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She never embraced us

I was always a little in awe of Great-aunt Stephina Roos. Indeed, as children we were all frankly terrified of her. The fact that she did not live with the family, preferring her tiny cottage and solitude to the comfortable but rather noisy household where we were brought up-added to the respectful fear in which she was held.

  我对斯蒂菲娜老姑总是怀着敬畏之情。说实在话,我们几个孩子对她都怕得要死。她不和家人一块生活,宁愿住在她的小屋子里,而不愿住在舒舒服服、热热闹闹的家里--我们六个孩子都是在家里带大的--这更加重了我们对她的敬畏之情。

  We used to take it in turn to carry small delicacies which my mother had made down from the big house to the little cottage where Aunt Stephia and an old colored maid spent their days. Old Tnate Sanna would open the door to the rather frightened little messenger and would usher him-or her - into the dark voor-kamer, where the shutters were always closed to keep out the heat and the flies. There we would wait, in trembling but not altogether unpleasant.

  我们经常轮替着从我们住的大房子里带些母亲为她做的可口的食品到她和一名黑人女仆一块过活的那间小屋里去。桑娜老姨总是为每一个上门来的怯生生的小使者打开房门,将他或她领进昏暗的客厅。那里的百叶窗长年关闭着,以防热气和苍蝇进去。我们总是在那里哆哆嗦嗦、但又不是完全不高兴地等着斯蒂菲娜老姑出来。

  She was a tiny little woman to inspire so much veneration. She was always dressed in black, and her dark clothes melted into the shadows of the voor-kamer and made her look smaller than ever. But you felt. The moment she entered. That something vital and strong and somehow indestructible had come in with her, although she moved slowly, and her voice was sweet and soft.

  一个像她那样身材纤细的女人居然能赢得我们如此尊敬。她总是身穿黑色衣服,与客厅里的阴暗背景融成一体,将她的身材衬托得更加娇小。但她一进门,我们就感到有一种说不清道不明、充满活力和刚强的气氛,尽管她的步子慢悠、声调甜柔。

  She never embraced us. She would greet us and take out hot little hands in her own beautiful cool one, with blue veins standing out on the back of it, as though the white skin were almost too delicate to contain them.

  她从不拥抱我们,但总是和我们寒暄,将我们热乎乎的小手握在她那双秀美清爽的手里,她的手背上露出一些青筋,就像手上白嫩的皮肤细薄得遮不住它们似的。

  Tante Sanna would bring in dishes of sweet, sweet, sticky candy, or a great bowl of grapes or peaches, and Great-aunt Stephina would converse gravely about happenings on the farm ,and, more rarely, of the outer world.

  桑娜阿姨每次都要端出几碟粘乎乎的南非糖果和一钵葡萄或桃子给我们吃。斯蒂菲娜老姑总是一本正经他说些农场里的事,偶尔也谈些外边世界发生的事。 

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