Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘You jolly well take care, my fine young fellow, or one of these days you’ll find yourself in the street.’

  "你得当心着点,我的好小伙子,否则,总有一天要把你赶到街上去!"

Philip longed to give him a punch on the nose, but he restrained himself. After all it could not possibly last much longer, and then he would he done with all these people for ever. Sometimes in comic desperation he cried out that his uncle must be made of iron. What a constitution! The ills he suffered from would have killed any decent person twelve months before. When at last the news came that the Vicar was dying Philip, who had been thinking of other things, was taken by surprise. It was in July, and in another fortnight he was to have gone for his holiday. He received a letter from Mrs. Foster to say the doctor did not give Mr. Carey many days to live, and if Philip wished to see him again he must come at once. Philip went to the buyer and told him he wanted to leave. Mr. Sampson was a decent fellow, and when he knew the circumstances made no difficulties. Philip said good-bye to the people in his department; the reason of his leaving had spread among them in an exaggerated form, and they thought he had come into a fortune. Mrs. Hodges had tears in her eyes when she shook hands with him.

  菲利普真想对准他的鼻梁狠狠地揍他一拳,但他还是忍住了。这种日子毕竟不会太长了。到时候,他将永生永世不再同这些人往来。有时,他可笑地、绝望地号叫,说他大伯一定是个铁打铜铸的汉子。多么强壮的体格啊!他生的那种病,或许早在一年前就可以把任何一个好端端的人打入阴曹地府。最后,当牧师快要断气的消息到来的时候,菲利普被弄得措手不及。其时,他一直在考虑其他事情。眼下是七月,再过半个月,他将外出度假。他接到福斯特太太的一封信,信中说大夫断定凯里先生活不了多久了,要是菲利普希望再见他一面的话,那就立即赶来。菲利普去找店主,说他要走。桑普森先生可是个通情达理的人儿,他得知这种情况后,没有作难。菲利普同他部门里的人员一一道别。他离走的原因在同事们中间传开了,并被大大地夸大了,他们都认为他已经得到了一笔财产。霍奇斯太太同他握别时,双眼饱噙着泪水。

‘I suppose we shan’t often see you again,’ she said.

  "我想,我们再也不能经常见到您了,"她说。

‘I’m glad to get away from Lynn’s,’ he answered.

  "离开这家莱恩商店,我还是高兴的,"菲利普回答道。

It was strange, but he was actually sorry to leave these people whom he thought he had loathed, and when he drove away from the house in Harrington Street it was with no exultation. He had so anticipated the emotions he would experience on this occasion that now he felt nothing: he was as unconcerned as though he were going for a few days’ holiday.

  说来奇怪,在离开这些他认为他一直感到厌恶的人们时,他心里还着实难受了一番。在驶离哈林顿大街上那幢房子时,他也高兴不起来。他过去曾预示过在这种场合他将有的种种情感,然而,眼下他却处之泰然,毫不在意,只当是自己外出度几天假而已。

‘I’ve got a rotten nature,’ he said to himself. ‘I look forward to things awfully, and then when they come I’m always disappointed.’

  "我的性情现在变得恶劣透了,"他自言自语道。"我总是引颈盼望着某些事情,可是,这些事情当真到来了,自己却又总感到扫兴。"

He reached Blackstable early in the afternoon. Mrs. Foster met him at the door, and her face told him that his uncle was not yet dead.

  他于午后到达布莱克斯泰勃。福斯特太太在门首迎他。她的脸神告诉他大伯还活着。

‘He’s a little better today,’ she said. ‘He’s got a wonderful constitution.’

  "今大他觉得好些了,"福斯特太太说,"他的体质真好。"

She led him into the bed-room where Mr. Carey lay on his back. He gave Philip a slight smile, in which was a trace of satisfied cunning at having circumvented his enemy once more.

  她领菲利普走进卧室,凯里先生仰卧在床上。他朝菲利普淡淡一笑,这笑容流露出一丝他冉次战胜敌手后的那种狡黠的、心满意足的神色。

‘I thought it was all up with me yesterday,’ he said, in an exhausted voice. ‘They’d all given me up, hadn’t you, Mrs. Foster?’

  "我想我昨天一切都完了,"他吃力地咕哝着。"他们都对我不抱任何希望了。福斯特太太,你不也是这样的吗?"

‘You’ve got a wonderful constitution, there’s no denying that.’

  "你的体格实在强健,这是不用怀疑的。"

‘There’s life in the old dog yet.’

  "我虽上了年纪,可气数还未尽啊!"

Mrs. Foster said that the Vicar must not talk, it would tire him; she treated him like a child, with kindly despotism; and there was something childish in the old man’s satisfaction at having cheated all their expectations. It struck him at once that Philip had been sent for, and he was amused that he had been brought on a fool’s errand. If he could only avoid another of his heart attacks he would get well enough in a week or two; and he had had the attacks several times before; he always felt as if he were going to die, but he never did. They all talked of his constitution, but they none of them knew how strong it was.

  福斯特太太说,牧师不能讲话,这样要累垮的。她把他当作一个小孩看待,既慈爱又专断。这老头儿看到自己使得他们的一切期待归于破灭,就像小孩子那样心满意足。他突然意识到是有人特地把菲利普叫回来的,但想到菲利普枉费心机,白跑了一趟,不禁窃窃自喜。以前,他心脏病曾发作过多次,总觉得自己似乎快要死了,但他还是没有死。要是心脏病不再发作,他一两个星期之内完全可以康复。他们都在谈论他的体格,然而他们中间没有一个人知道他的体格究竟有多强健。

‘Are you going to stay a day or two?’ He asked Philip, pretending to believe he had come down for a holiday.

  "你就呆一两大吗?"他问菲利普,佯装认为菲利普是来度假的。

‘I was thinking of it,’ Philip answered cheerfully.

  "我正是这么想的,"菲利普高高兴兴地应了一句。

‘A breath of sea-air will do you good.’

  "呼吸几口海边的空气对你是有好处的。"

Presently Dr. Wigram came, and after he had seen the Vicar talked with Philip. He adopted an appropriate manner.

  此时,威格拉姆大夫来了,看过牧师以后,便同菲利普交谈起来。他的举上适度。

‘I’m afraid it is the end this time, Philip,’ he said. ‘It’ll be a great loss to all of us. I’ve known him for five-and-thirty years.’

  "恐怕这一次他准完,"他说。"这对我们大家都是个重大损失。我认识他已有三十五个背秋了。"

‘He seems well enough now,’ said Philip.

  "他眼下看上去还挺不错的哩,"菲利普说。

‘I’m keeping him alive on drugs, but it can’t last. It was dreadful these last two days, I thought he was dead half a dozen times.’

  "我是用药来延续他的生命的,但这维持不了多久。前两天的情况可危急了,我想他大概死过五六次了。"

The doctor was silent for a minute or two, but at the gate he said suddenly to Philip:

  医生沉默了一两分钟。但是,到了门口,他突然对菲利普说:

‘Has Mrs. Foster said anything to you?’

  "福斯特太太对你说了些什么没有?"

‘What d’you mean?’

  "你这话是什么意思?"

‘They’re very superstitious, these people: she’s got hold of an idea that he’s got something on his mind, and he can’t die till he gets rid of it; and he can’t bring himself to confess it.’

  "他们这些人太迷信了。福斯特太太认为他有桩心事,而这桩心事不了,他口眼不闭,可是,他又不愿说出来。"

Philip did not answer, and the doctor went on.

  菲利普听而不答,于是医生继续说下去:

‘Of course it’s nonsense. He’s led a very good life, he’s done his duty, he’s been a good parish priest, and I’m sure we shall all miss him; he can’t have anything to reproach himself with. I very much doubt whether the next vicar will suit us half so well.’

  "当然罗,那全是些废话。他这一生清白无瑕,尽到了他的责任,一直是我们教区的好牧师。他没有什么可以引以自责的。我可以肯定,我们大家都将怀念他。他的继任者是否能有一半像他这样好,对此,我表示怀疑。"

For several days Mr. Carey continued without change. His appetite which had been excellent left him, and he could eat little. Dr. Wigram did not hesitate now to still the pain of the neuritis which tormented him; and that, with the constant shaking of his palsied limbs, was gradually exhausting him. His mind remained clear. Philip and Mrs. Foster nursed him between them. She was so tired by the many months during which she had been attentive to all his wants that Philip insisted on sitting up with the patient so that she might have her night’s rest. He passed the long hours in an arm-chair so that he should not sleep soundly, and read by the light of shaded candles The Thousand and One Nights. He had not read them since he was a little boy, and they brought back his childhood to him. Sometimes he sat and listened to the silence of the night. When the effects of the opiate wore off Mr. Carey grew restless and kept him constantly busy.

  接连数日,凯里先生的病情还是老样子,毫无起色。他失去了原先极好的胃口,东西只吃很少一丁点儿。现在,威格拉姆大夫不愿再想法减轻折磨着他的由神经炎引起的疼痛,神经炎痛,加上他瘫痪的四肢不住地颤抖,累得他筋疲力尽。但他的脑子还是清醒的。菲利普和福斯特太太轮流看护他。许多月来的劳累把她拖垮了,在那几个月中,她专心致志地照料着他。为此,菲利普坚持要彻夜陪伴病人,这样好让她睡上一宿。他不让自己睡熟,坐在安乐椅里,在遮掩的烛光下阅读《天方夜谭》,借此消磨漫漫长夜。这部书他还是小时候读过的,这时候,书中的故事又把他带到了童年时代。间或他静坐着,屏息凝气地倾听着夜的寂静。鸦片剂麻醉作用逐渐消退时,凯里先生变得烦躁不安,使得菲利普手脚不停地忙碌着。

At last, early one morning, when the birds were chattering noisily in the trees, he heard his name called. He went up to the bed. Mr. Carey was lying on his back, with his eyes looking at the ceiling; he did not turn them on Philip. Philip saw that sweat was on his forehead, and he took a towel and wiped it.

  最后,一天清晨,当小鸟正在树上唧唧喳喳地啁啾时,他听到有人叫他的名字,便连忙跑到病榻跟前。凯里先生仰卧着,两眼瞪视着天花板,没有把目光转向菲利普。菲利普看到他的额头上汗水涔涔,就拿起一条毛巾,替他把汗水擦掉。

‘Is that you, Philip?’ the old man asked.

  "是菲利普吗?"老头儿问了一声。

Philip was startled because the voice was suddenly changed. It was hoarse and low. So would a man speak if he was cold with fear.

  菲利普不由得吃了一惊,因为他的声音倏地变得异样了,这声音低微而又沙哑。一个人内心隍恐不安时,说话就是这个样子。

‘Yes, d’you want anything?’

  "是的。你要些什么吗?"

There was a pause, and still the unseeing eyes stared at the ceiling. Then a twitch passed over the face.

  停顿了片刻。那双视而不见的眼睛直瞪瞪地望着天花板。脸一阵抽搐。

‘I think I’m going to die,’ he said.

  "我想我快要死了,"他说。

‘Oh, what nonsense!’ cried Philip. ‘You’re not going to die for years.’

  "嘿,瞎说什么!"菲利普大声说道,"三年五载还不会死的。"

Two tears were wrung from the old man’s eyes. They moved Philip horribly. His uncle had never betrayed any particular emotion in the affairs of life; and it was dreadful to see them now, for they signified a terror that was unspeakable.

  两行泪珠从老头儿的双眼里涌了出来,使得菲利普深受感动。在他的一生中,从未流露出任何特殊的情感。此时菲利普看到这番情景,很感到有些害怕,因为这两行老泪意味着一种难言的恐惧。

‘Send for Mr. Simmonds,’ he said. ‘I want to take the Communion.’

  "去把西蒙斯先生请来,"他大伯说,"我要吃圣餐。"

Mr. Simmonds was the curate.

  西蒙斯先生是教区的副牧师。

‘Now?’ asked Philip.

  "现在就去吗?"菲利普问道。

‘Soon, or else it’ll be too late.’

  "快去,要不就迟了。"

Philip went to awake Mrs. Foster, but it was later than he thought and she was up already. He told her to send the gardener with a message, and he went back to his uncle’s room.

  菲利普出去唤醒福斯特太太,但是已经迟了,福斯特太太已经起来了。菲利普叫她派名花匠去送信,说完便返身转回他大伯的卧室。

‘Have you sent for Mr. Simmonds?’

  "你有没有派人去请西蒙斯先生?"

‘Yes.’

  "已经派人去了。"

There was a silence. Philip sat by the bed-side, and occasionally wiped the sweating forehead.

  屋里一片寂静。菲利普坐在床沿上,间或替他大伯擦去额头上渗出来的汗水。

‘Let me hold your hand, Philip,’ the old man said at last.

Philip gave him his hand and he clung to it as to life, for comfort in his extremity. Perhaps he had never really loved anyone in all his days, but now he turned instinctively to a human being. His hand was wet and cold. It grasped Philip’s with feeble, despairing energy. The old man was fighting with the fear of death. And Philip thought that all must go through that. Oh, how monstrous it was, and they could believe in a God that allowed his creatures to suffer such a cruel torture! He had never cared for his uncle, and for two years he had longed every day for his death; but now he could not overcome the compassion that filled his heart. What a price it was to pay for being other than the beasts!

They remained in silence broken only once by a low inquiry from Mr. Carey.

‘Hasn’t he come yet?’

At last the housekeeper came in softly to say that Mr. Simmonds was there. He carried a bag in which were his surplice and his hood. Mrs. Foster brought the communion plate. Mr. Simmonds shook hands silently with Philip, and then with professional gravity went to the sick man’s side. Philip and the maid went out of the room.

Philip walked round the garden all fresh and dewy in the morning. The birds were singing gaily. The sky was blue, but the air, salt-laden, was sweet and cool. The roses were in full bloom. The green of the trees, the green of the lawns, was eager and brilliant. Philip walked, and as he walked he thought of the mystery which was proceeding in that bedroom. It gave him a peculiar emotion. Presently Mrs. Foster came out to him and said that his uncle wished to see him. The curate was putting his things back into the black bag. The sick man turned his head a little and greeted him with a smile. Philip was astonished, for there was a change in him, an extraordinary change; his eyes had no longer the terror-stricken look, and the pinching of his face had gone: he looked happy and serene.

‘I’m quite prepared now,’ he said, and his voice had a different tone in it. ‘When the Lord sees fit to call me I am ready to give my soul into his hands.’

Philip did not speak. He could see that his uncle was sincere. It was almost a miracle. He had taken the body and blood of his Savior, and they had given him strength so that he no longer feared the inevitable passage into the night. He knew he was going to die: he was resigned. He only said one thing more:

‘I shall rejoin my dear wife.’

It startled Philip. He remembered with what a callous selfishness his uncle had treated her, how obtuse he had been to her humble, devoted love. The curate, deeply moved, went away and Mrs. Foster, weeping, accompanied him to the door. Mr. Carey, exhausted by his effort, fell into a light doze, and Philip sat down by the bed and waited for the end. The morning wore on, and the old man’s breathing grew stertorous. The doctor came and said he was dying. He was unconscious and he pecked feebly at the sheets; he was restless and he cried out. Dr. Wigram gave him a hypodermic injection.

‘It can’t do any good now, he may die at any moment.’

The doctor looked at his watch and then at the patient. Philip saw that it was one o’clock. Dr. Wigram was thinking of his dinner.

‘It’s no use your waiting,’ he said.

‘There’s nothing I can do,’ said the doctor.

When he was gone Mrs. Foster asked Philip if he would go to the carpenter, who was also the undertaker, and tell him to send up a woman to lay out the body.

‘You want a little fresh air,’ she said, ‘it’ll do you good.’

The undertaker lived half a mile away. When Philip gave him his message, he said:

‘When did the poor old gentleman die?’

Philip hesitated. It occurred to him that it would seem brutal to fetch a woman to wash the body while his uncle still lived, and he wondered why Mrs. Foster had asked him to come. They would think he was in a great hurry to kill the old man off. He thought the undertaker looked at him oddly. He repeated the question. It irritated Philip. It was no business of his.

‘When did the Vicar pass away?’

Philip’s first impulse was to say that it had just happened, but then it would seem inexplicable if the sick man lingered for several hours. He reddened and answered awkwardly.

‘Oh, he isn’t exactly dead yet.’

The undertaker looked at him in perplexity, and he hurried to explain.

‘Mrs. Foster is all alone and she wants a woman there. You understood, don’t you? He may be dead by now.’

The undertaker nodded.

‘Oh, yes, I see. I’ll send someone up at once.’

When Philip got back to the vicarage he went up to the bed-room. Mrs. Foster rose from her chair by the bed-side.

‘He’s just as he was when you left,’ she said.

She went down to get herself something to eat, and Philip watched curiously the process of death. There was nothing human now in the unconscious being that struggled feebly. Sometimes a muttered ejaculation issued from the loose mouth. The sun beat down hotly from a cloudless sky, but the trees in the garden were pleasant and cool. It was a lovely day. A bluebottle buzzed against the windowpane. Suddenly there was a loud rattle, it made Philip start, it was horribly frightening; a movement passed through the limbs and the old man was dead. The machine had run down. The bluebottle buzzed, buzzed noisily against the windowpane.