A Gentle Spirit  性格温柔的女人

Shreder came next day. She was very much surprised and looked first at Shreder and then at me.

第二天什列杰尔来了。她感到很奇怪,一会儿望望什列杰尔,一会儿看看我

"But I am well," she said, with an uncertain smile.

“我没病!”她莫明其妙地笑了一笑后,说道。

Shreder did not examine her very carefully (these doctors are sometimes superciliously careless), he only said to me in the other room, that it was just the result of her illness, and that it wouldn't be amiss to go for a trip to the sea in the spring, or, if that were impossible to take a cottage out of town for the summer. In fact, he said nothing except that there was weakness, or something of that sort. When Shreder had gone, she said again, looking at me very earnestly –

什列杰尔并没有对她进行仔细的检查(这些医生往往自视甚高,看病马马虎虎),不过他到另一间房里对我说,这是病后的后遗症,春天来后不妨到海边去疗养疗养,万一不行,可以迁到别墅里去住一个时期。一句话,除了说她有点虚弱以外,什么也没说。等到什列杰尔一出门,她就非常严肃地望着我,突然又对我说:

"I am quite well, quite well."

“我真的非常非常健康!”

But as she said this she suddenly flushed, apparently from shame. Apparently it was shame. Oh! now I understand: she was ashamed that I was still her husband, that I was looking after her still as though I were a real husband. But at the time I did not understand and put down her blush to humility (the veil!).

但说完以后,她的脸马上红了起来,显然是出于害羞。看得出来,这是羞愧。啊,现在我才明白:她之所以感到羞愧,是因为我还是她的丈夫,还在关心她,似乎仍然是她真正的丈夫。但当时我还不明白,把脸红看成是她的谦逊(其实是遮羞布!)。

And so, a month later, in April, at five o'clock on a bright sunny day, I was sitting in the shop making up my accounts. Suddenly I heard her, sitting in our room, at work at her table, begin softly, softly . . . singing. This novelty made an overwhelming impression upon me, and to this day I don't understand it. Till then I had hardly ever heard her sing, unless, perhaps, in those first days, when we were still able to be playful and practise shooting at a target. Then her voice was rather strong, resonant; though not quit true it was very sweet and healthy. Now her little song was so faint - it was not that it was melancholy (it was some sort of ballad), but in her voice there was something jangled, broken, as though her voice were not equal to it, as though the song itself were sick. She sang in an undertone, and suddenly, as her voice rose, it broke - such a poor little voice, it broke so pitifully; she cleared her throat and again began softly, softly singing. . . .

一个月以后,在四月的一个阳光灿烂的日子里,下午四点多钟的时候,我正坐在当铺里记帐。突然听见她坐在我们房里她的桌旁干活,干着干着就轻轻地……唱了起来。这一新鲜事儿,给我留下了震撼人心的深刻印象,直到现在我对此还不理解。迄今为止,我几乎从未听见她唱过歌,除开我把她带进家来的最初几天里,我们还能够玩一玩,用手枪射击目标以外。当时,她的嗓音相当不错,很嘹亮,虽然不大准确,但非常令人愉快,非常健康。现在唱出的歌,是那么软弱,啊,虽不凄切(这是一首什么情歌),但好像声音中流露出什么东西遭到破坏、发生破裂似的,好像她的嗓子唱不出了,似乎歌喉本身害了病似的。她是低声哼着的,突然她提高声音,嗓音就中断了——这可怜巴巴的嗓音,就可怜巴巴地中断了。她咳了咳,又轻轻地,悄悄地接着唱了起来……

My emotions will be ridiculed, but no one will understand why I was so moved! No, I was still not sorry for her, it was still something quite different. At the beginning, for the first minute, at any rate, I was filled with sudden perplexity and terrible amazement - a terrible and strange, painful and almost vindictive amazement: "She is singing, and before me; has she forgotten about me?"

大家经常嘲笑我的激动,但永远没人明白我为什么激动!不,我还没有怜惜她,而这是完全不同的感情。首先,至少是在最初的几分钟里,我突然出现一种莫名其妙的感觉,一种可怕的惊奇,可怕、奇怪、病态的惊奇,几乎近似一种报复的感觉:“她唱歌,而且当着我的面!莫非她忘记了我?”

Completely overwhelmed, I remained where I was, then I suddenly got up, took my hat and went out, as it were, without thinking. At least I don't know why or where I was going. Lukerya began giving me my overcoat.

我全身受到震动,留在原地一动不动,后来突然站起身来,拿起帽子走了出去,好像什么也没想似地。至少我不知道为什么走出来,走到哪里去。卢凯里娅给我送来了大衣。

"She is singing?" I said to Lukerya involuntarily. She did not understand, and looked at me still without understanding; and, indeed, I was really unintelligible.

“她在唱歌吧?”我情不自禁地对卢凯里娅说道。她不明白我的意思,一直望着我,还是不明白。不过,我确实叫人弄不明白。

"Is it the first time she is singing?"

“这是她第一次唱歌吗?”

"No, she sometimes does sing when you are out," answered Lukerya.

“不,您不在的时候,她间或唱过的,”卢凯里娅回答道。

I remember everything. I went downstairs, went out into the street and walked along at random. I walked to the corner and began looking into the distance. People were passing by, the pushed against me. I did not feel it. I called a cab and told the man, I don't know why, to drive to Politseysky Bridge. Then suddenly changed my mind and gave him twenty kopecks.

这些我现在都清楚记得。我爬下楼梯,走到外面,然后信步走去。我走到拐角处,便开始东张西望。这里人来人往,有的人碰着了我,但我并不觉得。我叫来一辆马车,雇它去警察桥,但我不知道为什么去那里。后来我突然改变主意不去了,并且随即给了马车夫二十戈比。

"That's for my having troubled you," I said, with a meaningless laugh, but a sort of ecstasy was suddenly shining within me.

“我打扰了你,所以给你这点钱。”我说完,毫无意义地对着他笑,但心里却突然感到无比地高兴。

I returned home, quickening my steps. The poor little jangled, broken note was ringing in my heart again. My breath failed me. The veil was falling, was falling from my eyes! Since she sang before me, she had forgotten me - that is what was clear and terrible. My heart felt it.

我加快脚步,回到家里。我的心里突然又响起了那个可怜的破裂的嗓音。我憋得喘不过气来。遮布从眼睛上掉下来啦!掉下啦!既然她当着我的面唱歌,那就是说她把我忘掉了——这很明显,也非常可怕。这一点我心里是感觉到了的。

But rapture was glowing in my soul and it overcame my terror.

但我内心里的狂喜,压过了我的恐惧。

Oh! the irony of fate! Why, there had been nothing else, and could have been nothing else but that rapture in my soul all the winter, but where had I been myself all the winter? Had I been there together with my soul? I ran up the stairs in great haste, I don't know whether I went in timidly. I only remember that the whole floor seemed to be rocking and I felt as though I were floating on a river. I went into the room. She was sitting in the same place as before, with her head cursorily and without interest at me; it was hardly a look but just a habitual and indifferent movement upon somebody's coming into the room.

啊,命运的作弄!整个冬天,我心里除了这种狂喜之外,任何别的东西都没有,也不可能有,但是这整整一个冬天我在哪里呢?我在我的心中吗?我非常急切地跑上楼梯,不知道我进去时是否畏畏缩缩。只记得整个地板似乎都在颤动,我好像漂浮在河上。我走进房后,她还是坐在原来的位置上,偏着头缝衣服,但是已经不唱了。她并无好奇地迅速望了我一眼,其实那算不得是目光,不过是一个普通常见的冷漠动作而已,一旦有人进来,都会出现这种情况的。

I went straight up and sat down beside her in a chair abruptly, as though I were mad. She looked at me quickly, seeming frightened; I took her hand and I don't remember what I said to her - that is, tried to say, for I could not even speak properly. My voice broke and would not obey me and I did not know what to say. I could only gasp for breath.

我径直走过去,坐在她身旁的椅子上,紧挨着她,像个疯子。她迅速地望了望我,好像吓了一大跳。我抓着她的一只手,不记得对她说了什么,也就是我想说,但说什么已经记不得了,因为我当时甚至说不出一句正确的话来。我的声音断断续续,不听使唤。我也就不知道说什么好,而只是直喘气。

"Let us talk . . . you know . . . tell me something!" I muttered something stupid. Oh! how could I help being stupid? She started again and drew back in great alarm, looking at my face, but suddenly there was an expression of stern surprise in her eyes. Yes, surprise and stern. She looked at me with wide-open eyes. That sternness, that stern surprise shattered me at once: "So you still expect love? Love?" that surprise seemed to be asking, though she said nothing. But I read it all, I read it all. Everything within me seemed quivering, and I simply fell down at her feet. Yes, I grovelled at her feet. She jumped up quickly, but I held her forcibly by both hands.

“我们谈谈……你知道……你随便说点什么吧!”我突然嘟嘟哝哝,说了句蠢话——啊,我能聪明吗?她又浑身一抖,在强烈的惊恐中,身子晃了一下,两眼直盯着我的面孔,但是她的眼睛里突然露出严厉的惊讶。是的,是惊讶,而且是严厉的。她的一双大眼睛盯着我望。这严厉,这严厉的惊讶一下子将我彻底打垮了:“原来你还想要爱情吗?还要爱情吗?”她似乎在这惊讶中发问,虽然她并没有说话。但是我看出来了,全看出来了。我身上的一切都震动了,于是我卟通一声,跪在她的脚旁。是的,我跪倒在她的脚旁。她赶紧跳了起来,但我使出异乎寻常的力气,紧紧抓住她的两手。

And I fully understood my despair - I understood it! But, would you believe it? ecstasy was surging up in my head so violently that I thought I should die. I kissed her feet in delirium and rapture. Yes, in immense, infinite rapture, and that, in spite of understanding all the hopelessness of my despair. I wept, said something, but could not speak.

我也完全理解我的绝望,啊,我是理解的!但是,您信不信,喜悦在我的心头沸腾,已经达到了无法遏止的地步,我想我很快就要死去了。我感到幸福,我如醉如痴地吻她的两腿。是的,我幸福,无比的幸福,无边无际的幸福,而且是在对我的极端绝望理解下的幸福!我哭了,想说点什么,但却说不出来。

Her alarm and amazement were followed by some uneasy misgiving, some grave question, and she looked at me strangely, wildly even; she wanted to understand something quickly and she smiled. She was horribly ashamed at my kissing her feet and she drew them back. But I kissed the place on the floor where her foot had rested. She saw it and suddenly began laughing with shame (you know how it is when people laugh with shame). She became hysterical, I saw that her hands trembled - I did not think about that but went on muttering that I loved her, that I would not get up. "Let me kiss your dress . . . and worship you like this all my life." . . . I don't know, I don't remember - but suddenly she broke into sobs and trembled all over. A terrible fit of hysterics followed. I had frightened her.

她的惊恐和惊讶,突然为一种关切的思想,一个极不平常的疑问所取代,她奇怪地望着我,甚至是野蛮地望着,她想尽快地理解什么,所以微微一笑。她感到非常羞臊,因为我吻了她的两脚,她抽开了脚,但我马上吻她的脚站的地方。她看见这种情况,突然羞得笑了(人们羞得发笑的神态,您是知道的),歇斯底里发作了。这一点我看到了。她两手不停地颤抖——这一点我没有想到过,所以我老是向她叨念,我爱她,我不起来,“让我吻你的衣服……我就这样向你一辈子祈祷……”我不知道,我不记得——她突然痛哭嚎啕,可怕的歇斯底里大发作到来了。我把她吓坏了。

I carried her to the bed. When the attack had passed off, sitting on the edge of the bed, with a terribly exhausted look, she took my two hands and begged me to calm myself: "Come, come, don't distress yourself, be calm!" and she began crying again. All that evening I did not leave her side. I kept telling her I should take her to Boulogne to bathe in the sea now, at once, in a fortnight, that she had such a broken voice, I had heard it that afternoon, that I would shut up the shop, that I would sell it Dobronravov, that everything should begin afresh and, above all, Boulogne, Boulogne!

我把她移到了床上。发作过去以后,她坐在床上,带着可怕的颓丧面容,握住我的手,求我安静下来:“够啦,别折磨自己了,安静下来吧!”接着又开始痛哭。整个这一天晚上,我没有离开过她。我老是对她说我要带她去布洛涅①洗海水浴,现在马上就走,过两星期就走,我说我刚才听到她的声音发颤,我要把当铺关掉,卖给多勃罗恩拉沃夫,一切重新开始,而最主要的是去布洛涅,去布洛涅!

She listened and was still afraid. She grew more and more afraid. But that was not what mattered most for me: what mattered most to me was the more and more irresistible longing to fall at her feet again, and again to kiss and kiss the spot where her foot had rested, and to worship her; and - "I ask nothing, nothing more of you," I kept repeating, "do not answer me, take no notice of me, only let me watch you from my corner, treat me as your dog, your thing. . . ." She was crying.

她听着听着,老是觉得害怕,而且越来越怕得厉害。但对我来说,主要的还不在这里,而在于我越来越不可遏止地想又躺到她脚旁,又吻吻她两脚站过的地面,向她祈求。我时不时地反复说:“我决不再,决不再向你要求什么了,你什么也不要回答我,根本不必注意我,只让我从角落里望望你,将我变成你的一件东西,变成一条狗……”她一直哭个不停。--------①法国海港,著名的海滨疗养地。

"I thought you would let me go on like that," suddenly broke from her unconsciously, so unconsciously that, perhaps, she did not notice what she had said, and yet - oh, that was the most significant, momentous phrase she uttered that evening, the easiest for me to understand, and it stabbed my heart as though with a knife! It explained everything to me, everything, but while she was beside me, before my eyes, I could not help hoping and was fearfully happy. Oh, I exhausted her fearfully that evening. I understood that, but I kept thinking that I should alter everything directly. At last, towards night, she utterly exhausted. I persuaded her to go to sleep and she fell sound asleep at once. I expected her to be delirious, she was a little delirious, but very slightly.

“可我一直以为您就这样扔下我不管了呢,”她突然情不自禁地脱口而,她是那么情不自禁,也许她根本没有注意到她是怎么说的,然而——啊,那是她那天晚上说出的最重要、最要命的一句话,对我来说也是一句最易理解的话,它仿佛给我的心脏捅了一刀!它向我说明了一切,但是只要她在我身旁,在我眼前,我就满怀着不可遏止的希望,而且我感到非常幸福。啊,那天晚上,我弄得她精疲力尽,而且我明白这一点,但是,我不停地想,我现在要把一切改变过来!到深夜的时候,她终于完全没有力气了,我劝她睡觉,她马上就睡着了,而且睡得很沉。我以为她会说梦话,她说了,但说得非常轻。

I kept getting up every minute in the night and going softly in my slippers to look at her. I wrung my hands over her, looking at that frail creature in that wretched little iron bedstead which I had bought for three roubles. I knelt down, but did not dare to kiss her feet in her sleep (without her consent). I began praying but leapt up again. Lukerya kept watch over me and came in and out from the kitchen. I went in to her, and told her to go to bed, and that to-morrow "things would be quite different."

我夜里几乎每隔一分钟就起来一次,穿着便鞋,悄悄地走去看她。我站在她面前绞着手指,望着这个病人,躺在这可怜的小铁床上,这张铁床是我花三个卢布买给她的。我跪着,但不敢吻她睡着的小脚,(没有她的许可啊!)我跪着祷告上帝,但又爬起来了。卢凯里娅老是从厨房里走出来,仔细望着我。我走到她身边,叫她躺下睡觉,说明天会开始出现“完全不同的情况。”

And I believed in this, blindly, madly. Oh, I was brimming over with rapture, rapture! I was eager for the next day. Above all, I did not believe that anything could go wrong, in spite of the symptoms. Reason had not altogether come back to me, though the veil had fallen from my eyes, and for a long, long time it did not come back - not till today, not till this very day! Yes, and how could it have come back then: why, she was still alive then; why, she was here before my eyes, and I was before her eyes: "Tomorrow she will wake up and I will tell her all this, and she will see it all." That was how I reasoned then, simply and clearly, because I was in an ecstasy! My great idea was the trip to Boulogne. I kept thinking for some reason that Boulogne would be everything, that there was something final and decisive about Boulogne. "To Boulogne, to Boulogne!" . . . I waited frantically for the morning.

而且我对这一点是盲目、疯狂、可怕地相信的。啊,喜悦,喜悦使我沉醉了!我只等着明天到来。主要是,我不相信会出现任何灾祸,尽管已经有了征象。全部理智还没有恢复,尽管遮布已经掉下,但理智还是好久好久地没恢复过来。啊,直到今天,一直到今天这会儿还没恢复!!理智当时怎么能够恢复呢,她当时不是还活着吗?她当时马上出现在我面前,我则站在她面前,想:“她明天就会醒来,我会把这一切都讲给她听,她会看清一切的。”这就是我当时的思想,简单、明了,因此非常高兴!最主要的是这个布洛涅之行。我不知道为什么总是想,布洛涅就是一切,到了布洛涅就会有某种结果。“去布洛涅,去布洛涅!……”我疯狂地等待着明天早晨的到来。