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当前位置:主页 > 英国小说 > 德伯家的苔丝 > 第7章 团圆 The Fulfilment
第3节 第五十五章 【
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当晚十一点钟,克莱尔一到桑德波恩,就立即找了一家旅馆,安排好睡觉的地方,打电报把自己的地址告诉了父亲,然后出门走到街上。这时候拜访什么人或打听什么人已经太晚了,他只好无可奈何地把寻找苔丝的事推迟到明天早晨。不过他仍然不肯回去休息。
这是一个东西两头都有火车站的时髦人物常去的海滨胜地,它的突堤、成片的松林、散步的场所、带棚架的花园,在安琪尔·克莱尔眼里,就像是用魔杖一挥突然创造出来的神话世界,不过地面上有一层薄薄的沙土。在附近,是广大的爱敦荒原东部向外突出的地带,爱敦荒原是古老的,然而就在黄褐色的那一部分的边缘,一个辉煌新颖的娱乐城市突然出现了。在它的郊外一英里的范围内,起伏不平的土壤保持着洪荒以来的特点,每一条道路仍然是当年不列颠人踩出来的;自从凯撒时代以来①,那儿的土地一寸也没有翻动过。然而这种外来的风物就像先知的蓖麻一样②,已经在这儿生长起来了,并且还把苔丝吸引到了这儿。
 
①公元前五十五和五十四两年,罗马大将凯撒曾率领部队两次入侵不列颠。
②参见《圣经·约拿书》第四章第六节;上帝安排一棵蓖麻,使蓖麻在一日之内长得高过先知约拿,拿影儿遮住他的头,救他脱离苦楚。

这个新世界是从旧世界中诞生出来的,克莱尔借着半夜的街灯,在它蜿蜒曲折的道路上来回走着;他能够在星光里看见掩映在树木中的高耸的屋顶、烟囱、凉亭和塔楼,因为这个地方是由无数新奇的建筑物组成的。它是一座由独立式大厦构成的城市;是坐落在英吉利海峡上的一处地中海休闲胜地;现在从黑夜里看上去,比平时更加显得雄伟壮观。
大海就在附近,但是没有不谐调的感觉:大海传来阵阵涛声,他听了以为是松林发出的涛声;松林发出的涛声和海涛完全一样,他以为听见的是海涛。
在这座富丽时髦的城市里,他年轻的妻子苔丝、一个乡下姑娘,会在什么地方呢?他越是思考,越是疑惑,这儿是不是有奶牛需要挤奶呢?这儿肯定没有需要耕种的土地。她最大的可能是被某个大户人家雇去干活。他往前走着,瞧着一个个房间的窗户,窗户里的灯光也一个接一个地熄灭了,但是他不知道苔丝究竟在哪一个房间里。
猜想是毫无用处的,十二点刚过,他就回到旅馆,上床睡觉了。他在熄灯之前,又把苔丝那封感情热烈的信重新读了一遍。但是,他一点睡意也没有,——他离她是这么近,可是又离她那么远——他不停地把百叶窗打开,向对面那些房子的背后打量,想知道这时候苔丝睡在哪一个窗户的后面。
整整一个夜晚,他差不多都是坐着度过的。他在第二天早上七点钟就起了床,不一会儿就走出旅馆,向邮政总局走去。他在邮政总局门口碰见一个伶俐的邮差,拿着信从邮局走出来,去送早班信。
“你知道一个叫克莱尔夫人的人的地址吗?”安琪尔问。
那个邮差摇了摇头。
克莱尔接着想到她可能还在继续使用没有结婚以前的姓,又问——
“或者一个叫德北菲尔德小姐的人?”
“德北菲尔德?”
这个邮差还是不知道。
“先生,你知道,观光的人每天有来的也有走的,”他说;“要是不知道他们的住址,你是不可能找到他们的。”
就在那个时候,又有一个邮差急急忙忙从邮局里走出来,克莱尔又向他问了一遍。
“我不知道姓德北菲尔德的;但是有一个姓德贝维尔的,住在苍鹭。”第二个邮差说。
“不错!”克莱尔心想苔丝用了她本来的姓了,心里一喜,大声喊着说。“苍鹭在什么地方?”
“苍鹭是一家时髦的公寓。上帝啊,这儿可遍地都是公寓呀。”
克莱尔向他们问了怎样寻找那家公寓的路,就急急忙忙地去找那家公寓,他找到那家公寓的时候,送牛奶的也到了那儿。苍鹭虽然是一座普通的别墅,但是它有自己单独的院子,看样子是一处私人住宅,想找公寓的人肯定是没有人找到这儿来的。他心里想,可怜的苔丝恐怕在这儿当女仆,要是那样的话,她就会到后门那儿去接牛奶,因此他也想到那儿去,不过他犹豫了一会儿,还是转身走到前门,按了门铃。
当时时间还早,女房东自己出来把门开了。克莱尔就向她打听苔瑞莎·德贝维尔或者德北菲尔德。
“德贝维尔夫人?”
“是的。”
那么,苔丝还是表明了自己结了婚的身分了,他感到高兴,尽管她没有接受他的姓。
“能不能请你告诉她,就说有一个亲戚想见她?”
“现在还太早。那么我告诉她什么名字呢,先生?”
“安琪尔。”
“安琪尔?”
“不是天使的安琪尔;那是我的名字,她会明白的。”
“我去看看她是不是醒了。”
克莱尔被带进了前厅,也就是餐厅,他从弹簧窗帘的缝中向外看去,只见外面有一个小草坪,上面长着一丛丛杜鹃和别的灌木。显然,她的处境决不是像他担心的那样糟糕了,心里突然想,她一定是想法把那些珠宝取出来卖了过这种日子的。他一时也没有责备她的意思。不久,他敏锐的耳朵听到楼上响起了脚步声,这脚步好像踩在他的心上,使他的心咚咚直跳,难受得都快站不稳了。“天哪!我现在变成了这个样子,她会怎样看我呢!”他对自己说;房门打开了。
苔丝在门口出现了——完全不是他预先想象的样子——的确和他想象的相反,这使他困惑不解了。她本来是一种天然的美丽,穿上那一身服装,如果说不是更美了,那也是更加显眼了。她身上穿一件宽松的浅灰色开司米晨衣,上面绣着颜色素净的花样,脚上穿的拖鞋也是浅灰色的。她的脖子四周是一圈晨衣的细绒褶边,她那一头他现在还记忆犹新的深棕色头发,一半挽在头上,一半披在肩上——那显然是她匆忙下楼的缘故。
他伸出胳膊要去拥抱她,但是他又把胳膊放了下来,因为她还仍然站在门口,没有向他走过来。他现在只剩下了一副枯黄的骨架,因此他觉得他们的差别太大了,认为他的样子让苔丝讨厌了。
“苔丝,”他说话的声音已经沙哑了,“我抛开了你,你能原谅我吗?你能不能——走过来?你是怎样生活的——像这样生活的?”
“太晚了,”她说,她的冷酷的声音在房间里响着,她的眼神也不自然地闪着。
“从前我错怪你了——我不是把你看成本来的你!”他继续恳求说。“我最亲爱的苔丝,我后来知道错了!”
“太晚了,太晚了!”她大声说,摆着手,就像一个忍受痛苦的人再也无法忍受了,觉得一分钟似乎就是一个小时。“不要走到我的跟前来,安琪尔!不——你不能走过来。你走开吧。”
“不过,我亲爱的妻子,是不是因为我病成了这个样子的缘故你才不爱我了?你可不是一个反复无常的人——我是专门来找你的——我的父母现在都欢迎你了!”
“是的——啊,是的,是的!不过我说过,我说的是太晚了。”
苔丝的感觉似乎像是一个在梦中逃难的人,只想逃走,却又无法逃走。“难道你还不知道一切吗?你还不知道吗?如果你不知道,你又是怎样找到这儿来的?”
“我到处打听,才知道你在这儿。”
“我等你等了又等。”她继续说,说话的时候又突然恢复了从前的凄婉音调。“但是你没有回来啊!我给你写信,你还是不回来!他也不断地跟我说,你再也不会回来了,说我是一个傻女人。他对我很好,对我的母亲也好,在我的父亲死后他对我家里所有的人都好。他——”
“我不懂你说的话。”
“他又骗得我跟了他呀。”
克莱尔猛看了她一眼,明白了她话的意思,就像得了瘟疫一样瘫痪下来,目光也低垂下去,落在了她的一双手上,那双手过去是玫瑰色的,现在变白了,更加娇嫩了。
她继续说——
“他在楼上,我现在恨死他了,因为他骗了我——说你不会回来了,可是你却回来了!这身衣服也是他要我穿上的:他要怎么样,我都不在乎了!不过,安琪尔,请你走开吧,再也不要到这儿来了,好不好?”
他们两个人呆呆地站着,张惶失措,两双眼睛含着悲伤,让人看了难过。两个人都似乎在乞求什么,好让自己躲藏起来,逃避开现实。
“啊——都是我的错!”克莱尔说。
但是他说不下去了。那个时候,说与不说,都一样表达不出自己的思想。不过他还是模模糊糊地意识到一件事情,尽管他这种意识当时不太清楚,后来他才想明白。那种意识就是,苔丝在精神上已经不承认站在他面前的肉体是她自己的了——她的肉体像河流里的一具死尸,她让它随波逐流,正在朝脱离了她的生命意志的方向漂去。
过了一会儿,他发现苔丝已经走了。他全神贯注地站了一会儿,他的脸变得越来越冷漠,越来越憔悴;又过了一两分钟,他走到了街上,连自己也不知道在向什么地方走去。
 

At eleven o'clock that night, having secured a bed at one of the hotels and telegraphed his address to his father immediately on his arrival, he walked out into the streets of Sandbourne. It was too late to call on or inquire for any one, and he reluctantly postponed his purpose till the morning. But he could not retire to rest just yet.

This fashionable watering-place, with its eastern and its western stations, its piers, its groves of pines, its promenades, and its covered gardens, was, to Angel Clare, like a fairy place suddenly created by the stroke of a wand, and allowed to get a little dusty. An outlying eastern tract of the enormous Egdon Waste was close at hand, yet on the very verge of that tawny piece of antiquity such a glittering novelty as this pleasure city had chosen to spring up. Within the space of a mile from its outskirts every irregularity of the soil was prehistoric, every channel an undisturbed British trackway; not a sod having been turned there since the days of the Czars. Yet the exotic had grown here, suddenly as the prophet's gourd; and had drawn hither Tess.

By the midnight lamps he went up and down the winding ways of this new world in an old one, and could discern between the trees and against the stars the lofty roofs, chimneys, gazebos, and towers of the numerous fanciful residences of which the place was composed. It was a city of detached mansions; a Mediterranean lounging-place on the English Channel; and as seen now by night it seemed even more imposing than it was.

The sea was near at hand, but not intrusive; it murmured, and he thought it was the pines; the pines murmured in precisely the same tones, and he thought they were the sea.

Where could Tess possibly be, a cottage-girl, his young wife, amidst all this wealth and fashion? The more he pondered the more was he puzzled. Were there any cows to milk here? There certainly were no fields to till. She was most probably engaged to do something in one of these large houses; and he sauntered along, looking at the chamber-windows and their lights going out one by one; and wondered which of them might be hers.

Conjecture was useless, and just after twelve o'clock he entered and went to bed. Before putting out his light he re-read Tess's impassioned letter. Sleep, however, he could not, - so near her, yet so far from her - and he continually lifted the window-blind and regarded the backs of the opposite houses, and wondered behind which of the sashes she reposed at that moment.

He might almost as well have sat up all night. In the morning he arose at seven, and shortly after went out, taking the direction of the chief post-office. At the door he met an intelligent postman coming out with letters for the morning delivery.

`Do you know the address of a Mrs Clare?' asked Angel.

The postman shook his head.

Then, remembering that she would have been likely to continue the use of her maiden name, Clare said--

`Or a Miss Durbeyfield?

`Durbeyfield?'

This also was strange to the postman addressed.

`There's visitors coming and going every day, as you know, sir,' he said; `and without the name of the house 'tis impossible to find 'em.'

One of his comrades hastening out at that moment, the name was repeated to him.

`I know no name of Durbeyfield; but there is the name of d'Urberville at The Herons,' said the second.

`That's it!' cried Clare, pleased to think that she had reverted to the real pronunciation. `What place is The Herons?'

`A stylish lodging-house. 'Tis all lodging-houses here, bless 'ee.'

Clare received directions how to find the house, and hastened thither, arriving with the milkman. The Herons, though an ordinary villa, stood in its own grounds, and was certainly the last place in which one would have expected to find lodgings, so private was its appearance. If poor Tess was a servant here, as he feared, she would go to the back-door to that milkman, and he was inclined to go thither also. However, in his doubts he turned to the front, and rang.

The hour being early the landlady herself opened the door.

Clare inquired for Teresa d'Urberville or Durbeyfield.

`Mrs d'Urberville?'

`Yes.'

Tess, then, passed as a married woman, and he felt glad, even though she had not adopted his name.

`Will you kindly tell her that a relative is anxious to see her?'

`It is rather early. What name shall I give, sir?'

`Angel.'

`Mr Angel?'

`No; Angel. It is my Christian name. She'll understand.'

`I'll see if she is awake.'

He was shown into the front room - the dining-room - and looked out through the spring curtains at the little lawn, and the rhododendrons and other shrubs upon it. Obviously her position was by no means so bad as he had feared, and it crossed his mind that she must somehow have claimed and sold the jewels to attain it. He did not blame her for one moment. Soon his sharpened ear detected footsteps upon the stairs, at which his heart thumped so painfully that he could hardly stand firm. `Dear me! what will she think of me, so altered as I am!' he said to himself; and the door opened.

Tess appeared on the threshold - not at all as he had expected to see her - bewilderingly otherwise, indeed. Her great natural beauty was, if not heightened, rendered more obvious by her attire. She was loosely wrapped in a cashmere dressing-gown of gray-white, embroidered in half-mourning tints, and she wore slippers of the same hue. Her neck rose out of a frill of down, and her well-remembered cable of dark-brown hair was partially coiled up in a mass at the back of her head and partly hanging on her shoulder - the evident result of haste.

He had held out his arms, but they had fallen again to his side; for she had not come forward, remaining still in the opening of the doorway. Mere yellow skeleton that he was now he felt the contrast between them, and thought his appearance distasteful to her.

`Tess!' he said huskily, `can you forgive me for going away? Can't you - come to me? How do you get to be - like this?'

`It is too late,' said she, her voice sounding hard through the room, her eyes shining unnaturally.

`I did not think rightly of you - I did not see you as you were!' he continued to plead. `I have learnt to since, dearest Tessy mine!'

`Too late, too late!' she said, waving her hand in the impatience of a person whose tortures cause every instant to seem an hour. `Don't come close to me, Angel! No - you must not. Keep away.'

`But don't you love me, my dear wife, because I have been so pulled down by illness? You are not so fickle - I am come on purpose for you - my mother and father will welcome you now!'

`Yes - O, yes, yes! But I say, I say it is too late.' She seemed to feel like a fugitive in a dream, who tries to move away, but cannot. `Don't you know all - don't you know it? Yet how do you come here if you do not know?'

`I inquired here and there, and I found the way.'

`I waited and waited for you,' she went on, her tones suddenly resuming their old fluty pathos. `But you did not come! And I wrote to you, and you did not come! He kept on saying you would never come any more, and that I was a foolish woman. He was very kind to me, and to mother, and to all of us after father's death. He--'

`I don't understand.'

`He has won me back to him.'

Clare looked at her keenly, then, gathering her meaning, flagged like one plague-stricken, and his glance sank; it fell on her hands, which, once rosy, were now white and more delicate.

She continued--

`He is upstairs. I hate him now, because he told me a lie - that you would not come again; and you have come! These clothes are what he's put upon me: I didn't care what he did wi' me! But - will you go away, Angel, please, and never come any more?'

They stood fixed, their baffled hearts looking out of their eyes with a joylessness pitiful to see. Both seemed to implore something to shelter them from reality.

`Ah - it is my fault!' said Clare.

But he could not get on. Speech was as inexpressive as silence. But he had a vague consciousness of one thing, though it was not clear to him till later; that his original Tess had spiritually ceased to recognize the body before him as hers - allowing it to drift, like a corpse upon the current, in a direction dissociated from its living will.

A few instants passed, and he found that Tess was gone. His face grew colder and more shrunken as he stood concentrated on the moment, and a minute or two after he found himself in the street, walking along he did not know whither.