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I spent the following day roaming through the valley. I stoodbeside the sources of the Arveiron, which take their rise in aglacier, that with slow pace is advancing down from the summitof the hills, to barricade the valley. The abrupt sides ofvast mountains were before me; the icy wall of the glacieroverhung me; a few shattered pines were scattered around; andthe solemn silence of this glorious presence-chamber ofimperial Nature was broken only by the brawling waves, or thefall of some vast fragment, the thunder sound of the avalanche,or the cracking reverberated along the mountains of theaccumulated ice, which, through the silent working of immutablelaws, was ever and anon rent and torn, as if it had been but aplaything in their hands. These sublime and magnificent scenesafforded me the greatest consolation that I was capable ofreceiving. They elevated me from all littleness of feeling;and although they did not remove my grief, they subdued andtranquillised it. In some degree, also, they diverted my mindfrom the thoughts over which it had brooded for the last month. I retired to rest at night; my slumbers, as it were, waited onand ministered to by the assemblance of grand shapes which Ihad contemplated during the day. They congregated round me;the unstained snowy mountain-top, the glittering pinnacle, thepine woods, and ragged bare ravine; the eagle, soaring amidstthe clouds--they all gathered round me, and bade me be at peace.

Where had they fled when the next morning I awoke? All ofsoul-inspiriting fled with sleep, and dark melancholy cloudedevery thought. The rain was pouring in torrents, and thickmists hid the summits of the mountains, so that I even saw notthe faces of those mighty friends. Still I would penetratetheir misty veil, and seek them in their cloudy retreats. Whatwere rain and storm to me? My mule was brought to the door, andI resolved to ascend to the summit of Montanvert. I rememberedthe effect that the view of the tremendous and ever-movingglacier had produced upon my mind when I first saw it. It hadthen filled me with a sublime ecstasy that gave wings to thesoul, and allowed it to soar from the obscure world to lightand joy. The sight of the awful and majestic in nature hadindeed always the effect of solemnising my mind, and causing meto forget the passing cares of life. I determined to gowithout a guide, for I was well acquainted with the path, andthe presence of another would destroy the solitary grandeur ofthe scene.

The ascent is precipitous, but the path is cut into continualand short windings, which enable you to surmount theperpendicularity of the mountain. It is a scene terrificallydesolate. In a thousand spots the traces of the winteravalanche may be perceived, where trees lie broken and strewedon the ground; some entirely destroyed, others bent, leaningupon the jutting rocks of the mountain, or transversely uponother trees. The path, as you ascend higher, is intersected byravines of snow, down which stones continually roll fromabove; one of them is particularly dangerous, as the slightestsound, such as even speaking in a loud voice, produces aconcussion of air sufficient to draw destruction upon the headof the speaker. The pines are not tall or luxuriant, but theyare sombre, and add an air of severity to the scene. I lookedon the valley beneath; vast mists were rising from the riverswhich ran through it, and curling in thick wreaths around theopposite mountains, whose summits were hid in the uniformclouds, while rain poured from the dark sky, and added to themelancholy impression I received from the objects around me. Alas! why does man boast of sensibilities superior to thoseapparent in the brute; it only renders them more necessarybeings. If our impulses were confined to hunger, thirst, anddesire, we might be nearly free; but now we are moved by everywind that blows, and a chance word or scene that that word mayconvey to us.

"We rest; a dream has power to poison sleep. We rise; one wandering thought pollutes the day. We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh or weep, Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away; It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow, The path of its departure still is free. Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow. Nought may endure but mutability!"

 

It was nearly noon when I arrived at the top of the ascent. For some time I sat upon the rock that overlooks the sea of ice. A mist covered both that and the surrounding mountains. Presently a breeze dissipated the cloud, and I descended uponthe glacier. The surface is very uneven, rising like the wavesof a troubled sea, descending low, and interspersed by riftsthat sink deep. The field of ice is almost a league in width,but I spent nearly two hours in crossing it. The oppositemountain is a bare perpendicular rock. From the side where Inow stood Montanvert was exactly opposite, at the distance ofa league; and above it rose Mont Blanc, in awful majesty. I remained in a recess of the rock, gazing on this wonderful andstupendous scene. The sea, or rather the vast river of ice,wound among its dependent mountains, whose aerial summits hungover its recesses. Their icy and glittering peaks shone in thesunlight over the clouds. My heart, which was beforesorrowful, now swelled with something like joy; I exclaimed--"Wandering spirits, if indeed ye wander, and do notrest in your narrow beds, allow me this faint happiness, ortake me, as your companion, away from the joys of life."

As I said this, I suddenly beheld the figure of a man, at somedistance, advancing towards me with superhuman speed. He boundedover the crevices in the ice, among which I had walkedwith caution; his stature, also, as he approached, seemed toexceed that of man. I was troubled: a mist came over my eyes,and I felt a faintness seize me; but I was quickly restored bythe cold gale of the mountains. I perceived, as the shape camenearer (sight tremendous and abhorred!) that it was the wretchwhom I had created. I trembled with rage and horror, resolvingto wait his approach, and then close with him in mortal combat. He approached; his countenance bespoke bitter anguish, combinedwith disdain and malignity, while its unearthly uglinessrendered it almost too horrible for human eyes. But I scarcelyobserved this; rage and hatred had at first deprived me ofutterance, and I recovered only to overwhelm him with wordsexpressive of furious detestation and contempt.

"Devil," I exclaimed, "do you dare approach me? and do not youfear the fierce vengeance of my arm wreaked on your miserablehead? Begone, vile insect! or rather, stay, that I may trampleyou to dust! and, oh! that I could, with the extinction of yourmiserable existence, restore those victims whom you have sodiabolically murdered!"

"I expected this reception," said the daemon. "All men hatethe wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am miserablebeyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurnme, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties onlydissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. You purpose tokill me. How dare you sport thus with life? Do your dutytowards me, and I will do mine towards you and the rest ofmankind. If you will comply with my conditions, I will leavethem and you at peace; but if you refuse, I will glut the maw ofdeath, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends."

"Abhorred monster! fiend that thou art! the tortures of hellare too mild a vengeance for thy crimes. Wretched devil! youreproach me with your creation; come on, then, that I mayextinguish the spark which I so negligently bestowed." My ragewas without bounds; I sprang on him, impelled by all thefeelings which can arm one being against the existence of another.

He easily eluded me, and said--

"Be calm! I entreat you to hear me, before you give vent toyour hatred on my devoted head. Have I not suffered enoughthat you seek to increase my misery? Life, although it mayonly be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I willdefend it. Remember, thou hast made me more powerful thanthyself; my height is superior to thine; my joints more supple. But I will not be tempted to set myself in opposition to thee. I am thy creature, and I will be even mild and docile to mynatural lord and king, if thou wilt also perform thy part,the which thou owest me. Oh, Frankenstein, be not equitableto every other, and trample upon me alone, to whom thy justice,and even thy clemency and affection, is most due. Remember, thatI am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam; but I am rather thefallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy,and I shall again be virtuous."

"Begone! I will not hear you. There can be no communitybetween you and me; we are enemies. Begone, or let us try ourstrength in a fight, in which one must fall."

"How can I move thee? Will no entreaties cause thee to turn afavourable eye upon thy creature, who implores thy goodness andcompassion? Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soulglowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserablyalone? You, my creator, abhor me; what hope can I gather fromyour fellow-creatures, who owe me nothing? they spurn and hate me. The desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered here many days; the caves of ice, which I onlydo not fear, are a dwelling to me, and the only one which mandoes not grudge. These bleak skies I hail, for they are kinderto me than your fellow-beings. If the multitude of mankindknew of my existence, they would do as you do, and armthemselves for my destruction. Shall I not then hate them whoabhor me? I will keep no terms with my enemies. I ammiserable, and they shall share my wretchedness. Yet it is inyour power to recompense me, and deliver them from an evilwhich it only remains for you to make so great that not onlyyou and your family, but thousands of others, shall beswallowed up in the whirlwinds of its rage. Let yourcompassion be moved, and do not disdain me. Listen to my tale:when you have heard that, abandon or commiserate me, as youshall judge that I deserve. But hear me. The guilty areallowed, by human laws, bloody as they are, to speak in theirown defence before they are condemned. Listen to me,Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, witha satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praisethe eternal justice of man! Yet I ask you not to spare me:listen to me; and then, if you can, and if you will, destroythe work of your hands."

"Why do you call to my remembrance," I rejoined,"circumstances, of which I shudder to reflect, that I have beenthe miserable origin and author? Cursed be the day, abhorreddevil, in which you first saw light! Cursed (although I cursemyself) be the hands that formed you! You have made mewretched beyond expression. You have left me no power toconsider whether I am just to you or not. Begone! relieve mefrom the sight of your detested form."

"Thus I relieve thee, my creator, "he said, and placed hishated hands before my eyes, which I flung from me withviolence; "thus I take from thee a sight which you abhor. Still thou canst listen to me, and grant me thy compassion. By the virtues that I once possessed, I demand this from you. Hear my tale; it is long and strange, and the temperature ofthis place is not fitting to your fine sensations; come to thehut upon the mountain. The sun is yet high in the heavens;before it descends to hide itself behind yon snowy precipices,and illuminate another world, you will have heard my story, andcan decide. On you it rests whether I quit for ever theneighbourhood of man, and lead a hapless life, or become thescourge of your fellow-creatures, and the author of your ownspeedy ruin."

As he said this, he led the way across the ice: I followed. My heart was full, and I did not answer him; but, as I proceeded,I weighed the various arguments that he had used, anddetermined at least to listen to his tale. I was partly urgedby curiosity, and compassion confirmed my resolution. I hadhitherto supposed him to be the murderer of my brother, and Ieagerly sought a confirmation or denial of this opinion. For the first time, also, I felt what the duties of a creatortowards his creature were, and that I ought to render him happybefore I complained of his wickedness. These motives urged meto comply with his demand. We crossed the ice, therefore, andascended the opposite rock. The air was cold, and the rainagain began to descend: we entered the hut, the fiend with anair of exultation, I with a heavy heart and depressed spirits. But I consented to listen; and, seating myself by the firewhich my odious companion had lighted, he thus began his tale.

第二天,我从早到晚都在山谷里逡巡徘徊。我站在阿尔夫河的源头,那是一座冰川,自群山的峰顶缓缓下移,堵住了山谷。在我面前,是无边的崇山峻岭,冰川形成的冰墙悬在我的头顶上方,有几棵松树点缀在周围的山坡上。这就像大自然奇伟的王宫,庄严肃穆,寂静无声,偶尔只有水浪拍岸、巨石坠落,和冰层断裂的声音——这是自然法则的鬼斧神工,造化天地,——在群山之中回荡,打破了四周原有的寂静。

这些奇伟的景色,在精神上给了我最大的安慰。它让我超脱那些杂念,虽然心中的忧伤并没有被轻易驱散,但是确实缓解了我的情绪,让我平静下来。眼前的景色,也在一定程度上分散了我的心思,使我暂时不再想那些一个月以来始终困扰我的事情。夜晚,我安然入睡。而那些白天看到的景色又朦朦胧胧地出现在我的梦境之中——圣洁的雪峰,闪闪发光的峰顶,郁郁葱葱的松树林,陡峭突兀的悬崖峭壁,还有在云端翱翔的苍鹰,都在我的梦中缭绕。

可是第二天早上,在我梦醒时分,发现一切都不见了踪影,那些让我心旷神怡的景致都随着梦境消逝而去,悲观的情绪又重新压上我的心头。外面大雨倾盆,群山雾气缭绕,那些巍峨的山峦在云雾中若隐若现。但是我仍要冲破迷雾,搜寻它们的踪影。狂风暴雨对我来说又算得了什么呢?我牵出骡子,决定去攀登蒙坦弗特峰。

我至今记得,当我第一次看到壮观无比、漫漫移动的冰川的时候,心头所产生的那种奇异的感觉。它让我的心里产生一种欣喜若狂的感觉,仿佛我的灵魂也生出了翅膀,要从这个混沌的世界中飞向欢乐和光明的世界。自然界庄严奇伟的景观总能令我肃然起敬,抛开以往对生活的忧虑。我决定不用向导,单独前行,因为我很清楚那条山路,并且其他人在场,只会破坏宁静寂寥的山色美景。

山势虽然陡峭,但是在岩壁上有一条开凿出来的石阶小路,蜿蜒通向几乎是垂直坡度的顶峰。眼前的景色一片荒芜,到处是雪崩后留下的痕迹,很多树干被从中折断,有的树干脆被连根拔起,倒在路旁,有些树歪歪斜斜地靠在突出的山石上,或者倒在其他树上。

再往上攀登的时候,山路也渐渐被纵横的堆满积雪的沟壑截断,山石不断从上面滚落下来。有一块巨石非常危险,因为最轻微的震动,比如你大着嗓门说话,那在空气中产生的震动也足以造成对你的灭顶之灾。这里的松树长得并不高大、茂密,但是远远看来黑压压的,增添了一种萧瑟的气氛。

我俯瞰下面的山谷,浩淼的雾气从流经峡谷的河流上升起,云雾缭绕地掩映着对面的群山,那些山峰的峰顶已经被茫茫云海严严实实的遮了起来。黑沉沉的天空正下着漫天大雨,使我周围的景物显得更加阴郁。哎!为什么人类要拥有比那些动物更敏锐的感官呢?因为这些实在是多余的情感啊。如果我们的内心只为饥、渴和欲望而冲动的话,那也许我们的心灵倒更自由得多。但是现在,就算是一阵风,或者是无意中听到的言片语、或是看见的景物都能让我们心旌摇曳,无法平静。

我们休憩

却被而噩梦将睡眠绞杀

我们苏醒

飘忽的思想却玷污了晴朗的天空

我们感觉我们想象我们思考

我们曾经欢笑也曾哭泣

我们时而庸人自扰

时而将一切烦忧摈弃

万物如是——悲喜哀愁,转瞬即逝

明朝永远不似昨日

哪有地久天长

只留无常在人间——

雪莱《无常》节选

当我爬到山顶时,快接近中午了。我坐在岩石上休息了片刻,俯瞰山下冰的世界。弥漫的雾气在冰川和周围的群山之间缭绕。这时,一阵微风吹开云雾,我往下爬到冰川上。冰川的表面并不平整,它像波涛起伏的海面般向上隆起,然后又渐渐下倾,当中还被很多深不见底的裂缝阻断。冰川大约有三英里宽,但是我花了将近两个小时才穿过它走到对面。

对面的一整座山都是光秃秃的峭壁岩石。我现在站的地方正对面三英里以外,就是蒙坦弗特山,庄严巍峨的勃朗峰从蒙坦弗特山上横空出世,耸立云霄。我站在山岩的凹处,久久凝望着这一片令人惊叹不已的景色。巨大的冰川在四周的群山之间蜿蜒逶迤,不时有险峻的山峰从冰河的凹陷处拔地而起。被冰雪覆盖的峰顶,在阳光的照耀下熠熠生辉。

我的心灵原本充满忧伤,但是现在却感到一丝欢欣雀跃,我禁不住大声宣告:"飘荡的精灵们,若你们真的能够飞翔,那就请不要滞留在狭窄的温床,就让我得见真容吧;不然你就把我作为你的伴侣,带我远离生命的欢乐吧。"

正当说话的时候,我突然看到远处有个人影正以极快的速度向我奔来。刚才我过冰川时万分小心的那些罅隙,对他来说却像如履平地,一越而过。而他离得比较近时,我就发现他的身材远远超过一般的人。我内心一阵慌乱,眼前一片模糊,头晕目眩的。但是一阵阴冷的山风吹过,我顿时清醒过来。

等到那个巨大、可怕的身影离我越来越近时,我已经确认无疑,那就是我亲手造出来的魔鬼。我浑身发抖,又气又怕。我下定决心,打算等他靠近时猛扑过去,跟他拼个肉搏战。他渐渐向我靠近,脸上的神情痛苦幽怨,还夹杂着一丝倨傲和怨毒,而他非比寻常的丑陋模样简直让人不能目睹。但是我并不在意,心头燃烧的怒火一开始几乎让我说不出话来。后来我恢复过来,把满腔的愤慨和轻蔑化成犀利的言语,喷涌而出,一下子将他震慑住。

"魔鬼!"我大叫道,"你居然胆敢靠近我?你难道不怕我会用愤怒的铁拳打破你的头颅吗?卑鄙的东西!你要么滚开!要么,就给我站住,让我把你踏成泥浆!然后,我就可以把你从地球上铲除,让那些被你残酷杀害的牺牲品复活!"

"我早就料到你会这样对我,"那个恶魔说道,"所有的人都憎恨悲惨不幸的人。而我是万物之中最不幸的,那么当然我会被人憎恨!而你,我的创造者,如此讨厌和蔑视你创造出来的生命。而我们其实是拴在一条绳上,休憩相关的,除非我们当中任何一个人死掉,我们的关系才算完。你意欲杀掉我。可是你怎能如此玩弄生命,不负责任?你要是对我履行职责,我也会对你,和其他的人类履行义务。如果你能答应我的条件,我就让你和其他人平安无事;但是如果你拒绝我,那我就会张开死神的獠牙,直到它喝饱了你的其他亲朋的鲜血为止。"

"该死的魔鬼!你这个凶残的恶魔!你罪恶深重,就算你被打入炼狱,遭受酷刑,都不够赎你的滔天罪行。恶魔!你借口我创造了你而责难我,那么你就来吧,我完全可以扑灭我不慎创造出来的生命火花。"

我怒火中烧,气愤到了极点。我朝他猛扑过去,恨不得和他拼个你死我活。

他很轻松地闪到一边,说道:"镇静!我恳请你在我的身上发泄你的怒火之前,先听我把话说完。难道我还没受够吗?而你还要增加我的痛苦?对我来说,生命也许只是为了积累无尽的痛苦,但毕竟是非常珍贵的,我肯定会为我的生存而战的。你别忘了,你把我造得比你本人更强有力,我的身材比你高多了,关节也更柔软灵活。但是我并不想和你作对,我是你创造出来的,我情愿对我的创造者惟命是从,如果你也能尽到你欠我的那部分责任。"

"哦,弗兰肯斯坦,你不要对别人一视同仁,却肆意践踏我的感情。你本来应该对我表现出公正,甚至是宽厚和慈爱的。别忘了,我是你创造出来的啊,我应该是你的‘亚当‘啊。但是现在我却像一个被贬谪下界的天使,无缘无故被你剥夺了快乐。我看到处都充满了幸福,可是单单我一个被排除在外?我本性也是仁慈、善良的,都是痛苦让我变成了恶魔。请你让我获得幸福吧,这样我就会重新变成品德高尚的人。"

"滚开!我才不听你的鬼话!你和我之间不会有任何共同点,我们是不共戴天的仇敌。滚开!要么我们就打一场,看看是你死还是我活!"

"我怎样才能打动你的心肠?难道我如此苦苦哀求,也不能让你善待一下你自己创造的东西吗?我正在恳求你发发善心,给我一点慈悲啊。相信我吧,弗兰肯斯坦,我本性善良,我的灵魂也曾闪耀过爱心和人性的光辉。但是我现在还不是形单影只,孤苦伶仃?而你,创造我的人,竟然也嫌弃我,那我还能从你的同类那儿得到什么希望呢?他们又不欠我的。他们只会排斥我,痛恨我。"

"现在,只有这座苍凉的山脉和凄冷的冰川,才是我的避难所。我在这里徘徊游荡,已经有很久了。这些冰窟窿现在成了我的住所,这是我惟一不用害怕的地方,也是人类惟一愿意施舍给我的东西。我现在只有向苍天致意,因为它比你们人类更善待我。如果让众人知道我的存在,他们肯定会像你一样对待我的,并且武装起来要致我于死地。难道我就不能憎恨那些摈弃我的人吗?我绝对不会和我的敌人和平相处。如果我很悲惨的话,他们也得分担一部分。"

"你是有能力来补偿我的,并且可以把其他人从灾祸中拯救出来,因为这个灾祸是你惹出来的,而且搞得这么大,以至于不但你和你的家人,还有其他成千上万的人都会被卷进这场轩然大波里。你就动一下恻隐之心吧,不要再对我冷若冰霜了。听听我的故事吧。等你听完了之后,你想唾弃我、还是怜悯我,都随你的便,你自己判断好了。但是请先听我说。何况根据人类的法律,就算是血债累累的罪犯,在被宣判之前,也有权为自己辩护。"

"听我说吧,弗兰肯斯坦。你就算指控我谋杀,但是你好歹也是想问心无愧地毁灭自己创造的生命的吧。啊,赞美人类永恒的公正吧!我并不是在求你饶恕我,我是想让你先听听我的话,然后,如果你想杀我,也能杀了我的话,那就请便好了。"

我答道:"你为什么要逼我去回忆那些我一想起来就会浑身发抖的事情啊,去回想起我是整件不幸的根源、和始作俑者?我诅咒那个该死的日子,那个你第一次看见光明的日子!我也诅咒我自己,诅咒我这双创造了你的双手!你已经让我身处无以言表的悲惨境地。你已经让我丧失了思考的能力,根本无法判断我对你是否公正。滚吧!不要让我再看到你丑陋的样子了!"

"我就这样减轻你的痛苦吧,我的创造者!"说着,他伸出了可怕的双手,挡在我的眼前。我奋力拨开了它们。他说,"这样,我才能让你看不到你讨厌的东西呀。这样,你还能听我说话,并对我怀有同情。凭我曾经拥有的美德,我要求你能这样做。听听我的经历吧。我的故事曲折离奇。而这儿的气候,也许对你脆弱的感官不太合适。跟我到山顶上的那间小屋里去吧。太阳现在还高高挂在天空,当太阳落山,隐藏在雪山背后,并照亮另一个世界的时候,你就可以听完我的故事,并且下个论断。结果全在你身上,是让我永远离开人类,去过一种对人类无害的生活,还是让我变成残害你们人类的祸害,并成为加速你自己毁灭的灾星,都由你说了算。"

他说完之后,就在前面引路,穿越冰川。我跟在后面。我的内心澎湃起伏,我开始并没有答应他,但是当我往前走的时候,我内心在衡量着他的申辩之辞,最后决心至少先听一下他的经历。一方面,我是受到了好奇心的驱使,而怜悯之心也让我做出这个决定。迄今为止,我都认为他是杀害我兄弟的凶手,所以我急切地想找到推翻或者肯定这个猜想的证据。而且,我也第一次想到,一个造物者应该对他创造的生命所负的责任。在我抱怨他的邪恶之前,我也应该让他快乐的。

因为这些想法,我终于同意了他的要求。我们穿越了冰川,爬上了对面的岩石。天气异常寒冷,雨又下开了。我们走进了他的小屋。那个魔鬼看起来欣喜若狂,可是我心情却无比沉重,非常沮丧。但是,我还是愿意先听他讲述自己的经历。我的这个讨厌的同伴在屋子里生了火,我靠着火堆边坐下,他然后开始讲述他的遭遇。