The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

Newland Archer, at a signal from the sexton, hadcome out of the vestry and placed himself with his bestman on the chancel step of Grace Church.

随着教堂司事的一个信号,纽兰·阿切尔走出小礼拜室,在伴郎的陪伴下,站到格雷斯教堂圣坛的台阶上。

The signal meant that the brougham bearing thebride and her father was in sight; but there was sure tobe a considerable interval of adjustment and consultationin the lobby, where the bridesmaids were alreadyhovering like a cluster of Easter blossoms. During thisunavoidable lapse of time the bridegroom, in proof ofhis eagerness, was expected to expose himself alone tothe gaze of the assembled company; and Archer hadgone through this formality as resignedly as through allthe others which made of a nineteenth century NewYork wedding a rite that seemed to belong to the dawnof history. Everything was equally easy--or equallypainful, as one chose to put it--in the path he wascommitted to tread, and he had obeyed the flurriedinjunctions of his best man as piously as other bridegroomshad obeyed his own, in the days when he hadguided them through the same labyrinth.

这一信号表明,载着新娘和她父亲的马车已遥遥在望,但必然还有相当长的时间可在门厅里整顿。商量,伴娘们也已在此徘徊,像复活节里的一簇鲜花。在这段不可避免的等待时间里,人们期待着新郎独自面对他们,以显示他迫不及待的心情。阿切尔跟履行其他仪式一样,驯服地履行了这一仪式。这些仪式构成了似乎仍属于历史之初的纽约19世纪的婚礼。在他承诺要走的道路上,每件事都一样的轻松——或是一样的痛苦,这要看你怎样认为。他已经执行了伴郎慌慌张张下达的各项指令,其态度跟以前他引导的新郎们走过这座迷宫时一样的虔诚。

So far he was reasonably sure of having fulfilled allhis obligations. The bridesmaids' eight bouquets of whitelilac and lilies-of-the-valley had been sent in due time,as well as the gold and sapphire sleeve-links of theeight ushers and the best man's cat's-eye scarf-pin;Archer had sat up half the night trying to vary thewording of his thanks for the last batch of presentsfrom men friends and ex-lady-loves; the fees for theBishop and the Rector were safely in the pocket of hisbest man; his own luggage was already at Mrs. MansonMingott's, where the wedding-breakfast was totake place, and so were the travelling clothes into whichhe was to change; and a private compartment had beenengaged in the train that was to carry the young coupleto their unknown destination--concealment of the spotin which the bridal night was to be spent being one ofthe most sacred taboos of the prehistoric ritual.

至此为止,他有理由相信已经完成了自己的使命。伴娘的8束白丁香和铃兰花束、8位引座员的黄金与蓝宝石袖纽及伴郎的猫眼围巾饰针都已按时送了出去;他熬了半夜斟酌措辞。写信答谢最后一批朋友与旧情人赠送的礼物;给主教和教堂司事的小费也已稳妥地放在了伴郎的口袋里;他的行李和旅行替换的衣服已经运到了曼森·明戈特太太家中,婚礼喜宴将在那儿举办;火车上的私人包间也已订好,将把这对新人送到未知的目的地——隐匿欢度新婚之夜的地点是远古礼仪中最神圣的戒律。

"Got the ring all right?" whispered young van derLuyden Newland, who was inexperienced in the dutiesof a best man, and awed by the weight of his responsibility.

“戒指放好了吗?”小范德卢顿·纽兰低声问道,这个毫无经验的伴郎,被自己所担负的重任吓坏了。

Archer made the gesture which he had seen so manybridegrooms make: with his ungloved right hand hefelt in the pocket of his dark grey waistcoat, and assuredhimself that the little gold circlet (engravedinside: Newland to May, April ---, 187-) was in itsplace; then, resuming his former attitude, his tall hatand pearl-grey gloves with black stitchings grasped inhis left hand, he stood looking at the door of thechurch.

阿切尔做了个他见过很多新郎做过的动作:用他没戴手套的右手在深灰色马甲的口袋中摸了摸,以便再次肯定这枚小小的金戒指(戒指内圈刻着:纽兰给梅,4月 ——,187——)正呆在它该呆的地方。然后他又恢复了原来的姿势,左手拿着高礼帽和带黑线脚的珠灰色手套,站在那儿望着教堂的门。

Overhead, Handel's March swelled pompously throughthe imitation stone vaulting, carrying on its waves thefaded drift of the many weddings at which, with cheerfulindifference, he had stood on the same chancel stepwatching other brides float up the nave toward otherbridegrooms.

教堂上空,韩德尔的进行曲在仿制的石头拱顶下越奏越响。随着乐曲的起伏,已经淡忘的众多婚礼的片段又浮现在眼前。那时他站在同一圣坛的台阶上,兴高采烈却又漠不关心地看着别的新娘们飘然进入教堂中殿,朝别的新郎走去。

"How like a first night at the Opera!" he thought,recognising all the same faces in the same boxes (no,pews), and wondering if, when the Last Trump sounded,Mrs. Selfridge Merry would be there with the sametowering ostrich feathers in her bonnet, and Mrs. Beaufortwith the same diamond earrings and the samesmile--and whether suitable proscenium seats werealready prepared for them in another world.

“多像歌剧院的第一夜演出啊!”他想。他认出了在相同包厢里(不,是教堂的长凳上)那些相同的面孔,继而猜测着,当喇叭最后一次奏响时,是否会见到头戴同一顶高耸的驼鸟毛无沿帽的塞尔弗里奇·梅里太太和佩戴相同的钻石耳环、面带相同的微笑的博福特太太——并且,在天国里,是否也在前排为她们准备好了合适的座位。

After that there was still time to review, one by one,the familiar countenances in the first rows; the women'ssharp with curiosity and excitement, the men'ssulky with the obligation of having to put on theirfrock-coats before luncheon, and fight for food at thewedding-breakfast.

在这之后,仍然有时间一个挨一个地检阅在前排就座的一张张熟悉的面孔。女人们因好奇与兴奋而显得生气勃勃,男人们则因不得不在午餐前穿长礼服并要在婚礼喜宴上争抢食物而紧绷着脸。

"Too bad the breakfast is at old Catherine's," thebridegroom could fancy Reggie Chivers saying. "ButI'm told that Lovell Mingott insisted on its being cookedby his own chef, so it ought to be good if one can onlyget at it." And he could imagine Sillerton Jacksonadding with authority: "My dear fellow, haven't youheard? It's to be served at small tables, in the newEnglish fashion."

“要在老凯瑟琳家吃喜宴真是糟透了,”新郎想象得出里吉·奇弗斯会这样说。“据我所知,洛弗尔·明戈特坚持要让自己的厨子掌勺,所以只要能吃得上,准是顿美餐。”而且,他还想象到,西勒顿·杰克逊会权威地补充说:“亲爱的先生,难道你还没听说?喜宴要按英国的时新方式,在小餐桌上用餐呢。”

Archer's eyes lingered a moment on the left-handpew, where his mother, who had entered the church onMr. Henry van der Luyden's arm, sat weeping softlyunder her Chantilly veil, her hands in her grandmother'sermine muff.

阿切尔的目光在左首长凳上停留了片刻,她的母亲挽着亨利·范德卢顿先生的胳膊进入教堂后,正坐在那儿,躲在尚蒂伊面纱后轻轻抽泣,两只手抄在她祖母的貂皮暖手筒里。

"Poor Janey!" he thought, looking at his sister, "evenby screwing her head around she can see only thepeople in the few front pews; and they're mostly dowdyNewlands and Dagonets."

“可怜的詹妮!”他看了看妹妹想。“即使把她的头扭一圈,她也只能看到前面几排的人;他们几乎全是邋邋遢遢的纽兰和达戈内特家族的人。”

On the hither side of the white ribbon dividing offthe seats reserved for the families he saw Beaufort, talland redfaced, scrutinising the women with his arrogantstare. Beside him sat his wife, all silvery chinchilla andviolets; and on the far side of the ribbon, LawrenceLefferts's sleekly brushed head seemed to mount guardover the invisible deity of "Good Form" who presidedat the ceremony.

白色缎带的这一边是为亲戚分隔出来的座位,他看到了博福特:高高的个子,红红的脸膛,正以傲慢的眼神审视着女人们。坐在他身边的是他妻子,两人都穿着银白色栗鼠皮衣服,别着紫罗兰花;离缎带较远的一侧,劳伦斯·莱弗茨脑袋梳得油光发亮,仿佛正守卫着主持庆典的那位不露面的‘忧雅举止”之神。

Archer wondered how many flaws Lefferts's keeneyes would discover in the ritual of his divinity; then hesuddenly recalled that he too had once thought suchquestions important. The things that had filled his daysseemed now like a nursery parody of life, or like thewrangles of mediaeval schoolmen over metaphysical termsthat nobody had ever understood. A stormy discussionas to whether the wedding presents should be "shown"had darkened the last hours before the wedding; and itseemed inconceivable to Archer that grown-up peopleshould work themselves into a state of agitation oversuch trifles, and that the matter should have been decided(in the negative) by Mrs. Welland's saying, withindignant tears: "I should as soon turn the reportersloose in my house." Yet there was a time when Archerhad had definite and rather aggressive opinions on allsuch problems, and when everything concerning themanners and customs of his little tribe had seemed tohim fraught with world-wide significance.

阿切尔心想,在他的神圣庆典中,不知莱弗茨那双锐利的眼睛会挑出多少暇疵。接着,他忽然想起自己也曾把这些问题看得至关重要。这些一度充斥他生活的事情,现在看来就像保育院里孩子们滑稽的表演,或者像中世纪的学究们为了谁也不懂的形而上学术语喋喋不休的争论。关于是否“展示”结婚礼品而引发的激烈争吵使婚礼前的几个小时变得一片混乱。阿切尔感到不可理解,一群成年人怎么竟会为这样一些琐事而大动肝火,而争论的结果竟由韦兰太太一句话作出(否定的)裁决—— 她气得流着泪说:“我马上就把记者们放进家里来。”然而有一段时间,阿切尔曾对所有这些事给予明确积极的评价,认为涉及到他小家族的行为方式与习惯的任何事情都具有深远的意义。

"And all the while, I suppose," he thought, "realpeople were living somewhere, and real things happeningto them . . ."

“我始终认为,”他想,“在某个地方,还生活着真实的人,经历着真实的事……”

"THERE THEY COME!" breathed the best man excitedly;but the bridegroom knew better.

“他们来了!”伴郎兴奋地低声说;新郎反而更清醒。

The cautious opening of the door of the churchmeant only that Mr. Brown the livery-stable keeper(gowned in black in his intermittent character of sexton)was taking a preliminary survey of the scene beforemarshalling his forces. The door was softly shutagain; then after another interval it swung majesticallyopen, and a murmur ran through the church: "Thefamily!"

教堂大门小心翼翼地打开了,这仅仅意味着马车行主布朗先生(身穿黑色礼服,充任时断时续的教堂司事)在引导大队人马进入之前预先观察一下场地。门又轻轻地关上了;随后,又过了一阵,门又被缓缓地打开,教堂里一片低语:“新娘一家来了!”

Mrs. Welland came first, on the arm of her eldestson. Her large pink face was appropriately solemn, andher plum-coloured satin with pale blue side-panels, andblue ostrich plumes in a small satin bonnet, met withgeneral approval; but before she had settled herselfwith a stately rustle in the pew opposite Mrs. Archer'sthe spectators were craning their necks to see who wascoming after her. Wild rumours had been abroad theday before to the effect that Mrs. Manson Mingott, inspite of her physical disabilities, had resolved on beingpresent at the ceremony; and the idea was so much inkeeping with her sporting character that bets ran highat the clubs as to her being able to walk up the naveand squeeze into a seat. It was known that she hadinsisted on sending her own carpenter to look into thepossibility of taking down the end panel of the frontpew, and to measure the space between the seat andthe front; but the result had been discouraging, and forone anxious day her family had watched her dallyingwith the plan of being wheeled up the nave in herenormous Bath chair and sitting enthroned in it at thefoot of the chancel.

韦兰太太挽着长子的胳膊走在最前面。她那粉红的大脸严肃得体,那身镶着淡蓝色饰条的紫缎长袍和那顶蓝驼鸟毛装饰的小巧缎帽得到了普遍的赞许,可还没等她窸窸窣窣地正襟危坐在阿切尔夫人对面的凳子上,人们便已伸长脖子去看紧随其后的是哪一位。婚礼的前一天,外界已经风传,说是曼森·明戈特太太不顾自己身体的限制,决定要出席这次婚礼;这念头与她好动的性格非常相符,因而俱乐部里人们对她能否走进教堂中殿并挤进座位而下的赌注越来越高。据说,她坚持派木匠去察看能否将前排凳子末端的挡板拆下来,并且丈量座位前面的空间;但结果却令人失望。一整天亲属们忧心忡忡地看着她瞎忙,她打算让人用大轮椅把她推上教堂中殿,像女皇一样端坐在圣坛跟前。

The idea of this monstrous exposure of her personwas so painful to her relations that they could havecovered with gold the ingenious person who suddenlydiscovered that the chair was too wide to pass betweenthe iron uprights of the awning which extended fromthe church door to the curbstone. The idea of doingaway with this awning, and revealing the bride to themob of dressmakers and newspaper reporters who stoodoutside fighting to get near the joints of the canvas,exceeded even old Catherine's courage, though for amoment she had weighed the possibility. "Why, theymight take a photograph of my child AND PUT IT IN THEPAPERS!" Mrs. Welland exclaimed when her mother'slast plan was hinted to her; and from this unthinkableindecency the clan recoiled with a collective shudder.The ancestress had had to give in; but her concessionwas bought only by the promise that the wedding-breakfast should take place under her roof, though (asthe Washington Square connection said) with theWellands' house in easy reach it was hard to have to makea special price with Brown to drive one to the otherend of nowhere.

她想的怪诞露面方式令她的亲属痛苦不堪,他们真想用金子来答谢那个聪明人——他猛然发现轮椅太宽,无法通过从教堂大门延伸到路边的凉棚铁柱。尽管老凯瑟琳也动过念头想把凉棚拆掉,但她却没有勇气让新娘暴露在那群想方设法靠近帐篷接缝处的裁缝和记者面前。而且,她才不过把拆掉凉棚的念头向女儿作了一点暗示,韦兰太太就忙不迭地惊呼道:“哎哟!那样的话,他们会给我女儿拍照,并且登在报上的!”对那种不堪设想的有伤风化的事,整个家族都不寒而栗地却步了。老祖宗也不得不做出让步;但她的让步是以答应在她家举办婚礼喜宴为条件,尽管(正如华盛顿广场的亲戚说的)由于韦兰家离教堂很近,这么一点路程很难与布朗就运费问题谈成优惠价格。

Though all these transactions had been widelyreported by the Jacksons a sporting minority still clungto the belief that old Catherine would appear in church,and there was a distinct lowering of the temperaturewhen she was found to have been replaced by herdaughter-in-law. Mrs. Lovell Mingott had the high colourand glassy stare induced in ladies of her age andhabit by the effort of getting into a new dress; but oncethe disappointment occasioned by her mother-in-law'snon-appearance had subsided, it was agreed that herblack Chantilly over lilac satin, with a bonnet of Parmaviolets, formed the happiest contrast to Mrs. Welland'sblue and plum-colour. Far different was the impressionproduced by the gaunt and mincing lady who followedon Mr. Mingott's arm, in a wild dishevelment of stripesand fringes and floating scarves; and as this last apparitionglided into view Archer's heart contracted andstopped beating.

虽然这些情况已被杰克逊兄妹广为传播,但仍有少数好事者坚信老凯瑟琳会在教堂露面。当人们发现她已被她的儿媳取而代之时,他们的热情才明显降下来。由于年龄和习惯的缘故,洛弗尔·明戈特太太在费力穿上一件新衣服后,显得面色红润,目光呆滞;因她的婆母未露面而引起的失望情绪消退之后,人们一致认识到,她那镶着黑色尚蒂伊花边的淡紫色缎袍及帕尔马紫罗兰无沿帽,与韦兰夫人的蓝紫色衣服形成了最令人愉快的对比。紧随其后,挽着明戈特先生走进教堂的那位夫人给人的印象却大相径庭,她面色憔悴,忸怩作态,身穿条纹服,穗状的镶边与飘动的技巾搅在一起,显得乱糟糟的。当最后这位幽灵般的人物进入阿切尔的视线时,他的心猛然紧缩起来,停止了跳动。

He had taken it for granted that the MarchionessManson was still in Washington, where she had gonesome four weeks previously with her niece, MadameOlenska. It was generally understood that their abruptdeparture was due to Madame Olenska's desire to removeher aunt from the baleful eloquence of Dr. AgathonCarver, who had nearly succeeded in enlisting her as arecruit for the Valley of Love; and in the circumstancesno one had expected either of the ladies to return forthe wedding. For a moment Archer stood with his eyesfixed on Medora's fantastic figure, straining to see whocame behind her; but the little procession was at anend, for all the lesser members of the family had takentheir seats, and the eight tall ushers, gathering themselvestogether like birds or insects preparing for somemigratory manoeuvre, were already slipping throughthe side doors into the lobby.

他一直以为曼森侯爵夫人应当还在华盛顿,大约四周前她与侄女奥兰斯卡夫人一同去了那里。人们普遍认为,她俩的突然离去是因为奥兰斯卡夫人想让她姑妈避开阿加松·卡弗博士阴险的花言巧语,其人眼看就要成功地将她发展为幽谷爱社的新成员。鉴于这种情况,没有人想到这两位夫人有谁会回来参加婚礼。一时间,阿切尔站在那儿,两眼直盯着梅多拉那古怪的身影,竭力想看看她后面是谁。但这列小小的队伍已到尽头,因为家族中所有次要成员也都已落座。8位高大的引座员像准备迁徙的候鸟或昆虫一样聚在一起,从侧门悄悄进入了门厅。

"Newland--I say: SHE'S HERE!" the best man whispered.

“纽兰——喂:她来了!”伴郎低声说。

Archer roused himself with a start.

阿切尔猛然惊醒。

A long time had apparently passed since his hearthad stopped beating, for the white and rosy processionwas in fact half way up the nave, the Bishop, theRector and two white-winged assistants were hoveringabout the flower-banked altar, and the first chords ofthe Spohr symphony were strewing their flower-likenotes before the bride.

显然,他的心跳已停止了很长时间,因为那队白色与玫瑰色夹杂的行列实际上已行至中殿的中间。主教、教堂司事和两名穿白衣的助手聚集在堆满鲜花的圣坛旁,施波尔交响曲开头几段和弦正将鲜花般的旋律洒落在新娘的面前。

Archer opened his eyes (but could they really havebeen shut, as he imagined?), and felt his heart beginningto resume its usual task. The music, the scent ofthe lilies on the altar, the vision of the cloud of tulleand orange-blossoms floating nearer and nearer, thesight of Mrs. Archer's face suddenly convulsed withhappy sobs, the low benedictory murmur of the Rector'svoice, the ordered evolutions of the eight pinkbridesmaids and the eight black ushers: all these sights,sounds and sensations, so familiar in themselves, sounutterably strange and meaningless in his new relationto them, were confusedly mingled in his brain.

阿切尔睁开眼睛(但它果真像他想象的那样闭上过吗?),感到心脏又恢复了正常的功能。乐声悠扬,圣坛上百合花散发出浓郁的芬芳,新娘佩戴的面纱与香橙花像飘动的云朵越来越近;阿切尔太太因幸福的啜泣而面部变形,教堂司事低声叨念着祝福,8位粉妆伴娘与8位黑衣引座员各司其职,秩序井然。所有这些情景、声音、感觉原本是那样地熟悉,如今换了新的角度,却变得异常陌生,毫无意义,乱纷纷地充斥于他的脑际。

"My God," he thought, "HAVE I got the ring?"--andonce more he went through the bridegroom's convulsivegesture.

“天啊,”他想,“戒指我带来了吗?”——他又一次重复着新郎们慌乱的动作。

Then, in a moment, May was beside him, such radiancestreaming from her that it sent a faint warmththrough his numbness, and he straightened himself andsmiled into her eyes.

转眼之间,梅已来到他身旁。她的容光焕发给麻木的阿切尔注入一股微弱的暖流。他挺直身子,对着她的眼睛露出笑容。

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here," theRector began . . .

“亲爱的教友们,我们聚集在这儿,”教堂司事开口了……

The ring was on her hand, the Bishop's benedictionhad been given, the bridesmaids were a-poise to resumetheir place in the procession, and the organ was showingpreliminary symptoms of breaking out into theMendelssohn March, without which no newly-weddedcouple had ever emerged upon New York.

戒指已戴到了她手上,主教也已为他们祝福,伴娘排成“A”字型重新人列,管风琴已奏出门德尔松进行曲的前奏。在纽约,少了这支曲子,有情人便难成眷属。

"Your arm--I SAY, GIVE HER YOUR ARM!" youngNewland nervously hissed; and once more Archer becameaware of having been adrift far off in the unknown.What was it that had sent him there, hewondered? Perhaps the glimpse, among the anonymousspectators in the transept, of a dark coil of hair under ahat which, a moment later, revealed itself as belongingto an unknown lady with a long nose, so laughably unlikethe person whose image she had evoked that he askedhimself if he were becoming subject to hallucinations.

“你的胳膊——喂,把胳膊给她!”小纽兰紧张地悄声说。阿切尔又一次意识到自己在未知的世界里已经漂泊了很远,他纳闷,是什么东西把他送过去的呢?或许是因为那一瞥——在教堂两翼不知名的观众中,他瞥见从一顶帽子下面露出的一卷黑发。但他立即认出那黑发属于一位不相识的长鼻子女士,她与她唤起的那个形象相差千里。这情景令人可笑,他不由问自己,是否要患幻觉症了。

And now he and his wife were pacing slowly downthe nave, carried forward on the light Mendelssohnripples, the spring day beckoning to them through widelyopened doors, and Mrs. Welland's chestnuts, with bigwhite favours on their frontlets, curvetting and showingoff at the far end of the canvas tunnel.

此刻,随着轻快的门德尔松乐曲的起伏,他和妻子正缓步走下教堂中殿。穿过洞开的大门,春天正向他们招手。韦兰太太家额带上扎着大团白花结的红棕马,正在那一排凉棚尽头洋洋自得地腾跃着,准备奋蹄奔驰。

The footman, who had a still bigger white favour onhis lapel, wrapped May's white cloak about her, andArcher jumped into the brougham at her side. Sheturned to him with a triumphant smile and their handsclasped under her veil.

马车夫的翻领上别着更大的白花结,他给梅披上白斗篷,阿切尔跳上马车坐在她身旁。梅脸上带着得意的微笑转向他,两人的手在她的面纱底下握在了一起。

"Darling!" Archer said--and suddenly the same blackabyss yawned before him and he felt himself sinkinginto it, deeper and deeper, while his voice rambled onsmoothly and cheerfully: "Yes, of course I thought I'dlost the ring; no wedding would be complete if thepoor devil of a bridegroom didn't go through that. Butyou DID keep me waiting, you know! I had time tothink of every horror that might possibly happen."

“宝贝!”阿切尔说——忽然,那个黑暗的深渊又在他面前张开大口,他感到自己陷在里面,越陷越深;与此同时,他的声音却愉快流畅地响着:“是啊,当然我以为丢了戒指,假如可怜的新郎没有这种体验,那婚礼就不成其为婚礼了。可是,你知道,你确实让我好等!让我有时间去想可能发生的种种可怕的事。”

She surprised him by turning, in full Fifth Avenue,and flinging her arms about his neck. "But none everCAN happen now, can it, Newland, as long as we twoare together?"

令他惊讶的是,在拥挤的第五大街上,梅转过身来,伸出双臂搂住了他的脖子。“可只要我们俩在一起,任何可怕的事也不会有了,对吗,纽兰?”

Every detail of the day had been so carefully thoughtout that the young couple, after the wedding-breakfast,had ample time to put on their travelling-clothes,descend the wide Mingott stairs between laughing bridesmaidsand weeping parents, and get into the broughamunder the traditional shower of rice and satin slippers;and there was still half an hour left in which to drive tothe station, buy the last weeklies at the bookstall withthe air of seasoned travellers, and settle themselves inthe reserved compartment in which May's maid hadalready placed her dove-coloured travelling cloak andglaringly new dressing-bag from London.

这一天的每个细节都考虑得十分周到,所以,喜宴之后,时间还很充裕。小夫妻穿上旅行装,从欢笑的伴娘和流泪的父母中间走下明戈特家宽阔的楼梯,按老规矩穿过纷纷撒下的稻米和缎面拖鞋,登上了马车;还有半小时时间,足够他们乘车去车站,像老练的旅行者那样从书亭买上最新的周刊,然后在预定的包厢里安顿下来。梅的女佣早已在里面放好了她暖灰色的旅行斗篷和簇新的伦敦化妆袋。

The old du Lac aunts at Rhinebeck had put theirhouse at the disposal of the bridal couple, with a readinessinspired by the prospect of spending a week inNew York with Mrs. Archer; and Archer, glad to escapethe usual "bridal suite" in a Philadelphia or Baltimorehotel, had accepted with an equal alacrity.

雷北克的老杜拉克姨妈把房子腾出来给新婚夫妻使用,这份热心来源于到纽约和阿切尔太太住上一周的憧憬。阿切尔很高兴能避开费城或巴尔的摩旅馆普通的“新婚套房”,所以也爽爽快快地接受了这一安排。

May was enchanted at the idea of going to the country,and childishly amused at the vain efforts of theeight bridesmaids to discover where their mysteriousretreat was situated. It was thought "very English" tohave a country-house lent to one, and the fact gave alast touch of distinction to what was generallyconceded to be the most brilliant wedding of the year; butwhere the house was no one was permitted to know,except the parents of bride and groom, who, whentaxed with the knowledge, pursed their lips and saidmysteriously: "Ah, they didn't tell us--" which wasmanifestly true, since there was no need to.

去乡下度蜜月的计划让梅十分着迷。看到8位伴娘煞费苦心也猜不出他们神秘的退隐地,她像个孩子似的乐坏了。把乡间住宅出借给别人被认为是“很英国化”的事情,这件事还最终促使人们普遍承认,这是当年最风光的婚礼。然而住宅的去处却谁也不准知道,惟独新郎、新娘的父母属于例外,当他们被再三追问时,总是努努嘴,神秘兮兮地说:“呀,他们没告诉我们——”这话显然是真的,因为根本没有那种必要。

Once they were settled in their compartment, and thetrain, shaking off the endless wooden suburbs, hadpushed out into the pale landscape of spring, talkbecame easier than Archer had expected. May was still,in look and tone, the simple girl of yesterday, eager tocompare notes with him as to the incidents of thewedding, and discussing them as impartially as a bridesmaidtalking it all over with an usher. At first Archerhad fancied that this detachment was the disguise of aninward tremor; but her clear eyes revealed only themost tranquil unawareness. She was alone for the firsttime with her husband; but her husband was only thecharming comrade of yesterday. There was no onewhom she liked as much, no one whom she trusted ascompletely, and the culminating "lark" of the wholedelightful adventure of engagement and marriage wasto be off with him alone on a journey, like a grownupperson, like a "married woman," in fact.

他们在卧车包厢里安顿停当,火车甩开市郊无边无际的树林,冲进凄清的春光中。这时交谈反而比阿切尔预料的还要轻松。无论看外表还是听声音,梅还是昨天那个单纯的姑娘,渴望与阿切尔对婚礼上发生的事交换看法,就像一位伴娘和一位引座员不偏不倚地议论一样。起初,阿切尔以为这种超脱的态度只是内心激动的伪装,但她那双清澈的眼睛却流露出毫无党察的宁静。她第一次和丈夫单独在一起,而丈夫只不过是昨天那个迷人的伴侣。没有谁能让她如此倾心,没有谁能让她这样绝对地信赖。订婚、结婚这种令人愉快的冒险,其最大的乐趣就是独自跟随他旅行,像个成年人一样一;一实际上,是像“已婚女人”一样。

It was wonderful that--as he had learned in theMission garden at St. Augustine--such depths of feelingcould coexist with such absence of imagination. Buthe remembered how, even then, she had surprised himby dropping back to inexpressive girlishness as soon asher conscience had been eased of its burden; and hesaw that she would probably go through life dealing tothe best of her ability with each experience as it came,but never anticipating any by so much as a stolenglance.

奇妙的是——正如他在圣奥古斯丁的教区花园里所发现的——如此深沉的感情竟能与想像力的如此贫乏并存。不过他还记得,即使在那时,她一经摆脱良心的重负、恢复了少女的纯朴,是如何令他大吃了一惊。他看出,她或许能竭尽全力应付生活中的种种遭遇,却决不可能靠偷偷的一瞥就会预见到什么。

Perhaps that faculty of unawareness was what gaveher eyes their transparency, and her face the look ofrepresenting a type rather than a person; as if shemight have been chosen to pose for a Civic Virtue or aGreek goddess. The blood that ran so close to her fairskin might have been a preserving fluid rather than aravaging element; yet her look of indestructibleyouthfulness made her seem neither hard nor dull, but onlyprimitive and pure. In the thick of this meditationArcher suddenly felt himself looking at her with thestartled gaze of a stranger, and plunged into a reminiscenceof the wedding-breakfast and of Granny Mingott'simmense and triumphant pervasion of it.

也许,是缺乏觉察力才使她的眼睛如此澄澈,使她面部表情代表了一种类型而不是一个具体的个人,仿佛她本来可以被选去扮演市民道德之神或希腊女神,紧贴着她那白嫩皮肤流淌的血液本应是防腐液体而非可以令她憔悴衰老的成分。她那不可磨灭的青春容颜使她显得既不冷酷又不愚钝,而只是幼稚和单纯。冥想之中,阿切尔忽然发觉自己正以陌生人惊诧的目光看着梅,接着他又陷入对婚礼喜宴及得意洋洋、无所不在的明戈特外祖母的回忆中。

May settled down to frank enjoyment of the subject."I was surprised, though--weren't you?--that auntMedora came after all. Ellen wrote that they wereneither of them well enough to take the journey; I dowish it had been she who had recovered! Did you seethe exquisite old lace she sent me?"

梅也定下心来,坦言喜宴的愉快。“虽然我感到很意外——你也没想到吧?——梅多拉姨妈到底还是来了。埃伦曾来信说,她们俩都身体欠佳,不堪旅途劳累。我真希望是埃伦恢复了健康!你看过她送我的精美老式花边了吗?”

He had known that the moment must come sooneror later, but he had somewhat imagined that by forceof willing he might hold it at bay.

他早知道这一刻迟早会来,但不知为什么,他却想凭借意志的力量阻止它。

"Yes--I--no: yes, it was beautiful," he said, lookingat her blindly, and wondering if, whenever he heardthose two syllables, all his carefully built-up worldwould tumble about him like a house of cards.

“是的——我——没有,对,是很漂亮,”他说,一面茫然地望着她,心里纳闷:是否一听到这个双音节的词,他精心营造起来的世界就会像纸糊的房子那样在他面前倒塌。

"Aren't you tired? It will be good to have some teawhen we arrive--I'm sure the aunts have got everythingbeautifully ready," he rattled on, taking her handin his; and her mind rushed away instantly to themagnificent tea and coffee service of Baltimore silverwhich the Beauforts had sent, and which "went" soperfectly with uncle Lovell Mingott's trays and sidedishes.

“你不累吧?我们到了那里喝点儿茶就好了——我相信姨妈把一切都安排停当了,”他喋喋不休地说,把她的手握在自己的手里;梅的心却立即飞向了博福特赠送的那套华贵的巴尔的摩银制茶具和咖啡具,它们与洛弗尔·明戈特舅舅所赠的托盘和小碟非常匹配。

In the spring twilight the train stopped at theRhinebeck station, and they walked along the platformto the waiting carriage.

在春天的暮色中,火车停在了雷北克车站。他们沿着站台向等候的马车走去。

"Ah, how awfully kind of the van der Luydens--they've sent their man over from Skuytercliff to meetus," Archer exclaimed, as a sedate person out of liveryapproached them and relieved the maid of her bags.

“啊!范德卢顿夫妇太好了!——他们从斯库特克利夫派人来接我们了。”阿切尔大声说道。一名穿便服的安详的男仆走到他们面前,从女佣手中接过包裹。

"I'm extremely sorry, sir," said this emissary, "that alittle accident has occurred at the Miss du Lacs': a leakin the water-tank. It happened yesterday, and Mr. vander Luyden, who heard of it this morning, sent a housemaidup by the early train to get the Patroon's houseready. It will be quite comfortable, I think you'll find,sir; and the Miss du Lacs have sent their cook over, sothat it will be exactly the same as if you'd been atRhinebeck."

“非常抱歉,大人,”这位来使说。“杜拉克小姐家出了点儿小事;水箱上有个小洞。是昨天发现的,今天一早,范德卢顿先生听说后,立即派了一名女佣乘早班火车去收拾好了庄园主住宅。大人,我想你会发现那儿非常舒服;杜拉克小姐已把她的厨子派去了;所以在那儿会跟雷北克完全一样。”

Archer stared at the speaker so blankly that herepeated in still more apologetic accents: "It'll be exactlythe same, sir, I do assure you--" and May's eager voicebroke out, covering the embarrassed silence: "The sameas Rhinebeck? The Patroon's house? But it will be ahundred thousand times better--won't it, Newland?It's too dear and kind of Mr. van der Luyden to havethought of it."

阿切尔木然地盯着说话的人,致使后者以更为歉意的语调重复说:“那儿完全一样,大人,我担保——”,梅热情洋溢的声音打破了令人尴尬的沉默:“和在雷北克一样?庄园主的宅子吗?可那要强一万倍呢——对吗,纽兰?范德卢顿先生想到这地方,真是太好了。”

And as they drove off, with the maid beside thecoachman, and their shining bridal bags on the seatbefore them, she went on excitedly: "Only fancy, I'venever been inside it--have you? The van der Luydensshow it to so few people. But they opened it for Ellen,it seems, and she told me what a darling little place itwas: she says it's the only house she's seen in Americathat she could imagine being perfectly happy in."

他们上路了,女佣坐在车夫的旁边。闪闪发光的新婚包裹放在他们前面的座位上,梅兴奋地继续说道:“想想看,我还从没进过那房子呢——你去过吗?范德卢顿夫妇很少给人看的。不过他们好像对埃伦开放过,埃伦告诉我那是个非常可爱的小地方:她说这是她在美国见到的惟—一所完美的住宅,使她觉得在里面很幸福。”

"Well--that's what we're going to be, isn't it?" criedher husband gaily; and she answered with her boyishsmile: "Ah, it's just our luck beginning--the wonderfulluck we're always going to have together!"

“哎——我们就会非常幸福的,对吗?”她丈夫快活地大声说;她带着孩子气的微笑回答:“啊,这只是我们幸运的开端——幸运之星将永远照耀我们!”