Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

Miss Wilkinson played the piano and sang in a rather tired voice; but her songs, Massenet, Benjamin Goddard, and Augusta Holmes, were new to Philip; and together they spent many hours at the piano. One day she wondered if he had a voice and insisted on trying it. She told him he had a pleasant baritone and offered to give him lessons. At first with his usual bashfulness he refused, but she insisted, and then every morning at a convenient time after breakfast she gave him an hour’s lesson. She had a natural gift for teaching, and it was clear that she was an excellent governess. She had method and firmness. Though her French accent was so much part of her that it remained, all the mellifluousness of her manner left her when she was engaged in teaching. She put up with no nonsense. Her voice became a little peremptory, and instinctively she suppressed inattention and corrected slovenliness. She knew what she was about and put Philip to scales and exercises.

威尔金森小姐一边弹着钢琴,一边懒洋洋地唱着。她唱的是马赛耐特、本杰明·戈达特和奥古斯塔·霍姆斯谱写的歌曲,不过这些曲子对菲利普来说都很新鲜。他俩就这样厮守在钢琴旁边,一连消磨上好几个钟头。有一天,威尔金森小姐想知道他是否生就一副歌喉,执意要他试试嗓音。她夸他有一副悦耳动听的男中音嗓子,主动提出要教他唱歌。一上来,他出于惯有的腼腆谢绝了。但她再三坚持,于是,每天早餐以后凑着空就教他一小时。她颇有当教师的天赋,无疑是个出色的家庭教师。她教授有方,要求严格。讲课时,虽然仍带着一口浓厚的法国腔,但那种软绵绵的嗲劲却一扫而尽。自始至终没有半句废话,断然的口气中带几分威势儿;学生思想一开小差,或是稍有马虎,她出于本能,当即毫不客气地予以制止和纠正。她知道自己的职责所在,逼着菲利普练声吊嗓子。

When the lesson was over she resumed without effort her seductive smiles, her voice became again soft and winning, but Philip could not so easily put away the pupil as she the pedagogue; and this impression convicted with the feelings her stories had aroused in him. He looked at her more narrowly. He liked her much better in the evening than in the morning. In the morning she was rather lined and the skin of her neck was just a little rough. He wished she would hide it, but the weather was very warm just then and she wore blouses which were cut low. She was very fond of white; in the morning it did not suit her. At night she often looked very attractive, she put on a gown which was almost a dinner dress, and she wore a chain of garnets round her neck; the lace about her bosom and at her elbows gave her a pleasant softness, and the scent she wore (at Blackstable no one used anything but Eau de Cologne, and that only on Sundays or when suffering from a sick headache) was troubling and exotic. She really looked very young then.

课一结束,她脸上又自然而然地泛起诱人的浅笑,说话的口吻也重新变得温柔可爱。她转瞬就卸掉了那层为人之师的外壳,可是要菲利普摆脱自己当门生的身分就没这么容易,上课时得到的印象,同听她讲述个人艳遇时的内心感受,颇有点格格不入。他对她的观察更加细致入微。他发觉威尔金森小姐晚上要比早晨可爱得多。早晨,她脸上的皱纹不少,颈脖上的皮肤也有点粗糙。他真希望她能把脖子遮起来,但天气很暖和,她穿的上衣领口开得很低。她又非常喜欢穿白色的服装,而在上午穿这种颜色的衣服对她实在不很合适。一到了晚上她就显得妩媚动人:她穿着像晚礼服一样的长裙,脖子上挂着一串红石榴珠项练,长裙前胸和两肘上缀有花边,使她显得温柔而讨人喜欢。她用的香水溢出一股撩人的异香(在布莱克斯泰勃人们只用科隆香水,而且只在星期天或者头疼病发作时才洒上几滴)。这时候,她看上去确实很年轻。

Philip was much exercised over her age. He added twenty and seventeen together, and could not bring them to a satisfactory total. He asked Aunt Louisa more than once why she thought Miss Wilkinson was thirty-seven: she didn’t look more than thirty, and everyone knew that foreigners aged more rapidly than English women; Miss Wilkinson had lived so long abroad that she might almost be called a foreigner. He personally wouldn’t have thought her more than twenty-six.

菲利普为计算她的年龄伤透了脑筋。他把二十和十七加在一起,总得不出一个满意的答数来。他不止一次地问路易莎伯母,为什么她认为威尔金森小姐有三十七岁了。她看上去还不满三十岁呢!谁都知道,外国女子比英国女子老得快;威尔金森小姐长期身居异邦,差不多也称得上是个外国人了。菲利普个人认为她还不满二十六岁。

‘She’s more than that,’ said Aunt Louisa.

"她可不止那把年纪罗,"路易莎伯母说。

Philip did not believe in the accuracy of the Careys’ statements. All they distinctly remembered was that Miss Wilkinson had not got her hair up the last time they saw her in Lincolnshire. Well, she might have been twelve then: it was so long ago and the Vicar was always so unreliable. They said it was twenty years ago, but people used round figures, and it was just as likely to be eighteen years, or seventeen. Seventeen and twelve were only twenty-nine, and hang it all, that wasn’t old, was it? Cleopatra was forty-eight when Antony threw away the world for her sake.

菲利普对凯里夫妇说话的精确性抱有怀疑。他们唯一记得清的,是他们在林肯郡最后一次见到威尔金森小姐时她还留着辫于。是嘛,她那时说不定才十一二岁呢。那足多年以前的事情,而牧师的记忆力一向靠不住。他们说这是二十年前的事情,但是人们总喜欢用整数,所以很可能是十八年,或者十七年前的事。十七加十二,只不过二十九。活见鬼,这个岁数算老吗?安东尼为获得克莉奥佩特拉而舍弃整个世界时,那位埃及女王已经四十八岁。

It was a fine summer. Day after day was hot and cloudless; but the heat was tempered by the neighbourhood of the sea, and there was a pleasant exhilaration in the air, so that one was excited and not oppressed by the August sunshine. There was a pond in the garden in which a fountain played; water lilies grew in it and gold fish sunned themselves on the surface. Philip and Miss Wilkinson used to take rugs and cushions there after dinner and lie on the lawn in the shade of a tall hedge of roses. They talked and read all the afternoon. They smoked cigarettes, which the Vicar did not allow in the house; he thought smoking a disgusting habit, and used frequently to say that it was disgraceful for anyone to grow a slave to a habit. He forgot that he was himself a slave to afternoon tea.

那年夏季天气晴好。日复一日,碧空无云。气候虽炎热,不过由于靠近海,暑气有所冲淡,空气中渗透着一股令人振奋的清新之意,所以即使置身于八月盛夏的骄阳之下,也不觉得熏烤难受,反而横生一股兴致。花园里有个小池,池中喷泉飞溅,睡莲盛开,金鱼翔浮在水面,沐浴着阳光。午餐之后,菲利普和威尔金森小姐常常带着旅行毯和坐垫来到池边,躺在草地上,借那一排排高高的玫瑰树篱遮荫。他们一个下午就这么躺在那儿聊天、看书,时而还抽支把烟。牧师禁止在室内抽烟,认为抽烟是种恶习。他经常说,任何人若沦为某一嗜好的奴隶,未免有失体统。他忘了他自己也有喝午茶的嗜好。

One day Miss Wilkinson gave Philip La Vie de Boheme. She had found it by accident when she was rummaging among the books in the Vicar’s study. It had been bought in a lot with something Mr. Carey wanted and had remained undiscovered for ten years.

有一天,威尔金森小姐给菲利普看《波希米亚人的生涯》一书。这本书是她在牧师书房的书堆里偶然翻到的。凯里先生有回要买一批廉价书,也连带把它买了来,十年来就一直丢在那儿没人问津。

Philip began to read Murger’s fascinating, ill-written, absurd masterpiece, and fell at once under its spell. His soul danced with joy at that picture of starvation which is so good-humoured, of squalor which is so picturesque, of sordid love which is so romantic, of bathos which is so moving. Rodolphe and Mimi, Musette and Schaunard! They wander through the gray streets of the Latin Quarter, finding refuge now in one attic, now in another, in their quaint costumes of Louis Philippe, with their tears and their smiles, happy-go-lucky and reckless. Who can resist them? It is only when you return to the book with a sounder judgment that you find how gross their pleasures were, how vulgar their minds; and you feel the utter worthlessness, as artists and as human beings, of that gay procession. Philip was enraptured.

米尔热的这本杰作,情节离奇,文笔拙劣,内容荒诞,菲利普一翻开就立刻被迷住了。书中有关饥馑的描写,笔调诙谐,怨而不怒;关于赤贫景象的画面,栩栩如生,跃然纸上吓流的恋情经作家写来,却那么富于浪漫色彩;无病呻吟的哀怨感伤,到了作家的笔下却是缠绵徘侧,婉约动人--所有这一切,都使菲利普心驰神往,喜不自胜。鲁多尔夫和米密,缪塞和肖纳德!他们穿着路易·腓力普时代的稀奇古怪的服装,在拉丁区的灰暗街道上游荡,时而栖身于这个小阁楼上,时而又在那一个小顶楼里安顿下来.含着眼泪,挂着微笑,醉生梦死,及时行乐。谁能不被他们勾了魂去?只有等你获有更健全的鉴别力再回过头来看这本书的时候,你才会感到他们的欢乐是多么粗俗,他们的心灵是多么平庸,这时你才会感到,那一伙放浪形骸之徒,不论作为艺术家,还是作为凡人,都一无可取之处。但菲利普却为之心醉神迷。

‘Don’t you wish you were going to Paris instead of London?’ asked Miss Wilkinson, smiling at his enthusiasm.

"现在你打算去的是巴黎而不是伦敦了吧?"威尔金森小姐问,对他的热情不无讥讽之意。

‘It’s too late now even if I did,’ he answered.

"现在即使我打算去巴黎也来不及了,"他回答道。

During the fortnight he had been back from Germany there had been much discussion between himself and his uncle about his future. He had refused definitely to go to Oxford, and now that there was no chance of his getting scholarships even Mr. Carey came to the conclusion that he could not afford it. His entire fortune had consisted of only two thousand pounds, and though it had been invested in mortgages at five per cent, he had not been able to live on the interest. It was now a little reduced. It would be absurd to spend two hundred a year, the least he could live on at a university, for three years at Oxford which would lead him no nearer to earning his living. He was anxious to go straight to London. Mrs. Carey thought there were only four professions for a gentleman, the Army, the Navy, the Law, and the Church. She had added medicine because her brother-in-law practised it, but did not forget that in her young days no one ever considered the doctor a gentleman. The first two were out of the question, and Philip was firm in his refusal to be ordained. Only the law remained. The local doctor had suggested that many gentlemen now went in for engineering, but Mrs. Carey opposed the idea at once.

他从德国回来已有两个星期,曾同大伯多次谈到自己的前途问题。他坚决拒绝进牛津念书,再说他再也别想拿到奖学金,甚至连凯里先生也得出他无力上大学的结论。菲利普的全部财产本来只有两千镑,虽然这笔钱以百分之五的利息投资于抵押业,但他无法靠其利息过日子。现在这笔钱又减少了一点。上大学的最低生活费用一年至少得二百镑,花这样一大笔钱去念书,简直荒唐。因为即使在牛津大学读上三年,还是照样不能养活自己。他急于直接上伦敦去谋生计。凯里太太认为,有身分的绅士只能在四种行业中选择:陆军、海军、司法和教会。她还加上一门医业,因为她的小叔子就是干这一行的,不过她没忘记在她年轻时,谁也不把医生算在上等人之列的。前两门行当根本不用去考虑,而菲利普本人又坚决反对任圣职,剩下的就只有进司法界这条出路。本地医生建议,如今许多有身分的人都从事工程实业,但凯里太太当即表示反对。

‘I shouldn’t like Philip to go into trade,’ she said.

"我不想让菲利普去做买卖,"她说。

‘No, he must have a profession,’ answered the Vicar.

"是啊,不过他总得有个职业,"牧师应道。

‘Why not make him a doctor like his father?’

"为什么不能让他像父亲那样去当医生呢?"

‘I should hate it,’ said Philip.

"我讨厌这种职业,"菲利普说。

Mrs. Carey was not sorry. The Bar seemed out of the question, since he was not going to Oxford, for the Careys were under the impression that a degree was still necessary for success in that calling; and finally it was suggested that he should become articled to a solicitor. They wrote to the family lawyer, Albert Nixon, who was co-executor with the Vicar of Blackstable for the late Henry Carey’s estate, and asked him whether he would take Philip. In a day or two the answer came back that he had not a vacancy, and was very much opposed to the whole scheme; the profession was greatly overcrowded, and without capital or connections a man had small chance of becoming more than a managing clerk; he suggested, however, that Philip should become a chartered accountant. Neither the Vicar nor his wife knew in the least what this was, and Philip had never heard of anyone being a chartered accountant; but another letter from the solicitor explained that the growth of modern businesses and the increase of companies had led to the formation of many firms of accountants to examine the books and put into the financial affairs of their clients an order which old-fashioned methods had lacked. Some years before a Royal Charter had been obtained, and the profession was becoming every year more respectable, lucrative, and important. The chartered accountants whom Albert Nixon had employed for thirty years happened to have a vacancy for an articled pupil, and would take Philip for a fee of three hundred pounds. Half of this would be returned during the five years the articles lasted in the form of salary. The prospect was not exciting, but Philip felt that he must decide on something, and the thought of living in London over-balanced the slight shrinking he felt. The Vicar of Blackstable wrote to ask Mr. Nixon whether it was a profession suited to a gentleman; and Mr. Nixon replied that, since the Charter, men were going into it who had been to public schools and a university; moreover, if Philip disliked the work and after a year wished to leave, Herbert Carter, for that was the accountant’s name, would return half the money paid for the articles. This settled it, and it was arranged that Philip should start work on the fifteenth of September.

凯里太太并不感到惋惜。既然他不打算进牛津,也别指望干律师这一行。因为凯里夫妇觉得,要想在这一行里搞出点名堂,还非得有学位不可。商量来商量去,最后建议菲利普去给一个律师当学徒。他们写信给家庭律师阿尔伯特·尼克逊,问他愿不愿意收菲利普做徒弟。他与布莱克斯泰勃教区牧师同是亨利·凯里生前指定的遗嘱执行人。隔了一两天回信来了,说他门下没有空额,而且对他们的整个计划很不以为然。目前这门行业已是人满为患,一个人要是没有资金,没有靠山,至多也只能做个事务所主管员。他建议菲利普去当会计师。而会计师算个什么行当,牧师也罢,他老伴也罢,都一无所知,菲利普也从没听说过有谁是当会计师的。律师又来信解释说:随着现代工商业的发展,随着企业公司的增加,出现了许多审核帐目、协助客户管理财务的会计师事务所,它们建立的那一套行之有效的财务管理制度,是老式财务管理所没有的。自从几年前取得皇家特许之后,这个行业逐年重要起来,不仅受人尊重,而且收入丰厚。给阿尔伯特·尼克逊管理了三十年财务的会计师事务所,恰好有个练习生的空额,他们愿意收下菲利普,收费三百镑,其中有一半在五年合同期内以工资形式付还本人。尽管前景并不怎么吸引人,但菲利普觉得自己总该有个决断才是,他权衡得失,最后还是对伦敦生活的向往之情压倒了心头的退缩之意。布莱克斯泰勃的教区牧师写信请教尼克逊先生,这是不是一门适于上等人干的体面职业,尼克逊先生回信说:自从授予特许状以后,许多念过公学和大学的青年人都投身于这门行业。再说,要是菲利普觉得这工作不合心意,一年之后希望离开的话,赫伯特·卡特--就是那位会计师--愿意归还合同费用的半数。事情就算这样定了。根据安排,菲利普将在九月十五日开始工作。

‘I have a full month before me,’ said Philip.

"我还可以逍遥整整一个月,"菲利普说。

‘And then you go to freedom and I to bondage,’ returned Miss Wilkinson.

"到那时,你将走向自由,而我却要投身桎梏"威尔金森小姐应了一句。她共有六周假期,到时候只比菲利普早一两天离开布莱克斯泰勃。

Her holidays were to last six weeks, and she would be leaving Blackstable only a day or two before Philip.

"不知我们以后是否还会再见面,"她说。

‘I wonder if we shall ever meet again,’ she said.

"我不明白怎么不会呢?"

‘I don’t know why not.’

"哦,别用这种干巴巴的腔调说话吧。还没见过像你这样不懂温情的人呢。"

‘Oh, don’t speak in that practical way. I never knew anyone so unsentimental.’

菲利普满脸通红。他就怕威尔金森小姐把自己看成个脓包:她毕竟是个年纪不大的女子,有时还挺漂亮的,而自己也快二十岁了,假若他们的交谈仅止于艺术和文学,未免有点可笑。他应向她求爱。他们经常议论爱情,谈到过布里达街的那个学艺术的学生,还有那位巴黎肖像画家。她在他家住了很久,他请她做模特儿,而且狂热地追求她,吓得她不得不借故推托,不再给他当模特儿。不用说,威尔金森小姐对这类献殷勤的玩意儿早已司空见惯。那天,她戴了一顶大草帽,看上去十分妩媚动人。下午天气炎热,是人夏以来最热的一天,她上嘴唇上挂着一串豆大的汗珠。他想起了凯西莉小姐和宋先生。他以前想到凯西莉时毫不动心。她姿色平庸,一无动人之处,但是现在回想起来,他俩的私情却似乎很富有浪漫气息。他此刻眼看也有遇到点风流事的机缘。威尔金森小姐差不多完全法国化了,这就给可能经历的艳遇增添几分情趣。当他晚间躺在床上或是白天独自在花园里看书时,一想到此事,心弦就禁不住震颤起来,可是当威尔金森小姐出现在他面前时,事情似乎就不那么香艳动人了。

Philip reddened. He was afraid that Miss Wilkinson would think him a milksop: after all she was a young woman, sometimes quite pretty, and he was getting on for twenty; it was absurd that they should talk of nothing but art and literature. He ought to make love to her. They had talked a good deal of love. There was the art-student in the Rue Breda, and then there was the painter in whose family she had lived so long in Paris: he had asked her to sit for him, and had started to make love to her so violently that she was forced to invent excuses not to sit to him again. It was clear enough that Miss Wilkinson was used to attentions of that sort. She looked very nice now in a large straw hat: it was hot that afternoon, the hottest day they had had, and beads of sweat stood in a line on her upper lip. He called to mind Fraulein Cacilie and Herr Sung. He had never thought of Cacilie in an amorous way, she was exceedingly plain; but now, looking back, the affair seemed very romantic. He had a chance of romance too. Miss Wilkinson was practically French, and that added zest to a possible adventure. When he thought of it at night in bed, or when he sat by himself in the garden reading a book, he was thrilled by it; but when he saw Miss Wilkinson it seemed less picturesque.

不管怎么说,在她讲了那几段风流韵事之后,如果他也向她表示爱情,想来她不至于会大惊小怪吧。他还隐隐觉得,她一定对自己至今无所表示感到奇怪。也许这只是自己的胡思乱想,不过近两天来,他不止一次地在她的目光里依稀辨觉出点鄙夷的意味。

At all events, after what she had told him, she would not be surprised if he made love to her. He had a feeling that she must think it odd of him to make no sign: perhaps it was only his fancy, but once or twice in the last day or two he had imagined that there was a suspicion of contempt in her eyes.

"你愣愣地在想些什么,"威尔金森小姐笑吟吟地瞅着他说。

‘A penny for your thoughts,’ said Miss Wilkinson, looking at him with a smile.

"我可不想告诉你,"他答道。

‘I’m not going to tell you,’ he answered.

他想,应当就在此时此地吻她。不知道她是不是正巴望他这么做呢。但毕竞事先没有半点儿表示,怎能这么冒冒失失呢。她不以为自己疯了才怪哩,也许会赏自己一个耳刮子,说不定还会到他大伯面前去告状。真不知道宋先生怎么把凯西莉勾搭上的。要是她把事情告诉了伯父,那就糟了。他深知大伯的为人,他一定会说给医生和乔赛亚·格雷夫斯听的,这样他在众人面前就成了个十足的大傻瓜。路易莎伯母不是一口咬定威尔金森小姐已整整三十七岁了吗?想到自己会成为众人的笑柄,不禁透心凉了半截。他们还会说,她的年龄那么大,足可做他的母亲呢!

He was thinking that he ought to kiss her there and then. He wondered if she expected him to do it; but after all he didn’t see how he could without any preliminary business at all. She would just think him mad, or she might slap his face; and perhaps she would complain to his uncle. He wondered how Herr Sung had started with Fraulein Cacilie. It would be beastly if she told his uncle: he knew what his uncle was, he would tell the doctor and Josiah Graves; and he would look a perfect fool. Aunt Louisa kept on saying that Miss Wilkinson was thirty-seven if she was a day; he shuddered at the thought of the ridicule he would be exposed to; they would say she was old enough to be his mother.

"瞧你又在愣神了,"威尔金森小姐莞尔一笑。

‘Twopence for your thoughts,’ smiled Miss Wilkinson.

"我在想你呐,"他鼓足勇气答道。

‘I was thinking about you,’ he answered boldly.

不管怎么样,这句话可抓不到什么辫子。

That at all events committed him to nothing.

"在想些什么呢?"

‘What were you thinking?’

"啊,这回是你在刨根问底了。"

‘Ah, now you want to know too much.’

"淘气鬼!"威尔金森小姐说。

‘Naughty boy!’ said Miss Wilkinson.

又是这种口气!每当他好不容易把感情鼓动了起来,她却总是说些杀风景的话,让人忘不了她那家庭教师的身分。他练声时没达到她的要求,她就俏皮地骂他淘气鬼。这一回可惹得他一肚子不高兴。

There it was again! Whenever he had succeeded in working himself up she said something which reminded him of the governess. She called him playfully a naughty boy when he did not sing his exercises to her satisfaction. This time he grew quite sulky.

"希望你别把我当作三岁小孩。"

‘I wish you wouldn’t treat me as if I were a child.’

"恼火了吗?"

‘Are you cross?’

"恼火得很哪。"

‘Very.’

"我可不是有意的。"

‘I didn’t mean to.’

她伸出手来,他握住了。近来,有几次他们晚上握手告别时,他似乎感到她有意捏了捏他的手,而这回再没什么好怀疑的了。

She put out her hand and he took it. Once or twice lately when they shook hands at night he had fancied she slightly pressed his hand, but this time there was no doubt about it.

他不知接下去该说些什么。此刻,任他冒险的机会终于来了,如果他坐失此良机,岂非真成了个傻瓜蛋?惜乎这场面过于平淡了些,该更多一点魅力才是。他读到过不少关于爱情的描写,而他现在一点也感觉不到小说家们描绘的那种内心情感的奔突勃发,他并没有被一阵阵情欲冲动搞得神魂颠倒,何况威尔金森小姐也不是他理想中的情人。他经常给自己描绘了这么个千媚百娇的姑娘:长着一对水汪汪的大眼睛,皮肤像雪花石膏似的白皙滑润;他常常幻想自己如何把脸埋在她一绺绺涟般的浓密褐发之中。可是他没法想象自己会把脸埋在威尔金森小姐的头发里,而这位小姐的头发总使他感到有点黏糊。话又得说回来,偷香窃玉毕竟是够刺激的,他为自己即将取得的成功感到激动,感到由衷的自豪。他是完全靠自己把她勾引到手的。他打定主意要去吻威尔金森小姐,不过不是在此刻,得等到晚上,在灯火阑珊之处比较方便些。只要吻了她,那以后的事就有谱儿了。就在今天晚上,一定要吻她。他还如此这般地立下了誓言。

He did not quite know what he ought to say next. Here at last was his chance of an adventure, and he would be a fool not to take it; but it was a little ordinary, and he had expected more glamour. He had read many descriptions of love, and he felt in himself none of that uprush of emotion which novelists described; he was not carried off his feet in wave upon wave of passion; nor was Miss Wilkinson the ideal: he had often pictured to himself the great violet eyes and the alabaster skin of some lovely girl, and he had thought of himself burying his face in the rippling masses of her auburn hair. He could not imagine himself burying his face in Miss Wilkinson’s hair, it always struck him as a little sticky. All the same it would be very satisfactory to have an intrigue, and he thrilled with the legitimate pride he would enjoy in his conquest. He owed it to himself to seduce her. He made up his mind to kiss Miss Wilkinson; not then, but in the evening; it would be easier in the dark, and after he had kissed her the rest would follow. He would kiss her that very evening. He swore an oath to that effect.

他已胸有成竹,考虑周全。晚饭后,他建议两人到花园里去散步,威尔金森小姐同意了。他俩肩并肩地在花园中转悠。菲利普十分紧张。不知怎么的,话说来说去总是引不上那条路子。他原来决定第一步要用手臂挽住她的腰肢,而她却在大谈特谈下周举行的赛船会,他总不能贸然伸手去勾住她吧。他巧妙地把她引人花园的浓荫深处,可一到了那儿,他的勇气却不知了去向。他俩坐在长凳上,他真的打定了主意要利用眼前的大好良机了,可就在这时,威尔金森小姐突然说这里肯定有忸怩虫,说什么也要往前走。他们又在花园里逛了一圈,菲利普决计要在转到那张长凳之前断然采取行动,可就在他们打屋子旁边经过的时候,看见凯里太太站在门口。

He laid his plans. After supper he suggested that they should take a stroll in the garden. Miss Wilkinson accepted, and they sauntered side by side. Philip was very nervous. He did not know why, but the conversation would not lead in the right direction; he had decided that the first thing to do was to put his arm round her waist; but he could not suddenly put his arm round her waist when she was talking of the regatta which was to be held next week. He led her artfully into the darkest parts of the garden, but having arrived there his courage failed him. They sat on a bench, and he had really made up his mind that here was his opportunity when Miss Wilkinson said she was sure there were earwigs and insisted on moving. They walked round the garden once more, and Philip promised himself he would take the plunge before they arrived at that bench again; but as they passed the house, they saw Mrs. Carey standing at the door.

"年轻人,你们最好进屋来吧。夜里寒气重,我敢说对你们身体没好处的呢。"

‘Hadn’t you young people better come in? I’m sure the night air isn’t good for you.’

"也许我们还是进去的好,"菲利普说,"我不想让你着了凉。"

‘Perhaps we had better go in,’ said Philip. ‘I don’t want you to catch cold.’

说罢,他顿觉松了口气。今晚不必再胡思乱想干什么了。可是后来等他独自回到房里,却对自己大为恼火。真是十足的傻瓜。可以肯定,威尔金森小姐正等着自己去吻她,否则她才不会上花园去呢。她不是常说只有法国人才懂得怎么对待女人吗?菲利普看过不少法国小说。要是他是个法国人的话,他会一把将她搂在怀里,热情奔放地向她诉说爱慕之情;他要把双唇紧紧地贴在她的nuque上。他不明白法国人干吗总是喜欢吻女人的nuque。他自己可从来没注意到颈脖子有什么迷人之处。当然,对法国人来说于这些事是很容易的,语言帮了不少忙,而菲利普总感到用英语说那些热情奔放的话,听上去荒唐可笑。菲利普心想,要是自已从来没打算围攻威尔金森小姐的贞操,那该多好。开始的两星期,日子过得挺轻松的,而现在他却感到痛苦不安。然而,他决不能就此罢休,否则他要一辈子瞧不起自己。他铁了心,非要在明天晚上吻她不可。

He said it with a sigh of relief. He could attempt nothing more that night. But afterwards, when he was alone in his room, he was furious with himself. He had been a perfect fool. He was certain that Miss Wilkinson expected him to kiss her, otherwise she wouldn’t have come into the garden. She was always saying that only Frenchmen knew how to treat women. Philip had read French novels. If he had been a Frenchman he would have seized her in his arms and told her passionately that he adored her; he would have pressed his lips on her nuque. He did not know why Frenchmen always kissed ladies on the nuque. He did not himself see anything so very attractive in the nape of the neck. Of course it was much easier for Frenchmen to do these things; the language was such an aid; Philip could never help feeling that to say passionate things in English sounded a little absurd. He wished now that he had never undertaken the siege of Miss Wilkinson’s virtue; the first fortnight had been so jolly, and now he was wretched; but he was determined not to give in, he would never respect himself again if he did, and he made up his mind irrevocably that the next night he would kiss her without fail.

翌日,他起床一看,外面在下雨,他第一个念头就是今晚不能上花园去了。早餐时他兴致很好。威尔金森小姐差玛丽来说,她头疼不想起床。直到下午用茶点时她才下楼来,脸色苍白,穿着一件合身的晨衣。等到吃晚饭时,她完全复元了,因此晚餐的气氛很活跃。做完了祷告,她说她得回房休息去了,她吻了吻凯里太太,然后转身对菲利普说:

Next day when he got up he saw it was raining, and his first thought was that they would not be able to go into the garden that evening. He was in high spirits at breakfast. Miss Wilkinson sent Mary Ann in to say that she had a headache and would remain in bed. She did not come down till tea-time, when she appeared in a becoming wrapper and a pale face; but she was quite recovered by supper, and the meal was very cheerful. After prayers she said she would go straight to bed, and she kissed Mrs. Carey. Then she turned to Philip.

"我的天哪!"她嚷道,"我真想亲亲你呢!"

‘Good gracious!’ she cried. ‘I was just going to kiss you too.’

"干吗不呢?"他说。

‘Why don’t you?’ he said.

她呵呵一笑,伸出手来。她明显地紧捏了一下他的手。

She laughed and held out her hand. She distinctly pressed his.

第二天天气转晴,蓝天不见一缕云翳,雨霁的花园,空气分外清新芳香。菲利普去海滨游泳,回来后,美美地饱餐一顿。下午,牧师公馆里举行网球聚会,威尔金森小姐穿上最漂亮的衣服。她穿衣打扮确实很在行,菲利普没法不注意到,她出现在副牧师太太和医生那位已出阁的女儿旁边,还真算得上仪态万方哩。她在腰带上缀了两朵玫瑰,坐在草坪边上的庭院靠椅里,打着一把大红阳伞,日光透过伞面,映着她的脸盘,浓淡恰到好处。菲利普喜欢打网球,发球技术不错,他不便奔跑,所以专打近网球。虽说他有足疾,动作却挺利索,很难使他失球。他每局都打赢了,高兴得什么似的。喝茶时他坐在威尔金森小姐脚边,浑身淋汗,气喘吁吁。

The following day there was not a cloud in the sky, and the garden was sweet and fresh after the rain. Philip went down to the beach to bathe and when he came home ate a magnificent dinner. They were having a tennis party at the vicarage in the afternoon and Miss Wilkinson put on her best dress. She certainly knew how to wear her clothes, and Philip could not help noticing how elegant she looked beside the curate’s wife and the doctor’s married daughter. There were two roses in her waistband. She sat in a garden chair by the side of the lawn, holding a red parasol over herself, and the light on her face was very becoming. Philip was fond of tennis. He served well and as he ran clumsily played close to the net: notwithstanding his club-foot he was quick, and it was difficult to get a ball past him. He was pleased because he won all his sets. At tea he lay down at Miss Wilkinson’s feet, hot and panting.

"你穿着这身法兰绒服很合适,"她说,"今天下午你看上去挺帅。"

‘Flannels suit you,’ she said. ‘You look very nice this afternoon.’

他高兴得脸都红了。

He blushed with delight.

"我也可以老实地恭维你一句。你的样子使人神魂颠倒。"

‘I can honestly return the compliment. You look perfectly ravishing.’

她嫣然一笑,那双乌黑的眸子久久地盯在他脸上。

She smiled and gave him a long look with her black eyes.

晚饭后,他坚持要她出去散步。

After supper he insisted that she should come out.

"你玩了一整天还没玩够?"

‘Haven’t you had enough exercise for one day?’

"今晚花园里夜色迷人,星星都出来了。"

‘It’ll be lovely in the garden tonight. The stars are all out.’

他兴致勃勃。

He was in high spirits.

"你知道吗?为了你,凯里太太还怪我哩,"当他们款步穿过菜园子时,威尔金森小姐说,"她说我不该跟你凋情。"

‘D’you know, Mrs. Carey has been scolding me on your account?’ said Miss Wilkinson, when they were sauntering through the kitchen garden. ‘She says I mustn’t flirt with you.’

"你跟我调情了吗?我还没觉察到哩。"

‘Have you been flirting with me? I hadn’t noticed it.’

"她不过是说句笑话罢了。"

‘She was only joking.’

"昨晚你好狠心,就是不肯吻我。"

‘It was very unkind of you to refuse to kiss me last night.’

"你也不看看我说那话时,你大伯瞅我的那副神情!"

‘If you saw the look your uncle gave me when I said what I did!’

"你就这样被吓住了?"

‘Was that all that prevented you?’

"我吻别人时不喜欢有人在场。"

‘I prefer to kiss people without witnesses.’

"现在可没人在场啊。"

‘There are no witnesses now.’

菲利普用手勾住她的腰肢,在她的嘴上亲了亲。她只是咧嘴笑笑,毫无退缩之意。一切进行得相当自然。菲利普颇感自豪。他决心要做的,毕竟做到了。这本是世界上最轻而易举的事。要是他早这样干就好了。他又吻了她一下。

Philip put his arm round her waist and kissed her lips. She only laughed a little and made no attempt to withdraw. It had come quite naturally. Philip was very proud of himself. He said he would, and he had. It was the easiest thing in the world. He wished he had done it before. He did it again.

"哦,你不该这么着,"她说。

‘Oh, you mustn’t,’ she said.

"为什么?"

‘Why not?’

"因为你的吻太叫我喜欢啦,"她呵呵笑了。

‘Because I like it,’ she laughed.