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2014年02月03日

月桂樹和柏樹 - 古德明

Among the British officers who fell in 1812 in the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo, a city in western Spain then held by the French, was General Mackinnon.
A short time before his fall, Mackinnon had paid a visit to England. He seemed to have a presentiment that it was the last time he would see his country. Walking one evening in the garden, his wife, to whom he had not been long married, took him to the spot where she had planted a laurel to commemorate every action in which her husband had been victorious. Mackinnon said, "Alas! love, the cypress* will be the next."
It may be noted that Napoleon, who had known Mackinnon in their younger days, expressed great regret on hearing of his death.
一八一二年,英軍圍攻西班牙西部法軍扼守的羅德里戈城,陣亡的英國軍官包括麥金農將軍。
他陣亡之前不久,曾經回到英國,當時似乎已有預感,知道那是他最後一次看故國河山。一天傍晚,他和迎娶不久的妻子在花園散步,他妻子帶他去看園中月桂樹:原來每次麥金農打勝仗,他妻子就種一株月桂,以為紀念。麥金農說:「唉,下次種的,恐怕是柏樹。」*
值得一提的是,拿破崙聽到麥金農的死訊,也深感惋惜。他們過去有一段交情。
*在西方,柏樹常用以誌哀,一如月桂象徵榮譽。

古德明

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