- 《真正惡做》 A hard task
Truly ‘tis a hard task. Fairest! Can you interpret my bitterness of heart?
It is more hazardous to toy with you day and night than handle a sharp knife;
Therefore of late I see your acquainted friends draw back, while no new guests arrive.
These and those alike stand aloof, even as water at feud with oil.
Betimes I learned that I could not live with you. So ‘tis better never to meet you at all,
Lest, heart-bound and love-tied, morning and evening my soul should throb with passion.
I entreat you, take heart of grace! Seek for some good fellow!
That with his aid you may pay off your debts, and escape meeting on all sides creditors who exact rent from you in advance.
Though the river-side bowers are bright and gay, whom have you seen live there in even fortune till old age?
In fine, though honest fare be simple, yet would you fain find one to bring you high and dry ashore.
Moreover, of recent days fires have been so frequent, and the flower-boats drive but scant a trade;
While the Marine Magistrate and his Police wrangle so noisily all day long.
You doubt me? Then glance at the ledgers in each flower-boat;
You will but see debts, no payments; a sordid skinflint pittance.
So, though you foster many girls till grown to nubile years, thinking, as it were, that you will readily pay off your debts;
Yet, I fear me, in a moment they will slip from your hands; so will you sink to hell.
Though maybe of late a few foster-mothers have met with good fortune,
Yet some tens of maidens have ransomed themselves, while other ten have not yet been handselled ‘twixt the sheets.
If you turn to the game’s ending and the final scene, there is no warrant of sure success.
In a hundred cases, not one meets hindrance on the road to ruin.
Prithee, withdraw from evil, set your mind in order, seek for a place of refuge!
Fear not lack of a road,
But be convert betimes!
For ‘tis better so, than to be as the duckweed which flaunts its face and filings its head from the water.