现代英文选评注 | Michael and Mary 金船 Seumas O'Kelly

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本文采自《爱尔兰短篇小说故事集》(Irish Stories Tales)。爱尔兰人与英格兰人种族不同,其地虽久为英国所统治,然其人对英国素乏好感。十九世纪末,随爱尔兰民族主义之抬头,爱尔兰文学也力求表现其民族之特色。所谓“爱尔兰文艺复兴”(The Irish Literary Revival)之目的,即为摆脱英国文学之传统,以新形式表现爱尔兰人之思想与信仰。现在南爱尔兰为一独立国(不属英联邦)。爱尔兰文学在戏剧、诗歌、小说方面亦颇多表现,为英语文学放一异彩。二十世纪最伟大小说家之一James Joyce,即为爱尔兰人。《爱尔兰短篇小说故事集》所收诸人,如Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw, George Moore, Se n O'Faoláin, Frank O'Connor等,皆文坛俊彦。Seumas O'Kelly之声名,虽不如上述诸人,然此篇细腻动人,允称佳作。

Mary had spent many days gathering wool from the whins on the headland. They were the bits of wool shed by the sheep before the shearing. When she had got a fleece that fitted the basket she took it down to the canal and washed it. When she had done washing it was a soft, white, silky fleece. She put it back in the brown sally basket, pressing it down with her long, delicate fingers. She had risen to go away, holding the basket against her waist, when her eyes followed the narrow neck of water that wound through the bog.

  • 本文题名“Michael and Mary”,现在Michael尚未出现。
  • gathering wool:拾羊毛。whins:暗色的岩石,粗玄岩。headland:山岩,想是牧羊之所。
  • shed:褪脱。羊在修剪(shearing)之前,自己会褪毛。毛落山野间,贫家女子捡来,亦有微利可博。
  • a fleece:原意是“一次剪下之羊毛”,这里当然是“一次拾来的羊毛”。that fitted the basket:篮子里盛得下的。
  • had done washing:洗毕。
  • sally:柳枝,是sallow之变体。pressing down:用力塞进去。long, delicate fingers:关于这个女子的美,只有这几个字形容。
  • neck of water:水道。即上述之运河(canal)。followed:眼睛跟着河道望去。bog:潮湿之泥炭地。运河在这种沼泽地上蜿蜒(wound)流过。

She could not follow the neck of yellow water very far. The light of day was failing. A haze hung over the great Bog of Allen that spread out level on all sides of her. The boat loomed out of the haze on the narrow neck of the canal water. It looked, at first, a long way off, and it seemed to come in a cloud. The soft rose light that mounted the sky caught the boat and burnished it like dull gold. It came leisurely, drawn by the one horse looking like a Golden Barque in the twilight. Mary put her brown head a little to one side as she watched the easy motion of the boat. The horse drew himself along deliberately, the patient head going up and down with every heavy step. A crane rose from the bog, flapping two lazy wings across the wake of the boat, and, reaching its long neck before it, got lost in the haze.

  • 本段是风景描写,有几个有关色彩的形容词,尤其要请读者注意。色彩并不艳丽,然而很醒目。本文的浪漫情调是很明显的,但是这里到底只是乡村风光,并非仙境,运河也只是一条“黄流”,并不是碧绿的。
  • 天色将暮,日光渐暗(failing),她看不远。
  • Bog of Allen:这块沼泽地大约不小,居然有它的专用名字。爱尔兰北部有湖名Lough (=Lake) Allen,这块沼泽地想必离此不远。level是形容词,形容主语that,沼泽地平平地向四周伸展开来。
  • The boat:这里不用She suddenly saw…等字样,这种写法在英文里并不显得突兀。loomed:朦胧中突然出现,通常用于形体庞大的东西。boat虽是小船,但是四周雾气(haze)低垂,船穿雾而出,疑是驾云(in a cloud)而来,也会使人觉得很大的。
  • soft rose light:雾气中看出来的霞光,用这几个字恐怕是最为妥贴。mounted:升(空)。空中霞光,应该普照万物,但是周围都是平平的地和水,没有突出的东西,单单照在船上,好像霞光只有一道,专照(caught:捉住)这艘小船的。burnished:磨擦(金属,使光亮)。小船在雾气之中,为霞光所照,色彩一定很美。但是假如真说它灿烂若黄金,未免显得过火。这里dull一字用得最为恰当。
  • leisurely:船并不急驶。horse:中国有用民夫拉纤行船的,爱尔兰恐怕是用马拉纤的。马在岸上走,船在水中行。Golden Barque:典不详,想必爱尔兰民间传说中有“仙舟”这种东西,乡村女子在暮色苍茫之中(in the twilight),逢此奇景,很可能往这方面联想上去的。barque即bark,小船。乡间小船,认作仙人金槎,这就是我所谓“浪漫情调”。
  • brown head:头发的颜色。put…to one side:侧着头。
  • drew himself:马往前走,马本身也有重量,所以可以说“马拉自己”。deliberately:不慌不忙地。patient:任重致远,马的头表现着“耐心”。going up and down:忽俯忽仰。
  • crane:鹤。四周本来一片静寂,小船出现,打破了这种沉寂,作者特别叫一只野鹤受惊飞起,描写就更有生气。中国旧诗中这种“画龙点睛”之法很常见,读者不妨参照。
  • lazy wings:和前面船的leisurely以及马的deliberately相呼应。wake:船身后边的水流。reaching its neck:伸长它的头颈。before it=before the crane。

The figure that swayed by the big arm of the tiller on?The?Golden Barque?was vague and shapeless at first, but Mary felt her eyes following the slow movements of the body. Mary thought it was very beautiful to sway every now and then by the arm of the tiller, steering a Golden Barque through the twilight.

  • figure:人的身形。朦胧中还看不仔细。swayed是不及物动词:摇摆。tiller:舵柄;想必粗而且长,故说the big arm。
  • The Golden Barque:小船的名字,我们不知道。但是在Mary想象之中,她觉得它很美,就干脆叫它金船了。
  • slow movements:一摇一摆,姿态很美。
  • every now and then:一下又一下地,常常。
  • steering:掌舵,驾驶。

Then she realised suddenly that the boat was much nearer than she had thought. She could see the figures of the men plainly, especially the slim figure by the tiller. She could trace the rope that slackened and stretched taut as it reached from the boat to the horse. Once it splashed the water, and there was a little spout of silver. She noted the whip looped under the arm of the driver. Presently she could count every heavy step of the horse, and was struck by the great size of the shaggy fetlocks. But always her eyes went back to the figure by the tiller.

  • 她忽然发觉(realised)船已行近,各人的身形都可以看清楚(plainly),她起初还以为很远呢。这几段描写,都以船的行动为线索,由远而近,驶过她的身边,然后消失。
  • slim:细长的。那个在舵柄旁的人非但摇摆的姿态优美,身材也是细长的,值得一看再看。
  • the rope:拉纤的绳,从船上伸(reached)到马身上。马走得快,绳子就绷紧(stretched taut);船滑得快,绳子就松(slackened)。
  • splashed:纤绳一张一弛,有时候局部落在水里,水花四溅。spout of silver:银色水花。和golden barque有相得益彰之妙。
  • driver:赶马的。他的鞭子弯成环状(looped),夹在胁下。
  • Presently:不久之后(船渐驶渐近)。was struck by:见所未见,印象很深。shaggy:蓬松松的。fetlocks:马脚后跟上的毛。马距毛如此之盛,是她以前所没有注意过的。
  • 最后一句很有力量:她的注意力是集中到那个掌舵的身上去了。

She moved back a little way to see?The Golden Barque?pass. It came from a strange, far-off world, and having traversed the bog went away into another unknown world. A red-faced man was sitting drowsily on the prow. Mary smiled and nodded to him, but he made no sign. He did not see her; perhaps he was asleep. The driver who walked beside the horse had his head stooped and his eyes on the ground. He did not look up as he passed. Mary saw his lips moving, and heard him mutter to himself; perhaps he was praying. He was a shrunken, misshaped little figure and kept step with the brute in the journey over the bog. But Mary felt the gaze of the man by the tiller upon her. She raised her eyes.

  • 船行近了,她反而要退后几步,才可看得仔细。
  • 船虽到了眼前,但是它的神秘性仍未丧失。它来自奇异的远方,穿过沼泽地(这是现实),再驶向不可知的世界。
  • drowsily:睡眼惺忪地。prow:船头。
  • 船上有两个人,岸上有个赶马的。这三个男人之中,只有那个掌舵的是在注意她的。而且一个是虽然经她招呼对她也不理会,一个则是状貌猥琐,相形之下,那个掌舵的更显得杰出。
  • 赶马的身材瘦小(shrunken)而佝偻(misshaped),一步一步地赶着马(brute),在沼泽地上走。
  • Mary正在看这两个人,可是她发觉掌舵的那人眼光正落在她身上,她抬起眼睛来了。

The light was uncertain and his peaked cap threw a shadow over his face. But the figure was lithe and youthful. He smiled as she looked up, for she caught a gleam of his teeth. Then the boat had passed. Mary did not smile in return. She had taken a step back and remained there quietly. Once he looked back and awkwardly touched his cap, but she made no sign.

  • 光线模糊,那人戴了一顶鸭舌(peaked)帽,脸为黑影笼罩,看不清楚。(throw a shadow是成语)可是这个人的身体看来是年轻的,而且刚柔适中,富于弹性(lithe)。
  • as she looked up:呼应上段的She raised her eyes。
  • 此人是否在笑,她并不确切知道,可是他的牙齿露了一下白光,像是笑了。(原文只用gleam,不用white,white这个字在这里是可以省略的。)
  • Mary did not smile in return:船头上的那个红脸汉,没有理她,她却向他微笑颔首;现在掌舵的向她一笑,她反而不作表示。这是女人心理微妙处:是少女的矜持乎?抑是感触太深,不知所措乎?
  • 船已行远,可是她还是以目送之。她看见那人回过一次头,很笨拙地以手触帽,向她致敬。(awkwardly:“不知怎么是好”的尴尬表情。)

When the boat had gone by some way she sat down on the bank, her basket of wool beside her, looking at?The Golden Barque?until it went into the gloom. She stayed there for some time, thinking long in the great silence of the bog. When at last she rose, the canal was clear and cold beneath her. She looked into it. A pale new moon was shining down in the water.

  • by有past之意。some way也是作副词之用:走得相当远了。bank:河岸。她坐下来,看金船消失于暮色之中。
  • thinking:她在想些什么呢?她所想的内容如果写了出来,小说的格调恐怕反而要庸俗了。
  • the canal was clear and cold:clear者,河上已经没有船。cold一字尤见分量,意味深长。此刻唯有天际淡淡新月,空照流水而已。

Mary often stood at the door of the cabin on the headland watching the boats that crawled like black snails over the narrow streak of water through the bog. But they were not all like black snails now. There was a Golden Barque among them. Whenever she saw it she smiled, her eyes on the figure that stood by the shaft of the tiller.

  • cabin:木屋之类的敝庐,这大约就是她的家。
  • snails:蜗牛。船本来都像蜗牛爬行,可是现在在她心目中,有一条船是与众不同的了。the narrow streak of water:就是那条运河。
  • shaft:柄。她看船,其实只是要看那条金船。船上也只有那个掌舵的人可看而已。她笑,她的眼光落在那个人的身上——心事全在不言中。
  • bog:前文我把bog译作“沼泽地”,这是有字典为凭的。1957年2月26日那期的The New Yorker,内有“Bog for Sale”一文,读后才知道爱尔兰的bog和一般英美人所了解的bog并不相同,爱尔兰的bog大约并不潮湿,只是“泥炭地”而已。bog的泥土是可以用来当煤炭烧的。现在把该杂志的原文抄录几句如下:

An Irish bog is not what people imagine. It is not a swamp. It is simply land—usually low-lying and heather-covered—from which turf has been, or can be, cut. Turf, which is called peat outside Ireland, is a layer—perhaps fifteen or twenty feet deep—of decomposed primeval forest; when cut into rectangular slabs and dried, it is in demand as domestic fuel.

  • 现在再让我们看看“家居泥炭地,眼望金槎船”的Mary在做些什么。

One evening she was walking by the canal when?The Golden?Barque?passed. The light was very clear and searching. It showed every plank, battered and tar-stained, on the rough hulk, but for all that it lost none of its magic for Mary. The little shrunken driver, head down, the lips moving, walking beside the horse. She heard his low mutters as he passed. The red-faced man was stooping over the side of the boat, swinging out a vessel tied to a rope, to haul up some water. He was singing a ballad in a monotonous voice. A tall, dark, spare man was standing by the funnel, looking vacantly ahead. Then Mary's eyes travelled to the tiller.

  • searching:搜索性的;发隐抉微的;无孔不入的。初次看见金船,是在暮色苍茫雾气低迷之中。这次虽然仍旧是黄昏,光线却特别明亮,她对于金船有更进一步的认识。
  • plank:船身(hulk)上的板条。木船上一条条的板都可看得清清楚楚,那些板条已经破烂(battered)沾有柏油污迹(tar-stained)。木船敝旧如此,其非“金船”殆无疑义。但是即使如此(for all that)木船仍旧有它的魔力(magic)。
  • 前面所介绍过的几个人,这里重又出现,只是状貌声音都比较清楚了。第一个是那小个儿赶马的,她现在看得见他嘴唇的动作,听得见他在喃喃自语。另一个是那红脸汉子,他俯身船舷之外,用一只吊桶样的东西(vessel:器皿)在河里打水。一面取水,一面唱着山歌。还有一个高挑身材黑瘦(spare)子。那是以前没有出现过的。此人站在烟囱边上,茫然地往前方注视。
  • 眼睛向三个人身上一转,然后又落到掌舵那地方。请注意travelled这个字是从“旅行”衍伸出来的意义。这个字《简明牛津字典》解释作“用心地或是有次序地一件一件东西看过去”,该字典并举了这样一个例:His eye travelled over the scene.

Mary stepped back with some embarrassment when she saw the face. She backed into a hawthorn that grew all alone on the canal bank. It was covered with bloom. A shower of the white petals fell about her when she stirred the branches. They clung about her hair like a wreath. He raised his cap and smiled. Mary did not know the face was so eager, so boyish. She smiled a little nervously at last. His face lit up, and he touched his cap again.

  • 她看见那个男人,总觉得有点不自在,现在仍旧如此。
  • backed:这个字可以作动词用的。她往后一退,以山楂(hawthorn)的枝叶掩身。河岸上孤零零的(all alone)就是这么一棵树。人入花丛,树枝受震,群英纷落(a shower),附着(clung)在她的头发上,她好像戴了一顶花冠(wreath)。这是她同那个男子第二次觌面,作者对于Mary的美,并没有描写,但是她的娇羞,加上头发上的白花瓣(petal),她那时的美,我们也不难想象了。
  • raised his cap:脱帽高举行礼。
  • 帽子一脱,那人的脸就看得清楚了。Mary想不到他的脸竟是如此的热情流露(eager),如此的稚气可掬。
  • at last:人家对她行礼,她没法再矜持,最后只好窘迫地微微一笑。她笑了,他的脸上也容光焕发(lit是light的过去式)了。那时他的帽子已经戴上,他就举手触帽行礼。

The red-faced man stood by the open hatchway going into the hold, the vessel of water in his hand. He looked at Mary and then at the figure beside the tiller.

"Eh, Michael," the red-faced man said quizzically. The youth turned back to the boat, and Mary felt the blush spreading over her face.

"Michael!"

Mary repeated the name a little softly to herself. The gods had delivered up one of their great secrets.

  • hatchway:甲板上的出入口。going形容hatchway这个出入口是通到船的底部(hold)的。
  • quizzically:开玩笑的样子。那红脸汉已经猜到那男人的心事了。
  • Michael:这个名字第一次出现。女的对于那个男的,已有好感,可是不知道他的名字。她恐怕非常想知道他的名字,可是作者对于这种心理状态,决不用一字描写(一写恐怕就“俗”)。但是她听见了这个名字,脸就红到耳朵根(spreading over her face),还轻轻地自言自语念这个名字——这种暗示,不就够了吗?(这种暗示的写法,中国旧诗里很常见。)最后还说了这么一句话:天神总算把一件大秘密让凡人知道了。为什么是“大秘密”呢?她的亟于想知道那人的名字,不言可喻。从此以后,那人不再是the figure beside the tiller,而是Michael了。
  • gods:想是爱尔兰古时的神,不是基督教的神。基督教的神应该用大写G,而且也没有复数形式的。delivered up:交出,献出(不再吝啬)。

She watched?The Golden Barque?until two square slits in the stern that served as port holes looked like two little Japanese eyes. Then she heard a horn blowing. It was the horn they blew to apprise lock-keepers of the approach of a boat. But the nearest lock was a mile off. Besides, it was a long, low sound the horn made, not the sharp, commanding blast they blew for lock-keepers. Mary listened to the low sound of the horn, smiling to herself. Afterwards the horn always blew like that whenever?The?Goldn Barque?was passing the solitary hawthorn.

  • 船又驶远,她还是以目遥送。slits:孔;通常指“长条的裂口”,但是这里是“正方形的”。stern:船尾。port holes:船上的窗洞。船走远了,船尾的两个窗洞也渐缩小,最后看来只像日本人的两只小眼睛。西洋人通常以为东方人的眼睛小,好像东方人以为“高鼻子”是西洋人的特征一样。
  • horn:号角,喇叭。they blew的they泛指“那船上的人”。这种用法为语法家所不取,但是很常见。apprise:通知。
  • lock:运河中由水闸控制的一段水道。运河是人造的河,水面可能有几段高,有几段低。高低水道间,有水闸控制。船行至高低水道差异之处,先得用信号(如吹喇叭)通知管闸的人(lock-keeper)把水闸放开。
  • 船上忽然吹起喇叭来了,那是为什么呢?水闸还远得很呢,再则,要通知开闸,喇叭的声音是尖锐短促,带着命令(commanding)的意味,这是Mary所知道的;但是现在喇叭的声音是悠长迟缓,这种低声的喇叭是吹给谁听的呢?Mary笑起来了。
  • 以后船还在那棵树下过,行到那地方,船上就轻轻地吹起喇叭。男方的情感,作者也不直接描写,只是用暗示。笔墨如此经济,而情感已跃然纸上,作者真写情好手也。

Mary thought it was very wonderful that The Golden Barque should be in the lock the one day that she was travelling with her basket to the market in the distant village. She stood a little hesitantly by the lock. Michael looked at her, a welcome in his eyes.

"Going to Bohermeen?" the red-faced man asked.

"Ay, to Bohermeen," Mary answered.

Mary hesitated, as he held out a big hand to help her to the boat. He saw the hesitation and turned to Michael.

"Now, Michael." he said.

  • 后来又有一天,Mary提了篮子到远处村庄的市场上去,路过水闸,船恰好停在那边,Mary觉得真巧(wonderful)。看见了船,她踌躇了一下,脚步停住了。Michael对她看,眼睛里表示欢迎。可是他还不好意思开口,由那红脸汉代表发言的。
  • Bohermeen想必就是那distant village的名字。
  • 红脸汉要扶她上船,送她一程,可是Mary不要他扶。这里hesitate,hesitantly,hesitation三种形式都用上了。

Michael came to the side of the boat, and held out his hand. Mary took it and stepped on board. The red-faced man laughed a little. She noticed that the dark man who stood by the crooked funnel never took his eyes from the stretch of water before him. The driver was already urging the horse to the start on the bank. The brute was gathering his strength for the pull, the muscles standing out on his haunches. They glided out of the lock.

  • 红脸汉来扶,她不要;Michael伸手过来,她就接住了上船(on board)。其中必有文章,无怪红脸汉要笑了。
  • 到了船上,她又看看四周的人。烟囱是弯曲的(crooked),她这才注意到。站在烟囱边上的黑汉子,想必是负航行之责,所以眼睛老是看着前面那条水道。
  • 现在又要开船了,所以赶马的在岸上赶马动身。
  • 马(The brute)起步之前,先鼓足了劲,后股(haunches)上的肌肉都凸了起来。前面描写过马的距毛(见前面本文)。据我臆测,这种大动物的“雄姿”,对于春情业已发动的Mary多少有点挑逗作用。当然这都是“暗示”,无丝毫恶俗之气也。

It was half a mile from one lock to another. Michael had bidden her stand beside him at the tiller. Once she looked up at him and she thought the face shy but very eager, the most eager face that ever came across the bog from the great world.

  • 别人都看过了,最后向Michael抬头一望。Michael的脸是羞涩的,可是很eager,Michael是从外乡来的(是从“广大的世界”来的),行船经过她家乡的泥炭地,这种人Mary以前也见过,可是论到脸上神情的热烈,那是要数Michael第一了。

Afterwards, whenever Mary had the time, she would make a cross-cut through the bog to the lock. She would step in and make the mile journey with Michael on?The Golden Barque.?Once, when they were journeying together, Michael slipped something into her hand. It was a quaint trinket, and shone like gold.

"From a strange sailor I got it," Michael said.

  • make a cross-cut:走对角线穿过。按正路走,也许路径要长了。
  • step in:上船。make the mile journey:航行一英里。mile是名词,但英文中名词作形容词用(attributive)的情形很多。
  • slipped:偷偷地放。slip本有“滑”的意思,这个字当然比put更传神,比gave her something也好多了。slipped表示一种确切的动作,这是炼字的功夫,用心写作的人,决不以能用put,give这类的字就满足的。
  • quaint:别致的。trinket:首饰。
  • Michael送她东西,可以说是表示爱情。但是他说From a strange sailor I got it,又为全文结束,作一伏笔。他同那些大船上的水手是有来往的,关于Michael的生活,我们所知道的就是这么一点。但是这一点渐渐加强,就决定了这篇小说的结局。

Another day that they were on the barque, the blinding sheets of rain that often swept over the bog came upon them. The red-faced man and the dark man went into the hold. Mary looked about her, laughing. But Michael held out his great waterproof for her. She slipped into it and he folded it about her. The rain pelted them, but they stood together, Michael holding the big coat folded about her. She laughed a little nervously.

  • Another day that中的that有when之意。sheets of rain:猛雨。blinding:使人睁不开眼睛。
  • the dark man:就是那“高挑身材黑瘦子”。hold:船的底部。人进去避雨。
  • Mary不畏风雨,反而大笑。这和她的个性以及当时她喜悦的心情有关。作者的描写,就是这么一触即走,不多叙述。
  • waterproof此处作名词用,就是稍后的big coat:雨衣。
  • slipped:此字第二次出现。大致可以使人想到娇小玲珑的身材,“钻”进一件大雨衣里的神情。about:在(她)周围;替她裹好。
  • pelted:(石子、冰雹、雨点等)密集打击。
  • holding the big coat folded中的folded是过去分词。

"You will be wet," she said.

Michael did not answer. She saw the eager face coming down close to hers. She leaned against him a little and felt the great strength of his arms about her. They went sailing away together in The Golden Barqut through all the shining seas of the gods.

  • Michael那件雨衣,让给Mary穿了,自己让雨淋。这一方面是描写男人强毅的个性,一方面表示他们的爱情又进一步。现在他们俩相偎相依;这种热情场面不易描写,稍一不慎,就可能流为恶俗。但是作者笔墨经济:只重复前面所用过的eager一字。最初她只注意男人的身材,后来她看清楚他的脸,他的脸可能是很英俊的,但作者故意不用 handsome等字样,只说是eager。现在the eager face向她贴近。他们的爱情就分这么三个阶段。
  • 在运河里他们只可以共航一英里左右,但是外面风吹雨淋,男人拥抱着她,她已有“陶醉”之感。所以她觉得他们是在“神圣光亮的海上”航行,驶向远处(sailing away)。

"Michael," Mary said once, "is it not lovely?"

"The wide ocean is lovely," Michael said. "I always think of the wide ocean going over the bog."

"The wide ocean!" Mary said with awe. She had never seen the wide ocean. Then the rain passed. When the two men came up out of the hold Mary and Michael were standing together by the tiller.

  • 这几段又从梦想回到现实,而小说不快乐的结局也渐渐接近了。Mary在陶醉之中,觉得这样行船很可爱。Michael是否有和Mary同样的陶醉之感,我们不知道;因为这篇小说以Mary为主体,思想情感等,皆以Mary的观点为出发。但是从对白之中,我们可以看见:Mary所想的是缥缈仙乡之海,而Michael所想的是现实的五大洋。两种境界也许都是浪漫的,但是两人的想法不易接近。Mary发现两人虽相偎相依,然而是“同床异梦”:Michael有他自己的理想,并不能把全部精神贡献给她;所以她凛然惊觉地(with awe)说:“The wide ocean!”
  • going over the bog是形容主语I的。going有“行船”之意。

Mary did not go down to the lock after that for some time. She was working in the reclaimed ground on the headland. Once the horn blew late in the night. It blew for a long time, very softly and lowly. Mary sat up in bed listening to it, her lips parted, the memory of Michael on?The Golden Barque?before her. She heard the sound dying away in the distance. Then she lay back on her pillow, saying she would go down to him when?The Golden Barque?was on the return journey.

  • go down:她所住的地方较高,运河那边地势较低。
  • reclaimed ground:本系荒芜,后经垦殖适于耕种的土地。
  • horn:男的以喇叭表示爱情,前面已经说过了。
  • sat up:夜已深,Mary想已入睡,听见喇叭轻柔缓慢的声音,她坐了起来。her lips parted:这是nominative absolute phrase。嘴唇张了开来,或者用句文言老调“樱唇微启”;这样一个简单的动作,表示她谛听的神情,她的期待,她的欲望。以这几个简单的字,代替大段心理描写,非高手莫办也。
  • on the return journey:船回来时,在水闸那个地方,还要停留一个时候。她决心(注意作者不用resolved等比较难以捉摸的字,只是用很简单的saying一字)那时再到船上去一次。

The figure that stood by the tiller on the return was not Michael's. When Mary came to the lock the red-faced man was telling out the rope, and where Michael always stood by the tiller there was the short strange figure of a man with a pinched, pockmarked face.

  • “若干时候以后,船回来了,Mary又赶去了……”这种话在叙事明快的文章里,是可以省去的。
  • 掌舵的已经换了一个人,远远一看身材就知道不对。
  • telling out the rope:船上的绳本来是圈好的,现在用到它,一圈一圈地(telling,有“计数”之意)把它拉出来。
  • 现在舵工换了一个矮小个儿,一脸苦相(pinched),且有麻子(pockmarked)。

When the red-faced man wound the rope round the stump at the lock, bringing the boat to a stand-still, he turned to Mary.

"Michael is gone voyaging," he said.

"Gone voyaging?" Mary repeated.

"Ay," the man answered. "He would be always talking to the foreign sailors in the dock where the canal ends. His eyes would be upon the big masts of the ships. I always said he would go."

  • 绳拉出来是预备碇泊之用,现在绳是绕在木桩之上。bringing to a stand-still是成语:使停止。voyaging:通常指“长程航海”。
  • foreign sailors:呼应前面的a strange sailor。dock:船坞。where the canal ends:运河的终点。
  • masts:桅杆。ships和barque有大小之别。
  • 红脸汉几句简单的话,很清楚地把Michael的理想说明了。

Mary stood there while?The Golden Barque?was in the lock. It looked like a toy ship packed in a wooden box.

"A three-master he went in," the red-faced man said, as they made ready for the start. "I saw her standing out for the sea last night. Michael is under the spread of big canvas. He had the blood in him for the wide ocean, the wild blood of the rover."And the red-faced man, who was the boss of the boat, let his eyes wander up the narrow neck of water before him.

  • 据Mary看来,斯船已不复是金船。小船在水闸里停着,只像是一只装(packed)在木盒里的玩具船。
  • three-master:三桅大船。
  • they:泛指船上的人。made ready:管水闸的人把水位调整好了,船又可以开航了。
  • her:船习惯用阴性代名词代替。
  • under the spread of big canvas:巨帆张起,Michael站在下面。
  • in him:在他身体里面。the wild blood加强前面的the blood…for the wild ocean:他有爱好海洋的血,流浪人的血。
  • boss:主人。红脸汉虽不能出海远航,他的心未尝不追随Michael于海上焉,所以他的眼睛往前看。

Mary watched?The Golden Barque?moving away, the grotesque figure standing by the tiller. She stayed there until a pale moon was shining below her, turning over a little trinket in her fingers. At last she dropped it into the water.

It made a little splash, and the vision of the crescent was broken.

  • 船又开走了,可是掌舵的是那个怪模样(grotesque)的人了。
  • a pale moon:这个景致前面已出现过。景犹是也,船犹是也,唯人事之变迁大矣。
  • a little trinket:不用the,而用a,好像这是任何一件首饰而已。事实上,读者当然知道这是那一件了。
  • the crescent:新月。河里起了一些水花,新月的影子也破碎了。这是具体生动的描写,然而也有象征的意义。象征些什么,这里也不用说了。

(本文摘自《现代英文选评注》:京东正版购买链接

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