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爱丽丝漫游奇境记(连载四)

(2010-05-26 16:45:50)
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杂谈

分类: 简单英语阅读

CHAPTER IV The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill

 

  It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had lost something; and she heard it muttering to itself `The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She'll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?' Alice guessed in a moment that it was looking for the fan and the pair of white kid gloves, and she very good-naturedly began hunting about for them, but they were nowhere to be seen--everything seemed to have changed since her swim in the pool, and the great hall, with the glass table and the little door, had vanished completely.

  Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went hunting about, and called out to her in an angry tone, `Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, now!' And Alice was so much frightened that she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to, without trying to explain the mistake it had made.

  `He took me for his housemaid,' she said to herself as she ran. `How surprised he'll be when he finds out who I am! But I'd better take him his fan and gloves--that is, if I can find them.' As she said this, she came upon a neat little house, on the door of which was a bright brass plate with the name `W. RABBIT' engraved upon it. She went in without knocking, and hurried upstairs, in great fear lest she should meet the real Mary Ann, and be turned out of the house before she had found the fan and gloves.

  `How queer it seems,' Alice said to herself, `to be going messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah'll be sending me on messages next!' And she began fancying the sort of thing that would happen: `"Miss Alice! Come here directly, and get ready for your walk!" "Coming in a minute, nurse! But I've got to see that the mouse doesn't get out." Only I don't think,' Alice went on, `that they'd let Dinah stop in the house if it began ordering people about like that!'

  By this time she had found her way into a tidy little room with a table in the window, and on it (as she had hoped) a fan and two or three pairs of tiny white kid gloves: she took up the fan and a pair of the gloves, and was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell upon a little bottle that stood near the looking- glass. There was no label this time with the words `DRINK ME,' but nevertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips. `I know SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen,' she said to herself, `whenever I eat or drink anything; so I'll just see what this bottle does. I do hope it'll make me grow large again, for really I'm quite tired of being such a tiny little thing!'

  It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found her head pressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to save her neck from being broken. She hastily put down the bottle, saying to herself `That's quite enough--I hope I shan't grow any more--As it is, I can't get out at the door--I do wish I hadn't drunk quite so much!'

  Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself `Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What WILL become of me?'

  Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now had its full effect, and she grew no larger: still it was very uncomfortable, and, as there seemed to be no sort of chance of her ever getting out of the room again, no wonder she felt unhappy.

  `It was much pleasanter at home,' thought poor Alice, `when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn't gone down that rabbit-hole--and yet--and yet--it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder what CAN have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I'll write one--but I'm grown up now,' she added in a sorrowful tone; `at least there's no room to grow up any more HERE.'

  `But then,' thought Alice, `shall I NEVER get any older than I am now? That'll be a comfort, one way--never to be an old woman-- but then--always to have lessons to learn! Oh, I shouldn't like THAT!'

  `Oh, you foolish Alice!' she answered herself. `How can you learn lessons in here? Why, there's hardly room for YOU, and no room at all for any lesson-books!'

  And so she went on, taking first one side and then the other, and making quite a conversation of it altogether; but after a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and stopped to listen.

  `Mary Ann! Mary Ann!' said the voice. `Fetch me my gloves this moment!' Then came a little pattering of feet on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and she trembled till she shook the house, quite forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as large as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.

  Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice's elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself `Then I'll go round and get in at the window.'

  `THAT you won't' thought Alice, and, after waiting till she fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the window, she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything, but she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken glass, from which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something of the sort.

  Next came an angry voice--the Rabbit's--`Pat! Pat! Where are you?' And then a voice she had never heard before, `Sure then I'm here! Digging for apples, yer honour!'

  `Digging for apples, indeed!' said the Rabbit angrily. `Here! Come and help me out of THIS!' (Sounds of more broken glass.)

  `Now tell me, Pat, what's that in the window?'

  `Sure, it's an arm, yer honour!' (He pronounced it `arrum.')

  `An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the whole window!'

  `Sure, it does, yer honour: but it's an arm for all that.'

  `Well, it's got no business there, at any rate: go and take it away!'

  There was a long silence after this, and Alice could only hear whispers now and then; such as, `Sure, I don't like it, yer honour, at all, at all!' `Do as I tell you, you coward!' and at last she spread out her hand again, and made another snatch in the air. This time there were TWO little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. `What a number of cucumber-frames there must be!' thought Alice. `I wonder what they'll do next! As for pulling me out of the window, I only wish they COULD! I'm sure I don't want to stay in here any longer!'

  She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound of a good many voices all talking together: she made out the words: `Where's the other ladder?--Why, I hadn't to bring but one; Bill's got the other--Bill! fetch it here, lad!--Here, put 'em up at this corner--No, tie 'em together first--they don't reach half high enough yet--Oh! they'll do well enough; don't be particular-- Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope--Will the roof bear?--Mind that loose slate--Oh, it's coming down! Heads below!' (a loud crash)--`Now, who did that?--It was Bill, I fancy--Who's to go down the chimney?--Nay, I shan't! YOU do it!--That I won't, then!--Bill's to go down--Here, Bill! the master says you're to go down the chimney!'

  `Oh! So Bill's got to come down the chimney, has he?' said Alice to herself. `Shy, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn't be in Bill's place for a good deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but I THINK I can kick a little!'

  She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could, and waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn't guess of what sort it was) scratching and scrambling about in the chimney close above her: then, saying to herself `This is Bill,' she gave one sharp kick, and waited to see what would happen next.

  The first thing she heard was a general chorus of `There goes Bill!' then the Rabbit's voice along--`Catch him, you by the hedge!' then silence, and then another confusion of voices--`Hold up his head--Brandy now--Don't choke him--How was it, old fellow? What happened to you? Tell us all about it!'

  Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice, (`That's Bill,' thought Alice,) `Well, I hardly know--No more, thank ye; I'm better now--but I'm a deal too flustered to tell you--all I know is, something comes at me like a Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!'

  `So you did, old fellow!' said the others.

  `We must burn the house down!' said the Rabbit's voice; and Alice called out as loud as she could, `If you do. I'll set Dinah at you!'

  There was a dead silence instantly, and Alice thought to herself, `I wonder what they WILL do next! If they had any sense, they'd take the roof off.' After a minute or two, they began moving about again, and Alice heard the Rabbit say, `A barrowful will do, to begin with.'

  `A barrowful of WHAT?' thought Alice; but she had not long to doubt, for the next moment a shower of little pebbles came rattling in at the window, and some of them hit her in the face. `I'll put a stop to this,' she said to herself, and shouted out, `You'd better not do that again!' which produced another dead silence.

  Alice noticed with some surprise that the pebbles were all turning into little cakes as they lay on the floor, and a bright idea came into her head. `If I eat one of these cakes,' she thought, `it's sure to make SOME change in my size; and as it can't possibly make me larger, it must make me smaller, I suppose.'

  So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to find that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the house, and found quite a crowd of little animals and birds waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the moment she appeared; but she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood.

  `The first thing I've got to do,' said Alice to herself, as she wandered about in the wood, `is to grow to my right size again; and the second thing is to find my way into that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan.'

  It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly and simply arranged; the only difficulty was, that she had not the smallest idea how to set about it; and while she was peering about anxiously among the trees, a little sharp bark just over her head made her look up in a great hurry.

  An enormous puppy was looking down at her with large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, trying to touch her. `Poor little thing!' said Alice, in a coaxing tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was terribly frightened all the time at the thought that it might be hungry, in which case it would be very likely to eat her up in spite of all her coaxing.

  Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit of stick, and held it out to the puppy; whereupon the puppy jumped into the air off all its feet at once, with a yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe to worry it; then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to keep herself from being run over; and the moment she appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to get hold of it; then Alice, thinking it was very like having a game of play with a cart-horse, and expecting every moment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle again; then the puppy began a series of short charges at the stick, running a very little way forwards each time and a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the while, till at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its tongue hanging out of its mouth, and its great eyes half shut.

  This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making her escape; so she set off at once, and ran till she was quite tired and out of breath, and till the puppy's bark sounded quite faint in the distance.

  `And yet what a dear little puppy it was!' said Alice, as she leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and fanned herself with one of the leaves: `I should have liked teaching it tricks very much, if--if I'd only been the right size to do it! Oh dear! I'd nearly forgotten that I've got to grow up again! Let me see--how IS it to be managed? I suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but the great question is, what?'

  The great question certainly was, what? Alice looked all round her at the flowers and the blades of grass, but she did not see anything that looked like the right thing to eat or drink under the circumstances. There was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same height as herself; and when she had looked under it, and on both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that she might as well look and see what was on the top of it.

  She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.

 

第四章 兔子派遣小比尔进屋

 

  原来是那只小白兔,又慢慢地走回来了,它在刚才走过的路上焦急地到处审视,好像在寻找什么东西,爱丽丝还听到它低产咕噜:“公爵夫人呵!公爵夫人,唉!我亲爱的小爪子呀!我的小胡子呀!她一定会把我的头砍掉的,一定的!就像雪貂是雪貂那样千真万确!我是在哪儿丢掉的呢?”爱丽丝马上猜到它在找那把扇子和那双羊皮手套,于是,她也好心地到处寻找,可是找不见,自从她在池塘里游荡以来,好像所有东西都变了,就是那个有着玻璃桌子和小门的大厅也都不见了。

  不一会,当爱丽丝还在到处找的时候,兔子看见了她,并且生气地向她喊道:“玛丽.安,你在外面干什么?马上回家给我拿一双手套和一把扇子来。赶快去!”爱丽丝吓得要命,顾不得去解释它的误会,赶快按它指的方向跑去了。

  “它把我当成它的女仆了,”她边跑边对自己说,“它以后发现我是谁,会多么惊奇啊!可是我最好还是帮它把手套和扇子拿去——要是我能找到的话。”她说着到了一幢整洁的小房子前,门上挂着一块明亮的黄铜小牌子,刻着“白兔先生”。她没有敲门就进去了,急忙往楼上跑,生怕碰上真的玛丽.安,如果那样的话,她在找到手套和扇子之前就会从这个小屋里被赶出来的,

  “这真奇怪!”爱丽丝对自己说,“给一只兔子跑腿,我看下一步就该轮到黛娜使唤我了。”于是她就想象那种情景:“‘爱丽丝小姐,快来我这儿,准备去散步,’‘我马上就来,保姆!可是在黛娜回来之前,我还得看着老鼠洞,不许老鼠出来,’不过,假如黛娜像这样使唤人的话,他们不会让它继续呆在家里了。”

  这时,她已经走进了一间整洁的小房间,靠窗子有张桌子,桌子上正像她希望的那样,有一把扇子和两、三双很小的白羊羔皮手套,她拿起扇子和一双手套。正当她要离开房间的时候,眼光落在镜子旁边的一个小瓶上。这一次,瓶上没有“喝我”的标记。但她却拔开瓶塞就往嘴里倒。她想,“我每次吃或喝一点东西,总会发生一些有趣的事。所以我要看看这一瓶能把我怎么样。我真希望它会让我长大。说真的,做我现在这样一点儿的小东西,真厌烦极了。”

  小瓶真的照办了,而且比她期望的还快,她还没有喝到一半,头已经碰到了天花板,因此,必须立即停止,不能再喝了!否则脖子要给折断了。爱丽丝赶紧扔掉瓶子,对自己说:“现在已经够了,不要再长了,可是就是现在这样,我也已经出不去了。嗨!我别喝这么多就好啦!”

  唉!现在已经太迟了!她继续长啊,长啊!再待一会儿就得跪在地板上了,一分钟后,她必须躺下了,一只胳膊撑在地上,一只胳膊抱着头、可是还在长,这时只得把一只手臂伸出窗子,一只脚伸进烟囱,然后自语说:“还长的话怎么办呢?我会变成什么样子呢?”

  幸运的是这只小魔术瓶的作用已经发挥完了,她不再长了,可是心里很不舒服,看来没有可能从这个房子里出去了。

  “在家里多舒服,”可怜的爱丽丝想,“在家里不会一会儿变大,一会儿变小,而且不会被老鼠和兔子使唤。我希望不曾钻进这个兔子洞,可是……可是这种生活是那么离奇,我还会变成什么呢?读童话时我总认为那种事情永远不会发生的,可现在自己却来到这童话世界了,应该写一本关于我的书,应该这样,当我长大了要写—本——可我现在已经长大了啊。”她又伤心地加了一句:“至少这儿已经没有让我再长的余地了。”

  “可是,”爱丽丝想,“我不会比现在年龄更大了!这倒是一个安慰,我永远不会成为老太婆了。但是这样就得老是上学了。唉,这我可不情愿!”

  “啊,你这个傻爱丽丝!”她又回答自己,“你在这儿怎么上学呢?哎唷,这间房子差点儿装不下你,哪里还有放书的地方呢?”

  她就这样继续说着,先装这个人,然后又装另一个人,就这样说了一大堆话。几分钟后,她听到门外有声音,才停止唠叨去听那个声音。

  “玛丽·安,玛丽·安!”那个声音喊道,“赶快给我拿手套,”然后一连串小脚步声步上楼梯了。爱丽丝知道这是兔子来找她了,但是她忘了自己现在已经比兔子大了一千倍,因此还是吓得发抖,哆嗦得屋子都摇动了,

  免子到了门外,想推开门,但是门是朝里开的,爱丽丝的胳膊肘正好顶着门,兔子推也推不动,爱丽丝听到它自语说,“我绕过去,从窗子爬进去。”

  “这你休想,”爱丽丝想,她等了一会,直到听见兔子走到窗下,她突然伸出了手,在空中抓了一把,虽然没有抓住任何东西,但是听到了摔倒了的尖叫声,和打碎玻璃的哗啦啦的响声,根据这些声音,她断定兔子掉进玻璃温室之类的东西里面了。

  接着是兔子的气恼声:“帕特!帕特!你在哪里?”然后,是一个陌生的声音,“是,我在这儿挖苹果树呢?老爷!”

  “哼!还挖苹果树呢!”兔子气愤地说,“到这儿来,把我拉出来!”接着又是一阵弄碎玻璃的声音。

  “给我说,帕特,窗子里是什么?”

  “哟,一只胳膊,老爷!”

  “—只胳膊!你这个傻瓜,哪有这样大的胳膊,嗯,它塞满了整个窗户呢!”

  “不错,老爷,可到底是一只胳膊。”

  “嗯。别罗嗦了,去把它拿掉!”

  沉寂了好一阵,这时爱丽丝只能偶尔听到几句微弱的话音,如:“我怕见它,老爷,我真怕它!”……“照我说的办,你这个胆小鬼!”最后,她又张开手,在空中抓了一把,这一次听到了两声尖叫和更多的打碎玻璃的声音,“这里一定有很多玻璃温室!”爱丽丝想,“不知道他们下一步要干什么?是不是要把我从窗子里拉出去,嘿,我真希望他们这样做,我实在不愿意再呆下去了!”

  她等了—会,没有听到什么声音,后来传来了小车轮的滚动声,以及许多人说话的嘈杂声,她听到说:“另外一个梯子呢?……嗯,我只拿了一个,别一个比尔拿着……比尔,拿过来,小伙子……到这儿来,放到这个角上……不,先绑在一起,现在还没一半高呢!……对,够了,你别挑刺啦!—一比尔,这里,抓住这根绳子……顶棚受得了吗?……小心那块瓦片松了……掉下来了,低头!(一个很大的响声)……现在谁来干?……我认为比尔合适,它可以从烟囱里下去。……不,我不干!……你干!……这我可不干……应该比尔下去……比尔!主人说让你下烟囱!”

  “啊,这么说比尔就要从烟囱下来了,”爱丽丝对自己说,“嘿,它们好像把什么事情都推在比尔身上,我可不做比尔这个角色。说真的这个壁炉很窄,不过我还是可以踢那么一下。”

  她把伸进烟囱里的脚收了收,等到听到一个小动物(她猜不出是什么动物)在烟囱里连滚带爬地接近了她的脚,这时她自语说:“这就是比尔了,”同时狠狠地踢了一脚,然后等着看下一步会发生些什么。

首先,她听到一片叫喊:“比尔飞出来啦!”然后是兔子的声音:“喂,篱笆边的人,快抓住它!”静了一会儿,又是一片乱嚷嚷:“抬起它的头……,快,白兰地……别呛着了它!怎么样了?老伙计,刚才你碰见了什么?告诉我们。”

  最后传来的是一个微弱的尖细声(爱丽丝认为这是比尔)“唉,我一点也不知道……再不要,谢谢你,我已经好多了……我太紧张了,没法说清楚,我所知道的就是……不知什么东西,就像盒子里的玩偶人(西方小孩经常玩一种玩偶盒,一打开盒盖即弹出小玩偶来。)一样弹过来,于是,我就像火箭一样飞了出来!” “不错,老伙计!你真是像火箭一样。”另外一个声音说。

  “我们必须把房子烧掉!”这是兔子的声音。爱丽丝尽力喊道:“你们敢这样,我就放黛娜来咬你们!”

  接着,是死一般的寂静,爱丽丝想:“不知道它们下一步想干什么,如果它们有见识的话,就应该把屋顶拆掉。”过了一两分钟,它们又走动了,爱丽丝听到兔子说:“开头用一车就够了。”

  “一车什么呀?”爱丽丝想,但一会儿就知道了,小卵石像暴雨似的从窗子扔进来了,有些小卵石打到了她的脸上,“我要让他们住手,”她对自己说,然后大声喊道:“你们最好别再这样干了!”这一声喊叫后,又是一片寂静。

  爱丽丝惊奇地注意到,那些小卵石掉到地板上部变成了小点心,她脑子里立即闪过了一个聪明的念头:“如果我吃上一块,也许会使我变小,现在我已经不可能更大了,那么,它一定会把我变小的。”

  于是,她吞了一块点心,当即明显地迅速缩小了。在她刚刚缩到能够穿过门的时候,就跑出了屋子,她见到一群小动物和小鸟都守在外边,那只可怜的小壁虎——比尔在中间,由两只豚鼠扶着,从瓶子里倒着东西喂它。当爱丽丝出现的瞬间,它们全都冲上来。她拼了命,总算跑掉了,不久她就平安地到了一个茂密的树林里。

  “我的第一件事,”爱丽丝在树林中漫步时对自己说,“是把我变到正常大小,第二件就是去寻找那条通向可爱的小花园的路。这是我最好的计划了。”

  听起来,这真是个卓越的计划,而且安排得美妙而简单,唯一的困难是她不知道怎样才能办成。正当她在树林中着急地到处张望时,她头顶上面传来了尖细的犬吠声。她赶紧抬头朝上看,一只大的叭儿狗,正在瞪着又大又圆的眼睛朝下看着她,还轻轻地伸出一只爪子,要抓她。“可怜的小东西!”爱丽丝用哄小孩的声调说,一边还努力地向它吹口哨。但是实际上,她心里吓得要死,因为想到它可能饿了,那么不管她怎么哄它,它还是很可能把她吃掉的。

  她几乎不知道该怎么办,拾了一根小树枝,伸向小狗,那只小狗立即跳了起来,高兴地汪、汪叫着,向树枝冲过去,假装要咬,爱丽丝急忙躲进一排蓟树丛后面,免得给小狗撞倒,她刚躲到另一边,小狗就向树枝发起第二次冲锋。它冲得太急了,不但没有抓着树枝,反而翻了个筋斗,爱丽丝觉得真像同一匹马玩耍,随时都有被它踩在脚下的危险,因此,她又围着蓟树丛转了起来,那只小狗又向树枝发起了一连串的冲锋。每一次都冲过了头,然后再后退老远,而且嘶声地狂吠着。最后它在很远的地方蹲坐了下来,喘着气,舌头伸在嘴外,那双大眼睛也半闭上了。

  这是爱丽丝逃跑的好机会,她转身就跑了,一直跑得喘不过气来,小狗的吠声也很远了,才停了下来。

  “然而,这是只多么可爱的小狗啊!”在爱丽丝靠在一棵毛茛上,用一片毛茛叶搧着休息时说,“要是我像正常那么大小,我真想教它玩许多把戏,啊,亲爱的,我几乎忘记我还要想法再长大呢?让我想一想,这怎么才能做到呢?我应该吃或者喝一点什么东西,可是该吃喝点什么呢?”

  确实,最大的问题是吃喝点什么呢?爱丽丝看着周围的花草,没有可吃喝的东西。离她很近的地方长着一个大蘑菇,差不多同她一样高。她打量了蘑菇的下面、边沿、背面,还想到应该看看上面有什么东西。

她踮起脚尖,沿蘑菇的边朝上看,立即看到一只蓝色的大毛毛虫,正环抱胳膊坐坐在那儿,安静地吸着一个很长的水烟管,根本没有注意到她和其它任何事情。

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