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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Mayor of Casterbridge 卡斯特桥市长 » Chapter 28
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Chapter 28
The next morning Henchard went to the Town Hall below Lucetta's house, to attend Petty Sessions, being still a magistrate1 for the year by virtue2 of his late position as Mayor. In passing he looked up at her windows, but nothing of her was to be seen.

Henchard as a Justice of the Peace may at first seem to be an even greater incongruity3 than Shallow and Silence themselves. But his rough and ready perceptions, his sledge-hammer directness, had often served him better than nice legal knowledge in despatching such simple business as fell to his hands in this Court. To-day Dr. Chalkfield, the Mayor for the year, being absent, the corn-merchant took the big chair, his eyes still abstractedly stretching out of the window to the ashlar front of High-Place Hall.

There was one case only, and the offender4 stood before him. She was an old woman of mottled countenance5, attired6 in a shawl of that nameless tertiary hue7 which comes, but cannot be made--a hue neither tawny8, russet, hazel, nor ash; a sticky black bonnet9 that seemed to have been worn in the country of the Psalmist where the clouds drop fatness; and an apron10 that had been white in time so comparatively recent as still to contrast visibly with the rest of her clothes. The steeped aspect of the woman as a whole showed her to be no native of the country-side or even of a country-town.

She looked cursorily11 at Henchard and the second magistrate, and Henchard looked at her, with a momentary12 pause, as if she had reminded him indistinctly of somebody or something which passed from his mind as quickly as it had come. "Well, and what has she been doing?" he said, looking down at the charge sheet.

"She is charged, sir, with the offence of disorderly female and nuisance," whispered Stubberd.

"Where did she do that?" said the other magistrate.

"By the church, sir, of all the horrible places in the world!--I caught her in the act, your worship."

"Stand back then," said Henchard, "and let's hear what you've got to say."

Stubberd was sworn in, the magistrate's clerk dipped his pen, Henchard being no note-taker himself, and the constable13 began-

"Hearing a' illegal noise I went down the street at twentyfive minutes past eleven P.M. on the night of the fifth instinct, Hannah Dominy. When I had-

"Don't go so fast, Stubberd," said the clerk.

The constable waited, with his eyes on the clerk's pen, till the latter stopped scratching and said, "yes." Stubberd continued: "When I had proceeded to the spot I saw defendant14 at another spot, namely, the gutter15." He paused, watching the point of the clerk's pen again.

"Gutter, yes, Stubberd."

"Spot measuring twelve feet nine inches or thereabouts from where I--" Still careful not to outrun the clerk's penmanship Stubberd pulled up again; for having got his evidence by heart it was immaterial to him whereabouts he broke off.

"I object to that," spoke16 up the old woman, "'spot measuring twelve feet nine or thereabouts from where I,' is not sound testimony17!"

The magistrates18 consulted, and the second one said that the bench was of opinion that twelve feet nine inches from a man on his oath was admissible.

Stubberd, with a suppressed gaze of victorious19 rectitude at the old woman, continued: "Was standing20 myself. She was wambling about quite dangerous to the thoroughfare and when I approached to draw near she committed the nuisance, and insulted me."

"'Insulted me.'...Yes, what did she say?"

"She said, 'Put away that dee lantern,' she says."

"Yes."

"Says she, 'Dost hear, old turmit-head? Put away that dee lantern. I have floored fellows a dee sight finer-looking than a dee fool like thee, you son of a bee, dee me if I haint,' she says.

"I object to that conversation!" interposed the old woman. "I was not capable enough to hear what I said, and what is said out of my hearing is not evidence."

There was another stoppage for consultation21, a book was referred to, and finally Stubberd was allowed to go on again. The truth was that the old woman had appeared in court so many more times than the magistrates themselves, that they were obliged to keep a sharp look-out upon their procedure. However, when Stubberd had rambled22 on a little further Henchard broke out impatiently, "Come--we don't want to hear any more of them cust dees and bees! Say the words out like a man, and don't be so modest, Stubberd; or else leave it alone!" Turning to the woman, "Now then, have you any questions to ask him, or anything to say?"

"Yes," she replied with a twinkle in her eye; and the clerk dipped his pen.

"Twenty years ago or thereabout I was selling of furmity in a tent at Weydon Fair----"

"'Twenty years ago'--well, that's beginning at the beginning; suppose you go back to the Creation!" said the clerk, not without satire24.

But Henchard stared, and quite forgot what was evidence and what was not.

"A man and a woman with a little child came into my tent," the woman continued. "They sat down and had a basin apiece. Ah, Lord's my life! I was of a more respectable station in the world then than I am now, being a land smuggler25 in a large way of business; and I used to season my furmity with rum for them who asked for't. I did it for the man; and then he had more and more; till at last he quarrelled with his wife, and offered to sell her to the highest bidder26. A sailor came in and bid five guineas, and paid the money, and led her away. And the man who sold his wife in that fashion is the man sitting there in the great big chair." The speaker concluded by nodding her head at Henchard and folding her arms.

Everybody looked at Henchard. His face seemed strange, and in tint27 as if it had been powdered over with ashes. "We don't want to hear your life and adventures," said the second magistrate sharply, filling the pause which followed. "You've been asked if you've anything to say bearing on the case."

"That bears on the case. It proves that he's no better than I, and has no right to sit there in judgment28 upon me."

"'Tis a concocted29 story," said the clerk. "So hold your tongue!"

"No--'tis true." The words came from Henchard. "'Tis as true as the light," he said slowly. "And upon my soul it does prove that I'm no better than she! And to keep out of any temptation to treat her hard for her revenge, I'll leave her to you."

The sensation in the court was indescribably great. Henchard left the chair, and came out, passing through a group of people on the steps and outside that was much larger than usual; for it seemed that the old furmity dealer30 had mysteriously hinted to the denizens31 of the lane in which she had been lodging32 since her arrival, that she knew a queer thing or two about their great local man Mr. Henchard, if she chose to tell it. This had brought them hither.

"Why are there so many idlers round the Town Hall to-day?" said Lucetta to her servant when the case was over. She had risen late, and had just looked out of the window.

"Oh, please, ma'am, 'tis this larry about Mr. Henchard. A woman has proved that before he became a gentleman he sold his wife for five guineas in a booth at a fair."

In all the accounts which Henchard had given her of the separation from his wife Susan for so many years, of his belief in her death, and so on, he had never clearly explained the actual and immediate33 cause of that separation. The story she now heard for the first time.

A gradual misery34 overspread Lucetta's face as she dwelt upon the promise wrung35 from her the night before. At bottom, then, Henchard was this. How terrible a contingency36 for a woman who should commit herself to his care.

During the day she went out to the Ring and to other places, not coming in till nearly dusk. As soon as she saw Elizabeth-Jane after her return indoors she told her that she had resolved to go away from home to the seaside for a few days--to Port-Bredy; Casterbridge was so gloomy.

Elizabeth, seeing that she looked wan23 and disturbed, encouraged her in the idea, thinking a change would afford her relief. She could not help suspecting that the gloom which seemed to have come over Casterbridge in Lucetta's eyes might be partially37 owing to the fact that Farfrae was away from home.

Elizabeth saw her friend depart for Port-Bredy, and took charge of High-Place Hall till her return. After two or three days of solitude38 and incessant39 rain Henchard called at the house. He seemed disappointed to hear of Lucetta's absence and though he nodded with outward indifference40 he went away handling his beard with a nettled41 mien42.

The next day he called again. "Is she come now?" he asked.

"Yes. She returned this morning," replied his stepdaughter. "But she is not indoors. She has gone for a walk along the turnpike-road to Port-Bredy. She will be home by dusk."

After a few words, which only served to reveal his restless impatience43, he left the house again.

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1 magistrate e8vzN     
n.地方行政官,地方法官,治安官
参考例句:
  • The magistrate committed him to prison for a month.法官判处他一个月监禁。
  • John was fined 1000 dollars by the magistrate.约翰被地方法官罚款1000美元。
2 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。
3 incongruity R8Bxo     
n.不协调,不一致
参考例句:
  • She smiled at the incongruity of the question.面对这样突兀的问题,她笑了。
  • When the particular outstrips the general,we are faced with an incongruity.当特别是超过了总的来讲,我们正面临着一个不协调。
4 offender ZmYzse     
n.冒犯者,违反者,犯罪者
参考例句:
  • They all sued out a pardon for an offender.他们请求法院赦免一名罪犯。
  • The authorities often know that sex offenders will attack again when they are released.当局一般都知道性犯罪者在获释后往往会再次犯案。
5 countenance iztxc     
n.脸色,面容;面部表情;vt.支持,赞同
参考例句:
  • At the sight of this photograph he changed his countenance.他一看见这张照片脸色就变了。
  • I made a fierce countenance as if I would eat him alive.我脸色恶狠狠地,仿佛要把他活生生地吞下去。
6 attired 1ba349e3c80620d3c58c9cc6c01a7305     
adj.穿着整齐的v.使穿上衣服,使穿上盛装( attire的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The bride was attired in white. 新娘穿一身洁白的礼服。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • It is appropriate that everyone be suitably attired. 人人穿戴得体是恰当的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 hue qdszS     
n.色度;色调;样子
参考例句:
  • The diamond shone with every hue under the sun.金刚石在阳光下放出五颜六色的光芒。
  • The same hue will look different in different light.同一颜色在不同的光线下看起来会有所不同。
8 tawny tIBzi     
adj.茶色的,黄褐色的;n.黄褐色
参考例句:
  • Her black hair springs in fine strands across her tawny,ruddy cheek.她的一头乌发分披在健康红润的脸颊旁。
  • None of them noticed a large,tawny owl flutter past the window.他们谁也没注意到一只大的、褐色的猫头鹰飞过了窗户。
9 bonnet AtSzQ     
n.无边女帽;童帽
参考例句:
  • The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.婴孩的帽子遮住阳光,使之不刺眼。
  • She wore a faded black bonnet garnished with faded artificial flowers.她戴着一顶褪了色的黑色无边帽,帽上缀着褪了色的假花。
10 apron Lvzzo     
n.围裙;工作裙
参考例句:
  • We were waited on by a pretty girl in a pink apron.招待我们的是一位穿粉红色围裙的漂亮姑娘。
  • She stitched a pocket on the new apron.她在新围裙上缝上一只口袋。
11 cursorily 17fc65707d06b928c41826d50b8b31e3     
adv.粗糙地,疏忽地,马虎地
参考例句:
  • The subject has been referred to cursorily in the preface. 这个问题在序言中已粗略地提到了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The stags line up against the wall, chat cursorily with one another. 光棍来宾都一字靠在墙上,有口无心地聊着天儿。 来自辞典例句
12 momentary hj3ya     
adj.片刻的,瞬息的;短暂的
参考例句:
  • We are in momentary expectation of the arrival of you.我们无时无刻不在盼望你的到来。
  • I caught a momentary glimpse of them.我瞥了他们一眼。
13 constable wppzG     
n.(英国)警察,警官
参考例句:
  • The constable conducted the suspect to the police station.警官把嫌疑犯带到派出所。
  • The constable kept his temper,and would not be provoked.那警察压制着自己的怒气,不肯冒起火来。
14 defendant mYdzW     
n.被告;adj.处于被告地位的
参考例句:
  • The judge rejected a bribe from the defendant's family.法官拒收被告家属的贿赂。
  • The defendant was borne down by the weight of evidence.有力的证据使被告认输了。
15 gutter lexxk     
n.沟,街沟,水槽,檐槽,贫民窟
参考例句:
  • There's a cigarette packet thrown into the gutter.阴沟里有个香烟盒。
  • He picked her out of the gutter and made her a great lady.他使她脱离贫苦生活,并成为贵妇。
16 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。
17 testimony zpbwO     
n.证词;见证,证明
参考例句:
  • The testimony given by him is dubious.他所作的证据是可疑的。
  • He was called in to bear testimony to what the police officer said.他被传入为警官所说的话作证。
18 magistrates bbe4eeb7cda0f8fbf52949bebe84eb3e     
地方法官,治安官( magistrate的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • to come up before the magistrates 在地方法院出庭
  • He was summoned to appear before the magistrates. 他被传唤在地方法院出庭。
19 victorious hhjwv     
adj.胜利的,得胜的
参考例句:
  • We are certain to be victorious.我们定会胜利。
  • The victorious army returned in triumph.获胜的部队凯旋而归。
20 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。
21 consultation VZAyq     
n.咨询;商量;商议;会议
参考例句:
  • The company has promised wide consultation on its expansion plans.该公司允诺就其扩展计划广泛征求意见。
  • The scheme was developed in close consultation with the local community.该计划是在同当地社区密切磋商中逐渐形成的。
22 rambled f9968757e060a59ff2ab1825c2706de5     
(无目的地)漫游( ramble的过去式和过去分词 ); (喻)漫谈; 扯淡; 长篇大论
参考例句:
  • We rambled through the woods. 我们漫步走过树林。
  • She rambled on at great length but she didn't get to the heart of the matter. 她夹七夹八地说了许多话也没说到点子上。
23 wan np5yT     
(wide area network)广域网
参考例句:
  • The shared connection can be an Ethernet,wireless LAN,or wireless WAN connection.提供共享的网络连接可以是以太网、无线局域网或无线广域网。
24 satire BCtzM     
n.讽刺,讽刺文学,讽刺作品
参考例句:
  • The movie is a clever satire on the advertising industry.那部影片是关于广告业的一部巧妙的讽刺作品。
  • Satire is often a form of protest against injustice.讽刺往往是一种对不公正的抗议形式。
25 smuggler 0xFwP     
n.走私者
参考例句:
  • The smuggler is in prison tonight, awaiting extradition to Britain. 这名走私犯今晚在监狱,等待引渡到英国。
  • The smuggler was finally obliged to inform against his boss. 那个走私犯最后不得不告发他的首领。
26 bidder oyrzTm     
n.(拍卖时的)出价人,报价人,投标人
参考例句:
  • TV franchises will be auctioned to the highest bidder.电视特许经营权将拍卖给出价最高的投标人。
  • The bidder withdrew his bid after submission of his bid.投标者在投标之后撤销了投标书。
27 tint ZJSzu     
n.淡色,浅色;染发剂;vt.着以淡淡的颜色
参考例句:
  • You can't get up that naturalness and artless rosy tint in after days.你今后不再会有这种自然和朴实无华的红润脸色。
  • She gave me instructions on how to apply the tint.她告诉我如何使用染发剂。
28 judgment e3xxC     
n.审判;判断力,识别力,看法,意见
参考例句:
  • The chairman flatters himself on his judgment of people.主席自认为他审视人比别人高明。
  • He's a man of excellent judgment.他眼力过人。
29 concocted 35ea2e5fba55c150ec3250ef12828dd2     
v.将(尤指通常不相配合的)成分混合成某物( concoct的过去式和过去分词 );调制;编造;捏造
参考例句:
  • The soup was concocted from up to a dozen different kinds of fish. 这种汤是用多达十几种不同的鱼熬制而成的。
  • Between them they concocted a letter. 他们共同策划写了一封信。 来自《简明英汉词典》
30 dealer GyNxT     
n.商人,贩子
参考例句:
  • The dealer spent hours bargaining for the painting.那个商人为购买那幅画花了几个小时讨价还价。
  • The dealer reduced the price for cash down.这家商店对付现金的人减价优惠。
31 denizens b504bf59e564ac3f33d0d2f4de63071b     
n.居民,住户( denizen的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • polar bears, denizens of the frozen north 北极熊,在冰天雪地的北方生活的动物
  • At length these denizens of the swamps disappeared in their turn. 到了后来,连这些沼泽国的居民们也不见了。 来自辞典例句
32 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?
33 immediate aapxh     
adj.立即的;直接的,最接近的;紧靠的
参考例句:
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
34 misery G10yi     
n.痛苦,苦恼,苦难;悲惨的境遇,贫苦
参考例句:
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
35 wrung b11606a7aab3e4f9eebce4222a9397b1     
绞( wring的过去式和过去分词 ); 握紧(尤指别人的手); 把(湿衣服)拧干; 绞掉(水)
参考例句:
  • He has wrung the words from their true meaning. 他曲解这些字的真正意义。
  • He wrung my hand warmly. 他热情地紧握我的手。
36 contingency vaGyi     
n.意外事件,可能性
参考例句:
  • We should be prepared for any contingency.我们应该对任何应急情况有所准备。
  • A fire in our warehouse was a contingency that we had not expected.库房的一场大火是我们始料未及的。
37 partially yL7xm     
adv.部分地,从某些方面讲
参考例句:
  • The door was partially concealed by the drapes.门有一部分被门帘遮住了。
  • The police managed to restore calm and the curfew was partially lifted.警方设法恢复了平静,宵禁部分解除。
38 solitude xF9yw     
n. 孤独; 独居,荒僻之地,幽静的地方
参考例句:
  • People need a chance to reflect on spiritual matters in solitude. 人们需要独处的机会来反思精神上的事情。
  • They searched for a place where they could live in solitude. 他们寻找一个可以过隐居生活的地方。
39 incessant WcizU     
adj.不停的,连续的
参考例句:
  • We have had incessant snowfall since yesterday afternoon.从昨天下午开始就持续不断地下雪。
  • She is tired of his incessant demands for affection.她厌倦了他对感情的不断索取。
40 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。
41 nettled 1329a37399dc803e7821d52c8a298307     
v.拿荨麻打,拿荨麻刺(nettle的过去式与过去分词形式)
参考例句:
  • My remarks clearly nettled her. 我的话显然惹恼了她。
  • He had been growing nettled before, but now he pulled himself together. 他刚才有些来火,但现在又恢复了常态。 来自英汉文学 - 金银岛
42 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。
43 impatience OaOxC     
n.不耐烦,急躁
参考例句:
  • He expressed impatience at the slow rate of progress.进展缓慢,他显得不耐烦。
  • He gave a stamp of impatience.他不耐烦地跺脚。


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