第十四卷失望的伟大 第06章求生的挣扎继以垂死的挣扎
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-10-14 00:39:03  【打印
CHAPTER VI THE AGONY OF DEATH AFTER THE AGONY OF LIFE





A peculiarity of this species of war is, that the attack of the barricades is almost always made from the front, and that the assailants generally abstain from turning the position, either because they fear ambushes, or because they are afraid of getting entangled in the tortuous streets. The insurgents' whole attention had been directed, therefore, to the grand barricade, which was, evidently, the spot always menaced, and there the struggle would infallibly recommence. But Marius thought of the little barricade, and went thither. It was deserted and guarded only by the fire-pot which trembled between the paving-stones. Moreover, the Mondetour alley, and the branches of the Rue de la Petite Truanderie and the Rue du Cygne were profoundly calm.



As Marius was withdrawing, after concluding his inspection, he heard his name pronounced feebly in the darkness.



"Monsieur Marius!"



He started, for he recognized the voice which had called to him two hours before through the gate in the Rue Plumet.



Only, the voice now seemed to be nothing more than a breath.



He looked about him, but saw no one.



Marius thought he had been mistaken, that it was an illusion added by his mind to the extraordinary realities which were clashing around him. He advanced a step, in order to quit the distant recess where the barricade lay.



"Monsieur Marius!" repeated the voice.



This time he could not doubt that he had heard it distinctly; he looked and saw nothing.



"At your feet," said the voice.



He bent down, and saw in the darkness a form which was dragging itself towards him.



It was crawling along the pavement. It was this that had spoken to him.



The fire-pot allowed him to distinguish a blouse, torn trousers of coarse velvet, bare feet, and something which resembled a pool of blood. Marius indistinctly made out a pale head which was lifted towards him and which was saying to him:--



"You do not recognize me?"



"No."



"Eponine."



Marius bent hastily down. It was, in fact, that unhappy child. She was dressed in men's clothes.



"How come you here? What are you doing here?"



"I am dying," said she.



There are words and incidents which arouse dejected beings. Marius cried out with a start:--



"You are wounded! Wait, I will carry you into the room! They will attend to you there. Is it serious? How must I take hold of you in order not to hurt you? Where do you suffer? Help! My God! But why did you come hither?"



And he tried to pass his arm under her, in order to raise her.



She uttered a feeble cry.



"Have I hurt you?" asked Marius.



"A little."



"But I only touched your hand."



She raised her hand to Marius, and in the middle of that hand Marius saw a black hole.



"What is the matter with your hand?" said he.



"It is pierced."



"Pierced?"



"Yes."



"What with?"



"A bullet."



"How?"



"Did you see a gun aimed at you?"



"Yes, and a hand stopping it."



"It was mine."



Marius was seized with a shudder.



"What madness! Poor child! But so much the better, if that is all, it is nothing, let me carry you to a bed. They will dress your wound; one does not die of a pierced hand."



She murmured:--



"The bullet traversed my hand, but it came out through my back. It is useless to remove me from this spot. I will tell you how you can care for me better than any surgeon. Sit down near me on this stone."



He obeyed; she laid her head on Marius' knees, and, without looking at him, she said:--



"Oh! How good this is! How comfortable this is! There; I no longer suffer."



She remained silent for a moment, then she turned her face with an effort, and looked at Marius.



"Do you know what, Monsieur Marius? It puzzled me because you entered that garden; it was stupid, because it was I who showed you that house; and then, I ought to have said to myself that a young man like you--"



She paused, and overstepping the sombre transitions that undoubtedly existed in her mind, she resumed with a heartrending smile:--



"You thought me ugly, didn't you?"



She continued:--



"You see, you are lost! Now, no one can get out of the barricade. It was I who led you here, by the way! You are going to die, I count upon that. And yet, when I saw them taking aim at you, I put my hand on the muzzle of the gun. How queer it is! But it was because I wanted to die before you. When I received that bullet, I dragged myself here, no one saw me, no one picked me up, I was waiting for you, I said: `So he is not coming!' Oh, if you only knew. I bit my blouse, I suffered so! Now I am well. Do you remember the day I entered your chamber and when I looked at myself in your mirror, and the day when I came to you on the boulevard near the washerwomen? How the birds sang! That was a long time ago. You gave me a hundred sous, and I said to you: `I don't want your money.' I hope you picked up your coin? You are not rich. I did not think to tell you to pick it up. The sun was shining bright, and it was not cold. Do you remember, Monsieur Marius? Oh! How happy I am! Every one is going to die."



She had a mad, grave, and heart-breaking air. Her torn blouse disclosed her bare throat.



As she talked, she pressed her pierced hand to her breast, where therewas another hole, and whence there spurted from moment to moment a stream of blood, like a jet of wine from an open bung-hole.



Marius gazed at this unfortunate creature with profound compassion.



"Oh!" she resumed, "it is coming again, I am stifling!"



She caught up her blouse and bit it, and her limbs stiffened on the pavement.



At that moment the young cock's crow executed by little Gavroche resounded through the barricade.



The child had mounted a table to load his gun, and was singing gayly the song then so popular:--



"En voyant Lafayette, "On beholding Lafayette, Le gendarme repete:-- The gendarme repeats:-- Sauvons nous! sauvons nous! Let us flee! let us flee! sauvons nous!" let us flee!



Eponine raised herself and listened; then she murmured:--



"It is he."



And turning to Marius:--



"My brother is here. He must not see me. He would scold me."



"Your brother?" inquired Marius, who was meditating in the most bitter and sorrowful depths of his heart on the duties to the Thenardiers which his father had bequeathed to him; "who is your brother?"



"That little fellow."



"The one who is singing?"



"Yes."



Marius made a movement.



"Oh! don't go away," said she, "it will not be long now."



She was sitting almost upright, but her voice was very low and broken by hiccoughs.



At intervals, the death rattle interrupted her. She put her face as near that of Marius as possible. She added with a strange expression:--



"Listen, I do not wish to play you a trick. I have a letter in my pocket for you. I was told to put it in the post. I kept it. I did not want to have it reach you. But perhaps you will be angry with me for it when we meet again presently? Take your letter."



She grasped Marius' hand convulsively with her pierced hand, but she no longer seemed to feel her sufferings. She put Marius' hand in the pocket of her blouse. There, in fact, Marius felt a paper.



"Take it," said she.



Marius took the letter.



She made a sign of satisfaction and contentment.



"Now, for my trouble, promise me--"



And she stopped.



"What?" asked Marius.



"Promise me!"



"I promise."



"Promise to give me a kiss on my brow when I am dead.--I shall feel it."



She dropped her head again on Marius' knees, and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had departed. Eponine remained motionless. All at once, at the very moment when Marius fancied her asleep forever, she slowly opened her eyes in which appeared the sombre profundity of death, and said to him in a tone whose sweetness seemed already to proceed from another world:--



"And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you."



She tried to smile once more and expired.







六 求生的挣扎继以垂死的挣扎



这种战争有这么一个特点,对街垒几乎总是从正面进攻,攻方在一般情况下,常避免用迂回战术,不是怕遭到伏击,便是怕陷在曲折的街巷里。因而这些起义的人把全部注意力都集中在大街垒方面,这儿显然是时时受到威胁、也必然是要再次争夺的地方。马吕斯却想到了小街垒,并走去望了一眼。那边一个人也没有,守在那里的只是那盏在石块堆中摇曳的彩色纸灯笼。此外,那条蒙德都巷子以及小化子窝斜巷和天鹅斜巷都是静悄悄的。



马吕斯视察了一番,正要回去时,他听见一个人在黑暗中有气无力地喊着他的名字。



“马吕斯先生!”



他惊了一下,因为这声音正是两个钟头以前在卜吕梅街隔着铁栏门喊他的那个人的声音。



不过现在这声音仿佛只是一种嘘气的声音了。



他向四周望去,却不见有人。



马吕斯以为自己搞错了,他以为这是周围那些不寻常的事物在他精神上引起的一种幻觉。他向前走了一步,想要退出那街垒所在的凹角。



“马吕斯先生!”那声音又说。



这一次他听得清清楚楚,不能再怀疑了,他四面打量,什么也看不见。



“就在您脚跟前。”那声音说。



他弯下腰去,看见有个东西在黑暗中向他爬来。它在铺路的石块上爬着。向他说话的便是这东西。



彩色纸灯笼的光照出一件布衫、一条撕破了的粗绒布长裤、一双赤脚、还有一摊模模糊糊象是血的东西。马吕斯隐隐约约望见一张煞白的脸在抬起来对他说:



“您不认识我吗?”



“不认识。”



“爱潘妮。”



马吕斯连忙蹲下去,真的是那苦娃儿,她穿一身男人的衣服。



“您怎么会在这地方?您来这儿干什么?”



“我就要死了。”她对他说。



某些话和某些事是能使颓丧的心情兴奋起来的。马吕斯好象从梦中惊醒似的喊着说:



“您受了伤!等一下,让我把您抱到厅堂里去。他们会把您的伤口包扎起来。伤势重吗?我应当怎样抱才不会弄痛您呢?您什么地方痛?救人!我的天主!您到底为什么要到这儿来?”



他试着把他的手臂伸到她的身体底下,想抱起她来。



在抱的时候,他碰了一下她的手。



她轻轻叫了一声。



“我弄痛了您吗?”



“稍微有点。”



“可我只碰了一下您的手。”



她伸出她的手给马吕斯看,马吕斯看见她手掌心上有一个黑洞。



“您的手怎么啦?”他说。



“它被打通了。”



“打通了!”



“是啊。”



“什么东西打通的?”



“一粒子弹。”



“怎么会?”



“您先头没有看见有杆枪对着您瞄准吗?”



“看见的,还看见有只手堵住那枪口。”



“那就是我的手。”



马吕斯打了个寒噤。



“您真是疯了!可怜的孩子!幸而还好,如果只伤着手,还不要紧。让我把您放到一张床上去。他们会把您的伤口包扎起来,打穿一只手,不会送命的。”



她细声说道:



“枪弹打通了手,又从我背上穿出去。用不着再把我搬到别的地方去了。让我来告诉您,您怎样才能包扎好我的伤口,您准会比外科医生包扎得更好。您来坐在我旁边的这块石头上。”



他依着她的话坐下去,她把她的头枕在马吕斯的膝上,眼睛不望马吕斯,独自说道:



“呵!这可有多好!这样多舒服!就这样!我已经不痛了。”她静了一会儿,接着,她使劲把脸转过去,望着马吕斯说:“您知道吗,马吕斯先生?您进那园子,我心里就别扭,我太傻了,把那幢房子指给您看的原就是我,并且,到头来,我心里总应当明白,象您这样一个青年……”



她突然停了下来,她心里或许还有许多伤心话要说,但她跳过去了,没有吐出来,她只带着惨痛的笑容接着说:



“您一向认为我生得丑,不是吗?”



她又往下说:



“您瞧,您已经完了!现在谁也出不了这街垒。是我把您引到这儿来的,您知道!您就快死了。我担保。可是当我看见有人对着您瞄准的时候,我又用手去堵住那枪口。太可笑了!那也只是因为我愿意比您先死一刻。我吃了那一枪后,便爬到这儿,没有人瞧见我,也就没有人把我收了去。呵!假使您知道,我一直咬紧我的布衫,我痛得好凶啊!现在我可舒服了。您还记得吗,有一天,我到过您住的屋子里,在您的镜子里望着我自己,还有一天,我在大路上遇见了您,旁边还有好些作工的女人,您记得这些吗?那时鸟儿唱得多好呀!这都好象是昨天的事。您给了我一百个苏,我还对您说:‘我不要您的钱。’您该把您的那枚钱币拾起来了吧?您不是有钱人。我没有想到要告诉您把它拾起来。那天太阳多好,也不冷。您记得这些吗,马吕斯先生?呵!我高兴得很!大家都快死了。”



她那神气是疯疯癫癫、阴沉、令人心碎的。那件撕裂了的布衫让她的胸口露在外面。说话时,她用那只射穿了的手捂住她胸口上的另一个枪孔,鲜血从弹孔里一阵阵流出来,有如从酒桶口淌出的葡萄酒。



马吕斯望着这不幸的人心里十分难受。



“呵!”她又忽然喊道,“又来了。我吐不出气!”



她提起她的布衫,把它紧紧地咬着,两腿僵直地伸在铺路的石块上。



这时从大街垒里响起伽弗洛什的小公鸡噪音。那孩子正立在一张桌子上,往他的步枪里装子弹,兴高采烈地唱着一首当时广泛流行的歌曲:



拉斐德一出观,



丘八太爷便喊道:



“快逃跑!快逃跑!快逃跑!”



爱潘妮欠起身子仔细听,她低声说:



“这是他。”



她又转向马吕斯:



“我弟弟也来了。不要让他看见我。他会骂我的。”



马吕斯听了这话,又想起他父亲要他报答德纳第一家人的遗嘱,心中无比苦恼和沉痛。他问道:



“您弟弟?谁是您的弟弟?”



“那孩子。”



“是唱歌的孩子吗?”



“对。”



马吕斯动了一下,想起身。



“呵!您不要走开!”她说,“现在时间不会长了!”



她几乎坐了起来,但是她说话的声音很低,并且上气不接下气,有时她还得停下来喘气。她把她的脸尽量靠近马吕斯的脸。她以一种奇特的神情往下说:



“听我说,我不愿意捉弄您。我衣袋里有一封信,是给您的。昨天便已在我衣袋里了。人家要我把它放进邮筒。可我把它扣下了。我不愿意您收到这封信。但是等会儿我们再见面时您也许会埋怨我。死了的人能再见,不是吗?把您的信拿去吧。”



她用她那只穿了孔的手痉挛地抓住马吕斯的手,好象已不再感到疼痛了。她把马吕斯的手放在她布衫的口袋里。马吕斯果然摸到里面有一张纸。



“拿去。”她说。



马吕斯拿了信。她点点头,表示满意和同意。



“现在为了谢谢我,请答应我……”



她停住了。



“答应什么?”马吕斯问。



“先答应我!”



“我答应您。”



“答应我,等我死了,请在我的额头上吻我一下。我会感觉到的。”



她让她的头重行落在马吕斯的膝上,她的眼睛也闭上了。他以为这可怜人的灵魂已经离去。爱潘妮躺着一动也不动,忽然,正当马吕斯认为她已从此长眠时,她又慢慢睁开眼睛,露出的已是非人间的那种幽深渺忽的神态,她以一种来自另一世界的凄婉语气说:



“还有,听我说,马吕斯先生,我想我早就有点爱您呢。”



她再一次勉力笑了笑,于是溘然长逝了。

文章来源:大耳朵英语--免费实用 http://www.bigear.cn