《双城记》有声名著第一部第05章(中英对照)

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2013-1-5 16:26

《双城记》有声名著第一部第05章(中英对照)

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双城记(A Tale of Two Cities)是英国作家查尔斯·狄更斯所著的描述法国大革命一部大时代长篇历史小说,“双城“分别指的是巴黎与伦敦。后来被改编拍摄了多个版本的电影,也有音乐专辑以此为名。

BOOK THE FIRST

RECALLED TO LIFE

CHAPTER V The Wine-shop

A LARGE cask of wine had been dropped and broken, street. The accident had happened in getting it out of a cart; the cask had tumbled out with a run, the hoops had burst, and it lay on the stones just outside the door of the wine-shop, shattered like a walnut-shell.

All the people within reach had suspended their business or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine. The rough, irregular stones of the street, pointing every way, and designed, one might have thought, expressly to lame all living creatures that approached them, had dammed it into little pools; these were surrounded, each by its own jostling group or crowd, according to its size. Some men kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, or tried to help women, who bent over their shoulders to sip, before the wine had all run out between their fingers. Others, men and women, dipped in the puddles with little mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs from women's heads, which were squeezed dry into infants mouths; others made small mud embankments, to stem the wine as it ran; others, directed by lookers-on up at high windows, darted here and there, to cut off little streams of wine that started away in new directions; others devoted themselves to the sodden and lee-dyed pieces of the cask licking, and even champing the moister wine-rotted fragments with eager relish. There was no drainage to carry off the wine, and not only did it all get taken up, but so much mud got taken up along with it, that there might have been a scavenger in the street, if anybody acquainted with it could have believed in such a miraculous presence.

A shrill sound of laughter and of amused voices--voices of men, women, and children--resounded in the street while this wine game lasted. There was little roughness in the spot and much playfulness. There was a special companionship in it, an observable inclination on the part of every one to join some other one, which led, especially among the luckier or lighter-hearted, to frolicsome embraces, drinking of healths, shaking of hands, and even joining of hands and dancing, a dozen together. When the wine was gone, and the places where it had been most abundant were raked into a gridiron-pattern by fingers, these demonstrations ceased, as suddenly as they had broken out. The man who had left his saw sticking in the firewood he was cutting, set it in motion again; the woman who had left on a door-step the little pot of hot ashes, at which she had been trying to soften the pain in her own starved fingers and toes, or in those of her child, returned to it; men with bare arms, matted locks, and cadaverous faces, who had emerged into the winter light from cellars, moved away, to descend again; and a gloom gathered on the scene that appeared more natural to it than sunshine.

The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks on the billets; and the forehead of the woman who nursed her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again. Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth; and one tall joker so besmirched, his head more out of a long squalid bag of a night-cap than in it, scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine-lees--BLOOD.

The time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones, and when the stain of it would be red upon many there.

And now that the cloud settled on Saint Antoine, which a momentary gleam had driven from his sacred countenance, the darkness of it was heavy--cold, dirt, sickness, ignorance, and want, were the lords in waiting on the saintly presence--nobles of great power all of them; but, most especially the last. Samples of a people that had undergone a terrible grinding and re-grinding in the mill, and certainly not in the fabulous mill which ground old people young, shivered at every corner, passed in and out at every doorway, looked from every window, fluttered in every vestige of a garment that the wind shock. The mill which had worked them down, was the mill that grinds young people old; the children had ancient faces and grave voices; and upon them, and upon the grown faces, and ploughed into every furrow of age and coming up afresh, was the sign, Hunger. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and started up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on the baker's shelves, written in every small loaf of his Scanty stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder; Hunger was shred into atomies in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil.

Its abiding place was in all things fitted to it. A narrow winding street, full of offence and stench, with other narrow winding streets diverging, all peopled by rags and nightcaps, and all smelling of rags and nightcaps, and all visible things with a brooding look upon them that looked ill. In the hunted air of the people there was yet some wild-beast thought of the possibility of turning at bay. Depressed and slinking though they were, eyes of fire were not wanting among them; nor compressed lips, white with what they suppressed; nor foreheads knitted into the likeness of the gallows-rope they mused about enduring, or inflicting. The trade signs (and they were almost as many as the shops) were, all, grim illustrations of Want. The butcher and the porkman painted up, only the leanest scrags of meat; the baker, the coarsest of meagre loaves. The people rudely pictured as drinking in the wine-shops, croaked over their scanty measures of thin wine and beer, and were gloweringly confidential together. Nothing was represented in a flourishing condition, save tools and weapons; but, the cutler's knives and axes were sharp and bright, the smith's hammers-were heavy, and the gunmaker's stock was murderous. The crippling stones of the pavement, with their many little reservoirs of mud and water, had no footways, but broke off abruptly at the doors. The kennel, to make amends, ran down the middle of the street--when it ran at all: which was only after heavy rains, and then it ran, by many eccentric fits, into the houses. Across the streets, at wide intervals, one clumsy lamp was slung by a rope and pulley; at night, when the lamplighter had let these down, and lighted, and hoisted them again, a feeble grove of dim wicks swung in a sickly manner overhead, as if they were at sea. Indeed they were at sea, and the ship and crew were in peril of tempest.

For, the time was to come, when the gaunt scarecrows of that region should have watched the lamplighter, in their idleness and hunger, so long, as to conceive the idea of improving on his method, and hauling up men by those ropes and pulleys, to flare upon the darkness of their condition. But, the time was not come yet; and every wind that blew over France shook the rags of the scarecrows in vain, for the birds, fine of song and feather, took no warning.

The wine-shop was a comer shop, better than most other' in its appearance and degree, and the master of the wine shop had stood outside it, in a yellow waistcoat and green breeches, looking on at the struggle for the lost wine. `It'' not my affair,' said he, with a final shrug of the shoulders, `The people from the market did it. Let them bring another.

There, his eyes happening to catch the tall joker writing up his joke, he called to him across the way:

`Say, then, my Gaspard, what do you do there?'

The fellow pointed to his joke with immense significance as is often the way with his tribe. It missed its mark, and completely failed, as is often the way with his tribe too.

`What now? Are you a subject for the mad hospital?' said the wine-shop keeper, crossing the road, and obliterating the jest with a handful of mud, picked up for the purpose and smeared over it. `Why do you write in the public streets? Is there--tell me thou--is there no other place to write such words in?'

In his expostulation he dropped his cleaner hand (perhaps accidentally, perhaps not) upon the joker's heart. The joke rapped it with his own, took a nimble spring upward, and came down in a fantastic dancing attitude, with one of his stained shoes jerked off his foot into his hand, and held out A joker of an extremely, not to say wolfishly practical character, he looked, under those circumstances.

`Put it on, put it on,' said the other. `Call wine, wine and finish there.' With that advice, he wiped his soiled hand upon the joker's dress, such as it was--quite deliberately, as having dirtied the hand on his account; and then re-crossed the road and entered the wine-shop.

This wine-shop keeper was a bull-necked', martial-looking man of thirty, and he should have bean of a hot temperament, for, although it was a bitter day, he wore no coat, but carried one slung over his shoulder. His shirt-sleeves were rolled up, too, and his brown arms were bare to the elbows. Neither did he wear anything more on his head than his own crisply-curling short dark hair. He was a dark man altogether, with good eyes and a good bold breadth between them. Good-humoured looking on the whole, but implacable-looking, too; evidently a man of a strong resolution and a set purpose; a man not desirable to be met, rushing down a narrow pass with a gulf on either side, for nothing would turn the man.

Madame Defarge, his wife, sat in the shop behind the counter as he came in. Madame Defarge was a stout woman of about his own age, with a watchful eye that seldom seemed to look at anything, a large hand heavily ringed, a steady face, strong features, and great composure of manner. There was a character about Madame Defarge, from which one might have predicated that she did not often make mistakes against herself in any of the reckonings over which she presided. Madame Defarge being sensitive to cold, was wrapped in fur, and had a quantity of bright shawl twined about her head, though not to the concealment of her large earrings. Her knitting was before her, but she had laid it down to pick her teeth with a toothpick. Thus engaged, with her right elbow supported by her left hand, Madame Defarge said nothing when her lord came in, but coughed Just one grain of cough. This, in combination with the lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her toothpick by the breadth of a line, suggested to her husband that he would do well to look round the shop among the customers, for any new customer who had dropped in while he stepped over the way.

The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled his eyes about, until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and a young lady, who were seated in a corner. Other company were there: two playing cards, two playing dominoes, three standing by the counter lengthening out a short supply of wine. As he passed behind the counter, he took notice that the elderly gentleman said in a look to the young lady `This is our man.

`What the devil do you do in that galley there?' said Monsieur Defarge to himself; `I don't know you.'

But, he feigned not to notice the two strangers, and fell into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who were drinking at the counter.

`How goes it, Jacques?' said one of these three to Monsieur Defarge. `Is all the spilt wine swallowed?'

`Every drop, Jacques,' answered Monsieur Defarge.

When this interchange of christian name was effected. Madame Defarge, picking her teeth with her toothpick coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line.

`It is not often,' said the second of the three, addressing Monsieur Defarge, `that many of these miserable beasts know the taste of wine, or of anything but black bread and death. Is it not so, Jacques?'

`It is so, Jacques,' Monsieur Defarge returned.

At this second interchange of the christian name, Madame Defarge, still using her toothpick with profound composure, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line.

The last of the three now said his say, as he put down his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips.

`Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard lives they live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques?'

`You are right, Jacques,' was the response of Monsieur Defarge.

This third interchange of the christian name was completed at the moment when Madame Defarge put her toothpick by, kept her eyebrows up, and slightly rustled in her seat.

`Hold then! True!' muttered her husband. `Gentlemen--my wife!'

The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame Defarge, with three flourishes. She acknowledged their homage by bending her head, and giving them a quick look. Then she glanced in a casual manner round the wine-shop, took up her knitting with great apparent calmness and repose of spirit, and became absorbed in it.

`Gentlemen,' said her husband, who had kept his bright eye observantly upon her, `good day. The chamber, furnished bachelor-fashion, that you wished to see, and `were inquiring for when I stepped out, is on the fifth floor. The doorway of the staircase gives on the little court-yard close to the left here,' pointing with his hand, `near to the window of my establishment. But, now that I remember, one of you has already been there, and can show the way. Gentlemen, adieu!

They paid for their wine, and left the place. The eyes of Monsieur Defarge were studying his wife at her knitting when the elderly gentleman advanced from his corner, and begged the favour of a word.

`Willingly, sir,' said Monsieur Defarge, and quietly stepped with him to the door.

Their conference was very short, but very decided. Almost at the first word, Monsieur Defarge started and became deeply attentive. It had not lasted a minute, when he nodded and went out. The gentleman then beckoned to the young lady, and they, too, went out. Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows, and saw nothing.

Mr. Jarvis Lorry and Miss Manette, emerging from the wine-shop thus, joined Monsieur Defarge in the doorway to which he had directed his other company just before. It opened from a stinking little black court-yard, and was the general public entrance to a great pile of houses, inhabited by a great number of people. In the gloomy tile-paved entry to the gloomy tile-paved staircase, Monsieur Defarge bent down on one knee to the child of his old master, and put her hand to his lips. It was a gentle action, but not at all gently done; a very remarkable transformation had come over him in a few seconds. He had no good-humour in his face, nor any openness of aspect left, but had become a secret, angry, dangerous man.

`It is very high; it is a little difficult. Better to begin slowly.' Thus, Monsieur Defarge, in a stern voice, to Mr. Lorry, as they began ascending the stairs.

`Is he alone?' the latter whispered.

`Alone! God help him, who should be with him?' said the other, in the same low voice.

`Is he, always alone, then?'

`Yes.

`Of his own desire?'

`Of his own necessity. As he was, when I first saw him after they found me and demanded to know if I would take him, and, at my peril be discreet--has he was then, so he is now.

`He is greatly changed?'

`Changed!'

The keeper of the wine-shop stopped to strike the wall with his hand, and mutter a tremendous curse. No direct answer could have been half so forcible. Mr. Lorry's spirits grew heavier and heavier, as he and his two companions ascended higher and higher.

Such a staircase, with its accessories, in the older and more crowded parts of Paris, would be bad enough now; but, at that time, it was vile indeed to unaccustomed and unhardened senses. Every little habitation within the great foul nest of one high building--that is to say, the room or rooms within every door that opened on the general staircase--left its own heap of refuse on its own landing, besides Ringing other refuse from its own windows. The uncontrollable and hopeless mass of decomposition so engendered, would have polluted the air, even if poverty and deprivation had not loaded it wit!' their intangible impurities; the Mo bad sources combined made it almost insupportable. Through such an atmosphere, by a steep dark shaft of dirt and poison, the way lay. Yielding to his own disturbance of mind, and to his young companion's agitation, which became greater every instant, Mr. Jarvis Lorry twice stopped to rest. Each of these stoppages was made at a doleful grating, by which any languishing good airs that were left uncorrupted seemed to escape, and all spoilt and sickly vapours seemed to crawl in. Through the rusted bars, tastes, rather than glimpses, were caught of the jumbled neighbourhood; and nothing within range, nearer or lower than the summits of the two-great towers of Notre-Dame, had any promise on it of healthy life or wholesome aspirations.

At last, the top of the staircase was gained, and they stopped for the third time. There was yet an upper staircase, of a steeper inclination and of contracted dimensions, to be ascended, before the garret story was reached. The keeper of the wine-shop, always going a little in advance, and always going on the side which Mr. Lorry took, as though he dreaded to be asked any question by the young lady, turned himself about here, and, carefully feeling in the pockets of the coat he carried over his shoulder, took out a key.

`The door is locked then, my friend?' said Mr. Lorry', surprised.

`Ay. Yes,' was the grim reply of Monsieur Defarge.

`You think it necessary to keep the unfortunate gentleman so retired?'

`I think it necessary to turn the key.' Monsieur Defarge whispered it closer in his ear, and frowned heavily.

`Why?'

`Why! Because he has lived so long, locked up, that he would be frightened--rave--tear himself to pieces--die--come to I know not what harm-if his door was left open.'

`Is it possible?' exclaimed Mr. Lorry.

`Is it possible?' repeated Defarge, bitterly. `Yes. And a beautiful world we live in, when it is possible, and when many other such things are possible, and not only possible, but done--done, see you!--under that sky there, every day. Long live the Devil. Let us go on.'

This dialogue had been held in so very low a whisper, that not a word of it had reached the young lady's ears. But, by this time she trembled under such strong emotion, and her face expressed such deep anxiety, and, above all, such dread and terror, that Mr. Lorry felt it incumbent on him to speak a word or two of reassurance.

`Courage, dear miss! Courage! Business! The worst will be over in a moment; it is but passing the room-door, and the worst is over. Then, all the good you bring to him, all the relief, all the happiness you bring to him, begin. Let our good friend here, assist you on that side. That's well, friend Defarge. Come, now. Business, business!'

They went up slowly and softly. The staircase was short, and they were soon at the top. There, as it had an abrupt turn in it, they came all at once in sight of three men, whose heads were bent down close together at the side of a door, and who were intently looking into the room to which the door belonged, through some chinks or holes in the wall. On hearing footsteps close at hand, these three turned, and rose, and showed themselves to be the three of one name who had been drinking in the wine-shop.

`I forgot them in the surprise of your visit,' explained Monsieur Defarge. `Leave us, good boys; we have business' here.'

The three glided by, and went silently down.

There appearing to be no other door on that floor, and the keeper of the wine-shop going straight to this one when they were left alone, Mr. Lorry asked him in a whisper, with little anger:

`Do you make a show of Monsieur Manette?'

`I show him, in the way you have seen, to a chosen few.'

`Is that well?'

`I think it is well.'

`Who are the few? How do you choose them?'

`I choose them as real men, of my name--Jacques is my name--to whom the sight is likely to do good. Enough you are English; that is another thing. Stay there, if you please, a little moment.'

With an admonitory gesture to keep them back, he stooped, and looked in through the crevice in the wall. Soon raising his head again, he struck twice or thrice upon the door--evidently with no other object than to make a noise there With the same intention, he drew the key across it, three or four times, before he put it clumsily into the lock, and turned it as heavily as he could.

The door slowly opened inward under his hand, and he looked into the room and said something. A faint voice answered something. Little more than a single syllable could have been spoken on either side.

He looked back over his shoulder, and beckoned them cc enter. Mr. Lorry got his arm securely round the daughter waist, and held her; for he felt that she was sinking.

`A--a--a--business, business!' he urged, with a moisture that was not of business shining on his cheek. `Come in come in!'

`I am afraid of it,' she answered, shuddering.

`Of it? What?'

`I mean of him. Of my father.'

Rendered in a manner desperate, by her state and by the beckoning of their conductor, he drew over his neck the arm that shook upon his shoulder, lifted her a little, and hurried her into the room. He set her down just within the door and held her, clinging to him.

Defarge drew out the key, closed the door, locked it on the inside, took out the key again, and held it in his hand. All this he did, methodically, and with as loud and harsh an accompaniment of noise as he could make. Finally, he walked across the room with a measured tread to where the window was. He stopped there, and faced round.

The garret, built to be a depository for firewood and the like, was dim and dark: for the window of dormer shape, was in truth a door in the roof, with a little crane over it for the hoisting up of stores from the street: unglazed, anal closing up the middle in two pieces, like any other door of French construction. To exclude the cold, one half of thin door was fast closed, and the other was opened but a very little way. Such a scanty portion of light was admitted through these means, that it was difficult, on first coming in, to see anything; and long habit alone could have slowly formed in any one, the ability to do any work requiring nicety in such obscurity. Yet, work of that kind was being done in the garret; for, with his back towards the door, and his face towards the window where the keeper of the wine-shop stood looking at him, a white-haired man sat on a low bench, stooping forward and very busy, making shoes.

第五章 酒店

街上落下一个大酒桶,磕散了,这次意外事件是在酒桶从车上搬下来时出现的。那桶一骨碌滚了下来,桶箍散开,酒桶躺在酒馆门外的石头上,像核桃壳一样碎开了。

附近的人都停止了工作和游荡,来抢酒喝。路上的石头原很粗糙,锋芒毕露,叫人以为是有意设计来弄瘸靠近它的生物的,此时却变成了一个个小酒洼;周围站满了挤来挤去的人群,人数多少随酒洼的大小而定。有人跪下身子,合拢双手捧起酒来便喝,或是趁那酒还没有从指缝里流走时捧给从他肩上弯下身子的女人喝。还有的人,有男有女,用残缺不全的陶瓷杯子到水洼里去舀;有的甚至取下女人头上的头巾去蘸满了酒再挤到婴儿嘴里;有的用泥砌起了堤防,挡住了酒;有的则按照高处窗口的人的指示跑来跑去,堵截正要往别的方向流走的酒,有的人却在被酒泡涨、被酒渣染红的酒桶木片上下功夫,津津有味地咂着湿漉漉的被酒浸朽的木块,甚至嚼了起来。那儿完全没有回收酒的设备,可是,不但一滴酒也没有流走,而且连泥土也被刮起了一层。如果有熟悉这条街的人相信这儿也会有清道夫的话,倒是会认为此时已出现了这种奇迹。

抢酒的游戏正在进行。街上响起了尖声的欢笑和兴高采烈的喧哗--男人、女人和孩子的喧哗。这场游戏中粗鲁的成份少,快活的成份多。其中倒有一种独特的伙伴感情,一种明显的逗笑取乐的成份。这种倾向使较为幸运和快活的人彼此欢乐地拥抱、祝酒、握手,甚至使十多个人手牵着手跳起舞来。酒吸完了,酒最多的地方划出了许多像炉桥似的指爪印。这一场表演也跟它爆发时一样突然结束了。刚才把锯子留在木柴里的人又推起锯子来。刚才把盛满热灰的小罐放在门口的妇女又回到小罐那里去了-一那是用来缓和她自己或孩子饥饿的手指或脚趾的疼痛的。光着膀子、蓬松着乱发、形容枯槁的男人刚才从地窖里出来,进入冬天的阳光里,现在又回到地窖里去了;这儿又聚起一片在这一带似乎比阳光更为自然的阴云。

酒是红酒;它染红了的是巴黎近郊圣安托万的一条窄街,也染红了很多双手,很多张脸,很多双赤足,很多双木屐。锯木柴的手在柴块上留下了红印;用酒喂过婴儿的妇女的额头也染上了她重新裹上的头巾的红印。贪婪的吮吸过酒桶板的人嘴角画上了道道,把他画成了老虎。有一个调皮的高个儿也变成了老虎。他那顶像个长口袋的脏睡帽只有小部分戴在头上,此时竟用手指蘸着和了泥的酒渣在墙上写了一个字:血。

他写的那东西在街面的石板上流淌并溅满居民身上的日子马上就要来了。

此时乌云又笼罩在圣安托万的头上,适才短暂的阳光曾从他神圣的脸上驱走乌云。现在这儿又笼罩着沉沉的阴霾--寒冷、肮脏、疾病、愚昧和贫困是服侍这位圣徒的几位大老爷--他们一个个大权在握,尤其是最后一位:贫穷。这儿的人是在磨坊里饱经苦难,受过反复碾磨的人的标本--但磨他们的肯定不是那能把老头儿磨成小伙子的神磨。他们在每一个角落里发抖,在每一道门里进进出出,在一家窗户前张望。他们穿着难以蔽体的衣服在寒风中瑟缩。那碾磨着他们的是能把小伙子磨成老头儿的磨;儿童被它磨出了衰老的面容,发出了沉重的声音;它在他们的脸上,也在成年人的脸上,磨出了一道道岁月的沟畦,又钻出来四处活跃。饥饿无所不在,它专横霸道。饥饿是破烂不堪的衣服,在竹竿上,绳子上,从高高的楼房里挂了出来;饥饿用稻草、破布、木片和纸补缀在衣物上;饥饿在那人锯开的少量木柴的每一片上反复出现;饥饿瞪着大眼从不冒烟的烟囱往下看;饥饿也从肮脏的街道上飘起,那儿的垃圾堆里没有一丁点可以吃的东西。饥饿写在面包师傅的货架上,写在每一片存货无多的劣质面包上,写在腊肠店里用死狗肉做成出售的每一根腊肠上。饥饿在旋转的铁筒里的烤板栗中摇着它焦干的骨头嗒嗒作响。饥饿被切成了一个铜板一小碗的极薄的干洋芋片,用极不情愿花掉的几滴油炒着。

饥饿居住在一切适合于它居住的东西上。从一条弯曲狭窄的街道分出了许多别的弯曲狭窄的街道,街上满是犯罪和臭气,住满了衣衫褴褛、戴着睡帽的人,人人散发出褴褛的衣衫和睡帽的气味。一切可以看到的东西都阴沉着脸,望着病恹恹的一切。在人们走投无路的神色里,还带着困兽犹斗的意思。虽然大家精神萎靡,可抿紧了嘴唇、眼里冒火者也大有人在-一那嘴唇因咽下的怒气而抿得发白。也有的人眉头绞成一团,就像他们打算自己接受或让别人接受的绞索。店铺的广告(几乎每家店铺都挂着广告)也全是匮乏的象征。屠户和肉铺的广告上全是皮包骨头的碎块;面包师傅陈列的广告是最粗劣的面包片。酒店广告上拙劣地画着喝酒的客人捧着少量的淡酒和啤酒在发牢骚,满脸是愤怒和机密。没有一样东西兴旺繁荣,只有工具和武器除外。磨刀匠的刀子和斧头锋利锃亮,铁匠的锤子结实沉重,枪匠造的枪托杀气腾腾,能叫人残废的石头路面有许多水洼,盛满了泥和水。路面直通到住户门口,没有人行道,作为补偿,阳沟一直通到街道正中--若是没受到阻塞的话。可要不阻塞须得下大雨,但真下了大雨,它又会在胡乱流转之.后灌进住户屋里。每隔一段较大的距离便有一盏粗笨的路灯,用绳和滑车吊在街心。晚上,灯夫放下一盏盏的灯,点亮了,再升到空中,便成了一片暗淡微弱的灯光之林,病恹恹地挂在头上,仿佛是海上的爝火。实际上它们也确是在海上,这只小船和它的船员确已面临风暴袭来的危险。

因为,不久之后那地区闲得无聊、肚子不饱的瘦削的穷苦人在长期观察灯夫工作之后就想出了一个改进工作方法的主意:用绳和滑车把人也吊起来,用以照亮他们周围的黑暗。不过,那个时期此刻尚未到来。刮过法兰西的每一阵风都吹得穷苦人破烂的衣襟乱飘,却都不起作用,因为羽毛美丽歌声嘹亮的鸟儿们并不理会什么警告。

酒店在街角上,外形和级别都超出大多数的同行。刚才它的老板就穿着黄色的背心和绿色的裤子,站在门外看着人们争夺泼洒在地上的酒。“那不关我的事,“他最后耸了耸肩说。“是市场的人弄翻的。叫他们补送一桶来好了。“

这时他偶然见到了那高个儿在墙上写的那玩笑话,便隔着街对他叫道:

“喂,加斯帕德,你在墙上写些什么?“

那人意味深长地指了指他写的字。他们这帮人常常彼此这么做。可他这一招并不灵,对方完全不理会一-.这样的现象在这帮人之间也是常有的。

“你怎么啦?你要进疯人院么?“酒店老板走过街去,从地上抓一把烂泥涂在他的字上,把它抹掉了,说,“你干吗在大街上乱画?这种字体就没有别的地方写么,告诉我?“

说话时他那只干净手有意无意地落到了那开玩笑的人心口。那人一巴掌打开他的手,敏捷地往上一蹦,便用一种奇怪的姿势跳起舞来。一只脏鞋从脚上飞起,他又一把接住举了起来。在当时情况下,他刚才那恶作剧即使不致弄得家破入亡,也是很危险的。

“把鞋穿上,穿上,“店老板说。“来杯酒,来杯酒,就在那儿喝!“老板提出劝告之后就在那人衣服上擦了擦脏手--他是故意的,因为他那手是为他弄脏的。然后他又横过街回到了酒店。

这位酒店老板三十左右年纪,脖子粗得像公牛,一副好斗的形象。他准是燥热体质,因为虽是严寒天气,他还把外衣搭在肩头,并不穿上,而且卷起了衬衫袖子,让棕黄的胳膊直露到手肘。他有一头蓬松鬈曲的黑色短发,没戴帽子。这人肤色黝黑,目光炯炯,双眼之间分得很开,惹人注目。大体看来他脾气不坏,却透着股倔强劲,显然是个有魄力有决断想干什么就得干成的人。你可别跟他在两面是水之处狭路相逢,这人是无论用什么东西也拽不回头的。

他进屋时,他的妻子德伐日太太坐在店里柜台后面。德伐日太太跟他年龄相近,是个壮实的女人,一双机警的眼睛似乎很少望着什么东西。她的大手上戴满了戒指,五官粗大,却安详沉静。她那神态叫人相信她所经管的帐目决不会有任何差错。她对寒冷很敏感,所以用裘皮裹得严严实实,还用一条色彩鲜亮的大围巾缠在头上,只露出了两个大耳环。毛线就在她面前,她却放着没织,只是一手托着胳膊,一手拿着根牙签剔牙。她的丈夫走进酒店时她一声没吭,只轻轻咳了一下。这声咳嗽再配上她那浓眉在牙签之上微微的一抬,便是向她丈夫建议,最好在店里转一圈,看看在他过街去之后有没有新的顾客进来。

酒店老板眼珠一转,看到了一位老先生和一个年轻姑娘坐在屋角。其他的顾客没有变化:两个在玩纸牌,两个在玩骨牌,三个站在柜台前悠悠地品味着所余不多的酒。他从柜台经过时注意到那位老先生向年轻姑娘递了个眼色,“就是他。“

“你钻到那旮旯里搞什么鬼呀?“德伐日先生心想,“我又不认识你。“

可是他却装出没有注意到这两位生客的样子,只跟在柜台边喝酒的三个客人搭讪。

“怎么祥,雅克?“三人中有一个对德伐日先生说。“泼翻的酒喝,喝光了没有?“

“每一滴都喝光了,雅克,“德伐日先生回答。

就在双方互称雅克时,剔着牙的德伐日太太又轻轻地咳了一声,眉头更抬高了一些。

“这些可怜虫里有好些人,“三人中第二个对德伐日先生说,“是难得有酒喝的。他们除了黑面包和死亡的滋味之外很难尝到别的东西。是吧,雅克?“

“是这样的,雅克,“德伐日先生回答。

第二次交换着叫雅克时,德伐日太太又轻轻地咳嗽了一声,仍然十分平静地剔着牙,眉头更抬高了一些,轻轻地挪了挪身子。

现在是第三个人在说话,同时放下空酒杯咂了咂嘴唇。

“啊!那就更可怜了!这些畜生嘴里永远是苦味,日子也过得艰难。我说得对不,雅克?“

“说得对,雅克,“德伐日先生回答。

这第三次雅克叫完,德伐日太太已把牙签放到了一边,眉毛仍然高抬着,同时在座位上略微挪了挪身子。

“别说了!真的!“她的丈夫叽咕道。“先生们--这是内人!“

三个客人对德伐日太太脱下帽子,做了三个花哨的致敬动作。她点了点头,瞥了他们一眼,表示领受。然后她便漫不经心地打量了一下酒店,以一派心平气和胸怀坦荡的神气拿起毛线专心织了起来。

“先生们,“她的丈夫那双明亮的眼睛一直仔细盯着她,现在说道,“日安。你们想要看的房间--我刚才出去时你们还问起的一-就在五楼,是按单身住房配备好了家具的。楼梯连着紧靠左边的小天井,“他用手指着,“我家窗户边的小天井。不过,我想起来了,你们有个人去过,他可以带路。再见吧,先生们!“

三人付了酒钱走掉了。德伐日先生的眼睛望着他老婆织着毛线,这时那老先生从屋角走了出来,客气地要求说一句话。

“说吧,先生,“德伐日先生说,平静地跟他走到门边。

两人交换的话不多,却很干脆。德伐日先生几乎在听见第一个字时就吃了一惊,然后便很专注地听着。话没有谈到一分钟,他便点了点头走了出去。老先生向年轻姑娘做了个手势,也跟了出去。德伐日太太用灵巧的手织着毛线,眉头纹丝不动,什么也没看见。

贾维斯.罗瑞先生和曼内特小姐就这样从酒店走了出来,在德伐日先生刚才对那几个人指出的门口跟他会合了。这门里面是一个又黑又臭的小天井,外面是一个公共入口,通向一大片人口众多的住房。德伐日先生经过青砖铺地的人口走进青砖铺地的楼梯口时,对他往日的主人跪下了一只脚,把她的手放到了唇边。这原是一个温和的动作,可在他做来却并不温和。几秒钟之内他便起了惊人的变化,脸上那温和、开朗的表情完全消失了,变成了一个神秘的、怒气冲冲的危险人物。

“楼很高,有点不好走。开始时不妨慢一点。“三人开始上楼,德伐日先生用粗重的声音对罗瑞先生说。

“他是一个人么?“罗瑞先生问。

“一个人?上帝保佑他,还有谁能跟他在一起?“另一个人同样低声说。

“那么,他总是一个人?“

“是的。“

“是他自己的意思么?“

“他非如此不可。他们找到我,问我愿不愿意接手时--那对我有危险,我必须小心--他就是那样,现在还是那样。“

“他的变化很大么?“

“变化!“

酒店老板停下脚步,一拳揍在墙上,发出一声凶狠的诅咒,这个动作比什么直接的回答都更有力。罗瑞先生和两个伙伴越爬越高,心情也越来越沉重。

这样的楼梯和附属设施现在在巴黎较为拥挤的老市区就已经是够糟的了,在那时对于还不习惯的、没受过锻炼的人来说更是十分难堪。一幢大楼便是一个肮脏的窠。大楼的每一个居室-一就是说通向这道公用楼梯的每一道门里的一间或几间住房--不是把垃圾从窗口倒出去,就是把它堆在门前的楼梯口上。这样,即使贫穷困乏不曾把它看不见摸不到的肮脏笼罩住户大楼,垃圾分解所产生的无法控制、也无可救药的肮脏也能叫空气污染。而这两种污染源合在一起更叫人无法忍受。楼梯所经过的就是这样一个黑暗陡峭、带着脏污与毒素的通道。贾维斯.罗瑞因为心绪不宁,也因为他年轻的同伴越来越激动,曾两次停下脚步来休息,每次都在一道凄凉的栅栏旁边。还没有完全败坏,却已失去动力的新鲜空气似乎在从那栅栏逃逸,而一切败坏了的带病的潮气则似乎从那里扑了进来。通过生锈的栅栏可以看到乱七八糟的邻近地区,但更多的是闻到它的味道。视野之内低于圣母院两座高塔塔尖和它附近的建筑的一切没有一件具有健康的生命和远大的希望。

他们终于爬到了楼梯顶上,第三次停下了脚步。还要爬一道更陡更窄的楼梯才能到达阁楼。酒店老板一直走在前面几步,就在罗瑞先生身边,仿佛害怕那小姐会提出问题。他在这里转过身子,在搭在肩上的外衣口袋里仔细摸索了一会儿,掏出一把钥匙来。

“那么,门是锁上的么,朋友?“罗瑞先生吃了一惊,说。

“是的,不错,“德伐日的回答颇为冷峻。

“你认为有必要让那不幸的人这样隔绝人世么?“

“我认为必须把他锁起来,“德伐日先生皱紧了眉头,靠近他的耳朵低声说。,

“为什么?“

“为什么!因为他锁起来过的日子太长,若是敞开门他会害怕的,会说胡话,会把自己撕成碎片,会死,还不知道会遭到什么伤害。“

“竟然可能这样么?“罗瑞先生惊叫道。

“竟然可能么!“德伐日尖刻地重复道。“可能。我们这个世界很美好,这样的事是可能的,很多类似的事也是可能的,不但可能,而且干了出来一-干了出来,你明白不!--就在那边的天底下,每天都有人干。魔鬼万岁!咱们往前走。“

这番对话声音极低,那位小姐一个字也没有听见。可这时强烈的激动已使她浑身发抖脸上露出严重的焦虑,特别是露出害怕和恐惧。罗瑞先生感到非得说几句话安慰她一下不可了。

“勇气,亲爱的小姐!勇气!业务!最严重的困难很快就会过去。一走进门困难就过去了,然后你就可以把一切美好的东西带给他,给他安慰和快乐了。请让我们这位朋友在那边搀扶着你。好了,德伐日朋友,现在走吧。业务,业务!“

他们放轻脚步缓慢地往上爬。楼梯很短,他们很快便来到了顶上。转过一道急弯,他们突然看到有三个人弯着身子,脑袋挤在一道门边,正通过门缝或是墙洞专心地往屋里瞧着。那三人听见身后的脚步声,急忙回过头来,站直了身子。原来是在酒店喝酒的那三个同名的人。

“你们一来,我吃了一惊,竟把这三位朋友给忘了,“德伐日先生解释说,“你们都走吧,几位好伙计,我们要在这儿办点事。

那三人从他们身边侧身走过,一声不响地下了楼。

这层楼似乎再也没有别的门。酒店老板目送三人走开,才直接来到门边。罗瑞先生略有些生气地小声问道:

“你拿曼内特先生作展览么?“

“我只让经过选择的少数人看。这你已经看到了。“

“这样做好么?“

“我认为很好。“

“这少数人都是些什么人?你凭什么作选择?“

“我选中他们,因为他们是真正的男子汉,他们都使用我的名字--雅克是我的名字--让他们看看会有好处的。够了,你是英国人,是另外一回事。请你们站在这儿等一等。“

他做了一个警告的手势,让他们别再往前走,然后弯下腰,从墙上的缝隙里望了进去,随即抬起头,在门上敲了两三下--显然只是想发出声音,再没有其它的目的。怀着同样的目的他把钥匙在门上敲了三四下,才笨手笨脚地插进锁孔,大声地转动起来。

那门在他手下向里面慢慢打开。他往屋里望了望,没有出声。一点轻微的声音作了某种回答,双方都只说了一两个音节。

他回过头招呼他俩进去。罗瑞先生用手小心地搂住姑娘的腰,扶住她,因为他觉得她有些站立不稳了。

“啊一-啊--啊,业务,业务!“他给她鼓劲,但面颊上却闪动着并非业务的泪光。“进来吧,进来吧!“

“我害怕,“她发着抖,说。

“害怕什么?“

“害怕他,害怕我的父亲。“

她的情况和向导的招手使罗瑞先生无可奈何,只好把那只放在他肩上的发着抖的手臂拉到自己脖子上,扶她站直了身子,匆匆进了屋,然后放下她,扶她靠紧自己站住。

德伐日掏出钥匙,反锁上门,拔出钥匙拿在手里。这些事他做得缓慢吃力,而且故意弄出些刺耳的声音。最后,他才小心翼翼地走到窗边站住,转过头来。

阁楼原是做储藏室堆放柴禾之类的东西用的,十分阴暗;那老虎窗样的窗户其实是房顶的一道门,门上还有一个活动吊钩,是用来从街而起吊储藏品的。那门没有油漆过,是一道双扇门,跟一般法国式建筑一样,从当中关闭。为了御寒,有一扇门紧紧关闭,岳扇也只开了一条缝,诱进极少的光线。这样,乍一进门便很难看见东西。在这种幽暗的环境里,没有经过长期的适应和磨练是无法进行细致的工作的。可是现在这种工作却在这里进行着。因为一个白发老人正坐在一张矮凳上,背向着门,面向着窗户,佝偻着身子忙着做鞋。酒店老板站在窗前望着他。