混混噩噩的生活不值得过
The unexamined life is not worth living
4185字
2019-12-21 16:40
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火星译客

Enter the unexpected-and I dislike the unexpected, as the man said, unless I have had a chance to prepare for it. The fourth item I took out of my pocket was a postcard, closely written, and forwarded from our New York address of nine years ago. At the bottom of the hill, at the last edge of sun, in the small of crushed eucalyptus buttons, I stopped and read it.

意想不到的事情出现了。像某人所说,我不喜欢突发事件,除非提前做好了心理准备。从口袋中拿出来的第4个信件是一张明信片,上面密密麻麻的字,是从我们9年前在纽约的住址转寄过来的。走到山脚,夕阳散发着最后一抹光彩,空气中弥漫着被压碎的按树叶的味道。我停下了脚步,读那张明信片。 

Dear friends---

亲爱的朋友: 

How are you? It is so long a time! Just outside this village, which you know, I am living quite a quiet life. Mu husband did suffer a stroke and I moved him here to a house which Eigil gives us. He is like a child, he takes much care. The castle is as you saw it, no better-I see only Manon. But we have nothing and cannot choose. I had to sell even my little Elebacken cottage, which I loved. But here where I grew up it is also beautiful. I walk and paint. Last month I had an exhibition in Copenhagen and sold nearly all. Often I wonder about you, if you have found your safe place. I wish much happiness to you both.

最近过的怎么样?很久没见了!你知道,我就住在这个村子的外面,过着安静的生活。我丈夫确实中风了,艾伊尔给了我们一个房子,我俩就搬到那个房子里了。他像个孩子,需要悉心照料。城堡还是那个老样子,我只能和玛农说说话。但是我们一无所有,也别无选择。我不得不卖掉心爱的埃勒巴肯农舍。不过这里也是我长大的地方,也很漂亮。我经常散步和画画。上月在哥本哈根举办了画展,几乎全部卖空。我经常会想起你们,不知道你们是否己找到有安全感的地方。希望你们快乐幸福。 

I closed the notebook and laid it aside and went to the closet for my pajama. Ruth did not protest. She lay petting Catarrh, watching his hair lift with static. I was buttoning the pajama coat when she said, “It’s funny, you keep speaking of her as ‘the countess’”

我合上日记放在一旁,到衣柜里拿了件睡衣。露丝没有说什么。她躺在那里抚摸着卡塔,看着他的猫毛静电竖起。我正扣睡衣的扣子,这时她说:“你一直称呼她为‘女伯爵’,真有意思。”

“That’s what she was. I’m a plain American boy, Ii don’t go around calling the nobility by their first names. I’m like Minnie. Their status is what impresses me, not their names. That Eyetalian. The countess.”

那是她的头衔。我只是个平凡的美国男孩。我跟明妮一样,不习惯直呼贵族的名字。让我记住他们的是他们的头衔,而不是他们的名字。那个意大利人、那个女伯爵等等。” 

“I called her by her first name after the first day or so.”

“差不多第一天以后我就开始叫她的名字了。”

“Well, I didn’t, after two or three months. Ever. She called me Mr. Allston and I gave her back the full business. When I tried Danish, I didn’t Du her, I De-ed her.”

  “好吧,不过我没有。两三个月后,我还足如此。她叫我奥尔斯顿先生,我也还是这样称呼她。” 

“Yes.” She handed me the limp cat.” Here, Catarrh had better go out. Put him out the front so he can get to the flower bed without getting wet.”

“是的。”她递给我那只又瘸又拐的猫。“接着,还是让卡塔出去溜溜吧。把它放在前院,这样它就能到花床那里,并且不会沾上水。” 

I carried him to the front door and set him out in the entry surrounded by the drip and splash of rain. He stood with his back humped and then made a bolt to get back in, but I blocked him with my foot. “Go on and do your business,” I said, “and when you’re done, come in the cat door even if you do have to wet your feet. Don’t stand around the bedroom door yowling.”

我把它带到前面的门那里,把它放在门口。门外雨滴不断,水花飞溅。它弓着身在那里站着,然后突然猛地往屋里冲,但是我用脚挡住了它。“继续千你的事,”我说,“你上完了,即使你确实把爪子弄湿了也回你的猫窝去。别站在卧室门外面叫春。

He looked up at me as if he hated my guts. His eyes were as blue as Erik Wredel-Krarup’s, and his lip was cleft. I shut the door on him.

它抬起眼看着我,好像对我恨之入骨。它的眼晴像埃里克一样蓝,嘴唇裂开。我把它关在了门外。

In the bedroom Ruth had turned off the bed light and settled down. I snapped off the reading lamp by the chair and stood in the dark listing to the uninterrupted rain. Then I crawled into bed and put my arm around Ruth, soft and familiar, and without turning she laid her hand on my hand and squeezed, “Thanks, darling.”

回到卧室,露丝已经把灯关了睡下了。我关掉椅子旁边的台灯,站在黑夜中听着连绵不断的雨声。然后我爬上床,搂住露丝,那感觉柔软而又熟悉。她没有转身,就那样把手放在我手上,搽紧了一些。“亲爱的,谢谢你。” 

“Hvorfor?” I said, bemused by what we have been remembering, and oddly dim in the sight from looking down some roads not taken.

“Hvorfor?”我说。对于一直以来储存在我们脑海中的记忆我感到困惑,看着我们之前未经历的时刻也觉得奇怪。

There is feeling part of us that does not grow old at all. If we could peel off the callus, and wanted to, there we would be, untouched by time, unwithered, vulnerable, afflicted and volatile and blind to consequence, a set of twitches as beyond control as an adolescent’s erections. It is this feeling creature that Ruth keeps wistfully trying to expose in me. To have me admit to yearnings and anguishes, even if they threatened her, would allow her to forgive and pity me, and since she has trouble getting me to hold still for outward affection, forgiveness and pity are not unimportant. If she can do that small thing, after years of failing to make me over into what she wishes I were, she can devote herself unselfishly to me without fear that she is pounding sand down a rathole. Catching me with my feelings showing would give her power over me as surely as if she had collected my nail parings and tufts of my hair.

在我们身体里有一种感觉并没有随着时光的流逝而变老。如果我们能够拨开老茧,想要不受时间的干扰,那么我们就可以不凋零,但也会脆弱、受折磨、情绪不稳定、不理智,控制不住地各种抽搐,就像青少年时期男生会勃起一样。这种感觉就是露丝一直想从我的身体中揭露的东西。为了让我承认我的渴望与痛苦,即使这两种让她害怕,她也愿意原谅我,同情我。自从她不能让我不受外界的影响,这种原谅与同情就至关重要了。这对她来说是小事一桩,但是如果她能做到这些,即使若干年后她没有把我变成她想要的样子,她也可以无私地把自己奉献给我,不用担心自己填的是一个无底洞。看到我的情感流露会给予她控制我的力量,就好像找到了我成对的指甲和几络头发一样。

Is this unjust? Obviously. In protecting myself against circumstances, or against myself, I pretend to protect myself against her.

这是不是不公平呢?当然不公平了。我假装是保护自己不受她伤害,但实际上我是在对抗各种环境,或者说是对抗自己。

Ruth strikes a lot of people as a cute lively little lady, bright, cultivated, interested inpeople, a good listener and a chatterbox of a talker. Some of them overlook thePresbyterian missionary in her, some of them fail to see the Salvation Army lass, mostof them have never seen the shrew. They all know the warmth and sympathy she feelsfor all sorts of human misfortune or cussedness, but even Ben Alexander, until he hadacted as her doctor for a couple of years, failed to comprehend the anxious tensionthat both holds her together and threatens to warp her out of shape. And nobody butme knows the little girl of about six who is buried in her, as ineradicable as the uneasyadolescent who is buried in me. Tell me a story, Daddy. Tell about when you were ateenager of fifty. Tell about Denmark, where you were so sad.She was already in bed, without a book, waiting, when I came into the bedroom afterturning down the thermostats and switching off the lights. The storm had blown itselfout in the afternoon, but the clogged downspout was still dripping through whateverclogged it, and big regular drops thuhked against the turned tin at the bottom. She had me go out and stuff a washcloth into the spout to kill the noise, and when I came in she was all business." Well," she said. "Where were we?"

在很多人眼中,露丝都是个活泼可爱、身材娇小的淑女;知性聪慧,乐于交际;善于倾听,能言善道。一些人忽视了她本是长老会传教士,一些人忽视了她为救世军工作,但大多数人没见过的是她撒泼时的样子。人们都知道对于各种人类的不幸和乖癖,她都会展现出温暖和理解的一面。但是即使是本·亚历山大也是在他当露丝医生若干年后才明白她的焦虑感既让她保持正常,也让她几近疯狂。只有我知道她心底住着个六岁的女孩,就像我心底住着个不安的少年一样。就这样,变不了了。爸爸,给我讲个故事吧,给我讲讲你年过五旬但仍是少年的故事,给我讲讲让你那么伤心的丹麦之旅。  我把取暖器温度调低,关了灯。回房间的时候,露丝已经在床上等着了,手里没拿书。暴风雨下午就停了,但是下水管堵了,水一滴一滴地从堵住的地方溢出来。大滴大滴的水珠咚咚地打在倒扣的罐子底上。她让我到外面往下水管里塞一块布子,这样就不会再有这种恼人的声音了。我从外面回来,她己准备就绪。“那么,”她说,“昨晚读到哪里了?” 

A good question.

问得好。 

I got into the chair and opened up the second notebook and found where we had left off the night before."I told you I'm a bum diarist,"I said. "There's nothing here for ten pages but quotations from the wise men."

我坐到椅子里,打开第二本日记,找到我们昨天晚上读到的地方。“就跟你说我是个烂日家。”我说,“剩下十页没写啥,就只是些篇言而己。”

"Read them. Isn't it important to know what you were thinking about?"

“读一读吧。了解你以前想些什么不也很重要么?” 

"Is it?It looks pretty gloomy from here."

“是么?日记中展现的可不怎么乐观啊。”

"Still."

 “那也读读。” 

"All right. Here's Thucydides:'Having done what men could, they suffered what men must. "'

 “好吧。修昔底德曾说:‘尽己所能,听天由命。”,

She said doubtfully," I guess I don't. . .".

她疑惑地说:“我想我没有……” 

"Having lived as long as they could, they died. Having fought as long as they could, they were killed. We should all have it engraved on our tombstones. Maybe you'll like this one better. This is from Marcus Aurelius:

“活够了就该死了;斗够了则遇害。我们应该把这些都刻在我们的墓碑上。也许你会更喜欢下面这句话。罗马皇帝马库斯·奥雷柳斯曾说过:

"And as for thy life, consider what it is;a wind;not one constant wind neither, but every moment of an hour let out, and sucked in again. . . And also what it is to die, and how if a man shall consider this妙itself alone, to die, and separate from it in his mind all those things which with it usually represent themselves unto us, he can conceive it no otherwise, than as a work of nature, and he that fears any work of nature is a very child. What art thou, that better and divine part excepted, but as Epictetus said well, a wretched soul, appointed to carry a carcass up and down?"

 ‘究竟什么是一生;是一阵风;这风不会一直吹,每隔一小时吹一次然后再吸回去。死也一样。如果有人独自思考死亡,并不考虑经常与死亡一起出现的那些事物,那么他只会觉得死是天意。如果对所有天意都有一种畏惧心理,那么他就是个孩子……那你又是什么?除了那美好而神圣的部分,就是爱比克泰德②口中的可怜虫吧,那注定要来来回/回搬运尸体的人吧。’” 

I flipped the page and glanced up. Ruth was staring at me, frowning." Why would you write down something as morbid as that?"

我翻过这一页,抬头看了一眼。露丝正皱着眉头,盯着我看。“你怎么会写那种病态的 东西?”   

"What's morbid about it?" I said. "It isn't very cheerful, maybe, but it's wisdom. I suppose it struck me because I was a little tired of carrying the carcass up and down."

“这有什么病态的?”我说,“这听起来也许没那么愉快,但这是智慧。我有点厌烦了来回搬运尸体的活,所以这段话令我感触颇深。”

She continued to stare at me for what seemed a long time-four or five heartbeats, I suppose. Then she folded back the covers and jumped out of bed and wrapped her arms around me head, hugging my face into her breasts.

她依旧盯着我看。时间大概有四五下心跳那么长,似乎还挺长时间的。之后,她掀开被子下了床,双臂搂着我的脑袋,让我的脸靠着她的胸脯。

"Why, Ruthie," I said when she eased up and let me breathe.

“怎么了,罗西?”她放开了我,我才喘了口气。

"I didn't known you were that. . . I thought you were just tired out!"

 “不知道你原来那么……我还以为你只是太累了,; 

"Well, I survived."I pulled her down in my lap and we had a little cuddle. The cheek I kissed was wet."Oh, now, come on,"I said.

 “不过,我活了下来。”我拉她坐到我的腿上,简单拥抱了一下。我亲她脸颊,但她脸上却满是泪水。“噢,别这样。”我说。

"You ought to tell me more."

 “你应该多跟我说说的。” 

"I wonder. Look what even a hint does to you."

“我也想啊,但是你看看就这么一些笔记你就成什么样子了。” 

"But when I think of the d淤rence it might have made."

“可是如果你能多跟我说说,结果可能就完全不同了!”

"Yes,"I said. "It might have made you so anxious about me you'd have driven me off the Knippelsbro. Now thy don't you hop back into bed before you get cold." The fact was, I had pulled her down on me when I was kinked, and my knee was twisted and my hip ready to pop out of joint. If she had been sorry for my another minute she'd have broken me up like a Tinker Toy.

“是的,”我说,“这可能让你十分担心我,你可能会开车带我离开科尼佩尔桥。你现在怎么还不赶快钻到被子里,要不就感冒了。”事实上,我把她拉过来坐到我腿上的时候,我就肌肉抽筋,膝盖也扭住了,胯部快要从关节中爆出来了。她要是再继续怜悯我,哪怕是再这样一分钟,我也要被她像对待积木玩具一样大卸八块了。 

Ah, me, the complexity of being married to a woman you dearly love and automatically resist. I inevitably evade her management. I even evade her sympathy and affection, or meet them with my guard up. Martial is the anagram for marital. The grapple is everything, and I don't mean the sex grapple that so obsesses the seventies. That is only the signature for something much more complicated.

我很纠结,娶了一个至爱的女人,但却总会自然而然地对她产生抗拒感。我会不自觉地躲避她的控制,甚至还会逃避她的同情与喜爱,要不就采取防范的姿态。结婚其实也是混结。搏斗无处不在,但我并不是指让年过七旬的人仍然痴迷的性搏斗。这只是更复杂问题出现的标志。

"All right, that's better," I said when she was back under the covers." Ready for more gloomy wisdom?"

她钻回被子,我说:“恩,这样更好。还想继续听这种让人压抑的箴言么?” 

"I guess."

 “听听看吧。”

"Here's something from Kazantzakis: `When a Greek travels through Greece, his journey becomes converted...into a laborious search to find his duty."'

“下面是卡赞扎基斯说的话: ‘希腊人游览希腊就是一次找寻责任的艰苦之旅。”, 

"That's you, for sure."

 “这说的肯定是你自己。” 

"Duty? Me? I follow pleasures and grails and lines of least resistance."

“责任?我吗?我只会追寻快乐、梦想,还会探索最小阻力的方法。” 

"Like fun. I never saw any body so set on finding his duty as you. You're somebody hunting for the key to his house that he's hidden somewhere when he comes home at night and can't get in."

“找寻责任好像是很有趣的一件事。我从来没见过谁像你一样对这件事这么坚定。你就像一个找钥匙的人,不知道之前把钥匙藏到哪里了,晚上回家但却进不了门。” 

"All right, if you say so. I never deny what I wish was true. So here's another one from Kazantzakis:' Cursed be he whose thirst is quenched."'

“好吧,如果你要这样说的话。我从未否认我的愿望是实际存在的。下而又是卡赞扎基斯的话 ‘欲望得到满足的人是会被诅咒的。’”

"I like those a lot better than Marcus Aurelius," Ruth said,"They're more like you, for one thing."

“这些话听上去比马库斯·奥雷柳斯好多了,” 露丝说,“从某种角度上说,这些话讲的更像你。” 

"Never disparage Marcus Aurelius," I said. "Did you know he was one of the earliest environmentalists? You could quote him to the Sierra Club. Here he says, `That which is not good for the beehive cannot be good for the bee,'and under that, in Allston's crabbed hand, is written," The world suffers from an increment of excrement, `which you might render into the vernacular as ‘The world is full of shit.’”

“不要贬低马库斯·奥雷柳斯,”我说,“你知道么,他是位早期环境保护者。你可以跟塞拉俱乐部的人引用他的话。他曾说:‘有害于蜂窝必有害于蜜蜂。’奥尔斯顿在这句话的下面潦草地写着:‘粪便不断增多,世界因此而备受折磨’。这句话通俗点说就是‘世界到处都是粪便’。” 

That dried up any excess sympathy that might have been yearning toward the surface. "You know I don't like that word,"she said. "Are there a lot more of these quotations?"  

露丝的同情刚要泛滥,听完这话,同情立即消失无踪。“我不喜欢这类文字,你知道的”她说,“还有很多类似的话么?” 

"Pages."

“还有好几页呢?” 

"What were you doing, making notes on everything in Penguin Books?"

“你当时一直在干什么?在企鹅系列书上到处记笔记吗?” 

"Looking for the house key. Want to skip the rest?"

“在找情感的出口。剩下的这些要跳过去么?” 

"All right. I get the idea."

“好吧,我知道剩下的了。” 

I flipped pages until I came to solid scribbling again." So. There's been a gap. It's now May 13. The Allstons have just returned from a ten-day automobile trip to escape the Danish rain. They have driven (in the rain) through Hamburg and Hannover, with one splendid evening in a wine cellar in celle. They have circumnavigated the East German border and traversed (in the rain) the Romantic Road though towns named Dinkelsbiihl and Rothenburg, with mottoes and scriptures on their gables and Riemenschneider altarpieces in their churches. They have driven (in the rain) through a lot of blossoming apple trees to Innsbruck, where the Inn was full. Remember that green glass river, and the way the streets were full of lilacs and horse chestmuts blown off by a storm? Remember the Munich company that was singing Cosi Fan Tutte in the opera house? Then back (in the rain) through the Rhine-Mosel country, a fine experience because 1953 had been one of the best vintage years in history, and even the dollar-a-liter grocery store wine was marvelous. And so back to Copenhagen (in the rain) with the Rover's boot full of smuggled wine to beat the Banish taxes, and the old lady quaking all the way for fear they'd be thrown in jail. We rejoin them in the apartment on Havnegade, in the company of their interesting but troubled friend the Countess Astrid Wredel-Krarup, abandoned wife of the celebrated quisling."

我翻过去几页,然后看到了字迹清晰但却仍然很潦草的记录。“中间空了一段。现在接着是5月13日的。为了避开丹麦下雨,奥尔斯通夫妇去汽车旅行了,走了十天,他们刚回来。他们在雨中开车穿过汉堡和汉诺威。还在策勒的酒窖里度过了个美好的夜晚。他们绕着东德国边境行驶,(在雨中)横穿浪漫之路,路过名叫丁克尔斯比尔和罗腾堡的两个小镇,在那里的教堂里看到了山墙和圣坛装饰品上雕刻的哉言和经文。他们在去茵斯布鲁克的路上,(在雨中)穿过了许多开花的苹果树。茵斯布鲁克的客栈里已没有空余的房间。一场暴风雨过后,河流像绿色玻璃一般,街道上满是掉落的紫丁香和七叶果,这些还记得么?还记得那个在剧院里唱Cosi Fan Tutt尹的慕尼黑剧团么?之后他们(在雨中)开车往回绕,穿过莱茵河一摩泽尔河之间的村庄。1953年是丰收的一年,杂货店的葡萄酒每升一美元,美味可口,这是一段愉快的旅程。然后又(在雨中)回到哥本哈根,后车厢里载满了偷运回来的葡萄酒,避开了丹麦的关税。那个老女人在回来的路上吓得一直发抖,担心会被关进监狱。我们与他们在Havnegade的公寓重新相聚,见到了有趣但又遇到麻烦的阿斯特丽兹·弗雷德一克拉鲁普女伯爵。她是被臭名昭著的卖国贼遗弃的妻子。” 

"Idiot,"Ruth said. "Read."

“傻瓜,”露丝说,“继续读。”

"Cursed be he whose thirst is quenched,"I said.

 “欲望得到满足的人是会被诅咒的”,我说。

The countess' eyes were on the seventh plate; then they came up and met Manon's. That was a speaking look if I ever heard one, though I didn't understand thewords. The countess' mouth tightened till she was white around the lips. Manon lifteda thin sweatered shoulder. The butler came in and announced lunch.

女伯爵的眼睛紧盯着第七个盘子,然后,抬起头与玛侬四目相对。虽然我看不懂,但女伯爵的表情的确会说话。她的嘴紧闭着,嘴唇周边都发白了。玛农耸了耸肩膀,虽然她穿着毛衣,但肩膀看起来还是很单薄。管家走进房间,宣布午宴开始。 

There was little masculine company to distribute, just Little Lord Fauntleory andme. We waited. After several minutes a woman, not especially young but verypregnant, came carrying her great belly before from one of the parlors. She had abroad, healthy-looking face and a way of smiling slyly to herself. I thought she wasfaking a composure she didn't quite possess.

男客很少,只有我和小方特罗伊勋爵,我俩等待着仆人给我们分配座位。几分钟后,一个怀孕的女人挺着大肚子从房间里出来了,看起来不是特别年轻了。她的脸庞圆润,看起来十分康健,还带着神秘的微笑。我觉得她像在假装镇定一样,掩饰着什么。

Manon thrust out her lips into a nervous pucker and blinked her round eyes. InDanish she said to the woman, "You remember Astrid."

玛农紧张地撅起了嘴唇,忽闪着她的圆眼睛。她用丹麦语对那个女人说:“你记得阿斯特丽兹么?”

The woman gave what can only be called scornful snort. In that room, in thatcontext, it was an extraordinary response.

这个女人蔑然一笑,在那个房间,在那种情境,这种反应很特别。

"Naturlgvis" she said. "Yelkommen." Her eyes touched the eyes of the countessfor just an instant. A complex expression passed across her face and was covered overby the careful sly smile.

 “Naturligvis”,”她说," Velkommen”她和女伯爵的眼睛对视了一下,脸上略过一种复杂的表情,不过,立即转为诡秘的笑容。 

"God dag," the countess said-oh, icy.

 “你好,”女伯爵说。—啊,感觉好冰冷。

"And these are Astrid's friends, Mr. And Mrs. Allston."

 “这些是阿斯特丽兹的朋友们,奥尔斯顿先生和他夫人。”

"God dag," the countess said. And we said.

 “你们好,”这个女人说。我们也向她问了好。

"Miss Weibull,”Manon said.

 “韦布尔小姐,”玛农说。 

I had an immediate semaphore from Ruth, which said, with flapping red flags,DO NOT SAYANYTHING! DO NOT, REPEAT DO NOT, ASK HER WHO HERHUSBAND IS OR WHAT HE DOES. DO NOT SAY ANYTHING BEYONDROUTINE POLITENESS. TAKE CARE. BE ALERT. SHUT UP.

我立即收到了露丝给我发送的旗语③,仿佛在用上下摆动的红旗给我发送信号:不要说话!不要重复!不要问她她的丈夫是谁或者做什么工作;除了日常礼貌用语,不要说多余的话。小心。谨慎。闭嘴。 

She assumes that I have all the acuteness of a mongoloid, and so she stands ontiptoe and wigwags wildly enough to catch the attention of everyone within a halfmile, and unless I give her back a signal as obvious as her own, she believes I havenot only missed the original situation that set her to signaling but have somehowoverlooked the fact that she is now up on the table flapping her arms.

露丝假设我能准确获得所有暗号,因此她带着含蓄的微笑踞起脚尖,大幅度地摆弄着胳膊,足够吸引每个人的注意。我向她发回了信号,动作和她一样夸张。她这才认为我不仅忘掉了刚才的尴尬情境,而且没有注意到她已经坐在桌子旁边,摆弄了很久的胳膊。 

In this case I carefully did not look at her. I smiled at the countess, who .wasstony with an angry flush around her eyes, and at Manon, skinny and nervous andmaintaining her sweet vague expression. Then I fmalIy did look across at Ruth andwiden my eyes slightly so she could relax. With her help,I managed not to say to thisMiss Weibull, HOW COME YOU'RE A MISS, BUT EIGHT MONTHS ALONG?OLD DANISH CUSTOM, EH? HA-HA.

鉴于这种情况,我更加谨慎,并且没有去看她。我对着女伯爵笑了笑,她表情冷漠,眼神中充满了怒气之下的害羞;我又冲着玛农笑了笑,她依旧那么瘦削又紧张,保持着她那甜蜜神秘的表情。最后,我看了一眼露丝,向她眨了一下眼睛,让她放轻松。在她的帮助下,我没有为难这位韦布尔小姐一一为什么你有八个月的身孕了还叫小姐呢?这是丹麦的古老传统么?哈哈。

Ruth said fiercely from the bed, "Just remember the times when I've saved youfrom making a fool of yourself! And some of the times when I haven't succeeded!"

露丝在床上激动地说:“看看我为了不让你难堪,帮了你多少次啦。不过,有时候,我也帮不了你。”

"You overreacted”I said. "You generally do, because you take it for granted Ican't see what's under my nose. You started this truth party, now hold still and see yourself as others see you."

 “你反应太过激了,”我说,“你总是这样,因为你总以为我不知道周围在发生什么。你总觉得众人皆醉你独醒。” 

"Unless I'd warned you, you'd never have known anything was wrong."

“要不是我提醒你,你怎么知道哪里不对劲呢?”

"I wrote this journal that vey night, didn't I? Wouldn't you say I'm aware that something is wrong?"

 “当天晚上我就写了这篇日记,对不对?你敢说:我没发现哪里不对劲儿?” 

"After I warned you. Anyway, you didn't know what was wrong."

 “因为我已经提醒了你。反正,你不知道哪里不对劲。” 

"Don't tell me you did."

“不要告诉我:你知道是哪里。” 

"I think so. Part of it, anyway."

“我觉得是啊,起码我猜对了真相的一部分。”

"I think you found out just the way I did, and when I did."

 “我觉得咱俩发现的东西差不多,而且是我发现的时候,你才发现的。”

"Well, do we have to quarrel about it?"

 “好吧,我们能不为这吵么?”

"No. So why did you start quarreling?”

 “可以。那你为什么开始跟我吵?” 

"I? You started it."

“我?明明是你开始吵的。” 

I counted ten, then ten more. She saw me doing it,and was furious. Finally I said,

我数了十下,之后又数了十下。她看到我这么做,非常生气。最后我说

"Listen, if there's anything more ridiculous than two people seventy years old..."

“听着,说出去得被人笑掉大牙,两个70岁的老人在这儿……”

"Speak for yourself!"

 “说你自己呢吧。” 

"...or nearly seventy, bickering about who knew what twenty years ago, then it can only be the same two old fools bickering about who started the bicker.”

“两个接近70岁的老人在这儿争吵谁知道20年前发生了什么事儿,太荒谬了;两个老骨头在这儿争论谁先吵起来的,更荒谬啊。” 

"All right, but...”    

“也是,但是……”

"No buts. Peace, pertubed spirit."

 “没有但是。安息吧,受难的灵魂。” 

"Oh, I hate that condescending phrase!"

“天啊,我恨那句屈尊俯就的话!” 

"Condescending?" I said. "Who said it? Prince Hamlet to his father's ghost?'

“屈尊俯就?”我说,“谁说的那句话?哈姆雷特王子对他父王的鬼魂么?”

"Oh, go on and read. And I hope you get through that luncheon pretty soon. There were more important things happening than that luncheon."

 “好吧,继续读日记吧。我希望你马上就写完那次午餐了,比它重要的事情还有很多呢。”

"I read what it says in the book," I said. "What it says in the book is what seemed important to me at the time. If you don't like几write your own diary."

 “我在书里写了什么,我就读什么,”我说,“在书里写的东西都是那时候我觉得重要的东西。如果你不喜欢这个情节,自己写本日记去。”

"I wish I had. Then there might be a way of checking on yours."

 “我倒希望我写了,这样也好核实一下你写的日记。”

We were still standing, waiting. I kept expecting Manon to tell us to sit down, but she didn't. Beside me this mysterious Miss Weibull stood flat-footedly, breathing hard. She had that faked composure, but she didn't have the look of the quality. Governess who had got in trouble? But governess to whom? There were no children around expert Bertil, who was only a visitor. But not family either. One of Count Eigil's peasant girls? You didn't bring those into .the castle, or at least I assumed you didn't. Those could be left in the hayloft with their dressed up around their necks.

我们还在站着等待。我一直在等玛农招呼我们坐下,但是她一直没有招呼。韦布尔小姐穿着平底鞋也和我一样站着,‘艰难地喘着气‘她假装镇静,但表情紧张。难道是不慎失足的女教师?但她会是谁的老师呢?这里除了贝蒂尔是孩子,没有别的孩子了。但贝蒂尔也是个客人,不是这家一员啊。艾伊尔伯爵勾引的其中一个乡村女孩么?但他不会把这些女孩们带到城堡里面,起码我认为不会,而应该会把她们带到草房子里,裸着她们的下身。  

The countess hated her being there, Manon was resigned to her being there, and Miss Weibull was damned well going to be there whether they liked it or not. The most obvious thing about all of it was that all three seemed to believe they were concealing what was perfectly obvious. Also, the more I looked at Miss Webull the more I saw that she was pretty old to be in the condition she was in. She had to be around forty, about the countess' age.

女伯爵不喜欢韦布尔小姐在那儿,玛农对她的在场也显得无可奈何,而韦布尔小姐却不管自己招不招人喜欢,就赖在了那儿。我留意到一件特别明显的事实:这三个女人都觉得,她们越是试图掩饰的东西反而越明显。与此同时,我越看韦布尔小姐,越觉得她己经超过了未婚先孕的年龄,得有40岁左右,和女伯爵一样大。

Like people at a funeral before the preacher enters, we waited, }d smiled, and said nothing, and were desperately bright. The bowls of lilacs spaced down the table filled the room with their scent. Now, I grew up among the lilacs, I am a lilac lover, and group silences that go on too long make me nervous. So I said to Miss Weibull, most politely, "Aren't the lilacs marvelous?'

就像一群参加追悼会的人在等着牧师进场一样,我们焦急地等着有人给我们安排座位。我们面带微笑,沉默不语,带着绝望的心情佯装快乐。桌子上放着丁香味的碗,这种香味弥漫整个屋子。我是在丁香味儿中长大的,也十分喜爱丁香,大家长时间的沉默让我感到很紧张。所以,我对韦布尔小姐说:“这些丁香真不错哈!”

"Jeg taler ikke Engelsk," said Miss Weibull.

 "Jeg taler ikke Engelsk,”韦布尔小姐说。 

Put on my mettle, I sniffed deeply and appreciatively, rolled my eyes, looked pointedly at the lilacs, sniffed again, and placed a hand over my heart. I searched my mind in vain for the Danish word for lilacs, and had to fall back on something less precise. "Smukke Blomster," I said. I suppose I felt an obligation to make her feel at home.

我鼓起勇气,认真地看着丁香花,深深地并带有赞美表情地闻了一下,接着,又闻了一下,还把手放到了我的心房那里。我绞尽脑汁也没想出丁香在瑞士话里面是哪个单词,就不得不换个不那么精确的词了:"Smukke Blomster, "。我觉得我有责任让韦布尔小姐感觉自在些。 

Most curiously she looked at me. I have been looked at that way by cows watching me climb through a barbed wire fence. "Ah; oui," she said. Across the table, as if on signal, the countess and Manon straightened their backs. Ruth was about to start her semaphore again, but what had I done? Praised the lilacs.

她满脸狐疑地看着我。我翻越带刺铁丝网围栏时候,母牛们曾用那种眼神看过我。她说:“Ah, oui,”,桌子那一边,女伯爵和玛农好像得到了什么信号,一起直起了腰板。露丝又打算给我发送旗语,但是我刚才做了什么不恰当的事情了么?我只是赞美了一下丁香花啊。 

Then their three pairs of eyes turned sideward, and I looked where they were looking. Here came Grandmama on a servant's arm.

然后,她们三个人的眼睛转向了一边,我顺着她们眼神的方向看去。原来,奶奶在仆人的搀扶下过来了。

She was so old she would have had to be dated by carbon 14. Conforming to the rule that old ladies should give up primary colors and return to the pastels of babyhood, she wore a dusty-pink jersey dress that hung on-her like a sweater on a gate. She was thin and brittle. Veins and tendons stood out on the backs of her blotchy hands. Below the sagging jersey dress, which came to mid-calf, her stockings drooped on unpadded bone. The skin had shrunk on her skull, which looked no bigger than a monkey's, and the shrinkage had all gathered into wrinkles. Her face was a spiderweb with eyes.

她是真老,得用碳十四标注一下才能说明有多老。老年人都不喜欢穿基本色衣服了,喜欢穿小孩子时候穿的那种多彩颜色的衣服,她也不例外。她穿了一件土灰粉红色的针织裙,特别像大门上套了一柞毛衣。她看起来非常瘦削单薄,布满黑斑的手背上突出着很多静脉和手腿。她穿的针织裙长度到小腿那里,再往下看,长筒袜松垮着掉了下来,漏出了缺乏保护的骨头。她的头看起来还没一只猴子的头大。面部皮肤紧缩,皱纹纵横,像一张有眼睛的蜘蛛网。 

As we might have watched George Arliss making an entrance, we watched her slide and shuffle toward us. Her eyes were fixed straight ahead on something miles away, disdaining to look for the obstacles her feet felt for. For all her decrepitude she was fiercely erect, and I had one of those little thrills of sensation that sometimes come with martial music. Pride, she had. If the servant had withdrawn his arm, she would have fallen on her back, not on her face. She looked like one of those Milles ghosts, running on her heels toward eternity.

我们已经目睹乔治·阿利斯进场,现在我们看着她慢慢地拖着脚步向我们移动过来。她的眼睛直视几英里远的某物,鄙视着双脚探测到的绊脚石。由于年迈,她得费好大劲儿才能直起来。见此景,我有一种仿佛听了军事音乐的兴奋感。骄傲,她感到对这种奋进很骄傲。如果仆人不再搀扶她的胳膊,她恐怕会摔个仰八叉,而不是猪啃地。她看起来像一个米勒斯鬼魂,穿着高跟鞋跑跑向永恒。 

The servant was careful and slow. The old lady's shuffling foot reached the edge of the Chinese rug and felt, inched, slid up over it. Then as she brought the rear foot up over the ridge to meet the front one, she brought her eyes down from whatever horizon they were fixed on, and took us all in in one look. It may have been intended as a greeting; it felt as peremptory as a bullwhip..

仆人小心翼翼,十分谨慎地搀扶着。这位年老女士拖着走路的那只脚碰到了中式地毯的边儿,她试探了一下,挪了一小步,但还是在上面滑倒了。然后,她抬起后脚跨过地毯边儿,与前脚会和,她这才收回了之前不知瞅向何方的目光,向下瞅了一眼,顺势扫视了一下我们所有人。可能这就是在打招呼吧,真是迅雷不及掩耳啊。 

Manon and the countess jumped to help the servant get her into the chair at he head of the table. Supported by six hands, she teetered and sank, and went the last four inches with a bump. She clenched her claws on the chair arms while the servant lifted chair and all into place. Only then, her difficult entrance accomplished, she turned her cheek up to the countess; who bent and kissed it. There was a flurry of bird sounds,  much  pressing  of  hands.  When  the  countess  left  her  and  came around-widely around-Miss Weibull to place herself on my other side, her eyes were wet.

玛农和女伯爵赶上前来帮忙,扶她坐在了桌子顶端的那个位置。终于,在六双手的帮助下,她摇摇晃晃地坐下了,最后的四小步还弄出个小型事故。在仆人调整椅子位置的过程中,她紧紧抓住椅子扶手。这个时候,她的艰难出场宣告一段落‘她把脸颊伸向女伯爵,女伯爵探身亲了一下。接下来是一阵像鸟啄声的吻,非常急促。女伯爵离开了老太太,转了一圈一一好大的一圈—韦布尔小姐在我另一侧自己坐下了,她的眼睛湿润了。 

Manon stood with her hand on the old lady's shoulder. Solicitous and gentle, she bent and said, "Grandmama, here are Astrid's friendsz Mr. and Mrs. Allston."

玛农边把手放到老太太肩膀上边站起来,弯下腰对她温柔关切地说:“奶奶,这两位是阿斯特丽兹的朋友们,奥尔斯顿先生和他夫人。” 

The old red-rimmed eyes touched Ruth and then me, a glance surprisingly steady, though her whole head shook. She crossed an arm across her breast and laid a hand on Zlanon's, still on her shoulder. I liked that gesture, as I liked the tears in the countess' eyes. Aristocracy humanized. Three affectionate women. "You are very welcome here,”the old lady said in English.

老太太那双眼眶红红的眼睛看了一眼露丝,然后看了看我,虽然她的头在摇晃,但看我的目光却很稳定,这令人惊讶。老太太伸出一只胳膊,越过胸前,把那只手放在玛农的手上,两人的手在老太太肩上重合了。我喜欢这姿势,就像我喜欢女伯爵的眼泪那样。贵族也有人类感情啊。这三个女人多么相互关爱啊。“非常欢迎你们来到这里,”老太太用英语这样说道。 

Across the table the little baron, with perfect timing, pulled out Manon's chair.She came, he nudged her into place and turned to Ruth. Ad for me, I was torn betweenthe countess and Miss Weibull, and had to elect Miss Weibull as being on my rightand enceinte at that. When I got her bulk shoved up to the table against the resistingpile of the rug, the countess -had seated herself. She gave me a blank, pleasant,annoyed smile as I edged in between them.

小男爵瞅准了时机,向后拉了玛农的椅子。她走过来,他把她轻轻地推到座位上,并转向了露丝。我被安排在了女伯爵和韦布尔小姐中伺,那位怀着宝宝的韦布尔小姐还成了我右手边的邻居。我入座时,左边的女伯爵已经坐好了,右边的韦布尔小姐由于身材臃肿,被我挤得猛推了一下桌子,地毯顺势起了一堆褶皱。韦布尔小姐冲着我笑了一下,有迷惑,有愉快,又带有愤怒,就这样,我慢慢地坐在了两位女士中间。

It did not begin as the liveliest luncheon I ever attended. Manon was quiet, thecountess nearly mute. Ruth said, in English, to catechize the little baron. The old ladydabbled and picked at her food, Miss Weibull ate heartily for. two. There was fruitsoup, then a great salad of the shrimps they dip up from among the sea grass in thesebrackish estuaries, then a mousse and that universal Danish addiction, marzipancookies. And, praise God, wine. As soon as I properly cloud, I skaa'ded the lady onmy left and got her to melt a little. Then I went on and skaa'led all the rest of theladies in turn. I didn't know whether I was supposed to or not, but there was no oneelse to do it  the little baron didn't even have a wineglass-and I thought we couldall use a drink. It was a strange sensation holding the eyes of the old countess, likepering through the cobwebbed window of an abandoned house and meeting the eyesof something alive looking out. I also gazed into the eyes of Miss Weibull, asenigmatic and impenetrable as marbles.

午餐就这样以一种不怎么美妙的方式开始了。玛农很安静,女伯爵几乎一声不吭。露丝用英语和小男爵对着话。老太太小口小口地品尝着食物,韦布尔小姐津津有味地吃着两个人的饭。有一道水果粥,一大盘虾沙拉(虾是他们在有咸水的河口湾那里,从众多海草之间捕上来的),奶油冻,还有全丹麦人爱吃的杏仁蛋白糖曲奇饼。还有一一感谢上帝—白酒。我一瞅准时机,就与左边女士碰杯,让她融化一下气氛。接着,我轮流与在场的所有女士Skaal。我不知道我是不是应该这样,但是除了我没人这么做了—小男爵连酒杯都没有一一我觉得我们所有人应该一起喝一杯。盯着女伯爵的眼睛看,有一种特别的感觉,就好像是透过废弃屋子的布满蜘蛛网的窗户向里面窥探,并看到了一双向外张望的眼睛。我也盯着韦布尔小姐的眼睛看了一会儿,就像大理石一样非常神秘,让人难以捉摸。

Ruth remarked on how humiliating it was for Americans, but how pleasant, totravel in a country where it seemed everyone spoke English. (And who was it whohad refused to try to learn Danish?)Manon repeated something Astrid's father used tosay-that if a Dane fell into the sea and washed up to the south, he would have toknow German; if he washed up to the wes1} English or French; if to the north or east,Norweigan, Swedish, Finnish, or Russian. So evey Dane was compelled to prepare forthe day when he fell into the sea.

露丝说她会为自己不会说丹麦话感到愧疚,但来到一个几乎人人会说英语的国家旅行,真的很不错。(是谁曾经拒绝学丹麦语来着?)玛农重复了几句阿斯特丽兹的父亲过去常常说的话:如果一个丹麦人掉进了海里,被冲到南边,他得会说几句德语;被冲到西边,他得会说英语或者法语;被冲到北边或东边,他得会说几句挪威语,‘瑞典语,芬兰语或者俄语。所以每一个丹麦人都得为他掉进海里的那一天做好准备。

The countess; coming out of her sulks, claimed that if Mr. Allston fell into thesea he would come up speaking anything he needed to, and Manon said ah, but thatwas because he was really a Dane, and to the old lady she}explained that Mr. Allston'smother had been born in Bregninge, wasn't that interesting?

女伯爵好像不再生闷气了,说:“如果奥尔斯顿先生掉进海里,就不用担心了,因为他哪种语言都会说。”玛农说:“是啊,因为他事实上是个丹麦人。”玛农转身对老太太解释说:“奥尔斯顿先生的母亲在布赖宁厄出生的,是不是很有意思?”

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