Chapter 17 THE PASTOR AND HIS
第十七章 教长和教民

SLOWLY as the minister walked, he had almost gone by, before Hester Prynne could gather voice enough to attract his observation. At length, she succeeded.
尽管牧师走得很慢,也几乎要走过去了,可海丝特·白兰还是提不起声音喊他。最后,她总算叫了出来。

"Arthur Dimmesdale!" she said, faintly at first; then louder, but : "Arthur Dimmesdale!"
“阿瑟·丁梅斯代尔!”她说,起初有气无力,后来声音倒是放开了,可是有些沙哑。“阿瑟·丁梅斯代尔!”

"Who speaks?" answered the minister.
“是谁在说话?”牧师应声说。

Gathering himself quickly up, he stood more , like a man taken by surprise in a mood to which he was to have . Throwing his eyes anxiously in the direction of the voice, he beheld a form under the trees, clad in garments so, , and so little relieved from the grey twilight into which the clouded sky and the heavy had darkened the , that he knew not whether it were a woman or a shadow. It may be, that his pathway through life was haunted thus, by a that had stolen out from among his thoughts.
他立刻提起精神,挺直身子站住了,就象是一个人正处于不想被人看见的心情之中,突然吃了一惊似的。他急切地循声望去,模模糊糊地看见树下有个人影,身上的服色十分晦暗,在阴霾的天空和浓密的树荫遮得连正午都极为膝脆的昏幽之中,简直难以分辨,’他根本说不上那儿是个女人还是个影子。也许,在他的人生旅途上,常有这么一个幽灵从他的思想里溜出来纠缠他吧。

He made a step nigher, and discovered the scarlet letter.
他向前迈了一步,发现了红字。

"Hester! Hester Prynne!" said he. "Is it thou? Art thou in life?"
“海丝特!海丝特·白兰!”他说。“是你吗?你是活人吗?”

"Even so!" she answered. "In such life as has been mine these seven years past! And thou, Arthur Dimmesdale, dost thou yet live?"
“岂止如此!”她回答说。“我已经这样生活了七年了!而你呢,阿瑟·丁梅斯代尔,你还活着吗?”

It was no wonder that they thus questioned one another's actual and bodily , and even doubted of their own. So strangely did they meet, in the dim wood, that it was like the first , in the world beyond the grave, of two spirits who had been intimately connected in their former life, but now stood coldly shuddering, in mutual ; as not yet familiar with their state, nor wonted to the companionship of beings. Each a ghost, and -stricken at the other ghost! They were awe-stricken likewise at themselves; because the crisis flung back to them their , and revealed to each heart its history and experience, as life never does, except at such breathless . The soul beheld its features in the mirror of the passing moment. It was with fear, and , and, as it were, by a slow, reluctant necessity, that Arthur Dimmesdale put forth his hand, chill as death, and touched the chill hand of Hester Prynne. The , cold as it was, took away what was dreariest in the interview. They now felt themselves, at least, inhabitants of the same sphere.
他俩这样互相询问对方的肉体的实际存在,甚至怀疑自己还活着,是不足为奇的。他们在这幽暗的树林中如此不期而遇,简直象是两个幽灵,出了坟墓之后在世上首次避遁:他们的前世曾经关系密切,但如今却站在那里打着冷战,都让对方给吓坏了;似乎既不熟悉自己的状态,又不惯于与脱离了肉体的存在为伴。双方都是鬼魂,但又被对方的鬼魂吓得不知所措!他们其实也被自己吓得不知所措;因为这一紧急关头又重新勾起他们的意识,并向各自的心头揭示了自己的历史和经历,那是除去这种令人窒息的时刻,平常的人生中所从来没有的。灵魂在逝去的瞬间的镜子中看到了自己的模样。阿瑟·丁梅斯代尔恰恰是心怀恐惧,周身战抖,并且事实上缓慢而勉强地伸出他那死人一般冰冷的手,触摸到海丝特·白兰的发凉的手。这两手的相握虽然冷漠,但却驱散了相会时最阴沉的东西。他们此时至少感到双方是同一天地中的居民了。