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親愛的長腿叔叔:

 

    你聽說過米開朗基羅嗎?

 

    他是中世紀義大利著名畫家。上英國文學課的人,好像都知道他。我說他是大天使,惹得全班哄堂大笑。可是那名字聽起來很像大天使,你說是嗎?糟糕的是在大學裹,人們要求你知道那麼多你從來沒學過的事。有時候讓人很尷尬。現在,每當女孩們話起我沒聽過的事情,我就保持沉默,然後再去查閱百科全書。

 

    上學第一天我就鬧了個大笑話。有人提起梅特林克[(1862-1949)梅特林克,比利時劇作家,是象徵主義戲劇的代表作家。],我問她是不是大一學生,這笑話傳得全校都知道了。不過在班上,我可不笨,還比一些人聰明呢!

 

    你想知道我的房間布置嗎?它是一曲棕黃相間的交響樂。淡黃色的牆壁,配上我買來的黃色粗布窗簾和靠墊,一張三塊錢的舊紅大書桌,一把藤椅,,一條正中有墨水漬的棕色地毯,我把椅子放在染有墨漬的地方。

 

    窗戶很高,坐在椅子上看不到窗外。我從梳妝台後面把鏡子折掉,鋪上桌布,然後移到窗前,坐在上面看窗外高度正好合適。我把抽屜開成階梯式,上來下去,真夠舒服的!

 

    這些東西是莎莉˙麥克布萊德,幫我從高年級學生大拍賣中買的。她是從一般家庭長大的,懂得怎麼布置。用一張真正的五元紙幣買東西,還找回了零錢,你無法想像這麼令人開心這輩子活到現在,還未擁有超過幾分錢。親愛的長腿叔叔,非常感謝你給我的零用錢。

 

     莎莉是世上最有趣的人,朱麗雅˙路特利奇˙彭德爾頓卻恰好相反。管註冊的人能把這麼一對安排在同一寢室,可真夠古怪的。莎莉覺得一切事情,甚至考試不及格都很有趣;朱麗雅就不然,每件事都讓她很厭煩,從來沒有表示過親切。她相信,如果你是彭德爾頓家的人,單憑這點就足以上天堂,其他的就不用深究了。她和我是天生的冤家。

 

    我想你一定急於知道我的學習情況吧?

1.   拉丁文:第二次迦太基戰爭[第二次迦太基戰爭,羅馬與迦太基之間的戰爭,時為西元前218-201年。]。昨晚,漢尼拔[(西兀元前247-183)漢尼拔,古代迦太基奴隸主階級的戰略家之一。]和他的部隊在特拉西美諾湖[在義大利境內,西元前三世紀的羅馬戰場。]紮營。他們在羅馬人周圍埋了伏兵,今天早上四點打了一仗,羅馬人撤退。

2.   法語:讀了二十四頁<<三劍客>>[<<三劍客>>,法國劇作家、小說家大仲馬寫的歷史小說。],學了第三組不規則動詞的變化。

3.   幾何:學完圓柱體,在學圓錐體。

4.   英語:學習表達能力。我的風格日益清晰、簡練。

5.   生理學:進行到消化系統,下節課學膽和胰臟。

 

正在接受教育的潔魯莎

1010

 

附記:我希望你一滴酒都不要喝,長腿叔叔。酒對肝臟的責害真的很厲害。

 

親愛的長腿叔叔:

 

    我改名了。

 

    在學生名冊上,我仍是潔魯莎,除此之外,我叫朱蒂。可真沒辦法,我們還得給自己取個小名。我從未有過小名。朱蒂不完全是我的創造的,是費萊迪˙波金斯牙牙學語時叫我的。

 

    我希望李培太太在給孩子取名字時能再多用點心思。她從電話簿中找個姓,艾博特在第一頁,再隨手拈來個名,潔魯莎是她在墓園上看到的。我討厭它,我喜歡朱蒂。這個名字聽起來傻傻的,不像是我這一型的女孩一個有著可愛藍眼睛的小女孩,嬌生慣養,全家大小的心肝寶貝,無憂無慮地生活。那樣該有多好!可是就算我缺點再多,也不會有人說我嬌生慣養。不過假裝一下滿有趣的。今後就請叫的朱蒂。

 

    你想知道嗎?我有三副羊皮手套了。以前,我有過一副無指羊皮手套,是掛在聖誕樹上的禮物,但我從來就沒有五指分開的匣那種真的羊皮手套。我不時拿出來戴在手上,好不容易才忍住沒有戴在教室去。

 

    (晚飯鈴響了,再見。)

 

星期三

 

    你知道嗎?叔叔,英語老師誇讚我上篇作文別出心裁。真的,她的確是這樣說的。從我過去十八年所受到的訓練來看,這似乎是不可能的,對嗎?格利爾之家的目的(你一定很清楚而且衷心贊同)是把九十七個孤兒訓練成一模一樣的九十七胞胎。

 

    我特異的藝術才華,是小時侯在柴門上,用粉筆畫李培太太培養出的。

 

    我對童年的家說長道短,希望沒有傷害你的感情。不過你大權在握,如果我冒犯了你,你隨時可以停止付帳。這樣講實在不夠禮貌,可是你不能指望我有什麼教養,孤兒院畢竟不是淑女養成學校。

 

    你知道,長腿叔叔,在大學裹難的不是功課,而是玩。很多時候,我不知道女孩子們在說些什麼,她們的玩笑似乎總是和過去有關,這個過去人人有分,卻與我無緣。我是一個異鄉人,聽不懂她們的語言。這種感覺很悲哀,這輩子如暘隨行。中學時,女孩們一群一夥的,冷眼看著我。我很古怪,與眾不同,人人都知道這一點。我可以感到臉上寫著「格利爾之家」的字樣。有幾個好心腸的同學會特意來說幾句客套的話。我討厭她們尤其是那些好心腸的人。

 

    這裹沒有人知道我在孤兒院長大。我告訴莎莉˙麥克布萊德我父母雙亡,有位善良的老先生送我上學。這些全是事實。我希望你不會以為我膽怯,我只是想和大家一樣,而那可怕的孤兒院陰影卻籠罩著我的童年,把我和大家隔絕開來。若能忘記此事,再不去想它,我也會像其他女孩那樣逗人喜愛。我深信我和她們沒有什麼真正的內在分別。你說是嗎?

 

    不管怎樣,莎莉˙麥克布萊德喜歡我!

 

永遠是你的朱蒂˙艾博特(原名潔魯莎)

星期五

 

    我剛剛重讀了這封信,調子似乎很沉重。可是你猜得到嗎,星期一上午我要交篇作文,還要複習幾何,而且我感冒了,不住地打噴嚏?

 

星期六上午

 

    昨天忘了寄信,今天再發點牢騷。早上來了個主教,你猜他說什麼?

 

    「聖經給我們的最佳許諾是『常有窮人和你們同在』,他們可使我們永遠以慈悲為懷。」

 

     你瞧,窮人成了有用的家畜。要不是我已經成了這樣一位有教養的小姐,我一定會在禮拜結束後跑去告訴他我的想法。

 

星期日

 

 

October 10th

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

     Did you ever hear of Michael Angle?

     He was a famous artist who lived in Italy in the Middle Ages.  Everybody in English Literature seemed to know about him and the whole class laughed because I thought he was an archangel.  He sounds like an archangel, doesn’t he?  The trouble with college is that you are expected to know such a lot of things you’ve never learned.  It’s very embarrassing at times.  But now, when the girls talk about things that I never heard of, I just keep still and look them up in the encyclopedia. 

     I made an awful mistake the first day.  Somebody mentioned Maurice Maeterlinck [(1862-1949)梅特林克,比利時劇作家,是象徵主義戲劇的代表作家。], and I asked to she was a freshman.  That joke has gone all over college.  But anyway, I’m just as bright in class ass any of the othersand brighter than some of them!

     Do you care to know how I’ve furnished my room?  It’s a symphony in brown and yellow.  The wall was tinted buff, and I’ve bought yellow denim curtains and cushions and a mahogany desk (secondhand for three dollars) and a rattan chair and brown rug with an ink spot in the middle.  I stand the chair over the spot.

     The windows are up high; you can’t look out from an ordinary seat.  But I unscrewed the looking glass from the back of the bureau, upholstered the top, and moved it up against the window.  It’s just the right height for a window seat.  You pull out the drawers like steps and walk up.  Very comfortable!

     Sallie McBride helped me choose the things at the senior auction[高年級學生在畢業離校前,把自己不需要的物品拍賣。].  She has lived in a house all her life and knows about furnishing.  You can’t imagine what fun it is to shop and pay with a real five-dollar bill and get some changewhen you’ve never had more than a nickel in your life.  I assure you, Daddy dear, I do appreciate that allowance.

     Sallie is the most entertaining person in the worldand Julia Rutledge Pendleton the least so.  It’s queer what a mixture the registrar can make in the matter of roommates.  Sallie thinks everything is funnyeven flunkingand Julia is bored at everything.  She never makes the slightest effort t be amiable.  She never makes the slightest effort to be amiable.  She believes that if you are Pendleton, that fact alone admits you to heaven without any further examination.  Julia and I were born to be enemies.

     And now I suppose you’ve been waiting very impatiently to hear what I am learning?

I.Latin: Second Punic War[第二次迦太基戰爭,羅馬與迦太基之間的戰爭,時為西元前218-201年。]Hannibal[(西兀元前247-183)漢尼拔,古代迦太基奴隸主階級的戰略家之一。] and his forces pitched camp at Lake Trasimenus[在義大利境內,西元前三世紀的羅馬戰場。] last night.  They prepared an ambuscade for the Romans, and a battle took place at the fourth watch this morning.  Romans in retreat.

II.                     French:  24 pages of the Three Musketeers[<<三劍客>>,法國劇作家、小說家大仲馬寫的歷史小說。] and third conjugation, irregular verbs.

III.                   Geometry:  Finished cylinders’ now doing cones.

IV.                   English:  Studying exposition.  My style improves daily in clearness and brevity.

V.                     Physiology:  Reached the digestive system.  Bile and the pancreas next time.,  Yours, on the way to being educated,

 

Jerusha Abbott

 

PS.  I hope you never touch alcohol, Daddy?

It does dreadful things to your liver.

 

Wednesday

Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

     I’ve changed my name.

     I’m still “Jerusha” in the catalog, but I’m “Judy” everyplace else. It’s sort of too bad, isn’t it, to have to give yourself the only pet name you ever had?  I didn’t quite make up the Judy though.  That’s what Freddie Perkins used to call me before the could talk plain.

     I wish Mrs. Lippett would use a little more ingenuity about choosing babies’ names.  She gets the last names out of the telephone bookyou’ll find Abbott on the first pageand she picks the Christian names up anywhere; she got Jerusha from a tombstone.  I’ve always hated it; but I rather like Judy.  It’s such a silly name.  It belongs to the kind of girl I’m nota sweet little blue-eyed thing, petted and spoiled[嬌生慣養。] by all the family, who romps her way through life without any cares,  Wouldn’t it be nice to be like that?  Whatever faults I may have, no one can ever accuse me of having been spoiled by my family!  But it’s sort of fun to pretend I’ve been.  In the future please always address me as Judy. 

     Do you want to know something?  I have three pairs of kid gloves.  I’ve had kid mittens before form the Christmas tree, but never real kid gloves with five fingers.  I take them out and try them on every little while.  It’s all I can do not to wear them to classes.

     (Dinner bell.  Good-bye.)

 

Friday

     What do you think, Daddy?  The English instructor said that my last paper shows an unusual amount of originality.  She did truly.  Those were her words.  It doesn’t seem possible, does it, considering the eighteen yeas of training that I’ve had?  The aim of the John Grier Home (as you doubtless know and heartily approve of) is to turn the ninety-seven orphans into ninety-seven twins.

     The unusual artistic ability which I exhibit was developed at an early age through drawing chalk pictures of Mrs.  Lippett on the woodshed door.

     I hope that I don’t hurt your feeling when I criticize the home of my youth?  But you have the upper hand[占上風。], you know, for if I become too impertinent you can always stop payment on your checks.  That isn’t a very polite thing to saybut you can’t expect me to have any manners; a foundling asylum isn’t a young ladies’ finishing school.

     You know, Daddy, it isn’t the work that is going to be hard in college.  It’s the play.  Half the time I don’t know what the girls are talking about; their jokes seem to relate to relate to a past that everyone but me has shared.  I’m a foreigner in the world and I don’t understand the language.  It’s a miserable feeling.  I’ve had it all my life.  At the high school the girls would stand in groups and just look at me.  I was queer and different and everybody know it.  I could fell ”John Grier Home” written on my face.  And then a few charitable ones would make a point of coming up and saying something polite.  I hated every one the themthe charitable ones most of all.

     Nobody here knows that I was brought up in an asylum, I told Sallie McBride that my mother and father were dead, and that  a kind old gentleman was sending me to collegewhich is entirely true so far as it goes.  I don’t want you to think I am a coward, but I do want to be like the other girls, and that Dreadful Home looming over my childhood is the one great bid difference.  If I can turn my back on that and shut out the remembrance, I think I might be just as desirable as any other girl.  I don’t believe there’s any real, underneath difference, do you?

     Anyway, Sallie McBride likes me!

 

 

Yours ever,

Judy Abbott

(Nee[{法語}娘家姓,此處指原名。] Jerusha)

 

Saturday morning

     I’ve just been reading this letter over and it sounds pretty un-cheerful.  But can’t you guess that I have a special topic due Monday morning and a review in geometry and a very sneezy cold?

 

Sunday

     I forgot to mail this yesterday so I will add an indignant postscript.  We had a bishop this morning, and what do you think he said?

     “The most beneficent promise made us in the Bible is this, ‘The poor ye have always with you.’ They were put here in order to keep us charitable.”

     The poor, please observe, being a sort of useful domestic animal.  If I hadn’t grown into such a perfect lady, I should have gone up after service and told him, what I thought.