Sense and Sensibility  理智与情感

About the third or fourth morning after their being thus resettled inBerkeley Street, Mrs. Jennings, on returning from her ordinary visit toMrs. Palmer, entered the drawing-room, where Elinor was sitting byherself, with an air of such hurrying importance as prepared her tohear something wonderful; and giving her time only to form that idea,began directly to justify it, by saying,

  她们妹妹回到伯克利街大约过了三四天的一个上午,詹宁斯太太去看望帕尔默夫人刚回来,见埃丽诺独自坐在客厅里,便急急匆勿、神气十足地走了进去,好让她觉得又要听到什么奇闻了。她只给她转出这个念头的时间,接着马上证实说:

"Lord! my dear Miss Dashwood! have you heard the news?"

  “天哪!亲爱的达什伍德小姐!你有没有听到这个消息?”

"No, ma'am. What is it?"

  “没有,太太。什么消息?”

"Something so strange! But you shall hear it all.-- When I got to Mr.Palmer's, I found Charlotte quite in a fuss about the child. She wassure it was very ill--it cried, and fretted, and was all over pimples.So I looked at it directly, and, 'Lord! my dear,' says I, 'it isnothing in the world, but the red gum--' and nurse said just the same.But Charlotte, she would not be satisfied, so Mr. Donavan was sent for;and luckily he happened to just come in from Harley Street, so hestepped over directly, and as soon as ever Mama, he saidjust as we did, that it was nothing in the world but the red gum, andthen Charlotte was easy. And so, just as he was going away again, itcame into my head, I am sure I do not know how I happened to think ofit, but it came into my head to ask him if there was any news. So uponthat, he smirked, and simpered, and looked grave, and seemed to knowsomething or other, and at last he said in a whisper, 'For fear anyunpleasant report should reach the young ladies under your care as totheir sister's indisposition, I think it advisable to say, that Ibelieve there is no great reason for alarm; I hope Mrs. Dashwood willdo very well.'"

  “好奇怪的事情!不过我会全告诉你的。我刚才到帕尔默先生家里,发现夏洛特为孩子急坏了。她一口咬定孩子病得厉害——孩子哭呀,闹呀,浑身都是丘疹。我当即一瞧,就说:‘天哪!亲爱的,这不是丘疹性寻麻疹才怪呢!’护士也是这么说的,可是夏洛特不肯相信,于是去请多纳万先生。幸亏他刚从哈利街回来,马上就赶来了。他一见到孩子,说的和我说的一模一样,就是丘疹性寻麻疹,夏洛特这才放心。多纳万先生刚想走,我也不知道怎么搞的,居然想起来问他有没有什么消息。他听了得意地傻笑了,然后摆出一副一本正经的神气,看样子像是了解什么秘密似的。最后他小声说道:‘由于担心你们照应的两位小姐得知嫂嫂身体欠安的消息会感到难过,我最好这么说:我认为没有理由大惊小怪,希望达什伍德夫人平安无事。’”

"What! is Fanny ill?"

  “什么?范妮病了!”

"That is exactly what I said, my dear. 'Lord!' says I, 'is Mrs.Dashwood ill?' So then it all came out; and the long and the short ofthe matter, by all I can learn, seems to be this. Mr. Edward Ferrars,the very young man I used to joke with you about (but however, as itturns out, I am monstrous glad there was never any thing in it), Mr.Edward Ferrars, it seems, has been engaged above this twelvemonth to mycousin Lucy!--There's for you, my dear!--And not a creature knowing asyllable of the matter, except Nancy!--Could you have believed such athing possible?-- There is no great wonder in their liking one another;but that matters should be brought so forward between them, and nobodysuspect it!--THAT is strange!--I never happened to see them together,or I am sure I should have found it out directly. Well, and so thiswas kept a great secret, for fear of Mrs. Ferrars, and neither she noryour brother or sister suspected a word of the matter;--till this verymorning, poor Nancy, who, you know, is a well-meaning creature, but noconjurer, popt it all out. 'Lord!' thinks she to herself, 'they areall so fond of Lucy, to be sure they will make no difficulty about it;'and so, away she went to your sister, who was sitting all alone at hercarpet-work, little suspecting what was to come--for she had just beensaying to your brother, only five minutes before, that she thought tomake a match between Edward and some Lord's daughter or other, I forgetwho. So you may think what a blow it was to all her vanity and pride.She fell into violent hysterics immediately, with such screams asreached your brother's ears, as he was sitting in his own dressing-roomdown stairs, thinking about writing a letter to his steward in thecountry. So up he flew directly, and a terrible scene took place, forLucy was come to them by that time, little dreaming what was going on.Poor soul! I pity HER. And I must say, I think she was used veryhardly; for your sister scolded like any fury, and soon drove her intoa fainting fit. Nancy, she fell upon her knees, and cried bitterly;and your brother, he walked about the room, and said he did not knowwhat to do. Mrs. Dashwood declared they should not stay a minutelonger in the house, and your brother was forced to go down upon HISknees too, to persuade her to let them stay till they had packed uptheir clothes. THEN she fell into hysterics again, and he was sofrightened that he would send for Mr. Donavan, and Mr. Donavan foundthe house in all this uproar. The carriage was at the door ready totake my poor cousins away, and they were just stepping in as he cameoff; poor Lucy in such a condition, he says, she could hardly walk; andNancy, she was almost as bad. I declare, I have no patience with yoursister; and I hope, with all my heart, it will be a match in spite ofher. Lord! what a taking poor Mr. Edward will be in when he hears ofit! To have his love used so scornfully! for they say he is monstrousfond of her, as well he may. I should not wonder, if he was to be inthe greatest passion!--and Mr. Donavan thinks just the same. He and Ihad a great deal of talk about it; and the best of all is, that he isgone back again to Harley Street, that he may be within call when Mrs.Ferrars is told of it, for she was sent for as soon as ever my cousinsleft the house, for your sister was sure SHE would be in hysterics too;and so she may, for what I care. I have no pity for either of them. Ihave no notion of people's making such a to-do about money andgreatness. There is no reason on earth why Mr. Edward and Lucy shouldnot marry; for I am sure Mrs. Ferrars may afford to do very well by herson, and though Lucy has next to nothing herself, she knows better thanany body how to make the most of every thing; I dare say, if Mrs.Ferrars would only allow him five hundred a-year, she would make asgood an appearance with it as any body else would with eight. Lord!how snug they might live in such another cottage as yours--or a littlebigger--with two maids, and two men; and I believe I could help them toa housemaid, for my Betty has a sister out of place, that would fitthem exactly."

  “我当时也是这么说的,亲爱的。‘天哪!’我说,‘达什伍德夫人病了?’接着,全都真相大白了。据我了解,事情大概是这样的:爱德华。费拉斯先生,也就是我常常常来取笑你的那位少爷(不过我很高兴,事实证明这些玩笑毫无根据),看来,这位爱德华。费拉斯先生与我表侄女露西订婚已经一年多了。你看,亲爱的,竟有这种事!除了南希,别人居然一点不知道!你能相信会有这种事吗?他们两人相爱,这倒不奇怪。但是事情闹到这个地步,竟然没有引起任何人的猜疑!这也就怪啦!我从来没有看见他们在一起过,不然我肯定马上就能看出苗头。你瞧,他们由于害怕费拉斯太太,就绝对保守秘密。直到今天早晨,一直没有引起他母亲和你哥嫂的丝毫怀疑。到了今天早晨,可怜的南希,你知道她本是个好心人,可就是没长心眼,一股脑儿全给捅出来了。‘天哪!’她自言自语地说,‘她们都这么喜欢露西,将来肯定不会从中刁难啦。’说罢,赶忙跑到你嫂子跟前。你嫂子正独自一个人坐在那儿织地毯,压根儿没想到会出什么事——她五分钟前还在对你哥哥说,她想让爱德华和某某勋爵的女儿配成一对,我忘了是哪位勋爵。因此你可以想象,这对你嫂子的虚荣心和自尊心是多么沉重的打击。她顿时歇斯底里大发作,一个劲地尖声叫喊。你哥哥坐在楼下化妆室里,想给他乡下的管家写封信。听到尖叫声,飞身上楼,随即发生了一个可怕的情景,因为当时露西正好来了,她一点也不知道出了什么事。可怜的人儿!我真可怜她。应该说,我认为她受到了十分无情的对待;因为你嫂子发狂似地破口大骂,露西当即昏厥过去。南希跪在地上,失声痛哭。你哥哥在房里跪来胁去,说他不知道该怎么办。达什伍德夫人宣称,詹宁斯太太说到这里停住了。好在埃丽诺有足够的时间定定心,因而还能合乎情理地做出回答,谈点看法。她高兴地发现,詹宁斯太太并没怀疑她对此事特别感兴趣。而且像她最近常常希望的那样,这位太太不再认为她还眷恋着爱德华。而最使她感到高兴的是,因为玛丽安不在场,她觉得自己完全可以不露窘态地谈论这件事,并且认为,对与这件事有关的每个人的行为,完全可以不抱任何偏见地做出判断。

Here Mrs. Jennings ceased, and as Elinor had had time enough to collecther thoughts, she was able to give such an answer, and make suchobservations, as the subject might naturally be supposed to produce.Happy to find that she was not suspected of any extraordinary interestin it; that Mrs. Jennings (as she had of late often hoped might be thecase) had ceased to imagine her at all attached to Edward; and happyabove all the rest, in the absence of Marianne, she felt very well ableto speak of the affair without embarrassment, and to give her judgment,as she believed, with impartiality on the conduct of every oneconcerned in it.

  到底如何预期事情的结局,她简直捉摸不定,虽然她千方百计地想打消这样的念头,即事情不是以爱德华和露西的结婚告终,而可能出现别的结局。她急切地想知道费拉斯太太会怎么说,怎么办,尽管这本是无可怀疑的事情。她还更加急切地想知道爱德华会如何反应。对于他,她深感同情。对于露西,她只有一点点同情——而这一点点同情还是她好不容易从心窝里挤出来的。对于有关的其他人,她丝毫也不同情。

She could hardly determine what her own expectation of its event reallywas; though she earnestly tried to drive away the notion of its beingpossible to end otherwise at last, than in the marriage of Edward andLucy. What Mrs. Ferrars would say and do, though there could not be adoubt of its nature, she was anxious to hear; and still more anxious toknow how Edward would conduct himself. For HIM she felt muchcompassion;--for Lucy very little--and it cost her some pains toprocure that little;--for the rest of the party none at all.

  由于詹宁斯太太没有别的事情好谈,埃丽诺很快认识到,有必要使玛丽安做好谈论这件事的思想准备。不能再蒙骗她了,要立即向她说明事实真相,尽力使她在听别人谈论的时候,不要露出为姐姐担忧、对爱德华不满的神情。

As Mrs. Jennings could talk on no other subject, Elinor soon saw thenecessity of preparing Marianne for its discussion. No time was to belost in undeceiving her, in making her acquainted with the real truth,and in endeavouring to bring her to hear it talked of by others,without betraying that she felt any uneasiness for her sister, or anyresentment against Edward.

  埃丽诺要做的是件痛苦的事情。她将搞掉的,她确信是她妹妹的主要精神慰藉;详细叙说一下爱德华的情况,这恐怕会永远毁坏她对他的良好印象。另外,在玛丽安看来,她们姐妹俩的遭遇极其相似,这也会重新勾起她自己的失望情绪。但是,尽管事情令人不快,还得照办不误,于是埃丽诺赶忙执行任务去了。

Elinor's office was a painful one.--She was going to remove what shereally believed to be her sister's chief consolation,--to give suchparticulars of Edward as she feared would ruin him for ever in her goodopinion,-and to make Marianne, by a resemblance in their situations,which to HER fancy would seem strong, feel all her own disappointmentover again. But unwelcome as such a task must be, it was necessary tobe done, and Elinor therefore hastened to perform it.

  她绝不想多谈她自己的情感,不想多谈她自己如何痛苦,因为她从第一次获悉爱德华订婚以来所采取的克制态度,可以启迪玛丽安怎么办才比较现实。她说得简单明了,虽说没法做到不动感情,她还是没有过于激动,过于悲伤。真正激动、悲伤的倒是听的人,因为玛丽安惊骇地听着,痛哭不止。埃丽诺倒成了别人的安慰者:妹妹痛苦的时候她要安慰她,她自己痛苦的时候她还得安慰她。她甘愿主动地安慰她,一再保证说她心里很坦然,并且苦口婆心地替爱德华开脱罪责,只承认他有些轻率。

She was very far from wishing to dwell on her own feelings, or torepresent herself as suffering much, any otherwise than as theself-command she had practised since her first knowledge of Edward'sengagement, might suggest a hint of what was practicable to Marianne.Her narration was clear and simple; and though it could not be givenwithout emotion, it was not accompanied by violent agitation, norimpetuous grief.--THAT belonged rather to the hearer, for Mariannelistened with horror, and cried excessively. Elinor was to be thecomforter of others in her own distresses, no less than in theirs; andall the comfort that could be given by assurances of her own composureof mind, and a very earnest vindication of Edward from every charge butof imprudence, was readily offered.

  但是,玛丽安眼下不肯相信那两个人。爱德华好像是第二个威洛比。她像埃丽诺一样,明知她曾经真心实意地爱过他,这怎么能叫她心里感到好受呢!至于露西。斯蒂尔,她认为她一点也不可爱。一个有理智的男人根本不可能爱上她。因此,爱德华先前钟情于她,始而使她无法置信,继而使她无法谅解。她甚至不愿承认这本是很自然的事情。埃丽诺只好让她通过对世人的进一步了解,来认识事情的必然性,只有这样才能使她信服。

But Marianne for some time would give credit to neither. Edward seemeda second Willoughby; and acknowledging as Elinor did, that she HADloved him most sincerely, could she feel less than herself! As forLucy Steele, she considered her so totally unamiable, so absolutelyincapable of attaching a sensible man, that she could not be persuadedat first to believe, and afterwards to pardon, any former affection ofEdward for her. She would not even admit it to have been natural; andElinor left her to be convinced that it was so, by that which onlycould convince her, a better knowledge of mankind.

  埃丽诺在第一次交谈中,只谈到订婚这件事以及订婚多长时间了。这时玛丽安心里实在忍受不了,打断了姐姐有条不紊的详细叙述。一时间,埃丽诺只能设法减轻她的痛苦,使她不要那么大惊小怪,满腹怨恨。玛丽安提出的第一个问题又引出了更多的细枝未节:

Her first communication had reached no farther than to state the factof the engagement, and the length of time it had existed.--Marianne'sfeelings had then broken in, and put an end to all regularity ofdetail; and for some time all that could be done was to soothe herdistress, lessen her alarms, and combat her resentment. The firstquestion on her side, which led to farther particulars, was,--

  “埃丽诺,这个情况你知道有多久了?他给你写过信没有?”

"How long has this been known to you, Elinor? has he written to you?"

  “我知道有四个月了。露西去年十一月初次来巴顿庄园时,私下告诉我她已订了婚。”

"I have known it these four months. When Lucy first came to BartonPark last November, she told me in confidence of her engagement."

  听了这话,玛丽安嘴里没说,目光里却流露出十分惊讶的神气。她诧异地顿了顿,然后惊叹道:

At these words, Marianne's eyes expressed the astonishment which herlips could not utter. After a pause of wonder, she exclaimed--

  “四个月!这事你已知道四个月啦?”

"Four months!--Have you known of this four months?"

  埃丽诺肯定了这一点。

Elinor confirmed it.

  “什么!我遭到不幸你来照料我的时候,原来自己也有这种伤心事儿?而我还责备你快活呢!”

"What!--while attending me in all my misery, has this been on yourheart?--And I have reproached you for being happy!"--

  “实际情况恰恰相反,但是当时还不便于让你知道。”

"It was not fit that you should then know how much I was the reverse!"

  “四个月!”玛丽安再次嚷道,“这么镇定!这么乐观!你怎么忍得住啊?”

"Four months!"--cried Marianne again.--"So calm!--so cheerful!--howhave you been supported?"--

  “我觉得我在尽我的本分。我向露西许过诺,一定要保守秘密。因此,我要向她负责,不能透露一点风声;我还要向我的亲友负责,不让他们为我担忧,我无法告诉他们事实真相。”

"By feeling that I was doing my duty.--My promise to Lucy, obliged meto be secret. I owed it to her, therefore, to avoid giving any hint ofthe truth; and I owed it to my family and friends, not to create inthem a solicitude about me, which it could not be in my power tosatisfy."

  玛丽安似乎大为感动。

Marianne seemed much struck.

  “我常想别再让你和母亲蒙在鼓里,”埃丽诺接着说,“我试过一两次,但是,要想让你们相信,你势必要违背自己的谎言。”

"I have very often wished to undeceive yourself and my mother," addedElinor; "and once or twice I have attempted it;--but without betrayingmy trust, I never could have convinced you."

  “四个月!可你还爱着他!”

"Four months!--and yet you loved him!"--

  “是的。当时,我不单单爱他,还生怕引起亲友的不安,宁愿不让大家知道我有多么难过。现在,无论想起这件事,还是谈起这件事,我都可以做到无动于衷。我不想让你们为我受苦,我可以向你保证,我已经不再过于悲痛了。我有很多可以聊以自慰的地方。我知道,这次失意决不是由于我自己的轻率引起的,而且我一直尽量忍着,没有宣扬出去。我还替爱德华开脱,说他没有什么大不了的过错。我希望他非常幸福,确信他一贯很尽职,现在虽说可能有点悔恨,最终一定会幸福的。露西并不缺乏理智,这是造成美满姻缘的基础。无论如何,玛丽安,尽管有关对象专一、始终不渝的爱情的概念十妥迷惑人,尽管人们可以说一个人的幸福完全依赖于某一个人,但是这并不意味应该如此--那是不恰当,不可能的。爱德华要娶露西。他要娶一个才貌胜过半数女性的女人。随着时间的推移、习性的改变,他以后会忘记,他曾经认为有人比她强。”

"Yes. But I did not love only him;--and while the comfort of others wasdear to me, I was glad to spare them from knowing how much I felt.Now, I can think and speak of it with little emotion. I would not haveyou suffer on my account; for I assure you I no longer suffermaterially myself. I have many things to support me. I am notconscious of having provoked the disappointment by any imprudence of myown, I have borne it as much as possible without spreading it farther.I acquit Edward of essential misconduct. I wish him very happy; and Iam so sure of his always doing his duty, that though now he may harboursome regret, in the end he must become so. Lucy does not want sense,and that is the foundation on which every thing good may be built.--Andafter all, Marianne, after all that is bewitching in the idea of asingle and constant attachment, and all that can be said of one'shappiness depending entirely on any particular person, it is notmeant--it is not fit--it is not possible that it should be so.-- Edwardwill marry Lucy; he will marry a woman superior in person andunderstanding to half her sex; and time and habit will teach him toforget that he ever thought another superior to HER."--

  “如果你这样思考问题,”玛丽安说,“如果失去最珍贵的东西可以如此轻易地用别的东西加以弥补,那么你的坚韧不拔和自我克制也许就不足怪了。这就让我更容易理解了。”

"If such is your way of thinking," said Marianne, "if the loss of whatis most valued is so easily to be made up by something else, yourresolution, your self-command, are, perhaps, a little less to bewondered at.--They are brought more within my comprehension."

  “我明白你的意思。你以为我一直无所谓似的。玛丽安,这四个月以来,这桩事一直坠在我的心上,我不能随意向任何一个人倾诉。我知道,一旦和向你和母亲作解释,非但不会让你们做好任何思想准备,反而会引起你们的极大痛苦。告诉我这件事的--而且是强迫我听的,就是先前同爱德华订过婚,毁了我一生前程的那个人。我觉得,她是带着洋洋得意的神气告诉我的。这人对我有疑心,我只好和她对着来,当她讲到我最感兴趣的地方,我偏偏装出似听非听的样子。这事还不止发生过一次,我要三番五次地听好叙说她如何满怀希望,如何欣喜若狂。我知道我与爱德华永远分离了,但是我没听到一桩事情使我觉得和他结合有什么不理想的,没有任何情况证明他不值得钟情,也没有任何情况表明他对我冷漠无情。我要顶住他姐姐的冷酷无情、他母亲的蛮横无礼,吃尽了痴情的苦头,却没尝到什么甜头。而且你知道得一清二楚,这一切发生的时候,我还不单单遇到这一件不幸呢。如果你认为还有感情的话,你现在当然会想象得到,我一直很痛苦。我现在考虑问题之所以头脑比较冷静,我也愿意承认自己得到了安慰,不过那都是一直拼命到宽慰。没有的玛丽安。当时,我若不是必顺保持缄默,也许无论什么事情--即使我对最亲密的朋友所承担的义务--也不可能阻止我公开表明我非常不幸。”

"I understand you.--You do not suppose that I have ever felt much.--Forfour months, Marianne, I have had all this hanging on my mind, withoutbeing at liberty to speak of it to a single creature; knowing that itwould make you and my mother most unhappy whenever it were explained toyou, yet unable to prepare you for it in the least.-- It was toldme,--it was in a manner forced on me by the very person herself, whoseprior engagement ruined all my prospects; and told me, as I thought,with triumph.-- This person's suspicions, therefore, I have had tooppose, by endeavouring to appear indifferent where I have been mostdeeply interested;--and it has not been only once;--I have had herhopes and exultation to listen to again and again.-- I have knownmyself to be divided from Edward for ever, without hearing onecircumstance that could make me less desire the connection.--Nothinghas proved him unworthy; nor has anything declared him indifferent tome.-- I have had to contend against the unkindness of his sister, andthe insolence of his mother; and have suffered the punishment of anattachment, without enjoying its advantages.-- And all this has beengoing on at a time, when, as you know too well, it has not been my onlyunhappiness.-- If you can think me capable of ever feeling--surely youmay suppose that I have suffered NOW. The composure of mind with whichI have brought myself at present to consider the matter, theconsolation that I have been willing to admit, have been the effect ofconstant and painful exertion;--they did not spring up ofthemselves;--they did not occur to relieve my spirits at first.-- No,Marianne.--THEN, if I had not been bound to silence, perhaps nothingcould have kept me entirely--not even what I owed to my dearestfriends--from openly shewing that I was VERY unhappy."--

  玛丽安被彻底说服了。

Marianne was quite subdued.--

  “噢!埃丽诺,”她嚷道,“我要痛恨自己一辈子。我对你太残忍啦!一向只有你在安慰我,我悲痛的时候你和我患难与共,就好像只是为我忍受痛苦似的!可我就这样感激你?就这样报答你?你的好品格表现得如此明显,我却一直不当一回事。”

"Oh! Elinor," she cried, "you have made me hate myself for ever.--Howbarbarous have I been to you!--you, who have been my only comfort, whohave borne with me in all my misery, who have seemed to be onlysuffering for me!--Is this my gratitude?--Is this the only return I canmake you?--Because your merit cries out upon myself, I have been tryingto do it away."

  话音一落,接着便是一阵热烈的亲吻。她现在处于这种心情,任凭埃丽诺提出什么要求,她都会满口答应的。经姐姐要求,玛丽安保证决不带着丝毫苦相跟任何人谈论这件事;见到露西决不露出丝毫更加厌恶的神色;即使偶然见到爱德华本人,也要一如既往地热诚相待,决不能有任何怠慢。这是很了不起的退让,不过玛丽安一旦感到自己冤枉了别人,只要能弥补过失,叫她做什么她都在所不辞。

The tenderest caresses followed this confession. In such a frame ofmind as she was now in, Elinor had no difficulty in obtaining from herwhatever promise she required; and at her request, Marianne engagednever to speak of the affair to any one with the least appearance ofbitterness;--to meet Lucy without betraying the smallest increase ofdislike to her;--and even to see Edward himself, if chance should bringthem together, without any diminution of her usual cordiality.-- Thesewere great concessions;--but where Marianne felt that she had injured,no reparation could be too much for her to make.

  她恪守诺言,果然谨慎可嘉。詹宁斯太太在这个问题上不管怎么唠叨,她都不动声色地倾听着,从不表示一点异议,并且三次说道:“是的,太太。”她听她赞扬露西,只是身不由己地从一张椅子挪到另一张椅子上。詹宁斯太太谈到爱德华的一片深情时,她只不过喉头痉挛了一下。看见妹妹表现得如此坚强,埃丽诺觉得自己也能经得起任何考验。

She performed her promise of being discreet, to admiration.--Sheattended to all that Mrs. Jennings had to say upon the subject, with anunchanging complexion, dissented from her in nothing, and was heardthree times to say, "Yes, ma'am."--She listened to her praise of Lucywith only moving from one chair to another, and when Mrs. Jenningstalked of Edward's affection, it cost her only a spasm in herthroat.--Such advances towards heroism in her sister, made Elinor feelequal to any thing herself.

  第二天早晨,她们的哥哥来访,给她们带来了进一步的考验。他带着极其严肃的表情,谈起了这桩可怕的事情,并且带来了他太太的消息。

The next morning brought a farther trial of it, in a visit from theirbrother, who came with a most serious aspect to talk over the dreadfulaffair, and bring them news of his wife.

  “我想你们都听说了吧,”他刚刚坐定,便一本正经地说道,“我们家里昨天有个十分惊人的发现。”

"You have heard, I suppose," said he with great solemnity, as soon ashe was seated, "of the very shocking discovery that took place underour roof yesterday."

  她们看样子都表示同意。这似乎是个严肃的时刻,大家都噤若寒蝉。

They all looked their assent; it seemed too awful a moment for speech.

  “你们的嫂嫂,”他接着说,“痛苦极了。费拉斯太太也是如此——总之一句话,一幅十分悲惨的情景。不过,我希望这起风暴就会过去,别把我们任何人搞得狼狈不堪。可怜的范妮!她昨天歇斯底里了一整天。不过,我不想过于惊吓你们。多纳万说,没有什么大不了的,不必担忧,她体质好,又有毅力,怎么也顶得住。她以天使般的坚毅精神硬挺下来了!她说,她决不会再瞧得起任何人。这也难怪,她受了骗啊!她是那样厚待她们,那样信任她们,她们却这样忘恩负义。她是出自一片好心,才把这两位年轻小姐请到家里的。她之所以这样做,只是因为她觉得她们值得器重,都是天真无邪、规规矩矩的姑娘,,可以成为愉快的伙伴。要不然,在你那位好心的朋友侍候女儿期间,我俩倒很想邀请你和玛丽安来家作客。现在可好,受到这种报答!可怜的范妮情深意切地说:‘我打心眼里希望,我们当初请的是你妹妹,而不是她们。’”

"Your sister," he continued, "has suffered dreadfully. Mrs. Ferrarstoo--in short it has been a scene of such complicated distress--but Iwill hope that the storm may be weathered without our being any of usquite overcome. Poor Fanny! she was in hysterics all yesterday. But Iwould not alarm you too much. Donavan says there is nothing materiallyto be apprehended; her constitution is a good one, and her resolutionequal to any thing. She has borne it all, with the fortitude of anangel! She says she never shall think well of anybody again; and onecannot wonder at it, after being so deceived!--meeting with suchingratitude, where so much kindness had been shewn, so much confidencehad been placed! It was quite out of the benevolence of her heart,that she had asked these young women to her house; merely because shethought they deserved some attention, were harmless, well-behavedgirls, and would be pleasant companions; for otherwise we both wishedvery much to have invited you and Marianne to be with us, while yourkind friend there, was attending her daughter. And now to be sorewarded! 'I wish, with all my heart,' says poor Fanny in heraffectionate way, 'that we had asked your sisters instead of them.'"

  他说到这里停住了,等着对方道谢。接受谢意之后,他又继续说下去。

Here he stopped to be thanked; which being done, he went on.

  “费拉斯太太真可怜,范妮第一次向她透露这个消息时,她那个痛苦劲儿,简直没法形容。本来、她怀着赤诚的慈爱之心,一直想给儿子安排一门最合适的婚事,哪想到他居然早就同另一个人秘密订了婚:她万万想不到会出这种事!假使她怀疑他已早有对象,那也不可能是那个人。她说:‘对那个人,我本认为自己可以大胆放心的。’她痛心极啦。不过,我们一起商量了该怎么办,最后她决定把爱德华叫来,他来是来了,但是说起后来的事情,真叫人遗憾。费拉斯太太苦口婆心地动员他终止婚约,而且你完全可以想象,我和范妮也在帮着动员、我以理相劝,范妮一再恳求,可是徒劳无益。什么义务啊,感情啊,全被置之度外,我以前从没想到爱德华这么固执,这么无情。他假若娶丁莫顿小姐,他母亲可有些慷慨的打算,并且都向他交了底。她说她要把诺福克的地产传给他,这宗地产用不着缴纳土地税,每年足有一千镑的进益。后来,眼看事情严重了,她甚至提出加到一千二百镑。与此相反,她还向他说明:如果他们依然坚持要和那位出身低贱的女人结婚,那么婚后必然会陷入贫穷。她断言说:他自己的两千镑将是他的全部财产;她永远不要再见到他;她决不会给他一丝一毫的帮助,假如他捞到一个有作为的职业,那她也要干方百计地阻止他飞黄腾达。”

"What poor Mrs. Ferrars suffered, when first Fanny broke it to her, isnot to be described. While she with the truest affection had beenplanning a most eligible connection for him, was it to be supposed thathe could be all the time secretly engaged to another person!--such asuspicion could never have entered her head! If she suspected ANYprepossession elsewhere, it could not be in THAT quarter. 'THERE, tobe sure,' said she, 'I might have thought myself safe.' She was quitein an agony. We consulted together, however, as to what should bedone, and at last she determined to send for Edward. He came. But Iam sorry to relate what ensued. All that Mrs. Ferrars could say tomake him put an end to the engagement, assisted too as you may wellsuppose by my arguments, and Fanny's entreaties, was of no avail.Duty, affection, every thing was disregarded. I never thought Edwardso stubborn, so unfeeling before. His mother explained to him herliberal designs, in case of his marrying Miss Morton; told him shewould settle on him the Norfolk estate, which, clear of land-tax,brings in a good thousand a-year; offered even, when matters grewdesperate, to make it twelve hundred; and in opposition to this, if hestill persisted in this low connection, represented to him the certainpenury that must attend the match. His own two thousand pounds sheprotested should be his all; she would never see him again; and so farwould she be from affording him the smallest assistance, that if hewere to enter into any profession with a view of better support, shewould do all in her power to prevent him advancing in it."

  玛丽安听到这里,顿时怒不可遏,两手啪地一拍,大声嚷道:“天哪!这可能吗?”

Here Marianne, in an ecstasy of indignation, clapped her handstogether, and cried, "Gracious God! can this be possible!"

  “玛丽安,”她哥哥回答道,“你完全有理由对他的顽固不化表示惊异,她母亲如此讲道理他都不听。你的惊叹是很自然的。”

"Well may you wonder, Marianne," replied her brother, "at the obstinacywhich could resist such arguments as these. Your exclamation is verynatural."

  玛丽安正要反驳,但又想起了自己的许诺,只好忍住。

Marianne was going to retort, but she remembered her promises, andforbore.

  “然而,”约斡继续说道,“这一切都没效果。爱德华很少说话,说了几句,态度很坚决。别人怎么劝说,他也不肯放弃婚约。不管付出多大代价,他也要坚持到底。”

"All this, however," he continued, "was urged in vain. Edward saidvery little; but what he did say, was in the most determined manner.Nothing should prevail on him to give up his engagement. He wouldstand to it, cost him what it might."

  “这么说,”詹宁斯太太再也无法保持缄默了,便带着直率而诚挚的口气嚷道,“他这样做倒像个老实人。请恕我直言,达什伍德先生,他假若采取另外一套做法的话,我倒要把他看作无赖了。我和你一样,和这件事多少有点关系,因为露西。斯蒂尔是我的表侄女。我相信天下没有比她更好的姑娘啦,谁也没有她更配嫁个好丈夫的了。”

"Then," cried Mrs. Jennings with blunt sincerity, no longer able to besilent, "he has acted like an honest man! I beg your pardon, Mr.Dashwood, but if he had done otherwise, I should have thought him arascal. I have some little concern in the business, as well asyourself, for Lucy Steele is my cousin, and I believe there is not abetter kind of girl in the world, nor one who more deserves a goodhusband."

  约翰。达什伍德大为惊讶。不过他性情文静,很少发火,从不愿意得罪任何人,特别是有钱人。因此,他心平气和地答道:

John Dashwood was greatly astonished; but his nature was calm, not opento provocation, and he never wished to offend anybody, especiallyanybody of good fortune. He therefore replied, without any resentment,

  “太太,我决不想非议你的哪位亲戚。露西。斯蒂尔小姐也许是个非常令人器重的年轻女子,但是你知道,目前这门亲事是不可能的。也许,能和她舅舅照应下的年轻人秘密订婚,而这位年轻人又是费拉斯太太这样一位特别有钱的女人的儿子,这总归有点异乎寻常。总而言之,詹宁斯太太,我并不想非难你所宠爱的任何人的行为。我们大家都祝她无比幸福。费拉斯太太的行为自始至终都不过分,每个认真负责的慈母在同样情况下,都会采取同样的处置办法。她做得体面大方。爱德华已经做出了命运的抉择,我担心这是个错误的抉择。”

"I would by no means speak disrespectfully of any relation of yours,madam. Miss Lucy Steele is, I dare say, a very deserving young woman,but in the present case you know, the connection must be impossible.And to have entered into a secret engagement with a young man under heruncle's care, the son of a woman especially of such very large fortuneas Mrs. Ferrars, is perhaps, altogether a little extraordinary. Inshort, I do not mean to reflect upon the behaviour of any person whomyou have a regard for, Mrs. Jennings. We all wish her extremely happy;and Mrs. Ferrars's conduct throughout the whole, has been such as everyconscientious, good mother, in like circumstances, would adopt. It hasbeen dignified and liberal. Edward has drawn his own lot, and I fearit will be a bad one."

  玛丽安发出一阵叹息,表示了同样的担心。埃丽诺替爱德华感到痛心,他不顾他母亲的威胁,硬要娶一个不会给他带来报偿的女

Marianne sighed out her similar apprehension; and Elinor's heart wrungfor the feelings of Edward, while braving his mother's threats, for awoman who could not reward him.

  “先生,”詹宁斯太太说,“后来怎么样啦?”

"Well, sir," said Mrs. Jennings, "and how did it end?"

  “说起来真遗憾,太太,结果发生了极其不幸的决裂——爱德华被撵走了,他母亲永远不想见到他。他昨天离开家,可是到哪儿去了,现在是否还在城里,我一概不得而知,因为我们当然不好打听啦。”

"I am sorry to say, ma'am, in a most unhappy rupture:-- Edward isdismissed for ever from his mother's notice. He left her houseyesterday, but where he is gone, or whether he is still in town, I donot know; for WE of course can make no inquiry."

  “可怜的年轻人!他将怎么办啊?”

"Poor young man!--and what is to become of him?"

  “真的,怎么办啊,太太!想起来真叫人伤心。生来本是个亨福的命!我无法想象还有比这更悲惨的境况。靠两千镑得到点利息——一个人怎么能靠这点钱生活!他若不是因为自己傻,本来三个月后还可以每年享有两千五百镑的收入(因为莫顿小姐有三万镑的财产)。考虑到这一点,我无法想象还有比这更悲惨的境况。我们大家都为他担心,因为我们完全没有能力帮助他,这就更为他担心。”

"What, indeed, ma'am! It is a melancholy consideration. Born to theprospect of such affluence! I cannot conceive a situation moredeplorable. The interest of two thousand pounds--how can a man live onit?--and when to that is added the recollection, that he might, but forhis own folly, within three months have been in the receipt of twothousand, five hundred a-year (for Miss Morton has thirty thousandpounds,) I cannot picture to myself a more wretched condition. We mustall feel for him; and the more so, because it is totally out of ourpower to assist him."

  “可怜的年轻人!”詹宁斯太太嚷道,“我真欢迎他来我家吃住。我要能见到他,就这么对他说。他现在还不该自费生活,不能到处住公寓,住旅馆。”

"Poor young man!" cried Mrs. Jennings, "I am sure he should be verywelcome to bed and board at my house; and so I would tell him if Icould see him. It is not fit that he should be living about at his owncharge now, at lodgings and taverns."

  埃丽诺打心眼里感谢她如此关心爱德华,虽然关心的方式使她不禁感到好笑。

Elinor's heart thanked her for such kindness towards Edward, though shecould not forbear smiling at the form of it.

  “朋友们一心想帮助他,”约翰。达什伍德说,“他只要自爱一些,现在也就称心如意了,真是要什么有什么。但在事实上,谁也帮不了他的忙。而且他还面临着另一个惩罚,大概比什么都糟糕-—他母亲带着一种自然而然的心情,决定把那份地产立即传给罗伯特。本来,爱德华要是接受合理的条件,这份地产就是他的了。我今天早晨离开费拉斯太太时,她正在和她的律师商量这件事。”

"If he would only have done as well by himself," said John Dashwood,"as all his friends were disposed to do by him, he might now have beenin his proper situation, and would have wanted for nothing. But as itis, it must be out of anybody's power to assist him. And there is onething more preparing against him, which must be worse than all--hismother has determined, with a very natural kind of spirit, to settleTHAT estate upon Robert immediately, which might have been Edward's, onproper conditions. I left her this morning with her lawyer, talkingover the business."

  “哎呀!”詹宁斯太太说,“那是她的报复。每个人都有自己的做法。不过我想,我不会因为一个儿子惹恼了我,就把财产传给另一个儿子。”

"Well!" said Mrs. Jennings, "that is HER revenge. Everybody has a wayof their own. But I don't think mine would be, to make one sonindependent, because another had plagued me."

  玛丽安立起身,在房里踱来踱去。

Marianne got up and walked about the room.

  “一个人眼看着本该属于自己的地产却被弟弟捞去,”约翰继续说道,“还有什么事情比这更叫人烦恼的?可怜的爱德华!我真心实意地同情他。”

"Can anything be more galling to the spirit of a man," continued John,"than to see his younger brother in possession of an estate which mighthave been his own? Poor Edward! I feel for him sincerely."

  就这么慷慨激昂地又说了一阵之后,约翰的访问便结束了。他一再向他妹妹保证说,他确信范妮的病情没有什么大危险,因此她们不必过于担忧。说罢便走了出去,留下的三位太太小姐对当前这个问题倒取得了一致的看法,至少对费拉斯太太、达什伍德夫妇和爱德华的行为,看法是一致的。

A few minutes more spent in the same kind of effusion, concluded hisvisit; and with repeated assurances to his sisters that he reallybelieved there was no material danger in Fanny's indisposition, andthat they need not therefore be very uneasy about it, he went away;leaving the three ladies unanimous in their sentiments on the presentoccasion, as far at least as it regarded Mrs. Ferrars's conduct, theDashwoods', and Edward's.

  约翰。达什伍德一走出房,玛丽安便气得大发雷霆,而她的发作又使埃丽诺不可能保持缄默,使詹宁斯太太没必要保持缄默,于是她们三人联台起来,把那伙人狠批了一通。

Marianne's indignation burst forth as soon as he quitted the room; andas her vehemence made reserve impossible in Elinor, and unnecessary inMrs. Jennings, they all joined in a very spirited critique upon theparty.