江苏省仪征中学
 
【名著阅读】红字 第十四章(下)

来源:英语教研室  时间:2021-09-03
 
Chapter 14 HESTER AND THE PHYSICIAN
第十四章 海丝特和医生

"Yea, woman, thou sayest truly!" cried old Roger Chillingworth, letting the lurid fire of his heart blaze out before her eyes. "Better had he died at once! Never did mortal suffer what this man has suffered. And all, all, in the sight of his worst enemy! He has been conscious of me. He has felt an influence dwelling always upon him like a curse. He knew, by some spiritual sense- for the Creator never made another being so sensitive as this- he knew that no friendly hand was pulling at his heart-strings, and that an eye was looking curiously into him, which sought only evil, and found it. But he knew not that the eye and hand were mine! With the superstition common to his brotherhood, he fancied himself given over to a fiend, to be tortured with frightful dreams, and desperate thoughts, the sting of remorse, and despair of pardon; as a foretaste of what awaits him beyond the grave. But it was the constant shadow of my presence!- the closest propinquity of the man whom he had most vilely wronged!- and who had grown to exist only by this perpetual poison of the direst revenge! Yea, indeed!- he did not err!- there was a fiend at his elbow! A mortal man, with once a human heart, has become a fiend for his especial torment!"
“是啊,妇人,你算说对了!”老罗杰·齐灵渥斯叫着,内心的火焰在她眼前烧得一片血红。“他不如马上死掉!他遭的那份罪还没有一个活人受过呢。而且这一切的一切全都让他最恶毒的政手看在眼里!他已经意识到我这个人了。’他已经感觉到有个象是诅咒的势力始终在他身边徘徊。他通过某种精神的感觉——造物主从来没有造过象他这样敏感的人——得知,拉扯他心弦的并不是什么友谊之手,而且还知道,有一双好奇的眼睛正在窥视他的内心,一心要寻找邪恶,并且已经找到了。不过他并不清楚,那双眼和那只手就是我的!他也有他的牧师兄弟们所共有的那种迷信,幻想着自己已被交给一个恶魔,受尽骇人的梦幻、绝望的念头、悔恨的螫刺和无望的宽怨的折磨;象是让他预先尝试一下等待着他的进入坟墓之后的是什么滋味。然而这恰恰是我的无所不在的暗影!——一个受到他最卑劣的委屈的人的最紧密的接触!——那个人已经变得只是出于极端的复仇的毒剂的永恒的驱使才活着了!是啊,他是对的!他没有弄错!他肘腋边确有一个恶魔!一个曾经有过人心的活人已经变成专门折磨他的恶魔了!”

The unfortunate physician, while uttering these words, lifted his hands with a look of horror, as if he had beheld some frightful shape, which he could not recognise, usurping the place of his own image in a glass. It was one of those moments- which sometimes occur only at the interval of years- when a man"s moral aspect is faithfully revealed to his mind"s eye. Not improbably, he had never before viewed himself as he did now.
那不幸的医生,一边说着这番话,一边神色恐怖地举起双手,仿佛他看到了某个不认识的怪影在镜中侵夺了他的映象。这属于那种多少年才出现一次的时刻:此时,一个人的精神风貌一丝不苟地显示在他心灵的眼前。他恐怕从来没有象此时这样看清他自己——这样说大概没有什么不要。

"Hast thou not tortured him enough?" said Hester, noticing the old man"s look. "Has he not paid thee all?"
“难道你还没有把他折磨够吗?”海丝特注意到了那老人的神色,就这么问他,“难道他还没有偿还你的一切吗?”
"No!- no!- he has but increased the debt!" answered the physician; and as he proceeded, his manner lost its fiercer characteristics, and subsided into gloom. "Dost thou remember me, Hester, as I was nine years agone? Even then, I was in the autumn of my days, nor was it the early autumn. But all my life had been made up of earnest, studious, thoughtful, quiet years, bestowed faithfully for the increase of mine own knowledge, and faithfully, too, though this latter object was but casual to the other- faithfully for the advancement of human welfare. No life had been more peaceful and innocent than mine; few lives so rich with benefits conferred. Dost thou remember me? Was I not, though you might deem me cold, nevertheless a man thoughtful for others, craving little for himself- kind, true, just, and of constant, if not warm affections? Was I not all this?"
“没有!——没有!他只不过增加了他的负债!”那医生回答说;在他接下去说着的时候,他的神情不再是恶狠狠的,而变得阴郁了。“你还记得我九年前的样子吗,海丝特?即使在那时;我也到了垂暮之秋,而且还不是初秋。但我的全部生活都是由真诚、勤学、沉思和宁静的岁月所构成的,我忠实地将其奉献给为自己增加知识,也同样忠实地将其奉献给为人类造福——虽说这后一个目标与前一个相比只是附带的。谁也比不上我生活得那样平和,那样纯真;很少有人象我那样生活得富于裨益。你还记得那时的我吗?虽说你可能认为我冷酷无情,难道我不是为他人着想,很少替自己打算吗?——就算我不是温情脉脉,难道我不是善良、真诚、正直,对爱情始终不渝的人吗?过去的我难道不就是这样子吗?”

"All this, and more," said Hester.
“是这样子的,而且还不只这些,”海丝特说。

"And what am I now?" demanded he, looking into her face, and permitting the whole evil within him to be written on his features. "I have already told thee what I am! A fiend! Who made me so?"
“可我现在成了什么样子呢?”他紧盯着她的面孔,逼问着,同时让他内心的全部邪恶都无保留地表露在他的外貌上。“我已经告诉过你我是什么了!一个恶魔!是谁把我弄成这样子的?”

"It was myself!" cried Hester, shuddering. "It was I, not less than he. Why hast thou not avenged thyself on me?"
“就是我!”海丝特周身战抖着说。“是我!我的责任并不比他小。可你为什么不对我报复呢?”

"I have left thee to the scarlet letter," replied Roger Chillingworth. "If that have not avenged me, I can do no more!"
“我把你留给了红宇,”罗杰·齐灵渥斯回答说。“如果红字还不能为我出气,我也别无它法了!”

He laid his finger on it, with a smile.
他面带微笑,把一个指头放在红字上面。

"It has avenged thee!" answered Hester Prynne.
“它已经替你报复了!”海丝特·白兰说。

"I judged no less," said the physician. "And now, what wouldst thou with me touching this man?"
“我正是这么看的,”那医生说。“那么,如今你要我对那个人怎么办呢?”
"I must reveal the secret," answered Hester firmly. "He must discern thee in thy true character. What may be the result, I know not. But this long debt of confidence, due from me to him, whose bane and ruin I have been, shall at length be paid. So far as concerns the overthrow or preservation of his fair fame and his earthly state, and perchance his life, he is in thy hands. Nor do I- whom the scarlet letter has disciplined to truth, though it be the truth of red-hot iron, entering into the soul- nor do I perceive such advantage in his living any longer a life of ghastly emptiness, that I shall stoop to implore thy mercy. Do with him as thou wilt! There is no good for him- no good for me- no good for thee! There is no good for little Pearl! There is no path to guide us out of this dismal maze."
“我要揭露这一秘密,”海丝特坚定地回答说。“他应该辨清你的真实面目。其结果会如何,我并不知道。但我长期以来向他隐瞒真相的这笔债,现在总该偿还了——正是因为我才毁掉他的啊。至于他的良好的名声和他在世间的地位,或许还有他的生命,予取予夺都在你的掌握之中。我的情况就不一样了——红字已经使我皈依了真理,尽管那真理如熨铁一般火热,深源地烙进了我的灵魂,——而他那鬼一般空虚的生活再延迟下去,我也看不出还有什么好处,因此我也不会卑躬屈膝地乞求你的慈悲。你对他尽管随心所欲好了!对他不会有什么好处,一一对我不会有什么好处,——对你也没什么好处!对小珠儿不会有什么好处!没有任何指引我们跳出这阴惨的迷津的道路!”

"Woman, I could well-nigh pity thee!" said Roger Chillingworth, unable to restrain a thrill of admiration too; for there was a quality almost majestic in the despair which she expressed. "Thou hadst great elements. Peradventure, hadst thou met earlier with a better love than mine, this evil had not been. I pity thee, for the good that has been wasted in thy nature!"
“女人,我满可以可怜你的!”罗杰·齐灵渥斯说,由于她表现出的绝望中有一种近乎庄严的气质,连他也不由得不肃然起敬了。“你具有了不起的天赋。如果你早些得到强过于我的爱,这件邪恶就不会发生了。我可怜你,因为你美好的天性横遭荒废!”

"And I thee," answered Hester Prynne, "for the hatred that has transformed a wise and just man to a fiend! Wilt thou yet purge it out of thee, and be once more human? If not for his sake, then doubly for thine own! Forgive, and leave his further retribution to the Power that claims it! I said, but now, that there could be no good event for him, or thee, or me, who are here wandering together in this gloomy maze of evil, and stumbling, at every step, over the guilt wherewith we have strewn our path. It is not so! There might be good for thee, and thee alone, since thou hast been deeply wronged, and hast it at thy will to pardon. Wilt thou give up that only privilege? Wilt thou reject that priceless benefit?"
“我也同样地可怜你,”海丝特·白兰回答说,“因为仇恨已经把一个聪明而正直的人变成了恶魔!你还愿意把仇恨从心中排挤出去,再恢复成人吗?即使不是为了他的缘故,那么总是加倍地为了你自己嘛!你放宽容些,把对他来世的报应交给有极处理此事的神灵吧!我刚才说过了,象目前这样,无论对他,对你,或者对我,都不会有任何好处,我们是在这片阴惨的邪恶迷律中一起徘徊,在我们铺撤在路上的罪孽上每走一步都要跌跌撞撞。事情本不该这样的!由于你一直深深受到委屈,你就拥有一切极力来宽怨,你可以因此从中获益,而且只有你一人单独获益。你难道要放弃那唯一的特权吗?你难道要反对这没本钱的利益吗?”

"Peace, Hester, peace!" replied the old man, with gloomy sternness. "It is not granted me to pardon. I have no such power as thou tellest me of. My old faith, long forgotten, comes back to me, and explains all that we do, and all we suffer. By thy first step awry, thou didst plant the germ of evil; but since that moment, it has all been a dark necessity. Ye that have wronged me are not sinful, save in a kind of typical illusion; neither am I fiend-like, who have snatched a fiend"s office from his hands. It is our fate. Let the black flower blossom as it may! Now go thy ways, and deal as thou wilt with yonder man."He waved his hand and betook himself again to his employment of gathering herbs.
“上天没有赐给我宽恕的品德,我也没有你所说的那种权力。我那早已忘掉的老信仰,如今又回到了我身上,要对我们所做出和所遭受的一切给予解释。由于第一步走歪了,你就种下了邪恶的胚胎;但自从那时起,它也就成了一种阴暗的必然。不过,使我受到伤害的,除非处于一种典型的错觉之中,倒不是罪过;而我呢,虽然从魔鬼的手中夺得了他的职责,但我跟恶魔毕竟不一样。这是我们的命运。让那黑色之花随它去开吧!如今,你去走你的路,随你自己的意愿去处理同那人的关系吧。”他挥了挥手,又继续采集药草了。
 
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