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Jane Eyre


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    Part One A child at Gateshead 1 The red room
    Part One A child at Gateshead 1 The red room
    
    We could not go for a walk that afternoon.There was such a freezing cold wind,and such heavy rain,that we all stayed indoors.I was glad of it.I never liked long walks,especially in winter.I used to hate coming home when it was almost dark,with ice-cold fingers and toes,feeling miserable bccause Bessie,the nursemaid,was always scolding me.All the time I knew I was different from my cousins,Eliza,John and Georgiana Reed.They were taller and stronger than me,and they were loved.
    These three usually spent their time crying and quarrelling,but today they were sitting quietly around their mother in the sitting-room.I wanted to join the family circle,but Mrs Reed,my aunt,refused Bessie had complainted about me.
    'No,I'm sorry,Jane.Until I hear from Bessie,or see for myself,that you are really trying to behave better,you cannot be treated as a good,happy child,like my children.'
    'What does Bessie say I have done?'I asked.
    'Jane,it is not polite to question me in that way.If you cannot speak pleasantly,be quiet.'
    I crept out of the sitting-room and into the small room next door,where I chose a book full of pictures from the bookcase. I climbed on to the window-seat and drew the curtains,so that I was completely hidden.I sat there for a while.Sometimes I looked out of the window at the grey November afternoon,and saw the rain pouring down on the leafless garden.But most of the time I studied the book and stared,fascinated,at the pictures.Lost in the world of imagination,I forgot my sad,lonely existence for a while,and was happy,I was only afraid that my secret hiding-place might be discovered.
    Suddenly the door of the room opened.John Reed rushed in.
    'Where are you,rat?'he shouted.He did not see me behind the curtain.'Eliza!Georgy!Jane isn't here!Tell Mamma she's run out into the rain—what a bad animal she is!'
    'How lucky I drew the curtain,'I thought.He would never have found me,because he was not very intelligent.But Eliza guessed at once where I was.
    'She's in the window-seat,John,'she called from the sitting-room.So I came out immediately,as I did not want him to pull me out.
    'What do you want?'I asked him.
    'Say,“What do you want,Master Reed”,'he answered,sitting in an armchair.'I want you to come here.'
    John Reed was fourteen and I was only ten.He was large and rather fat.He usually ate too much at meals,which made him ill.He should have been at boarding school,but his mother,who loved him very much,had brought him home for a month or two,because she thought his health was delicate.
    John did not love his mother or his sister,and he hated me He bullied and punished me,not two or three times a week,not once or twice a day,but all the time.My whole body trembled when he came near.Sometimes he hit me,sometimes he just threatened me,and I lived in terrible fear of him.I had no idea about how to stop him.The servants did not want to offend their young master,and Mrs Reed could see no fault in her dear boy.
    So I obeyed John's order and approached his armchair,thinking how very ugly his face was.Perhaps he understood what I was thinking,for he hit me hard on the face.
    'That is for your rudeness to Mamma just now,'he said,'and for your wickedness in hiding,and for looking at me like that,you rat!'I was so used to his bullying that I never thought of hitting him back.
    'What were you doing behind that curtain?'he asked.
    'I was reading,'I answered.
    'Show me the book.'I gave it to him.
    'You have no right to take our books,'he continued.'You have no money and your father left yor none.You ought to beg in the streets,not live here in comfort with a gentleman's family.Aayway,all these books are mine,and so is the whole house,or will be in a few years'time.I'll teach you not to borrow my books again.'He lifted the heavy book and threw it hard at me.
    It hit me and I fell,cutting my head on the door.I was in great pain,and suddenly for the first time in my life,I forgot my fear of John Reed.
    'You wicked,cruel boy!'I cried.'You are a bully!You are as bad as a murderer!'
    'What!What!'he cried.'Did she say that to me?Did you hear,Eliza and Georgiana?I'll tell Mamma,but first…'
    He rushed to attack me,but now he was fighting with a desperate girl.I really saw him as a wicked murderer.I felt the blood running down my face,and the pain gave me strength.I fought back as hard as I could.My resistance surprised him,and he shouted for help.His sisters ran for Mrs Reed,who called her maid,Miss Abbott,and Bessie.They pulled us apart and I heard them say,'What a wicked girl!She attacked Master John!'
    Mrs Reed said calmly,'Take her away to the red room and lock her in there.'And so I was carried upstairs,arms waving and legs kicking.
    As soon as we arrived in the red room,I became quiet again,and the two servants both started scolding me.
    'Really,Miss Eyre,'said Miss Abbott,'how could you hit him?He's your young master!'
    'How can he be my master?I am not a servant!'I cried.
    'No,Miss Eyre,you are less than a servant,because you do not work,replied Miss Abbott.They both looked at me as if they strongly disapproved of me.
    'You should remember,miss,'said Bessie,'that your aunt pays for your food and clothes,and you should be grateful.You have no other relations or friends.'
    All my short life I had been told this,and I had no answer to it.I stayed silent,listening to these painful reminders.
    'And if you are angry and rude,Mrs Reed may send you away,'added Bessie.
    'Anyway,'said Miss Abbott,'God will punish you,Jane Eyre,for your wicked heart.Pray to God,and say you're sorry.'They left the room,locking the door carefully behind them.
    The red room was a cold,silent room,hardly ever used,although it was one of the largest bedrooms in the house.Nine years ago,my uncle,Mr Reed,had died in this room,and since then nobody had wanted to sleep in it.
    Now that I was alone I thought bitterly of the people I lived with.John Reed,his sisters,his mother,the servants,they all accused me,scolded me,hated me.Why could I never please them?Eliza was selfish,but was respected.Georgiana had a bad temper,but she was popular with everybody because she was beautiful John was rude,cruel and violent,but nobody punished him.I tried to make no mistakes,but they called me,naughty every moment of the day.Now that I had turned against John to protect myself,everybody blamed me.
    And so I spent that whole long afternoon in the red room asking myself why I had to suffer and why life was so unfair.Perhaps I would run away,or starve myself to death.
    Gradually it became dark outside.The rain was still beating on the windows,and I could hear the wind in the trees.Now I was no longer angry,and I began to think the Reeds might be right.Perhaps I was wicked.Did I deserve to die,and be buried in the churchyard like my uncle Reed?I could not remember him,but knew he was my mother's brother,who had taken me to his house when my parents both died.On his death bed he had made his wife,aunt Reed,promise to look after me like her own children.I supposed she now regretted her promise.
    A strange idea came to me.I felt sure that if Mr Reed had lived he would have treated me kindly,and now,as I looked round at the dark furniture and the walls in shadow,I began to fear that his ghost might come back to punish his wife for not keeping her promise.He might rise from the grave in the churchyard and appear in this room!I was so frightened by this thought that I hardly dared to breathe.Suddenly in the darkness I saw a light moving on the ceiling.It may have been from a lamp outside,but in my nervous state I did not think of that.I felt sure it must be a ghost,a visitor from another world.My head was hot,my heart beat fast.Was that the sound of wings in my ears?Was that something moving near me?Screaming wildly,I rushed to the door and shook it.Miss Abbott and Bessie came running to open it.
    'Miss Eyre,are you ill?'asked Bessie.
    'Take me out of here!'I screamed.
    'Why?What's the matter?'she asked.
    'I saw a light,and I thought it was a ghost,'I cried,holding tightly on to Bessie's hand.
    'She's not even hurt,'said Miss Abbott in disgust.'She screamed just to bring us here.I know all her little tricks.'
    'What is all this?'demanded an angry voice.Mrs Reed appeared at the door of the room.'Abbott and Bessie,I think I told you to leave Jane Eyre in this room till I came.'
    'She screamed so loudly,ma'am,'said Bessie softly.
    'Let go off her hands,Bessie,'was Mrs Reed's only answer.'Jane Eyre,you need not think you can succeed in getting out of the room like this.Your naughty tricks will not work with me.You will stay here an hour longer as a punishment for trying to deceive us.'
    'Oh aunt,please forgive me!I can't bear it!I shall die if you keep me here…'I screamed and kicked as she held me.
    'Silence!Control yourself!'She pushed me,resisting wildly,back into the red room and locked me in.There I was in the darkness again,with the silence and the ghosts.I must have fainted.I cannot remember anything more.
    
    第一部 盖茨赫德的孩子 1 红房子
    
    那天下午,我们不能出去散步。寒风刺骨,大雨瓢泼,大家都待在家里,我倒是因此感到高兴。我从来不喜欢走长路,特别是在冬天。过去我最讨厌回到家时天色已暗,手脚冰凉,女仆贝茜总是训斥我而使我痛苦不堪。无论何时我都懂得我和我的表兄妹——里德家的伊丽莎、约翰和乔治娜不一样。他们不仅比我高大、强壮,而且还受宠。
    这三个人常常吵闹不休,但今天却和妈妈一起静静地坐在起居室里。我也想参加进去,可我的舅妈里德太太不允许。贝茜告了我的状。
    “对不起,简。如果不听到贝茜说或是由我亲眼看到你的确努力要学好,你就不能像我的孩子那样,被当成是快乐的好孩子。”
    “贝茜说我干什么了?”我问。
    “简,这样问我是不礼貌的。如果你不能好好讲话,就闭嘴。”
    我悄悄退出起居室,走进隔壁的小房间,从书架上选了一本图画书。我爬上窗台,拉好窗帘,把自己整个藏了起来。我坐了一会儿,时而望望窗外。11月的午后天气阴沉,大雨倾泻在秃枝枯叶的花园里。不过大部分时候,我认真读着书,完全被书中的图画吸引住了。我沉浸在想像的世界中,暂时忘掉了伤心和孤单,只感到快活。我唯一担心的就是我的秘密藏身处可能会被发现。
    突然,门开了,约翰·里德冲了进来。
    “老鼠,你在哪儿?”他叫着,没有看到窗帘后面的我。“伊丽莎!乔吉!简不在这儿!告诉妈妈她跑出去淋雨了。真是个畜生!”
    “幸好我拉上了窗帘,”我心想。他永远找不到我,因为他并不聪明。可是,伊丽莎一下子就猜出了我在哪里。
    “约翰,她坐在窗台上。”她在起居室喊道。于是,我赶紧走了出来,因为我不愿意他来拽我。
    “你想怎样?”我问道。
    “说'里德主人,您想要什么',”他坐在椅子子说。“我要你过来。”
    约翰·里德已经14岁了,而我只有10岁。他长得又高又胖,常常狼吞虎咽吃得太多,以致闹病。他本该上寄宿学校的,可是他妈妈太宠他,把他接回家一两个月,因为她觉得他身体弱。
    约翰既不喜欢他的母亲,也不喜欢他的妹妹,对我更只有恨。他欺侮我,惩罚我,不是一星期两三次,也不是一天里一两次,而是随时随地。他一靠近,我就浑身打颤。他有时打我,有时吓唬我,我整天生活在对他的恐惧中,我根本不知道如何阻止他。仆人们不愿得罪他们的小主人,而里德太太根本看不到她的心肝宝贝会有什么错。
    于是,我服从了约翰的命令,走向他坐的椅子,心想他那张脸真是丑极了。可能他看出了我的心思,用手重重地打在我的脸上。
    “这是罚你刚才对妈妈无礼,”他说,“罚你藏起来的鬼主意,罚你那么瞪着我,你这老鼠!”我已经习惯了被他欺负,从没想过要还手。
    “你在帘子后面干什么?”他问。
    “我在读书,”我答道。
    “给我看看。”我将书递了过去。
    “你没权拿我们的书。”他接着说。“你身无分文,你父亲也没给你留下一分钱。你应该上街讨饭,而不是在一位绅士家里过舒服日子。不管怎样,这些书都是我的,几年以后整幢房子也是我的了。我要教训你别再借我的书。”他举起重重的书,狠狠地打在我身上。
    我被打倒在地,头碰在门上磕破了。我感到疼痛不堪,平生第一次突然忘记了我对约翰·里德的恐惧。
    “你这个残忍的坏蛋!”我喊着,“你欺侮人!你像个刽子手!”
    “什么!什么!”他叫嚷着,“她说我什么?伊丽莎,乔吉,你们听到了吗?我要告诉妈妈去,可是我先得……”
    他冲过来打我,不过现在他的对手是一个绝望的女孩子。我真的觉得他是个刽子手坏蛋。我感到血从脸上流下来,疼痛给了我力量,我使出全力还手了。我的反抗吓了他一跳,他大声求救。他的妹妹们跑去叫里德太太,里德太太又叫上了仆人阿伯特小姐和贝茜。她们把我们拉开,我听到她们说:“多坏的小丫头!她竟打了约翰主人!”
    里德太太平静地说:“把她带到红房子里锁起来。”于是手脚并用、极力挣扎的我被抱到了楼上。
    一进红房子,我又安静下来,两个仆人开始训斥我。
    “说真的,爱小姐,”阿伯特小姐说,“你怎么能打他呢?他是你的小主人啊!”
    “他怎么是我的主人?我又不是仆人!”我喊道。
    “不,爱小姐。你连仆人都不如,因为你不干活。”阿伯特小姐答道。她们都瞪着我,好像很不赞同我。
    “小姐,你应该记住,”贝茜说,“你的舅妈负担你的衣食,你应该感恩才对。你再没有其他亲戚朋友了。”
    在我短短的一生中,总是听到这样的活,而我又无以对答。我沉默着,痛苦地听着她们的提醒。
    “如果你生气、粗鲁的话,里德太太可能会把你送走。”贝茜又说。
    阿伯特小姐说:“不管怎样,上帝会惩罚你这颗邪恶的心的,简·爱。向上帝祈祷,说你抱歉。”她们把门仔细锁好,然后走了。
    红房子阴冷、寂静,尽管是最大的卧室之一,却很少使用。九年前,我舅舅里德先生就死在这里。从此,没人再愿睡在里面了。
    我孤单单的,心里痛苦地思量着和我一起生活的这些人。约翰·里德,他的妹妹们,他的母亲,仆人——他们所有的人都指责我、训斥我、恨我。为什么我总不能让他们高兴呢?伊丽莎自私,却得到尊重。乔治娜脾气坏却人人喜欢,因为她长得漂亮。约翰粗鲁、残忍、凶暴,却没人惩罚他。我尽量不犯错误,可他们每时每刻都说我捣乱。现在我为了保护自己反抗了约翰,更成了众矢之的。
    整整一个漫长的下午,我都待在红房子里问自己,为什么我非得受苦,为什么生活如此不公平。也许我应该跑掉或干脆饿死。
    天渐渐黑了,雨点仍然拍打着窗户,还可以听到风在树枝间呼啸。我已经不生气了,甚至开始觉得也许里德一家是对的。也许我真的挺坏,我是不是应该死,然后像里德舅舅一样被埋在教堂的院子里?我已记不起他了,但我知道他是我妈妈的哥哥。我双亲过世后,他收留了我。临死前,他要妻子里德太太保证像照顾自己的孩子一样照顾我。我想她现在后悔自己的许诺了。
    我产生了一个怪念头。我能肯定如果里德先生仍在世,他会好好待我的。现在我环顾黑暗中的家具和墙壁,开始害怕他的鬼魂会回来因他的妻子不能信守诺言而惩罚她。他可能从教堂院子里的坟墓走出来,出现在这间屋里!我被这念头吓坏了,连气都不敢喘。突然,黑暗中我看到一道光闪过屋顶,可能是外面的灯光,可我在惊恐之中,没想到这些。我觉得那一定是鬼魂,是来自另一个世界的人。我的头胀起来,心狂跳不已。我耳朵听到的是不是翅膀的声音?是不是有什么东西在靠近我?我尖叫着冲到门口,使劲地摇门,阿伯特小姐和贝茜赶紧跑来开门。
    “爱小姐,你病了吗?”贝茜问。
    “把我放出去!”我尖叫着。
    “为什么?怎么了?”她问。
    “我看到一道光,我觉得那是鬼。”我哭着紧紧抓住贝茜的手。
    “她连伤都没有,”阿伯特小姐厌恶地说。“她叫喊就是要我们来。我知道她的小把戏。”
    “这是怎么了?”一个声音愤怒地问。里德太太出现在门口。“阿伯特,贝茜,我不是告诉你们我来之前让简待在这屋子里吗?”
    “太太,她叫得太凶了,”贝茜轻声说。
    “贝茜,让她松开手,”里德太太答道。“简·爱,你别以为这样就可以离开这屋子,你的捣蛋把戏对我行不通。你再在这里关一个钟头,罚你企图欺骗我们。”
    “噢,舅妈,请原谅我!我受不了!你把我关在这儿,我会死的……”我尖叫着,在她手中挣扎着。
    “安静!自制一点儿!”她把拼命反抗的我又推进房间里锁了起来。我重新陷入了黑暗,伴着寂静和鬼魂。我一定是昏过去了,其他的什么也记不起来了。
    

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