“请务必记住,”史迈利诚恳地劝告他年轻的听众,假如他得请求他们在离开之前把善款放进募捐箱,想必也会选择同样的语气, “受过私立教育的英国男士--还有英国女士,如果你允许我这么说--是全世界最会装的伪君子。”他等着笑声平息下来, “从前是,现在 是,将来也永远会是这样,只要我们可耻的教育体系不改变。没有人比他们更会油嘴滑舌地哄骗别人,没有人比他们更善于掩饰自己的感情,没有人比他们更能巧妙地隐匿自己的行动,没有人比他们更难于承认自己是个该死的傻瓜。本来自己都给吓傻了,偏偏表现得比谁都勇敢;本来痛苦万分,偏偏装得比谁都开心;本来恨透了你,偏偏比谁都会拍你的马屁。论起这些本事,谁都比不上来自所谓特权阶层喜好社交的英国男女。他们站在你身旁排队等公共汽车的时候,说不定正在经历高达十二级的精神崩溃,可即使你是他们最好的朋友,也根本看不出来。这就是为什么我们有些最优秀的情报官员却成了最糟糕的,而最糟糕的反倒成了最优秀的。这也是为什么你们最难以指挥的情报员就是你们自己。” 我毫不怀疑,就史迈利自己而言,他心下所指的是我们当中最狡猾的骗子比尔·海顿。但对我来说,他指的却是本--没错,虽然有点难以承认,还有年轻的内德,说不定也包括上了年纪的这一个。
Now do please remember, Smiley piously exhorted young audience, in much the tone he might have elected if he had been asking them to put their offerings in the collection box as they were leaving, "that the privately educated Englishman - and Englishwoman, if you will allow me the greatest dissembler on earth. He waited for the laughter to subside. "Was, is now and ever shall be for as long as our disgraceful school system remains intact. Nobody will charm you so glibly, disguise his feelings from you better, cover his tracks more skilfully or find it harder to confess to you that he's been a damned fool. Nobody acts braver when he's frightened stiff, or happier when he's miserable; nobody can flatter you better when he hates you than your extrovert Englishman or woman of the supposedly privileged classes He can have a Force Twelve nervous breakdown while he stands next to you in the bus queue, and you may be his best friend, but you'll never be the wiser. Which is why some of our best officers turn out to be our worst. And our worst, our best. And why the most difficult agent you will ever have to run is yourself. In his own mind, I had no doubt, Smiley was talking about he the greatest deceiver of us all, Bill Haydon. But for me, he was talking about Ben, though it’s harder to admit, abut the young Ned, and perhaps the old one too.