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红楼梦(英文版) Chapter 28

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Chiang Yue-han lovingly presents a rubia-scented silk sash. Hsueeh Pao-ch'ai blushingly covers her musk-perfumed string of red beads.

Lin Tai-yue, the story goes, dwelt, after Ch'ing Wen's refusal, the previous night, to open the door, under the impression that the blame lay with Pao-yue. The following day, which by another remarkable coincidence, happened to correspond with the season, when the god of flowers had to be feasted, her total ignorance of the true circumstances, and her resentment, as yet unspent, aroused again in her despondent thoughts, suggested by the decline of spring time. She consequently gathered a quantity of faded flowers and fallen petals, and went and interred them. Unable to check the emotion, caused by the decay of the flowers, she spontaneously recited, after giving way to several loud lamentations, those verses which Pao-yue, she little thought, overheard from his position on the mound. At first, he did no more than nod his head and heave sighs, full of feeling. But when subsequently his ear caught:

"Here I am fain these flowers to inter, but humankind will laugh me as a fool; Who knows who will, in years to come, commit me to my grave! In a twinkle springtime draws to an end, and maidens wax in age. Flowers fade and maidens die; and of either naught any more is known."

he unconsciously was so overpowered with grief that he threw himself on the mound, bestrewing the whole ground with the fallen flowers he carried in his coat, close to his chest. "When Tai-yue's flowerlike charms and moon-like beauty," he reflected, "by and bye likewise reach a time when they will vanish beyond any hope of recovery, won't my heart be lacerated and my feelings be mangled! And extending, since Tai-yue must at length some day revert to a state when it will be difficult to find her, this reasoning to other persons, like Pao-ch'ai, Hsiang Ling, Hsi Jen and the other girls, they too are equally liable to attain a state beyond the reach of human search. But when Pao-ch'ai and all the rest have ultimately reached that stage when no trace will be visible of them, where shall I myself be then? And when my own human form will have vanished and gone, whither I know not yet, to what person, I wonder, will this place, this garden and these plants, revert?"

From one to a second, and from a second to a third, he thus pursued his reflections, backwards and forwards, until he really did not know how he could best, at this time and at such a juncture, dispel his fit of anguish. His state is adequately described by:

the shadow of a flower cannot err from the flower itself to the left or the right. The song of birds can only penetrate into the ear from the east or the west.

Lin Tai-yue was herself a prey to emotion and agitation, when unawares sorrowful accents also struck her ear, from the direction of the mound. "Every one," she cogitated, "laughs at me for labouring under a foolish mania, but is there likely another fool besides myself?" She then raised her head, and, casting a glance about her, she discovered that it was Pao-yue. "Ts'ui!" eagerly cried Tai-yue, "I was wondering who it was; but is it truly this ruthless-hearted and short-lived fellow!"

But the moment the two words "short-lived" dropped from her mouth, she sealed her lips; and, heaving a deep sigh, she turned herself round and hurriedly walked off.

Pao-yue, meanwhile, remained for a time a prey to melancholy. But perceiving that Tai-yue had retired, he at once realised that she must have caught sight of him and got out of his way; and, as his own company afforded him no pleasure, he shook the dust off his clothes, rose to his feet and descending the hill, he started for the I Hung court by the path by which he had come. But he espied Tai-yue walking in advance of him, and with rapid stride, he overtook her. "Stop a little!" he cried. "I know you don't care a rap for me; but I'll just make one single remark, and from this day forward we'll part company."

Tai-yue looked round. Observing that it was Pao-yue, she was about to ignore him; hearing him however mention that he had only one thing to say, "Please tell me what it is," she forthwith rejoined.

Pao-yue smiled at her. "If I pass two remarks will you listen to me; yes or no?" he asked.

At these words, Tai-yue twisted herself round and beat a retreat. Pao-yue however followed behind.

"Since this is what we've come to now," he sighed, "what was the use of what existed between us in days gone by?"

As soon as Tai-yue heard his exclamation, she stopped short impulsively. Turning her face towards him, "what about days gone by," she remarked, "and what about now?"

"Ai!" ejaculated Pao-yue, "when you got here in days gone by, wasn't I your playmate in all your romps and in all your fun? My heart may have been set upon anything, but if you wanted it you could take it away at once. I may have been fond of any eatable, but if I came to learn that you too fancied it, I there and then put away what could be put away, in a clean place, to wait, Miss, for your return. We had our meals at one table; we slept in one and the same bed; whatever the servant-girls could not remember, I reminded them of, for fear lest your temper, Miss, should get ruffled. I flattered myself that cousins, who have grown up together from their infancy, as you and I have, would have continued, through intimacy or friendship, either would have done, in peace and harmony until the end, so as to make it palpable that we are above the rest. But, contrary to all my expectations, now that you, Miss, have developed in body as well as in mind, you don't take the least heed of me. You lay hold instead of some cousin Pao or cousin Feng or other from here, there and everywhere and give them a place in your affections; while on the contrary you disregard me for three days at a stretch and decline to see anything of me for four! I have besides no brother or sister of the same mother as myself. It's true there are a couple of them, but these, are you not forsooth aware, are by another mother! You and I are only children, so I ventured to hope that you would have reciprocated my feelings. But, who'd have thought it, I've simply thrown away this heart of mine, and here I am with plenty of woes to bear, but with nowhere to go and utter them!"

While expressing these sentiments, tears, unexpectedly, trickled from his eyes.

When Lin Tai-yue caught, with her ears, his protestations, and noticed with her eyes his state of mind, she unconsciously experienced an inward pang, and, much against her will, tears too besprinkled her cheeks; so, drooping her head, she kept silent.

Her manner did not escape Pao-yue's notice. "I myself am aware," he speedily resumed, "that I'm worth nothing now; but, however imperfect I may be, I could on no account presume to become guilty of any shortcoming with you cousin. Were I to ever commit the slightest fault, your task should be either to tender me advice and warn me not to do it again, or to blow me up a little, or give me a few whacks; and all this reproof I wouldn't take amiss. But no one would have ever anticipated that you wouldn't bother your head in the least about me, and that you would be the means of driving me to my wits' ends, and so much out of my mind and off my head, as to be quite at a loss how to act for the best. In fact, were death to come upon me, I would be a spirit driven to my grave by grievances. However much exalted bonzes and eminent Taoist priests might do penance, they wouldn't succeed in releasing my soul from suffering; for it would still be needful for you to clearly explain the facts, so that I might at last be able to come to life."

After lending him a patient ear, Tai-yue suddenly banished from her memory all recollection of the occurrences of the previous night. "Well, in that case," she said, "why did you not let a servant-girl open the door when I came over?"

This question took Pao-yue by surprise. "What prompts you to say this?" he exclaimed. "If I have done anything of the kind, may I die at once."

"Psha!" cried Tai-yue, "it's not right that you-should recklessly broach the subject of living or dying at this early morn! If you say yea, it's yea; and nay, it's nay; what use is there to utter such oaths!"

重点单词   查看全部解释    
uncomfortable [ʌn'kʌmftəbl]


adj. 不舒服的,不自在的

describe [dis'kraib]


vt. 描述,画(尤指几何图形),说成

involve [in'vɔlv]


vt. 包含,使陷入,使忙于,使卷入,牵涉

recovery [ri'kʌvəri]


n. 恢复,复原,痊愈

embarrassed [im'bærəst]


adj. 尴尬的,局促不安的,拮据的

precious ['preʃəs]


adj. 宝贵的,珍贵的,矫揉造作的

confinement [kən'fainmənt]


n. 拘禁,限制,分娩

credulous ['kredjuləs]


adj. 轻信的,易受骗的

recitation [.resi'teiʃən]


n. 背诵,详述,吟诵

species ['spi:ʃiz]


n. (单复同)物种,种类


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