江苏省仪征中学
 
【名著阅读】红字 第十六章(下)

来源:英语教研室  时间:2021-09-10
 
Chapter 16 A FOREST WALK
第十六章 林中散步

"Didst thou ever awake, and find thy mother gone?" asked Hester.
“你夜里醒来时,可曾发现你妈妈出去了?”海丝特问。

"Not that I remember," said the child. "If thou fearest to leave me in our cottage, thou mightest take me along with thee. I would very gladly go! But, mother, tell me now! Is there such a Black Man? And didst thou ever meet him? And is this his mark?"
“我不记得有过,”孩子说。“要是你害怕把我一个人留在咱们的小屋里,你可以带我一块儿去那儿嘛。我可高兴去呢!不过,妈妈,现在就告诉我吧!有没有这么一个黑男人?你到底见过他没有?这红字是不是他的记号?”

"Wilt thou let me be at peace if I once tell thee?" asked her mother.
“要是我告诉你,你肯不肯让我安静安静?”她母亲问。

"Yes, if thou tellest me all," answered Pearl.
“成,你可得全告诉我,”珠儿回答。

"Once in my life I met the Black Man!" said her mother. "This scarlet letter is his mark!"
“我活这么大就见过那黑男人一次!”她母亲说。“这个红字就是他的记号!”

Thus conversing, they entered sufficiently deep into the wood to secure themselves from the observation of any casual passenger along the forest track. Here they sat down on a luxuriant heap of moss; which, at some epoch of the preceding century, had been a gigantic pine, with its roots and trunk in the darksome shade, and its head aloft in the upper atmosphere. It was a little dell where they had seated themselves, with a leaf-strewn bank rising gently on either side, and a brook flowing through the midst, over a bed of fallen and drowned leaves. The trees impending over it had flung down great branches, from time to time, which choked up the current, and compelled it to form eddies and black depths at some points; while, in its swifter and livelier passages, there appeared a channel-way of pebbles, and brown, sparkling sand. Letting the eyes follow along the course of the stream, they could catch the reflected light from its water, at some short distance within the forest, but soon lost all traces of it amid the bewilderment of tree-trunks and underbrush, and here and there a huge rock covered over with grey lichens. All these giant trees and boulders of granite seemed intent on making a mystery of the course of this small brook; fearing, perhaps, that, with its never-ceasing loquacity, it should whisper tales out of the heart of the old forest whence it flowed, or mirror its revelations on the smooth surface of a pool. Continually, indeed, as it stole onward, the streamlet kept up a babble, kind, quiet, soothing, but melancholy, like the voice of a young child that was spending its infancy without playfulness, and knew not how to be merry among sad acquaintance and events of sombre hue.
母女俩一边这么谈着,就走进了树林挺深的地方,在这儿她们很安全,绝不会被任何随便走过林中小径的路人看到。她们这时在一堆繁茂的青苔上坐了下来,这地方在一百多年以前,曾经长过一棵巨松,树冠高耸入云,树根和树干遮在浓荫之中。她们所坐的地方是一个小小的山谷,两侧的缓坡上铺满树叶,中间流着一条小溪,河底淹没着落时。悬在溪上的树木常年来投下的大树枝,阻逼了溪流,在一些地方形成了漩涡和深潭;而在溪水畅通、流得欢快的地段,则露出河底的石子和闪光的褐砂。她们放眼沿河道望去,可以看见在林中不远的地方水面粼粼的反光,但没多久,就在盘错的树干和灌木中失去了踪迹,而不时为一些长满灰色地衣的巨石遮住视线。所有这些大树和巨石似乎有意为这条小小的溪流蒙上一层神秘的色彩;或许是害怕它那喋喋不休的多嘴多舌会悄悄道出它所流经的古老树林的内心秘密,或者是害怕它那流过池塘时的光滑水面会映出其隐衷。确实,当小溪不停地偷偷向前流动时,一直在潺潺作响,那声音和蔼、平静又亲切,但总带点忧郁,就象一个婴儿时期没有玩痛快的小孩子,仍然不知如何在伤心的伙伴和阴暗的事件中自得其乐。
"O brook! O foolish and tiresome little brook!" cried Pearl, after listening awhile to its talk. "Why art thou so sad? Pluck up a spirit, and do not be all the time sighing and murmuring!"
“啊,小河啊!啊,蠢得烦人的小河啊!”珠儿聆听了一阵儿流水的谈话后这样叫着人“你为什么这样伤心?打起点精神来,别总是哀声叹气的!”

But the brook, in the course of its little lifetime among the forest-trees, had gone through so solemn an experience that it could not help talking about it, and seemed to have nothing else to say. Pearl resembled the brook inasmuch as the current of her life gushed from a well-spring as mysterious, and had flowed through scenes shadowed as heavily with gloom. But, unlike the little stream, she danced and sparkled, and prattled airily along her course.
但在林间流过它短短生命的溪水,其经历是那样地肃穆,不可能不把它讲出来,而且看来也别无其它可说。珠儿与那溪水就有点相似,她的生命也是涌自一个神秘之泉,并流经同样阴沉的暗景。但同溪水不同的是,她是一路蹦蹦跳跳地走过来的,她容光焕发,谈吐轻快。

"What does this sad little brook say, mother?" inquired she.
“这条伤心的小河都说些什么啊;妈妈?”她询问道。

"If thou hadst a sorrow of thine own, the brook might tell thee of it," answered her mother, "even as it is telling me of mine! But now, Pearl, I hear a footstep along the path, and the noise of one putting aside the branches. I would have thee betake thyself to play, and leave me to speak with him that comes yonder."
“如果你有自己的忧伤,那么小溪也可以跟你把它说出来的,”她母亲回答,“就象它在对我谈我的忧伤一样!不过,珠儿,这会儿我听到有脚步声沿着小路走来,—还有拨开树枝的声音。我想让你自己去玩一会儿,留下我和走来的那人谈一谈。”

"Is it the Black Man?" asked Pearl.
“是那个黑男人吗?”珠儿问。

"Wilt thou go and play, child?" repeated her mother. "But do not stray far into the wood. And take heed that thou come at my first call."
“你去玩儿好吗,孩子?”她母亲又说了一遍。“可是别在林子里走得太远。留点心,我一叫你就回来。”

"Yes, mother," answered Pearl. "But if it be the Black Man, wilt thou not let me stay a moment, and look at him, with his big book under his arm?"
“好的,妈妈,”珠儿回答说。“不过,要是那个黑男人,你就让我稍稍呆上一会儿,看上他一眼,他还挟着那本大册子呢,不是吗?”

"Go, silly child!" said her mother impatiently. "It is no Black Man! Thou canst see him now, through the trees. It is the minister!"
“走吧,傻孩子!”她母亲不耐烦地说。“他不是黑男人!你现在就能看到他,正在穿过林子走来。那是牧师!”

"And so it is!" said the child. "And, mother, he has his hand over his heart! Is it because, when the minister wrote his name in the book, the Black Man set his mark in that place? But why does he not wear it outside his bosom, as thou dost, mother?"
“原来是他!”孩子说。“妈妈,他用手捂着心口呢!是不是因为牧师在册子上写下名字的时候,黑男人在那地方打下了记号?可是他干嘛不象你一样,把记号戴在胸口外面呢,妈妈?”
"Go now, child, and thou shalt tease me as thou wilt another time," cried Hester Prynne. "But do not stray far. Keep where thou canst hear the babble of the brook."
“现在快走吧,孩子,过一会儿再来缠我,‘”海丝特·白兰叫喊着。“不过别走远。就在能听到流水声的地方好了。”

The child went singing away, following up the current of the brook, and striving to mingle a more lightsome cadence with its melancholy voice. But the little stream would not be comforted, and still kept telling its unintelligible secret of some very mournful mystery that had happened- or making a prophetic lamentation about something that was yet to happen- within the verge of the dismal forest. So Pearl, who had enough of shadow in her own little life, chose to break off all acquaintance with this repining brook. She set herself, therefore, to gathering violets and wood-anemones, and some scarlet columbines that she found growing in the crevices of a high rock.
那孩子沿着溪流唱着走开了,她想把更明快的歌声融进溪水的忧郁腔调中。但那小溪并没有因此而得到安慰,仍然不停地唠叨着在这阴森的树林中已经发生的一些十分哀伤的故事——或是预言某些将要发生的事情的伤心之处——诉说着其中莫测的隐秘。于是,在她小小的生命中已经有了太多的阴影的珠儿,便放弃了这条如泣如诉的小溪,不再和它交往。因此,她就一心采集紫罗兰和木莲花,以及她发现长在一块高大石头的缝隙中的一些腥红的耧斗菜。

When her elf-child had departed, Hester Prynne made a step or two towards the track that led through the forest, but still remained under the deep shadow of the trees. She beheld the minister advancing along the path, entirely alone, and leaning on a staff which he had cut by the wayside. He looked haggard and feeble, and betrayed a nerveless despondency in his air, which had never so remarkably characterised him in his walks about the settlement, nor in any other situation where he deemed himself liable to notice. Here it was woefully visible, in this intense seclusion of the forest, which of itself would have been a heavy trial to the spirits. There was a listlessness in his gait; as if he saw no reason for taking one step farther, nor felt any desire to do so, but would have been glad, could he be glad of anything, to fling himself down at the root of the nearest tree, and lie there passive, for evermore. The leaves might bestrew him, and the soil gradually accumulate and form a little hillock over his frame, no matter whether there were life in it or no. Death was too definite an object to be wished for, or avoided.
海丝特·白兰等她的小精灵孩子走远之后,便向那穿过森林的小径上走了一两步,但仍遮在树木的暗影之中。她看到牧师正沿着小径走来,他只身一人,只是手中接着一根从路边砍下的手杖。他样子憔悴无力,露出一种失魂落魄的沮丧神情,这是他在居民区周围或其它他认为显眼的地方散步时,从来在他身上看不到的。但在这里,在这与世隔绝的密林中,在这密林本身就使人深感精神压力的地方,他这种沮丧神情却暴露无遗,令人目不忍睹。他无精打采,举步维艰;仿佛他不明所以,不肯向前,也根本不想再迈一步,如果他还有什么可高兴的,大概就是巴不得在最近的一棵树下躺倒,无所事事地躺上一辈子。树叶会撒落在他身上,泥土会逐渐堆积,从而在他身上形成一个小土丘,无需过问他的躯体内还有无生命。死亡这个十分明确的目标,是不必巴望,也不必回避的。

To Hester"s eye, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale exhibited no symptom of positive and vivacious suffering, except that, as little Pearl had remarked, he kept his hand over his heart.
在海丝特的眼中,丁梅斯代尔牧师先生除去象小珠儿曾经说过的那样,总用手捂着心口之外,没有表现出显面易见的受折磨的征候。
 
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