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"And then the living, mamma," said Kaela.

"Yes, indeed," she replied, "no such a thing as a respectable meat soup- their cookery is miserable stuff."

The journey had also tired Kaela; but she was always fatigued, that was the worst of it. So they sent for Sophy, and she was taken into the house to reside with them, and her presence there was a great advantage. Mamma-in-law acknowledged that Sophy was not only a clever housewife, but well-informed and accomplished, though that could hardly be expected in a person of her limited means. She was also a generous-hearted, faithful girl; she showed that thoroughly while Kaela lay sick, fading away. When the casket is everything, the casket should be strong, or else all is over. And all was over with the casket, for Kaela died.

"She was beautiful," said her mother; "she was quite different from the beauties they call 'antiques,' for they are so damaged. A beauty ought to be perfect, and Kaela was a perfect beauty."

Alfred wept, and mamma wept, and they both wore mourning. The black dress suited mamma very well, and she wore mourning the longest. She had also to experience another grief in seeing Alfred marry again, marry Sophy, who was nothing at all to look at. "He's gone to the very extreme," said mamma-in-law; "he has gone from the most beautiful to the ugliest, and he has forgotten his first wife. Men have no constancy. My husband was a very different man,- but then he died before me."

"'Pygmalion loved his Galatea,' was in the song they sung at my first wedding," said Alfred; "I once fell in love with a beautiful statue, which awoke to life in my arms; but the kindred soul, which is a gift from heaven, the angel who can feel and sympathize with and elevate us, I have not found and won till now. You came, Sophy, not in the glory of outward beauty, though you are even fairer than is necessary. The chief thing still remains. You came to teach the sculptor that his work is but dust and clay only, an outward form made of a material that decays, and that what we should seek to obtain is the ethereal essence of mind and spirit. Poor Kaela! our life was but as a meeting by the way-side; in yonder world, where we shall know each other from a union of mind, we shall be but mere acquaintances."

"That was not a loving speech," said Sophy, "nor spoken like a Christian. In a future state, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, but where, as you say, souls are attracted to each other by sympathy; there everything beautiful develops itself, and is raised to a higher state of existence: her soul will acquire such completeness that it may harmonize with yours, even more than mine, and you will then once more utter your first rapturous exclamation of your love, 'Beautiful, most beautiful!'"

 

“美” Page 2

“而且那里的饮食才糟呢!”珈拉说。

“连一碗真正的肉汤都没有!”妈妈说。“他们做菜的手艺也真够糟!”

珈拉对于旅行感到厌倦了。她老是感到疲倦——这是最糟糕的事儿。苏菲来和他们住在一起;这对他们说来是一件愉快的事情。

丈母娘说:“你得承认,苏菲既精于管家,也懂得艺术。就她的家世来说,这是很不容易的。此外,她非常正派,绝对可靠。这一点,当珈拉躺在病床上,一天不如一天的时候,苏菲表现得特别明显。”

如果箱子真正是一只好箱子的话,那么它就应该很结实,否则它就应该完事。这箱子现在真的算完事了——珈拉死了。

“她是那么美!”妈妈说。“她跟古董完全不同,因为古董没有一件是完整的!珈拉是完整的——‘美’就应该是这样。”

阿尔夫勒得哭起来,妈妈也哭起来。他们两人都穿上丧服。她穿起丧服很好看,所以她一直穿着丧服,穿了很久。于是另一件悲痛的事情接上来了:阿尔夫勒得又结婚了。他跟苏菲结婚了;她的外表并不动人。

“他走向另一个极端!”丈母娘说,“他从最美走向最丑。他居然能把头一个妻子忘掉。男人真是靠不住。不过我的丈夫完全不是这样!他比我死得早。”

“皮格马利翁得到了珈拉苔娅!”阿尔夫勒得说。“是的,这是结婚曲中的话。我也对一尊美丽的塑像发生了爱情——它在我的怀抱中获得了生命。不过灵魂是上帝送给我们的一个安琪儿:她安慰我们,同情我们,使我们有高超的感觉;而这尊塑像的灵魂我现在才第一次发现和得到。苏菲!你并没有带着美丽的形体和光彩到我身边来——但是你已经够好了,你的美已经超过了必需的程度!主要的东西究竟还是主要的东西!你的到来教育了一个雕刻家。他的作品不过是泥土和灰尘;我们应该追寻那蕴藏在它内部的永恒的精神。可怜的珈拉!我们的一生不过是像一次旅行罢了!在天上,我们将通过彼此的同情聚集在一起,那时我们可能彼此达到一半的认识吧。”

“这话说得不太和善!”苏菲说,“这不像一个基督徒说的话!在天上人们是不结婚的;不过正如你说的一样,在那上边,灵魂通过彼此的同情而碰到一起,一切美的东西都在发展和提高,她的灵魂可能变得完美无缺。甚至比我的还要完美。那时——那时你将又会发生你在第一次恋爱时的那种赞叹声:美呀!美呀!”

①加斯伯·好塞尔(Caspar Hauser,1812-1833)是一个神秘的德国孤儿。人们传说他出身于贵族,甚至皇族,因此许多要人信以为真,和他交往。他骄傲自满,许多人都受了他的骗。德国作家瓦塞曼(Jakob Wassermann,1873-1934)曾写过一部关于他的长篇小说《加斯伯·好塞尔》。

②方尖石塔的原文是obelisk。这是古代埃及人在庙门口竖立的一种四方形的尖顶石柱。后来罗马人运了几根到罗马。北欧根本没有这种东西,因此这位太太把obelisk这个字听成了organist(风琴师)。这两个字的发音虽然有些相近,但意思完全不同。

③这是两个在公元79年8月被维苏威火山喷发时毁掉的古城。

④据希腊神话,塞浦路斯的国王皮格马利翁(Pygmalion)用象牙雕刻出一尊美女像,结果他爱上了这尊像。爱情之女神维纳斯因此在这尊像上吹了一口仙气,使她有了生命。她的名字是珈拉苔娅(Galathea)。

⑤原文是:“将要住在玩偶之家里”(Sidde i dukkeskab),这是北欧一句成语,请参看易卜生的剧本《玩偶之家》。