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Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, X

鲁迅 狂人日記 十

An open mouthThis is a sentence-by-sentence translation of the tenth chapter of 狂人日記 (Diary of a Madman) by 鲁迅 (Lu Xun). As always, the translation here aims to be fairly literal at the expense of sounding idiomatic in English.

大清早, Early in the morning,

去寻我大哥; I went to look for my brother;

他立在堂门外看天, he was standing in front of the door to the hall looking at the sky;

我便走到他背后, I then walked up behind him,

拦住门, barring the way to do the door,

格外沉静, and especially gently,

格外和气的对他说, especially politely, said to him:

“大哥,我有话告诉你。” "Brother, I have something to tell you."

“你说就是,” "Then say it,"

他赶紧回过脸来, he hurriedly turned to face me,

点点头。 and nodded.

“我只有几句话, "I only have a few sentences,

可是说不出来。 but I can't say them.

大哥,大约当初野蛮的人,都吃过一点人。 Brother, probably, uncivilised men all ate a bit of human.

后来因为心思不同, But later their ideas were different,

有的不吃人了, and some of them did not eat people,

一味要好, determined to be good

便变了人, they became human;

变了真的人。 they became truly human

有的却还 吃, but some still did eat people ;

——也同虫子一样, they were the same as reptiles -

有的变了鱼鸟猴子, some became fish, birds or monkeys,

一直变到人。 and then continued on to become human.

有的不要好, Some did not want to be good,

至今还是 虫子。 and to this day are still reptiles.

这吃人的人比不吃人的人, Those who eat people, compared to those who do not -

何等惭愧。 how ashamed they are !

怕比虫子的惭愧猴子, Even the shame of a reptile before a money,

还差得很远很远。 is still far, far less.

“易牙蒸了他儿子, Yi Ya boiled his son,

给桀纣吃, and gave him to Jie and Zhou to eat;

还是一直从前的事。 it's just something that has continued since former times.

谁晓得从盘古开辟天地以后, Who doesn't know that after Pan Gu created Heaven and Earth,

一直吃到易牙的儿子; it went on till Ya Yi's son got eaten?

从易牙的儿子, Since Ya Yi's son,

一直吃到徐锡林; it carried on till Xu Xilin was eaten;

从徐锡林, since Xu Xilin,

又一 直吃到狼子村捉住的人。 it carried on till that revolutionary from Wolf Cub Village was eaten.

去年城里杀了犯人, Last year a criminal was executed in the city,

还有一个生痨病的人, and there was a tuberculosis patient,

用馒头蘸血舐 。 who dipped a mantou in the blood and lapped it up.

“他们要吃我, They want to eat me;

你一个人, you're just one person,

原也无法可想; so of course there's nothing one could think of that you could do;

然而又何必去入伙。 but why should you join them?

吃人的人,什么事做不出; People who eat people will do anything;

他们会吃我, They could eat me,

也会吃你, and they could eat you;

一伙里面, and in the same meal,

也会自吃。 they could eat each other, too.

但只要转一步, But you only need to take one step;

只要立刻改了, you only need to reform right away,

也就是人人太平。 and that will mean safety for everyone.

虽然从来如此, Although it has always been like this,

我们今天也可以格外要好, today we can still become particularly good,

说是不能 ! and say that it can't be done!

大哥,我相信你能说, Brother, I believe that you can say it:

前天佃户要减租, the other day when the tenant farmer wanted to lower the rent,

你说过不能。” you said that that could not be done."

当初,他还只是冷笑, At first, he only sneered,

随后眼光便凶狠起来, but soon after that, his gaze became vicious;

一到说破他们的隐情, as soon as I got to exposing their secrets,

那就满脸 都变成青色了。 his whole face became dark.

大门外立着一伙人, A crowd was standing outside the front gate;

赵贵翁和他的狗,也在里面, Mr Zhao and his dog were there too,

都探头探脑的挨进来。 all craning in close.

有的是看不出面貌, Some of their faces could not be made out,

似乎用布蒙着; as if they were using cloth to hide themselves;

有的是仍旧青面獠牙, some were still dark with fierce teeth,

抿着嘴笑。 pressing their lips into smiles.

我认识他们是一伙, I recognised them as one group,

都是吃人的人。 all of them people who eat people.

可是也晓得他们心思很不一样, But I also knew that in their hearts they differed:

一种是以为从来如此, one kind thought that it had always been like this,

应该吃的; and that you ought to eat people ;

一种是知道不该吃, one kind did know that you shouldn't eat people ,

可是仍然要吃, but still wanted to eat them,

又怕别人说破他, and feared the criticism of others;

所以听了我 的话, so when they heard what I said,

越发气愤不过, they became increasingly angry,

可是抿着嘴冷笑。 but they still forced their lips into a sneer.

这时候, At that moment,

大哥也忽然显出凶相, my brother suddenly showed his fury,

高声喝道, and shouted at the top of his voice,

“都出去! "Everyone get lost!

疯子有什么好看!” What's good about looking at a madman!"

这时候, At that moment,

我又懂得一件他们的巧妙了。 I understood another of their ingenious methods.

他们岂但不肯改, How _could_ they be willing to change,

而且早已布置; and everything was already arranged;

预备下一个疯子的名目罩上我。 they had prepared the name madman to trap me.

将来吃了, When they ate people in future,

不但太平无事, not only would there be no disturbance to their peace,

怕还会有人见情。 but there would probably be sympathisers too.

佃户说的 大家吃了一个恶人, When the tenant farmer said that everyone had eaten an evil man -

正是这方法。 that was this exact method.

这是他们的老谱! This was their old trick!

陈老五也气愤愤的直走进来。 Old Chen burst in furiously as well.

如何按得住我的口, However much they tried to shut my mouth,

我偏要对这伙人说, I insisted on saying to this group of people:

“你们可以改了, "You can change,

从真心改起! from your true heart

要晓得将来容不得吃人的人,活在世上。 You need to know that the future will not tolerate people who eat people living in the world.

“你们要不改, If you don't change,

自己也会吃尽。 you will be eaten up yourself.

即使生得多, Even if you have a lot of children,

也会给真的人除灭了, they too will be wiped out by real men,

同猎人打 完狼子一样! the same as hunters wiping out wolves!

——同虫子一样!” The same as reptiles!"

那一伙人,都被陈老五赶走了。 That group of people were all chased away by Old Chen.

大哥也不知那里去了。 I do not know where my brother went either.

陈老五劝我回屋子里去 。 Old Chen urged me to go back inside.

屋里面全是黑沉沉的。 Inside it was completely pitch-black.

横梁和椽子都在头上发抖; The beams and rafters quaked above my head;

抖了一会, they shook for a while,

就大起来, then became larger,

堆在我身上。 piling up upon my body.

万分沉重, It was extremely serious,

动弹不得; and I could not move a single step;

他的意思是要我死。 Their intent was to kill me.

我晓得他的沉重是假的, I knew that their weight was fake,

便挣扎出来, yet still struggled to move.

出了一身汗。 I sweated profusely.

可是偏要说, But despite everything, I said:

“你们立刻改了, "Reform immediately,

从真心改起! reform from your hearts!

你们要晓得将来是容不得吃人的人……” You must know that the future will not tolerate people who eat people….”

[← Part IX](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-9/" rel="prev "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, IX") · [Contents](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman/" rel="contents "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation") · [Part XI →](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-11/" rel="next "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XI")

If you notice a mistake or disagree with the translation, please comment below to make this a better resource.

Series: Diary of a Madman

  1. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, Pt. I
  2. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, Pt II
  3. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, III
  4. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, IV
  5. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, V
  6. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, VI
  7. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, VII
  8. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, VIII
  9. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, IX
  10. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, X (this article)
  11. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XI
  12. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XII
  13. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XIII

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