July 31st, 1978
My darling McGeorge,
You said that things seemed clearer when they were written down.
Well, herewith a very boring letter
in which I will try and put everything down
so that you may read and reread at horror
at your folly in getting involved with me.
To begin with
I love you
with a depth and passion
that I have felt for no one else in this life
and if it astonishes you,
it astonishes me as well.
Not, I hasten to say, because you are not worth loving.
Far from it.
It’s just that,
first of all,
I swore I would not get involved with another woman.
I have never had such a feeling before
and it is almost frightening.
Thirdly, I would never have thought it possible
that another human being could occupy my waking and sleeping thoughts
to the exclusion of almost everything else.
Fourthly, I never thought that
even if one was in love
one could get so completely besotted with another person,
so that a minute away from them felt like a thousand years.
I never hoped, aspired, dreamed
我从没希望过 渴望过 梦想过
that one could find everything one wanted in one person.
I was not such an idiot as to believe this was possible.
Yet in you I have found everything I want:
you are beautiful, gay, giving, gentle,
你美丽 活泼 慷慨 温柔
idiotically and deliciously feminine,
wonderfully intelligent and wonderfully silly as well.
I want nothing else in this life than to be with you,
to listen and watch you
your beautiful voice, your beauty,
to argue with you, to laugh with you,
to show you things and share things with you,
to explore your magnificent mind,
to explore your wonderful body,
to help you, protect you, serve you,
帮助你 保护你 服务你
and bash you on the head when I think you are wrong…
Not to put too fine a point on it.
I consider that I am the only man outside mythology
to have found the crock of gold at the rainbow’s end.
But having said all that
let us consider things in detail.
Don’t let this become public but …
I have one or two faults.
Minor ones, I hasten to say.
For example, I am inclined to be overbearing.
I do it for the best possible motives,
all tyrants say that,
but I do tend, without thinking, to tread people underfoot.
You must tell me when I am doing it to you, my sweet,
because it can be a very bad thing in a marriage.
Right. Second blemish.
This, actually, is not so much a blemish of character,
as a blemish of circumstance
I want you to be you in your own right
and I will do everything I can to help you in this.
But you must take into consideration
that I am also me in my own right
and that I have a headstart on you.
What I am trying to say is that you must not feel offended
if you are sometimes treated simply as my wife.
Always remember that what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts.
永远记住 失之东隅 得之桑榆
But… But I am an established ‘creature’ in the world,
and so on occasions you will have to live in my shadow.
Nothing gives me…
…less pleasure than this
but it is a fact of life that has to be faced.
Third, and very important and nasty, blemish:
I don’t think you know what jealousy is, thank God, in the real sense of the word.
I know that you have felt jealousy over Lincoln’s wife and child,
but this is what I call normal jealousy,
and this, to my regret, is not what I’ve got.
这个 很抱歉 不是我有的
What I have got is a black monster
that can pervert my good sense,
my good humour and any goodness that I have in my make-up.
It is really a Jekyll and Hyde situation …
my Hyde is stronger than my good sense and defeats me,
hard though I try.
As I told you, I have always known that this lurks within me,
but I could control it,
and my monster slumbered and nothing happened to awake it.
Then I met you
and I felt my monster stir and become half awake
when you told me of Lincoln and others you have known,
and with your letter my monster came out of its lair,
black, irrational, bigoted, stupid, evil, malevolent.
它黑暗 无理 狭隘 邪恶 狠毒
You will never know how terribly corrosive jealousy is;
it is a physical pain
as though you had swallowed acid or red hot coals.
It is the most terrible of feelings.
But you can’t help it, at least I can’t, and God knows I’ve tried.
但是你忍不住 至少我忍不住 苍天可见我尽力了
I don’t want any ex-boyfriends sitting in church when I marry you.
On our wedding day I want nothing but happiness, both for you and me,
and I know I won’t be happy if there is a church full of your ex-conquests.
When I marry you I will have no past, only a future:
I don’t want to drag my past into our future
and I don’t want you to do it, either.
Remember I am jealous of you because I love you.
You are never jealous of something you don’t care about.
OK, enough about jealousy.
Now let me tell you something.
I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises,
on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey coloured light,
at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multicoloured nest of cloud,
slipping in and out of the vast ocean.
I have seen a thousand moons:
harvest moons like gold coins,
winter moons as white as ice chips,
new moons like baby swans’ feathers.
I have seen seas as smooth as if painted,
coloured like shot silk or blue as a kingfisher
or transparent as glass
or black and crumpled with foam
moving ponderously and murderously.
I have felt winds straight from the South Pole,
bleak and wailing like a lost child;
winds as tender and warm as a lover’s breath;
winds that carried the astringent smell of salt and the death of seaweeds;
winds that carried the moist rich smell of a forest floor,
the smell of a million flowers.
Fierce winds that churned and moved like the sea like yeast,
or winds that made the waters lap at the shore like a kitten.
I have known silence:
the cold, earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well;
the implacable stony silence of a deep cave;
the hot, drugged midday silence
when everything is hypnotized and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun;
the silence when great music ends.
I have heard summer cicadas cry
so that the sound seems stitched into your bones.
I have heard tree frogs in an orchestration as complicated as Bach
singing in a forest lit by a million emerald fireflies.
I have heard the keas calling over the grey glaciers
that groaned to themselves like old people
as they inched their way to the sea.
I have heard the hoarse street vendor cries of the mating fur seals
as they sang to their sleek golden wives,
the crisp staccato admonishment of the rattlesnake,
the cobweb squeak of the bat
and the belling roar of the red deer knee deep in purple heather.
I have heard wolves baying at a winter’s moon,
red howlers making the forest vibrate with their roaring cries.
I have heard the squeak, purr and grunt of a hundred multi-coloured reef fishes.
I have seen
hummingbirds flashing like opals around a tree of scarlet blooms,
humming like a top.
I have seen flying fish,
skittering like quicksilver across the blue waves,
drawing silver lines on the surface with their tails.
I have seen spoonbills flying home to roost
like a scarlet banner across the sky.
I have seen whales,
black as tar,
cushioned on a cornflower blue sea,
creating a Versailles of fountain with their breath.
I have watched butterflies emerge and sit,
trembling, while the sun irons their wings smooth.
I have watched tigers,
mating in the long grass.
I have been dive-bombed by an angry raven,
black and glossy as the Devil’s hoof.
I have lain in water warm as milk, soft as silk,
while around me played a host of dolphins.
I have met a thousand animals
and seen a thousand wonderful things…
All this I did without you.
This was my loss.
All this I want to do with you.
This will be my gain.
All this I would gladly have forgone
for the sake of one minute of your company,
for your laugh,
your eyes, hair, lips, body,
你的眼睛 头发 嘴唇 身体
and above all for your sweet, ever surprising mind
which is an enchanting quarry
in which it is my privilege to delve.
July 31st, 1978