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2015年05月25日

病獅與驢子 - 古德明

Among the books belonging to Napoleon at St Helena was a volume of the Fables of La Fontaine , one page of which, being very much thumbed, bore evident testimony that it had undergone incessant perusal. The leaf in question contained no other than the fable of the sick lion and the ass. When the ingratitude manifested towards the emperor after his reverses are taken into consideration, coupled with the degrading treatment to which he was subjected to upon that barren rock, there is little wonder that the following lines of the fable should have forcibly struck him:
The Lion, sovereign dread of forest throng,
Grown old and weeping sore, his strength then past,
By faithless subjects was attacked at last;
Their courage waxing,* with his weakness, strong....
拿破崙在聖赫勒拿島上的藏書,有一本是《拉封田寓言》,其中一頁指痕特多,顯然經常翻閱。那一頁所載的,正是病獅與驢子寓言。國王拿破崙勢窮力敝之後,嘗盡舊隸的忘恩負義;而在那荒島之上,又受盡屈辱待遇,然則那個寓言以下的句子,令他感觸特深,並不奇怪:「森林王者是雄獅,老病慟哭筋力疲。舊部紛紛背恩來反噬,恣睢放肆乘危而相欺……」
*Wax作動詞,是「逐漸變成」、「變得」的意思,其後常用strong、lyrical、cheerful等等形容詞,例如:He waxed indignant as he spoke(他越說越氣憤)。

古德明

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