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散文佳作108篇 第28期:项脊轩志 Xiangjixuan

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项脊轩志

归有光

项脊轩,旧南阁子也。室仅方丈,可容一人居。百年老屋,尘泥渗漉,雨泽下注,每移案,顾视无可置者。又北向,不能得日,日过午已昏。余稍为修葺,使不上漏。前辟四窗,垣墙周庭,以当南日,日影反照,室始洞然。又杂植兰桂竹木于庭,旧时栏楯亦遂增胜。积书满架,偃仰啸歌,冥然兀坐,万籁有声。而庭阶寂寂,小鸟时来啄食,人至不去。三五之夜,明月半墙,桂影斑驳,风移影动,珊珊可爱。

然余居于此,多可喜,亦多可悲。先是,庭中通南北为一。迨诸父异爨,内外多置小门,墙往往而是。东犬西吠,客逾庖而宴,鸡栖于厅。庭中始为篱,已为墙,凡再变矣。家有老妪,尝居于此。妪,先大母婢也,乳二世,先妣抚之甚厚。室西连于中闺,先妣尝一至。妪每谓余曰:“某所,而母立于兹。”妪又曰:“汝姊在吾怀,呱呱而泣;娘以指叩门扉曰:‘儿寒乎?欲食乎?’吾从板外相为应答。”语未毕,余泣,妪亦泣。余自束发读书轩中,一日,大母过余曰:“吾儿,久不见若影,何竟日默默在此,大类女郎也?”比去,以手阖门,自语曰:“吾家读书久不效,儿之成,则可待乎?”顷之,持一象笏至,曰:“此吾祖太常公宣德间执此以朝,他日汝当用之。”瞻顾遗迹,如在昨日,令人长号不自禁。

轩东,故尝为厨,人往,从轩前过。余扃牖而居,久之,能以足音辨人。轩凡四遭火,得不焚,殆有神护者。

项脊生曰:蜀清守丹穴,利甲天下,其后秦皇帝筑女怀清台。刘玄德与曹操争天下,诸葛孔明起陇中。方二人之昧昧于一隅也,世何足以知之?余区区处败屋中,方扬眉瞬目,谓有奇景。人知之者,其谓与坎井之蛙何异!

余既为此志,后五年,吾妻来归,时至轩中,从余问古事,或凭几学书。吾妻归宁,述诸小妹语曰:“闻姊家有阁子,且何谓阁子也?”其后六年,吾妻死,室坏不修。其后二年,余久卧病无聊,乃使人复葺南阁子,其制稍异于前。然自后余多在外,不常居。

庭有枇杷树,吾妻死之年所手植也,今已亭亭如盖矣。

Xiangjixuan

Gui Youguang

My study Xiangjixuan used to be called South Chamber. It was only ten feet by ten, largeenough for one person to live in. As it was nearly one hundred years old, dust and flakes ofplaster fell and the roof let in rain. When I moved my desk, I could find no place to keep it offthe rain.It faced the north and the sun could not get inside. Soon after noon it turned dusky. Idid some repairs to the roof to stop it leaking, opened four windows in front and built a wallaround.When the sun was reflected from the wall, the room brightened up. I planted orchids,laurels, bamboos and trees about and, therefore, the old railings looked brighter with colors.The bookself was filled with books on loan. I read and chanted aloud, beating time by swayingback forth. Sitting in it I could hear various sounds emanating from outside. It was so quietround the steps that small birds often came looking for food there, not scared of men'spresence. On the fifteenth night of the lunar month the bright moon flooded half of the wall.When a gentle breeze arose, laurel leaves shimmered flecks of moonlight on the wall and it waspleasing to see the shadows dancing and hear the leaves rustling in the wind. I lived in thisroom, happy in some ways and sad in others.

Previously the courtyard was all the way through from south to north. When my uncles beganto live separately, they put up low walls here and there with small doors in them. Dogs in theeast barked toward the west. Guests had to go through the kitchen to wine and dine.Sometimes chichens roosted in the hall. The courtyard was first partitioned by fences and laterby walls. Such changes had taken place several times.

We had an old maid who once lived in this room. She was the maid of my late grandma. Shehad nursed two generations of my family. My late mother had been very kind to her. The roomwas connected with my mother's bedroom on the west and she once came over. "That's whereyour mum stood when she came," she would tell me. "I was holding your elder sister in my armswhen she cried. Your mum tapped on the door with her fingers, asking:'Is the child cold or isshe hungry?'I answered her from this side…" Before she was finished I wept and so did she.

Since I was fifteen I had been reading in this study. One day Grandma came and said:"I haven'tseen you for ages, my child. Why do you shut youself up in here like a girl?" When she left sheclosed the door behind her, mumbling to herself:"Since long none of my family have gotanywhere with their studies. Hopefully, this child will be of some promise. " In a few momentsshe returned with an ivory tablet in her hand, saying:"This is the tablet with which mygrandfather Duke Taichang attended court sessions during the years of Xuande. You may haveuse for it some day." Looking at it today I felt as if it had occured just the day before. I couldn'thelp bursting into tears.

On the east of my study there used to be the kitchen. To get to the kitchen one had to passmy study. Though I lived in it with the windows closed, gradually I learned to tell by the treadwho was passing by. The room got fired for several times,but it didn't break down.Maybe it hadbeen protected by gods.

The occupant of Xiangjixuan comments: Window Qing of Sichuan made so much profits fromher mining of cinnabar that she topped the whole country and the Emperor of the Qin Dynastybuilt a terrace in her honor. When Liu Bei and Cao Cao were fighting each other for the rule ofChina, Zhuge Liang emerged from Longzhong. When Widow Qing and Zhuge Liang lived inobscurity in far-off corners, how did they become know to the outside world? This humbleman is now living in this shabby room, but when I raised my brows and look up, I claim to seemagnificent prospects in it. People who get to know about it will think I am no more than a frogat the bottom of the well.

Five years after I wrote the above article, I got married. My wife often came to my study, askingabout things of old or learning calligraphy at my desk. When she returned from her visit to herparents she told me what her sisters had asked:"We hear there is a chamber in your home, butwhat is a chamber really?" Six years later my wife died. The condition of the room worsened andI left it as it was. Another two years later I fell ill and was laid up in bed for a long time. Feelingbored, I had South Chamber renovated and it looked a bit different from before. Since then Ihad been away from home most of the time and seldom lived in it.

In the courtyard there was the loquat my wife planted the year she died. It stood there withgraceful poise, its top spread out with exuberant foliage.(刘士聪 译)


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