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傲慢与偏见中英文对照part39

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第三十九章

五月已经到了第二个星期,三位年轻小姐一块儿从天恩寺街出发,到哈德福郡的某某镇去,班纳特先生事先就跟她们约定了一个小客店,打发了马车在那儿接她们,刚一到那儿,她们就看到吉蒂和丽迪雅从楼上的餐室里望着她们,这表明车夫已经准时到了。这两位姑娘已经在那儿待了一个多钟头,高高兴兴地光顾过对面的一家帽子店,看了看站岗的哨兵,又调制了一些胡瓜色拉。

她们欢迎了两位姐姐之后,便一面得意洋洋地摆出一些菜来(都是小客店里常备的一些冷盆),一面嚷道:“这多么好?你们想也没有想到吧?”

丽迪雅又说:“我们存心做东道,可是要你们借钱给我们,我们自己的钱都在那边铺子里花光了。”说到这里,她便把买来的那些东西拿给她们看。“瞧,我买了这顶帽子。我并不觉得太漂亮;可是我想,买一顶也好。一到家我就要把它拆开来重新做过,你们看我会不会把它收拾得好一些。”

姐姐们都说她这顶帽子很难看,她却毫不在乎地说:“噢,那家铺子里还有两三顶,比这一顶还要难看得多;待我去买点儿颜色漂亮的缎子来,把它重新装饰一下,那就过得去了。再说,某某郡的民兵团,两星期之内就要开走了,他们一离开麦里屯之后,夏季随便你穿戴些什么都无所谓。”

“他们就要开走了,真的吗?”伊丽莎白极其满意地嚷道。

“他们就要驻扎到白利屯去;我真希望爸爸带我们大家到那儿去消暑!这真是个妙透了的打算,或许还用不着花钱。妈妈也一定非要去不可!你想,否则我们这一个夏天多苦闷呀!”

“话说得是,”伊丽莎白想道;“这真是个好打算,马上就会叫我们忙死了。老天爷啊!光是麦里屯一个可怜的民兵团和每个月开几次跳舞会,就弄得我们神魂颠倒了,怎么当得起白利屯和那整营的官兵!”

大家坐定以后,丽迪雅说:“现在我有点儿消息要报告你们,你们猜猜看是什么消息?这是个好透了的消息,头等重要的消息,说的是关于我们大家都喜欢的某一个人。”

吉英和伊丽莎白面面相觑,便打发那个堂倌走开。于是丽迪雅笑笑说:

“嘿,你们真是太规矩小心。你们以为一定不能让堂倌听到,好象他存心要听似的!我相信他平常听到的许多话,比我要说的这番话更是不堪入耳。不过他是个丑八怪!他走开了,我倒也高兴。我生平没有见到过他那样长的下巴。唔,现在我来讲新闻啦───这是关于可爱的韦翰的新闻;堂倌不配听,是不是?韦翰再不会有跟玛丽·金结婚的危险了──真是个了不起的消息呀!那位姑娘上利物浦她叔叔那儿去了──一去不回来了。韦翰安全了。”

“应该说玛丽·金安全了!”伊丽莎白接着说,“她总算逃过了一段冒失的姻缘。”

“要是她喜欢他而又走开,那真是个大傻瓜呢。”

“我但愿他们双方的感情都不十分深,”吉英说。

“我相信他这方面的感情不会深的。”

“我可以担保,他根本就没有把她放在心上。谁看得上这么一个满脸雀班的讨厌的小东西?”

伊丽莎白心想,她自己固然决不会有这样粗卤的谈吐,可是这种粗卤的见解,正和她以前执迷不悟的那种成见一般无二,她想到这里,很是惊愕。

吃过了饭,姐姐们回了帐,便吩咐着手准备马车;经过了好一番安排,几位小姐,连带自己的箱子、针线袋、包裹、以及吉蒂和丽迪雅所买的那些不受欢迎的东西,总算都放上了马车。

“我们这样挤在一起,多够劲!”丽迪雅叫道。“我买了顶帽子,真是高兴,就算特地添置了一只帽盒,也很有趣!好吧,且让我们再偎紧来舒服舒服,有说有笑地回到家里去。首先,请你们讲一讲,你们离家以后遇到了些什么事情。你们见到过一些中意的男人吗?跟人家有过勾搭没有?我真希望你们哪一位带了个丈夫回来呢。我说,吉英马上就要变成一个老处女了。她快二十三岁啦!天哪!我要是不能在二十三岁以前结婚,那多么丢脸啊!腓力普姨妈要你们赶快找丈夫,你们可没有想到吧。她说,丽萃要是嫁给柯林斯先生就好了,我可不觉得那会有多大的趣味。天哪!我真巴不得比你们哪一个都先结婚!我就可以领着你们上各式各样的跳舞会去。我的老天爷!那天在弗斯脱上校家里,我们那个玩笑真开得大啊!吉蒂和我那天都准备在那儿玩个整天(弗斯脱太太跟我是多么要好的朋友!)她于是请哈林顿家的两位都来参加。可是海丽病了,因此萍不得不独个赶来;这一来,你们猜我们怎么办?我们把钱柏伦穿上了女人衣服,让人家当他是个女人。你们且想想看,多有趣啊!除了上校、弗斯脱太太、吉蒂和我、以及姨妈等人以外,谁也不知道,说到姨妈,那是因为我们向她借件长衣服,她才知道的。你们想象不到他扮得多么象啊!丹尼、韦翰、普拉特和另外两三个人走进来的时候,他们根本认不出是他。天哪!我笑得好厉害,弗斯脱太太也笑得好厉害。我简直要笑死了。这才叫那些男人们起了疑心,他们不久就识穿了。”

丽迪雅就这样说说舞会上的故事,讲讲笑话,另外还有吉蒂从旁给她添油加酱,使得大家一路上很开心。伊丽莎白尽量不去听它,但是总免不了听到一声声提起韦翰的名字。家里人极其亲切地接待她们。班纳特太太看到吉英姿色未减,十分快活;吃饭的时候,班纳特先生不由自主地一次又一次跟伊丽莎白说:

“你回来了,我真高兴,丽萃。”

他们饭厅里人很多,卢卡斯府上差不多全家人都来接玛丽亚,顺便听听新闻,还问到各种各样的问题。卢卡斯太太隔着桌子向玛丽亚问起她大女儿日子过得好不好,鸡鸭养得多不多;班纳特太太格外忙,因为吉英坐在她下手,她便不断向她打听一些时下的风尚,然后再去传给卢卡斯家几位年轻小姐去听;丽迪雅的嗓子比谁都高,她正在把当天早上的乐趣一件件说给爱听的人听。

“噢,曼丽,”她说,“你要是跟我们一块儿去了多有趣!我们一路去的时候,吉蒂和我放下车帘,看上去好象是空车,要是吉蒂没有晕车,就会这样一直到目的地。我们在乔治客店实在做得够漂亮,我们用世界上最美的冷盘款待她们三位;假使你也去了,我们也会款待你的。我们临走的时候,又是那么有趣!我以为这样一辆车子无论如何也装不下我们。我真要笑死啦。回家来一路上又是那么开心作乐!我们有说有笑,声音大得十英里路外都能听见!”

曼丽听到这些话,便一本正经地回答道:“我的好妹妹,并不是我故意要杀你们的风景,老实说,你们这些乐趣当然会投合一般女子的爱好可动不了我的心,我觉得读读书要有趣得多。”

可是丽迪雅把她这番话当做耳边风。谁说的话她都不爱听,别说曼丽,她根本就不理她。

到了下午,丽迪雅硬要姐姐们陪她上麦里屯去,看看那边的朋友们近况如何,可是伊丽莎白坚决反对,为的是不让别人说闲话,说班纳特家的几位小姐在家里待不上半天,就要去追逐军官们,她所以反对,还有一个理由。她怕再看到韦翰。她已经下定决心,能够和他避而不见就尽量避而不见。那个民兵团马上就要调走了,她真是感觉到说不出的安慰。不出四个星期,他们就要走了,她希望他们一走以后,从此平安无事,使她不会再为韦翰受到折磨。

她到家没有几个小时,就发觉父母在反复讨论上白利屯去玩的计划,也就是丽迪雅在客店里给她们提到过的那个计划。伊丽莎白看出她父亲丝毫没有让步的意思,不过他的回答却是模棱两可,因此她母亲虽然惯常碰钉子,可是这一次并没有死心,还希望最后能如她的愿。






Chapter 39

IT was the second week in May in which the three young ladies set out together from Gracechurch-street for the town of ---- in Hertfordshire; and, as they drew near the appointed inn where Mr. Bennet's carriage was to meet them, they quickly perceived, in token of the coachman's punctuality, both Kitty and Lydia looking out of a dining room upstairs. These two girls had been above an hour in the place, happily employed in visiting an opposite milliner, watching the sentinel on guard, and dressing a sallad and cucumber.
After welcoming their sisters, they triumphantly displayed a table set out with such cold meat as an inn larder usually affords, exclaiming, "Is not this nice? is not this an agreeable surprise?"
"And we mean to treat you all," added Lydia; "but you must lend us the money, for we have just spent ours at the shop out there." Then shewing her purchases: "Look here, I have bought this bonnet. I do not think it is very pretty; but I thought I might as well buy it as not. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as I get home, and see if I can make it up any better."

And when her sisters abused it as ugly, she added, with perfect unconcern, "Oh! but there were two or three much uglier in the shop; and when I have bought some prettier coloured satin to trim it with fresh, I think it will be very tolerable. Besides, it will not much signify what one wears this summer after the ----shire have left Meryton, and they are going in a fortnight."

"Are they indeed?" cried Elizabeth, with the greatest satisfaction.

"They are going to be encamped near Brighton; and I do so want papa to take us all there for the summer! It would be such a delicious scheme, and I dare say would hardly cost any thing at all. Mamma would like to go too, of all things! Only think what a miserable summer else we shall have!"

"Yes," thought Elizabeth, "that would be a delightful scheme, indeed, and completely do for us at once. Good Heaven! Brighton, and a whole campful of soldiers, to us, who have been overset already by one poor regiment of militia, and the monthly balls of Meryton."

"Now I have got some news for you," said Lydia, as they sat down to table. "What do you think? It is excellent news, capital news, and about a certain person that we all like."

Jane and Elizabeth looked at each other, and the waiter was told that he need not stay. Lydia laughed, and said, "Aye, that is just like your formality and discretion. You thought the waiter must not hear, as if he cared! I dare say he often hears worse things said than I am going to say. But he is an ugly fellow! I am glad he is gone. I never saw such a long chin in my life. Well, but now for my news: it is about dear Wickham; too good for the waiter, is not it? There is no danger of Wickham's marrying Mary King. There's for you! She is gone down to her uncle at Liverpool; gone to stay. Wickham is safe."

"And Mary King is safe!" added Elizabeth; "safe from a connection imprudent as to fortune."

"She is a great fool for going away, if she liked him."

"But I hope there is no strong attachment on either side," said Jane.

"I am sure there is not on his. I will answer for it he never cared three straws about her. Who could about such a nasty little freckled thing?"

Elizabeth was shocked to think that, however incapable of such coarseness of expression herself, the coarseness of the sentiment was little other than her own breast had formerly harboured and fancied liberal!

As soon as all had ate, and the elder ones paid, the carriage was ordered; and, after some contrivance, the whole party, with all their boxes, workbags, and parcels, and the unwelcome addition of Kitty's and Lydia's purchases, were seated in it.

"How nicely we are crammed in!" cried Lydia. "I am glad I bought my bonnet, if it is only for the fun of having another bandbox! Well, now let us be quite comfortable and snug, and talk and laugh all the way home. And in the first place, let us hear what has happened to you all, since you went away. Have you seen any pleasant men? Have you had any flirting? I was in great hopes that one of you would have got a husband before you came back. Jane will be quite an old maid soon, I declare. She is almost three and twenty! Lord, how ashamed I should be of not being married before three and twenty! My aunt Philips wants you so to get husbands, you can't think. She says Lizzy had better have taken Mr. Collins; but I do not think there would have been any fun in it. Lord! how I should like to be married before any of you; and then I would chaperon you about to all the balls. Dear me! we had such a good piece of fun the other day at Colonel Foster's. Kitty and me were to spend the day there, and Mrs. Forster promised to have a little dance in the evening (by the bye, Mrs. Forster and me are such friends!); and so she asked the two Harringtons to come, but Harriet was ill, and so Pen was forced to come by herself; and then, what do you think we did? We dressed up Chamberlayne in woman's clothes, on purpose to pass for a lady, -- only think what fun! Not a soul knew of it but Col. and Mrs. Forster, and Kitty and me, except my aunt, for we were forced to borrow one of her gowns; and you cannot imagine how well he looked! When Denny, and Wickham, and Pratt, and two or three more of the men came in, they did not know him in the least. Lord! how I laughed! and so did Mrs. Forster. I thought I should have died. And that made the men suspect something, and then they soon found out what was the matter."

With such kind of histories of their parties and good jokes did Lydia, assisted by Kitty's hints and additions, endeavour to amuse her companions all the way to Longbourn. Elizabeth listened as little as she could, but there was no escaping the frequent mention of Wickham's name.

Their reception at home was most kind. Mrs. Bennet rejoiced to see Jane in undiminished beauty; and more than once during dinner did Mr. Bennet say voluntarily to Elizabeth,

"I am glad you are come back, Lizzy."

Their party in the dining-room was large, for almost all the Lucases came to meet Maria and hear the news: and various were the subjects which occupied them. Lady Lucas was enquiring of Maria, across the table, after the welfare and poultry of her eldest daughter; Mrs. Bennet was doubly engaged, on one hand collecting an account of the present fashions from Jane, who sat some way below her, and on the other, retailing them all to the younger Miss Lucases; and Lydia, in a voice rather louder than any other person's, was enumerating the various pleasures of the morning to any body who would hear her.

"Oh! Mary," said she, "I wish you had gone with us, for we had such fun! as we went along, Kitty and me drew up all the blinds, and pretended there was nobody in the coach; and I should have gone so all the way, if Kitty had not been sick; and when we got to the George, I do think we behaved very handsomely, for we treated the other three with the nicest cold luncheon in the world, and if you would have gone, we would have treated you too. And then when we came away it was such fun! I thought we never should have got into the coach. I was ready to die of laughter. And then we were so merry all the way home! we talked and laughed so loud, that any body might have heard us ten miles off!"

To this, Mary very gravely replied, "Far be it from me, my dear sister, to depreciate such pleasures. They would doubtless be congenial with the generality of female minds. But I confess they would have no charms for me. I should infinitely prefer a book."

But of this answer Lydia heard not a word. She seldom listened to any body for more than half a minute, and never attended to Mary at all.

In the afternoon Lydia was urgent with the rest of the girls to walk to Meryton, and see how every body went on; but Elizabeth steadily opposed the scheme. It should not be said, that the Miss Bennets could not be at home half a day before they were in pursuit of the officers. There was another reason too, for her opposition. She dreaded seeing Wickham again, and was resolved to avoid it as long as possible. The comfort to her of the regiment's approaching removal was indeed beyond expression. In a fortnight they were to go, and once gone, she hoped there could be nothing more to plague her on his account.

She had not been many hours at home, before she found that the Brighton scheme, of which Lydia had given them a hint at the inn, was under frequent discussion between her parents. Elizabeth saw directly that her father had not the smallest intention of yielding; but his answers were at the same time so vague and equivocal, that her mother, though often disheartened, had never yet despaired of succeeding at last.
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