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马克吐温 百万英镑 13

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The 1,000,000 Bank-Note          Mark Twain


     "Portia, dear, would you mind going with me that day, when I confront those old gentlemen?"
     She shrank a little, but said:
     "N-o; if my being with you would help hearten you. But - would it be quite proper, do you think?"
     "No, I don't know that it would - in fact, I'm afraid it wouldn't; but, you see, there's so much dependent upon it that--"
     "Then I'll go anyway, proper or improper," she said, with a beautiful and generous enthusiasm. "Oh, I shall be so happy to think I'm helping!"
     "Helping, dear? Why, you'll be doing it all. You're so beautiful and so lovely and so winning, that with you there I can pile our salary up till I break those good old fellows, and they'll never have the heart to struggle."

  她略微有点迟疑,不过还是说:
  “只要我去能让你踏实一点,我愿、愿意。可是——你觉得这样合适吗?”
  “我也不知道合不合适——我也担心这不大合适。不过,你知道,你去不去关系可大着呢,所——”
  “那就别管合不合适,我去就是了,”她用一种可爱的巾帼豪杰的口吻说。“啊,一想到能帮你点儿忙,我太高兴了!”
  “亲爱的,怎么是帮点儿忙?嘿,这事全靠你了。你这么漂亮,这么可爱,这么迷人,有你和我一起去,我准能把薪水提得高高的,让那两个好好老先生倾了家,荡了产,还心甘情愿。”

     Sho! you should have seen the rich blood mount, and her happy eyes shine!
 
  哦!你是没见到她当时的样子:满脸春色,眼睛幸福得闪闪发亮!

     "You wicked flatterer! There isn't a word of truth in what you say, but still I'll go with you. Maybe it will teach you not to expect other people to look with your eyes."

  “讨厌鬼,光会说好听的!你连半句实话都没有,别管怎么样,我还是跟你一起去。也许这能给你个教训:别指望你怎么看人,人家就怎么看你。”

     Were my doubts dissipated? Was my confidence restored? You may judge by this fact: privately I raised my salary to twelve hundred the first year on the spot. But I didn't tell her; I saved it for a surprise.

  我心中的疑云一扫而空了吗?我重又信心十足了吗?你可以根据这件事来判断:我当时就私下把头一年的薪水提高到一千二百英镑。不过我没告诉她:我要留着这件事给她一个惊喜。

     All the way home I was in the clouds, Hastings talking, I not hearing a word. When he and I entered my parlor, he brought me to myself with his fervent appreciations of my manifold comforts and luxuries.

  回家时我一路上像踩着棉花一样,赫斯廷斯说的话,一句都没钻进我耳朵里头去。直到赫斯廷斯跟着进了我的客厅,对应有尽有、豪华舒适的陈设赞不绝口的时候,我才清醒过来。

     "Let me just stand here a little and look my fill. Dear me! it's a palace - it's just a palace! And in it everything a body could desire, including cosy coal fire and supper standing ready. Henry, it doesn't merely make me realize how rich you are; it makes me realize, to the bone, to the marrow, how poor I am - how poor I am, and how miserable, how defeated, routed, annihilated!"

  “让我在这儿站会儿,饱饱眼福。好家伙!这是宫殿呀——就是宫殿!想要什么,就有什么,暖融融的炭火,连晚餐都备好了。亨利,这不光让我明白了你到底有多阔;还让我彻头彻尾地明白了我自个儿到底有多穷——穷极了,惨透了,废物,没出路,没盼头了!”

     Plague take it! this language gave me the cold shudders. It scared me broad awake, and made me comprehend that I was standing on a half-inch crust, with a crater underneath. I didn't know I had been dreaming - that is, I hadn't been allowing myself to know it for a while back; but now - oh, dear! Deep in debt, not a cent in the world, a lovely girl's happiness or woe in my hands, and nothing in front of me but a salary which might never - oh, would never - materialize! Oh, oh, oh! I am ruined past hope! nothing can save me! 

  天杀的!这一说让我打了个寒噤。他的话让我如梦初醒,我认识到自己是站在半寸厚的地壳上,下面就是火山口。我本来不知道自己是在做梦,——也就是说,我没容自己抽出时间来闹个明白;可是如今——乖乖!欠了一屁股债,一文不名,把一个姑娘的吉凶祸福攥在手心里,我自己却还前途未卜,只有一份也许是画饼充饥的薪水——唉,也许根本——就兑不了现!唉唉唉!我算是毁了,没有希望,没救了!

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