A Tale of Two Cities  双城记

Monsieur the Marquis in his travelling carriage (which might havebeen lighter), conducted by four post-horses and two postilions,fagged up a steep hill. A blush on the countenance of Monsieur theMarquis was no impeachment of his high breeding; it was not fromwithin; it was occasioned by an external circumstance beyond hiscontrol- the setting sun.

侯爵大人坐着他那由两个驭手驾驶的四马旅行车(他其实是可以用较轻便的马车的)往一道陡峻的山坡吃力地爬上去。侯爵大人脸上泛红,但这无损于他的高贵血统,因为那红色并不来自他体内,而是来自无法控制的外部条件--落日。

The sunset struck so brilliantly into the travelling carriage whenit gained the hill-top, that its occupant was steeped in crimson."It will die out," said Monsieur the Marquis, glancing at his hands,"directly."

旅行马车来到了山顶,落日辉煌地照着,把车上的人浸入一滩猩红。“太阳马上就要一一”侯爵大人瞥了他的手一眼,说,“死掉。”

In effect, the sun was so low that it dipped at the moment. When theheavy drag had been adjusted to the wheel, and the carriage sliddown hill, with a cinderous smell, in a cloud of dust, the red glowdeparted quickly; the sun and the Marquis going down together, therewas no glow left when the drag was taken off.

实际上太阳已经很低,这时便突然落了下去。沉重的刹车器在轮子上弄好,马车带着灰尘气味往坡下滑,并掀起一片尘雾。红色的霞光在迅速消失,太阳与侯爵一起下了坡,卸下刹车器时,晚霞也收净了。

But, there remained a broken country, bold and open, a littlevillage at the bottom of the hill, a broad sweep and rise beyond it, achurchtower, a windmill, a forest for the chase, and a crag with afortress on it used as a prison. Round upon all these darkeningobjects as the night drew on, the Marquis looked, with the air ofone who was coming near home.

但是,在山脚下还留着一片破落的田野,粗犷而赤裸。山下有一个小小的村庄,村子那边一片开阔地连着个缓坡,有一个教堂尖塔、一个风磨、一片有猎林,还有一片峭壁,壁顶有一座用作监狱的碉堡。夜色渐浓,候爵带着快要到家的神色望了望四周逐渐暗淡的景物。

The village had its one poor street, with its poor brewery, poortannery, poor tavern, poor stable-yard for relays of post-horses, poorfountain, all usual poor appointments. It had its poor people too. Allpoor a its people were poor, and many of them were sitting at theirdoors, shredding spare onions and the like for supper, while many wereat the fountain, washing leaves, and grasses, and any such smallyieldings of the earth that could be eaten. Expressive signs of whatmade them poor, were not wanting; the tax for the state, the tax forthe church, the tax for the lord, tax local and tax general, were tobe paid here and to be paid there, according to solemn inscriptionin the little village, until the wonder was, that there was anyvillage left unswallowed.

村子只有一条贫穷的街道,街上有贫穷的酒厂、贫穷的硝皮作坊、贫穷的客栈、贫穷的驿马站、贫穷的泉水和贫穷的设施。它的人也贫穷,全都十分贫穷。许多人坐在门口切着不多的几头洋葱之类,准备晚饭。许多人在泉水边洗菜、洗草、洗大地所能生长的这类能吃的小产品。标志着他们贫困的根源的东西并不难见到。小村里的堂皇文告要求向国家交税、向教堂交税、向老爷交税、向地区交税,还要交些一般的税。这里要交,那里要交,小小的村落竟然还没有被吃光,反倒令人惊讶。

Few children were to be seen, and no dogs. As to the men andwomen, their choice on earth was stated in the prospect- Life on thelowest terms that could sustain it, down in the little village underthe ill; or captivity and Death in the dominant prison on the crag.

看不到几个孩子。狗是没有的。至于男子汉和妇女,他们在世上的路已由景色作了交代一-或是在风磨之下的村子里依靠最低条件苟延残喘,或是关进悬崖顶上居高临下的监牢里去,死在那里。

Heralded by a courier in advance, and by the cracking of hispostilions' whips, which twined snake-like about their heads in theevening air, as if he came attended by the Furies, Monsieur theMarquis drew up in his travelling carriage at the posting-housegate. It was hard by the fountain, and the peasants suspended theiroperations to look at him. He looked at them, and saw in them, withoutknowing it, the slow sure filing down of misery-worn face andfigure, that was to make the meagreness of Frenchmen an Englishsuperstition which should survive the truth through the best part of ahundred years.

由流星报马和驭手叭叭的鞭声开着道(那鞭子游蛇一样旋卷在他们头顶的夜色中),侯爵的旅行马车来到了驿站大门,仿佛有复仇女神随侍。驿站就在泉水边不远,农民们停下活儿望着他;他也看看他们,虽然看到,却没有感觉到那些受到细水长流的痛苦磨损的面孔与人形。这类形象在英国人心目中形成了一种迷信:法国人总是瘦削憔悴的。而这种迷信在那类实际情况消失之后差不多一百年还存在着。

Monsieur the Marquis cast his eyes over the submissive faces thatdrooped before him, as the like of himself had drooped beforeMonseigneur of the Court- only the difference was, that these facesdrooped merely to suffer and not to propitiate- when a grizzled menderof the roads joined the group.

侯爵大人目光落到低垂在他面前的一片驯顺的面孔上,那些面孔跟他自己在宫廷的大人面前低首敛眉时的样子颇有些相像--只是有一点不同,这些面孔低了下来是准备受苦而不是为了赎罪。这时一个花白头发的补路工来到了人群前。

"Bring me hither that fellow!" said the Marquis to the courier.

“把那家伙给我带来!”侯爵对流星报马说。

The fellow was brought, cap in hand, and the other fellows closedround to look and listen, in the manner of the people at the Parisfountain.

那人被带了上来,他手里拿着帽子。别的人也跟在巴黎泉水边的情况一样,围上来看热闹。

"I passed you on the road?"

“我在路上曾从你身边走过么?”

"Monseigneur, it is true. I had the honour of being passed on theroad."

“是的,大人。我曾有过您在我身边走过的荣幸。”

"Coming up the hill, and at the top of the hill, both?

“是在上坡的时候和在山坡顶上么?”

"Monseigneur, it is true."

“大人,没错。”

"What did you look at, so fixedly?"

“你那时死死盯住看的是什么?”

"Monseigneur, I looked at the man."

“大人,我看的是那个人。”

He stooped a little, and with his tattered blue cap pointed underthe carriage. All his fellows stooped to look under the carriage.

他略微躬了躬身子,用他那蓝色的破帽指了指车下。他的伙伴们也都弯下腰看车下。

"What man, pig? And why look there?"

“什么人,猪猡?为什么看那儿?”

"Pardon, Monseigneur; he swung by the chain of the shoe- the drag."

“对不起,大人,他吊在刹车箍的铁链上。”

"Who?" demanded the traveller.

“谁?”旅行的人问。

"Monseigneur, the man."

“大人,那人。”

"May the Devil carry away these idiots! How do you call the man? Youknow all the men of this part of the country. Who was he?"

“但愿魔鬼把这些白痴都抓了去!那人叫什么名字?这一带的人你都认识的。他是谁?”

"Your clemency, Monseigneur! He was not of this part of the country.Of all the days of my life, I never saw him."

“请恕罪,大人!他不是这一带的人。我这一辈子还从来没见.过他。”

"Swinging by the chain? To be suffocated?"

“吊在链子上?那不要呛死他么?”

"With your gracious permission, that was the wonder of it,Monseigneur. His head hanging over- like this!"

“请恕我直言,怪就怪在这儿,大人。他的脑袋就这么挂着-一像这样!”

He turned himself sideways to the carriage, and leaned back, withhis face thrown up to the sky, and his head hanging down; thenrecovered himself, fumbled with his cap, and made a bow.

他侧过身去对着马车,身子一倒,脸向天上一仰,脑袋倒垂过来。然后他恢复了原状,摸了摸帽子,鞠了一躬。

"What was he like?"

“那人是什么样子?”

"Monseigneur, he was whiter than the miller. All covered withdust, white as a spectre, tall as a spectre!"

“大人,他比磨坊老板还要白。满身灰尘,白得像个幽灵,高得也像个幽灵!”

The picture produced an immense sensation in the little crowd; butall eyes, without comparing notes with other eyes, looked atMonsieur the Marquis. Perhaps, to observe whether he had any spectreon his conscience.

这一番描写对这一小群人产生了巨大的震动,但他们并未交换眼色,只望着侯爵大人,也许是想看看是否有幽灵纠缠着他的良心吧!

"Truly, you did well," said the Marquis, felicitously sensiblethat such vermin were not to ruffle him, "to see a thiefaccompanying my carriage, and not open that great mouth of yours. Bah!Put him aside, Monsieur Gabelle!"

”好呀,你做得对,”侯爵说,很高兴这些耗子并没有冒犯他的意思,“你看见一个小偷在我车上,却闭着你那大嘴不响声。呸!把他放了,加伯尔先生!”

Monsieur Gabelle was the Postmaster, and some other taxingfunctionary united; he had come out with great obsequiousness toassist at this examination, and had held the examined by the draperyof his arm in an official manner.

加伯尔先生是邮务所所长,也办点税务。他早巴结地出面来帮助盘问,而且摆出公家人的样子揪住了被盘问者的破袖子。

"Bah! Go aside!" said Monsieur Gabelle.

“呸!滚开!”加伯尔先生说。

"Lay hands on this stranger if he seeks to lodge in your villageto-night, and be sure that his business is honest, Gabelle."

“那个外地人今晚要是在这个村里找地方住,就把他抓起来,查查他有没有正当职业,加伯尔。”

"Monseigneur, I am flattered to devote myself to your orders."

“大人,能为您效劳我深感荣幸。”

"Did he run away, fellow?- where is that Accursed?"

“他跑掉了么,伙计?-一那倒霉的人在哪儿?”

The accursed was already under the carriage with some half-dozenparticular friends, pointing out the chain with his blue cap. Somehalf-dozen other particular friends promptly hauled him out, andpresented him breathless to Monsieur the Marquis.

那倒霉的人已跟五六个好朋友钻到车下,用他的蓝帽子指着链子。另外五六个好朋友立即把他拽了出来,气喘吁吁地送到侯爵大人面前。

"Did the man run away, Dolt, when we stopped for the drag?"

“我们停车弄刹车时那人跑了没有,傻瓜?”

"Monseigneur, he precipitated himself over the hill-side, headfirst, as a person plunges into the river."

“大人,他头冲下跳下山坡去了,像往河里跳一样。”

"See to it, Gabelle. Go on!"

“去查查看,加伯尔,快!”

The half-dozen who were peering at the chain were still among thewheels, like sheep; the wheels turned so suddenly that they were luckyto save their skins and bones; they had very little else to save, orthey might not have been so fortunate.

盯着铁链看的五六个人还像羊群一样挤在车轮之间;车猛然一动,他们幸好没弄个皮破骨折。好在他们也只有皮包骨头了,否则也许不会那么走运。

The burst with which the carriage started out of the village andup the rise beyond, was soon checked by the steepness of the hill.Gradually, it subsided to a foot pace, swinging and lumbering upwardamong the many sweet scents of a summer night. The postilions, witha thousand gossamer gnats circling about them in lieu of the Furies,quietly mended the points to the lashes of their whips; the valetwalked by the horses; the courier was audible, trotting on aheadinto the dim distance.

马车驶出村子奔上坡去的冲力马上给陡峻的山坡刹住了。马车逐渐转成慢步,隆隆地摇晃着在夏夜的馨香中向坡上爬去。驭手身边并无复仇女神,却有数不清的蚊蚋飞绕。他只站着修理马鞭的梢头。侍从在马匹旁步行。流星板马的蹄声在远处隐约可闻。

At the steepest point of the hill there was a littleburial-ground, with a Cross and a new large figure of Our Saviour onit; it was a poor figure in wood, done by some inexperienced rusticcarver, but he had studied the figure from the life- his own life,maybe- for it was dreadfully spare and thin.

山坡的最陡峭处有个小墓地,那里有一个十字架,架上有一个大的耶稣雕像,还是新的,雕工拙劣,是个缺乏经验的粗人刻的,但他却从生活--也许是他自己的生活一一研究过人体,因为那雕像瘦得可怕。

To this distressful emblem of a great distress that had long beengrowing worse, and was not at its worst, a woman was kneeling. Sheturned her head as the carriage came up to her, rose quickly, andpresented herself at the carriage-door.

一个妇女跪在这象征巨大痛苦的凄惨的雕像面前--那痛苦一直在增加,可还没有达到极点。马车来到她身边时她掉过头来,立即站起身子,走到车门前。

"It is you, Monseigneur! Monseigneur, a petition."

“是你呀,大人!大人!我要请愿。”

With an exclamation of impatience, but with his unchangeable face,Monseigneur looked out.

大人发出一声不耐烦的惊叹,那张不动声色的脸往外望了望。

"How, then! What is it? Always petitions!"

“晤!什么?总是请愿么!”

"Monseigneur. For the love of the great God! My husband, theforester."

“大人,为了对伟大的上帝的爱!我那个看林子的丈夫。”

"What of your husband, the forester? Always the same with youpeople. He cannot pay something?"

“你那个看林子的丈夫怎么啦?你们总是那一套。欠了什么东西了吧?”

"He has paid all, Monseigneur. He is dead."

“他欠的全还清了。他死了。”

"Well! He is quiet. Can I restore him to you?"

“晤,那他就安静。我能把他还给你么?”

"Alas, no, Monseigneur! But he lies yonder, under a little heap ofpoor grass."

“啊!不,大人!可是他就睡在这儿,在一小片可怜的草皮,下面。”

"Well?"

“怎么样?”

"Monseigneur, there are so many little heaps of poor grass?"

“大人,这种可怜的小片草皮很多呢。”

"Again, well?"

“又来了,怎么?”

She looked an old woman, but was young. Her manner was one ofpassionate grief; by turns she clasped her veinous and knotted handstogether with wild energy, and laid one of them on thecarriage-door- tenderly, caressingly, as if it had been a humanbreast, and could be expected to feel the appealing touch.

她还年轻,可是看去很衰老,态度很激动,很悲伤,瘦骨嶙峋的双手疯狂地交换攥着,然后一只手放在马车门上一一温情地、抚爱地,仿佛那是谁的胸脯,能感受到那动情的抚摸。

"Monseigneur, hear me! Monseigneur, hear my petition! My husbanddied of want; so many die of want; so many more will die of want."

“大人,听我说!大人,我要请愿!我的丈夫是穷死的;许多人都是穷死的;还有许多人也要穷死。”

"Again, well? Can I feed them?"

“又来了,晤?我能养活他们么?”

"Monseigneur, the good God knows; but I don't ask it. My petitionis, that a morsel of stone or wood, with my husband's name, may beplaced over him to show where he lies. Otherwise, the place will bequickly forgotten, it will never be found when I am dead of the samemalady, I shall be laid under some other heap of poor grass.Monseigneur, they are so many, they increase so fast, there is so muchwant. Monseigneur! Monseigneur!"

“大人,慈悲的上帝知道。我并不求你养活他们。我只请求在我的丈夫躺着的地方立一块写着他的姓名的石碑或木牌。否则这地方很快就会被忘掉,等我害了同样的病死去之后,它就再也认不出来了。他们会把我埋在另外一片可怜的草皮下面的。大人,这样的坟墓很多,增加得也很快,太穷了。大人!大人!”

The valet had put her away from the door, the carriage had brokeninto a brisk trot, the postilions had quickened the pace, she was leftfar behind, and Monseigneur, again escorted by the Furies, was rapidlydiminishing the league or two of distance that remained between himand his chateau.

侍从已把她从车门边拉开,马匹撒开腿小跑起来。驭手加快了步伐,那妇女被远远扔到了后面。大人又在他的三个复仇女神保护之下疾速地缩短他跟庄园之间那一两里格距离。

The sweet scents of the summer night rose all around him, androse, as the rain falls, impartially, on the dusty, ragged, andtoil-worn group at the fountain not far away; to whom the mender ofroads, with the aid of the blue cap without which he was nothing,still enlarged upon his man like a spectre, as long as they could bearit. By degrees, as they could bear no more, they dropped off one byone, and lights twinkled in little casements; which lights, as thecasements darkened, and more stars came out, seemed to have shot upinto the sky instead of having been extinguished.

夏夜的馨香在他四周升腾,随着雨点落下而更加氤氲活跃了。雨点一视同仁地洒在不远处泉水边那群满身灰尘和衣衫褴褛的劳累的人身上。补路工还在对他们起劲地吹嘘着那幽灵似的人,似乎只要他们肯听就可以老吹下去。他说话时挥动着他那蓝帽子,大概没了那帽子他就夫去了分量。人群受不住雨淋,一个个慢慢走散了。小窗里有了灯光闪烁。小窗越来越暗,灯光逐渐熄灭,天空却出现了更多的灯光,仿佛小窗的灯光已飞到天上,并未消失。

The shadow of a large high-roofed house, and of many over-hangingtrees, was upon Monsieur the Marquis by that time; and the shadowwas exchanged for the light of a flambeau, as his carriage stopped,and the great door of his chateau was opened to him.

那时一幢高大的建筑物的阴影和片片婆娑的树影己落到侯爵身上。马车停了下来。阴影被一支火炬的光取代,高大的前门对侯爵敞开了。

"Monsieur Charles, whom I expect; is he arrived from England?"

“我等着查尔斯先生到来,他从英格兰到了么?”

"Monseigneur, not yet."

“先生,还没有。”