小说:《傲慢与偏见》 第35章 (中英对照)

简.奥斯汀
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              第 35 章

伊莉莎白昨夜一直深思默想到合上眼睛为止,今天一大早醒来,心头又涌起了这些深思默想。她仍然对那桩事感到诧异,无法想到别的事情上去;她根本无心做事,于是决定一吃过早饭就出去好好地透透空气,散散步。她正想往那条心爱的走道上走走去,忽然想到达西先生有时候也上那儿来,于是便住了步。她没有进花园,却走上那条小路,以便和那条有栅门的大路隔得远些。她仍旧沿着花园的围栅走,不久便走过了一道园门。

  她沿着这一段小路来回走了两三遍,禁不住被那清晨的美景吸引得在园门前停住了,朝园里望望。她到肯特五个星期以来,乡村里已经有了很大的变化,早青的树一天比一天绿了。她正要继续走下去,忽然看到花园旁的小林子里有一个男人正朝这儿走来;她怕是达西先生,便立刻往回走。但是那人已经走得很近,可以看得见她了;只见那人急急忙忙往前跑,一面还叫着她的名字。她本来已经掉过头来走开,一听到有人叫她的名字,虽然明知是达西先生,也只得走回到园门边来。达西这时候也已经来到园门口,拿出一封信递给她,她不由自主地收下了。他带着一脸傲慢而从容的神气说道:”我已经在林子里踱了好一会儿,希望碰到你,请你赏个脸,看看这封信,好不好?”于是他微微鞠了一躬,重新踅进草木丛中,立刻就不见了。

  伊莉莎白拆开那封信;这是为了好奇,并不是希望从中获得什么愉快。使她更惊奇的是,信封里装着两张信纸,以细致的笔迹写得密密麻麻。信封上也写满了字。她一面沿着小路走,一面开始读信。信是早上八点钟在罗新斯写的,内容如下:

  小姐:接到这封信时,请你不必害怕。既然昨天晚上向你诉情和求婚,结果只有使你极其厌恶,我自然不会又在这封信里旧事重提。我曾经衷心地希望我们双方会幸福,可是我不想在这封信里再提到这些,免得使你痛苦,使我自己受委屈。我所以要写这封信,写了又要劳你的神去读,这无非是拗不过自己的性格,否则便可以双方省事,免得我写你读。因此你得原谅我那么冒昧地亵渎你的清神,我知道你决不会愿意劳神的,可是我要求你心平气和一些。

  你昨夜曾把两件性质不同、轻重不等的罪名加在我头上。你第一件指责我折散了彬格莱先生和令姐的好事,完全不顾他们俩之间如何情深意切,你第二件指责我不顾体面,丧尽人道,蔑视别人的权益,毁坏了韦翰先生那指日可期的富贵,又破来了他美好的前途。我竟无情无义,抛弃了自己小时候的朋友,一致公认的先父生前的宠幸,一个无依无靠的青年,从小起就指望我们施恩──这方面的确是我的一种遗憾;至于那一对青年男女,他们不过只有几星期的交情,就算我拆散了他们,也不能同这件罪过相提并论。现在请允许我把我自己的行为和动机一一剖白一下,希望你弄明白了其中的原委以后,将来可以不再象昨天晚上那样对我严词苛责。在解释这些必要的事情时,如果我迫不得已,要述述我自己的情绪,因而使你情绪不快,我只得向你表示歉意。既是出于迫不得已,那么再道歉未免就嫌可笑了。我到哈福德郡不久,就和别人一样,看出了彬格莱先生在当地所有的少女中偏偏看中了令姐。但是一直等到在尼日斐花园开跳舞会的那个晚上,我才顾虑到他当真对令姐有了爱恋之意。说到他的恋爱方面,我以前也看得很多。在那次跳舞会上,当我很荣幸地跟你跳舞时,我才听到威廉?卢卡斯偶然说起彬格莱先生对令姐的殷勤已经弄得满城风雨,大家都以为他们就要谈到嫁娶问题。听他说起来,好像事情已经千稳万妥,只是迟早问题罢了。从那时起,我就密切注意着我朋友的行为,于是我看出了他对班纳特小姐的钟情,果然和他往常的恋爱情形大不相同。我也注意着令姐。她的神色和风度依旧象平常那样落落大方,和蔼可亲,并没有钟情于任何人的迹象。根据我那一晚上仔细观察的情形看来,我确实认为她虽然乐意接受他的殷勤,可是她并没有用深情密意来报答他。要是这件事你没有弄错,那么错处一定在我;你对于令姐既有透辟的了解,那么当然可能是我错了。倘若事实果真如此,倘若果真是我弄错了,造成令姐的痛苦,那当然难怪你气愤。可是我可以毫不犹豫地说,令姐当初的风度极其洒脱,即使观察力最敏锐的人,也难免以为她尽管性情柔和,可是她的心不容易打动。我当初确实希望她无动于中,可是我敢说,我虽然主观上有我的希望,有我的顾虑,可是我的观察和我的推断并不会受到主观上的影响。我认为,令姐决不会因为我希望她无动于中,她就当真无动于中;我的看法大公无私,我的愿望也合情合理。我昨天晚上说,遇到这样门户不相称的婚姻,轮到我自己身上的时候,我必须用极大的感情上的力量圆心压制,至于说到他们俩这一门婚姻,我所以要反对,还不光光是为了这些理由,因为关于门户高低的问题,我朋友并不象我那么重视。我所以反对这门婚姻,还有别的一些叫人嫌忌的原因――这些原因虽然到现在还存在,而且在两桩事里面同样存在着,可是我早就尽力把它忘了,因为好在眼不见为净。这里必须把这些原因说一说,即使简单地说一说也好。你母亲娘家亲族虽然叫人不太满意,可是比起你们自己家里人那种完全没有体统的情形来,便简直显得无足轻重。你三个妹妹都是始终一贯地做出许多没有体统的事情来,有时候甚至连你父亲也难免。请原谅我这样直言无讳,其实得罪了你,也使我自己感到难受。你的骨肉至亲有了这些缺点,当然会使你感到难受,我这样一说,当然会叫你更不高兴,可是你只要想一想,你自己和你姐姐举止优雅,人家非得没有责难到你们俩头上,而且对你们褒奖备至,还赏识你们俩的见识和个性,这对于你究竟还不失为一种安慰吧。我还想跟你说一说;我那天晚上看了那种情形,不禁越发确定了我对各个人的看法,越发加深了我的偏见,觉得一定要阻止我的朋友,不让他缔结这门最不幸的婚姻。他第二天就离开尼日斐花园到伦敦去了,我相信你一定记得,他本来打算去一下便立刻回来。

  我得在这里把我当初参与这件事的经过说明一下。原来他的姐妹们当时跟我一样,深为这件事感到不安。我们立刻发觉了彼此有同感,都觉得应该赶快到伦敦去把她们这位兄弟隔离起来,于是决定立刻动身。我们就这样走了。到了那里,便由我负责向我朋友指出,他如果攀上了这门亲事,必定有多少多少坏处。我苦口婆心,再三劝说。我这一番规劝虽然动摇了他的心愿,使他迟疑不决,可是,我当时要不是那么十拿九稳地说,你姐姐对他并没有什么倾心,那么这番规劝也许不会发生这样大的效力,这门婚姻到头来也许终于阻挡不了。在我没有进行这番劝说以前,他总以为令姐即使没有以同样的钟情报答他,至少也是在竟诚期待着他。但是彬格莱先生天性谦和,遇到任何事情,只要我一出主意,他总是相信我胜过相信他自己。我轻而易举地说服了他,使他相信这事情是他自己一时糊涂。他既然有了这个信念,我们便进一步说服他不要回到哈福德郡去,这当然不费吹灰之力。我这样做,自己并没觉得有什么不对。今天回想起来,我觉得只有一件事做得不能叫自己安心,那就是说,令姐来到城里的时候,我竟不择手段,把这个消息瞒住了他。这件事不但我知道,彬格莱小姐也知道,然而她哥哥一直到现在还蒙在鼓里。要是让他们俩见了面,可能也不会有坏的后果,可是我当时认为他并没有完全死心,见到她未必能免于危险。我这样隐瞒,这样欺蒙,也许失掉了我自己的身份。然而事情已经做了,而且完全是出于一片好意。关于这件事,我没有什么可以再说的了,也无用再道歉,如果我伤了令姐的心,也是出于无意;你自然会以为我当初这样做,理由不够充足,可是我到现在还没有觉得有什么不对。现在再谈另一件更重的罪名:毁损了韦翰先生的前途。关于这件事,我唯一的驳斥办法,只有把他和我家的关系全部说给你听,请你评判一下其中的是非曲直。我不知道他特别指责我的是哪一点;但是我要在这里陈述的事实真相,可以找出不少信誉卓著的人出来做见证。韦翰先生是个值得尊敬的人的儿子。他父亲在彭伯里管了好几年产业,极其尽职,这自然使得先父愿意帮他的忙;因此先父对他这个教子乔治?韦翰恩宠有加。先父供给他上学,后来还供给他进剑桥大学──这是对他最重要的一项帮助,因为他自己的父亲被他母亲吃光用穷,无力供给他受高等教育。先父不仅因为这位年轻人风采翩翩而喜欢和他来往,而且非常器重他,希望他从事教会职业,并且一心要替他安插一个位置。至于说到我自己所以对他印象转坏,那已经是好多好多年的事了。他为人放荡不羁,恶习重重,他虽然十分小心地把这些恶习遮掩起来,不让他最好的朋友觉察,可是究竟逃不过一个和他年龄相仿佛的青年人的眼睛,他一个不提防就给我瞧见了漏洞,机会多的是──当然老达西先生决不会有这种机会。这里我不免又要引起你的痛苦了,痛苦到什么地步,只有你自己知道。不论韦翰先生已经引起了你何等样的感情,我却要怀疑到这些感情的本质,因而我也就不得不对你说明他真正的品格。这里面甚至还难免别有用心。德高望重的先父大约去世于五年前,他宠爱韦翰先生始终如一,连遗嘱上也特别向我提到他,要我斟酌他的职业情况,极力提拔他,要是他受了圣职,俸禄优厚的位置一有空缺,就让他替补上去。另外还给了他一千磅遗产。他自己的父亲不久也去世了;这几桩大事发生以后,不出半年工夫,韦翰先生就写信跟我说,他已最后下定决心,不愿意去受圣职;他既然不能获得那个职位的俸禄,便希望我给他一些直接的经济利益,不要以为他这个要求不合理。他又说,他倒有意学法律,他叫我应该明白,要他靠一千磅的利息去学法律,当然非常不够。我与其说,相信他这些话靠得住,不如说,我但愿他这些话靠得住。不过,我无论如何还是愿意答应他的要求。我知道韦翰先生不适宜当牧师。因此这件事立刻就谈妥条件,获得解决:我们拿出三千磅给他,他不再要求我们帮助他获得圣职,算是自动放弃权利,即使将来他有资格担任圣职,也不再提出请求。从此我和他之间的一切关系,便好象一刀两断。我非常看不起他,不再请他到彭伯里来玩,在城里也不和他来往。我相信他大半都住在城里,但是他所谓学法律,只不过是一个借口罢了,现在他既然摆脱了一切羁绊,便整天过着浪荡挥霍的生活。我大约接连三年简直听不到他的消息,可是后来有个牧师逝世了,这份俸禄本来是可以由他接替的,于是他又写信给我,要我荐举他。他说他境遇窘得不能再窘,这一点我当然不难相信。他又说研究法律毫无出息,现在已下决心当牧师,只要我肯荐举他去接替这个位置就行了。他自以为我一定会推荐他,因为他看准我没有别人可以补缺,况且我也不能疏忽先父生前应承他的一片好意。我没有答应他的要求,他再三请求,我依然拒绝,这你总不见得会责备我吧。他的境遇愈困苦,怨愤就愈深。毫无问题,他无论在我背后骂我,当面骂我,都是一样狠毒。从这个时期以后,连一点点面子账的交情都完结了。我不知道他是怎样生活的,可是说来痛心之至,去年夏天他又引起了我的注意。我得在这里讲一件我自己也不愿意记起的事。这件事我本来不愿意让任何人知道,可是这一次却非得说一说不可。说到这里,我相信你一定能保守秘密。我妹妹比我小十多岁,由我母亲的内侄费茨威廉上校和我做她的保护人。大约在一年以前,我们把她从学校里接回来,把她安置在伦敦居住;去年夏天,她跟管家的那位杨吉太太到拉姆斯盖特去了。韦翰先生跟着也赶到那边去,显然是别有用意,因为他和杨吉太太早就认识,我们很不幸上了她的当,看错人了。仗着杨吉太太的纵容和帮忙,他向乔治安娜求爱。可惜乔治安娜心肠太好,还牢牢记着小时候他对待她的亲切,因此竟被他打动了心,自以为爱上了他,答应跟他私奔。她当时才十五岁,我们当然只能原谅她年幼无知。她虽然糊涂胆大,可是总算幸亏她亲口把这件事情告诉了我。原来在他们私奔之前,我出乎意料地来到他们那里;乔治安娜一贯把我这样一个哥哥当作父亲般看待,她不忍叫我伤心受气,于是把这件事向我和盘托出。你可以想像得到,我当时是怎样的感触,又采取了怎样的行动。为了顾全妹妹的名誉和情绪,我没有把这件事公开揭露出来;可是我写了封信给韦翰先生,叫他立刻离开那个地方,杨吉太太当然也给打发走了。毫无问题,韦翰先生主要是看中了我妹妹的三千磅财产,可是我也不禁想到,他也很想借这个机会大大地报复我一下。他差一点儿就报仇成了。小姐,我在这里已经把所有与我们有关的事,都老老实实地谈过了;如果你并不完全认为我撒谎,那么,我希望从今以后,你再也不要认为我对韦翰先生残酷无情。我不知道他是用什么样的胡说,什么样的手段来欺骗你的;不过,你以前对于我们的事情一无所知,那么他骗取了你的信任,也许不足为奇。你既无从探听,又不喜欢怀疑。你也许不明白为什么我昨天晚上不把这一切当面告诉你。可是当时我自己也捉摸不住自己,不知道哪些话可以讲,哪些话应该讲。这封信中所说的一切,是真是假,我可以特别请你问问费茨威廉上校,他是我们的近亲,又是我们的至交,而且是先父遗嘱执行人之一,他对于其中的一切详情自然都十分清楚,他可以来作证明。假使说,你因为厌恶我,竟把我的话看得一文不值,你不妨把你的意见说给我的表弟听;我所以要想尽办法找机会把这封信一大早就交到你手里,就是为了让你可以去和他商量一下。我要说的话都说完了,愿上帝祝福你。

  

费茨威廉达西

Chapter 35

ELIZABETH awoke the next morning to the same thoughts and meditations which had at length closed her eyes. She could not yet recover from the surprise of what had happened; it was impossible to think of any thing else, and, totally indisposed for employment, she resolved soon after breakfast to indulge herself in air and exercise. She was proceeding directly to her favourite walk, when the recollection of Mr. Darcy’s sometimes coming there stopped her, and instead of entering the park, she turned up the lane which led her farther from the turnpike road. The park paling was still the boundary on one side, and she soon passed one of the gates into the ground.
After walking two or three times along that part of the lane, she was tempted, by the pleasantness of the morning, to stop at the gates and look into the park. The five weeks which she had now passed in Kent had made a great difference in the country, and every day was adding to the verdure of the early trees. She was on the point of continuing her walk, when she caught a glimpse of a gentleman within the sort of grove which edged the park; he was moving that way; and fearful of its being Mr. Darcy, she was directly retreating. But the person who advanced was now near enough to see her, and stepping forward with eagerness, pronounced her name. She had turned away, but on hearing herself called, though in a voice which proved it to be Mr. Darcy, she moved again towards the gate. He had by that time reached it also, and holding out a letter, which she instinctively took, said with a look of haughty composure, “I have been walking in the grove some time in the hope of meeting you. Will you do me the honour of reading that letter?” — And then, with a slight bow, turned again into the plantation, and was soon out of sight.
With no expectation of pleasure, but with the strongest curiosity, Elizabeth opened the letter, and, to her still increasing wonder, perceived an envelope containing two sheets of letter paper, written quite through, in a very close hand. — The envelope itself was likewise full. — Pursuing her way along the lane, she then began it. It was dated from Rosings, at eight o’clock in the morning, and was as follows: —
“Be not alarmed, Madam, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any repetition of those sentiments, or renewal of those offers, which were last night so disgusting to you. I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on wishes, which, for the happiness of both, cannot be too soon forgotten; and the effort which the formation and the perusal of this letter must occasion should have been spared, had not my character required it to be written and read. You must, therefore, pardon the freedom with which I demand your attention; your feelings, I know, will bestow it unwillingly, but I demand it of your justice.
Two offences of a very different nature, and by no means of equal magnitude, you last night laid to my charge. The first mentioned was, that, regardless of the sentiments of either, I had detached Mr. Bingley from your sister; — and the other, that I had, in defiance of various claims, in defiance of honour and humanity, ruined the immediate prosperity, and blasted the prospects of Mr. Wickham. — Wilfully and wantonly to have thrown off the companion of my youth, the acknowledged favourite of my father, a young man who had scarcely any other dependence than on our patronage, and who had been brought up to expect its exertion, would be a depravity to which the separation of two young persons, whose affection could be the growth of only a few weeks, could bear no comparison. — But from the severity of that blame which was last night so liberally bestowed, respecting each circumstance, I shall hope to be in future secured, when the following account of my actions and their motives has been read. — If, in the explanation of them which is due to myself, I am under the necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to your’s, I can only say that I am sorry. — The necessity must be obeyed — and farther apology would be absurd. — I had not been long in Hertfordshire, before I saw, in common with others, that Bingley preferred your eldest sister to any other young woman in the country. — But it was not till the evening of the dance at Netherfield that I had any apprehension of his feeling a serious attachment. — I had often seen him in love before. — At that ball, while I had the honour of dancing with you, I was first made acquainted, by Sir William Lucas’s accidental information, that Bingley’s attentions to your sister had given rise to a general expectation of their marriage. He spoke of it as a certain event, of which the time alone could be undecided. From that moment I observed my friend’s behaviour attentively; and I could then perceive that his partiality for Miss Bennet was beyond what I had ever witnessed in him. Your sister I also watched. — Her look and manners were open, cheerful, and engaging as ever, but without any symptom of peculiar regard, and I remained convinced from the evening’s scrutiny, that though she received his attentions with pleasure, she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment. — If you have not been mistaken here, I must have been in an error. Your superior knowledge of your sister must make the latter probable. — If it be so, if I have been misled by such error, to inflict pain on her, your resentment has not been unreasonable. But I shall not scruple to assert that the serenity of your sister’s countenance and air was such as might have given the most acute observer a conviction that, however amiable her temper, her heart was not likely to be easily touched. — That I was desirous of believing her indifferent is certain, — but I will venture to say that my investigations and decisions are not usually influenced by my hopes or fears. — I did not believe her to be indifferent because I wished it; — I believed it on impartial conviction, as truly as I wished it in reason. — My objections to the marriage were not merely those which I last night acknowledged to have required the utmost force of passion to put aside in my own case; the want of connection could not be so great an evil to my friend as to me. — But there were other causes of repugnance; — causes which, though still existing, and existing to an equal degree in both instances, I had myself endeavoured to forget, because they were not immediately before me. — These causes must be stated, though briefly. — The situation of your mother’s family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison of that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly, betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father. — Pardon me. — It pains me to offend you. But amidst your concern for the defects of your nearest relations, and your displeasure at this representation of them, let it give you consolation to consider that to have conducted yourselves so as to avoid any share of the like censure is praise no less generally bestowed on you and your eldest sister, than it is honourable to the sense and disposition of both. — I will only say farther that, from what passed that evening, my opinion of all parties was confirmed, and every inducement heightened, which could have led me before to preserve my friend from what I esteemed a most unhappy connection. — He left Netherfield for London, on the day following, as you, I am certain, remember, with the design of soon returning. —
The part which I acted is now to be explained. — His sisters’ uneasiness had been equally excited with my own; our coincidence of feeling was soon discovered; and, alike sensible that no time was to be lost in detaching their brother, we shortly resolved on joining him directly in London. — We accordingly went — and there I readily engaged in the office of pointing out to my friend, the certain evils of such a choice. — I described, and enforced them earnestly. — But, however this remonstrance might have staggered or delayed his determination, I do not suppose that it would ultimately have prevented the marriage, had it not been seconded by the assurance, which I hesitated not in giving, of your sister’s indifference. He had before believed her to return his affection with sincere, if not with equal, regard. — But Bingley has great natural modesty, with a stronger dependence on my judgment than on his own. — To convince him, therefore, that he had deceived himself, was no very difficult point. To persuade him against returning into Hertfordshire, when that conviction had been given, was scarcely the work of a moment. — I cannot blame myself for having done thus much. There is but one part of my conduct in the whole affair, on which I do not reflect with satisfaction; it is that I condescended to adopt the measures of art so far as to conceal from him your sister’s being in town. I knew it myself, as it was known to Miss Bingley, but her brother is even yet ignorant of it. — That they might have met without ill consequence is, perhaps, probable; — but his regard did not appear to me enough extinguished for him to see her without some danger. — Perhaps this concealment, this disguise, was beneath me. — It is done, however, and it was done for the best. — On this subject I have nothing more to say, no other apology to offer. If I have wounded your sister’s feelings, it was unknowingly done; and though the motives which governed me may to you very naturally appear insufficient, I have not yet learnt to condemn them. —
With respect to that other, more weighty accusation, of having injured Mr. Wickham, I can only refute it by laying before you the whole of his connection with my family. Of what he has particularly accused me, I am ignorant; but of the truth of what I shall relate, I can summon more than one witness of undoubted veracity. Mr. Wickham is the son of a very respectable man, who had for many years the management of all the Pemberley estates; and whose good conduct in the discharge of his trust naturally inclined my father to be of service to him; and on George Wickham, who was his god-son, his kindness was therefore liberally bestowed. My father supported him at school, and afterwards at Cambridge; — most important assistance, as his own father, always poor from the extravagance of his wife, would have been unable to give him a gentleman’s education. My father was not only fond of this young man’s society, whose manners were always engaging; he had also the highest opinion of him, and hoping the church would be his profession, intended to provide for him in it. As for myself, it is many, many years since I first began to think of him in a very different manner. The vicious propensities — the want of principle, which he was careful to guard from the knowledge of his best friend, could not escape the observation of a young man of nearly the same age with himself, and who had opportunities of seeing him in unguarded moments, which Mr. Darcy could not have. Here again I shall give you pain — to what degree you only can tell. But whatever may be the sentiments which Mr. Wickham has created, a suspicion of their nature shall not prevent me from unfolding his real character. It adds even another motive. My excellent father died about five years ago; and his attachment to Mr. Wickham was to the last so steady, that in his will he particularly recommended it to me to promote his advancement in the best manner that his profession might allow, and, if he took orders, desired that a valuable family living might be his as soon as it became vacant. There was also a legacy of one thousand pounds. His own father did not long survive mine, and within half a year from these events Mr. Wickham wrote to inform me that, having finally resolved against taking orders, he hoped I should not think it unreasonable for him to expect some more immediate pecuniary advantage, in lieu of the preferment by which he could not be benefited. He had some intention, he added, of studying the law, and I must be aware that the interest of one thousand pounds would be a very insufficient support therein. I rather wished than believed him to be sincere; but, at any rate, was perfectly ready to accede to his proposal. I knew that Mr. Wickham ought not to be a clergyman. The business was therefore soon settled. He resigned all claim to assistance in the church, were it possible that he could ever be in a situation to receive it, and accepted in return three thousand pounds. All connection between us seemed now dissolved. I thought too ill of him to invite him to Pemberley, or admit his society in town. In town, I believe, he chiefly lived, but his studying the law was a mere pretence, and being now free from all restraint, his life was a life of idleness and dissipation. For about three years I heard little of him; but on the decease of the incumbent of the living which had been designed for him, he applied to me again by letter for the presentation. His circumstances, he assured me, and I had no difficulty in believing it, were exceedingly bad. He had found the law a most unprofitable study, and was now absolutely resolved on being ordained, if I would present him to the living in question — of which he trusted there could be little doubt, as he was well assured that I had no other person to provide for, and I could not have forgotten my revered father’s intentions. You will hardly blame me for refusing to comply with this entreaty, or for resisting every repetition of it. His resentment was in proportion to the distress of his circumstances — and he was doubtless as violent in his abuse of me to others, as in his reproaches to myself. After this period, every appearance of acquaintance was dropt. How he lived I know not. But last summer he was again most painfully obtruded on my notice. I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being. Having said thus much, I feel no doubt of your secrecy. My sister, who is more than ten years my junior, was left to the guardianship of my mother’s nephew, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and myself. About a year ago, she was taken from school, and an establishment formed for her in London; and last summer she went with the lady who presided over it, to Ramsgate; and thither also went Mr. Wickham, undoubtedly by design; for there proved to have been a prior acquaintance between him and Mrs. Younge, in whose character we were most unhappily deceived; and by her connivance and aid he so far recommended himself to Georgiana, whose affectionate heart retained a strong impression of his kindness to her as a child, that she was persuaded to believe herself in love, and to consent to an elopement. She was then but fifteen, which must be her excuse; and after stating her imprudence, I am happy to add that I owed the knowledge of it to herself. I joined them unexpectedly a day or two before the intended elopement; and then Georgiana, unable to support the idea of grieving and offending a brother whom she almost looked up to as a father, acknowledged the whole to me. You may imagine what I felt and how I acted. Regard for my sister’s credit and feelings prevented any public exposure, but I wrote to Mr. Wickham, who left the place immediately, and Mrs. Younge was of course removed from her charge. Mr. Wickham’s chief object was unquestionably my sister’s fortune, which is thirty thousand pounds; but I cannot help supposing that the hope of revenging himself on me was a strong inducement. His revenge would have been complete indeed.
This, madam, is a faithful narrative of every event in which we have been concerned together; and if you do not absolutely reject it as false, you will, I hope, acquit me henceforth of cruelty towards Mr. Wickham. I know not in what manner, under what form of falsehood, he has imposed on you; but his success is not, perhaps, to be wondered at. Ignorant as you previously were of every thing concerning either, detection could not be in your power, and suspicion certainly not in your inclination. You may possibly wonder why all this was not told you last night. But I was not then master enough of myself to know what could or ought to be revealed. For the truth of every thing here related, I can appeal more particularly to the testimony of Colonel Fitzwilliam, who from our near relationship and constant intimacy, and still more as one of the executors of my father’s will, has been unavoidably acquainted with every particular of these transactions. If your abhorrence of me should make my assertions valueless, you cannot be prevented by the same cause from confiding in my cousin; and that there may be the possibility of consulting him, I shall endeavour to find some opportunity of putting this letter in your hands in the course of the morning. I will only add, God bless you.
FITZWILLIAM DARCY.”

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  •  第 33 章

    伊莉莎白在花园里散步的时候,曾经好多次出乎意料地碰见达西先生。别人不来的地方他偏偏会来,这真是不幸,她觉得好象是命运在故意跟她闹别扭。她第一次就对他说,她喜欢独自一人到这地方来溜达,当时的用意就是不让以后再有这种事情发生。如果会有第二次,那才叫怪呢。然而毕竟有了第二次,甚至还会有第三次,看上去他好象是故意跟她过不去,否则就是有心要来赔罪;因为这几次他既不是跟她敷衍几句就哑口无言,也不是稍隔一会儿就走开,而是当真掉过头来跟她一块儿走走。他从来不多说话,她也懒得多讲,懒得多听;可是第三次见面的时候,他问她住在汉斯福快活不快活,问她为什么喜欢孤单单一个人散步,又问起她是不是觉得柯林斯夫妇很幸福。谈起罗新斯,她说她对于那家人家不大了解,他倒好象希望她以后每逢有机会再到肯特来,也会去那儿小住一阵,从他的出言吐语里面听得出他有这层意思。难道他在替费茨威廉上校转念头吗?她想,如果他当真话里有音,那他一定暗示那个人对她有些动心。她觉得有些痛苦,她在已经走到牧师住宅对过的围墙门口,因此又觉得很高兴。

  •               第 32 章

    第二天早晨,柯林斯太太和玛丽亚到村里有事去了,伊莉莎白独自坐在家里写信给吉英,这时候,她突然吓了一跳,因为门铃响了起来,准是有客人来了。她并没有听到马车声,心想,可能是咖苔琳夫人来了,于是她就疑虑不安地把那封写好一半的信放在一旁,免得她问些卤莽的话。就在这当儿,门开了,她大吃一惊,万万想不到走进来的是达西先生,而且只有达西一个人。

  •    第 31 章

    费茨廉的风度大受牧师家里人的称道,女眷们都觉得他会使罗新斯宴会平添不少情趣。不过,他们已经有好几天没有受到罗新斯那边的邀请,因为主人家有了客人,用不着他们了;一直到复活节那一天,也就是差不多在这两位贵宾到达一星期以后,他们才蒙受到被邀请的荣幸,那也不过是大家离开教堂时,主人家当面约定他们下午去玩玩而已。上一个星期他们简直就没有见到咖苔琳夫人母女。在这段时间里,费茨威廉到牧师家来拜望过好多次,但是达西先生却没有来过,他们仅仅是在教堂里才见到他。

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  • 第28章
  • 第 27 章
    浪搏恩这家人家除了这些事以外,再没有别的大事;除了到麦里屯去散散步以外,再没有别的消遣。时而雨水泞途、时而风寒刺骨的正月和二月,就这样过去了。三月里伊莉莎白要上汉斯福去。开头她并不是真想去;可是她立刻想到夏绿蒂对于原来的约定寄予了很大的期望,于是她也就带着比较乐意和比较肯定的心情来考虑这个问题了。离别促进了她想夏绿蒂重逢的愿望,也消除了她对柯林斯先生的厌恶。这个计划多少总有它新奇的地方;再说,家里有了这样的母亲和这样几位不能融洽的妹妹,自难完美无缺,换换环境也好。趁著旅行的机会也可去看看吉英;总之,时日迫近了,她反而有些等不及了。她在一切都进行得很顺利,最后依旧照了夏绿蒂原先的意思,跟威廉爵士和他的第二个女儿一块儿去作一次客。以后这计划又补充了一下,决定在伦敦住一夜,这一来可真是个十全十美的计划了。
  • 第26章
  •       第 25 章

    谈情说爱,筹画好事,就这样度过了一星期,终于到了星期六,柯林斯先生不得不和心爱的夏绿蒂告别。不过,他既已作好接新娘的准备,离别的愁苦也就因此减轻了,他只等下次再来哈福郡,订出佳期,使他成为天下最幸福的男子。他象上次一样隆重其事地告别了浪搏恩的亲戚们,祝贺姐妹们健康幸福,又答应给他们的父亲再来一封谢函。

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