My profound thanks to three dear friends with whom I have the great luxury of working: my editor, Jason Kaufman; my agent, Heide Lange; and my counselor, Michael Rudell. In addition, I would like to express my immense gratitude to Doubleday, to my publishers around the world, and, of course, to my readers.
This novel could not have been written without the generous assistance of countless individuals who shared their knowledge and expertise. To all of you, I extend my deep appreciation.
To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering about in a great library without touching the books.
The Secret Teachings of All Ages
In 1991, a document was locked in the safe of the director of the CIA. The document is still there today. Its cryptic text includes references to an ancient portal and an unknown location underground. The document also contains the phrase “It’s buried out there somewhere.”
All organizations in this novel exist, including the Freemasons, the Invisible College, the Office of Security, the SMSC, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
All rituals, science, artwork, and monuments in this novel are real.
House of the Temple
The secret is how to die.
Since the beginning of time, the secret had always been how to die.
The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms. The skull was hollow, like a bowl, filled with bloodred wine.
Drink it, he told himself. You have nothing to fear.
As was tradition, he had begun this journey adorned in the ritualistic garb of a medieval heretic being led to the
1gallows, his loose-fitting shirt gaping open to reveal his pale chest, his left pant leg rolled up to the knee, and his right
23sleeve rolled up to the elbow. Around his neck hung a heavy rope noose—a “cable-tow” as the brethren called it.
brethren bearing witness, he was dressed as a master. Tonight, however, like the
4The assembly of brothers encircling him all were adorned in their full regalia of lambskin aprons, sashes, and white
gloves. Around their necks hung ceremonial jewels that glistened like ghostly eyes in the muted light. Many of these men
5held powerful stations in life, and yet the initiate knew their worldly ranks meant nothing within these walls. Here all
men were equals, sworn brothers sharing a mystical bond.
As he surveyed the daunting assembly, the initiate wondered who on the outside would ever believe that this collection of men would assemble in one place . . . much less this place. The room looked like a holy sanctuary from the
The truth, however, was stranger still.
I am just blocks away from the White House.
This colossal edifice, located at 1733 Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, D.C., was a replica of a pre- Christian temple—the temple of King Mausolus, the original mausoleum . . . a place to be taken after death. Outside the main
6entrance, two seventeen-ton sphinxes guarded the bronze doors. The interior was an ornate labyrinth of ritualistic chambers, halls, sealed vaults, libraries, and even a hollow wall that held the remains of two human bodies. The initiate had been told every room in this building held a secret, and yet he knew no room held deeper secrets than the gigantic chamber in which he was currently kneeling with a skull cradled in his palms.
The Temple Room.
This room was a perfect square. And cavernous. The ceiling soared an astonishing one hundred feet overhead,
7supported by monolithic columns of green granite. A tiered gallery of dark Russian walnut seats with hand-tooled pigskin encircled the room. A thirty-three-foot-tall throne dominated the western wall, with a concealed pipe organ opposite it. The walls were a kaleidoscope of ancient symbols . . . Egyptian, Hebraic, astronomical, alchemical, and others yet unknown.
Tonight, the Temple Room was lit by a series of precisely arranged candles. Their dim glow was aided only by a pale shaft of moonlight that filtered down through the expansive oculus(圆窗) in the ceiling and illuminated the room's most
startling feature—an enormous altar hewn from a solid block of polished Belgian black marble, situated dead center of the square chamber.
The secret is how to die, the initiate reminded himself. “It is time,” a voice whispered.
The initiate let his gaze climb the distinguished white-robed figure standing before him. The Supreme Worshipful
Master. The man, in his late fifties, was an American icon, well loved, robust, and incalculably wealthy. His once-dark hair was turning silver, and his famous visage reflected a lifetime of power and a vigorous intellect.
“Take the oath,” the Worshipful Master said, his voice soft like falling snow. “Complete your journey.”
The initiate's journey, like all such journeys, had begun at the first degree. On that night, in a ritual similar to this one, the Worshipful Master had blindfolded him with a velvet hoodwink and pressed a ceremonial dagger to his bare chest, demanding: “Do you seriously declare on your honor, uninfluenced by mercenary or any other unworthy motive, that you
1 gallow n. 【渔】网板吊架 || 承梁, 托架 2 noose [nu:s, nu:z] n. 套索; 绞索; [喻](夫妻等的)羁绊 put one's neck into the noose 自投罗网, 自陷危境
vt. 用套索捕捉; 处绞刑, 绞死; 诱入圈套 noose a hare 诱捕野兔 3 brethren ['breTHrn] n. 兄弟~教友~会友 dearly beloved brethren 亲爱的兄弟们 4 regalia /ri'geili../ n. 王权的标记(如王冠, 王杖等) || 任何团体的任何标记 || (表示职位的) 服饰 a mayor's regalia 市长的官服 5 initiate vt. 创始~发起 || 以正式仪式介绍加入 >>> n. 新加入者 || 被传授知识的人 6 sphinx /sfiNks/ n. (埃及的) 狮身人面像 || [S-]〈希神〉斯芬克司, 带翼的狮身女怪 7 monolithic adj. 独块巨石的, 整块石料的 || 单块的, 单片(式)的 >>> n. 单片[块] monolithic circuit 单块[片]电路
freely and voluntarily offer yourself as a candidate for the mysteries and privileges of this brotherhood?”
“I do,” the initiate had lied.
“Then let this be a sting to your consciousness,” the master had warned him, “as well as instant death should you
8ever betray the secrets to be imparted to you.”
At the time, the initiate had felt no fear. They will never know my true purpose here.
Tonight, however, he sensed a foreboding solemnity in the Temple Room, and his mind began replaying all the dire warnings he had been given on his journey, threats of terrible consequences if he ever shared the ancient secrets he was about to learn: Throat cut from ear to ear . . . tongue torn out by its roots . . . bowels taken out and burned . . . scattered to the four winds of heaven . . . heart plucked out and given to the beasts of the field—
“Brother,” the gray-eyed master said, placing his left hand on the initiate's shoulder. “Take the final oath.” Steeling
attention back to the skull himself for the last step of his journey, the initiate shifted his muscular frame and turned his cradled in his palms. The crimson wine looked almost black in the dim candlelight.
The chamber had fallen deathly silent, and he could feel all of the witnesses watching him, waiting for him to take his final oath and join their elite ranks.
Tonight, he thought, something is taking place within these walls that has never before occurred in the history of this brotherhood. Not once, in centuries.
He knew it would be the spark . . . and it would give him unfathomable power. Energized, he drew a breath and spoke aloud the same words that countless men had spoken before him in countries all over the world.
“May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me . . . should I ever knowingly or willfully violate my oath.”
His words echoed in the hollow space. Then all was quiet.
Steadying his hands, the initiate raised the skull to his mouth and felt his lips touch the dry bone. He closed his eyes and tipped the skull toward his mouth, drinking the wine in long, deep swallows. When the last drop was gone, he lowered the skull.
For an instant, he thought he felt his lungs growing tight, and his heart began to pound wildly. My God, they know!
Then, as quickly as it came, the feeling passed.
A pleasant warmth began to stream through his body. The initiate exhaled, smiling inwardly as he gazed up at the unsuspecting gray-eyed man who had foolishly admitted him into this brotherhood's most secretive ranks.
Soon you will lose everything you hold most dear.
The Otis elevator climbing the south pillar of the Eiffel Tower was overflowing with tourists. Inside the cramped lift,
an austere businessman in a pressed suit gazed down at the boy beside him. “You look pale, son. You should have stayed
on the ground.”
“I‟m okay . . .” the boy answered, struggling to control his anxiety. “I‟ll get out on the next level.” I can’t breathe.
The man leaned closer. “I thought by now you would have gotten over this.” He brushed the child‟s cheek
The boy felt ashamed to disappoint his father, but he could barely hear through the ringing in his ears. I can’t
breathe. I’ve got to get out of this box!
The elevator operator was saying something reassuring about the lift‟s articulated pistons and puddled-iron
construction. Far beneath them, the streets of Paris stretched out in all directions.
Almost there, the boy told himself, craning his neck and looking up at the unloading platform. Just hold on.
9As the lift angled steeply toward the upper viewing deck, the shaft began to narrow, its massive struts contracting
into a tight, vertical tunnel.
“Dad, I don‟t think—”
8 impart vt. 分给, 传授, 告诉, 通知(to) impart news [secret] to sb. 将消息[秘密]告知某人 A teacher imparts wisdom to his pupils. 9 strut n. (木质或金属的) 支柱, 撑木 || 昂首阔步；神气活现的走路 >>> vi. -tt- 昂首阔步而行~神气十足地走
Suddenly a staccato crack echoed overhead. The carriage jerked, swaying awkwardly to one side. Frayed cables
10began whipping around the carriage, thrashing like snakes. The boy reached out for his father.
Their eyes locked for one terrifying second. Then the bottom dropped out.
Robert Langdon jolted upright in his soft leather seat, startling out of the semiconscious daydream. He was sitting all
alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcon 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence. In the
ackground, the dual Pratt & Whitney engines hummed evenly. b
“Mr. Langdon?” The intercom crackled overhead. “We‟re on final approach.”
Langdon sat up straight and slid his lecture notes back into his leather daybag. He‟d been halfway through reviewing Masonic symbology when his mind had drifted. The daydream about his late father, Langdon suspected, had been stirred
by this morning‟s unexpected invitation from Langdon‟s longtime mentor, Peter Solomon.
The other man I never want to disappoint.
The fifty-eight-year-old philanthropist, historian, and scientist had taken Langdon under his wing nearly thirty
years ago, in many ways filling the void left by Langdon‟s father‟s death. Despite the man‟s influential family dynasty
and massive wealth, Langdon had found humility and warmth in Solomon‟s soft gray eyes.
Outside the window the sun had set, but Langdon could still make out the slender silhouette of the world‟s largest
11obelisk, rising on the horizon like the spire of an ancient gnomon. The 555-foot marble-faced obelisk marked this nation‟s heart. All around the spire, the meticulous geometry of streets and monuments radiated outward.
Even from the air, Washington, D.C., exuded an almost mystical power.
Langdon loved this city, and as the jet touched down, he felt a rising excitement about what lay ahead. The jet taxied to a private terminal somewhere in the vast expanse of Dulles International Airport and came to a stop.
12Langdon gathered his things, thanked the pilots, and stepped out of the jet‟s luxurious interior onto the foldout
staircase. The cold January air felt liberating.
Breathe, Robert, he thought, appreciating the wide-open spaces.
A blanket of white fog crept across the runway, and Langdon had the sensation he was stepping into a marsh as he
descended onto the misty tarmac.
13“Hello! Hello!” a singsong British voice shouted from across the tarmac. “Professor Langdon?”
Langdon looked up to see a middle-aged woman with a badge and clipboard hurrying toward him, waving happily as
he approached. Curly blond hair protruded from under a stylish knit wool hat.
“Welcome to Washington, sir!” Langdon smiled. “Thank you.”
“My name is Pam, from passenger services.” The woman spoke with an exuberance that was almost unsettling. “If
you‟ll come with me, sir, your car is waiting.”
Langdon followed her across the runway toward the Signature terminal, which was surrounded by glistening private
jets. A taxi stand for the rich and famous.
“I hate to embarrass you, Professor,” the woman said, sounding sheepish, “but you are the Robert Langdon who
writes books about symbols and religion, aren‟t you?”
Langdon hesitated and then nodded.
“I thought so!” she said, beaming. “My book group read your book about the sacred feminine and the church! What a delicious scandal that one caused! You do enjoy putting the fox in the henhouse!”
Langdon smiled. “Scandal wasn‟t really my intention.”
The woman seemed to sense Langdon was not in the mood to discuss his work. “I‟m sorry. Listen to me rattling on. I know you probably get tired of being recognized . . . but it‟s your own fault.” She playfully motioned to his clothing.
10 thrash vt. 使脱粒, 打(谷) thrash wheat 打麦 || (用棍, 鞭)痛打 He thrashed the boy soundly. 他痛打了那男孩。
猛烈摆动 thrash in bed with fever 发烧在床上翻来覆去 || 仔细研究, 研讨 (over, up) 11 gnomon /'noumon/ n. 日晷；日规 12 foldout n. 插页, 折页 13 singsong n. 单调的语调; 单调的声音 || 即席歌唱会
“Your uniform gave you away.”
14My uniform? Langdon glanced down at his attire. He was wearing his usual charcoal turtleneck, Harris Tweed
1516jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan(西班牙之科尔多瓦城的) loafers . . . his standard attire for the classroom, lecture circuit, author photos, and social events.
The woman laughed. “Those turtlenecks you wear are so dated. You‟d look much sharper in a tie!”
No chance, Langdon thought. Little nooses.
Neckties had been required six days a week when Langdon attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and despite the
17headmaster‟s romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fascalia worn by Roman orators to
warm their vocal cords, Langdon knew that, etymologically, cravat actually derived from a ruthless band of “Croat”
18mercenaries who donned knotted neckerchiefs before they stormed into battle. To this day, this ancient battle garb was
donned by modern office warriors hoping to intimidate their enemies in daily boardroom battles.
“Thanks for the advice,” Langdon said with a chuckle. “I‟ll consider a tie in the future.”
Mercifully, a professional-looking man in a dark suit got out of a sleek Lincoln Town Car parked near the terminal and held up his finger. “Mr. Langdon? I‟m Charles with Beltway Limousine.” He opened the passenger door. “Good
evening, sir. Welcome to Washington.”
Langdon tipped Pam for her hospitality and then climbed into the plush interior of the Town Car. The driver showed
19him the temperature controls, the bottled water, and the basket of hot muffins. Seconds later, Langdon was speeding away on a private access road. So this is how the other half lives.
As the driver gunned the car up Windsock Drive, he consulted his passenger manifest and placed a quick call. “This
is Beltway Limousine,” the driver said with professional efficiency. “I was asked to confirm once my passenger had
20landed.” He paused. “Yes, sir. Your guest, Mr. Langdon, has arrived, and I will deliver him to the Capitol Building by
seven P.M. You‟re welcome, sir.” He hung up.
Langdon had to smile. No stone left unturned. Peter Solomon‟s attention to detail was one of his most potent assets, allowing him to manage his substantial power with apparent ease. A few billion dollars in the bank doesn’t hurt either.
Langdon settled into the plush leather seat and closed his eyes as the noise of the airport faded behind him. The U.S.
Capitol was a half hour away, and he appreciated the time alone to gather his thoughts. Everything had happened so
quickly today that Langdon only now had begun to think in earnest about the incredible evening that lay ahead.
Arriving under a veil of secrecy, Langdon thought, amused by the prospect.
Ten miles from the Capitol Building, a lone figure was eagerly preparing for Robert Langdon‟s arrival.
The one who called himself Mal‟akh pressed the tip of the needle against his shaved head, sighing with pleasure as the sharp tool plunged in and out of his flesh. The soft hum of the electric device was addictive as was the bite of the
21needle sliding deep into his dermis and depositing its dye.
I am a masterpiece.
The goal of tattooing was never beauty. The goal was change. From the scarified Nubian priests of 2000 B.C., to the tattooed acolytes of the Cybele cult of ancient Rome, to the moko scars of the modern Maori, humans have tattooed themselves as a way of offering up their bodies in partial sacrifice, enduring the physical pain of embellishment and
emerging changed beings.
Despite the ominous admonitions of Leviticus 19:28, which forbade the marking of one‟s flesh, tattoos had become a
14 turtleneck n. 套领, 套领毛衣 >>> adj. 圆翻领的 15 collegiate /k..'li:dZiit/ adj. 学院的, 大学(生)的, 供大学生用的collegiate life 大学生活 collegiate dictionaries 大学生用词典 16 loafer n. 游手好闲的人; 无业游民 loafer way 二流子习气 idle loafer 无业游民 || 平底便鞋, 懒人鞋 17 cravat /kr..'v@t/ n. 领巾~围巾 18 mercenary adj. 唯利是图的, 贪财的 ~ politicians 唯利是图的政客 a ~ marriage 买卖式婚姻 ~ motives 出于贪财的动机
n. (=mercenary troops)(外国的)雇佣兵, 佣工 Much of the fighting was done by mercenaries. 19 muffin n. 松饼; 小松糕 20 capitol /'k@pitl/ n. [美][the Capitol]国会大厦; [capitol ]州议会会堂 Capitol Hill 美国国会 21 dermis /'de:mis/ n. (=derma)【解】真皮
rite of passage shared by millions of people in the modern age—everyone from clean-cut teenagers to hard-core drug
users to suburban housewives.
22The act of tattooing one‟s skin was a transformative declaration of power, an announcement to the world: I am in
control of my own flesh. The intoxicating feeling of control derived from physical transformation had addicted millions to flesh-altering practices . . . cosmetic surgery, body piercing, bodybuilding, and steroids(类固醇) .. . even bulimia and
transgendering. The human spirit craves mastery over its carnal shell.
A single bell chimed on Mal‟akh‟s grandfather clock, and he looked up. Six thirty P.M. Leaving his tools, he wrapped the Kiryu silk robe around his naked, six-foot-three body and strode down the hall. The air inside this sprawling mansion was heavy with the pungent fragrance of his skin dyes and smoke from the beeswax candles he used to sterilize
his needles. The towering young man moved down the corridor past priceless Italian antiques—a Piranesi etching, a
Savonarola chair, a silver Bugarini oil lamp.
He glanced through a floor-to-ceiling window as he passed, admiring the classical skyline in the distance. The luminous dome of the U.S. Capitol glowed with solemn power against the dark winter sky.
This is where it is hidden, he thought. It is buried out there somewhere.
Few men knew it existed . . . and even fewer knew its awesome power or the ingenious way in which it had been hidden. To this day, it remained this country‟s greatest untold secret. Those few who did know the truth kept it hidden
behind a veil of symbols, legends, and allegory.
Now they have opened their doors to me, Mal‟akh thought.
Three weeks ago, in a dark ritual witnessed by America‟s most influential men, Mal‟akh had ascended to the
thirty-third degree, the highest echelon of the world‟s oldest surviving brotherhood. Despite Mal‟akh‟s new rank, the
brethren had told him nothing. Nor will they, he knew. That was not how it worked. There were circles within circles . . . brotherhoods within brotherhoods. Even if Mal‟akh waited years, he might never earn their ultimate trust.
Fortunately, he did not need their trust to obtain their deepest secret.
My initiation served its purpose.
Now, energized by what lay ahead, he strode toward his bedroom. Throughout his entire home, audio speakers
23broadcast the eerie strains of a rare recording of a castrato singing the “Lux Aeterna” from the Verdi Requiem—a
reminder of a previous life. Mal‟akh touched a remote control to bring on the thundering “Dies Irae.” Then, against a
backdrop of crashing timpani(定音鼓) and parallel fifths, he bounded up the marble staircase, his robe billowing as he
24ascended on sinewy legs.
As he ran, his empty stomach growled in protest. For two days now, Mal‟akh had fasted, consuming only water,
preparing his body in accordance with the ancient ways. Your hunger will be satisfied by dawn, he reminded himself.
Along with your pain.
Mal‟akh entered his bedroom sanctuary with reverence, locking the door behind him. As he moved toward his dressing area, he paused, feeling himself drawn to the enormous gilded mirror. Unable to resist, he turned and faced his own reflection. Slowly, as if unwrapping a priceless gift, Mal‟akh opened his robe to unveil his naked form. The vision
I am a masterpiece.
His massive body was shaved and smooth. He lowered his gaze first to his feet, which were tattooed with the scales and talons of a hawk. Above that, his muscular legs were tattooed as carved pillars—his left leg spiraled and his right
25vertically striated. Boaz and Jachin. His groin and abdomen formed a decorated archway, above which his powerful
26chest was emblazoned with the double-headed phoenix . . . each head in profile with its visible eye formed by one of Mal‟akh‟s nipples. His shoulders, neck, face, and shaved head were completely covered with an intricate tapestry of ancient symbols and sigils.
22 transformative adj. 变化的, 变形的 || 有改革能力的; 起改造作用的 23 castrato /k@'sta:tou/ n. 被阉的男歌手 24 sinew /'sinju:/ n.【解】腱; [pl. ]肌肉, 筋肉 || 精力; 体力 || [常用复]主力 > sinewy adj. 强壮有力的 25 striate /'straieit/ vt. 加条纹, 加条痕 26 emblazon /im'bleizn/ vt. 以纹章装饰(盾等); 华美地装饰 || 颂扬, 赞颂, 称赞
I am an artifact . . . an evolving icon.
One mortal man had seen Mal‟akh naked, eighteen hours earlier. The man had shouted in fear. “Good God, you‟re a
“If you perceive me as such,” Mal‟akh had replied, understanding as had the ancients that angels and demons were
2728identical—interchangeable archetypes—all a matter of polarity: the guardian angel who conquered your enemy in
battle was perceived by your enemy as a demon destroyer.
Mal‟akh tipped his face down now and got an oblique view of the top of his head. There, within the crownlike halo, shone a small circle of pale, untattooed flesh. This carefully guarded canvas was Mal‟akh‟s only remaining piece of virgin
skin. The sacred space had waited patiently . . . and tonight, it would be filled. Although Mal‟akh did not yet possess what
he required to complete his masterpiece, he knew the moment was fast approaching.
Exhilarated by his reflection, he could already feel his power growing. He closed his robe and walked to the window, again gazing out at the mystical city before him. It is buried out there somewhere.
Refocusing on the task at hand, Mal‟akh went to his dressing table and carefully applied a base of concealer makeup to his face, scalp, and neck until his tattoos had disappeared. Then he donned the special set of clothing and other items he had meticulously prepared for this evening. When he finished, he checked himself in the mirror. Satisfied, he ran a soft palm across his smooth scalp and smiled.
It is out there, he thought. And tonight, one man will help me find it.
As Mal‟akh exited his home, he prepared himself for the event that would soon shake the U.S. Capitol Building. He had gone to enormous lengths to arrange all the pieces for tonight.
And now, at last, his final pawn had entered the game.
Robert Langdon was busy reviewing his note cards when the hum of the Town Car‟s tires changed pitch on the road
beneath him. Langdon glanced up, surprised to see where they were.
Memorial Bridge already?
He put down his notes and gazed out at the calm waters of the Potomac passing beneath him. A heavy mist hovered on the surface. Aptly named, Foggy Bottom had always seemed a peculiar site on which to build the nation‟s capital. Of
29all the places in the New World, the forefathers had chosen a soggy riverside marsh on which to lay the cornerstone of
their utopian society.
Langdon gazed left, across the Tidal Basin, toward the gracefully rounded silhouette of the Jefferson Memorial—America‟s Pantheon, as many called it. Directly in front of the car, the Lincoln Memorial rose with rigid austerity, its orthogonal lines reminiscent of Athens‟s ancient Parthenon. But it was farther away that Langdon saw the
city‟s centerpiece—the same spire he had seen from the air. Its architectural inspiration was far, far older than the Romans or the Greeks.
America’s Egyptian obelisk.
The monolithic spire of the Washington Monument loomed dead ahead, illuminated against the sky like the majestic
30mast of a ship. From Langdon‟s oblique angle, the obelisk appeared ungrounded tonight . . . swaying against the dreary
sky as if on an unsteady sea. Langdon felt similarly ungrounded. His visit to Washington had been utterly unexpected. I
woke up this morning anticipating a quiet Sunday at home . . . and now I’m a few minutes away from the U.S. Capitol.
This morning at four forty-five, Langdon had plunged into dead-calm water, beginning his day as he always did, swimming fifty laps in the deserted Harvard Pool. His physique was not quite what it had been in his college days as a
31water-polo all-American, but he was still lean and toned, respectable for a man in his forties. The only difference now was the amount of effort it took Langdon to keep it that way.
27 archetype /'a:kitaip/ n. 原始模型, 典型 || 基本货币 28 polarity /pou'l@riti/ n. 极性 29 soggy adj. 浸水的; 湿润的 || (文章、谈话等)沉闷的; 乏味的 a soggy novel 枯燥无味的小说 30 ungrounded adj. 无扎实基础的,无根据的,无稽的 31 polo /'poulou/ n. 马球, 水球 > water polo n. 水球
When Langdon arrived home around six, he began his morning ritual of hand-grinding Sumatra coffee beans and savoring the exotic scent that filled his kitchen. This morning, however, he was surprised to see the blinking red light on
pressed the button and listened to the message. his voice-mail display. Who calls at six A.M. on a Sunday? He
“Good morning, Professor Langdon, I‟m terribly sorry for this early-morning call.” The polite voice was noticeably
hesitant, with a hint of a southern accent. “My name is Anthony Jelbart, and I‟m Peter Solomon‟s executive assistant. Mr.
Solomon told me you‟re an early riser . . . he has been trying to reach you this morning on short notice. As soon as you receive this message, would you be so kind as to call Peter directly? You probably have his new private line, but if not, it‟s 202-329-5746.”
Langdon felt a sudden concern for his old friend. Peter Solomon was impeccably well-bred and courteous, and
t daybreak on a Sunday unless something was very wrong. certainly not the kind of man to call a
Langdon left his coffee half made and hurried toward his study to return the call.
I hope he’s okay.
Peter Solomon had been a friend, mentor, and, although only twelve years Langdon’s senior, a father figure to him
ever since their first meeting at Princeton University. As a sophomore, Langdon had been required to attend an evening guest lecture by the well-known young historian and philanthropist. Solomon had spoken with a contagious passion, presenting a dazzling vision of semiotics and archetypal history that had sparked in Langdon what would later become his
lifelong passion for symbols. It was not Peter Solomon‟s brilliance, however, but the humility in his gentle gray eyes that
The young sophomore had never dreamed that Peter had given Langdon the courage to write him a thank-you letter.
Solomon, one of America‟s wealthiest and most intriguing young intellectuals, would ever write back. But Solomon did. And it had been the beginning of a truly gratifying friendship.
32A prominent academic whose quiet manner belied his powerful heritage, Peter Solomon came from the
ultrawealthy Solomon family, whose names appeared on buildings and universities all over the nation. Like the Rothschilds in Europe, the surname Solomon had always carried the mystique of American royalty and success. Peter had
33inherited the mantle at a young age after the death of his father, and now, at fifty-eight, he had held numerous positions
34of power in his life. He currently served as the head of the Smithsonian Institution. Langdon occasionally ribbed Peter
353637that the lone tarnish on his sterling pedigree was his diploma from a second-rate university—Yale.
Now, as Langdon entered his study, he was surprised to see that he had received a fax from Peter as well.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
Good morning, Robert,
I need to speak with you at once. Please call me this morning as soon as you can at 202-329-5746.
Langdon immediately dialed the number, sitting down at his hand-carved oak desk to wait as the call went through.
“Office of Peter Solomon,” the familiar voice of the assistant answered. “This is Anthony. May I help you?” “Hello,
this is Robert Langdon. You left me a message earlier—”
“Yes, Professor Langdon!” The young man sounded relieved. “Thank you for calling back so quickly. Mr. Solomon
is eager to speak to you. Let me tell him you‟re on the line. May I put you on hold?”
32 belie /bi'lai/ vt. belied, belying 给人错觉~掩饰His appearance belies him. 他的外貌给人以假象。
证明为假 His trembling belied his words. 他的战栗表明他的话是假的
使失望; 辜负 He stole again, and so belied our hopes. 他又偷东西了, 实在辜负了我们对他的期望
与...不符, 与...不相等 What he does belies his commitments. 他言行不一。 33 mantle n. 披风, 斗篷 || 覆盖物 a mantle of snow 一层雪 || (煤气灯)纱罩 || (作为权力标志的)衣钵
one's mantle falls on [descends to] sb. 衣钵传给某人(《圣经》) take over [inherit] the mantle of sb. 继承某人的衣钵
vt. 用斗篷盖; 覆盖 Clouds mantled the moon. 云把月亮遮住。 Snow mantled the trees. 冰雪覆盖了树木。 34 rib n. 肋骨, 排骨 || 肋状物；起肋作用的东西 the ribs of a boat 船的肋材 >>> vt. -bb- 开玩笑~戏弄 35 tarnish vt., vi. 使)失去光译, (使)变灰暗 || 玷污, 败坏(名誉等) His reputation was tarnished. >>> n. 晦暗, 无光泽, 污点, 锈蚀 36 sterling /'ste:liN/ adj. 标准成分的(金或银) ~ silver 纯银 || 道地的; 纯正的 What a ~ fellow he is! 多么道地的好人啊 >>> n. 英币 37 pedegree /'pedigri:/ n. 家谱; 血统; 出身 pedigree chart 谱系图
38As Langdon waited for Solomon to get on the line, he gazed down at Peter‟s name atop the Smithsonian letterhead
39and had to smile. Not many slackers in the Solomon clan. Peter‟s ancestral tree burgeoned with the names of wealthy
40business magnates, influential politicians, and a number of distinguished scientists, some even fellows of London‟s
Royal Society. Solomon‟s only living family member, his younger sister, Katherine, had apparently inherited the science gene, because she was now a leading figure in a new cutting-edge discipline called Noetic Science.
All Greek to me, Langdon thought, amused to recall Katherine‟s unsuccessful attempt to explain Noetic Science to him at a party at her brother‟s home last year. Langdon had listened carefully and then replied, “Sounds more like magic
Katherine winked playfully. “They‟re closer than you think, Robert.”
Now Solomon‟s assistant returned to the phone. “I‟m sorry, Mr. Solomon is trying to get off a conference call. Things are a little chaotic here this morning.”
“That‟s not a problem. I can easily call back.”
41“Actually, he asked me to fill you in on his reason for contacting you, if you don‟t mind?” “Of course not.”
The assistant inhaled deeply. “As you probably know, Professor, every year here in Washington, the board of the Smithsonian hosts a private gala to thank our most generous supporters. Many of the country‟s cultural elite attend.”
Langdon knew his own bank account had too few zeros to qualify him as culturally elite, but he wondered if maybe Solomon was going to invite him to attend nonetheless.
4243“This year, as is customary,” the assistant continued, “the dinner will be preceded by a keynote address. We‟ve
een lucky enough to secure the National Statuary Hall for that speech.” b
The best room in all of D.C., Langdon thought, recalling a political lecture he had once attended in the dramatic
44semicircular hall. It was hard to forget five hundred folding chairs splayed in a perfect arc,
surrounded by thirty-eight life-size statues, in a room that had once served as the nation‟s original House of
“The problem is this,” the man said. “Our speaker has fallen ill and has just informed us she will be unable to give the address.” He paused awkwardly. “This means we are desperate for a replacement speaker. And Mr. Solomon is hoping you would consider filling in.”
45Langdon did a double take. “Me?” This was not at all what he had expected. “I‟m sure Peter could find a far better substitute.”
“You‟re Mr. Solomon‟s first choice, Professor, and you‟re being much too modest. The institution‟s guests would be
thrilled to hear from you, and Mr. Solomon thought you could give the same lecture you gave on Bookspan TV a few
years back? That way, you wouldn‟t have to prepare a thing. He said your talk involved symbolism in the architecture of
our nation‟s capital—it sounds absolutely perfect for the venue.”
Langdon was not so sure. “If I recall, that lecture had more to do with the Masonic history of the building than—”
“Exactly! As you know, Mr. Solomon is a Mason, as are many of his professional friends who will be in attendance.
I‟m sure they would love to hear you speak on the topic.”
I admit it would be easy. Langdon had kept the lecture notes from every talk he‟d ever given. “I suppose I could
consider it. What date is the event?”
The assistant cleared his throat, sounding suddenly uncomfortable. “Well, actually, sir, it‟s tonight.” Langdon
laughed out loud. “Tonight?!”
“That‟s why it‟s so hectic here this morning. The Smithsonian is in a deeply embarrassing predicament . . .” The
38 letterhead n. 信笺上方的印刷文字, 印有抬头的信笺 39 slacker n. 逃避工作的人; 懒虫 40 magnate /'m@gneit/ n. 大亨; 巨头 an industrial magnate 工业巨头 41 fill in 提供信息 Please fill me in on what happened. 请你告诉我发生的事。 42 precede /pri'si:d/ vt., vi. 先于…~在…之前 to precede one's speech with a welcome to the guests 讲话前先对来客表示欢迎 43 keynote n.〈音〉主调 || 主旨~要旨 World peace was the keynote of his speech. 他的演说主旨是世界和平。 44 splay vt., vi. 外张；外扩~成八字形 >>> adj. 成八字形的，脚： 45 double take 先是不注意接着大吃一惊, 先是怔着接着恍然大悟的反应
assistant spoke more hurriedly now. “Mr. Solomon is ready to send a private jet to Boston for you. The flight is only an hour, and you would be back home before midnight. You‟re familiar with the private air terminal at Boston‟s Logan
“I am,” Langdon admitted reluctantly. No wonder Peter always gets his way. “Wonderful! Would you be willing to
meet the jet there at say . . . five o‟clock?” “You haven‟t left me much choice, have you?” Langdon chuckled.
“I just want to make Mr. Solomon happy, sir.”
Peter has that effect on people. Langdon considered it a long moment, seeing no way out. “All right. Tell him I can
“Outstanding!” the assistant exclaimed, sounding deeply relieved. He gave Langdon the jet‟s tail number and various
When Langdon finally hung up, he wondered if Peter Solomon had ever been told no.
Returning to his coffee preparation, Langdon scooped some additional beans into the grinder. A little extra caffeine
this morning, he thought. It’s going to be a long day.
4647The U.S. Capitol Building stands regally at the eastern end of the National Mall, on a raised plateau that city
designer Pierre L‟Enfant described as “a pedestal waiting for a monument.” The Capitol‟s massive footprint measures
more than 750 feet in length and 350 feet deep. Housing more than sixteen acres of floor space, it contains an astonishing
48541 rooms. The neoclassical architecture is meticulously designed to echo the grandeur of ancient Rome, whose ideals were the inspiration for America‟s founders in establishing the laws and culture of the new republic.
The new security checkpoint for tourists entering the Capitol Building is located deep within the recently completed
49subterranean visitor center, beneath a magnificent glass skylight that frames the Capitol Dome. Newly hired security
guard Alfonso Nuñez carefully studied the male visitor now approaching his checkpoint. The man had a shaved head and had been lingering in the lobby, completing a phone call before entering the building. His right arm was in a sling, and he
50moved with a slight limp. He was wearing a tattered army-navy surplus coat, which, combined with his shaved head,
made Nuñez guess military. Those who had served in the U.S. armed forces were among the most common visitors to Washington.
“Good evening, sir,” Nuñez said, following the security protocol of verbally engaging any male visitor who entered
“Hello,” the visitor said, glancing around at the nearly deserted entry. “Quiet night.”
“NFC play-offs,” Nuñez replied. “Everyone‟s watching the Redskins tonight.” Nuñez wished he were, too, but this
51was his first month on the job, and he‟d drawn the short straw. “Metal objects in the dish, please.”
As the visitor fumbled to empty the pockets of his long coat with his one working hand, Nuñez watched him
52carefully. Human instinct made special allowances for the injured and handicapped, but it was an instinct Nuñez had
53been trained to override.
Nuñez waited while the visitor removed from his pockets the usual assortment of loose change, keys, and a couple of
46 regal /'ri:gl/ adj. 国王的; 王室的; 豪华的; 似帝王的 regal dignity 似帝王的庄严 47 plateau /'pl@tou/ n. (pl. -x, -s [-z]) 高原; 学习高原(指学习上无进步也无退步的一段); 停滞时期 reach a plateau 开始停滞不前 48 neoclassical /ni:ou'kl@sikl/ adj. 新古典主义的 49 skylight n. 天窗 50 surplus /'se:pl..s/ n. 过剩, 剩余, 留余额, 公积金 Brazil has a big surplus of coffee. 巴西有很多剩余的咖啡。
adj. 过剩的, 多余的 surplus funds 剩余基金 surplus population 过剩人口 surplus value 【经济】剩余价值 51 A straw shows which way the wind blows. [谚]草动知风向, 观微知著。catch at straws 捞救命稻草
draw straws (用长短不同的麦杆)抽签 || [口](眼睛)困得睁不开, 昏昏欲睡 the last straw 终于使人忍无可忍的最后一事
It is the last straw that breaks the camel's back. [谚]最后凑上的一个细小因素引发一场大祸。
make bricks without straw 在极困难条件下工作, 在不具备基本条件的情况下工作
throw straws against the wind 顶风扔草; 与不可抗拒的势力作斗争
straws [a straw] in the wind (事情将要发生的)苗头, 预兆, 迹象 52 make allowance(s) for 体谅, 原谅 53 override /ouv..'raid/ vt. 不顾; 藐视 ~ one's commission 作越权处置, 滥用职权 ||使...无效 The new rule ~s all the previous ones.