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椭圆形画像的英文短篇小说

微小说 时间:2018-12-21 我要投稿
【www.accountentando.com- 微小说】

  The Oval Portrait

  爱伦 坡著

  < 1 >

  THE CHATEAU into which my valet had ventured to make forcible entrance, rather than permit me, in my desperately wounded condition, to pass a night in the open air, was oneof those piles of commingled gloom and grandeur which have so long frowned among the Appennines, not less in fact than in the fancy of Mrs. Radcliffe. To all appearance it hadbeen temporarily and very lately abandoned. We established ourselves in one of the smallest and least sumptuously furnished apartments. It lay in a remote turret of the building.Its decorations were rich, yet tattered and antique. Its walls were hung with tapestry and bedecked with manifold and multiform armorial trophies, together with an unusually greatnumber of very spirited modern paintings in frames of rich golden arabesque. In these paintings, which depended from the walls not only in their main surfaces, but in very manynooks which the bizarre architecture of the chateau rendered necessary- in these paintings my incipient delirium, perhaps, had caused me to take deep interest; so that I bade Pedro to close the heavy shutters of the room- since it was already night- to light the tongues of a tall candelabrum which stood by the head of my bed- and to throw open far and wide the fringed curtains of black velvet which enveloped the bed itself. I wished all this done that I might resign myself, if not to sleep, at least alternately to the contemplation of these pictures, and the perusal of a small volume which had been found upon the pillow, and which purported to criticise and describe them.

  我受了重伤,我的随从不忍心让我在外面过夜,就领我闯进了一座城堡。这是座巍峨地耸立在亚平宁山区多年的一座阴森而雄壮的城堡,决不亚于拉德克利夫夫人在她的小说中所幻想的那种。从各种迹象来看,城堡的主人离去的时间不会太久。我们主仆两人在一间最狭孝陈设最美的屋子里住下来。它位于这座城堡边上的一个塔楼里。看得出室内原来的装饰相当富丽,但现在已破旧不堪了。四壁悬挂着花毯和各种各样的战利品,此外还挂着许多惟妙惟肖的绘画,画框都是金色花纹的,连墙角都挂着画。也许是伤势过重,我的神志不甚清醒,只是呆呆地望着这些画出神。这时天色已晚,我吩咐彼德罗把百叶窗全都关上。把屋里的蜡烛统统点亮,然后拉开床前的黑天鹅绒帷慢。这样。即使我不能入睡,至少也可以安静地欣赏一番这些画,也可以读一读枕头上放着的一本小书,那是对这些画进行解释和评价的书。

  < 2 >

  Long- long I read- and devoutly, devotedly I gazed. Rapidly and gloriously the hours flew by and the deep midnight came. The position of the candelabrum displeased me, and outreaching my hand with difficulty, rather than disturb my slumbering valet, I placed it so as to throw its rays more fully upon the book.

  But the action produced an effect altogether unanticipated. The rays of the numerous candles (for there were many) now fell within a niche of the room which had hitherto been thrown into deep shade by one of the bed-posts. I thus saw in vivid light a picture all unnoticed before. It was the portrait of a young girl just ripening into womanhood. I glanced at the painting hurriedly, and then closed my eyes. Why I did this was not at first apparent even to my own perception. But while my lids remained thus shut, I ran over in my mind my reason for so shutting them. It was an impulsive movement to gain time for thought- to make sure that my vision had not deceived me- to calm and subdue my fancy for a more sober and more certain gaze. In a very few moments I again looked fixedly at the painting.

  That I now saw aright I could not and would not doubt; for the first flashing of the candles upon that canvas had seemed to dissipate the dreamy stupor which was stealing over my senses, and to startle me at once into waking life.

  The portrait, I have already said, was that of a young girl. It was a mere head and shoulders, done in what is technically termed a vignette manner; much in the style of the favorite heads of Sully. The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow which formed the back-ground of the whole. The frame was oval, richly gilded and filigreed in Moresque. As a thing of art nothing could be more admirable than the painting itself. But it could have been neither the execution of the work, nor the immortal beauty of the countenance, which had so suddenly and so vehemently moved me. Least of all, could it have been that my fancy, shaken from its half slumber, had mistaken the head for that of a living person. I saw at once that the peculiarities of the design, of the vignetting, and of the frame, must have instantly dispelled such idea- must have prevented even its momentary entertainment. Thinking earnestly upon these points, I remained, for an hour perhaps, half sitting, half reclining, with my vision riveted upon the portrait. At length, satisfied with the true secret of its effect, I fell back within the bed. I had found the spell of the picture in an absolute life-likeliness of expression, which, at first startling, finally confounded, subdued, and appalled me. With deep and reverent awe I replaced the candelabrum in its former position. The cause of my deep agitation being thus shut from view, I sought eagerly the volume which discussed the paintings and their histories. Turning to the number which designated the oval portrait, I there read the vague and quaint words which follow:

  我拿着书,一一对着画欣赏起来。不知不觉已至半夜,烛台的位置离我很远,我又不忍心唤醒酣睡的随从,费了好大力气才将烛台端在手中,以便照亮手中的这本书。

  烛台上插着好多支蜡烛,交织的烛光照在了室内的一个壁龛上,原先这个壁龛被一根柱子遮住了。此时我转过身来才发现刚才根本没有注意到的一幅画,画上是一个妙龄少女。我朝她匆匆地瞥了一眼,就闭上了眼睛,连我自己都不理解为什么我会这佯。稍后,我寻思一下,我之所以闭上眼睛是为了能平静地思考一下是否视觉欺骗了我,也为了能定睛看个清楚。片刻之后,我便睁开眼睛仔细地端详起这幅画像来。我已经看得很清楚,再也不用怀疑什么了。烛光把画面照得通亮,刚才那种恍惚的幻觉已经荡然无存了,神志也变得十分清醒。

  正如我开始所见,画上是个少女。只画了头部和双肩,用的是半身晕映画像法,和萨利的头像画法很接近。双膀、胸脯、明亮的头发和画面背景协调地溶为一体。画框是椭圆形的,还镀了金,作为一件艺术品,这幅画真令人赞叹不已。但是,不论是作品的高超艺术,还是画中人的美色艳姿,都不至于这样突如其来地打动我的心弦。不管我怎样的神志不清,总不会把画中人当成现实活动中的人。我半坐半倚,一边认真地思考着,一边还是紧紧地盯着画像。就这样,大约过了一个时辰。我逐渐领会到了这幅画的构思、画法、画框的特色以及其中的奥秘,于是我把烛台放回原来的地方,然后仰面躺在床上。是的,是画中人的神情逼真生动的魅力,才使我初见这幅画时心情十分激动,由于躺在床上看不到画像,于是我拿起那本评述这些绘画及指明出处的书来。翻到标明椭圆形的肖像的那一页,看到了如下一段文字枯涩、词句含蓄的说明:

  < 3 >

  "She was a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee. And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter. He, passionate, studious, austere, and having already a bride in his Art; she a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee; all light and smiles, and frolicsome as the young fawn; loving and cherishing all things; hating only the Art which was her rival; dreading only the pallet and brushes and other untoward instruments which deprived her of the countenance of her lover. It was thus a terrible thing for this lady to hear the painter speak of his desire to pourtray even his young bride. But she was humble and obedient, and sat meekly for many weeks in the dark, high turret-chamber where the light dripped upon the pale canvas only from overhead. But he, the painter, took glory in his work, which went on from hour to hour, and from day to day. And be was a passionate, and wild, and moody man, who became lost in reveries; so that he would not see that the light which fell so ghastly in that lone turret withered the health and the spirits of his bride, who pined visibly to all but him. Yet she smiled on and still on, uncomplainingly, because she saw that the painter (who had high renown) took a fervid and burning pleasure in his task, and wrought day and night to depict her who so loved him, yet who grew daily more dispirited and weak. And in sooth some who beheld the portrait spoke of its resemblance in low words, as of a mighty marvel, and a proof not less of the power of the painter than of his deep love for her whom he depicted so surpassingly well. But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion, there were admitted none into the turret; for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work, and turned his eyes from canvas merely, even to regard the countenance of his wife. And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas were drawn from the cheeks of her who sate beside him. And when many weeks bad passed, and but little remained to do, save one brush upon the mouth and one tint upon the eye, the spirit of the lady again flickered up as the flame within the socket of the lamp. And then the brush was given, and then the tint was placed; and, for one moment, the painter stood entranced before the work which he had wrought; but in the next, while he yet gazed, he grew tremulous and very pallid, and aghast, and crying with a loud voice, 'This is indeed Life itself!' turned suddenly to regard his beloved:- She was dead!

  “她是个绝代佳人,无忧无虑地过着日子。当她与画家一见钟情、结为夫妻之后,命运开始变化。画家勤奋好学,严肃矜持,酷爱艺术。她天真活泼、美丽可爱。她热爱一切,心里只恨被她视为情敌的艺术,她恨那些调色板、画笔等,因为令人生烦的画具夺走了对她的爱。当她听说画家要给她画像的时候,又气又怕。但她天性温柔恭顺,为了丈夫她还是在塔楼顶上一间幽暗的小屋里一连坐了几个星期,那里仅有一缕光线从头顶照射到画布上。画家的心全部沉浸在他的作品中,已经忘却了世间除此而外的一切,因此他也丝毫没有注意到自己已经摧残了新娘的心。她毫无怨言,始终如一地展现着笑容,因为她开始理解这位享有盛名的画家的甘苦和如醉如痴的乐趣,是艺术的感召力使他夜以继日地专心绘画,她心里像一团火似地爱着他,可身体却日见憔悴。大凡见过这幅画的人,无不为之所动,皆认为是一个奇迹。从画面上不仅可以看出画家精湛的技能,而且也可以看出他对妻子挚爱的深度。当他的工作接近尾声的时候,他的专心致志也已到了发狂的程度,他不准许任何人进入塔楼,只顾两眼盯着画布,根本未注意妻子的容貌。他甚至已经忘记了画布上涂抹的色彩来自妻子的朱颜。几个星期以后,除了嘴唇和眼睛尚未着色以外,其它部分都画好了。这时画家妻子的精神才犹如灯火般回光返照,他便终于完成了画稿。画家站在自己用心血创作的画像前,一时看得出了神,过了一会儿,不禁自言自语道:‘简直像活的一样!’说完转过头去看妻子:她已经死了!”

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