傲慢与偏见
Pride and prejudice


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    1 The Bennets'new neighbour
    1 The Bennets'new neighbour
    
    It is a truth well known to all the world that an unmarried man in possession of a large fortune must be in need of a wife. And when such a man moves into a neighbourhood, even if nothing is known about his feelings or opinions, this truth is so clear to the surrounding families,that they think of him immediately as the future husband of one or other of their daughters.
    ‘My dear Mr Bennet,’said Mrs Bennet to her husband one day,‘have you heard that someone is going to rent Netherfield Park at last?’
    ‘No,Mrs Bennet,I haven't,’said her husband.
    ‘Don't you want to know who is renting it?’cried Mrs Bennet impatiently.
    ‘You want to tell me,and I don't mind listening.’
    Mrs Bennet needed no further encouragement.‘Well,my dear, I hear that he's a very rich young man from the north of England.It seems he came to see Netherfield on Monday and was so delighted with it that he arranged to rent it at once.Of course,it is the finest house in the area,with the largest gar- dens. His servants will be here by the end of the week, and he will be arriving soon afterwards!’
    ‘What is his name?’asked Mr Bennet.
    ‘Bingley.’
    ‘Is he married or single?’
    ‘Oh, single, my dear,of course!A single man of large for- tune—he has an income of four or five thousand pounds a year.How wonderdul for our girls!’
    ‘Why? How can it affect them?’Mr Bennet asked.
    ‘My dear Mr Bennet,’she replied,‘how can you be so an- noying!You must realize I'm thinking of his marrying one of our daughters.’
    ‘Is that his purpose in coming to the area?’
    ‘His purpose?No, of course not. But it's very likely that he’ll fall in love with one of them.And I want him to see the girls as soon as possible,before our other neighbours introduce themselves. So you must visit him as soon as he arrives.’
    ‘I really don't see why I should,’said Mr Bennet.‘You and the girls can visit him, or perhaps you should send them by themselves.Yes, that might be better, as you're as attractive as any of them, and Mr Bingley might like you best.’
    ‘My dear, you flatter me,’replied his wife,‘I certainly have been called beautiful in the past, but I think a woman with five adult daughters should stop thinking of her own beauty.Mr Bennet,I beg you to visit him.You know it's cor- rect for the gentleman of the family to visit new neighbours first.I simply cannot take the girls to see him unless you have already met him.’
    ‘Surely you worry too much about the rules of polite society. I'm sure Mr Bingley will be delighted to see you all.And I’ll write him a few lines,which you can give him, agree- ing gladly to his marrying any of the girls, although I must es- pecially recommend my dear little Lizzy.’
    ‘Oh no, Mr Bennet!’gasped Mrs Bennet, horrified.‘Please don't do that!And Lizzy is no better than the others,al- though I know she is your favourite.’
    ‘Our daughters are all very silly,ignorant girls, it's true.But at least Lizzy is a little more intelligent than her sisters.’
    ‘Mr Bennet, how can you speak so unkindly of your own children? Oh dear,how ill I feel! Have you no pity for me?Don't you realize how I suffer?’
    ‘Indeed,my dear, I've suffered with you for the last twentythree years.But I think you will recover, and live to see many more rich young men come into the neighbourhood.’
    When he was young, Mr Bennet had made the mistake of falling in love with a pretty but foolish young woman.During the long years of their marriage, he had had time to regret his mistake.He soon realized that his wife had little intelligence or common sense, and was only interested in talking, shopping and finding husbands for her daughters.His experience had made him rather bitter, and he could not stop himself mocking his wife, who never understood her husband's sense of humour.
    So when, a week later, Mrs Bennet discovered that her hus- band had in fact visited Mr Bingley at Netherfield, she was surprised and very pleased.But she and her daughters tried in vain to persuade Mr Bennet to describe the wealthy stranger,and in the end they had to rely on another neighbour's description.
    ‘He sounds wonderful,Mama!’cried Lydia,the youngest and noisiest of the sisters.‘Charlotte Lucas's father has been to see him, and says he's quite young, very handsome, and ex- tremely charming!And even better,he loves dancing!Every- body knows that means he's very likely to fall in love!’
    As politeness required, Mr Bingley came to visit Mr Bennet a few days later. He was not, however, fortunate enough to see the Bennet girls, who were hiding behind the curtains in an up- stairs room in order to catch sight of the handsome stranger.Mrs Bennet planned to invite him to dinner, but in fact they met him at another social event first.The Bennets lived in the small Hertfordshire village of Longbourn,and public dances were regularly held in the nearest town, Meryton.The girls were greatly looking forward to this particular dance, because they had heard that Mr Bingley would be attending, with a group of friends from London.
    On the night of the dance, all eyes were on Mr Bingley as he entered the room. He had brought his two sisters, with the husband of the elder, Mr Hurst, and another young man,Mr- Darcy.Mr Bingley was indeed good-looking and gentleman- like, and his sisters were fine, fashionable women.However, ev- erybody was soon talking about Mr Darcy, a tall, handsome man, who,it was said, had an income of ten thousand pounds a year.The ladies in the room gazed at him in admiration for about half the evening, until they became aware of his constant frown and his unwillingness to talk or dance. Then there was general agreement that he was proud and disagreeable, and considered himself superior to country people.Mr Bingley, on the other hand,made himself popular with the ladles by danc- ing every dance and talking to everybody.
    As there were not as many gentlemen as ladies, Elizabeth Bennet did not have a partner for one of the dances, and was sitting watching the dancing.Mr Darcy was standing near her,and when Mr Bingley came up to speak to his friend,Elizabeth could not avoid hearing their conversation.
    ‘Come, Darcy,’said Bingley,‘I hate to see you looking so cross!Why don't you dance with one of these lovely girls?’
    ‘Certainly not,’replied Darcy.‘You know how I hate dancing with a partner I don't know.I would particularly dis- like it at a village dance like this.Apart from your sisters,there isn't a woman in the room I would even consider dancing with. You are dancing with the only attractive girl here.’He was looking at Mrs Bennet's eldest daughter Jane, who was waiting for Bingley to join her for the next dance.
    ‘Oh yes!She's the most beautiful creature I've ever seen!But just behind you is one of her sisters.She's very pretty,and I'm sure she's very pleasant.My partner could introduce you.’
    ‘Who do you mean?’And Darcy turned to look at Elizabeth for a moment.‘No,’he said coldly,‘she's not attractive enough to tempt me.Go back to your partner, Bingley.’
    This conversation did not endear Mr Darcy to Elizabeth, but she told the story very cheerfully and amusingly to her friends.
    The evening passed very happily for everybody else, and Mrs Bennet was delighted with the effect her eldest daughter had had on Mr Bingley.
    ‘He danced with Jane twice!’she told her husband later.‘He danced with all the others only once!And he really is so handsome!But his friend Mr Darcy was so rude to poor Eliza- beth! Luckily,she doesn't care!She wouldn't want to please him!Such a horrible,proud man!I simply hate him!’
    When Jane and Elizabeth were alone,they discussed their dancing partners.
    ‘I was really very flattered when Mr Bingley asked me to dance a second time!’said Jane, blushing.‘I didn't expect it at all!’
    ‘Didn't you?’said Elizabeth.‘I did.Dear Jane! You were five times prettier than any other woman in the room, but you're too modest ever to expect admiration.’
    ‘I have to admit that I liked Mr Bingley,’continued Jane in her gentle voice.‘He's so good-mannered and agreeable!’
    ‘He's also handsome,’added her sister,‘which makes his character quite perfect!But what did you think of his sisters?’
    ‘Very pleasant when you get to know them. The younger,Miss Caroline Bingley,will be living at Netherfield with her brother. I'm sure we’ll enjoy having her as a neighbour.’
    Elizabeth listened in silence.She was not convinced.‘Jane is so kind!’she thought.‘Always ready to see the good side of people's characters!I considered Mr Bingley's sisters too proud, almost rude, in fact.I'm sure they feel superior to most other people,like Mr Darcy.’But she did not say any more.
    After the dance the Bennet and Bingley families began to visit each other every few days.It became evident that Mr Bingley admired Jane very much, and Elizabeth knew that her sister was close to falling in love with him. She was discussing this with her good friend,Charlotte Lucas, one day Charlotte was a sensible, intelligent young woman of twenty-seven, the eldest daughter of Sir William and Lady Lucas, who were neighbours of the Bennet family.
    ‘It's a good thing,’said Elizabeth,‘that if Jane is in love with Mr Bingley,nobody will know,because she always be- haves so cheerfully and normally.’
    ‘That's sometimes a mistake,’replied Charlotte, shaking her head wisely.‘If she doesn't show her feelings at all,even to the man she loves, she may lose the opportunity of catching him.Jane should use every moment she gets with Bingley to attract and encourage him.’
    ‘But I consider a man should try to discover a woman's feelings,not wait for her encouragement! And Jane probably doesn't know what her real feelings for Bingley are yet—she has only seen him a few times,not often enough to understand his character, or be sure that she really loves him.’
    ‘Well, I wish Jane success with all my heart,’said Char- lotte finally,‘but I think she'd have as much chance of happi- ness if she married him tomorrow, as if she studied his charac- ter for a whole year. Happiness in marriage is simply a question of chance. I think it's better to know as little as possible about the person you're going to spend your life with.’
    Elizabeth laughed, sure that Charlotte did not mean what she was saying.
    While observing Mr Bingley's interest in Jane,however,Elizabeth had not noticed Mr Darcy's interest in herself.Al- though at first he had not even considered her pretty, he now began to realize what a beautiful expression her dark eyes gave to her intelligent face, and what an attractive figure she had.‘Of course, she is only an unfashionable village girl,’he told himself, but her conversation is often quite amusing.’When- ever they met, he did not speak to her, but stood near her, lis- tening to her and watching her closely, conscious of a wish to know her better.
    One evening at a party at the Lucases’house, Darcy was standing alone, as usual, away from the other guests, watching the dancing. His host, Sir William,came to speak to him.
    ‘Mr Darcy! Are you enjoying the dancing,sir? What a de- lightful entertainment it is!’
    Darcy frowned.‘Yes,’he said with cool disdain,‘it's something that any uneducated person can be good at.’
    ‘I'm sure you're good at dancing yourself, sir,’replied Sir William cheerfully.‘Look!Here's Miss Elizabeth Bennet.’She was crossing the room at that moment.‘Let me persuade you to dance with her.You cannot refuse to dance when so much beauty is in front of you.’
    ‘Indeed, sir,’replied Elizabeth quickly, in some embarrass- ment, ‘I have no intention of dancing. You must excuse me.’
    ‘Miss Bennet,please allow me the pleasure of dancing with you,’said Mr Darcy politely,holding out his hand.
    But with equal politeness Elizabeth refused again,and turned away.Mr Darcy was watching her walk away,with a slight smile on his face, when Caroline Bingley came up to him.
    ‘Mr Darcy,’she said,‘I'm sure I know what you're thinking—how boring all these silly little country people are!’
    ‘Not at all,Miss Bingley.In fact,I was just thinking what pleasure a pair of fine eyes can give.’
    ‘Really!And who do these fine eyes belong to,may I ask?’
    ‘Miss Elizabeth Bennet.’
    ‘Well!Let me be the first to congratulate you,Mr Darcy!When will the wedding be?’
    ‘Ah!That's what I expected you to say.A lady's imagina- tion jumps from admiration, to love, to marriage, in a moment.’
    ‘Well, of course, when you're married, you will often have her charming mother and sisters to stay. How delightful for you!’And Miss Bingley, seeing that Darcy remained calm,continued to mock the Bennet family as amusingly as she could.
    
    1 班纳特家的新邻居
    
    家产万贯而又尚未婚配的男人一定需要一个贤内助,这是一条世界上尽人皆知的真理。当这样一位男人搬到了附近时,这条真理在邻居们心中就显得更加清楚,他们哪怕对他的感情或意见一无所知,也会马上把他当作他们哪个女儿未来的丈夫。
    “亲爱的班纳特先生,”一天,班纳特夫人对她丈夫说,“你听说了吗?尼日斐庄园到底还是租出去了。”
    “我还没听说,班纳特太太,”她丈夫说。
    “难道你不想知道是谁要租吗?”班纳特太太不耐烦地嚷了起来。
    “你要想告诉我,我也不妨听听。”
    班纳特夫人不需要更多的鼓励就开腔了。“啊,亲爱的,我听说他是个阔少爷,英格兰北部人。好像是星期一来看了看尼日斐,十分喜欢,马上安排把它租了下来。当然,连宅子的花园都那么大,那确实是这一片最好的庄园。他的仆人周末到,他本人随后就到!”
    “他叫什么名字?”班纳特先生问道。
    “彬格莱。”
    “结婚了还是单身?”
    “啊,亲爱的,当然是单身!家产万贯的单身汉——他每年收入四五千镑呢。对咱家姑娘们来说真是再好不过了!”
    “为什么?这跟姑娘们有什么关系?”班纳特先生问道。
    “我亲爱的班纳特先生,”她回答道,“你怎么那么讨厌!你应该想到,我是在考虑他跟我们哪个姑娘结婚。”
    “他搬到这儿住就是为了这个吗?”
    “为这个?当然不是。可是真说不准他会爱上我们哪个姑娘。我想尽早让他见见姑娘们,要赶在其他邻居自我介绍之前。所以,他一来你就得去拜访他一下。”
    “我真是不明白为什么要去拜访他,”班纳特先生说,“你可以和姑娘们去,或者你让她们自己去。对,还是让她们自己去好,你长得那么迷人,比她们哪个都不逊色,说不定彬格莱先生会看上你呢。”
    “亲爱的,你太夸奖我了,”他妻子答道,“过去人们当然说我漂亮,可是我觉得,一个女人家,五个女儿都长大成人了,不应该再老想自己漂亮不漂亮。班纳特先生,我求求你,还是去拜访他一下吧。你知道,来了新邻居,家里的男人先去拜访一下是应该的。你如果不先见见他,我怎么好带着姑娘们去呢?”
    “你对文明社会的条条框框真是考虑得太多了。我相信彬格莱先生会很高兴见到你们几个的。对了,我给他写几句话,你可以捎过去,就说他随便娶哪个姑娘,我都很乐意。不过,我得特别推荐我的小丽萃。”
    “哦,不,班纳特先生!”班纳特太太倒抽口气,吓坏了。“别那样!再说,丽萃也不比其他几个好,不过我知道你偏爱她。”
    “我们几个姑娘都很蠢,很无知,这是真的。可是,丽萃至少还比她几个姐妹聪明点儿。”
    “班纳特先生,你怎么能这样无情地说自己的亲生女儿?哦。亲爱的,我难受极了!你一点儿也不心疼我吗?你没想到我多难受吗?”
    “怎么没想到,亲爱的,我跟着你难受了23年了。不过我想你会恢复过来的,会在有生之年看到更多的阔少爷来和我们做邻居。”
    班纳特先生年轻时犯了个错误,爱上了一个漂亮却愚蠢的年轻女人。结婚这么多年,他有的是时间来追悔自己的错误。不久,他就认识到妻子没有一点头脑或是常识,只知道唠叨、逛商店、给女儿找婆家。这种经历使得他有点儿尖刻,禁不住要嘲弄他妻子几句,而这种幽默感他妻子却从来都听不出来。
    所以,一周之后,班纳特太太得知丈夫实际上已到尼日斐拜访过彬格莱先生,感到十分惊奇和喜出望外。可是,她和女儿们怎么求都白搭,班纳特先生就是不肯向她们吐露这位阔少爷的情况,最后,她们不得不从另一位邻居那里探听消息。
    “听说他棒极了,妈妈!”姊妹几个中年龄最小、最爱喧闹的丽迪亚大声说,“夏洛特·卢卡斯的父亲去看过他,说他很年轻,很英俊,极有魅力!还有更棒的呢,他喜欢跳舞!大家都知道,喜欢跳舞就意味着他很可能堕入爱河!”
    出于礼貌,彬格莱先生几天以后来回访班纳特先生。可是,遗憾的是,他未能见到班纳特家的几位姑娘,因为当时几个姑娘为了一睹这位英俊的陌生人的风采,正躲在楼上一间屋子的窗帘后面偷看呢。班纳特夫人计划邀请他吃饭,可是,事实上他们在另一次社交活动中提前见了面。班纳特一家住在哈福德郡的小村子浪搏恩,公共舞会定期在最近的镇子麦里屯举办。姑娘们在企盼着这次特别的舞会,因为她们听说彬格莱先生要参加,还要带些伦敦的朋友来。
    舞会的那天晚上,彬格莱先生走进舞厅时,所有的眼睛都盯住了他。他把姐姐和妹妹都带来了,还有姐夫赫斯特先生和另外一个年轻人达西先生。彬格莱先生确实仪表堂堂,风度翩翩。他的姐姐也是优雅入时的女人。可是,没过多久,人人都开始谈论达西先生。他身材魁梧,英俊潇洒,据说年收入一万英镑。舞厅里的女士们用爱慕的眼光盯了他半个晚上,直到后来她们感到他不住地皱眉,不愿说话也不愿跳舞。最后,大家一致认为这个人高傲自大,性情乖戾,觉得自己比乡下人高一等。而彬格莱先生每支曲子都跳,跟谁都交谈,博得了各位女士的喜欢。
    因为男士没有女士多,所以伊丽莎白·班纳特有一支曲子没有舞伴,坐着看大家跳。达西先生就站在她旁边。彬格莱先生过来跟朋友搭话时,伊丽莎白免不了听到他们的对话。
    “来呀,达西,”彬格莱说,“不要满脸不高兴的样子,姑娘们多可爱,怎么不跟她们跳?”
    “当然不跳,”达西说,“你知道我多么讨厌跟陌生人跳舞,尤其是在乡下的舞会上。除了你的姐妹之外,跟这个屋子里别的女人跳舞我连想都不会想。只有一个迷人的女孩,还在跟你跳。”他看着班纳特太太的长女简,简正在等彬格莱与她一起跳下一支曲子。
    “哦,是的!她是我见过的女孩中最美的!可是,你后边坐的是她妹妹。她很漂亮,我相信她会使你很愉快的。我的舞伴可以给你们作一下介绍。”
    “你说的是谁?”达西转身打量了一下伊丽莎白。“不,”他冷冷地说,“她不够迷人,吸引不了我。回去跟你的舞伴跳吧,彬格莱。”
    这番对话并没有使伊丽莎白对达西先生产生好感,可是她却十分快活而饶有兴趣地把这段故事讲给朋友听。
    除了达西,那天晚上大家过得都很愉快。班纳特太太对于长女给彬格莱先生留下的印象感到欢欣不已。
    “他和简跳了两次!”后来她告诉丈夫说。“他和其他人都只跳了一次!他长得多潇洒呀!可是他的朋友达西对可怜的伊丽莎白多无理呀!还好,她并不在意!她是不会想去取悦他的!多么可憎,多么自大呀!我实在不喜欢他!”
    简和伊丽莎白在一起时,各自谈论各自的舞伴。
    “彬格莱请我跳第二次时,我真是受宠若惊!”简说着,两颊绯红。“我一点儿都没有想到!”
    “你没想到吗?”伊丽莎白说,“我可是想到了,亲爱的简!你比那里任何一位女人都要漂亮五倍,可是你从来都太谦虚,想不到别人会爱慕你。”
    “我必须承认我喜欢彬格莱先生,”简继续用温柔的声音说,“他多有礼貌,多么随和呀!”
    “他还很英俊,”妹妹补充说,“这使他的性格相当完美!可是,你觉得他的姐妹怎么样?”
    “跟她们认识以后很容易相处。妹妹卡罗琳·彬格莱小姐要和哥哥一起住在尼日斐。我相信有她做邻居我们会很愉快的。”
    伊丽莎白听着,一声不吭。她不信。“简太善良了,”她想,“总是看到人们性格中好的一面!我觉得彬格莱先生的姐妹太高傲了,实际上有点粗鲁。我相信她们认为自己比大多数人高一等,就像达西先生一样。”可是,她不再言语。
    舞会过后,班纳特和彬格莱两家每隔几天就互访一次。事情已经很明显,彬格莱十分爱慕简,而且伊丽莎白知道她姐姐也差不多爱上了他。一天,伊丽莎白跟好朋友夏洛特·卢卡斯谈起了这件事。夏洛特聪明而有才智,她27岁,是威廉爵士和卢卡斯夫人的长女,他们是班纳特家的邻居。
    “如果简确实爱上了彬格莱,谁都不会知道,”伊丽莎白说,“因为她表现得总是那么快活,那么正常。这是件好事。”
    “有时候那是个错误,”夏洛特一边明智地摇摇头一边回答说,“如果她一点不表现出自己的感情,甚至对自己所爱的人都如此,那么,她可能会丧失捉住他的机会。简应当利用她和彬格莱相处的每个机会来吸引他,鼓励他。”
    “可是我认为男人应当努力去发现女人的感情,而不是等待她的鼓励!而且简也许还不知道自己对彬格莱的真正感情是什么——她只见过他几次,还不足够了解他的性格,或者还不敢肯定自己爱他。”
    “好吧,我真心希望简获得成功,”夏洛特最后说,“可是我认为,她明天和他结婚与研究他一年性格后再和他结婚同样可能获得幸福。婚姻上的幸福不过是个机遇问题。我想,对于和自己终生为伴的人还是了解得越少越好。”
    伊丽莎白大笑起来,心里肯定夏洛特想说的不是这个意思。
    可是,伊丽莎白在观察彬格莱先生对简的兴趣时,没有注意到达西先生对她本人的兴趣。虽然达西先生刚开始甚至想都没有想过伊丽莎白很漂亮,可是他现在开始认识到她那双乌黑的眼睛给她那聪慧的面庞增添了多么美的表情。“当然,她不过是一位土里土气的乡村姑娘,”他心里想,“可是她的谈话经常很有意思。”无论何时,他们俩见面时,达西都不和伊丽莎白说话,而是站在她近旁,听她说话,仔细地观察她,心里意识到自己想更多地了解她。
    一天晚上,在卢卡斯家的舞会上,达西像往常一样独自站着,离别的客人远远的,看着人家跳舞。主人威廉爵士过来跟他说话。
    “达西先生!您在欣赏舞会吗?多么轻松的娱乐呀!”
    达西皱了皱眉。“是的,”他冷冷地、不屑一顾地说,“跳舞嘛,连粗人都会学好。”
    “我相信您本人也擅长跳舞,先生,”威廉爵士兴高采烈地回答。“你看,伊丽莎白·班纳特小姐来了。”她当时正在穿过房间。“让我来说服你跟她跳舞。这样的美貌就在眼前,怎么能谢绝不跳呢?”
    “真的,先生,”伊丽莎白迅速回答道,有点儿不好意思,“我不想跳舞,你务必原谅我。”
    “班纳特小姐,请允许我跟你跳一曲吧,”达西先生有礼貌地说,同时伸出了手。
    但伊丽莎白同样有礼貌地又拒绝了,并且转身离去。达西先生脸上带着一丝微笑,正在看着她走开,这时,卡罗琳·彬格莱朝他走来。
    “达西先生,”她说,“我敢肯定你在想什么——这些愚蠢的小乡巴佬多无聊啊!”
    “根本不是这样,彬格莱小姐。实际上我是在想一双优美的眼睛能给人多少乐趣啊。”
    “真的吗!这双优美的眼睛是谁的,我可以问一下吗?”
    “伊丽莎白·班纳特小姐的。”
    “好啊!让我来第一个祝贺你,达西先生!婚礼什么时候举行?”
    “啊!我知道你要这么说。女人的想象力是跳跃式的,从爱慕到相爱到结婚,一会儿的事。”
    “那当然啦,结婚以后,你可以经常叫她那迷人的妈妈还有姐妹们去坐坐,那简直愉快极了!”彬格莱小姐看到达西还是那么平静,就继续竭力取笑班纳特一家。
    

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