三怪客泛舟记
Three Men in a Boat


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    Chapter 1 We decide to go on holiday
    Chapter 1 We decide to go on holiday
    
    There were four of us-George,and William Samuel Harris,and myself,and Montmorency.We were sit-ting in my room,and we were smoking and talking about how bad we were-ill,I mean,of course.
    We were all feeling in poor health,and we were getting quite worried about it.Harris said that he felt really bad sometimes,and he did not know what he was doing.And then George said that he felt bad,too,and that he did not know what he was do-ing either.With me it was my heart.I knew it was my heart because I had read something in a magazine about the symp-toms of a bad heart.I had all of them.
    It is a most extraordinary thing,but every time I read about an illness,I realize that I have it too-and that my symptoms are very bad!In fact,my health has always been a worry,I remember…
    One day I had a little health problem,and I went to the British Museum Library to read about it.I took the book off the library shelf,and I began to read.After some time,I turned over the page and I began to read about another illness.I don't remember the name of the illness,but I know it was something really terrible.I read about half a page-and then I knew that I had that disease too.
    I sat there for a time,cold with horror.Slowly,I beqan to turn over more pages.I came to a disease which was worse than the last one.I began to read about it and,as I expected,I had that disease too.Then I began to get really interested in myself,so went back to the beginning of the book.I started with the letter'a'and I read from 'a'to'z'.I found that there was only one disease which I did not have.This made me a little unhappy.Why didn't I have that disease too?
    When I walked into that reading-room,I was a happy,healthy young man.When I left I was a very sick man,close to death…
    But I was talking about my heart-nobody understood how ill I really was.I had this bad heart when I was a boy.It was with me all the time.I knew that it was my heart because I had all the symptoms of a bad heart.The main symptom was that I did not want to work.Of course,nobody understood that the problem was my heart.Doctors were not so clever then.They just thought that I was lazy!
    'Why,you lazy boy,you,'they used to say.'Get up and do some work for once in your life!'they did not understand that I was ill.
    And they did not give me medicine for this illness-they hit me on the side of the head.It is very strange,but those blows on my head often made the illness go away for a time.Sometimes just one blow made the sickness disappear and made me want to start work immediately…
    Anyway,that evening,George and William Harris and I sat there for half an hour,and described our illnesses to each other.I explained to George and William Harris how I felt when I got up in the morning.William Harris told us how he felt when he went to bed.Then George stood in front of the fire,and,with great feeling,he showed us how he felt in the night.
    George always thinks he is ill,but really,there is never any-thing the matter with him,you know.
    At that monent Mrs Poppets,my housekeeper,knocked on the door.She wanted to know if we were ready to have supper.
    We smiled sadly at each other,and then we said that perhaps we should try to eat something.Harris said that a little food helped to prevent illness.So Mrs Poppets brought the supper in.We sat down at the table,and for half an hour we managed to play with some steak and chips-and with a large cake that Mrs Poppets had made.
    When we had made ourselves eat something,we filled our glasses,and we lit our pipes.Then we began to talk about our health again.We were not quite sure what was the matter with us.However,we were all quite certain of one thing-we had been doing too much work.
    'We need a rest,'Harris said.
    'A rest and a change,'George added.
    I agreed with George,and I said that perhaps we could go to the country.We could find a nice,quiet place and we could sit in the warm summer sun.We could go somewhere peaceful,far away from other people.
    Harris said that he thought that would be awful.He added that he had been to a place like that once.Everyone went to bed at eight o'clock,and he had to walk for an hour to buy cigarettes and a newspaper.
    'No,'Harris said.'If you want a rest and a change,then the sea is best.'
    I said that this was a terrible idea.A sea trip is fine if you are going for a month or two-but not for a week.I know what it is like…
    You start out on Monday and you think that you are going to enjoy yourself.You wave goodbye happily to your friends.You walk up and down on the ship,like Captain Cook,Sir Francis Drake or Christopher Columbus.On Tuesday you wish that you had not come.On Wednesday,Thursday and Friday you wish that you were dead.On Saturday you are able to drink something.You begin to smile a little at the kind people who ask you how you are.On Sunday you start to walk again,and you eat a little.And on Monday morning,as you stand and wait to get off the ship-you begin to enjoy yourself.
    I remember that a friend of mine once took a short sea trip from London to Liverpool for his health.He bought a return ticket,but,when he got to Liverpool,he sold it and he came back by train…
    So I was against the sea trip-not for myself,you understand.I am never seasick.But I was afraid for George.George said he would be fine.In fact,he said he would quite like it,but he thought that Harris and I would both be ill.Harris said he was never seasick.In fact,he had often tried to be ill,but he had not succeeded.It is very strange,but,when you are on land,you never meet anybody who has ever been seasick!
    So George said,'Well,let's go up the river,then.'He added,'We'll have fresh air on the river.The hard work on the boat will make us hungry,so we'll enjoy our food.We'll sleep well,too.'
    Harris replied,'Well,you never have any trouble sleeping,anyway.In fact,you're always going to sleep!'
    But,in the end,Harris agreed that it was a good idea.I thought that it was a good idea,too.The only one who did not like the idea was Montmorency.
    'It's different for me,'his face said.'You like it,but I don't!There's nothing for me to do.I don't smoke.I don't like looking at the trees and the flowers,and when I'm asleep you'll play about with the boat and I'll fall over the side!'
    Montmorency's idea of a good time is to collect together all the most awful dogs he can find and then go round the town,looking for other awful dogs to fight.
    But we were three to one,so we decided to go anyway.
    
    1 决定去渡假
     
    我们一伙是四个——乔治,威廉·塞缪尔·哈里斯,我,还有“元帅”。那天,大伙儿坐在我的房间里,抽烟、聊天,谈到我们的近况有多糟糕——当然我指的是病得多糟糕。
    大家都感到浑身不舒服,心里直发慌。哈里斯说他常常觉得十分难受,不知道自己在干些什么。乔治说,他也经常发昏,不知道自己在干什么。至于我,是心脏病,因为我在一本杂志上看到过心脏有病的症状,我全都有。
    说来真怪,每次看到有关各种疾病的情况,我就意识到自己也有——而且还病得很重。坦率地说,我的身体一直令人担心。我还记得……
    有一次我有点小毛病,就去了大英博物馆查查医书。我从架子上拿下书,翻起来。不一会儿,翻到第二页,又看到另一种病。我记不清叫什么名字,但我知道是种极其凶险的不治之症。半页还没看完,我断定自己也得了这种病。
    我坐在那儿,害怕得一阵阵发冷。接着又慢慢翻了几页,看到比前一个更可怕的病。读了症状,不出所料,我也有这个病。于是我开始对自己可能有的病感兴趣了,便翻到开头,从字母“a”一直查到“z”,发现只有一种病我没有,心中还多少有点伤心,我怎么没把那个病也得了呢?
    进阅览室的时候我还是快乐而健康的年轻人,可爬出来的时候已经是病魔缠身,离死神不远了。
    回头再说说我的心脏——没人知道我病得有多重。小时候,心脏就不好,这么多年来,这病一直没有离身。是心脏有病,肯定没错,因为所有病症我都有,主要一条是不愿意干活。当然,他们都不知道这是心脏有病的原因。那时候医生也不大高明。在他们看来,我得了懒病。
    “哼!你这个懒家伙,”他们常这么说。“快起来!你就不能干点正经活?!”他们哪里明白我有病啊!
    还有,他们不给我吃药,还敲我脑袋。说也奇怪,敲几下的确管用,病就好一会儿,有时敲一下,病就没了,我急着逃开去干我的活。
    书归正传,那天晚上我们在屋里坐了半个小时,彼此诉说患病的痛楚。我对乔治和哈里斯讲早晨起床时有多么难受;哈里斯告诉我们他睡觉时有多么难受;而乔治站在火炉边,滔滔不绝地说着他晚上有多么难受。
    乔治总以为自己有病,可你知道,其实根本没有那回事。
    这时候,管家波贝丝太太敲了敲门,问我们是不是准备吃晚饭。
    我们彼此苦笑了一下,说没办法,勉强吃点什么吧。哈里斯说吃点东西可以抵抗疾病。波贝丝太太把饭端进来,我们坐在桌边,足足有半个小时,把牛排,薯条摆弄来,摆弄去,盯着波贝丝太太做的蛋糕看了又看。
    好不容易强迫自己吃了点什么,我们又斟满了酒,点上烟斗,继续讨论我们的健康问题。到底得了什么病,我们也不清楚,但有一点大家都同意的是——我们都劳累过度。
    “我们需要休息,”哈里斯说。
    “休息,还要换个环境,”乔治补充道。
    我完全同意乔治的建议,我们或许可以去乡下,找一个美丽、幽静的地方,远离尘嚣,享受夏天明媚的阳光。
    哈里斯说这主意可不怎么样。他说以前去过这样的地方,可受不了,大家八点钟就得去睡觉,要买香烟和报纸得走一个小时。
    “我不同意,”哈里斯说。“要休息、改变环境的话,海上旅行是最好不过了。”
    我说海上旅行的主意简直太可怕了,要是去一两个月还可以,如果只有一个星期可没意思。我知道那会是怎么样……
    星期一出发的时候,你满心想着到海上享受一番,高高兴兴地和岸上的朋友挥手告别,在船上来来去去地走,就象自己成了库克船长,弗兰西斯·杜雷克爵士或哥伦布。星期二,你就有点后悔了,希望没来这一趟。星期三、四、五,你觉得生不如死。星期六稍稍能喝点东西;好心的旅客问起你的情况,你也能冲他们笑一下了。星期天,你开始走动走动,吃点东西。又到星期一的早晨,你站在船舷上准备上岸了,这才感到海上旅行有意思。
    我记得有次一个朋友休养身体去短期旅行。他买了从伦敦到利物浦的双程船票,可一到利物浦,他立刻卖掉船票,后来自己坐火车回来了。
    所以,我坚决反对去海上旅行——当然这并不是为我自己,我是从来不晕船的。我是担心乔治。可乔治却说他没事,他倒是很喜欢这个主意,但是他怕哈里斯和我会病倒。可哈里斯说他从来不晕船,坦白说,他倒总想生病,可就是总不成功。真是怪事,在陆地上,你甭想碰到哪个人说自己晕船。
    乔治说:“好吧,咱们还是到河上玩玩吧。”他又说:“河上也有新鲜空气,忙忙碌碌的,一会儿就饿了,这样既增进了食欲又能睡得香甜。”
    哈里斯答道:“哼!你就没有睡不着的时候。直说了吧,你总昏昏欲睡的。”
    不过,哈里斯还是同意这个主意不错,我也认为是个好点子。唯一不喜欢这个想法的是“元帅”。
    “你们想得倒挺美,”它摆出一副面孔,“你们喜欢,我可不喜欢!河上我没什么事好干。我又不抽烟,又不喜欢看什么树啊,花啊的。况且,我睡觉的时候你们还一个劲地在船上玩,我会摔到河里去的!”
    “元帅”脑子里最妙的事不过是把所有的癞皮狗聚齐,在城里瞎转,找另外一群癞皮狗开战。
    最后,三比一,我们还是决定出发了。
    

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