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第一卷四堵墙中间的战争 第20章死者有理,活人无过

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CHAPTER XX THE DEAD ARE IN THE RIGHT AND THE LIVING ARE NOT IN THE WRONG

The death agony of the barricade was about to begin.

Everything contributed to its tragic majesty at that supreme moment; a thousand mysterious crashes in the air, the breath of armed masses set in movement in the streets which were not visible, the intermittent gallop of cavalry, the heavy shock of artillery on the march, the firing by squads, and the cannonades crossing each other in the labyrinth of Paris, the smokes of battle mounting all gilded above the roofs, indescribable and vaguely terrible cries, lightnings of menace everywhere, the tocsin of Saint-Merry, which now had the accents of a sob, the mildness of the weather, the splendor of the sky filled with sun and clouds, the beauty of the day, and the alarming silence of the houses.

For, since the preceding evening, the two rows of houses in the Rue de la Chanvrerie had become two walls; ferocious walls, doors closed, windows closed, shutters closed.

In those days, so different from those in which we live, when the hour was come, when the people wished to put an end to a situation, which had lasted too long, with a charter granted or with a legal country, when universal wrath was diffused in the atmosphere, when the city consented to the tearing up of the pavements, when insurrection made the bourgeoisie smile by whispering its password in its ear, then the inhabitant, thoroughly penetrated with the revolt, so to speak, was the auxiliary of the combatant, and the house fraternized with the improvised fortress which rested on it. When the situation was not ripe, when the insurrection was not decidedly admitted, when the masses disowned the movement, all was over with the combatants, the city was changed into a desert around the revolt, souls grew chilled, refuges were nailed up, and the street turned into a defile to help the army to take the barricade.

A people cannot be forced, through surprise, to walk more quickly than it chooses. Woe to whomsoever tries to force its hand! A people does not let itself go at random. Then it abandons the insurrection to itself. The insurgents become noxious, infected with the plague. A house is an escarpment, a door is a refusal, a facade is a wall. This wall hears, sees and will not. It might open and save you. No. This wall is a judge. It gazes at you and condemns you. What dismal things are closed houses. They seem dead, they are living. Life which is, as it were, suspended there, persists there. No one has gone out of them for four and twenty hours, but no one is missing from them. In the interior of that rock, people go and come, go to bed and rise again; they are a family party there; there they eat and drink; they are afraid, a terrible thing! Fear excuses this fearful lack of hospitality; terror is mixed with it, an extenuating circumstance. Sometimes, even, and this has been actually seen, fear turns to passion; fright may change into fury, as prudence does into rage; hence this wise saying: "The enraged moderates." There are outbursts of supreme terror, whence springs wrath like a mournful smoke.--"What do these people want? What have they come there to do? Let them get out of the scrape. So much the worse for them. It is their fault. They are only getting what they deserve. It does not concern us. Here is our poor street all riddled with balls. They are a pack of rascals. Above all things, don't open the door."--And the house assumes the air of a tomb. The insurgent is in the death-throes in front of that house; he sees the grape-shot and naked swords drawing near; if he cries, he knows that they are listening to him, and that no one will come; there stand walls which might protect him, there are men who might save him; and these walls have ears of flesh, and these men have bowels of stone.

Whom shall he reproach?

No one and every one.

The incomplete times in which we live.

It is always at its own risk and peril that Utopia is converted into revolution, and from philosophical protest becomes an armed protest, and from Minerva turns to Pallas.

The Utopia which grows impatient and becomes revolt knows what awaits it; it almost always comes too soon. Then it becomes resigned, and stoically accepts catastrophe in lieu of triumph. It serves those who deny it without complaint, even excusing them, and even disculpates them, and its magnanimity consists in consenting to abandonment. It is indomitable in the face of obstacles and gentle towards ingratitude.

Is this ingratitude, however?

Yes, from the point of view of the human race.

No, from the point of view of the individual.

Progress is man's mode of existence. The general life of the human race is called Progress, the collective stride of the human race is called Progress. Progress advances; it makes the great human and terrestrial journey towards the celestial and the divine; it has its halting places where it rallies the laggard troop, it has its stations where it meditates, in the presence of some splendid Canaan suddenly unveiled on its horizon, it has its nights when it sleeps; and it is one of the poignant anxieties of the thinker that he sees the shadow resting on the human soul, and that he gropes in darkness without being able to awaken that slumbering Progress.

"God is dead, perhaps," said Gerard de Nerval one day to the writer of these lines, confounding progress with God, and taking the interruption of movement for the death of Being.

He who despairs is in the wrong. Progress infallibly awakes, and, in short, we may say that it marches on, even when it is asleep, for it has increased in size. When we behold it erect once more, we find it taller. To be always peaceful does not depend on progress any more than it does on the stream; erect no barriers, cast in no boulders; obstacles make water froth and humanity boil. Hence arise troubles; but after these troubles, we recognize the fact that ground has been gained. Until order, which is nothing else than universal peace, has been established, until harmony and unity reign, progress will have revolutions as its halting-places.

What, then, is progress? We have just enunciated it; the permanent life of the peoples.

Now, it sometimes happens, that the momentary life of individuals offers resistance to the eternal life of the human race.

Let us admit without bitterness, that the individual has his distinct interests, and can, without forfeiture, stipulate for his interest, and defend it; the present has its pardonable dose of egotism; momentary life has its rights, and is not bound to sacrifice itself constantly to the future. The generation which is passing in its turn over the earth, is not forced to abridge it for the sake of the generations, its equal, after all, who will have their turn later on.--"I exist," murmurs that some one whose name is All. "I am young and in love, I am old and I wish to repose, I am the father of a family, I toil, I prosper, I am successful in business, I have houses to lease, I have money in the government funds, I am happy, I have a wife and children, I have all this, I desire to live, leave me in peace."--Hence, at certain hours, a profound cold broods over the magnanimous vanguard of the human race.

Utopia, moreover, we must admit, quits its radiant sphere when it makes war. It, the truth of to-morrow, borrows its mode of procedure, battle, from the lie of yesterday. It, the future, behaves like the past.It, pure idea, becomes a deed of violence. It complicates its heroism with a violence for which it is just that it should be held to answer; a violence of occasion and expedient, contrary to principle, and for which it is fatally punished. The Utopia, insurrection, fights with the old military code in its fist; it shoots spies, it executes traitors; it suppresses living beings and flings them into unknown darkness. It makes use of death, a serious matter. It seems as though Utopia had no longer any faith in radiance, its irresistible and incorruptible force. It strikes with the sword. Now, no sword is simple. Every blade has two edges; he who wounds with the one is wounded with the other.

Having made this reservation, and made it with all severity, it is impossible for us not to admire, whether they succeed or not, those the glorious combatants of the future, the confessors of Utopia. Even when they miscarry, they are worthy of veneration; and it is, perhaps, in failure, that they possess the most majesty. Victory, when it is in accord with progress, merits the applause of the people; but a heroic defeat merits their tender compassion. The one is magnificent, the other sublime. For our own part, we prefer martyrdom to success. John Brown is greater than Washington, and Pisacane is greater than Garibaldi.

It certainly is necessary that some one should take the part of the vanquished.

We are unjust towards these great men who attempt the future, when they fail.

Revolutionists are accused of sowing fear abroad. Every barricade seems a crime. Their theories are incriminated, their aim suspected, their ulterior motive is feared, their conscience denounced. They are reproached with raising, erecting, and heaping up, against the reigning social state, a mass of miseries, of griefs, of iniquities, of wrongs, of despairs, and of tearing from the lowest depths blocks of shadow in order therein to embattle themselves and to combat. People shout to them: "You are tearing up the pavements of hell!" They might reply: "That is because our barricade is made of good intentions."

The best thing, assuredly, is the pacific solution. In short, let us agree that when we behold the pavement, we think of the bear, and it is a good will which renders society uneasy. But it depends on society to save itself, it is to its own good will that we make our appeal. No violent remedy is necessary. To study evil amiably, to prove its existence, then to cure it. It is to this that we invite it.

However that may be, even when fallen, above all when fallen, these men, who at every point of the universe, with their eyes fixed on France, are striving for the grand work with the inflexible logic of the ideal, are august; they give their life a free offering to progress; they accomplish the will of providence; they perform a religious act. At the appointed hour, with as much disinterestedness as an actor who answers to his cue, in obedience to the divine stage-manager, they enter the tomb. And this hopeless combat, this stoical disappearance they accept in order to bring about the supreme and universal consequences, the magnificent and irresistibly human movement begun on the 14th of July, 1789; these soldiers are priests. The French revolution is an act of God.

Moreover, there are, and it is proper to add this distinction to the distinctions already pointed out in another chapter,--there are accepted revolutions, revolutions which are called revolutions; there are refused revolutions, which are called riots.

An insurrection which breaks out, is an idea which is passing its examination before the people. If the people lets fall a black ball, the idea is dried fruit; the insurrection is a mere skirmish.

Waging war at every summons and every time that Utopia desires it, is not the thing for the peoples. Nations have not always and at every hour the temperament of heroes and martyrs.

They are positive. A priori, insurrection is repugnant to them, in the first place, because it often results in a catastrophe, in the second place, because it always has an abstraction as its point of departure.

Because, and this is a noble thing, it is always for the ideal, and for the ideal alone, that those who sacrifice themselves do thus sacrifice themselves. An insurrection is an enthusiasm. Enthusiasm may wax wroth; hence the appeal to arms. But every insurrection, which aims at a government or a regime, aims higher. Thus, for instance, and we insist upon it, what the chiefs of the insurrection of 1832, and, in particular, the young enthusiasts of the Rue de la Chanvrerie were combating, was not precisely Louis Philippe. The majority of them, when talking freely, did justice to this king who stood midway between monarchy and revolution; no one hated him. But they attacked the younger branch of the divine right in Louis Philippe as they had attacked its elder branch in Charles X.; and that which they wished to overturn in overturning royalty in France, was, as we have explained, the usurpation of man over man, and of privilege over right in the entire universe. Paris without a king has as result the world without despots. This is the manner in which they reasoned. Their aim was distant no doubt, vague perhaps, and it retreated in the face of their efforts; but it was great.

Thus it is. And we sacrifice ourselves for these visions, which are almost always illusions for the sacrificed, but illusions with which, after all, the whole of human certainty is mingled. We throw ourselves into these tragic affairs and become intoxicated with that which we are about to do. Who knows? We may succeed. We are few in number, we have a whole army arrayed against us; but we are defending right, the natural law, the sovereignty of each one over himself from which no abdication is possible, justice and truth, and in case of need, we die like the three hundred Spartans. We do not think of Don Quixote but of Leonidas. And we march straight before us, and once pledged, we do not draw back, and we rush onwards with head held low, cherishing as our hope an unprecedented victory, revolution completed, progress set free again,the aggrandizement of the human race, universal deliverance; and in the event of the worst, Thermopylae.

These passages of arms for the sake of progress often suffer shipwreck, and we have just explained why. The crowd is restive in the presence of the impulses of paladins. Heavy masses, the multitudes which are fragile because of their very weight, fear adventures; and there is a touch of adventure in the ideal.

Moreover, and we must not forget this, interests which are not very friendly to the ideal and the sentimental are in the way. Sometimes the stomach paralyzes the heart.

The grandeur and beauty of France lies in this, that she takes less from the stomach than other nations: she more easily knots the rope about her loins. She is the first awake, the last asleep. She marches forwards. She is a seeker.

This arises from the fact that she is an artist.

The ideal is nothing but the culminating point of logic, the same as the beautiful is nothing but the summit of the true. Artistic peoples are also consistent peoples. To love beauty is to see the light. That is why the torch of Europe, that is to say of civilization, was first borne by Greece, who passed it on to Italy, who handed it on to France. Divine, illuminating nations of scouts! Vitaelampada tradunt.

It is an admirable thing that the poetry of a people is the element of its progress. The amount of civilization is measured by the quantity of imagination. Only, a civilizing people should remain a manly people. Corinth, yes; Sybaris, no. Whoever becomes effeminate makes himself a bastard. He must be neither a dilettante nor a virtuoso: but he must be artistic. In the matter of civilization, he must not refine, but he must sublime. On this condition, one gives to the human race the pattern of the ideal.

The modern ideal has its type in art, and its means is science. It is through science that it will realize that august vision of the poets, the socially beautiful. Eden will be reconstructed by A+B. At the point which civilization has now reached, the exact is a necessary element of the splendid, and the artistic sentiment is not only served, but completed by the scientific organ; dreams must be calculated. Art, which is the conqueror, should have for support science, which is the walker; the solidity of the creature which is ridden is of importance. The modern spirit is the genius of Greece with the genius of India as its vehicle; Alexander on the elephant.

Races which are petrified in dogma or demoralized by lucre are unfit to guide civilization. Genuflection before the idol or before money wastes away the muscles which walk and the will which advances. Hieratic or mercantile absorption lessens a people's power of radiance, lowers its horizon by lowering its level, and deprives it of that intelligence, at once both human and divine of the universal goal, which makes missionaries of nations. Babylon has no ideal; Carthage has no ideal. Athens and Rome have and keep, throughout all the nocturnal darkness of the centuries, halos of civilization.

France is in the same quality of race as Greece and Italy. She is Athenian in the matter of beauty, and Roman in her greatness. Moreover, she is good. She gives herself. Oftener than is the case with other races, is she in the humor for self-devotion and sacrifice. Only, this humor seizes upon her, and again abandons her. And therein lies the great peril for those who run when she desires only to walk, or who walk on when she desires to halt. France has her relapses into materialism, and, at certain instants, the ideas which obstruct that sublime brain have no longer anything which recalls French greatness and are of the dimensions of Missouri or a South Carolina. What is to be done in such a case? The giantess plays at being a dwarf; immense France has her freaks of pettiness. That is all.

To this there is nothing to say. Peoples, like planets, possess the right to an eclipse. And all is well, provided that the light returns and that the eclipse does not degenerate into night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is identical with the persistence of the _I_.

Let us state these facts calmly. Death on the barricade or the tomb in exile, is an acceptable occasion for devotion. The real name of devotion is disinterestedness. Let the abandoned allow themselves to be abandoned, let the exiled allow themselves to be exiled, and let us confine ourselves to entreating great nations not to retreat too far, when they do retreat. One must not push too far in descent under pretext of a return to reason.

Matter exists, the minute exists, interest exists, the stomach exists; but the stomach must not be the sole wisdom. The life of the moment has its rights, we admit, but permanent life has its rights also. Alas! the fact that one is mounted does not preclude a fall. This can be seen in history more frequently than is desirable: A nation is great, it tastes the ideal, then it bites the mire, and finds it good; and if it be asked how it happens that it has abandoned Socrates for Falstaff, it replies: "Because I love statesmen."

One word more before returning to our subject, the conflict.

A battle like the one which we are engaged in describing is nothing else than a convulsion towards the ideal. Progress trammelled is sickly, and is subject to these tragic epilepsies. With that malady of progress, civil war, we have been obliged to come in contact in our passage. This is one of the fatal phases, at once act and entr'acte of that drama whose pivot is a social condemnation, and whose veritable title is Progress.

Progress!

The cry to which we frequently give utterance is our whole thought; and, at the point of this drama which we have now reached, the idea which it contains having still more than one trial to undergo, it is, perhaps, permitted to us, if not to lift the veil from it, to at least allow its light to shine through.

The book which the reader has under his eye at this moment is, from one end to the other, as a whole and in detail, whatever may be its intermittences, exceptions and faults, the march from evil to good, from the unjust to the just, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from rottenness to life, from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God. Point of departure: matter; point of arrival: the soul. The hydra at the beginning, the angel at the end.



二十 死者有理,活人无过

街垒的垂死挣扎即将开始。

一切都使这至高无上的最后一刹那有着悲剧性的庄严:空中那千万种神秘的爆破声,在看不见的街道上行动着的武装的密集队伍的声息,骑兵队断断续续的奔驰声,前进的炮兵部队发出的沉重的震动声,齐射的枪声和大炮声在迷宫般的巴黎上空回旋,战争的金黄色烟云在屋顶上冒起来,一种说不上来的有点骇人的怪叫声从远处传来,到处是可怕的火光,圣美里的警钟此刻已成呜咽声,温和的季节,阳光和浮云点缀着的灿烂的青天,绚丽的时光以及令人恐怖的死气沉沉的房屋。

因为从昨晚开始,这两排麻厂街的房屋已变成两堵墙,两堵不让人接近的墙,门窗紧闭,百叶窗也关着。

在那个时代,和我们现在的情况大不相同,当老百姓认为国王赐予的宪章或立法政体这种局面历时太久,要求结束的时候,当普遍的愤慨散布在空中,当城市允许掘去它的铺路石,当起义者向市民轻轻耳语,把口令私下相告而听者微笑时,这时的居民可以说是充满了暴动的情绪,他们就成为战斗者的助手,于是房屋和依赖房屋的临时堡垒就友爱地成为一体。当形势尚不成熟,当起义显然没有得到人们的赞助,当群众否定这个运动时,战斗者就毫无希望了。在起义者的四周,城市变为沙漠,人心冷漠,可避难的场所堵死了,街道成为协助军队去夺取街垒的掩蔽地带。

我们不能突如其来地要老百姓违反他们的意愿而加速前进。谁想强迫老百姓谁倒霉!老百姓决不听人支配。他们会抛弃起义者,不管他们,这时暴动者便无人理睬了。一所房屋是一块峭壁,一扇门是一种拒绝,一座建筑物的正面是一堵墙。这堵墙看得见,听得明,但不愿理睬你。它可以半开着来营救你。不。这堵墙是个法官,它望着你而判你刑。紧闭着门的屋子是何等阴沉,它们仿佛已经死去,其实里面是活着的。内部的生命好象暂时停止了,但却存在着。二十四小时以来并没有人出来,可是一个人也不缺。在这石窟中,人们来来去去,睡觉,起床,全家聚集在一起吃喝;人们担心害怕,这害怕是件可怕的事!害怕可以使人原谅这种可怕的冷淡,害怕中夹杂着惊惶失措,就更情有可原了。有时,这种情况也是有的,惧怕会变为激情,惊骇能变成疯狂,如同谨慎变成狂怒一样,从而出现了这句深刻的话:“疯狂的稳重。”极端恐惧的火焰可以产生一缕阴郁的烟,那就是怒火。“这些人要干什么呢?他们永不知足。他们会连累和平的人们,好象革命还不够多似的!他们来这儿干什么?让他们自己去脱身吧!活该,是他们不对,自作自受,与我们无关。我们倒霉的街道被乱弹射击,这是一群无赖。千万不要开门。”于是房屋就如同坟墓一样。起义者在门前垂死挣扎,他们眼见霰弹和白刃来临,如果他们叫嚷,他们知道会有人听见,但不会有人出来,有墙可以保护他们,有人可以营救他们,这些墙有的是肉做的耳朵,但这些人却是铁石心肠。

这怪谁?

无人可怪!怪所有的人。

怪生活在一个不完善的时代。

乌托邦转变为起义者,由哲学的抗拒转变为武装的抗拒,从密涅瓦到帕拉斯①,总是冒着风险的,乌托邦急躁冒进成为暴乱,明知自己会有什么结局,常因操之过急,于是只好屈从,泰然地接受灾祸而不是胜利。它毫无怨恨地为那些否认它的人们服务,甚至为他们辩解,它的高尚就在于能忍受遗弃,在障碍面前它不屈不挠,对忘恩负义者温存体贴。

究竟是否忘恩负义?

从人类的角度来说,是的。

从个人角度来说,不是。

进步是人的生活方式。人类的生活常态称之为进步;人类的一致步骤称之为进步。进步在前进;它天上地下大巡游,要达到巧夺天工的神圣境界;它有时停顿,等待着和落在后面的人群会合;它有它的歇息,此时正在某个即将豁然开朗的出色的迦南②面前沉思;它也有入睡的长夜;使思想家痛心疾首的一点就是:阴影投射在人类的精神上,人在暗中摸索,无法使正在酣睡中的进步苏醒。

①帕拉斯(Pallas),密涅瓦的另一个名字,她是智慧女神,也是战神。

②迦南(Chanaan),据《圣经》记载,迦南是上帝赐给以色列人的圣地。

“上帝可能已死去。”有一天,热拉尔·德·奈瓦尔①对本书作者说。他将进步与上帝混为一谈,把运动的暂时停止当成上帝的死亡。

①热拉尔·德·奈瓦尔(Gérarddenerval,1808-1855),法国诗人及文学家。

绝望是错误的,进步必然会苏醒。总之,可以这样说,它睡着也在前进,因为人们发现它成长了。当它又站起来时,人们觉察到它高了一些。进步如同河流,不可能永远平静;不要筑起堤坝,不要投入石块;障碍能使河流溅起泡沫,使人类沸腾,从而产生混乱;但在混乱之后,我们就认识到进了一步。在秩序,即全球性的和平建立之前,在和谐统一普及大地之前,进步总是以革命为驿站的。

进步是什么?我们刚才已经说过,是人民永久的生命。

然而有时个人目前的生活抗拒着人类永久的生活。

让我们毫无隐痛地承认,各人有他不同的利益,他谋求这个利益并保卫它而无越权之罪;为了眼前的打算可以允许一定程度的自私;目前生活有它自己的权利,并非必须为未来而不断牺牲自己。目前的一代人有权在地球上过路,不能强迫他们为了后代而缩短自己的路程,后代和他们是平等的,将来才轮到后代过路。“我存在着。”有一个人轻声说。这个人就是大家。“我年轻,我在恋爱,我老了,我需要休息,我有孩子,我工作,我生财有道,事业昌盛,我有房屋出赁,我有资金投放在政府的企业里,我幸福,我有妻室儿女,我热爱这一切,我要活下去,不要干扰我。”这些原因使这些人有时对人类伟大的先锋队极端冷漠。

此外乌托邦,我们得承认,一打仗就离开了自己光芒四射的领域。它是明日的真理,它采用了战争的方式,这是昨日使用的手段。它是未来,但却和过去一般行动。它本是纯洁的思想,却变为粗暴的行为。它在自己的英勇中夹杂了暴力,对这暴力它应当负责;这是权宜之计的暴力,违反原则必定受到惩罚。起义式的乌托邦,手中拿着老军事规章战斗;它枪杀间谍,处死叛徒,它消灭活人并将他们丢入无名的黑暗中。它利用死亡,这可是严重的事情。似乎乌托邦对光明已丧失信心,光明本是它无敌的永不变质的力量。它用利剑打击,然而没有一种利剑是单刃的,每把剑都有双刃,一边伤了人,另一边便伤了自己。

作出了这种保留之后,并且是严肃的保留之后,我们不得不赞颂??不论他们成功与否??这些为了未来而战斗的光荣战士,乌托邦的神甫。即使失败了,他们仍是可敬的,也许正因为失败了,所以更显得威严。一个符合进步的胜利值得人民鼓掌;但一个英勇的失败更应该得到人民的同情。一个是宏伟的,另一个是崇高的。我们赏识牺牲者远胜于成功者,我们认为约翰·布朗比华盛顿伟大,比萨康纳比加里波的伟大。

总得有人支持战败者。

人们对这些为了未来而努力从事、以失败告终的伟大的人是不公正的。

人们责怪革命者散布恐怖,每个街垒好象都在行凶。人们指责他们的理论,怀疑他们的目的,担心他们别有用心,并谴责他们的意识。人们责备他们不该抗拒现存的社会制度,不该竖起、筑起并造成大量贫穷、痛苦、罪恶、不满和绝望,不该从地底下掘起黑暗的石块,筑起雉堞来进行斗争。人们向他们叫喊:“你们把地狱的铺路石都拆毁了!”他们可以回答:“这正说明我们筑街垒的动机是纯正的。”①

最妥善的办法当然是和平解决。总之,我们得承认,当我们见到了铺路石时,就会联想起那只熊②来,社会在为这种好心肠而担忧。但社会应该自己拯救自己;我们向它的善意呼吁,不需要剧烈的药剂,通过友好协商来研究疾苦,查明病情,然而再治愈它,这是我们对社会的劝告。

①法国有句谚语:“地狱的路面是由良好的动机铺砌的。”这句话的意思是“很多有良好动机的人干了坏事”。

②拉封丹寓言《熊和园艺爱好者》中的主角,这只熊想赶走朋友鼻子上的苍蝇,他用石头砸苍蝇,结果砸死了自己的朋友。

无论如何,这些人,在世界的各个角落,目光注视着法国,并以理想的坚定逻辑,为了伟大的事业而战斗。他们即使倒下,特别在倒下的时候,也是令人敬畏的。他们为了进步无偿地献出自己的生命,他们完成了上天的旨意,作出了宗教的行动。到了一定的时刻,象演员到了要接台词时那样,大公无私、照上天剧情所安排的那样去进入坟墓。这个没有希望的战斗,和这泰然自若的消失,他们都能接受,为的是要把从一七八九年七月十四日开始的这一不可抗拒的人的运动,发展到它那辉煌而至高无上的世界性的结局为止。这些士兵是传教士,法国革命是上帝的行动。

再说,在另一章里已经指出的区别之外,还应增加下面这一区别:有被人接受的起义,这称之为革命,也有被人否定的革命,这称之为暴动。一个起义的爆发,就是一种思想在人民面前接受考验,如果老百姓掷下黑球,这思想就是一个枯萎的果子,起义便成为轻举妄动了。

每当空想愿意变成事实时,那时一声召唤,便立即进行战争,但这不是老百姓的作风,这些民族不是时刻都有着英雄和烈士气质的。

他们讲究实际。他们一开始就对起义有反感,第一,因为起义的结果经常是一场灾难;第二,因为起义的出发点经常是抽象的。

因为,尽忠者总是,并且也仅为理想而献身,这一点很高尚。起义是狂热的表现。狂热的头脑可以发怒,因而拿起了武器。但任何针对政府或政体的起义,矛头都对得更深远。譬如,我们要强调一下,一八三二年的起义领袖,尤其是麻厂街的激进青年所攻击的,并不完全是路易-菲力浦。大多数人,在坦率交谈时能公正地对待这个介乎君主制和革命之间的君王的优点,没有人憎恨他。在路易-菲力浦身上他们所攻击的是世袭神权王位的旁支,正如他们在查理十世身上攻击的是嫡系。我们已经解释过,他们推翻法国王朝,主要是想在全世界推翻人对人的篡夺和特权对人权的篡夺。巴黎如果没有君王,其结果就是世上将没有暴君。他们是如此推论的,他们的目标肯定很遥远,可能很模糊,他们在困难面前退却,但他们是伟大的。

情况就是这样。人们为这些幻影献身;对献身者来说,这些幻影几乎总是些梦想,总之,是些混淆了人类坚定信念的梦想。起义者把起义镀上了金又把它诗意化了。人们一头扎进这一悲惨事件中去,并被即将从事的事业所陶醉。谁知道呀!也许会成功。他们人数少,要和整整一支军队对抗,但他们为了保卫人权和自然法,保卫每个人不可放弃的主权,保卫正义、真理,必要时他们可以象那三百个斯巴达人一样死去。他们想到的不是堂吉诃德,而是莱翁尼达斯,他们勇往直前,既已投入战斗,就不后退,低着头往前冲,希望获得空前的胜利,更为完善的革命,恢复了自由的进步,希望人类更加伟大,世界得到拯救,最坏也无非是塞莫皮莱罢了。

这些为了进步的交锋常常遭到失败,我们刚才已说明了原因。群众不愿受勇士的驱使。这些呆滞的人民大众,他们所以脆弱是因为他们迟钝,他们害怕冒险的行动,而理想是具有冒险性的。

此外,我们不能忘记,这儿有一个利益问题,与理想和感情不大相容,有时胃会使心麻痹。

法国的伟大和美丽就在于它不象其他民族那样肚子凸起,它能较灵便地把绳子系在腰上,它最早觉醒,最后入睡。它前进,它探索。

这正是因为它是艺术家。

理想无非就是逻辑的最高峰,同样美就是真的顶端。艺术的民族同时也是彻底的民族。爱美就是要求光明。因此欧洲的火炬,即文明的火炬,首先由希腊举起,再传到意大利,再传到法国。神圣的民族先锋队!他们在传递生命之灯①。

奇妙的是,一个民族的诗意是它进步的原素。文化的分量是由想象力的分量来测定的。但一个传播文化的民族应该是刚强的。象科林斯②,对了!象西巴利斯③,不行。谁爱懦弱,谁就要衰退。不要当业余爱好者,也别当有名的演奏家,要做艺术家。至于文化,不应将其提炼精制,而应使其纯化。在这一条件下,我们就能赐予人类理想的模范。

①他们在传递生命之灯,原文为拉丁文Vitailampadatradrnt。

②科林斯(Corinthe),古希腊城市,此处指其刚强,曾与雅典、斯巴达抗衡。

③西巴利斯(Sybaris),古意大利城市,居民以柔弱著称。

现代的理想以艺术为典型,以科学为手段。照科学办,我们就能实现诗人的宏伟幻想??社会的美。我们将用A+B重建乐园。文化发展到这样一种程度,精确成了壮丽不可少的成分,科学手段不仅帮助而且充实了艺术的情感。梦想必须谋划。本是征服者的艺术,应以科学为支点,这是它的原动力。坐骑的坚固与否是很重要的,现代的智慧,就是以印度天才为运载工具的希腊天才,是亚历山大骑在大象身上。

被教条僵化或被利欲腐蚀的民族不适宜领导文化。膜拜偶像或金钱会使支配行走的肌肉萎缩,使向上的意志衰退。沉浸在宗教的传统中或商业买卖中就会使民族逊色,降低其水平,同时也缩小了它的视野,使它失去了那为世界目标奋斗的既属人又属神的智慧,这智慧本可使这民族成为传道者。巴比伦没有理想,迦太基也没有。雅典和罗马才具有,并在经历了多少世纪的黑暗后仍保持着文化的光环。

法国和希腊、意大利有着同样的民族素质,它有雅典人的美,罗马人的伟大。此外,它是善良的。它慷慨献身,它比其他民族更乐于尽忠,乐于牺牲,可是这种气质时有时无,这样对于那些法国想走、他们偏要跑,或法国想停下、他们偏要走的人是很危险的。法国也曾多次犯过唯物主义的错误,有时,使这超凡的头脑闭塞的思想一点也不能使人回想起伟大的法国,而只回想起米苏里州或南卡罗来纳州罢了。怎么办?巨人装矮子,辽阔的法国有时会突然爱好渺小。就是这样而已。

对于这种情况无话可说。人民和星宿一样,有权暂时隐没。一切都很好,只要光明重现,只要暂时的隐没不要退化成黑夜就是了。黎明和复活是同义词,光明的重现和“我”的延续相同。

让我们平静地来看待这些事。死于街垒或流亡,对于忠诚的人来说,在不得已时都是可以接受的。忠忱的真谛,就是忘我。被遗弃者让他们被遗弃吧,流放者被流放吧,我们只恳求伟大的人民后退时不要退得过远;不要借口恢复理智,而在下坡路上滑过了头。

物质是存在的,时间是存在的,利益是存在的,肚子是存在的;但肚子不应该是唯一的智慧。目前的生活有权被重视,我们承认这一点,但永久的生活也有它的权利。唉!登高了有时还会下跌,很遗憾这种事历史上常常能见到。有一个民族曾显赫一时,它曾处于理想的境界,然后又陷入污泥并还感到称心如意。如果有人问它为什么抛弃苏格拉底去找法斯达夫①,它的回答是:“因为我爱政客。”

①法斯达夫(Falstaff,1378-1459),英国著名军官,以沉湎酒色、厚颜无耻著名。

在回到这次混战之前再说几句话。

一次我们此刻所谈到的战争无非是一种面向理想的痉挛。遇到障碍的进步是病态的,它就有着这些悲惨的癫痫病。进步的病痛是内战,在我们的行程中免不了会遇到。这是这出戏不可避免的一个阶段,既是一幕,又是幕间休息,剧的中心人物是一个社会上的受苦人,剧的真正名字叫“进步”。

进步!

这是代表我们思想经常发出来的呼声,我们这出剧发展到现在,它所包含的思想还要经受不止一次的考验,也许我们可以揭去帷幕,至少让它的光芒能清晰地透露出来。

此刻读者手边的这部书,中间不论有怎样的间断、例外或缺欠,从头到尾,从整本到细节都是从恶走向善,从不公正到公正,从假到真,从黑夜到天明,从欲望到良心,从腐化到生活,从兽行到责任,从地狱到天堂,从虚无到上帝。它的出发点是物质,终止处是心灵;它由七头蛇开始,以天使告终。
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