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双语小说连载:纯真年代 The Age of Innocence(11)

来源:可可英语 编辑:beck   VIP免费外教试听课 |  可可官方微信:ikekenet

For the first time he perceived how elementary his own principles had always been. He passed for a young man who had not been afraid of risks, and he knew that his secret love-affair with poor silly Mrs. Thorley Rushworth had not been too secret to invest him with a becoming air of adventure. But Mrs. Rushworth was "that kind of woman"; foolish, vain, clandestine by nature, and far more attracted by the secrecy and peril of the affair than by such charms and qualities as he possessed. When the fact dawned on him it nearly broke his heart, but now it seemed the redeeming feature of the case. The affair, in short, had been of the kind that most of the young men of his age had been through, and emerged from with calm consciences and an undisturbed belief in the abysmal distinction between the women one loved and respected and those one enjoyed--and pitied. In this view they were sedulously abetted by their mothers, aunts and other elderly female relatives, who all shared Mrs. Archer's belief that when "such things happened" it was undoubtedly foolish of the man, but somehow always criminal of the woman. All the elderly ladies whom Archer knew regarded any woman who loved imprudently as necessarily unscrupulous and designing, and mere simple- minded man as powerless in her clutches. The only thing to do was to persuade him, as early as possible, to marry a nice girl, and then trust to her to look after him.
他第一次认识到他恪守的那些原则是多么初级。他被认为是个不怕冒险的年轻人,他知道他与傻乎乎的托雷·拉什沃斯太太的桃色秘密还不够秘密,无法给他蒙上一层名副其实的冒险色彩。然而拉什沃斯太太属于“那种女人”:愚蠢、虚荣、生性喜欢偷偷摸摸,事情的秘密性与冒险性对她的吸引力远大于他的魅力与品质。当他明白真相之后,难受得差点儿心碎,不过现在看来却起到了补偿作用。总之,那段恩怨属于跟他同龄的多数年轻人都经历过的那一种,它的发生于良心是平静的,且丝毫不会动摇这样一种信念:一个人尊重、爱恋的女人与他欣赏——并怜悯的女人是有天渊之别的。按照这种观点,年轻人都受到他们的母亲、姑姨及其他女长辈百般的怂恿和支持,她们都与阿切尔太太持同样的看法:“发生这种事”,对于男人无疑是愚蠢的,而对于女人——不知何故——却是罪恶的。阿切尔太太认识的所有上年纪的夫人们都认为,任何轻率与人相爱的女人都必然是寡廉鲜耻、工于心计的,而心地单纯的男人在其控制下则是无能为力的。惟一的办法是尽早说服他娶一位好姑娘,然后委托她去照管他。

In the complicated old European communities, Archer began to guess, love-problems might be less simple and less easily classified. Rich and idle and ornamental societies must produce many more such situations; and there might even be one in which a woman naturally sensitive and aloof would yet, from the force of circumstances, from sheer defencelessness and loneliness, be drawn into a tie inexcusable by conventional standards.
阿切尔开始想,在复杂的老式欧洲社会里,爱情问题恐怕不这么简单,不这么容易分门归类。富足、悠闲、喜欢招摇的上流社会必然会发生许许多多这样的私情,甚至会有这种可能:一位生性敏感的孤单女子,由于环境势力所逼、由于全然孤立无助,会被牵涉进为传统规范不能饶恕的感情纠纷之中。

On reaching home he wrote a line to the Countess Olenska, asking at what hour of the next day she could receive him, and despatched it by a messenger-boy, who returned presently with a word to the effect that she was going to Skuytercliff the next morning to stay over Sunday with the van der Luydens, but that he would find her alone that evening after dinner. The note was written on a rather untidy half-sheet, without date or address, but her hand was firm and free. He was amused at the idea of her week-ending in the stately solitude of Skuytercliff, but immediately afterward felt that there, of all places, she would most feel the chill of minds rigorously averted from the "unpleasant."
一回到家,他便给奥兰斯卡伯爵夫人写了几句话,问她第二天什么时间可以接见他。他打发信差送去,不久,便带话回来,说她翌晨要与范德卢顿夫妇去斯库特克利夫过星期天,不过晚饭以后她将一个人呆在家里。回函写在很不整洁的半页纸上,没有日期和地址,但她的书写流畅而道劲。他对她到豪华幽闭的斯库特克利夫度周末的主意感到高兴,但稍后他立即意识到,惟其在那个地方,她才会最深切地感受到坚决规避“不愉快”的那种思想的冷漠。

He was at Mr. Letterblair's punctually at seven, glad of the pretext for excusing himself soon after dinner. He had formed his own opinion from the papers entrusted to him, and did not especially want to go into the matter with his senior partner. Mr. Letterblair was a widower, and they dined alone, copiously and slowly, in a dark shabby room hung with yellowing prints of "The Death of Chatham" and "The Coronation of Napoleon." On the sideboard, between fluted Sheraton knife-cases, stood a decanter of Haut Brion, and another of the old Lanning port (the gift of a client), which the wastrel Tom Lanning had sold off a year or two before his mysterious and discreditable death in San Francisco--an incident less publicly humiliating to the family than the sale of the cellar.
7点钟,他准时到达莱特布赖先生的家,心中为饭后立即脱身的借口暗自高兴。他已从交给他的那些文件中形成了自己的意见,并不太想跟他的上司深入探讨。莱特布赖先生是个鳏夫,只有他们两人用餐。菜肴十分丰盛,而上菜却慢慢腾腾。阴暗寒怆的餐厅里挂着两张发黄的版画《查塔姆之死》与《拿破仑的加冕礼》。餐具柜上面,带凹槽的餐刀匣子中间,摆着一瓶豪特·布里翁的圆酒瓶,还有一瓶陈年拉宁红葡萄酒(一位委托人的礼品),那是汤姆·拉宁那个饭桶神秘可耻地死于旧金山前一两年打折倾销的——他的死亡还不及地下酒窖的拍卖给家庭带来的耻辱大。

After a velvety oyster soup came shad and cucumbers, then a young broiled turkey with corn fritters, followed by a canvas-back with currant jelly and a celery mayonnaise. Mr. Letterblair, who lunched on a sandwich and tea, dined deliberately and deeply, and insisted on his guest's doing the same. Finally, when the closing rites had been accomplished, the cloth was removed, cigars were lit, and Mr. Letterblair, leaning back in his chair and pushing the port westward, said, spreading his back agreeably to the coal fire behind him: "The whole family are against a divorce. And I think rightly."
一道可口的牡蛎汤之后,上了河鲱和黄瓜,然后是一客童子鸡与油炸玉米馅饼,接着又有灰背野鸭和醋栗酱和蛋黄汁芹菜。午饭吃三明治、喝茶的莱特布赖先生,晚餐却吃得从容不迫、专心致志,并坚持让他的客人也照此办理。终于,收场的礼节完成之后,撤掉桌布,点着雪茄,莱特布赖先生把酒瓶向西面一推,身体在椅子里朝后一靠,无拘无束地向身后的煤火舒展开后背,然后说道:“全家人都反对离婚,我认为这很正确。”

Archer instantly felt himself on the other side of the argument. "But why, sir? If there ever was a case--"
阿切尔即刻觉得自己站在了争论的另一方。“可这是因为什么呢,先生?假如有个案子——”



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