Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘It’s the simplest thing in the world to have an affair with a woman, he remarked sententiously, ‘but it’s a devil of a nuisance to get out of it.’

  "同一个女人谈情说爱,这是世上最容易的事儿了,"他故作庄重地说,"可是,要斩断绵绵情丝却令人十分生厌。"

Philip felt a little inclined to pat himself on the back for his skill in managing the business. At all events he was immensely relieved. He thought of Mildred enjoying herself in Tulse Hill, and he found in himself a real satisfaction because she was happy. It was an act of self-sacrifice on his part that he did not grudge her pleasure even though paid for by his own disappointment, and it filled his heart with a comfortable glow.

  菲利普对自己如此巧妙地摆脱了干系,颇有些沾沾自喜的味儿。不管怎么说,他现在可是心安理得了。一想起米尔德丽德在图尔斯山过得很愉快,他为她的幸福而的的确确感到心满意足。尽管他自己深感失望,但还是没有掠人之美,这对他来说,完全是一种自我牺牲的行为,也正是这一点使得他内心充满了喜悦。

But on Monday morning he found on his table a letter from Norah. She wrote:

  但在星期一早晨,菲利普发觉桌子上赫然躺着一封来自诺拉的信,信上写着:

Dearest,

最亲爱的:

I’m sorry I was cross on Saturday. Forgive me and come to tea in the afternoon as usual. I love you.

  星期六那天,我大发脾气,实感抱歉,望能谅察。请同往常一样于下午来用茶点。我爱你。

Your Norah.

你的诺拉

His heart sank, and he did not know what to do. He took the note to Griffiths and showed it to him.

  菲利普神情沮丧,茫然不知所措。他走到格里菲思的跟前,把这封信递了过去。

‘You’d better leave it unanswered,’ said he.

  "你还是不写回信的好,"格里菲思说。

‘Oh, I can’t,’ cried Philip. ‘I should be miserable if I thought of her waiting and waiting. You don’t know what it is to be sick for the postman’s knock. I do, and I can’t expose anybody else to that torture.’

  "喔,我可不能这样,"菲利普嚷道。"要是我想起她老是在盼我的回信,我心里会很不好受的。你可不知道等待邮递员的叩门声是啥滋味,我可算是有体会的了。我决不能让人家也忍受这种折磨。"

‘My dear fellow, one can’t break that sort of affair off without somebody suffering. You must just set your teeth to that. One thing is, it doesn’t last very long.’

  "老兄,一个人要断绝这种关系,又要不让人感到难过,这是不成的。干那号事,你得咬紧牙关。要知道,那种痛苦是不会持续多久的。"

Philip felt that Norah had not deserved that he should make her suffer; and what did Griffiths know about the degrees of anguish she was capable of? He remembered his own pain when Mildred had told him she was going to be married. He did not want anyone to experience what he had experienced then.

  菲利普重新坐了下来,挥笔写了下面这封信:

‘If you’re so anxious not to give her pain, go back to her,’ said Griffiths.

亲爱的诺拉:

‘I can’t do that.’

  使你感到不愉快,我深感内疚。不过,我想我们俩还是让事情停留在星期六那种地步为好。我认为,既然事情已毫无乐趣可言,那么,再让它继续下去又有什么意义呢?你叫我走开,我就走了。我不存回去的奢望。再见。

He got up and walked up and down the room nervously. He was angry with Norah because she had not let the matter rest. She must have seen that he had no more love to give her. They said women were so quick at seeing those things.

   菲利普·凯里

‘You might help me,’ he said to Griffiths.

  他把信拿给格里菲思看,并征求他的意见。格里菲思读完后,闪动着晶莹的眼光注视着菲利普。他心里究竟怎么想的,却只字未吐。

‘My dear fellow, don’t make such a fuss about it. People do get over these things, you know. She probably isn’t so wrapped up in you as you think, either. One’s always rather apt to exaggerate the passion one’s inspired other people with.’

  "我认为这封信定能奏效,"他说。

He paused and looked at Philip with amusement.

  菲利普出去把信寄走了。一上午,他过得很不舒畅,一直在推测着诺拉接信后感情变化的细枝末节。他为诺拉可能要掉泪的念头所苦恼。但是在这同时,他又感到轻松。想象中的痛苦总是要比目睹的痛苦来得容易忍受,何况他眼下可以无拘无束地、情思专一地爱着米尔德丽德了。医院下班时,想到那天下午要去看望米尔德丽德,他的心几乎要跳出胸腔。

‘Look here, there’s only one thing you can do. Write to her, and tell her the thing’s over. Put it so that there can be no mistake about it. It’ll hurt her, but it’ll hurt her less if you do the thing brutally than if you try half-hearted ways.’

  跟往常一样,他回到自己房间梳理一下。他刚把钥匙塞进门上的锁眼,突然从身后传来一个人的说话声。

Philip sat down and wrote the following letter:

  "我可以进来吗?我已经等了你半个小时了。"

My dear Norah,

  这是诺拉的声音。他顿觉自己的脸刷地红到了耳根。她说话时,声调欢快,没有一丝怨恨,从中听不出可资证明他俩双方龃龉的端倪。他觉得自己无地自容。他既害怕又厌恶,但还竭力装出一副笑脸。

I am sorry to make you unhappy, but I think we had better let things remain where we left them on Saturday. I don’t think there’s any use in letting these things drag on when they’ve ceased to be amusing. You told me to go and I went. I do not propose to come back. Good-bye.

  "可以,请进吧,"他说。

Philip Carey.

  菲利普把门打开,诺拉在他头里走进起居间。他心中忐忑不安,为使自己镇静下来,他递给诺拉一支烟,同时自己也点了一支。诺拉神采奕奕地凝望着他。

He showed the letter to Griffiths and asked him what he thought of it. Griffiths read it and looked at Philip with twinkling eyes. He did not say what he felt.

  "你这个淘气鬼,为什么要给我写来这么一封可怕的信?我要是拿它当真的话,它足以使我感到痛心疾首。"

‘I think that’ll do the trick,’ he said.

  "这封信决不是闹着玩的,"他神情抑郁地回答道。

Philip went out and posted it. He passed an uncomfortable morning, for he imagined with great detail what Norah would feel when she received his letter. He tortured himself with the thought of her tears. But at the same time he was relieved. Imagined grief was more easy to bear than grief seen, and he was free now to love Mildred with all his soul. His heart leaped at the thought of going to see her that afternoon, when his day’s work at the hospital was over.

  "别这么傻里傻气的。那天我是发了脾气,可是我写了信,道了歉。你还不满意,喏,今天我又上门请罪来了。归根结蒂,你是独立自主的,我无权对你提出任何要求。我决不要你做你不愿意做的事情。"

When as usual he went back to his rooms to tidy himself, he had no sooner put the latch-key in his door than he heard a voice behind him.

  她从椅子里站起来,两手张着,感情冲动地朝菲利普走来。

‘May I come in? I’ve been waiting for you for half an hour.’

  "让我们言归于好吧,菲利普。要是我触犯了你,我感到难过。"

It was Norah. He felt himself blush to the roots of his hair. She spoke gaily. There was no trace of resentment in her voice and nothing to indicate that there was a rupture between them. He felt himself cornered. He was sick with fear, but he did his best to smile.

  他不能不让她握住自己的双手,但是他不敢正视她。

‘Yes, do,’ he said.

  "恐怕现在太迟了。"他说。

He opened the door, and she preceded him into his sitting-room. He was nervous and, to give himself countenance, offered her a cigarette and lit one for himself. She looked at him brightly.

  她一屁股坐在他腿旁的地板上,抱住了他的双腿。

‘Why did you write me such a horrid letter, you naughty boy? If I’d taken it seriously it would have made me perfectly wretched.’

  "菲利普,别傻!我性情急躁,我知道是我伤害了你的感情,不过为了这一点就生气,那也太傻了。弄得大家都不开心,这又有什么好处呢?我们的友谊是多么令人愉快啊。"她的手指缓慢地抚摩着他的手。"我爱你,菲利普。"

‘It was meant seriously,’ he answered gravely.

  他站起身子,躲开她,走到房间的另一端。

‘Don’t be so silly. I lost my temper the other day, and I wrote and apologised. You weren’t satisfied, so I’ve come here to apologise again. After all, you’re your own master and I have no claims upon you. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to.’

  "实在抱歉,我无能为力。整个事情就此完结。"

She got up from the chair in which she was sitting and went towards him impulsively, with outstretched hands.

  "你的意思是说你不再爱我了?"

‘Let’s make friends again, Philip. I’m so sorry if I offended you.’

  "恐怕是的。"

He could not prevent her from taking his hands, but he could not look at her.

  "你是在找个机会把我抛弃掉,而你就抓住了那件事,是不是?"

‘I’m afraid it’s too late,’ he said.

  他默不作声。她两眼直勾勾地盯视了他一会儿,看上去她已到了妨无可忍的地步。她还是坐在原地不动,背靠着安乐椅。她无声地哭着,也不用双手蒙住脸面,豆大的泪珠一颗颗顺着她的面颊滚落下来。她没有抽泣。看到她这种样子,令人不觉悚然,痛苦万分。菲利普转过身去。

She let herself down on the floor by his side and clasped his knees.

  "我伤了你的心,实在对不起。就是我不爱你,这也不是我的过错。"

‘Philip, don’t be silly. I’m quick-tempered too and I can understand that I hurt you, but it’s so stupid to sulk over it. What’s the good of making us both unhappy? It’s been so jolly, our friendship.’ She passed her fingers slowly over his hand. ‘I love you, Philip.’

  她默默无言。她似乎不胜悲切,只是木然地呆坐着,眼泪不住地顺着面颊流淌。要是她声色俱厉地呵斥他,他也许好受些。菲利普想诺拉脾气上来时会控制不住自己,而且他也准备她来这么一着。在思想深处,他,觉得干脆大吵一场,两人都用刻毒的语言咒骂对方,在一定程度上,还能证明自己的行为是无咎的。时光匆匆流逝。最后他看到她无声地哭着而变得惊慌起来。他走进卧室,倒了杯水来,朝着诺拉俯下身去。

He got up, disengaging himself from her, and went to the other side of the room.

  "你不喝点儿水吗?喝了,心里要好受些。"

‘I’m awfully sorry, I can’t do anything. The whole thing’s over.’

  她嘴唇设精打采地伸向杯子,喝了两三口水。然后她精神倦怠地、轻声地向菲利普讨了块手帕。她擦干了眼泪。

‘D’you mean to say you don’t love me any more?’

  "自然,我早就知道你从来就没有像我爱你那样爱过我,"她呻吟地一说。

‘I’m afraid so.’

  "恐怕事情往往就是如此,"他说,"总是有人去爱别人,也总是有人被别人爱。"

‘You were just looking for an opportunity to throw me over and you took that one?’

  他想起了米尔德丽德,一阵剧痛袭上心头。诺拉沉默了好一会儿。

He did not answer. She looked at him steadily for a time which seemed intolerable. She was sitting on the floor where he had left her, leaning against the arm-chair. She began to cry quite silently, without trying to hide her face, and the large tears rolled down her cheeks one after the other. She did not sob. It was horribly painful to see her. Philip turned away.

  "我总是那么悲惨不幸,我的一生又是那么的可恨,"她最后说。

‘I’m awfully sorry to hurt you. It’s not my fault if I don’t love you.’

  这话诺拉并不是对菲利普,而是对她自己说的。以往,他可从来没有听到她埋怨过她同丈夫在一起的生活,也没有听到她诅咒过穷困的境况。他过去总是非常钦佩她敢于正视世界的凛然态度。

She did not answer. She merely sat there, as though she were overwhelmed, and the tears flowed down her cheeks. It would have been easier to bear if she had reproached him. He had thought her temper would get the better of her, and he was prepared for that. At the back of his mind was a feeling that a real quarrel, in which each said to the other cruel things, would in some way be a justification of his behaviour. The time passed. At last he grew frightened by her silent crying; he went into his bed-room and got a glass of water; he leaned over her.

  "后来,你同我邂逅相逢,而且又对我那么好。我钦佩你,是因为你聪明,再说,找到了一个自己信得过的人,这有多可贵啊。我爱过你。但万万没料到会有如此结局,而且我一点儿过错都没有。"

‘Won’t you drink a little? It’ll relieve you.’

  她又淌下了眼泪,不过此时她较能控制住自己,用菲利普的手帕蒙住自己的脸。她极力克制住自己的情感。

She put her lips listlessly to the glass and drank two or three mouthfuls. Then in an exhausted whisper she asked him for a handkerchief. She dried her eyes.

  "再给我些水喝,"她说。

‘Of course I knew you never loved me as much as I loved you,’ she moaned.

  她擦了擦眼睛。

‘I’m afraid that’s always the case,’ he said. ‘There’s always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.’

  "抱歉,我竟做出这种蠢事来。我是一点思想准备也没有啊。"

He thought of Mildred, and a bitter pain traversed his heart. Norah did not answer for a long time.

  "太对不起你了,诺拉。我想叫你知道的是,我非常感激你为我所做的一切

‘I’d been so miserably unhappy, and my life was so hateful,’ she said at last.

  他不知道诺拉究竟看中了他什么。

She did not speak to him, but to herself. He had never heard her before complain of the life she had led with her husband or of her poverty. He had always admired the bold front she displayed to the world.

  "唉,事情全是一个样,"她叹息地说,"倘若要男人们待你好,你就得待他们狠;要是待他们好,他们就给你罪受。"

‘And then you came along and you were so good to me. And I admired you because you were clever and it was so heavenly to have someone I could put my trust in. I loved you. I never thought it could come to an end. And without any fault of mine at all.’

  诺拉从地板上站起来要走,她向菲利普投来长长的、沉静的一瞥,接着是一阵欷瞒叹息声。

Her tears began to flow again, but now she was more mistress of herself, and she hid her face in Philip’s handkerchief. She tried hard to control herself.

  "太莫名其妙了。这一切究竟是什么意思?"

‘Give me some more water,’ she said.

  菲利普突然打定了主意。

She wiped her eyes.

  "我想我还是告诉你,我不想让你把我看得太坏了,你是我的话,也是没有办法的啊。米尔德丽德已经回来了。"

‘I’m sorry to make such a fool of myself. I was so unprepared.’

  诺拉涨红了脸。

‘I’m awfully sorry, Norah. I want you to know that I’m very grateful for all you’ve done for me.’

  "你为什么不立刻告诉我?我是当然应该知道的。"

He wondered what it was she saw in him.

  "我不敢讲。"

‘Oh, it’s always the same,’ she sighed, ‘if you want men to behave well to you, you must be beastly to them; if you treat them decently they make you suffer for it.’

  她对着镜子端详自己,把帽子戴正。

She got up from the floor and said she must go. She gave Philip a long, steady look. Then she sighed.

  "劳驾叫辆出租马车,"她说,"我实在走不动了。"

‘It’s so inexplicable. What does it all mean?’

  菲利普走到门口,叫住一辆路过的双轮双座马车。当她跟随他走到街上时,他发现她脸色非常苍白,不禁吃了一惊。她的步履沉重,好像转眼间变得苍老了似的。看到她的病容,他不忍心让她独自一人回去。

Philip took a sudden determination.

  "要是你不反对的话,我陪你回去。"

‘I think I’d better tell you, I don’t want you to think too badly of me, I want you to see that I can’t help myself. Mildred’s come back.’

  见她不置可否,他便坐进了马车。他们默默地驶过大桥,穿过几条穷街陋巷,孩子们尖声匐喝着在马路上戏耍。马车来到诺拉寓所门前时,她没有立刻走出车子,看上去她似乎不能聚集足够的气力来挪动步子。

The colour came to her face.

  "我希望你原谅我,诺拉,"菲利普说。

‘Why didn’t you tell me at once? I deserved that surely.’

  她把眼睛转向菲利普。此时他发觉那双眼睛又闪烁着晶莹的泪花,但是她还极力使自己的嘴角露出一丝笑意。

‘I was afraid to.’

  "可怜的人!你太为我担忧了、你不必费心。我不怪你。我会好起来的。"

She looked at herself in the glass and set her hat straight.

  她轻轻地、敏捷地抚摸他的脸,以表示她对他不怀怨恨之心,这一动作仅仅起点暗示的作用,如此而已。然后,她跳下马车,头也不回地走进屋去。

‘Will you call me a cab,’ she said. ‘I don’t feel I can walk.’

  菲利普付了车资后,便朝米尔德丽德的寓所走去。他怀有一种莫名其妙的沉重心情,真想把自己臭骂一顿。但是,为什么呢?他不知道他还能做些什么。路过一爿水果店时,他记起了米尔德丽德喜欢吃葡萄。他非常感激自己能够通过回忆记起她的每一种嗜好来表达对她的爱慕之情。

He went to the door and stopped a passing hansom; but when she followed him into the street he was startled to see how white she was. There was a heaviness in her movements as though she had suddenly grown older. She looked so ill that he had not the heart to let her go alone.

‘I’ll drive back with you if you don’t mind.’

She did not answer, and he got into the cab. They drove along in silence over the bridge, through shabby streets in which children, with shrill cries, played in the road. When they arrived at her door she did not immediately get out. It seemed as though she could not summon enough strength to her legs to move.

‘I hope you’ll forgive me, Norah,’ he said.

She turned her eyes towards him, and he saw that they were bright again with tears, but she forced a smile to her lips.

‘Poor fellow, you’re quite worried about me. You mustn’t bother. I don’t blame you. I shall get over it all right.’

Lightly and quickly she stroked his face to show him that she bore no ill-feeling, the gesture was scarcely more than suggested; then she jumped out of the cab and let herself into her house.

Philip paid the hansom and walked to Mildred’s lodgings. There was a curious heaviness in his heart. He was inclined to reproach himself. But why? He did not know what else he could have done. Passing a fruiterer’s, he remembered that Mildred was fond of grapes. He was so grateful that he could show his love for her by recollecting every whim she had.