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傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第三十七章

双击单词可弹出解释框  时间:2010-07-16 21:14  作者:

THE two gentlemen left Rosings the next morning; and Mr. Collins having been in waiting near the lodges, to make them his parting obeisance, was able to bring home the pleasing intelligence of their appearing in very good health, and in as tolerable spirits as could be expected, after the melancholy scene so lately gone through at Rosings. To Rosings he then hastened to console Lady Catherine and her daughter; and on his return brought back, with great satisfaction, a message from her ladyship, importing that she felt herself so dull as to make her very desirous of having them all to dine with her.
Elizabeth could not see Lady Catherine without recollecting that, had she chosen it, she might by this time have been presented to her as her future niece; nor could she think, without a smile, of what her ladyship's indignation would have been. "What would she have said? -- how would she have behaved?" were questions with which she amused herself.

Their first subject was the diminution of the Rosings party. -- "I assure you, I feel it exceedingly," said Lady Catherine; "I believe nobody feels the loss of friends so much as I do. But I am particularly attached to these young men; and know them to be so much attached to me! -- They were excessively sorry to go! But so they always are. The dear colonel rallied his spirits tolerably till just at last; but Darcy seemed to feel it most acutely, more I think than last year. His attachment to Rosings, certainly increases."

Mr. Collins had a compliment, and an allusion to throw in here, which were kindly smiled on by the mother and daughter.

Lady Catherine observed, after dinner, that Miss Bennet seemed out of spirits; and immediately accounting for it herself, by supposing that she did not like to go home again so soon, she added,

"But if that is the case, you must write to your mother to beg that you may stay a little longer. Mrs. Collins will be very glad of your company, I am sure."

"I am much obliged to your ladyship for your kind invitation," replied Elizabeth, "but it is not in my power to accept it. -- I must be in town next Saturday."

"Why, at that rate, you will have been here only six weeks. I expected you to stay two months. I told Mrs. Collins so before you came. There can be no occasion for your going so soon. Mrs. Bennet could certainly spare you for another fortnight."

"But my father cannot. -- He wrote last week to hurry my return."

"Oh! your father of course may spare you, if your mother can. -- Daughters are never of so much consequence to a father. And if you will stay another month complete, it will be in my power to take one of you as far as London, for I am going there early in June, for a week; and as Dawson does not object to the Barouche box, there will be very good room for one of you -- and indeed, if the weather should happen to be cool, I should not object to taking you both, as you are neither of you large."

"You are all kindness, Madam; but I believe we must abide by our original plan."

Lady Catherine seemed resigned.

"Mrs. Collins, you must send a servant with them. You know I always speak my mind, and I cannot bear the idea of two young women travelling post by themselves. It is highly improper. You must contrive to send somebody. I have the greatest dislike in the world to that sort of thing. -- Young women should always be properly guarded and attended, according to their situation in life. When my niece Georgiana went to Ramsgate last summer, I made a point of her having two men servants go with her. -- Miss Darcy, the daughter of Mr. Darcy of Pemberley, and Lady Anne, could not have appeared with propriety in a different manner. -- I am excessively attentive to all those things. You must send John with the young ladies, Mrs. Collins. I am glad it occurred to me to mention it; for it would really be discreditable to you to let them go alone."

"My uncle is to send a servant for us."

"Oh! -- Your uncle! -- He keeps a man-servant, does he? -- I am very glad you have somebody who thinks of those things. Where shall you change horses? -- Oh! Bromley, of course. -- If you mention my name at the Bell, you will be attended to."

Lady Catherine had many other questions to ask respecting their journey, and as she did not answer them all herself, attention was necessary, which Elizabeth believed to be lucky for her, or, with a mind so occupied, she might have forgotten where she was. Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours; whenever she was alone, she gave way to it as the greatest relief; and not a day went by without a solitary walk, in which she might indulge in all the delight of unpleasant recollections.

Mr. Darcy's letter, she was in a fair way of soon knowing by heart. She studied every sentence: and her feelings towards its writer were at times widely different. When she remembered the style of his address, she was still full of indignation; but when she considered how unjustly she had condemned and upbraided him, her anger was turned against herself; and his disappointed feelings became the object of compassion. His attachment excited gratitude, his general character respect; but she could not approve him; nor could she for a moment repent her refusal, or feel the slightest inclination ever to see him again. In her own past behaviour, there was a constant source of vexation and regret; and in the unhappy defects of her family a subject of yet heavier chagrin. They were hopeless of remedy. Her father, contented with laughing at them, would never exert himself to restrain the wild giddiness of his youngest daughters; and her mother, with manners so far from right herself, was entirely insensible of the evil. Elizabeth had frequently united with Jane in an endeavour to check the imprudence of Catherine and Lydia; but while they were supported by their mother's indulgence, what chance could there be of improvement? Catherine, weak-spirited, irritable, and completely under Lydia's guidance, had been always affronted by their advice; and Lydia, self-willed and careless, would scarcely give them a hearing. They were ignorant, idle, and vain. While there was an officer in Meryton, they would flirt with him; and while Meryton was within a walk of Longbourn, they would be going there for ever.

Anxiety on Jane's behalf was another prevailing concern, and Mr. Darcy's explanation, by restoring Bingley to all her former good opinion, heightened the sense of what Jane had lost. His affection was proved to have been sincere, and his conduct cleared of all blame, unless any could attach to the implicitness of his confidence in his friend. How grievous then was the thought that, of a situation so desirable in every respect, so replete with advantage, so promising for happiness, Jane had been deprived, by the folly and indecorum of her own family!

When to these recollections was added the developement of Wickham's character, it may be easily believed that the happy spirits which had seldom been depressed before, were now so much affected as to make it almost impossible for her to appear tolerably cheerful.

Their engagements at Rosings were as frequent during the last week of her stay as they had been at first. The very last evening was spent there; and her Ladyship again enquired minutely into the particulars of their journey, gave them directions as to the best method of packing, and was so urgent on the necessity of placing gowns in the only right way, that Maria thought herself obliged, on her return, to undo all the work of the morning, and pack her trunk afresh.

When they parted, Lady Catherine, with great condescension, wished them a good journey, and invited them to come to Hunsford again next year; and Miss De Bourgh exerted herself so far as to curtsey and hold out her hand to both.

那两位先生第二天早上就离开了罗新斯;柯林斯先生在门房附近等着给他们送行,送行以后,他带了一个好消息回家来,说是这两位贵客虽然刚刚在罗新斯满怀离愁,身体却很健康,精神也很饱满。然后他又赶到罗新斯去安慰珈苔琳夫人母女;回家去的时候,他又得意非凡地把咖苔琳夫人的口信带回来──说夫人觉得非常沉闷,极希望他们全家去同他一块吃饭。

伊丽莎白看到咖苔琳夫人,就不禁想起:要是自己愿意跟达西要好,现在已经成了夫人的没有过门的侄媳妇了;而且她想到夫人那时将会怎样气愤,就不禁好笑。她不断地想出这样一些话来跟自己打趣:“她将会说些什么话呢?她将会有些什么举动呢?”

他们一开头就谈到罗新斯佳宾星散的问题。咖苔琳夫人说:“告诉你,我真十分难受。我相信,谁也不会象我一样,为亲友的离别而伤心得这么厉害。我特别喜欢这两个年轻人,我知道他们也非常喜欢我。他们临去的时候真舍不得走。他们一向都是那样。那位可爱的上校到最后才算打起了精神;达西看上去最难过,我看他比去年还要难受,他对罗新斯的感情真是一年比一年来得深。”

说到这里,柯林斯先生插进了一句恭维话,又举了个例子,母女俩听了,都粲然一笑。

吃过中饭以后,咖苔琳夫人看到班纳特小姐好象不大高兴的样子;她想,班小姐一定是不愿意马上就回家去,于是说道:

“你要是不愿意回去的话,就得写封信给你妈妈,请求她让你在这儿多待些时候。我相信柯林斯太太一定非常乐意跟你在一起的。”

伊丽莎白回答道:“多谢你好心的挽留,可惜我不能领受盛情。我下星期六一定要进城去。”

“哎哟,这么说来,你在这儿只能住六个星期啦。我本来指望你待上两个月的。你没有来以前,我就这样跟柯林斯太太说过。你用不着这么急于要走。班纳特太太一定会让你再待两个星期的。”

“可是我爸爸不会让我的。他上星期就写信来催我回去。”

“噢,只要你妈妈让你,爸爸自然会让你的。做爸爸的决不会象妈妈一样,把女儿当做宝贝看待。我六月初要去伦敦待一个星期;要是你能再住满一个月,我就可以把你们两个人当中顺便带一个人去,涛生既不反对驾四轮马车,那自然可以宽宽敞敞地带上你们一个;要是天气凉快,我当然不妨把你们俩个都带去,好在你们个儿都不大。”

“你真是太好心啦,太太;可惜我们要依照原来的计划行事。”

咖苔琳夫人不便强留,便说道:“柯林斯太太,你得打发一个佣人送她们。我说话一向心直口快,我不放心让两位年轻的小姐赶远路。这太不象话了,我最看不惯的就是这种事,你千万得派一个人送送她们。对于年轻的小姐们,我们总得照着她们的身份好好是照顾她们,待候她们。我的姨侄女儿乔治安娜去年夏天上拉姆斯盖特去的时候,我非得要她有两个男佣人伴送不可。要知道,她身为彭伯里的达西先生和安妮夫人的千金小姐,不那样便难免有失体统。我对于这一类的事特别留意。你得打发约翰送送这两位小姐才好,柯林斯太太。幸亏我发觉了这件事,及时指出,否则让她们孤零零地自个儿走,把你的面子也丢光了。”

“我舅舅会打发人来接我们的。”

“噢,你的舅舅!他真有男佣人吗?我听了很高兴,总算有人替你想到这些事。你们打算在哪儿换马呢?当然是在白朗莱啦。你们只要在驿站上提一提我的名字,就会有人来招待你们。”

提到她们的旅程,咖苔琳夫人还有许多话要问,而且她并不完全都是自问自答,因此你必须留心去听,伊丽莎白倒觉得这是她的运气,否则,她这么心事重重,一定会忘了自己作客身份呢。有心事应该等到单独一个人的时候再去想。每逢没有第二个人跟她在一起的时候,她就翻来复去地想个痛快;她没有哪一天不独个儿散步,一边走一边老是回想着那些不愉快的事情。

达西那封信,她简直快要背得出了。她把每一句话都反复研究过,她对于这个写信人的感情,一忽儿热了起来,一忽儿又冷了下去。记起他那种笔调口吻,她到现在还是说不尽的气愤;可是只要一想到以前怎样错怪了他,错骂了他,她的气愤便转到自己身上来了。他那沮丧的情绪反而引起了她的同情。他的爱恋引起了她的感激,他的性格引起了她的尊敬;可是她无法对他发生好感,她拒绝他以后,从来不曾有过片刻的后悔,她根本不想再看到他。她经常为自己以往的行为感到苦恼和悔恨,家庭里面种种不幸的缺陷更叫她苦闷万分。这些缺陷是无法补救的。她父亲对这些缺陷只是一笑置之,懒得去约束他那几个小女儿的狂妄轻率的作风;至于她母亲,她本身既是作风失检,当然完全不会感觉到这方面的危害。伊丽莎白常常和吉英合力同心,约束咖苔琳和丽迪雅的冒失,可是,母亲既然那么纵容她们,她们还会有什么长进的机会?咖苔琳意志薄弱,容易气恼,她完全听凭丽迪雅指挥,一听到吉英和伊丽莎白的规劝就要生气;丽迪雅却固执任性,粗心大意,她听也不要听她们的话。这两个妹妹既无知,又懒惰,又爱虚荣,只要麦里屯来了一个军官,她们就去跟他勾搭。麦里屯跟浪搏恩本来相隔不远,她们一天到晚往那儿跑。

她还有一桩大心事,那就是替吉英担忧;达西先生的解释固然使她对彬格莱先生恢复了以往的好感,同时也就越发感觉到吉英受到的损失太大。彬格莱对吉英一往情深,他的行为不应该受到任何指责,万一要指责的话,最多也只能怪他过分信任朋友。吉英有了这样理想的一个机会,既可以得到种种好处,又可望获得终身幸福,只可惜家里人愚蠢失检,把这个机会断送了,叫人想起来怎不痛心!

每逢回想起这些事情,难免不连想到韦翰品格的变质,于是,以她那样一个向来心情愉快难得消沉沮丧的人,心里也受到莫大的刺激,连强颜为笑也几乎办不到了,这是可想而知的。

她临走前的一个星期里面,罗新斯的宴会还是和她们刚来时一样频繁。最后一个晚上也是在那儿度过的,老夫人又仔仔细细问起她们旅程的细节,指示她们怎么样收拾行李,又再三再四说到长衣服应当怎么样安放。玛丽亚听了这番话之后,一回去就把早上整理好的箱子完全翻了开来,重新收拾一过。

她们告别的时候,咖苔琳夫人屈尊降贵地祝她们一路平安,又邀请她们明年再到汉斯福来。德·包尔小姐甚至还向她们行了个屈膝礼,伸出手来跟她们两个人一一握别。

 


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