第四卷戈尔博老屋 第03章联苦成甘
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-08-05 23:28:18  【打印
CHAPTER III TWO MISFORTUNES MAKE ONE PIECE OF GOOD FORTUNE







On the following morning, at daybreak, Jean Valjean was still by Cosette's bedside; he watched there motionless, waiting for her to wake.



Some new thing had come into his soul.



Jean Valjean had never loved anything; for twenty-five years he had been alone in the world. He had never been father, lover, husband, friend. In the prison he had been vicious, gloomy, chaste, ignorant, and shy. The heart of that ex-convict was full of virginity. His sister and his sister's children had left him only a vague and far-off memory which had finally almost completely vanished; he had made every effort to find them, and not having been able to find them, he had forgotten them. Human nature is made thus; the other tender emotions of his youth, if he had ever had any, had fallen into an abyss.



When he saw Cosette, when he had taken possession of her, carried her off, and delivered her, he felt his heart moved within him.



All the passion and affection within him awoke, and rushed towards that child. He approached the bed, where she lay sleeping, and trembled with joy. He suffered all the pangs of a mother, and he knew not what it meant; for that great and singular movement of a heart which begins to love is a very obscure and a very sweet thing.



Poor old man, with a perfectly new heart!



Only, as he was five and fifty, and Cosette eight years of age, all that might have been love in the whole course of his life flowed together into a sort of ineffable light.



It was he remembered that it was with the idea of doing evil that he had learned to read in prison. This idea had ended in teaching a child to read. Then the ex-convict smiled with the pensive smile of the angels.



He {¥遴sette, on her side, had also, unknown to herself, become another being, poor little thing! She was so little when her mother left her, that she no longer remembered her. Like all children, who resemble young shoots of the vine, which cling to everything, she had tried to love; she had not succeeded. All had repulsed her,-- the Thenardiers, their children, other children. She had loved the dog, and he had died, after which nothing and nobody would have anything to do with her. It is a sad thing to say, and we have already intimated it, that, at eight years of age, her heart was cold. It was not her fault; it was not the faculty of loving that she lacked; alas! it was the possibility. Thus, from the very first day, all her sentient and thinking powers loved this kind man. She felt that which she had never felt before--a sensation of expansion.



The man no longer produced on her the effect of being old or poor; she thought Jean Valjean handsome, just as she thought the hovel pretty.



These are the effects of the dawn, of childhood, of joy. The novelty of the earth and of life counts for something here. Nothing is so charming as the coloring reflection of happiness on a garret. We all have in our past a delightful garret.



Nature, a difference of fifty years, had set a profound gulf between Jean Valjean and Cosette; destiny filled in this gulf. Destiny suddenly united and wedded with its irresistible power these two uprooted existences, differing in age, alike in sorrow. One, in fact, completed the other. Cosette's instinct sought a father, as Jean Valjean's instinct sought a child. To meet was to find each other. At the mysterious moment when their hands touched, they were welded together. When these two souls perceived each other, they recognized each other as necessary to each other, and embraced each other closely.



Taking the words in their most comprehensive and absolute sense, we may say that, separated from every one by the walls of the tomb, Jean Valjean was the widower, and Cosette was the orphan: this situation caused Jean Valjean to become Cosette's father after a celestial fashion.



And in truth, the mysterious impression produced on Cosette in the depths of the forest of Chelles by the hand of Jean Valjean grasping hers in the dark was not an illusion, but a reality. The entrance of that man into the destiny of that child had been the advent of God.



Moreover, Jean Valjean had chosen his refuge well. There he seemed perfectly secure.



The chamber with a dressing-room, which he occupied with Cosette, was the one whose window opened on the boulevard. This being the only window in the house, no neighbors' glances were to be feared from across the way or at the side.



The ground-floor of Number 50-52, a sort of dilapidated penthouse, served as a wagon-house for market-gardeners, and no communication existed between it and the first story. It was separated by the flooring, which had neither traps nor stairs, and which formed the diaphragm of the building, as it were. The first story contained, as we have said, numerous chambers and several attics, only one of which was occupied by the old woman who took charge of Jean Valjean's housekeeping; all the rest was uninhabited.



It was this old woman, ornamented with the name of the principal lodger, and in reality intrusted with the functions of portress, who had let him the lodging on Christmas eve. He had represented himself to her as a gentleman of means who had been ruined by Spanish bonds, who was coming there to live with his little daughter. He had paid her six months in advance, and had commissioned the old woman to furnish the chamber and dressing-room, as we have seen. It was this good woman who had lighted the fire in the stove, and prepared everything on the evening of their arrival.



Week followed week; these two beings led a happy life in that hovel.



Cosette laughed, chattered, and sang from daybreak. Children have their morning song as well as birds.



It sometimes happened that Jean Valjean clasped her tiny red hand, all cracked with chilblains, and kissed it. The poor child, who was used to being beaten, did not know the meaning of this, and ran away in confusion.



At times she became serious and stared at her little black gown. Cosette was no longer in rags; she was in mourning. She had emerged from misery, and she was entering into life.



Jean Valjean had undertaken to teach her to read. Sometimes, as he made the child spell, he remembered that it was with the idea of doing evil that he had learned to read in prison. This idea had ended in teaching a child to read. Then the ex-convict smiled with the pensive smile of the angels.



He felt in it a premeditation from on high, the will of some one who was not man, and he became absorbed in revery. Good thoughts have their abysses as well as evil ones.



To teach Cosette to read, and to let her play, this constituted nearly the whole of Jean Valjean's existence. And then he talked of her mother, and he made her pray.



She called him father, and knew no other name for him.



He passed hours in watching her dressing and undressing her doll, and in listening to her prattle. Life, henceforth, appeared to him to be full of interest; men seemed to him good and just; he no longer reproached any one in thought; he saw no reason why he should not live to be a very old man, now that this child loved him. He saw a whole future stretching out before him, illuminated by Cosette as by a charming light. The best of us are not exempt from egotistical thoughts. At times, he reflected with a sort of joy that she would be ugly.



This is only a personal opinion; but, to utter our whole thought, at the point where Jean Valjean had arrived when he began to love Cosette, it is by no means clear to us that he did not need this encouragement in order that he might persevere in well-doing. He had just viewed the malice of men and the misery of society under a new aspect-- incomplete aspects, which unfortunately only exhibited one side of the truth, the fate of woman as summed up in Fantine, and public authority as personified in Javert. He had returned to prison, this time for having done right; he had quaffed fresh bitterness; disgust and lassitude were overpowering him; even the memory of the Bishop probably suffered a temporary eclipse, though sure to reappear later on luminous and triumphant; but, after all, that sacred memory was growing dim. Who knows whether Jean Valjean had not been on the eve of growing discouraged and of falling once more? He loved and grew strong again. Alas! he walked with no less indecision than Cosette. He protected her, and she strengthened him. Thanks to him, she could walk through life; thanks to her, he could continue in virtue. He was that child's stay, and she was his prop. Oh, unfathomable and divine mystery of the balances of destiny!











三 联苦成甘









第二天破晓,冉阿让还立在珂赛特的床边。他呆呆地望着她,等她醒来。



他心里有一种新的感受。



冉阿让从不曾爱过什么。二十五年来在这世上,他一向孑然一身。父亲,情人,丈夫,朋友,这些他全没有当过。在苦役牢里时,他是凶恶、阴沉、寡欲、无知、粗野的。这个老苦役犯的心里充满了处子的纯真。他姐姐和姐姐的孩子们只给他留下一种遥远模糊的印象,到后来也几乎完全消逝了。他曾竭力寻找他们,没有找着,也就把他们忘了。人的天性原是那样的。青年时期那些儿女情,如果他也有过的话,也都在岁月的深渊中泯灭了。



当他看见了珂赛特,当他得到了她,领到了她,救了她的时候,他感到满腔血液全沸腾起来了。他胸中的全部热情和慈爱都苏醒过来,灌注在这孩子的身上。他走到她睡着的床边,乐到浑身发抖,他好象做了母亲似的,因而感到十分慌乱,但又不知道这是怎么回事,因为心在开始爱的时候,它那种极伟大奇特的骚动是颇难理解而又相当甘美的。



可怜一颗全新的老人心!



可是,他已经五十五岁,而珂赛特才八岁,他毕生的爱已经全部化为一点无可言喻的星光。



这是的第二次见到光明的启示。主教曾在他心中唤醒了为善的意义,珂赛特又在他心中唤醒了爱的意义。



最初的一些日子便是在这种陶然自得的心境中度过的。



至于珂赛特,在她这方面,她也变成了另外一个人,那是她没有意识到的,可怜的小人儿!当她母亲离开她时,她还那么小,她已经不记得了。孩子好象都是葡萄藤的幼苗,遇到什么,便攀附什么,她和所有的孩子一样,也曾想爱她左右的人。但是她没能做到。所有的人,德纳第夫妇、他们的孩子、其他的孩子,都把她推在一边。她曾爱过一条狗,可是那条狗死了。在这以后便不曾有过什么东西或什么人要过她。说起来这是多么惨,我们也曾指出过,她八岁上便冷了心。这不是她的过错,她并不缺乏爱的天性,她缺少的只是爱的可能。因此,从第一天起,她整个的心,即使是在梦寐中,便已开始爱这老人了。她有一种从来不曾有过的感觉,心花怒放的感觉。



这老人,在她的心目中,好象已成了一个既不老也不穷的人。她觉得冉阿让美,正如她觉得这间破屋子漂亮一样。这是朝气、童年、青春、欢乐的效果。大地上和生活中的新鲜事在这方面也都产生影响。住室虽陋,如果能有幸福的彩光的照耀,那也就是无比美好的环境了。在过去的经验中我们每个人都有过海市蜃楼。



年龄相差五十岁,这在冉阿让和珂赛特之间是一道天生的鸿沟,可是命运把这鸿沟填起来了。命运以它那无可抗拒的力量使这两个无家可归年龄迥异而苦难相同的人骤然摄合在一起了。他们彼此确也能相辅相成。珂赛特出自本能正在寻找一个父亲,冉阿让也出自本能正在寻找一个孩子。萍水相逢,却是如鱼得水,他们的两只手在这神秘的刹那间一经接触,便紧紧握在一起了。两人相互了解后,彼此都意识到相互的需求,于是紧密地团结在一起。



从某些词的最明显和最绝对的意义来解释,我们可以说冉阿让是个鳏夫,正如同珂赛特是个孤女一样,因为他们都是被坟墓的墙在世上隔离的人。在这种情况下,冉阿让天生就是珂赛特的父亲了。



而且,从前在谢尔的树林深处,冉阿让曾牵着珂赛特的手从黑暗中走出来,珂赛特当时得到的那种神秘印象并不是幻觉,而是现实。这个人在这孩子的命运中出现,确也就是上帝的降临。



此外,冉阿让选了一个合适的住处,他在这地方,似乎十分安全。



他和珂赛特所住的这间带一个小间的屋子,便是窗口对着大路的那间。整所房子只有这一扇窗子是临街的,因此无论从侧面或是从对面,都不必担心邻居的窥视。



五○一五二号房屋的楼下,是间破旧的敞棚,是蔬菜工人停放车辆的地方,和楼上是完全隔绝的。楼上楼下相隔一层木板,仿佛是这房子的横隔膜,既没有暗梯,也没有明梯。至于楼上,我们已经说过,有几间住房和几间储藏室,其中只有一间是由一个替冉阿让料理家务的老奶奶住着。其余的屋子全没有人住。



老奶奶的头衔是“二房东”,而实际任务是照管门户,在圣诞节那天,便是这老奶奶把这间住房租给他的。他曾向她作了自我介绍,说自己原先是个靠收利息过日子的人,西班牙军事公债把他的家产弄光了,他要带着孙女儿来住在这里。他预付了六个月的租金,并且委托老奶奶把大小两间屋子里的家具布置好,布置情形是我们见到过的。在他们搬进来的那天晚上烧好炉子准备一切的也就是这老奶奶。



好几个星期过去了。一老一小在这简陋不堪的破屋子里过着幸福的日子。



一到天亮,珂赛特便又说又笑,唱个不停。孩子们都有他们在早晨唱的曲调,正和小鸟一样。



有时,冉阿让捏着她的一只冻到发红发裂的小手,送到嘴边亲一亲。那可怜的孩子,挨惯了揍,全不懂得这是什么意思,觉得怪难为情地溜走了。



有时,她又一本正经地细看自己身上的黑衣服。珂赛特现在所穿的已不是破衣,而是孝服。她已脱离了苦难,走进了人生。



冉阿让开始教她识字。有时,他一面教这孩子练习拼写,心里却想着他当初在苦役牢里学文化原是为了要作恶。最初的动机转变了,现在他要一心教孩子读书。这时,老苦役犯的脸上显出了一种不胜感慨的笑容,宛如天使的庄严妙相。



他感到这里有着上苍的安排,一种凌驾人力之上的天意,他接着又浸沉在遐想中了。善的思想和恶的思想一样,也是深不可测的。



教珂赛特读书,让她玩耍,这几乎是冉阿让的全部生活。



除此以外,他还和她谈到她的母亲,要她祈祷。



她称他做“爹”,不知道用旁的称呼。



他经常一连几个钟头看她替她那娃娃穿衣脱衣,听着她叽叽喳喳地说东说西。他仿佛觉得,从今以后,人生是充满意义的,世上的人也是善良公正的,他思想里不需要再责备什么人,现在这孩子既然爱他,他便找不出任何理由不要求活到极老。他感到珂赛特象盏明灯似的,已把他未来的日子照亮了。最善良的人也免不了会有替自己打算的想法。他有时带着愉快的心情想到她将来的相貌一定丑。



这只是一点个人的看法,但是为了说明我们的全部思想,我们必须说,冉阿让在开始爱珂赛特的情况下,并没有什么可以证明他不需要这股新的力量来支持他继续站在为善的一面,不久以前,他又在不同的情况下看到人的残酷和社会的卑鄙(这固然是局部的情形,只能表现真相的一面),也看到以芳汀为代表的这类妇女的下场以及沙威所体现的法权,他那次因做了好事而又回到苦役牢里,他又饱尝了新的苦味,他又受到厌恶和颓丧心情的控制,甚至那主教的形象也难免有暗淡的时候,虽然过后仍是光明灿烂欢欣鼓舞的,可是后来他那形象终于越来越模糊了。谁能说冉阿让不再有失望和堕落的危险呢?他有所爱,他才能再度坚强起来。唉!他并不见得比珂赛特站得稳些。他保护她,她使他坚强起来。有了他,她才能进入人生,有了她,他才能继续为善。他是这孩子的支柱,孩子又是他的动力。两人的命运必须互相凭倚,才得平衡,这种妙用,天意使然,高深莫测!

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