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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:     《麦琪的礼物》   [美] 欧亨利 原著      谢国芳(Roy Xie)译    
 

 

            THE GIFT OF THE MAGI           
                                                                     by   O. Henry   
                                                                

          只看英语(English Only)                                     英汉对照(English & Chinese)                                     只看汉语(Chinese Only


  


       One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name "Mr. James Dillingham Young."

The "Dillingham" had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, the letters of "Dillingham" looked blurred, as though they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called "Jim" and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling—something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its colour within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her, rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: "Mme. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds." One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the "Sofronie."

"Will you buy my hair?" asked Della.

"I buy hair," said Madame. "Take yer hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it."

Down rippled the brown cascade. "Twenty dollars," said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

"Give it to me quick," said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation—as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value—the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends—a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

"If Jim doesn't kill me," she said to herself, "before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do—oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty-seven cents?"

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayers about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: "Please God, make him think I am still pretty."

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two—and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

"Jim, darling," she cried, "don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again—you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say 'Merry Christmas!' Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice—what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you."

"You've cut off your hair?" asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

"Cut it off and sold it," said Della. "Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?"

Jim looked about the room curiously.

"You say your hair is gone?" he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

"You needn't look for it," said Della. "It's sold, I tell you—sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered," she went on with sudden serious sweetness, "but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?"

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year—what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

"Don't make any mistake, Dell," he said, "about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first."

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs—the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims—just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: "My hair grows so fast, Jim!"

And then Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, "Oh, oh!"

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

"Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it."

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

"Dell," said he, "let's put our Christmas presents away and keep 'em a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on."

The magi, as you know, were wise men—wonderfully wise men—who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

 


      一美元八角七分。总共就这么多。其中的六角还全是一分钱的硬币。这些分币是靠每次一个两个向杂货商、菜贩子和肉店老板死磨硬赖积攒下来的;虽然没有遭到对方当面的责难,但如此锱铢必较所表现出来的吝啬,却让自己的面颊都臊得发烫了。 黛拉数了三遍。一分不差,一美元八角七分。而明天就是圣诞节了。
   
        这时除了一屁股坐在那张破旧的小沙发上嚎啕大哭之外,显然没有什么事情好做了。黛拉正是这样做的。这不禁使人发出这样的感慨——人生是由哽咽,抽泣和微笑组成的,其中抽泣占了大部分。


      趁着女主人的哭声变轻、渐渐减弱的时候,我们不妨来看一眼这个家。这是一套带家具的公寓,房租每星期八美元。它还没有穷酸到难以用笔墨形容的地步,但的确使人联想到乞丐窝这个词儿。
   
      在下面的门廊里有一个信箱,但没有一封信会投进去;还有一个电按钮,但也没有哪一根凡俗的手指能使它发出铃声。那里还有一张卡片,上面标有“詹姆斯 • 迪林汉姆 • 扬先生”这个大名。

      姓氏和名字中间的“迪林汉姆”是主人在从前春风得意时——那时他每星期挣三十美元——大发雅兴添加上去的。如今,当他的收入缩减到了二十美元,“迪林汉姆”这几个字的英文字母看上去也模糊不清了,仿佛它们也正在认真考虑收缩成一个谦逊而不张扬的首字母D。可是每当詹姆斯 • 迪林汉姆 • 扬先生回到家,到达上方的寓所,他总会被詹姆斯 • 迪林汉姆 • 扬太太——就是前面已经向您介绍过的黛拉——亲热地称为“吉姆”,并受到热烈地拥抱。这一切当然都很好。


      黛拉哭完后用搽粉布修饰了一下脸颊,然后就站在窗前,呆呆地望着窗外,看见某个灰色的后院里一只灰猫正在穿越一道灰色的篱笆。明天就是圣诞节了,而她却只有一美元八角七分钱给吉姆买礼物。好几个月来她一直在积攒每一文能省下来的钱,谁料竟是这种结果。一星期二十美元是不经花的。开销总是比她原先估计的大,一向如此。只有一美元八角七分钱为吉姆——她的吉姆买礼物。她曾花费很多愉快的时光计划为他买点好东西,一件精美、稀罕、纯正的东西——一样稍许配得上“被吉姆所拥有”这个荣耀的东西。


      在房间两面的窗户中间有一面穿衣镜。也许您见过八美元一周的公寓里的这种穿衣镜。一个非常瘦且敏捷的人,通过观察自己在一连串纵向镜片里的映像,也许能获得关于本人容貌的颇为准确的概念。身材苗条的黛拉就精通此道。


      突然,她从窗口猛地转过身来,站在了镜子前面。她的眼睛闪闪发亮,可是她的脸却在二十秒之内失尽了颜色。她迅速地解开头发,让它直直地散落下来。


      詹姆斯•迪林汉姆•扬夫妇有两样东西让他们俩感到无比自豪,一个是吉姆的金表,它曾经是他父亲的、也曾经是他祖父的宝贝。另一个是黛拉的头发。假如示巴女王住在通风井对面的公寓里,黛拉一定会找个日子把她的秀发晾到窗子外面,让那位女王陛下的珠宝和礼物黯然失色。假如所罗门国王是门房,并把他所有的金银财宝都堆积在地下室里,吉姆每次经过时准会掏出他的手表,好让他嫉妒得扯胡子瞪眼睛。


      此刻,黛拉美丽的头发披散下来,宛如一汪褐色的小瀑布,微波起伏,闪闪发光。它一直垂到膝盖以下,几乎可以给她当一件衣裳。接着她迅速而紧张地重新束好头发。她一度踌躇了片刻,静静地站在那里,一两滴眼泪溅到了破旧的红地毯上。


      她穿上那件褐色的旧外套,戴上褐色的旧帽子,裙子猛地一摆,眼睛里依然闪烁着泪花,翩然出了房门,下了楼梯,来到了街上。


      她在一块招牌前停住了,那上面写着:“莎弗朗妮夫人。经营各种头发用品。”  黛拉跑上一段楼梯,一面喘气,一面让自己镇定下来。夫人的块头很大,肤色白得过分,神情冷若冰霜,看上去一点也不像“莎弗朗妮”。
   

      “您愿意买我的头发吗?”黛拉问道。
   

      “我买头发,”夫人说,“把你的帽子脱掉,让我看看它的样子。”
   

      褐色的小瀑布泻了下来。 “二十美元,”夫人用老练的手抓起那一团秀发说。
   
      “快把钱给我。”黛拉说。
   
      哦!接下去的两个小时就像长了彩翼一般飞快地过去了。忘掉这句乱七八糟的比喻吧,事实是,黛拉为了寻找给吉姆的礼物正在彻底搜查各家商店。
   
      她终于找到了它。它无疑是专门为吉姆定做的。她已经把所有的店铺兜底翻遍了,任何一家都没有第二件这种货色。这是一条白金表链,式样简单朴实,仅仅靠质地、而不是靠浮华俗气的装饰来显示它的价值——一切好东西都应该如此。它甚至配得上那块表。一看见它她就知道它一定是吉姆的。它就像他。温和文静而有价值——这一描述对两者都适用。二十一美元被他们要走了,带着剩下的八角七分钱,她急匆匆地赶回家去。他的金表配上这条链子,吉姆就能在任何场合堂堂正正地对时间表示关切了。那块表虽然雍容华贵,可是因为用一条旧皮带代替表链,他有时候只能偷偷地看它一眼。
   
      当黛拉回到家时,她的陶醉已稍稍让位于谨慎和理智。她拿出烫发钳,点着煤气,开始动手补救爱情加慷慨造成的破坏。这向来是一项艰巨的任务,亲爱的朋友——是需要非凡的毅力才能完成的任务啊!
   
      不出四十分钟,她的头上便布满了紧贴头皮的小卷发,这使她看上去像一个逃学的小男生。她带着批评家的目光,仔细端详镜子中的自己。
   
      “假如吉姆看了我一眼后没有杀了我,”她心想,“他一定会说我看上去像科尼岛上的歌舞团舞女。可是有什么办法呢?——唉!拿这一美元八角七分钱,我能做什么呢?”
   
      到七点钟时,咖啡煮好了,贴在炉子后面的煎锅也热了,随时都可以煎排骨。
   
      吉姆从来没有晚回来过。黛拉把表链对折起来攥在手心里,在他进来时必经的那个门口的餐桌角坐了下来。接着,她听到下面第一段楼梯上响起了他的脚步声,霎那间,她的脸色变得煞白了。她有为一些最简单的日常事情默默地做小祷告的习惯,所以此刻她就轻声说道:“上帝保佑,让他认为我依然是漂亮的吧。”
   
      门开了,吉姆走了进来,又顺手将它关上。他看上去很瘦、很严肃。可怜的人,他只有二十二岁——就要负起一个家庭的重担!他需要一件新大衣,他也没有一双手套。
   
      吉姆一进门就站住了,就像一只塞特种猎狗闻到了鹌鹑气味,一动不动地定在那里。
   
      他的眼睛死死地盯着黛拉,目光里有一种让她无法看透的神情,这让她十分惊恐。那既不是愤怒,也不是惊讶,也不是非难,也不是恐惧,不是她准备应付的任何一种情绪。他只是带着古怪的表情定定地凝视着她。
   
      黛拉扭着腰离开餐桌向他走去。
   
      “吉姆,亲爱的,”她叫喊道,“别那样子看我。我把头发剪掉卖了,因为不送你一件礼物,我没法度过圣诞节。它会重新长出来的——你不会介意,是不是?我不得不这么做,此外别无选择。我的头发长得快极了。跟我说‘圣诞快乐!’吧,吉姆,让我们开开心心的。你不知道我为你准备了一件多么好——多么漂亮的好礼物。”
   
      “你把你的头发剪掉了?”吉姆费力地问道,仿佛在经过最艰苦的思索之后,他也还没有领悟这个明摆着的事实。
   
      “我把它剪掉卖了,”黛拉说,“不管怎样,你还是同样喜欢我,对吗?没有了我的头发,我还是我,不是吗?”
   
      吉姆好奇地环顾了一下房间。
   
      “你说你的头发没了?”他带着一种近乎白痴的神情说道。
   
      “你不用找啦,”黛拉说,“我已经将它卖了,我告诉你——卖了,不在了。今天是圣诞夜,小伙子,对我好一点,因为我割舍它完全是为了你。我头上的发丝也许是有限的,” 接着她突然用一种很严肃很甜蜜的口吻说道,“但我对你的爱却是无限的。我该煎排骨了吗,吉姆?”
   
      吉姆好像很快从神志恍惚中醒来了,他一把抱住了黛拉。趁这当儿,让我们花十秒钟审慎地思考一下另一件无关紧要的事情吧。一星期八美元,或者一年一百万美元——这两者之间有什么区别呢?一个数学家或者有才智的人会给你错误的回答。东方三贤人带来了贵重的礼物,但那是不在其中的。稍后我们将对这一句晦涩隐秘的断言加以说明。
   
      吉姆从他的大衣口袋里掏出一包东西扔在桌上。
   
      “别误解我,黛尔,”他说,“我不认为在剪发、修面、或者洗头方面,有任何东西能减少我对我的女人的喜爱。但是你只要打开那包东西,就会明白一开始你为什么让我晕了好一阵子。”
   
      白皙灵巧的手指撕扯着带子和包装纸,接着是一声狂喜的尖叫;接着,哎呀!风云突变,刚才的欢喜转眼变成了女性的歇斯底里的眼泪和哀号,迫使公寓的男主人立刻使出浑身解数百般安慰和劝解。
   
      因为那里摆放着那些簪子,那是黛拉在百老汇大街的一个橱窗里见过、仰慕了很久的一整套簪子,侧面的,后面的,一应俱全。这些美丽的簪子是用纯玳瑁做的,边上镶着珠宝——色泽正好和那消失了的美发相匹配。她知道它们是昂贵的簪子,她的心灵只是渴望和向往它们,丝毫没有占为己有的奢望。而现在,它们竟然是她的了,可那本应使这些她垂涎已久的饰物增色的绺绺长发却荡然无存了。
   
      但她还是将它们紧紧地搂在怀里,好久好久,她终于能抬起泪汪汪的双眼,微微一笑说:“我的头发长得很快,吉姆!”
   
      然后黛拉像一只被烧焦了皮毛的小猫似地跳起来叫道:“噢!噢!”
   
      吉姆还没有见到她给他的美丽礼物呢。她急切地伸出摊开的手掌,将它展现在他的面前。那暗淡的贵金属此刻仿佛闪烁着她那欢快和热烈的心灵的折光。
   
      “它难道不是上等货吗,吉姆?我搜遍了全城才找到了它。现在你每天可要看一百次时间了。把你的表给我,我要看看它戴在上面怎么样。”
   
      吉姆并没有顺从,却一屁股栽倒在沙发上,把两手枕在头下,微微地笑了起来。
   
      “黛尔,”他说道,“让我们把各自的圣诞礼物放好,暂时保存一段时间。它们实在太好啦,现在我们还不能用。为了弄钱买你的那些簪子,我卖掉了手表。现在你动手煎排骨怎么样?”
   
      如诸位所知,麦琪们是智者——聪明绝顶的人,他们给马槽里的圣婴带来了礼物,因而发明了送圣诞礼物这门艺术。他们既然聪明,他们的礼物无疑也是聪明的,或许还有万一相同时可以交换的特权。在这里我蹩脚地给你们讲述了一个平凡无奇的故事;一间公寓里的两个傻孩子,既不明智地为对方牺牲了自己家里最最宝贵的珍宝。但是,我要对现今的那些聪明人说最后一句话:在所有馈赠礼物的人当中,这两位是最聪明的。在所有馈赠和领受礼物的人当中,像他们这样的人是最聪明的。无论在什么地方,他们都是最聪明的。他们就是麦琪。

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       分类:             国芳多语对照文库 >> 英语-汉语 >> 欧亨利 >> 短篇小说      
    Categories:  Xie's Multilingual Corpus >> English-Chinese >> O. Henry >> Short Novel                                                  
    

 

 



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