作者：(美)伊迪丝·华顿(Edith Wharton),(英)韦斯特(Clare West)
格式: AZW3, DOCX, EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT
纯真年代 The Age of Innocence试读：
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
For the rich and the fashionable, New York society in the 1870s was a world full of rules: rules about when to wear a black tie, or the correct time to pay an afternoon visit; rules about who you could invite to your evening parties or sit next to at the opera; rules about who was an acceptable person, and who was not.
Countess Ellen Olenska, who has lived for many years in Europe as the wife of a Polish Count, returns alone to her family in New York. She hopes to leave the pain of her unhappy marriage behind her, but she does not understand the rules of New York society. Newland Archer, however, understands them only too well, and the girl he is engaged to marry, young May Welland, lives her life by the rules, because she cannot imagine any other way of living.
Newland, May, and Ellen are caught in a battle between love, honour, and duty – a battle where strong feelings hide behind polite smiles, where much is left unsaid, and where a single expressive look across a crowded room can carry more meaning than a hundred words.
PEOPLE IN THIS STORY
Newland Archer's family
Janey Archer, Newland's sister
Adeline Archer, Newland's mother
Louisa van der Luyden, Adeline's cousin
Henry van der Luyden, Louisa's husband
the Misses du Lac, Newland's aunts
the Duke of St Austrey, Louisa's English cousin
May Welland's family
Mr Welland, May's father
Mrs Welland, May's mother
Countess Ellen Olenska, May's cousin
Count Olenski, Ellen Olenska's husband
Mrs Manson Mingott, grandmother to May and Ellen
Medora Manson, Ellen's aunt
Mr Lovell Mingott, uncle to May and Ellen
Mrs Lovell Mingott, Mr Mingott's wife
Regina Beaufort, niece to Mrs Manson Mingott
Julius Beaufort, Regina's husband
Other people in the story
Sophy Jackson, Sillerton Jackson's sister
Mrs Lemuel Struthers, a friend of Julius Beaufort
Monsieur Rivière, Count Olenski's French secretary
Mr Letterblair, a lawyer, and Newland Archer's employer
the Carfrys, English friends of Mrs Archer
the Blenkers, friends of Ellen Olenska
Fanny ring, Julius Beaufort's mistress, later wife
Dallas, Mary, and Bill Archer, Newland Archer's children
Fanny Beaufort, daughter of Julius Beaufort and Fanny Ring
范妮·博福特，朱利叶斯·博福特和范妮·林的女儿1A STRANGER IN NEW YORKhen Newland Archer arrived at the New York Academy of Music, one January evening in the early 1870s, the opera had Walready begun. There was no reason why the young man should not have come earlier. He had had dinner at seven, alone with his mother and sister, and then sat unhurriedly smoking his cigar in his private library. But fashionable young men did not arrive early at the opera. That was one of the unwritten rules of society, and in Newland Archer's New York these rules were as important as life and death.
Another reason for the young man's delay was that he enjoyed looking forward to pleasures just as much as actually experiencing them, and Gounod's Faust was one of his favourite operas. As he opened the door at the back of his box, he felt he had chosen just the right moment to arrive. Christine Nilsson, the Swedish singer whom all New York had gathered to hear, was singing, 'He loves me – he loves me not – he loves me!'
She sang in Italian, of course, not in English, since an unquestioned law of the musical world demanded that the German words of French operas sung by Swedish singers should be translated into Italian, for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences. This seemed as natural to Newland as all the other laws that governed his life, like never appearing in society without a flower in his buttonhole, and having two silver-backed brushes for his hair.
He turned his eyes away from the singer and looked at the audience. Directly opposite him was the box of old Mrs Manson Mingott, who was now so fat that she was unable to attend the opera, but whose family often came on fashionable nights. Tonight the front of the box was filled by her daughter-in-law, Mrs Lovell Mingott, and her daughter, Mrs Welland. A little behind these ladies in their heavy silks sat a young girl in white, with her eyes fixed on the singer. As Madame Nilsson's voice rose above the silent audience (the boxes always stopped talking during this song), a warm pink spread over the girl's face and shoulders, right down to the top of her evening dress. She dropped her eyes to the enormous bunch of white flowers on her knee, and touched them gently.
Newland recognized his gift to her, and was pleased. 'The dear girl!' he thought. 'She has no idea what this opera is all about.' He watched her face, thinking fondly of her simple innocence. It would be his manly duty and pleasure to educate her. 'We'll read all the great books together, by the Italian lakes...'
It was only that afternoon that May Welland had let him know she 'cared' (the word that nice New York girls used to confess their love). Already his imagination, jumping ahead of the engagement ring, the first kiss, and the wedding, showed her at his side, sharing his interests as they travelled round the ancient places of Europe together.
He did not want the future Mrs Newland Archer to remain a simple, innocent girl. He intended that, with his help, she would become a social success among the married women of his circle, confident in any situation, always able to make clever and amusing conversation. If he had looked deep within himself (as he sometimes nearly did), he would have found there the wish that his wife should have the same social experience and eagerness to please as the married lady whose company he had enjoyed for two quite pleasant years.
How this wonderful being of fire and ice was to be created, he had never taken the time to consider. He knew his views on women were shared by all the carefully dressed, buttonhole-flowered men who greeted him from their boxes or visited him in his own, and he did not see a need to think differently.
'My God!' said Lawrence Lefferts suddenly. He was one of the group of Newland's friends in the box – a man who knew more about 'form' than anyone else in New York. He always knew what was, or was not, socially correct behaviour, and he always had the answers to all the mysterious questions, such as when a black tie should or should not be worn.
'Look!' he added, handing his opera-glasses to his old friend Sillerton Jackson, who was standing next to him.
Newland saw with surprise that a new figure had entered old Mrs Mingott's box. It was that of a young woman, a little less tall than May Welland, with curly brown hair and a dark blue, unusually low-cut evening dress. Sillerton Jackson returned the opera-glasses to Lawrence Lefferts, and the young men in the box waited eagerly to hear what old Mr Jackson had to say, since he knew as much about 'family' as Mr Lefferts knew about 'form'. He also knew the details of all the scandals and mysteries that had lain under New York's calm surface for the last fifty years. There was a moment's silence. Then Sillerton Jackson said simply, 'I didn't think the Mingotts would have attempted that.' Newland felt annoyed that the box which was the centre of attention for so many men was the one in which his fiancée was sitting, and he could not at first imagine why the newcomer was creating such excitement. Then he remembered who she was, and immediately felt even more annoyed. No, indeed, no one would have thought the Mingotts would have attempted that!
He was in no doubt that the young woman was May Welland's cousin, whom the family always spoke of as 'poor Ellen Olenska'. He knew that she had suddenly arrived from Europe a day or two previously, and he had heard from May that she herself had been to see poor Ellen, who was staying with her grandmother, old Mrs Mingott. There was nothing mean or ungenerous in the young man's heart, and he was glad that his future wife was being kind (in private) to her unhappy cousin. But to welcome Countess Olenska into the family circle was a very different thing from producing her in society, at the opera, of all places, and in the very box with the young girl whose engagement to him, Newland Archer, was to be announced within a few weeks.
Of course, he knew that old Mrs Mingott was as socially daring as any man in New York. In spite of having no beauty or family connections, she had made an excellent marriage when quite young, and had become extremely wealthy when her husband died. Since then she had done exactly what she wanted, and made sure that all her children and grandchildren, not to mention half of New York, obeyed her orders.
As he was thinking, Newland suddenly became aware of the conversation going on around him in his box.
'After all,' a young man was saying, 'just what happened?'
'Well – she left him. Nobody tries to say she didn't,' someone replied.
'But her husband, this Polish Count,' said the young man, 'he's an awful man, isn't he?'
'The very worst type,' said Lawrence Lefferts. 'I knew him in France. Rather handsome. When he isn't with women, he collects paintings. Pays any price for both, I understand.'
There was a general laugh. Lefferts continued, 'Anyway, she ran off with his secretary. It didn't last long. I believe her uncle, Lovell Mingott, went to bring her back – she was living alone in Venice. He said she was desperately unhappy. That's all right – but bringing her to the opera's another thing.'
'It's strange that they've brought Miss Welland along as well,' whispered someone, with a sideways look at Newland.
'Oh, she's here on Grandmother's orders, no doubt, 'Lefferts laughed. 'The old lady has doubtless demanded the whole family's support for the Countess.'
Suddenly Newland felt he must be seen by his fiancée's side, to inform the waiting world of his engagement to May Welland, and to help her through any difficulties caused by her cousin's situation. He left his box and hurried round to old Mrs Mingott's. As he entered, his eyes met May's, and he saw she had immediately understood his reason for coming. People in their social circle never expressed their feelings in free and open discussion, and the fact that she and he understood each other without a word seemed, to the young man, to bring them closer than any explanation would have done. Her eyes said, 'You see why I am here,' and his answered, 'I would not for the world have wanted you to stay away.'
'You know my niece, Countess Olenska?' Mrs Welland asked as she shook hands with her future son-in-law.
Newland greeted Ellen Olenska politely, and then sat down beside May. In a low voice he said, 'I hope you've told Madame Olenska that we're engaged? I want everybody to know – I want you to announce it this evening at the ball.'
May's face turned pink, and she looked at him with shining eyes. 'If you can persuade Mother,' she said, 'but why change the date we agreed for the announcement?' She saw his answer in his eyes and added, smiling confidently now, 'Tell my cousin yourself – I give you permission. She says you used to play together when you were children.'
She made way for him by pushing back her chair, and Newland rose and seated himself at Countess Olenska's side.
Newland rose and seated himself at Countess Olenska's side.
'We did use to play together, didn't we?' the Countess asked, turning her serious eyes to his. 'You were a bad boy, and kissed me once behind a door.' She looked out over the audience. 'Ah, how this brings my childhood back to me – I see everybody here in short trousers and pretty little dresses,' she added in her almost foreign accent, her eyes returning to his face.
The young man was shocked that she should make jokes about New York's most important people, who were, at this moment, passing judgement on her. He answered a little stiffly, 'Yes, you have been away a very long time.'
'Oh, centuries and centuries,' she said, 'so long that I'm sure I'm dead and buried, and this dear old place is heaven.'
And this, for reasons Newland could not explain, seemed an even less polite way of describing New York society.hat night most of New York was expected to attend the Beauforts' ball. The Beauforts were one of the few families to own a house with Ta ballroom, and this fact helped New Yorkers to forget certain uncomfortable things about Julius Beaufort. The question was, who was Beaufort? He had arrived from nowhere to build up a fortune for himself in banking, but he was a man with bad habits, a bitter tongue and a mysterious past. Regina Beaufort, indeed, belonged to one of America's oldest families. As a penniless young beauty, she had been introduced to New York society by her cousin, Medora Manson, and had made what people thought was a most foolish marriage to Julius Beaufort.
Foolish or not, only two years after her marriage, it was agreed that her house was the most luxurious and comfortable in New York. Growing younger and blonder and more beautiful each year, she was the queen of Beaufort's palace, and drew all the world there without lifting her jewelled little finger. Some people whispered that it was Beaufort himself who trained all the servants, taught the cook new dishes, chose the plants for the gardens, and invited the guests. But to the world he gave the appearance of a carefree man of wealth, who just happened to be present at his wife's brilliant parties.
Newland Archer arrived a little late at the ball, as fashionable young men usually did. He had been thinking hard during his walk from the opera. Now he was beginning to fear that the Mingotts might go too far – that, in fact, they might be under old Grandmother Mingott's orders to bring Countess Olenska to the ball. That, thought Archer, would be a serious mistake.
As he entered the ballroom, he could see Mrs Welland and her daughter standing opposite him. Surrounding May Welland was a small group of young men and girls, and from the handshaking, laughing and smiles, it was clear that she had announced her engagement. Newland paused a moment. He had wanted the announcement to be made, but he would have preferred it to be done at a quieter time, not in the heat and noise of a crowded ballroom. He was glad to see that May shared this feeling. Her eyes met his and their look said, 'remember, we're doing this because it's right.'
He made his way towards her, and after receiving warm congratulations from many of the group, he drew his fiancée into the middle of the dance floor and put his arm around her waist.
'Now we won't have to talk,' he said, smiling into her clear eyes, as they started dancing. She made no answer, but her lips trembled into a smile. 'Dear,' whispered Newland, pressing her to him. What a new life it was going to be, with this whiteness, this beauty, this goodness at his side!
When the dance was over, the couple sat down in a quiet corner, and Newland pressed her hand to his lips.
'You see, I made the announcement, as you asked me to,' she said.
'Yes, I couldn't wait,' he answered, smiling. 'Only I wish it didn't have to be at a ball.'
'Yes, I know.' She looked at him intelligently. 'But after all, even here we're alone together, aren't we?'
'Oh, dearest – always!' Newland cried.
Clearly she was always going to understand, she was always going to say the right thing. He continued happily, 'The worst of it is that I want to kiss you and I can't.' But looking quickly round, he could see there was no one nearby, and so he placed a kiss lightly on her lips. She sat silent, and the world lay like a sunlit valley at their feet.
'Did you tell my cousin Ellen?' she asked a moment later, in a dream-like voice.
He remembered that he had not wanted to speak of such things to the strange foreign woman, and had to lie. 'I didn't have the chance in the end.'
'Ah.' She looked disappointed, but continued, 'You must, because I didn't either. She's been away so long that she's rather sensitive, and might feel hurt if we didn't tell her.'
Newland looked at her lovingly. 'Dearest! Of course I'll tell her.' He looked anxiously towards the crowded ballroom. 'But I haven't seen her yet. Has she come?'
'No, at the last minute she decided her dress wasn't good enough for a ball, so she didn't come.'
'Oh, well,' said Newland, secretly delighted. Nothing about his fiancée pleased him more than her determination not to see anything unpleasant, like the real reason for her cousin's absence.uring the next day Newland and May, with May's mother, paid their first social visits as an engaged couple. At old Mrs Mingott's house, Dthey discovered that Countess Olenska was out. But just as their visit came to an end and they were preparing to leave, she returned, followed by the unexpected figure of Julius Beaufort. And in the hall, while May and her mother were putting on their coats, Newland realized that the Countess was looking at him with a questioning smile.
'Of course you know already – about May and me,' he said to her, with a shy laugh. 'I meant to tell you last night.'
The smile passed from Countess Olenska's eyes to her lips; she looked younger, more like the playful Ellen Mingott of his boyhood. 'Of course I know, yes. And I'm so glad.' She held out her hand. 'Goodbye. Come and see me some day,' she added, still looking at Newland.
On their way home, none of them mentioned Ellen Olenska, but Newland knew Mrs Welland was thinking, 'It's a mistake for Ellen to be seen, so soon after her arrival, with Julius Beaufort.' The young man himself was thinking, 'And she ought to know that an engaged man doesn't spend his time visiting married women. But perhaps that's acceptable in the circles she's been moving in.' He thanked heaven he was a New Yorker, and about to marry one of his own kind.
academy n. a college where students are taught a particular subject or skill 学院
opera n. a dramatic work in which most of the words are sung to music 歌剧
unhurriedly adv. slowly and calmly 不慌不忙地，从容不迫地
unwritten adj. an unwritten rule, law, agreement etc is one that everyone knows about although it is not official 不成文的，惯例的
box n. a small seating area in a theatre separated off from where other people sit 包厢
buttonhole n. a hole for a button to be put through to fasten a shirt, coat etc 纽孔，扣眼
daughter-in-law n. your son's wife 儿媳
(a) bunch of flowers a number of flowers fastened together 一束鲜花
confess v. to admit something that you feel embarrassed about 承认，坦白
company n. when you are with other people and not alone 陪伴
mysterious adj. mysterious events or situations are difficult to explain or understand 难以解释的
opera-glasses n. a kind of optical devices usually used at opera performances 观剧镜
annoyed adj. slightly angry 恼火的
fiancée n. the woman whom a man is going to marry 未婚妻
newcomer n. someone who has only recently arrived somewhere or only recently started a particular activity 新来的人
ungenerous adj. not sympathetic in the way you deal with people, and tending to criticize them, get angry, or treat them unkindly 小气的，不宽宏大量的
announce v. to tell people something officially 宣布
connections n. people who are related to you, but not very closely 亲属关系，姻亲关系
awful adj. very bad or unpleasant 糟糕的，极讨厌的
desperately adv. very or very much 极其地，极度地
sideways adj. to or towards one side 斜向一侧的，斜向一边的
doubtless adv. used when saying that something is almost certain to happen or be true 肯定地，无疑地
son-in-law n. your daughter's husband 女婿
ball n. a formal party for dancing 舞会
announcement n. the act of telling people that something important is going to happen 宣布
childhood n. the period of time when you are a child 童年
accent n. the way someone pronounces the words of a language, showing which country or which part of a country they come from 口音
stiffly adv. in a very formal or unfriendly way 生硬地
fortune n. a very large amount of money 财产
penniless adj. someone who has no money 一文不名的，一贫如洗的
luxurious adj. very expensive, beautiful, and comfortable 奢华的
carefree adj. having no worries or problems 无牵挂的，无忧无虑的
brilliant adj. excellent 极棒的
congratulations n. words saying you are happy that someone has achieved something 祝贺的表示，贺词