第一卷一个正直的人第03章 好主教碰到苦教区
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-06-29 02:26:55  【打印
CHAPTER III A HARD BISHOPRIC FOR A GOOD BISHOP





The Bishop did not omit his pastoral visits because he had converted his carriage into alms. The diocese of D---- is a fatiguing one. There are very few plains and a great many mountains; hardly any roads, as we have just seen; thirty-two curacies, forty-one vicarships, and two hundred and eighty-five auxiliary chapels. To visit all these is quite a task.



The Bishop managed to do it. He went on foot when it was in the neighborhood, in a tilted spring-cart when it was on the plain, and on a donkey in the mountains. The two old women accompanied him. When the trip was too hard for them, he went alone.



One day he arrived at Senez, which is an ancient episcopal city. He was mounted on an ass. His purse, which was very dry at that moment, did not permit him any other equipage. The mayor of the town came to receive him at the gate of the town, and watched him dismount from his ass, with scandalized eyes. Some of the citizens were laughing around him. "Monsieur the Mayor," said the Bishop, "and Messieurs Citizens, I perceive that I shock you. You think it very arrogant in a poor priest to ride an animal which was used by Jesus Christ. I have done so from necessity, I assure you, and not from vanity."



In the course of these trips he was kind and indulgent, and talked rather than preached. He never went far in search of his arguments and his examples. He quoted to the inhabitants of one district the example of a neighboring district. In the cantons where they were harsh to the poor, he said: "Look at the people of Briancon! They have conferred on the poor, on widows and orphans, the right to have their meadows mown three days in advance of every one else. They rebuild their houses for them gratuitously when they are ruined. Therefore it is a country which is blessed by God. For a whole century, there has not been a single murderer among them."



In villages which were greedy for profit and harvest, he said: "Look at the people of Embrun! If, at the harvest season, the father of a family has his son away on service in the army, and his daughters at service in the town, and if he is ill and incapacitated, the cure recommends him to the prayers of the congregation; and on Sunday, after the mass, all the inhabitants of the village--men, women, and children--go to the poor man's field and do his harvesting for him, and carry his straw and his grain to his granary." To families divided by questions of money and inheritance he said: "Look at the mountaineers of Devolny, a country so wild that the nightingale is not heard there once in fifty years. Well, when the father of a family dies, the boys go off to seek their fortunes, leaving the property to the girls, so that they may find husbands." To the cantons which had a taste for lawsuits, and where the farmers ruined themselves in stamped paper, he said: "Look at those good peasants in the valley of Queyras! There are three thousand souls of them. Mon Dieu! it is like a little republic. Neither judge nor bailiff is known there. The mayor does everything. He allots the imposts, taxes each person conscientiously, judges quarrels for nothing, divides inheritances without charge, pronounces sentences gratuitously; and he is obeyed, because he is a just man among simple men." To villages where he found no schoolmaster, he quoted once more the people of Queyras: "Do you know how they manage?" he said. "Since a little country of a dozen or fifteen hearths cannot always support a teacher, they have school-masters who are paid by the whole valley, who make the round of the villages, spending a week in this one, ten days in that, and instruct them. These teachers go to the fairs. I have seen them there. They are to be recognized by the quill pens which they wear in the cord of their hat. Those who teach reading only have one pen; those who teach reading and reckoning have two pens; those who teach reading, reckoning, and Latin have three pens. But what a disgrace to be ignorant! Do like the people of Queyras!"



Thus he discoursed gravely and paternally; in default of examples, he invented parables, going directly to the point, with few phrases and many images, which characteristic formed the real eloquence of Jesus Christ. And being convinced himself, he was persuasive.





三 好主教碰到苦教区



主教先生并不因为他的马车变成了救济款而减少他的巡回视察工作。迪涅教区是个苦地方。平原少,山地多,我们刚才已经提到。三十二个司铎区,四十一个监牧区,二百八十五个分区。巡视那一切,确成问题,这位主教先生却能完成任务。如果是在附近,他就步行;在平原,坐小马车;在山里,就乘骡兜。那两个高年的妇人还陪伴着他。如果路程对她们太辛苦,他便一个人去。



一天,他骑着一头毛驴,走到塞内士,那是座古老的主教城。当时他正囊空如洗,不可能有别种坐骑。地方长官来到主教公馆门口迎接他,瞧见他从驴背上下来,觉得有失体统。另外几个士绅也围着他笑。



“长官先生和各位先生,”主教说,“我知道什么事使你们感到丢人,你们一定认为一个贫苦的牧师跨着耶稣基督的坐



骑未免妄自尊大。我是不得已才这样做的,老实说,并非出自虚荣。”



在巡视工作中,他是谦虚和蔼的,闲谈的时间多,说教的时候少。他素来不把品德问题提到高不可攀的地步,也从不向远处去找他的论据和范例。对某一乡的居民,他常叙说邻乡的榜样。在那些对待穷人刻薄的镇上,他说:“你们瞧瞧布里昂松地方的人吧。他们给了穷人、寡妇和孤儿一种特权,使他们可以比旁人早三天割他们草场上的草料。如果他们的房屋要坍了,就会有人替他们重盖,不要工资。这也可算得上是上帝庇佑的地方了。在整整一百年中,从没一个人犯过凶杀案。”



在那些斤斤计较利润和收获物的村子里,他说:“你们瞧瞧昂布伦地方的人吧。万一有个家长在收割时,因儿子都在服兵役,女孩也在城里工作,而自己又害病不能劳动,本堂神甫就把他的情形在宣道时提出来,等到礼拜日,公祷完毕,村里所有的人,男的,女的,孩子们都到那感到困难的人的田里去替他收割,并且替他把麦秸和麦粒搬进仓去。”对那些因银钱和遗产问题而分裂的家庭,他说:“你们瞧瞧德福宜山区的人吧。那是一片非常荒凉的地方,五十年也听不到一次黄莺的歌声。可是,当有一家的父亲死了,他的儿子便各自出外谋生,把家产留给姑娘们,好让她们找得到丈夫。”在那些争讼成风,农民每因告状而倾家荡产的镇上,他说:“你们看看格拉谷的那些善良的老乡吧。那里有三千人口。我的上帝!那真象一个小小的共和国。他们既不知道有审判官,也不知道有执法官。处理一切的是乡长。他分配捐税,凭良心向各人抽捐,义务地排解纠纷,替人分配遗产,不取酬金,判处案情,不收讼费;大家也都服他,因为他是那些简朴的人中一个正直的人。”在那些没有教师的村子里,他又谈到格拉谷的居民了:“你们知道他们怎么办?”他说,“一个只有十家到十五家人口的小地方,自然不能经常供养一个乡村教师,于是他们全谷公聘几个教师,在各村巡回教学,在这村停留八天,那村停留十天。那些教师常到市集上去,我常在那些地方遇见他们。我们只须看插在帽带上的鹅毛笔,就可以认出他们来。那些只教人读书的带一管笔,教人读又教人算的带两管,教人读算和拉丁文的带三管。他们都是很有学问的人。做一个无知无识的人多么可羞!



你们向格拉谷的居民学习吧。”



他那样谈着,严肃地,象父兄那样;在缺少实例的时候,他就创造一些言近而意远的话,用简括的词句和丰富的想象,直达他的目的;那正是耶稣基督的辩才,能自信,又能服人。

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