Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘Look at it, feel it, it’s like silk. What a miracle of grace! And in five years the house-breaker will sell it for firewood.’

  "瞧瞧这栏杆,再用手摸摸,真像一块绸子。实在是个了不起的奇迹!五年后,强盗就会拆去当柴卖罗。"

He insisted on taking Philip into a room on the first floor, where a man in shirt sleeves, a blousy woman, and three children were having their Sunday dinner.

  他执意要把菲利普拖到二楼一个房间里去。那里,一位只穿件衬衫的男人和一位胖墩墩的妇人正在同他们的三个孩子一道品尝星期日午餐呢。

‘I’ve just brought this gentleman in to show him your ceiling. Did you ever see anything so wonderful? How are you, Mrs. Hodgson? This is Mr. Carey, who looked after me when I was in the hospital.’

  "我把这位先生带来看看你家的天花板。你从前看过这么漂亮的天花板吗?唷,霍奇森太太,你好呀!这位是凯里先生,我住院时,就是他照顾的。"

‘Come in, sir,’ said the man. ‘Any friend of Mr. Athelny’s is welcome. Mr. Athelny shows the ceiling to all his friends. And it don’t matter what we’re doing, if we’re in bed or if I’m ‘aving a wash, in ‘e comes.’

  "请进,先生,"那个男人说。"不管是谁,只要是阿特尔涅先生的朋友,我们都欢迎。阿特尔涅先生把他的朋友全都领来参观我家的天花板。不管我们在干什么,我们在睡觉也罢,我正在洗澡也罢,他都砰地一声推门直往里闯。"

Philip could see that they looked upon Athelny as a little queer; but they liked him none the less and they listened open-mouthed while he discoursed with his impetuous fluency on the beauty of the seventeenth-century ceiling.

  菲利普看得出来,在他们这些人眼里,阿特尔涅是个怪人。不过尽管如此,他们还是很喜欢他。此时,阿特尔涅正情绪激昂地、滔滔不绝地讲解这块十七世纪就有的天花板的美妙之处,而那一家子一个个张大着嘴巴听得入了神。

‘What a crime to pull this down, eh, Hodgson? You’re an influential citizen, why don’t you write to the papers and protest?’

  "霍奇森,把这房子推倒简直是犯罪,呢,对不?你是位有影响的公民,为什么不写信给报社表示抗议呢?"

The man in shirt sleeves gave a laugh and said to Philip:

  那位穿衬衫的男人呵呵笑了笑,接着面对菲利普说:

‘Mr. Athelny will ‘ave his little joke. They do say these ‘ouses are that insanitory, it’s not safe to live in them.’

  "阿特尔涅先生就喜欢开个小小的玩笑。人们都说这几幢房子不到生,还说住在这里不安全。"

‘Sanitation be damned, give me art,’ cried Athelny. ‘I’ve got nine children and they thrive on bad drains. No, no, I’m not going to take any risk. None of your new-fangled notions for me! When I move from here I’m going to make sure the drains are bad before I take anything.’

  "什么卫生不卫生,见鬼去吧。我要的是艺术。"阿特尔涅说。"我有九个孩子,喝的水不干不净,可一个个壮得像头牛似的。不,不行,我可不想冒险。你们那些怪念头我可不想听!搬家时,我不弄清楚这儿的水脏不脏的就决计不搬东西。"

There was a knock at the door, and a little fair-haired girl opened it.

  门上响起了一记敲门声,接着一个金发小姑娘推门走进来。

‘Daddy, mummy says, do stop talking and come and eat your dinner.’

  "爸爸,妈妈叫你别光顾着说话,快回去吃午饭。"

‘This is my third daughter,’ said Athelny, pointing to her with a dramatic forefinger. ‘She is called Maria del Pilar, but she answers more willingly to the name of Jane. Jane, your nose wants blowing.’

  "这是我的三女儿,"阿特尔涅戏剧性地伸出食指点着那小妞儿说。"她叫玛丽亚·德尔皮拉尔,不过人家叫她吉恩,她更乐意答应。吉恩,你该擤擤鼻子啦。"

‘I haven’t got a hanky, daddy.’

  "爸爸,我没有手绢儿。"

‘Tut, tut, child,’ he answered, as he produced a vast, brilliant bandanna, ‘what do you suppose the Almighty gave you fingers for?’

  "嘘!嘘!孩子,"说话间,他变戏法似的掏出了一块漂亮的印花大手帕,"你瞧,上帝给你送什么来啦?"

They went upstairs, and Philip was taken into a room with walls panelled in dark oak. In the middle was a narrow table of teak on trestle legs, with two supporting bars of iron, of the kind called in Spain mesa de hieraje. They were to dine there, for two places were laid, and there were two large arm-chairs, with broad flat arms of oak and leathern backs, and leathern seats. They were severe, elegant, and uncomfortable. The only other piece of furniture was a bargueno, elaborately ornamented with gilt iron-work, on a stand of ecclesiastical design roughly but very finely carved. There stood on this two or three lustre plates, much broken but rich in colour; and on the walls were old masters of the Spanish school in beautiful though dilapidated frames: though gruesome in subject, ruined by age and bad treatment, and second-rate in their conception, they had a glow of passion. There was nothing in the room of any value, but the effect was lovely. It was magnificent and yet austere. Philip felt that it offered the very spirit of old Spain. Athelny was in the middle of showing him the inside of the bargueno, with its beautiful ornamentation and secret drawers, when a tall girl, with two plaits of bright brown hair hanging down her back, came in.

  他们三人上楼后,菲利普被领进一个四周嵌着深色栎本护墙板的房间。房间中央摆着一张狭长的柚木桌子,支架是活动的,由两根铁条固定着。这种式样的桌子,西班牙人管它叫mesa de hieraje。看来他们就要在这里用餐了,因为桌子上已摆好了两副餐具。桌旁还摆着两张大扶手椅,栎木扶手又宽又光滑,椅子的靠背与坐位均包着皮革。这两张椅子,朴素雅洁,但坐了并不舒适。除此以外,房间里就只有一件家具,那是bargueno,上面精心装饰着烫金铁花,座架上刻着基督教义图案,虽说粗糙了些,但图像倒还精致。顶上搁着两三只釉碟。碟子上裂缝纵横,但色彩还算鲜艳。四周墙上挂着镶在镜框里的西班牙画坛名师之作,框架虽旧但很漂亮。作品的题材令人厌恶,画面因年深日久加上保管不善已有损坏;作品所表达的思想并不高雅。尽管如此,这些作品还洋溢着一股激情。房间里再没有什么值钱的陈设了,但气氛倒还亲切可人。里面弥漫着既堂皇又淳朴的气息。菲利普感到这正是古老的西班牙精神。阿特尔涅打开bargueno,把里面漂亮的装饰和暗抽屉一一指给菲利普看。就在这个时候,一个身材修长、背后垂着两根棕色发辫的姑娘一脚跨了进来。

‘Mother says dinner’s ready and waiting and I’m to bring it in as soon as you sit down.’

  "妈妈说午饭做好了,就等你们二位了。你们一坐好,我就把饭菜端进来。"

‘Come and shake hands with Mr. Carey, Sally.’ He turned to Philip. ‘Isn’t she enormous? She’s my eldest. How old are you, Sally?’

  "莎莉,过来呀,同这位凯里先生握握手,"他掉过脸去,面对菲利普说。"她长得个儿大不大?她是我最大的孩子。你多大啦,莎莉?"

‘Fifteen, father, come next June.’

  "爸爸,到六月就十五岁了。"

‘I christened her Maria del Sol, because she was my first child and I dedicated her to the glorious sun of Castile; but her mother calls her Sally and her brother Pudding-Face.’

  "我给她取了个教名,叫玛丽亚·德尔索尔。因为她是我的第一个孩子,我就把她献给荣耀的卡斯蒂尔的太阳神。可她妈妈却叫她莎莉,她弟弟管她叫布丁脸。"

The girl smiled shyly, she had even, white teeth, and blushed. She was well set-up, tall for her age, with pleasant gray eyes and a broad forehead. She had red cheeks.

  那姑娘羞赧地微笑着,露出了那口齐整洁白的牙齿,双颊泛起了两朵红晕。她身材苗条,按年龄来说,个儿很高。她长着一对褐色的眸子,额头宽阔,面颊红扑扑的。

‘Go and tell your mother to come in and shake hands with Mr. Carey before he sits down.’

  "快去叫你妈妈上这儿来,趁凯里先生还没有坐下来用饭,先跟他握个手。"

‘Mother says she’ll come in after dinner. She hasn’t washed herself yet.’

  "妈妈说一吃过中饭就来。她还没梳洗呢。"

‘Then we’ll go in and see her ourselves. He mustn’t eat the Yorkshire pudding till he’s shaken the hand that made it.’

  "那好,我们这就去看她。凯里先生不握一下那双做约克郡布丁的手决不能吃。"

Philip followed his host into the kitchen. It was small and much overcrowded. There had been a lot of noise, but it stopped as soon as the stranger entered. There was a large table in the middle and round it, eager for dinner, were seated Athelny’s children. A woman was standing at the oven, taking out baked potatoes one by one.

  菲利普尾随着主人走进厨房,只见厨房不大,可里面的人倒不少,显得过分拥挤。孩子们吵着、嚷着,可一见来了个陌生人,戛然平静下来了,厨房中央摆着一张大桌子,四周坐着阿特尔涅的儿女们,一个个伸长脖子等吃。一位妇人正俯身在锅灶上把烤好的马铃薯取出来。

‘Here’s Mr. Carey, Betty,’ said Athelny.

  "贝蒂,凯里先生看你来了,"阿特尔涅通报了一声。

‘Fancy bringing him in here. What will he think?’

  "亏你想得出来的,把他带到这儿来。晓得人家会怎么想?"

She wore a dirty apron, and the sleeves of her cotton dress were turned up above her elbows; she had curling pins in her hair. Mrs. Athelny was a large woman, a good three inches taller than her husband, fair, with blue eyes and a kindly expression; she had been a handsome creature, but advancing years and the bearing of many children had made her fat and blousy; her blue eyes had become pale, her skin was coarse and red, the colour had gone out of her hair. She straightened herself, wiped her hand on her apron, and held it out.

  阿特尔涅太太身上系了条脏围裙,棉布上衣的袖子卷到胳膊肘,头夹满了卷发用的夹子。她身材修长,比她丈夫高出足有三英寸。她五官端正,长着一对蓝眼睛,一脸的慈善相。她年轻时模样儿挺标致的,但岁月不饶人,再加上接连不断的生养孩子,目下身体发胖,显得臃肿,那对蓝眸子失却了昔日的光彩,皮肤变得通红、粗糙,原先富有色泽的青丝也黯然失色。这时候,阿特尔涅太太直起腰来,撩起围裙擦了擦手,随即向菲利普伸过手去。

‘You’re welcome, sir,’ she said, in a slow voice, with an accent that seemed oddly familiar to Philip. ‘Athelny said you was very kind to him in the ‘orspital.’

  "欢迎,欢迎,先生,"她低声地招呼着。菲利普心中好生奇怪,觉得她的口音太熟悉了。"听阿特尔涅回来说,在医院里你待他可好啦。"

‘Now you must be introduced to the live stock,’ said Athelny. ‘That is Thorpe,’ he pointed to a chubby boy with curly hair, ‘he is my eldest son, heir to the title, estates, and responsibilities of the family. There is Athelstan, Harold, Edward.’ He pointed with his forefinger to three smaller boys, all rosy, healthy, and smiling, though when they felt Philip’s smiling eyes upon them they looked shyly down at their plates. ‘Now the girls in order: Maria del Sol...’

  "现在该让你见见我那些小畜生了,"阿特尔涅说。"那是索普,"他说着用手指了指那个长着一头鬈发的胖小子,"他是我的长子,也是我的头衔、财产和义务的继承者。"接着他伸出食指点着其他三个小男孩。他们一个个长得挺结实,小脸蛋红扑扑的,挂着微笑。当菲利普笑眯眯地望着他们时,他们都难为情地垂下眼皮,盯视着各自面前的盘子。"现在我按大小顺序给你介绍一下我的女儿们:玛丽亚·德尔索尔……"

‘Pudding-Face,’ said one of the small boys.

  "布丁脸!"一个小男孩冲口喊了一声。

‘Your sense of humour is rudimentary, my son. Maria de los Mercedes, Maria del Pilar, Maria de la Concepcion, Maria del Rosario.’

  "我的儿呀,你的幽默也太差劲了。玛丽亚·德洛斯梅塞德斯、玛丽亚·德尔皮拉尔、玛丽亚·德拉孔塞普西翁、玛丽亚·罗萨里奥。"

‘I call them Sally, Molly, Connie, Rosie, and Jane,’ said Mrs. Athelny. ‘Now, Athelny, you go into your own room and I’ll send you your dinner. I’ll let the children come in afterwards for a bit when I’ve washed them.’

  "我管她们叫莎莉、莫莉、康尼、露茜和吉恩,"阿特尔涅太太接着说。

‘My dear, if I’d had the naming of you I should have called you Maria of the Soapsuds. You’re always torturing these wretched brats with soap.’

  "嘿,阿特尔涅,你们二位先回你的房间,我马上给端饭菜去。我把孩子们流洗好后,就让他们到你那儿去。"

‘You go first, Mr. Carey, or I shall never get him to sit down and eat his dinner.’

  "亲爱的,如果让我给你起个名字的话,我一定给你起个'肥皂水玛丽亚'。你老是用肥皂来折磨这些可怜的娃娃。"

Athelny and Philip installed themselves in the great monkish chairs, and Sally brought them in two plates of beef, Yorkshire pudding, baked potatoes, and cabbage. Athelny took sixpence out of his pocket and sent her for a jug of beer.

  "凯里先生,请先走一步,要不我怎么也没办法叫他安安稳稳地坐下来吃饭的。"

‘I hope you didn’t have the table laid here on my account,’ said Philip. ‘I should have been quite happy to eat with the children.’

  阿特尔涅和菲利普两人刚在那两张僧侣似的椅子上坐定,莎莉就端来了两大盘牛肉、约克郡布丁、烤马铃薯和白菜。阿特尔涅从口袋里掏出六便士,吩咐莎莉去打壶啤酒来。

‘Oh no, I always have my meals by myself. I like these antique customs. I don’t think that women ought to sit down at table with men. It ruins conversation and I’m sure it’s very bad for them. It puts ideas in their heads, and women are never at ease with themselves when they have ideas.’

  "我希望你不是特地为我才在这儿吃饭,"菲利普说。"其实跟孩子们在一起吃,我一定会很高兴的。"

Both host and guest ate with a hearty appetite.

  "嗳,不是这么回事,我平时一直是一个人在这个房间里用餐的。我就喜欢保持这古老的习俗。我认为女人不应该同男人坐在一张桌子上吃饭。那样的话,我们的谈兴都给搅了。再说,那样对她们也没有好处。我们说的话会被她们听见的。女人一有思想,可就不安分守己罗。"

‘Did you ever taste such Yorkshire pudding? No one can make it like my wife. That’s the advantage of not marrying a lady. You noticed she wasn’t a lady, didn’t you?’

  宾主两人都吃得津津有味。

It was an awkward question, and Philip did not know how to answer it.

  "你从前吃过这样的布丁吗?谁做都赶不上我太太做得好。这倒是不娶阔小姐为妻的一大优点。你一定注意到我太太不是位名门淑女了吧?"

‘I never thought about it,’ he said lamely.

  这个问题把菲利普弄得尴尬极了,他不知怎么回答才好。

Athelny laughed. He had a peculiarly joyous laugh.

  "我可不曾想过这方面的问题,"他笨嘴拙舌地回答了一句。

‘No, she’s not a lady, nor anything like it. Her father was a farmer, and she’s never bothered about aitches in her life. We’ve had twelve children and nine of them are alive. I tell her it’s about time she stopped, but she’s an obstinate woman, she’s got into the habit of it now, and I don’t believe she’ll be satisfied till she’s had twenty.’

  阿特尔涅哈哈大笑,笑声爽朗,颇具特色。

At that moment Sally came in with the beer, and, having poured out a glass for Philip, went to the other side of the table to pour some out for her father. He put his hand round her waist.

  "不,她可不是富家小姐,连一点点小姐的影子都没有。她父亲是个农夫,可她这辈子从来不为生活操心。我们一共生了十二个孩子,只活了九个。我总是叫她赶快停止,别再生了,可她这个死女人太顽固了。现在她已经养成习惯了,就是生了二十个,找还不知道她是否就心满意足了呢。"

‘Did you ever see such a handsome, strapping girl? Only fifteen and she might be twenty. Look at her cheeks. She’s never had a day’s illness in her life. It’ll be a lucky man who marries her, won’t it, Sally?’

  就在这个时候,莎莉手捧啤酒走了进来,随即给菲利普斟了一杯,然后走到桌子的另一边给她父亲倒酒。阿特尔涅用手勾住了她的腰。

Sally listened to all this with a slight, slow smile, not much embarrassed, for she was accustomed to her father’s outbursts, but with an easy modesty which was very attractive.

  "你对曾见过这么漂亮、高大的姑娘吗?才十五岁,可看上去像是二十岁了。瞧她的脸蛋儿。她长这么大,连一天病也没生过。谁娶了她真够走运的,是不,莎莉?"

‘Don’t let your dinner get cold, father,’ she said, drawing herself away from his arm. ‘You’ll call when you’re ready for your pudding, won’t you?’

  莎莉所惯了父亲的这种调侃的话,所以并不觉得难堪,只是默默地听着,脸上露出淡淡的、稳重的笑意。她那种大方中略带几分羞赧的神情倒怪逗人疼爱的。

They were left alone, and Athelny lifted the pewter tankard to his lips. He drank long and deep.

  "当心别让饭菜凉了,爸爸,"她说着便从她父亲的怀抱里挣脱开去。"要吃布丁,就叫我一声,好不好?"

‘My word, is there anything better than English beer?’ he said. ‘Let us thank God for simple pleasures, roast beef and rice pudding, a good appetite and beer. I was married to a lady once. My God! Don’t marry a lady, my boy.’

  房间里就剩下他们两位。阿特尔涅端起锡酒杯,深深地喝了一大口。

Philip laughed. He was exhilarated by the scene, the funny little man in his odd clothes, the panelled room and the Spanish furniture, the English fare: the whole thing had an exquisite incongruity.

  "我说呀,世上还有比英国的啤酒更好喝的酒吗?"他说。"感谢上帝赐予我们欢乐、烤牛肉、米粉布醒、好胃口和啤酒。找曾经娶过一个阔女人。哦,找的上帝!千万别娶阔女人为妻,我的老弟。"

‘You laugh, my boy, you can’t imagine marrying beneath you. You want a wife who’s an intellectual equal. Your head is crammed full of ideas of comradeship. Stuff and nonsense, my boy! A man doesn’t want to talk politics to his wife, and what do you think I care for Betty’s views upon the Differential Calculus? A man wants a wife who can cook his dinner and look after his children. I’ve tried both and I know. Let’s have the pudding in.’

  菲利普不由得哈哈笑了起来。这个场面、这位装束古怪令人发笑的小矮个儿,这嵌有护墙板的房间、西班牙式样的家具和英国风味的食物,这一切无不使得菲利普陶醉。这儿的一切是那么的不协调,却又是雅趣横生,妙不可言。

He clapped his hands and presently Sally came. When she took away the plates, Philip wanted to get up and help her, but Athelny stopped him.

  "我的老弟,你刚才之所以笑,是因为你不屑娶一位比你地位低的女人为妻的缘故。你想娶个同你一样的知书识理的妻子。你的脑子里塞满了什么志同道合之类的念头。那完全是一派胡言,我的老弟!一个男人总不见得去同他的妻子谈论政治吧。难道你还认为我在乎贝蒂对微分学有什么看法吗?一个男人只要一位能为他做饭、看孩子的妻子。名门闺秀和平民女子我都娶过,个中的滋味我清楚着哪。我们叫莎莉送布丁来吧。"

‘Let her alone, my boy. She doesn’t want you to fuss about, do you, Sally? And she won’t think it rude of you to sit still while she waits upon you. She don’t care a damn for chivalry, do you, Sally?’

  说罢,阿特尔涅两手拍了几下,莎莉应声走了进来。她动手收盘子时,菲利普刚要站起来帮忙,却被阿特尔涅一把拦住了。

‘No, father,’ answered Sally demurely.

  "让她自个儿收拾好了,我的老弟。她可不希望你无事自扰。对不,莎莉?再说,她也不会因为她伺候而你却坐着就认为你太粗鲁无礼的。她才不在乎什么骑士风度呢。我的话对不,莎莉?"

‘Do you know what I’m talking about, Sally?’

  "对,爸爸,"莎莉一字一顿地回答道。

‘No, father. But you know mother doesn’t like you to swear.’

  "我讲的你都懂吗,莎莉?"

Athelny laughed boisterously. Sally brought them plates of rice pudding, rich, creamy, and luscious. Athelny attacked his with gusto.

  "不懂,爸爸。不过你可知道妈妈不喜欢你赌咒发誓的。"

‘One of the rules of this house is that Sunday dinner should never alter. It is a ritual. Roast beef and rice pudding for fifty Sundays in the year. On Easter Sunday lamb and green peas, and at Michaelmas roast goose and apple sauce. Thus we preserve the traditions of our people. When Sally marries she will forget many of the wise things I have taught her, but she will never forget that if you want to be good and happy you must eat on Sundays roast beef and rice pudding.’

  阿特尔涅扯大嗓门格格笑着。莎莉给他们送来两盘油汪汪、香喷喷、味儿甘美的米粉布丁。阿特尔涅津津有味地吃着自己的一份布丁。

‘You’ll call when you’re ready for cheese,’ said Sally impassively.

  "鄙人家里有个规矩,就是星期天这顿中饭决不能更改。这是一种礼仪。一年五十个星期天,都得吃烤牛肉和米粉布丁。复活节日那天,吃羔羊肉和青豆。在米迦勒节,我们就吃烤鹅和苹果酱。我们就这样来保持我们民族的传统。莎莉出嫁后,会把我教给她的许多事情都忘掉的,可有一件事她决不会忘,就是若要日子过得美满幸福,那就必须在星期天吃烤牛肉和米粉布丁。"

‘D’you know the legend of the halcyon?’ said Athelny: Philip was growing used to his rapid leaping from one subject to another. ‘When the kingfisher, flying over the sea, is exhausted, his mate places herself beneath him and bears him along upon her stronger wings. That is what a man wants in a wife, the halcyon. I lived with my first wife for three years. She was a lady, she had fifteen hundred a year, and we used to give nice little dinner parties in our little red brick house in Kensington. She was a charming woman; they all said so, the barristers and their wives who dined with us, and the literary stockbrokers, and the budding politicians; oh, she was a charming woman. She made me go to church in a silk hat and a frock coat, she took me to classical concerts, and she was very fond of lectures on Sunday afternoon; and she sat down to breakfast every morning at eight-thirty, and if I was late breakfast was cold; and she read the right books, admired the right pictures, and adored the right music. My God, how that woman bored me! She is charming still, and she lives in the little red brick house in Kensington, with Morris papers and Whistler’s etchings on the walls, and gives the same nice little dinner parties, with veal creams and ices from Gunter’s, as she did twenty years ago.’

  "要奶酪的话,就喊我一声,"莎莉随便地说。

Philip did not ask by what means the ill-matched couple had separated, but Athelny told him.

  "你可晓得有关翠鸟的传说吗?"阿特尔涅问道。对他这种跳跃性的谈话方式,菲利普渐渐也习惯了。"翠鸟在大海上空飞翔的过程中乏力时,它的配偶便钻到它身子底下,用其强劲有力的翅膀托着它继续向前飞去。一个男人也正希望自己的妻子能像那只雌翠鸟那样。我同前妻在一起生活了三年。她是个阔小姐,每年有一千五百镑的进帐。因此,我们当时经常在肯辛顿大街上那幢小红砖房里举办小型宴会。她颇有几分姿色,令人销魂。人们都是这么说的,比如那些同我们一道吃过饭的律师和他们的太太啦,作家代理人啦,初出茅庐的政客啦,等等,他们都这么夸她。哦,她长得风姿绰约,夺人魂魄。她让我戴了绸帽穿上大礼服上教堂。她带我去欣赏古典音乐。她还喜欢在星期天下午去听讲演。她每天早晨八点半吃早饭。要是我迟了,就吃凉的。她读正经书,欣赏正经画,喜欢听正经的音乐。上帝啊,这个女人真叫我讨厌!现在她的姿色依然不减当年。她仍旧住在肯辛顿大街上的那幢小红砖房里。房子四周墙壁贴满了莫里斯的文章和韦斯特勒的蚀刻画。她还是跟二十年前一样,从冈特商店里买回小牛奶油和冰块在家举行小型宴会。"

‘Betty’s not my wife, you know; my wife wouldn’t divorce me. The children are bastards, every jack one of them, and are they any the worse for that? Betty was one of the maids in the little red brick house in Kensington. Four or five years ago I was on my uppers, and I had seven children, and I went to my wife and asked her to help me. She said she’d make me an allowance if I’d give Betty up and go abroad. Can you see me giving Betty up? We starved for a while instead. My wife said I loved the gutter. I’ve degenerated; I’ve come down in the world; I earn three pounds a week as press agent to a linendraper, and every day I thank God that I’m not in the little red brick house in Kensington.’

  菲利普并没有问这对毫不相配的夫妇俩后来是怎么分居的,但阿特尔涅本人却主动为他提供了答案。

Sally brought in Cheddar cheese, and Athelny went on with his fluent conversation.

  "要晓得,贝蒂并不是我的妻子。我的妻子就是不肯同我离婚。几个孩子也混帐透顶,没一个是好东西。他们那么坏又怎么样呢?那会儿贝蒂是那里的女用人之一。四五年前,我一贫如洗,陷入了困境,可还得负担七个孩子的生活。于是我去求我妻子帮我一把。可她却说,只要我撇下贝蒂跑到国外去,她就给我一笔钱。你想,我忍心这么做吗?有段时间,我们常常饿肚子。可我妻子却说我就爱着贫民窟呐。我失魂落魄,潦倒不堪。我现在在亚麻制品公司当新闻代理人,每周拿三镑工资。尽管如此,我每天都向上帝祈祷,谢天谢地我总算离开了肯辛顿大街上的那幢小小的红砖房。"

‘It’s the greatest mistake in the world to think that one needs money to bring up a family. You need money to make them gentlemen and ladies, but I don’t want my children to be ladies and gentlemen. Sally’s going to earn her living in another year. She’s to be apprenticed to a dressmaker, aren’t you, Sally? And the boys are going to serve their country. I want them all to go into the Navy; it’s a jolly life and a healthy life, good food, good pay, and a pension to end their days on.’

  莎莉进来送茄达奶酪,但阿特尔涅仍旧滔滔不绝地说着:

Philip lit his pipe. Athelny smoked cigarettes of Havana tobacco, which he rolled himself. Sally cleared away. Philip was reserved, and it embarrassed him to be the recipient of so many confidences. Athelny, with his powerful voice in the diminutive body, with his bombast, with his foreign look, with his emphasis, was an astonishing creature. He reminded Philip a good deal of Cronshaw. He appeared to have the same independence of thought, the same bohemianism, but he had an infinitely more vivacious temperament; his mind was coarser, and he had not that interest in the abstract which made Cronshaw’s conversation so captivating. Athelny was very proud of the county family to which he belonged; he showed Philip photographs of an Elizabethan mansion, and told him:

  "认为一个人有了钱才能养家活口,这是世界上最大的错误。你需要钱把你的子女培养成绅士和淑女,可我并不希望我的孩子们成为淑女和绅士。再过一年,莎莉就要出去自己混饭吃。她将去学做裁缝。对不,莎莉?至于那几个男孩,到时都得去为大英帝国效劳。我想叫他们都去当海军。那里的生活非常有趣,也很有意义。再说,那儿伙食好,待遇高,最后还有一笔养老金供他们养老送终。"

‘The Athelnys have lived there for seven centuries, my boy. Ah, if you saw the chimney-pieces and the ceilings!’

  菲利普点燃了烟斗,而阿特尔涅吸着自己用哈瓦那烟丝卷成的香烟。此时,莎莉已把桌子收拾干净。菲利普默默无言,心里却为自己与闻阿特尔涅家庭隐私而感到很不自在。阿特尔涅一副外国人的相貌,个头虽小,声音却非常洪亮,好夸夸其谈,说话时还不时加重语气,以示强调,这一切无不令人瞠目吃惊。菲利普不由得想起了业已作古的克朗肖。阿特尔涅似乎同克朗肖相仿佛,也善于独立思考,性格豪放不羁,但性情显然要比克朗肖开朗欢快。然而,他的脑子要粗疏些,对抽象的理性的东西毫不感兴趣,可克朗肖正由于这一点才使得他的谈话娓娓动听、引人入胜。阿特。尔涅声称自己是乡下显赫望族的后裔,并为之感到自豪。他把一幢伊丽莎白时代的别墅的几张照片拿出来给菲利普看,并对菲利普说:

There was a cupboard in the wainscoting and from this he took a family tree. He showed it to Philip with child-like satisfaction. It was indeed imposing.

  "我的老弟,阿特尔涅家几代人在那儿生活了七个世纪。啊,要是你能亲眼看到那儿的壁炉和天花板,该多有意思呀!"

‘You see how the family names recur, Thorpe, Athelstan, Harold, Edward; I’ve used the family names for my sons. And the girls, you see, I’ve given Spanish names to.’

  护墙板的镶装那儿有个小橱。阿特尔涅从橱子里取出一本家谱。他仿佛是个稚童,怀着扬扬得意的心情把家谱递给了菲利普。那本家谱看上去怪有气派的。

An uneasy feeling came to Philip that possibly the whole story was an elaborate imposture, not told with any base motive, but merely from a wish to impress, startle, and amaze. Athelny had told him that he was at Winchester; but Philip, sensitive to differences of manner, did not feel that his host had the characteristics of a man educated at a great public school. While he pointed out the great alliances which his ancestors had formed, Philip amused himself by wondering whether Athelny was not the son of some tradesman in Winchester, auctioneer or coal-merchant, and whether a similarity of surname was not his only connection with the ancient family whose tree he was displaying.

  "你瞧,家族的名字是怎么重现的吧:索普、阿特尔斯坦、哈罗德、爱德华。我就用家族的名字给我的儿子们起名。至于那几个女儿,你瞧,我都给她们起了西班牙名字。"

  菲利普心中倏忽生出一种不安来,担心阿特尔涅的那席话说不定是他精心炮制的谎言。他那样说倒并不是出于一种卑劣的动机,不过是出于一种炫耀自己、使人惊羡的欲望而已。阿特尔涅自称是温切斯特公学的弟子。这一点瞒不过菲利普,因为他对人们仪态方面的差异是非常敏感的。他总觉得他这位主人的身上丝毫没有在一所享有盛誉的公学受过教育的气息。阿特尔涅津津有味地叙说他的祖先同哪些高贵门第联姻的趣闻逸事,可就在这时,菲利普却在一旁饶有兴味地作着种种猜测,心想阿特尔涅保不住是温切斯特某个商人--不是煤商就是拍卖商--的儿子呢;他同那个古老的家族之间的唯一关系保不住仅是姓氏碰巧相同罢了,可他却拿着该家族的家谱在人前大肆张扬,不住炫耀。