The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

"Olenska--O-len-ska," he repeated, drawing backthe message in order to print out the foreign syllablesabove May's rambling script.

“奥兰斯卡——O——len——ska,”他重复了一遍,抽回电文,以便把梅潦草字迹上方的外文字母描成印刷体。

"It's an unlikely name for a New York telegraphoffice; at least in this quarter," an unexpected voiceobserved; and turning around Archer saw LawrenceLefferts at his elbow, pulling an imperturbable moustacheand affecting not to glance at the message.

“这个名字在纽约电报局可不常见,至少在本区,”一个不期而至的声音说。阿切尔回过头去,只见劳伦斯·莱弗茨正站在他身旁,捋着齐整的髭须,装出不瞥电文的样子。

"Hallo, Newland: thought I'd catch you here. I'vejust heard of old Mrs. Mingott's stroke; and as I wason my way to the house I saw you turning down thisstreet and nipped after you. I suppose you've comefrom there?"

“你好,纽兰:我估计会在这儿赶上你的。我刚刚听说老明戈特太太中风之事,正要到家里去,见你转到这条街上,就追赶你。我想你是从那儿来的吧?”

Archer nodded, and pushed his telegram under thelattice.

阿切尔点了点头,并把电报从格子底下推过去。

"Very bad, eh?" Lefferts continued. "Wiring to thefamily, I suppose. I gather it IS bad, if you're includingCountess Olenska."

“很严重,是吗?”莱弗茨接着说。“我想,是发电报给亲属吧。如果你们连奥兰斯卡夫人也包括在内,我估计病情是很严重了。”

Archer's lips stiffened; he felt a savage impulse todash his fist into the long vain handsome face at his side.

阿切尔的嘴唇绷紧了,他感到一阵野蛮的冲动,想挥拳猛击他身旁那张徒有其表的漂亮长脸。

"Why?" he questioned.

“为什么?”他质问道。

Lefferts, who was known to shrink from discussion,raised his eye-brows with an ironic grimace that warnedthe other of the watching damsel behind the lattice.Nothing could be worse "form" the look remindedArcher, than any display of temper in a public place.

以回避争论而著称的莱弗茨耸了耸眉毛,装出一副可笑的怪相,警告对方格子后面那姑娘在留心观察。他那神态提醒阿切尔,再没有比当众发火更糟的“举止”了。

Archer had never been more indifferent to therequirements of form; but his impulse to do LawrenceLefferts a physical injury was only momentary. Theidea of bandying Ellen Olenska's name with him atsuch a time, and on whatsoever provocation, wasunthinkable. He paid for his telegram, and the two youngmen went out together into the street. There Archer,having regained his self-control, went on: "Mrs. Mingottis much better: the doctor feels no anxiety whatever";and Lefferts, with profuse expressions of relief,asked him if he had heard that there were beastly badrumours again about Beaufort. . . .

阿切尔从来没有像现在这样不在乎对举止的那些要求。然而,对劳伦斯·莱弗茨施以肉体伤害只是一时的冲动而已,在这种时候与他谈论埃伦·奥兰斯卡的名字,不论基于什么原因都是不可思议的。他付了电报费,两个年轻人一起到了街上。这时阿切尔已恢复了自制,他说:“明戈特太太已经大有好转,医生认为没什么可担心的了。”莱弗茨脸上充满宽慰的表情,接着问他是否听说又有了与博福特有关的糟糕透顶的流言……

That afternoon the announcement of the Beaufort failurewas in all the papers. It overshadowed the report ofMrs. Manson Mingott's stroke, and only the few whohad heard of the mysterious connection between thetwo events thought of ascribing old Catherine's illnessto anything but the accumulation of flesh and years.

这天下午,博福特破产的公告见诸各家报端,它使曼森·明戈特太太中风的消息相形失色,只有极少数了解这两起事件之神秘联系的人才会想到老凯瑟琳的病决作肥胖与年龄使然。

The whole of New York was darkened by the tale ofBeaufort's dishonour. There had never, as Mr. Letterblairsaid, been a worse case in his memory, nor, for thatmatter, in the memory of the far-off Letterblair whohad given his name to the firm. The bank had continuedto take in money for a whole day after its failurewas inevitable; and as many of its clients belonged toone or another of the ruling clans, Beaufort's duplicityseemed doubly cynical. If Mrs. Beaufort had not takenthe tone that such misfortunes (the word was her own)were "the test of friendship," compassion for her mighthave tempered the general indignation against her husband.As it was--and especially after the object of hernocturnal visit to Mrs. Manson Mingott had becomeknown--her cynicism was held to exceed his; and shehad not the excuse--nor her detractors the satisfaction--of pleading that she was "a foreigner." It was somecomfort (to those whose securities were not in jeopardy)to be able to remind themselves that BeaufortWAS; but, after all, if a Dallas of South Carolina tookhis view of the case, and glibly talked of his soon being"on his feet again," the argument lost its edge, andthere was nothing to do but to accept this awful evidenceof the indissolubility of marriage. Society mustmanage to get on without the Beauforts, and there wasan end of it--except indeed for such hapless victims ofthe disaster as Medora Manson, the poor old MissLannings, and certain other misguided ladies of goodfamily who, if only they had listened to Mr. Henry vander Luyden . . .

整个纽约被博福特的无耻行径罩上一层阴影。正如莱特布赖先生所说的,在他的记忆中从来没有比这更糟的情况了,甚至远在那位创办这家事务所的老莱特布赖的记忆中也没有过。在破)一已成定局之后,银行竞然还收了整整一天的钱,由于许多顾客不属于这个大家族就属于那个大家族,所以博福特的欺诈就显得格外阴险毒辣。假如博福特太太没有说这一“不幸”(她的原话)是对“友谊的考验”这样的话,人们出于对她的同情,也许还会缓解一下对她丈夫的愤慨。但在她这样说了以后——尤其是当人们得知她夜访曼森·明戈特太太的目的之后——在人们的心目中,她的心肠之黑,已远远超过了她的丈大。而且她也不能用自己是“外国人” 作为借口,求得人们的宽恕。但是(对于那些其债券没有受到威胁的人来说),想起博福特是个外国人,倒是能给他们带来一点安慰。然而,假如南卡罗莱纳州的一位达拉斯把情况审视一番,并怜牙俐齿地说他很快就会“重新站起来”,那么,问题就会得到缓解,人们除了接受婚姻是牢不可破的这一严酷事实外,别无选择。社交界必将在没有博福特夫妇的情况下继续存在。而事情总要有个了结——除了这场灾难的不幸受害者如梅多拉·曼森,可怜的老拉宁小姐,以及另外几位误入歧途的良家大人,她们若是早听亨利·范德卢顿先生的话……

"The best thing the Beauforts can do," said Mrs.Archer, summing it up as if she were pronouncing adiagnosis and prescribing a course of treatment, "is togo and live at Regina's little place in North Carolina.Beaufort has always kept a racing stable, and he hadbetter breed trotting horses. I should say he had all thequalities of a successful horsedealer." Every one agreedwith her, but no one condescended to enquire what theBeauforts really meant to do.

“博福特夫妇最好的办法——”阿切尔太太好像下诊断书、提出治疗方案似地归纳说,“就是到北卡罗莱纳州里吉纳那个小地方去居住。博福特一直养着赛马,他现在最好是养拉车的马。我敢说他准会是个呱呱叫的马贩子。”大家都同意她的意见,但却没有一个屈尊问一下博福特夫妇究竟打算干什么。

The next day Mrs. Manson Mingott was much better:she recovered her voice sufficiently to give ordersthat no one should mention the Beauforts to her again,and asked--when Dr. Bencomb appeared--what in theworld her family meant by making such a fuss abouther health.

第二天,曼森·明戈特太太身体大有起色:她恢复了说话能力,满可以下达命令,不准任何人再对她提到博福特夫妇,并且在见到本克姆医生时间,一家人对她的健康这样大惊小怪究竟是怎么回事。

"If people of my age WILL eat chicken-salad in theevening what are they to expect?" she enquired; and,the doctor having opportunely modified her dietary,the stroke was transformed into an attack of indigestion.But in spite of her firm tone old Catherine did notwholly recover her former attitude toward life. Thegrowing remoteness of old age, though it had notdiminished her curiosity about her neighbours, had bluntedher never very lively compassion for their troubles; andshe seemed to have no difficulty in putting the Beaufortdisaster out of her mind. But for the first time shebecame absorbed in her own symptoms, and began totake a sentimental interest in certain members of herfamily to whom she had hitherto been contemptuouslyindifferent.

“假如像我这样年纪的人晚上想吃鸡雏色拉,能行不能行呢?”她问道。医生刚好已为她修改了食谱,于是中风又变成了消化不良。不过,尽管老凯瑟琳说话声音很坚定,但她还没有完全恢复原先的处世态度。与日俱增的老年淡泊虽然还没有削弱她对四邻八舍的好奇心,但却已钝化了她从来就不太充沛的同情。看来,将博福特的灾难置之脑后对她来说并不是件难事。然而破题儿第一遭,她变得十分关注自己的症状,并且对她迄今一直冷漠轻慢的某些家庭成员开始有了感情。

Mr. Welland, in particular, had the privilege ofattracting her notice. Of her sons-in-law he was the oneshe had most consistently ignored; and all his wife'sefforts to represent him as a man of forceful characterand marked intellectual ability (if he had only "chosen")had been met with a derisive chuckle. But hiseminence as a valetudinarian now made him an objectof engrossing interest, and Mrs. Mingott issued animperial summons to him to come and compare dietsas soon as his temperature permitted; for old Catherinewas now the first to recognise that one could not betoo careful about temperatures.

尤其是韦兰先生特别荣幸地引起了她的注意。在她的女婿们中间,他一向是她坚决不肯理睬的一位。他妻子讲述他性格坚强、智力超群(只要他“肯”)的一切努力都招来一阵咯咯的嘲笑。现在他无病呻吟的盛名却使他成了吸引她浓厚兴趣的目标。明戈特太太专横地下令:一俟退烧,他必须立即前来把自己的食谱与她的作一番比较。老凯瑟琳现在第一次认识到,对于发烧万万不可粗心大意。

Twenty-four hours after Madame Olenska's summonsa telegram announced that she would arrive from Washingtonon the evening of the following day. At theWellands', where the Newland Archers chanced to belunching, the question as to who should meet her atJersey City was immediately raised; and the materialdifficulties amid which the Welland household struggledas if it had been a frontier outpost, lent animationto the debate. It was agreed that Mrs. Welland couldnot possibly go to Jersey City because she was toaccompany her husband to old Catherine's that afternoon,and the brougham could not be spared, since, ifMr. Welland were "upset" by seeing his mother-in-lawfor the first time after her attack, he might have to betaken home at a moment's notice. The Welland sonswould of course be "down town," Mr. Lovell Mingottwould be just hurrying back from his shooting, and theMingott carriage engaged in meeting him; and onecould not ask May, at the close of a winter afternoon,to go alone across the ferry to Jersey City, even in herown carriage. Nevertheless, it might appear inhospitable--and contrary to old Catherine's express wishes--ifMadame Olenska were allowed to arrive without anyof the family being at the station to receive her. It wasjust like Ellen, Mrs. Welland's tired voice implied, toplace the family in such a dilemma. "It's always onething after another," the poor lady grieved, in one ofher rare revolts against fate; "the only thing that makesme think Mamma must be less well than Dr. Bencombwill admit is this morbid desire to have Ellen come atonce, however inconvenient it is to meet her."

对奥兰斯卡夫人的传召发出24小时之后,接到她的电报,说她将在翌日傍晚从华盛顿赶到。纽兰·阿切尔夫妇碰巧在韦兰家吃午饭,由谁去泽西城接她的问题便立刻提了出来。韦兰家的家务问题本来就像个前沿阵地一样在重重困难中挣扎,这些困难如今更使争论变得异常热烈。大家一致认为,韦兰太太不可能去泽西城,因为当天下午她要陪丈夫去老凯瑟琳家;而且马车也不得闲,韦兰先生是岳母病后第一次去见她,万一感觉“不适”,马车可以随时把他送回来。韦兰的儿子们当然要“进城去”,洛弗尔·明戈特正巧在狩猎后匆匆归来,明戈特家的马车也已定好去接他。再说,总不能让梅在冬天的傍晚一个人摆渡去泽西城吧,就算坐她自己的马车也不行。虽说如此,可如果让奥兰斯卡夫人自己回来,家里没人去车站接她,那也会显得过于冷淡——显然也违背老凯瑟琳的意愿啊。阿切尔太太厌烦的话音里暗示:只有埃伦这种人才会让一家人如此为难。“真是祸不单行,”这位可怜的夫人悲叹地说,这种反抗命运的口气在她实属罕见。“妈妈也不想想去接埃伦会有多麻烦,却硬是要让她马上回来,我怕这是一种病态。她一定不像本克姆医生说的那样已经康复了。”

The words had been thoughtless, as the utterances ofimpatience often are; and Mr. Welland was upon themwith a pounce.

人在情急之中常常失口,这些话有些考虑不周,冷不了被韦兰先生抓住了。

"Augusta," he said, turning pale and laying down hisfork, "have you any other reason for thinking thatBencomb is less to be relied on than he was? Have younoticed that he has been less conscientious than usualin following up my case or your mother's?"

“奥古斯塔,”他脸色发白,放下手中的叉子说,“你认为本克姆医生不如以前可靠了,还有其他理由吗?你注意到他检查我或你母亲的病不像往常那样认真了吗?”

It was Mrs. Welland's turn to grow pale as theendless consequences of her blunder unrolled themselvesbefore her; but she managed to laugh, and take asecond helping of scalloped oysters, before she said,struggling back into her old armour of cheerfulness:"My dear, how could you imagine such a thing? I onlymeant that, after the decided stand Mamma took aboutits being Ellen's duty to go back to her husband, itseems strange that she should be seized with this suddenwhim to see her, when there are half a dozen othergrandchildren that she might have asked for. But wemust never forget that Mamma, in spite of her wonderfulvitality, is a very old woman."

这下轮到韦兰太太脸色发白了,她的错误产生的无尽后果在她面前展现出来。不过她勉力笑了一声,又吃了一口烤牡蛎,然后努力恢复了她那副快活的老面孔说:“亲爱的,你怎么会这样想呢?我只不过说,妈妈本来已经明确立场,认为回丈夫身边是埃伦的职责;可现在,放着另外五六个孙子、孙女她不找,却突然想要见她。我觉得这念头有点儿奇怪。不过我们千万不要忘记,尽管妈妈精神极好,可毕竟已到了耄耋之年。”

Mr. Welland's brow remained clouded, and it wasevident that his perturbed imagination had fastened atonce on this last remark. "Yes: your mother's a veryold woman; and for all we know Bencomb may not beas successful with very old people. As you say, mydear, it's always one thing after another; and inanother ten or fifteen years I suppose I shall have thepleasing duty of looking about for a new doctor. It'salways better to make such a change before it's absolutelynecessary." And having arrived at this Spartandecision Mr. Welland firmly took up his fork.

韦兰先生额头上的阴云依然不散,他那混乱的想像力显然立刻又集中到她的最后一句话上:“是啊,你母亲是很老了,而本克姆医生可能并不擅长医治年老的病人。正如你说的,亲爱的,祸不单行。我想,再过10年或15年,我就得高高兴兴地重新找个医生了,最好别等到万不得已才换人。”做出这一大无畏的决定之后,韦兰先生又坚定地拿起了餐叉。

"But all the while," Mrs. Welland began again, asshe rose from the luncheon-table, and led the way intothe wilderness of purple satin and malachite known asthe back drawing-room, "I don't see how Ellen's to begot here tomorrow evening; and I do like to havethings settled for at least twenty-four hours ahead."

“可到头来,我还是不知道埃伦明天傍晚怎么到这儿来,”韦兰太太从午餐桌前站起身来,带领大家走进满眼是紫缎子和孔雀石的所谓后客厅,她又发话了。“我总爱至少提前24小时把事情安排停当。”

Archer turned from the fascinated contemplation ofa small painting representing two Cardinals carousing,in an octagonal ebony frame set with medallions of onyx.

阿切尔从沉思中转过头来。他正凝神专注于一幅表现两位红衣主教畅饮的画,那幅小画用八角乌木框镶在大理石浮雕上。

"Shall I fetch her?" he proposed. "I can easily getaway from the office in time to meet the brougham atthe ferry, if May will send it there." His heart wasbeating excitedly as he spoke.

“我去接她吧?”他提议说。“我可以很容易从事务所走开,按时到渡口去接那辆四轮马车——如果梅把车送去的话。”他说着,心脏不由兴奋地跳动起来。

Mrs. Welland heaved a sigh of gratitude, and May, whohad moved away to the window, turned to shed on hima beam of approval. "So you see, Mamma, everythingWILL be settled twenty-four hours in advance," she said,stooping over to kiss her mother's troubled forehead.

韦兰太太感激地吁了口气,已经挪到窗口的梅转过身来向他露出赞同的笑脸。“所以,你瞧,妈妈,一切都会提前24小时安排停当的,”她说着,弯下身吻了一下母亲忧虑的额头。

May's brougham awaited her at the door, and she wasto drive Archer to Union Square, where he could pickup a Broadway car to carry him to the office. As shesettled herself in her corner she said: "I didn't want toworry Mamma by raising fresh obstacles; but how canyou meet Ellen tomorrow, and bring her back to NewYork, when you're going to Washington?"

梅的马车在大门口等她,她要把阿切尔送到联邦广场,他可以在那儿搭乘百老汇的公共马车,送他去事务所。她在自己那个角落坐下后说:“我刚才是不想再提出新的困难让妈妈担心,可明天你怎么能去接埃伦,并把她带回纽约来呢——你不是要去华盛顿吗?”

"Oh, I'm not going," Archer answered.

“噢,我不去了,”阿切尔回答说。

"Not going? Why, what's happened?" Her voice wasas clear as a bell, and full of wifely solicitude.

“不去了?怎么,出了什么事?”她的声音像银铃般清脆,并充满妻子的关切。

"The case is off--postponed."

“‘案子推了——延期了。”

"Postponed? How odd! I saw a note this morningfrom Mr. Letterblair to Mamma saying that he wasgoing to Washington tomorrow for the big patent casethat he was to argue before the Supreme Court. Yousaid it was a patent case, didn't you?"

“延期了?真奇怪!今天早上我见到莱特布赖给妈妈的一封便函,说明天他因为一件专利大案要去华盛顿,他要到最高法院去辩论。你说过是件专利案,不是吗?”

"Well--that's it: the whole office can't go. Letterblairdecided to go this morning."

“唔——就是这案子:事务所的人不能全都去呀。莱特布赖决定今天上午走。”

"Then it's NOT postponed?" she continued, with aninsistence so unlike her that he felt the blood rising tohis face, as if he were blushing for her unwonted lapsefrom all the traditional delicacies.

“这么说,案子没有延期?”她接着说,那寻根刨底的样子十分反常。他觉得热血涌上了面颊,为她少见的有失审慎的风度而难为情。

"No: but my going is," he answered, cursing theunnecessary explanations that he had given when hehad announced his intention of going to Washington,and wondering where he had read that clever liars givedetails, but that the cleverest do not. It did not hurthim half as much to tell May an untruth as to see hertrying to pretend that she had not detected him.

“没有,不过我去的时间推迟了。”他回答说,心里诅咒着当初宣布要去华盛顿时那些多余的解释,并想起不知在哪儿读到过的一句话:聪明的说谎者编造详情,最聪明的说谎者却不。对梅说一次谎话倒无关紧要,令他伤心的是他发现她想假装没有识破他。

"I'm not going till later on: luckily for theconvenience of your family," he continued, taking baserefuge in sarcasm. As he spoke he felt that she was lookingat him, and he turned his eyes to hers in order not toappear to be avoiding them. Their glances met for asecond, and perhaps let them into each other's meaningsmore deeply than either cared to go.

“我以后再去,幸好这样能为你们家提供一点方便,”他接着说,用一句挖苦话作拙劣的掩护。他说话时觉得她在盯着他,于是他把目光对准她的眼睛,以免显得在回避她的注视。两人的目光交汇了片刻,那目光也许注入了太多的含义,这是两人谁都不希望发生的。

"Yes; it IS awfully convenient," May brightly agreed,"that you should be able to meet Ellen after all; yousaw how much Mamma appreciated your offering todo it."

“是啊,”梅愉快地赞同说。“你能去接埃伦,确实太方便了,你没见妈妈听说你要去是多么感激嘛。”

"Oh, I'm delighted to do it." The carriage stopped,and as he jumped out she leaned to him and laid herhand on his. "Good-bye, dearest," she said, her eyes soblue that he wondered afterward if they had shone onhim through tears.

“哦,我很高兴去接她。”马车停下了,他从车上下来时,她倚在他身上,并把手放在他的手上。“‘再见,最亲爱的,”她说。她的眼睛特别蓝;过后他思量,那目光是否是通过泪水射向他的?

He turned away and hurried across Union Square,repeating to himself, in a sort of inward chant: "It's allof two hours from Jersey City to old Catherine's. It'sall of two hours--and it may be more."

他转过身去,匆匆穿过联邦广场,心里默默重复着一句话:“从泽西城到老凯瑟琳家一共要两小时,一共两小时——可能还会多。