kira86 于2019-01-25发布 l 已有人浏览
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18 My Father As I Recall Him


From his earliest childhood, throughout his earliest married life to the day of his death, his nature was home-loving. He was a "home man" in every respect . When he became celebrated at a very early age, as we know, all his joys and sorrows were taken home; and he found there sympathy and the companionship of his "own familiar friends". In his letters to these latter, in his letters to my mother, to my aunt, and, later on, to us children, he never forgot anything that he knew would be of interest about his work, his successes, his hopes or fears. And there was a sweet simplicity in his belief that such news would most certainly be acceptable to all, that is wonderfully touching and child-like coming from a man of genius.


His care and thoughtfulness about home matters, nothing being deemed too small or trivial to claim his attention and consideration, were really marvelous when we remember his active, eager, restless, working brain. No man was so inclined naturally to derive his happiness from home affairs. He was full of the kind of interest in a house which is commonly confined to women, and his care of and for us as little children did most certainly "pass the love of women"! He was a tender and most affectionate nature.


For many consecutive summers we used to be taken to Broadstairs. This little place became a great favorite with my father. He was always very happy there, and delighted in wandering about the garden of his house, generally accompanied by one or other of his children. In later years, at Boulogne, he would often have his youngest boy, "The Noble Plorn ",trotting by his side. These two were constant companions in those days, and after these walks my father would always have some funny anecdote to tell us. And when years later the time came for the boy of his heart to go out into the world, my father, after seeing him off, wrote: "Poor Plorn has gone to Australia. It was a hard parting at the last. He seemed to become once more my youngest and favorite little child as the day drew near, and I did not think I could have been so shaken. These are hard, hard things, but they might have to be done without means or influence, and then they would be far harder. God bless him!"


When my father was arranging and rehearsing his readings from "Dombey", the death of "little Paul" caused him such real anguish, the reading being so difficult to him, that he told us he could only master his intense emotion by keeping the picture of Plorn, well, strong and hearty, steadily before his eyes. We can see by the different child characters in his books what a wonderful knowledge he had of children, and what a wonderful and truly womanly sympathy he had with them in all their childish joys and griefs. I can remember with us, his own children, how kind, considerate and patient he always was. But we were never afraid to go to him in any trouble, and never had a snub from him or a cross word under any circumstances. He was always glad to give us "treats", as he called them, and used to conceive all manner of those "treats" for us, and if any favor had to be asked we were always sure of a favorable answer. On these occasions my sister "Katie" was generally our messenger, we others waiting outside the study door to hear the verdict . She and I used to have delightful treats in those summer evenings, driving up to Hampstead in the open carriage with him, our mother, and "Auntie", and getting out for a long walk through the lovely country lanes, picking wild roses and other flowers, or walking hand in hand with him listening to some story.

父亲在筹划和排练《董贝父子》的朗诵表演时(编注:狄更斯从1858年起经常举办作品朗诵会),“小保罗”之死这个部分让他真切地感到了极度的痛苦,朗诵于他太过艰难,他告诉我们,他只有一直把普罗恩的照片摆在眼前,看着照片中儿子健康强壮、活力四射的样子才能控制住自己强烈的情感。父亲在他的作品中塑造了许多不同的儿童形象,从中我们可以看出父亲对儿童的了解多么深刻,他对孩子们所有的快乐与悲伤抱有多么美好而又真诚的、如女性般的同情。我记得父亲和我们这些孩子在一起的时候,总是那么和蔼可亲、体贴入 微、无比耐心。而且无论遇到什么麻烦,我们都不会怕去找他,而他无论如何都从未斥责我们或者说一句生气的话。他总是乐于“款待”我们——他称之为“款待”,而且总能想出各种“款待”我们的法子。如果真有什么事必须要找他帮忙,我们也很有信心能得到想要的答复。每当这种时候,我的妹妹凯蒂一般就负责当我们的信使,其他人就守在书房外敬候佳音。在那些年的夏天傍晚,我和凯蒂就常常可以开心地享受这样的“款待”。我们俩与父亲、母亲还有“姨妈”一起坐上敞篷马车前往汉普斯特德公园,等下了马车,便沿着美丽的乡间小路一起长久地散步,一边摘一些野玫瑰或其他野花,或是和父亲手拉着手,边走边听他给我们讲某个故事。

In later years there came changes in our home, inevitable changes. But no changes could ever alter my father's home-loving nature. As he wrote to Mr. Forster, as a young man, so it was with him to the time of his death: "We shall soon meet, please God, and be happier than ever we were in all our lives. Oh! Home—home—home!!!"


(By Mamie Dickens )

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