《了不起的盖茨比》The Great Gatsby中英文双语对照3

投稿:tina作者:佚名 [我的文集]来源: 时间:2018-05-02 09:43:32 阅读:68

 There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. Inhis blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among thewhisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in theafternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft ortaking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boatsslit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts offoam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing partiesto and from the city, between nine in the morning and long pastmidnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug tomeet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants including an extragardener toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammersand garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.

Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruitererin New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his backdoor in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in thekitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half anhour, if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler'sthumb.

At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with severalhundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmastree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished withglistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads ofharlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stockedwith gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most ofhis female guests were too young to know one from another.

By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived--no thin five-piece affairbut a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols andcornets and piccolos and low and high drums. The last swimmers havecome in from the beach now and are dressing upstairs; the cars fromNew York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls andsalons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors and hair shorn instrange new ways and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. Thebar is in full swing and floating rounds of cocktails permeate thegarden outside until the air is alive with chatter and laughter andcasual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot andenthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names.

The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun andnow the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music and the opera ofvoices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier, minute by minute,spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groupschange more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in thesame breath--already there are wanderers, confident girls who weavehere and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp,joyous moment the center of a group and then excited with triumphglide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under theconstantly changing light.

Suddenly one of these gypsies in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail outof the air, dumps it down for courage and moving her hands likeFrisco dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; theorchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her and there is aburst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is GildaGray's understudy from the "Follies." The party has begun.

I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one ofthe few guests who had actually been invited. People were notinvited--they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them outto Long Island and somehow they ended up at Gatsby's door. Once therethey were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby and after that theyconducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated withamusement parks. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsbyat all, came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its ownticket of admission.

I had been actually invited. A chauffeur in a uniform of robin's eggblue crossed my lawn early that Saturday morning with a surprisinglyformal note from his employer--the honor would be entirely Gatsby's, itsaid, if I would attend his "little party" that night. He hadseen me several times and had intended to call on me long beforebut a peculiar combination of circumstances had prevented it--signedJay Gatsby in a majestic hand.

Dressed up in white flannels I went over to his lawn a little afterseven and wandered around rather ill-at-ease among swirls and eddiesof people I didn't know--though here and there was a face I had noticedon the commuting train. I was immediately struck by the number of youngEnglishmen dotted about; all well dressed, all looking a little hungryand all talking in low earnest voices to solid and prosperousAmericans. I was sure that they were selling something: bonds orinsurance or automobiles. They were, at least, agonizingly aware of theeasy money in the vicinity and convinced that it was theirs for a fewwords in the right key.

As soon as I arrived I made an attempt to find my host but the two orthree people of whom I asked his whereabouts stared at me in such anamazed way and denied so vehemently any knowledge of his movementsthat I slunk off in the direction of the cocktail table--the only placein the garden where a single man could linger without lookingpurposeless and alone.

I was on my way to get roaring drunk from sheer embarrassment whenJordan Baker came out of the house and stood at the head of the marblesteps, leaning a little backward and looking with contemptuous interestdown into the garden.

Welcome or not, I found it necessary to attach myself to someonebefore I should begin to address cordial remarks to the passers-by.

"Hello!" I roared, advancing toward her. My voice seemed unnaturallyloud across the garden.

"I thought you might be here," she responded absently as I came up."I remembered you lived next door to----"

She held my hand impersonally, as a promise that she'd take careof me in a minute, and gave ear to two girls in twin yellow dresseswho stopped at the foot of the steps.

"Hello!" they cried together. "Sorry you didn't win."

That was for the golf tournament. She had lost in the finals the weekbefore.

"You don't know who we are," said one of the girls in yellow, "but wemet you here about a month ago."

"You've dyed your hair since then," remarked Jordan, and I startedbut the girls had moved casually on and her remark was addressed to thepremature moon, produced like the supper, no doubt, out of a caterer'sbasket. With Jordan's slender golden arm resting in mine we descendedthe steps and sauntered about the garden. A tray of cocktails floated atus through the twilight and we sat down at a table with the two girls inyellow and three men, each one introduced to us as Mr. Mumble.

"Do you come to these parties often?" inquired Jordan of the girlbeside her.

"The last one was the one I met you at," answered the girl, in an alert,confident voice. She turned to her companion: "Wasn't it for you,Lucille?"

It was for Lucille, too.

"I like to come," Lucille said. "I never care what I do, so I always havea good time. When I was here last I tore my gown on a chair, and he askedme my name and address--inside of a week I got a package from Croirier'swith a new evening gown in it."

"Did you keep it?" asked Jordan.

"Sure I did. I was going to wear it tonight, but it was too big in thebust and had to be altered. It was gas blue with lavender beads. Twohundred and sixty-five dollars."

"There's something funny about a fellow that'll do a thing like that,"said the other girl eagerly. "He doesn't want any trouble with ANYbody."

"Who doesn't?" I inquired.

"Gatsby. Somebody told me----"

The two girls and Jordan leaned together confidentially.

"Somebody told me they thought he killed a man once."

A thrill passed over all of us. The three Mr. Mumbles bent forward andlistened eagerly.

"I don't think it's so much THAT," argued Lucille skeptically; "it'smore that he was a German spy during the war."

One of the men nodded in confirmation.

"I heard that from a man who knew all about him, grew up with him inGermany," he assured us positively.

"Oh, no," said the first girl, "it couldn't be that, because he was inthe American army during the war." As our credulity switched back toher she leaned forward with enthusiasm. "You look at him sometimes whenhe thinks nobody's looking at him. I'll bet he killed a man."

She narrowed her eyes and shivered. Lucille shivered. We all turned andlooked around for Gatsby. It was testimony to the romantic speculation heinspired that there were whispers about him from those who found littlethat it was necessary to whisper about in this world.

The first supper--there would be another one after midnight--was nowbeing served, and Jordan invited me to join her own party who werespread around a table on the other side of the garden. There werethree married couples and Jordan's escort, a persistent undergraduategiven to violent innuendo and obviously under the impressionthat sooner or later Jordan was going to yield him up her personto a greater or lesser degree. Instead of rambling this partyhad preserved a dignified homogeneity, and assumed to itself thefunction of representing the staid nobility of the countryside--EastEgg condescending to West Egg, and carefully on guard against itsspectroscopic gayety.

"Let's get out," whispered Jordan, after a somehow wasteful andinappropriate half hour. "This is much too polite for me."

We got up, and she explained that we were going to find the host--Ihad never met him, she said, and it was making me uneasy. Theundergraduate nodded in a cynical, melancholy way.

The bar, where we glanced first, was crowded but Gatsby was not there.She couldn't find him from the top of the steps, and he wasn't on theveranda. On a chance we tried an important-looking door, and walkedinto a high Gothic library, panelled with carved English oak, andprobably transported complete from some ruin overseas.

A stout, middle-aged man with enormous owl-eyed spectacles wassitting somewhat drunk on the edge of a great table, staring withunsteady concentration at the shelves of books. As we entered hewheeled excitedly around and examined Jordan from head to foot.

"What do you think?" he demanded impetuously.

"About what?"

He waved his hand toward the book-shelves.

"About that. As a matter of fact you needn't bother to ascertain. Iascertained. They're real."

"The books?"

He nodded.