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  Who are YOU? said the Caterpillar.

    This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, I - I hardly know, sir, just at present - at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.

    What do you mean by that? said the Caterpillar 1)sternly. Explain yourself!

    I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir, said Alice, because I'm not myself, you see.

     I don't see,said the Caterpillar.

   I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly, Alice replied very politely, for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.

     It isn't, said the Caterpillar.

     Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet, said Alice; but when you have to turn into a 2)chrysalis - you will some day, you know - and then after that into a butterfly, I should think you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?

     Not a bit, said the Caterpillar.

     Well, perhaps your feelings may be different, said Alice; all I know is, it would feel very queer to ME.

     You! said the Caterpillar 3)contemptuously, who are YOU?

    Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation. Alice felt a little 4)irritated at the Caterpillar's making such VERY short remarks, and she drew herself up and said, very 5)gravely, I think, you ought to tell me who YOU are, first.

     Why? said the Caterpillar.

      Here was another puzzling question; and as Alice could not think of any good reason, and as the Caterpillar seemed to be in a VERY unpleasant state of mind, she turned away.

    Come back! the Caterpillar called after her, I've something important to say!

     This sounded 6)promising, certainly: Alice turned and came back again.

    Keep your temper, said the Caterpillar.

    Is that all? said Alice, swallowing down her anger as well as she could.

     No, said the Caterpillar.

     What size do you want to be?

     Oh, I'm not particular as to size, Alice hastily replied, only one doesn't like changing so often, you know.

     I DON'T know, said the Caterpillar.

     Alice said nothing: she had never been so much 7)contradicted in her life before, and she felt that she was losing her temper.

     Are you content now? said the Caterpillar.

     Well, I should like to be a LITTLE larger, sir, if you wouldn't mind, said Alice, three inches is such a 8)wretched height to be.

     It is a very good height indeed! said the Caterpillar angrily, 9)rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).

     But I'm not used to it! pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought of herself, I wish the creatures wouldn't be so easily offended!

     You'll get used to it in time, said the Caterpillar; and it put the 10)hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.

     In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.

     One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT? thought Alice to herself.

     Of the mushroom, said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.

     Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms around it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.

     And now which is which? she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect; the next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin: it had struck her foot!

     She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was 11)shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a 12)morsel of the left-hand bit.

   Come, my head's free at last! said Alice in a tone of delight, which changed into alarm in another moment, when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be found: all she could see, when she looked down, was an immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her.

爱丽丝漫游奇境

刘易斯.卡罗尔(著)

 

   “你是谁?”毛毛虫问,

      这可不是鼓励人谈话的开场白,爱丽丝挺不好意思地回答说:”我……眼下我很难说,先生……至少今早起床时,我还知道我是谁的,可从那时起我就变了好几回了。”

   “你这话是什么意思?”毛毛虫严厉地说,”你自己解释一下!”

   “我没法解释,先生,”爱丽丝说,”因为我已经不是我自己了,你瞧。”

   “我瞧不出。”毛毛虫说。

   “我不能解释得更清楚了,”爱丽丝非常有礼貌地回答,”因为我压根儿不懂是怎么开始的,一天里改变好几次大小是非常不舒服的。”

   “不会,”毛毛虫说。

   “唉,也许你还没有体会,”爱丽丝说,”可是当你必须变成一只蛹的时候--你知道自己总有一天会这样的--然后再变成一只蝴蝶,我想你会感到有点奇怪的,是不是?”

   “一点也不。”毛毛虫说。

   “哦,可能你的感觉同我不一样,”爱丽丝说,”我只知道,这些事使我觉得非常奇怪。”

   “你!”毛毛虫轻蔑地说,”你是谁?”

   这句话又把他们带回了谈话的开头,对于毛毛虫的那些非常简短的回答,爱丽丝颇有点不高兴了,她挺直了身子一本正经地说:”我想还是你先告诉我,你是谁?”

   “为什么?”毛毛虫说。

   这又成了一个难题:爱丽丝想不出任何比较好的理由来回答它,看来,毛毛虫挺不高兴的,因此爱丽丝转身就走了。

   “回来!”毛毛虫在她身后叫道,”我有几句重要的话讲!”

   这话听起来倒是鼓舞人的,于是爱丽丝回来了。

   “别发脾气嘛!”毛毛虫说。

   “就这个话吗?”爱丽丝忍住了怒气问。

   “不,”毛毛虫说。

   “你想变成多大呢?”

   “唉!多大我倒不在乎,”爱丽丝急忙回答,”不过一个人总不会喜欢老是变来变去的,这你是知道的。”

   “我不知道。”毛毛虫说。

   爱丽丝不说话了,她从来没有遭到过这么多的反驳,感到自己要发脾气了。

   “你满意现在的样子吗?”毛毛虫说。

   “哦,如果你不在意的话,先生,我想再大一点,”爱丽丝说,”像这样三英寸高是太可怜了。”

   “这正是一个非常合适的高度!”毛毛虫生气地说,它说话时还使劲儿挺直了身子(恰好是三英寸高)。

   “可我不习惯这个高度!”爱丽丝可怜巴巴地说道。同时她心里想:”我希望这家伙可别发火!”

  “不久你就会习惯的,”毛毛虫说着又把水烟管放进嘴里抽起来了。

   一两分钟后,毛毛虫从嘴里拿出了水烟管,从蘑菇上下来,向草地爬去,只是在爬的时候,它顺口说道:”一边会使你长高,另一边会使你变矮,”

   “什么东西的一边?什么东西的另一边?”爱丽丝想。

   “蘑菇,”毛毛虫说,就好像爱丽丝大声地问了它似的;过了一会儿,它就不见了。

   爱丽丝端详了那个蘑菇好一会儿,考虑着哪里是它的两边;由于它十分圆,爱丽丝发现这个问题可不容易解决。不管怎样,最后,她伸开双臂环抱着它,胳膊尽量往远伸,然后两手各掰下一块蘑菇。

   “可现在哪边是哪边呢?”她问自己,然后啃了一点右手那块试试;蓦地她觉得下巴被猛烈地碰了一下:原来下巴碰着脚背了!

   这突然的变化使她战栗,缩得太快了,再不抓紧时间就完了;于是她立即去吃另一块。尽管下巴同脚顶得太紧,几乎张不开口,但她后来总算把左手的蘑菇啃着了一点。

   “啊,我的头自由了!”爱丽丝高兴地说,可是转眼间高兴变成了恐惧。这时,她发现找不见自己的肩膀了:她往下看时,只能见到了很长的脖子,这个脖子就像是她下方矗立在绿色海洋中的高树杆。

 

1) sternly  adv. 严厉地,苛刻地    2) chrysalis  n. 蛹

3) contemptuously  adv. 轻蔑地    4) irritated  a. 恼怒的,生气的

5) gravely  adv. 严峻地                   6) promising  a. 有希望的,有前途的

7) contradicted a. 矛盾的,抵触的    8) wretched  a. 可怜的,悲惨的

9) rear  v. 用后腿站起    

10) hookah n. 水烟袋  注释:

11)shrink v. 收缩                12) morsel n. 食物的一小口或一小点

 

 



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