Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

Presently Philip was fortunate enough to make a friend. One morning the house-physician gave him a new case, a man; and, seating himself at the bedside, Philip proceeded to write down particulars on the ‘letter.’ He noticed on looking at this that the patient was described as a journalist: his name was Thorpe Athelny, an unusual one for a hospital patient, and his age was forty-eight. He was suffering from a sharp attack of jaundice, and had been taken into the ward on account of obscure symptoms which it seemed necessary to watch. He answered the various questions which it was Philip’s duty to ask him in a pleasant, educated voice. Since he was lying in bed it was difficult to tell if he was short or tall, but his small head and small hands suggested that he was a man of less than average height. Philip had the habit of looking at people’s hands, and Athelny’s astonished him: they were very small, with long, tapering fingers and beautiful, rosy finger-nails; they were very smooth and except for the jaundice would have been of a surprising whiteness. The patient kept them outside the bed-clothes, one of them slightly spread out, the second and third fingers together, and, while he spoke to Philip, seemed to contemplate them with satisfaction. With a twinkle in his eyes Philip glanced at the man’s face. Notwithstanding the yellowness it was distinguished; he had blue eyes, a nose of an imposing boldness, hooked, aggressive but not clumsy, and a small beard, pointed and gray: he was rather bald, but his hair had evidently been quite fine, curling prettily, and he still wore it long.

  菲利普真够幸运的,没隔多久就交上了一位朋友。一天上午,住院医生把一位新来的男病人交给了菲利普。菲利普坐在床沿上,着手往病历卡里记载病人的病情细节。在看病历卡的当儿,菲利普发觉这位病人是位新闻记者,名字叫索普·阿特尔涅,年纪四十八,这倒是位并不常见的住院病人。该病人的黄疽病突然发作,而且来势还很猛。鉴于病状不明显,似有必要作进一步观察,就被送进病房里来了。菲利普出于职业需要,用一种悦耳动听的、富有教养的语调问了一连串问题,病人都一一作了回答。索普·阿特尔涅躺在床上,因此一下子很难断定他是高是矮。不过那小小的脑瓜和一双小手表明他个儿中等偏矮。菲利普有种观察别人的手的习惯,而眼下阿特尔涅的那双手使他看了感到十分惊奇:一双纤小的手,细长、尖削的手指顶端长着秀美的玫瑰色指甲,皮肤很细腻,要不是身患黄疽病的缘故,肤色定是白得出奇。阿特尔涅把手放在被子上面,其中一只手稍稍张着,而无名指和中指并拢着,一边在跟菲利普说着话,一边似乎还颇得意地端详着他的手指呢。菲利普忽闪着晶莹发亮的眼睛,扫视了一下对方的脸盘。尽管脸色苍黄,但仍不失为一张生动的脸。眸子蓝蓝的,鼻子显眼地凸露着,鼻尖呈钩状,虽说样子有点吓人,倒也不难看。一小撮花白胡须翘翘的。脑顶心秃得很厉害。不过他原来显然长着一头浓密的鬈发,还挺秀气的哩。眼下他还蓄着长发。

‘I see you’re a journalist,’ said Philip. ‘What papers d’you write for?’

  "我想你是当记者的,"菲利普开腔说。"你为哪家报纸撰稿呀?"

‘I write for all the papers. You cannot open a paper without seeing some of my writing.’ There was one by the side of the bed and reaching for it he pointed out an advertisement. In large letters was the name of a firm well-known to Philip, Lynn and Sedley, Regent Street, London; and below, in type smaller but still of some magnitude, was the dogmatic statement: Procrastination is the Thief of Time. Then a question, startling because of its reasonableness: Why not order today? There was a repetition, in large letters, like the hammering of conscience on a murderer’s heart: Why not? Then, boldly: Thousands of pairs of gloves from the leading markets of the world at astounding prices. Thousands of pairs of stockings from the most reliable manufacturers of the universe at sensational reductions. Finally the question recurred, but flung now like a challenging gauntlet in the lists: Why not order today?

  "不管哪家报纸,我都给他们写稿。没有一家报纸打开来看不到我的文章的。"

‘I’m the press representative of Lynn and Sedley.’ He gave a little wave of his beautiful hand. ‘To what base uses...’

  此时床边就有一张报纸,阿特尔涅伸手指了指报纸上的广告。只见报上用大号铅字赫然印着那家菲利普熟悉的公司的名称:莱恩-赛特笠公司位于伦敦雷根林大街。下面紧接着是司空见惯的广告:拖延就是偷盗时间。字体虽比上面的略小些,但也够突兀显眼的了。接下去是一个问题,因其问得合情合理,故显得触目惊心:为什么不今天就订货?接着又用大号字体重复了"为什么不呢?"这五个大字,字字犹如一把把榔头,在敲击着时间偷盗者的良心。下面是几行大字:以高得惊人的价格从世界各主要市场购进千万副手套。宇内几家最可靠的制造商出产的千万双长统袜大减价。广告最后又重复了"为什么不今天就订货?"这个问题,不过,这次字体写得就像竞技场中的武土用的臂铠似的。

Philip went on asking the regulation questions, some a mere matter of routine, others artfully devised to lead the patient to discover things which he might be expected to desire to conceal.

  "我是莱恩-赛特笠公司的新闻代理人。"阿特尔涅在作自我介绍的当儿,还挥了挥他那漂亮的手。

‘Have you ever lived abroad?’ asked Philip.

  菲利普接着问些普普通通的问题,其中有些不过是些日常琐事,而有些则是精心设计的,巧妙地诱使这位病人吐出他或许不想披露的事情来。

‘I was in Spain for eleven years.’

  "你到过外国吗?"菲利普问道。

‘What were you doing there?’

  "曾在西班牙呆过十一年。""

‘I was secretary of the English water company at Toledo.’

  "在那儿干啥来着?"

Philip remembered that Clutton had spent some months in Toledo, and the journalist’s answer made him look at him with more interest; but he felt it would be improper to show this: it was necessary to preserve the distance between the hospital patient and the staff. When he had finished his examination he went on to other beds.

  "在托莱多的英国水利公司当秘书。"。

Thorpe Athelny’s illness was not grave, and, though remaining very yellow, he soon felt much better: he stayed in bed only because the physician thought he should be kept under observation till certain reactions became normal. One day, on entering the ward, Philip noticed that Athelny, pencil in hand, was reading a book. He put it down when Philip came to his bed.

  此时,菲利普想起克拉顿也曾在托莱多呆过几个月。听了这位记者的答话,菲利普怀着更浓的兴趣注视着他。但是,他又感到自己如此情感毕露很不合适,因为作为医院的一名职员,他有必要同住院病人保持一定距离。于是,他给阿特尔涅检查完毕后,便走向别的病床。

‘May I see what you’re reading?’ asked Philip, who could never pass a book without looking at it.

  索普·阿特尔涅的病情并不严重,虽说肤色还是很黄,但他很快就感觉好多了。他之所以还卧床不起,是因为医生认为某些反应趋于正常之前,他还得接受观察。一天,菲利普走进病房时,发现阿特尔涅手里拿着支铅笔,正在看书。菲利普走到他的床前时,他突然啪地合上书本。

Philip took it up and saw that it was a volume of Spanish verse, the poems of San Juan de la Cruz, and as he opened it a sheet of paper fell out. Philip picked it up and noticed that verse was written upon it.

  "我可以看看你读的书吗?"菲利普问道,他这个人一瞧见书不翻阅一下是不会罢休的。

‘You’re not going to tell me you’ve been occupying your leisure in writing poetry? That’s a most improper proceeding in a hospital patient.’

  菲利普拿起那本书,发觉是册西班牙诗集,都是圣胡安·德拉克鲁斯写的。在他翻开诗集的当儿,一张纸片从书里掉了出来。菲利普拾起一看,原来纸上写着一首诗呢。

‘I was trying to do some translations. D’you know Spanish?’

  "你总不能说你这是借定诗来消闲吧?对一位住院病人来说,做这种事是最不合适的。"

‘No.’

  "我这是试着搞些诗歌翻译。你懂西班牙语吗?"

‘Well, you know all about San Juan de la Cruz, don’t you?’

  "不懂。"

‘I don’t indeed.’

  "嗯,有关圣胡安·德拉克鲁斯的事儿,你都知道啰,对不?"

‘He was one of the Spanish mystics. He’s one of the best poets they’ve ever had. I thought it would be worth while translating him into English.’

  "我真的一无所知。"

‘May I look at your translation?’

  "他是西班牙的神秘人物之一,也是西班牙出类拔萃的诗人之一。我认为把他的诗译成英语倒挺有意思的。"

‘It’s very rough,’ said Athelny, but he gave it to Philip with an alacrity which suggested that he was eager for him to read it.

  "我拜读一下你的译搞好吗?"

It was written in pencil, in a fine but very peculiar handwriting, which was hard to read: it was just like black letter.

  "译稿还很粗糙。"阿特尔涅嘴上这么说,可他的手还是把译稿递到了菲利普的面前,其动作之快,正表明他巴不得菲利普一读呢。

‘Doesn’t it take you an awful time to write like that? It’s wonderful.’

  译稿是用铅笔写的,字体清秀,但很古怪,像是一堆黑体活字,难以辨认。

‘I don’t know why handwriting shouldn’t be beautiful.’ Philip read the first verse:

  "你把字写成这样,是不是要花很多时间呀?你的字漂亮极了。"

In an obscure night With anxious love inflamed O happy lot! Forth unobserved I went, My house being now at rest...

  "我不明白为什么不应该把字写得漂亮些呢?"

Philip looked curiously at Thorpe Athelny. He did not know whether he felt a little shy with him or was attracted by him. He was conscious that his manner had been slightly patronising, and he flushed as it struck him that Athelny might have thought him ridiculous.

  菲利普读着阿特尔涅泽的第一首诗:

‘What an unusual name you’ve got,’ he remarked, for something to say.

  夜深了,

‘It’s a very old Yorkshire name. Once it took the head of my family a day’s hard riding to make the circuit of his estates, but the mighty are fallen. Fast women and slow horses.’

  月色正朦胧;

He was short-sighted and when he spoke looked at you with a peculiar intensity. He took up his volume of poetry.

  心田欲火熊熊,

‘You should read Spanish,’ he said. ‘It is a noble tongue. It has not the mellifluousness of Italian, Italian is the language of tenors and organ-grinders, but it has grandeur: it does not ripple like a brook in a garden, but it surges tumultuous like a mighty river in flood.’

  喔,幸福的心情难以形容!

His grandiloquence amused Philip, but he was sensitive to rhetoric; and he listened with pleasure while Athelny, with picturesque expressions and the fire of a real enthusiasm, described to him the rich delight of reading Don Quixote in the original and the music, romantic, limpid, passionate, of the enchanting Calderon.

  趁一家人睡意正浓,

‘I must get on with my work,’ said Philip presently.

  我悄然向前步履匆匆……

‘Oh, forgive me, I forgot. I will tell my wife to bring me a photograph of Toledo, and I will show it you. Come and talk to me when you have the chance. You don’t know what a pleasure it gives me.’

  菲利普闪烁着好奇的目光打量着索普·阿待尔涅。他说不清自己在他面前是有点儿羞怯呢,还是被他深深吸引住了。蓦地,他觉悟到自己的态度一直有些儿傲慢。当想到阿特尔涅可能觉得他可笑时,菲利普不觉脸上一阵发臊。

During the next few days, in moments snatched whenever there was opportunity, Philip’s acquaintance with the journalist increased. Thorpe Athelny was a good talker. He did not say brilliant things, but he talked inspiringly, with an eager vividness which fired the imagination; Philip, living so much in a world of make-believe, found his fancy teeming with new pictures. Athelny had very good manners. He knew much more than Philip, both of the world and of books; he was a much older man; and the readiness of his conversation gave him a certain superiority; but he was in the hospital a recipient of charity, subject to strict rules; and he held himself between the two positions with ease and humour. Once Philip asked him why he had come to the hospital.

  "你的名字起得真特别,"菲利普终于开腔说话了,不过总得找些话聊聊呀。

‘Oh, my principle is to profit by all the benefits that society provides. I take advantage of the age I live in. When I’m ill I get myself patched up in a hospital and I have no false shame, and I send my children to be educated at the board-school.’

  "阿特尔涅这个姓在约克郡可是个极为古老的名门望族的姓氏。我一家之长出去巡视他的家产,一度要骑上整整一大的马,可后来家道中落,一蹶不振。钱都在放浪的女人身上和赛马赌博上头挥霍光了。"

‘Do you really?’ said Philip.

  阿特尔涅眼睛近视,在说话的时候,两眼古怪地眯缝着,使劲地瞅着别人。他拿起了那部诗集。

‘And a capital education they get too, much better than I got at Winchester. How else do you think I could educate them at all? I’ve got nine. You must come and see them all when I get home again. Will you?’

  "你应该学会西班牙语,"阿特尔涅对菲利普说。"西班牙语是一种高雅的语言,虽没有意大利语那么流畅,因为意大利语是那些男高音歌手和街上手转风琴师们使用的语言,但是气势宏伟。它不像花园里的小溪发出的潺潺流水声,而是像大江涨潮时汹涌澎湃的波涛声。"

‘I’d like to very much,’ said Philip.

  他那不无夸张的话语把菲利普给逗笑了,不过菲利普还是颇能领略他人讲话的妙处的。阿特尔涅说话时眉飞色舞,热情洋溢,滔滔不绝地给菲利普讲述着阅读《堂吉诃德》原著的无比的快乐,还侃侃谈论着令人着迷的考德隆的文体清晰,富有节奏、激情和传奇色彩的剧作。此时此刻,菲利普在一旁饶有兴味地聆听着。

  "哦,我得干事去了,"突然,菲利普说了一句。

  "喔,请原谅,我忘了。我将叫我妻子给我送张托莱多的照片来,到时一定拿给你瞧瞧。有机会就过来跟我聊聊。你不知道,跟你在一起聊天我有多高兴啊。"