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中英对照:太阳照常升起(14)

2006-08-24 17:41

    CHAPTER 14

    I do not know what time I got to bed. I remember undressing, putting on a bathrobe, and standing out on the balcony. I knew I was quite drunk, and when I came in I put on the light over the head of the bed and started to read. I was reading a book by Turgenieff. Probably I read the same two pages over several times. It was one of the stories in "A Sportsman's Sketches." I had read it before, but it seemed quite new. The country became very clear and the feeling of pressure in my head seemed to loosen. I was very drunk and I did not want to shut my eyes because the room would go round and round. If I kept on reading that feeling would pass.

    I heard Brett and Robert Cohn come up the stairs. Cohn said good night outside the door and went on up to his room. I heard Brett go into the room next door. Mike was already in bed. He had come in with me an hour before. He woke as she came in, and they talked together. I heard them laugh. I turned off the light and tried to go to sleep. It was not necessary to read any more. I could shut my eyes without getting the wheeling sensation. But I could not sleep. There is no reason why because it is dark you should look at things differently from when it is light. The hell there isn't!

    I figured that all out once, and for six months I never slept with the electric light off. That was another bright idea. To hell with women, anyway. To hell with you, Brett Ashley.

    Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship. I had been having Brett for a friend. I had not been thinking about her side of it. I had been getting something for nothing. That only delayed the presentation of the bill. The bill always came. That was one of the swell things you could count on.

    I thought I had paid for everything. Not like the woman pays and pays and pays. No idea of retribution or punishment. Just exchange of values. You gave up something and got something else. Or you worked for something. You paid some way for everything that was any good. I paid my way into enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. Either you paid by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances, or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money's worth and knowing when you had it. You could get your money's worth. The world was a good place to buy in. It seemed like a fine philosophy. In five years, I thought, it will seem just as silly as all the other fine philosophies I've had.

    Perhaps that wasn't true, though. Perhaps as you went along you did learn something. I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what it was all about.

    I wished Mike would not behave so terribly to Cohn, though. Mike was a bad drunk. Brett was a good drunk. Bill was a good drunk. Cohn was never drunk. Mike was unpleasant after he passed a certain point. I liked to see him hurt Cohn. I wished he would not do it, though, because afterward it made me disgusted at myself. That was morality; things that made you disgusted afterward. No, that must be immorality. That was a large statement. What a lot of bilge I could think up at night. What rot, I could hear Brett say it. What rot! When you were with the English you got into the habit of using English expressions in your thinking. The English spoken language——the upper classes, anyway——must have fewer words than the Eskimo. Of course I didn't know anything about the Eskimo. Maybe the Eskimo was a fine language. Say the Cherokee. I didn't know anything about the Cherokee, either. The English talked with inflected phrases. One phrase to mean everything. I liked them, though. I liked the way they talked. Take Harris. Still Harris was not the upper classes.

    I turned on the light again and read. I read the Turgenieff. I knew that now, reading it in the oversensitized state of my mind after much too much brandy, I would remember it somewhere, and afterward it would seem as though it had really happened to me. I would always have it. That was another good thing you paid for and then had. Some time along toward daylight I went to sleep.

    The next two days in Pamplona were quiet, and there were no more rows. The town was getting ready for the fiesta. Workmen put up the gate-posts that were to shut off the side streets when the bulls were released from the corrals and came running through the streets in the morning on their way to the ring. The workmen dug holes and fitted in the timbers, each timber numbered for its regular place. Out on the plateau beyond the town employees of the bull-ring exercised picador horses, galloping them stiff-legged on the hard, sun-baked fields behind the bull-ring. The big gate of the bull-ring was open, and inside the amphitheatre was being swept. The ring was rolled and sprinkled, and carpenters replaced weakened or cracked planks in the barrera. Standing at the edge of the smooth rolled sand you could look up in the empty stands and see old women sweeping out the boxes.

    Outside, the fence that led from the last Street of the town to the entrance of the bull-ring was already in place and made a long pen; the crowd would come running down with the bulls behind them on the morning of the day of the first bull-fight. Out across the plain, where the horse and cattle fair would be, some gypsies had camped under the trees. The wine and aguardiente sellers were putting up their booths. One booth advertised ANIS DEL TORO. The cloth sign hung against the planks in the hot sun. In the big square that was the centre of the town there was no change yet. We sat in the white wicker chairs on the terrasse of the caf?and watched the motorbuses come in and unload peasants from the country coming in to the market, and we watched the buses fill up and start out with peasants sitting with their saddle-bags full of the things they had bought in the town. The tall gray motor-buses were the only life of the square except for the pigeons and the man with a hose who sprinkled the gravelled square and watered the streets.

    In the evening was the paseo. For an hour after dinner every one, all the good-looking girls, the officers from the garrison, all the fashionable people of the town, walked in the street on one side of the square while the caf?tables filled with the regular after-dinner crowd.

    During the morning I usually sat in the caf?and read the Madrid papers and then walked in the town or out into the country. Sometimes Bill went along. Sometimes he wrote in his room. Robert Cohn spent the mornings studying Spanish or trying to get a shave at the barber-shop. Brett and Mike never got up until noon. We all had a vermouth at the caf? It was a quiet life and no one was drunk. I went to church a couple of times, once with Brett. She said she wanted to hear me go to confession, but I told her that not only was it impossible but it was not as interesting as it sounded, and, besides, it would be in a language she did not know. We met Cohn as we came out of church, and although it was obvious he had followed us, yet he was very pleasant and nice, and we all three went for a walk out to the gypsy camp, and Brett had her fortune told.

    It was a good morning, there were high white clouds above the mountains. It had rained a little in the night and it was fresh and cool on the plateau, and there was a wonderful view. We all felt good and we felt healthy, and I felt quite friendly to Cohn. You could not be upset about anything on a day like that.

    That was the last day before the fiesta.

    我不知道我是几点钟上床的。我记得我脱掉衣服,穿上浴衣,站在室外阳台上。当时我明白我醉得很厉害,后来走进房间,打开床头灯,开始看书。我看的是本屠格涅夫写的书。有两页我大概重复读了好几遍。这是《猎人笔记》中的一个短篇。我过去看过,但是好象没有看过一样。乡村景色历历在目,我头脑里压迫的感觉似乎松弛下来了。我醉得很厉害,我不愿闭上眼睛,因为一闭上眼睛,就会感到房间旋转个不停。如果我坚持看下去,这种感觉就会消失。

    我听见勃莱特和罗伯特。科恩走上楼梯。科恩在门外说了声晚安,就继续朝自己的房间走去。我听见勃莱特走进隔壁房间。迈克已经睡下了。他是一小时前跟我一起上楼的。她进屋时,他醒过来,两人说着话儿。我听到他们的笑声。我关灯想入睡。没有必要再看书了。我闭上眼睛已经没有旋转的感觉了。但是我睡不着,没有理由因为在暗处你看问题就该和在亮处看问题不同。真见鬼,毫无理由!

    有一次我把这事好好思量了一番,于是整整六个月,我关了电灯就睡不着觉。这又是一个精彩的一闪念。反正凡是女人都见鬼去。你,勃莱特。阿施利也见鬼去。

    女人能成为知心朋友。非常知心。为了奠定友谊的基础,首先你必须钟情于她。我曾受到过勃莱特的青睐。我没有从她那一方的得失来考虑过。我没有付出代价就得了手。这无非推迟了帐单送来的时日罢了。但帐单总得要来的。这是你能指望得到的好事之一。

    我认为我已经把一切帐目都还清了。不象女人,还啊,还啊,还个没完。根本没有想到报应或惩罚。只不过是等价交换。你拿出一点东西,获得另外的东西。或者你努力去争取什么。你用某种方式付出代价,来换取一切对你多少有点好处的东西。我花了应付的代价取得不少我喜欢的东西,所以我的日子过得满愉快。你不是拿你的知识来做代价,就是拿经验,机缘,或者钱财来做代价。享受生活的乐趣就是学会把钱花得合算,而且明白什么时候正花得合算。你能够把钱花得很合算。世界是个很好的市场,可供你购买。这似乎是一种很出色的哲学理论。我想再过五年,这种理论就会象我有过的其它高超的哲学理论一样,显得同样的荒唐可笑。

    不过,也许还不至于这样。也许随着年华的流逝,你会学到一点东西。世界到底是什么回事,这我并不在意。我只想弄懂如何在其中生活。说不定假如你懂得了如何在世界上生活,你就会由此而懂得世界到底是怎么回事了。

    然而,我真希望迈克对科恩的态度不要太刻薄。迈克喝醉了不安分。勃莱特喝醉了安分。比尔喝醉了安分。科恩从来不喝醉。迈克喝得一过量就惹人讨厌。我喜欢看他伤害科恩。但是我又希望他不要那样做,因为事后会使我厌恶自己。这就是道德:事后会引起你厌恶自己。不,那该是不道德的行为。这是种笼统的见解。我在夜里多么会胡思乱想啊。瞎说,我耳边响起了勃莱特说的这句话。瞎说!你和英国人在一起,你就习惯用英国人的措词来思维。英国人的口语词汇——至少在上流社会——一定比爱斯基摩语还要少些。当然,我对爱斯基摩语毫无所知。爱斯基摩语也许是种很优美的语言。拿切罗基语来说吧。我对切罗基语也同样毫无所知。英国人常用不同语调的短语说话。一个短语含意无穷,然而我对他们颇有好感。我喜欢他们说话的方式。譬如说,哈里斯。然而哈里斯不好算属于上流社会。

    我又开灯看书。我看屠格涅夫的这本书。当时我知道,喝了过量的白兰地之后,在心情过分敏感的情况下读书,我能记住,而且过后我会觉得似乎是我亲身经历过的一样。我会终身难忘。这是你付出了代价能获得的又一件好东西。直到天快亮时我才睡着。

    接下来那两天里,我们在潘普洛纳平静无事,没有再发生争吵。全城过节的准备工作渐次就绪。工人们在十字路口竖起门柱,等早上牛群从牛栏里释放出来通过大街跑向斗牛场的时候,好用来堵死横街。工人们挖好坑,埋进木桩,每根木桩都标着号码,以便插在规定的地点。城外高岗上,斗牛场的雇工们在训练斗牛用的马匹,他们赶着四腿溜直的马儿在斗牛场后面被太阳晒硬了的土地上飞跑。斗牛场的大门敞开着,里面在打扫看台。场地经过碾压,洒上了水,木匠更换了四周栅栏上不结实的或者开裂的木板。站在碾平的沙地边,你向上面空荡荡的看台望去,可以看见几个老婆子正在清扫包厢。

    场外,从城区边缘的那条大街通向斗牛场入口处的栅栏已经筑起,形成一条长长的通道;斗牛赛开始的第一天早晨,大伙儿要在牛群的追赶下一起跑。城外将开设牛马集市的平地上,有些吉普赛人已经在树下扎下了营。各种酒类的小贩正在搭木棚。有一个木棚打着“公牛茴香酒”的广告。布帘招牌挂在烈日照射下的板壁上。市中心的大广场还没有什么变化。我们坐在咖啡馆露台上的白色柳条椅里,观看到站的公共汽车,车里走下从乡间来赶集的农民,我们看着车子满载着农民又开走了,他们坐在车上,带着装满了从城里买来的物品的马褡裢。除了那些鸽子和一个拿水管喷洒广场和冲洗大街的男人外,在这砂砾铺的广场上,唯一有生机的只有这几辆高高的灰色公共汽车。

    晚上就是散步。晚饭后一小时之内,所有的漂亮姑娘、当地的驻军长官和城里所有衣着入时的男女都在广场一边的那条街道上散步,咖啡馆桌子旁都坐满了用过晚饭的常客。

    早晨,我经常坐在咖啡馆里看马德里出版的各种报纸,然后在城里溜达,或者到城外乡间去。比尔有时一同去。有时他在自己房里写东西。罗伯特。科恩利用早晨的时间学习西班牙语或者抽时间到理发店去修面。勃莱特和迈克不到中午是不起床的。我们都在咖啡馆里喝味美思酒。日子过得很平静,没有一个人喝醉过。我去过两次教堂,一次是同勃莱特去的。她说她想听听我的忏悔,但是我告诉她,这不仅是不可能的,而且并不象她想的那么有意思,再说,即使我仟悔,我所用的语言她也听不懂。我们走出教堂的时候,碰见科恩,显然他早就跟在我们后面了,不过他使人感到非常愉快和友好,我们三人一直溜达到吉普赛人的帐篷那里,勃莱特叫人算了命。

    这是一个明媚的早晨,群山上空高高地飘着白云。夜里下了一会儿雨,高岗上的空气新鲜、凉快,展现出一幅美妙的景色。我们都感到心情舒畅,精神饱满,我对科恩也相当友好。在这么一个日子里,什么事情也不会使你烦恼的。

    这就是节日前最后一天的情形。

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