毛姆:懂王先生 | 双语阅读

什么是「懂王」?就是那些认为自己什么都懂、时时处处指点江山、刷存在感的人。英文里也有一个对应的说法:Mr. know-all或者Mr. know-it-all。

「懂王」可不是什么新现象,早在一百多年前,毛姆就写过一则关于Mr.know-all 的故事,幽默、风趣、结尾令人回味无穷......

Mr. Know-All

万事通先生

 

作者:毛姆
译者:金隄
出处:《毛姆短篇小说集》外国文学出版社

 01 

I was prepared to dislike Max Kelada even before I knew him. The war had just finished and the passenger traffic in the ocean-going liners was heavy. Accommodation was very hard to get and you had to put up with whatever the agents chose to offer you. You could not hope for a cabin to yourself and I was thankful to be given one in which there were only two berths. 

甚至在我认识麦克斯·柯拉达之前,我思想上就已经准备讨厌他了。当时,战争刚刚结束,定期远洋轮船上客运繁忙,舱位十分难订,只能听凭船票经售处愿意给什么就是什么,没有办法。独占一个房间是没有希望的,所以我能买到一间只有两个床位的船舱,也就很满意了。

单词列表可上下滑动

  • the war 这里指第一次世界大战

  • ocean-going adj.(船只)远洋航行的

  • liner n. 邮轮,大客轮

  • accommodation [əˌkɒməˈdeɪʃən] n. 空间,座位,铺位

  • put up with sb / sth 忍受,忍耐

  • agent [ˈeɪdʒənt] n. 代理人,代理商

  • berth [bɜːθ] n. 卧铺,铺位

But when I was told the name of my companion my heart sank. It suggested closed portholes and the night air rigidly excluded. It was bad enough to share a cabin for fourteen days with anyone (I was going from San Francisco to Yokohama), but I should have looked upon it with less dismay if my fellow passenger's name had been Smith or Brown.

但是,一听同房旅客的名字,我又凉了半截儿。这个名字,使人想到是舷窗紧闭,船舱堵得严严的不放一点儿夜空气进来的景象。十四天的旅程(我是从旧金山去横滨),不论跟谁合住一个房间都是够受的,可是假如我的旅伴姓史密斯或是布朗什么的,我还不至于这么扫兴。

 

  • companion [kəmˈpænjən] n. 同伴;伙伴

  • sb's heart sinks 心情沉重,情绪低落

  • porthole n.(轮船或飞机的)舷窗

  • rigidly adv. 不能动地

  • exclude [ɪkˈskluːd] v. keep (something) out of a place 不让…进入

  • dismay [dɪsˈmeɪ] n. a feeling of unhappiness and disappointment 沮丧,灰心,失望 

  • Smith or Brown 史密斯或布朗,都是普通的英国姓

 02 

When I went on board I found Mr. Kelada`s luggage already below. I did not like the look of it; there were too many labels on the suitcases, and the wardrobe trunk was too big. He had unpacked his toilet things, and I observed that he was a patron of the excellent Monsieur Coty; for I saw on the washing-stand his scent, his hair-wash and his brilliantine. Mr. Kelada`s brushes, ebony with his monogram in gold, would have been all the better for a scrub.

我上船的时候,发现柯拉达先生的行李已经在舱里。我瞅着那些行李就不顺眼;皮箱上贴的标签太多,衣橱箱又太大。他的梳妆用具已经摆出来,我看到脸盆架上他的香水,洗发剂,润发油,发现他是上等法国化妆品的好主顾。柯拉达先生的刷子都是乌木的,上面镶着代表他姓名的金字图案,可是却有些邋遢。
单词列表可上下滑动
  • trunk [trʌŋk] n. a large box with a hinged lid for storing or transporting clothes and other articles (放衣物的)大箱子,旅行箱

  • patron [ˈpeɪtrən] someone who uses a particular shop, restaurant, or hotel (商店、餐馆或酒店的)顾客,主顾

  • washing-stand n.(尤指旧时卧室内的)盥洗台

  • scent n. especially British English a liquid that you put on your skin to make it smell pleasant 香水  

  • brilliantine [ˈbrɪljəntiːn] n. an oily substance that was used in the past on men’s hair (旧时男用的)发蜡;润发油

  • ebony [ˈebəni] n. a hard black wood 乌木;黑檀

  • monogram [ˈmɒnəɡræm] n. (由姓名首字母组成、标于自己的衣物等上的)交织字母,花押字

  • all the better 好得多,更好

  • scrub n. especially British English if you give something a scrub, you clean it by rubbing it hard 刷洗,擦洗

I did not at all like Mr. Kelada. I made my way into the smoking-room. I called for a pack of cards and began to play patience. I had scarcely started before a man came up to me and asked me if he was right in thinking my name was so and so.

我对柯拉达先生实在没有一点好感。我走到吸烟室,要了一副纸牌,开始排心思。可是我还没有怎么摆开,就有一个人凑上来说他估计我姓某某,问我对不对。

 

  • patience n. 一种单人纸牌戏

  • scarcely [ˈskeəsli] adv. almost not or almost none at all 几乎不,几乎没有

  • so and so n. used to refer to a particular person or thing when you do not give a specific name 某某人;某某事

 

 03 

"I am Mr. Kelada," he added, with a smile that showed a row of flashing teeth, and sat down.

"Oh, yes, we`re sharing a cabin, I think."

"Bit of luck, I call it. You never know who you`re going to be put in with. I was jolly glad when I heard you were English. I`m all for us English sticking together when we`re abroad, if you understand what I mean."

“我是柯拉达先生。”他说,同时笑了一笑,露出一口闪亮的牙齿,随即坐了下来。
“不错,咱们住一个舱吧,我想。”
“运道不错,我认为。跟什么样的人住在一起,这事全是凭运气。听说你是英国人,我高兴极了。我最赞成咱们英国人在国外要团成一团,你明白我的意思吧?”
  • jolly [ˈdʒɒli] adj. very 很,非常
  • be all for doing sth 完全赞同,全力支持
  • stick together 互相支持,团结一致

I blinked. "Are you English?" I asked, perhaps tactlessly.

"Rather. You don`t think I look like an American, do you? British to the backbone, that`s what I am."

To prove it, Mr. Kelada took out of his pocket a passport and airily waved it under my nose.

我眨了眨眼。“你是英国人?”我问他,也许有点不太客气。
“当然了。你瞧我的样子,不至于把我当成美国人吧,是不是?我吗,道道地地的不列颠人。”
为了证明这一点,柯拉达先生从口袋里掏出一张护照,洋洋得意地伸到我眼皮底下晃了晃。

  • blink [blɪŋk] v. to shut and open your eyes quickly 眨(眼)
  • tactless [ˈtæktləs] adj. likely to upset or embarrass someone without intending to 不乖巧的,不圆通的,言行不得体的
  • to the backbone 完完全全地,彻底地
  • airily [ˈeərəli] adv. in a way that shows you are not worried about something or do not think it is serious 轻松地;不在乎地

 04 

King George has many strange subjects. Mr. Kelada was short and of a sturdy build, clean-shaven and dark-skinned, with a fleshy hooked nose and very large, lustrous and liquid eyes. His long black hair was sleek and curly. He spoke with a fluency in which there was nothing English and his gestures were exuberant. I fell pretty sure that a closer inspection of that British passport would have betrayed the fact that Mr. Kelada was born under a bluer sky than is generally seen in England.

乔治国王治下真是什么样古怪的臣民都有。柯拉达先生个儿不高,体格很壮实,不留胡子,皮肤是深色的,长一个多肉的鹰钩鼻子,一对亮晶晶的、机伶的大眼睛。他的黑色的长发是光滑而卷曲的。他说话流利,但是流利之中却没有一点英国味,并且手势特别活跃。我感到相当有把握,如果把那张护照拿来仔细看一看,准可以发现柯拉达先生出生地的天空,要比英国一般能够见到的天空更蓝些。
单词列表可上下滑动
  • subject [ˈsʌbdʒɪkt] n. a citizen or member of a state other than its supreme ruler 国民,臣民,臣服者

  • sturdy [ˈstɜːdi] someone who is sturdy is strong, short, and healthy looking (人)健壮的,强健的,壮实

  • build n. the shape and size of someone’s body 体格;体形,身材

  • lustrous [ˈlʌstrəs] adj. shining in a soft gentle way 有光泽的,光亮的

  • liquid [ˈlɪkwɪd] adj. clear and shiny, like water 清澈明亮的,晶莹剔透的

  • sleek [sliːk] hair or fur is straight, shiny, and healthy-looking (头发、皮毛)油亮光滑的,有光泽的

  • exuberant [ɪɡˈzjuːbərənt] adj. happy and full of energy and excitement 兴高采烈的;精神焕发的

  • inspection [ɪnˈspekʃən] n. a careful examination of something to find out more about it or to check for anything wrong 仔细检查

 05 

"What will you have?" he asked me.

I looked at him doubtfully. Prohibition was in force and to all appearance the ship was bone-dry. When I am not thirsty I do not know which I dislike more, ginger ale or lemon squash. 

“你喝什么?”他问我。
我半信半疑地看了他一眼。当时禁酒正严,船上也丝毫不像有酒的样子。而我在不渴的时候,自己也不知道是更讨厌姜汁啤酒还是柠檬水。
  • Prohibition n. the period from 1919 to 1933 in the US when the production and sale of alcoholic drinks was illegal 禁酒时期(1919至1933年间美国禁止生产和销售酒的时期)

  • in force (法律、法规等)已生效,在实施中

  • to all appearance 显然

  • bone-dry adj. completely dry 完全干燥

  • squash [skwɒʃ] n. British English a drink made from fruit juice, sugar, and water 果汁饮料

But Mr. Kelada flashed an oriental smile at me. "Whisky and soda or a dry martini, you have only to say the word."

 

From each of his hip pockets he fished a flask and laid it on the table before me. I chose the martini, and calling the steward he ordered a tumbler of ice and a couple of glasses.

但是柯拉达先生投过来一个东方式的微笑。“威士忌加苏打,还是无甜味马提尼,只要你一句话。”
他从左右两边的后裤袋里,各抽出一个扁瓶子,都放在我面前桌子上。我挑了马提尼。他招呼茶房,要来一杯冰块,两个酒杯。
  • flash a smile at sb 对某人一笑

  • fish [fɪʃ] v. to find something after searching through a bag, pocket etc, and take it out 摸出,找出

  • flask [flɑːsk] n. a hip flask 扁酒瓶

  • steward [ˈstjuːəd] n. (轮船、飞机、火车的)乘务员

  • tumbler [ˈtʌmblər] n. A tumbler is a drinking glass with straight sides. (平底)玻璃杯

"A very good cocktail," I said.

"Well, there are plenty more where that came from, and if you`ve got any friends on board, you tell them you`ve got a pal who`s got all the liquor in the world."

“很好的鸡尾酒。”我说。
“这个嘛,存货充足,还有的是。你在船上如果有朋友的话,你就告诉他们,你有这么一个伴儿,他这儿有全世界的酒。”

 

  • pal [pæl] n. a close friend 密友,好友
  • liquor [ˈlɪkər] n. any alcoholic drink 酒精类饮料

 

 06 

Mr. Kelada was chatty. He talked of New York and of San Francisco. He discussed plays, pictures, and politics. He was patriotic. The Union Jack is an impressive piece of drapery, but when it is flourished by a gentleman from Alexandria or Beirut, I cannot but feel that it loses somewhat in dignity. 

柯拉达先生是健谈的。他谈纽约,谈旧金山。他讨论戏剧、绘画、政治。他富有爱国精神。英国国旗是一面壮丽的旗帜,但是挥舞在一位来自亚历山大港或是贝鲁特的绅士手中,我不禁感到对它的尊严有所损害。
单词列表可上下滑动
  • chatty [ˈtʃæti] adj. liking to talk a lot in a friendly way 爱闲聊的,爱谈天的,健谈的

  • patriotic [ˌpætriˈɒtɪk] adj. having or expressing a great love of your country 爱国的,有爱国心的

  • Union Jack n. the national flag of the United Kingdom 联合王国国旗,英国国旗

  • drapery [ˈdreɪpəri] n. Drapery is cloth that you buy in a shop. 布料,布匹

  • flourish [ˈflʌrɪʃ] to wave something in your hand in order to make people notice it (为引起注意而)挥动(手中的东西)

  • Alexandria 亚历山大,埃及的一个城市

  • Beirut 黎巴嫩首都

  • dignity [ˈdɪɡnəti] n. the ability to behave in a calm controlled way even in a difficult situation 庄重,尊严,体面

Mr. Kelada was familiar. I do not wish to put on airs, but I cannot help feeling that it is seemly in a total stranger to put "mister" before my name when he addresses me. Mr. Kelada, doubtless to set me at my case, used no such formality. I did not like Mr. Kelada. I had put aside the cards when he sat down, but now, thinking that for this first occasion our conversation had lasted long enough, I went on with my game.

柯拉达先生还很亲热。我并不想摆架子,但是一个素昧平生的人跟我说话,我不能不感到还是在我的名字后面加一个“先生”比较得体。柯拉达先生呢,无疑是为了使我不感拘束吧,却根本不讲这种客套。我不喜欢柯拉达先生。刚才他坐下来的时候,我把纸牌放在一边了,现在我觉得初次见面,交谈的时间已经够长,就继续玩起我的纸牌来。

单词列表可上下滑动
  • put on airs 装腔作势,摆架子

  • seemly [ˈsiːmli] adj. suitable for a particular situation or social occasion, according to accepted standards of behaviour 适宜的,得体的,合乎行为规范的

  • address [əˈdres] v. to use a particular title or name when speaking or writing to someone 称呼

  • formality [fɔːˈmæləti] n. careful attention to polite behaviour and language in formal situations 遵守礼节

  • occasion [əˈkeɪʒən] n. a particular time or instance of an event(特定的)时刻;场合

 07 

"The three on the four," said Mr. Kelada. There is nothing more exasperating when you are playing patience than to be told where to put the card you have turned up before you have had a chance to look for yourself.

"It`s coming out, it`s coming out," he cried. "The ten on the knave."

With rage and hatred in my heart, I finished.

“三点接四点。”柯拉达先生说。排心思的时候,最叫人不痛快的事情,莫过于你刚翻起一张纸牌,自己还没有来得及看一眼,别人就来指手画脚,告诉你该把牌放到哪儿去。
“通了,通了,”他大声说,“十点接杰克。”
我憋着一肚子火结束了牌戏。
  • exasperating [ɪɡˈzɑːspəreɪtɪŋ] adj. extremely annoying 令人极其厌烦的,使人恼怒的
  • knave [neɪv] n. the playing card with a value between the ten and queen (纸牌中的)杰克,J 牌,钩
  • rage [reɪdʒ] n. a strong feeling of uncontrollable anger 盛怒,狂怒
  • hatred [ˈheɪtrɪd] n. an angry feeling of extreme dislike for someone or something 憎恨,憎恶,仇恨

 08 

Then he seized the pack. "Do you like card tricks?"

"No, I hate card tricks," I answered.

"Well, I`ll just show you this one." He showed me three. 

于是他一把抓住了纸牌。“你喜欢用纸牌变戏法吗?”
“不喜欢,我最讨厌纸牌戏法。”我回答他。
“好吧,我就给你变一套。”他给我变了三套。
  • seize [siːz] v. to take hold of something suddenly and violently (突然猛烈地)抓取,攫取

Then I said I would go down to the dining-room and get my seat at table.

"Oh, that`s all right," he said. "I`ve already taken a seat for you. I thought that as we were in the same state-room we might just as well sit at the same table."

I did not like Mr Kelada.

最后,我说我得下楼到餐厅去预订座位了。
“喔,那个你就不用管了,”他说,“我已经给你订好了座位。我琢磨着,反正咱俩住一个官舱,还是干脆也坐同一张桌子得啦。”
我不喜欢柯拉达先生。
  • state-room n. a private room or place for sleeping on a ship (船上的)特等客舱,房舱

 09 

I not only shared a cabin with him and ate three meals a day at the same table, but I could not walk around the deck without his joining me. It was impossible to snub him. It never occurred to him that he was not wanted. He was certain that you were as glad to see him as he was to see you. In your own house you might have kicked him downstairs and slammed the door in his face without the suspicion dawning on him that he was not a welcome visitor.

我不仅和他同住一个房间,一天三顿同桌吃饭,就是在甲板上散散步也甩不掉他。不论你怎么冷落他,他也不在乎。他从来也想不到,人家会不想要他。他蛮有把握,认为你也一定是愿意见他的,就和他愿意见你一样。这个人如果到你家里做客,你把他踢下楼梯,推出大门去,再使劲把门关上,他也不会疑心自己是个不受欢迎的客人的。
  • snub [snʌb] v. to treat someone rudely, especially by ignoring them when you meet 冷落,怠慢,对…不予理睬

  • slam [slæm] v. if a door, gate etc slams, or if someone slams it, it shuts with a loud noise (把…)砰地关上

  • suspicion [səˈspɪʃən] n. a feeling that sb has done sth wrong, illegal or dishonest, even though you have no proof 怀疑;嫌疑

  • dawn on sb 开始明白(某个事实),醒悟

He was a good mixer, and in three days knew everyone on board. He ran everything. He managed the sweeps, conducted the auctions, collected money for prizes at the sports, got up quoit and golf matches, organized the concert and arranged the fancy-dress ball. He was everywhere and always. He was certainly the best haled man in the ship. 

他善于交际,三天之内就认识了船上的每一个人。他主办一切。抽彩是他操持的,拍卖是他掌握的,买运动会奖品的钱是他收集的,投圈比赛和高尔夫球赛是他发起的,音乐会是他组织的,化装跳舞会是他安排的。无论何时何地,你总能见到他。他肯定是全船最招人嫌的人。
  • a good mixer 善于交际的人

  • sweep 亦作 sweepstake n. a type of betting in which the winner receives all the money risked by everyone else 赌金全赢制

  • auction [ˈɔːkʃən] n.  拍卖(会)

  • quoit [kwɔɪt] n. a game in which you throw rings over a small upright post 投环游戏,套圈游戏

  • fancy-dress n. 化装服;化装舞会服

 10 

We called him Mr. Know-All, even to his face. He took it as a compliment. But it was at mealtimes that he was most intolerable. For the better part of an hour then he had us at his mercy. He was hearty, jovial, loquacious and argumentative. He knew everything better than anybody else, and it was an affront to his overweening vanity that you should disagree with him. He would not drop a subject, however unimportant, till he had brought you round to his way of thinking. 

我们称他为“万事通”,甚至当着他的面,他还认为这是恭维他。然而,最使人受不了的,还是用餐的时候。在这大半个小时内,他简直可以任意摆布我们。他情绪热烈,谈笑风生,喋喋不休,喜欢争辩。不论是什么事,他总是比谁都知道得多;要是你不同意他的意见,那就是有意打击他的超群绝伦的自负心理。哪怕是最不相干的题目,他也决不撒手,非得把你说得跟他的想法一致,才算完事。
单词列表可上下滑动
  • compliment [ˈkɒmpləmənt] n. a remark that shows you admire someone or something 赞美的话,夸奖,称赞

  • intolerable [ɪnˈtɒlərəbəl] adj. too difficult, bad, annoying etc for you to accept or deal with 无法忍受的,不能容忍的

  • the better part of sth 几乎所有的,大部分

  • at sb's mercy 任凭某人摆布

  • hearty [ˈhɑːti] adj. happy and friendly and usually loud 热情友好的

  • jovial [ˈdʒəʊviəl] adj. friendly and happy 友好的;高兴的

  • loquacious [ləʊˈkweɪʃəs] adj. a loquacious person likes to talk a lot 话多的;健谈的

  • argumentative [ˌɑːɡjəˈmentətɪv] adj. someone who is argumentative often argues or likes arguing 好辩的,好争吵的

  • affront [əˈfrʌnt] n. a remark or action that offends or insults someone 侮辱;冒犯

  • overweening [ˌəʊvəˈwiːnɪŋ] adj. too proud and confident – used to show disapproval 傲慢自大的,自负的,过于自信的

  • vanity [ˈvænəti] n. too much pride in yourself, so that you are always thinking about yourself and your appearance 虚荣(心);自负

  • bring sb around to sth 说服(某人);使同意

The possibility that he could be mistaken never occurred to him. He was the chap who knew. We sat at the doctor`s table. Mr. Kelada would certainly have had it all his own way, for the doctor was lazy and I was frigidly indifferent, except for a man called Ramsay who sat there also. He was as dogmatic as Mr. Kelada and resented bitterly the Levantine`s cocksureness. The discussions they had were acrimonious and interminable.

在他的脑子里,从来就没有出现过自己也会弄错的这样一个可能性。他是权威。我们和医生同桌。本来柯拉达先生肯定可以随心所欲的,因为医生性情疏懒,我又漠不关心,可是同桌的人还有一个姓兰赛的人,那位先生跟柯拉达先生一样地固执己见,对于这位近东人的自以为是非常看不惯。这两位老兄争辩起来,总是情绪激烈、无休无止的。

单词列表可上下滑动

  • chap [tʃæp] n. a man, especially a man you know and like (尤指你认识和喜欢的)小伙子,家伙

  • frigid [ˈfrɪdʒɪd] adj. not friendly or kind 冷淡的;不友好的

  • indifferent [ɪnˈdɪfərənt] adj. not at all interested in someone or something 不关心的,不在乎的

  • dogmatic [dɒɡˈmætɪk] adj. inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true 教条的;武断的

  • resent [rɪˈzent] v. feel bitterness or indignation at (a circumstance, action, or person) 对…怀恨,怨恨

  • bitterly adv. extremely 极其;非常

  • cocksure [ˌkɒkˈʃʊə] adj. too confident of your abilities or knowledge, in a way that is annoying to other people 过于自信的,自以为是的

  • acrimonious [ˌækrəˈməʊniəs] adj. full of anger, arguments, and bad feeling 激烈的;尖刻的;充满火药味的

  • interminable [ɪnˈtɜːmənəbəl] adj. very long and boring 冗长乏味的,没完没了的

 11 

Ramsay was in the American Consular Service and was stationed at Kobe. He was a great heavy fellow from the Middle West, with loose fat under a tight skin, and he bulged out of his ready-made clothes. He was on his way back to resume his post, having been on a flying visit to New York to fetch his wife who had been spending a year at home. Mrs. Ramsay was a very pretty little thing, with pleasant manners and a sense of humour. 

兰赛在美国领事界工作,驻神户。他是中西部人,高大魁梧,一身肥肉把皮肤绷得紧紧的,身上那套现成买来的衣服也撑得鼓鼓囊囊的。他的妻子刚回国住了一年,他就是匆匆赶到纽约接她的,现在是回去任职。兰赛太太十分娇小可爱,风度讨人喜欢,并且颇有幽默感。

单词列表可上下滑动

  • consular [ˈkɒnsəl] n. Consular means involving or relating to a consul or the work of a consul. 领事的;与领事(或领事工作)有关的

  • station [ˈsteɪʃən] v. to cause especially soldiers to be in a particular place to do a job 安置;使(尤指士兵)驻扎

  • loose [luːs] adj. not firmly held or fastened in place 松的,松动的

  • bulge [bʌldʒ] v. to stick out in a rounded shape, especially because something is very full or too tight 鼓起;胀出

  • ready-made adj. (尤指衣物、窗帘等产品)预先制成的,现成的

  • fetch [fetʃ] v. to go to another place to get something or someone and bring it, him, or her back(去)拿来,取回;(去)请来

  • resume [rɪˈzjuːm] v. to start doing something again after stopping or being interrupted (中断之后)继续

  • manner [ˈmænər] n. polite ways of behaving in social situations 礼貌;礼仪

The Consular Service is ill-paid, and she was dressed always very simply; but she knew how to wear her clothes. She achieved an effect of quiet distinction. I should not have paid any particular attention to her but that she possessed a quality that may be common enough in women, but nowadays is not obvious in their demeanour. You could not look at her without being struck by her modesty. It shone in her like a flower on a coat.

领事界薪俸不高,她的服装总是很简朴的,但是她挺会打扮,显得素净大方,不落俗套。这样一位太太,照说也不至于引起我什么特殊的注意,但是她拥有一项原来在妇女间也许相当普通而今天在她们的举止中已经不易见到的品德。你只要看她一眼,就不能不对她的谦逊留下深刻的印象。这一美德在她身上,就像一朵鲜花在衣襟上一样耀眼。

  • ill-paid adj. 报酬低的
  • distinction [dɪˈstɪŋkʃən] n. the quality of being special in some way 独特,不同凡响
  • demeanour [dɪˈmiːnər] n. outward behaviour or bearing 行为,举止;风度
  • modesty [ˈmɒdəsti]  n. a modest way of behaving or talking 谦虚,谦逊,谦恭

 12 

One evening at dinner the conversation by chance drifted to the subject of pearls. There had been in the papers a good deal of talk about the cultured pearls which the cunning Japanese were making, and the doctor remarked that they must inevitably diminish the value of real ones. They were very good already; they would soon be perfect. Mr. Kelada, as was his habit, rushed the new topic. 

一天晚餐时,话题偶然转到了珍珠。那时候,报上谈论巧手的日本人生产人工养殖珍珠的问题很起劲,医生说,人工养殖的珠子必然会降低天然珍珠的价值。现在的质量已经很不错,不久就会完美无缺了。柯拉达先生一如既往,又就这个新题目滔滔不绝地发起议论来。

  • drift [drɪft] v. to happen or change, or to do sth without a particular plan or purpose 无意间发生;无目的地转变;顺其自然地做
  • cultured pearl n. 养殖珍珠
  • cunning [ˈkʌnɪŋ] adj.  someone who is cunning is clever and good at deceiving people in order to get what they want (人)狡猾的,狡诈的
  • inevitably [ɪˈnevətəbli] used for saying that something is certain to happen and cannot be avoided 必然地,不可避免地
  • diminish [dəˈmɪnɪʃ] v. to deliberately make someone or something appear less important or valuable than they really are 削弱,贬低(重要性或价值)

He told us all that was to be known about pearls. I do not believe Ramsay knew anything about them at all, but he could not resist the opportunity to have a fling at the Levantine, and in five minutes we were in the middle of a heated argument. I had seen Mr. Kelada vehement and voluble before, but never so voluble and vehement as now. At last something that Ramsay said stung him, for he thumped the table and shouted:

凡是有关珍珠的事,该知道的他都谈到了。我估计兰赛先生对此根本一窍不通,但是他舍不得放过一个可以嘲弄近东人的机会。于是,五分钟之后,一场激烈的辩论展开了。我见过柯拉达先生的慷慨激昂,口若悬河,但是还从来没有见过他像现在这样口若悬河,激昂慷慨。最后,兰赛说的一句什么话刺痛了他,他拍着桌子大声嚷起来:

  • Levatine [ˈlevəntaɪn] n. 黎凡特人

  • vehement [ˈviːəmənt] adj. showing very strong feelings or opinions 感情强烈的;观点激烈的

  • voluble [ˈvɒljəbəl] adj. talking a lot or talking quickly (讲话)滔滔不绝的,流利的

  • sting [stɪŋ] v. if you are stung by a remark, it makes you feel upset 使感到气愤

  • thump [θʌmp] v. to hit someone very hard with your hand closed (用拳)捶打,重击

 13 

"Well, I ought to know what I am talking about. I`m going to Japan just to look into this Japanese pearl business. I`m in the trade and there`s not a man in it who won`t tell you that what I say about pearls goes. I know all the best pearls in the world, and what I don`t know about pearls isn`t worth knowing."

“哼,我还不知道我谈的是什么吗?我到日本去,正是为了考查日本珍珠问题的。我就是干这一行的,凡是这一行里的人,不论是谁,都会告诉你,只要是珍珠的事,就是我说了算。全世界的最好的珍珠我统统都知道,我要是不知道的,那就根本不值得知道。”

Here was news for us, for Mr. Kelada, with all his loquacity, had never told anyone what his business was. We only knew vaguely that he was going to Japan on some commercial errand. He looked round the table triumphantly.

这对我们倒是个新闻,因为柯拉达先生尽管多嘴多舌,还从来没有告诉过任何人他到底是干什么的。我们只是隐约地知道他是因为商业方面的任务到日本去的。这时,他踌躇满志地环顾全桌。
  • loquacity [ləʊˈkwæsəti] n. 多话
  • vaguely [ˈveɪɡli] adv. not clearly or exactly 含糊地,不明确地,不清楚地
  • errand [ˈerənd] n. a short journey either to take a message or to take or collect something(短程)差事;跑腿
  • triumphant [traɪˈʌmfənt] adj.  showing pleasure and pride because of a victory or success (因胜利或成功而)扬扬得意的,耀武扬威的

 14 

"They`ll never be able to get a cultured pearl that an expert like me can`t tell with half an eye." He pointed to a chain that Mrs. Ramsay wore. "You take my word for it, Mrs. Ramsay, that chain you`re wearing will never be worth a cent less than it is now."

“他们搞人工养殖,永远也不要想搞出一颗骗得过像我这样一个专家的珠子来:我睁开半只眼睛就能把它看透。”他指着兰赛太太佩戴的一串项链。“你听我的没有错,兰赛太太,你戴的这串珠子,到什么时候也不会比现在少值一分钱的。”
  • chain [tʃeɪn] n. 链条,项链

Mrs. Ramsay in her modest way flushed a little and slipped the chain inside her dress. Ramsay leaned forward. He gave us all a look and a smile flickered in his eyes.

"That`s a pretty chain of Mrs Ramsay`s, isn`t it?"

兰赛太太不好意思地微微红了红脸,把项链塞进衣服里面。兰赛把身子往前倾了过来。他给我们大伙递了一个眼色,眼睛里闪烁着笑意。
“兰赛太太这一串还漂亮,是吧?”
  • flush [flʌʃ] v. to become red in the face, for example when you are angry or embarrassed (生气或尴尬时)脸红
  • slip [slɪp] v.  to put something somewhere quietly or smoothly 把…悄悄放在…
  • lean [liːn] v. to move or bend your body in a particular direction 屈身;倾斜身体
  • flicker [ˈflɪkər] v. (of a facial expression) appear briefly(面部表情)闪现

 15 

"I noticed it at once," answered Mr. Kelada. "Gee, I said to myself, those are pearls all right."

"I didn`t buy it myself, of course. I`d be interested to know how much you think it cost."

"Oh, in the trade somewhere round fifteen thousand dollars. But if it was bought on Fifth Avenue shouldn`t be surprised to hear that anything up to thirty thousand was paid for it."

Ramsay smiled grimly.

“我一眼就看出来了,”柯拉达先生说。“嘿,我心里说,这一串才叫珍珠呢。”
“当然,不是我自己买的。我倒有兴趣知道,你估计是多少钱买的。”
“那个呀,同行内部买卖大约一万五千美元左右。但是假如是在五号街上买的话,你告诉我你付了三万以内的数目,我都不会吃惊的。”
兰赛露出了严酷的笑容。

  • gee [dʒiː] exclam. an expression of surprise or enthusiasm(表示惊奇或热情)嚯,好家伙,哇
  • grim [ˈɡrɪmlɪ] adj.  looking or sounding very serious (神色或口气)严肃的

 16 

"You`ll be surprised to hear that Mrs. Ramsay bought that siring at a department store the day before we left New York, for eighteen dollars."

Mr. Kelada flushed. "Rot. It`s not only real, but it`s as fine a siring for its size as I`ve ever seen."

"Will you bet on it? I`ll bet you a hundred dollars it`s imitation.

"Done."

“你会吃惊的,告诉你吧,这串东西是兰赛太太在我们离开纽约的前一天,在一家百货公司买的,十八块钱。”
柯拉达先生涨红了脸。“瞎说。不光是真的,而且,像这么大小的珠子,我还没有见过比这一串更好的。”
“你愿意打赌吗?我赌你一百美元,这是假的。”
“一言为定。”

 

  • rot [rɒt] n. nonsense 废话,愚蠢的话
  • bet [bet] to risk money on the result of a race, game, competition, or other future event 下赌注;与…打赌
  • imitation [ˌɪmɪˈteɪʃən] n. a copy of something 仿制品,赝品

 17 

"Oh, Elmer, you can`t bet on a certainty," said Mrs. Ramsay. She had a little smile on her lips and her tone was gently deprecating.

"Can`t I? If I get a chance of easy money like that I should be all sorts of a fool not to take it."

"But how can it be proved?" she continued. "It`s only my word against Mr. Kelada`s."

"Let me look at the chain, and if it`s imitation I`ll tell you quickly enough. I can afford to lose a hundred dollars," said Mr. Kelada.

“哎哟,爱尔默,你明明知道是怎么回事,怎么能打赌呢?”兰赛太太说。她唇边微带笑意,语调温柔而有愠意。
“怎么不能?有这样的便宜钱可拿,我不拿才是傻瓜透顶呢。”
“但是怎么证明呢?”她接着说。“我说我的,柯拉达先生说柯拉达先生的,没有别的根据。”
“让我看一下项链,要是假的,我马上就会告诉你。我输得起一百块钱。”柯拉达先生说。
  • certainty [ˈsɜːtnti] n. something that is definitely true or that will definitely happen 必然的事,确定的事

  • tone [təʊn] n. the way your voice sounds, which shows how you are feeling or what you mean (说话的)语气,口气,腔调

  • deprecate [ˈdeprɪkeɪt] v. to strongly disapprove of or criticize something 坚决反对;强烈批评

 18 

"Take it off, dear. Let the gentleman look at it as much as he wants." 

 

Mrs. Ramsay hesitated a moment. She put her hands to the clasp. "I can`t undo it," she said. "Mr. Kelada will just have to take my word for it."

I had a sudden suspicion that something unfortunate was about to occur, but I could think of nothing to say.

Ramsay jumped up. "I`ll undo it."

“摘下来,亲爱的。让这位先生看看,愿意怎么看就怎么看。”
 
兰赛太太犹疑一下,两只手伸到了项链的扣襻上。“我解不开,”她说。“柯拉达先生只好以我的话为准了。”
我忽然感到,似乎有什么不幸的事情要发生,但是一时之间不知说什么好。
兰赛跳了起来。“我来解。”
  • hesitate [ˈhezɪteɪt] v. to pause before saying or doing something because you are nervous or not sure 犹豫,踌躇,迟疑

  • clasp [klɑːsp] n.  a small metal object for fastening a bag, belt, piece of jewellery etc 扣子;扣环

  • undo [ʌnˈduː] v. to open something that is tied, fastened, or wrapped 解开,打开,松开(某物)

 19 

He handed the chain to Mr. Kelada. The Levantine took a magnifying glass from his pocket and closely examined it. A smile of triumph spread over his smooth and swarthy face. He handed back the chain. He was about to speak. Suddenly he caught sight of Mrs. Ramsay`s face. It was so white that she looked as though she were about to faint. She was staring at him with wide and terrified eyes. They held a desperate appeal; it was so clear that I wondered why her husband did not see it.

他把项链递给柯拉达先生。近东人从衣袋里摸出一个放大镜,仔细察看起来。他的刮得干干净净的浅黑色脸上,漾出了胜利的笑容。他交回项链。他准备说话了。突然之间,他瞅见了兰赛太太的脸色。她脸色煞白,似乎眼看就要晕倒的样子。她眼睛睁得大大地瞪着他,露出恐惧的神色。她的眼神送出来的是一个绝望的哀求;这意思实在是太明显了,我不明白她丈夫怎么会看不出来。
  • magnify [ˈmæɡnɪfaɪ] v. to make something seem bigger or louder, especially using special equipment 放大
  • swarthy [ˈswɔːði] adj. someone who is swarthy has dark skin (人)肤色黝黑的
  • catch sight of 看见,发现
  • faint [feɪnt] v.  to suddenly become unconscious for a short time 晕倒,昏厥
  • appeal [əˈpiːl] n. an urgent request for something important 呼吁;恳求

 20 

Mr. Kelada stopped with his mouth open. He flushed deeply. You could almost see the effort he was making over himself.

"I was mistaken," he said. "It`s a very good imitation, but of course as soon as I looked through my glass I saw that it wasn`t real. I think eighteen dollars is just about as much as the damned thing`s worth."

He took out his pocket book and from it a hundred-dollar bill. He handed it to Ramsay without a word.

柯拉达先生张口结舌地愣住了,脸涨得通红。你几乎可以看得出,他思想上在进行着激烈的斗争。
“我弄错了,”他说,“这个假货造得真好,但是当然啰,我用镜子一看,马上就看出它不是真货了。这倒霉玩意儿,我看也就是值十八块钱左右的货色。”
他取出钱包,抽出一张一百美元的钞票,一言不发地递给兰赛。
  • pocket book n. a wallet 皮夹,钱包

"Perhaps that`ll teach you not to be so cocksure another time, my young friend," said Ramsay as he took the note.

I noticed that Mr. Kelada`s hands were trembling.

“这也许可以给你一个教训,下回别再那么自以为是了,老弟。”兰赛接过钞票说。
我注意到,柯拉达先生的手在颤抖。
  • cocksure [ˌkɒkˈʃʊə] adj. 过于自信的,自以为是的
  • note n. a piece of paper money worth a particular amount of money 纸币,钞票

 21 

The story spread over the ship as stories do, and he had to put up with a good deal of chaff that evening. It was a fine joke that Mr. Know-All had been caught out. But Mrs. Ramsay retired to her state-room with a headache.

这件事情,跟别的新鲜事一样传遍了全船,那天晚上他不能不忍受好多人的取笑。万事通当场出丑,大家都觉得挺好玩的。但是兰赛太太头疼,回自己的舱里休息去了。
  • chaff [tʃɑːf] n. 玩笑,打趣,戏谑

  • catch sb out 抓住某人的短处;指出无知;指出过失

 22 

Next morning I got up and began to shave. Mr. Kelada lay on his bed smoking a cigarette. Suddenly there was a small scraping sound and I saw a letter pushed under the door. I opened the door and looked out. There was nobody there. I picked up the letter and saw that it was addressed to Max Kelada. The name was written in block letters. I handed it to him.

第二天早上,我起床之后开始刮脸。柯拉达先生躺在床上抽烟。突然有一阵细小的窸窣声,我看到门底下有一封信塞进来。我打开门一看,外面没有人。我拾起信,看到是给麦克斯·柯拉达的。姓名是用印刷体写的。我递给他。
  • scrape [skreɪp] v. to make a noise by rubbing roughly against a surface (使)发出刺耳的刮擦声

  • address v. [əˈdres] If a letter, envelope, or parcel is addressed to you, your name and address have been written on it. 寄往;寄给

  • block letter 印刷体字母

 23 

"Who`s this from?" He opened it. "Oh!"

He took out of the envelope, not a letter, but a hundred-dollar bill. He looked at me and again he reddened. He tore the envelope into little bits and gave them to me.

“谁来的信?”他拆开了信封。“嘿!”
他从信封里取出来的不是信,而是一张一百美元的钞票。他瞅我一眼,脸又红了。他把信封撕得粉碎,把那些碎片交给我。
  • redden [ˈredn] v. to become red, or to make something red (使)变红

  • tear[tɪr] v. to damage something such as paper or cloth by pulling it hard or letting it touch 撕破;扯破;划破;戳破

"Do you mind just throwing them out of the porthole?"

I did as he asked, and then I looked at him with a smile.

"No one likes being made to look a perfect damned fool," he said.

“劳驾,请你从舷窗里扔出去,好吗?”
我照办了,然后带笑看着他。
“被人弄得像一个十足的倒霉傻瓜,谁也不会乐意的。”他说。

 24 

"Were the pearls real?"

"If I had a pretty little wife I shouldn`t let her spend a year in New York while I stayed at Kobe," said he.

At that moment I did not entirely dislike Mr. Kelada. He reached out for his pocket book and carefully put in it the hundred-dollar note.

“那串珍珠是真的?”
“我要是有一个年轻貌美的小媳妇,才不自己呆在神户,让她到纽约去住一年呢。”他说。
这时,我不完全讨厌柯拉达先生了。他伸手取出钱包,细心地把那张一百美元的钞票放了进去。

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