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公佈欄

2012年11月30日 星期五

[短文閱讀] 罪行 part 4

網路摘錄文章:


THE CRIME 1920.


By Max Beerbohm


出處

Nobody could have been more surprised than I was at what I had done — done so neatly, so quietly and gently. The book stood closed, upright, with its back to me, just as on a book-shelf, behind the bars of the grate. There it was. And it gave forth, as the flames crept up the blue cloth sides of it, a pleasant though acrid smell. My astonishment had passed, giving place to an exquisite satisfaction. How pottering and fumbling a thing was even the best kind of written criticism! I understood the contempt felt by the man of action for the man of words. But what pleased me most was that at last, actually, I, at my age, I of all people, had committed a crime — was guilty of a crime. I had power to revoke it. I might write to my bookseller for an unburnt copy, and place it on the shelf where this one had stood — this gloriously glowing one. I would do nothing of the sort. What I had done I had done. I would wear forever on my conscience the white rose of theft and the red rose of arson. If hereafter the owner of this cottage happened to miss that volume — let him! If he were fool enough to write to me about it, would I share my grand secret with him? No. Gently, with his poker, I prodded that volume further among the coals. The all-but-consumed binding shot forth little tongues of bright colour — flamelets of sapphire, amethyst, emerald. Charming! Could even the author herself not admire them? Perhaps. Poor woman! — I had scored now, scored so perfectly that I felt myself to be almost a brute while I poked off the loosened black outer pages and led the fire on to pages that were but pale brown.

沒人比我更訝於我所做的事--幹得如此俐落,安靜而優雅。書背朝我,筆直地閤著,正如在書櫃裡一般,站在火爐的柵架上,就是那兒。當火焰爬上它藍色外衣時,一股令人愉快卻刺鼻的氣味散發出來。我的震驚己過,取而代之的是劇烈的滿足感。即使是最好的書面評論與此相比也顯得懶散而笨拙!我了解起而行的人對坐而言的人之蔑視。然而最叫我高興的是終於,我,在這年紀,在所有人群中,確確實實地犯了罪--在這罪案裡亳不清白。我有能力撤消它。我可以寫信給我的書商給我一本沒燒掉的,把它擺回這本光輝火紅的書在架上的位子。我才不這樣幹。做了就做了。我將永遠帶著自覺,在竊盜上的純潔與對縱火的愛。若之後,別墅主人發現書不見了,由他去!若他傻到寫信來問我,我會跟他分享這偉大秘密嗎?不會。我用他的撥火鉗溫柔地刺戳那書到木炭裡。被吞噬殆盡的書本縫線燃著明亮火舌-像藍寶石,紫水晶和祖母綠般的小火苗。太美了!難道作者自己不會愛上此光景。可能吧!可憐的女人!--我現在得分了,完美得勝。當我刺撥散開而外邊焦黑的書頁,引導火焰到那還只是暗褐的部分時,我覺得自己簡直是個畜牲。

surprised [記憶法] [sə`praɪzd, sɚ-; sə'praizd] 吃驚的,驚訝的
neatly [記憶法] ['ni:tli] 整潔地, 乾淨地, 勻稱地
upright [記憶法] [`ʌpˌraɪt; 'ʌprait] 筆直的,直立的
grate [記憶法] [grɛt; grɛit] (暖爐等的) 爐格子,爐架 (其上擺置柴薪、煤等)
give forth 產生;發生
creep [記憶法] [krip; kri:p] 爬行,匍匐
acrid [記憶法] [`ækrɪd; 'ækrid] 嗆人的氣味 [煙霧]
astonishment [記憶法] [ə`stɑnɪʃmənt; ə'stɔniʃmənt] 驚訝,驚駭,驚愕
give place to 讓位於, 被...所替代
exquisite [記憶法] [`ɛkskwɪzɪt; 'ɛkskwizit] 劇烈的
potter [記憶法] [`pɑtɚ; 'pɔtə] (= putter) 閒蕩
fumble [記憶法] ['f mbl] 笨拙的處理
contempt [記憶法] [k n'tɛmpt] 輕視, 輕蔑
revoke [記憶法] [rɪ`vok; ri'vouk] 解除,使…無效
bookseller [記憶法] 書商
unburnt [記憶法] [ʌn`bɝnt; 'ʌn`bə:nt] =unburned 未燃的
glorious [記憶法] [`glorɪəs, `glɔr-; 'glɔ:riəs] 光榮的,輝煌的,光輝的
glowing [記憶法] ['gləuɪŋ] 耀眼的,鮮明的
wear [記憶法] [wɛr; wɛə] 帶著
theft [記憶法] [θɛft; θɛft] 竊盜行為
arson [記憶法] ['a:sən] 縱火,放火
hereafter [記憶法] [thɛ ~,a ~] 此後,今後,將來
grand [記憶法] [grænd; grænd] 偉大的, 雄偉的
poker [記憶法] [`pokɚ; 'poukə] 撥火棍
prod [記憶法] [prɑd] 戳,刺
shoot forth v.抽芽
flamelet [記憶法] 小火苗
sapphire [記憶法] [`sæfaɪr; 'sæfaiə] 藍寶石
amethyst [記憶法] [`æməθɪst; 'æmiθist]紫水晶
emerald [記憶法] [`ɛmərəld, `ɛmrəld; 'ɛmərəld, 'ɛmrəld] 綠寶石,祖母綠
charming [記憶法] ['tʃa:mɪŋ] 迷人的; 令人高興的
author [記憶法] [`ɔθɚ; 'ɔ:θə] 作家
brute [記憶法] [brut; bru:t] 獸類,畜生
pale [記憶法] [pɛil] 蒼白的, 暗淡的