高中英语散文欣赏(8)铜镜

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    我们在参观博物馆时,常常看到各种古时候铜镜。它是我国古时候人民用来整容的家庭日用品。这些铜镜大多是从古墓中出土的,也有少数是传世之物。

    早在公元前11世纪,我国先民已经使用铜镜了。战国时期,铜镜在民间盛行。镜的正面磨光发亮,背面有的饰单层或双层花纹,常见的有兽面纹、花叶纹、龙凤纹等。西汉时期,铜镜较厚重,纹饰多几何图案、神人和禽兽纹等。并有铸刻铭文,每句仅三至四字,例如:“长相思”、“毋相忘”、“常富贵”、“乐未央”等。内容多是通俗的吉祥语。宋、元时期出现了圆镜、长方镜、菱镜、八棱镜和带柄手镜等。清朝以后,逐渐被玻璃镜所代替。

    上海博物馆展出一件铜镜——“透光镜”,它是西汉时期的珍品,直径为11 .5厘米。这面铜镜与普通铜镜一样,背面有图案,还有铭文。奇怪的是,当一束光线照到镜面,。反射投影在墙壁上,墙上的光亮圈内竟出现铜镜背面的图案和文字,好像从镜背“透”过来的,故称“透光镜”。对于这种现象,在过去很长的时间里,连科学家们都感到惊奇,大家把它称做“魔镜”。今天,我国已可仿制出售,作为旅游纪念品,很受外国游客的欢迎。

    我国古时候常把铜镜当做随葬品。在古墓中,往往发现铜镜放置在死者的头顶或胸侧。有时把铜镜和木梳一起放在漆匣内或小荷包里。在发掘古墓时,还发现有的铜镜放在墓顶上方,据说这是为了“辟邪”和“降妖”。

The Bronze Mirror

Whenever we visit a museum, we see various types of ancient bronze mirrors. Used as a household necessity for dressing by the ancient Chinese people, these bronze mirrors were mostly unearthed from ancient tombs, while some are kept as heirlooms.

Our ancestors started to use bronze mirrors in as early as the 11th century B.C. During the Warring States Period, bronze mirrors prevailed among the populace. The front side of the mirrors, after being polished, glistens while the backside is embellished with single-layered or double-layered patterns, among which the commonly seen are thus- of animal faces, flowers and leaves, dragons and phoenixes. During the Western flan Period, the bronze mirrors used to be relatively thick and heavy. Most of the decorative patterns were of geometrical forms, supernatural figures, or fowls and animals, accompanied by inscriptions of only three or four characters with such meanings as "eternal love", "never to forget", "wealth for ever" and "everlasting happiness". The content frequently dealt with common well-wishings. During the Song and Yuan Dynasties the bronze mirrors appeared in all shapes: round, rectangular, rhomboidal, octagonal, and those with a handle. Since the Qing Dynasty, however, the bronze mirror has gradually given way to the glass mirror.

In Shanghai Museum, one finds a treasure of the Western Han Period, the "penetrative bronze mirror", measuring 11.5 cm. in diameter. Like ordinary bronze mirrors it bears patterns and inscriptions on the back. But what amazes people is that when a bundle of rays is projected onto the surface of the mirror, which, in turn, reflects the light on the wall, the patterns and inscriptions on the backside are shown in the ring of the light, as if they had penetrated the whole thickness of the mirror. Hence the name of the mirror. For a long time in the past, even scientists were so puzzled at the phenomenon that it was called a "magic mirror". Today, reproductions of this mirror are being made and sold as souvenirs and they appeal very much to tourists.

In ancient times, bronze mirrors were very often used as sacrificial objects. In the ancient tombs, one can always expect to find bronze mirrors placed on top of the head or beside the chest of the dead. Sometimes, bronze mirrors and combs were put together in lacquer boxes or small pouches. In unearthing ancient tombs, bronze mirrors were sometimes discovered on the inner topsides, in order to keep away evil spirits and subdue demons, so it was said.


               
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