Of Human Bondage  人性的枷锁

‘Now then, children, tea’s ready,’ she said.

  "嘿,孩子们,茶点准备好了,"莎莉喊道。

Jane slipped off Philip’s knees, and they all went back to the kitchen. Sally began to lay the cloth on the long Spanish table.

  珍妮从菲利普的腿上溜了下来,跟着其他孩子一道跑向厨房。莎莉这才开始在那张长长的西班牙餐桌上铺台布。

‘Mother says, shall she come and have tea with you?’ she asked. ‘I can give the children their tea.’

  "妈妈说,她是不是也来这儿同你们一块用茶点?"莎莉问道。"我可以去招呼孩子们吃茶点。"

‘Tell your mother that we shall be proud and honoured if she will favour us with her company,’ said Athelny.

  "请禀告你母,若蒙她光临作伴,我两人将不胜荣幸骄傲之至,"阿特尔涅戏谑地说。

It seemed to Philip that he could never say anything without an oratorical flourish.

  在菲利普看来,阿特尔涅不说话则已,一张嘴说话总是离不开演说家的华丽的词藻。

‘Then I’ll lay for her,’ said Sally.

  "那好,我也给妈妈铺块台布,"莎莉应声说。

She came back again in a moment with a tray on which were a cottage loaf, a slab of butter, and a jar of strawberry jam. While she placed the things on the table her father chaffed her. He said it was quite time she was walking out; he told Philip that she was very proud, and would have nothing to do with aspirants to that honour who lined up at the door, two by two, outside the Sunday school and craved the honour of escorting her home.

  不一会,莎莉又回来了,手里托着浅盘,盘子里放着一只面包、一块厚厚的黄油和一罐草莓果酱。在她把这些东西一一摆在桌子上的当儿,她父亲同她打趣逗乐。他说莎莉该出去见见世面了。他告诉菲利普,说成双成对的追求者排着队候在主日学校门口等她,一个个争先恐后地要伴送她回家,可她却矜夸傲慢,连睬也不睬他们。

‘You do talk, father,’ said Sally, with her slow, good-natured smile.

  "爸爸,你就别说了,"莎莉嗔怪地说,脸上现出她那冷漠但不无好意的微笑。

‘You wouldn’t think to look at her that a tailor’s assistant has enlisted in the army because she would not say how d’you do to him and an electrical engineer, an electrical engineer, mind you, has taken to drink because she refused to share her hymn-book with him in church. I shudder to think what will happen when she puts her hair up.’

  "一个裁缝店的伙计就因为莎莉不肯同他打招呼,一气之下去当了兵。还有一位工程师,请注意,这回是个工程师,只为了莎莉不愿在教堂同他合用一本赞美诗集这件事,就开始酗酒。你知道了这一切之后,恐怕连想看她一眼都不敢想喽。我真担心,她束发以后还不知会怎么样呢?"

‘Mother’ll bring the tea along herself,’ said Sally.

  "妈妈自己送茶来,"莎莉淡淡地说了一句。

‘Sally never pays any attention to me,’ laughed Athelny, looking at her with fond, proud eyes. ‘She goes about her business indifferent to wars, revolutions, and cataclysms. What a wife she’ll make to an honest man!’

  "莎莉从来不听我的话,"阿特尔涅哈哈大笑,用慈爱的、骄傲的目光望着莎莉。"她整天只知道干她的事,什么战争啦,革命啦,动乱啦,她都一慨不闻不问。对一个诚实的男人来说,她将会是个多么贤惠的妻子哟!"

Mrs. Athelny brought in the tea. She sat down and proceeded to cut bread and butter. It amused Philip to see that she treated her husband as though he were a child. She spread jam for him and cut up the bread and butter into convenient slices for him to eat. She had taken off her hat; and in her Sunday dress, which seemed a little tight for her, she looked like one of the farmers’ wives whom Philip used to call on sometimes with his uncle when he was a small boy. Then he knew why the sound of her voice was familiar to him. She spoke just like the people round Blackstable.

  阿特尔涅太太端茶进来。她一坐下来便动手切面包和黄油。看到她把丈夫当小孩子似的伺候,菲利普感到挺有趣的。她给阿特尔涅涂果酱,把面包和黄油切成一片片的,好让他不费事就送进嘴里。她取下了帽子。她身上穿的节日服装似乎紧了点,样子就像他小时候有时跟大伯去拜访的那位农夫的妻子。直到此时,他才明白她的声音听上去为什么这么熟悉的原因。她的口音同布莱克斯泰勃一带居民的口音非常相近。

‘What part of the country d’you come from?’ he asked her.

  "您是哪里人?"菲利普问阿特尔涅太太说。

‘I’m a Kentish woman. I come from Ferne.’

  "我是肯特郡人,老家在费尔恩。"

‘I thought as much. My uncle’s Vicar of Blackstable.’

  "我想大概是这样。我大伯是布莱克斯泰勃教区的牧师。"

‘That’s a funny thing now,’ she said. ‘I was wondering in Church just now whether you was any connection of Mr. Carey. Many’s the time I’ve seen ‘im. A cousin of mine married Mr. Barker of Roxley Farm, over by Blackstable Church, and I used to go and stay there often when I was a girl. Isn’t that a funny thing now?’

  "说来真有趣,"阿特尔涅太太说。"我刚才在教堂还在想您同凯里先生是否是亲戚来着。我见过凯里先生多次啦。我的一位表妹就是嫁给布莱克斯泰勃教堂那边的罗克斯利农场的巴克先生的。我做姑娘时常到那儿去住上几天。你们说这事有趣不有趣呀?"

She looked at him with a new interest, and a brightness came into her faded eyes. She asked him whether he knew Ferne. It was a pretty village about ten miles across country from Blackstable, and the Vicar had come over sometimes to Blackstable for the harvest thanksgiving. She mentioned names of various farmers in the neighbourhood. She was delighted to talk again of the country in which her youth was spent, and it was a pleasure to her to recall scenes and people that had remained in her memory with the tenacity peculiar to her class. It gave Philip a queer sensation too. A breath of the country-side seemed to be wafted into that panelled room in the middle of London. He seemed to see the fat Kentish fields with their stately elms; and his nostrils dilated with the scent of the air; it is laden with the salt of the North Sea, and that makes it keen and sharp.

  阿特尔涅太太说罢又饶有兴趣地把菲利普打量了一番,此时她那对黯然失色的眸于又放出了光亮。她问菲利普知道不知道费尔恩这块地方。费尔恩离布莱克斯泰勃只有十英里,是个美丽的村庄,菲利普的牧师大伯有时候在收割季节也到那儿去作感恩祈祷。阿特尔涅太太还报出了村庄附近的几位农夫的姓名。她为能再一次谈论她少女时代度过的乡村而感到高兴,对她来说,回想一下凭她这种阶层的女人所特有的记忆力而刻在脑海的往昔的情景和熟悉的人们,确是人生一大快事。这也使得菲利普内心生出一种莫名其妙的情感。一缕乡村气息似乎消融、荡漾在这间位于伦敦中心的门墙镶有嵌板的房间里了。菲利普仿佛看到了高耸着亭亭若盖的榆树的肯特沃土,嗅到了馥郁芬芳的气味,气味中充斥着北海海风的咸味,因此变得更加刺鼻、浓烈。

Philip did not leave the Athelnys’ till ten o’clock. The children came in to say good-night at eight and quite naturally put up their faces for Philip to kiss. His heart went out to them. Sally only held out her hand.

  钟敲十点,菲利普才起身告辞。八点钟时,孩子们进来同他告别,一个个无拘无束地仰起小脸蛋让菲利普亲吻。他对这些孩子满怀怜爱之情。丽莎莉只是向他伸过一只手来。

‘Sally never kisses gentlemen till she’s seen them twice,’ said her father.

  "莎莉是从来不吻只见过一面的先生的,"她的父亲打趣说。

‘You must ask me again then,’ said Philip.

  "那你得再请我来啊,"菲利普接着说了一句。

‘You mustn’t take any notice of what father says,’ remarked Sally, with a smile.

  "你不要理睬我爸爸说的话就是了,"莎莉笑吟吟地说。

‘She’s a most self-possessed young woman,’ added her parent.

  "她是个最有自制力的妙龄女郎,"她父亲又补了一句。

They had supper of bread and cheese and beer, while Mrs. Athelny was putting the children to bed; and when Philip went into the kitchen to bid her good-night (she had been sitting there, resting herself and reading The Weekly Despatch) she invited him cordially to come again.

  在阿特尔涅大大张罗孩子们睡觉的当儿,菲利普和阿特尔涅两人吃了顿有面包、奶酪和啤酒的夜餐。当菲利普走进厨房同阿特尔涅太太告别时(她一直坐在厨房里休息,并看着《每周快讯》),阿特尔涅太太亲切地邀请他以后再来。

‘There’s always a good dinner on Sundays so long as Athelny’s in work,’ she said, ‘and it’s a charity to come and talk to him.’

  "只要阿特尔涅不失业,星期天总是有一顿丰盛的饭菜的,"阿特尔涅太太对菲利普说,"你能来伴他说个话儿是最好不过的。"

On the following Saturday Philip received a postcard from Athelny saying that they were expecting him to dinner next day; but fearing their means were not such that Mr. Athelny would desire him to accept, Philip wrote back that he would only come to tea. He bought a large plum cake so that his entertainment should cost nothing. He found the whole family glad to see him, and the cake completed his conquest of the children. He insisted that they should all have tea together in the kitchen, and the meal was noisy and hilarious.

  在随后一周的星期六,菲利普接到阿特尔涅的一张明信片,信上说他全家引颈盼望菲利普于星期日与他们共进午餐。但是菲利普担心阿特尔涅家的经济状况并不如他说的那么好,于是便写了封回信,说他只来用茶点。菲利普去时,买了一块大葡萄干蛋糕带着,为的是不让自己空着手去接受别人的款待。他到时发觉阿特尔涅全家见到他都非常高兴。而他带去的那块蛋糕彻底地赢得了孩子们对他的好感。菲利普随大家一道在厨房里用茶点,席间欢声笑语不绝。

Soon Philip got into the habit of going to Athelny’s every Sunday. He became a great favourite with the children, because he was simple and unaffected and because it was so plain that he was fond of them. As soon as they heard his ring at the door one of them popped a head out of window to make sure it was he, and then they all rushed downstairs tumultuously to let him in. They flung themselves into his arms. At tea they fought for the privilege of sitting next to him. Soon they began to call him Uncle Philip.

  不久,菲利普养成了每个星期日都上阿特尔涅家的习惯。他深得阿特尔涅的儿女们的爱戴,这是因为他心地纯真,从来不生气的缘故。还有一个最简单不过的理由是他也喜欢他们。每当菲利普来按响门铃的时候,一个孩子便从窗户探出小脑袋,要是吃准是菲利普到了的话,孩子们便一窝蜂地冲下楼来开门迎他,接着一个个投入菲利普的怀抱。用茶点的时候,他们你争我夺地抢着坐在菲利普的身边。没过多久,他们便称呼他菲利普叔叔了。

Athelny was very communicative, and little by little Philip learned the various stages of his life. He had followed many occupations, and it occurred to Philip that he managed to make a mess of everything he attempted. He had been on a tea plantation in Ceylon and a traveller in America for Italian wines; his secretaryship of the water company in Toledo had lasted longer than any of his employments; he had been a journalist and for some time had worked as police-court reporter for an evening paper; he had been sub-editor of a paper in the Midlands and editor of another on the Riviera. From all his occupations he had gathered amusing anecdotes, which he told with a keen pleasure in his own powers of entertainment. He had read a great deal, chiefly delighting in books which were unusual; and he poured forth his stores of abstruse knowledge with child-like enjoyment of the amazement of his hearers. Three or four years before abject poverty had driven him to take the job of press-representative to a large firm of drapers; and though he felt the work unworthy his abilities, which he rated highly, the firmness of his wife and the needs of his family had made him stick to it.

  阿特尔涅谈锋甚健,因此菲利普渐渐了解到阿特尔涅在不同时期的生活情况。阿特尔涅一生中于过不少行当,但在菲利普的印象中,阿特尔涅每千一项工作,总是设法把工作弄得一团糟。他曾在锡兰的一个茶场里做过事,还在美国当过兜售意大利酒的旅行推销员。他在托莱多水利公司任秘书一职比他干任何别的差使都长。他当过记者,一度还是一家晚报的违警罪法庭新闻记者。他还当过英国中部地区一家报纸的副编辑以及里维埃拉的另一家报纸的编辑。阿特尔涅从他干过的种种职业里搜集到不少趣闻,他什么时候想娱乐一番,就兴趣盎然地抖落那些趣闻。他披卷破帙,博览群书,主要的兴趣在读些海内珍本;他讲起那些充满深奥难懂的知识的故事来,真是口若悬河,滔滔不绝,还像小孩子似的,看到听众脸上显出惊奇的神情而感到沾沾自喜。三四年以前,他落到了赤贫如洗的境地,不得不接受一家大花布公司的新闻代理人一职。他自认自己才识过人,觉得接受这一差使后没了自己的才干,但是,在他妻子的一再坚持之下,以及迫于家庭生计,他才硬着头皮干了下来。