Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘I don’t know how they’re going to feed ‘em.’

  把"卡片"送至医院传达室,随即传达便伴着送信的来找住在马路对面的菲利普。要是在深夜,医院传达则独自穿过马路来唤醒菲利普,因为他身边就有一把开菲利普房门的钥匙。接着,菲利普便摸黑起床穿衣,步履匆匆地穿行在泰晤士河南岸的一条条阒无人影的街道上;这当儿,菲利普心里总是充满了一种神秘感。深更半夜来送"卡片"的,一般都是做丈夫的亲自出马。要是以前已经生过几胎的,那么,来送信的这位丈夫的态度便显得漠然;可是如果是新婚的,那做丈夫的就像热锅上的蚂蚁似的,心急如焚,有时候竟借酗酒来浇灭心头的焦虑。他经常要走上一英里路,有时甚至更多。于是一路上,菲利普就同前来报信的闲聊些劳动条件和生活费用之类的琐事,从而了解到不少有关泰晤士河彼岸的各种行业的情况。他使得接触他的人们树立起信心。他久久等候在闷热的房间里,产妇躺在一张大床上,而这张床却占去了房间的一半面积;在这期间,产妇的母亲和照料产妇的看护无拘无束地交谈着,时而也态度极其自然地同他聊上几句。他前两年的生活遭遇使得他懂得了有关赤贫人家的生活的许多事情,而他们发觉他对他们的生活状况了解得如此清楚,一个个直觉惊奇。他还因不上他们的当而给他们留下了深刻的印象。菲利普性情温顺,干起事来总是轻手轻脚的,而且还不发脾气。他们都很喜欢他,因为他从不以同他们一道喝茶为耻。要是天亮了,可他们还在等待产妇分娩的话,他们就请他吃上一片面包,喝上几口水。他从不挑食,多数情况下都能吃得津津有味。菲利普到过许多人家,其中有些人家的房子蜷缩在污秽街道旁的肮脏的院子里,里面黑咕隆咚的,空气浑浊不堪,邋遢得简直叫人伸不进脚去。但是出人意料,有些房间虽然外表破败不堪,地板被蛀虫咬坏,房顶上还有裂缝,但气宇不凡:屋里的橡树栏杆精雕细刻,玲珑剔透;四周墙壁仍旧嵌有镶板。这种房子往往住得非常拥挤,每家只住一个房间。日里,孩子们在院子里匐喝喧闹声不绝。那些年深日久的墙壁正是各种害虫的孳生繁殖之地;屋里充满了一股臭气,令人作呕,因此菲利普不得不燃起烟斗。住在这里的人们过着半饥半饱的生活,添了自然不受欢迎,作爸爸的总是虎起脸迎接出世的新生儿,而做妈妈的则绝望地望着从自己身上掉下来的肉。这下又多了一张吃饭的嘴,可是要糊住眼下几张嘴,食物都不够呢。菲利普常常觉察出人们巴不得生下来的孩子是个死胎,或者即使生了下来,也希望孩子快快死去。一次,菲利普为一名产妇接生,她生了双胞胎。产妇得知后,突然伤心地号啕大哭起来。产妇的母亲当即说:

‘Maybe the Lord’ll see fit to take ‘em to ‘imself,’ said the midwife.

  "真不知他们有什么法子喂大这两个孩子呢。"

Philip caught sight of the husband’s face as he looked at the tiny pair lying side by side, and there was a ferocious sullenness in it which startled him. He felt in the family assembled there a hideous resentment against those poor atoms who had come into the world unwished for; and he had a suspicion that if he did not speak firmly an ‘accident’ would occur. Accidents occurred often; mothers ‘overlay’ their babies, and perhaps errors of diet were not always the result of carelessness.

  "说不定上帝到时候觉得该把他们俩召到他那儿去哩,"在一旁的看护接着说。

‘I shall come every day,’ he said. ‘I warn you that if anything happens to them there’ll have to be an inquest.’

  菲利普瞥见那个男人目光凶残阴冷地盯视着那一对并排躺着的小不点儿,不觉吃了一惊。他感到,在场的这家人对这两个突然来到人世的可怜的小家伙无不抱有深深的敌意,并怀疑要是他事先不口气坚决地关照他们的话,那么任何"不测"都是可能发生的。想不到的事故常常发生。做母亲的睡觉时"压"着了小孩啦、还有给孩子喂错了食物啦,这误食现象兴许不都是由于粗心大意造成的。

The father made no reply, but he gave Philip a scowl. There was murder in his soul.

  "我每天都来看一次,"菲利普叮嘱着,"我提醒你们一句,要是这两个孩子有个三长两短,那你们是要受到传讯的。"

‘Bless their little ‘earts,’ said the grandmother, ‘what should ‘appen to them?’

  那个做父亲的一声不吭,可是恶狠狠地瞪了菲利普一眼。他居心叵测。

The great difficulty was to keep the mothers in bed for ten days, which was the minimum upon which the hospital practice insisted. It was awkward to look after the family, no one would see to the children without payment, and the husband tumbled because his tea was not right when he came home tired from his work and hungry. Philip had heard that the poor helped one another, but woman after woman complained to him that she could not get anyone in to clean up and see to the children’s dinner without paying for the service, and she could not afford to pay. By listening to the women as they talked and by chance remarks from which he could deduce much that was left unsaid, Philip learned how little there was in common between the poor and the classes above them. They did not envy their betters, for the life was too different, and they had an ideal of ease which made the existence of the middle-classes seem formal and stiff; moreover, they had a certain contempt for them because they were soft and did not work with their hands. The proud merely wished to be left alone, but the majority looked upon the well-to-do as people to be exploited; they knew what to say in order to get such advantages as the charitable put at their disposal, and they accepted benefits as a right which came to them from the folly of their superiors and their own astuteness. They bore the curate with contemptuous indifference, but the district visitor excited their bitter hatred. She came in and opened your windows without so much as a by your leave or with your leave, ‘and me with my bronchitis, enough to give me my death of cold;’ she poked her nose into corners, and if she didn’t say the place was dirty you saw what she thought right enough, ‘an’ it’s all very well for them as ‘as servants, but I’d like to see what she’d make of ‘er room if she ‘ad four children, and ‘ad to do the cookin’, and mend their clothes, and wash them.’

  "上帝保佑这两个小生命,"孩子的外婆说,"他们还会出什么事呢?"

Philip discovered that the greatest tragedy of life to these people was not separation or death, that was natural and the grief of it could be assuaged with tears, but loss of work. He saw a man come home one afternoon, three days after his wife’s confinement, and tell her he had been dismissed; he was a builder and at that time work was slack; he stated the fact, and sat down to his tea.

  要产妇在床上静卧卜天,这是行医的一再坚持的最低要求;可是要做到这一点,谈何容易。操持家务可是件麻烦事。不出钱是找不到人照看孩子的。再说,丈夫下班回来,又饿又累,一看茶点还没准备,就会不住地喃喃埋怨。菲利普曾听人说过穷帮穷的事儿,可不止一个家庭主妇向他抱怨,说不出钱是请不到人来帮助打扫和看管孩子的,可她们两袋空空,掏不出这笔费用。菲利普倾听女人们之间的谈话,或者偶尔听到些谈话的片言只语,虽话犹未尽,但话中意思他还是猜得出的。通过这些谈话,他渐渐意识到穷人同上层阶级的人毫无共同之处。穷人并不艳羡富有者,因为双方的生活方式迥然不同,而且他们怀有一种典型的自得其乐的心理,总认为中产阶级的生活里充满了虚情假意,显得极不自然。况且,他们还有点儿瞧不起中产阶级的那些有钱人呢,认为那些人是一批蠢货,从不用自己的双手劳动。那些高傲的有钱人只图清静,不希望受人打扰,可是人数众多的穷人们却把他们当作揩油的对象,知道该说些什么话来打动他们,使他们大发慈悲,随意散财。这点好处来自富人的愚蠢和他们自己的口才,他们认为接受它是理所当然的。他们虽然鄙视、冷淡教区副牧师,但对他倒能容忍;可是那位牧师助理却激起了他们满腔忿恨。她一走进屋子,不管人家喜欢不喜欢,就把所有窗户全打开,一边嘴里还念叨着"我还有关节炎呢,身上已经够冷的了"。她还在屋里到处转悠,这里看看,那里摸摸的。如果她不说地方肮脏,那就听她那张利嘴怎么说的吧:"他们雇个人,事情当然好办罗。要是她有四个孩子,又得自己烧饭,还得替孩子缝补浆洗,我倒要来看看她的房间是怎么整理的呢。"

‘Oh, Jim,’ she said.

  菲利普发现,对穷人们来说,人生的最大悲剧不是生离死别,因为这是人之常情,只要掉几滴眼泪就可以涤除心头的悲哀;对他们来说,人生的最大悲剧是在于失业。一天下午,菲利普看到一个男人在其妻子生产三天后回到家里,对妻子说自己被解雇了。这个男人是个建筑工人,当时外边活儿不多。他讲完之后,便坐下来用茶点。

The man ate stolidly some mess which had been stewing in a sauce-pan against his coming; he stared at his plate; his wife looked at him two or three times, with little startled glances, and then quite silently began to cry. The builder was an uncouth little fellow with a rough, weather-beaten face and a long white scar on his forehead; he had large, stubbly hands. Presently he pushed aside his plate as if he must give up the effort to force himself to eat, and turned a fixed gaze out of the window. The room was at the top of the house, at the back, and one saw nothing but sullen clouds. The silence seemed heavy with despair. Philip felt that there was nothing to be said, he could only go; and as he walked away wearily, for he had been up most of the night, his heart was filled with rage against the cruelty of the world. He knew the hopelessness of the search for work and the desolation which is harder to bear than hunger. He was thankful not to have to believe in God, for then such a condition of things would be intolerable; one could reconcile oneself to existence only because it was meaningless.

  "哎唷,吉姆,"他的妻子哀叹了一声。

It seemed to Philip that the people who spent their time in helping the poorer classes erred because they sought to remedy things which would harass them if themselves had to endure them without thinking that they did not in the least disturb those who were used to them. The poor did not want large airy rooms; they suffered from cold, for their food was not nourishing and their circulation bad; space gave them a feeling of chilliness, and they wanted to burn as little coal as need be; there was no hardship for several to sleep in one room, they preferred it; they were never alone for a moment, from the time they were born to the time they died, and loneliness oppressed them; they enjoyed the promiscuity in which they dwelt, and the constant noise of their surroundings pressed upon their ears unnoticed. They did not feel the need of taking a bath constantly, and Philip often heard them speak with indignation of the necessity to do so with which they were faced on entering the hospital: it was both an affront and a discomfort. They wanted chiefly to be left alone; then if the man was in regular work life went easily and was not without its pleasures: there was plenty of time for gossip, after the day’s work a glass of beer was very good to drink, the streets were a constant source of entertainment, if you wanted to read there was Reynolds’ or The News of the World; ‘but there, you couldn’t make out ‘ow the time did fly, the truth was and that’s a fact, you was a rare one for reading when you was a girl, but what with one thing and another you didn’t get no time now not even to read the paper.’

  那男人神情木然地咀嚼着食物。这食物一直炖在小锅里,等他回来吃的。他目光呆滞地望着面前的盘子。他的妻子睁着一对充满惊恐神色的小眼睛,朝着自己的男人望了两三次,接着低声地抽泣起来。那位建筑工人是个粗壮的小矮个儿,脸孔粗糙,饱经风霜,前额有一道长长白白的疤痕。他有一双树桩似的大手。顿时,他一把推开盘子,仿佛他不再强迫自己进食似的,随即掉过脸去,两眼凝视着窗外。他们的房间是在后屋的顶层,从这里望出去,除了铅灰色的云块以外,别的啥也看不见。房间笼罩在一种充满绝望的沉默之中。菲利普觉得没什么可说的,只有离开房间。他没精打采地走开去,因为他这天夜里几乎没合眼,而心里对世界的残酷充满了愤感。寻求工作的失望的滋味,菲利普是领教过的;随之而来的悲凉心情真比饥饿还难忍受。谢天谢地,他总算不必信奉上帝,要不然,眼前的这种事情他怎么也忍受不了。人们之所以能对这种生活安之若素,正是由于生活毫无意义这一缘故。

The usual practice was to pay three visits after a confinement, and one Sunday Philip went to see a patient at the dinner hour. She was up for the first time.

  菲利普觉得有些人花时间去帮助穷人是完全错了,因为他们根本没有想到穷人对有些东西已习以为常,并不感到有什么妨碍,而他们却企图去加以纠正。他们硬要去纠正,结果反而扰乱了他们的安宁。穷人并不需要空气流通的大房间;他们觉得冷,是因为食物没有营养,血液循环太缓慢。房间一大,他们反而会觉得冷,想要弄些煤来烤火了。几个人挤在一个房间里并无害处,他们宁愿这样住着;他们从生到死从来没有单独生活过,然而孤独感却始终压得他们受不了;他们还喜欢居住在混乱不堪的环境里,四周不断传来喧闹声,然而他们充耳不闻。他们觉得并无经常洗澡的必要,而菲利普还经常听到他们谈起住医院时一定要洗澡的规定,说话的语气还颇有些不满哩。他们认为这种规定既是一种侮辱,又极不舒服。他们只想安安稳稳地过日子。那个时候,如果男人一直有工作做,那么生活也就过得顺顺当当,而且也不无乐趣。一天工作之余,有足够的时间在一起嗑牙扯淡,再喝上杯啤酒倒蛮爽心说神的。街道上更是乐趣无穷。要看点什么,那街上有的是伦纳德的肖像画和《世界新闻》杂志。"可是你怎么也弄不懂时间是怎么过去的。实际情况是,做姑娘时,读点书确实是难得的,可是一会儿做这事,一会儿做那事,弄得一点空闲时间都没有,连报纸也看不了。"

‘I couldn’t stay in bed no longer, I really couldn’t. I’m not one for idling, and it gives me the fidgets to be there and do nothing all day long, so I said to ‘Erb, I’m just going to get up and cook your dinner for you.’

  按照惯例,产妇生产后,医生得去察看三次。一个星期天,快吃午饭时分,菲利普跑去看一位产妇。她产后第一次下床走动。

’Erb was sitting at table with his knife and fork already in his hands. He was a young man, with an open face and blue eyes. He was earning good money, and as things went the couple were in easy circumstances. They had only been married a few months, and were both delighted with the rosy boy who lay in the cradle at the foot of the bed. There was a savoury smell of beefsteak in the room and Philip’s eyes turned to the range.

  "我可不能老躺在床上,真的不能再躺了。我这个人就是闲不住,一天到晚啥事不干,老是在床上挺尸,心里不安哪。所以我就对厄尔布说,'我这就下床,来给你做午饭。'"

‘I was just going to dish up this minute,’ said the woman.

  此时,厄尔布手里已经拿着刀叉坐在餐桌边了。他还年轻,生着一张老老实实的脸,一对眸子蓝蓝的。他赚的钱可不少,照此光景看来,这对年轻夫妇过着算得上是小康的日子。他们俩才结婚几个月,都对躺在床边摇篮里的那个脸蛋宛如玫瑰似的男孩欢喜得了不得。房间里弥漫着一股牛排的香味,于是菲利普的两眼不由得朝厨房那边望了一眼。

‘Fire away,’ said Philip. ‘I’ll just have a look at the son and heir and then I’ll take myself off.’

  "我这就去把牛排盛出来,"那女人说。

Husband and wife laughed at Philip’s expression, and ‘Erb getting up went over with Philip to the cradle. He looked at his baby proudly.

  "你去吧,"菲利普说,"我只看一眼你们那个宝贝儿子就走的。"

‘There doesn’t seem much wrong with him, does there?’ said Philip.

  听了菲利普说的话,他们夫妇俩都笑了。接着,厄尔布从桌边站了起来,陪着菲利普走到摇篮跟前。他骄傲地望着他的儿子。

He took up his hat, and by this time ‘Erb’s wife had dished up the beefsteak and put on the table a plate of green peas.

  "看来他挺好的嘛,对不?"菲利普说。

‘You’re going to have a nice dinner,’ smiled Philip.

  菲利普抓起帽子,此时,厄尔布的妻子已经把牛排盛出来了,同时在餐桌上还摆了一碟子青豌豆。

‘He’s only in of a Sunday and I like to ‘ave something special for him, so as he shall miss his ‘ome when he’s out at work.’

  "你们这顿中饭吃的真不错呀,"菲利普笑吟吟地说了一句。

‘I suppose you’d be above sittin’ down and ‘avin’ a bit of dinner with us?’ said ‘Erb.

  "他只有星期天才来家,我喜欢在这天给他做些特别好吃的东西,这样他在外头干活时也会想着这个家。"

‘Oh, ‘Erb,’ said his wife, in a shocked tone.

  "我想,你不会反对坐下来同我们一道吃吧?"厄尔布说。

‘Not if you ask me,’ answered Philip, with his attractive smile.

  "喔,厄尔布,"他妻子吃惊地嚷了一声。

‘Well, that’s what I call friendly, I knew ‘e wouldn’t take offence, Polly. Just get another plate, my girl.’

  "你请我,我就吃,"菲利普说,脸上带着他那种迷人的笑容。

Polly was flustered, and she thought ‘Erb a regular caution, you never knew what ideas ‘e’d get in ‘is ‘ead next; but she got a plate and wiped it quickly with her apron, then took a new knife and fork from the chest of drawers, where her best cutlery rested among her best clothes. There was a jug of stout on the table, and ‘Erb poured Philip out a glass. He wanted to give him the lion’s share of the beefsteak, but Philip insisted that they should share alike. It was a sunny room with two windows that reached to the floor; it had been the parlour of a house which at one time was if not fashionable at least respectable: it might have been inhabited fifty years before by a well-to-do tradesman or an officer on half pay. ‘Erb had been a football player before he married, and there were photographs on the wall of various teams in self-conscious attitudes, with neatly plastered hair, the captain seated proudly in the middle holding a cup. There were other signs of prosperity: photographs of the relations of ‘Erb and his wife in Sunday clothes; on the chimney-piece an elaborate arrangement of shells stuck on a miniature rock; and on each side mugs, ‘A present from Southend’ in Gothic letters, with pictures of a pier and a parade on them. ‘Erb was something of a character; he was a non-union man and expressed himself with indignation at the efforts of the union to force him to join. The union wasn’t no good to him, he never found no difficulty in getting work, and there was good wages for anyone as ‘ad a head on his shoulders and wasn’t above puttin’ ‘is ‘and to anything as come ‘is way. Polly was timorous. If she was ‘im she’d join the union, the last time there was a strike she was expectin’ ‘im to be brought back in an ambulance every time he went out. She turned to Philip.

  "嘿,这才够朋友哪。我刚才就晓得,他是不会见怪的,珀莉。快,再拿个盘子来,我的亲妹子。"

‘He’s that obstinate, there’s no doing anything with ‘im.’

  珀莉显得有些狼狈,心想厄尔布做事一向很谨慎的,真不知他还会想出个什么鬼点子来呢。但是,她还是去拿了只盘子,动作敏捷地用围裙擦了擦,然后从橱子里又拿出一副刀叉来。她最好的餐具同她的节日盛装一道放在橱子里。餐桌上有一壶黑啤酒,厄尔布操起酒壶给菲利普斟了一杯。他想把一大半牛排夹给菲利普吃,菲利普坚持大家匀着吃。房间有两扇落地窗,里面阳光充足。这个房间原先是这幢房子里头的一个客汀。当初这幢房子不说很时髦,至少也是够体面的,兴许五十年前一位富裕商贾或一名军官出半价赁住在这儿的。结婚前,厄尔布曾经是位足球运动员,墙壁上就挂了几张足球队的集体照,照片上一个个运动员头发捋得平平整整的,脸上现出忸怩的神情,队长双手捧着奖杯,神气十足地坐在中间。此外,还有一些表明这个家庭幸福美满的标志:几张厄尔布亲属的照片和他妻子身穿节日盛装的倩影。壁炉上有块小小的石头,上面精心地粘着许多贝壳;小石头两旁各放一只大杯子,上面写着哥特体的"索斯恩德敬赠"的字样,还画着码头和人群的画。厄尔布这个人有点儿怪,他不参加工会,并对强迫他参加工会的做法很气愤。工会对他没有好处,他从来就不愁找不到工作。一个人只要长颗脑袋,并且不挑挑拣拣,有什么工作就干什么,那他就不愁拿不到高工资。珀莉她可胆小如鼠。要是她是厄尔布的话,她准会参加工会。上一次工厂闹罢工,厄尔布每次出去做工时,她都认为他会被人用救护车送来家。这当儿,珀莉转过身面对着菲利普。

‘Well, what I say is, it’s a free country, and I won’t be dictated to.’

  "他就那么顽固,罢工又跟他没关系。"

‘It’s no good saying it’s a free country,’ said Polly, ‘that won’t prevent ‘em bashin’ your ‘ead in if they get the chanst.’

  "嗯,我要说的是,这是个自由的国度,我可不愿听凭别人摆布。"

When they had finished Philip passed his pouch over to ‘Erb and they lit their pipes; then he got up, for a ‘call’ might be waiting for him at his rooms, and shook hands. He saw that it had given them pleasure that he shared their meal, and they saw that he had thoroughly enjoyed it.

  "说这是个自由的国度这话顶啥用,"珀莉接着说,"他们一有机会,照样砸瘪你的头。"

‘Well, good-bye, sir,’ said ‘Erb, ‘and I ‘ope we shall ‘ave as nice a doctor next time the missus disgraces ‘erself.’

  吃罢中饭,菲利普把自己的烟袋递给厄尔布,两人都抽起了烟斗。不一会儿,菲利普说可能有人在他房间里等他,便站起来同他们握了握手。这当儿,他发现他们对他在这里吃饭并且吃得很香表示很高兴。

‘Go on with you, ‘Erb,’ she retorted.’ ‘Ow d’you know there’s going to be a next time?’

  "好啦,再见,先生,"厄尔布说,"我想我夫人下次再自伤体面时,我们一定能找个好医生了。"

  "你胡说些什么呀,厄尔布,"珀莉顶了一句,"你怎么知道还会有第二次呢?"