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第四册第18篇:百万富翁的悲哀

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2019年01月11日

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18. Sorrows of the Millionaire 百万富翁的悲哀

by George Bernard Shaw

The millionaire class, a small but growing one into which any of us may be flung tomorrow by the accidents of commerce, is perhaps the most neglected in the community. As far as I know, this is the first tract that has ever been written for millionaires.

百万富翁是一个虽小却正在扩大成长的阶层,我们当中任何人都可能由于做生意发了横财明天就被投进这个阶层。然而这个阶层在社会上或许是最受忽视的。为百万富翁鸣不平的小文章,据我所知,这还是第一篇。

In the advertisements of the manufacturers of the country, I find that everything is produced for the million and nothing for the millionaire. Children, boys, youth, “gents”, ladies, artisans, professional men, even peers, and kings, are catered for; but the millionaire’s custom is evidently not worth having; there are too few of him. Whilst the poorest have their Rag Fair, a duly organized and busy market in Houndsditch, where you can buy a boot for a penny, you may search the world in vain for the market where the £50 boot, the special dear line of hats at forty guineas, the cloth of gold bicycling suit, and the Cleopatra claret, four pearls to the bottle, can be purchased wholesale.

在这个国度所有制造商的广告上,我发现什么东西都是为成百万人生产的,而为百万富翁生产的却什么也没有。儿童,少年,青年,“绅士”,太太小姐,手艺人,职员,甚至贵族和国王,他们都得到供应;但是百万富翁的光顾显然并不值得欢迎,因为他们人数太少。穷光蛋有他们的旧货商场,那是在猎狐犬沟的一个货源充足,生意兴隆的市场,在那里一便士能买到一双靴子;而你找遍世界,也找不到一个市场能批发五十英镑一双的靴子,四十畿尼一顶的特档货帽子,骑自行车服装用的金线织品,值四颗珍珠一瓶的克娄巴特拉女王牌红葡萄酒。

Thus the unfortunate millionaire has the responsibility of prodigious wealth without the possibility of enjoying himself more than any ordinary rich man. Indeed, in many things he cannot enjoy himself more than many poor men do, nor even so much; for a drum major is better dressed; a trainer’s stable lad often rides a better horse; the first-class carriage is shared by office boys taking their young ladies out for the evening; everybody who goes down to Brighton for Sunday rides in the Pullman car; and of what use is it to be able to pay for a peacock’s brain sandwich when there is nothing to be had but ham or beef?

因此,不幸的百万富翁对巨额财富要承担责任,而其享受却不可能高于普通的有钱人。说真的,在好些方面,他的享受高不过许多穷人,甚至比不上穷人。因为一名军乐队的指挥穿得比他漂亮,驯马师的马童常骑更骏的马;头等车厢向来由服侍年轻太太小姐们晚间去兜风的勤杂人员共享;到布赖顿过星期天人人都乘普尔门式火车的客车。一个人买得起夹孔雀脑的三明治,碰到只有火腿或牛肉供应,也只好徒唤奈何!

The injustice of his state of things has not been sufficiently considered. A man with an income of £25 a year can multiply his comfort beyond all calculation by doubling his income. A man with £50 a year can at least quadruple his comfort by doubling his income. Probably up to even £250 a year doubled income means doubled comfort. After that the increment of comfort grows less in proportion to the increment of income until a point is reached at which the victim is satiated and even surfeited with everything that money can procure. To expect him to enjoy another hundred thousand pounds because men like money, is exactly as if you were to expect a confectioner’s shop-boy to enjoy two hours more work a day because boys are fond of sweets. What can the wretched millionaire do that needs a million? Does he want a fleet of yachts, a Rotten Row full of carriages, an army of servants, a whole city of town houses, or a continent for a game preserve? Can he attend more than one theatre in one evening, or wear more than one suit at a time, or digest more meals than his butler? Is it a luxury to have more money to take care of, more begging letters to read, and to be cut off from those delicious Alnaschar dreams in which the poor man, sitting down to consider what he will do in the always possible event of some unknown relative leaving him a fortune, forgets his privation.

诸如此类不公平的情况,这里还远远没有说完。一个人每年收入25英镑,一旦他的收入增加一倍,他的舒服程度可以提高无数倍。一个人每年收入50英镑,一旦收入加一倍,至少可以得到四倍的舒服。说不定每年收入高达250英镑的人,双倍的收入也还意味着双倍的舒服。超过此数者,舒服程度的增长与岁入的增长的比例就越来越小,最后达到一点,他成了财富的牺牲品,对于凡金钱所能买到的任何东西他都感到厌腻,甚至恶心。你说人人喜欢金钱,就以为他多得十万英镑便会高兴;那就象因为小孩子爱吃糖果,你就以为糖果店的小伙计乐意每天加班两小时一样。可怜的百万富翁究竟要那百万英镑做什么呢?难道他需要一大队游艇?要挤满海德公园骑马道那么多的马车?要一支仆从大军?要整城的住房?或者整个一块大陆作为他狩猎的林苑?一个晚上他能上几个戏院看戏?一身能同时穿几套衣服?一天又能比他的管厨多消化几餐?他要照管更多的钱财,要看更多向他告贷的信,难道这也是一种乐事?穷人可以做黄粱美梦,可以坐下来盘算,如果哪天一位素不相识的亲戚给他留下一笔财产时他该如何消受,以致暂时忘了自己的穷困,因为这种飞来横财总不是绝对不可能的;而百万富翁却用不着再做这种黄粱美梦,难道这也是一种乐事?

And yet there is no sympathy for this hidden sorrow of Plutocracy. The poor alone are pitied. Societies spring up in all directions to relieve all sorts of comparatively happy people, from discharged prisoners in the first rapture of their regained liberty to children revelling in the luxury of an unlimited appetite; but no hand is stretched out to the millionaire, except to beg. In all our dealing with him lies implicit the delusion that he has nothing to complain of, and that he ought to be ashamed of rolling in wealth whilst others are starving.

然而对富豪们内心的悲哀竟无人表示同情,惟独穷人有人怜悯。各种社会团体如雨后春笋般地兴起,以救济各种各样还算幸福的人们,从获释的囚徒──他们正初尝重获自由的狂喜,到那些穷苦的儿童──他们因能得到饱餐一顿的享受而欢喜雀跃。可是没有人向百万富翁伸手,除非为了乞求。我们同他打交道时无疑还有这么一种幻觉:他没有什么好抱怨的,他应该因自己在钱堆里打滚而别人却在挨饿而感到惭愧。

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