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泄密的心·The Tell-Tale Heart(Edgar Allan Poe 爱伦·坡)中英双语

The Tell-Tale Heart

by Edgar Allan Poe


The Tell Tale Heart

True! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously --cautiously (for the hinges creaked) --I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights --every night just at midnight --but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers --of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back --but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out --"Who's there?" I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; --just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself --"It is nothing but the wind in the chimney --it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel --although he neither saw nor heard --to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye. It was open --wide, wide open --and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness --all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot. And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? --now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me --the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once --once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! ha! When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises. I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears. No doubt I now grew very pale; --but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"

 

中文翻译  译 者:未知

对!——我神经过敏,非常,非常过敏,十二万分过敏,过去是这样,现在也是这样;可您干吗偏偏说人家疯了呢饿?犯了这种病,感觉倒没失灵,倒没迟钝,反而敏锐了。尤其是听觉,分外灵敏。天上人间的一切声息全都听见。阴曹地府的种种声音也在耳边。那么怎是疯了呢?听!瞧我哦跟您谈这一切,有多精神,有多镇静。

这念头最初怎么钻进脑子里,可说不上;但一想起来,白天黑夜就念念不忘。可没什么目的。可没什么怨恨。我爱那老头。他压根儿没得罪我。他压根没侮辱我。我也不贪图他的金银财宝。大概是那只眼睛作祟吧!不错,正是那只眼睛作祟!他长了一只鹰眼——浅蓝色的,蒙着层薄膜。只要瞅我一眼,我就浑身发毛;因此心里渐渐——逐步逐步——打定主意,结果他的性命,好永远不再瞅见那只眼睛。

瞧,问题就在这儿。您当我疯了。疯子可什么也不懂。可惜您当初没瞧见我。可惜没瞧见我干得多么聪明——做得多细心,多周到,多做作!

我害死老头前一个礼拜中,对他倒是空前体贴。天天晚上,半夜光景,我把他门锁一扭,打了开来——啊,真是悄无声息!房门掀开条缝,刚好探进脑袋,就拿盏牛眼灯塞进门缝,灯上遮得严严实实,无缝无隙,连一丝灯光都漏不出,接着头再伸进去。啊,您要瞅见我多么巧妙的探进头去,包管失声大笑!我慢慢探着头,一寸一寸的慢慢伸进门,免得惊醒老头。花了个把钟头,整个脑袋才探进门缝里,恰好看见他躺在床上。哈!——难道疯子有这么聪明?我头一伸进房里,就小心翼翼——啊,真是万分小心——小心的打开灯上活门,因为铰链吱轧响呢——我将活门掀开条缝,细细一道灯光刚好射在鹰眼上。这样一连干了整整七夜,天天晚上都恰正在半夜时分,可老见那只眼闭着;就无从下手,因为招我生气的不是老头本人,是他那只“白眼”。每当清晨,天刚破晓,我就肆无忌惮的走进他卧房,放胆跟他谈话,亲亲热热的喊他名字,问他晚上是否睡得安宁。所以您瞧,他要不是个深谋远虑的老头,决不会疑心天天晚上,恰正在十二点钟,我趁他睡着,探进头去偷看他。

到了第八天晚上,我比往日还要小心的打开房门。就是表上长针走起来也要快得多呢。那天晚上,我才破题儿头一遭认清自己本领有高强,头脑有多聪明。心头那分得意简直按捺不住。倒想想看,我就在房外,一寸一寸打开门,可这种秘密举动和阴谋诡计,他连做梦都没想到。想到这儿,我禁不住扑哧一笑;大概他听到了;因为他仿佛大吃一惊,突然翻了个身。这下您总以为我回去了吧——才没呢。他生怕强盗抢,百叶窗关得严严实实,房里漆黑,伸手不见五指,我知道他看不见门缝,就照旧一步一步,一步一步推开门。

我刚探进头,正要动手掀开灯上活门,大拇指在铁皮扣上一滑,老头霍的坐起身,破口嚷道:“谁?”

我顿时不动,也没作声。整整一个钟头,就是纹丝不动,可也没到到他躺下。他照旧坐在床上,侧耳静听;正跟我天天晚上,倾听墙里报死虫的叫声一般。

不久,耳边听到微微一声哼,我知道只有吓得没命才这么哼一声。既不是呻吟,也不是悲叹——才不是呢!——没逢吓得魂飞魄散,心底里才憋不住这么低低一声。这我倒听惯了。不知多少个晚上,恰正在半夜时分,四下里万籁无声,我总是毛骨悚然,心坎里不由涌起这声呻吟,激荡出阴森森的回响,就此更加害怕了。刚才说过,这早就听惯了。我知道老头怎么股心情,虽然暗自好笑,可还是同情他。我知道他乍听到微微一声响,在床上翻过身,就一直睁着眼躺着;心里愈来愈怕;拼命当作是场虚惊,可总是办不到。他一直自言自语:“不过是烟囱里的风声罢了——只是耗子穿过罢了。”或者说:“只不过是蛐蛐叫了一声罢了。”对,他老是这么东猜西想,聊以自慰;可也明白这全是枉费心机。这全是枉费心机;因为眼前死神就要来临,大模大样走着,一步步逼近,找上他这冤鬼。正是那看不见面目的死神,惹得他心里凄凄凉凉,才觉得我的脑袋在房里,看虽没看到,听也没听见。

我沉住气,等了好久,既然没听到他躺下,就决定将灯掀开条小缝,极小,极小的一道缝。我动手掀开灯上活门——您可想不出,有多鬼鬼祟祟,鬼鬼祟祟——一点一点掀开,缝里终于射出蒙蒙一线光,象游丝,照在鹰眼上。

那只眼睁着呢,睁得老大,老大;我愈看愈火。我看得一清二楚——整个眼睛是只是一团暗蓝,蒙着层怕人的薄膜,吓得我心惊胆战;可是,老头的脸庞和身体却都看不见:因为鬼使神差似的,灯光恰正射在那鬼地方。

瞧,我不是早跟您讲过,您把我错看做发疯,其实只是感觉过分敏锐罢了—?——啊,刚才说过,我耳边匆匆传来模模糊糊一阵低沉声音,恰似蒙着棉花的表声。那种声音我倒也听惯了。正是老头的心跳。我愈听愈火,就好比咚咚战鼓催动了士气。

就是在这时,我照旧沉住气,依然不动。气都不透一口。我掌住灯。灯光尽量紧紧射在鹰眼上。这工夫,吓人的扑通扑通心跳愈来愈厉害了。一秒秒钟过去,愈跳愈快,愈跳愈快,愈跳愈响,愈跳愈响。老头管保吓得半死了!刚才说过,愈来愈响,一秒钟比一秒钟响!——明白了没啊?不是早跟您说过,我神经过敏;确实过敏。眼下正是深更半夜,古屋里一片死寂,耳听得这种怪声,禁不住吓死。可我依旧沉住气,纹丝不动地站了片刻。不料扑通扑通声竟愈来愈响,愈来愈响!我看,那颗心准要炸开。这时又不由提心吊胆——街坊恐怕会听到吧!老头的大限到啦!我哇的嚷了一声,打开灯上活门,一箭步进了房。他哎呀一声尖叫——只叫了那么一声。霎时间,我将他一把拖到地板,推倒大床,压在他身上。眼看一下子完了事,心里乐得笑了。谁知,闷剩闷气的心跳声竟不断响了半天。可没招我生气;隔着堵墙,这种声音倒听不见。后来终于不响了。老头死喽。我搬开床,朝尸首打量了一番。可不,他咽气了,连口气也没有。我伸手按在他心口,搁了好久。一跳也不跳。连口气也没有。那只眼睛再也不会折磨人啦。

您还当我发疯的话,容我交代了匿藏死尸的妙计,就不会这么想了。夜尽了,我悄无声息的赶紧动手,先将尸首肢解开来:砍掉脑袋,割掉手脚。

我再撬起房里三块地板,将一切藏在两根间柱当中。重新放好木板,手法非常利落,非常巧妙,什么人的眼睛都看不出有丝毫破绽,连他的眼睛也看不出。没什么要洗刷的,什么斑点都没有,丝毫血迹都没有。我干得才谨慎你,没留下一点痕迹。全盛在澡盆里了——哈!哈!

一切干好,已经四点钟——天色还跟半夜一般黑呢。钟打四下,大门外猛然传来一阵敲门声。我稀松平常的下楼去开门,——现在有什么好怕的呢?门外进来三个人,他们彬彬有礼的自我介绍,说是警官。有个街坊在夜间听到一声尖叫,疑心出了人命案子,报告了警察局,这三位警官就奉命前来搜查屋子。

我满脸堆笑,——有什么好怕的呢?我对这三位先生欢迎了一番,就说,我刚才在梦里失声叫了出来。我讲,老头到乡下去了。我带着三位来客在屋里上上下下走了个遍。请他们搜查,仔细搜查。后来还领到老头的卧房里,指给他们看他的家私好好放着。我心头有恃无恐,就热诚的端进几把椅子,请他们在这间房里歇腿,我心头又是洋洋得意,就大胆的端了椅子,在埋着冤鬼尸首的地方坐下。

三位警官称心了。我这种举止不由他们不信。我也就十二万分安心。他们坐着,闲聊家常,我是有问必答。但没多久,只觉得脸色愈来愈白,巴不得他们快走。头好疼啊,还感到耳朵里嗡嗡的响;无奈他们照旧坐着,照旧聊天。嗡嗡声听得更清楚了;不断响着,听得更清楚了;我想摆脱这种感觉,嘴里谈得更畅;谁知嗡嗡声不断响着,反而变得毫不含糊;响着,响着,我终于明白原来不是耳朵里作怪。

不消说,我这时脸色雪白了;可嘴里谈得更欢,还扯高了嗓门。不料声音愈来愈大——怎么办呢?这是匆匆传来的模模糊糊一阵低沉声音——简直象蒙着棉花的表声。我直喘粗气;可这三位警官竟没听到。我谈得更快,谈得更急;谁知响声反而无休止的愈来愈大。我站起身,连鸡毛蒜皮的小事都尖声尖气的争辩,一边还舞手拍脚;谁知响声反而愈来愈大。他们干吗偏不走呢?我拖着沉重的脚步在房里踱来踱去,仿佛他们三人的看法把我惹火了;谁知响声发而愈来愈大。啊,天呐!怎么办呢?我唾沫乱溅,大肆咆哮,咒天骂地!让椅子就地摇动,在木板上磨得嘎嘎的响,可是响声却压倒一切,而且继续不断,愈来愈大。愈来愈响,愈来愈响!那三人竟照旧高高兴兴聊着,嘻嘻哈哈笑着。难道没听见?老天爷呵!——不,不!听见的!——疑心了!——有数了!——正在笑话我这样心惊胆战呢!——我过去是这么看法,现在还是这么看法。可什么都比这种折磨强得多!什么都比这种奚落好受得多!这种假惺惺的笑我再也受不了啦!只觉得不喊就要死了!——瞧——又来了!——听!愈来愈响!愈来愈响!愈来愈响!愈来愈响!——

“坏蛋!”我失声尖叫,“别再装蒜了!我招就是!——撬开地板!——这儿,这儿!——他那颗可恶的心在跳呢!”


埋得再深、再天衣无缝,良心的谴责永远不会停止。

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本文由 橙叶博客 作者:FrankGreg 发表,转载请注明来源!

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