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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Mayor of Casterbridge 卡斯特桥市长 » Chapter 3
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Chapter 3
The highroad into the village of Weydon-Priors was again carpeted with dust. The trees had put on as of yore their aspect of dingy1 green, and where the Henchard family of three had once walked along, two persons not unconnected with the family walked now.

The scene in its broad aspect had so much of its previous character, even to the voices and rattle2 from the neighbouring village down, that it might for that matter have been the afternoon following the previously3 recorded episode. Change was only to be observed in details; but here it was obvious that a long procession of years had passed by. One of the two who walked the road was she who had figured as the young wife of Henchard on the previous occasion; now her face had lost much of its rotundity; her skin had undergone a textural5 change; and though her hair had not lost colour it was considerably6 thinner than heretofore. She was dressed in the mourning clothes of a widow. Her companion, also in black, appeared as a wellformed young woman about eighteen, completely possessed7 of that ephemeral precious essence youth, which is itself beauty, irrespective of complexion8 or contour.

A glance was sufficient to inform the eye that this was Susan Henchard's grown-up daughter. While life's middle summer had set its hardening mark on the mother's face, her former spring-like specialities were transferred so dexterously9 by Time to the second figure, her child, that the absence of certain facts within her mother's knowledge from the girl's mind would have seemed for the moment, to one reflecting on those facts, to be a curious imperfection in Nature's powers of continuity.

They walked with joined hands, and it could be perceived that this was the act of simple affection. The daughter carried in her outer hand a withy basket of old-fashioned make; the mother a blue bundle, which contrasted oddly with her black stuff gown.

Reaching the outskirts10 of the village they pursued the same track as formerly11, and ascended12 to the fair. Here, too it was evident that the years had told. Certain mechanical improvements might have been noticed in the roundabouts and high-fliers, machines for testing rustic13 strength and weight, and in the erections devoted14 to shooting for nuts. But the real business of the fair had considerably dwindled15. The new periodical great markets of neighbouring towns were beginning to interfere16 seriously with the trade carried on here for centuries. The pens for sheep, the tie-ropes for horses, were about half as long as they had been. The stalls of tailors, hosiers, coopers, linen-drapers, and other such trades had almost disappeared, and the vehicles were far less numerous. The mother and daughter threaded the crowd for some little distance, and then stood still.

"Why did we hinder our time by coming in here? I thought you wished to get onward17?" said the maiden18.

"Yes, my dear Elizabeth-Jane," explained the other. "But I had a fancy for looking up here."

"Why?"

"It was here I first met with Newson--on such a day as this."

"First met with father here? Yes, you have told me so before. And now he's drowned and gone from us!" As she spoke19 the girl drew a card from her pocket and looked at it with a sigh. It was edged with black, and inscribed20 within a design resembling a mural tablet were the words, "In affectionate memory of Richard Newson, mariner21, who was unfortunately lost at sea, in the month of November 184--, aged22 forty-one years."

"And it was here," continued her mother, with more hesitation23, "that I last saw the relation we are going to look for--Mr. Michael Henchard."

"What is his exact kin4 to us, mother? I have never clearly had it told me."

"He is, or was--for he may be dead--a connection by marriage," said her mother deliberately24.

"That's exactly what you have said a score of times before!" replied the young woman, looking about her inattentively. "He's not a near relation, I suppose?"

"Not by any means."

"He was a hay-trusser, wasn't he, when you last heard of him?

"He was."

"I suppose he never knew me?" the girl innocently continued.

Mrs. Henchard paused for a moment, and answered un-easily, "Of course not, Elizabeth-Jane. But come this way." She moved on to another part of the field.

"It is not much use inquiring here for anybody, I should think," the daughter observed, as she gazed round about. "People at fairs change like the leaves of trees; and I daresay you are the only one here to-day who was here all those years ago."

"I am not so sure of that," said Mrs. Newson, as she now called herself, keenly eyeing something under a green bank a little way off. "See there."

The daughter looked in the direction signified. The object pointed25 out was a tripod of sticks stuck into the earth, from which hung a three-legged crock, kept hot by a smouldering wood fire beneath. Over the pot stooped an old woman haggard, wrinkled, and almost in rags. She stirred the contents of the pot with a large spoon, and occasionally croaked26 in a broken voice, "Good furmity sold here!"

It was indeed the former mistress of the furmity tent--once thriving, cleanly, white-aproned, and chinking with money-now tentless, dirty, owning no tables or benches, and having scarce any customers except two small whity-brown boys, who came up and asked for "A ha'p'orth, please--good measure," which she served in a couple of chipped yellow basins of commonest clay.

"She was here at that time," resumed Mrs. Newson, making a step as if to draw nearer.

"Don't speak to her--it isn't respectable!" urged the other.

"I will just say a word--you, Elizabeth-Jane, can stay here."

The girl was not loth, and turned to some stalls of coloured prints while her mother went forward. The old woman begged for the latter's custom as soon as she saw her, and responded to Mrs. Henchard-Newson's request for a pennyworth with more alacrity27 than she had shown in selling sixpennyworths in her younger days. When the soi-disant widow had taken the basin of thin poor slop that stood for the rich concoction28 of the former time, the hag opened a little basket behind the fire, and looking up slily, whispered, "Just a thought o' rum in it?--smuggled, you know--say two penn'orth--'twill make it slip down like cordial!"

Her customer smiled bitterly at this survival of the old trick, and shook her head with a meaning the old woman was far from translating. She pretended to eat a little of the furmity with the leaden spoon offered, and as she did so said blandly29 to the hag, "You've seen better days?"

"Ah, ma'am--well ye may say it!" responded the old woman, opening the sluices30 of her heart forthwith. "I've stood in this fair-ground, maid, wife, and widow, these nine-andthirty years, and in that time have known what it was to do business with the richest stomachs in the land! Ma'am you'd hardly believe that I was once the owner of a great pavilion-tent that was the attraction of the fair. Nobody could come, nobody could go, without having a dish of Mrs. Goodenough's furmity. I knew the clergy's taste, the dandy gent's taste; I knew the town's taste, the country's taste. I even knowed the taste of the coarse shameless females. But Lord's my life--the world's no memory; straightforward31 dealings don't bring profit--'tis the sly and the underhand that get on in these times!"

Mrs. Newson glanced round--her daughter was still bending over the distant stalls. "Can you call to mind," she said cautiously to the old woman, "the sale of a wife by her husband in your tent eighteen years ago to-day?"

The hag reflected, and half shook her head. "If it had been a big thing I should have minded it in a moment," she said. "I can mind every serious fight o' married parties, every murder, every manslaughter, even every pocket-picking-leastwise large ones--that 't has been my lot to witness. But a selling? Was it done quiet-like?"

"Well, yes. I think so."

The furmity woman half shook her head again. "And yet," she said, "I do. At any rate, I can mind a man doing something o' the sort--a man in a cord jacket, with a basket of tools; but, Lord bless ye, we don't gi'e it head-room, we don't, such as that. The only reason why I can mind the man is that he came back here to the next year's fair, and told me quite private-like that if a woman ever asked for him I was to say he had gone to--where?--Casterbridge--yes--to Casterbridge, said he. But, Lord's my life, I shouldn't ha' thought of it again!"

Mrs. Newson would have rewarded the old woman as far as her small means afforded had she not discreetly32 borne in mind that it was by that unscrupulous person's liquor her husband had been degraded. She briefly33 thanked her informant, and rejoined Elizabeth, who greeted her with, "Mother, do let's get on--it was hardly respectable for you to buy refreshments34 there. I see none but the lowest do."

"I have learned what I wanted, however," said her mother quietly. "The last time our relative visited this fair he said he was living at Casterbridge. It is a long, long way from here, and it was many years ago that he said it, but there I think we'll go."

With this they descended35 out of the fair, and went onward to the village, where they obtained a night's lodging36.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 dingy iu8xq     
adj.昏暗的,肮脏的
参考例句:
  • It was a street of dingy houses huddled together. 这是一条挤满了破旧房子的街巷。
  • The dingy cottage was converted into a neat tasteful residence.那间脏黑的小屋已变成一个整洁雅致的住宅。
2 rattle 5Alzb     
v.飞奔,碰响;激怒;n.碰撞声;拨浪鼓
参考例句:
  • The baby only shook the rattle and laughed and crowed.孩子只是摇着拨浪鼓,笑着叫着。
  • She could hear the rattle of the teacups.她听见茶具叮当响。
3 previously bkzzzC     
adv.以前,先前(地)
参考例句:
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
4 kin 22Zxv     
n.家族,亲属,血缘关系;adj.亲属关系的,同类的
参考例句:
  • He comes of good kin.他出身好。
  • She has gone to live with her husband's kin.她住到丈夫的亲戚家里去了。
5 textural c7313bb4c89e9a53e044c647030f967e     
adj. 组织上的, 构造上的
参考例句:
  • the textural characteristics of the rocks 岩石的纹理特征
  • High solid ferments and yeast lees contract to highlight textural qualities. 采用固体发和酵母分离技术提高酒的品质。
6 considerably 0YWyQ     
adv.极大地;相当大地;在很大程度上
参考例句:
  • The economic situation has changed considerably.经济形势已发生了相当大的变化。
  • The gap has narrowed considerably.分歧大大缩小了。
7 possessed xuyyQ     
adj.疯狂的;拥有的,占有的
参考例句:
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行为举止像是魔怔了。
8 complexion IOsz4     
n.肤色;情况,局面;气质,性格
参考例句:
  • Red does not suit with her complexion.红色与她的肤色不协调。
  • Her resignation puts a different complexion on things.她一辞职局面就全变了。
9 dexterously 5c204a62264a953add0b63ea7a6481d1     
adv.巧妙地,敏捷地
参考例句:
  • He operates the machine dexterously. 他操纵机器动作非常轻巧。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • How dexterously he handled the mite. 他伺候小家伙,有多么熟练。 来自辞典例句
10 outskirts gmDz7W     
n.郊外,郊区
参考例句:
  • Our car broke down on the outskirts of the city.我们的汽车在市郊出了故障。
  • They mostly live on the outskirts of a town.他们大多住在近郊。
11 formerly ni3x9     
adv.从前,以前
参考例句:
  • We now enjoy these comforts of which formerly we had only heard.我们现在享受到了过去只是听说过的那些舒适条件。
  • This boat was formerly used on the rivers of China.这船从前航行在中国内河里。
12 ascended ea3eb8c332a31fe6393293199b82c425     
v.上升,攀登( ascend的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He has ascended into heaven. 他已经升入了天堂。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The climbers slowly ascended the mountain. 爬山运动员慢慢地登上了这座山。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 rustic mCQz9     
adj.乡村的,有乡村特色的;n.乡下人,乡巴佬
参考例句:
  • It was nearly seven months of leisurely rustic living before Michael felt real boredom.这种悠闲的乡村生活过了差不多七个月之后,迈克尔开始感到烦闷。
  • We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.我们希望新鲜的空气和乡村的氛围能帮他调整自己。
14 devoted xu9zka     
adj.忠诚的,忠实的,热心的,献身于...的
参考例句:
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
15 dwindled b4a0c814a8e67ec80c5f9a6cf7853aab     
v.逐渐变少或变小( dwindle的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Support for the party has dwindled away to nothing. 支持这个党派的人渐渐化为乌有。
  • His wealth dwindled to nothingness. 他的钱财化为乌有。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 interfere b5lx0     
v.(in)干涉,干预;(with)妨碍,打扰
参考例句:
  • If we interfere, it may do more harm than good.如果我们干预的话,可能弊多利少。
  • When others interfere in the affair,it always makes troubles. 别人一卷入这一事件,棘手的事情就来了。
17 onward 2ImxI     
adj.向前的,前进的;adv.向前,前进,在先
参考例句:
  • The Yellow River surges onward like ten thousand horses galloping.黄河以万马奔腾之势滚滚向前。
  • He followed in the steps of forerunners and marched onward.他跟随着先辈的足迹前进。
18 maiden yRpz7     
n.少女,处女;adj.未婚的,纯洁的,无经验的
参考例句:
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
19 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
20 inscribed 65fb4f97174c35f702447e725cb615e7     
v.写,刻( inscribe的过去式和过去分词 );内接
参考例句:
  • His name was inscribed on the trophy. 他的名字刻在奖杯上。
  • The names of the dead were inscribed on the wall. 死者的名字被刻在墙上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
21 mariner 8Boxg     
n.水手号不载人航天探测器,海员,航海者
参考例句:
  • A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.平静的大海决不能造就熟练的水手。
  • A mariner must have his eye upon rocks and sands as well as upon the North Star.海员不仅要盯着北极星,还要注意暗礁和险滩。
22 aged 6zWzdI     
adj.年老的,陈年的
参考例句:
  • He had put on weight and aged a little.他胖了,也老点了。
  • He is aged,but his memory is still good.他已年老,然而记忆力还好。
23 hesitation tdsz5     
n.犹豫,踌躇
参考例句:
  • After a long hesitation, he told the truth at last.踌躇了半天,他终于直说了。
  • There was a certain hesitation in her manner.她的态度有些犹豫不决。
24 deliberately Gulzvq     
adv.审慎地;蓄意地;故意地
参考例句:
  • The girl gave the show away deliberately.女孩故意泄露秘密。
  • They deliberately shifted off the argument.他们故意回避这个论点。
25 pointed Il8zB4     
adj.尖的,直截了当的
参考例句:
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
26 croaked 9a150c9af3075625e0cba4de8da8f6a9     
v.呱呱地叫( croak的过去式和过去分词 );用粗的声音说
参考例句:
  • The crow croaked disaster. 乌鸦呱呱叫预报灾难。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • 'she has a fine head for it," croaked Jacques Three. “她有一个漂亮的脑袋跟着去呢,”雅克三号低沉地说。 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
27 alacrity MfFyL     
n.敏捷,轻快,乐意
参考例句:
  • Although the man was very old,he still moved with alacrity.他虽然很老,动作仍很敏捷。
  • He accepted my invitation with alacrity.他欣然接受我的邀请。
28 concoction 8Ytyv     
n.调配(物);谎言
参考例句:
  • She enjoyed the concoction of foreign dishes.她喜欢调制外国菜。
  • His story was a sheer concoction.他的故事实在是一纯属捏造之事。
29 blandly f411bffb7a3b98af8224e543d5078eb9     
adv.温和地,殷勤地
参考例句:
  • There is a class of men in Bristol monstrously prejudiced against Blandly. 布里斯托尔有那么一帮人为此恨透了布兰德利。 来自英汉文学 - 金银岛
  • \"Maybe you could get something in the stage line?\" he blandly suggested. “也许你能在戏剧这一行里找些事做,\"他和蔼地提议道。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
30 sluices 58a52839aaba80bf032ce8b48e5e5993     
n.水闸( sluice的名词复数 );(用水闸控制的)水;有闸人工水道;漂洗处v.冲洗( sluice的第三人称单数 );(指水)喷涌而出;漂净;给…安装水闸
参考例句:
  • Excess water will drain through sluices into the sea. 过剩的水将会通过水闸排放到海里去。 来自英语晨读30分(高二)
  • The sluices had already been opened, and with every day the floods were spreading. 水闸已经打开,洪水逐日奔流。 来自辞典例句
31 straightforward fFfyA     
adj.正直的,坦率的;易懂的,简单的
参考例句:
  • A straightforward talk is better than a flowery speech.巧言不如直说。
  • I must insist on your giving me a straightforward answer.我一定要你给我一个直截了当的回答。
32 discreetly nuwz8C     
ad.(言行)审慎地,慎重地
参考例句:
  • He had only known the perennial widow, the discreetly expensive Frenchwoman. 他只知道她是个永远那么年轻的寡妇,一个很会讲排场的法国女人。
  • Sensing that Lilian wanted to be alone with Celia, Andrew discreetly disappeared. 安德鲁觉得莉莲想同西莉亚单独谈些什么,有意避开了。
33 briefly 9Styo     
adv.简单地,简短地
参考例句:
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
34 refreshments KkqzPc     
n.点心,便餐;(会议后的)简单茶点招 待
参考例句:
  • We have to make a small charge for refreshments. 我们得收取少量茶点费。
  • Light refreshments will be served during the break. 中间休息时有点心供应。
35 descended guQzoy     
a.为...后裔的,出身于...的
参考例句:
  • A mood of melancholy descended on us. 一种悲伤的情绪袭上我们的心头。
  • The path descended the hill in a series of zigzags. 小路呈连续的之字形顺着山坡蜿蜒而下。
36 lodging wRgz9     
n.寄宿,住所;(大学生的)校外宿舍
参考例句:
  • The bill is inclusive of the food and lodging. 账单包括吃、住费用。
  • Where can you find lodging for the night? 你今晚在哪里借宿?


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