Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘Where on earth have you been all this time?’ he cried.

  "你这一向究竟上哪儿啦?"劳森高声问道。

‘I?’ said Philip.

  "我吗?"菲利普说。

‘I wrote you and asked you to come to the studio for a beano and you never even answered.’

  "我给你写过一封信,想请你上我的画室来吃个闹宴的,可你一直不给回音。"

‘I didn’t get your letter.’

  "没接到你的信呀。"

‘No, I know. I went to the hospital to ask for you, and I saw my letter in the rack. Have you chucked the Medical?’

  "你是没收到,这我知道。我上医院找你去了,只见信还搁在文件架上。你不学医啦?"

Philip hesitated for a moment. He was ashamed to tell the truth, but the shame he felt angered him, and he forced himself to speak. He could not help reddening.

  菲利普迟疑了好一会儿。他羞于道出真情,但这种寒碜感倒使他内心不觉忿然。他强打起精神来回答劳森的话,这当儿,他不由向主地涨红了脸。

‘Yes, I lost the little money I had. I couldn’t afford to go on with it.’

  "是的。我仅有的一点钱都用光了,无力继续我的学业。"

‘I say, I’m awfully sorry. What are you doing?’

  "唉,我真为你难过。那现在你在干什么呢?"

‘I’m a shop-walker.’

  "我在一爿店里当招待员。"

The words choked Philip, but he was determined not to shirk the truth. He kept his eyes on Lawson and saw his embarrassment. Philip smiled savagely.

  菲利普语塞喉管,不是个滋味,但还是决意不隐瞒真相。菲利普两眼直盯盯地看着劳森,发觉他一脸的尴尬相,便嘿嘿一声冷笑。

‘If you went into Lynn and Sedley, and made your way into the ‘made robes’ department, you would see me in a frock coat, walking about with a degage air and directing ladies who want to buy petticoats or stockings. First to the right, madam, and second on the left.’

  "要是你肯屈尊光临莱恩-塞特笠公司,走进'成衣'部,你就会看到我身穿大礼服,潇洒地四处溜达,给那些前来购买衬裙和长统株的太太们指路。右边第二个拐弯,夫人。左边第二个拐弯。"

Lawson, seeing that Philip was making a jest of it, laughed awkwardly. He did not know what to say. The picture that Philip called up horrified him, but he was afraid to show his sympathy.

  看到菲利普对自己的职位冷嘲热讽的态度,劳森极不自然地笑着,不知说什么才好。菲利普描绘的工作情景,使得劳森不胜惊愕,但他又不敢流露出同情。

‘That’s a bit of a change for you,’ he said.

  "这对你来说倒是个变化,"劳森说了一句。

His words seemed absurd to him, and immediately he wished he had not said them. Philip flushed darkly.

  他觉得自己说这种话未免太不得体了,顿时不胜懊悔。菲利普听后,赧颜满面,脸色阴沉。

‘A bit,’ he said. ‘By the way, I owe you five bob.’

  "是个变化,"菲利普说。"顺便说个事,我还欠你五个先令呢。"

He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out some silver.

  他把手伸进了口袋,掏出了几枚银币。

‘Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’d forgotten all about it.’

  "哦,这没什么。我都忘了。"

‘Go on, take it.’

  "别胡说,喏,快拿去。"

Lawson received the money silently. They stood in the middle of the pavement, and people jostled them as they passed. There was a sardonic twinkle in Philip’s eyes, which made the painter intensely uncomfortable, and he could not tell that Philip’s heart was heavy with despair. Lawson wanted dreadfully to do something, but he did not know what to do.

  劳森默默地接过钱去。他们俩站在人行道中间,来往的行人推撞着他们。菲利普的双眼闪烁着讥讽的神色,使得那位画家大有芒刺在背之感。劳森哪里知道,此时此刻,菲利普却是心情沉重,悲痛欲绝。劳森很想为菲利普做些什么,但又茫然不知所措。

‘I say, won’t you come to the studio and have a talk?’

  "嘿,你到我画室来,咱俩好好聊聊不行吗?"

‘No,’ said Philip.

  "我不去,"菲利普回答。

‘Why not?’

  "为什么?"

‘There’s nothing to talk about.’

  "没什么可聊的。"

He saw the pain come into Lawson’s eyes, he could not help it, he was sorry, but he had to think of himself; he could not bear the thought of discussing his situation, he could endure it only by determining resolutely not to think about it. He was afraid of his weakness if once he began to open his heart. Moreover, he took irresistible dislikes to the places where he had been miserable: he remembered the humiliation he had endured when he had waited in that studio, ravenous with hunger, for Lawson to offer him a meal, and the last occasion when he had taken the five shillings off him. He hated the sight of Lawson, because he recalled those days of utter abasement.

  菲利普看到劳森眼里闪出痛苦的神色,虽感到遗憾,但心想这是没法子的事,他得为自己着想啊。他不能容忍与人谈论他目下困厄的境况,只有狠狠心肠不去想它,他心里才稍许有几分安宁。他生怕一旦披露了自己的心迹,他的精神就会彻底崩溃。更重要的是,他对以前遭受过不幸的地方具有一股无法遏制的厌恶情绪。他那次空着肚子站在画室里等着劳森施舍一顿饭时蒙受的耻辱,至今还记忆犹新;他上次向劳森借五个先令的情景恍如昨日。他最不愿意看到劳森,因为一看到劳森,他就会想起他那些潦倒落魄的日子。

‘Then look here, come and dine with me one night. Choose your own evening.’

  "那好吧,哪一天晚上你到我画室来,咱俩在一块吃顿饭。哪一天来,你自己决定。"

Philip was touched with the painter’s kindness. All sorts of people were strangely kind to him, he thought.

  那位画家的好意,打动了菲利普的心弦。他暗自思忖着,各种各样的人都对他表示友善,这真不可思议。

‘It’s awfully good of you, old man, but I’d rather not.’ He held out his hand. ‘Good-bye.’

  "你太好了,老兄,不过我还是不想来。"他向劳森伸出一只手,并说了声"再见"!

Lawson, troubled by a behaviour which seemed inexplicable, took his hand, and Philip quickly limped away. His heart was heavy; and, as was usual with him, he began to reproach himself for what he had done: he did not know what madness of pride had made him refuse the offered friendship. But he heard someone running behind him and presently Lawson’s voice calling him; he stopped and suddenly the feeling of hostility got the better of him; he presented to Lawson a cold, set face.

  劳森被这一似乎无法解释的举动弄糊涂了,迷惘地同菲利普握了握手,而菲利普匆匆转过身去,一瘸一拐地走了。菲利普的心情沉重,而且同往常一样,他又责备起自己刚才的举动来了。他自己都闹不清究竟是什么样的盲目骄傲,使得自己把主动伸过来的友谊之手给挡了回去。身后传来追赶他的脚步声。不一会儿,他听到劳森在叫他。他收住脚步,心中升起一股无名之火。他拉长了脸,冷冷地面对着劳森。

‘What is it?’

  "什么事呀?"

‘I suppose you heard about Hayward, didn’t you?’

  "我想,海沃德的事儿,你听说了吧?"

‘I know he went to the Cape.’

  "我只知道他上好望角去了。"

‘He died, you know, soon after landing.’

  "要知道,他到了好望角没多久就死啦!"

For a moment Philip did not answer. He could hardly believe his ears.

  菲利普沉吟了半晌,简直不敢相信自己的耳朵。

‘How?’ he asked.

  "怎么回事?"他问道。

‘Oh, enteric. Hard luck, wasn’t it? I thought you mightn’t know. Gave me a bit of a turn when I heard it.’

  "哦,得伤寒症死的。真不幸,是不?我想兴许你还不晓得的。我刚听说这个消息时,心里也咯噔了一下。"

Lawson nodded quickly and walked away. Philip felt a shiver pass through his heart. He had never before lost a friend of his own age, for the death of Cronshaw, a man so much older than himself, had seemed to come in the normal course of things. The news gave him a peculiar shock. It reminded him of his own mortality, for like everyone else Philip, knowing perfectly that all men must die, had no intimate feeling that the same must apply to himself; and Hayward’s death, though he had long ceased to have any warm feeling for him, affected him deeply. He remembered on a sudden all the good talks they had had, and it pained him to think that they would never talk with one another again; he remembered their first meeting and the pleasant months they had spent together in Heidelberg. Philip’s heart sank as he thought of the lost years. He walked on mechanically, not noticing where he went, and realised suddenly, with a movement of irritation, that instead of turning down the Haymarket he had sauntered along Shaftesbury Avenue. It bored him to retrace his steps; and besides, with that news, he did not want to read, he wanted to sit alone and think. He made up his mind to go to the British Museum. Solitude was now his only luxury. Since he had been at Lynn’s he had often gone there and sat in front of the groups from the Parthenon; and, not deliberately thinking, had allowed their divine masses to rest his troubled soul. But this afternoon they had nothing to say to him, and after a few minutes, impatiently, he wandered out of the room. There were too many people, provincials with foolish faces, foreigners poring over guide-books; their hideousness besmirched the everlasting masterpieces, their restlessness troubled the god’s immortal repose. He went into another room and here there was hardly anyone. Philip sat down wearily. His nerves were on edge. He could not get the people out of his mind. Sometimes at Lynn’s they affected him in the same way, and he looked at them file past him with horror; they were so ugly and there was such meanness in their faces, it was terrifying; their features were distorted with paltry desires, and you felt they were strange to any ideas of beauty. They had furtive eyes and weak chins. There was no wickedness in them, but only pettiness and vulgarity. Their humour was a low facetiousness. Sometimes he found himself looking at them to see what animal they resembled (he tried not to, for it quickly became an obsession,) and he saw in them all the sheep or the horse or the fox or the goat. Human beings filled him with disgust.

  劳森匆匆点了点头,便走开了。菲利普只觉得一阵震颤刺透了他的心。他从未失去过一位年龄同他相仿的朋友。至于克朗肖,他的年龄要比菲利普大得多,他的去世似乎还是合乎情理的正常死亡。这一噩耗给了他一记特别沉重的打击。此时,他联想到自己最终也不免一死。同任何人一样,菲利普虽说也完全明白凡人皆有一死,但内心深处却并没有意识到这一条规律也同样适用于自己。虽说他对海沃德早就没有了亲密的情谊,但海沃德猝然离开人世这件事,还是猛烈地撞击着他的心。眨眼间,往昔他俩的趣味隽永的谈话又回响在他的耳边。当想到他们再也不能在一起促膝谈心,他感到很是心疼。他们俩第一次见面以及在海德尔堡愉快地度过了几个月的情景,历历如在眼前。回忆起那逝去的岁月,菲利普不由得黯然神伤。他下意识地摆动着双腿,朝前走着,也没注意自己是在走向哪里。猛然间,他抬头一看,发觉自己没有拐人草市街,而径直沿着沙夫兹伯里林荫路向前走去。折回去,他又不高兴。再说,听了那则消息之后,他毫无心思读书,只想独自坐着沉思。他决定到不列颠博物馆去。独个儿坐在幽静处是他眼下唯一的一种享受。自从进了莱恩公司,他常常到不列颠博物馆去,坐在来自巴台农神庙的群像雕塑前面,自己并无什么想法,只是让那些雕像来安抚他那茫然若失的灵魂。可是这天下午,它们对他却无所启示,坐了几分钟以后,他再也耐不住性子,便神情恍惚地走了出来。外面游人济济,中间有一脸蠢相的乡下佬,还有专心致志地读着旅游指南的异国客。他们那种吓人的丑陋相玷污了这里的永恒的艺术珍品;他们一个个坐不定立不稳的样子,扰乱了不朽的神灵的安宁。于是,菲利普转身进了另一个房间,这里游人寥寥。他疲倦地一屁股坐了下来,可他的神经却非常兴奋,说什么也不能把那批游人从脑海中驱赶出去。有时候,在莱恩商店里,他也有同样的感觉,总是不胜惊骇地瞪视着人们打他眼前鱼贯而过。他们一个个容貌丑陋至极,脸上无不流露出一副卑贱相,叫人看了实在可怕。他们的脸面被下贱的欲念所扭歪,令人感到他们对任何一个美好的思想都视为不可思议。他们生就一双狡黠的眼睛,一个不堪一击的下巴颏,他们虽无害人之心,却一个个俗不可耐、褊狭猥劣。他们的幽默感既低级又滑稽可笑。有时候,菲利普发觉自己眼睛望着他们,可心里在思量着他们究竟跟何种动物相似(他极力不让自己作这样的联想,因为要不多久他就会入迷而无法摆脱),他发觉他们仿佛是一群群绵羊、马匹、狐狸和山羊。一想到人类,他心里充满了厌恶。

But presently the influence of the place descended upon him. He felt quieter. He began to look absently at the tombstones with which the room was lined. They were the work of Athenian stone masons of the fourth and fifth centuries before Christ, and they were very simple, work of no great talent but with the exquisite spirit of Athens upon them; time had mellowed the marble to the colour of honey, so that unconsciously one thought of the bees of Hymettus, and softened their outlines. Some represented a nude figure, seated on a bench, some the departure of the dead from those who loved him, and some the dead clasping hands with one who remained behind. On all was the tragic word farewell; that and nothing more. Their simplicity was infinitely touching. Friend parted from friend, the son from his mother, and the restraint made the survivor’s grief more poignant. It was so long, long ago, and century upon century had passed over that unhappiness; for two thousand years those who wept had been dust as those they wept for. Yet the woe was alive still, and it filled Philip’s heart so that he felt compassion spring up in it, and he said:

  然而,不一会儿,房间里的气氛强烈地感染着他,使他的心情渐渐平静下来了。他心猿意马地浏览着房间里的一排排墓石。这些墓石均出自公元前四、五世纪雅典石匠的手艺。它们虽平淡无奇,并非天才之作,但是无不闪烁着古朴风雅的雅典精神。随着岁月的流逝,一块块墓石的棱角磨平了,都呈蜂蜜一般的颜色,使人不由得想起了海米塔斯山上的蜜蜂。有些墓石雕成一个人赤身裸体地坐在椅子上的形象;有的描绘生命垂危的人向钟爱他的人们诀别的悲壮场面;还有的是刻画行将就木的人紧紧抓住活在人世间的人的手的情景。图画淳朴,惟其淳朴,显得格外动人心弦。朋友之间、母子之间的生离死别,何等地悲壮!而逝者的克制使得生者内心的悲哀变得越发深沉。唉!那是很久很久以前的事儿了,打那以后,沧海桑田,不知过去了多少个世纪!两千年来,那些痛悼死者的人们也跟被哀悼者一样变成了一杯黄土。然而,那种悲哀却至今还在人间,眼下菲利普就感到不胜哀戚。他心中油然生起一股怜悯之情,不禁连连唱叹道:

‘Poor things, poor things.’

  "可怜的人儿!可怜的人儿啊!"

And it came to him that the gaping sight-seers and the fat strangers with their guide-books, and all those mean, common people who thronged the shop, with their trivial desires and vulgar cares, were mortal and must die. They too loved and must part from those they loved, the son from his mother, the wife from her husband; and perhaps it was more tragic because their lives were ugly and sordid, and they knew nothing that gave beauty to the world. There was one stone which was very beautiful, a bas relief of two young men holding each other’s hand; and the reticence of line, the simplicity, made one like to think that the sculptor here had been touched with a genuine emotion. It was an exquisite memorial to that than which the world offers but one thing more precious, to a friendship; and as Philip looked at it, he felt the tears come to his eyes. He thought of Hayward and his eager admiration for him when first they met, and how disillusion had come and then indifference, till nothing held them together but habit and old memories. It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came, and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary. Your life proceeded and you did not even miss him. Philip thought of those early days in Heidelberg when Hayward, capable of great things, had been full of enthusiasm for the future, and how, little by little, achieving nothing, he had resigned himself to failure. Now he was dead. His death had been as futile as his life. He died ingloriously, of a stupid disease, failing once more, even at the end, to accomplish anything. It was just the same now as if he had never lived.

  菲利普突然想起那些张口呆看的游览观光者,那些手捧旅游指南、大腹便便的异国客,以及那些为满足不足挂齿的欲念和俗不可耐的爱好而蜂拥挤人商店的平庸之辈,他们都是人,最终都不免一死。他们也有所爱,但是,终究都得同他们心爱的人永世分离,儿子要同母亲诀别,妻子要同丈夫永别,说不定他们生死别离的场面将更为凄惨,因为他们一辈子都过的是丑恶的、下贱的日子。他们连究竟是什么给世界带来美这一点都一无所知。一块漂亮的墓石上刻着两个年轻人手携手的浅浮雕像,那恬淡的线条,朴实的画面,都令人感到那位雕刻家是带着一种真诚的情感从事创作的。这幅浅浮雕像,并不是为友谊而是为世界赐予人类又一件珍品这件事而竖立的一座丰碑。菲利普目不转睛地仰望着雕像,这当儿,他感觉自己的眼眶渗出了泪水。他想起了海沃德。他们俩初次相遇时,他对海沃德怀有热切的钦佩之情,可后来心中的偶像幻灭了,接着就是互相冷淡,最后只有习惯与旧日情谊才把他们维系在一起。这一幕幕往事一一掠过菲利普的脑际。生活中就有这样的事:你接连数月每天都碰见一个人,于是你同他的关系便十分亲密起来,你当时甚至会想没有了这个人还不知怎么生活呢。随后两人分离了,但一切仍按先前的格局进行着。你原先认为一刻也离不开的伙伴,此时却变得可有可无,日复一日,久而久之,你甚至连想都不想他了。菲利普回想起早先在海德尔堡的日子。那会儿海沃德完全有能力于出一番轰轰烈烈的事业来,对未来怀有满腔激情,可后来随着时光的流逝,他不知怎么的却一事无成,最后竟自暴自弃,心甘情愿地成了一名败北者。现在他死了。他活得毫无意义,死得毫无价值。他极不光彩地死于一种愚昧的病症,直到生命终止时,还是功不成,名不就,一事无成,仿佛世上从来就没有过他这个人似的。

Philip asked himself desperately what was the use of living at all. It all seemed inane. It was the same with Cronshaw: it was quite unimportant that he had lived; he was dead and forgotten, his book of poems sold in remainder by second-hand booksellers; his life seemed to have served nothing except to give a pushing journalist occasion to write an article in a review. And Philip cried out in his soul:

  菲利普一个劲儿地问着自己:人活着究竟有什么意义?世间万物,一切皆空。拿克朗肖来说,情况何尝不是如此。他活着,不过是个碌碌之辈,无声无息;他一死,就被人忘得一干二净。他余下的那几本诗集只是摆在旧书摊上出售。他的一生似乎只是提供个机会给人写篇评论文章,除此之外,就别无意义。于是菲利普内心不由得呐喊起来:

‘What is the use of it?’

  "这又有什么意思呢?"

The effort was so incommensurate with the result. The bright hopes of youth had to be paid for at such a bitter price of disillusionment. Pain and disease and unhappiness weighed down the scale so heavily. What did it all mean? He thought of his own life, the high hopes with which he had entered upon it, the limitations which his body forced upon him, his friendlessness, and the lack of affection which had surrounded his youth. He did not know that he had ever done anything but what seemed best to do, and what a cropper he had come! Other men, with no more advantages than he, succeeded, and others again, with many more, failed. It seemed pure chance. The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.

  人们一生中所作的努力同其最后结局显得多么不相称啊。人们却要为年轻时对未来的美好憧憬,付出饱尝幻灭之苦的惨重代价。痛苦、疾病和不幸,重重地压在人生这杆天平的一侧,把它压倾斜了。这一切意味着什么呢?菲利普联想到自己的一生,想起了开始步入人生时自己所有的凌云大志,想起了他身患残疾给他带来的种种限制,想起了他举目无亲、形单影只的景况,想起了他在没有疼爱、无人过问的环境中度过的青春岁月。除了做些看上去是最好的事情以外,他不知道自己还有没有做过别的什么事情。即使如此,他还是一个倒栽葱摔了下来,陷入了深深的不幸之中。有些人并不比他菲利普高强多少,却一个个飞黄腾达;还有些人要比他菲利普不知高强多少倍,可就是郁郁不得志。一切似乎纯粹是靠碰机会。人无论是正直的还是不正直的,雨露毫无偏向地统统洒在他们身上。这里面是没有什么道理可讲的。

Thinking of Cronshaw, Philip remembered the Persian rug which he had given him, telling him that it offered an answer to his question upon the meaning of life; and suddenly the answer occurred to him: he chuckled: now that he had it, it was like one of the puzzles which you worry over till you are shown the solution and then cannot imagine how it could ever have escaped you. The answer was obvious. Life had no meaning. On the earth, satellite of a star speeding through space, living things had arisen under the influence of conditions which were part of the planet’s history; and as there had been a beginning of life upon it so, under the influence of other conditions, there would be an end: man, no more significant than other forms of life, had come not as the climax of creation but as a physical reaction to the environment. Philip remembered the story of the Eastern King who, desiring to know the history of man, was brought by a sage five hundred volumes; busy with affairs of state, he bade him go and condense it; in twenty years the sage returned and his history now was in no more than fifty volumes, but the King, too old then to read so many ponderous tomes, bade him go and shorten it once more; twenty years passed again and the sage, old and gray, brought a single book in which was the knowledge the King had sought; but the King lay on his death-bed, and he had no time to read even that; and then the sage gave him the history of man in a single line; it was this: he was born, he suffered, and he died. There was no meaning in life, and man by living served no end. It was immaterial whether he was born or not born, whether he lived or ceased to live. Life was insignificant and death without consequence. Philip exulted, as he had exulted in his boyhood when the weight of a belief in God was lifted from his shoulders: it seemed to him that the last burden of responsibility was taken from him; and for the first time he was utterly free. His insignificance was turned to power, and he felt himself suddenly equal with the cruel fate which had seemed to persecute him; for, if life was meaningless, the world was robbed of its cruelty. What he did or left undone did not matter. Failure was unimportant and success amounted to nothing. He was the most inconsiderate creature in that swarming mass of mankind which for a brief space occupied the surface of the earth; and he was almighty because he had wrenched from chaos the secret of its nothingness. Thoughts came tumbling over one another in Philip’s eager fancy, and he took long breaths of joyous satisfaction. He felt inclined to leap and sing. He had not been so happy for months.

  在思念克朗肖的当儿,菲利普记起了他送给自己的那条波斯地毯。当时克朗肖曾说那条地毯可以为他揭示生活的奥秘。蓦然间,菲利普悟出了道理,不觉扑哧笑出声来。啊,终于找到了答案。这好比猜谜语,百思不得其解,但一经点破谜底,你简直不能想象自己怎么会一下被这谜语所难倒的。答案最明显不过了:生活毫无意义。地球不过是一颗穿越太空的星星的卫星罢了。在某些条件的作用下,生物便在地球上应运而生,而这些条件正是形成地球这颗行星的一部分。既然在这些条件的作用下,地球开始有了生物,那么,在其他条件的作用下,万物的生命就有个终结。人,并不比其他有生命的东西更有意义;人的出现,并非是造物的顶点,而不过是自然对环境作出的反应罢了。菲利普想起了有关东罗马帝国国王的故事。那国王迫切希望了解人类的历史。一天,一位哲人给他送来了五百卷书籍,可国王朝政缠身,日理万机,无暇披卷破帙,便责成哲人将书带回,加以压缩综合。转眼过了二十年,哲人回来时,那部书籍经压缩只剩了五十卷,可此时,国王年近古稀,已无力啃这些伤脑筋的古籍了,便再次责成哲人将书缩短。转眼又过了二十年,老态龙钟、白发苍苍的哲人来到国王跟前,手里拿着一本写着国王孜孜寻求的知识的书,但是,国王此时已是奄奄一息,行将就木,即使就这么一本书,他也没有时间阅读了。这时候,哲人把人类历史归结为一行字,写好后呈上,上面写道:人降生世上,便受苦受难,最后双目一闭,离世而去。生活没有意义,人活着也没有目的。出世还是不出世,活着还是死去,均无关紧要。生命微不足道,而死亡也无足轻重。想到这里,菲利普心头掠过一阵狂喜,正如他童年时当摆脱了笃信上帝的重压后所怀有的那种心情一样。在他看来,生活最后一副重担从肩上卸了下来,他平生第一次感到彻底自由了。原先他以为自己人微言轻,无足轻重,而眼下却觉得自己顶天立地,强大无比。陡然间,他仿佛觉得自己同一直在迫害着他的残酷的命运势均力敌,不相上下了。既然生活毫无意义,尘世也就无残忍可言。不论是做过的还是没来得及做的事,一概都无关宏旨。失败毫不足奇,成功也等于零。他不过是暂时占据在地球表层的芸芸众生中间的一个最不起眼的动物而已;然而,他又无所不能,因为他能从一片混饨之中探出其奥秘来。菲利普思想活跃,脑海里思潮翻腾;他感到乐不可支,心满意足,不禁深深地吸了几口气。他真想手舞足蹈,放喉高歌一番。几个月来,他还没有像此刻这么心舒神爽。

‘Oh, life,’ he cried in his heart, ‘Oh life, where is thy sting?’

  "啊,生活,"他心里喟然长叹道,"啊,生活,你的意趣何在?"。

For the same uprush of fancy which had shown him with all the force of mathematical demonstration that life had no meaning, brought with it another idea; and that was why Cronshaw, he imagined, had given him the Persian rug. As the weaver elaborated his pattern for no end but the pleasure of his aesthetic sense, so might a man live his life, or if one was forced to believe that his actions were outside his choosing, so might a man look at his life, that it made a pattern. There was as little need to do this as there was use. It was merely something he did for his own pleasure. Out of the manifold events of his life, his deeds, his feelings, his thoughts, he might make a design, regular, elaborate, complicated, or beautiful; and though it might be no more than an illusion that he had the power of selection, though it might be no more than a fantastic legerdemain in which appearances were interwoven with moonbeams, that did not matter: it seemed, and so to him it was. In the vast warp of life (a river arising from no spring and flowing endlessly to no sea), with the background to his fancies that there was no meaning and that nothing was important, a man might get a personal satisfaction in selecting the various strands that worked out the pattern. There was one pattern, the most obvious, perfect, and beautiful, in which a man was born, grew to manhood, married, produced children, toiled for his bread, and died; but there were others, intricate and wonderful, in which happiness did not enter and in which success was not attempted; and in them might be discovered a more troubling grace. Some lives, and Hayward’s was among them, the blind indifference of chance cut off while the design was still imperfect; and then the solace was comfortable that it did not matter; other lives, such as Cronshaw’s, offered a pattern which was difficult to follow, the point of view had to be shifted and old standards had to be altered before one could understand that such a life was its own justification. Philip thought that in throwing over the desire for happiness he was casting aside the last of his illusions. His life had seemed horrible when it was measured by its happiness, but now he seemed to gather strength as he realised that it might be measured by something else. Happiness mattered as little as pain. They came in, both of them, as all the other details of his life came in, to the elaboration of the design. He seemed for an instant to stand above the accidents of his existence, and he felt that they could not affect him again as they had done before. Whatever happened to him now would be one more motive to add to the complexity of the pattern, and when the end approached he would rejoice in its completion. It would be a work of art, and it would be none the less beautiful because he alone knew of its existence, and with his death it would at once cease to be.

  这股突如其来的思潮,以其无对辩驳的力量,向菲利普明白无误地表明了生活毫无意义这一道理。在这同时,菲利普心中又萌生出另一个念头。他想原来克朗肖就是为了向他说明这一点才送给他波斯地毯的呀。地毯织工把地毯的格局编得错综复杂,并非出自某种目的,不过是满足其美感的乐趣罢了。正如地毯织工那样,一个人也是这样度过其一生的。倘若一个人不得不相信其行动是不由自主的,那么,他也可以以同样的观点来看待其人生,人生也不过是一种格局而已,生活既无意义,也无必要,生活只不过是满足一个人的乐趣而已。从生活、行为、感情和思想的五花八门的事件中剪辑些材料,他完全可能设计出一种有一定规律可循的图案,一种错综复杂的图案,或者一种色彩缤纷的漂亮的图案。虽说这兴许充其量不过是一种他认为自己可自由选择的幻想,虽说这兴许总是一种荒诞不经的幻象与缕缕月光混杂在一起的戏法而已,但这一切均无关紧要,生活看上去就是如此,而在菲利普看来生活也确实是这样的。眼下,菲利普认为生活没有意义,一切都微不足道。在这种思想背景下,他认为一个人可以从那宽阔无垠的生活长河(这是一汪无源之水,奔腾不息,却不汇入大海)中掬起几滴不同的水,拼凑成那种格局,从而使自己心满意足。有一种格局,最明显,最完美无缺,同时也最漂亮动人。这种格局是一个人呱呱坠地来到人间,渐渐长大成人,恋爱结婚,生儿育女,为挣片面包而含辛茹苦,最终登腿弃世而去。但是生活还有别的样式的格局,这些格局虽杂乱无章,却是妙不可言,幸福从未涉足其间,人们也不追逐功名,但从中可以感觉到一种更加乱人心思的雅趣。有些人的一生,其中也包括海沃德的一生,他们的人生格局尚未完美之前,盲目的、冷漠的机会却使它突然中断了。于是,有人就说些安慰话,虽暖人心窝,却于事无补还有些人的一生,正如克朗肖的一生那样,为人们提供了一个难以效法的格局:人们还没来得及认识到他们哪些人的一生本身就证明其人生是正当的,观点就要改变,传统的标准就又得修改了。菲利普认为他抛弃了追求幸福的欲念,便是抛弃了他的最后一个不切实际的幻想。用幸福这根尺来衡量,那他的生活就显得很可怕;然而当他意识到还有别的尺来衡量他的生活时,顿然觉得浑身充满了力量。幸福跟痛苦一样的微不足道,它们的降临,跟生活中出现的其他细节一样,不过是使得人生格局更趋纷繁复杂罢了。霎时间,他仿佛超然物外了,感到生活中的种种意外和不测再也不能像从前那样使他的情绪为之波动了。眼下,无论发生什么事情,都不过是使得生活的格局更趋复杂罢了,而且当最后的日子到来之际,他会为这格局的完成而感到由衷的高兴。这将是一件艺术珍品,将丝毫不减它那动人的光彩,因为唯独只有他才知道它的存在,而随着他的死亡,它也就立即消失。

Philip was happy.

  想到这里,菲利普心里有说不出的高兴。