Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘What a night! What a night!’ he said. ‘My word!’

  "哎呀!"他感慨万千地说,"多美的夜晚!多美的夜晚!"

He told Philip that he was the only gentleman there, and he and Philip were the only fellows who knew what life was. Having said this, he changed his manner suddenly, called Philip Mr. Carey instead of old boy, assumed the importance due to his position as buyer, and put Philip back into his place of shop-walker.

  他告诉菲利普,说他是这店里的唯一的绅士,而只有他和菲利普两人才懂得人生的真谛。话音刚落,他倏地换了个面孔,称菲利普叫凯里先生而不再是一口一个"老兄"了,转而又摆出一副跟进货员这一职位相称的派头,把菲利普推到了顾客招待员的岗位上而对他发号施令。

Lynn and Sedley received fashion papers from Paris once a week and adapted the costumes illustrated in them to the needs of their customers. Their clientele was peculiar. The most substantial part consisted of women from the smaller manufacturing towns, who were too elegant to have their frocks made locally and not sufficiently acquainted with London to discover good dressmakers within their means. Beside these, incongruously, was a large number of music-hall artistes. This was a connection that Mr. Sampson had worked up for himself and took great pride in. They had begun by getting their stage-costumes at Lynn’s, and he had induced many of them to get their other clothes there as well.

  莱恩一塞特笠公司每周收到一次从巴黎寄来的时装样片,并将这些时装款式稍加改动,以迎合他们的顾客的需要。他们的主顾可非同一般,绝大多数都是一些较小的工业城镇里的女工,她们的情趣高雅,不屑守本地生产的工装服,可又限于条件,对伦敦情况不摸底,一下还难找到一家像样的服装公司。除此以外,便是一大批杂耍剧场里的坤伶,拥有这样的主顾问这家公司的雅号似乎有点儿不大相称。而这正是桑普森先先搭上的关系,对此,他还颇为沾沾自喜哩。这批戏子开始只在莱恩公司定做戏服,可桑普森先生渐渐诱使他们中间的许多人也在店里做些其他服饰。

‘As good as Paquin and half the price,’ he said.

  "衣服做得跟帕奎因公司的一样好,价钱却便宜一半,"他说。

He had a persuasive, hail-fellow well-met air with him which appealed to customers of this sort, and they said to one another:

  桑普森先生见人三分笑,说话富有诱惑力,这种态度倒颇得此类主顾的欢心,无怪乎他们一个个都说:

‘What’s the good of throwing money away when you can get a coat and skirt at Lynn’s that nobody knows don’t come from Paris?’

  "在莱恩公司可以买到谁都知道是从巴黎运来的外套或裙子,还有什么必要再把钱扔到别处去呢?"

Mr. Sampson was very proud of his friendship with the popular favourites whose frocks he made, and when he went out to dinner at two o’clock on Sunday with Miss Victoria Virgo—‘she was wearing that powder blue we made her and I lay she didn’t let on it come from us, I ‘ad to tell her meself that if I ‘adn’t designed it with my own ‘ands I’d have said it must come from Paquin’—at her beautiful house in Tulse Hill, he regaled the department next day with abundant details. Philip had never paid much attention to women’s clothes, but in course of time he began, a little amused at himself, to take a technical interest in them. He had an eye for colour which was more highly trained than that of anyone in the department, and he had kept from his student days in Paris some knowledge of line. Mr. Sampson, an ignorant man conscious of his incompetence, but with a shrewdness that enabled him to combine other people’s suggestions, constantly asked the opinion of the assistants in his department in making up new designs; and he had the quickness to see that Philip’s criticisms were valuable. But he was very jealous, and would never allow that he took anyone’s advice. When he had altered some drawing in accordance with Philip’s suggestion, he always finished up by saying:

  桑普森先生同那些他曾替他们做过礼服的公众的宠儿结下了友谊,对此,他感到很是自豪。一个星期天下午两点钟,他随维多利亚·弗戈小姐一起上了她那幢坐落在图尔斯山上的漂亮别墅,并同她共进了午餐。回来后,他洋洋洒洒地叙述了一遍,把店员们说得一个个心里喜滋滋的。他说:"她穿了件我们缝制的深蓝色上衣,我敢说,她压根儿没想到这上衣是我们店里的货,因此我只得亲口对她说,这件上衣要不是我亲手设计的话,那一定是帕奎因公司设计的。"菲利普从未留意过女人的服装,然而过了一段时间以后,也渐渐从技术的角度对女人的服装发生了兴趣,对此,他自己也觉得有些好笑。他很能鉴赏颜色,在这一点上,他倒是训练有素的,店里谁都望尘莫及。再说,在巴黎学画时,他还学得一些有关线条美的知识,至今未忘。桑普森先生此人虽无知无识,但很有些自知之明,还有一种综合别人建议的机灵劲儿。每设计一种新款式,他都要不注地征求店员们的意见,而且他耳朵很灵,很快就发现菲利普的批评建议颇有价值。但是他生性好护忌别人,从来不愿采纳别人的意见。在他根据菲利普的建议对某种设计进行修改之后,他总是说:

‘Well, it comes round to my own idea in the end.’

  "嗯,最后终于按照我的想法把设计修改出来了。"

One day, when Philip had been at the shop for five months, Miss Alice Antonia, the well-known serio-comic, came in and asked to see Mr. Sampson. She was a large woman, with flaxen hair, and a boldly painted face, a metallic voice, and the breezy manner of a comedienne accustomed to be on friendly terms with the gallery boys of provincial music-halls. She had a new song and wished Mr. Sampson to design a costume for her.

  菲利普来到店里五个月后的一天,艾丽丝·安东尼娅小姐跑来要见桑普森先生。这位小姐以其仪态既庄重又诙谐而遐迩闻名。她是个粗壮的女人,长着一头亚麻色头发,宽宽的脸庞涂抹着脂粉,说起话来,声音有些儿刺耳。她有着一个惯与外省杂耍剧场里的男仆打情骂俏的女喜剧演员的活泼欢快的仪态。她即将登台表演一首新曲子,希望桑普森先生为她设计一种新戏服。

‘I want something striking,’ she said. ‘I don’t want any old thing you know. I want something different from what anybody else has.’

  "我想做一件叫人一见就瞠目吃惊的戏服,"她对桑普森先生说,"要知道,我可不要那老套头,要的是与众不同的戏服。"

Mr. Sampson, bland and familiar, said he was quite certain they could get her the very thing she required. He showed her sketches.

  桑普森先生和颜悦色。他说店里肯定可以做出中她意的戏服来,并向她出示了几张戏服设计图样。

‘I know there’s nothing here that would do, but I just want to show you the kind of thing I would suggest.’

  "我知道这里面没有一种式样是合您意的,不过,我只是想让您看看向您建议的大致范围。"

‘Oh no, that’s not the sort of thing at all,’ she said, as she glanced at them impatiently. ‘What I want is something that’ll just hit ‘em in the jaw and make their front teeth rattle.’

  "喔,不行,这根本不是我心目中要的式样,"艾丽丝·安东尼妞小姐眼睛不耐烦地朝设计图样瞄了一眼后说,"我要的是这样一件戏服,穿上它叫人看了好比一拳打在他的下巴上,打得他牙齿嘎啦嘎啦地直响。"

‘Yes, I quite understand, Miss Antonia,’ said the buyer, with a bland smile, but his eyes grew blank and stupid.

  "是的,我懂您的意思,安东尼娇小姐,"进货员说着,脸上堆着一种喜人的微笑,可他的双眼却显出迷惑不解的神情。

‘I expect I shall ‘ave to pop over to Paris for it in the end.’

  "我想,到头来我还得上巴黎去做。"

‘Oh, I think we can give you satisfaction, Miss Antonia. What you can get in Paris you can get here.’

  "哦,安东尼娅小姐,我想我们会使您满意的。您在巴黎能做到的戏服,我们这里同样能做。"

When she had swept out of the department Mr. Sampson, a little worried, discussed the matter with Mrs. Hodges.

  安东尼妞小姐一溜烟似的走出了服装部之后,桑普森先生感到有些困恼,跑去找霍奇斯太太商量。

‘She’s a caution and no mistake,’ said Mrs. Hodges.

  "她确确实实是个疏忽不得的怪人,"霍奇斯太太说。

‘Alice, where art thou?’ remarked the buyer, irritably, and thought he had scored a point against her.

  "艾丽丝,你在哪里?"进货员烦躁地嘟哝了一声,并认为在同艾丽丝·安东尼娇小姐对阵中他略胜一筹。

His ideas of music-hall costumes had never gone beyond short skirts, a swirl of lace, and glittering sequins; but Miss Antonia had expressed herself on that subject in no uncertain terms.

  在他的脑子里,杂耍剧场里用的戏服不外乎是各种各样的短裙子,上面滚着缠七缠八的花边和挂着一片片闪闪发光的小金属圆片。但是安东尼姬小姐在这个问题上的态度可毫不含糊。

‘Oh, my aunt!’ she said.

  "哎呀!啃!"她尖叫了一声。

And the invocation was uttered in such a tone as to indicate a rooted antipathy to anything so commonplace, even if she had not added that sequins gave her the sick. Mr. Sampson ‘got out’ one or two ideas, but Mrs. Hodges told him frankly she did not think they would do. It was she who gave Philip the suggestion:

  她用一种对任何平庸之物都深恶痛绝的语调诅咒着,甚至还没有表达出她对那些金属小圆片的嫌恶之情呢。桑普森先生搜索枯肠,抠出了一两个主意来,可霍奇斯太太却直截了当地告诉他,说他那些馊主意一个都不中。最后正是霍奇斯太太对菲利普提出了这么个建议:

‘Can you draw, Phil? Why don’t you try your ‘and and see what you can do?’

  "菲尔,你能画画吗?你为何不试它一试,看看你能画些啥?"

Philip bought a cheap box of water colours, and in the evening while Bell, the noisy lad of sixteen, whistling three notes, busied himself with his stamps, he made one or two sketches. He remembered some of the costumes he had seen in Paris, and he adapted one of them, getting his effect from a combination of violent, unusual colours. The result amused him and next morning he showed it to Mrs. Hodges. She was somewhat astonished, but took it at once to the buyer.

  菲利普买了一盒廉价的水彩颜料。到了晚上,那个十六岁的淘气包贝尔一边不住手地整理着邮票,一边不断打着唿哨,一连吹了三个曲子。在这当儿,菲利普搞出了几份服装设计图样。他至今还记得当年在巴黎见过的一些戏服的式样,并以其中一种式样为蓝本,略作些修改,涂着一种既浓艳又奇异的色彩,效果还满不错的哩。他感到大喜过望,并于第二天上午把它拿给霍奇斯太太看。这位太太似乎被惊呆了,随即拿着它去见进货员。

‘It’s unusual,’ he said, ‘there’s no denying that.’

  "毋庸讳言,"桑普森先生说,"这份设计倒是别具一格。"

It puzzled him, and at the same time his trained eye saw that it would make up admirably. To save his face he began making suggestions for altering it, but Mrs. Hodges, with more sense, advised him to show it to Miss Antonia as it was.

  这份设计倒把他一下子给难住了,不过他那双训练有素的眼睛一眼就看出,照这份设计缝制出衣服来倒是挺吸引人的。为了保全自己的面。子,他又开始提出一些改动的意见来了。但是,还是霍奇斯太太有些见;地,她建议他就把这张设计图样原封不动地拿去给安东尼妞小姐过目。

‘It’s neck or nothing with her, and she may take a fancy to it.’

  "行不行就在此一举了,说不定她会喜欢上这种式样的。"

‘It’s a good deal more nothing than neck,’ said Mr. Sampson, looking at the decolletage. ‘He can draw, can’t he? Fancy ‘im keeping it dark all this time.’

When Miss Antonia was announced, the buyer placed the design on the table in such a position that it must catch her eye the moment she was shown into his office. She pounced on it at once.

‘What’s that?’ she said. ‘Why can’t I ‘ave that?’

‘That’s just an idea we got out for you,’ said Mr. Sampson casually. ‘D’you like it?’

‘Do I like it!’ she said. ‘Give me ‘alf a pint with a little drop of gin in it.’

‘Ah, you see, you don’t have to go to Paris. You’ve only got to say what you want and there you are.’

The work was put in hand at once, and Philip felt quite a thrill of satisfaction when he saw the costume completed. The buyer and Mrs. Hodges took all the credit of it; but he did not care, and when he went with them to the Tivoli to see Miss Antonia wear it for the first time he was filled with elation. In answer to her questions he at last told Mrs. Hodges how he had learnt to draw—fearing that the people he lived with would think he wanted to put on airs, he had always taken the greatest care to say nothing about his past occupations—and she repeated the information to Mr. Sampson. The buyer said nothing to him on the subject, but began to treat him a little more deferentially and presently gave him designs to do for two of the country customers. They met with satisfaction. Then he began to speak to his clients of a ‘clever young feller, Paris art-student, you know,’ who worked for him; and soon Philip, ensconced behind a screen, in his shirt sleeves, was drawing from morning till night. Sometimes he was so busy that he had to dine at three with the ‘stragglers.’ He liked it, because there were few of them and they were all too tired to talk; the food also was better, for it consisted of what was left over from the buyers’ table. Philip’s rise from shop-walker to designer of costumes had a great effect on the department. He realised that he was an object of envy. Harris, the assistant with the queer-shaped head, who was the first person he had known at the shop and had attached himself to Philip, could not conceal his bitterness.

‘Some people ‘ave all the luck,’ he said. ‘You’ll be a buyer yourself one of these days, and we shall all be calling you sir.’

He told Philip that he should demand higher wages, for notwithstanding the difficult work he was now engaged in, he received no more than the six shillings a week with which he started. But it was a ticklish matter to ask for a rise. The manager had a sardonic way of dealing with such applicants.

‘Think you’re worth more, do you? How much d’you think you’re worth, eh?’

The assistant, with his heart in his mouth, would suggest that he thought he ought to have another two shillings a week.

‘Oh, very well, if you think you’re worth it. You can ‘ave it.’ Then he paused and sometimes, with a steely eye, added: ‘And you can ‘ave your notice too.’

It was no use then to withdraw your request, you had to go. The manager’s idea was that assistants who were dissatisfied did not work properly, and if they were not worth a rise it was better to sack them at once. The result was that they never asked for one unless they were prepared to leave. Philip hesitated. He was a little suspicious of the men in his room who told him that the buyer could not do without him. They were decent fellows, but their sense of humour was primitive, and it would have seemed funny to them if they had persuaded Philip to ask for more wages and he were sacked. He could not forget the mortification he had suffered in looking for work, he did not wish to expose himself to that again, and he knew there was small chance of his getting elsewhere a post as designer: there were hundreds of people about who could draw as well as he. But he wanted money very badly; his clothes were worn out, and the heavy carpets rotted his socks and boots; he had almost persuaded himself to take the venturesome step when one morning, passing up from breakfast in the basement through the passage that led to the manager’s office, he saw a queue of men waiting in answer to an advertisement. There were about a hundred of them, and whichever was engaged would be offered his keep and the same six shillings a week that Philip had. He saw some of them cast envious glances at him because he had employment. It made him shudder. He dared not risk it.