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英国语文BOOK 5 LESSON 69 Unwritten history,and houw to read it 如何阅读不成文的历史 (中英对照+mp3)

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LESSON 69 Unwritten history,and houw to read it

第六十九课 如何阅读不成文的历史

It cannot be discovered in what age of the world Britain first became a scene of human habitation. There is nothing in all history, no written record of any kind, to yield us any information concerning the original possessors of the land.

英国最初有人居住是在哪个年代这个问题无从考据。在所有的成文和不成文的历史中,我们都无法找到关于最初居住在英国的人类信息。

But the history of the early Britons, though it was never written, may be read. A curious history it is; and the way in which the materials of it have been gathered and put together is a fine example of the triumphs of patient thought. The historian of other periods finds his materials in books, in written records and documents. The materials for the history of this period have been found on waste moors and in deep mosses, in caves and on hill, under ancient burial mounds and cairns,(1) by the margins of rivers and on the beds of drained lochs.

然而,这些不成文的英国早期历史确实可读的。那是一段古怪的历史;人们收集和汇总这段历史材料的方式极好地证明了人们耐心的思考。研究其它时段历史的历史学家们在成文的记录和文件中发现了这一段历史的材料。人们在许多地方发现了这段时期的历史材料——在荒芜的山野中,在深不可测的沼泽中,在洞穴里,在山丘上,在古墓和石冢中,在河边,以及在干涸的湖床中。

Here, for instance, is an ancient boat, found a few years since on the south bank of the Clyde, when excavations were being made for the purpose of enlarging the harbour of Glasgow. It is of oak, not planked or built, but hewn out of the trunk of a single tree. The hollow has been made with fire, as the marks still show. Within it, when it was discovered, there lay an axe-head of stone.

比方说,几年前,英国试图通过挖掘来扩宽格拉斯哥海湾,挖掘过程中在克莱德河南岸发现了一艘古船。这是一艘用一根橡树树干做的但还没有完成的船。我们还能从船身上的标记看出,船中心部位是用火烧出来的。发现这艘船时,我们在船内还发现了一把石斧。

Now, that fire-hollowed boat and stone axe tell their story as plainly as a printed book. The savage on the shores of the Pacific cuts a groove in the bark round the root of the tree of which he intends to form his canoe. Into this groove he puts burning embers till it is charred to some depth. Next he deepens the groove by hewing out the charred wood with his stone hatchet. Then he applies the fire again; and so on, until, by the alternate use of fire and axe, the tree is brought to the ground. By the same process it is hollowed out, and shaped into a canoe. The ancient boat-maker of the Clyde had used exactly such a method of forming his little vessel. The stone axe, brought to light after untold ages, bears mute but expressive witness that its owner was a savage.

这艘用火烧出来的橡树船和那把石斧就将那个时候的历史展现在我们面前,就像写在史册中的那些历史一样。太平洋岸边的野人绕着一个树根挖槽,想用这棵树建造一艘独木舟。他在槽中放了一块烧着的木头,直到火将槽烧到一定的深度。然后他就通过一把短柄小斧将烧焦的地方凿掉,以此来加深挖的槽。随后再用火烧;以此反复使用火把和斧头,直至树木断倒在地。然后再通过同样的方法就能做成一艘独木舟。克莱德河流域的那些古代的造船者用的也是同样的方法。这把石斧经过岁月的沉淀已经变得非常轻盈,但是它却无声却有力地证明了一个事实—它的主人是一个野人。

The axe with which the ancient Briton hollowed his canoe, served him also as a weapon in battle. Under a large cairn, on a moor in the south of Scotland, a stone coffin of very rude workmanship was found. It contained the skeleton of a man of uncommon size. One of the arms had been almost severed from the shoulder. A fragment of very hard stone was sticking in the shattered bone. That blow had been struck with a stone axe. When the victor, after the fight, looked at his bloody weapon, he saw that a splinter had broken from its edge. Thousands of years passed, the cairn of the dead was opened, and that splinter was found in the bone of the once mighty arm which the axe had all but hewn away. What a curious tale to be told by a single splinter of stone!

古代英国人不仅用这些石斧作为造船工具,同时还作为战争时的武器。在苏格兰南部一片大荒野中,我们发现了一个巨大的石冢,里面有一个做工非常粗糙的石棺。棺材里面的骨骼尺寸并不像今天的人类。其中的一只手臂几乎要从肩膀上脱落下来。这些破碎的骨骼中有一块非常坚硬的石头。这是被一把石斧杀死的。战斗结束后,胜利者看着手中血淋淋的武器,他发现斧刃处缺了一块。几千年过去了,人们发现并打开了这个石冢,在里面的骨骼身上发现了当初那把斧头上缺掉的那个碎片。一小块石头碎片中竟然有一个如此令人惊奇的故事!

On yonder lea field the ploughman turns over the grassy sward. At the furrow's end, as he breathes his horses for a moment and looks at his work, his eye is caught by some object sticking in the upturned mould. He picks it up. It is a barbed arrow-head, neatly chipped out of yellow flint. How came it there? It is no elf-arrow, shot by the fairies. It was once, when tied to a reed with a sinew or a strip of skin, an arrow in the quiver of an ancient British savage hunting the deer.

远处的田野中有一个农民正在犁田。犁完休息时,他回头看自己刚刚走过的地方,翻过来的泥土上面插着的某个东西吸引了他的眼球。他过去将其捡了起来。那是一个装有倒钩的箭头,使用黄燧石做成的,做工精细。这怎么会有这种东西呢?这并不是小精灵们用来射牛的箭。古代英国人猎杀鹿时用的弓由芦苇加皮筋或皮条做成,这支箭就是他们用来猎杀鹿时所用。

There are spots where the flint arrow-heads have been found in such numbers as to show that the barbarian tribes had met there in battle. Spear-heads, too, and knives of flint, have been dug up from time to time in various parts. The ancient race who employed such weapons must have existed before the use of iron, or any other metal, was known.

在多个地方都曾发现这种箭头,数量之多足以证明曾经这些野蛮部落在这里的战争。我们不时也能在许多地方发掘出一些矛头和石刀。使用这些武器的人所处的时代肯定是在铁器时代或其它当时已知金属时代之前。

That period when the rude inhabitants of a country were ignorant of metals, and formed their tools and weapons of stone, is called the Stone Period.

当时未开化的人类不知利用金属,只会用石头制作武器,这就是我们所说的石器时代。

Had this ancient race any ides of religion and a future state? We shall see. Here is an earthen mound, heaped over the grave of some chief. When dug into, it is found to contain a rude stone coffin. In the coffin with the skeleton are flint arrow-heads, a spear-head, also of flint, and perhaps the stone head of a battle-axe, the wooden portions of these weapons having long since mouldered away.

这些古老的人类知道宗教和来生?我们也能给出答案。我们发现了一些土坟,都是用于埋葬一些首领的坟墓。发掘出来后,就能看到一个做工粗糙的石棺。石棺中除了骨骼,还有石制箭头,石制矛头,有些或许还有石斧的头部。这些武器的木制手柄早就随着时间的流逝而腐化。

Now we know that the savage expects to go after death to the happy hunting-grounds, and to follow again the warpath. His implements of war and the chase are therefore buried with him, that he may start up fully equipped in the new state of being. His favourite horse or dog, and perhaps his favourite attendants, are laid beside his grave, that at his rising he may appear in a manner fitting his rank. The contents of the burial-mound unmistakably proclaim that the men of long-forgotten ages had the same rude idea of a future state which the Red Indian(2) still has.

由此我们可以得出结论:这些野人盼望死后依然能高兴地狩猎,英勇的战斗。因此他们战斗和狩猎时用的武器也随着一起下葬,这样他们就不会在另一个世界中变得手无寸铁。他最喜爱的马匹或狗,或许还有他们最喜欢的随从,都会葬在身边。这样,他在另一个世界中也能保留自己的身份。从墓中的这些物品我们可以明显得知,这些古老的人类和现在的印第安人一样,相信有来生。

In all probability, this ancient race occupied the country, with unchanging habits and with little or no progress, for many centuries. At length, however, the elements of a great change were introduced: the savage tribes became acquainted with the use of metals.

从他们几乎不改变的习惯和很少的进化来看,这些人很可能就是这片领土上很多个世纪的主人。但是,最后还是发生了一个重大变化:这些未开化的人学会了使用金属。

The introduction of metals is the first great stage in the history of civilization. Armed with an axe of metal, instead of the old axe of stone, the savage can go into the forest and cut down trees at will. He can split them, and hew them into planks. He needs not now to pile up overlapping blocks of stone to roof in his dark, underground abode. He can make a far more convenient dwelling of rough, axe-hewn boards.

金属的使用是人类文明史上第一次重大变革。有了金属制作的斧头,这些未开化的人不再使用石斧,他们能到树林里任意伐木了。他们能将树木破开,做成木板。他们不再需要用石头作为屋顶,不再需要住在昏暗的地下。他们能用斧头砍出的木板做成更加简便的粗糙小屋。

He needs not now to hollow out a log-canoe, for his new tools have given him the power of building boats of plank. He can now increase the size of his little vessel, and thus make further and bolder ventures out to sea. The trees nearest his village fall first by his axe; but, year by year, he cuts his way deeper into the forest. The clearings extend, and the soil, which will be corn-land by-and-by, is laid open. He now can form a variety of tools suited to a variety of purposes. New wants are created with the increased facility of meeting them. In a word, with the introduction of metal among a savage race, stationary till then, the march of improvement has begun.

他们再也不用做独木舟,因为他们的新工具让他们具备了制作帆船的条件。他们可以做大一点的船,因此能更加深入海上探索。一开始,他们只砍伐距离住处最近的树木;但是年复一年,他们开始进军森林深处。他们一路砍伐,开拓出了种植玉米的土地。现在他们可以制作好几种工具,以适应不同的目的。新的需求在需求不断得到满足的同时不断出现。总之,他们学会了使用金属预示着人类进化的开始。

The discovery of copper, silver, and gold, naturally takes place before the discovery of iron. The smelting of iron is an art much too difficult for the savage to master, till he has been long familiar with the working of the softer and easier metals. Accordingly, we find that the earliest metallic implements used in Britain were not of iron, but of bronze. Copper and tin are soft metals; but if a portion of tin is mixed with copper, the result is bronze, a metal harder than either of the two of which it is composed. Tools and weapons made of this metal are a great advance upon those made of stone or flint. Bronze, however, is but a poor substitute for iron and steel, and we maybe very sure that the people who made use of bronze tools knew nothing of iron.

黄铜河金银的出现很自然就取代了铁器。在他们熟练掌握更柔软更容易获取的金属之前,炼铁变成了一道更加艰难的工艺。因此,我们可以发现,英国人使用最早的金属器具不是铁器而是青铜。黄铜河锡是两种柔软的金属;但是他们熔化在一起之后就能得到青铜,并这两者皆要坚硬。与石器相比,用这种金属做成的工具和武器是一个巨大的进步。但是,青铜只是钢铁的一种替代品,并且我们可以很肯定的是,使用青铜的人对铁器一无所知。

That period during which the ancient inhabitants of a country, ignorant as yet of iron, made use of bronze tools and weapons, is called the Bronze Period

那个时期,人们对铁器一无所知,使用的是青铜工具和武器,这就是我们所说的青铜时代。

Let us again suppose ourselves present at the opening of an ancient British tomb. It is under a cairn heaped on the top of a hill which overlooks a wide tract of moorland. The stone coffin is very short—not over four feet in length. From the position of the bones, the body has evidently been placed in a sitting or folded posture. There are cups or bowls of pottery, one or more. There is a bronze sword, but it has been broken in two before it was laid beside its owner in his long rest. And what is that which glitters among the warrior's dust? It is an ornament of gold—a bracelet or a collar—which he had worn.

我们再来假设自己面前有一座英国古墓。这座墓在一个石冢下,在一座山头上。站在山头上能俯瞰整个荒野。石棺很短——不超过四英尺。从骨头的位置可以看出,尸体埋葬时的姿势很明显是坐着的或者是合拢的。里面有一个或多个陶制杯子和碗。还有一把青铜剑,但是这把青铜剑的两侧早在其主人长眠地下之前就已破了。在墓中闪烁的是什么呢?那是他带的一块金饰品——一块手镯或项圈。

The skeleton of a dog is found beside the coffin; for the warrior knew hunting-craft by lake and wood, and loved to pursue his game with hound and bow. So they laid his four-footed favourite, which had licked his hand and followed his halloo, in his long home beside him.

棺材旁边埋着一条狗;因为墓中的人生前很会在湖边和林中狩猎,并喜欢带着猎狗和弓箭追逐猎物。所以,曾经舔过他的手,一路追随他欢呼的猎狗被埋在了他的墓旁。

Now observe the cup or bowl, which has contained drink or food—friendship's last gift to the dead. This cup is very different from the unshapely hand-made and sundried pottery of the Stone Period. It has been rounded on a wheel. It is made of fine baked clay, and is neatly ornamented with a simple pattern. There has been progress, then, in the mechanical arts since the ruder and older time.

现在来观察一下杯子和碗,这是用来装酒水和食物的——这是送给死人最后的礼物。这个杯子和石器时代手工做成,用阳光晒干的奇形怪状的瓷器很不一样。这个杯子和车轮一样圆,使用上好的陶土做成,上面精致地描着简单的图案。这就是自未开化的古时以来手工艺方面的进步。

Let the broken sword next tell its story. The last honour paid to the buried warrior was to break his sword and lay it beside him, ere his companions-in-arms piled over him the memorial cairn. The warrior of the Stone Period was buried with axe, lance, and bow, in barbarian anticipation of warfare beyond the grave; but the warrior of the Bronze Period was laid in his narrow bed with his broken sword, in token of warfare accomplished and of expected rest. This speaks in no obscure language of some better and higher ideas which this ancient race had acquired.

接着我们来说说这把残破的剑的故事。对墓中勇士最后的敬意就是将其生前使用的剑破坏摆在他身旁,就像是他身边有许多拿着武器的同伴在陪伴着他。石器时代的勇士埋葬时会有斧子,长矛和弓箭陪葬,这是因为他们愚昧地认为自己来生可以再次战斗;然而,青铜时代埋葬战士时是将一把残破的剑放在狭窄的棺材中,表示战争结束和安息。这很清楚地表明了那个时代的人们思想上的境界已经更上一层楼。

—J. Mackenzie

—J. Mackenzie

QUESTIONS

问题

Where are the materials for unwritten history found? How had the ancient boat found near Glasgow been hollowed out? What was found within it? For what purpose had the axe been used? Where is the same plan followed still? To what, then does the axe bear witness? For what other purpose did the axe serve the ancient Briton? How can yon show this? What other stone implements have been found? What is that period of history called? What shows that the ancient Britons believed in a future state? What is the first great stage in the history of civilization? What work does the introduction of metals enable the savage to improve? What metals are first discovered? Why? What is the period therefore called? How is bronze made? What is its character, compared with copper and tin? What are often found within coffins of the Bronze Period? What difference is observed in the cup, as compared with that of the Stone Period? What story does the broken sword tell?

不成文的历史材料是在哪里发现的?人们发现格拉斯哥附近的那艘古船是如何被掏空的?在里面发现了什么?用斧子的目的是什么?接下来在哪里再实施同样的步骤?这把斧子证明了什么?古代英国人还将斧子用做什么?如何证明?还发现了哪些其它的石器?那个历史时期称为什么?哪些方面显示了古代英国人相信有来生?人类文明史第一次重大变革是什么?金属的引进让未开化的人们在哪些方面有了改善?最先发现的金属是什么?为什么?这个时期称为什么?青铜是怎么做成的?与黄铜和锡相比,青铜有哪些特征?青铜时代的棺材中经常能发现什么?青铜时代墓中发现的杯子和石器时代发现的有何不同?残破的剑背后隐含了什么故事?

译文属小E英语原创,未经允许,不得转载。

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