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第五卷结尾不象开头 第05章珂赛特看信以后

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CHAPTER V COSETTE AFTER THE LETTER

As Cosette read, she gradually fell into thought. At the very moment when she raised her eyes from the last line of the note-book, the handsome officer passed triumphantly in front of the gate,-- it was his hour; Cosette thought him hideous.

She resumed her contemplation of the book. It was written in the most charming of chirography, thought Cosette; in the same hand, but with divers inks, sometimes very black, again whitish, as when ink has been added to the inkstand, and consequently on different days. It was, then, a mind which had unfolded itself there, sigh by sigh, irregularly, without order, without choice, without object, hap-hazard. Cosette had never read anything like it. This manuscript, in which she already perceived more light than obscurity, produced upon her the effect of a half-open sanctuary. Each one of these mysterious lines shone before her eyes and inundated her heart with a strange radiance. The education which she had received had always talked to her of the soul, and never of love, very much as one might talk of the firebrand and not of the flame. This manuscript of fifteen pages suddenly and sweetly revealed to her all of love, sorrow, destiny, life, eternity, the beginning, the end. It was as if a hand had opened and suddenly flung upon her a handful of rays of light. In these few lines she felt a passionate, ardent, generous, honest nature, a sacred will, an immense sorrow, and an immense despair, a suffering heart, an ecstasy fully expanded. What was this manuscript? A letter. A letter without name, without address, without date, without signature, pressing and disinterested, an enigma composed of truths, a message of love made to be brought by an angel and read by a virgin, an appointment made beyond the bounds of earth, the love-letter of a phantom to a shade. It was an absent one, tranquil and dejected, who seemed ready to take refuge in death and who sent to the absent love, his lady, the secret of fate, the key of life, love. This had been written with one foot in the grave and one finger in heaven. These lines, which had fallen one by one on the paper, were what might be called drops of soul.

Now, from whom could these pages come? Who could have penned them?

Cosette did not hesitate a moment. One man only.

He!

Day had dawned once more in her spirit; all had reappeared. She felt an unheard-of joy, and a profound anguish. It was he! He who had written! He was there! It was he whose arm had been thrust through that railing! While she was forgetful of him, he had found her again! But had she forgotten him? No, never! She was foolish to have thought so for a single moment. She had always loved him, always adored him. The fire had been smothered, and had smouldered for a time, but she saw all plainly now; it had but made headway, and now it had burst forth afresh, and had inflamed her whole being. This note-book was like a spark which had fallen from that other soul into hers. She felt the conflagration starting up once more.

She imbued herself thoroughly with every word of the manuscript: "Oh yes!" said she, "how perfectly I recognize all that! That is what I had already read in his eyes." As she was finishing it for the third time, Lieutenant Theodule passed the gate once more, and rattled his spurs upon the pavement. Cosette was forced to raise her eyes. She thought him insipid, silly, stupid, useless, foppish, displeasing, impertinent, and extremely ugly. The officer thought it his duty to smile at her.

She turned away as in shame and indignation. She would gladly have thrown something at his head.

She fled, re-entered the house, and shut herself up in her chamber to peruse the manuscript once more, to learn it by heart, and to dream. When she had thoroughly mastered it she kissed it and put it in her bosom.

All was over, Cosette had fallen back into deep, seraphic love. The abyss of Eden had yawned once more.

All day long, Cosette remained in a sort of bewilderment. She scarcely thought, her ideas were in the state of a tangled skein in her brain, she could not manage to conjecture anything, she hoped through a tremor, what? vague things. She dared make herself no promises, and she did not wish to refuse herself anything. Flashes of pallor passed over her countenance, and shivers ran through her frame. It seemed to her, at intervals, that she was entering the land of chimaeras; she said to herself: "Is this reality?" Then she felt of the dear paper within her bosom under her gown, she pressed it to her heart, she felt its angles against her flesh; and if Jean Valjean had seen her at the moment, he would have shuddered in the presence of that luminous and unknown joy, which overflowed from beneath her eyelids.--"Oh yes!" she thought, "it is certainly he! This comes from him, and is for me!"

And she told herself that an intervention of the angels, a celestial chance, had given him back to her.

Oh transfiguration of love! Oh dreams! That celestial chance, that intervention of the angels, was a pellet of bread tossed by one thief to another thief, from the Charlemagne Courtyard to the Lion's Ditch, over the roofs of La Force.



五 珂赛特看信以后

珂赛特在读信时,渐渐进入梦想。她看到那一叠纸的最后一行,抬起眼睛,恰巧望见那个俊美的军官高仰着脸儿准时打那铁栏门前走过。珂赛特觉得他丑恶不堪。

她再回头去细细玩味那叠纸。纸上的字迹非常秀丽,珂赛特这样想,字是一个人写的,但是墨迹不一样,有时浓黑,有时很淡,好象墨水瓶里新加了水,足见是在不同的日子里写的。因此,那是一种有感而作的偶记,不规则,无次序,无选择,无目的,信手拈来的。珂赛特从来没有见过这类东西。这随笔里所谈的,她大都能领会,仿佛见了一扇半开着的宝库门。那些奥妙语言的每一句都使她感到耀眼,使她的心沐浴在一种奇特的光里。她从前受过的教育经常向她谈到灵魂,却从来没有提到过爱,几乎象只谈炽炭而不谈火光。这十五张纸上的随笔一下子便把全部的爱、痛苦、命运、生命、永恒、开始、终止都一一温婉地向她揭示开了。好象是一只张开的手突然向她抛出了一把光明。她感到在那寥寥几行字里有一种激动、热烈、高尚、诚挚的性格,一种崇高的志愿,特大的痛苦和特大的希望,一颗抑郁的心,一种坦率的倾慕。这随笔是什么呢?一封信。一封没有收信人姓名,没有寄信人姓名,没有日期,没有签字,情词迫切而毫无所求的信,一封天使致贞女的书柬,世外的幽期密约,孤魂给鬼影的情书。是仿佛准备安安静静到死亡中去栖身的一个悲观绝望的陌生男子,把命运的秘密、生命的钥匙、爱,寄给了一个陌生的女子。那是脚踏在坟墓里,手指伸在天空中写的。那些字,一个个落在纸上,可以称之为一滴滴的灵魂。

现在,这几张东西是谁送来给她的呢?是谁写的呢?珂赛特一点没有产生疑问。一定是那个唯一的人。他!

她心里又亮了。她感到一种从未有过的快乐和一种深切的酸楚。是他!是他写给她的!是他到此地来过了!是他从铁栏门外把手臂伸进来过了!当她把他忘了的时候,他又把她找着了!不过,她真把他忘了吗?没有!从来没有!她在神志不清的时候曾偶然那么想过一下。她始终是爱他的,始终是崇拜他的。她心中的火曾隐在它自己的灰底下燃烧了一段时间。但是她看得很清楚,它只是燃烧得更深入一些,现在重又冒出来了,把她整个人裹在火焰里了。那一叠纸如同从另外一个灵魂里爆出来落在她的火里的一块炽炭的碎片,她感到一场大火又开始了。她深入领会了那随笔里的每一个字:“是呵!”她说,“我深深体会到这一切!这完全是我从前从他眼睛里看到过的那种心情。”

当她第三遍读完那手迹时,忒阿杜勒中尉又打那铁栏门前走回来,一路踏着街心的石块路面,把他靴上的刺马距震得一片响,使珂赛特不得不抬起眼睛来望了一下。她觉得他庸俗、笨拙、愚蠢、无用、浮夸、讨厌、无礼并且还非常丑。那军官认为应当向她露个笑脸。她连忙把头转过去,感到丢人,并且生了气,差一点没有抓个什么东西甩在他的头上。

她逃了进去,回到房子里,把自己关在卧室里反复阅读那几篇随笔,把它背下来,并细细思索,读够以后,吻了它一下,才把它塞在自己的衬衣里。

完了。珂赛特又深深地陷在仙境似的爱慕中了。神仙洞府里的深渊又开放了。

一整天,珂赛特都处在如醉如痴的状态中。她几乎不想什么,脑子里的思路成了一团乱麻。任何问题都无法分析,只能悠悠忽忽地一心期待。她不敢要自己同意什么,也不愿要自己拒绝什么。面容憔悴,身体战惊。有时,她仿佛觉得自己进入幻境;她问自己:“这是真实的吗?”这时,她便捏捏自己衣服里的那一叠心爱的纸,把它压在胸口,感到纸角刺着自己的皮肉,如果冉阿让这时候见了她,一定会在她眼里溢出的那种空前光艳的喜色面前打哆嗦。“是呀!”她想道。“一定是他!是他送来给我的!”

她并且认为是天使关怀,上苍垂念,又把他交还给她了。呵,爱的美化!呵,幻想!所谓上苍垂念,所谓天使关怀,只不过是一个匪徒从查理大帝院经过拉弗尔斯监狱的房顶抛向狮子沟里另一匪徒的一个面包团罢了。
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