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《劳拉》-124页

(2007-02-22 13:13:22)
分类: 翻译小说
  英国宫殿并不是像劳拉想象的那样辉煌,她很难相信她自己会引见给女王。这几天,她要小心练习别人教她的礼节和举止,以及行屈膝礼。必须遵从这个严格的礼仪,她费了很大的心思学习。她唯一担心就是她的举止会突然的变得轻浮失礼。愿上帝保佑她见到女王不要昏厥!  
  她虽然是皇亲,维多利亚女王也是很奇怪而忽略了她。她知道女王有九个孩子,美国内战开始的那年她成了寡妇。她知道阿伯特爱德华是老大。她知道在1897年她宣布了她的钻石结婚纪念,在南非,对波尔人战争,在中国,波尔人的叛乱,使她感到沮丧。在很多方面,这都是英格兰忧伤的时刻,虽然她在宫廷里快乐,而卡巴顿的背叛始终使她忧伤。  
  仪式从下午开始,劳拉穿着最好礼服,一件黑色丝绸礼服,绣着花边白色上衣,带着没有斑点的小山羊皮手套。她头上的小帽子镶有面纱,脖子和手上都挂着她母亲的钻石。她感觉她衣着的华丽是足够灿烂了,可是第一次瞥见年老的女王使她的心剧烈地跳动,呼吸的气流到了喉咙就停止了。  
  维多利亚女王八十一岁,统治英格兰已经六十多年了,坦荡自尊的仪态显得高高在上,她受到狂热的崇拜。她受到她的国民的爱戴和万国人民的尊敬。国会也是服从她的。她的面色看上来不是很好,劳拉忧心思忖。好可怜的人呀,在世上活了这么长的时间,却没有她最爱的男人陪伴。劳拉感到与她有着一种奇怪的血亲关系,因为想到再也不能见到卡巴顿了,劳拉的心都要被撕碎了。
  
  The glitter of the English court was unlike anything Nora had ever seen she could still hardly believe that she was to be presented to the queen herself. For days now she had been carefully coached in what to say, how to behave, how to curtsy. There was a rigid protocol that one must follow, and she paid strict attention to her schooling. Her one worry was her sudden tendency to become light-headed. Heaven forbid that she should faint at the monarch's feel! 1
  About Queen Victoria, she had been singularly ignorant, despite her royal cousin. She knew that the monarch had nine children, that she was widowed the year the American Civil War began. She knew that Prince Albert Edward was the oldest of Victoria's children。She knew that Victoria had celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, and that she was depressed over the Boer War in South Africa and the Boexer Rebelllion in China. It was a sad time to come to England, in many ways, and despite the excitement of her day in the palace, a part of Nora was grieving over her betrayal by Cal.
  Since the presentation was in the afternoon, Nora wore her best suit, a black silk one with a lacy white blouse and spotless white kid gloves. She wore a pert little hat with a veil, and her mother's diamonds at her throat and wrist. She felt elegant enough in her finery, but her first glimpse of the aged queen set her heart racing and stopped her breath in her throat.
  Victoria was eighty-one years old, but she had the unmistakable proud carriage of her position and a mystique befitting a woman who had governed England for over sixty years. She was beloved by her people and respected the world over. Even Parliament deferred to her. But she looked unwell, Nora thought sadly. Poor thing, to have lived so long without the man she loved most in the world. She felt a strange kinship with her, because she was torn apart at the idea of never seeing Cal Barton again.

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