警察和讚美詩

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更新時間: 2013-12-12

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美國20世紀初著名短篇小說家歐·亨利名篇,是短篇小說的傑作。是他優秀短篇小說之一,作品寫到流浪漢蘇比在冬天來臨之際,想方設法到監獄過冬,他六次犯事,為非作歹,可是都沒有如願,正當他聽到教堂讚美詩,決定重新做人時,卻被莫名其妙逮捕了,小說的矛頭直指當時美國社會,真實的反映了不明是非,顛倒黑白的社會的現實。

警察和讚美詩 -寫作背景

  西歐批判現實主義文學開始衰落的時候,美國現實社會的深刻變化(南北戰爭之後)引起文學的變化,這就是現實主義的興起和發展。它出現在美國資本主義日趨腐朽的階段,即由自由資本主義過渡到帝國主義的時代。當時社會貧富對立,階級矛盾日益激化。這時期一些出身於中小資產階級的作家,從自身的階層出發,一方面,譴責資本主義制度的罪惡,描寫人民的悲慘生活,反映人民對資產階級統治的不滿情緒;另一方面,他們又對美國資產階級的民主存有幻想,提出種種改良措施。可是當帝國主義的濁流來到時,他們又懷著悲觀絕望的情緒探索個人的命運和歸宿。然而,馬克思主義思想的傳播,也引起較大震動,使美國作家群體分化,一些來自下層而又傾向進步的作家,受到工人運動的影響,經歷了思想探索的過程,為社會主義理想所吸引,參加了工人運動,開始創作一些較先進的文學作品。作品取材於現實生活,反映了下層勞動人民的悲慘生活,揭露了壟斷資產階級殘酷的本性,控訴了統治者對人民的迫害。內容豐富,揭露深刻,手法多樣,是美國文壇上不可少的一支生力軍,在美國文學史上留下光輝的一頁。

  它寫了一個流浪漢冬天來了無法再露宿街關,一心想進監獄換取三個月的食宿,幾次三番為非作歹,都因種種巧合而失敗了。最後他在一條僻靜的路邊聽到教堂里傳出的讚美詩的音樂,並受到感染,決心棄舊圖新自食其力時,警察卻無緣無故地逮捕了他。

  作者通過這個故事,揭露了美國社會是非顛倒,黑白不分,而流浪漢也是這個社會的犧牲品,是值得同情的人。

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警察和讚美詩 -全文閱讀

  索比急躁不安地躺在麥迪遜廣場的長凳上,輾轉反側。每當雁群在夜空中引頸高歌,缺少海豹皮衣的女人對丈夫加倍的溫存親熱,索比在街心公園的長凳上焦躁不安、翻來複去的時候,人們就明白,冬天已近在咫尺了。

  一片枯葉落在索比的大腿上,那是傑克·弗洛斯特①的卡片。傑克對麥迪遜廣場的常住居民非常客氣,每年來臨之先,總要打一聲招呼。在十字街頭,他把名片交給「戶外大廈」的信使「北風」,好讓住戶們有個準備。

  索比意識到,該是自己下決心的時候了,馬上組織單人財務委員會,以便抵禦即將臨近的嚴寒,因此,他急躁不安地在長凳上輾轉反側。

《警察和讚美詩》《警察和讚美詩》
索比越冬的抱負並不算最高,他不想在地中海巡遊,也不想到南方去曬令人昏睡的太陽,更沒想過到維蘇威海灣漂泊。他夢寐以求的只要在島上待三個月就足夠了。整整三個月,有飯吃,有床睡,還有志趣相投的夥伴,而且不受「北風」和警察的侵擾。對索比而言,這就是日思夜想的最大願望。

  多年來,好客的布萊克韋爾島②的監獄一直是索比冬天的寓所。正像福氣比他好的紐約人每年冬天買票去棕櫚灘③和里維埃拉④一樣,索比也要為一年一度逃奔島上作些必要的安排。現在又到時候了。昨天晚上,他睡在古老廣場上噴水池旁的長凳上,用三張星期日的報紙分別墊在上衣里、包著腳踝、蓋住大腿,也沒能抵擋住嚴寒的襲擊。因此,在他的腦袋裡,島子的影象又即時而鮮明地浮現出來。他詛咒那些以慈善名義對城鎮窮苦人所設的布施。在索比眼裡,法律比救濟更為寬厚。他可以去的地方不少,有市政辦的、救濟機關辦的各式各樣的組織,他都可以去混吃、混住,勉強度日,但接受施捨,對索比這樣一位靈魂高傲的人來講,是一種不可忍受的折磨。從慈善機構的手裡接受任何一點好處,錢固然不必付,但你必須遭受精神上的屈辱來作為回報。正如愷撒對待布魯圖一樣⑤,凡事有利必有弊,要睡上慈善機構的床,先得讓人押去洗個澡;要吃施捨的一片麵包,得先交待清楚個人的來歷和隱私。因此,倒不如當個法律的座上賓還好得多。雖然法律鐵面無私、照章辦事,但至少不會過分地干涉正人君子的私事。

  一旦決定了去島上,索比便立即著手將它變為現實。要兌現自己的意願,有許多簡捷的途徑,其中最舒服的莫過於去某家豪華餐廳大吃一台,然後呢,承認自己身無分文,無力支付,這樣便安安靜靜、毫不聲張地被交給警察。其餘的一切就該由通商量的治安推事來應付了。

  索比離開長凳,踱出廣場,跨過百老匯大街和第五大街的交匯處那片瀝青鋪就的平坦路面。他轉向百老匯大街,在一家燈火輝煌的咖啡館前停下腳步,在這裡,每天晚上聚積著葡萄、蠶絲和原生質的最佳製品⑥。

  索比對自己的馬甲從最下一顆紐扣之上還頗有信心,他修過面,上衣也還夠氣派,他那整潔的黑領結是感恩節時一位教會的女士送給他的。只要他到餐桌之前不被人猜疑,成功就屬於他了。他露在桌面的上半身絕不會讓侍者生疑。索比想到,一隻烤野鴨很對勁——再來一瓶夏布利酒⑦,然後是卡門貝乾酪⑧,一小杯清咖啡和一隻雪茄煙。一美元一隻的雪茄就足夠了。全部加起來的價錢不宜太高,以免遭到咖啡館太過厲害的報復;然而,吃下這一餐會使他走向冬季避難所的行程中心滿意足、無憂無慮了。

  可是,索比的腳剛踏進門,領班侍者的眼睛便落在了他那舊褲子和破皮鞋上。強壯迅急的手掌推了他個轉身,悄無聲息地被押了出來,推上了人行道,拯救了那隻險遭毒手的野鴨的可憐命運。

  索比離開了百老匯大街。看起來,靠大吃一通走向垂涎三尺的島上,這辦法是行不通了。要進監獄,還得另打主意。

  在第六大街的拐角處,燈火通明、陳設精巧的大玻璃櫥窗內的商品尤其誘人注目。索比撿起一塊鵝卵石,向玻璃窗砸去。人們從轉彎處奔來,領頭的就是一位巡警。索比一動不動地站在原地,兩手插在褲袋裡,對著黃銅紐扣微笑⑨。

  「肇事的傢伙跑哪兒去了?」警官氣急敗壞地問道。

  「你不以為這事與我有關嗎?」索比說,多少帶點嘲諷語氣,但很友好,如同他正交著桃花運呢。

  警察根本沒把索比看成作案對象。毀壞窗子的人絕對不會留在現場與法律的寵臣攀談,早就溜之大吉啦。警察看到半條街外有個人正跑去趕一輛車,便揮舞著警棍追了上去。索比心裡十分憎惡,只得拖著腳步,重新開始遊盪。他再一次失算了。

  對面街上,有一家不太招眼的餐廳,它可以填飽肚子,又花不了多少錢。它的碗具粗糙,空氣混濁,湯菜淡如水,餐巾薄如絹。索比穿著那令人詛咒的鞋子和暴露身份的褲子跨進餐廳,上帝保佑、還沒遭到白眼。他走到桌前坐下,吃了牛排,煎餅、炸麵餅圈和餡餅。然後,他向侍者坦露真象:他和錢老爺從無交往。

  「現在,快去叫警察,」索比說。「別讓大爺久等。」

  「用不著找警察,」侍者說,聲音滑膩得如同奶油蛋糕,眼睛紅得好似曼哈頓開胃酒中的櫻桃。「喂,阿康!」

  兩個侍者乾淨利落地把他推倒在又冷又硬的人行道上,左耳著地。索比艱難地一點一點地從地上爬起來,好似木匠打開摺尺一樣,接著拍掉衣服上的塵土。被捕的願望僅僅是美夢一個,那個島子是太遙遠了。相隔兩個門面的藥店前,站著一名警察,他笑了笑,便沿街走去。

  索比走過五個街口之後,設法被捕的氣又回來了。這一次出現的機會極為難得,他滿以為十拿九穩哩。一位衣著簡樸但討人喜歡的年輕女人站在櫥窗前,興趣十足地瞪著陳列的修面杯和墨水瓶架入了迷。而兩碼之外,一位彪形大漢警察正靠在水龍頭上,神情嚴肅。

  索比的計劃是裝扮成一個下流、討厭的「搗蛋鬼」。他的對象文雅嫻靜,又有一位忠於職守的警察近在眼前,這使他足以相信,警察的雙手抓住他的手膀的滋味該是多麼愉快呵,在島上的小安樂窩裡度過這個冬季就有了保證。

  索比扶正了教會的女士送給他的領結,拉出縮進去的襯衣袖口,把帽子往後一掀,歪得幾乎要落下來,側身向那女人挨將過去。他對她送秋波,清嗓子,哼哼哈哈,嬉皮笑臉,把小流氓所乾的一切卑鄙無恥的勾當表演得維妙維肖。他斜眼望去,看見那個警察正死死盯住他。年輕女人移開了幾步,又沉醉於觀賞那修面杯。索比跟過去,大膽地走近她,舉了舉帽子,說:「啊哈,比德莉亞,你不想去我的院子里玩玩嗎?」

  警察仍舊死死盯住。受人輕薄的年輕女人只需將手一招,就等於已經上路去島上的安樂窩了。在想象中,他已經感覺到警察分局的舒適和溫暖了。年輕女人轉身面對著他,伸出一隻手,捉住了索比的上衣袖口。

  「當然羅,邁克,」她興高采烈地說,「如果你肯破費給我買一杯啤酒的話。要不是那個警察老瞅住我,早就同你搭腔了。」

  年輕女人像常青藤攀附著他這棵大橡樹一樣。索比從警察身邊走過,心中懊喪不已。看來命中注定,他該自由。

  一到拐彎處,他甩掉女伴,撒腿就跑。他一口氣跑到老遠的一個地方。這兒,整夜都是最明亮的燈光,最輕鬆的心情,最輕率的誓言和最輕快的歌劇。淑女們披著皮裘,紳士們身著大衣,在這凜冽的嚴寒中歡天喜地地走來走去。索比突然感到一陣恐懼,也許是某種可怕的魔法制住了他,使他免除了被捕。這念頭令他心驚肉跳。但是,當他看見一個警察在燈火通明的劇院門前大模大樣地巡邏時,他立刻撈到了「擾亂治安」這根救命稻草。

  索比在人行道上扯開那破鑼似的嗓子,像醉鬼一樣胡鬧。

  他又跳,又吼,又叫,使盡各種伎倆來攪擾這蒼穹。

  警察旋轉著他的警棍,扭身用背對著索比,向一位市民解釋說:「這是個耶魯小子在慶祝勝利,他們同哈特福德學院賽球,請人家吃了個大鵝蛋。聲音是有點兒大,但不礙事。我們上峰有指示,讓他們鬧去吧。」

  索比怏怏不樂地停止了白費力氣的鬧嚷。難道就永遠沒有警察對他下手嗎?在他的幻夢中,那島嶼似乎成了可望而不可及的阿卡狄亞⑩了。他扣好單薄的上衣,以便抵擋刺骨的寒風。

  索比看到雪茄煙店裡有一位衣冠楚楚的人正對著火頭點煙。那人進店時,把綢傘靠在門邊。索比跨進店門,拿起綢傘,漫不經心地退了出來。點煙人匆匆追了出來。

  「我的傘,」他厲聲道。

  「呵,是嗎?」索比冷笑說;在小偷摸小摸之上,再加上一條侮辱罪吧。「好哇,那你為什麼不叫警察呢?沒錯,我拿了。你的傘!為什麼不叫巡警呢?拐角那兒就站著一個哩。」

  綢傘的主人放慢了腳步,索比也跟著慢了下來。他有一種預感,命運會再一次同他作對。那位警察好奇地瞧著他們倆。

  「當然羅,」綢傘主人說,「那是,噢,你知道有時會出現這類誤會……我……要是這傘是你的,我希望你別見怪……我是今天早上在餐廳撿的……要是你認出是你的,那麼……我希望你別……」

  「當然是我的,」索比惡狠狠地說。

  綢傘的前主人悻悻地退了開去。那位警察慌忙不迭地跑去攙扶一個身披夜禮服斗篷、頭髮金黃的高個子女人穿過橫街,以免兩條街之外駛來的街車會碰著她。

  索比往東走,穿過一條因翻修弄得高低不平的街道。他怒氣衝天地把綢傘猛地擲進一個坑裡。他咕咕噥噥地抱怨那些頭戴鋼盔、手執警棍的傢伙。因為他一心只想落入法網,而他們則偏偏把他當成永不出錯的國王⑾。

  最後,索比來到了通往東區的一條街上,這兒的燈光暗淡,嘈雜聲也若有若無。他順著街道向麥迪遜廣場走去,即使他的家僅僅是公園裡的一條長凳,但回家的本能還是把他帶到了那兒。

  可是,在一個異常幽靜的轉角處,索比停住了。這兒有一座古老的教堂,樣子古雅,顯得零亂,是帶山牆的建築。柔和的燈光透過淡紫色的玻璃窗映射出來,毫無疑問,是風琴師在練熟星期天的讚美詩。悅耳的樂聲飄進索比的耳朵,吸引了他,把他粘在了螺旋形的鐵欄杆上。

  月亮掛在高高的夜空,光輝、靜穆;行人和車輛寥寥無幾;屋檐下的燕雀在睡夢中幾聲啁啾——這會兒有如鄉村中教堂墓地的氣氛。風琴師彈奏的讚美詩撥動了伏在鐵欄杆上的索比的心弦,因為當他生活中擁有母愛、玫瑰、抱負、朋友以及純潔無邪的思想和潔白的衣領時,他是非常熟悉讚美詩的。

  索比的敏感心情同老教堂的潛移默化交融在一起,使他的靈魂猛然間出現了奇妙的變化。他立刻驚恐地醒悟到自己已經墜入了深淵,墮落的歲月,可恥的慾念,悲觀失望,才窮智竭,動機卑鄙——這一切構成了他的全部生活。

  頃刻間,這種新的思想境界令他激動萬分。一股迅急而強烈的衝動鼓舞著他去迎戰坎坷的人生。他要把自己拖出泥淖,他要征服那一度駕馭自己的惡魔。時間尚不晚,他還算年輕,他要再現當年的雄心壯志,並堅定不移地去實現它。管風琴的莊重而甜美音調已經在他的內心深處引起了一場革命。明天,他要去繁華的商業區找事干。有個皮貨進口商一度讓他當司機,明天找到他,接下這份差事。他願意做個煊赫一時的人物。他要……

  索比感到有隻手按在他的胳膊上。他霍地扭過頭來,只見一位警察的寬臉盤。

  「你在這兒幹什麼呀?」警察問道。

  「沒幹什麼,」索比說。

  「那就跟我來,」警察說。

  第二天早晨,警察局法庭的法官宣判道:「布萊克韋爾島,三個月。」

  ①傑克·弗洛斯特(jack frost):「霜凍」的擬人化稱呼。

  ②布萊克韋爾島(blackwell):在紐約東河上。島上有監獄。

  ③棕櫚灘(palm beach):美國佛羅里達州東南部城鎮,冬令遊憩勝地。

  ④里維埃拉(the riviera):南歐沿地中海一段地區,在法國的東南部和義大利的西北部,是假節日憩游勝地。

  ⑤愷撒(Julius Caesar):(100—44bc)羅馬統帥、政治家,羅馬的獨裁者,被共和派貴族刺殺。布魯圖(brutus):(85—42bc)羅馬貴族派政治家,刺殺愷撒的主謀,后逃希臘,集結軍隊對抗安東尼和屋大維聯軍,因戰敗自殺。

  ⑥作者詼諧的說法,指美酒、華麗衣物和上流人物。

  ⑦夏布利酒(chablis):原產於法國的Chablis地方的一種無甜味的白葡萄酒。

  ⑧卡門貝(carmembert)乾酪(cheese):一種產於法國的軟乾酪。原為Fr.諾曼底一村莊,產此乾酪而得名。

  ⑨指警察,因警察上衣的紐扣是黃銅製的。

  ⑩阿卡狄亞(Arcadia):原為古希臘一山區,現在伯羅奔尼撒半島中部,以其居民過著田園牧歌式的淳樸生活而著稱,現指「世外桃源」。

  ⑾英語諺語:國王不可能犯錯誤(king can do no wrong.)
警察和讚美詩 -英文原版

  英文原版

  The Cop And The Anthem

  O Henry

  On his bench in Madison Square Soapy moved uneasily, and when Soapy moves uneasily on his bench in the park, you may know that winter is near.

  A dead leaf fell in Soapy's lap. That was Jack Frost's card. Jack is kind to the regular residents of Madison Square, and gives them warning of his annual call.

  Soapy realized the fact that the time had come for him to provide against the coming winter. And therefore he moved uneasily on his bench.

  The winter ambitions of Soapy were not of the highest. In them there were no dreams of Mediterranean voyages, of blue Southern skies or the Vesuvian Bay. Three months on the Island was what his soul desired. Three months of assured board and bed and good company, safe from north winds and policemen, seemed to Soapy the most desirable thing.

  For years the hospitable Blackwell prison had been his winter refuge. Just as the more fortunate New Yorkers had bought their tickets to Palm Beach and the Riviera each winter, so Soapy had made his arrangements for his annual journey to the island. And now the time had come. On the night before three Sunday newspapers, put under his coat, about his feet and over his lap, had not helped him against the cold as he slept on his bench near the fountain in the old square. There were many institutions of charity in New York where he might receive lodging and food, but to Soapy's proud spirit the gifts of charity were undesirable. You must pay in humiliation of spirit for everything received at the hands of philanthropy. So it was better to be a guest of the law.

  Soapy, having decided to go to the Island, at once set about accomplishing his desire. There were many easy ways of doing this. The pleasantest was to dine at some good restaurant; and then, after declaring bankruptcy, be handed over to a policeman. A magistrate would do the rest.

  Soapy left his bench and went out of the square and up Broadway. He stopped at the door of a glittering cafe. He was shaven and his coat was decent. If he could reach a table in the restaurant, the portion of him that would show above the table would raise no doubt in the waiter's mind. A roasted duck, thought Soapy, with a bottle of wine, and then some cheese, a cup of coffee and a cigar would be enough. Such a dinner would make him happy, for the journey to his winter refuge.

  But as Soapy entered the restaurant door, the head waiter's eye fell upon his shabby trousers and old shoes. Strong hands turned him about and pushed him in silence and haste out into the street.

  Soapy turned off Broadway. Some other way of entering the desirable refuge must be found.

  At a corner of Sixth Avenue Soapy took a stone and sent it through the glass of a glittering shop window. People came running around the corner, a policeman at the head of them. Soapy stood still, with his hands in his pockets, and smiled at the sight of the policeman.

  "Where is the man that has done that?" asked the policeman.

  "Don't you think that I have had something to do with it?" said Soapy, not without sarcasm, but friendly.

  The policeman paid no attention to Soapy. Men who break windows do not remain to speak with policemen. They run away. He saw a man running to catch a car and rushed after him with his stick in his hand. Soapy, with disgust in his heart, walked along, twice unsuccessful.

  On the opposite side of the street was a little restaurant for people with large appetites and modest purses. Soapy entered this place without difficulty. He sat at a table and ate beefsteak and pie. And then he told the waiter that he had no money.

  "Now go and call a cop," said Soapy. "And don't keep a gentleman waiting."

  "No cop for you," said the waiter. "Hey!"

  In a moment Soapy found himself lying upon his left ear on the pavement. He arose with difficulty, and beat the dust from his clothes. Arrest seemed a rosy dream. The Island seemed very far away. A policeman who stood before a drug store two doors away laughed and walked down the street. Soapy seemed to liberty.

  After another unsuccessful attempt to be arrested for persecution a young woman, Soapy went further toward the district of theatres.

  When he came upon a policeman standing in front of a glittering theatre, he caught at the straw of "disorderly conduct."

  On the sidewalk Soapy began to sing drunken songs at the top of his voice. He danced, howled, and otherwise disturbed the peace.

  The policeman turned his back to Soapy, and said to a citizen:

  "It is one of the Yale LADS celebrating their football victory over the Hartford College. Noisy, but no harm. We have instructions not to arrest them."

  sadly, Soapy stopped his useless singing and dancing. A sudden fear seized him. Was he immune to arrest? Would never a policeman lay hands on him? The Island seemed an unattainable Arcadia. He buttoned his thin coat against the north wind.

  In a cigar store he saw a well-dressed man lighting a cigar. He had set his silk umbrella by the door, Soapy entered the store, took the umbrella, and went out with it slowly. The man with the cigar followed hastily.

  "My umbrella," he said.

  "Oh, is it?" said Soapy. "Well, why don't you call a policeman? I took it. Your umbrella! Why don't you call a cop? There stands one on the corner."

  The umbrella owner slowed his steps. Soapy did likewise. The policeman looked at them curiously.

  "Of course," said the umbrella man, "that is - well, you know how these mistakes occur - I - if it's your umbrella I hope you'll excuse me - I picked it up this morning in a restaurant - if it is yours, why - I hope you'll -"

  "Of course it's mine," said Soapy.

  The ex-umbrella man retreated. The policeman hurried to help a well-dressed woman across the street.

  Soapy walked eastward. He threw the umbrella angrily into a pit. He was angry with the men who wear helmets and carry clubs. Because he wanted to be arrested, they seemed to regard him as a king who could do no wrong.

  At last Soapy reached one of the AVENUES to the east where it was not so noisy. He went towards Madison Square, for the home instinct remains even when the home is a park bench.

  But on a quiet corner Soapy stopped before an old church. Through one window a soft light glowed, where, no doubt, the organist played a Sunday anthem. For there came to Soapy's ears sweet music that caught and held him at the iron fence.

  The moon was shining; cars and pedestrians were few; birds twittered sleepily under the roof. And the anthem that the organist played cemented Soapy to the iron fence, for he had known it well in the days when his life contained such things as mothers and roses and ambitions and friends.

  The influence of the music and the old church produced a sudden and wonderful change in Soapy's soul. He saw with horror the pit into which he had fallen. He thought of his degraded days, dead hopes and wrecked faculties.

  And also in a moment a strong impulse moved him to battle with his desperate fate. He would pull himself out of this pit; he would make a man of himself again. There was time; he was young yet. Those sweet organ notes had set up a revolution in him. Tomorrow he would be somebody in the world. He would -

  Soapy felt a hand on his arm. He looked quickly around into the broad face of a policeman.

  "What are you doing here?" asked the policeman.

  "Nothing," said Soapy.

  "Then come along," said the policeman.

  "Three months on the Island," said the Magistrate in the Police Court the next morning.

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