The Moon Under Water by George Orwell ( 散文翻译 )

by 云天

The Moon Under Water

by George Orwell



My favourite public-house, the Moon Under Water, is only two minutes from a bus
stop, but it is on a side-street, and drunks and rowdies never seem to find their way
there, even on Saturday nights.


Its clientele, though fairly large, consists mostly of “regulars” who occupy the same
chair every evening and go there for conversation as much as for the beer.


If you are asked why you favour a particular public-house, it would seem natural to
put the beer first, but the thing that most appeals to me about the Moon Under Water
is what people call its “atmosphere.”


To begin with, its whole architecture and fittings are uncompromisingly Victorian.
It has no glass-topped tables or other modern miseries, and, on the other hand, no
sham roof-beams, ingle-nooks or plastic panels masquerading as oak. The grained
woodwork, the ornamental mirrors behind the bar, the cast-iron fireplaces, the
florid ceiling stained dark yellow by tobacco-smoke, the stuffed bull’s head over
the mantelpiece —everything has the solid, comfortable ugliness of the nineteenth

首先,水月的整体建筑和装潢设施尽显不折不扣的维多利亚风格。这里看不到玻璃台面桌子,或其它种种时尚悲哀。另外,也看不到装饰性的屋顶假梁、壁炉设施,或仿橡木的塑料面板。纹理暴露的木质品,吧台后面的装饰镜,用来铸铁的壁炉,被烟草熏成暗黄的绘花屋顶,壁炉架上方的公牛头标本 —— 所有这一切,在在让人感受十九世纪固有的厚实而舒适的粗朴。

In winter there is generally a good fire burning in at least two of the bars, and the
Victorian lay-out of the place gives one plenty of elbow-room. There are a public bar,
a saloon bar, a ladies’ bar, a bottle-and-jug for those who are too bashful to buy their
supper beer publicly, and, upstairs, a dining-room.


Games are only played in the public, so that in the other bars you can walk about
without constantly ducking to avoid flying darts.


In the Moon Under Water it is always quiet enough to talk. The house possesses
neither a radio nor a piano, and even on Christmas Eve and such occasions the singing
that happens is of a decorous kind.


The barmaids know most of their customers by name, and take a personal interest in
everyone. They are all middle-aged women —two of them have their hair dyed in
quite surprising shades—and they call everyone “dear,” irrespective of age or sex.
(“Dear,” not “Ducky”: pubs where the barmaid calls you “ducky” always have a
disagreeable raffish atmosphere.)

水月的吧女们记得住大部分客人的名字,对每位客人的个人喜好也很上心。她们全是清一色的中年女人 ,其中两位还把头发染成特别抓眼球的颜色。客人无论男女老少,在她们口中一概是“亲爱的”, (是“亲爱的”,而不是“宝贝儿”:被吧女唤作“宝贝儿”的那些酒吧,气氛都比较放荡,令人反感。)

Unlike most pubs, the Moon Under Water sells tobacco as well as cigarettes, and it
also sells aspirins and stamps, and is obliging about letting you use the telephone.


You cannot get dinner at the Moon Under Water, but there is always the snack
counter where you can get liver-sausage sandwiches, mussels (a speciality of the
house), cheese, pickles and those large biscuits with caraway seeds in them which
only seem to exist in public-houses.


Upstairs, six days a week, you can get a good, solid lunch —for example, a cut off the
joint, two vegetables and boiled jam roll — for about three shillings.

一周六天,你都可以到二楼餐厅享受味美量足的午饭。譬如,一块熟肉片,两份素菜,再加一份水煮果酱卷 --- 统共只花三先令左右。

The special pleasure of this lunch is that you can have draught stout with it. I doubt
whether as many as 10 per cent of London pubs serve draught stout, but the Moon
Under Water is one of them. It is a soft, creamy sort of stout, and it goes better in a
pewter pot.

在这儿吃午饭别有乐趣,你可以就着生啤用餐。我怀疑经营生啤的伦敦酒吧是否可达十分之一,而水月就在其中。这款生啤口感绵软,有奶油般的质地, 装在白鑞壶里喝起来会更加可口。

They are particular about their drinking vessels at the Moon Under Water, and never,
for example, make the mistake of serving a pint of beer in a handleless glass. Apart
from glass and pewter mugs, they have some of those pleasant strawberry-pink china
ones which are now seldom seen in London. China mugs went out about 30 years ago,
because most people like their drink to be transparent, but in my opinion beer tastes
better out of china.


The great surprise of the Moon Under Water is its garden. You go through a narrow
passage leading out of the saloon, and find yourself in a fairly large garden with plane
trees, under which there are little green tables with iron chairs round them. Up at one
end of the garden there are swings and a chute for the children.


On summer evenings there are family parties, and you sit under the plane trees having
beer or draught cider to the tune of delighted squeals from children going down the
chute. The prams with the younger children are parked near the gate.


Many as are the virtues of the Moon Under Water, I think that the garden is its best
feature, because it allows whole families to go there instead of Mum having to stay at
home and mind the baby while Dad goes out alone.


And though, strictly speaking, they are only allowed in the garden, the children
tend to seep into the pub and even to fetch drinks for their parents. This, I believe,
is against the law, but it is a law that deserves to be broken, for it is the puritanical
nonsense of excluding children — and therefore, to some extent, women — from
pubs that has turned these places into mere boozing-shops instead of the family
gathering-places that they ought to be.


The Moon Under Water is my ideal of what a pub should be — at any rate, in the
London area. (The qualities one expects of a country pub are slightly different.)

我理想中的酒吧该是水月这样的 --- 至少在伦敦城。(人们对乡村酒吧品质的期望则略有不同。)

But now is the time to reveal something which the discerning and disillusioned reader
will probably have guessed already. There is no such place as the Moon Under Water.


That is to say, there may well be a pub of that name, but I don’t know of it, nor do I
know any pub with just that combination of qualities.


I know pubs where the beer is good but you can’t get meals, others where you can get
meals but which are noisy and crowded, and others which are quiet but where the beer
is generally sour. As for gardens, offhand I can only think of three London pubs that
possess them.


But, to be fair, I do know of a few pubs that almost come up to the Moon Under
Water. I have mentioned above ten qualities that the perfect pub should have and I
know one pub that has eight of them. Even there, however, there is no draught stout,
and no china mugs.


And if anyone knows of a pub that has draught stout, open fires, cheap meals, a
garden, motherly barmaids and no radio, I should be glad to hear of it, even though its
name were something as prosaic as the Red Lion or the Railway Arms.



2013-10-05 03:42:41