远离尘嚣
Far from the Madding Crowd


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    1 Gabriel Oak falls in love
    1 Gabriel Oak falls in love
    
    Gabriel Oak was a sensible man of good character, who had been brought up by his father as a shepherd, and then managed to save enough money to rent his own farm on Norcombe Hill,in Dorset. He was twenty-eight,a tall,well-built man,who did not seem,however,to think his appear-ance was very important.
    One winter morning he was in one of his fields on the side of Norcombe Hill . Looking over his gate,Gabriel could see a yellow cart,loaded with furniture and plants,coming up the road. Right on top of the pile sat a handsome young woman As Gabriel was watching,the cart stopped at the top of the hill,and the driver climbed down to go back and fetch some-thing that had fallen off.
    The girl sat quietly in the sunshine for a few minutes. Then she picked up a parcel lying next to her,and looked round to see if the driver was coming back. There was no sign of him. She unwrapped the parcel,and took out the mirror it con-tained. The sun shone on her lovely face and hair. Although it was December,she looked almost summery,sitting there in her bright red jacket with the fresh green plants around her. She looked at herself in the mirror and smiled,thinking that only the birds could see her. But behind the gate Gabriel Oak was watching too.
    ‘She must be rather vain,’he thought. ‘She doesn't need to look in that mirror at all! ’
    As the girl smiled and blushed at herself,she seemed to be dreaming,dreaming perhaps of men's hearts won and lost. When she heard the driver's footsteps,she packed the mirror away. The cart moved on downhill to the toll-gate. Gabriel followed on foot. As he came closer he could hear the driver arguing with the gatekeeper.
    ‘My mistress's niece,that's her on top of the furniture,is not going to pay you the extra twopence ,’said the driver. ‘She says she's offered you quite enough already. ’
    ‘Well,if she doesn't pay the toll,your mistress's niece can't pass through the gate,’replied the gatekeeper.
    Gabriel thought that twopence did not seem worth bothering about, so he stepped forward. ‘Here,’he said,handing the coins to the gatekeeper,‘let the young woman pass. ’
    The girl in the red jacket looked carelessly down at Gabriel,and told her man to drive on,without even thanking the farmer. Gabriel and the gatekeeper watched the cart move away. ‘That's a lovely young woman,’said the gatekeeper.
    ‘But she has her faults,’answered Gabriel.
    ‘True,farmer. ’
    ‘And the greatest of them is what it always is with women. ’
    ‘Wanting to win the argument every time?Oh,you're right. ’
    ‘No,her great fault is that she's vain. ’
    A few days later,at nearly midnight on the longest night of the year,Gabriel Oak could be heard playing his flute on Nor-combe Hill. The sky was so clear and the stars so visible that the earth could almost be seen turning. In that cold,hard air the sweet notes of the flute rang out. The music came from a little hut on wheels,standing in the corner of a field. Shep-herds'huts like this are used as a shelter during the winter and spring,when shepherds have to stay out all night in the fields,looking after very young lambs.
    Gabriel's two hundred and fifty sheep were not yet paid for He knew that,in order to make a success of the farming business,he had to make sure they produced a large number of healthy lambs. So he was determined to spend as many nights as necessary in the fields,to save his lambs from dying of cold or hunger.
    The hut was warm and quite comfortable inside. There was a stove,and some bread and beer on a shelf. On each side of the hut was a round hole like a window,which could be closed with a piece of wood. These air-holes were usually kept open when the stove was burning, because too much smoke in a small,airless hut could kill the shepherd.
    From time to time the sound of the flute stopped, and Gabriel came out of his hut to check his sheep. Whenever he discovered a half-dead new lamb,he brought the creature into the hut. In front of the stove it soon came back to life,and then he could return it to its mother.
    He noticed a light further down the hill. It came from a wooden hut at the edge of a field. He walked down to it and put his eye to a hole in the wood. Inside,two women were feeding a sick cow. One of the women was middle-aged. The other was young and wore a cloak. Gabriel could not see her face.
    ‘ I think she'll be all right now,aunt,’said the younger woman. ‘I can come and feed her again in the morning. What a pity I lost my hat on the way here!’Just then the girl dropped her cloak,and her long hair fell on to the shoulders of her red jacket. Gabriel recognized the girl of the yellow cart and the mirror,the girl who owed him twopence.
    The women left the hut,and Gabriel returned to his sheep.
    As the sun was rising the next morning, Gabriel waited out-side his hut until he saw the young woman riding up the hill. She was sitting sideways on the horse in the usual lady's posi-tion. He suddenly thought of the hat she had lost,searched for it,and found it among some leaves on the ground. He was just going to go up to her to give it back, when the girl did some-thing very strange. Riding under the low branches of a tree,she dropped backwards flat on the horse's back,with her feet on its shoulders. Then,first looking round to make sure no one was watching,she sat up straight again and pulled her dress to her knees,with her legs on either side of the horse. This was obviously easier for riding,but not very ladylike. Gabriel was surprised and amused by her behaviour. He waited until she returned from her aunt's hut,and stepped out into the path in front of her.
    ‘I found a hat,’he said.
    ‘It's mine,’she said. She put it on and smiled. ‘It flew away. ’
    ‘At one o'clock this morning?’
    ‘Well,yes. I needed my hat this morning. I had to ride to the hut in that field,where there's a sick cow belonging to my aunt. ’
    ‘Yes,I know. I saw you. ’
    ‘Where?’she asked,horrified.
    ‘Riding all the way up the hill,along the path,’said Gabriel,thinking of her unladylike position on the horse's back.
    A deep blush spread from her head to her neck. Gabriel turned sympathetically away,wondering when he dared look at her again. When he turned back,she had gone.
    Five mornings and evenings passed. The young woman came regularly to take care of the sick cow,but never spoke to Gabriel. He felt very sorry he had offended her so much by telling her he had seen her when she thought she was alone.
    Then,one freezing night,Gabriel returned,exhausted,to his hut. The warm air from the stove made him sleepy,and he forgot to open one of the air-holes before going to sleep. The next thing he knew was that the girl with the lovely face was 10 with him in the hut,holding his head in her arms.
    ‘Whatever is happening?’he asked,only half-conscious.
    ‘Nothing now,’she answered,‘but you could have died in this hut of yours. ’
    ‘Yes,I suppose I could,’said Gabriel. He was hoping he could stay there,close to her, for a long time He wanted to tell her so,but he knew he could not express himself well,so he stayed silent. ‘How did you find me?’he asked in the end.
    ‘Oh,I heard your dog scratching at the door,so I came to see what the matter was. I opened the door,and found you unconscious. It must have been the smoke from the stove. ’
    ‘I believe you saved my life,Miss——I don't know your name.
    ‘There's no need to know it. I probably won't see you again. ’
    ‘My name is Gabriel Oak. ’
    ‘Mine isn't. You sound very proud of your name. ’
    ‘Well,it's the only one I shall ever have. ’
    ‘I don't like mine. ’
    ‘I should think you'll soon get a new one. ’
    ‘Well!That's my business,Gabriel Oak. ’
    ‘I'm not very clever at talking,miss,but I want to thank you. Come,give me your hand!’
    She hesitated,then offered her hand. He took it,but held it for only a moment. ‘I'm sorry,’he said. ‘I didn't mean to let your hand go so quickly. ’
    ‘You may have it again then. Here it is. ’
    Gabriel held it longer this time. ‘How soft it is,even in winter,not rough at all! ’he said.
    ‘there,that's long enough,’she said,but without pulling it away. ‘But I suppose you're thinking you'd like to kiss it?You may if you want to. ’
    ‘I wasn't thinking any such thing,’said Gabriel,‘but—’
    ‘Oh no you won't!’She pulled her hand sharply away. ‘Now discover my name,’she added,laughing,and left.
    
    1 盖伯瑞尔·奥克在恋爱
    
    盖伯瑞尔·奥克有头脑,性格好,他的父亲把他带大成为一个牧羊人。以后他设法攒足了钱在多塞特的诺科姆租下自己的农场。他28岁,身材高大魁梧,不过他好像并不认为自己的外表很重要。
    一个冬日的早晨,他正在诺科姆山边的一块地里。越过大门,盖伯瑞尔能够看到一辆黄色的装满家具和花木的马车朝路这边驶来。在那一堆东西的顶上坐着一位面容姣好的年轻女人。当盖伯瑞尔正盯着看时,马车在山顶停了下来。车夫爬下马车,回去拣掉了的东西。
    姑娘在太阳下静静地坐了几分钟,然后她拿起身边的一个包袱,四下看看车夫是否回来了。没有车夫的影子。她打开包袱,从里面拿出镜子。太阳照在她漂亮的脸上和头发上。身着红色上衣坐在那里,被鲜绿的花木簇拥着,虽然是在12月,看上去她像在夏日。她看着镜子里的自己笑了,以为只有鸟会看到。但是在大门后边盖伯瑞尔也正在看着。
    “她一定很虚荣,”他想,“她根本不需要照镜子!”
    当姑娘看到镜子里的自己笑着羞红了脸时,她似乎在做梦,也许幻想着赢得的和失去的男人心。当听到车夫的脚步声时,她收起了镜子。马车继续向山下的路卡驶去。盖伯瑞尔徒步跟随着。当他走近时,他听到车夫在和守卡人争吵。
    “我的女主人的侄女就坐在家具上,不会再给你两便士,”车夫说。“她说她给你的钱已足够了。”
    “好吧,如果你的女主人的侄女不付过路钱,她就不能从路卡通过,”守卡人回答。
    盖伯瑞尔觉得不值得为两便士如此劳神,所以他走向前。“给,”他说,把硬币递给了守卡人,“让这个姑娘过去。”
    穿红色上衣的姑娘不经意地向下看看盖伯瑞尔,吩咐车夫继续赶路,甚至都没有谢一声农夫。盖伯瑞尔和守卡人看着马车走远了。“那个年轻姑娘很漂亮,”守卡人说。
    “不过她有她的缺点,”盖伯瑞尔回答。
    “没错,农夫。”
    “最严重的缺点总是与女人为伴。”
    “每次都想取胜?噢,你说得对。”
    “不,她最大的缺点是虚荣。”
    几天后,在一年中夜最长的那个午夜,可以听到盖伯瑞尔·奥克在诺科姆山上吹笛子。天空是那样晴朗,星星是那样清晰可辨,似乎都能看到地球在转动。在那寒冷的空中回荡着甜美的笛声。在田野的一隅停着一辆车,车上有一间棚屋,音乐即从此传出。冬春两季里,当牧羊人必须整夜呆在户外田野里照料羊羔时,他们的这种棚屋就权当做遮风避寒处。
    盖伯瑞尔的250只羊还没有付钱。他懂得若想靠养羊发迹,他就得保证这些羊能生出大批健康的羊羔。所以他决定需要多少个夜晚留在田野上他就化多少个夜晚,以免羊羔被冻死、饿死。
    棚屋里很温暖也很舒眼。有一个炉子,架子上有面包和啤酒。在棚屋的两侧各有一个像窗户的圆孔.可以用一块木头关上。当炉子燃着火时,这些通气孔通常是开着的,因为狭小、不通风的小屋中若有过多的烟,会使牧羊人丧生的。
    笛声不时地停下来,盖伯瑞尔走出他的小屋查看羊群。一旦发现一只半死的新生羊羔,他就把那可怜的东西带到屋里。新生羊羔在炉子前很快就活过来了,然后他就把羊羔送还给它的妈妈。
    盖伯瑞尔注意到在山下有灯光。灯光来自田地边的一座木屋。他下山走近木屋,把眼睛凑向木屋的一个洞。里边两个女人正在喂一头生病的母牛。其中一个是中年妇女,另一个年轻,穿着一件斗篷。盖伯瑞尔看不到她的脸。
    “姑妈,我想她很快会好的,”年轻些的那个女人说。“早晨我可以再来喂她。多可惜,我来这里的路上把帽子丢了!”就在这个时候,姑娘脱掉了斗篷,长长的头发披在她的红色上衣的肩上。盖伯瑞尔认出这个姑娘就是坐在黄色马车上照镜子的姑娘,那个欠他两便士的姑娘。
    两个女人离开了小屋,盖伯瑞尔也回到羊群中。
    第二天早晨当太阳升起时,盖伯瑞尔在他的小屋外等着,后来他看见那个姑娘骑马上山来。她以女士通常所用的姿势双腿朝向一边地坐在马上。突然他想起她丢失的帽子,就去找寻,他在地上的落叶中发现了那顶帽子。他正打算上前把帽子还给那位姑娘,那位姑娘却做了件很特别的事。骑马行进在一棵树的矮枝下,她向后平躺在马背上,两脚搭在马的肩上。接着,她先四下看看,确信没有人在看她时,又重新坐直,把裙子拉至膝部,两腿分开,搭在马的两侧。这样骑起来当然容易些,只是不像女士所为。盖伯瑞尔对她的行为觉得又惊奇又有趣。他一直等到她从她的姑妈屋里返回时,才走到路上停在她的面前。
    “我找到了一顶帽子,”他说。
    “是我的,”她说。她把帽子戴上笑了笑。“是被风刮跑的。”
    “是在今天凌晨一点的时候?”
    “是的。我今早需要我的帽子。我得骑马去那块地里的那间小屋,那儿,我姑妈的一头牛生病了。”
    “对,我知道。我看见你了。”
    “在哪儿?”她问,大吃一惊。
    “我看见你沿着这条路一路骑马上了山,”盖伯瑞尔说,想到了她骑在马上不雅观的姿势。
    她从头到脖子变得绯红。盖伯瑞尔同情地转身走开,不知道什么时候自己敢再看她。当他回身时,她已走了。
    以后的五个早晚,这个姑娘都定期来照料病牛,但一直没与盖伯瑞尔讲话。盖伯瑞尔对惹恼她深感不安,因为他告诉她自己看见了她,而她却以为那时无人在旁。
    在一个滴水成冰的夜晚,盖伯瑞尔精疲力尽地回到自己的小屋。炉子里散出的热气让他感到瞌睡,在睡着前,他忘记打开一个通气孔。接下来他知道的就是那位面容姣好的姑娘和他一起在屋里,用胳膊扶着他的头。
    “究竟发生了什么事?”他迷迷糊糊地问。
    “现在没事了,”她回答说,“你本来也许会死在你的这间小屋里。”
    “是的,我想会的,”盖伯瑞尔说。他希望能挨着她呆很长时间。他想让她知道,但他明白他不是很会表达自己的心情,所以就沉默不语。“你是怎么发现我的?”他最后问道。
    “我听到你的狗在抓门,就来看是怎么回事。我打开门,发现你正昏迷不醒。一定是炉子里的烟熏的。”
    “我想你救了我的命,小姐——我不知道你的名字。”
    “没有必要知道。我也许不会再见到你。”
    “我叫盖伯瑞尔·奥克。”
    “我的名字不一样。你好像很为你的名字骄傲。”
    “是的,它将是我唯一的名字。”
    “我不喜欢我的名字。”
    “我想不久你就会有一个新名字。”
    “哼,那是我的事,盖伯瑞尔·奥克。”
    “我不很善于交谈,小姐,不过我想谢谢你。来,把手给我!”
    她有点犹豫,接着伸出了手。他接住她的手,但只握了一下。“很抱歉,”他说。“我并不是故意这么快就松开你的手。”
    “那你还可以再握住。给你。”
    盖伯瑞尔这一次握得时间长一些。“多么柔软呵,即便在冬天也一点不粗糙!”他说。
    “喂,你握的时间够长了,”她说,但并没有抽回手。“我猜你是否正在考虑要吻我的手?如果你愿意,你可以这么做。”
    “我根本没这么想,”盖伯瑞尔说,“不过——”
    “欧,不,你不可以!”她突然把手抽了回去。“现在看你能不能搞清我叫什么名字,”她加了一句,笑着走掉了。
    

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