小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 双语小说 » 复活 Resurrection » Part 2 Chapter 17
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
Part 2 Chapter 17

COUNTESS KATERINA IVANOVNA'S DINNER PARTY.

Countess Katerina Ivanovna's dinner hour was half-past seven, and the dinner was served in a new manner that Nekhludoff had not yet seen anywhere. After they had placed the dishes on the table the waiters left the room and the diners helped themselves. The men would not let the ladies take the trouble of moving, and, as befitted the stronger sex, they manfully took on themselves the burden of putting the food on the ladies' plates and of filling their glasses. When one course was finished, the Countess pressed the button of an electric bell fitted to the table and the waiters stepped in noiselessly and quickly carried away the dishes, changed the plates, and brought in the next course. The dinner was very refined, the wines very costly. A French chef was working in the large, light kitchens, with two white-clad assistants. There were six persons at dinner, the Count and Countess, their son (a surly officer in the Guards who sat with his elbows on the table), Nekhludoff, a French lady reader, and the Count's chief steward, who had come up from the country. Here, too, the conversation was about the duel, and opinions were given as to how the Emperor regarded the case. It was known that the Emperor was very much grieved for the mother's sake, and all were grieved for her, and as it was also known that the Emperor did not mean to be very severe to the murderer, who defended the honour of his uniform, all were also lenient to the officer who had defended the honour of his uniform. Only the Countess Katerina Ivanovna, with her free thoughtlessness, expresses her disapproval.

"They get drunk, and kill unobjectionable young men. I should not forgive them on any account," she said.

"Now, that's a thing I cannot understand," said the Count.

"I know that you never can understand what I say," the Countess began, and turning to Nekhludoff, she added:

"Everybody understands except my husband. I say I am sorry for the mother, and I do not wish him to be contented, having killed a man." Then her son, who had been silent up to then, took the murderer's part, and rudely attacked his mother, arguing that an officer could not behave in any other way, because his fellow-officers would condemn him and turn him out of the regiment. Nekhludoff listened to the conversation without joining in. Having been an officer himself, he understood, though he did not agree with, young Tcharsky's arguments, and at the same time he could not help contrasting the fate of the officer with that of a beautiful young convict whom he had seen in the prison, and who was condemned to the mines for having killed another in a fight. Both had turned murderers through drunkenness. The peasant had killed a man in a moment of irritation, and he was parted from his wife and family, had chains on his legs, and his head shaved, and was going to hard labour in Siberia, while the officer was sitting in a fine room in the guardhouse, eating a good dinner, drinking good wine, and reading books, and would be set free in a day or two to live as he had done before, having only become more interesting by the affair. Nekhludoff said what he had been thinking, and at first his aunt, Katerina Ivanovna, seemed to agree with him, but at last she became silent as the rest had done, and Nekhludoff felt that he had committed something akin to an impropriety. In the evening, soon after dinner, the large hall, with high-backed carved chairs arranged in rows as for a meeting, and an armchair next to a little table, with a bottle of water for the speaker, began to fill with people come to hear the foreigner, Kiesewetter, preach. Elegant equipages stopped at the front entrance. In the hall sat richly-dressed ladies in silks and velvets and lace, with false hair and false busts and drawn-in waists, and among them men in uniform and evening dress, and about five persons of the common class, i.e., two men-servants, a shop-keeper, a footman, and a coachman. Kiesewetter, a thick-set, grisly man, spoke English, and a thin young girl, with a pince-nez, translated it into Russian promptly and well. He was saying that our sins were so great, the punishment for them so great and so unavoidable, that it was impossible to live anticipating such punishment. "Beloved brothers and sisters, let us for a moment consider what we are doing, how we are living, how we have offended against the all-loving Lord, and how we make Christ suffer, and we cannot but understand that there is no forgiveness possible for us, no escape possible, that we are all doomed to perish. A terrible fate awaits us---everlasting torment," he said, with tears in his trembling voice. "Oh, how can we be saved, brothers? How can we be saved from this terrible, unquenchable fire? The house is in flames; there is no escape."

He was silent for a while, and real tears flowed down his cheeks. It was for about eight years that each time when he got to this part of his speech, which he himself liked so well, he felt a choking in his throat and an irritation in his nose, and the tears came in his eyes, and these tears touched him still more. Sobs were heard in the room. The Countess Katerina Ivanovna sat with her elbows on an inlaid table, leaning her head on her hands, and her shoulders were shaking. The coachman looked with fear and surprise at the foreigner, feeling as if he was about to run him down with the pole of his carriage and the foreigner would not move out of his way. All sat in positions similar to that Katerina Ivanovna had assumed. Wolf's daughter, a thin, fashionably-dressed girl, very like her father, knelt with her face in her hands.

The orator suddenly uncovered his face, and smiled a very real-looking smile, such as actors express joy with, and began again with a sweet, gentle voice:

"Yet there is a way to be saved. Here it is--a joyful, easy way. The salvation is the blood shed for us by the only son of God, who gave himself up to torments for our sake. His sufferings, His blood, will save us. Brothers and sisters," he said, again with tears in his voice, "let us praise the Lord, who has given His only begotten son for the redemption of mankind. His holy blood . . ."

Nekhludoff felt so deeply disgusted that he rose silently, and frowning and keeping back a groan of shame, he left on tiptoe, and went to his room.

察尔斯基伯爵家七点半钟开饭。吃饭用的是一种聂赫留朵夫从未见过的新办法。菜都先摆在桌上,摆好后仆人退出餐厅,吃饭的人就自己动手取菜。男人们摆出男子汉气概,不让太太们过分劳累,毅然承担起给太太们和自己分菜斟酒的重任。吃完一道菜,伯爵夫人就按一按桌上的电铃,仆人就又悄没声儿地走进来,迅速地把用过的菜碟收走,再端来下一道菜。菜肴很讲究,酒也很高级。在灯火通明的大厨房里,法籍厨师正带着两个穿白衣服的下手做菜。吃饭的有六个人:伯爵和伯爵夫人,他们的儿子——一个脸色忧郁、双臂搁在桌上的近卫军军官,聂赫留朵夫,法籍女朗诵员和从乡下来的伯爵家的总管。

餐桌上也谈到那场决斗。大家说起皇上对这事的态度。大家知道,皇上很怜悯死者的母亲,大家也都很为她难过。不过大家又知道,皇上虽然很同情母亲,但又不愿严办身为军人的凶手,因此大家对身为军人的凶手也就宽大为怀。只有察尔斯基伯爵夫人敢想敢说,无所顾忌,对凶手作了谴责。

“他们这样喝酒胡闹,会把一个个好端端的青年都打死的,我说什么也不能原谅他们,”她说。

“你这话我可不明白了,”伯爵说。

“我知道,我说的话你总是不明白的,”伯爵夫人转身对聂赫留朵夫说。“人人都明白,就是我的丈夫不明白。我说我很为做母亲的难过,我不愿看到一个人杀了人还扬扬得意。”

到这时一直保持沉默的儿子开始为凶手辩护,反对母亲的意见,粗声粗气地向她证明,他身为军官非这样做不可,要不然同事们将批评他,把他驱逐出团。聂赫留朵夫听着,没有插嘴。他当过军官,对小察尔斯基的理由虽不加认可,但是能够理解。他还情不自禁地拿杀人的军官,同监狱里那个因殴斗误伤人命而被判苦役的漂亮青年农民进行比较。两人都是因喝醉酒而打死人。那个农民在火头上打死人,就此抛下妻儿,离开亲友,戴上脚镣,剃了阴阳头,去服苦役;而那个军官却坐在漂亮的禁闭室里,吃着上等伙食,喝着上等美酒,看看书,而且早晚一定会获得释放,又可以象原来那样过活,甚至更受人注意。

他把心里的想法都说了出来。察尔斯基伯爵夫人开头同意外甥的话,后来却不作声。其他的人也是这样。聂赫留朵夫才发觉他讲这些话是失礼的。

晚上,吃过饭以后,大厅里象开会似的摆着几排雕花高背椅,桌子后面放着一把圈椅,旁边有一个茶几,上面放着玻璃水瓶,那是给讲道的人饮用的。外国人基泽维特将在这里讲道,听的人纷纷来到。

大门口停着许多华贵的马车。在摆设讲究的大厅里,坐着许多身穿绸缎、丝绒和花边衣服的贵妇人,她们头上戴着假发,腰身勒得很细。在贵妇人中间坐着一些男人,有军人,有文官,还有五个老百姓:两个扫院子的、一个小店老板、一个听差、一个马车夫。

基泽维特体格强壮,头发花白,说一口英语。一个戴夹鼻眼镜的瘦姑娘又快又好地替他翻译。

他说我们的罪孽这样深重,将要受到的惩罚又这样严厉而且无法逃脱,因此不能坐等惩罚临头。

“亲爱的兄弟姊妹们!我们只要想想我们自己,想想我们的生活,想想我们的所作所为,我们怎样生活,我们怎样触怒仁慈的上帝,致使基督受难,我们就会明白,我们不可能得到宽恕,我们没有出路,我们不可能得救,我们大家注定要灭亡。灭亡是可怕的,永恒的磨难在等着我们,”他用哆嗦的带哭的声音说。“怎样才能得救哇?兄弟们,怎样从这场可怕的烈火中得救哇?烈火已经包围了房子,没有出路了。”

他沉默了一会儿,眼泪真的沿着脸颊滚滚而下。八年来,每当他讲到这个他十分得意的地方时,总会感到喉咙哽塞,鼻子发酸,眼泪夺眶而出。眼泪一出来,他自己就更加感动。房间里响起了一片哭声。察尔斯基伯爵夫人坐在一张细工镶嵌的小桌旁,两手抱住脑袋,肥胖的肩膀不住抖动着。马车夫惊奇地瞧着这个德国人,仿佛他正赶着一辆车,车杠眼看就要撞到德国人身上,而德国人却不肯让开。多数人坐的姿势跟察尔斯基伯爵夫人一样。沃尔夫的女儿,相貌很象父亲,穿着一件时髦的连衣裙,双手摀住脸,跪在地上。

口若悬河的讲道人突然容光焕发,露出那种象演员表示欢乐的可以乱真的微笑,声音温柔甜蜜地说:

“现在有救了!这是一种轻松愉快的拯救。这种拯救就是上帝的独生子为我们流了血,他情愿为我们受苦受难。他的苦难,他的鲜血拯救了我们。兄弟姊妹们!”他又带着眼泪说,“让我们来感谢上帝吧,上帝为了替人类赎罪而献出了他的独生子。他的宝血……”

聂赫留朵夫感到十分恶心,就悄悄站起来,皱着眉头,忍住羞愧的呻吟,踮起脚尖走出大厅,回自己的房间去。



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