The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

The turf was hemmed with an edge of scarlet geraniumand coleus, and cast-iron vases painted in chocolatecolour, standing at intervals along the windingpath that led to the sea, looped their garlands ofpetunia and ivy geranium above the neatly raked gravel.

鲜红的天竺葵和锦紫苏镶在草坪的边缘,漆成巧克力色的铸铁花瓶间隔地摆在通向大海的婉蜒小路上,整齐的砾石路上空是一个个牵牛花与盾叶大竺葵绕成的花环。

Half way between the edge of the cliff and the squarewooden house (which was also chocolate-coloured, butwith the tin roof of the verandah striped in yellow andbrown to represent an awning) two large targets hadbeen placed against a background of shrubbery. On theother side of the lawn, facing the targets, was pitched areal tent, with benches and garden-seats about it. Anumber of ladies in summer dresses and gentlemen ingrey frock-coats and tall hats stood on the lawn or satupon the benches; and every now and then a slendergirl in starched muslin would step from the tent,bow in hand, and speed her shaft at one of the targets,while the spectators interrupted their talk to watchthe result.

在悬崖边到方形木屋中途(木屋也被漆成巧克力色,游廊的锡顶是黄棕色相间的条纹,相当于凉棚),背靠灌木丛安置了两个很大的箭靶,草坪的另一端,面对箭靶搭了个真帐篷,四周是长凳和庭院坐椅。一群身着夏装的女士和穿灰色长礼服、戴高礼帽的绅士或站在草坪上,或坐在长凳上;不时有一位穿浆棉布衣服的窈窕淑女执弓走出帐篷,朝其中的一个箭靶射出一箭,看客们则中断交谈,观看结果如何。

Newland Archer, standing on the verandah of thehouse, looked curiously down upon this scene. On eachside of the shiny painted steps was a large blue chinaflower-pot on a bright yellow china stand. A spikygreen plant filled each pot, and below the verandah rana wide border of blue hydrangeas edged with more redgeraniums. Behind him, the French windows of thedrawing-rooms through which he had passed gaveglimpses, between swaying lace curtains, of glassy parquetfloors islanded with chintz poufs, dwarf armchairs,and velvet tables covered with trifles in silver.

纽兰·阿切尔站在木屋的游廊上,好奇地俯视这一场面。在漆得锃亮的台阶两侧,一边一个硕大的蓝瓷花盆,摆放在鲜黄的瓷座上。每个花盆里都种满带穗的绿色植物。游廊底下是宽宽的一排蓝绣球花,边缘处是密密麻麻的红色天竺葵。在他身后,透过那些起居室的双扇落地玻璃门上随风摇曳的花边门帘,可以窥见玻璃般平滑的木纹地板。地板上像岛屿般分布着上光印花棉布蒲团和矮脚扶手椅,铺着天鹅绒的桌面上摆满了盛在银器里的甜点。

The Newport Archery Club always held its Augustmeeting at the Beauforts'. The sport, which had hithertoknown no rival but croquet, was beginning to bediscarded in favour of lawn-tennis; but the latter gamewas still considered too rough and inelegant for socialoccasions, and as an opportunity to show off prettydresses and graceful attitudes the bow and arrow heldtheir own.

纽波特射箭俱乐部总是把8月份的赛会安排在博福特家。迄今为止,除了槌球,还没有哪项运动可与之抗衡的射箭运动,正由于人们对网球的喜爱而逐渐被淘汰。但网球运动仍被认为粗俗不雅,不适于社交场合。作为展示漂亮衣服和优雅姿态的机会,射箭仍固守着它的阵地。

Archer looked down with wonder at the familiarspectacle. It surprised him that life should be going onin the old way when his own reactions to it had socompletely changed. It was Newport that had firstbrought home to him the extent of the change. In NewYork, during the previous winter, after he and Mayhad settled down in the new greenish-yellow housewith the bow-window and the Pompeian vestibule, hehad dropped back with relief into the old routine of theoffice, and the renewal of this daily activity had servedas a link with his former self. Then there had been thepleasurable excitement of choosing a showy grey stepperfor May's brougham (the Wellands had given thecarriage), and the abiding occupation and interest ofarranging his new library, which, in spite of familydoubts and disapprovals, had been carried out as hehad dreamed, with a dark embossed paper, Eastlakebook-cases and "sincere" arm-chairs and tables. At theCentury he had found Winsett again, and at the Knickerbockerthe fashionable young men of his own set;and what with the hours dedicated to the law andthose given to dining out or entertaining friends athome, with an occasional evening at the Opera or theplay, the life he was living had still seemed a fairly realand inevitable sort of business.

阿切尔好奇地俯视着这熟悉的景观。令他惊异的是,当他对生活的反应发生如此彻底的改变之后,生活竟然还在沿着老路延续。是纽波特使他第一次清醒地意识到这种变化的程度。去年冬天,他和梅在纽约那所带弓形窗和庞贝式门厅的黄绿色新房里安顿下来后,就如释重负地重新过起了事务所的常规生活。日常活动的恢复像链环般把他与过去的自我联系起来。随后还发生了一连串令人兴奋的快事:首先是为梅的马车选了一匹引人注目的灰色骏马(马车是韦兰家送给他们的),其次是搬进永久的住处;另外,他还不顾家人的怀疑与不满,按自己梦寐以求的方式孜孜不倦地用黑色压纹纸、东湖书橱、“纯正”扶手椅和桌子布置了他的新图书室。在“世纪”,他又见到了温塞特,在“纽约人”,找到了跟他同类的时髦青年;他将一部分时间献身于法律,一部分用于外出吃饭或在家招待客人,偶尔还抽个晚上去听歌剧或看戏。他的生活看来依然相当实际,当然也相当本分。

But Newport represented the escape from duty intoan atmosphere of unmitigated holiday-making. Archerhad tried to persuade May to spend the summer on aremote island off the coast of Maine (called, appropriatelyenough, Mount Desert), where a few hardy Bostoniansand Philadelphians were camping in "native"cottages, and whence came reports of enchantingscenery and a wild, almost trapper-like existence amidwoods and waters.

然而纽波特意味着摆脱了一切责任而完全进入了度假气氛。阿切尔曾劝说梅去缅因海岸一个遥远的小岛上度夏天(那去处恰如其分地叫做荒山),有几个大胆的波士顿人和费城人曾经在那儿的“土著”村里野营,报道了那里迷人的风光与深水密林间类似捕兽人的野生生活方式。

But the Wellands always went to Newport, wherethey owned one of the square boxes on the cliffs, andtheir son-in-law could adduce no good reason why heand May should not join them there. As Mrs. Wellandrather tartly pointed out, it was hardly worth while forMay to have worn herself out trying on summer clothesin Paris if she was not to be allowed to wear them; andthis argument was of a kind to which Archer had as yetfound no answer.

然而韦兰一家一贯是去纽波特过夏天,他们在峭壁上拥有自己的一个小方屋。他们的女婿提不出任何正当理由说明他和梅为什么不与他们同往。正像韦兰太太相当尖刻地提醒的,对梅来说,如果条件不允许她穿,那么就犯不着在巴黎疲劳不堪地试穿那些夏装。像这一类的论点,阿切尔目前还没有办法反驳。

May herself could not understand his obscurereluctance to fall in with so reasonable and pleasant a wayof spending the summer. She reminded him that he hadalways liked Newport in his bachelor days, and as thiswas indisputable he could only profess that he was surehe was going to like it better than ever now that theywere to be there together. But as he stood on theBeaufort verandah and looked out on the brightly peopledlawn it came home to him with a shiver that hewas not going to like it at all.

梅自己也不明白阿切尔为什么对这么合情合理、这么愉快的消夏方式表现出令人费解的勉强。她提醒说,当他过单身生活时一直是很喜欢纽波特的。既然这是不争的事实,阿切尔只得声称,这次他一定会比以往更喜欢那儿,因为是他们两人一起去。然而,当他站在博福特家的游廊上,注视着外面草坪上兴高采烈的人群时,不禁心头一颤,蓦然醒悟:他根本不会喜欢这儿了。

It was not May's fault, poor dear. If, now and then,during their travels, they had fallen slightly out of step,harmony had been restored by their return to theconditions she was used to. He had always foreseen thatshe would not disappoint him; and he had been right.He had married (as most young men did) because hehad met a perfectly charming girl at the moment whena series of rather aimless sentimental adventures wereending in premature disgust; and she had representedpeace, stability, comradeship, and the steadying senseof an unescapable duty.

这不是梅的错,可怜的爱人。如果说他们在旅行中时而有些小小的不合拍,那么,他们回到梅熟悉的环境后也就恢复了和谐。他早就预见到梅不会令他失望,他确实没有看错。他结了婚(就像大多数年轻人那样),是因为正当他过早地厌弃了一系列毫无目标的感情冒险之时,遇到了一位十分迷人的姑娘。她代表着和睦、稳定、友谊以及对不可推卸的责任的坚定信念。

He could not say that he had been mistaken in hischoice, for she had fulfilled all that he had expected. Itwas undoubtedly gratifying to be the husband of one ofthe handsomest and most popular young married womenin New York, especially when she was also one of thesweetest-tempered and most reasonable of wives; andArcher had never been insensible to such advantages.As for the momentary madness which had fallen uponhim on the eve of his marriage, he had trained himselfto regard it as the last of his discarded experiments.The idea that he could ever, in his senses, have dreamedof marrying the Countess Olenska had become almostunthinkable, and she remained in his memory simply asthe most plaintive and poignant of a line of ghosts.

他不能说自己的选择是个失误,因为梅满足了他期待的一切。毫无疑问,能成为纽约一位最美丽、最受欢迎的年轻妻子的丈夫,是令人高兴的;更何况她还是一位性情最甜蜜又最通情达理的妻子。阿切尔对这些优点决非无动于衷。至于结婚前夕降临的那阵短暂的疯狂,他已能克制自己,认定是业已摒弃的最后一次试验。在他头脑清醒的时候,想起他还会梦想娶奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人,真感到不可思议。她仅仅作为那一串幽灵中最悲哀、最鲜活的一个留在他的记忆里。

But all these abstractions and eliminations madeof his mind a rather empty and echoing place, and hesupposed that was one of the reasons why the busyanimated people on the Beaufort lawn shocked him asif they had been children playing in a grave-yard.

然而经过这一番排解与清除,他的心却成了个空荡荡的回音室。他想,博福特家草坪上兴奋、忙碌的人们仿佛一群在墓地里嬉戏的孩子那样令他震惊,其原因就在于此。

He heard a murmur of skirts beside him, and theMarchioness Manson fluttered out of the drawing-roomwindow. As usual, she was extraordinarily festoonedand bedizened, with a limp Leghorn hat anchored toher head by many windings of faded gauze, and a littleblack velvet parasol on a carved ivory handle absurdlybalanced over her much larger hatbrim.

他听到身旁窸窸窣窣的裙裾声,曼森侯爵夫人从起居室的落地窗口飘然而至。跟往常一样,她打扮得格外花哨,俗不可耐。头上戴着一顶意大利麦梗草帽,上面缠着一圈圈褪色的网纱,雕花象牙伞柄撑着的黑丝绒小阳伞,在比它还大的帽沿上方滑稽地晃来晃去。

"My dear Newland, I had no idea that you and Mayhad arrived! You yourself came only yesterday, yousay? Ah, business--business--professional duties . . . Iunderstand. Many husbands, I know, find it impossibleto join their wives here except for the week-end." Shecocked her head on one side and languished at himthrough screwed-up eyes. "But marriage is one longsacrifice, as I used often to remind my Ellen--"

“亲爱的纽兰,我还不知道你和梅已经来了!你自己是昨天才到的,是吧?啊,工作——工作——职责……我明白。我知道,很多做丈夫的除了周末都不可能来这儿陪妻子,”她把脑袋一歪,眯起眼睛,无精打采地望着他说。“可婚姻是一种长期的牺牲,就像过去我常对埃伦讲的——”

Archer's heart stopped with the queer jerk which ithad given once before, and which seemed suddenly toslam a door between himself and the outer world; butthis break of continuity must have been of the briefest,for he presently heard Medora answering a question hehad apparently found voice to put.

阿切尔的心脏奇怪地猛然一抽,停止了跳动,就像以前那次一样,好像“啪”地关上一道门,把他与外界隔开了。但这种间断一定是极短暂的,因为不一会儿他就听到梅多拉回答问题的声音,那问题显然是他恢复了声音后提出的。

"No, I am not staying here, but with the Blenkers, intheir delicious solitude at Portsmouth. Beaufort waskind enough to send his famous trotters for me thismorning, so that I might have at least a glimpse of oneof Regina's garden-parties; but this evening I go backto rural life. The Blenkers, dear original beings, havehired a primitive old farm-house at Portsmouth wherethey gather about them representative people . . ." Shedrooped slightly beneath her protecting brim, and addedwith a faint blush: "This week Dr. Agathon Carver isholding a series of Inner Thought meetings there. Acontrast indeed to this gay scene of worldly pleasure--but then I have always lived on contrasts! To me theonly death is monotony. I always say to Ellen: Bewareof monotony; it's the mother of all the deadly sins. Butmy poor child is going through a phase of exaltation,of abhorrence of the world. You know, I suppose, thatshe has declined all invitations to stay at Newport,even with her grandmother Mingott? I could hardlypersuade her to come with me to the Blenkers', if youwill believe it! The life she leads is morbid, unnatural.Ah, if she had only listened to me when it was stillpossible . . . When the door was still open . . . Butshall we go down and watch this absorbing match? Ihear your May is one of the competitors."

“不,我不打算呆在这儿。我要和布兰克一家去他们普茨茅斯美妙的幽居地。博福特太好了,今天早晨他派他那一流的跑马来接我,所以我至少来得及看一眼里吉纳的花园聚会;不过今晚我就要回去过田园生活了。布兰克一家真是别出心裁,他们在普茨茅斯租了一所古朴的农居,邀请了一群有代表性的人物。”她躲在帽沿下的头轻轻一低,脸色微红地补充说: “这个星期,阿加松·卡弗博士将要在那儿主持一系列内心活动的会议呢。与这儿世俗消遣的快乐场面的确是个鲜明的对比——不过,我一直就生活在对比中!对我来说,最要命的就是单调无聊。我老是对埃伦讲:要当心无聊,它是一切罪恶的根源。但我那可怜的孩子正经历一种亢奋状态,对世事深恶痛绝。我想你知道吧,她拒绝了所有到纽波特来的邀请,甚至拒绝和她的祖母明戈特在一起。连我也很难说服她随我去布兰克家,真让人难以置信!她过着一种不正常的病态生活。唉,她若是听了我的话就好了……那时候门还开着……那时候一切都还有可能……我们何不下去看看吸引人的比赛?我听说梅也是选手之一呢。”

Strolling toward them from the tent Beaufortadvanced over the lawn, tall, heavy, too tightly buttonedinto a London frock-coat, with one of his own orchidsin its buttonhole. Archer, who had not seen him fortwo or three months, was struck by the change in hisappearance. In the hot summer light his floridness seemedheavy and bloated, and but for his erect square-shouldered walk he would have looked like an over-fedand over-dressed old man.

博福特正穿过草地,从帐篷那儿朝他们漫步走来。他高大、笨拙的身体被紧紧扣在一件伦敦长礼服中,扣眼上别着一朵自己种的兰花。阿切尔已有两三个月没见他了,对他外貌的变化感到吃惊。在夏天毒辣辣的阳光下,他脸上血色过重,有些浮肿,若不是他那挺直的宽肩膀,他走路的姿势就像个吃得过多、穿得过厚的老人。

There were all sorts of rumours afloat aboutBeaufort. In the spring he had gone off on a long cruise tothe West Indies in his new steam-yacht, and it wasreported that, at various points where he had touched,a lady resembling Miss Fanny Ring had been seen inhis company. The steam-yacht, built in the Clyde, andfitted with tiled bath-rooms and other unheard-of luxuries,was said to have cost him half a million; and thepearl necklace which he had presented to his wife onhis return was as magnificent as such expiatory offeringsare apt to be. Beaufort's fortune was substantialenough to stand the strain; and yet the disquietingrumours persisted, not only in Fifth Avenue but in WallStreet. Some people said he had speculated unfortunatelyin railways, others that he was being bled by oneof the most insatiable members of her profession; andto every report of threatened insolvency Beaufortreplied by a fresh extravagance: the building of a newrow of orchid-houses, the purchase of a new string ofrace-horses, or the addition of a new Meissonnier orCabanel to his picture-gallery.

关于博福特的流言有很多。春天,他乘坐自己的新游艇去西印度群岛进行了一次长途旅游。据说,在他所到之处,总有一位颇似范妮·琳的女士伴随。那艘游艇建造于克莱德河,装备了贴瓷砖的浴室和其他一些闻所未闻的奢侈品,听说花了他50万美元。回来时他送给妻子的珍珠项链像赎罪的贡品般华美绝伦。博福特的财产足以承受这种挥霍,然而令人不安的谣言却经久不息,不仅在第五大街而且还在华尔街流传。有人说他投机铁路亏了本;另一些人则说,他被她那一行里一个最贪得无厌的人敲了竹杠。对于每一次破产危机的报道,博福特总是以新的挥霍作答:修建一排崭新的兰花花房,购买一群新赛马,或是在他的画廊里添置一幅新的梅索尼埃或卡巴耐尔的画。

He advanced toward the Marchioness and Newlandwith his usual half-sneering smile. "Hullo, Medora!Did the trotters do their business? Forty minutes, eh?. . . Well, that's not so bad, considering your nerveshad to be spared." He shook hands with Archer, andthen, turning back with them, placed himself on Mrs.Manson's other side, and said, in a low voice, a fewwords which their companion did not catch.

他面带平时那种半是嘲讽的微笑走近侯爵夫人和纽兰。“嗨,梅多拉!那些跑马干得怎么样?40分钟,嗯?……唔,不算坏,这就不会吓着你了。”他和阿切尔握了握手,然后随他们转过身去。他站在曼森太太另一侧,低声说了几句他们的同伴听不见的话。

The Marchioness replied by one of her queer foreignjerks, and a "Que voulez-vous?" which deepened Beaufort'sfrown; but he produced a good semblance of acongratulatory smile as he glanced at Archer to say:"You know May's going to carry off the first prize."

侯爵夫人用她那奇特的外语回答:“我有什么办法?”这句法语更让博福特愁眉紧锁;但他瞧着阿切尔时却装出一副好模样,面带祝贺的笑容说:“瞧,梅要夺得头奖了。”

"Ah, then it remains in the family," Medora rippled;and at that moment they reached the tent and Mrs.Beaufort met them in a girlish cloud of mauve muslinand floating veils.

“啊,这么说头奖还是留在自家人手上了,”梅多拉用流水般的声音说。这时他们已走到帐篷跟前,博福特太太裹着少女戴的红紫色棉布围巾和飘逸的面纱迎了上来。

May Welland was just coming out of the tent. In herwhite dress, with a pale green ribbon about the waistand a wreath of ivy on her hat, she had the sameDiana-like aloofness as when she had entered the Beaufortball-room on the night of her engagement. In theinterval not a thought seemed to have passed behindher eyes or a feeling through her heart; and though herhusband knew that she had the capacity for both hemarvelled afresh at the way in which experience droppedaway from her.

恰巧梅·韦兰从帐篷里走了出来。她一身素装,腰间束一条淡绿色的丝带,帽子上绕着常春藤编织的花环,那副狄安娜女神般超然的神态就跟订婚那天晚上走进博福特家舞厅时一模一样。此刻,她目光中似乎没有一丝思绪,心里也没有任何感觉。她丈夫虽知道她两者兼备,却再次惊异于她的超凡脱俗。

She had her bow and arrow in her hand, and placingherself on the chalk-mark traced on the turf she liftedthe bow to her shoulder and took aim. The attitudewas so full of a classic grace that a murmur of appreciationfollowed her appearance, and Archer felt theglow of proprietorship that so often cheated him intomomentary well-being. Her rivals--Mrs. Reggie Chivers,the Merry girls, and divers rosy Thorleys, Dagonetsand Mingotts, stood behind her in a lovely anxiousgroup, brown heads and golden bent above the scores,and pale muslins and flower-wreathed hats mingled ina tender rainbow. All were young and pretty, andbathed in summer bloom; but not one had the nymph-like ease of his wife, when, with tense muscles andhappy frown, she bent her soul upon some feat ofstrength.

她手握弓箭,站在草地上的粉笔标记后面,将弓举至肩头,瞄准目标。她的姿态十分典雅,一出场便博得一阵轻轻的赞美声。阿切尔感到了所有者的喜悦,正是这种感觉时常诱骗他沉浸于片刻的幸福。她的对手有里吉·奇弗斯太太、梅里家的姑娘们,还有索利家、达戈内特家及明戈特家几位面色红润的女孩,她们焦急地站在她身后,十分可爱地围成一堆。棕色的头发、金色的支架、浅色的棉布服饰及带花环的帽子,在起射线上方混合成一道柔和的彩虹。沐浴着盛夏的光辉,姑娘们个个年轻漂亮,却没有哪一个像他妻子那样如宁芙般从容自如。这时,只见她绷紧肌肉,笑眉一颦,全神贯注地使足了劲。

"Gad," Archer heard Lawrence Lefferts say, "notone of the lot holds the bow as she does"; and Beaufortretorted: "Yes; but that's the only kind of target she'llever hit."

“天呀!”阿切尔只听劳伦斯·莱弗茨说,“没人会像她那样拿弓的。”博福特回击道:“不错。可只有这样她才能射中靶子。”

Archer felt irrationally angry. His host's contemptuoustribute to May's "niceness" was just what a husbandshould have wished to hear said of his wife. Thefact that a coarseminded man found her lacking inattraction was simply another proof of her quality; yetthe words sent a faint shiver through his heart. What if"niceness" carried to that supreme degree were only anegation, the curtain dropped before an emptiness? Ashe looked at May, returning flushed and calm from herfinal bull's-eye, he had the feeling that he had never yetlifted that curtain.

阿切尔感到一阵无端的愤怒。男主人对梅“优雅举止”略带轻蔑的恭维本应是做丈夫的希望听到的,一个内心粗鄙的人发现她缺乏魅力,这不过是又一次证明她的品质高尚而已。然而,这些话却使他心里有一丝震动。假如“优雅”到了最高境界竟变成其反面,帷幕后面竟是空洞无物,那将怎么办呢?他看着梅——她最后一轮射中靶心后,正面色红润、心态平静地退出场地——心中暗自想道:他还从未揭开过那片帷幕。

She took the congratulations of her rivals and of therest of the company with the simplicity that was hercrowning grace. No one could ever be jealous of hertriumphs because she managed to give the feeling thatshe would have been just as serene if she had missedthem. But when her eyes met her husband's her faceglowed with the pleasure she saw in his.

她坦然地接受对手和同伴的祝贺,表现出最最优雅的姿态。没有人会嫉妒她的胜利,因为她让人觉得即使她输了,也会这样心平气和。然而当她的目光遇到丈夫的眼睛时,他那愉快的神色顿然使她容光焕发。

Mrs. Welland's basket-work pony-carriage was waitingfor them, and they drove off among the dispersingcarriages, May handling the reins and Archer sitting ather side.

韦兰太太那辆精工制作的马车正等候着他们。他们在四散的马车中穿行离场,梅握着缰绳,阿切尔坐在她身旁。

The afternoon sunlight still lingered upon the brightlawns and shrubberies, and up and down Bellevue Avenuerolled a double line of victorias, dog-carts, landausand "vis-a-vis," carrying well-dressed ladies andgentlemen away from the Beaufort garden-party, or homewardfrom their daily afternoon turn along the OceanDrive.

下午的阳光仍然滞留在美丽的草坪上与灌木丛中,车辆排成两行在贝拉乌大街来往行进,有四轮折篷马车,轻便马车,双座活篷马车及双人对座马车。车上载着盛装的女士、绅士们,他们或是从博福特的花园聚会上离去,或是结束了每天下午的海滨兜风赶着回家。

"Shall we go to see Granny?" May suddenlyproposed. "I should like to tell her myself that I've wonthe prize. There's lots of time before dinner."

“我们去看看外婆好吗?”梅突然提议说。“我想亲自告诉她我得了奖。离吃饭时间还早着呢。”

Archer acquiesced, and she turned the ponies downNarragansett Avenue, crossed Spring Street and droveout toward the rocky moorland beyond. In this unfashionableregion Catherine the Great, always indifferentto precedent and thrifty of purse, had built herself inher youth a many-peaked and cross-beamed cottage-orne on a bit of cheap land overlooking the bay. Here,in a thicket of stunted oaks, her verandahs spreadthemselves above the island-dotted waters. A windingdrive led up between iron stags and blue glass ballsembedded in mounds of geraniums to a front door ofhighly-varnished walnut under a striped verandah-roof;and behind it ran a narrow hall with a black andyellow star-patterned parquet floor, upon which openedfour small square rooms with heavy flock-papers underceilings on which an Italian house-painter had lavishedall the divinities of Olympus. One of these rooms hadbeen turned into a bedroom by Mrs. Mingott when theburden of flesh descended on her, and in the adjoiningone she spent her days, enthroned in a large armchairbetween the open door and window, and perpetuallywaving a palm-leaf fan which the prodigious projectionof her bosom kept so far from the rest of her personthat the air it set in motion stirred only the fringe of theanti-macassars on the chair-arms.

阿切尔默许了,她拨马沿纳拉甘塞特大街下行,横穿斯普林街后,又向远处多石的荒地驶去。就在这片无人问津的地方,一贯无视先例与节俭的老凯瑟琳,在她年轻的时候选中一块俯瞰海湾的便宜地面,为自己建了一座有许多尖顶和横梁的乡村别墅。在矮小浓密的橡树丛中,她的游廊延伸到点缀着小岛的水面上。一条婉蜒的车道通向漆得锃亮的胡桃木前门,路的一侧有几只铁铸牡鹿,另一侧是一个个长满天竺葵的土丘,上面嵌着些蓝色玻璃球。门的上方是带条纹的游廊顶篷,门内狭长的走廊里铺的是星形图案的木条地板,黑白间色。走廊里共有4个方型小房间,天花板下贴着厚厚的毛面纸,一位意大利画匠将奥林匹斯山诸神全部涂在了上面。自从明戈特太太发福以后,其中的一间就改成了她的卧室;相邻的那间供她消磨时光。她端坐在敞开的门与窗之间一把大扶手椅里,不停地挥着芭蕉扇。由于她异常突出的胸部使扇子远离身体的其他部位,所以扇起的风只能吹动扶手罩的边穗。

Since she had been the means of hastening his marriageold Catherine had shown to Archer the cordialitywhich a service rendered excites toward the personserved. She was persuaded that irrepressible passionwas the cause of his impatience; and being an ardentadmirer of impulsiveness (when it did not lead to thespending of money) she always received him with agenial twinkle of complicity and a play of allusion towhich May seemed fortunately impervious.

因为是老凯瑟琳的干预加快了他的婚事,她对阿切尔表现出施惠者对受惠人的热情。她相信他是由于不可抗拒的爱才缺乏耐心,作为冲动的热情崇拜者(只要不会让她破费),她老是像个同谋似的对他亲切地眨眨眼睛,开个暗示性的玩笑。幸运的是梅似乎对此无动于衷。

She examined and appraised with much interest thediamond-tipped arrow which had been pinned on May'sbosom at the conclusion of the match, remarking thatin her day a filigree brooch would have been thoughtenough, but that there was no denying that Beaufortdid things handsomely.

她兴致勃勃地观察、品评比赛结束时别在梅胸前的那枚钻石包头的箭形胸针。她说,在她们那个年代,一枚金银丝装饰的胸针就让人心满意足了;但是不可否认,博福特把事情办得着实很漂亮。

"Quite an heirloom, in fact, my dear," the old ladychuckled. "You must leave it in fee to your eldest girl."She pinched May's white arm and watched the colourflood her face. "Well, well, what have I said to makeyou shake out the red flag? Ain't there going to be anydaughters--only boys, eh? Good gracious, look at herblushing again all over her blushes! What--can't I saythat either? Mercy me--when my children beg me tohave all those gods and goddesses painted out overheadI always say I'm too thankful to have somebody aboutme that NOTHING can shock!"

“这可真是件传家宝呢,亲爱的,”老夫人咯咯笑着说,“你一定要把它传给你的大女儿。”她捏了捏梅白皙的胳膊,注视着她脸上涌起的红潮。“哎呀!我说什么了让你脸上打出了红旗?难道不要女儿——只要儿子吗,嗯?老天爷,瞧,她又红上加红了!怎么——这也不能说?老天——当我的孩子们恳求我把男女诸神全都画在头顶上时,我总是说,太感谢了,这样谁也不用到我这儿来了,我什么也不用怕了!”

Archer burst into a laugh, and May echoed it, crimsonto the eyes.

阿切尔哈哈大笑,梅也亦步亦趋,笑得眼睛都红了。

"Well, now tell me all about the party, please, mydears, for I shall never get a straight word about it outof that silly Medora," the ancestress continued; and, asMay exclaimed: "Cousin Medora? But I thought shewas going back to Portsmouth?" she answered placidly:"So she is--but she's got to come here first to pickup Ellen. Ah--you didn't know Ellen had come tospend the day with me? Such fol-de-rol, her not comingfor the summer; but I gave up arguing with youngpeople about fifty years ago. Ellen--ELLEN!" she cried inher shrill old voice, trying to bend forward far enoughto catch a glimpse of the lawn beyond the verandah.

“好了,现在给我讲讲这次聚会吧,亲爱的。从梅多拉那个傻瓜口中,我可休想听到一句实话,”老祖宗接着说。这时梅却大声说:“你说梅多拉姨妈!她不是去了普茨茅斯吗?”老祖宗心平气和地答道:“是啊——不过,她得先来这儿接埃伦。哎——你们还不知道吧?埃伦来和我呆了一天。不来这儿过夏天可真是太蠢了,不过我有50年不跟年轻人抬扛了。埃伦——埃伦!”她用苍老的尖声喊道,一面使劲向前探身,想看一眼游廊那边的草坪。

There was no answer, and Mrs. Mingott rappedimpatiently with her stick on the shiny floor. A mulattomaid-servant in a bright turban, replying to the summons,informed her mistress that she had seen "MissEllen" going down the path to the shore; and Mrs.Mingott turned to Archer.

没有回音。明戈特太太不耐烦地用手杖敲打着光亮的地板。一个缠着鲜亮头巾的混血女佣应声而来,告诉女主人她看见“埃伦小姐”沿小路去海边了。明戈特太太转向了阿切尔。

"Run down and fetch her, like a good grandson; thispretty lady will describe the party to me," she said; andArcher stood up as if in a dream.

“像个好孙子那样,快去把她追回来。这位漂亮女士会给我讲聚会的事,”她说。阿切尔站了起来,仿佛像在梦里一般。

He had heard the Countess Olenska's name pronouncedoften enough during the year and a half sincethey had last met, and was even familiar with the mainincidents of her life in the interval. He knew that shehad spent the previous summer at Newport, where sheappeared to have gone a great deal into society, butthat in the autumn she had suddenly sub-let the "perfecthouse" which Beaufort had been at such pains tofind for her, and decided to establish herself inWashington. There, during the winter, he had heard of her(as one always heard of pretty women in Washington)as shining in the "brilliant diplomatic society" that wassupposed to make up for the social short-comings ofthe Administration. He had listened to these accounts,and to various contradictory reports on her appearance,her conversation, her point of view and her choiceof friends, with the detachment with which one listensto reminiscences of some one long since dead; not tillMedora suddenly spoke her name at the archery matchhad Ellen Olenska become a living presence to himagain. The Marchioness's foolish lisp had called up avision of the little fire-lit drawing-room and the soundof the carriage-wheels returning down the deserted street.He thought of a story he had read, of some peasantchildren in Tuscany lighting a bunch of straw in awayside cavern, and revealing old silent images in theirpainted tomb . . .

自从他们最后一次见面以来,一年半的时间里,他经常听到人们提起“奥兰斯卡”的名字,他甚至熟悉这段时间她生活中的主要事件。他知道,去年夏天她呆在纽波特,并频频涉足社交界;但到了秋季,她忽然转租了博福特费尽周折为她觅得的“理想寓所”,决定去华盛顿定居。冬天,阿切尔听说(人们总能听到华盛顿漂亮女人的事),她在一个据说要弥补政府之不足的“卓越外交学会”里大出风头。阿切尔十分超脱地听了那些故事,听了关于她的仪表、她的谈话、她的观点与择友的各种相互矛盾的报道,就像在听对一个早已故去的人的回忆那样。直到这次射箭比赛,梅多拉突然提到了她的名字,他才感到埃伦·奥兰斯卡又变成了活生生的人。侯爵夫人那笨拙的咬舌音唤出了炉火映照的小客厅的影像,以及空寂无人的道路上回归的马车车轮的声响。他想起了曾经读过的一个故事:几个托斯卡纳农民的孩子,在路旁的洞穴里点燃一捆草,在他们涂画的坟墓里唤出默然无语的故人的影像……

The way to the shore descended from the bank onwhich the house was perched to a walk above thewater planted with weeping willows. Through their veilArcher caught the glint of the Lime Rock, with itswhite-washed turret and the tiny house in which theheroic light-house keeper, Ida Lewis, was living her lastvenerable years. Beyond it lay the flat reaches and uglygovernment chimneys of Goat Island, the bay spreadingnorthward in a shimmer of gold to Prudence Islandwith its low growth of oaks, and the shores of Conanicutfaint in the sunset haze.

通向海滨的路从宅院坐落的斜坡一直延伸到水边一条人行小道,路旁垂柳依依。阿切尔透过柳慢瞥见了石灰崖的闪光,还有崖上冲刷得雪白的塔楼和英雄的守塔人艾达·刘易斯住的小房子,她将在里面度过年高德劭的余生。越过灯塔是一片平坦的水域和官方在山羊岛竖起的难看的烟囱。海湾向北延伸是金光闪闪的普鲁登斯岛,岛上满是低矮的橡树,远处的科拿内柯特海岸在暮雹中一片朦胧。

From the willow walk projected a slight wooden pierending in a sort of pagoda-like summer-house; and inthe pagoda a lady stood, leaning against the rail, herback to the shore. Archer stopped at the sight as if hehad waked from sleep. That vision of the past was adream, and the reality was what awaited him in thehouse on the bank overhead: was Mrs. Welland's pony-carriage circling around and around the oval at thedoor, was May sitting under the shameless Olympiansand glowing with secret hopes, was the Welland villa atthe far end of Bellevue Avenue, and Mr. Welland,already dressed for dinner, and pacing the drawing-room floor, watch in hand, with dyspeptic impatience--for it was one of the houses in which one always knewexactly what is happening at a given hour.

从绿柳掩映的小径上拱起一道纤细的木质防波堤,一直延伸到一幢宝塔式的凉亭;塔里站着一位女士,斜倚栏杆,背对着海岸。阿切尔见此停住脚步,恍然如从梦中醒来。过去的回忆只是一场梦,而现实是坡顶那所房子里等着他的那些事情:韦兰太太的马车沿着门外椭圆形轨迹遛了一圈又一圈;梅坐在伤风败俗的奥林匹斯众神之下,因为隐秘的希望而容光焕发;贝拉乌大街尽头的韦兰别墅,在那儿,韦兰先生已穿好就餐礼服,手持怀表,在客厅里踱来踱去,脸色阴郁而焦躁不安 ——因为这个家里的人永远都清楚什么钟点办什么事。

"What am I? A son-in-law--" Archer thought.

“我是什么人?女婿——”阿切尔心想。

The figure at the end of the pier had not moved. Fora long moment the young man stood half way downthe bank, gazing at the bay furrowed with the comingand going of sailboats, yacht-launches, fishing-craft andthe trailing black coal-barges hauled by noisy tugs. Thelady in the summer-house seemed to be held by thesame sight. Beyond the grey bastions of Fort Adams along-drawn sunset was splintering up into a thousandfires, and the radiance caught the sail of a catboat as itbeat out through the channel between the Lime Rockand the shore. Archer, as he watched, remembered thescene in the Shaughraun, and Montague lifting AdaDyas's ribbon to his lips without her knowing that hewas in the room.

防波堤尽头的人影纹丝不动。年轻人在半坡上站了很久,注视着海湾来来往往的帆船、游艇、渔船以及由喧噪的拖轮拖着的运煤黑驳船掀起层层波浪。凉亭里的女士似乎也被这景色吸引住了。在灰蒙蒙的福特·亚当斯城堡远处,拉长的落日碎裂成千万个火团;那光辉映红了一只从石灰崖与海滨的夹道中驶出的独桅船船帆。阿切尔一边观看,一边想起了在《肖兰》中看到的那一幕:蒙塔古将艾达·戴斯的丝带举到唇边,而她却不知他在房间里。

"She doesn't know--she hasn't guessed. Shouldn't Iknow if she came up behind me, I wonder?" he mused;and suddenly he said to himself: "If she doesn't turnbefore that sail crosses the Lime Rock light I'll goback."

“她不知道——她想不到。如果她出现在我身后,我会不会知道?”他沉思着;忽然又自言自语地说:“如果在帆船越过石灰崖上那盏灯之前她不转过身来,我立刻就走。”

The boat was gliding out on the receding tide. It slidbefore the Lime Rock, blotted out Ida Lewis's littlehouse, and passed across the turret in which the lightwas hung. Archer waited till a wide space of watersparkled between the last reef of the island and thestern of the boat; but still the figure in the summer-house did not move.

船随着退却的潮水滑行,滑过石灰崖,遮住了艾达·刘易斯所在的小房子,越过了挂灯的塔楼。阿切尔等待着,直到船尾与岛上最后一块礁石之间出现一道很宽的闪闪发光的水域,凉亭里的人影依然纹丝未动。

He turned and walked up the hill.

他转身朝山上走去。

"I'm sorry you didn't find Ellen--I should have likedto see her again," May said as they drove home throughthe dusk. "But perhaps she wouldn't have cared--sheseems so changed."

“真遗憾你没找到埃伦——我本想再见见她的,”他们在薄暮中驱车回家时梅说道。“可也许她并不在乎——看来她变化太大了。”

"Changed?" echoed her husband in a colourless voice,his eyes fixed on the ponies' twitching ears.

“变化?”她丈夫平淡地应声说,眼睛盯着马抽搐的耳朵。

"So indifferent to her friends, I mean; giving up NewYork and her house, and spending her time with suchqueer people. Fancy how hideously uncomfortable shemust be at the Blenkers'! She says she does it to keepcousin Medora out of mischief: to prevent her marryingdreadful people. But I sometimes think we've alwaysbored her."

“我是说她对自己的朋友那么冷漠,放弃了纽约和她的家,和那么古怪的人混在一起。想想吧,她在布兰克家会多么不自在!她说这是为了防止梅多拉姨妈受损害,阻止她嫁给讨厌的人、可有时候我想,我们一直很让她厌烦。”

Archer made no answer, and she continued, with atinge of hardness that he had never before noticed inher frank fresh voice: "After all, I wonder if she wouldn'tbe happier with her husband."

阿切尔没有搭话,她接下去说:“我终究还是不明白,她跟她丈夫在一起是不是会更快活些。”话语间带有一丝冷酷,这是阿切尔在她那坦率稚嫩的声音中从未听到过的。

He burst into a laugh. "Sancta simplicitas!" heexclaimed; and as she turned a puzzled frown on him headded: "I don't think I ever heard you say a cruel thingbefore."

阿切尔爆发出一阵笑声。“上天啊!”他喊道;当她困惑地皱着眉转过脸看他时,他又说:“我以前可从没听你说过一句冷酷话。”

"Cruel?"

“冷酷?”

"Well--watching the contortions of the damned issupposed to be a favourite sport of the angels; but Ibelieve even they don't think people happier in hell."

“对——观察受罚者的痛苦扭动应该是天使们热衷的游戏。但我想,即使是他们也不会认为人在地狱里会更快活。”

"It's a pity she ever married abroad then," said May,in the placid tone with which her mother met Mr.Welland's vagaries; and Archer felt himself gently relegatedto the category of unreasonable husbands.

“那么,她远嫁异国可真是件憾事,”梅说,她那平静的语气俨然如韦兰太太应付丈夫的怪癖。阿切尔感到自己已被轻轻推人不通情理的丈夫一族。

They drove down Bellevue Avenue and turned inbetween the chamfered wooden gate-posts surmountedby cast-iron lamps which marked the approach to theWelland villa. Lights were already shining through itswindows, and Archer, as the carriage stopped, caught aglimpse of his father-in-law, exactly as he had picturedhim, pacing the drawing-room, watch in hand andwearing the pained expression that he had long sincefound to be much more efficacious than anger.

他们驶过贝拉乌大街,转弯从两根顶部装着铸铁灯的削角木门柱间通过,这标志着到了韦兰别墅。窗户里已透出闪闪的灯光,马车一停,阿切尔便瞥见岳父恰如他想象的那样,正手持怀表,在客厅里踱来踱去,脸上一副烦闷的表情——他早就发现这样远比发怒灵验。

The young man, as he followed his wife into the hall,was conscious of a curious reversal of mood. Therewas something about the luxury of the Welland houseand the density of the Welland atmosphere, so chargedwith minute observances and exactions, that alwaysstole into his system like a narcotic. The heavy carpets,the watchful servants, the perpetually reminding tick ofdisciplined clocks, the perpetually renewed stack ofcards and invitations on the hall table, the whole chainof tyrannical trifles binding one hour to the next, andeach member of the household to all the others, madeany less systematised and affluent existence seem unrealand precarious. But now it was the Welland house,and the life he was expected to lead in it, that hadbecome unreal and irrelevant, and the brief scene onthe shore, when he had stood irresolute, halfway downthe bank, was as close to him as the blood in his veins.

年轻人随妻子走入门厅,感到心情发生了一种奇怪的变化。在韦兰家的奢华与浓厚的韦兰氛围之中,充满了琐碎的清规戒律与苛求,老是像麻醉剂一样悄悄侵入他的机体。厚重的地毯,警觉的仆人,无休无止嘀嘀嗒嗒提醒的时钟,门厅桌子上不断更新的一叠叠名片与请柬——它们结成一条专横的锁链,把家庭的每个成员每时每刻捆缚在一起,并使任何丰富的、不够系统的生存方式都成为不真实、不可靠的。然而此时此刻,变得虚幻而无足轻重的却成了韦兰的家,以及这个家里等待他的那种生活,而海滨那短短的一幕,他站在半坡上踌躇不决的那一幕,却像他血管里流的血一样与他贴近。

All night he lay awake in the big chintz bedroom atMay's side, watching the moonlight slant along thecarpet, and thinking of Ellen Olenska driving homeacross the gleaming beaches behind Beaufort's trotters.

整整一夜他都没有入睡。在那间印花棉布布置的宽敞卧室里,他躺在梅的身旁看着斜照在地毯上的月光,想象着埃伦·奥兰斯卡坐在博福特的马车后面,穿过闪光的海滩回家的情景