Astonishing though it may seem to many wizards, Muggles have not always been ignorant of the magical and monstrous creatures that we have worked so long and hard to hide. A glance through Muggle art and literature of the Middle Ages reveals that many of the creatures they now believe to be imaginary were then known to be real. The dragon, the griffin, the unicorn, the phoenix, the centaur – these and more are represented in Muggle works of that period, though usually with almost comical inexactitude.
一直以来,我们一直辛辛苦苦地把神奇生物藏匿起来,但麻瓜们也不是对他们一无所知的。这一点让大部分巫师都感到非常惊奇。我们只需要看看中世纪的麻瓜文学作品,就知道现在的麻瓜们眼里的虚幻生物,都是当时真实存在的。比如说龙、狮鹫、独角兽、凤凰、人马等等都在当时的麻瓜作品中得以呈现。虽然作品中的描述与事实相去甚远,但读来也甚是有趣。

 

However, a closed examination of Muggle bestiaries of that period demonstrates that most magical beasts either escaped Muggle notice completely or were mistaken for something else. Examine this surviving fragment of manuscript, written by one Brother Benedict, a Franciscan monk from Worcestershire:
但如果认真翻阅当时麻瓜的动物寓言集,我们就会发现,大多数神奇动物要么彻底避开了麻瓜们的视线,要么就被误认为其他动物。下面这段手稿片段出自伍斯特郡一位方济会修士——本尼迪克修士之手:

 

Todaye while travailing in the Herbe Garden, I did such aside the basil to discover a Ferret of monstrous size. It did not run nor hide as Ferrets are wont to do, but leapt upon me, throwing me backwards upon the ground and crying with most unnatural fury, ‘Get out of it, baldy!’ It did then bite my nose so viciously that I did bleed for several Hours. The Friar was unwillinge to believe that I had met a talking Ferret and did ask me whether I had been supping of Brother Boniface’s Turnip Wine. As my nose was still swollen and bloody I was excused Vespers. 今天,我在花园里干活的时候,拨开了些罗勒。然后发现了一只大得惊人的雪貂。但它不像别的雪貂那样仓皇逃跑躲藏,而是直接迎面把我撞倒,极度狰狞地大喊:”死秃子,给我滚开!“还恶狠狠地咬了我鼻子一口,害我流了好几小时血。可那个修道士不相信我见到了一只会说话的雪貂,还老问我是不是喝了博尼费斯修士家的萝卜酒。我想着反正我的鼻子还又肿又流血的,我就不做晚祷了。

 

 

 

 

Evidently our Muggle friends had unearthed not a ferret, as he supposed, but a Jarvey, most likely in pursuit of its favorite prey, gnomes.
这位麻瓜朋友发现的很明显不是雪貂,而是一只土扒貂。而且这只土扒貂很有可能正在追赶它最喜欢的猎物——地精。

 

Imperfect understanding is often more dangerous than ignorance, and the Muggles’ fear of magic was undoubtedly increased by their dread of what might be lurking in their herb gardens. Muggle persecution of wizards at this time was reaching a pitch hitherto unknown and sighting of such beasts as dragons and Hippogriffs were contributing to Muggle hysteria.
一知半解比无知更可怕。麻瓜们很害怕,不知道自己花园中隐匿着什么,这无疑加深了他们对魔法的恐惧。麻瓜们在目睹了龙、骏鹰等等神奇动物后,陷入歇斯底里。因此这段时期内,麻瓜对巫师的迫害达到巅峰。

 

It is not the aim of this work to discuss the dark days that preceded the wizards’ retreat into hiding4. All that concerns us here is the fate of those fabulous beasts that, like ourselves, would have to be concealed if Muggles were ever to be convinced there was no such thing as magic.
本书的目的并不在于讨论巫师们退隐藏身前的那段黑暗日子注4。我们关注的是神奇动物和我们自己的命运。如果麻瓜们坚持世上并无魔法,那我们和神奇动物都得四处寻找藏身之所。

 

The International Confederation of Wizards argued the matter out at their famous summit meeting of 1962. No fewer than seven weeks of sometimes acrimonious discussion between wizards of all nationalities were devoted to the troublesome question of magical creatures. How many species would we be able to conceal from Muggle notice and which should they be? Where and how should we hide them? The debate raged on, some creatures oblivious to the fact that their destiny was being decided, others contributing to the debate5.
国际巫师联合会在1962年的峰会上就此问题唇枪舌战一番,终于得出结论。各国巫师围绕神奇生物这一论点激烈争论了不下七周。我们能让多少种神奇动物、哪些神奇动物远离麻瓜视线?可以把它们藏哪儿去、怎样藏?这场争论日益激烈。不少生物都很清楚它们的命运即将被改写,也有不少生物加入到这场争论注5中来。

 

At last agreement was reached6. Twenty-seven species, ranging in size from dragons to Bundimuns, were to be hidden from Muggles so as to create the illusion that they had never existed outside the imagination. This number was increased over the following century, as wizards became more confident in their methods of concealment. In 1750, Clause 73 was inserted in the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, to which wizard ministries worldwide conform today:
最后,大家达成了共识注6。从龙到土松鼠,按照体型大小列出的二十七种动物不能被麻瓜们注意到,从而制造出一种“这些动物只存在于想象中”的假象。随后一个世纪中,藏匿起来的神奇动物数量不断增长,巫师们对其使用的藏身之法满怀信心。1750年,《巫师保密国际规约》新增第七十三条条款。直至今日,各国魔法部仍遵循这一条款:

Each wizarding governing body will be responsible for the concealment, care and control of all magical beasts, beings and spirits dwelling within its territory’s borders. Should any such creature cause harm to, or draw the notice of, the Muggle community, that nation’s wizarding governing body will be subject to discipline by the International Confederation of Wizards. 所有巫师理事机构都对其辖内所有神奇动物、人和幽灵有藏匿、照料和控制的义务。若上述生物妨害麻瓜社会,或引起麻瓜社会的注意,其所归属的巫师理事机构会受到国际巫师联合会的惩罚。

4 Anyone interested in a full account of this particularly bloody period of wizarding history should consult A History of Magic by Bathilda bagshot (Little Red Books, 1947)
注4:对巫师史上这段格外血腥的时期感兴趣的话,请阅巴希达·巴沙特所著的《魔法史》。(小红书出版社,1947年版)

5 Delegations of centaurs, merpeople and goblins were persuaded to attend the summit.
注5:人马、人鱼和妖精代表团被说服前往参加峰会。

6 Except by the goblins.
注6:妖精除外。

 

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