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2012年11月4日 星期日

[短文閱讀] 一件紀念品 part 9 (完)

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A RELIC


By Max Beerbohm



It may be that I had offended her by my fooling. Or it may be that she had a sisterly desire to shield Mlle. Ange'lique from my mordant art. Or it may be that she was bent on saving M. de Maupassant from a dangerous rivalry. Anyway, she withheld from me the inspiration I had so confidently solicited. I could not think what had led up to that scene on the terrace. I tried hard and soberly. I turned the 'chose vue' over and over in my mind, day by day, and the fan- stump over and over in my hand. But the 'chose a' figurer' — what, oh what, was that? Nightly I revisited the cafe', and sat there with an open mind — a mind wide-open to catch the idea that should drop into it like a ripe golden plum. The plum did not ripen. The mind remained wide-open for a week or more, but nothing except that phrase about the sea rustled to and fro in it.

或許是我的任意胡編冒犯了謬思女神;又或者是她對Ange'lique小姐有著身為姊妹應予保護的慾望;還是她想拯救莫泊桑免於面對我這危險對手。總之,她扣住了我原本信心滿滿可乞求到的靈感。我就是想不出在露台那幕場景之前發生了什麼,無論我多麼努力又清醒地嘗試。日復一日,我在心裡一次又一次地試著要'chose vue',也在手裡一次又一次地把玩著殘扇。但'chose a' figurer',喔!究竟是什麼?每晚我再度神遊那咖啡店,開放心靈坐在那裡,寬闊開放的心靈要捕捉那像熟透落下黃金李般的點子。那李子並未成熟。心靈繼續開放了一個多禮拜,但除了那一個海水來回的句子外,再無他物。

A full quarter of a century has gone by. M. Joumand's death, so far too fat was he all those years ago, may be presumed. A temper so violent as Mlle. Angélique's must surely have brought its owner to the grave, long since. But here, all unchanged, the stump of her fan is; and once more I turn it over and over in my hand, not learning its secret — no, nor even trying to, now. The chord this relic strikes in me is not one of curiosity as to that old quarrel, but (if you will forgive me) one of tenderness for my first effort to write, and for my first hopes of excellence.

整整四分之一個世紀過去了。基於Joumand先生那麼多年以前,已是胖得過份,他已不在人世應可認定。而像Angélique這麼剛烈的性情脾氣,如今肯定早帶她入墳墓。然而此刻,她的殘扇依舊,我再次一再把玩,仍然得不到它的秘密-不,我甚至不再嘗試了。此物此時觸動我心弦的,不再是對那場爭吵的好奇心,而是(若您能見諒),我初次對寫作的努力,和初次期許登峰造極的柔情。

offend [記憶法] [ə`fɛnd; ə'fɛnd] 觸怒,冒犯
fool [記憶法] [ful; fu:l] 幹傻事; 做滑稽的動作,戲謔
sisterly [記憶法] 姊妹般的,和睦的,親密的
desire [記憶法] [dɪ`zaɪr; di'zaiə] 希望;想要; 盼望; 願望
shield [記憶法] [ʃild; ʃi:ld] 保護…,庇護… [免於…]
mordant [記憶法] [`mɔrdnt; 'mɔ:dənt] <<形容詞>> <語詞,雋智等> 諷刺的,尖酸的
bend [記憶法] [bɛnd; bɛnd] 將 <精神、努力> 傾注[於…],專注 [to,toward,on]
rivalry [`raɪvlrɪ; 'raivlri] 競爭,對抗,敵對者
withhold [記憶法] [wɪð'həuld]扣留,保留
inspiration [記憶法] [ˌɪnspə`rɛʃən; ˌinspə'rɛiʃn] 靈感,啟示
solicit [記憶法] [sə`lɪsɪt; sə'lisit] 懇求,央求
lead up 搶先
soberly [記憶法] adv.嚴肅地, 冷靜地
nightly ['naitli] a. 每夜的, 夜間的 ad. 每夜
revisit [記憶法] [ri`vɪzɪt; ˌri:'vizit] 再訪…,重臨…,重遊…;
ripe [記憶法] [raɪp; raip] 成熟的
ripen [記憶法] [`raɪpən; 'raipən] 變熟,成熟
violent [`vaɪələnt; 'vaiələnt] 激烈的; 激情的
chord [記憶法] [kɔrd; kɔ:d] 感情,心弦
quarrel [記憶法] [`kwɔrəl, `kwɑr-; 'kwɔrəl] 吵架,口角,爭吵
tenderness [記憶法] [`tɛndɚnɪs; 'tɛndənis] 溫柔; 親切; 慈悲心