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一小时的故事

一小时的故事



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一小时的故事


作者:Kate Chopin 

译者:邓舒丹

校对:唐萧

策划:邓舒丹 & 刘蕊


Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.

马拉德太太心脏有问题,因此她丈夫去世的消息必须小心翼翼地表露。


It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

马拉德太太的姐姐约瑟芬半遮半掩、断断续续地向她透露了这则消息。她丈夫的朋友理查德也在旁边。铁路事故传来时他正在报社里,“死亡”名单上第一个名字就是布伦特•马拉德。仅经过第二封电报再次核实后,他便确信无疑,于是匆匆赶来告知这场悲剧,以免有任何粗枝大叶、不懂体恤的朋友直述实情。


She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.

许多女人听到这样的消息时,身心俱瘫,无法接受现实。但马拉德太太不一样,她立即在姐姐怀里哭了起来,带着突如其来的绝望。在席卷而来的悲恸归于平静时,她独自回到屋里,不要任何人陪伴。


There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

窗户敞开着,正对面有一把舒适宽大的扶手椅。身体上的疲惫使她瘫坐在座椅上,这疲惫不仅缠绕着她的躯体,仿佛还抵达了灵魂一般。


She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

她可以看到屋前院子里的树,树梢在春的新生下颤动不已。空中细雨甜蜜地呼吸着。在街上,小贩叫卖着货品。远处有人在歌唱,曲调隐隐约约向耳畔传来;无数春燕在屋檐下叽叽喳喳。


There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

从窗口向西望去,白云层层叠叠,白云间是一片一片的蓝天。


She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.

她坐着一动不动,头靠在在椅垫上。偶尔一声抽噎涌上嗓眼,才使她颤动。像一个孩子哭着进入梦乡,然后在梦里继续呜咽。


She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.

她还年轻,生着一张美丽、平静的脸蛋,脸庞上的细纹表现着压抑,甚至某种力量。但是现在,她目光迟钝,久久凝视着远方某处蓝天。她的凝视不是由于沉思,而是由于暂停了思考。


There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.

某种东西正在靠近,而这正是她心怀畏惧期待着的。那是什么?她不知道;它太微妙了,转瞬即逝,难以言说。但是她感受到了,它正从云天缓缓出来,通过弥漫于空气中的声音、气味、色彩,向她靠近。


Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will—as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been.

现在,她的胸脯剧烈起伏。她开始明白这个向她靠近、将要占有她的东西是什么。她竭力用意志反击——但却和她那双白皙的纤手所能做的一样徒劳。


When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.

当她快要放弃时,一声低语从微微张开的嘴唇逃了出来。她一遍又一遍低喃:“自由、自由、自由!”紧随其后的茫然凝视和畏惧从她眼里消失了,转而充满了热情和光亮。脉搏迅速跳动,流动的血液使全身变得温暖而又放松。


She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial.

她没有停下来问自己是否被一阵恶毒的兴奋所劫持。因为有一种清晰而又令人激动的感觉告诉她这个问题无关紧要。


She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.

当她看到那双温柔体贴的手交叉着放在死者身上;那张从来带着爱意看着妻子的脸庞,现在却变得僵硬、灰白,笼罩着死亡。她知道自己会再次哭泣的。但是她也看到,在这悲伤的日子以外,将有多么长久的岁月完全属于她一个人。她快乐地展开双臂,拥抱未来。


There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination.

未来将没有人为她而活;而她也将只为自己生活。世间男男女女都相信他们有权将自己的意愿强加给同伴。这种盲目的顽固信念形成了一股强大的意志力,曾经扭曲了她自己的意愿。在启蒙之光乍现的一刹,她认为,无论是出于好意还是恶意,这种把自己的意愿强加给别人的行为无异于犯罪。


And yet she had loved him—sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!

然而,她爱过他——有时候是这样。但更多时候,她并不爱他。爱与不爱又有什么关系呢!她突然意识到,自我主张是她生命中最强烈的冲动,相比之下,爱情这未解之谜又算什么!


“Free! Body and soul free!” she kept whispering.

“自由!身体和灵魂得到了自由!”她继续低语。


Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. “Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door—you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heaven’s sake open the door.”

约瑟芬跪在紧闭的门前,嘴贴着钥匙孔,乞求着让她进去。“路易斯,开门!求求你,把门打开——你这样下去要犯病的。你在做什么,路易斯?看在上帝的份儿上,开开门。”


“Go away. I am not making myself ill.” No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window.

“走开。我不会有事的。”是的,她不会犯病;她正从敞开的窗户汲取生命的仙汁。


Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.

她的遐想在未来的岁月里疾驰。春日、夏日,所有的日子都将是她的。她迅速做了一个祷告,希望自己能够长寿。而仅仅在昨天,她还因为想到可能漫长的一生而感到不寒而栗。


She arose at length and opened the door to her sister’s importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sister’s waist, and together they descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for them at the bottom.

终于,在姐姐的再三乞求下,她起身开了门。眼里炽热地闪耀着胜利之光。不知不觉中,神态举止俨然是一位胜利女神。她搂着姐姐的腰,一起走下楼梯。理查德在楼下等着她们。


Someone was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his grip-sack and umbrella. He had been far from the scene of the accident, and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Josephine’s piercing cry; at Richards’ quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife.

有人用钥匙打开了前门。进来的正是布伦特里•马拉德。虽然有几分劳累,但仍然从容自若,手里提着旅行包和雨伞。他离事故发生地很远,甚至不知道有这么一回事。约瑟芬发出刺耳的尖叫,理查德连忙把他挡在马拉德太太的视线之外,他惊呆了,站着不动。


But Richards was too late.

但是,理查德还是慢了一步。


When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills.

医生来了,他们说马拉德太太死于心脏病——喜极而丧。




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