第八卷波及 第05章适合的坟
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-07-23 23:47:36  【打印
CHAPTER V A SUITABLE TOMB







Javert deposited Jean Valjean in the city prison.



The arrest of M. Madeleine occasioned a sensation, or rather, an extraordinary commotion in M. sur M. We are sorry that we cannot conceal the fact, that at the single word, "He was a convict," nearly every one deserted him. In less than two hours all the good that he had done had been forgotten, and he was nothing but a "convict from the galleys." It is just to add that the details of what had taken place at Arras were not yet known. All day long conversations like the following were to be heard in all quarters of the town:--



"You don't know? He was a liberated convict!" "Who?" "The mayor." "Bah! M. Madeleine?" "Yes." "Really?" "His name was not Madeleine at all; he had a frightful name, Bejean, Bojean, Boujean." "Ah! Good God!" "He has been arrested." "Arrested!" "In prison, in the city prison, while waiting to be transferred." "Until he is transferred!" "He is to be transferred!" "Where is he to be taken?" "He will be tried at the Assizes for a highway robbery which he committed long ago." "Well! I suspected as much. That man was too good, too perfect, too affected. He refused the cross; he bestowed sous on all the little scamps he came across. I always thought there was some evil history back of all that."



The "drawing-rooms" particularly abounded in remarks of this nature.



One old lady, a subscriber to the Drapeau Blanc, made the following remark, the depth of which it is impossible to fathom:--



"I am not sorry. It will be a lesson to the Bonapartists!"



It was thus that the phantom which had been called M. Madeleine vanished from M. sur M. Only three or four persons in all the town remained faithful to his memory. The old portress who had served him was among the number.



On the evening of that day the worthy old woman was sitting in her lodge, still in a thorough fright, and absorbed in sad reflections. The factory had been closed all day, the carriage gate was bolted, the street was deserted. There was no one in the house but the two nuns, Sister Perpetue and Sister Simplice, who were watching beside the body of Fantine.



Towards the hour when M. Madeleine was accustomed to return home, the good portress rose mechanically, took from a drawer the key of M. Madeleine's chamber, and the flat candlestick which he used every evening to go up to his quarters; then she hung the key on the nail whence he was accustomed to take it, and set the candlestick on one side, as though she was expecting him. Then she sat down again on her chair, and became absorbed in thought once more. The poor, good old woman bad done all this without being conscious of it.



It was only at the expiration of two hours that she roused herself from her revery, and exclaimed, "Hold! My good God Jesus! And I hung his key on the nail!"



At that moment the small window in the lodge opened, a hand passed through, seized the key and the candlestick, and lighted the taper at the candle which was burning there.



The portress raised her eyes, and stood there with gaping mouth, and a shriek which she confined to her throat.



She knew that hand, that arm, the sleeve of that coat.



It was M. Madeleine.



It was several seconds before she could speak; she had a seizure, as she said herself, when she related the adventure afterwards.



"Good God, Monsieur le Maire," she cried at last, "I thought you were--"



She stopped; the conclusion of her sentence would have been lacking in respect towards the beginning. Jean Valjean was still Monsieur le Maire to her.



He finished her thought.



"In prison," said he. "I was there; I broke a bar of one of the windows; I let myself drop from the top of a roof, and here I am. I am going up to my room; go and find Sister Simplice for me. She is with that poor woman, no doubt."



The old woman obeyed in all haste.



He gave her no orders; he was quite sure that she would guard him better than he should guard himself.



No one ever found out how he had managed to get into the courtyard without opening the big gates. He had, and always carried about him, a pass-key which opened a little side-door; but he must have been searched, and his latch-key must have been taken from him. This point was never explained.



He ascended the staircase leading to his chamber. On arriving at the top, he left his candle on the top step of his stairs, opened his door with very little noise, went and closed his window and his shutters by feeling, then returned for his candle and re-entered his room.



It was a useful precaution; it will be recollected that his window could be seen from the street.



He cast a glance about him, at his table, at his chair, at his bed which had not been disturbed for three days. No trace of the disorder of the night before last remained. The portress had "done up" his room; only she had picked out of the ashes and placed neatly on the table the two iron ends of the cudgel and the forty-sou piece which had been blackened by the fire.



He took a sheet of paper, on which he wrote: "These are the two tips of my iron-shod cudgel and the forty-sou piece stolen from Little Gervais, which I mentioned at the Court of Assizes," and he arranged this piece of paper, the bits of iron, and the coin in such a way that they were the first things to be seen on entering the room. From a cupboard he pulled out one of his old shirts, which he tore in pieces. In the strips of linen thus prepared he wrapped the two silver candlesticks. He betrayed neither haste nor agitation; and while he was wrapping up the Bishop's candlesticks, he nibbled at a piece of black bread. It was probably the prison-bread which he had carried with him in his flight.



This was proved by the crumbs which were found on the floor of the room when the authorities made an examination later on.



There came two taps at the door.



"Come in," said he.



It was Sister Simplice.



She was pale; her eyes were red; the candle which she carried trembled in her hand. The peculiar feature of the violences of destiny is, that however polished or cool we may be, they wring human nature from our very bowels, and force it to reappear on the surface. The emotions of that day had turned the nun into a woman once more. She had wept, and she was trembling.



Jean Valjean had just finished writing a few lines on a paper, which he handed to the nun, saying, "Sister, you will give this to Monsieur le Cure."



The paper was not folded. She cast a glance upon it.



"You can read it," said he.



She read:--



"I beg Monsieur le Cure to keep an eye on all that I leave behind me. He will be so good as to pay out of it the expenses of my trial, and of the funeral of the woman who died yesterday. The rest is for the poor."



The sister tried to speak, but she only managed to stammer a few inarticulate sounds. She succeeded in saying, however:--



"Does not Monsieur le Maire desire to take a last look at that poor, unhappy woman?"



"No," said he; "I am pursued; it would only end in their arresting me in that room, and that would disturb her."



He had hardly finished when a loud noise became audible on the staircase. They heard a tumult of ascending footsteps, and the old portress saying in her loudest and most piercing tones:--



"My good sir, I swear to you by the good God, that not a soul has entered this house all day, nor all the evening, and that I have not even left the door."



A man responded:--



"But there is a light in that room, nevertheless."



They recognized Javert's voice.



The chamber was so arranged that the door in opening masked the corner of the wall on the right. Jean Valjean blew out the light and placed himself in this angle. Sister Simplice fell on her knees near the table.



The door opened.



Javert entered.



The whispers of many men and the protestations of the portress were audible in the corridor.



The nun did not raise her eyes. She was praying.



The candle was on the chimney-piece, and gave but very little light.



Javert caught sight of the nun and halted in amazement.



It will be remembered that the fundamental point in Javert, his element, the very air he breathed, was veneration for all authority. This was impregnable, and admitted of neither objection nor restriction. In his eyes, of course, the ecclesiastical authority was the chief of all; he was religious, superficial and correct on this point as on all others. In his eyes, a priest was a mind, who never makes a mistake; a nun was a creature who never sins; they were souls walled in from this world, with a single door which never opened except to allow the truth to pass through.



On perceiving the sister, his first movement was to retire.



But there was also another duty which bound him and impelled him imperiously in the opposite direction. His second movement was to remain and to venture on at least one question.



This was Sister Simplice, who had never told a lie in her life. Javert knew it, and held her in special veneration in consequence.



"Sister," said he, "are you alone in this room?"



A terrible moment ensued, during which the poor portress felt as though she should faint.



The sister raised her eyes and answered:--



"Yes."



"Then," resumed Javert, "you will excuse me if I persist; it is my duty; you have not seen a certain person--a man--this evening? He has escaped; we are in search of him--that Jean Valjean; you have not seen him?"



The sister replied:--



"No."



She lied. She had lied twice in succession, one after the other, without hesitation, promptly, as a person does when sacrificing herself.



"Pardon me," said Javert, and he retired with a deep bow.



O sainted maid! you left this world many years ago; you have rejoined your sisters, the virgins, and your brothers, the angels, in the light; may this lie be counted to your credit in paradise!



The sister's affirmation was for Javert so decisive a thing that he did not even observe the singularity of that candle which had but just been extinguished, and which was still smoking on the table.



An hour later, a man, marching amid trees and mists, was rapidly departing from M. sur M. in the direction of Paris. That man was Jean Valjean. It has been established by the testimony of two or three carters who met him, that he was carrying a bundle; that he was dressed in a blouse. Where had he obtained that blouse? No one ever found out. But an aged workman had died in the infirmary of the factory a few days before, leaving behind him nothing but his blouse. Perhaps that was the one.



One last word about Fantine.



We all have a mother,--the earth. Fantine was given back to that mother.



The cure thought that he was doing right, and perhaps he really was, in reserving as much money as possible from what Jean Valjean had left for the poor. Who was concerned, after all? A convict and a woman of the town. That is why he had a very simple funeral for Fantine, and reduced it to that strictly necessary form known as the pauper's grave.



So Fantine was buried in the free corner of the cemetery which belongs to anybody and everybody, and where the poor are lost. Fortunately, God knows where to find the soul again. Fantine was laid in the shade, among the first bones that came to hand; she was subjected to the promiscuousness of ashes. She was thrown into the public grave. Her grave resembled her bed.



[The end of Volume I. "Fantine"]









五 适合的坟









沙威把冉阿让送进了市监狱。



马德兰先生被捕的消息在滨海蒙特勒伊引起了一种异样的感觉,应当说,引起了一种非常的震动。不幸我们无法掩饰这样一种情况:仅仅为了“他当过苦役犯”这句话,大家便几乎把他完全丢弃了。他从前作的一切好事,不到两个钟头,也全被遗忘了,他已只是个“苦役犯”。应当指出,当时大家还不知道在阿拉斯发生的详细的经过。一整天,城里四处都能听到这样的谈话:“您不知道吗?他原是个被释放的苦役犯!”“谁呀?”



“市长。”“啐!马德兰先生吗?”“是呀。”“真的吗?”“他原来不叫马德兰,他的真名字真难听,白让,博让,布让。”“呀,我的天!”



“他已经被捕了。”“被捕了!他暂时还在市监狱里,不久就会被押到别处去。”“押到别处去!”“他们要把他押到别处去!他们想把他押到什么地方去呢?”“因为他从前在一条大路上犯过一桩劫案,还得上高等法院呢。”“原来如此!我早已疑心了。这人平日太好,太完善,太信上帝了。他辞谢过十字勋章。他在路上碰见小流氓总给他们些钱。我老在想,他底里一定有些不能见人的历史。”



尤其是在那些“客厅”里,这类话谈得特别多。



有一个订阅《白旗报》的老太太还有这样一种几乎深不可测的体会。



“我并不以为可惜。这对布宛纳巴的党徒是一种教训!”



这个一度称为马德兰先生的幽灵便这样在滨海蒙特勒伊消逝了。全城中,只有三四个人还追念他。服侍过他的那个老看门婆便是其中之一。



当天日落时,这个忠实的老婆子还坐在她的门房里,无限凄惶。工厂停了一天工,正门闩起来了,街上行人稀少。那幢房子里只有两个修女,佩尔佩迪姆姆和散普丽斯姆姆还在守着芳汀的遗体。



快到马德兰先生平日回家的时候,这忠实的看门婆子机械地立了起来,从抽屉里取出马德兰先生的房门钥匙,又端起他每晚用来照着上楼的烛台,随后她把钥匙挂在他惯于寻取的那钉子上,烛台放在旁边,仿佛她在等候他似的,她又回转去,坐在她那椅子上面呆想。这可怜的好老婆子并不知道她自己做了这些事。



两个多钟头过后,她如梦初醒地喊道:



“真的!我的慈悲上帝耶稣!我还把钥匙挂在钉子上呢!”



正在这时,门房的玻璃窗自动开了,一只手从窗口伸进来,拿着钥匙和烛台,凑到另一支燃着的细烛上接了火。



守门妇人抬起眼睛,张开口,几乎要喊出来了。



她认识这只手,这条胳膊,这件礼服的袖子。



是马德兰先生。



过了几秒钟,她才说得出话来。“我真吓呆了。”她过后向人谈这件事的时候,老这么说。



“我的上帝,市长先生,”她终于喊出来了,“我还以为您……”



她停了口,因为这句话的后半段会抹煞前半段的敬意。冉阿让对她始终是市长先生。



他替她把话说完:



“……进监牢了,”他说,“我到监里去过了,我折断了窗口的铁条,从屋顶上跳下来,又到了这里。我现在到我屋子里去。您去把散普丽斯姆姆找来。她一定是在那可怜的妇人旁边。”



老婆子连忙去找。



他一句话也没有嘱咐她,他十分明白,她保护他会比他自己保护自己更稳当。



别人永远没有知道他怎样能不开正门便到了天井里。他本来有一把开一扇小侧门的钥匙,是他随时带在身上的,不过他一定受过搜查,钥匙也一定被没收了。这一点从来没有人想通过。



他走上通到他屋子去的那道楼梯。到了上面,他把烛台放在楼梯的最高一级,轻轻地开了门,又一路摸黑,走去关上窗子和窗板,再回头拿了烛台,回到屋里。



这种戒备是有用的,我们记得,从街上可以看见他的窗子。



他四面望了一眼,桌子上,椅子上,和他那张三天没有动过的床上。前晚的忙乱并没有留下丝毫痕迹,因为看门婆婆早已把屋子整理过了。不过她已从灰里拾起那根棍子的两个铁斗和那烧乌了的值四十个苏的钱,干干净净地把它们放在桌上了。



他拿起一张纸,写上“这便是我在法庭里说过的那两个铁棍头和从小瑞尔威抢来的那个值四十个苏的钱”,他又把这枚银币和这两块钱摆在纸上,好让人家走进屋子一眼便可以看见。他从橱里取出了一件旧衬衫,撕成几块,用来包那两只银烛台。他既不匆忙,也不惊惶,一面包着主教的这两个烛台,一面咬着一块黑面包。这大概是在他逃走时带出来的一块囚犯吃的面包。



过后法院来检查,在地板上发现一些面包屑,证明他吃的确是狱里的面包。



有人在门上轻轻敲了两下。



“请进。”他说。



是散普丽斯姆姆。



她面色苍白,眼睛发红,手里拿着蜡烛,颤个不停。命运中的剧变往往有这样一种特点:无论我们平时多么超脱,无动于衷,一旦遭遇剧变,原有的人性总不免受到触动,从心灵的深处流露出来。这修女经过这一天的激动,又变成妇女了,她痛哭过一阵,现在还发抖。



冉阿让正在一张纸上写好了几行字,他把这张纸交给修女说:



“我的姆姆,请您交给本堂神甫先生。”



这张纸是展开的。她在那上面望了一眼。



“您可以看。”他说。



她念:“我请本堂神甫先生料理我在这里留下的一切,用以代付我的诉讼费和今日死去的这个妇人的丧葬费。余款捐给穷人。”



姆姆想说话,但是语不成声。她勉强说了一句:



“市长先生不想再看一次那可怜的苦命人吗?”



“不,”他说,“逮我的人在后面追来了,他们到她屋子里去逮我,她会不得安宁。”



他的话刚说完,楼梯下已闹得一片响,他听见许多人的脚步,走上楼来,又听见那看门老妇人用她那最高最锐的嗓子说:



“我的好先生,我在慈悲的上帝面前向您发誓,今天一整天,一整晚,都没有人到这里来过,我也没有离开过大门!”



有个人回答说:



“可是那屋子里有灯光。”



他们辨别出这是沙威的声音。



屋子的门开开,便遮着右边的墙角。冉阿让吹灭了烛,躲在这墙角里。



散普丽斯姆姆跪在桌子旁边。



门自己开了。沙威走进来。



过道里有许多人说话的声音和那看门妇人的争辩声。



修女低着眼睛正在祈祷。



一支细烛在壁炉台上发着微光。



沙威看见姆姆,停住了脚,不敢为难。



我们记得,沙威的本性,他的气质,他的一呼一吸都是对权力的尊崇。他是死板的,他不容许反对,也无可通融。在他看来,教会的权力更是高于一切。他是信徒,他在这方面,和在其他任何方面一样,浅薄而规矩。在他的眼里,神甫是种没有缺点的神明,修女是种纯洁无疵的生物。他们都是与人世隔绝了的灵魂,好象他们的灵魂与人世之间隔着一堵围墙,墙上只有一扇唯一的、不说真话便从来不开的门。



他见了姆姆,第一个动作便是向后退。



但是另外还有一种任务束缚他并极力推他前进。他的第二个动作便是停下来,至少他总得冒险问一句话。



这是生平从不说谎的散普丽斯姆姆。沙威知道,因此对她也特别尊敬。



“我的姆姆,”他说,“您是一个人在这屋子里吗?”



那可怜的看门妇人吓得魂不附体,以为事体搞糟了。



姆姆抬起眼睛,回答说:



“是的。”



“既是这样,”沙威又说,“请您原谅我多话,这是我分内应做的事,今天您没有看见一个人,一个男人。他逃走了,我们正在找他。那个叫冉阿让的家伙,您没有看见他吗?”



“没有。”



她说了假话。一连两次,一句接着一句,毫不踌躇,直截了当地说着假话,把她自己忘了似的。



“请原谅。”沙威说,他深深行了个礼,退出去了。呵,圣女!您超出凡尘,已有多年,您早已在光明中靠拢了您的贞女姐妹和您的天使弟兄,愿您这次的谎话上达天堂。



这姆姆的话,在沙威听来,是那样可靠,以至刚吹灭的还在桌上冒烟的这支耐人寻味的蜡烛也没有引起他的注意。



一个钟头过后,有个人在树林和迷雾中大踏步离开了滨海蒙特勒伊向着巴黎走去。这人便是冉阿让。有两三个赶车的车夫曾遇到他,看见他背个包袱,穿件布罩衫。那件布罩衫,他是从什么地方得来的呢?从没有人知道。而在那工厂的疗养室里,前几天死了一个老工人,只留下一件布罩衫。也许就是这件。



关于芳汀的最后几句话。



我们全有一个慈母----大地。芳汀归到这慈母的怀里去了。



本堂神甫尽量把冉阿让留下的东西,留下给穷人,他自以为做得得当,也许真是得当的。况且,这件事牵涉到谁呢?牵涉到一个苦役犯和一个娼妇。因此他简化了芳汀的殡葬,极力削减费用,把她送进了义冢。



于是芳汀被葬在坟场中那块属于大家而不属于任何私人、并使穷人千古埋没的公土里。幸而上帝知道到什么地方去寻找她的灵魂。他们把芳汀隐在遍地遗骸的乱骨堆中,她被抛到公众的泥坑里去了。她的坟正象她的床一样。

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