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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Mayor of Casterbridge 卡斯特桥市长 » Chapter 25
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Chapter 25
The next phase of the supersession1 of Henchard in Lucetta's heart was an experiment in calling on her performed by Farfrae with some apparent trepidation2. Conventionally speaking he conversed3 with both Miss Templeman and her companion; but in fact it was rather that Elizabeth sat invisible in the room. Donald appeared not to see her at all, and answered her wise little remarks with curtly4 indifferent monosyllables, his looks and faculties5 hanging on the woman who could boast of a more Protean6 variety in her phases, moods, opinions, and also principles, than could Elizabeth. Lucetta had persisted in dragging her into the circle; but she had remained like an awkward third point which that circle would not touch.

Susan Henchard's daughter bore up against the frosty ache of the treatment, as she had borne up under worse things, and contrived7 as soon as possible to get out of the inharmonious room without being missed. The Scotchman seemed hardly the same Farfrae who had danced with her and walked with her in a delicate poise8 between love and friendship--that period in the history of a love when alone it can be said to be unalloyed with pain.

She stoically looked from her bedroom window, and contemplated9 her fate as if it were written on the top of the church-tower hard by. "Yes," she said at last, bringing down her palm upon the sill with a pat: "HE is the second man of that story she told me!"

All this time Henchard's smouldering sentiments towards Lucetta had been fanned into higher and higher inflammation by the circumstances of the case. He was discovering that the young woman for whom he once felt a pitying warmth which had been almost chilled out of him by reflection, was, when now qualified10 with a slight inaccessibility11 and a more matured beauty, the very being to make him satisfied with life. Day after day proved to him, by her silence, that it was no use to think of bringing her round by holding aloof12; so he gave in, and called upon her again, Elizabeth-Jane being absent.

He crossed the room to her with a heavy tread of some awkwardness, his strong, warm gaze upon her--like the sun beside the moon in comparison with Farfrae's modest look-and with something of a hail-fellow bearing, as, indeed, was not unnatural13. But she seemed so transubstantiated by her change of position, and held out her hand to him in such cool friendship, that he became deferential14, and sat down with a perceptible loss of power. He understood but little of fashion in dress, yet enough to feel himself inadequate15 in appearance beside her whom he had hitherto been dreaming of as almost his property. She said something very polite about his being good enough to call. This caused him to recover balance. He looked her oddly in the face, losing his awe16.

"Why, of course I have called, Lucetta," he said. "What does that nonsense mean? You know I couldn't have helped myself if I had wished--that is, if I had any kindness at all. I've called to say that I am ready, as soon as custom will permit, to give you my name in return for your devotion and what you lost by it in thinking too little of yourself and too much of me; to say that you can fix the day or month, with my full consent, whenever in your opinion it would be seemly: you know more of these things than I."

"It is full early yet," she said evasively.

"Yes, yes; I suppose it is. But you know, Lucetta, I felt directly my poor ill-used Susan died, and when I could not bear the idea of marrying again, that after what had happened between us it was my duty not to let any unnecessary delay occur before putting things to rights. Still, I wouldn't call in a hurry, because--well, you can guess how this money you've come into made me feel." His voice slowly fell; he was conscious that in this room his accents and manner wore a roughness not observable in the street. He looked about the room at the novel hangings and ingenious furniture with which she had surrounded herself.

"Upon my life I didn't know such furniture as this could be bought in Casterbridge," he said.

"Nor can it be " said she. "Nor will it till fifty years more of civilization have passed over the town. It took a waggon17 and four horses to get it here."

"H'm. It looks as if you were living on capital."

"O no, I am not."

"So much the better. But the fact is, your setting up like this makes my beaming towards you rather awkward."

"Why?"

An answer was not really needed, and he did not furnish one. "Well," he went on, "there's nobody in the world I would have wished to see enter into this wealth before you, Lucetta, and nobody, I am sure, who will become it more." He turned to her with congratulatory admiration18 so fervid19 that she shrank somewhat, notwithstanding that she knew him so well.

"I am greatly obliged to you for all that," said she, rather with an air of speaking ritual. The stint20 of reciprocal feeling was perceived, and Henchard showed chagrin21 at once-nobody was more quick to show that than he.

"You may be obliged or not for't. Though the things I say may not have the polish of what you've lately learnt to expect for the first time in your life, they are real, my lady Lucetta."

"That's rather a rude way of speaking to me," pouted22 Lucetta, with stormy eyes.

"Not at all!" replied Henchard hotly. "But there, there, I don't wish to quarrel with 'ee. I come with an honest proposal for silencing your Jersey23 enemies, and you ought to be thankful."

"How can you speak so!" she answered, firing quickly. "Knowing that my only crime was the indulging in a foolish girl's passion for you with too little regard for correctness, and that I was what I call innocent all the time they called me guilty, you ought not to be so cutting! I suffered enough at that worrying time, when you wrote to tell me of your wife's return and my consequent dismissal, and if I am a little independent now, surely the privilege is due to me!"

"Yes, it is," he said. "But it is not by what is, in this life, but by what appears, that you are judged; and I therefore think you ought to accept me--for your own good name's sake. What is known in your native Jersey may get known here."

"How you keep on about Jersey! I am English!"

"Yes, yes. Well, what do you say to my proposal?"

For the first time in their acquaintance Lucetta had the move; and yet she was backward. "For the present let things be," she said with some embarrassment24. "Treat me as an acquaintance, and I'll treat you as one. Time will--" She stopped; and he said nothing to fill the gap for awhile, there being no pressure of half acquaintance to drive them into speech if they were not minded for it.

"That's the way the wind blows, is it?" he said at last grimly, nodding an affirmative to his own thoughts.

A yellow flood of reflected sunlight filled the room for a few instants. It was produced by the passing of a load of newly trussed hay from the country, in a waggon marked with Farfrae's name. Beside it rode Farfrae himself on horseback. Lucetta's face became--as a woman's face becomes when the man she loves rises upon her gaze like an apparition25.

A turn of the eye by Henchard, a glance from the window, and the secret of her inaccessibility would have been revealed. But Henchard in estimating her tone was looking down so plumb-straight that he did not note the warm consciousness upon Lucetta's face.

"I shouldn't have thought it--I shouldn't have thought it of women!" he said emphatically by-and-by, rising and shaking himself into activity; while Lucetta was so anxious to divert him from any suspicion of the truth that she asked him to be in no hurry. Bringing him some apples she insisted upon paring one for him.

He would not take it. "No, no; such is not for me," he said drily, and moved to the door. At going out he turned his eye upon her.

"You came to live in Casterbridge entirely26 on my account," he said. "Yet now you are here you won't have anything to say to my offer!"

He had hardly gone down the staircase when she dropped upon the sofa and jumped up again in a fit of desperation. "I WILL love him!" she cried passionately27; "as for HIM-he's hot-tempered and stern, and it would be madness to bind28 myself to him knowing that. I won't be a slave to the past-I'll love where I choose!"

Yet having decided29 to break away from Henchard one might have supposed her capable of aiming higher than Farfrae. But Lucetta reasoned nothing: she feared hard words from the people with whom she had been earlier associated; she had no relatives left; and with native lightness of heart took kindly30 to what fate offered.

Elizabeth-Jane, surveying the position of Lucetta between her two lovers from the crystalline sphere of a straightforward31 mind, did not fail to perceive that her father, as she called him, and Donald Farfrae became more desperately32 enamoured of her friend every day. On Farfrae's side it was the unforced passion of youth. On Henchard's the artificially stimulated33 coveting34 of maturer age.

The pain she experienced from the almost absolute obliviousness35 to her existence that was shown by the pair of them became at times half dissipated by her sense of its humourousness. When Lucetta had pricked36 her finger they were as deeply concerned as if she were dying; when she herself had been seriously sick or in danger they uttered a conventional word of sympathy at the news, and forgot all about it immediately. But, as regarded Henchard, this perception of hers also caused her some filial grief; she could not help asking what she had done to be neglected so, after the professions of solicitude37 he had made. As regarded Farfrae, she thought, after honest reflection, that it was quite natural. What was she beside Lucetta?--as one of the "meaner beauties of the night," when the moon had risen in the skies.

She had learnt the lesson of renunciation, and was as familiar with the wreck38 of each day's wishes as with the diurnal39 setting of the sun. If her earthly career had taught her few book philosophies it had at least well practised her in this. Yet her experience had consisted less in a series of pure disappointments than in a series of substitutions. Continually it had happened that what she had desired had not been granted her, and that what had been granted her she had not desired. So she viewed with an approach to equanimity40 the new cancelled days when Donald had been her undeclared lover, and wondered what unwishedfor thing Heaven might send her in place of him.

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1 supersession ed08235e005e9f4b57084eed67f1fd42     
取代,废弃; 代谢
参考例句:
  • The supersession of the old by the new is a general, eternal and inviolable law of the universe. 新陈代谢是宇宙间普遍的永远不可抵抗的规律。
  • The supersession result toxin of the germ mainly causes its pathogenesis. 其发病机理主要是由病菌的代谢产物———毒素导致的。
2 trepidation igDy3     
n.惊恐,惶恐
参考例句:
  • The men set off in fear and trepidation.这群人惊慌失措地出发了。
  • The threat of an epidemic caused great alarm and trepidation.流行病猖獗因而人心惶惶。
3 conversed a9ac3add7106d6e0696aafb65fcced0d     
v.交谈,谈话( converse的过去式 )
参考例句:
  • I conversed with her on a certain problem. 我与她讨论某一问题。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • She was cheerful and polite, and conversed with me pleasantly. 她十分高兴,也很客气,而且愉快地同我交谈。 来自辞典例句
4 curtly 4vMzJh     
adv.简短地
参考例句:
  • He nodded curtly and walked away. 他匆忙点了一下头就走了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The request was curtly refused. 这个请求被毫不客气地拒绝了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 faculties 066198190456ba4e2b0a2bda2034dfc5     
n.能力( faculty的名词复数 );全体教职员;技巧;院
参考例句:
  • Although he's ninety, his mental faculties remain unimpaired. 他虽年届九旬,但头脑仍然清晰。
  • All your faculties have come into play in your work. 在你的工作中,你的全部才能已起到了作用。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 protean QBOyN     
adj.反复无常的;变化自如的
参考例句:
  • Sri Lanka is a protean and wonderful paradise.斯里兰卡是一个千变万化和精彩万分的人间天堂。
  • He is a protean stylist who can move from blues to ballads and grand symphony.他风格多变,从布鲁斯、乡村音乐到雄壮的交响乐都能驾驭。
7 contrived ivBzmO     
adj.不自然的,做作的;虚构的
参考例句:
  • There was nothing contrived or calculated about what he said.他说的话里没有任何蓄意捏造的成分。
  • The plot seems contrived.情节看起来不真实。
8 poise ySTz9     
vt./vi. 平衡,保持平衡;n.泰然自若,自信
参考例句:
  • She hesitated briefly but quickly regained her poise.她犹豫片刻,但很快恢复了镇静。
  • Ballet classes are important for poise and grace.芭蕾课对培养优雅的姿仪非常重要。
9 contemplated d22c67116b8d5696b30f6705862b0688     
adj. 预期的 动词contemplate的过去分词形式
参考例句:
  • The doctor contemplated the difficult operation he had to perform. 医生仔细地考虑他所要做的棘手的手术。
  • The government has contemplated reforming the entire tax system. 政府打算改革整个税收体制。
10 qualified DCPyj     
adj.合格的,有资格的,胜任的,有限制的
参考例句:
  • He is qualified as a complete man of letters.他有资格当真正的文学家。
  • We must note that we still lack qualified specialists.我们必须看到我们还缺乏有资质的专家。
11 inaccessibility 1245d018d72e23bca8dbb4c4c6f69a47     
n. 难接近, 难达到, 难达成
参考例句:
  • Her tone and her look still enveloped her in a soft inaccessibility. 她的语调和神态依旧把她禁锢在一种不可接近的状态中。
12 aloof wxpzN     
adj.远离的;冷淡的,漠不关心的
参考例句:
  • Never stand aloof from the masses.千万不可脱离群众。
  • On the evening the girl kept herself timidly aloof from the crowd.这小女孩在晚会上一直胆怯地远离人群。
13 unnatural 5f2zAc     
adj.不自然的;反常的
参考例句:
  • Did her behaviour seem unnatural in any way?她有任何反常表现吗?
  • She has an unnatural smile on her face.她脸上挂着做作的微笑。
14 deferential jmwzy     
adj. 敬意的,恭敬的
参考例句:
  • They like five-star hotels and deferential treatment.他们喜欢五星级的宾馆和毕恭毕敬的接待。
  • I am deferential and respectful in the presence of artists.我一向恭敬、尊重艺术家。
15 inadequate 2kzyk     
adj.(for,to)不充足的,不适当的
参考例句:
  • The supply is inadequate to meet the demand.供不应求。
  • She was inadequate to the demands that were made on her.她还无力满足对她提出的各项要求。
16 awe WNqzC     
n.敬畏,惊惧;vt.使敬畏,使惊惧
参考例句:
  • The sight filled us with awe.这景色使我们大为惊叹。
  • The approaching tornado struck awe in our hearts.正在逼近的龙卷风使我们惊恐万分。
17 waggon waggon     
n.运货马车,运货车;敞篷车箱
参考例句:
  • The enemy attacked our waggon train.敌人袭击了我们的运货马车队。
  • Someone jumped out from the foremost waggon and cried aloud.有人从最前面的一辆大车里跳下来,大声叫嚷。
18 admiration afpyA     
n.钦佩,赞美,羡慕
参考例句:
  • He was lost in admiration of the beauty of the scene.他对风景之美赞不绝口。
  • We have a great admiration for the gold medalists.我们对金牌获得者极为敬佩。
19 fervid clvyf     
adj.热情的;炽热的
参考例句:
  • He is a fervid orator.他是个慷慨激昂的演说者。
  • He was a ready scholar as you are,but more fervid and impatient.他是一个聪明的学者,跟你一样,不过更加热情而缺乏耐心。
20 stint 9GAzB     
v.节省,限制,停止;n.舍不得化,节约,限制;连续不断的一段时间从事某件事
参考例句:
  • He lavished money on his children without stint.他在孩子们身上花钱毫不吝惜。
  • We hope that you will not stint your criticism.我们希望您不吝指教。
21 chagrin 1cyyX     
n.懊恼;气愤;委屈
参考例句:
  • His increasingly visible chagrin sets up a vicious circle.他的明显的不满引起了一种恶性循环。
  • Much to his chagrin,he did not win the race.使他大为懊恼的是他赛跑没获胜。
22 pouted 25946cdee5db0ed0b7659cea8201f849     
v.撅(嘴)( pout的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Her lips pouted invitingly. 她挑逗地撮起双唇。
  • I pouted my lips at him, hinting that he should speak first. 我向他努了努嘴,让他先说。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
23 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。
24 embarrassment fj9z8     
n.尴尬;使人为难的人(事物);障碍;窘迫
参考例句:
  • She could have died away with embarrassment.她窘迫得要死。
  • Coughing at a concert can be a real embarrassment.在音乐会上咳嗽真会使人难堪。
25 apparition rM3yR     
n.幽灵,神奇的现象
参考例句:
  • He saw the apparition of his dead wife.他看见了他亡妻的幽灵。
  • But the terror of this new apparition brought me to a stand.这新出现的幽灵吓得我站在那里一动也不敢动。
26 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。
27 passionately YmDzQ4     
ad.热烈地,激烈地
参考例句:
  • She could hate as passionately as she could love. 她能恨得咬牙切齿,也能爱得一往情深。
  • He was passionately addicted to pop music. 他酷爱流行音乐。
28 bind Vt8zi     
vt.捆,包扎;装订;约束;使凝固;vi.变硬
参考例句:
  • I will let the waiter bind up the parcel for you.我让服务生帮你把包裹包起来。
  • He wants a shirt that does not bind him.他要一件不使他觉得过紧的衬衫。
29 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。
30 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。
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 desperately cu7znp     
adv.极度渴望地,绝望地,孤注一掷地
参考例句:
  • He was desperately seeking a way to see her again.他正拼命想办法再见她一面。
  • He longed desperately to be back at home.他非常渴望回家。
33 stimulated Rhrz78     
a.刺激的
参考例句:
  • The exhibition has stimulated interest in her work. 展览增进了人们对她作品的兴趣。
  • The award has stimulated her into working still harder. 奖金促使她更加努力地工作。
34 coveting bcf51cc820cec5bf2c09ea88ad1492a4     
v.贪求,觊觎( covet的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • We begin by coveting what we see every day. 垂涎的开始是我们每天看见的东西。 来自互联网
  • We coveting what we see every day. 之所以如此,是因为我们垂涎每日所见的一些东西。 来自互联网
35 obliviousness 0c5c574254dc8efd7c2efa1af05d312f     
参考例句:
  • Her obliviousness of what was happening in Germany seems extraordinary. 真没想到她对德国正在发生的事情居然一无所知。 来自柯林斯例句
36 pricked 1d0503c50da14dcb6603a2df2c2d4557     
刺,扎,戳( prick的过去式和过去分词 ); 刺伤; 刺痛; 使剧痛
参考例句:
  • The cook pricked a few holes in the pastry. 厨师在馅饼上戳了几个洞。
  • He was pricked by his conscience. 他受到良心的谴责。
37 solicitude mFEza     
n.焦虑
参考例句:
  • Your solicitude was a great consolation to me.你对我的关怀给了我莫大的安慰。
  • He is full of tender solicitude towards my sister.他对我妹妹满心牵挂。
38 wreck QMjzE     
n.失事,遇难;沉船;vt.(船等)失事,遇难
参考例句:
  • Weather may have been a factor in the wreck.天气可能是造成这次失事的原因之一。
  • No one can wreck the friendship between us.没有人能够破坏我们之间的友谊。
39 diurnal ws5xi     
adj.白天的,每日的
参考例句:
  • Kangaroos are diurnal animals.袋鼠是日间活动的动物。
  • Over water the diurnal change in refraction is likely to be small. 在水面上,折光的周日变化可能是很小的。
40 equanimity Z7Vyz     
n.沉着,镇定
参考例句:
  • She went again,and in so doing temporarily recovered her equanimity.她又去看了戏,而且这样一来又暂时恢复了她的平静。
  • The defeat was taken with equanimity by the leadership.领导层坦然地接受了失败。


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