学习啦【英语美文欣赏】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-09-30
Mourning for Husheng
In March I heard from Mr. Liu Xunyu that Husheng was sick and hopelessly sick at that. The doctor said there was nothing he could do but to trait for the day to arrive. Toward the end of April, I came across an obituary issued by Lida Association in the newspaper Current Affairs. How quickly the day had arrived! Later, when I learned how he had suffered during his illness, I thought it was too miserable. From his point of view, however, his passing away was not a bad thing after all, because he suffered less by going earlier. But it must have been very hard for him to close his eyes and resign himself to the fact that he was leaving his Lida School, his friends and his students behind.
What wag most memorable about Husheng was his attitude toward life. He was as strong as a man of steel, his dark complexion set off by clothes of coarse cloth, looking like someone from the countryside. He could withstand any hardship and never sought ease and comfort. In this respect he was like a countryman, too. Again like a countryman, he had a heart as warns as fire radiating warmth, power and light. He was a man of few words, but of all smiles. His smile was natural and friendly. In his view, people could love each other, except those with deep prejudices and those who could not bring themselves out in the open. He hated these people, and to them he wouldn't show anything like gentleness. In this world, only those who could hate could love. Those who did not know what to love and what to hate were useless people. Hussheng thought that young people had little prejudice but lots of future promise, so he was willing to devote his life to them without reservation, letting the religion of love grow and flourish among them so that they could all go to a new world. Husheng was not fond of talking too much, instead, he put his mind on work, and work, and nothing but work--an embodiment of the Confucian spirit. Though I never had a chance to talk with him very closely, I was convinced that I understood him from the way he carried himself and conducted matters.
Few people 1 knew of were as devoted as Husheng. When he was running Lida School, all his thoughts were on the school, whatever he did. Lida was like his sweetheart, his only son. He was by nature an honest man, but for the sake of Lida, he had to go and see important people, bosses and others from whom he hoped to borrow money. To raise funds, he had to run many places, even as far as Beijing and Nanjing. Once he could have gone to study abroad, but he did not go in the end because he could not tear himself away from the school. He had sacrificed his life for Lida and Iida had become his life too. Though he was head of the school for so many years, he never tried to make his name known to the public. He had forgotten about himself altogether. Now he had worked himself to death for Lida despite his robust constitution. He had died for his ideal-a meaningful death. His ideal was merely beginning to bud. Now we should all think about one question: what must we do to keep Lida alive? If Lida is kept alive, Husheng lives on.
At the back of our house there was half a mu of vacant land. "It's a pity to let it go to waste like that," Mother said. "Since you all enjoy eating peanuts, let us open it up and make it a peanut garden.” At that my brother, sister and I were all delighted and so were the young housemaids. Some went to buy seeds, some dug the ground and others watered it and, in a couple of months, we had a harvest!
"Let us have a party tonight to celebrate," Mother suggested, "and ask Dad to come for a taste of our fresh peanuts. What do you say?" We all agreed, of course. Mother cooked the peanuts in different styles and told us to go to the thatched pavilion in the garden for the celebration.
The weather was not very good that night but, to our great delight, Dad came all the same. "Do you like peanuts?" Dad asked.
"Yes!" we all answered eagerly.
"But who ran tell me what the peanut is good for?"
"It is very delicious to eat," my sister took the lead.
"It is good for making cooking oil,” my brother followed.
"It is inexpensive." I said. "Almost everyone can afford it and everyone enjoys eating it. I think this is what it is good for."
"Peanut is good for many things," Dad said, "but there is one thing that is particularly good about it. Unlike apples, peaches or pomegranates that display their fruits up in the air, attracting you with their beautiful colours, peanut buries its fruit in the earth. It does not show itself until you dig it out when it is ripe and, unless you dip 4 out, you can't tell whether it bears fruit or not just by its frail sterns above ground."
"That's true," we all said and Mother nodded tier assent. "So you should try to be like the peanut,' Dad scent on, "because it is useful, though not great or attractive.” "Do you mean,” I asked, "we should team to be useful but not seek to be great or attractive?" "Yes," Dad said. "'Ibis is what I wish you to be."
We stayed up late that night, eating all the peanuts Mother had cooked for us. But Father's words remained vivid in my memory till this day.
A Blind Actor
"Don't move it! Don't move it, I tell you!"
"I've just moved 'the trouser legs' a little. What of it?"
"What ‘trouser legs’?! "
I didn't know which of his nerves told this blind actor that I was stealthily moving the sidecurtains. My habit of calling the side curtains "trouser legs" irritated him to such an extent thathis artificial whiskers quivered. I was sure that under the make-up his face must be black withanger.
He deserved the position of art adviser in the troupe for the long years he had been workingthere. What a comfortably easy job it would have been for him! But ire claimed an artist shouldremain on the stage till death. So I was appointed by the director to see to his safetywhenever he went on stage.
No one could say when the side curtains on the stage came to be called the "trouser leg." Infact, some actors would use them as napkins after snacks, and others would lift them to take ashort cut off the stage. All this he could no longer see. I had held u the side curtain just intime to keels him from tripping over it, and this was what I got in return from him." It servesyou right if you stumbled on it!" I cursed to myself.
With tears brimming in his sightless yet still attractive eyes, he angrily demanded to knowwho nicknamed the sacred side curtains "trouser legs."
This incident occurred during the Cultural Revolution when he still had his eyesight. At the doorof the theater hung a couplet which read: "A small temple with strong evil wind; A shallowpond with many bad tortoises." Between the vertical couplet stretched the horizontalstreamer which read: "Away with old scoundrels." At that time only a few young actors wereallowed to perform on the stage. It was almost impossible for them to give any goodperformances. So this veteran actor was soon "liberated" under the pretest of "implementingthe policies" and was made stage manager with the concurrent job of playing silent minor roleson the stage. However, this job which kept him free lasted no more than a month. It was ailbecause of "the trouser legs" incident. Some leading actors used to hold up one of the sidecurtains to strike a pose when going on the stage and hold it up again to show off whenleaving the stage. When he saw such behavior he forgot the directive of "remoulding in realearnest' and roared with indignation at these actors. A public meeting wits held on the spot bythe rebels to severely denounce this "ox" who wanted to "overturn heaven.”
"Down with the filial son of Stanislavsky!"
Then suddenly one of the old actor's favorite students flung out the article, On the Integrity ofStage An, which the old actor had written in secret when he was confined in the "ox shed".This set the whole audience boiling as if salt had been poured into a pot of hot oil.
"He even dared to write reactionary articles in the 'ox shed' to poison people's minds!"
Viciously they tore up all the streets of his article and scattered the pieces swirling around theold actor's feet. Bending his head, he watched the words on the scraps of paper becomingfainter and fainter until he could see no mare because of a relapse of glaucoma.
The old veteran then told me as if in apology that he couldn't bear to see art maltreated.Fumbling on the table, he took up a carved bronze-colored photo frame containing a stagephoto of himself as a Veteran worker.
He said to me, "A complete work of art should include the frame as well. The side curtains are apart of the stage frame. If we treat them as 'trouser legs' and abuse them at will, how can weactors deserve to be referred to as 'the engineers of the human soul'?"
How I wished he could see again! He would see my regretful tears. Yes, he did see all tooclearly, for he abruptly broke off.