Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

After having his tea he unpacked and arranged his books, then he sat down and tried to read; but he was depressed. The silence in the street made him slightly uncomfortable, and he felt very much alone.

吃完便餐,菲利普解开行李,放好书籍,随后坐下来想看看书,却打不起精神。悄然无声的街道,使他有点忐忑不安,他觉得怪冷清的。

Next day he got up early. He put on his tail-coat and the tall hat which he had worn at school; but it was very shabby, and he made up his mind to stop at the Stores on his way to the office and buy a new one. When he had done this he found himself in plenty of time and so walked along the Strand. The office of Messrs. Herbert Carter & Co. was in a little street off Chancery Lane, and he had to ask his way two or three times. He felt that people were staring at him a great deal, and once he took off his hat to see whether by chance the label had been left on. When he arrived he knocked at the door; but no one answered, and looking at his watch he found it was barely half past nine; he supposed he was too early. He went away and ten minutes later returned to find an office-boy, with a long nose, pimply face, and a Scotch accent, opening the door. Philip asked for Mr. Herbert Carter. He had not come yet.

次日他一早就起床,穿好燕尾服,戴上礼帽。这顶帽子还是他以前在学校念书时戴的,寒论得很,他决计在去事务所的途中进百货店买顶新的。买好帽子,他发觉时间还早,便沿着河滨信步往前走。赫伯特·卡特先生公司的事务所坐落在法院街附近的一条小街上,菲利普不得不三番五次地向行人问路。他发觉过往行人老是在瞅自己,有一回他特地摘下帽子,看看是不是自己一时疏忽把标签留在上面了。到了事务所,他举手叩门,里面没人应声。他看了看表,发现刚刚九点半,心想自己来得太早了点。他转身走开去,十分钟后又回过来,这回有个打杂的小伙子出来开门了。那勤工长着个长鼻子,满脸粉刺,说话时一口苏格兰腔。菲利普问起赫伯特·卡特先生。他还没有上班视事呢。

‘When will he be here?’

"他什么时候来这儿?"

‘Between ten and half past.’

"十点到十点半之间。"

‘I’d better wait,’ said Philip.

"我还是在这儿等吧?"菲利普说。

‘What are you wanting?’ asked the office-boy.

"您有事吗?"那个勤工问。

Philip was nervous, but tried to hide the fact by a jocose manner.

菲利普有点局促不安,他想用调侃的口吻来掩饰内心的慌张。

‘Well, I’m going to work here if you have no objection.’

"嗯,如果您不反对的话,本人将在贵所工作。"

‘Oh, you’re the new articled clerk? You’d better come in. Mr. Goodworthy’ll be here in a while.’

"哦,您是新来的练习生?请进来吧。古德沃西先生一会儿就到。"

Philip walked in, and as he did so saw the office-boy—he was about the same age as Philip and called himself a junior clerk—look at his foot. He flushed and, sitting down, hid it behind the other. He looked round the room. It was dark and very dingy. It was lit by a skylight. There were three rows of desks in it and against them high stools. Over the chimney-piece was a dirty engraving of a prize-fight. Presently a clerk came in and then another; they glanced at Philip and in an undertone asked the office-boy (Philip found his name was Macdougal) who he was. A whistle blew, and Macdougal got up.

菲利普进了事务所,他一边走,一边注意到那个勤工--他跟菲利普年龄相仿,自称是初级书记员-在打量他的脚,菲利普刷地涨红了脸,赶忙坐下来,把跛足藏到另一只脚的后面。他举目环顾了办公室,室内光线暗淡,而且邋遢得很,就靠屋顶天窗透进来的那几缕光照明。屋子里有三排办公桌,桌前靠放着高脚凳。壁炉架上放着一帧画面污秽的版画,画的是拳击赛的一个场面。这时办事员们陆陆续续来上班了。他们瞟了菲利普一眼,悄悄地问那勤工他是干什么来的(菲利普知道了那勤工叫麦克道格尔)。这时耳边响起一声口哨,麦克道格尔站起身。

‘Mr. Goodworthy’s come. He’s the managing clerk. Shall I tell him you’re here?’

"古德沃西先生来了,他是这儿的主管。要不要我去对他说您来了。"

‘Yes, please,’ said Philip.

"好的,劳驾您了,"菲利普说。

The office-boy went out and in a moment returned.

勤工走出去,不一会儿又回身进来。

‘Will you come this way?’

"请这边来好吗?"

Philip followed him across the passage and was shown into a room, small and barely furnished, in which a little, thin man was standing with his back to the fireplace. He was much below the middle height, but his large head, which seemed to hang loosely on his body, gave him an odd ungainliness. His features were wide and flattened, and he had prominent, pale eyes; his thin hair was sandy; he wore whiskers that grew unevenly on his face, and in places where you would have expected the hair to grow thickly there was no hair at all. His skin was pasty and yellow. He held out his hand to Philip, and when he smiled showed badly decayed teeth. He spoke with a patronising and at the same time a timid air, as though he sought to assume an importance which he did not feel. He said he hoped Philip would like the work; there was a good deal of drudgery about it, but when you got used to it, it was interesting; and one made money, that was the chief thing, wasn’t it? He laughed with his odd mixture of superiority and shyness.

菲利普跟着他穿过走道,进了另一间狭小的斗室,里面空荡荡的,没有什么家具陈设。背对壁炉,站着个瘦小的男子,个儿比中等身材还矮一大截,脑袋瓜却挺大,松软地耷拉在身躯上,模样儿丑陋得出奇。他五官开豁而扁平,一双灰不溜丢的眼睛鼓突在外,稀稀拉拉的头发黄中带红,脸上胡子拉碴,应该长满须发的地方却偏偏寸毛不生。他的皮肤白里泛黄。他向菲利普伸出手来,同时咧嘴一笑,露出一口的蛀牙。他说话时,一届尊俯就的神态之中又露出几分畏怯,似乎他明知自己是个微不足道的角色,却偏要摆出一副不同凡响的架势来。他说他希望菲利普会爱上这门行当,当然罗,工作中颇多乏味之处,但一旦习惯了,也会感到兴味盎然的。毕竞是门赚钱的行当,这才是主要的,对不?他带着那种傲慢与畏怯交杂在一起的古怪神情,嘿嘿笑了起来。

‘Mr. Carter will be here presently,’ he said. ‘He’s a little late on Monday mornings sometimes. I’ll call you when he comes. In the meantime I must give you something to do. Do you know anything about book-keeping or accounts?’

"卡特先生马上就到,"他说。"星期一早晨,他有时来得稍晚一些。他来了我会叫你的。这会儿我得找点事给你干干罗。你学过点簿记或记帐吗?"

‘I’m afraid not,’ answered Philip.

"没学过,"菲利普回答说。

‘I didn’t suppose you would. They don’t teach you things at school that are much use in business, I’m afraid.’ He considered for a moment. ‘I think I can find you something to do.’

"料你也没学过。那些商业中很管用的学间,学校里是从不教给学生的呢。"他沉吟片刻。"我想我能给你找到点事干干。"

He went into the next room and after a little while came out with a large cardboard box. It contained a vast number of letters in great disorder, and he told Philip to sort them out and arrange them alphabetically according to the names of the writers.

他走进隔壁房间,隔了一会儿出来时,手里捧着个大硬纸板箱,里面塞满了一大堆乱七八糟的信件。他叫菲利普先把信件分分类,再按写信人姓氏的字母顺序整理好。

‘I’ll take you to the room in which the articled clerk generally sits. There’s a very nice fellow in it. His name is Watson. He’s a son of Watson, Crag, and Thompson—you know—the brewers. He’s spending a year with us to learn business.’

"让我领你到练习生办公的房间去。那儿有个很好的小伙子,名字叫华生,是华生·克莱格·汤普森公司老板华生的儿子--你也知道,是搞酿酒业的。他要在我们这儿见习一年。"

Mr. Goodworthy led Philip through the dingy office, where now six or eight clerks were working, into a narrow room behind. It had been made into a separate apartment by a glass partition, and here they found Watson sitting back in a chair, reading The Sportsman. He was a large, stout young man, elegantly dressed, and he looked up as Mr. Goodworthy entered. He asserted his position by calling the managing clerk Goodworthy. The managing clerk objected to the familiarity, and pointedly called him Mr. Watson, but Watson, instead of seeing that it was a rebuke, accepted the title as a tribute to his gentlemanliness.

古德沃西先生领着菲利普穿过那间邋遢不堪的办公室--现在有六至八名职员在那儿办公---走进里面的狭窄后问,那是用一道玻璃板壁从大房间里隔出来的。他们看到华生靠着椅背在看《运动员》杂志。他是个体格结实、魁梧的年轻人,衣着很考究。古德沃西先生进屋时,他抬起头来。他对主管员直呼其名,借此显示自己的身分不同一般。主管员对他的这种故作亲昵颇不以为然,毫不含糊地冲着他叫华生先生,可是华生并不认为这是种指责,而把这一称呼看作是对他本人绅士气派的一种恭维。

‘I see they’ve scratched Rigoletto,’ he said to Philip, as soon as they were left alone.

"我看他们已把里哥雷托撤下来了,"等到只剩下他们两人时,他对菲利普说。

‘Have they?’ said Philip, who knew nothing about horse-racing.

"是吗?"菲利普应了一声,他对马赛一无所知。

He looked with awe upon Watson’s beautiful clothes. His tail-coat fitted him perfectly, and there was a valuable pin artfully stuck in the middle of an enormous tie. On the chimney-piece rested his tall hat; it was saucy and bell-shaped and shiny. Philip felt himself very shabby. Watson began to talk of hunting—it was such an infernal bore having to waste one’s time in an infernal office, he would only be able to hunt on Saturdays—and shooting: he had ripping invitations all over the country and of course he had to refuse them. It was infernal luck, but he wasn’t going to put up with it long; he was only in this internal hole for a year, and then he was going into the business, and he would hunt four days a week and get all the shooting there was.

他望着华生那身华丽的衣饰,不由得肃然起敬。他的燕尾服非常合身,颈口的大领结中央,巧妙地别着一枚贵重的饰针。壁炉架上放着他的礼帽,帽子上瘦下肥,款式入时,且闪闪发亮。菲利普不免自惭形秽。华生开始谈起狩猎来--一在这么个鬼地方浪费光阴,简直窝囊透了,他只能在星期六去打一回猎--接着,话锋一转,又谈到了射击,邀请信从全国各地雪片似地向他飞来,多带劲,但他当然只好一一婉言谢绝罗。窝囊透了,好在受罪的时间不会太长,他只打算在这鬼地方混一年,然后就进商界去闯啦。到那时候,他可以每星期打上四天猎,还可参加各地的射击比赛。

‘You’ve got five years of it, haven’t you?’ he said, waving his arm round the tiny room.

"你要呆在这儿捱上五个年头,是吗?"他一边说,一边伸出条手臂朝小房间四下一挥。

‘I suppose so,’ said Philip.

"我想是吧,"菲利普说。

‘I daresay I shall see something of you. Carter does our accounts, you know.’

"日后我们还会有见面的机会。你也知道,我们公司的帐务是托卡特管的。"

Philip was somewhat overpowered by the young gentleman’s condescension. At Blackstable they had always looked upon brewing with civil contempt, the Vicar made little jokes about the beerage, and it was a surprising experience for Philip to discover that Watson was such an important and magnificent fellow. He had been to Winchester and to Oxford, and his conversation impressed the fact upon one with frequency. When he discovered the details of Philip’s education his manner became more patronising still.

菲利普可说是被这位青年绅士的降尊纡贵的气度震慑住了。在布莱克斯泰勃,人们对待酿酒行业虽不冷言相讥,却总怀有几分轻慢之意,牧师也常常拿酿酒业开句把玩笑。而现在菲利普发现,他面前的华生竟是这么个举足轻重、气宇轩昂的角色,大大出乎意外。他在温彻斯特公学和牛津大学念过书,交谈过程中他反复提到这一点,使人不能不留下深刻印象。当他了解到菲利普受教育的曲折经过,越发摆出一副曾经沧海的架势来。

‘Of course, if one doesn’t go to a public school those sort of schools are the next best thing, aren’t they?’

"当然罗,一个人如果没上过公学,还以为那类学校是此数一数二的名牌学府呢,是吗?"

Philip asked about the other men in the office.

菲利普问起事务所内其他人的情况。

‘Oh, I don’t bother about them much, you know,’ said Watson. ‘Carter’s not a bad sort. We have him to dine now and then. All the rest are awful bounders.’

"哦,我才不同在他们身上费心思哩,"华生说。"卡特这老家伙还算不赖。我们时而请他来吃顿饭。其余的人嘛,净是些酒囊饭袋。"

Presently Watson applied himself to some work he had in hand, and Philip set about sorting his letters. Then Mr. Goodworthy came in to say that Mr. Carter had arrived. He took Philip into a large room next door to his own. There was a big desk in it, and a couple of big arm-chairs; a Turkey carpet adorned the floor, and the walls were decorated with sporting prints. Mr. Carter was sitting at the desk and got up to shake hands with Philip. He was dressed in a long frock coat. He looked like a military man; his moustache was waxed, his gray hair was short and neat, he held himself upright, he talked in a breezy way, he lived at Enfield. He was very keen on games and the good of the country. He was an officer in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry and chairman of the Conservative Association. When he was told that a local magnate had said no one would take him for a City man, he felt that he had not lived in vain. He talked to Philip in a pleasant, off-hand fashion. Mr. Goodworthy would look after him. Watson was a nice fellow, perfect gentleman, good sportsman—did Philip hunt? Pity, THE sport for gentlemen. Didn’t have much chance of hunting now, had to leave that to his son. His son was at Cambridge, he’d sent him to Rugby, fine school Rugby, nice class of boys there, in a couple of years his son would be articled, that would be nice for Philip, he’d like his son, thorough sportsman. He hoped Philip would get on well and like the work, he mustn’t miss his lectures, they were getting up the tone of the profession, they wanted gentlemen in it. Well, well, Mr. Goodworthy was there. If he wanted to know anything Mr. Goodworthy would tell him. What was his handwriting like? Ah well, Mr. Goodworthy would see about that.

说罢,他就埋头处理手头上的事务,菲利普也动手整理信件。不一会儿,古德沃西先生进来说卡特先生到了。他把菲利普领进他自己办公室旁边的一个大房间。房里放着一张大办公桌,两张大扶手椅,地板上铺着土耳其地毯,四周墙上挂着好多幅体育图片。卡特先生坐在办公桌旁,一见他们进来,就站起身来同菲利普握手。他穿着礼服大衣,模样儿像个军人,胡子上了蜡,灰白的头发短而齐整,昂首挺胸,腰杆笔直,说话时口气轻快,谈笑风生。他住在恩弗尔德,是个体育迷,追求乡间生活的情趣。他是哈福德郡义勇骑兵队的军官,又是保守党人协会的主席。当地有位大亨说,谁也不会把他当作伦敦城里人看待,他听说之后,觉得自己的这大半辈子总算没有白过。他跟菲利普随口交谈着,态度和蔼可亲。古德沃西先生不会亏待他的。华生这个人挺不错,是个道地的绅士,还是个出色的猎手--菲利普打猎吗?多可惜,这可是上等人的消遣哩。现在他很少有机会去狩猎了,得留给儿子去享受啦。他儿子在剑桥念书,以前进过拉格比--出色的拉格比公学,那儿培养的全是品学兼优的学生。再过一两年他儿子也要来此当练习生,那时菲利普就有伴了,菲利普准会喜欢他儿子的,他可是个百发百中的好猎手。他希望菲利普不断有所长进,爱上这儿的工作。他要给见习生上业务课,菲利普可千万别错过了,他们这一行正处于兴旺发达之时,要物色网罗有识之士。嗯,好了,古德沃西先生在那儿,如果菲利普还想了解什么,古德沃西先生会告诉他的。他的书法如何?啊,好,古德沃西先生会有所安排的。

Philip was overwhelmed by so much gentlemanliness: in East Anglia they knew who were gentlemen and who weren’t, but the gentlemen didn’t talk about it.

这种洒脱飘逸的绅士风度,菲利普不能不为之折服倾倒:在东英吉利,人们知道谁是上等人,谁算不得上等人,然而上等人对此历来都是心照不宣的。