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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Mayor of Casterbridge 卡斯特桥市长 » Chapter 12
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Chapter 12
On entering his own door after watching his wife out of sight, the Mayor walked on through the tunnel-shaped passage into the garden, and thence by the back door towards the stores and granaries. A light shone from the office-window, and there being no blind to screen the interior Henchard could see Donald Farfrae still seated where he had left him, initiating1 himself into the managerial work of the house by overhauling2 the books. Henchard entered, merely observing, "Don't let me interrupt you, if ye will stay so late."

He stood behind Farfrae's chair, watching his dexterity3 in clearing up the numerical fogs which had been allowed to grow so thick in Henchard's books as almost to baffle even the Scotchman's perspicacity4. The corn-factor's mien5 was half admiring, and yet it was not without a dash of pity for the tastes of any one who could care to give his mind to such finnikin details. Henchard himself was mentally and physically6 unfit for grubbing subtleties7 from soiled paper; he had in a modern sense received the education of Achilles, and found penmanship a tantalizing8 art.

"You shall do no more to-night," he said at length, spreading his great hand over the paper. "There's time enough to-morrow. Come indoors with me and have some supper. Now you shall! I am determined9 on't." He shut the account-books with friendly force.

Donald had wished to get to his lodgings10; but he already saw that his friend and employer was a man who knew no moderation in his requests and impulses, and he yielded gracefully12. He liked Henchard's warmth, even if it inconvenienced him; the great difference in their characters adding to the liking13.

They locked up the office, and the young man followed his companion through the private little door which, admitting directly into Henchard's garden, permitted a passage from the utilitarian14 to the beautiful at one step. The garden was silent, dewy, and full of perfume. It extended a long way back from the house, first as lawn and flower-beds, then as fruit-garden, where the long-tied espaliers, as old as the old house itself, had grown so stout15, and cramped16, and gnarled that they had pulled their stakes out of the ground and stood distorted and writhing17 in vegetable agony, like leafy Laocoons. The flowers which smelt18 so sweetly were not discernible; and they passed through them into the house.

The hospitalities of the morning were repeated, and when they were over Henchard said, "Pull your chair round to the fireplace, my dear fellow, and let's make a blaze--there's nothing I hate like a black grate, even in September." He applied19 a light to the laid-in fuel, and a cheerful radiance spread around.

"It is odd," said Henchard, "that two men should meet as we have done on a purely20 business ground, and that at the end of the first day I should wish to speak to 'ee on a family matter. But, damn it all, I am a lonely man, Farfrae: I have nobody else to speak to; and why shouldn't I tell it to 'ee?"

"I'll be glad to hear it, if I can be of any service," said Donald, allowing his eyes to travel over the intricate woodcarvings of the chimney-piece, representing garlanded lyres, shields, and quivers, on either side of a draped ox-skull, and flanked by heads of Apollo and Diana in low relief.

"I've not been always what I am now," continued Henchard, his firm deep voice being ever so little shaken. He was plainly under that strange influence which sometimes prompts men to confide22 to the new-found friend what they will not tell to the old. "I began life as a working hay-trusser, and when I was eighteen I married on the strength o' my calling. Would you think me a married man?"

"I heard in the town that you were a widower23."

"Ah, yes--you would naturally have heard that. Well, I lost my wife nineteen years ago or so--by my own fault....This is how it came about. One summer evening I was travelling for employment, and she was walking at my side, carying the baby, our only child. We came to a booth in a country fair. I was a drinking man at that time."

Henchard paused a moment, threw himself back so that his elbow rested on the table, his forehead being shaded by his hand, which, however, did not hide the marks of introspective inflexibility24 on his features as he narrated25 in fullest detail the incidents of the transaction with the sailor. The tinge26 of indifference27 which had at first been visible in the Scotchman now disappeared.

Henchard went on to describe his attempts to find his wife; the oath he swore; the solitary28 life he led during the years which followed. "I have kept my oath for nineteen years," he went on; "I have risen to what you see me now."

"Ay!"

"Well--no wife could I hear of in all that time; and being by nature something of a woman-hater, I have found it no hardship to keep mostly at a distance from the sex. No wife could I hear of, I say, till this very day. And now--she has come back."

"Come back, has she!"

"This morning--this very morning. And what's to be done?"

"Can ye no' take her and live with her, and make some amends29?"

"That's what I've planned and proposed. But, Farfrae," said Henchard gloomily, "by doing right with Susan I wrong another innocent woman."

"Ye don't say that?"

"In the nature of things, Farfrae, it is almost impossible that a man of my sort should have the good fortune to tide through twenty years o' life without making more blunders than one. It has been my custom for many years to run across to Jersey30 in the the way of business, particularly in the potato and root season. I do a large trade wi' them in that line. Well, one autumn when stopping there I fell quite ill, and in my illness I sank into one of those gloomy fits I sometimes suffer from, on account o' the loneliness of my domestic life, when the world seems to have the blackness of hell, and, like Job, I could curse the day that gave me birth."

"Ah, now, I never feel like it," said Farfrae.

"Then pray to God that you never may, young man. While in this state I was taken pity on by a woman--a young lady I should call her, for she was of good family, well bred, and well educated--the daughter of some harum-scarum military officer who had got into difficulties, and had his pay sequestrated. He was dead now, and her mother too, and she was as lonely as I. This young creature was staying at the boarding-house where I happened to have my lodging11; and when I was pulled down she took upon herself to nurse me. From that she got to have a foolish liking for me. Heaven knows why, for I wasn't worth it. But being together in the same house, and her feeling warm, we got naturally intimate. I won't go into particulars of what our relations were. It is enough to say that we honestly meant to marry. There arose a scandal, which did me no harm, but was of course ruin to her. Though, Farfrae, between you and me, as man and man, I solemnly declare that philandering31 with womankind has neither been my vice21 nor my virtue32. She was terribly careless of appearances, and I was perhaps more, because o' my dreary33 state; and it was through this that the scandal arose. At last I was well, and came away. When I was gone she suffered much on my account, and didn't forget to tell me so in letters one after another; till latterly, I felt I owed her something, and thought that, as I had not heard of Susan for so long, I would make this other one the only return I could make, and ask her if she would run the risk of Susan being alive (very slight as I believed) and marry me, such as I was. She jumped for joy, and we should no doubt soon have been married--but, behold34, Susan appears!"

Donald showed his deep concern at a complication so far beyond the degree of his simple experiences.

"Now see what injury a man may cause around him! Even after that wrong-doing at the fair when I was young, if I had never been so selfish as to let this giddy girl devote herself to me over at Jersey, to the injury of her name, all might now be well. Yet, as it stands, I must bitterly disappoint one of these women; and it is the second. My first duty is to Susan--there's no doubt about that."

"They are both in a very melancholy35 position, and that's true!" murmured Donald.

"They are! For myself I don't care--'twill all end one way. But these two." Henchard paused in reverie. "I feel I should like to treat the second, no less than the first, as kindly36 as a man can in such a case."

"Ah, well, it cannet be helped!" said the other, with philosophic37 woefulness. "You mun write to the young lady, and in your letter you must put it plain and honest that it turns out she cannet be your wife, the first having come back; that ye cannet see her more; and that--ye wish her weel."

"That won't do. 'Od seize it, I must do a little more than that! I must--though she did always brag38 about her rich uncle or rich aunt, and her expectations from 'em--I must send a useful sum of money to her, I suppose--just as a little recompense, poor girl....Now, will you help me in this, and draw up an explanation to her of all I've told ye, breaking it as gently as you can? I'm so bad at letters."

"And I will."

"Now, I haven't told you quite all yet. My wife Susan has my daughter with her--the baby that was in her arms at the fair; and this girl knows nothing of me beyond that I am some sort of relation by marriage. She has grown up in the belief that the sailor to whom I made over her mother, and who is now dead, was her father, and her mother's husband.

What her mother has always felt, she and I together feel now--that we can't proclaim our disgrace to the girl by letting her know the truth. Now what would you do?--I want your advice."

"I think I'd run the risk, and tell her the truth. She'll forgive ye both."

"Never!" said Henchard. "I am not going to let her know the truth. Her mother and I be going to marry again; and it will not only help us to keep our child's respect, but it will be more proper. Susan looks upon herself as the sailor's widow, and won't think o' living with me as formerly39 without another religious ceremony--and she's right."

Farfrae thereupon said no more. The letter to the young Jersey woman was carefully framed by him, and the interview ended, Henchard saying, as the Scotchman left, "I feel it a great relief, Farfrae, to tell some friend o' this! You see now that the Mayor of Casterbridge is not so thriving in his mind as it seems he might be from the state of his pocket."

"I do. And I'm sorry for ye!" said Farfrae.

When he was gone Henchard copied the letter, and, enclosing a cheque, took it to the post-office, from which he walked back thoughtfully.

"Can it be that it will go off so easily!" he said. "Poor thing--God knows! Now then, to make amends to Susan!"

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1 initiating 88832d3915125bdffcc264e1cdb71d73     
v.开始( initiate的现在分词 );传授;发起;接纳新成员
参考例句:
  • He is good at initiating projects but rarely follows through with anything. 他善于创建项目,但难得坚持完成。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Only the perchlorate shows marked sensitiveness and possibly initiating properties. 只有高氯酸盐表现有显著的感度和可能具有起爆性能。 来自辞典例句
2 overhauling c335839deaeda81ce0dd680301931584     
n.大修;拆修;卸修;翻修v.彻底检查( overhaul的现在分词 );大修;赶上;超越
参考例句:
  • I had no chance of overhauling him. 我没有赶上他的可能。 来自辞典例句
  • Some sites need little alterations but some need total overhauling. 有些网站需要做出细微修改,而有些网站就需要整体改版。 来自互联网
3 dexterity hlXzs     
n.(手的)灵巧,灵活
参考例句:
  • You need manual dexterity to be good at video games.玩好电子游戏手要灵巧。
  • I'm your inferior in manual dexterity.论手巧,我不如你。
4 perspicacity perspicacity     
n. 敏锐, 聪明, 洞察力
参考例句:
  • Perspicacity includes selective code, selective comparing and selective combining. 洞察力包括选择性编码、选择性比较、选择性联合。
  • He may own the perspicacity and persistence to catch and keep the most valuable thing. 他可能拥有洞察力和坚忍力,可以抓住和保有人生中最宝贵的东西。
5 mien oDOxl     
n.风采;态度
参考例句:
  • He was a Vietnam veteran with a haunted mien.他是个越战老兵,举止总有些惶然。
  • It was impossible to tell from his mien whether he was offended.从他的神态中难以看出他是否生气了。
6 physically iNix5     
adj.物质上,体格上,身体上,按自然规律
参考例句:
  • He was out of sorts physically,as well as disordered mentally.他浑身不舒服,心绪也很乱。
  • Every time I think about it I feel physically sick.一想起那件事我就感到极恶心。
7 subtleties 7ed633566637e94fa02b8a1fad408072     
细微( subtlety的名词复数 ); 精细; 巧妙; 细微的差别等
参考例句:
  • I think the translator missed some of the subtleties of the original. 我认为译者漏掉了原著中一些微妙之处。
  • They are uneducated in the financial subtleties of credit transfer. 他们缺乏有关信用转让在金融方面微妙作用的知识。
8 tantalizing 3gnzn9     
adj.逗人的;惹弄人的;撩人的;煽情的v.逗弄,引诱,折磨( tantalize的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • This was my first tantalizing glimpse of the islands. 这是我第一眼看见的这些岛屿的动人美景。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We have only vague and tantalizing glimpses of his power. 我们只能隐隐约约地领略他的威力,的确有一种可望不可及的感觉。 来自英汉非文学 - 历史
9 determined duszmP     
adj.坚定的;有决心的
参考例句:
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
10 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。
11 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?
12 gracefully KfYxd     
ad.大大方方地;优美地
参考例句:
  • She sank gracefully down onto a cushion at his feet. 她优雅地坐到他脚旁的垫子上。
  • The new coats blouse gracefully above the hip line. 新外套在臀围线上优美地打着褶皱。
13 liking mpXzQ5     
n.爱好;嗜好;喜欢
参考例句:
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
14 utilitarian THVy9     
adj.实用的,功利的
参考例句:
  • On the utilitarian side American education has outstridden the rest of the world.在实用方面美国教育已超越世界各国。
  • A good cloth coat is more utilitarian than a fur one.一件优质的布外衣要比一件毛皮外衣更有用。
15 stout PGuzF     
adj.强壮的,粗大的,结实的,勇猛的,矮胖的
参考例句:
  • He cut a stout stick to help him walk.他砍了一根结实的枝条用来拄着走路。
  • The stout old man waddled across the road.那肥胖的老人一跩一跩地穿过马路。
16 cramped 287c2bb79385d19c466ec2df5b5ce970     
a.狭窄的
参考例句:
  • The house was terribly small and cramped, but the agent described it as a bijou residence. 房子十分狭小拥挤,但经纪人却把它说成是小巧别致的住宅。
  • working in cramped conditions 在拥挤的环境里工作
17 writhing 8e4d2653b7af038722d3f7503ad7849c     
(因极度痛苦而)扭动或翻滚( writhe的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • She was writhing around on the floor in agony. 她痛得在地板上直打滚。
  • He was writhing on the ground in agony. 他痛苦地在地上打滚。
18 smelt tiuzKF     
v.熔解,熔炼;n.银白鱼,胡瓜鱼
参考例句:
  • Tin is a comparatively easy metal to smelt.锡是比较容易熔化的金属。
  • Darby was looking for a way to improve iron when he hit upon the idea of smelting it with coke instead of charcoal.达比一直在寻找改善铁质的方法,他猛然想到可以不用木炭熔炼,而改用焦炭。
19 applied Tz2zXA     
adj.应用的;v.应用,适用
参考例句:
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
20 purely 8Sqxf     
adv.纯粹地,完全地
参考例句:
  • I helped him purely and simply out of friendship.我帮他纯粹是出于友情。
  • This disproves the theory that children are purely imitative.这证明认为儿童只会单纯地模仿的理论是站不住脚的。
21 vice NU0zQ     
n.坏事;恶习;[pl.]台钳,老虎钳;adj.副的
参考例句:
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
22 confide WYbyd     
v.向某人吐露秘密
参考例句:
  • I would never readily confide in anybody.我从不轻易向人吐露秘密。
  • He is going to confide the secrets of his heart to us.他将向我们吐露他心里的秘密。
23 widower fe4z2a     
n.鳏夫
参考例句:
  • George was a widower with six young children.乔治是个带著六个小孩子的鳏夫。
  • Having been a widower for many years,he finally decided to marry again.丧偶多年后,他终于决定二婚了。
24 inflexibility 73709869d6362de15495566c92f3fc0e     
n.不屈性,顽固,不变性;不可弯曲;非挠性;刚性
参考例句:
  • One basic advantage of organization planning is avoidance of organizational inflexibility. 组织规划的一个基本优点就是可避免组织缺乏弹性。 来自辞典例句
  • Allenda was brought down by his own incompetence and inflexibility. 阿连德之所以倒台,是由于他自己的无能和固执。 来自辞典例句
25 narrated 41d1c5fe7dace3e43c38e40bfeb85fe5     
v.故事( narrate的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Some of the story was narrated in the film. 该电影叙述了这个故事的部分情节。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Defoe skilfully narrated the adventures of Robinson Crusoe on his desert island. 笛福生动地叙述了鲁滨逊·克鲁索在荒岛上的冒险故事。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
26 tinge 8q9yO     
vt.(较淡)着色于,染色;使带有…气息;n.淡淡色彩,些微的气息
参考例句:
  • The maple leaves are tinge with autumn red.枫叶染上了秋天的红色。
  • There was a tinge of sadness in her voice.她声音中流露出一丝忧伤。
27 indifference k8DxO     
n.不感兴趣,不关心,冷淡,不在乎
参考例句:
  • I was disappointed by his indifference more than somewhat.他的漠不关心使我很失望。
  • He feigned indifference to criticism of his work.他假装毫不在意别人批评他的作品。
28 solitary 7FUyx     
adj.孤独的,独立的,荒凉的;n.隐士
参考例句:
  • I am rather fond of a solitary stroll in the country.我颇喜欢在乡间独自徜徉。
  • The castle rises in solitary splendour on the fringe of the desert.这座城堡巍然耸立在沙漠的边际,显得十分壮美。
29 amends AzlzCR     
n. 赔偿
参考例句:
  • He made amends for his rudeness by giving her some flowers. 他送给她一些花,为他自己的鲁莽赔罪。
  • This country refuses stubbornly to make amends for its past war crimes. 该国顽固地拒绝为其过去的战争罪行赔罪。
30 jersey Lp5zzo     
n.运动衫
参考例句:
  • He wears a cotton jersey when he plays football.他穿运动衫踢足球。
  • They were dressed alike in blue jersey and knickers.他们穿着一致,都是蓝色的运动衫和灯笼短裤。
31 philandering edfce6f87f4dbdc24c027438b4a5944b     
v.调戏,玩弄女性( philander的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • And all because of a bit of minor philandering. 何况这只是区区一桩风流韵事所引起的呢。 来自飘(部分)
  • My after-school job means tailing philandering spouses or investigating false injury claims. 我的课余工作差不多就是跟踪外遇者或调查诈骗保险金。 来自电影对白
32 virtue BpqyH     
n.德行,美德;贞操;优点;功效,效力
参考例句:
  • He was considered to be a paragon of virtue.他被认为是品德尽善尽美的典范。
  • You need to decorate your mind with virtue.你应该用德行美化心灵。
33 dreary sk1z6     
adj.令人沮丧的,沉闷的,单调乏味的
参考例句:
  • They live such dreary lives.他们的生活如此乏味。
  • She was tired of hearing the same dreary tale of drunkenness and violence.她听够了那些关于酗酒和暴力的乏味故事。
34 behold jQKy9     
v.看,注视,看到
参考例句:
  • The industry of these little ants is wonderful to behold.这些小蚂蚁辛勤劳动的样子看上去真令人惊叹。
  • The sunrise at the seaside was quite a sight to behold.海滨日出真是个奇景。
35 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。
36 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。
37 philosophic ANExi     
adj.哲学的,贤明的
参考例句:
  • It was a most philosophic and jesuitical motorman.这是个十分善辩且狡猾的司机。
  • The Irish are a philosophic as well as a practical race.爱尔兰人是既重实际又善于思想的民族。
38 brag brag     
v./n.吹牛,自夸;adj.第一流的
参考例句:
  • He made brag of his skill.他夸耀自己技术高明。
  • His wealth is his brag.他夸张他的财富。
39 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。


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