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  外语解密学习法 逆读法(Reverse Reading Method)   解读法(Decode-Reading Method)训练范文 ——                 

解密目标语言:英语                                解密辅助语言:汉语
              Language to be decoded:  English             Auxiliary Language :  Chinese  

  
         
解密文本:《奥尔拉》  [法国] 莫泊桑 原著          
 
 Le Horla
 par  Guy de Maupassant

 

               The Horla            
                                                                         by  Guy de Maupassant     
                                                                

        法汉对照(French & Chinese)       只看法语(French Only)          法英对照(French & English)            只看英语(English Only)          英汉对照(English & Chinese)


  

 

   MAY 8. What a lovely day! I have spent all the morning lying on the grass in front of my house, under the enormous plantain tree which covers and shades and shelters the whole of it. I like this part of the country; I am fond of living here because I am attached to it by deep roots, the profound and delicate roots which attach a man to the soil on which his ancestors were born and died, to their traditions, their usages, their food, the local expressions, the peculiar language of the peasants, the smell of the soil, the hamlets, and to the atmosphere itself.

    I love the house in which I grew up. From my windows I can see the Seine, which flows by the side of my garden, on the other side of the road, almost through my grounds, the great and wide Seine, which goes to Rouen and Havre, and which is covered with boats passing to and fro.

    On the left, down yonder, lies Rouen, populous Rouen with its blue roofs massing under pointed, Gothic towers. Innumerable are they, delicate or broad, dominated by the spire of the cathedral, full of bells which sound through the blue air on fine mornings, sending their sweet and distant Iron clang to me, their metallic sounds, now stronger and now weaker, according as the wind is strong or light.

   What a delicious morning it was! About eleven o'clock, a long line of boats drawn by a steam-tug, as big a fly, and which scarcely puffed while emitting its thick smoke, passed my gate.

   After two English schooners, whose red flags fluttered toward the sky, there came a magnificent Brazilian three-master; it was perfectly white and wonderfully clean and shining. I saluted it, I hardly know why, except that the sight of the vessel gave me great pleasure.

   May 12. I have had a slight feverish attack for the last few days, and I feel ill, or rather I feel low-spirited.

   Whence come those mysterious influences which change our happiness into discouragement, and our self-confidence into diffidence? One might almost say that the air, the invisible air, is full of unknowable Forces, whose mysterious presence we have to endure. I wake up in the best of spirits, with an inclination to sing in my heart. Why? I go down by the side of the water, and suddenly, after walking a short distance, I return home wretched, as If some misfortune were awaiting me there. Why? Is it a cold shiver which, passing over my skin, has upset my nerves and given me a fit of low spirits? Is it the form of the clouds, or the tints of the sky, or the colors of the surrounding objects which are so changeable, which have troubled my thoughts as they passed before my eyes? Who can tell? Everything that surrounds us, everything that we see without looking at it, everything that we touch without knowing it, everything that we handle without feeling it, everything that we meet without clearly distinguishing it, has a rapid, surprising, and inexplicable effect upon us and upon our organs, and through them on our ideas and on our being itself.

    How profound that mystery of the Invisible is! We cannot fathom it with our miserable senses: our eyes are unable to perceive what is either too small or too great, too near to or too far from us; we can see neither the inhabitants of a star nor of a drop of water; our ears deceive us, for they transmit to us the vibrations of the air in sonorous notes. Our senses are fairies who work the miracle of changing that movement into noise, and by that metamorphosis give birth to music, which makes the mute agitation of nature a harmony. So with our sense of smell, which is weaker than that of a dog, and so with our sense of taste, which can scarcely distinguish the age of a wine!

    Oh! If we only had other organs which could work other miracles in our favor, what a number of fresh things we might discover around us!

   May 16. I am ill, decidedly! I was so well last month! I am feverish, horribly feverish, or rather I am in a state of feverish enervation, which makes my mind suffer as much as my body. I have without ceasing the horrible sensation of some danger threatening me, the apprehension of some coming misfortune or of approaching death, a presentiment which is no doubt, an attack of some illness still unnamed, which germinates in the flesh and in the blood.

    May 18. I have just come from consulting my medical man, for I can no longer get any sleep. He found that my pulse was high, my eyes dilated, my nerves highly strung, but no alarming symptoms. I must have a course of shower baths and of bromide of potassium.

    May 25. No change! My state is really very peculiar. As the evening comes on, an incomprehensible feeling of disquietude seizes me, just as if night concealed some terrible menace toward me. I dine quickly, and then try to read, but I do not understand the words, and can scarcely distinguish the letters. Then I walk up and down my drawing-room, oppressed by a feeling of confused and irresistible fear, a fear of sleep and a fear of my bed.

    About ten o'clock I go up to my room. As soon as I have entered I lock and bolt the door. I am frightened -- of what? Up till the present time I have been frightened of nothing. I open my cupboards, and look under my bed; I listen -- I listen -- to what? How strange it is that a simple feeling of discomfort, of impeded or heightened circulation, perhaps the irritation of a nervous center, a slight congestion, a small disturbance in the imperfect and delicate functions of our living machinery, can turn the most light-hearted of men into a melancholy one, and make a coward of the bravest? Then, I go to bed, and I wait for sleep as a man might wait for the executioner. I wait for its coming with dread, and my heart beats and my legs tremble, while my whole body shivers beneath the warmth of the bedclothes, until the moment when I suddenly fall asleep, as a man throws himself into a pool of stagnant water in order to drown. I do not feel this perfidious sleep coming over me as I used to, but a sleep which is close to me and watching me, which is going to seize me by the head, to close my eyes and annihilate me.

   I sleep -- a long time -- two or three hours perhaps -- then a dream -- no -- a nightmare lays hold on me. I feel that I am in bed and asleep -- I feel it and I know it -- and I feel also that somebody is coming close to me, is looking at me, touching me, is getting on to my bed, is kneeling on my chest, is taking my neck between his hands and squeezing it -- squeezing it with all his might in order to strangle me.

   I struggle, bound by that terrible powerlessness which paralyzes us in our dreams; I try to cry out -- but I cannot; I want to move -- I cannot; I try, with the most violent efforts and out of breath, to turn over and throw off this being which is crushing and suffocating me -- I cannot!

    And then suddenly I wake up, shaken and bathed in perspiration; I light a candle and find that I am alone, and after that crisis, which occurs every night, I at length fall asleep and slumber tranquilly till morning.

   June 2. My state has grown worse. What is the matter with me? The bromide does me no good, and the shower-baths have no effect whatever. Sometimes, in order to tire myself out, though I am fatigued enough already, I go for a walk in the forest of Roumare. I used to think at first that the fresh light and soft air, impregnated with the odor of herbs and leaves, would instill new life into my veins and impart fresh energy to my heart. One day I turned into a broad ride in the wood, and then I diverged toward La Bouille, through a narrow path, between two rows of exceedingly tall trees, which placed a thick, green, almost black roof between the sky and me.

    A sudden shiver ran through me, not a cold shiver, but a shiver of agony, and so I hastened my steps, uneasy at being alone in the wood, frightened stupidly and without reason, at the profound solitude. Suddenly it seemed as if I were being followed, that somebody was walking at my heels, close, quite close to me, near enough to touch me.

    I turned round suddenly, but I was alone. I saw nothing behind me except the straight, broad ride, empty and bordered by high trees, horribly empty; on the other side also it extended until it was lost in the distance, and looked just the same -- terrible.

    I closed my eyes. Why? And then I began to turn round on one heel very quickly, just like a top. I nearly fell down, and opened my eyes; the trees were dancing round me and the earth heaved; I was obliged to sit down. Then, ah! I no longer remembered how I had come! What a strange idea! What a strange, strange idea! I did not the least know. I started off to the right, and got back into the avenue which had led me into the middle of the forest.

    June 3. I have had a terrible night. I shall go away for a few weeks, for no doubt a journey will set me up again.

    July 2. I have come back, quite cured, and have had a most delightful trip into the bargain. I have been to Mont Saint-Michel, which I had not seen before.

    What a sight, when one arrives as I did, at Avranches toward the end of the day! The town stands on a hill, and I was taken into the public garden at the extremity of the town. I uttered a cry of astonishment. An extraordinarily large bay lay extended before me, as far as my eyes could reach, between two hills which were lost to sight in the mist; and in the middle of this immense yellow bay, under a clear, golden sky, a peculiar hill rose up, somber and pointed in the midst of the sand. The sun had just disappeared, and under the still flaming sky stood out the outline of that fantastic rock which bears on its summit a picturesque monument.

    At daybreak I went to it. The tide was low, as it had been the night before, and I saw that wonderful abbey rise up before me as I approached it. After several hours' walking, I reached the enormous mass of rock which supports the little town, dominated by the great church. Having climbed the steep and narrow street, I entered the most wonderful Gothic building that has ever been erected to God on earth, large as a town, and full of low rooms which seem buried beneath vaulted roofs, and of lofty galleries supported by delicate columns.

    I entered this gigantic granite jewel, which is as light in its effect as a bit of lace and is covered with towers, with slender belfries to which spiral staircases ascend. The flying buttresses raise strange heads that bristle with chimeras. with devils, with fantastic animals, with monstrous flowers, are joined together by finely carved arches, to the blue sky by day, and to the black sky by night.

    When I had reached the summit. I said to the monk who accompanied me: ``Father, how happy you must be here!'' And he replied: ``It is very windy, Monsieur''; and so we began to talk while watching the rising tide, which ran over the sand and covered it with a steel cuirass.

    And then the monk told me stories, all the old stories belonging to the place -- legends, nothing but legends.

    One of them struck me forcibly. The country people, those belonging to the Mornet, declare that at night one can hear talking going on in the sand, and also that two goats bleat, one with a strong, the other with a weak voice. Incredulous people declare that it is nothing but the screaming of the sea birds, which occasionally resembles bleatings, and occasionally human lamentations; but belated fishermen swear that they have met an old shepherd, whose cloak covered head they can never see, wandering on the sand, between two tides, round the little town placed so far out of the world. They declare he is guiding and walking before a he-goat with a man's face and a she-goat with a woman's face, both with white hair, who talk incessantly, quarreling in a strange language, and then suddenly cease talking in order to bleat with all their might.

    ``Do you believe it?'' I asked the monk. ``I scarcely know,'' he replied; and I continued: ``If there are other beings besides ourselves on this earth, how comes it that we have not known it for so long a time, or why have you not seen them? How is it that I have not seen them?''

    He replied: ``Do we see the hundred-thousandth part of what exists? Look here; there is the wind, which is the strongest force in nature. It knocks down men, and blows down buildings, uproots trees, raises the sea into mountains of water, destroys cliffs and casts great ships on to the breakers; it kills, it whistles, it sighs, it roars. But have you ever seen it, and can you see it? Yet it exists for all that.''

    I was silent before this simple reasoning. That man was a philosopher, or perhaps a fool; I could not say which exactly, so I held my tongue. What he had said had often been in my own thoughts.

 

   July 3. I have slept badly; certainly there is some feverish influence here, for my coachman is suffering in the same way as I am. When I went back home yesterday, I noticed his singular paleness, and I asked him: ``What is the matter with you, Jean?''

    ``The matter is that I never get any rest, and my nights devour my days. Since your departure, Monsieur, there has been a spell over me.''

    However, the other servants are all well, but I am very frightened of having another attack, myself.

 

   July 4. I am decidedly taken again; for my old nightmares have returned. Last night I felt somebody leaning on me who was sucking my life from between my lips with his mouth. Yes, he was sucking it out of my neck like a leech would have done. Then he got up, satiated, and I woke up, so beaten, crushed, and annihilated that I could not move. If this continues for a few days, I shall certainly go away again.

 

   July 5. Have I lost my reason? What has happened? What I saw last night is so strange that my head wanders when I think of it!

    As I do now every evening, I had locked my door; then, being thirsty, I drank half a glass of water, and I accidentally noticed that the water-bottle was full up to the cut-glass stopper.

    Then I went to bed and fell into one of my terrible sleeps, from which I was aroused in about two hours by a still more terrible shock.

    Picture to yourself a sleeping man who is being murdered, who wakes up with a knife in his chest, a gurgling in his throat, is covered with blood, can no longer breathe, is going to die and does not understand anything at all about it -- there you have it.

    Having recovered my senses, I was thirsty again, so I lighted a candle and went to the table on which my water-bottle was. I lifted it up and tilted it over my glass, but nothing came out. It was empty! It was completely empty! At first I could not understand it at all; then suddenly I was seized by such a terrible feeling that I had to sit down, or rather fall into a chair! Then I sprang up with a bound to look about me; then I sat down again, overcome by astonishment and fear, in front of the transparent crystal bottle! I looked at it with fixed eyes, trying to solve the puzzle, and my hands trembled! Some body had drunk the water, but who? I? I without any doubt. It could surely only be I? In that case I was a somnambulist -- was living, without knowing it, that double, mysterious life which makes us doubt whether there are not two beings in us -- whether a strange, unknowable, and invisible being does not, during our moments of mental and physical torpor, animate the inert body, forcing it to a more willing obedience than it yields to ourselves.

   Oh! Who will understand my horrible agony? Who will understand the emotion of a man sound in mind, wide-awake, full of sense, who looks in horror at the disappearance of a little water while he was asleep, through the glass of a water-bottle! And I remained sitting until it was daylight, without venturing to go to bed again.

 

   July 6. I am going mad. Again all the contents of my water-bottle have been drunk during the night; or rather I have drunk it!

    But is it I? Is it I? Who could it be? Who? Oh! God! Am I going mad? Who will save me?

 

   July 10. I have just been through some surprising ordeals. Undoubtedly I must be mad! And yet!

 

   On July 6, before going to bed, I put some wine, milk, water, bread, and strawberries on my table. Somebody drank -- I drank -- all the water and a little of the milk, but neither the wine, nor the bread, nor the strawberries were touched.

    On the seventh of July I renewed the same experiment, with the same results, and on July 8 I left out the water and the milk and nothing was touched.

    Lastly, on July 9 I put only water and milk on my table, taking care to wrap up the bottles in white muslin and to tie down the stoppers. Then I rubbed my lips, my beard, and my hands with pencil lead, and went to bed.

    Deep slumber seized me, soon followed by a terrible awakening. I had not moved, and my sheets were not marked. I rushed to the table. The muslin round the bottles remained intact; I undid the string, trembling with fear. All the water had been drunk, and so had the milk! Ah! Great God! I must start for Paris immediately.

 

   July 12. Paris. I must have lost my head during the last few days! I must be the plaything of my enervated imagination, unless I am really a somnambulist, or I have been brought under the power of one of those influences -- hypnotic suggestion, for example -- which are known to exist, but have hitherto been inexplicable. In any case, my mental state bordered on madness, and twenty-four hours of Paris sufficed to restore me to my equilibrium.

    Yesterday after doing some business and paying some visits, which instilled fresh and invigorating mental air into me, I wound up my evening at the Théâtre Français. A drama by Alexander Dumas the Younger was being acted, and his brilliant and powerful play completed my cure. Certainly solitude is dangerous for active minds. We need men who can think and can talk, around us. When we are alone for a long time, we people space with phantoms.

    I returned along the boulevards to my hotel in excellent spirits. Amid the jostling of the crowd I thought, not without irony, of my terrors and surmises of the previous week, because I believed, yes, I believed, that an invisible being lived beneath my roof. How weak our mind is; how quickly it is terrified and unbalanced as soon as we are confronted with a small, incomprehensible fact. Instead of dismissing the problem with: ``We do not understand because we cannot find the cause,'' we immediately imagine terrible mysteries and supernatural powers.

 

   July 14. Fête of the Republic. I walked through the streets, and the crackers and flags amused me like a child. Still, it is very foolish to make merry on a set date, by Government decree. People are like a flock of sheep, now steadily patient, now in ferocious revolt. Say to it: ``Amuse yourself,'' and it amuses itself. Say to it: ``Go and fight with your neighbor,'' and it goes and fights. Say to it: ``Vote for the Emperor,'' and it votes for the Emperor; then say to it: ``Vote for the Republic,'' and it votes for the Republic.

   Those who direct it are stupid, too; but instead of obeying men they obey principles, a course which can only be foolish, ineffective, and false, for the very reason that principles are ideas which are considered as certain and unchangeable, whereas in this world one is certain of nothing, since light is an illusion and noise is deception.

 

   July 16. I saw some things yesterday that troubled me very much.

    I was dining at my cousin's, Madame Sablé, whose husband is colonel of the Seventy-sixth Chasseurs at Limoges. There were two young women there, one of whom had married a medical man, Dr. Parent, who devotes himself a great deal to nervous diseases and to the extraordinary manifestations which just now experiments in hypnotism and suggestion are producing.

    He related to us at some length the enormous results obtained by English scientists and the doctors of the medical school at Nancy, and the facts which he adduced appeared to me so strange, that I declared that I was altogether incredulous.

    ``We are,'' he declared, ``on the point of discovering one of the most important secrets of nature, I mean to say, one of its most important secrets on this earth, for assuredly there are some up in the stars, yonder, of a different kind of importance. Ever since man has thought, since he has been able to express and write down his thoughts, he has felt himself close to a mystery which is impenetrable to his coarse and imperfect senses, and he endeavors to supplement the feeble penetration of his organs by the efforts of his intellect. As long as that intellect remained in its elementary stage, this intercourse with invisible spirits assumed forms which were commonplace though terrifying. Thence sprang the popular belief in the supernatural, the legends of wandering spirits, of fairies, of gnomes, of ghosts, I might even say the conception of God, for our ideas of the Workman-Creator, from whatever religion they may have come down to us, are certainly the most mediocre, the stupidest, and the most unacceptable inventions that ever sprang from the frightened brain of any human creature. Nothing is truer than what Voltaire says: `If God made man in His own image, man has certainly paid Him back again.'

    ``But for rather more than a century, men seem to have had a presentiment of something new. Mesmer and some others have put us on an unexpected track, and within the last two or three years especially, we have arrived at results really surprising.''

    My cousin, who is also very incredulous, smiled, and Dr. Parent said to her: ``Would you like me to try and send you to sleep, Madame?''

   ``Yes, certainly.''

    She sat down in an easy-chair, and he began to look at her fixedly, as if to fascinate her. I suddenly felt myself somewhat discomposed; my heart beat rapidly and I had a choking feeling in my throat. I saw that Madame Sablé's eyes were growing heavy, her mouth twitched, and her bosom heaved, and at the end of ten minutes she was asleep.

   ``Go behind her,'' the doctor said to me; so I took a seat behind her. He put a visiting-card into her hands, and said to her: ``This is a looking-glass; what do you see in it?''

    She replied: ``I see my cousin.''

    ``What is he doing?''

    ``He is twisting his mustache.''

    ``And now?''

    ``He is taking a photograph out of his pocket.''

    ``Whose photograph is it?''

    ``His own.''

    That was true, for the photograph had been given me that same evening at the hotel.

    ``What is his attitude in this portrait?''

    ``He is standing up with his hat in his hand.''

    She saw these things in that card, in that piece of white pasteboard, as if she had seen them in a looking-glass.

    The young women were frightened, and exclaimed: ``That is quite enough! Quite, quite enough!''

    But the doctor said to her authoritatively: ``You will get up at eight o'clock to-morrow morning; then you will go and call on your cousin at his hotel and ask him to lend you the five thousand francs which your husband asks of you, and which he will ask for when he sets out on his coming journey.''

    Then he woke her up.

    On returning to my hotel, I thought over this curious séance and I was assailed by doubts, not as to my cousin's absolute and undoubted good faith, for I had known her as well as if she had been my own sister ever since she was a child, but as to a possible trick on the doctor's part. Had not he, perhaps, kept a glass hidden in his hand, which he showed to the young woman in her sleep at the same time as he did the card? Professional conjurers do things which are just as singular.

    However, I went to bed, and this morning, at about half past eight, I was awakened by my footman, who said to me: ``Madame Sablé has asked to see you immediately, Monsieur.'' I dressed hastily and went to her.

    She sat down in some agitation, with her eyes on the floor, and without raising her veil said to me: ``My dear cousin, I am going to ask a great favor of you.''

    ``What is it, cousin?''

    ``I do not like to tell you, and yet I must. I am in absolute want of five thousand francs.''

    ``What, you?''

    ``Yes, I, or rather my husband, who has asked me to procure them for him.''

   I was so stupefied that I hesitated to answer. I asked myself whether she had not really been making fun of me with Dr. Parent, if it were not merely a very well-acted farce which had been got up beforehand. On looking at her attentively, however, my doubts disappeared. She was trembling with grief, so painful was this step to her, and I was sure that her throat was full of sobs.

    I knew that she was very rich and so I continued: ``What! Has not your husband five thousand francs at his disposal? Come, think. Are you sure that he commissioned you to ask me for them?''

    She hesitated for a few seconds, as if she were making a great effort to search her memory, and then she replied: ``Yes -- yes, I am quite sure of it.''

    ``He has written to you?''

    She hesitated again and reflected, and I guessed the torture of her thoughts. She did not know. She only knew that she was to borrow five thousand francs of me for her husband. So she told a lie.

    ``Yes, he has written to me.''

   ``When, pray? You did not mention it to me yesterday.''

    ``I received his letter this morning.''

    ``Can you show it to me?''

   ``No; no -- no -- it contained private matters, things too personal to ourselves. I burned it.''

    ``So your husband runs into debt?''

    She hesitated again, and then murmured: ``I do not know.''

   Thereupon I said bluntly: ``I have not five thousand francs at my disposal at this moment, my dear cousin.''

    She uttered a cry, as if she were in pair; and said: ``Oh! oh! I beseech you, I beseech you to get them for me.''

    She got excited and clasped her hands as if she were praying to me! I heard her voice change its tone; she wept and sobbed, harassed and dominated by the irresistible order that she had received.

   ``Oh! oh! I beg you to -- if you knew what I am suffering -- I want them to-day.''

   I had pity on her: ``You shall have them by and by, I swear to you.''

    ``Oh! thank you! thank you! How kind you are.''

    I continued: ``Do you remember what took place at your house last night?''

    ``Yes.''

    ``Do you remember that Dr. Parent sent you to sleep?''

   ``Yes.''

    ``Oh! Very well then; he ordered you to come to me this morning to borrow five thousand francs, and at this moment you are obeying that suggestion.''

    She considered for a few moments, and then replied: ``But as it is my husband who wants them -- ''

    For a whole hour I tried to convince her, but could not succeed, and when she had gone I went to the doctor. He was just going out, and he listened to me with a smile, and said: ``Do you believe now?''

   ``Yes, I cannot help it.''

    ``Let us go to your cousin's.''

    She was already resting on a couch, overcome with fatigue. The doctor felt her pulse, looked at her for some time with one hand raised toward her eyes, which she closed by degrees under the irresistible power of this magnetic influence. When she was asleep, he said:

   ``Your husband does not require the five thousand francs any longer! You must, therefore, forget that you asked your cousin to lend them to you, and, if he speaks to you about it, you will not understand him.''

    Then he woke her up, and I took out a pocket-book and said: ``Here is what you asked me for this morning, my dear cousin.'' But she was so surprised, that I did not venture to persist; nevertheless, I tried to recall the circumstance to her, but she denied it vigorously, thought that I was making fun of her, and in the end, very nearly lost her temper.

    There! I have just come back, and I have not been able to eat any lunch, for this experiment has altogether upset me.

 

   July 19. Many people to whom I have told the adventure have laughed at me. I no longer know what to think. The wise man says: Perhaps?

 

   July 21. I dined at Bougival, and then I spent the evening at a boatmen's ball. Decidedly everything depends on place and surroundings. It would be the height of folly to believe in the supernatural on the Ile de la Grenouillière.1 But on the top of Mont Saint-Michel or in India, we are terribly under the influence of our surroundings. I shall return home next week.

 

   July 30. I came back to my own house yesterday. Everything is going on well.

 

   August 2. Nothing fresh; it is splendid weather, and I spend my days in watching the Seine flow past.

 

   August 4. Quarrels among my servants. They declare that the glasses are broken in the cupboards at night. The footman accuses the cook, she accuses the needlewoman, and the latter accuses the other two. Who is the culprit? It would take a clever person to tell.

 

   August 6. This time, I am not mad. I have seen -- I have seen -- I have seen! -- I can doubt no longer -- I have seen it!

    I was walking at two o'clock among my rose-trees, in the full sunlight -- in the walk bordered by autumn roses which are beginning to fall. As I stopped to look at a Géant de Bataille, which had three splendid blooms, I distinctly saw the stalk of one of the roses bend close to me, as if an invisible hand had bent it, and then break, as if that hand had picked it! Then the flower raised itself, following the curve which a hand would have described in carrying it toward a mouth, and remained suspended in the transparent air, alone and motionless, a terrible red spot, three yards from my eyes. In desperation I rushed at it to take it! I found nothing; it had disappeared. Then I was seized with furious rage against myself, for it is not wholesome for a reasonable and serious man to have such hallucinations.

   But was it a hallucination? I turned to look for the stalk, and I found it immediately under the bush, freshly broken, between the two other roses which remained on the branch. I returned home, then, with a much disturbed mind; for I am certain now, certain as I am of the alternation of day and night, that there exists close to me an invisible being who lives on milk and on water, who can touch objects, take them and change their places; who is, consequently, endowed with a material nature, although imperceptible to sense, and who lives as I do, under my roof --

 

   August 7. I slept tranquilly. He drank the water out of my decanter, but did not disturb my sleep.

    I ask myself whether I am mad. As I was walking just now in the sun by the riverside, doubts as to my own sanity arose in me; not vague doubts such as I have had hitherto, but precise and absolute doubts. I have seen mad people, and I have known some who were quite intelligent, lucid, even clear-sighted in every concern of life, except on one point. They could speak clearly, readily, profoundly on everything; till their thoughts were caught in the breakers of their delusions and went to pieces there, were dispersed and swamped in that furious and terrible sea of fogs and squalls which is called madness.

    I certainly should think that I was mad, absolutely mad, if I were not conscious that I knew my state, if I could not fathom it and analyze it with the most complete lucidity. I should, in fact, be a reasonable man laboring under a hallucination. Some unknown disturbance must have been excited in my brain, one of those disturbances which physiologists of the present day try to note and to fix precisely, and that disturbance must have caused a profound gulf in my mind and in the order and logic of my ideas. Similar phenomena occur in dreams, and lead us through the most unlikely phantasmagoria, without causing us any surprise, because our verifying apparatus and our sense of control have gone to sleep, while our imaginative faculty wakes and works. Was it not possible that one of the imperceptible keys of the cerebral finger-board had been paralyzed in me? Some men lose the recollection of proper names, or of verbs, or of numbers, or merely of dates, in consequence of an accident. The localization of all the avenues of thought has been accomplished nowadays; what, then, would there be surprising in the fact that my faculty of controlling the unreality of certain hallucinations should be destroyed for the time being?

    I thought of all this as I walked by the side of the water. The sun was shining brightly on the river and made earth delightful, while it filled me with love for life, for the swallows, whose swift agility is always delightful in my eyes, for the plants by the riverside, whose rustling is a pleasure to my ears.

    By degrees, however, an inexplicable feeling of discomfort seized me. It seemed to me as if some unknown force were numbing and stopping me, were preventing me from going further and were calling me back. I felt that painful wish to return which comes on you when you have left a beloved invalid at home, and are seized by a presentiment that he is worse.

    I, therefore, returned despite of myself, feeling certain that I should find some bad news awaiting me, a letter or a telegram. There was nothing, however, and I was surprised and uneasy, more so than if I had had another fantastic vision.

 

   August 8. I spent a terrible evening, yesterday. He does not show himself any more, but I feel that He is near me, watching me, looking at me, penetrating me, dominating me, and more terrible to me when He hides himself thus than if He were to manifest his constant and invisible presence by supernatural phenomena. However, I slept.

 

   August 9. Nothing, but I am afraid.

 

   August 10. Nothing; but what will happen to-morrow?

 

   August 11. Still nothing. I cannot stop at home with this fear hanging over me and these thoughts in my mind; I shall go away.

 

   August 12. Ten o'clock at night. All day long I have been trying to get away, and have not been able. I contemplated a simple and easy act of liberty, a carriage ride to Rouen -- and I have not been able to do it. What is the reason?

 

   August 13. When one is attacked by certain maladies, the springs of our physical being seem broken, our energies destroyed, our muscles relaxed, our bones to be as soft as our flesh, and our blood as liquid as water. I am experiencing the same in my moral being, in a strange and distressing manner. I have no longer any strength, any courage, any self-control, nor even any power to set my own will in motion. I have no power left to will anything, but some one does it for me and I obey.

 

   August 14. I am lost! Somebody possesses my soul and governs it! Somebody orders all my acts, all my movements, all my thoughts. I am no longer master of myself, nothing except an enslaved and terrified spectator of the things which I do. I wish to go out; I cannot. He does not wish to; and so I remain, trembling and distracted in the armchair in which he keeps me sitting. I merely wish to get up and to rouse myself, so as to think that I am still master of myself: I cannot! I am riveted to my chair, and my chair adheres to the floor in such a manner that no force of mine can move us.

    Then suddenly, I must, I must go to the foot of my garden to pick some strawberries and eat them -- and I go there. I pick the strawberries and I eat them! Oh! my God! my God! Is there a God? If there be one, deliver me! save me! succor me! Pardon! Pity! Mercy! Save me! Oh! what sufferings! what torture! what horror!

 

   August 15. Certainly this is the way in which my poor cousin was possessed and swayed, when she came to borrow five thousand francs of me. She was under the power of a strange will which had entered into her, like another soul, a parasitic and ruling soul. Is the world coming to an end?

    But who is he, this invisible being that rules me, this unknowable being, this rover of a supernatural race?

   Invisible beings exist, then! how is it, then, that since the beginning of the world they have never manifested themselves in such a manner as they do to me? I have never read anything that resembles what goes on in my house. Oh! If I could only leave it, if I could only go away and flee, and never return, I should be saved; but I cannot.

 

   August 16. I managed to escape to-day for two hours, like a prisoner who finds the door of his dungeon accidentally open. I suddenly felt that I was free and that He was far away, and so I gave orders to put the horses in as quickly as possible, and I drove to Rouen. Oh! how delightful to be able to say to my coachman: ``Go to Rouen!''

    I made him pull up before the library, and I begged them to lend me Dr. Herrmann Herestauss's treatise on the unknown inhabitants of the ancient and modern world.

    Then, as I was getting into my carriage, I intended to say: ``To the railway station!'' but instead of this I shouted -- I did not speak; but I shouted -- in such a loud voice that all the passers-by turned round: ``Home!'' and I fell back on to the cushion of my carriage, overcome by mental agony. He had found me out and regained possession of me.

 

   August 17. Oh! What a night! what a night! And yet it seems to me that I ought to rejoice. I read until one o'clock in the morning! Herestauss, Doctor of Philosophy and Theogony, wrote the history and the manifestation of all those invisible beings which hover around man, or of whom he dreams. He describes their origin, their domains, their power; but none of them resembles the one which haunts me. One might say that man, ever since he has thought, has had a foreboding and a fear of a new being, stronger than himself, his successor in this world, and that, feeling him near, and not being able to foretell the nature of the unseen one, he has, in his terror, created the whole race of hidden beings, vague phantoms born of fear.

    Having, therefore, read until one o'clock in the morning, I went and sat down at the open window, in order to cool my forehead and my thoughts in the calm night air. It was very pleasant and warm! How I should have enjoyed such a night formerly!

    There was no moon, but the stars darted out their rays in the dark heavens. Who inhabits those worlds? What forms, what living beings, what animals are there yonder? Do those who are thinkers in those distant worlds know more than we do? What can they do more than we? What do they see which we do not? Will not one of them, some day or other, traversing space, appear on our earth to conquer it, just as formerly the Norsemen crossed the sea in order to subjugate nations feebler than themselves?

    We are so weak, so powerless, so ignorant, so small -- we who live on this particle of mud which revolves in liquid air.

    I fell asleep, dreaming thus in the cool night air, and then, having slept for about three quarters of an hour, I opened my eyes without moving, awakened by an indescribably confused and strange sensation. At first I saw nothing, and then suddenly it appeared to me as if a page of the book, which had remained open on my table, turned over of its own accord. Not a breath of air had come in at my window, and I was surprised and waited. In about four minutes, I saw, I saw -- yes I saw with my own eyes -- another page lift itself up and fall down on the others, as if a finger had turned it over. My armchair was empty, appeared empty, but I knew that He was there, He, and sitting in my place, and that He was reading. With a furious bound, the bound of an enraged wild beast that wishes to disembowel its tamer, I crossed my room to seize him, to strangle him, to kill him! But before I could reach it, my chair fell over as if somebody had run away from me. My table rocked, my lamp fell and went out, and my window closed as if some thief had been surprised and had fled out into the night, shutting it behind him.

    So He had run away; He had been afraid; He, afraid of me!

    So to-morrow, or later -- some day or other, I should be able to hold him in my clutches and crush him against the ground! Do not dogs occasionally bite and strangle their masters?

 

   August 18. I have been thinking the whole day long. Oh! yes, I will obey Him, follow His impulses, fulfill all His wishes, show myself humble, submissive, a coward. He is the stronger; but an hour will come.

 

   August 19. I know, I know, I know all! I have just read the following in the ``Revue du Monde Scientifique'': ``A curious piece of news comes to us from Rio de Janeiro. Madness, an epidemic of madness, which may be compared to that contagious madness which attacked the people of Europe in the Middle Ages, is at this moment raging in the Province of San-Paulo. The frightened inhabitants are leaving their houses, deserting their villages, abandoning their land, saying that they are pursued, possessed, governed like human cattle by invisible, though tangible beings, by a species of vampire, which feeds on their life while they are asleep, and which, besides, drinks water and milk without appearing to touch any other nourishment.

    ``Professor Don Pedro Henriques, accompanied by several medical savants, has gone to the Province of San-Paulo, in order to study the origin and the manifestations of this surprising madness on the spot, and to propose such measures to the Emperor as may appear to him to be most fitted to restore the mad population to reason.''

    Ah! Ah! I remember now that fine Brazilian three-master which passed in front of my windows as it was going up the Seine, on the eighth of last May! I thought it looked so pretty, so white and bright! That Being was on board of her, coming from there, where its race sprang from. And it saw me! It saw my house, which was also white, and He sprang from the ship on to the land. Oh! Good heavens!

    Now I know, I can divine. The reign of man is over, and he has come. He whom disquieted priests exorcised, whom sorcerers evoked on dark nights, without seeing him appear, He to whom the imaginations of the transient masters of the world lent all the monstrous or graceful forms of gnomes, spirits, genii, fairies, and familiar spirits. After the coarse conceptions of primitive fear, men more enlightened gave him a truer form. Mesmer divined him, and ten years ago physicians accurately discovered the nature of his power, even before He exercised it himself. They played with that weapon of their new Lord, the sway of a mysterious will over the human soul, which had become enslaved. They called it mesmerism, hypnotism, suggestion, I know not what? I have seen them diverting themselves like rash children with this horrible power! Woe to us! Woe to man! He has come, the -- the -- what does He call himself -- the -- I fancy that he is shouting out his name to me and I do not hear him -- the -- yes -- He is shouting it out -- I am listening -- I cannot -- repeat -- it -- Horla -- I have heard -- the Horla -- it is He -- the Horla -- He has come! --

    Ah I the vulture has eaten the pigeon, the wolf has eaten the lamb; the lion has devoured the sharp-horned buffalo; man has killed the lion with an arrow, with a spear, with gunpowder; but the Horla will make of man what man has made of the horse and of the ox: his chattel, his slave, and his food, by the mere power of his will. Woe to us!

    But, nevertheless, sometimes the animal rebels and kills the man who has subjugated it. I should also like -- I shall be able to -- but I must know Him, touch Him, see Him! Learned men say that eyes of animals, as they differ from ours, do not distinguish as ours do. And my eye cannot distinguish this newcomer who is oppressing me.

    Why? Oh! Now I remember the words of the monk at Mont Saint-Michel: ``Can we see the hundred-thousandth part of what exists? Listen; there is the wind which is the strongest force in nature; it knocks men down, blows down buildings, uproots trees, raises the sea into mountains of water, destroys cliffs, and casts great ships on to the breakers; it kills, it whistles, it sighs, it roars, -- have you ever seen it, and can you see it? It exists for all that, however!''

    And I went on thinking: my eyes are so weak, so imperfect, that they do not even distinguish hard bodies, if they are as transparent as glass! If a glass without quicksilver behind it were to bar my way, I should run into it, just like a bird which has flown into a room breaks its head against the windowpanes. A thousand things, moreover, deceive a man and lead him astray. How then is it surprising that he cannot perceive a new body which is penetrated and pervaded by the light?

    A new being! Why not? It was assuredly bound to come! Why should we be the last? We do not distinguish it, like all the others created before us? The reason is, that its nature is more delicate, its body finer and more finished than ours. Our makeup is so weak, so awkwardly conceived; our body is encumbered with organs that are always tired, always being strained like locks that are too complicated; it lives like a plant and like an animal nourishing itself with difficulty on air, herbs, and flesh; it is a brute machine which is a prey to maladies, to malformations, to decay; it is broken-winded, badly regulated, simple and eccentric, ingeniously yet badly made, a coarse and yet a delicate mechanism, in brief, the outline of a being which might become intelligent and great.

    There are only a few -- so few -- stages of development in this world, from the oyster up to man. Why should there not be one more, when once that period is accomplished which separates the successive products one from the other?

    Why not one more? Why not, also, other trees with immense, splendid flowers, perfuming whole regions? Why not other elements beside fire, air, earth, and water? There are four, only four, nursing fathers of various beings! What a pity! Why should not there be forty, four hundred, four thousand! How poor everything is, how mean and wretched -- grudgingly given, poorly invented, clumsily made! Ah! the elephant and the hippopotamus, what power! And the camel, what suppleness!

   But the butterfly, you will say, a flying flower! I dream of one that should be as large as a hundred worlds, with wings whose shape, beauty, colors, and motion I cannot even express. But I see it -- it flutters from star to star, refreshing them and perfuming them with the light and harmonious breath of its flight! And the people up there gaze at it as it passes in an ecstasy of delight!

    What is the matter with me? It is He, the Horla who haunts me, and who makes me think of these foolish things! He is within me, He is becoming my soul; I shall kill him!

 

   August 20. I shall kill Him. I have seen Him! Yesterday I sat down at my table and pretended to write very assiduously. I knew quite well that He would come prowling round me, quite close to me, so close that I might perhaps be able to touch him, to seize him. And then -- then I should have the strength of desperation; I should have my hands, my knees, my chest, my forehead, my teeth to strangle him, to crush him, to bite him, to tear him to pieces. And I watched for him with all my overexcited nerves.

   I had lighted my two lamps and the eight wax candles on my mantelpiece, as if, by this light I should discover Him.

    My bed, my old oak bed with its columns, was opposite to me; on my right was the fireplace; on my left the door, which was carefully closed, after I had left it open for some time, in order to attract Him; behind me was a very high wardrobe with a looking-glass in it, which served me to dress by every day, and in which I was in the habit of inspecting myself from head to foot every time I passed it.

    So I pretended to be writing in order to deceive Him, for He also was watching me, and suddenly I felt, I was certain, that He was reading over my shoulder, that He was there, almost touching my ear.

    I got up so quickly, with my hands extended, that I almost fell. Horror! It was as bright as at midday, but I did not see myself in the glass! It was empty, clear, profound, full of light! But my figure was not reflected in it -- and I, I was opposite to it! I saw the large, clear glass from top to bottom, and I looked at it with unsteady eyes. I did not dare advance; I did not venture to make a movement; feeling certain, nevertheless, that He was there, but that He would escape me again, He whose imperceptible body had absorbed my reflection.

    How frightened I was! And then suddenly I began to see myself through a mist in the depths of the looking-glass, in a mist as it were, or through a veil of water; and it seemed to me as if this water were flowing slowly from left to right, and making my figure clearer every moment. It was like the end of an eclipse. Whatever hid me did not appear to possess any clearly defined outlines, but was a sort of opaque transparency, which gradually grew clearer.

    At last I was able to distinguish myself completely, as I do every day when I look at myself.

    I had seen Him! And the horror of it remained with me, and makes me shudder even now.

    August 21. How could I kill Him, since I could not get hold of Him? Poison? But He would see me mix it with the water; and then, would our poisons have any effect on His impalpable body? No -- no -- no doubt about the matter. Then? -- then?

 

    August 22. I sent for a blacksmith from Rouen and ordered iron shutters of him for my room, such as some private hotels in Paris have on the ground floor, for fear of thieves, and he is going to make me a similar door as well. I have made myself out a coward, but I do not care about that!

 

    September 10. Rouen, Hotel Continental. It is done; it is done -- but is He dead? My mind is thoroughly upset by what I have seen.

    Well then, yesterday, the locksmith having put on the iron shutters and door, I left everything open until midnight, although it was getting cold.

    Suddenly I felt that He was there, and joy, mad joy took possession of me. I got up softly, and I walked to the right and left for some time, so that He might not guess anything; then I took off my boots and put on my slippers carelessly; then I fastened the iron shutters and going back to the door quickly I double-locked it with a padlock, putting the key into my pocket.

    Suddenly I noticed that He was moving restlessly round me, that in his turn He was frightened and was ordering me to let Him out. I nearly yielded, though I did not quite, but putting my back to the door, I half opened it, just enough to allow me to go out backward, and as I am very tall, my head touched the lintel. I was sure that He had not been able to escape, and I shut Him up quite alone, quite alone. What happiness! I had Him fast. Then I ran downstairs into the drawing-room which was under my bedroom. I took the two lamps and poured all the oil on to the carpet, the furniture, everywhere; then I set fire to it and made my escape, after having carefully double locked the door.

    I went and hid myself at the bottom of the garden, in a clump of laurel bushes. How long it was! how long it was! Everything was dark, silent, motionless, not a breath of air and not a star, but heavy banks of clouds which one could not see, but which weighed, oh! so heavily on my soul.

   I looked at my house and waited. How long it was! I already began to think that the fire had gone out of its own accord, or that He had extinguished it, when one of the lower windows gave way under the violence of the flames, and a long, soft, caressing sheet of red flame mounted up the white wall, and kissed it as high as the roof. The light fell on to the trees, the branches, and the leaves, and a shiver of fear pervaded them also! The birds awoke; a dog began to howl, and it seemed to me as if the day were breaking! Almost immediately two other windows flew into fragments, and I saw that the whole of the lower part of my house was nothing but a terrible furnace. But a cry, a horrible, shrill, heart-rending cry, a woman's cry, sounded through the night, and two garret windows were opened! I had forgotten the servants! I saw the terror-struck faces, and the frantic waving of their arms!

    Then, overwhelmed with horror, I ran off to the village, shouting: ``Help! help! fire! fire!'' Meeting some people who were already coming on to the scene, I went back with them to see!

    By this time the house was nothing but a horrible and magnificent funeral pile, a monstrous pyre which lit up the whole country, a pyre where men were burning, and where He was burning also, He, He, my prisoner, that new Being, the new Master, the Horla!

   Suddenly the whole roof fell in between the walls, and a volcano of flames darted up to the sky. Through all the windows which opened on to that furnace, I saw the flames darting, and I reflected that He was there, in that kiln, dead.

   Dead? Perhaps? His body? Was not his body, which was transparent, indestructible by such means as would kill ours?

    If He were not dead? Perhaps time alone has power over that Invisible and Redoubtable Being. Why this transparent, unrecognizable body, this body belonging to a spirit, if it also had to fear ills, infirmities, and premature destruction?

   Premature destruction? All human terror springs from that! After man the Horla. After him who can die every day, at any hour, at any moment, by any accident, He came, He who was only to die at his own proper hour and minute, because He had touched the limits of his existence!

    No -- no -- there is no doubt about it -- He is not dead. Then -- then -- I suppose I must kill myself!

 


    5月8日:——多么心旷神怡的一天!我躺在门前的草地上度过了整个上午。我的房屋覆盖在一片梧桐树的荫影下。我热爱这块土地,因为我的根脉在这儿。这根脉深深地留住了一代又一代人,他们在这生,在这死。这根脉左右着这块土地上人们的思想、语言和衣食起居;左右着这块土地上农民们的言谈举止;左右着这里的村庄;甚至左右着这块土地的气息和空气的气味。我热爱我的家,因为我在这房屋里长大。透过我的窗户,能看见绵延的塞纳河从我的花园和屋后的路旁潺潺流过,几乎紧挨着我的家。它从鲁昂一直流到勒阿弗尔河口,河面上终年都能看到往返穿梭的各种船只。左手不远处就是鲁昂市。城市里满是蓝色的尖顶房屋和杨树一般尖细的哥特式钟塔。这些钟塔不计其数,仿佛是教堂手上高举着一把利剑,但看上去似乎不堪一击。每每钟声在晴朗无云的蓝色天空下响起,那清脆柔和的金属声在四处飘扬,一直传到我的耳边,就像是风灵在唱着歌,歌声抑扬顿挫,即能使人精神振奋,又能催人昏昏欲睡。总之,这是个多么美好的早晨啊!十一点钟左右,河面上驶过长长的一只船队,一艘大船拖着几艘小船,远远看去像是一队黑色的蝇群,吃力地呼呼喘息,不停吞吐出阵阵浓烟,从我的门前慢慢远去。随后又出现两只英国双栀船,船上的旗帜在蓝天下飘扬。紧接着又来了一艘豪华的三桅船,船体全身白色,阳光下熠熠闪光,煞是耀眼。我挥手向它致意。不知为什么,这搜船使我就特别开心高兴。


5月12日——几天来我一直有点发烧,感到浑身不舒服,精神上也萎靡不振。我只知道有一种突然来临的神秘东西使我抑郁和萎靡,它像是来自无形空中,并且以一股巨大力量控制了我,使我倍感压抑。早上起来的时候我心情愉悦,喉咙里哼着歌,为什么?——就在我沿河边散步的时候,刚走了一会,突然,快乐的心情一下子消失得无影无踪,感觉就像有什么不幸降临到了我头上。为什么?——难道是一阵吹过的凉风刺激了我的神经,使我的心情变得黯然?或者是云朵、天空以及我眼前展现的万物的色彩刺激了我的大脑,使我感到不快?然而谁又能解释,无论是对于我们的身体还是感官,无论是思想还是心理,为什么在我们周围我们有那么多虽能看到但又看不透的东西?有那么多我们能感知却又无法分辨的东西?有那么多我们能触摸到但又无法控制的东西?有那么多能遇到却又无法认识的东西?为什么?为什么我们总是有那么多让人惊奇而又无法解释的事情?这种无形的神秘掩藏得太深了!靠我们那可怜的感官知觉根本无法探究到它的存在。就像我们的眼睛既看不见太小的东西,也看不清太大的东西;既看不到太远的地方,比如其它的星球,也看不清眼前一滴水的成份。我们的耳朵也经常使我们产生错觉,虽然它能让我们听见风声和音乐,但却无法分辨出声音的细微变化,可能正是这些微妙的变化使得人类有了音乐,使得大自然唱出了歌声;可见我们的听力甚至远不如小狗们的听力。我们的味觉更差,连美酒的酿造时间也无法品出!假如我们有其它一些器官,让我们感知到身边另一些奇妙事物的存在,那该是多么美好的事情!


5月16日——我肯定是病了!上个月我的身体还是好好的!我在发烧,而且烧得厉害。也许是我的神经高度紧张,这种紧张感使我的身体和精神都陷入极度痛苦之中,时刻有一种危险逼近的感觉,或者说是一种死亡降临的感觉。这预感可能是来自一种莫名的不幸,它就在你的血液和身体中循环往复。


5月18日——我刚从我的医生那儿回来,因为连续几天我都睡不着觉。他发现我脉搏跳得很快,神情恍惚,精神紧张,但除此之外身体没有其它任何不好的症状。于是他建议我多冲浴,再喝一点溴化钾药物。


5月25日——一切如故,但我的精神状态却越来越差。每当夜晚降临,我就会产生一种惶恐不安的心情,夜晚对于我来说像是暗藏着一种可怕的威胁。我匆匆吃完晚饭,接着开始读书,却读不进一个字,尽管我努力想认清每一个字母。我在宽敞的客厅里来回渡着步,一种说不清、无法抵御的恐惧感越来越压得我透不过气来。我害怕上床,害怕进入梦乡。晚上将近十点钟我回到了卧室。一进门我就把门反锁上两圈,又拧了拧门把手,确信门已锁好。可是我究竟害怕什么呢?……在这之前我从不害怕什么……我打开衣柜,爬到床底下,四下里搜寻着。我又屏住呼吸倾听着,可是我又在听什么呢……难道这仅仅是简单的身体不适,是气短胸闷带来的精神紧张和血压升高?还是我的身体官能上太过于敏感?难道一种简单的疾病能使人或喜或悲,精神抑郁?我躺在床上,像是等待刽子手来临一样等待着睡意的来临。其实我是怀着巨大的恐惧等待另一个东西的来临。我紧裹着床褥,心在狂跳,四肢在发抖,直到慢慢睡着;就像一个人身陷水潭,慢慢死去一样。现在我什么也感觉不到了,像从前一样,睡意紧紧抓住了我,凝视着我,占据了我的大脑,合上了我的双眼,使我的全身慢慢放松。我睡着了——很长时间——至少有两、三个小时——接着做了个梦,不,是个噩梦。这噩梦压迫着我,尽管我知道自己躺在床上,知道自己在睡觉,可我分明能感觉到这梦……我觉得有什么人在向我走来,站在床边注视着我,拨弄着我身体,然后上了床,坐在我的胸口上,双手紧紧掐住我的脖子,越来越紧……越来越紧……仿佛使尽全身力气想掐死我。我竭力想反抗,但却被一种无名的力量束缚住,使我动弹不得。我想喊叫——但发不出声。我想动弹身子——但动弹不了。我想转过身,摆脱掉压在我身上、使我快窒息的那东西,但我使尽全身力气也摆脱不了!就在这时,我醒了过来,惊恐万状,浑身是汗。我点亮蜡烛,屋里只有我一个人。自此以后,这种情况每夜都会发生。后来我也就慢慢习惯了,可以睡到天明。


6月2日——我的状况越来越差。我究竟怎么了?按照医嘱,我坚持服用溴化药物,并且每天都洗澡,但这对我都没用,我的身心越来越疲惫。如此这般,我决定去鲁玛尔森林里散散步。因为我相信,新鲜柔和的空气和草地树叶的芬芳,能使我的身心恢复活力。我走在一条狩猎的大路上,可随后却不知为何拐向另一条通往拉布耶镇的小路上。这条小路掩没在一片高大的树林里,头顶上是浓密翠绿的树梢,绿幽幽地遮盖住了阳光。突然,我打了一个哆嗦,这并不是因为凉意引起的,而是一种可怕的恐惧。我惊慌地加快了步伐,毫无缘由地害怕起一个人走在这林间小路上。不久我感到有什么东西跟在我身后,紧跟着我的脚步,越来越近,似乎很快就赶上了我。我猛地转过身,但什么也没有;在我的身后只是一条笔直的、空荡荡的林间小路,但空旷得有点瘆人。路的另一端一眼望不到头,四周的景色也完全一致,单调得让人害怕。我闭上眼睛,开始在原地打转。可我为什么要这样做呢?我转得越来越快,像个陀螺,很快便跌到在地。当我睁开眼睛时,眼前的树木在跳舞,大地犹如海浪。我坐在地上,已经无法辩清来路!多么荒唐的感觉啊!我不知道自己为何会这样!我顺着右手的一条叉路走去,很快就又回到了我刚才来的大路上。


6月3日——又要面对可怕的夜晚。我决定出去几个星期,做一个短程旅行,这或许对我有好处。


7月2日——我回来了,我觉得自己的身心也康复了。我去了几个风景优美的地方,其中游览了以前从未去过的圣-米歇尔山。我是在黄昏时分回到我生活的这块土地。整个城镇建立在一片丘陵之上。我随着人群来到城市里的一处公园。在公园里我情不自禁地大喊一声。但令我倍感惊异的是,随着我的喊声,我眼前的土地竟然立刻分离出一片海湾;海水绵延流长,流入远方的薄雾之中。在天空晚霞的映照下,宽阔的海面上一片金黄。然而,就在这海面上,一座巨大的、黑幽幽的山峰从海底的泥沙中缓缓升起。太阳刚刚落下,整个海面上熠熠生辉,那山峰仿佛是一块奇峰异石,更像是一块巧夺天工的天然纪念碑。黎明时分,海水退去后,我向那山峦走去。昨天傍晚我亲眼看见它升起,可随着我走近它,我却惊诧地发现它原来是个修道院。当我走到那巨大的岩石前,那确实是一个高大的教堂岛。在我攀登那狭窄陡峭的山路前,我先拐入一处像是上帝建造的、看上去极为华丽的哥特式建筑内。那里面宽大得犹如一座城市,到处都是由拱门连接着的一个又一个大厅,以及由无数石柱支撑起来的高大长廊。在这用岩石精雕细凿出优美图案的哥特式建筑内,到处竖立着纤细美丽的小钟楼。沿着蜿蜒而上的楼梯登上钟楼,仿佛像是登上天空。它们尖尖的触角伸向天空中,远看上去既像魔鬼的面孔,又像是各种奇异怪兽,一个挨着一个,伫立于精美的塔顶上,在天空中展开。当我登上钟楼的最高处后,我问陪同我的修道士:“神父,您对这里一定非常熟悉吧?”“起风了,先生。”他没有正面回答我的话。眼前的大海涨潮了,海水扑向沙滩,汹涌澎湃,势不可挡。我们看着大海,慢慢攀谈起来。神父告诉了我当地的一些古老的传说和故事,其中一个故事深深打动了我。话说这附近的一些山民声称,他们经常能在深夜里听到沙滩上有说话的声音。有人说是两头山羊在说话;一头听上去底气十足,另一头则十分温柔。但另一些不相信的人说那是海鸟的声音,只是它们的声音有时听上去像是海鸟在叫,但有时更像人的声音。可又有一些垂钓晚归的人说,在潮涨潮落间隙间的这片偏远的沙滩上,他们确实亲眼看到过一头老山羊走在前面,它的毛发太长,遮挡住了面容,另外两头羊跟在了后面。其中一头公山羊的外形像男人,另一头母山羊的外形像是女人。它们全身的毛发雪白,一路在不停地说话和争吵,可说的全都是我们听不懂的语言,突然它们停止了争吵,然后用尽全身气力发出骇人的吼叫。我问神甫:“您相信这故事吗?”他喃喃低语道:“我不知道。”我接着问:“如果这地球上确实存在着除我们以外的其它生命,那么我们为何长期以来都不知道呢?人们怎么会看不见它们呢?包括我也怎么看不见呢?”他回答道:“我们究竟能看到多少确实存在的东西?您瞧,比如说风吧,它是大自然中一股巨大的力量,能够吹倒我们这些人,能够掀翻高楼大厦,能够将树木连根拔起,能够让大海翻滚起巨浪,摧毁山崖,埋葬船只。它是毁灭的风,呻吟的风,愤怒的风,咆哮的风——您见过风,但您能告诉我风是个什么样子吗?可它实实在在存在着。”在这样一个简单问题面前我只能沉默。这个男人不是个智者就是个傻瓜,我无法做出判断,我只有沉默不语。但他所说的话,却正是以前我经常考虑的问题。7月3日我又开始睡不着觉了。我现在确信我的病也是可以传染的,因为我的车夫就得了和我同样的病。昨天我一回来,就发现他的脸色苍白。我问他:——你怎么啦,让?——我想我是没办法休息了,先生。自从您离开后,我就整夜地睡不着觉,现在我看上去就像是个半死不活的人。尽管家里的其他仆人们似乎都还好,但我的心里还是产生了深深的恐惧。


7月4日可以肯定我的身体状况又回到了从前,过去的噩梦再次降临。昨天夜里,我强烈地感到有人趴在我的身上,他的嘴贴在我的嘴上,透过我牙齿的缝隙吞噬着我的生命,就像吸血虫一样,钻进我的喉咙,一点一点汲取我的生命元气。他还不时起身喘口气,然后再继续。后来我虽然醒了,但却像快死一样,精疲力竭,浑身动弹不得。如果这种情况再持续几天的话,那我将不得不再次离开家。


7月5日难道我失去了理性吗?昨夜所发生的一切和我所经历的一切竟是那样的恐怖,此刻只要我一想起来,我的头就开始犯晕!现在我想弄清楚这到底是怎么回事。到了晚上,我用钥匙把卧室的门锁好,上床之前又喝了半杯水。我不经意地看了眼玻璃水瓶,里面的水在水瓶的颈口处,几乎是满满一瓶水。随后我上床躺下,很快就坠入了那可怕的梦魇之中。大约两个小时后,我在一阵可怕的挣扎中醒来。想想吧,一个在睡梦中的男人醒来后,发现自己遭人谋杀,胸口上插着一把刀,浑身是血,喘不过气来,正一步步走向死亡。自己却不知道是因为什么,那是多么可怕啊!后来我渐渐恢复了意识,感到口渴得要命。我点亮一跟蜡烛,走到放着玻璃水瓶的桌前,拿起水瓶向杯里倒水——瓶子竟然是空的!里面没有一滴水!我有点懵了,紧接着一种强烈的恐惧感袭上心头。我想我是身不由己地坐在椅子上,不,应该是跌倒在椅子上!但随后我又赶紧站起身,环顾四周,看看周围是否有什么东西。见没有异常后我又坐下,面对着空空的玻璃水瓶,心里充满了惊异和恐惧!我两眼死死盯着那瓶子,努力想弄明白究竟发生了什么事。我的双手抖个不停!难道是有人喝了里面的水?可又是谁喝的呢?是我自己?这可能吗?莫非我得了梦游症,自己全然不知;也就是说在我的身上存在着两种神秘的不同生命,其中一种生命是奇异的、不可知的、无形的,但却是活跃的。在某一段时间内,当我的意识失去后,我的身体则受控于其它什么东西;似乎我的生命既是我的,又不是我的。谁能了解这种可怕的痛苦?谁又能理解一个意识健全但精神近乎于漰溃的人的感受?他亲眼看到了水瓶里的水在他睡着的时候莫名其妙地消失了!我一直坐到天亮,再也不敢上床睡觉了。


7月6日我想我是彻底糊涂了,昨夜竟然会有人喝了我水瓶里的水。但愿是我自己喝的!可真的是我自己喝的吗?不是我又会是谁呢?上帝啊,我真的疯了吗?谁能救救我?

7月10日我这两天做了令人难以置信的实验。事实似乎说明我疯了,但似乎又不是。下面我就告诉你们实验的经过。


7月6日今晚我在上床睡觉之前,特意在桌上摆放了葡萄酒、牛奶、水、面包和水果。半夜又有人喝了——也许是我自己喝的——所有的水,也喝了一点牛奶。但葡萄酒、面包和水果却原封未动。

7月7日我再次做了同样的实验,结果和昨晚是一样的。

7月8日今晚我把水和牛奶撤了,只放上葡萄酒、面包和水果,但没有人去碰它们。

7月9日我决定在桌上只摆放水和牛奶,然后用细白线把两只水瓶缠绕起来,再把瓶塞用线系死。我又把自己的嘴唇、胡子和双手用铅墨涂黑,然后上床睡觉。我很快就睡着了。没过多长时间,我又和往日一样从可怕的梦中惊醒。这次我确信我自己躺在床上没动,因为我的床单上没有任何铅墨的印迹。我再扫视一眼桌上,两只水瓶上面缠绕的白线也没有任何痕迹。但当我解开瓶子上缠绕的线绳后,我的心一下子狂跳起来:水和牛奶又都被全喝光了!我的上帝!……看来我不得不去巴黎住上一阵子了。


7月12日到了巴黎,我的脑袋已被前几天可怕的事弄得神情恍惚,感到自己已深陷这种焦虑中不能自拔;唯有的是我证明了自己不是梦游患者,因为我经历了了一系列验证,尽管所发生的事情至今仍是大家所不可思议的。总之,也可能是我自己有点精神失常。但在巴黎过了二十四小时后,我想我能够恢复。昨天一到巴黎我便四处浏览一番,又拜访了几位朋友,这使我的身心得到了很好的放松。晚上我心情愉快地在法兰西剧院看完了演出。昨晚上演的是小仲马的戏剧,我想那激情欢乐的场面使我的身心得到了彻底的康复。可见孤独感对于一个心智正常的人来说是危险的,我们需要和身边的人交流和沟通。如果我们独自一人封闭得太久的话,我们就会变成可怕的人。我心情愉快地穿过路上熙熙攘攘的人群回到我住的饭店,此时我开始对自己往日的恐惧和胡思乱想感到好笑。但我已确信,是的,确信有一个无形的东西就住在我家。因为我想我们的大脑是脆弱的,哪怕有一点小小的、不可思议的事情发生,也常会使我们惊慌失措!我最后的结论是,我不知道自己为什么会遇到这种事情,可能是我们对于那些神秘恐怖以及超自然的事情想象得太多的缘故。


7月14日今天是国庆节。我在大街上逛了很长时间。四处飘扬的旗帜和鞭炮声使我的心情格外愉快,觉得自己像个孩子般快乐。但我觉得这种庆祝行为还是有点傻,因为这是政府规定的节日,人们就像傻子般被人驱使着,毫无叛逆意识。这就好比有人叫你“快乐起来吧”,于是你就快乐了。叫你“去和别人打一架吧”,于是你就傻乎乎地去打架了。或者说“支持波拿巴帝国吧”,于是你就支持波拿巴。再有人说“支持共和国吧”,然后你又傻乎乎地去支持共和国了。那些支使你的人本身也是受人支配的傻瓜,他们只是服从另一些人,另一些人则服从法律,而法律本身是愚蠢的、荒诞的和虚伪的。可以说在个世界上某种思想一但被灌输,那它在这个世界上就成名了、永恒了,人们再也不会相信其它什么东西了。阳光能使人产生想象,爆炸声也同样可以让人产生另一种想象。


7月16日昨天我亲眼看见了一些让我非常震惊的事情。我在我的表妹撒布雷太太家吃的晚饭,她丈夫是驻扎在雷蒙热尔地区的法国第七十六骑兵团的指挥官。席间还有两位年轻的女士和她们的丈夫,其中一位是精神病医生帕朗的太太。帕朗医生正从事精神行为异常人的病理研究工作,尤其是在催眠和心里暗示方面有一定的研究。他详尽地向我们讲述了他的两位英国朋友,以及他在兰西医学院的同事们在此方面所获得的惊人研究成果。他所说的事情多少让我觉得有点不可思议,我向他表明了我的怀疑。“我们确实是发现了人类自身最重大的秘密之一。”他向我们保证道。“我想说的是,这是一个我们地球上才有的重大秘密之一,它超越一切。当人类开始有思想,并且能够表达和记录他们的心理时,就已经感到了有一种神秘的、不可捉摸的意识在他们那还不成熟的思想中流淌,它努力在补充人们心智和感官上的许多欠缺。当这种意识产生后,它无形的能量就会使一个人的日常行为让其他人感到非常恐惧。于是人们便把这一切归结为对超自然的想象,或是魔鬼的降临,甚至是迷信传说,更甚者竟认为那是上帝的意志。因为在我们长远的生活概念中,我们是上帝和神的产物,是平凡的、愚昧的、头脑简单的生物。但伟大的伏尔泰说过的一句话也许是对的:‘上帝创造了人类,但人类丰富了它。’”“不过这一个多世纪以来,我们已预感到了会有一些新事物的出现。著名的奥地利医生麦斯美尔和其他学者如今把我们领到了一条崭新的路上,用不了四、五年,我们就能有惊人的成果发现”。我的表妹尽管脸上带着笑容,但也明显不信医生的话。于是帕朗医生问她:“您相信我能让您睡着吗,夫人?”我表妹回答道:“真的吗,那就试试吧。”医生让她坐在一张沙发椅上,然后开始目不转睛地盯着她。这时我突然感到了一种不安,心急速跳了起来,喉咙发干。我看见我表妹的眼皮开始搭拉下来,嘴角抽搐,胸口急剧起伏。十分钟后她睡着了。——请您坐到她身后来。医生说。我坐到了表妹的身后,然后医生把一张名片放在了我表妹的手上,对她说:“这是一面镜子,您在里面看到了什么?”她答道:——我看见了我表兄。——他在做什么?——他在捻自己的胡须。——他现在又在干什么?——他从口袋里拿出了一张照片。——那是谁的照片?——他自己的。真的,我刚刚于昨晚在饭店里照了张相!——照片上他是什么姿式?——他站着,一只手上拿着礼帽。她看着这张纸片,一张普通的白色纸片,神态的确像是在看一面镜子。旁边的女人们表情惊恐,嘴里不停地嘟啷着:“太可怕了!太可怕了!”医生接着对她说:“您明天早上八点钟起床,然后去找您的表兄,因为您丈夫让您去向他借五千法朗,以备他下次出门所需。”说完医生唤醒了她。在回饭店的路上,我心里一直在想着刚才那一幕奇异的景象,设想这里面是否有演戏的痕迹。但真的没有什么异常,而且我也相信我表妹是诚实的,因为我们从小就在一起,我对她就像对我的亲妹妹一样了解,除非医生在玩花样,难道他给我表妹看的不是他的名片而真是一面镜子?但这只有专业的魔术师才能做到的效果。我回到房间后就上床睡觉了。第二天早上八点半左右,客房服务员把我喊醒了。他对我说:——一位叫撒布雷的太太要求马上见先生。我匆忙穿好衣服出去见她。她心事重重地坐在那儿,低垂着眼睛。她一看到我连面纱也没撩开就急匆匆地对我说:——我亲爱的表兄,我想请你帮我个大忙。——什么忙,我的表妹?——尽管这让我很难开口,但我还是不得不说。我需要你借我五千法朗,真的需要。——你为什么要借钱?——是我丈夫,我丈夫要我向你借的钱。我惊得目瞪口呆,不知道该说什么好,心想该不会是她和帕朗医生一起在拿我开心吧,或者这是一场事先准备好的恶作剧。但当我仔细观察她的表情后,所有的疑虑都消除了。她显得异常地焦虑不安,说话都带着哭腔。我知道她很有钱,于是回答道:——怎么,你丈夫难道连五千法朗都没有?怎么可能呢!真的是他要你向我借五千法朗?她犹豫了片刻,好像是在努力回忆什么,最后回答道:——是的……是的……肯定是的。——他给你写信了吗?她再次犹豫了一下,像在思索着什么。我想这件事情一定在她心里折磨着她,她不知道该怎么办,只知道必须替丈夫向我借五千法朗,所以她只有撒谎:——是的,他写信了。——什么时候?你昨天为何不告诉我?——我是今天早上收到的信。——可以把信给我看看吗?——不……不……信里说的都是些私房话……不……不太方便看,我已经……已经把它烧了。——这么说你丈夫在外面欠了债?她沉默片刻,低声说道:——我不太清楚。我大声说:——这就是为什么我现在不能借五千法朗给你的原因,我亲爱的表妹。她听我说完后,痛苦地大声哭了出来。——我求你了,求你了,借给我吧……她的情绪越来越激动,双手不停地搓揉着,不住地求我,以至她的声音都变了调。她哭泣着,口中还喃喃念叨着什么,仿佛她的大脑在不停地接受着什么指令。——哦,上帝啊!我求你了……你知道我有多痛苦吗……我今天必须借到这笔钱。我的心软了。——好吧,我答应你,我借给你五千法朗。她高兴地叫了起来:——啊,太好了!谢谢!你真是太好了!我问她:——你还记得昨晚在你家发生的事吗?——是的,我记得。——那你还记得帕朗医生给你做了催眠吗?——记得。——那好,是他让你今早来找我借五千法朗的,你现在所做的事是受了他的心理暗示。她想了一会肯定地回答:——不,是我丈夫让我来借的钱。我花了近一个小时试图向她说明事实真像,但还是失败了。她走了以后,我跑到了医生家,他正准备出门。他微笑着听我把事情说完,然后说道:——你现在相信催眠的真实性了?——是的,我完全相信。——我们现在就去你表妹家吧。我表妹躺在长椅上睡着了,看上去身心很疲惫。医生上前摸了摸她的脉搏,盯着她看了一会,然后抬手在她眼前晃晃,随即她的双眼像是中了魔法不由自主地闭上了。当她睡着后,医生在她耳边说道:——您丈夫现在不需要五千法朗了。您将会忘掉向你表兄借钱的事,如果他向您提起这事,您也不会记得。随后医生唤醒了她。我从口袋里掏出一张支票对她说:——给你,我亲爱的表妹,这是你今早向我借的钱。她听完这话后表情非常惊愕,我不敢坚持要她收下,但我还是试图使她回忆起所发生的事。可她却一个劲地否认,并认为我是在嘲讽她,最后她真的生气了。……我回到饭店里,没有吃午饭,所经历的这一切让我的思绪混乱如麻。


7月19日我向很多人讲述了我所看到的这一奇异事情,但他们都不相信,我毫无办法,只好去想智者曾经说过的话:“世上没有什么不可能的事。”


7月21日我在布热维尔吃的晚饭,然后又去海员酒吧里消磨一段时光。看来每个地方的人都有信念,就像拉格鲁布耶岛上的人们相信超自然的力量,并对此很热衷一样。但圣—米歇尔山上的人们信什么呢?那些印度人又信什么?我们的生活中总是不断遭遇奇异事情的发生,并深受其影响。我决定下星期回家。


7月30日昨天我回到了家里,一切看上去似乎很正常。


8月2日今天一切照旧,阳光明媚。一整天我都悠闲地看着门前的塞纳河水流淌。


8月4日家里的仆人们之间发生了争吵,原因是碗柜里的杯子不知被谁打碎了。我的随身仆人和厨师吵,厨师又和洗涮工吵,洗涮工反过来又和他们俩吵。究竟谁是责任人呢?谁又能说清楚呢?


8月6日这次我想我肯定没疯。我看见了……真的看见了……我想我决不会有错……一股寒意从我的脚下升起……一直凉到心里……我亲眼看见了……那是下午两点,阳光灿烂,我在花园里散步。此时正值初秋的玫瑰花开放,我走到玫瑰花坛旁欣赏着那一片花团锦簇的美丽,有一条近在眼前的花枝上盛开着三朵艳丽的玫瑰。就在这时我看见了,清清楚楚地看见了眼前树枝上的这三朵玫瑰花,其中有一朵像是突然被一只无形的手揪住,随后被折断了!那朵花随即飘浮在半空中,不停地摇晃,像是有一只手在拿着它,并不时在嗅着它的芳香。紧接着它又停留在透明的空气中,一动不动。眼前那骇人的鲜红色花朵离我仅两三步之遥!刹时,我像发了疯样扑向那朵花,试图一把抓住它!但它转瞬就消失了,我再也找不到它了。我的心里升起一股无名的怒火,就好像我这样一个理智人的突然出现了幻觉。那么真的是幻觉吗?我回头找到了那根树枝,立刻看到了枝条上有一个鲜明的、被折断的痕迹,而且是在同样的另两朵花之间。我回到家里,头脑里一片茫然。现在我可以确定,无论是白天黑夜,那个东西就在我身边。它是无形的,靠水和牛奶生存。它有能力触摸其它东西,并且能够移动或改变它们的位置。它可能是一种自然物质,和我们住在一起,生活在一起,只是我们的感官很难察觉到它的存在。


8月7日夜里我睡的很安稳,尽管它喝了水瓶里的水,但并没有妨碍我睡觉。我总是在想,是不是我自己的精神出了问题。白天的阳光下,我沿着河边散步,这个问题一直在困绕着我。但所发生的事确实是我亲眼所见,绝不会有差错。我了解那些精神病人,尽管他们的状态看上去是正常的、清醒的,有智力的,甚至他们的谈话也是明晰和机智的,但他们的思维却有明显的障碍,是片段的和跳跃的,总是淹没在那可怕而狂乱的意识的海洋中。这种人才是我们通常所说的“精神病患者”。因此,如果我没有清醒理智的意识,没有辨别自我的能力,不能清晰地对事物进行分析的话,那我一定是疯了。但事实上我不是,更没有出现过幻觉。可是,那莫名可怕的东西实实在在出现在我的感官中。我所经历的那些可怕的感觉,包括今天下午所遇到的恐怖情景,应该是那些实验生理学家们最好的研究实例。这种精神上、生活上和思想上的困惑本不该给我留下深深的烙印。那些时而发生的怪事本应该发生在我们的梦里,因为只有在梦里我们才会经历那种最难以想象的鬼魅事情,虽然那也会让我们惊恐不已,但我们毕竟能够控制自己,我们毕竟是在睡梦中。尽管我们的想象力是无穷尽的,可谁又能保证我们的大脑神经,对我周围那些不易觉察的事物都能有所感之呢?有些人在意外事故中受伤后,可能失去了记忆,忘掉了自己是谁,甚至忘了许多事情,但大脑里总有一小片的记忆抹不掉;比如我所遇到的恐怖之事,那要有多大的创伤才能使我忘掉呢!我想起了前不久在河边散步,阳光照耀在河畔,大地一片生机盎然,这使我倍感生命的可爱。那些在我眼前展翅飞过的雁群,它们是那样的快乐。耳边的绿草在微风中悉悉作响,它们是那样的幸福。可一些无法解释的恐怖之事侵袭了我,我感到一种神秘的力量控制了我的生活,并且拼命想阻挡我生活的步伐,我感受到了一种从未有过的痛苦在压迫着我;就像一个病人被亲人独自一人留在家里时,他就会有一种病痛加剧的感觉。我回到家,很快就在家中发现了新的不祥之物:一封信,或者说是一封公函,可是里面却什么内容也没有。我的恐惧和不安与日俱增,这是否表明我又将要看到什么可怕的景象。


8月8日昨晚我度过了恐惧的一夜。尽管那东西没有现身,但我想它就在我身边不远,正窥视着我的一举一动,并且正越来越变本加厉地控制着我。它现在和我生活在一起,以它那无形的、重复的超自然形式向我展示着它的存在——因为我晚上必须睡觉。


8月9日一切如常,但我的内心很害怕。


8月10日一切仍和昨天一样,但明天会发生什么呢?


8月11日仍然一切如故。我不能怀着这种恐惧的心理再继续呆在家中,我得出去散散心。


8月12日现在是晚上十点。整个晚上我都想出去,但没有。其实要出去是件很容易的事——走出房门,登上马车,然后去鲁昂。可我始终没有这样做,为什么?


8月13日人们只要一旦患上某种疾病,身体马上就会垮掉,元气大伤,肌肉无力,整个身子骨疲乏松软。我现在的身体就是这样,浑身无力,精神萎靡不振,什么都不想,什么也不想做,不得不服从于某个东西。


8月14日我已完全失去了生活的意义。某种东西在控制着我的灵魂!它在指挥我的行动,主宰我的思想,我不再属于我自己,我成了一个被奴役、被恐吓的对象。我想出去,可是不能,因为它不想让我走。现在它让我坐在扶手椅上,烦躁不安,浑身发冷。我不想坐着,想努力站起来,以此证明我还是我自己,可就是做不到,我像是被牢牢钉死在椅子上,而椅子也像是被牢牢钉在了地上,似乎没有任何力量能够动摇。突然间,我像是中了魔法,一种强烈的愿望驱使着我去果园里摘吃草莓。我的上帝啊,我的上帝啊!难道它就是上帝?如果它真的就是上帝的话,那就请放过我吧,救救我吧!如果我做错了什么事,请原谅我,宽恕我,怜悯我吧!我现在是多么痛苦,多么害怕,身心倍受煎熬啊!


8月15日天哪,它究竟是用什么办法控制着人呢,如今我的表妹也被它控制住了。她是在一种强有力的神秘力量驱使下来找我借钱的,就像是另一个灵魂钻进了她的大脑,牢牢控制着她。难道这世界的末日就要到了吗?这个无形的、神秘的、控制住我的东西究竟是什么样子呢?它是一种超自然的游魂吗?这些无形的东西确实存在着!我想我们人类的原始祖先最初又是以一种怎样的形式表现出的呢?难道一开始就像我这般模样?我没有发现我的家里以前有过类似的事情发生过。现在我要是能够躲开它,能走出门去,我就再也不想回来了。


8月16日今天我有两个小时的时间可以跑出去,就像一个囚犯无意间在牢房中突然发现了一个洞口。我感受到了自由,它仿佛已离我很远了。我赶紧吩咐仆人送我去车站,我要以最快的速度去鲁昂。这对于一个饱受煎熬的人来说是多么快乐啊。我大声喊道:“快,去鲁昂!”路上我忽然想去图书馆见海曼?埃内斯托博士,因为之前我曾请他讲解过有关历史上不明物种的事情。于是我探身想对前面的车夫喊:“我要下车!”——我不是说,而是喊,声音之大使得车上的其他人都看着我,但我喊出的话却是:“我要回家!”我跌坐在椅子上,强烈的恐惧和不安又一下子紧紧包围住了我:它又找到了我,抓住了我。


8月17日难得的轻松夜晚,真难得啊!我想这个晚上我是放松的。一直到零晨一点我都在读海曼?埃内斯托博士的书,他在哲学和多神种论方面很有造诣,写过历史和灵异学的著作。他在书中阐述了那些神灵的起源,分布区域以及它们的能量,但我没有从书中找到和我现在所遇到的东西有相似的地方。他认为人类是有思想的,因而能够预感并担忧新的神秘物种的出现,最担心它成为世界的新主人。尽管人类能够感知它,却无法洞悉它的本质,而它的神秘与恐怖正是人类恐惧心理产生的起源。就这样我一直读到零晨一点多。我坐在敞开的窗户前,这能使我的头脑清醒,更让我的思绪在夜晚的凉风中自由飞翔。多么美好的夜晚啊,气候宜人,我陶醉于这夜晚!虽然没有月亮,但满天的星星在深邃的夜空中亮熠生辉。谁会住在那些星球上呢?他们长得像什么样子?动物和植物又长得像什么样子?那些星球上的人是否和我们知道的一样多?或者是比我们更博学?他们能看到我们所不了解的东西吗?他们穿过宇宙来到我们的地球上都是隐身的吗?他们的目的是为了征服地球吗?就像当初诺曼底人越过海洋征服土著人一样?我们人类竟是如此的软弱,如此的无知和渺小,在广阔的宇宙中犹如大海里的一滴水。我在这微风宜人的凉爽夜晚里开始迷迷糊糊了……大约睡了四十分钟后我睁开双眼,但身子没动。我是被一种莫名的情绪所唤醒的。起初我没有在意眼前的事,稍后我看见书桌上打开的书有一页突然自己翻了过去,我注意到窗外没有风吹进来。紧接着,我看见了,亲眼看见了桌上的书又有一页被翻过去,随即其它书页也被迅速翻过,就好像是有一只手指在快速地翻动它们。我书桌前的椅子是空的,不过我可以肯定它就坐在那儿,它在读我的书,而且似乎非常生气,像是一头被惹恼的动物,开始对它的主人表现出不满。我走过去想抓住它、打翻它、杀了它!……可还没等我从书桌跟前起身,椅子翻倒了,像是有人突然站起来碰倒了它……随后桌上的台灯也被打倒,散落一地;窗户也自动关上了。整个场景像是有人在跟我进行一场格斗。但它最终还是逃走了,也似乎害怕了。但它是怕我,还是自己信心不足?是的,我准备好了,也许是明天、后天,或是日后的某一天,我一定要亲手抓住它,把它打翻在地!即便是一只狗被主人逼急了也会反咬一口!


8月18日我想了整个一天,是的,看来我还要继续遭受它的折磨,忍受它的挑衅,遵从它的愿望,服从它的指令;并且要表现出懦弱、谦卑、臣服。它的力量越来越强大了,谁知道后面会发生什么呢……


8月19日我好像明白了……不,我终于了解了我的状况。我刚刚在《科学世界》杂志上读到了下面的有关报道:“一种新型的、快速传播的严重疾病从雷奥—德—杰纳罗地区迅速向外扩散。这是一种致命的传染病,其临床表现为狂燥不安,是一种广为传播的狂燥性精神病;这种病自中世纪以来一直侵扰着人们,如今该病在圣—保罗省甚为猖獗。当地的居民们已经纷纷逃离家乡,舍家弃业。据说那里的人们就像是牲畜般地被一种看不见的东西所奴役,但它可以和人进行接触,仿佛传说中的吸血鬼,总是在人们熟睡之时吸噬人的元气,但不是血。同时它也喝水和牛奶之类的东西,除此外对其它食物不感兴趣。近日,著名的病理学家唐?佩得罗?昂立盖教授和其他几位专家、医生动身前往圣—保罗省,实地研究观察这种疾病的起源和临床表现,并作出诊断报告上呈皇帝陛下,同时对这一病情提出救治方法,以供陛下决断。”读到这我想起了数月前,是五月八号,有一艘三桅船经过我的家门前迎塞纳河逆流而上;当时我第一眼就觉得它非常的洁白漂亮、气宇不凡。现在我想那东西就在那艘船上,那船就是它的巢穴。当它看见我和我那同样白色的房子后,它就上了岸,开始侵袭我所居住的这一地区开的人们。我的上帝啊!此时我明白了,也猜到了,人类在地球上的统治结束了。它来了。人类最初所担心的事情发生了;那些牧师们日夜祈祷的事发生了;那些巫师们在深夜祈灵的事也发生了;只是他们还无法看见它。无论人类的这些圣人们认为它是神灵或恶孽的化身,还是仙女或魔鬼的化身,但所有的想象都是错误的,也许是地球的环境让某种东西产生了变异。几年前有一些医学专家们曾说过,他们通过仔细的研究发现,不明物种的自身能量远远超过我们的想象。他们曾经对一个取名叫塞尼埃的神秘物种的脑细胞进行过研究,发现它具有强烈的统治人类的欲望,并认为它对人类有催眠、暗示和鼓惑的超级能量。我就曾经看见过一些人被这种东西所控制,他们的行为就像个无知的孩子一样!啊,这对我们太不幸了!灾难降临到了人类的头上!它来了,那我该怎么称呼它……我好像听到它在告诉我名子,一开始很模糊,后来我慢慢听清,声音断断续续又反反复复……好像是奥尔拉……是的,我听清了,是奥尔拉……是它……奥尔拉……是它……它来了、来了……秃鹫能够吃掉白鸽,甚至能吃掉棉羊;狮子能够咬死水牛;而人类也能够用箭、用刀、用枪杀死狮子;奥尔拉现在对我们就像我们对牛、对马那样,任意宰割。我们对它来说只不过是一件东西,是它的奴仆,是它的食物,只要它愿意,随时都可以杀死我们!真正的灾难降临了但即便是动物也会有反抗性,有时甚至会杀死它的主人;我现在就有这种想法,我想我能够杀死它!但我首先要了解它,感知它,看见它!那些专家们说,动物的眼睛和我们人类的眼睛不同,它们分不清我们的体貌。现在我的眼睛也同样分不清这个终日压迫我的新物种的样子。为什么呢?这时我突然想起了在圣—米歇尔山顶上那位修道士所说的话:“我们究竟能看到多少确实存在的东西?您瞧,比如说风吧,它是大自然中的一股巨大力量,能够吹倒我们这些人,能够掀翻高楼大厦,能够将树木连根拔起,摧毁山崖,埋葬船只。它是毁灭的风,呻吟的风,咆哮的风——您见过风,但您能告诉我风是什么样子吗?可它实实在在存在着!”我想我的眼睛的功能也是有限的、不完善的;它们可能连那坚固的物体都分不清,如果这物体是透明的话——比如说玻璃!……假如在我的卧室四周放上透明的镜子,我就一定会撞上它们,就像鸟儿撞上玻璃而折断脖子一样。如此就不能还有更多的事物让我们误入歧途吗?究竟需要什么非凡的能力才能够穿越光线,彻底看清这个迷一般东西的样子呢?一个新物种降临了,来了!为什么我们会成为地球上的最后一批人类?我们无法感知这些新物种,如同我们不知道在我们之前地球上所诞生过的物种一样。难道这是因为它们的大脑比我们人类的大脑更发达?身体结构比我们的结构更精巧、更完善?它们靠什么生存呢?是否也像地球上的动植物一样,靠空气,靠土壤,靠蔬果,靠肉禽?并且会生病、死亡、腐烂?但我们人类的诞生和死亡,既是必然的,也是偶然的,但我们在进化中变得越来越聪颖和智慧。我们只是这个世界上所存在物种中微乎其微的一部分,为什么不能在同一时期里将所有的物种都呈现出来呢?就像在同一地区内,为什么所有的花草不能同时开放呢?为什么地球上的基本元素只有水、火、土和空气四种?——它们是我们的生存之母!而不是四百种、四千种?——多么遗憾啊!大自然多么吝啬啊!如此说来,那些优美的大象、河马、骆驼看来都是上苍赐于的宠物!那些蝶儿花儿不也同样如此吗!我梦见过一只巨大的、无比美丽的蝴蝶,当它展翅飞翔时,身影遮住了整个天空,简直难以描述。我看着它向遥远的星星飞去,每经过一颗星星,星星就发出了耀眼的光芒!它飞呀飞呀,身姿是那样的轻盈优美!所有的人都抬头仰望着它,如痴如醉……下面我对它——那个终日纠缠我的奥尔拉该怎么办?我一想到它就要发疯!它侵扰了我的生活,控制了我的精神,我一定要杀死它!


8月20日我已经能看见它了。我一定要杀了它!昨晚坐我在桌前假装写东西,始终保持着高度警惕,因为我知道它可能就在我周围,而且离我很近很近,似乎我转身就能抓住它。但我能抓住它吗?我已下定了决心,我会拼尽全力的……我会用手、用腿、用身体、用脑袋,哪怕用牙齿,也要抓住它,打倒它,咬住它,撕碎它!我全身心地在注意着它可能会出现的动静。我在卧室里点亮了两盏灯,又在壁炉台上点了八支蜡烛。整个卧室房间灯火通明,我想只要它出现,我就能立刻发现它。我的对面是一张床腿系着链条的老式铁床,右边就是壁炉台,左边是房门,在此之前门一直开着,为了能抓住它,我关上了房门。我的身后是一面高大的玻璃镜子,那是我平时白天穿衣刮脸时用的。每次出门前,我都要站在镜子前从头到脚看一眼自己是否穿戴整齐。为了迷惑它我仍假装在写字,因为它也在观察我的举动。突然,我确信,我感到了它就在我肩头上方在读我写的东西,它就在那儿,它的声音就从我的耳边掠过。我站起身,双手下垂,然后突然转过身,由于速度太快,以致我差点跌倒在地。可是这怎么啦?在这犹如白昼的房间里,我竟然在镜子里看不到我自己!……整面镜子是空的,明亮的、深不可测的,光芒四射的!但就是没有我的身影……我面对着那面镜子,用充满恐惧的眼神从上到下看着那清澈明亮的玻璃,一动不敢动。我能肯定它就在那儿,但它似乎想逃避我。事实上令人难以察觉的那东西早已窥视出了我的动机。我感到害怕了,这时我在那镜子深处的一片水雾中又恍惚看到了我自己。那片水雾缓缓地左右荡漾,我的面孔慢慢变得越来越清晰,其景象就像是日蚀过去,重见光明一般。它用一种非常手段把我隐匿起来,但又并不想让我完全看不见自己,而是一点一点渐渐再将我显现出来。最后我又能在镜子里彻底看清自己的面孔,像平时一样了。这次我看见它了,那魔鬼就呆在我卧室里。我整个人在发抖。


8月21日怎样才能杀了它呢?因为抓不住它。下毒药?可它能看到我把药放进水里。再说我们人类的毒药,对它那无形的身躯能管用吗?不……一定管用……下面怎么办呢?怎么办呢?……


8月22日我从鲁昂找来了一位铁匠,让他把我卧室的窗户全都换成了铁制的百叶窗,就像巴黎很多大饭店的窗户一样,他们为了防盗贼,从一楼到楼顶安的全是这种铁制百叶窗。此外我还安了一扇铁门。那铁匠心里肯定笑我是个胆小鬼,但我不在乎!……


9月10日鲁昂,大陆饭店。这是真的……真的吗……它真的死了?我的大脑几乎无法相信自己所看到的情景。自从几天前铁匠帮我安好了铁门铁窗,我就一直把门敞开到深夜,虽然天气已开始变冷。昨夜我感到它又来了,我的心里一阵狂喜。我慢慢站起身,在卧室里来回左右地渡着步,为的是不让它察觉我的意图。随后我脱下皮鞋,假装漫不经心地换上拖鞋,然后不急不忙地走到门口,关上铁门,并把门锁拧了两圈。接着又走到窗前,用挂锁把铁窗锁死,把钥匙装进口袋。突然,我感觉到它一直在跟着我,似乎有点害怕什么。于是它暗示我必须打开门窗,我断然拒绝。我背靠着门,悄悄把门开一条缝,以便我自己随时能跑出。我一点点往外退,因为个子太高了,头碰到了上面的门框。当我确定它跑不掉时,迅速闪出门外,随即把门反锁上。我成功地把它锁在了房间里!我的心高兴极了,我终于抓住了它!我拿着两盏灯快速跑到楼下的客厅,把灯里的油倒在地毯上、家具上,撒得满屋都是。我点着火,紧接着跑出大门外,把大门关上、锁死。我跑到花园里,站在浓密的月桂树丛中,时间似乎过得很慢、很慢!四周一片漆黑,万籁俱静,没有一丝风,天上也没有一颗星星,更看不见大块的云朵,但我的心里却像被什么沉重的东西压得喘不过气来。我观察着我的房子。我在等待。时间过得太慢太慢!我在想是不是火没有烧起来,或是被那东西给扑灭了。就在这时,我看见一团火球把楼下的一扇窗户炸开了,一条长长的、暗红色的火舌冲出窗外,沿着白色的外墙壁向上翻滚着,舔噬着,直冲屋顶……火光照亮了树林,照亮了树枝,照亮了树叶,四周发出了恐惧的颤抖声。鸟儿们被惊醒,狗开始大声吠叫;这一切使我产生了黎明破晓的幻觉。又有两扇窗户暴裂了,楼下已是一片火海,我的房子就像是一只可怕的大烤箱。突然,一阵刺耳的、恐怖的呼喊声划破了空气。那是女人的声音。紧接着阁楼上的两扇窗户打开了——我忘了我的仆人们还在屋里!我看见她们挥动着双手,奋力挣扎着,脸上充满着恐怖的表情!我惊呆了,跑到外面的村庄里大声呼喊:“快来人啊!着火啦!……”很多村民跑出来,我转身领着他们往家里跑。等我跑回来时,整个房子已化成一堆烈焰,可怕的火舌在四处翻卷,照亮了大地,照亮了每一个人。我想我的俘虏,那个叫奥尔拉的东西这下跑也跑不掉了!就在这时,整个屋顶塌了下来,刹那时火光冲天。我的目光通过每一扇窗子在向里搜寻,终于我看到了有间屋子里面有一团火球在扭动、翻滚,我想那一定就是它——奥尔拉,但它逃不出这间大火炉,它一定会烧死在里面!可是,它真的会死吗?……这种对付我们人类的方法,对它那坚不可摧的身体器官管用吗?如果它不死的话怎么办?难道只有靠漫长的时间去征服这个无形可怕的东西吗?为什么这个透明的、不可知的东西会刀枪不入?而这种刀枪不入的东西正是人类自古以来产生恐惧的根源!人类之后奥尔拉来了。它的死不是人类所能办得到的,它自己掌控着自己的存在。是的,如此看来,我可以肯定它没有死,也不会死……我唯一的办法就是只有杀死我自己了!……

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