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双语小说连载:纯真年代 The Age of Innocence(3)

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2011-07-21  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

 
It invariably happened in the same way.
事情还是按老样子进行,一成不变。

Mrs. Julius Beaufort, on the night of her annual ball, never failed to appear at the Opera; indeed, she always gave her ball on an Opera night in order to emphasise her complete superiority to household cares, and her possession of a staff of servants competent to organise every detail of the entertainment in her absence.
在举办一年一度的舞会的这天晚上,朱利叶斯·博福特太太决不会忘记去歌剧院露露面。真的,为了突出她执掌家务的全能与高明,显示她拥有一班有才干的仆人,能够在她不在时安排好招待活动的种种细节,她总是在有歌剧演出的晚上举办舞会。

The Beauforts' house was one of the few in New York that possessed a ball-room (it antedated even Mrs. Manson Mingott's and the Headly Chiverses'); and at a time when it was beginning to be thought "provincial" to put a "crash" over the drawing-room floor and move the furniture upstairs, the possession of a ball-room that was used for no other purpose, and left for three-hundred-and-sixty-four days of the year to shuttered darkness, with its gilt chairs stacked in a corner and its chandelier in a bag; this undoubted superiority was felt to compensate for whatever was regrettable in the Beaufort past.
博福特家的住宅是纽约为数不多的有舞厅的住宅之一(甚至先于曼森,明戈特太太家和黑德利·奇弗斯家)。正当人们开始认为在客厅的地板上“乒乒乓乓” 把家具搬到楼上显得“土气”的时候,拥有一个不作他用的舞厅,一年364天把它关闭在黑暗中,镀金的椅子堆在角落里,枝形吊灯装在袋子里——人们觉得,这种无庸置疑的优越性足以补偿博福特历史上任何令人遗憾的事情。

Mrs. Archer, who was fond of coining her social philosophy into axioms, had once said: "We all have our pet common people--" and though the phrase was a daring one, its truth was secretly admitted in many an exclusive bosom. But the Beauforts were not exactly common; some people said they were even worse. Mrs. Beaufort belonged indeed to one of America's most honoured families; she had been the lovely Regina Dallas (of the South Carolina branch), a penniless beauty introduced to New York society by her cousin, the imprudent Medora Manson, who was always doing the wrong thing from the right motive. When one was related to the Mansons and the Rushworths one had a "droit de cite" (as Mr. Sillerton Jackson, who had frequented the Tuileries, called it) in New York society; but did one not forfeit it in marrying Julius Beaufort?
阿切尔太太喜欢将自己的社交哲学提炼成格言,有一次她曾说:“我们全都有自己宠幸的平民——”虽然这句话说得很大胆,但它的真实性却得到许多势利者暗中的承认。不过博福特夫妇并不属于严格意义上的平民,有人说他们比平民还要差。博福特太太确实属于美国最有名望的家族之一,她原本是可爱的里吉纳·达拉斯(属于南卡罗来纳的一个家系),一位分文不名的美人,是由她的表姐、鲁莽的梅多拉·曼森引荐到纽约社交界的,而梅多拉·曼森老是好心做坏事。谁若是与曼森家族和拉什沃斯家族有了亲缘关系,那么谁就会在纽约上流社会取得“公民权”(像西勒顿·杰克逊先生说的那样,他早年经常出人杜伊勒利王宫);但是,有没有人会因为嫁给朱利叶斯·博福特,而不丧失这种公民权呢?


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