The Age of Innocence  纯真年代

It was all very well to tell yourself in advance thatMrs. van der Luyden was always silent, and that, thoughnon-committal by nature and training, she was verykind to the people she really liked. Even personalexperience of these facts was not always a protection fromthe chill that descended on one in the high-ceilingedwhite-walled Madison Avenue drawing-room, with thepale brocaded armchairs so obviously uncovered forthe occasion, and the gauze still veiling the ormolumantel ornaments and the beautiful old carved frameof Gainsborough's "Lady Angelica du Lac."

范德卢顿太太一向不爱讲话;而且,她的性格和所受的训练都使她不肯轻易作出承诺,但她对真心喜欢的人还是很有同情心的。对于这些情况,提前做好思想准备固然不错,但即使你有过亲身体验,也难保就能抵御得住麦迪逊大街白壁高顶的客厅里袭来的阵阵寒意。浅色锦缎的扶手椅显然是为这次接待刚刚揭去盖罩,一层薄纱依然罩着镀金的壁炉装饰及雕刻精美的盖恩斯巴罗所画的“安吉莉卡·杜拉克小姐”画像的像框。

Mrs. van der Luyden's portrait by Huntington (inblack velvet and Venetian point) faced that of herlovely ancestress. It was generally considered "as fineas a Cabanel," and, though twenty years had elapsedsince its execution, was still "a perfect likeness."Indeed the Mrs. van der Luyden who sat beneath itlistening to Mrs. Archer might have been the twin-sisterof the fair and still youngish woman drooping against agilt armchair before a green rep curtain. Mrs. van derLuyden still wore black velvet and Venetian point whenshe went into society--or rather (since she never dinedout) when she threw open her own doors to receive it.Her fair hair, which had faded without turning grey,was still parted in flat overlapping points on her forehead,and the straight nose that divided her pale blueeyes was only a little more pinched about the nostrilsthan when the portrait had been painted. She always,indeed, struck Newland Archer as having been rathergruesomely preserved in the airless atmosphere of aperfectly irreproachable existence, as bodies caught inglaciers keep for years a rosy life-in-death.

由亨廷顿绘制的范德卢顿太太的画像(身着带威尼斯针绣花边的黑丝绒),面对着她那位可爱的女前辈的像。这张画像被普遍认为“像卡巴内尔的作品一样精致”,虽然已经画了20年,至今仍然显得“维妙维肖”。的确,坐在画像下面听阿切尔太太讲话的范德卢顿太太,与画框中那位靠在绿布窗帘前那把镀金扶手椅上、眼睛低垂的年轻美女很像一对孪生姐妹。范德卢顿太太参加社交活动——或者不如说她打开自己的家门迎接社交活动(因为她从不外出用餐)的时候,仍然穿着带威尼斯针绣花边的黑丝绒,她的金发虽然已经褪色,但并未变成灰白,依然从额前的交叠部位平分开。两只淡蓝色眼睛中间笔直的鼻子,仅仅在鼻孔附近比画像制作时略显消瘦。实际上,她总是让纽兰·阿切尔觉得,仿佛她一直被可怕地保存在一个没有空气的完美实体之中,就像那些被冷冻在冰川中的尸体,好多年还保持着虽死犹生的红润。

Like all his family, he esteemed and admired Mrs.van der Luyden; but he found her gentle bending sweetnessless approachable than the grimness of some of hismother's old aunts, fierce spinsters who said "No" onprinciple before they knew what they were going to beasked.

跟家中所有的成员一样,他敬重并崇拜范德卢顿太太,不过他发现,她那略带压制的亲切态度还不如母亲几位老姑的严厉容易让人接近,那几位恶狠狠的老处女不等弄清别人的要求,就会照例说一声“不行”。

Mrs. van der Luyden's attitude said neither yes norno, but always appeared to incline to clemency till herthin lips, wavering into the shadow of a smile, madethe almost invariable reply: "I shall first have to talkthis over with my husband."

范德卢顿太太的态度看不出是与否,不过总显示出仁慈宽厚的样子,直至她的薄嘴唇撇出一丝笑意,才几乎是千篇一律地回答说:“我得先和我丈夫商量一下。”

She and Mr. van der Luyden were so exactly alikethat Archer often wondered how, after forty years ofthe closest conjugality, two such merged identities everseparated themselves enough for anything as controversialas a talking-over. But as neither had ever reached adecision without prefacing it by this mysteriousconclave, Mrs. Archer and her son, having set forth theircase, waited resignedly for the familiar phrase.

她与范德卢顿先生是那样相似,阿切尔常常纳闷,经过40年亲密的夫妻生活,两个如此融洽的人,怎么还能分出你我,还有什么争端需要商量。然而,由于这对夫妻谁也未曾不经双方秘密会谈就独自做出过决定,阿切尔太太和儿子阐明他们的问题之后,只好安心地等待熟悉的措辞。

Mrs. van der Luyden, however, who had seldomsurprised any one, now surprised them by reaching herlong hand toward the bell-rope.

然而很少让人意外的范德卢顿太太这时却令母子二人大吃一惊:她伸出长长的手去够铃绳。

"I think," she said, "I should like Henry to hearwhat you have told me."

“我想,”她说道,“我要让亨利听一听你对我讲的情况。”

A footman appeared, to whom she gravely added:"If Mr. van der Luyden has finished reading thenewspaper, please ask him to be kind enough to come."

一名男仆出现了,她又严肃地对他说:“如果范德卢顿先生读完了报,请他劳神过来一趟。”

She said "reading the newspaper" in the tone inwhich a Minister's wife might have said: "Presiding ata Cabinet meeting"--not from any arrogance of mind,but because the habit of a life-time, and the attitude ofher friends and relations, had led her to consider Mr.van der Luyden's least gesture as having an almostsacerdotal importance.

她讲“读报”的口气宛如一位大臣的妻子讲“主持内阁会议”,这并非由于她成心妄自尊大,而是因为终生的习惯及亲友们的态度致使她认为,范德卢顿先生的一举一动犹如执掌大政般重要。

Her promptness of action showed that she consideredthe case as pressing as Mrs. Archer; but, lest sheshould be thought to have committed herself in advance,she added, with the sweetest look: "Henry alwaysenjoys seeing you, dear Adeline; and he will wishto congratulate Newland."

行动的迅速表明她跟阿切尔太太一样觉得情况紧迫;不过惟恐给人未与丈夫商量就率先表态的印象,她又极为亲切地补充说:“亨利一直很乐意见你,亲爱的艾德琳;他还想祝贺纽兰。”

The double doors had solemnly reopened and betweenthem appeared Mr. Henry van der Luyden, tall,spare and frock-coated, with faded fair hair, a straightnose like his wife's and the same look of frozen gentlenessin eyes that were merely pale grey instead of paleblue.

双扇门又被庄严地打开,亨利·范德卢顿先生从中间走了进来。他又高又瘦,穿着长礼服,一头已经稀薄的金发,跟妻子一样笔直的鼻子,一样冷淡斯文的目光,只不过两只眼睛是灰色而不是浅蓝色。

Mr. van der Luyden greeted Mrs. Archer with cousinlyaffability, proffered to Newland low-voicedcongratulations couched in the same language as his wife's,and seated himself in one of the brocade armchairswith the simplicity of a reigning sovereign.

范德卢顿先生以表亲的和蔼与阿切尔太太打过招呼,又用跟妻子同样的措辞向纽兰低声表示了祝贺,然后又以在位君主的简洁在一张锦缎扶手椅里就坐。

"I had just finished reading the Times," he said,laying his long finger-tips together. "In town my morningsare so much occupied that I find it more convenientto read the newspapers after luncheon."

“我刚刚读完《纽约时报》,”他说,一面把长长的指尖收拢在一起。“在城里上午事情太多,我发现午饭后读报更合适。”

"Ah, there's a great deal to be said for that plan--indeed I think my uncle Egmont used to say he found itless agitating not to read the morning papers till afterdinner," said Mrs. Archer responsively.

“噢,这样安排是很有道理的——我想我舅舅埃格蒙特过去确实常常说,他发现把晨报留到晚餐后读,不会使人心烦意乱,”阿切尔太太附和地说。

"Yes: my good father abhorred hurry. But now welive in a constant rush," said Mr. van der Luyden inmeasured tones, looking with pleasant deliberation aboutthe large shrouded room which to Archer was so completean image of its owners.

“不错。我亲爱的父亲就讨厌忙乱,可我们如今却经常处于紧张状态,”范德卢顿先生很有分寸地说,一边从容而又愉快地打量着遮蔽严实的大房间。阿切尔觉得这屋子是其主人完美的化身。

"But I hope you HAD finished your reading, Henry?"his wife interposed.

“我希望你真的已经读完报纸了,亨利?”他妻子插言道。

"Quite--quite," he reassured her.

“完了——读完了,”他向她保证说。

"Then I should like Adeline to tell you--"

“那么,我想让艾德琳对你讲一讲——”

"Oh, it's really Newland's story," said his mothersmiling; and proceeded to rehearse once more the monstroustale of the affront inflicted on Mrs. Lovell Mingott.

“哦,其实是纽兰的事,”母亲面带笑容地说,接着又复述了一遍洛弗尔·明戈特太太蒙受公开侮辱的咄咄怪事。

"Of course," she ended, "Augusta Welland and MaryMingott both felt that, especially in view of Newland'sengagement, you and Henry OUGHT TO KNOW."

“当然,”她最后说,“奥古斯塔·韦兰跟玛丽·明戈特都认为——尤其是考虑到纽兰的订婚——你和亨利是应当知道的。”

"Ah--" said Mr. van der Luyden, drawing a deepbreath.

“噢——”范德卢顿先生深深吸了一口气说。

There was a silence during which the tick of themonumental ormolu clock on the white marble mantelpiecegrew as loud as the boom of a minute-gun. Archercontemplated with awe the two slender faded figures,seated side by side in a kind of viceregal rigidity,mouthpieces of some remote ancestral authority which fatecompelled them to wield, when they would so muchrather have lived in simplicity and seclusion, digginginvisible weeds out of the perfect lawns of Skuytercliff,and playing Patience together in the evenings.

接下来是一阵沉默,白色大理石壁炉台上那架巨大的镀金时钟发出的嘀嗒声变得像葬礼上一分钟鸣放一次的炮声那样轰轰隆隆。阿切尔敬畏地思忖着这两个瘦弱的人,他们肩并肩坐在那儿,像总督一样严肃。是命运强迫他们做了远古祖先的权威代言人,尽管他们可能巴不得深居简出,在斯库特克利夫的草坪上挖除杂草,晚上一起玩纸牌游戏。

Mr. van der Luyden was the first to speak.

范德卢顿先生第一个开口。

"You really think this is due to some--someintentional interference of Lawrence Lefferts's?" he enquired,turning to Archer.

“你真的以为这是劳伦斯·莱弗茨故意——捣乱的结果吗?”他转向阿切尔问道。

"I'm certain of it, sir. Larry has been going it ratherharder than usual lately--if cousin Louisa won't mindmy mentioning it--having rather a stiff affair with thepostmaster's wife in their village, or some one of thatsort; and whenever poor Gertrude Lefferts begins tosuspect anything, and he's afraid of trouble, he gets upa fuss of this kind, to show how awfully moral he is,and talks at the top of his voice about the impertinenceof inviting his wife to meet people he doesn't wish herto know. He's simply using Madame Olenska as alightning-rod; I've seen him try the same thing oftenbefore."

“我敢肯定,大人。拉里最近特别放荡——但愿路易莎舅妈不介意我提这事——和他们村邮电局长的妻子还是什么人打得火热;每当格特鲁德·莱弗茨产生怀疑,他担心要出乱子的时候,就挑起这类事端,以显示他多么讲道德。他扯着嗓门嚷嚷,说邀请他妻子去见他不愿让她见的人是多么不合适。他纯粹是利用奥兰斯卡夫人做避雷针,他这种把戏我以前见得够多了。”

"The LEFFERTSES!--" said Mrs. van der Luyden.

“莱弗茨这家人!——”范德卢顿太太说。

"The LEFFERTSES!--" echoed Mrs. Archer. "What woulduncle Egmont have said of Lawrence Lefferts'spronouncing on anybody's social position? It shows whatSociety has come to."

“莱弗茨这家人!——”阿切尔太太应声说。“假若埃格蒙特舅舅听到劳伦斯·莱弗茨对别人社会地位的看法,他会说什么呢?这说明上流社会已经到了什么地步了。”

"We'll hope it has not quite come to that," said Mr.van der Luyden firmly.

“我们但愿还没到那种地步,”范德卢顿先生坚定地说。

"Ah, if only you and Louisa went out more!" sighedMrs. Archer.

“唉,要是你和路易莎多出去走走就好了!”阿切尔太太叹息道。

But instantly she became aware of her mistake. Thevan der Luydens were morbidly sensitive to any criticismof their secluded existence. They were the arbitersof fashion, the Court of last Appeal, and they knew it,and bowed to their fate. But being shy and retiringpersons, with no natural inclination for their part, theylived as much as possible in the sylvan solitude ofSkuytercliff, and when they came to town, declined allinvitations on the plea of Mrs. van der Luyden's health.

然而她立即意识到了自己的错误。范德卢顿夫妇对有关他们隐居生活的任何批评都敏感得要命。他们是时尚的仲裁人,是终审法院,而且他们深知这一点,并听从命运的安排。但由于他们都属于怯懦畏缩的人,对他们的职责天生缺乏热情,所以他们尽可能多地住在斯库特克利夫幽僻的庄园中,进城的时候也以范德卢顿太太的健康为由,谢绝一切邀请。

Newland Archer came to his mother's rescue."Everybody in New York knows what you and cousinLouisa represent. That's why Mrs. Mingott felt sheought not to allow this slight on Countess Olenska topass without consulting you."

纽兰·阿切尔赶紧出来为母亲解围,“在纽约,人人都明白你和路易莎舅妈代表着什么。正因为如此,明戈特太太才觉得,不应该不与你商量,而听任人家这样侮辱奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人。”

Mrs. van der Luyden glanced at her husband, whoglanced back at her.

范德卢顿太太瞥了丈夫一眼,他也回头瞥了她一眼。

"It is the principle that I dislike," said Mr. van derLuyden. "As long as a member of a well-known familyis backed up by that family it should be considered--final."

“我不喜欢那种做法,”范德卢顿先生说。“只要出身名门的人受到家族的支持,就应该把这种支持看作是——永远不变的。”

"It seems so to me," said his wife, as if she wereproducing a new thought.

“我也有同感,”他妻子仿佛提出一种新观点似地说。

"I had no idea," Mr. van der Luyden continued,"that things had come to such a pass." He paused, andlooked at his wife again. "It occurs to me, my dear,that the Countess Olenska is already a sort of relation--through Medora Manson's first husband. At any rate,she will be when Newland marries." He turned towardthe young man. "Have you read this morning's Times,Newland?"

“我原来并不知道,”范德卢顿先生接着说,“事情已经到了如此尴尬的地步。”他停住话头,又看了看妻子。“我想,亲爱的,奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人已经算是亲戚了 ——通过梅多拉·曼森的第一位丈夫。不管怎么说,等纽兰结了婚,她总算是个亲戚了。”他又转向年轻人说:“你读过今天上午的《时报》了吗,纽兰?”

"Why, yes, sir," said Archer, who usually tossed offhalf a dozen papers with his morning coffee.

“当然,读过了,先生,”阿切尔说,他通常在早晨喝咖啡时匆匆翻阅报纸。

Husband and wife looked at each other again. Theirpale eyes clung together in prolonged and seriousconsultation; then a faint smile fluttered over Mrs. van derLuyden's face. She had evidently guessed and approved.

丈夫与妻子又互相对视了一下。他们的浅色眼睛交汇在一起,进行了长时间的认真协商;接着,一丝笑意掠过范德卢顿太太的面庞,她显然已经猜到结果并且也已经同意了。

Mr. van der Luyden turned to Mrs. Archer. "If Louisa'shealth allowed her to dine out--I wish you wouldsay to Mrs. Lovell Mingott--she and I would havebeen happy to--er--fill the places of the LawrenceLeffertses at her dinner." He paused to let the irony ofthis sink in. "As you know, this is impossible." Mrs.Archer sounded a sympathetic assent. "But Newlandtells me he has read this morning's Times; therefore hehas probably seen that Louisa's relative, the Duke ofSt. Austrey, arrives next week on the Russia. He iscoming to enter his new sloop, the Guinevere, in nextsummer's International Cup Race; and also to have alittle canvasback shooting at Trevenna." Mr. van derLuyden paused again, and continued with increasingbenevolence: "Before taking him down to Marylandwe are inviting a few friends to meet him here--only alittle dinner--with a reception afterward. I am sureLouisa will be as glad as I am if Countess Olenska willlet us include her among our guests." He got up, benthis long body with a stiff friendliness toward his cousin,and added: "I think I have Louisa's authority for sayingthat she will herself leave the invitation to dinewhen she drives out presently: with our cards--of coursewith our cards."

范德卢顿先生转向阿切尔太太说:“假如路易莎的健康状况允许她外出赴宴——希望你转告洛弗尔·明戈特太太——我和她会很愉快地出席她家的宴会——呃——去补劳伦斯·莱弗茨夫妇的缺。”他停顿一下,以便让大家领会其中的讽刺意味。“不过你知道,这是不可能的。”阿切尔太太同情地应了一声表示赞同。“不过纽兰告诉我他已读过上午的《时报》;因此他可能已经发现,路易莎的亲戚圣奥斯特利公爵下周将乘俄罗斯号抵达纽约。他是来为他的帆船几内维亚号参加明年夏天的国际杯比赛进行登记的。他还要在特里文纳打一阵野鸭。”范德卢顿先生又停顿了一下,益发慈祥地接着说:“在说服他去马里兰之前,我们准备请几位朋友在这儿见见他——只不过是个小型宴会——事后还要举行欢迎会。如果奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人肯做我们的客人,我相信路易莎会跟我一样高兴的、”他站了起来,以生硬的友好态度向表妹弯了弯他那修长的身体,又说道:“我想我可以代表路易莎说,她马上就要乘车外出,亲自递送宴会请柬,还有我们的名片——当然还有我们的名片。”

Mrs. Archer, who knew this to be a hint that theseventeen-hand chestnuts which were never kept waitingwere at the door, rose with a hurried murmur ofthanks. Mrs. van der Luyden beamed on her with thesmile of Esther interceding with Ahasuerus; but herhusband raised a protesting hand.

阿切尔太太明白这是让她告辞的暗示,便匆匆低声道着谢站起身来。范德卢顿太太眉开眼笑地看着她,那笑容仿佛是以斯帖正在向亚哈随鲁说情,不过她丈夫却抗议似地举起一只手。

"There is nothing to thank me for, dear Adeline;nothing whatever. This kind of thing must not happenin New York; it shall not, as long as I can help it," hepronounced with sovereign gentleness as he steered hiscousins to the door.

“没什么好谢的,亲爱的艾德琳,一点也不用谢。这种事情不能允许在纽约发生;只要我办得到,就不准再发生。”他带着王者的风范说,一面领着表亲走向门口。

Two hours later, every one knew that the greatC-spring barouche in which Mrs. van der Luydentook the air at all seasons had been seen at oldMrs. Mingott's door, where a large square envelopewas handed in; and that evening at the Opera Mr.Sillerton Jackson was able to state that the envelopecontained a card inviting the Countess Olenskato the dinner which the van der Luydens were givingthe following week for their cousin, the Dukeof St. Austrey.

两小时后,人人都已知道有人见到范德卢顿太太社交季节乘坐兜风的C形弹簧大马车曾在明戈特太太的门前逗留,并递进去一个方形大信封。而当晚在歌剧院里,西勒顿·杰克逊便会说明,那信封里装着一份请柬,邀请奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人参加范德卢顿夫妇下周为表弟圣奥斯特利公爵举办的宴会。

Some of the younger men in the club box exchangeda smile at this announcement, and glanced sideways atLawrence Lefferts, who sat carelessly in the front of thebox, pulling his long fair moustache, and who remarkedwith authority, as the soprano paused: "No one but Patti ought to attempt the Sonnambula."

听了这一通报,俱乐部包厢里几个青年人微笑地交换了一下眼色,并斜眼瞅了瞅劳伦斯·莱弗茨。他在包厢前排坐着,正漫不经心地扯弄他那金色的长胡髭。女高音的歌声一停,他便权威地说:“除了帕蒂,谁都不配演桑那布拉这个角色。”