罗素写于1920年的一封信。The day of my departure comes near. I have a thousand things to do, yet I sit here idle, thinking useless thoughts, the irrelevant, rebellious thoughts that well-regulated people never think, the thoughts that one hopes to banish by work, but that themselves banish work instead. How I envy those who always believe what they believe, who are not troubled by deadness and indifference to all that makes the framework of their lives. I have had the ambition to be of some use in the world, to achieve something notable, to give mankind new hopes. And now that the opportunity is near, it all seems dust and ashes. As I look into the future, my disillusioned gaze sees only strife and still more strife, rasping cruelty, tyranny, terror and slavish submission. The men of my dreams, erect, fearless and generous, will they ever exist on earth? Or will men go on fighting, killing and torturing to the end of time, till the earth grows cold and the dying sun can no longer quicken their futile frenzy? I cannot tell. But I do know the despair in my soul. I know the great loneliness, as I wander through the world like a ghost, speaking in tones that are not heard, lost as if I had fallen from some other planet.
The old struggle goes on, the struggle between little pleasures and the great pain. I know that the little pleasures are death and yet – I am so tired, so very tired. Reason and emotion fight a deadly war within me, and leave me no energy for outward action. I know that no good thing is achieved without fighting, without ruthlessness and organisation and discipline. I know that for collective action the individual must be turned into a machine. But in these things, though my reason may force me to believe them, I can find no inspiration. It is the individual human soul that I love – in its loneliness, its hopes and fears, its quick impulses and sudden devotions. It is such a long journey from this to armies and States and officials; and yet it is only by making this long journey that one can avoid a useless sentimentalism.
All through the rugged years of the War, I dreamed of a happy day after its end, when I should sit with you in a sunny garden by the Mediterranean, filled with the scent of heliotrope, surrounded by cypresses and sacred groves of ilex – and there, at last, I should be able to tell you of my love, and to touch the joy that is as real as pain. The time is come, but I have other tasks, and you have other desires; and to me, as I sit brooding, all tasks seem vain and all desires foolish.
Yet it is not upon these thoughts that I shall act.引自 第二章 俄国
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