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【书籍搬运】The Dowry 嫁妆

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原文地址:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Dowry
作者:马罗巴·苏尔
翻译:花溪流萤
Ynaleigh是G尤娜l最富有的地主,长年累月的积蓄为迎娶自己女儿Genefra的人备下了丰厚的嫁妆。恰逢女儿到达法定婚龄,他将这些财宝锁于安全之处,并宣布自己女儿正待字闺中。她是一位漂亮姑娘,一个学者,一位伟大的运动员,只是常常闷闷不乐。相比于她其他方面的巨大吸引力,这些个人缺点远不足打消求婚者的念头。每个男人都明白成为Genefra的丈夫以及Ynaleigh的女婿意味着巨大的财富。单此一条就足以令数以百计的男人赶来 G尤娜l示爱。

能够迎娶我女儿的男人”Ynaleigh向人群说道:“一定不能出于贪婪,必须向我展示自己的财富,方可令我满意。”

这条小小的声明使大部分求婚者打起了退堂鼓,他们很清楚自己贫乏的财富根本不足以打动这位地主。另外的人则于数日后身披银丝纺制的精美killarc服装,在异国仆人的陪同下,乘着华美的马车再次前来。在前来争取Ynaleigh认可的人群中,没有任何人的装束华丽度能胜过Welyn N艾莉llic。这个以前并不为人知的年轻人,驾乘着一辆绘有巨龙图案的油亮乌木马车,服装由最稀缺材料织成,随从着一群在G尤娜l从未见过的梦幻般的仆人,她们头上熠熠生辉的宝石,将她们点缀的珠光宝气(直译的话太恶寒了orz)。

但是Ynaleigh.并不满足。

“想要迎娶我女儿的男人必须证明自己是一个机智的伙伴,我可不会选一个蠢货当女婿和生意助手,”他声明道

这个宣言再次淘汰了大批的富家子弟,他们过着养尊处优的生活,从来不需要考虑其他问题。但数日之后仍有不少人前来展示自己的智慧和学识,他们引经据典,大谈哲学思想和炼金理论。偕同前来的Welyn N艾莉llic则恳求Ynaleigh同他一起来到G尤娜l外面自己租住的庄园用餐。在此,地主见识了Welyn N艾莉llic在先代精灵书册翻译方面的卓越成绩,对其虽咄咄逼人但深富魅力的智慧大加赞赏。

然而,尽管十分属意Welyn N艾莉llic,Ynaleigh还有另外一项测试。

“我十分爱我的女儿,”Ynaleigh说道。“我希望迎娶她的男人同样能令她开心起来。只要你们之中有人能使她笑出来,她和她丰厚的嫁妆,就归谁。”

数日间,前来的求婚者络绎不绝,对她歌唱,表明自己的真心,用最具诗意的句子歌颂她的美丽。但Genefra所做的仅仅是厌恶和抑郁的眼光盯着他们。站在她身边的Ynaleigh开始失去信心,女儿的求婚者在此环节纷纷落败,直到Welyn N艾莉llic进入房间。

“我能令您的女儿笑起来”他说道。:“我保证,我能令她笑出来,但您必须先同意我们的婚事。如果婚礼进行1个小时之内她不笑的话,婚礼随时可以取消。”

Ynaleigh转向自己的女儿。她没有笑,但是眼神中却对这位年轻人充满好奇。因为现在已经没有竞争者,所以他答应了这个请求。

“嫁妆婚礼进行完才能给你”Ynaleigh说道:“只订婚还不够”

“即便这样,我能先看看嫁妆么?”

考虑到嫁妆的知名度以及年轻人是目前最有可能得到他的人,Ynaleigh答应了,而且他自认对Welyn已了解颇深。在他的带领下,Welyn, Ynaleigh, 忧郁的Genefra,以及城主一齐走入了G尤娜l要塞深处。要进入第一个地下室必须依次触碰一系列的北欧符号,稍有差池,便会触发一排毒箭射向来贼。下一道安全机关,则更令Ynaleigh引以为傲—一个由其上生有18齿痕的锯齿刀片组成的机关,需要3把钥匙同时开启方可进入。如果某人只开启其中一把锁,锯齿刀将令其肠穿肚烂。最终,他们来到了储藏室。

但是里面空空如也。

“洛可汗在上,东西被偷了!” Ynaleigh哭喊道。“但这怎么可能?又有谁能做到?”

“一个卑微,同时也可以说非常聪明的窃贼,”Welyn说道。“他已经暗恋你的女儿好多年,但是既没有惊人魅力没有令人印象深刻的学识。换言之,直到他取得了女孩的嫁妆才获得了求亲的机会。”

“是你?”Ynaleigh难以置信的怒吼道。接下来发生的事更加匪夷所思。

Genefra突然笑了,她做梦都不会遇见这么精彩的窃贼。她在父亲圆瞪的怒目注视下投入了Welyn的怀抱。不一会儿,Ynaleigh也笑出声来。

一个月后,Genefra和Welyn如期举行了婚礼。尽管Genefra实际上相当贫穷,同时并无多少学识,但是令Ynaleigh惊奇的是,有这样一位女婿当生意伙伴,他的财富一直在急速增加。只是他笃定不去问这些多出来的钱是怎么来的(偷来的?XD)。

出版者按

这种一个男人尝试赢得那些经由父亲(通常是富翁或者国王)对求婚者采取重重测试的少女的芳心的桥段相当流行。举例来讲,此构思同样见于Jole Yolivess的“Benitah与4个追求者”之中。然其角色行为与矮人出入甚大。今天,没有人知晓矮人的婚俗,甚至连它们是否结婚都不甚了了。

结合马罗巴·苏尔的其他故事,一种有关矮人消失的荒诞理论据此展开。该理论提出这样一个观点,矮人从未真正消失。他们从未离开奈恩星球,甚至不曾离开泰姆瑞尔,只是深藏于我们之间罢了。不少学者援引“阿祖拉与盒子”的故事指出矮人害怕阿祖拉,为了躲避这种他们不可知亦不可控之存在的注视,他们被迫穿起奇莫以及高精灵的服装并且融入到他们的生活习惯中。

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Ynaleigh was the wealthiest landowner in Gunal, and he had over the years saved a tremendous dowry for the man who would marry his daughter, Genefra. When she reached the age of consent, he locked the gold away for safe-keeping, and announced his intention to have her marry. She was a comely lass, a scholar, a great athlete, but dour and brooding in aspect. This personality defect did not bother her potential suitors any more than her positive traits impressed them. Every man knew the tremendous wealth that would be his as the husband of Genefra and son-in-law of Ynaleigh. That alone was enough for hundreds to come to Gunal to pay court.
"The man who will marry my daughter," said Ynaleigh to the assembled. "Must not be doing so purely out of avarice. He must demonstrate his own wealth to my satisfaction."
This simple pronouncement removed a vast majority of the suitors, who knew they could not impress the landowner with their meager fortunes. A few dozen did come forward within a few days, clad in fine killarc cloth of spun silver, accompanied by exotic servants, traveling in magnificent carriages. Of all who came who met with Ynaleigh's approval, none arrived in a more resplendent fashion that [sic] Welyn Naerillic. The young man, who no one had ever heard of, arrived in a shining ebon coach drawn by a team of dragons, his clothing of rarest manufacture, and accompanied by an army of the most fantastical servants any of Gunal had ever seen. Valets with eyes on all sides of their heads, maidservants that seemed cast in gemstones.
But such was not enough with Ynaleigh.
"The man who marries my daughter must prove himself a intelligent fellow, for I would not have an ignoramus as a son-in-law and business partner," he declared.
This eliminated a large part of the wealthy suitors, who, through their lives of luxury, had never needed to think very much if at all. Still some came forward over the next few days, demonstrating their wit and learning, quoting the great sages of the past and offering their philosophies of metaphysics and alchemy. Welyn Naerillic too came and asked Ynaleigh to dine at the villa he had rented outside of Gunal. There the landowner saw scores of scribes working on translations of Aldmeri tracts, and enjoyed the young man's somewhat irreverent but intriguing intelligence.
Nevertheless, though he was much impressed with Welyn Naerillic, Ynaleigh had another challenge.
"I love my daughter very much," said Ynaleigh. "And I hope that the man who marries her will make her happy as well. Should any of you make her smile, she and the great dowry are yours."
The suitors lined up for days, singing her songs, proclaiming their devotion, describing her beauty in the most poetic of terms. Genefra merely glared at all with hatred and melancholia. Ynaleigh who stood by her side began to despair at last. His daughter's suitors were failing to a man at this task. Finally Welyn Naerillic came to the chamber.
"I will make your daughter smile," he said. "I dare say, I'll make her laugh, but only after you've agreed to marry us. If she is not delighted within one hour of our engagement, the wedding can be called off."
Ynaleigh turned to his daughter. She was not smiling, but her eyes had sparked with some morbid curiosity in this young man. As no other suitor had even registered that for her, he agreed.
"The dowry is naturally not to be paid 'til after you've wed," said Ynaleigh. "Being engaged is not enough."
"Might I see the dowry still?" asked Welyn.
Knowing how fabled the treasure was and understanding that this would likely be the closest the young man would come to possessing it, Ynaleigh agreed. He had grown quite found of Welyn. On his orders, Welyn, Ynaleigh, glum Genefra, and the castellan delved deep into the stronghold of Gunal. The first vault had to be opened by touching a series of runic symbols: should one of the marks be mispressed, a volley of poisoned arrows would have struck the thief. Ynaleigh was particularly proud of the next level of security -- a lock composed of blades with eighteen tumblers required three keys to be turned simultaneously to allow entry. The blades were designed to eviscerate any who merely picked one of the locks. Finally, they reached the storeroom.
It was entirely empty.
"By Lorkhan, we've been burgled!" cried Ynaleigh. "But how? Who could have done this?"
"A humble but, if I may say so, rather talented burglar," said Welyn. "A man who has loved your daughter from afar for many years, but did not possess the glamour or the learning to impress. That is, until the gold from her dowry afforded me the opportunity."
"You?" bellowed Ynaleigh, scarcely able to believe it. Then something even more unbelievable happened.
Genefra began to laugh. She had never even dreamed of meeting anyone like this thief. She threw herself into his arms before her father's outraged eyes. After a moment, Ynaleigh too began to laugh.
Genefra and Welyn were married in a month's time. Though he was in fact quite poor and had little scholarship, Ynaleigh was amazed how much his wealth increased with such a son-in-law and business partner. He only made certain never to ask from whence came the excess gold.
Publisher's Note
The tale of a man trying to win the hand of a maiden whose father (usually a wealthy man or a king) tests each suitor is quite common. See, for instance, the more recent "Four Suitors of Benitah" by Jole Yolivess. The behavior of the characters is quite out of character for the Dwemer. No one today knows their marriage customs, or even if they had marriage at all.
One rather odd theory of the Disappearance of the Dwarves came from this and a few other tales of "Marobar Sul." It was proposed that the Dwemer never, in fact, left. They did not depart Nirn, much less the continent of Tamriel, and they are still among us, disguised. These scholars use the story of "Azura and the Box" to suggest that the Dwemer feared Azura, a being they could neither understand nor control, and they adopted the dress and manner of Chimer and Altmer in order to hide from Azura's gaze.

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