小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 双语小说 » 劝导 Persuasion » Chapter 11
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
Chapter 11

The time now approached for Lady Russell's return: the day was even fixed; and Anne, being engaged to join her as soon as she was resettled, was looking forward to an early removal to Kellynch, and beginning to think how her own comfort was likely to be affected by it.

It would place her in the same village with Captain Wentworth, within half a mile of him; they would have to frequent the same church, and there must be intercourse between the two families. This was against her; but on the other hand, he spent so much of his time at Uppercross, that in removing thence she might be considered rather as leaving him behind, than as going towards him; and, upon the whole, she believed she must, on this interesting question, be the gainer, almost as certainly as in her change of domestic society, in leaving poor Mary for Lady Russell.

She wished it might be possible for her to avoid ever seeing Captain Wentworth at the Hall: those rooms had witnessed former meetings which would be brought too painfully before her; but she was yet more anxious for the possibility of Lady Russell and Captain Wentworth never meeting anywhere. They did not like each other, and no renewal of acquaintance now could do any good; and were Lady Russell to see them together, she might think that he had too much self-possession, and she too little.

These points formed her chief solicitude in anticipating her removal from Uppercross, where she felt she had been stationed quite long enough. Her usefulness to little Charles would always give some sweetness to the memory of her two months' visit there, but he was gaining strength apace, and she had nothing else to stay for.

The conclusion of her visit, however, was diversified in a way which she had not at all imagined. Captain Wentworth, after being unseen and unheard of at Uppercross for two whole days, appeared again among them to justify himself by a relation of what had kept him away.

A letter from his friend, Captain Harville, having found him out at last, had brought intelligence of Captain Harville's being settled with his family at Lyme for the winter; of their being therefore, quite unknowingly, within twenty miles of each other. Captain Harville had never been in good health since a severe wound which he received two years before, and Captain Wentworth's anxiety to see him had determined him to go immediately to Lyme. He had been there for four-and-twenty hours. His acquittal was complete, his friendship warmly honoured, a lively interest excited for his friend, and his description of the fine country about Lyme so feelingly attended to by the party, that an earnest desire to see Lyme themselves, and a project for going thither was the consequence.

The young people were all wild to see Lyme. Captain Wentworth talked of going there again himself, it was only seventeen miles from Uppercross; though November, the weather was by no means bad; and, in short, Louisa, who was the most eager of the eager, having formed the resolution to go, and besides the pleasure of doing as she liked, being now armed with the idea of merit in maintaining her own way, bore down all the wishes of her father and mother for putting it off till summer; and to Lyme they were to go--Charles, Mary, Anne, Henrietta, Louisa, and Captain Wentworth.

The first heedless scheme had been to go in the morning and return at night; but to this Mr Musgrove, for the sake of his horses, would not consent; and when it came to be rationally considered, a day in the middle of November would not leave much time for seeing a new place, after deducting seven hours, as the nature of the country required, for going and returning. They were, consequently, to stay the night there, and not to be expected back till the next day's dinner. This was felt to be a considerable amendment; and though they all met at the Great House at rather an early breakfast hour, and set off very punctually, it was so much past noon before the two carriages, Mr Musgrove's coach containing the four ladies, and Charles's curricle, in which he drove Captain Wentworth, were descending the long hill into Lyme, and entering upon the still steeper street of the town itself, that it was very evident they would not have more than time for looking about them, before the light and warmth of the day were gone.

After securing accommodations, and ordering a dinner at one of the inns, the next thing to be done was unquestionably to walk directly down to the sea. They were come too late in the year for any amusement or variety which Lyme, as a public place, might offer. The rooms were shut up, the lodgers almost all gone, scarcely any family but of the residents left; and, as there is nothing to admire in the buildings themselves, the remarkable situation of the town, the principal street almost hurrying into the water, the walk to the Cobb, skirting round the pleasant little bay, which, in the season, is animated with bathing machines and company; the Cobb itself, its old wonders and new improvements, with the very beautiful line of cliffs stretching out to the east of the town, are what the stranger's eye will seek; and a very strange stranger it must be, who does not see charms in the immediate environs of Lyme, to make him wish to know it better. The scenes in its neighbourhood, Charmouth, with its high grounds and extensive sweeps of country, and still more, its sweet, retired bay, backed by dark cliffs, where fragments of low rock among the sands, make it the happiest spot for watching the flow of the tide, for sitting in unwearied contemplation; the woody varieties of the cheerful village of Up Lyme; and, above all, Pinny, with its green chasms between romantic rocks, where the scattered forest trees and orchards of luxuriant growth, declare that many a generation must have passed away since the first partial falling of the cliff prepared the ground for such a state, where a scene so wonderful and so lovely is exhibited, as may more than equal any of the resembling scenes of the far-famed Isle of Wight: these places must be visited, and visited again, to make the worth of Lyme understood.

The party from Uppercross passing down by the now deserted and melancholy looking rooms, and still descending, soon found themselves on the sea-shore; and lingering only, as all must linger and gaze on a first return to the sea, who ever deserved to look on it at all, proceeded towards the Cobb, equally their object in itself and on Captain Wentworth's account: for in a small house, near the foot of an old pier of unknown date, were the Harvilles settled. Captain Wentworth turned in to call on his friend; the others walked on, and he was to join them on the Cobb.

They were by no means tired of wondering and admiring; and not even Louisa seemed to feel that they had parted with Captain Wentworth long, when they saw him coming after them, with three companions, all well known already, by description, to be Captain and Mrs Harville, and a Captain Benwick, who was staying with them.

Captain Benwick had some time ago been first lieutenant of the Laconia; and the account which Captain Wentworth had given of him, on his return from Lyme before, his warm praise of him as an excellent young man and an officer, whom he had always valued highly, which must have stamped him well in the esteem of every listener, had been followed by a little history of his private life, which rendered him perfectly interesting in the eyes of all the ladies. He had been engaged to Captain Harville's sister, and was now mourning her loss. They had been a year or two waiting for fortune and promotion. Fortune came, his prize-money as lieutenant being great; promotion, too, came at last; but Fanny Harville did not live to know it. She had died the preceding summer while he was at sea. Captain Wentworth believed it impossible for man to be more attached to woman than poor Benwick had been to Fanny Harville, or to be more deeply afflicted under the dreadful change. He considered his disposition as of the sort which must suffer heavily, uniting very strong feelings with quiet, serious, and retiring manners, and a decided taste for reading, and sedentary pursuits. To finish the interest of the story, the friendship between him and the Harvilles seemed, if possible, augmented by the event which closed all their views of alliance, and Captain Benwick was now living with them entirely. Captain Harville had taken his present house for half a year; his taste, and his health, and his fortune, all directing him to a residence inexpensive, and by the sea; and the grandeur of the country, and the retirement of Lyme in the winter, appeared exactly adapted to Captain Benwick's state of mind. The sympathy and good-will excited towards Captain Benwick was very great.

"And yet, " said Anne to herself, as they now moved forward to meet the party, "he has not, perhaps, a more sorrowing heart than I have. I cannot believe his prospects so blighted for ever. He is younger than I am; younger in feeling, if not in fact; younger as a man. He will rally again, and be happy with another. "

They all met, and were introduced. Captain Harville was a tall, dark man, with a sensible, benevolent countenance; a little lame; and from strong features and want of health, looking much older than Captain Wentworth. Captain Benwick looked, and was, the youngest of the three, and, compared with either of them, a little man. He had a pleasing face and a melancholy air, just as he ought to have, and drew back from conversation.

Captain Harville, though not equalling Captain Wentworth in manners, was a perfect gentleman, unaffected, warm, and obliging. Mrs Harville, a degree less polished than her husband, seemed, however, to have the same good feelings; and nothing could be more pleasant than their desire of considering the whole party as friends of their own, because the friends of Captain Wentworth, or more kindly hospitable than their entreaties for their all promising to dine with them. The dinner, already ordered at the inn, was at last, though unwillingly, accepted as a excuse; but they seemed almost hurt that Captain Wentworth should have brought any such party to Lyme, without considering it as a thing of course that they should dine with them.

There was so much attachment to Captain Wentworth in all this, and such a bewitching charm in a degree of hospitality so uncommon, so unlike the usual style of give-and-take invitations, and dinners of formality and display, that Anne felt her spirits not likely to be benefited by an increasing acquaintance among his brother-officers. "These would have been all my friends, " was her thought; and she had to struggle against a great tendency to lowness.

On quitting the Cobb, they all went in-doors with their new friends, and found rooms so small as none but those who invite from the heart could think capable of accommodating so many. Anne had a moment's astonishment on the subject herself; but it was soon lost in the pleasanter feelings which sprang from the sight of all the ingenious contrivances and nice arrangements of Captain Harville, to turn the actual space to the best account, to supply the deficiencies of lodging-house furniture, and defend the windows and doors against the winter storms to be expected. The varieties in the fitting-up of the rooms, where the common necessaries provided by the owner, in the common indifferent plight, were contrasted with some few articles of a rare species of wood, excellently worked up, and with something curious and valuable from all the distant countries Captain Harville had visited, were more than amusing to Anne; connected as it all was with his profession, the fruit of its labours, the effect of its influence on his habits, the picture of repose and domestic happiness it presented, made it to her a something more, or less, than gratification.

Captain Harville was no reader; but he had contrived excellent accommodations, and fashioned very pretty shelves, for a tolerable collection of well-bound volumes, the property of Captain Benwick. His lameness prevented him from taking much exercise; but a mind of usefulness and ingenuity seemed to furnish him with constant employment within. He drew, he varnished, he carpentered, he glued; he made toys for the children; he fashioned new netting-needles and pins with improvements; and if everything else was done, sat down to his large fishing-net at one corner of the room.

Anne thought she left great happiness behind her when they quitted the house; and Louisa, by whom she found herself walking, burst forth into raptures of admiration and delight on the character of the navy; their friendliness, their brotherliness, their openness, their uprightness; protesting that she was convinced of sailors having more worth and warmth than any other set of men in England; that they only knew how to live, and they only deserved to be respected and loved.

They went back to dress and dine; and so well had the scheme answered already, that nothing was found amiss; though its being "so entirely out of season, " and the "no thoroughfare of Lyme, " and the "no expectation of company, " had brought many apologies from the heads of the inn.

Anne found herself by this time growing so much more hardened to being in Captain Wentworth's company than she had at first imagined could ever be, that the sitting down to the same table with him now, and the interchange of the common civilities attending on it (they never got beyond), was become a mere nothing.

The nights were too dark for the ladies to meet again till the morrow, but Captain Harville had promised them a visit in the evening; and he came, bringing his friend also, which was more than had been expected, it having been agreed that Captain Benwick had all the appearance of being oppressed by the presence of so many strangers. He ventured among them again, however, though his spirits certainly did not seem fit for the mirth of the party in general.

While Captains Wentworth and Harville led the talk on one side of the room, and by recurring to former days, supplied anecdotes in abundance to occupy and entertain the others, it fell to Anne's lot to be placed rather apart with Captain Benwick; and a very good impulse of her nature obliged her to begin an acquaintance with him. He was shy, and disposed to abstraction; but the engaging mildness of her countenance, and gentleness of her manners, soon had their effect; and Anne was well repaid the first trouble of exertion. He was evidently a young man of considerable taste in reading, though principally in poetry; and besides the persuasion of having given him at least an evening's indulgence in the discussion of subjects, which his usual companions had probably no concern in, she had the hope of being of real use to him in some suggestions as to the duty and benefit of struggling against affliction, which had naturally grown out of their conversation. For, though shy, he did not seem reserved; it had rather the appearance of feelings glad to burst their usual restraints; and having talked of poetry, the richness of the present age, and gone through a brief comparison of opinion as to the first-rate poets, trying to ascertain whether Marmion or The Lady of the Lake were to be preferred, and how ranked the Giaour and The Bride of Abydos; and moreover, how the Giaour was to be pronounced, he showed himself so intimately acquainted with all the tenderest songs of the one poet, and all the impassioned descriptions of hopeless agony of the other; he repeated, with such tremulous feeling, the various lines which imaged a broken heart, or a mind destroyed by wretchedness, and looked so entirely as if he meant to be understood, that she ventured to hope he did not always read only poetry, and to say, that she thought it was the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly.

His looks shewing him not pained, but pleased with this allusion to his situation, she was emboldened to go on; and feeling in herself the right of seniority of mind, she ventured to recommend a larger allowance of prose in his daily study; and on being requested to particularize, mentioned such works of our best moralists, such collections of the finest letters, such memoirs of characters of worth and suffering, as occurred to her at the moment as calculated to rouse and fortify the mind by the highest precepts, and the strongest examples of moral and religious endurances.

Captain Benwick listened attentively, and seemed grateful for the interest implied; and though with a shake of the head, and sighs which declared his little faith in the efficacy of any books on grief like his, noted down the names of those she recommended, and promised to procure and read them.

When the evening was over, Anne could not but be amused at the idea of her coming to Lyme to preach patience and resignation to a young man whom she had never seen before; nor could she help fearing, on more serious reflection, that, like many other great moralists and preachers, she had been eloquent on a point in which her own conduct would ill bear examination.

现在,拉塞尔夫人回来的日子临近了,连日期都确定了。安妮与她事先约定,等她一安顿下来,就同她住在一起,因此她期望着早日搬到凯林奇,并且开始捉摸,这会给她自己的安适带来多大的影响。

这样一来,她将和温特沃思上校住在同一个庄上,离他不过半英里地。他们将要时常出入同一座教堂,两家人也少不了你来我往。这是违背她的意愿的;不过话又说回来,他常常呆在厄泼克劳斯,她要是搬到凯林奇,人们会认为她是疏远他,而不是亲近他。总而言之,她相信,考虑到这个有趣的问题,她离开玛丽去找拉塞尔夫人,对她肯定会有好处,简直就像她改变家庭环境那样有好处。

她希望,她能够避免在凯林奇大厦见到温特沃思上校,因为他们以前在那些房间里相会过,再在那里见面会给她带来极大的痛苦。不过,她更加急切地希望,拉塞尔夫人和温特沃思上校无论在哪儿也不要再见面。他们谁也不喜欢谁,现在再言归于好不会带来任何好处。况且,倘若拉塞尔夫人看见他们两人呆在一起,她或许会认为他过于冷静,而她却太不冷静。

她觉得她在厄泼克劳斯逗留得够久的了,现在期待着要离开那里,这些问题又构成了她的主要忧虑。她对小查尔斯的照料,将永远为她这两个月的访问留下美好的记忆,不过孩子正在逐渐恢复健康,她没有别的情由再呆下去。

然而,就在她的访问行将结束的时候,不想节外生枝,发生了一件她完全意想不到的事情。且说人们在厄泼克劳斯已经整整两天没有看见温特沃思上校的人影,也没听到他的消息,如今他又出现在他们之中,说明了他这两天没有来的缘由。

原来,他的朋友哈维尔上校给他写来一封信,好不容易才转到他的手里,告诉他哈维尔上校一家搬到了莱姆(多塞特郡的海滨城市),准备在那儿过冬。因此,他们之间相距不到二十英里,这是他们事先谁也不知道的。哈维尔上校两年前受过重伤,后来身体一直不好。温特沃思上校急切地想见到他,于是便决定立即去莱姆走一趟。他在那里逗留了二十四小时,圆满地履行了自己的职责,受到了热情的款待。同时他的叙述也激起了听话人对他的朋友的浓厚兴趣。他描绘起莱姆一带的秀丽景色时,他们一个个听得津津有味,殷切地渴望亲自看看莱姆,因此便订出了去那里参观的计划。

年轻人都迫不及待地想看看莱姆。温特沃思上校说他自己也想再去一趟,那儿离厄泼克劳斯只有十七英里远。眼下虽说已是十一月②,天气倒并不坏。总而言之,路易莎是急切中最急切的,下定决心非去不可,她除了喜欢我行我素之外,现在又多了一层念头,觉得人贵在自行其是,当父母亲一再希望她推迟到夏天再说时,都给她顶了回去。于是,大伙定好了要去莱姆——查尔斯,玛丽,安妮,亨丽埃塔,路易莎,以及温特沃思上校。

他们起初考虑不周,计划早晨出发,晚上回来。谁想默斯格罗夫先生舍不得自己的马,不同意这种安排。后来经过合情合理地考虑,觉得眼下已是十一月中旬,再加上乡下的路不好走,来回便要七个小时,一天去掉七个小时,就没有多少时间游览一个陌生地方啦。因此,他们决定还是在那里过一夜,到第二天吃晚饭时再回来。大伙觉得这是个不错的修正方案。尽管他们一大早就聚集到大宅,

吃过早饭,准时地起程了,但是直到午后许久,才见到两辆马车(默斯格罗夫先生的马车载着四位夫人小姐,查尔斯赶着他的轻便两轮马车拉着温特沃思上校),一溜下坡地驶进了莱姆,然后驶进该镇更加陡斜的街道。显而易见,他们只不过有时间往四周看看,天色便暗了下来,同时也带来了凉意。

他们在一家旅馆订好了房间和晚餐,下一件事无疑是直奔海滨。他们来的时令太晚了,莱姆作为一个旅游胜地可能提供的种种娱乐,他们一概没有赶上。只见个个房间都关着门,房客差不多走光了,整家整户的,除了当地的居民,简直没有剩下什么人。且说那些楼房本身,城市的奇特位置,几乎笔直通到海滨的主大街以及通往码头的小路,这些都没有什么好称道的,尽管那条小路环绕着可爱的小海湾,而在旅游旺季,小海湾上到处都是更衣车和沐浴的人群。异乡人真正想观赏的还是那个码头本身,它的古迹奇观和新式修缮,以及那陡峭无比的悬崖峭壁,一直延伸到城市的东面。谁要是见不到莱姆近郊的妩媚多姿,不想进一步了解它,那他一定是个不可思议的异乡人。莱姆附近的查茅斯,地高域广,景致宜人,而且它还有个幽美的海湾,背后耸立着黑魁魅的绝壁,有些低矮的石块就星散在沙滩上,构成了人们坐在上面观潮和冥思遐想的绝妙地点。上莱姆是个生机盎然的村庄,长满了各式各样的树木。尤其是平尼,那富有浪漫色彩的悬崖之间夹着一条条翠谷,翠谷中到处长满了茂盛的林木和果树,表明自从这悬崖第一次部分塌陷,为这翠谷奠定基础以来,人类一定度过了许许多多个世代,而这翠谷如今呈现出的如此美妙的景色,完全可以同驰名遐迩的怀特岛的类似景致相媲美。以上这些地方必须经过反复观赏,你才能充分领略莱姆的奥妙。

厄泼克劳斯的那伙游客经过一座座空空荡荡、死气沉沉的公寓,继续往下走去,不久便来到了海边。但凡有幸观海的人初次来到海边,总要逗留、眺望一番,这几位也只是逗留了一阵,接着继续朝码头走去,这既是他们的参观目标,也是为了照顾温特沃思上校,因为在一条不明年代的旧码头附近有一幢小房子,哈维尔一家就住在那里。温特沃思上校进去拜访自己的朋友,其他人则继续往前走,然后他到码头上找他们。

他们一个个兴致勃勃,惊叹不已。当大家看见温特沃思上校赶到时,就连路易莎也不觉得同他离别了很久。温特沃思上校带来了三个伙伴,因为听他介绍过,所以大家都很熟悉这三个人,他们是哈维尔上校夫妇以及同他们住在一起的本威克中校。

本威克中校以前曾在“拉科尼亚号”上当过上尉。温特沃思上校上次从莱姆回来后谈起过他,热烈地称赞说:他是个杰出的青年,是他一向十分器重的一名军官,他这话一定会使每个听话人对本威克中校深为尊敬。随后,他又介绍了一点有关他个人生活的历史,使所有的夫人小姐都感到趣味盎然。原来,他同哈维尔上校的妹妹订过婚,现在正在哀悼她的去世。他们有那么一两年,一直在等待他发财和晋级。钱等到了,他作为上尉得到了很高的赏金。晋级最后也等到了,可惜范妮·哈维尔没有活着听到这一消息。今年夏天,本威克出海的时候,她去世了。温特沃思上校相信,对男人来说,谁也不可能像可怜的本威克爱恋范妮·哈维尔那样爱恋女人,谁也不可能在遇到这可怕变故的情况下像他那样柔肠寸断。温特沃思上校认为,他天生就具有那种忍受痛苦的性格,因为他把强烈的感情同恬静、庄重、矜持的举止融合在一起,而且显然喜欢读书和案犊生活。更有趣的是,他同哈维尔夫妇的友谊,似乎是在发生了这起事件、他们的联姻希望破灭之后,得到进一步增强的,如今他完全同他们生活在一起了。哈维尔上校租下现在这幢房子,打算居住半年。他的嗜好、身体和钱财都要求他找个花销不大的住宅,而且要在海滨。乡下景致壮观,莱姆的冬天又比较僻静,似乎正适合本威克中校的心境。这就激起了人们对他的深切同情与关心。

“可是,”当大伙走上前去迎接他们几位时,安妮自言自语地说,“他也许并不比我更伤心。我无法相信他的前程就这么永远葬送了。他比我年轻,在感情上比我年轻,如果不在事实上的话。他作为一个男子汉,是比我年轻。他会重新振作起来,找到新的伴侣。”

大家相见了,作了介绍。哈维尔上校是个高大黝黑的男子,聪敏和善,腿有点跛,由于面目粗犷和身体欠佳的缘故,看上去比温特沃思上校老相得多。本威克中校看样子是三人中最年轻的,事实上也是如此,同他俩比起来,他是个小个子。他长着一副讨人喜欢的面孔,不过理所当然,神态比较忧郁,不太肯说话。

哈维尔上校虽然在举止上比不上温特沃思上校,但却是个极有教养的人,他为人真挚热情,乐于助人。哈维尔夫人不像丈夫那样教养有素,不过似乎同样很热情。两人和蔼可亲极了,因为那伙人是温特沃思上校的朋友,他俩便把他们统统看作自己的朋友。他们还极为亲切好客,一再恳请大伙同他们一起共进晚餐。众人推托说他们已在旅馆订好了晚餐,他俩虽然最后终于勉勉强强地认可了,但是对于温特沃思上校能把这样一伙朋友带到莱姆,而居然没有理所当然地想到和他们一起共进晚餐,仿佛感到有些生气。

从这件事里可以看出,他们对温特沃思上校怀有无比深厚的感情,殷勤好客到那样罕见的地步,实在令人为之神驰。他们的邀请不像通常意义上的礼尚往来,不像那种拘泥礼仪、炫耀自己的请客吃饭,因此安妮觉得,她要是和他的同事军官进一步交往下去,精神上不会得到安慰。她心里这么想:“他们本来都该是我的朋友。”她必须尽力克制自己,不要让情绪变得过于低落。

他们离开码头,带着新结交的朋友回到了家里。屋子实在太小,只有真心邀请的主人才认为能坐得下这么多客人。安妮对此也惊奇了一刹那,不过当她看到哈维尔上校独出心裁地做了巧妙安排,使原有的空间得到了充分利用,添置了房子里原来缺少的家具,加固了门窗以抵御冬季风暴的袭击,她不禁沉浸在一种十分舒适的感觉之中。瞧瞧屋里的种种陈设,房主提供的普通必需品,景况都很一般,与此形成鲜明对照的,倒是几件木制珍品,制作得十分精致,另外还有个他从海外带回来的什么珍奇玩意儿,所有这些东西不单单使安妮感觉有趣;因为这一切都同他的职业有关联,是从事这职业的劳动成果,是这职业对他生活习惯产生影响的结果,给他的家庭生活带来了一派安逸幸福的景象,这就使她多少产生了一种似喜非喜的感觉。

哈维尔上校不是个读书人,不过本威克中校倒收藏了不少装帧精致的书籍。他经过巧妙的设计,腾出了极好的地方,制作了非常漂亮的书架。他由于脚玻,不能多运动,但他富有心计,爱动脑筋,使他在屋里始终忙个不停。他画画,上油漆,刨刨锯锯,胶胶贴贴,为孩子做玩具;制作经过改进的新织网梭;如果所有的事情都办完了,就坐在屋子的一角,摆弄他的那张大鱼网。

大家离开哈维尔上校寓所时,安妮觉得自己把欢愉抛到了后面。她走在路易莎旁边,只听她欣喜若狂地对海军的气质大加赞扬,说他们亲切友好,情同手足,坦率豪爽。她还坚信,在英国,水兵比任何人都更可贵,更热情,只有他们才知道应该如何生活,只有他们才值得尊敬和热爱。

众人回去更衣吃饭。他们的计划已经取得了圆满的成功,一切都很称心如意。不过还是说了些诸如“来得不是时候”、“莱姆不是交通要道”、“遇不到什么旅伴”之类的话,旅馆老板只好连连道歉。

安妮起初设想,她永远不会习惯于同温特沃思上校呆在一起,谁想现在居然发现,她对于同他在一起已经越来越习以为常了,如今同他坐在同一张桌前,说上几句一般的客套话(他们从不越雷池一步),已经变得完全无所谓了。

夜晚天太暗,夫人小姐们不便再相聚,只好等到明日,不过哈维尔上校答应过,晚上来看望大家。他来了,还带着他的朋友,这是出乎众人意料之外的,因为大家一致认为,本威克中校当着这么多稀客的面,显得非常沉闷。可他还是大胆地来了,虽然他的情绪同众人的欢乐气氛似乎很不协调。

温特沃思上校和哈维尔上校在屋子的一边带头说着话,重新提起了逝去的岁月,用丰富多彩的奇闻轶事为大家取乐逗趣。这当儿,安妮恰巧同本威克中校坐在一起,离着众人很远。她天生一副好性子,情不自禁地与他攀谈起来。他羞羞答答的,还常常心不在焉。不过她神情温柔迷人,举止温文尔雅,很快便产生了效果,她开头的一番努力得到了充分的报答。显然,本威克是个酷爱读书的年轻人,不过他更喜欢读诗。安妮相信,他的老朋友们可能对这些话题不感兴趣,这次她至少同他畅谈了一个晚上。谈话中,她自然而然地提起了向痛苦作斗争的义务和益处,她觉得这些话对他可能真正有些作用。因为他虽说有些腼腆,但似乎并不拘谨,看来他很乐意冲破惯常的感情约束。他们谈起了诗歌,谈起了现代诗歌的丰富多彩,简要比较了一下他们对几位第一流诗人的看法,试图确定《玛密安》与《湖上夫人》①哪一篇更可取,如何评价《异教徒》和《阿比多斯的新娘》②,以及《异教徒》的英文该怎么念。看来,他对前一位诗人充满柔情的诗篇和后一位诗人悲痛欲绝的深沉描写,全部了如指掌。他带着激动的感情,背诵了几节描写肝肠寸断、痛不欲生的诗句,看上去完全是想得到别人的理解。安妮因此冒昧地希望他不要一味地光读诗,还说酷爱吟诗的人欣赏起诗歌来很难确保安然无恙;只有具备强烈的感情才能真正欣赏诗歌,而这强烈的感情在鉴赏诗歌时又不能不有所节制。

他的神色显不出痛苦的样子,相反却对她暗喻自己的处境感到高兴,安妮也就放心大胆地说了下去。她觉得自己忍受痛苦的资历比他长一些,便大胆地建议他在日常学习中多读些散文。当对方要求她说得具体些,她提到了一些优秀道德家的作品、卓越文学家的文集,以及一些有作为的、遭受种种磨难的人物的回忆录。她当时想到了这些人,觉得他们对道德和宗教上的忍耐做出了最高尚的说教,树立了最崇高的榜样,可以激励人的精神,坚定人的意志。

本威克中校聚精会神地听着,似乎对她话里包含的关心十分感激。他虽然摇了摇头,叹了几口气,表明他不大相信有什么书能解除他的痛苦,但他还是记下了她所推荐的那些书,而且答应找来读读。

夜晚结束了,安妮一想起自己来到莱姆以后,居然劝诫一位素昧平生的小伙子要忍耐,要顺从天命,心里不禁觉得好笑起来。可是再仔细一考虑,她不由得又有几分害怕,因为像其他许多大道德家、说教者一样,她虽然说起来头头是道,可她自己的行为却经不起检验。



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