Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

He took as long as he could over dressing in order to put back the moment of seeing her, and when at last he went into the dining-room it was with a sinking heart. Prayers were over, and they were sitting down at breakfast.

为了晚点同她照面,他穿衣时尽量磨蹭拖时间,等他最后迫不得已走进餐室时,他的心绪环到了极点。祷告仪式已结束,大家围在餐桌边吃早饭。

‘Lazybones,’ Miss Wilkinson cried gaily.

"懒骨头!"威尔金森小姐快活地嚷了一声。

He looked at her and gave a little gasp of relief. She was sitting with her back to the window. She was really quite nice. He wondered why he had thought such things about her. His self-satisfaction returned to him.

一看到她本人,他倒不觉宽慰地舒了日气。她背朝窗口坐着,模样儿还真俏。他不明白自己干吗尽往她坏处想。他顿时又洋洋又得起来。

He was taken aback by the change in her. She told him in a voice thrilling with emotion immediately after breakfast that she loved him; and when a little later they went into the drawing-room for his singing lesson and she sat down on the music-stool she put up her face in the middle of a scale and said:

昨日今朝她判若两人,菲利普着实吃了一惊。刚吃罢早饭,她就迫不及待地说她爱他,而说话的声音则因内心的激动而微微颤抖。过了一会儿他俩去起居室上唱歌课,他在琴凳上坐定。一行音阶只弹到一半,她就仰起脸,说:

‘Embrasse-moi.’

"Embrasse-moi."

When he bent down she flung her arms round his neck. It was slightly uncomfortable, for she held him in such a position that he felt rather choked.

菲利普刚弯下身子,她就张开双臂一把搂住他的颈脖。这滋味可不大好受,因为她连拖带拉地紧紧勾住菲利普,差点儿没把他憋死。

‘Ah, je t’aime. Je t’aime. Je t’aime,’ she cried, with her extravagantly French accent.

"Ah!Je t'aime.Je t'aime. Je t'aime!"她操着一口浓重的法国腔大声说。

Philip wished she would speak English.

菲利普真希望她能用英语讲话。

‘I say, I don’t know if it’s struck you that the gardener’s quite likely to pass the window any minute.’

"嘿,不知你想到没有,园丁随时都有可能打窗口经过。

‘Ah, je m’en fiche du jardinier. Je m’en refiche, et je m’en contrefiche.’

"Ah!ie m'en nche dujardlnler. Je m'en retlche, et je m'enCofltrehche."

Philip thought it was very like a French novel, and he did not know why it slightly irritated him.

菲利普觉得这一切简直成了法国小说里的场景,心头无端冒出股无名火来。

At last he said:

最后他说:

‘Well, I think I’ll tootle along to the beach and have a dip.’

"嗯,我想到海滩那儿去逛逛,顺便泡泡海水。"

‘Oh, you’re not going to leave me this morning—of all mornings?’ Philip did not quite know why he should not, but it did not matter.

"哦,总不见得你--偏偏要在今天早晨撇下我一个人吧?"

‘Would you like me to stay?’ he smiled.

菲利普不大明白干吗今天就不行呢?不过,她要这么说自己也管不着。

‘Oh, you darling! But no, go. Go. I want to think of you mastering the salt sea waves, bathing your limbs in the broad ocean.’

"你要我呆在家里?"他微笑着说。

He got his hat and sauntered off.

"噢,亲爱的!不,你去吧。去吧。我要想象一下你顶着带咸味的波浪,畅游在广阔海面上的情景。"

‘What rot women talk!’ he thought to himself.

他拿起帽子,悠然走开了。

But he was pleased and happy and flattered. She was evidently frightfully gone on him. As he limped along the high street of Blackstable he looked with a tinge of superciliousness at the people he passed. He knew a good many to nod to, and as he gave them a smile of recognition he thought to himself, if they only knew! He did want someone to know very badly. He thought he would write to Hayward, and in his mind composed the letter. He would talk of the garden and the roses, and the little French governess, like an exotic flower amongst them, scented and perverse: he would say she was French, because—well, she had lived in France so long that she almost was, and besides it would be shabby to give the whole thing away too exactly, don’t you know; and he would tell Hayward how he had seen her first in her pretty muslin dress and of the flower she had given him. He made a delicate idyl of it: the sunshine and the sea gave it passion and magic, and the stars added poetry, and the old vicarage garden was a fit and exquisite setting. There was something Meredithian about it: it was not quite Lucy Feverel and not quite Clara Middleton; but it was inexpressibly charming. Philip’s heart beat quickly. He was so delighted with his fancies that he began thinking of them again as soon as he crawled back, dripping and cold, into his bathing-machine. He thought of the object of his affections. She had the most adorable little nose and large brown eyes—he would describe her to Hayward—and masses of soft brown hair, the sort of hair it was delicious to bury your face in, and a skin which was like ivory and sunshine, and her cheek was like a red, red rose. How old was she? Eighteen perhaps, and he called her Musette. Her laughter was like a rippling brook, and her voice was so soft, so low, it was the sweetest music he had ever heard.

"真是娘儿们的蠢话,"他暗自嘀咕了一声。

‘What ARE you thinking about?’

不过他感到兴奋,快乐,飘飘然。她显然已完全被自己迷住啦。他一瘸一拐地走在布莱克斯泰勃的大街上,带点儿园空一切的神气,打量着过往行人。他同不少人有点头之交,他微笑着向他们颔首致意,心想要是让他门知道自己的风流事儿,那该多好啊!他真巴不得能有个把人晓得呢。他想他要给海沃德写信,而且在脑子里构思起来。信里,他要谈到花园和玫瑰,还有那位娇小玲珑的法国女教师,她像玫瑰丛中的一朵奇葩,芬芳馥郁,妖艳异常。他要说她是法国人,因为--嗯,她在法国住了那么多年,差不多也算得上个法国人了。再说,如果把整个事儿毫不走样地和盘托出,也未免有点不雅,不是吗?他要告诉海沃德他俩初次见面的情景:她穿着一袭漂亮的薄纱衣裙,还献给了他一朵鲜花。为了描写这一情景,他还编了一首玲珑剔透的短诗:阳光和海水赋予爱情以烈焰和魔力,星星更增添了诗情画意,古色古香的牧师公馆花园正是天造地设的谈情说爱的场所。他的情人颇像梅瑞狄斯笔下的人物,虽算不上是露茜·弗浮莱尔,也比不上克拉拉·米德尔顿,但她干妩百娇的媚态,却非笔墨所能形容。菲利普的心口突突直跳。他的联翩浮想,使他心醉神迷,所以当他水淋淋地爬回海滩,抖抖嗦嗦地钻进更衣车之后,又堕入漫漫逻想之中。他想着自己钟爱的情人。在给海沃德的信里,他要这样来描绘她:玲珑娇小的鼻子,流星似的棕色大眼睛,还有一头浓密的棕色柔发,把脸埋在这样的发堆里才真是妙不可言呢;说到她的皮肤,白腻如象牙、光洁似日光,面颊像是鲜艳欲滴的红玫瑰。她多大了?也许是十八岁吧。她叫她缪赛。她笑声清脆,宛如溪水淙淙;说起话来,嗓音之轻柔婉转,胜过人间最甜美悦耳的音乐。

Philip stopped suddenly. He was walking slowly home.

"你出神想啥啊?"

‘I’ve been waving at you for the last quarter of a mile. You ARE absent-minded.’

菲利普蓦地收住脚步。他正在回家的路上慢腾腾地走着。

Miss Wilkinson was standing in front of him, laughing at his surprise.

"我在四分之一英里以外的地方就开始向你招手了,瞧你这副神不守舍的德行。"

‘I thought I’d come and meet you.’

威尔金森小姐站在他面前,取笑他那副吃惊的神情。

‘That’s awfully nice of you,’ he said.

"我想我得来接你哩。"

‘Did I startle you?’

"你想得真周到,"他说。

‘You did a bit,’ he admitted.

"让你吓了一跳,是吗?"

He wrote his letter to Hayward all the same. There were eight pages of it.

"有那么一点,"他承认说。

The fortnight that remained passed quickly, and though each evening, when they went into the garden after supper, Miss Wilkinson remarked that one day more had gone, Philip was in too cheerful spirits to let the thought depress him. One night Miss Wilkinson suggested that it would be delightful if she could exchange her situation in Berlin for one in London. Then they could see one another constantly. Philip said it would be very jolly, but the prospect aroused no enthusiasm in him; he was looking forward to a wonderful life in London, and he preferred not to be hampered. He spoke a little too freely of all he meant to do, and allowed Miss Wilkinson to see that already he was longing to be off.

他到底还是给海沃德写了封长达八页的信。

‘You wouldn’t talk like that if you loved me,’ she cried.

时光荏苒,剩下的两周时间转眼过去了。虽然每天晚上吃过晚饭去花园散步的时候,威尔金森小姐照例要感叹又是一天过去了,但菲利普的勃勃兴致并未因此而有所消减。一天晚上,威尔金森小姐提出,如果她能放弃柏林的工作而在伦敦另找个差事,该多称人心意啊。这样他们就可以经常见面了。菲利普嘴上敷衍说,真要能那样就好了,但实际上,这种前景并没有在他心中激起半点热情。他指望在伦敦能开始一种奇妙的新生活,最好别受到任何牵累。他在讲述自己今后的打算时口气过于随便了些,威尔金森小姐一眼就看出,他是恨不得马上就能远走高飞呢。

He was taken aback and remained silent.

"你要是爱我,就不会用这种口气说话了,"她哭着说。

‘What a fool I’ve been,’ she muttered.

他猛吃一惊,闭口不言语了。

To his surprise he saw that she was crying. He had a tender heart, and hated to see anyone miserable.

"我多傻啊,"她咕哝着。

‘Oh, I’m awfully sorry. What have I done? Don’t cry.’

他万万没料到她竟哭了起来。他心肠很软,平时就怕看到别人伤心落泪。

‘Oh, Philip, don’t leave me. You don’t know what you mean to me. I have such a wretched life, and you’ve made me so happy.’

"哦,真抱歉。我哪儿对不起你啦?别哭呀。"

He kissed her silently. There really was anguish in her tone, and he was frightened. It had never occurred to him that she meant what she said quite, quite seriously.

"哦,菲利普,别把我丢了。你不明白,你对我有多重要,我一生多么不幸,是你让我感受到人生的幸福。"

‘I’m awfully sorry. You know I’m frightfully fond of you. I wish you would come to London.’

他默默地吻着她。她的声调里确实饱含着极大的痛楚,他害怕了。他万万没料到她的话全然出自肺腑,绝非说着玩的。

‘You know I can’t. Places are almost impossible to get, and I hate English life.’

"我实在很抱歉。你知道我很喜欢你。我巴不得你上伦敦来呢。"

Almost unconscious that he was acting a part, moved by her distress, he pressed her more and more. Her tears vaguely flattered him, and he kissed her with real passion.

"你知道我来不了的。这儿很难找到工作,而且我也讨厌英国生活。"

But a day or two later she made a real scene. There was a tennis-party at the vicarage, and two girls came, daughters of a retired major in an Indian regiment who had lately settled in Blackstable. They were very pretty, one was Philip’s age and the other was a year or two younger. Being used to the society of young men (they were full of stories of hill-stations in India, and at that time the stories of Rudyard Kipling were in every hand) they began to chaff Philip gaily; and he, pleased with the novelty—the young ladies at Blackstable treated the Vicar’s nephew with a certain seriousness—was gay and jolly. Some devil within him prompted him to start a violent flirtation with them both, and as he was the only young man there, they were quite willing to meet him half-way. It happened that they played tennis quite well and Philip was tired of pat-ball with Miss Wilkinson (she had only begun to play when she came to Blackstable), so when he arranged the sets after tea he suggested that Miss Wilkinson should play against the curate’s wife, with the curate as her partner; and he would play later with the new-comers. He sat down by the elder Miss O’Connor and said to her in an undertone:

菲利普被她的悲苦不幸所打动,几乎不再意识到自己是在扮演某种角色,他抱住她,越搂越紧。她的泪水隐隐使他高兴,他热烈地吻她,这回倒是出于一片真情。

‘We’ll get the duffers out of the way first, and then we’ll have a jolly set afterwards.’

但一两天后,她却当众大闹了一场。牧师公馆举行了一次网球聚会,来客中有两位年轻姑娘,她们的父亲是印度驻军的退休少校,最近才到布莱克斯泰勃安的家。姐妹俩长得很漂亮,姐姐和菲利普同庚,妹妹大约小一两岁。她们习惯于同青年男子交往,肚子里装满了有关印度避暑地的逸闻趣事(那时,拉迪亚德·吉卜林的短篇小说风靡于世,人人竞相间读)。她们同菲利普嘻嘻哈哈开玩笑,而菲利普也觉得挺新鲜--布莱克斯泰勃的年轻小姐对待牧师的侄子都有点一本正经-一快活得什么似的。不知是哪个魔鬼附到他身上,他竞放肆地同那姐妹俩打情骂俏起来;由于这儿只有他这么个年轻人,她俩也相当主动地凑合上来。碰巧她俩的球艺都很不错,而菲利普本来就觉得同威尔金森小姐推来拍去很不过瘾(她来布莱克斯泰勃时刚开始学打网球),所以等他喝完茶,着手安排比赛阵容时,便建议先由威尔金森小姐同副牧师搭档,跟副牧师太太对阵,然后才让他与新来的人交锋。他在奥康纳大小姐身边坐下,压低嗓门对她说:

Apparently Miss Wilkinson overheard him, for she threw down her racket, and, saying she had a headache, went away. It was plain to everyone that she was offended. Philip was annoyed that she should make the fact public. The set was arranged without her, but presently Mrs. Carey called him.

"我们先把那些个窝囊废打发掉,随后我们痛痛快快地打上一盘。"

‘Philip, you’ve hurt Emily’s feelings. She’s gone to her room and she’s crying.’

显然,他的悄悄话给威尔金森小姐偷听到了,只见她把球拍往地上一扔,说是闹头疼,扭身便走。大家都看出来她是生气了。菲利普见她竟然当众耍脾气,很是恼火。他们撇开她,重新安排了阵容,但不多一会儿凯卫太太来叫他了。

‘What about?’

"菲利普,你伤了埃米莉的心。她回到房里,这会儿在哭呢。"

‘Oh, something about a duffer’s set. Do go to her, and say you didn’t mean to be unkind, there’s a good boy.’

"干吗要哭?"

‘All right.’

"哦,说是什么窝囊废对局的事儿。快到她跟前赔个不是,说你不是有意要伤她的心的,好孩子,快去!"

He knocked at Miss Wilkinson’s door, but receiving no answer went in. He found her lying face downwards on her bed, weeping. He touched her on the shoulder.

"好吧!"

‘I say, what on earth’s the matter?’

他敲敲威尔金森小姐的房门,见没人应声,便径自走了进去。只见她合扑在床上,嘤嘤抽泣着。他轻轻拍拍她的肩膀。

‘Leave me alone. I never want to speak to you again.’

"嘿,到底是怎么回事?"

‘What have I done? I’m awfully sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings. I didn’t mean to. I say, do get up.’

"别管我,我再不想同你讲话了。"

‘Oh, I’m so unhappy. How could you be cruel to me? You know I hate that stupid game. I only play because I want to play with you.’

"我怎么啦?我很抱歉,没想到让你伤心了。我不是有意的。听我说,快起来!"

She got up and walked towards the dressing-table, but after a quick look in the glass sank into a chair. She made her handkerchief into a ball and dabbed her eyes with it.

"哦,我多么不幸。你怎忍心这么对待我。你知道我讨厌那套无聊玩意儿。我所以有这份兴致,还不是为了想和你在一块儿玩。"

‘I’ve given you the greatest thing a woman can give a man—oh, what a fool I was—and you have no gratitude. You must be quite heartless. How could you be so cruel as to torment me by flirting with those vulgar girls. We’ve only got just over a week. Can’t you even give me that?’

她站起身,朝梳妆台走去,往镜子里飞快地瞟了一眼,然后颓然倒在椅子里。她把手帕捏成个小球,轻轻拭擦眼角。

Philip stood over her rather sulkily. He thought her behaviour childish. He was vexed with her for having shown her ill-temper before strangers.

"一个女人能给男子的最珍贵的东西,我已经给了你了--哦,我好傻啊!而你呢,全无感激之意。你一定是个没心肝的。你怎么能这么狠心地折磨我,当着我的面跟那两个俗不可耐的野丫头勾勾搭搭。我们只剩下一个多星朗了。你连这么点时间都不能留来陪我吗?"

‘But you know I don’t care twopence about either of the O’Connors. Why on earth should you think I do?’

菲利普绷着脸,站在一边望着她。他觉得她的举动幼稚得叶笑。尤为恼火的是,她竟当着外人的面耍起脾气来。

Miss Wilkinson put away her handkerchief. Her tears had made marks on her powdered face, and her hair was somewhat disarranged. Her white dress did not suit her very well just then. She looked at Philip with hungry, passionate eyes.

"其实你也知道,我对那两位奥康纳小姐一点也不感冒。你凭哪一点以为我喜欢她们呢?"

‘Because you’re twenty and so’s she,’ she said hoarsely. ‘And I’m old.’

威尔金森小姐收起手帕。那张抹了粉的脸蛋上泪痕斑斑,头发也有些凌乱。这时候,那件白衣裙对她就不怎么合适了。她用如饥似渴的火热眼光,凝视着菲利普。

Philip reddened and looked away. The anguish of her tone made him feel strangely uneasy. He wished with all his heart that he had never had anything to do with Miss Wilkinson.

"因为你和她都才二十岁,"她嘶哑地说,"而我已经老了。"

‘I don’t want to make you unhappy,’ he said awkwardly. ‘You’d better go down and look after your friends. They’ll wonder what has become of you.’

菲利普涨红了脸,扭过头看着别处。她那凄楚悲苦的声调,使他感到有种说不出的滋味。他悔恨交集,要是自己从未和威尔金森小姐有过瓜葛,那该多好。

‘All right.’

"我并不想让你痛苦,"他尴尬地说。"你最好还是下楼去照看一下你的朋友们。他们不知道你出什么事了。"

He was glad to leave her.

"好吧。"

The quarrel was quickly followed by a reconciliation, but the few days that remained were sometimes irksome to Philip. He wanted to talk of nothing but the future, and the future invariably reduced Miss Wilkinson to tears. At first her weeping affected him, and feeling himself a beast he redoubled his protestations of undying passion; but now it irritated him: it would have been all very well if she had been a girl, but it was silly of a grown-up woman to cry so much. She never ceased reminding him that he was under a debt of gratitude to her which he could never repay. He was willing to acknowledge this since she made a point of it, but he did not really know why he should be any more grateful to her than she to him. He was expected to show his sense of obligation in ways which were rather a nuisance: he had been a good deal used to solitude, and it was a necessity to him sometimes; but Miss Wilkinson looked upon it as an unkindness if he was not always at her beck and call. The Miss O’Connors asked them both to tea, and Philip would have liked to go, but Miss Wilkinson said she only had five days more and wanted him entirely to herself. It was flattering, but a bore. Miss Wilkinson told him stories of the exquisite delicacy of Frenchmen when they stood in the same relation to fair ladies as he to Miss Wilkinson. She praised their courtesy, their passion for self-sacrifice, their perfect tact. Miss Wilkinson seemed to want a great deal.

他很高兴,总算得以脱身了。

Philip listened to her enumeration of the qualities which must be possessed by the perfect lover, and he could not help feeling a certain satisfaction that she lived in Berlin.

他俩闹了一场别扭,很快就言归于好。但是在剩下为数不多的几天里,菲利普有时感到不胜厌烦。他只想谈谈今后的事儿,可是一提到今后,威尔金森小姐总是哭鼻子。一上来,她的眼泪还有点感化作用,使他感到自己薄情狠心,于是他竭力表白自己的炽热爱情永不泯灭。可是现在,徒然引起他的反感:如果她是个少女,倒还说得过去,可像她那样的半老徐娘,老是哭哭啼啼的,简直蠢透了。威尔金森小姐一再提醒他,他欠她的这笔风流孽债,是一辈子也还不清的。既然她口口声声这么说,他也愿意认可;不过说实在的,他不明白为什么自己得感激她,而不是她该感激自己呢?她要菲利普知恩图报,要从多万面履行情人的义务,这实在够呛。他一向习惯于只身独处,有时这还真成了他的切身之需。可是在威尔金森小姐看来,他须整天厮守在身边,对她俯首帖耳,否则就是忘恩负义。两位奥康纳小姐曾邀他俩去喝茶,菲利普当然乐意前往,但威尔金夺小姐却说,她再过五天就要走了,他必须归她一人所有。虽然这种说法所起来甜滋滋的,可做起来却烦死人。威尔金森小姐在他耳边絮聒,说法国人感情细腻,要是他们和漂亮女人好上了,就像菲利普同她威尔金森小姐那样,他们会是如何体贴入微。她对法国男人赞不绝口,夸他们倜傥风流,感情炽热,渴望自我牺牲,且温存得体。威尔金森小姐的要求似乎还真个低呐。

‘You will write to me, won’t you? Write to me every day. I want to know everything you’re doing. You must keep nothing from me.’

菲利普听了威尔金森小姐所列举的、完美情人必须具备的种种品质,不禁暗暗庆幸:亏得她是住在柏林呢。

‘I shall be awfully, busy’ he answered. ‘I’ll write as often as I can.’

"你会给我写信的,是吗?每天都要给我写信。我想知道你的情况,你的一言一行不得对我有任何隐瞒。"

She flung her arms passionately round his neck. He was embarrassed sometimes by the demonstrations of her affection. He would have preferred her to be more passive. It shocked him a little that she should give him so marked a lead: it did not tally altogether with his prepossessions about the modesty of the feminine temperament.

"到时候我会忙得够呛的,"他答道,"我尽更多给你写信就是了。"

At length the day came on which Miss Wilkinson was to go, and she came down to breakfast, pale and subdued, in a serviceable travelling dress of black and white check. She looked a very competent governess. Philip was silent too, for he did not quite know what to say that would fit the circumstance; and he was terribly afraid that, if he said something flippant, Miss Wilkinson would break down before his uncle and make a scene. They had said their last good-bye to one another in the garden the night before, and Philip was relieved that there was now no opportunity for them to be alone. He remained in the dining-room after breakfast in case Miss Wilkinson should insist on kissing him on the stairs. He did not want Mary Ann, now a woman hard upon middle age with a sharp tongue, to catch them in a compromising position. Mary Ann did not like Miss Wilkinson and called her an old cat. Aunt Louisa was not very well and could not come to the station, but the Vicar and Philip saw her off. Just as the train was leaving she leaned out and kissed Mr. Carey.

她猛张开胳膊,热烈地搂住菲利普的脖子。她的这种爱情表示,有时搞得菲利普狼狈不堪,他宁可她悠着点,居于守势。她所作的暗示是那么露骨,真有点叫他震惊,这同他心目中女性的端庄贤淑完全格格不入。

‘I must kiss you too, Philip,’ she said.

威尔金森小姐预定动身的日子终于来到了。她下楼来吃早饭,脸色苍白,神情沮丧,套一件经久耐穿的黑白格子旅行服,俨然是个精明能干的家庭女教师。菲利普也默然不语,因为他不知道在这种场合该说些什么,生怕出言不慎,惹得威尔金森小姐当着他大伯的面哭闹一场。昨晚他们在花园里已相互挥泪告别过,这会儿看来没有机会可容他俩单独聚叙,菲利普感到很放心。早饭后他一直呆在餐室里,提防威尔金森小姐硬要在楼梯上吻他。他不想让玛丽·安撞见这种暧昧可疑的场面。玛丽·安匕届中年,嘴尖舌辣,很不好对付。她不欢喜威尔金森小姐,背底下叫她老馋猫。路易莎伯母身体欠佳,不能亲自到车站送行,就由牧师和菲利普一并代劳了。就在火车快要开动的时候,她探出身子吻了凯里先生。

‘All right,’ he said, blushing.

"我也得吻吻你呢,菲利普,"她说。

He stood up on the step and she kissed him quickly. The train started, and Miss Wilkinson sank into the corner of her carriage and wept disconsolately. Philip, as he walked back to the vicarage, felt a distinct sensation of relief.

"可以嘛,"他红着脸说。

‘Well, did you see her safely off?’ asked Aunt Louisa, when they got in.

他站在月台上,挺直身子,威尔金森小姐迅速地吻了吻他。火车启动了,威尔金森小姐颓然倒在车厢的角落里,黯然泪下。在回牧师公馆的路上,菲利普如释重负,着实松了口气。

‘Yes, she seemed rather weepy. She insisted on kissing me and Philip.’

"嗯,你们把她平平安安地送走了?"路易莎伯母见他们进屋来这么问道。

‘Oh, well, at her age it’s not dangerous.’ Mrs. Carey pointed to the sideboard. ‘There’s a letter for you, Philip. It came by the second post.’

"送走了,她几乎成了泪人儿了。她硬是要吻我和菲利普。"

It was from Hayward and ran as follows:

"哦,是吗?在她那种年纪,吻一下也没什么危险。"说罢,凯里太太指指餐具柜。"菲利普,那儿有你的一封信,随着第二班邮件来的。"

My dear boy,

信是海沃德寄来的。全文如下:

I answer your letter at once. I ventured to read it to a great friend of mine, a charming woman whose help and sympathy have been very precious to me, a woman withal with a real feeling for art and literature; and we agreed that it was charming. You wrote from your heart and you do not know the delightful naivete which is in every line. And because you love you write like a poet. Ah, dear boy, that is the real thing: I felt the glow of your young passion, and your prose was musical from the sincerity of your emotion. You must be happy! I wish I could have been present unseen in that enchanted garden while you wandered hand in hand, like Daphnis and Chloe, amid the flowers. I can see you, my Daphnis, with the light of young love in your eyes, tender, enraptured, and ardent; while Chloe in your arms, so young and soft and fresh, vowing she would ne’er consent—consented. Roses and violets and honeysuckle! Oh, my friend, I envy you. It is so good to think that your first love should have been pure poetry. Treasure the moments, for the immortal gods have given you the Greatest Gift of All, and it will be a sweet, sad memory till your dying day. You will never again enjoy that careless rapture. First love is best love; and she is beautiful and you are young, and all the world is yours. I felt my pulse go faster when with your adorable simplicity you told me that you buried your face in her long hair. I am sure that it is that exquisite chestnut which seems just touched with gold. I would have you sit under a leafy tree side by side, and read together Romeo and Juliet; and then I would have you fall on your knees and on my behalf kiss the ground on which her foot has left its imprint; then tell her it is the homage of a poet to her radiant youth and to your love for her.

亲爱的老弟:

Yours always, G. Etheridge Hayward.

我立即给你复信。我不揣冒昧,擅自把你的信念给我的一位挚友听了。那是个迷人的女子,一个对文学艺术真正具有鉴赏力的女子。她的帮助和同情于我是十分珍贵的。我们俩一致认为你的信婉约动人。你的信发自心田。你不知道,字里行间渗透着多么今人心醉的天真烂漫气息。正因为你在恋爱,所以你落笔时就像个诗人。啊,亲爱的老弟,说真的,我感觉到了你炽热的青春激情;字字句句皆出于真挚的情感,犹如音乐般扣人心弦。你一定很幸福!我多么希望自己也能在场,躲在那座令人销魂的花园里,看着你们俩肩抵肩,手挽手,像扎弗尼斯和赫洛一样漫步在百花丛中。我可以看到你,我的扎弗尼斯,温存热烈,如痴似醉,眸子里闪烁着初恋的光芒;而你怀里的赫洛,那么年轻、温柔、娇嫩,她发誓决不同意,决不--最后还是同意了。玫瑰、紫罗兰、忍冬花!哦,我的朋友,我真忌妒你哟。想到你的初恋竟像纯洁的诗篇,多叫人高兴。珍惜这宝贵的时刻吧,因为不朽的众神已将人世间最珍贵的礼物赐给了你,这种既甜蜜又郁悒的回忆,将伴随至你生命的最后一刻。你以后再也领略不到这种无牵无挂的极乐狂喜。初恋是最难能可贵的;她美丽,你年轻,整个世界都属于你俩。当你怀着值得钦慕的质朴之情,向我披肝沥胆,说你把脸埋在她秀长的柔发之中,我感到我的脉搏加快了。我敢说,那肯定是一头光泽细洁的栗发,好似轻轻抹上了一层金色。我要让你俩并肩坐在枝叶扶疏的葱茏树下,共读一册《罗米欧与朱丽叶》。然后我要你双膝跪下,代表我亲吻那留有她脚印的一方土地,并转告她,这是一个诗人对她的灿烂青春,也是对你的忠贞情爱所表示的一份敬意。

‘What damned rot!’ said Philip, when he finished the letter.

永远是你的

Miss Wilkinson oddly enough had suggested that they should read Romeo and Juliet together; but Philip had firmly declined. Then, as he put the letter in his pocket, he felt a queer little pang of bitterness because reality seemed so different from the ideal.

G·埃思里奇,海沃德

"简直是乱弹琴!"菲利普看完信说。说来好不蹊跷,威尔金森小姐也曾提议他俩一块儿看《罗米欧与朱丽叶》,但遭到菲利普的坚决拒绝。接着,在他把信揣人衣袋里的时候,一阵莫可名状的痛楚蓦地袭上心头,因为现实与理想竟如天壤之别。