Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘I’m afraid not.’

  "不见得就没有了。"

‘Are you quite sure?’

  "你有把握吗?"

‘Well, the fact is they’re advertising for a shop-walker tomorrow,’ said Athelny, looking at him doubtfully through his glasses.

  "嗯,明天公司要招聘一位顾客招待员,"阿特尔涅说话的当儿,两道怀疑的目光透过镜片盯住菲利普。

‘D’you think I stand any chance of getting it?’

  "你认为我有可能获得这个职位吗?"

Athelny was a little confused; he had led Philip to expect something much more splendid; on the other hand he was too poor to go on providing him indefinitely with board and lodging.

  阿特尔涅不觉有些儿惘然。他一直在引导菲利普等待着一个更为体面、光彩的职位,另一方面,他本身也是家徒壁立,无力为菲利普无限期地提供膳宿之便哟。

‘You might take it while you wait for something better. You always stand a better chance if you’re engaged by the firm already.’

  "你完全可以先接受这一职位干着,同时等待一个更好的职位。你一旦被公司录用了,总是能够得到一个比较好的机会的。"

‘I’m not proud, you, know’ smiled Philip.

  "我可不是那种高不攀低不就的人物,这你是知道的,"菲利普笑吟吟地说。

‘If you decide on that you must be there at a quarter to nine tomorrow morning.’

  "如果你拿定了主意,那明天上午八点三刻你得上公司去走一趟。"

Notwithstanding the war there was evidently much difficulty in finding work, for when Philip went to the shop many men were waiting already. He recognised some whom he had seen in his own searching, and there was one whom he had noticed lying about the park in the afternoon. To Philip now that suggested that he was as homeless as himself and passed the night out of doors. The men were of all sorts, old and young, tall and short; but every one had tried to make himself smart for the interview with the manager: they had carefully brushed hair and scrupulously clean hands. They waited in a passage which Philip learnt afterwards led up to the dining-hall and the work rooms; it was broken every few yards by five or six steps. Though there was electric light in the shop here was only gas, with wire cages over it for protection, and it flared noisily. Philip arrived punctually, but it was nearly ten o’clock when he was admitted into the office. It was three-cornered, like a cut of cheese lying on its side: on the walls were pictures of women in corsets, and two poster-proofs, one of a man in pyjamas, green and white in large stripes, and the other of a ship in full sail ploughing an azure sea: on the sail was printed in large letters ‘great white sale.’ The widest side of the office was the back of one of the shop-windows, which was being dressed at the time, and an assistant went to and fro during the interview. The manager was reading a letter. He was a florid man, with sandy hair and a large sandy moustache; from the middle of his watch-chain hung a bunch of football medals. He sat in his shirt sleeves at a large desk with a telephone by his side; before him were the day’s advertisements, Athelny’s work, and cuttings from newspapers pasted on a card. He gave Philip a glance but did not speak to him; he dictated a letter to the typist, a girl who sat at a small table in one corner; then he asked Philip his name, age, and what experience he had had. He spoke with a cockney twang in a high, metallic voice which he seemed not able always to control; Philip noticed that his upper teeth were large and protruding; they gave you the impression that they were loose and would come out if you gave them a sharp tug.

  尽管有战事,找工作显然还不是件易事,因为菲利普走到店里时,那儿早有不少人在等着啦。他认出了几位他外出找工作时邂逅相遇过的人,其中有一位,他曾见过此人晌午时分还躺在公园里。对菲利普来说,此人就跟他一样,也是个无家可归、在外露宿的角色。这儿挤着各色人等,年纪有老有轻,身材高矮不等,但是每一个人都为即将同经理会见而精心修饰边幅:他们都一丝不苟地把头发梳理得溜滑,不厌其烦地把手洗了又洗。他们全都等候在一条走廊里,菲利普后来才知道这条走廊通着餐厅和工作室。这条走廊每隔几码就开有一个五六步阔的门洞。虽说店里装有电灯,可这条走廊上却燃着煤气灯,灯外网着铁丝以作保护,一盏盏煤气灯咝咝地燃烧着。菲利普八点三刻准时到达店里,可一直等到将近十点光景才被叫进办公室去。这是个只有三个角落的房间,活脱脱像块切开倒在一边的干酪。墙上贴着几张守着紧身胸衣的女人照片,两张广告样稿。其中一张画的是一个男人,身着草绿色和白色条纹相间的宽大睡衣裤;另一张画的是一条船,扯满风帆,在蓝色的海面上破浪前进,风帆上印着"大批白布待销"几个大字。办公室最长的一堵墙原来就是该店一个橱窗的背部,眼下橱窗正在进行布置。在会见的过程中,一位助手走出走进的,忙个不停。那位经理正看着一封信件。此人面色红润,长着一头沙色的头发和一大把沙色的大胡子,胸前表链中央悬挂着一大串足球优胜奖章。他身穿衬衫,端坐在一张硕大的办公桌的后面,手边捆着架电话机,面前堆放着当天的广告、阿特尔涅的大作,还有粘贴在卡片上的剪报。他朝菲利普瞟了一眼,但没有说话,只顾对打字员口授信件。这位打字员是个姑娘,坐在另一个角落里的一张小桌子旁。然后,他才问起菲利普的姓名、年龄以及先前的工作经历。看来,他一说话就控制不住自己,总是拉开嗓门,发出刺耳的声音,话音里还流露出浓重的伦敦土音。菲利普注意到他那上排牙齿一颗颗大得吓人,而且还朝前龇着,给人以一种牙根松动、只要猛地一拉即会脱落的印象。

‘I think Mr. Athelny has spoken to you about me,’ said Philip.

  "我想阿特尔涅先生已经对您说起过我,"菲利普说道。

‘Oh, you are the young feller who did that poster?’

  "喔,你就是那位画广告的年轻人吗?"

‘Yes, sir.’

  "是的,先生。"

‘No good to us, you know, not a bit of good.’

  "对我们没有一点用处,要晓得,一丁点儿用场都没有。"

He looked Philip up and down. He seemed to notice that Philip was in some way different from the men who had preceded him.

  他上下打量着菲利普,似乎注意到从某些方面来说,菲利普不同于前面进来的几位应招人员。

‘You’d ‘ave to get a frock coat, you know. I suppose you ‘aven’t got one. You seem a respectable young feller. I suppose you found art didn’t pay.’

  "你要知道,你一定得搞件工装礼服穿穿。我估计你还没有吧。你看上去倒是个正派的年轻小伙子。我想你觉得从事艺术不上算吧。"

Philip could not tell whether he meant to engage him or not. He threw remarks at him in a hostile way.

  从他的话中,菲利普猜不透他是否有雇用他的意思。他用一种敌视的态度对菲利普说着话。

‘Where’s your home?’

  "你的家在哪儿?"

‘My father and mother died when I was a child.’

  "我小时候父母亲就去世了。"

‘I like to give young fellers a chance. Many’s the one I’ve given their chance to and they’re managers of departments now. And they’re grateful to me, I’ll say that for them. They know what I done for them. Start at the bottom of the ladder, that’s the only way to learn the business, and then if you stick to it there’s no knowing what it can lead to. If you suit, one of these days you may find yourself in a position like what mine is. Bear that in mind, young feller.’

  "我乐意给年轻人一个机会。我曾经给了不少年轻人这样的机会,而他们现在都成了部门的头头了。他们都很感激我,为了他们我也要说这件事。他们知道我为他们做了些什么。从梯子的最低一级爬起,这是学生意的唯一道路。往后,只要你持之以恒,坚持拾级而上,那谁也不能预料这会把你引向哪儿。要是你合适的话,有朝一日,你会发觉你自己处于同我现在一样的位子上的。牢牢记住我刚才说的话吧,年轻人。"

‘I’m very anxious to do my best, sir,’ said Philip.

  "先生,我非常愿意尽我最大的努力把工作做好,"菲利普说。

He knew that he must put in the sir whenever he could, but it sounded odd to him, and he was afraid of overdoing it. The manager liked talking. It gave him a happy consciousness of his own importance, and he did not give Philip his decision till he had used a great many words.

  菲利普知道不论他说什么,只要有可能,他都说上一个"先生",但是这种说法自己所来有些刺耳,因此他生怕自己做得太过分了。这位经理谈锋极健。说话的当儿,他感觉到自己是多么的了不起,由此心里升起一种乐不可支的情感。直到他滔滔不绝地说了一大套之后,才给菲利普一个肯定的答复。

‘Well, I daresay you’ll do,’ he said at last, in a pompous way. ‘Anyhow I don’t mind giving you a trial.’

  "唔,我相信你会那样去做的,"最后他态度傲慢地说,"不管怎么说,我不反对给你一个尝试的机会。"

‘Thank you very much, sir.’

  "非常感谢您,先生。"

‘You can start at once. I’ll give you six shillings a week and your keep. Everything found, you know; the six shillings is only pocket money, to do what you like with, paid monthly. Start on Monday. I suppose you’ve got no cause of complaint with that.’

  "你可以立即来上班。我付你每周六先令和你的生活费。就这么些了,要晓得,六先令只是零花钱,按月付,你爱怎么花就怎么花。从星期一开始算起,我估计你对此也没有可埋怨的吧。"

‘No, sir.’

  "是的,先生。"

‘Harrington Street, d’you know where that is, Shaftesbury Avenue. That’s where you sleep. Number ten, it is. You can sleep there on Sunday night, if you like; that’s just as you please, or you can send your box there on Monday.’ The manager nodded: ‘Good-morning.’

  "哈林顿大街,你知道这条街在哪儿吗?在沙夫兹伯雷林荫路上。你就住在那儿,门牌是十号。唔,对,是十号。你愿意的话,星期天夜里就住到那儿去。随你的便,或者你可以于星期一把你的箱子搬到那儿去,"经理点点头,说了声"再见"。