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马克吐温 百万英镑 10

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The 1,000,000 Bank-Note          Mark Twain


It was a lovely dinner-party of fourteen. The Duke and Duchess of Shoreditch, and their daughter the Lady Anne-Grace-Eleanor-Celeste-and-so-forth-and-so-forth-de-Bohun, the Earl and Countess of Newgate, Viscount Cheapside, Lord and Lady Blatherskite, some untitled people of both sexes, the minister and his wife and daughter, and his daughter's visiting friend, an English girl of twenty-two, named Portia Langham, whom I fell in love with in two minutes, and she with me - I could see it without glasses. There was still another guest, an American - but I am a little ahead of my story. While the people were still in the drawing-room, whetting up for dinner, and coldly inspecting the late comers, the servant announced: "Mr. Lloyd Hastings."

当天的宴会妙不可言,席上一共有十四个人。绍勒迪希公爵和公爵夫人以及他们的女儿安妮—格蕾丝—爱莲诺—赛来斯特—还有一串什么什么—德—波鸿女士,纽格特伯爵和伯爵夫人,契普赛德子爵,布拉瑟斯凯特爵士和夫人,几对没有头衔的夫妇,公使以及他的夫人和女儿,还有公使女儿的朋友、二十二岁的英国姑娘波蒂娅·朗姆。没出两分钟,我就爱上了她,她也爱上了我——这一点我不戴眼镜也看得出来。另外还有一位美国客人——我这故事讲得有点儿超前了。这些人正在客厅里等着,一边吊胃口,一边冷眼旁观后到的客人。这时仆人来报:“劳埃德·赫斯廷斯先生到。”

The moment the usual civilities were over, Hastings caught sight of me, and came straight with cordially outstretched hand; then stopped short when about to shake, and said, with an embarrassed look:

老一套的寒暄过后,赫斯廷斯瞧见了我,诚心诚意地伸出手,径直朝我走了过来;手还没握上,他忽然停了下来,不好意思地说:

     "I beg your pardon, sir, I thought I knew you."
     "Why, you do know me, old fellow."
     "No. Are you the - the--"
     "Vest-pocket monster? I am, indeed. Don't be afraid to call me by my nickname; I'm used to it."

“对不起,先生,我还以为咱们认识呢。”
“怎么,您当然认识我啦,老朋友。”
“不。难道您就是——是——”
“腰缠万贯的怪物吗?对,就是我。你别害怕喊我的外号,我听惯了。”

     "Well, well, well, this is a surprise. Once or twice I've seen your own name coupled with the nickname, but it never occurred to me that you could be the Henry Adams referred to. Why, it isn't six months since you were clerking away for Blake Hopkins in Frisco on a salary, and sitting up nights on an extra allowance, helping me arrange and verify the Gould and Curry Extension papers and statistics. The idea of your being in London, and a vast millionaire, and a colossal celebrity! Why, it's the Arabian Nights come again. Man, I can't take it in at all; can't realize it; give me time to settle the whirl in my head."

“嗨嗨嗨,这可真没想到。有几次我看到你的名字和这个外号放在一块,我从来没想过他们说的那个亨利·亚当斯会是你。怎么?刚刚半年以前,你还在旧金山给布莱克·霍普金斯打工,为了挣点加班费经常开夜车,帮我整理核查古尔德和加利矿业公司的招股文件和统计数字呢。真没想到你会到了伦敦,成了百万富翁、当了名人了!好嘛,这可真是把天方夜谭重演了一遍。伙计,我一下还转不过弯子来,没弄明白;容我点时间来理理脑袋里头这一团乱麻。”

     "The fact is, Lloyd, you are no worse off than I am. I can't realize it myself."
     "Dear me, it is stunning, now isn't it? Why, it's just three months today since we went to the Miners' restaurant--"
     "No; the What Cheer."

“可是明摆着,你比我混得也不赖呀。我自己也弄不明白。”
“好家伙,这真是万万没有想到的事,是吧?哎,咱俩上矿工饭馆才不过是三个月以前的事呢——”
“不对,是上快活林。”

     "Right, it was the What Cheer; went there at two in the morning, and had a chop and coffee after a hard six-hours grind over those Extension papers, and I tried to persuade you to come to London with me, and offered to get leave of absence for you and pay all your expenses, and give you something over if I succeeded in making the sale; and you would not listen to me, said I wouldn't succeed, and you couldn't afford to lose the run of business and be no end of time getting the hang of things again when you got back home. And yet here you are. How odd it all is! How did you happen to come, and whatever did give you this incredible start?"

“没错,是快活林;是过半夜两点钟去的,咱们赶那些增资文件用了六个钟头,然后到那儿去啃了块肉骨头,喝了杯咖啡,那时我想劝你跟我一起来伦敦,还主动要替你去请长假,外带为你出全部路费,只要那笔生意做成了,再给你好处;可是你不听我的,说我成不了,说你的工作断不得,一断,再回去的时候就接不上茬了。可是如今你却到这儿来了。稀奇稀奇!你是怎么来的,你这种不可思议的起步到底是怎么得来的呢?”

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