The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

Mr. Welland laid down his knife and fork andlooked anxiously and incredulously across the luncheon-table at his wife, who, adjusting her gold eye-glasses,read aloud, in the tone of high comedy: "Professor andMrs. Emerson Sillerton request the pleasure of Mr. andMrs. Welland's company at the meeting of the WednesdayAfternoon Club on August 25th at 3 o'clockpunctually. To meet Mrs. and the Misses Blenker."Red Gables, Catherine Street. R. S. V. P."

韦兰先生放下刀叉,焦急、怀疑地望着坐在午餐桌对面的妻子。她调整了一下金边眼镜,以极富喜剧色彩的声调,大声读道:“埃默森·西勒顿教授与夫人敬请韦兰先生偕夫人于8月25日下午3时整光临‘星期三下午俱乐部’的聚会,欢迎布兰克太太及小姐们。

"Good gracious--" Mr. Welland gasped, as if a secondreading had been necessary to bring the monstrousabsurdity of the thing home to him.

凯瑟琳街,红山墙。

"Poor Amy Sillerton--you never can tell what herhusband will do next," Mrs. Welland sighed. "I supposehe's just discovered the Blenkers."

罗·斯·维·波”

Professor Emerson Sillerton was a thorn in the sideof Newport society; and a thorn that could not beplucked out, for it grew on a venerable and veneratedfamily tree. He was, as people said, a man who hadhad "every advantage." His father was Sillerton Jackson'suncle, his mother a Pennilow of Boston; on eachside there was wealth and position, and mutualsuitability. Nothing--as Mrs. Welland had often remarked--nothing on earth obliged Emerson Sillerton to be anarchaeologist, or indeed a Professor of any sort, or tolive in Newport in winter, or do any of the otherrevolutionary things that he did. But at least, if he wasgoing to break with tradition and flout society in theface, he need not have married poor Amy Dagonet,who had a right to expect "something different," andmoney enough to keep her own carriage.

“天啊——”布兰先生喘了口粗气,仿佛重读了一遍才使他彻底明白了这事的荒谬绝顶。

No one in the Mingott set could understand whyAmy Sillerton had submitted so tamely to the eccentricitiesof a husband who filled the house with long-haired men and short-haired women, and, when hetravelled, took her to explore tombs in Yucatan insteadof going to Paris or Italy. But there they were, set intheir ways, and apparently unaware that they weredifferent from other people; and when they gave one oftheir dreary annual garden-parties every family on theCliffs, because of the Sillerton-Pennilow-Dagonetconnection, had to draw lots and send an unwillingrepresentative.

“可怜的艾米·西勒顿——你永远猜不透她丈夫下一步要干什么,”韦兰太太叹息道。“我想他是刚刚发现了布兰克一家。”

"It's a wonder," Mrs. Welland remarked, "that theydidn't choose the Cup Race day! Do you remember,two years ago, their giving a party for a black man onthe day of Julia Mingott's the dansant? Luckily thistime there's nothing else going on that I know of--forof course some of us will have to go."

埃默森·西勒顿是纽波特社交界的一根刺,而且是一根拔不掉的刺,因为他生在历史悠久、受人尊重的名门望族。正如人们所言,他拥有“一切优势”。他父亲是西勒顿·杰克逊的叔叔,母亲是波士顿彭尼隆家族的一员,双方均有财有势,且门当户对。正像韦兰太太经常说的,根本没有理由——没有任何理由迫使埃默森·西勒顿去做考古学家,或是任何学科的教授;也没有任何理由让他在纽波特过冬,或者干他干的其他那些变革性的事情。如果他真的打算与传统决裂,藐视社交界,那么,至少他不该娶可怜的艾米·达戈内特。她有权期望过“不同的生活”,并有足够的钱置办一辆马车。

Mr. Welland sighed nervously. "`Some of us,' mydear--more than one? Three o'clock is such a veryawkward hour. I have to be here at half-past three totake my drops: it's really no use trying to followBencomb's new treatment if I don't do it systematically;and if I join you later, of course I shall miss mydrive." At the thought he laid down his knife and forkagain, and a flush of anxiety rose to his finely-wrinkledcheek.

在明戈特家族中,没有一个人能理解艾米·西勒顿为什么对丈夫怪诞的作为那样俯首帖耳。他往家里招徕长头发的男人和短头发的女人;外出旅行,他不去巴黎和意大利,反而带她去考察尤卡坦州的墓地。然而他们就是那样自行其是,且显然并没察觉与别人有什么不同;当他们一年一度举办乏味的花园聚会时,住在克利夫的人家,因为西勒顿一彭尼隆一达戈内特家族间的关系,不得不抽签选派一名不情愿的代表参加。

"There's no reason why you should go at all, mydear," his wife answered with a cheerfulness that hadbecome automatic. "I have some cards to leave at theother end of Bellevue Avenue, and I'll drop in at abouthalf-past three and stay long enough to make poorAmy feel that she hasn't been slighted." She glancedhesitatingly at her daughter. "And if Newland's afternoonis provided for perhaps May can drive you outwith the ponies, and try their new russet harness."

“真是个奇迹,”韦兰太太说。“他们倒没选择赛马会这一天!还记得吧,两年前,他们在朱丽娅·明戈特举办茶舞会的时候为一个黑人办宴会?据我所知,这次没有其他活动同时进行——这倒是很幸运,因为我们总得有人要去。”

It was a principle in the Welland family that people'sdays and hours should be what Mrs. Welland called"provided for." The melancholy possibility of havingto "kill time" (especially for those who did not care forwhist or solitaire) was a vision that haunted her as thespectre of the unemployed haunts the philanthropist.Another of her principles was that parents should never(at least visibly) interfere with the plans of theirmarried children; and the difficulty of adjusting this respectfor May's independence with the exigency of Mr. Welland'sclaims could be overcome only by the exercise ofan ingenuity which left not a second of Mrs. Welland'sown time unprovided for.

韦兰先生不安地叹息道:“你说‘有人要去’,亲爱的——不止一个人吗?3点钟是多么别扭。3点半我必须在家吃药:如果我不按规定服药,那么采纳本库姆的新疗法也就毫无意义了。假如稍后再去找你,必然会赶不上车。”想到这儿,他再次放下刀叉,焦虑使他布满细纹的脸上泛起一片红晕。

"Of course I'll drive with Papa--I'm sure Newlandwill find something to do," May said, in a tone thatgently reminded her husband of his lack of response. Itwas a cause of constant distress to Mrs. Welland thather son-in-law showed so little foresight in planning hisdays. Often already, during the fortnight that he hadpassed under her roof, when she enquired how hemeant to spend his afternoon, he had answeredparadoxically: "Oh, I think for a change I'll just save itinstead of spending it--" and once, when she and Mayhad had to go on a long-postponed round of afternooncalls, he had confessed to having lain all the afternoonunder a rock on the beach below the house.

“亲爱的,你根本不用去,”妻子习惯性地用愉快的口吻答道。“我还要到贝拉乌大街那一头送几张请柬,3点半左右我过去,多呆些时间,以便让可怜的艾米不觉得受了怠慢。”她又迟疑地望着女儿说:“如果纽兰下午有安排,或许梅可以赶车送你,也试一试手织的新挽具。”

"Newland never seems to look ahead," Mrs. Wellandonce ventured to complain to her daughter; andMay answered serenely: "No; but you see it doesn'tmatter, because when there's nothing particular to dohe reads a book."

韦兰家有一条原则,就是人们的每一天、每一小时都应该像韦兰太太说的——‘有安排’。被迫“消磨时间”(特别是对不喜欢惠斯特或单人纸牌游戏的人来说)这一令人忧伤的可能像幻影般困扰着她,就像失业者的幽灵令慈善家不得安宁一样。她的另一条原则是,父母决不应(至少表面上)干扰已婚子女的计划;既要尊重梅的自由又要考虑韦兰先生所说的紧急情况,解决这种难题只能靠神机妙算,这就使得韦兰太太自己的时间每一秒都安排得满满当当。

"Ah, yes--like his father!" Mrs. Welland agreed, asif allowing for an inherited oddity; and after that thequestion of Newland's unemployment was tacitlydropped.

“当然,我会驾车去送爸爸的—— 我相信纽兰会自己找些事做,”梅说,语气温和地提醒丈夫应有所反应。女婿在安排日程上老显得缺乏远见,这也是经常令韦兰太太苦恼的一个问题。阿切尔在她家度过的两个星期里,问到他下午准备干什么时,他往往似是而非地回答说:“唔,我想换个方式,节省一下午——”有一次,她和梅不得不进行一轮延误已久的下午拜访时,阿切尔却承认他在海滩凉亭后面的大石头下躺了整整一下午。

Nevertheless, as the day for the Sillerton receptionapproached, May began to show a natural solicitudefor his welfare, and to suggest a tennis match at theChiverses', or a sail on Julius Beaufort's cutter, as ameans of atoning for her temporary desertion. "I shallbe back by six, you know, dear: Papa never drives laterthan that--" and she was not reassured till Archer saidthat he thought of hiring a run-about and driving upthe island to a stud-farm to look at a second horse forher brougham. They had been looking for this horsefor some time, and the suggestion was so acceptablethat May glanced at her mother as if to say: "You seehe knows how to plan out his time as well as any ofus."

“纽兰好像从不为将来打算,”韦兰太太有一次试探着向女儿抱怨说;梅平静地答道:“是啊,不过你知道这并不碍事的,因为没有特殊事情要做的时候,他就读书。”

The idea of the stud-farm and the brougham horsehad germinated in Archer's mind on the very day whenthe Emerson Sillerton invitation had first beenmentioned; but he had kept it to himself as if there weresomething clandestine in the plan, and discovery mightprevent its execution. He had, however, taken theprecaution to engage in advance a runabout with a pair ofold livery-stable trotters that could still do theireighteen miles on level roads; and at two o'clock, hastilydeserting the luncheon-table, he sprang into the lightcarriage and drove off.

“啊,对——像他父亲!”韦兰太太赞同地说,仿佛能体谅这种遗传怪癖似的。从那以后,纽兰无所事事的问题也就心照不宣地不再提了。

The day was perfect. A breeze from the north drovelittle puffs of white cloud across an ultramarine sky,with a bright sea running under it. Bellevue Avenuewas empty at that hour, and after dropping the stable-lad at the corner of Mill Street Archer turned downthe Old Beach Road and drove across Eastman's Beach.

然而,随着西勒顿欢迎会日期的临近,梅自然就表现出对他切身利益的忧虑。作为对她暂时离职的补偿,她建议他去奇弗斯家打网球比赛,或乘朱利叶斯·博福特的小汽艇出游。“6点钟我就赶回来,亲爱的,你知道,再晚一点爸爸是决不会乘车的——”直到阿切尔说,他想租一辆无篷小马车,到岛上的种马场为她的马车再物色一匹马,梅才安下心来。他们为挑选马匹已花费了一段时间,这项提议令她十分满意,梅瞥了母亲一眼,仿佛在说:“您瞧,他跟大家一样,知道该怎样安排时间。”

He had the feeling of unexplained excitement withwhich, on half-holidays at school, he used to start offinto the unknown. Taking his pair at an easy gait, hecounted on reaching the stud-farm, which was not farbeyond Paradise Rocks, before three o'clock; so that,after looking over the horse (and trying him if heseemed promising) he would still have four goldenhours to dispose of.

第一次提到埃默森的邀请那天,阿切尔心里就萌发了去种马场选马的念头;但他一直门在心里,仿佛这计划有什么秘密,暴露了就会妨碍它的实行。尽管如此,他还是采取了预防措施,提前定了一辆无篷车和一对在平路上仍能跑18英里的车行里的老马。两点钟,他匆匆离开午餐桌,跳上轻便马车便出发了。

As soon as he heard of the Sillerton's party he hadsaid to himself that the Marchioness Manson wouldcertainly come to Newport with the Blenkers, and thatMadame Olenska might again take the opportunity ofspending the day with her grandmother. At any rate,the Blenker habitation would probably be deserted,and he would be able, without indiscretion, to satisfy avague curiosity concerning it. He was not sure that hewanted to see the Countess Olenska again; but eversince he had looked at her from the path above the bayhe had wanted, irrationally and indescribably, to seethe place she was living in, and to follow the movementsof her imagined figure as he had watched thereal one in the summer-house. The longing was withhim day and night, an incessant undefinable craving,like the sudden whim of a sick man for food or drinkonce tasted and long since forgotten. He could not seebeyond the craving, or picture what it might lead to,for he was not conscious of any wish to speak toMadame Olenska or to hear her voice. He simply feltthat if he could carry away the vision of the spot ofearth she walked on, and the way the sky and seaenclosed it, the rest of the world might seem less empty.

天气十分宜人。从北面吹来的微风赶着朵朵白云掠过湛蓝的天空,蓝天下滚动着闪闪发光的大海。此时,贝拉乌大街阒无一人,阿切尔在米尔街的拐角处丢下马夫,转向老海滨路,驱车穿过伊斯特曼滩。

When he reached the stud-farm a glance showed himthat the horse was not what he wanted; nevertheless hetook a turn behind it in order to prove to himself thathe was not in a hurry. But at three o'clock he shookout the reins over the trotters and turned into theby-roads leading to Portsmouth. The wind had droppedand a faint haze on the horizon showed that a fog waswaiting to steal up the Saconnet on the turn of the tide;but all about him fields and woods were steeped ingolden light.

他感到一阵难以名状的兴奋。学生时期,在那些半日的假期里,他正是怀着这种莫名的兴奋投身到未知的世界去的。若让两匹马从从容容地跑,3点钟以前就可望到达离天堂崖不远的种马场,所以,大致看一看马(如果觉得有希望,也可以试一试)之后,仍然有4个小时的宝贵时间供他享用。

He drove past grey-shingled farm-houses in orchards,past hay-fields and groves of oak, past villages withwhite steeples rising sharply into the fading sky; and atlast, after stopping to ask the way of some men atwork in a field, he turned down a lane between highbanks of goldenrod and brambles. At the end of thelane was the blue glimmer of the river; to the left,standing in front of a clump of oaks and maples, hesaw a long tumble-down house with white paint peelingfrom its clapboards.

一听说西勒顿的欢迎会,他就暗自思量,曼森侯爵夫人肯定会随布兰克一家来纽波特,那么,奥兰斯卡夫人可能会借此机会再来和祖母呆一天。不管怎样,布兰克的住处很可能会空无一人,这样,他就可以满足一下对它朦胧的好奇心而又不显唐突。他不敢肯定自己是否想再见到奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人;但自从在海湾上面的小路上看到她之后,他莫名其妙地萌生了一种荒唐想法,要看一看她住的地方,就像观察凉亭中那个真实的她那样,想了解想象中的她的行踪。这种难以名状的热望日夜不停地困扰着他,就像病人突发奇想,想要一种曾经品尝过、却早已忘记的食物或饮料那样。他无法考虑其他的事,也无法料想它会导致怎样的结果,因为他并没有任何想与奥兰斯卡夫人交谈或听听她的声音的愿望。他只是觉得,假如他能把她脚踏的那块地面连同天海相拥的那段空间印在他的脑子里,那么,剩下的那部分世界也许就显得不那么空虚了。

On the road-side facing the gateway stood one of theopen sheds in which the New Englander shelters hisfarming implements and visitors "hitch" their "teams."Archer, jumping down, led his pair into the shed, andafter tying them to a post turned toward the house.The patch of lawn before it had relapsed into a hay-field; but to the left an overgrown box-garden full ofdahlias and rusty rose-bushes encircled a ghostly summer-house of trellis-work that had once been white,surmounted by a wooden Cupid who had lost his bowand arrow but continued to take ineffectual aim.

到了种马场,看了一眼他就明白没有他中意的马匹;尽管如此,他还是在里面转了一圈,以便向自己证明他并没有仓促行事。但到了3点钟,他便抖开马缰,踏上了通向普茨茅斯的小路。风已经停了,地平线上一层薄霭预示着退潮后大雾将悄悄淹没沙克耐特;但他周围的田野、树林却笼罩在金色的阳光里。

Archer leaned for a while against the gate. No onewas in sight, and not a sound came from the openwindows of the house: a grizzled Newfoundland dozingbefore the door seemed as ineffectual a guardian asthe arrowless Cupid. It was strange to think that thisplace of silence and decay was the home of the turbulentBlenkers; yet Archer was sure that he was notmistaken.

他驾车一路驶过果园里灰色木顶的农舍、干草场和橡树林;还驶过许多村落,村里礼拜堂的白色尖顶耸人昏暗的天空;最后,他停车向田间耕作的几个人问过路后,转进一条小巷。路两侧的高坡上长满了黄花和荆棘,巷子尽头是一条碧波粼粼的河,在河左边一丛橡树和枫树林前,他看到一幢破败不堪的长房子,护墙板上的白漆都已脱落。

For a long time he stood there, content to take in thescene, and gradually falling under its drowsy spell; butat length he roused himself to the sense of the passingtime. Should he look his fill and then drive away? Hestood irresolute, wishing suddenly to see the inside ofthe house, so that he might picture the room thatMadame Olenska sat in. There was nothing to preventhis walking up to the door and ringing the bell; if, ashe supposed, she was away with the rest of the party,he could easily give his name, and ask permission to gointo the sitting-room to write a message.

大门正面的路旁有一个敞开的棚屋,新英格兰人用它存放农具,来访的客人则把牲口拴在里面。阿切尔从车上跳下来,把两匹马牵进棚屋,系在木桩上,转身朝房舍走去。房前的一块草坪已沦落成干草场,但左边那片疯长的矩形花园里却满是大雨花和变成铁锈色的玫瑰丛,环绕着一个幽灵般的格子结构的凉亭。凉亭原是白色,顶部有一个丘比特木雕像,他手中弓箭全无,却继续劳而无功地瞄着准。

But instead, he crossed the lawn and turned towardthe box-garden. As he entered it he caught sight ofsomething bright-coloured in the summer-house, andpresently made it out to be a pink parasol. The parasoldrew him like a magnet: he was sure it was hers. Hewent into the summer-house, and sitting down on therickety seat picked up the silken thing and looked at itscarved handle, which was made of some rare woodthat gave out an aromatic scent. Archer lifted the handleto his lips.

阿切尔倚着门呆了一会儿,四顾无人,房内大开的窗户里也没有声响:一只灰白色的纽芬兰犬在门前打盹,看来也和丢了箭的丘比特一样成了没用的守护者。令人不可思议的是,这个死气沉沉、衰落破败的地方竟是爱热闹的布兰克一家的住所;但阿切尔确信没有找错地方。

He heard a rustle of skirts against the box, and satmotionless, leaning on the parasol handle with claspedhands, and letting the rustle come nearer without liftinghis eyes. He had always known that this musthappen . . .

他在那儿伫立良久,心满意足地观看着眼前的场景,并渐渐受到它使人昏昏欲睡的魔力的影响;但他终于清醒过来,意识到时间在流逝。他是不是看个够就赶车离开呢?他站在那儿,犹豫不定,突然又想看一看房子里面的情景,那样,就可以想象奥兰斯卡夫人起居的房间了。他可以毫无顾忌地走上前去拉响门铃;假如像他推测的那样,奥兰斯卡夫人已经和参加宴会的其他人一起走了,那么他可以轻而易举地报上姓名,并请求进起居室留个便条。

"Oh, Mr. Archer!" exclaimed a loud young voice;and looking up he saw before him the youngest andlargest of the Blenker girls, blonde and blowsy, inbedraggled muslin. A red blotch on one of her cheeksseemed to show that it had recently been pressed againsta pillow, and her half-awakened eyes stared at himhospitably but confusedly.

然而他没有那样做,反而穿过草坪,向矩形花园走去。一进花园,他就看见凉亭里有一件色彩鲜艳的东西,并马上认出那是把粉红色的遮阳伞。它像磁石般吸引着他:他确信那是她的。他走进凉亭,坐在东倒西歪的座位上,捡起那把丝质阳伞,细看雕花的伞柄。它是由稀有木料制成的,散发着香气。阿切尔把伞柄举到唇边。

"Gracious--where did you drop from? I must havebeen sound asleep in the hammock. Everybody else hasgone to Newport. Did you ring?" she incoherentlyenquired.

他听到花园对面一阵悉悉索索的裙裾声。他坐在那儿一动不动,双手紧握的伞柄,听凭悉索声越来越近而不抬眼去看,他早就知道这情景迟早会发生……

Archer's confusion was greater than hers. "I--no--that is, I was just going to. I had to come up the islandto see about a horse, and I drove over on a chance offinding Mrs. Blenker and your visitors. But the houseseemed empty--so I sat down to wait."

“啊,是阿切尔先生!”一个年轻洪亮的声音喊道;他抬起头,只见布兰克家最小却最高大的女儿站在面前:金发碧眼,但长得粗俗,穿着脏兮兮的棉布衣服,脸颊上一块红色的印痕仿佛向人宣告她刚刚才离开枕头。她睡眼惺松地盯着他,热情而又困惑不解。

Miss Blenker, shaking off the fumes of sleep, lookedat him with increasing interest. "The house IS empty.Mother's not here, or the Marchioness--or anybodybut me." Her glance became faintly reproachful. "Didn'tyou know that Professor and Mrs. Sillerton are giving agarden-party for mother and all of us this afternoon? Itwas too unlucky that I couldn't go; but I've had a sorethroat, and mother was afraid of the drive home thisevening. Did you ever know anything so disappointing?Of course," she added gaily, "I shouldn't have mindedhalf as much if I'd known you were coming."

“天哪——你从哪儿来的?我一定是在吊床上睡熟了。别人全都去纽波特了。你拉门铃了吗?”她前言不搭后语地问道。

Symptoms of a lumbering coquetry became visible inher, and Archer found the strength to break in: "ButMadame Olenska--has she gone to Newport too?"

阿切尔比她更慌乱。”我——没——是这样,我正要去拉。我本是来岛上物色匹马,驾车来这儿,想看看能不能碰巧见着布兰克太太和你们家的客人。但这房子似乎空荡荡的——所以我坐下来等一会儿。”

Miss Blenker looked at him with surprise. "MadameOlenska--didn't you know she'd been called away?"

布兰克小姐驱走了睡意,兴趣大增地看着他。“家里是空了。妈妈不在,侯爵夫人也不在——除了我其他人都不在。”说着,她的目光流露出淡淡的责备。 “你不知道吗?今天下午,西勒顿教授与夫人为妈妈和我们全家举办花园欢迎会。真遗憾,我不能去,因为我嗓子痛,妈妈怕要等到傍晚才能乘车回来。你说还有比这更扫兴的事吗?当然啦,”她快活地补充说,“如果知道你来,我根本不会在乎的。”

"Called away?--"

她那笨拙地卖弄风情的征兆变得很明显了,阿切尔鼓起勇气插嘴问道:“可奥兰斯卡夫人——她也去纽波特了吗?”

"Oh, my best parasol! I lent it to that goose of aKatie, because it matched her ribbons, and the carelessthing must have dropped it here. We Blenkers are alllike that . . . real Bohemians!" Recovering thesunshade with a powerful hand she unfurled it andsuspended its rosy dome above her head. "Yes, Ellen wascalled away yesterday: she lets us call her Ellen, youknow. A telegram came from Boston: she said shemight be gone for two days. I do LOVE the way she doesher hair, don't you?" Miss Blenker rambled on.

布兰克小姐吃惊地看着他说:“奥兰斯卡夫人——难道你不知道,她被叫走了?”

Archer continued to stare through her as though shehad been transparent. All he saw was the trumperyparasol that arched its pinkness above her gigglinghead.

“叫走了?——”

After a moment he ventured: "You don't happen toknow why Madame Olenska went to Boston? I hope itwas not on account of bad news?"

“哎呀,我最漂亮的阳伞!我把它借给了大笨鹅凯蒂,因为它和她的缎带挺配,一定是这个粗心的家伙把它丢在这儿了。我们布兰克家的人都像……真正的波希米亚人!”她用一只有力的手拿回伞并撑开它,将玫瑰色的伞盖撑在头上。“对,埃伦昨天被叫走了:你知道,她让我们叫她埃伦。从波士顿发来一封电报,她说大概要去呆两天。我真喜欢她的发型,你喜欢吗?”布兰克小姐不着边际地说。

Miss Blenker took this with a cheerful incredulity."Oh, I don't believe so. She didn't tell us what was inthe telegram. I think she didn't want the Marchionessto know. She's so romantic-looking, isn't she? Doesn'tshe remind you of Mrs. Scott-Siddons when she reads`Lady Geraldine's Courtship'? Did you never hear her?"

阿切尔继续目不转睛地看着她,仿佛她是透明的,可以看穿似的。他所看到的无非是一把无价值的粉红色遮阳伞罩在她痴笑的脑袋上。

Archer was dealing hurriedly with crowding thoughts.His whole future seemed suddenly to be unrolledbefore him; and passing down its endless emptiness hesaw the dwindling figure of a man to whom nothingwas ever to happen. He glanced about him at theunpruned garden, the tumble-down house, and the oak-grove under which the dusk was gathering. It hadseemed so exactly the place in which he ought to havefound Madame Olenska; and she was far away, andeven the pink sunshade was not hers . . .

过了一会儿,他试探地问:“你是否碰巧知道奥兰斯卡夫人为什么去波士顿?我希望不是因为有坏消息吧?”

He frowned and hesitated. "You don't know, Isuppose-- I shall be in Boston tomorrow. If I couldmanage to see her--"

布兰克小姐兴致勃勃地表示怀疑。“咳,我认为不会。她没告诉我们电报的内容,我想她不愿让侯爵夫人知道。她看上去是那么浪漫,对吗?当她朗读《杰拉尔丁小姐的求婚》时,是不是让人想起斯科特·西登斯太太?你从没听她读过?”

He felt that Miss Blenker was losing interest in him,though her smile persisted. "Oh, of course; how lovelyof you! She's staying at the Parker House; it must behorrible there in this weather."

阿切尔的思绪纷至沓来。仿佛突然间,他未来的一切全都展现在面前:沿着无止无尽的空白望去,他看到一个逐渐渺小的男人的身影,他一生什么事情都不会发生。他打量着四周未经修剪的花园,摇摇欲坠的房舍,暮色渐浓的橡树林。这似乎正是他应该找到奥兰斯卡夫人的地方;然而她却已远走高飞,甚至这把粉红色遮阳伞也不是她的……

After that Archer was but intermittently aware of theremarks they exchanged. He could only remember stoutlyresisting her entreaty that he should await the returningfamily and have high tea with them before he drovehome. At length, with his hostess still at his side, hepassed out of range of the wooden Cupid, unfastened hishorses and drove off. At the turn of the lane he saw MissBlenker standing at the gate and waving the pink parasol.

他皱着眉犹豫不决地说:“我想,你还不知道——明天我就要去波士顿。如果我能设法见到她——”

尽管布兰克小姐依然面带笑容,但阿切尔却感到她已对自己失去了兴趣。‘“啊,那当然,你可真好!她住在帕克旅馆;这种天气,那儿一定糟透了。”

在这之后,阿切尔只是断断续续地听进他们之间的对话。他只记得自己坚决回绝了她让他等她的家人回来、用过茶点再走的恳求。最后,在这位女主人陪伴下,他走出了木雕丘比特的射程,解开马僵绳,驾车走了。在小巷的转弯处,他看见布兰克小姐正站在门口挥动那把粉红色的阳伞。