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【美国故事】威廉·威尔逊 William Wilson

来源:慢速英语   时间:2020-01-11 10:45:21

William Wilson-Part One.Let me call myself,for the present,William Wilson.That is not my real name.That name has already been the cause of the horror–of the anger of my family.Have not the winds carried my name,with my loss of honor,to the ends of the earth?Am I not forever dead to the world?–to its honors,to its flowers,to its golden hopes?And a cloud,heavy and endless–does it not hang forever between my hopes and heaven?Men usually become bad by degrees.But I let all goodness fall from me in a single moment,as if I had dropped a coat.From small acts of darkness I passed,in one great step,into the blackest evil ever known.Listen while I tell of the one cause that made this happen.


Death is near,and its coming has softened my spirit.I desire,in passing through this dark valley,the understanding of other men.I wish them to believe that I have been,in some ways,in the power of forces beyond human control.I wish them to find for me,in the story I am about to tell,some small fact that proves I could have done only what I did.I would have them agree that what happened to me never happened to other men.Is it not true that no one has ever suffered as I do?Have I not indeed been living in a dream?And am I not now dying from the horror and the unanswered question—the mystery of the wildest dream ever dreamed on earth?I am one of a family well known for their busy minds.As a small child I showed clearly that I too had the family character.As I became older it grew more powerful in me.For many reasons it became a cause of talk among friends,and the hurt it did me was great.I wanted people always to do things my way;I acted like a wild fool;I let my desires control me.


My father and mother,weak in body and mind,could do little to hold me back.When their efforts failed,of course my will grew stronger.From then on my voice in the house was law.At an age when few children are allowed to be free,I was left to be guided by my own desires.I became the master of my own actions.I remember my first school.It was in a large house about three hundred years old,in a small town in England,among a great number of big trees.All of the houses there were very old.In truth,it was a dream-like and spirit-quieting place,that old town.At this moment I seem to feel the pleasant coolness under the shade of the trees,I remember the sweetness of the flowers,I hear again with delight I cannot explain the deep sound of the church bell each hour breaking the stillness of the day.It gives me pleasure to think about this school—as much pleasure,perhaps,as I am now able to experience.Deep in suffering as I am—suffering only too real–perhaps no one will object if for a short time I forget my troubles and tell a little about this period.


Moreover,the period and place are important.It was then and there that I first saw,hanging over me,the terrible promise of things to come.Let me remember.The house where we boys lived and went to school was,as I have said,old and wide.The grounds about it were large,and there was a high wall around the outside of the whole school.Beyond this wall we went three times in each week,on one day to take short walks in the neighboring fields,and two times on Sunday to go to church.This was the one church in the village,and the head-teacher of our school was also the head of the church.With a spirit of deep wonder and of doubt I used to watch him there!This man,with slow step and quiet,thoughtful face,in clothes so different and shining clean—could this be the same man who with a hard face and clothes far from clean stood ready to strike us if we did not follow the rules of the school?Oh,great and terrible question,beyond my small power to answer!



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