小說:《傲慢與偏見》 第35章 (中英對照)

簡.奧斯汀
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              第 35 章

伊莉莎白昨夜一直深思默想到合上眼睛為止,今天一大早醒來,心頭又湧起了這些深思默想。她仍然對那樁事感到詫異,無法想到別的事情上去;她根本無心做事,於是決定一吃過早飯就出去好好地透透空氣,散散步。她正想往那條心愛的走道上走走去,忽然想到達西先生有時候也上那兒來,於是便住了步。她沒有進花園,卻走上那條小路,以便和那條有柵門的大路隔得遠些。她仍舊沿著花園的圍柵走,不久便走過了一道園門。

  她沿著這一段小路來回走了兩三遍,禁不住被那清晨的美景吸引得在園門前停住了,朝園裏望望。她到肯特五個星期以來,鄉村裏已經有了很大的變化,早青的樹一天比一天綠了。她正要繼續走下去,忽然看到花園旁的小林子裏有一個男人正朝這兒走來;她怕是達西先生,便立刻往回走。但是那人已經走得很近,可以看得見她了;只見那人急急忙忙往前跑,一面還叫著她的名字。她本來已經掉過頭來走開,一聽到有人叫她的名字,雖然明知是達西先生,也只得走回到園門邊來。達西這時候也已經來到園門口,拿出一封信遞給她,她不由自主地收下了。他帶著一臉傲慢而從容的神氣說道:”我已經在林子裏踱了好一會兒,希望碰到你,請你賞個臉,看看這封信,好不好?”於是他微微鞠了一躬,重新踅進草木叢中,立刻就不見了。

  伊莉莎白拆開那封信;這是為了好奇,並不是希望從中獲得什麼愉快。使她更驚奇的是,信封裏裝著兩張信紙,以細緻的筆跡寫得密密麻麻。信封上也寫滿了字。她一面沿著小路走,一面開始讀信。信是早上八點鐘在羅新斯寫的,內容如下:

  小姐:接到這封信時,請你不必害怕。既然昨天晚上向你訴情和求婚,結果只有使你極其厭惡,我自然不會又在這封信裏舊事重提。我曾經衷心地希望我們雙方會幸福,可是我不想在這封信裏再提到這些,免得使你痛苦,使我自己受委屈。我所以要寫這封信,寫了又要勞你的神去讀,這無非是拗不過自己的性格,否則便可以雙方省事,免得我寫你讀。因此你得原諒我那麼冒昧地褻瀆你的清神,我知道你決不會願意勞神的,可是我要求你心平氣和一些。

  你昨夜曾把兩件性質不同、輕重不等的罪名加在我頭上。你第一件指責我折散了彬格萊先生和令姐的好事,完全不顧他們倆之間如何情深意切,你第二件指責我不顧體面,喪盡人道,蔑視別人的權益,毀壞了韋翰先生那指日可期的富貴,又破來了他美好的前途。我竟無情無義,拋棄了自己小時候的朋友,一致公認的先父生前的寵倖,一個無依無靠的青年,從小起就指望我們施恩──這方面的確是我的一種遺憾;至於那一對青年男女,他們不過只有幾星期的交情,就算我拆散了他們,也不能同這件罪過相提並論。現在請允許我把我自己的行為和動機一一剖白一下,希望你弄明白了其中的原委以後,將來可以不再象昨天晚上那樣對我嚴詞苛責。在解釋這些必要的事情時,如果我迫不得已,要述述我自己的情緒,因而使你情緒不快,我只得向你表示歉意。既是出於迫不得已,那麼再道歉未免就嫌可笑了。我到哈福德郡不久,就和別人一樣,看出了彬格萊先生在當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園開跳舞會的那個晚上,我才顧慮到他當真對令姐有了愛戀之意。說到他的戀愛方面,我以前也看得很多。在那次跳舞會上,當我很榮幸地跟你跳舞時,我才聽到威廉?盧卡斯偶然說起彬格萊先生對令姐的殷勤已經弄得滿城風雨,大家都以為他們就要談到嫁娶問題。聽他說起來,好像事情已經千穩萬妥,只是遲早問題罷了。從那時起,我就密切注意著我朋友的行為,於是我看出了他對班納特小姐的鍾情,果然和他往常的戀愛情形大不相同。我也注意著令姐。她的神色和風度依舊象平常那樣落落大方,和藹可親,並沒有鍾情於任何人的跡象。根據我那一晚上仔細觀察的情形看來,我確實認為她雖然樂意接受他的殷勤,可是她並沒有用深情密意來報答他。要是這件事你沒有弄錯,那麼錯處一定在我;你對於令姐既有透闢的瞭解,那麼當然可能是我錯了。倘若事實果真如此,倘若果真是我弄錯了,造成令姐的痛苦,那當然難怪你氣憤。可是我可以毫不猶豫地說,令姐當初的風度極其灑脫,即使觀察力最敏銳的人,也難免以為她儘管性情柔和,可是她的心不容易打動。我當初確實希望她無動於中,可是我敢說,我雖然主觀上有我的希望,有我的顧慮,可是我的觀察和我的推斷並不會受到主觀上的影響。我認為,令姐決不會因為我希望她無動於中,她就當真無動於中;我的看法大公無私,我的願望也合情合理。我昨天晚上說,遇到這樣門戶不相稱的婚姻,輪到我自己身上的時候,我必須用極大的感情上的力量圓心壓制,至於說到他們倆這一門婚姻,我所以要反對,還不光光是為了這些理由,因為關於門戶高低的問題,我朋友並不象我那麼重視。我所以反對這門婚姻,還有別的一些叫人嫌忌的原因――這些原因雖然到現在還存在,而且在兩樁事裏面同樣存在著,可是我早就盡力把它忘了,因為好在眼不見為淨。這裏必須把這些原因說一說,即使簡單地說一說也好。你母親娘家親族雖然叫人不太滿意,可是比起你們自己家裏人那種完全沒有體統的情形來,便簡直顯得無足輕重。你三個妹妹都是始終一貫地做出許多沒有體統的事情來,有時候甚至連你父親也難免。請原諒我這樣直言無諱,其實得罪了你,也使我自己感到難受。你的骨肉至親有了這些缺點,當然會使你感到難受,我這樣一說,當然會叫你更不高興,可是你只要想一想,你自己和你姐姐舉止優雅,人家非得沒有責難到你們倆頭上,而且對你們褒獎備至,還賞識你們倆的見識和個性,這對於你究竟還不失為一種安慰吧。我還想跟你說一說;我那天晚上看了那種情形,不禁越發確定了我對各個人的看法,越發加深了我的偏見,覺得一定要阻止我的朋友,不讓他締結這門最不幸的婚姻。他第二天就離開尼日斐花園到倫敦去了,我相信你一定記得,他本來打算去一下便立刻回來。

  我得在這裏把我當初參與這件事的經過說明一下。原來他的姐妹們當時跟我一樣,深為這件事感到不安。我們立刻發覺了彼此有同感,都覺得應該趕快到倫敦去把她們這位兄弟隔離起來,於是決定立刻動身。我們就這樣走了。到了那裏,便由我負責向我朋友指出,他如果攀上了這門親事,必定有多少多少壞處。我苦口婆心,再三勸說。我這一番規勸雖然動搖了他的心願,使他遲疑不決,可是,我當時要不是那麼十拿九穩地說,你姐姐對他並沒有什麼傾心,那麼這番規勸也許不會發生這樣大的效力,這門婚姻到頭來也許終於阻擋不了。在我沒有進行這番勸說以前,他總以為令姐即使沒有以同樣的鍾情報答他,至少也是在竟誠期待著他。但是彬格萊先生天性謙和,遇到任何事情,只要我一出主意,他總是相信我勝過相信他自己。我輕而易舉地說服了他,使他相信這事情是他自己一時糊塗。他既然有了這個信念,我們便進一步說服他不要回到哈福德郡去,這當然不費吹灰之力。我這樣做,自己並沒覺得有什麼不對。今天回想起來,我覺得只有一件事做得不能叫自己安心,那就是說,令姐來到城裏的時候,我竟不擇手段,把這個消息瞞住了他。這件事不但我知道,彬格萊小姐也知道,然而她哥哥一直到現在還蒙在鼓裏。要是讓他們倆見了面,可能也不會有壞的後果,可是我當時認為他並沒有完全死心,見到她未必能免於危險。我這樣隱瞞,這樣欺蒙,也許失掉了我自己的身份。然而事情已經做了,而且完全是出於一片好意。關於這件事,我沒有什麼可以再說的了,也無用再道歉,如果我傷了令姐的心,也是出於無意;你自然會以為我當初這樣做,理由不夠充足,可是我到現在還沒有覺得有什麼不對。現在再談另一件更重的罪名:毀損了韋翰先生的前途。關於這件事,我唯一的駁斥辦法,只有把他和我家的關係全部說給你聽,請你評判一下其中的是非曲直。我不知道他特別指責我的是哪一點;但是我要在這裏陳述的事實真相,可以找出不少信譽卓著的人出來做見證。韋翰先生是個值得尊敬的人的兒子。他父親在彭伯裏管了好幾年產業,極其盡職,這自然使得先父願意幫他的忙;因此先父對他這個教子喬治?韋翰恩寵有加。先父供給他上學,後來還供給他進劍橋大學──這是對他最重要的一項幫助,因為他自己的父親被他母親吃光用窮,無力供給他受高等教育。先父不僅因為這位年輕人風采翩翩而喜歡和他來往,而且非常器重他,希望他從事教會職業,並且一心要替他安插一個位置。至於說到我自己所以對他印象轉壞,那已經是好多好多年的事了。他為人放蕩不羈,惡習重重,他雖然十分小心地把這些惡習遮掩起來,不讓他最好的朋友覺察,可是究竟逃不過一個和他年齡相仿佛的青年人的眼睛,他一個不提防就給我瞧見了漏洞,機會多的是──當然老達西先生決不會有這種機會。這裏我不免又要引起你的痛苦了,痛苦到什麼地步,只有你自己知道。不論韋翰先生已經引起了你何等樣的感情,我卻要懷疑到這些感情的本質,因而我也就不得不對你說明他真正的品格。這裏面甚至還難免別有用心。德高望重的先父大約去世于五年前,他寵愛韋翰先生始終如一,連遺囑上也特別向我提到他,要我斟酌他的職業情況,極力提拔他,要是他受了聖職,俸祿優厚的位置一有空缺,就讓他替補上去。另外還給了他一千磅遺產。他自己的父親不久也去世了;這幾樁大事發生以後,不出半年工夫,韋翰先生就寫信跟我說,他已最後下定決心,不願意去受聖職;他既然不能獲得那個職位的俸祿,便希望我給他一些直接的經濟利益,不要以為他這個要求不合理。他又說,他倒有意學法律,他叫我應該明白,要他靠一千磅的利息去學法律,當然非常不夠。我與其說,相信他這些話靠得住,不如說,我但願他這些話靠得住。不過,我無論如何還是願意答應他的要求。我知道韋翰先生不適宜當牧師。因此這件事立刻就談妥條件,獲得解決:我們拿出三千磅給他,他不再要求我們幫助他獲得聖職,算是自動放棄權利,即使將來他有資格擔任聖職,也不再提出請求。從此我和他之間的一切關係,便好象一刀兩斷。我非常看不起他,不再請他到彭伯裏來玩,在城裏也不和他來往。我相信他大半都住在城裏,但是他所謂學法律,只不過是一個藉口罷了,現在他既然擺脫了一切羈絆,便整天過著浪蕩揮霍的生活。我大約接連三年簡直聽不到他的消息,可是後來有個牧師逝世了,這份俸祿本來是可以由他接替的,於是他又寫信給我,要我薦舉他。他說他境遇窘得不能再窘,這一點我當然不難相信。他又說研究法律毫無出息,現在已下決心當牧師,只要我肯薦舉他去接替這個位置就行了。他自以為我一定會推薦他,因為他看准我沒有別人可以補缺,況且我也不能疏忽先父生前應承他的一片好意。我沒有答應他的要求,他再三請求,我依然拒絕,這你總不見得會責備我吧。他的境遇愈困苦,怨憤就愈深。毫無問題,他無論在我背後罵我,當面罵我,都是一樣狠毒。從這個時期以後,連一點點面子賬的交情都完結了。我不知道他是怎樣生活的,可是說來痛心之至,去年夏天他又引起了我的注意。我得在這裏講一件我自己也不願意記起的事。這件事我本來不願意讓任何人知道,可是這一次卻非得說一說不可。說到這裏,我相信你一定能保守秘密。我妹妹比我小十多歲,由我母親的內侄費茨威廉上校和我做她的保護人。大約在一年以前,我們把她從學校裏接回來,把她安置在倫敦居住;去年夏天,她跟管家的那位楊吉太太到拉姆斯蓋特去了。韋翰先生跟著也趕到那邊去,顯然是別有用意,因為他和楊吉太太早就認識,我們很不幸上了她的當,看錯人了。仗著楊吉太太的縱容和幫忙,他向喬治安娜求愛。可惜喬治安娜心腸太好,還牢牢記著小時候他對待她的親切,因此竟被他打動了心,自以為愛上了他,答應跟他私奔。她當時才十五歲,我們當然只能原諒她年幼無知。她雖然糊塗膽大,可是總算幸虧她親口把這件事情告訴了我。原來在他們私奔之前,我出乎意料地來到他們那裏;喬治安娜一貫把我這樣一個哥哥當作父親般看待,她不忍叫我傷心受氣,於是把這件事向我和盤托出。你可以想像得到,我當時是怎樣的感觸,又採取了怎樣的行動。為了顧全妹妹的名譽和情緒,我沒有把這件事公開揭露出來;可是我寫了封信給韋翰先生,叫他立刻離開那個地方,楊吉太太當然也給打發走了。毫無問題,韋翰先生主要是看中了我妹妹的三千磅財產,可是我也不禁想到,他也很想借這個機會大大地報復我一下。他差一點兒就報仇成了。小姐,我在這裏已經把所有與我們有關的事,都老老實實地談過了;如果你並不完全認為我撒謊,那麼,我希望從今以後,你再也不要認為我對韋翰先生殘酷無情。我不知道他是用什麼樣的胡說,什麼樣的手段來欺騙你的;不過,你以前對於我們的事情一無所知,那麼他騙取了你的信任,也許不足為奇。你既無從探聽,又不喜歡懷疑。你也許不明白為什麼我昨天晚上不把這一切當面告訴你。可是當時我自己也捉摸不住自己,不知道哪些話可以講,哪些話應該講。這封信中所說的一切,是真是假,我可以特別請你問問費茨威廉上校,他是我們的近親,又是我們的至交,而且是先父遺囑執行人之一,他對於其中的一切詳情自然都十分清楚,他可以來作證明。假使說,你因為厭惡我,竟把我的話看得一文不值,你不妨把你的意見說給我的表弟聽;我所以要想盡辦法找機會把這封信一大早就交到你手裏,就是為了讓你可以去和他商量一下。我要說的話都說完了,願上帝祝福你。

  

費茨威廉達西

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

    伊莉莎白在花園裏散步的時候,曾經好多次出乎意料地碰見達西先生。別人不來的地方他偏偏會來,這真是不幸,她覺得好象是命運在故意跟她鬧彆扭。她第一次就對他說,她喜歡獨自一人到這地方來溜達,當時的用意就是不讓以後再有這種事情發生。如果會有第二次,那才叫怪呢。然而畢竟有了第二次,甚至還會有第三次,看上去他好象是故意跟她過不去,否則就是有心要來賠罪;因為這幾次他既不是跟她敷衍幾句就啞口無言,也不是稍隔一會兒就走開,而是當真掉過頭來跟她一塊兒走走。他從來不多說話,她也懶得多講,懶得多聽;可是第三次見面的時候,他問她住在漢斯福快活不快活,問她為什麼喜歡孤單單一個人散步,又問起她是不是覺得柯林斯夫婦很幸福。談起羅新斯,她說她對於那家人家不大瞭解,他倒好象希望她以後每逢有機會再到肯特來,也會去那兒小住一陣,從他的出言吐語裏面聽得出他有這層意思。難道他在替費茨威廉上校轉念頭嗎?她想,如果他當真話裏有音,那他一定暗示那個人對她有些動心。她覺得有些痛苦,她在已經走到牧師住宅對過的圍牆門口,因此又覺得很高興。

  •               第 32 章

    第二天早晨,柯林斯太太和瑪麗亞到村裏有事去了,伊莉莎白獨自坐在家裏寫信給吉英,這時候,她突然嚇了一跳,因為門鈴響了起來,准是有客人來了。她並沒有聽到馬車聲,心想,可能是咖苔琳夫人來了,於是她就疑慮不安地把那封寫好一半的信放在一旁,免得她問些鹵莽的話。就在這當兒,門開了,她大吃一驚,萬萬想不到走進來的是達西先生,而且只有達西一個人。

  •    第 31 章

    費茨廉的風度大受牧師家裏人的稱道,女眷們都覺得他會使羅新斯宴會平添不少情趣。不過,他們已經有好幾天沒有受到羅新斯那邊的邀請,因為主人家有了客人,用不著他們了;一直到復活節那一天,也就是差不多在這兩位貴賓到達一星期以後,他們才蒙受到被邀請的榮幸,那也不過是大家離開教堂時,主人家當面約定他們下午去玩玩而已。上一個星期他們簡直就沒有見到咖苔琳夫人母女。在這段時間裏,費茨威廉到牧師家來拜望過好多次,但是達西先生卻沒有來過,他們僅僅是在教堂裏才見到他。

  • 30
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  • 第28章
  • 第 27 章
    浪搏恩這家人家除了這些事以外,再沒有別的大事;除了到麥裏屯去散散步以外,再沒有別的消遣。時而雨水濘途、時而風寒刺骨的正月和二月,就這樣過去了。三月裏伊莉莎白要上漢斯福去。開頭她並不是真想去;可是她立刻想到夏綠蒂對於原來的約定寄予了很大的期望,於是她也就帶著比較樂意和比較肯定的心情來考慮這個問題了。離別促進了她想夏綠蒂重逢的願望,也消除了她對柯林斯先生的厭惡。這個計畫多少總有它新奇的地方;再說,家裏有了這樣的母親和這樣幾位不能融洽的妹妹,自難完美無缺,換換環境也好。趁著旅行的機會也可去看看吉英;總之,時日迫近了,她反而有些等不及了。她在一切都進行得很順利,最後依舊照了夏綠蒂原先的意思,跟威廉爵士和他的第二個女兒一塊兒去作一次客。以後這計畫又補充了一下,決定在倫敦住一夜,這一來可真是個十全十美的計畫了。
  • 第26章
  •       第 25 章

    談情說愛,籌畫好事,就這樣度過了一星期,終於到了星期六,柯林斯先生不得不和心愛的夏綠蒂告別。不過,他既已作好接新娘的準備,離別的愁苦也就因此減輕了,他只等下次再來哈福郡,訂出佳期,使他成為天下最幸福的男子。他象上次一樣隆重其事地告別了浪搏恩的親戚們,祝賀姐妹們健康幸福,又答應給他們的父親再來一封謝函。

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