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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Mayor of Casterbridge 卡斯特桥市长 » Chapter 11
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Chapter 11
The Ring at Casterbridge was merely the local name of one of the finest Roman Amphitheatres, if not the very finest, remaining in Britain.

Casterbridge announced old Rome in every street, alley1, and precinct. It looked Roman, bespoke2 the art of Rome, concealed4 dead men of Rome. It was impossible to dig more than a foot or two deep about the town fields and gardens without coming upon some tall soldier or other of the Empire, who had lain there in his silent unobtrusive rest for a space of fifteen hundred years. He was mostly found lying on his side, in an oval scoop6 in the chalk, like a chicken in its shell; his knees drawn7 up to his chest; sometimes with the remains8 of his spear against his arm, a fibula or brooch of bronze on his breast or forehead, an urn9 at his knees, a jar at his throat, a bottle at his mouth; and mystified conjecture10 pouring down upon him from the eyes of Casterbridge street boys and men, who had turned a moment to gaze at the familiar spectacle as they passed by.

Imaginative inhabitants, who would have felt an unpleasantness at the discovery of a comparatively modern skeleton in their gardens, were quite unmoved by these hoary11 shapes. They had lived so long ago, their time was so unlike the present, their hopes and motives12 were so widely removed from ours, that between them and the living there seemed to stretch a gulf13 too wide for even a spirit to pass.

The Amphitheatre was a huge circular enclosure, with a notch14 at opposite extremities15 of its diameter north and south. From its sloping internal form it might have been called the spittoon of the Jotuns. It was to Casterbridge what the ruined Coliseum is to modern Rome, and was nearly of the same magnitude. The dusk of evening was the proper hour at which a true impression of this suggestive place could be received. Standing16 in the middle of the arena17 at that time there by degrees became apparent its real vastness, which a cursory18 view from the summit at noon-day was apt to obscure. Melancholy19, impressive, lonely, yet accessible from every part of the town, the historic circle was the frequent spot for appointments of a furtive20 kind. Intrigues21 were arranged there; tentative meetings were there experimented after divisions and feuds22. But one kind of appointment--in itself the most common of any--seldom had place in the Amphitheatre: that of happy lovers.

Why, seeing that it was pre-eminently an airy, accessible, and sequestered23 spot for interviews, the cheerfullest form of those occurrences never took kindly24 to the soil of the ruin, would be a curious inquiry25. Perhaps it was because its associations had about them something sinister26. Its history proved that. Apart from the sanguinary nature of the games originally played therein, such incidents attached to its past as these: that for scores of years the towngallows had stood at one corner; that in 1705 a woman who had murdered her husband was half-strangled and then burnt there in the presence of ten thousand spectators. Tradition reports that at a certain stage of the burning her heart burst and leapt out of her body, to the terror of them all, and that not one of those ten thousand people ever cared particularly for hot roast after that. In addition to these old tragedies, pugilistic encounters almost to the death had come off down to recent dates in that secluded27 arena, entirely28 invisible to the outside world save by climbing to the top of the enclosure, which few towns-people in the daily round of their lives ever took the trouble to do. So that, though close to the turnpike-road, crimes might be perpetrated there unseen at mid-day.

Some boys had latterly tried to impart gaiety to the ruin by using the central arena as a cricket-ground. But the game usually languished29 for the aforesaid reason--the dismal30 privacy which the earthen circle enforced, shutting out every appreciative31 passer's vision, every commendatory remark from outsiders--everything, except the sky; and to play at games in such circumstances was like acting32 to an empty house. Possibly, too, the boys were timid, for some old people said that at certain moments in the summer time, in broad daylight, persons sitting with a book or dozing33 in the arena had, on lifting their eyes, beheld34 the slopes lined with a gazing legion of Hadrian's soldiery as if watching the gladiatorial combat; and had heard the roar of their excited voices, that the scene would remain but a moment, like a lightning flash, and then disappear.

It was related that there still remained under the south entrance excavated35 cells for the reception of the wild animals and athletes who took part in the games. The arena was still smooth and circular, as if used for its original purpose not so very long ago. The sloping pathways by which spectators had ascended36 to their seats were pathways yet. But the whole was grown over with grass, which now, at the end of summer, was bearded with withered37 bents that formed waves under the brush of the wind, returning to the attentive38 ear aeolian modulations, and detaining for moments the flying globes of thistledown.

Henchard had chosen this spot as being the safest from observation which he could think of for meeting his longlost wife, and at the same time as one easily to be found by a stranger after nightfall. As Mayor of the town, with a reputation to keep up, he could not invite her to come to his house till some definite course had been decided39 on.

Just before eight he approached the deserted40 earth-work and entered by the south path which descended41 over the debris42 of the former dens5. In a few moments he could discern a female figure creeping in by the great north gap, or public gateway43. They met in the middle of the arena. Neither spoke3 just at first--there was no necessity for speech--and the poor woman leant against Henchard, who supported her in his arms.

"I don't drink," he said in a low, halting, apologetic voice. "You hear, Susan?--I don't drink now--I haven't since that night." Those were his first words.

He felt her bow her head in acknowledgment that she understood. After a minute or two he again began:

"If I had known you were living, Susan! But there was every reason to suppose you and the child were dead and gone. I took every possible step to find you--travelled--advertised. My opinion at last was that you had started for some colony with that man, and had been drowned on your voyage. Why did you keep silent like this?"

"O Michael! because of him--what other reason could there be? I thought I owed him faithfulness to the end of one of our lives--foolishly I believed there was something solemn and binding44 in the bargain; I thought that even in honour I dared not desert him when he had paid so much for me in good faith. I meet you now only as his widow--I consider myself that, and that I have no claim upon you. Had he not died I should never have come--never! Of that you may be sure."

"Ts-s-s! How could you be so simple?"

"I don't know. Yet it would have been very wicked--if I had not thought like that!" said Susan, almost crying.

"Yes--yes--so it would. It is only that which makes me feel 'ee an innocent woman. But--to lead me into this!"

"What, Michael?" she asked, alarmed.

"Why, this difficulty about our living together again, and Elizabeth-Jane. She cannot be told all--she would so despise us both that--I could not bear it!"

"That was why she was brought up in ignorance of you. I could not bear it either."

"Well--we must talk of a plan for keeping her in her present belief, and getting matters straight in spite of it. You have heard I am in a large way of business here--that I am Mayor of the town, and churchwarden, and I don't know what all?"

"Yes," she murmured.

"These things, as well as the dread45 of the girl discovering our disgrace, makes it necessary to act with extreme caution. So that I don't see how you two can return openly to my house as the wife and daughter I once treated badly, and banished46 from me; and there's the rub o't."

"We'll go away at once. I only came to see--"

"No, no, Susan; you are not to go--you mistake me!" he said with kindly severity. "I have thought of this plan: that you and Elizabeth take a cottage in the town as the widow Mrs. Newson and her daughter; that I meet you, court you, and marry you. Elizabeth-Jane coming to my house as my step-daughter. The thing is so natural and easy that it is half done in thinking o't. This would leave my shady, headstrong, disgraceful life as a young man absolutely unopened; the secret would be yours and mine only; and I should have the pleasure of seeing my own only child under my roof, as well as my wife."

"I am quite in your hands, Michael," she said meekly47. "I came here for the sake of Elizabeth; for myself, if you tell me to leave again to-morrow morning, and never come near you more, I am content to go."

"Now, now; we don't want to hear that," said Henchard gently. "Of course you won't leave again. Think over the plan I have proposed for a few hours; and if you can't hit upon a better one we'll adopt it. I have to be away for a day or two on business, unfortunately; but during that time you can get lodgings48--the only ones in the town fit for you are those over the china-shop in High Street--and you can also look for a cottage."

"If the lodgings are in High Street they are dear, I suppose?"

"Never mind--you MUST start genteel if our plan is to be carried out. Look to me for money. Have you enough till I come back?"

"Quite," said she.

"And are you comfortable at the inn?"

"O yes."

"And the girl is quite safe from learning the shame of her case and ours?--that's what makes me most anxious of all."

"You would be surprised to find how unlikely she is to dream of the truth. How could she ever suppose such a thing?"

True!

"I like the idea of repeating our marriage," said Mrs. Henchard, after a pause. "It seems the only right course, after all this. Now I think I must go back to ElizabethJane, and tell her that our kinsman49, Mr. Henchard, kindly wishes us to stay in the town."

"Very well--arrange that yourself. I'll go some way with you."

"No, no. Don't run any risk!" said his wife anxiously. "I can find my way back--it is not late. Please let me go alone."

"Right," said Henchard. "But just one word. Do you forgive me, Susan?"

She murmured something; but seemed to find it difficult to frame her answer.

"Never mind--all in good time," said he. "Judge me by my future works--good-bye!"

He retreated, and stood at the upper side of the Amphitheatre while his wife passed out through the lower way, and descended under the trees to the town. Then Henchard himself went homeward, going so fast that by the time he reached his door he was almost upon the heels of the unconscious woman from whom he had just parted. He watched her up the street, and turned into his house.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 alley Cx2zK     
n.小巷,胡同;小径,小路
参考例句:
  • We live in the same alley.我们住在同一条小巷里。
  • The blind alley ended in a brick wall.这条死胡同的尽头是砖墙。
2 bespoke 145af5d0ef7fa4d104f65fe8ad911f59     
adj.(产品)订做的;专做订货的v.预定( bespeak的过去式 );订(货);证明;预先请求
参考例句:
  • His style of dressing bespoke great self-confidence. 他的衣着风格显得十分自信。
  • The haberdasher presented a cap, saying,"Here is the cap your worship bespoke." 帽匠拿出一顶帽子来说:“这就是老爷您定做的那顶。” 来自辞典例句
3 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。
4 concealed 0v3zxG     
a.隐藏的,隐蔽的
参考例句:
  • The paintings were concealed beneath a thick layer of plaster. 那些画被隐藏在厚厚的灰泥层下面。
  • I think he had a gun concealed about his person. 我认为他当时身上藏有一支枪。
5 dens 10262f677bcb72a856e3e1317093cf28     
n.牙齿,齿状部分;兽窝( den的名词复数 );窝点;休息室;书斋
参考例句:
  • Female bears tend to line their dens with leaves or grass. 母熊往往会在洞穴里垫些树叶或草。 来自辞典例句
  • In winter bears usually hibernate in their dens. 冬天熊通常在穴里冬眠。 来自辞典例句
6 scoop QD1zn     
n.铲子,舀取,独家新闻;v.汲取,舀取,抢先登出
参考例句:
  • In the morning he must get his boy to scoop it out.早上一定得叫佣人把它剜出来。
  • Uh,one scoop of coffee and one scoop of chocolate for me.我要一勺咖啡的和一勺巧克力的。
7 drawn MuXzIi     
v.拖,拉,拔出;adj.憔悴的,紧张的
参考例句:
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
8 remains 1kMzTy     
n.剩余物,残留物;遗体,遗迹
参考例句:
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
9 urn jHaya     
n.(有座脚的)瓮;坟墓;骨灰瓮
参考例句:
  • The urn was unearthed entire.这只瓮出土完整无缺。
  • She put the big hot coffee urn on the table and plugged it in.她将大咖啡壶放在桌子上,接上电源。
10 conjecture 3p8z4     
n./v.推测,猜测
参考例句:
  • She felt it no use to conjecture his motives.她觉得猜想他的动机是没有用的。
  • This conjecture is not supported by any real evidence.这种推测未被任何确切的证据所证实。
11 hoary Jc5xt     
adj.古老的;鬓发斑白的
参考例句:
  • They discussed the hoary old problem.他们讨论老问题。
  • Without a word spoken,he hurried away,with his hoary head bending low.他什么也没说,低着白发苍苍的头,匆匆地走了。
12 motives 6c25d038886898b20441190abe240957     
n.动机,目的( motive的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • to impeach sb's motives 怀疑某人的动机
  • His motives are unclear. 他的用意不明。
13 gulf 1e0xp     
n.海湾;深渊,鸿沟;分歧,隔阂
参考例句:
  • The gulf between the two leaders cannot be bridged.两位领导人之间的鸿沟难以跨越。
  • There is a gulf between the two cities.这两座城市间有个海湾。
14 notch P58zb     
n.(V字形)槽口,缺口,等级
参考例句:
  • The peanuts they grow are top-notch.他们种的花生是拔尖的。
  • He cut a notch in the stick with a sharp knife.他用利刃在棒上刻了一个凹痕。
15 extremities AtOzAr     
n.端点( extremity的名词复数 );尽头;手和足;极窘迫的境地
参考例句:
  • She was most noticeable, I thought, in respect of her extremities. 我觉得她那副穷极可怜的样子实在太惹人注目。 来自辞典例句
  • Winters may be quite cool at the northwestern extremities. 西北边区的冬天也可能会相当凉。 来自辞典例句
16 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
17 arena Yv4zd     
n.竞技场,运动场所;竞争场所,舞台
参考例句:
  • She entered the political arena at the age of 25. 她25岁进入政界。
  • He had not an adequate arena for the exercise of his talents.他没有充分发挥其才能的场所。
18 cursory Yndzg     
adj.粗略的;草率的;匆促的
参考例句:
  • He signed with only a cursory glance at the report.他只草草看了一眼报告就签了名。
  • The only industry mentioned is agriculture and it is discussed in a cursory sentence.实业方面只谈到农业,而且只是匆匆带了一句。
19 melancholy t7rz8     
n.忧郁,愁思;adj.令人感伤(沮丧)的,忧郁的
参考例句:
  • All at once he fell into a state of profound melancholy.他立即陷入无尽的忧思之中。
  • He felt melancholy after he failed the exam.这次考试没通过,他感到很郁闷。
20 furtive kz9yJ     
adj.鬼鬼崇崇的,偷偷摸摸的
参考例句:
  • The teacher was suspicious of the student's furtive behaviour during the exam.老师怀疑这个学生在考试时有偷偷摸摸的行为。
  • His furtive behaviour aroused our suspicion.他鬼鬼祟祟的行为引起了我们的怀疑。
21 intrigues 48ab0f2aaba243694d1c9733fa06cfd7     
n.密谋策划( intrigue的名词复数 );神秘气氛;引人入胜的复杂情节v.搞阴谋诡计( intrigue的第三人称单数 );激起…的好奇心
参考例句:
  • He was made king as a result of various intrigues. 由于搞了各种各样的阴谋,他当上了国王。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Those who go in for intrigues and conspiracy are doomed to failure. 搞阴谋诡计的人注定要失败。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
22 feuds 7bdb739907464aa302e14a39815b23c0     
n.长期不和,世仇( feud的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Quarrels and feuds between tribes became incessant. 部落间的争吵、反目成仇的事件接连不断。 来自英汉非文学 - 文明史
  • There were feuds in the palace, no one can deny. 宫里也有斗争,这是无可否认的。 来自辞典例句
23 sequestered 0ceab16bc48aa9b4ed97d60eeed591f8     
adj.扣押的;隐退的;幽静的;偏僻的v.使隔绝,使隔离( sequester的过去式和过去分词 );扣押
参考例句:
  • The jury is expected to be sequestered for at least two months. 陪审团渴望被隔离至少两个月。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Everything he owned was sequestered. 他的一切都被扣押了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 kindly tpUzhQ     
adj.和蔼的,温和的,爽快的;adv.温和地,亲切地
参考例句:
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
25 inquiry nbgzF     
n.打听,询问,调查,查问
参考例句:
  • Many parents have been pressing for an inquiry into the problem.许多家长迫切要求调查这个问题。
  • The field of inquiry has narrowed down to five persons.调查的范围已经缩小到只剩5个人了。
26 sinister 6ETz6     
adj.不吉利的,凶恶的,左边的
参考例句:
  • There is something sinister at the back of that series of crimes.在这一系列罪行背后有险恶的阴谋。
  • Their proposals are all worthless and designed out of sinister motives.他们的建议不仅一钱不值,而且包藏祸心。
27 secluded wj8zWX     
adj.与世隔绝的;隐退的;偏僻的v.使隔开,使隐退( seclude的过去式和过去分词)
参考例句:
  • Some people like to strip themselves naked while they have a swim in a secluded place. 一些人当他们在隐蔽的地方游泳时,喜欢把衣服脱光。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • This charming cottage dates back to the 15th century and is as pretty as a picture, with its thatched roof and secluded garden. 这所美丽的村舍是15世纪时的建筑,有茅草房顶和宁静的花园,漂亮极了,简直和画上一样。 来自《简明英汉词典》
28 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
29 languished 661830ab5cc19eeaa1acede1c2c0a309     
长期受苦( languish的过去式和过去分词 ); 受折磨; 变得(越来越)衰弱; 因渴望而变得憔悴或闷闷不乐
参考例句:
  • Our project languished during the holidays. 我们的计划在假期间推动得松懈了。
  • He languished after his dog died. 他狗死之后,人憔悴了。
30 dismal wtwxa     
adj.阴沉的,凄凉的,令人忧郁的,差劲的
参考例句:
  • That is a rather dismal melody.那是一支相当忧郁的歌曲。
  • My prospects of returning to a suitable job are dismal.我重新找到一个合适的工作岗位的希望很渺茫。
31 appreciative 9vDzr     
adj.有鉴赏力的,有眼力的;感激的
参考例句:
  • She was deeply appreciative of your help.她对你的帮助深表感激。
  • We are very appreciative of their support in this respect.我们十分感谢他们在这方面的支持。
32 acting czRzoc     
n.演戏,行为,假装;adj.代理的,临时的,演出用的
参考例句:
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
33 dozing dozing     
v.打瞌睡,假寐 n.瞌睡
参考例句:
  • The economy shows no signs of faltering. 经济没有衰退的迹象。
  • He never falters in his determination. 他的决心从不动摇。
34 beheld beheld     
v.看,注视( behold的过去式和过去分词 );瞧;看呀;(叙述中用于引出某人意外的出现)哎哟
参考例句:
  • His eyes had never beheld such opulence. 他从未见过这样的财富。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soul beheld its features in the mirror of the passing moment. 灵魂在逝去的瞬间的镜子中看到了自己的模样。 来自英汉文学 - 红字
35 excavated 3cafdb6f7c26ffe41daf7aa353505858     
v.挖掘( excavate的过去式和过去分词 );开凿;挖出;发掘
参考例句:
  • The site has been excavated by archaeologists. 这个遗址已被考古学家发掘出来。
  • The archaeologists excavated an ancient fortress. 考古学家们发掘出一个古堡。 来自《简明英汉词典》
36 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》
37 withered 342a99154d999c47f1fc69d900097df9     
adj. 枯萎的,干瘪的,(人身体的部分器官)因病萎缩的或未发育良好的 动词wither的过去式和过去分词形式
参考例句:
  • The grass had withered in the warm sun. 这些草在温暖的阳光下枯死了。
  • The leaves of this tree have become dry and withered. 这棵树下的叶子干枯了。
38 attentive pOKyB     
adj.注意的,专心的;关心(别人)的,殷勤的
参考例句:
  • She was very attentive to her guests.她对客人招待得十分周到。
  • The speaker likes to have an attentive audience.演讲者喜欢注意力集中的听众。
39 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
40 deserted GukzoL     
adj.荒芜的,荒废的,无人的,被遗弃的
参考例句:
  • The deserted village was filled with a deathly silence.这个荒废的村庄死一般的寂静。
  • The enemy chieftain was opposed and deserted by his followers.敌人头目众叛亲离。
41 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。
42 debris debris     
n.瓦砾堆,废墟,碎片
参考例句:
  • After the bombing there was a lot of debris everywhere.轰炸之后到处瓦砾成堆。
  • Bacteria sticks to food debris in the teeth,causing decay.细菌附着在牙缝中的食物残渣上,导致蛀牙。
43 gateway GhFxY     
n.大门口,出入口,途径,方法
参考例句:
  • Hard work is the gateway to success.努力工作是通往成功之路。
  • A man collected tolls at the gateway.一个人在大门口收通行费。
44 binding 2yEzWb     
有约束力的,有效的,应遵守的
参考例句:
  • The contract was not signed and has no binding force. 合同没有签署因而没有约束力。
  • Both sides have agreed that the arbitration will be binding. 双方都赞同仲裁具有约束力。
45 dread Ekpz8     
vt.担忧,忧虑;惧怕,不敢;n.担忧,畏惧
参考例句:
  • We all dread to think what will happen if the company closes.我们都不敢去想一旦公司关门我们该怎么办。
  • Her heart was relieved of its blankest dread.她极度恐惧的心理消除了。
46 banished b779057f354f1ec8efd5dd1adee731df     
v.放逐,驱逐( banish的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • He was banished to Australia, where he died five years later. 他被流放到澳大利亚,五年后在那里去世。
  • He was banished to an uninhabited island for a year. 他被放逐到一个无人居住的荒岛一年。 来自《简明英汉词典》
47 meekly meekly     
adv.温顺地,逆来顺受地
参考例句:
  • He stood aside meekly when the new policy was proposed. 当有人提出新政策时,他唯唯诺诺地站 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He meekly accepted the rebuke. 他顺从地接受了批评。 来自《简明英汉词典》
48 lodgings f12f6c99e9a4f01e5e08b1197f095e6e     
n. 出租的房舍, 寄宿舍
参考例句:
  • When he reached his lodgings the sun had set. 他到达公寓房间时,太阳已下山了。
  • I'm on the hunt for lodgings. 我正在寻找住所。
49 kinsman t2Xxq     
n.男亲属
参考例句:
  • Tracing back our genealogies,I found he was a kinsman of mine.转弯抹角算起来他算是我的一个亲戚。
  • A near friend is better than a far dwelling kinsman.近友胜过远亲。


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