曾达的囚徒
The Prisoner of Zenda


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    1 The Rassendylls-and the Elphbergs
    1 The Rassendylls-and the Elphbergs
    
    'I wonder when you're going to do something useful, Rudolf,'my brother's wife said.She looked at me crossly over the breakfast table.
    'But why should I do anything,Rose?'I answered,calmly eating my egg.'I've got nearly enough money for the things I want,and my brother,Robert,is a lord-Lord Burlesdon.I'm very happy.'
    'You're twenty-nine,and you've done nothing except…'
    'Play about?It's true.We Rassendylls are a rich and famous family,and we don't need to do anything.'
    This made Rose angry.'Rich and famous families usually behave worse than less important families,'she said.
    When I heard this,I touched my dark red hair.I knew what she meant.
    'I'm so pleased that Robert's hair is black!'she cried.
    Just then my brother,Robert,came in.When he looked at Rose,he could see that there was something wrong.
    'What's the matter,my dear?'he said.
    'Oh,she's angry because I never do anything useful,and because I've got red hair,'I said.
    'Well,I know he can't do much about his hair,or his nose…'Rose began.
    'No,the nose and the hair are in the family,'my brother agreed.'And Rudolf has both of them.'
    In the room there were many family pictures,and one of them was of a very beautiful woman,Lady Amelia,who lived a hundred and fifty years ago.I stood up and turned to look at it.
    'If you took that picture away,Robert,'Rose cried,'we could forget all about it.'
    'Oh,but I don't want to forget about it,'I replied.'I like being an Elphberg.'
    But perhaps I should stop for a moment and explain why Rose was angry about my nose and my hair and why I,a Rassendyll,said I was an Elphberg.After all,the Elphbergs are the royal family of Ruritania,and have been for hundreds of years.
    The story is told in a book about the Rassendyll family history.
    In the year 1733 Prince Rudolf of Ruritania came to England on a visit and he stayed for several months.Like many of the Elphberg royal family,he had blue eyes,an unusually long straight nose and a lot of dark red hair.He was also tall and very good-looking.
    During his stay here,he became friendly with Lady Amelia,the beautiful wife of Lord Burlesdon.They became very good friends indeed,which,naturally,did not please Lord Burlesdon.So,one cold wet morning,the two men fought.The Prince was hurt in the fight,but got better and was hurried back to Ruritania.There he married and became King Rudolf the Third.But Lord Burlesdon fell ill,and six months later he died.Two months after that,Lady Amelia had a baby son,who became the next Lord Burlesdon and the head of the Rassendyll family.The boy grew into a man with blue eyes,a long straight nose,and dark red hair.
    These things can happen in the best of families,and among the many pictures of the Rassendylls at home,you can see that five or six of them have the same blue eyes,the same nose,and the same red hair.
    So,because my hair was red and I had the Elphberg nose,Rose worried about me.In the end,to please her,I promised to get a job in six months time.This gave me six free months to enjoy myself first.
    And an idea came to me.I would visit Ruritania.None of my family had ever been there.They preferred to forget all about the Lady Amelia.But I saw in the newspaper that,in three weeks,the new young King,Rudolf the Fifth,would have his coronation.It would be an interesting time to visit the country.
    I knew my family would not like my going,so I told them I was going walking in Austria.
    
    1 拉森狄尔家族与艾尔弗伯格家族
    
    “我在想你究竟什么时候才会做一些有用的事儿,鲁道夫。”我的嫂嫂说。她在餐桌的那头生气地望着我。
    “但我干嘛要做事呢,罗丝?”我一边回答她,一边从容地吃着鸡蛋。“我的钱够多的,差不多想要什么就能买什么,再说我哥哥罗伯特又是一位贵族——伯利斯顿勋爵,我挺幸福。”
    “可你都29岁了,你还什么都没干,除了……”
    “除了胡闹?你说对了,我们拉森狄尔家的人又有钱又有名,而且我们什么也不用做。”
    我这么说让罗丝生气了。“又有钱又有名的人家通常比那些普通人家更不规矩!”
    听了她的话,我用手摸摸我的深红色头发。我懂她的意思。
    “我真高兴罗伯特的头发是黑色的!”她说道。
    正在此时,我哥哥罗伯特走了进来,他一看罗丝,就看出有些不对头。
    “怎么了,亲爱的?”他问道。
    “她生气了,因为我从没做过什么有用的事儿,而且我还长着红头发。”我说。
    “当然,我知道他对他的头发和鼻子无能为力……”罗丝说。
    “是的,这样的鼻子和这样的头发是祖传的,”我哥哥同意她的话,“而且鲁道夫两样都占了。”
    房间里有很多家族成员的画像,其中一幅画着一位非常美丽的女人,阿米莉亚夫人,她生活在150年以前。我站了起来,转身去看她。
    “如果你把那画像拿走,罗伯特,”罗丝说,“我们就可以把这件事忘掉。”
    “哦,可是我并不想忘掉它。”我回答。“我喜欢做艾尔弗伯格家族的一员。”
    也许我应该停下来一会儿,解释一下为什么罗丝对我的鼻子和头发那么生气,究竟又为什么,我,一个姓拉森狄尔的,会说我自己是艾尔弗伯格家族的一员。毕竟艾尔弗伯格家族是卢里塔尼亚的王族,而且,几百年来一直如此。
    这个故事在一本关于拉森狄尔家族史的书里是这么描述的:
    1733年卢里塔尼亚王子鲁道夫前来英国访问,他逗留了几个月。像艾尔弗伯格王室的许多人一样,他长着蓝色的眼睛,一只不寻常的又长又挺的鼻子和很多深红色的头发。他个子很高,相貌英俊。
    他在此地停留期间,与伯利斯顿勋爵美丽的妻子阿米莉亚夫人结识,事实上,他俩成了十分亲密的好友,这当然不会让伯利斯顿勋爵愉快。因此,在一个寒冷潮湿的早晨,两位男士决斗了。王子负了伤,但很快好转并且匆匆返回卢里塔尼亚。在那里他结了婚,成了国王鲁道夫三世。但是伯利斯顿勋爵病了,六个月以后去世。他辞世之后两个月,阿米莉亚夫人生了一个儿子,这个男孩即成为新的伯利斯顿勋爵以及拉森狄尔家族的首领。他成人以后有着蓝色的眼睛,长而挺直的鼻子和深红色的头发。
    这一类的事情可能在最上流的家庭发生。在拉森狄尔府上的许多画像中,你能看见五六个人长着同样的蓝眼睛,同样的鼻子,同样的红头发。
    因此,由于我的头发是红的,而且我长着艾尔弗伯格家的鼻子,罗丝为我发愁。结果,为了让她高兴,我保证六个月以内找到一份工作。这样起码我能在六个月的时间里过得快快乐乐的。
    我有了一个主意——我要去卢里塔尼亚。我的家族从来没有一个人去过那里。他们更愿意忘记跟阿米莉亚夫人有关的事情。可是我看到报纸上说,在三周之内,卢里塔尼亚的年轻的新国王,鲁道夫五世,将会举行加冕典礼。这时候去这个国家看看一定很有意思。
    我知道家里的人一定不喜欢让我去,所以我告诉他们我要去奥地利走走。
    

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