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AMERICAN STORIES - Bartleby

时间:2006-05-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:yeying0716   字体: [ ]
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AMERICAN STORIES - Bartleby

By Herman Melville

Broadcast: Saturday, December 03, 2005

ANNOUNCER1: Now, the Special English program, AMERICAN STORIES.

(MUSIC)

Our story this week is called "Bartleby." It was written by Herman Melville, one of America's best-known writers. Here is Shep O'Neal to tell you the story in Special English.

STORYTELLER: I am an old lawyer, and I have three men working for me. My business continued to grow and so I decided2 to get one more man to help write legal3 papers4.

I have met a great many people in my days, but the man who answered my advertisement was the strangest person I have ever heard of or met.

He stood outside my office and waited for me to speak. He was a small man, quiet and dressed in a clean but old suit of clothes. I asked him his name. It was Bartleby.

At first Bartleby almost worked himself too hard writing the legal papers I gave him. He worked through the day by sunlight5, and into the night by candlelight. I was happy with his work, but not happy with the way he worked. He was too quiet. But, he worked well…like a machine, never looking or speaking.

One day, I asked Bartleby to come to my office to study a legal paper with me. Without moving from his chair, Bartleby said: "I do not want to."

I sat for a short time, too surprised to move. Then I became excited.

"You do not want to. What do you mean, are you sick? I want you to help me with this paper."

"I do not want to."

His face was calm. His eyes showed no emotion. He was not angry. This is strange, I thought. What should I do? But, the telephone rang, and I forgot the problem for the time being.

A few days later, four long documents came into the office. They needed careful study, and I decided to give one document to each of my men. I called and all came to my office. But not Bartleby.

"Bartleby, quick, I am waiting."

He came, and stood in front of me for a moment. "I don't want to," he said then turned and went back to his desk.

I was so surprised, I could not move. There was something about Bartleby that froze me, yet, at the same time, made me feel sorry for him.

As time passed, I saw that Bartleby never went out to eat dinner. Indeed, he never went anywhere. At eleven o'clock each morning, one of the men would bring Bartleby some ginger6 cakes.

"Umm. He lives on them," I thought. "Poor fellow!" He is a little foolish at times, but he is useful to me.

"Bartleby," I said one afternoon. "Please go to the post office and bring my mail."

"I do not want to."

I walked back to my office too shocked to think. Let's see, the problem here is…one of my workers named Bartleby will not do some of the things I ask him to do. One important thing about him though, he is always in his office.

One Sunday I walked to my office to do some work. When I placed the key in the door, I couldn't open it. I stood a little surprised, then called, thinking someone might be inside. There was. Bartleby. He came from his office and told me he did not want to let me in.

The idea of Bartleby living in my law office had a strange effect on me. I slunk away much like a dog does when it has been shouted at…with its tail between its legs.

Was anything wrong? I did not for a moment believe Bartleby would keep a woman in my office. But for some time he must have eaten, dressed and slept there. How lonely and friendless Bartleby must be.

I decided to help him. The next morning I called him to my office.

"Bartleby, will you tell me anything about yourself?"

"I do not want to."

I sat down with him and said, "You do not have to tell me about your personal history, but when you finish writing that document…

"I have decided not to write anymore," he said. And left my office.

What was I to do? Bartleby would not work at all. Then why should he stay on his job? I decided to tell him to go. I gave him six days to leave the office and told him I would give him some extra money. If he would not work, he must leave.

On the sixth day, somewhat7 hopefully, I looked into the office Bartleby used. He was still there.

The next morning, I went to the office early. All was still. I tried to open the door, but it was locked. Bartleby's voice came from inside. I stood as if hit by lightening8. I walked the streets thinking. "Well, Bartleby, if you will not leave me, I shall leave you."

I paid some men to move all the office furniture to another place. Bartleby just stood there as the men took his chair away.

"Goodbye Bartleby, I am going. Goodbye and God be with you. Here take this money." I placed it in his hands. It dropped to the floor; and then, strange to say, I had difficulty9 leaving the person I wanted to leave me.

A few days later, a stranger visited me in my new office. "You are responsible10 for the man you left in your last office," he said. The owner of the building has given me a court order which says you must take him away. We tried to make him leave, but he returned and troubles the others there.

I went back to my old office and found Bartleby sitting on the empty floor.

"Bartleby, one of two things must happen. I will get you a different job, or you can go to work for some other lawyer."

He said he did not like either choice.

"Bartleby, will you come home with me and stay there until we decide what you will do?"

He answered softly11, "No, I do not want to make any changes."

I answered nothing more. I fled12. I rode around the city and visited places of historic13 interest, anything to get Bartleby off my mind.

When I entered my office later, I found a message for me. Bartleby had been taken to prison.

I found him there, and when he saw me he said: "I know you, and I have nothing to say to you."

"But I didn't put you here, Bartleby." I was deeply14 hurt. I told him I gave the prison guard money to buy him a good dinner.

"I do not want to eat today, he said. I never eat dinner."

Days passed, and I went to see Bartleby again. I was told he was sleeping in the prison yard outside.

Sleeping? The thin Bartleby was lying on the cold stones. I stooped15 to look at the small man lying on his side with his knees against his chest16. I walked closer and looked down at him. His eyes were open. He seemed to be in a deep sleep.

"Won't he eat today, either, or does he live without eating?" the guard asked.

"Lives without eating," I answered…and closed his eyes.

"Uh…he is asleep isn't he?" the guard said.

"With kings and lawyers," I answered.

One little story came to me some days after Bartleby died. I learned17 he had worked for many years in the post office. He was in a special office that opened all the nation's letters that never reach the person they were written to. It is called the dead letter office. The letters are not written clearly, so the mailmen cannot read the addresses.

Well, poor Bartleby had to read the letters, to see if anyone's name was written clearly so they could be sent. Think of it. From one letter a wedding ring fell, the finger it was bought for perhaps lies rotting18 in the grave19. Another letter has money to help someone long since dead. Letters filled with hope for those who died without hope.

Poor Bartleby! He himself had lost all hope. His job had killed something inside him.

Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity20!

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER: You have heard an AMERICAN STORY called "Bartleby." It was written by Herman Melville. Your storyteller was Shep O'Neal. This is Shirley Griffith.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 announcer FVqzB     
n.宣布者;电(视)台播音员,报幕员
参考例句:
  • The radio announcer said it was nine o'clock.电台播音员报时9点整。
  • The announcer tells the listeners what programme comes next.广播员告诉听众下一个是什么节目。
2 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
3 legal k3jy2     
adj.法律的,依照法律的,合法的,法定的,正当的
参考例句:
  • He is my legal adviser.他是我的法律顾问。
  • This is partly a political and partly a legal question.这个问题部分是政治问题,部分是法律问题。
4 papers qmQzJz     
n.文件,纸币,论文
参考例句:
  • I want to check with my secretary before I sign the papers.在签署这些文件前,我要与我的秘书商议。
  • The lawyer read all the papers relating to the case.律师阅读了与该案有关的全部文件。
5 sunlight ts3wM     
n.日光,阳光,日照
参考例句:
  • The room was flooded with warm and golden sunlight.房间充满着温暖、金色的阳光。
  • In the bright sunlight she had to narrow her eyes.在强烈阳光下她必须眯着双眼。
6 ginger bzryX     
n.姜,精力,淡赤黄色;adj.淡赤黄色的;vt.使活泼,使有生气
参考例句:
  • There is no ginger in the young man.这个年轻人没有精神。
  • Ginger shall be hot in the mouth.生姜吃到嘴里总是辣的。
7 somewhat Pwtw1     
pron.一些,某物;adv.多少,几分
参考例句:
  • The cake we made was somewhat of a failure.我们做的蛋糕不大成功。
  • The two office buildings are somewhat alike in appearance.这两座办公楼在外形上有点相似。
8 lightening i1zxU     
n.发光v.使(某物)更明亮( lighten的现在分词 );变得更光明
参考例句:
  • The lightening splintered a tree. 闪电把一棵树劈开了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • I saw the lightening split the clouds and heard the thunders following. 我看到闪电撕开云层,听到随之而来的雷声。 来自英语晨读30分(高二)
9 difficulty pvUxW     
n.困难,费劲;难事,难题;麻烦,困境
参考例句:
  • If there is any difficulty,please let us know promptly.倘有困难,请迅速通知我们。
  • A little difficulty like this is nothing to us.这点困难算不了什么。
10 responsible LWGx7     
adj.有责任的,应负责的;可靠的,可信赖的;责任重大的;vi.休息,睡;静止,停止
参考例句:
  • He must be responsible to me for this matter.这件事他必须对我负责。
  • The police are responsible for the preservation of law and order.警察负责维持法律与秩序。
11 softly HiIzR4     
adv.柔和地,静静地,温柔地
参考例句:
  • He speaks too softly for her to hear.他讲话声音太轻,她听不见。
  • She breathed her advice softly.她低声劝告。
12 fled Uj8xf     
v.逃走,逃掉( flee的过去式和过去分词 );逃离,逃避
参考例句:
  • The robbers fled empty-handed. 抢劫犯一无所获地逃走了。
  • He had fled from France at the time of the persecution. 他在大迫害时期逃离了法国。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 historic AcNxw     
adj.历史上著名的,具有历史意义的
参考例句:
  • This is a historic occasion.这是具有重大历史意义的时刻。
  • We are living in a great historic era.我们正处在一个伟大的历史时代。
14 deeply Ru7zyZ     
adv.深刻地,在深处,深沉地
参考例句:
  • I do feel deeply the strength of the collective.我确实深深地感到了集体的力量。
  • We're deeply honoured that you should agree to join us.您能同意加入我们,我们感到很荣幸。
15 stooped bbc7baac62ed2cc1ab199d537e329034     
adj.弯腰的,曲背的v.弯腰( stoop的过去式和过去分词 );屈身;俯首;屈尊
参考例句:
  • She stooped down to pick up the child. 她俯身抱起孩子。
  • All his fellows stooped to look under the carriage. 他的伙伴们也都弯下腰看车下。 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
16 chest sUMyW     
n.胸,大箱子,金库,资金,一箱,密封室,衣橱
参考例句:
  • The bear's chest is hairy.那只熊的胸部毛茸茸的。
  • Mother has a pain in her chest.母亲胸口疼.。
17 learned m1oxn     
adj.有学问的,博学的;learn的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • He went into a rage when he learned about it.他听到这事后勃然大怒。
  • In this little village,he passed for a learned man.在这个小村子里,他被视为有学问的人。
18 rotting 8183d17bfaab0c21a2ef750f118bc9e5     
n.深蚀刻,沤麻v.(使)腐烂, (使)腐朽( rot的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • an overpowering stench of rotting fish 腐烂的鱼臭气熏天
  • In such wet weather we must prevent the seedlings from rotting. 这样的阴雨天要防止烂秧。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
19 grave EeCz3     
n.墓穴,坟墓,雕刻工,抑音;adj.庄重的,严肃的,重大的,低沉的;vt.雕刻
参考例句:
  • Marriage is the grave of love.婚姻是爱情的坟墓。
  • This is a very grave matter indeed.这问题的确非常严重。
20 humanity Nc4xR     
n.人类,[总称]人(性),人道[pl.]人文学科
参考例句:
  • Such an act is a disgrace to humanity.这种行为是人类的耻辱。
  • We should treat animals with humanity.我们应该以仁慈之心对待动物。
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TAG标签:   american  story  bartleby
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