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马丁・伊登(MARTIN EDEN)第六章

发表时间:2022-07-06  

A terrible restlessness that was akin to hunger afflicted Martin Eden. He was famished for a sight of the girl whose slender hands had gripped his life with a giant's grasp. He could not steel himself to call upon her. He was afraid that he might call too soon, and so be guilty of an awful breach of that awful thing called etiquette. He spent long hours in the Oakland and Berkeley libraries, and made out application blanks for membership for himself, his sisters Gertrude and Marian, and Jim, the latter's consent being obtained at the expense of several glasses of beer. With four cards permitting him to draw books, he burned the gas late in the servant's room, and was charged fifty cents a week for it by Mr. Higginbotham.

The many books he read but served to whet his unrest. Every page of every book was a peep-hole into the realm of knowledge. His hunger fed upon what he read, and increased. Also, he did not know where to begin, and continually suffered from lack of preparation. The commonest references, that he could see plainly every reader was expected to know, he did not know. And the same was true of the poetry he read which maddened him with delight. He read more of Swinburne than was contained in the volume Ruth had lent him; and "Dolores" he understood thoroughly. But surely Ruth did not understand it, he concluded. How could she, living the refined life she did? Then he chanced upon Kipling's poems, and was swept away by the lilt and swing and glamour with which familiar things had been invested. He was amazed at the man's sympathy with life and at his incisive psychology. PSYCHOLOGY was a new word in Martin's vocabulary. He had bought a dictionary, which deed had decreased his supply of money and brought nearer the day on which he must sail in search of more. Also, it incensed Mr. Higginbotham, who would have preferred the money taking the form of board.

He dared not go near Ruth's neighborhood in the daytime, but night found him lurking like a thief around the Morse home, stealing glimpses at the windows and loving the very walls that sheltered her. Several times he barely escaped being caught by her brothers, and once he trailed Mr. Morse down town and studied his face in the lighted streets, longing all the while for some quick danger of death to threaten so that he might spring in and save her father. On another night, his vigil was rewarded by a glimpse of Ruth through a second-story window. He saw only her head and shoulders, and her arms raised as she fixed her hair before a mirror. It was only for a moment, but it was a long moment to him, during which his blood turned to wine and sang through his veins. Then she pulled down the shade. But it was her room - he had learned that; and thereafter he strayed there often, hiding under a dark tree on the opposite side of the street and smoking countless cigarettes. One afternoon he saw her mother coming out of a bank, and received another proof of the enormous distance that separated Ruth from him. She was of the class that dealt with banks. He had never been inside a bank in his life, and he had an idea that such institutions were frequented only by the very rich and the very powerful.

In one way, he had undergone a moral revolution. Her cleanness and purity had reacted upon him, and he felt in his being a crying need to be clean. He must be that if he were ever to be worthy of breathing the same air with her. He washed his teeth, and scrubbed his hands with a kitchen scrub-brush till he saw a nail-brush in a drug-store window and divined its use. While purchasing it, the clerk glanced at his nails, suggested a nail-file, and so he became possessed of an additional toilet-tool. He ran across a book in the library on the care of the body, and promptly developed a penchant for a cold-water bath every morning, much to the amazement of Jim, and to the bewilderment of Mr. Higginbotham, who was not in sympathy with such high-fangled notions and who seriously debated whether or not he should charge Martin extra for the water. Another stride was in the direction of creased trousers. Now that Martin was aroused in such matters, he swiftly noted the difference between the baggy knees of the trousers worn by the working class and the straight line from knee to foot of those worn by the men above the working class. Also, he learned the reason why, and invaded his sister's kitchen in search of irons and ironing-board. He had misadventures at first, hopelessly burning one pair and buying another, which expenditure again brought nearer the day on which he must put to sea.

But the reform went deeper than mere outward appearance. He still smoked, but he drank no more. Up to that time, drinking had seemed to him the proper thing for men to do, and he had prided himself on his strong head which enabled him to drink most men under the table. Whenever he encountered a chance shipmate, and there were many in San Francisco, he treated them and was treated in turn, as of old, but he ordered for himself root beer or ginger ale and good-naturedly endured their chaffing. And as they waxed maudlin he studied them, watching the beast rise and master them and thanking God that he was no longer as they. They had their limitations to forget, and when they were drunk, their dim, stupid spirits were even as gods, and each ruled in his heaven of intoxicated desire. With Martin the need for strong drink had vanished. He was drunken in new and more profound ways - with Ruth, who had fired him with love and with a glimpse of higher and eternal life; with books, that had set a myriad maggots of desire gnawing in his brain; and with the sense of personal cleanliness he was achieving, that gave him even more superb health than what he had enjoyed and that made his whole body sing with physical well- being.

One night he went to the theatre, on the blind chance that he might see her there, and from the second balcony he did see her. He saw her come down the aisle, with Arthur and a strange young man with a football mop of hair and eyeglasses, the sight of whom spurred him to instant apprehension and jealousy. He saw her take her seat in the orchestra circle, and little else than her did he see that night - a pair of slender white shoulders and a mass of pale gold hair, dim with distance. But there were others who saw, and now and again, glancing at those about him, he noted two young girls who looked back from the row in front, a dozen seats along, and who smiled at him with bold eyes. He had always been easy-going. It was not in his nature to give rebuff. In the old days he would have smiled back, and gone further and encouraged smiling. But now it was different. He did smile back, then looked away, and looked no more deliberately. But several times, forgetting the existence of the two girls, his eyes caught their smiles. He could not re- thumb himself in a day, nor could he violate the intrinsic kindliness of his nature; so, at such moments, he smiled at the girls in warm human friendliness. It was nothing new to him. He knew they were reaching out their woman's hands to him. But it was different now. Far down there in the orchestra circle was the one woman in all the world, so different, so terrifically different, from these two girls of his class, that he could feel for them only pity and sorrow. He had it in his heart to wish that they could possess, in some small measure, her goodness and glory. And not for the world could he hurt them because of their outreaching. He was not flattered by it; he even felt a slight shame at his lowliness that permitted it. He knew, did he belong in Ruth's class, that there would be no overtures from these girls; and with each glance of theirs he felt the fingers of his own class clutching at him to hold him down.

He left his seat before the curtain went down on the last act, intent on seeing Her as she passed out. There were always numbers of men who stood on the sidewalk outside, and he could pull his cap down over his eyes and screen himself behind some one's shoulder so that she should not see him. He emerged from the theatre with the first of the crowd; but scarcely had he taken his position on the edge of the sidewalk when the two girls appeared. They were looking for him, he knew; and for the moment he could have cursed that in him which drew women. Their casual edging across the sidewalk to the curb, as they drew near, apprised him of discovery. They slowed down, and were in the thick of the crown as they came up with him. One of them brushed against him and apparently for the first time noticed him. She was a slender, dark girl, with black, defiant eyes. But they smiled at him, and he smiled back.

"Hello," he said.

It was automatic; he had said it so often before under similar circumstances of first meetings. Besides, he could do no less. There was that large tolerance and sympathy in his nature that would permit him to do no less. The black-eyed girl smiled gratification and greeting, and showed signs of stopping, while her companion, arm linked in arm, giggled and likewise showed signs of halting. He thought quickly. It would never do for Her to come out and see him talking there with them. Quite naturally, as a matter of course, he swung in along-side the dark-eyed one and walked with her. There was no awkwardness on his part, no numb tongue. He was at home here, and he held his own royally in the badinage, bristling with slang and sharpness, that was always the preliminary to getting acquainted in these swift-moving affairs. At the corner where the main stream of people flowed onward, he started to edge out into the cross street. But the girl with the black eyes caught his arm, following him and dragging her companion after her, as she cried:

"Hold on, Bill! What's yer rush? You're not goin' to shake us so sudden as all that?"

He halted with a laugh, and turned, facing them. Across their shoulders he could see the moving throng passing under the street lamps. Where he stood it was not so light, and, unseen, he would be able to see Her as she passed by. She would certainly pass by, for that way led home.

"What's her name?" he asked of the giggling girl, nodding at the dark-eyed one.

"You ask her," was the convulsed response.

"Well, what is it?" he demanded, turning squarely on the girl in question.

"You ain't told me yours, yet," she retorted.

"You never asked it," he smiled. "Besides, you guessed the first rattle. It's Bill, all right, all right."

"Aw, go 'long with you." She looked him in the eyes, her own sharply passionate and inviting. "What is it, honest?"

Again she looked. All the centuries of woman since sex began were eloquent in her eyes. And he measured her in a careless way, and knew, bold now, that she would begin to retreat, coyly and delicately, as he pursued, ever ready to reverse the game should he turn fainthearted. And, too, he was human, and could feel the draw of her, while his ego could not but appreciate the flattery of her kindness. Oh, he knew it all, and knew them well, from A to Z. Good, as goodness might be measured in their particular class, hard-working for meagre wages and scorning the sale of self for easier ways, nervously desirous for some small pinch of happiness in the desert of existence, and facing a future that was a gamble between the ugliness of unending toil and the black pit of more terrible wretchedness, the way whereto being briefer though better paid.

"Bill," he answered, nodding his head. "Sure, Pete, Bill an' no other."

"No joshin'?" she queried.

"It ain't Bill at all," the other broke in.

"How do you know?" he demanded. "You never laid eyes on me before."

"No need to, to know you're lyin'," was the retort.

"Straight, Bill, what is it?" the first girl asked.

"Bill'll do," he confessed.

She reached out to his arm and shook him playfully. "I knew you was lyin', but you look good to me just the same."

He captured the hand that invited, and felt on the palm familiar markings and distortions.

"When'd you chuck the cannery?" he asked.

"How'd yeh know?" and, "My, ain't cheh a mind-reader!" the girls chorussed.

And while he exchanged the stupidities of stupid minds with them, before his inner sight towered the book-shelves of the library, filled with the wisdom of the ages. He smiled bitterly at the incongruity of it, and was assailed by doubts. But between inner vision and outward pleasantry he found time to watch the theatre crowd streaming by. And then he saw Her, under the lights, between her brother and the strange young man with glasses, and his heart seemed to stand still. He had waited long for this moment. He had time to note the light, fluffy something that hid her queenly head, the tasteful lines of her wrapped figure, the gracefulness of her carriage and of the hand that caught up her skirts; and then she was gone and he was left staring at the two girls of the cannery, at their tawdry attempts at prettiness of dress, their tragic efforts to be clean and trim, the cheap cloth, the cheap ribbons, and the cheap rings on the fingers. He felt a tug at his arm, and heard a voice saying:-

"Wake up, Bill! What's the matter with you?"

"What was you sayin'?" he asked.

"Oh, nothin'," the dark girl answered, with a toss of her head. "I was only remarkin' - "

"What?"

"Well, I was whisperin' it'd be a good idea if you could dig up a gentleman friend - for her" (indicating her companion), "and then, we could go off an' have ice-cream soda somewhere, or coffee, or anything."

He was afflicted by a sudden spiritual nausea. The transition from Ruth to this had been too abrupt. Ranged side by side with the bold, defiant eyes of the girl before him, he saw Ruth's clear, luminous eyes, like a saint's, gazing at him out of unplumbed depths of purity. And, somehow, he felt within him a stir of power. He was better than this. Life meant more to him than it meant to these two girls whose thoughts did not go beyond ice-cream and a gentleman friend. He remembered that he had led always a secret life in his thoughts. These thoughts he had tried to share, but never had he found a woman capable of understanding - nor a man. He had tried, at times, but had only puzzled his listeners. And as his thoughts had been beyond them, so, he argued now, he must be beyond them. He felt power move in him, and clenched his fists. If life meant more to him, then it was for him to demand more from life, but he could not demand it from such companionship as this. Those bold black eyes had nothing to offer. He knew the thoughts behind them - of ice-cream and of something else. But those saint's eyes alongside - they offered all he knew and more than he could guess. They offered books and painting, beauty and repose, and all the fine elegance of higher existence. Behind those black eyes he knew every thought process. It was like clockwork. He could watch every wheel go around. Their bid was low pleasure, narrow as the grave, that palled, and the grave was at the end of it. But the bid of the saint's eyes was mystery, and wonder unthinkable, and eternal life. He had caught glimpses of the soul in them, and glimpses of his own soul, too.

"There's only one thing wrong with the programme," he said aloud. "I've got a date already."

The girl's eyes blazed her disappointment.

"To sit up with a sick friend, I suppose?" she sneered.

"No, a real, honest date with - " he faltered, "with a girl."

"You're not stringin' me?" she asked earnestly.

He looked her in the eyes and answered: "It's straight, all right. But why can't we meet some other time? You ain't told me your name yet. An' where d'ye live?"

"Lizzie," she replied, softening toward him, her hand pressing his arm, while her body leaned against his. "Lizzie Connolly. And I live at Fifth an' Market."

He talked on a few minutes before saying good night. He did not go home immediately; and under the tree where he kept his vigils he looked up at a window and murmured: "That date was with you, Ruth. I kept it for you."

一种可怕的烦躁折磨着马丁·伊登,近似于饥渴。他渴望见到那位用她那柔嫩的手以巨人的握力攫住了他全部生命的姑娘,却总鼓不起勇气去看她。他怕去得太快,违背了那可怕的叫做社交礼仪的庞然大物。他在奥克兰和伯克利图书馆花了许多时间为自己填了几张借书申请表。他自己的,姐姐格特露的和妹妹茉莉安的,还有吉姆的。为取得吉姆的同意他还付出了几杯啤酒。有了这四张借书证,他便在仆人屋罕熬起夜来,希金波坦因此每周多收了他五角钱煤气费。

他读了许多书,可那只使他更加烦躁不安。每本书的每一页都是一个窥视孔,让他窥见了知识天地。他读到的东西只培养了他的食欲,使他更饥饿了。他不知道从何学起,只不断因为基础太差而烦恼。他缺乏许多最平常的背景知识,而他清楚知道那是每个读者都早该明白的。读诗时也一样,尽管诗歌叫他如醉如痴。除了露丝借给他的那一本之外他还读了一些史文朋的作品。《多洛丽丝》他完全能理解,他的结论是露丝肯定没读懂。她过着那样优裕的生活怎么能读得懂呢?然后他又碰上了吉卜林的诗,他为它们的韵律、节奏和他赋予日常事物的越力所倾倒。吉卜林对生命的感受和深刻的心理描写也使他吃惊。在马丁的词汇里“心理”是个新词。他买了一本词典,这压缩了他的存款,提前了他出海挣钱的日子,同时也惹恼了希金波坦先生。他是恨不得把那钱当作膳宿费收了去的。

白天他不敢走近露丝的家,可到晚上他却像个小偷一样在莫尔斯家住宅附近通来退去,偷偷地瞧着窗户,爱恋着那荫蔽她的墙壁。有几次他几乎被她的弟弟撞见。有一回他还跟着莫尔斯先生走到繁华区,在街边的灯光下研究着他的面孔,恨不得出现突然的危险威胁他的生命,好让他扑过去救他。有一天晚上他的守夜活动得到了报偿。他在二楼的窗户里看到了露丝的身影——只见到头和肩,她在镜前梳妆,举起了一条胳膊。虽只一瞬,对他却很长,他的血液化作了酒装,在血管里歌唱起来。然后她便拉下了窗帘。可是他已发现了她的房间,从此便常溜到那儿去躲到街时面一棵黑xuxu的树下,抽上不知多少支香烟。有天下午他看见她的母亲从一家银行出来,那又给了他一个地跟她有遥远距离的证明。她属于进出于银行之门的阶级,而他却一辈子也没进过银行,一向认为那是只有最有钱最有势的人才光顾的机构。

就某种意义而言,他也经历了一次道德上的等命。她的纯洁无瑕影响了他,他从内心感到一种对清洁的迫切要求。既然他希望有跟她同呼吸共命运的资格,他便必须爱干净。他开始刷牙,并用刷子刷手。后来他在一家药店的橱窗卫看到了指甲刷,猜到了它的用处。他买指甲刷的时候店员看了一眼他的手便向地推荐一种指甲锉,于是他又多了一份梳妆用品。他在图书馆见到一本讲生理卫生的书,立即养成了每天清晨冷水冲淋的爱好。这叫吉姆吃惊,也叫希金波坦先生纳闷。他对他这样敢作高雅不以为然,而且进行了一番严重的思想斗争:是否要叫他额外交点水费。马丁的另一个大进步表现在裤子的语度上。既然这类事已引起注意,他很快便发现工人阶级膝盖松弛的裤子跟地位较高的人从膝盖到脚背有一条笔直的褶痕的裤子之间的差异,而且找出了原因。于是便闯进姐姐的厨房去找熨斗和熨衣板。开头他闯了祸,把一条裤子烫得一塌糊涂,只好月买一条,这样又复提前了他出海的日期。

但是他的改年并不光停留在外表上。他仍然抽烟,却不喝酒了。那以前他认为喝酒似乎是男子汉的本分,并以自己的酒量能把大部分男子汉喝到桌子底下而骄傲。遇到了海上老朋友(在旧金山这类言朋友很多)他也跟过去一样请客和作客,但只给自己叫草根啤和姜汁麦酒,别人嘲笑他,他也只乖乖听着。别人喝醉酒哭哭啼啼他就冷眼旁观,眼看他们兽性发作不能自拔,便感谢上帝自己跟他们再也不同了。他们有许多烦恼需要忘掉,喝醉了酒,每个人浑饨蠢笨的灵魂便俨如神仙,在欲望的酷酊的天堂里称王称霸。马丁对烈性饮料的需要虽已消失,却以一种新的更为深沉的方式沉醉了——为露丝而沉醉了。露丝燃起了他的爱火,让他瞥见了更为高尚的永恒的生命;她用书本唤起的无数欲望的蠕虫咬啮着他的头脑;她让他感到干净纯洁,而干净纯洁又使他享受到大大超过从前的健康,感到通体舒畅,痛快淋漓。

有天晚上他到戏院去,抱着盲目的希望,想碰见她。在坐进二楼座位时倒真看见了她。他见她跟亚瑟和一个陌生的男子沿着座位间的甬道走着。那人戴着眼镜,蓄橄榄球发式。一见那人他就害怕而且妒忌。地望见她在堂厢里乐队前坐了下来,便整个晚上望着她,别的很少看。雪白的秀美的双肩,淡金色飘逸的发鬟,因为远,有点模糊。但还有别的人也在看戏。他偶然望一望周围,发现两个年青姑娘从前排十多个座位外侧过头来看他,并大胆地对他微笑。他一向随和,天生不愿回绝别人。要是在过去他一定会微笑回答,而且鼓励对方继续微笑。可现在不同了。他也微笑回答,但随即望向别处,故意不再去看她们。可是在他已把她们忘记之后却又好几次督见她们仍在对他微笑。他不能在一天之内两次失态,也不能违背自己宽厚的天性,再见了姑娘们笑,便也满面春风地对她们微笑。这于他并不新鲜,他知道她们是在向地伸出女性的手。只是现在不同了,在远处靠近乐队的地方有一个世界上唯一的女性,跟他自己阶级的姑娘们不同,简直有天壤之别。因此他只能怜悯她们,为她们悲哀。他私心里也希望她们能有一点点她的长处和辉煌。她们既向他伸手,他无论如何也不能伤害她们。他并未因此而得意;他甚至因为自己身分低下可以感到得意而多少觉得可耻。他也明白自己若是属于露丝的阶级,这些姑娘是不会对他眉目传情的。于是她们每瞥他一眼他便感到本阶级的手指在扯他,要把他往下拽。

最后一场还没落幕他就离开了座位。他急于在她出戏院时看到她。剧院外阶沿上一向有许多男人,他可以拉下便帽遮住眼睛躲在别人肩膀后面不让她看见。他随着最早的一群人走出了戏院;可他刚在路边站住,那两个姑娘便出现了。他明白她们是在找他。一时真想咒骂自己对女性的雄力。两个姑娘仿佛偶然地挤过了街治来到了路边,他明白她们找到他了。两人放慢了脚步,挤在人群中跟他一起走着。一个姑娘碰了他一下,装作刚发现他的样子。那是个黝黑修长的姑娘,有一双大胆的眼睛。她俩向他微笑,他只好微笑作答。

“哈罗,”他说。

这是个不自觉的动作。在这类初次见面时他常这么说,而且不能不这样做。他天性宽厚容忍,富于同情心,不允许自己粗鲁。黑眼睛的姑娘微笑着招呼他并表示感谢,有停下脚步的意思。跟她手挽手的同伴格格一笑,也想停步。他急忙考虑了一下:绝对不能让她出来时看见他跟她们谈话,于是仿佛理所当然地转过身来走在那黑眼睛姑娘的身边。他一点也不尴尬,也不笨嘴拙舌。他大方,坦然,应付裕如,对答如流,俏皮犀利,这一类闪电恋爱的相识阶段一向是这样开始的,他在主要人群经过的街角挤进了一条岔道。那黑眼睛的姑娘却拽住他,跟着他,还拉了伙伴同路,而巨叫道:

“别跑,比尔!干吗跑这么快?不会是想马上把我们甩掉吧?”

他哈哈一笑,转过身来对着她俩。通过她们的肩头地可以看到人群在路灯下走。他站着的地方灯光暗淡,他可以在她经过时看见她,而不至于被她发觉。她肯定会经过的,那是她回家的路。

“她叫什么名字?”他问那格格笑的姑娘,用下巴指了指黑眼睛。

“你问她好了,”对方笑了,回答。

“喂,你叫什么名字?”他回头面对那姑娘问道。

“你还没告诉我你的名字呢,”她反击。

“你也没问过我呀!”他微笑道,“而且,你一叫就叫准了,我叫比尔,正好,没错。”

“去你的吧,”她注视着他的眼睛,眼神热情挑逗,“叫什么名字,说真话?”

她又看着他。自有男欢女爱以来数不尽的世代的女性的柔情都在她眼里动情地闪烁。他满不在乎地掂量了她一下。现在胆子大了。心中有数,只要他进攻,她就会小心翼翼羞羞答答地退却;而他若是胆小退却,她便会反守为攻,追了上来。他也是个男人,也受到她的吸引。对她这样的殷勤他的自我不能不感到得意。啊,他完全明白——他对这些姑娘们从头到脚了如指掌。她们善良(她们那特定的阶级的姑娘一般都是善良的),为了微薄的工资而辛勤地劳动,却瞧不起为追求逸乐而出卖自己,她们的末来有如赌局:或者是无穷无尽的劳作,或者是更可怕的苦难的深渊。后者收入虽然较丰,路却更短。面对这场赌博她们在生活的荒漠里也迫切地希望得到几分欢乐。

“比尔,”他点头回答,“没错,小姐,我就叫比尔,没有别的名字。”

“没胡扯么?”她追问。

“他根本不叫比尔,”另一个姑娘插嘴。

“你怎么会知道?”他问,“你以前又没见过我。”

“不用见过也知道你是胡扯,”对方反驳。

“坦白,比尔,叫什么?”第一个姑娘问。

“叫比尔不就行了,”他承认了。

她把手伸向他的胳膊,开玩笑地读了探他,“我早知道你是在瞎说,不过我还是觉得你好,喜欢你。”

他抓住那只伸向他的手,感到手上有熟悉的记号和伤残。

“你们啥时候从罐头厂来的?”他问。

“你咋知道的?”一个说。“天呐,你是个赛半仙咋的?”两人同时叫道。

在他跟她俩你一言我一语说些从愚昧的头脑平冒出的愚昧的话时,他心灵的眼睛面前却矗立着图书馆的书架,其中满是各个时代的智慧。他为这两者的不协调而苦笑,心里满是怀疑。他辗转于内心的幻影和外在的说笑之间,却同时观察着从戏院前经过的人群。这时他看见了她,在灯光之下,走在她弟弟和那个戴眼镜的陌生青年之间。他的心似乎停止了跳动。就为这一瞬间他已等了许久。他注意到她那王家气派的头上罩了个轻飘飘的东西;注意到她盛装的身躯那品味高雅的线条、她那曼婉美妙的神态和提着长据的纤手。她很快便走掉了,留下地望着两个罐头厂的姑娘:两人刻意打扮,却显得花里胡哨;她们为了打扮得干净漂亮所作的努力令人难过。廉价的衣料、廉价的丝带,手指上还套着廉价的戒指。他感到手臂被拉了一下,听见一个声音说:

“醒醒,比尔!你怎么啦?”

“你说什么?”他问。

“没什么,”黝黑的姑娘脑袋一甩,回答,“我只是在说——”

“说什么?”

“唔,我在悄悄说,你若是能挖出个小伙子——给她”(示意她的同伴),“倒是个好主意。我们就可以找个地方去喝点冰淇淋汽水,咖啡,或是别的了。”

他精神上突然感到一阵恶心,难过极了。从露丝到眼前的两个姑娘,这转变太突然。他看见露丝那双清澈明亮的圣女般的眼睛如深湛纯净的深潭凝望着他,而跟她并排的却是眼前这姑娘那双大胆泼辣的眼睛。不知怎么,一种力量在他心里躁动起来:他要高于这种水平。他必须活得比这两个姑娘更有意义。她们只想着吃冰淇淋交男朋友。他想起自己一向在意识里过着一种秘密的生活,曾想把它向人诉说,可从来没有遇见一个女人懂得——也没有男人懂得。他有时也讲起,但对方总所得莫名其妙。他现在认为,既然自己的思想超过了她们,他自己也一定高于她们。他感到力量在心里涌动,便捏紧了拳头。既然生命对他有更丰富的内容,他便应当对生命提出更高的要求。但对眼前这样的伙伴他是无法提出更高的要求的。那汉大胆的黑眼睛提供不了什么。他明白那眼睛背后的思想不过是冰淇淋之类。可并付的那双圣女的眼睛呢——它们却向他提供了他所知道的一切和他梦想不到的东西:书籍、绘画、美、平静、上层生活的优美高雅。他也明白那双黑眼睛后面的一切思想活动,就像明白钟表的机件。他能看到它的每个轮子运转。她所追求的只是低级的享乐,像坟墓一样狭窄、阴暗,享乐的尽头就是坟墓。可那圣女的眼睛追求的却是神秘的、难以想像的奇迹和永生。他在那儿瞥见了她的灵魂,也瞥见了自己的灵魂。

“你这计划只有一点毛病,”他大声说,“我已经有了个约会。”

那姑娘的眼里闪出失望的光。

“要陪生病的朋友吧,我看是?”她话里带刺。

“不,真有约会,说实话——”他犹豫了,“是一个姑娘。”

“你没骗我?”她认真地问。

他笔直望着她的眼睛回答:“不假,完全不假。可为什么我们不能另外约个时间见面呢?你还没告诉我你的名字呢。你住在哪儿?”

“叫丽齐,”她回答,用手捏着他的手臂,对他的态度友好了些,身子也向他靠了过去。“丽齐·康诺利。住在五号街和市场街的交叉口。”

他又谈了几分钟话,然后道了晚安。他并没有立即回家;他在一向守望的树下望着那扇窗户前南地说道:“那是跟你的约会,露丝。我为你保留的。”


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