The Wind in the Willows  柳林风声

Nature’s Grand Hotel has its Season, like the others. As the guests one by one pack, pay, and depart, and the seats at the table-d’hote shrink pitifully at each succeeding meal; as suites of rooms are closed, carpets taken up, and waiters sent away; those boarders who are staying on, en pension, until the next year’s full re-opening, cannot help being somewhat affected by all these flittings and farewells, this eager discussion of plans, routes, and fresh quarters, this daily shrinkage in the stream of comradeship. One gets unsettled, depressed, and inclined to be querulous. Why this craving for change? Why not stay on quietly here, like us, and be jolly? You don’t know this hotel out of the season, and what fun we have among ourselves, we fellows who remain and see the whole interesting year out. All very true, no doubt the others always reply; we quite envy you—and some other year perhaps—but just now we have engagements— and there’s the bus at the door—our time is up! So they depart, with a smile and a nod, and we miss them, and feel resentful. The Rat was a self-sufficing sort of animal, rooted to the land, and, whoever went, he stayed; still, he could not help noticing what was in the air, and feeling some of its influence in his bones.

自然界的大饭店,也和其他大饭店一样,有它自己的旺季和淡季。旅客们一个又一个收拾行装,结帐离店,公共餐厅里每开过一顿饭,坐椅就撤去一批,怪凄凉的。一套套房间关闭了,地毯卷起来了,侍者辞退了。而那些长住的客人,则留下等待来年饭店全面开业。他们眼瞅着大批旅伴飞走的飞走,告别的告别,热烈地谈论着下一步的计划、路线和新居,眼瞅着伙伴的人数日渐削减,心情难免不受影响。他会感到心绪不宁,郁郁寡欢,烦躁易怒。你们干吗要变换环境?干吗不老老实实呆在这儿,安安生生过日子?这家饭店在淡季的模样,你没见识过;你哪里知道,我们这些留下来共赏四时美景的动物,享有多少乐趣。可那些打定主意要走的动物总是回答说:当然,这无疑是事实;我非常羡慕你们——也许改年我们也留下来——不过现在我们有约会——公共汽车就停在门口,出发的时刻到啦!于是,他点头微笑,走啦,撇下我们苦苦思念他们,心头窝着火。河鼠是一种知足常乐的动物,扎根在这片土地上,不管谁走,他反正不走;尽管如此,他还是不免觉察到空气里有种变化,打骨节里感受到它的影响。

It was difficult to settle down to anything seriously, with all this flitting going on. Leaving the water-side, where rushes stood thick and tall in a stream that was becoming sluggish and low, he wandered country-wards, crossed a field or two of pasturage already looking dusty and parched, and thrust into the great sea of wheat, yellow, wavy, and murmurous, full of quiet motion and small whisperings. Here he often loved to wander, through the forest of stiff strong stalks that carried their own golden sky away over his head—a sky that was always dancing, shimmering, softly talking; or swaying strongly to the passing wind and recovering itself with a toss and a merry laugh. Here, too, he had many small friends, a society complete in itself, leading full and busy lives, but always with a spare moment to gossip, and exchange news with a visitor. Today, however, though they were civil enough, the field-mice and harvest-mice seemed preoccupied. Many were digging and tunnelling busily; others, gathered together in small groups, examined plans and drawings of small flats, stated to be desirable and compact, and situated conveniently near the Stores. Some were hauling out dusty trunks and dress-baskets, others were already elbow-deep packing their belongings; while everywhere piles and bundles of wheat, oats, barley, beech-mast and nuts, lay about ready for transport.

处处都在忙着辞行送别,行色匆匆,在这种时候,要安下心来干点正事,是很难的。河岸边,灯芯草丛已经长得又高又密,河水已经流得缓慢,水位低落了。河鼠离开了河岸,漫无目地的朝田野走去。他走过一两块龟裂的布满尘埃的牧场地,一头钻进一大片麦田。麦子金黄灿灿,麦浪翻滚,沙沙作响,充满了宁静的动作和呢喃细语。河鼠常喜欢在这里漫游,穿行在粗壮的麦秆丛林之间。麦秆在他头上高高地支起一片金色的天空——那天空总在不停地婆娑起舞,闪闪发光,细语绵绵,有时被过路的风刮得歪歪斜斜,风一过,它又把头一昂,开怀大笑,恢复故态。在麦田里,河鼠也有许多小友,整个儿一个小社会,过着丰足忙碌的的生活,。可也总能抽出片刻空闲,和来访的客人聊会儿闲天,互换个信息。但今天,不知怎的,野鼠和田鼠尽管挺客气,却似乎心不在焉。有些在忙着挖洞掘壕;另一些则分成小组,在研究一套套小居室的规划和草图,考虑如何才能构造得紧凑适用,而且要建在仓库附近。有的正把积满尘土的箱笼和衣篓拖出来,有的已经在埋头捆扎自己的财物;遍地都是一堆堆一捆捆的小麦、燕麦、大麦、果实、干果,等待运走。

‘Here’s old Ratty!’ they cried as soon as they saw him. ‘Come and bear a hand, Rat, and don’t stand about idle!’

“河鼠兄来啦!”他们一见河鼠,便喊了起来。“快过来帮一手,河鼠,别在那儿愣着!”

‘What sort of games are you up to?’ said the Water Rat severely. ‘You know it isn’t time to be thinking of winter quarters yet, by a long way!’

“你们在玩什么游戏呀?”河鼠绷着脸说。“你们该懂得,现在还不是考虑过冬住所的时候,早着呐!”

‘O yes, we know that,’ explained a field-mouse rather shamefacedly; ‘but it’s always as well to be in good time, isn’t it? We really MUST get all the furniture and baggage and stores moved out of this before those horrid machines begin clicking round the fields; and then, you know, the best flats get picked up so quickly nowadays, and if you’re late you have to put up with ANYTHING; and they want such a lot of doing up, too, before they’re fit to move into. Of course, we’re early, we know that; but we’re only just making a start.’

“是啊,这我们懂,”一只田鼠有点不好意思地说。“不过,及早作准备总是好的,对不?我们必须赶在那些可怕的机器开始轧轧地翻地之前,把这些家具、行李和储备粮搬走。再说,你也知道,现如今最好的套间很快就给抢光了,要是你晚了一步,你就得随便找个地方将就住下;而且,新住所还得先修整拾掇一番,才能搬进去呀。当然,现在是早了点儿,这我们知道;不过我们也只是刚开个头。”

‘O, bother STARTS,’ said the Rat. ‘It’s a splendid day. Come for a row, or a stroll along the hedges, or a picnic in the woods, or something.’

“开什么头,”河鼠说。“天气这么好,跟我一道划划船,或者在树篱边散散步,或者到树林里去野餐,或者干点别的什么不好吗?”

‘Well, I THINK not TO-DAY, thank you,’ replied the field-mouse hurriedly. ‘Perhaps some OTHER day—when we’ve more TIME----‘

“噢,今儿个不去了,谢谢你。”田鼠忙说。“也许改天等我们有空——”

The Rat, with a snort of contempt, swung round to go, tripped over a hat-box, and fell, with undignified remarks.

河鼠轻蔑地哼了一声,转身要走,不想蹴到一只帽盒,摔倒了,嘴里不干不净地骂了几句。

‘If people would be more careful,’ said a field-mouse rather stiffly, ‘and look where they’re going, people wouldn’t hurt themselves—and forget themselves. Mind that hold-all, Rat! You’d better sit down somewhere. In an hour or two we may be more free to attend to you.’

“要是人们小心在意些,”一只田鼠尖刻地说,“走路留神看道,人们就不致伤着自己,不致失态了。注意那只大旅行袋,河鼠!你最好找个地方坐坐。再过一两个钟头,我们也许就有空闲陪陪你了。”

‘You won’t be “free” as you call it much this side of Christmas, I can see that,’ retorted the Rat grumpily, as he picked his way out of the field.

“你所说的‘空闲’,只怕在圣诞节以前,是不会有的。”河鼠没好气地反唇相讥。他在行李堆中择路走出了麦田。

He returned somewhat despondently to his river again—his faithful, steady-going old river, which never packed up, flitted, or went into winter quarters.

河鼠灰溜溜地回到了河边。那是他忠实的稳重的老河,它从不收拾行装,从不开溜;也从不搬到别的住宅去过冬。

In the osiers which fringed the bank he spied a swallow sitting. Presently it was joined by another, and then by a third; and the birds, fidgeting restlessly on their bough, talked together earnestly and low.

他看见,岸边的一排杞柳林里,栖着一只燕子。不一会又来了一只,跟着又来了第三只。。燕子们在枝头不停地动弹,热烈地低声交谈。

‘What, ALREADY,’ said the Rat, strolling up to them. ‘What’s the hurry? I call it simply ridiculous.’

“怎么,这就要走?”河鼠踱到他们跟着,问道:“着什么慌呀?我说,这简直滑稽可笑。”

‘O, we’re not off yet, if that’s what you mean,’ replied the first swallow. ‘We’re only making plans and arranging things. Talking it over, you know—what route we’re taking this year, and where we’ll stop, and so on. That’s half the fun!’

“噢,如果你是说要走,我们还不走哩,”第一只燕子回答说。“我们,只是筹划筹划,安排安排。只是谈谈,今年打算走哪条路线;在哪歇脚,诸如此类。这也挺有趣哩。”

‘Fun?’ said the Rat; ‘now that’s just what I don’t understand. If you’ve GOT to leave this pleasant place, and your friends who will miss you, and your snug homes that you’ve just settled into, why, when the hour strikes I’ve no doubt you’ll go bravely, and face all the trouble and discomfort and change and newness, and make believe that you’re not very unhappy. But to want to talk about it, or even think about it, till you really need----‘

“有趣?”河鼠说,“我真不理解。要是你们非离开这个愉快的好地方不可,非离开想念你们的朋友和刚刚安顿好的舒适的家不可,到该走的时候,我不怀疑,你们会勇敢地飞走,面对一切艰难险阻、变化莫测的新环境,还要摆出一副高高兴兴的样子。可是,还没到非走不可的时候,就谈论起来,哪怕只是想一想,这未免——”

‘No, you don’t understand, naturally,’ said the second swallow. ‘First, we feel it stirring within us, a sweet unrest; then back come the recollections one by one, like homing pigeons. They flutter through our dreams at night, they fly with us in our wheelings and circlings by day. We hunger to inquire of each other, to compare notes and assure ourselves that it was all really true, as one by one the scents and sounds and names of long-forgotten places come gradually back and beckon to us.’

“你当然理解不了,”第二只燕子说。“首先,我们内心感到一种骚动,一种甜蜜的不安。然后,往事就像信鸽一样,一桩桩一件件飞了回来。它们夜间在我们梦中遨翔,白天就随我们一道在空中盘旋。当那些早已忘掉的地方,它们的气味、声响和名称一个个飞回来向我们招手时,我们就渴望互相询问,交流信息,好让自己确信这一切都是真实的。”

‘Couldn’t you stop on for just this year?’ suggested the Water Rat, wistfully. ‘We’ll all do our best to make you feel at home. You’ve no idea what good times we have here, while you are far away.’

“今年你们能不能留下不走,就呆一年行不行?”河鼠巴巴地向他们建议。“我们要尽力使你们过得舒适惬意。你们走得老远,根本想不到我们这儿过得多么开心。”

‘I tried “stopping on” one year,’ said the third swallow. ‘I had grown so fond of the place that when the time came I hung back and let the others go on without me. For a few weeks it was all well enough, but afterwards, O the weary length of the nights! The shivering, sunless days! The air so clammy and chill, and not an insect in an acre of it! No, it was no good; my courage broke down, and one cold, stormy night I took wing, flying well inland on account of the strong easterly gales. It was snowing hard as I beat through the passes of the great mountains, and I had a stiff fight to win through; but never shall I forget the blissful feeling of the hot sun again on my back as I sped down to the lakes that lay so blue and placid below me, and the taste of my first fat insect! The past was like a bad dream; the future was all happy holiday as I moved southwards week by week, easily, lazily, lingering as long as I dared, but always heeding the call! No, I had had my warning; never again did I think of disobedience.’

“有一年我试着留下来的,”第三只燕子说。“我越来越喜欢这地方,所以到了该走的时候,我就留下了,没跟别的燕子一块儿走。开头几星期,情况还算好,可后来,哎呀呀,黑夜那么长;好无聊啊!白天不见阳光,阴凄凄的!空气又潮又冷,一亩地里也找不到一只虫子!不行,这样可不中;我的勇气垮掉了,于是在一个暴风雨的寒夜,我起飞了。;那天东风刮得紧,我在内陆飞得挺顺利。飞过高山峡谷时,下起了大雪,我努力拼搏一番,才穿过山隘。当我迅速飞到大湖上时,我又一次感到背上晒着暖融融的太阳;尝到第一只肥胖的虫子的美味,那种幸福的感觉真是再也忘不掉!过去的时光就像一场恶梦,未来全是快乐的假日。一周又一周,我不停地往南飞,飞得轻松,飞得悠闲,需要逗留多久就多久,只是随时注意倾听南方的呼唤。所以,我不能留下,我有过教训,再也不敢违抗南方的召唤了。”

‘Ah, yes, the call of the South, of the South!’ twittered the other two dreamily. ‘Its songs its hues, its radiant air! O, do you remember----‘ and, forgetting the Rat, they slid into passionate reminiscence, while he listened fascinated, and his heart burned within him. In himself, too, he knew that it was vibrating at last, that chord hitherto dormant and unsuspected. The mere chatter of these southern-bound birds, their pale and second-hand reports, had yet power to awaken this wild new sensation and thrill him through and through with it; what would one moment of the real thing work in him— one passionate touch of the real southern sun, one waft of the authentic odor? With closed eyes he dared to dream a moment in full abandonment, and when he looked again the river seemed steely and chill, the green fields grey and lightless. Then his loyal heart seemed to cry out on his weaker self for its treachery.

“是啊,是啊,南方在召唤,南方在召唤!”另两只燕子做梦似地呢喃着。“南方的歌。南方的色彩,南方明朗的空气!噢,你可记得——”他们忘掉了河鼠,只顾沉湎在热情的回忆里。河鼠听得出神,他的心开始烧得火辣辣的。他暗自明白,那根弦,那根一直沉睡着、没被觉察的弦,终于也震颤起来了。光是这几只南飞鸟儿的闲谈,他们那并不生动的第二手叙述,就足以撩拨起这种如醉如狂的新感受,激得他浑身上下躁动不已。如果亲自去体验一下,感受南方太阳热情的抚摩,南方香风轻柔的吹拂,那将会是怎样一番滋味?他闭上双眼,有一刻儿大胆地纵情沉溺在幻梦里,等他再睁眼时,那条河似乎成了铅灰色,冷冰冰的,绿色的田野变得暗淡无光了。这时,他那颗忠贞的心,似乎在大声谴责他那个软弱的自我的背叛。

‘Why do you ever come back, then, at all?’ he demanded of the swallows jealously. ‘What do you find to attract you in this poor drab little country?’

“那你们为什么还要回来?”他猜疑地问燕子。“这片可怜的灰暗的小天地,还有什么可吸引你们的地方?”

‘And do you think,’ said the first swallow, ‘that the other call is not for us too, in its due season? The call of lush meadow-grass, wet orchards, warm, insect-haunted ponds, of browsing cattle, of haymaking, and all the farm-buildings clustering round the House of the perfect Eaves?’

第一只燕子说:“在适当的季节到来时,你以为我们会感受不到另一种召唤吗?那丰茂的草地,湿润的果园,满是虫子的暖水池塘,吃草的牛羊,翻晒的干草,理想的屋檐,房子周围的各种农场设施,不是也在召唤我们吗?”

‘Do you suppose,’ asked the second one, that you are the only living thing that craves with a hungry longing to hear the cuckoo’s note again?’

第二只燕子说:“你以为只有你才渴望再一次听到杜鹃的啼声吗?”

‘In due time,’ said the third, ‘we shall be home-sick once more for quiet water-lilies swaying on the surface of an English stream. But to-day all that seems pale and thin and very far away. Just now our blood dances to other music.’

“到一定的时候,”第三只燕子说,“我们又会患起思乡病;想念着英国溪水上漂着的幽静的睡莲。不过在今天,那些似乎都显得那么苍白,单薄,遥远。这一刻,我们的血液是和着另一种音乐翩翩起舞。”

They fell a-twittering among themselves once more, and this time their intoxicating babble was of violet seas, tawny sands, and lizard-haunted walls.

他们又自顾自地互相唧喳起来。这回他们那兴奋的话题是蔚蓝的海洋、金黄的沙滩,和壁虎爬上爬下的围墙。

Restlessly the Rat wandered off once more, climbed the slope that rose gently from the north bank of the river, and lay looking out towards the great ring of Downs that barred his vision further southwards—his simple horizon hitherto, his Mountains of the Moon, his limit behind which lay nothing he had cared to see or to know. To-day, to him gazing South with a new-born need stirring in his heart, the clear sky over their long low outline seemed to pulsate with promise; to-day, the unseen was everything, the unknown the only real fact of life. On this side of the hills was now the real blank, on the other lay the crowded and coloured panorama that his inner eye was seeing so clearly. What seas lay beyond, green, leaping, and crested! What sun-bathed coasts, along which the white villas glittered against the olive woods! What quiet harbours, thronged with gallant shipping bound for purple islands of wine and spice, islands set low in languorous waters!

河鼠又一次焦躁不安地走开了。他爬上大河北岸那缓缓的斜坡,躺了下来,极目朝南望去。南边那条环形的大丘陵带,挡住了他的视线,他看不到以南更远的地方——迄今为止,那就是他的地平线,他的梦幻山脉,他目光的极限,在那以外,就没有什么值得他去看或去了解的东西了。今天,他极目南眺时,由于一种新的渴求在心中翻腾,那绵亘低矮的丘陵上面的晴空,仿佛颤动着希望。今天,看不到的东西成了至关重要的,不了解的东西成了生活中唯一的真实。山这边,是真正的空虚;山那边,展现着一派熙熙攘攘、五彩纷呈的生活全景,他内心的眼睛现在看得很清楚。那边有碧波荡漾、白浪翻滚的海洋!有沐浴在阳光下的沙滩,白色的别墅在橄榄林的掩映下闪光!有宁静的港湾,停满了气派的船舶,准备开往盛产美酒和香料的紫色岛屿,那些岛屿低低隆起在水波不兴的海面上。

He rose and descended river-wards once more; then changed his mind and sought the side of the dusty lane. There, lying half-buried in the thick, cool under-hedge tangle that bordered it, he could muse on the metalled road and all the wondrous world that it led to; on all the wayfarers, too, that might have trodden it, and the fortunes and adventures they had gone to seek or found unseeking—out there, beyond—beyond!

他站了起来,又一次朝河岸走去。随后,他改变主意,转向尘土飞扬的小径那边。他躺了下来,在小径两侧茂密阴凉枝杈交错的矮树篱的掩蔽下,他可以默默观望那条碎石子路,想着它通向的那个奇妙世界,还可以细细观察走在路上的往来行人,想着他们将去寻求或不寻自来的种种好运、奇遇,在那边,在远方!

Footsteps fell on his ear, and the figure of one that walked somewhat wearily came into view; and he saw that it was a Rat, and a very dusty one. The wayfarer, as he reached him, saluted with a gesture of courtesy that had something foreign about it—hesitated a moment—then with a pleasant smile turned from the track and sat down by his side in the cool herbage. He seemed tired, and the Rat let him rest unquestioned, understanding something of what was in his thoughts; knowing, too, the value all animals attach at times to mere silent companionship, when the weary muscles slacken and the mind marks time.

一阵脚步声传到他耳中,一个走乏了的动物的身影映入他眼帘。原来那是只老鼠,一只风尘仆仆的老鼠。那只过路的老鼠走到他跟前时,用一种带点外国味儿的姿态向他致意,迟疑了片刻,然后愉快地微笑着,离开道路,来到阴凉的树篱下,在他身旁坐下。他显得很疲乏,河鼠让他在那儿休息。没有问什么,因为他多少明白老鼠此时的心情,也懂得所有的动物有时遵循的一个信念:当疲乏的身体松弛下来,大脑需要宁静时,无言的相互作伴是最有益处的。

The wayfarer was lean and keen-featured, and somewhat bowed at the shoulders; his paws were thin and long, his eyes much wrinkled at the corners, and he wore small gold ear rings in his neatly-set well-shaped ears. His knitted jersey was of a faded blue, his breeches, patched and stained, were based on a blue foundation, and his small belongings that he carried were tied up in a blue cotton handkerchief.

这位过路的老鼠很瘦,尖脸,肩背微躬,爪子细长,眼角布满皱纹,纤巧优美的耳朵上,戴着小小的金耳环。他穿著一件褪了色的蓝针织上衣,裤子底色原是蓝的,打了补丁,满是泥污。他随身携带的微薄财物,用一块蓝布手帕包着。

When he had rested awhile the stranger sighed, snuffed the air, and looked about him.

这位陌生老鼠歇了一会,然后叹口气,用鼻子嗅了嗅空气,环视四周。

‘That was clover, that warm whiff on the breeze,’ he remarked; ‘and those are cows we hear cropping the grass behind us and blowing softly between mouthfuls. There is a sound of distant reapers, and yonder rises a blue line of cottage smoke against the woodland. The river runs somewhere close by, for I hear the call of a moorhen, and I see by your build that you’re a freshwater mariner. Everything seems asleep, and yet going on all the time. It is a goodly life that you lead, friend; no doubt the best in the world, if only you are strong enough to lead it!’

“那是苜蓿,微风吹来阵阵暖香,”他评论说。“牛在我们背后吃草,吃几口,轻轻地喷一下鼻息。远处有农人收割庄稼的声音,那边,树林前面,农舍升起一缕青色的炊烟。河流就在附近不远,因为我听到红松鸡的叫声。从你的体格看,我想你一定是一位内河水手。一切都像在沉睡,可一切又都在进行。朋友,你日子过得蛮不错,只要你身强力壮能干活,你的生活无疑是世上最美好的生活。”

‘Yes, it’s THE life, the only life, to live,’ responded the Water Rat dreamily, and without his usual whole-hearted conviction.

“是啊,这才叫生活,唯一值得过的生活,”河鼠做梦似地回答说,可是不像平日那样信心十足。

‘I did not say exactly that,’ replied the stranger cautiously; ‘but no doubt it’s the best. I’ve tried it, and I know. And because I’ve just tried it—six months of it—and know it’s the best, here am I, footsore and hungry, tramping away from it, tramping southward, following the old call, back to the old life, THE life which is mine and which will not let me go.’

“我倒也不完全是这个意思,”陌生老鼠谨慎地说,“不过这无疑是最好的生活:我尝试过,所以我知道。正因为我刚刚领略过——生活过六个月——所以知道它是最好的。你瞧,我现在脚走疼了,肚子饿了,就要离开这种生活,往南边流浪,听从那个老呼唤,回到那种老生活。那是我自己的生活,它不允许我离开它。”

‘Is this, then, yet another of them?’ mused the Rat. ‘And where have you just come from?’ he asked. He hardly dared to ask where he was bound for; he seemed to know the answer only too well.

“难道说,他又是一个南行的动物?”河鼠暗想。他问道:“你刚从哪儿来?”他不敢问老鼠要往哪儿去,因为答案是什么,他似乎已很清楚。

‘Nice little farm,’ replied the wayfarer, briefly. ‘Upalong in that direction’—he nodded northwards. ‘Never mind about it. I had everything I could want—everything I had any right to expect of life, and more; and here I am! Glad to be here all the same, though, glad to be here! So many miles further on the road, so many hours nearer to my heart’s desire!’

“从一个可爱的小农庄来,”过路老鼠简短地回答。“就在那个方向,”他冲北边点点头。“这无关紧要。我在那儿什么都不缺。我有权希望从生活中得到的一切,我都有,甚至更多;可现在,我来到了这里;不过,来这里,我也喜欢,同样喜欢!因为我已经走了那么多路,离我渴望的地方又近了许多!”

His shining eyes held fast to the horizon, and he seemed to be listening for some sound that was wanting from that inland acreage, vocal as it was with the cheerful music of pasturage and farmyard.

他目光炯炯地紧盯着地平线;像在倾听某种声音,那是内陆地带所缺少的,尽管那里有牧场和农庄的欢快音乐。

‘You are not one of US,’ said the Water Rat, ‘nor yet a farmer; nor even, I should judge, of this country.’

“你和我们不属一类,”河鼠说,“你不是农家老鼠,而且依我看,也不是本国老鼠。”

‘Right,’ replied the stranger. ‘I’m a seafaring rat, I am, and the port I originally hail from is Constantinople, though I’m a sort of a foreigner there too, in a manner of speaking. You will have heard of Constantinople, friend? A fair city, and an ancient and glorious one. And you may have heard, too, of Sigurd, King of Norway, and how he sailed thither with sixty ships, and how he and his men rode up through streets all canopied in their honour with purple and gold; and how the Emperor and Empress came down and banqueted with him on board his ship. When Sigurd returned home, many of his Northmen remained behind and entered the Emperor’s body-guard, and my ancestor, a Norwegian born, stayed behind too, with the ships that Sigurd gave the Emperor. Seafarers we have ever been, and no wonder; as for me, the city of my birth is no more my home than any pleasant port between there and the London River. I know them all, and they know me. Set me down on any of their quays or foreshores, and I am home again.’

“不错,”外来的老鼠说。“我呀,我是一只航海老鼠,我最初启航的港口是君士坦丁堡,虽说我在那也可说是一只外国鼠。朋友,你听说过君土坦丁堡吗?一座美丽的城市,一座古老而光荣的城市!你大概也听说过挪威国王西格尔德吧?他曾率领六十艘船驶往那里,他和他的随从骑马进城时,满街都悬挂紫色和金色的天篷向他致敬。君土坦丁堡的皇帝和皇后驾临他的船,和他一道宴饮。西格尔德回国时,他手下的北欧人有许多留下没走,参加了皇帝的御林军,我的一位生长在挪威的祖先,也随着西格尔德赠送给皇帝的一艘船留下了。打那以后,我们这个家族一直是海员。对我来说,我出生的城市固然是我的家,它和伦敦之间的任何一个可爱的港口也都是我的家。我对它们了如指掌,它们也都熟识我。随便我来到它们的任何一个码头或者海滩,俄就等于到了家。”

‘I suppose you go great voyages,’ said the Water Rat with growing interest. ‘Months and months out of sight of land, and provisions running short, and allowanced as to water, and your mind communing with the mighty ocean, and all that sort of thing?’

“我想,你一定常去远洋航行吧?”河鼠来了兴趣。“成年累月看不到陆地,食物短缺,饮水也要配给,但你的心总和大洋相通,总在思念着这一切吧?”

‘By no means,’ said the Sea Rat frankly. ‘Such a life as you describe would not suit me at all. I’m in the coasting trade, and rarely out of sight of land. It’s the jolly times on shore that appeal to me, as much as any seafaring. O, those southern seaports! The smell of them, the riding-lights at night, the glamour!’

“根本不是这样,”航海鼠坦白地说。“你说的那种生活对我也不适合。我只是做海岸营生,很少离开陆地。吸引我的是岸上的快乐时光,和航海一样。南方的那些海港,它们的气味,夜晚的那些停泊灯,多么令人神往啊!”

‘Well, perhaps you have chosen the better way,’ said the Water Rat, but rather doubtfully. ‘Tell me something of your coasting, then, if you have a mind to, and what sort of harvest an animal of spirit might hope to bring home from it to warm his latter days with gallant memories by the fireside; for my life, I confess to you, feels to me to-day somewhat narrow and circumscribed.’

“是啊,也许你选中的是一种更好的生活方式,”河鼠略带疑惑地说。“如果你愿意,那就请给我讲讲你的海岸生活好吗?讲讲一只生气勃勃的动物能从那里带回些什么,使他以后可以在炉边回忆许多光辉的往事,来告慰晚年。至于我的生活嘛,实话对你说,今天我觉得它怪狭隘,怪局限的。”

‘My last voyage,’ began the Sea Rat, ‘that landed me eventually in this country, bound with high hopes for my inland farm, will serve as a good example of any of them, and, indeed, as an epitome of my highly-coloured life. Family troubles, as usual, began it. The domestic storm-cone was hoisted, and I shipped myself on board a small trading vessel bound from Constantinople, by classic seas whose every wave throbs with a deathless memory, to the Grecian Islands and the Levant. Those were golden days and balmy nights! In and out of harbour all the time—old friends everywhere—sleeping in some cool temple or ruined cistern during the heat of the day—feasting and song after sundown, under great stars set in a velvet sky! Thence we turned and coasted up the Adriatic, its shores swimming in an atmosphere of amber, rose, and aquamarine; we lay in wide land-locked harbours, we roamed through ancient and noble cities, until at last one morning, as the sun rose royally behind us, we rode into Venice down a path of gold. O, Venice is a fine city, wherein a rat can wander at his ease and take his pleasure! Or, when weary of wandering, can sit at the edge of the Grand Canal at night, feasting with his friends, when the air is full of music and the sky full of stars, and the lights flash and shimmer on the polished steel prows of the swaying gondolas, packed so that you could walk across the canal on them from side to side! And then the food—do you like shellfish? Well, well, we won’t linger over that now.’ He was silent for a time; and the Water Rat, silent too and enthralled, floated on dream-canals and heard a phantom song pealing high between vaporous grey wave-lapped walls.

“我上次出海,”海上老鼠说开了。“是希望办一处内陆农庄,于是我就登上了这片国土。这次航海,可以看作是我历次航海的一个例证,确实也是我丰富多采的生活的一个缩影。开头,照例是由家庭纠纷引起的。家务风暴的警钟敲响了,我就乘上一艘小商船,由君士坦丁堡启航,驶入古代世界的海洋,朝着希腊群岛和东地中海行进,海上的每一个浪头都荡漾着令人难忘的回忆。那些日子,白天阳光灿烂,夜间和风习习。船不停地进港出港,到处都遇到老朋友。在炎热的白天,我们睡在阴凉的庙宇或废水池里,太阳落山后,就在嵌满星星的天鹅绒般的天幕下,纵情饮宴,放声高歌!从那里,我们又转向亚德里亚海沿岸;那里的海岸弥漫着琥珀色、玫瑰色、蓝晶色的空气。我们碇泊在陆地环抱的宽阔的港湾里,我们在古老而豪华的城市里游逛。末了,有一天早晨,我们顺着一条金灿灿的航道驶进了威尼斯。威尼斯真是一座美丽的城市啊!在那里,老鼠可以自由自在地溜达闲逛,尽情玩乐!要是游倦了,晚上可以坐在大运河边,和朋友们一道吃喝。那时,空中乐声悠扬,头上一天繁星,河里满是摇摆的游艇,船头熠熠发亮,一只只游艇紧紧挨着,你都能踩着它们丛一岸走到另一岸!说到吃的,你喜欢吃贝吗?得,得,那个,咱们现在还是少谈为妙。”他沉默了一阵;河鼠也默不作声。他听得入了迷,仿佛乘上一只梦中游艇漂呀漂,听到一首高亢的魔歌,在雾气蒙蒙、波浪拍击的河墙之间回响。

‘Southwards we sailed again at last,’ continued the Sea Rat, ‘coasting down the Italian shore, till finally we made Palermo, and there I quitted for a long, happy spell on shore. I never stick too long to one ship; one gets narrow-minded and prejudiced. Besides, Sicily is one of my happy hunting-grounds. I know everybody there, and their ways just suit me. I spent many jolly weeks in the island, staying with friends up country. When I grew restless again I took advantage of a ship that was trading to Sardinia and Corsica; and very glad I was to feel the fresh breeze and the sea-spray in my face once more.’

“然后我们又向南驶去,”海上老鼠接着说,“沿着意大利的海岸航行,来到巴勒摩。在那儿,我离船上岸,逗留了很长一段快乐时光。我从不死守住一条船;那会使人变得头脑闭塞,思想偏颇。再说,西西里岛是我爱去的一个地方。那里的人我都认识,他们的风尚很合我的口味。我在岛上和朋友们一道,在乡间愉快地过了好几个星期。等到我呆腻了,我就搭上一艘驶向萨丁尼亚和科西加的商船。我又一次感到新鲜的海风和浪沫扑打在脸上,好不惬意。”

‘But isn’t it very hot and stuffy, down in the—hold, I think you call it?’ asked the Water Rat.

“可在那个你们管它叫货舱的地方,是不是闷热得很?”河鼠问。

The seafarer looked at him with the suspicion go a wink. ‘I’m an old hand,’ he remarked with much simplicity. ‘The captain’s cabin’s good enough for me.’

航海鼠拿眼瞄着他,眼皮像是眨巴了一下。“我是个行家里手,”他率直地说。“船长室对我来说够好的了。”

‘It’s a hard life, by all accounts,’ murmured the Rat, sunk in deep thought.

“人家都说,航海生活是很艰苦的,”河鼠喃喃地说,他陷入了沉思。

‘For the crew it is,’ replied the seafarer gravely, again with the ghost of a wink.‘From Corsica,’ he went on, ‘I made use of a ship that was taking wine to the mainland. We made Alassio in the evening, lay to, hauled up our wine-casks, and hove them overboard, tied one to the other by a long line. Then the crew took to the boats and rowed shorewards, singing as they went, and drawing after them the long bobbing procession of casks, like a mile of porpoises. On the sands they had horses waiting, which dragged the casks up the steep street of the little town with a fine rush and clatter and scramble. When the last cask was in, we went and refreshed and rested, and sat late into the night, drinking with our friends, and next morning I took to the great olive-woods for a spell and a rest. For now I had done with islands for the time, and ports and shipping were plentiful; so I led a lazy life among the peasants, lying and watching them work, or stretched high on the hillside with the blue Mediterranean far below me. And so at length, by easy stages, and partly on foot, partly by sea, to Marseilles, and the meeting of old shipmates, and the visiting of great ocean-bound vessels, and feasting once more. Talk of shell-fish! Why, sometimes I dream of the shell-fish of Marseilles, and wake up crying!’

“对于水手来说是艰苦的,”航海鼠严肃地说,若有若无地又眨了一下眼睛,“在科西加,我搭上一艘运葡萄酒去大陆的船,”航海鼠接着说。“傍晚时我们到达阿拉西奥,船驶进港口。我们把酒桶抬起,扔下船去,用一根长绳把酒桶一个个连结起来,然后水手乘上小艇,朝岸边划去,一边唱歌,小艇后面拖着一长串上下漂浮的酒桶,像一哩路长的一串海豚。河滩上,有马匹等着,马拉着酒桶,叮叮咚咚冲上小镇陡峭的街道。运完最后一桶酒,我们就打个尖,歇一会儿,晚上和朋友们一道喝酒,直到深夜。第二天早上,我就到大橄榄林里去呆上一段时间,好好休息。这时我已经暂时不去海岛,不过还常同海港和航行打交道。所以我在农人当中过着懒散的生活,躺着看他们干活,或者伸长四肢躺在高高的山坡上,远在脚下就是蔚蓝的地中海。于是,我就这样轻轻松松,一程又一程,或步行,或乘船,最终来到了马赛,会见了同船的老伙伴,访问了远洋巨轮,又一次吃喝饮宴。这不是又谈到鲜贝了!是啊,有时我做梦梦见马赛的鲜贝,竟哭醒了!”

‘That reminds me,’ said the polite Water Rat; ‘you happened to mention that you were hungry, and I ought to have spoken earlier. Of course, you will stop and take your midday meal with me? My hole is close by; it is some time past noon, and you are very welcome to whatever there is.’

“这话倒提醒了我,”知礼的河鼠说,“你偶尔提到你饿了,我该早点说才是。你当然不反对留下来和我共进午餐啰?我的洞就在附近;现在中午已过了,欢迎你来我家用点便饭啦。”

‘Now I call that kind and brotherly of you,’ said the Sea Rat. ‘I was indeed hungry when I sat down, and ever since I inadvertently happened to mention shell-fish, my pangs have been extreme. But couldn’t you fetch it along out here? I am none too fond of going under hatches, unless I’m obliged to; and then, while we eat, I could tell you more concerning my voyages and the pleasant life I lead—at least, it is very pleasant to me, and by your attention I judge it commends itself to you; whereas if we go indoors it is a hundred to one that I shall presently fall asleep.’

“噢,你心肠真好,真够朋友!”航海鼠说,“我坐下时,确实是饿了,后来一提到鲜贝,就饿得胃痛。不过,你能不能把午餐拿到这儿来?除非万不得已,我是不太喜欢进茅屋的。再说,咱们一边吃,我一边还可以接着给你讲,讲我的航海经历和愉快的生活。我很高兴讲这些事,而从你关注的神情来看,你也很爱听。如果进屋去,十有八九我会马上睡着的。”

‘That is indeed an excellent suggestion,’ said the Water Rat, and hurried off home. There he got out the luncheon-basket and packed a simple meal, in which, remembering the stranger’s origin and preferences, he took care to include a yard of long French bread, a sausage out of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried, and a long-necked straw-covered flask wherein lay bottled sunshine shed and garnered on far Southern slopes. Thus laden, he returned with all speed, and blushed for pleasure at the old seaman’s commendations of his taste and judgment, as together they unpacked the basket and laid out the contents on the grass by the roadside.

“这是个好主意。”河鼠说,急忙跑回家去。他拿出午餐篮子,装好一顿简单的午饭。考虑到来客的出身和嗜好:他特意拿了一个几码长的法国面包,三根香肠;肠里的大蒜在唱歌……一块躺在那儿喊叫的干酪,还有一只用稻草裹着的长颈瓶,瓶里装着遥远南方山坡上密制窖藏的葡萄美酒。装满一篮后,他飞速跑回河边。他俩揭开篮子盖,把食物一样样取出摆在路边的草地上。听到老海员一个劲儿夸他的口味和判断力,河鼠高兴得满脸泛红。

The Sea Rat, as soon as his hunger was somewhat assuaged, continued the history of his latest voyage, conducting his simple hearer from port to port of Spain, landing him at Lisbon, Oporto, and Bordeaux, introducing him to the pleasant harbours of Cornwall and Devon, and so up the Channel to that final quayside, where, landing after winds long contrary, storm-driven and weather-beaten, he had caught the first magical hints and heraldings of another Spring, and, fired by these, had sped on a long tramp inland, hungry for the experiment of life on some quiet farmstead, very far from the weary beating of any sea.

航海鼠稍稍填饱了肚子,就接着讲他最近一次航海的经历。带领着这位单纯的听者遍游西班牙所有的港口,登陆里斯本、波尔图和波尔多,来到英国的康威尔郡和德文郡那些可爱的港口,然后溯海峡上行,到达最后的港湾地带。他顶着暴风雨和恶劣的天气,逆风航行了很长时间,终于登上了陆地,迎来了又一个春天的迷人气息。这一切激励着他匆匆奔向内陆腹地,一心想体验某种宁静的农庄生活,远远避开海上的颠簸劳顿。

Spell-bound and quivering with excitement, the Water Rat followed the Adventurer league by league, over stormy bays, through crowded roadsteads, across harbour bars on a racing tide, up winding rivers that hid their busy little towns round a sudden turn; and left him with a regretful sigh planted at his dull inland farm, about which he desired to hear nothing.

河鼠听得出神,激动得浑身颤抖,一里里随着这位冒险家穿过风雨如晦的海湾,船只拥挤的碇泊处,乘着汹涌的潮水,越过港口的沙洲,驶上千回百转的河流,河的急转弯处隐藏着繁忙的小城镇。最后航海鼠在他那座沉闷的内陆农庄长住下来时,河鼠便遗憾地叹了口气,再也不想听有关这座农庄的故事了。

By this time their meal was over, and the Seafarer, refreshed and strengthened, his voice more vibrant, his eye lit with a brightness that seemed caught from some far-away sea-beacon, filled his glass with the red and glowing vintage of the South, and, leaning towards the Water Rat, compelled his gaze and held him, body and soul, while he talked. Those eyes were of the changing foam-streaked grey-green of leaping Northern seas; in the glass shone a hot ruby that seemed the very heart of the South, beating for him who had courage to respond to its pulsation. The twin lights, the shifting grey and the steadfast red, mastered the Water Rat and held him bound, fascinated, powerless. The quiet world outside their rays receded far away and ceased to be. And the talk, the wonderful talk flowed on—or was it speech entirely, or did it pass at times into song—chanty of the sailors weighing the dripping anchor, sonorous hum of the shrouds in a tearing North-Easter, ballad of the fisherman hauling his nets at sundown against an apricot sky, chords of guitar and mandoline from gondola or caique? Did it change into the cry of the wind, plaintive at first, angrily shrill as it freshened, rising to a tearing whistle, sinking to a musical trickle of air from the leech of the bellying sail? All these sounds the spell-bound listener seemed to hear, and with them the hungry complaint of the gulls and the sea-mews, the soft thunder of the breaking wave, the cry of the protesting shingle. 

吃完饭;航海鼠恢复了体力,精神抖擞,说话声更加震颤,双目炯炯,仿佛从遥远海域的灯塔借得了熠熠火光。他往杯里斟满了殷红透亮的南国美酒,身子歪向河鼠,目光逼人,用他的故事抓住了河鼠的整个身心;那对眼睛是变幻莫测的灰绿色,如同汹涌起伏的北方诲洋,而杯中的酒,闪耀着热烈的红宝石光芒,恰似南方的心脏,为有勇气与它脉搏合拍的人而跳动。这两重光芒:游移不定的灰光和固定不变的红光主宰了河鼠,把他牢牢缚住,使他心迷神驰,无力抗拒。这两重光以外的清静世界远远退去,不复存在了。只有航海鼠的话音,那滔滔不绝的奇妙的话音。它究竟是说话,还是时而变成了歌唱,变成水手们起锚时高唱的号子,帆索在呼啸的东北风里的嗡嗡低吟,日落时澄黄色的天空下渔人拉网的歌谣,游艇或帆船上弹奏吉他或曼陀林的琴音?这话音似又变成了风声,开始是呜咽悲鸣,随后逐渐转强,变成咆哮怒吼,又越升越高,成了撕心裂肺的尖叫,然后又渐渐降低,成了满帆边缘在空气里振动的悦耳的颤音。这位着了魔的聆听者,仿佛听到了所有这些声音,还夹杂着海鸥和海燕饥饿的悲鸣,浪祷拍岸时轻柔的轰响,沙滩表示抗议的呼喊。河鼠揣着一颗怦怦狂跳的心,随着这位冒险家游历了十几个海港,经历了战斗,脱险,聚会,交友,见义勇为的壮举。

Back into speech again it passed, and with beating heart he was following the adventures of a dozen seaports, the fights, the escapes, the rallies, the comradeships, the gallant undertakings; or he searched islands for treasure, fished in still lagoons and dozed day-long on warm white sand. Of deep-sea fishings he heard tell, and mighty silver gatherings of the mile-long net; of sudden perils, noise of breakers on a moonless night, or the tall bows of the great liner taking shape overhead through the fog; of the merry home-coming, the headland rounded, the harbour lights opened out; the groups seen dimly on the quay, the cheery hail, the splash of the hawser; the trudge up the steep little street towards the comforting glow of red-curtained windows.

他时而在海岛探宝,时而在平静的泻湖钓鱼,时而又整天躺在温暖的白沙上打盹。他听他讲深海捕鱼,用一哩长的大网捞起银光闪闪的鱼群;听他讲突如其来的危险,在月黑风高的夜晚,排山巨浪的狂吼,还有大雾天头顶上忽地冒出巨轮高耸的船头;听他讲返回故里的欢乐,船头绕过海岬,驶进灯火通明的海港;码头上人影晃动,人群在欢呼,大缆索啪地甩了过去,水沫四溅;他们吃力地走上陡峭的小街,向那挂红窗幔的温煦快意的灯光走去。

Lastly, in his waking dream it seemed to him that the Adventurer had risen to his feet, but was still speaking, still holding him fast with his sea-grey eyes.‘And now,’ he was softly saying, ‘I take to the road again, holding on southwestwards for many a long and dusty day; till at last I reach the little grey sea town I know so well, that clings along one steep side of the harbour. There through dark doorways you look down flights of stone steps, overhung by great pink tufts of valerian and ending in a patch of sparkling blue water. The little boats that lie tethered to the rings and stanchions of the old sea-wall are gaily painted as those I clambered in and out of in my own childhood; the salmon leap on the flood tide, schools of mackerel flash and play past quay-sides and foreshores, and by the windows the great vessels glide, night and day, up to their moorings or forth to the open sea. There, sooner or later, the ships of all seafaring nations arrive; and there, at its destined hour, the ship of my choice will let go its anchor. I shall take my time, I shall tarry and bide, till at last the right one lies waiting for me, warped out into midstream, loaded low, her bowsprit pointing down harbour. I shall slip on board, by boat or along hawser; and then one morning I shall wake to the song and tramp of the sailors, the clink of the capstan, and the rattle of the anchor-chain coming merrily in. We shall break out the jib and the foresail, the white houses on the harbour side will glide slowly past us as she gathers steering-way, and the voyage will have begun! As she forges towards the headland she will clothe herself with canvas; and then, once outside, the sounding slap of great green seas as she heels to the wind, pointing South!

后来,河鼠在白日梦里仿佛看到,探险鼠已经站起身来,但仍在说个不停,那双海灰色的眸子仍旧紧紧盯着他。“现在,”他轻轻地说:“我又上路了,朝着西南方向,风尘仆仆地一连走许多天,直到到达我熟悉的那个坐落在海港峭壁上的灰黄色滨海小镇……在那儿,从昏暗的门道向下望去,可以看到一行石阶,上面覆盖着长长的粉红色缬草,石阶的尽头,便是蓝莹莹的海水。古老的海堤上的铁环或桩柱上,系着一些小艇,漆成鲜艳的色调,跟我小时候常爬进爬出的那些小艇一个样。涨潮时,鲑鱼随波跳跃,一群群的鲭鱼银光闪闪,欢蹦嬉戏,游过码头和海滩边。巨轮日夜不停地在窗前徐徐滑过,驶向碇泊处或大海。所有的航海国家的船只,早晚都要抵达那里,在一定的时辰,我选中的那条船就会抛锚。我不急于上船,而是静候时机,直到我相中的那条船驶进河中央,载满了货,船首朝向海港时,我才乘小艇或攀着缆索悄悄溜上船去。于是早晨一觉醒来,我就会听到水手的歌声和沉重的脚步声,绞盘的嘎吱声,还有收锚索时欢快的哐啷声。我们扯起船首三角帆和前桅帆。船离岸时,港边的白色房屋就从我们身边慢慢滑开,航海就此开始!当船向海岬缓缓驶去时,她全身披满了白帆;一到外海,她便迎着汪洋大海的万顷碧波,乘风破浪,直指南方!

‘And you, you will come too, young brother; for the days pass, and never return, and the South still waits for you. Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!’ ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company. You can easily overtake me on the road, for you are young, and I am ageing and go softly. I will linger, and look back; and at last I will surely see you coming, eager and light-hearted, with all the South in your face!’

“你呢,小兄弟,你也要来的;因为光阴一去不复返,南方在等着你。冒一次险吧!注意听从召唤,趁着时机还没有溜走!你只消砰地关上身后的门,迈开可喜的一步,你就走出了旧生活,跨入了新生活!过了很久很久,有一天,杯中的酒饮干了,好戏演完了,如果愿意,你就溜溜达达往家走,在你安静的河边坐下来,揣着满脑子精彩的回忆,款待你的朋友们。你撵上我毫不费力,因为你年轻。而我已经上了年纪,行动迟缓了。我会一步一回头盼着你,总有一天我准会看到你步履匆匆,心情愉快,面对着偌大的南方,走过来的!”

The voice died away and ceased as an insect’s tiny trumpet dwindles swiftly into silence; and the Water Rat, paralysed and staring, saw at last but a distant speck on the white surface of the road.

他的话音越来越小。听不见了,就像一只虫子的小喇叭由强变弱,杳无声息了。河鼠楞愣地瘫在那儿,最后只见白色的路面上,远处一个小点。

Mechanically he rose and proceeded to repack the luncheon-basket, carefully and without haste. Mechanically he returned home, gathered together a few small necessaries and special treasures he was fond of, and put them in a satchel; acting with slow deliberation, moving about the room like a sleep-walker; listening ever with parted lips. He swung the satchel over his shoulder, carefully selected a stout stick for his wayfaring, and with no haste, but with no hesitation at all, he stepped across the threshold just as the Mole appeared at the door.

河鼠木木地站起来,动手收拾午餐篮子,仔仔细细,不慌不忙。他木木地回到家里;归拢一些小件必需品和他珍爱的特殊物品,装进一只背包。他慢条斯理从容不迫地干着,在屋里来回转游,像个梦游者,张着嘴不住地倾听。然后,他把背包甩到肩上,仔细挑选了一根粗棍,准备上路。他半点也不着急,可也毫不迟疑,一脚迈出了家门。就在这当儿,鼹鼠出现在门外。

‘Why, where are you off to, Ratty?’ asked the Mole in great surprise, grasping him by the arm.

“喂,鼠兄,你要去哪?”鼹鼠一把抓住河鼠的胳臂,惊愕地问。

‘Going South, with the rest of them,’ murmured the Rat in a dreamy monotone, never looking at him. ‘Seawards first and then on shipboard, and so to the shores that are calling me!’ He pressed resolutely forward, still without haste, but with dogged fixity of purpose; but the Mole, now thoroughly alarmed, placed himself in front of him, and looking into his eyes saw that they were glazed and set and turned a streaked and shifting grey—not his friend’s eyes, but the eyes of some other animal! Grappling with him strongly he dragged him inside, threw him down, and held him.

“去南方,跟别的动物一道。”河鼠梦呓般地喃喃道,连看也没看他一眼。“先去海边,再乘船,到那些呼唤我的海岸去!”河鼠坚决地径直往前走,仍旧不慌不忙,但是毫不动摇。鼹鼠慌了神,忙用身子挡住他,同时盯着他的眼睛瞧。他发现,河鼠目光呆滞,凝固,出现一种波浪般浮动的灰色条纹,不是他朋友的眼睛,而是别的什么动物的眼睛!他用力把他抓牢,拖回屋里,推倒在地上,按住不放。

The Rat struggled desperately for a few moments, and then his strength seemed suddenly to leave him, and he lay still and exhausted, with closed eyes, trembling. Presently the Mole assisted him to rise and placed him in a chair, where he sat collapsed and shrunken into himself, his body shaken by a violent shivering, passing in time into an hysterical fit of dry sobbing. Mole made the door fast, threw the satchel into a drawer and locked it, and sat down quietly on the table by his friend, waiting for the strange seizure to pass. Gradually the Rat sank into a troubled doze, broken by starts and confused murmurings of things strange and wild and foreign to the unenlightened Mole; and from that he passed into a deep slumber.

河鼠拼命挣扎了一阵,然后。像是突然间泄了气,躺着一动不动,虚乏无力,闭着眼睛,直打哆嗦。鼹鼠随即扶他起来,坐在椅子上。他全身瘫软,蜷缩成一团,身子剧烈地抽搐,过后,爆发出一阵歇斯底里的干嚎。鼹鼠关紧了门,把背包扔进一个抽屉,锁好,然后静静地坐在朋友身边的桌子上,等着这阵奇怪的邪魔过去。渐渐地,河鼠沉入了惊悸不宁的浅睡,间或惊醒过来,嘴里面咕哝着,在懵懂的鼹鼠听来,全是些荒诞不经的异国事情。过后,河鼠就睡熟了。

Very anxious in mind, the Mole left him for a time and busied himself with household matters; and it was getting dark when he returned to the parlour and found the Rat where he had left him, wide awake indeed, but listless, silent, and dejected. He took one hasty glance at his eyes; found them, to his great gratification, clear and dark and brown again as before; and then sat down and tried to cheer him up and help him to relate what had happened to him.

鼹鼠心绪焦虑不安,暂时离开河鼠,忙了一阵家务。天快黑时,他回到客厅,看到河鼠仍呆在原地,完全清醒了,只是没精打采,一声不吭,神情沮丧。他匆匆看了一下河鼠的眼睛,发现那双眼睛又变得像以前一样清澈、乌黑、棕黄,这使他颇为满意。于是他坐下来,试图使河鼠打起精神,讲讲刚才发生的事情。

Poor Ratty did his best, by degrees, to explain things; but how could he put into cold words what had mostly been suggestion? How recall, for another’s benefit, the haunting sea voices that had sung to him, how reproduce at second-hand the magic of the Seafarer’s hundred reminiscences? Even to himself, now the spell was broken and the glamour gone, he found it difficult to account for what had seemed, some hours ago, the inevitable and only thing. It is not surprising, then, that he failed to convey to the Mole any clear idea of what he had been through that day.

可怜的河鼠竭力一桩桩一件件作着解释:可是那些多半属暗示性的东西,他用冷冰冰的语言又怎么说得清呢?他怎能对另一个人复述那曾经向他歌唱的迷人的海声,又怎能再现航海鼠的千百种往事的魔力?现在魔法已破,魅力消失了,几小时前那似乎是不可避免的天经地义的事情;连他自己也很难解释了。所以,他没能使鼹鼠明白他那天的经历,就不奇怪了。

To the Mole this much was plain: the fit, or attack, had passed away, and had left him sane again, though shaken and cast down by the reaction. But he seemed to have lost all interest for the time in the things that went to make up his daily life, as well as in all pleasant forecastings of the altered days and doings that the changing season was surely bringing.

对鼹鼠来说,有一点是显而易见的,就是那阵狂热病,尽管使河鼠受到打击,情绪低落,但终究已经过去,他又清醒过来了。一时间,他似乎对日常生活中那些琐事没了兴趣,对季节变换必然带来的变化和活动,也无心去作安排了。

Casually, then, and with seeming indifference, the Mole turned his talk to the harvest that was being gathered in, the towering wagons and their straining teams, the growing ricks, and the large moon rising over bare acres dotted with sheaves. He talked of the reddening apples around, of the browning nuts, of jams and preserves and the distilling of cordials; till by easy stages such as these he reached midwinter, its hearty joys and its snug home life, and then he became simply lyrical.

后来,鼹鼠像是漫不经心地把话题转到正在收获的庄稼,堆得高高的车子,奋力拉车的马匹,越长越高的草垛,还有那冉冉升起的一轮皓月,照着光地上遍布的一捆捆庄稼。他讲到处处苹果在变红,野果在变黄,讲到制作果酱、蜜渍水果、蒸馏酒类;就这么一样一样,轻轻松松就谈到了隆冬,冬天的热闹欢乐,温暖舒适的屋内生活。这时,他简直变得诗意盎然了。

By degrees the Rat began to sit up and to join in. His dull eye brightened, and he lost some of his listening air.

渐渐地,河鼠坐了起来,和他交谈了。他呆滞的眼睛又亮了,恹恹的神情消退了。

Presently the tactful Mole slipped away and returned with a pencil and a few half-sheets of paper, which he placed on the table at his friend’s elbow.

随后,乖觉的鼹鼠悄悄溜开,拿来一支铅笔,几页纸,放在朋友肘旁的桌子上。

‘It’s quite a long time since you did any poetry,’ he remarked. ‘You might have a try at it this evening, instead of—well, brooding over things so much. I’ve an idea that you’ll feel a lot better when you’ve got something jotted down—if it’s only just the rhymes.’

“你好久没作诗了,”鼹鼠说,“今晚你可以写点诗试试,而不必——呃,老是冥思苦想了。我估摸着,你要是写下几行——哪怕只是几个韵脚你就会觉着好过多了。”

The Rat pushed the paper away from him wearily, but the discreet Mole took occasion to leave the room, and when he peeped in again some time later, the Rat was absorbed and deaf to the world; alternately scribbling and sucking the top of his pencil. It is true that he sucked a good deal more than he scribbled; but it was joy to the Mole to know that the cure had at least begun.

河鼠倦怠地把纸笔推开,可是细心的鼹鼠找个由头离开了客厅。过了一会,他从门边往里窥看时,只见河鼠已在聚精会神,两耳不闻窗外事。他时而在纸上写字,时而嘬着铅笔头。尽管嘬铅笔头的时间比写字的时间多得多,可鼹鼠还是快慰地看到,他的疗法到底开始奏效。