Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

It seemed to Philip, brooding over these matters, that in the true painters, writers, musicians, there was a power which drove them to such complete absorption in their work as to make it inevitable for them to subordinate life to art. Succumbing to an influence they never realised, they were merely dupes of the instinct that possessed them, and life slipped through their fingers unlived. But he had a feeling that life was to be lived rather than portrayed, and he wanted to search out the various experiences of it and wring from each moment all the emotion that it offered. He made up his mind at length to take a certain step and abide by the result, and, having made up his mind, he determined to take the step at once. Luckily enough the next morning was one of Foinet’s days, and he resolved to ask him point-blank whether it was worth his while to go on with the study of art. He had never forgotten the master’s brutal advice to Fanny Price. It had been sound. Philip could never get Fanny entirely out of his head. The studio seemed strange without her, and now and then the gesture of one of the women working there or the tone of a voice would give him a sudden start, reminding him of her: her presence was more noticuble?? now she was dead than it had ever been during her life; and he often dreamed of her at night, waking with a cry of terror. it was horrible to think of all the suffering she must have endured.

  菲利普经过一番思索,似乎从眼前这些事情里悟出了一个道理:凡属真正的画家、作家和音乐家,身上总有那么一股力量,驱使他们将全部身心都扑在事业上,这一来,他们势必要让个人生活从属于整个艺术事业。他们明明屈从于某种影响,自己却从未有所察觉,像中了邪似地受着本能驱使和愚弄,只是自己还不知道罢了。生活打他们身边一溜而过,一辈子就像没活过一样。菲利普觉得,生活嘛,就该痛痛快快地生活,而不应仅仅成为可入画面的题材。他要阅历世事,从人生的瞬间里吸取生活所提供的全部激情。最后,他决心采取果断行动,并准备承担其后果。决心既定,他打算立即付诸行动。正巧明天上午是富瓦内来校讲课的日子,菲利普决定直截了当地向他请教:他菲利普是否值得继续学画?这位画师对范妮·普赖斯所提的忠告,他始终铭记在心。听来逆耳,却切中要害。菲利普无论怎样也没法把范妮从脑子里完全排除出去。画室少了她,似乎显得生疏了。班上有哪个女生一抬手或一开口,往往会让他吓一跳,使他不由得想起范妮来。她死了反倒比活着的时候更让人感觉到她的存在。菲利普夜里常常梦见她,有时会被自己的惊叫声吓醒。她生前一定吃足了苦头,受尽了煎熬--想到这些就使菲利普心惊肉跳。

Philip knew that on the days Foinet came to the studio he lunched at a little restaurant in the Rue d’Odessa, and he hurried his own meal so that he could go and wait outside till the painter came out. Philip walked up and down the crowded street and at last saw Monsieur Foinet walking, with bent head, towards him; Philip was very nervous, but he forced himself to go up to him.

  菲利普知道,富瓦内逢到来画室上课的日子,总要在奥德萨街上的一家小饭店吃午饭。菲利普三划两口,匆匆吃完自己的那顿午饭,以便及时赶到小饭店外面恭候。他在行人熙来攘往的街上来回踱步,最后,总算看见富瓦内先生低着头朝他这边走过来。菲利普的心里很紧张,但他硬着头皮迎上前去。

‘Pardon, monsieur, I should like to speak to you for one moment.’

  "对不起,先生,我想耽搁您一下,有几句话要对您说。"

Foinet gave him a rapid glance, recognised him, but did not smile a greeting.

  富瓦内朝他扫了一眼,认出了他,但是绷着脸没同他打招呼。

‘Speak,’ he said.

  "说吧,"他说。

‘I’ve been working here nearly two years now under you. I wanted to ask you to tell me frankly if you think it worth while for me to continue.’

  "我在这儿跟您学画,差不多已学了两年。想请您坦率地告诉我,您觉得我是否还值得继续学下去?"

Philip’s voice was trembling a little. Foinet walked on without looking up. Philip, watching his face, saw no trace of expression upon it.

  菲利普的声音微微颤抖。富瓦内头也不抬地继续往前迈着步子。菲利普在一旁察颜观色,不见他脸上有任何表示。

‘I don’t understand.’

  "我不明白你的意思。"。

‘I’m very poor. If I have no talent I would sooner do something else.’

  "我家境贫寒。如果我没有天分,我想还不如及早改行的好。"

‘Don’t you know if you have talent?’

  "你有没有天分,难道你自己不清楚?"

‘All my friends know they have talent, but I am aware some of them are mistaken.’

  "我的那些朋友们,个个自以为有天才,可我知道,其中有些人缺少自知之明。"

Foinet’s bitter mouth outlined the shadow of a smile, and he asked:

  富瓦内那张不饶人的嘴巴微微一撇,嘴角漾起一丝笑意,问道:

‘Do you live near here?’

  "你就住在这儿附近?"

Philip told him where his studio was. Foinet turned round.

  菲利普把自己画室的地址告诉了他。富瓦内转过身子。

‘Let us go there? You shall show me your work.’

  "咱们就上你画室去。你得让我看看你的作品。"

‘Now?’ cried Philip.

  "现在?"菲利普嚷了一声。

‘Why not?’

  "有何不可呢?"

Philip had nothing to say. He walked silently by the master’s side. He felt horribly sick. It had never struck him that Foinet would wish to see his things there and then; he meant, so that he might have time to prepare himself, to ask him if he would mind coming at some future date or whether he might bring them to Foinet’s studio. He was trembling with anxiety. In his heart he hoped that Foinet would look at his picture, and that rare smile would come into his face, and he would shake Philip’s hand and say: ‘Pas mal. Go on, my lad. You have talent, real talent.’ Philip’s heart swelled at the thought. It was such a relief, such a joy! Now he could go on with courage; and what did hardship matter, privation, and disappointment, if he arrived at last? He had worked very hard, it would be too cruel if all that industry were futile. And then with a start he remembered that he had heard Fanny Price say just that. They arrived at the house, and Philip was seized with fear. If he had dared he would have asked Foinet to go away. He did not want to know the truth. They went in and the concierge handed him a letter as they passed. He glanced at the envelope and recognised his uncle’s handwriting. Foinet followed him up the stairs. Philip could think of nothing to say; Foinet was mute, and the silence got on his nerves. The professor sat down; and Philip without a word placed before him the picture which the Salon had rejected; Foinet nodded but did not speak; then Philip showed him the two portraits he had made of Ruth Chalice, two or three landscapes which he had painted at Moret, and a number of sketches.

  菲利普反倒无言以对。他默不作声地走在画家的身旁,心里七上八下,说不出有多紧张。他万万没想到富瓦内竟会立时三刻要去看他的作品。他真想问问富瓦内:要是请他改日再去,或是让自己把作品拿到他画室去,他可介意?这样菲利普就可在思想上早作准备,免得像现在这样措手不及。菲利普心慌意乱,连身子也哆嗦起来。他打心底里希望富瓦内在看了他的作品以后,脸上会泛起那种难得看到的笑容,而且还一边同。他握手一边说:"Pasmal。好好干吧,小伙子。你很有才气,真有几分才气哩。"想到这儿,菲利普心头不觉热乎起来。那该是多大的安慰!多么令人欢欣!他从此可以勇往直前了。只要能达到胜利的终点,什么艰苦呀,贫困呀,失望呀,那又算得了什么呢?他从来没偷懒,而要是吃尽辛苦,到头来竟是白费劲一场,那才叫人疾首痛心呢。他猛地一惊,想起范妮·普赖斯不也正是这么说的!等他们走到了住所跟前,菲利普完全被恐惧攫住了。他要是有胆量的话,说不定会请富瓦内走开的。现在他不想知道真情了。在他们进屋子的当儿,看门人递给菲利普一封信,他朝信封看了一眼,认出上面是他大伯的笔迹。富瓦内随着菲利普上了楼。菲利普想不出话茬来,富瓦内也一语不发,而这种沉默比什么都更叫人心慌。意乱。教授坐了下来,菲利普什么也不说,只是把那幅被艺展退回来的油画放在富瓦内面前。富瓦内点点头,还是不做声。接着,菲利普又给富瓦内看了两幅他给露思·查利斯画的肖像,两三幅在莫雷画的风景画,另外还有几幅速写。

‘That’s all,’ he said presently, with a nervous laugh.

  "就这些了,"菲利普一边说,一边局促不安地干笑一声。

Monsieur Foinet rolled himself a cigarette and lit it.

  富瓦内自己动手卷了一支烟,点着了。

‘You have very little private means?’ he asked at last.

  "你没什么家私吧?"他终于开口问道。

‘Very little,’ answered Philip, with a sudden feeling of cold at his heart. ‘Not enough to live on.’

  "很少,"菲利普回答,心里倏地凉了半截,"尚不足以糊口。"

‘There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one’s means of livelihood. I have nothing but contempt for the people who despise money. They are hypocrites or fools. Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five. Without an adequate income half the possibilities of life are shut off. The only thing to be careful about is that you do not pay more than a shilling for the shilling you earn. You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like a cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent. I pity with all my heart the artist, whether he writes or paints, who is entirely dependent for subsistence upon his art.’

  "要时时刻刻为生计操心,世上再没有什么比这更丢脸的了。那些视金钱如粪土的人,我就最瞧不起。他们不是伪君子就是傻瓜。金钱好比第六感官,少了它,就别想让其余的五种感官充分发挥作用。没有足够的收入,生活的希望就被截去了一半。你得处心积虑,锱铢必较,决不为赚得一个先令而付出高于一个先令的代价。你常听到人们说,穷困是对艺术家最有力的鞭策。唱这种高调的人,自己从来没有亲身尝过穷困的滋味。他们不知道穷困会使你变得多么卑贱。它使你蒙受没完没了的羞辱,扼杀掉你的雄心壮志,甚至像癌一样地吞蚀你的灵魂。艺术家要求的并非是财富本身,而是财富提供的保障:有了它,就可以维持个人尊严,工作不受阻挠,做个慷慨、率直、保持住独立人格的人。我打心底里可怜那种完全靠艺术糊口的艺术家,耍笔杆子的也罢,搞画画的也罢。"

Philip quietly put away the various things which he had shown.

  菲利普悄没声儿地把刚才拿出来的画,一一收了起来。

‘I’m afraid that sounds as if you didn’t think I had much chance.’

  "说话听音--我想您的意见似乎是说,我很少有成功的希望吧。"

Monsieur Foinet slightly shrugged his shoulders.

  富瓦内先生微微耸了耸肩。

‘You have a certain manual dexterity. With hard work and perseverance there is no reason why you should not become a careful, not incompetent painter. You would find hundreds who painted worse than you, hundreds who painted as well. I see no talent in anything you have shown me. I see industry and intelligence. You will never be anything but mediocre.’

  "你的手不可谓不巧。看来你只要肯下苦功夫,持之以恒,没有理由当不成个兢兢业业、还算能干的画家。到那时,你会发现有成百上千个同行了还及不上你,也有成百上千个同行得同你不相上下。在你给我看的那些东西里,我没有看到横溢的才气,只看到勤奋和智慧。你永远也不会超过二三流的水平。"

Philip obliged himself to answer quite steadily.

  菲利普故作镇静,用相当沉着的口吻回答说:

‘I’m very grateful to you for having taken so much trouble. I can’t thank you enough.’

  "太麻烦您了,真过意不去。不知该怎么谢您才好。"

Monsieur Foinet got up and made as if to go, but he changed his mind and, stopping, put his hand on Philip’s shoulder.

  富瓦内先生站起身,似乎要告辞了,忽儿又改变了主意,他收住脚步,将一只手搭在菲利普的肩膀上。

‘But if you were to ask me my advice, I should say: take your courage in both hands and try your luck at something else. It sounds very hard, but let me tell you this: I would give all I have in the world if someone had given me that advice when I was your age and I had taken it.’

  "要是你想听听我的忠告,我得说,拿出点勇气来,当机立断,找些别的行当碰碰运气吧。尽管话不中听,我还是要对你直言一句:假如我在你这种年纪的时候,也有人向我进此忠告并使我接受的话,那我乐意把我在这世界上所拥有的一切都奉献给他。"

Philip looked up at him with surprise. The master forced his lips into a smile, but his eyes remained grave and sad.

  菲利普抬起头,吃惊地望着他。只见画家张开双唇,勉强挤出一丝笑意来,但他的眼神依旧是那样的严肃、忧郁。

‘It is cruel to discover one’s mediocrity only when it is too late. It does not improve the temper.’

  "等你追悔不及的时候再发现自己的平庸无能,那才叫人痛心呢,但再痛心,也无助于改善一个人的气质。"

He gave a little laugh as he said the last words and quickly walked out of the room.

  当他说出最后几个字的时候,他呵呵一笑,旋即疾步走出房间。

Philip mechanically took up the letter from his uncle. The sight of his handwriting made him anxious, for it was his aunt who always wrote to him. She had been ill for the last three months, and he had offered to go over to England and see her; but she, fearing it would interfere with his work, had refused. She did not want him to put himself to inconvenience; she said she would wait till August and then she hoped he would come and stay at the vicarage for two or three weeks. If by any chance she grew worse she would let him know, since she did not wish to die without seeing him again. If his uncle wrote to him it must be because she was too ill to hold a pen. Philip opened the letter. it ran as follows:

  菲利普机械地拿起大伯的信,看到大伯的字迹,心里颇觉忐忑不安,因为往常总是由伯母给他写信的。可近三个月以来,她一直卧床不起。菲利普曾主动表示要回英国去探望她,但她婉言谢绝,怕影响他的学业。她不愿意给他添麻烦,说等到八月份再说吧,希望到时候菲利普能回牧师公馆来住上两三个星期。万一病势转重,她会通知他的。她希望在临终前无论如何能见他一面。既然这封信是他大伯写来的,准是伯母病得连笔杆儿也提不起了。菲利普拆开信,信里这样写道:

My dear Philip,

  亲爱的菲利普:

I regret to inform you that your dear Aunt departed this life early this morning. She died very suddenly, but quite peacefully. The change for the worse was so rapid that we had no time to send for you. She was fully prepared for the end and entered into rest with the complete assurance of a blessed resurrection and with resignation to the divine will of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Your Aunt would have liked you to be present at the funeral so I trust you will come as soon as you can. There is naturally a great deal of work thrown upon my shoulders and I am very much upset. I trust that you will be able to do everything for me.

  我悲痛地告知你这一噩耗,你亲爱的伯母已于今日清晨溘然仙逝。由于病势突然急转直下,竟至来不及唤你前来。她自己对此早有充分准备,安然顺从了我主耶稣基督的神圣意志,与世长辞,同时深信自己将于天国复活。你伯母临终前表示,希望你能前来参加葬礼,所以我相信你一定会尽快赶回来的。不用说,眼下有一大堆事务压在我肩上,亟待处理,而我却是心乱如麻。相信你是能替我料理好这一切的。

Your affectionate uncle, William Carey.

  你亲爱的大伯

  威廉·凯里