大学英语精读第二册英语第一单元翻译

英语第一单元

A heated discussion about whether men are braver than women is settled in a rather unexpected way.

关于男人是否比女人更勇敢的一场激烈争论以一种颇为出人意料的方式解决了。

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The Dinner PartyMona Gardner 1RT I first heard this tale in India, where it is told as if true — though any naturalist would know it couldn't be. Later someone told me that the story appeared in a magazine shortly before the First World War. That magazine story, and the person who wrote it, I have never been able to track down.

晚宴

莫娜·加德纳

我最初听到这个故事是在印度,那儿的人们今天讲起它来仍好像确有其事似的——尽管任何一位博物学家都知道这不可能是真的。后来有人告诉我,在第一次世界大战之前不久,一家杂志曾刊登过这个故事。但登在杂志上的那篇故事以及写那篇故事的人,我却一直未能找到。

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2RT The country is India. A colonial official and his wife are giving a large dinner party. They are seated with their guests — officers and their wives, and a visiting American naturalist — in their spacious dining room, which has a bare marble floor, open rafters and wide glass doors opening onto a veranda.

故事发生在印度。某殖民地官员和他的夫人正举行盛大的晚宴。筵席设在他们家宽敞的餐室里,室内大理石地板上没有铺地毯;屋顶明椽裸露;宽大的玻璃门外便是走廊。跟他们一起就坐的客人有军官和他们的夫人,另外还有一位来访的美国博物学家。

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3RT A spirited discussion springs up between a young girl who says that women have outgrown the

jumping-on-a-chair-at-the-sight-of-a-mouse era and a major who says that they haven't.

席间,一位年轻的女士同一位少校展开了热烈的讨论。年轻的女士认为,妇女已经有所进步,不再像过去那样一见到老鼠就吓得跳到椅子上;少校则不以为然。

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4RT "A woman's reaction in any crisis," the major says, "is to scream. And while a man may feel like it, he has that ounce more of control than a woman has. And that last ounce is what really counts."

他说:“一遇到危急情况,女人的反应便是尖叫。而男人虽然也可能想叫,但比起女人来,自制力却略胜一筹。这多出来的一点自制力正是真正起作用的东西。”

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5RT The American does not join in the argument but watches the other guests. As he looks, he sees a strange expression come over the face of the hostess. She is staring straight ahead, her

muscles contracting slightly. She motions to the native boy standing behind her chair and whispers something to him. The boy's eyes widen: he quickly leaves the room.

那个美国人没有参加这场争论,他只是注视着在座的其他客人。在他这样观察时,他发现女主人的脸上显出一种奇异的表情。她两眼盯着正前方,脸部肌肉在微微抽搐。她向站在座椅后面的印度男仆做了个手势,对他耳语了几句。男仆两眼睁得大大的,迅速地离开了餐室。

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6RT Of the guests, none except the American notices this or sees the boy place a bowl of milk on the veranda just outside the open doors.

在座的客人中除了那位美国人以外谁也没注意到这一幕,也没有看到那个男仆把一碗牛奶放在紧靠门边的走廊上。

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7RT The American comes to with a start. In India, milk in a bowl means only one thing —bait for a snake. He realizes there must be a cobra in the room. He looks up at the rafters — the likeliest place — but they are bare. Three corners of the room are empty, and in the fourth the servants are waiting to serve the next course. There is only one place left — under the table.

那个美国人突然醒悟过来。在印度,碗中的牛奶只有一个意思——引蛇的诱饵。他意识到餐室里一定有条眼镜蛇。他抬头看了看屋顶上的椽子——那是最可能有蛇藏身的地方——但那

上面空荡荡的。室内的三个角落里也是空的,而在第四个角落里,仆人们正在等着上下一道菜。这样,剩下的就只有一个地方了——餐桌下面。

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8RT His first impulse is to jump back and warn the others, but he knows the commotion would frighten the cobra into striking. He speaks quickly, the tone of his voice so commanding that it silences everyone.

他首先想到的是往后一跳,并向其他人发出警告。但他知道这样会引起骚乱,致使眼镜蛇受惊咬人。于是他很快讲了一通话,其语气非常威严,竟使得所有的人都安静了下来。

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9RT "I want to know just what control everyone at this table has. I will count three hundred — that's five minutes — and not one of you is to move a muscle. Those who move will forfeit 50 rupees. Ready!"

“我想了解一下在座的诸位到底有多大的克制能力,我数三百下——也就是五分钟——你们谁都不许动一动。动者将罚款五十卢比。准备好!”

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10RT The 20 people sit like stone images while he counts. He is saying "... two hundred and eighty..." when, out of the corner of his eye, he sees the cobra emerge and make for the bowl of milk. Screams ring out as he jumps to slam the veranda doors safely shut.

在他数数的过程中,那二十个人都像一尊尊石雕一样端坐在那儿。当他数到“……二百八

十……”时,突然从眼角处看到那条眼镜蛇钻了出来,向那碗牛奶爬去。在他跳起来把通往走廊的门全都砰砰地牢牢关上时,室内响起了一片尖叫声。

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11RT "You were right, Major!" the host exclaims. "A man has just shown us an example of perfect self-control."

“你刚才说得很对,少校!” 男主人大声说。“一个男子刚刚为我们显示了从容不迫、镇定自若的范例。”

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12RT "Just a minute," the American says, turning to his hostess. "Mrs. Wynnes, how did you know that cobra was in the room?"

“且慢,” 那位美国人一边说着一边转向女主人。“温兹太太,你怎么知道那条眼镜蛇是在屋子里呢?”

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13RT A faint smile lights up the woman's face as she replies: "Because it was crawling across my foot."

女主人脸上闪出一丝淡淡的微笑,回答说:“因为它当时正从我的脚背上爬过去。”

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