傲慢与偏见中英文对照part49
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-08-13 21:50:49  【打印
第四十九章



班纳特先生回来两天了。那天吉英和伊丽莎白正在屋后的矮树林里散步,只见管家奶奶朝她俩走来,她们以为是母亲打发她来叫她们回去的,于是迎面走上前去。到了那个管家奶奶跟前,才发觉事出意外,原来她并不是来叫她们的。她对吉英说:“小姐,请原谅我打断了你们的谈话,不过,我料想你们一定获得了从城里来的好消息,所以我来大胆地问一问。”



“你这话怎么讲,希尔?我们没有听到一点儿城里来的消息。”



希尔奶奶惊奇地嚷道:“亲爱的小姐,嘉丁纳先生打发了一个专差给主人送来一封信,难道你们不知道吗?他已经来了半个钟头啦。”



两位小姐拔脚就跑,急急忙忙跑回家去,话也来不及说了。她们俩跑进大门口,来到起坐间,再从起坐间来到书房,两处地方都没有见到父亲,正要上楼梯到母亲那儿去找他,又碰到了厨子,厨子说:



“小姐,你们是在找主人吧,他正往小树林里去散步呢。”



她们听到这话,又走过穿堂,跑过一片草地,去找父亲,只见父亲正在从容不迫地向围场旁边的一座小树林走去。



吉英没有伊丽莎白那么玲珑,也没有她那么会跑,因此一下子就落后了,只见妹妹已经上气不接下气地跑到了父亲跟前,迫不及待地嚷道:



“爸爸,有了什么消息?你接到舅父的信了吗?”



“是的,他打发专人送了封信来。”



“唔,信里说些什么消息呢──好消息还是坏消息?”



“哪来好消息?”他一面说,一面从口袋里掏出信来。“也许你倒高兴看一看。”



伊丽莎白性急地从他手里接过信来。吉英也赶上来了。



“念出来吧,”父亲说,“我几乎也不知道信上讲些什么。”亲爱的姐夫:



我终于能够告诉你一些有关外甥女的消息了,希望这个消息大体上能叫你满意。总算侥幸,你星期六走了以后,我立刻打听出他们俩在伦敦的住址。详细情况等到见面时再告诉你。你只要知道我已经找到了他们就够啦。我已经看到了他们俩──



吉英听到这里,不禁嚷了起来:“那么这一下我可盼望到了!他们结婚了吧!”



伊丽莎白接着读下去:



我已经看到他们俩。他们并没有结婚,我也看不出他们有什么结婚的打算;可是我大胆地向你提出条件来,要是你愿意照办的话,他们不久就可以结婚了。我要求你的只有一点。你本来已经为你女儿们安排好五千磅遗产,准备在你和姐姐归天以后给她们,那么请你立刻就把这位外甥女应得的一份给她吧。你还得和她订一个契约,在你生前每年再津贴她一百镑。这些条件我已经再三考虑,自以为有权利可以代你作主,因此便毫不迟疑地答应了。我特派专人前来送给你这封信,以便可以马上得到你的回音。你了解了这些详情以后,就会明白韦翰先生并不如一般人所料想的那么生计维艰,一筹莫展。一般人都把这件事弄错了。甥女除了自己名下的钱以外,等韦翰把债务偿清以后,还可以多些钱并给她,这使我很高兴。你如果愿意根据我所说的情况,让我全权代表你处理这件事,那么,我立刻就吩咐哈斯东去办理财产过户的手续。你不必再进城,大可以安心安意地待在浪搏恩。请你放心,我办起事来既勤快又小心。请赶快给我回信,还得费你的神,写得清楚明白些。我们以为最好就让外甥女从这所屋子里出嫁,想你也会同意。她今天要上我们这儿来。倘有其他情形,容当随时奉告。余不多及。



爱德华·嘉丁纳八月二日



星期一,写于天恩寺街



伊丽莎白读完了信问道:“这事可能吗?他竟会同她结婚?”



她姐姐说:“那么,韦翰倒并不象我们所想象的那样不成器啦。亲爱的爸爸,恭喜你。”



“你写了回信没有?”伊丽莎白问。



“没有写回信,可是立刻就得写。”



于是她极其诚恳地请求他马上就回家去写,不要耽搁。



她嚷道:“亲爱的爸爸马上就回去写吧。你要知道,这种事情是一分钟一秒钟也不能耽搁的。”



吉英说:“要是你怕麻烦,让我代你写好了。”



父亲回答道:“我的确不大愿意写,可是不写又不行。”



他一边说,一边转过身来跟她们一同回到屋里去。



伊丽莎白说:“我可以问你一句话吗?我想,他提出的条件你一定都肯答应吧?”



“一口答应!他要得这么少,我倒觉得不好意思呢。”



“他们俩非结婚不可了!然而他却是那样的一个人。”



“是啊!怎么不是,他们非结婚不可。没有别的办法。可是有两件事我很想弄个明白──第一件,你舅舅究竟拿出了多少钱,才使这件事有了个着落;第二件,我以后有什么办法还他这笔钱?”



吉英嚷道:“钱!舅舅!你这是什么意思,爸爸?”



“我的意思是说,一个头脑最清楚的人是不会跟丽迪雅结婚的,因为她没有哪一点地方可以叫人家看中。我生前每年给她一百镑,死后一共也只有五千磅。”



伊丽莎白说:“那倒是实话,不过我以前却从来没有想到过。他的债务偿清了以后,还会多下钱来!噢,那一定是舅舅代他张罗的!好一个慷慨善良的人!我就怕苦了他自己。这样一来,他得花费不少钱呢。”



父亲说:“韦翰要是拿不到一万镑就答应娶丽迪雅,那他才是个大傻瓜呢。我同他刚刚攀上亲戚,照理不应该多说他的坏话。”



“一万镑!天不容!即使半数,又怎么还得起?”



班纳特先生没有回答。大家都转着念头,默不作声。回到家里,父亲到书房里去写信,女儿们都走进饭厅里去。



姐妹俩一离开父亲,妹妹便嚷道:“他们真要结婚了!这真稀奇!不过我们也大可谢天谢地。他们究竟结婚了。虽然他们不一定会过得怎么幸福,他的品格又那么坏,然而我们究竟不得不高兴。哦,丽迪雅呀!”



吉英说:“我想了一下,也觉得安慰,要不是他真正爱丽迪雅,他是决不肯跟他结婚的。好心的舅舅即使替他清偿了一些债务,我可不相信会垫付了一万镑那么大的数目。舅舅有那么多孩子,也许以后还要养男育女。就是叫他拿也五千镑,他又怎么能够拿出来?”



“我们只要知道韦翰究竟欠下了多少债务,”伊丽莎白说,“用他的名义给我们妹妹的钱有多少,那我们就会知道嘉丁纳先生帮了他们多大的忙,因为韦翰自己一个子也没有。舅舅和舅母的恩典今生今世也报不了。他们把丽迪雅接回家去,亲自保护她,给她争面子,这牺牲了他们自己多少利益,真是一辈子也感恩不尽。丽迪雅现在一定到了他们那儿了!要是这样一片好心还不能使她觉得惭愧,那她可真不配享受幸福。她一见到舅母,该多么难为情啊!”



吉英说:“我们应该把他们两个人过去的事尽力忘掉,我希望他们还是会幸福,也相信这样。他既然答应跟她结婚,这就可以证明他已经往正路上去想。他们能够互敬互爱,自然也都会稳重起来。我相信他们俩从此会安安稳稳、规规矩矩地过日子,到时候人们也就会把他们过去的荒唐行为忘了。”



“他们既然已经有过荒唐行为,”伊丽莎白回答道,“那么无论你我,无论任何人,都忘不了。也不必去谈这种事。”



两姐妹想到她们的母亲也许到现在还完全不知道这回事,于是便到书房去,问父亲愿意不愿意让母亲知道。父亲正在写信,头也没抬起来,只是冷冷地对她们说:



“随你们的便。”



“我们可以把舅舅的信拿去读给她听吗?”



“你们爱拿什么去就拿什么,快走开。”



伊丽莎白从他的写字台上拿起那封信,姐妹俩一块儿上了楼。曼丽和吉蒂两人都在班纳特太太那里,因此只要传达一次,大家都知道了。她们稍微透露出一点好消息,便把那封信念出来。班纳特太太简直喜不自禁。吉英一读完丽迪雅可能在最近就要结婚的那一段话,她就高兴得要命,越往下读她就越高兴。她现在真是无限欢喜,极度兴奋,正如前些时候是那样地忧烦惊恐,坐立不安。只要听到女儿快要结婚,她就心满意足。她并没有因为顾虑到女儿得不到幸福而心神不安,也并没有因为想起了她的行为失检而觉得丢脸。



“我的丽迪雅宝贝呀!”她嚷起来了:“这太叫人高兴啦!她就要结婚了!我又可以和她见面了!她十六岁就结婚!多亏我那好心好意的弟弟!我早就知道事情不会弄糟──我早就知道他有办法把样样事情都办好。我多么想要看到她,看到亲爱的韦翰!可是衣服,嫁妆!我要立刻写信跟弟妇谈谈。丽萃,乖宝贝,快下楼去,问问你爸爸愿意给她多少陪嫁。等一会儿;还是我自己去吧。吉蒂,去拉铃叫希尔来。我马上就会把衣服穿好。丽迪雅我的心肝呀!等我们见面的时候,多么高兴啊!”



大女儿见她这样得意忘形,便谈起她们全家应该怎样感激嘉丁纳先生,以便让她分分心,让她精神上轻松一下。



“哎哟,”母亲叫道,“这真是好极了。要不是亲舅父,谁肯帮这种忙?你要知道,他要不是有了那么一家人,他所有的钱都是我和我的孩子们的了;他以前只送些礼物给我们,这一次我们才算真正得到他的好处。哎哟!我太高兴啦。过不了多久,我就有一个女儿出嫁了。她就要当上韦翰太太了!这个称呼多么动听!她到六月里才满十六岁。我的吉英宝贝,我太激动了,一定写不出信;还是我来讲,你替我写吧。关于钱的,问题我们以后再跟你爸爸商量,可是一切东西应该马上就去订好。”



于是她就一五一十地报出一大篇布的名目:细洋纱、印花布、麻纱,恨不得一下子就把样样货色都购置齐全,吉英好容易才劝住了她,叫她等到父亲有空的时候再商量,又说,迟一天完全无关紧要。母亲因为一时太高兴了,所以也不象平常那么固执。她又想起了一些别的花样。



“我一穿好衣服,就要到麦里屯去一次,”她说,“把这个好消息说给我妹妹腓力普太太听。我回来的时候,还可以顺路去看看卢卡斯太太和朗格太太。吉蒂,快下楼去,吩咐他们给我套好马车。出去透透空气,一定会使我精神爽快得多。孩子们,有什么事儿要我替你们在麦里屯办吗?噢!希尔来了。我的好希尔,你听到好消息没有?丽迪雅小姐快要结婚了。她结婚的那天,你们大家都可以喝到一碗‘朋趣酒’欢喜欢喜。”



希尔奶奶立即表示非常高兴。她向伊丽莎白等一一道贺。后来伊丽莎白对这个蠢局实在看得讨厌透了,便躲到自己房间里去自由自在地恩忖一番。



可怜的丽迪雅,她的处境再好也好不到哪里去,可是总算没有糟到不可收拾的地步,因此她还要谢天谢地。她确实要谢天谢地;虽说一想到今后的情形,就觉得妹妹既难得到应有的幸福,又难享受到世俗的富贵荣华,不过,只要回想一下,两个钟头以前还是那么忧虑重重,她就觉得目前的情形真要算是千幸万幸了。













Chapter 49



TWO days after Mr. Bennet's return, as Jane and Elizabeth were walking together in the shrubbery behind the house, they saw the housekeeper coming towards them, and concluding that she came to call them to their mother, went forward to meet her; but, instead of the expected summons, when they approached her she said to Miss Bennet, "I beg your pardon, madam, for interrupting you, but I was in hopes you might have got some good news from town, so I took the liberty of coming to ask."

"What do you mean, Hill? We have heard nothing from town."

"Dear madam," cried Mrs. Hill, in great astonishment, "don't you know there is an express come for master from Mr. Gardiner? He has been here this half hour, and master has had a letter."



Away ran the girls, too eager to get in to have time for speech. They ran through the vestibule into the breakfast room; from thence to the library; -- their father was in neither; and they were on the point of seeking him up stairs with their mother, when they were met by the butler, who said,



"If you are looking for my master, ma'am, he is walking towards the little copse."



Upon this information, they instantly passed through the hall once more, and ran across the lawn after their father, who was deliberately pursuing his way towards a small wood on one side of the paddock.



Jane, who was not so light, nor so much in the habit of running, as Elizabeth, soon lagged behind, while her sister, panting for breath, came up with him, and eagerly cried out,



"Oh, Papa, what news? what news? Have you heard from my uncle?"



"Yes, I have had a letter from him by express."



"Well, and what news does it bring? good or bad?"



"What is there of good to be expected?" said he, taking the letter from his pocket; "but perhaps you would like to read it." Elizabeth impatiently caught it from his hand. Jane now came up.



"Read it aloud," said their father, "for I hardly know myself what it is about."



"Gracechurch-street, Monday, August 2.



MY DEAR BROTHER,



At last I am able to send you some tidings of my niece, and such as, upon the whole, I hope will give you satisfaction. Soon after you left me on Saturday, I was fortunate enough to find out in what part of London they were. The particulars I reserve till we meet. It is enough to know they are discovered; I have seen them both --"



"Then it is as I always hoped," cried Jane; "they are married!"



Elizabeth read on:



"I have seen them both. They are not married, nor can I find there was any intention of being so; but if you are willing to perform the engagements which I have ventured to make on your side, I hope it will not be long before they are. All that is required of you is to assure to your daughter, by settlement, her equal share of the five thousand pounds secured among your children after the decease of yourself and my sister; and, moreover, to enter into an engagement of allowing her, during your life, one hundred pounds per annum. These are conditions which, considering every thing, I had no hesitation in complying with, as far as I thought myself privileged, for you. I shall send this by express, that no time may be lost in bringing me your answer. You will easily comprehend, from these particulars, that Mr. Wickham's circumstances are not so hopeless as they are generally believed to be. The world has been deceived in that respect; and, I am happy to say, there will be some little money, even when all his debts are discharged, to settle on my niece, in addition to her own fortune. If, as I conclude will be the case, you send me full powers to act in your name throughout the whole of this business, I will immediately give directions to Haggerston for preparing a proper settlement. There will not be the smallest occasion for your coming to town again; therefore, stay quietly at Longbourn, and depend on my diligence and care. Send back your answer as soon as you can, and be careful to write explicitly. We have judged it best that my niece should be married from this house, of which I hope you will approve. She comes to us to-day. I shall write again as soon as any thing more is determined on. Your's, &c.



EDW. GARDINER."



"Is it possible!" cried Elizabeth, when she had finished. -- "Can it be possible that he will marry her?"



"Wickham is not so undeserving, then, as we have thought him!" said her sister. "My dear father, I congratulate you."



"And have you answered the letter?" said Elizabeth.



"No; but it must be done soon."



Most earnestly did she then intreat him to lose no more time before he wrote.



"Oh! my dear father," she cried, "come back, and write immediately. Consider how important every moment is, in such a case."



"Let me write for you," said Jane, "if you dislike the trouble yourself."



"I dislike it very much," he replied; "but it must be done."



And so saying, he turned back with them, and walked towards the house.



"And may I ask -- ?" said Elizabeth, "but the terms, I suppose, must be complied with."



"Complied with! I am only ashamed of his asking so little."



"And they must marry! Yet he is such a man!"



"Yes, yes, they must marry. There is nothing else to be done. But there are two things that I want very much to know: -- one is, how much money your uncle has laid down to bring it about; and the other, how I am ever to pay him."



"Money! my uncle!" cried Jane, "what do you mean, Sir?"



"I mean that no man in his senses would marry Lydia on so slight a temptation as one hundred a year during my life, and fifty after I am gone."



"That is very true," said Elizabeth; "though it had not occurred to me before. His debts to be discharged, and something still to remain! Oh! it must be my uncle's doings! Generous, good man; I am afraid he has distressed himself. A small sum could not do all this."



"No," said her father, "Wickham's a fool, if he takes her with a farthing less than ten thousand pounds. I should be sorry to think so ill of him in the very beginning of our relationship."



"Ten thousand pounds! Heaven forbid! How is half such a sum to be repaid?"



Mr. Bennet made no answer, and each of them, deep in thought, continued silent till they reached the house. Their father then went to the library to write, and the girls walked into the breakfast-room.



"And they are really to be married!" cried Elizabeth, as soon as they were by themselves. "How strange this is! And for this we are to be thankful. That they should marry, small as is their chance of happiness, and wretched as is his character, we are forced to rejoice! Oh, Lydia!"



"I comfort myself with thinking," replied Jane, "that he certainly would not marry Lydia if he had not a real regard for her. Though our kind uncle has done something towards clearing him, I cannot believe that ten thousand pounds, or any thing like it, has been advanced. He has children of his own, and may have more. How could he spare half ten thousand pounds?"



"If we are ever able to learn what Wickham's debts have been," said Elizabeth, "and how much is settled on his side on our sister, we shall exactly know what Mr. Gardiner has done for them, because Wickham has not sixpence of his own. The kindness of my uncle and aunt can never be requited. Their taking her home, and affording her their personal protection and countenance, is such a sacrifice to her advantage as years of gratitude cannot enough acknowledge. By this time she is actually with them! If such goodness does not make her miserable now, she will never deserve to be happy! What a meeting for her, when she first sees my aunt!"



"We must endeavour to forget all that has passed on either side," said Jane. "I hope and trust they will yet be happy. His consenting to marry her is a proof, I will believe, that he is come to a right way of thinking. Their mutual affection will steady them; and I flatter myself they will settle so quietly, and live in so rational a manner, as may in time make their past imprudence forgotten."



"Their conduct has been such," replied Elizabeth, "as neither you, nor I, nor any body, can ever forget. It is useless to talk of it."



It now occurred to the girls that their mother was in all likelihood, perfectly ignorant of what had happened. They went to the library, therefore, and asked their father whether he would not wish them to make it known to her. He was writing, and, without raising his head, coolly replied,



"Just as you please."



"May we take my uncle's letter to read to her?"



"Take whatever you like, and get away."



Elizabeth took the letter from his writing table, and they went up stairs together. Mary and Kitty were both with Mrs. Bennet: one communication would, therefore, do for all. After a slight preparation for good news, the letter was read aloud. Mrs. Bennet could hardly contain herself. As soon as Jane had read Mr. Gardiner's hope of Lydia's being soon married, her joy burst forth, and every following sentence added to its exuberance. She was now in an irritation as violent from delight, as she had ever been fidgety from alarm and vexation. To know that her daughter would be married was enough. She was disturbed by no fear for her felicity, nor humbled by any remembrance of her misconduct.



"My dear, dear Lydia!" she cried: "This is delightful indeed! -- She will be married! -- I shall see her again! -- She will be married at sixteen! -- My good, kind brother! -- I knew how it would be -- I knew he would manage every thing. How I long to see her! and to see dear Wickham too! But the clothes, the wedding clothes! I will write to my sister Gardiner about them directly. Lizzy, my dear, run down to your father, and ask him how much he will give her. Stay, stay, I will go myself. Ring the bell, Kitty, for Hill. I will put on my things in a moment. My dear, dear Lydia! -- How merry we shall be together when we meet!"



Her eldest daughter endeavoured to give some relief to the violence of these transports, by leading her thoughts to the obligations which Mr. Gardiner's behaviour laid them all under.



"For we must attribute this happy conclusion," she added, "in a great measure to his kindness. We are persuaded that he has pledged himself to assist Mr. Wickham with money."



"Well," cried her mother, "it is all very right; who should do it but her own uncle? If he had not had a family of his own, I and my children must have had all his money, you know, and it is the first time we have ever had any thing from him, except a few presents. Well! I am so happy. In a short time, I shall have a daughter married. Mrs. Wickham! How well it sounds. And she was only sixteen last June. My dear Jane, I am in such a flutter that I am sure I can't write; so I will dictate, and you write for me. We will settle with your father about the money afterwards; but the things should be ordered immediately."



She was then proceeding to all the particulars of calico, muslin, and cambric, and would shortly have dictated some very plentiful orders, had not Jane, though with some difficulty, persuaded her to wait till her father was at leisure to be consulted. One day's delay, she observed, would be of small importance; and her mother was too happy to be quite so obstinate as usual. Other schemes, too, came into her head.



"I will go to Meryton," said she, "as soon as I am dressed, and tell the good, good news to my sister Phillips. And as I come back, I can call on Lady Lucas and Mrs. Long. Kitty, run down and order the carriage. An airing would do me a great deal of good, I am sure. Girls, can I do any thing for you in Meryton? Oh! here comes Hill. My dear Hill, have you heard the good news? Miss Lydia is going to be married; and you shall all have a bowl of punch to make merry at her wedding."



Mrs. Hill began instantly to express her joy. Elizabeth received her congratulations amongst the rest, and then, sick of this folly, took refuge in her own room, that she might think with freedom.



Poor Lydia's situation must, at best, be bad enough; but that it was no worse, she had need to be thankful. She felt it so; and though, in looking forward, neither rational happiness nor worldly prosperity could be justly expected for her sister, in looking back to what they had feared, only two hours ago, she felt all the advantages of what they had gained.

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