Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘You naughty boy, Miss Watkin WILL be cross with you.’

一个星期之后。翁斯洛花园街上的沃特金小姐公馆。菲利普正坐在客厅的地板上。他没有兄弟姐妹,已习惯于独个儿玩耍取乐。客厅里摆满了厚实的家具,每张长沙发上都有三只大靠垫。每张安乐椅上也放着一只椅垫。菲利普把这些软垫全拿过来,又借助于几张轻巧而易于挪动的镀金雕花靠背椅,煞费苦心地搭成个洞穴。他藏身在这儿,就可以躲开那些潜伏在帷幔后面的印第安人。菲利普把耳朵贴近地板,谛听野牛群在草原上狂奔疾驰。不一会儿,他听见门打开了,赶紧销声敛息,生怕被人发现;但是,一只有力的手猛地拖开靠背椅,软垫纷纷跌落在地。

‘Hulloa, Emma!’ he said.

"淘气鬼,你要惹沃特金小姐生气啦。"

The nurse bent down and kissed him, then began to shake out the cushions, and put them back in their places.

"你好啊,埃玛?"他说。

‘Am I to come home?’ he asked.

保姆弯下腰吻了吻他,然后将软垫抖抖干净,一只只放回原处。

‘Yes, I’ve come to fetch you.’

"我该回家了,是吗?"他问道。

‘You’ve got a new dress on.’

"是呀,我特地来领你的。"

It was in eighteen-eighty-five, and she wore a bustle. Her gown was of black velvet, with tight sleeves and sloping shoulders, and the skirt had three large flounces. She wore a black bonnet with velvet strings. She hesitated. The question she had expected did not come, and so she could not give the answer she had prepared.

"你穿了件新衣裙哩。"

‘Aren’t you going to ask how your mamma is?’ she said at length.

这是一八八五年。她身上穿一件黑天鹅绒裙袍,腰里衬着裙撑,窄袖削肩,裙子上镶了三条宽荷叶边;头上戴一顶系有天鹅绒饰带的黑色无边帽。她犹豫起来。她原以为孩子一见面,一定会提出那个问题,结果压根儿没提,这一来,她预先准备好的回答也就无从出口了。

‘Oh, I forgot. How is mamma?’

"你不想问问你妈妈身体好吗?"最后她只好自己这么说了。

Now she was ready.

"噢,我忘了。妈妈身体好吗?"

‘Your mamma is quite well and happy.’

埃玛这会儿胸有成竹。

‘Oh, I am glad.’

"你妈妈身体很好,也很快活。"

‘Your mamma’s gone away. You won’t ever see her any more.’ Philip did not know what she meant.

"哦,我真高兴。"

‘Why not?’

"你妈妈已经去了,你再也见不着她了。"

‘Your mamma’s in heaven.’

菲利普没听懂她的意思。

She began to cry, and Philip, though he did not quite understand, cried too. Emma was a tall, big-boned woman, with fair hair and large features. She came from Devonshire and, notwithstanding her many years of service in London, had never lost the breadth of her accent. Her tears increased her emotion, and she pressed the little boy to her heart. She felt vaguely the pity of that child deprived of the only love in the world that is quite unselfish. It seemed dreadful that he must be handed over to strangers. But in a little while she pulled herself together.

"为什么见不着了?"

‘Your Uncle William is waiting in to see you,’ she said. ‘Go and say good-bye to Miss Watkin, and we’ll go home.’

"你妈妈已在天国里了。"

‘I don’t want to say good-bye,’ he answered, instinctively anxious to hide his tears.

埃玛失声痛哭,菲利普虽不完全明白是怎么回事,但也跟着号喝起来。埃玛是个高身材、宽骨架的妇人,一头金头,长得粗眉大眼。她是德文郡人,尽管在伦敦帮佣多年,却始终乡音未改。她这么一哭可真动了感情,难以自禁;她一把将孩子紧搂在怀里。她心头隐隐生出一股怜悯之情:这可怜的孩子被剥夺了他在人世间唯一的爱,那种自古至今纯属无私的爱。眼看着非得把他交到陌生人手里,真有点叫人心寒。过了不多一会儿,她渐渐平静下来。

‘Very well, run upstairs and get your hat.’

"你威廉大伯正等着见你呢,"她说,"去对沃特金小姐说声再见,我们要回家了。"

He fetched it, and when he came down Emma was waiting for him in the hall. He heard the sound of voices in the study behind the dining-room. He paused. He knew that Miss Watkin and her sister were talking to friends, and it seemed to him—he was nine years old—that if he went in they would be sorry for him.

"我不想去说什么再见,"他回答说。出于本能,他不想让人看到自己在哭鼻子。

‘I think I’ll go and say good-bye to Miss Watkin.’

"好吧,那就快上楼去拿帽子。"

‘I think you’d better,’ said Emma.

菲利普拿了帽子,回到楼下,埃玛正在门厅里等着。菲利普听到餐室后面的书房里有人在说话。他站定身子。他明白是沃特金小姐和她姐姐在同朋友谈心;他这个九岁的孩子似乎感到,要是自己这时候闯进去,说不定她们会为他伤心难过的。

‘Go in and tell them I’m coming,’ he said.

"我想我还是应该去对沃特金小姐说声再见。"

He wished to make the most of his opportunity. Emma knocked at the door and walked in. He heard her speak.

"我想也是去说一声的好,"埃玛说。

‘Master Philip wants to say good-bye to you, miss.’

"那你就进去通报说我来了,"他说。

There was a sudden hush of the conversation, and Philip limped in. Henrietta Watkin was a stout woman, with a red face and dyed hair. In those days to dye the hair excited comment, and Philip had heard much gossip at home when his godmother’s changed colour. She lived with an elder sister, who had resigned herself contentedly to old age. Two ladies, whom Philip did not know, were calling, and they looked at him curiously.

菲利普希望能充分利用这次机会。埃玛敲敲门,走了进去。他听见她说:

‘My poor child,’ said Miss Watkin, opening her arms.

"小姐,菲利普少爷向您告别来了。"

She began to cry. Philip understood now why she had not been in to luncheon and why she wore a black dress. She could not speak.

谈话声戛然而止;菲利普一瘸一拐地走了进来。亨丽埃塔。沃特金是个身材敦实的女子,脸色红润,头发是染过的。在那个年头,染发颇招物议,记得教母刚把头发染了的那阵子,菲利普在自己家里就听到过不少闲话。沃特金小姐和姐姐住在一起。这位姐姐乐天知命,打算就此安心养老了。有两位菲利普不认识的太太正在这儿作客,她们用好奇的眼光打量着菲利普。

‘I’ve got to go home,’ said Philip, at last.

"我可怜的孩子。"沃特金小姐说着张开了双臂。

He disengaged himself from Miss Watkin’s arms, and she kissed him again. Then he went to her sister and bade her good-bye too. One of the strange ladies asked if she might kiss him, and he gravely gave her permission. Though crying, he keenly enjoyed the sensation he was causing; he would have been glad to stay a little longer to be made much of, but felt they expected him to go, so he said that Emma was waiting for him. He went out of the room. Emma had gone downstairs to speak with a friend in the basement, and he waited for her on the landing. He heard Henrietta Watkin’s voice.

她呜呜哭了起来。菲利普这会儿明白过来为什么她刚才没在家吃午饭,为什么今天她要穿一身黑衣。沃特金小姐呜咽着说不出话来。

‘His mother was my greatest friend. I can’t bear to think that she’s dead.’

"我得回家去了,"菲利普最后这么说。

‘You oughtn’t to have gone to the funeral, Henrietta,’ said her sister. ‘I knew it would upset you.’

菲利普从沃特金小姐怀里脱出身来;她又一次来了亲这孩子。然后,菲利普走到教母的姐姐跟前,也对她说了声再见。陌生太太中的一位问菲利普是否可以让她吻一下,菲利普一本正经地表示可以。虽说他在不住流眼泪,但是对于眼前这种由自己引起的伤感场面,倒觉得挺带劲的。他很乐意再在这儿多呆一会,让她们在自己身上淋漓尽致地发泄一通,不过又感到她们巴不得自己快点走开,于是便推说埃玛正在等他,径自走出了书房。埃玛已到地下室同她的女友拉家常去了,菲利普就守在楼梯平台处等她。他能听到亨丽埃塔·沃特金的说话声音。

Then one of the strangers spoke.

"他母亲是我最要好的朋友。想到她竟这么去了,心里真受不了。"

‘Poor little boy, it’s dreadful to think of him quite alone in the world. I see he limps.’

"你本来就不该去参加葬礼,亨丽埃塔,"她姐姐说,"我知道你去了会难过的。"

‘Yes, he’s got a club-foot. It was such a grief to his mother.’

一位女客接口了。

Then Emma came back. They called a hansom, and she told the driver where to go.

"可怜的小家伙,就这么孤苦伶仃地活在人世上,想想也可怕。我见他走路腿还有点瘸呢!"

"是呀,他生下来一只脚就是畸形的。因为这个,他母亲生前可伤心哩。"

这时,埃玛回来了。他们叫了一辆马车,埃玛将去处告诉了车夫。