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当前位置:主页 > 英国小说 > 德伯家的苔丝 > 第1章 第一阶段 处女 Phase the First. The Maiden
第11节 第十一章 【
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他们两个骑着马慢慢向前跑了一阵,谁也没有说话,苔丝一直搂着他,由于战胜了对手,心里还在怦怦直跳,不过在其它方面,她心里却有些疑虑。她看见他们骑的这匹马不是他有时候骑的那匹烈性马,所以她并不感到慌张,虽然她紧紧地搂着他还是有些坐不稳。她请他让马慢下来,改跑为走,亚历克照着办了。
“走得干净利落,是不是,亲爱的苔丝?”他过了一会儿说。
“不错!”苔丝说。“我觉得我应当非常感激你。”
“你真的非常感激我吗?”
她没有回答。
“苔丝,为什么你老是讨厌我吻你?”
“我想——因为我不爱你。”
“你敢肯定吗?”
“有时候我还生你的气呢!”
“哦,我早就担心会是这样的了。”虽然如此,亚历克并没有因为她的自白而反驳她。他明白,她无论什么态度总比她冷冰冰的好。“那我惹你生气的时候,你为什么不告诉我呢?”
“这个你自己清楚得很。因为在这儿由不得我自己呀。”
“我向你求爱,并没有常常意你生气啊?”
“有时候你就是惹我生气。”
“有多少次呀?”
“你和我一样清楚——多着啦。”
“我每次向你求爱都惹你生气吗?”
她没有出声,座下的马已经缓缓地向前走了很长一段路了,走到后来,一片薄薄的发亮的雾,本来整个晚上都弥漫在山谷里,现在已经散布开来,把他们包围了。那层雾似乎使月光悬浮起来,让那层雾比在晴朗的天气里显得更具有弥漫性。或者是由于这层雾气,或者是由于心不在焉,或者是由于睡意太浓,她没有觉察到他们已经从一个岔路口上走过去很远了,在那个岔路口上,有一条小路从大路分出来,通向特兰里奇,但是她的引路人没有带她走上通向特兰里奇的小路。
她疲倦得无以形容。在这一个礼拜里,她每天早晨都是五点钟起床,整天都要走来走去,这天傍晚她到猎苑堡去,又格外多走了三英里路,还在那儿等她的邻居等了三个小时,既没有吃也没有喝,而且她等得心烦意乱,也顾不上吃喝;后来,她又走了一英里回家的路,经历了一次吵架的激动,加上他们的坐骑走得缓慢,这时候都差不多一点钟了。但是也只有一次,她才真正让沉重的睡意征服了,在她昏睡的那一刻里,她轻轻地把头靠在了他的身上。
德贝维尔勒住了马,把脚从马镫里抽出来,坐在马鞍上侧过身去,用胳膊搂着她的腰,把她扶住。
苔丝立即醒了,防范起来,她出于一种突然出现的报复冲动,没有细想就轻轻地把他一推。他坐得并不稳,这一推几乎使他失去了平衡,差一点儿没有滚到路上去,幸好他骑的那匹马虽然是一匹健壮的马,却是最老实的一匹。
“他妈的真是不知好歹!”他说,“我又没有恶意——只不过怕你摔下去了。”
她有些猜疑地思考了一会儿;后来觉得这也许是真的,就后悔了,于是十分客气地说:“我请你原谅,先生。”
“除非你对我表示信任,否则我是不会原谅你的。天啊!”他突然发起脾气来,“像你这样一个野丫头,竟推起我来了,你当我是什么人呀?你不重视我的感情,躲避我,冷落我,已经整整三个月了;我再也忍受不了啦!”
“我明天就离开你好啦,先生。”
“不行,你明天不能离开我!我再问你一次,你能不能让我用胳膊搂着你,以此来表示你对我的信任?过来吧,现在就我们俩,没有其他的人。我们两个人都很熟悉了;你也知道我爱你,知道我把你看成是世界上最漂亮的姑娘,而你的确也是世界上最漂亮的姑娘。我可不可以把你当作一个情人呢?”
她吸了一口冷气,表示反对,在座位上焦虑不安地扭动着,眼睛看着远方,嘴里喃喃说道,“我不知道——我希望——我怎么能够说答应你还是不答应你——”
他用胳膊搂住了她,实现了自己的愿望,就这样把问题解决了,苔丝也没有进一步表示反对。他们就这样侧着身子搂着慢慢向前走,后来,她突然觉得不该走这样长的时间——从猎宛堡回去只有短短的一段路,即使按照他们这种走路的速度,也用了比平时多得多的时间了,而且他们不再是走在一条坚硬的路上,而是走在一条小路上。
“喂,我们走到哪儿啦?”她叫起来。
“在一片树林的旁边。”
“一片树林——什么树林?我们肯定完全离开了要走的路吧?”
“走进猎苑了——这是英国最古老的树林。这是多美的夜晚啊,我们为什么不骑着马多走走呢?”
“你怎么能这样骗人呀!”苔丝半是狡诈半是真正害怕地说,她冒着自己摔下马去的危险,一个一个地扳开他的手指头,从他的搂抱中摆脱出来。“我刚才正在相信你,顺从你,讨你喜欢,因为我觉得推了你,委屈了你!让我下去,让我走路回家。”
“亲爱的,即使天气晴朗,你也走不回去的。如果要我老实告诉你,我们已经离开特兰里奇好几英里路了,在越来越大的雾气里,你在这些大树里转上几个小时也走不出去。”
“不要你管我走不走得出去,”她哄着他说。“把我放下来,我求你了。我不管在什么地方;只请你让我下去,先生!”
“那好吧,我放你下去——但有一个条件。既然是我把你带到这个偏僻地方的,我不管你自己怎么想,我觉得我有责任把你平平安安地送回家去。至于说你不要帮助就想回到特兰里奇,那是完全不可能的;实话告诉你吧,因为生了这场雾,所有的一切都变了样子了,连我也完全不知道自己在哪儿啦。好吧,如果你答应在马的旁边等着,我就从这片灌木林里穿过去,一直走到有道路或者有房子的地方,等我真正弄清楚了我们在什么地方再回来,我愿意把你留在这儿。等我回来的时候,我就会仔仔细细地告诉你怎么走,要是你坚持走回去,你也可以走回去;你也可以骑马回去——随你的便。”
她接受了这些条件,就从马上溜了下来,不过还是让他偷偷地吻了一下。他也从另一边跳下马。
“我想我要牵着马吧?”她说。
“哦,不;用不着牵着马,”阿历克回答说,用手拍了拍那匹马。“今天晚上它可是受够了。”
他把马牵到灌木丛那边,把它拴在一根树枝上,又在一大堆厚厚的枯树叶中间,给她弄了一个床或是窝什么的。
“好啦,你坐在这儿吧,”他说。“这些树叶还没有给雾气弄湿。稍微注意一下马——稍微注意一下就足够了。”
他往前走了几步,但是他又转过身来说,“顺便告诉你,苔丝,今天你父亲得了一匹新马。有个人送给他的。”
“有人?是你!”
德贝维尔点点头。
“啊,那你真是太好了!”她嚷着说,但是又因为正好要在这个时候感谢他,心里觉得难过。
“孩子们也得了一些玩具。”
“我不知道——你给他们送了东西!”她低声说,心里很感动。“我真希望你没有送东西——是的,我一直是这样希望的!”
“为什么,亲爱的?”
“这——使我太为难了。”
“苔丝——到现在你还是一点儿不爱我吗?”
“我是很感激的,”她勉强地承认说。“但是我恐怕不能——”她突然明白过来,他是因为对她的一片热情才给她家送东西的,想到这儿心中不由得难过,一颗泪珠慢慢地滚落下来,接着又是一颗,她索性放声哭了起来。
“别哭,亲爱的,亲爱的姑娘!在这儿坐下来吧,等着我回来。”她只好顺从他,坐在他为她堆起来的一堆树叶中间,微微地颤抖着。“你冷吗?”他问她。
“不是很冷——有一点儿。”
他用手指去摸她,手指头按进内里,感到像绒毛一样柔软。“你只穿了一件薄薄的棉布衣服——这怎么办呢?”
“这是我夏天穿的最好一件衣服。我出门时穿着它很暖和,我哪儿知道要骑着马走路,哪儿知道要走到深夜呢。”
“九月的夜晚变得清冷了。让我想想办法。”他把身上穿的一件薄薄的外衣脱下来,轻轻地披在她的身上。“这就好了——现在你会觉得暖和些了,”他接着说:“喂,我的漂亮姑娘,就在这儿休息;我很快就会回来的。”
他把披在她身上的外衣的扣子扣好,就钻进了雾气织成的网里,这时候,夜雾已在大树之间织成了一张张薄纱。她听见他正在向附近的山坡上走去,听见树枝发出的响声,后来,他的走路的声音比小鸟跳动的声音大不了多少了,终于一点儿也听不见了。天上的月亮正在向西边落下去,灰白的月光减弱下来,苔丝坐在他为她铺的一堆枯叶上面,隐没在黑暗里,沉浸在幻想里。
与此同时,阿历克·德贝维尔也从树丛中爬上了山坡,他要真正消除心中的疑虑,弄清楚他们到底在不在猎苑里。实际上,他已经骑着马随意走了一个多小时,见弯就拐,一心只想把苔丝陪着他的时间延长,他注意的也只是苔丝暴露在月光下的形体,而对路边的一切物体视而不见。他也并不急着去寻找认路的标志,因为他的疲惫不堪的坐骑也要稍微休息一会儿了。他翻过一座小山,走进附近的低谷,来到一条大路的树篱旁边,他大致认出了这条大路,终于把他们在什么地方的问题解决了。因此德贝维尔转身往回走;但是在这个时候,月亮已经完全落下去了,离天亮也已经不远了,再加上林中的雾气,猎苑笼罩在一片深沉的黑暗里。他不得不伸出手摸索着往前走,免得碰上了树枝,他发现,要准确找到他当初离开的地点是完全不可能了。他转来转去,上上下下地寻找了好久,后来听见附近有马轻轻活动的声音;他的脚也意外的绊到了他的外衣的袖子上。
“苔丝!”德贝维尔喊。
没有人回答他。黑夜深沉,他隐约看见的只是脚边一片暗淡的白影,表明那是穿着他的衣服躺在枯树叶上的苔丝的形体。周围的其它一切都像夜一样的黑暗。德贝维尔弯腰俯身下去;他听见了均匀的轻轻的呼吸声。他跪了下去,把身子俯得更低了,他的脸已经感觉到她的呼吸的温暖了,不一会儿,他的脸就同她的脸接触到一起了。她睡得很熟,眼睫毛上还挂着泪珠。
周围的一切沉浸在黑暗和寂静中。在他们的四周,都是猎苑里长的密密麻麻的古老的水杉和橡树,树上栖息的温柔小鸟还在睡最后的一觉;在树林中间,大大小小的野兔在悄悄地蹦来跳去。但是恐怕有人要问,苔丝的保护天使在哪儿呢?她一心信仰的上帝在哪儿呢?也许,就像爱讽刺的提什比①说到另一个上帝一样,他也许正在聊天,或者正在狩猎,或者正在旅行的路上,要不就是睡着了还没有被人叫醒。
 
①提什比(Tishbite),指预言家以利亚,“旧约”“列王纪”第十七章把他描写为“提什比人以利亚”。他向贝阿尔的先知们挑战,把一头小公牛作为祭祀他们的神的奖品。当贝阿尔对他的信徒的祈祷不能作答时,以利亚就讽刺说:“无论他在聊天,还是在狩猎,还是在睡觉,你们应该叫醒他。”(“列王纪”第十八章第二十七节)
这片美丽的女性织品,就像游丝一样的敏感,又实在像白雪一样的洁白,为什么就像她命中注定要接受的那样,一定要在上面画上粗鄙的图案;为什么粗鄙的常常就这样占有了精美的,不该占有这个女人的男人占有了这个女人,不该占有这个男人的女人占有了这个男人,好几千年来,善于分析的哲学家们都没有能够按照我们对于秩序的观念解释清楚。的确,一个人也许认为,在现在这场悲剧里,可能暗藏有报应的因素。毫无疑问,苔丝·德北菲尔德有些身披铠甲的祖先,在他们战斗以后嬉闹着回家的时候,对他们那个时代的农民的女儿们也有过同样的行径,甚至更加粗暴野蛮。不过祖先的罪孽报应在子孙的身上,虽然对诸神来说是一种再好不过的道德准则,但是普通的人类天性对此却不屑一顾;因而对这件事也就毫无用处。
在那些穷乡僻壤的地方,苔丝自己家里的人总是用宿命论的口气互相不厌其烦地说:“这是命中注定的。”这正是叫人遗憾的地方。因此,从今以后我们这个女主角的品格,同当初她从母亲家门口走出来到特兰里奇的养鸡场碰运气的原来的她自己的联系,就被一条深不可测的社会鸿沟完全割断了。
 

The twain cantered along for some time without speech, Tess as she clung to him still panting in her triumph, yet in other respects dubious. She had perceived that the horse was not the spirited one he sometimes rode, and felt no alarm on that score, though her seat was precarious enough despite her tight hold of him. She begged him to slow the animal to a walk, which Alec accordingly did.

`Neatly done, was it not, dear Tess?' he said by and by.

`Yes!' said she. `I am sure I ought to be much obliged to you.'

`And are you?'

She did not reply.

`Tess, why do you always dislike my kissing you?'

`I suppose - because I don't love you.'

`You are quite sure?'

`I am angry with you sometimes!'

`Ah, I half feared as much.' Nevertheless, Alec did not object to that confession. He knew that anything was better than frigidity. `Why haven't you told me when I have made you angry?'

`You know very well why. Because I cannot help myself here.'

`I haven't offended you often by love-making?'

`You have sometimes.'

`How many times?'

`You know as well as I - too many times.'

`Every time I have tried.'

She was silent, and the horse ambled along for a considerable distance, till a faint luminous fog, which had hung in the hollows all the evening, became general and enveloped them. It seemed to hold the moonlight in suspension, rendering it more pervasive than in clear air. Whether on this account, or from absentmindedness, or from sleepiness, she did not perceive that they had long ago passed the point at which the lane to Trantridge branched from the highway, and that her conductor had not taken the Trantridge track.

She was inexpressibly weary. She had risen at five o'clock every morning of that week, had been on foot the whole of each day and on this evening had in addition walked the three miles to Chaseborough, waited three hours for her neighbours without eating or drinking, her impatience to start them preventing either; she had then walked a mile of the way home, and had undergone the excitement of the quarrel, till, with the slow progress of their steed, it was now nearly one o'clock. Only once, however, was she overcome by actual drowsiness. In that moment of oblivion her head sank gently against him.

D'Urberville stopped the horse, withdrew his feet from the stirrups, turned sideways on the saddle, and enclosed her waist with his arm to support her.

This immediately put her on the defensive, and with one of those sudden impulses of reprisal to which she was liable she gave him a little push from her. In his ticklish position he nearly lost his balance and only just avoided rolling over into the road, the horse, though a powerful one, being fortunately the quietest he rode.

`That is devilish unkind!' he said. `I mean no harm - only to keep you from failing.'

She pondered suspiciously; till, thinking that this might after all be true, she relented, and said quite humbly, `I beg your pardon, sir.'

`I won't pardon you unless you show some confidence in me. Good God!' he burst out, `what am I, to be repulsed so by a mere chit like you? For near three mortal months have you trifled with my feelings, eluded me, and snubbed me; and I won't stand it!'

`I'll leave you to-morrow, sir.'

`No, you will not leave me to-morrow! Will you, I ask once more, show your belief in me by letting me clasp you with my arm? Come, between us two and nobody else, now. We know each other well; and you know that I love you, and think you the prettiest girl in the world, which you are. Mayn't I treat you as a lover?'

She drew a quick pettish breath of objection, writhing uneasily on her seat, looked far ahead, and murmured, `I don't know - I wish - how can I say yes or no when--'

He settled the matter by clasping his arm round her as he desired, and Tess expressed no further negative. Thus they sidled slowly onward till it struck her they had been advancing for an unconscionable time - far longer than was usually occupied by the short journey from Chaseborough, even at this walking pace, and that they were no longer on hard road, but in a mere trackway.

`Why, where be we?' she exclaimed.

`Passing by a wood.'

`A wood - what wood? Surely we are quite out of the road?'

`A bit of The Chase - the oldest wood in England. It is a lovely night, and why should we not prolong our ride a little?'

`How could you be so treacherous!' said Tess, between archness and real dismay, and getting rid of his arm by pulling open his fingers one by one, though at the risk of slipping off herself. `Just when I've been putting such trust in you, and obliging you to please you, because I thought I had wronged you by that push! Please set me down, and let me walk home.'

`You cannot walk home, darling, even if the air were clear. We are miles away from Trantridge, if I must tell you, and in this growing fog you might wander for hours among these trees.'

`Never mind that,' she coaxed. `Put me down, I beg you. I don't mind where it is; only let me get down, sir, please!'

`Very well, then, I will - on one condition. Having brought you here to this out-of-the-way place, I feel myself responsible for your safe-conduct home, whatever you may yourself feel about it. As to your getting to Trantridge without assistance, it is quite impossible; for, to tell the truth, dear, owing to this fog, which so disguises everything, I don't quite know where we are myself. Now, if you will promise to wait beside the horse while I walk through the bushes till I come to some road or house, and ascertain exactly our whereabouts, I'll deposit you here willingly. When I come back I'll give you full directions, and if you insist upon walking you may; or you may ride - at your pleasure.'

She accepted these terms, and slid off on the near side, though not till he had stolen a cursory kiss. He sprang down on the other side.

`I suppose I must hold the horse?' said she.

`Oh no; it's not necessary,' replied Alec, patting the panting creature. `He's had enough of it for to-night.'

He turned the horse's head into the bushes, hitched him on to a bough, and made a sort of couch or nest for her in the deep mass of dead leaves.

`Now, you sit there,' he said. `The leaves have not got damp as yet. Just give an eye to the horse - it will be quite sufficient.'

He took a few steps away from her, but, returning, said, `By the bye, Tess, your father has a new cob to-day. Somebody gave it to him.'

`Somebody? You!'

D'Urberville nodded.

`O how very good of you that is!' she exclaimed, with a painful sense of the awkwardness of having to thank him just then.

`And the children have some toys.'

`I didn't know - you ever sent them anything!' she murmured, much moved. `I almost wish you had not - yes, I almost wish it!'

`Why, dear?'

`It - hampers me so.'

`Tessy - don't you love me ever so little now?'

`I'm grateful,' she reluctantly admitted. `But I fear I do not--' The sudden vision of his passion for herself as a factor in this result so distressed her that, beginning with one slow tear, and then following with another, she wept outright.

`Don't cry, dear, dear one! Now sit down here, and wait till I come.' She passively sat down amid the leaves he had heaped, and shivered slightly. `Are you cold?' he asked.

`Not very - a little.'

He touched her with his fingers, which sank into her as into down. `You have only that puffy muslin dress on - how's that?'

`It's my best summer one. 'Twas very warm when I started, and I didn't know I was going to ride, and that it would be night.'

`Nights grow chilly in September. Let me see.' He pulled off a light overcoat that he had worn, and put it round her tenderly. `That's it - now you'll feel warmer,' he continued. `Now, my pretty, rest there; I shall soon be back again.'

Having buttoned the overcoat round her shoulders he plunged into the webs of vapour which by this time formed veils between the trees. She could hear the rustling of the branches as he ascended the adjoining slope, till his movements were no louder than the hopping of a bird, and finally died away. With the setting of the moon the pale light lessened, and Tess became invisible as she fell into reverie upon the leaves where he had left her.

In the meantime Alec d'Urberville had pushed on up the slope to clear his genuine doubt as to the quarter of The Chase they were in. He had, in fact, ridden quite at random for over an hour, taking any turning that came to hand in order to prolong companionship with her, and giving far more attention to Tess's moonlit person than to any wayside object. A little rest for the jaded animal being desirable, he did not hasten his search for landmarks. A clamber over the hill into the adjoining vale brought him to the fence of a highway whose contours he recognized, which settled the question of their whereabouts. D'Urberville thereupon turned back; but by this time the moon had quite gone down, and partly on account of the fog The Chase was wrapped in thick darkness, although morning was not far off. He was obliged to advance with outstretched hands to avoid contact with the boughs, and discovered that to hit the exact spot from which he had started was at first entirely beyond him. Roaming up and down, round and round, he at length heard a slight movement of the horse close at hand; and the sleeve of his overcoat unexpectedly caught his foot.

`Tess!' said d'Urberville.

There was no answer. The obscurity was now so great that he could see absolutely nothing but a pale nebulousness at his feet, which represented the white muslin figure he had left upon the dead leaves. Everything else was blackness alike. D'Urberville stooped; and heard a gentle regular breathing. He knelt and bent lower, till her breath warmed his face, and in a moment his cheek was in contact with hers. She was sleeping soundly, and upon her eyelashes there lingered tears.

Darkness and silence ruled everywhere around. Above them rose the primeval yews and oaks of The Chase, in which were poised gentle roosting birds in their last nap; and about them stole the hopping rabbits and hares. But, might some say, where was Tess's guardian angel? where was the providence of her simple faith? Perhaps, like that other god of whom the ironical Tishbite spoke, he was talking, or he was pursuing, or he was in a journey, or he was sleeping and not to be awaked.

Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet, there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appropriates the finer thus, the wrong man the woman, the wrong woman the man, many thousand years of analytical philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of order. One may, indeed, admit the possibility of a retribution lurking in the present catastrophe. Doubtless some of Tess d'Urberville's mailed ancestors rollicking home from a fray had dealt the same measure even more ruthlessly towards peasant girls of their time. But though to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children may be a morality good enough for divinities, it is scorned by average human nature; and it therefore does not mend the matter.

As Tess's own people down in those retreats are never tired of saying among each other in their fatalistic way: `It was to be.' There lay the pity of it. An immeasurable social chasm was to divide our heroine's personality thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped from her mother's door to try her fortune at Trantridge poultry-farm.