英语美文|著名短篇小说《窗》,读到最后,我被震撼了

英语美文|著名短篇小说《窗》,读到最后,我被震撼了

《窗》

英语美文|著名短篇小说《窗》,读到最后,我被震撼了

泰格特

在一家医院的病房里,曾住过两位病人,他们的病情都很严重。这间病房十分窄小,仅能容下两张病床。病房设有一扇门和一个窗户,门通向走廊,透过窗户可以看到外面的世界。其中一位病人经允许,可以分别在每天上午和下午起身坐上一个小时。这位病人的病床靠近窗口。而另一位病人则不得不日夜躺在床上。当然,两位病人都需要静养治疗。使他们感到痛苦的是,两人的病情不允许他们做任何事情借以消遣,既不能读书阅报,也不能听收音机、看电视……只有静静地躺着。而且只有他们两个人。

噢,两人经常谈天,一谈就是几个小时。他们谈起各自的家庭妻小,各自的工作,各自在战争中做过什么,曾在哪些地方度假,等等。

每天上午和下午,时间一到,靠近窗的病人就被扶起身来,开始一小时的仰坐。每当这时,他就开始为同伴描述起他所见到的窗外的一切。渐渐地,每天的这两个小时,几乎就成了他和同伴生活中的全部内容了。

很显然,这个窗户俯瞰着一座公园,公园里面有一泓湖水,湖面上照例漫游着一群群野鸭、天鹅。公园里的孩子们有的在扔面包喂这些水禽,有的在摆弄游艇模型。一对对年轻的情侣手挽着手在树阴下散步。公园里鲜花盛开,主要有玫瑰花,但四周还有五彩斑斓、争妍斗艳的牡丹花和金盏草。在公园那端的一角,有一块网球场,有时那儿进行的比赛确实精彩,不时也有几场板球赛,虽然球艺够不上正式决赛的水平,但有的看总比没有强。那边还有一块用于玩滚木球的草坪。公园的尽头是一排商店,在这些商店的后边闹市区隐约可见。

躺着的病人津津有味地听这一切。这个时刻的每一分钟对他来说都是一种享受。 描述仍在继续:一个孩童怎样差一点跌入湖中,身着夏装的姑娘是多么美丽、动人。接着又是一场扣人心弦的网球赛。他听着这栩栩如生的描述,仿佛亲眼看到了窗外所发生的一切。

一天下午,当他听到靠窗的病人说到一名板球队员正慢悠悠地把球击得四处皆是时,不靠窗的病人突然产生了一个想法:为什么偏是他有幸能观赏到窗外的一切?为什么自己不应得到这种机会的?他为自己会有这种想法而感到惭愧,竭力不再这么想。可是,他愈加克制,这种想法却变得愈加强烈,直至几天以后,这个想法已经进一步变为紧挨着窗口的为什么不该是我呢?

他白昼无时不为这一想法所困扰,晚上,又彻夜难眠。结果,病情一天天加重了,医生们对其病因不得而知。

一天晚上,他照例睁着双眼盯着天花板。这时,他的同伴突然醒来,开始大声咳嗽,呼吸急促,时断时续,液体已经充塞了他的肺腔,他两手摸索着,在找电铃的按钮,只要电铃一响,值班的护士就立即赶来。

但是,另一位病人却纹丝不动地看着。心想,他凭什么要占据窗口那张床位呢?

痛苦的咳嗽声打破了黑夜的沉静。一声又一声……卡住了……停止了……直至最后呼吸声也停止了。

另一位病人仍然继续盯着天花板。

第二天早晨,医护人员送来了漱洗水,发现那个病人早已咽气了,他们静悄悄地将尸体抬了出去,丝毫没有大惊小怪。

稍过几天,似乎这时开口已经正当得体。剩下的这位病人就立刻提出是否能让他挪到窗口的那张床上去。医护人员把他抬了过去,将他舒舒服服地安顿在那张病床上。接着他们离开了病房,剩下他一个静静地躺在那儿。

医生刚一离开,这位病人就十分痛苦地挣扎着,用一支胳膊支起了身子,口中气喘吁吁。他探头朝窗口望去。

他看到的只是光秃秃的一堵墙。

这个病人问护士,是什么促使他过世的室友描绘这窗外如此美好的一切。

护士回答说,那个人是个盲人,甚至不能看见这堵墙。她说,“也许他只是想鼓励你。”

翻译参考:

The hospital window

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room\’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn\’t hear the band– he could see it in his mind\’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head: Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything? It didn\’t seem fair. As the thought fermented the man felt ashamed at first. But as the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and he found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window– that thought now controlled his life.

Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped, along with the sound of breathing. Now there was only silence– deathly silence.

The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths. When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window, she was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take it away– no works, no fuss.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all himself. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy. “Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .”

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