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[阅读] 经济学家:Percy Cradock 珀西•柯利达

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发表于 2010-2-23 17:50 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Percy Cradock
珀西•柯利达


Sir Percy Cradock, ambassador to China, died on January 22nd, aged 86
     英国前驻华大使珀西•柯利达爵士于1月22日辞别人间,终年86岁。




WHEN the registry filled up with smoke, and he realised the building was on fire, Percy Cradock knew it was time to leave. The date was August 22nd 1967. For months, both tension and noise had been gradually increasing. Drums, gongs and loudspeakers blaring revolutionary songs had made earplugs standard issue in the British Mission in Beijing. The diplomatic round had gone on much as normal; but dinner with the Danish chargé d’affaires, amid the gleam of silverware, had also featured scenes outside the window of people being dragged out of buses and beaten in the street. Now mobs of Red Guards were storming the mission as Mr Cradock, then political counsellor, and the rest of the staff retreated. There was only one thing for it. He raised his arms “in a generally reassuring way” and cried, “We’re coming out.”

     当档案室充斥浓烟,柯利达意识到,建筑物起火了,他明白此时当离开。此事发生于1967年8月22日。几个月来,紧张与喧闹与日俱增。鼓声、锣声和播放革命歌曲的高音喇叭声使耳塞成为英国驻中国北京的代办处成员的标准配置。外交上的惯常活动大大偏离正常。而与丹麦临时代办的餐会,在餐具的银光闪烁中,也衬之以窗外人们被拖出车外并在街上受到殴打的背景。当时,红卫兵们正在袭击时任代办处政治顾问的柯利达先生及撤退中的其他工作人员。此种情形下,只有一事可做——柯利达“以一种通常可使人放心的方式”举起他的双臂并喊道:“我们出来”。

Some would call it surrender. Mr Cradock knew, on the contrary, that it was the only realistic response. Confrontation would be useless. Besides, having made that concession, he went no further. He was asked by the Guards, as they beat him round his back and shoulders, to cry “Long Live Chairman Mao!” He refused, “and fortunately the demand was not pressed.” Forced to bow his head in the ritual kowtow, he kept trying to raise it. He was asked afterwards why he could not make just one small gesture of obeisance. He replied, with that opaque courtesy beloved of both Chinese officials and Whitehall mandarins, that it could not be done.

     有些人称上述行为是投降。柯利达先生的看法则与之相反——那样做是当时唯一明智的应对办法,对抗毫无意义。柯利达在作出这一让步后,再无妥协。当红卫兵轮番打他的背与肩,并命令他喊“毛主席万岁!”时,他拒绝了,“幸运的是,这个命令不是非执行不可”。在被迫低头行通常的那种磕头礼后,他总是努力再抬起头来。事后有人问他:为什么不愿行这种只能算是小小的致敬礼。他以一种为中国官员和英国官员都称道的神秘而谦恭的语气回答道:本来就不能那样做。

He was a figure who might have been at home in the Middle Kingdom, where professional scholar-officials, with the equivalent of his double starred firsts in English and law from Cambridge, kept the vast realm ticking like clockwork. Like them he was low-key but razor-sharp, happy to let ministers have their say first, but with an impish glint in his eye, or a slow steepling of his fingers, that showed he had instantly grasped the danger, or the absurdity, of a situation.

     柯利达是一位名流,一位应该是精通古中国传统的名流。而古中国是一个由职业士大夫型官员治理的国度,这些官员有着与柯利达这位在剑桥大学获英文与法律双料第一相当的学养,他们像时钟发条一样有条不紊地管理着广大的领地。一似这些中国官员,柯利达行事低调、思想犀利,乐于让部长大臣们先表言辞,但随着他眼神诘闪或手指微翘,则意味着他已于倾刻间抓住了事态的危局或悖理之处。
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