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第一卷四堵墙中间的战争 第10章曙光

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CHAPTER X DAWN


At that moment, Cosette awoke.

Her chamber was narrow, neat, unobtrusive, with a long sash-window, facing the East on the back court-yard of the house.

Cosette knew nothing of what was going on in Paris. She had not been there on the preceding evening, and she had already retired to her chamber when Toussaint had said:

"It appears that there is a row."

Cosette had slept only a few hours, but soundly. She had had sweet dreams, which possibly arose from the fact that her little bed was very white. Some one, who was Marius, had appeared to her in the light. She awoke with the sun in her eyes, which, at first,produced on her the effect of being a continuation of her dream. Her first thought on emerging from this dream was a smiling one. Cosette felt herself thoroughly reassured. Like Jean Valjean, she had, a few hours previously, passed through that reaction of the soul which absolutely will not hear of unhappiness. She began to cherish hope, with all her might, without knowing why. Then she felt a pang at her heart.It was three days since she had seen Marius. But she said to herself that he must have received her letter, that he knew where she was, and that he was so clever that he would find means of reaching her.--And that certainly to-day, and perhaps that very morning.--It was broad daylight, but the rays of light were very horizontal; she thought that it was very early, but that she must rise, nevertheless, in order to receive Marius.

She felt that she could not live without Marius, and that, consequently, that was sufficient and that Marius would come. No objection was valid. All this was certain. It was monstrous enough already to have suffered for three days. Marius absent three days, this was horrible on the part of the good God. Now, this cruel teasing from on high had been gone through with. Marius was about to arrive, and he would bring good news. Youth is made thus; it quickly dries its eyes; it finds sorrow useless and does not accept it. Youth is the smile of the future in the presence of an unknown quantity, which is itself. It is natural to it to be happy. It seems as though its respiration were made of hope.

Moreover, Cosette could not remember what Marius had said to her on the subject of this absence which was to last only one day, and what explanation of it he had given her. Every one has noticed with what nimbleness a coin which one has dropped on the ground rolls away and hides, and with what art it renders itself undiscoverable. There are thoughts which play us the same trick; they nestle away in a corner of our brain; that is the end of them; they are lost; it is impossible to lay the memory on them. Cosette was somewhat vexed at the useless little effort made by her memory. She told herself, that it was very naughty and very wicked of her, to have forgotten the words uttered by Marius.

She sprang out of bed and accomplished the two ablutions of soul and body, her prayers and her toilet.

One may, in a case of exigency, introduce the reader into a nuptial chamber, not into a virginal chamber. Verse would hardly venture it, prose must not.

It is the interior of a flower that is not yet unfolded, it is whiteness in the dark, it is the private cell of a closed lily, which must not be gazed upon by man so long as the sun has not gazed upon it. Woman in the bud is sacred. That innocent bud which opens, that adorable half-nudity which is afraid of itself, that white foot which takes refuge in a slipper, that throat which veils itself before a mirror as though a mirror were an eye, that chemise which makes haste to rise up and conceal the shoulder for a creaking bit of furniture or a passing vehicle, those cords tied, those clasps fastened, those laces drawn, those tremors, those shivers of cold and modesty, that exquisite affright in every movement, that almost winged uneasiness where there is no cause for alarm, the successive phases of dressing, as charming as the clouds of dawn,-- it is not fitting that all this should be narrated, and it is too much to have even called attention to it.

The eye of man must be more religious in the presence of the rising of a young girl than in the presence of the rising of a star. The possibility of hurting should inspire an augmentation of respect. The down on the peach, the bloom on the plum, the radiated crystal of the snow, the wing of the butterfly powdered with feathers, are coarse compared to that chastity which does not even know that it is chaste. The young girl is only the flash of a dream, and is not yet a statue. Her bed-chamber is hidden in the sombre part of the ideal. The indiscreet touch of a glance brutalizes this vague penumbra. Here, contemplation is profanation.

We shall, therefore, show nothing of that sweet little flutter of Cosette's rising.

An oriental tale relates how the rose was made white by God, but that Adam looked upon her when she was unfolding, and she was ashamed and turned crimson. We are of the number who fall speechless in the presence of young girls and flowers, since we think them worthy of veneration.

Cosette dressed herself very hastily, combed and dressed her hair, which was a very simple matter in those days, when women did not swell out their curls and bands with cushions and puffs, and did not put crinoline in their locks. Then she opened the window and cast her eyes around her in every direction, hoping to descry some bit of the street, an angle of the house, an edge of pavement, so that she might be able to watch for Marius there. But no view of the outside was to be had. The back court was surrounded by tolerably high walls, and the outlook was only on several gardens. Cosette pronounced these gardens hideous: for the first time in her life, she found flowers ugly. The smallest scrap of the gutter of the street would have met her wishes better. She decided to gaze at the sky, as though she thought that Marius might come from that quarter.

All at once, she burst into tears. Not that this was fickleness of soul; but hopes cut in twain by dejection--that was her case. She had a confused consciousness of something horrible. Thoughts were rife in the air, in fact. She told herself that she was not sure of anything, that to withdraw herself from sight was to be lost; and the idea that Marius could return to her from heaven appeared to her no longer charming but mournful.

Then, as is the nature of these clouds, calm returned to her, and hope and a sort of unconscious smile, which yet indicated trust in God.

Every one in the house was still asleep. A country-like silence reigned. Not a shutter had been opened. The porter's lodge was closed. Toussaint had not risen, and Cosette, naturally, thought that her father was asleep. She must have suffered much, and she must have still been suffering greatly, for she said to herself, that her father had been unkind; but she counted on Marius. The eclipse of such a light was decidedly impossible. Now and then, she heard sharp shocks in the distance, and she said: "It is odd that people should be opening and shutting their carriage gates so early." They were the reports of the cannon battering the barricade.

A few feet below Cosette's window, in the ancient and perfectly black cornice of the wall, there was a martin's nest; the curve of this nest formed a little projection beyond the cornice, so that from above it was possible to look into this little paradise. The mother was there, spreading her wings like a fan over her brood; the father fluttered about, flew away, then came back, bearing in his beak food and kisses. The dawning day gilded this happy thing, the great law, "Multiply," lay there smiling and august, and that sweet mystery unfolded in the glory of the morning. Cosette, with her hair in the sunlight, her soul absorbed in chimeras, illuminated by love within and by the dawn without, bent over mechanically, and almost without daring to avow to herself that she was thinking at the same time of Marius, began to gaze at these birds, at this family, at that male and female, that mother and her little ones, with the profound trouble which a nest produces on a virgin.



十 曙 光

这时珂赛特醒来了。

她的房间是窄小的,整洁,幽静,朝东有一扇长长的格子玻璃窗,开向房子的后院。

珂赛特对在巴黎发生的事一无所知。昨天黄昏她还不在这儿,当杜桑说“好象有吵闹声”时她已走进了寝室。

珂赛特只睡了很少的几个钟点,但睡得很好。她做了个甜蜜的梦,可能跟她睡的那张小床非常洁白有关。她梦见一个象马吕斯的人站在光亮中。当她醒来时,阳光耀眼,使她感到梦境仿佛还在延续。

从梦中醒来的第一个感觉是喜悦。珂赛特感到十分放心,正如几个小时以前的冉阿让一样,她的心由于决不接受不幸,正产生一种反击的力量。不知为什么她怀着一种强烈的希望,但接着又一阵心酸,已经三天没有见到马吕斯了。但她想他也该收到她的信了,已经知道她在什么地方,他那么机智,肯定会有办法找到她的。很可能就在今天,或许就在今天早晨。天已大亮,但由于阳光平射,她以为时间还很早,可是为了迎接马吕斯,也许起床了。

她感到没有马吕斯就无法生活下去,因此不容置疑马吕斯就会来的。任何相反的意见都不能接受,这一点是肯定无疑的。她愁闷了三天,十分难挨。马吕斯离开了三天,这多么可怕呀,慈祥的上帝!现在上天所踢的嘲弄这一考验已属过去,马吕斯就会来到,并会带来好消息。青年时代就是这样。她迅速擦了擦眼睛,她认为用不着烦恼,也不想接受它。青春就是未来在向一个陌生人微笑,而这陌生人就是自己。她觉得幸福是件很自然的事,好象她的呼吸就是希望。

再说,珂赛特也回忆不起马吕斯对这次不应超过一天的分别曾向她说过什么,向她讲的理由是什么。大家都曾注意到,一个小钱落到地上后一滚就会不见,这多么巧妙,使你找不到它。我们的思想有时也这样在和我们开玩笑,它们躲在我们脑子的角落里,从此完了,它们已无影无踪,无法把它们回忆起来。珂赛特思索了一会儿,但没有效果,所以感到有些烦恼。她自言自语地说,忘记马吕斯对她说过的话是不应该的,这是她自己的过错。

她下了床,做了身心方面双重的洗礼:祈祷和梳洗。

我们至多只能向读者介绍举行婚礼时的新房,可是不能去谈处女的寝室,诗句还勉强能描述一下,可散文就不行了。

这是一朵含苞未放的花的内部,是藏在暗中的洁白,是一朵没有开放的百合花的内心,没有被太阳爱抚之前,是不应让凡人注目的。花蕾似的女性是神圣的。这纯洁的床被慢慢掀开,对着这可赞叹的半裸连自己也感到羞怯,雪白的脚躲进了拖鞋,胸脯在镜子前遮掩起来,好象镜子是只眼睛,听到家具裂开的声音或街车经过,她便迅速地把衬衣提起遮住肩膀。有些缎带要打结,衣钩要搭上,束腰要拉紧,这些微微的颤动,由于寒冷和羞怯引起的哆嗦,所有这些可爱的虚惊,在这完全不必害怕的地方,到处有着一种无以名之的顾虑。穿着打扮的千姿百态,一如曙光中的云彩那样迷人,这一切本来不宜叙述,提一提就已嫌说得太多。

人的目光在一个起床的少女面前应比对一颗初升的星星更虔诚。不慎触及了可能触及之物应倍增尊敬。桃子上的茸茸细毛,李子上的霜,白雪的闪光晶体,蝴蝶的粉翅,这些在这一不明白自己就是纯洁的贞洁面前,只不过是些粗俗的东西罢了。一个少女只是一个梦的微光,尚未成为一个艺术的雕像。她的寝室是隐藏在理想的阴影中。轻率地观望等于损毁了那若隐若现、明暗交错的诗情画意,而仔细的观察那就是亵渎了。

因此我们完全不去描绘珂赛特醒来时的一些柔和而又忙乱的小动作。

一个东方寓言说,神创造的玫瑰花本是白色的,可是亚当在它开放时望了一眼,它感到羞怯而变成玫瑰色。我们在少女和花朵前是应当止步的,要想到她们是可敬可颂的。

珂赛特很快穿好了衣服,梳妆完毕;当时的装扮很简单,妇女们已不再把头发卷成鼓鼓的环形,或把头发在正中分为两股,再加垫子和卷子衬托,也不在头发里放硬衬布。这之后她开了窗,目光向周围一望,希望看到街中一段、一个墙角或一点路面,能在那儿瞥见马吕斯。可是外面什么也见不到。后院被相当高的墙围着,空隙处只见到一些花园。珂赛特断言这些花园很难看,她有生以来第一次觉得花儿不美丽,还不如去看看十字路口的一小段水沟呢。她决心朝天仰望,好象她以为马吕斯会从天而降似的。

突然她哭得象个泪人儿似的。这并不是内心变化无常,而是沮丧的心情把希望打断了,这就是她的处境。她模糊地感到一种莫名其妙的恐惧。确实,一切都在天上飘忽而过。她感到什么都没有把握,意识到不能和他见面就等于失去了他;至于那个认为马吕斯可能从天而降的想法,这并不是吉事而是一个凶兆。

然而,在这些乌云暗影之后,她又平静下来,恢复了希望和一种无意识的信赖上帝的微笑。

屋里的人都还在睡觉,周围是一片外省的宁静气氛。没有一扇百叶窗打开着。门房还没有开门。杜桑没有起床。珂赛特很自然地这样想父亲还睡着。她一定受了很大的痛苦,所以现在还觉得很悲伤,因为她说父亲对她不好,她把希望寄托在马吕斯身上。这样一种光明的消失是决不可能的,她祈祷。她不时听到远处传来沉重的震动声。她暗想着:“真怪,这么早就有人在开闭通车辆的大门了。”事实上那是攻打街垒的炮声。

在珂赛特窗下几尺的地方,墙上黑色的旧飞檐中有一个雨燕的巢,那燕子窝突出在屋檐的边缘,因此从上面能看到这个小天堂的内部。母燕在里面展开翅膀,象一把扇子那样遮着雏燕,那公燕不断地飞,飞去又飞来,用嘴带来食物和接吻。升起的太阳把这个安乐窝照得金光闪闪。“传种接代”的伟大规律在这儿微笑并显示出它的庄严,一种温存的奥秘展现在清晨的灿烂光辉里。珂赛特,头发沐浴在阳光中,心灵堕入幻想,内心的热恋和外界的晨曦照耀着她,使她机械地俯身向前;在注视这些燕子时,她几乎不敢承认自己同时也想起了马吕斯,这个小小的家庭,这只公鸟和母鸟,这个母亲和一群幼雏,一个鸟窝使一个处女的内心深深感到春意荡漾。
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