小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 双语小说 » 诺桑觉寺 Northanger Abbey » Chapter 6
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
Chapter 6

The following conversation, which took place between the two friends in the pump-room one morning, after an acquaintance of eight or nine days, is given as a specimen of their very warm attachment, and of the delicacy, discretion, originality of thought, and literary taste which marked the reasonableness of that attachment.

They met by appointment; and as Isabella had arrived nearly five minutes before her friend, her first address naturally was, "My dearest creature, what can have made you so late? I have been waiting for you at least this age!"

"Have you, indeed! I am very sorry for it; but really I thought I was in very good time. It is but just one. I hope you have not been here long?"

"Oh! These ten ages at least. I am sure I have been here this half hour. But now, let us go and sit down at the other end of the room, and enjoy ourselves. I have an hundred things to say to you. In the first place, I was so afraid it would rain this morning, just as I wanted to set off; it looked very showery, and that would have thrown me into agonies! Do you know, I saw the prettiest hat you can imagine, in a shop window in Milsom Street just now -- very like yours, only with coquelicot ribbons instead of green; I quite longed for it. But, my dearest Catherine, what have you been doing with yourself all this morning? Have you gone on with Udolpho?"

"Yes, I have been reading it ever since I woke; and I am got to the black veil."

"Are you, indeed? How delightful! Oh! I would not tell you what is behind the black veil for the world! Are not you wild to know?"

"Oh! Yes, quite; what can it be? But do not tell me -- I would not be told upon any account. I know it must be a skeleton, I am sure it is Laurentina's skeleton. Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it. I assure you, if it had not been to meet you, I would not have come away from it for all the world."

"Dear creature! How much I am obliged to you; and when you have finished Udolpho, we will read the Italian together; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you."

"Have you, indeed! How glad I am! What are they all?"

"I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocketbook. Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time."

"Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?"

"Yes, quite sure; for a particular friend of mine, a Miss Andrews, a sweet girl, one of the sweetest creatures in the world, has read every one of them. I wish you knew Miss Andrews, you would be delighted with her. She is netting herself the sweetest cloak you can conceive. I think her as beautiful as an angel, and I am so vexed with the men for not admiring her! I scold them all amazingly about it."

"Scold them! Do you scold them for not admiring her?"

"Yes, that I do. There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature. My attachments are always excessively strong. I told Captain Hunt at one of our assemblies this winter that if he was to tease me all night, I would not dance with him, unless he would allow Miss Andrews to be as beautiful as an angel. The men think us incapable of real friendship, you know, and I am determined to show them the difference. Now, if I were to hear anybody speak slightingly of you, I should fire up in a moment: but that is not at all likely, for you are just the kind of girl to be a great favourite with the men."

"Oh, dear!" cried Catherine, colouring. "How can you say so?"

"I know you very well; you have so much animation, which is exactly what Miss Andrews wants, for I must confess there is something amazingly insipid about her. Oh! I must tell you, that just after we parted yesterday, I saw a young man looking at you so earnestly -- I am sure he is in love with you." Catherine coloured, and disclaimed again. Isabella laughed. "It is very true, upon my honour, but I see how it is; you are indifferent to everybody's admiration, except that of one gentleman, who shall be nameless. Nay, I cannot blame you" -- speaking more seriously -- "your feelings are easily understood. Where the heart is really attached, I know very well how little one can be pleased with the attention of anybody else. Everything is so insipid, so uninteresting, that does not relate to the beloved object! I can perfectly comprehend your feelings."

"But you should not persuade me that I think so very much about Mr. Tilney, for perhaps I may never see him again."

"Not see him again! My dearest creature, do not talk of it. I am sure you would be miserable if you thought so!"

"No, indeed, I should not. I do not pretend to say that I was not very much pleased with him; but while I have Udolpho to read, I feel as if nobody could make me miserable. Oh! The dreadful black veil! My dear Isabella, I am sure there must be Laurentina's skeleton behind it."

"It is so odd to me, that you should never have read Udolpho before; but I suppose Mrs. Morland objects to novels."

"No, she does not. She very often reads Sir Charles Grandison herself; but new books do not fall in our way."

"Sir Charles Grandison! That is an amazing horrid book, is it not? I remember Miss Andrews could not get through the first volume."

"It is not like Udolpho at all; but yet I think it is very entertaining."

"Do you indeed! You surprise me; I thought it had not been readable. But, my dearest Catherine, have you settled what to wear on your head tonight? I am determined at all events to be dressed exactly like you. The men take notice of that sometimes, you know."

"But it does not signify if they do," said Catherine, very innocently.

"Signify! Oh, heavens! I make it a rule never to mind what they say. They are very often amazingly impertinent if you do not treat them with spirit, and make them keep their distance."

"Are they? Well, I never observed that. They always behave very well to me."

"Oh! They give themselves such airs. They are the most conceited creatures in the world, and think themselves of so much importance! By the by, though I have thought of it a hundred times, I have always forgot to ask you what is your favourite complexion in a man. Do you like them best dark or fair?"

"I hardly know. I never much thought about it. Something between both, I think. Brown -- not fair, and -- and not very dark."

"Very well, Catherine. That is exactly he. I have not forgot your description of Mr. Tilney -- 'a brown skin, with dark eyes, and rather dark hair.' Well, my taste is different. I prefer light eyes, and as to complexion -- do you know -- I like a sallow better than any other. You must not betray me, if you should ever meet with one of your acquaintance answering that description."

"Betray you! What do you mean?"

"Nay, do not distress me. I believe I have said too much. Let us drop the subject."

Catherine, in some amazement, complied, and after remaining a few moments silent, was on the point of reverting to what interested her at that time rather more than anything else in the world, Laurentina's skeleton, when her friend prevented her, by saying, "For heaven's sake! Let us move away from this end of the room. Do you know, there are two odious young men who have been staring at me this half hour. They really put me quite out of countenance. Let us go and look at the arrivals. They will hardly follow us there."

Away they walked to the book; and while Isabella examined the names, it was Catherine's employment to watch the proceedings of these alarming young men.

"They are not coming this way, are they? I hope they are not so impertinent as to follow us. Pray let me know if they are coming. I am determined I will not look up."

In a few moments Catherine, with unaffected pleasure, assured her that she need not be longer uneasy, as the gentlemen had just left the pump-room.

"And which way are they gone?" said Isabella, turning hastily round. "One was a very good-looking young man."

"They went towards the church-yard."

"Well, I am amazingly glad I have got rid of them! And now, what say you to going to Edgar's Buildings with me, and looking at my new hat? You said you should like to see it."

Catherine readily agreed. "Only," she added, "perhaps we may overtake the two young men."

"Oh! Never mind that. If we make haste, we shall pass by them presently, and I am dying to show you my hat."

"But if we only wait a few minutes, there will be no danger of our seeing them at all."

"I shall not pay them any such compliment, I assure you. I have no notion of treating men with such respect. That is the way to spoil them."

Catherine had nothing to oppose against such reasoning; and therefore, to show the independence of Miss Thorpe, and her resolution of humbling the sex, they set off immediately as fast as they could walk, in pursuit of the two young men.

两位女友之间的以下谈话,是她们相识八九天后的一个早晨,在矿泉厅进行的,可以充分显现出她们之间的热烈情感,显现出彼此的敏感、审慎和独出心裁,以及高雅的文学情趣。”这一切表明了她们的热烈情感是那样合乎情理。

她们是约好了来的。因为伊莎贝拉比她的朋友早到了将近五分钟,她的头一句话当然是这样说的:“我的宝贝,什么事把你耽搁得这么晚?我等了你老半天了!”

“真的吗?太对不起了,我还以为我很及时呢。才刚刚一点,但愿没让你久等。”

“哦!至少等了老半天了!肯定有半个钟头了。好了,先到大厅那边坐下来松快松快。我有一肚子话要跟你说。“首先,今天早晨出门的时候,我生怕要下雨。真像是要下阵雨的样子,差一点把我急死了!你知道吧,我刚才在米尔萨姆街一家商店的橱窗里见到一顶帽子。你想象不到有多漂亮。跟你的那顶很相仿,只是绸带是橙红色的,不是绿色的。我当时真想买呀。不过,亲爱的凯瑟琳,今天这一早你都在干什么?是不是又看《尤多尔弗》了?”

“是的,早上一醒来就在看。已经看到黑纱幔那儿了。”

“真的吗?多有意思啊!哦!我说什么也不告诉你那黑纱幔后面罩着什么!难道你不急于想知道吗?”

“噢!是的,很想知道。到底是什么呢?不过,请别告诉我,无论如何也别告诉我。我知道准是具骷髅。我想准是劳伦蒂纳的骷髅。噢!我真喜爱这本书!实话对你说吧,我真想读它一辈子。若不是要来会你,我说什么也丢不开它。”

“亲宝贝,你真好。等你看完《尤多尔弗》,我们就一道看《意大利人》。我给你列了个单子,十来本都是这一类的。”

“真的!那可太好了!都是些什么书?”

“我这就念给你听听。全记在我的笔记本里。《乌尔芬巴赫城堡》,《克莱蒙》,《神秘的警告》,《黑树林的巫师》,《夜半钟声》,《莱茵河的孤儿》,以及《恐怖的奥秘》。这些书够我们看些日子啦。”

“是的,真是太好了。不过,这些书都很恐怖吗?你肯定它们都很恐怖吗?”

“是的,保险没问题。我的好朋友安德鲁斯小姐把这些书全看过了,她真是个甜姐儿,一个天下顶讨人爱的姑娘。你要是认识安德鲁斯小姐就好了,你会喜欢她的。她正在给自己织一件要多漂亮有多漂亮的斗篷。我觉得她像天使一样美丽,使我感到恼火的是,男人们居然不爱慕她!为此,我要狠狠地责骂他们。”

“责骂他们?你能因为他们不爱慕她,就大加责骂?”

“是的,我就是要责骂。我为了自己的真正朋友,什么事情都做得出来。我爱起人来不会半心半意,我不是那种人。我的感情总是十分热烈。今年冬天,在一次舞会上,我就对亨特上尉说:他要是整个晚上老是跟我开玩笑,我就不同他跳舞,除非他承认安德鲁斯小姐像天使一样美丽。你知道,男人总以为我们女人之间没有真正的友谊,我决心要让他们看看事实并非如此。我要是听见有人说你的坏话,我马上就会冒火。不过,那压根儿不可能,因为男人们最喜欢你这样的小姐。”

“噢,天哪!”凯瑟琳红着脸嚷道,“你怎么能这么说呢?”

“我很了解你。你性情十分活泼,这正是安德鲁斯小姐所缺少的。坦白地说,她这个人没意思极了。噢!我得告诉你,我们昨天刚一分手,我就见到一个小伙子在使劲地看你。我敢断定,他爱上你了。”凯瑟琳脸上绯红,再次否认。“那是千真万确的。我明白是怎么回事:你是除了一位先生以外,对谁的爱慕都无动于衷,那位先生我就不点名道姓啦。得了,我不能责怪你了。”(语气更加严肃)“你的心情很容易理解。我很清楚,你要是真正爱上一个人,就不喜欢别人来献殷勤。凡是与心上人无关的事情,全都是那样索然寡味!我完全可以理解你的心情。”

“不过,你别让我觉得自己就这么想念蒂尔尼先生,我兴许再也见不到他了。”

“再也见不到他了!我的宝贝,别这么说啦。你要是这么想,肯定要垂头丧气了。”

“不会的,决不会。我也不装模作样,说什么我并不喜欢他。不过,当我有《尤多尔弗》可看的时候,我觉得谁也不能让我垂头丧气的。噢!那条可怕的黑纱幔!亲爱的伊莎贝拉,我敢肯定,它后面准是劳伦蒂纳的骷髅。”

“我觉得真怪.你以前居然没看过《尤多尔弗》。不过我想,莫兰太太反对看小说。”

“不,她不反对。她自已就常看《查尔斯·格兰迪森爵士》。不过,新书落不到我们手里。”

“《查尔斯·格兰迪森爵》!那是一部十分无聊的书,对不?我记得安德鲁斯小姐连第一卷都无法看完。”

“它和《尤多尔弗》完全不同,不过我还是觉得很有趣。”

“是吗?真让我吃惊。我还以为不堪卒读呢。不过,亲爱的凯瑟琳,你有没有定下今晚头上戴什么?无论如何,我决定跟你打扮得一模一样。你知道,男人有时对这种事还挺注意呢。”

“他们注意有什么关系?”凯瑟琳十分天真地说。

“有什么关系!哦,天哪!我向来不在乎他们说什么。你若是不给他们点厉害瞧瞧,让他们识相点,他们往住会胡来的。”

“是吗?这我可从没注意到。他们对我总是规规矩矩的。”

“啊!他们就会装腔作势,自以为了不起,天下人数他们最自负。噢,对了,有件事我都想到上百次了,可总是忘记问问你:你觉得男人什么脸色的最好看?你喜欢黑的还是白的?”

“我也说不上。我没怎么想过这个问题。我想还是介乎两者之间的棕色最好,不白也不很黑。”

“好极啦,凯瑟琳。那正是他嘛。我还没忘记你是怎么形容蒂尔尼先生的:‘棕色的皮肤,黝黑的眼珠,乌黑的头发。’唔,我的爱好可不一样。我喜欢淡色的眼睛。至于肤色,你知道我最喜欢淡黄色的。你要是在你的熟人里见到这种特征的,可千万别泄露我的天机。”

“泄露你的天机!你这是什么意思?”

“得了,你别难为我啦。我看我说得太多了。我们别再谈这件事吧。”

凯瑟琳有些诧异地依从了。沉默了一阵之后,她刚想再提起她当时最感兴趣的劳伦蒂纳的骷髅,不料她的朋友打断了她的话头,只听她说:“看在老天爷的份上,我们离开这边吧。你知道,有两个讨厌的年轻人盯着我瞅了半个钟头了,看得我真难为情。我们去看看来了些什么人吧。他们不会跟到那边去的。”

她们走到来宾簿那儿。伊莎贝拉查看来宾登记的时候,凯瑟琳就负责监视那两个可怕的年轻人的行踪。

“他们没朝这边来吧?但愿他们别死皮赖脸地跟着我们。要是他们来了,你可要告诉我一声。我决不抬头。”

过了不久,凯瑟琳带着真挚的喜悦告诉伊莎贝拉,说她不必再感到不安了,因为那两个男的刚刚离开了矿泉厅。

“他们往哪边去了?”伊莎贝拉急忙转过身,问道,“有个小伙子长得还真漂亮。”

“他们往教堂大院那边去了。”

“哦,我终于把他们甩掉了。真是太好了?现在吗,就陪我到埃德加大楼,去看看我的新帽子,好吗?你说过你想看看。”

凯瑟琳欣然同意了。“只是,”她补充说,“我们或许会赶上那两个年轻人的。”

“哎!别管那个。我们要是赶得快,马上就能超过他们。我一心急着让你看帽子呢。”

“不过,我们只要再等几分钟,压根儿就不会再碰见他们。”

“老实对你说吧,我才不这样抬举他们呢。我对男人就不这么敬重。那只会把他们宠坏。”

凯瑟琳无法抗拒这番理论。于是,为了显显索普小姐的倔强性格,显显她要煞煞男人威风的决心,她们当即拔腿就走,以最快的速度向两个年轻人追去。



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