Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

The four weeks of his engagement at Farnley passed quickly. On the cliff a new town was springing up, with red brick villas round golf links, and a large hotel had recently been opened to cater for the summer visitors; but Philip went there seldom. Down below, by the harbour, the little stone houses of a past century were clustered in a delightful confusion, and the narrow streets, climbing down steeply, had an air of antiquity which appealed to the imagination. By the water’s edge were neat cottages with trim, tiny gardens in front of them; they were inhabited by retired captains in the merchant service, and by mothers or widows of men who had gained their living by the sea; and they had an appearance which was quaint and peaceful. In the little harbour came tramps from Spain and the Levant, ships of small tonnage; and now and then a windjammer was borne in by the winds of romance. It reminded Philip of the dirty little harbour with its colliers at Blackstable, and he thought that there he had first acquired the desire, which was now an obsession, for Eastern lands and sunlit islands in a tropic sea. But here you felt yourself closer to the wide, deep ocean than on the shore of that North Sea which seemed always circumscribed; here you could draw a long breath as you looked out upon the even vastness; and the west wind, the dear soft salt wind of England, uplifted the heart and at the same time melted it to tenderness.

  光阴如梭,在法恩利当临时代理医生的一个月期限很快就到了。临海的山崖上,一座新兴城镇拔地而起,一幢幢红砖别墅鳞次栉比,环抱着一个个高尔夫球场。一家大饭店刚刚落成开张,以接纳蜂拥前来避暑的游览观光者。不过,菲利普难得走到那里去。山崖下面靠近港口处,上世纪遗留下来的小石头房子虽杂乱无章地拥挤在一起,却也无伤大雅;那一条条狭窄的街道,坡度挺大,但却有发人遐思的古色古香风味。水边立着一座座整洁的小平房,屋前都有一个小巧玲珑的花园,里面不是住着业已退休的商船船长们,就是住着靠海为生的母亲们和寡妇们。这些小房子都笼罩在一片古朴、宁静的气氛之中。小小的港口,停泊着来自西班牙和法国勒旺岛的小吨位货船;时而随着一阵富有浪漫色彩的微风,一只只帆船徐徐漂进港口。眼前的这番景致,使得菲利普想起了充斥着污黑的煤船的小小的布莱克斯泰勃港口。他想,正是那小小的港口勾起了他向往一睹东方诸国和热带海上阳光灿烂的岛屿的风采的欲念,而眼下这种欲念依然扎根于他的内心深处。但是,只有在这儿,你才会感觉到自己比在那北海边更加贴近那浩瀚、深邃的海洋;而在北海边,你总感到自己的视野受到限制。在这里,面对着宁静的、广阔无垠的大海极目远望时,你不觉舒爽地吸一口长气;而那习习西风、那英格兰特有的亲切可人的带有咸味的微风,会使你的精神亢奋,同时还会使你的心肠变软,变得温情脉脉。

One evening, when Philip had reached his last week with Doctor South, a child came to the surgery door while the old doctor and Philip were making up prescriptions. It was a little ragged girl with a dirty face and bare feet. Philip opened the door.

  菲利普在索思大夫身边工作的最后一周的一天晚上,正当他们俩在配制药剂的时候,一个孩子脚步咚咚地跑到外科手术室门口。原来是个衣衫褴褛的女孩子,脸上很脏,还光着脚丫子。菲利普应声把门打开。

‘Please, sir, will you come to Mrs. Fletcher’s in Ivy Lane at once?’

  "先生,请你马上到艾维巷的弗莱彻太太那儿走一趟,好吗?"

‘What’s the matter with Mrs. Fletcher?’ called out Doctor South in his rasping voice.

  "弗莱彻太太怎么啦?"索思大夫操着他那刺耳的声音问了一句。

The child took no notice of him, but addressed herself again to Philip.

  可那女孩子理也不理他,继续朝菲利普说道:

‘Please, sir, her little boy’s had an accident and will you come at once?’

  "先生,弗莱彻太太的小儿子出事故了,请你去一趟好吗?"

‘Tell Mrs. Fletcher I’m coming,’ called out Doctor South.

  "去告诉弗莱彻太太,就说我马上就去,"索思大夫在里面关照孩子说。

The little girl hesitated for a moment, and putting a dirty finger in a dirty mouth stood still and looked at Philip.

  那女孩迟疑了一下,把一个污黑的手指塞进那张肮脏的嘴巴里,一声不响地站在那儿,目不转睛地望着菲利普。

‘What’s the matter, Kid?’ said Philip, smiling.

  "孩子,怎么啦?"菲利普笑吟吟地问道。

‘Please, sir, Mrs. Fletcher says, will the new doctor come?’ There was a sound in the dispensary and Doctor South came out into the passage.

  "先生,弗莱彻太太说,请新来的大夫去。"

‘Isn’t Mrs. Fletcher satisfied with me?’ he barked. ‘I’ve attended Mrs. Fletcher since she was born. Why aren’t I good enough to attend her filthy brat?’

  药房里传来一阵声响,索思大夫随即从里面走了出来,来到过道上。

The little girl looked for a moment as though she were going to cry, then she thought better of it; she put out her tongue deliberately at Doctor South, and, before he could recover from his astonishment, bolted off as fast as she could run. Philip saw that the old gentleman was annoyed.

  "难道说弗莱彻太太信不过我吗?"他咆哮起来。"打她出生那天起,我就一直给她看病。为什么现在我连给她的小崽子看病都不行了呢?"

‘You look rather fagged, and it’s a goodish way to Ivy Lane,’ he said, by way of giving him an excuse not to go himself.

  有一会儿,那个小女孩看上去像是要哭的样子,可后来她还是忍住了。她有意朝索思大夫伸了伸舌头,索思大夫还没来得及还过神来,她便用足力量撒腿跑走了。菲利普看出这下那位老先生可恼怒了。

Doctor South gave a low snarl.

  "你看上去累得够呛了,再说,从这里到艾维巷的路可不近唷,"菲利普这样说,是在暗示索思大夫不要抢着去了。

‘It’s a damned sight nearer for a man who’s got the use of both legs than for a man who’s only got one and a half.’

  索思大夫瓮声瓮气地骂着。

Philip reddened and stood silent for a while.

  "这点儿路,对一个双腿齐全的人来说,要比一个只靠一条半腿走路的人近得多哩。"

‘Do you wish me to go or will you go yourself?’ he said at last frigidly.

  菲利普脸刷地涨得通红,好一会儿,只是一动不动地站着。

‘What’s the good of my going? They want you.’

  "你是要叫我去呢,还是你自个儿去?"菲利普最后淡淡地问了一声。

Philip took up his hat and went to see the patient. It was hard upon eight o’clock when he came back. Doctor South was standing in the dining-room with his back to the fireplace.

  "既然他们点的是你,我还去干吗?"

‘You’ve been a long time,’ he said.

  菲利普拿起帽子,出诊去了。他回来时,都快八点了。此时,索思大夫正背朝着壁炉站在餐厅里。

‘I’m sorry. Why didn’t you start dinner?’

  "你这次去的时间可不短呀,"索思大夫说。

‘Because I chose to wait. Have you been all this while at Mrs. Fletcher’s?’

  "对不住。你为什么不先用饭呢?"

‘No, I’m afraid I haven’t. I stopped to look at the sunset on my way back, and I didn’t think of the time.’

  "我喜欢等嘛。你出去这么久,是一直呆在弗莱彻太太家的吗?"

Doctor South did not reply, and the servant brought in some grilled sprats. Philip ate them with an excellent appetite. Suddenly Doctor South shot a question at him.

  "不,并不是一直呆在她那儿的。回来的路上,我停下来观赏了一下日落的景致,倒没有留意时间过得这么快。"

‘Why did you look at the sunset?’

  索思大夫没有吱声。此时,女用人给他俩送来了一些炙烤虾。菲利普津津有味地吃着。索思大夫突然发问说:

Philip answered with his mouth full.

  "你为什么要去观赏日落的景致?"

‘Because I was happy.’

  菲利普嘴里塞满了东西,只是嘟囔了一句:

Doctor South gave him an odd look, and the shadow of a smile flickered across his old, tired face. They ate the rest of the dinner in silence; but when the maid had given them the port and left the room, the old man leaned back and fixed his sharp eyes on Philip.

  "因为我感到愉快。"

‘It stung you up a bit when I spoke of your game leg, young fellow?’ he said.

  索思大夫神情古怪地瞪了他一眼。那张苍老、疲倦的脸上绽开了一丝笑意。此后,他们一声不响地埋头吃饭。可是,当女用人给他们斟完红葡萄酒离开的时候,索思大夫身子往后靠了靠,把犀利的目光停在菲利普的身上。

‘People always do, directly or indirectly, when they get angry with me.’

  "年轻人,刚才我提到了你的跛足,你生气了吧?"他接着对菲利普说。

‘I suppose they know it’s your weak point.’

  "人们生我气的时候,常常直接地或间接地提到我的跛足。"

Philip faced him and looked at him steadily.

  "我想,人们了解这正是你的弱点。"

‘Are you very glad to have discovered it?’

  菲利普面对着他,两眼直勾勾地望着他。

The doctor did not answer, but he gave a chuckle of bitter mirth. They sat for a while staring at one another. Then Doctor South surprised Philip extremely.

  "你发现了这一点感到很高兴,是不?"

‘Why don’t you stay here and I’ll get rid of that damned fool with his mumps?’

  索思大夫没有回答,只是凄苦地哧哧笑了几声。他们俩就这样四目凝视着静坐了一会儿。接着,索思大夫所说的话倒使得菲利普不胜惊愕。

‘It’s very kind of you, but I hope to get an appointment at the hospital in the autumn. It’ll help me so much in getting other work later.’

  "你为什么不留在这里呢?我将把那个该死的笨蛋辞掉。"

‘I’m offering you a partnership,’ said Doctor South grumpily.

  "难为你想得这么周到,不过我希望今年秋天在圣路加医院得到个职位。这对我以后谋求别的工作有很大好处。"

‘Why?’ asked Philip, with surprise.

  "我的意思是跟你合伙办这所医院,"索思大夫执拗地说。

‘They seem to like you down here.’

  "为什么呢?"菲利普惊讶地问道。

‘I didn’t think that was a fact which altogether met with your approval,’ Philip said drily.

  "这里的人像是欢迎你留下来。"

‘D’you suppose that after forty years’ practice I care a twopenny damn whether people prefer my assistant to me? No, my friend. There’s no sentiment between my patients and me. I don’t expect gratitude from them, I expect them to pay my fees. Well, what d’you say to it?’

  "我以前还想你是决不会赞同这种事情的呢,"菲利普干巴巴地说。

Philip made no reply, not because he was thinking over the proposal, but because he was astonished. It was evidently very unusual for someone to offer a partnership to a newly qualified man; and he realised with wonder that, although nothing would induce him to say so, Doctor South had taken a fancy to him. He thought how amused the secretary at St. Luke’s would be when he told him.

  "我行医都有四十年了,难道你以为我还在乎人们喜欢我的助手而不喜欢我吗?我才不在乎呢,朋友!我和我的病人之间没有什么情感可言,我也不指望他们对我感恩戴德,我只要他们付我的医疗费就行了。唔,对我的建议,你有什么想法?"

‘The practice brings in about seven hundred a year. We can reckon out how much your share would be worth, and you can pay me off by degrees. And when I die you can succeed me. I think that’s better than knocking about hospitals for two or three years, and then taking assistantships until you can afford to set up for yourself.’

  对此,菲利普没有做声。这并不是因为他在考虑索思大夫的建议,而是因为他感到诧异。居然会有人主动邀请一个刚取得医生资格的嫩手合伙开办医院,很显然,这件事太异乎寻常了。菲利普很惊奇地意识到,索思大夫已经喜欢上自己了,虽然他嘴上永远也不会明说。他想,要是他去把这件事告诉给圣路加医院的那位秘书所,不知此君会有何感想呢?

Philip knew it was a chance that most people in his profession would jump at; the profession was over-crowded, and half the men he knew would be thankful to accept the certainty of even so modest a competence as that.

  "在这儿给人看病一年可收入七百镑。我们俩合计一下你搭多少股份,你可在以后逐步偿还给我。我死后,你来继承我的位子。你至少得花两三年时间到处去谋求医院职位,然后才能带助手,最后才能独立开业行医。我想我的建议比那样子要强。"

‘I’m awfully sorry, but I can’t,’ he said. ‘It means giving up everything I’ve aimed at for years. In one way and another I’ve had a roughish time, but I always had that one hope before me, to get qualified so that I might travel; and now, when I wake in the morning, my bones simply ache to get off, I don’t mind where particularly, but just away, to places I’ve never been to.’

  菲利普心里明白,像这样的机会,在他那个行业里的大多数人都求之不得哩。他知道,行医的人比比皆是,尽管索思大夫的医院的资产并不多,但其中一半人都会感激涕零地接受他这一建议的。

Now the goal seemed very near. He would have finished his appointment at St. Luke’s by the middle of the following year, and then he would go to Spain; he could afford to spend several months there, rambling up and down the land which stood to him for romance; after that he would get a ship and go to the East. Life was before him and time of no account. He could wander, for years if he chose, in unfrequented places, amid strange peoples, where life was led in strange ways. He did not know what he sought or what his journeys would bring him; but he had a feeling that he would learn something new about life and gain some clue to the mystery that he had solved only to find more mysterious. And even if he found nothing he would allay the unrest which gnawed at his heart. But Doctor South was showing him a great kindness, and it seemed ungrateful to refuse his offer for no adequate reason; so in his shy way, trying to appear as matter of fact as possible, he made some attempt to explain why it was so important to him to carry out the plans he had cherished so passionately.

  "实在对不起,我不能接受你的建议,"菲利普终于开口说。"接受你的建议就意味着我要放弃多年来所追求的一切。虽说我遭受过这样那样的不幸,但我从来没有放弃过我的目标,即取得当医生的资格,以便去周游世界。眼下,每当我早晨醒来,我浑身骨头酸痛,像是在催促我快点动身。至于到什么地方去,我倒并不介意,反正只要出国,到我从未到过的地方去就行。"

Doctor South listened quietly, and a gentle look came into his shrewd old eyes. It seemed to Philip an added kindness that he did not press him to accept his offer. Benevolence is often very peremptory. He appeared to look upon Philip’s reasons as sound. Dropping the subject, he began to talk of his own youth; he had been in the Royal Navy, and it was his long connection with the sea that, when he retired, had made him settle at Farnley. He told Philip of old days in the Pacific and of wild adventures in China. He had taken part in an expedition against the head-hunters of Borneo and had known Samoa when it was still an independent state. He had touched at coral islands. Philip listened to him entranced. Little by little he told Philip about himself. Doctor South was a widower, his wife had died thirty years before, and his daughter had married a farmer in Rhodesia; he had quarrelled with him, and she had not come to England for ten years. It was just as if he had never had wife or child. He was very lonely. His gruffness was little more than a protection which he wore to hide a complete disillusionment; and to Philip it seemed tragic to see him just waiting for death, not impatiently, but rather with loathing for it, hating old age and unable to resign himself to its limitations, and yet with the feeling that death was the only solution of the bitterness of his life. Philip crossed his path, and the natural affection which long separation from his daughter had killed—she had taken her husband’s part in the quarrel and her children he had never seen—settled itself upon Philip. At first it made him angry, he told himself it was a sign of dotage; but there was something in Philip that attracted him, and he found himself smiling at him he knew not why. Philip did not bore him. Once or twice he put his hand on his shoulder: it was as near a caress as he had got since his daughter left England so many years before. When the time came for Philip to go Doctor South accompanied him to the station: he found himself unaccountably depressed.

  眼下,看来离实现这个目标为期不远了。他在圣路加医院的任期将于第二年年中结束,此后便径直上西班牙去。他可以在那里呆上几个月,在那个对他说来总是充满传奇色彩的国度里到处漫游。然后,他就乘船远涉重洋到东方去。人生的道路还长着呢,时间充裕得很。只要高兴,他可以花几年时间在人迹罕见的地方和在陌生的人群中到处漫游,而在那些地方,人们以各种各样的离奇古怪的方式生活着。他不知道他要追求什么,也不知道旅行会给他带来什么,但他感到,通过旅行他将会了解到生活中许多新鲜事,并为自己刚揭开的奥秘找到些线索,结果都会使自己发觉生活的奥秘更加不可思议。即使他啥也得不到,至少叶以消除扰乱他心境的不安心理。然而索思大夫却向他表示了自己的深情厚谊,不说出恰当的理由而断然拒绝他的好意似乎有些忘恩负义。于是,菲利普照例涨红着脸,竭力表现出一副郑重其事的样子,向索思大夫解释他要完成多年来一直珍藏在心中的打算是多么的重要。

‘I’ve had a ripping time here,’ said Philip. ‘You’ve been awfully kind to me.’

  索思大夫静静地倾听着,那双狡黠的、昏花的眼睛渐渐变得柔和起来。菲利普觉得索思大夫并不逼他接受自己的恩惠这一点格外亲切可人,因为仁慈常常是带有强制性的。索思大夫看来认为菲利普的理由还挺有道理的,便不再谈论这一话题,转而讲起了他的青年时代的经历。他曾经在皇家海军服过役,这段经历,使得他同大海结下了不解之缘。退役时,他便定居在法恩利。他给菲利普讲述了昔日在太平洋航行的情景和在中国的充满冒险的经历。他曾参加过一次镇压婆罗洲的蛮人的远征,曾经到过当时还是个独立的国家的萨摩亚。他还停靠过珊瑚群岛。菲利普出神地谛听着。他一点一点地给菲利普介绍了自己的身世。索思大夫是个鳏夫,他的妻子早在三十年前就亡故了,而他的女儿嫁给了罗得西亚的一位农夫。翁婿俩反目,他女儿一气之下十年没有回英国。这样,他等于从来没有结过婚,也没有过孩子。他形单影只,孑然一身。他脾气暴躁,不过是他用来掩盖其绝望心理的保护色而已。对菲利普来说,看到索思大夫,与其说是不耐烦倒不如说是怀着一种嫌恶的心情在等待着死神的降临,整日诅咒老年,且又不甘心受随老年而来的种种束缚,然而又觉得只有死亡才是他摆脱生活的苦海的唯一办法,这确是一幕悲剧。菲利普突然闯进了他的生活,于是,由于同女儿长期分手而早已泯灭了的做父亲的天性--在他同女婿吵架时,他女儿站在她丈夫一边,她的几个孩子他一个也没见过--一下子都倾注在菲利普的身上。起初,这件事使得他挺生气的,他自言自语地说这是年老昏聩的迹象。可是,菲利普身上有种气质强烈地吸引着他。有时他发觉自己莫名其妙地对菲利普微笑。菲利普一点不惹他讨厌。有那么一两回,菲利普还把手搭在他的肩膀上。这种近乎是爱抚的动作,打他女儿多年前离开英国之后,他从未得到过。菲利普要走时,索思大夫一路陪着上火车站,这当儿,他的神情莫名地沮丧。

‘I suppose you’re very glad to go?’

  "我在这儿过了一段非常愉快的日子,"菲利普说,"你待我太好了。"

‘I’ve enjoyed myself here.’

  "我想,你对于离去感到很高兴吧?"

‘But you want to get out into the world? Ah, you have youth.’ He hesitated a moment. ‘I want you to remember that if you change your mind my offer still stands.’

  "在你这儿,我一直感到很高兴。"

‘That’s awfully kind of you.’

  "可你还是想出国见见世面去?啊,你还年轻。"他踌躇了一会后说:"我希望你别忘了,你一旦改变主意,我的建议依然有效。"

Philip shook hands with him out of the carriage window, and the train steamed out of the station. Philip thought of the fortnight he was going to spend in the hop-field: he was happy at the idea of seeing his friends again, and he rejoiced because the day was fine. But Doctor South walked slowly back to his empty house. He felt very old and very lonely.

  "那就太感谢你了。"

  菲利普同车窗外的索思大夫握手告别。不一会儿,火车徐徐驶离车站。菲利普想起了他将在蛇麻草场度过半个月的事儿。想到朋友再次聚首,他心里乐滋滋的;他之所以感到高兴,还因为那天天气真美。在这同时,索思大夫却朝着他那幢空寂的房子踽踽走去。他感到自己异常衰老,非常孤独。