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恶龙传说

The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

曾经有一条龙霸占了一个国家
Once upon a time, a dragon tyrannized the kingdom.
这条龙长着厚厚的黑色鳞片 有着一双充满仇恨的眼睛
Covered with thick black scales, its eyes glowed with hate,…
它恐怖的嘴里流着臭气熏天的黏液
… and from its terrible jaws flowed evil-smelling slime.
有些人试图击退它
Some tried to fight the dragon …
祭司和魔法师布下咒语 却毫无效果
… priests and magicians called down curses to no avail.
装备精良的战士们发起进攻 却被活活烧死
Warriors armed with the best weapons, attacked, only to be incinerated.
它的爪子 嘴巴和火焰伤人无数
The dragon’s claws, jaws, and fire were so effective, …
坚硬的鳞片如盔甲般保护着它
… its scaly armor so hard, as to make it invincible.
龙要求人类朝贡
The dragon demanded from humankind a tribute: …
贡品是随机挑选的一万个男人和女人
… ten thousand men and women, randomly chosen, …
这些贡品必须在每天晚上送到
… to be delivered every evening to the foot
山脚下供它享用
of the mountain to be eaten.
国王和王国的武器起不到任何作用
The king and the kingdom, their weapons useless, …
他们没有选择的余地 只得献出这可怕的贡品
… had no choice but to pay the grisly tribute, ….
忍受着屈辱 喂养这只贪得无厌的龙
… to suffer the misery, to feed the insatiable hunger.
那些适合的人民
And humans, ever adaptable,
也只能接受被龙统治的现实
came to accept the dragon-tyrant as a fact of life; …
人们明白 甚至习以为常
… knowing, even embracing,
自己生命的最后几分钟 将在龙的胃里度过
that everyone’s final moments would be in its maw.
不然还能怎么样?
How could the world be otherwise?
这个国家开始教孩子
The kingdom began to teach its children
龙所处的阶级遵循自然规律
that the dragon had its place in the natural order and
人类生命的终点
the very meaning of being human to end up
就是到龙的肚子里
in the dragon’s stomach,
更短的寿命可以激励人们好好生活
their shorter lives motivating them to lead good lives.
龙正在帮助国家
And the dragon was helping the kingdom
控制人口增长
by keeping the population from growing too fast.
从此 人们停止攻击龙
Learning this, attacks on the dragon ceased.
但是国家仍在慢慢发展
But the kingdom still grew, slowly,
龙也如此
and with it so did the dragon,
龙一直生长到和它所在的山岭一样大
becoming as big as the mountain on which it lived,
龙的胃口越来越大
its appetite increasing.
国王全部的精力都用来思考
The logistics of collecting and transporting so many every day
每天如何收集和运输大量人口到山里
to the mountain came to occupy the king’s mind more
多到国王没空去想死亡和龙本身
than the deaths and the dragon itself.
他要雇记录员去记录将被送走的人
The king had to hire registrars to keep track of who would be sent.
派收集者去征收受害者
There were people-collectors dispatched to fetch the designated victims.
办事员会派赔偿给家属
There were clerks who administered the pensions to be paid to decimated families.
还有安抚人员陪着受害者
And there were comforters who would travel with the doomed …
一路前往龙穴 以缓解他们的痛苦
… on their way to the dragon, trying to ease the anguish.
还有龙学家要研究
And there were dragonologists who studied how these
怎样的输送方式更有效率
logistic processes could be made more efficient.
他们发明了蒸汽机 建造了
Steam engines were invented and a railway constructed
通往龙穴的铁路
leading to the dragon ’ s abode.
前往山顶的火车塞满了人 但返程时却空无一人
Trains arrived at the mountain terminal crammed with people and return empty.
一些龙研究者也研究了龙的行为 以及收集样本
Some dragonologists also studied the dragon’s behavior and collected samples …
包括脱落的鳞片
… its shed scales,
黏液 散落着人类碎骨的排泄物
the slime, the excrement speckled with fragments of human bone.
对龙越发了解 越被证实它是无法打败的 但是…
The more the beast was understood, the more its invincibility confirmed. But…
人类是一个有求知欲的物种
humanity is a curious species.
偶尔 有些人会想到好主意
Every once in a while, someone gets a good idea.
其他人抄袭这一想法 并附加到自己的观点中
Others copy the idea, adding to it their own improvements.
过了一段时间 人们便创造了很多奇妙的工具和系统
Over time, many wondrous tools and systems are developed.
一些工具会使新想法产生变得更加容易 因此
Some of these tools make it easier to generate new ideas. Thus,
巨轮 这一伟大的发明出现了
the great wheel of invention, …
在以前的时代 运转得稍慢
… which in the older ages turned imperceptibly slow, …
现在开始加速
… began to accelerate
人们所做的较之以前看起来更不可思议
and humans did what would have seemed magic before, …
远距离的即时通讯 飞行机械的制造
… communicating instantly across great distance, building machines that could fly,
还有其他令人惊讶的事情
… and many other astonishing things.
一些龙研究者认为
A few dragonologists argued it might
新一轮的袭击只不过是时间问题
be time argued for a new attack …
有人发明了一个很尖的
… one had invented a material so sharp
能够刺穿龙鳞片的材料
it could pierce a dragon ’ s scale.
虽然很不容易 但是
It would not be easy but
如果一个用此材料制作出一个巨大的抛射器
if a huge projectile could be made out of this material …
然后用足够的力量和精准度发射
… and launched with sufficient force and sufficient
龙的盔甲可能会被刺穿 然而
precision it might penetrate the dragon ’ s armor. However,
制造投射器很困难 要花费大量金钱和时间
it would be difficult and expensive and time-consuming to do.
龙研究者向愿意听的人解释他们的提议
The dragonologists explained their proposal to anyone who would listen.
但是人们莫衷一是
But the people were skeptical; they had
他们已经被灌输 暴龙是无敌的
been taught the dragon-tyrant was invincible and the
供奉龙也成为生活的一部分
sacrifices it demanded a fact of life.
当人们了解到新材料和抛射器的想法
Yet when they learnt about the new material and the idea
很多人的反抗想法就被激起
for a projectile, many became intrigued.
当国王读到了那些计划
When the king read about the plans,
他决定开一个公开的听证会
he decided to hold an open hearing …
这个听证会就开在这一年的最后一天 也是最黑暗的一天
… it took place on the last and darkest day of the year,
于皇家城堡最大的会堂里举办
in the largest hall of the royal castle.
所有的席位全部坐满 甚至走廊上都站满了人
People packed in to every last seat and crowded the aisles.
国王的谋士首先发言 告诉人民他们最好接受恶龙不可避免地存在这一现实
The king’s advisor spoke first: telling the people it was best they accept the inevitability of the dragon…
龙管理局提供了很多岗位
… and the dragon-administration department provided many jobs …
倘若龙被屠杀 这些岗位也就没有了
… that would be lost were the dragon slaughtered and,
无论如何
in any case, …
建造了新铁路之后 国库就空了
… the kingdom’s coffers were empty after building the new railway.
接下来 龙研究者解释了 我们提议的机器是如何运作的
Next the leading dragonologist explained how the proposed device would work,
所必需的大量新型材料是怎样被人工合成的
… how the requisite amount of new invented material could be manufactured.
考虑到所需资金的数额
Given the requested amount of funding,
完成制造的工期可能需要十五到二十年
it may be possible to complete the work in fifteen to twenty years.
要是有更多的资金 那么工期可能缩短到12年 然而
With greater funding, maybe twelve. However,
并没有完全的把握
there could be no guarantee.”
最后一个发言的是国王的道德顾问
Last to speak was the king’s advisor for morality:
“拨款吧!”他说 “这个项目在技术方面是可以实现的 虽然还没有被印证
“Let us grant!” he said”The project is technologically possible, though it hasn’t been proven to me. …
可能 大家觉得自己
… Presumably, you think you’ve got
有权不被龙吃掉
the right not to be chewed up.
多么专一 蛮横 徒劳
How willful, how presumptuous, how vain.
人类生命的短暂是福音
The shortness of human life is a blessing.
摆脱掉龙
Getting rid of the dragon,
看起来好像在做一件有利的事情 但是会破坏我们的尊严
which might seem such a convenient thing to do, would undermine our dignity.
杀龙的成见
This preoccupation with killing the dragon
会让我们偏离
will deflect us from realizing more fully …
出于本能的渴望
… the aspirations to which our lives naturally point,
而过得更好远比活得久更重要
from living well rather than merely staying alive.
龙的天性就是吃
The nature of the dragon is to eat,
而人生来 朋友们
and our own nature, my friends, is
只是被吃掉
nobly fulfilled only by getting eaten.
龙是必不可少的 龙是好的”
The dragon is necessary. The dragon is good.”
大厅很安静
The great hall was silent.
然后 听众中的一个小男孩喊道 “龙是邪恶的!”
Then a small child yelled out from the audience:”The dragon is bad!”
小男孩的父母面红耳赤 让小孩闭嘴
The child ’ s parents turned red and hushed,
但是 小男孩又说:
but the child said again:
“龙是邪恶的 龙吃了很多人
“The dragon is bad — it kills people…
吃了我的奶奶 我想我的奶奶活过来”
it ate my Granny… I want my Granny back.”
会堂再次平静下来 然后一个女人站起来说: “龙吃了我的父母”
The hall was silent again — then a woman stood: “The dragon killed my parents.”
接下来一个男人站起来说: “龙吃了我的妻儿”
And man followed and stood: “The dragon killed my wife and my daughter.”
越来越多的人站起来
More and more people stood — the simple fact that
显然 龙杀人无数 让无数人痛失挚爱
the dragon killed everyone, the loss of it,
家属的喊声 淹没了整个会堂
the weight of it, crashing over the hall.
最想不到的方法也许行得通
The way out from under remote, yet maybe possible.
国王看着那个第一个说话的小男孩 宣布道:
The king, looking at the first child to speak, announced:
“我们杀了那条龙”
“Let us kill the dragon”.
第二天早上 十亿多人醒悟
The next morning, a billion people woke to
并意识到在抛射器发射之前
realize they or those they loved might be sent
他们和至爱的人可能会被送给龙
to the dragon before the projectile launched.
在之前
Whereas before, active support
很多支持杀死龙的人会受到限制
for the anti-dragon cause had been limited, …
现在杀死龙成为了每个人心中的
… it now became the number one priority and concern
当务之急
on everyone’s mind.
群众集会为了抛射器项目进行筹款
Mass rallies raised money
并极力奉劝国王 给杀死恶龙给予支持
for the projectile project and urged the king to increase support, …
国王这样做了
… which he did,
他通过了额外的拨款议案 并卖了自己的避暑山庄
passing extra appropriations bills and selling his summer castle, announcing:
说道: “我相信
“I believe
在十年期过去之前
that this kingdom should commit itself to achieving the goal, …
国家一定
… before the decade is out,
会把人民从龙的灾祸中解脱出来”
of freeing the world from the ancient scourge of the dragon.”
因此 一项与时间赛跑的技术变革开始了
Thus started a great technological race against time.
为了制造杀龙武器
To make the dragon-killing weapon required
需要解决几千个技术问题的方法
solutions to a thousand technical problems, …
每个方法都耗时巨大且失误不断
… each of which required dozens of time-consuming steps and missteps.
试飞导弹发射出去了 但坠毁于地面
Test-missiles were fired but fell dead to the ground or flew
或飞错了方向
off in the wrong direction.
可怕的事故发生了
Terrible accidents happened.
但现在还有非常重要的目的去完成 所以制造工作继续进行
But there was now a seriousness of purpose, and the work continued.
尽管 钱款是无限的 科技人员也在马不停蹄的工作
But despite almost unlimited funding and round-the-clock work by technicians,
恐怕也未能赶得上国王设置的截止日期
the king ’ s deadline could not be met.
任务艰巨
The task was hard.
十年过去了 龙还活着 还在吃人
The decade concluded and the dragon still lived — still ate.
但是 努力即将见效
But the effort was getting closer.
一年后 第一个成品导弹发射成功
A year later the first prototype missile successfully launched.
最终确定于除夕夜完成抛射器的建造并发射
The construction of the final projectile eventually set
终试抛射器
to complete and launch on New Year ’ s Eve, …
这是项目开展后的第十二年
… twelve years after the project’s inauguration.
除夕夜这天 寒冷阴暗
The last day of the year was cold and overcast,
但是还算明亮 这是发射的绝佳条件
but still and clear — good launch conditions.
夕阳西下 技术人员步履匆匆地忙着最终调整和检验
As the sun set, technicians scuttled around making the final adjustments and checks.
国王和谋士 在离发射台很近的一个平台观看着
The king and his advisors observed from a platform close to the launch pad.
远处 在围栏后面
Further away, behind a fence,
人们聚集在一起去观看这一盛事
the public assembled to witness the great event.
一个大钟表在倒计时 还剩十分钟
A large clock counted down: ten minutes to go —
远处那只恶龙在夕阳映射下的侧影 正在吃食
the dark slumped profile of the dragon beyond, eating.
人群中
From the crowd,
一个人爬上了围栏 跑到了国王所在的看台
someone jumped the fence and ran to the platform where the king sat.
在侍卫的追赶下 他疯狂地跑到了看台前
He arrived, accompanied by security, in a frenzied state,
他的鼻子流着血
his nose bleeding.
他喊道: “最后一趟列车 截住它”
He shouted:”The last train! Stop the last train!”
这个年轻男人 是交通部的低级职员
The young man was a junior clerk in the ministry of transportation.
他发现 他的父亲正坐在那趟开往山里的火车上
He had discovered that his father was on the last train to the mountain.
国王命令那趟列车
The king had ordered the trains
继续前往至终点
to continue to the very end, …
因为害怕任何的破坏可能会导致龙
… fearing any disruption might cause the dragon
的异动 从而导致误射导弹
to stir and the missile to miss.
那个人乞求国王
The young man begged the king to issue a recall-order
召回列车
for the last train, …
由于这趟列车会在导弹发射五分钟前到达终点
… due to arrive at the mountain terminal five minutes before time zero.
“我不能这么做” 国王说 “这样做可能会使龙变得警惕 我不能冒这个险”
“I cannot do it,” said the king,”I cannot take the risk it will alert the dragon“.
头顶的乌云开始落下雨滴
The clouds above their head let loose the rain.
“我很抱歉”国王继续说道
“ I am so sorry ” The king continued,
“如果我们提前一天完成就好了
“ had we started but one day earlier
你的父亲就不会死了”
your father would not have to die. ”
看着这人群
Looking at the crowd,
想到他们和他失去的亲人 他压抑着说道
thinking of all the losses that they and he, had endured.
这个项目应该提前几年开始就好了
“This project should have been started years earlier than we did.
那样 很多人就不必被龙吃掉
So many need not have been killed by
一切只因为我们未能早点从对龙的恐惧中
the dragon, had we but awoken from
醒悟过来啊”
our acceptance of its horror sooner. ”
那个年轻男人停止哭泣
The young man’s wailing ceased.
国王看了看倒计时时间 还有五秒钟
The king looked up at the countdown clock: five seconds remaining.

Four.

Three.

Two.

One.

Zero.
一个巨大的火球包围了发射台 导弹发射了出去
A ball of fire enveloped the launch pad and the missile shot out.
人群 国王 远近的人
The masses, the king, the low and the high,
年轻人 老人
the young and the old… …
白色的火焰
that white flame,
照进了黑暗的现实 这里面含着人们的精神 害惧和希望
shooting into the dark embodied the human spirit, its fear and its hope.
导弹击中了龙的心脏
It struck the heart of evil.
地平线上龙的侧影翻滚而落
The silhouette on the horizon tumbled and fell.
人们在龙坠滚落 发出了震耳欲聋的哀鸣后
Thousands of voices of joy rose from the masses,
看着这期待已久的画面 欢呼着
joined seconds later by a deafening drawn-out thud from the collapsing monster.
最终 人类摆脱了龙
After all this time, humanity was at last free from the dragon.
喜极而泣变成了欢呼赞颂
The joy cry resolved into a jubilating chant:
“国王万岁 团结万岁”
“Long live the king! Long live us all!”
皇家侍卫蜂蛹般在国王周围挤作一团
The royal entourage, huddling in the downpour, accumulated around their monarch.
最后发生了翻天覆地的改变
So much had changed in the last hour.
人类重新夺回了拥有美好未来的权利 摧毁了原始的恐惧
The right to an open future had been regained, a primordial fear abolished,
很多根深蒂固的设想也被推翻
and many long-held assumptions overturned.
“现在我们应该做什么?”人们问到
“What do we do now?” they asked.
国王说 “我们一路走来 现在我们却像孩童一样
“We have come a long way…” said the king,”yet now we are like children again.
未来就在我们眼前
The future lies open before us.
我们应该继续前行
We shall go
要比我们过去已经做到的
and try to do better
努力做到更好
than we have done
现在我们有时间
in the past, for we have time now…
做正确的事 去成长
… time to get things right, time to grow up,
在错误中学习
time to learn from our mistakes.
让这个国家所有的钟都响至午夜
Let all the bells in the kingdom ring until midnight,
来缅怀逝去的人
in remembrance of our dead.
之后 我们要庆祝 既然我们现在有时间了
Then after, we will celebrate and begin the process of building a better world…
那就去创造一个更美好的世界”
for we have time now.
[音乐和嘈杂声]
[Music and crackling sounds]

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视频概述

古时候恶龙统治者世界,食人无数,哀鸿遍野……人类又该如何反击?充满喜剧色彩的童话却颇具讽刺意味

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

审核员

审核员A

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZYNADOHhVY

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