云中漫步-云漫 新浪个人认证
  • 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:175,591
  • 关注人气:258
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
正文 字体大小:

Dark Angle(翻译连载十八)

(2010-07-19 10:18:35)





分类: UNCLE赵&他国际事务部的同事们

Since my mother was away, those lessons were conducted entirely by Mr.Birdsong and concentrated on his own strong points: Latin, history, mathematics, robust and heroic English poetry. I was not very good at any of these subjects, and I think, looking back, that it must have been tiresome for Mr.Birdsong to have to teach me, although, if so, he disguised his impatience well. From the first day that Franz-Jacob joined my classes, Mr.Birdsong blossomed.

   I was still struggling then with long division and making little progress. Franz-Jacob whose English was limited, provided Mr.Birdsong with a chance to try out his German-that was the first excitement. The second excitement was his ability at mathematics. They bagan, I remember, with equations: A textbook was produced and Franz-Jacob bent over his desk. The sun shone; the room was warm; his pen scratched. In the length of time it took me to complete two sums, Franz-Jacob had completed an entire exercise.







     He took it up to Mr. Birdsong and presented the pages with a small bow; Mr. Birdsong checked them over. He nodded; he clicked his tongue in admiration; he appeared at first surprised and then became pink in the face, a sign of excitement.

     “This is very good, Franz-Jacob. Das ist werklich sehr gut. My goodness me, yes. Shall we try our hand at some fractions?”

     Franz-Jacob shrugged. The fractions exercise was completed equally quickly. From that moment on, Mr. Birdsong was like a man reborn: He entered the schoolroom with a new energy in his step. I saw, for the first time, a glimpse of the man he used to be: a gifted mathematician at Oxford who, at his father’s behest, had abandoned an academic career to take up Holy Orders.

     I was neglected after that, but I did not mind. Mr. Birdsong might set me poems to learn or might encourage me to write out the important dates of the Reformation, but although he remained kindly there was no fire in his eyes when he heard the poems or the lists of dates. The fire was reserved for Franz-Jacob. They had moved on to calculus, and Mr. Birdsong’s hand shook a little when he opened the textbook.










I thought Mr. Birdsong’s reaction was entirely proper. Franz-Jacob was exceptional-I, too, could see that. He was unlike anyone I had ever met.


To look at, he was small and slightly built, but with a wiry strength that made the bigger English boys wary of bullying him. He had a narrow, intense face, dark eyes, and thin black hair worn cropped short at the nape of the neck and long at the front, so it often fell across his eyes when he worked; he would push it back impatiently. He rarely smiled. There was in his eyes and expression I was unfamiliar with then, though I have seen it since many times, an expression peculiar to those Europeans whose families have been persecuted in the past and may yet be persecuted again: European eyes, which regard even happiness warily.


He was a solemn child, in many ways an old-fashioned one; he was lonely. I, too, was lonely, with my parents away; I think I was solemn, and I was certainly old-fashioned, for I had been brought up to believe in a way of life and a set of standards that were already dying. Perhaps it was not so surprising that we should become friends.


All summer Franz-Jacob and I were inseparable. At night, when he returned to his dormitory with the other boys, we would signal Morse code messages to each other from our windows, with flashlights. During the day, when lessons were over, he would remain with me at the house. He became a great favorite with my aunt Maud, whose German was idiosyncratic but effective. Aunt Maud bombarded him with stories about Kaiser Wilhelm, whom she had known but disliked. She took great pleasure in explaining Franz’s dietary needs to the servants and the rest of family.













“No roast pork for Franz-Jacob, William,” she would pronounce in a ringing voice. “I believe I asked for salmon. Ah yes, here it is! Now, Franz-Jacob, you may eat that quite safely. I went down to the kitchen to supervise the cooking myself, and I know about such things! Have I mentioned my friend Montague to you? Yes, of course I have. Well, Montague was not entirely strict, you understand, but even so I made quite sure he was never offered bacon in my house. And as for sausages---I banished sausages from the breakfast table. And a very good thing too. I am suspicious of sausages. As I have always said, one never quite knows what goes into them…”


My uncle Freddie took to him, too, especially when he discovered that Franz-Jacob liked dogs and was more than willing to exercise the greyhounds. Uncle Freddie had a new project, a new enthusiasm that required him to spend long hours in the library with notebooks---an enthusiasm whose precise nature he refused to explain. A stout man, reluctant to walk any distance, Uncle Freddie was delighted to be able to remain in the library, leaving the greyhounds to Franz-Jacob and to me.


All summer, it seemed, Franz-Jacob and I walked: We wailed down to the lake and along the river; we explored the village and the decaying cottage, alone at the end of a lane, where Jack Hennessy lived. We walked up past the cornfield, which always produced such an unsatisfactory crop, and along the boundary walls of my father’s estate.


“William ,Franz-Jacob 不吃烤猪肉”, 她响亮的回答。 “我想我点了鲑鱼。哦。对。它们在这!现在,Franz-Jacob 你可以放心的享用了。我走进厨房亲自监督,我对此相当熟悉!我有向你提起过我的朋友Montague吗?我当然有过。你也知道,Montague很严肃,但我确定他从没在我这要过熏肉。对于香肠---我在早餐中取消了香肠,我觉得这样很好,我不喜欢香肠。正如我所经常说的,一个人永远不会知道他们其中的秘密…”




Franz-Jacob和我好像在整个夏天都在散步:我们在湖畔、河边散步;我们在山谷探险,在一个小路的尽头Jack Hennessy住的地方,发现了废弃的村舍。我们走过玉米田,一个总是生产不叫人喜欢的农作物的地方,我们还越过了我父亲房子的围墙。




We walked and we talked. I taught Franz-Jacob some English and he taught me some German. He told me about his father, who had been a university professor but who had, the previous year, been relieved of his post. He described his mother, his two older brother, and his three younger sisters. None of these members of his family were to survive the coming war, and although he could not have known that, I used to wonder afterwards if Franz-Jacob had had some intuition of what was to come, for although he spoke of them with affection, his eyes were always sad. They were fixed on that European horizon, filled with a future, yet remembered pain.

I had never had a confidant of my own age, and by nature I was not secretive. We explored Winterscombe and I told Franz-Jacob everything. I told him about the house and how it ate money; I told him about Uncle Freddie’s enthusiasms and the way they fizzled; I told him my Uncle Steenie’s mysterious ambition to be the Best-Kept Boy in the World; I told him about Aunt Maud, and the amber velvet dress that did not fit; I explained the terrible misfortune it was to be born with freckles and red curly hair.








Franz-Jacob, who knew better than I did what true misfortune was, was patient. Encouraged, I told him the more terrible things, I told him about Charlotte, my godmother Constance , and my terrible lie, I told him about the prayers I stilled said, every morning and every evening. I held my breath, for I was in awe of Franz-Jacob and I quite expected him to damn me.

As it was, he merely shrugged. ”Why worry? This girl is a stupid girl , and your parents ,they are good people. Das ist alles selbstverstandlich….”

No condemnation; he whistled to the dogs and we walked on. It was that day, I think, when we returned to the house, that Franz-Jacob—who had been talking about mathematics, which he said liked because they were perfect and inevitable, like the best music—suddenly stopped on the steps that led up to the terrace.

He looked down into my face, his expression intent, as if he saw me for the first time. ”You know how , many freckles you have? ”he said at last, stepping back.








 “How many?” I remember thinking it cruel of him to count.

“Seventy-two. You know something else?”


“I don’t mind them. They’re all right.”

“You’re sure?”


He gave me an impatient glance, as if I were being slow, the way he did sometimes when we took our lessons. Then he ran up the steps, the dogs at his heels, and left me at their foot, scarlet and rejoicing.

The special day came many weeks after this, toward the end of August. I didn’t know it was going to be a special day until it was almost over, but it was an odd day from the very beginning.

That morning, for the first time in three months I left out the prayer about New York and my godmother Constance. I had begun to understand the folly of that particular fiction and the impossibility, once Charlotte returned from Italy, of sustaining it. Franz-Jacob’s robust dismissal of Charlotte—this girl is a stupid girl-had given me strength. Why should I care what Charlotte thought? I neither liked her nor admired her. She might judge my family dull and shabby, but Franz-Jacob, who was a much better judge, said Winsterscombe was magical place, and he knew my parents were good people.

“有多少呀?” 我心里认为他很残忍,居然算我有多少条皱纹。
















那天早上,三个月以来第一次,我抛开对纽约和教母Constance的祷告。自Charlotte从意大利回来后,我突然明白自己虚构的世界十分可笑,明白自己不可能承受如此之多。Franz-Jacob坚持解雇Charlotte,认为她是个傻瓜,给了我力量。为什么我要介意Charlotte的想法呢?我既不喜欢她,也不羡慕她。或许她会认为我家人很木讷,很愚昧,但是我认为Franz-Jacob的看法更加中肯,他说Winterscombe 是个很神奇的地方,而且他认为我家人都是好人。





I felt clean for leaving out the prayer, and curiously freed. Even my lessons with Mr. Birdsong went better than they usually did; I could be promoted quite soon, he hinted, to algebra.


After lunch Franz-jacob and I took the greyhounds for their walk. We took the path down by the lake, as we often did, and stopped to look at the black swans; then—and this was more unusual—we turned in the direction of the Winterscombe woods. For some reason Franz-jacob disliked these woods, although I loved them at all seasons of the year, and particularly in the summer for the coolness of their shade.


That day it was very hot; Franz-jacob gave one of his shrugs and agreed to go that way. We might, even so, have just skirted the edge of the trees and then branched off on the path to the village, but the two greyhounds caught a scent and raced off; we were forced to follow them, calling and whistling, deeper and deeper into the woods, where the paths became narrow and overgrown.



午餐后,Franz-jacob和我出去遛狗。我们和往常一样沿着湖边的小路走,然后停下来观赏黑天鹅;然后-和往常不一样的是-我们转向往Winterscombe小树林走去。出于某些原因,Franz-jacob 不喜欢这些小树林,但我却在一年中的任何一个季节都很喜爱这些树林,特别是在夏季,因为他们的树荫可以带来清凉。





We passed the place where my grandfather had kept his pheasant pens, and then turned aside, down a path thick with brambles. I was a little ahead of Franz-Jacob; I could hear the dogs crashing in the undergrowth, and I could see in front of me the open sunlight of a clearing, where I had walked sometimes with Jenna.


“They are through here, Franz. Come on,” I called back. I heard him hesitate, then the movement of the undergrowth and the snapping of sticks underfoot as he followed. It was only when he came out into the sunlight of clearing, and I saw his face, that I realized something was wrong.


Franz-Jacob was always pale. Now his face was drained if all color; sweat stood out on his forehead; he shrank in the warmth of the sunlight, shivering.








阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...




    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有