双城记
A Tale of Two Cities


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    1 The road to Paris—1775
    1 The road to Paris—1775
    
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of sadness. It was the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five.
    In France there was a King and a Queen, and in England there was a King and a Queen. They believed that nothing would ever change. But in France things were bad, and getting worse. The people were poor, hungry and unhappy. The King made paper money and spent it, and the people had nothing to eat. Behind closed doors in the homes of the people, voices spoke in whispers against the King and his noblemen;they were only whispers, but they were the angry whispers of desperate people.
    Late one November night, in that same year 1775, a coach going from London to Dover, stopped at the top of a long hill. The horses were tired, but as they rested, the driver heard an other horse coming fast up the hill behind them. The rider stopped his horse beside the coach and shouted:
    'I want a passenger, Mr Jarvis Lorry, from Tellson's Bank in London.'
    'I am Mr Jarvis Lorry, ' said one of the passengers, putting his head out of the window.'What do you want?'
    'It's me!Jerry, Jerry Cruncher, from Tellson's Bank, sir, ' cried the man on the horse.
    'What's the matter, Jerry?' called Mr Lorry.
    A message for you, Mr Lorry. You've got to wait at Dover for a young lady.'
    'Very well, Jerry, ' said Mr Lorry.'Tell them my answer is CAME BACK TO LIFE'.
    It was a strange message, and a stranger answer. No one in the coach understood what they meant.
    The next day Mr Lorry was sitting in his hotel in Dover when a young lady arrived. She was pretty, with golden hair and blue eyes, and Mr Lorry remembered a small child, almost a baby. He had carried her in his arms when he came from Calais to Dover, from France to England, many years ago. Mr Lorry asked the young lady to sit down.
    'Miss Manette, ' he said.'I have a strange story to tell you, about one of the customers of Tellson's Bank. That's where I work.'
    'Yes, but I don't quite understand, Mr Lorry, ' said the young lady.'I received a message from Tellson's Bank, asking me to come here to meet you. I understood there was some news about my poor father's money. He died so long ago—before I was born. What is this story you want to tell me?'
    'About twenty years ago, Miss Manette, a French doctor married an English lady. They had a daughter, but just before she was born, her father disappeared. Nobody knew what had happened to him. Not long afterwards his unhappy wife died, and their daughter was brought back to England.'
    'But this is like my father's story, Mr Lorry. And wasn't it you who brought me back to England?'
    'Yes, that's true, Miss Manette. Many years ago I brought you from France to England, and Tellson's Bank has taken care of you since then. You were told that your father had died. But think, Miss Manette. Perhaps your father wasn't dead. Perhaps he was in prison. Not because he had done something wrong! But just because he had a powerful enemy—an enemy with the power to send him to prison and to keep him there, hidden and forgotten, for eighteen years!'
    'Can it be true? Is it possible that my father is still alive?' Lucie Manette stared at Mr Lorry. Her face was white and her hands trembled.'It will be his ghost—not him!'
    'No, Miss Manette, ' said Mr Lorry gently.'He is alive, but he has changed very much. Even his name had been forgotten!And we must ask no questions about the past, no questions at all. It would be too dangerous. He has been taken to the house of an old servant in Paris, and we are going there to bring him back to life.'
    
    1 去巴黎的路—1775年
    
    那是最好的年代,也是最糟的年代。那是光明的时节,也是黑暗的时节。那是希望的春季,也是悲伤的冬日。那是公元1775年。
    那时的法国有国王和王后,英国也有国王和王后,他们相信什么事情都不会改变。但是法国的境况很糟糕,而且是每况愈下。人民在贫艇、饥饿和不幸中生活。国王发行纸币进行挥霍,而百姓却要忍饥挨饿。在门户紧闭的家中,人们悄声地谈论着反对国王和他的贵族们的话题。它们只是低声的密谈,但却是绝望中的人们愤怒的声音。
    就在那1775年11月的一个深夜,一辆从伦敦赶往多佛的马车停在了一条绵延的山丘的顶部。马匹都已经很累了,但在它们休息时,赶车人听到后面有另一匹马正急速地朝他们赶来。骑马人把马停在马车的旁边并喊道:
    “我要找伦敦台尔森银行来的贾维斯·劳里先生。”
    “我就是贾维斯·劳里先生,”车内的一位乘客从车窗探出头来说道。“有什么事吗?”
    “是我!杰里,杰里·克拉彻,从台尔森银行来的,先生,”马上的人喊道。
    “什么事,杰里?”劳里先生问道。
    “捎个信儿给您,劳里先生,您得在多佛等候一位年轻女士。”
    “好吧,杰里,”劳里先生说。“告诉他们,就说我的答复是'活过来'”。
    口信儿是奇特的,而答复就更奇特了。马车上的人都不明白他们在说什么。
    第二天,劳里先生在多佛的旅馆里坐着时,来了一位年轻的女士。她很美,有一头金黄的头发和蓝色的眼睛,这让劳里先生想起了一个小孩儿,几乎是个婴儿。那是在很多年前,在从法国加莱去英国多佛的路上,他曾把她抱在怀里。劳里先生让这位年轻女士坐下来。
    “马内特小姐,”他说道。“我有个离奇的故事要告诉你,是关于台尔森银行的一位顾客的。台尔森银行是我工作的地方。”
    “好吧,但是我不太明白,劳里先生,”年轻的女士说。“我从台尔森银行接到口信,要我到这儿来见您。我知道一些有关我可怜的父亲的钱的事。他很早就已死了——还在我出生之前。您要告诉我的是什么故事呢?”
    “大约20年前,马内特小姐,有位法国医生娶了一位英国女士。他们有了一个女儿,但是还在他们的女儿出生之前,这位父亲却失踪了。没有人知道他出了什么事。不久,他那位伤心的妻子也死了,他们的女儿被带回了英国。”
    “但这像是我父亲的故事呀,劳里先生。况且不正是您把我带回英国的吗?”
    “是的,是这样的,马内特小姐。很多年前我把你从法国带到了英国,并且自那以后台尔森银行就开始照料你。人家告诉你说你的父亲已经死了。但是设想一下,马内特小姐,或许你的父亲那时并没有死,或许他在监狱里呢。那并不是因为他犯了什么罪!而只是因为他有一个强大的敌人——这个敌人拥有权势将他投进监狱,而且让他在那里与世隔绝、被人遗忘地关了18年!”
    “这是真的吗?我父亲可能还活着吗?”路茜·马内特紧盯着劳里先生。她的脸色苍白,双手颤抖着。“那会是他的灵魂,而不是他本人!”
    “不,马内特小姐,”劳里先生温和地说。“他还活着,只是有了很大的变化,就连他自己的名字也记不得了!我们绝对不可以问起从前的事,一点都不能问。那样的话就太危险了。他已经被带到巴黎的一个旧日的仆人的家里,我们就是要去那里让他回到日常生活中来。”
    

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