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I remember well the first time I saw Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. He had invited Miss Sullivan and me to call on him one Sunday afternoon. It was early in the spring, just after I had learned to speak. We were shown at once to his library where we found him seated in a big armchair by an open fire which glowed and crackled on the hearth, thinking, he said, of other days.

  我很清楚地记得第一次见到奥利佛·温代尔·霍尔姆斯博士时的情景。那是在一个星期天的下午,他邀请我和苏立文小姐去他家做客。当时正值初春季节,那时我刚刚学会了开口讲话。我们立刻被人带到了他的图书馆,他坐在一张大扶手椅里,壁炉里的炭火噼噼啪啪地烧得正旺,他说他在想着往日的时光。

  "And listening to the murmur of the River Charles," I suggested.

  “还在倾听查尔斯河的潺潺流水。”我试探着说道。

  "Yes," he replied, "the Charles has many dear associations for me." There was an odour of print and leather in the room which told me that it was full of books, and I stretched out my hand instinctively to find them. My fingers lighted upon a beautiful volume of Tennyson’s poems, and when Miss Sullivan told me what it was I began to recite:

  “不错,”他回答道,“我同查尔斯河的关系可是亲密无间呢。”房子里面有一股油墨和皮革的味道,这里显然到处都是书,于是我不由自主地伸手摸索起来。我的指尖无意中落在了丁尼生的一部诗集上,当苏立文小姐把诗集的名字告诉我以后,我就开始背诵:

  Break, break, break

  断裂,断裂,彻底断裂吧

  On thy cold gray stones, O sea!

  在你那冰冷的灰石头上,哦,浪涛!

  But I stopped suddenly. I felt tears on my hand. I had made my beloved poet weep, and I was greatly distressed. He made me sit in his armchair, while he brought different interesting things for me to examine, and at his request I recited "The Chambered Nautilus," which was then my favorite poem. After that I saw Dr. Holmes many times and learned to love the man as well as the poet.

  突然间,我停止了背诵。我感觉到我的手上浸满了泪水,我已经令我所钟爱的诗人落泪。为此,我也感到了巨大的忧伤。他让我坐在他的扶手椅上,同时,他还拿出了很多有趣的东西让我查验。在他的请求下,我还背诵了《背负房间的鹦鹉螺》,这是我当时最喜欢的一首诗。后来,我又多次见到过霍尔姆斯博士,我从他身上不但学到了诗,也学到了爱。

  One beautiful summer day, not long after my meeting with Dr. Holmes, Miss Sullivan and I visited Whittier in his quiet home on the Merrimac. His gentle courtesy and quaint speech won my heart. He had a book of his poems in raised print from which I read "In School Days." He was delighted that I could pronounce the words so well, and said that he had no difficulty in understanding me. Then I asked many questions about the poem, and read his answers by placing my fingers on his lips. He said he was the little boy in the poem, and that the girl’s name was Sally, and more which I have forgotten. I also recited "Laus Deo," and as I spoke the concluding verses, he placed in my hands a statue of a slave from whose crouching figure the fetters were falling, even as they fell from Peter’s limbs when the angel led him forth out of prison. Afterward we went into his study, and he wrote his autograph* for my teacher and expressed his admiration of her work, saying to me, "She is thy spiritual liberator." Then he ledme to the gate and kissed me tenderly on my forehead. I promised to visit him again the following summer; but he died before the promise was fulfilled.

  在会见霍尔姆斯博士不久之后的一个阳光明媚的夏日,我和苏立文小姐在“梅里麦克”号上拜访了惠蒂尔先生。他温文尔雅的举止和不俗的谈吐赢得了我的好感。他曾出版过一本凸版印刷的诗集,我选读了其中的一首《校园时光》。他惊讶于我的读音是如此地准确,还说理解起来毫无困难。随后我又问了他很多关于诗歌的问题。我把手指放在他的嘴唇上,这样就可以“读出”他的回答。他说他自己就是诗中的那个小男孩,而那个女孩的名字叫萨莉,他当然不只说了这些,但是我大都不记得了。我还为他背诵了《洛斯迪奥》,当我吟诵到最后的诗句时,他把一个奴隶的雕像放在了我的手中,奴隶身体蜷曲,脚踝拴着脚镣,就像刚被天使从监狱中解救出来的样子——奴隶一下子瘫倒在彼得的翅膀之下。后来,我们走进了他的书房,他不但为我的老师亲笔签名,还向她表达了钦佩之意。他对我说:“她是你灵魂的拯救者。”最后,他领我来到门口,并且轻柔地吻了吻我的额头。我答应他来年夏天还去拜访他,可是不等我履行诺言,他便去世了。

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