Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘After all, it only costs the reader twopence,’ she said, ‘and they like the same thing over and over again. I just change the names and that’s all. When I’m bored I think of the washing and the rent and clothes for baby, and I go on again.’

  "这样的小说,读者毕竟只要花两个便士,"她说,"而且同样的故事他们百看不厌,我只要换换名字就行了。有时我感到腻烦,但一想起我得付洗衣费和房租,还得给孩子添置衣服,我就又硬着头皮写下去。"

Besides, she walked on at various theatres where they wanted supers and earned by this when in work from sixteen shillings to a guinea a week. At the end of her day she was so tired that she slept like a top. She made the best of her difficult lot. Her keen sense of humour enabled her to get amusement out of every vexatious circumstance. Sometimes things went wrong, and she found herself with no money at all; then her trifling possessions found their way to a pawnshop in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, and she ate bread and butter till things grew brighter. She never lost her cheerfulness.

  除此之外,她还到几家需用配角的剧院去寻找工作,借此挣几个钱。一旦受雇,她一星期可以赚得十六个先令到一个畿尼。可一天下来,却累得筋疲力尽,她倒头便睡,活像个死人。她生活道路坎坷,但能好自为之;她那强烈的幽默感使得她能够身处困厄之中,依然自得其乐。有时时运个济,她发觉身上分文不名,这时候,她那些不值钱的家什就被送进沃克斯霍尔大桥路上的那爿当铺。在境况有所好转之前,她就一直啃着涂黄油的面包。但是,她可从来没有失去她那乐呵呵的本色。

Philip was interested in her shiftless life, and she made him laugh with the fantastic narration of her struggles. He asked her why she did not try her hand at literary work of a better sort, but she knew that she had no talent, and the abominable stuff she turned out by the thousand words was not only tolerably paid, but was the best she could do. She had nothing to look forward to but a continuation of the life she led. She seemed to have no relations, and her friends were as poor as herself.

  菲利普对她过着那种得过且过的生活颇感兴趣。她絮聒不休地叙述她那怪诞的个人奋斗的经历来逗他发笑。他问她为什么不试着写些质量好些的文学作品。然而,她知道自己没有这种天赋,况且她那些粗制滥造的低劣作品按千字计算的稿酬,也还说得过去,同时,这种作品也是她倾尽全力写出来的。她除了希望眼下这种日子得以延续之外,别无他求。她看上去没什么亲戚,几位朋友也同她一样一贫如洗。

‘I don’t think of the future,’ she said. ‘As long as I have enough money for three weeks’ rent and a pound or two over for food I never bother. Life wouldn’t be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. When things are at their worst I find something always happens.’

  "将来会怎么样,我根本不去考虑,"她说。"只要手头有钱付三个星期的房租,有一两个英镑买食品,我就什么也不想。要是成天想着今天,愁着明天,生活还有什么意思呢?就是事情糟到无可再糟的地步,我想总还是有路可走的。"

Soon Philip grew in the habit of going in to tea with her every day, and so that his visits might not embarrass her he took in a cake or a pound of butter or some tea. They started to call one another by their Christian names. Feminine sympathy was new to him, and he delighted in someone who gave a willing ear to all his troubles. The hours went quickly. He did not hide his admiration for her. She was a delightful companion. He could not help comparing her with Mildred; and he contrasted with the one’s obstinate stupidity, which refused interest to everything she did not know, the other’s quick appreciation and ready intelligence. His heart sank when he thought that he might have been tied for life to such a woman as Mildred. One evening he told Norah the whole story of his love. It was not one to give him much reason for self-esteem, and it was very pleasant to receive such charming sympathy.

  没多久,菲利普形成了每天都去同内斯比特太太共用茶点的习惯。这样,他带着一块糕或者一磅黄油或者些许茶点去拜访她时,她不至于感到难堪。他俩开始互唤对方的教名。他对女性的柔情还不熟悉,然而对有人乐意倾听自己的苦恼,心里头倒是乐滋滋的。时光一小时一小时地飞逝。他毫不掩饰自己对她的欣羡之情。她是一位令人感到愉快的伴侣。他不禁将她同米尔德丽德比较起来:一个是愚昧无知且固执己见,凡是她不知道的东西,她一概不感兴趣;另一个是思想敏捷,才智洋溢。想到他险乎终身同米尔德丽德这样的女人缠在一起,不觉精神为之沮丧。一天黄昏,菲利普把他同米尔德丽德之间的爱情纠葛原原本本地讲给诺拉听。他这么做倒不是因为这件事给他脸上增添什么光彩,而是因为他为能得到诺拉的媚人的同情而感到乐不可支。

‘I think you’re well out of it,’ she said, when he had finished.

  "我想,你现在已经彻底摆脱了这种困境了,"他讲完后,她接着说了这么一句。

She had a funny way at times of holding her head on one side like an Aberdeen puppy. She was sitting in an upright chair, sewing, for she had no time to do nothing, and Philip had made himself comfortable at her feet.

  有时,她像阿伯丁木偶似的,滑稽地把头侧向一边。她坐在一张竖式椅子里,做着针线活儿。她可没有时间闭着不做事哟。菲利普舒适地依在她的脚旁。

‘I can’t tell you how heartily thankful I am it’s all over,’ he sighed.

  "这一切终于结束了,我打心眼里感到高兴,这种心情实在难以形容。"

‘Poor thing, you must have had a rotten time,’ she murmured, and by way of showing her sympathy put her hand on his shoulder.

  "可怜的人儿,在那段时间里,你一定很不愉快吧,"她喃喃低语,同时把只手搁在他的肩膀上,以示同情。

He took it and kissed it, but she withdrew it quickly.

  菲利普猛地抓起那只搁在自己肩头的手吻了起来。诺拉急忙把手抽了回来。

‘Why did you do that?’ she asked, with a blush.

  "你干吗要这样?"她红着脸问道。

‘Have you any objection?’

  "你不高兴了?"

She looked at him for a moment with twinkling eyes, and she smiled.

  她两眼烟烟闪光,对着他凝视了片刻,接着又嫣然一笑。

‘No,’ she said.

  "不是的,"她说。

He got up on his knees and faced her. She looked into his eyes steadily, and her large mouth trembled with a smile.

  菲利普倏地跪立起来,面对着她。诺拉愣愣地望着他的眼睛,那张宽宽的嘴微笑地牵动着。

‘Well?’ she said.

  "怎么啦?"诺拉问。

‘You know, you are a ripper. I’m so grateful to you for being nice to me. I like you so much.’

  "啊,你是个极好的人儿。你待我这么好,我感激不尽。我太喜欢你了。"

‘Don’t be idiotic,’ she said.

  "尽说些傻里傻气的话,"她说。

Philip took hold of her elbows and drew her towards him. She made no resistance, but bent forward a little, and he kissed her red lips.

  菲利普抓住她的胳膊,把她拉向自己。她未作抵抗,而是微微向前倾过身子。他吻着她那红润的嘴唇。

‘Why did you do that?’ she asked again.

  "你干吗要这样?"她又问道。

‘Because it’s comfortable.’

  "因为这样舒服呗!"

She did not answer, but a tender look came into her eyes, and she passed her hand softly over his hair.

  她默默不语,但她那对眸子闪烁着温柔的光芒。她用手怜爱地抚摩着他的头发。

‘You know, it’s awfully silly of you to behave like this. We were such good friends. It would be so jolly to leave it at that.’

  "你知道,你这样做太蠢了。咱俩是亲密无间的好朋友。我们一直像朋友一样相处不是很好吗?"

‘If you really want to appeal to my better nature,’ replied Philip, ‘you’ll do well not to stroke my cheek while you’re doing it.’

  "要是你真正想要合我的心意的话,"菲利普回答道,"你最好还是不要像你眼下正在做的那样抚弄我的脸颊。"

She gave a little chuckle, but she did not stop.

  她格格一笑,但她并没有停止抚摸他的面颊。

‘It’s very wrong of me, isn’t it?’ she said.

  "我这样子错了,是吗?"她说。

Philip, surprised and a little amused, looked into her eyes, and as he looked he saw them soften and grow liquid, and there was an expression in them that enchanted him. His heart was suddenly stirred, and tears came to his eyes.

  菲利普惊喜交集,窥视着她的眼睛。在这当儿,他发觉她那双眼睛渐渐发亮,含情脉脉,蕴藏在那对眸子里的神情使得他心荡神驰。他的心不由得一阵激动,热泪涌进了他的眼眶。

‘Norah, you’re not fond of me, are you?’ he asked, incredulously.

  "诺拉,你不喜欢我,是不?"他问道,一脸疑惑的神情。

‘You clever boy, you ask such stupid questions.’

  "你是个聪明的孩子,寸你问得出这样愚笨的问题。"

‘Oh, my dear, it never struck me that you could be.’

  他猛然搂抱着她。

He flung his arms round her and kissed her, while she, laughing, blushing, and crying, surrendered herself willingly to his embrace.

  不一会儿,菲利普松开了她,向后蹲坐在自己的脚后跟上,好奇地打量着她。

Presently he released her and sitting back on his heels looked at her curiously.

  "嗯,我简直发狂了!"他说。

‘Well, I’m blowed!’ he said.

  "为什么?"

‘Why?’

  "我觉得太惊讶了!"

‘I’m so surprised.’

  "不感到愉快吗?"

‘And pleased?’

  "太高兴了,"他叫喊着,声音犹如从心底迸发出来似的,"太骄傲了,太幸福了,太感激了!"

‘Delighted,’ he cried with all his heart, ‘and so proud and so happy and so grateful.’

  他拿起她的手,不住地吻着。这对菲利普来说,一种既坚如磐石又永不泯灭的幸福开始了。他俩变成了情侣,但仍然是朋友。在诺拉的身上,存在着一种因把自己的爱倾注在菲利普身上而得到满足的做母亲的本能。她需要有个人受她爱抚、叱责和刺刺不休的称道;她有一种一心追求家庭情趣的气质,以照顾他的健康和替他缝补浆洗为人生快事。她深切同情他的残疾,而他本人对这一点异常敏感,因此,她本能地以柔情脉脉的方式来表达她对他的怜爱之情。她还是个刚过豆蔻年华的少妇,健康、丰腴。对她说来,奉献自己的爱是顺理成章十分自然的。她心境快乐,内心充满了欢笑。她喜欢菲利普,是因为他凡是听到生活中合她意的趣事儿,都同她一起畅怀欢笑;她之所以喜欢他,最重要的还是他就是他。

He took her hands and covered them with kisses. This was the beginning for Philip of a happiness which seemed both solid and durable. They became lovers but remained friends. There was in Norah a maternal instinct which received satisfaction in her love for Philip; she wanted someone to pet, and scold, and make a fuss of; she had a domestic temperament and found pleasure in looking after his health and his linen. She pitied his deformity, over which he was so sensitive, and her pity expressed itself instinctively in tenderness. She was young, strong, and healthy, and it seemed quite natural to her to give her love. She had high spirits and a merry soul. She liked Philip because he laughed with her at all the amusing things in life that caught her fancy, and above all she liked him because he was he.

  她把这一点告诉菲利普时,他欢欣地说:

When she told him this he answered gaily:

  "胡说八道。你喜欢我,因为我是个不多话的人,从不插嘴。"

‘Nonsense. You like me because I’m a silent person and never want to get a word in.’

  菲利普压根儿就不爱诺拉。但是,他却非常喜欢她,乐意同她果在一起,兴趣盎然地谛听她那妙趣横生的谈吐。诺拉帮助他对自己树立起信心,宛如替他在心灵的创伤上涂搽愈合的药膏。他钦佩她有勇气,充满了乐观,大胆地向命运挑战。她自己没什么人生哲学,但讲究实际,不矫揉造作。

Philip did not love her at all. He was extremely fond of her, glad to be with her, amused and interested by her conversation. She restored his belief in himself and put healing ointments, as it were, on all the bruises of his soul. He was immensely flattered that she cared for him. He admired her courage, her optimism, her impudent defiance of fate; she had a little philosophy of her own, ingenuous and practical.

  "你知道,什么教堂、牧师,诸如此类的东西,我统统不信,"她说。"但是,我信奉上帝。不过,只要你还能勉强维持生活,只要你有时还能够仗义勇为,拯人于危难之中,我就不信上帝还会想着你。我认为,人总的来说还是正派的,而对那些不正派的人,我感到遗憾。"

‘You know, I don’t believe in churches and parsons and all that,’ she said, ‘but I believe in God, and I don’t believe He minds much about what you do as long as you keep your end up and help a lame dog over a stile when you can. And I think people on the whole are very nice, and I’m sorry for those who aren’t.’

  "那以后怎么办呢?"菲利普问道。

‘And what about afterwards?’ asked Philip.

  "喔,我自己也心中无数,你是知道的,"她莞尔一笑。"不过,我抱着乐观的希望。无论如何,我将不用付房租,也不用写小说。"

‘Oh, well, I don’t know for certain, you know,’ she smiled, ‘but I hope for the best. And anyhow there’ll be no rent to pay and no novelettes to write.’

  她有着女性所特有的那种在奉承别人时善于察言观色、投其所好的人才。她认为,菲利普自量无望成为一名伟大的画家便毅然离开巴黎,这是件果断的举动。当她热烈地称颂他时,他听得如痴如狂。这一举动究竟是说明自己勇敢呢,还是说明自己生活的门的摇摆不定,他一直心存疑惑。想到她认为那是英勇的表现,他感到欣慰。她大胆地跟他谈沦起那个他朋友们本能地回避的问题。

She had a feminine gift for delicate flattery. She thought that Philip did a brave thing when he left Paris because he was conscious he could not be a great artist; and he was enchanted when she expressed enthusiastic admiration for him. He had never been quite certain whether this action indicated courage or infirmity of purpose. It was delightful to realise that she considered it heroic. She ventured to tackle him on a subject which his friends instinctively avoided.

  "你真傻,竟对你那条跛脚如此敏感,"她说。看到他神情阴郁,脸涨得通红,她接着说:"你知道,人们并没有像你这样想得那么多。他们第一次见着你时才注意一下,以后就忘了。"

‘It’s very silly of you to be so sensitive about your club-foot,’ she said. She saw him bush darkly, but went on. ‘You know, people don’t think about it nearly as much as you do. They notice it the first time they see you, and then they forget about it.’

  菲利普不愿搭腔。

He would not answer.

  "你不生我的气,是不?"

‘You’re not angry with me, are you?’

  "不生气。"

‘No.’

  "你知道,我这样讲是因为我爱你。我决不想使你感到不愉快。"

She put her arm round his neck.

  "我想,你对我讲什么都可以,"菲利普微笑着答道。"我希望我能做些什么,以表达我对你的感激之情。"

‘You know, I only speak about it because I love you. I don’t want it to make you unhappy.’

  诺拉用别的办法把他牢牢地掌握在自己的手中,不让他粗暴得像个狗熊。每逢他发脾气,她就嘲笑他。她使得菲利普变得更加温文尔雅。

‘I think you can say anything you choose to me,’ he answered, smiling. ‘I wish I could do something to show you how grateful I am to you.’

  "你可以叫我做你想要我做的任何事,"有一次他对她这样说。

She took him in hand in other ways. She would not let him be bearish and laughed at him when he was out of temper. She made him more urbane.

  "你介意吗?"

‘You can make me do anything you like,’ he said to her once.

  "不,我想做你要我做的事。"

‘D’you mind?’

  他感到有一种要实现自己幸福的欲望。在他看来,诺拉把一个妻子所能给予其丈夫的一切都给了自己,然而他依旧可以自由活动。她是他从来没有过的一位最娇媚的朋友,从她那儿得到的同情,是他从未在一个男子身上找到过的。两性关系不过是他俩之间的友谊的最坚牢的纽带。有了它,他俩之间的友谊就完美无缺,但它决不是须臾不可离开的。况且他的欲望得到了满足,他变得更加平静,更容易与人相处。他感到自己完全能够控制自己。有时,他想起在那逝去的冬天日子里,他一直为十分可怕的欲念所困扰,内心里充满了对米尔德丽德的厌恶和对自己的憎恶。

‘No, I want to do what you like.’

  他的考试日渐临近。诺拉对考试的关心程度不亚于他。她那急切的心情深深打动了他的心,使他感到非常愉快。她叫他答应立即返回,并把考试结果告诉她。他顺利地通过了三个科目的考试,当他告诉她时,她两眼热泪盈眶。

He had the sense to realise his happiness. It seemed to him that she gave him all that a wife could, and he preserved his freedom; she was the most charming friend he had ever had, with a sympathy that he had never found in a man. The sexual relationship was no more than the strongest link in their friendship. It completed it, but was not essential. And because Philip’s appetites were satisfied, he became more equable and easier to live with. He felt in complete possession of himself. He thought sometimes of the winter, during which he had been obsessed by a hideous passion, and he was filled with loathing for Mildred and with horror of himself.

  "喔,我太高兴了,那时我是多么的紧张和不安哪!"

His examinations were approaching, and Norah was as interested in them as he. He was flattered and touched by her eagerness. She made him promise to come at once and tell her the results. He passed the three parts this time without mishap, and when he went to tell her she burst into tears.

  "你这个愚蠢的小妮子,"菲利普喉咙哽咽得笑不出声来。

‘Oh, I’m so glad, I was so anxious.’

  谁看到她这副表情会不感到激动呢?

‘You silly little thing,’ he laughed, but he was choking.

  "现在你打算做些什么?"她问道。

No one could help being pleased with the way she took it.

  "我可以问心无愧地过个假期。在十月份冬季学期开学之前,我没事可做。"

‘And what are you going to do now?’ she asked.

  "我想你将去布莱克斯泰勃你大伯那儿?"

‘I can take a holiday with a clear conscience. I have no work to do till the winter session begins in October.’

  "你完全想错了。我准备呆在伦敦,同你在一起玩。"

‘I suppose you’ll go down to your uncle’s at Blackstable?’

  "我倒希望你走。"

‘You suppose quite wrong. I’m going to stay in London and play with you.’

  "为什么?你讨厌我了?"

‘I’d rather you went away.’

  她笑着,并把双手放在他的肩膀上。

‘Why? Are you tired of me?’

  "你最近工作太辛苦了,脸色很苍白,需要呼吸新鲜空气,好好休息一下。请走吧。"

She laughed and put her hands on his shoulders.

  他沉默了片刻,带着爱慕的目光凝视着她。

‘Because you’ve been working hard, and you look utterly washed out. You want some fresh air and a rest. Please go.’

  "你知道,我相信除了你别人谁也不会说这样的话。你总是为我着想。我猜不透你究竟看中了我什么。"

He did not answer for a moment. He looked at her with loving eyes.

  "我这一个月对你的照顾是否给你留下个好印象呢?"她欢快地笑着说。

‘You know, I’d never believe it of anyone but you. You’re only thinking of my good. I wonder what you see in me.’

  "我要说你待人厚道,体贴入微,你从不苛求于人,你成天无忧无虑,你不令人讨厌,你还容易满足。"

‘Will you give me a good character with my month’s notice?’ she laughed gaily.

  "尽说些混帐话,"她说。"我要对你说一句:我一生中碰到一种人,他们能从生活经历中学习些东西,这种人寥寥无几,而我就是其中的一个。"

‘I’ll say that you’re thoughtful and kind, and you’re not exacting; you never worry, you’re not troublesome, and you’re easy to please.’

‘All that’s nonsense,’ she said, ‘but I’ll tell you one thing: I’m one of the few persons I ever met who are able to learn from experience.’