Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘It just shows how damned weak I am,’ he said to himself. The adventure was like a blunder that one had committed at a party so horrible that one felt nothing could be done to excuse it: the only remedy was to forget. His horror at the degradation he had suffered helped him. He was like a snake casting its skin and he looked upon the old covering with nausea. He exulted in the possession of himself once more; he realised how much of the delight of the world he had lost when he was absorbed in that madness which they called love; he had had enough of it; he did not want to be in love any more if love was that. Philip told Hayward something of what he had gone through.

  "这一切都表明我的意志是多么脆弱啊,"菲利普喃喃地说。先前那段经历,犹如一个人在社交场合犯下的过错,过错之严重,无论做什么都无法宽宥,唯一的补救办法,就是把它从记忆中抹去。他对自己先前的堕落十分憎恶。这倒帮了他的忙。他像一条蜕了皮的蛇,怀着厌恶的心情,鄙夷地望着自己过去的躯壳。他为自己恢复了自制力而感到欣喜若狂。菲利普意识到,在他沉湎于人们称之为爱情的痴情之中的时候,他失去了世界上多少别的乐趣啊。那种滋味他可尝够了。要是那就叫爱情,那他从此再也不会堕入那张情网中去了。菲利普把自己的一些经历告诉了海沃德。

‘Wasn’t it Sophocles,’ he asked, ‘who prayed for the time when he would be delivered from the wild beast of passion that devoured his heart-strings?’

  "索夫克勒斯不就祈求有朝一日能挣脱吞噬他最诚挚爱情的情欲这头野兽吗?"他问道。

Philip seemed really to be born again. He breathed the circumambient air as though he had never breathed it before, and he took a child’s pleasure in all the facts of the world. He called his period of insanity six months’ hard labour.

  菲利普俨然一副获得了新生的样子。他贪婪地呼吸着周围的空气,仿佛从来没有呼吸过似的。他像稚童般惊喜地打量着世间万物。他把那段痴狂时期看作是服了半年的劳役。

Hayward had only been settled in London a few days when Philip received from Blackstable, where it had been sent, a card for a private view at some picture gallery. He took Hayward, and, on looking at the catalogue, saw that Lawson had a picture in it.

  海沃德来伦敦后没几天,菲利普接到一张寄自布莱克斯泰勃的请柬,邀请他去参观在一家美术馆举办的画展。他带上海沃德一同前往。在浏览画展目录册时,他们发现劳森也有一张画参加了这次预展。

‘I suppose he sent the card,’ said Philip. ‘Let’s go and find him, he’s sure to be in front of his picture.’

  "我想请柬就是他寄的,"菲利普说,"我们找他去,他肯定站在自己那幅画的前面。"

This, a profile of Ruth Chalice, was tucked away in a corner, and Lawson was not far from it. He looked a little lost, in his large soft hat and loose, pale clothes, amongst the fashionable throng that had gathered for the private view. He greeted Philip with enthusiasm, and with his usual volubility told him that he had come to live in London, Ruth Chalice was a hussy, he had taken a studio, Paris was played out, he had a commission for a portrait, and they’d better dine together and have a good old talk. Philip reminded him of his acquaintance with Hayward, and was entertained to see that Lawson was slightly awed by Hayward’s elegant clothes and grand manner. They sat upon him better than they had done in the shabby little studio which Lawson and Philip had shared.

  那张露思·查利斯的肖像画被摆在一个角落里,劳森就站在这张画的附近。他头戴一顶轻便的大帽子,身着宽大的浅色服装。置身在蜂拥而来观赏预展的时髦人物中问,他显出一副迷离惝恍的神色。他热情地同菲利普打招呼,随即同往常一样,又口若悬河地给菲利普诉说起他搬来伦敦住下了,露思·查利斯是个轻佻的女子,他租到了一间画室,并因代销一张肖像而得到一笔佣金等等。他提议他俩在一起用餐,借此机会好好叙谈叙谈。菲利普使他想起了他的相识海沃德。菲利普饶有兴趣地看着劳森面对海沃德的风雅的服饰和堂皇的气派有点儿肃然起敬的样子。

At dinner Lawson went on with his news. Flanagan had gone back to America. Clutton had disappeared. He had come to the conclusion that a man had no chance of doing anything so long as he was in contact with art and artists: the only thing was to get right away. To make the step easier he had quarrelled with all his friends in Paris. He developed a talent for telling them home truths, which made them bear with fortitude his declaration that he had done with that city and was settling in Gerona, a little town in the north of Spain which had attracted him when he saw it from the train on his way to Barcelona. He was living there now alone.

  他俩奚落挖苦劳森,比在劳森和菲利普合用的那间寒枪的小画室里还要厉害。

‘I wonder if he’ll ever do any good,’ said Philip.

  吃饭的时候,劳森继续讲他的新闻。弗拉纳根业已返回美国。克拉顿不见了。克拉顿得出个结论,说一个人一旦同艺术和艺术家搭上关系,就不可能有所作为,唯一的办法就是立即脱离。为使出走顺利,弗拉纳根同他在巴黎的朋友们一个不落地都吵翻了。他培养了一种给他们诉说令人难堪的事实的才能,迫使他们以极大的耐心听他宣布说,他在巴黎已经呆够了,准备去赫罗纳定居。这座位于西班牙北部、深深吸引着他的小城镇,还是在他乘车去巴塞罗那的路上偶然发现的呐。他现在就独自一人住在那儿。

He was interested in the human side of that struggle to express something which was so obscure in the man’s mind that he was become morbid and querulous. Philip felt vaguely that he was himself in the same case, but with him it was the conduct of his life as a whole that perplexed him. That was his means of self-expression, and what he must do with it was not clear. But he had no time to continue with this train of thought, for Lawson poured out a frank recital of his affair with Ruth Chalice. She had left him for a young student who had just come from England, and was behaving in a scandalous fashion. Lawson really thought someone ought to step in and save the young man. She would ruin him. Philip gathered that Lawson’s chief grievance was that the rupture had come in the middle of a portrait he was painting.

  "我怀疑他能有什么出息,"菲利普说。

‘Women have no real feeling for art,’ he said. ‘They only pretend they have.’ But he finished philosophically enough: ‘However, I got four portraits out of her, and I’m not sure if the last I was working on would ever have been a success.’

  克拉顿就好作出人为的努力,来表达人们头脑里混沌不清的问题,因此,变态、易怒同他这个人就完全相称。菲利普朦胧觉得自己也是这样,不过,对他来说,是他的道德行为使他陷入了困窘。那就是他的自我表现的方式,至于对此怎么办,他可心中无数。但是,他没有时间来继续他的思索,因为劳森坦率地把同露思·查利斯的风流韵事一股脑儿地倒了出来。她遗弃了他,转而同一位刚从英国来的青年学生打得火热,闹得乌烟瘴气。劳森认为应该有人出来干预并拯救那个年轻人,要不她将毁了他。菲利普暗自忖度着,劳森最感伤心的还是他画画的中途突然闯进了那个关系破裂的插曲。

Philip envied the easy way in which the painter managed his love affairs. He had passed eighteen months pleasantly enough, had got an excellent model for nothing, and had parted from her at the end with no great pang.

  "女人们对艺术缺乏真正的感受力,"他说。"她们只是佯装她们有罢了。"不过,他末了几句话倒是相当旷达:"话得说回来,我毕竟还给她画了四张画儿,至于正在画的这最后一张画儿,不能肯定是否还能画成功呢。"

‘And what about Cronshaw?’ asked Philip.

  这位画家处理他的爱情纠葛那样的漫不经心,菲利普着实羡慕。劳森相当愉快地度过了一年半,并未花分文就得到了一个漂亮的模特儿,最后同她分手时,心灵上没留太深的伤痕。

‘Oh, he’s done for,’ answered Lawson, with the cheerful callousness of his youth. ‘He’ll be dead in six months. He got pneumonia last winter. He was in the English hospital for seven weeks, and when he came out they told him his only chance was to give up liquor.’

  "克朗肖现在怎么样?"菲利普问道。

‘Poor devil,’ smiled the abstemious Philip.

  "噢,他算是完了,"劳森皮笑肉不笑地答道。"他不出半年就要死了。去年冬天,他得了肺炎,在一家英国医院里住了七个星期。出院时,他们对他说,他康复的唯一机会就是戒酒。"

‘He kept off for a bit. He used to go to the Lilas all the same, he couldn’t keep away from that, but he used to drink hot milk, avec de la fleur d’oranger, and he was damned dull.’

  "可怜的人儿,"菲利普微微一笑。他一向是饮食有度的。

‘I take it you did not conceal the fact from him.’

  "有一阵子他是滴酒不进。他还常常到利拉斯店里去,他可熬不住不去呀。不过,他经常只是喝杯热牛奶,或者桔子汁。也太没趣了。"

‘Oh, he knew it himself. A little while ago he started on whiskey again. He said he was too old to turn over any new leaves. He would rather be happy for six months and die at the end of it than linger on for five years. And then I think he’s been awfully hard up lately. You see, he didn’t earn anything while he was ill, and the slut he lives with has been giving him a rotten time.’

  "我想你没有把事实瞒了他吧?"

‘I remember, the first time I saw him I admired him awfully,’ said Philip. ‘I thought he was wonderful. It is sickening that vulgar, middle-class virtue should pay.’

  "哦,他自己也知道。不久前他又喝起威士忌酒来了。他说他已经老了,来不及革面洗心了。他要快快活活地过上半年,到那时,就是死也比苟延残喘活上五年要强。我想他手头拮据,简直到了山穷水尽的地步。你瞧,他生病期间,连一项进帐都没有,而且跟他同居的那个荡妇使他吃尽了苦头。"

‘Of course he was a rotter. He was bound to end in the gutter sooner or later,’ said Lawson.

  "我记得,第一次见到他时,我对他佩服得五体投地,"菲利普说。"我那时认为他简直了不起。庸俗的中产阶级的德行居然得此报应,真叫人作呕。"

Philip was hurt because Lawson would not see the pity of it. Of course it was cause and effect, but in the necessity with which one follows the other lay all tragedy of life.

  "当然罗,他是个不中用的家伙。他迟早会在那贫民窟里了却残生,"劳森说。

‘Oh, I’ d forgotten,’ said Lawson. ‘Just after you left he sent round a present for you. I thought you’d be coming back and I didn’t bother about it, and then I didn’t think it worth sending on; but it’ll come over to London with the rest of my things, and you can come to my studio one day and fetch it away if you want it.’

  菲利普感到伤心,因为劳森一点也没有怜悯之情。当然,这件事是因果报应,既有前因,必有后报,而生活的全部悲剧就寓于这一支配人类生活和行为的自然规律之中。

‘You haven’t told me what it is yet.’

  "啊,我忘了一件事,"劳森说。"你刚走不久,克朗肖叫人送你一件礼物。我当时想你会回来,因此我也就没有托人带给你,何况当时我认为根本不值得这么做。不过,那件礼物将跟我的其余几件行李一道运来伦敦,要是你想要的话,可以到我的画室来取。"

‘Oh, it’s only a ragged little bit of carpet. I shouldn’t think it’s worth anything. I asked him one day what the devil he’d sent the filthy thing for. He told me he’d seen it in a shop in the Rue de Rennes and bought it for fifteen francs. It appears to be a Persian rug. He said you’d asked him the meaning of life and that was the answer. But he was very drunk.’

  "你还没有告诉我那是个什么东西呢。"

Philip laughed.

  "哦,那是条破烂不堪的地毯。我想它值不了几个钱。有一天我问他,他怎么想得起来送这种破烂货。他告诉我他在鲁德雷恩大街上一家商店里看到这条地毯,便花了十五个法郎把它买了下来。看上去还是条波斯地毯。他说你曾问过他什么是生活的意义,那条地毯就是个回答。不过,那时他烂醉如泥了。"

‘Oh yes, I know. I’ll take it. It was a favourite wheeze of his. He said I must find out for myself, or else the answer meant nothing.’

  菲利普哈哈笑了起来。

  "喔,是的,我知道了。我要来取这条地毯。这是他的绝妙的主意。他说我必须自己去找出这个答案,否则就毫无意义。"