茶花女-第15章

2016-09-05  | 茶花 茶花女 Marguerite 

  JOSEPH and I had been getting everything ready for my departure for about an hour, when there was a violent ringing at my door.

  'Should I answer it?' said Joseph.

  'Yes, ' I told him, wondering who could be calling so late, and not daring to hope it was Marguerite.

  'Sir, ' said Joseph when he returned, 'there are two ladies?

  'It's us, Armand, ' cried a voice which I recognized as belonging to Prudence.

  I emerged from my bedroom.

  Prudence was standing and gazing about her at the few curios dotted around my drawing-room; Marguerite was sitting on the sofa, occupied by her thoughts.

  When I entered, I went to her, knelt before her, took both her hands and, in a voice touched with emotion, I said:

  'Forgive me.'

  She kissed me on the brow and said:

  'That's the third time I've forgiven you.'

  'I was going to go away tomorrow.'

  'How can my visit change your mind? I haven't come here to stop you leaving Paris. I came because I haven't had time all day to reply to your letter, and I didn't want to leave you with the impression that I was cross with you. Even so, Prudence didn't want me to come: she said I might be in your way.'

  'You! In my way, Marguerite! But how?'

  'Why, you could have had a woman here, ' answered Prudence, 'and it wouldn't have been very funny for her to see another two turning up.'

  While Prudence was making this remark, Marguerite watched me closely.

  'My dear Prudence, ' I replied, 'you're talking nonsense.'

  'You've got a very nice apartment, ' answered Prudence. 'Mind if I take a look at the bedroom?'

  'Not at all.'

  Prudence went off into my bedroom, not so much to see inside as to cover up her unfortunate remark and to leave Marguerite and me alone together.

  'Why did you bring Prudence with you?' I said.

  'Because she was with me at the theatre, and because I wanted to have someone to see me home when I left here.'

  'Couldn't I have done it?'

  'Yes. But apart from the fact that I didn't want to disturb you, I was quite certain that when you got to my door you would ask if you could come up and, since I couldn't let you, I didn't want you to go away feeling you had any right to blame me for refusing you anything.'

  'And why couldn't you let me come up?'

  'Because I'm being watched very closely, and because the least hint of suspicion could do me a great deal of harm.'

  'Is that the only reason?'

  'If there was another, I would tell you what it was; we've got past the stage of having secrets from each other.'

  'Listen, Marguerite, I'm not going to make any bones about what I want to say to you. Tell me, do you love me a little?'

  'A great deal.'

  'Then why did you deceive me?'

  'My dear, if I were the Duchess of This or That, if I had two hundred thousand livers a year, if I were your mistress and had another lover besides you, then you'd have every right to ask why I deceive you. But I am Mademoiselle Marguerite Gautier, I have debts of forty thousand and not a penny behind me, and I spend a hundred thousand francs a year: your question is out of order and my answer irrelevant.'

  'You're quite right, ' I said, letting my head fall on to Marguerite's knees, 'but I do love you, to distraction.'

  'Well, my dear, you should have loved me a little less or understood me a little better. Your letter hurt me very deeply. If I'd been free to choose, then in the first place I would never have seen the Count the day before yesterday, or, if I had, I would have come to beg you for the forgiveness which you asked of me a few moments ago and, from that moment on, I would have had no other lover but you. There was a moment when I thought I could indulge myself and be really happy for those six months. You would have none of it; you just had to know how I was going to manage it ?good heavens! it was easy enough to guess. The sacrifice I was going to have to make if it was to be possible, was much greater than you think. I could have told you: "I need twenty thousand francs." You were in love with me, you would have raised it somehow, though there was a risk that one day you'd be sorry you'd done so and blame me. I chose to owe you nothing; you didn't understand my delicacy, for delicacy it is. Girls of my sort, at least those of us who still have some feelings left, take words and things further and deeper than other women. I repeat: coming from Marguerite Gautier, the means with she found of repaying her debts without asking you for the money it took, was an act of great delicacy of which you should now take advantage without another word. If you met me today for the first time, you'd be only too delighted with the promises I'd make you, and you wouldn't ask questions about what I did the day before yesterday. Sometimes, we have no choice but to buy gratifications for the soul at some cost to the body, and it hurts all the more when those gratifications subsequently elude us.'

  I heard and saw Marguerite with admiration. When I reflected that this marvellous creature, whose feet I once had longed to kiss, should consent to give me a place in her thoughts and a role in her life, and when I thought that I was still not content with what she was giving me, I asked myself whether man's desire has any limits at all if, though satisfied as promptly as mine had been, it can still aspire to something more.

  'It's true, ' she went on, 'we creatures of chance have weird desires and unimaginable passions. Sometimes we give ourselves for one thing, sometimes for another. There are men who could ruin themselves and get nowhere with us; there are others who can have us for a bunch of flowers. Our hearts are capricious: it's their only diversion and their only excuse. I gave myself to you more quickly than I ever did to another man, I swear. Why? Because when you saw me coughing blood, you took me by the hand, because you wept, because you are the only human being who ever felt sorry for me. I'm now going to tell you something silly. Once I had a little dog who used to look at me with sad eyes when I coughed: he was the only living creature I have ever loved.

  'When he died, I cried more than after my mother's death. Mind you, she did spend twelve years of her life beating me. Well, from the start, I loved you as much as my dog. If men only knew what can be had with just one tear, they would be better loved and we should ruin fewer of them.

  'Your letter gave you away: it showed me that you didn't understand the workings of the heart, and it injured you more in the love. I had for you than anything else you could have done. It was jealousy, of course, but a sarcastic, haughty kind of jealousy. I was feeling miserable when I got the letter. I was counting on seeing you at midday, on having lunch with you, hoping the sight of you would chase away a thought I kept having which, before I knew you, never bothered me in the least.

  'Then again, 'continued Marguerite, 'you were the only person with whom I'd sensed from the first I could think and speak freely. People who congregate around girls like me can gain a great deal by paying close attention to the slightest words we say, and by drawing conclusions from our most insignificant actions. Naturally, we have no friends, we have egotistical lovers who spend their fortunes not on us, as they claim, but on their vanity.

  'For men like these, we have to be cheerful when they are happy, hale and hearty when they decide they want supper, and as cynical as they are. We are not allowed to have feelings, for fear of being jeered at and losing our credibility.

  'Our lives are no longer our own. We aren't human beings, but things. We rank first in their pride, and last in their good opinion. We have women friends, but they are friends like Prudence ? yesterday's kept women who still have expensive tastes which their age prevents them from indulging. So they become our friends, or rather associates. Their friendship may verge on the servile, but it is never disinterested. They'll never give you a piece of advice unless there's money in it. They don't care if we've got ten lovers extra as long as they get a few dresses or a bracelet out of them and can drive about every now and then in our carriages and sit in our boxes at the theatre. They end up with the flowers we were given the night before, and they borrow our Indian shawls. They never do us a good turn, however trifling, without making sure they get paid twice what their trouble was worth. You saw as much yourself the evening Prudence brought me the six thousand francs which I'd asked her to go and beg from the Duke; she borrowed five hundred francs which she'll never give back, or else she'll pay it off in hats that will never get taken out of their boxes.

  'So we can have, or rather I had, only one hope of happiness: and this was, sad as I sometimes am and ill as I am always, to find a man of sufficiently rare qualities who would never ask me to account for my actions, and be the lover of my wilder fancies more than the lover of my body. I found this man in the Duke, but the Duke is old and old age neither shields nor consoles. I'd thought I could settle for the life he made for me. But it was no use. I was dying of boredom, and I felt that if I was going to be destroyed, then I might as well jump into the flames as choke on the fumes.

  'Then I met you. You were young, passionate, happy, and I tried to turn you into the man I had cried out for in my crowded but empty life. What I loved in you was not the man you were but the man you could be. You refuse to accept the part; you reject it as unworthy of you; you are a commonplace lover, just do what the others do: pay me and let's not talk about it any more.'

  Marguerite, tired by this long confession, settled back into the sofa and, to check a mild fit of coughing, put her handkerchief to her lips and even wiped her eyes.

  'Forgive me, forgive me, ' I murmured, 'I knew all this, but I wanted to hear you say it, my darling Marguerite. Let's forget the rest. Let's just remember one thing: we belong to one another, we are young and we are in love.

  'Marguerite, do with me what you will. I am your slave, your dog. But, in the name of God, tear up the letter I wrote you and don't let me go away tomorrow. It would kill me.'

  Marguerite withdrew the letter from the bodice of her dress and, as she handed it back to me, said with a smile of infinite sweetness:

  'Here, I was bringing it back to you.'

  I tore up the letter and, with tears in my eyes, kissed the hand which held it.

  At this juncture, Prudence reappeared.

  'Oh, Prudence, can you guess what he wants me to do?' said Marguerite.

  'To forgive him.'

  'That's right.'

  'And have you?'

  'I can't do otherwise. But there's something else he wants.'

  'What's that?'

  'He wants to come and have supper with us.'

  'And are you going to say yes?'

  'What do you think?'

  'I think you're a couple of children without an ounce of common sense between you. But I also think that I'm ravenous, and the sooner you do say yes, the sooner we'll have supper.'

  'Come on, then, ' said Marguerite, 'we can all fit into my carriage. By the way, ' she added, turning to me, 'Nanine will have gone to bed, so you'll have to open the door. Take my key, and try not to lose it again.'

  I kissed Marguerite until she had no breath left.

  Thereupon, Joseph came in.

  'Sir, ' he said with the air of a man terribly pleased with himself, 'the trunks are packed.'

  'All of them?'

  'Yes, sir.'

  'Well, unpack them. I'm not leaving.'

  我和约瑟夫为我动身做准备,忙了将近一个小时,突然有人猛拉我家的门铃。

  鈥溡灰牛库澰忌蛭饰摇

  鈥溈桑澪叶运担睦镌卩止舅嵩谡庵质焙蛏衔壹依矗蛭也桓蚁嘈耪饣崾锹旮窭鎏亍

  鈥溝壬澰忌蚧乩炊晕宜担準橇轿惶b

  鈥準俏颐牵⒍ⅲ澮桓錾ぷ尤碌溃姨稣馐瞧章傻彼康纳簟

  我走出卧室。

  普律当丝站着观赏我会客室里的几件摆设,玛格丽特坐在沙发椅里沉思。

  我进去以后径直向她走去,跪下去握住她的双手,激动万分地对她说:鈥溤挛野伞b

  她吻了吻我的前额对我说:

  鈥溦庖丫俏业谌卧履恕b

  鈥湻裨蛭颐魈炀鸵吡恕b

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  鈥溎蛉盼遥磕旮窭鎏兀≡趺椿崮兀库

  鈥湹比宦蓿∧依锟赡苡幸桓雠耍澠章傻彼炕卮鹚怠

  鈥溗吹接掷戳肆礁隹刹皇呛猛娴摹b

  在普律当丝发表她的高论时,玛格丽特注意地打量着我。

  鈥溛仪装钠章傻彼浚澪一卮鹚担溎蛑笔窃诤丁b

  鈥溎馓追考洳贾玫煤芷粒澠章傻彼壳雷潘担溛颐强梢钥纯茨奈允衣穑库

  鈥溈梢浴b

  普律当丝走进我的卧室,她倒并非真要参观我的卧室,而是要赎补她刚才的蠢话,这样就留下玛格丽特和我两个人了。

  于是我问她:鈥溎裁匆章傻彼坷矗库

  鈥溡蛭聪肥彼阕盼遥偎道肟饫锸币惨腥伺阄摇b

  鈥溛也皇窃谡舛穑库

  鈥準堑模且环矫嫖也辉敢饴榉衬硪环矫嫖腋铱隙搅宋壹颐趴诰突嵋笊下サ轿壹遥胰床荒芡猓也辉敢庖蛭业木芫鼓诶肟沂庇钟辛艘桓雎裨刮业娜ɡb

  鈥溎敲茨裁床荒芙哟夷兀库

  鈥溡蛭沂艿窖厦艿募嗍樱圆蛔⒁饩突嶂纱蟠怼b

  鈥溄鼋鍪钦飧鲈蚵穑库

  鈥溔绻斜鸬脑颍一岫阅档模颐侵洳辉儆惺裁疵孛芰恕b

  鈥溹龋旮窭鎏兀也幌牍胀淠ń堑馗祷埃鲜邓蛋桑烤褂行┌衣穑库

  鈥湴恕b

  鈥溎敲矗裁雌燮遥库

  鈥溛业呐笥眩热粑沂且晃皇裁垂舴蛉耍热粑矣卸蚶ザ杲穑敲次以谧隽四那楦疽院笥钟辛肆硗庖桓銮槿说幕埃残砭陀腥ɡ次饰椅裁雌燮坏俏沂锹旮窭鎏戈蒂埃小姐,我有的是四万法郎的债务,没有一个铜子的财产,而且每年还要花掉十万法郎,因此您的问题提得毫无意义,我回答您也是白费精神。鈥

  鈥溦媸钦庋澪业耐反乖诼旮窭鎏氐南ジ巧纤担湹俏曳⒎杷频匕拍b

  鈥溎敲矗业呐笥眩蜕侔乙恍嗔私馕乙恍D男攀刮液苌诵模绻业纳碜邮亲杂傻模紫任仪疤炀筒换峤哟簦词菇哟怂乙不崂辞竽拢拖衲詹徘笪以乱谎乙院蟪四乙膊换嵩儆衅渌槿肆恕S幸徽笞游乙晕乙残砟芟硎艿搅鲈碌那甯#植辉敢猓且烙玫氖鞘裁捶椒ǎ。炷模∮檬裁捶椒ɑ褂梦事穑课也捎谜庑┓椒ㄊ彼鞯奈饶胂蟮幕挂螅冶纠纯梢远阅担何倚枰酵蚍ɡ桑荒巯抡诎遥诵砘岢锘降模裙罂赡芫鸵裨刮伊恕N仪樵甘裁炊疾宦榉衬欢梦叶阅奶逄蛭馐俏业囊环嘈摹N颐钦庑┡耍谖颐腔褂幸坏懔夹牡氖焙颍颐撬档幕昂妥龅氖露加猩羁痰暮澹馐潜鸬呐怂荒芾斫獾模灰虼宋以俣阅狄槐椋月旮窭鎏戈蒂埃来说,她所找到的不向您要钱又能还清债务的方法是对您的体贴,您应该默不作声地受用的。如果您今天才认识我,那么您会对我答应您的事感到非常幸福,您也就不会盘问我前天干了些什么事。有时候我们被迫牺牲肉体以换得精神上的满足,但当精神上的满足也失去了以后,我们就更加觉得痛苦不堪了。鈥

  我带着赞赏的心情听着和望着玛格丽特。当我想到这个人间尤物,过去我曾渴望吻她的脚,现在她却让我看到了她的思想深处,并让我成为她生活中的一员,而我现在对此却还不满意,我不禁自问,人类的欲望究竟还有没有个尽头。我这样快地实现了我的梦想,可我又在得寸进尺了。

  鈥溦馐钦娴模澦幼潘担溛颐钦庑┦苊税诓嫉呐耍颐怯幸恍┕殴值脑竿筒豢伤家榈陌椤N颐怯惺蔽四骋患拢惺焙蛴治肆硪患露碛谌恕S行┤宋颐乔慵业床匆晃匏茫灿行┤酥挥靡皇驶ň突坏昧宋颐恰N颐瞧疽皇备咝硕嫘乃馐俏颐墙鲇械南埠臀ㄒ坏慕杩凇N椅碛谀恽 比谁都快,这我可以向你起誓,为什么呢?因为你看到我吐血就握住我的手,还流了眼泪,因为你是唯一真正同情我的人。我要告诉你一个笑话:从前我有一只小狗,当我咳嗽的时候,它总是用悲哀的神气瞅着我,它是我唯一喜爱过的动物。

  ①在法语对话中一般用第二人称复数(您)代替第二人称单数(你),表示客气;但对亲密的人仍用第二人称单数(你)。本书中对称时,鈥溎潯⑩溎汊澯惺被挥茫拥笔苯不罢叩男那楹统『隙ā

  鈥溗赖氖焙颍铱薜帽人懒饲啄锘挂诵模业牡娜啡钒ち宋夷盖资甑拇蚵睢>驼庋乙幌伦泳桶狭四悖拖癜狭宋业墓芬谎H绻腥嗣嵌级糜醚劾峥梢曰坏叫┦裁矗蔷突岣秩说南舶颐且膊换嵴庋踊羲堑那屏恕

  鈥溎愕睦葱疟┞读四愕恼嫦啵夥庑鸥嫠呶夷愕男睦锊⒉幻靼祝游叶阅愕陌槔此担还苣愣晕易隽耸裁词拢裁挥斜日夥庑鸥业纳撕Ω蟮牧耍嫡馐羌刀实慕峁庖彩钦娴模钦庵旨刀适呛芸尚Φ模彩呛艽直┑摹5蔽沂盏侥憷葱攀保乙丫荒咽艿牧耍纠次掖蛩愕街形缛タ茨悖湍阋黄鸪晕绶梗挥性诳吹侥阋院螅也拍苣ǖ羰贾站啦谖夷院@锏囊恍┫敕ǎ谌鲜赌阋郧埃庑┦挛沂歉静坏币换厥碌摹

  鈥湺遥澛旮窭鎏丶绦担溛蚁嘈乓仓挥性谀忝媲埃也趴梢酝瞥舷嗉匏惶浮D切┪ё畔裎乙谎墓媚镒娜硕枷不抖运堑囊谎砸挥镅案康祝朐谒俏抟獾男卸镎页鍪裁春謇础N颐堑比幻挥惺裁磁笥眩颐怯械亩际且恍┳运阶岳那槿耍腔踊羟撇⒎窍袼撬档氖俏宋颐牵俏怂亲约旱男槿傩摹

  鈥湺杂谡庑┤耍彼强牡氖焙颍颐潜匦肟炖郑坏彼且砸瓜氖焙颍颐潜匦刖Τ渑妫坏彼且缮褚晒淼氖焙颍颐且惨缮褚晒怼N颐钦庑┤耸遣荒苡惺裁戳夹牡模裨蚓鸵怀奥睿鸵悔佟

  鈥溛颐且丫聿挥杉毫耍颐遣辉偈侨耍敲挥猩亩鳌K且阕宰鹦氖弊钕认氲降氖俏颐牵怯职盐颐强吹帽人疾蝗纭N颐怯幸恍┡笥眩际窍衿章傻彼磕茄呐笥眩枪ヒ彩羌伺踊艄吡耍衷谌死狭耍辉市硭钦庋隽耍谑牵浅闪宋颐堑呐笥眩梢运党闪宋颐堑氖晨汀K堑挠亚樯踔恋搅丝晒┣沟牡夭剑永匆驳讲涣宋匏降某潭取K亲苁歉颐浅鲂┰跹糖牡阕印V灰悄芙璐俗揭恍┮律篮褪资危芫3俗盼颐堑某底映鋈ス涔洌茏谖颐堑陌崂锟聪罚颐羌词褂惺父銮槿艘膊还厮堑氖隆K悄萌チ宋颐乔耙惶煊霉幕ㄊ栌梦颐堑目久着纭<词故且患ヂ槁潭勾蟮男∈拢且惨笪颐撬兜男焕瘢裨蛩鞘遣换嵛颐切Ю偷摹D翘焱砩夏悴皇乔籽劭醇寺穑科章傻彼扛夷美戳肆Хɡ桑馐俏仪胨焦裟抢锾嫖乙吹摹K蛭医枞チ宋灏俜ɡ桑獗是怯涝恫换峄刮业模椿刮壹付ビ貌蛔潘瞧品岩桓鲎佣拿弊印

  鈥溡虼宋颐牵蛘卟蝗缢滴遥荒芄挥幸恢中腋#饩褪钦乙桓龅匚桓叩哪腥恕O裎艺庋桓龆喑钌聘小⑷找故懿⊥凑勰サ目嗝耍ㄒ坏男腋R簿褪钦业揭桓鲆蚱涑讯焕垂饰业纳畹哪腥耍艹晌桓鲋馗星榍崛庥那槿恕N夜フ业焦飧鋈耍褪枪簦裟晔乱迅撸炔荒鼙;の矣植荒馨参课摇N以晕芄唤邮芩野才诺纳睿悄憬形以趺窗炷兀课艺嫜岱乘懒恕<偃缫桓鋈俗⒍ㄒ芗灏径溃酱蠡鹬腥ド账篮陀妹浩炊舅啦欢际且桓鲅穑

  鈥溎鞘焙颍矣龅搅四悖隳昵帷⑷惹椤⒖炖郑蚁胧鼓愠晌以诒砻嫒饶质导始拍纳钪醒罢业娜恕N以谀闵砩纤模皇窍衷诘娜耍且院笥Ω帽涑傻娜恕D悴唤邮苷飧鼋巧衔飧鼋巧阅悴皇屎隙懿唤邮埽敲茨阋膊还且桓鲆话愕那槿耍荒憔拖癖鹑艘谎肚野桑鹪偬刚庑┦铝恕b

  说过这段长长的表白后,玛格丽特很疲乏,她靠在沙发椅背上,为了忍住一阵因虚弱而引起的阵咳,她把手绢按在嘴唇上,甚至把眼睛都蒙上了。

  鈥溤挛遥挛遥澪亦厮担溡磺形易约阂惨丫靼琢耍俏以敢馓惆颜庑┧党隼矗易钭钋装穆旮窭鎏兀颐侵灰亲∫患拢哑溆嗟亩谀院蟀桑荒蔷褪俏颐怯啦环掷耄颐悄昙突购芮幔颐窍嗲紫喟

  鈥溌旮窭鎏兀姹隳惆盐以跹夹校沂悄愕呐ィ愕墓罚坏强丛谏咸斓姆萆希盐倚锤愕男潘旱舭桑魈毂鹑梦易撸裨蛭乙赖摹b

  玛格丽特把我给她的信从她衣服的胸口里取出来,还给了我,她带着一种难以形容的微笑对我说:

  鈥溈矗野研鸥愦戳恕b

  我撕掉了信,含着眼泪吻着她向我伸过来的手。

  这时候普律当丝又来了。

  鈥溎担章傻彼浚浪笪沂裁词拢库澛旮窭鎏厮怠

  鈥溗竽隆b

  鈥溦钦庋b

  鈥溎铝寺穑库

  鈥湹比宦蓿撬褂幸桓鲆蟆b

  鈥準裁匆螅库

  鈥溗臀颐且黄鸪砸瓜b

  鈥溎饬寺穑库

  鈥溎茨兀库

  鈥溛铱茨忝橇礁龆际呛⒆樱己苡字桑俏蚁衷诙亲右丫芏隽耍忝窃缫坏憬埠茫颐蔷涂梢栽缫坏愠砸瓜b

  鈥溩甙桑澛旮窭鎏厮担溛颐侨鋈艘黄胱业某底尤ズ美病b濃溛梗♀澦矶晕宜担溎赡崮染鸵趿耍昧宋业脑砍兹タ牛⒁獗鹪侔阉恕b

  我紧紧地拥抱着玛格丽特,差一点把她给闷死。

  这时候约瑟夫进来了。

  鈥溝壬澦悦靡獾厮担溞欣罾昧恕b

  鈥溔昧寺穑库

  鈥準堑模壬b

  鈥溎敲矗蚩桑也蛔吡恕b

 
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