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沙漠里的爱情

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  A Passion in the Desert

  by Honore de Balzac

  Translated by Ernest Dowson

  当《沙漠里的爱情》这本书问世以后,世界上又引起了轰动。他们都在谈论着为什么结局会是这么悲惨——小说的主人公用匕首杀死了那头花豹,而当那头花豹快死的时候,它却毫无恼怒地望着他。

  在现实生活中,人与人之间的沟通变得越来越少,甚至有的碰面还招呼不打就走开了,别说与那些没有共同语言的人交流了。文章的主人公深刻地体会了那种感觉。我希望所有的人都不要成为沟通的终结者,人间因为有沟通,才会变得更美好。沟通是人与人之间的桥梁,把握沟通,懂得沟通,将会成为世间最快乐的人。

  "The whole show is dreadful," she cried coming out of the menagerie of M. Martin. She had just been looking at that daring speculator "working with his hyena,"--to speak in the style of the programme.

  "By what means," she continued, "can he have tamed these animals to such a point as to be certain of their affection for----"

  "What seems to you a problem," said I, interrupting, "is really quite natural."

  "Oh!" she cried, letting an incredulous smile wander over her lips.

  "You think that beasts are wholly without passions?" I asked her. "Quite the reverse; we can communicate to them all the vices arising in our own state of civilization."

  She looked at me with an air of astonishment.

  "But," I continued, "the first time I saw M. Martin, I admit, like you, I did give vent to an exclamation of surprise. I found myself next to an old soldier with the right leg amputated, who had come in with me. His face had struck me. He had one of those heroic heads, stamped with the seal of warfare, and on which the battles of Napoleon are written. Besides, he had that frank, good-humored expression which always impresses me favorably. He was without doubt one of those troopers who are surprised at nothing, who find matter for laughter in the contortions of a dying comrade, who bury or plunder him quite light-heartedly, who stand intrepidly in the way of bullets;--in fact, one of those men who waste no time in deliberation, and would not hesitate to make friends with the devil himself. After looking very attentively at the proprietor of the menagerie getting out of his box, my companion pursed up his lips with an air of mockery and contempt, with that peculiar and expressive twist which superior people assume to show they are not taken in. Then, when I was expatiating on the courage of M. Martin, he smiled, shook his head knowingly, and said, 'Well known.'

  " 'How "well known"?' I said. 'If you would only explain me the mystery, I should be vastly obliged.'

  "After a few minutes, during which we made acquaintance, we went to dine at the first restauranteur's whose shop caught our eye. At dessert a bottle of champagne completely refreshed and brightened up the memories of this odd old soldier. He told me his story, and I saw that he was right when he exclaimed, 'Well known.' "

  When she got home, she teased me to that extent, was so charming, and made so many promises, that I consented to communicate to her the confidences of the old soldier. Next day she received the following episode of an epic which one might call "The French in Egypt."


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