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· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第十章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第九章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第八章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第七章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第六章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第五章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第四章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第三章
· 傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第二章
傲慢与偏见 (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE)第六章
作者:  点击次数:1796

THE ladies of Longbourn soon waited on those of Netherfield. The visit was returned in due form. Miss Bennet's pleasing manners grew on the good will of Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley; and though the mother was found to be intolerable and the younger sisters not worth speaking to, a wish of being better acquainted with them was expressed towards the two eldest. By Jane this attention was received with the greatest pleasure; but Elizabeth still saw superciliousness in their treatment of every body, hardly excepting even her sister, and could not like them; though their kindness to Jane, such as it was, had a value, as arising in all probability from the influence of their brother's admiration. It was generally evident whenever they met, that he did admire her; and to her it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a way to be very much in love; but she considered with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered by the world in general, since Jane united with great strength of feeling a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of manner, which would guard her from the suspicions of the impertinent. She mentioned this to her friend Miss Lucas.
"It may perhaps be pleasant," replied Charlotte, "to be able to impose on the public in such a case; but it is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely -- a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better shew more affection than she feels. Bingley likes your sister undoubtedly; but he may never do more than like her, if she does not help him on."

"But she does help him on, as much as her nature will allow. If I can perceive her regard for him, he must be a simpleton indeed not to discover it too."

"Remember, Eliza, that he does not know Jane's disposition as you do."

"But if a woman is partial to a man, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out."

"Perhaps he must, if he sees enough of her. But though Bingley and Jane meet tolerably often, it is never for many hours together; and as they always see each other in large mixed parties, it is impossible that every moment should be employed in conversing together. Jane should therefore make the most of every half hour in which she can command his attention. When she is secure of him, there will be leisure for falling in love as much as she chuses."

"Your plan is a good one," replied Elizabeth, "where nothing is in question but the desire of being well married; and if I were determined to get a rich husband, or any husband, I dare say I should adopt it. But these are not Jane's feelings; she is not acting by design. As yet, she cannot even be certain of the degree of her own regard, nor of its reasonableness. She has known him only a fortnight. She danced four dances with him at Meryton; she saw him one morning at his own house, and has since dined in company with him four times. This is not quite enough to make her understand his character."

"Not as you represent it. Had she merely dined with him, she might only have discovered whether he had a good appetite; but you must remember that four evenings have been also spent together -- and four evenings may do a great deal."

"Yes; these four evenings have enabled them to ascertain that they both like Vingt-un better than Commerce; but with respect to any other leading characteristic, I do not imagine that much has been unfolded."

"Well," said Charlotte, "I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar before-hand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always contrive to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."

"You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself."

Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley's attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware; -- to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable no where, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.

He began to wish to know more of her, and as a step towards conversing with her himself, attended to her conversation with others. His doing so drew her notice. It was at Sir William Lucas's, where a large party were assembled. "What does Mr. Darcy mean," said she to Charlotte, "by listening to my conversation with Colonel Forster?"

"That is a question which Mr. Darcy only can answer."

"But if he does it any more, I shall certainly let him know that I see what he is about. He has a very satirical eye, and if I do not begin by being impertinent myself, I shall soon grow afraid of him."

On his approaching them soon afterwards, though without seeming to have any intention of speaking, Miss Lucas defied her friend to mention such a subject to him, which immediately provoking Elizabeth to do it, she turned to him and said,

"Did not you think, Mr. Darcy, that I expressed myself uncommonly well just now, when I was teazing Colonel Forster to give us a ball at Meryton?"

"With great energy; -- but it is a subject which always makes a lady energetic."

"You are severe on us."

"It will be her turn soon to be teazed," said Miss Lucas. "I am going to open the instrument, Eliza, and you know what follows."

"You are a very strange creature by way of a friend! -- always wanting me to play and sing before any body and every body! -- If my vanity had taken a musical turn, you would have been invaluable, but as it is, I would really rather not sit down before those who must be in the habit of hearing the very best performers." On Miss Lucas's persevering, however, she added, "Very well; if it must be so, it must." And gravely glancing at Mr. Darcy, "There is a fine old saying, which every body here is of course familiar with -- "Keep your breath to cool your porridge," -- and I shall keep mine to swell my song."

Her performance was pleasing, though by no means capital. After a song or two, and before she could reply to the entreaties of several that she would sing again, she was eagerly succeeded at the instrument by her sister Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments, was always impatient for display.

Mary had neither genius nor taste; and though vanity had given her application, it had given her likewise a pedantic air and conceited manner, which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she had reached. Elizabeth, easy and unaffected, had been listened to with much more pleasure, though not playing half so well; and Mary, at the end of a long concerto, was glad to purchase praise and gratitude by Scotch and Irish airs, at the request of her younger sisters, who, with some of the Lucases and two or three officers, joined eagerly in dancing at one end of the room.

Mr. Darcy stood near them in silent indignation at such a mode of passing the evening, to the exclusion of all conversation, and was too much engrossed by his own thoughts to perceive that Sir William Lucas was his neighbour, till Sir William thus began.

"What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! -- There is nothing like dancing after all. -- I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished societies."

"Certainly, Sir; -- and it has the advantage also of being in vogue amongst the less polished societies of the world. -- Every savage can dance."

Sir William only smiled. "Your friend performs delightfully;" he continued after a pause, on seeing Bingley join the group; -- "and I doubt not that you are an adept in the science yourself, Mr. Darcy."

"You saw me dance at Meryton, I believe, Sir."

"Yes, indeed, and received no inconsiderable pleasure from the sight. Do you often dance at St. James's?"

"Never, sir."

"Do you not think it would be a proper compliment to the place?"

"It is a compliment which I never pay to any place, if I can avoid it."

"You have a house in town, I conclude?"

Mr. Darcy bowed.

"I had once some thoughts of fixing in town myself -- for I am fond of superior society; but I did not feel quite certain that the air of London would agree with Lady Lucas."

He paused in hopes of an answer; but his companion was not disposed to make any; and Elizabeth at that instant moving towards them, he was struck with the notion of doing a very gallant thing, and called out to her,

"My dear Miss Eliza, why are not you dancing? -- Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner. -- You cannot refuse to dance, I am sure, when so much beauty is before you." And taking her hand, he would have given it to Mr. Darcy, who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive it, when she instantly drew back, and said with some discomposure to Sir William,

"Indeed, Sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. -- I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner."

Mr. Darcy with grave propriety requested to be allowed the honour of her hand; but in vain. Elizabeth was determined; nor did Sir William at all shake her purpose by his attempt at persuasion.

"You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half hour."

"Mr. Darcy is all politeness," said Elizabeth, smiling.

"He is indeed -- but considering the inducement, my dear Miss Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance; for who would object to such a partner?"

Elizabeth looked archly, and turned away. Her resistance had not injured her with the gentleman, and he was thinking of her with some complacency, when thus accosted by Miss Bingley.

"I can guess the subject of your reverie."

"I should imagine not."

"You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in this manner -- in such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity and yet the noise; the nothingness and yet the self-importance of all these people! -- What would I give to hear your strictures on them!"

"Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow."

Miss Bingley immediately fixed her eyes on his face, and desired he would tell her what lady had the credit of inspiring such reflections. Mr. Darcy replied with great intrepidity,

"Miss Elizabeth Bennet."

"Miss Elizabeth Bennet!" repeated Miss Bingley. "I am all astonishment. How long has she been such a favourite? -- and pray when am I to wish you joy?"

"That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. I knew you would be wishing me joy."

"Nay, if you are so serious about it, I shall consider the matter as absolutely settled. You will have a charming mother-in-law, indeed, and of course she will be always at Pemberley with you."

He listened to her with perfect indifference while she chose to entertain herself in this manner, and as his composure convinced her that all was safe, her wit flowed long.

浪博恩小姐们不久就去拜访尼是斐花园的小姐们了。人家了照例来回拜了她们。班纳特那种讨人喜爱的举止,使赫斯脱太太和彬格莱小姐对她愈来愈有好感。尽管班家老太太叫人不可容忍,几个小妹妹也不值得攀谈,可是两位彬格莱小姐却是愿意跟年纪大的两位班小姐作进一步深交,吉英极其喜悦地领受了这份盛意;可是伊丽莎白看出她们对待任何人仍然很高傲,甚至对待吉英也几乎没有两样,因此颇不喜欢她们;不过,她们所以待吉英好,看来多半还是由于她们兄弟爱慕她的缘故。只要你看见他们俩在一起,你就看得出他兄弟确是爱慕她的。伊丽莎白又很清楚地看出吉英一开头就看中了彬格莱先生,不由自主地向他屈服了,而且也可以说是对他喜爱极了。可是她高兴地想道,吉英虽说感情丰富,好在性格很镇定,外表上仍然保持着正常的和颜悦色,那就不会引起那些卤莽人的怀疑,因此他俩的心意也就不会给人察觉了。伊丽莎白曾经跟自己的朋友卢卡斯小姐谈到过这一点。

夏绿蒂当时说道:“这种事想瞒过大家,也许是怪有意思的,不过,这样提心吊胆,有时候反而不妙。要是一个女人在她自己心爱的人面前,也用这种技巧遮遮掩掩,不让他知道她对他有意思,那她就可能没有机会博得他的欢心;那么,就是把天下人都蒙在鼓里,也无补于事。男女恋爱大都免不了要借重于双方的感恩图报之心和虚荣自负之感,听其自然是很难成其好事的。恋爱的开头都是随随便便──某人对某人发生点儿好感,本是极其自然的一回事;只可惜没有对方和鼓励而自己就肯没头没脑去钟情的人,简直太少了。女人家十有八九都是心里有一分爱表面上就露出两分。毫无问题,彬格莱喜欢你姐姐;可是你姐姐如果不帮他一把劲,他也许喜欢喜欢她就算了。”

“不过她已经尽心竭力在帮他的忙了。要是我都能看出她对他的好感,而他却看不出,那他未免太蠢了。”

“伊丽莎,你得记住,他可不象你那么懂得吉英的性格。”

“假如一个女人爱上了一个男人,只要女方不故意瞒住男方,男方一定会看得出的。”

“要是男方和女方见面的机会很多,或许他总会看得出。虽然彬格莱和吉英见面的次数相当多,却从来没有在一起接连待上几个钟头,何况他们见起面来,总是跟一些杂七杂八的人在一起,不可能让他们俩畅谈。因此吉英就得时时刻刻留神,一看到有机会可以逗引他,千万不要借过。等到能把他抓到手,再从从容容尽量去谈恋爱还来得及。”

伊丽莎白回答道:“倘使只求嫁一个有钱的男人,你这个办法妙极了,我如果决心找个阔丈夫,或者干脆只要随便找个丈夫就算数,我或许会照你的办法去做。可惜吉英不是这样想法的;她为人处世,就是不愿意使心眼儿。而且,她自己也还拿不准她究竟对她钟情到什么地步,钟情得是否得体。她认识他才不过两个星期。她在麦里屯跟他跳了四次舞;有天上午她在他家里跟他见过一次面,此后又跟他吃过四次晚饭,可是总有别人在一起。就这么点儿来往,叫她怎么能了解他的性格呢。”

“事情并不是你所说的那样。要是她只跟他吃吃晚饭,那她或许只看得出他的饭量好不好;可是你得记住,他们既在一起吃过四顿饭也就是在一起盘恒了四个晚上呀──四个晚上的作用可大着呢。”

“是的;这四个晚上叫他们彼此摸透了一样性格,那就是他们俩都喜欢玩二十一点,不喜欢玩‘康梅司’;讲到别的重要的特点,我看他们彼此之间还了解很少。”

“唔,”夏绿蒂说,“我一心一意祝吉英成功。我以为即使她明天就跟他结婚,她必能获得的幸福,比起她花上一年的时间,研究了他的性格、再去跟他结婚所能获得的幸福,并不见得会少到哪里去。婚姻生活是否幸福,完全是个机会问题。一对爱人婚前脾气摸得非常透,或者脾气非常相同,这并不能保证他们俩就会幸福。他们总是弄到后来距离越来越远,彼此烦恼。你既然得和这个人过一辈子,你最尽量少了解他的缺点。”

“你这番话妙透了,夏绿蒂。不过这种说法未必可靠。你也明知道未必可靠,你自己就不肯那么做。”

伊丽莎白一心只知道谈论彬格莱先生对她姐姐的殷勤,却一点儿没想到她自己已经成了彬格莱那位朋友的意中人。说到达西先生,他开头并不认为她怎么漂亮;他在跳舞会上望着她的时候,并没有带着丝毫的爱慕之意,第二次见面的时候,他也不过用吹毛求疵的眼光去看待她。不过,他尽管在朋友们面前,在自己心里,都说她的面貌一无可取,可是眨下眼的工夫,他就发觉她那双乌黑的眼睛美丽非凡,使她的整个脸蛋儿显得极其聪慧。紧接着这个发现之后,他又在她身上发现了几个同样叫人怄气的地方。他带着挑剔的眼光,发觉她的身段这儿也不匀称,那儿也不匀称,可是他到底不得不承认她体态轻盈,惹人喜爱;虽然他嘴上一口咬定她缺少上流社会的翩翩风采,可是她落落大方爱打趣的作风,又把他迷住了。伊丽莎白完全不明了这些情形,她只觉得达西是个到处不讨人喜欢的男人,何况他曾经认为她不够漂亮不配跟她跳舞。

达西开始希望跟她深交。他为了想要慢慢地跟她攀谈攀谈,因此她跟别人谈话的时候,他问题留神去听。于是,有一次威廉·卢卡斯爵士大请客,他这样的做法当场引起了她的注意。

且说当时伊丽莎白对夏绿蒂说:“你瞧,达西先生是什么意思呢,我跟弗斯脱上校谈话,干吗要他在那儿听?”

“这个问题只有达西先生自己能够回答。”

“要是他再这样,我一定要叫他明白我并不是个糊涂蛋。他挖苦人的本领特别高明,要是我不先给他点颜色看看,我马上就会见他怕啦。”

不到一会儿工夫,达西又走到她身边来了,他表面上虽然并不想跟她们攀谈,卢卡斯小姐却不时怂恿伊丽莎白向他把这个问题正面提出来。伊丽莎白给她这样一激,便立刻转过脸来跟他说:

“达西先生,我刚刚跟弗斯脱上校讲笑话,要他给我们在麦里屯开一次跳舞会,你看我的话是不是说得非常得体?”

“的确说得起劲极了,不过这件事本来就是叫小姐们非常起劲的。”

“你这样说我们,未免太尖刻了些吧。”

“你这一下反而被别人嘲笑了,”卢卡斯小姐说。“我去打开琴,伊丽莎,下文如何,你自个儿明白。”

“你这种朋友真是世上少有!──不管当着什么人的面,总是要我弹琴唱歌!──要是我存心在音乐会上出风头,我真要对你感激不尽。可是宾客们都是听惯了第一流演奏家的,我实在不好意思在他们面前坐下来献憾丑。”话虽如此,怎奈卢卡斯小姐再三要求,她便说道:“好吧,既是非献丑不可,只得献献丑吧。”她又板着脸对达西瞥了一眼,说道:“有名老古话说得好,在场的人当然也晓得这句话:‘留口气吹凉稀饭’;我也就留口气唱歌吧。”

她得表演虽然说不上奇妙绝伦,也还娓娓动听。唱了一两支歌以后,大家要求她再唱几支。她还没来得及回答,她的妹妹曼丽早就急切地接替她坐到钢琴跟前去了。原来在她们几个姐妹之间,就只有曼丽长得不好看,因此她发愤钻研学问,讲究才艺,老是急着要卖弄卖弄自己的本领。

曼丽既没有天才,格调也不高,虽说虚荣心促使她刻苦用功,但是同样也造成了她一脸的女才子气派和自高自大的态度。有了这种气派和态度,即使她的修养再好些也无补于事,何况她不过如此而已。再说伊丽莎白,虽说弹琴弹得并不如她,可是落落大方,没有矫揉造作的气习,因此大家听起来就高兴得多了。曼丽的几位妹妹,本在房间那头和卢家小姐们在一起,正在跟两三个军官跳舞跳得起劲,曼丽奏完了一支很长的协奏曲之后,她们便要求她再奏几支苏格兰和爱尔兰小调,她也高高兴兴地照办了,为的是要博得别人的夸奖和感激。达西先生就站在她们附近。他看到她们就这样度过一个晚上,也不跟别人攀谈攀谈,心里很是生气。他心思很重,威廉·卢卡斯爵士站在他身边他也不知道,最后他才听到爵士这样跟他说:

“达西先生,跳舞对于年轻人是多么可爱的一种娱乐!说来说去,什么都比不上跳舞,我认为这是上流社会里最出色的才艺。”

“当然罗,先生;──而且好就好在跳舞在低等社会里也很风行。哪个野蛮人不会跳舞。”

威廉先生笑了笑没作声。接下来他看见彬格莱也来参加跳舞,便对达西这么说:“你的朋友跳得很不错,我相信你对此道也是驾轻就熟吧,达西先生。“

“你大概在麦里屯看见过我跳舞的吧,先生。”

“见过,不错,而且看得非常高兴。你常到宫里去跳舞吗?”

“从来没去过,先生。”

“你连在宫里都不肯赏脸吗?”

“无论在什么地方,我也不愿意赏这种脸,能避免总是避免。”

“你在城里一定有住宅吧?”

达西先生耸了耸身子。

“我一度想在城里住家,因为我喜欢上流社会;不过我可不敢说伦敦的空气是否适合于卢卡斯太太。”

他停了一会儿,指望对方回答;可是对方根本就懒得回答。不久伊丽莎白朝他们跟前走来,他灵机一动,想乘此献一下殷勤,便对她叫道:

“亲爱的伊丽莎小姐,你干吗不跳舞呀?──达西先生,让我把这位年轻的小姐介绍给你,这是位最理想的舞伴。有了这样一个美人儿做你的舞伴,我想你总不会不跳了吧。”他拉住了伊丽莎白的手,预备往达西面前送,达西虽然极为惊奇,可亦不是不愿意接住那只玉手,却不料伊丽莎白立刻把手缩了回去,好象还有些神色仓皇地对威廉爵士说:

“先生,我的确一点儿也不想跳舞。你可千万别以为我是跑到这边来找舞伴的。”

达西先生非常有礼貌地要求她赏光,跟他跳一场,可是他白白要求了。伊丽莎白下定了决心就不动摇,任凭威廉爵士怎么劝说也没有用。

“伊丽莎小姐,你跳舞跳得那么高明,可是却不肯让我享享眼福,看你跳一场,这未免太说不过去了吧。再说,这位先生虽说平常并不喜欢这种娱乐,可是要他赏我们半个钟头的脸,我相信他也不会不肯的。”

伊丽莎笑着说:“达西先生未免太客气了。”

“他真的太客气了──可是,亲爱的伊丽莎小姐,看他这样求你,你总还会怪他多礼吧。谁不想要象你这样的一个舞伴?”

伊丽莎白笑盈盈地瞟了一眼就转身走开了。她的拒绝并没有使达西觉得难过。达西正在相当高兴地想念着她,恰巧彬格莱小姐走过来招呼他:

“我猜中你现在在幻想些什么。”

“谅你也猜不中。”

“你心里正在想,许多个晚上都是跟这些人在一起无聊度过的,这实在叫人受不了,我跟你颇有同感。我从来不曾这样烦闷过!既枯燥乏味,又吵闹不堪,无聊到了极点。这批人又一个个都自以为了不起!我就想听听你指责他们几句。”

“老实对你说吧,你完全猜错了。我心里想的东西要妙得多呢。我正在玩味着:一个漂亮女人的美丽的眼睛竟会给人这么大的快乐。”

彬格莱小姐立刻把眼睛盯在他的脸上,要他告诉她,究竟是哪位小姐有这种妙处使他这样想入非非。达西先生鼓起极大的勇气回答道:

“伊丽莎白·班纳特小姐。”

“伊丽莎白·班纳特小姐!”彬格莱小姐重复了一遍。“我真感到惊奇。你看中她多久啦?──请你告诉我,我几时可以向你道喜啊?”

“我料到你会问出这样的话来的。女人的想象力真敏捷;从敬慕一跳就跳到爱情,一眨眼的工夫又从爱情跳到结婚。我知道你要预备来向我道喜了。”

“唔,要是你这么一本正经,我就认为这件事百分之百地决定啦。你一定会得到一位有趣的岳母大人,而且当然罗,她会永远在彭伯里跟你待在一起。”

她说得那么得意,他却完全似听非听,她看到他那般镇定自若,便放了心,于是那张利嘴越发滔滔不绝了。


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