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Frankenstein (Excerpt)|《弗兰肯斯坦》(节选)

II. Creating the Monster
  It was a dreary night in November when my work was finally finished. I looked down at the lifeless creature that lay on the table before me and knew I was ready to give him life. The candle that lit my laboratory was nearly burned out, but it gave me enough light to touch the creature with my instruments. That touch created the spark that brought him to life!
Slowly, the dull yellow eyes of the creature opened. A hard, raspy2 breath lifted his huge chest at the same time that his gigantic arms and legs began to jerk with convulsive movements.
I stared hard at this creature I had spent two years forming. Once, I had considered this a beautiful piece of work—the result  of my life’s dream, but now it filled me with horror and disgust!
  His yellow skin was stretched over bones and muscles, barely covering them. His long, black hair flowed down over the shriveled3 skin on his grotesque4 face and thick neck, and his pearly white teeth contrasted with the straight, black lips surrounding them.
  What had I done?... I couldn’t bear looking at the horrible creature another minute, and I rushed out of the laboratory and down to my apartment.
  Throwing myself on my bed, still with my clothes on, I hoped that sleep would erase5 from my brain the ugly picture I had just seen.
  Sleep finally came, but it brought wild dreams of death and Elizabeth and my mother. When I suddenly awoke in a panic, my teeth were chattering, and my arms and legs were convulsing6.
The dim light of the moon shone through the window into my bedroom. As my eyes flew open, the moonlight revealed the huge figure of the monster as he lifted up the curtains around my bed. He stared down at me with a horrible grin7 that forced wrinkles in his cheeks and stretched his ugly, black lips.
  His jaws moved and he muttered some sounds that had no meaning. As he reached out to touch me, I jumped from my bed and rushed out the door of my apartment.
  I fled down the stairs and into the courtyard. I hid there, weak, horrified, and bitterly disillusioned, for the rest of that dismal, rainy night.
  III. Face to Face with the Monster
“How can I appeal to you, Victor Frankenstein? How can I convince you that I, too, have suffered? I have been miserable and alone, hated and scorned by all humans, adults and children, all because of you.”
“And I hate and scorn myself for having created you!”
“Then you have a duty to hear what I have to say. Then if you still want to kill me, and if you can, then do it. Just remember it was you who created me.”
  I don’t know if it was curiosity or fear or even pity that made me agree to listen to him. But whatever the reason, I decided I would. I turned to him and nodded my head.
  The monster’s story begins...
  When you first brought me to life, I was as helpless as a newborn baby, except that I could see, smell, hear, feel, and taste. These sensations frightened me, so I came to your room, as a child would come to a father. But you ran away and left me, and I didn’t know what to do.
  I felt cold, so I covered myself with your cloak8 and went out into the night. By the time I reached a forest outside the city, I was very tired and lay down on the damp ground near a brook. I slept for several hours and awoke hungry and thirsty. I drank some water from the brook and ate a few berries I had found on the ground.
I spent a month in that forest and watched the sun and moon changing in the sky. I got to know the pleasant sounds that birds made as they flew over my head. I tried making those sounds myself, but I couldn’t.
  And I began to explore outside the forest, I discovered a fire, I enjoyed the feeling of warmth and light it gave me, so I thrust9 my hand into the glowing coals. I quickly pulled it back with a cry of pain, puzzled why something that felt good could also give pain.
  After several hours of walking, I came to a village. I entered one of the houses, only to horrify everyone there. Children ran from me screaming and women fainted. The screams alerted everyone in the village and people began coming at me from all sides throwing rocks, and shouting horrible threats. I fled from the village and ran across the open fields until I had lost my pursuers.
  Many hours later, I came upon a wooden shed that was attached to a neat cottage. I didn’t dare enter the cottage, but I did crawl into the shed. I was grateful to have a place to sleep, one which would also give me protection from the snow and rain... and from attacks by people! I decided to make the shed my home.
  As the days passed, I learned that three people named De Lacey lived in the cottage: a young woman called Agatha, her brother Felix, and their old, blind father.
  The family was very poor, and the two young people worked hard to feed and care for their beloved father, often going without food themselves so that the old man could eat. The kindness and love these people showed each other moved me deeply, and rather than steal any more food from them, I went out at night in search of berries and nuts in the forest. I also borrowed the young man’s tools at night and cut wood for them. I left it at their door as a surprise and enjoyed their pleasure at their good fortune when they found it there each morning.
  I was amazed to discover that they could bring fire into their cottage to cook their food and light up the room. At night, the young man and woman used this fire on a candle to read to the old man. The words they read were like those they spoke, and they read them from things called books.
  As the days, weeks, and months went by, I taught myself to speak words. I hoped that one day I would be able to speak to them in their words. Perhaps that way they would overlook my ugliness... Oh, yes, I had learned just how ugly I was when I saw my reflection in the water in the pond.
  On one of my trips into the forest, I had found a suitcase containing some clothing and several books. I used those books to teach myself to read. I spent the winter and spring enjoying my simple life. I was proud of the progress I was making in speaking all the words the family spoke and in reading them as well.
  But what good were words when I had no one to speak them to? Would I ever be able to face people and not have them run from my ugliness?
Another event strengthened my bitter feelings against you. When I first came to my shed, I found your notebook in the pocket of the cloak I had taken from your bedroom when I ran from there years ago. At first, it had no meaning for me, but once I could read, I learned of your work and your thoughts before you began creating me and while you were doing it.
  How I curse the day you gave me life! How I curse you! But my bitterness was softened when I thought of the kindly De Lacys, who, I was certain, would befriend me and overlook my ugliness when I told them my story and when they came to know me as a good person.
  By the time I had been in my shed for a year, I started planning how to introduce myself to the family. One morning, after the young people had left, I saw my chance. I went to the front door and knocked.
  When De Lacey called, “Come in,” I took a deep breath and opened the door. I introduced myself as a traveler in need of some rest, and the old man welcomed me. We spent several hours talking about many things. I truly believed that the old man had become my friend, and I was on my knees, grasping his hand in gratitude when the cottage door opened.
  I can’t begin to describe the horror of the young people at seeing me. Agatha ran out and fainted. Felix lunged at me and, with superhuman strength, pulled me away from his father. I fell to the floor, and Felix began beating me with a stick. I could have torn him apart with my bare hands, but I didn’t. I just ran from the cottage in despair.
  I was alone in the world again, with no human beings to talk to. My rage knew no limits! My brain wanted  only  revenge... against the world... and revenge against you, my creator!
IV. A Confession of Murder It was early evening two months later when I reached the woods outside Geneva. I was tired and hungry as I sat down under a tree, trying to decide just how I would find you and confront you. I had just begun to doze when a beautiful young child came running toward me. A glimmer of hope flickered10 in my heart. Here was an innocent boy who probably hadn’t learned to be horrified at ugliness like grown-ups were. Perhaps he could become my friend.
I reached out and grabbed the boy as he run by. As soon as he saw me, he covered his eyes and began to scream. I pulled his hands away from his face and said gently, “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Let me go, you ugly monster!” he cried. “Let me go  or  I’ll call my father. He’s an important man and he’ll punish you. His name is Alphonse Frankenstein.”
“Frankenstein!” I shrieked. “You belong to my enemy.  Now  I’ll have my revenge.”
The child continued to struggle and scream terrible words at me. I grabbed his throat to quiet him, but the next moment he lay dead at my feet. I realized then that this would bring misery to you, and I was glad!
  As I gazed down at the boy, I spotted a locket around his neck. I picked up and stared at a picture of a beautiful woman. I knew that a woman of such beauty would never look at me... and my rage at you returned once more.
  I left the murder spot then, still holding the locket, and went on towards Geneva. I soon came to a barn, where I found a young woman asleep on some straw. For a moment, I was terrified that she would waken and see me, and surely be horrified at my ugliness too. And later, she could probably identify me as the boy’s murderer.
  Even though I had no way of knowing for certain she would do that, I decided to make her suffer anyway. So, I put the locket in the pocket of her apron11, knowing that when it was found, it would point to her as the murderer.
Once that was done, I hid and waited until the boy’s body was discovered and followed everyone into the city. Later, I learned the girl had been arrested for the murder.
Then I began wandering through Geneva and through these mountains, waiting for the moment when I would come face to face with you. And now, at last, that moment is here!
                                                                     (The End)

怪物的诞生 我从夏天开始工作,日夜不息,闭门不出,谁都不见。好多次我都厌恶自己一直干的事情,可又有很多次,我是那么渴望完成我的创造。数月过去了…… 11月一个阴沉的夜晚,我的研究最终完成。低头看着实验桌上躺着的那个毫无生命的物体,我知道我马上就要赋予他生命了。实验室里燃着的蜡烛眼看快熄了,借着微弱的光芒,我拿着器械碰了一下他,这轻轻的触碰点燃了他生命的火花!
狭路相逢 怪物不知所踪。半年后家中传来噩耗:弟弟威廉被谋杀,仆人贾斯汀被当作凶手处死。我心知这都是怪物所为,痛苦自责而离家远行。却在数月后,与怪物在野外相遇。 “维克多·弗兰肯斯坦,我怎样求你才行?要怎样才能让你相信我受的苦?我痛苦不堪、孤苦伶仃,人们厌恶我、嘲笑我,大人小孩都是如此。这都是因为你。”
我诅咒你给了我生命的那天!我诅咒你!但一想起可爱的德 ·兰西一家,我的心就软了下来。我肯定告诉他们我的故事以后,他们会友善地接纳我。当他们明白我其实是个善良的人之后,就不会计较我丑陋的外表。
承认谋杀 怪物凭借学到的地理知识,踏上了寻找弗兰肯斯坦的复仇之路。 两个月后的一个傍晚我来到日内瓦城外森林。我又累又渴,就在一棵树旁坐了下来,计划如何找到你,找到你之后又该如何面对你,想着想着就打起了瞌睡。这时一个漂亮的小孩朝我跑过来,我的心里突然萌生出一丝希望:也许天真无邪的男孩还不会像成年人那样害怕我的丑陋,也许他能成为我的朋友。
1. 玛丽·雪莱(1797年~1851年),英国著名小说家,诗人雪莱的妻子。玛丽在1818年创作出科幻小说《弗兰肯斯坦》,后人称她为“科幻小说之母”。
2. raspy  adj. 刺耳的
3. shrivel  v. 起皱纹
4. grotesque  adj. 奇形怪状的
5. erase v. 抹去
6. convulse  v. 抽筋
7. grin  n. 露齿而笑
8. cloak  n. 斗篷;外衣
9. thrust v. 伸入
10. flicker  v. 闪烁
11. apron n. 围裙