Unit 08 The Moon Princess…………………………………123
A mythical(神话的,神话般的)music echoed over the tall buildings, floating toward the heavens through clusters of stars and gently making a light rain sprinkle over the forehead of the Moon Princess. She slept on a couch of cloud and on a pillow of fur, her pitch-black hair dazzling on the pure white of her bed; her six male servants knelt at the foot of her and waited. She stirred, her white suit shimmering with diamonds and crystals as the moon cast its brilliant rays over her slender body, and her deep blue eyes opened. Her servants bowed down in piety(虔诚)and offered her six black boxes, each containing a jewel. The Princess looked quickly over them and chose a jewel, then flung it into the orbit where it became a falling star that she hoped people would see so they could pray on it. She stood up and quivered slightly, still recovering from her long sleep and her devout(虔敬的)servants rushed shortly to hold her tap. The Princess had been sleeping for a hundred solar calendar years, a punishment from a powerful and ambitious Emperor on earth because she had resolved a conflict between his people and another tribe and had been hated for it. She slowly walked over the nickel-plating cube boxes that were laid out for her to make a bridge toward the Moon. She stepped onto its cool surface and toward her throne, one made of silver encrusted with stars that could no longer hold themselves in the sky.
The Princess sat down and turned to her servants who absently lay at her feet. She gestured for them to stand up. “Tell me,” she said, “tell me about the world now; are there still wars?” Her servants nodded sadly. One stepped forward, his blonde hair brushing against his cheek and he knelt at his Princess’s feet. “My dear lady”, he spoke sadly yet his voice hinted a warning(警告), “as you slept, the Emperor passed away and his son Calaf was his successor and he is even more blood-thirsty than his father. We all hate him.” The Princess rose to her feet.
“Then I must stop him。I cannot stand to see innocent people killed in the name of an Emperor. Are they still fighting with the neighboring tribe?” The man nodded. “Then once again I must try to stop this mischief. I do not care what happens to me as long as they stop this nonsense.” She walked swiftly across the cold surface of the moon and looked toward the earth. “Fetch my cloak,” she commanded, “I will go down now to them and negotiate with this man.” Without saying anything her servants fetched a white silk cloak and wrapped it round her shoulders. “Good luck,” they told her in a neutral tone. The princess jumped and floated gently from the moon to earth below.
Emperor Calaf sat on a gold throne with velvet cushions at his back. He lived in abundance. He had everything no one could ever want and he boasted about it, but he was not satisfied with it. He wanted more and he didn’t care how he got anything as long as it pleased him. He oppressed the workers and raised taxes so arbitrarily(任意地)that people in poverty struggled to pay them. He looked out of the temple’s window. The royal court doors burst open and two muscular guards hurled in a terrified man who cowered(畏缩)at the wicked Emperor’s feet. This was what Calaf had been waiting for. This man couldn’t pay his taxes so he would be sentenced to death. The man said nothing, either too scared to speak or knew nothing better than to be silent. The Emperor smiled evilly(邪恶地)and kicked the man in the face so he fell back into the guards.“Take him and execute him. I want it in public so all those other fools can see what happens if you don’t pay up on time.”The guards bowed from the waist and dragged the man away. Calaf got up and for an Emperor he was more like a celebrity, very slim and good-looking. He walked down a corridor after the guards, wanting to see this death. It was fun for him to listen to the man’s scream as his loyal executioner(刽子手)either slitted his throat or beheaded(斩首)him on a rack. He turned left from where the guards went out and onto a balcony, which had a better view there. The crowds called out the executioner’s name over and over, but Calaf didn’t know why they were so excited that they were acting as if this were an enemy being put into death.
One woman, however, caught his attention. She wasn’t from around here and that fascinated Calaf because he had never known anyone from other towns came here. Her beauty was perfect and she seemed disgusted by the crowds and the execution. He watched her run through the cheering crowds as the executioner brought his axe down. “Where’s she gone?” He thought to himself, and then he saw she was heading into his temple. “How dare she!?” Calaf stormed from the balcony into his throne room and found the woman stood by the door. He froze as her gaze pierced him. “Who are you?” He demanded, “and why are you here?”
“I am the Moon Princess and you were born from the blood of many people and from the body of your father, by reputation the most sinful man I have ever known.”Calaf stood in stunned silence, how dared she speak to him like that?“I know you,”he said,“you are the one who tried to stop the war between my tribe and Emperor Timur’s tribe. I thought my father put you to sleep.”
“Alas(唉),he did but 1 only slept for one hundred years. After seventy-five I recalled your father passed away and a child of ten was left in his place, am I right?”
“Yes! I was ten when I took over throne and I am doing what my father wanted, I have destroyed Timur’s tribe and made a lot of money for my kingdom.”The Princess laughed。“making a lot of money for the kingdom? That is a lie。you’re filling your own pockets with soiled gold and I am going to stop you once and for all!”Now it was Calaf’s turn to laugh,“I would like to see you try, you are nothing but a woman and how would you stand against my great army? Go you stupid creature and don’t return!”The Princess said nothing and went out of the throne room. She would stay here and find out more before taking further action.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8583-246970-1.html