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The Last Class(最后一课)
添加时间:2019-01-11 08:54:36 浏览次数: 作者:未知
  • 都德的《最后一课》相信大家都在课本上读过,故事借亚尔萨斯省一个小孩小弗朗士的自述,具体地描写一所小学所上的最后一堂法文课。作家回避了普法战争的正面战场,而把笔墨转向一幅极为平常的生活画面:小学生迟到,老师讲课、提问,习字,拼音练习,下课……描写极为冷静、客观、朴素,却极具感染力。我们就用这部名篇的英文译本来体会一下:

    I WAS very late for school that morning, and I was terribly afraid of being scolded[责骂], especially as Monsieur[法语:先生] Hamel had told us that he should examine us on participles[分词], and I did not know the first thing about them. For a moment I thought of staying away from school and wandering about the fields. It was such a warm, lovely day. I could hear the blackbirds whistling on the edge of the wood, and in the Rippert field, behind the sawmill[锯木厂], the Prussians going through their drill. All that was much more tempting1 to me than the rules concerning participles; but I had the strength to resist, and I ran as fast as I could to school.


    As I passed the mayor’s office, I saw that there were people gathered about the little board on which notices were posted. For two years all our bad news had come from that board—battles lost, conscriptions[征兵], orders from headquarters; and I thought without stopping:

    “What can it be now?”


    Then, as I ran across the square, Wachter the blacksmith, who stood there with his apprentice[学徒], reading the placard[布告], called out to me:

    “Don’t hurry so, my boy; you’ll get to your school soon enough!”

    I thought that he was making fun of me, and I ran into Monsieur Hamel’s little yard all out of breath.


    Usually, at the beginning of school, there was a great uproar[喧嚣] which could be heard in the street, desks opening and closing, lessons repeated aloud in unison[一致], with our ears stuffed in order to learn quicker, and the teacher’s stout2 ruler beating on the desk:

    “A little more quiet!”


    I counted on all this noise to reach my bench unnoticed; but as it happened, that day everything was quiet, like a Sunday morning. Through the open window I saw my comrades already in their places, and Monsieur Hamel walking back and forth3[向前] with the terrible iron ruler under his arm. I had no open the door and enter, in the midst of that perfect silence. You can imagine whether I blushed[羞愧] and whether I was afraid!


    But no! Monsieur Hamel looked at me with no sign of anger and said very gently:

    “Go at once to your seat, my little Frantz; we were going to begin without you.”


    I stepped over the bench and sat down at once at my desk. Not until then, when I had partly recovered from my fright, did I notice that our teacher had on his handsome blue coat, his plaited ruff, and the black silk embroidered4 breeches, which he wore only on days of inspection5 or of distribution of prizes. Moreover, there was something extraordinary, something solemn about the whole class. But what surprised me most was to see at the back of the room, on the benches which were usually empty, some people from the village sitting, as silent as we were: old Hauser with his three-cornered hat, the ex-mayor, the ex-postman, and others besides. They all seemed depressed6; and Hauser had brought an old spelling-book with gnawed7 edges, which he held wide-open on his knee, with his great spectacles askew8.


    While I was wondering at all this, Monsieur Hamel had mounted his platform, and in the same gentle and serious voice with which he had welcomed me, he said to us:

    “My children, this is the last time that I shall teach you. Orders have come from Berlin to teach nothing but German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new teacher arrives to-morrow. This is the last class in French, so I beg you to be very attentive9.”


    Those few words overwhelmed me. Ah! the villains10! that was what they had posted at the mayor’s office.


    My last class in French!

    And I barely knew how to write! So I should never learn! I must stop short where I was! How angry I was with myself because of the time I had wasted, the lessons I had missed, running about after nests, or sliding on the Saar! My books, which only a moment before I thought so tiresome11, so heavy to carry—my grammar, my sacred history—seemed to me now like old friends, from whom I should be terribly grieved to part. And it was the same about Monsieur Hamel. The thought that he was going away, that I should never see him again, made me forget the punishments, the blows with the ruler.


    Poor man! It was in honour of that last lesson that he had put on his fine Sunday clothes; and I understood now why those old fellows from the village were sitting at the end of the room. It seemed to mean that they regretted not having come oftener to the school. It was also a way of thanking our teacher for his forty years of faithful service, and of paying their respects to the fatherland which was vanishing.


    I was at that point in my reflections, when I heard my name called. It was my turn to recite. What would I not have given to be able to say from beginning to end that famous rule about participles, in a loud, distinct voice, without a slip! But I got mixed up at the first words, and I stood there swaying against my bench, with a full heart, afraid to raise my head. I heard Monsieur Hamel speaking to me:


    “I will not scold you, my little Frantz; you must be punished enough; that is the way it goes; every day we say to ourselves: ‘Pshaw! I have time enough. I will learn to-morrow.’ And then you see what happens. Ah! it has been the great misfortune of our Alsace always to postpone12 its lessons until to-morrow. Now those people are entitled to say to us: ‘What! you claim to be French, and you can neither speak nor write your language!’ In all this, my poor Frantz, you are not the guiltiest one. We all have our fair share of reproaches to address to ourselves.


    “Your parents have not been careful enough to see that you were educated. They preferred to send you to work in the fields or in the factories, in order to have a few more sous. And have I nothing to reproach myself for? Have I not often made you water my garden instead of studying? And when I wanted to go fishing for trout13, have I ever hesitated to dismiss you?”


    Then, passing from one thing to another, Monsieur Hamel began to talk to us about the French language, saying that it was the most beautiful language in the world, the most clear, the most substantial; that we must always retain it among ourselves, and never forget it, because when a people falls into servitude, “so long as it clings to its language, it is as if it held the key to its prison.”Then he took the grammer and read us our lesson. I was amazed to see how readily I understood. Everything that he said seemed so easy to me, so easy. I believed, too, that I had never listened so closely, and that he, for his part, had never been so patient with his explanations. One would have said that, before going away, the poor man desired to give us all his knowledge, to force it all into our heads at a single blow.


    When the lesson was at an end, we passed to writing. For that day Monsieur Hamel had prepared some entirely14 new examples, on which was written in a fine, round hand: “France, Alsace, France, Alsace.” They were like little flags, waving all about the class, hanging from the rods of our desks. You should have seen how hard we all worked and how silent it was! Nothing could be heard save the grinding of the pens over the paper. At one time some cock-chafers flew in; but no one paid any attention to them, not even the little fellows who were struggling with their straight lines, with a will and conscientious15 application, as if even the lines were French. On the roof of the schoolhouse, pigeons cooed in low tones, and I said to myself as I listened to them:

    “I wonder if they are going to compel them to sing in German too!”


    From time to time, when I raised my eyes from my paper. I saw Monsieur Hamel sitting motionless in his chair and staring at the objects about him as if he wished to carry away in his glance the whole of his little schoolhouse. Think of it! For forty years he had been there in the same place, with his yard in front of him and his class just as it was! But the benches and desks were polished and rubbed by use; the walnuts16 in the yard had grown, and the hop-vine which he himself had planted now festooned the windows even to the roof. What a heart-rending thing it must have been for that poor man to leave all those things, and to hear his sister walking back and forth in the room overhead, packing their trunks! For they were to go away the next day—to leave the province forever.


    However, he had the courage to keep the class to the end. After the writing, we had the lesson in history; then the little ones sang all together the ba, be, bi, bo, bu. Yonder, at the back of the room, old Hauser had put on his spectacles, and, holding his spelling-book in both hands, he spelled out the letters with them. I could see that he too was applying himself. His voice shook with emotion, and it was so funny to hear him, that we all longed to laugh and to cry. Ah! I shall remember that last class.

    他竟然还有勇气把我们的课上完。习字过后,我们上了历史课;接着小家伙们一起唱起了Ba Be Bi Bo Bu。教室后头,奥泽尔老人戴上了眼镜,两手捧着识字课本,跟我们一起拼读。我发现他也一样专心,他的声音由于激动而颤抖,听起来很滑稽,叫我们又想笑又想哭。噢!我将永远也不会忘记这最后的一课……

    Suddenly the church clock struck twelve, then the Angelus rang. At the same moment, the bugles17 of the Prussians returning from drill blared under our windows. Monsieur Hamel rose, pale as death, from his chair. Never had he seemed to me so tall.


    “My friends,” he said, “my friends, I—I—”


    But something suffocated18 him. He could not finish the sentence.

    Thereupon he turned to the blackboard, took a piece of chalk, and, bearing on with all his might, he wrote in the largest letters he could:



    Then he stood there, with his head resting against the wall, and without speaking, he motioned to us with his hand:

    “That is all; go.”




     8级    双语 


    1 tempting ['temptiŋ] wgAzd4   第7级
    a.诱人的, 吸引人的
    • It is tempting to idealize the past. 人都爱把过去的日子说得那么美好。
    • It was a tempting offer. 这是个诱人的提议。
    2 stout [staʊt] PGuzF   第8级
    • He cut a stout stick to help him walk. 他砍了一根结实的枝条用来拄着走路。
    • The stout old man waddled across the road. 那肥胖的老人一跩一跩地穿过马路。
    3 forth [fɔ:θ] Hzdz2   第7级
    • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth. 风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
    • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession. 他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
    4 embroidered [im'brɔidəd] StqztZ   第9级
    • She embroidered flowers on the cushion covers. 她在这些靠垫套上绣了花。
    • She embroidered flowers on the front of the dress. 她在连衣裙的正面绣花。
    5 inspection [ɪnˈspekʃn] y6TxG   第8级
    • On random inspection the meat was found to be bad. 经抽查,发现肉变质了。
    • The soldiers lined up for their daily inspection by their officers. 士兵们列队接受军官的日常检阅。
    6 depressed [dɪˈprest] xu8zp9   第8级
    • When he was depressed, he felt utterly divorced from reality. 他心情沮丧时就感到完全脱离了现实。
    • His mother was depressed by the sad news. 这个坏消息使他的母亲意志消沉。
    7 gnawed [nɑ:d] 85643b5b73cc74a08138f4534f41cef1   第9级
    咬( gnaw的过去式和过去分词 ); (长时间) 折磨某人; (使)苦恼; (长时间)危害某事物
    • His attitude towards her gnawed away at her confidence. 他对她的态度一直在削弱她的自尊心。
    • The root of this dead tree has been gnawed away by ants. 这棵死树根被蚂蚁唼了。
    8 askew [əˈskju:] rvczG   第12级
    • His glasses had been knocked askew by the blow. 他的眼镜一下子被打歪了。
    • Her hat was slightly askew. 她的帽子戴得有点斜。
    9 attentive [əˈtentɪv] pOKyB   第7级
    • She was very attentive to her guests. 她对客人招待得十分周到。
    • The speaker likes to have an attentive audience. 演讲者喜欢注意力集中的听众。
    10 villains [ˈvilənz] ffdac080b5dbc5c53d28520b93dbf399   第9级
    n.恶棍( villain的名词复数 );罪犯;(小说、戏剧等中的)反面人物;淘气鬼
    • The impression of villains was inescapable. 留下恶棍的印象是不可避免的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • Some villains robbed the widow of the savings. 有几个歹徒将寡妇的积蓄劫走了。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
    11 tiresome [ˈtaɪəsəm] Kgty9   第7级
    • His doubts and hesitations were tiresome. 他的疑惑和犹豫令人厌烦。
    • He was tiresome in contending for the value of his own labors. 他老为他自己劳动的价值而争强斗胜,令人生厌。
    12 postpone [pəˈspəʊn] rP0xq   第7级
    • I shall postpone making a decision till I learn full particulars. 在未获悉详情之前我得从缓作出决定。
    • She decided to postpone the converastion for that evening. 她决定当天晚上把谈话搁一搁。
    13 trout [traʊt] PKDzs   第9级
    • Thousands of young salmon and trout have been killed by the pollution. 成千上万的鲑鱼和鳟鱼的鱼苗因污染而死亡。
    • We hooked a trout and had it for breakfast. 我们钓了一条鳟鱼,早饭时吃了。
    14 entirely [ɪnˈtaɪəli] entirely   第9级
    • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
    • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
    15 conscientious [ˌkɒnʃiˈenʃəs] mYmzr   第7级
    • He is a conscientious man and knows his job. 他很认真负责,也很懂行。
    • He is very conscientious in the performance of his duties. 他非常认真地履行职责。
    16 walnuts ['wɔ:lnʌts] 465c6356861ea8aca24192b9eacd42e8   第8级
    胡桃(树)( walnut的名词复数 ); 胡桃木
    • Are there walnuts in this sauce? 这沙司里面有核桃吗?
    • We ate eggs and bacon, pickled walnuts and cheese. 我们吃鸡蛋,火腿,腌胡桃仁和干酪。
    17 bugles [ˈbju:gəlz] 67a03de6e21575ba3e57a73ed68d55d3   第9级
    妙脆角,一种类似薯片但做成尖角或喇叭状的零食; 号角( bugle的名词复数 ); 喇叭; 匍匐筋骨草; (装饰女服用的)柱状玻璃(或塑料)小珠
    • Blow, bugles, blow, set the wild echoes flying. "响起来,号角,响起来,让激昂的回声在空中震荡"。
    • We hear the silver voices of heroic bugles. 我们听到了那清亮的号角。
    18 suffocated ['sʌfəkeɪtɪd] 864b9e5da183fff7aea4cfeaf29d3a2e   第10级
    (使某人)窒息而死( suffocate的过去式和过去分词 ); (将某人)闷死; 让人感觉闷热; 憋气
    • Many dogs have suffocated in hot cars. 许多狗在热烘烘的汽车里给闷死了。
    • I nearly suffocated when the pipe of my breathing apparatus came adrift. 呼吸器上的管子脱落时,我差点给憋死。

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