Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

But he wrenched the pang from his heart. He thought of Sally, with her kind blue eyes; and his lips unconsciously formed themselves into a smile. He walked up the steps of the National Gallery and sat down in the first room, so that he should see her the moment she came in. It always comforted him to get among pictures. He looked at none in particular, but allowed the magnificence of their colour, the beauty of their lines, to work upon his soul. His imagination was busy with Sally. It would be pleasant to take her away from that London in which she seemed an unusual figure, like a cornflower in a shop among orchids and azaleas; he had learned in the Kentish hop-field that she did not belong to the town; and he was sure that she would blossom under the soft skies of Dorset to a rarer beauty. She came in, and he got up to meet her. She was in black, with white cuffs at her wrists and a lawn collar round her neck. They shook hands.

  菲利普竭力驱遣内心的痛苦。他想起了莎莉,眼前不时地闪现着她那对温柔的蓝眼睛,这当儿,他嘴角下意识地露出了一丝笑意。菲利普顺着国立美术馆门前的台阶拾级而上,接着坐在最前面的一个房间里,这样,莎莉一出现,他就可以看到她。他每次置身在图画中间,心里总有一种信悦之感。其实他并不是在观赏图画,只是让那嫣红的色彩和优美的线条陶冶自己的心灵。他一刻不停地思念着莎莉。在伦敦,莎莉亭亭玉立,宛如店里的兰花和杜鹃花丛中的一株矢车菊,放射出夺目的异彩。早在肯特郡长满蛇麻子的田野里,菲利普就知道莎莉并不属于城里人。他深信,在那柔光满天的多塞特郡,莎莉定将出落成一个世上罕见的绝代佳人。正当他遐思蹁跹的时候,莎莉一脚跨了进来。菲利普连忙起立,迎上前去。莎莉上下一身黑,袖口滚着雪白的边,亚麻细布领子围着脖子。他们俩握了握手。

‘Have you been waiting long?’

  "等好久了吧?"

‘No. Ten minutes. Are you hungry?’

  "没多久。才十分钟。你饿了吧?"

‘Not very.’

  "还好。"

‘Let’s sit here for a bit, shall we?’

  "那我们先在这儿坐一会好吗?"

‘If you like.’

  "随你的便。"

They sat quietly, side by side, without speaking. Philip enjoyed having her near him. He was warmed by her radiant health. A glow of life seemed like an aureole to shine about her.

  他们俩肩挨肩坐在一起,但谁也不说话。看到莎莉就坐在自己的身旁,菲利普心里喜滋滋的。莎莉容光焕发,使得菲利普顿觉温暖如春。生命的光华犹如光环照亮了她身子的周围。

‘Well, how have you been?’ he said at last, with a little smile.

  "嗯,你近来觉得好吗?"菲利普终于憋不住,开腔问道,说话间,脸上带着微笑。

‘Oh, it’s all right. It was a false alarm.’

  "哦,很好。那是一场虚惊。"

‘Was it?’

  "是吗?"

‘Aren’t you glad?’

  "你听了不高兴?"

An extraordinary sensation filled him. He had felt certain that Sally’s suspicion was well-founded; it had never occurred to him for an instant that there was a possibility of error. All his plans were suddenly overthrown, and the existence, so elaborately pictured, was no more than a dream which would never be realised. He was free once more. Free! He need give up none of his projects, and life still was in his hands for him to do what he liked with. He felt no exhilaration, but only dismay. His heart sank. The future stretched out before him in desolate emptiness. It was as though he had sailed for many years over a great waste of waters, with peril and privation, and at last had come upon a fair haven, but as he was about to enter, some contrary wind had arisen and drove him out again into the open sea; and because he had let his mind dwell on these soft meads and pleasant woods of the land, the vast deserts of the ocean filled him with anguish. He could not confront again the loneliness and the tempest. Sally looked at him with her clear eyes.

  顿时,菲利普心里涌泛出一股异样的情感。他一直确信莎莉的疑心是有充分根据的,可不曾想到会出差错,这样的念头在他脑海里连闪也没有闪一下。眨眼间,他的种种设想都被打乱了,朝思暮想勾勒出来的生活图景到头来不过是一枕黄粱,永远成不了现实。他又一次摆脱了枷锁!自由啦!他设想的种种计划,一个也不必放弃,生活依然掌在自己的手心之中,要把它捏成啥样就可以捏成啥样。他无激动可言,有的只是满腹惆怅。他的心沉甸甸的。展现在他眼前的未来,却是那么荒漠、空泛。仿佛多年来,他备尝艰辛,越过了一片汪洋,最后终于来到美妙的天国。但是,正当他要抬脚跨进天国之际,骤然间刮起一阵逆风,又把他刮进汪洋大海之中。因为多年来他耽迷于下界的一块块芳草地以及一片片赏心悦目的丛林,所以这苍茫寂寥的大海使他心里充满了苦恼和烦闷。他再也经不住孤单寂寞的侵袭和暴风雨的冲击。莎莉张着她那对明澈的眸子,凝神地望着菲利普。

‘Aren’t you glad?’ she asked again. ‘I thought you’d be as pleased as Punch.’

  "你听了不高兴?"她又问了一遍,"我还以为你会扬扬得意呢。"

He met her gaze haggardly. ‘I’m not sure,’ he muttered.

  菲利普瞪大了眼睛望着凝视着自己的莎莉。"我也说不清楚,"他嘟囔了一句。

‘You are funny. Most men would.’

  "你这人真怪。多数男人听了都会感到高兴的。"

He realised that he had deceived himself; it was no self-sacrifice that had driven him to think of marrying, but the desire for a wife and a home and love; and now that it all seemed to slip through his fingers he was seized with despair. He wanted all that more than anything in the world. What did he care for Spain and its cities, Cordova, Toledo, Leon; what to him were the pagodas of Burmah and the lagoons of South Sea Islands? America was here and now. It seemed to him that all his life he had followed the ideals that other people, by their words or their writings, had instilled into him, and never the desires of his own heart. Always his course had been swayed by what he thought he should do and never by what he wanted with his whole soul to do. He put all that aside now with a gesture of impatience. He had lived always in the future, and the present always, always had slipped through his fingers. His ideals? He thought of his desire to make a design, intricate and beautiful, out of the myriad, meaningless facts of life: had he not seen also that the simplest pattern, that in which a man was born, worked, married, had children, and died, was likewise the most perfect? It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.

  菲利普意识到自己刚才的答话完全是自欺欺人。其实,并非是什么自我牺牲精神驱使自己考虑结婚一事的,而是自己对妻子、家庭和爱情的渴望。眼看着妻子、家庭和爱情统统从自己的指缝里漏掉了,一种绝望的心情攫住了他的心。他需要妻子、家庭和爱情比需要世间任何别的东西更为迫切。什么西班牙及其科尔多瓦、托莱多和莱昂等城市,他还在乎它们什么呢?对他来说,缅甸的宝塔和南海群岛的环礁湖,又算得了什么呢?美国就近在咫尺。他仿佛觉得,他一辈子都是遵循着别人通过嘴说手写向他灌输的理想行事,而从来不是依从自己的心愿行事的。他的一生总是受他认为应该做的事情,而不是受他真心想做的事情所左右。他做了个不耐烦的手势,不再考虑那些事情。他老是生活在对未来的憧憬里,却接二连三地坐失眼前的良机。他的理想是什么呢?他想起了他那个要从纷繁复杂、毫无意义的生活琐事中编织一种精巧、美丽的图案的愿望。一个男人来到世上,干活,结婚,生儿育女,最后悄然去世。这是一种最简单的然而却是最完美的人生格局。他有没有认识到这一点呢?屈服于幸福,兴许就是承认失败,但是,这种失败却要比千百次胜利有意义得多啊。

He glanced quickly at Sally, he wondered what she was thinking, and then looked away again.

  菲利普匆匆瞥了莎莉一眼,心中暗自纳闷,不知她在想些什么。接着,他把目光移向别处。

‘I was going to ask you to marry me,’ he said.

  "我刚才是想向你求婚的,"菲利普说道。

‘I thought p’raps you might, but I shouldn’t have liked to stand in your way.’

  "我想你兴许会这样的,不过我可不想碍你的事。"

‘You wouldn’t have done that.’

  "你决不会碍事的。"

‘How about your travels, Spain and all that?’

  "那你不去旅行啦?不是说要到西班牙等地去吗?"

‘How d’you know I want to travel?’

  "你怎么知道我要去旅行的?"

‘I ought to know something about it. I’ve heard you and Dad talk about it till you were blue in the face.’

  "有关这一类事情,我应该了解一点。你同我父亲议论这件事,最后两人还争得面红耳赤的。这些我都知道。"

‘I don’t care a damn about all that.’ He paused for an instant and then spoke in a low, hoarse whisper. ‘I don’t want to leave you! I can’t leave you.’

  "那些事情,我现在都不在乎了。"菲利普略微停顿了一下,随即操着嘶哑的声音对莎莉低语道:"我不想离开你!我也离不开你!"

She did not answer. He could not tell what she thought.

  莎莉没有回答。他不知她是什么心思。

‘I wonder if you’ll marry me, Sally.’

  "不知你愿意不愿意嫁给我,莎莉。"

She did not move and there was no flicker of emotion on her face, but she did not look at him when she answered.

  莎莉坐在那儿,一动也不动。从她脸上,捕捉不到一丝表情。她说话时眼睛并不望菲利普。

‘If you like.’

  "随你的便。"

‘Don’t you want to?’

  "你不愿意?"

‘Oh, of course I’d like to have a house of my own, and it’s about time I was settling down.’

  "哦,我当然很想有个自己的家啊,再说我也该成家立业了。"

He smiled a little. He knew her pretty well by now, and her manner did not surprise him.

  菲利普粲然一笑。现在他算是摸透了她的心思了。至于她的态度,他倒并不觉得奇怪。

‘But don’t you want to marry ME?’

  "可是你不愿嫁给我?"

‘There’s no one else I would marry.’

  "我不愿意嫁给旁的什么男人。"

‘Then that settles it.’

  "那事情就这样定了。"

‘Mother and Dad will be surprised, won’t they?’

  "我父母亲一定会大吃一惊,对不?"

‘I’m so happy.’

  "我太幸福了。"

‘I want my lunch,’ she said.

  "我想吃中饭了,"莎莉说。

‘Dear!’

  "亲爱的!"

He smiled and took her hand and pressed it. They got up and walked out of the gallery. They stood for a moment at the balustrade and looked at Trafalgar Square. Cabs and omnibuses hurried to and fro, and crowds passed, hastening in every direction, and the sun was shining.

  菲利普笑吟吟地拿起莎莉的手,把它紧紧地攥在自己的手里。他们俩站起来,双双步出美术馆。他们在栏杆旁边站了一会儿,注视着特拉法尔加广场,只见那儿马车啦、公共汽车啦,来来往往,穿梭不息,人群熙来攘往,步履匆匆,朝着各个不同的方向涌去。此时,太阳当空,光芒四照。