Alice in Wonderland #5 | A Queer Party: Meeting and Caucus Race 愛麗絲夢遊仙境集五

愛麗絲夢遊仙境章章讀

They were indeed a queer looking party that seem led on the bank— the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur closing close to them, and all dripping wet, cross and uncomfortable.

The first question was how to get dry again. They had a consultation about this and after a few minutes, it seemed quite natural to Alice to gain herself talking familiarly with them. As if she had known them all her life.

At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of some authority among them, called out, “Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I’ll soon make you dry enough!” They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle.

“Ahem!” said the Mouse with an important air. “Are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all around, if you please! ‘William the Conqueror, whose cause was favored by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the Earls of Mercia and Northumbria’–“

“Ugh!” said the Lory, with a shiver.

“And even Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable.”

“Found what?” said the Duck.

“Found it,” the Mouse replied rather crossly; “of course, you know what ‘it’ means.”

“I know what ‘it’ means well enough, when I find a thing,” said the Duck; “it’s generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?”

The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on, “‘found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown.’ How are you getting on now, my dear?” it continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.

“As wet as ever,” said Alice in a melancholy tone; “it doesn’t seem to dry me at all.”

“In that case,” said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, “I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies–“

“Speak English!” said the Eaglet. “I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!”

“What I was going to say,” said the Dodo in an offended tone, “is that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus race.”

“What is a Caucus race?” said Alice.

“Why,” said the Dodo, “the best way to explain it is to do it.” First it marked out a race course, in a sort of circle, and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no “One, two, three and away!” but they began running when they liked and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out, “The race is over!” and they all crowded around it, panting and asking, “But who has won?”

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought. At last it said, “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.”

“But who is to give the prizes?” quite a chorus of voices asked.

“Why, she, of course,” said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded around her, calling out, in a confused way, “Prizes! Prizes!”

Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her hand into her pocket and pulled out a box of comfits (luckily the salt-water had not got into it) and handed them around as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece, all around.

The next thing was to eat the comfits; this caused some noise and confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the back. However, it was over at last and they sat down again in a ring and begged the Mouse to tell them something more.

“You promised to tell me your history, you know,” said Alice, “and why it is you hate–*C and D,” she added in a whisper, half afraid that it would be offended again.

“Mine is a long and a sad **tale!” said the Mouse, turning to Alice and sighing.

“It is a long **tail, certainly,” said Alice, looking down with wonder at the Mouse’s tail, “but why do you call it sad?” And she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something like this:–

“Fury said to
a mouse, That
he met in the
house, ‘Let
us both go
to law: _I_
will prosecute
_you_.–
Come, I’ll
take no denial:
We
must have
the trial;
For really
this morning
I’ve
nothing
to do.’
Said the
mouse to
the cur,
‘Such a
trial, dear
sir, With
no jury
or judge,
would
be wasting
our
breath.’
‘I’ll be
judge,
I’ll be
jury,’
said
cunning
old
Fury;
‘I’ll
try
the
whole
cause,
and
condemn
you to
death.'”

“You are not attending!” said the Mouse to Alice, severely. “What are you thinking of?”

“I beg your pardon,” said Alice very humbly, “you had got to the fifth bend, I think?”

“You insult me by talking such nonsense!” said the Mouse, getting up and walking away.

“Please come back and finish your story!” Alice called after it. And the others all joined in chorus, “Yes, please do!” But the Mouse only shook its head impatiently and walked a little quicker.

“I wish I had Dinah, our cat, here!” said Alice. This caused a
remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once, and a Canary called out in a trembling voice, to its children, “Come away, my dears! It’s high time you were all in bed!” On various pretexts they all moved off and Alice was soon left alone.

“I wish I hadn’t mentioned Dinah! Nobody seems to like her down here and I’m sure she’s the best cat in the world!” Poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt very lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she again heard a little pattering of footsteps in the distance
and she looked up eagerly.

Notes:

  1. *C and D refer to cats and dogs.
  2. ** “Tail” and “tale” are homophones.

老鼠首先發聲,「你們都準備好了嗎?全部安靜下來!征服者威廉的事業受到教皇的青睞,很快就被英國人接受了,畢竟他們需要領袖,而且最近大家已經習慣了篡奪和征服。」

「甚至坎特伯雷的愛國大主教斯蒂甘德也認為這是明智的。」

「我當然知道我要説什麼!」老鼠相當生氣地回答。

「冷啊!」鹦鹉又溼又冷,颤抖着说。

「一般我會想説的是,我找到一個青蛙或者蟲子,請問,大主教到底發現了什麼?」

「你想說什麼?」鴨子說。

老鼠沒有理會鴨子,急忙繼續說:「我覺得最好和埃德加·埃瑟林一起去見威廉,並把王冠獻給他。」「親愛的,你現在怎麼樣了?」它繼續說道,說話時轉向愛麗絲。

「一樣濕溚溚。」愛麗絲憂鬱地說。 「你的故事根本沒有使我變乾!」

「既然如此,」渡渡鳥嚴肅地說,站了起來,「我提議休會,以便立即採取更有力的措施——」

「你可以説英語嗎?」小鷹說。 「這麼長的字,我有一半都不知道是什麼意思!」

「我要說的是,」渡渡鳥用一種被冒犯的語氣說,「讓我們變乾的最好的辦法就是舉行圓型小賽跑!」

「什麼是圓型小賽跑?」愛麗絲說。

渡渡鳥說,「最好方法就是做給我們看。」首先,它標出一個圓形的跑道,然後所有的人都沿著跑道到處走。並沒有人指揮大家説,「一,二,三,走!」大家想跑就跑,所以很難知道比賽什麼時候結束。然後他們跑了半個多小時,開始變乾的時候,渡渡鳥突然叫道:「比賽結束了!」這時大家全都圍在它身邊,氣喘吁吁地問道:「但是誰贏了?」

這個問題,渡渡鳥若不深思熟慮,是無法回答的。最後它說:「每個人都贏了,每個人都必須有獎品。」

「但是誰來頒發獎品呢?」不少聲音齊聲問道。

「當然是她,」渡渡鳥說,用一根手指指著愛麗絲。大家立刻圍在她身邊,用混亂的方式喊道:「獎品!獎品!」

愛麗絲不知如何是好,絕望地把手伸進口袋里,掏出一盒糖果(幸好裡面沒有浸水)作為獎品分發給大家。每個人都有一個。

接下來就是吃糖果了。這引起了一些噪音和混亂,因為大鳥抱怨說它們嘗不到味道,而小鳥則被噎住了,不得不拍拍後背。終於結束了,他們又圍成一圈坐下來,求老鼠再告訴他們一些事情。

「你答應過告訴我你的歷史,你知道,」愛麗絲說,「以及你為什麼討厭——*C 和 D,」她小聲補充道,有點害怕它會再次被冒犯。

「我的故事是一個漫長而悲傷的故事(tale)!」老鼠說,轉向愛麗絲嘆了口氣。

「那當然是一條長尾巴(tail)」愛麗絲說,驚奇地低頭看著老鼠的尾巴,「但你為什麼說它是悲傷的呢?」老鼠說話的時候,她一直在思考這件事,所以她覺得這個故事應是這樣的——

貓兒對老鼠説,「不管怎樣,我一定要起訴你。反正我今天早上也沒有什麼事。」老鼠回答説,「沒有判官的審判根本是浪費時間!」貓兒接著兇狠地說,「我就是法官,我來判決,我就要宣判你的死罪!」

老鼠現在嚴厲地對愛麗絲說。 「你在想什麼?」

「對不起,」愛麗絲非常謙虛地說,「你説的話亳無道理!」

「你侮辱我!」老鼠說著站起來走開了。

「請回來把你的故事講完!」愛麗絲在它身後叫道。而其他人也齊聲應道:「請繼續説!」老鼠只是不耐煩地搖了搖頭,加快了腳步。

「我希望我們的貓黛娜在這裡!」愛麗絲說。這竟然引起了一陣騷動。一些鳥兒立刻飛走了,一隻金絲雀用顫抖的聲音對它的孩子們喊道:「走吧,親愛的!你們都該睡覺了!」以各種藉口,他們都離開了,很快就剩下愛麗絲一個人了。

「我希望我沒有提到黛娜!這裡似乎沒有人喜歡她,我敢肯定她是世界上最好的貓!」可憐的愛麗絲又哭了起來,因為她感到非常孤獨和沮喪。然而,過了一會兒,她又聽到遠處傳來輕微的腳步聲。她急切地抬起頭來。

*C and D 是指 Cats and Dogs, 貓和狗。

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