A Tale of Two Cities  双城记

As to the strength of his case, he had not a doubt about it, butclearly saw his way to the verdict. Argued with the jury onsubstantial worldly grounds- the only grounds ever worth taking intoaccount-it was a plain case, and had not a weak spot in it. Hecalled himself for the plaintiff, there was no getting over hisevidence, the counsel for the defendant threw up his brief, and thejury did not even turn to consider. After trying it, Stryver, C. J.,was satisfied that no plainer case could be.

对于自己在本案中的实力他丝毫不怀疑。他对此案判决的路子也看得清清楚楚。他按照讲求实惠的人世常理——那是唯一值得考虑的根据——跟陪审团作了辩论。这案子很清楚,无懈可击。他传唤自己作原告,他的证据不容辩驳。被告方面的律师只能放弃辩论,陪审团连考虑都不用考虑。经过审判斯特莱佛大法官感到满意,案情最清楚不过。

Accordingly, Mr. Stryver inaugurated the Long Vacation with a formalproposal to take Miss Manette to Vauxhall Gardens; that failing, toRanelagh; that unaccountably failing too, it beloved him to presenthimself in Soho, and there declare his noble mind.

据此,斯特莱佛先生决定以正式邀请曼内特小姐到伏克斯霍游乐园去玩开始他的大假。若是她不肯,便去兰勒拉花展;若是再莫名其妙地遭到拒绝,他只好亲自到索霍区去,在那儿宣布他那高贵的意图了。

Towards Soho, therefore, Mr. Stryver shouldered his way from theTemple, while the bloom of the Long Vacation's infancy was stillupon it. Anybody who had seen him projecting himself into Soho whilehe was yet on Saint Dunstan's side of Temple Bar, bursting in hisfull-blown way along the pavement, to the jostlement of all weakerpeople, might have seen how safe and strong he was.

于是斯特莱佛先生便从法学会横冲直撞地上了路,到索霍区去了—一大假的鲜花正在那儿含苞欲放。任何人只要看到他从伦敦法学会的圣敦斯坦沿着大道把体弱的人们挤开、气势汹汹地前迸的样子,便不难明白他是多么强大、多么可靠。

His way taking him past Tellson's, and he both banking atTellson's and knowing Mr. Lorry as the intimate friend of theManettes, it entered Mr. Stryver's mind to enter the bank, andreveal to Mr. Lorry the brightness of the Soho horizon. So, bepushed open the door with the weak rattle in its throat, stumbled downthe two steps, got past the two ancient cashiers, and shoulderedhimself into the musty back closet where Mr. Lorry sat at greatbooks ruled for figures, with perpendicular iron bars to his window asif that were ruled for figures too, and everything under the cloudswere a sum.

他必须路过台尔森银行。他在银行有存款,又知道罗瑞先生是曼内特一家的好朋友,因此忽然想到银行去一趟,把索霍地平线上的曙光向他透露。于是,他推开了门(那门喉咙里轻微地咕噜了一声),一个趔趄落下两步阶梯,走过了两位老出纳员,横冲直撞地挤进了罗瑞先生那长了霉的后间密室。罗瑞先生坐在庞大的帐本面前,帐本的格子里写满了数字。他窗户上垂直的钢条似乎也是用来写数字的格子,而在云天之下的每一件事物则是填在格子里的数字。

"Halloa!" said Mr. Stryver. "How do you do? I hope you are well!"

“哈罗!”斯特莱佛说。“你好吗?但愿你身体健康?”

It was Stryver's grand peculiarity that he always seemed too big forany place, or space. He was so much too big for Tellson's, that oldclerks in distant corners looked up with looks of remonstrance, asthough he squeezed them against the wall. The House itself,magnificently reading the paper quite in the far-off perspective,lowered displeased, as if the Stryver head had been butted into itsresponsible waistcoat.

斯特莱佛先生的一大特点便是在任何地方、任何空间里都显得太大。他在台尔森银行也是显得太大,连远处角落里的老行员们也都抬起了头,露出抗议的神态,仿佛被他挤到墙边去了。在屋子深处神气十足地看着文件的“银行当局”此时不高兴地皱了皱眉头,仿佛斯特莱佛的脑袋一头撞到了他那责任重大的背心上了。

The discreet Mr. Lorry said, in a sample tone of the voice hewould recommend under the circumstances, "How do you do, Mr.Stryver? How do you do, sir?" and shook hands. There was a peculiarityin his manner of shaking hands, always to be seen in any clerk atTellson's who shook hands with a customer when the House pervadedthe air. He shook in a self-abnegating way, as one who shook forTellson and Co.

谨慎的罗瑞先生用自以为最宜于这种情况的标准口吻说道,“你好,斯特莱佛先生?”然后跟他握了手。他的握手有点特别,只要“银行当局”弥漫在空气里,台尔森银行的职员跟顾客握手都有这个特点:带着一种自我谦抑的神气,因为他是代表台尔森公司握手的。

"Can I do anything for you, Mr. Stryver?" asked Mr. Lorry, in hisbusiness character.

“有事要我为你效劳吗,斯特莱佛先生?”罗瑞先生以业务人员,的身份提问。

"Why, no, thank you; this is a private visit to yourself, Mr. Lorry;I have come for a private word."

“没有事,我这是对你的私人访问,罗瑞先生。我有私人的话要对你说。”

"Oh indeed!" said Mr. Lorry, bending down his ear, while his eyestrayed to the House afar off.

“啊,原来如此!”罗瑞先生说,说时把耳朵凑了过来,眼睛却瞟着远处的“银行当局”。

"I am going," said Mr. Stryver, leaning his arms confidentially onthe desk: whereupon, although it was a large double one, thereappeared to be not half desk enough for him: "I am going to make anoffer of myself in marriage to your agreeable little friend, MissManette, Mr. Lorry."

“我要去求婚了,”斯特莱佛先生两条胳膊自信地趴在他桌子上说——那办公桌虽然是很大的双人桌,却还装不下他的一半,“我要去向你那逗人爱的小朋友曼内特小姐求婚了呢,罗瑞先生。”

"Oh dear me!" cried Mr. Lorry, rubbing his chin, and looking athis visitor dubiously.

“啊天呐!”罗瑞先生叫了出来,怀疑地擦着下巴,望着客人。

"Oh dear me, sir?" repeated Stryver, drawing back. "Oh dear you,sir? What may your meaning be, Mr. Lorry?"

“你‘天呐’个什么呀,先生?”斯特莱佛先生身子一缩,重复道。“你干吗天呐天呐的,先生?你这是什么意思,罗瑞先生?”

"My meaning," answered the man of business, "is, of course, friendlyand appreciative, and that it does you the greatest credit, and- inshort, my meaning is everything you could desire. But- really, youknow, Mr. Stryver--" Mr. Lorry paused, and shook his head at him inthe oddest manner, as if he were compelled against his will to add,internally, "you know there really is so much too much of you!"

“我的意思,”业务人员回答,“当然是友好的,感激的,认为这个打算说明你是个最善良的人。总之,我的意思是祝愿你得到你所希望的一切。但是,的确,你知道,斯特莱佛先生——”罗瑞先生住了嘴,对着他以最奇怪的方式摇着头,仿佛对他无可奈何,只好在心里说,“你知道你这样做真有点太出格了。”

"Well!" said Stryver, slapping the desk with his contentious hand,opening his eyes wider, and taking a long breath, "if I understandyou, Mr. Lorry, I'll be hanged!"

“怎么!”斯特莱佛说,用他那好胜的手一拍桌子,眼睛睁得更大了,还倒抽了一口大气,“我要是明白你的意思,就绞死我,罗瑞先生!”

Mr. Lorry adjusted his little wig at both ears as a means towardsthat end, and bit the feather of a pen.

罗瑞先生调整了一下两耳旁的小假发,作为达到目的的手段,咬了咬鹅毛笔的羽毛。

"D-n it all, sir!" said Stryver, staring at him, "am I noteligible?"

“去他娘的,先生!”斯特莱佛瞪眼望着他,“我难道还不够资格么?”

"Oh dear yes! Yes. Oh yes, you're eligible!" said Mr. Lorry. "If yousay eligible, you are eligible."

“啊天呐,够的!啊,够的,你够资格!”罗瑞先生说,“要说够不够资格么,你倒是够的。”

"Am I not prosperous?" asked Stryver.

“我难道不发达么?”斯特莱佛问。

"Oh! if you come to prosperous, you are prosperous," said Mr. Lorry.

“啊,要说发达么,你倒也是的,”罗瑞先生说。

"And advancing?"

“因为,”罗瑞先生说,“要追求这样的目标,若是不能十拿九稳,我是不会贸然行事的。”

"If you come to advancing you know," said Mr. Lorry, delighted to beable to make another admission, "nobody can doubt that."

“他娘的!”斯特莱佛叫道,“任何事情都能叫你这条理由驳倒的。”

"Then what on earth is your meaning, Mr. Lorry?" demanded Stryver,perceptibly crestfallen.

罗瑞先生瞥了一眼远处的“银行当局”,再瞥了一眼斯特莱佛。

"Well! I-- Were you going there now?" asked Mr. Lorry.

“你真是个办理业务的人,老资格的,有经验的,坐银行的,”斯特莱佛说,“已经总结了三条大获全胜的主要理由,还说不能十拿九稳!而且说得心平气和!”斯特莱佛对这一特点发表评论,仿佛那话若是说得气急败坏就不知要平淡多少了。

"Straight!" said Stryver, with a plump of his fist on the desk.

“我要说的胜利,是对那位小姐的胜利。我要说的致胜的原因和理由是能在小姐身上大起作用的原因和理由。总之,我的好先生,小姐,”罗瑞先生温和地敲着斯特莱佛的手臂,“小姐才是最重要的。”

"Then I think I wouldn't, if I was you."

“那你的意思是要告诉我,罗瑞先生,”斯特莱佛先生张开双臂,说道,“你确实认为我们现在谈起的这位小姐是个只能摆摆门面的傻妞儿么?”

"Why?" said Stryver. "Now, I'll put you in a corner," forensicallyshaking a forefinger at him. "You are a man of business and bound tohave a reason. State your reason. Why wouldn't you go?"

“并不完全如此。我是要告诉你,斯特莱佛先生,”罗瑞先生涨红了脸说,“我可不愿听任何人对那位小姐说一句不尊重的活;而且,如果我遇见任何一个男人—— 我希望现在没有遇上——趣味低劣,性情急躁到了这种地步,竟然忍不住在这张桌子面前说出了对那位小姐欠尊重的话,我就要狠狠地教训他,那怕是台尔森银行也别想挡住我。”

"Because," said Mr. Lorry, "I wouldn't go on such an objectwithout having some cause to believe that I should succeed."

轮到听斯特莱佛先生愤怒了。他憋了一肚子气不能发作,血管处于危险状态;罗瑞左生的血液循环虽然一向循规蹈矩,现在也窝了火,状态也并不更佳。

"D-n ME!" Cried Stryver, "but this beats everything."

“我打算告诉你的就是这个,先生,”罗瑞先生说,“请你别误会了。”

Mr. Lorry glanced at the distant House, and glanced at the angryStryver.

斯特莱佛先生拿起一把尺子吮了吮它的顶端,又站那儿用它在牙上敲了支曲子,也许敲得牙疼了,然后才说话,打破了令人尴尬的沉默。

"Here's a man of business- a man of years- a man of experience- in aBank," said Stryver; "and having summed up three leading reasons forcomplete success, he says there's no reason at all! Says it with hishead on!" Mr. Stryver remarked upon the peculiarity as if it wouldhave been infinitely less remarkable if he had said it with his headoff.

“这对我倒挺新鲜的,罗瑞先生。你居然认认真真劝我别到索霍去为我自己求婚——为我自己,王家法庭的斯特莱佛,是么?”

"When I speak of success, I speak of success with the young lady;and when I speak of causes and reasons to make success probable, Ispeak of causes and reasons that will tell as such with the younglady. The young lady, my good sir," said Mr. Lorry, mildly tapping theStryver arm, "the young lady. The young lady goes before all."

“你是在征求我的意见吧,斯特莱佛先生?”

"Then you mean to tell me, Mr. Lorry," said Stryver, squaring hiselbows, "that it is your deliberate opinion that the young lady atpresent in question is a mincing Fool?"

“是的,是征求你的意见。”

"Not exactly so. I mean to tell you, Mr. Stryver," said Mr. Lorry,reddening, "that I will hear no disrespectful word of that younglady from any lips; and that if I knew any man- which I hope I do not-whose taste was so coarse, and whose temper was so overbearing, thathe could not restrain himself from speaking disrespectfully of thatyoung lady at this desk, not even Tellson's should prevent my givinghim a piece of my mind."

“那好。那我已经提了意见!而且你也复述得正确无误。”

The necessity of being angry in a suppressed tone had put Mr.Stryver's blood-vessels into a dangerous state when it was his turn tobe angry; Mr. Lorry's veins, methodical as their courses could usuallybe, were in no better state now it was his turn.

“我对这意见的看法是,”斯特莱佛苦恼地笑了笑,“你这意见——哈哈!——可以把一切的理由都驳倒:过去的,现在的和未来的。”

"That is what I mean to tell you, sir," said Mr. Lorry. "Pray letthere be no mistake about it."

“现在你可要明白,”罗瑞先生接下去说。“作为业务人员我无权对这件事说三道四,因为作为业务人员我对它一无所知。可是作为一个当年曾把曼内特小姐抱在怀里的老头子,而且是曼内特小姐和她爸爸的可信赖的朋友,一个对他俩也很有感情的老头子,我已经说了话。记住,不是我要找你谈知心话的。现在,你认为我大概没错了吧?”

Mr. Stryver sucked the end of a ruler for a little while, and thenstood hitting a tune out of his teeth with it, which probably gave himthe toothache. He broke the awkward silence by saying:

“我不认为!”斯特莱佛吹着口哨。“常识问题我只能自己解决,不能向别人请教。我以为有的事是合情合理的;可你却认为简直是装腔作势的胡闹。我觉得挺新鲜,不过我敢说你没有错。”

"This is something new to me, Mr. Lorry. You deliberately adviseme not to go up to Soho and offer myself- myself, Stryver of theKing's Bench bar?"

“我认为,斯特莱佛先生,我的看法说明我自己的性格。你要理解我,先生,”罗瑞先生说,很快又涨红了脸,“我不愿意任何人来代替我说明,那怕是台尔森银行也不行。”

"Do you ask me for my advice, Mr. Stryver?"

“那好!我请你原谅!”斯特莱佛说。

"Yes, I do."

“我原谅你。谢谢。晤,斯特莱佛先生,我刚才是打算说:你可能会因为发现自己错了而感到痛苦;曼内特医生又因为不得不向你说真话也感到痛苦;曼内特小姐也因为不得不向你说真话而感到痛苦。你知道我跟这家人的交情,那是我引为荣耀和快乐的事。若是你乐意的话,我倒愿意修正一下我的劝告。我愿意不要你负责,也不代表你,专门为此事去重新作一次小小的观察和判断。那时如果你对结论不满意,不妨亲自去考察它是否可靠。若是你感到满意,而结论还是现在的结论,那就可以让各方面都省掉一些最好是省掉的麻烦。你意下如何?”

"Very good. Then I give it, and you have repeated it correctly."

“你要我留在城里多久?”

"And all I can say of it is," laughed Stryver with a vexed laugh,"that this- ha, ha!- beats everything past, present, and to come."

“啊!不过是几个小时的问题。我今天晚上就可以去索霍区,然后到你家里去。”

"Now understand me," pursued Mr. Lorry. "As a man of business, Iam not justified in saying anything about this matter, for, as a manof business, I know nothing of it. But, as an old fellow, who hascarried Miss Manette in his arms, who is the trusted friend of MissManette and of her father too, and who has a great affection forthem both, I have spoken. The confidence is not of my seeking,recollect. Now, you think I may not be right?"

“那我同意,”斯特莱佛说,“现在我就不到那儿去了,我也没有着急到现在非去不可。我同意,今天晚上我静候你光临。再见。”

"Not I!" said Stryver, whistling. "I can't undertake to find thirdparties in common sense; I can only find it for myself. I supposesense in certain quarters; you suppose mincing bread-and-butternonsense. It's new to me, but you are right, I dare say."

于是斯特莱佛先生转过身就往银行外冲了出去。一路刮起了大风,两个老行员在柜台后站起身来向他鞠躬,竟然竭尽了全力才站稳脚跟。人们老看见那两位可敬的衰迈老人在鞠躬。大家都相信他们“鞠”走了一个顾客之后还要在空办公室里“鞠”下去,直到“鞠”进另一个顾客。

"What I suppose, Mr. Stryver, I claim to characterise for myself.And understand me, sir," said Mr. Lorry, quickly flushing again, "Iwill not- not even at Tellson's- have it characterised for me by anygentleman breathing."

律师很敏感,他猜得到银行家若只是道德上有把握而无更可靠的理由是不会提出如此令人难堪的意见的。他对于这样重的一剂苦药虽无准备,却也硬吞了下去。“现在,”斯特莱佛先生吞下药,像在法庭上一样对整座法学会大厦摇晃着指头,“我解决这个问题的办法是让你们全都担点不是。”

"There! I beg your pardon!" said Stryver.

那是老贝勒策略家的一种手腕,他因此得到巨大的安慰。“我不能让你说我不对,小姐,”斯特莱佛先生说,“我倒要说你不对

"Granted. Thank you. Well, Mr. Stryver, I was about to say:- itmight be painful to you to find yourself mistaken, it might be painfulto Doctor Manette to have the task of being explicit with you, itmight be very painful to Miss Manette to have the task of beingexplicit with you. You know the terms upon which I have the honour andhappiness to stand with the family. If you please, committing you inno way, representing you in no way, I will undertake to correct myadvice by the exercise of a little new observation and judgmentexpressly brought to bear upon it. If you should then bedissatisfied with it, you can but test its soundness for yourself; if,on the other hand, you should be satisfied with it, and it should bewhat it now is, it may spare all sides what is best spared. What doyou say?"

因此,当罗瑞先生那天晚上迟至十点钟才来看他时,斯特莱佛先生已故意乱七八糟地摊开了许多书籍和文件,好像早上的话题已全然不在他心上了。他在见到罗瑞先生时甚至表现出惊讶,而且一直是心事重重,神思恍惚。

"How long would you keep me in town?"

“好了!”性情温和的使者花了足足半小时工夫想引他回到这个话题而终于无效后说道,“我去过索霍区了。”

"Oh! It is only a question of a few hours. I could go to Soho in theevening, and come to your chambers afterwards."

“去过索霍?”斯特莱佛冷淡地说。“啊,当然!我在想什么呀!”

"Then I say yes," said Stryver: "I won't go up there now, I am notso hot upon it as that comes to; I say yes, and I shall expect youto look in to-night. Good morning."

“我毫不怀疑,”罗瑞先生说,“早上我们谈话时我就是对的。我的意见得到了证实,我重申我的劝告。”

Then Mr. Stryver turned and burst out of the Bank, causing such aconcussion of air on his passage through, that to stand up againstit bowing behind the two counters, required the utmost remainingstrength of the two ancient clerks. Those venerable and feeble personswere always seen by the public in the act of bowing, and werepopularly believed, when they had bowed a customer out, still tokeep on bowing in the empty office until they bowed another customerin.

“我向你保证,”斯特莱佛先生以最友好的态度说,“我为你感到遗憾,也为那可怜的父亲感到遗憾,我知道这在那家人中是个痛苦的话题,咱俩就不要再提这事了吧。”

The barrister was keen enough to divine that the banker would nothave gone so far in his expression of opinion on any less solid groundthan moral certainty. Unprepared as he was for the large pill he hadto swallow, he got it down. "And now," said Mr. Stryver, shaking hisforensic forefinger at the Temple in general, when it was down, "myway out of this, is, to put you all in the wrong."

“我不明白你的意思。”罗瑞先生说。

It was a bit of the art of an Old Bailey tactician, in which befound great relief. "You shall not put me in the wrong, young lady,"said Mr. Stryver; "I'll do that for you."

“我敢说你是不会明白的,”斯特莱佛回答,抚慰地、但也不容反驳地点了点头,“没有关系,没有关系。”

Accordingly, when Mr. Lorry called that night as late as teno'clock, Mr. Stryver, among a quantity of books and papers litteredout for the purpose, seemed to have nothing less on his mind thanthe subject of the morning. He even showed surprise when he saw Mr.Lorry, and was altogether in an absent and preoccupied state.

“可是这事有关系,”罗瑞强调说。

"Well!" said that good-natured emissary, after a full half-hour ofbootless attempts to bring him round to the question. "I have beento Soho."

“不,没有关系。我向你保证没有关系。我把一桩没有意义的事当作了有意义的事;把不值得称赞的意图当作了值得称赞的意图,而我已经彻底悔悟,没有造成任何伤害。这类蠢事年轻的女人以前也干过,等到陷入贫穷与卑微的境地以后又总懊悔。从无私的角度看来,我为不提这件事感到抱歉,因为在世俗的眼光里,此举在我是一种牺牲。但从自私的角度看来,我倒高兴不再提这件事,因为在世俗的眼光里,这场婚姻对我是件坏事——我什么好处也得不到,这几乎不用说明。丝毫损害都不会有的,我并没有向那位小姐求婚。说句知心话,你可别对人讲,我想来想去都觉得犯不着白操心到那份地步。罗瑞先生,对一个头脑空空的姑娘的忸妮作态、虚荣无聊你是控制不了的。不要想去控制,否则你永远会失望的。现在请你再也别提了。我告诉你,为别人我对此虽感到遗憾,可是为自己我倒感到高兴。”

"To Soho?" repeated Mr. Stryver, coldly. "Oh, to be sure! What amI thinking of!"

不等罗瑞先生知道自己在哪里,他已经进入了黑暗之中。斯特莱佛先生已回到沙发上躺了下来,对着天花板眨巴着眼睛。

"And I have no doubt," said Mr. Lorry, "that I was right in theconversation we had. My opinion is confirmed, and I reiterate myadvice."

"I assure you," returned Mr. Stryver, in the friendliest way,"that I am sorry for it on your account, and sorry for it on thepoor father's account. I know this must always be a sore subjectwith the family; let us say no more about it."

"I don't understand you," said Mr. Lorry.

"I dare say not," rejoined Stryver, nodding his head in asmoothing and final way; "no matter, no matter."

"But it does matter," Mr. Lorry urged.

"No it doesn't; I assure you it doesn't. Having supposed thatthere was sense where there is no sense, and a laudable ambition wherethere is not a laudable ambition, I am well out of my mistake, andno harm is done. Young women have committed similar follies oftenbefore, and have repented them in poverty and obscurity oftenbefore. In an unselfish aspect, I am sorry that the thing isdropped, because it would have been a bad thing for me in a worldlypoint of view; in a selfish aspect, I am glad that the thing hasdropped, because it would have been a bad thing for me in a worldlypoint of view- it is hardly necessary to say I could have gainednothing by it. There is no harm at all done. I have not proposed tothe young lady, and, between ourselves, I am by no means certain, onreflection, that I ever should have committed myself to that extent.Mr. Lorry, you cannot control the mincing vanities and giddinessesof empty-headed girls; you must not expect to do it, or you willalways be disappointed. Now, pray say no more about it. I tell you,I regret it on account of others, but I am satisfied on my ownaccount. And I am really very much obliged to you for allowing me tosound you, and for giving me your advice; you know the young ladybetter than I do; you were right, it never would have done."

Mr. Lorry was so taken aback, that he looked quite stupidly at Mr.Stryver shouldering him towards the door, with an appearance ofshowering generosity, forbearance, and goodwill, on his erring head."Make the best of it, my dear sir," said Stryver; "say no more aboutit; thank you again for allowing me to sound you; good night!"

Mr. Lorry was out in the night, before he knew where he was. Mr.Stryver was lying back on his sofa, winking at his ceiling.