Google+

公佈欄

2012年12月10日 星期一

[短文閱讀] 罪行 part 4 (完)

網路摘錄文章:


THE CRIME 1920.


By Max Beerbohm


出處

These were quickly devoured. But it seemed to me that whenever I left the fire to forage for itself it made little headway. I pushed the book over on its side. The flames closed on it, but presently, licking their lips, fell back, as though they had had enough. I took the tongs and put the book upright again, and raked it fore and aft. It seemed almost as thick as ever. With poker and tongs I carved it into two, three sections — the inner pages flashing white as when they were sent to the binders. Strange! Aforetime, a book was burnt now and again in the market-place by the common hangman. Was he, I wondered, paid by the hour? I had always supposed the thing quite easy for him — a bright little, brisk little conflagration, and so home. Perhaps other books were less resistant than this one? I began to feel that the critics were more right than they knew. Here was a book that had indeed an intense vitality, and an immense vitality. It was a book that would live — do what one might. I vowed it should not. I subdivided it, spread it, redistributed it. Ever and anon my eye would be caught by some sentence or fragment of a sentence in the midst of a charred page before the flames crept over it. Always loathed you, but, I remember; and think Tolstoi was right. Who had always loathed whom? And what, what, had Tolstoi been right about? I had an absurd but genuine desire to know. Too late! Confound the woman! — she was scoring again. I furiously drove her pages into the yawning crimson jaws of the coals. Those jaws had lately been golden. Soon, to my horror, they seemed to be growing grey. They seemed to be closing — on nothing. Flakes of black paper, full-sized layers of paper brown and white, began to hide them from me altogether. I sprinkled a boxful of wax matches. I resumed the bellows. I lunged with the poker. I held a newspaper over the whole grate. I did all that inspiration could suggest, or skill accomplish. Vainly. The fire went out — darkly, dismally, gradually, quite out.

火焰迅速將其吞沒。然後,似乎每當我任由火苗自行搜索食糧時,就甚少進展。我將書推到它那兒。火焰將之包圍,卻隨即舔舔舌頭後退,一副吃飽模樣。我拿起鉗子把書再立了起來,前後拖動。書似厚無止盡,我用撥火棒和鉗子,將書切成兩三份。內頁亮白猶似初送至裝訂廠時一般。奇哉!以前,有些禁書三不五時也會在市集裡由劊子手焚燒。他該不會是按時計酬的吧?我總以為此事對他相當簡單,一場小小光亮,小小輕快的燃燒,然後收工回家。該不會其他書不像此書頑強?我開始覺得,那些評論比他們所知的還要正確。這裡有本確實充滿活力,且是巨大活力的書。它似具有生命似地作為。我發誓它不該有。我把它再一步拆開,攤開,散開。偶爾我眼睛在燒黑頁面間,在火舌爬到前,讀到幾句片段。始終厭惡你,但,我記得;並認為托爾斯泰是對的。到底誰厭惡誰?又到底托爾斯泰對什麼,什麼事上的看法是對的?我有股荒謬卻真實的慾望想知道。太遲了!該死的女人!她又得分了。我火大將她那些書頁塞進那些木炭裂開的火紅隙縫。那些才呈金黃的隙縫。不久,令我恐懼地,它們似乎轉成灰色。隙縫似乎閉合。焦紙的裂片,全本的書頁或褐或白,一起將隙縫擋住。我佈灑了一整盒的火柴。我重拾風箱。我再用撥火棒刺戳。我把報紙擺滿整個爐架。我做了一切靈感所建議的事項,或我技能所及。全是白費。火熄了,黑暗地,悲涼地,熄了。

How she had scored again! But she did not know it. I felt no bitterness against her as I lay back in my chair, inert, listening to the storm that was still raging. I blamed only myself. I had done wrong. The small room became very cold. Whose fault was that but my own? I had done wrong hastily, but had done it and been glad of it. I had not remembered the words a wise king wrote long ago, that the lamp of the wicked shall be put out, and that the way of transgressors is hard.

她是如何地再次得勝!而她卻不知道。當我遲緩地躺回椅子,聽著暴雨依舊在肆虐,我對她對無怨恨,只怪我自己。我做錯了。小屋子變得很冷,除了我又有誰錯?我草率地做錯,事卻已成,而我亦快哉!我不甚記得很久以前一個睿智王者曾說過,邪惡之燈將撲滅,罪人之路必艱困。

devour [記憶法] [dɪ`vaʊr; di'vauə] 吞噬
forage [記憶法] [`fɔrɪdʒ; 'fɔridʒ] 搜尋糧草
headway [記憶法] ['hɛdwɛɪ] 進展
tongs [記憶法] [tɔŋz; tɔŋz] 鉗子
rake [記憶法] [rɛik] (用耙子)耙
fore [記憶法] [for, fɔr; fɔ:] 前方 [前面] 的
aft [記憶法] [æft; ɑ:ft] 在後方
carve [記憶法] [kɑrv; kɑ:v] 切成薄片
aforetime [記憶法] 從前
hangman [記憶法] [ˋhæŋmən] 絞刑吏, 劊子手
brisk [記憶法] [brɪsk; brisk] 輕快的,敏捷的
conflagration [記憶法] [ˌkɑnflə`grɛʃən; ˌkɔnflə'grɛiʃn] 大火災,大火
resistant [記憶法] [rɪ`zɪstənt; ri'zistənt] 耐…的,有…抵抗力的
vow [記憶法] [vaʊ; vau] 立誓,誓言
subdivide [記憶法] 把…再分[為…],細分[into]
spread [記憶法] [sprɛd; sprɛd] 打開,攤開
redistribute [ˌridɪ`strɪbjʊt; ˌri:di'stribju:t] 重新分配
anon [ə`nɑn; ə'nɔn] ever [now] and anon (古.詩) 不時地,經常
fragment [記憶法] [`frægmənt; 'frægmənt] 片斷
midst [記憶法] [mɪdst; midst] 中間,中央,正當中
char [記憶法] [tʃɑr; tʃɑ:] 燒成炭,燒焦,變焦
loathe [記憶法] [loð; louð] 極厭惡
Tolstoi 托爾斯泰
absurd [記憶法] [əb`sʊd; əb'sə:d] 荒謬的,可笑的
genuine [記憶法] [`dʒɛnjʊɪn; 'dʒɛnjuin] 真正的,真實的
desire [記憶法] [dɪ`zaɪr; di'zaiə]盼望; 願望
confound [記憶法] [kɑn`faʊnd, kən-; kən'faund] 詛咒,咒罵
yawn [記憶法] [jɔn; jɔ:n] 裂開
crimson [記憶法] [`krɪmzn; 'krimzn] 深紅色
jaw [記憶法] [dʒɔ; dʒɔ:] (山谷或海峽之) 狹窄的入口
sprinkle [`sprɪŋkl; 'spriŋkl] 散佈於
boxful [記憶法] [`bɑksˌfʊl; 'bɔksful] 一盒 (之量) [of]
wax [記憶法] [wæks; wæks] 蠟
match [記憶法] [mætʃ; mætʃ] 火柴
resume [rɪ`zum, -`zjum; ri'zju:m] (在中斷之後) 再開始
lunge [記憶法] [lʌndʒ; lʌndʒ] 刺,戳; 擊
inspiration [記憶法] [ˌɪnspə`rɛʃən; ˌinspə'rɛiʃn] 靈感,啟示
vainly [記憶法] [`vɛnlɪ; 'vɛinli] 徒然,白費地
dismally [記憶法] [`dɪzməlɪ; dizməli] 陰暗地, 沉悶地
bitterness [記憶法] [`bɪtɚnɪs; 'bitənis] 痛苦,悲痛
inert [記憶法] [ɪn`ɝt; i'nə:t] 遲鈍的,緩慢的
rage [記憶法] [rɛdʒ; rɛidʒ] 盛怒,震怒; 狂暴
blame [記憶法] [blɛm; blɛim] 責難,責備
hasty [記憶法] [`hɛstɪ; 'hɛisti] 貿然的,冒失的,輕率的,草率的
lamp [記憶法] [læmp; læmp] 燈
wicked [記憶法] [`wɪkɪd; 'wikid] 邪惡的,極惡的,不道德的,不正的
transgressor [記憶法] [trænsˋgrɛsɚ] 違犯者; (宗教、道德上的) 罪人