双城记(A Tale of Two Cities)第20章—个请求

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双城记(A Tale of Two Cities)第20章—个请求

    WHEN the newly-married pair came home, the first person who appeared, to offer his congratulations, was Sydney Carton. They had not been at home many hours, when he presented himself. He was not improved in habits, or in looks, or in manner; but there was a certain rugged air of fidelity about him, which was new to the observation of Charles Darnay.
    He watched his opportunity of taking Darnay aside into a window, and of speaking to him when no one overheard.
    `Mr. Darnay,' said Carton, `I wish we might be friends.'
    `We are already friends, I hope.'
    `You are good enough to say so, as a fashion of speech; hut, I don't mean any fashion of speech. Indeed, when I say I wish we might be friends, I scarcely mean quite that, either.'
    Charles Darnay--As was natural--Asked him, in all good-humour and good-fellowship, what he did mean?
    `Upon my life,' said Carton, smiling, `I find that easier to comprehend in my own mind, than to convey to yours. However, let me try. You remember a certain famous occasion when I was more drunk than--than usual?'
    `I remember a certain famous occasion when you forced me to confess that you had been drinking.'
    `I remember it too. The curse of those occasions is heavy upon me, for I always remember them. I hope it may be taken into account one day, when all days are at an end for me! Don't be alarmed; I am not going to preach.'
    `I am not at all alarmed. Earnestness in you is anything but alarming to me.'
    `Ah!' said Carton, with a careless wave of his hand, as if he waved that away. `On the drunken occasion in question (one of a large number, as you know), I was insufferable about liking you, and not liking you. I wish you would forget it.'
    `I forgot it long ago.'
    `Fashion of speech again! But, Mr. Darnay, oblivion is not so easy to me, as you represent it to be to you. I have by no means forgotten it, and a light answer does not help me to forget it.'
    `If it was a light answer,' returned Darnay, `I beg your forgiveness for it. I had no other object than to turn a slight thing, which, to my surprise, seems to trouble you too much, aside. I declare to you on the faith of a gentleman, that I have long dismissed it from my mind. Good Heaven, what was there to dismiss! Have I had nothing more important to remember, in the great service you rendered me that day?'
    `As to the great service,' said Carton, `I am bound to avow to you, when you speak of it in that way, that it was mere professional claptrap. I don't know that I cared what became of you, when I rendered It.--Mind! I say when I rendered it; I am speaking of the past.'
    `You make light of the obligation,' returned Darnay, `but I will not quarrel with your light answer.'
    `Genuine truth, Mr. Darnay, trust me! I have gone aside from my purpose; I was speaking about our being friends. Now, you know me; you know I am incapable of all the higher and better flights of men. If you doubt it, ask Stryver, and he'll tell you so.'
    `I prefer to form my own opinion, without the aid of his.'
    `Well! At any rate you know me as a dissolute dog who has never done any good, and never will.'
    `I don't know that you "never will."'
    `But I do, and you must take my word for it. Well! If you could endure to have such a worthless fellow, and a fellow of such indifferent reputation, coming and going at odd times, I should ask that I might be permitted to come and go as a privileged person here; that I might be regarded as an useless (and I would add, if it were not for the resemblance I detected between you and me), an unornamental, piece of furniture, tolerated for its old service, and taken no notice of. I doubt if I should abuse the
    permission. It is a hundred to one if I should avail myself of it four times in a year. It would satisfy me, I dare say, to know that I had it.'
    `Will you try?'
    `That is another way of saying that I am placed on the footing I have indicated. I thank you, Darnay. I may use that freedom with your name?'
    `I think so, Carton, by this time.'
    They shook hands upon it, and Sydney turned away. Within a minute afterwards, he was, to all outward appearance, as unsubstantial as ever.
    When he has gone, and in the course of an evening passed with Miss Pross, the Doctor, and Mr. Lorry, Charles Darnay made some mention of this conversation in general terms, and spoke of Sydney Carton as a problem of carelessness and recklessness. He spoke of him, in short, not bitt

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双城记(A Tale of Two Cities)第20章—个请求

erly or meaning to bear hard upon him, but as anybody might who saw him as he showed himself.
    He had no idea that this could dwell in the thoughts of his fair young wife; but, when he afterwards joined her in their own rooms, he found her waiting for him with the old pretty lifting of the forehead strongly marked.
    `We are thoughtful to-night!' said Darnay, drawing his arm about her.
    `Yes, dearest Charles,' with her hands on his breast, and the inquiring and attentive expression fixed upon him; `we are rather thoughtful to-night, for we have something on our mind to-night.'
    `What is it, my Lucie?'
    `Will you promise not to press one question on me, if I beg you not to ask it?'
    "Will I promise? What will I not promise to my Love?'
    What, indeed, with his hand putting aside the golden hair from the cheek, and his other hand against the heart that beat for him!
    `I think, Charles, poor Mr. Carton deserves more consideration and respect than you expressed for him to-night.'
    `Indeed, my own? Why so?'
    `That is what you are not to ask me? But I think--I know--he does.'
    `If you know it, it is enough. What would you have me do, my Life?'
    `I would ask you, dearest, to be very generous with him always, and very lenient on his faults when he is not by. I would ask you to believe that he has a heart he very, very seldom reveals, and that there are deep wounds in it. My dear, I have seen it bleeding.'
    `It is a painful reflection to me, said Charles Darnay, quite astounded, `that I should have done him any wrong. I never thought this of him.'
    `My husband, it is so. I fear he is not to be reclaimed; there is scarcely a hope that anything in his character or fortunes is reparable now. But, I am sure that he is capable of good things, gentle things, even magnanimous things.'
    She looked so beautiful in the purity of her faith in this lost man, that her husband could have looked at her as she was for hours.
    `And, O my dearest Love!' she urged, clinging nearer to him, laying her head upon his breast, and raising her eyes to his, `remember how strong we are in our happiness, and how weak he is in his misery!'
    The supplication touched him home. `I will always remember it, dear Heart! I will remember it as long as I live.'
    He bent over the golden head, and put the rosy lips to his, and folded her in his arms. If one forlorn wanderer then pacing the dark streets, could have heard her innocent disclosure, and could have seen the drops of pity kissed away by her husband from
    the soft blue eyes so loving of that husband, he might have cried to the night--and the words would not have parted from his lips for the first time--
    `God bless her for her sweet compassion!'
    新婚夫妇回家后第一个来祝贺的是西德尼.卡尔顿。他们抵家才几个小时他就出现了。他的习惯、外表或态度都没有什么改进,却带了一种粗鲁的忠诚的神气,那神气在查尔斯.达尔内眼中却是新鲜的。
    他瞅着机会把达尔内拉到一个窗户角落,跟他说了几句不让旁人听见的话。
    “达尔内先生,”卡尔顿说,“我希望我们能成为朋友。”
    “我们已经是朋友了,我希望。”
    “作为一种客套,你这说法倒是不错,不过,我指的并非礼貌上的说法。实际上我希望做的并不是那种意义上的朋友。”
    查尔斯.达尔内自然要问他那是什么意思——问时很快活,也很亲切。
    “我以生命发誓,”卡尔顿微笑说,“我觉得在自己心里懂得那意思要比传达到你的心里容易。不过,我愿意试一试。你记得我有一回酒后失态么?”
    “我记得有一回你逼我承认说你喝醉了酒。”
    “我也记得。酒醒之后那内疚总压在我心里,使我久久难忘。我希望有一天——在我的生命全部结束的时候——能做一番交代!别紧张,我并没有说教的打算。”
    “我一点也不紧张。你的坦率从来不会令我紧张。”
    “啊!”卡尔顿随意挥了挥手,好像要把那紧张挥走。“在我刚才说起的那次酒醉时,那一次(你知道那是我很多次中的一次)我在喜欢或是不喜欢你的问题上表现得很恶劣。我希望你把那件事忘掉。”
    “我早就把它忘掉了。”
    “又玩形式了不是!达尔内先生,要永远遗忘在我可不是那么容易的,并不像你所说的那么轻松。我没有忘记,轻描淡写的回答也不能帮助我忘记。”
    “若是我那回答太轻描淡写,”达尔内回答,“我求你原谅。一件无足轻重的事我只能忘掉,可你却为它那么难过,这叫我非常意外。我以正直人的信念向你保证,我确实早就把那事忘光了。天啦,那样的事有什么值得计较的!你那天帮了我那么大的忙,难道不是我最不能忘记的大事么?”
    “至于那个大忙,”卡尔顿说,“既然你说得那么郑重其事,我倒不能不向你发誓,那只不过是一种手法,为了耸人听闻而已。至于那对你会起什么作用,我当时并没放在心上。注意!我说的是在那时,指的是过去。”
    “你是在贬低你对我的恩德,”达尔内回答,“不过我不愿跟你这样的贬低进行争辩。”
    “十足的真话,达尔内先生,相信我!我已经扯到题外去了。我刚才谈的是我俩做朋友的事。我的为人你是知道的;你知道我不可能搞什么高贵超群的那一套。你要是不信,可以去问斯特莱佛,他会告诉你的。”
    “我倒宁可不要他的帮助而形成自己的看法。”
    “好了!总而言之,你知道我是个放纵的角色,从没干过好事,也决不会干好事。”
    “我还从来不知道你那‘决不会’呢。”
    “可是我知道,你得相信我。好了!如果你能容忍这样一个没出息的、名声不好的人偶然来坐坐,我倒希望你给我一点特权,让我不时来走动走动。我希望能被当作一件没有用的(若不是因为我对我俩外形的相似的发现,我倒想加一句话:不能为厅堂增色的)家具,因为多年使用,所以受到容忍,虽然并不受到注意。我怀疑自己说不定会辜负你的允诺。我怀疑我在一年之内会不会使用这种特权四次(那可能性我估计还不到百分之一)。但我敢说,只要你允许了我,我就心满意足了。”
    “你会来吗?”
    “你这话无异于答应了我所要求的地位。谢谢你,达尔内。我可以以你的名义享用这种自由了吗?”
    “我此刻就同意,卡尔顿。”
  &nb

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双城记(A Tale of Two Cities)第20章—个请求

sp; 他俩为此握了手,西德尼转身走掉了。此后不到一分钟他的神色又跟过去完全一样满不在乎了。
    他离开之后,查尔斯.达尔内跟着洛丝小姐、医生和罗瑞先生一起度过了那个晚上。其间他一般地提起了这次谈话,并把西德尼.卡尔顿的问题看作是个稀里糊涂、鲁莽轻率的问题,但总的说来他的话对他并不尖刻,也无指责的意思,只按常人从他的外表所常持有的看法来看他。
    他可没想到这话竟引起了他年轻美丽的妻子的一些想法。后来他在内室里跟她见面时便发现她漂亮地皱起了眉头,用她那一向引人注目的神态望着他。
    “咱们今天晚上有心事了!”达尔内伸手搂住她。
    “是的,最亲爱的查尔斯,”她用手抚着他的胸口,专注地、询问地凝望着他,“咱们今晚很有些心事呢,因为我感到沉重。”
    “为什么,我的露西?”
    “若是我求你不要问,你能答应决不逼我回答任何问题么?”
    “我能答应么?我还有什么不能答应我的心肝的呢?”
    的确,还有什么不能答应她的呢?他一只手从她脸上掠开了她的金发,另一只手抚住那一颗为他跳动的心。
    “我认为可怜的卡尔顿先生应当得到更多的关心和尊堂。他比你今晚所说的强多了。”
    “真的么,我的宝贝,为什么?”
    “那正是你不能问我的。但是我认为一—我知道——他确实如此。”
    “既然你知道,那就够了。你要我干什么呢,我的生命?”
    “我想求你,我最亲爱的,对他永远要十分地宽厚慷慨,在他不在场的时候,对他的缺点也要非常地宽容。我要请求你相信他有一颗他绝少向人吐露的心,而且心里有沉重的创伤。我亲爱的,我曾见过他的心流血。”
    “你这是在狠狠地斥责我呢,”查尔斯.达尔内十分震惊地说,“是说我委屈了他。我从来没有想到他竟是这样的。”
    “我的丈夫,他是这样的。我担心他是无法改变的了。要想他的性格或命运改变怕是没有希望的。但是我相信他是可以做好事,做高贵的事,甚至超群绝伦的事的。”
    她对这个迷路者的纯洁的信念使她变得非常美丽,她的丈夫可以像这样望着她,望上几个小时。
    “而且,啊,我最亲爱的,”她更紧地靠着他,把头贴在他胸口,抬起眼睛望着他的眼睛叮嘱道,“记住,我们的幸福使我们多么健壮,而他的痛苦又使他多么孱弱。”
    这个请求深深地打动了他。“我要永远记住你的话,亲爱的心肝!我一辈子也会记得的。”
    他向那金发的头弯下腰去,把那玫瑰色的双唇贴向自己的双唇,并把她搂在怀里。如果有一个凄凉的漫游者此时正在黑暗的街头游荡,却听见了她那纯洁无瑕的倾诉,看到了被她的丈夫从她那挚爱的蓝眼睛上亲掉的眼泪,他也许会对着黑夜大叫的,而这话未必是第一次从他的嘴唇里绽出:
    “为了她那甜蜜的同情之心,愿上帝保佑她!”

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