Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

He found two rooms for Mildred on the second floor of a house in the Vauxhall Bridge Road. They were noisy, but he knew that she liked the rattle of traffic under her windows.

  菲利普在沃克斯霍尔大桥路的一幢房子的二楼为米尔德丽德租了两个房间。房外声音嘈杂,不过他知道她喜欢窗外车水马龙的喧闹声。

‘I don’t like a dead and alive street where you don’t see a soul pass all day,’ she said. ‘Give me a bit of life.’

  "我可不喜欢半阴不阳、毫无生气的街道,住在那种地方,整天价看不到一个人影儿,"米尔德丽德说,"让我嗅上一点儿生活的气息吧。"

Then he forced himself to go to Vincent Square. He was sick with apprehension when he rang the bell. He had an uneasy sense that he was treating Norah badly; he dreaded reproaches; he knew she had a quick temper, and he hated scenes: perhaps the best way would be to tell her frankly that Mildred had come back to him and his love for her was as violent as it had ever been; he was very sorry, but he had nothing to offer Norah any more. Then he thought of her anguish, for he knew she loved him; it had flattered him before, and he was immensely grateful; but now it was horrible. She had not deserved that he should inflict pain upon her. He asked himself how she would greet him now, and as he walked up the stairs all possible forms of her behaviour flashed across his mind. He knocked at the door. He felt that he was pale, and wondered how to conceal his nervousness.

  尔后,菲利普强迫自己来到文森特广场。举手按铃的时候,他内心充满着忧伤。他怀有一种因错待了诺拉而忐忑不安的心情。他不敢埋怨诺拉。他知道她的性子暴躁,而他又不愿看到吵架的场面。也许最好的办法还是直截了当地告诉她,说米尔德丽德现在又回到了他的身边,而他对她依然是一往情深,热烈地爱着她。对此,他深感内疚,但他再也没有什么可以奉献给诺拉的了。他料想到诺拉会感到极端痛苦,因为他明白她是爱自己的。以往她对他所怀的钟爱之情,使他感到心旌飘摇,而他对此也不胜感激之至。但是,眼下这一切简直太可怕了。她不应该忍受他强加于她的痛苦。他暗暗地问自己,现在她会怎样接待自己呢?当他沿着阶梯拾级而上时,她一切可能的举止行动一一掠过他的心头。他叩着房门。他感到脸色刷地发白,不知道该如何掩饰自己内心的不安。

She was writing away industriously, but she sprang to her feet as he entered.

  诺拉正埋头奋笔疾书,但当菲利普跨进房间时,她霍地跳了起来。

‘I recognised your step,’ she cried. ‘Where have you been hiding yourself, you naughty boy?’

  "我听出是你的脚步声,"她嚷嚷着,"近来你躲到哪儿去啦?你这个淘气鬼!"

She came towards him joyfully and put her arms round his neck. She was delighted to see him. He kissed her, and then, to give himself countenance, said he was dying for tea. She bustled the fire to make the kettle boil.

  她喜气洋洋地朝他走来,两臂勾住了他的颈脖。看到诺拉感到很高兴,菲利普吻了她,然后故作姿态,说他极想用茶点。诺拉连忙生火,煮沸锅里的水。

‘I’ve been awfully busy,’ he said lamely.

  "我最近忙得不可开交,"他笨嘴拙舌地说。

She began to chatter in her bright way, telling him of a new commission she had to provide a novelette for a firm which had not hitherto employed her. She was to get fifteen guineas for it.

  接着,诺拉神采飞扬地絮聒开了,告诉他她受托为一家以往从未雇佣过她的公司写一个中篇小说。为此,她可以拿到十五个畿尼呐。

‘It’s money from the clouds. I’ll tell you what we’ll do, we’ll stand ourselves a little jaunt. Let’s go and spend a day at Oxford, shall we? I’d love to see the colleges.’

  "这笔钱是从天上掉下来的。我来告诉你我们该干些什么。我们自己会钞出去溜它一圈,到牛津去玩上一天,好吗?我就是喜欢去看看那儿的几所学院。"

He looked at her to see whether there was any shadow of reproach in her eyes; but they were as frank and merry as ever: she was overjoyed to see him. His heart sank. He could not tell her the brutal truth. She made some toast for him, and cut it into little pieces, and gave it him as though he were a child.

  菲利普凝视着她,窥察她那双眸子里是否有埋怨的阴影。但是,她那双眸子同往常一样,流露出坦率、欢乐的目光:见到了他,她感到欣喜雀跃。他的心沉甸甸的。但不能把那个残忍的事实披露给她听。诺拉给他烤了点面包,还把他当作小孩一样,将面包切成小块才递给他。

‘Is the brute fed?’ she asked.

  "下作坯,吃饱了吗?"她问道。

He nodded, smiling; and she lit a cigarette for him. Then, as she loved to do, she came and sat on his knees. She was very light. She leaned back in his arms with a sigh of delicious happiness.

  他点点头,不觉莞尔。她为他点了支烟。接着,她同往常一样,走过来坐在菲利普的双膝上。她的身子很轻。她往后靠着,偎依在他的怀里,脸上浮泛起甜蜜幸福的神情。

‘Say something nice to me,’ she murmured.

  "给我说些可心的话儿吧,"她喃喃地说。

‘What shall I say?’

  "说些什么呢?"

‘You might by an effort of imagination say that you rather liked me.’

  "你可以想象说你非常喜欢我。"

‘You know I do that.’

  "我一直很喜欢你,这你是知道的。"

He had not the heart to tell her then. He would give her peace at all events for that day, and perhaps he might write to her. That would be easier. He could not bear to think of her crying. She made him kiss her, and as he kissed her he thought of Mildred and Mildred’s pale, thin lips. The recollection of Mildred remained with him all the time, like an incorporated form, but more substantial than a shadow; and the sight continually distracted his attention.

  这会儿,他实在不忍心启口,把那件事情告诉诺拉,无论如何,也要让她安安宁宁地度过这一天。或许,他可以采取写信的方式告诉她。在信里讲要容易得多。想起她会痛哭流涕,他实在于心不忍啊。诺拉逗他吻他,然而在接吻的时候,他想起了米尔德丽德,想起了米尔德丽德的苍白的、薄薄的嘴唇。对米尔德丽德的回忆,犹如一个无骸的形体--一个要比人影丰富、充实得多的形体--每时每刻都在缠着他,不时地使他变得心猿意马,神思恍惚。

‘You’re very quiet today,’ Norah said.

  "你今天太沉默了,"诺拉说。

Her loquacity was a standing joke between them, and he answered:

  在他们两人之间,她的嘴碎话多总是老牌的笑把儿。他回答说:

‘You never let me get a word in, and I’ve got out of the habit of talking.’

  "你从来不让我有置喙的余地,因此,我已经没有讲话的习惯了。"

‘But you’re not listening, and that’s bad manners.’

  "但是,你也不在听我说话呀,这种态度可不好。"

He reddened a little, wondering whether she had some inkling of his secret; he turned away his eyes uneasily. The weight of her irked him this afternoon, and he did not want her to touch him.

  他脸微微发红,不禁怀疑起她对自己内心的隐秘是否有所觉察。他局促不安地移开自己的眼光。这天下午,诺拉身子的重量令人生厌,他不想让她碰到自己。

‘My foot’s gone to sleep,’ he said.

  "我的脚发麻了,"他说。

‘I’m so sorry,’ she cried, jumping up. ‘I shall have to bant if I can’t break myself of this habit of sitting on gentlemen’s knees.’

  "真对不起,"她叫喊了一声,从他腿上猛地跳了下来,"要是我改不掉这个坐在绅士们膝上的习惯,那就非得行减肥法不对罗!"

He went through an elaborate form of stamping his foot and walking about. Then he stood in front of the fire so that she should not resume her position. While she talked he thought that she was worth ten of Mildred; she amused him much more and was jollier to talk to; she was cleverer, and she had a much nicer nature. She was a good, brave, honest little woman; and Mildred, he thought bitterly, deserved none of these epithets. If he had any sense he would stick to Norah, she would make him much happier than he would ever be with Mildred: after all she loved him, and Mildred was only grateful for his help. But when all was said the important thing was to love rather than to be loved; and he yearned for Mildred with his whole soul. He would sooner have ten minutes with her than a whole afternoon with Norah, he prized one kiss of her cold lips more than all Norah could give him.

  菲利普煞有介事地在地板上跺跺脚,还绕着房间兜圈儿。然后,他站在壁炉跟前,这样她就无法再坐在他的腿上了。在她讲话的当儿,他认为诺拉要比米尔德丽德高强十倍,诺拉给他带来了更多的乐趣,同诺拉谈话时他心情更为愉快,她要比米尔德丽德聪颖得多,而且性情更为温柔。她是个贤淑、诚实、有胆有识的小妇人。而米尔德丽德呢?他痛苦地认为,这几个形容没有一个她是配的。倘若他还有理智的话,他应该矢志不渝地守着诺拉,她一定会使他感觉到比他同米尔德丽德在一起要幸福得。多:不管怎么说,诺拉对他是一往情深,而米尔德丽德却只是感激他的帮助而已。不过话得说回来,重要的还在于与其被人爱还不如去爱别人,他心心念念地思念着米尔德丽德。他宁可只同米尔德丽德呆上十分钟,也不愿同诺拉呆整整一个下午,他把在米尔德丽德冷冰冰的嘴唇上吻上一吻,看得要比吻遍诺拉全身更有价值。

‘I can’t help myself,’ he thought. ‘I’ve just got her in my bones.’

  "我简直不能自拔,"他暗自思忖着,"米尔德丽德可算是铭刻在我的心灵上了。"

He did not care if she was heartless, vicious and vulgar, stupid and grasping, he loved her. He would rather have misery with the one than happiness with the other.

  纵然她无心无肝、腐化堕落和俗不可耐,纵然她愚蠢无知、贪婪嗜欲,他都毫不在乎,还是爱恋着她。他宁可同这一个结合在一起过痛苦悲惨的日子,也不愿同那一个在一起共享鸾凤和鸣之乐。

When he got up to go Norah said casually:

  他站起来要走的时候,诺拉漫不经心地说:

‘Well, I shall see you tomorrow, shan’t I?’

  "嗯,我明天等你来,好吗?"

‘Yes,’ he answered.

  "好的,"他应了一声。

He knew that he would not be able to come, since he was going to help Mildred with her moving, but he had not the courage to say so. He made up his mind that he would send a wire. Mildred saw the rooms in the morning, was satisfied with them, and after luncheon Philip went up with her to Highbury. She had a trunk for her clothes and another for the various odds and ends, cushions, lampshades, photograph frames, with which she had tried to give the apartments a home-like air; she had two or three large cardboard boxes besides, but in all there was no more than could be put on the roof of a four-wheeler. As they drove through Victoria Street Philip sat well back in the cab in case Norah should happen to be passing. He had not had an opportunity to telegraph and could not do so from the post office in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, since she would wonder what he was doing in that neighbourhood; and if he was there he could have no excuse for not going into the neighbouring square where she lived. He made up his mind that he had better go in and see her for half an hour; but the necessity irritated him: he was angry with Norah, because she forced him to vulgar and degrading shifts. But he was happy to be with Mildred. It amused him to help her with the unpacking; and he experienced a charming sense of possession in installing her in these lodgings which he had found and was paying for. He would not let her exert herself. It was a pleasure to do things for her, and she had no desire to do what somebody else seemed desirous to do for her. He unpacked her clothes and put them away. She was not proposing to go out again, so he got her slippers and took off her boots. It delighted him to perform menial offices.

  他心里明白,翌日他要去帮米尔德丽德搬家,不能上这儿来了。可是,他没有勇气说出口。他决定给她打个电报来。米尔德丽德上午去看了那两个房间,颇为中意。中饭后,菲利普同她一道去海伯里。她有一只箱子用来盛放衣服,另一只箱子里装些零星杂物、坐垫、灯罩、相片镜框等等,她要用这些东西来把那套租赁的房间布置得像个家庭的模样。此外,她还有两三只硕大的硬纸板箱子。不过,这些物件全都叠放在四轮出租马车上,也没有碰到车顶。他们通过维多利亚大街时,菲利普蜷缩在马车的后座,以防万一被偶然路过这里的诺拉撞见。他没有得到打电报的机会,而电报也不能在沃克斯霍尔大桥路的邮政局里打,这会使诺拉对他在那条路上的行动产生怀疑。再说,要是他人在那儿,他就毫无借口不到近在咫尺的她的寓所所在的那个广场上。他决定最好还是花上半个小时,跑去看她一趟。然而,这件迫于情势不得不做的事,弄得他心烦意乱。他很生诺拉的气,因为正是她使自已变得如此庸俗卑下、失魂落魄。但是,同米尔德丽德呆在一起,他却感到心驰神荡。帮她打开行李时,他心里头有说不出的高兴;他为自己一手把米尔德丽德安顿在由他找到的并由他付房租的寓所里,心中荡漾着一种微妙的占有欲。他可舍不得让她累坏了身子。为她做点儿事是一种乐趣,而她自己却不愿做别人急欲替她做的事儿。他为她打开箱了,取出衣服摆在一边。见她不再提议外出,他便给她拿来拖鞋,并替她脱下靴子。他为自己代操奴件之役而感到由衷的高兴。

‘You do spoil me,’ she said, running her fingers affectionately through his hair, while he was on his knees unbuttoning her boots.

  当他双膝下跪替她解开靴子的揿钮时,米尔德丽德一边轻怜蜜爱地抚摩着他的头发,一边说,"你太娇惯找了。"

He took her hands and kissed them.

  他蓦地抓起她的双手吻了起来。

‘It is nipping to have you here.’

  "有你在这儿,真叫人感到愉快。"

He arranged the cushions and the photograph frames. She had several jars of green earthenware.

  他整理坐垫,摆好相片镜框。她还有几只绿色的陶瓶。

‘I’ll get you some flowers for them,’ he said.

  "我将给你弄些花来放在瓶里,"他说。

He looked round at his work proudly.

  他骄傲地环顾四周,打量着自己干的活儿。

‘As I’m not going out any more I think I’ll get into a tea-gown,’ she said. ‘Undo me behind, will you?’

  "我不准备出去了,我想我还是穿件宽松的女袍,"她说。"帮我从后面解开钮扣,好吗?"

She turned round as unconcernedly as though he were a woman. His sex meant nothing to her. But his heart was filled with gratitude for the intimacy her request showed. He undid the hooks and eyes with clumsy fingers.

  她毫无顾忌地转过身去,好像他也是个女人似的。他作为男性,对她说来,毫无吸引力。可是,她这句话所表达的亲昵劲儿,倒使得他心里充满了感激之情。他手指笨拙地解开扣子。

‘That first day I came into the shop I never thought I’d be doing this for you now,’ he said, with a laugh which he forced.

  "在第一次走进那爿店的那天,我可没想到今天会来给你做这种事情,"菲利普强颜欢笑地说。

‘Somebody must do it,’ she answered.

  "总要有人做这件事的,"米尔德丽德回答了一句。

She went into the bed-room and slipped into a pale blue tea-gown decorated with a great deal of cheap lace. Then Philip settled her on a sofa and made tea for her.

  她走进卧室,套了件镶满廉价花边的天蓝色宽松女袍。然后,菲利普把她抱进一张沙发里,并去替她沏茶。

‘I’m afraid I can’t stay and have it with you,’ he said regretfully. ‘I’ve got a beastly appointment. But I shall be back in half an hour.’

  "恐怕我不能在这儿同你一起用茶了,"他不无遗憾地说,"我有一个十分讨厌的约会。不过半个钟头以后我就回来。"

He wondered what he should say if she asked him what the appointment was, but she showed no curiosity. He had ordered dinner for the two of them when he took the rooms, and proposed to spend the evening with her quietly. He was in such a hurry to get back that he took a tram along the Vauxhall Bridge Road. He thought he had better break the fact to Norah at once that he could not stay more than a few minutes.

  要是她问起是什么样的约会,他还真不知道怎么回答呢!不过,她并没有流露出一点儿好奇心。他在租赁房间的时候,就预先订了两人的饭菜,并提出要同她一道安安稳稳地过个黄昏。他心里急着要赶回来,所以他便搭乘电车走沃克斯霍尔大桥路。他想不如索性对诺拉讲明他只能呆几分钟。

‘I say, I’ve got only just time to say how d’you do,’ he said, as soon as he got into her rooms. ‘I’m frightfully busy.’

  "喂,我只有向你问声好的时间,"他脚刚跨进诺拉的房间,就哇啦地说开了。"我忙得要死。"

Her face fell.

  诺拉听后把脸一沉。

‘Why, what’s the matter?’

  "哎唷,怎么啦?"

It exasperated him that she should force him to tell lies, and he knew that he reddened when he answered that there was a demonstration at the hospital which he was bound to go to. He fancied that she looked as though she did not believe him, and this irritated him all the more.

  他对诺拉居然逼着他说谎非常恼怒。他回答说医院里在举行示威,他一定得参加。就在说话的当儿,他自觉脸红了。他想她脸上显现出不相信他的神情,这使得他更为恼火。

‘Oh, well, it doesn’t matter,’ she said. ‘I shall have you all tomorrow.’

  "哦,好的,这没关系,"诺拉说,"明天一天你得呆在我这儿。"

He looked at her blankly. It was Sunday, and he had been looking forward to spending the day with Mildred. He told himself that he must do that in common decency; he could not leave her by herself in a strange house.

  菲利普毫无表情地望着她。翌日是星期天,他一直想在这一天同米尔德丽德呆在一起。他对自己说,就是出于起码的礼貌,他也应该那样做,总不能把她孤零零一个人扔在一间陌生的屋子里呀!

‘I’m awfully sorry, I’m engaged tomorrow.’

  "实在对不起,明天我有约会。"

He knew this was the beginning of a scene which he would have given anything to avoid. The colour on Norah’s cheeks grew brighter.

  他知道这是一场他千方百计要避免的争吵的开始。诺拉的脸涨得更红了。

‘But I’ve asked the Gordons to lunch’—they were an actor and his wife who were touring the provinces and in London for Sunday—‘I told you about it a week ago.’

  "可是,我已经邀请戈登夫妇来吃中饭"--演员戈登偕同妻子正在外省游览,星期日要在伦敦过--"这事我一周前就告诉你了。"

‘I’m awfully sorry, I forgot.’ He hesitated. ‘I’m afraid I can’t possibly come. Isn’t there somebody else you can get?’

  "实在对不起,我忘了,"他嗫嚅道。"我恐怕十有八九不能来。你就不能另请旁人吗?"

‘What are you doing tomorrow then?’

  "那你明天干什么去?"

‘I wish you wouldn’t cross-examine me.’

  "我希望你不要盘问我。"

‘Don’t you want to tell me?’

  "难道你真的不想告诉我吗?"

‘I don’t in the least mind telling you, but it’s rather annoying to be forced to account for all one’s movements.’

  "我还不至于不愿告诉你,不过硬逼着一个人讲自己的行踪,这也太恼人了!"

Norah suddenly changed. With an effort of self-control she got the better of her temper, and going up to him took his hands.

  眨眼间,诺拉换了另外一副脸孔。她极力克制着不让自己发脾气,走到菲利普的跟前,拉起他的手。

‘Don’t disappoint me tomorrow, Philip, I’ve been looking forward so much to spending the day with you. The Gordons want to see you, and we’ll have such a jolly time.’

  "明天别让我失望,菲利普,我一直殷切地期望着能同你在一起过个星期天。戈登夫妇想见见你,我们一定会玩得很快乐。"

‘I’d love to if I could.’

  "要是能来,我倒是极想来的。"

‘I’m not very exacting, am I? I don’t often ask you to do anything that’s a bother. Won’t you get out of your horrid engagement—just this once?’

  "我待人不算太苛刻,对不?我不是常常找你的麻烦的。你不能不赴那个讨厌的约会吗?就这一次好吗?"

‘I’m awfully sorry, I don’t see how I can,’ he replied sullenly.

  "实在对不起,我认为我不能这么做,"菲利普冷冷地回答说。

‘Tell me what it is,’ she said coaxingly.

  "告诉我这是什么样的约会,"她带着哄孩子似的口吻说道。

He had had time to invent something. ‘Griffiths’ two sisters are up for the week-end and we’re taking them out.’

  菲利普抓紧时间编造了个理由。

‘Is that all?’ she said joyfully. ‘Griffiths can so easily get another man.’

  "格里菲思的两位妹妹要来度周末,我们俩要带她们出去玩玩。"

He wished he had thought of something more urgent than that. It was a clumsy lie.

  "就这些吗?"她高兴地说道。"格里菲思很容易就可以找到另一个人嘛!"

‘No, I’m awfully sorry, I can’t—I’ve promised and I mean to keep my promise.’

  他希望能想出个比上面所说的更为紧迫的事儿来。那个借口太拙劣了。

‘But you promised me too. Surely I come first.’

  "不,实在对不起,我不能--我已经答应了,我就得信守诺言。"

‘I wish you wouldn’t persist,’ he said.

  "可是,你也曾答应过我的。完全可以肯定,是我首先提出来的。"

She flared up.

  "我希望你不要坚持了,"菲利普说。

‘You won’t come because you don’t want to. I don’t know what you’ve been doing the last few days, you’ve been quite different.’

  诺拉勃然大怒。

He looked at his watch.

  "你是不想来,所以才不来的。不知你前些日子在干些什么勾当,你完全变了。"

‘I’m afraid I’ll have to be going,’ he said.

  菲利普看了看自己的手表。

‘You won’t come tomorrow?’

  "恐怕我一定得走了,"他说。

‘No.’

  "你明天不来吗?"

‘In that case you needn’t trouble to come again,’ she cried, losing her temper for good.

  "不来。"

‘That’s just as you like,’ he answered.

  "这么说,不必再劳驾光临了,"她叫嚷着,这下可大动肝火了。

‘Don’t let me detain you any longer,’ she added ironically.

  "随你的便,"他回敬了一句。

He shrugged his shoulders and walked out. He was relieved that it had gone no worse. There had been no tears. As he walked along he congratulated himself on getting out of the affair so easily. He went into Victoria Street and bought a few flowers to take in to Mildred.

  "别再让我耽搁你了,"她挖苦地补了一句。

The little dinner was a great success. Philip had sent in a small pot of caviare, which he knew she was very fond of, and the landlady brought them up some cutlets with vegetables and a sweet. Philip had ordered Burgundy, which was her favourite wine. With the curtains drawn, a bright fire, and one of Mildred’s shades on the lamp, the room was cosy.

  菲利普耸了耸肩膀,走出屋外。他感到如释重负,事情总算还不环。还没有出现涕泗滂沱的场面。一路上,他因这么容易就摆脱那桩事情而额手庆幸。他走进维多利亚大街,买了几束鲜花带给米尔德丽德。

‘It’s really just like home,’ smiled Philip.

  这个小型便宴进行得十分成功。菲利普早先送来了一小罐鱼子酱,他知道米尔德丽德就爱吃这种东西。房东太太给他俩端上来几块炸肉排、蔬菜和一道甜食。菲利普还订了她最爱喝的红葡萄酒。帷幕敞开,炉火熊熊,灯泡安上了米尔德丽德的灯罩,房间里弥漫着舒适惬意的气息。

‘I might be worse off, mightn’t I?’ she answered.

  "这儿真像是一个家,"菲利普满面春风地说。

When they finished, Philip drew two arm-chairs in front of the fire, and they sat down. He smoked his pipe comfortably. He felt happy and generous.

  "兴许我会变得更加不幸,会吗?"她回答道。

‘What would you like to do tomorrow?’ he asked.

  吃完饭,菲利普把两张安乐椅拉到壁炉前。他俩坐在上面歇息。他悠然自得抽着烟斗,感到心旷神怡。

‘Oh, I’m going to Tulse Hill. You remember the manageress at the shop, well, she’s married now, and she’s asked me to go and spend the day with her. Of course she thinks I’m married too.’

  "明天你要做什么呢?"他问米尔德丽德说。

Philip’s heart sank.

  "喔,我要到图尔斯山去。你记得那爿店里的女经理吗?嘿,她现在已经结婚了,她邀请我去同她在一起过星期天。当然罗,她想我现在也结婚了。"

‘But I refused an invitation so that I might spend Sunday with you.’

  菲利普听后垂头丧气。

He thought that if she loved him she would say that in that case she would stay with him. He knew very well that Norah would not have hesitated.

  "可是,为了能同你在一起过星期天,我还谢绝了一张请柬呢。"

‘Well, you were a silly to do that. I’ve promised to go for three weeks and more.’

  他想,米尔德丽德要是爱他的话,一定会说那就同他在一起吧。

‘But how can you go alone?’

  菲利普心里明白,诺拉碰上这种情况是决不会犹豫的。

‘Oh, I shall say that Emil’s away on business. Her husband’s in the glove trade, and he’s a very superior fellow.’

  "唔,你这个笨瓜竟干出这号事来。三个星期前,我就答应她了。"

Philip was silent, and bitter feelings passed through his heart. She gave him a sidelong glance.

  "但是,你一个人怎么去呢?"

‘You don’t grudge me a little pleasure, Philip? You see, it’s the last time I shall be able to go anywhere for I don’t know how long, and I had promised.’

  "哦,我会说埃米尔外出办事了。她的丈夫是干手帕行当的,他是个态度非常傲慢的家伙。"

He took her hand and smiled.

  菲利普默然不语,一股难过的感情涌上了心头。米尔德丽德凝睇着他。

‘No, darling, I want you to have the best time you can. I only want you to be happy.’

  "你不会连这一点儿乐趣都不给我吧,菲利普?你是知道的,这是我能够出去走走的最后一个机会了,还不知要隔多久才会再有这种机会呐。况且这是我早讲定了的。"

There was a little book bound in blue paper lying open, face downwards, on the sofa, and Philip idly took it up. It was a twopenny novelette, and the author was Courtenay Paget. That was the name under which Norah wrote.

  他拿起她的手,笑着对她说:

‘I do like his books,’ said Mildred. ‘I read them all. They’re so refined.’

  "不,亲爱的,我要你去痛痛快快地玩上一玩。我只是想让你感到愉快。"

He remembered what Norah had said of herself.

  一本用蓝纸包着的小书打开着,书页朝下地躺在沙发上,菲利普懒懒地把它拿了起来。这是一本定价两便士的中篇小说,其作者是科特纳·帕各特。这就是诺拉写书时用的笔名。

‘I have an immense popularity among kitchen-maids. They think me so genteel.’

  "我非常喜欢看他写的书,"米尔德丽德说,"凡是他写的书我都看,写得太美了。"

  他仍然记得诺拉对她自己的评价。

  "我在那些帮厨的女工里面享有盛誉。她们都认为我颇有绅士风度。"