玫瑰(by Logan Pearsall Smith)

日期:2009-10-15 10:20:35    阅读:2165

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 这位老太太总以她花园中那棵巨大的玫瑰树为荣。她会津津有味地告诉你她头一次结婚时,从意大利带回来的一根枝条,是怎么样长成参天大树的。回想当年她和丈夫乘马车从罗马归来(那是还未通铁路),途径锡耶纳南部的一段路时,道路很难走以致于马车都坏了,没有办法他们只好就宿于路边的一间小店。住宿条件的恶劣致使她彻夜难眠,很早就起身穿好衣服,站在窗前等待黎明。凉风不时从窗外袭来。时隔多年,她依然记得一轮明月挂在那蓝色的群山上,远山上的小城一点一点地变白,知道月亮渐渐落下,初升的太阳为群山抹上一层淡淡的粉色。突然之间,一束光辉照亮小城,小城扇扇窗户亮了起来,反射出耀眼的光芒,最后,小城如满天繁星般在蓝天下熠熠生光。

         The old lady had always been proud of the great rose-tree in her garden, and was fond of telling how it had grown from a cutting she had brought years before from Italy, when she was first married. She and her husband had been travelling back in their carriage from Rome ( it was before the time of railways ) and on a bad piece of road south of Siena they had broken down, and had been forced to pass the night in a little house by the road-side. The accommodation was wretched of course; she had spent a sleepless night, and rising early had stood, wrapped up, at her window, with the cool air blowing on her face, to watch the dawn. She could still, after all these years, remember the blue mountains with the bright moon above them, and how a far-off town on one of the peaks had gradually grown whiter and whiter, till the moon faded, the mountains were touched with the pink of the rising sun, and suddenly the town was lit as by an illumination, one window after another catching and reflecting the sun's beam, till at last the whole little city twinkled and sparkled up in the sky like a nest of stars.
         那天上午,得知必须等一段时间马车才能修好,他们便乘当地的交通车上了那个山顶小城,听说在那可以找到比较好一些的住处。之后,他们在山上逗留了两三天。那是个意大利小城,有一个高高的教堂,一个虚华的市场,一些窄窄的街道,几座小小的宫殿,周密而完美地立于山顶。被城墙围着的城区并不比英国人的菜园子大多少,但这里生机勃勃,喧闹嘈杂,昼夜回荡着脚步声和话语声。
That morning, finding they would have to wait while their carriage was being repaired, they had driven in a local conveyance up to the city on the mountain, where they had been told they would find better quarters; and there they had stayed two or three days. It was one of the miniature Italian cities with a high church, a pretentious piazza, a few narrow streets and little palaces, perched, all compact and complete, on the top of a mountain, within and enclosure of walls hardly larger than an English kitchen garden. But it was full of life and nose, echoing all day and all night with the sounds of feet and voices.
 
         他们居住在当地一个名流云集的小酒店里,有市长、律师、医生,还有其他几个人。在他们当中,一位英俊、高个儿而又健谈的老人引起他们的注意。他乌黑的眼睛,雪白的头发,腰板挺直,像年轻人一样。但是酒店的侍者却自豪地告诉他们实际上这位伯爵已届高龄,明年是他的80寿辰。侍者还说到伯爵是这个家族的最后一员,曾是豪门大户,但一生无子嗣。但事实上,这个侍者还甚是得意地说,伯爵情场失意,终生未娶,似乎是一件本地值得炫耀的事情。
The Cafe of the simple inn where they stayed was the meeting place of the notabilities of the little city; the Sindaco, the avvocato, the doctor, and a few others; and among them they noticed a beautiful, slim, talkative old man, with bright black eyes and snow-white hair — tall and straight and still with the figure of a youth, although the waiter told them with pride that the Conte was molto vecchio — would in fact be eightey in the following year. He was the last of his family, the waiter added — they had once been great and rich people — but he had no descendants; in fact the waiter mentioned with complacency, as if it were a story on which the locality prided itself, that the Conte had been unfortunate in love, and had never married.
         不过幸好,这位老先生看起来活得还挺开心;显然对陌生人很感兴趣,愿意与之结交。很快这位好心的侍者促成了他们之间的认识。刚聊一会儿,老人就邀请他们参观他郊外的别墅和花园。因此,第二天下午,日落之时,当他们从门口和窗口瞥见蓝色的阴影覆盖了褐色的山峦时,就动身去造访这位老伯爵了。其实别墅比较一般,只是一座拉毛粉饰的现代小别墅,铺有石头的花园里有些热,石盆中的鱼儿无精打采,狄安娜和猎犬的雕像倚墙而立。然而,一颗巨大的玫瑰树为这个花园增色不少,它高过屋顶,几乎遮住了窗户,散发出诱人的花香。嗯!确实是棵美丽的玫瑰树,在人们的赞美声中老先生自豪地说,而且他很乐意为这位女士讲述玫瑰树的故事。当大家坐在那儿,喝着老人提供的葡萄酒时,老伯爵忘却了自己已届高龄,向大家娓娓道起自己当年的爱情故事,就好像他们早已经听说过似的。
         The old gentleman, however, seemed cheerful enough; and it was plain that he took an interest in the strangers, and wished to make their acquaintance. This was soon effected by the friendly waiter; and after a little talk the old man invited them to visit his villa and garden which were just outside the walls of the town. So the next afternoon, when the sun began to descend, and they saw in glimpses through door-ways and windows, blue shadows beginning to spread over the brown mountains, they went to pay their visit. It was not much of a place, a small, modernized, stucco villa, with a hot pebbly garden, and in it a stone basin with torpid gold-fish, and a statue of Diana and her hounds against the wall. But what gave a glory to it was a gigantic rose-tree which clambered over the house, almost smothering the windows, and filling the air with the perfume of its sweetness. Yes, it was a fine rose, the Conte said proudly when they praised it, and he would tell the Signora about it. And as they sat there, drinking the wine he offered them, he alluded with the cheerful indifference of old age to his love-affair, as though he took for granted that they had heard of it already.
 
         “多年以前,当我还是个年轻人时,那个小姐住在那座山背后的山谷对面。我常骑马去与她约会;虽然路很长,但年轻人性子急——这位女士无疑是知道的,所以我骑的很快。但那位小姐很不友善,总是让我等啊等,一等就是几个小时吧。一天,久候不来之后,我勃然大怒。在我们约会的那个花园里不停地踱步,借着怒火砍了她的一棵玫瑰树,把上面的一根树枝折走了。清醒之后,我立马将它藏进外套。事情就是这样。回家之后我把它种到花园里,它现在的情形这位女士已经看到了。当然这外女士要是喜欢的话,我愿意送根插条给她种在她家的花园里。听说英国人的花园很漂亮,到处绿油油的,不像我们的园子都被太阳烤焦了。”
         "The lady lived across the valley there beyond that hill. I was a young man then, for it was many years ago. I used to ride over to see her; it was a long way, but I rode fast, for young men, as no doubt the Signora knows, are impatient. But the lady was not kind, she would keep me waiting, oh, for hours; and one day when I had waited very long I grew very angry, and as I walked up and down in the garden where she had told me she would see me, I broke one of her roses, broke a branch from it ; and when I saw what I had done, I hid it inside my coat — so —; and when I came home I planted it, and the Signora sees how it has grown. If the Signora admires it, I must give her a cutting to plant also in her garden; I am told the English have beautiful gardens that are green, and not burnt with the sun like ours." 
 
         翌日,马车已经修好,上山来接他们。正要乘车离开小酒店时,伯爵的老仆人来了。送了他们一根包扎好的玫瑰插条,并转达了老伯爵的问候与祝辞,祝他们旅途愉快。全城人都出来目送他们离去,孩童们追随马车一直到小城门外。开始还能听到身后阵阵的脚步声,但不久马车就驶入山谷,喧闹的小城依然在他们上面高高立于山巅。 
 
         The next day, when their mended carriage had come up to fetch them, and they were just starting to drive away from the inn, the Conte's old servant appeared with the rose-cutting neatly wrapped up, and the compliments and wishes for a buon viaggio from her master. The town collected to see them depart, and the children heard a rush of feet behind them for a few moments, but soon they were far down towards the valley; the little town with all its noise and life was high above them on its mountain peak.
 
         她将玫瑰插条种在家里,长势十分良好,枝繁叶茂。每年的六月,枝繁叶茂的玫瑰树都会开出深红的花儿,花香四溢。就好像它的根须中依然燃烧着那个意大利爱人的愤怒和爱情中没有实现的渴望。当然,老伯爵已经辞世多年;她也忘记了老伯爵的名字,连曾经住过的小城名字也遗忘了。只记得初见时,它犹如满天的繁星在黎明的薄暮中熠熠生光。
 
         She had planted the rose at home, where it had grown and flourished in a wonderful manner; and every June the great mass of leaves and shoots still broke out into a passionate splendour of scent and crimson colour, as if in its root and fibres there still burnt the anger and thwarted desire of that Italian lover. Of course the old Conte must have died many years ago; she had forgotten his name, and had even forgotten the name of the mountain city that she had stayed in, after first seeing it twinkling at dawn in the sky, like a nest of stars.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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