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  外语解密学习法 逆读法(Reverse Reading Method) 解读法(Decode-Reading Method)训练范文 ——                 

解密目标语言:英语                                解密辅助语言:汉语
              Language to be decoded:  English             Auxiliary Language :  Chinese  

  
                     
解密文本:     《约翰·克里斯朵夫》  [法]罗曼·罗兰著              
 


           Jean-Christophe             
                                                    by  Romain Rolland   
                                                 

           法汉对照(French & Chinese)                                  法英对照(French & English)                               英汉对照(English & Chinese)


     Book 1      Vol. I     Part1 · Part2 · Part3 · Part4

                      

                              
                          Vol. I     
THE DAWN

Dianzi, nell'alba che precede al giorno,
Quando l'anima tua dentro dormia....
                        _Purgatorio_, ix.

            
                                    
Part One

Come, quando i vapori umidi e spessi
A diradar cominciansi, la spera
Del sol debilemente entra per essi....
                       _Purgatorio_, xvii.


From behind the house rises the murmuring of the river. All day long the rain has been beating against the window-panes; a stream of water trickles down the window at the corner where it is broken. The yellowish light of the day dies down. The room is dim and dull.

The new-born child stirs in his cradle. Although the old man left his sabots at the door when he entered, his footsteps make the floor creak. The child begins to whine. The mother leans out of her bed to comfort it; and the grandfather gropes to light the lamp, so that the child shall not be frightened by the night when he awakes. The flame of the lamp lights up old Jean Michel's red face, with its rough white beard and morose expression and quick eyes. He goes near the cradle. His cloak smells wet, and as he walks he drags his large blue list slippers, Louisa signs to him not to go too near. She is fair, almost white; her features are drawn; her gentle, stupid face is marked with red in patches; her lips are pale and' swollen, and they are parted in a timid smile; her eyes devour the child--and her eyes are blue and vague; the pupils are small, but there is an infinite tenderness in them.

The child wakes and cries, and his eyes are troubled. Oh! how terrible! The darkness, the sudden flash of the lamp, the hallucinations of a mind as yet hardly detached from chaos, the stifling, roaring night in which it is enveloped, the illimitable gloom from which, like blinding shafts of light, there emerge acute sensations, sorrows, phantoms--those enormous faces leaning over him, those eyes that pierce through him, penetrating, are beyond his comprehension!... He has not the strength to cry out; terror holds him motionless, with eyes and mouth wide open and he rattles in his throat. His large head, that seems to have swollen up, is wrinkled with the grotesque and lamentable grimaces that he makes; the skin of his face and hands is brown and purple, and spotted with yellow....

"Dear God!" said the old man with conviction: "How ugly he is!"

He put the lamp down on the table.

Louisa pouted like a scolded child. Jean Michel looked at her out of the corner of his eye and laughed.

"You don't want me to say that he is beautiful? You would not believe it. Come, it is not your fault. They are all like that."

The child came out of the stupor and immobility into which he had been thrown by the light of the lamp and the eyes of the old man. He began to cry. Perhaps he instinctively felt in his mother's eyes a caress which made it possible for him to complain. She held out her arms for him and said:

"Give him to me."

The old man began, as usual, to air his theories:

"You ought not to give way to children when they cry. You must just let them cry."

But he came and took the child and grumbled:

"I never saw one quite so ugly."

Louisa took the child feverishly and pressed it to her bosom. She looked at it with a bashful and delighted smile.

"Oh, my poor child!" she said shamefacedly. "How ugly you are--how ugly! and how I love you!"

Jean Michel went back to the fireside. He began to poke the fire in protest, but a smile gave the lie to the moroseness and solemnity of his expression.

"Good girl!" he said. "Don't worry about it. He has plenty of time to alter. And even so, what does it matter? Only one thing is asked of him: that he should grow into an honest man."

The child was comforted by contact with his mother's warm body. He could be heard sucking her milk and gurgling and snorting. Jean Michel turned in his chair, and said once more, with some emphasis:

"There's nothing finer than an honest man."

He was silent for a moment, pondering whether it would not be proper to elaborate this thought; but he found nothing more to say, and after a silence he said irritably:

"Why isn't your husband here?"

"I think he is at the theater," said Louisa timidly. "There is a rehearsal."

"The theater is closed. I passed it just now. One of his lies."

"No. Don't be always blaming him. I must have misunderstood. He must have been kept for one of his lessons."

"He ought to have come back," said the old man, not satisfied. He stopped for a moment, and then asked, in a rather lower voice and with some shame:

"Has he been ... again?"

"No, father--no, father," said Louisa hurriedly.

The old man looked at her; she avoided his eyes.

"It's not true. You're lying."

She wept in silence.

"Dear God!" said the old man, kicking at the fire with his foot. The poker fell with a clatter. The mother and the child trembled.

"Father, please--please!" said Louisa. "You will make him cry."

The child hesitated for a second or two whether to cry or to go on with his meal; but not being able to do both at once, he went on with the meal.

Jean Michel continued in a lower tone, though with outbursts of anger:

"What have I done to the good God to have this drunkard for my son? What is the use of my having lived as I have lived, and of having denied myself everything all my life! But you--you--can't you do anything to stop it? Heavens! That's what you ought to do.... You should keep him at home!..."

Louisa wept still more.

"Don't scold me!... I am unhappy enough as it is! I have done everything I could. If you knew how terrified I am when I am alone! Always I seem to hear his step on the stairs. Then I wait for the door to open, or I ask myself: 'O God! what will he look like?' ... It makes me ill to think of it!"

She was shaken by her sobs. The old man grew anxious. He went to her and laid the disheveled bedclothes about her trembling shoulders and caressed her head with his hands.

"Come, come, don't be afraid. I am here."

She calmed herself for the child's sake, and tried to smile.

"I was wrong to tell you that."

The old man shook his head as he looked at her.

"My poor child, it was not much of a present that I gave you."

"It's my own fault," she said. "He ought not to have married me. He is sorry for what he did."

"What, do you mean that he regrets?..."

"You know. You were angry yourself because I became his wife."

"We won't talk about that. It is true I was vexed. A young man like that--I can say so without hurting you--a young man whom I had carefully brought up, a distinguished musician, a real artist--might have looked higher than you, who had nothing and were of a lower class, and not even of the same trade. For more than a hundred years no Krafft has ever married a woman who was not a musician! But, you know, I bear you no grudge, and am fond of you, and have been ever since I learned to know you. Besides, there's no going back on a choice once it's made; there's nothing left but to do one's duty honestly."

He went and sat down again, thought for a little, and then said, with the solemnity in which he invested all his aphorisms:

"The first thing in life is to do one's duty."

He waited for contradiction, and spat on the fire. Then, as neither mother nor child raised any objection, he was for going on, but relapsed into silence.

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

They said no more. Both Jean Michel, sitting by the fireside, and Louisa, in her bed, dreamed sadly. The old man, in spite of what he had said, had bitter thoughts about his son's marriage, and Louisa was thinking of it also, and blaming herself, although she had nothing wherewith to reproach herself.

She had been a servant when, to everybody's surprise, and her own especially, she married Melchior Krafft, Jean Michel's son. The Kraffts were without fortune, but were considerable people in the little Rhine town in which the old man had settled down more than fifty years before. Both father and son were musicians, and known to all the musicians of the country from Cologne to Mannheim. Melchior played the violin at the Hof-Theater, and Jean Michel had formerly been director of the grand-ducal concerts. The old man had been profoundly humiliated by his son's marriage, for he had built great hopes upon Melchior; he had wished to make him the distinguished man which he had failed to become himself. This mad freak destroyed all his ambitions. He had stormed at first, and showered curses upon Melchior and Louisa. But, being a good-hearted creature, he forgave his daughter-in-law when he learned to know her better; and he even came by a paternal affection for her, which showed itself for the most part in snubs.

No one ever understood what it was that drove Melchior to such a marriage--least of all Melchior. It was certainly not Louisa's beauty. She had no seductive quality: she was small, rather pale, and delicate, and she was a striking contrast to Melchior and Jean Michel, who were both big and broad, red-faced giants, heavy-handed, hearty eaters and drinkers, laughter-loving and noisy. She seemed to be crushed by them; no one noticed her, and she seemed to wish to escape even what little notice she attracted. If Melchior had been a kind-hearted man, it would have been credible that he should prefer Louisa's simple goodness to every other advantage; but a vainer man never was. It seemed incredible that a young man of his kidney, fairly good-looking, and quite conscious of it, very foolish, but not without talent, and in a position to look for some well-dowered match, and capable even--who knows?--of turning the head of one of his pupils among the people of the town, should suddenly have chosen a girl of the people--poor, uneducated, without beauty, a girl who could in no way advance his career.

But Melchior was one of those men who always do the opposite of what is expected of them and of what they expect of themselves. It is not that they are not warned--a man who is warned is worth two men, says the proverb. They profess never to be the dupe of anything, and that they steer their ship with unerring hand towards a definite point. But they reckon without themselves, for they do not know themselves. In one of those moments of forgetfulness which are habitual with them they let go the tiller, and, as is natural when things are left to themselves, they take a naughty pleasure in rounding on their masters. The ship which is released from its course at once strikes a rock, and Melchior, bent upon intrigue, married a cook. And yet he was neither drunk nor in a stupor on the day when he bound himself to her for life, and he was not under any passionate impulse; far from it. But perhaps there are in us forces other than mind and heart, other even than the senses--mysterious forces which take hold of us in the moments when the others are asleep; and perhaps it was such forces that Melchior had found in the depths of those pale eyes which had looked at him so timidly one evening when he had accosted the girl on the bank of the river, and had sat down beside her in the reeds--without knowing why--and had given her his hand.

Hardly was he married than he was appalled by what he had done, and he did not hide what he felt from poor Louisa, who humbly asked his pardon. He was not a bad fellow, and he willingly granted her that; but immediately remorse would seize him again when he was with his friends or in the houses of his rich pupils, who were disdainful in their treatment of him, and no longer trembled at the touch of his hand when he corrected the position of their fingers on the keyboard. Then he would return gloomy of countenance, and Louisa, with a catch at her heart, would read in it with the first glance the customary reproach; or he would stay out late at one inn or another, there to seek self-respect or kindliness from others. On such evenings he would return shouting with laughter, and this was more doleful for Louisa than the hidden reproach and gloomy rancor that prevailed on other days. She felt that she was to a certain extent responsible for the fits of madness in which the small remnant of her husband's sense would disappear, together with the household money. Melchior sank lower and lower. At an age when he should have been engaged in unceasing toil to develop his mediocre talent, he just let things slide, and others took his place.

But what did that matter to the unknown force which had thrown him in with the little flaxen-haired servant? He had played his part, and little Jean-Christophe had just set foot on this earth whither his destiny had thrust him.

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Night was fully come. Louisa's voice roused old Jean Michel from the torpor into which he had sunk by the fireside as he thought of the sorrows of the past and present.

"It must be late, father," said the young woman affectionately. "You ought to go home; you have far to go."

"I am waiting for Melchior," replied the old man.

"Please, no. I would rather you did not stay."

"Why?"

The old man raised his head and looked fiercely at her.

She did not reply.

He resumed.

"You are afraid. You do not want me to meet him?"

"Yes, yes; it would only make things worse. You would make each other angry, and I don't want that. Please, please go!"

The old man sighed, rose, and said:

"Well ... I'll go."

He went to her and brushed her forehead with his stiff beard. He asked if she wanted anything, put out the lamp, and went stumbling against the chairs in the darkness of the room. But he had no sooner reached the staircase than he thought of his son returning drunk, and he stopped at each step, imagining a thousand dangers that might arise if Melchior were allowed to return alone....

In the bed by his mother's side the child was stirring again. An unknown sorrow had arisen from the depths of his being. He stiffened himself against her. He twisted his body, clenched his fists, and knitted his brows. His suffering increased steadily, quietly, certain of its strength. He knew not what it was, nor whence it came. It appeared immense,--infinite, and he began to cry lamentably. His mother caressed him with her gentle hands. Already his suffering was less acute. But he went on weeping, for he felt it still near, still inside himself. A man who suffers can lessen his anguish by knowing whence it comes. By thought he can locate it in a certain portion of his body which can be cured, or, if necessary, torn away. He fixes the bounds of it, and separates it from himself. A child has no such illusive resource. His first encounter with suffering is more tragic and more true. Like his own being, it seems infinite. He feels that it is seated in his bosom, housed in his heart, and is mistress of his flesh. And it is so. It will not leave his body until it has eaten it away.

His mother hugs him to her, murmuring: "It is done--it is done! Don't cry, my little Jesus, my little goldfish...." But his intermittent outcry continues. It is as though this wretched, unformed, and unconscious mass had a presentiment of a whole life of sorrow awaiting, him, and nothing can appease him....

The bells of St. Martin rang out in the night. Their voices are solemn and slow. In the damp air they come like footsteps on moss. The child became silent in the middle of a sob. The marvelous music, like a flood of milk, surged sweetly through him. The night was lit up; the air was moist and tender. His sorrow disappeared, his heart began to laugh, and he slid, into his dreams with a sigh of abandonment.

The three bells went on softly ringing in the morrow's festival. Louisa also dreamed, as she listened to them, of her own past misery and of what would become in the future of the dear little child sleeping by her side. She had been for hours lying in her bed, weary and suffering. Her hands and her body were burning; the heavy eiderdown crushed her; she felt crushed and oppressed by the darkness; but she dared not move. She looked at the child, and the night did not prevent her reading his features, that looked so old. Sleep overcame her; fevered images passed through her brain. She thought she heard Melchior open the door, and her heart leaped. Occasionally the murmuring of the stream rose more loudly through the silence, like the roaring of some beast. The window once or twice gave a sound under the beating of the rain. The bells rang out more slowly, and then died down, and Louisa slept by the side of her child.

All this time Jean Michel was waiting outside the house, dripping with rain, his beard wet with the mist. He was waiting for the return of his wretched son: for his mind, never ceasing, had insisted on telling him all sorts of tragedies brought about by drunkenness; and although he did not believe them, he could not hate slept a wink if he had gone away without having seen his son return. The sound of the bells made him: melancholy, for he remembered all his shattered hopes. He thought of what he was doing at such an hour in the street, and for very shame he wept.

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

The vast tide of the days moves slowly. Day and night come up and go down with unfailing regularity, like the ebb and low of an infinite ocean. Weeks and months go by, and then begin again, and the succession of days is like one day.

The day is immense, inscrutable, marking the even beat of light and darkness, and the beat of the life of the torpid creature dreaming in the depths of his cradle--his imperious needs, sorrowful or glad--so regular that the night and the day which bring them seem by them to be brought about.

The pendulum of life moves heavily, and in its slow beat the whole creature seems to be absorbed. The rest is no more than dreams, snatches of dreams, formless and swarming, and dust of atoms dancing aimlessly, a dizzy whirl passing, and bringing laughter or horror. Outcry, moving shadows, grinning shapes, sorrows, terrors, laughter, dreams, dreams.... All is a dream, both day and night.... And in such chaos the light of friendly eyes that smile upon him, the flood of joy that surges through his body from his mother's body, from her breasts filled with milk--the force that is in him, the immense, unconscious force gathering in him, the turbulent ocean roaring in the narrow prison of the child's body. For eyes that could see into it there would be revealed whole worlds half buried in the darkness, nebulae taking shape, a universe in the making. His being is limitless. He is all that there is....

Months pass.... Islands of memory begin to rise above the river of his life. At first they are little uncharted islands, rocks just peeping above the surface of the waters. Round about them and behind in the twilight of the dawn stretches the great untroubled sheet of water; then new islands, touched to gold by the sun.

So from the abyss of the soul there emerge shapes definite, and scenes of a strange clarity. In the boundless day which dawns once more, ever the same, with its great monotonous beat, there begins to show forth the round of days, hand in hand, and some of their forms are smiling, others sad. But ever the links of the chain are broken, and memories are linked together above weeks and months....

The River ... the Bells ... as long as he can remember--far back in the abysses of time, at every hour of his life--always their voices, familiar and resonant, have rung out....

Night--half asleep--a pale light made white the window.... The river murmurs. Through the silence its voice rises omnipotent; it reigns over all creatures. Sometimes it caresses their sleep, and seems almost itself to die away in the roaring of its torrent. Sometimes it grows angry, and howls like a furious beast about to bite. The clamor ceases. Now there is a murmuring of infinite tenderness, silvery sounds like clear little bells, like the laughter of children, or soft singing voices, or dancing music--a great mother voice that never, never goes to sleep! It rocks the child, as it has rocked through the ages, from birth to death, the generations that were before him; it fills all his thoughts, and lives in all his dreams, wraps him round with the cloak of its fluid harmonies, which still will be about him when he lies in the little cemetery that sleeps by the water's edge, washed by the Rhine....


The bells.... It is dawn! They answer each other's call, sad, melancholy, friendly, gentle. At the sound of their slow voices there rise in him hosts of dreams--dreams of the past, desires, hopes, regrets for creatures who are gone, unknown to the child, although he had his being in them, and they live again in him. Ages of memory ring out in that music. So much mourning, so many festivals! And from the depths of the room it is as though, when they are heard, there passed lovely waves of sound through the soft air, free winging birds, and the moist soughing of the wind. Through the window smiles a patch of blue sky; a sunbeam slips through the curtains to the bed. The little world known to the eyes of the child, all that he can see from his bed every morning as he awakes, all that with so much effort he is beginning to recognize and classify, so that he may be master of it--his kingdom is lit up. There is the table where people eat, the cupboard where he hides to play, the tiled floor along which he crawls, and the wall-paper which in its antic shapes holds for him so many humorous or terrifying stories, and the clock which chatters and stammers so many words which he alone can understand. How many things there are in this room! He does not know them all. Every day he sets out on a voyage of exploration in this universe which is his. Everything is his. Nothing is immaterial; everything has its worth, man or fly, Everything lives--the cat, the fire, the table, the grains of dust which dance in a sunbeam. The room is a country, a day is a lifetime. How is a creature to know himself in the midst of these vast spaces? The world is so large! A creature is lost in it. And the faces, the actions, the movement, the noise, which make round about him an unending turmoil!... He is weary; his eyes close; he goes to sleep. That sweet deep sleep that overcomes him suddenly at any time, and wherever he may be--on his mother's lap, or under the table, where he loves to hide!... It is good. All is good....

These first days come buzzing up in his mind like a field of corn or a wood stirred by the wind, and cast in shadow by the great fleeting clouds....

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

The shadows pass; the sun penetrates the forest. Jean-Christophe begins to find his way through the labyrinth of the day.

It is morning. His parents are asleep. He is in his little bed, lying on his back. He looks at the rays of light dancing on the ceiling. There is infinite amusement in it. Now he laughs out loud with one of those jolly children's laughs which stir the hearts of those that hear them. His mother leans out of her bed towards him, and says: "What is it, then, little mad thing?" Then he laughs again, and perhaps he makes an effort to laugh because he has an audience. His mamma looks severe, and lays a finger on her lips to warn him lest he should wake his father: but her weary eyes smile in spite of herself. They whisper together. Then there is a furious growl from his father. Both tremble. His mother hastily turns her back on him, like a naughty little girl: she pretends to be asleep. Jean-Christophe buries himself in his bed, and holds his breath.... Dead silence.

After some time the little face hidden under the clothes comes to the surface again. On the roof the weathercock creaks. The rain-pipe gurgles; the Angelus sounds. When the wind comes from the east, the distant bells of the villages on the other bank of the river give answer. The sparrows foregathered in the ivy-clad wall make a deafening noise, from which three or four voices, always the same, ring out more shrilly than the others, just as in the games of a band of children. A pigeon coos at the top of a chimney. The child abandons himself to the lullaby of these sounds. He hums to himself softly, then a little more loudly, then quite loudly, then very loudly, until once more his father cries out in exasperation: "That little donkey never will be quiet! Wait a little, and I'll pull your ears!" Then Jean-Christophe buries himself in the bedclothes again, and does not know whether to laugh or cry. He is terrified and humiliated; and at the same time the idea of the donkey with which his father has compared him makes him burst out laughing. From the depths of his bed he imitates its braying. This time he is whipped. He sheds every tear that is in him. What has he done? He wanted so much to laugh and to get up! And he is forbidden to budge. How do people sleep forever? When will they get up?...

One day he could not contain himself. He heard a cat and a dog and something queer in the street. He slipped out of bed, and, creeping awkwardly with his bare feet on the tiles, he tried to go down the stairs to see what it was; but the door was shut. To open it, he climbed on to a chair; the whole thing collapsed, and he hurt himself and howled. And once more at the top of the stairs he was whipped. He is always being whipped!...

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

He is in church with his grandfather. He is bored. He is not very comfortable. He is forbidden to stir, and all the people are saying all together words that he does not understand. They all look solemn and gloomy. It is not their usual way of looking. He looks at them, half frightened. Old Lena, their neighbor, who is sitting next to him, looks very cross; there are moments when he does not recognize even his grandfather. He is afraid a little. Then he grows used to it, and tries to find relief from boredom by every means at his disposal. He balances on one leg, twists his neck to look at the ceiling, makes faces, pulls his grandfather's coat, investigates the straws in his chair, tries to make a hole in them with his finger, listens to the singing of birds, and yawns so that he is like to dislocate his jaw.

Suddenly there is a deluge of sound; the organ is played. A thrill goes down his spine. He turns and stands with his chin resting on the back of his chair, and he looks very wise. He does not understand this noise; he does not know the meaning of it; it is dazzling, bewildering, and he can hear nothing clearly. But it is good. It is as though he were no longer sitting there on an uncomfortable chair in a tiresome old house. He is suspended in mid-air, like a bird; and when the flood of sound rushes from one end of the church to the other, filling the arches, reverberating from wall to wall, he is carried with it, flying and skimming hither and thither, with nothing to do but to abandon himself to it. He is free; he is happy. The sun shines.... He falls asleep.

His grandfather is displeased with him. He behaves ill at Mass.

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

He is at home, sitting on the ground, with his feet in his hands. He has just decided that the door-mat is a boat, and the tiled floor a river. He all but drowned in stepping off the carpet. He is surprised and a little put out that the others pay no attention to the matter as he does when he goes into the room. He seizes his mother by the skirts. "You see it is water! You must go across by the bridge." (The bridge is a series of holes

between the red tiles.) His mother crosses without even listening to him. He is vexed, as a dramatic author is vexed when he sees his audience talking during his great work.

Next moment he thinks no more of it. The tiled floor is no longer the sea. He is lying down on it, stretched full-length, with his chin on the tiles, humming music of his own composition, and gravely sucking his thumb and dribbling. He is lost in contemplation of a crack between the tiles. The lines of the tiles grimace like faces. The imperceptible hole grows larger, and becomes a valley; there are mountains about it. A centipede moves: it is as large as an elephant. Thunder might crash, the child would not hear it.

No one bothers about him, and he has no need of any one. He can even do without door-mat boats, and caverns in the tiled floor, with their fantastic fauna. His body is enough. What a source of entertainment! He spends hours in looking at his nails and shouting with laughter. They have all different faces, and are like people that he knows. And the rest of his body!... He goes on with the inspection of all that he has. How many surprising things! There are so many marvels. He is absorbed in looking at them.

But he was very roughly picked up when they caught him at it.

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Sometimes he takes advantage of his mother's back being turned, to escape from the house. At first they used to run after him and bring him back. Then they got used to letting him go alone, only so he did not go too far away. The house is at the end of the town; the country begins almost at once. As long as he is within sight of the windows he goes without stopping, very deliberately, and now and then hopping on one foot. But as soon as he has passed the corner of the road, and the brushwood hides him from view, he changes abruptly. He stops there, with his finger in his mouth, to find out what story he shall tell himself that day; for he is full of stories. True, they are all very much like each other, and every one of them could be told in a few lines. He chooses. Generally he takes up the same story, sometimes from the point where it left off, sometimes from the beginning, with variations. But any trifle--a word heard by chance--is enough to set his mind off on another direction.

Chance was fruitful of resources. It is impossible to imagine what can be made of a simple piece of wood, a broken bough found alongside a hedge. (You break them off when you do not find them.) It was a magic wand. If it were long and thin, it became a lance, or perhaps a sword; to brandish it aloft was enough to cause armies to spring from the earth. Jean-Christophe was their general, marching in front of them, setting them an example, and leading them to the assault of a hillock. If the branch were flexible, it changed into a whip. Jean-Christophe mounted on horseback and leaped precipices. Sometimes his mount would slip, and the horseman would find himself at the bottom of the ditch, sorrily looking at his dirty hands and barked knees. If the wand were lithe, then Jean-Christophe would make himself the conductor of an orchestra: he would be both conductor and orchestra; he conducted and he sang; and then he would salute the bushes, with their little green heads stirring in the wind.

He was also a magician. He walked with great strides through the fields, looking at the sky and waving his arms. He commanded the clouds. He wished them to go to the right, but they went to the left. Then he would abuse them, and repeat his command. He would watch them out of the corner of his eye, and his heart would beat as he looked to see if there were not at least a little one which would obey him. But they went on calmly moving to the left. Then he would stamp his foot, and threaten them with his stick, and angrily order them to go to the left; and this time, in truth, they obeyed him. He was happy and proud of his power. He would touch the flowers and bid them change into golden carriages, as he had been told they did in the stories; and, although it never happened, he was quite convinced that it would happen if only he had patience. He would look for a grasshopper to turn into a hare; he would gently lay his stick on its back, and speak a rune. The insect would escape: he would bar its way. A few moments later he would be lying on his belly near to it, looking at it. Then he would have forgotten that he was a magician, and just amuse himself with turning the poor beast on its back, while he laughed aloud at its contortions.

It occurred to him also to tie a piece of string to his magic wand, and gravely cast it into the river, and wait for a fish to come and bite. He knew perfectly well that fish do not usually bite at a piece of string without bait or hook; but he thought that for once in a way, and for him, they might make an exception to their rule; and in his inexhaustible confidence, he carried it so far as to fish in the street with a whip through the grating of a sewer. He would draw up the whip from time to time excitedly, pretending that the cord of it was more heavy, and that he had caught a treasure, as in a story that his grandfather had told him....

And always in the middle of all these games there used to occur to him moments of strange dreaming and complete forgetfulness. Everything about him would then be blotted out; he would not know what he was doing, and was not even conscious of himself. These attacks would take him unawares. Sometimes as he walked or went upstairs a void would suddenly open before him. He would seem then to have lost all thought. But when he came back to himself, he was shocked and bewildered to find himself in the same place on the dark staircase. It was as though he had lived through a whole lifetime--in the space of a few steps.

His grandfather used often to take him with him on his evening walk. The little boy used to trot by his side and give him his hand. They used to go by the roads, across plowed fields, which smelled strong and good. The grasshoppers chirped. Enormous crows poised along the road used to watch them approach from afar, and then fly away heavily as they came up with them.

His grandfather would cough. Jean-Christophe knew quite well what that meant. The old man was burning with the desire to tell a story; but he wanted it to appear that the child had asked him for one. Jean-Christophe did not fail him; they understood each other. The old man had a tremendous affection for his grandson, and it was a great joy to find in him a willing audience. He loved to tell of episodes in his own life, or stories of great men, ancient and modern. His voice would then become emphatic and filled with emotion, and would tremble with a childish joy, which he used to try to stifle. He seemed delighted to hear his own voice. Unhappily, words used to fail him when he opened his mouth to speak. He was used to such disappointment, for it always came upon him with his outbursts of eloquence. And as he used to forget it with each new attempt, he never succeeded in resigning himself to it.

He used to talk of Regulus, and Arminius, of the soldiers of Luetzow, of Koerner, and of Frederic Stabs, who tried to kill the Emperor Napoleon. His face would glow as he told of incredible deeds of heroism. He used to pronounce historic words in such a solemn voice that it was impossible to hear them, and he used to try artfully to keep his hearer on tenterhooks at the thrilling moments. He would stop, pretend to choke, and noisily blow his nose; and his heart would leap when the child asked, in a voice choking with impatience: "And then, grandfather?"

There came a day, when Jean-Christophe was a little older, when he perceived his grandfather's method; and then he wickedly set himself to assume an air of indifference to the rest of the story, and that hurt the poor old man. But for the moment Jean-Christophe is altogether held by the power of the story-teller. His blood leaped at the dramatic passages. He did not know what it was all about, neither where nor when these deeds were done, or whether his grandfather knew Arminius, or whether Regulus were not--God knows why!--some one whom he had seen at church last Sunday. But his heart and the old man's heart swelled with joy and pride in the tale of heroic deeds, as though they themselves had done them; for the old man and the child were both children.

Jean-Christophe was less happy when his grandfather interpolated in the pathetic passages one of those abstruse discourses so dear to him. There were moral thoughts generally traceable to some idea, honest enough, but a little trite, such as "Gentleness is better than violence," or "Honor is the dearest thing in life," or "It is better to be good than to be wicked"--only they were much more involved. Jean-Christophe's grandfather had no fear of the criticism of his youthful audience, and abandoned himself to his habitual emphatic manner; he was not afraid of repeating the same phrases, or of not finishing them, or even, if he lost himself in his discourse, of saying anything that came into his head, to stop up the gaps in his thoughts; and he used to punctuate his words, in order to give them greater force, with inappropriate gestures. The boy used to listen with profound respect, and he thought his grandfather very eloquent, but a little tiresome.

Both of them loved to return again and again to the fabulous legend of the Corsican conqueror who had taken Europe. Jean-Christophe's grandfather had known him. He had almost fought against him. But he was a man to admit the greatness of his adversaries: he had said so twenty times. He would have given one of his arms for such a man to have been born on this side of the Rhine. Fate had decreed otherwise; he admired him, and had fought against him--that is, he had been on the point of fighting against him. But when Napoleon had been no farther than ten leagues away, and they had marched out to meet him, a sudden panic had dispersed the little band in a forest, and every man had fled, crying, "We are betrayed!" In vain, as the old man used to tell, in vain did he endeavor to rally the fugitives; he threw himself in front of them, threatening them and weeping: he had been swept away in the flood of them, and on the morrow had found himself at an extraordinary distance from the field of battle--For so he called the place of the rout. But Jean-Christophe used impatiently to bring him back to the exploits of the hero, and he was delighted by his marvelous progress through the world. He saw him followed by innumerable men, giving vent to great cries of love, and at a wave of his hand hurling themselves in swarms upon flying enemies--they were always in flight. It was a fairy-tale. The old man added a little to it to fill out the story; he conquered Spain, and almost conquered England, which he could not abide.

Old Krafft used to intersperse his enthusiastic narratives with indignant apostrophes addressed to his hero. The patriot awoke in him, more perhaps when he told of the Emperor's defeats than of the Battle of Jena. He would stop to shake his fist at the river, and spit contemptuously, and mouth noble insults--he did not stoop to less than that. He would call him "rascal," "wild beast," "immoral." And if such words were intended to restore to the boy's mind a sense of justice, it must be confessed that they failed in their object; for childish logic leaped to this conclusion: "If a great man like that had no morality, morality is not a great thing, and what matters most is to be a great man." But the old man was far from suspecting the thoughts which were running along by his side.

They would both be silent, pondering each after his own fashion, these admirable stories--except when the old man used to meet one of his noble patrons taking a walk. Then he would stop, and bow very low, and breathe lavishly the formulae of obsequious politeness. The child used to blush for it without knowing why. But his grandfather at heart had a vast respect for established power and persons who had "arrived"; and possibly his great love for the heroes of whom he told was only because he saw in them persons who had arrived at a point higher than the others.

When it was very hot, old Krafft used to sit under a tree, and was not long in dozing off. Then Jean-Christophe used to sit near him on a heap of loose stones or a milestone, or some high seat, uncomfortable and peculiar; and he used to wag his little legs, and hum to himself, and dream. Or sometimes he used to lie on his back and watch the clouds go by; they looked like oxen, and giants, and hats, and old ladies, and immense landscapes. He used to talk to them in a low voice, or be absorbed in a little cloud which a great one was on the point of devouring. He was afraid of those which were very black, almost blue, and of those which went very fast. It seemed to him that they played an enormous part in life, and he was surprised that neither his grandfather nor his mother paid any attention to them. They were terrible beings if they wished to do harm. Fortunately, they used to go by, kindly enough, a little grotesque, and they did not stop. The boy used in the end to turn giddy with watching them too long, and he used to fidget with his legs and arms, as though he were on the point of falling from the sky. His eyelids then would wink, and sleep would overcome him. Silence.... The leaves murmur gently and tremble in the sun; a faint mist passes through the air; the uncertain flies hover, booming like an organ; the grasshoppers, drunk with the summer, chirp eagerly and hurriedly; all is silent.... Under the vault of the trees the cry of the green woodpecker has magic sounds. Far away on the plain a peasant's voice harangues his oxen; the shoes of a horse ring out on the white road. Jean-Christophe's eyes close. Near him an ant passes along a dead branch across a furrow. He loses consciousness.... Ages have passed. He wakes. The ant has not yet crossed the twig.

Sometimes the old man would sleep too long, and his face would grow rigid, and his long nose would grow longer, and his mouth stand open. Jean-Christophe used then to look at him uneasily, and in fear of seeing his head change gradually into some fantastic shape. He used to sing loudly, so as to wake him up, or tumble down noisily from his heap of stones. One day it occurred to him to throw a handful of pine-needles in his grandfather's face, and tell him that they had fallen from the tree. The old man believed him, and that made Jean-Christophe laugh. But, unfortunately, he tried the trick again, and just when he had raised his hand he saw his grandfather's eyes watching him. It was a terrible affair. The old man was solemn, and allowed no liberty to be taken with the respect due to himself. They were estranged for more than a week.

The worse the road was, the more beautiful it was to Jean-Christophe. Every stone had a meaning for him; he knew them all. The shape of a rut seemed to him to be a geographical accident almost of the same kind as the great mass of the Taunus. In his head he had the map of all the ditches and hillocks of the region extending two kilometers round about the house, and when he made any change in the fixed ordering of the furrows, he thought himself no less important than an engineer with a gang of navvies; and when with his heel he crushed the dried top of a clod of earth, and filled up the valley at the foot of it, it seemed to him that his day had not been wasted.

Sometimes they would meet a peasant in his cart on the highroad, and, if the peasant knew Jean-Christophe's grandfather they would climb up by his side. That was a Paradise on earth. The horse went fast, and Jean-Christophe laughed with delight, except when they passed other people walking; then he would look serious and indifferent, like a person accustomed to drive in a carriage, but his heart was filled with pride. His grandfather and the man would talk without bothering about him. Hidden and crushed by their legs, hardly sitting, sometimes not sitting at all, he was perfectly happy. He talked aloud, without troubling about any answer to what he said. He watched the horse's ears moving. What strange creatures those ears were! They moved in every direction--to right and left; they hitched forward, and fell to one side, and turned backwards in such a ridiculous way that he: burst out laughing. He would pinch his grandfather to make him look at them; but his grandfather was not interested in them. He would repulse Jean-Christophe, and tell him to be quiet. Jean-Christophe would ponder. He thought that when people grow up they are not surprised by anything, and that when they are strong they know everything; and he would try to be grown up himself, and to hide his curiosity, and appear to be indifferent.

He was silent them The rolling of the carriage made him drowsy. The horse's little bells danced--ding, ding; dong, ding. Music awoke in the air, and hovered about the silvery bells, like a swarm of bees. It beat gaily with the rhythm of the cart--an endless source of song, and one song came on another's heels. To Jean-Christophe they were superb. There was one especially which he thought so beautiful that he tried to draw his grandfather's attention to it. He sang it aloud. They took no heed of him. He began it again in a higher key, then again shrilly, and then old Jean Michel said irritably: "Be quiet; you are deafening me with your trumpet-call!" That took away his breath. He blushed and was silent and mortified. He crushed with his contempt the two stockish imbeciles who did not understand the sublimity of his song, which opened wide the heavens! He thought them very ugly, with their week-old beards, and they smelled very ill.

He found consolation, in watching the horse's shadow. That an astonishing sight. The beast ran along with them lying on its side. In the evening, when they returned, it covered a part of the field. They came upon a rick, and the shadow's head would rise up and then return to its place when they had passed. Its snout was flattened out like a burst balloon; its ears were large, and pointed like candles. Was it really a shadow or a creature? Jean-Christophe would not have liked to encounter it alone. He would not have run after it as he did after his grandfather's shadow, so as to walk on its head and trample it under foot. The shadows of the trees when the sun was low were also objects of meditation. They made barriers along the road, and looked like phantoms, melancholy and grotesque, saying, "Go no farther!" and the creaking axles and the horse's shoes repeated, "No farther!"

Jean-Christophe's grandfather and the driver never ceased their endless chatter. Sometimes they would raise their voices, especially when they talked of local affairs or things going wrong. The child would cease to dream, and look at them uneasily. It seemed to him that they were angry with each other, and he was afraid that they would come to blows. However, on the contrary, they best understood each other in their common dislikes. For the most part, they were without haired or the least passion; they talked of small matters loudly, just for the pleasure of talking, as is the joy of the people. But Jean-Christophe, not understanding their conversation, only heard the loud tones of their voices and saw their agitated faces, and thought fearfully: "How wicked he looks! Surely they hate each other! How he rolls his eyes, and how wide he opens his mouth! He spat on my nose in his fury. O Lord, he will kill my grandfather!..."

The carriage stopped. The peasant said: "Here you are." The two deadly enemies shook hands. Jean-Christophe's grandfather got down first; the peasant handed him the little boy. The whip flicked the horse, the carriage rolled away, and there they were by the little sunken road near the Rhine. The sun dipped down below the fields. The path wound almost to the water's edge. The plentiful soft grass yielded under their feet, crackling. Alder-trees leaned over the river, almost half in the water. A cloud of gnats danced. A boat passed noiselessly, drawn on by the peaceful current, striding along. The water sucked the branches of the willows with a little noise like lips. The light was soft and misty, the air fresh, the river silvery gray. They reached their home, and the crickets chirped, and on the threshold smiled his mother's dear face....

Oh, delightful memories, kindly visions, which will hum their melody in their tuneful flight through life!... Journeys in later life, great towns and moving seas, dream countries and loved faces, are not so exactly graven in the soul as these childish walks, or the corner of the garden seen every day through the window, through the steam and mist made by the child's mouth glued to it for want of other occupation....

Evening now, and the house is shut up. Home ... the refuge from all terrifying things--darkness, night, fear, things unknown. No enemy can pass the threshold.... The fire flares. A golden duck turns slowly on the spit; a delicious smell of fat and of crisping flesh scents the room. The joy of eating, incomparable delight, a religious enthusiasm, thrills of joy! The body is too languid with the soft warmth, and the fatigues of the day, and the familiar voices. The act of digestion plunges it in ecstasy, and faces, shadows, the lampshade, the tongues of flame dancing with a shower of stars in the fireplace--all take on a magical appearance of delight. Jean-Christophe lays his cheek on his plate, the better to enjoy all this happiness....

He is in his soft bed. How did he come there? He is overcome with weariness. The buzzing of the voices in the room and the visions of the day are intermingled in his mind. His father takes his violin; the shrill sweet sounds cry out complaining in the night. But the crowning joy is when his mother comes and takes Jean-Christophe's hands. He is drowsy, and, leaning over him, in a low voice she sings, as he asks, an, old song with words that have no meaning. His father thinks such music stupid, but Jean-Christophe never wearies of it. He holds his breath, and is between laughing and crying. His heart is intoxicated. He does not know where he is, and he is overflowing with tenderness. He throws his little arms round his mother's neck, and hugs her with all his strength. She says, laughing:

"You want to strangle me?"

He hugs her close. How he loves her! How he loves everything! Everybody, everything! All is good, all is beautiful.... He sleeps. The cricket on the hearth cheeps. His grandfather's tales, the great heroes, float by in the happy night.... To be a hero like them!... Yes, he will be that ... he is that.... Ah, how good it is to live!

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

What an abundance of strength, joy, pride, is in that little creature! What superfluous energy! His body and mind never cease to move; they are carried round and round breathlessly. Like a little salamander, he dances day and night in the flames. His is an unwearying enthusiasm finding its food in all things. A delicious dream, a bubbling well, a treasure of inexhaustible hope, a laugh, a song, unending drunkenness. Life does not hold him yet; always he escapes it. He swims in the infinite. How happy he is! He is made to be happy! There is nothing in him that does not believe in happiness, and does not cling to it with all his little strength and passion!...

Life will soon see to it that he is brought to reason.

 

                      

                          卷一      黎明
                            

         在日出之前的黎明时分
  当你的灵魂在体内酣睡之际……
     ——《神曲·炼狱》第九节

                               第一部

        濛濛晓雾初开,
  皓皓旭日方升……
     ——《神曲·炼狱》第十七

 江声浩荡,自屋后上升。雨水整天的打在窗上。一层水雾沿着玻璃的裂痕蜿蜒流下。昏黄的天色黑下来了。室内有股闷热之气。
  初生的婴儿在摇篮里扭动。老人进来虽然把木靴脱在门外,走路的时候地板还是格格的响:孩子哼啊嗐的哭了。母亲从床上探出身子抚慰他;祖父摸索着点起灯来,免得孩子在黑夜里害怕。灯光照出老约翰·米希尔红红的脸,粗硬的白须,忧郁易怒的表情,炯炯有神的眼睛。他走近摇篮,外套发出股潮气,脚下拖着双大蓝布鞋。鲁意莎做着手势叫他不要走近。她的淡黄头发差不多象白的;绵羊般和善的脸都打皱了,颇有些雀斑;没有血色的厚嘴唇不大容易合拢,笑起来非常胆怯;眼睛很蓝,迷迷惘惘的,眼珠只有极小的一点,可是挺温柔;——她不胜怜爱的瞅着孩子。
  孩子醒过来,哭了。惊慌的眼睛在那儿乱转。多可怕啊!无边的黑暗,剧烈的灯光,浑沌初凿的头脑里的幻觉,包围着他的那个闷人的、蠕动不已的黑夜,还有那深不可测的阴影中,好似耀眼的光线一般透出来的尖锐的刺激,痛苦,和幽灵,——使他莫名片妙的那些巨大的脸正对着他,眼睛瞪着他,直透到他心里去……他没有气力叫喊,吓得不能动弹,睁着眼睛,张着嘴,只在喉咙里喘气。带点虚肿的大胖脸扭做一堆,变成可笑而又可怜的怪样子;脸上与手上的皮肤是棕色的,暗红的,还有些黄黄的斑点。
  “天哪!他多丑!"老人语气很肯定的说。
  他把灯放在了桌上。
  鲁意莎撅着嘴,好似挨了骂的小姑娘,约翰·米希尔觑着她笑道:“你总不成要我说他好看吧?说了你也不会信。得了罢,这又不是你的错,小娃娃都是这样的。”
  孩子迷迷忽忽的,对着灯光和老人的目光愣住了,这时才醒过来,哭了。或许他觉得母亲眼中有些抚慰的意味,鼓励他诉苦。她把手臂伸过去,对老人说道:“递给我罢。”
  老人照例先发一套议论:“孩子哭就不该迁就。得让他叫去。”
  可是他仍旧走过来,抱起婴儿,嘀咕着:“从来没见过这么难看的。”
  鲁意莎双手滚热,接过孩子搂在怀里。她瞅着他,又惭愧又欢喜的笑了笑:
  “哦,我的小乖乖,你多难看,多难看,我多疼你!”
  约翰·米希尔回到壁炉前面,沉着脸拨了拨火;可是郁闷的脸上透着点笑意:
  “好媳妇,得了罢,别难过了,他还会变呢。反正丑也没关系。我们只希望他一件事,就是做个好人。”
  婴儿与温暖的母体接触之下,立刻安静了,只忙着唧唧逜E逜E的吃奶。约翰·米希尔在椅上微微一仰,又张大片辞的说了一遍:
  “做个正人君子才是最美的事。”
  他停了一会,想着要不要把这意思再申说一番;但他再也找不到话,于是静默了半晌,又很生气的问:“怎么你丈夫还不回来?”
  “我想他在戏院里罢,"鲁意莎怯生生的回答。"他要参加预奏会。”
  “戏院的门都关了,我才走过。他又扯谎了。”
  “噢,别老是埋怨他!也许我听错了。他大概在学生家里上课罢。”
  “那也该回来啦,"老人不高兴的说。
  他踌躇了一会,很不好意思的放低了声音:
  “是不是他又?……”
  “噢,没有,父亲,他没有,"鲁意莎抢着回答。
  老人瞅着她,她把眼睛躲开了。
  “哼,你骗我。”
  她悄悄的哭了。
  “哎唷,天哪!"老人一边嚷一边望壁炉上踢了一脚。拨火棒大声掉在地下,把母子俩都吓了一跳。
  “父亲,得了吧,"鲁意莎说,"他要哭了。”
  婴儿愣了一愣,不知道还是哭好还是照常吃奶好;可是不能又哭又吃奶,他也就吃奶了。
  约翰·米希尔沉着嗓子,气冲冲的接着说:“我犯了什么天条,生下这个酒鬼的儿子?我这一辈子省吃俭用的,真是够受了!……可是你,你,你难道不能阻止他么?该死!这是你的本分啊。要是你能把他留在家里的话!……”
  鲁意莎哭得更厉害了。
  “别埋怨我了,我已经这么伤心!我已经尽了我的力了。你真不知道我独自个儿在家的时候多害怕!好象老听见他上楼的脚声。我等着他开门,心里想着:天哪!不知他又是什么模样了?……想到这个我就难过死了。”
  她抽抽噎噎的在那儿哆嗦。老人看着慌了,走过来把抖散的被单给撩在她抽搐不已的肩膀上,用他的大手摩着她的头:
  “得啦,得啦,别怕,有我在这儿呢。”
  为了孩子,她静下来勉强笑着:“我不该跟您说那个话的。”
  老人望着她,摇了摇头:“可怜的小媳妇,是我难为了你。”
  “那只能怪我。他不该娶我的。他一定在那里后悔呢。”
  “后悔什么?”
  “您明白得很。当初您自己也因为我嫁了他很生气。”
  “别多说啦。那也是事实。当时我的确有点伤心。象他这样一个男子——我这么说可不是怪你,——很有教养,又是优秀的音乐家,真正的艺术家,——很可以攀一门体面的亲事,用不着追求象你这样一无所有的人,既不门当户对,也不是音乐界中的人。姓克拉夫脱的一百多年来就没娶过一个不懂音乐的媳妇!——可是你很知道我并没恨你;赶到认识了你,我就喜欢你。而且事情一经决定,也不用再翻什么旧账,只要老老实实的尽自己的本分就完了。”
  他回头坐下,停了一会,庄严的补上一句,象他平常说什么格言的时候一样:
  “人生第一要尽本分。”
  他等对方提异议,望壁炉里吐了一口痰;母子俩都没有什么表示,他想继续说下去,——却又咽住了。
  他们不再说话了。约翰·米希尔坐在壁炉旁边,鲁意莎坐在床上,都在那里黯然神往。老人嘴里是那么说,心里还想着儿子的婚事非常懊丧。鲁意莎也想着这件事,埋怨自己,虽然她没有什么可埋怨的。
  她从前是个帮佣的,嫁给约翰·米希尔的儿子曼希沃·克拉夫脱,大家都觉得奇怪,她自己尤其想不到。克拉夫脱家虽没有什么财产,但在老人住了五十多年的莱茵流域的小城中是很受尊敬的。他们是父子相传的音乐家,从科隆到曼海姆一带,所有的音乐家都知道他们。曼希沃在宫廷剧场当提琴师;约翰·米希尔从前是大公爵的乐队指挥。老人为曼希沃的婚事大受打击;他原来对儿子抱着极大的希望,想要他成为一个他自己没有能做到的名人。不料儿子一时糊涂,把他的雄心给毁了。他先是大发雷霆,把曼希沃与鲁意莎咒骂了一顿。但他骨子里是个好人,所以在认清楚媳妇的脾性以后就原谅了她,甚至还对她有些慈父的温情,虽然这温情常常用嘀咕的方式表现。
  没有人懂得曼希沃怎么会攀这样一门亲的,——曼希沃自己更莫名片妙。那当然不是为了鲁意莎长得俏。她身上没有一点儿迷人的地方:个子矮小,没有血色,身体又娇,跟曼希沃和约翰·米希尔一比真是好古怪的对照,他们俩都是又高又大,脸色鲜红的巨人,孔武有力,健饭豪饮,喜欢粗声大片的笑着嚷着。她似乎被他们压倒了;人家既不大注意到她,她自己更尽量的躲藏。倘若曼希沃是个心地仁厚的人,还可以说他的看中鲁意莎是认为她的其实比别的长处更可宝贵;然而他是最虚荣不过的。象他那样的男子,长得相当漂亮,而且知道自己漂亮,喜欢摆架子,也不能说没有才具,大可以攀一门有钱的亲,甚至——谁知道?——可能象他夸口的那样,在他教课的中产之家引诱个把女学生……不料他突然之间挑了一个小户人家的女子,又穷,又丑,又无教育,又没追求他……倒象是他为了赌气而娶的!
  但世界上有些人永远做着出人意料,甚至出于自己意料的事,曼希沃便是这等人物。他们未始没有先见之明:——俗语说,一个有先见之明的人抵得两个……——他们自命为不受欺骗,把舵把得很稳,向着一定的目标驶去。但他们的计算是把自己除外的,因为根本不认识自己。他们脑筋里常常会变得一平空虚,那时就把舵丢下了;而事情一放手,它们立刻卖弄狡狯跟主人捣乱。无人管束的船会向暗礁直撞过去,而足智多谋的曼希沃居然娶了一个厨娘。和她定终身的那天,他却也非醉非癫,也没有什么热情冲动:那还差得远呢。但或许我们除了头脑、心灵、感官以外,另有一些神秘的力量,在别的力量睡着的时候乘虚而入,做了我们的主宰;那一晚曼希沃在河边碰到鲁意莎,在芦苇丛中坐在她身旁,糊里糊涂跟她订婚的时候,他也许就是在她怯生生的望着他的苍白的瞳子中间,遇到了那些神秘的力量。
  才结婚,他就对自己所做的事觉得委屈。这一点,他在可怜的鲁意莎面前毫不隐瞒,而她只是诚惶诚恐的向他道歉。他心并不坏,就慨然原谅了她;但过了一忽儿又悔恨起来,或是在朋友中间,或是在有钱的女学生面前;她们此刻态度变得傲慢了,由他校正指法而碰到他手指的时候也不再发抖了。——于是他沉着脸回家,鲁意莎好不辛酸的马上在他眼中看出那股怨气。再不然他呆在酒店里,想在那儿忘掉自己,忘掉对人家的怨恨。象这样的晚上,他就嘻嘻哈哈,大笑着回家,使鲁意莎觉得比平时的话中带刺和隐隐约约的怨恨更难受。鲁意莎认为自己对这种放荡的行为多少要负些责任,那不但消耗了家里的钱,还得把他仅有的一点儿理性再减少一点。曼希沃陷到泥淖里去了。以他的年纪,正应当发愤用功,尽量培植他中庸的天资,他却听任自己望下坡路上打滚,给别人把位置占了去。
  至于替他拉拢金发女仆的那股无名的力量,自然毫不介意。它已经尽了它的使命;而小约翰·克利斯朵夫便在运命驱使之下下了地。
  天色全黑了。鲁意莎的声音把老约翰·米希尔从迷惘中惊醒,他对着炉火想着过去的和眼前的伤心事,想出了神。
  “父亲,时候不早了吧,"少妇恳切的说。"您得回去了,还要走好一程路呢。”
  “我等着曼希沃,"老人回答。
  “不,我求您,您还是别留在这儿的好。”
  “为什么?”
  老人抬起头来,仔细瞧着她。
  她不回答。
  他又道:“你觉得独自个儿害怕,你不要我等着他么?”
  “唉!那不过把事情弄得更糟:您会生气的;我可不愿意。您还是回去罢,我求您!”
  老人叹了口气站起来:“好吧,我走啦。”
  他过去把刺人的须在她脑门上轻轻拂了一下,问她可要点儿什么不要,然后拈小了灯走了。屋子里暗得很,他和椅子撞了一下。但他没有下楼已想起儿子醉后归来的情景;在楼梯上他走一步停一步,想着他独自回家所能遭遇的种种危险……
  床上,孩子在母亲身边又骚动起来。在他内部极深邃的地方,迸出一种无名的痛苦。他尽力抗拒:握着拳头,扭着身子,拧着眉头。痛苦变得愈来愈大,那种沉着的气势,表示它不可一世。他不知道这痛苦是什么,也不知道它要进逼到什么地步,只觉得它巨大无比,永远看不见它的边际。于是他可怜巴巴的哭了。母亲用温软的手摩着他,痛楚马上减轻了些;可是他还在哭,因为觉得它始终在旁边,占领着他的身体。——大人的痛苦是可以减轻的,因为知道它从哪儿来,可以在思想上把它限制在身体的一部分,加以医治,必要时还能把它去掉;他可以固定它的范围,把它跟自己分离。婴儿可没有这种自欺其人的方法。他初次遭遇到的痛苦是更惨酷,更真切的。他觉得痛苦无边无岸,象自己的生命一样,觉得它盘踞在他的胸中,压在他的心上,控制着他的皮肉。而这的确是这样的:它直要把肉体侵蚀完了才会离开。
  母亲紧紧搂着他,轻轻的说:
  “得啦,得啦,别哭了,我的小耶稣,我的小金鱼……”
  他老是断断续续的悲啼。仿佛这一堆无意识的尚未成形的肉,对他命中注定的痛苦的生涯已经有了预感。他怎么也静不下来……
  黑夜里传来圣·马丁寺的钟声。严肃迟缓的音调,在雨天潮润的空气中进行,有如踏在苔藓上的脚步。婴儿一声嚎啕没有完就突然静默了。奇妙的音乐,象一道乳流在他胸中缓缓流过。黑夜放出光明,空气柔和而温暖。他的痛苦消散了,心笑开了;他轻松的叹了口气,溜进了梦乡。
  三口钟庄严肃穆,继续在那里奏鸣,报告明天的节日。鲁意莎听着钟声,也如梦如幻的想着她过去的苦难,想着睡在身旁的亲爱的婴儿的前程。她在床上已经躺了几小时,困顾不堪。手跟身体都在发烧;连羽毛毯都觉得很重;黑暗压迫她,把她闷死了;可是她不敢动弹。她瞧着婴儿;虽是在夜里,还能看出他憔悴的脸,好似老人的一样。她开始瞌睡了,乱哄哄的形象在她脑中闪过。她以为听到曼希沃开门,心不由得跳了一下。浩荡的江声在静寂中越发宏大,有如野兽的怒嗥。窗上不时还有一声两声的雨点。钟鸣更缓,慢慢的静下来;鲁意莎在婴儿旁边睡熟了。
  这时,老约翰·米希尔冒着雨站在屋子前面,胡子上沾着水雾。他等荒唐的儿子回来;胡思乱想的头脑老想着许多酗酒的惨剧,虽然他并不相信,但今晚要没有看到儿子回来,便是回去也是一分钟都睡不着的。钟声使他非常悲伤,因为他回想起幻灭的希望。他又想到此刻冒雨街头是为的什么,不禁羞愧交迸的哭了。
  流光慢慢的消逝。昼夜递嬗,好似汪洋大海中的潮汐。几星期过去了,几个月过去了,周而复始。循环不已的日月仍好似一日。
  有了光明与黑暗的均衡的节奏,有了儿童的生命的节奏,才显出无穷无极,莫测高深的岁月。——在摇篮中作梦的浑噩的生物,自有他迫切的需要,其中有痛苦的,也有欢乐的;虽然这些需要随着昼夜而破灭,但它们整齐的规律,反象是昼夜随着它们而往复。
  生命的钟摆很沉重的在那里移动。整个的生物都湮没在这个缓慢的节奏中间。其余的只是梦境,只是不成形的梦,营营扰扰的断片的梦,盲目飞舞的一片灰尘似的原子,令人发笑令人作恶的眩目的旋风。还有喧闹的声响,骚动的阴影,丑态百出的形状,痛苦,恐怖,欢笑,梦,梦……——一切都只是梦……而在这浑沌的梦境中,有友好的目光对他微笑,有欢乐的热流从母体与饱含乳汁的乳房中流遍他全身,有他内部的精力在那里积聚,巨大无比,无知无觉,还有沸腾的海洋在婴儿的微躯中汹汹作响。谁要能看透孩子的生命,就能看到湮埋在阴影中的世界,看到正在组织中的星云,方在酝酿的宇宙。儿童的生命是无限的。它是一切……
  岁月流逝……人生的大河中开始浮起回忆的岛屿。先是一些若有若无的小岛,仅仅在水面上探出头来的岩石。在它们周围,波平浪静,一片汪洋的水在晨光熹微中展布开去。随后又是些新的小岛在阳光中闪耀。
  有些形象从灵魂的深处浮起,异乎寻常的清晰。无边无际的日子,在伟大而单调的摆动中轮回不已,永远没有分别,可是慢慢的显出一大串首尾相连的岁月,它们的面貌有些是笑盈盈的,有些是忧郁的。时光的连续常会中断,但种种的往事能超越年月而相接……
  江声……钟声……不论你回溯到如何久远,——不论你在辽远的时间中想到你一生的哪一刻,——永远是它们深沉而熟悉的声音在歌唱……
  夜里,——半睡半醒的时候……一线苍白的微光照在窗上……江声浩荡。万籁俱寂,水声更宏大了;它统驭万物,时而抚慰着他们的睡眠,连它自己也快要在波涛声中入睡了;时而狂嗥怒吼,好似一头噬人的疯兽。然后,它的咆哮静下来了:那才是无限温柔的细语,银铃的低鸣,清朗的钟声,儿童的欢笑,曼妙的清歌,回旋缭绕的音乐。伟大的母性之声,它是永远不歇的!它催眠着这个孩子,正如千百年来催眠着以前的无数代的人,从出生到老死;它渗透他的思想,浸润他的幻梦,它的滔滔汩汩的音乐,如大氅一般把他裹着,直到他躺在莱茵河畔的小公墓上的时候。
  钟声复起……天已黎明!它们互相应答,带点儿哀怨,带点儿凄凉,那么友好,那么静穆。柔缓的声音起处,化出无数的梦境,往事,欲念,希望,对先人的怀念,——儿童虽然不认识他们,但的确是他们的化身,因为他曾经在他们身上逗留,而此刻他们又在他身上再生。几百年的往事在钟声中颤动。多少的悲欢离合!——他在卧室中听到这音乐的时候,仿佛眼见美丽的音波在轻清的空气中荡漾,看到无挂无碍的飞鸟掠过,和暖的微风吹过。一角青天在窗口微笑。一道阳光穿过帘帷,轻轻的泻在他床上。儿童所熟识的小天地,每天醒来在床上所能见到的一切,所有他为了要支配而费了多少力量才开始认得和叫得出名字的东西,都亮起来了。瞧,那是饭桌,那是他躲在里头玩耍的壁橱,那是他在上面爬来爬去的菱形地砖,那是糊壁纸,扯着鬼脸给他讲许多滑稽的或是可怕的故事,那是时钟,滴滴答答讲着只有他懂得的话。室内的东西何其多!他不完全认得。每天他去发掘这个属于他的宇宙:——一切都是他的。——没有一件不相干的东西:不论是一个人还是一个苍蝇,都是一样的价值;什么都一律平等的活在那里:猫,壁炉,桌子,以及在阳光中飞舞的尘埃。一室有如一国;一日有如一生。在这些茫茫的空间怎么能辨得出自己呢?世界那么大!真要令人迷失。再加那些面貌,姿态,动作,声音,在他周围简直是一阵永远不散的旋风!他累了,眼睛闭上了,睡熟了。甜蜜的深沉的瞌睡会突然把他带走,随时,随地,在他母亲的膝上,在他喜欢躲藏的桌子底下,……多甜蜜,多舒服……。
  这些生命初期的日子在他脑中蜂拥浮动,宛似一片微风吹掠,云影掩映的麦田。
  阴影消散,朝阳上升。克利斯朵夫在白天的迷宫中又找到了他的路径。
  清晨……父母睡着。他仰卧在小床上,望着在天花板上跳舞的光线,真是气味无穷的娱乐。一忽儿,他高声笑了,那是令人开怀的儿童的憨笑。母亲探出身来问:“笑什么呀,小疯子?"于是他更笑得厉害了,也许是因为有人听他笑而强笑。妈妈沉下脸来把手指放在嘴上,叫他别吵醒了爸爸;但她困倦的眼睛也不由自主的跟着笑。他们俩窃窃私语……父亲突然气冲冲的咕噜了一声,把他们都吓了一跳。妈妈赶紧转过背去象做错了事的小姑娘,假装睡着。克利斯朵夫钻进被窝屏着气。……死一般的静寂。
  过了一会,小小的脸又从被窝里探出来。屋顶上的定风针吱呀吱呀的在那儿打转。水斗在那儿滴滴答答。早祷的钟声响了。吹着东风的时候还有对岸村落里的钟声遥遥呼应。成群的麻雀,蹲在满绕长春藤的墙上聒噪,象一群玩耍的孩子,其中必有三四个声音,而且老是那三四个,吵得比其余的更厉害。一只鸽子在烟突顶上咯咯的叫。孩子听着这种种声音出神了,轻轻的哼着唱着,不知不觉哼的高了一些,更高了一些,终于直着嗓子大叫,惹得父亲气起来,嚷着:“你这驴子老是不肯安静!等着罢,让我来拧你的耳朵!"于是他又躲在被窝里,不知道该笑还是该哭。他吓坏了,受了委屈;同时想到人家把他比作驴子又禁不住要笑出来。他在被窝底下学着驴鸣。这一下可挨了打。他迸出全身的眼泪来哭。他做了些什么事呢?不过是想笑,想动!可是不准动。他们怎么能老是睡觉呢?什么时候才能起来呢?
  有一天他忍不住了。他听见街上好象有只猫,有条狗,一些奇怪的事。他从床上溜下来,光着小脚摇摇晃晃的在地砖上走过去,想下楼去瞧一下;可是房门关着。他爬上椅子开门,连人带椅的滚了下来,跌得很痛,哇的一声叫起来;结果还挨了一顿打。他老是挨打的!……
  他跟着祖父在教堂里。他闷得慌。他很不自在。人家不准他动。那些人一起念念有词,不知说些什么,然后又一起静默了。他们都摆着一副又庄严又沉闷的脸。这可不是他们平时的脸啊。他望着他们,不免有些心虚胆怯。邻居的老列娜坐在他旁边,装着凶恶的神气,有时他连祖父也认不得了。他有点儿怕,后来也惯了,便用种种方法来解闷。他摇摆身子,仰着脖子看天花板,做鬼脸,扯祖父的衣角,研究椅子坐垫上的草秆,想用手指戳一个窟窿。他听着鸟儿叫,他打呵欠,差不多把下巴颏儿都掉下来。
  忽然有阵破布似的声音:管风琴响了。一个寒噤沿着他的脊梁直流下去。他转过身子,下巴搁在椅背上,变得很安静了。他完全不懂那是什么声音,也不懂它有什么意思:它只是发光,漩涡似的打转,什么都分辨不清。可是听了多舒服!他仿佛不是在一座沉闷的旧屋子里,坐在一点钟以来使他浑身难受的椅子上了。他悬在半空中,象只鸟,长江大河般的音乐在教堂里奔流,充塞着穹窿,冲击着四壁,他就跟着它一起奋发,振翼翱翔,飘到东,飘到西,只要听其自然就行。自由了,快乐了,到处是阳光……他迷迷忽忽的快睡着了。
  祖父对他很不高兴,因为他望弥撒的时候不大安分。
  他在家里,坐在地上,把手抓着脚。他才决定草毯是条船,地砖是条河。他相信走出草毯就得淹死。别人在屋里走过的时候全不留意,使他又诧异又生气。他扯着母亲的裙角说:“你瞧,这不是水吗?干吗不从桥上过?"——所谓桥是红色地砖中间的一道道的沟槽。——母亲理也不理,照旧走过了。他很生气,好似一个剧作家在上演他的作品时看见观众在台下聊天。
  一忽儿,他又忘了这些。地砖不是海洋了。他整个身子躺在上面,下巴搁在砖头上,哼着他自己编的调子,一本正经的吮着大拇指,流着口水。他全神贯注的瞅着地砖中间的一条裂缝。菱形砖的线条在那儿扯着鬼脸。一个小得看不清的窟窿大片来,变成群峰环绕的山谷。一条蜈蚣在蠕动,跟象一样的大。这时即使天上打雷,孩子也不会听见。
  谁也不理他,他也不需要谁。甚至草毯做的船,地砖上的岩穴和怪兽都用不着。他自己的身体已经够了,够他消遣的了!他瞧着指甲,哈哈大笑,可以瞧上几个钟点。它们的面貌各各不同,象他认识的那些人。他教它们一起谈话,跳舞,或是打架。——而且身体上还有其余的部分呢!……他逐件逐件的仔细瞧过来。奇怪的东西真多啊!有的真是古怪得厉害。他看着它们,出神了。
  有时他给人撞见了,就得挨一顿臭骂。
  有些日子,他趁母亲转背的时候溜出屋子。先是人家追他,抓他回去;后来惯了,也让他自个儿出门,只要他不走得太远。他的家已经在城的尽头,过去差不多就是田野。只要他还看得见窗子,他总是不停的向前,一小步一小步的走得很稳,偶而用一只脚跳着走。等到拐了弯,杂树把人家的视线挡住之后,他马上改变了办法。他停下来,吮着手指,盘算今天讲哪桩故事;他满肚子都是呢。那些故事都很相象,每个故事都有三四种讲法。他便在其中挑选。惯常他讲的是同一件故事,有时从隔天停下的地方接下去,有时从头开始,加一些变化;但只要一件极小的小事,或是偶然听到的一个字,就能使他的思想在新的线索上发展。
  随时随地有的是材料。单凭一块木头或是在篱笆上断下来的树枝(要没有现成的,就折一根下来),就能玩出多少花样!那真是根神仙棒。要是又直又长的话,它便是一根矛或一把剑;随手一挥就能变出一队人马。克利斯朵夫是将军,他以身作则,跑在前面,冲上山坡去袭击。要是树枝柔软的话,便可做一条鞭子。克利斯朵夫骑着马跳过危崖绝壁。有时马滑跌了,骑马的人倒在土沟里,垂头丧气的瞧着弄脏了的手和擦破了皮的膝盖。要是那根棒很小,克利斯朵夫就做乐队指挥;他是队长,也是乐队;他指挥,同时也就唱起来;随后他对灌木林行礼:绿的树尖在风中向他点头。
  他也是魔术师,大踏步的在田里走,望着天,挥着手臂。他命令云彩:“向右边去。"——但它们偏偏向左。于是他咒骂一阵,重申前令;一面偷偷的瞅着,心在胸中乱跳,看看至少有没有一小块云服从他;但它们还是若无其事的向左。于是他跺脚,用棍子威吓它们,气冲冲的命令它们向左:这一回它们果然听话了。他对自己的威力又高兴又骄傲。他指着花一点,吩咐它们变成金色的四轮车,象童话中所说的一样;虽然这样的事从来没实现过,但他相信只要有耐性,早晚会成功的。他找了一只蟋蟀想叫它变成一骑马:他把棍子轻轻的放在它的背上,嘴里念着咒语。蟋蟀逃了……他挡住它的去路。过了一会,他躺在地下,靠近着虫,对他望着。他忘了魔术师的角色,只把可怜的虫仰天翻着,看它扭来扭去的扯动身子,笑了出来。
  他想出把一根旧绳子缚在他的魔术棍上,一本正经的丢在河里,等鱼儿来咬。他明知鱼不会咬没有饵也没有钓钩的绳,但他想它们至少会看他的面子而破一次例;他凭着无穷的自信,甚至拿条鞭子塞进街上阴沟盖的裂缝中去钓鱼。他不时拉起鞭子,非常兴奋,觉得这一回绳子可重了些,要拉起什么宝物来了,象祖父讲的那个故事一样……
  玩这些游戏的时候,他常常会懵懵懂懂的出神。周围的一切都隐灭了,他不知道自己在那里做些什么,甚至把自己都忘了。这种情形来的时候总是出岂不意的。或是在走路,或是在上楼,他忽然觉得一平空虚……好似什么思想都没有了。等到惊醒过来,他茫然若失,发觉自己还是在老地方,在黑魆魆的楼梯上。在几步踏级之间,他仿佛过了整整的一生。
  祖父在黄昏散步的时候常常带着他一块儿去。孩子拉着老人的手在旁边急急忙忙的搬着小步。他们走着乡下的路,穿过锄松的田,闻到又香又浓的味道。蟋蟀叫着。很大的乌鸦斜蹲在路上远远的望着他们,他们一走近,就笨重的飞走了。
  祖父咳了几声。克利斯朵夫很明白这个意思。老人极想讲故事,但要孩子向他请求。克利斯朵夫立刻凑上去。他们俩很投机。老人非常喜欢孙子;有个愿意听他说话的人更使他快乐。他喜欢讲他自己从前的事,或是古今伟人的历史。那时他变得慷慨激昂;发抖的声音表示他象孩子一般的快乐连压也压不下去。他自己听得高兴极了。不幸逢到他要开口,总是找不到字儿。那是他惯有的苦闷;只要他有了高谈阔论的兴致,话就说不上来。但他事过即忘,所以永远不会灰心。
  他讲着古罗马执政雷古卢斯,公元前的日耳曼族首领阿米奴斯,也讲到德国大将吕佐夫的轻骑兵——诗人克尔纳,和那个想刺死拿破仑皇帝的施塔普斯。他眉飞色舞,讲着那些空前绝后的壮烈的事迹。他说出许多历史的名辞,声调那么庄严,简直没法了解;他自以为有本领使听的人在惊险关头心痒难熬,他停下来,装做要闭过气去,大声的擤鼻涕;孩子急得嗄着嗓子问:“后来呢,祖父?"那时,老人快活得心都要跳出来了。
  后来克利斯朵夫大了一些,懂得了祖父的脾气,就有心装做对故事的下文满不在乎,使老人大为难过。——但眼前他是完全给祖父的魔力吸住的。听到激动的地方,他的血跑得很快。他不大了解讲的是谁,那些事发生在什么时候,不知祖父是否认识阿米奴斯,也不知雷古卢斯是否——天知道为什么缘故——上星期日他在教堂里看到的某一个人,但英勇的事迹使他和老人都骄傲得心花怒放,仿佛那些事就是他们自己做的;因为老的小的都是一样的孩子气。
  克利斯朵夫不大得劲的时候,就是祖父讲到悲壮的段落,常常要插一段念念不忘的说教。那都是关于道德的教训,劝人为善的老生常谈,例如:“温良胜于强暴",——或是"荣誉比生命更宝贵",——或是"宁善毋恶";——可是在他说来,意义并没这样清楚。祖父不怕年轻小子的批评,照例张大片辞,颠来倒去说着同样的话,句子也不说完全,或者是说话之间把自己也弄糊涂了,就信口胡诌,来填补思想的空隙;他还用手势加强说话的力量,而手势的意义往往和内容相反。孩子毕恭毕敬的听着,以为祖父很会说话,可是沉闷了一点。
  关于那个征服过欧洲的科西嘉人①的离奇的传说,他们俩都是喜欢常常提到的。祖父曾经认识拿破仑,差点儿和他交战。但他是赏识敌人的伟大的,他说过几十遍:他肯牺牲一条手臂,要是这样一个人物能够生在莱茵河的这一边。可是天违人意:拿破仑毕竟是法国人;于是祖父只得佩服他,和他鏖战,——就是说差点儿和拿破仑交锋。当时拿破仑离开祖父的阵地只有四十多里,祖父他们是被派去迎击的,可是那一小队人马忽然一阵慌乱,往树林里乱窜,大家一边逃一边喊:“我们上当了!"据祖父说,他徒然想收拾残兵,徒然起在他们前面,威吓看,哭着:但他们象潮水一般把他簇拥着走,等到明天,离开战场已不知多远了,——祖父就是把溃退的地方叫做战场的。——克利斯朵夫可急于要他接讲大英雄的战功;他想着那些在世界上追奔逐北的奇迹出了神。他仿佛眼见拿破仑后面跟着无数的人,喊着爱戴他的口号,只要他举手一挥,他们便旋风似的向前追击,而敌人是永远望风而逃的。这简直是一篇童话。祖父又锦上添花的加了一些,使故事格外生色;拿破仑征服了西班牙,也差不多征服了他最厌恶的英国。
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  ①指拿破仑,因科西嘉为拿破仑出生地。
  克拉夫脱老人在热烈的叙述中,对大英雄有时不免愤愤的骂几句。原来他是激起了爱国心,而他的爱国热诚,也许在拿破仑败北的时节比着耶拿一役普鲁士大败的时节更高昂。他把话打断了,对着莱茵河挥舞老拳,轻蔑的吐一口唾沫,找些高贵的字来骂,——他决不有失身分的说下流话。——他把拿破仑叫作坏蛋,野兽,没有道德的人。如果祖父这种话是想培养儿童的正义感,那么得承认他并没达到目的;因为幼稚的逻辑很容易以为"如果这样的大人物没有道德,可见道德并不怎么了不起,第一还是做个大人物要紧"。可是老人万万想不到孩子会有这种念头。
  他们俩都不说话了,各人品着自己的一套想法回味那些神奇的故事,——除非祖父在路上遇见了他贵族学生的家长出来散步。那时他会老半天的停下来,深深的鞠躬,说着一大串过分的客套话。孩子听着不知怎样的脸红了。但祖父骨子里是尊重当今的权势的,尊重"成功的"人的;他那样敬爱他故事中的英雄,大概也因为他们比旁人更有成就,地位爬得更高。
  天气极热的时候,老克拉夫脱坐在一株树底下,一忽儿就睡着了。克利斯朵夫坐在他旁边,挑的地方不是一堆摇摇欲坠的石子,就是一块界石,或是什么高而不方便的古怪的位置;两条小腿荡来荡去,一边哼着,一边胡思乱想。再不然他仰天躺着,看着飞跑的云,觉得它们象牛,象巨人,象帽子,象老婆婆,象广漠无垠的风景。他和它们低声谈话;或者留神那块要被大云吞下去的小云;他怕那些跑得飞快,或是黑得有点儿蓝的云。他觉得它们在生命中占有极重要的地位,怎么祖父跟母亲都不注意呢?它们要凶器来一定是挺可怕的。幸而它们过去了,呆头呆脑的,滑稽可笑的,也不歇歇脚。孩子终于望得眼睛都花了,手脚乱动,好似要从半空中掉下来似的。他睒着眼皮,有点瞌睡了。……四下里静悄悄的。树叶在阳光中轻轻颤抖,一层淡薄的水气在空气中飘过,迷惘的苍蝇旋转飞舞,嗡嗡的闹成一片,象大风琴;促织最喜欢夏天的炎热,一劲儿的乱叫:慢慢的,一切都静下去了……树颠啄木鸟的叫声有种奇怪的音色。平原上,远远的有个乡下人在吆喝他的牛;马蹄在明晃晃的路上响着。克利斯朵夫的眼睛闭上了。在他旁边,横在沟槽里的枯枝上,有只蚂蚁爬着。他迷糊了,……几个世纪过去了。醒过来的时候,蚂蚁还没有爬完那小枝。
  有时祖父睡得太久了;他的脸变得死板板的,长鼻子显得更长了,嘴巴张得很大。克利斯朵夫不大放心的望着他,生怕他的头会变成一个怪样子。他高声的唱,或者从石子堆上稀里哗啦的滚下来,想惊醒祖父。有一天,他想出把几支松针扔在他的脸上,告诉他是从树上掉下来的。老人相信了,克利斯朵夫暗里很好笑。他想再来一下;不料才举手就看见祖父眼睁睁的望着他。那真糟糕透啦:老人是讲究威严的,不答应人家跟他开玩笑,对他失敬;他们俩为此竟冷淡了一个多星期。
  路愈坏,克利斯朵夫觉得愈美。每块石子的位置对他都有一种意义;而且所有石子的地位他都记得烂熟。车轮的痕迹等于地壳的变动,和陶努斯山脉差不多是一类的。屋子周围二公里以内路上的凹凸,在他脑子里清清楚楚有张图形。所以每逢他把那些沟槽改变了一下,总以为自己的重要不下于带着一队工人的工程师;当他用脚跟把一大块干泥的尖顶踩平,把旁边的山谷填满的时候,便觉得那一天并没有白过。
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  有时在大路上遇到一个赶着马车的乡下人,他是认识祖父的。他们便上车,坐在他旁边。这才是一步登天呢。马奔得飞快,克利斯朵夫快乐得直笑;要是遇到别的走路人,他就装出一副严肃的,若无其事的神气,好象是坐惯车子的;但他心里骄傲得不得了。祖父和赶车的人谈着话,不理会孩子。他蹲在他们两人的膝盖中间,被他们的大腿夹坏了,只坐着那么一点儿位置,往往是完全没坐到,他可已经快活之极,大声说着话,也不在乎有没有人回答。他瞧着马耳的摆动,哎唷,那些耳朵才古怪哟!它们一忽儿甩到左边,一忽儿甩到右边,一下子向前,一下子又掉在侧面,一下子又望后倒,它们四面八方都会动,而且动得那么滑稽,使他禁不住大笑。他拧着祖父要他注意。但祖父没有这种兴致,把克利斯朵夫推开,叫他别闹。克利斯朵夫细细的想了想,原来一个人长大之后,对什么都不以为奇了,那时他神通广大,无所不知,无所不晓。于是他也装作大人,把他的好奇心藏起来,做出漠不关心的神气。
  他不作声了。车声隆隆,使他昏昏欲睡。马铃舞动:丁、当、冬、丁。音乐在空中缭绕,老在银铃四周打转,象一群蜜蜂似的;它按着车轮的节拍,很轻快的在那里飘荡;其中藏着无数的歌曲,一支又一支的总是唱不完。克利斯朵夫觉得妙极了,中间有一支尤其美,他真想引起祖父的注意,便高声唱起来。可是他们没有留意。他便提高一个调门再唱,——接着又来一次,简直是大叫了,——于是老约翰·米希尔生了气:“喂,住嘴!你喇叭似的声音把人闹昏了!"这一下他可泄了气,满脸通红,直红到鼻尖,抱着一肚子的委屈不作声了。他痛恨这两个老糊涂,对他那种上感苍天的歌曲都不懂得高妙!他觉得他们很丑,留着八天不刮的胡子,身上有股好难闻的气味。
  他望着马的影子聊以自慰。这又是一个怪现象。黑黑的牲口侧躺着在路旁飞奔。傍晚回家,它把一部分的草地遮掉了,遇到一座草堆,影子的头会爬上去,过后又回到老地方;口环变得很大,象个破气球;耳朵又大又尖,好比一对蜡烛。难道这真的是影子吗?还是另外一种活的东西?克利斯朵夫真不愿意在一个人的时候碰到它。他决不想跟在它后面跑,象有时追着祖父的影子,立在他的头上踩几脚那样。——斜阳中的树影也是动人深思的对象,简直是横在路上的栅栏,象一些阴沉的,丑恶的幽灵,在那里说着:“别再望前走啦。"轧轧的车轴声和得得的马蹄声,也跟着反复的说:“别再走啦!”
  祖父跟赶车的拉拉扯扯的老是谈不完。他们常常提高嗓子,尤其讲起当地的政治,或是妨害公益的事的时候。孩子打断了幻想,提心吊胆的望着他们,以为他们俩是生气了,怕要弄到拔拳相向的地步。其实他们正为了敌忾同仇而谈得挺投机呢。往往他们没有什么怨愤,也没有什么激动的感情,只谈着无关痛痒的事大叫大嚷,——因为能够叫嚷就是平民的一种乐趣。但克利斯朵夫不懂他们的谈话,只觉得他们粗声大片的,五官口鼻都扭做一团,不免心里着息,想道:“他的神气多凶啊!一定的,他们互相恨得要死。瞧他那双骨碌碌转着的眼睛!嘴巴张得好大!他气得把口水都唾在我脸上。天哪!他要杀死祖父了……”
  车子停下来。乡下人喊道:“哎,你们到了。"两个死冤家握了握手。祖父先下来,乡下人把孩子递给他,加上一鞭,车子去远了。祖孙俩已经在莱茵河旁边低陷的路口上。太阳望田里沉下去。曲曲弯弯的小路差不多和水面一样平。又密又软的草,悉悉索索的在脚下倒去。榛树俯在水面上,一半已经淹在水里。一群小苍蝇在那里打转。一条小船悄悄的驶过,让平静的河流推送着。涟波吮着柳枝,唧唧作响。暮霭苍茫,空凄凉爽,河水闪着银灰色的光。回到家里,只听见蟋蟀在叫。一进门便是妈妈可爱的脸庞在微笑……
  啊,甜蜜的回忆,亲切的形象,好似和谐的音乐,会终身在心头缭绕!……至于异日的征尘,虽有名城大海,虽有梦中风景,虽有爱人倩影,片刻骨铭心的程度,决比不上这些儿时的散步,或是他每天把小嘴贴在窗上嘘满了水气所看到的园林一角……
  如今是门户掩闭的家里的黄昏了。家……是抵御一切可怕的东西的托庇所。阴影,黑夜,恐怖,不可知的一切都给挡住了。没有一个敌人能跨进大门……炉火融融,金黄色的鹅,软绵绵的在铁串上转侧。满屋的油香与肉香。饱餐的喜悦,无比的幸福,那种对宗教似的热诚,手舞足蹈的快乐!屋内的温暖,白天的疲劳,亲人的声音,使身体懒洋洋的麻痹了。消化食物的工作使他出了神:脸庞,影子,灯罩,在黑魆魆的壁炉中闪烁飞舞的火舌,一切都有一副可喜的神奇的面貌。克利斯朵夫把脸颊搁在盘子上,深深的体味着这些快乐……
  他躺在暖和的小床上。怎么会到床上来的呢?浑身松快的疲劳把他压倒了。室内嘈杂的人声和白天的印象在他脑中搅成一片。父亲拉起提琴来了,尖锐而柔和的声音在夜里哀吟。但最甜美的幸福是母亲过来握着半睡半醒的克利斯朵夫的手,俯在他的身上,依着他的要求哼一支歌词没有意义的老调。父亲觉得那种音乐是胡闹;可是克利斯朵夫听不厌。他屏着气,想笑,想哭。他的心飘飘然了。他不知自己在哪儿,只觉得温情洋溢;他把小手臂绕着母亲的脖子,使劲抱着她。她笑道:
  “你不要把我勒死吗?”
  他把她搂得更紧了。他多爱她!爱一切!一切的人与物!一切都是好的,一切都是美的……他睡熟了。蟋蟀在灶肚里叫。祖父的故事,英雄的面貌,在快乐的夜里飘浮……要象他们那样做一个英雄才好呢!……是的,他将来是个英雄!……他现在已经是了……哦!活着多有意思!……
  这小生命中间,有的是过剩的精力,欢乐,与骄傲!多么充沛的元气!他的身心老是在跃动,飞舞回旋,教他喘不过气来。他象一条小壁虎日夜在火焰中跳舞。一股永远不倦的热情,对什么都会兴奋的热情。一场狂乱的梦,一道飞涌的泉水,一个无穷的希望,一片笑声,一阕歌,一场永远不醒的沉醉。人生还没有拴住他;他随时躲过了:他在无垠的宇宙中游泳。他多幸福!天生他是幸福的!他全心全意的相信幸福,拿出他所有的热情去追求幸福!……
   
     
可是人生很快会教他屈服的。






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