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[希腊神话44]回声

2006-02-28 00:00

  Echo

  Echo was a nymph who talked too much.She was very fond of having the last words.One day she sPoke rudely to the great Hera,who said that for this offence  Echo should never use her voice again,unless to repeat what she hadjust heard,but since she was very fond of last words,she might repeat the last words of others.This was almost as bad as if Hera had changed her into a parrot.Echo was very much ashamed,and hid herself in the forest.

  Narcissus,a young man who had hair as yellow as gold an deyes as blue as the sky,——a very rare thing in Greece,where most people were very dark,——used to hunt in the forest where Echo was hiding.As she was looking out shyly from somecave or from behind a great tree,Echo often saw Narcissus,andshe admired him very much.

  One say Narcissus became separated from his friends,andhearing something rustle among the leaves,he called out,“Who's here?”

  “Here,” answered Echo.

  “Here I am.Come!”said Narcissus.

  “I am come,” said Echo;and,as she spoke,she came outfrom among the trees.

  When Narcissus saw a stranger, instead of one of his friendsas he had expected,he looked surprised and walked quickly away.

  After this, Echo never came out and allowed herself to be seen again ,and in time she disappeared till she became only a voice.

  This voice was heard for many,many years in forests and among mountains,particularly in caves.In their lonely walks,hunters often heard it.Sometimes it repeated the barking of their dogs;sometimes it repeated their own last words.It  always had a strange and sad sound,and seemed to make lonely places more lonely still.

  薏姑是个说话太多的女神。她很喜欢重复说过的话。一天,她说话不慎触怒了伟大的赫拉,赫拉就说因为这样,以后薏姑永远不能再讲话,只能重复她刚刚听到的声音,不过既然她那么喜欢重复话,她可以重复别人所说的最后一句话。这个惩罚就像赫拉把她变成鹦鹉一样可怕。薏姑很羞耻就躲在树林里不敢见人。

  那西塞斯是个头发像黄金一般黄,眼睛像天空一般蓝的少年——在希腊这是件奇事,因为大部分希腊人皮肤都很黑,——他时常在薏姑躲的林中打猎。当薏姑从洞里或树后胆怯地窥视外面时,她时常看见那西塞斯,很爱慕他。一天,那西塞斯在林里跟他的朋友分手了,突然他听到树叶里有沙沙的声音,他就叫“谁在这里?”

  “这里,”薏姑回答。

  “是我,来!”那西塞斯说。

  “我来了,”薏姑说,也就跑出树后。

  那西塞斯看到出来的并不是他期待的朋友而是一个陌生人,他很惊讶,就很快地走了。

  从此以后薏姑没有再露面也不让任何人看到,慢慢地她就消失,只剩下她的声音。

  许多年在山间尤其是深洞里都能听到这种声音。猎人们独自在山里走时都能听到,有时候甚至模仿狗叫,有时候则重复猎人叫的后面几个字。它总是带着神奇忧伤的声音,似乎要使孤独的地方更孤单。

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