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laches/['lætʃiz]/ n. 懈怠, 疏忽 ...

第十二卷科林斯 第04章试图安慰于什鲁寡妇

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CHAPTER IV AN ATTEMPT TO CONSOLE THE WIDOW HUCHELOUP

Bahorel, in ecstasies over the barricade, shouted:--

"Here's the street in its low-necked dress! How well it looks!"

Courfeyrac, as he demolished the wine-shop to some extent, sought to console the widowed proprietress.

"Mother Hucheloup, weren't you complaining the other day because you had had a notice served on you for infringing the law, because Gibelotte shook a counterpane out of your window?"

"Yes, my good Monsieur Courfeyrac. Ah! Good Heavens, are you going to put that table of mine in your horror, too? And it was for the counterpane, and also for a pot of flowers which fell from the attic window into the street, that the government collected a fine of a hundred francs. If that isn't an abomination, what is!"

"Well, Mother Hucheloup, we are avenging you."

Mother Hucheloup did not appear to understand very clearly the benefit which she was to derive from these reprisals made on her account. She was satisfied after the manner of that Arab woman, who, having received a box on the ear from her husband, went to complain to her father, and cried for vengeance, saying: "Father, you owe my husband affront for affront." The father asked: "On which cheek did you receive the blow?" "On the left cheek." The father slapped her right cheek and said: "Now you are satisfied. Go tell your husband that he boxed my daughter's ears, and that I have accordingly boxed his wife's."

The rain had ceased. Recruits had arrived. Workmen had brought under their blouses a barrel of powder, a basket containing bottles of vitriol, two or three carnival torches, and a basket filled with fire-pots, "left over from the King's festival." This festival was very recent, having taken place on the 1st of May. It was said that these munitions came from a grocer in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine named Pepin. They smashed the only street lantern in the Rue de la Chanvrerie, the lantern corresponding to one in the Rue Saint-Denis, and all the lanterns in the surrounding streets, de Mondetour, du Cygne, des Precheurs, and de la Grande and de la Petite-Truanderie.

Enjolras, Combeferre, and Courfeyrac directed everything. Two barricades were now in process of construction at once, both of them resting on the Corinthe house and forming a right angle; the larger shut off the Rue de la Chanvrerie, the other closed the Rue Mondetour, on the side of the Rue de Cygne. This last barricade, which was very narrow, was constructed only of casks and paving-stones. There were about fifty workers on it; thirty were armed with guns; for, on their way, they had effected a wholesale loan from an armorer's shop.

Nothing could be more bizarre and at the same time more motley than this troop. One had a round-jacket, a cavalry sabre, and two holster-pistols, another was in his shirt-sleeves, with a round hat, and a powder-horn slung at his side, a third wore a plastron of nine sheets of gray paper and was armed with a saddler's awl. There was one who was shouting: "Let us exterminate them to the last man and die at the point of our bayonet." This man had no bayonet. Another spread out over his coat the cross-belt and cartridge-box of a National Guardsman, the cover of the cartridge-box being ornamented with this inscription in red worsted: Public Order. There were a great many guns bearing the numbers of the legions, few hats, no cravats, many bare arms, some pikes. Add to this, all ages, all sorts of faces, small, pale young men, and bronzed longshoremen. All were in haste; and as they helped each other, they discussed the possible chances. That they would receive

succor about three o'clock in the morning--that they were sure of one regiment, that Paris would rise. Terrible sayings with which was mingled a sort of cordial joviality. One would have pronounced them brothers, but they did not know each other's names. Great perils have this fine characteristic, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers. A fire had been lighted in the kitchen, and there they were engaged in moulding into bullets, pewter mugs, spoons, forks, and all the brass table-ware of the establishment. In the midst of it all, they drank. Caps and buckshot were mixed pell-mell on the tables with glasses of wine. In the billiard-hall, Mame Hucheloup, Matelote, and Gibelotte, variously modified by terror, which had stupefied one, rendered another breathless, and roused the third, were tearing up old dish-cloths and making lint; three insurgents were assisting them, three bushy-haired, jolly blades with beards and moustaches, who plucked away at the linen with the fingers of seamstresses and who made them tremble.

The man of lofty stature whom Courfeyrac, Combefere, and Enjolras had observed at the moment when he joined the mob at the cornerof the Rue des Billettes, was at work on the smaller barricade and was making himself useful there. Gavroche was working on the larger one. As for the young man who had been waiting for Courfeyrac at his lodgings, and who had inquired for M. Marius, he had disappeared at about the time when the omnibus had been overturned.

Gavroche, completely carried away and radiant, had undertaken to get everything in readiness. He went, came, mounted, descended, re-mounted, whistled, and sparkled. He seemed to be there for the encouragement of all. Had he any incentive? Yes, certainly, his poverty; had he wings? Yes, certainly, his joy. Gavroche was a whirlwind. He was constantly visible, he was incessantly audible. He filled the air, as he was everywhere at once. He was a sort of almost irritating ubiquity; no halt was possible with him. The enormous barricade felt him on its haunches. He troubled the loungers, he excited the idle, he reanimated the weary, he grew impatient over the thoughtful, he inspired gayety in some, and breath in others, wrath in others, movement in all, now pricking a student, now biting an artisan; he alighted, paused, flew off again, hovered over the tumult, and the effort, sprang from one party to another, murmuring and humming, and harassed the whole company; a fly on the immense revolutionary coach.

Perpetual motion was in his little arms and perpetual clamor in his little lungs.

"Courage! More paving-stones! More casks! More machines! Where are you now? A hod of plaster for me to stop this hole with! Your barricade is very small. It must be carried up. Put everything on it, fling everything there, stick it all in. Break down the house. A barricade is Mother Gibou's tea. Hullo, here's a glass door."

This elicited an exclamation from the workers.

"A glass door? What do you expect us to do with a glass door, tubercle?"

"Hercules yourselves!" retorted Gavroche. "A glass door is an excellent thing in a barricade. It does not prevent an attack, but it prevents the enemy taking it. So you've never prigged apples over a wall where there were broken bottles? A glass door cuts the corns of the National Guard when they try to mount on the barricade. Pardi! Glass is a treacherous thing. Well, you haven't a very wildly lively imagination, comrades."

However, he was furious over his triggerless pistol. He went from one to another, demanding: "A gun, I want a gun! Why don't you give me a gun?"

"Give you a gun!" said Combeferre.

"Come now!" said Gavroche, "why not? I had one in 1830 when we had a dispute with Charles X."

Enjolras shrugged his shoulders.

"When there are enough for the men, we will give some to the children."

Gavroche wheeled round haughtily, and answered:--

"If you are killed before me, I shall take yours."

"Gamin!" said Enjolras.

"Greenhorn!" said Gavroche.

A dandy who had lost his way and who lounged past the end of the street created a diversion! Gavroche shouted to him:--

"Come with us, young fellow! Well now, don't we do anything for this old country of ours?"

The dandy fled.



四 试图安慰于什鲁寡妇

巴阿雷望着那街垒出神,他喊道:

“这条街可以说是袒胸露背的了!好得很!”

古费拉克也多少把那酒店里的东西损坏了些,他同时试图安慰那当酒店女主人的寡妇。

“于什鲁大妈,那天您不是在诉苦,说吉布洛特在您的窗口抖了一条床毯,您便接到了通知并罚了款吗?”

“是啊,我的好古费拉克先生。啊!我的天主,您还要把我的那张桌子也堆到您那堆垃圾上去吗?为了那床毯,还为了从顶楼掉到街上的一盆花,政府便已罚了我一百法郎,你们还要这样来对待我的东西吗?太不象话了!”

“是啊!于什鲁大妈,我们是在替您报仇呢。”

于什鲁大妈听了这种解释,似乎不大能理解她究竟得到了什么补偿。从前有个阿拉伯妇人,被她的丈夫打了一记耳光,她走去向她的父亲告状,吵着要报仇,她说:“爸,我的丈夫侮辱了你,你应当报复才对。”她父亲问道:“他打了你哪一边的脸?”“左边。”她父亲便在她的右边脸上给了她一巴掌,说道:“你现在应当满意了。你去对你的丈夫说,他打了我的女儿,我便打了他的老婆。”于什鲁大妈这时感到的满足也无非如此。

雨已经停了。来了些新战士。有些工人把一些有用的东西,藏在布衫下带了来:一桶火药、一个盛着几瓶硫酸的篮子、两个或三个狂欢节用的火把、一筐三王来朝节剩下的纸灯笼。这节日最近在五月一日才度过。据说这些作战物资是由圣安东尼郊区一个名叫贝班的食品杂货店老板供给的。麻厂街唯一的一盏路灯,和圣德尼街上的路灯遥遥相对以及附近所有的街??蒙德都街、天鹅街、布道修士街、大小化子窝街上的路灯,全被打掉了。

安灼拉、公白飞和古费拉克指挥一切。这时,人们在同时建造两座街垒,两座都靠着科林斯,构成一个曲尺形;大的那座堵住麻厂街,小的那座堵住靠天鹅街那面的蒙德都街。小的那座很窄,只是用一些木桶和铺路石构成的,里面有五十来个工人,其中三十来个有步枪,因为他们在来的路上,把一家武器店的武器全部借来了。

没有什么比这种队伍更奇特和光怪陆离的了。有一个穿件齐膝的短外衣,带一把马刀和两支长手枪,另一个穿件衬衫,戴一顶圆边帽,身旁挂个盛火药的葫芦形皮盒,第三个穿一件用九层牛皮纸做的护胸甲,带的武器是一把马具制造工人用的那种引绳锥。有一个大声喊道:“让我们把他们歼灭到最后一个!让我们死在我们的刺刀尖上!”这人并没有刺刀。另一个在他的骑马服外面系上一副国民自卫军用的那种皮带和一个盛子弹的方皮盒,盒盖上还有装饰,一块红毛呢,上面印了“公共秩序”几个字。好些步枪上都有部队的编号,帽子不多,领带绝对没有,许多光胳膊,几杆长矛。还得加上各种年龄和各种面貌的人,脸色苍白的青年,晒成了紫铜色的码头工。所有的人都在你追我赶,互相帮助,同时也在交谈,展望着可能的机会,说凌晨三点前后就会有援兵,说有个联队肯定会响应,说整个巴黎都会动起来的。惊险的话题却含有出自内心的喜悦。这些人亲如兄弟,而彼此都不知道姓名。巨大的危险有这么一种壮美:它能使互不相识的人之间的博爱精神焕发出来。

在厨房里燃起了一炉火。他们把酒店里的锡器:水罐、匙子、叉子等放在一个模子里,烧熔了做子弹。他们一面工作,一面喝酒。桌上乱七八糟地堆满了封瓶口的锡皮、铅弹和玻璃杯。于什鲁大妈、马特洛特和吉布洛特都因恐怖而有不同的反常状态,有的变傻了,有的喘不过气来,有的被吓醒了,她们待在有球台的厅堂里,在撕旧布巾做裹伤绷带,三个参加起义的人在帮着她们,那是三个留着长头发和胡须的快活人,他们用织布工人的手指拣起那些布条,并抖抻它们。

先头古费拉克、公白飞和安灼拉在皮埃特街转角处加入队伍时所注意到的那个高大个子,这时在小街垒工作,并且出了些力。伽弗洛什在大街垒工作。至于那个曾到古费拉克家门口去等待并问他关于马吕斯先生的年轻人,约在大家推翻公共马车时不见了。

伽弗洛什欢天喜地,振奋得要飞起来似的,他主动干着加油打气的鼓动工作。他去去来来,爬高落低,再爬高,响声一片,火星四射。他在那里好象是为了鼓励每一个人。他有指挥棒吗?有,肯定有:他的穷苦;他有翅膀吗?有,肯定有:他的欢乐。伽弗洛什是一股旋风。人们随时都见到他的形象,处处都听到他的声音。他满布空间,无时不在。他几乎是一种激奋的化身,有了他,便不可能有停顿。那庞大的街垒感到他坐镇在它的臀部。他使闲散的人感到局促不安,刺激懒惰的人,振奋疲倦的人,激励思前想后的人,让这一伙高兴起来,让那一伙紧张起来,让另一伙激动起来,让每个人都行动起来,对一个大学生戳一下,对一个工人咬一口,这里待一会,那里停一会,继又转到别处,在人声鼎沸、干劲冲天之上飞翔,从这一群人跳到那一群人,叨唠着,嗡嗡地飞着,驾驭着那整队人马,正象巨大的革命马车上的一只苍蝇。

那永恒的活动出自他那瘦小的臂膀,无休止的喧噪出自他那弱小的肺腔:

“加油干啦!还要石块!还要木桶!还要这玩意儿!哪儿有啊?弄一筐石灰碴来替我堵上这窟窿。太小了,你们的这街垒。还得垒高些。把所有的东西都搬上去,丢上去,甩上去。把那房子拆了。一座街垒,便是吉布妈妈的一场茶会。你们瞧,这儿有扇玻璃门。”

这话使那些工人都吼起来了。

“一扇玻璃门,你那玻璃门顶什么用啊,小土豆儿?”

“你们是大大的了不起!”伽弗洛什反驳说。“街垒里有扇玻璃门,用处可大呢。它当然不能防止人家进攻,但它能阻挡人家把它攻下。你们偷苹果的时候难道从来就没有爬过那种插了玻璃瓶底的围墙吗?有了一扇玻璃门,要是那些国民自卫军想登上街垒,他们脚上的老茧便会被划开。老天!玻璃是种阴险的东西。真是的,同志们,你们也太没有丰富的想象力了!”

此外,他想到他那没有撞针的手枪便冒火。他从这个问到那个,要求说:“一支步枪。我要一支步枪。你们为什么不给我一支步枪?”

“给你一支步枪!”古费拉克说。

“嘿!”伽弗洛什回驳说,“为什么不?一八三○年当我们和查理十世翻脸的时候,我便有过一支!”

安灼拉耸了耸肩头。

“要等到大人都有了,才分给孩子。”

伽弗洛什趾高气扬地转身对着他回答说:

“要是你比我先死,我便接你的枪。”

“野孩子!”安灼拉说。

“毛头小伙子!”伽弗洛什说。

一个在街头闲逛的花花公子转移了他们的注意力。

伽弗洛什对他喊道:

“来我们这儿,年轻人!怎么,对这古老的祖国你不打算出点力吗?”

花花公子连忙溜走了。
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