The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

Though there was already talk of the erection, inremote metropolitan distances "above the Forties," ofa new Opera House which should compete in costlinessand splendour with those of the great European capitals,the world of fashion was still content to reassembleevery winter in the shabby red and gold boxes ofthe sociable old Academy. Conservatives cherished itfor being small and inconvenient, and thus keeping outthe "new people" whom New York was beginning todread and yet be drawn to; and the sentimental clungto it for its historic associations, and the musical for itsexcellent acoustics, always so problematic a quality inhalls built for the hearing of music.

虽然人们早就议论要在第40街以北的远郊兴建一座新的歌剧院,其造价与壮观将和欧洲那些著名首都的歌剧院媲美,然而上流社会却依然满足于每年冬天在这座历史悠久的音乐院红黄两色的旧包厢里进行社交聚会。保守派的人们欣赏它的窄小不便,这样可以把纽约社会开始惧怕但又为之吸引的“新人”拒之门外;多愁善感的人们因为它引起许多历史的联想而对它恋恋不舍;而音乐爱好者则留恋它精美的音响效果。在专为欣赏音乐而修建的厅堂中,音响效果向来都是个棘手的质量问题。

It was Madame Nilsson's first appearance thatwinter, and what the daily press had already learned todescribe as "an exceptionally brilliant audience" hadgathered to hear her, transported through the slippery,snowy streets in private broughams, in the spaciousfamily landau, or in the humbler but more convenient"Brown coupe" To come to the Opera in a Browncoupe was almost as honourable a way of arrivingas in one's own carriage; and departure by the samemeans had the immense advantage of enabling one(with a playful allusion to democratic principles) toscramble into the first Brown conveyance in the line,instead of waiting till the cold-and-gin congested noseof one's own coachman gleamed under the portico ofthe Academy. It was one of the great livery-stableman'smost masterly intuitions to have discovered that Americanswant to get away from amusement even morequickly than they want to get to it.

这是尼尔森夫人当年冬天的首场演出。那些被日报称为“超凡脱俗的听众”已经云集来听她的演唱。他们或乘私人马车、或乘宽敞的家庭双篷马车、或者乘档次较低却更为便利的“布朗四轮马车”,经过溜滑多雪的街道来到了这里。乘坐布朗马车来听歌剧,几乎跟坐自己的马车一样体面;而且,离开剧场时还有极大的优越性(对民主原则开一句玩笑):你可以抢先登上线路上第一辆布朗马车,而不用等待自己的那因寒冷和烈酒而充血的红鼻子车夫在音乐院门廊下面显现。美国人想离开娱乐场所比想去的时候更加迫切,这可是那位了不起的马车行店主凭绝妙的直觉获得的伟大发现。

When Newland Archer opened the door at the backof the club box the curtain had just gone up on thegarden scene. There was no reason why the young manshould not have come earlier, for he had dined atseven, alone with his mother and sister, and had lingeredafterward over a cigar in the Gothic library withglazed black-walnut bookcases and finial-topped chairswhich was the only room in the house where Mrs.Archer allowed smoking. But, in the first place, NewYork was a metropolis, and perfectly aware that inmetropolises it was "not the thing" to arrive early atthe opera; and what was or was not "the thing" playeda part as important in Newland Archer's New York asthe inscrutable totem terrors that had ruled the destiniesof his forefathers thousands of years ago.

当纽兰·阿切尔打开包厢后面的门时,花园一场的帷幕刚刚升起。这位年轻人本可以早一点来到。他7点钟和母亲与妹妹一起用了餐,其后又在哥特式图书室里慢慢吞吞地吸了一支雪茄。那间放了光亮的黑色胡桃木书橱和尖顶椅子的房间,是这所房子里阿切尔太太惟一允许吸烟的地方。然而,首先,纽约是个大都市,而他又十分清楚,在大都市里听歌剧早到是“不合宜”的。而是否“合宜”,在纽兰·阿切尔时代的纽约,其意义就像几千年前支配了他祖先命运的不可思议的图腾恐惧一样重要。

The second reason for his delay was a personal one.He had dawdled over his cigar because he was at hearta dilettante, and thinking over a pleasure to come oftengave him a subtler satisfaction than its realisation. Thiswas especially the case when the pleasure was a delicateone, as his pleasures mostly were; and on thisoccasion the moment he looked forward to was so rareand exquisite in quality that--well, if he had timed hisarrival in accord with the prima donna's stage-managerhe could not have entered the Academy at a moresignificant moment than just as she was singing: "Heloves me--he loves me not--HE LOVES ME!--" andsprinkling the falling daisy petals with notes as clear asdew.

他晚到的第二个原因是个人方面的。他吸烟慢慢吞吞,是因为他在内心深处是个艺术的爱好者,玩味行将来到的快乐,常常会使他比快乐真的来到时感到更深切的满足。当这种快乐十分微妙时尤其如此,而他的乐趣多半属于这种类型。这一次他期盼的时机非常珍贵,其性质异常微妙——呃,假若他把时间掌握得恰到好处,能与那位首席女演员的舞台监督合上拍,到场时正赶上她一边唱着“他爱我——他不爱我——他爱我!”一边抛洒着雏菊花瓣,其暗示像露水般清澈——果真如此,他进音乐院的时机就再美妙不过了。

She sang, of course, "M'ama!" and not "he lovesme," since an unalterable and unquestioned law of themusical world required that the German text of Frenchoperas sung by Swedish artists should be translatedinto Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences. This seemed as natural to NewlandArcher as all the other conventions on which his lifewas moulded: such as the duty of using two silver-backed brushes with his monogram in blue enamel topart his hair, and of never appearing in society withouta flower (preferably a gardenia) in his buttonhole.

当然,她唱的是“呣啊嘛”,而不是“他爱我”,因为音乐界那不容改变、不容怀疑的法则要求,由瑞典艺术家演唱的法国歌剧的德语文本,必须翻译成意大利语,以便讲英语的听众更清楚地理解。这一点纽兰·阿切尔觉得和他生活中遵循的所有其他惯例一样理所当然:比如,用两把带有蓝瓷漆涂着他姓名缩写的银背刷子分开他的头发,纽扣洞里插一朵花(最好是桅子花)才在社交界露面。

"M'ama . . . non m'ama . . . " the prima donna sang,and "M'ama!", with a final burst of love triumphant,as she pressed the dishevelled daisy to her lips andlifted her large eyes to the sophisticated countenance ofthe little brown Faust-Capoul, who was vainly trying,in a tight purple velvet doublet and plumed cap, tolook as pure and true as his artless victim.

“呣啊嘛……农呣啊嘛……”首席女演员唱道,她以赢得爱情后的最后爆发力唱出“呣啊嘛!”一面把那束乱蓬蓬的雏菊压在唇上,抬起一双大眼睛,朝那位阴郁的小浮士德——卡布尔做作的脸上望去。他穿一件紫色的丝绒紧身上衣,戴一顶鼓囊囊的便帽,正徒劳地装出与那位天真的受害者一样纯洁真诚的表情。

Newland Archer, leaning against the wall at the backof the club box, turned his eyes from the stage andscanned the opposite side of the house. Directly facinghim was the box of old Mrs. Manson Mingott, whosemonstrous obesity had long since made it impossiblefor her to attend the Opera, but who was alwaysrepresented on fashionable nights by some of the youngermembers of the family. On this occasion, the frontof the box was filled by her daughter-in-law, Mrs.Lovell Mingott, and her daughter, Mrs. Welland; andslightly withdrawn behind these brocaded matrons sata young girl in white with eyes ecstatically fixed on thestagelovers. As Madame Nilsson's "M'ama!" thrilledout above the silent house (the boxes always stoppedtalking during the Daisy Song) a warm pink mountedto the girl's cheek, mantled her brow to the roots of herfair braids, and suffused the young slope of her breastto the line where it met a modest tulle tucker fastenedwith a single gardenia. She dropped her eyes to theimmense bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley on her knee,and Newland Archer saw her white-gloved finger-tipstouch the flowers softly. He drew a breath of satisfiedvanity and his eyes returned to the stage.

纽兰·阿切尔倚在俱乐部包厢后面的墙上,目光从舞台上移开,扫视着剧场对面。正对着他的是老曼森·明戈特太太的包厢。可怕的肥胖病早已使她无法来听歌剧,不过在有社交活动的晚上,她总是由家庭的某些年轻成员代表出席。这一次,占据包厢前排座位的是她的儿媳洛弗尔·明戈特太太和她的女儿韦兰太太。坐在这两位身着锦缎的妇人身后的是一位穿白衣的年轻姑娘,正目不转睛地注视着那对舞台恋人。当尼尔森夫人“呣啊嘛”的颤音划破音乐院静寂的上空时(演唱雏菊歌期间,各包厢总是停止交谈),一片潮红泛起在姑娘的面颊,从额头涌向她美丽发辫的根际,漫过她那青春的胸部斜面,直至系着一朵桅子花的薄纱领的领线。她垂下眼睛望着膝上那一大束铃兰。纽兰·阿切尔看见她戴白手套的指尖轻抚着花朵。他满足地深深吸了一口气。他的目光又回到舞台上。

No expense had been spared on the setting, whichwas acknowledged to be very beautiful even by peoplewho shared his acquaintance with the Opera houses ofParis and Vienna. The foreground, to the footlights,was covered with emerald green cloth. In the middledistance symmetrical mounds of woolly green mossbounded by croquet hoops formed the base of shrubsshaped like orange-trees but studded with large pinkand red roses. Gigantic pansies, considerably largerthan the roses, and closely resembling the floral pen-wipers made by female parishioners for fashionableclergymen, sprang from the moss beneath the rose-trees; and here and there a daisy grafted on a rose-branch flowered with a luxuriance prophetic of Mr.Luther Burbank's far-off prodigies.

布景的制作是不惜工本的,连熟悉巴黎和维也纳歌剧院的人也承认布景很美。前景直至脚灯铺了一块鲜绿色的画布,中景的底层是若干覆盖着毛茸茸绿色地衣的对称小丘,与槌球游戏的拱门邻接,上面的灌木丛形状像桔子树,但点缀其间的却是大朵大朵粉红色和红色的玫瑰花。比这些玫瑰更大的紫罗兰,颇似教区女居民为牧师制作的花形笔擦,从玫瑰树底下的绿苔中拔地而起;在一些鲜花怒放的玫瑰枝头,嫁接着朵朵雏菊,预告着卢瑟·伯班克先生园艺试验遥远的奇观。

In the centre of this enchanted garden MadameNilsson, in white cashmere slashed with pale blue satin,a reticule dangling from a blue girdle, and large yellowbraids carefully disposed on each side of her muslinchemisette, listened with downcast eyes to M. Capoul'simpassioned wooing, and affected a guileless incomprehensionof his designs whenever, by word or glance, hepersuasively indicated the ground floor window of theneat brick villa projecting obliquely from the right wing.

在这座魔幻般的花园中心,尼尔森夫人身穿镶淡蓝色缎子切口的白色开司米外衣,一个网状手提包吊在蓝腰带上晃来晃去,一条宽大的黄色织带精心地排列在她那件细棉紧身胸衣的两侧。她低垂着眼睛倾听卡布尔热烈的求爱,每当他用话语或目光劝诱她去从右侧斜伸出来的那座整洁的砖造别墅一楼的窗口时,她都装出一副对他的意图毫不理解的天真的样子。

"The darling!" thought Newland Archer, his glanceflitting back to the young girl with the lilies-of-the-valley. "She doesn't even guess what it's all about."And he contemplated her absorbed young face with athrill of possessorship in which pride in his own masculineinitiation was mingled with a tender reverence forher abysmal purity. "We'll read Faust together . . . bythe Italian lakes . . ." he thought, somewhat hazilyconfusing the scene of his projected honey-moon withthe masterpieces of literature which it would be hismanly privilege to reveal to his bride. It was only thatafternoon that May Welland had let him guess that she"cared" (New York's consecrated phrase of maidenavowal), and already his imagination, leaping ahead ofthe engagement ring, the betrothal kiss and the marchfrom Lohengrin, pictured her at his side in some sceneof old European witchery.

“亲爱的!”纽兰·阿切尔心里想。他的目光迅速回到那位手持铃兰的年轻姑娘身上。“她连一点儿也看不懂啊。”他注视着她全”神贯注的稚嫩面庞,心中不由涌出一阵拥有者的激动,其中有对自己萌动的丈夫气概的自豪,也有对她那深不可测的纯洁的温馨敬意。“我们将在一起读《浮士德》,……在意大利的湖畔……”他心想,迷迷糊糊地把自己设计的蜜月场面与文学名著搅在一起。向自己的新娘阐释名著似乎是他做丈夫的特权。仅仅在今天下午,梅·韦兰才让他猜出她对他感到 “中意”(纽约人尊崇的未婚少女认可的用语),而他的想象却早已跃过了订婚戒指、订婚之吻以及走出卢亨格林教堂的婚礼行列,构画起古老欧洲某个令人心醉的场景中她偎依在他身旁的情景了。

He did not in the least wish the future Mrs. NewlandArcher to be a simpleton. He meant her (thanks to hisenlightening companionship) to develop a social tactand readiness of wit enabling her to hold her own withthe most popular married women of the "younger set,"in which it was the recognised custom to attract masculinehomage while playfully discouraging it. If he hadprobed to the bottom of his vanity (as he sometimesnearly did) he would have found there the wish that hiswife should be as worldly-wise and as eager to pleaseas the married lady whose charms had held his fancythrough two mildly agitated years; without, of course,any hint of the frailty which had so nearly marred thatunhappy being's life, and had disarranged his ownplans for a whole winter.

他决不希望未来的纽兰·阿切尔太太是个呆子。他要让她(由于他朝夕相伴的启蒙)养成一种圆通的社交能力,随机应变的口才,能与“年轻一代”那些最有名气的已婚女子平起平坐。在那些人中间,一条公认的习俗是,既要卖弄风情,引起男人的热情,同时又要装聋作哑,不让他们得寸进尺。假如他早一些对他的虚荣心进行深入的探索(有时候他几乎已经做到了),他可能早已发现那儿有个潜藏的愿望:希望自己的妻子跟那些已婚女士一样地世故圆通,一样地渴望取悦他人。那些太太们的妩媚曾使他心醉神迷,让他度过了两个稍显焦虑的年头——当然,他没露出一丁点脆弱的影子,尽管那险些毁了他这位不幸者的终生,并且整整一个冬天搅乱了他的计划。

How this miracle of fire and ice was to be created,and to sustain itself in a harsh world, he had nevertaken the time to think out; but he was content to holdhis view without analysing it, since he knew it was thatof all the carefully-brushed, white-waistcoated, button-hole-flowered gentlemen who succeeded each other inthe club box, exchanged friendly greetings with him,and turned their opera-glasses critically on the circle ofladies who were the product of the system. In mattersintellectual and artistic Newland Archer felt himselfdistinctly the superior of these chosen specimens of oldNew York gentility; he had probably read more, thoughtmore, and even seen a good deal more of the world,than any other man of the number. Singly they betrayedtheir inferiority; but grouped together they represented"New York," and the habit of masculine solidaritymade him accept their doctrine on all the issues calledmoral. He instinctively felt that in this respect it wouldbe troublesome--and also rather bad form--to strikeout for himself.

至于如何创造出这火与冰的奇迹,又如何在一个冷酷的世界上支撑下去,他可是从来没有花时间想过;他只是满足于不加分析地坚持自己的观点,因为他知道这也是所有那些精心梳了头发。穿白背心、扣洞里别鲜花的绅士们的观点。他们一个接一个地进入俱乐部包厢,友好地和他打招呼,然后带着批评的眼光把望远镜对准了作为这个制度产物的女士们。在智力与艺术方面,纽兰·阿切尔觉得自己比老纽约上流阶层这些精选的标本明显要高一筹:他比这帮人中任何一位大概都读得多、思考得多,并且也见识得多。单独来看,他们都处于劣势,但凑在一起,他们却代表着“纽约”,而男性团结一致的惯例使他在称作道德的所有问题上都接受了他们的原则。他本能地感到,在这方面他若一个人标新立异,肯定会引起麻烦,而且也很不得体。

"Well--upon my soul!" exclaimed Lawrence Lefferts,turning his opera-glass abruptly away from the stage.Lawrence Lefferts was, on the whole, the foremostauthority on "form" in New York. He had probablydevoted more time than any one else to the study ofthis intricate and fascinating question; but study alonecould not account for his complete and easy competence.One had only to look at him, from the slant ofhis bald forehead and the curve of his beautiful fairmoustache to the long patent-leather feet at the otherend of his lean and elegant person, to feel that theknowledge of "form" must be congenital in any onewho knew how to wear such good clothes so carelesslyand carry such height with so much lounging grace. Asa young admirer had once said of him: "If anybody cantell a fellow just when to wear a black tie with eveningclothes and when not to, it's Larry Lefferts." And onthe question of pumps versus patent-leather "Oxfords"his authority had never been disputed.

“哎哟——我的天!”劳伦斯·莱弗茨喊道,突然把他的小望远镜从舞台的方向移开。就总体而言,劳伦斯·莱弗茨在“举止”问题上是纽约的最高权威。他研究这个复杂而诱人的问题花费的时间大概比任何人都多。单只研究还不能说明他驾轻就熟的全才,人们只需看他一眼——从光秃秃的前额斜面与好看的金黄胡髭的曲线,到那瘦削优雅的身体另一端穿漆皮鞋的长脚——便会觉得,一个知道如何随便地穿着如此贵重的衣服并保持极度闲适优雅的人,在“举止”方面的学识一定是出自天赋。正如一位年轻崇拜者有一次谈起他时所说的:“假如有谁能告诉你什么时间打黑领带配夜礼服恰到好处,什么时候不行,那么,这个人就是劳伦斯·莱弗茨。” 至于网球鞋与漆皮“牛津”鞋孰优孰劣的问题,他的权威从未有人提出过怀疑。

"My God!" he said; and silently handed his glass toold Sillerton Jackson.

“我的上帝!”他说,接着默默地将望远镜递给了老西勒顿·杰克逊。

Newland Archer, following Lefferts's glance, saw withsurprise that his exclamation had been occasioned bythe entry of a new figure into old Mrs. Mingott's box.It was that of a slim young woman, a little less tall thanMay Welland, with brown hair growing in close curlsabout her temples and held in place by a narrow bandof diamonds. The suggestion of this headdress, whichgave her what was then called a "Josephine look," wascarried out in the cut of the dark blue velvet gownrather theatrically caught up under her bosom by agirdle with a large old-fashioned clasp. The wearer ofthis unusual dress, who seemed quite unconscious ofthe attention it was attracting, stood a moment in thecentre of the box, discussing with Mrs. Welland thepropriety of taking the latter's place in the front right-hand corner; then she yielded with a slight smile, andseated herself in line with Mrs. Welland's sister-in-law,Mrs. Lovell Mingott, who was installed in the oppositecorner.

纽兰·阿切尔随着莱弗茨的目光望去,惊讶地发现他的感叹是因为一个陌生的身影进入明戈特太太的包厢而引起的。那是位身材苗条的年轻女子,比梅·韦兰略矮一点,棕色的头发在鬓角处变成浓密的发鬈,用一条钻石窄带固定住。这种发型使她具有一种时下称作“约瑟芬式”的模样,这一联想在她那件深蓝色丝绒晚礼服的款式上得到了印证,那礼服用一条带老式大扣子的腰带在她胸下十分夸张地挽住。她穿着这一身奇特的衣服,十分引人注目,可她似乎一点儿也未发觉。她在包厢中间站了一会,与韦兰太太讨论占据她前排右面角落座位的礼节问题,接着便莞尔听命,与坐在对面角落里的韦兰太太的嫂嫂洛弗尔·明戈特太太在同一排就坐。

Mr. Sillerton Jackson had returned the opera-glass toLawrence Lefferts. The whole of the club turnedinstinctively, waiting to hear what the old man had tosay; for old Mr. Jackson was as great an authority on"family" as Lawrence Lefferts was on "form." He knewall the ramifications of New York's cousinships; andcould not only elucidate such complicated questions asthat of the connection between the Mingotts (throughthe Thorleys) with the Dallases of South Carolina, andthat of the relationship of the elder branch of PhiladelphiaThorleys to the Albany Chiverses (on no accountto be confused with the Manson Chiverses of UniversityPlace), but could also enumerate the leading characteristicsof each family: as, for instance, the fabulousstinginess of the younger lines of Leffertses (the LongIsland ones); or the fatal tendency of the Rushworthsto make foolish matches; or the insanity recurring inevery second generation of the Albany Chiverses, withwhom their New York cousins had always refused tointermarry--with the disastrous exception of poorMedora Manson, who, as everybody knew . . . butthen her mother was a Rushworth.

西勒顿·杰克逊先生把小望远镜还给了劳伦斯·莱弗茨。全俱乐部的人都本能地转过脸,等着听这位老者开讲。因为正如劳伦斯·莱弗茨在“举止”问题上那样,老杰克逊先生在“家族”问题上是最高权威。他了解纽约那些堂、表亲戚关系的所有支派;不仅能说清诸如明戈特家族(通过索利家族)与南卡罗来纳州达拉斯家族之间的关系,以及上一支费城索利家族与阿尔巴尼·奇弗斯家族(决不会与大学区的曼森·奇弗斯族混淆)复杂的亲缘,而且还能列举每个家族的主要特点。比如莱弗茨家年轻一代(长岛那些人)无比吝啬;拉什沃斯一家极其愚蠢,总是在婚配问题上犯下致命错误;再如,阿尔巴尼·奇弗斯家每隔一代就会出现一个神经病,他们纽约的表兄妹一直拒绝与之通婚——惟独可怜的梅多拉·曼森是个不幸的例外,她——人所共知……而她的母亲本来就是拉什沃斯家的人。

In addition to this forest of family trees, Mr. SillertonJackson carried between his narrow hollow temples,and under his soft thatch of silver hair, a register ofmost of the scandals and mysteries that had smoulderedunder the unruffled surface of New York societywithin the last fifty years. So far indeed did hisinformation extend, and so acutely retentive was hismemory, that he was supposed to be the only man whocould have told you who Julius Beaufort, the banker,really was, and what had become of handsome BobSpicer, old Mrs. Manson Mingott's father, who haddisappeared so mysteriously (with a large sum of trustmoney) less than a year after his marriage, on the veryday that a beautiful Spanish dancer who had beendelighting thronged audiences in the old Opera-houseon the Battery had taken ship for Cuba. But thesemysteries, and many others, were closely locked in Mr.Jackson's breast; for not only did his keen sense ofhonour forbid his repeating anything privately imparted,but he was fully aware that his reputation for discretionincreased his opportunities of finding out what hewanted to know.

除了这种家族谱系的丰富知识之外,西勒顿·杰克逊在凹陷狭窄的两鬓之间、柔软浓密的银发下面,还保存着郁结在纽约社会平静表层底下的最近50年间多数丑闻与秘史的记录。他的信息的确面广量大,他的记忆的确精确无误,所以人们认为惟有他才能说出银行家朱利叶斯·博福特究竟是何许人,老曼森·明戈特太太的父亲、漂亮的鲍勃·斯派塞的结局究竟如何。后者结婚不到一年,就在一位美丽的西班牙舞蹈演员登船去古巴的那一天神秘地失踪了(带着一大笔委托金),她在巴特利的老歌剧院曾令蜂拥的观众欢欣鼓舞。不过这些秘闻——还有许多其他的——都严严实实锁在杰克逊先生心中。因为,不仅强烈的道义感不许他重复别人私下告诉他的任何事情,而且他十分清楚,谨慎周到的名声会给他更多的机会,以便查明他想了解的情况。

The club box, therefore, waited in visible suspensewhile Mr. Sillerton Jackson handed back LawrenceLefferts's opera-glass. For a moment he silently scrutinisedthe attentive group out of his filmy blue eyesoverhung by old veined lids; then he gave his moustachea thoughtful twist, and said simply: "I didn'tthink the Mingotts would have tried it on."

所以,当西勒顿·杰克逊先生把小望远镜还给劳伦斯·莱弗茨的时候,俱乐部包厢的人带着明显的悬念等待着。他用布满老筋的眼睑下那双朦胧的蓝眼睛默默地审视一番那伙洗耳恭听的人,然后若有所思地抖动一下胡髭,仅仅说了一句:“没想到明戈特家的人会摆出这种架式。”