A Tale of Two Cities  双城记

As to this, his natural and not to be alienated inheritance, themessenger on horseback had exactly the same possessions as the King,the first Minister of State, or the richest merchant in London. Sowith the three passengers shut up in the narrow compass of onelumbering old mail coach; they were mysteries to one another, ascomplete as if each had been in his own coach and six, or his owncoach and sixty, with the breadth of a county between him and thenext.

在这个问题上,即在这种天然的无法剥夺的遗传素质上,这位马背上的信使跟国王、首相或伦敦城最富有的商人毫无二致。因此关在那颠簸的老邮车的狭小天地里的三个乘客彼此都是奥秘,跟各自坐在自己的六马大车或是六十马大车里的大员一样,彼此总是咫尺天涯,奥妙莫测。

The messenger rode back at an easy trot, stopping pretty often atalehouses by the way to drink, but evincing a tendency to keep his owncounsel, and to keep his hat cocked over his eyes. He had eyes thatassorted very well with that decoration, being of a surface black,with no depth in the colour or form, and much too near together- as ifthey were afraid of being found out in something, singly, if they kepttoo far apart. They had a sinister expression, under an old cocked-hatlike a three-cornered spittoon, and over a great muffler for thechin and throat, which descended nearly to the wearer's knees. When hestopped for drink, he moved this muffler with his left hand, onlywhile he poured his liquor in with his right; as soon as that wasdone, he muffled again.

那位信使步态悠闲地往回走着,常在路旁的麦酒店停下马喝上一盅。他总想保持清醒的神态,让帽檐翘起,不致遮住视线。他那眼睛跟帽子很般配,表面是黑色的,色彩和形状都缺乏深度。他的双眼靠得太近,仿佛若是分得太开便会各行其是。他眼里有一种阴险的表情,露出在翘起的三角痰盂样的帽檐之下。眼睛下面是一条大围巾,裹住了下巴和喉咙,差不多一直垂到膝盖。他停下马喝酒时,只用左手拉开围巾,右手往嘴里灌,喝完又用围巾围了起来。

"No, Jerry, no!" said the messenger, harping on one theme as herode. "It wouldn't do for you, Jerry. Jerry, you honest tradesman,it wouldn't suit your line of business! Recalled-! Bust me if Idon't think he'd been a drinking!"

“不,杰瑞,不!”信使说。他骑马走着思考着一个问题。“这对你可不利,杰瑞。杰瑞,你是个诚实的生意人,这对你的业务可是不利!死人复--他要不是喝醉了酒你就揍我!”

His message perplexed his mind to that degree that he was fain,several times, to take off his hat to scratch his head. Except onthe crown, which was raggedly bald, he had stiff, black hair, standingjaggedly all over it, and growing down hill almost to his broad, bluntnose. It was so like Smith's work, so much more like the top of astrongly spiked wall than a head of hair, that the best of playersat leap-frog might have declined him, as the most dangerous man in theworld to go over.

他带回的信息使他很为迷惘,好几次都想脱下帽子搔一搔头皮。他的头顶已秃,只剩下几根乱发。秃得乱七八糟的头顶周围的头发却长得又黑又硬,向四面支棱开,又顺着前额往下长,几乎到了那宽阔扁平的鼻子面前。那与其说是头发,倒不如说像是某个铁匠的杰作,更像是竖满了铁蒺藜的墙顶,即使是跳田鸡的能手见了也只好看作是世界上最危险的障碍,敬谢不敏。

While he trotted back with the message he was to deliver to thenight watchman in his box at the door of Tellson's Bank, by TempleBar, who was to deliver it to greater authorities within, theshadows of the night took such shapes to him as arose out of themessage, and took such shapes to the mare as arose out of herprivate topics of uneasiness. They seemed to be numerous, for sheshied at every shadow on the road.

此人骑着马小跑着往回走。他要把消息带给伦敦法学院大门旁台尔森银行门口警卫棚里的守夜的,守夜的要把消息转告银行里更高的权威。夜里的黑影仿佛是从那消息里生出的种种幻象,出现在他面前,也仿佛是令母马心神不宁的幻象横出在那牲畜面前。幻象似乎频频出现,因为她每见了路上一个黑影都要吓得倒退。

What time, the mail-coach lumbered, jolted, rattled, and bumped uponits tedious way, with its three fellow-inscrutables inside. To whom,likewise, the shadows of the night revealed themselves, in the formstheir dozing eyes and wandering thoughts suggested.

与此同时邮车正载着三个难测的奥秘轰隆轰隆、颠颠簸簸、叮叮当当地行走在萧索无聊的道路上。窗外的黑影也以乘客们睡意朦胧的眼睛和游移不定的思绪所能引起的种种幻象在他们眼前闪过。

Tellson's Bank had a run upon it in the mail. As the bank passenger-with an arm drawn through the leathern strap, which did what lay in itto keep him from pounding against the next passenger, and drivinghim into his corner, whenever the coach got a special jolt- nodded inhis place, with half-shut eyes, the little coach-windows, and thecoach-lamp dimly gleaming through them, and the bulky bundle ofopposite passenger, became the bank, and did a great stroke ofbusiness. The rattle of the harness was the chink of money, and moredrafts were honoured in five minutes than even Tellson's with allits foreign and home connection, ever paid in thrice the time. Thenthe strong-rooms underground, at Tellson's, with such of theirvaluable stores and secrets as were known to the passenger (and it wasnot a little that he knew about them), opened before him, and hewent in among them with the great keys and the feebly-burningcandle, and found them safe, and strong, and sound, and still, just ashe had last seen them.

在邮车上台尔森银行业务正忙。那银行职员半闭着眼在打瞌睡。他一条胳膊穿进皮带圈,借助它的力量使自己不至于撞着身边的乘客,也不至于在马车颠簸太厉害时给扔到车旮旯儿里去。马车车窗和车灯朦胧映入他的眼帘,他对面的旅客的大包裹便变成了银行,正在忙得不可开交。马具的响声变成了钱币的叮当,五分钟之内签署的支票数目竟有台尔森银行在国际国内业务中三倍的时间签署的总量。于是台尔森银行地下室里的保险库在他眼前打开了,里面是他所熟悉的宝贵的贮藏品和秘密(这类东西他知道得很不少)。他手执巨大的钥匙串凭借着微弱的烛光在贮藏品之间穿行,发现那里一切安全、坚实、稳定、平静,跟他上次见到时完全一样。

But, though the bank was almost always with him, and though thecoach (in a confused way, like the presence of pain under an opiate)was always with him, there was another current of impression thatnever ceased to run, all through the night. He was on his way to digsome one out of a grave.

不过,尽管银行几乎总跟他在一起,邮车却也总跟他在一起。那感觉迷离恍惚,像是叫鸦片剂镇住的疼痛一样。此外还有一连串印象也通夜没有停止过闪动--他正要去把一个死人从坟墓里挖出来。

Now, which of the multitude of faces that showed themselves beforehim was the true face of the buried person, the shadows of the nightdid not indicate; but they were all the faces of a man offive-and-forty by years, and they differed principally in the passionsthey expressed, and in the ghastliness of their worn and wasted state.Pride, contempt, defiance, stubbornness, submission, lamentation,succeeded one another; so did varieties of sunken cheek, cadaverouscolour, emaciated hands and figures. But the face was in the mainone face, and every head was prematurely white. A hundred times thedozing passenger inquired of this spectre:

可是夜间的黑影并不曾指明,在那一大堆闪现在他面前的面孔中哪一张才是那被埋葬者的。但这些全是一个四十五岁男人的面孔,它们之间的差别主要在于所表现的情感和它们那憔悴消瘦的可怕形象。自尊、轻蔑,挑战、顽强、屈服、哀悼的表情一个个闪现,深陷的双颊、惨白的脸色、瘦骨嶙峋的双手和身形。但是主要的面孔只有一张,每一颗头的头发也都过早地白了。睡意朦胧的旅客一百次地问那幽灵:

"Buried how long?"

“埋了多少年了?”

The answer was always the same: "Almost eighteen years."

回答总是相同。“差不多十八年。”

"You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?"

“你对被挖出来已经完全放弃希望了么?”

"Long ago."

“早放弃了。”

"You know that you are recalled to life?"

“你知道你复活了么?”

"They tell me so."

“他们是这样告诉我的。”

"I hope you care to live?"

“我希望你喜欢活下去?”

"I can't say."

“很难说。”

"Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?"

“你要我带她来看你么?你愿来看她么?”

The answers to this question were various and contradictory.Sometimes the broken reply was, "Wait! It would kill me if I saw hertoo soon." Sometimes, it was given in a tender rain of tears, and thenit was, "Take me to her." Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, andthen it was, "I don't know her. I don't understand."

对这个问题的回答前后不同,而且自相矛盾。有时那零零碎碎的回答是,“别急!我要是太早看见她,我会死掉的。”有时却是涕泗纵横,一片深情地说,“带我去看她。”有时却是瞪大了眼,满脸惶惑地说,“我不认识她,我不懂你的意思。”

After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy woulddig, and dig, dig- now with a spade, now with a great key, now withhis hands- to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, withearth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall awayto dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower thewindow, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.

在这样想象中的对话之后,那乘客又在幻想中挖呀,挖呀,挖个不止--有时用一把铁锹,有时用一把大钥匙,有时用手--要把那可怜的人挖出来。终于挖出来了,脸上和头发上还带着泥土。他可能突然消失,化为尘土。这时那乘客便猛然惊醒,放下车窗,回到现实中来,让雾和雨洒落到面颊上。

Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on themoving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge at the roadsideretreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fallinto the train of the night shadows within. The real Banking-houseby Temple Bar, the real business of the past day, the real strongrooms, the real express sent after him, and the real message returned,would all be there. Out of the midst of them, the ghostly face wouldrise, and he would accost it again.

但是,即使他的眼睛在雾和雨、在闪动的灯光、路旁晃动着退走的树篱前睁了开来,车外夜里的黑影也会跟车内的一连串黑影会合在一起。伦敦法学院大门旁头有的银行大厦,昨天实有的业务,实有的保险库,派来追他的实有的急脚信使,以及他所作出的真实回答也都在那片黑影里。那幽灵一样的面孔仍然会从这一切的雾影之中冒出来。他又会跟它说话。

"Buried how long?"

“埋了多久了?”

"Almost eighteen years."

“差不多十八年。”

"I hope you care to live?"

“我希望你想活。”

"I can't say."

“很难说。”

Dig- dig- dig- until an impatient movement from one of the twopassengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his armsecurely through the leathern strap, and speculate upon the twoslumbering forms, until his mind lost its hold of them, and they againslid away into the bank and the grave.

挖呀-一挖呀--挖呀,直挖到一个乘客作出一个不耐烦的动作使他拉上了窗帘,把手牢牢地穿进了皮带,然后打量着那两个昏睡的人影,直到两人又从他意识中溜走,跟银行、坟墓融汇到一起。

"Buried how long?"

“埋了多久了?”

"Almost eighteen years."

“差不多十八年。”

"You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?"

“对于被挖出来你已经放弃了希望么?”

"Long ago."

“早放弃了。”

The words were still in his hearing as just spoken- distinctly inhis hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life- when theweary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and foundthat the shadows of the night were gone.

这些话还在他耳里震响,跟刚说出时一样,还清清楚楚在他耳里,跟他生平所听过的任何话语一样--这时那疲劳的乘客开始意识到天已亮了,夜的影子已经消失。

He lowered the window, and looked out at the rising sun. There was aridge of ploughed land, with a plough upon it where it had been leftlast night when the horses were unyoked; beyond, a quiet coppice-wood,in which many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still remainedupon the trees. Though the earth was cold and wet, the sky wasclear, and the sun rose bright, placid, and beautiful.

他放下窗,希着窗外初升的太阳。窗外有一条翻耕过的地畦,上面有一部昨夜除去马轭后留下的铧犁。远处是一片寂静的杂树丛,还残留着许多火红的和金黄的树叶。地上虽寒冷潮湿,天空却很晴朗。太阳升了起来,赫煜、平静而美丽。

"Eighteen years!" said the passenger, looking at the sun."Gracious Creator of day! To be buried alive for eighteen years!"

“十八年!”乘客望着太阳说。“白昼的慈祥的创造者呀!活埋了十八年!”