这是他唯一能听见的话语，唯一能为他打破那万籁俱寂的声音。他心花怒放，宛如鸟儿沐浴着阳光。霍然间，巨钟的疯狂劲儿感染了他，他的目光变得异乎寻常，就像蜘蛛等待苍蝇那样，伺候着巨钟晃动过来，猛然纵身一跳，扑到巨钟上面。于是，他悬吊在深渊上空，随着大钟可怕的摆动被掷抛出去，遂牢牢抓住青铜巨怪的护耳，双膝紧夹着巨怪，用脚后跟猛踢，加上整个身子的冲击力和重量，巨钟益发响得更狠了。这时，钟楼震撼了；他，狂呼怒吼，牙齿咬得格格直响，棕色头发倒竖起来，胸腔里发出风箱般的响声，眼睛喷着火焰，而巨面钟在他驱策下气喘吁吁，如马嘶鸣。于是，圣母院的巨钟也罢，卡齐莫多也罢，全然不复存在了，而只成了梦幻，成了旋风，成了狂风暴雨，成了骑着音响驰骋而产生的眩晕，成了紧攥住飞马马背狂奔的幽灵，成了半人半钟的怪物，成了可怕的阿斯托夫，骑着活生生的鹰翅马身的青铜神奇怪兽飞奔。 有了这个非凡生灵的存在，整座主教堂才有了某种难以形容的生气。似乎从他身上—— 至少群众夸大其词的迷信说法是如此—— 散发出一种神秘的气息，圣母院所有大小石头方有了活力，这古老教堂的五脏六腑才悸动起来。只要知道他在那里，人们便即刻仿佛看见走廊里和大门上那成千上万雕像个个都活了起来，动了起来。确实，这大教堂宛如一个大活人，在他手下服服贴贴，唯命是从，他可以随心所欲，叫它随时放开大嗓门呼喊。卡齐莫多犹如一个常住圣母院的精灵，依附在它的身上，把整座教堂都充满了。由于他，这座宏伟的建筑物仿佛才喘息起来。他确实无处不在，一身化作许许多多卡齐莫多，密布于这座古迹的每寸地方。有时，人们惊恐万分，隐约看见钟楼的顶端有个奇形怪状的侏儒在攀登，在蠕动，在爬行，从钟楼外面坠下深渊，从一个突角跳跃到另一个突角，要钻到某个蛇发女魔雕像的肚皮里去掏什么东西：那是卡齐莫多在掏乌鸦的窝窠。有时，会在教堂某个阴暗角落里碰见某种活生生的喷火怪物，神色阴沉地蹲在那里：那是卡齐莫多在沉思。有时，又会看见钟楼下有个偌大的脑袋瓜和四只互不协调的手脚吊在一根绳索的末梢拼命摇晃：那是卡齐莫多在敲晚祷钟或祷告三钟夜间，时常在钟楼顶上那排环绕着半圆形后殿四周的不牢固的锯齿形栏杆上面，可以看见一个丑恶的形体游荡：那还是圣母院的驼子。于是，附近的女人都说，整座教堂显得颇为怪诞、神奇和可怖；这里那里都有张开的眼睛和嘴巴；那些伸着脖子、咧着大嘴，日夜守护在这可怕教堂周围的石犬、石蟒、石龙，吼声可闻；若是圣诞夜，大钟似乎在咆哮，召唤信徒们去参加热气腾腾的午夜弥撒，教堂阴森的正面上弥漫着某种气氛，就好像那高大的门廊把人群生吞了进去，也好像那花瓣格子窗睁着眼睛在注视着人群。而所有这一切都来自卡齐莫多。
摘自：The Hunchback of Notre Dame，王若平等主编，航空工业出版社，2007年。
What he loved above all else in the maternal edifice, that which aroused his soul, and made it open its poor wings, which it kept so miserably folded in its cavern, that which sometimes rendered him even happy, was the bells. He loved them, fondled them, talked to them, and understood them. From the chime in the spire, over the intersection of the aisles and nave, to the great bell of the front, he cherished tenderness for them all. The central spire and the two towers were to him as three great cages, whose birds, reared by him, and sang for him alone. Yet it was these very bells which had made him deaf; but mothers often love best that child which has caused them the most suffering.
It is true that their voice was the only one which he could still hear. On this score, the big bell was his beloved. It was she whom he preferred out of all that family of noisy girls which bustled above him, on festival days. This bell was named Marie. She was alone in the southern tower, with her sister Jacqueline, a bell of lesser size, shut up in a smaller cage beside hers. This Jacqueline was so called from the name of the wife of Jean Montague, who had given it to the church, which had not prevented his going and figuring without his head at Montfauçon. In the second tower there were six other bells, and, finally, six smaller ones inhabited the belfry over the crossing, with the wooden bell, which rang only between after dinner on Good Friday and the morning of the day before Easter. So Quasimodo had fifteen bells in his seraglio; but big Marie was his favorite.
No idea can be formed of his delight on days when the grand peal was sounded. At the moment when the archdeacon dismissed him, and said, "Go!" he mounted the spiral staircase of the clock tower faster than any one else could have descended it. He entered perfectly breathless into the aerial chamber of the great bell; he gazed at her a moment, devoutly and lovingly; then he gently addressed her and patted her with his hand, like a good horse, which is about to set out on a long journey. He pitied her for the trouble that she was about to suffer. After these first caresses, he shouted to his assistants, placed in the lower story of the tower, to begin. They grasped the ropes, the wheel creaked, the enormous capsule of metal started slowly into motion. Quasimodo followed it with his glance and trembled. The first shock of the clapper and the brazen wall made the framework upon which it was mounted quiver. Quasimodo vibrated with the bell.
"Vah!" he cried, with a senseless burst of laughter. However, the movement of the bass was accelerated, and, in proportion as it described a wider angle, Quasimodo's eye opened also more and more widely, phosphoric and flaming. At length the grand peal began; the whole tower trembled; woodwork, leads, cut stones, all groaned at once, from the piles of the foundation to the trefoils of its summit. Then Quasimodo boiled and frothed; he went and came; he trembled from head to foot with the tower. The bell, furious, running riot, presented to the two walls of the tower alternately its brazen throat, whence escaped that tempestuous breath, which is audible leagues away. Quasimodo stationed himself in front of this open throat; he crouched and rose with the oscillations of the bell, breathed in this overwhelming breath, gazed by turns at the deep place, which swarmed with people, two hundred feet below him, and at that enormous, brazen tongue which came, second after second, to howl in his ear.
It was the only speech which he understood, the only sound which broke for him the universal silence. He swelled out in it as a bird does in the sun. All of a sudden, the frenzy of the bell seized upon him; his look became extraordinary; he lay in wait for the great bell as it passed, as a spider lies in wait for a fly, and flung himself abruptly upon it, with might and main. Then, suspended above the abyss, borne to and fro by the formidable swinging of the bell, he seized the brazen monster by the ear-laps, pressed it between both knees, spurred it on with his heels, and redoubled the fury of the peal with the whole shock and weight of his body. Meanwhile, the tower trembled; he shrieked and gnashed his teeth, his red hair rose erect, his breast heaving like a bellows, his eye flashed flames, the monstrous bell neighed, panting, beneath him; and then it was no longer the great bell of Notre- Dame nor Quasimodo: it was a dream, a whirlwind, a tempest, dizziness mounted astride of noise; a spirit clinging to a flying crupper, a strange centaur, half man, half bell; a sort of horrible Astolphus, borne away upon a prodigious hippogriff of living bronze.
The presence of this extraordinary being caused, as it were, a breath of life to circulate throughout the entire cathedral. It seemed as though there escaped from him, at least according to the growing superstitions of the crowd, a mysterious emanation which animated all the stones of Notre-Dame, and made the deep bowels of the ancient church to palpitate. It sufficed for people to know that he was there, to make them believe that they beheld the thousand statues of the galleries and the fronts in motion. And the cathedral did indeed seem a docile and obedient creature beneath his hand; it waited on his will to raise its great voice; it was possessed and filled with Quasimodo, as with a familiar spirit. One would have said that he made the immense edifice breathe. He was everywhere about it; in fact, he multiplied himself on all points of the structure. Now one perceived with affright at the very top of one of the towers, a fantastic dwarf climbing, writhing, crawling on all fours, descending outside above the abyss, leaping from projection to projection, and going to ransack the belly of some sculptured gorgon; it was Quasimodo dislodging the crows. Again, in some obscure corner of the church one came in contact with a sort of living chimera, crouching and scowling; it was Quasimodo engaged in thought. Sometimes one caught sight, upon a bell tower, of an enormous head and a bundle of disordered limbs swinging furiously at the end of a rope; it was Quasimodo ringing vespers or the Angelus. Often at night a hideous form was seen wandering along the frail balustrade of carved lacework, which crowns the towers and borders the circumference of the apse; again it was the hunchback of Notre-Dame. Then, said the women of the neighborhood, the whole church took on something fantastic, supernatural, horrible; eyes and mouths were opened, here and there; one heard the dogs, the monsters, and the gargoyles of stone, which keep watch night and day, with outstretched neck and open jaws, around the monstrous cathedral, barking. And, if it was a Christmas Eve, while the great bell, which seemed to emit the death rattle, summoned the faithful to the midnight mass, such an air was spread over the sombre façade that one would have declared that the grand portal was devouring the throng, and that the rose window was watching it. And all this came from Quasimodo. Egypt would have taken him for the god of this temple; the Middle Ages believed him to be its demon: he was in fact its soul.
To such an extent was this disease that for those who know that Quasimodo has existed, Notre-Dame is to-day deserted, inanimate, and dead. One feels that something has disappeared from it. That immense body is empty; it is a skeleton; the spirit has quitted it, one sees its place and that is all. It is like a skull which still has holes for the eyes, but no longer sight.