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庄园里的年轻人(中)  

2015-12-28 15:09:00|  分类: 译著 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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庄园里的年轻人(中)


【英】鲁迪亚德·吉卜林 著

                熊良銋 译

 

“那个撒克逊人就是见习修道士休子吗?”丹恩问道。

“就是他,而且还有更多。他在鲁昂的贝克修道院进修了三年,”理查德爵士咯咯笑道。“可是修道院的赫伦院长容不下我。”

“他为什么容不下你?”丹恩问道。

“因为我骑马进了修道院的餐厅,当时学者们正在用餐。我想让撒克逊男士们看看,我们诺尔曼人不怕修道院的院长。正是那个撒克逊人休子诱使我那么做的,而且从那天以后,我们就再也没有见过面。我想即使我蒙在头盔里也能辨得出他的嗓音。尽管我们的主子一直在交恶,值得庆幸的是,我们俩不曾相互残杀。他来到我身边对我说,他相信这把剑是一位异教之神赠送给他的,但是他说,以前他从没听见它唱歌。我记得我曾提醒过他,要当心魔法和走火入魔。”理查德爵士暗自笑道.”我那时真的太幼稚太年轻了!

“当我们来到他这里的家时,我们把战事几乎忘光了。临近午夜时分,大厅里挤满了男男女女,等候发布消息。在那里我第一次见到他姐姐艾露伊娃女士,他原先对我们说过她在法国。她一见到我就怒不可遏,大喊着要把我立即绞死。但是她弟弟说,我救过他的性命,现在该有他从撒克逊人手中救我一命了。他还说,我们的公爵在大战中获得全胜。即使这样,他们还在争论怎么处置我。这时他突然伤口发作,晕倒在地。”

“‘这全是你的错,’艾露伊娃对我埋怨道。他鬼在他身旁,呼喊着要酒精和纱布。

“‘要是我早知道他有创伤,’我应声大道。‘我就会让他骑马我步行的。可是他毫无怨言地把我扶上马的。一路上她走在我身边,有说有笑的。但愿我没有做加害于他的事。’

“‘那你只有祈求上帝了,’她翘起嘴唇说道。‘他要是死了,你也活不成!’

“他们把休子抬回卧室,家里三个彪形大汉把我捆绑了起来,绞索套在我的脖子上,押到大厅的梁柱下。他们把绞索的另一端拴在横梁上,然后坐在火炉边,等候传来休子死活的消息。同时用刀柄砸坚果吃。”

“你当时感觉怎样?”丹恩问道。

“我感到精疲力尽了。但我还是为老友休子的健康衷心祈祷。大约在正午,我听到从山谷里传来战马的嘶鸣,那三个大汉松开了我脖子上的绞索,逃之夭夭了。德·阿奎拉的人马冲了上来,吉尔伯特·德·阿奎拉跟着他们一起冲。因为他自我吹嘘说,跟他父亲一样,他不会忘记任何一个效忠于他的人。他的个头跟他父亲一样矮小,但是他那老鹰般的钩鼻子和黄眼睛却很可怕。他骑着他亲自喂养的高大的战马玉花骢,从来就不需要别人扶他上马。他看见悬挂在横梁上的绞索,就放声大笑,他的部众都笑了,因为我浑身僵硬站不起来。”

“‘这就是一位诺尔曼骑士受到的款待,’他说道。‘不过,这已经是谢天谢地了。告诉我,小伙子,你认为谁欠的最多,我们会立即偿还他们。’”

“他说这话是什么意思?要杀掉他们?”丹恩问道。

“肯定是的。可是,我看见艾露伊娃女士站在女仆中间,她弟弟就在她身边。德·阿奎拉的部下已经把他们都赶进大厅里了。”

“她长得美吗?”乌娜问道。

“我有生以来还没有看见过象我的艾露伊娃女士这样风姿绰绰的女人,”骑士率直而平静地答道。“我一看到她,就想开个玩笑,救了她全家。

“‘鉴于我到来得有点匆匆,没有事先打招呼,’我对德·阿奎拉说道。‘我对于这些撒克逊人的礼遇,倒觉得没有什么不对。’说这话时,我的嗓音有点发颤。因为跟这个小个子上司开玩笑,可不是好玩的。

“一时间鸦雀无声,最后小德·阿奎拉大笑了起来。‘勇士们,瞧,奇迹发生了!’他说道。‘战斗还没有结束,我父亲的尸骨还没有埋葬。我们却在这里发现,我们最年轻的骑士已经在他的庄园里安顿下来,接受撒克逊人的殷勤款待了!凭着圣徒起誓,这一切你们可以从他们肥胖的脸上看得出来。’他揉揉鹰钩鼻子继续说。‘我从来没想到,政府英格兰竟是如此之容易!小伙子已经得到的东西,我肯定不能不给。年轻人,这座庄园就归你了,’他说道。‘直到我回来,或是你战死。全体勇士们,现在我们上马出发。我们要跟随公爵奔赴肯特,拥戴他为英格兰国王。’

“他手牵着我来到大门口,正好他的随从把他的玉花骢牵了过来。他那精干的玉花骢比我的轻飞燕高大,但没有轻飞燕肥实。

“‘且听我言,’他一边说,一边摆弄着宽大的军用手套。‘我把这座庄园给了你,这可是撒克逊人的马蜂窝。我估摸一个月之后你会被杀死,就象我父亲那样。不过,只要你能坚持守住大厅的屋顶,谷仓的茅棚,沟垄的犁耙,等到我回来,我就把这座庄园永远封给你。因为威廉公爵已经答应我们的莫尔坦伯爵,要把皮文西的全部土地封给他。莫尔坦伯爵会把封给我父亲的土地封给我。你我能不能活到政府英格兰全境的那一刻,只有天知道。但是年轻人请记住,此地此时,打仗是蠢事。’他伸手去拉马缰绳,继续说道:‘而能力和智谋才是真道理。’

“‘哎呀,我没有智谋,’我说道。

“‘你现在是还没有,’他说着足踏马镫,跃上马背,用马刺踢打着马腹。‘当然还没有,但是我想你有一位好老师。再会啦!保住庄园,好好活着。失去庄园,在劫难逃。’说罢,他策马而出,盾牌的链条在身后铿锵坐想。

“啊,孩子们!就这样,当时在这里的我,刚刚成年,桑特拉彻战斗结束才两天,就带着三十名武士,要在陌生的土地上单独担起守土的重任,为了守卫住这块刚夺取到的土地,必须置身于一个我不会说也听不懂他们语言的民族,制服他们。”

“就是在这里安家啦?”乌娜问道。

 “是的,就在这里安家了。你们看!从韦兰渡的上渡口到美人巷附近的下渡口,东西之间宽约十来里路程。从我们身后布鲁南堡的比肯山,南北之间长约二十里。整座森林挤满了桑特拉彻战斗的伤兵、撒克逊盗贼、诺尔曼匪帮、劫掠者、偷猎者。确实是个马蜂窝!

“小德·阿奎拉走后,休子就感谢我救了他一家人的性命。但是艾露伊娃女士说,我这么做只是为了占有这座庄园。

“‘可我怎么知道小德·阿奎拉会给我这座庄园?’我说道。‘要是我如实告诉他,我的脖子上套着绞索在你家度过了整个夜晚,他早就纵火把这个地方焚烧两次了。’

“‘假若有人敢把绞索套在我的脖子上,’她说道。‘我在达成协议前,就会把他的房子焚烧三次了。’

“‘可给我套上绞索的是一个女人,’我说着笑了。但她却哭了起来,说我是在嘲笑她这个俘虏。

 “‘女士,我说,‘整个山谷里只有一个俘虏,他不是撒克逊人。

“听我这么说,她便大嚷大闹起来,说我是一个诺尔曼强盗,一开始就不怀好心,假惺惺的甜言蜜语,想把她赶到荒野外去讨米要饭。流落荒野!她简直不明白战争是怎么回事!

“我很气愤,回答道:‘话说到这份上,我总能为自己辩解一下吧,因为我可以发誓!’于是我就地对着剑柄起誓道:‘我发誓,除非艾露伊娃女士亲自来召唤我,我决不会踏进这个大厅。’

“她走了,一言不发。我走出大厅,休子跟在我身后一瘸一拐地走着,低声吹着忧伤的口哨,这是英国人的一种习俗。我们突然遇见了那三个捆绑我的撒克逊大汉,他们现在被我的武士捆绑起来了。他们身后站着庄园和宅邸的大约五十名怒气冲冲的村民,等着看怎样收场。我们还依稀听到德·阿奎拉的号角声向肯特方向的森林远去。

“‘要不要把他们绞死?’我的甲兵问道。”

“‘那样做,我的村民会拼命。’休子低声说道。于是我命令他去问问那三个大汉想不想求饶。‘决不求饶,’他们一齐答道。‘艾露伊娃命令我们,如若主人死了,就把你绞死。我们早就应该绞死你的。动手吧,废话少说。’

“我正站在那里犹疑不决,突然一个女人从国王山上橡树林那边跑下来,大声喊着说,有一群诺尔曼人把那儿的牲猪全都赶走了。

“‘不管他们是诺尔曼人还是撒克逊人,’我说道。‘我们都必须把他们赶走,否则他们会天天来打劫的。你们有什么武器就拿什么武器,把他们赶出去!’于是,我释放了那三个汉子。然后我们一起出发了,我率领我的武士们,休子率领那些隐蔽在茅屋草棚里的撒克逊刀斧手。我们在国王山的半坡上遇见一个来自皮卡迪的混小子,他是公爵军营的小酒贩。他举着一位已故骑士的盾牌,骑着一匹偷来的战马,身后尾随着十多个浪人,都在忙着鞭打驱赶猪群。我们一举击败了他们,夺回了我们的牲猪。在这场大战中,我们救出了一百七十头猪,”理查德爵士笑着说道。

“这是我们第一次成功的合作。我命令休子告诉他的乡亲:无论是骑士还是乡民,诺曼人还是撒克逊人,谁也不准盗窃谷地一草一木,如有违者,我将一视同仁,严惩不贷。我们骑马回家时,休子夸我道:‘今天晚上你已经一举征服了英格兰。’我回答道:‘英格兰既是你的,也是我的。休子,帮我治理好这里的人民吧。一定要让他们明白,如果他们杀了我,德·阿奎拉肯定会派兵来剿杀他们。他会派一个更凶残的人来接替我。’‘那是非常有可能的。’他说着把手向我伸了出来。‘在让你们诺尔曼人卷起被盖滚回老家以前,我们宁可与认识的魔鬼打交道,不愿与不认识的魔鬼打交道。’他们撒克逊人也都这么说。我们一起赶着猪群下山时,他们都笑了起来。但是我在想,他们有些人即使在那时就开始不再仇恨我了。”


附录:原文 


Young Men at the Manor  (Part II)

 

Written by Rudyard Kipling

Translated by Liangren Xiong

 

‘And was that Saxon Hugh the novice?’ Dan asked.

‘Yes, and more than that. He had been for three years at the monastery at Bec by Rouen, where’— Sir Richard chuckled —‘the Abbot Herluin would not suffer me to remain.’

‘Why wouldn’t he?’ said Dan.

‘Because I rode my horse into the refectory, when the scholars were at meat, to show the Saxon boys we Normans were not afraid of an abbot. It was that very Saxon Hugh tempted me to do it, and we had not met since that day. I thought I knew his voice even inside my helmet, and, for all that our Lords fought, we each rejoiced we had not slain the other. He walked by my side, and he told me how a Heathen God, as he believed, had given him his sword, but he said he had never heard it sing before. I remember I warned him to beware of sorcery and quick enchantments.’ Sir Richard smiled to himself. ‘I was very young — very young!

‘When we came to his house here we had almost forgotten that we had been at blows. It was near midnight, and the Great Hall was full of men and women waiting news. There I first saw his sister, the Lady ?lueva, of whom he had spoken to us in France. She cried out fiercely at me, and would have had me hanged in that hour, but her brother said that I had spared his life — he said not how he saved mine from his Saxons — and that our Duke had won the day; and even while they wrangled over my poor body, of a sudden he fell down in a swoon from his wounds.

‘“This is thy fault,” said the Lady ?lueva to me, and she kneeled above him and called for wine and cloths.

‘“If I had known,” I answered, “he should have ridden and I walked. But he set me on my horse; he made no complaint; he walked beside me and spoke merrily throughout. I pray I have done him no harm.”

‘“Thou hast need to pray,” she said, catching up her underlip. “If he dies, thou shalt hang!”

‘They bore off Hugh to his chamber; but three tall men of the house bound me and set me under the beam of the Great Hall with a rope round my neck. The end of the rope they flung over the beam, and they sat them down by the fire to wait word whether Hugh lived or died. They cracked nuts with their knife-hilts the while.’

‘And how did you feel?’ said Dan.

‘Very weary; but I did heartily pray for my schoolmate Hugh his health. About noon I heard horses in the valley, and the three men loosed my ropes and fled out, and De Aquila’s men rode up. Gilbert de Aquila came with them, for it was his boast that, like his father, he forgot no man that served him. He was little, like his father, but terrible, with a nose like an eagle’s nose and yellow eyes like an eagle. He rode tall war-horses — roans, which he bred himself — and he could never abide to be helped into the saddle. He saw the rope hanging from the beam and laughed, and his men laughed, for I was too stiff to rise.

‘“This is poor entertainment for a Norman knight,” he said, “but, such as it is, let us be grateful. Show me, boy, to whom thou owest most, and we will pay them out of hand.”’

‘What did he mean? To kill ’em?’ said Dan.

‘Assuredly. But I looked at the Lady ?lueva where she stood among her maids, and her brother beside her. De Aquila’s men had driven them all into the Great Hall.’

‘Was she pretty?’ said Una.

‘In all my life I had never seen woman fit to strew rushes before my Lady ?lueva,’ the knight replied, quite simply and quietly. ‘As I looked at her I thought I might save her and her house by a jest.

‘“Seeing that I came somewhat hastily and without warning,” said I to De Aquila,

“I have no fault to find with the courtesy that these Saxons have shown me.” But my voice shook. It is — it was not good to jest with that little man.

‘All were silent awhile, till De Aquila laughed. “Look, men — a miracle!” said he. “The fight is scarce sped, my father is not yet buried, and here we find our youngest knight already set down in his Manor, while his Saxons — ye can see it in their fat faces — have paid him homage and service! By the Saints,” he said, rubbing his nose, “I never thought England would be so easy won! Surely I can do no less than give the lad what he has taken. This Manor shall be thine, boy,” he said, “till I come again, or till thou art slain. Now, mount, men, and ride. We follow our Duke into Kent to make him King of England.”

‘He drew me with him to the door while they brought his horse — a lean roan, taller than my Swallow here, but not so well girthed.

‘“Hark to me,” he said, fretting with his great war-gloves. “I have given thee this Manor, which is a Saxon hornets’ nest, and I think thou wilt be slain in a month — as my father was slain. Yet if thou canst keep the roof on the hall, the thatch on the barn, and the plough in the furrow till I come back, thou shalt hold the Manor from me; for the Duke has promised our Earl Mortain all the lands by Pevensey, and Mortain will give me of them what he would have given my father. God knows if thou or I shall live till England is won; but remember, boy, that here and now fighting is foolishness and”— he reached for the reins —“craft and cunning is all.”

‘“Alas, I have no cunning,” said I.

‘“Not yet,” said he, hopping abroad, foot in stirrup, and poking his horse in the belly with his toe. “Not yet, but I think thou hast a good teacher. Farewell! Hold the Manor and live. Lose the Manor and hang,” he said, and spurred out, his shield-straps squeaking behind him.

‘So, children, here was I, little more than a boy, and Santlache fight not two days old, left alone with my thirty men-at-arms, in a land I knew not, among a people whose tongue I could not speak, to hold down the land which I had taken from them.’

‘And that was here at home?’ said Una.

‘Yes, here. See! From the Upper Ford, Weland’s Ford, to the Lower Ford, by the Belle Allée, west and east it ran half a league. From the Beacon of Brunanburgh behind us here, south and north it ran a full league — and all the woods were full of broken men from Santlache, Saxon thieves, Norman plunderers, robbers, and deerstealers. A hornets’ nest indeed!

‘When De Aquila had gone, Hugh would have thanked me for saving their lives; but Lady ?lueva said that I had done it only for the sake of receiving the Manor.

‘“How could I know that De Aquila would give it me?” I said. “If I had told him I had spent my night in your halter he would have burned the place twice over by now.”

‘“If any man had put my neck in a rope,” she said, “I would have seen his house burned thrice over before I would have made terms.”

‘“But it was a woman,” I said; and I laughed and she wept and said that I mocked her in her captivity.

‘“Lady,” said I, “there is no captive in this valley except one, and he is not a Saxon.”

‘At this she cried that I was a Norman thief, who came with false, sweet words, having intended from the first to turn her out in the fields to beg her bread. Into the fields! She had never seen the face of war!

‘I was angry, and answered, “This much at least I can disprove, for I swear”— and on my sword-hilt I swore it in that place —“I swear I will never set foot in the Great Hall till the Lady ?lueva herself shall summon me there.”

‘She went away, saying nothing, and I walked out, and Hugh limped after me, whistling dolorously (that is a custom of the English), and we came upon the three Saxons that had bound me. They were now bound by my men-at-arms, and behind them stood some fifty stark and sullen churls of the House and the Manor, waiting to see what should fall. We heard De Aquila’s trumpets blow thin through the woods Kentward.

‘“Shall we hang these?” said my men.

‘“Then my churls will fight,” said Hugh, beneath his breath; but I bade him ask the three what mercy they hoped for.‘“None,” said they all. “She bade us hang thee if our master died. And we would have hanged thee. There is no more to it.”

‘As I stood doubting a woman ran down from the oak wood above the King’s Hill yonder, and cried out that some Normans were driving off the swine there.

‘“Norman or Saxon,” said I, “we must beat them back, or they will rob us every day. Out at them with any arms ye have!” So I loosed those three carles and we ran together, my men-at-arms and the Saxons with bills and bows which they had hidden in the thatch of their huts, and Hugh led them. Half-way up the King’s Hill we found a false fellow from Picardy — a sutler that sold wine in the Duke’s camp — with a dead knight’s shield on his arm, a stolen horse under him, and some ten or twelve wastrels at his tail, all cutting and slashing at the pigs. We beat them off, and saved our pork. One hundred and seventy pigs we saved in that great battle.’ Sir Richard laughed.

‘That, then, was our first work together, and I bade Hugh tell his folk that so would I deal with any man, knight or churl, Norman or Saxon, who stole as much as one egg from our valley. Said he to me, riding home: “Thou hast gone far to conquer England this evening.” I answered: “England must be thine and mine, then. Help me, Hugh, to deal aright with this people. Make them to know that if they slay me De Aquila will surely send to slay them, and he will put a worse man in my place.” “That may well be true,” said he, and gave me his hand. “Better the devil we know than the devil we know not, till we can pack you Normans home.” And so, too, said his Saxons; and they laughed as we drove the pigs downhill. But I think some of them, even then, began not to hate me.’

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