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天一阁 Tianyi Pavilion

wh  10-10-23 00:06
 

        天一阁名声极大,阁却极小,慕名而来的人多少会有些失望。
        喜欢读书的人有谁不知道天一阁呢?明代嘉靖年间有一个人叫范钦,一生嗜好藏书。他在临终前将财产分成两份:一份是万两白银,一份是需要用万两白银来保护的一阁藏书。当他的大儿子选择后者时,范钦心满意足地安然离去。彼时的天一阁藏书七万多卷,以地方志和登科录最为珍贵。
        历代藏书家很多,能保存百年以上的藏书却不多见。范氏后人为了保住一阁藏书,制定了一系列严格的规定:例如“代不分书,书不出阁”;例如烟酒切忌登楼;例如藏书柜钥匙由多方子孙掌管,非各房齐集不得开锁;例如不得私自领亲友入阁……

Tianyi Pavilion enjoys a great fame but is fairly small in size, which, to some extent, disappoints the admirers coming from afar.

There is no one who boasts himself as a book lover without knowing its name. During the years of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty, a scholar named Fan Qin had a hobby in collecting books. Before he died, he divided his property into two portions: one was ten thousands liang of silver, and the other was a pavilion of books that required ten thousands liang of silver to maintain. When his oldest son chose the latter one, Fan breathed his last and passed away with peace and satisfaction. At that time, the pavilion housed more than 70,000 volumes of books. Among which, the local chronicles and the lists of successful candidates in imperial examinations were the most valuable.

There are millions of books passed down in history. However, the books that can survive a hundred years or more are rare. Fan and his descendents set up a series of strict rules to protect the collection, such as "the collections must not be split, and books must not be taken outside"; no fire goods or alcoholic drinks should be taken in; the keys were separated and distributed to different sons and grandsons and the doors of the bookshelves could not be open unless all the keys were collected; no one was allowed to lead his relatives or friends up to the pavilion without permission...

 


        一阁藏书就是靠着这样的“严刑峻法”保存下来的。四百年藏书之路历经饥荒战乱、天灾人祸,说起来波澜壮阔、荡气回肠。没有到过天一阁的人难免会设想这样一个地方该是如何的端庄肃穆,可走进院子的时候,却发现看到的不过是一座二层小楼而已,配着阁前一汪静水与默默山石。也许天一阁只是一个读书人成真的梦想。《红楼梦》中贾政初到潇湘馆,感叹说“若能在此月下读书,也不虚负此生了”。天一阁沉静安详,院中草木山石也透着清雅淡定,正是这样一个适合读书的地方。所有的辉煌都是后人赋予的,历史的沧桑感是用时间沉积出来的。最初的最初,范老爷也可能只是在寻找自己心中那所朗月清风的读书之处吧。藏书家那么多,谁不是在寻找这样一个地方呢?只是“彩云易散琉璃脆,从来好物不牢坚”。前人心血多半已经湮没不存了,万幸留下个天一阁,让后人有了个凭吊的去处。
        现在,天一阁是全国重点文物保护单位,是中国现存年代最早的私家藏书楼,是亚洲现有最古老的图书馆,是世界最早的三大家族图书馆之一。如今阁里书去阁空,天光云影在院中兀自徘徊。书已经走了,天一阁还是天一阁吗?我们领略到的,无非是古往今来读书人一个爱书惜书的愿景而已。

The books were kept and reserved in good shape thanks to these strict rules and principles. In the past 400 years, the pavilion went through the wars and famines, natural disasters and social unrest. However, the books in the pavilion all survived these hardships and tests. Those who haven’t been there will take granted that it must be a solemn and stately place. However, when they really get there, they will find it is no more than a two-storey building facing a pool of quiet water and rockery in it. Probably Tianyi Pavilion is just about a materialized dream of an ancient scholar. In the Dream of the Red Chamber, when Jia Zhen first came to the Xiaoxiangguan (Naiad), he exclaimed "If I can read under such moonlight in this environment, then my life is not wasted." The pavilion stands quietly and calmly. The grass, the trees and the rockeries all look elegant with a natural ease. It is really an ideal place for reading.

All the glory and honor are given by the later generations and a feeling of vicissitudes about history is the result of the accumulation of time. At the very beginning, I suppose that the scholar Fan was just looking for an ideal place for a quiet reading. Among all these book collectors, who is not seeking such a place? However, it will always be the inevitable result that the beautiful and valuable things will suffer from destruction and being ruined at the end. The records of wisdom by the forefathers are mostly lost. Luckily, this pavilion which was once used to store them is still here for rendering us a place to ponder upon the past.

Now, Tianyi Pavilion is under the state protection and is regarded as the oldest and best preserved private book collection building in China and it is also the oldest library in Asia, ranked as one of the three most time-honored family libraries in the world. At present, the books once kept in the pavilion have all gone, leaving the empty building standing alone in the same place, so I wonder if it should still be called the Tianyi Pavilion in the history. What we now appreciate and admire by travelling here is no more than the ancient Chinese scholars' goodwill of preserving the books for the future generations.


 

版权所有:MyEChinese

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