The Seven Ages of Man

The Seven Ages of Man, German, 1482, British Museum

13年的夏天我在北京,闲来无事一个人去胡同里的北剧场看独角剧《一个人的莎士比亚》。没看任何介绍,就是突然兴起想看剧,随便买了一张票。期望没有很大,应该说根本没有期望。

刚开始铺垫太久差点睡着,越到后面看得越入戏。老头儿的表演太投入,短短两小时,生动又让人唏嘘地把一个人的一生呈现在你面前。剧末那首莎士比亚的诗朗诵完,我一个人坐在最后排,在黑暗里泣不成声。

回家后这部剧的余震未了,我跑去把剧末朗诵的那首诗翻了出来。那段时间我刚毕业,工作感情都不是很顺利。有几晚浮躁焦虑得不行,就一个人在桌前坐下,亮一盏灯,非常专注地把这首诗抄一遍。

后来这首诗和巴赫的哥德堡变奏曲,叔本华的哲学,还有百看不厌的老友记,都是我心情不好时最可靠的陪伴。

All the world’s a stage,
全世界是一個舞台,
And all the men and women merely players;
所有的男男女女不過是一些演員﹔
They have their exits and their entrances;
他們都有下場的時候,也都有上場的時候。
And one man in his time plays many parts,
一個人的一生中扮演著好幾個角色,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
他的表演可以分為七個時期。最初是嬰孩,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
在保姆的懷中啼哭嘔吐。
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
然後是背著書包、滿臉紅光的學童,
像蝸牛一樣慢騰騰地拖著腳步,
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
不情愿地嗚咽著上學堂。然後是情人,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
像爐灶一樣嘆著氣,
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
寫了一首悲哀的詩歌詠著他戀人的眉毛。然後是一個軍人,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
滿口發著古怪的誓,鬍鬚長得像豹子一樣,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
愛惜著名譽,動不動就要打架,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
在炮口上尋求著泡沫一樣的榮名。然後是法官,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
胖胖圓圓的肚子塞滿了閹雞,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
凜然的眼光,整潔的鬍鬚,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
滿嘴都是格言和老生常談﹔
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
他這樣扮了他的一個角色。
第六個時期變成了精瘦的趿著拖鞋的龍鍾老叟,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
鼻子上架著眼鏡,腰邊懸著錢袋﹔
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
他那年輕時候節省下來的長襪子套在他皺癟的小腿上顯得寬大異常;
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
他那朗朗的男子的口音又變成了孩子似的尖聲,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
像是吹著風笛和哨子。終結著這段古怪的多事的歷史的最後一場,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
是孩提時代的再現,全然的遺忘,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
沒有牙齒,沒有眼睛,沒有口味,沒有一切。

在我看来,艺术的作用是让人脱离无聊的日常,暂时忘掉生活的冗繁琐碎,跨越到别的时期,潜入另一个人的生活,看到不同文化中的共性,看到痛苦中的坚持,看到挣扎下的美好。

一生太短,人太渺小。可正因为生命的渺小又无力,每个个体在世界面前做的每一个苦苦挣扎,前仆后继地创造和进步,才显得无比可贵,让人动容。

平淡生活里的英雄梦想,有一个总是好的。: )

文 / 鹿君

Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous,

there shall be no more cakes and ale?

- Shakespeare

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