The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

The Newland Archers, since they had set up theirhousehold, had received a good deal of company in aninformal way. Archer was fond of having three or fourfriends to dine, and May welcomed them with thebeaming readiness of which her mother had set her theexample in conjugal affairs. Her husband questionedwhether, if left to herself, she would ever have askedany one to the house; but he had long given up tryingto disengage her real self from the shape into whichtradition and training had moulded her. It wasexpected that well-off young couples in New York shoulddo a good deal of informal entertaining, and a Wellandmarried to an Archer was doubly pledged to thetradition.

纽兰·阿切尔夫妇成家以来,非正式地接待过不少客人。阿切尔喜欢邀上三五个朋友一起用餐,梅则效法母亲在处理夫妻事务中为她树立的榜样,满脸笑容地招待来客。倘若只剩下她一个人,是否也会请人来做客呢——她丈夫表示怀疑;不过他早已放弃了从传统与教养把她塑造的模式中剥离出她的真实自我的打算。一对住在纽约的富家年轻夫妇理应有大量的非正式招待活动,一位姓韦兰的嫁给一位姓阿切尔的之后,恪守这一传统就更是义不容辞了。

But a big dinner, with a hired chef and twoborrowed footmen, with Roman punch, roses fromHenderson's, and menus on gilt-edged cards, was a differentaffair, and not to be lightly undertaken. As Mrs. Archerremarked, the Roman punch made all the difference;not in itself but by its manifold implications--since itsignified either canvas-backs or terrapin, two soups, ahot and a cold sweet, full decolletage with short sleeves,and guests of a proportionate importance.

然而大型晚宴可就另当别论了,要办一次谈何容易!它需要雇一位厨师,借两名男仆,要有罗马潘趣酒,亨德森花店的玫瑰,还有印在金边卡片上的菜单。正如阿切尔太太说的,有了罗马潘趣酒,情况就大不一样了;倒不在于酒本身,而在于它多重的含义——它意味着要上灰背野鸭或者甲鱼,两道汤,一冷一热两道甜食,短袖露肩衫,以及有相当身份的客人。

It was always an interesting occasion when a youngpair launched their first invitations in the third person,and their summons was seldom refused even by theseasoned and sought-after. Still, it was admittedly atriumph that the van der Luydens, at May's request,should have stayed over in order to be present at herfarewell dinner for the Countess Olenska.

一对年轻夫妇用第三人称发出他们的第一批请柬,总是件十分有趣的事;他们的邀请就连那些老手和热门人物也很少拒绝。尽管如此,范德卢顿夫妇能应梅的要求留下来,出席她为奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人举办的告别宴会,仍然被公认为是一大胜利。

The two mothers-in-law sat in May's drawing-roomon the afternoon of the great day, Mrs. Archer writingout the menus on Tiffany's thickest gilt-edged bristol,while Mrs. Welland superintended the placing of thepalms and standard lamps.

在这个不同寻常的下午,身为婆母与岳母的两位太太坐在梅的客厅里,阿切尔太太在最厚的金边卡片纸上写着菜单,韦兰太太则指挥着摆放棕榈树与落地灯。

Archer, arriving late from his office, found them stillthere. Mrs. Archer had turned her attention to thename-cards for the table, and Mrs. Welland wasconsidering the effect of bringing forward the large giltsofa, so that another "corner" might be createdbetween the piano and the window.

阿切尔很晚才从事务所回来,到家时发现她们还在这儿。阿切尔太太已经把注意力转向餐桌上的人名卡,而韦兰太太正在斟酌把镀金大沙发弄到前边的效果,这样可以在钢琴和窗于中间又留出一个“角落。”

May, they told him, was in the dining-room inspectingthe mound of Jacqueminot roses and maidenhair inthe centre of the long table, and the placing of theMaillard bonbons in openwork silver baskets betweenthe candelabra. On the piano stood a large basket oforchids which Mr. van der Luyden had had sent fromSkuytercliff. Everything was, in short, as it should beon the approach of so considerable an event.

他们告诉他,梅正在餐厅里检查长餐桌中间的那一堆杰克明诺玫瑰和铁线蕨,以及放在校形烛台间的那几个盛糖果的楼刻银盘子。钢琴上面放着一大篮子范德卢顿先生让人从斯库特克利夫送来的兰花。总之,在如此重大事件来临之际,一切都已按照常规准备就绪。

Mrs. Archer ran thoughtfully over the list, checkingoff each name with her sharp gold pen.

阿切尔太太若有所思地看着客人名单,用她那支尖头金笔在每个名字上打着勾。

"Henry van der Luyden--Louisa--the Lovell Mingotts--the Reggie Chiverses--Lawrence Lefferts andGertrude--(yes, I suppose May was right to havethem)--the Selfridge Merrys, Sillerton Jackson, VanNewland and his wife. (How time passes! It seems onlyyesterday that he was your best man, Newland)--andCountess Olenska--yes, I think that's all. . . ."

“亨利·范德卢顿——路易莎——洛弗尔·明戈特夫妇——里吉·奇弗斯夫妇——劳伦斯·莱弗茨和格特鲁德(不错,我想梅请他们是对的)——塞尔弗里奇·梅里一家,西勒顿·杰克逊,范纽兰和他妻子(纽兰,时间过得真快呀,他给你做演相仿佛还是昨天的事)——还有奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人——对,我想就这些了……”

Mrs. Welland surveyed her son-in-law affectionately."No one can say, Newland, that you and May are notgiving Ellen a handsome send-off."

韦兰太太亲切地上下打量了她的女婿一番说:“纽兰,人人都会说你和梅是多么慷慨地为埃伦送行的。”

"Ah, well," said Mrs. Archer, "I understand May'swanting her cousin to tell people abroad that we're notquite barbarians."

“哦——嗯,”阿切尔太太说,“我认为梅是想让她的表姊告诉外国人,我们并非那么不开化。”

"I'm sure Ellen will appreciate it. She was to arrivethis morning, I believe. It will make a most charminglast impression. The evening before sailing is usually sodreary," Mrs. Welland cheerfully continued.

“我敢肯定埃伦会十分感激。我想她今天上午就该到了。宴会将留下美好的最后印象。启程远航前的头天晚上通常都是很枯燥乏味的,”韦兰太太兴冲冲地接着说。

Archer turned toward the door, and his mother-in-law called to him: "Do go in and have a peep at thetable. And don't let May tire herself too much." But heaffected not to hear, and sprang up the stairs to hislibrary. The room looked at him like an alien countenancecomposed into a polite grimace; and he perceivedthat it had been ruthlessly "tidied," and prepared,by a judicious distribution of ash-trays and cedar-woodboxes, for the gentlemen to smoke in.

阿切尔朝门口转过身去,岳母喊他说:“过去瞧瞧餐桌吧,别让梅太劳累了。”但他假装没有听见,跃上楼梯,去了图书室。图书室就像一张陌生面孔装出一副彬彬有礼的鬼脸,他发现它被冷酷地“整顿”过,布置过了,明智地分放了烟灰缸和松木匣子,以备绅士们在里面吸烟。

"Ah, well," he thought, "it's not for long--" and hewent on to his dressing-room.

“啊——嗯,”他心想,“反正不用很久——”他接着又到梳妆室去了。

Ten days had passed since Madame Olenska's departurefrom New York. During those ten days Archerhad had no sign from her but that conveyed by thereturn of a key wrapped in tissue paper, and sent to hisoffice in a sealed envelope addressed in her hand. Thisretort to his last appeal might have been interpreted asa classic move in a familiar game; but the young manchose to give it a different meaning. She was still fightingagainst her fate; but she was going to Europe, andshe was not returning to her husband. Nothing, therefore,was to prevent his following her; and once he hadtaken the irrevocable step, and had proved to her thatit was irrevocable, he believed she would not send himaway.

奥兰斯卡夫人离开纽约已经10天了。这10天当中,阿切尔没有得到她一点音讯,只有还给他的一把包着绵纸的钥匙,是封在信封内送到他办公室去的,信封上的地址是她的手迹。对他最后请求的这种答复本来可以看作一场普通游戏的典型步骤,但年轻人却偏偏赋予它另外的含义:她仍然在作反抗命运的挣扎,她仅仅是要到欧洲去,而不是回她丈夫身边。因此,没有什么事情会阻碍他去追随她。一旦他采取了无可挽回的步骤,并向她证明已无可挽回,他相信她不会撵他走。

This confidence in the future had steadied him toplay his part in the present. It had kept him fromwriting to her, or betraying, by any sign or act, hismisery and mortification. It seemed to him that in thedeadly silent game between them the trumps were stillin his hands; and he waited.

对未来的这一信念支持着他扮演当前的角色,使他坚持不给她写信,也不流露任何痛苦或悔恨的迹象。他觉得在他们两人之间这场极为隐秘的游戏中,胜券仍然握在他手中;于是他等待着。

There had been, nevertheless, moments sufficientlydifficult to pass; as when Mr. Letterblair, the day afterMadame Olenska's departure, had sent for him to goover the details of the trust which Mrs. Manson Mingottwished to create for her granddaughter. For a couple ofhours Archer had examined the terms of the deed withhis senior, all the while obscurely feeling that if he hadbeen consulted it was for some reason other than theobvious one of his cousinship; and that the close of theconference would reveal it.

然而这段时间确实也有十分难过的时刻,比如在奥兰斯卡夫人走后的第二天,莱特布赖先生派人找他来审查一下曼森·明戈特想为孙女开设信托财产的细节问题。阿切尔花了两个小时与上司一起审查事项的条款,在此期间他却隐隐感到,这件事找他商量,显然不全是由于他的表亲关系等,讨论结束时就会真相大白。

"Well, the lady can't deny that it's a handsomearrangement," Mr. Letterblair had summed up, aftermumbling over a summary of the settlement. "In factI'm bound to say she's been treated pretty handsomelyall round."

“唔,这位夫人无法否认,这是个相当不错的解决办法,”莱特布赖对着那份协议概要嗫嚅一阵后总结说。“实际上,我不得不说,从各方面来看,对待她还是相当宽宏大量的。”

"All round?" Archer echoed with a touch ofderision. "Do you refer to her husband's proposal to giveher back her own money?"

“从各方面说?”阿切尔带着一丝嘲笑的口吻重复道。“你指的是她丈夫提议把她自己的钱归还给她吗!”

Mr. Letterblair's bushy eyebrows went up a fractionof an inch. "My dear sir, the law's the law; and yourwife's cousin was married under the French law. It's tobe presumed she knew what that meant."

莱特布赖那浓密的眉毛挑起了一点点。“先生,法律就是法律,你妻子的表姊结婚是受法国法律约束的。她应该明白那是什么意思。”

"Even if she did, what happened subsequently--."But Archer paused. Mr. Letterblair had laid his pen-handle against his big corrugated nose, and was lookingdown it with the expression assumed by virtuouselderly gentlemen when they wish their youngers tounderstand that virtue is not synonymous with ignorance.

“即使她明白,后来发生的事——”阿切尔住了口。莱特布赖已经将笔杆抵到皱起的大鼻子上,并且顺着笔杆将目光垂下,脸上那副表情俨然如德高望重的老绅士想要告诫他们的儿子:德行并非无知。

"My dear sir, I've no wish to extenuate the Count'stransgressions; but--but on the other side . . . I wouldn'tput my hand in the fire . . . well, that there hadn't beentit for tat . . . with the young champion. . . ." Mr.Letterblair unlocked a drawer and pushed a foldedpaper toward Archer. "This report, the result of discreetenquiries . . ." And then, as Archer made noeffort to glance at the paper or to repudiate the suggestion,the lawyer somewhat flatly continued: "I don'tsay it's conclusive, you observe; far from it. But strawsshow . . . and on the whole it's eminently satisfactoryfor all parties that this dignified solution has beenreached."

“先生,我井不想减轻伯爵的过失;但——另一方面,我也不愿自找麻烦……唔,对那个年轻人……事情也还没到针锋相对的地步……”莱特布赖打开一个抽屉,朝阿切尔推过一份折叠的文件。后来,由于阿切尔没有尝试看那文件,也无意驳斥他的意见,律师先生才有点无精打采地接着说:“你瞧,我并不是说这就是最后的结局了;事情还远没有结束。但见微知著……总体而言,这一体面的解决方法,对方方面面都是非常圆满的了。”

"Oh, eminently," Archer assented, pushing back thepaper.

“是啊,非常圆满,”阿切尔赞同地说,同时把文件推了回去。

A day or two later, on responding to a summonsfrom Mrs. Manson Mingott, his soul had been moredeeply tried.

过了一两天,应曼森·明戈特的召唤,他的灵魂经历了一次更加深刻的考验。

He had found the old lady depressed and querulous.

他发现老夫人意气消沉,牢骚满腹。

"You know she's deserted me?" she began at once;and without waiting for his reply: "Oh, don't ask mewhy! She gave so many reasons that I've forgottenthem all. My private belief is that she couldn't face theboredom. At any rate that's what Augusta and mydaughters-in-law think. And I don't know that Ialtogether blame her. Olenski's a finished scoundrel; butlife with him must have been a good deal gayer than itis in Fifth Avenue. Not that the family would admitthat: they think Fifth Avenue is Heaven with the rue dela Paix thrown in. And poor Ellen, of course, has noidea of going back to her husband. She held out asfirmly as ever against that. So she's to settle down inParis with that fool Medora. . . . Well, Paris is Paris;and you can keep a carriage there on next to nothing.But she was as gay as a bird, and I shall miss her."Two tears, the parched tears of the old, rolled downher puffy cheeks and vanished in the abysses of herbosom.

“你知道她把我抛弃了?”她立即便开了口,而且没等他回话,又接着说道:“唉,别问我为什么!她说了那么多理由,结果我全都忘了。我私下认为是她忍受不了无聊。不管怎样,反正奥古斯塔和我儿媳是这样想的,我不认为事情全都怪她。奥兰斯基是个绝顶的混蛋,不过跟他一起生活一定会比在第五大街快活得多。家里人可不承认这一点,他们认为第五大街就是太太平平的天堂。可怜的埃伦当然不打算回丈夫那儿去,她一如既往地反对那样做。所以她准备跟梅多拉那个傻瓜在巴黎定居……唉,巴黎就是巴黎,在那里,哪怕你没有几个钱,也能弄一辆马车。可她像只小鸟一样快活,我会想念她的。”两滴眼泪——老年人于涩的眼泪——顺着她肥胖的面颊滚落下来,消失在她那无边无际的胸膛上。

"All I ask is," she concluded, "that they shouldn'tbother me any more. I must really be allowed to digestmy gruel. . . ." And she twinkled a little wistfully atArcher.

“我只求一件事,”她最后说,“他们别再来打扰我。确确实实该让我一边享清闲了……”她有点恋恋不舍地对阿切尔眨眨眼睛。

It was that evening, on his return home, that Mayannounced her intention of giving a farewell dinner toher cousin. Madame Olenska's name had not beenpronounced between them since the night of her flightto Washington; and Archer looked at his wife withsurprise.

就是这天晚上,他回家后,梅说出她想为表姊举办告别宴会的打算。自从奥兰斯卡夫人逃往华盛顿的那一夜起,她的名字一直没人提过。阿切尔惊讶地看着妻子。

"A dinner--why?" he interrogated.

“举办宴会——为什么?”他问道。

Her colour rose. "But you like Ellen--I thought you'dbe pleased."

她脸上泛起了红润。“可你喜欢埃伦呀——我以为你会高兴呢。”

"It's awfully nice--your putting it in that way. But Ireally don't see--"

“你这样说真是太好了。不过我确实不明白——”

"I mean to do it, Newland," she said, quietly risingand going to her desk. "Here are the invitations allwritten. Mother helped me--she agrees that we oughtto." She paused, embarrassed and yet smiling, andArcher suddenly saw before him the embodied imageof the Family.

“宴会我是一定要办的,纽兰。”她说完便平静地站了起来,走到她的书桌前。“这些请柬全都写好了,是母亲帮我写的——她也认为我们应该办。”她打住话头,有点儿尴尬却面带笑容。阿切尔顿时认识到,他的面前是“家族”的化身。

"Oh, all right," he said, staring with unseeing eyes atthe list of guests that she had put in his hand.

“噢,那好吧,”他说,一面用视而不见的目光看着她递到手中的客人名单。

When he entered the drawing-room before dinner Maywas stooping over the fire and trying to coax the logsto burn in their unaccustomed setting of immaculatetiles.

宴会前他走进客厅时,梅正俯身在火炉上,小心翼翼地摆弄那些木柴,设法让它们在不习惯的干净瓷砖里面烧旺。

The tall lamps were all lit, and Mr. van der Luyden'sorchids had been conspicuously disposed in variousreceptacles of modern porcelain and knobby silver. Mrs.Newland Archer's drawing-room was generally thoughta great success. A gilt bamboo jardiniere, in whichthe primulas and cinerarias were punctually renewed,blocked the access to the bay window (where the old-fashioned would have preferred a bronze reduction ofthe Venus of Milo); the sofas and arm-chairs of palebrocade were cleverly grouped about little plush tablesdensely covered with silver toys, porcelain animals andefflorescent photograph frames; and tall rosy-shadedlamps shot up like tropical flowers among the palms.

高高的落地灯全都点亮了,范德卢顿先生的兰花配置在各式各样的新瓷盆与漂亮的银制容器里,十分引人注目。大家普遍认为,纽兰·阿切尔太太的客厅布置得极为成功。一个镀金的竹制花架挡在通向吊窗的过道上(此处老眼光的人会认为摆一尊米罗的维纳斯青铜雕像更佳),花架上的报春花与瓜叶菊及时更新了。浅色锦缎的沙发与扶手椅巧妙地聚拢在几张漂亮的小台子周围,台子上密密麻麻摆满银制玩具、瓷制小动物,以及花穗镶边的像框。罩着玫瑰形灯伞的高灯耸立其间,宛如棕榈丛中的热带花卉。

"I don't think Ellen has ever seen this room lightedup," said May, rising flushed from her struggle, andsending about her a glance of pardonable pride. Thebrass tongs which she had propped against the side ofthe chimney fell with a crash that drowned her husband'sanswer; and before he could restore them Mr.and Mrs. van der Luyden were announced.

“我想埃伦从来没见过这屋子点上灯的情景,”梅说。她停止了操劳,红着脸抬起头来,用可以理解的自豪的目光打量着四周。她支在烟筒一侧的铜火钳咣啷一声倒了下来,淹没了丈夫的回话声,他还没来得及重新支好,就听见通报范德卢顿先生与太太到了。

The other guests quickly followed, for it was knownthat the van der Luydens liked to dine punctually. Theroom was nearly full, and Archer was engaged in showingto Mrs. Selfridge Merry a small highly-varnishedVerbeckhoven "Study of Sheep," which Mr. Wellandhad given May for Christmas, when he found MadameOlenska at his side.

其他客人紧接着也到了,因为大家都知道范德卢顿夫妇喜欢准时就餐。屋子里的人眼看就要满了,阿切尔正忙着给塞尔弗里奇·梅里太太看一幅维白克霍文的“绵羊习作”——那是韦兰先生以前送给梅的圣诞礼物——这时他突然发现奥兰斯卡夫人来到他身边。

She was excessively pale, and her pallor made herdark hair seem denser and heavier than ever. Perhapsthat, or the fact that she had wound several rows ofamber beads about her neck, reminded him suddenly ofthe little Ellen Mingott he had danced with at children'sparties, when Medora Manson had first broughther to New York.

她脸色格外苍白,这使她的黑发显得特别浓密。也许——或者实际上——是因为她脖子上绕了几串琥珀珠子,使他突然想起了他曾经在孩子们的晚会上与之跳舞的那个小埃伦·明戈特,那时是梅多拉·曼森第一次把她带到纽约。

The amber beads were trying to her complexion, orher dress was perhaps unbecoming: her face lookedlustreless and almost ugly, and he had never loved it ashe did at that minute. Their hands met, and he thoughthe heard her say: "Yes, we're sailing tomorrow in theRussia--"; then there was an unmeaning noise of openingdoors, and after an interval May's voice: "Newland!Dinner's been announced. Won't you please take Ellenin?"

也许是琥珀珠子与她的肤色格格不入,要么就是她衣服不太匹配:她的脸上显得毫无光泽,甚至可以说很难看,但他却从来没有像此刻这样爱这张脸。他们的手相遇了,他觉得仿佛听见她说:“是啊,明天我们就要乘俄罗斯号起航——”接着他又听见几次毫无意义的开门的声音,过了一会儿,只听梅的声音说:“纽兰!宴会已宣布开始了,你不带埃伦进去吗?”

Madame Olenska put her hand on his arm, and henoticed that the hand was ungloved, and rememberedhow he had kept his eyes fixed on it the evening that hehad sat with her in the little Twenty-third Street drawing-room. All the beauty that had forsaken her face seemedto have taken refuge in the long pale fingers and faintlydimpled knuckles on his sleeve, and he said to himself:"If it were only to see her hand again I should have tofollow her--."

奥兰斯卡夫人把手搭在他的前臂上,他注意到这只手没戴手套,并想起那天晚上同她一起坐在23街那间小客厅里的情景,当时他两只眼睛一直盯着这只手。她脸上的美似乎都躲到搭在他衣袖上的纤纤玉指及带小圆窝的指关节上了。他心里自语道:“即使仅仅为了再看到她的手,我也必须跟随——”

It was only at an entertainment ostensibly offered toa "foreign visitor" that Mrs. van der Luyden couldsuffer the diminution of being placed on her host's left.The fact of Madame Olenska's "foreignness" couldhardly have been more adroitly emphasised than bythis farewell tribute; and Mrs. van der Luyden acceptedher displacement with an affability which left no doubtas to her approval. There were certain things that hadto be done, and if done at all, done handsomely andthoroughly; and one of these, in the old New Yorkcode, was the tribal rally around a kinswoman aboutto be eliminated from the tribe. There was nothing onearth that the Wellands and Mingotts would not havedone to proclaim their unalterable affection for theCountess Olenska now that her passage for Europewas engaged; and Archer, at the head of his table, satmarvelling at the silent untiring activity with which herpopularity had been retrieved, grievances against hersilenced, her past countenanced, and her present irradiatedby the family approval. Mrs. van der Luydenshone on her with the dim benevolence which was hernearest approach to cordiality, and Mr. van der Luyden,from his seat at May's right, cast down the table glancesplainly intended to justify all the carnations he had sentfrom Skuytercliff.

只有在以招待“外宾”的名义举办的宴会上,范德卢顿太太才会屈尊坐在主人的左侧。奥兰斯卡夫人的“外籍”身份被这个告别仪式强调得恰到好处,范德卢顿太太接受换位的态度十分和蔼,使人对她的认同无可置疑。有些非办不可的事,一旦要做,索性就大大方方,痛快淋漓。按纽约的老规矩,围绕一位行将被除名的女眷的家族集会,便属于这样一件事。既然奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人去欧洲的航程已定,为了显示对她坚定不移的爱心,韦兰家与明戈特家的人上天揽月都在所不辞。阿切尔坐在餐桌首席,惊异地观看着这一默默进行的不屈不挠的活动:由于家庭的这种支持,她的名声得以恢复,对她的怨愤得以平息,她的过去得到默认,她的现在变得光辉灿烂。范德卢顿太太对她隐约露出善意——这在她是最接近热诚的表示了。范德卢顿先生则从梅右首的座位上顺着餐桌频频投来目光,显然是想证明他从斯库特克利夫送来那些康乃馨合情合理。

Archer, who seemed to be assisting at the scene in astate of odd imponderability, as if he floated somewherebetween chandelier and ceiling, wondered atnothing so much as his own share in the proceedings.As his glance travelled from one placid well-fed face toanother he saw all the harmless-looking people engagedupon May's canvas-backs as a band of dumb conspirators,and himself and the pale woman on his right asthe centre of their conspiracy. And then it came overhim, in a vast flash made up of many broken gleams,that to all of them he and Madame Olenska werelovers, lovers in the extreme sense peculiar to "foreign"vocabularies. He guessed himself to have been, formonths, the centre of countless silently observing eyesand patiently listening ears, he understood that, bymeans as yet unknown to him, the separation betweenhimself and the partner of his guilt had been achieved,and that now the whole tribe had rallied about his wifeon the tacit assumption that nobody knew anything, orhad ever imagined anything, and that the occasion ofthe entertainment was simply May Archer's naturaldesire to take an affectionate leave of her friend andcousin.

阿切尔在这个场合显得像个无足轻重的助手。他仿佛正在校形吊灯与天花板之间的一个地方漂浮,惟独不知自己在这些活动中有什么作用。他的目光从一张张营养充足的平静的脸上掠过,他觉得,所有那些全神贯注在梅做的灰背烤鸭上。看似并无恶意的人,是一伙不声不响的阴谋分子,而他与坐在他右首的那位苍白的女子则是他们阴谋的主要目标。这时候,许多隐约零星的眼神连成一片,使他忽然想到,在所有这些人的心目中,他与奥兰斯卡夫人是一对情人,是按“外国”语汇中那种极端意义的情人。他想到,几个月来他一直是无数眼睛悄悄观察、无数耳朵耐心倾听的中心人物。他知道,借助于他尚不清楚的手段,他们终于想出了办法,把他和他的犯罪同伙拆开。现在,整个家族都聚集在他妻子周围,心照不宣地假装啥事也不知,或者啥事也没想过,而这次招待活动仅仅出于梅·阿切尔正常的心愿,亲切地为她的朋友兼表姊送别。

It was the old New York way of taking life "withouteffusion of blood": the way of people who dreadedscandal more than disease, who placed decency abovecourage, and who considered that nothing was moreill-bred than "scenes," except the behaviour of thosewho gave rise to them.

这是纽约“杀人不见血”的老办法;这办法属于那些害怕丑闻甚于疾病的人,那些置体面于勇气之上的人,那些认为除了肇事者本身的行为以外,“出事”是最没教养的表现的人。

As these thoughts succeeded each other in his mindArcher felt like a prisoner in the centre of an armedcamp. He looked about the table, and guessed at theinexorableness of his captors from the tone in which,over the asparagus from Florida, they were dealingwith Beaufort and his wife. "It's to show me," hethought, "what would happen to ME--" and a deathlysense of the superiority of implication and analogy overdirect action, and of silence over rash words, closed inon him like the doors of the family vault.

这些思绪接踵浮上他的心头,阿切尔感觉自己像个囚犯,被包围在一伙武装分子中间。他打量餐桌四周,从交谈的语气推测到,追捕他的人个个铁面无私,他们正一面吃着佛罗里达的龙须菜,一面谈论博福特和他妻子的问题。“这是做给我看的,”他心想,“我将是什么下场——”一种死到临头的感觉向他袭来:暗示与影射比直截了当的行动更恶毒,沉默比激烈的言辞更凶狠——它们就像家族地下灵堂里一道道的门向他合拢过来。

He laughed, and met Mrs. van der Luyden's startledeyes.

他放声笑了起来,他的目光遇到了范德卢顿太太投来的惊异目光。

"You think it laughable?" she said with a pinchedsmile. "Of course poor Regina's idea of remaining inNew York has its ridiculous side, I suppose;" andArcher muttered: "Of course."

“你认为挺可笑吧?”她脸上一副苦笑说。“可怜的里吉纳想留在纽约,我想这主意当然有它荒唐的一面。”阿切尔喃喃地说:“当然。”

At this point, he became conscious that MadameOlenska's other neighbour had been engaged for sometime with the lady on his right. At the same moment hesaw that May, serenely enthroned between Mr. van derLuyden and Mr. Selfridge Merry, had cast a quickglance down the table. It was evident that the host andthe lady on his right could not sit through the wholemeal in silence. He turned to Madame Olenska, andher pale smile met him. "Oh, do let's see it through," itseemed to say.

这时候,他意识到奥兰斯卡夫人另一位邻座与他右边这位夫人交谈已经有了一段时间。同时他也见到端坐于范德卢顿先生与塞尔弗里奇·梅里先生中间的梅,顺着餐桌迅速使了个眼色。很显然,他这位主人与他右边的夫人总不能一顿饭下来一直保持沉默,互不交谈。他转向奥兰斯卡夫人,她以淡然的笑容迎着他,似乎在说:“哦,我们坚持到底吧。”

"Did you find the journey tiring?" he asked in avoice that surprised him by its naturalness; and sheanswered that, on the contrary, she had seldom travelledwith fewer discomforts.

“你觉得旅行很累吧?”他问。他的声音十分自然,让他自己都吃了一惊。她回答说恰好相反,她在旅行中很少感到有什么不适。

"Except, you know, the dreadful heat in the train,"she added; and he remarked that she would not sufferfrom that particular hardship in the country she wasgoing to.

“只是火车上太热,你知道,”她又说。他则说,到了她行将奔赴的那个国家,她就不会再受那份罪了。

"I never," he declared with intensity, "was morenearly frozen than once, in April, in the train betweenCalais and Paris."

“有一年4月,”他加强了语气说,“我在加莱至巴黎的火车上,有好几次差点儿给冻僵。”

She said she did not wonder, but remarked that,after all, one could always carry an extra rug, and thatevery form of travel had its hardships; to which heabruptly returned that he thought them all of no accountcompared with the blessedness of getting away.She changed colour, and he added, his voice suddenlyrising in pitch: "I mean to do a lot of travelling myselfbefore long." A tremor crossed her face, and leaningover to Reggie Chivers, he cried out: "I say, Reggie,what do you say to a trip round the world: now, nextmonth, I mean? I'm game if you are--" at which Mrs.Reggie piped up that she could not think of lettingReggie go till after the Martha Washington Ball shewas getting up for the Blind Asylum in Easter week;and her husband placidly observed that by that time hewould have to be practising for the International Polomatch.

她说这并不奇怪;但又说毕竟还是有办法的,可以多带上一块围毯嘛;她还说,每一种旅行方式都有自身的困难。对此,他冷不了地回答说,他认为,与远走高飞的幸福相比,这一切都算不了什么。她脸色大变,他突然又提高嗓门说:“我打算不久以后一个人进行漫长的旅行。”她脸上一阵震颤。他朝里吉·奇弗斯探过身去大声道:“我说里吉,去漫游世界你看怎么样——我是说现在,下个月就走?你敢我就敢——”听到这里,里吉太太尖声说,不过了马撒·华盛顿的舞会,她决不会放里吉走。那个舞会是她准备在复活节那一周为盲人院安排的活动。她丈夫则温和地说,到那时他就得为准备国际马球赛进行训练了。

But Mr. Selfridge Merry had caught the phrase "roundthe world," and having once circled the globe in hissteam-yacht, he seized the opportunity to send downthe table several striking items concerning the shallownessof the Mediterranean ports. Though, after all, headded, it didn't matter; for when you'd seen Athensand Smyrna and Constantinople, what else was there?And Mrs. Merry said she could never be too grateful toDr. Bencomb for having made them promise not to goto Naples on account of the fever.

然而塞尔弗里奇·梅里却抓住了“漫游世界”这句话,因为他曾经乘自己的汽艇环行地球一周,于是抓住机会给餐桌周围的人提供了几条有关地中海沿岸那些港口水深太浅的惊人见闻。他补充道,可说到底,这事倒无足轻重;因为,你若是见过了雅典、士麦那和康斯坦丁堡,其他还有什么地方值得一游呢?梅里太太说,她太感激本克姆医生了,是他让他们俩答应不去那不勒斯的,因为那儿有热病。

"But you must have three weeks to do India properly,"her husband conceded, anxious to have it understoodthat he was no frivolous globe-trotter.

“可你必须花三周时间才能游遍印度,”他丈夫让步说,他急于让大家明白,他决不是个轻浮的环球旅行家。

And at this point the ladies went up to the drawing-room.

就在这时,女士们起身到客厅去了。

In the library, in spite of weightier presences, LawrenceLefferts predominated.

在图书室里,劳伦斯·莱弗茨无视几位要人的在场而占据了支配地位。

The talk, as usual, had veered around to the Beauforts,and even Mr. van der Luyden and Mr. SelfridgeMerry, installed in the honorary arm-chairs tacitlyreserved for them, paused to listen to the younger man'sphilippic.

像平时那样,话题又转回到博福特夫妇身上。就连范德卢顿先生和塞尔弗里奇·梅里先生也坐在大家心照不宣地为他们留出的体面扶手椅里,等着听这位年轻人的猛烈抨击。

Never had Lefferts so abounded in the sentimentsthat adorn Christian manhood and exalt the sanctity ofthe home. Indignation lent him a scathing eloquence,and it was clear that if others had followed his example,and acted as he talked, society would never havebeen weak enough to receive a foreign upstart likeBeaufort--no, sir, not even if he'd married a van derLuyden or a Lanning instead of a Dallas. And whatchance would there have been, Lefferts wrathfullyquestioned, of his marrying into such a family as the Dallases,if he had not already wormed his way into certainhouses, as people like Mrs. Lemuel Struthers had managedto worm theirs in his wake? If society chose toopen its doors to vulgar women the harm was notgreat, though the gain was doubtful; but once it got inthe way of tolerating men of obscure origin and taintedwealth the end was total disintegration--and at nodistant date.

莱弗茨从来没有像现在这样充满美化高尚人格。歌颂家庭神圣的感情,义愤使他谈锋犀利。显然,假如别人都效法他的榜样,以他的话为行为指南,那么,上流社会决不会软弱到去接纳一个像博福特这样的外籍暴发户——不会的,老兄,即使他娶的不是达拉斯家的人,而是范德卢顿家或拉宁家的,那也不会的。莱弗茨愤怒地质问道,假如博福特不是早已慢慢钻进了某些家庭——莱姆尔·斯特拉瑟斯太太之流就是紧步他的后尘——他怎么能有机会与达拉斯这样的家庭联姻呢?假如上流社会主动向平民女子敞开大门,是否有益虽然值得怀疑,但危害还不是太大;而一旦开始容忍出身微贱、钱财肮脏的男人,那么,其结局必然是彻底的崩溃——而且为期不会很远。

"If things go on at this pace," Lefferts thundered,looking like a young prophet dressed by Poole, andwho had not yet been stoned, "we shall see our childrenfighting for invitations to swindlers' houses, andmarrying Beaufort's bastards."

“假如事态照这种速度发展,”莱弗茨咆哮着,那神态好像是普耳装扮的年轻预言家,只是还没有变成石头。“那么,我们就会看到我们的下一代争抢诈骗犯的请柬,跟博福特家的杂种结亲。”

"Oh, I say--draw it mild!" Reggie Chivers and youngNewland protested, while Mr. Selfridge Merry lookedgenuinely alarmed, and an expression of pain and disgustsettled on Mr. van der Luyden's sensitive face.

“咳,我说——不要太过火嘛!”里吉·奇弗斯和小纽兰抗议说。这时,塞尔弗里奇·梅里先生更是大惊失色,痛苦与厌恶的表情也浮现在范德卢顿先生那张敏感的脸上。

"Has he got any?" cried Mr. Sillerton Jackson,pricking up his ears; and while Lefferts tried to turn thequestion with a laugh, the old gentleman twittered intoArcher's ear: "Queer, those fellows who are alwayswanting to set things right. The people who have theworst cooks are always telling you they're poisonedwhen they dine out. But I hear there are pressing reasonsfor our friend Lawrence's diatribe:--typewriterthis time, I understand. . . ."

“他有杂种吗?”西勒顿·杰克逊喊道,接着竖起耳朵等着回答。莱弗茨想以笑声回避这个问题,老绅士对着阿切尔的耳朵喊喳说:“那些老想拨乱反正的人真奇怪。家里面有个最糟糕的厨师的人,总爱说外出就餐中了毒。可我听说我们的朋友劳伦斯的这顿臭骂是事出有因的:这一次是打字员,据我所知……”

The talk swept past Archer like some senseless riverrunning and running because it did not know enoughto stop. He saw, on the faces about him, expressions ofinterest, amusement and even mirth. He listened to theyounger men's laughter, and to the praise of the ArcherMadeira, which Mr. van der Luyden and Mr. Merrywere thoughtfully celebrating. Through it all he wasdimly aware of a general attitude of friendliness towardhimself, as if the guard of the prisoner he felt himself tobe were trying to soften his captivity; and the perceptionincreased his passionate determination to be free.

这些谈话从阿切尔耳边掠过,就像没有知觉的河水不停地流啊流,而且不知道何时才该停。他从周围一张张脸上看到了好奇、好玩甚至快乐的表情。他听着年轻人的笑声,听着范德卢顿先生和梅里先生对阿切尔家的马德拉葡萄酒独到的赞誉。透过这一切,阿切尔膝陇感觉到他们对他都很友好,仿佛看管他这个自认的囚犯的那些警卫,正试图软化他们的俘虏,这种感觉更加坚定了他获得自由的强烈愿望。

In the drawing-room, where they presently joined theladies, he met May's triumphant eyes, and read in themthe conviction that everything had "gone off" beautifully.She rose from Madame Olenska's side, and immediatelyMrs. van der Luyden beckoned the latter to aseat on the gilt sofa where she throned. Mrs. SelfridgeMerry bore across the room to join them, and it becameclear to Archer that here also a conspiracy ofrehabilitation and obliteration was going on. The silentorganisation which held his little world together wasdetermined to put itself on record as never for a momenthaving questioned the propriety of Madame Olenska'sconduct, or the completeness of Archer's domesticfelicity. All these amiable and inexorable persons wereresolutely engaged in pretending to each other that theyhad never heard of, suspected, or even conceived possible,the least hint to the contrary; and from this tissueof elaborate mutual dissimulation Archer once moredisengaged the fact that New York believed him to beMadame Olenska's lover. He caught the glitter of victoryin his wife's eyes, and for the first time understoodthat she shared the belief. The discovery roused a laughterof inner devils that reverberated through all hisefforts to discuss the Martha Washington ball withMrs. Reggie Chivers and little Mrs. Newland; and sothe evening swept on, running and running like a senselessriver that did not know how to stop.

他们随后到客厅加入了女士们的行列。在那儿,他遇到了梅得意洋洋的目光,并从中看到一切“进展”顺利的信心。她从奥兰斯卡夫人身边站了起来,后者接着就被范德卢顿太太招呼到她就座的镀金沙发旁的座位上去。塞尔弗里奇·梅里太太穿过客厅,凑到她俩身边。阿切尔明白了,原来这边也在进行一场忘却与恢复名誉的阴谋,那个把他周围的小圈子聚拢在一起的隐密的组织,决心要表明从未对奥兰斯卡夫人的行为及阿切尔家庭的幸福有过片刻怀疑。所有这些和蔼可亲、坚定不移的人们都毅然决然地相互欺骗,假装从来没听说过、没怀疑过甚至没想到过会有一丁点儿与此相反的事。就从这一套合谋作假的表演中,阿切尔又一次看出全纽约都相信他是奥兰斯卡的情人的事实。他窥见了妻子眼中胜利的光芒,第一次认识到她也持有这种看法。这一发现从他内心深处引发了一阵邪恶的笑声;在他费劲地与里吉·奇弗斯太太及小纽兰太太谈论马撒·华盛顿舞会的整个过程中,这笑声一直在他胸中回响。夜晚的时光就这样匆匆行进,就像没有知觉的河水,流啊流,不知如何驻足。

At length he saw that Madame Olenska had risenand was saying good-bye. He understood that in amoment she would be gone, and tried to rememberwhat he had said to her at dinner; but he could notrecall a single word they had exchanged.

终于,他见到奥兰斯卡夫人站了起来,向人们道别。他明白,再过一会儿,她就要走了;他努力回想在宴席上同她说过的话,可一句也记不起了。

She went up to May, the rest of the company makinga circle about her as she advanced. The two youngwomen clasped hands; then May bent forward andkissed her cousin.

她朝梅的身边走去。她一面走,其余的人绕着她围了个圆圈。两位年轻女子手握在了一起,接着梅低头吻了吻她的表姊。

"Certainly our hostess is much the handsomer of thetwo," Archer heard Reggie Chivers say in an undertoneto young Mrs. Newland; and he remembered Beaufort'scoarse sneer at May's ineffectual beauty.

“她们二人,当然是我们的女主人漂亮多了。”阿切尔听见里吉·奇弗斯小声对小纽兰太太说,他想起了博福特曾粗鲁地嘲笑梅的美不够动人。

A moment later he was in the hall, putting MadameOlenska's cloak about her shoulders.

过了一会儿,他到了门厅里,把奥兰斯卡夫人的外套技在她的肩上。

Through all his confusion of mind he had held fastto the resolve to say nothing that might startle ordisturb her. Convinced that no power could now turnhim from his purpose he had found strength to letevents shape themselves as they would. But as hefollowed Madame Olenska into the hall he thought with asudden hunger of being for a moment alone with her atthe door of her carriage.

尽管他思绪紊乱,却始终抱定决心,不说任何可能惊扰她的话。他坚信没有任何力量能改变他的决心,因而有足够的勇气任凭事态自然发展。但跟随奥兰斯卡夫人走到门厅时,他却突然渴望在她的马车门前与她单独呆一会儿。

"Is your carriage here?" he asked; and at thatmoment Mrs. van der Luyden, who was being majesticallyinserted into her sables, said gently: "We are drivingdear Ellen home."

“你的马车在这儿吗?”他问。这时,正在庄重地穿貂皮大衣的范德卢顿太太却温柔地说:“我们送亲爱的埃伦回家。”

Archer's heart gave a jerk, and Madame Olenska,clasping her cloak and fan with one hand, held out theother to him. "Good-bye," she said.

阿切尔心里一怔,奥兰斯卡夫人一手抓住外套和扇子,向他伸出另一只手。“再见吧,”她说。

"Good-bye--but I shall see you soon in Paris," heanswered aloud--it seemed to him that he had shoutedit.

“再见——不过很快我就会到巴黎去看你,”他大声回答说——他觉得自己是喊出来的。

"Oh," she murmured, "if you and May couldcome--!"

“哦,”她嗫嚅道,“如果你和梅能来——”

Mr. van der Luyden advanced to give her his arm,and Archer turned to Mrs. van der Luyden. For amoment, in the billowy darkness inside the big landau,he caught the dim oval of a face, eyes shining steadily--and she was gone.

范德卢顿先生上前把胳膊伸给她,阿切尔转向范德卢顿太太。一瞬之间,在大马车里面的一片昏暗中,他瞥见她那张朦胧的椭圆形的脸,那双炯炯有神的眼睛——她走了。

As he went up the steps he crossed Lawrence Leffertscoming down with his wife. Lefferts caught his host bythe sleeve, drawing back to let Gertrude pass.

他踏上门阶时看见劳伦斯·莱弗茨正与妻子往下走。莱弗茨拉住他的衣袖,后退一步让格特鲁德过去。

"I say, old chap: do you mind just letting it beunderstood that I'm dining with you at the club tomorrownight? Thanks so much, you old brick! Good-night."

“我说老伙计:明天我在俱乐部与你共进晚餐,你不反对吧?多谢多谢,你这老好人!晚安。”

"It DID go off beautifully, didn't it?" May questionedfrom the threshold of the library.

“宴会确实进行得很顺利,对吗?”梅从图书室的门口问道。

Archer roused himself with a start. As soon as thelast carriage had driven away, he had come up to thelibrary and shut himself in, with the hope that his wife,who still lingered below, would go straight to her room.But there she stood, pale and drawn, yet radiating thefactitious energy of one who has passed beyond fatigue.

阿切尔猛地醒过神来。最后一辆马车刚刚驶走,他便来到图书室,把自己关在里面,心中盼望还在下面拖延的妻子会直接回她的房间去。然而现在她却站在这儿,面色苍白,脸有些扭歪,但却焕发着劳累过度者虚假的活力。

"May I come and talk it over?" she asked.

“我进来聊聊好吗?”她问。

"Of course, if you like. But you must be awfullysleepy--"

“当然啦,如果你高兴。不过你一定很胭了——”

"No, I'm not sleepy. I should like to sit with you alittle."

“不,我不困。我愿跟你坐一小会儿。”

"Very well," he said, pushing her chair near the fire.

“好吧,”他说着,把她的椅子推到火炉前。

She sat down and he resumed his seat; but neitherspoke for a long time. At length Archer began abruptly:"Since you're not tired, and want to talk, there's somethingI must tell you. I tried to the other night--."

她坐下来,他回到他的座位上。但好大一会儿谁也没有说话。最后,还是阿切尔突然开了口。“既然你不累,又想谈一谈,那么,有件事我必须告诉你。那天晚上我本想——”

She looked at him quickly. "Yes, dear. Somethingabout yourself?"

她迅速瞥了他一眼。“是啊,亲爱的,一件关于你自己的事?”

"About myself. You say you're not tired: well, I am.Horribly tired . . ."

“是关于我自己的。你说你不累。唔,我可是非常地累……”

In an instant she was all tender anxiety. "Oh, I'veseen it coming on, Newland! You've been so wickedlyoverworked--"

转瞬之间,她变得忧心忡忡。“唉,我早就知道会这样的,纽兰!你一直劳累过度——”

"Perhaps it's that. Anyhow, I want to make a break--"

“也许是吧。不管怎样,我想停止——”

"A break? To give up the law?"

“停止?不干法律了?”

"To go away, at any rate--at once. On a long trip,ever so far off--away from everything--"

“我想走开,不管怎样——马上就走,远走高飞——丢开一切——”

He paused, conscious that he had failed in his attemptto speak with the indifference of a man wholongs for a change, and is yet too weary to welcome it.Do what he would, the chord of eagerness vibrated."Away from everything--" he repeated.

他停住口,意识到自己失败了——他本想以一个渴望变化、而又因为筋疲力尽不想让变化立即来临的人那种冷漠的口气谈这件事的。但是,不管他做什么事,那根渴望的心弦总是在强烈地振动。“丢开一切——”他重复说。

"Ever so far? Where, for instance?" she asked.

“远走高飞?到什么地方——譬如说?”她问道。

"Oh, I don't know. India--or Japan."

“哦,不知道。印度——或者日本。”

She stood up, and as he sat with bent head, his chinpropped on his hands, he felt her warmly and fragrantlyhovering over him.

她站了起来。他低着头坐在那儿,双手托着下巴,感觉到她的温暖与芳香徘徊在他的上方。

"As far as that? But I'm afraid you can't, dear . . ."she said in an unsteady voice. "Not unless you'll takeme with you." And then, as he was silent, she went on,in tones so clear and evenly-pitched that each separatesyllable tapped like a little hammer on his brain: "Thatis, if the doctors will let me go . . . but I'm afraid theywon't. For you see, Newland, I've been sure since thismorning of something I've been so longing and hopingfor--"

“要走那么远吗?不过,亲爱的,恐怕你不能走……”她声音有点颤抖地说。“除非你带着我。”因为他没有作声,她又接着说下去,语调十分清晰、平缓,每一个音节都像小锤子一样敲着他的脑袋。“就是说,如果医生让我去的话……不过恐怕他们不会同意的。因为,你瞧,纽兰,从今天上午起,我已经肯定了一件我一直在盼望期待的事——”

He looked up at her with a sick stare, and she sankdown, all dew and roses, and hid her face against hisknee.

他抬起头,心烦意乱地盯着她。她蹲下身子,泪流满面,把脸贴在他的膝上。

"Oh, my dear," he said, holding her to him while hiscold hand stroked her hair.

“噢,亲爱的,”他说着把她拉到身边,一面用一只冰冷的手抚摸她的头发。

There was a long pause, which the inner devils filledwith strident laughter; then May freed herself from hisarms and stood up.

一阵长时间的停顿。这时,内心深处的邪恶又发出刺耳的狂笑。后来,梅挣脱他的怀抱站了起来。

"You didn't guess--?"

“你没有猜到——?”

"Yes--I; no. That is, of course I hoped--"

“不——我——对。我是说,我当然曾希望——”

They looked at each other for an instant and againfell silent; then, turning his eyes from hers, he askedabruptly: "Have you told any one else?"

他俩对视了片刻,又陷入沉默。后来,他将目光从她脸上移开,冷不丁问道:“你告诉过别人吗?”

"Only Mamma and your mother." She paused, andthen added hurriedly, the blood flushing up to herforehead: "That is--and Ellen. You know I told youwe'd had a long talk one afternoon--and how dear shewas to me."

“只有妈妈和你母亲。”她停顿一下,又慌忙补充,额头泛起了一片红润。“就是——还有埃伦。你知道,我曾对你说,有一天下午我们进行了一次长谈——她对我真好。”

"Ah--" said Archer, his heart stopping.

“啊——”阿切尔说,他的心几乎停止了跳动。

He felt that his wife was watching him intently. "Didyou MIND my telling her first, Newland?"

他感觉到妻子在目不转睛地注视着他。“纽兰,我先告诉了她,你介意吗?”

"Mind? Why should I?" He made a last effort tocollect himself. "But that was a fortnight ago, wasn'tit? I thought you said you weren't sure till today."

“介意?我干吗会介意?”他做出最后的努力镇定下来。“不过那是两周前的事了,对吧?我还以为你说是今天才肯定下来的呢。”

Her colour burned deeper, but she held his gaze."No; I wasn't sure then--but I told her I was. And yousee I was right!" she exclaimed, her blue eyes wet withvictory.

她的脸红得更厉害了,但却顶住了他的凝视。“对,当时我是没有把握——但我告诉她我有了。你瞧我是说对了!”她大声地说,那双蓝眼睛充满了胜利的泪水。