发布时间:2021-08-03 05:59:57


作者:Prosper Mérimée 梅里美







I had always suspected the geographical authorities did not know what they were talking about when they located the battlefield of Munda in the county of the Bastuli-Poeni, close to the modern Monda, some two leagues north of Marbella.


According to my own surmise, founded on the text of the anonymous author of the Bellum Hispaniense, and on certain information culled from the excellent library owned by the Duke of Ossuna, I believed the site of the memorable struggle in which Caesar played double or quits, once and for all, with the champions of the Republic, should be sought in the neighborhood of Montilla.


Happening to be in Andalusia during the autumn of 1830, I made a somewhat lengthy excursion, with the object of clearing up certain doubts which still oppressed me. A paper which I shall shortly publish will, I trust, remove any hesitation that may still exist in the minds of all honest archaeologists. But before that dissertation of mine finally settles the geographical problem on the solution of which the whole of learned Europe hangs, I desire to relate a little tale. It will do no prejudice to the interesting question of the correct locality of Monda.


I had hired a guide and a couple of horses at Cordova, and had started on my way with no luggage save a few shirts, and Caesar's Commentaries. As I wandered, one day, across the higher lands of the Cachena plain, worn with fatigue, parched with thirst, scorched by a burning sun, cursing Caesar and Pompey's sons alike, most heartily, my eye lighted, at some distance from the path I was following, on a little stretch of green sward dotted with reeds and rushes. That betokened the neighborhood of some spring, and, indeed, as I drew nearer I perceived that what had looked like sward was a marsh, into which a stream, which seemed to issue from a narrow gorge between two high spurs of the Sierra di Cabra, ran and disappeared.


If I rode up that stream, I argued, I was likely to find cooler water, fewer leeches and frogs, and mayhap a little shade among the rocks.


At the mouth of the gorge, my horse neighed, and another horse, invisible to me, neighed back. Before I had advanced a hundred paces, the gorge suddenly widened, and I beheld a sort of natural amphitheatre, thoroughly shaded by the steep cliffs that lay all around it. It was impossible to imagine any more delightful halting place for a traveler. At the foot of the precipitous rocks, the stream bubbled upward and fell into a little basin, lined with sand that was as white as snow. Five or six splendid evergreen oaks, sheltered from the wind, and cooled by the spring, grew beside the pool, and shaded it with their thick foliage. And round about it a close and glossy turf offered the wanderer a better bed than he could have found in any hostelry for ten leagues round.


The honor of discovering this fair spot did not belong to me. A man was resting there already—sleeping, no doubt—before I reached it. Roused by the neighing of the horses, he had risen to his feet and had moved over to his mount, which had been taking advantage of its master's slumbers to make a hearty feed on the grass that grew around. He was an active young fellow, of middle height, but powerful in build, and proud and sullen-looking in expression. His complexion, which may once have been fine, had been tanned by the sun till it was darker than his hair. One of his hands grasped his horse's halter. In the other he held a brass blunderbuss.


At the first blush, I confess, the blunderbuss, and the savage looks of the man who bore it, somewhat took me aback. But I had heard so much about robbers, that, never seeing any, I had ceased to believe in their existence. And further, I had seen so many honest farmers arm themselves to the teeth before they went out to market, that the sight of firearms gave me no warrant for doubting the character of any stranger. "And then," quoth I to myself, "what could he do with my shirts and my Elzevir edition of Caesar's Commentaries?" So I bestowed a friendly nod on the man with the blunderbuss, and inquired, with a smile, whether I had disturbed his nap. Without any answer, he looked me over from head to foot. Then, as if the scrutiny had satisfied him, he looked as closely at my guide, who was just coming up. I saw the guide turn pale, and pull up with an air of evident alarm. "An unlucky meeting!" thought I to myself. But prudence instantly counseled me not to let any symptom of anxiety escape me. So I dismounted. I told the guide to take off the horses' bridles, and kneeling down beside the spring, I laved my head and hands and then drank a long draught, lying flat on my belly, like Gideon's soldiers.


Meanwhile, I watched the stranger, and my own guide. This last seemed to come forward unwillingly. But the other did not appear to have any evil designs upon us. For he had turned his horse loose, and the blunderbuss, which he had been holding horizontally, was now dropped earthward.


Not thinking it necessary to take offence at the scant attention paid me, I stretched myself full length upon the grass, and calmly asked the owner of the blunderbuss whether he had a light about him. At the same time I pulled out my cigar-case. The stranger, still without opening his lips, took out his flint, and lost no time in getting me a light. He was evidently growing tamer, for he sat down opposite to me, though he still grasped his weapon. When I had lighted my cigar, I chose out the best I had left, and asked him whether he smoked.


"Yes, senor," he replied. These were the first words I had heard him speak, and I noticed that he did not pronounce the letter s in the Andalusian fashion, whence I concluded he was a traveler, like myself, though, maybe, somewhat less of an archaeologist.1“抽的,先生。”他回答道。这是我听他说的第一句话,我注意到他“s”这个音发的不像安达卢西亚口音。由此我推断,他和我一样也是个旅行者,只不过并不像我一样精通考古罢了。

"You'll find this a fairly good one," said I, holding out a real Havana regalia.“您会发现这支非常不错。”我边说边递给他一支地道的哈瓦那雪茄。

He bowed his head slightly, lighted his cigar at mine, thanked me with another nod, and began to smoke with a most lively appearance of enjoyment.


"Ah!" he exclaimed, as he blew his first puff of smoke slowly out of his ears and nostrils. "What a time it is since I've had a smoke!"“啊!”他长叹一声,同时从耳朵和鼻孔里慢慢地喷出第一口烟。“我都好久没抽烟了!”

In Spain the giving and accepting of a cigar establishes bonds of hospitality similar to those founded in Eastern countries on the partaking of bread and salt. My friend turned out more talkative than I had hoped. However, though he claimed to belong to the partido of Montilla, he seemed very ill-informed about the country. He did not know the name of the delightful valley in which we were sitting, he could not tell me the names of any of the neighboring villages, and when I inquired whether he had not noticed any broken-down walls, broad-rimmed tiles, or carved stones in the vicinity, he confessed he had never paid any heed to such matters. On the other hand, he showed himself an expert in horseflesh, found fault with my mount—not a difficult affair—and gave me a pedigree of his own, which had come from the famous stud at Cordova. It was a splendid creature, indeed, so tough, according to its owner's claim, that it had once covered thirty leagues in one day, either at the gallop or at full trot the whole time. In the midst of his story the stranger pulled up short, as if startled and sorry he had said so much. "The fact is I was in a great hurry to get to Cordova," he went on, somewhat embarrassed. "I had to petition the judges about a lawsuit." As he spoke, he looked at my guide Antonio, who had dropped his eyes.


The spring and the cool shade were so delightful that I bethought me of certain slices of an excellent ham, which my friends at Montilla had packed into my guide's wallet. I bade him produce them, and invited the stranger to share our impromptu lunch. If he had not smoked for a long time, he certainly struck me as having fasted for eight-and-forty hours at the very least. He ate like a starving wolf, and I thought to myself that my appearance must really have been quite providential for the poor fellow. Meanwhile my guide ate but little, drank still less, and spoke never a word, although in the earlier part of our journey he had proved himself a most unrivalled chatterer. He seemed ill at ease in the presence of our guest, and a sort of mutual distrust, the cause of which I could not exactly fathom, seemed to be between them.


The last crumbs of bread and scraps of ham had disappeared. We had each smoked our second cigar; I told the guide to bridle the horses, and was just about to take leave of my new friend, when he inquired where I was going to spend the night.


Before I had time to notice a sign my guide was making to me I had replied that I was going to the Venta del Cuervo.


"That's a bad lodging for a gentleman like you, sir! I'm bound there myself, and if you'll allow me to ride with you, we'll go together."“先生,您这样的绅士怎么能住那样一个鬼地方!我自己也要去那里,如果您允许我奉陪的话,我们一起走吧。”

"With pleasure!" I replied, mounting my horse.“好呀!”我说着骑上了马。

The guide, who was holding my stirrup, looked at me meaningly again. I answered by shrugging my shoulders, as though to assure him I was perfectly easy in my mind, and we started on our way.


Antonio's mysterious signals, his evident anxiety, a few words dropped by the stranger, above all, his ride of thirty leagues, and the far from plausible explanation he had given us of it, had already enabled me to form an opinion as to the identity of my fellow-traveler. I had no doubt at all I was in the company of a smuggler, and possibly of a brigand. What cared I? I knew enough of the Spanish character to be very certain I had nothing to fear from a man who had eaten and smoked with me. His very presence would protect me in case of any undesirable meeting. And besides, I was very glad to know what a brigand was really like. One doesn't come across such gentry every day. And there is a certain charm about finding one's self in close proximity to a dangerous being, especially when one feels the being in question to be gentle and tame.


I was hoping the stranger might gradually fall into a confidential mood, and in spite of my guide's winks, I turned the conversation to the subject of highwaymen. I need scarcely say that I spoke of them with great respect. At that time there was a famous brigand in Andalusia, of the name of Jose-Maria, whose exploits were on every lip. "Supposing I should be riding along with Jose-Maria!" said I to myself. I told all the stories I knew about the hero—they were all to his credit, indeed, and loudly expressed my admiration of his generosity and his valor.


"Jose-Maria is nothing but a blackguard," said the stranger gravely.“何塞-玛丽亚不过是个恶棍。”陌生人冷冷地说。

"Is he just to himself, or is this an excess of modesty?" I queried, mentally, for by dint of scrutinizing my companion, I had ended by reconciling his appearance with the description of Jose-Maria which I read posted up on the gates of various Andalusian towns. "Yes, this must be he—fair hair, blue eyes, large mouth, good teeth, small hands, fine shirt, a velvet jacket with silver buttons on it, white leather gaiters, and a bay horse. Not a doubt about it. But his incognito shall be respected!" We reached the venta. It was just what he had described to me. In other words, the most wretched hole of its kind I had as yet beheld. One large apartment served as kitchen, dining-room, and sleeping chamber. A fire was burning on a flat stone in the middle of the room, and the smoke escaped through a hole in the roof, or rather hung in a cloud some feet above the soil. Along the walls five or six mule rugs were spread on the floor. These were the travelers' beds. Twenty paces from the house, or rather from the solitary apartment which I have just described, stood a sort of shed that served for a stable.“他这是在公正地评价自己呢,还是过分谦虚?”我思索道,因为通过对这个旅伴的细致观察,我已经把他与何塞·玛丽亚对上号了。我曾在安达卢西亚多个小镇的城门上贴的告示中读到过对何塞·玛丽亚长相的描述。“是的,一定是他——金黄头发、蓝眼睛、大嘴巴、一口好牙、一双小手、优质衬衫、带银纽扣的丝绒短上衣、白皮绑腿、一匹枣红色马。毫无疑问,就是他!但是既然他不愿公开身份,还是尊重他的意愿吧!”我们到了客店。客店的状况正如他向我描述的那样。换句话说,这是我见过的最寒酸的一家客栈了。一间大屋既是厨房,又是餐厅,还是卧室。屋子中间的一块平石板上生着火,滚滚浓烟从屋顶的一个窟窿挤出去,更确切地说,是在离地几英尺高的地方形成了烟云。五六张骡子皮靠着墙铺散在地板上。这就是旅客的床了。在离房子,或者不如说离我刚才描述的那间唯一的房间二十步远的地方,有一个当马厩用的草棚。

The only inhabitants of this delightful dwelling visible at the moment, at all events, were an old woman, and a little girl of ten or twelve years old, both of them as black as soot, and dressed in loathsome rags. "Here's the sole remnant of the ancient populations of Munda Boetica," said I to myself. "O Caesar! O Sextus Pompeius, if you were to revisit this earth how astounded you would be!"


When the old woman saw my travelling companion an exclamation of surprise escaped her. "Ah! Senor Don Jose!" she cried.


Don Jose frowned and lifted his hand with a gesture of authority that forthwith silenced the old dame.


I turned to my guide and gave him to understand, by a sign that no one else perceived, that I knew all about the man in whose company I was about to spend the night. Our supper was better than I expected. On a little table, only a foot high, we were served with an old rooster, fricasseed with rice and numerous peppers, then more peppers in oil, and finally a gaspacho—a sort of salad made of peppers. These three highly spiced dishes involved our frequent recourse to a goatskin filled with Montella wine, which struck us as being delicious.


After our meal was over, I caught sight of a mandolin hanging up against the wall—in Spain you see mandolins in every corner—and I asked the little girl, who had been waiting on us, if she knew how to play it.


"No," she replied. "But Don Jose does play well!"“不会,”她答道,“但是唐何塞弹得可好了!”

"Do me the kindness to sing me something," I said to him, "I'm passionately fond of your national music."“请您行行好,为我随便唱一曲吧。”我对他说,“我非常喜爱你们的民族音乐。”

"I can't refuse to do anything for such a charming gentleman, who gives me such excellent cigars," responded Don Jose gaily, and having made the child give him the mandolin, he sang to his own accompaniment. His voice, though rough, was pleasing, the air he sang was strange and sad. As to the words, I could not understand a single one of them.“我不能拒绝为您这样一位真正的绅士做点事,您给了我那么名贵的雪茄。”唐何塞高兴地说道。他让那女孩把曼陀林递过来,自弹自唱起来。他的声音虽然粗犷,却十分悦耳,曲调古怪而悲凉。至于歌词,我一点也听不懂。

"If I am not mistaken," said I, "that's not a Spanish air you have just been singing. It's like the zorzicos I've heard in the Provinces, and the words must be in the Basque language."“如果我没猜错的话,”我说,“您刚才唱的不是西班牙歌曲。倒像是我在特权省份(指阿尔瓦省,比斯开省,吉普斯夸省,以及纳瓦拉省的一部分,这些省都享受特殊待遇)听过的‘索尔西科’,歌词应该是巴斯克语吧。”

The Basque language is spoken in these countries.


"Yes," said Don Jose, with a gloomy look. He laid the mandolin down on the ground, and began staring with a peculiarly sad expression at the dying fire. His face, at once fierce and noble-looking, reminded me, as the firelight fell on it, of Milton's Satan. Like him, perchance, my comrade was musing over the home he had forfeited, the exile he had earned, by some misdeed. I tried to revive the conversation, but so absorbed was he in melancholy thought, that he gave me no answer.“是的。”唐何塞神情沮丧地答道。他把曼陀林放在地上,开始凝视快要熄灭的火堆,表情特别忧伤。火光照在他的脸上,立刻映现出他凶悍而高贵的脸庞,让我想起了弥尔顿笔下的撒旦。或许,同撒旦一样,我的旅伴也在思念其失去的家园,思考因罪行而酿成的流放。我试着想恢复谈话,但他还是沉浸在悲伤中,不做任何回应。

The old woman had already gone to rest in a corner of the room, behind a ragged rug hung on a rope. The little girl had followed her into this retreat, sacred to the fair sex. Then my guide rose, and suggested that I should go with him to the stable. But at the word Don Jose, waking, as it were, with a start, inquired sharply whither he was going.


"To the stable," answered the guide.“去马厩。”向导答道。

"What for? The horses have been fed! You can sleep here. The senor will give you leave."“干什么去?马已经喂了!你可以在这里睡,先生会答应的。”

"I'm afraid the senor's horse is sick. I'd like the senor to see it. Perhaps he'd know what should be done for it."“我恐怕先生的马病了。我想先生还是去看看好。可能他会知道该怎么办。”

It was quite clear to me that Antonio wanted to speak to me apart.


But I did not care to rouse Don Jose's suspicions, and being as we were, I thought far the wisest course for me was to appear absolutely confident.


I therefore told Antonio that I knew nothing on earth about horses, and that I was desperately sleepy. Don Jose followed him to the stable, and soon returned alone. He told me there was nothing the matter with the horse, but that my guide considered the animal such a treasure that he was scrubbing it with his jacket to make it sweat, and expected to spend the night in that pleasing occupation. Meanwhile I had stretched myself out on the mule rugs, having carefully wrapped myself up in my own cloak, so as to avoid touching them. Don Jose, having begged me to excuse the liberty he took in placing himself so near me, lay down across the door, but not until he had primed his blunderbuss afresh and carefully laid it under the wallet, which served him as a pillow.


I had thought I was so tired that I should be able to sleep even in such a lodging. But within an hour a most unpleasant itching sensation roused me from my first nap. As soon as I realized its nature, I rose to my feet, feeling convinced I should do far better to spend the rest of the night in the open air than beneath that inhospitable roof. Walking tiptoe I reached the door, stepped over Don Jose, who was sleeping the sleep of the just, and managed so well that I got outside the building without waking him. Just beside the door there was a wide wooden bench. I lay down upon it, and settled myself, as best I could, for the remainder of the night. I was just closing my eyes for a second time when I fancied I saw the shadow of a man and then the shadow of a horse moving absolutely noiselessly, one behind the other. I sat upright, and then I thought I recognized Antonio. Surprised to see him outside the stable at such an hour, I got up and went toward him. He had seen me first, and had stopped to wait for me.


"Where is he?" Antonio inquired in a low tone.“他呢?”安东尼奥低声问。

"In the venta. He's asleep. The bugs don't trouble him. But what are you going to do with that horse?" I then noticed that, to stifle all noise as he moved out of the shed, Antonio had carefully muffled the horse's feet in the rags of an old blanket.“在客店里。还睡着呢。他不怕臭虫。你把马牵出来干什么?”我这时才注意到,为了在出马棚时不出声响,安东尼奥已经仔细地用旧毯子的破布条把马蹄裹起来了。

"Speak lower, for God's sake," said Antonio. "You don't know who that man is. He's Jose Navarro, the most noted bandit in Andalusia. I've been making signs to you all day long, and you wouldn't understand."“看在上帝的份上,说话声低点。”安东尼奥说道,“您不知道那个人是谁。他是何塞·纳瓦罗,安达卢西亚最有名的强盗。我一整天都在给您暗示,可是您不理会。”

"What do I care whether he's a brigand or not," I replied. "He hasn't robbed us, and I'll wager he doesn't want to."“他是不是强盗关我什么事。”我回答道,“他又没抢我们,我敢打赌他也没想这么做。”

"That may be. But there are two hundred ducats on his head. Some lancers are stationed in a place I know, a league and a half from here, and before daybreak I'll bring a few brawny fellows back with me. I'd have taken his horse away, but the brute's so savage that nobody but Navarro can go near it."“这倒可能是真的。但是他的人头可值二百金币呢。我知道离这里一点五里格处驻扎着一些长矛轻骑兵,天亮之前我就能带回几个壮汉来。我本来想骑他的马去,但那畜牲的性子太烈了,除了纳瓦罗,谁也别想接近它。”

"Devil take you!" I cried. "What harm has the poor fellow done you that you should want to inform against him? And besides, are you certain he is the brigand you take him for?"“你见鬼去吧!”我叫道,“那个可怜的家伙怎么得罪你了,你竟然要去告发他?另外,你确定他就是你所说的那个强盗吗?”

"Perfectly certain! He came after me into the stable just now, and said, 'You seem to know me. If you tell that good gentleman who I am, I'll blow your brains out!' You stay here, sir, keep close to him. You've nothing to fear. As long as he knows you are there, he won't suspect anything."“非常确定!他刚才跟着我进了马厩,对我说:‘你好像认得我,你要敢对那个好心的绅士说出我是谁,我就打穿你的脑袋!’您呆在这里,先生,看紧他。您什么也不用害怕。只要他知道您在这里,就不会起疑心。”

As we talked, we had moved so far from the venta that the noise of the horse's hoofs could not be heard there. In a twinkling Antonio snatched off the rags he had wrapped around the creature's feet, and was just about to climb on its back. In vain did I attempt with prayers and threats to restrain him.


"I'm only a poor man, senor," quoth he, "I can't afford to lose two hundred ducats—especially when I shall earn them by ridding the country of such vermin. But mind what you're about! If Navarro wakes up, he'll snatch at his blunderbuss, and then look out for yourself! I've gone too far now to turn back. Do the best you can for yourself!"“我只是个穷苦人,先生。”他说道,“我不能白白丢掉二百金币——而且挣这笔钱也是为民除害。但是您一定要当心!如果纳瓦罗醒了的话,肯定会跳起来抓他的大口径短枪,那时您一定要小心!我已经没有退路了。您好好照顾自己吧!”

The villain was in his saddle already, he spurred his horse smartly, and I soon lost sight of them both in the darkness.


I was very angry with my guide, and terribly alarmed as well. After a moment's reflection, I made up my mind, and went back to the venta. Don Jose was still sound asleep, making up, no doubt, for the fatigue and sleeplessness of several days of adventure. I had to shake him roughly before I could wake him up. Never shall I forget his fierce look, and the spring he made to get hold of his blunderbuss, which, as a precautionary measure, I had removed to some distance from his couch.


"Senor," I said, "I beg your pardon for disturbing you. But I have a silly question to ask you. Would you be glad to see half a dozen lancers walk in here?"“先生,”我说,“请原谅我把您弄醒。但我有一个愚蠢的问题要问您。如果看到五六个长矛轻骑兵来这里,您会高兴吗?”

He bounded to his feet, and in an awful voice he demanded:


"Who told you?"“谁告诉您的?”

"It's little matter whence the warning comes, so long as it be good."“只要消息可靠,从哪里得来的又有什么关系。”

"Your guide has betrayed me—but he shall pay for it! Where is he?"“您的向导出卖了我,他会付出代价的!他在哪里?”

"I don't know. In the stable, I fancy. But somebody told me—”“我不知道。我猜在马厩吧。但是有人告诉了我——”

"Who told you? It can't be the old hag—”“谁告诉您的?不可能是老婆子——”

"Some one I don't know. Without more parleying, tell me, yes or no, have you any reason for not waiting till the soldiers come? If you have any, lose no time! If not, good-night to you, and forgive me for having disturbed your slumbers!"“一个我不认识的人。别再多说了,告诉我您有没有理由不在这里坐以待毙?如果有,就别再浪费时间了!如果没有,祝您晚安,请原谅我扰了您的睡眠!”

"Ah, your guide! Your guide! I had my doubts of him at first—but—I'll settle with him! Farewell, senor. May God reward you for the service I owe you! I am not quite so wicked as you think me. Yes, I still have something in me that an honest man may pity. Farewell, senor! I have only one regret—that I can not pay my debt to you!"“啊,您的向导!是那个向导!我早就怀疑他了,我会找他算账的!再见,先生。愿上帝报答您对我的恩德!我并不像你们想象的那么坏。是的,我身上有些东西是值得一个正直的人同情的。再见,先生!我只有一个遗憾,那就是无法报答您对我的恩德!”

"As a reward for the service I have done you, Don Jose, promise me you'll suspect nobody—nor seek for vengeance. Here are some cigars for your journey. Good luck to you." And I held out my hand to him.“唐何塞,作为对我的回报,答应我不要怀疑任何人,也不要报复。这里有几支雪茄,带着路上抽吧。祝您好运。”说着,我向他伸出手。

He squeezed it, without a word, took up his wallet and blunderbuss, and after saying a few words to the old woman in a lingo that I could not understand, he ran out to the shed. A few minutes later, I heard him galloping out into the country.


As for me, I lay down again on my bench, but I did not go to sleep again. I queried in my own mind whether I had done right to save a robber, and possibly a murderer, from the gallows, simply and solely because I had eaten ham and rice in his company. Had I not betrayed my guide, who was supporting the cause of law and order? Had I not exposed him to a ruffian's vengeance? But then, what about the laws of hospitality?


"A mere savage prejudice," said I to myself. "I shall have to answer for all the crimes this brigand may commit in future." Yet is that instinct of the conscience which resists every argument really a prejudice? It may be I could not have escaped from the delicate position in which I found myself without remorse of some kind. I was still tossed to and fro, in the greatest uncertainty as to the morality of my behavior, when I saw half a dozen horsemen ride up, with Antonio prudently lagging behind them. I went to meet them, and told them the brigand had fled over two hours previously. The old woman, when she was questioned by the sergeant, admitted that she knew Navarro, but said that living alone, as she did, she would never have dared to risk her life by informing against him. She added that when he came to her house, he habitually went away in the middle of the night. I, for my part, was made to ride to a place some leagues away, where I showed my passport, and signed a declaration before the Alcalde. This done, I was allowed to recommence my archaeological investigations. Antonio was sulky with me; suspecting it was I who had prevented his earning those two hundred ducats. Nevertheless, we parted good friends at Cordova, where I gave him as large a gratuity as the state of my finances would permit.“都只是乡野村夫的偏见罢了。”我告诉自己,“我将不得不为这个恶棍以后犯下的所有罪行负责。”可是,良知本能地推翻每个推论,难道这真的是一种偏见吗?或许在当时那种尴尬的处境中,我无法毫无懊悔之意地脱身吧。当我还在反复思考自己的做法是否符合道德的时候,我看到有五六个长矛轻骑兵来了,安东尼奥小心翼翼地跟在后面。我迎上前去,告诉他们强盗两小时之前就逃走了。面对骑兵小队长的询问,老太婆承认认识纳瓦罗,但她孤苦伶仃,不敢冒险告发他。她又补充说,每次他来这里,总是习惯半夜走。而我本人,被要求到几里格外向镇长出示我的护照并签署一份陈述书。做完这些后,我获准重新开始我的考古调查。安东尼奥对我有些恼怒,怀疑是我阻碍了他拿到那二百金币。不管怎样,我们在科尔多瓦还是像好朋友那样地分了手。在那里,我尽我财力所能给了他一笔可观的报酬。

(1) The Andalusians aspirate the s, and pronounce it like the soft c and the z, which Spaniards pronounce like the English th. An Andalusian may always be recognized by the way in which he says senor.(1)安达卢西亚人发"s"音时送气,同柔声"c"和"z"发音相像,而其他地区的西班牙人把这两个音发成英语的"th"。从一个人说"senor"的方式就能辨别出他是不是安达卢西亚人。



I spent several days at Cordova. I had been told of a certain manuscript in the library of the Dominican convent which was likely to furnish me with very interesting details about the ancient Munda. The good fathers gave me the most kindly welcome. I spent the daylight hours within their convent, and at night I walked about the town. At Cordova a great many idlers collect, toward sunset, in the quay that runs along the right bank of the Guadalquivir. Promenaders on the spot have to breathe the odor of a tan yard which still keeps up the ancient fame of the country in connection with the curing of leather. But to atone for this, they enjoy a sight which has a charm of its own. A few minutes before the Angelus bell rings, a great company of women gathers beside the river, just below the quay, which is rather a high one. Not a man would dare to join its ranks. The moment the Angelus rings, darkness is supposed to have fallen. As the last stroke sounds, all the women disrobe and step into the water. Then there is laughing and screaming and a wonderful clatter. The men on the upper quay watch the bathers, straining their eyes, and seeing very little. Yet the white uncertain outlines perceptible against the dark-blue waters of the stream stir the poetic mind, and the possessor of a little fancy finds it not difficult to imagine that Diana and her nymphs are bathing below, while he himself runs no risk of ending like Acteon.


I have been told that one day a party of good-for-nothing fellows banded themselves together, and bribed the bell-ringer at the cathedral to ring the Angelus some twenty minutes before the proper hour. Though it was still broad daylight, the nymphs of the Guadalquivir never hesitated, and putting far more trust in the Angelus bell than in the sun, they proceeded to their bathing toilette—always of the simplest—with an easy conscience. I was not present on that occasion. In my day, the bell-ringer was incorruptible, the twilight was very dim, and nobody but a cat could have distinguished the difference between the oldest orange woman, and the prettiest shop-girl, in Cordova.


One evening, after it had grown quite dusk, I was leaning over the parapet of the quay, smoking, when a woman came up the steps leading from the river, and sat down near me. In her hair she wore a great bunch of jasmine—a flower which, at night, exhales a most intoxicating perfume. She was dressed simply, almost poorly, in black, as most work-girls are dressed in the evening. Women of the richer class only wear black in the daytime, at night they dress a la francesa. When she drew near me, the woman let the mantilla which had covered her head drop on her shoulders, and "by the dim light falling from the stars" I perceived her to be young, short in stature, well-proportioned, and with very large eyes. I threw my cigar away at once. She appreciated this mark of courtesy, essentially French, and hastened to inform me that she was very fond of the smell of tobacco, and that she even smoked herself, when she could get very mild papelitos. I fortunately happened to have some such in my case, and at once offered them to her. She condescended to take one, and lighted it at a burning string which a child brought us, receiving a copper for its pains. We mingled our smoke, and talked so long, the fair lady and I, that we ended by being almost alone on the quay. I thought I might venture, without impropriety, to suggest our going to eat an ice at the neveria.1 After a moment of modest demur, she agreed. But before finally accepting, she desired to know what o'clock it was. I struck my repeater, and this seemed to astound her greatly.


"What clever inventions you foreigners do have! What country do you belong to, sir? You're an Englishman, no doubt!" 2“你们外国人的发明真了不起!您是哪国人啊,先生?您一定是英国人!”

"I'm a Frenchman, and your devoted servant. And you, senora, or senorita, you probably belong to Cordova?"“我是法国人,也是您忠实的追随者。您呢太太,或小姐,您大概是科尔多瓦人吧?”


"At all events, you are an Andalusian? Your soft way of speaking makes me think so."“至少,您是安达卢西亚人吧?您柔和的口音让我这样觉得。”

"If you notice people's accent so closely, you must be able to guess what I am."“如果您如此细致地注意人们的口音,您一定能猜到我是哪里人。”

"I think you are from the country of Jesus, two paces out of Paradise."“我想您来自与天堂只有两步之隔的耶稣国吧。”

I had learned the metaphor, which stands for Andalusia, from my friend Francisco Sevilla, a well-known picador.


"Pshaw! The people here say there is no place in Paradise for us!"“得了吧!这里的人说天堂里没有我们的位置!”

"Then perhaps you are of Moorish blood—or—” I stopped, not venturing to add "a Jewess."“那么,您也许是摩尔人——或者——”我停住了,没敢说出“犹太人”三个字。

"Oh come! "Oh come! You must see I'm a gipsy! Wouldn't you like me to tell you la baji 3? Did you never hear tell of Carmencita? That's who I am!"“哎呀说吧!“哎呀说吧!您一定看出我是吉普赛人了!您难道不想让我给您算算‘巴希’吗?您难道从没听说过小卡门吗?就是我!”

I was such a miscreant in those days—now fifteen years ago—that the close proximity of a sorceress did not make me recoil in horror. "So be it!" I thought. "Last week I ate my supper with a highway robber. To-day I'll go and eat ices with a servant of the devil. A traveler should see everything." I had yet another motive for prosecuting her acquaintance. When I left college—I acknowledge it with shame—I had wasted a certain amount of time in studying occult science, and had even attempted, more than once, to exorcise the powers of darkness. Though I had been cured, long since, of my passion for such investigations, I still felt a certain attraction and curiosity with regard to all superstitions, and I was delighted to have this opportunity of discovering how far the magic art had developed among the gypsies.


Talking as we went, we had reached the neveria, and seated ourselves at a little table, lighted by a taper protected by a glass globe. I then had time to take a leisurely view of my gitana, while several worthy individuals, who were eating their ices, stared open-mouthed at beholding me in such gay company.


I very much doubt whether Senorita Carmen was a pure-blooded gipsy. At all events, she was infinitely prettier than any other woman of her race I have ever seen. For a woman to be beautiful, they say in Spain, she must fulfill thirty ifs, or, if it please you better, you must be able to define her appearance by ten adjectives, applicable to three portions of her person.


For instance, three things about her must be black, her eyes, her eyelashes, and her eyebrows. Three must be dainty, her fingers, her lips, her hair, and so forth. For the rest of this inventory, see Brantome. My gipsy girl could lay no claim to so many perfections. Her skin, though perfectly smooth, was almost of a copper hue. Her eyes were set obliquely in her head, but they were magnificent and large. Her lips, a little full, but beautifully shaped, revealed a set of teeth as white as newly skinned almonds. Her hair—a trifle coarse, perhaps—was black, with blue lights on it like a raven's wing, long and glossy. Not to weary my readers with too prolix a description, I will merely add, that to every blemish she united some advantage, which was perhaps all the more evident by contrast. There was something strange and wild about her beauty. Her face astonished you, at first sight, but nobody could forget it. Her eyes, especially, had an expression of mingled sensuality and fierceness which I had never seen in any other human glance. "Gipsy's eye, wolf's eye!" is a Spanish saying which denotes close observation. If my readers have no time to go to the "Jardin des Plantes" to study the wolf's expression, they will do well to watch the ordinary cat when it is lying in wait for a sparrow.


It will be understood that I should have looked ridiculous if I had proposed to have my fortune told in a cafe. I therefore begged the pretty witch's leave to go home with her. She made no difficulties about consenting, but she wanted to know what o'clock it was again, and requested me to make my repeater strike once more.


"Is it really gold?" she said, gazing at it with rapt attention.“它真的是金的吗?”她问道,专注地盯着表看。

When we started off again, it was quite dark. Most of the shops were shut, and the streets were almost empty. We crossed the bridge over the Guadalquivir, and at the far end of the suburb we stopped in front of a house of anything but palatial appearance. The door was opened by a child, to whom the gipsy spoke a few words in a language unknown to me, which I afterward understood to be Romany, or chipe calli—the gipsy idiom. The child instantly disappeared, leaving us in sole possession of a tolerably spacious room, furnished with a small table, two stools, and a chest. I must not forget to mention a jar of water, a pile of oranges, and a bunch of onions.


As soon as we were left alone, the gipsy produced, out of her chest, a pack of cards, bearing signs of constant usage, a magnet, a dried chameleon, and a few other indispensable adjuncts of her art. Then she bade me cross my left hand with a silver coin, and the magic ceremonies duly began. It is unnecessary to chronicle her predictions, and as for the style of her performance, it proved her to be no mean sorceress.


Unluckily we were soon disturbed. The door was suddenly burst open, and a man, shrouded to the eyes in a brown cloak, entered the room, apostrophizing the gipsy in anything but gentle terms. What he said I could not catch, but the tone of his voice revealed the fact that he was in a very evil temper. The gipsy betrayed neither surprise nor anger at his advent, but she ran to meet him, and with a most striking volubility, she poured out several sentences in the mysterious language she had already used in my presence. The word payllo, frequently reiterated, was the only one I understood. I knew that the gypsies use it to describe all men not of their own race. Concluding myself to be the subject of this discourse, I was prepared for a somewhat delicate explanation. I had already laid my hand on the leg of one of the stools, and was studying within myself to discover the exact moment at which I had better throw it at his head, when, roughly pushing the gipsy to one side, the man advanced toward me. Then with a step backward he cried:


"What, sir! Is it you?"“啊,先生!是您吗?”

I looked at him in my turn and recognized my friend Don Jose. At that moment I did feel rather sorry I had saved him from the gallows.


"What, is it you, my good fellow?" I exclaimed, with as easy a smile as I could muster. "You have interrupted this young lady just when she was foretelling me most interesting things!"“啊,是您吗,我的老朋友?”我喊道,尽可能挤出一个自然的笑脸。“您打断了这位年轻女士,她刚才正在给我算命呢,可有趣了。”

"The same as ever. There shall be an end to it!" he hissed between his teeth, with a savage glance at her.“又来这一套,总有一天要完蛋的!”他咬牙切齿地说,狠狠地瞪了她一眼。

Meanwhile the gitana was still talking to him in her own tongue. She became more and more excited. Her eyes grew fierce and bloodshot, her features contracted, she stamped her foot. She seemed to me to be earnestly pressing him to do something he was unwilling to do. What this was I fancied I understood only too well, by the fashion in which she kept drawing her little hand backward and forward under her chin. I was inclined to think she wanted to have somebody's throat cut, and I had a fair suspicion the throat in question was my own. To all her torrent of eloquence Don Jose's only reply were two or three shortly spoken words. At this the gipsy cast a glance of the most utter scorn at him, then, seating herself Turkish-fashion in a corner of the room, she picked out an orange, tore off the skin, and began to eat it.


Don Jose took hold of my arm, opened the door, and led me into the street. We walked some two hundred paces in the deepest silence. Then he stretched out his hand.


"Go straight on," he said, "and you'll come to the bridge."“直着往前走,”他说,“您就会到桥上。”

That instant he turned his back on me and departed at a great pace. I took my way back to my inn, rather crestfallen, and considerably out of temper. The worst of all was that, when I undressed, I discovered my watch was missing.


Various considerations prevented me from going to claim it next day, or requesting the Corregidor to be good enough to have a search made for it. I finished my work on the Dominican manuscript, and went on to Seville. After several months spent wandering hither and thither in Andalusia, I wanted to get back to Madrid, and with that object I had to pass through Cordova. I had no intention of making any stay there, for I had taken a dislike to that fair city, and to the ladies who bathed in the Guadalquivir. Nevertheless, I had some visits to pay, and certain errands to do, which must detain me several days in the old capital of the Mussulman princes.


The moment I made my appearance in the Dominican convent, one of the monks, who had always shown the most lively interest in my inquiries as to the site of the battlefield of Munda, welcomed me with open arms, exclaiming:


"Praised be God! You are welcome! My dear friend. We all thought you were dead, and I myself have said many a pater and ave (not that I regret them!) for your soul. Then you weren't murdered, after all? That you were robbed, we know!"“感谢天主!欢迎您!我亲爱的朋友。我们都以为您死了呢,我为您的灵魂念了多少次《天主经》和《圣母经》,当然我毫不后悔这么做!那么您并没有遭到谋杀?您是被抢劫了,这个我们知道。”

"What do you mean?" I asked, rather astonished.“您这么说是什么意思?”我很吃惊地问道。

"Oh, you know! That splendid repeater you used to strike in the library whenever we said it was time for us to go into church. Well, it has been found, and you'll get it back."“哦,您知道,就是过去在图书馆,我们一说到去教堂的时间了,您就会按一下的那绝妙的打簧表啊。对了,它已经被找到了,您可以把它领回去了。”

"Why," I broke in, rather put out of countenance, "I lost it—”“是吗,”我有点难为情地打断他说,“我把它弄丢了——”

"The rascal's under lock and key, and as he was known to be a man who would shoot any Christian for the sake of a peseta, we were most dreadfully afraid he had killed you. I'll go with you to the Corregidor, and he'll give you back your fine watch. And after that, you won't dare to say the law doesn't do its work properly in Spain."“那个恶棍已经坐牢了,据说他是个为了一比塞塔都会向任何一个基督徒开枪的家伙,我们担心极了,害怕他已经把您杀害了。我会陪您一起去镇长那里,他会把您漂亮的表还给您的。到那时,您就不敢再说在西班牙司法机关没有起到应有的作用了。”

"I assure you," said I, "I'd far rather lose my watch than have to give evidence in court to hang a poor unlucky devil, and especially because—because—”“我想让您明白,”我说道,“我宁愿不要我的表,也不会出庭作证去吊死一个倒霉的穷鬼,特别是因为——因为——”

"Oh, you needn't be alarmed! He's thoroughly done for; they might hang him twice over. But when I say hang, I say wrong. Your thief is an Hidalgo. So he's to be garroted the day after to-morrow, without fail. So you see one theft more or less won't affect his position. 4 Would to God he had done nothing but steal! But he has committed several murders, one more hideous than the other."“啊!您不用这么惊慌!他一定会被吊死的,他们都能吊死他两次了。我说吊死还说错了呢。偷您的这个贼是个下级贵族。所以他后天要受绞刑,绝不赦免。所以您看,这种小案多一桩少一桩都不会影响对他的量刑。如果他只偷东西倒要感谢上帝了,但他供出的多桩谋杀案,一件比一件可怕。”

"What's his name?"“他叫什么名字?”

"In this country he is only known as Jose Navarro, but he has another Basque name, which neither your nor I will ever be able to pronounce. By the way, the man is worth seeing, and you, who like to study the peculiar features of each country, shouldn't lose this chance of noting how a rascal bids farewell to this world in Spain. He is in jail, and Father Martinez will take you to him."“在这个国家,人们只知道他叫何塞·纳瓦罗,但他还有另外一个巴斯克名字,无论你我都不会念。顺便提一下,这个人值得一看,而且像您这样喜欢研究每个地方的不同特征的人不应错过这个机会,可以在西班牙见识一下一个恶棍怎样告别这个世界。他关在监狱里,马蒂内神父会带您去。”

So bent was my Dominican friend on my seeing the preparations for this "neat little hanging job" that I was fain to agree. I went to see the prisoner, having provided myself with a bundle of cigars, which I hoped might induce him to forgive my intrusion.


I was ushered into Don Jose's presence just as he was sitting at table. He greeted me with a rather distant nod, and thanked me civilly for the present I had brought him. Having counted the cigars in the bundle I had placed in his hand, he took out a certain number and returned me the rest, remarking that he would not need any more of them.


I inquired whether by laying out a little money, or by applying to my friends, I might not be able to do something to soften his lot. He shrugged his shoulders, to begin with, smiling sadly. Soon, as by an after-thought, he asked me to have a mass said for the repose of his soul.


Then he added nervously: "Would you—would you have another said for a person who did you a wrong?"


"Assuredly I will, my dear fellow," I answered. "But no one in this country has wronged me so far as I know."“当然可以,我亲爱的朋友。”我回答道,“但据我所知,在这个国家没有人得罪过我。”

He took my hand and squeezed it, looking very grave. After a moment's silence, he spoke again.


"Might I dare to ask another service of you? When you go back to your own country perhaps you will pass through Navarre. At all events you'll go by Vittoria, which isn't very far off."“我还可以请您再帮我个忙吗?在您回国时,或许您会经过纳瓦拉。至少您会经过维特多利亚,离纳瓦拉不算远。”

"Yes," said I, "I shall certainly pass through Vittoria. But I may very possibly go round by Pampeluna, and for your sake, I believe I should be very glad to do it."“是的,”我说道,“我一定会经过维特多利亚。但是我也很可能绕道走潘普洛纳,而且为了您,我愿意这么做。”

"Well, if you do go to Pampeluna, you'll see more than one thing that will interest you. It's a fine town. I'll give you this medal," he showed me a little silver medal that he wore hung around his neck. "You'll wrap it up in paper”—he paused a moment to master his emotion—"and you'll take it, or send it, to an old lady whose address I'll give you. Tell her I am dead—but don't tell her how I died."“太好了,如果您果真去潘普洛纳的话,您会看到很多令您感兴趣的事情。那是一个美丽的城镇。我把这枚圣章给您。”他让我看他挂在脖子上的一枚小银牌。“您用纸把它包好”——他停顿了一下来控制自己的情绪——“然后拿着它,把它交给或者寄给一位老妇人,我会给您她的地址。告诉她我死了——但别告诉她我是怎么死的。”

I promised to perform his commission. I saw him the next day, and spent part of it in his company. From his lips I learned the sad incidents that follow.


(1) A cafe to which a depot of ice, or rather of snow, is attached. There is hardly a village in Spain without its neveria.(1)“内维里亚”:一种附有冰库,更确切地说是雪库的咖啡馆。在西班牙几乎每个村都有。

(2) Every traveler in Spain who does not carry about samples of calicoes and silks is taken for an Englishman (inglesito). It is the same thing in the East.(2)在西班牙,只要不带棉布或丝织品的旅客都会被当成英国





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