张爱玲的一篇英语文章:My Great Expectations by Eileen Chang

原创 2004年09月14日 18:51:00
MY GREAT EXPECTATIONS


By Eileen Chang(张爱玲)

Time is like a sharp knife when it is misused, it can carve hard lines on
beautiful faces and wear out blooming youth month by month, year by year but,
well used it can mold a piece of simple stone into a magnificent statue. St.
Mary's, in spite of its long history of fifty years, is still a simple piece
of white stone briefly carved. As time marches on, it may be marred by dust,
worn out by whether, or broken into separate fragments, and it may be
carefully, slowly carved by the knife, inch by inch, into a wonderful statue
which will be placed among the glorious works of Michelangelo. This knife is
held not only by the principal, the teachers, and the students of tomorrow;
but all of our schoolmates have the power of controlling it.

If I have a chance to live to be a snowy-haired old lady, I shall, in my
peaceful dreams beside the fireside, seek for the old paths leading through
the green plum trees which I have been familiar with in my early days. Of
course, at that time, the youthful plum trees must also have grown into their
pleasant old age, stretching their powerful arms to shade the crossing paths.
The weather-worn old bell tower, standing in the golden sunlight, shall give
out that slow, solemn blooming that is so familiar to my ears, as the girls,
short and tall, pale and rosy, plump and slim, all blooming with the freshness
of youth, shall pour into the church like a stream. There they will kneel and
pray. Whispering to their spiritual Lord about the little things in their
lives; their grief, their tears, their quarrels, their love, and their great
ambitions. They shall ask him to help them in reaching their future goals, to
be a write, a musician, an educationalist, or an ideal wife. And I can hear
the old church tower ringing with the echoes of their prayers, whisper in
return, "Yes, St. Mary's Hall may not have the largest dormitories and the
best-looking school gardens among all the schools in China, but she certainly
possesses the finest and the most hard-working girls, who shall glorify her
with their brilliant futures!"

What I feel when I hear these words depends upon whether I have done anything
or not in the years in between. If I have failed in playing my part on this
stage. I shall feel ashamed and regretful that I have thrown away the
privilege of glorifying my mother school. But if I have gained success in
struggling along toward my goal, I will smile with pride and content, for I
have taken a part, thought a very small part, in carving out, with the knife
of time, this wonderful model of school life.

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