茶花女15
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-03-17 00:01:20  【打印
JOSEPH and I had been getting everything ready for my departure for about an hour, when there was a violent ringing at my door.



'Should I answer it?' said Joseph.



'Yes, ' I told him, wondering who could be calling so late, and not daring to hope it was Marguerite.



'Sir, ' said Joseph when he returned, 'there are two ladies?



'It's us, Armand, ' cried a voice which I recognized as belonging to Prudence.



I emerged from my bedroom.



Prudence was standing and gazing about her at the few curios dotted around my drawing-room; Marguerite was sitting on the sofa, occupied by her thoughts.



When I entered, I went to her, knelt before her, took both her hands and, in a voice touched with emotion, I said:



'Forgive me.'



She kissed me on the brow and said:



'That's the third time I've forgiven you.'



'I was going to go away tomorrow.'



'How can my visit change your mind? I haven't come here to stop you leaving Paris. I came because I haven't had time all day to reply to your letter, and I didn't want to leave you with the impression that I was cross with you. Even so, Prudence didn't want me to come: she said I might be in your way.'



'You! In my way, Marguerite! But how?'



'Why, you could have had a woman here, ' answered Prudence, 'and it wouldn't have been very funny for her to see another two turning up.'



While Prudence was making this remark, Marguerite watched me closely.



'My dear Prudence, ' I replied, 'you're talking nonsense.'



'You've got a very nice apartment, ' answered Prudence. 'Mind if I take a look at the bedroom?'



'Not at all.'



Prudence went off into my bedroom, not so much to see inside as to cover up her unfortunate remark and to leave Marguerite and me alone together.



'Why did you bring Prudence with you?' I said.



'Because she was with me at the theatre, and because I wanted to have someone to see me home when I left here.'



'Couldn't I have done it?'



'Yes. But apart from the fact that I didn't want to disturb you, I was quite certain that when you got to my door you would ask if you could come up and, since I couldn't let you, I didn't want you to go away feeling you had any right to blame me for refusing you anything.'



'And why couldn't you let me come up?'



'Because I'm being watched very closely, and because the least hint of suspicion could do me a great deal of harm.'



'Is that the only reason?'



'If there was another, I would tell you what it was; we've got past the stage of having secrets from each other.'



'Listen, Marguerite, I'm not going to make any bones about what I want to say to you. Tell me, do you love me a little?'



'A great deal.'



'Then why did you deceive me?'



'My dear, if I were the Duchess of This or That, if I had two hundred thousand livers a year, if I were your mistress and had another lover besides you, then you'd have every right to ask why I deceive you. But I am Mademoiselle Marguerite Gautier, I have debts of forty thousand and not a penny behind me, and I spend a hundred thousand francs a year: your question is out of order and my answer irrelevant.'



'You're quite right, ' I said, letting my head fall on to Marguerite's knees, 'but I do love you, to distraction.'



'Well, my dear, you should have loved me a little less or understood me a little better. Your letter hurt me very deeply. If I'd been free to choose, then in the first place I would never have seen the Count the day before yesterday, or, if I had, I would have come to beg you for the forgiveness which you asked of me a few moments ago and, from that moment on, I would have had no other lover but you. There was a moment when I thought I could indulge myself and be really happy for those six months. You would have none of it; you just had to know how I was going to manage it ?good heavens! it was easy enough to guess. The sacrifice I was going to have to make if it was to be possible, was much greater than you think. I could have told you: "I need twenty thousand francs." You were in love with me, you would have raised it somehow, though there was a risk that one day you'd be sorry you'd done so and blame me. I chose to owe you nothing; you didn't understand my delicacy, for delicacy it is. Girls of my sort, at least those of us who still have some feelings left, take words and things further and deeper than other women. I repeat: coming from Marguerite Gautier, the means with she found of repaying her debts without asking you for the money it took, was an act of great delicacy of which you should now take advantage without another word. If you met me today for the first time, you'd be only too delighted with the promises I'd make you, and you wouldn't ask questions about what I did the day before yesterday. Sometimes, we have no choice but to buy gratifications for the soul at some cost to the body, and it hurts all the more when those gratifications subsequently elude us.'



I heard and saw Marguerite with admiration. When I reflected that this marvellous creature, whose feet I once had longed to kiss, should consent to give me a place in her thoughts and a role in her life, and when I thought that I was still not content with what she was giving me, I asked myself whether man's desire has any limits at all if, though satisfied as promptly as mine had been, it can still aspire to something more.



'It's true, ' she went on, 'we creatures of chance have weird desires and unimaginable passions. Sometimes we give ourselves for one thing, sometimes for another. There are men who could ruin themselves and get nowhere with us; there are others who can have us for a bunch of flowers. Our hearts are capricious: it's their only diversion and their only excuse. I gave myself to you more quickly than I ever did to another man, I swear. Why? Because when you saw me coughing blood, you took me by the hand, because you wept, because you are the only human being who ever felt sorry for me. I'm now going to tell you something silly. Once I had a little dog who used to look at me with sad eyes when I coughed: he was the only living creature I have ever loved.



'When he died, I cried more than after my mother's death. Mind you, she did spend twelve years of her life beating me. Well, from the start, I loved you as much as my dog. If men only knew what can be had with just one tear, they would be better loved and we should ruin fewer of them.



'Your letter gave you away: it showed me that you didn't understand the workings of the heart, and it injured you more in the love. I had for you than anything else you could have done. It was jealousy, of course, but a sarcastic, haughty kind of jealousy. I was feeling miserable when I got the letter. I was counting on seeing you at midday, on having lunch with you, hoping the sight of you would chase away a thought I kept having which, before I knew you, never bothered me in the least.



'Then again, 'continued Marguerite, 'you were the only person with whom I'd sensed from the first I could think and speak freely. People who congregate around girls like me can gain a great deal by paying close attention to the slightest words we say, and by drawing conclusions from our most insignificant actions. Naturally, we have no friends, we have egotistical lovers who spend their fortunes not on us, as they claim, but on their vanity.



'For men like these, we have to be cheerful when they are happy, hale and hearty when they decide they want supper, and as cynical as they are. We are not allowed to have feelings, for fear of being jeered at and losing our credibility.



'Our lives are no longer our own. We aren't human beings, but things. We rank first in their pride, and last in their good opinion. We have women friends, but they are friends like Prudence ? yesterday's kept women who still have expensive tastes which their age prevents them from indulging. So they become our friends, or rather associates. Their friendship may verge on the servile, but it is never disinterested. They'll never give you a piece of advice unless there's money in it. They don't care if we've got ten lovers extra as long as they get a few dresses or a bracelet out of them and can drive about every now and then in our carriages and sit in our boxes at the theatre. They end up with the flowers we were given the night before, and they borrow our Indian shawls. They never do us a good turn, however trifling, without making sure they get paid twice what their trouble was worth. You saw as much yourself the evening Prudence brought me the six thousand francs which I'd asked her to go and beg from the Duke; she borrowed five hundred francs which she'll never give back, or else she'll pay it off in hats that will never get taken out of their boxes.



'So we can have, or rather I had, only one hope of happiness: and this was, sad as I sometimes am and ill as I am always, to find a man of sufficiently rare qualities who would never ask me to account for my actions, and be the lover of my wilder fancies more than the lover of my body. I found this man in the Duke, but the Duke is old and old age neither shields nor consoles. I'd thought I could settle for the life he made for me. But it was no use. I was dying of boredom, and I felt that if I was going to be destroyed, then I might as well jump into the flames as choke on the fumes.



'Then I met you. You were young, passionate, happy, and I tried to turn you into the man I had cried out for in my crowded but empty life. What I loved in you was not the man you were but the man you could be. You refuse to accept the part; you reject it as unworthy of you; you are a commonplace lover, just do what the others do: pay me and let's not talk about it any more.'



Marguerite, tired by this long confession, settled back into the sofa and, to check a mild fit of coughing, put her handkerchief to her lips and even wiped her eyes.



'Forgive me, forgive me, ' I murmured, 'I knew all this, but I wanted to hear you say it, my darling Marguerite. Let's forget the rest. Let's just remember one thing: we belong to one another, we are young and we are in love.



'Marguerite, do with me what you will. I am your slave, your dog. But, in the name of God, tear up the letter I wrote you and don't let me go away tomorrow. It would kill me.'



Marguerite withdrew the letter from the bodice of her dress and, as she handed it back to me, said with a smile of infinite sweetness:



'Here, I was bringing it back to you.'



I tore up the letter and, with tears in my eyes, kissed the hand which held it.



At this juncture, Prudence reappeared.



'Oh, Prudence, can you guess what he wants me to do?' said Marguerite.



'To forgive him.'



'That's right.'



'And have you?'



'I can't do otherwise. But there's something else he wants.'



'What's that?'



'He wants to come and have supper with us.'



'And are you going to say yes?'



'What do you think?'



'I think you're a couple of children without an ounce of common sense between you. But I also think that I'm ravenous, and the sooner you do say yes, the sooner we'll have supper.'



'Come on, then, ' said Marguerite, 'we can all fit into my carriage. By the way, ' she added, turning to me, 'Nanine will have gone to bed, so you'll have to open the door. Take my key, and try not to lose it again.'



I kissed Marguerite until she had no breath left.



Thereupon, Joseph came in.



'Sir, ' he said with the air of a man terribly pleased with himself, 'the trunks are packed.'



'All of them?'



'Yes, sir.'



'Well, unpack them. I'm not leaving.'

我和约瑟夫为我动身做准备,忙了将近一个小时,突然有人猛拉我家的门铃。



“要不要开门?”约瑟夫问我。



“开吧,”我对他说,心里在嘀咕谁会在这种时候上我家来,因为我不敢相信这会是玛格丽特。



“先生,”约瑟夫回来对我说,“是两位太太。”



“是我们,阿尔芒,”一个嗓子嚷道,我听出这是普律当丝的声音。



我走出卧室。



普律当丝站着观赏我会客室里的几件摆设,玛格丽特坐在沙发椅里沉思。



我进去以后径直向她走去,跪下去握住她的双手,激动万分地对她说:“原谅我吧。”



她吻了吻我的前额对我说:



“这已经是我第三次原谅您了。”



“否则我明天就要走了。”



“我的来访凭什么要改变您的决定呢?我不是来阻止您离开巴黎的。我来,是因为我白天没有时间给您写回信,又不愿意让您以为我在生您的气。普律当丝还不让我来呢,她说我也许会打扰您的。”



“您,打扰我?您,玛格丽特!怎么会呢?”



“当然罗!您家里可能有一个女人,”普律当丝回答说。



“她看到又来了两个可不是好玩的。”



在普律当丝发表她的高论时,玛格丽特注意地打量着我。



“我亲爱的普律当丝,”我回答说,“您简直是在胡扯。”



“您这套房间布置得很漂亮,”普律当丝抢着说,“我们可以看看您的卧室吗?”



“可以。”



普律当丝走进我的卧室,她倒并非真要参观我的卧室,而是要赎补她刚才的蠢话,这样就留下玛格丽特和我两个人了。



于是我问她:“您为什么要带普律当丝来?”



“因为看戏时她陪着我,再说离开这里时也要有人陪我。”



“我不是在这儿吗?”



“是的,但是一方面我不愿意麻烦您,另一方面我敢肯定您到了我家门口就会要求上楼到我家,而我却不能同意,我不愿意因我的拒绝而使您在离开我时又有了一个埋怨我的权利。”



“那么您为什么不能接待我呢?”



“因为我受到严密的监视,稍不注意就会铸成大错。”



“仅仅是这个原因吗?”



“如果有别的原因,我会对您说的,我们之间不再有什么秘密了。”



“嗳,玛格丽特,我不想拐弯抹角地跟您说话,老实说吧,您究竟有些爱我吗?”



“爱极了。”



“那么,您为什么欺骗我?”



“我的朋友,倘若我是一位什么公爵夫人,倘若我有二十万利弗尔年金,那么我在做了您的情妇以后又有了另外一个情人的话,您也许就有权利来问我为什么欺骗您;但是我是玛格丽特戈蒂埃小姐,我有的是四万法郎的债务,没有一个铜子的财产,而且每年还要花掉十万法郎,因此您的问题提得毫无意义,我回答您也是白费精神。”



“真是这样,”我的头垂在玛格丽特的膝盖上说,“但是我发疯似地爱着您。”



“那么,我的朋友,您就少爱我一些,多了解我一些。您的信使我很伤心,如果我的身子是自由的,首先我前天就不会接待伯爵,即使接待了他,我也会来求您原谅,就像您刚才求我原谅一样,而且以后除了您我也不会再有其他情人了。有一阵子我以为我也许能享受到六个月的清福,您又不愿意,您非要知道用的是什么方法,啊,天哪!用什么方法还用问吗?我采用这些方法时所作的牺牲比您想象的还要大,我本来可以对您说:我需要两万法郎;您眼下正在爱我,兴许会筹划到的,等过后可能就要埋怨我了。我情愿什么都不麻烦您,您不懂得我对您的体贴,因为这是我的一番苦心。我们这些女人,在我们还有一点良心的时候,我们说的话和做的事都有深刻的含义,这是别的女人所不能理解的;因此我再对您说一遍,对玛格丽特戈蒂埃来说,她所找到的不向您要钱又能还清债务的方法是对您的体贴,您应该默不作声地受用的。如果您今天才认识我,那么您会对我答应您的事感到非常幸福,您也就不会盘问我前天干了些什么事。有时候我们被迫牺牲肉体以换得精神上的满足,但当精神上的满足也失去了以后,我们就更加觉得痛苦不堪了。”



我带着赞赏的心情听着和望着玛格丽特。当我想到这个人间尤物,过去我曾渴望吻她的脚,现在她却让我看到了她的思想深处,并让我成为她生活中的一员,而我现在对此却还不满意,我不禁自问,人类的欲望究竟还有没有个尽头。我这样快地实现了我的梦想,可我又在得寸进尺了。



“这是真的,”她接着说,“我们这些受命运摆布的女人,我们有一些古怪的愿望和不可思议的爱情。我们有时为了某一件事,有时候又为了另一件事而委身于人。有些人为我们倾家荡产,却一无所得,也有些人只用一束鲜花就换得了我们。我们凭一时高兴而随心所欲,这是我们仅有的消遣和唯一的借口。我委身于你①比谁都快,这我可以向你起誓,为什么呢?因为你看到我吐血就握住我的手,还流了眼泪,因为你是唯一真正同情我的人。我要告诉你一个笑话:从前我有一只小狗,当我咳嗽的时候,它总是用悲哀的神气瞅着我,它是我唯一喜爱过的动物。



①在法语对话中一般用第二人称复数(您)代替第二人称单数(你),表示客气;但对亲密的人仍用第二人称单数(你)。本书中对称时,“您”、“你”有时换用,视当时讲话者的心情和场合而定。



“它死的时候,我哭得比死了亲娘还要伤心,我的的确确挨了我母亲十二年的打骂。就这样,我一下子就爱上了你,就像爱上了我的狗一样。如果男人们都懂得用眼泪可以换到些什么,他们就会更讨人的喜爱,我们也不会这样挥霍他们的钱财了。



“你的来信暴露了你的真相,这封信告诉我你的心里并不明白,从我对你的爱情来说,不管你对我做了什么事,也没有比这封信给我的伤害更大的了,要说这是嫉妒的结果,这也是真的,但是这种嫉妒是很可笑的,也是很粗暴的。当我收到你来信时,我已经够难受的了,本来我打算到中午去看你,和你一起吃午饭,只有在看到你以后,我才能抹掉始终纠缠在我脑海里的一些想法,而在认识你以前,这些事我是根本不当一回事的。



“而且,”玛格丽特继续说,“我相信也只有在你面前,我才可以推诚相见,无所不谈。那些围着像我一样的姑娘转的人都喜欢对她们的一言一语寻根究底,想在她们无意的行动里找出什么含义来。我们当然没有什么朋友,我们有的都是一些自私自利的情人,他们挥霍钱财并非像他们所说的是为了我们,而是为了他们自己的虚荣心。



“对于这些人,当他们开心的时候,我们必须快乐;当他们要吃夜宵的时候,我们必须精力充沛;当他们疑神疑鬼的时候,我们也要疑神疑鬼。我们这些人是不能有什么良心的,否则就要被嘲骂,就要被诋毁。



“我们已经身不由己了,我们不再是人,而是没有生命的东西。他们要满足自尊心时最先想到的是我们,但他们又把我们看得比谁都不如。我们有一些女朋友,但都是像普律当丝那样的女朋友,她们过去也是妓女,挥霍惯了,但现在人老了,不允许她们这样做了,于是,她们成了我们的朋友,更可以说成了我们的食客。她们的友情甚至到了可供驱使的地步,但从来也到不了无私的程度。她们总是给我们出些怎样捞钱的点子。只要她们能借此赚到一些衣衫和首饰,能经常乘着我们的车子出去逛逛,能坐在我们的包厢里看戏,我们即使有十几个情人也不关她们的事。她们拿去了我们前一天用过的花束,借用我们的开司米披肩。即使是一件芝麻绿豆大的小事,她们也要求我们双倍的谢礼,否则她们是不会为我们效劳的。那天晚上你不是亲眼看见了吗?普律当丝给我拿来了六千法郎,这是我请她到公爵那里替我要来的。她向我借去了五百法郎,这笔钱她是永远不会还我的,要么还我几顶用不着她们破费一个子儿的帽子。



“因此我们,或者不如说我,只能够有一种幸福,这就是找一个地位高的男人。像我这样一个多愁善感、日夜受病痛折磨的苦命人,唯一的幸福也就是找到一个因其超脱而不来过问我的生活的男人,他能成为一个重感情轻肉欲的情人。我过去找到过这个人,就是公爵,但公爵年事已高,既不能保护我又不能安慰我。我原以为能够接受他给我安排的生活,但是你叫我怎么办呢?我真厌烦死了。假如一个人注定要受煎熬而死,跳到大火中去烧死和用煤气来毒死不都是一个样吗!



“那时候,我遇到了你,你年轻、热情、快乐,我想使你成为我在表面热闹实际寂寞的生活中寻找的人。我在你身上所爱的,不是现在的人,而是以后应该变成的人。你不接受这个角色,认为这个角色对你不适合而拒不接受,那么你也不过是一个一般的情人;你就像别人一样付钱给我吧,别再谈这些事了。”



说过这段长长的表白后,玛格丽特很疲乏,她靠在沙发椅背上,为了忍住一阵因虚弱而引起的阵咳,她把手绢按在嘴唇上,甚至把眼睛都蒙上了。



“原谅我,原谅我,”我喃喃地说,“一切我自己也已经明白了,但是我愿意听你把这些说出来,我最最亲爱的玛格丽特,我们只要记住一件事,把其余的丢在脑后吧;那就是我们永不分离,我们年纪还很轻,我们相亲相爱。



“玛格丽特,随便你把我怎样都行,我是你的奴隶,你的狗;但是看在上天的份上,把我写给你的信撕掉吧,明天别让我走,否则我要死的。”



玛格丽特把我给她的信从她衣服的胸口里取出来,还给了我,她带着一种难以形容的微笑对我说:



“看,我把信给你带来了。”



我撕掉了信,含着眼泪吻着她向我伸过来的手。



这时候普律当丝又来了。



“您说,普律当丝,您知道他要求我什么事?”玛格丽特说。



“他要求您原谅。”



“正是这样。”



“您原谅了吗?”



“当然罗,但是他还有一个要求。”



“什么要求?”



“他要和我们一起吃夜宵。”



“您同意了吗?”



“您看呢?”



“我看你们两个都是孩子,都很幼稚,但是我现在肚子已经很饿了,你们早一点讲好,我们就可以早一点吃夜宵。”



“走吧,”玛格丽特说,“我们三个人一齐坐我的车子去好啦。”“喂!”她转身对我说,“纳尼娜就要睡觉了,您拿了我的钥匙去开门,注意别再把它丢了。”



我紧紧地拥抱着玛格丽特,差一点把她给闷死。



这时候约瑟夫进来了。



“先生,”他自鸣得意地说,“行李捆好了。”



“全捆好了吗?”



“是的,先生。”



“那么,打开吧,我不走了。”


文章来源:大耳朵英语--免费实用 http://www.bigear.cn