字体设置:

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Behold me--a Sophomore! I came up last Friday, sorry to leave Lock Willow, but glad to see the campus again. It is a pleasant sensation to come back to something familiar. I am beginning to feel at home in college, and in command of the situation; I am beginning, in fact, to feel at home in the world--as though I really belonged to it and had not just crept in on sufferance.

I don't suppose you understand in the least what I am trying to say. A person important enough to be a Trustee can't appreciate the feelings of a person unimportant enough to be a foundling.

And now, Daddy, listen to this. Whom do you think I am rooming with? Sallie McBride and Julia Rutledge Pendleton. It's the truth. We have a study and three little bedrooms--VOILA!

Sallie and I decided last spring that we should like to room together, and Julia made up her mind to stay with Sallie--why, I can't imagine, for they are not a bit alike; but the Pendletons are naturally conservative and inimical (fine word!) to change. Anyway, here we are. Think of Jerusha Abbott, late of the John Grier Home for Orphans, rooming with a Pendleton. This is a democratic country.

Sallie is running for class president, and unless all signs fail, she is going to be elected. Such an atmosphere of intrigue you should see what politicians we are! Oh, I tell you, Daddy, when we women get our rights, you men will have to look alive in order to keep yours. Election comes next Saturday, and we're going to have a torchlight procession in the evening, no matter who wins.

I am beginning chemistry, a most unusual study. I've never seen anything like it before. Molecules and Atoms are the material employed, but I'll be in a position to discuss them more definitely next month.

I am also taking argumentation and logic.

Also history of the whole world.

Also plays of William Shakespeare.

Also French.

If this keeps up many years longer, I shall become quite intelligent.

I should rather have elected economics than French, but I didn't dare, because I was afraid that unless I re-elected French, the Professor would not let me pass--as it was, I just managed to squeeze through the June examination. But I will say that my high-school preparation was not very adequate.

There's one girl in the class who chatters away in French as fast as she does in English. She went abroad with her parents when she was a child, and spent three years in a convent school. You can imagine how bright she is compared with the rest of us--irregular verbs are mere playthings. I wish my parents had chucked me into a French convent when I was little instead of a foundling asylum. Oh no, I don't either! Because then maybe I should never have known you. I'd rather know you than French.

Goodbye, Daddy. I must call on Harriet Martin now, and, having discussed the chemical situation, casually drop a few thoughts on the subject of our next president. Yours in politics, J. Abbott

17th October Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Supposing the swimming tank in the gymnasium were filled full of lemon jelly, could a person trying to swim manage to keep on top or would he sink?

We were having lemon jelly for dessert when the question came up. We discussed it heatedly for half an hour and it's still unsettled. Sallie thinks that she could swim in it, but I am perfectly sure that the best swimmer in the world would sink. Wouldn't it be funny to be drowned in lemon jelly?

Two other problems are engaging the attention of our table.

1st. What shape are the rooms in an octagon house? Some of the girls insist that they're square; but I think they'd have to be shaped like a piece of pie. Don't you?

2nd. Suppose there were a great big hollow sphere made of looking-glass and you were sitting inside. Where would it stop reflecting your face and begin reflecting your back? The more one thinks about this problem, the more puzzling it becomes. You can see with what deep philosophical reflection we engage our leisure!

Did I ever tell you about the election? It happened three weeks ago, but so fast do we live, that three weeks is ancient history. Sallie was elected, and we had a torchlight parade with transparencies saying, 'McBride for Ever,' and a band consisting of fourteen pieces (three mouth organs and eleven combs).

We're very important persons now in '258.' Julia and I come in for a great deal of reflected glory. It's quite a social strain to be living in the same house with a president.

Bonne nuit, cher Daddy. Acceptez mez compliments, Tres respectueux, je suis, Votre Judy

12th November Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

We beat the Freshmen at basket ball yesterday. Of course we're pleased-- but oh, if we could only beat the juniors! I'd be willing to be black and blue all over and stay in bed a week in a witch-hazel compress.

Sallie has invited me to spend the Christmas vacation with her. She lives in Worcester, Massachusetts. Wasn't it nice of her? I shall love to go. I've never been in a private family in my life, except at Lock Willow, and the Semples were grown-up and old and don't count. But the McBrides have a houseful of children (anyway two or three) and a mother and father and grandmother, and an Angora cat. It's a perfectly complete family! Packing your trunk and going away is more fun than staying behind. I am terribly excited at the prospect.

Seventh hour--I must run to rehearsal. I'm to be in the Thanksgiving theatricals. A prince in a tower with a velvet tunic and yellow curls. Isn't that a lark? Yours, J. A.

Saturday

Do you want to know what I look like? Here's a photograph of all three that Leonora Fenton took.

The light one who is laughing is Sallie, and the tall one with her nose in the air is Julia, and the little one with the hair blowing across her face is Judy--she is really more beautiful than that, but the sun was in her eyes.

'STONE GATE', WORCESTER, MASS.,

31st December Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

I meant to write to you before and thank you for your Christmas cheque, but life in the McBride household is very absorbing, and I don't seem able to find two consecutive minutes to spend at a desk.

I bought a new gown--one that I didn't need, but just wanted. My Christmas present this year is from Daddy-Long-Legs; my family just sent love.

I've been having the most beautiful vacation visiting Sallie. She lives in a big old-fashioned brick house with white trimmings set back from the street--exactly the kind of house that I used to look at so curiously when I was in the John Grier Home, and wonder what it could be like inside. I never expected to see with my own eyes-- but here I am! Everything is so comfortable and restful and homelike; I walk from room to room and drink in the furnishings.

It is the most perfect house for children to be brought up in; with shadowy nooks for hide and seek, and open fire places for pop-corn, and an attic to romp in on rainy days and slippery banisters with a comfortable flat knob at the bottom, and a great big sunny kitchen, and a nice, fat, sunny cook who has lived in the family thirteen years and always saves out a piece of dough for the children to bake. Just the sight of such a house makes you want to be a child all over again.

And as for families! I never dreamed they could be so nice. Sallie has a father and mother and grandmother, and the sweetest three-year-old baby sister all over curls, and a medium-sized brother who always forgets to wipe his feet, and a big, good-looking brother named Jimmie, who is a junior at Princeton.

We have the jolliest times at the table--everybody laughs and jokes and talks at once, and we don't have to say grace beforehand. It's a relief not having to thank Somebody for every mouthful you eat. (I dare say I'm blasphemous; but you'd be, too, if you'd offered as much obligatory thanks as I have.)

Such a lot of things we've done--I can't begin to tell you about them. Mr. McBride owns a factory and Christmas eve he had a tree for the employees' children. It was in the long packing-room which was decorated with evergreens and holly. Jimmie McBride was dressed as Santa Claus and Sallie and I helped him distribute the presents.

Dear me, Daddy, but it was a funny sensation! I felt as benevolent as a Trustee of the John Grier home. I kissed one sweet, sticky little boy--but I don't think I patted any of them on the head!

And two days after Christmas, they gave a dance at their own house for ME.

It was the first really true ball I ever attended--college doesn't count where we dance with girls. I had a new white evening gown (your Christmas present--many thanks) and long white gloves and white satin slippers. The only drawback to my perfect, utter, absolute happiness was the fact that Mrs. Lippett couldn't see me leading the cotillion with Jimmie McBride. Tell her about it, please, the next time you visit the J. G. H. Yours ever, Judy Abbott

PS. Would you be terribly displeased, Daddy, if I didn't turn out to be a Great Author after all, but just a Plain Girl?

6.30, Saturday Dear Daddy,

We started to walk to town today, but mercy! how it poured. I like winter to be winter with snow instead of rain.

Julia's desirable uncle called again this afternoon--and brought a five-pound box of chocolates. There are advantages, you see, about rooming with Julia.

Our innocent prattle appeared to amuse him and he waited for a later train in order to take tea in the study. We had an awful lot of trouble getting permission. It's hard enough entertaining fathers and grandfathers, but uncles are a step worse; and as for brothers and cousins, they are next to impossible. Julia had to swear that he was her uncle before a notary public and then have the county clerk's certificate attached. (Don't I know a lot of law?) And even then I doubt if we could have had our tea if the Dean had chanced to see how youngish and good-looking Uncle Jervis is.

Anyway, we had it, with brown bread Swiss cheese sandwiches. He helped make them and then ate four. I told him that I had spent last summer at Lock Willow, and we had a beautiful gossipy time about the Semples, and the horses and cows and chickens. All the horses that he used to know are dead, except Grover, who was a baby colt at the time of his last visit--and poor Grove now is so old he can just limp about the pasture.

He asked if they still kept doughnuts in a yellow crock with a blue plate over it on the bottom shelf of the pantry--and they do! He wanted to know if there was still a woodchuck's hole under the pile of rocks in the night pasture--and there is! Amasai caught a big, fat, grey one there this summer, the twenty-fifth great-grandson of the one Master Jervis caught when he was a little boy.

I called him 'Master Jervie' to his face, but he didn't appear to be insulted. Julia says she has never seen him so amiable; he's usually pretty unapproachable. But Julia hasn't a bit of tact; and men, I find, require a great deal. They purr if you rub them the right way and spit if you don't. (That isn't a very elegant metaphor. I mean it figuratively.)

We're reading Marie Bashkirtseff's journal. Isn't it amazing? Listen to this: 'Last night I was seized by a fit of despair that found utterance in moans, and that finally drove me to throw the dining-room clock into the sea.'

It makes me almost hope I'm not a genius; they must be very wearing to have about--and awfully destructive to the furniture.

Mercy! how it keeps Pouring. We shall have to swim to chapel tonight. Yours ever, Judy

20th Jan. Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Did you ever have a sweet baby girl who was stolen from the cradle in infancy?

Maybe I am she! If we were in a novel, that would be the denouement, wouldn't it?

It's really awfully queer not to know what one is--sort of exciting and romantic. There are such a lot of possibilities. Maybe I'm not American; lots of people aren't. I may be straight descended from the ancient Romans, or I may be a Viking's daughter, or I may be the child of a Russian exile and belong by rights in a Siberian prison, or maybe I'm a Gipsy--I think perhaps I am. I have a very WANDERING spirit, though I haven't as yet had much chance to develop it.

Do you know about that one scandalous blot in my career the time I ran away from the asylum because they punished me for stealing cookies? It's down in the books free for any Trustee to read. But really, Daddy, what could you expect? When you put a hungry little nine-year girl in the pantry scouring knives, with the cookie jar at her elbow, and go off and leave her alone; and then suddenly pop in again, wouldn't you expect to find her a bit crumby? And then when you jerk her by the elbow and box her ears, and make her leave the table when the pudding comes, and tell all the other children that it's because she's a thief, wouldn't you expect her to run away?

I only ran four miles. They caught me and brought me back; and every day for a week I was tied, like a naughty puppy, to a stake in the back yard while the other children were out at recess.

Oh, dear! There's the chapel bell, and after chapel I have a committee meeting. I'm sorry because I meant to write you a very entertaining letter this time. Auf wiedersehen Cher Daddy, Pax tibi! Judy

PS. There's one thing I'm perfectly sure of I'm not a Chinaman.

4th February Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Jimmie McBride has sent me a Princeton banner as big as one end of the room; I am very grateful to him for remembering me, but I don't know what on earth to do with it. Sallie and Julia won't let me hang it up; our room this year is furnished in red, and you can imagine what an effect we'd have if I added orange and black. But it's such nice, warm, thick felt, I hate to waste it. Would it be very improper to have it made into a bath robe? My old one shrank when it was washed.

I've entirely omitted of late telling you what I am learning, but though you might not imagine it from my letters, my time is exclusively occupied with study. It's a very bewildering matter to get educated in five branches at once.

'The test of true scholarship,' says Chemistry Professor, 'is a painstaking passion for detail.'

'Be careful not to keep your eyes glued to detail,' says History Professor. 'Stand far enough away to get a perspective of the whole.'

You can see with what nicety we have to trim our sails between chemistry and history. I like the historical method best. If I say that William the Conqueror came over in 1492, and Columbus discovered America in 1100 or 1066 or whenever it was, that's a mere detail that the Professor overlooks. It gives a feeling of security and restfulness to the history recitation, that is entirely lacking in chemistry.

Sixth-hour bell--I must go to the laboratory and look into a little matter of acids and salts and alkalis. I've burned a hole as big as a plate in the front of my chemistry apron, with hydrochloric acid. If the theory worked, I ought to be able to neutralize that hole with good strong ammonia, oughtn't I?

Examinations next week, but who's afraid? Yours ever, Judy

5th March Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

There is a March wind blowing, and the sky is filled with heavy, black moving clouds. The crows in the pine trees are making such a clamour! It's an intoxicating, exhilarating, CALLING noise. You want to close your books and be off over the hills to race with the wind.

We had a paper chase last Saturday over five miles of squashy 'cross country. The fox (composed of three girls and a bushel or so of confetti) started half an hour before the twenty-seven hunters. I was one of the twenty-seven; eight dropped by the wayside; we ended nineteen. The trail led over a hill, through a cornfield, and into a swamp where we had to leap lightly from hummock to hummock. of course half of us went in ankle deep. We kept losing the trail, and we wasted twenty-five minutes over that swamp. Then up a hill through some woods and in at a barn window! The barn doors were all locked and the window was up high and pretty small. I don't call that fair, do you?

But we didn't go through; we circumnavigated the barn and picked up the trail where it issued by way of a low shed roof on to the top of a fence. The fox thought he had us there, but we fooled him. Then straight away over two miles of rolling meadow, and awfully hard to follow, for the confetti was getting sparse. The rule is that it must be at the most six feet apart, but they were the longest six feet I ever saw. Finally, after two hours of steady trotting, we tracked Monsieur Fox into the kitchen of Crystal Spring (that's a farm where the girls go in bob sleighs and hay wagons for chicken and waffle suppers) and we found the three foxes placidly eating milk and honey and biscuits. They hadn't thought we would get that far; they were expecting us to stick in the barn window.

Both sides insist that they won. I think we did, don't you? Because we caught them before they got back to the campus. Anyway, all nineteen of us settled like locusts over the furniture and clamoured for honey. There wasn't enough to go round, but Mrs. Crystal Spring (that's our pet name for her; she's by rights a Johnson) brought up a jar of strawberry jam and a can of maple syrup-- just made last week--and three loaves of brown bread.

We didn't get back to college till half-past six--half an hour late for dinner--and we went straight in without dressing, and with perfectly unimpaired appetites! Then we all cut evening chapel, the state of our boots being enough of an excuse.

I never told you about examinations. I passed everything with the utmost ease--I know the secret now, and am never going to fail again. I shan't be able to graduate with honours though, because of that beastly Latin prose and geometry Freshman year. But I don't care. Wot's the hodds so long as you're 'appy? (That's a quotation. I've been reading the English classics.)

Speaking of classics, have you ever read Hamlet? If you haven't, do it right off. It's PERFECTLY CORKING. I've been hearing about Shakespeare all my life, but I had no idea he really wrote so well; I always suspected him of going largely on his reputation.

I have a beautiful play that I invented a long time ago when I first learned to read. I put myself to sleep every night by pretending I'm the person (the most important person) in the book I'm reading at the moment.

At present I'm Ophelia--and such a sensible Ophelia! I keep Hamlet amused all the time, and pet him and scold him and make him wrap up his throat when he has a cold. I've entirely cured him of being melancholy. The King and Queen are both dead--an accident at sea; no funeral necessary--so Hamlet and I are ruling in Denmark without any bother. We have the kingdom working beautifully. He takes care of the governing, and I look after the charities. I have just founded some first-class orphan asylums. If you or any of the other Trustees would like to visit them, I shall be pleased to show you through. I think you might find a great many helpful suggestions. I remain, sir, Yours most graciously, OPHELIA, Queen of Denmark.

24th March, maybe the 25th Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

I don't believe I can be going to Heaven--I am getting such a lot of good things here; it wouldn't be fair to get them hereafter too. Listen to what has happened.

Jerusha Abbott has won the short-story contest (a twenty-five dollar prize) that the Monthly holds every year. And she's a Sophomore! The contestants are mostly Seniors. When I saw my name posted, I couldn't quite believe it was true. Maybe I am going to be an author after all. I wish Mrs. Lippett hadn't given me such a silly name-- it sounds like an author-ess, doesn't it?

Also I have been chosen for the spring dramatics--As You Like It out of doors. I am going to be Celia, own cousin to Rosalind.

And lastly: Julia and Sallie and I are going to New York next Friday to do some spring shopping and stay all night and go to the theatre the next day with 'Master Jervie.' He invited us. Julia is going to stay at home with her family, but Sallie and I are going to stop at the Martha Washington Hotel. Did you ever hear of anything so exciting? I've never been in a hotel in my life, nor in a theatre; except once when the Catholic Church had a festival and invited the orphans, but that wasn't a real play and it doesn't count.

And what do you think we're going to see? Hamlet. Think of that! We studied it for four weeks in Shakespeare class and I know it by heart.

I am so excited over all these prospects that I can scarcely sleep.

Goodbye, Daddy.

This is a very entertaining world. Yours ever, Judy

PS. I've just looked at the calendar. It's the 28th.

Another postscript.

I saw a street car conductor today with one brown eye and one blue. Wouldn't he make a nice villain for a detective story?

7th April Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Mercy! Isn't New York big? Worcester is nothing to it. Do you mean to tell me that you actually live in all that confusion? I don't believe that I shall recover for months from the bewildering effect of two days of it. I can't begin to tell you all the amazing things I've seen; I suppose you know, though, since you live there yourself.

But aren't the streets entertaining? And the people? And the shops? I never saw such lovely things as there are in the windows. It makes you want to devote your life to wearing clothes.

Sallie and Julia and I went shopping together Saturday morning. Julia went into the very most gorgeous place I ever saw, white and gold walls and blue carpets and blue silk curtains and gilt chairs. A perfectly beautiful lady with yellow hair and a long black silk trailing gown came to meet us with a welcoming smile. I thought we were paying a social call, and started to shake hands, but it seems we were only buying hats--at least Julia was. She sat down in front of a mirror and tried on a dozen, each lovelier than the last, and bought the two loveliest of all.

I can't imagine any joy in life greater than sitting down in front of a mirror and buying any hat you choose without having first to consider the price! There's no doubt about it, Daddy; New York would rapidly undermine this fine stoical character which the John Grier Home so patiently built up.

And after we'd finished our shopping, we met Master Jervie at Sherry's. I suppose you've been in Sherry's? Picture that, then picture the dining-room of the John Grier Home with its oilcloth-covered tables, and white crockery that you CAN'T break, and wooden-handled knives and forks; and fancy the way I felt!

I ate my fish with the wrong fork, but the waiter very kindly gave me another so that nobody noticed.

And after luncheon we went to the theatre--it was dazzling, marvellous, unbelievable--I dream about it every night.

Isn't Shakespeare wonderful?

Hamlet is so much better on the stage than when we analyze it in class; I appreciated it before, but now, clear me!

I think, if you don't mind, that I'd rather be an actress than a writer. Wouldn't you like me to leave college and go into a dramatic school? And then I'll send you a box for all my performances, and smile at you across the footlights. Only wear a red rose in your buttonhole, please, so I'll surely smile at the right man. It would be an awfully embarrassing mistake if I picked out the wrong one.

We came back Saturday night and had our dinner in the train, at little tables with pink lamps and negro waiters. I never heard of meals being served in trains before, and I inadvertently said so.

'Where on earth were you brought up?' said Julia to me.

'In a village,' said I meekly, to Julia.

'But didn't you ever travel?' said she to me.

'Not till I came to college, and then it was only a hundred and sixty miles and we didn't eat,' said I to her.

She's getting quite interested in me, because I say such funny things. I try hard not to, but they do pop out when I'm surprised-- and I'm surprised most of the time. It's a dizzying experience, Daddy, to pass eighteen years in the John Grier Home, and then suddenly to be plunged into the WORLD.

But I'm getting acclimated. I don't make such awful mistakes as I did; and I don't feel uncomfortable any more with the other girls. I used to squirm whenever people looked at me. I felt as though they saw right through my sham new clothes to the checked ginghams underneath. But I'm not letting the ginghams bother me any more. Sufficient unto yesterday is the evil thereof.

I forgot to tell you about our flowers. Master Jervie gave us each a big bunch of violets and lilies-of-the-valley. Wasn't that sweet of him? I never used to care much for men--judging by Trustees-- but I'm changing my mind.

Eleven pages--this is a letter! Have courage. I'm going to stop. Yours always, Judy

10th April Dear Mr. Rich-Man,

Here's your cheque for fifty dollars. Thank you very much, but I do not feel that I can keep it. My allowance is sufficient to afford all of the hats that I need. I am sorry that I wrote all that silly stuff about the millinery shop; it's just that I had never seen anything like it before.

However, I wasn't begging! And I would rather not accept any more charity than I have to. Sincerely yours, Jerusha Abbott

11th April

Dearest Daddy,

Will you please forgive me for the letter I wrote you yesterday? After I posted it I was sorry, and tried to get it back, but that beastly mail clerk wouldn't give it back to me.

It's the middle of the night now; I've been awake for hours thinking what a Worm I am--what a Thousand-legged Worm-- and that's the worst I can say! I've closed the door very softly into the study so as not to wake Julia and Sallie, and am sitting up in bed writing to you on paper torn out of my history note-book.

I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry I was so impolite about your cheque. I know you meant it kindly, and I think you're an old dear to take so much trouble for such a silly thing as a hat. I ought to have returned it very much more graciously.

But in any case, I had to return it. It's different with me than with other girls. They can take things naturally from people. They have fathers and brothers and aunts and uncles; but I can't be on any such relations with any one. I like to pretend that you belong to me, just to play with the idea, but of course I know you don't. I'm alone, really--with my back to the wall fighting the world-- and I get sort of gaspy when I think about it. I put it out of my mind, and keep on pretending; but don't you see, Daddy? I can't accept any more money than I have to, because some day I shall be wanting to pay it back, and even as great an author as I intend to be won't be able to face a PERFECTLY TREMENDOUS debt.

I'd love pretty hats and things, but I mustn't mortgage the future to pay for them.

You'll forgive me, won't you, for being so rude? I have an awful habit of writing impulsively when I first think things, and then posting the letter beyond recall. But if I sometimes seem thoughtless and ungrateful, I never mean it. In my heart I thank you always for the life and freedom and independence that you have given me. My childhood was just a long, sullen stretch of revolt, and now I am so happy every moment of the day that I can't believe it's true. I feel like a made-up heroine in a story-book.

It's a quarter past two. I'm going to tiptoe out to post this off now. You'll receive it in the next mail after the other; so you won't have a very long time to think bad of me. Good night, Daddy, I love you always, Judy

4th May Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Field Day last Saturday. It was a very spectacular occasion. First we had a parade of all the classes, with everybody dressed in white linen, the Seniors carrying blue and gold Japanese umbrellas, and the juniors white and yellow banners. Our class had crimson balloons-- very fetching, especially as they were always getting loose and floating off--and the Freshmen wore green tissue-paper hats with long streamers. Also we had a band in blue uniforms hired from town. Also about a dozen funny people, like clowns in a circus, to keep the spectators entertained between events.

Julia was dressed as a fat country man with a linen duster and whiskers and baggy umbrella. Patsy Moriarty (Patrici really. Did you ever hear such a name? Mrs. Lippett couldn't have done better) who is tall and thin was Julia's wife in a absurd green bonnet over one ear. Waves of laughter followed them the whole length of the course. Julia played the part extremely well. I never dreamed that a Pendleton could display so much comedy spirit-- begging Master Jervie' pardon; I don't consider him a true Pendleton though, any more than I consider you a true Trustee.

Sallie and I weren't in the parade because we were entered for the events. And what do you think? We both won! At least in something. We tried for the running broad jump and lost; but Sallie won the pole-vaulting (seven feet three inches) and I won the fifty-yard sprint (eight seconds).

I was pretty panting at the end, but it was great fun, with the whole class waving balloons and cheering and yelling:

What's the matter with Judy Abbott? She's all right. Who's all right? Judy Ab-bott!

That, Daddy, is true fame. Then trotting back to the dressing tent and being rubbed down with alcohol and having a lemon to suck. You see we're very professional. It's a fine thing to win an event for your class, because the class that wins the most gets the athletic cup for the year. The Seniors won it this year, with seven events to their credit. The athletic association gave a dinner in the gymnasium to all of the winners. We had fried soft-shell crabs, and chocolate ice-cream moulded in the shape of basket balls.

I sat up half of last night reading Jane Eyre. Are you old enough, Daddy, to remember sixty years ago? And, if so, did people talk that way?

The haughty Lady Blanche says to the footman, 'Stop your chattering, knave, and do my bidding.' Mr. Rochester talks about the metal welkin when he means the sky; and as for the mad woman who laughs like a hyena and sets fire to bed curtains and tears up wedding veils and BITES--it's melodrama of the purest, but just the same, you read and read and read. I can't see how any girl could have written such a book, especially any girl who was brought up in a churchyard. There's something about those Brontes that fascinates me. Their books, their lives, their spirit. Where did they get it? When I was reading about little Jane's troubles in the charity school, I got so angry that I had to go out and take a walk. I understood exactly how she felt. Having known Mrs. Lippett, I could see Mr. Brocklehurst.

Don't be outraged, Daddy. I am not intimating that the John Grier Home was like the Lowood Institute. We had plenty to eat and plenty to wear, sufficient water to wash in, and a furnace in the cellar. But there was one deadly likeness. Our lives were absolutely monotonous and uneventful. Nothing nice ever happened, except ice-cream on Sundays, and even that was regular. In all the eighteen years I was there I only had one adventure--when the woodshed burned. We had to get up in the night and dress so as to be ready in case the house should catch. But it didn't catch and we went back to bed.

Everybody likes a few surprises; it's a perfectly natural human craving. But I never had one until Mrs. Lippett called me to the office to tell me that Mr. John Smith was going to send me to college. And then she broke the news so gradually that it just barely shocked me.

You know, Daddy, I think that the most necessary quality for any person to have is imagination. It makes people able to put themselves in other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding. It ought to be cultivated in children. But the John Grier Home instantly stamped out the slightest flicker that appeared. Duty was the one quality that was encouraged. I don't think children ought to know the meaning of the word; it's odious, detestable. They ought to do everything from love.

Wait until you see the orphan asylum that I am going to be the head of! It's my favourite play at night before I go to sleep. I plan it out to the littlest detail--the meals and clothes and study and amusements and punishments; for even my superior orphans are sometimes bad.

But anyway, they are going to be happy. I think that every one, no matter how many troubles he may have when he grows up, ought to have a happy childhood to look back upon. And if I ever have any children of my own, no matter how unhappy I may be, I am not going to let them have any cares until they grow up.

(There goes the chapel bell--I'll finish this letter sometime).

Thursday

When I came in from laboratory this afternoon, I found a squirrel sitting on the tea table helping himself to almonds. These are the kind of callers we entertain now that warm weather has come and the windows stay open--

Saturday morning Perhaps you think, last night being Friday, with no classes today, that I passed a nice quiet, readable evening with the set of Stevenson that I bought with my prize money? But if so, you've never attended a girls' college, Daddy dear. Six friends dropped in to make fudge, and one of them dropped the fudge--while it was still liquid-- right in the middle of our best rug. We shall never be able to clean up the mess.

I haven't mentioned any lessons of late; but we are still having them every day. It's sort of a relief though, to get away from them and discuss life in the large--rather one-sided discussions that you and I hold, but that's your own fault. You are welcome to answer back any time you choose.

I've been writing this letter off and on for three days, and I fear by now vous etes bien bored! Goodbye, nice Mr. Man, Judy

Mr. Daddy-Long-Legs Smith,

SIR: Having completed the study of argumentation and the science of dividing a thesis into heads, I have decided to adopt the following form for letter-writing. It contains all necessary facts, but no unnecessary verbiage.

I. We had written examinations this week in: A. Chemistry. B. History.

II. A new dormitory is being built. A. Its material is: (a) red brick. (b) grey stone. B. Its capacity will be: (a) one dean, five instructors. (b) two hundred girls. (c) one housekeeper, three cooks, twenty waitresses, twenty chambermaids.

III. We had junket for dessert tonight.

IV. I am writing a special topic upon the Sources of Shakespeare's Plays.

V. Lou McMahon slipped and fell this afternoon at basket ball, and she: A. Dislocated her shoulder. B. Bruised her knee.

VI. I have a new hat trimmed with: A. Blue velvet ribbon. B. Two blue quills. C. Three red pompoms.

VII. It is half past nine.

VIII. Good night. Judy

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

瞧!我已经大二了!上周五回到学校,离开柳树农场很难过,但再次看到校园很开心.回到熟悉的环境令人愉快.学校开始让我感觉像家.我觉得已经开始进入状况.事实上,这个世界开始给我家的感觉 - 好像我真的属于这个世上,而不是偷偷溜进来受苦受难的.

我不认为你了解我的意思.一个重要到可以当上理事的人,是不可能会了解一个不重要到可以当弃儿的人的感觉的.

你知道我的室友是谁吗?是莎莉麦克白和茱莉亚潘得敦.真的,我们有一间书房和三间小卧室,如下图.

春天的时候莎莉和我决定大二时继续当室友,茱莉亚决定要继续跟莎莉住 - 为什么?我很不解,因为他们两个没有任何共通点.但潘得敦家族生性保守且守旧,不喜欢改变.反正,我们住在一起了.想想看洁若沙爱柏,来自孤儿院的弃儿,现在竟然是潘得敦家族某一成员的室友,这真是一个民主的国家啊!

莎莉要竞选班代.如果预测没错她会当选的.你真该看看我们这群政客是如何的工于心计.告诉你,Daddy,当我们女性获得投票权时(注),你们男性得加倍小心才能保有你们的权利.下周六投票,晚上有烛光游行,不管谁当选.

注:根据我在维基百科找到的资料,美国妇女是在1920年才有投票权,而本书出版于1912.

我开始上化学课,一个最不寻常的研究.我从来没有看过这种东西.分子和原子是被使用的物质,但是下个月我们才会进入比较确切的讨论.

我还修了辩论和逻辑课

还有世界历史

以及莎士比亚的剧本

还有法文

如果我持续几年这么读下去,我想我会挺有学问的.

我原本想选经济学而不是法文,但是我不敢,因为如果我不再选修法文,教授可能不会让我过 - 因为六月的考试我只有低空飞过而已.但我得说我高中时的法文课不是上得的很充份.(注)

注:茱蒂读中学时还住在孤儿院,当时是孤儿院的事摆第一,学校第二,在第一章“蓝色星期三”有提到.

班上有一个同学的法文跟英文一样好.她小的时候跟父母出国,曾经在一个修道院学校就学三年.你可以想像和班上其他同学比起来,她是多么的聪明伶俐 - 不规则动词对她而言不过是小玩意儿.真希望我父母当初是把我丢在修道院而不是孤儿院.喔,不,我不要.因为这么一来我就不会认识你了.我宁愿认识你而不是法文.


晚安,Daddy.我得去拜访哈丽叶马丁,跟她讨论化学课,偶尔不经意的提到下次的班代选举.

前往政治的路上,
茱蒂爱柏

十月十七日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

如果体育馆的游泳池装满的是柠檬果冻,当有人想要游泳时是会浮上来还是沈下去呢?

甜点吃柠檬果冻时有人提出这个问题.我们兴致高昂的讨论了半个小时还没有结果.莎莉认为她可以在果冻中游泳,我则觉得即使是全世界最棒的泳者也会沈下去.溺死在果冻里不是很有趣吗?

注:我想全世界的大学生都会想这些有的没有的.

目前有两个问题盘据着我们的餐桌.

第一:八角形的屋子里的房间应该是什么形状呢?有一些女生坚持是四方形,但我觉得应该像是一片派的形状.你不觉得吗?

第二:假设有一个非常巨大的玻璃做的中空球体,而你就坐在里面.它会从何处停止反映照出你的脸,而开始照出你的背呢?想的越多就越不解.由此可见我们在休闲时是如何的投入哲学思考.


我有跟你提到选举的事吗?投票是在三周前举行,但我们的生活步调是如此的快,三周前的事已经是古老的历史.莎莉当选了,我们举行烛光游行,举著一个透明的布条上面写着“永远的麦克白”,还有一组十四个成员的乐队(三个口琴及十一把梳子)

我们现在是二五八室里重要的人物.茱莉亚和我都沾光不少.和一个代表同住一室还挺有压力的.

晚安,Daddy.

献上我的问候,
茱蒂

十一月十二日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

昨天我们打赢了大一篮球队.我们当然很开心,但是,喔,如果我们能打赢大三就更好了.即使我会因此全身黑青的擦满金镂梅贴布躺在床上三个礼拜,我也愿意.

莎莉邀请我去他们家过耶诞节.她住在渥尔切斯特,麻赛诸塞州.她人真好,不是吗?我很想去.我从没去过任何一户普通人家,除了柳树农场外,但山普夫妇是大人而且老了,所以不算.麦克白家有一屋子的小孩(好吧,也许只有两三个)一个母亲一个父亲一个祖母,还有一只猫.那是一个完完整整的家庭.打包行李去度假远比留在学校有趣多了.对于即将来临的耶诞假期我极度兴奋.

第七个小时的钟声响了.我必须跑去排演.我要参加感恩节的表演.

周六

你想知道我长什么样子吗?这是一张里欧那拉方登帮我们三个人拍的照片.

肤色较浅在笑的那个是莎莉,鼻子举得高高的高个子是茱莉亚,头发被风吹到脸上的小个子是茱蒂 - 她其实本人比较漂亮,但阳光太刺眼了.

石门
渥尔切斯特,麻赛诸塞州
十二月三十一日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

一直想写信谢谢你的耶诞支票,但麦克白家的生活实在令人目不暇给,连找出两分钟的空档写信都似乎不可能.

我买了一件长礼服 - 一件我不需要,只是想要的衣服.我今年的耶诞礼物来自长腿叔叔,我的家人只寄来问候而已.

在莎莉家过节是最棒的假期.她家是一栋砖造滚白边的老式屋子,离街有段距离 - 那房子和我当初在孤儿院时想像的房子完全一样,当时的我对屋内的一切充满好奇.没想到竟然可以亲眼看到 - 但是我真的看到了.屋内的一切是那么的舒服悠闲家居.我从一个房间走过一个房间,饥渴的把屋内的一切尽收眼底.

那是一栋最适合小孩成长的屋子;有暗暗的小角落可以玩躲猫猫,开放式的火炉可以爆米花,有一个在下雨天可以玩耍的阁楼,一个滑滑的楼梯扶手,底部是一个舒服的平坦把手,有一间大大的阳光明亮的厨房,还有一个美好开朗的厨娘,她已经在莎莉家十三年,永远留下一块生面团让小朋友烤东烤西.只消看这房子一眼,就令我想从头再当一次小孩.

至于屋子里的人,我做梦也没想到他们是这么好的人.莎莉有一个爸爸,妈妈和奶奶,一个最甜美可爱的满头卷发的三岁妹妹(注),一个中型尺寸的老是忘了擦脚的弟弟,还有一个好看的哥哥叫吉米,目前在普林斯顿读大三.

注:莎莉已经读大学,但妹妹却才三岁,可见她爸能力还挺强的.

餐桌时光是最美好的 - 每个人都开怀大笑,玩笑不断,而且饭前不用祷告.不用为每一口食物对某人心存感激,真是令人松口气.(我敢说我是渎神的;但是如果你得被迫做出这么多的感谢,我相信你也会的.)

我们做了好多事 - 等不及要告诉你.麦克白先生拥有一间工厂,平安夜那天他为工厂员工的小孩摆出一棵耶诞树,放在长长的包装室,挂满万年青和冬青等装饰.吉米麦克白打扮成耶诞老人,莎莉和我帮忙他发耶诞礼物.

那真是一种奇妙的感觉,Daddy.我觉得自己好像是孤儿院的好心理事.我亲了一个甜美的黏呼呼的小男孩 - 不过我想我没有拍任何一个小孩的头.

而在耶诞节过后两天,他们为了我举办了一个舞会.没错,为我!

那是我第一次参加真正的舞会 - 大学的不算因为我们都和女生跳舞.我穿上新的白色长礼服(你送的耶诞节礼物,多谢)配上白色长手套以及白色丝缎平底鞋.多么完美而绝对的幸福,唯一的缺点是丽柏太太没有看到吉米麦克白带我跳方块舞的样子.下次你去拜访孤儿院时,请务必记得告诉丽柏太太舞会的事.

永远的,
茱蒂

PS:如果我没有变成伟大的作家,而只是一个平凡的女孩,你会不会非常的不开心呢,Daddy?

6:30; 周六

亲爱的Daddy:

今天我们走路去镇上,但是,天啊,雨下得好大.我喜欢的是下雪的冬天,而不是下雨.

茱莉亚迷人的叔叔今天下午来访 - 而且带来一盒五磅重(注)的巧克力.你瞧,跟茱莉亚当室友也是有好处的.

注:五磅大约是2.27 公斤,应该是蛮大一盒的.

我们无知的对话似乎让他感到有趣,为了在书房和我们喝茶,他错过了一班火车.我们费了一番功夫才拿到许可证.父亲和爷爷来访已经够麻烦了,叔叔更是不遑多论;至于兄弟表堂亲则根本是不可能.茱莉亚得对着公证人发誓他是她的叔叔,而且还得附上县委书记的证明书.(瞧我多懂法律?)即使如此,如果院长刚好看到哲维叔叔又年青又英俊时,我怀疑我们是否还有机会跟他喝茶.

总之我们一起喝了茶,配上瑞士乳酪全麦面包三明治.他帮忙做了三明治,而且吃了四个.我跟他说去年暑假我待在柳树农场,我们开心的聊著山普夫妇,农场的马,牛和鸡.他以前认识的马都死了,除了葛瑞佛以外,他上次去农场时葛瑞佛还是匹小马 - 而现在可怜的葛瑞佛已经老到只能跛着脚在草地踱来踱去了.

他问到山普夫妇是否还在厨房架子底层,放著一个装甜甜圈的黄色瓦罐,盖子是个蓝色盘子 - 他说对了.他想要知道夜间牧场的石头堆下是否还有一个土拨鼠洞 - 他又对了.阿马萨今年夏天抓到的那只肥美的灰色土拨鼠,是哲维少爷小时候抓到的那只的第二十五代孙子.

我当着他的面叫他“哲维少爷”,但他似乎不以为忤.茱莉亚说她从没看过他如此随和好相处,通常他是难以亲近的.茱莉亚不知道和男人相处的技巧.当你搔对痒处时,男人会像猫咪般发出舒服的呼噜声,反之则是生气的嘶嘶声.(这不是很优雅的比喻,但我只是打比方而已.)

我们正在读玛丽贝斯柯特赛佛(注)的日记.真有趣,你听:“昨晚一股绝望袭来,令人难以忍受,终于导致餐厅的时钟被我扔到海里.“

注:Marie Bashkirtseff (1858-1884) 是出生于乌克兰的苏俄日记作者,艺术家以及雕刻家.得年26,作品多毁于二次大战纳粹之手.

我几乎要希望自己不是天才.当天才一定挺累人的 - 而且还挺会破坏家俱的.

天啊!雨下得好大!看来今晚我们得游泳上教堂了.

永远的,
茱蒂

一月二十日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

你是不是曾经有一个甜美的女婴儿,在襁褓时期被从摇篮里偷走?

也许我就是她!如果我们是在一部小说中,结局会是如此,不是吗?

不知道自己从何而来是件很奇怪的事 - 刺激而且浪漫的奇怪,因为有那么多的可能性.也许我不是美国人,很多人都不是啊.我可能是古罗马人的直属后代,或者我是一个维京海盗的女儿,或者我是某个被苏俄放逐的罪犯的小孩,有权拥有我的是一座西伯利亚监狱,或者我是吉普赛人.我有一个非常游荡的灵魂,只是还没有什么机会培养就是了.

你知道我人生中的一个污点是有一回我从孤儿院逃走,因为他们处罚我偷饼干吗?这件事被记录在一个本子上,所有的理事都可以自由读取.但是说真的,Daddy,你能期望什么?当你把一个饿肚子的九岁女孩,独自留在厨房擦刀具,而饼干罐就在她手肘边,然后你突然出现,难道不会预期看到她的嘴角留有饼干屑吗?接着你用力拉她的手肘并赏她耳光,在布丁送上桌时,命令她离桌,然后告诉所有的小孩因为她是小偷.难道你不会预期她会逃跑吗?

我跑了四哩路.他们抓到我并把我带回去.有一个礼拜的时间,他们每天把我绑在院子的一根柱子,好像一只顽皮的小狗,当其他小孩在休息时间都出来玩时.

注:可怜的茱蒂,难怪她这么的一点儿也不想念孤儿院.

喔,天啊,是教堂的钟声.上完教堂后我得参加一个委员会.很抱歉,原本打算写一封愉快的信的.

再见,
祝平和
茱蒂

PS: 有一点我倒是肯定的,我不是中国人.

二月四日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

吉米麦克白寄了一面普林斯敦的布条给我,跟房间的一端一样长;我很开心他还记得我,但我实在不知道该拿这布条怎么办.莎莉和茱莉亚是不会让我挂起来的,今年我们的房间装潢主题色是红色,你可以想像如果我加了橘色和黑色效果会如何.但这布条的手感又实在又温暖,真的不想浪费它.把布条做成一件浴袍会不会不恰当呢?我的旧浴袍洗过后缩水了.

最近完全省略了跟你说我在学些什么,也许你从我的信件看不出来,但我的时间是完全被读书占据的.同时学习五个科目很令人不知如何是好.

“真正的学者的试炼,”化学教授说,“是对细节的痛苦热情.”

“小心别过于专注细节,”历史教授说.“保持适当的距离,才能获得宏观的视野.”

你可以看到在化学和历史这两面帆之间,我们得如何仔细的修剪.我最喜欢历史的方法.如果我说征服者威廉在一四九二年破英军,而哥伦布是在一一零零或是一零六六年发现美洲,对历史教授来说也不过只是错看一个细节罢了.如此一来在引用历史时我感到安心自在,这在化学中是完全缺乏的.

注:当然这两个事件的发生时间是相反的.

第六堂课的钟声 - 我得去实验室仔细瞧瞧酸和塩和碱.我的化学课围裙被我用氯化氢烧了一个盘子大的洞.如果这套理论成立,我应该可以用强氨中和这个洞,不是吗?

下周大考,但是谁怕谁啊?

永远的,
茱蒂

三月五日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

外面三月的风在吹着,在天空中移动的是厚厚的乌云.松树中的乌鸦吵吵闹闹的.那是一种诱人的,激动的,呼唤的声音.让人想合上书本,到山丘上跟风赛跑.

上周六有一个追彩纸的比赛(下有图),我们在湿湿的乡村小路上追逐了五英里.狐狸(由三个女孩和一堆彩纸组合而成)比二十七个猎人提早半个小时上路.我是那二十七个之一,其中有八个半途放弃,最后剩十九个.洒上彩纸做记号的小路引我们越过一个小山丘,穿过一片玉米田,进入一个沼泽,我们得踩着其中的小圆丘跳跃着前进.当然还是有一半的人脚踝踩进烂泥巴.我们一直找错路,在沼泽区浪费了二十五分钟.然后我们爬上另一个山丘,穿过一些树林,来到一个谷仓的窗边.谷仓的门锁著,窗户又高又小.我觉得那并不公平,你觉得呢?

注:一英里约等于1.6公里

但是我们没有进去.我们在谷仓绕了一圈,然后挑了一条从小木屋的屋顶通向篱笆顶端的路.狐狸以为摆脱了我们,但是我们把他骗倒了.经过两英里崎岖不平的草原,而且好难追,因为彩纸记号变得稀疏.规则是彩纸间的距离要有六英尺,但那是我见过最长的六英尺.终于,在整整跑了两个小时之后,我们在水晶之泉农场的厨房(一个我们会驾着大雪橇和干草马车去吃鸡肉和松饼的地方)抓到狐狸,三只狐狸安静的在那儿喝着蜂蜜牛奶吃饼干.他们没想到我们会追到这么远,以为又高又小的谷仓窗户把我们难倒了.

注:一英尺约等于三十公分.

两边都坚持自己是赢家.我觉得我们赢了,你不认为吗?因为我们在他们回去校园之前抓到他们.总之,我们十九个像蝗虫般的吵着要蜂蜜.但蜂蜜吃完了,水晶之泉太太(那是我们帮她起的小名,她夫姓强生)拿出一瓶草莓果酱和一罐枫糖浆 - 上周才做的 - 以及三条全麦面包.

我们到六点半才回学校 - 晚餐迟到半小时 - 我们衣服也没换就去吃晚餐,而且胃口丝毫不减.饭后我们没有去教堂,用我们的脏靴子当借口绰绰有余.

我还没跟你提考试的事.我轻松无比的全部过关 - 我现在知道秘诀,而且绝不会再考不及格.虽然我无法光荣的毕业,因为大一时那可恶的拉丁散文和几何学.但我并不在乎.只要我开心就好.(引用自最近在读的英文经典作家.)

注:原文的Wot’s the hodds so long as you’re ‘appy? 应该是引用自一首歌名“What's the Odds so Long as You're Happy”,作者是Charles James Dunphie (1820-1908),爱尔兰记者,艺术及文学批评家,歌词作者及诗人.

说到经典,你有读过哈姆雷特吗?如果没有,请立刻读.写得实在太棒了.我常听到莎士比亚,但不知道他的作品这么棒,之前老怀疑他的名声是言过其实.

小时候刚学认字时,我编了一个美丽的剧本.而现在每晚入睡前,我都假装自己是目前正在读的书里面的人物(最重要的那个).

此刻我是奥菲莉亚 - 而且是理性的奥菲莉亚.我逗哈姆雷特开心,我宠他也训他,在他感冒时提醒他把脖子包好.我把他的忧郁完全治好.国王和皇后都去世了 - 海难,所以不需要葬礼 - 哈姆雷特和我没有阻碍的统治丹麦王国.我们把国家治理良好.他负责国事,我负责慈善事业.我刚成立了一间一流的孤儿院.如果你或任何其他理事有意来访,我很乐意带你们参观.我想也许你会获得许多有帮助的建议.

最优雅的,
奥菲莉亚
丹麦皇后

三月二十四日,也许是二十五日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

真是令人不敢相信!我简直要乐上天了 - 我在这里得到好多好棒的东西.请听我一一道来.

洁若莎爱柏赢得校刊年度比赛短篇故事冠军(奖金二十五元).而她才大二!参赛者主要是大四生.当我看到我的名字时,简直不敢相信那是真的.也许我真的会成为一个作家.真希望丽柏太太没有帮我取这么傻气的名字 - 那听起来一点都不像作家的名字,不是吗?

我还获选加入春季戏剧公演 - 户外演出的“皆大欢喜”.我要演西莉亚,罗塞琳的表亲.

注:“皆大欢喜”是莎士比亚的作品,喜剧.我大学时有读过,但故事全忘了.

最后一则好消息:茱莉亚,莎利和我下周五要去纽约,去进行春季采购并过夜,然后隔天跟“哲维少爷”去剧院看表演.他邀请我们三人.茱莉亚会住家中,而莎莉和我则要在玛莎华盛顿饭店住一晚.你有听过这么棒的事吗?我从没住过饭店,也从没去过剧院;只有一次天主教堂办活动邀请我们这些孤儿去看,但那并不是真正的舞台剧,所以不算.

注:根据维基百科,Martha Washington Hotel 开幕于1903,是第一间只收女客的饭店,原本有416间房间.自2003年起,饭店改名为Hotel Thirty Thirty,三星级.饭店照片在下方.

你知道我们要看什么舞台剧吗?哈姆雷特!我们读莎士比亚读了四个礼拜,故事情节我早已滚瓜烂熟.我又兴奋又期待,简直开心到睡不着.

再见,Daddy.

这真是一个充满乐趣的世界.

永远的,
茱蒂

PS: 刚看了日历,今天应该是二十八日.

另一个PS: 今天看到一个车掌的眼睛一眼是棕色一眼是蓝色.很适合演坏人或侦探,不是吗?

四月十日

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

天啊!纽约好大!渥尔斯特相形见绌.你真的住在一个如此混乱的城市吗?这两天经历的迷糊困惑,我想大概要好几个月才能恢复过来.我等不及要告诉你我的所见所闻,不过我想你早已知道,因为你就住在那儿.

纽约的街道真是新奇有趣,还有纽约人,纽约商店.橱窗展示的物品令人目眩神迷,让人一生只想致力于打扮.

周六早晨莎莉,茱莉亚和我出门逛街.茱莉亚走进一家我此生见过最富丽堂皇的地方,白色和金色的墙壁,蓝色地毯,蓝色丝质窗帘和金色的椅子.一位金发的美丽小姐,身穿一袭摇曳的黑色丝质长礼服,带着欢迎的笑容来迎接我们.我以为我们是去某户人家拜访,正想伸出手跟对方握手时,突然发现我们好像是去买帽子的 - 至少茱莉亚是的.她在一面镜子前坐下,试戴了一打帽子,一顶比一顶漂亮,最后她挑了两顶最漂亮的.

我想像不出比这更开心的事了.坐在镜子前,买下任何一顶看上的帽子,不用先考虑价格.毫无疑问的,Daddy,纽约会迅速的摧毁孤儿院苦心培养的清心寡欲性格.

买完东西后我们在雪莉餐厅和哲维少爷碰面.我想你去过雪莉吧?想像一下孤儿院的餐厅,那油布餐桌及打不破的白色陶器餐具,木质把手的刀叉;想像一下我在雪莉的感觉.

我吃鱼时拿错叉子,但服务生好心的给我另一支,所以没有人注意到.

午饭后我们去剧院 - 目不暇给,令人赞叹,无法置信 - 我每晚都梦见.

莎士比亚实在太棒了,不是吗?

舞台上的哈姆雷特比我们在课堂上分析的他棒太多了;我以前就很欣赏他,但现在,我的天啊!

我想你不会介意我想弃作家而改当演员吧?你不会希望我离开大学去读戏剧学校吗?所有我的表演我都会寄包厢座位的票给你,在舞台上对你微笑.不过请记得在上衣扣眼别上一朵红玫瑰,我才不会送错微笑.不然会是一个很尴尬的错误.

我们周六晚回校,在火车上用餐,餐车里有摆着粉红色台灯的桌子和黑人服务生.我从来不知道火车上有餐车,而且还说溜了嘴.

“你到底是在哪儿长大的?”茱莉亚问.

“在一个村子,”我顺从的回答.

“难道你从来没有出门旅行过吗?”她问.

“上大学前没有,而且距离只有一百六十英里,所以我们没有吃东西,”我说.

注:一百六十英里约等于二百五十公里,大约是台北到台中吧.

她开始对我产生兴趣,因为我所说的话.我很努力的不在惊讶时脱口而出 - 但我常常感到很惊讶.那是一个令人脑袋发昏的经验,Daddy,在孤儿院待了十八年之后,突然被丢进真实的世界.

但是我已经开始适应.我犯的错减少了,而且当我跟同学在一起时,我不再感到浑身不自在.以前要是有人盯着我看,总是令我不安.总觉得他们看到我新衣服下穿的是孤儿院的蓝色格子服.但我已经不再让那蓝色格子服困扰我了.昨天的事就留在昨天吧.

忘了跟你说花的事.哲维少爷送我们每人一束紫罗兰和白色铃兰花.他真贴心,不是吗?我从不特别在意男性 - 孤儿院的理事使然 - 但我改变想法了.

十一页 - 好长一封信.我要停笔了.

始终如一的,
茱蒂

四月十日

亲爱的有钱人:

随信附上你寄来的五十元支票.非常的感谢你,但我不认为我应该收下.我的零用钱已经足以支付我需要的帽子.很抱歉我写了那些关于女帽店的愚蠢的东西,那是因为我没见过那些东西.

我并不是乞丐.而且不愿接受超出我必须接受的善心捐款.

诚恳的,

洁若莎爱柏

四月十一日

最亲爱的Daddy:

你愿意原谅我昨天写的那封信吗?寄出信后我很后悔,我想把信拿回来,但可恶的邮差不愿还我.

现在是半夜,我失眠了好几个小时,想着自己真是一个小人,而且是最可恶的小人.我小心的关上书房的门,以免吵醒茱莉亚和莎莉.此刻我坐在床上,用历史课笔记本撕下来的纸写信给你.

我只是想跟说对你的支票我的反应非常无礼.我知道你是出于好意.为了帽子这种小事,你却费心的记在心上,真是一个亲爱的老好人.我应该要更加小心处理支票的事.

不管怎么说,支票是一定要退回的.我和其他的女孩不同.他们可以自然的接受别人的赠与.他们有父亲,兄弟,阿姨,叔叔,而我不可能有任何这种亲戚.我喜欢假装你是我的家人,但也只是假装而已,我当然知道你不是.在这世上我是独自一人,孤军奋斗的对抗全世.想到这个事实总让我喘不过气来.所以我挥去这样的想法,选择继续假装.难道你不明白吗,Daddy?我不能接受超出我所必须接受的金钱,因为有一天我必须偿还这一切.即使我成为大作家,也不可能有能力面对这巨大的债务.

我喜欢漂亮帽子和其他的东西,但是我不能拿未来抵押货款去获得这些.

你会原谅我的不礼貌吧?我有一个很糟的习惯,就是当我想到什么时,总是很冲动的立刻写下来,然后把信寄出去.如果有时候我表现的没有大脑或不知感激,我绝不是故意的.在我心中,我永远感谢你所给予我的新生活,自由和独立.我的童年只是一场冗长阴沈的动乱,而如今我每天开心到无法相信我眼前所拥有的一切.我觉得自己好像是小说中虚构的女主角.

现在已经两点过一刻了.我要惦着脚去寄出这封信.你会在下一回的邮件中收到,所以我在你心中的坏印象不会停留太久.

晚安,Daddy,
一直是爱你的,
茱蒂

五月四日

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Field Day last Saturday. It was a very spectacular occasion. First we had a parade of all the classes, with everybody dressed in white linen, the Seniors carrying blue and gold Japanese umbrellas, and the juniors white and yellow banners. Our class had crimson balloons—very fetching, especially as they were always getting loose and floating off—and the Freshmen wore green tissue-paper hats with long streamers. Also we had a band in blue uniforms hired from town. Also about a dozen funny people, like clowns in a circus, to keep the spectators entertained between events.

亲爱的长腿叔叔:

上周六是学校运动会,一个非常壮观的场合.首先,所有的班级进行游行,大家都穿着白上衣,大四生举著蓝金相间的日本伞,大三生拿着白黄色的布条.我们班拿红色汽球 - 非常抢眼,尤其是当汽球被松开而往上飞时 - 大一生戴着绿色卫生纸做的帽子和长长的彩带.我们还从镇上花钱请来一组穿制服的乐队.还有大约一打的滑稽人物,例如马戏团的小丑,在比赛与比赛之间娱乐观众.

Julia was dressed as a fat country man with a linen duster and whiskers and baggy umbrella. Patsy Moriarty (Patrici really. Did you ever hear such a name? Mrs. Lippett couldn't have done better) who is tall and thin was Julia's wife in a absurd green bonnet over one ear. Waves of laughter followed them the whole length of the course. Julia played the part extremely well. I never dreamed that a Pendleton could display so much comedy spirit—begging Master Jervie' pardon; I don't consider him a true Pendleton though, any more than I consider you a true Trustee.

茱莉亚打扮成一个胖胖的乡下人,拿着布条撢子和大雨伞.高瘦的派西莫里亚提(注)扮成茱莉亚的妻子,戴着一顶歪歪斜斜的帽子.他们走到哪笑声就跟到哪.茱莉亚的表现太出色了.没想到潘得敦家的人也会搞笑 - 这么说对哲维少爷有点不好意思;不过我并不认为他骨子里真的是潘得敦家的人;就像我也不认为你真的是一名孤儿院的理事.

注:派西莫里亚提的英文原名是 Moriarty,如果你有读过福尔摩斯,就会知道福尔摩斯的死对头也姓 Moriarty.如果我的中英对照小说翻译大家有捧场,那我是一定会翻福尔摩斯的,因为他是大侦探啊!

Sallie and I weren't in the parade because we were entered for the events. And what do you think? We both won! At least in something. We tried for the running broad jump and lost; but Sallie won the pole-vaulting (seven feet three inches) and I won the fifty-yard sprint (eight seconds).

莎莉和我没有参加游行,因为我们都参加了比赛.而且你知道吗?我们两都赢了,虽然不是全赢.我们参加疾行跳远,没赢.但是莎莉赢了撑竿跳(七呎三吋)我赢了五十码短跑(八秒).

I was pretty panting at the end, but it was great fun, with the whole class waving balloons and cheering and yelling:

What's the matter with Judy Abbott?

She's all right.

Who's all right?

Judy Ab-bott!

 

跑完后我气喘嘘嘘的,但很好玩,因为整班都挥着汽球大声的叫着:

茱蒂爱柏还好吗?

她很好.

谁很好?

茱蒂爱柏!

我真的是大大的出名了.然后我跑回更衣帐篷,全身被洒了酒,还有人往我嘴里塞了一个柠檬.(注)你瞧,我们是很专业的.可以帮班上得奖好棒,因为得最多奖的班级可以得到年度运动奖杯.今年是大四生得到,他们赢了七项比赛.运动社团在体育馆宴请所有比赛项目的冠军.我们享用了酥炸软壳蟹,和做成篮球形状的巧克力冰淇淋.

注:我忍不住要猜茱蒂同学是用龙舌兰酒泼她.因为龙舌兰的喝法是这样子的.首先在手背上洒一些塩,一口喝下龙舌兰后,立刻舔掉手背上的塩,然后用力的吸一片新鲜的柠檬,烈酒,塩和酸柠檬形成非常刺激的口感.不过本人见不多识不广,也有别的酒也是要搭配柠檬片的.啊,记得上次喝龙舌兰是何时了!

昨晚熬夜读简爱.你有老到可以回忆六十年前的事吗,Daddy?当时的人真的是那样说话吗?

高傲的布兰琪小姐跟男仆说,“别净顾著说话,小厮,还不快干活去.”罗彻斯特先生说金属苍穹时,其实指的是天空;还有那个精神失常的女人,笑声像土狼,放火烧了床的蚊帐,撕裂结婚头纱,而且还咬人 - 真的是极度戏剧化,但还是忍不住一直读下去.我想像不出什么样的女孩可以写出这样的作品.尤其当她是在教堂的墓园成长时.勃朗特家的姐妹好吸引我.他们的书,生活,精神,是从何而来?当我读到女主角小时候在慈善学校遇到的问题时,我激动到得出门走走透气.我完全能够体会她的感觉.因为认识丽柏太太,我完全可以想像布洛克赫尔斯特先生是个怎么样的人.

注:简爱Jane Eyre的作者 Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855),在一八四七年时以笔名 Currer Bell出版第一本小说简爱.Charlotte的妹妹Emily Brontë (1818-1848)以笔名Ellis Bell 也在一八四七年出版 Wuthering Heights咆哮山庄,是她唯一的一本小说,去世时才三十岁,真可惜.

请息怒,daddy.我并没有暗示孤儿院和简爱里的罗悟学校有任何相似之处.(注)我们衣食无虑,有足够的水可以梳洗,地下室还有一个火炉.但有一个致命的共同点:极度单调无趣的生活.从来没有任何有趣的事发生过,只有星期天的冰淇淋,即使那也是固定的.在我十八年的岁月中只有一次冒险 - 小木屋失火那天,我们半夜被叫醒先穿好衣服,这样当火势蔓延时我们才可以及时疏散,但火势并没有蔓延,所以我们回去床上继续睡觉.

注:其实很想把Lowood Institute翻译成“落伍学校”的.

每个人都希望生活中有些小惊喜,那是最正常不过的人生渴望.但是直到丽柏太太把我叫进她的办公室,跟我说有一位强史密斯先生要送我读大学之前,我的人生没有出现过任何意外的惊喜.而且当她慢条斯理的告诉我这个消息时,简直把我吓坏了.

你知道吗,Daddy,我觉得做为一个人,最必要的特质是拥有想像力.因为想像力我们才能设身处地的替别人着想.想像力带给我们仁慈,同情心和同理心.想像力应该在儿童时期就开始培养.但是当想像力的火苗微微出现时,孤儿院就立刻把它扑灭.在那儿唯一被鼓励的品行是责任感.我不认为儿童应该要知道责任感的意义,这三个字令人厌恶.不管我们做任何事,都应该是出于爱而不是责任感.

你等著看我管理的孤儿院吧.这是我每晚睡觉前最喜欢编的故事.就连最小的细节我都仔细的计划好了 - 食物,衣服,学习,娱乐和处罚;因为即使是优秀的孤儿偶而也是会使坏的.

不管怎样,他们都会是开心的.我觉得每一个人,不管在他成长过程有过什么麻烦,回忆中都应该要有一个快乐童年.如果我有自己的小孩,不管我可能会有多不快乐,在我的孩子长大成人之前,我都不会让他们有任何忧虑.

(教堂钟声响了,我会找时间再来写完这封信.)

周四

今天下午当我从实验室回到宿舍时,发现一只松鼠大方的坐在茶几上吃杏仁.这些是目前我们招待的访客,因为天气变暖窗户都是开着的.

周六早晨

昨天是周五,今天没课,也许你会以为我度过一个安静的夜晚,读着我用得奖的奖金买来的一套史帝文生的小说?(注)如果是,那表示你从没读过女子大学,亲爱的Daddy.六个朋友来找我做牛奶糖,其中一个把糖掉到地上 - 当糖还没有凝固时 - 就掉在我们最的毯子的正中央.我想那个糖渍永远都洗不掉.

注:史帝文生是金银岛的作者.

最近没有提到课业的事,但我们还是每天上著课.不过能逃开课业去讨论人生,倒是挺轻松的.不是那种单方面的讨论,如同你我的互动,但那是你的不对.随时欢迎你提出你的回复.

这封信我断断续续写了三天,真担心你早已感到无聊.

再会,好人先生,
茱蒂

亲爱的长腿史密斯先生:

先生:在完成辩论研究,以及论文标题编列法的学习后,我决定采用以下的形式做为书信写作.此形式包含所有必要的细节,而没有不必要的冗词:

一    我们这个礼拜考试科目是:
甲    化学
乙    历史

二    一栋新的宿舍正在建造中.
甲    材料是
1)红砖
2)灰石头

乙    其容量为:
1)一个宿舍长,五个舍监
2)两百个女孩
3)一个管家,三个厨师,二十个女侍,二十个打扫房间的女清洁工

三    今日甜点是奶酪

四    我正在写一篇文章,主题是莎士比亚的剧本渊源

五    露马克马洪今天打篮球时跌倒,她的
甲    肩膀脱臼
乙    膝盖瘀伤

六    我有一顶新帽子,帽缘装饰是
甲    蓝丝绒缎带
乙    两支蓝色羽毛
丙    三个红色绒球

七    现在是九点半

八    晚安