The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

In the morning he had a spin in the ice-boat with hishostess and a few of the hardier guests; in the afternoonhe "went over the farm" with Reggie, and listened,in the elaborately appointed stables, to long andimpressive disquisitions on the horse; after tea he talkedin a corner of the firelit hall with a young lady whohad professed herself broken-hearted when his engagementwas announced, but was now eager to tell him ofher own matrimonial hopes; and finally, about midnight,he assisted in putting a gold-fish in one visitor'sbed, dressed up a burglar in the bath-room of a nervousaunt, and saw in the small hours by joining in apillow-fight that ranged from the nurseries to thebasement. But on Sunday after luncheon he borrowed acutter, and drove over to Skuytercliff.

上午他与女主人及几位勇敢的客人一起划了冰船;下午他同里吉“视察了农场”,并在精心指定的马厩里听取了有关马的颇为感人的专题演讲;下午用过茶点之后,他在炉火映照的客厅一角与一位年轻女士进行了交谈,后者曾声称在他订婚消息宣布之时她伤心欲绝,但现在却迫不及待地要告诉他自己对婚姻的抱负。最后,在午夜时分,他又协助在一位客人床上摆上金鱼,装修好一位胆小的姑妈浴室里的报警器,后半夜又和别人一起观看了一场从育儿室闹到地下室的小争执。然而星期日午餐过后,他却借了一辆单马拉的小雪橇,向斯库特克利夫驶去。

People had always been told that the house atSkuytercliff was an Italian villa. Those who had neverbeen to Italy believed it; so did some who had. Thehouse had been built by Mr. van der Luyden in hisyouth, on his return from the "grand tour," and inanticipation of his approaching marriage with MissLouisa Dagonet. It was a large square wooden structure,with tongued and grooved walls painted palegreen and white, a Corinthian portico, and flutedpilasters between the windows. From the high ground onwhich it stood a series of terraces bordered by balustradesand urns descended in the steel-engraving styleto a small irregular lake with an asphalt edge overhungby rare weeping conifers. To the right and left, thefamous weedless lawns studded with "specimen" trees(each of a different variety) rolled away to long rangesof grass crested with elaborate cast-iron ornaments;and below, in a hollow, lay the four-roomed stonehouse which the first Patroon had built on the landgranted him in 1612.

过去人们一直听说斯库特克利夫那所宅院是一座意大利别墅。未去过意大利的人信以为真,有些去过的人也无异议。那房子是范德卢顿先生年轻时候建造的,那时他刚结束“伟大的旅行”归来,期待着与路易莎·达戈内特小姐行将举办的婚事。那是个巨大的方形木制建筑物,企口接缝的墙壁涂成淡绿色和白色,一道科林斯式的圆柱门廊,窗与窗之间是刻有四槽的半露柱。从宅院所在的高地下来是一个接一个的平台,平台边缘都有扶栏和蕨壶树,钢板雕刻似地一级级下降,通向一个形状不规则的小湖,湖的沿岸铺了沥青,岸边悬垂着珍稀垂枝针叶树。左右两侧是没有杂草的一流草坪,其间点缀着“标本”树(每一株都属不同品种),一直起伏绵延至漫长的草地,草地最高处装有精心制作的铸铁装饰。下面一块谷地中有一幢四居室的石头宅院,是第一位大庄园主1612年在封赐给他的土地上建造的。

Against the uniform sheet of snow and the greyishwinter sky the Italian villa loomed up rather grimly;even in summer it kept its distance, and the boldestcoleus bed had never ventured nearer than thirty feetfrom its awful front. Now, as Archer rang the bell, thelong tinkle seemed to echo through a mausoleum; andthe surprise of the butler who at length responded tothe call was as great as though he had been summonedfrom his final sleep.

笼罩在冬季灰蒙蒙的天空与一片皑皑白雪之间的这座意大利别墅显得相当阴郁,即使在夏季它也保持几分冷淡,连最无拘无束的锦紫苏苗也不敢越雷池半步,始终与别墅威严的前沿保持在30英尺开外的距离。此刻阿切尔摁响了门铃,拖长的丁零声好像经过一座陵墓反转回来,终于反应过来的管家无比惊讶,仿佛从长眠中被唤醒一般。

Happily Archer was of the family, and therefore,irregular though his arrival was, entitled to be informedthat the Countess Olenska was out, having driven toafternoon service with Mrs. van der Luyden exactlythree quarters of an hour earlier.

值得庆幸的是阿切尔属于家族成员,因此,尽管他的光临十分唐突,但仍有资格被告知奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人不在家,她在三刻钟前与范德卢顿太太一起乘车去做下午的礼拜了。

"Mr. van der Luyden," the butler continued, "isin, sir; but my impression is that he is either finishinghis nap or else reading yesterday's Evening Post. Iheard him say, sir, on his return from church thismorning, that he intended to look through the EveningPost after luncheon; if you like, sir, I might go to thelibrary door and listen--"

“范德卢顿先生在家,”管家接着说,“不过我想,他现在要么刚要从午睡中醒来,要么正在阅读昨天的《晚邮报》。上午他从教堂回来时,大人,我听他说要在午饭后浏览一下《晚邮报》;如果你乐意,大人,我可以到图书室门口去听一听——”

But Archer, thanking him, said that he would go andmeet the ladies; and the butler, obviously relieved, closedthe door on him majestically.

然而阿切尔却谢绝了他,说他愿去迎一迎夫人们。管家显然松了口气,对着他庄严地把门关上了。

A groom took the cutter to the stables, and Archerstruck through the park to the high-road. The village ofSkuytercliff was only a mile and a half away, but heknew that Mrs. van der Luyden never walked, and thathe must keep to the road to meet the carriage. Presently,however, coming down a foot-path that crossedthe highway, he caught sight of a slight figure in a redcloak, with a big dog running ahead. He hurried forward,and Madame Olenska stopped short with a smileof welcome.

一名马夫把小雪橇赶到马厩里,阿切尔穿过停车场到了大路上。斯库特克利夫村离这儿只有一英里半远,可他知道范德卢顿太太决不会步行,他必须盯在大路上才能看见马车。然而不久,在与大路交叉的人行小道上,他瞥见一个披红斗篷的苗条身影,一条大狗跑在前面。他急忙赶上前去,奥兰斯卡夫人猛然停住脚步,脸上露出欢迎的笑容。

"Ah, you've come!" she said, and drew her handfrom her muff.

“啊,你来啦!”她说着,从手筒里抽出手来。

The red cloak made her look gay and vivid, like theEllen Mingott of old days; and he laughed as he tookher hand, and answered: "I came to see what you wererunning away from."

红斗篷使她显得活泼愉快,很像从前那位埃伦·明戈特。他笑着抓起她的手,回答说:“我来是要看一看你在逃避什么。”

Her face clouded over, but she answered: "Ah, well--you will see, presently."

她脸上掠过一片阴云,不过却回答道:“哦——很快你就明白了。”

The answer puzzled him. "Why--do you mean thatyou've been overtaken?"

她的回答令他困惑不解。“怎么——你是说你遇到了意外?”

She shrugged her shoulders, with a little movementlike Nastasia's, and rejoined in a lighter tone: "Shallwe walk on? I'm so cold after the sermon. And whatdoes it matter, now you're here to protect me?"

她耸了耸肩膀,外加一个很像娜斯塔西娅的小动作,用比较轻松的语气说:“我们往前走走好吗?听过讲道之后我觉得特别冷。现在有你在这儿保护我,还怕什么呢?”

The blood rose to his temples and he caught a fold ofher cloak. "Ellen--what is it? You must tell me."

热血涌上了他的额头,他抓住她斗篷的一条褶说:“埃伦——是什么事?你一定得告诉我。”

"Oh, presently--let's run a race first: my feet arefreezing to the ground," she cried; and gathering up thecloak she fled away across the snow, the dog leapingabout her with challenging barks. For a moment Archerstood watching, his gaze delighted by the flash of thered meteor against the snow; then he started after her,and they met, panting and laughing, at a wicket thatled into the park.

“啊,现在——咱们先来一次赛跑,我的脚冻得快要不能走了,”她喊着说,一面抓起斗篷,在雪地上跑开了。那条狗在她身旁跳跃着,发出挑战的吠声。一时间,阿切尔站在那儿注目观看,雪野上那颗闪动的红色流星令他赏心说目。接着他拔腿追赶,在通向停车场的栅门处赶上了她,两人一边喘息一边笑。

She looked up at him and smiled. "I knew you'dcome!"

她抬眼望着他,嫣然一笑说:“我知道你会来的!”

"That shows you wanted me to," he returned, with adisproportionate joy in their nonsense. The white glitterof the trees filled the air with its own mysteriousbrightness, and as they walked on over the snow theground seemed to sing under their feet.

“这说明你希望我来,”他回答道,对他们的嘻闹显得兴奋异常。银白色的树木在空中闪着神秘的光亮。他们踏雪向前行进,大地仿佛在他们脚下欢唱。

"Where did you come from?" Madame Olenska asked.

“你是从哪儿来的?”奥兰斯卡夫人问道。

He told her, and added: "It was because I got yournote."

他告诉了她,并补充说:“因为我收到了你的信。”

After a pause she said, with a just perceptible chill inher voice: "May asked you to take care of me."

停了一会儿,她说:“原来是梅要求你照顾我的。”声音里明显带着几分扫兴。

"I didn't need any asking."

“我用不着谁来要求。”

"You mean--I'm so evidently helpless and defenceless?What a poor thing you must all think me! But womenhere seem not--seem never to feel the need: any morethan the blessed in heaven."

“你是说——我明摆着是孤立无助?你们一定都把我想得太可怜了!不过这儿的女人好像并不——好像决不会有这种需要,一点儿也不需要。”

He lowered his voice to ask: "What sort of a need?"

他放低了声音问:“什么样的需要?”

"Ah, don't ask me! I don't speak your language,"she retorted petulantly.

“唉,你别问我!我和你们没有共同语言,”她任性地顶撞他道。

The answer smote him like a blow, and he stood stillin the path, looking down at her.

这回答给了他当头一棒,他默然地站在小路上,低头望着她。

"What did I come for, if I don't speak yours?"

“如果我和你没有共同语言,我来这儿是干什么呢?”

"Oh, my friend--!" She laid her hand lightly on hisarm, and he pleaded earnestly: "Ellen--why won't youtell me what's happened?"

“唉,我的朋友——!”她把手轻轻放在他的臂上。他恳切地请求道:“埃伦——你为什么不告诉我发生了什么事?”

She shrugged again. "Does anything ever happen inheaven?"

她又耸了耸肩膀。“难道真的会有什么事发生吗?”

He was silent, and they walked on a few yardswithout exchanging a word. Finally she said: "I willtell you--but where, where, where? One can't be alonefor a minute in that great seminary of a house, with allthe doors wide open, and always a servant bringingtea, or a log for the fire, or the newspaper! Is therenowhere in an American house where one may be byone's self? You're so shy, and yet you're so public. Ialways feel as if I were in the convent again--or on thestage, before a dreadfully polite audience that neverapplauds."

他沉默了。他们一声不吭地向前走了几英尺。她终于说道:“我会告诉你的——可在哪儿,在哪儿告诉你呢?在大温床一样的家里,独自呆一分钟也办不到,所有的门都开着,老是有仆人送茶,送取暖的木柴,送报纸!美国的家庭中难道没有个人的独处之地吗?你们那么怕见人,又那么无遮无掩。我老觉得仿佛又进了修道院 ——或者上了舞台,面对着一群彬彬有礼却决不会鼓掌的可怕观众。”

"Ah, you don't like us!" Archer exclaimed.

“哦,你不喜欢我们!”阿切尔大声说。

They were walking past the house of the oldPatroon, with its squat walls and small square windowscompactly grouped about a central chimney. The shuttersstood wide, and through one of the newly-washedwindows Archer caught the light of a fire.

他们正走过老庄园主的那栋住宅,它那低矮的墙壁与方形的小窗密集分布在中央烟筒周围。百叶窗全开着,透过一个新刷过的窗口,阿切尔瞥见了炉火的亮光。

"Why--the house is open!" he said.

“啊——这房子开着呢!”他说。

She stood still. "No; only for today, at least. I wantedto see it, and Mr. van der Luyden had the fire lit andthe windows opened, so that we might stop there onthe way back from church this morning." She ran upthe steps and tried the door. "It's still unlocked--whatluck! Come in and we can have a quiet talk. Mrs. vander Luyden has driven over to see her old aunts atRhinebeck and we shan't be missed at the house foranother hour."

她站着不动。“不;只是今天才打开。我想要看看它,范德卢顿先生就让人把炉火生着,把窗子打开了,以便我们上午从教堂回来的路上可以在里面歇歇脚。”她跑上门阶,试着推了推门。“门还没有锁——大幸运了!进来吧,我们可以安静地谈一谈了。范德卢顿太太乘车去莱因贝克看她老姑去了,我们在这房子里再呆一小时也不会有人惦念的。”

He followed her into the narrow passage. His spirits,which had dropped at her last words, rose with anirrational leap. The homely little house stood there, itspanels and brasses shining in the firelight, as if magicallycreated to receive them. A big bed of embers stillgleamed in the kitchen chimney, under an iron pothung from an ancient crane. Rush-bottomed arm-chairsfaced each other across the tiled hearth, and rows ofDelft plates stood on shelves against the walls. Archerstooped over and threw a log upon the embers.

他跟随她走进狭窄的过道。他刚才听了她那几句话,情绪有些低落,这时却又无端地高涨起来。这所温馨的小房子就在眼前,里面的镶板与铜器在炉火映照下烟烟生辉,就像是魔术师变出来迎接他们的。在厨房的壁炉里,炉底的余烬还在发着微光,上方一个旧式吊钩上挂着一把铁壶。两把灯心草根做的扶手椅面对面摆在铺了瓷砖的壁炉地面两侧,靠墙的架子里是一排排德尔夫特生产的陶瓷盘子。阿切尔弯下身,往余烬上扔了一块木柴。

Madame Olenska, dropping her cloak, sat down inone of the chairs. Archer leaned against the chimneyand looked at her.

奥兰斯卡夫人放下斗篷,坐在一把扶手椅里,阿切尔倚在壁炉上,眼睛看着她。

"You're laughing now; but when you wrote me youwere unhappy," he said.

“你现在笑了,可给我写信的时候却很不愉快,”他说。

"Yes." She paused. "But I can't feel unhappy whenyou're here."

“是啊,”她停顿一会儿又说:“可你在这儿我就不会觉得不愉快了。”

"I sha'n't be here long," he rejoined, his lips stiffeningwith the effort to say just so much and no more.

“我在这儿呆不多久,”他答道,接着闭紧双唇,努力做到适可而止。

"No; I know. But I'm improvident: I live in themoment when I'm happy."

“是的,我知道。不过我目光短浅:我只图一时快乐。”

The words stole through him like a temptation, andto close his senses to it he moved away from the hearthand stood gazing out at the black tree-boles against thesnow. But it was as if she too had shifted her place, andhe still saw her, between himself and the trees, droopingover the fire with her indolent smile. Archer's heartwas beating insubordinately. What if it were from himthat she had been running away, and if she had waitedto tell him so till they were here alone together in thissecret room?

他渐渐领悟到这些话的诱惑性,为了阻止这种感受,他从炉边挪开,站在那儿凝视外面白雪映衬下的黑树干。然而她仿佛也变换了位置,在他与那些树之间,他仍然看见她低头朝着炉火,脸上带着懒洋洋的微笑。阿切尔的心激烈跳动着,不肯就范。假如她逃避的原来是他,假如她是特意等他们单独到这间密室告诉他这件事,那该怎么办?

"Ellen, if I'm really a help to you--if you reallywanted me to come--tell me what's wrong, tell mewhat it is you're running away from," he insisted.

“埃伦,假如我真的对你能有所帮助——假如你真的想让我来——那么请告诉我,你究竟在逃避什么?”他坚持地问。

He spoke without shifting his position, without eventurning to look at her: if the thing was to happen, itwas to happen in this way, with the whole width of theroom between them, and his eyes still fixed on theouter snow.

他讲话时没有改换姿势,甚至没有转身看她:假如那种事情要发生,就让它这样发生好了。整个房间的宽度横在他们中间,他的眼睛仍然盯着外面的雪景。

For a long moment she was silent; and in that momentArcher imagined her, almost heard her, stealingup behind him to throw her light arms about his neck.While he waited, soul and body throbbing with themiracle to come, his eyes mechanically received theimage of a heavily-coated man with his fur collar turnedup who was advancing along the path to the house.The man was Julius Beaufort.

很长一段时间她默然无语;其间阿切尔想象着——几乎是听见了——她从后面悄悄走上来,要伸开轻盈的双臂,搂住他的脖子。他等待着,正在为这一奇迹的即将来临而身心激动时,他的目光无意间落到一个穿厚外套的人影上,那人皮领立起,正沿着小路朝住宅这边走来——原来是朱利叶斯,博福特。

"Ah--!" Archer cried, bursting into a laugh.

“噢——!”阿切尔喊了一声,猛地大笑起来。

Madame Olenska had sprung up and moved to hisside, slipping her hand into his; but after a glancethrough the window her face paled and she shrankback.

奥兰斯卡夫人早已跃身而起,来到他身边,把手伸到他的手里;但她从窗口瞥了一眼,脸色立即白了,赶忙缩了回去。

"So that was it?" Archer said derisively.

“原来是这么回事!”阿切尔嘲笑地说。

"I didn't know he was here," Madame Olenskamurmured. Her hand still clung to Archer's; but he drewaway from her, and walking out into the passage threwopen the door of the house.

“我并不知道他在这儿,”奥兰斯卡夫人慑儒道。她的手仍然抓着阿切尔的手,但他把手抽了出去,走到外面的过道里,把大门推开。

"Hallo, Beaufort--this way! Madame Olenska wasexpecting you," he said.

“你好,博福特——到这边来!奥兰斯卡夫人正等着你呢,”他说。

During his journey back to New York the next morning,Archer relived with a fatiguing vividness his lastmoments at Skuytercliff.

第二天上午回纽约的途中,阿切尔带着倦意回顾起他在斯库特克利夫的最后那段时光。

Beaufort, though clearly annoyed at finding him withMadame Olenska, had, as usual, carried off the situationhigh-handedly. His way of ignoring people whosepresence inconvenienced him actually gave them, if theywere sensitive to it, a feeling of invisibility, ofnonexistence. Archer, as the three strolled back throughthe park, was aware of this odd sense of disembodiment;and humbling as it was to his vanity it gave him theghostly advantage of observing unobserved.

尽管博福特发现他跟奥兰斯卡夫人在一起显然很心烦,但他跟往常一样专横地处理这种局面。他根本不理睬那些妨碍了他的人,他那副样子使对方产生一种无形的、不存在的感觉——如果他对此敏感的话。他们三人溜达着穿过停车场的时候,阿切尔就产生了这种奇怪的失去形体的感觉。这虽然使他的虚荣心受到屈辱,同时也鬼使神差地给了他观察看不到的东西的便利。

Beaufort had entered the little house with his usualeasy assurance; but he could not smile away the verticalline between his eyes. It was fairly clear that MadameOlenska had not known that he was coming,though her words to Archer had hinted at the possibility;at any rate, she had evidently not told him whereshe was going when she left New York, and her unexplaineddeparture had exasperated him. The ostensiblereason of his appearance was the discovery, the verynight before, of a "perfect little house," not in themarket, which was really just the thing for her, butwould be snapped up instantly if she didn't take it; andhe was loud in mock-reproaches for the dance she hadled him in running away just as he had found it.

博福特带着惯常的悠然自信走进那所小房子,但他的笑容却抹不掉眉心那道垂直的皱纹。很明显奥兰斯卡夫人事先并不知道他要来,尽管她对阿切尔的话中暗示过这种可能性。不管怎样,她离开纽约的时候显然没告诉他去哪儿,她未加说明地离走激怒了他。他出现在这儿的公开理由是前一天晚上发现了一所“理想的小房子”(还未出售),房子确实正适合她,她若是不买,马上就会被别人抢走。他还为舞会的事大声地假装责备她:他刚找到地方她就把他带走了。

"If only this new dodge for talking along a wire hadbeen a little bit nearer perfection I might have told youall this from town, and been toasting my toes beforethe club fire at this minute, instead of tramping afteryou through the snow," he grumbled, disguising a realirritation under the pretence of it; and at this openingMadame Olenska twisted the talk away to the fantasticpossibility that they might one day actually conversewith each other from street to street, or even--incredible dream!--from one town to another. This struckfrom all three allusions to Edgar Poe and Jules Verne,and such platitudes as naturally rise to the lips of themost intelligent when they are talking against time, anddealing with a new invention in which it would seemingenuous to believe too soon; and the question of thetelephone carried them safely back to the big house.

“假如那种通过导线交谈的新玩意儿再完善一点,我就从城里告诉你这件事了。这个时候我就会在俱乐部的火炉前烤脚,用不着踩着雪迫你了,”他抱怨地说,装出真的为此而生气的样子。面对这个开场白,奥兰斯卡夫人巧妙地把话题转向那种荒诞的可能性:有一大,他们也许真的可以在两条不同的街上,甚至——像神奇的梦想般——在两个不同的城市互相对话。她的话使他们三人都想到了埃伦·坡与儒尔·凡尔纳,以及那些聪明人在消磨时间、谈论新发明——过早地相信它会显得天真——时脱口而出的那些老生常谈。有关电话的谈论把他们安全地带回到大院子里。

Mrs. van der Luyden had not yet returned; andArcher took his leave and walked off to fetch thecutter, while Beaufort followed the Countess Olenskaindoors. It was probable that, little as the van derLuydens encouraged unannounced visits, he could counton being asked to dine, and sent back to the station tocatch the nine o'clock train; but more than that hewould certainly not get, for it would be inconceivableto his hosts that a gentleman travelling without luggageshould wish to spend the night, and distasteful to themto propose it to a person with whom they were onterms of such limited cordiality as Beaufort.

范德卢顿太太还没有回来。阿切尔告辞去取他的小雪橇,博福特则跟随奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人到屋里去了。由于范德卢顿太太不喜欢鼓励未经通报的拜访,他也许可以指望她请他吃顿晚饭,然后便送他回车站去赶9点钟的火车;但也只能如此而已,因为在范德卢顿夫妇看来,一位不带行李旅行的绅士若是想留下过夜,那简直不可思议。他们决不会乐意向博福特这样一位与他们的友谊十分有限的人提这种建议的。

Beaufort knew all this, and must have foreseen it;and his taking the long journey for so small a rewardgave the measure of his impatience. He was undeniablyin pursuit of the Countess Olenska; and Beaufort hadonly one object in view in his pursuit of pretty women.His dull and childless home had long since palled onhim; and in addition to more permanent consolationshe was always in quest of amorous adventures in hisown set. This was the man from whom Madame Olenskawas avowedly flying: the question was whether she hadfled because his importunities displeased her, orbecause she did not wholly trust herself to resist them;unless, indeed, all her talk of flight had been a blind,and her departure no more than a manoeuvre.

这一切博福特都很明白,而且一定已经预料到了。他为了这么一个小小的报偿而长途跋涉,足见他的急不可耐。无庸讳言他是在追求奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人;而博福特追求漂亮女人只有一个目的。他没有子女,沉闷无聊的家庭生活早已令他厌倦,除了长久性的慰藉之外,他总是按自己的口味寻求艳遇。他就是奥兰斯卡夫人声言要逃避的那个人——问题是,她的逃避是因为被他的纠缠所触怒呢,还是因为她不完全相信自己能抵御那些纠缠——除非她所说的逃避实际上是个挡箭牌,她离开纽约不过是玩的一个花招。

Archer did not really believe this. Little as he hadactually seen of Madame Olenska, he was beginning tothink that he could read her face, and if not her face,her voice; and both had betrayed annoyance, and evendismay, at Beaufort's sudden appearance. But, after all,if this were the case, was it not worse than if she hadleft New York for the express purpose of meeting him?If she had done that, she ceased to be an object ofinterest, she threw in her lot with the vulgarest ofdissemblers: a woman engaged in a love affair withBeaufort "classed" herself irretrievably.

阿切尔对此并不真的相信。尽管他与奥兰斯卡夫人实际见面不多,他却开始认为自己可以从她的脸色——也可以从她的声音——看清她的内心,而她的脸色与声音都对博福特的突然出现流露出厌烦,甚至是惊愕。可话又说回来,假如情况果真如此,那么,她专为会见他而离开纽约不是更糟吗?如果是这样,她就不再是个令人感兴趣的目标了,她就是把自己的命运交给了最卑鄙的伪君子:一个与博福特发生桃色事件的女人,她已经无可救药地把自己“归了类”。

No, it was worse a thousand times if, judgingBeaufort, and probably despising him, she was yet drawn tohim by all that gave him an advantage over the othermen about her: his habit of two continents and twosocieties, his familiar association with artists and actorsand people generally in the world's eye, and his carelesscontempt for local prejudices. Beaufort was vulgar, hewas uneducated, he was purse-proud; but the circumstancesof his life, and a certain native shrewdness,made him better worth talking to than many men,morally and socially his betters, whose horizon wasbounded by the Battery and the Central Park. Howshould any one coming from a wider world not feel thedifference and be attracted by it?

不!假如她能看透博福特,或许还瞧不起他,却仍然因为他有优于她周围其他男人的那些条件被他所吸引——他在两个大陆和两个社会的生活习惯,他与艺术家、演员及那些出头露面的人物的密切关系,以及他对狭隘偏见的冷漠轻蔑——那么,情况更要糟一万倍!博福特粗俗、没教养、财大气粗,但他的生活环境、他的生性机灵使他比许多道德上以及社会地位上比他强的人更有谈趣,后者的视野仅局限于巴特利与中央公园。一个来自广阔天地的人怎么会感觉不到这种差别,怎么会不受其吸引呢?

Madame Olenska, in a burst of irritation, had said toArcher that he and she did not talk the same language;and the young man knew that in some respects this wastrue. But Beaufort understood every turn of her dialect,and spoke it fluently: his view of life, his tone, hisattitude, were merely a coarser reflection of thoserevealed in Count Olenski's letter. This might seem to beto his disadvantage with Count Olenski's wife; butArcher was too intelligent to think that a young womanlike Ellen Olenska would necessarily recoil from everythingthat reminded her of her past. She might believeherself wholly in revolt against it; but what had charmedher in it would still charm her, even though it wereagainst her will.

奥兰斯卡夫人虽然是出于激愤,才对阿切尔说她与他没有共同语言,但年轻人明白这话在某些方面不无道理。然而博福特却通晓她的语言,而且讲起来驾轻就熟。他的处世态度、情调、看法,与奥兰斯基伯爵那封信中流露的那些东西完全相同,只是稍显粗俗而已。面对奥兰斯基伯爵的妻子,这可能对他不利;但阿切尔大聪明了,他认为像埃伦·奥兰斯卡这样的年轻女子未必会畏惧任何使她回想起过去的东西。她可能以为自己已完全背叛了过去,然而过去诱惑过她的东西现在对她仍然会有诱惑力,即使这违背她的心愿。

Thus, with a painful impartiality, did the young manmake out the case for Beaufort, and for Beaufort'svictim. A longing to enlighten her was strong in him;and there were moments when he imagined that all sheasked was to be enlightened.

就这样,年轻人以一种充满痛苦的公正态度,为博福特、为博福特的牺牲品理清了来龙去脉。他强烈地渴望开导她。他不时想到,她的全部需要就是让人开导。

That evening he unpacked his books from London.The box was full of things he had been waiting forimpatiently; a new volume of Herbert Spencer, anothercollection of the prolific Alphonse Daudet's brillianttales, and a novel called "Middlemarch," as to whichthere had lately been interesting things said in thereviews. He had declined three dinner invitations infavour of this feast; but though he turned the pages withthe sensuous joy of the book-lover, he did not knowwhat he was reading, and one book after anotherdropped from his hand. Suddenly, among them, he liton a small volume of verse which he had orderedbecause the name had attracted him: "The House ofLife." He took it up, and found himself plunged in anatmosphere unlike any he had ever breathed in books;so warm, so rich, and yet so ineffably tender, that itgave a new and haunting beauty to the most elementaryof human passions. All through the night he pursuedthrough those enchanted pages the vision of awoman who had the face of Ellen Olenska; but whenhe woke the next morning, and looked out at thebrownstone houses across the street, and thought of hisdesk in Mr. Letterblair's office, and the family pew inGrace Church, his hour in the park of Skuytercliffbecame as far outside the pale of probability as thevisions of the night.

这天晚上他打开了从伦敦寄来的书,满箱子都是他急切等待的东西:赫伯特·斯宾塞的一部新作,多产作家阿尔冯斯·都德又一卷精品故事集,还有一本据评论界说是十分有趣的小说,名叫《米德尔马奇》。为了这一享受,他已经谢绝了三次晚宴的邀请,然而,尽管他怀着爱书人的审美乐趣翻阅这些书,但却不知道自己读的是什么,书一本接一本地从他手里丢下来。突然,他眼睛一亮,从中发现了一本薄薄的诗集,他订购此书是因为它的书名吸引了他:《生命之家》。他拿起来读,不知不觉沉浸在一种与过去他对书籍的任何感受都不相同的气氛中。它是那样强烈,那样丰富,又那样说不出的温柔,它赋予人类最基本的感情一种新鲜的、缠绵不绝的美。整个通宵他透过那些迷人的篇章追踪一位女子的幻影,那幻影有一张埃伦·奥兰斯卡的脸庞。然而翌晨醒来,他望着街对面一所所棕石的住宅,想起莱特布赖事务所他的办公桌,想到格雷斯教堂里他们家的座位,他在斯库特克利夫园林中度过的那几个小时却变得像夜间的幻影一样虚无飘渺。

"Mercy, how pale you look, Newland!" Janeycommented over the coffee-cups at breakfast; and his motheradded: "Newland, dear, I've noticed lately that you'vebeen coughing; I do hope you're not letting yourself beoverworked?" For it was the conviction of both ladiesthat, under the iron despotism of his senior partners,the young man's life was spent in the most exhaustingprofessional labours--and he had never thought itnecessary to undeceive them.

“天哪,你脸色多苍白呀,纽兰!”早饭喝咖啡时詹尼说。他母亲补充道:“亲爱的纽兰,最近我注意到你老是咳嗽,我希望你不是劳累过度了吧?”因为两位女士都深信,在那几位资深合伙人的专制统治之下,年轻人的精力全部消耗在职业的俗务中了——而他却从未想到过有必要让她们了解真相。

The next two or three days dragged by heavily. Thetaste of the usual was like cinders in his mouth, andthere were moments when he felt as if he were beingburied alive under his future. He heard nothing of theCountess Olenska, or of the perfect little house, andthough he met Beaufort at the club they merely noddedat each other across the whist-tables. It was not till thefourth evening that he found a note awaiting him onhis return home. "Come late tomorrow: I must explainto you. Ellen." These were the only words it contained.

接下来两三天过得特别慢。按部就班的俗套使他觉得味同嚼蜡,有时他觉得自己仿佛被前途活埋了一样。他没有听到奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人或那所理想的小房子的任何消息,尽管他在俱乐部遇见过博福特,但他们仅仅隔着几张牌桌互相点了点头而已。直到第四天傍晚他回到家时,才发现有一封便函等着他。“明天傍晚过来:我一定要给你解释。埃伦。”信中只有这几个字。

The young man, who was dining out, thrust the noteinto his pocket, smiling a little at the Frenchness of the"to you." After dinner he went to a play; and it wasnot until his return home, after midnight, that he drewMadame Olenska's missive out again and re-read itslowly a number of times. There were several ways ofanswering it, and he gave considerable thought to eachone during the watches of an agitated night. That onwhich, when morning came, he finally decided was topitch some clothes into a portmanteau and jump onboard a boat that was leaving that very afternoon forSt. Augustine.

年轻人要外出吃饭,他把信塞进口袋,对“给你”这种法语味微微一笑。饭后他去看了一场戏,直到午夜过后他回到家才把奥兰斯卡夫人的信又取了出来,慢慢重读了几遍。复信可以用好几种方式,在激动不安的不眠之夜,他对每一种都做了一番考虑。时至清晨,他最后的决定是把几件衣服扔进旅行箱,去乘当天下午起锚驶往圣奥古斯丁的轮船。