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Humanities in English
另一方面，国内的英语学习及爱好者如再停留在日常生活的English In General的层次上，将难以适应深度沟通和交流的需要，因此，对专业英语及文化背景的深入了解及学习将是提升英语能力的必由之路。有鉴于此，我们编写了本套丛书——《人文英语双语读物》，为读者奉上原汁原味的人文阅读精华，其或选自原典正文、或选自专业教材、或选自网络热帖，由精研此业者掇菁撷华，辑录成册，希望能帮助读者在学习英语的同时又能品味西方文化的独特魅力。
谨以此书献给伟大的伊丽莎白一世Chapter ITwilight Romance of the Charmful Queen
Elizabeth, the founder of the golden age of English Tudor dynasty; Essex, the rough knight in Zutphen War . She had the advantages of beauty and power, and he had the nature of courage and depression. She and he fall into love with each other shortly and pitifully.
1. Bid Farewell to the Knight Times
The English Reformation was not merely a religious event; it was also a social one. While the spiritual mould of the Middle Ages was shattered, a corresponding revolution, no less complete and no less far−reaching, occurred in the structure of secular life and the seat of power. The knights and ecclesiastics who had ruled for ages vanished away, and their place was taken by a new class of persons, neither chivalrous nor holy, into whose competent and vigorous hands the reins, and the sweets, of government were gathered. This remarkable aristocracy, which had been created by the cunning of Henry VIII, overwhelmed at last the power that had given it being. The figure on the throne became a shadow, while the Russells, the Cavendishes, the Cecils, ruled over England in supreme solidity. For many generations they were England; and it is difficult to imagine an England without them, even to−day.
2. Essex, the Last Flame of Knight
The change came quickly—it was completed during the reign of Elizabeth. The rebellion of the Northern Earls in 1569 was the last great effort of the old dispensation to escape its doom. It failed; the wretched Duke of Norfolk—the feeble Howard who had dreamt of marrying Mary Queen of Scots—was beheaded; and the new social system was finally secure. Yet the spirit of the ancient feudalism was not quite exhausted. Once more, before the reign was over, it flamed up, embodied in a single individual—Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. The flame was glorious—radiant with the colours of antique knighthood and the flashing gallantries of the past; but no substance fed it; flaring wildly, it tossed to and fro in the wind; it was suddenly put out. In the history of Essex, so perplexed in its issues, so desperate in its perturbations, so dreadful in its conclusion, the spectral agony of an abolished world is discernible through the tragic lineaments of a personal disaster.
3. The Complex Essexes
His father, who had been created Earl of Essex by Elizabeth, was descended from all the great houses of mediaeval England. The Earl of Huntingdon, the Marquis of Dorset, the Lord Ferrers—Bohuns, Bourchiers, Rivers, Plantagenets—they crowded into his pedigree. One of his ancestresses, Eleanor de Bohun, was the sister of Mary, wife of Henry IV; another, Anne Woodville, was the sister of Elizabeth, wife of Edward IV; through Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, the family traced its descent from Edward III. The first Earl had been a man of dreams—virtuous and unfortunate. In the spirit of a crusader he had set out to subdue Ireland; but the intrigues of the Court, the economy of the Queen, and the savagery of the kerns had been too much for him, he had effected nothing, and had died at last a ruined and broken−hearted man. His son Robert was born in 1567. Nine years old when his father died, the boy found himself the inheritor of an illustrious name and the poorest Earl in England. But that was not all. The complex influences which shaped his destiny were present at his birth: his mother was as much a representative of the new nobility as his father of the old. Lettice Knollys's grandmother was a sister of Anne Boleyn; and thus Queen Elizabeth was Essex's first cousin twice removed. A yet more momentous relationship came into being when, two years after the death of the first Earl, Lettice became the wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The fury of her Majesty and the mutterings of scandal were passing clouds of small significance; what remained was the fact that Essex was the stepson of Leicester, the Queen's magnificent favourite, who, from the moment of her accession, had dominated her Court. What more could ambition ask for? All the ingredients were present—high birth, great traditions, Court influence, even poverty—for the making of a fine career.
4. The Young Man with both Courage and Depression
The young Earl was brought up under the guardianship of Burghley. In his tenth year he was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1581, at the age of 14, he received the degree of Master of Arts. His adolescence passed in the country, at one or other of his remote western estates—at Lanfey in Pembrokeshire, or, more often, at Chartley in Staffordshire, where the ancient house, with its carved timber, its embattled top, its windows enriched with the arms and devices of Devereux and Ferrers, stood romantically in the midst of the vast chase, through which the red deer and the fallow deer, the badger and the wild boar, ranged at will. The youth loved hunting and all the sports of manhood; but he loved reading too. He could write correctly in Latin and beautifully in English; he might have been a scholar, had he not been so spirited a nobleman. As he grew up this double nature seemed to be reflected in his physical complexion. The blood flew through his veins in vigorous vitality; he ran and tilted with the sprightliest; and then suddenly health would ebb away from him, and the pale boy would lie for hours in his chamber, obscurely melancholy, with a Virgil in his hand.
When he was eighteen, Leicester, sent with an army to the Netherlands, appointed him General of the Horse. The post was less responsible than picturesque, and Essex performed its functions perfectly. Behind the lines, in festive tournaments, "he gave all men great hope," says the Chronicler, "of his noble forwardness in arms"—a hope that was not belied when the real fighting came. In the mad charge of Zutphen he was among the bravest, and was knighted by Leicester after the action.
5. The Love of the Goddess and the Handsome Man
More fortunate—or so it seemed—than Philip Sidney, Essex returned scathless to England. He forthwith began an assiduous attendance at Court. The Queen, who had known him from his childhood, liked him well. His stepfather was growing old; in that palace a white head and a red face were serious handicaps; and it may well have seemed to the veteran courtier that the favour of a young connexion would strengthen his own hand, and, in particular, counterbalance the rising influence of Walter Raleigh. Be that as it may, there was soon no occasion for pushing Essex forward. It was plain to all—the handsome, charming youth, with his open manner, his boyish spirits, his words and looks of adoration, and his tall figure, and his exquisite hands, and the auburn hair on his head, that bent so gently downwards, had fascinated Elizabeth.
The new star, rising with extraordinary swiftness, was suddenly seen to be shining alone in the firmament. The Queen and the Earl were never apart. She was fifty−three, and he was not yet twenty: a dangerous concatenation of ages. Yet, for the moment—it was the May of 1587—all was smooth and well. There were long talks, long walks and rides through the parks and the woods round London, and in the evening there was more talk, and laughter, and then there was music, until, at last, the rooms at Whitehall were empty, and they were left, the two, playing cards together. On and on through the night they played—at cards or one game or another, so that, a contemporary gossip tells us, "my Lord cometh not to his own lodging till birds sing in the morning." Thus passed the May of 1587 and the June.
If only time could have stood still for a little and drawn out those halcyon weeks through vague ages of summer! The boy, in his excitement, walking home through the dawn, the smiling Queen in the darkness, but there is no respite for mortal creatures. Human relationships must either move or perish. When two consciousnesses come to a certain nearness the impetus of their interactions, growing ever intenser and intenser, leads on to an unescapable climax. The crescendo must rise to its topmost note; and only then is the preordained solution of the theme made manifest.第一章倾世女王的黄昏恋〔1〕
〔5〕菲利普·西德尼：伊丽莎白时代一个主要的朝臣，学者和诗人，才华横溢，富有骑士气概。1586年自愿入伍，到法兰德斯去和西班牙人作战。同年9月22日，在苏特芬战役中，大腿负了重伤，不治而亡，年仅32岁。Chapter IIThe Glorious Years of the Virgin Queen
Elizabeth, the virgin queen in the legend, was truly a charming and affectionate woman. She disliked matrimony, so didn't get married. She was not married but committed the asseveration of getting married to the slavers. It was just one of the Keys of her genius diplomacy.
1. The Wonderful Age of Elizabeth
The reign of Elizabeth, (1558 to 1603), falls into two parts: the thirty years that preceded the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the fifteen that followed it. The earlier period was one of preparation; it was then that the tremendous work was accomplished which made England a coherent nation, finally independent of the Continent, and produced a state of affairs in which the whole energies of the country could find free scope. During those long years the dominating qualities of the men in power were skill and prudence. The times were so hard that anything else was out of place. For a whole generation the vast caution of Burghley was the supreme influence in England. The lesser figures followed suit; and, for that very reason, a certain indistinctness veils them from our view. Walsingham worked underground; Leicester, with all his gorgeousness, is dim to us—an uncertain personage, bending to every wind; the Lord Chancellor Hatton danced, and that is all we know of him. Then suddenly the kaleidoscope shifted; the old ways, the old actors, were swept off with the wreckage of the Armada. Burghley alone remained—a monument from the past. In the place of Leicester and Walsingham, Essex and Raleigh—young, bold, coloured, brilliantly personal—sprang forward and filled the scene of public action. It was the same in every other field of national energy: the snows of the germinating winter had melted, and the wonderful spring of Elizabethan culture burst into life.
2. The Flourishing Age and the Cultural Men
The age—it was that of Marlowe and Spenser, of the early Shakespeare and the Francis Bacon of the Essays—needs no description: everybody knows its outward appearances and the literary expressions of its heart. More valuable than descriptions, but what perhaps is unattainable, would be some means by which the modern mind might reach to an imaginative comprehension of those beings of three centuries ago—might move with ease among their familiar essential feelings—might touch, or dream that it touches, (for such dreams are the stuff of history), the very "pulse of the machine." But the path seems closed to us. By what art are we to worm our way into those strange spirits, those even stranger bodies? The more clearly we perceive it, the more remote that singular universe becomes. With very few exceptions—possibly with the single exception of Shakespeare—the creatures in it meet us without intimacy; they are exterior visions, which we know, but do not truly understand.
It is, above all, the contradictions of the age that baffle our imagination and perplex our intelligence. Human beings, no doubt, would cease to be human beings unless they were inconsistent; but the inconsistency of the Elizabethans exceeds the limits permitted to man. Their elements fly off from one another wildly; we seize them; we struggle hard to shake them together into a single compound, and the retort bursts. How is it possible to give a coherent account of their subtlety and their naïveté, their delicacy and their brutality, their piety and their lust? Wherever we look, it is the same. By what perverse magic were intellectual ingenuity and theological ingenuousness intertwined in John Donne? Who has ever explained Francis Bacon? How is it conceivable that the puritans were the brothers of the dramatists? What kind of mental fabric could that have been which had for its warp the habits of filth and savagery of sixteenth−century London and for its woof an impassioned familiarity with the splendour of Tamburlaine and the exquisiteness of Venus and Adonis? Who can reconstruct those iron−nerved beings who passed with rapture from some divine madrigal sung to a lute by a bewitching boy in a tavern to the spectacle of mauled dogs tearing a bear to pieces? Iron−nerved? Perhaps; yet the flaunting man of fashion, whose codpiece proclaimed an astonishing virility, was he not also, with his flowing hair and his jewelled ears, effeminate? And the curious society which loved such fantasies and delicacies—how readily would it turn and rend a random victim with hideous cruelty! A change of fortune—a spy's word—and those same ears might be sliced off, to the laughter of the crowd, in the pillory; or, if ambition or religion made a darker embroilment, a more ghastly mutilation—amid a welter of moral platitudes fit only for the nursery and dying confessions in marvellous English—might diversify a traitor's end.
3. The Queen's Unheroic Diplomacy
The lion heart, the splendid gestures—such heroic things were there, no doubt—visible to everybody; but their true significance in the general scheme of her character was remote and complicated. The sharp and hostile eyes of the Spanish ambassadors saw something different; in their opinion, the outstanding characteristic of Elizabeth was pusillanimity. They were wrong; but they perceived more of the truth than the idle onlooker. They had come into contact with those forces in the Queen's mind which proved, incidentally, fatal to themselves, and brought her, in the end, her enormous triumph. That triumph was not the result of heroism. The very contrary was the case: the grand policy which dominated Elizabeth's life was the most unheroic conceivable; and her true history remains a standing lesson for melodramatists in statecraft. In reality, she succeeded by virtue of all the qualities which every hero should be without—dissimulation, pliability, indecision, procrastination, parsimony. It might almost be said that the heroic element chiefly appeared in the unparalleled lengths to which she allowed those qualities to carry her. It needed a lion heart indeed to spend twelve years in convincing the world that she was in love with the Duke of Anjou, and to stint the victuals of the men who defeated the Armada; but in such directions she was in very truth capable of everything. She found herself a sane woman in a universe of violent maniacs, between contending forces of terrific intensity—the rival nationalisms of France and Spain, the rival religions of Rome and Calvin; for years it had seemed inevitable that she should be crushed by one or other of them, and she had survived because she had been able to meet the extremes around her with her own extremes of cunning and prevarication. It so happened that the subtlety of her intellect was exactly adapted to the complexities of her environment. The balance of power between France and Spain, the balance of factions in France and Scotland, the swaying fortunes of the Netherlands, gave scope for a tortuosity of diplomacy which has never been completely unravelled to this day. Burghley was her chosen helper, a careful steward after her own heart; and more than once Burghley gave up the puzzle of his mistress's proceedings in despair. Nor was it only her intellect that served her; it was her temperament as well. That too—in its mixture of the masculine and the feminine, of vigour and sinuosity, of pertinacity and vacillation—was precisely what her case required. A deep instinct made it almost impossible for her to come to a fixed determination upon any subject whatever. Or, if she did, she immediately proceeded to contradict her resolution with the utmost violence, and, after that, to contradict her contradiction more violently still. Such was her nature—to float, when it was calm, in a sea of indecisions, and, when the wind rose, to tack hectically from side to side. Had it been otherwise—had she possessed, according to the approved pattern of the strong man of action, the capacity for taking a line and sticking to it—she would have been lost. She would have become inextricably entangled in the forces that surrounded her, and, almost inevitably, swiftly destroyed. Her femininity saved her. Only a woman could have shuffled so shamelessly, only a woman could have abandoned with such unscrupulous completeness the last shreds not only of consistency, but of dignity, honour, and common decency, in order to escape the appalling necessity of having, really and truly, to make up her mind. Yet it is true that a woman's evasiveness was not enough; male courage, male energy were needed, if she were to escape the pressure that came upon her from every side. Those qualities she also possessed; but their value to her—it was the final paradox of her career—was merely that they made her strong enough to turn her back, with an indomitable persistence, upon the ways of strength.
4. She Hatred Wastefulness and Loved Peace
Religious persons at the time were distressed by her conduct, and imperialist historians have wrung their hands over her since. Why