Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

Philip attended now lectures on medicine and on surgery. On certain mornings in the week he practised bandaging on out-patients glad to earn a little money, and he was taught auscultation and how to use the stethoscope. He learned dispensing. He was taking the examination in Materia Medica in July, and it amused him to play with various drugs, concocting mixtures, rolling pills, and making ointments. He seized avidly upon anything from which he could extract a suggestion of human interest.

  菲利普眼下在学有关内科和外科的课程。一周中有几个上午,他去为门诊病人包扎伤口,乐得借此机会赚几个外快,他还在医生的教授下学习使用听诊器给病人听诊的方法。他学会了配约方。他即将参加七月举行的药物学考试,他觉得在同各种各样药物打交道、调制药水、卷包药丸以及配制药膏中间自有一番乐趣。无论什么事,只要从中能领略得一丝人生的情趣,菲利普无不劲头十足地去做。

He saw Griffiths once in the distance, but, not to have the pain of cutting him dead, avoided him. Philip had felt a certain self-consciousness with Griffiths’ friends, some of whom were now friends of his, when he realised they knew of his quarrel with Griffiths and surmised they were aware of the reason. One of them, a very tall fellow, with a small head and a languid air, a youth called Ramsden, who was one of Griffiths’ most faithful admirers, copied his ties, his boots, his manner of talking and his gestures, told Philip that Griffiths was very much hurt because Philip had not answered his letter. He wanted to be reconciled with him.

  一次,菲利普远远地瞥见格里菲思,但没同他打照面,因为他不愿忍受见面时装着不认识他而带来的痛苦。菲利普意识到格里菲思的朋友们知道了他们俩之间的纷争,并推测他们是了解纷争的原委的,因此菲利普在格里菲思的朋友们面前感到有些儿不自然。其中有些人甚至现在也成了他的朋友。他们中间有位名叫拉姆斯登的青年人,此人身材修长,长着个小脑袋,整天没精打采的,是格里菲思最虔诚的崇拜者之一。格里菲思系什么样的领带他也系,格里菲思穿什么样的靴子他也穿,还模仿格里非思的谈吐和手势。他告诉菲利普说,格里菲思因菲利普没有回信而伤心透了。格里菲思想同菲利普重修旧好。

‘Has he asked you to give me the message?’ asked Philip.

  "是他请你来当说客的吗?"菲利普问道。

‘Oh, no. I’m saying this entirely on my own,’ said Ramsden. ‘He’s awfully sorry for what he did, and he says you always behaved like a perfect brick to him. I know he’d be glad to make it up. He doesn’t come to the hospital because he’s afraid of meeting you, and he thinks you’d cut him.’

  "喔,不是的,我这么说完全是自己的主意,"拉姆斯登回答说。"他为自己所干的事情感到心里很过意不去。他说你以往待他一直很好。我知道他非常想同你和好。他不上医院来是怕碰见你,他认为你会不理睬他的。

‘I should.’

  "我应该如此。"

‘It makes him feel rather wretched, you know.’

  "要知道,这件事弄得他心里难过极了。"

‘I can bear the trifling inconvenience that he feels with a good deal of fortitude,’ said Philip.

  "我能忍受格里菲思得以极大的毅力才能忍受的这点小小的不便。"

‘He’ll do anything he can to make it up.’

  "他将尽自己的一切努力来求得和解。"

‘How childish and hysterical! Why should he care? I’m a very insignificant person, and he can do very well without my company. I’m not interested in him any more.’

  "那也太孩子气、太歇斯底里了!他干吗要这样呢?我不过是个微不足道的小人物,没有我他日子照样可以过得非常好嘛!我对他丝毫不感兴趣。"

Ramsden thought Philip hard and cold. He paused for a moment or two, looking about him in a perplexed way.

  拉姆斯登心想菲利普这个人也太冷酷了,他顿了一两分钟,迷惑不解地用目光打量着四周。

‘Harry wishes to God he’d never had anything to do with the woman.’

  "哈利向上帝祈祷,但愿他同那个女人没什么瓜葛就好了!"

‘Does he?’ asked Philip.

  "是吗?"菲利普问了一声。

He spoke with an indifference which he was satisfied with. No one could have guessed how violently his heart was beating. He waited impatiently for Ramsden to go on.

  他说话时语气冷淡。对此,他还挺感满意的哩。可谁又能想到此时他那颗心在胸膛里剧烈地跳荡着呢。他不耐烦地等待着拉姆斯登的下文。

‘I suppose you’ve quite got over it now, haven’t you?’

  "我想你差不多把这件苦恼的事儿给忘了,是不?"

‘I?’ said Philip. ‘Quite.’

  "我?"菲利普答道。"是差不多全忘了。"

Little by little he discovered the history of Mildred’s relations with Griffiths. He listened with a smile on his lips, feigning an equanimity which quite deceived the dull-witted boy who talked to him. The week-end she spent with Griffiths at Oxford inflamed rather than extinguished her sudden passion; and when Griffiths went home, with a feeling that was unexpected in her she determined to stay in Oxford by herself for a couple of days, because she had been so happy in it. She felt that nothing could induce her to go back to Philip. He revolted her. Griffiths was taken aback at the fire he had aroused, for he had found his two days with her in the country somewhat tedious; and he had no desire to turn an amusing episode into a tiresome affair. She made him promise to write to her, and, being an honest, decent fellow, with natural politeness and a desire to make himself pleasant to everybody, when he got home he wrote her a long and charming letter. She answered it with reams of passion, clumsy, for she had no gift of expression, ill-written, and vulgar; the letter bored him, and when it was followed next day by another, and the day after by a third, he began to think her love no longer flattering but alarming. He did not answer; and she bombarded him with telegrams, asking him if he were ill and had received her letters; she said his silence made her dreadfully anxious. He was forced to write, but he sought to make his reply as casual as was possible without being offensive: he begged her not to wire, since it was difficult to explain telegrams to his mother, an old-fashioned person for whom a telegram was still an event to excite tremor. She answered by return of post that she must see him and announced her intention to pawn things (she had the dressing-case which Philip had given her as a wedding-present and could raise eight pounds on that) in order to come up and stay at the market town four miles from which was the village in which his father practised. This frightened Griffiths; and he, this time, made use of the telegraph wires to tell her that she must do nothing of the kind. He promised to let her know the moment he came up to London, and, when he did, found that she had already been asking for him at the hospital at which he had an appointment. He did not like this, and, on seeing her, told Mildred that she was not to come there on any pretext; and now, after an absence of three weeks, he found that she bored him quite decidedly; he wondered why he had ever troubled about her, and made up his mind to break with her as soon as he could. He was a person who dreaded quarrels, nor did he want to give pain; but at the same time he had other things to do, and he was quite determined not to let Mildred bother him. When he met her he was pleasant, cheerful, amusing, affectionate; he invented convincing excuses for the interval since last he had seen her; but he did everything he could to avoid her. When she forced him to make appointments he sent telegrams to her at the last moment to put himself off; and his landlady (the first three months of his appointment he was spending in rooms) had orders to say he was out when Mildred called. She would waylay him in the street and, knowing she had been waiting about for him to come out of the hospital for a couple of hours, he would give her a few charming, friendly words and bolt off with the excuse that he had a business engagement. He grew very skilful in slipping out of the hospital unseen. Once, when he went back to his lodgings at midnight, he saw a woman standing at the area railings and suspecting who it was went to beg a shake-down in Ramsden’s rooms; next day the landlady told him that Mildred had sat crying on the doorsteps for hours, and she had been obliged to tell her at last that if she did not go away she would send for a policeman.

  菲利普一点一滴地摸清了米尔德丽德同格里菲思之间的纠葛的来龙去脉。他嘴边挂着微笑,默默地谛听着,装出一副若无其事的样子,骗过了在跟他说话的那个蠢汉。米尔德丽德同格里菲思在牛津度过了周末,非但没有浇灭反而燃起了她那勃勃情火。因此,当格里菲思动身回乡之际,她突然心血来潮,决定独自留在牛津再呆上两三天,因为在那儿的几天日子过得太舒心了。她觉得没有任何一种力量可以把她再拉回到菲利普的身边去,一见到他,就要倒胃口。格里菲思对由自己勾起来的情火不觉大吃一惊,因为他早对同米尔德丽德一道在乡下度过的两天感到冗长乏味了,再说他也无意把一段饶有情趣的插曲变成一桩纠缠不清的私通事件。她迫使他给她写信,于是,作为一个诚实、正经,生来礼貌周全,彬彬有礼,还企望取悦于每一个人的小伙子,他一回到家,便给她写了一封洋洋洒洒、拨人心弦的信。米尔德丽德迅即写了封激情四溢的回信。信中措词不当,这是她缺乏表达能力的缘故。信上的字写得歪歪扭扭,语气猥亵,使得格里菲思心生腻烦,紧接着第二天又来了一封,过了一天,第三封信又接踵而至。此时,格里菲思开始意识到她的爱不再讨人喜欢,却令人深感惊恐。他连信也没有回。不料她给他发来连珠炮似的电报,询问他是否有病,有没有收到她的信,说她因不见他回信而忧心冲忡。这样一来,他只得又提起笔来写信,不过这次他把回信写得尽可能随便些,只要不惹她生气就行。他在信中求她以后别再打电报了,因为他很难就电报一事对他母亲解释清楚。他母亲是个老脑筋,总认为电报是个吓人的玩意儿。她随即写信来说她要见他,并说她打算把身边的东西送进当铺(她身边有只化妆手提包,还是菲利普送给她的结婚礼品,可值八镑),然后打票去找他,并要住在离格里菲思的父亲行医的村庄四英里远的市镇上。这下可把格里菲思吓坏了。这次他倒打了个电报给米尔德丽德,求她千万不要干出这种事情来,并答应一回到伦敦就同她联系。可是,格里菲思一回到伦敦就发觉米尔德丽德已经上格里菲思要去赴任的那家医院找过他了。他可不喜欢这种做法。因此,见到她时,便关照她不论用什么托词都不能上医院去找他。到了这个时候(两人隔了三个星期没有见面),他发觉米尔德丽德实在叫人讨厌,自己也闹不清当初为什么会同她纠缠在一起的。于是,他决心尽快地把米尔德丽德甩掉。他这个人可又不愿与人争吵,也不忍叫人伤心,不过他还有别的事情要干呀,最后还是横下一条心,决不让米尔德丽德再来缠扰自己。在同米尔德丽德见面时,他还是跟从前一样的举止文雅、笑容可掬、诙谐风趣、温情脉脉,而对自前一次见面以后一直没去看她一事,他总能找出些令人信服的借口来。尽管如此,他还是千方百计地躲着米尔德丽德。当米尔德丽德敦促他践约时,他总是在最后一刻打个电报给她,找个托辞溜之大吉。房东太太(格里菲思任职头三个月是在寓所度过的)奉命见到米尔德丽德来访就说他有事外出了。米尔德丽德便采取在街上堵截的办法。格里菲思得知她已在附近候了三两个钟头后,就住她耳朵里灌上几句甜言蜜语,随即推说有事务上的约会,便撒腿就走。后来他渐渐变得形迹诡秘,能神不知鬼不觉地溜出医院大门。有一次,他半夜里回寓所时,看到寓所前空地栏杆旁立着一位妇人。因不知她是何许人,格里菲思转身就走,一路奔到拉姆斯登的住所,在他那儿借宿一夜。第二天,房东太太告诉他说,前一天夜里米尔德丽德坐在他门口一连哭了几个钟头,最后房东太太只好无可奈何地对米尔德丽德说,如果她再不走,她可要派人去叫警察了。

‘I tell you, my boy,’ said Ramsden, ‘you’re jolly well out of it. Harry says that if he’d suspected for half a second she was going to make such a blooming nuisance of herself he’d have seen himself damned before he had anything to do with her.’

  "我说呀,老兄,"拉姆斯登说,"你倒脱得干系好自在。哈利说,要是他当初稍微考虑一下,想到她竟会这样惹人讨厌,就是去见鬼也不会跟她有什么瓜葛。"

Philip thought of her sitting on that doorstep through the long hours of the night. He saw her face as she looked up dully at the landlady who sent her away.

  菲利普脑海里浮现出米尔德丽德于深夜接连几个小时坐在门口哭泣的情景,仿佛看到她在房东太太驱赶时木然仰望的神情。

‘I wonder what she’s doing now.’

  "不知她眼下怎么样了。"

‘Oh, she’s got a job somewhere, thank God. That keeps her busy all day.’

  "哦,她在某处找到了工作。真是谢天谢地。这样,她整日都有事忙了。"

The last thing he heard, just before the end of the summer session, was that Griffiths, urbanity had given way at length under the exasperation of the constant persecution. He had told Mildred that he was sick of being pestered, and she had better take herself off and not bother him again.

  关于米尔德丽德的最新消息,他是在夏季学期快结束时才听说的。他听说格里菲思被米尔德丽德的死乞白赖的纠缠激怒了,最后也顾不得文雅不文雅了,直截了当地对米尔德丽德说,他讨厌受人烦扰,叫她最好滚远点,别再打扰他。

‘It was the only thing he could do,’ said Ramsden. ‘It was getting a bit too thick.’

  "他只好这么着了,"拉姆斯登说,"事情也做得太过分了。"

‘Is it all over then?’ asked Philip.

  "事情就这么了结了?"菲利普问道。

‘Oh, he hasn’t seen her for ten days. You know, Harry’s wonderful at dropping people. This is about the toughest nut he’s ever had to crack, but he’s cracked it all right.’

  "噢,他已有十天没见着她了。要知道,哈利甩个把人的手段可高明啦。这是他遇到的最棘手的一件事,可他把它处理得妥妥帖帖。"

Then Philip heard nothing more of her at all. She vanished into the vast anonymous mass of the population of London.

  从此以后,菲利普再也没有听到有关米尔德丽德的消息。她湮没在伦敦茫茫的人海之中。