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第六卷星星相映 第01章绰号:名字的形成方式

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BOOK SIXTH.--THE CONJUNCTION OF TWO STARS

CHAPTER I THE SOBRIQUET: MODE OF FORMATION OF FAMILY NAMES


Marius was, at this epoch, a handsome young man, of medium stature,with thick and intensely black hair, a lofty and intelligent brow,well-opened and passionate nostrils, an air of calmness and sincerity,and with something indescribably proud, thoughtful, and innocent over his whole countenance. His profile, all of whose lines were rounded, without thereby losing their firmness, had a certain Germanic sweetness, which has made its way into the French physiognomy by way of Alsace and Lorraine, and that complete absence of angles which rendered the Sicambres so easily recognizable among the Romans, and which distinguishes the leonine from the aquiline race.He was at that period of life when the mind of men who think is composed, in nearly equal parts, of depth and ingenuousness. A grave situation being given, he had all that is required to be stupid: one more turn of the key, and he might be sublime.His manners were reserved, cold, polished, not very genial.As his mouth was charming, his lips the reddest, and his teeth the whitest in the world, his smile corrected the severity of his face, as a whole. At certain moments, that pure brow and that voluptuous smile presented a singular contrast. His eyes were small, but his glance was large.

At the period of his most abject misery, he had observed that young girls turned round when he passed by, and he fled or hid,with death in his soul. He thought that they were staring at him because of his old clothes, and that they were laughing at them;the fact is, that they stared at him because of his grace, and that they dreamed of him.

This mute misunderstanding between him and the pretty passers-by had made him shy. He chose none of them for the excellent reason that he fled from all of them. He lived thus indefinitely,-- stupidly, as Courfeyrac said.

Courfeyrac also said to him: "Do not aspire to be venerable" [they called each other thou; it is the tendency of youthful friendships to slip into this mode of address]. "Let me give you a piece of advice, my dear fellow. Don't read so many books, and look a little more at the lasses. The jades have some good points about them, O Marius! By dint of fleeing and blushing,you will become brutalized."

On other occasions, Courfeyrac encountered him and said:--"Good morning, Monsieur l'Abbe!"

When Courfeyrac had addressed to him some remark of this nature, Marius avoided women, both young and old, more than ever for a week to come, and he avoided Courfeyrac to boot.

Nevertheless, there existed in all the immensity of creation, two women whom Marius did not flee, and to whom he paid no attention whatever.In truth, he would have been very much amazed if he had been informed that they were women. One was the bearded old woman who swept out his chamber, and caused Courfeyrac to say: "Seeing that his servant woman wears his beard, Marius does not wear his own beard." The other was a sort of little girl whom he saw very often,and whom he never looked at.

For more than a year, Marius had noticed in one of the walks of the Luxembourg, the one which skirts the parapet of the Pepiniere,a man and a very young girl, who were almost always seated side by side on the same bench, at the most solitary end of the alley, on the Rue de l'Ouest side. Every time that that chance which meddles with the strolls of persons whose gaze is turned inwards,led Marius to that walk,--and it was nearly every day,--he found this couple there. The man appeared to be about sixty years of age;he seemed sad and serious; his whole person presented the robust and weary aspect peculiar to military men who have retired from the service. If he had worn a decoration, Marius would have said:"He is an ex-officer." He had a kindly but unapproachable air,and he never let his glance linger on the eyes of any one. He wore blue trousers, a blue frock coat and a broad-brimmed hat,which always appeared to be new, a black cravat, a quaker shirt,that is to say, it was dazzlingly white, but of coarse linen. A grisette who passed near him one day, said: "Here's a very tidy widower." His hair was very white.

The first time that the young girl who accompanied him came and seated herself on the bench which they seemed to have adopted,she was a sort of child thirteen or fourteen years of age, so thin as to be almost homely, awkward, insignificant, and with a possible promise of handsome eyes. Only, they were always raised with a sort of displeasing assurance. Her dress was both aged and childish,like the dress of the scholars in a convent; it consisted of a badly cut gown of black merino. They had the air of being father and daughter.

Marius scanned this old man, who was not yet aged, and this little girl,who was not yet a person, for a few days, and thereafter paid no attention to them. They, on their side, did not appear even to see him.They conversed together with a peaceful and indifferent air. The girl chattered incessantly and merrily. The old man talked but little, and,at times, he fixed on her eyes overflowing with an ineffable paternity.

Marius had acquired the mechanical habit of strolling in that walk.He invariably found them there.This is the way things went:--

Marius liked to arrive by the end of the alley which was furthest from their bench; he walked the whole length of the alley, passed in front of them, then returned to the extremity whence he had come,and began again. This he did five or six times in the course of his promenade, and the promenade was taken five or six times a week, without its having occurred to him or to these people to exchange a greeting. That personage, and that young girl,although they appeared,--and perhaps because they appeared,--to shun all glances, had, naturally, caused some attention on the part of the five or six students who strolled along the Pepiniere from time to time; the studious after their lectures, the others after their game of billiards. Courfeyrac, who was among the last,had observed them several times, but, finding the girl homely,he had speedily and carefully kept out of the way. He had fled,discharging at them a sobriquet, like a Parthian dart.Impressed solely with the child's gown and the old man's hair,he had dubbed the daughter Mademoiselle Lanoire, and the father,Monsieur Leblanc, so that as no one knew them under any other title,this nickname became a law in the default of any other name.The students said: "Ah! Monsieur Leblanc is on his bench."And Marius, like the rest, had found it convenient to call this unknown gentleman Monsieur Leblanc.

We shall follow their example, and we shall say M. Leblanc,in order to facilitate this tale.

So Marius saw them nearly every day, at the same hour, during the first year. He found the man to his taste, but the girl insipid.



一 绰号:名字的形成方式

马吕斯在这时已是个美少年,中等身材,头发乌黑而厚,额高而聪明,鼻孔轩豁,富有热情,气度诚挚稳重,整个面貌有种说不出的高傲、若有所思和天真的神态。他侧面轮廓的线条全是圆的,但并不因此而失其刚强,他有经阿尔萨斯和洛林传到法兰西民族容貌上来的那种日耳曼族的秀气,也具有使西康伯尔①族在罗马人中极容易被识别出来并使狮族不同于鹰族的那种完全不见棱角的形相。他现在处于人生中深沉和天真几乎相等各占思想一半的时期。在困难重重的逆境中,他完全可以愕然不知所措,把钥匙拨转一下,他又能变得卓越不凡。他的态度是谦逊、冷淡、文雅、不很开朗的。由于他的嘴生得动人,是世上嘴唇里最红的,牙齿里最白的,他微微一笑便可纠正整个外貌的严肃气氛。有时,那真是一种奇特的对比,额头高洁而笑容富于肉感。他的眼眶小,目光却远大。

①西康伯尔(Sicambre),古代日耳曼民族的一个支系。

在他最穷困时,他发现年轻姑娘们见他走过,常把头转过来望他,他连忙避开,或是躲起来,心情万分颓丧。他以为她们看他是因为他的衣服破旧,在讥笑他,其实她们看他是为了他的风韵,她们在梦想。

和这些漂亮过路女子之间的误会他都憋在心里,使他变成一个性情孤僻的人。在她们中他一个也没选中,绝妙的理由是他见到任何一个都逃走。他便这样漫无目标地活着,古费拉克却说他是傻里呱唧地活着。

古费拉克还对他这样说:“你不该有当道学先生的想法(他们之间已用“你”相称,这是年轻人友情发展的必然趋向)。老兄,我进个忠告,不要老这样钻在书本里,多看看那些破罐子。风骚女人是有些好处的,呵,马吕斯!你老这样开溜,老这样脸嫩,你会变成个憨子。”

在另一些时候,古费拉克遇见了他,便对他说:

“你好,神甫先生。”

在古费拉克对他讲了这一类话以后,马吕斯整个星期都不敢见女人,无论是年轻的或年老的,他比以前任何时候都避得更厉害,尤其避免和古费拉克见面。

在整个广阔的宇宙间却有两个女人是马吕斯不逃避也不提防的。老实说,假使有人告诉他,说这是两个女人,他还会大吃一惊。一个是那替他打扫屋子的老妇人,因为她嘴上生了胡子,古费拉克曾经说:“马吕斯看见他的女用人已经留了胡子,所以他自己便不用留了。”另一个是个小姑娘,是他经常见到却从来不看的。

一年多以来,马吕斯发现在卢森堡公园里一条僻静的小路上,就是沿着苗圃石栏杆的那条小路上,有一个男子和一个很年轻的姑娘,几乎每次都是并排坐在靠近游人最少的西街那边的一条板凳上,从来不换地方。每次当机缘,那些只管眼睛朝里看的人散步时的机缘,把马吕斯引上这条小路时,也就是说,几乎每天引他上那儿时,他准能在老地方遇到那一老一小。那男子大致有六十来岁,他神情抑郁而严肃,他整个人表现出退伍军人的那种强健和疲乏的形相。假使他有一条勋带,马吕斯还会说:“这是个退伍军官。”他那神气是善良的,但又使人感到难于接近,他的目光从来不停留在别人的眼睛上。他穿一条蓝色长裤,一件蓝色骑马服,戴顶宽边帽,好象永远是新的,结一条黑领带,穿件教友派衬衫,就是说,那种白到耀眼的粗布衬衫。一天,有个俏女人打他身边走过,说道:“好一个干净的老光棍。”他的头发雪白。

那年轻姑娘,当她初次陪同他来坐在这条仿佛是他们的专用板凳上时,是个十三四岁的女娃,瘦到近乎难看,神情拙笨,毫无可取之处,只有一双眼睛也许还能变得秀丽。不过她抬起眼睛望人时,总有那么一种不懂得避嫌疑的神气,不怎么讨人喜欢。她的打扮是修道院里寄读生的那种派头,既象老妇人,又象小孩,穿一件不合身的黑色粗呢裙袍。看上去他们是父女俩。

马吕斯把这个还不能称为老头儿的老人和那个还没成人的小姑娘研究了两三天,便再也不去注意了。至于他们那方面,他俩似乎根本没有看见他。他们安安静静谈着话,全不注意旁人。那姑娘不停地又说又笑。老人不大开口,不时转过眼睛,满含着一种说不出的父爱望着她。

马吕斯已经养成机械的习惯,必定要到这小路上来散步。

他每次准能遇见他们。

事情的经过是这样的:

马吕斯最喜欢一直走到那条小路的尽头,他们的板凳对面。他在那条小路上,从一头走到一头,经过他们面前,再转身回到原处,接着又走回来。他每次散步,总得这样来回五六趟,而这样的散步,每星期又有五六次,可是那两个人和他却从来不曾打过一次招呼。那男子和那年轻姑娘,虽然他们好象有意要避开别人的注视,也许正因为他们有意要避开别人的注视,便自然而然地多少引起了五六个经常沿着苗圃散步的大学生的注意,有些是来作课后散步的用功学生,另一些是弹子打够了来散步的。古费拉克属于后者,也曾对他们留意观察了一些时候,但是觉得那姑娘生得丑,便很快地小心谨慎地避开了。他象帕尔特人①射回马箭那样,在逃走时射了个绰号。由于那小姑娘的裙袍和那老人的头发给他的印象特别深,因此他称那姑娘为“黑姑娘”,老人为“白先生”,谁也不知道他们姓啥名谁,没有真名,绰号便也成立了。那些大学生常说:“啊!白先生已在他的板凳上了!”马吕斯和他们一样,觉得称那不知名的先生为白先生也还方便。

①帕尔特(Parthes),伊朗北部里海一带的古代游牧民族,以善于骑在马上向后射杀敌人著名。

我们仿效他们,为了叙述方便,也将称他为白先生。

这样,在最初一年当中,马吕斯几乎每天在同一钟点,总见到他们。他对那男子的印象不坏,对那姑娘却感到不怎么入眼。
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