The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

He had caught sight, across the house, of Winsett'sshabby round-shouldered back, and had once noticedhis eyes turned toward the Beaufort box. The two menshook hands, and Winsett proposed a bock at a littleGerman restaurant around the corner. Archer, whowas not in the mood for the kind of talk they werelikely to get there, declined on the plea that he hadwork to do at home; and Winsett said: "Oh, well sohave I for that matter, and I'll be the IndustriousApprentice too."

他刚才在剧院的另一端曾瞥见温塞特弯腰曲背的寒酸背影,并注意到他曾把目光转向博福特的包厢。两个人握了握手,温塞特提议到拐角处喝一杯。阿切尔此时对他们可能在那儿进行的交谈没有情绪,便借口回家有工作要做而婉言谢绝。温塞特说:“噢。我也一样,我也要做勤奋的学徒。”

They strolled along together, and presently Winsettsaid: "Look here, what I'm really after is the name ofthe dark lady in that swell box of yours--with theBeauforts, wasn't she? The one your friend Leffertsseems so smitten by."

他们一起溜达着向前走。过了一会儿,温塞特说:“听我说,我真正关心的是你们高级包厢里那位忧郁的夫人的名字——她跟博福特夫妇在一起,对吧?你的朋友莱弗茨看样子深深迷上的那一位。”

Archer, he could not have said why, was slightlyannoyed. What the devil did Ned Winsett want withEllen Olenska's name? And above all, why did he coupleit with Lefferts's? It was unlike Winsett to manifestsuch curiosity; but after all, Archer remembered, hewas a journalist.

阿切尔不知为什么有点恼火。内德·温塞特干吗想知道埃伦·奥兰斯卡的名字呢?尤其是,他干吗要把它与莱弗茨的名字相提并论?流露这种好奇心,可不像温塞特的为人。不过,阿切尔想起,他毕竟是位记者。

"It's not for an interview, I hope?" he laughed.

“我想,你不是为了采访吧?”他笑着说。

"Well--not for the press; just for myself," Winsettrejoined. "The fact is she's a neighbour of mine--queerquarter for such a beauty to settle in--and she's beenawfully kind to my little boy, who fell down her areachasing his kitten, and gave himself a nasty cut. Sherushed in bareheaded, carrying him in her arms, withhis knee all beautifully bandaged, and was so sympatheticand beautiful that my wife was too dazzled toask her name."

“唔——不是为报社,而是为我自己,”温塞特回答说。“实际上,她是我的一位邻居——这样一位美人住在那种地方可真奇怪——她对我的小男孩特别好,他在追他的猫咪时在她那边摔倒了,划伤很厉害。她没戴帽子就跑上去,把他抱在怀里,并把他的膝盖包扎得好好的。她那么有同情心,又那么漂亮,让我妻子惊讶得昏头昏脑,竟没有问她的姓名。”

A pleasant glow dilated Archer's heart. There wasnothing extraordinary in the tale: any woman wouldhave done as much for a neighbour's child. But it wasjust like Ellen, he felt, to have rushed in bareheaded,carrying the boy in her arms, and to have dazzled poorMrs. Winsett into forgetting to ask who she was.

一阵喜悦洋溢在阿切尔的心头。这段故事并没有什么非凡之处:任何一个女人都会这样对待邻居的孩子。不过他觉得这正体现了埃伦的为人:没戴帽子就跑出去,把孩子抱在怀里,并且让可怜的温塞特太太惊讶得忘了问她是谁。

"That is the Countess Olenska--a granddaughter ofold Mrs. Mingott's."

“她是奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人——老明戈特太太的一位孙女。”

"Whew--a Countess!" whistled Ned Winsett. "Well,I didn't know Countesses were so neighbourly. Mingottsain't."

“哎哟——还是位伯爵夫人!”内德·温塞特吹了个口哨说,“我没听说过伯爵夫人还这么友善,明戈特家的人就不。”

"They would be, if you'd let them."

“他们会的,假如你给他们机会。”

"Ah, well--" It was their old interminable argumentas to the obstinate unwillingness of the "clever people"to frequent the fashionable, and both men knew thatthere was no use in prolonging it.

“哎,可是——”关于“聪明人”不愿与上流社会交往的顽固性,是他俩一直争论不休的老问题了,两个人都明白,再谈下去也是无益。

"I wonder," Winsett broke off, "how a Countesshappens to live in our slum?"

温塞特突然改变话题说:“不知一位伯爵夫人怎么会住在我们贫民窟里?”

"Because she doesn't care a hang about where shelives--or about any of our little social sign-posts," saidArcher, with a secret pride in his own picture of her.

“因为她根本不在乎住在哪里——或者说不关心我们小小的社会标志,”阿切尔说,暗中为自己心目中的她感到自豪。

"H'm--been in bigger places, I suppose," the othercommented. "Well, here's my corner."

“唔——我想她是在大地方呆过吧,”另一个评论说。“哎,我该转弯了。”

He slouched off across Broadway, and Archer stoodlooking after him and musing on his last words.

他没精打采地穿过百老汇大街走了,阿切尔站在那儿望着他的背影,品味着他最后的几句话。

Ned Winsett had those flashes of penetration; theywere the most interesting thing about him, and alwaysmade Archer wonder why they had allowed him toaccept failure so stolidly at an age when most men arestill struggling.

内德·温塞特有敏锐的洞察力,这是他身上最有趣的东西,它常常使阿切尔感到纳闷:在大多数男人都还在奋斗的年纪,他的洞察力怎么会容许他无动于衷地接受了失败呢?

Archer had known that Winsett had a wife andchild, but he had never seen them. The two men alwaysmet at the Century, or at some haunt of journalists andtheatrical people, such as the restaurant where Winsetthad proposed to go for a bock. He had given Archer tounderstand that his wife was an invalid; which mightbe true of the poor lady, or might merely mean that shewas lacking in social gifts or in evening clothes, or inboth. Winsett himself had a savage abhorrence of socialobservances: Archer, who dressed in the eveningbecause he thought it cleaner and more comfortable todo so, and who had never stopped to consider thatcleanliness and comfort are two of the costliest items ina modest budget, regarded Winsett's attitude as part ofthe boring "Bohemian" pose that always made fashionablepeople, who changed their clothes without talkingabout it, and were not forever harping on the numberof servants one kept, seem so much simpler and lessself-conscious than the others. Nevertheless, he wasalways stimulated by Winsett, and whenever he caughtsight of the journalist's lean bearded face and melancholyeyes he would rout him out of his corner andcarry him off for a long talk.

阿切尔早就知道温塞特有妻子和孩子,但从未见过他们。他们两人一向在“世纪”见面,或者在一个记者与戏剧界人士常到的地方,像温塞特刚才提议去喝啤酒的那个餐馆。他给阿切尔的印象是他妻子有病,那位可怜的夫人也许真的有病,但这也许仅仅表示她缺乏社交才能或夜礼服,或者两者都缺。温塞特本人对社交礼仪深恶痛绝,阿切尔穿夜礼服是因为觉得这样更干净更舒服,而且他从没有停下来想一想,干净和舒服在不宽裕的生活开销中是两项昂贵的开支。他认为温塞特的态度属于那种“放荡不羁的文化人” 的装腔作势,他们这种态度总使得那些上流社会的人——他们换衣服不声不响,并且不老是把仆人的数目挂在嘴上——显得特别纯朴自然。尽管如此,温塞特却总能够让阿切尔受到振奋,每当见到这位记者那张瘦削的长满胡须的脸和那双忧郁的眼睛,他便把他从角落里拉出来,带他到别处进行长谈。

Winsett was not a journalist by choice. He was apure man of letters, untimely born in a world that hadno need of letters; but after publishing one volume ofbrief and exquisite literary appreciations, of which onehundred and twenty copies were sold, thirty given away,and the balance eventually destroyed by the publishers(as per contract) to make room for more marketablematerial, he had abandoned his real calling, and takena sub-editorial job on a women's weekly, where fashion-plates and paper patterns alternated with New Englandlove-stories and advertisements of temperance drinks.

温塞特做记者并非出于自己的选择。他是个纯文学家,却生不逢时,来到一个不需要文学的世界上;他出版了一卷短小优美的文学鉴赏集之后——此书卖出 120 本,赠送了30本,其余被出版商(按合同)销毁,以便为更适销的东西让位——便放弃了自己的初衷,担任了一份妇女周报的助理编辑,该报交替发表时装样片。裁剪纸样与新英格兰爱情故事和不含酒精的饮料的广告。

On the subject of "Hearth-fires" (as the paper wascalled) he was inexhaustibly entertaining; but beneathhis fun lurked the sterile bitterness of the still youngman who has tried and given up. His conversationalways made Archer take the measure of his own life,and feel how little it contained; but Winsett's, after all,contained still less, and though their common fund ofintellectual interests and curiosities made their talksexhilarating, their exchange of views usually remainedwithin the limits of a pensive dilettantism.

关于“炉火”(报纸的名称)这个话题,他有着无穷无尽的妙论。然而在他调侃的背后却隐含着那种努力过并放弃了的年轻人无奈的苦涩。他的谈话总会让阿切尔去估量自己的生活,并感到它包含的内容是多么贫乏,不过温塞特的生活毕竟包含得更少。虽然知识爱好的共同基础使他们的交谈引人入胜,但他们之间思想观点的交流通常却局限于浅尝辄止的可怜范围内。

"The fact is, life isn't much a fit for either of us,"Winsett had once said. "I'm down and out; nothing tobe done about it. I've got only one ware to produce,and there's no market for it here, and won't be in mytime. But you're free and you're well-off. Why don'tyou get into touch? There's only one way to do it: togo into politics."

“事实上,我们两人生活都不太惬意,”温塞特有一次说。“我是彻底完了,没有办法补救了。我只会生产一种商品,这里却没有它的市场,我有生之年也不会有了。而你却自由并且富有,你干吗不去发挥你的才能呢?惟一一条路是参与政治。”

Archer threw his head back and laughed. There onesaw at a flash the unbridgeable difference between menlike Winsett and the others--Archer's kind. Every onein polite circles knew that, in America, "a gentlemancouldn't go into politics." But, since he could hardlyput it in that way to Winsett, he answered evasively:"Look at the career of the honest man in Americanpolitics! They don't want us."

阿切尔把头向后一甩,哈哈大笑。在这一瞬之间,人们看清了温塞特这种人与别人——阿切尔那种人之间不可弥合的差别。上流社会圈子里人人都知道,在美国, “绅士是不从政”的。但是,因为他很难照直向温塞特说明,所以便含糊其辞地回答说:“看看美国政界正派人的遭遇吧!他们不需要我们。”

"Who's `they'? Why don't you all get together andbe `they' yourselves?"

“‘他们’是指谁?你们干吗不团结起来,也加入‘他们’当中呢?”

Archer's laugh lingered on his lips in a slightlycondescending smile. It was useless to prolong thediscussion: everybody knew the melancholy fate of thefew gentlemen who had risked their clean linen inmunicipal or state politics in New York. The day waspast when that sort of thing was possible: the countrywas in possession of the bosses and the emigrant, anddecent people had to fall back on sport or culture.

阿切尔的笑声到了嘴边又变成略显屈尊的微笑。再讨论下去是白费时间:人人都了解那几位拿自己的家庭清白到纽约市或纽约州政界冒险的绅士的伤心命运。时代不同了,国家掌握在老板和移民手中,正派人只得退居体育运动和文化活动——那种情况再也不可能了。

"Culture! Yes--if we had it! But there are just a fewlittle local patches, dying out here and there for lackof--well, hoeing and cross-fertilising: the last remnantsof the old European tradition that your forebears broughtwith them. But you're in a pitiful little minority: you'vegot no centre, no competition, no audience. You're likethe pictures on the walls of a deserted house: `ThePortrait of a Gentleman.' You'll never amount to anything,any of you, till you roll up your sleeves and getright down into the muck. That, or emigrate . . . God!If I could emigrate . . ."

“文化!不错——我们要是有文化就好了!这里只有几片分散的小片田地,由于缺乏——唔,缺乏耕耘与异花受精而凋零、死亡:这就是你们的先辈带来的欧洲古老传统的残余。但你们处于可怜的少数:没有中心,没有竞争,没有观众。你们就像荒宅里墙壁上的画像——‘绅士的画像’。你们永远成不了气候,任何人都不能,除非挽起袖子,到泥水里摸爬滚打,只有这样,不然就出国做移民……上帝啊!假如我能移民……”

Archer mentally shrugged his shoulders and turnedthe conversation back to books, where Winsett, ifuncertain, was always interesting. Emigrate! As if agentleman could abandon his own country! One could nomore do that than one could roll up one's sleeves andgo down into the muck. A gentleman simply stayed athome and abstained. But you couldn't make a man likeWinsett see that; and that was why the New York ofliterary clubs and exotic restaurants, though a firstshake made it seem more of a kaleidoscope, turned out,in the end, to be a smaller box, with a more monotonouspattern, than the assembled atoms of Fifth Avenue.

阿切尔暗自耸了耸肩膀,把话题转回到读书上。这方面,如果说温塞特也让人捉摸不透,但他的见解却总是很有趣。移民!好像绅士们还会抛弃自己的家园!谁也不会那样做,就像不可能挽起袖子到泥水里摸爬滚打。绅士们索性就呆在家中自暴自弃。可你无法让温塞特这样的人明白这一点,所以说,拥有文学俱乐部和异国风味餐馆的纽约社会,虽然初次振动一下可以使它变得像个万花筒,但到头来,它不过只是个小匣子,其图案比第五大街各种成分汇合在一起更显单调。

The next morning Archer scoured the town in vain formore yellow roses. In consequence of this search hearrived late at the office, perceived that his doing somade no difference whatever to any one, and was filledwith sudden exasperation at the elaborate futility of hislife. Why should he not be, at that moment, on thesands of St. Augustine with May Welland? No one wasdeceived by his pretense of professional activity. Inold-fashioned legal firms like that of which Mr. Letterblairwas the head, and which were mainly engaged inthe management of large estates and "conservative"investments, there were always two or three youngmen, fairly well-off, and without professional ambition,who, for a certain number of hours of each day, sat attheir desks accomplishing trivial tasks, or simply readingthe newspapers. Though it was supposed to beproper for them to have an occupation, the crude factof money-making was still regarded as derogatory, andthe law, being a profession, was accounted a moregentlemanly pursuit than business. But none of theseyoung men had much hope of really advancing in hisprofession, or any earnest desire to do so; and overmany of them the green mould of the perfunctory wasalready perceptibly spreading.

第二天早晨,阿切尔跑遍市区,却没有买到更多的黄玫瑰。搜索的结果使他到事务所迟到了。他发觉这样做对任何人都没有丝毫影响。有感于自己生命的毫无意义,心中顿然充满了烦恼。这个时候他为何不与梅·韦兰一起在圣奥古斯丁的沙滩上呢?他那职业热情的借口谁也骗不了。像莱特布赖先生领导的这种法律事务所,主要从事大宗财产与“稳健”投资的管理,在这类老式的事务所里面总有那么两三个年轻人,他们家境富足,事业上没有抱负,每天花几小时坐在办公桌后面处理些琐事,或者干脆读报纸。虽然人人都认为自己应该有个职业,但赤裸裸地挣钱依然被看作有伤体面,而法律作为一种职业,被视为比经商更有身份的工作。然而这些年轻人没有一个有望在职业上有所成就,而且他们谁也没有这种迫切的欲望。在他们许多人身上,一种新型的敷衍塞责的习气已经相当明显地蔓延起来。

It made Archer shiver to think that it might be spreadingover him too. He had, to be sure, other tastes andinterests; he spent his vacations in European travel,cultivated the "clever people" May spoke of, andgenerally tried to "keep up," as he had somewhat wistfullyput it to Madame Olenska. But once he was married,what would become of this narrow margin of life inwhich his real experiences were lived? He had seenenough of other young men who had dreamed hisdream, though perhaps less ardently, and who hadgradually sunk into the placid and luxurious routine oftheir elders.

阿切尔想到这种习气也会蔓延到自己身上,心中不禁不寒而栗。当然,他还有其他的趣味与爱好。他经常到欧洲度假旅行,结识了梅所说的“聪明人”,并且正像他怀着思念之情对奥兰斯卡夫人所说的,他尽力在总体上“跟上形势”。然而,一旦结了婚,他实际经历的这种狭小生活范围会有什么变化呢?他已经见过好多跟他怀有同样梦想的年轻人——虽然他们热情可能不如他高——逐渐陷进了他们长辈们那种平静舒适的生活常规。

From the office he sent a note by messenger to MadameOlenska, asking if he might call that afternoon,and begging her to let him find a reply at his club; butat the club he found nothing, nor did he receive anyletter the following day. This unexpected silence mortifiedhim beyond reason, and though the next morninghe saw a glorious cluster of yellow roses behind aflorist's window-pane, he left it there. It was only onthe third morning that he received a line by post fromthe Countess Olenska. To his surprise it was datedfrom Skuytercliff, whither the van der Luydens hadpromptly retreated after putting the Duke on board hissteamer.

他让信差从事务所给奥兰斯卡夫人送去一封便函,询问可否在下午前去拜访,并请求她将回信送到他的俱乐部。但到了俱乐部,他什么也没见到,第二天也没接到回信。这一意外的沉默使他羞愧难当。翌日上午虽然他在一家花商的橱窗里见到一束灿烂的黄玫瑰,也未去问津。直到第三日上午,他才收到奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人邮来的一封短信,令他惊讶的是,信是从斯库特克利夫寄来的,范德卢顿夫妇把公爵送上船后立即返回那儿去了。

"I ran away," the writer began abruptly (without theusual preliminaries), "the day after I saw you at theplay, and these kind friends have taken me in. I wantedto be quiet, and think things over. You were right intelling me how kind they were; I feel myself so safehere. I wish that you were with us." She ended with aconventional "Yours sincerely," and without any allusionto the date of her return.

“在剧院见到你的第二天,我逃跑了,”写信者突兀地开头道(没有通常的开场白),“是这些好心的朋友收留了我。我需要安静下来,好好想一想。你曾说他们对我有多好,你说得很对。我觉得自己在这里很安全。我多盼望你能跟我们在一起呀。”她在结尾用了惯常的“谨启”二字,没有提及她回来的日期。

The tone of the note surprised the young man. Whatwas Madame Olenska running away from, and whydid she feel the need to be safe? His first thought wasof some dark menace from abroad; then he reflectedthat he did not know her epistolary style, and that itmight run to picturesque exaggeration. Women alwaysexaggerated; and moreover she was not wholly at herease in English, which she often spoke as if she weretranslating from the French. "Je me suis evadee--" putin that way, the opening sentence immediately suggestedthat she might merely have wanted to escapefrom a boring round of engagements; which was verylikely true, for he judged her to be capricious, andeasily wearied of the pleasure of the moment.

信中的口气让年轻人颇感惊讶。奥兰斯卡夫人要逃避什么呢?她为什么需要安全感?他首先想到的是来自国外的某种阴险的威胁,接着又琢磨,自己并不了解她写信的风格,也许这属于生动的夸张。女人总是爱夸张的,而且,她对英语还不能完全运用自如,讲的话时常像是刚从法语翻译过来似的。从法语的角度看,第一句话让人直接想到她可能仅仅想躲避一次讨厌的约会,事情很可能就是这样,因为他认为她很任性,很容易对一时的快乐发生厌倦。

It amused him to think of the van der Luydens'having carried her off to Skuytercliff on a second visit,and this time for an indefinite period. The doors ofSkuytercliff were rarely and grudgingly opened to visitors,and a chilly week-end was the most ever offeredto the few thus privileged. But Archer had seen, on hislast visit to Paris, the delicious play of Labiche, "LeVoyage de M. Perrichon," and he remembered M.Perrichon's dogged and undiscouraged attachment tothe young man whom he had pulled out of the glacier.The van der Luydens had rescued Madame Olenskafrom a doom almost as icy; and though there weremany other reasons for being attracted to her, Archerknew that beneath them all lay the gentle and obstinatedetermination to go on rescuing her.

想到范德卢顿夫妇把她带到斯库特克利夫进行二次拜访,且这一次没有期限,阿切尔觉得很有趣。斯库特克利夫别墅的大门是难得对客人开放的,获此殊荣的少数人所得到的也往往是令人寒心的周末。不过阿切尔上次去巴黎时曾看过拉比什美妙的喜剧《贝利松先生的旅程》,他还记得贝利松先生对他从冰河中拉出来的那个年轻人那种百折不挠的依恋。范德卢顿夫妇从犹如冰川的厄运中救出了奥兰斯卡夫人,尽管对她的好感还有许多其他原因,但阿切尔明白,在那些原因背后是继续挽救她的高尚而顽强的决心。

He felt a distinct disappointment on learning that shewas away; and almost immediately remembered that,only the day before, he had refused an invitation tospend the following Sunday with the Reggie Chiversesat their house on the Hudson, a few miles belowSkuytercliff.

得知她走了的消息,他明显地感到很失望,并且几乎立即就想起,前一天他刚拒绝了里吉·奇弗斯夫妇邀请的事。他们请他到他们哈德逊的住宅度过下个周日,那地方就在斯库特克利夫以南几英里处。

He had had his fill long ago of the noisy friendlyparties at Highbank, with coasting, ice-boating, sleighing,long tramps in the snow, and a general flavour ofmild flirting and milder practical jokes. He had justreceived a box of new books from his London book-seller, and had preferred the prospect of a quiet Sundayat home with his spoils. But he now went into the clubwriting-room, wrote a hurried telegram, and told theservant to send it immediately. He knew that Mrs.Reggie didn't object to her visitors' suddenly changingtheir minds, and that there was always a room to sparein her elastic house.

很久以前他已尽情享受过海班克那种喧闹友好的聚会,还有沿岸旅行、划冰船、坐雪橇。雪中长途步行等等,并饱尝了适度调情与更适度的恶作剧的大致滋味。他刚刚收到伦敦书商寄来的一箱新书,憧憬着与他的宝物度过一个安静的周日。而现在他却走进了俱乐部的写字间,匆忙写了一封电报,命令仆人立即发出。他知道,里吉太太并不反对她的客人们突然改变主意,而且,在她那富有弹性的住宅里永远能腾出一个房间。