小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 经典英文小说 » 无名的裘德 Jude the Obscure » Part 1 Chapter 1
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
Part 1 Chapter 1

THE schoolmaster was leaving the village, and everybody seemed sorry. The miller at Cresscombe lent him the small white tilted cart and horse to carry his goods to the city of his destination, about twenty miles off, such a vehicle proving of quite sufficient size for the departing teacher's effects. For the schoolhouse had been partly furnished by the managers, and the only cumbersome article possessed by the master, in addition to the packing-case of books, was a cottage piano that he had bought at an auction during the year in which he thought of learning instrumental music. But the enthusiasm having waned he had never acquired any skill in playing, and the purchased article had been a perpetual trouble to him ever since in moving house.

The rector had gone away for the day, being a man who disliked the sight of changes. He did not mean to return till the evening, when the new school-teacher would have arrived and settled in, and everything would be smooth again.

The blacksmith, the farm bailiff, and the schoolmaster himself were standing in perplexed attitudes in the parlour before the instrument. The master had remarked that even if he got it into the cart he should not know what to do with it on his arrival at Christminster, the city he was bound for, since he was only going into temporary lodgings just at first.

A little boy of eleven, who had been thoughtfully assisting in the packing, joined the group of men, and as they rubbed their chins he spoke up, blushing at the sound of his own voice: "Aunt have got a great fuel-house, and it could be put there, perhaps, till you've found a place to settle in, sir."

"A proper good notion," said the blacksmith.

It was decided that a deputation should wait on the boy's aunt-- an old maiden resident--and ask her if she would house the piano till Mr. Phillotson should send for it. The smith and the bailiff started to see about the practicability of the suggested shelter, and the boy and the schoolmaster were left standing alone.

"Sorry I am going, Jude?" asked the latter kindly.

Tears rose into the boy's eyes, for he was not among the regular day scholars, who came unromantically close to the schoolmaster's life, but one who had attended the night school only during the present teacher's term of office. The regular scholars, if the truth must be told, stood at the present moment afar off, like certain historic disciples, indisposed to any enthusiastic volunteering of aid.

The boy awkwardly opened the book he held in his hand, which Mr. Phillotson had bestowed on him as a parting gift, and admitted that he was sorry.

"So am I," said Mr. Phillotson.

"Why do you go, sir?" asked the boy.

"Ah--that would be a long story. You wouldn't understand my reasons, Jude. You will, perhaps, when you are older."

"I think I should now, sir."

"Well--don't speak of this everywhere. You know what a university is, and a university degree? It is the necessary hallmark of a man who wants to do anything in teaching. My scheme, or dream, is to be a university graduate, and then to be ordained. By going to live at Christminster, or near it, I shall be at headquarters, so to speak, and if my scheme is practicable at all, I consider that being on the spot will afford me a better chance of carrying it out than I should have elsewhere."

The smith and his companion returned. Old Miss Fawley's fuel-house was dry, and eminently practicable; and she seemed willing to give the instrument standing-room there. It was accordingly left in the school till the evening, when more hands would be available for removing it; and the schoolmaster gave a final glance round.

The boy Jude assisted in loading some small articles, and at nine o'clock Mr. Phillotson mounted beside his box of books and other IMPEDIMENTA, and bade his friends good-bye.

"I shan't forget you, Jude," he said, smiling, as the cart moved off. "Be a good boy, remember; and be kind to animals and birds, and read all you can. And if ever you come to Christminster remember you hunt me out for old acquaintance' sake."

The cart creaked across the green, and disappeared round the corner by the rectory-house. The boy returned to the draw-well at the edge of the greensward, where he had left his buckets when he went to help his patron and teacher in the loading. There was a quiver in his lip now and after opening the well-cover to begin lowering the bucket he paused and leant with his forehead and arms against the framework, his face wearing the fixity of a thoughtful child's who has felt the pricks of life somewhat before his time. The well into which he was looking was as ancient as the village itself, and from his present position appeared as a long circular perspective ending in a shining disk of quivering water at a distance of a hundred feet down. There was a lining of green moss near the top, and nearer still the hart's-tongue fern.

He said to himself, in the melodramatic tones of a whimsical boy, that the schoolmaster had drawn at that well scores of times on a morning like this, and would never draw there any more. "I've seen him look down into it, when he was tired with his drawing, just as I do now, and when he rested a bit before carrying the buckets home! But he was too clever to bide here any longer-- a small sleepy place like this!"

A tear rolled from his eye into the depths of the well. The morning was a little foggy, and the boy's breathing unfurled itself as a thicker fog upon the still and heavy air. His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden outcry:

"Bring on that water, will ye, you idle young harlican!"

It came from an old woman who had emerged from her door towards the garden gate of a green-thatched cottage not far off. The boy quickly waved a signal of assent, drew the water with what was a great effort for one of his stature, landed and emptied the big bucket into his own pair of smaller ones, and pausing a moment for breath, started with them across the patch of clammy greensward whereon the well stood-- nearly in the centre of the little village, or rather hamlet of Marygreen.

It was as old-fashioned as it was small, and it rested in the lap of an undulating upland adjoining the North Wessex downs. Old as it was, however, the well-shaft was probably the only relic of the local history that remained absolutely unchanged. Many of the thatched and dormered dwelling-houses had been pulled down of late years, and many trees felled on the green. Above all, the original church, hump-backed, wood-turreted, and quaintly hipped, had been taken down, and either cracked up into heaps of road-metal in the lane, or utilized as pig-sty walls, garden seats, guard-stones to fences, and rockeries in the flower-beds of the neighbourhood. In place of it a tall new building of modern Gothic design, unfamiliar to English eyes, had been erected on a new piece of ground by a certain obliterator of historic records who had run down from London and back in a day. The site whereon so long had stood the ancient temple to the Christian divinities was not even recorded on the green and level grass-plot that had immemorially been the churchyard, the obliterated graves being commemorated by eighteen-penny castiron crosses warranted to last five years.

 

小学老师就要离开村子,人人都显得不大好受。水芹峪开磨坊的把他的白篷小货车连马都借给他,帮他把一应物件运到大约二十英里外他要去的城市。车身容积绰绰有余,老师路上不必担心。校舍家具原来由董事会配置了一部分;老师自己除了书籍,只有一种笨重东西,那是架竖式钢琴,是他当年一时心血来潮想学钢琴,在拍卖会上买到手的,以后那股热劲儿慢慢过去了,一点弹琴技巧也没学好,而每逢搬家,买来的这件东西始终成了他的累赘。

教区长素来不愿意看到变动,所以整天都到外边去了。他总要到晚上才回来,因为那时新教师多半已经到校,诸事安排停当,一切也就平静如常。

铁匠、庄头和老师站在小接待室里的钢琴前面,一筹莫展的样子。老师已经表示过,就算能把它弄到车上,到了他要去的基督堂那个城市,他还是不知道拿它怎么办,因为他初来乍到,只能临时找个地方住住。

一个十一岁的男孩子正帮着扎东西,挺有心事的样子,这时走到大人这边来,趁他们摸着下巴颏的时候,大声说:“姑婆有个好大的柴房哪,你找到地方放它之前,也许能寄放在那里头吧。”他因为说话声音大,脸红了。

“这主意倒真不赖呢。”铁匠说。

于是他们决定派代表去找孩子的姑婆(住在本村的一位老姑娘),跟她商量商量,好不好把钢琴在柴房里先放放,以后费乐生先生再派人来拿。铁匠和庄头马上去看存放的地方合适不合适,孩子和老师就留在那儿站着。

“裘德,我要走啦,你心里不大好受吧?”老师亲切地问他。

孩子立刻眼泪汪汪的,因为他本来不过是在眼下这位老师任职期间上上夜校,算不得是个正规生,而只有正规生才理所当然地跟老师的生活接触密切。如果一定说真话的话,正规生这会儿都站得远远的,就像某些名垂史册的使徒那样袖手旁观,无动于衷,谁也不肯主动过来,热心帮忙。

孩子慢腾腾地翻开费乐生先生当做临别纪念送给他的那本书,承认他心里不好受。

“我也是啊。”费乐生先生说。

“先生,你干吗走呀?”

“哎——这可说来话长啦。裘德呀,你这会儿还不懂我走的道理,等你再大点,你就明白啦。”

“先生,我觉着我这会儿就懂。”

“好吧,不过你可别到处说就是啦。你懂大学是怎么回事儿吗?大学学位是怎么回事儿吗?谁要是打算在教书方面干出点名堂,缺了这个资历可不行。我的计划,也可以说我的理想吧,就是当上个大学生,以后就到教会担任圣职。住在基督堂,要么住在它附近,可以说,我就算到了最高学府啦。要是我的计划真能行得通的话,我觉得人住在当地比在别处实现计划的机会总要多得多呢。”

铁匠和他的同伴回来了。福来老小姐的柴房挺干燥,是个顶刮刮的合适地方。看意思她愿意给钢琴一隅存身之地。这一来就可以把钢琴留在学校里直到晚上,因为那时候搬它的人手就多了。老师又朝四周围看了看。

裘德帮着把小件袋上车。九点钟费乐先生上了车,坐在书籍和行李旁边,向各位朋友道别。

“裘德,我忘不川尔。”马车开走的时候,他笑着说。“别忘了,要做个好孩子;对动物跟鸟儿心要好;你能读到的书都要读。有朝一日,你到了基督堂,看在老交情分儿上,可别忘了想方设法找到我。”

货车吱吱嘎嘎地驶过草地,绕过教区长住宅的拐角就消失了。孩子回到草地边上汲水井那儿,刚才他为帮自己的恩人和老师装车,把水桶撂在那儿。他这会儿嘴唇有点颤,打开井盖,开始要放桶,不过又停住了,脑门和胳臂都靠在井架上,脸上流露出呆呆的神情,这种神情只有他那样爱想事的孩子在小小年纪过早感到人生坎坷时才会有。他往下看的那眼井的历史和村子一样古老,在他这个位置可以看得到井里像是一串串一圈圈透视画,一直到了一百英尺深处,最后形成一个波动不息的闪光的亮盘子。靠近井上端处有层青苔,再往上长着荷叶蕨。

他自言自语,声调里含有富于奇想的孩子才有的感伤味儿:“老师以前不就是这样天天早上打几十遍水吗?以后可再不会啦。我瞧见过他就是跟我一样,打累了,先不把水拎回去,一边休息会儿,一边往底下瞧。不过他人可聪明啦,怎么肯在这儿呆下去呢——这么个死气沉沉的地方啊。”

他的一滴眼泪落到井底。早晨有点雾濛濛的,他哈出来的气,好似更浓的雾,叠在了平静而沉滞的空气上面。猛然间,一声喊叫把他的心思打断了。

“你这个小懒鬼呀,你倒是把水送回来呀!”

喊叫的是个老太婆,她人已经从不远地方对着园子栅栏门的草房门里探出身子来了。孩子赶紧打个手势,表示就来,于是硬凭他那身量使得出来的最大力气,把水桶提上来,先放在地上,然后倒进自己带来的小点的水桶里,又歇了歇,透了口气,就拎着它们穿过水井所在的那片湿漉漉的草地——它大致位于村子(不如说位于马利格林的零落的村户人家)的中央。

那个村子不单地盘小,外边样式也老旧,坐落在毗连北维塞克斯郡丘陵地的一片时起时伏的高地的一个洼子里。不过老归老,旧归旧,那眼井的井身总还是当地历史上唯一一件万古如斯的陈迹。近些年,好多屋顶开天窗的草房都拆掉了,公共草地上好多树也砍伐了。特别值得一提的是,原来那座风格独特的教堂,驼峰屋顶、木构塔楼。形状古怪的斜脊,无不拆得一千二净,拆下来的东西全都敲碎了,一堆堆的,不是给小巷当铺路石,就是给猪圈砌围墙,做园子里的椅凳,当路边隔篱的护脚石,要么是给街坊的花坛堆了假山。取老教堂而代之的是某位历史遗迹摧毁者在新址上,按英国人看不惯的现代哥特式风格设计,鸠工建起的一座高大的新建筑,为此他曾天天从伦敦到马利格林打个来回。原来久已耸立的供奉基督教神祗的圣殿的原址,哪怕是在历经沧桑的教堂墓地改成的青葱平整的草坪上,也休想找到半点痕迹。剩下的只是在荡然无存的坟墓前树过的十八个便士一个、保用五年的铸铁十字架,聊供凭吊而已。



欢迎访问英文小说网http://novel.tingroom.com

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533