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时间：2021-10-24 03:44:37 作者：生父寻子10年“家门口”找回 养父获刑2年引罪罚讨论 浏览量：94883
“Upon my honour. — And fire off guns.”
I’ve asked Mr. Cockerel meanwhile what he thinks of M. Lejaune’s plan of writing a book, and he answers that he doesn’t see what it matters to him that a Frenchman the more should make the motions of a monkey — on that side poor Mr. Cockerel is de cette force. I asked him why he hadn’t written a book about Europe, and he says that in the first place Europe isn’t worth writing about, and that in the second if he said what he thought people would call it a joke. He says they’re very superstitious about Europe over here; he wants people in America to behave as if Europe didn’t exist. I told this to Mr. Leverett, and he answered that if Europe didn’t exist America wouldn’t, for Europe keeps us alive by buying our corn. He said also that the trouble with America in the future will be that she’ll produce things in such enormous quantities that there won’t be enough people in the rest of the world to buy them, and that we shall be left with our productions — most of them very hideous — on our hands. I asked him if he thought corn a hideous production, and he replied that there’s nothing more unbeautiful than too much food. I think that to feed the world too well, however, will be after all a beau r?le. Of course I don’t understand these things, and I don’t believe Mr. Leverett does; but Mr. Cockerel seems to know what he’s talking about, and he describes America as complete in herself. I don’t know exactly what he means, but he speaks as if human affairs had somehow moved over to this side of the world. It may be a very good place for them, and heaven knows I’m extremely tired of Europe, which mamma has always insisted so on my appreciating; but I don’t think I like the idea of our being so completely cut off. Mr. Cockerel says it is not we that are cut off, but Europe, and he seems to think Europe has somehow deserved it. That may be; our life over there was sometimes extremely tiresome, though mamma says it’s now that our real fatigues will begin. I like to abuse those dreadful old countries myself, but I’m not sure I’m pleased when others do the same. We had some rather pretty moments there after all, and at Piacenza we certainly lived for four francs a day. Mamma’s already in a terrible state of mind about the expenses here; she’s frightened by what people on the ship (the few she has spoken to) have told her. There’s one comfort at any rate — we’ve spent so much money in coming that we shall have none left to get away. I’m scribbling along, as you see, to occupy me till we get news of the islands. Here comes Mr. Cockerel to bring it. Yes, they’re in sight; he tells me they’re lovelier than ever and that I must come right up right away. I suppose you’ll think I’m already beginning to use the language of the country. It’s certain that at the end of the month I shall speak nothing else. I’ve picked up every dialect, wherever we’ve travelled; you’ve heard my Platt-Deutsch and my Neapolitan. But, voyons un peu the Bay! I’ve just called to Mr. Leverett to remind him of the islands. “The islands — the islands? Ah my dear young lady, I’ve seen Capri, I’ve seen Ischia!” Well, so have I, but that doesn’t prevent . . . (A little later.) I’ve seen the islands — they’re rather queer.
Well, the upshot of it all is that I’ve got rid of a superstition. We have so many that one the less — perhaps the biggest of all — makes a real difference in one’s comfort. The one in question — of course you have it — is that there’s no salvation but through Europe. Our salvation is here, if we have eyes to see it, and the salvation of Europe into the bargain; that is if Europe’s to be saved, which I rather doubt. Of course you’ll call me a bird of freedom, a vulgar patriot, a waver of the stars and stripes; but I’m in the delightful position of not minding in the least what any one calls me. I haven’t a mission; I don’t want to preach; I’ve simply arrived at a state of mind. I’ve got Europe off my back. You’ve no idea how it simplifies things and how jolly it makes me feel. Now I can live, now I can talk. If we wretched Americans could only say once for all “Oh Europe be hanged!” we should attend much better to our proper business. We’ve simply to mind that business and the rest will look after itself. You’ll probably inquire what it is I like better over here, and I’ll answer that it’s simply — life. Disagreeables for disagreeables I prefer our own. The way I’ve been bored and bullied in foreign parts, and the way I’ve had to say I found it pleasant! For a good while this appeared to be a sort of congenital obligation, but one fine day it occurred to me that there was no obligation at all and that it would ease me immensely to admit to myself that (for me at least) all those things had no importance. I mean the things they rub into you over there; the tiresome international topics, the petty politics, the stupid social customs, the baby-house scenery. The vastness and freshness of this American world, the great scale and great pace of our development, the good sense and good nature of the people, console me for there being no cathedrals and no Titians. I hear nothing about Prince Bismarck and Gambetta, about the Emperor William and the Czar of Russia, about Lord Beaconsfield and the Prince of Wales. I used to get so tired of their Mumbo-Jumbo of a Bismarck, of his secrets and surprises, his mysterious intentions and oracular words. They revile us for our party politics; but what are all the European jealousies and rivalries, their armaments and their wars, their rapacities and their mutual lies, but the intensity of the spirit of party? What question, what interest, what idea, what need of mankind, is involved in any of these things? Their big pompous armies drawn up in great silly rows, their gold lace, their salaams, their hierarchies, seem a pastime for children: there’s a sense of humour and of reality over here that laughs at all that.