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misanthrope/['mɪsənθrəʊp]/ n. 厌恶人类的人, 不愿与人来往者...

第七卷黑话 第02章根

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CHAPTER II ROOTS

Slang is the tongue of those who sit in darkness.

Thought is moved in its most sombre depths, social philosophy is bidden to its most poignant meditations, in the presence of that enigmatic dialect at once so blighted and rebellious. Therein lies chastisement made visible. Every syllable has an air of being marked. The words of the vulgar tongue appear therein wrinkled and shrivelled, as it were, beneath the hot iron of the executioner. Some seem to be still smoking. Such and such a phrase produces upon you the effect of the shoulder of a thief branded with the fleur-de-lys, which has suddenly been laid bare. Ideas almost refuse to be expressed in these substantives which are fugitives from justice. Metaphor is sometimes so shameless, that one feels that it has worn the iron neck-fetter.

Moreover, in spite of all this, and because of all this, this strange dialect has by rights, its own compartment in that great impartial case of pigeon-holes where there is room for the rusty farthing as well as for the gold medal, and which is called literature. Slang, whether the public admit the fact or not has its syntax and its poetry. It is a language. Yes, by the deformity of certain terms, we recognize the fact that it was chewed by Mandrin, and by the splendor of certain metonymies, we feel that Villon spoke it.

That exquisite and celebrated verse--

Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan? But where are the snows of years gone by?

is a verse of slang. Antam--ante annum--is a word of Thunes slang, which signified the past year, and by extension, formerly. Thirty-five years ago, at the epoch of the departure of the great chain-gang, there could be read in one of the cells at Bicetre, this maxim engraved with a nail on the wall by a king of Thunes condemned to the galleys: Les dabs d'antan trimaient siempre pour la pierre du Coesre. This means Kings in days gone by always went and had themselves anointed. In the opinion of that king, anointment meant the galleys.

The word decarade, which expresses the departure of heavy vehicles at a gallop, is attributed to Villon, and it is worthy of him. This word, which strikes fire with all four of its feet, sums up in a masterly onomatopoeia the whole of La Fontaine's admirable verse:--

Six forts chevaux tiraient un coche. Six stout horses drew a coach.

From a purely literary point of view, few studies would prove more curious and fruitful than the study of slang. It is a whole language within a language, a sort of sickly excrescence, an unhealthy graft which has produced a vegetation, a parasite which has its roots in the old Gallic trunk, and whose sinister foliage crawls all over one side of the language. This is what may be called the first, the vulgar aspect of slang. But, for those who study the tongue as it should be studied, that is to say, as geologists study the earth, slang appears like a veritable alluvial deposit. According as one digs a longer or shorter distance into it, one finds in slang, below the old popular French, Provencal, Spanish, Italian, Levantine, that language of the Mediterranean ports, English and German, the Romance language in its three varieties, French, Italian, and Romance Romance, Latin, and finally Basque and Celtic. A profound and unique formation. A subterranean edifice erected in common by all the miserable. Each accursed race has deposited its layer, each suffering has dropped its stone there, each heart has contributed its pebble. A throng of evil, base, or irritated souls, who have traversed life and have vanished into eternity, linger there almost entirely visible still beneath the form of some monstrous word.

Do you want Spanish? The old Gothic slang abounded in it. Here is boffete, a box on the ear, which is derived from bofeton; vantane, window (later on vanterne), which comes from vantana; gat, cat, which comes from gato; acite, oil, which comes from aceyte. Do you want Italian? Here is spade, sword, which comes from spada; carvel, boat, which comes from caravella. Do you want English? Here is bichot, which comes from bishop; raille, spy, which comes from rascal, rascalion; pilche, a case, which comes from pilcher, a sheath. Do you want German? Here is the caleur, the waiter, kellner; the hers, the master, herzog (duke). Do you want Latin? Here is frangir, to break, frangere; affurer, to steal, fur; cadene, chain, catena. There is one word which crops up in every language of the continent, with a sort of mysterious power and authority. It is the word magnus; the Scotchman makes of it his mac, which designates the chief of the clan; Mac-Farlane, Mac-Callumore, the great Farlane, the great Callumore[41]; slang turns it into meck and later le meg, that is to say, God. Would you like Basque? Here is gahisto, the devil, which comes from gaiztoa, evil; sorgabon, good night, which comes from gabon, good evening. Do you want Celtic? Here is blavin, a handkerchief, which comes from blavet, gushing water; menesse, a woman (in a bad sense), which comes from meinec, full of stones; barant, brook, from baranton, fountain; goffeur, locksmith,from goff, blacksmith; guedouze, death, which comes from guenn-du, black-white. Finally, would you like history? Slang calls crowns les malteses, a souvenir of the coin in circulation on the galleys of Malta.

[41] It must be observed, however, that mac in Celtic means son.

In addition to the philological origins just indicated, slang possesses other and still more natural roots, which spring, so to speak, from the mind of man itself.

In the first place, the direct creation of words. Therein lies the mystery of tongues. To paint with words, which contains figures one knows not how or why, is the primitive foundation of all human languages, what may be called their granite.

Slang abounds in words of this description, immediate words, words created instantaneously no one knows either where or by whom, without etymology, without analogies, without derivatives, solitary, barbarous, sometimes hideous words, which at times possess a singular power of expression and which live. The executioner, le taule; the forest, le sabri; fear, flight, taf; the lackey, le larbin; the mineral, the prefect, the minister, pharos; the devil, le rabouin. Nothing is stranger than these words which both mask and reveal. Some, le rabouin, for example, are at the same time grotesque and terrible, and produce on you the effect of a cyclopean grimace.

ln the second place, metaphor. The peculiarity of a language which is desirous of saying all yet concealing all is that it is rich in figures. Metaphor is an enigma, wherein the thief who is plotting a stroke, the prisoner who is arranging an escape, take refuge. No idiom is more metaphorical than slang: devisser le coco (to unscrew the nut), to twist the neck; tortiller (to wriggle), to eat; etre gerbe, to be tried; a rat, a bread thief; il lansquine, it rains, a striking, ancient figure which partly bears its date about it, which assimilates long oblique lines of rain, with the dense and slanting pikes of the lancers, and which compresses into a single word the popular expression: it rains halberds. Sometimes, in proportion as slang progresses from the first epoch to the second, words pass from the primitive and savage sense to the metaphorical sense. The devil ceases to be le rabouin, and becomes le boulanger (the baker), who puts the bread into the oven. This is more witty, but less grand, something like Racine after Corneille, like Euripides after AEschylus. Certain slang phrases which participate in the two epochs and have at once the barbaric character and the metaphorical character resemble phantasmagories. Les sorgueuers vont solliciter des gails a la lune--the prowlers are going to steal horses by night,-- this passes before the mind like a group of spectres. One knows not what one sees.

In the third place, the expedient. Slang lives on the language. It uses it in accordance with its fancy, it dips into it hap-hazard, and it often confines itself, when occasion arises, to alter it in a gross and summary fashion. Occasionally, with the ordinary words thus deformed and complicated with words of pure slang, picturesque phrases are formed, in which there can be felt the mixture of the two preceding elements, the direct creation and the metaphor: le cab jaspine, je marronne que la roulotte de Pantin trime dans le sabri, the dog is barking, I suspect that the diligence for Paris is passing through the woods. Le dab est sinve, la dabuge est merloussiere, la fee est bative, the bourgeois is stupid, the bourgeoise is cunning, the daughter is pretty. Generally, to throw listeners off the track, slang confines itself to adding to all the words of the language without distinction, an ignoble tail, a termination in aille, in orgue, in iergue, or in uche. Thus: Vousiergue trouvaille bonorgue ce gigotmuche? Do you think that leg of mutton good? A phrase addressed by Cartouche to a turnkey in order to find out whether the sum offered for his escape suited him.

The termination in mar has been added recently.

Slang, being the dialect of corruption, quickly becomes corrupted itself. Besides this, as it is always seeking concealment, as soon as it feels that it is understood, it changes its form. Contrary to what happens with every other vegetation, every ray of light which falls upon it kills whatever it touches. Thus slang is in constant process of decomposition and recomposition; an obscure and rapid work which never pauses. It passes over more ground in ten years than a language in ten centuries. Thus le larton (bread) becomes le lartif; le gail (horse) becomes le gaye; la fertanche (straw) becomes la fertille; le momignard (brat), le momacque; les fiques (duds), frusques; la chique (the church), l'egrugeoir; le colabre (neck), le colas. The devil is at first, gahisto, then le rabouin, then the baker; the priest is a ratichon, then the boar (le sanglier); the dagger is le vingt-deux (twenty-two), then le surin, then le lingre; the police are railles, then roussins, then rousses, then marchands de lacets (dealers in stay-laces), then coquers, then cognes; the executioner is le taule, then Charlot, l'atigeur, then le becquillard. In the seventeenth century, to fight was "to give each other snuff"; in the nineteenth it is "to chew each other's throats." There have been twenty different phrases between these two extremes. Cartouche's talk would have been Hebrew to Lacenaire. All the words of this language are perpetually engaged in flight like the men who utter them.

Still, from time to time, and in consequence of this very movement, the ancient slang crops up again and becomes new once more. It has its headquarters where it maintains its sway. The Temple preserved the slang of the seventeenth century; Bicetre, when it was a prison, preserved the slang of Thunes. There one could hear the termination in anche of the old Thuneurs. Boyanches-tu (bois-tu), do you drink? But perpetual movement remains its law, nevertheless.

If the philosopher succeeds in fixing, for a moment, for purposes of observation, this language which is incessantly evaporating, he falls into doleful and useful meditation. No study is more efficacious and more fecund in instruction. There is not a metaphor, not an analogy, in slang, which does not contain a lesson. Among these men, to beat means to feign; one beats a malady; ruse is their strength.

For them, the idea of the man is not separated from the idea of darkness. The night is called la sorgue; man, l'orgue. Man is a derivative of the night.

They have taken up the practice of considering society in the light of an atmosphere which kills them, of a fatal force, and they speak of their liberty as one would speak of his health. A man under arrest is a sick man; one who is condemned is a dead man.

The most terrible thing for the prisoner within the four walls in which he is buried, is a sort of glacial chastity, and he calls the dungeon the castus. In that funereal place, life outside always presents itself under its most smiling aspect. The prisoner has irons on his feet; you think, perhaps, that his thought is that it is with the feet that one walks? No; he is thinking that it is with the feet that one dances; so, when he has succeeded in severing his fetters, his first idea is that now he can dance, and he calls the saw the bastringue (public-house ball).--A name is a centre; profound assimilation.--The ruffian has two heads, one of which reasons out his actions and leads him all his life long, and the other which he has upon his shoulders on the day of his death; he calls the head which counsels him in crime la sorbonne, and the head which expiates it la tronche.--When a man has no longer anything but rags upon his body and vices in his heart, when he has arrived at that double moral and material degradation which the word blackguard characterizes in its two acceptations, he is ripe for crime; he is like a well-whetted knife; he has two cutting edges, his distress and his malice; so slang does not say a blackguard, it says un reguise.--What are the galleys? A brazier of damnation, a hell. The convict calls himself a fagot.-- And finally, what name do malefactors give to their prison? The college. A whole penitentiary system can be evolved from that word.

Does the reader wish to know where the majority of the songs of the galleys, those refrains called in the special vocabulary lirlonfa, have had their birth?

Let him listen to what follows:--

There existed at the Chatelet in Paris a large and long cellar. This cellar was eight feet below the level of the Seine. It had neither windows nor air-holes, its only aperture was the door; men could enter there, air could not. This vault had for ceiling a vault of stone, and for floor ten inches of mud. It was flagged; but the pavement had rotted and cracked under the oozing of the water. Eight feet above the floor, a long and massive beam traversed this subterranean excavation from side to side; from this beam hung, at short distances apart, chains three feet long, and at the end of these chains there were rings for the neck. In this vault, men who had been condemned to the galleys were incarcerated until the day of their departure for Toulon. They were thrust under this beam, where each one found his fetters swinging in the darkness and waiting for him.

The chains, those pendant arms, and the necklets, those open hands, caught the unhappy wretches by the throat. They were rivetted and left there. As the chain was too short, they could not lie down. They remained motionless in that cavern, in that night, beneath that beam, almost hanging, forced to unheard-of efforts to reach their bread, jug, or their vault overhead, mud even to mid-leg, filth flowing to their very calves, broken asunder with fatigue, with thighs and knees giving way, clinging fast to the chain with their hands in order to obtain some rest, unable to sleep except when standing erect, and awakened every moment by the strangling of the collar; some woke no more. In order to eat, they pushed the bread, which was flung to them in the mud, along their leg with their heel until it reached their hand.

How long did they remain thus? One month, two months, six months sometimes; one stayed a year. It was the antechamber of the galleys. Men were put there for stealing a hare from the king. In this sepulchre-hell, what did they do? What man can do in a sepulchre, they went through the agonies of death, and what can man do in hell, they sang; for song lingers where there is no longer any hope. In the waters of Malta, when a galley was approaching, the song could be heard before the sound of the oars. Poor Survincent, the poacher, who had gone through the prison-cellar of the Chatelet, said: "It was the rhymes that kept me up." Uselessness of poetry. What is the good of rhyme?

It is in this cellar that nearly all the slang songs had their birth. It is from the dungeon of the Grand-Chatelet of Paris that comes the melancholy refrain of the Montgomery galley: "Timaloumisaine, timaloumison." The majority of these

Icicaille est la theatre Here is the theatre Du petit dardant. Of the little archer (Cupid).

Do what you will, you cannot annihilate that eternal relic in the heart of man, love.

In this world of dismal deeds, people keep their secrets. The secret is the thing above all others. The secret, in the eyes of these wretches, is unity which serves as a base of union. To betray a secret is to tear from each member of this fierce community something of his own personality. To inform against, in the energetic slang dialect, is called: "to eat the bit." As though the informer drew to himself a little of the substance of all and nourished himself on a bit of each one's flesh.

What does it signify to receive a box on the ear? Commonplace metaphor replies: "It is to see thirty-six candles."

Here slang intervenes and takes it up: Candle, camoufle. Thereupon, the ordinary tongue gives camouflet[42] as the synonym for soufflet.Thus, by a sort of infiltration from below upwards, with the aid of metaphor, that incalculable, trajectory slang mounts from the cavern to the Academy; and Poulailler saying: "I light my camoufle," causes Voltaire to write: "Langleviel La Beaumelle deserves a hundred camouflets."

[42] Smoke puffed in the face of a person asleep.

Researches in slang mean discoveries at every step. Study and investigation of this strange idiom lead to the mysterious point of intersection of regular society with society which is accursed.

The thief also has his food for cannon, stealable matter, you, I, whoever passes by; le pantre. (Pan, everybody.)

Slang is language turned convict.

That the thinking principle of man be thrust down ever so low, that it can be dragged and pinioned there by obscure tyrannies of fatality, that it can be bound by no one knows what fetters in that abyss, is sufficient to create consternation.

Oh, poor thought of miserable wretches!

Alas! will no one come to the succor of the human soul in that darkness? Is it her destiny there to await forever the mind, the liberator, the immense rider of Pegasi and hippo-griffs, the combatant of heroes of the dawn who shall descend from the azure between two wings, the radiant knight of the future? Will she forever summon in vain to her assistance the lance of light of the ideal? Is she condemned to hear the fearful approach of Evil through the density of the gulf, and to catch glimpses, nearer and nearer at hand, beneath the hideous water of that dragon's head, that maw streaked with foam, and that writhing undulation of claws, swellings, and rings? Must it remain there, without a gleam of light, without hope, given over to that terrible approach, vaguely scented out by the monster, shuddering, dishevelled, wringing its arms, forever chained to the rock of night, a sombre Andromeda white and naked amid the shadows!



二 根

黑话是黑暗中人的语言。

思想在它那最幽暗的深处起伏翻腾,社会哲学,面对这种受过烙刑而又顽抗的谜语似的俗话,不能不作最沉痛的思考。这里有明显的刑罚。每个音节都有烙痕。通常语言的词汇在这里出现时也仿佛已被刽子手的烙铁烙得缩蹙枯焦。有些似乎还在冒烟。某些句子会给你这样一种印象:仿佛看见一个盗匪突然剥下了衣服,露出一个有百合花烙印的肩头①。人们几乎要拒绝用这些被法律贬斥了的词汇来表达思想。那里所用的隐喻法有时是那么大胆,致使人们感到它是箍过铁枷的。

可是,尽管这一切情况,也正因为这一切情况,这种奇特的俗话,在对锈铜钱和金勋章都没有成见、一概收藏的方格大柜里,也就是所谓文学的领域里,理应有它的一格地位。这黑话,不管你同意不同意,是有它的语法和诗律的。这是一种语言。如果我们能从某些单词的丑恶中看出曼德朗②的影响,我们也能从某些换喻的卓越中感到维庸也曾说过这种话。

①法国古代用烙刑在犯人右肩上烙一个百合花形的烙印。百合花是法国封建时代的国花。

②曼德朗(Mandrin,1724?755),法国著名强人。

这句隽永而极著名的诗:

MaisoùsontlesneigesdAantan?①

就是一句黑话诗。Antan(来自anteannum),这是土恩王国②黑话里的字,意思是“去年”,引伸为“从前”。三十五年前,在一八二七年那次大队犯人出发的时期,人们还可在比塞特监狱的一间牢房里看见这句由一个被发配大桡船服刑的土恩王用钉子刻在墙上的名言:LesdabsdAantantrimaientsiemBprepourlapierreduCoeDsre。这句话的意思是“从前的国王总是要去举行祝圣典礼的。”在这个国王的思想里,祝圣,便是苦刑。

①意思是“往年的雪又在哪儿呢?”

②恩王国(Thunes),十五世纪巴黎乞丐集团之一,聚居在圣迹区。参阅雨果另一小说《巴黎圣母院》。

Décarade这个字所表达的意思是一辆重车飞奔出发,据说这字源出于维庸,这倒也相称。这个字令人想见四只铁蹄下面的火花,把拉封丹这句美好的诗:

六匹骏马拉着一辆马车。

压缩在一个巧妙的拟声词里了。

从纯文学的角度看,也很少有比黑话更为丰富奇特的研究题材了。这是语言中整整一套语言,一种病态的树瘤,一种产生肿瘤的不健康的接枝,一种根子扎在高卢老树干上,虬枝怪叶满布在整整半边语言上的寄生植物。这可称为黑话的第一个方面,通俗方面。但是,对那些以应有的严肃态度??也就是说象地质学家研究地球那样??研究语言的人来说,黑话却真象一片真正的冲积土。当我们往下挖掘,在深浅不一的地方发现,在黑话中比古代法兰西民族语言更往下的地方有普罗旺斯语、西班牙语、意大利语、东方语(地中海沿岸各港口的语言)、英语和德语,有罗曼语的三个分支法兰西罗曼语、意大利罗曼语和罗曼罗曼语,有拉丁语,最后还有巴斯克语和克尔特语。深厚离奇的结构。这是所有穷苦人在地下共同起造的建筑。每一个被诅咒的部族都铺上了它的一层土,每一种痛苦都投入了它的一块石,每一颗心都留下了它的一撮砂。无数恶劣、卑下、急躁、度过人生便消失在悠悠宇宙中的灵魂还几乎以原有形象存留在我们中间,凭借一个词的奇形怪状显现在我们的眼前。

要从西班牙语方面谈谈吗?这里大量存在着古老的哥特语的黑话。例如boffette(风箱),出自bofeton;vantane和后来的vanterne(窗子),出自vantana;gat(猫),出自gato;a-cite(油),出自aceyte。要从意大利语方面谈谈吗?例如spade(剑),出自spada;carvel(船),出自caravella。要从英语方面谈谈吗?例如bichot(主教),出自bishop;raille(间谍),出自rascal,rascalion(流氓);pilche(套子),出自pilcher(鞘)。要从德语方面谈谈吗?例如caleur(侍者),出自kell-ner;hers)主人),出自herzog(公爵)。要从拉丁语方面谈谈吗?例如franBgir(破),出自frangere;affurer(偷盗),出自fur;cadène(链条),出自catena。有一个字,以一种强大的力量和神秘的权威出现在大陆上的一切语言中,那便是magnus这个字,苏格兰语用它来构成它的mac(族长),如Mac-Far-lane,Mac-Callummore(应注意mac在克尔特语里作“儿子”解释);黑话用它来构成meck,后又变为meg,也就是说“上帝”。要从巴斯克语方面谈谈吗?例如gahisto(鬼),出自gaiztoa(恶);sorBgabon(晚安),出自gabon(晚上好)。要从克尔特语谈谈吗?例如blavin(手帕),出自blavet(喷泉);ménesse(女人,含有恶意的说法),出自meinec(戴满钻石的);barant(溪流),出自baranton(泉水);goffeur(锁匠),出自goff(铁匠);guédouze(死神),出自guenn-du(白和黑)。最后还要知道这些事吗?黑话称埃居为maltaise,这词来自对从前马尔他大桡船上通行的钱币的回忆①。

①Maltaise,马尔他的钱币。

除了刚才就语言学方面指出的种种来源以外,黑话还另有一些更为自然、直接出自人们意识的根源。

第一,字的直接创造。这在语言中是难于理解的。用一些字去刻画一些有形象的事物,既说不出通过什么方式,也说不出为了什么理由。这是人类任何一种语言最原始的基石,我们不妨称它为语言的内核。黑话中充斥着这一类的字,一些自然浑成、凭空臆造、不知来自何处出自何人、既无根源也无旁据也无派生的词,一些独来独往、粗野不文、有时面目可憎,却具有奇特的表现力和生命力的词。刽子手(taule),森林(sabri),恐惧、逃跑(taf),仆从(larbin),将军、省长、部长(pharos),魔鬼(ra-bouin)。再没有比这些又遮掩又揭露的字更奇怪的东西了。有些字,如rabouin,既粗俗又骇人,使你想象出独眼巨人作的鬼脸。

第二,隐喻。一种既要完全表达又要完全隐瞒的语言,它的特点便是增加比喻。隐喻是一种谜语,是企图一逞的盗匪和阴谋越狱的囚犯的藏身之处。没有任何语言能比黑话更富于隐喻的了。Dévisserlecoco(扭脖子),tortiller(吃),etregerbé(受审),un rat(一个偷面包的贼),il lansquine(下雨),这是句非常形象化的古老的话,多少带有它那时代的烙印,它把雨水的斜长线条比作长矛队的斜立如林的矛杆,把“下刀子”这一通俗换喻表现在一个字里了。有时,黑话从第一阶段进入第二阶段的过程中,某些字会从野蛮的原始状态转入隐喻。

“鬼”不再是rabouin,而变成boulanger,也就是说,把东西送进炉子的人。这样比较风趣,却减了气派,仿佛是继高乃依而起的拉辛,继埃斯库罗斯而起的欧里庇得斯。黑话中某些跨两个时代的句子兼有粗野和隐喻的性格,就象凹凸镜里的鬼影。

Lessorgueursvontsollicerdesgailsàlalune(贼将在夜里去偷马),这给人一种如见鬼群的印象,不知看见的是什么。

第三,应急之策。黑话凭借语言而生存。它按自己一时兴之所至而加以利用,它在语言中随意信手拈取,并且常常在必要时简单粗暴地加以歪曲。有时,它用一些改变原形的普通字,夹杂在纯黑话的专用词中,构成一些生动的短语,我们能在这里感到前两种因素??直接创造和隐喻??的混合使用:Le cabjaspine,je marronne que la roulotte de Pantin trimedans le sabri(狗在咬,我怀疑巴黎的公共马车已进入树林)。Ledabestsinve,ladabugeest merloussière,laféeestbative(老板傻,老板娘狡猾,姑娘漂亮)。还有一种最常见的情况,为了迷惑别人的听觉,黑话只从aille,orgue,iergue或uche这些字尾中不加区别地任选一个,替日常语言所用的一些字加上一条非常难听的尾巴。例如:

Vousiergue trouvaillebonorgue ce gigotmu che?(你认为这羊后腿好吗?)这是卡图什对一个狱卒说过的一句话,他要问的是他所赠送的越狱款是否合他的意。近年来,才添了mar这个字尾。

黑话是一种常具有腐蚀性的俗话,因而它自身也易于被腐蚀。此外,它总是要遮遮掩掩,一旦感到自己已被识破,便又改头换面。正和一切植物相反,它一见太阳,便得死亡。因而黑话一直是处在不停的败坏和新生中,它隐秘、迅捷、从不停息地工作。它在十年中所走的路比普通语言在十个世纪中所走的路还远些。于是larton(面包)变成lartif,gail(马)变成gaye,fertanche(麦秸)变成fertille,momignard(小孩)成了mo-macque,siques(破烂衣服)成了frusques,chique(教堂)

成了égrugeoir,colabre(颈子)成了colas。“鬼”最初是gahis to,后来变成rabouin,继又改为boulanger(面包师傅);神甫是ratichon,继为sanglier(野猪);匕首是vingt-deux(二十二),继为surin,继又为lingre;警察是railles(耙子),后来改为roussins(高大的马),再改为rousses(红毛女人),再改为marchands de lacets(卖棉纱带的小贩),再改为coqueurs,

再改为cognes;刽子手是taule(铁砧的铁皮垫子),后来改为Charlot(小查理),再改为atigeur,再改为becquillard。在十七世纪,“互殴”是se donner du tabac(互敬鼻烟),到十九世纪,却成了se chiquer la gueule(互咬狗嘴)。在这两个极端之间曾改变过二十种不同的说法。卡图什的黑话对于拉色内尔,几乎是希伯来语。这种语言的词正如说这种语言的人一样,永不停息,总是在逃避。

但是,在某些时候,由于变来变去,古老的黑话也会再次出现成为新的。它有一些保存自己的据点。大庙保存了十七世纪的黑话;比塞特,当它还是监狱时,也保存了土恩王国的黑话。在那些黑话里,人们可以听到古代土恩王国居民所用的anche这字尾。Boyanches-tu?(你喝吗?)il croyanche(他信)。但是永恒的变化仍然是一条规律。

一个从事哲学的人,如果能有一段时间来研究这种不断消失的语言,他便会落在苦痛而有益的沉思里。没有任何研究工作会比这更有功效,更富于教育意义。黑话中的每个隐喻和每个词源都是一个教训。在那些人中,“打”作“伪装”解释,他“打”病,狡诈是他们的力量。

对他们来说,“人”的概念是和“黑影”的概念分不开的。夜是sorgue,人是orgue。人是夜的派生字。

他们已习惯于把社会当作杀害他们的环境,当作一种致命的力量来看待。他们谈到自己的自由正如人们谈到自己的健康一样。一个被逮捕的人是个“病人”,一个被判了刑的人是个“死人”。

被埋在四堵石墙里的囚犯所最怕的是那种冰冷的独居生活,他称地牢为castus。在这种阴森凄惨的地方,外界的生活总是以它最欢快的形象出现的。囚犯拖着脚镣,你也许以为他所想念的是脚能走路吧?不,他所想念的是脚能跳舞,万一他能锯断脚镣,他的第一个念头就将是“他现在能跳舞了”,因此他把锯子叫做“村镇中的舞会”。一个“人名”是一个“中心”,一种极深的相似。匪徒有两个脑袋,一个指导他的行动使他度过一生的脑袋,一个到他临死那天还留在他肩上的脑袋,他称那个唆使他犯罪的脑袋为“神学院”,替他抵罪的那个脑袋为“树桩子”。当一个人到了只剩下一身破衣和一腔恶念、在物质和精神两方面都已堕落到“无赖”这个词所具有的双重意义时,他便是到了犯罪的边缘,他象一把锋利的快刀,有着双刃:穷苦和凶恶,不过黑话不说“一个无赖”,它说“一个磨快了的”。苦役牢是什么?是该诅咒的火坑和地狱。苦役犯叫做“成束的柴枝”。最后,歹徒们替监狱取了个什么名字呢?“学府”。整整一套惩罚制度可以从这个词里产生出来。

你们要不要知道苦役牢里的那些歌,在专用词汇里所谓lir onfa的那种叠歌,多半是从什么地方开出花来的呢?请听我说:

从前在巴黎的小沙特雷,有个长长的大地牢。这地牢紧贴着塞纳河,比河水低八尺。什么窗子通风洞它全没有,唯一的洞口是一道门。人可以进去,空气却进不去。地牢顶上是石砌的圆拱顶,地上是十寸厚的稀泥。地上原是铺了石板的,但由于水的渗透,石板全腐烂了,遍地是裂缝。离地八尺高的地方有根粗重的长梁,从地道的这一端伸到另一端,从这巨梁上,每隔一定距离便垂下一根三尺长的铁链,链子头上挂一个铁枷。这地牢是用来看管那些发配大桡船的犯人的,直到他们被遣送到土伦去的那天为止。这些犯人,一个个被推到那横梁下面,去接受那条在黑暗中摇摇摆摆等待着他们的铁器。那些链子,象垂着的胳膊,还有那些枷,象张着的手掌,把一个个可怜人的颈子掐起来。铆钉钉上以后,他们便在那里待着。链条太短,他们躺不下去。他们呆呆地待在那地牢里,在那样的一个黑洞里,那样的一根横梁下面,几乎是挂着的,得使尽全力才能摸到面包或水罐,头顶着圆拱顶,半条腿浸在稀泥里,粪便沿着两腿淌下去,疲乏到浑身酥软,如遭四马撕裂的死刑那样,弯着胯骨,屈着膝头,两手攀住链条,这才能喘一口气,只能立着睡觉,还得随时被铁枷掐醒,有些人也就不再醒了。要吃东西,他们得用脚跟把别人丢在污泥里的面包顺着大腿推送到自己的手里。他们这样得待多久呢?一个月,两个月,有时六个月,有一个待了一整年。这里是大桡船的接待室。偷了国王的一只野兔,便得到那里去待待。在这坟墓地狱里面,他们干些什么呢?干人在坟墓里所能干的,他们等死,也干人在地狱里所能干的,他们歌唱。因为凡是希望断绝的地方,一定有歌声。在马尔他的水面上,当一只大桡船摇来时,人们总是先听到歌声,后听到桡声。苏尔旺尚,那个违禁打猎的可怜人,便在这小沙特雷的地牢里待过,他说:“当时支持着我的便是诗韵。”诗味索然,韵有什么用处呢?几乎所有用黑话唱出的歌全产生在这地牢里。蒙哥马利大桡船上的那首悲切的叠歌Timaloumisaine,timoulamison便是从巴黎大沙特雷的那个地牢里唱起的。这些歌多半是凄凄惨惨的,有几首是愉快的,有一首却温柔:

这儿是

小投枪手①的舞台。

你别白费力气。你消灭不了人心中这一点永存的残余:

爱。

①小投枪手,指射箭的爱神。

在这处处是暧昧行为的世界上,人人相互保守秘密。秘密,这是大众的东西。对那些穷苦人来说,秘密是构成团结基础的统一体。泄密,便是从这个横蛮的共同体的每个成员身上夺去他本人的一点东西。在黑话的那种有力的语言里,“揭发”是“吃那块东西”。这仿佛是说,揭发者为他自己,从大众的实体中取走了一点东西,从每个人身上取走了一块肉去养肥他自己。

挨耳光是什么?庸俗的隐喻回答说:“就是看三十六支蜡烛。”黑话在这里参加意见说:“Chandelle,camoufle①。”于是日常用语便以camouflet为“耳光”的同义词。于是黑话在隐喻??这一无法计算的弹道??的帮助下,通过一种自下而上的渗透,便由匪窟升到文学院,根据普拉耶所说的“我点燃我的camoufle(蜡烛)”,伏尔泰便也写下了“朗勒维·拉波梅尔够得上挨一百下camouflets(耳光)。”

①“就是看三十六支蜡烛”,黑话称Chandelle(蜡烛)为camoufle。

对黑话进行挖掘,步步都能有所发现。对这种奇特语言深入的钻研能把人引向正常社会和那被诅咒的社会幽奥的交叉点。

贼,也有他的炮灰,可偷的物质,你,我,任何人都是;1e pan-tre。(Pan,人人。)

黑话,便是语言中的苦役犯。

愿人的思维的活力能深深下降到底层,让厄运的黑暗势力能把它牵曳束缚在那里,让一种不知道是什么的用具捆扎在那万丈深渊里,你必将茫然自失。

呵穷困中人的苦心!

唉!难道没有人来拯救黑暗中人的灵魂吗?这些人的命运难道是永远在原处等待着这位精神的解放者,这位跨着飞马和半马半鹰飞兽的伟大天神,这位身披曙光长着双翅从天而降的战士,这位光辉灿烂代表未来的飞将军吗?它将永远毫无结果地向理想的光辉呼救吗?它将永远困在那黑暗的洞里,揪心地听着恶魔的进逼声,望着那狰狞严酷的头、咽着口沫的下额、虎爪、蛇身、虺腹,时起时伏,翻腾出没在恶水中吗?难道它就该待在那里,没有一线光明,没有希望,听凭祸害来临,听凭魔怪发觉,只好心惊胆战,蓬头散发,扼腕绞臂,象天昏地黑中惨痛、白洁、赤身露体的安德洛墨达①那样,永远拴在幽冥的岩石上吗?

①安德洛墨达(Andromède),希腊神话中被献祭给海怪的少女。
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