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Cambridgeshire/[ˋkeɪmbrɪdʒʃə(r)]/ n. 剑桥郡...

第五卷下坡路 第12章巴马达波先生的无聊

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CHAPTER XII M. BAMATABOIS'S INACTIVITY



There is in all small towns, and there was at M. sur M. in particular, a class of young men who nibble away an income of fifteen hundred francs with the same air with which their prototypes devour two hundred thousand francs a year in Paris. These are beings of the great neuter species: impotent men, parasites, cyphers, who have a little land, a little folly, a little wit; who would be rustics in a drawing-room, and who think themselves gentlemen in the dram-shop; who say, "My fields, my peasants, my woods"; who hiss actresses at the theatre to prove that they are persons of taste; quarrel with the officers of the garrison to prove that they are men of war; hunt, smoke, yawn, drink, smell of tobacco, play billiards, stare at travellers as they descend from the diligence, live at the cafe, dine at the inn, have a dog which eats the bones under the table, and a mistress who eats the dishes on the table; who stick at a sou, exaggerate the fashions, admire tragedy, despise women, wear out their old boots, copy London through Paris, and Paris through the medium of Pont-A-Mousson, grow old as dullards, never work, serve no use, and do no great harm.

M. Felix Tholomyes, had he remained in his own province and never beheld Paris, would have been one of these men.

If they were richer, one would say, "They are dandies;" if they were poorer, one would say, "They are idlers." They are simply men without employment. Among these unemployed there are bores, the bored, dreamers, and some knaves.

At that period a dandy was composed of a tall collar, a big cravat, a watch with trinkets, three vests of different colors, worn one on top of the other--the red and blue inside; of a short-waisted olive coat, with a codfish tail, a double row of silver buttons set close to each other and running up to the shoulder; and a pair of trousers of a lighter shade of olive, ornamented on the two seams with an indefinite, but always uneven, number of lines, varying from one to eleven--a limit which was never exceeded. Add to this, high shoes with little irons on the heels, a tall hat with a narrow brim, hair worn in a tuft, an enormous cane, and conversation set off by puns of Potier. Over all, spurs and a mustache. At that epoch mustaches indicated the bourgeois, and spurs the pedestrian.

The provincial dandy wore the longest of spurs and the fiercest of mustaches.

It was the period of the conflict of the republics of South America with the King of Spain, of Bolivar against Morillo. Narrow-brimmed hats were royalist, and were called morillos; liberals wore hats with wide brims, which were called bolivars.

Eight or ten months, then, after that which is related in the preceding pages, towards the first of January, 1823, on a snowy evening, one of these dandies, one of these unemployed, a "right thinker," for he wore a morillo, and was, moreover, warmly enveloped in one of those large cloaks which completed the fashionable costume in cold weather, was amusing himself by tormenting a creature who was prowling about in a ball-dress, with neck uncovered and flowers in her hair, in front of the officers' cafe. This dandy was smoking, for he was decidedly fashionable.

Each time that the woman passed in front of him, he bestowed on her, together with a puff from his cigar, some apostrophe which he considered witty and mirthful, such as, "How ugly you are!-- Will you get out of my sight?--You have no teeth!" etc., etc. This gentleman was known as M. Bamatabois. The woman, a melancholy, decorated spectre which went and came through the snow, made him no reply, did not even glance at him, and nevertheless continued her promenade in silence, and with a sombre regularity, which brought her every five minutes within reach of this sarcasm, like the condemned soldier who returns under the rods. The small effect which he produced no doubt piqued the lounger; and taking advantage of a moment when her back was turned, he crept up behind her with the gait of a wolf, and stifling his laugh, bent down, picked up a handful of snow from the pavement, and thrust it abruptly into her back, between her bare shoulders. The woman uttered a roar, whirled round, gave a leap like a panther, and hurled herself upon the man, burying her nails in his face, with the most frightful words which could fall from the guard-room into the gutter. These insults, poured forth in a voice roughened by brandy, did, indeed, proceed in hideous wise from a mouth which lacked its two front teeth. It was Fantine.

At the noise thus produced, the officers ran out in throngs from the cafe, passers-by collected, and a large and merry circle, hooting and applauding, was formed around this whirlwind composed of two beings, whom there was some difficulty in recognizing as a man and a woman: the man struggling, his hat on the ground; the woman striking out with feet and fists, bareheaded, howling, minus hair and teeth, livid with wrath, horrible.

Suddenly a man of lofty stature emerged vivaciously from the crowd, seized the woman by her satin bodice, which was covered with mud, and said to her, "Follow me!"

The woman raised her head; her furious voice suddenly died away. Her eyes were glassy; she turned pale instead of livid, and she trembled with a quiver of terror. She had recognized Javert.

The dandy took advantage of the incident to make his escape.




十二 巴马达波先生的无聊




在所有的小城里,尤其是在滨海蒙特勒伊,有一种青年人,在外省每年蚕食一千五百利弗的年金,正和他们的同类在巴黎每年鲸吞二十万法郎同一情形。他们全是那一大堆无用人群的组成部分;不事生产,食人之力,一无所长,有一点地产,一点戆气,一点小聪明,在客厅里是乡愚,到了茶楼酒馆又以贵人自居,他们的常用语是“我的草场,我的树林,我的佃户”,在剧场里叫女演员们的倒彩,以图证明自己是有修养的人,和兵营中的官长争辩,以图显示自己深通韬略,打猎,吸烟,打呵欠,酗酒,闻鼻烟,打弹子,看旅客们下公共马车,坐咖啡馆,上饭店,有一只在桌子下面啃骨头的狗和一个在桌子上面张罗的情妇,一毛不拔,奇装异服,幸灾乐祸,侮蔑妇女,使自己的旧靴子更破,在巴黎模仿伦敦的时装,又在木松桥模仿巴黎的时装,顽冥到老,游手好闲,毫无用处,但也不碍大事。

斐利克斯·多罗米埃先生,如果他一直住在外省,不曾见过巴黎的话,便也是这样一个人。

假使他们更有钱一些,人家会说“这些都是佳公子”;假使他们更穷一些,人家也会说“这些都是二流子”。这种人干脆就是些游民。在这些游民中,有恼人的,也有被人恼的,有神志昏沉的,也有丑态百出的。

在那时代,一个佳公子的组成部分是一条高领、一个大领结、一只珠饰累累的表、一叠三件蓝红在里的颜色不同的背心、一件橄榄色的短燕尾服、两行密密相连一直排列到肩头的银钮扣、一条浅橄榄色裤子,在两旁的线缝上,装饰着或多或少的丝曾超过的限度。此外还有一双后跟上装了小铁片的短统鞋,一顶高顶窄边帽、蓬松的头发、一根粗手杖,谈吐之中,杂以博基埃式的隐语。最出色的,是鞋跟上的刺马距和嘴皮上的髭须。在那时代,髭须代表有产阶级,刺马距代表无车阶级。

外省佳公子的刺马距比较长,髭须也比较粗野。

那正是南美洲的一些共和国和西班牙国王斗争的时期,也就是玻利瓦尔①和莫里耳奥②斗争的时期,窄边帽是保王党的标志,那种帽子就叫做莫里耳奥,自由党人戴的阔边帽子就叫做玻利瓦尔。

①玻利瓦尔(Bolivar,1783-1830),领导南美洲人民摆脱西班牙王朝统治的军事政治家。

②莫里耳奥(Morillo,1778-1837),西班牙将军,一八一五年至一八二○年为镇压南美西班牙殖民地民族解放运动的西班牙总司令。 

在上面几页谈过的那些事发生后又过了八个月或十个月,在一八二三年一月的上旬,一次雪后的晚上,一个那样的佳公子,一个那种游民,一个“很有思想的人”,因为他戴了一顶莫里耳奥,此外还暖暖地加上一件当时用来补充时髦服装的大氅,正在调戏一个穿着跳舞服、敞着胸肩、头上戴着花、在军官咖啡馆的玻璃窗前来往徘徊着的人儿。那个佳公子还吸着烟,因为那肯定是时髦的风尚。

那妇人每次从他面前走过,他总吸上一口雪茄,把烟喷她,并向她说些自以为诙谐有趣的怪话,如“你多么丑!”“还不躲起来!”“你没有牙齿!”这类的话。那位先生叫做巴马达波先生。那个愁眉苦脸、打扮成妖精似的妇人,并不回嘴,连望也不望他一眼,她照旧一声不响,拖着那种均匀沉重的步伐,在雪地上踱来踱去,她每隔五分钟来受一次辱骂,正如一个受处分的士兵按时来受鞭子一样。她那种反应一定刺激了这位吃闲饭的人,他乘她转过背去时,蹑着足,跟在她后面,忍住笑,弯下腰,在地上捏了一把雪,一下塞到她的背里,两个赤裸裸的肩膀中间。那妓女狂叫一声,回转身来,豹子似的跳上去,一把揪住那个人,把指甲掐进他的面皮,骂了一些不堪入耳的话。那种恶骂从中了酒毒的哑嗓子里喊出来,确是很丑,那张嘴确也缺少两颗门牙。她便是芳汀。

军官们听了那种声音,全从咖啡馆里涌出来了,过路的人也聚拢来,围成一个大圈子,有笑的,叫的,鼓掌的,那两个人在人圈子中扭打到团团转,旁人几乎看不清是一个男人和一个女人;男人竭力抵御,帽子落在地上,女人拳打脚踢,帽子也丢了,乱嚷着,她既无牙齿,又无头发,怒得面孔发青,好不吓人。

忽然,一个身材魁梧的人从人堆里冲出来,抓住妇人的泥污狼藉的缎衫,对她说:“跟我来。”

妇人抬头一望,她那咆哮如雷的嗓子突然沉寂下去了。她目光颓丧,面色由青转成死灰,浑身吓得发抖。她认出那人是沙威。

佳公子乘机溜走了。
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