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《拉塞勒斯》:第一章

《拉塞勒斯》:第一章

原作者:塞缪尔·约翰逊 (Samuel Johnson)

译者:青云子 ( @道长回来啦)

 

第一章

 

远方有奇谷,谷中长乐殿

 

你若对奇幻的事物深信不疑,你若一心追寻希望的魂迹,你若期待岁月能实现年少的希冀,明日能了解今日的不甘心,那么,还请来听听阿比西尼亚王子拉塞勒斯的事迹吧。

拉塞勒斯是强大的君王第四个儿子。众河之父在这个国度里发祥,在这里慷慨地将泉流倾倒出去,将埃及的丰盛收成洒遍大半个世界。

根据在这片热带土地上代代传承的皇室习俗,拉塞勒斯和兄弟姐妹们住在私人宫殿里,直到他去继承皇位。

阿比西尼亚众王子的住所,是远古的智慧的栖息之地,是阿姆哈拉国中的一片空阔的谷地。每一面都由山川环绕,国土居中,仿佛垂悬于众山峰之间。进来的唯一通道是巨石下的洞穴,长久以来对于这通道是自然造化还是人工所成,一直众说纷纭。洞穴出口被一片浓密的树林所遮掩,进入山谷的那个口被铁门所拦,这铁门是由远古的工匠所造,没有机械辅助,人力是无法打开的。

从四面的山峦中,溪流注入山谷,带来沃土和生机,并在中间形成一个湖,育有众多水族,引来了一干习水的飞禽。湖水满溢之后,分出一道水流,注入山的北边一道黑暗的缝隙,跌落绝壁无数,水声喧哗,久久才消失。山脚林木茂盛,河岸野花众多,石头间生机涌出,每个月都有果实落地。食草的动物,不管野生的还是家畜的,都在这旷野上游荡,远离捕食它们的野兽,因为野兽都被隔绝在山之外。一边是家禽家畜放牧在草地上,一边是野生的动物在追逐嬉戏。孩子们在石头上雀跃,狡黠的猴子在树间晃荡,大象则只是静静地在树荫下休息。世间的奇珍齐聚于此,自然之美被收集来,丑恶则被排除在外。

山谷广阔而富饶,滋养栖息此间的生灵,当皇帝每年例行来探视他的儿女的时候,奢华享乐之物更是大为增添,音乐响起,铁门打开。在这八天里,每个住在谷中的人都要献出享乐之物,填满空虚,消减无聊。所有的欲望都能马上得到满足。所有的艺人都被召来献技;乐师在音乐中发挥和谐之力;舞者在众王公面前跳舞,希望他们能够沉醉在这温柔乡中。大家觉得他们的技艺能够为奢华的享受增添新奇感,而他们正因为能够使大家沉醉才被允许表演。而这就是休闲所能带来的安全和愉悦的感觉。初次感受到的人希望永久如此。对于那些铁门一旦关闭就出不去的人,他们从不担心出去的问题,没有什么经历能比得上这样的了。每年都会有新的娱乐,和随之而来的竞相寻求被囚禁其中的人。

宫殿坐落在离湖面三十步的高处。厢房林立,等级分明。顶部是由巨石粘合的尖顶,粘合的泥浆日久更坚固。建筑物已逾数百年,从不需修缮,嘲弄着随节令而至的雨水和风暴。这栋建筑如此之大,以至于只有几个老臣了解各部细节,因为他们从先人那儿继承来了这个地方的秘密。它的建造就好像是神秘本身所指使的。每间房都有明道和暗道。每一平方米都和剩下的地方有联系,要么是通过私密的走廊通到楼上,要么是从下层通过暗道连通上来。很多柱子都有意想不到的中空部分,许多代君王将宝藏藏在其中。他们用大理石将开口封住,除非国家遇到紧急状态,不然是不打开的。他们还做记录,将记录藏在只有君王自己才能进入的塔中,进入则只由顺位继承人陪同。

英文原文:

《The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia》

Chapter One  Description of A Palace in A Valley

Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow; attend to the history of Rasselas prince of Abissinia.

Rasselas was the fourth son of the mighty emperour, in whose dominions the Father of waters begins his course; whose bounty pours down the streams of plenty, and scatters over half the world the harvests of Egypt.

According to the custom which has descended from age to age among the monarchs of the torrid zone, Rasselas was confined in a private palace, with the other sons and daughters of Abissinian royalty, till the order of succession should call him to the throne.

The place, which the wisdom or policy of antiquity had destined for the residence of the Abissinian princes, was a spacious valley in the kingdom of Amhara, surrounded on every side by mountains, of which the summits overhang the middle part. The only passage, by which it could be entered, was a cavern that passed under a rock, of which it has long been disputed whether it was the work of nature or of human industry. The outlet of the cavern was concealed by a thick wood, and the mouth which opened into the valley was closed with gates of iron, forged by the artificers of ancient days, so massy that no man could, without the help of engines, open or shut them.

From the mountains on every side, rivulets descended that filled all the valley with verdure and fertility, and formed a lake in the middle inhabited by fish of every species, and frequented by every fowl whom nature has taught to dip the wing in water. This lake discharged its superfluities by a stream which entered a dark cleft of the mountain on the northern side, and fell with dreadful noise from precipice to precipice till it was heard no more.

The sides of the mountains were covered with trees, the banks of the brooks were diversified with flowers; every blast shook spices from the rocks, and every month dropped fruits upon the ground. All animals that bite the grass, or brouse the shrub, whether wild or tame, wandered in this extensive circuit, secured from beasts of prey by the mountains which confined them. On one part were flocks and herds feeding in the pastures, on another all the beasts of chase frisking in the lawns; the sprightly kid was bounding on the rocks, the subtle monkey frolicking in the trees, and the solemn elephant reposing in the shade. All the diversities of the world were brought together, the blessings of nature were collected, and its evils extracted and excluded.

The valley, wide and fruitful, supplied its inhabitants with the necessaries of life, and all delights and superfluities were added at the annual visit which the emperour paid his children, when the iron gate was opened to the sound of musick; and during eight days every one that resided in the valley was required to propose whatever might contribute to make seclusion pleasant, to fill up the vacancies of attention, and lessen the tediousness of time. Every desire was immediately granted. All the artificers of pleasure were called to gladden the festivity; the musicians exerted the power of harmony, and the dancers shewed their activity before the princes, in hope that they should pass their lives in this blissful captivity to which these only were admitted whose performance was thought able to add novelty to luxury. Such was the appearance of security and delight which this retirement afforded, that they to whom it was new always desired that it might be perpetual; and as those, on whom the iron gate had once closed, were never suffered to return, the effect of longer experience could not be known. Thus every year produced new schemes of delight, and new competitors for imprisonment. The palace stood on an eminence raised about thirty paces above the surface of the lake. It was divided into many squares or courts, built with greater or less magnificence according to the rank of those for whom they were designed. The roofs were turned into arches of massy stone joined with a cement that grew harder by time, and the building stood from century to century, deriding the solstitial rains and equinoctial hurricanes, without need of reparation.

This house, which was so large as to be fully known to none but some ancient officers who successively inherited the secrets of the place, was built as if suspicion herself had dictated the plan. To every room there was an open and secret passage, every square had a communication with the rest, either from the upper stories by private galleries, or by subterranean passages from the lower apartments. Many of the columns had unsuspected cavities, in which a long race of monarchs had reposited their treasures. They then closed up the opening with marble, which was never to be removed but in the utmost exigencies of the kingdom; and recorded their accumulations in a book which was itself concealed in a tower not entered but by the emperour, attended by the prince who stood next in succession.


 

《拉塞勒斯》:第一章
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《拉塞勒斯》:第一章

 

 

文学,翻译。

网友评论4

  1. 嗯,欢迎持续关注~~

    2013-08-27 下午 4:33 [回复]
  2. 嗯,欢迎持续关注。感谢管理员~~

    2013-08-27 下午 4:46 [回复]
    • 番薯啊同腰果齐欢唱:

      (*^__^*)

      2013-08-29 下午 7:24 [回复]
  3. 沙发
    wind:

    译得很好,期待下一节。

    2013-08-27 下午 8:42 [回复]

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