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美国语文第五册 第107期:马萨诸塞州的监狱叛乱(07)

No situation of greater interest than this can be conceived. 已到千钧一发的危急关口。 At one end of the hall, a fearful multitude of the most desperate and powerful men in existence, waiting for the assault; 大厅两端,罪犯与强悍军人正僵持对峙。一大群恐怖至极的困兽犹斗等待攻击, at the other, a little band of disciplined men, waiting with arms presented, and ready, upon the least motion or sign, to begin the carnage; 一小群训练有素的军人,端着枪严阵以待,等待手势或行动指令迅即开始屠杀; and their tall and imposing commander, holding up his watch to count the lapse of three minutes, given as the reprieve to the lives of hundreds. 他们高大勇猛、威风凛凛的指挥官举着表计算三分钟滴答,从而决定数百人的生杀予夺。 No poet or painter can conceive a spectacle of more dark and terrible sublimity; 没有笔墨可以描绘比这幕场景更为黑暗恐怖的生死凝重; no human heart can conceive a situation of more appalling suspense. 没有人可以预知这种骇人听闻的惊险悬念。 For two minutes not a person nor a muscle moved; 双方互相僵持,时针滴答接近两分钟,所有的人纹丝不动,甚至身上肌肉亦不曾抖动。 not a sound was heard in the unwonted stillness of the prison, except the labored breathings of the infuriated wretches, 除却愤怒凶残的沉重喘息,甚至听不到一根针落的声音。 as they began to pant between fear and revenge: at the expiration of two minutes, 在恐惧与复仇纠结中,两分钟时间到了,暴徒们呼吸急促起来。 during which they had faced the ministers of death with unblenching eyes, two or three of those in the rear, and nearest the further entrance, went slowly out; 刚才面对死神毫不退缩的眼神出现变化。人群队伍后面,临近门口地方,三两人慢慢地退到门外,接着又走了好几个。 a few more followed the example, dropping out quietly and deliberately: and before half of the last minute was gone, every man was struck by the panic, and crowded for an exit, and the hall was cleared, as if by magic. 离开的人一声不吭、格外谨慎地退出。最后30秒过后,深陷恐慌的囚犯们潮水般挤向出口,整个大厅刹那间变得空空荡荡,仿佛奇迹发生。 Thus the steady firmness of moral force and the strong effect of determination, 囿于道德力量的稳健,坚韧的心理强势, acting deliberately, awed the most savage men, and suppressed a scene of carnage, 指挥的谨慎运作,才会使穷凶至恶者产生敬畏,从而抑制了一场血腥杀戮, which would have instantly followed the least precipitancy or exertion of physical force. 因为哪怕丁点轻率鲁莽或物力冲突都会让所有努力前功尽弃。 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20171206/517347.html