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马克吐温 百万英镑 08

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The 1,000,000 Bank-Note
          Mark Twain


"I'm changing my quarters. I will drop in and leave the new address."

“我就要搬家了。我什么时候来再留新地址。”

"Quite right, sir, quite right. One moment - let me show you out, sir. There - good day, sir, good day."

“您圣明,先生,您圣明。稍等——我送送您,先生。好——您走好,先生,您走好。”

Well, don't you see what was bound to happen? I drifted naturally into buying whatever I wanted, and asking for change. Within a week I was sumptuously equipped with all needful comforts and luxuries, and was housed in an expensive private hotel in Hanover Square. I took my dinners there, but for breakfast I stuck by Harris's humble feeding house, where I had got my first meal on my million-pound bill. I was the making of Harris. The fact had gone all abroad that the foreign crank who carried million-pound bills in his vest pocket was the patron saint of the place. That was enough. From being a poor, struggling, little hand-to-mouth enterprise, it had become celebrated, and overcrowded with customers. Harris was so grateful that he forced loans upon me, and would not be denied; and so, pauper as I was, I had money to spend, and was living like the rich and the great. I judged that there was going to be a crash by and by, but I was in now and must swim across or drown. You see there was just that element of impending disaster to give a serious side, a sober side, yes, a tragic side, to a state of things which would otherwise have been purely ridiculous. In the night, in the dark, the tragedy part was always to the front, and always warning, always threatening; and so I moaned and tossed, and sleep was hard to find. But in the cheerful daylight the tragedy element faded out and disappeared, and I walked on air, and was happy to giddiness, to intoxication, you may say.

喏,往后的事你心里明白了吧?我顺其自然,想买什么就买什么,买完了,吆喝一声“找钱!”不出一个星期,我把所需的各色安享尊荣的行头统统置办齐备,在汉诺威广场一家价格不菲的旅馆安顿下来。我在那儿用晚餐,可早晨还是到哈里斯家的小吃店去吃个便饭,我就是在那儿靠一百万英镑的钞票吃的头一顿饭。是我成全了哈里斯。消息传开了,说马甲口袋里揣着百万大钞的古怪老外是这儿的财神爷。这就够了。这原本是一家穷得叮当响、苦巴苦结勉强糊口的小吃店,现在名声大振、顾客盈门了。哈里斯感激不尽,非要借钱给我,还不许我推辞;于是,我虽然一贫如洗,囊中却并不羞涩,日子过得又阔气,又排场。我心里也在打鼓,想着说不定哪天就会露馅,可是,事已至此也只有一往无前了。你看,这本来纯粹是件胡闹的事,可有了这种危机感,竟显出几分严肃、几分伤感和几分悲哀来。夜幕降临后,这悲哀总是在黑暗中走上前来警告我,威胁我;让我唉声叹气,辗转反侧,夜不能寐。然而,一到喜气洋洋的白天,这些悲剧因素就烟消云散,无影无踪了。我飘飘然,乐得晕头转向,像喝醉了酒一样。

And it was natural; for I had become one of the notorieties of the metropolis of the world, and it turned my head, not just a little, but a good deal. You could not take up a newspaper, English, Scotch, or Irish, without finding in it one or more references to the "vest-pocket million-pounder" and his latest doings and saying. At first, in these mentions, I was at the bottom of the personal-gossip column; next, I was listed above the knights, next above the baronets, next above the barons, and so on, and so on, climbing steadily, as my notoriety augmented, until I reached the highest altitude possible, and there I remained, taking precedence of all dukes not royal, and of all ecclesiastics except the primate of all England.

说来也不足为奇;我已经成了这个世界大都会的显赫人物,我的思想何止是一星半点,简直是彻头彻尾地改造了。不管你翻开哪份报纸,无论是英格兰的,苏格兰的,还是爱尔兰的,你总会看到一两条有关“身藏百万英镑者”及其最新言行的消息。刚开始的时候,这些有关我的消息放在杂谈栏的尾巴上;接着我的位置就超过了各位爵士,后来盖过了二等男爵,再往后又凌驾于男爵之上了,如此这般,我的位置越升越高,名气也越来越响,直到无法再高的地方才停了下来。这时候,我已经居于皇室之下和众公爵之上;虽然比不上全英大主教,但足可俯瞰除他以外的一切神职人员。

But mind, this was not fame; as yet I had achieved only notoriety. Then came the climaxing stroke - the accolade, so to speak - which in a single instant transmuted the perishable dross of notoriety into the enduring gold of fame: Punch caricatured me! Yes, I was a made man now; my place was established. I might be joked about still, but reverently, not hilariously, not rudely; I could be smiled at, but not laughed at. The time for that had gone by. Punch pictured me all aflutter with rags, dickering with a beef-eater for the Tower of London. Well, you can imagine how it was with a young fellow who had never been taken notice of before, and now all of a sudden couldn't say a thing that wasn't taken up and repeated everywhere; couldn't stir abroad without constantly overhearing the remark flying from lip to lip, "There he goes; that's him!" couldn't take his breakfast without a crowd to look on; couldn't appear in an operabox without concentrating there the fire of a thousand lorgnettes. Why, I just swam in glory all day long- that is the amount of it.

切记,直到这时,我还算不上有声望;只能说是有了名气。就在这时,高潮突起——就像封侯拜将一般——刹那间,我那过眼烟云似的名气化作了天长地久的金子般的声望:《笨拙》画刊登了我的漫画!是啊,如今我已经功成名就,站稳脚跟了。也许还有人调侃,可都透着尊重,既没出格,也不粗鲁;也许还有人发笑,却没有人嘲笑了。那样的日子已经过去。《笨拙》把我画得衣服都开了线,正跟一个伦敦塔的卫兵讨价还价。喏,你可以想见一个向来默默无闻的小伙子,突然间,他的每一句只言片语都会到处传扬;随便走到哪里,都能听见人们相互转告:“那个走路的,就是他!”吃早饭一直有人围得里三层外三层;在包厢一露面,成百上千的望远镜都齐刷刷地瞄了过去。嘿,我一天到晚出尽了风头——也可以说是独领风骚吧。

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