第10章 医生和病人
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-07-26 19:42:57  【打印
Chapter 10 THE LEECH AND HIS PATIENT









OLD Roger Chillingworth, throughout life, had been calm in temperament, kindly, though not of warm affections, but ever, and in all his relations with the world, a pure and upright man. He had begun an investigation, as he imagined, with the severe and equal integrity of a judge, desirous only of truth, even as if the question involved no more than the air-drawn lines and figures of a geometrical problem, instead of human passions, and wrongs inflicted on himself. But, as he proceeded, a terrible fascination, a kind of fierce, though still calm, necessity seized the old man within its gripe, and never set him free again, until he had done all its bidding. He now dug into the poor clergyman's heart, like a miner searching for gold; or, rather, like a sexton delving into a grave, possibly in quest of a jewel that had been buried on the dead man's bosom, but likely to find nothing save mortality and corruption. Alas for his own soul, if these were what he sought!



Sometimes, a light glimmered out of the physician's eyes, burning blue and ominous, like the reflection of a furnace, or, let us say, like one of those gleams of ghastly fire that darted from Bunyan's awful doorway in the hill-side, and quivered on the pilgrim's face. The soil where this dark miner was working had perchance shown indications that encouraged him.



"This man," said he, at one such moment, to himself, "pure as they deem him- all spiritual as he seems- hath inherited a strong animal nature from his father or his mother. Let us dig a little farther in the direction of this vein!"



Then, after long search into the minister's dim interior, and turning over many precious materials, in the shape of high aspirations for the welfare of his race, warm love of souls, pure sentiments, natural piety, strengthened by thought and study, and illuminated by revelation- all of which invaluable gold was perhaps no better than rubbish to the seeker- he would turn back, discouraged, and begin his quest towards another point. He groped along as stealthily, with as cautious a tread, and as wary an outlook, as a thief entering a chamber where a man lies only half asleep- or, it may be, broad awake-with purpose to steal the very treasure which this man guards as the apple of his eye. In spite of his premeditated carefulness, the floor would now and then creak; his garments would rustle; the shadow of his presence, in a forbidden proximity, would be thrown across his victim. In other words, Mr. Dimmesdale, whose sensibility of nerve often produced the effect of spiritual intuition, would become vaguely aware that something inimical to his peace had thrust itself into relation with him. But old Roger Chillingworth, too, had perceptions that were almost intuitive; and when the minister threw his startled eyes towards him, there the physician sat; his kind, watchful, sympathising, but never intrusive friend.



Yet Mr. Dimmesdale would perhaps have seen this individual's character more perfectly, if a certain morbidness, to which sick hearts are liable, had not rendered him suspicious of all mankind. Trusting no man as his friend, he could not recognise his enemy when the latter actually appeared. He therefore still kept up a familiar intercourse with him, daily receiving the old physician in his study; or visiting the laboratory, and, for recreation's sake, watching the processes by which weeds were converted into drugs of potency.



One day, leaning his forehead on his hand, and his elbow on the sill of the open window, that looked towards the graveyard, he talked with Roger Chillingworth, while the old man was examining a bundle of unsightly plants.



"Where," asked he, with a look askance at them- for it was the clergyman's peculiarity that he seldom, nowadays, looked straight-forth at any object, whether human or inanimate- "where, my kind doctor, did you gather those herbs, with such a dark, flabby leaf?"



"Even in the graveyard here at hand," answered the physician, continuing his employment. "They are new to me. I found them growing on a grave, which bore no tombstone, nor other memorial of the dead man, save these ugly weeds, that have taken upon themselves to keep him in remembrance. They grew out of his heart, and typify, it may be, some hideous secret that was buried with him, and which he had done better to confess during his lifetime."



"Perchance," said Mr. Dimmesdale, "he earnestly desired it, but could not."



"And wherefore?" rejoined the physician. "Wherefore not; since all the powers of nature call so earnestly for the confession of sin, that these black weeds have sprung up out of a buried heart, to make manifest an unspoken crime?"



"That, good sir, is but a fantasy of yours," replied the minister."There can be, if I forebode aright, no power, short of the Divine mercy, to disclose, whether by uttered words, or by type or emblem, the secrets that may be buried with a human heart. The heart, making itself guilty of such secrets, must perforce hold them until the day when all hidden things shall be revealed. Nor have I so read or interpreted Holy Writ, as to understand that the disclosure of human thoughts and deeds, then to be made, is intended as a part of the retribution. That, surely, were a shallow view of it. No; these revelations, unless I greatly err, are meant merely to promote the intellectual satisfaction of all intelligent beings, who will stand waiting, on that day, to see the dark problem of this life made plain. A knowledge of men's hearts will be needful to the completest solution of that problem. And I conceive, moreover, that the hearts holding such miserable secrets as you speak of will yield them up, at that last day, not with reluctance, but with a joy unutterable."



"Then why not reveal them here?" asked Roger Chillingworth, glancing quietly aside at the minister. "Why should not the guilty ones sooner avail themselves of this unutterable solace?"



"They mostly do," said the clergyman, griping hard at his breast, as if afflicted with an importunate throb of pain. "Many, many a poor soul hath given its confidence to me, not only on the deathbed, but while strong in life, and fair in reputation. And ever, after such an outpouring, oh, what a relief have I witnessed in those sinful brethren! even as in one who at last draws free air, after long stifling with his own polluted breath. How can it be otherwise? Why should a wretched man, guilty, we will say, of murder, prefer to keep the dead corpse buried in his own heart, rather than fling it forth at once, and let the universe take care of it?"



"Yet some men bury their secrets thus," observed the calm physician.



"True; there are such men," answered Mr. Dimmesdale. "But, not to suggest more obvious reasons, it may be that they are kept silent by the very constitution of their nature. Or- can we not suppose it?- guilty as they may be, retaining, nevertheless, a zeal for God's glory and man's welfare, they shrink from displaying themselves black and filthy in the view of men; because, thenceforward, no good can be achieved by them; no evil of the past be redeemed by better service. So, to their own unutterable torment, they go about among their fellow-creatures, looking pure as new-fallen snow; while their hearts are all speckled and spotted with iniquity of which they cannot rid themselves."



"These men deceive themselves," said Roger Chillingworth, with somewhat more emphasis than usual, and making a slight gesture with his forefinger. "They fear to take up the shame that rightfully belongs to them. Their love for man, their zeal for God's service- these holy impulses may or may not coexist in their hearts with the evil inmates to which their guilt has unbarred the door, and which must needs propagate a hellish breed within them. But, if they seek to glorify God, let them not lift heavenward their unclean hands! If they would serve their fellow-men, let them do it by making manifest the power and reality of conscience, in constraining them to penitential self-abasement! Wouldst thou have me to believe, O wise and pious friend, that a false show can be better- can be more for God's glory, or man's welfare- than God's own truth? Trust me, such men deceive themselves!"



"It may be so," said the young clergyman, indifferently, as waiving a discussion that he considered irrelevant or unseasonable. He had a ready faculty, indeed, of escaping from any topic that agitated his too sensitive and nervous temperament. "But, now, I would ask of my well-skilled physician, whether, in good sooth, he deems me to have profited by his kindly care of this weak frame of mine?"



Before Roger Chillingworth could answer, they heard the clear, wild laughter of a young child's voice, proceeding from the adjacent burial-ground. Looking instinctively from the open window- for it was summer-time- the minister beheld Hester Prynne and little Pearl passing along the footpath that traversed the enclosure. Pearl looked as beautiful as the day, but was in one of those moods of perverse merriment which, whenever they occurred, seemed to remove her entirely out of the sphere of sympathy or human contact. She now



skipped irreverently from one grave to another; until, coming to the broad, flat, armorial tombstone of a departed worthy- perhaps of Isaac Johnson himself- she began to dance upon it. In reply to her mother's command and entreaty that she would behave more decorously, little Pearl paused to gather the prickly burrs from a tall burdock which grew beside the tomb. Taking a handful of these, she arranged them along the lines of the scarlet letter that decorated the maternal bosom, to which the burrs, as their nature was, tenaciously adhered. Hester did not pluck them off.



Roger Chillingworth had by this time approached the window, and smiled grimly down.



"There is no law, nor reverence for authority, no regard for human ordinances or opinions, right or wrong, mixed up with that child's composition," remarked her, as much to himself as to his companion. "I saw her, the other day, bespatter the Governor himself with water, at the cattle-trough in Spring Lane. What, in Heaven's name, is she? Is the imp altogether evil? Hath she affections? Hath she any discoverable principle of being?"



"None- save the freedom of a broken law," answered Mr. Dimmesdale, in a quiet way, as if he had been discussing the point within himself. "Whether capable of good I know not."



The child probably overheard their voices; for, looking up to the window, with a bright, but naughty smile of mirth and intelligence, she threw one of the prickly burrs at the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale. The sensitive clergyman shrunk, with nervous dread, from the light missile. Detecting his emotion, Pearl clapped her little hands, in the most extravagant ecstasy. Hester Prynne, likewise, had involuntarily looked up; and all these four persons, old and young, regarded one another in silence, till the child laughed aloud, and shouted, "Come away, mother! Come away, or yonder old Black Man will catch you! He hath got hold of the minister already. Come away, mother, or he will catch you! But he cannot catch little Pearl!"



So she drew her mother away, skipping, dancing, and frisking fantastically, among the hillocks of the dead people, like a creature that had nothing in common with a bygone and buried generation, nor owned herself akin to it. It was as if she had been made afresh, out of new elements, and must perforce be permitted to live her own life, and be a law unto herself, without her eccentricities being reckoned to her for a crime.



"There goes a woman," resumed Roger Chillingworth, after a pause, "who, be her demerits what they may, hath none of that mystery of hidden sinfulness which you deem so grievous to be borne. Is Hester Prynne the less miserable, think you, for that scarlet letter on her breast?"



"I do verily believe it," answered the clergyman. "Nevertheless, I cannot answer for her. There was a look of pain in her face, which I would gladly have been spared the sight of. But still, methinks, it must needs be better for the sufferer to be free to show his pain, as this poor woman Hester is, than to cover it all up in his heart."



There was another pause; and the physician began anew to examine and arrange the plants which he had gathered.



"You inquired of me, a little time agone," said he, at length, "my judgment as touching your health."



"I did," answered the clergyman, "and would gladly learn it. Speak frankly, I pray you, be it for life or death."



"Freely, then, and plainly," said the physician, still busy with his plants, but keeping a wary eye on Mr. Dimmesdale, "the disorder is a strange one; not so much in itself, nor as outwardly manifested- in so far, at least, as the symptoms have been laid open to my observation. Looking dally at you, my good sir, and watching the tokens of your aspect, now for months gone by, I should deem you a man sore sick, it may be, yet not so sick but that an instructed and watchful physician might well hope to cure you. But- I know not what to say- the disease is what I seem to know, yet know it not."



"You speak in riddles, learned sir," said the pale minister, glancing aside out of the window.



"Then, to speak more plainly," continued the physician, "and I crave pardon, sir- should it seem to require pardon- for this needful plainness of my speech. Let me ask, as your friend- as one having charge, under Providence, of your life and physical well-being- hath all the operation of this disorder been fairly laid open and recounted to me?"



"How can you question it?" asked the minister. "Surely, it were child's play, to call in a physician, and then hide the sore!"



"You would tell me, then, that I know all?" said Roger Chillingworth deliberately, and fixing an eye, bright with intense and concentrated intelligence, on the minister's face. "Be it so! But, again! He to whom only the outward and physical evil is laid open, knoweth, oftentimes, but half the evil which be is called upon to cure. A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part. Your pardon, once again, good sir, if my speech give the shadow of offence. You, sir, of all men whom I have known, are he whose body is the closest conjoined, and imbued, and identified, so to speak, with the spirit whereof it is the instrument."



"Then I need ask no further," said the clergyman, somewhat hastily rising from his chair. "You deal not, I take it, in medicine for the soul!"



"Thus, a sickness," continued Roger Chillingworth going on, in an unaltered tone, without heeding the interruption, but standing up and confronting the emaciated and white-cheeked minister, with his low, dark, and misshapen figure- "a sickness, a sore place, if we may so call it, in your spirit, hath immediately its appropriate manifestation in your bodily frame. Would you, therefore, that your physician heal the bodily evil? How may this be, unless you first lay open to him the wound or trouble in your soul?"



"No!- not to thee!- not to an earthly physician!" cried Mr. Dimmesdale passionately, and turning his eyes, full and bright, and with a kind of fierceness, on old Roger Chillingworth. "Not to thee! But, if it be the soul's disease, then do I commit myself to the one Physician of the soul! He, if it stand with His good pleasure, can cure; or He can kill! Let Him do with me as, in His justice and wisdom, He shall see good. But who art thou, that meddlest in this matter?- that dares thrust himself between the sufferer and his God?"



With a frantic gesture, he rushed out of the room.



"It is as well to have made this step," said Roger Chillingworth to himself, looking after the minister, with a grave smile. "There is nothing lost. We shall be friends again anon. But see, now, how passion takes hold upon this man, and hurrieth him out of himself! As with one passion, so with another! He hath done a wild thing ere now, this pious Master Dimmesdale, in the hot passion of his heart!"



It proved not difficult to re-establish the intimacy of the two companions, on the same footing and in the same degree as heretofore. The young clergyman, after a few hours of privacy, was sensible that the disorder of his nerves had hurried him into an unseemly outbreak of temper, which there had been nothing in the



physician's words to excuse or palliate. He marvelled, indeed, at the violence with which he had thrust back the kind old man, when merely proffering the advice which it was his duty to bestow, and which the minister himself had expressly sought. With these remorseful feelings, he lost no time in making the amplest apologies, and besought his friend still to continue the care, which, if not successful in restoring him to health, had, in all probability, been the means of prolonging his feeble existence to that hour. Roger Chillingworth readily assented, and went on with his medical supervision of the minister; doing his best for him, in all good faith, but always quitting the patient's apartment, at the close of a professional interview, with a mysterious and puzzled smile upon his lips. This expression was invisible in Mr. Dimmesdale's presence, but grew strongly evident as the physician crossed the threshold.



"A rare case!" he muttered. "I must needs look deeper into it. A strange sympathy betwixt soul and body! Were it only for the art's sake, I must search this matter to the bottom!"



It came to pass, not long after the scene above recorded, that the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, at noon-day, and entirely unawares, fell into a deep, deep slumber, sitting in his chair, with a large black-letter volume open before him on the table. It must have been a work of vast ability in the somniferous school of literature. The profound depth of the minister's repose was the more remarkable, inasmuch as he was one of those persons whose sleep, ordinarily, is as light, as fitful, and as easily scared away, as a small bird hopping on a twig. To such an unwonted remoteness, however, had his spirit now withdrawn into itself, that he stirred not in his chair, when old Roger Chillingworth, without any extraordinary precaution, came into the room. The physician advanced directly in front of his patient, laid his hand upon his bosom, and thrust aside the vestment, that, hitherto, had always covered it even from the professional eye.



Then, indeed, Mr. Dimmesdale shuddered, and slightly stirred.



After a brief pause, the physician turned away.



But, with what a wild look of wonder, joy, and horror! With what a ghastly rapture, as it were, too mighty to be expressed only by the eye and features, and therefore bursting forth through the whole ugliness of his figure, and making itself even riotously manifest by the extravagant gestures with which he threw up his arms towards the ceiling, and stamped his foot upon the floor! Had a man seen old Roger Chillingworth, at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how Satan comports himself, when a precious human soul is lost to heaven, and won into his kingdom.



But what distinguished the physician's ecstasy from Satan's was the trait of wonder in it!











第十章 医生和病人









老罗杰·齐灵渥斯一生中都是个脾气平和的人,他虽无温暖的爱,但却心地慈悲,而且在涉及同各方面的关系时,始终是一个纯粹而正直的人。照他自己的想象,他是以一个法官的同等的严峻与公正来开始一次调查的,他只向往真理,简直把间题看得既不包含人类的情感,也不卷入个人的委屈,完全如同几何学中抽象的线和形一般。但在他着手进行这一调查的过程中,一种可怕的迷惑力,一种尽管依然平静、却是猛烈的必然性,却紧紧地将这老人攫在自己的掌握之中,而且在他未完成它的全部旨意之前。绝不肯将他放松。如今,他象一个矿工搜寻黄金似的掘进这可怜的牧师鲍内心:或者更确切地说,象一个掘葱人挖进一座坟墓,可能原指望找到陪葬在死者胸部的珠宝。结果却除去死尸及腐烂之外一无所获。假若那里果真有他要我的东西的话,天啊,让我们为他自己的灵魂哀叹吧!



有时候,从医生的眼中闪出一线光芒,象是炉火映照似的,燃着蓝幽幽的不祥之光,或者我们也可以说,象是班扬那山边可怕的门洞中射出、在朝圣者的脸上跳动着的鬼火的闪光①。那是因为这个阴沉的矿工所挖掘的土地中刚好显露了鼓励他的一些迹象。



“这个人,”他在一次这种场合中自言自语说,“尽管人们相信他很纯洁,尽管他看来极其高尚神圣,但他从他父亲或母亲身上继承了一种强烈的兽性。让我们沿着这一矿脉再向前掘进一点吧!”



之后,他就对这位牧师的幽暗的内心加以长时间的搜寻,翻出了许多宝资的东西,都是由思想和钻研而强化的、由天启而燃亮的,诸如对灵魂的热爱、纯洁的情操、自然的虔诚等等,均以对人类的福祉的高尚志向为其形式——然而这一切无价之宝于那位探矿人无异于一堆废物——他只好沮丧地转回身来,朝着另一个方向开始寻求。他鬼鬼祟祟,左顾右盼,小心翼翼地向前探索,犹如一个偷儿进入一间卧室,想去窃取主人视如服珠的宝物,而主人却躺在那里半睡半醒——或者可能还大睁着眼睛。尽管他事先策划周密,但地板会不时吱嘎作响,他的衣服也会细碎有声。而且到了,近在咫尺的禁地,他的身影也会投射到被窃人的身上。另一方面,丁梅斯代尔先生的敏感的神经时常会产生一种精神直觉的功效,他会模模糊糊地意识到,对他的平静抱有敌意的某种东西已经同他发生了关联。面老罗杰·齐灵渥斯也具备近乎直觉的感知能力;当牧师向他投来惊恐的目光时,医生就会坐在那里,成了关切和同情牧师的好心朋友,绝不打探他的隐私了。



而丁梅斯代尔先生如果没有病人常有的某种病态,以致对整个人类抱着猜疑的态度的话,他或许会对此人的品性看得更充分些。由于他不把任何人视为可信赖的朋友,故此当敌人实际上已出现时,仍然辨认不出。所以,他依旧同老医生:随意倾谈,每天都在书斋中接待他;或者到他的实验室去拜访他,并且出于消遣的目的,在一旁观看他如何把药草制成有效的药剂。



一天,他用一只手支着前额,肘部垫在朝坟墓开着的窗子的窗台上,同罗杰·齐灵渥斯谈话,那老人正在检看一簇难看的植物。



“在哪儿,”他斜眼看着那簇植物开口问道——最近牧师有个特点,他很少直视任何东西,不管是人还是无生命的——“我好心的朋友,你在哪儿搜集到的这些药草,叶子这么黝黑松软?”“在这跟前的坟地里就有,”医生一边继续干他的活,一边回答。“我以前还没见过这种草。我是在一座坟墓上发现的。那座坟上没有墓碑,除去长着这种丑陋的野草也没有其它东西纪念死者。这种草是从死者的心里长出来的,或许是显示了某种随同死者一起埋葬的隐私,要是能在生前公开承认就好了。”“也可能,”丁梅斯代尔先生说,“他诚心诚意地切望如此,但他办不到。”



“那又为什么呢?”医生接口说。“既然一切自然力量都这么诚挚地要求仟侮罪过,连这些黑色杂草都从死者的心中生长出来,宣布了一桩没有说出口的罪行,为什么办不到呢?”



“这样解释,好先生,不过是你自己的想象,”牧师答道。“如果我的预感不错的话,除去上天的仁慈,没有什么力量,无论是通过讲出来的语言或是任何形式的标志,能够揭示可能埋在一个人心里的秘密。那颗因怀有这种秘密而有负罪感的心,也就此必然将秘密保持下去,直到一切隐秘的事情都要予以揭示的那一天。就我阅读和宣讲的《圣经》而论,我并不认为,人们的思想和行为到了非揭示不可的时刻,就一定是一种报应。这种看法确实是非常肤浅的。绝非如此;除非我的见解根本不对,我认为这种揭示仅仅意昧着促使一切智者在知识上的满足,他们将在那一天立等看到人生中的阴暗问题得以揭示;需要有一种对人心的知识来彻底解决那一问题。何况,我还设想,如你所说的那种怀有这些痛苦的隐私的心,到了最后那一天非袒露不可的时候,不是不情愿的,倒是带着一种难言的愉快的。”



“那么,何必不及时说出来呢?”罗杰·齐灵渥斯平静地斜睨着牧师说。“有负罪感的人为什么不尽早地让自己获得这种难言的慰藉呢?”



“他们大多能这么做,”牧师一边说着,一边紧紧捂住自己的心口,象是有揪心的疼痛纠缠着他。“许许多多可怜的灵魂向我作过仟悔,不仅是在生命弥留的病倔上,而且也在精力旺盛、名声良好的时刻。何况,我还亲眼看到,在作了这样一番倾诉之后,那些负罪的兄弟们有多么轻松!就象是被自己污浊的呼吸长时间窒息之后,终于吸进了自由的空气。还能是别的情况吗?一个倒霉的人,比如说犯了谋杀罪吧,怎么可能宁愿把死尸埋在自己心中,而不肯把尸体马上抛出去,听凭世界去安排呢!”“然而,有些人就是这样埋葬着自己的秘密的,”那安详的医生评论着。



“确实;有这种人,”丁梅斯代尔先生回答说。“不过,不必去设想更加明显的原因,我们就可以说,他们之所以缄口不言,正是出于他们的本性。或者——我们能不能这样假设呢?——他们尽管有着负罪感,然而却保持着对上帝的荣光和人类的福扯的热情,他们畏畏缩缩,不肯把自己的阴暗和污秽展现在人们眼前;因为,如此这般一来,是做不出任何善举的,而且,以往的邪恶也无法通过改过来赎罪。于是,他们默默忍受着难言曲折磨,在同伴中走来走去,表面象新落下的雪一般地纯洁,而内心却沾满了无法洗刷的斑痕。”



“这些人在自欺,”罗杰·齐灵渥斯用异乎寻常的强调口吻说,还伸出食指轻轻比了一下。“他们不敢于接受理应属于他们自己的耻辱。他们对人类的爱,他们为上帝服务的热忱——这种种神圣的冲动在他们的内心中,或者可以或者无法同邪恶的伙伴同处共存,然而这些邪恶的伙伴既是他们的罪孽开门放进来的,就必然会在他们心中繁衍起一个魔鬼的种籽。不过,要是他们追求为上帝增辉添光,那就不要把肮脏的双手朝天举起吧!要是他们想为同伴们服务,那就先强制自己仟悔他们的卑下,以表明良心的力量和存在吧!噢,明智和虔诚的朋友,你难道让我相信,虚伪的表现比起上帝自己的真理能够对上帝的荣光和人类的福扯更有好处吗?相信我吧,这种人是在自欺!”



“可能是这样的,”年轻的牧师谈淡地说,象是放弃了这个他认为不相干和没道理的讨论。的确,他总有一种本领,能够随时摆脱使他那过于敏感和神经质的气质激动起来的任何话题。“不过,目前嘛,我例要向我的技艺高超的医生讨教一下,他对我的赢弱的体格的好心关照,是否当真叫我获益了呢?”



罗杰·齐灵渥斯还没有来得及回答,就听到从邻近的墓地里传来了一个小孩子的清澈而狂野的笑声。当时正是夏天,牧师不自主地从打开的窗子向外面望去,看到海丝特·白兰和小珠儿在穿越围栏的小径上走着。珠儿的模样如白昼一般美丽,但处于那种调皮任性的兴致之中,每当此刻,她便象完全脱离了人性的共鸣与交往的范围。此时她正大不敬地从一个坟墓跳到另一个坟墓;终于来到一位逝去的大人物——说不定正是艾萨克,约翰逊本人——的宽大、平整、带纹章的墓石跟前,在那上面跳起舞来。听到她母亲又是命令又是恳求地要她放规矩些,小珠儿才不再跳舞,从长在墓旁的一株高大的牛蒡上采集多刺的果实。她摘了满满一把之后,便在缀在母亲胸前的红字周围,沿着笔画一一插满,这些带刺的牛蒡便牢牢地扎在上面了。海丝特并没有把它们取下。



罗杰·齐灵渥斯这时已走到窗前,面带狞笑地向下望着。“在那孩子的气质中,根本没有法律,没有对权威的敬重,对于人类的法令或意向,不管正确与否,也不屑一顾,”他这样讲着,与其说是在同他的同伴谈话,倒更象是自言自语。“有一天,我看到她在春巷的畜槽边,竟然往总督身上泼水。我的天,她究竟是个什么东西呢?这小鬼是不是彻头彻尾地邪恶了?她有感情吗?在她身上能看到什么人性原则吗?”



“完全没有——只有把法律破坏得支离破碎的自由,”丁梅斯代尔先生回答说,其态度之安详,简直象是对此自问自答。“至于能否为善,我可就不得而知了。”



那孩子可能是远远听到了他俩的声音;因为她抬头看着窗户,面带欢快而聪明的顽皮笑容,朝丁梅斯代尔牧师先生扔上一颗带刺的牛蒡。那敏感的牧师怀着神经质的恐惧,将身子一缩,躲开了那轻飘的飞弹。珠儿发现了他的激动,在极度狂喜之中,拍起了小手。海丝特·白兰也同样禁不住始眼来看;于是这老老少少四个人便默默地互相瞅着;后来,孩子出声笑了,还大叫着——“走吧,妈妈!走吧,要不,那老黑人就抓住你了!他已经抓住了牧师。走吧,妈妈,要不他就抓住你了!可他抓不住小珠儿!”



于是她在死者的坟墓间蹦蹦跳跳,欢快雀跃地拽着她母亲走开了,她那出奇的劲头似乎说明她与那逝去并埋葬的一代毫无共同之处,也不承认她自己与他们同属一个族类。仿佛她是由新元素刚刚做成的,因此必得获准去过她自身的生活,并自有其定法,面不能将她的怪异看作是一种罪过。



“那边走着一个妇人,”罗杰·齐灵渥斯停了一会儿后接着说,“她不论有什么过错,绝不会被你认为如此难以忍受的隐蔽着的负罪感所左右。你看,海丝特·白兰是不是胸前佩戴了那红字,就不那么痛苦了呢?”



“我的确十分相信这一点,”牧师回答说。“不过我无法为她作答。她面孔上有一种痛楚的表情,那是我不情愿看到的。话说回来,我认为,一个受折磨的人能够象这可怜的妇人海丝特这样,有自由来表达自己的痛苦,总比全都闷在心里要强。”又是一阵停顿;医生开始重新动手检查和整理他采集来的植物。



“刚才你在问我,”他终于开口说,“我对你的健康有何看法。”



“是啊,”牧师回答说,“我很乐于听一听。我请你坦率地讲出来,不管我是该活还是该死。”’



“那我就坦率直陈吧,”医生说着,一边仍然忙着摆弄他那些药草,一边始终不动声色地睨视着丁梅斯代尔先生,“你的身体失调很奇怪,症候本身并不严重,也不象表现出来的那样厉害——到目前为止,至少我所观察到的症状是如此。我的好先生,我每日都在观察你,注意你的表象,如今已经有几个月过去了,我应该说你是一个病得很重的人,不过也还没有病到连一个训练有素而且克尽职守的医生都感到无望和不治的地步。可是——我不知道说什么才是——这病我似乎知道,可又不明白。”



“你是在打哑谜,博学的先生,”牧师斜瞥着窗外说。



“那我就说得再明确些,”医生继续说,“出于我谈话所不得不有的坦率,我要请你原谅,先生——如果看来确实需要的话。作为你的朋友——作为受命于天,对你的生命和身体健康负有责任的人,我来问问你,你是否已经把你的全部症状暴露给我并向我详加说明了呢?”



“你怎么能这样盘问呢?”牧师问道。“的确,请来医生,却又向他隐瞒病情,岂不成了儿戏嘛!”



“那么,你就是说,我已经全部了然了?”罗杰·齐灵渥斯故意这样说着,同时用透着精明的炯炯目光盯着牧师的面孔。“但愿如此吧!不过,我还是要说!只了解病症表象的人;通常也不过只掌握了要他医治的疾病的一半症状。一种由体上的疾病,我们以为是全部症状了,其实呢,很可能只是精神上某种失调的征候。如果我的话有丝毫冒犯的话,我的好先生,就再次请你原谅。先生,在我所认识的一切人当中,你的肉体同你的精神,可啤说是最相融熔、合二而一的了,对你而言,身体不过是精神的工具罢了。”



“这样看来,我就不必多问了,”牧师说着,有点匆忙地从椅子上站起身。“我是这样理解的,你并不经营治疗灵魂的药物!”



“这就是说,一种疾病,”罗杰·齐灵渥斯用原先的语气继续侃侃而谈,似乎没有留意刚才的话被打断了——只是站起身来,把自己那矮小、黝黑和畸形的身体面对着形容憔悴、双颊苍白的牧师——“如果我们能这么叫的话,你精神上的一种疾病,一处痛楚,会立即在你肉体上出现恰如其分的反应。因此,你能叫你的医生只诊治你肉体上的病症吗?你要是不肯首先向他袒示你灵魂上的创伤或烦恼,他又怎能对症下药呢?”



“我不!——不会对你说!——我不会对一个世俗的医生讲的!”丁梅斯代尔先生激动地叫喊起来,同时把他那双瞪得又圆又亮、带着一种恶狠狠目光的眼睛,转向老罗杰·齐灵渥斯。“我不会对你说的!不过,果真我得的是灵魂上的疾病,那我就把自己交给灵魂的唯一的医生!只要他高兴,他可以治愈我,也可以杀死我!让他以他的公正和智慧,随心所欲地处置我吧。然而,你算什么?竟要来插一手?——竟敢置身于受磨难的人和他的上帝之间?”



他作了个发狂般的姿势,便冲出屋去了。



“迈出这一步倒也好,”罗杰·齐灵涯斯望着牧师的背影,阴沉地一笑,自言自语地说。“一无所失。我们很快还会重新成为朋友的。不过看看吧,如今,激情如何完全左右了这个人,让他无法自主了!这种激情能如此,另一种激情当然也一样!这位。虚诚的丁梅斯代尔牧师,以前也曾在他内心热烈的激情的驱使之下,于出过荒唐事的!”



事实证明,在这两个伙伴之间,同以往一样,在同一基础上重建同一程度的亲密关系,并不困难。年轻的牧师经过数小时独处之后,意识到自己神经的失调促使他出现了不自觉的大发脾气,其实,从医生的言谈话语之中丝毫找不出为自己辩解或掩饰的借口。他确实为自己对那善良的老人粗暴的发泄感到惊讶,人家不过是在尽职尽责地忠言相劝,何况也正是牧师他本人所求之不得的呢;他怀着懊悔不选曲心情,迫不及待地去向医生赔礼道歉,并请他这位朋友继续为他诊治,即使没有成功地恢复他的健康,但总算把他的病弱之躯维系到目前嘛。罗杰·齐灵渥斯欣然同意,并继续为牧师进行医疗监督;他诚心诚意地尽力而为,但在每次诊视之后,总要在嘴上带着神秘而迷惑的笑意,离开病人的房间。医生的这一表情在丁梅斯代尔先生面前是看不出的,但他穿过前厅时就变得十分明显了。



“一种罕见的病例!”他喃喃地说。“我一定要更深入地观察。这是灵魂和肉体之间一种奇妙的共鸣!即使仅仅出于医术的缘故,我也要穷根究底!”



就在上述那场面发生之后不久的一天正午,丁梅斯代尔牧师先生毫不知觉地陷入了沉睡之中,他坐在椅子上,前面的桌上摊开一大本黑皮的书卷。那准是一部催眠派文献中卓有功效的作品。象牧师这样的深沉酣睡,尤其值得注意,因为他属于那种通常睡眠极轻、时断时续,如同在嫩枝上雀跃的小鸟般极易受惊的人。无论如何,他这种非同寻常的酣睡,已经让他的精神完全收缩到自己的天地,以致当老罗杰·齐灵渥斯并没有特别蹑手蹑脚地走进他的房间时,他居然没有在椅子里惊动一下。医生直接走到他的病人跟前,把手放在牧师的胸口,扯开到目前为止连诊视时都没解开过的法衣;



此时,丁梅斯代尔先生确实抖了抖,微微一动。



那医生稍停一会儿,就转身走了。



然而,他却带有一种多么狂野的惊奇、欢乐和恐惧的表情网!事实上,他的那种骇人的狂喜,绝不仅仅是由跟睛和表情所能表达的,因之要从他整个的丑陋身躯进发出来,他将两臂伸向天花板,一只脚使劲跺着地面,以这种非同寻常的姿态来益发放纵地表现他的狂喜!若是有人看到老罗杰·齐灵渥斯此时的忘乎所以,他就不必去询问:当一个宝贵的人类灵魂失去了天国,堕入撤旦的地狱之中时,那魔王该如何举动了。



不过,那医生的狂喜同撒旦的区别在于,其中尚有惊奇的成分!



①这是英国作家约翰·班扬(1628一1688)在其代表作《天路历程》中所写的作者梦中所见。

文章来源:大耳朵英语--免费实用 http://www.bigear.cn