The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

It was annoying that the box which was thus attractingthe undivided attention of masculine New Yorkshould be that in which his betrothed was seatedbetween her mother and aunt; and for a moment hecould not identify the lady in the Empire dress, norimagine why her presence created such excitement amongthe initiated. Then light dawned on him, and with itcame a momentary rush of indignation. No, indeed; noone would have thought the Mingotts would have triedit on!

讨厌的是,如此吸引着纽约男性世界全部注意力的包厢竟是他未婚妻就坐的那一个,她坐在母亲与舅妈中间。他一时竟认不出那位穿着法国30年代服装的女士,也想象不出她的出现为什么会在俱乐部会员中引起如此的兴奋。接着,他明白过来,并随之产生一阵愤慨。的确,没有人会想到明戈特家的人会摆出这种架式!

But they had; they undoubtedly had; for the low-toned comments behind him left no doubt in Archer'smind that the young woman was May Welland's cousin,the cousin always referred to in the family as "poorEllen Olenska." Archer knew that she had suddenlyarrived from Europe a day or two previously; he hadeven heard from Miss Welland (not disapprovingly)that she had been to see poor Ellen, who was stayingwith old Mrs. Mingott. Archer entirely approved offamily solidarity, and one of the qualities he mostadmired in the Mingotts was their resolute championshipof the few black sheep that their blameless stockhad produced. There was nothing mean or ungenerousin the young man's heart, and he was glad that hisfuture wife should not be restrained by false pruderyfrom being kind (in private) to her unhappy cousin; butto receive Countess Olenska in the family circle was adifferent thing from producing her in public, at theOpera of all places, and in the very box with the younggirl whose engagement to him, Newland Archer, wasto be announced within a few weeks. No, he felt as oldSillerton Jackson felt; he did not think the Mingottswould have tried it on!

然而他们这样做了。毫无疑义,他们是这样做了;因为阿切尔身后低声的评论使他心中没有丝毫怀疑,那位年轻女子就是梅·韦兰的表姐,那位家里人一直称作“可怜的埃伦·奥兰斯卡”的表姐。阿切尔知道她一两天前突然从欧洲回来了,甚至还听韦兰小姐(并非不满地)说过,她已经去看过可怜的埃伦了。她住在老明戈特太太那儿。阿切尔完全拥护家族的团结。他最崇拜的明戈特家族的品德之一,就是他们对家族中出的几个不肖子弟的坚决支持。他并不自私,也不是小鸡肚肠;他未来的妻子没有受到假正经的局限,能(私下)善待她不幸的表姐,他还为此感到高兴。然而,在家庭圈子内接待奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人是一回事,把她带到公共场所,尤其是歌剧院这样的地方,则是完全不同的另一回事。而且就在那位年轻姑娘的包厢里,她与他纽兰·阿切尔的订婚消息几周之内就要宣布。是的,他的感觉与老西勒顿·杰克逊一样:他没想到明戈特家的人会摆出这种架式!

He knew, of course, that whatever man dared (withinFifth Avenue's limits) that old Mrs. Manson Mingott,the Matriarch of the line, would dare. He had alwaysadmired the high and mighty old lady, who, in spite ofhaving been only Catherine Spicer of Staten Island,with a father mysteriously discredited, and neither moneynor position enough to make people forget it, hadallied herself with the head of the wealthy Mingott line,married two of her daughters to "foreigners" (an Italianmarquis and an English banker), and put the crowningtouch to her audacities by building a large house ofpale cream-coloured stone (when brown sandstoneseemed as much the only wear as a frock-coat in theafternoon) in an inaccessible wilderness near theCentral Park.

他当然知道,男人敢做的任何事(第五大街范围之内),老曼森·明戈特太太这位女族长都敢做。他一向崇拜这位高大刚毅的老夫人,尽管她原来不过是斯塔腾岛的凯瑟琳·斯派塞,有一位神秘的名誉扫地的父亲,那件事无论金钱还是地位都难以让人们忘记。然而,她却与富有的明戈特家族的领头人联了姻,把两个女儿嫁给了 “外国人”(一个意大利侯爵,一个英国银行家),并且在中央公园附近无法插足的荒地里建了一所乳白色石头大宅院(正值棕色沙石仿佛像下午的长礼服那样青一色的时候),从而达到了登峰造极的地步。

Old Mrs. Mingott's foreign daughters had become alegend. They never came back to see their mother, andthe latter being, like many persons of active mind anddominating will, sedentary and corpulent in her habit,had philosophically remained at home. But the cream-coloured house (supposed to be modelled on the privatehotels of the Parisian aristocracy) was there as avisible proof of her moral courage; and she throned init, among pre-Revolutionary furniture and souvenirs ofthe Tuileries of Louis Napoleon (where she had shonein her middle age), as placidly as if there were nothingpeculiar in living above Thirty-fourth Street, or in havingFrench windows that opened like doors instead ofsashes that pushed up.

老明戈特太太的两个外籍女儿成了一则神话故事。她们从不回来看望母亲。母亲依恋故土且身体肥胖,像许多思想活跃意志专横的人那样,一直达观地留在家中,而那幢乳白色的房子(据说是仿照巴黎贵族的私人旅馆建造的)却成了她大无畏精神的见证。她在里面登上宝座,平静地生活在独立战争前的家具与路易·拿破仑杜伊勒利宫(她中年时曾在那儿大出风头)的纪念品中间,仿佛住在34街以北、用开得像门一样大的法式窗户代替推拉式吊窗丝毫不足为怪似的。

Every one (including Mr. Sillerton Jackson) was agreedthat old Catherine had never had beauty--a gift which,in the eyes of New York, justified every success, andexcused a certain number of failings. Unkind peoplesaid that, like her Imperial namesake, she had won herway to success by strength of will and hardness ofheart, and a kind of haughty effrontery that was somehowjustified by the extreme decency and dignity of herprivate life. Mr. Manson Mingott had died when shewas only twenty-eight, and had "tied up" the moneywith an additional caution born of the general distrustof the Spicers; but his bold young widow went her wayfearlessly, mingled freely in foreign society, married herdaughters in heaven knew what corrupt and fashionablecircles, hobnobbed with Dukes and Ambassadors,associated familiarly with Papists, entertained Operasingers, and was the intimate friend of Mme. Taglioni;and all the while (as Sillerton Jackson was the first toproclaim) there had never been a breath on her reputation;the only respect, he always added, in which shediffered from the earlier Catherine.

人人(包括西勒顿·杰克逊先生)都一致认为,老凯瑟琳从没拥有过美貌,而在纽约人眼中,美貌是成功的保证,也可作为某些失败的借口。不友善的人们说,像她那位大英帝国的同名女人一样,她获得成功靠的是意志力量与冷酷心肠,外加一种由于私生活绝对正派而使她在一定程度上免遭非议的傲慢。曼森·明戈特先生去世的时候她只有28岁。出于对斯派塞家族的不信任,他用一条附加条款“冻结”了自己的遗产。他那位年轻、果敢的遗孀大无畏地走着自己的路,她无拘无束地混迹在外国的社交界,把女儿嫁到天知道何等腐化时髦的圈子里,与公爵大使们开怀畅饮,与教皇政治家亲密交往,款待歌剧演员,并做了芭蕾名门之后塔戈里奥尼夫人的密友。与此同时(正如西勒顿·杰克逊首先宣布的),关于她的名声却从没有一句口舌。这是她惟一一点,他总是接着说,与以前那位凯瑟琳的不同之处。

Mrs. Manson Mingott had long since succeeded inuntying her husband's fortune, and had lived in affluencefor half a century; but memories of her earlystraits had made her excessively thrifty, and though,when she bought a dress or a piece of furniture, shetook care that it should be of the best, she could notbring herself to spend much on the transient pleasuresof the table. Therefore, for totally different reasons, herfood was as poor as Mrs. Archer's, and her wines didnothing to redeem it. Her relatives considered that thepenury of her table discredited the Mingott name, whichhad always been associated with good living; but peoplecontinued to come to her in spite of the "madedishes" and flat champagne, and in reply to theremonstrances of her son Lovell (who tried to retrieve thefamily credit by having the best chef in New York) sheused to say laughingly: "What's the use of two goodcooks in one family, now that I've married the girls andcan't eat sauces?"

曼森·明戈特太太早已解冻了丈夫的财产,并殷殷实实地活了半个世纪。早年困境的记忆使她格外节俭,虽然她在买衣服或添置家具时总是关照要最好的,但却舍不得为餐桌上瞬间的享乐过多破费。所以,由于完全不同的原因,她的饭菜跟阿切尔太太家一样差,她的酒也不能为之增光添彩。亲戚们认为,她餐桌上的吝啬损害了明戈特家的名誉——它一向是与吃喝讲究连在一起的。然而人们还是不顾那些“拼盘”与走味的香摈,继续到她家来。针对她儿子洛弗尔的劝告(他企图雇佣纽约最好的厨师以恢复家族的名誉),她常常笑着说:“既然姑娘们都嫁出去了,我又不能用调味品,一个家庭用两个好厨师还有什么用?”

Newland Archer, as he mused on these things, hadonce more turned his eyes toward the Mingott box. Hesaw that Mrs. Welland and her sister-in-law were facingtheir semicircle of critics with the Mingottian APLOMBwhich old Catherine had inculcated in all her tribe, andthat only May Welland betrayed, by a heightened colour(perhaps due to the knowledge that he was watchingher) a sense of the gravity of the situation. As forthe cause of the commotion, she sat gracefully in hercorner of the box, her eyes fixed on the stage, andrevealing, as she leaned forward, a little more shoulderand bosom than New York was accustomed to seeing,at least in ladies who had reasons for wishing to passunnoticed.

纽兰·阿切尔一面沉思着这些事情,又把目光转向了明戈特包厢。他见韦兰太太与她的嫂嫂正带着老凯瑟琳向族人灌输的那种明戈特家特有的自恃面对着组成半圆形的批评者。只有梅·韦兰面色绯红(也许由于知道他在看她),流露出事态严峻的意味。至于引起骚动的那一位,依然优雅地坐在包厢角落里,两眼凝视着舞台。由于身体前倾,她肩膀和胸部露得比纽约社会习惯看到的稍稍多了一点,至少在那些有理由希望不引起注意的女士们中间是如此。

Few things seemed to Newland Archer more awfulthan an offence against "Taste," that far-off divinity ofwhom "Form" was the mere visible representative andvicegerent. Madame Olenska's pale and serious faceappealed to his fancy as suited to the occasion and toher unhappy situation; but the way her dress (whichhad no tucker) sloped away from her thin shouldersshocked and troubled him. He hated to think of MayWelland's being exposed to the influence of a youngwoman so careless of the dictates of Taste.

在纽兰·阿切尔看来,很少有什么事比与“品味”相悖更难堪的了。品味是一种看不见的神韵,“举止”仅仅是它直观的替代物与代表。奥兰斯卡夫人苍白而严肃的面孔,按他的想象是适合于这种场合及她的不幸处境的,但她的衣服(没有衣领)从那单薄的肩头坡下去的样式却令他震惊不安。他不愿设想梅·韦兰受到一个如此不顾品味和情趣的年轻女子的影响。

"After all," he heard one of the younger men beginbehind him (everybody talked through the Mephistopheles-and-Martha scenes), "after all, just WHAT happened?"

“究竟——”他听到身后一个年轻人开口说(在靡菲斯特与玛莎的几场戏中,大家自始至终都在交谈),“究竟发生了什么事?”

"Well--she left him; nobody attempts to deny that."

“哦——她离开了他;谁也不想否认这一点。”

"He's an awful brute, isn't he?" continued the youngenquirer, a candid Thorley, who was evidently preparingto enter the lists as the lady's champion.

“他是个可怕的畜牲,不是吗?”年轻人接着说,他是索利家族中一位直率的人,显然准备加入那位女士的护花使者之列。

"The very worst; I knew him at Nice," saidLawrence Lefferts with authority. "A half-paralysed whitesneering fellow--rather handsome head, but eyes witha lot of lashes. Well, I'll tell you the sort: when hewasn't with women he was collecting china. Paying anyprice for both, I understand."

“一个糟糕透了的家伙;我在尼斯见过他,”劳伦斯·莱弗茨以权威的口气说。“老喝得半醉,苍白的面孔上露出讥笑——但脑袋倒很漂亮,不过眼睫毛太多。噢,我来告诉你他那德行:他不是跟女人在一起,就是去收集瓷器。据我所知,他对两者都不惜任何代价。”

There was a general laugh, and the young championsaid: "Well, then----?"

这话引出一阵哄堂大笑,那位年轻的护花使者说:“唔,可是——”

"Well, then; she bolted with his secretary."

“唔,可是,她跟他的秘书逃跑了。”

"Oh, I see." The champion's face fell.

“噢,我明白了。”护花使者的脸沉了下来。

"It didn't last long, though: I heard of her a fewmonths later living alone in Venice. I believe LovellMingott went out to get her. He said she was desperatelyunhappy. That's all right--but this parading herat the Opera's another thing."

“可是,这并没有持续多久:我听说她几个月后就独自住在威尼斯,我相信洛弗尔·明戈特那次出国是去找她的。他曾说她非常地不快活。现在没事了——不过在歌剧院里这样炫耀她却另当别论。”

"Perhaps," young Thorley hazarded, "she's toounhappy to be left at home."

“也许,”那位小索利冒险地说,“她太不快活了,不会愿意一个人被晾在家里。”

This was greeted with an irreverent laugh, and theyouth blushed deeply, and tried to look as if he hadmeant to insinuate what knowing people called a "doubleentendre."

这话引来一阵无礼的笑声,年轻人脸色深红,竭力装出是想巧妙使用聪明人所说的“双关语”的样子。

"Well--it's queer to have brought Miss Welland,anyhow," some one said in a low tone, with a side-glance at Archer.

“唔——不管怎么说,把韦兰小姐带来总是令人费解,”有人悄悄地说,一面斜视了阿切尔一眼。

"Oh, that's part of the campaign: Granny's orders,no doubt," Lefferts laughed. "When the old lady doesa thing she does it thoroughly."

“噢,这是运动的一个组成部分嘛:肯定是老祖宗的命令,”莱弗茨笑着说。“老夫人要是干一件事,总要干得完全彻底。”

The act was ending, and there was a general stir inthe box. Suddenly Newland Archer felt himselfimpelled to decisive action. The desire to be the first manto enter Mrs. Mingott's box, to proclaim to the waitingworld his engagement to May Welland, and to see herthrough whatever difficulties her cousin's anomaloussituation might involve her in; this impulse had abruptlyoverruled all scruples and hesitations, and sent himhurrying through the red corridors to the farther sideof the house.

这一幕结束了,包厢里一阵普遍的骚动。纽兰·阿切尔突然感到必须采取果断行动。他要第一个走进明戈特太太的包厢,第一个向期望中的社交界宣布他与梅·韦兰的订婚消息,第一个去帮助她度过表姐的异常处境可能使她卷人的任何困难。这一冲动猛然间压倒了一切顾虑与迟疑,促使他匆匆穿过一节节红色走廊,向剧院较远的一端走去。

As he entered the box his eyes met Miss Welland's,and he saw that she had instantly understood his motive,though the family dignity which both consideredso high a virtue would not permit her to tell him so.The persons of their world lived in an atmosphere offaint implications and pale delicacies, and the fact thathe and she understood each other without a wordseemed to the young man to bring them nearer thanany explanation would have done. Her eyes said: "Yousee why Mamma brought me," and his answered: "Iwould not for the world have had you stay away."

进入包厢的时候,他的眼睛遇到了韦兰小姐的目光,而且他发现她立即明白了他的来意,尽管家族的尊严不允许她对他明讲——两个人都认为这是一种很高尚的美德。他们这个圈子的人都生活在一种含而不露、稍显矜持的气氛中,年轻人觉得,他与她不用说一句话就能互相沟通,任何解释都不能使他们更加贴近。她的眼睛在说:“你明白妈妈为什么带我来。”他的眼睛则回答:“无论如何我都不肯让你离开这儿。”

"You know my niece Countess Olenska?" Mrs. Wellandenquired as she shook hands with her future son-in-law. Archer bowed without extending his hand, aswas the custom on being introduced to a lady; andEllen Olenska bent her head slightly, keeping her ownpale-gloved hands clasped on her huge fan of eaglefeathers. Having greeted Mrs. Lovell Mingott, a largeblonde lady in creaking satin, he sat down beside hisbetrothed, and said in a low tone: "I hope you've toldMadame Olenska that we're engaged? I want everybodyto know--I want you to let me announce it thisevening at the ball."

“你认识我的侄女奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人吗?”韦兰太太与她未来的女婿握手时问道。按照引见给女士的习惯,阿切尔欠一下身子,没有伸出手;埃伦·奥兰斯卡轻轻低一下头,两只戴浅色手套的手继续握着那把大鹰毛扇子。与洛弗尔·明戈特太太打过招呼——她是个大块头的金发女人,穿一身悉索作响的缎子衣裙——他在未婚妻的身旁坐下,低声说:“我希望你已经告诉奥兰斯卡夫人我们订婚了吧?我想让每个人都知道——我要你允许我今晚在舞会上宣布。”

Miss Welland's face grew rosy as the dawn, and shelooked at him with radiant eyes. "If you can persuadeMamma," she said; "but why should we change whatis already settled?" He made no answer but that whichhis eyes returned, and she added, still more confidentlysmiling: "Tell my cousin yourself: I give you leave. Shesays she used to play with you when you were children."

韦兰小姐的脸变成曙光般的玫瑰红色,她两眼发光地看着他。“如果你能说服妈妈的话,”她说,“不过,已经定了的事,干吗要改变呢?”他没有说话,只用眼睛做了回答。她信心更足地笑着补充说:“你自己告诉我表姐吧,我允许你。她说你还是孩子的时候,她常和你一起玩耍。”

She made way for him by pushing back her chair,and promptly, and a little ostentatiously, with thedesire that the whole house should see what he wasdoing, Archer seated himself at the Countess Olenska'sside.

她把椅子向后推了推,给他让出了路。阿切尔怀着一种让全场的人都能看见自己的举动的愿望,立刻示威性地坐到了奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人身边。

"We DID use to play together, didn't we?" she asked,turning her grave eyes to his. "You were a horrid boy,and kissed me once behind a door; but it was yourcousin Vandie Newland, who never looked at me, thatI was in love with." Her glance swept the horse-shoecurve of boxes. "Ah, how this brings it all back tome--I see everybody here in knickerbockers and pantalettes,"she said, with her trailing slightly foreign accent,her eyes returning to his face.

“我们过去的确常在一起玩,不是吗?”她问道,一面用严肃的目光看着他的眼睛。“你那时是个很讨厌的男孩,有一次你在门后面吻了我,但那时我爱上的却是你的堂兄范迪·纽兰,可他从来不看我一眼。”她的目光扫视着那些马蹄形排列的包厢。“啊,这场面多让我回想起过去的一切啊——我发现这里人人都穿灯笼裤或宽松裤,”她带着略微拖长的异国口音说,目光又回到他的脸上。

Agreeable as their expression was, the young manwas shocked that they should reflect so unseemly apicture of the august tribunal before which, at that verymoment, her case was being tried. Nothing could be inworse taste than misplaced flippancy; and he answeredsomewhat stiffly: "Yes, you have been away a verylong time."

这番话尽管表达的感情是令人愉快的,却竟然使他想到了威严的法庭,这一不相称的联想令年轻人感到震惊。而此时此刻,这个法庭就摆在她的面前,她的案子正在进行审理。没有什么东西比不合时宜的轻率更有伤大雅了。他有点生硬地回答说:“是啊,你离开这儿已经很久了。”

"Oh, centuries and centuries; so long," she said,"that I'm sure I'm dead and buried, and this dear oldplace is heaven;" which, for reasons he could notdefine, struck Newland Archer as an even moredisrespectful way of describing New York society.

“啊,好像有好几百年了。太久了,”她说,“让我觉得自己已经死了,被埋掉了,而这方亲切的故土就是天堂。”说不清是什么理由,纽兰·阿切尔只觉得这样形容纽约社会就更加失礼了。