瞿秋白 《儿时》


生命没有寄托的人,青年时代和"儿时"对他格外宝贵。这种浪漫谛克的回忆其实并不是发见了"儿时"的真正了不得,而是感觉到"中年"以后的衰退。本来,生命只有一次,对于谁都是宝贵的。但是,假使他的生命溶化在大众的里面,假使他天天在为这世界干些什么,那末,他总在生长,虽然衰老病死仍旧是逃避不了,然而他的事业──大众的事业是不死的,他会领略到"永久的青年"。而"浮生如梦"的人,从这世界里拿去的很多,而给这世界的却很少,──他总有一天会觉得疲乏的死亡:他连拿都没有力量了。衰老和无能的悲哀,像铅一样的沉重,压在他的心头,青春是多么短呵!

"儿时"的可爱是无知。那时候,件件都是"知",你每天可以做大科学家和大哲学家,每天都在发见什么新的现象,新的真理。现在呢?"什么"都已经知道了,熟悉了,每一个人的脸都已经看厌了。宇宙和社会是那么陈旧,无味,虽则它们其实比"儿时"新鲜得多了。我于是想念"儿时",祷告"儿时"。

不能够前进的时候,就愿意退后几步,替自己恢复已经走过的前途。请求"无知"回来,给我求知的快乐。可怕呵,这生命的"停止"。

过去的始终过去了,未来的还是未来。终竟感慨些什么──我问自己。




Childhood
Qu Qiubai

When you have nothing to live for in life, you tend to feel nostalgic for the days gone by—your youth and childhood. The romantic memory of the past is not at all a discovery of the sweetness of "childhood", but an awareness of life beginning to fade after "middle age". Everyone has but one life to live and, naturally, it is treasured by all. However, if his life is dedicated to the cause of the people, if he makes a point of doing something every day for the world, he is growing and, though eventually he will die, the cause he lives for—the cause of the people—will never die. In other words, he will gain a sense of "eternal youth". As for the one who lives his life drifting around as if in a dream, he takes a lot from the world but gives little in return. Sooner or later he will be feeling such death fatigue that he will find himself deprived of the energy to "take". Then the grief caused by age and impotence will render his heart as heavy as if loaded with lead. How fast youth goes!

What makes childhood sweet is the innocence of the heart. In childhood, however, whatever you see and whatever you do is "knowing". You can become a great scientist or a great philosopher, on daily basis, with the new things or the new truth you discover. But now, you seem to have learned "everything" and you are tired of the faces you see every day. The universe and the society seem to be getting old and boring, though there are more new things to discover. I miss my childhood, I bless my childhood!

When you find it hard to go forward, you tend to take a step backward to retrace the road you have come along, taking yourself back to the world of innocence and giving yourself the pleasure of "knowing" again. Oh, how terrible is the discontinuance of life.

Since what is gone is gone and what is ahead is still ahead, what is the point of getting so emotional about it—I ask myself.