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傲慢与偏见中英文对照part57

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第五十七章

这不速之客去了以后,伊丽莎白很是心神不安,而且很不容易恢复宁静。她接连好几个钟头不断地思索着这件事。咖苔琳夫人这次居然不怕麻烦,远从罗新斯赶来,原来是她自己异想天开,认为伊丽莎白和达西先生已经订了婚,所以特地赶来要把他们拆散。这个办法倒的确很好;可是,关于他们订婚的谣传,究竟有什么根据呢?这真叫伊丽莎白无从想象,后来她才想起了达西旧彬格莱的好朋友,她自己是吉英的妹妹,而目前大家往往会因为一重婚姻而连带想到再结一重婚姻,那么,人们自然要生出这种念头来了。她自己也早就想到,姐姐结婚以后,她和达西先生见面的机会也就更多了。因此卢家庄的邻居们(她认为只有他们和柯林斯夫妇通信的时候会说起这件事,因此才会传到咖苔琳夫人那里去)竟把这件事看成十拿九稳,而且好事就在眼前,可是她自己只不过觉得这件事将来有点希望而已。

不过,一想起咖苔琳夫人那番话,她就禁不住有些感到不安;如果她硬要干涉,谁也说不出会造成怎样的后果。她说她坚决要阻档这一门亲事,从这些话看来,伊丽莎白想到夫人准会去找她的姨侄;至于达西是不是也同样认为跟她结婚有那么多害处,那她就不敢说了。她不知道他跟他姨母之间感情如何,也不知道他是否完全听他姨母的主张,可是按情理来说,他一定会比伊丽莎白看得起那位老夫人。只要他姨妈在他面前说明他们两家门第不相当,跟这样出身的女人结婚有多少害处,那就会击中他的弱点。咖苔琳夫人说了那么一大堆理由,伊丽莎白当然觉得荒唐可笑,不值一驳,可是有他那样一个死要面子的人看来,也许会觉得见解高明,理由充足。

如果他本来就心里动摇不定(他好象时常如此),那么,只要这位至亲去规劝他一下,央求他一下,他自会立刻打消犹豫,下定决心,再不要为了追求幸福而眨低自己的身份。如果真是这样,那他一定再也不会回来。咖苔琳夫人路过城里,也许会去找他,他虽然和彬格莱先生有约在先,答应立即回到尼日斐花园来,这一下恐怕只能作罢了。

她心里又想:“要是彬格莱先生这几天里就接到他的信,托辞不能践约,我便一切都明白了,不必再去对他存什么指望,不必去希求他始终如一。当我现在快要爱上他、答应他求婚的时候,如果他并不真心爱我,而只是惋惜我一下,那么,我便马上连惋惜他的心肠也不会有。”

且说她家里人听到这位贵客是谁,都惊奇不已;可是她们也同样用班纳特太太那样的假想,满足了自己的好奇心,因此伊丽莎白才没有被她们问长问短。

第二天早上,她下楼的时候,遇见父亲正从书房里走出来,手里拿着一封信。

父亲连忙叫她:“丽萃,我正要找你;你马上到我房间里来一下。”

她跟着他去了,可是不明白父亲究竟要跟她讲些什么。她想,父订所以要找她谈话,多少和他手上那封信有关,因此越发觉得好奇。她突然想到,那封信可能是咖苔琳夫人写来的,免不了又要向父亲解释一番,说来真是烦闷。

她跟她父亲走到壁炉边,两个人一同坐下。父亲说:

“今天早上我收到一封信,使我大吃一惊。这封信上讲的都是你的事,因此你应该知道里面写些什么。我一直不知道我同时有两个女儿都有结婚的希望。让我恭喜你的情场得意。”

伊丽莎白立刻断定这封信是那个姨侄写来的,而不是姨妈写来的,于是涨红了脸。她不知道应该为了他写信来解释而感到高兴呢,还是应该怪他没有直接把信写给她而生气,这时只听得父亲接下去说;

“你好象心里有数似的。年轻的姑娘们对这些事情总是非常精明;可是即使以你这样的机灵,我看你还是猜不出你那位爱人姓甚名谁。告诉你,这封信是柯林斯先生寄来的。”

“柯林斯先生寄来的!他有什么话可说?”

“当然说得很彻底。他开头恭喜我的大女儿快要出嫁,这消息大概是那爱管闲事的好心的卢家说给他听的。这件事姑且不念出来,免得你不耐烦。与你有关的部分是这样写的”──‘愚夫妇既为尊府此次喜事竭诚道贺以后,容再就另一事略申数言。此事消息来源同上。据去尊府一俟大小姐出阁以后,二小姐伊丽莎白也即将出阁。且闻二小姐此次所选如意夫君,确系天下大富大贵之人。’

“丽萃,你猜得出这位贵人是谁吗?──‘贵人年轻福宏,举凡人间最珍贵之事物,莫不件件具有。非但家势雄厚,门第高贵,抑且布施提拔,权力无边。唯彼虽属条件优越,处处足以打动人心,然则彼若向尊府求婚,切不可遽而应承,否则难免轻率从事,后患无穷,此不佞不得不先以奉劝先生与表妹伊丽莎白者也。’

“丽萃,你想得到这位贵人是谁吗?下面就要提到了。

‘不佞之所以不揣冒昧,戆直陈词,实因虑及贵人之姨母咖苔琳·德包尔夫人对此次联姻之事,万难赞同故耳。’

“你明白了吧,这个人就是达西先生!喂丽萃,我已经叫你感到诧异了吧。无论是柯林斯也好,是卢卡斯一家人也好,他们偏偏在我们的熟人中挑出这么一个人来撒谎,这不是太容易给人家揭穿了吗?达西先生见到女人就觉得晦气,也许他看都没有看过你一眼呢!我真佩服他们!

伊丽莎白尽量凑着父亲打趣,可是她的笑容显得极其勉强。父亲的俏皮幽默,从来没有象今天这样不讨她喜欢。

“你不觉得滑稽吗?”

“啊,当然请你再读下去。”

“‘昨夜不佞曾与夫人提及此次联姻可能成为事实,深蒙夫人本其平日推爱之忱,以其隐衷见告。彼谓此事千万不能赞同,盖以令嫒门户低微,缺陷太多,若竟而与之联姻实在有失体统。故不佞自觉责无旁贷,应将此事及早奉告表妹,冀表妹及其所爱幕之贵人皆能深明大体,以免肆无忌惮,私订终身!’────柯林斯先生还说:‘丽迪雅表妹之不贞事件得心圆满解决,殊为欣慰。唯不佞每念及其婚前即与人同居,秽闻远扬,仍不免有所痛心。不佞尤不能已于言者,厥为彼等一经确定夫妇名份,先生即迎之入尊府,诚令人不胜骇异,盖先生此举实系助长伤风败俗之恶习耳。设以不佞为浪搏恩牧师,必然坚决反对。先生身为基督教徒,固当宽恕为怀,然则以先生之本份而言,唯有拒见其人,拒闻其名耳。’这就是他所谓的基督宽恕精神!下面写的都是关于他亲爱的夏绿蒂的一些情形,他们快要生小孩了。怎么,丽萃,你好象不乐意听似的。我想,你不见得也有那种小姐腔,假装正经,听到这种废话就要生气吧。人生在世,要不是让人家开开玩笑,回头来又取笑别人,那还有什么意思?”

伊丽莎白大声叫道:“噢,我听得非常有趣。不过这事情实在古怪!”

“的确古怪──有趣的也正是这一点。如果他们讲的是另外一个人,那倒还说得过去。最可笑的是,那位贵人完全没有把你放在眼里,你对他又是厌恶透顶!我平常虽然最讨厌写信,可是我无论如何也不愿和柯林斯断绝书信往来。唔,我每次读到他的信,总觉得他比韦翰还要讨我喜欢。我那位女婿虽然又冒失又虚伪,还是及不上他。请问你,丽萃,咖苔琳夫人对这事是怎么说的?她是不是特地赶来表示反对?”

女儿听到父亲问这句话,只是笑了一笑。其实父亲这一问完全没有一点猜疑的意思,因此他问了又问,也没有使她感觉到痛苦。伊丽莎白从来没有象今天这样为难:心里想的是一套,表面上却要装出另一套。她真想哭,可是又不得不强颜为笑。父亲说达西先生没有把她放在眼里,这句话未免太使她伤心。她只有怪她父亲为什么这样糊涂,或者说,她现在心里又添了一重顾虑:这件事也许倒不能怪父亲看见得太少,而应该怪她自己幻想得太多呢。






Chapter 57

THE discomposure of spirits which this extraordinary visit threw Elizabeth into, could not be easily overcome; nor could she, for many hours, learn to think of it less than incessantly. Lady Catherine, it appeared, had actually taken the trouble of this journey from Rosings, for the sole purpose of breaking off her supposed engagement with Mr. Darcy. It was a rational scheme, to be sure! but from what the report of their engagement could originate, Elizabeth was at a loss to imagine; till she recollected that his being the intimate friend of Bingley, and her being the sister of Jane, was enough, at a time when the expectation of one wedding made every body eager for another, to supply the idea. She had not herself forgotten to feel that the marriage of her sister must bring them more frequently together. And her neighbours at Lucas lodge, therefore (for through their communication with the Collinses, the report, she concluded, had reached Lady Catherine), had only set that down as almost certain and immediate, which she had looked forward to as possible at some future time.
In revolving Lady Catherine's expressions, however, she could not help feeling some uneasiness as to the possible consequence of her persisting in this interference. From what she had said of her resolution to prevent their marriage, it occurred to Elizabeth that she must meditate an application to her nephew; and how he might take a similar representation of the evils attached to a connection with her, she dared not pronounce. She knew not the exact degree of his affection for his aunt, or his dependence on her judgment, but it was natural to suppose that he thought much higher of her ladyship than she could do; and it was certain that, in enumerating the miseries of a marriage with one whose immediate connections were so unequal to his own, his aunt would address him on his weakest side. With his notions of dignity, he would probably feel that the arguments, which to Elizabeth had appeared weak and ridiculous, contained much good sense and solid reasoning.
If he had been wavering before as to what he should do, which had often seemed likely, the advice and intreaty of so near a relation might settle every doubt, and determine him at once to be as happy as dignity unblemished could make him. In that case he would return no more. Lady Catherine might see him in her way through town; and his engagement to Bingley of coming again to Netherfield must give way.

"If, therefore, an excuse for not keeping his promise should come to his friend within a few days," she added, "I shall know how to understand it. I shall then give over every expectation, every wish of his constancy. If he is satisfied with only regretting me, when he might have obtained my affections and hand, I shall soon cease to regret him at all."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The surprise of the rest of the family, on hearing who their visitor had been, was very great; but they obligingly satisfied it, with the same kind of supposition which had appeased Mrs. Bennet's curiosity; and Elizabeth was spared from much teazing on the subject.
The next morning, as she was going down stairs, she was met by her father, who came out of his library with a letter in his hand.

"Lizzy," said he, "I was going to look for you; come into my room."

She followed him thither; and her curiosity to know what he had to tell her was heightened by the supposition of its being in some manner connected with the letter he held. It suddenly struck her that it might be from Lady Catherine; and she anticipated with dismay all the consequent explanations.

She followed her father to the fire place, and they both sat down. He then said,

"I have received a letter this morning that has astonished me exceedingly. As it principally concerns yourself, you ought to know its contents. I did not know before, that I had two daughters on the brink of matrimony. Let me congratulate you on a very important conquest."

The colour now rushed into Elizabeth's cheeks in the instantaneous conviction of its being a letter from the nephew, instead of the aunt; and she was undetermined whether most to be pleased that he explained himself at all, or offended that his letter was not rather addressed to herself; when her father continued,

"You look conscious. Young ladies have great penetration in such matters as these; but I think I may defy even your sagacity, to discover the name of your admirer. This letter is from Mr. Collins."

"From Mr. Collins! and what can he have to say?"

"Something very much to the purpose of course. He begins with congratulations on the approaching nuptials of my eldest daughter, of which, it seems, he has been told by some of the good-natured, gossiping Lucases. I shall not sport with your impatience, by reading what he says on that point. What relates to yourself, is as follows." "Having thus offered you the sincere congratulations of Mrs. Collins and myself on this happy event, let me now add a short hint on the subject of another; of which we have been advertised by the same authority. Your daughter Elizabeth, it is presumed, will not long bear the name of Bennet, after her elder sister has resigned it, and the chosen partner of her fate may be reasonably looked up to as one of the most illustrious personages in this land."

"Can you possibly guess, Lizzy, who is meant by this?" "This young gentleman is blessed, in a peculiar way, with every thing the heart of mortal can most desire, -- splendid property, noble kindred, and extensive patronage. Yet in spite of all these temptations, let me warn my cousin Elizabeth, and yourself, of what evils you may incur by a precipitate closure with this gentleman's proposals, which, of course, you will be inclined to take immediate advantage of."

"Have you any idea, Lizzy, who this gentleman is? But now it comes out."

"My motive for cautioning you is as follows. We have reason to imagine that his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, does not look on the match with a friendly eye."

"Mr. Darcy, you see, is the man! Now, Lizzy, I think I have surprised you. Could he, or the Lucases, have pitched on any man within the circle of our acquaintance, whose name would have given the lie more effectually to what they related? Mr. Darcy, who never looks at any woman but to see a blemish, and who probably never looked at you in his life! It is admirable!"

Elizabeth tried to join in her father's pleasantry, but could only force one most reluctant smile. Never had his wit been directed in a manner so little agreeable to her.

"Are you not diverted?"

"Oh! yes. Pray read on."

"After mentioning the likelihood of this marriage to her ladyship last night, she immediately, with her usual condescension, expressed what she felt on the occasion; when it become apparent, that on the score of some family objections on the part of my cousin, she would never give her consent to what she termed so disgraceful a match. I thought it my duty to give the speediest intelligence of this to my cousin, that she and her noble admirer may be aware of what they are about, and not run hastily into a marriage which has not been properly sanctioned." "Mr. Collins moreover adds," "I am truly rejoiced that my cousin Lydia's sad business has been so well hushed up, and am only concerned that their living together before the marriage took place should be so generally known. I must not, however, neglect the duties of my station, or refrain from declaring my amazement at hearing that you received the young couple into your house as soon as they were married. It was an encouragement of vice; and had I been the rector of Longbourn, I should very strenuously have opposed it. You ought certainly to forgive them as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing." "That is his notion of Christian forgiveness! The rest of his letter is only about his dear Charlotte's situation, and his expectation of a young olive-branch. But, Lizzy, you look as if you did not enjoy it. You are not going to be Missish, I hope, and pretend to be affronted at an idle report. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"

"Oh!" cried Elizabeth, "I am excessively diverted. But it is so strange!"

"Yes -- that is what makes it amusing. Had they fixed on any other man it would have been nothing; but his perfect indifference, and your pointed dislike, make it so delightfully absurd! Much as I abominate writing, I would not give up Mr. Collins's correspondence for any consideration. Nay, when I read a letter of his, I cannot help giving him the preference even over Wickham, much as I value the impudence and hypocrisy of my son-in-law. And pray, Lizzy, what said Lady Catherine about this report? Did she call to refuse her consent?"

To this question his daughter replied only with a laugh; and as it had been asked without the least suspicion, she was not distressed by his repeating it. Elizabeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were not. It was necessary to laugh, when she would rather have cried. Her father had most cruelly mortified her, by what he said of Mr. Darcy's indifference, and she could do nothing but wonder at such a want of penetration, or fear that perhaps, instead of his seeing too little, she might have fancied too much.
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