Chapter 08 THE ELF-CHILD AND THE MINISTER
第八章 小鬼和牧师

GOVERNOR BELLINGHAM, in a loose gown and easy cap- much as elderly gentlemen loved to endue themselves with, in their domestic privacy-walked foremost, and appeared to be showing off his estate, and expatiating on his projected improvements. The wide circumference of an elaborate ruff, beneath his grey beard, in the antiquated fashion of King James' reign, caused his head to look not a little like that of John the Baptist in a charger. The impression made by his aspect, so rigid and severe, and frost-bitten with more than autumnal age, was hardly in keeping with the appliances of worldly enjoyment wherewith he had evidently done his utmost to surround himself. But it is an error to suppose that our grave forefathers- though accustomed to speak and think of human existence as a state merely of trial and warfare, and though unfeignedly prepared to sacrifice goods and life at the behest of duty- made it a matter of conscience to reject such means of comfort, or even luxury, as lay fairly within their grasp. This creed was never taught, for instance, by the venerable pastor, John Wilson, whose beard, white as a snow-drift, was seen over Governor Bellingham's shoulder; while its wearer suggested that pears and peaches might yet be naturalised in the New England climate, and that purple grapes might possibly be compelled to flourish, against the sunny garden-wall. The old clergyman, nurtured at the rich bosom of the English Church, had a long-established and legitimate taste for all good and comfortable things; and however stern he might show himself in the pulpit, or in his public reproof of such transgressions as that of Hester Prynne, still, the genial benevolence of his private life had won him warmer affection than was accorded to any of his professional contemporaries.
贝灵汉总督身穿一件宽大的长袍,头戴一顶上年纪的绅士居家独处时喜欢用的便帽,他走在最前面,象是在炫耀他的产业,并且论说着他正在筹划着的种种改进方案。他的灰色胡须下面,围着詹姆斯国王统治期间①那种老式的精致而宽大的环状皱领,使得他的脑袋颇有点象托盘中的洗礼者约翰②的头颅。他外貌刻板威严,再加上垂暮之年的老气横秋,由此给人的印象,与他显然竭力使自己耽于世俗享乐的措施,二者很难协调起来。我们严肃的先人们虽然习惯于嘴里这么说,而且心里也这么想,认为人类的生存无非是经受考验和斗争,并且诚心诚意地准备好一声令下即要牺牲自己的财富和生命,但如果认定他们从道义上会拒绝唾手可得的享乐或奢侈,那可就大错特错了。例如,可尊可敬的约翰·威尔逊牧师,就从来没有宣讲过这一信条。此时他正跟在贝灵汉总督的身后,越过总督的肩膀,可以看见他的雪白的胡须。他建议说,梨和桃可以在新英格兰的气候中驯化,而紫葡萄也可能靠在日照的园墙上得以繁茂地生长。这位在英国教会的丰满乳汁中养育出来的老牧师,早已对一切美好舒适的东西怀有合法的嗜好;而且,无论他在布道坛上或是在公开谴责海丝特·白兰的罪名时显得多么声色惧厉,但他在私生活上的温和宽厚为他赢得的热爱之情,是胜过他的同辈神职人员的。

Behind the Governor and Mr. Wilson came two other guests; one the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, whom the reader may remember as having taken a brief and reluctant part in the scene of Hester Prynne's disgrace; and, in close companionship with him, old Roger Chillingworth, a person of great skill in physic, who, for two or three years past, had been settled in the town. It was understood that this learned man was the physician as well as friend of the young minister, whose health had severely suffered, of late, by his too unreserved self-sacrifice to the labours and duties of the pastoral relation.
随在总督和威尔逊先生身后走来的,是另外两名客人:一位就是大家记得在海丝特·白兰示众的场面中短短地扮演了一个不情愿的角色的阿瑟·丁梅斯代尔牧师;另一位紧紧伴着他的是老罗杰·齐灵渥斯,这位精通医术的人已经在镇上定居了两三年了。由于年轻的牧师在教会事务上过于不遗余力地尽职尽责,自我牺牲,最近健康状况严重受损,因此,学者成为他的医生和朋友,也就可以理解了。