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dignitary/['diɡnitəri]/ n. 高贵的人, 高官, 高僧, 要人...

第六卷星星相映 第08章残废军人也能自得其乐

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CHAPTER VIII THE VETERANS THEMSELVES CAN BE HAPPY 


Since we have pronounced the word modesty, and since we conceal nothing, we ought to say that once, nevertheless, in spite of his ecstasies, "his Ursule" caused him very serious grief. It was on one of the days when she persuaded M. Leblanc to leave the bench and stroll along the walk. A brisk May breeze was blowing, which swayed the crests of the plaintain-trees. The father and daughter, arm in arm, had just passed Marius' bench. Marius had risen to his feet behind them, and was following them with his eyes, as was fitting in the desperate situation of his soul.

All at once, a gust of wind, more merry than the rest, and probably charged with performing the affairs of Springtime, swept down from the nursery, flung itself on the alley, enveloped the young girl in a delicious shiver, worthy of Virgil's nymphs, and the fawns of Theocritus, and lifted her dress, the robe more sacred than that of Isis, almost to the height of her garter. A leg of exquisite shape appeared. Marius saw it. He was exasperated and furious.

The young girl had hastily thrust down her dress, with a divinely troubled motion, but he was none the less angry for all that. He was alone in the alley, it is true. But there might have been some one there. And what if there had been some one there! Can any one comprehend such a thing? What she had just done is horrible!--Alas, the poor child had done nothing; there had been but one culprit, the wind; but Marius, in whom quivered the Bartholo who exists in Cherubin,was determined to be vexed, and was jealous of his own shadow. It is thus, in fact, that the harsh and capricious jealousy of the flesh awakens in the human heart, and takes possession of it,even without any right. Moreover, setting aside even that jealousy,the sight of that charming leg had contained nothing agreeable for him;the white stocking of the first woman he chanced to meet would have afforded him more pleasure.

When "his Ursule," after having reached the end of the walk,retraced her steps with M. Leblanc, and passed in front of the bench on which Marius had seated himself once more, Marius darted a sullen and ferocious glance at her. The young girl gave way to that slight straightening up with a backward movement, accompanied by a raising of the eyelids, which signifies: "Well, what is the matter?"

This was "their first quarrel."

Marius had hardly made this scene at her with his eyes, when some one crossed the walk. It was a veteran, very much bent, extremely wrinkled, and pale, in a uniform of the Louis XV. pattern, bearing on his breast the little oval plaque of red cloth, with the crossed swords, the soldier's cross of Saint-Louis,and adorned, in addition, with a coat-sleeve, which had no arm within it, with a silver chin and a wooden leg. Marius thought he perceived that this man had an extremely well satisfied air. It even struck him that the aged cynic, as he hobbled along past him, addressed to him a very fraternal and very merry wink,as though some chance had created an understanding between them,and as though they had shared some piece of good luck together.What did that relic of Mars mean by being so contented? What had passed between that wooden leg and the other? Marius reached a paroxysm of jealousy.--"Perhaps he was there!" he said to himself; "perhaps he saw!"--And he felt a desire to exterminate the veteran.

With the aid of time, all points grow dull. Marius' wrath against "Ursule," just and legitimate as it was, passed off. He finally pardoned her; but this cost him a great effort; he sulked for three days.

Nevertheless, in spite of all this, and because of all this,his passion augmented and grew to madness.



八 残废军人也能自得其乐


我们既已提到“害羞”这个词儿,既然什么也不打算隐藏,我们便应当说,有一次,正当他痴心向往的时候,“他的玉秀儿”可给了他一场极严重的苦痛。在这些日子里,她常要求白先生离开座位,到小路上去走走,事情便是在这些日子里发生的。那天,春末夏初的和风吹得正有劲,摇晃着悬铃木的梢头。父亲和女儿,挽着手臂,刚从马吕斯的坐凳跟前走了过去。马吕斯在他们背后站了起来,用眼睛跟着他们,这在神魂颠倒的情况下是会做出来的。

忽然来了一阵风,吹得特别轻狂,也许负有什么春神的使命,从苗圃飞来,落在小路上,裹住了那姑娘,惹起她一身寒噤,使人忆及维吉尔的林泉女仙和泰奥克利特①的牧羊女那妩媚的姿态,这风竟把她的裙袍,比伊希斯②的神衣更为神圣的裙袍掀起来,几乎到了吊袜带的高度。一条美不胜收的腿露了出来。马吕斯见了大为冒火,怒不可遏。

①泰奥克利特(Théocrite),希腊诗人,生于公元前四世纪。

②伊希斯(Isis),埃及女神,是温存之妻的象征。 

那姑娘以一种天仙似的羞恼动作,连忙把裙袍拂下去,但是他并没有因此而息怒。他是独自一人在那小路上,这没错。但也可能还有旁人。万一真有旁人在呢?这种样子真是太不成话!她刚才那种行为怎能不叫人生气!唉!可怜的孩子并没有做错什么,这里唯一的罪人是风,但是马吕斯心里的爱火和妒意正在交相煎逼,他下决心非生气不可,连对自己的影子也妒嫉。这种苦涩离奇的妒嫉确是会这样从人的心里冒出来,并且无缘无故强迫人去消受。另外,即使去掉这种妒嫉心,那条腿的动人形相对他来说也丝毫没有什么可喜的,任何一个女人的白长袜也许更能引起他的兴趣来。

当“他的玉秀儿”从那小路尽头转回来时,马吕斯已坐在他的板凳上,她随着白先生走过他跟前,马吕斯瞪起一双蛮不讲理的眼睛对她狠狠望了一眼。那姑娘把身体向后微微挺了一下,同时也张了一下眼皮,意思仿佛说:“怎么了,有什么事?”

这是他们的“初次争吵”。

正好在马吕斯用眼睛和她闹性子时,小路上又过来一个人。那是个残废军人,背驼得厉害,满脸皱皮,全白的头发,穿一身路易十五时期的军服,胸前有一块椭圆形的小红呢牌子,上面是两把交叉的剑,这便是大兵们的圣路易十字勋章,他另外还挂一些别的勋章:一只没有手臂的衣袖、一个银下巴和一条木腿。马吕斯认为已经看出这人的神气是极其得意的。他甚至认为仿佛已看见这刻薄鬼在一步一拐地打他身边走过时对他非常亲昵、非常快乐地挤了一下眼睛,似乎有个什么偶然机会曾把他俩串连到一起,共同享受一种意外的异味。这战神的废料,他有什么事值得这么高兴呢?这条木腿和那条腿之间发生了什么事呢?马吕斯醋劲大发。“刚才他也许正在这儿,”他心里想,“他也许真看见了。”他恨不得把那残废军人消灭掉。

时间能磨秃利器的锋尖。马吕斯对“玉秀儿”的怒火,不管它是多么公正,多么合法,终于熄灭了。他到底谅解了,但是得先经过一番很大的努力,他一连赌了三天气。

可是,经过这一切,也正因为这一切,那狂烈的感情更加炽热了,成了疯狂的感情。
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