第一卷从巴黎的原子看巴黎 第02章他的一些特征
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-09-15 01:43:16  【打印
CHAPTER II SOME OF HIS PARTICULAR CHARACTERISTICS



The gamin--the street Arab--of Paris is the dwarf of the giant.



Let us not exaggerate, this cherub of the gutter sometimes has a shirt, but, in that case, he owns but one; he sometimes has shoes, but then they have no soles; he sometimes has a lodging, and he loves it, for he finds his mother there; but he prefers the street, because there he finds liberty. He has his own games, his own bits of mischief, whose foundation consists of hatred for the bourgeois; his peculiar metaphors: to be dead is to eat dandelions by the root; his own occupations, calling hackney-coaches, letting down carriage-steps, establishing means of transit between the two sides of a street in heavy rains, which he calls making the bridge of arts, crying discourses pronounced by the authorities in favor of the French people, cleaning out the cracks in the pavement; he has his own coinage, which is composed of all the little morsels of worked copper which are found on the public streets. This curious money, which receives the name of loques--rags--has an invariable and well-regulated currency in this little Bohemia of children.



Lastly, he has his own fauna, which he observes attentively in the corners; the lady-bird, the death's-head plant-louse, the daddy-long-legs, "the devil," a black insect, which menaces by twisting about its tail armed with two horns. He has his fabulous monster, which has scales under its belly, but is not a lizard, which has pustules on its back, but is not a toad, which inhabits the nooks of old lime-kilns and wells that have run dry, which is black, hairy, sticky, which crawls sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, which has no cry, but which has a look, and is so terrible that no one has ever beheld it; he calls this monster "the deaf thing." The search for these "deaf things" among the stones is a joy of formidable nature. Another pleasure consists in suddenly prying up a paving-stone, and taking a look at the wood-lice. Each region of Paris is celebrated for the interesting treasures which are to be found there. There are ear-wigs in the timber-yards of the Ursulines, there are millepeds in the Pantheon, there are tadpoles in the ditches of the Champs-de-Mars.



As far as sayings are concerned, this child has as many of them as Talleyrand. He is no less cynical, but he is more honest. He is endowed with a certain indescribable, unexpected joviality; he upsets the composure of the shopkeeper with his wild laughter. He ranges boldly from high comedy to farce.



A funeral passes by. Among those who accompany the dead there is a doctor. "Hey there!" shouts some street Arab, "how long has it been customary for doctors to carry home their own work?"



Another is in a crowd. A grave man, adorned with spectacles and trinkets, turns round indignantly: "You good-for-nothing, you have seized my wife's waist!"--"I, sir? Search me!"







二 他的一些特征





巴黎的野孩,是丈六妇人的小崽子。



不应当过分夸大,清溪旁边的那个小天使有时也有一件衬衫,不过,即使有,也只有一件;他有时也有一双鞋,却又没有鞋底;他有时也有一个住处,并且爱那地方,因为他可以在那里找到他的母亲;但是他更爱待在街上,因为在街上他可以找到自由。他有他自己的一套玩法,有他自己的一套顽皮作风,那套顽皮作风是以对资产阶级的仇恨为出发点的;也有他自己的一套隐语,人死了,叫“吃蒲公英的根”;有他自己的一套行业,替人找马车,放下车门口的踏板,在下大雨时收过街费,他管这叫“跑艺术桥”,帮法国的人民群众对官员们的讲话喝倒采,剔铺路石的缝;他有他自己的货币,那是从街上抬来的各色各样加过工的小铜片。那种怪钱叫做“破布筋”,有它的固定的兑换率,在那些小淘气中是有相当完善的制度的。



他还有自己的动物学,是他在各个地区细心研究的:好天主虫、骷髅头蚜虫、长腿蜘蛛、“妖精”??扭动着双叉尾巴来吓唬人的黑壳虫。他有他的一种传说中的怪物,肚子下面有鳞,却又不是蜥蜴,背上有疣,却又不是蟾蜍,它住在旧石灰窑或干了的污水坑里,黑??,毛茸茸,粘糊糊的,爬着走,有时慢,有时快,不叫,但会瞪眼,模样儿非常可怕,以致从来没有人见过它,他管那怪物叫“聋子”。到石头缝里去找聋子,那里种提心呆胆的开心事。另外一种开心事是突然掀起一块石头,看那下面的一些土鳖。巴黎的每个地区都各有一些出名的有趣的玩意儿可以发掘。在于尔絮勒修会的那些场地里有蠼螋,先贤祠有百脚,马尔斯广场有蝌蚪。



至于词令,那孩子所知道的并不亚于塔列朗。他同样刻薄,却比较诚实。他生来就有那么一种无法形容无从预料的风趣,他的一阵狂笑能使一个商店老板发愣。他开的玩笑具有高级喜剧和闹剧之间的各种不同风格。



街上有人出殡。在那送葬行列中有个医生。“哟,”一个野孩喊着说,“医生是从什么时候起开始汇报工作的?”



另一个混在人群里。有个戴眼镜、面孔死板、表链上挂着杂佩的男人气冲冲地转过身来说:“流氓,你抱了我女人的腰。”



“我,先生!请搜我身上。”

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