no21_00-02s_忠犬禮讚.jpg  

不論主人的朋友是否都各奔東西了,忠犬還是會守護著主人,忠心耿耿,至死不渝。

 – George Graham Vest

 

各位陪審團:

人生在世,最好的朋友可能反目成仇;就算是自己細心呵護、養育長大的兒女,也可能忘恩負義;那些我們最親密、最親愛、寄託幸福和名譽的人,也可能違背他們最初的誓言。

人們可能會失去擁有的財富,甚至可能是在最需要時,財富不翼而飛;人的聲譽,也有可能因一時疏失而毀於一旦;曾在我們飛黃騰達時對我們畢恭畢敬的人,有可能在我們落難時,率先對我們落井下石。

在這個冷暖世間裡,唯一真正不會自私、不會遺棄你、不會忘恩負義、不會背叛你的朋友,就是你的狗。不論你是富貴或貧賤,是健康或生病,你的狗都會守在你身邊。

只要能夠待在主人身邊,即使北風嘯嘯、大雪紛飛,他都甘願睡在冰冷的地上。當主人的手上並沒有東西給他吃時,他還是會去舔拭主人的雙手;當主人遭遇人世的險惡時,他也會去舔撫主人的傷痕;當窮困潦倒的主人入睡時,他也會守護在一旁,就好像在守護王子一樣。

當所有的人都離棄主人而去時,只有他仍然忠心守護;當財富與名聲都煙消雲散時,他的忠心就如同每天的日升日落一樣,永恆不變。

在主人遭受無情命運的擺弄,被世界遺棄,孤苦無依、無家可歸時,忠犬的唯一要求,就是與主人相伴,保護主人的安全,讓他不會遭遇危險;當到了人生的最後一刻,死神帶走了主人時,他仍會圍繞在主人身邊,躺在一旁冰冷的地面上。不論主人的其他朋友是否都各奔東西了,這隻忠狗還是會守護在主人的墓旁;他的頭會趴在兩掌之間,流露出傷心的眼神,但仍然保持高度的機警,忠心耿耿,至死不渝。


 

︳維斯特 George Graham Vest

1879-1903年間擔任美國參議員,也是演說家和辯論家。當年,他在密蘇里州一個小鎮上擔任律師時,他的一位當事人控訴自己的狗被殺害。這篇《忠犬禮讚》就是維斯特在法庭上所作的結案陳詞。最後,他贏得了這場訴訟。終審時,這篇辯詞感動了法官和陪審團。隨後,這篇演說就成為了愛狗人士的最愛,當地人還在華堡法院前立了忠犬的雕像,並將這篇辯詞刻在底座上。「狗是人類最好的朋友」就是源自於這篇辯文。

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Gentlemen of the Jury:

 

The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith.

 

The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

 

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness.

 

He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.

 

When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

 

If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies.

 

And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.

 

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