The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

By the first of November this household ritual wasover, and society had begun to look about and takestock of itself. By the fifteenth the season was in fullblast, Opera and theatres were putting forth their newattractions, dinner-engagements were accumulating, anddates for dances being fixed. And punctually at aboutthis time Mrs. Archer always said that New York wasvery much changed.

到11月1日,这种家政仪式便告结束,社交界已开始审时度势,并进行自我评估。到15日这天,社交季节便进入鼎盛时期,歌剧院与剧场推出新的精彩剧目,宴会预约与日俱增,各式舞会也在择定时日。大约就在这个时候,阿切尔太太总是要评论说:纽约真是今非昔比了。

Observing it from the lofty stand-point of a non-participant, she was able, with the help of Mr. SillertonJackson and Miss Sophy, to trace each new crack in itssurface, and all the strange weeds pushing up betweenthe ordered rows of social vegetables. It had been oneof the amusements of Archer's youth to wait for thisannual pronouncement of his mother's, and to hear herenumerate the minute signs of disintegration that hiscareless gaze had overlooked. For New York, to Mrs.Archer's mind, never changed without changing for theworse; and in this view Miss Sophy Jackson heartilyconcurred.

她站在一个非参与者超然的立场上观察上流社会,在杰克逊先生与索菲小姐的帮助下,能够发现它表面的每一点假疵,以及社交界井然有序的植物中冒出来的所有陌生的萎草。在阿切尔的少年时代,一年一度等着听母亲的评判,听她列举他粗心漏过的那些细微的衰败迹象,曾经是他的一件乐事。在阿切尔太太的心目中,纽约不变则已,一变总是每况愈下,而索菲·杰克逊小姐也衷心赞同这一观点。

Mr. Sillerton Jackson, as became a man of the world,suspended his judgment and listened with an amusedimpartiality to the lamentations of the ladies. But evenhe never denied that New York had changed; andNewland Archer, in the winter of the second year of hismarriage, was himself obliged to admit that if it hadnot actually changed it was certainly changing.

饱经世故的西勒顿·杰克逊先生总是保留自己的看法,以一种不偏不倚的调侃态度倾听二位女士的哀叹。然而就连他也从不否认纽约已经变了。在纽兰·阿切尔婚后第二年的冬天,他本人也不得不承认,如果说纽约尚没有实际的变化,那么,它肯定已经开始在变了。

These points had been raised, as usual, at Mrs.Archer's Thanksgiving dinner. At the date when she wasofficially enjoined to give thanks for the blessings ofthe year it was her habit to take a mournful though notembittered stock of her world, and wonder what therewas to be thankful for. At any rate, not the state ofsociety; society, if it could be said to exist, was rather aspectacle on which to call down Biblical imprecations--and in fact, every one knew what the Reverend Dr.Ashmore meant when he chose a text from Jeremiah(chap. ii., verse 25) for his Thanksgiving sermon.Dr. Ashmore, the new Rector of St. Matthew's, hadbeen chosen because he was very "advanced": hissermons were considered bold in thought and novel inlanguage. When he fulminated against fashionable societyhe always spoke of its "trend"; and to Mrs. Archerit was terrifying and yet fascinating to feel herself partof a community that was trending.

这些观点照例是在阿切尔太太的感恩节宴会上提出来的。这一天,当她按法定的要求为一年的祝福谢恩时,她总是习惯地对自己的处境进行一番虽算不上痛苦、却很悲伤的审视,并且想不出有什么事情值得感谢。不管怎么说,上流社会已没有上流社会的样子了;上流社会——如果说还存在的话——反而成了一种招圣经诅咒的光景。实际上,当阿什莫尔牧师选取耶利米书的一篇作为感恩节训导辞时,人人都明白他的意图是什么。阿什莫尔是圣马修教堂新任教区牧师,他被选出来任职是因为他思想“先进”:他的布道辞被认为思想大胆、语言新颖。当他怒斥上流社会的痼疾时,总是说起它的“潮流”。对阿切尔太太来说,感觉自己属于一个像潮水般流动的群体,既令人可怕,却又有些诱人。

"There's no doubt that Dr. Ashmore is right: there ISa marked trend," she said, as if it were somethingvisible and measurable, like a crack in a house.

“阿什莫尔牧师的话无疑是对的:的确,有一股明显的潮流,”她说,仿佛它像房子上的裂缝,是看得见摸得着的。

"It was odd, though, to preach about it on Thanksgiving,"Miss Jackson opined; and her hostess drilyrejoined: "Oh, he means us to give thanks for what'sleft."

“可仍然在感恩节这天宣扬它,真有些奇怪,”杰克逊小姐发表意见说。女主人冷冰冰地说:“唔,他的意思是让我们对剩下的东西表示感激。”

Archer had been wont to smile at these annualvaticinations of his mother's; but this year even he wasobliged to acknowledge, as he listened to an enumerationof the changes, that the "trend" was visible.

阿切尔过去对母亲一年一度的预言常常付之一笑,可今年听了列举的那些变化,连他也不得不承认,这种“潮流”是显而易见的。

"The extravagance in dress--" Miss Jackson began."Sillerton took me to the first night of the Opera, and Ican only tell you that Jane Merry's dress was the onlyone I recognised from last year; and even that had hadthe front panel changed. Yet I know she got it out fromWorth only two years ago, because my seamstress alwaysgoes in to make over her Paris dresses before shewears them."

“就说穿着上的奢侈吧——”杰克逊小姐开始了。“西勒顿带我去看了首场歌剧,说真的,只有詹尼·梅里那身衣服还能看出是跟去年一样的,不过连这身衣服也把前片的镶条给改过了。可我知道她仅仅二年前才从沃思订购的,因为我的女裁缝常到那儿去,把她的巴黎服装改过再穿。”

"Ah, Jane Merry is one of US," said Mrs. Archersighing, as if it were not such an enviable thing to be inan age when ladies were beginning to flaunt abroadtheir Paris dresses as soon as they were out of theCustom House, instead of letting them mellow underlock and key, in the manner of Mrs. Archer's contemporaries.

“唉,詹尼·梅里跟我们还是同一代人呢,”阿切尔太太叹口气说。这年头,女士们一走出海关就到处炫耀她们的巴黎服装,而不像她这一代人那样,先把衣服锁在衣柜里压一压。生活在这样的时代,仿佛并不是件令人羡慕的事。

"Yes; she's one of the few. In my youth," MissJackson rejoined, "it was considered vulgar to dress inthe newest fashions; and Amy Sillerton has always toldme that in Boston the rule was to put away one's Parisdresses for two years. Old Mrs. Baxter Pennilow, whodid everything handsomely, used to import twelve ayear, two velvet, two satin, two silk, and the other sixof poplin and the finest cashmere. It was a standingorder, and as she was ill for two years before she diedthey found forty-eight Worth dresses that had neverbeen taken out of tissue paper; and when the girls leftoff their mourning they were able to wear the first lotat the Symphony concerts without looking in advanceof the fashion."

“是啊,像她这样的人为数不多。在我年轻的时候,”杰克逊小姐应声说,“穿最新的时装被认为很粗俗。阿米·西勒顿一直对我说,波士顿的规矩是把自己的巴黎服装先搁置两年再穿。老巴克斯特·彭尼洛太太是个事事都出手大方的人,她过去每年进口12套,两身丝绒的,两身缎子的,两身丝绸的,另外6套是府绸和开司米精品,那属于长期订购。由于她去世前生了两年病,人们发现有48套沃思衣服压根没从纱纸包中取出来过。她的女儿们停止服丧后,在交响音乐会上穿上第一批,一点儿也不显得超前。”

"Ah, well, Boston is more conservative than NewYork; but I always think it's a safe rule for a lady tolay aside her French dresses for one season," Mrs.Archer conceded.

“唉,波士顿比纽约保守。不过我总觉得,女士们将巴黎服装搁置一季再穿,这规矩就很稳妥,”阿切尔太太退让地说。

"It was Beaufort who started the new fashion bymaking his wife clap her new clothes on her back assoon as they arrived: I must say at times it takes allRegina's distinction not to look like . . . like . . ." MissJackson glanced around the table, caught Janey's bulginggaze, and took refuge in an unintelligible murmur.

“是博福特开的新风,让他妻子刚一回到家就穿新衣服。我得说,有时候,这可让里吉纳煞费苦心了——为了不像……不像……”杰克逊小姐向桌子周围打量了一下,瞥见詹尼正瞪大了眼睛,于是令人费解地咕哝着支吾过去。

"Like her rivals," said Mr. Sillerton Jackson, withthe air of producing an epigram.

“不像她的竞争者,”西勒顿·杰克逊先生说,那神气像是在讲一句至理名言。

"Oh,--" the ladies murmured; and Mrs. Archer added,partly to distract her daughter's attention from forbiddentopics: "Poor Regina! Her Thanksgiving hasn'tbeen a very cheerful one, I'm afraid. Have you heardthe rumours about Beaufort's speculations, Sillerton?"

“哦——”女士们喃喃地说。阿切尔太太部分原因是要把女儿的注意力从不宜的话题上转移开,又补充说:“可怜的里吉纳!恐怕她在感恩节从来没有开心过。你听说有关博福特投机生意的传言了吗,西勒顿?”

Mr. Jackson nodded carelessly. Every one had heardthe rumours in question, and he scorned to confirm atale that was already common property.

杰克逊先生漫不经心地点了点头。人人都听说过那些传言,他不屑去证实路人皆知的故事。

A gloomy silence fell upon the party. No one reallyliked Beaufort, and it was not wholly unpleasant tothink the worst of his private life; but the idea of hishaving brought financial dishonour on his wife's familywas too shocking to be enjoyed even by his enemies.Archer's New York tolerated hypocrisy in private relations;but in business matters it exacted a limpid andimpeccable honesty. It was a long time since any well-known banker had failed discreditably; but every oneremembered the social extinction visited on the headsof the firm when the last event of the kind hadhappened. It would be the same with the Beauforts, in spiteof his power and her popularity; not all the leaguedstrength of the Dallas connection would save poorRegina if there were any truth in the reports of herhusband's unlawful speculations.

一阵阴郁的沉默降临了。大伙儿没有一个真正喜欢博福特,对他的私生活进行最坏的猜测也并非全然没有乐趣,然而他在经济上给他妻子家带来的耻辱太令人震惊了,以致连他的敌人都不愿幸灾乐祸。阿切尔时代的纽约社会容忍私人关系中的虚伪,但在生意场上却一丝不苟地苛求诚实。已经很久没有哪个知名的银行家因不守信誉而破产的事了,然而人人都记得,当最后一次此类事件发生时,商行的头面人物受到上流社会摒弃的情景。博福特夫妇也会遭到同样下场,不管他的权力有多大,她的声望有多高。假如有关她丈夫非法投机的报道属实,达拉斯家族联合起来也无力挽救可怜的里吉纳。

The talk took refuge in less ominous topics; buteverything they touched on seemed to confirm Mrs.Archer's sense of an accelerated trend.

他们转向不太可怕的话题寻求慰藉,然而所触及的每一件事似乎都证实阿切尔太太那种潮流加快了速度的感觉。

"Of course, Newland, I know you let dear May goto Mrs. Struthers's Sunday evenings--" she began; andMay interposed gaily: "Oh, you know, everybody goesto Mrs. Struthers's now; and she was invited to Granny'slast reception."

“当然啦,纽兰,我知道你让亲爱的梅去参加了斯特拉瑟斯太太家的周日晚会——”她开口说。梅高兴地插言道:“哎呀,你知道,现在人人都到斯特拉瑟斯太太家去,她还被邀请参加了上次外婆家的招待会呢。”

It was thus, Archer reflected, that New Yorkmanaged its transitions: conspiring to ignore them till theywere well over, and then, in all good faith, imaginingthat they had taken place in a preceding age. There wasalways a traitor in the citadel; and after he (or generallyshe) had surrendered the keys, what was the use ofpretending that it was impregnable? Once people hadtasted of Mrs. Struthers's easy Sunday hospitality theywere not likely to sit at home remembering that herchampagne was transmuted Shoe-Polish.

阿切尔心想,纽约就是这样子设法完成那些转变的:大家对这些转变全装作视而不见,直到其彻底完成,然后,再真心实意地想象它们发生于以前的年代。城堡里总会有一名叛变者,当他卜一一般说是她)把钥匙交出后,再妄言它的坚不可摧还有什么用呢?人们一旦品尝了斯特拉瑟斯太太家周日的轻松款待,便不可能坐在家里去想她家的香摈是变了质的劣等货了。

"I know, dear, I know," Mrs. Archer sighed. "Suchthings have to be, I suppose, as long as AMUSEMENT iswhat people go out for; but I've never quite forgivenyour cousin Madame Olenska for being the first personto countenance Mrs. Struthers."

“我知道,亲爱的,我知道,”阿切尔太太叹息说。“我想,只要人们拼命追求娱乐,这种事总是免不了的。不过我从来没有完全原谅你的表姐奥兰斯卡,因为是她第一个出来支持斯特拉瑟斯太太的。”

A sudden blush rose to young Mrs. Archer's face; itsurprised her husband as much as the other guestsabout the table. "Oh, ELLEN--" she murmured, much inthe same accusing and yet deprecating tone in whichher parents might have said: "Oh, THE BLENKERS--."

小阿切尔太太腾地红了脸,这使她的丈夫跟桌前的客人一样大吃一惊。“哦,埃伦嘛——”她咕哝道,那种既有指责又有袒护的口气,俨然如她的父母亲在说:“哦,布兰克一家子嘛——”

It was the note which the family had taken to soundingon the mention of the Countess Olenska's name,since she had surprised and inconvenienced them byremaining obdurate to her husband's advances; but onMay's lips it gave food for thought, and Archer lookedat her with the sense of strangeness that sometimescame over him when she was most in the tone of herenvironment.

自从奥兰斯卡夫人执拗地拒绝了丈夫的主动建议,让全家人深感意外与为难之后,提到她的名字时,家里人就是用这种调子应付的。可话到了梅的嘴上,却变成引人深思的素材。阿切尔怀着一种陌生的感觉望着她,有时候,当她与周围环境格外一致时,这种感觉便会油然而生。

His mother, with less than her usual sensitiveness toatmosphere, still insisted: "I've always thought thatpeople like the Countess Olenska, who have lived inaristocratic societies, ought to help us to keep up oursocial distinctions, instead of ignoring them."

他母亲比平时少了几分对周围气氛的敏感,仍然坚持说:“我一直认为,像奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人这样的人,他们一直生活在贵族阶层中间,理应帮助我们维持社会差别,而不是忽视它们。”

May's blush remained permanently vivid: it seemedto have a significance beyond that implied by therecognition of Madame Olenska's social bad faith.

梅脸上的潮红一直浓浓地不退:这除了表示承认奥兰斯卡不良的社会信仰之外,似乎还有另外的含义。

"I've no doubt we all seem alike to foreigners," saidMiss Jackson tartly.

“我确信在外国人看来,我们大家都是一样的,”杰克逊小姐尖刻地说。

"I don't think Ellen cares for society; but nobodyknows exactly what she does care for," May continued,as if she had been groping for something noncommittal.

“我觉得埃伦不喜欢社交,可谁也不知道她究竞喜欢什么,”梅接着说,好像在试探着找一个模棱两可的话题。

"Ah, well--" Mrs. Archer sighed again.

“唉,可是——”阿切尔太太叹了口气。

Everybody knew that the Countess Olenska was nolonger in the good graces of her family. Even herdevoted champion, old Mrs. Manson Mingott, had beenunable to defend her refusal to return to her husband.The Mingotts had not proclaimed their disapprovalaloud: their sense of solidarity was too strong. Theyhad simply, as Mrs. Welland said, "let poor Ellen findher own level"--and that, mortifyingly andincomprehensibly, was in the dim depths where the Blenkersprevailed, and "people who wrote" celebrated theiruntidy rites. It was incredible, but it was a fact, thatEllen, in spite of all her opportunities and her privileges,had become simply "Bohemian." The fact enforcedthe contention that she had made a fatal mistakein not returning to Count Olenski. After all, a youngwoman's place was under her husband's roof, especiallywhen she had left it in circumstances that . . .well . . . if one had cared to look into them . . .

人人都知道奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人不再受家人的宠爱,就连她最忠实的保护人老曼森·明戈特太太都无法为她拒绝返回丈夫身边的行为辩护。明戈特家的人并没有公开表示他们的不满:他们的团结意识太强了。他们只不过像韦兰太太说的,“让可怜的埃伦找到自己的位置。”而令人痛心与不解的是,那个位置却是个浑沌深渊,在那儿,布兰克之流神气活现,“搞写作的人”举行乱七八糟的庆典。埃伦无视她所有的机遇与特权,简直变成了一个“波希米亚人”,这虽然令人难以置信,却已是不争的事实。这事实加深了人们的看法:她不回到奥兰斯基身边是个致命的错误。毕竟,一位年轻女子的归宿应该是在丈夫的庇护之下,尤其在她由于那种……唔…… 那种谁都没兴趣深究的情况下出走之后。

"Madame Olenska is a great favourite with thegentlemen," said Miss Sophy, with her air of wishing toput forth something conciliatory when she knew thatshe was planting a dart.

“奥兰斯卡夫人可是深受绅士们宠爱呢,”索菲小姐带着一副明里息事宁人、暗下煽风点火的神气说。

"Ah, that's the danger that a young woman likeMadame Olenska is always exposed to," Mrs. Archermournfully agreed; and the ladies, on this conclusion,gathered up their trains to seek the carcel globes of thedrawing-room, while Archer and Mr. Sillerton Jacksonwithdrew to the Gothic library.

“是呀,像奥兰斯卡夫人这样的年轻女于,总是处于这种危险之中啊,”阿切尔太太悲哀地赞同说。话说到这里告一段落,女士们拎起裙据起身到灯光明亮的客厅去,而阿切尔与西勒顿先生也缩进了那间哥特式的图书室。

Once established before the grate, and consolinghimself for the inadequacy of the dinner by the perfectionof his cigar, Mr. Jackson became portentous andcommunicable.

在壁炉前坐定后,杰克逊先生美滋滋地吸上优质雪茄,以此抚慰晚餐的不适,然后便自命不凡地夸夸其谈起来。

"If the Beaufort smash comes," he announced, "thereare going to be disclosures."

“若是博福特破了产,”他说,“很多事情就会随之暴露出来。”

Archer raised his head quickly: he could never hearthe name without the sharp vision of Beaufort's heavyfigure, opulently furred and shod, advancing throughthe snow at Skuytercliff.

阿切尔迅速抬起了头:每一次听见他的名字,他总会清晰地回想起博福特那笨拙的身影,穿着豪华的皮衣皮靴在斯库特克利夫的雪地上大步行走的样子。

"There's bound to be," Mr. Jackson continued, "thenastiest kind of a cleaning up. He hasn't spent all hismoney on Regina."

“肯定会清出大量的污泥浊水,”杰克逊接着说。“他的钱并不是都花在里吉纳身上的呀。”

"Oh, well--that's discounted, isn't it? My belief ishe'll pull out yet," said the young man, wanting tochange the subject.

“噢,唔——是打了折扣的,对吗?我想他还是会逢凶化吉的,”年轻人说,他想改变一下话题。

"Perhaps--perhaps. I know he was to see some ofthe influential people today. Of course," Mr. Jacksonreluctantly conceded, "it's to be hoped they can tidehim over--this time anyhow. I shouldn't like to thinkof poor Regina's spending the rest of her life in someshabby foreign watering-place for bankrupts."

“也许吧——也许。据我所知,他今天要去见几位最有影响的人物,”杰克逊先生勉强地让步说。“当然了,希望他们能帮他度过难关——至少是这一次。我不愿设想让可怜的里吉纳到专为破产者办的寒酸的国外温泉地去度过余生。”

Archer said nothing. It seemed to him so natural--however tragic--that money ill-gotten should be cruellyexpiated, that his mind, hardly lingering over Mrs.Beaufort's doom, wandered back to closer questions.What was the meaning of May's blush when the CountessOlenska had been mentioned?

阿切尔没有作声。他觉得,无论后果多么悲惨,一个人若是得了不义之财自然应当受到无情的报应。因而他几乎想也没想博福特太太的厄运,心思又回到眼前的问题上。在提到奥兰斯卡夫人时梅的脸红了,这是什么意思呢?

Four months had passed since the midsummer daythat he and Madame Olenska had spent together; andsince then he had not seen her. He knew that she hadreturned to Washington, to the little house which sheand Medora Manson had taken there: he had writtento her once--a few words, asking when they were tomeet again--and she had even more briefly replied:"Not yet."

他与奥兰斯卡夫人一起度过的那个盛夏之日已经过去4个多月了,自那以后再没有见过她。他知道她已回到华盛顿,回到了她与梅多拉在那儿租下的那所小房子。他曾给她写过一封信,简短几句话,问她什么时候能再相见,而她的回信则更为简短,只说:“还不行。”

Since then there had been no farther communicationbetween them, and he had built up within himself akind of sanctuary in which she throned among hissecret thoughts and longings. Little by little it becamethe scene of his real life, of his only rational activities;thither he brought the books he read, the ideas andfeelings which nourished him, his judgments and hisvisions. Outside it, in the scene of his actual life, hemoved with a growing sense of unreality and insufficiency,blundering against familiar prejudices and traditionalpoints of view as an absent-minded man goeson bumping into the furniture of his own room.Absent--that was what he was: so absent from everythingmost densely real and near to those about himthat it sometimes startled him to find they stillimagined he was there.

从那以后,他们之间再不曾有过交流。他仿佛已经在自己心中筑起了一座圣殿,她就在他隐秘的思想与期盼中执掌王权。渐渐地,渐渐地,这座圣殿变成了他真实生活的背景,他的理性行为的惟一背景,他把他所读的书、滋养他的思想感情、他的判断与见解,统统都带进了这座殿堂。在它的外面,在他实际生活的现场中,他却怀着一种与日俱增的不真实感与缺憾,跌跌撞撞地与那些熟悉的偏见和传统观念发生撞击,就像一个心不在焉的人碰撞自己屋里的家具一样。心不在焉—— 这正是他目前的状态,他对于周围人们觉得实实在在的东西一概视而不见,以致有时候,当他发现人们依然认为他还在场时,竟会让他大吃一惊。

He became aware that Mr. Jackson was clearing histhroat preparatory to farther revelations.

他注意到杰克逊先生在清理喉咙,准备做进一步的披露。

"I don't know, of course, how far your wife's familyare aware of what people say about--well, about MadameOlenska's refusal to accept her husband's latestoffer."

“当然,我不知道你妻子家对人们关于——唔——关于奥兰斯卡夫人拒绝她丈夫最新提议的看法有多少了解。”

Archer was silent, and Mr. Jackson obliquely continued:"It's a pity--it's certainly a pity--that she refusedit."

阿切尔没有吭声,杰克逊转弯抹角地接下去说:“很可惜——实在很可惜——她竟然拒绝了。”

"A pity? In God's name, why?"

“可惜?究竟为什么?”

Mr. Jackson looked down his leg to the unwrinkledsock that joined it to a glossy pump.

杰克逊低头顺着他的腿向下望去,一直看到那只没有皱褶的短袜及下面发亮的轻便舞鞋。

"Well--to put it on the lowest ground--what's shegoing to live on now?"

“唔——从最起码的理由说吧——现在,她准备靠什么生活呢?”

"Now--?"

“现在——?”

"If Beaufort--"

“假如博福特——”

Archer sprang up, his fist banging down on the blackwalnut-edge of the writing-table. The wells of the brassdouble-inkstand danced in their sockets.

阿切尔跳了起来,他的拳头嘭的一声砸在黑胡桃木边的写字台上。那一对铜墨水池在座窝里跳起了舞。

"What the devil do you mean, sir?"

“你说这话究竟是什么意思,先生?”

Mr. Jackson, shifting himself slightly in his chair,turned a tranquil gaze on the young man's burningface.

杰克逊先生在椅子里稍微动了动,以平静的目光盯着年轻人那张激怒的脸。

"Well--I have it on pretty good authority--in fact,on old Catherine's herself--that the family reducedCountess Olenska's allowance considerably when shedefinitely refused to go back to her husband; and as, bythis refusal, she also forfeits the money settled on herwhen she married--which Olenski was ready to makeover to her if she returned--why, what the devil do YOUmean, my dear boy, by asking me what I mean?" Mr.Jackson good-humouredly retorted.

“唔——我从相当可靠的方面得知——事实上,是从老凯瑟琳本人那儿——当奥兰斯卡夫人断然拒绝回到她丈夫那儿去之后,她家里大大削减了对她的贴补,而且由于她的拒绝,她还丧失了结婚时赠予她的那些钱——假如她回去,奥兰斯基随时准备把钱移交给她。既然如此,那么,亲爱的孩子,你还问我什么意思,你究竟是什么意思呢?”杰克逊和善地反驳说。

Archer moved toward the mantelpiece and bent overto knock his ashes into the grate.

阿切尔走到壁炉台前,弯身把他的烟灰弹到炉格里。

"I don't know anything of Madame Olenska's privateaffairs; but I don't need to, to be certain that whatyou insinuate--"

“对奥兰斯卡夫人的私事我一无所知,可我也毫无必要搞清楚你所暗示的——”

"Oh, I don't: it's Lefferts, for one," Mr. Jacksoninterposed.

“哦,我可没作什么暗示呀。是莱弗茨,他算一个,”杰克逊先生打断他道。

"Lefferts--who made love to her and got snubbedfor it!" Archer broke out contemptuously.

“莱弗茨——那个向她求爱、并受到责骂的家伙!”阿切尔轻蔑地喊道。

"Ah--DID he?" snapped the other, as if this wereexactly the fact he had been laying a trap for. He stillsat sideways from the fire, so that his hard old gazeheld Archer's face as if in a spring of steel.

“啊——是吗?”对方急忙说,仿佛这正是他设下圈套等他说出的内容。他仍然斜对炉火坐着,那双老眼尖刻地盯着阿切尔,仿佛把他的脸用弹簧给顶住了似的。

"Well, well: it's a pity she didn't go back beforeBeaufort's cropper," he repeated. "If she goes NOW, andif he fails, it will only confirm the general impression:which isn't by any means peculiar to Lefferts, by theway.

“唉呀呀,她没有在博福特栽跟斗前回去真是太遗憾了,”他重复地说。“假如她现在走,又假如他破了产,那只会证实大家普遍的看法。顺便说一句,这种看法可决不是莱弗茨一个人特有的。”

"Oh, she won't go back now: less than ever!" Archerhad no sooner said it than he had once more the feelingthat it was exactly what Mr. Jackson had been waitingfor.

“噢,她现在是不会回去的,决不会!”阿切尔话一出口就又意识到,这恰恰是杰克逊在等候的。

The old gentleman considered him attentively. "That'syour opinion, eh? Well, no doubt you know. But everybodywill tell you that the few pennies Medora Mansonhas left are all in Beaufort's hands; and how thetwo women are to keep their heads above water unlesshe does, I can't imagine. Of course, Madame Olenskamay still soften old Catherine, who's been the mostinexorably opposed to her staying; and old Catherinecould make her any allowance she chooses. But we allknow that she hates parting with good money; and therest of the family have no particular interest in keepingMadame Olenska here."

老绅士留心地打量了他一番。“这是你的意见吧,嗯?唔,无疑你是知道的。不过人人都了解,梅多拉剩下的那几个钱都掌握在博福特手里。我真想不出,没有他帮忙,她们两个女人怎么活下去。当然,奥兰斯卡夫人说不定还能让老凯瑟琳的心软下来——她一直坚决地反对她留在这儿——老凯瑟琳愿意给她多少贴补就能给多少。不过大家都知道她把钱看得很重,而家中其他人都没有特别的兴趣一定要把奥兰斯卡夫人留下。”

Archer was burning with unavailing wrath: he wasexactly in the state when a man is sure to do somethingstupid, knowing all the while that he is doing it.

阿切尔怒火中烧,但也只能干着急:他完全处于明知要干蠢事却还一直在干的那种状态。

He saw that Mr. Jackson had been instantly struckby the fact that Madame Olenska's differences with hergrandmother and her other relations were not knownto him, and that the old gentleman had drawn his ownconclusions as to the reasons for Archer's exclusionfrom the family councils. This fact warned Archer togo warily; but the insinuations about Beaufort madehim reckless. He was mindful, however, if not of hisown danger, at least of the fact that Mr. Jackson wasunder his mother's roof, and consequently his guest.Old New York scrupulously observed the etiquette ofhospitality, and no discussion with a guest was everallowed to degenerate into a disagreement.

他发现杰克逊立即就看出他并不了解奥兰斯卡夫人与祖母及其他亲属的分歧,而且,对于他被排除在家庭会议之外的理由,老绅士也已得出了自己的结论。这一事实告诫阿切尔必须小心从事,有关博福特的含沙射影已使他气得不顾一切了。然而,尽管他可以不顾个人的安危,他仍然没有忘记杰克逊先生现在是在他母亲家里,因此也是他的客人。而老纽约一丝不苟遵循的待客礼节,是决不允许把与客人的讨论变为争吵的。

"Shall we go up and join my mother?" he suggestedcurtly, as Mr. Jackson's last cone of ashes dropped intothe brass ashtray at his elbow.

“我们上楼去找我母亲吧?”杰克逊先生最后一截烟灰落进臂下的铜烟灰缸时,他唐突地提议说。

On the drive homeward May remained oddly silent;through the darkness, he still felt her enveloped in hermenacing blush. What its menace meant he could notguess: but he was sufficiently warned by the fact thatMadame Olenska's name had evoked it.

坐车回家的路上,梅一直奇怪地沉默无语,黑暗中,他仍然感觉到她严严实实地包在那层威胁性的潮红之中。那威胁意味着什么,他不得而知,但它是由奥兰斯卡夫人的名字引起的——这一事实足以引起他的戒备。

They went upstairs, and he turned into the library.She usually followed him; but he heard her passingdown the passage to her bedroom.

他俩上了楼。他转身进了图书室。平时她总是跟他进来的,但他却听见她沿着过道往前走去,进了她的卧室。

"May!" he called out impatiently; and she cameback, with a slight glance of surprise at his tone.

“梅!”他急躁地大声喊道。她过来了,轻轻瞥了他一眼,对他的口气有些惊讶。

"This lamp is smoking again; I should think theservants might see that it's kept properly trimmed," hegrumbled nervously.

“这盏灯又冒烟了。我想仆人们该注意把灯芯剪整齐点吧,”他神经质地抱怨说。

"I'm so sorry: it shan't happen again," she answered,in the firm bright tone she had learned from her mother;and it exasperated Archer to feel that she was alreadybeginning to humour him like a younger Mr. Welland.She bent over to lower the wick, and as the light struckup on her white shoulders and the clear curves of herface he thought: "How young she is! For what endlessyears this life will have to go on!"

“对不起,以后再不会出这样的事了,”她用从母亲那儿学来的坚定愉快的口吻回答说。这使阿切尔更加烦恼,觉得她已经开始拿他像个小韦兰先生似的加以迁就了。她弯下身去捻低灯芯,灯光反照着她那雪白的肩膀和那张轮廓鲜明的脸,阿切尔心想:“她真年轻啊!这种生活还得没完没了地持续多少年!”

He felt, with a kind of horror, his own strong youthand the bounding blood in his veins. "Look here," hesaid suddenly, "I may have to go to Washington for afew days--soon; next week perhaps."

他怀着一种恐惧,感觉到了自己旺盛的青春、血管里热血的悸动。“听我说,”他冷不丁地说,“我可能得去华盛顿呆几天,不久——大概下星期吧。”

Her hand remained on the key of the lamp as sheturned to him slowly. The heat from its flame hadbrought back a glow to her face, but it paled as shelooked up.

她一只手依然停在灯钮上,慢慢朝他转过身来。灯火的热力使她脸上恢复了一丝红润,不过当她抬起头时,脸色又变得苍白了。

"On business?" she asked, in a tone which impliedthat there could be no other conceivable reason, andthat she had put the question automatically, as if merelyto finish his own sentence.

“有公事?”她问,那语气表示不可能有其他原因,她提这个问题是未经思索的,仿佛仅仅为了完成他那句话。

"On business, naturally. There's a patent case comingup before the Supreme Court--" He gave the nameof the inventor, and went on furnishing details with allLawrence Lefferts's practised glibness, while she listenedattentively, saying at intervals: "Yes, I see."

“当然是有公事了。有一起专利权的案子要提交最高法院——”他说出了发明者的姓名,进而以劳伦斯·莱弗茨惯用的那种伶牙俐齿提供细节,而她则专心致志地洗耳恭听,并不时说:“是的,我明白。”

"The change will do you good," she said simply,when he had finished; "and you must be sure to go andsee Ellen," she added, looking him straight in the eyeswith her cloudless smile, and speaking in the tone shemight have employed in urging him not to neglect someirksome family duty.

“换换环境对你会有好处,”他讲完后她坦然地说。“你一定得去看看埃伦,”她又补充道,一面带着开朗的笑容直视着他的眼睛。她讲话的口气就像是在劝告他不要忘记某种令人厌烦的家庭义务一样。

It was the only word that passed between them onthe subject; but in the code in which they had bothbeen trained it meant: "Of course you understand thatI know all that people have been saying about Ellen,and heartily sympathise with my family in their effortto get her to return to her husband. I also know that,for some reason you have not chosen to tell me, youhave advised her against this course, which all the oldermen of the family, as well as our grandmother, agree inapproving; and that it is owing to your encouragementthat Ellen defies us all, and exposes herself to the kindof criticism of which Mr. Sillerton Jackson probablygave you, this evening, the hint that has made you soirritable. . . . Hints have indeed not been wanting; butsince you appear unwilling to take them from others, Ioffer you this one myself, in the only form in whichwell-bred people of our kind can communicateunpleasant things to each other: by letting you understandthat I know you mean to see Ellen when you are inWashington, and are perhaps going there expressly forthat purpose; and that, since you are sure to see her, Iwish you to do so with my full and explicit approval--and to take the opportunity of letting her know whatthe course of conduct you have encouraged her in islikely to lead to."

这是他们两人中间有关这个问题所讲的惟一一句话,然而按照他们所受训练的那套规范,这话的含义却是:“你当然明白,我了解人们对埃伦的那些说法,并且真诚地同情我的家人让她回到丈夫身边去的努力。我还了解——由于某种原因你没有主动告诉我——你曾经劝说她抵制这种做法,而全家年纪大的人,包括我们的外祖母,都一致同意那样做。还有,正是由于你的鼓励,埃伦才公然违抗我们大家的心意,才招致杰克逊先生今晚大概已向你暗示的那种非难。这暗示使你那么气愤…… 暗示确实有不少,不过,既然你好像不愿接受别人的暗示,那么就让我亲自给你一个吧,用我们这种有教养的人能够相互交流不愉快的事的惟一方式:让你明白我知道你打算到了华盛顿去看埃伦。也许你是特意为这个目的而去的呢。既然你肯定要见她,那么,我希望你得到我充分明确的赞同去见她——并借此机会让她明白,你怂恿她采取的行为方针可能导致什么样的结果。”

Her hand was still on the key of the lamp when thelast word of this mute message reached him. She turnedthe wick down, lifted off the globe, and breathed onthe sulky flame.

当这种无声信息的最后一句传达给他的时候,她的手依然停在灯钮上。她把灯芯捻低,取下灯罩,对着发蔫的火头哈了口气。

"They smell less if one blows them out," she explained,with her bright housekeeping air. On the thresholdshe turned and paused for his kiss.

“把它吹火气味就小些,”她带着精于理家的神气解释说。她在门口转过身,停下来接受了他的吻。