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汤姆●琼斯—一个弃儿的个人史01.05

汤姆●琼斯—一个弃儿的个人史01.05

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Chapter v. — Containing a few common matters, with a very uncommon observation upon them.

第5回——包含几件寻常琐事,以及对这几件事情异乎寻常的见解。

When her master was departed, Mrs Deborah stood silent, expecting her cue from Miss Bridget; for as to what had past before her master, the prudent housekeeper by no means relied upon it, as she had often known the sentiments of the lady in her brother's absence to differ greatly from those which she had expressed in his presence. Miss Bridget did not, however, suffer her to continue long in this doubtful situation; for having looked some time earnestly at the child, as it lay asleep in the lap of Mrs Deborah, the good lady could not forbear giving it a hearty kiss, at the same time declaring herself wonderfully pleased with its beauty and innocence. Mrs Deborah no sooner observed this than she fell to squeezing and kissing, with as great raptures as sometimes inspire the sage dame of forty and five towards a youthful and vigorous bridegroom, crying out, in a shrill voice, “O, the dear little creature!—The dear, sweet, pretty creature! Well, I vow it is as fine a boy as ever was seen!”

主人走后,卫黛菠大妈站在那里默不作声,期待着探一探万丽姬小姐的口风;这位女管家心思缜密,对于刚才主人在场时所发生的一切,她绝不会信以为真。因为她已经三番五次领教了这位小姐的种种情绪,哥哥在场一套,哥哥不在场完全是另一套。然而,万丽姬小姐并没有让卫大妈的这种疑窦持续太久;因为孩子躺在卫黛菠大妈的膝上还睡着时,这位心地善良的女士仔细端详了一会儿,忍不住美美地亲了孩子一口,同时声称说这孩子长相秀美,天真可爱,她满面欢喜的程度令人感到匪夷所思。卫黛菠大妈看到这一幕,立刻迫不及待地低下头把孩子连搂带亲,如同一个四十五岁睿智老练的妇人,看到精力充沛的年轻新郎倌时偶尔也会激发出的种种狂喜之态,她尖声叫道:“哦,多可爱的小宝贝啊!——多可爱、多可亲、多俊俏的小家伙!啊,我敢打赌这是我见过的最好看的男娃娃!”

These exclamations continued till they were interrupted by the lady, who now proceeded to execute the commission given her by her brother, and gave orders for providing all necessaries for the child, appointing a very good room in the house for his nursery. Her orders were indeed so liberal, that, had it been a child of her own, she could not have exceeded them; but, lest the virtuous reader may condemn her for showing too great regard to a base-born infant, to which all charity is condemned by law as irreligious, we think proper to observe that she concluded the whole with saying, “Since it was her brother's whim to adopt the little brat, she supposed little master must be treated with great tenderness. For her part, she could not help thinking it was an encouragement to vice; but that she knew too much of the obstinacy of mankind to oppose any of their ridiculous humours.”

卫大妈嘴里喋喋不休地夸着这孩子,直到万丽姬小姐把她的话打断,现在她要开始执行哥哥托付给她的任务,发号施令为孩子准备所有的必需品,指定屋子中一间上好房间作为育儿室。她真地是不惜一切代价,即便对自己的亲生孩子,恐怕也不过如此;但是,品行端正的读者也许会责怪她对这个出身低贱的婴儿过度关心,因为对私生子的所有慈爱会遭受法律谴责,大家会认为这样不合宗法。为了避免这种情况,我们觉得有必要提一下,万丽姬小姐发号施令结束后说道,既然她哥哥心血来潮要收养这个小毛孩,她觉得大家必须用很温和的态度来对待这位小少爷。就她而言,她禁不住会觉得这样做无异于怂恿人去干坏事;但男人一旦固执起来,他们任何荒唐可笑的脾气根本无人能反驳,她对此了如指掌。

With reflections of this nature she usually, as has been hinted, accompanied every act of compliance with her brother's inclinations; and surely nothing could more contribute to heighten the merit of this compliance than a declaration that she knew, at the same time, the folly and unreasonableness of those inclinations to which she submitted. Tacit obedience implies no force upon the will, and consequently may be easily, and without any pains, preserved; but when a wife, a child, a relation, or a friend, performs what we desire, with grumbling and reluctance, with expressions of dislike and dissatisfaction, the manifest difficulty which they undergo must greatly enhance the obligation.

正如前文所透露的那样,每次万丽姬小姐屈从于她哥哥的种种意愿时,都会伴随着她所发出的这番类似感慨;可以肯定的是,要使得屈从这一优点更加突出,莫过于她屈从的同时声明一下,说自己知道,她所屈从的都是些愚蠢荒谬、不合情理的意愿。默默服从并不意味着会对她的意志造成什么压力,结果这种默默服从可以轻而易举、不费吹灰之力继续保持下去;但当妻子、孩子、亲戚或朋友在牢骚满腹、心不甘情不愿的情况下执行我们的意愿,并带出了厌恶和不满情绪时,他们所遭受的明显困难,必然会大大增强我们对他们的感激之情。

As this is one of those deep observations which very few readers can be supposed capable of making themselves, I have thought proper to lend them my assistance; but this is a favour rarely to be expected in the course of my work. Indeed, I shall seldom or never so indulge him, unless in such instances as this, where nothing but the inspiration with which we writers are gifted, can possibly enable any one to make the discovery.

由于这是其中比较深刻的一种见解,很少有读者能够自己体会得到,我觉得理应助各位一臂之力;但在我写这部书的过程中,多数情况下诸位不要指望会有这样的优厚待遇。事实上,除非出现类似的情况,我将很少甚至永远不会迁就我的读者,只有我们这些作家,除了与生俱来的灵感,其他一无所有,才有可能让读者能够了解事情的真相。

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来源: 文学城-美国王过人
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