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机器停止运转(MP3+中英字幕) 第24期:无家可归的人(6)

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And though things improved again after a time, the old brilliancy was never recaptured,

经过一段时期,虽然事态又有所改善,不过以往那种光辉闪闪的明亮从未再得到过,

and humanity never recovered from its entrance into twilight.

人们永远没有从走进的黄昏中再走出来。

There was an hysterical talk of “measures,” of “provisional dictatorship,”

这时流传着关于“措施”,关于“紧急专政”的歇斯底里的议论,

and the inhabitants of Sumatra were asked to familiarize themselves with the workings of the central power station,

还有撒马特拉的居民们得到邀请去亲自了解一下中央电力站的操作。

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the said power station being situated in France.

所说的这座电力站座落在法兰西。

But for the most part panic reigned, and men spent their strength praying to their Books, tangible proofs of the Machine”s omnipotence.

但主要是恐慌处于支配地位,于是人们把他们的精力用在向他们的大书祈祷上,大书是那大机器万能的明确证据。

There were gradations of terror- at times came rumours of hope-

恐怖在逐渐转化着,有时一些予人以希望的谣言不胫而来:

the Mending Apparatus was almost mended-the enemies of the Machine had been got under- new “nerve-centres” were evolving

那修理机已经差不多修理好了,大机器的敌人已经被压下去了,

which would do the work even more magnificently than before.

新的“神经中心”正在创制之中,它会把工作做得比以前更加精彩,等等。

But there came a day when, without the slightest warning, without any previous hint of feebleness,

可是这样一个日子来临了,并且没有一点预先警告,没有一点最轻微的预示:

the entire communication-system broke down, all over the world, and the world, as they understood it, ended.

整个通讯系统失灵了,全世界,也就是他们所理解的那个世界,告终了。

Vashti was lecturing at the time and her earlier remarks had been punctuated with applause.

瓦西蒂当时正在演讲,最初她的演讲不时为热烈的掌声所打断。

As she proceeded the audience became silent, and at the conclusion there was no sound.

当她继续讲下去的时候,听众变得沉默起来,在结束时竟一点声息都没有。

Somewhat displeased, she called to a friend who was a specialist in sympathy.

她有点不大高兴地打电话给一个朋友,那是一位善于同情别人的专家。

No sound: doubtless the friend was sleeping.

没有回答的声音:毫无疑问,这个朋友是在睡觉哩。

And so with the next friend whom she tried to summon, and so with the next,

她试打电话给另一个朋友,也同样没有声音,接着又试打电话给另一个人,

until she remembered Kuno”s cryptic remark, “The Machine stops”.

同样如此,直到她想起基诺的“大机器要停止运转了”这句隐晦的话来。

The phrase still conveyed nothing. If Eternity was stopping it would of course be set going shortly.

这句话依然没有传达给她什么意义。如果永恒现在停止不前的话,它当然不久就会又运转起来的。

For example, there was still a little light and air – the atmosphere had improved a few hours previously.

比如此这儿还有光和空气——大气在几个小时以前已经得到了改善。

There was still the Book, and while there was the Book there was security.

这儿还有那本大书,而且只要大书还在那里就有安全。

She had never known silence, and the coming of it nearly killed her – it did kill many thousands of people outright.

她从来不懂得沉寂,沉寂的来临简直要她的命——它的确使千千万万人立刻丧命。

Ever since her birth she had been surrounded by the steady hum.

自从她出生以来,她就被持续不停的嗡嗡声所环绕,

It was to the ear what artificial air was to the lungs, and agonizing pains shot across her head.

这种嗡嗡声之对于耳朵,正如人工空气之对于肺一样重要。接着使人烦恼的痛苦闪过她的脑际。

And scarcely knowing what she did, she stumbled forward and pressed the unfamiliar button, the one that opened the door of her cell.

她简直不知道自己在干什么,她蹒跚地朝前走去,按了一下那个不常用的电钮,就是打开她那个小房间的门的电钮。

Now the door of the cell worked on a simple hinge of its own.

现在这个小房间的门是靠它自己的一个简单的蝶铰操作。

It was not connected with the central power station, dying far away in France. It opened, rousing immoderate hopes in Vashti,

它与远在法兰西濒于崩溃的中央电力站没有联系。 这个门开了,在瓦西蒂的心中引起一些过分的希望,

for she thought that the Machine had been mended.

因为她认为那大机器已经修理好。

It opened, and she saw the dim tunnel that curved far away towards freedom.

这个门一开,她便看到那幽暗的隧道弯弯曲曲地朝着自由而远去。

One look, and then she shrank back.

她看了一眼,随即缩回。

For the tunnel was full of people – she was almost the last in that city to have taken alarm.

因为隧道里挤满了人——她差不多是这座城里最后感到恐惧的一个人。

People at any time repelled her, and these were nightmares from her worst dreams.

人们在任何时候都使她厌恶,这是她那些最坏的恶梦中的梦魇。


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