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> 在线听力 > 有声读物 > 世界名著 > 译林版·马丁·伊登 >  第11课

双语《马丁·伊登》 第十一章

所属教程:译林版·马丁·伊登

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2022年06月23日

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CHAPTER XI

Martin went back to his pearl-diving article, which would have been finished sooner if it had not been broken in upon so frequently by his attempts to write poetry. His poems were love poems, inspired by Ruth, but they were never completed. Not in a day could he learn to chant in noble verse. Rhyme and meter and structure were serious enough in themselves, but there was, over and beyond them, an intangible and evasive something that he caught in all great poetry, but which he could not catch and imprison in his own. It was the elusive spirit of poetry itself that he sensed and sought after but could not capture. It seemed a glow to him, a warm and trailing vapor, ever beyond his reaching, though sometimes he was rewarded by catching at shreds of it and weaving them into phrases that echoed in his brain with haunting notes or drifted across his vision in misty wafting of unseen beauty. It was baffling. He ached with desire to express and could but gibber prosaically as everybody gibbered. He read his fragments aloud. The meter marched along on perfect feet, and the rhyme pounded a longer and equally faultless rhythm, but the glow and high exaltation that he felt within were lacking. He could not understand, and time and again, in despair, defeated and depressed, he returned to his article. Prose was certainly an easier medium.

Following the “Pearl-diving,” he wrote an article on the sea as a career, another on turtle-catching, and a third on the northeast trades. Then he tried, as an experiment, a short story, and before he broke his stride he had finished six short stories and despatched them to various magazines. He wrote prolifically, intensely, from morning till night, and late at night, except when he broke off to go to the reading-room, draw books from the library, or to call on Ruth. He was profoundly happy. Life was pitched high. He was in a fever that never broke. The joy of creation that is supposed to belong to the gods was his. All the life about him—the odors of stale vegetables and soapsuds,the slatternly form of his sister, and the jeering face of Mr. Higginbotham—was a dream. The real world was in his mind, and the stories he wrote were so many pieces of reality out of his mind.

The days were too short. There was so much he wanted to study. He cut his sleep down to five hours and found that he could get along upon it. He tried four hours and a half, and regretfully came back to five. He could joyfully have spent all his waking hours upon any one of his pursuits. It was with regret that he ceased from writing to study, that he ceased from study to go to the library, that he tore himself away from that chart-room of knowledge or from the magazines in the reading-room that were filled with the secrets of writers who succeeded in selling their wares. It was like severing heartstrings, when he was with Ruth, to stand up and go; and he scorched through the dark streets so as to get home to his books at the least possible expense of time. And hardest of all was it to shut up the algebra or physics, put notebook and pencil aside, and close his tired eyes in sleep. He hated the thought of ceasing to live, even for so short a time, and his sole consolation was that the alarm clock was set five hours ahead. He would lose only five hours anyway, and then the jangling bell would jerk him out of unconsciousness and he would have before him another glorious day of nineteen hours.

In the meantime the weeks were passing, his money was ebbing low, and there was no money coming in. A month after he had mailed it, the adventure serial for boys was returned to him by The Youth’s Companion.The rejection slip was so tactfully worded that he felt kindly toward the editor. But he did not feel so kindly toward the editor of the San Francisco Examiner.After waiting two whole weeks, Martin had written to him. A week later he wrote again. At the end of the month, he went over to San Francisco and personally called upon the editor. But he did not meet that exalted personage, thanks to a Cerberus of an office boy, of tender years and red hair, who guarded the portals. At the end of the fifth week the manuscript came back to him, by mail, without comment. There was no rejection slip, no explanation, nothing. In the same way his other articles were tied up with the other leading San Francisco papers. When he recovered them, he sent them to the magazines in the East, from which they were returned more promptly, accompanied always by the printed rejection slips.

The short stories were returned in similar fashion. He read them over and over, and liked them so much that he could not puzzle out the cause of their rejection, until, one day, he read in a newspaper that manuscripts should always be typewritten. That explained it. Of course editors were so busy that they could not afford the time and strain of reading handwriting. Martin rented a typewriter and spent a day mastering the machine. Each day he typed what he composed, and he typed his earlier manuscripts as fast as they were returned him. He was surprised when the typed ones began to come back. His jaw seemed to become squarer, his chin more aggressive, and he bundled the manuscripts off to new editors.

The thought came to him that he was not a good judge of his own work. He tried it out on Gertrude. He read his stories aloud to her. Her eyes glistened, and she looked at him proudly as she said:—

“Ain’t it grand, you writin’ those sort of things.”

“Yes, yes,” he demanded impatiently. “But the story—how did you like it?”

“Just grand,” was the reply. “Just grand, an’ thrilling, too. I was all worked up.”

He could see that her mind was not clear. The perplexity was strong in her good-natured face. So he waited.

“But, say, Mart,” after a long pause, “how did it end? Did that young man who spoke so highfalutin’ get her?”

And, after he had explained the end, which he thought he had made artistically obvious, she would say:—

“That’s what I wanted to know. Why didn’t you write that way in the story?”

One thing he learned, after he had read her a number of stories, namely, that she liked happy endings.

“That story was perfectly grand,” she announced, straightening up from the wash-tub with a tired sigh and wiping the sweat from her forehead with a red, steamy hand; “but it makes me sad. I want to cry. There is too many sad things in the world anyway. It makes me happy to think about happy things. Now if he’d married her, and—You don’t mind, Mart?” she queried apprehensively. “I just happen to feel that way, because I’m tired, I guess. But the story was grand just the same, perfectly grand. Where are you goin’ to sell it?”

“That’s a horse of another color,” he laughed.

“But if you did sell it,what do you think you’d get for it?”

“Oh, a hundred dollars. That would be the least, the way prices go.”

“My! I do hope you’ll sell it!”

“Easy money, eh?” Then he added proudly: “I wrote it in two days. That’s fifty dollars a day.”

He longed to read his stories to Ruth, but did not dare. He would wait till some were published, he decided, then she would understand what he had been working for. In the meantime he toiled on. Never had the spirit of adventure lured him more strongly than on this amazing exploration of the realm of mind. He bought the text-books on physics and chemistry, and, along with his algebra, worked out problems and demonstrations. He took the laboratory proofs on faith, and his intense power of vision enabled him to see the reactions of chemicals more understandingly than the average student saw them in the laboratory. Martin wandered on through the heavy pages, overwhelmed by the clues he was getting to the nature of things. He had accepted the world as the world, but now he was comprehending the organization of it, the play and interplay of force and matter. Spontaneous explanations of old matters were continually arising in his mind. Levers and purchases fascinated him, and his mind roved backward to hand-spikes and blocks and tackles at sea. The theory of navigation, which enabled the ships to travel unerringly their courses over the pathless ocean, was made clear to him. The mysteries of storm, and rain, and tide were revealed, and the reason for the existence of trade-winds made him wonder whether he had written his article on the northeast trade too soon. At any rate he knew he could write it better now. One afternoon he went out with Arthur to the University of California, and, with bated breath and a feeling of religious awe, went through the laboratories, saw demonstrations, and listened to a physics professor lecturing to his classes.

But he did not neglect his writing. A stream of short stories flowed from his pen, and he branched out into the easier forms of verse—the kind he saw printed in the magazines—though he lost his head and wasted two weeks on a tragedy in blank verse, the swift rejection of which, by half a dozen magazines, dumfounded him. Then he discovered Henley and wrote a series of sea-poems on the model of “Hospital Sketches.” They were simple poems, of light and color, and romance and adventure. “Sea Lyrics,” he called them, and he judged them to be the best work he had yet done. There were thirty, and he completed them in a month, doing one a day after having done his regular day’s work on fiction, which day’s work was the equivalent to a week’s work of the average successful writer. The toil meant nothing to him. It was not toil. He was finding speech, and all the beauty and wonder that had been pent for years behind his inarticulate lips was now pouring forth in a wild and virile flood.

He showed the “Sea Lyrics” to no one, not even to the editors. He had become distrustful of editors. But it was not distrust that prevented him from submitting the “Lyrics.” They were so beautiful to him that he was impelled to save them to share with Ruth in some glorious, far-off time when he would dare to read to her what he had written. Against that time he kept them with him, reading them aloud, going over them until he knew them by heart.

He lived every moment of his waking hours, and he lived in his sleep, his subjective mind rioting through his five hours of surcease and combining the thoughts and events of the day into grotesque and impossible marvels. In reality, he never rested, and a weaker body or a less firmly poised brain would have been prostrated in a general breakdown. His late afternoon calls on Ruth were rarer now, for June was approaching, when she would take her degree and finish with the university. Bachelor of Arts!—when he thought of her degree, it seemed she fled beyond him faster than he could pursue.

One afternoon a week she gave to him, and arriving late, he usually stayed for dinner and for music afterward. Those were his red-letter days. The atmosphere of the house, in such contrast with that in which he lived, and the mere nearness to her, sent him forth each time with a firmer grip on his resolve to climb the heights. In spite of the beauty in him, and the aching desire to create, it was for her that he struggled. He was a lover first and always. All other things he subordinated to love. Greater than his adventure in the world of thought was his love-adventure. The world itself was not so amazing because of the atoms and molecules that composed it according to the propulsions of irresistible force; what made it amazing was the fact that Ruth lived in it. She was the most amazing thing he had ever known, or dreamed, or guessed.

But he was oppressed always by her remoteness. She was so far from him, and he did not know how to approach her. He had been a success with girls and women in his own class; but he had never loved any of them, while he did love her, and besides, she was not merely of another class. His very love elevated her above all classes. She was a being apart, so far apart that he did not know how to draw near to her as a lover should draw near. It was true, as he acquired knowledge and language, that he was drawing nearer, talking her speech, discovering ideas and delights in common; but this did not satisfy his lover’s yearning. His lover’s imagination had made her holy, too holy, too spiritualized, to have any kinship with him in the flesh. It was his own love that thrust her from him and made her seem impossible for him. Love itself denied him the one thing that it desired.

And then, one day, without warning, the gulf between them was bridged for a moment, and thereafter, though the gulf remained, it was ever narrower. They had been eating cherries—great, luscious, black cherries with a juice of the color of dark wine. And later, as she read aloud to him from “The Princess,” he chanced to notice the stain of the cherries on her lips. For the moment her divinity was shattered. She was clay, after all, mere clay, subject to the common law of clay as his clay was subject, or anybody’s clay. Her lips were flesh like his, and cherries dyed them as cherries dyed his. And if so with her lips, then was it so with all of her. She was woman, all woman, just like any woman. It came upon him abruptly. It was a revelation that stunned him. It was as if he had seen the sun fall out of the sky, or had seen worshipped purity polluted.

Then he realized the significance of it, and his heart began pounding and challenging him to play the lover with this woman who was not a spirit from other worlds but a mere woman with lips a cherry could stain. He trembled at the audacity of his thought, but all his soul was singing, and reason, in a triumphant paean, assured him he was right. Something of this change in him must have reached her, for she paused from her reading, looked up at him, and smiled. His eyes dropped from her blue eyes to her lips, and the sight of the stain maddened him. His arms all but flashed out to her and around her, in the way of his old careless life. She seemed to lean toward him, to wait, and all his will fought to hold him back.

“You were not following a word,” she pouted.

Then she laughed at him, delighting in his confusion, and as he looked into her frank eyes and knew that she had divined nothing of what he felt, he became abashed. He had indeed in thought dared too far. Of all the women he had known there was no woman who would not have guessed—save her. And she had not guessed.There was the difference. She was different. He was appalled by his own grossness, awed by her clear innocence, and he gazed again at her across the gulf. The bridge had broken down.

But still the incident had brought him nearer. The memory of it persisted, and in the moments when he was most cast down, he dwelt upon it eagerly. The gulf was never again so wide. He had accomplished a distance vastly greater than a bachelorship of arts, or a dozen bachelorships. She was pure, it was true, as he had never dreamed of purity; but cherries stained her lips. She was subject to the laws of the universe just as inexorably as he was. She had to eat to live, and when she got her feet wet, she caught cold. But that was not the point. If she could feel hunger and thirst, and heat and cold, then could she feel love—and love for a man. Well, he was a man. And why could he not be the man?“It’s up to me to make good,”he would murmur fervently.“I will be the man.I will make myself the man.I will make good.”

第十一章

马丁回过头又写他那篇关于潜水采珠的文章。要不是他屡次三番停下来尝试着去写诗歌,这篇文章早该完稿了。他的诗都是以露丝为灵感的爱情诗,但没有一首写完过。是啊,他怎能在一天之内就学会以高雅的诗句讴歌爱情呢!韵律、音步和结构本身就够呛,可除此之外,还有一种无形无体、虚无缥缈的东西。在所有伟大的诗歌中他都可以感觉得到这种东西,然而他却捕捉不到,将其放入自己的诗章。

这就是飘忽不定的诗歌的精神——一种他能够领悟并刻意追求,但抓不到手的精神。他觉得这精神宛如一团火焰、一股暖烘烘悠荡的气体,让他够不着捞不到,但有的时候他捕捉到这种精神的片鳞只爪,将它们编织成词句,在他的头脑中经久不息地回响,或者似美丽无比的云雾从他的眼前飘过。说来让人困惑,他怀着强烈的愿望想抒发感情,但写出的东西却枯燥乏味,像普通人那样胡诌一通。他把自己一篇篇未写完的诗歌朗读起来,发现这些诗里音步十全十美,韵脚朗朗上口,节奏也无懈可击,可就是缺乏他心里感觉到的那团火焰和高昂的激情。他搞不清这是怎么回事,于是时常感到绝望、气馁和沮丧,拐回头写他的那篇文章。散文当然是一种比较容易写的体裁。

继《潜水采珠记》之后,他又写了三篇文章:第一篇描绘航海生涯,第二篇刻画的是捉乌龟,而第二篇讲的是东北贸易风。接着,他开始写短篇故事,原只是作为试笔,不料写了六篇才住手,并把它们分别寄给各杂志社。他大量而紧张地创作,从早写到晚,夜深时仍然在写,除非上阅览室、到图书馆借书或者去看望露丝,才停下笔来。他过得非常快活,生活的调子十分紧张,像是害了没完没了的热病。据说创造的欢乐只属于非凡的人,而今他也品尝到了这种欢乐。周围的种种事物——烂菜和肥皂水的气味、姐姐邋遢的身段以及希金波森先生那带着嘲笑的面孔——都成了梦幻。真实的世界存在于他的心中,而他写的故事则是他心中的那个现实世界的斑斓片断。

白天实在太短,而他想学的东西又如此之多。他把睡眠时间缩减到五个小时,并发现这样做是完全可以的。他又试着只睡四个半小时,但马上就后悔地恢复到五个小时。要干的事情着实不少,他恨不得把所有醒着的时间都用在自己的追求上。每次停止写作转向学习,每次停止念书到图书馆去,每次硬着头皮离开知识的海图室,或放下阅览室里那满载着作家出售稿件秘密的杂志,他都怀着依依难舍的心情。和露丝在一起时,每次他起身离开,都心如刀绞;但一走上漆黑的街道,他便健步如飞,为的是路上尽量少花时间,好赶回家看书。最难办到的是合上代数课本或物理课本,推开笔记本和铅笔,闭上疲倦的眼睛睡觉。一想到要停止生活,即便只停短短的一段时间,他也感到难过。此时他唯一的安慰是:闹钟被上到了五个钟点后的位置。不管怎样,他只损失五个钟点,到时候丁零零的闹钟声就会把他从无知无觉的境况中惊醒,将又一个由十九个小时组成的辉煌日子呈现在他面前。

时光一星期一星期地流逝,他的钱愈用愈少,可进项却一个子儿也没有。那篇写给小朋友看的系列冒险故事邮出一个月之后,便被《少年之友》退了回来。退稿单上的措辞写得很委婉,使他对那位编辑产生了好感。然而对《旧金山考察家报》的编辑,他就没有这种感觉了。足足等了两个星期后,马丁给那人写了封信。过了一个星期,他又写了一封。待到月底,他亲自到旧金山拜访那位编辑。可是由于一位年轻的红头发勤杂员像狗一样把守着大门,他没能见到那位贵人。第五个星期结束时,他的稿件被邮寄了回来,上面连一条意见都没有附。没有退稿单和解释的话,什么都没写。寄给旧金山其他几家大报馆的文章,也遭到了同样的冷遇。他收到退稿,就邮寄给东部的几家杂志社,而那些杂志社退稿更快,每次都附着铅印的退稿单。

那些短篇故事也以同样的方式退回。他把文章看了一遍又一遍,觉得它们都是佳作,猜想不出为什么会被退回,直到有一天,他在报上看到凡是稿件都应由打字机打出,心里才明白了过来。当然,编辑工作太忙,没时间也没精力看手写的稿件。于是,马丁租来一台打字机,花了一天的时间掌握技巧。每天他都把写好的文章打出,而且以前的稿件一经退回,他也即刻打出。当这些稿件也开始被退回时,他感到非常惊讶。他的颌骨看上去更加倔强,下巴也更加咄咄逼人。他把稿件包起来,又寄给另外的一些编辑。

这时他产生了一个念头,觉得他不适合于判断自己作品的优劣。于是他找来葛特露,试着把故事念给她听。只见她眼放异彩,高兴地望着他说:

“你能写出这样的东西,真是了不起。”

“是啊,是啊,”他不耐烦地说,“可是——你觉得这篇故事怎么样?”

“太棒啦,”她答道,“简直棒极啦,而且动人心弦。真是让我感到太激动了。”

他看得到她的大脑已经混乱,和善的脸上明显地露出困惑的表情。于是,他等待着。

“可是,马特,”对方隔了好一段时间才说,“故事是怎么结尾的呢?那个说大话的年轻人最后得到她了吗?”

从艺术的角度来看,故事的结尾已经交代清楚了,然而他还是解释了一遍。听完之后,她说道:

“这正是我想知道的。你为什么不写进故事里呢?”

给她念了许多篇故事之后,他了解到一点:她喜欢幸福的结局。“故事写得太感人了。”她说着,在洗衣盆旁边直起腰来,疲乏地叹口气,用红红的、冒着热气的手抹一把额头上的汗珠,“可是,也让我感到悲伤。我真想哭一场。世界上的伤心事实在太多了。多想想高兴的事,才会叫我感到高兴。假如他和她结下百年之好,假如——这样说你不介意吧,马特?”她担心地问,“这只是我一时的感觉,大概是由于疲倦的缘故吧。不管怎么说,故事写得很好,简直棒极啦。你准备把它卖到哪里呢?”

“那可是另一码子事。”他哈哈大笑起来。

“如果东西出了手,你认为能拿到多少钱?”

“哦,一百块钱吧。照现在的价格,至少得这个数目。”

“好家伙!但愿你能把稿子卖出去!”

“钱来得容易吧?”随后他补充说,“我两天就写完了,平均每天挣五十块钱。”

他渴望把自己写的故事念给露丝听,可就是缺乏这份胆量。他决定等到刊登出几篇后再说,那时她就会明白他的工作价值了。在这段时间里,他继续勤奋耕耘。这是一次思想领域的惊人探险,冒险精神从未像现在这样强烈地诱引着他。除了原有的代数书,他还买来了物理课本和化学课本,又是解题又是论证。他对实验室得出的结果确信无疑;由于想象力强,他对化学反应比实验室里普通的学生还理解得透彻。他孜孜不倦地翻阅厚厚的书本,最后兴奋地发现自己正步步接近事物的本质。以前他只是从表面现象看待世界,而现在他开始理解这个世界的构造,理解力与物质的作用及相互作用。他的脑海中不断涌出过去所看到的事物,并自然而然地对其进行解释。杠杆和起重装置令他着了迷,这使他回想起海船上的木梃、滑车和辘轳。他现在明白了航海原理,明白了轮船为什么能在荒海上准确无误地沿着自己的航线行走。暴风、雨和潮汐的秘密暴露了出来,而贸易风的成因使他想到自己的那篇关于东北贸易风的文章未免动笔过早。他觉得,他现在可以把文章写得更好。一天下午,他跟着阿瑟到了加利福尼亚大学,屏住呼吸,怀着教徒般的敬畏感,参观实验室、观看示范、旁听一位物理学教授为几个班的学生举办的讲座。

然而,他对写作并未掉以轻心。短篇小说在他的笔下泉涌而出;他还扩大范围,创作了一些格式简单的诗——即他在杂志上看到的那种——遗憾的是,他竟然昏了头,浪费掉两个星期用自由体创作出一首悲剧诗,直至遭到六七家杂志社的当即退稿,他这才如梦方醒。后来他发现了亨莱[1]的作品,便模仿《病院素描》的格式写了一组海洋系列诗。这组诗风格朴素,描写的是光与色、浪漫与冒险。他为其题名为《海洋抒情诗》,觉得这是他迄今为止最优秀的作品。这组诗共分三十首,计一个月完稿。每天完成了写小说的工作量之后,他便赋诗一首——他这一天的工作量相当于一般成名作家的一个星期。辛勤的劳动对他来说算不了什么。那根本不是劳动。他的语言日臻完善:多少年来,由于笨嘴笨舌,他把美感和妙语都积压在胸中,而今这些都似狂涛巨浪奔涌而出。

这组《海洋抒情诗》他谁都没让看,甚至包括那些编辑。他对编辑产生了怀疑,但这也不是他不愿拿出《抒情诗》的原因。他觉得这组诗美丽无比,于是便不由自主地要把它们留下来,等到那遥远的灿烂时刻垂降,等到他敢于把自己写的东西念给露丝听的时候,他要和露丝一道分享。为了那一时刻,他将诗珍存在身边,并一遍遍朗读,直至倒背如流。

醒着的时候,他分分秒秒都勤作不息,在睡梦中他也不安宁;在安歇的五个小时里,他的主观意识始终在运转,把白天想到的问题和经历的事情编织成奇特的、不可思议的画面。实际上,他一刻也没休息过;如果换上一个身体较差、意志较薄弱的人,定会筋疲力尽地垮下去。傍晚去看望露丝的次数愈来愈少,因为六月正姗姗而至,那时她将获得学位,结束大学生活。文学学士!——每当想到她的学位,他就觉得她离他飞奔而去,快得使他追赶莫及。

每星期她都分出一个下午给他;由于去得晚,他经常留下来吃饭,然后听音乐。这种日子是他的大喜日子。摩斯府内的气氛与他生活的条件形成巨大反差,再加上有她相伴于身旁,这一切每一次都使他向上奋进的决心更加坚定。固然不错,他胸中怀着美感以及强烈的创作欲,但他奋斗的原因却是为了她。他首先追求的是爱情,也永远追求爱情。所有的一切都是为爱情服务,所以爱情冒险要高于思想领域的冒险。世界本身并不奇妙,因为它是在不可抗拒的力量作用下,由原子和分子所组成;真正使这个世界散发出奇妙魅力的是露丝生活在其中。她是他所知道、想得到或料得着的最奇妙的东西。

可她是那么遥远,这一直使他感到苦恼。她和他距离太远,叫他不知怎样接近她才好。和同阶层的姑娘及妇女在一起时,他曾经春风得意;可是,他从未爱过她们当中的任何一个,而今,他爱上了她,这不仅仅因为她属于另一个阶层。他的爱把她捧上了云霄,使她高于所有的阶层。她是个远不可及的生物,他不知怎样才能像普通恋人那样亲近她。不错,他获得了知识、完善了语言,正在步步接近她,按她的模式谈吐、寻找共同思想及乐趣;但这些满足不了他爱情的热望。他用恋人的想象力使她神圣化,而且是过于神圣化和理想化,觉得她已非凡身肉胎,和他毫无相似之处。正是他自己的爱情将她从他的身边推开,使她显得可望而不可即。爱情本身令他无法得到自己朝思暮想的尤物。

有一天,他们之间的鸿沟上突然架起了一座桥;自那以后,鸿沟虽然依旧是鸿沟,但比以前却要窄了些。那天,他们在一起吃樱桃——那是些香甜可口的黑樱桃,汁液的颜色似黑色的葡萄酒。之后,她为他朗读《公主》里的诗句,此时他不经意地发现她的芳唇上沾着樱桃渍。顷刻间,她的神圣性土崩瓦解了。原来她也是血肉之躯,和他以及所有其他的人一样,也是凡身俗体。她的嘴唇和他的一样,都是由血肉构成,樱桃染黑了他的嘴唇,也同样染黑了她的。如果她的嘴唇是这样,那么她所有的一切都不会例外。她是个女人,一个地道的女人,和别的女人一模一样。他恍然大悟,被这一发现惊得目瞪口呆。就好像他看到了太阳从天上坠落,或者看到了人们顶礼膜拜的圣物遭到了玷污。

随后,他意识到了这一发现的重大意义,于是,他的心儿怦怦跳动,怂恿着他去充当这个女人的情侣,因为她并非来自天外的仙女,只不过是个普通女人,双唇照常可以被樱桃染上颜色。这一放肆的念头使他浑身颤抖;然而,他的灵魂却在欢唱,理智得意扬扬地称赞他,说他的这种想法是正确的。她一定觉察到了几分他的这种变化,只见她停止了朗读,笑盈盈地抬起头望着他。他的目光从她的蓝眼睛移向她的嘴唇,一看到那儿的樱桃渍,他就要发疯。他差点伸出臂膀去拥抱她,像昔日生活放荡不羁的时候一样。她似乎身子向他倾斜,期待着,而他用全部的意志才克制住了自己。

“你连一个字也没听进去。”她噘着嘴说。

随后她冲着他大笑起来,因为她看到他那副慌乱的表情,觉得十分有趣。他望着她那双坦诚的眼睛,知道她丝毫没有猜透他的心思,不禁羞愧得无地自容。他的思想的确太狂妄了。除她之外,他所认识的女人,没有一个猜不出他的这种念头。可她没有猜出来,这就是区别。她与众不同。他对自己的庸俗下流感到震惊,对她的纯洁无邪肃然起敬,于是,那架桥梁垮了下来,他又隔着鸿沟向她瞭望。

不过,这件事到底还是使他朝她靠近了些。它萦绕于他的记忆之中,每当他极度消沉的时刻,他便热切地追忆这段往事。他们之间的鸿沟再也不会似从前那样宽了。他跨过了一段距离,这远远胜过获得一个文学学士学位,或十来个学士学位。她是纯洁的,固然不错,而且纯洁得超过了他的想象;可是,樱桃染黑了她的芳唇。她和他一样,也得严格地受宇宙法则的制约。她必须吃饭才能维持生命,弄湿了脚,也会着凉。但这并不是问题的所在。如果她能够感到饥、渴、冷、热,那么她也能感觉到爱情——对一个男人的爱情。他就是男人,为什么不能成为那个男人呢?“这得由我自己争取,”他常常这样热烈地对自己说,“我一定要成为那个男人,一定要把自己造就成那个男人。我一定能办得到。”

* * *

[1] 亨莱(1849—1903),英国诗人,代表作是《病院素描》。

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