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有声双语阅读 | 双城记(节选)

2019-08-09 17:09:02  每日学英语

A Tale of Two Cities

双城记

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way-in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

那是最美好的时代,那是最糟糕的时代;那是个睿智的年月,那是蒙昧的年月;那是信心百倍的时期,那是疑虑重重的时期,那是阳光普照的季节,那是黑暗笼罩的季节,那是充满希望的春天,那是让人绝望的冬天;我们面前一无所有;我们大家都在直奔天堂,我们大家都在直下地狱—简而言之,那个时代和当今这个时代是如此的相似。以致当年有些显赫一时的权威人士坚持认为,无论对它说好说坏一概只能使用最高级的比较词语来评价它。

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England, there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever.

当时,在英国的王位上,是一个大下巴的国王和一个相貌平常的王后;在法国的王位上,是一个大下巴的国王和一个容貌姣好的王后。在这两个国家里,那些坐享利禄的王公贵族,觉得天下大势永久安定,这是比水晶还清楚的事。

 

双城记

 

It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period, a sat this. Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five-and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only around dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects in America: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood.

那是纪元1775年。在那得天独厚的时代,如同现代一样,英国也屡屡出现神灵的启示。索斯科特夫人过了25岁华诞,据禁卫军中一个士兵的先知宣称,伦敦和威斯敏斯特将遭毁灭,在劫难逃,即预示她的神驾降临。即使公鸡巷的幽灵在咄咄逼人地发出它的预言之后销声匿迹整整12年,去年的精灵们咄咄逼人发出的预言仍跟她差不多,只是少了几分超自然的独创性而已。前不久英国国王和英国百姓才得到一些人世间的消息。那是从远在美洲的英国臣民的国会传来的。说来奇怪,这些信息对于人类的影响竟然比公鸡巷魔鬼的子孙们的预言还要巨大。

France, less favoured on the whole as to matters spiritual than her sister of the shield and trident, rolled with exceeding smoothness down hill,making paper money and spending it.Under the guidance of her Christian pastors,she entertained herself besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers,and his body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway,there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death,already marked by the Woodman,Fate, to comedown and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses old some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from the weather that very day,rude carts, be spattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs,and roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But that Woodman and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly, work silently,and no one heard them as they went about with muffled tread:the rather, for as much as to entertain any suspicion that they were awake, was to be antitheism and traitorous.

总的来说,法国的灵异事物大体不如她那以盾牌和三叉戟为标志的姐妹那么受宠。法国正在一个劲儿地往坡下滑,她滥发纸币,大肆挥霍。除此之外,法国在教士们的指导下,建立了些仁慈的功勋,寻求了点乐趣。譬如判处砍掉一个青年的双手,用钳子拔出他的舌头,然后把他活活烧死,因为他看见一队满身污泥的修道士在离他五六十码远的地方经过时,他没有跪倒在雨地里向他们致敬。当这个受难者被处死时,生长在法国和挪威森林里的某些树木很可能已被“命运之神”的伐木人做上标记,要砍倒它们,锯成木板,做成某种活动的框架,里面装有一只袋子和一把刀,这就是历史上引起恐怖的装置。就在这一天,在巴黎近郊贫瘠的土地上,某些农户的简陋的小破屋里,很可能有一些大车在那儿躲避风雨。那些车很粗糙,车身溅满了郊野的泥浆,猪群在旁边呼哧呼哧转悠,家禽在它上面歇息,这些东西也极有可能被“死神”这个农民看中,要在革命时作为押送死刑犯的囚车。但是,那个伐木人和农民,尽管忙个不停,却总是默不作声,踢手踢脚不让人听见。因此若是有人猜想到他们已在行动,反倒会被看作是无神论和大逆不道。

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