing. He had to climb to the top of platform with his bare hands, legs lifted upward, massy body wavering to the left with great strength. At the sight of his back, I could not help tearing cats and dogs. But without a second of hesitation, I swiftly wiped the tear off my face in case that he, as well as others would see it. When I looked out of the window again, he was walking back towards me with oranges in his arms. When crossing the railroad, he had to put all the oranges down and climbed down the platform, then picked them up again and went on to walk towards me. When he approached me, I quickly went to hold him by the arm. After we boarded on the train, he put down all the oranges onto my coat and pretended to be relaxed when patting off the dust on his clothes. After a while, he said to me, “I have to leave now. Remember to write a letter to me when you arrive!” I was watching him going out. He looked back to me and said, “Go into the train. Nobody is there to attend to your luggage!” I still kept watching until the sight of his back disappeared in the crowd. Then I went on the train and sat down, tearing again.

近几年来,父亲和我都是东奔西走,家中光景是一日不如一日。他少年出外谋生,独立支持,做了许多大事。哪知老境却如此颓唐!他触目伤怀,自然情不能自已。情郁于中,自然要发之于外;家庭琐屑便往往触他之怒。他待我渐渐不同往日。但最近两年不见,他终于忘却我的不好,只是惦记着我,惦记着我的儿子。我北来后,他写了一信给我,信中说道:“我身体平安,惟膀子疼痛厉害,举箸提笔,诸多不便,大约大去之期不远矣。”我读到此处,在晶莹的泪光中,又看见那肥胖的、青布棉袍黑布马褂的背影。唉!我不知何时再能与他相见!

These years, Father and I went on the trip all the time. Our family condition is worsening day by day. He went out to make a living when young, and has made a lot of achievements with great independence. Who could predict our situation would become so awkward with time passing by? Therefore, he often sinks in great agony and can hardly control his emotion. In order to vent his sentiment and dissatisfaction, he will easily lose temper on daily trifles. He treated me differently from the past. But these two years, we seldom met each other and he finally forgot my drawbacks and simply keeps missing me and my son. After I arrived in Beijing, he wrote a letter to me, saying, “I am in good condition overall and only suffering a great pain in my shoulders. It is considerably inconvenient for me to use chopsticks or pens. Maybe I am near my end!” Reading this sentence, through my crystal tears, I can seemingly spot the back with green cotton clothes and black coat. I have to sigh when I can meet him again!
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