第八卷作恶的穷人 第06章兽人窟
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-10-05 15:05:11  【打印
CHAPTER VI THE WILD MAN IN HIS LAIR



Cities, like forests, have their caverns in which all the most wicked and formidable creatures which they contain conceal themselves. Only, in cities, that which thus conceals itself is ferocious, unclean, and petty, that is to say, ugly; in forests, that which conceals itself is ferocious, savage, and grand, that is to say, beautiful. Taking one lair with another, the beast's is preferable to the man's. Caverns are better than hovels.  



What Marius now beheld was a hovel. 



Marius was poor, and his chamber was poverty-stricken, but as his poverty was noble, his garret was neat. The den upon which his eye now rested was abject, dirty, fetid, pestiferous, mean, sordid. The only furniture consisted of a straw chair, an infirm table, some old bits of crockery, and in two of the corners, two indescribable pallets; all the light was furnishd by a dormer window of four panes, draped with spiders' webs. Through this aperture there penetrated just enough light to make the face of a man appear like the face of a phantom. The walls had a leprous aspect, and were covered with seams and scars, like a visage disfigured by some horrible malady; a repulsive moisture exuded from them. Obscene sketches roughly sketched with charcoal could be distinguished upon them.  



The chamber which Marius occupied had a dilapidated brick pavement; this one was neither tiled nor planked; its inhabitants stepped directly on the antique plaster of the hovel, which had grown black under the long-continued pressure of feet. Upon this uneven floor, where the dirt seemed to be fairly incrusted, and which possessed but one virginity, that of the broom, were capriciously grouped constellations of old shoes, socks, and repulsive rags; however, this room had a fireplace, so it was let for forty francs a year. There was every sort of thing in that fireplace, a brazier, a pot, broken boards, rags suspended from nails, a bird-cage, ashes, and even a little fire. Two brands were smouldering there in a melancholy way.



One thing which added still more to the horrors of this garret was, that it was large. It had projections and angles and black holes, the lower sides of roofs, bays, and promontories. Hence horrible, unfathomable nooks where it seemed as though spiders as big as one's fist, wood-lice as large as one's foot, and perhaps even--who knows?-- some monstrous human beings, must be hiding. 



One of the pallets was near the door, the other near the window. One end of each touched the fireplace and faced Marius. In a corner near the aperture through which Marius was gazing, a colored engraving in a black frame was suspended to a nail on the wall, and at its bottom, in large letters, was the inscription: THE DREAM. This represented a sleeping woman, and a child, also asleep, the child on the woman's lap, an eagle in a cloud, with a crown in his beak, and the woman thrusting the crown away from the child's head, without awaking the latter; in the background, Napoleon in a glory, leaning on a very blue column with a yellow capital ornamented with this inscription:  



MARINGO AUSTERLITS IENA WAGRAMME ELOT 



Beneath this frame, a sort of wooden panel, which was no longer than it was broad, stood on the ground and rested in a sloping attitude against the wall. It had the appearance of a picture with its face turned to the wall, of a frame probably showing a daub on the other side, of some pier-glass detached from a wall and lying forgotten there while waiting to be rehung.



Near the table, upon which Marius descried a pen, ink, and paper, sat a man about sixty years of age, small, thin, livid, haggard, with a cunning, cruel, and uneasy air; a hideous scoundrel.  



If Lavater had studied this visage, he would have found the vulture mingled with the attorney there, the bird of prey and the pettifogger rendering each other mutually hideous and complementing each other; the pettifogger making the bird of prey ignoble, the bird of prey making the pettifogger horrible.



This man had a long gray beard. He was clad in a woman's chemise, which allowed his hairy breast and his bare arms, bristling with gray hair, to be seen. Beneath this chemise, muddy trousers and boots through which his toes projected were visible.  



He had a pipe in his mouth and was smoking. There was no bread in the hovel, but there was still tobacco.  



He was writing probably some more letters like those which Marius had read.



On the corner of the table lay an ancient, dilapidated, reddish volume, and the size, which was the antique 12mo of reading-rooms, betrayed a romance. On the cover sprawled the following title, printed in large capitals: GOD; THE KING; HONOR AND THE LADIES; BY DUCRAY DUMINIL, 1814.



As the man wrote, he talked aloud, and Marius heard his words:--  



"The idea that there is no equality, even when you are dead! Just look at Pere Lachaise! The great, those who are rich, are up above, in the acacia alley, which is paved. They can reach it in a carriage. The little people, the poor, the unhappy, well, what of them? they are put down below, where the mud is up to your knees, in the damp places. They are put there so that they will decay the sooner! You cannot go to see them without sinking into the earth."



He paused, smote the table with his fist, and added, as he ground his teeth:--



"Oh! I could eat the whole world!"  



A big woman, who might be forty years of age, or a hundred, was crouching near the fireplace on her bare heels. 



She, too, was clad only in a chemise and a knitted petticoat patched with bits of old cloth. A coarse linen apron concealed the half of her petticoat. Although this woman was doubled up and bent together, it could be seen that she was of very lofty stature. She was a sort of giant, beside her husband. She had hideous hair, of a reddish blond which was turning gray, and which she thrust back from time to time, with her enormous shining hands, with their flat nails.



Beside her, on the floor, wide open, lay a book of the same form as the other, and probably a volume of the same romance.  



On one of the pallets, Marius caught a glimpse of a sort of tall pale young girl, who sat there half naked and with pendant feet, and who did not seem to be listening or seeing or living.



No doubt the younger sister of the one who had come to his room. 



She seemed to be eleven or twelve years of age. On closer scrutiny it was evident that she really was fourteen. She was the child who had said, on the boulevard the evening before: "I bolted, bolted, bolted!" 



She was of that puny sort which remains backward for a long time,then suddenly starts up rapidly. It is indigence which produces these melancholy human plants. These creatures have neither childhood nor youth. At fifteen years of age they appear to be twelve, at sixteen they seem twenty. To-day a little girl, to-morrow a woman. One might say that they stride through life, in order to get through with it the more speedily.



At this moment, this being had the air of a child.



Moreover, no trace of work was revealed in that dwelling; no handicraft, no spinning-wheel, not a tool. In one corner lay some ironmongery of dubious aspect. It was the dull listlessness which follows despair and precedes the death agony. 



Marius gazed for a while at this gloomy interior, more terrifying than the interior of a tomb, for the human soul could be felt fluttering there, and life was palpitating there. The garret, the cellar, the lowly ditch where certain indigent wretches crawl at the very bottom of the social edifice, is not exactly the sepulchre, but only its antechamber; but, as the wealthy display their greatest magnificence at the entrance of their palaces, it seems that death, which stands directly side by side with them, places its greatest miseries in that vestibule.  



The man held his peace, the woman spoke no word, the young girl did not even seem to breathe. The scratching of the pen on the paper was audible.



The man grumbled, without pausing in his writing. "Canaille! canaille! everybody is canaille!"



This variation to Solomon's exclamation elicited a sigh from the woman.  



"Calm yourself, my little friend," she said. "Don't hurt yourself, my dear. You are too good to write to all those people, husband."  



Bodies press close to each other in misery, as in cold, but hearts draw apart. This woman must have loved this man, to all appearance, judging from the amount of love within her; but probably, in the daily and reciprocal reproaches of the horrible distress which weighed on the whole group, this had become extinct. There no longer existed in her anything more than the ashes of affection for her husband. Nevertheless, caressing appellations had survived, as is often the case. She called him: My dear, my little friend, my good man, etc., with her mouth while her heart was silent.  



The man resumed his writing.





六 兽 人 窟



城市,一如森林,有它们最恶毒可怕的生物的藏身洞。不过,在城市里,这样躲藏起来的是凶残、污浊、卑微的,就是说,丑的;在森林里,躲藏起来的是凶残、猛烈、壮伟的,就是说,美的。同样是洞,但是兽洞优于人洞。野窟胜于穷窟。



马吕斯看见的是个穷窟。



马吕斯穷,他的屋子里也空无所有,但是,正如他穷得高尚,他的屋子也空得干净。他眼睛现在注视的那个破烂住处却是丑陋、腌?、恶臭难闻、黑暗、污秽的。全部家具只是一把麦秆椅、一张破桌、几个旧瓶旧罐、屋角里两张无法形容的破床。全部光线来自一扇有四块方玻璃的天窗,挂满了蜘蛛网。从天窗透进来的光线刚刚够使人脸成鬼脸。几堵墙好象害着麻疯病,满是补缝和疤痕,恰如一张被什么恶疾破了相的脸。上面浸淫着黄脓似的潮湿,还有一些用木炭涂的猥亵图形。



马吕斯住的那间屋子,地上还铺了一层不整齐的砖;这一间既没有砖,也没有地板;人直接踩在陈旧的石灰地面上走,已经把它踩得乌黑;地面高低不平,满是尘土,但仍不失为一块处女地,因为它从来不曾接触过扫帚;光怪陆离的破布鞋、烂拖鞋、臭布筋,满天星斗似的一堆堆散在四处;屋子里有个壁炉,为这炉子每年要四十法郎的租金;壁炉里有个火锅,一个闷罐,一些砍好了的木柴,挂在钉子上的破布片,一个鸟笼,灰屑,居然也有一点火。两根焦柴在那里凄凄惨惨地冒着烟。



使这破屋显得更加丑恶的原因是它的面积大。它有一些凸角和凹角,一些黑洞和斜顶,一些港湾和地岬。因而出现许多无法测探的骇人的旮旯,在那里仿佛藏着许多拳头大小的蜘蛛和脚掌那么宽的土鳖,甚至也许还潜藏着几个什么人妖。



那两张破床,一张靠近房门,一张靠近窗口。两张床都有一头抵着壁炉,也正对着马吕斯。



在马吕斯据以窥望的那个窟窿的一个邻近的墙角上,有一幅嵌在木框里的彩色版画,下沿上有两个大字:“梦境”。画面表现的是一个睡着的妇人和一个睡着的孩子,孩子睡在妇人的膝上,云里一只老鹰,嘴衔着一个花环,妇人在梦中用手把那花环从孩子的头上挡开;远处,拿破仑靠在一根深蓝色的圆柱上,头上顶个光轮,柱顶有个黄色的斗拱,上面写着这些字:



马伦哥



奥斯特里茨



耶拿



瓦格拉姆



艾劳①



①这些地名都是拿破仑打胜仗的地方。 



在那画框下面,有块长的木板似的东西,斜靠着墙竖在地上。那好象是一幅反放的油画,也可能是一块背面涂坏了的油画布,一面从什么墙上取下来的穿衣镜丢在那里备用。



桌子旁坐着一个六十来岁的男人,马吕斯望见桌上有鹅翎笔、墨水和纸张,那男子是个瘦小个子,脸色蜡黄,眼睛阴狠,神态尖刁、凶恶而惶惑不安,是个坏透了顶的恶棍。



拉华退尔①如果研究过这张脸,就会在那上面发现秃鹫和法官的混合形相;猛禽和讼棍能互相丑化,互相补充,讼棍使猛禽卑鄙,猛禽使讼棍狰狞。



①拉华退尔(Lavater,1741?801),瑞士人,通相面术,认为从人的面部结构能识别人的性格。



那人生了一脸灰白的长络腮胡子,穿一件女人衬衫,露着毛茸茸的胸脯和灰毛直竖的光臂膀。衬衫下面,是一条满是污垢的长裤和一双张着嘴的靴子,脚指全露在外面。



他嘴里衔一个烟斗,正吸着烟。穷窟里已没有面包,却还有烟。



他正写着什么,也许是马吕斯念过的那一类的信。



在桌子的一角上放着一本不成套的旧书,红面,是从前旧式租书铺的那种十二开版本,象是一本小说。封面上标着用大字印的书名:《上帝,国王,荣誉和贵妇人》,杜克雷·杜米尼尔作。一八一四年。



那男子一面写,一面大声说话,马吕斯听到他说的是:



“我说,人即使死了也还是没有平等!你看看拉雪兹神甫公墓便知道!那些有钱的大爷们葬在上头,路两旁有槐树,路面是铺了石块的。他们可以用车子直达。小户人家,穷人们,倒霉蛋嘛!在下头烂污泥浆齐膝的地方,扔在泥坑里,水坑里。把他们扔在那里,好让他们赶快烂掉!谁要想去看看他们,便得准备陷到土里去。”



说到这里,他停下来,一拳打在桌上,咬牙切齿地加上一句:



“呵!我恨不得把这世界一口吞掉!”



一个胖妇人,可能有四十岁,也可能有一百岁,蹲在壁炉旁边,坐在自己的光脚跟上面。



她也只穿一件衬衫和一条针织的裙,裙上补了好几块旧呢布。一条粗布围腰把那裙子遮去了一半。这妇人,虽然叠成了一堆,却仍看得出,是个极高的大个子。在她丈夫旁边,那真是一种丈六金身。她的头发怪丑,淡赭色,已经半白了,她时时伸出一只生着扁平指甲的大油手去理她的头发。



在她身边也有一本打开的书躺在地上,和那一本同样大小,也许就是同一部小说的另一册。



在一张破床上,马吕斯瞥见一个脸色灰白的瘦长小姑娘,几乎光着身体,坐在床边,垂着两只脚,似乎是在不听、不看、不活的状态中。



这想必是刚才来他屋里那个姑娘的妹子。



乍看去,她有十一、二岁。仔细留意去看,又能看出她准有十五岁。这便是昨晚在大路上说“我就溜呀!溜呀!溜呀!”的孩子。



她属于那种长期滞留,继又陡然猛长的病态孩子。这种可悲的人类植物是由穷困造成的。这些生物没有童年时期,也没有少年时期。十五岁象是只有十二岁,十六岁又象有了二十岁。今天是小姑娘,明天成了妇人。仿佛她们在超越年龄,以便早些结束生命。



这时,那姑娘还是个孩子模样。



此外,这人家没有一点从事劳动的迹象,没有织机,没有纺车、没有工具。几根形相可疑的废铁件堆在一个角落里。一派绝望以后和死亡以前的那种坐以待毙的阴惨景象。



马吕斯望了许久,感到这室内的阴气比坟墓里的还更可怕,因为这里仍有人的灵魂在游移,生命在活动。



穷窟,地窖,深坑,某些穷苦人在社会建筑最底层匍匐着的地方,还不完全是坟墓,而只是坟墓的前厅,但是,正如有钱人把他们最富丽堂皇的东西摆设在他们宫门口那样,死亡也就把它最破烂的东西放在隔壁的这前厅里。



那男子住了口,妇人不吭声,那姑娘也好象不呼吸。只有那支笔在纸上急叫。



那男子一面写,一面嘟囔:



“混蛋!混蛋!一切全是混蛋!”



所罗门的警句①的这一变体引起了那妇人的叹息。



①所罗门说过:“虚荣,虚荣,一切全是虚荣。”



“好人,安静下来吧,”她说。“不要把你的身体气坏了,心爱的。你写信给这些家伙,你已很对得起他们了,我的汉子。”



人在穷苦中,正如在寒冷中,身体互相紧靠着,心却是离得远远的。这个妇人,从整个外表看,似乎曾以她心中仅有的那一点情感爱过这男子;但是,很可能,处于那种压在全家头上的悲惨苦难中,由于日常交相埋怨的结果,那种感情也就熄灭了。在她心里,对她的丈夫只剩下一点柔情的死灰。可是那些甜蜜的称呼还没有完全死去,也时常出现在口头。她称他为“心爱的”、“好人”、“我的汉子”,等等,嘴上这么说,心里却不起波澜。



那汉子继续写他的。

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