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感恩节两绅士
2003年07月03日10:38:38 中青在线 


  There is one holiday in the year which is completely American, Thanksgiving Day. It is the day when everyone goes back home to spend the day with his family, to have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of roast turkey, to talk about old times.

  每年都有一个纯属美国的节日———感恩节。这一天,每个人都回到家里与家人共度节日,吃传统的感恩节饭———烤火鸡,畅谈过去的时光。

  This is a story of Thanksgiving Day and of one man's efforts, under rather special circumstances, to carry on these traditions.

  这是一个在感恩节的日子里,一个人在十分特殊的情况下,努力遵循这些传统的故事。

  Old Pete took his seat this day on his usual bench in Union Square. Every Thanksgiving Day for nine years Pete had taken this same seat exactly at one o'clock, and each time the same pleasant thing had happened. But this time Pete had come here more from habit than from hunger.

  这一天,老皮特来到联合广场,在往常坐过的长椅上坐了下来。9年来,每年感恩节,皮特都会在一点钟准时坐在这个位子上,而每次,都会发生同样愉快的事情。但这一次,皮特来到这儿,与其说是由于饥饿,不如说是出于习惯。

  Certainly today Pete was not hungry. He had just hadAdinner so enormous that he could hardly breathe. The buttons on his ragged shirt and coat were about to burst. He was so full of soup, oysters, roast turkey, apple pie, ice cream, andAdozen other rich foods that the November breeze and the first light fall of snow felt cool and pleasant to his face.

  当然,今天皮特并不饿,他刚吃过午饭。他吃得太多了,撑得快喘不过气来。他破旧的衬衫和外衣上的纽扣快要绷开了。他的肚子里装满了汤、牡蛎、烤火鸡、苹果馅饼、冰激凌和其它许多油腻的食品,以致11月的微风和第一场小雪使他的脸感到凉爽和惬意。

  The meal had been completely unexpected. He had been passing one of the large homes on Fifth Avenue, where there lived two rich old ladies. It seems that it was their custom each Thanksgiving to placeAservant at the front entrance with orders to bring in the first hungry looking person that passed and then give himAThanksgiving dinner of everything he could eat. On this particular Thanksgiving Day, Pete had passed, the servant had brought himin, and, before Pete knewit, he was being served likeAking with more food than he could eat.

  这顿饭完全是出乎意料的。皮特正路过第五大街上的一所大宅,那里住着两个有钱的老太太。她们似乎有一种习惯 每个感恩节都让一个仆人在前门的门口站着,指示他们把路过的第一个面有饥色的人带进去,然后给他提供一顿感恩节的饭菜,让他能吃多少就吃多少。在这个特殊的感恩节,皮特正好路过此处,仆人把他带进屋里。皮特还没明白过来是怎么回事,他就受到了国王般的款待,食物多得他都吃不下。

  Pete sat on the bench now, hardly able to move. He happened to look to the left and there in the distance he saw the Old Gentleman coming toward him. He wanted to get up and run, but he was so full of food he stayed right there. Every Thanksgiving Day for nine years, the Old Gentleman came there and found Pete on this same bench and then took him toArestaurant and bought himAThanksgiving dinner. It wasAkind of tradition which the Old Gentleman, who had no family and lived alone, had tried to continue. The old man was tall and thin and sixty years old. He was aristocratic looking, and he always dressed in black. His hair was whiter and thinner than it had been the year before, and he leaned more heavily on his cane than he usedto.

  皮特现在坐在长椅上,几乎不能动弹。他偶然朝左边看去,在远处,他看到那个老绅士朝他走来。他想站起来跑掉,但他吃得这样饱,只好留在原处。9年来的每个感恩节,老绅士都到这儿来,发现皮特坐在同一张长椅上,就带他到一家饭馆,为他买一顿感恩节饭菜。这成了没有家庭、单独生活的老绅士努力保持的一种传统。老人又高又瘦,已经60岁了。他有着贵族气派,总穿一身黑衣服。他的头发比前一年更白、更稀少了,而且他比以往更加吃力地拄着手杖。

  ″How do youdo!″said the Old Gentleman.″I am glad to see that the changes of another year have permitted you to move in health through this beautiful world.″

  你好! 老绅士说 很高兴看到又一年的更迭让你在这个美好的世界上健康地活了下来。

  E ach time the Old Gentleman had said exactly this same thing. It was part of the tradition. Old Pete, too, began to feel as though he himself wasApart of the tradition, and he therefore did not have the courage to tell the old man that he had already eaten. This dinner seemed to mean so much to the Old Gentleman.

  每一次老绅士都这样说。这已成为其传统的一部分。老皮特也开始感到,似乎连他自己也是这传统的一部分了,因此,他没有勇气告诉老人,他已经吃过饭了。对老绅士来说,这顿饭似乎意义重大。

  ″Thank you,sir.″ said Old Pete at last.″I'll go with you gladly.I'm very hungry,sir.″

  谢谢你,先生。 老皮特终于说道 我很高兴跟你去。我饿极了,先生。

  Together the Old Gentleman and Pete walked south to the same restaurant where each year Pete had his Thanksgiving dinner. They sat at the same table. The Old Gentleman seemed pleased and happy. When the waiter brought dish after dish of food to Pete, the Old Gentleman sat quietly and smiled. Under the circumstances, Pete had to eat. It was part of the tradition, and so he ate likeAhero. Soup, oysters, roast turkey, pie, he ate everything, although when he entered the restaurant even the smell of more food almost made him sick. At last Pete leaned back with the battle won.

  老绅士和皮特一起向南走到每年皮特吃感恩节饭的同一家饭馆。他们坐在同一张桌子旁,老绅士似乎很高兴。当侍者把一盘又一盘食物端给皮特时,老绅士静静地坐在那里,微笑着。在这种情况下,皮特不得不吃了。这是传统的一部分,因此,他像个英雄一样吃起来。汤、牡蛎、烤火鸡、馅饼,他全吃了。尽管当他走进饭馆时,甚至各种食物的气味都使他几乎想呕吐。最后,皮特打了胜仗,吃完后向后一靠。″

  Thank yousir,″ he said, with some effort,″forAfine dinner.″

  谢谢你,先生。 他吃力地说 谢谢你让我吃了一顿丰盛的饭菜。

  They parted as they did each year at the door, the Old Gentlemen going south, Pete north.

  他们像每年那样在门口分手,老绅士往南走去,皮特向北走去。

  Around the corner, Pete stopped for a moment, felt a terrible pain in his stomach, then fell to the sidewalk unconscious.Alittle later an ambulance came. In the hospital they discovered that he had had an attack of indigestion.

  拐过街角后,皮特停了一会儿,感到胃里一阵剧痛,随后倒在人行道上,不省人事。不一会儿,一辆救护车开来。在医院里,医生发现,他得了急性消化不良。

  An hour later, another ambulance brought the Old Gentleman to the same hospital. At first they thought it was also indigestion but later one of the nurses said,″That nice old gentleman over there --you wouldn't think that it was a case of starvation. Proud old family, I suppose. He told me that he hadn't eaten anything for three days.″

  一个小时后,一辆救护车将那位老绅士送到了同一家医院。起初,人们认为,他也患了消化不良,但后来一个护士说 那位端庄的老绅士——你都不会相信,他得的是饥饿症。我猜,他出身于高傲的旧式家庭,他告诉我他已经3天没吃东西了。

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