第二卷沉沦 第05章恬静
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-07-04 00:08:04  【打印
CHAPTER V TRANQUILLITY







After bidding his sister good night, Monseigneur Bienvenu took one of the two silver candlesticks from the table, handed the other to his guest, and said to him,--



"Monsieur, I will conduct you to your room."



The man followed him.



As might have been observed from what has been said above, the house was so arranged that in order to pass into the oratory where the alcove was situated, or to get out of it, it was necessary to traverse the Bishop's bedroom.



At the moment when he was crossing this apartment, Madame Magloire was putting away the silverware in the cupboard near the head of the bed. This was her last care every evening before she went to bed.



The Bishop installed his guest in the alcove. A fresh white bed had been prepared there. The man set the candle down on a small table.



"Well," said the Bishop, "may you pass a good night. To-morrow morning, before you set out, you shall drink a cup of warm milk from our cows."



"Thanks, Monsieur l'Abbe," said the man.



Hardly had he pronounced these words full of peace, when all of a sudden, and without transition, he made a strange movement, which would have frozen the two sainted women with horror, had they witnessed it. Even at this day it is difficult for us to explain what inspired him at that moment. Did he intend to convey a warning or to throw out a menace? Was he simply obeying a sort of instinctive impulse which was obscure even to himself? He turned abruptly to the old man, folded his arms, and bending upon his host a savage gaze, he exclaimed in a hoarse voice:--



"Ah! really! You lodge me in your house, close to yourself like this?"



He broke off, and added with a laugh in which there lurked something monstrous:--



"Have you really reflected well? How do you know that I have not been an assassin?"



The Bishop replied:--



"That is the concern of the good God."



Then gravely, and moving his lips like one who is praying or talking to himself, he raised two fingers of his right hand and bestowed his benediction on the man, who did not bow, and without turning his head or looking behind him, he returned to his bedroom.



When the alcove was in use, a large serge curtain drawn from wall to wall concealed the altar. The Bishop knelt before this curtain as he passed and said a brief prayer. A moment later he was in his garden, walking, meditating, conteplating, his heart and soul wholly absorbed in those grand and mysterious things which God shows at night to the eyes which remain open.



As for the man, he was actually so fatigued that he did not even profit by the nice white sheets. Snuffing out his candle with his nostrils after the manner of convicts, he dropped, all dressed as he was, upon the bed, where he immediately fell into a profound sleep.



Midnight struck as the Bishop returned from his garden to his apartment.



A few minutes later all were asleep in the little house.









五 恬静









卞福汝主教和他的妹子道过晚安以后,从桌上拿起一个银烛台,并把另外那一个交给他的客人,说:



“先生,我来引您到您的房间里去。”



那人跟着他走。



我们在上面已经谈到过那所房子的结构形式,到那间有壁厢的祈祷室里去,或是从里面出来,都得经过主教的卧室。



他们穿过那屋子时,马格洛大娘正把那些银杯盏塞进他床头的壁橱,那是她每晚就寝以前要做的最后一件事。



主教把他的客人安顿在壁厢里。那里安着一张洁白的床。



那人把烛台放在一张小桌上。



“好了,”主教说,“好好唾一晚吧。明天早晨,您在动身以前,再喝一杯我们家里的热牛奶。”



“谢谢教士先生。”那人说。



那句极平静的话刚说出口,他忽然加上一个奇怪的动作,假使那两个圣女看见了,她们一定会吓得发呆的。直到现在,我们还难于肯定他当时是受了什么力量的主使。他是要给个警告还是想进行恐吓呢?还是他受了一种连他自己也无法了解的本能的冲动呢?他蓦地转过身来对着那老人,叉起胳膊,用一种凶横的目光望着他的房主,并且粗声地喊道:



“呀哈!真的吗?您让我睡在离您这样近的地方吗?”



他又接上一阵狰狞的笑声,说道:



“您全想清楚了吗?谁向您说我不曾杀过人呢?”



主教抬起头,望着天花板,回答说:



“那只干上帝的事。”



随后,他严肃地动着嘴唇,好象一个做祷告或自言自语的人,伸出他右手的两个指头,为那人祝福,那人并没有低头,他不掉头也不朝后看,就回到自己的屋子里去了。



壁厢里有人住时,他总把一方大哗叽帷布拉开,遮住神座。主教走过帷布跟前,跪下去做了一回短短的祈祷。过了一会,他到了他的园里,散步。潜思,默想,心灵和思想全寄托在上帝在晚间为所有尚未合眼的人显示的伟大神秘的事物上面。



至于那人,确是太困了,连那洁白的床单也没有享用,他用鼻孔(这是囚犯们的作法)吹灭了烛,和衣倒在床上,立即睡熟了。



主教从园中回到他住宅时,钟正敲着十二点。



几分钟过后,那所小房子里的一切全都睡去了。

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