第九卷最后的黑暗,崇高的黎明 第02章油干了的灯回光返照
大耳朵英语  http://www.bigear.cn  2007-10-30 23:48:59  【打印
CHAPTER II LAST FLICKERINGS OF A LAMP WITHOUT OIL





One day, Jean Valjean descended his staircase, took three steps in the street, seated himself on a post, on that same stone post where Gavroche had found him meditating on the night between the 5th and the 6th of June; he remained there a few moments, then went up stairs again. This was the last oscillation of the pendulum. On the following day he did not leave his apartment. On the day after that, he did not leave his bed.



His portress, who prepared his scanty repasts, a few cabbages or potatoes with bacon, glanced at the brown earthenware plate and exclaimed: "But you ate nothing yesterday, poor, dear man!"



"Certainly I did," replied Jean Valjean.



"The plate is quite full."



"Look at the water jug. It is empty."



"That proves that you have drunk; it does not prove that you have eaten."



"Well," said Jean Valjean, "what if I felt hungry only for water?"



"That is called thirst, and, when one does not eat at the same time, it is called fever."



"I will eat to-morrow."



"Or at Trinity day. Why not to-day? Is it the thing to say: I will eat to-morrow'? The idea of leaving my platter without even touching it! My ladyfinger potatoes were so good!"



Jean Valjean took the old woman's hand:



"I promise you that I will eat them," he said, in his benevolent voice.



"I am not pleased with you," replied the portress.



Jean Valjean saw no other human creature than this good woman. There are streets in Paris through which no one ever passes, and houses to which no one ever comes. He was in one of those streets and one of those houses.



While he still went out, he had purchased of a coppersmith, for a few sous, a little copper crucifix which he had hung up on a nail opposite his bed. That gibbet is always good to look at.



A week passed, and Jean Valjean had not taken a step in his room. He still remained in bed. The portress said to her husband:--"The good man upstairs yonder does not get up, he no longer eats, he will not last long. That man has his sorrows, that he has. You won't get it out of my head that his daughter has made a bad marriage."



The porter replied, with the tone of marital sovereignty:



"If he's rich, let him have a doctor. If he is not rich, let him go without. If he has no doctor he will die."



"And if he has one?"



"He will die," said the porter.



The portress set to scraping away the grass from what she called her pavement, with an old knife, and, as she tore out the blades, she grumbled:



"It's a shame. Such a neat old man! He's as white as a chicken."



She caught sight of the doctor of the quarter as he passed the end of the street; she took it upon herself to request him to come up stairs.



"It's on the second floor," said she. "You have only to enter. As the good man no longer stirs from his bed, the door is always unlocked."



The doctor saw Jean Valjean and spoke with him.



When he came down again the portress interrogated him:



"Well, doctor?"



"Your sick man is very ill indeed."



"What is the matter with him?"



"Everything and nothing. He is a man who, to all appearances, has lost some person who is dear to him. People die of that."



"What did he say to you?"



"He told me that he was in good health."



"Shall you come again, doctor?"



"Yes," replied the doctor. "But some one else besides must come."





二 油干了的灯回光返照





有一天冉阿让下楼,在街上走了两三步后,在一块界石上坐了下来。六月五日至六日的那天晚上,伽弗洛什就是看到他坐在这块石块上沉思的;他在这儿待了几分钟,又上楼去了。这是钟摆最后的摇晃。第二天他没出房门。第三天,他没下床。



他的门房,替他做简单的饭菜,一点蔬菜或几个土豆加点猪油,她看看棕色的陶土盘叫道:



“怎么您昨天没有吃东西,可怜的好人!”



“吃了。”冉阿让回答。



“碟子是满的。”



“您看那水罐,它空了。”



“这说明您只喝了水,这并不等于吃了饭。”



冉阿让说:“我要是只想喝水呢?”



“这叫做口渴,如果不同时进餐,这就叫发烧。”



“我明天吃。”



“或者在圣三节吃。为什么今天不吃呢?难道有这种说法:‘我明天吃!’把我做的菜整盘都剩下!我烧的白菜味道好着呢!”



冉阿让握着老妇人的手:



“我答应您吃掉它。”他用和善的语气对她说。



“我对您很不满意。”看门的回答。



冉阿让除了这个妇人之外,很少见到其他人。巴黎有些无人走过的街道和无人进去的房屋。他住的就是这样的街道和这样的房屋。



当他还能上街时,他从锅匠那儿用几个苏买到一个小的铜十字架,挂在床前钉子上。望着这个绞刑架总是有益的。



一个星期过去了,冉阿让没有在房里走动一步。他老是躺着。看门的对她丈夫说:“上面的老人不起床了,也不吃东西,他活不多久了。他很难过。我非常相信他的女儿一定嫁得不好。”



看门的男人用丈夫的权威口气回答说:



“要是他有钱,就该请医生来看看。如果没钱,他就没有医生。如果没有医生,他就得死去。”



“如果他有一个呢?”



“他也会死的。”看门的男人说。



看门的女人用一把旧刀,把门前被她称作是她的铺路石石缝里长出的青草除去,一边除一边嘟囔着:



“可怜,一个这样正直的老人!他清白得象子鸡一样。”



她看见街末一个本区的医生走过,就自作主张请他上楼。



“在三楼,”她向他说,“您进去好了。那老人睡在床上不能动了,钥匙一直插在门上锁眼里。”



医生看了冉阿让,并和他说了话。



当他下楼后,看门的女人问他:



“怎么样,医生?”



“您的病人病得厉害。”



“是什么病?”



“什么病都有,但又没有病。看来这人失去了一个亲人,这会送命的。”



“他对您说些什么?”



“他说他身体很好。”



“您还来吗,医生?”



“来,”医生回答,“但需要另一个人回来。”

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