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八岁小女孩维吉尼娅的小朋友们告诉她,世上没有圣诞老人。她问爸爸,是真的吗?爸爸让她去问纽约《太阳报》。维吉尼娅于是给纽约《太阳报》写信,问是不是真有圣诞老人。《太阳报》编辑弗兰西斯-法瑟勒斯-齐乞尔很快回信说:“是的,维吉尼娅,确实有圣诞老人。”

这封回信发表在2018-08-14的纽约《太阳报》上。当时和之后,都感动了许多人。不仅成为美国的成语,而且被世界上许多种语言所采用。


2018-08-14,这封信发表120周年的那天,我在微博上提到了这篇文章。


我说:“今天是美国时间9月21日。120年前的今天(2018-08-14),美国编辑弗朗西斯-齐乞尔(Francis Pharcellus Church,图一)在《纽约太阳报》上发表评论员文章,针对8岁小女孩维吉尼娅-欧汉伦(Virginia O'Hanlon,图二)的来信‘世上真有圣诞老人吗?’,回答说:‘Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus。’这个善意的谎言,从此轰动全美。弗朗西斯-齐乞尔曾是南北战争的战地记者,目睹过战争的残酷给人世间带来的痛苦,希望世界能变得美好。当收到维吉尼娅的信后,发表了这篇文章,道出了无数人的心声。”


这之后,我在网上找到了这篇文章的原文,附上我的两段译文,一并发在这里,送给我的孙女缘缘和路路,也供有兴趣的小朋友欣赏。


“YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS”

 

Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps

PHOTO GALLERY

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Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

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Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

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Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus


 

THE EDITORIAL

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’

Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA O’HANLON.

115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.


维吉尼娅,你的小朋友们错了。这是一个怀疑的时代,他们受怀疑主义思想的影响,只要不是他们亲眼看见的,他们便什么也不相信。凡是他们的小心眼不能理解的,他们都认为不可能。维吉尼娅,我们所有的头脑和心灵都很渺小,无论是大人的还是孩子们的都很渺小。在我们这个浩瀚的宇宙中,人不过是一只小小的昆虫;与周边的世界相比,用能够把握全部真实全部知识的智能来测度,人及其智力不过是一只蚂蚁。


Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.


是的,维吉尼娅,真有圣诞老人。就像真有爱,真有慷慨大度和虔诚献身的精神一样。而你也知道,正是这些,给予了你最高的美,最大的欢快。唉,要是没有圣诞老人,这个世界将会多么沉闷,那就会像这个世上没有维吉尼娅们一样地沉闷。那就会没有童心,没有诗歌,没有神话传奇。那就会使生命变得难以承受。。。。


Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.


You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.


No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.