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漂亮朋友

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Bel-Ami Maupassant 漂亮朋友 莫泊桑

2007-12-19

Bel - Ami

By Guy de Maupassant

Georges Duroy, a former soldier, had only three francs in his pocket when he met his former brother officer, Charles Forestier, in Paris one evening. Forestier, an editor of the daily newspaper, La Vie Francaise, unhesitatingly lent Duroy money to buy suitable clothes and invited him to come to dinner the following evening to meet the owner of the paper. The Forestiers' party was a success for Duroy. M. Walter hired him as a reporter to write a series of articles on his experiences in Algeria.

It was not easy for Duroy to adapt himself to his new job. His first article was due the day following the dinner party. Unable to write it in proper form, he was forced to hurry to the Forestier home early in the morning to seek stylistic advice. Forestier, just leaving, referred Duroy to Mme. Forestier for help. Together they turned out a successful piece. With her help Duroy slowly built a reputation as a clever reporter, but his salary remained small.

Two months after the Forestiers' dinner party Duroy called on Mme. de Marelle, who had been among the guests that evening. Duroy's friendship with Mme. de Marelle quickly developed into an affair. De Marelle was often away from home, so that his wife had ample time to see her lover, at his lodgings at first and then at an apartment which she rented for their rendezvous. Duroy objected mildly to having Mme. de Marelle bear this expense, but it was not long before he found himself regularly accepting small sums of money from her. It was Mme. de Marelle's daughter Laurine who first called him " Bel-Ami ," a nickname gradually adopted by most of his friends.

M.Forestier suffered from a bronchial ailment. As his health grew worse, his disposition became unbearable at the office. Duroy determined to avenge himself by attempting to seduce Mme. Forestier. She gently rebuffed him, but agreed that they could be friends. Duroy was brash enough to propose that she become his wife if she were ever widowed.

At Mme. Forestier's suggestion Duroy began to cultivate Mme. Walter. The week following his first visit to her he was appointed editor of the "Echoes," an important column. He had barely assumed this position when the editor of a rival newspaper, a Plume, accused him falsely of receiving bribes and suppressing news. For the honor of La Vie Francaise Duroy was forced to challenge his disparager to a duel. Though neither he nor his opponent was injured,M. Walter was pleased with Duroy’s spirit.

M. Walter was Duroy moved into the apartment Mme. de Marelle had rented for their meetings after he had promised that he would never bring anyone else there. Shortly afterward Forestier became seriously ill, and Duroy received a telegram asking him to join the Forestiers in Cannes, where they had gone for the invalid's health. After Forestier's death, as he and Mme. Forestier kept a vigil over the corpse, Duroy proposed once more. The widow made no promises but stated the next day that she might consider an alliance, though she warned her swain that she would have to be treated as an equal and her conduct left unquestioned.

Mme. Forestier returned to Paris. A year later she and Duroy were married. Georges du Roy de Cantel, as he now called himself at his wife's suggestion, and his bride had agreed to spend their honeymoon with his parents in Normandy. However, Mme. de Cantel spent only one day with his simple, ignorant peasant family in their tiny home.

The newspaper man found in his wife a valuable ally who not only aided him in writing his articles but also, as the friend of influential men, helped him to find a place in political circles. Unfortunately, friction soon developed between them. After he had moved into his wife's home, de Cantel found that its comforts had been designed to please its old master, and he soon found himself pushed gently into the niche his friend had occupied. Even the meals were prepared according to Forestier's taste. To pique his wife de Cantel began to call Forestier "poor Charles," always using an accent of infinite pity when he spoke the name.

Not long after his marriage de Cantel resumed his relationship with Mme. de Marelle and at the same time began an affair with Mme. Walter. He had briefly bemoaned the fact that he had not married wealthy young Suzanne Walter, but he soon became intrigued with the idea of seducing her mother, a pillar of dignity. His conquest was not a difficult one. Mme. Walter began to meet her lover at his rooms and to shower affection and attentions upon him so heavily that he quickly became bored.

Among Mme. de Cantel's political acquaintances was the foreign minister, Laroche-Mathieu, who supplied news of government activities to La Vie Francaise. Because the minister was also a close friend of M. Walter, it was not difficult for de Cantel's new paramour to learn the state secret that France would soon guarantee the Moroccan debt. Mme. Walter planned to buy some shares of the loan with the understanding that de Cantel would receive part of the profit. While Mme. Walter was carrying on her speculations, the de Cantels received a windfall in the form of a bequest from the late Count de Vaudrec, an old family friend of Mme. de Cantel. De Cantel objected to the Count's bequest of one million francs, however, on the grounds that appearances would compromise her. He allowed her to accept the money only after she had agreed to divide it equally with him, so that it would seem to outsiders as if they had both received a share.

De Cantel profited handsomely when France assumed the Moroccan debt, but his gains were small compared to those of Laroche-Mathieu and M. Walter, who had become millionaires as a result of the intrigue. One evening he and his wife were invited to view a painting in the Walters' magnificent new mansion. There de Cantel began a flirtation with Suzanne Walter; his own wife and Laroche-Mathieu had become intimates without attempting to conceal their friendship. That evening de Cantel persuaded Suzanne to agree never to accept a proposal without first asking his advice. At home after the reception he received with indifference the cross of the Legion of Honor which the foreign minister had given him. He felt that he was entitled to a larger reward for concealing news of the Moroccan affair from his readers. That spring he surprised his wife and Laroche-Mathieu at a rendezvous. Three months later he obtained a divorce, causing the minister's downfall by naming him correspondent.

A free man again, de Cantel was able to court Suzanne Walter. It was simple for him to persuade the girl to tell her parents she wished to marry him, to have her go away with him until they gave their consent to the match.

Mme. Walter was the only one at the magnificent church wedding to show any signs of sadness. She hated the daughter who had taken her lover, but at the same time she was powerless to prevent the marriage without compromising herself. M. Walter had managed to resign himself to having a conniving son-in-law, had, in fact, recognized his shrewdness by making him chief editor of the newspaper. Suzanne was innocently happy as she walked down the aisle with her father. Her new husband was also content. Greeting their well-wishers in the sacristy after the ceremony, he took advantage of the occasioin to reaffirm, with his eyes, his feelings for Mme. de Marelle. As he and his wife left the church, it seemed to him that it was only a stone's throw from that edifice to the chamber of deputies

漂亮的朋友

〔法〕基?德?莫泊桑

一天晚上,口袋里只剩下三法郎的退伍军官乔治?杜洛瓦在巴黎遇到老战友查理?弗赖斯节。弗赖斯节是《法兰西生活》日报的编辑,他当场慷慨解囊叫杜洛瓦去买些像样的衣服,并邀请他第二天晚上到家里吃饭,去见见报纸的老板。杜洛瓦在弗赖斯节家的晚宴上大出风头。华代尔先生聘请他担任记者,以他在阿尔及利亚的经历为题材写一组文章。

对于杜洛瓦来说,这件新工作并不容易;他得在晚宴的第二天交出第一篇稿子。由于写不出像样的东西,他不得不一大早赶到弗赖斯节家里求援。弗赖斯节正要外出,便让杜洛瓦去找太太帮忙。二人合力写出了一篇很出色的文章。在弗赖斯节夫人的帮助下,杜洛瓦渐渐有了名气,被认为是一名精明的记者。但他的薪水仍然十分微薄。

在弗赖斯节家的晚宴两个月之后,杜洛瓦拜访了德?马莱尔夫人,她也参加了那次晚宴。杜洛瓦同这位夫人的友谊很快发展成恋情。德?马莱尔先生经常出门在外,这使妻子有充足的时间同情人相会。开始是在杜洛瓦的寓所,后来她专门租了所公寓房子幽会。起初,杜洛瓦还略作姿态,不同意让德?马莱尔夫人花钱,但不久便接受她的定期小量资助了。最早称他为“漂亮朋友”的是德?马莱尔夫人的女儿洛琳娜,后来这个绰号就在他的大多数朋友中叫开了。

弗赖斯节先生患有支气管疾病。随着病情的恶化,他在办公室里脾气越来越坏。杜洛瓦为了报复,下决心要勾引他的妻子。她婉言拒绝了,但同意作为朋友相处。杜洛瓦不顾廉耻,竟提出一旦她居孀,两人便结婚。

经弗赖斯节夫人提醒,杜洛瓦开始博取华代尔夫人的好感。在拜访华代尔夫人后的第二个星期,他被任命为该报“回声”专栏的主编,这是一个十分重要的专栏。他刚刚就职,就受到竞争对手《羽报》的指控,诬陷他接受贿赂,封锁新闻。为了《法兰西生活》的荣誉,杜洛瓦不得不向诋毁他的人提出决斗。虽然双方都未负伤,华代尔先生对他的勇气却极为赞赏。

杜洛瓦搬进了德?马莱尔夫人为他们幽会而租下的那所公寓房子,向他保证绝不带任何人到那儿去。此后不久,弗赖斯节病情加重,杜洛瓦收到一封电报,要他立刻到戛纳去见弗赖斯节夫妇;他们去那儿是为了养病。弗赖斯节死后,杜洛瓦同弗赖斯节夫人一起守灵,再次向她求婚。这位寡妇当时未置可否,第二天早上却说她可以考虑同他结婚,但向她的崇拜者提出条件,她必须享有平等地位,而且她做的事不许他过问。弗赖斯节夫人回到巴黎。一年之后她同杜洛瓦结婚。他听从了太太的建议,易名为乔治?杜洛瓦?德?坎特尔。他同新娘商定去诺曼底他父母处度蜜月。可是德?坎特尔太太同住在乡下小家小院的朴实无知的杜洛瓦一家只过了一天。

这位报纸专栏主任发现自己的妻子是一个极有价值的伙伴,不仅帮他写文章,而且由于同一批有影响的人物有交情,还帮助他跻身政界。不幸的是,二人之间很快就发生了摩擦。搬进妻子家里之后,德?坎特尔发现家里的一切都是按照前主人的爱好设计的;他不久即感到自己在被缓缓推入他的朋友曾占据的位置,甚至连饭菜也是按照弗赖斯节的口味做的。德?坎特尔和妻子呕气,便把弗赖斯节叫做“可怜的查理”,每次他总是用一种无限怜悯的口吻来说这个名字。

婚后不久,德?坎特尔即与德?马莱尔夫人重叙旧情,同时又成了华代尔夫人的情夫。原先,他曾为未能娶上年轻、富有的苏珊娜?华代尔小姐而感到懊丧,但不久就策划想要勾引她那雍容华贵的母亲。他未花多大气力就征服了她。华代尔夫人开始去他的住处同他相会,并给他无穷无尽的爱抚、体贴,结果他很快便腻味了。

德?坎特尔太太在政界的熟人之一是外交部长拉罗哲?马底欧,他为《法兰西生活》提供政府活动的消息。因为部长也是华代尔先生的密友,所以德?坎特尔的新情人不费什么周折便了解到一项国家机密:法国不久将承诺担保摩洛哥的债务。华代尔夫人计划买进一批摩洛哥债券,她同德?坎特尔达成了默契,让他得到一部分好处。正当华代尔夫人进行投机的时候,德?坎特尔夫妇意外地发了财:这是德?坎特尔夫人的世交伏特莱克伯爵遗赠给她的一笔财产。可是德?坎特尔先生不同意妻子接受这位伯爵一百万法郎的遗赠,说是这样做会有损她的声誉。只是在妻子同意与他平分这笔财产之后,他才允许她接受,这样外界就会认为这笔财产是留给他们两个人的了。

法国承担摩洛哥的债务又为德?坎特尔带来一笔丰厚的收入,但是同拉罗哲?马底欧和华代尔先生相比,他还是小巫见大巫,这两位由于预谋得逞而成了百万富翁。一天晚上,德?坎特尔和妻子应邀去华代尔富丽堂皇的新居去看一幅油画。在那里,他开始同苏珊娜?华代尔调情;而他自己的妻子却和拉罗哲?马底欧打得火热,丝毫也不掩饰他们的交情。那天晚上,德?坎特尔说服了苏珊娜在听取他的意见之前不接受任何人的求婚。宴会结束回到家里,他收到外交部长授予他的十字荣誉勋章,但他却毫无感激之情。他觉得他理应得到更大的报酬,因为他向读者隐瞒了摩洛哥事件的真相。这一年春天,他在妻子与拉罗哲?马底欧幽会时出其不意地将他们捉了双。三个月之后他离了婚,并揭露外交部长即是奸夫,从而把他赶下了台。

德?坎特尔又自由了,他得以向苏珊娜?华代尔小姐求婚。他毫不费力便说服了这位小姐,让她对父母提出要同他结婚,并说服小姐跟他私奔,直到取得她父母的同意才回去。

在教堂举行的盛大婚礼上,华代尔夫人是唯一伤心的人。她恨女儿夺去了自己的情人,却不能阻止这桩婚事,因为那样做会损害她自己的名声。华代尔先生自慰得到了一个可以做帮手的女婿,他任命德?坎特尔为报纸主编,这实际上是承认了他的手腕高明。不知内情的苏珊娜在父亲陪伴下走在教堂的甬道上,感到十分幸福。她的新郎也很满意。仪式之后,他利用在更衣室答谢祝福的机会,用眼神向德?马莱尔夫人再次保证对她的爱情。当他同妻子离开教堂的时候,他似乎感到那座建筑离国民议会大厅只有一箭之遥了。
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