小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 经典英文小说 » 爱玛 Emma » Part 2 Chapter 5
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
Part 2 Chapter 5

Small heart had Harriet for visiting. Only half an hour before her friend called for her at Mrs. Goddard's, her evil stars had led her to the very spot where, at that moment, a trunk, directed to The Rev1. Philip Elton, White-Hart, Bath, was to be seen under the operation of being lifted into the butcher's cart, which was to convey it to where the coaches past; and every thing in this world, excepting that trunk and the direction, was consequently a blank.

She went, however; and when they reached the farm, and she was to be put down, at the end of the broad, neat gravel2 walk, which led between espalier apple-trees to the front door, the sight of every thing which had given her so much pleasure the autumn before, was beginning to revive a little local agitation3; and when they parted, Emma observed her to be looking around with a sort of fearful curiosity, which determined4 her not to allow the visit to exceed the proposed quarter of an hour. She went on herself, to give that portion of time to an old servant who was married, and settled in Donwell.

The quarter of an hour brought her punctually to the white gate again; and Miss Smith receiving her summons, was with her without delay, and unattended by any alarming young man. She came solitarily5 down the gravel walk - a Miss Martin just appearing at the door, and parting with her seemingly with ceremonious civility.

Harriet could not very soon give an intelligible6 account. She was feeling too much; but at last Emma collected from her enough to understand the sort of meeting, and the sort of pain it was creating. She had seen only Mrs. Martin and the two girls. They had received her doubtingly, if not coolly; and nothing beyond the merest commonplace had been talked almost all the time - till just at last, when Mrs. Martin's saying, all of a sudden, that she thought Miss Smith was grown, had brought on a more interesting subject, and a warmer manner. In that very room she had been measured last September, with her two friends. There were the pencilled marks and memorandums on the wainscot by the window. He had done it. They all seemed to remember the day, the hour, the party, the occasion - to feel the same consciousness, the same regrets - to be ready to return to the same good understanding; and they were just growing again like themselves, (Harriet, as Emma must suspect, as ready as the best of them to be cordial and happy,) when the carriage reappeared, and all was over. The style of the visit, and the shortness of it, were then felt to be decisive. Fourteen minutes to be given to those with whom she had thankfully passed six weeks not six months ago! - Emma could not but picture it all, and feel how justly they might resent, how naturally Harriet must suffer. It was a bad business. She would have given a great deal, or endured a great deal, to have had the Martins in a higher rank of life. They were so deserving, that a little higher should have been enough: but as it was, how could she have done otherwise? - Impossible! - She could not repent8. They must be separated; but there was a great deal of pain in the process - so much to herself at this time, that she soon felt the necessity of a little consolation9, and resolved on going home by way of Randalls to procure10 it. Her mind was quite sick of Mr. Elton and the Martins. The refreshment11 of Randalls was absolutely necessary.

It was a good scheme; but on driving to the door they heard that neither `master nor mistress was at home;' they had both been out some time; the man believed they were gone to Hartfield.

`This is too bad,' cried Emma, as they turned away. `And now we shall just miss them; too provoking! - I do not know when I have been so disappointed.' And she leaned back in the corner, to indulge her murmurs12, or to reason them away; probably a little of both - such being the commonest process of a not ill-disposed mind. Presently the carriage stopt; she looked up; it was stopt by Mr. and Mrs. Weston, who were standing7 to speak to her. There was instant pleasure in the sight of them, and still greater pleasure was conveyed in sound - for Mr. Weston immediately accosted13 her with,

`How d'ye do? - how d'ye do? - We have been sitting with your father - glad to see him so well. Frank comes to-morrow - I had a letter this morning - we see him to-morrow by dinner-time to a certainty - he is at Oxford14 to-day, and he comes for a whole fortnight; I knew it would be so. If he had come at Christmas he could not have staid three days; I was always glad he did not come at Christmas; now we are going to have just the right weather for him, fine, dry, settled weather. We shall enjoy him completely; every thing has turned out exactly as we could wish.'

There was no resisting such news, no possibility of avoiding the influence of such a happy face as Mr. Weston's, confirmed as it all was by the words and the countenance15 of his wife, fewer and quieter, but not less to the purpose. To know that she thought his coming certain was enough to make Emma consider it so, and sincerely did she rejoice in their joy. It was a most delightful16 reanimation of exhausted17 spirits. The worn-out past was sunk in the freshness of what was coming; and in the rapidity of half a moment's thought, she hoped Mr. Elton would now be talked of no more.

Mr. Weston gave her the history of the engagements at Enscombe, which allowed his son to answer for having an entire fortnight at his command, as well as the route and the method of his journey; and she listened, and smiled, and congratulated.

`I shall soon bring him over to Hartfield,' said he, at the conclusion.

Emma could imagine she saw a touch of the arm at this speech, from his wife.

`We had better move on, Mr. Weston,' said she, `we are detaining the girls.'

`Well, well, I am ready;' - and turning again to Emma, `but you must not be expecting such a very fine young man; you have only had my account you know; I dare say he is really nothing extraordinary:' - though his own sparkling eyes at the moment were speaking a very different conviction.

Emma could look perfectly19 unconscious and innocent, and answer in a manner that appropriated nothing.

`Think of me to-morrow, my dear Emma, about four o'clock,' was Mrs. Weston's parting injunction; spoken with some anxiety, and meant only for her.

`Four o'clock! - depend upon it he will be here by three,' was Mr. Weston's quick amendment20; and so ended a most satisfactory meeting. Emma's spirits were mounted quite up to happiness; every thing wore a different air; James and his horses seemed not half so sluggish21 as before. When she looked at the hedges, she thought the elder at least must soon be coming out; and when she turned round to Harriet, she saw something like a look of spring, a tender smile even there.

`Will Mr. Frank Churchill pass through Bath as well as Oxford?' - was a question, however, which did not augur22 much.

But neither geography nor tranquillity23 could come all at once, and Emma was now in a humour to resolve that they should both come in time.

The morning of the interesting day arrived, and Mrs. Weston's faithful pupil did not forget either at ten, or eleven, or twelve o'clock, that she was to think of her at four.

`My dear, dear anxious friend,' - said she, in mental soliloquy, while walking downstairs from her own room, `always overcareful for every body's comfort but your own; I see you now in all your little fidgets, going again and again into his room, to be sure that all is right.' The clock struck twelve as she passed through the hall. `'Tis twelve; I shall not forget to think of you four hours hence; and by this time to-morrow, perhaps, or a little later, I may be thinking of the possibility of their all calling here. I am sure they will bring him soon.'

She opened the parlour door, and saw two gentlemen sitting with her father - Mr. Weston and his son. They had been arrived only a few minutes, and Mr. Weston had scarcely finished his explanation of Frank's being a day before his time, and her father was yet in the midst of his very civil welcome and congratulations, when she appeared, to have her share of surprize, introduction, and pleasure.

The Frank Churchill so long talked of, so high in interest, was actually before her - he was presented to her, and she did not think too much had been said in his praise; he was a very good looking young man; height, air, address, all were unexceptionable, and his countenance had a great deal of the spirit and liveliness of his father's; he looked quick and sensible. She felt immediately that she should like him; and there was a well-bred ease of manner, and a readiness to talk, which convinced her that he came intending to be acquainted with her, and that acquainted they soon must be.

He had reached Randalls the evening before. She was pleased with the eagerness to arrive which had made him alter his plan, and travel earlier, later, and quicker, that he might gain half a day.

`I told you yesterday,' cried Mr. Weston with exultation24, `I told you all that he would be here before the time named. I remembered what I used to do myself. One cannot creep upon a journey; one cannot help getting on faster than one has planned; and the pleasure of coming in upon one's friends before the look-out begins, is worth a great deal more than any little exertion25 it needs.'

`It is a great pleasure where one can indulge in it,' said the young man, `though there are not many houses that I should presume on so far; but in coming home I felt I might do any thing.'

The word home made his father look on him with fresh complacency. Emma was directly sure that he knew how to make himself agreeable; the conviction was strengthened by what followed. He was very much pleased with Randalls, thought it a most admirably arranged house, would hardly allow it even to be very small, admired the situation, the walk to Highbury, Highbury itself, Hartfield still more, and professed26 himself to have always felt the sort of interest in the country which none but one's own country gives, and the greatest curiosity to visit it. That he should never have been able to indulge so amiable27 a feeling before, passed suspiciously through Emma's brain; but still, if it were a falsehood, it was a pleasant one, and pleasantly handled. His manner had no air of study or exaggeration. He did really look and speak as if in a state of no common enjoyment28.

Their subjects in general were such as belong to an opening acquaintance. On his side were the inquiries29, - `Was she a horsewoman? - Pleasant rides? - Pleasant walks? - Had they a large neighbourhood? - Highbury, perhaps, afforded society enough? - There were several very pretty houses in and about it. - Balls - had they balls? - Was it a musical society?'

But when satisfied on all these points, and their acquaintance proportionably advanced, he contrived30 to find an opportunity, while their two fathers were engaged with each other, of introducing his mother-in-law, and speaking of her with so much handsome praise, so much warm admiration31, so much gratitude32 for the happiness she secured to his father, and her very kind reception of himself, as was an additional proof of his knowing how to please - and of his certainly thinking it worth while to try to please her. He did not advance a word of praise beyond what she knew to be thoroughly33 deserved by Mrs. Weston; but, undoubtedly34 he could know very little of the matter. He understood what would be welcome; he could be sure of little else. `His father's marriage,' he said, `had been the wisest measure, every friend must rejoice in it; and the family from whom he had received such a blessing35 must be ever considered as having conferred the highest obligation on him.'

He got as near as he could to thanking her for Miss Taylor's merits, without seeming quite to forget that in the common course of things it was to be rather supposed that Miss Taylor had formed Miss Woodhouse's character, than Miss Woodhouse Miss Taylor's. And at last, as if resolved to qualify his opinion completely for travelling round to its object, he wound it all up with astonishment36 at the youth and beauty of her person.

`Elegant, agreeable manners, I was prepared for,' said he; `but I confess that, considering every thing, I had not expected more than a very tolerably well-looking woman of a certain age; I did not know that I was to find a pretty young woman in Mrs. Weston.'

`You cannot see too much perfection in Mrs. Weston for my feelings,' said Emma; `were you to guess her to be eighteen, I should listen with pleasure; but she would be ready to quarrel with you for using such words. Don't let her imagine that you have spoken of her as a pretty young woman.'

`I hope I should know better,' he replied; `no, depend upon it, (with a gallant37 bow,) that in addressing Mrs. Weston I should understand whom I might praise without any danger of being thought extravagant38 in my terms.'

Emma wondered whether the same suspicion of what might be expected from their knowing each other, which had taken strong possession of her mind, had ever crossed his; and whether his compliments were to be considered as marks of acquiescence39, or proofs of defiance40. She must see more of him to understand his ways; at present she only felt they were agreeable.

She had no doubt of what Mr. Weston was often thinking about. His quick eye she detected again and again glancing towards them with a happy expression; and even, when he might have determined not to look, she was confident that he was often listening.

Her own father's perfect exemption41 from any thought of the kind, the entire deficiency in him of all such sort of penetration42 or suspicion, was a most comfortable circumstance. Happily he was not farther from approving matrimony than from foreseeing it. - Though always objecting to every marriage that was arranged, he never suffered beforehand from the apprehension43 of any; it seemed as if he could not think so ill of any two persons' understanding as to suppose they meant to marry till it were proved against them. She blessed the favouring blindness. He could now, without the drawback of a single unpleasant surmise44, without a glance forward at any possible treachery in his guest, give way to all his natural kind-hearted civility in solicitous45 inquiries after Mr. Frank Churchill's accommodation on his journey, through the sad evils of sleeping two nights on the road, and express very genuine unmixed anxiety to know that he had certainly escaped catching46 cold - which, however, he could not allow him to feel quite assured of himself till after another night.

A reasonable visit paid, Mr. Weston began to move. - `He must be going. He had business at the Crown about his hay, and a great many errands for Mrs. Weston at Ford's, but he need not hurry any body else.' His son, too well bred to hear the hint, rose immediately also, saying,

`As you are going farther on business, sir, I will take the opportunity of paying a visit, which must be paid some day or other, and therefore may as well be paid now. I have the honour of being acquainted with a neighbour of yours, (turning to Emma,) a lady residing in or near Highbury; a family of the name of Fairfax. I shall have no difficulty, I suppose, in finding the house; though Fairfax, I believe, is not the proper name - I should rather say Barnes, or Bates. Do you know any family of that name?'

`To be sure we do,' cried his father; `Mrs. Bates - we passed her house - I saw Miss Bates at the window. True, true, you are acquainted with Miss Fairfax; I remember you knew her at Weymouth, and a fine girl she is. Call upon her, by all means.'

`There is no necessity for my calling this morning,' said the young man; `another day would do as well; but there was that degree of acquaintance at Weymouth which - '

`Oh! go to-day, go to-day. Do not defer47 it. What is right to be done cannot be done too soon. And, besides, I must give you a hint, Frank; any want of attention to her here should be carefully avoided. You saw her with the Campbells, when she was the equal of every body she mixed with, but here she is with a poor old grandmother, who has barely enough to live on. If you do not call early it will be a slight.'

The son looked convinced.

`I have heard her speak of the acquaintance,' said Emma; `she is a very elegant young woman.'

He agreed to it, but with so quiet a `Yes,' as inclined her almost to doubt his real concurrence48; and yet there must be a very distinct sort of elegance49 for the fashionable world, if Jane Fairfax could be thought only ordinarily gifted with it.

`If you were never particularly struck by her manners before,' said she, `I think you will to-day. You will see her to advantage; see her and hear her - no, I am afraid you will not hear her at all, for she has an aunt who never holds her tongue.'

`You are acquainted with Miss Jane Fairfax, sir, are you?' said Mr. Woodhouse, always the last to make his way in conversation; `then give me leave to assure you that you will find her a very agreeable young lady. She is staying here on a visit to her grandmama and aunt, very worthy50 people; I have known them all my life. They will be extremely glad to see you, I am sure; and one of my servants shall go with you to shew you the way.'

`My dear sir, upon no account in the world; my father can direct me.'

`But your father is not going so far; he is only going to the Crown, quite on the other side of the street, and there are a great many houses; you might be very much at a loss, and it is a very dirty walk, unless you keep on the footpath51; but my coachman can tell you where you had best cross the street.'

Mr. Frank Churchill still declined it, looking as serious as he could, and his father gave his hearty52 support by calling out, `My good friend, this is quite unnecessary; Frank knows a puddle53 of water when he sees it, and as to Mrs. Bates's, he may get there from the Crown in a hop18, step, and jump.'

They were permitted to go alone; and with a cordial nod from one, and a graceful54 bow from the other, the two gentlemen took leave. Emma remained very well pleased with this beginning of the acquaintance, and could now engage to think of them all at Randalls any hour of the day, with full confidence in their comfort.

哈丽特真没有什么心思去回访。就在她的朋友去戈达德太太家叫她之前半小时,她不巧来到一个地方,看见一只标着“巴思,特哈特,菲利普·埃尔顿牧师收”的大箱子,给搬到肉店老板的大车上,准备拉到驿车经过的地方。于是,这世界上的一切,除了那只箱子和箱子上的姓名地址以外,全从她脑海里消失了。

然而,她还是去了。等车子驶到农庄,她在宽阔光洁的砾石林阴道尽头下了车。这林阴道夹在支有棚架的苹果树中间,一直通到大门口。眼前的这一切,去年秋天曾给她带来了莫大的喜悦,现在再触景生情,心里不禁有点激动。爱玛与她分手时,见她带着一种既害怕又好奇的神情四处张望,因此便作出决定:这次访问不能超过原定的一刻钟。她独自坐着车往前走,想利用这段时间去看望一个结了婚住在当维尔的老用人。

一刻钟刚过,爱玛就准时回到了白色的大门跟前。史密斯小姐听说爱玛来叫她,一点也没耽搁就出来了,身边也没跟着一个让人担惊受怕的小伙子。她就一个人顺着砾石道走来——只有一位马丁小姐送出门来,显然是用客套性的礼节跟她告别。

哈丽特一时讲不清楚事情的经过。她心里思绪万千。不过,爱玛最后还是听明白了这次会面的情况,以及这次会面引起的苦恼。原来,她只见到了马丁太太和两个姑娘。她们对她的接待,即便算不上冷淡,也是抱着怀疑的态度,而且几乎自始至终都只谈些极其平常的话——直至最后,马丁太太突然说起她觉得史密斯小姐长高了,这才扯起一个比较有趣的话题,几个人才变得比较热情一些。去年九月,就在这间屋里,她与她的两个朋友量过身高。窗户旁的护壁板上还留着铅笔标记和备忘记录。那都是马丁画上去的。他们似乎全都记得那一天,那一时刻,那一伙人,那一场合——有着同样的感受,同样的遗憾——准备恢复同样的亲密关系。几个朋友刚刚故态复萌(正如爱玛定会料到的,几个人中就数哈丽特最热忱、最快活),马车就回来了,一切也就结束了。这次回访的方式,时间的短促,当时就让人觉得丝毫也不含糊。不到六个月以前,她还欣然跟这家人一起过了六个星期,而这次却只能在他们家待上十四分钟!爱玛不难想象这一切,觉得这家人有理由表示忿懑,哈丽特自然会感到苦恼。这件事办得不好。她本来可以做出很大努力,或者忍受很多艰难困苦,把马丁家的地位提高一些。他们是很不错的,只要稍微提高一点就足够了。不过,实际上她又有什么办法呢?不可能有!她不会后悔。一定要把他们拆开。可是,在这过程中又引起了好多的痛苦——眼下她自己就感到很痛苦,不久就觉得需要寻求点安慰,便决定回家时取道兰多尔斯,从那里找些安慰。她心里十分讨厌埃尔顿先生和马丁家的人。到兰多尔斯去提提神,这是绝对必要的。

这是个好主意。可是等马车驶到门口,她们听说“男女主人都不在家”,已出去一些时候了。那仆人料想,他们去哈特菲尔德了。

“真倒霉,”马车掉头往回走时,爱玛大声说道。“现在偏偏见不着他们,太气人了!我真不知道有什么时候这么扫兴过。”她往角上一靠,想嘟嘟嚷嚷地抱怨一番,或者劝说自己打消这些抱怨,也许两者都有一点——这是并无恶意的人最常用的办法。过了不久,马车突然停住了。她抬头一看,原来是韦斯顿夫妇拦住了车,站在那里要跟她说话。一看见他们俩,爱玛顿时高兴起来,而一听韦斯顿先生的说话声,就知道他比爱玛还高兴,因为他当即走上前来跟她说:

“你好?你好?我们陪你父亲坐了一阵——看他身体很好,真是高兴。弗兰克明天要来了——我今天早上接到一封信——明天吃晚饭时肯定能见到他——他今天在牛津,要来住两个星期。我早就料到会这样。他要是赶在圣诞节来,那就会连三天也住不上。我总是情愿他圣诞节不要来。现在的天气正好适合他,又晴朗,又没雨,也不变来变去。我们可以陪他好好玩玩。一切都那么称心如意。”

听到这样的消息,真叫人没法不兴奋。再一看韦斯顿先生满面喜悦,谁都没法不受感染。他妻子虽然话少一些,也不那么激动,但言谈神情同样证实了他的消息。连她都认为弗兰克一定会来,那她爱玛也就置信不疑了,而且打心底里跟他们一样高兴。这是治疗情绪沮丧的最有效的兴奋剂。过去的烦恼淹没在即将来临的喜事之中,她转念一想,觉得现在不用再提埃尔顿先生了。

韦斯顿先生向她讲述了他们在恩斯库姆商谈的经过。经过这番商谈,他儿子可以确保有两个星期自由支配。他还介绍了弗兰克旅行的路线和方式。爱玛听着,笑着,还向他们表示祝贺。

“我会马上带他去哈特菲尔德的,”他临了说道。

爱玛可以想象,听他说到这里,她看见他妻子用胳臂碰了碰他。

“我们还是走吧,韦斯顿先生,”她说,“我们耽搁两位小姐J,。、”

“好吧,好吧,我这就走。”韦斯顿先生说罢又转向爱玛:“不过,你可不要指望他是个非常出众的青年。你要知道,你只是听了我的描述。也许他实在没有什么特别出众的地方。”可是,这时他两眼亮闪闪的,说明他言不由衷。

爱玛摆出一副天真无猜的神态,回了两句不置可否的话。

“明天,大约四点钟时想想我吧,亲爱的爱玛,”这是韦斯顿太太临别时的叮嘱,话音里带有几分焦虑,只是说给爱玛听的。

“四点钟!他三点钟准能到,”韦斯顿先生连忙修正说。一次令人非常满意的会晤就这样结束了。爱玛变得兴高采烈起来。一切都显得跟刚才不一样了,詹姆斯赶着马似乎也不像先前那样懒洋洋了。她望着树篱,心想至少那接骨木马上就要长出牙来。她转脸看看哈丽特,见她脸上春意盎然,还挂着一丝温柔的微笑。

“弗兰克·邱吉尔先生会不会路过牛津,也路过巴思呢?”她虽然问了这句话,但这话并不能说明多少问题。

不过,地理问题也好,心情平静也好,都不是一下子能解决的。爱玛处于现在这样的心情,她很有把握断定,这两者到时候都会迎刃而解。

这个令人关注的一天的早晨来到了。韦斯顿太太的忠实学生在十点钟、十一点或十二点,都没有忘记要在下午四点想想韦斯顿太太。

“我亲爱的、亲爱的、焦急的朋友啊,”她出了自己的房间往楼下走的时候,心里在自言自语,“你总是体贴人微地为别人的安适操心,却从不关心自己的安适。我想你现在又坐立不安了,一次又一次地往他屋里跑,非要把一切安排得妥妥帖帖。”她走过门厅时,钟正好打十二点。“十二点了,再过四个钟头我不会忘记想着你的。也许明天这个时候,或许稍迟一点,我想他们几位可能全都来到这里。我看他们一定会很快把他带来的。”

她打开客厅的门,发现她父亲陪两位男士坐着——原来是韦斯顿先生和他儿子。他们俩才刚到不久,韦斯顿先生还没来得及说完弗兰克为什么提前一天到,她父亲还在客客气气地表示欢迎和祝贺,她爱玛就进来了,领受她那一份惊讶、介绍和喜悦。

那位大家谈论已久、又深为关注的弗兰克·邱吉尔,眼下就在她面前。他被介绍给她,她认为他受到的赞扬并不过分。他是个非常英俊的青年——身材、气派、谈吐,都无可挑剔。他的脸颇像他父亲,神采奕奕,生气勃勃。他看上去又聪明又机灵。她立即觉得自己会喜欢他。他具有一种教养有素的无拘无束的风度,还很健谈,使她感到他是有意来结识她的,他们很快就会结为相识。

弗兰克是头天晚上到达兰多尔斯的。他心里着急,就想早一点赶到,于是便改变了计划,早启程,晚歇脚,紧赶快赶,争取提前半天赶到。她为此感到高兴。

“我昨天就告诉你们了,”韦斯顿先生得意洋洋地大声说道,“我早就告诉你们大家,说他会提前赶到的。我想起了我以前就常常这样。谁出门也不能在路上慢腾腾地磨蹭啊,总忍不住要比计划的走得快些呀。能在朋友们开始盼望之前就赶到,这是多大的快乐,即使需要路途上辛苦一点,那也是非常值得的。”

“来到可以尽享其乐的地方,真让人高兴,”那位年轻人说道,“尽管我现在还不敢指望有多少人家可去的。但是,既然回家来了,我觉得我可以爱干什么就干什么。”

一听说“家”这个字,他父亲又得意洋洋地朝他望了一眼。爱玛立即看出,弗兰克很会讨人喜欢。后来的事情越发坚定了她的这一看法。他很喜欢兰多尔斯,认为那所房子布置得令人称羡。他甚至都不肯承认房子太小。他赞赏那个地点、那条通往海伯里的小道、海伯里本身,还特别赞赏哈特菲尔德。他声称自己对乡村一向怀有只有自己的家乡才能激起的那种兴致,急巴巴的就想来看看。爱玛心里有些怀疑:也许他从未有过如此亲切的想法。不过,即使他说的是谎话,那也是令人高兴的谎话,而且说得很动听。他并不像是装腔作势,也不像是言过其实。瞧他那神态,听他那谈吐,好像他真的感到非常高兴。

总的说来,他们谈的话题无外乎人们初次结识时常谈的话题。小伙子提了不少问题:“你会骑马吗?有舒适的骑马道吗?有舒适的散步小径吗?邻居多吗?也许海伯里人交往比较多吧?这里及附近一带有几所非常漂亮的房子。舞会——开不开舞会?这儿的人们喜欢唱歌弹琴吗?”

他的这些问题都得到了满意的答复,他们也随之变得熟识起来。这时,他趁他们双方的父亲正谈得起劲的当儿,把话题转到他的继母身上。他一说起这位继母,便赞不绝口,称赏不已,还因为她给他父亲带来幸福,并且热情地接待他,而满怀感激之情。这又证明了他很会讨好人——证明了他确实认为值得讨好她。在爱玛听来,他发出的每一句赞美之词,韦斯顿太太都受之无愧。不过,他肯定不怎么了解实情。他懂得说什么话中听,别的事就没有把握了。“我父亲这次结婚,”他说,“是一个最明智的举动,每一位朋友都会为之高兴。他要永远铭记让他获得这般幸福的那家人,感谢他们对他恩重如山。”

他还尽量表示这样的意思:泰勒小姐有这些功德,应该感谢她爱玛。但他似乎没有忘记,按照常理,与其说是伍德豪斯小姐造就了泰勒小姐的性格,不如说是泰勒小姐造就了伍德豪斯小姐的性格。最后,他好像下了决心要把话锋一转,绕到心里想说的话上,便惊叹起泰勒小姐的年轻美貌上。

“举止优雅,和蔼可亲,这是我早料到的,”他说。“可是不瞒你说,从各方面考虑,我原以为她只不过是个上了一定年纪、还算好看的女人,却没想到韦斯顿太太竟然是个漂亮的年轻女人。”

“你把韦斯顿太太看得再怎么完美,我也不会觉得过分,”爱玛说。“你就是猜她只有十八岁,我听了也会很高兴。可你真要这样说了,她准会跟你吵起来。千万别让她知道,你把她说成一个漂亮的年轻女人。”

“我想这倒不至于,”弗兰克回答道。“不会的,你放心好了,”说着谦恭有礼地鞠了一躬,“跟韦斯顿太太说话,我知道可以称赞什么人而不会被认为言过其实。”

爱玛心里一直在猜疑:他们两人相识以后,人们会产生什么样的期待。她不知道弗兰克是否也有这样的猜疑;他的那些恭维话究竟应该看作是对人们的期待表示认可的标志,还是表示不买账的证据。她必须和他多见几次面,才能了解他的癖性。现在,她只是觉得他还挺好相处的。

韦斯顿先生时常在想什么,她心里很清楚。她瞧见他将锐利的目光一次次地瞥向他们俩,脸上露出喜滋滋的神情。即使他决意不看他们俩的时候,她也相信他时常在侧耳倾听。

她自己的父亲全然没有这样的念头,他丝毫没有这样的眼力和疑心,这倒是个令人十分欣慰的情况。幸亏他既不赞成男婚女嫁,也无这方面的预见。虽说不管谁在筹备婚事,他总要加以反对,但他对这种事总是后知后觉,因而事前就用不着烦恼。看来,不到既成事实的时候,他似乎不会把哪两个男女情愫相通看得很重,认为他们打算结婚。他这样视而不见倒是不错,爱玛感到庆幸。现在,他既不用作出任何令他不快的猜测,也不用怀疑他的客人可能居心不良,而只需充分发挥他那热情好客的天性,觉得弗兰克·邱吉尔先生不幸地在路上过了两夜,便关切地问起了他一路上的饮食起居,而且真是十分急切地想知道他确实没有着凉——不过,关于这件事,他要再过一个晚上才能完全放宽心。

按情理坐了一段时间以后,韦斯顿先生要告辞了。“我得走了。我要到克朗旅店处理干草的事,还要到福德商店为韦斯顿太太办一大堆事。不过,我不必催促别人。”他儿子是个很懂规矩的人,没听出他的话外之意,也立即站起身来,说道:

“既然你要去办事,爸爸,那我就利用这个机会去看一个人。反正是迟早要去的,不如现在就去。我有幸认识你们的一位邻居,”说着转向爱玛,“一位住在海伯里或者那附近一带的女士。一个姓费尔法克斯的人家。我想,那座房子并不难找。不过,我认为,说他们姓费尔法克斯并不妥当——应该说姓巴恩斯或者贝茨。你认识哪个姓这个姓的人家吗?”

“当然认识啦,”他父亲大声说道。“贝茨太太——我们刚才还路过她家——我看见贝茨小姐就站在窗前。对呀,对呀,你是认识费尔法克斯小姐。我记得你是在韦默斯认识她的,她可是个好姑娘啊。你当然得去看看她。”

“今天早上就不必去了,”年轻人说。“改天也行。不过,在韦默斯彼此那么熟悉——”

“嗨!今天就去,今天就去。别推迟了。该做的事总是越快越好。此外,我还得提醒你,弗兰克,你在这里可要小心谨慎,千万不要怠慢了她。你看见她和坎贝尔夫妇在一起时,她跟周围的哪个人都可以平起平坐。可是在这里,她却跟一个只能勉强糊口的老外婆在一起。你要是不早一点去,就是看不起人家。”

儿子似乎被说服了。

“我听她说过认识你,”爱玛说。“她是个非常文雅的小姐。”

弗兰克赞成这一说法,不过只是轻轻说了声“是的”,使爱玛几乎要怀疑他是否真的同意。然而,如果简·费尔法克斯只能算是一般的文雅的话,那么上流社会就必定会有一种截然不同的文雅标准。

“如果你以前不是特别喜欢她的风度的话,”爱玛说,“我看你今天一定会喜欢的。你会发现她很讨人喜欢。你会看到她,听她说话——不行,恐怕你压根儿听不到她说话,因为她有个姨妈总是唠叨个没完。”

“你也认识简·费尔法克斯吗,先生?”伍德豪斯先生说,照样总是最后一个开口。“那么请允许我向你担保,你会发现她是个十分讨人喜欢的年轻小姐。她是来看望她外婆和姨妈的,她们可是很值得敬重的人。我跟她们是老相识了。我敢说,她们见到你一定会很高兴。我叫个用人给你带路。”

“亲爱的先生,那可使不得,我父亲会给我指路的。”

“可你父亲走不了那么远。他只到克朗旅店,在这条街的那一边。再说那里有好多人家,你可能不大好找。那条路又很泥泞,除非你走人行道。不过,我的马车夫会告诉你最好在哪儿过街的。”

弗兰克-邱吉尔先生还是谢绝了,脸上尽量摆出一副很认真的神气。他父亲竭诚地支持他,大声嚷道:“我的好朋友,这就大可不必了。弗兰克见到水洼不会往里走的。至于上贝茨太太家,他从克朗旅店三蹦两跳就到了。”

他们终于获准自己去了。那父子俩,一个热忱地点了一下头,另一个大方地鞠了一个躬,随即便告辞了。爱玛对这初次相识感到非常高兴,整天都可以想象他们在兰多尔斯的情境,相信他们过得很快活。


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 rev njvzwS     
v.发动机旋转,加快速度
参考例句:
  • It's his job to rev up the audience before the show starts.他要负责在表演开始前鼓动观众的热情。
  • Don't rev the engine so hard.别让发动机转得太快。
2 gravel s6hyT     
n.砂跞;砂砾层;结石
参考例句:
  • We bought six bags of gravel for the garden path.我们购买了六袋碎石用来铺花园的小路。
  • More gravel is needed to fill the hollow in the drive.需要更多的砾石来填平车道上的坑洼。
3 agitation TN0zi     
n.搅动;搅拌;鼓动,煽动
参考例句:
  • Small shopkeepers carried on a long agitation against the big department stores.小店主们长期以来一直在煽动人们反对大型百货商店。
  • These materials require constant agitation to keep them in suspension.这些药剂要经常搅动以保持悬浮状态。
4 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。
5 solitarily b2a309ffbaf2b3248a53208611bc3db0     
adv.独自一人地,寂寞地
参考例句:
  • I paced and down on the crossroad, seeing my shadow walking solitarily! 我徘徊在十字街口,看着影子孤独的行走! 来自互联网
  • A hermit chooses to live solitarily. 隐士选择独自一人生活。 来自互联网
6 intelligible rbBzT     
adj.可理解的,明白易懂的,清楚的
参考例句:
  • This report would be intelligible only to an expert in computing.只有计算机运算专家才能看懂这份报告。
  • His argument was barely intelligible.他的论点不易理解。
7 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。
8 repent 1CIyT     
v.悔悟,悔改,忏悔,后悔
参考例句:
  • He has nothing to repent of.他没有什么要懊悔的。
  • Remission of sins is promised to those who repent.悔罪者可得到赦免。
9 consolation WpbzC     
n.安慰,慰问
参考例句:
  • The children were a great consolation to me at that time.那时孩子们成了我的莫大安慰。
  • This news was of little consolation to us.这个消息对我们来说没有什么安慰。
10 procure A1GzN     
vt.获得,取得,促成;vi.拉皮条
参考例句:
  • Can you procure some specimens for me?你能替我弄到一些标本吗?
  • I'll try my best to procure you that original French novel.我将尽全力给你搞到那本原版法国小说。
11 refreshment RUIxP     
n.恢复,精神爽快,提神之事物;(复数)refreshments:点心,茶点
参考例句:
  • He needs to stop fairly often for refreshment.他须时不时地停下来喘口气。
  • A hot bath is a great refreshment after a day's work.在一天工作之后洗个热水澡真是舒畅。
12 murmurs f21162b146f5e36f998c75eb9af3e2d9     
n.低沉、连续而不清的声音( murmur的名词复数 );低语声;怨言;嘀咕
参考例句:
  • They spoke in low murmurs. 他们低声说着话。 来自辞典例句
  • They are more superficial, more distinctly heard than murmurs. 它们听起来比心脏杂音更为浅表而清楚。 来自辞典例句
13 accosted 4ebfcbae6e0701af7bf7522dbf7f39bb     
v.走过去跟…讲话( accost的过去式和过去分词 );跟…搭讪;(乞丐等)上前向…乞讨;(妓女等)勾搭
参考例句:
  • She was accosted in the street by a complete stranger. 在街上,一个完全陌生的人贸然走到她跟前搭讪。
  • His benevolent nature prevented him from refusing any beggar who accosted him. 他乐善好施的本性使他不会拒绝走上前向他行乞的任何一个乞丐。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 Oxford Wmmz0a     
n.牛津(英国城市)
参考例句:
  • At present he has become a Professor of Chemistry at Oxford.他现在已是牛津大学的化学教授了。
  • This is where the road to Oxford joins the road to London.这是去牛津的路与去伦敦的路的汇合处。
15 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。
16 delightful 6xzxT     
adj.令人高兴的,使人快乐的
参考例句:
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
17 exhausted 7taz4r     
adj.极其疲惫的,精疲力尽的
参考例句:
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
18 hop vdJzL     
n.单脚跳,跳跃;vi.单脚跳,跳跃;着手做某事;vt.跳跃,跃过
参考例句:
  • The children had a competition to see who could hop the fastest.孩子们举行比赛,看谁单足跳跃最快。
  • How long can you hop on your right foot?你用右脚能跳多远?
19 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
20 amendment Mx8zY     
n.改正,修正,改善,修正案
参考例句:
  • The amendment was rejected by 207 voters to 143.这项修正案以207票对143票被否决。
  • The Opposition has tabled an amendment to the bill.反对党已经就该议案提交了一项修正条款。
21 sluggish VEgzS     
adj.懒惰的,迟钝的,无精打采的
参考例句:
  • This humid heat makes you feel rather sluggish.这种湿热的天气使人感到懒洋洋的。
  • Circulation is much more sluggish in the feet than in the hands.脚部的循环比手部的循环缓慢得多。
22 augur 7oHyF     
n.占卦师;v.占卦
参考例句:
  • Does this news augur war?这消息预示将有战争吗?
  • The signs augur well for tomorrow's weather.种种征候预示明天天气良好。
23 tranquillity 93810b1103b798d7e55e2b944bcb2f2b     
n. 平静, 安静
参考例句:
  • The phenomenon was so striking and disturbing that his philosophical tranquillity vanished. 这个令人惶惑不安的现象,扰乱了他的旷达宁静的心境。
  • My value for domestic tranquillity should much exceed theirs. 我应该远比他们重视家庭的平静生活。
24 exultation wzeyn     
n.狂喜,得意
参考例句:
  • It made him catch his breath, it lit his face with exultation. 听了这个名字,他屏住呼吸,乐得脸上放光。
  • He could get up no exultation that was really worthy the name. 他一点都激动不起来。
25 exertion F7Fyi     
n.尽力,努力
参考例句:
  • We were sweating profusely from the exertion of moving the furniture.我们搬动家具大费气力,累得大汗淋漓。
  • She was hot and breathless from the exertion of cycling uphill.由于用力骑车爬坡,她浑身发热。
26 professed 7151fdd4a4d35a0f09eaf7f0f3faf295     
公开声称的,伪称的,已立誓信教的
参考例句:
  • These, at least, were their professed reasons for pulling out of the deal. 至少这些是他们自称退出这宗交易的理由。
  • Her manner professed a gaiety that she did not feel. 她的神态显出一种她并未实际感受到的快乐。
27 amiable hxAzZ     
adj.和蔼可亲的,友善的,亲切的
参考例句:
  • She was a very kind and amiable old woman.她是个善良和气的老太太。
  • We have a very amiable companionship.我们之间存在一种友好的关系。
28 enjoyment opaxV     
n.乐趣;享有;享用
参考例句:
  • Your company adds to the enjoyment of our visit. 有您的陪同,我们这次访问更加愉快了。
  • After each joke the old man cackled his enjoyment.每逢讲完一个笑话,这老人就呵呵笑着表示他的高兴。
29 inquiries 86a54c7f2b27c02acf9fcb16a31c4b57     
n.调查( inquiry的名词复数 );疑问;探究;打听
参考例句:
  • He was released on bail pending further inquiries. 他获得保释,等候进一步调查。
  • I have failed to reach them by postal inquiries. 我未能通过邮政查询与他们取得联系。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
30 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。
31 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。
32 gratitude p6wyS     
adj.感激,感谢
参考例句:
  • I have expressed the depth of my gratitude to him.我向他表示了深切的谢意。
  • She could not help her tears of gratitude rolling down her face.她感激的泪珠禁不住沿着面颊流了下来。
33 thoroughly sgmz0J     
adv.完全地,彻底地,十足地
参考例句:
  • The soil must be thoroughly turned over before planting.一定要先把土地深翻一遍再下种。
  • The soldiers have been thoroughly instructed in the care of their weapons.士兵们都系统地接受过保护武器的训练。
34 undoubtedly Mfjz6l     
adv.确实地,无疑地
参考例句:
  • It is undoubtedly she who has said that.这话明明是她说的。
  • He is undoubtedly the pride of China.毫无疑问他是中国的骄傲。
35 blessing UxDztJ     
n.祈神赐福;祷告;祝福,祝愿
参考例句:
  • The blessing was said in Hebrew.祷告用了希伯来语。
  • A double blessing has descended upon the house.双喜临门。
36 astonishment VvjzR     
n.惊奇,惊异
参考例句:
  • They heard him give a loud shout of astonishment.他们听见他惊奇地大叫一声。
  • I was filled with astonishment at her strange action.我对她的奇怪举动不胜惊异。
37 gallant 66Myb     
adj.英勇的,豪侠的;(向女人)献殷勤的
参考例句:
  • Huang Jiguang's gallant deed is known by all men. 黄继光的英勇事迹尽人皆知。
  • These gallant soldiers will protect our country.这些勇敢的士兵会保卫我们的国家的。
38 extravagant M7zya     
adj.奢侈的;过分的;(言行等)放肆的
参考例句:
  • They tried to please him with fulsome compliments and extravagant gifts.他们想用溢美之词和奢华的礼品来取悦他。
  • He is extravagant in behaviour.他行为放肆。
39 acquiescence PJFy5     
n.默许;顺从
参考例句:
  • The chief inclined his head in sign of acquiescence.首领点点头表示允许。
  • This is due to his acquiescence.这是因为他的默许。
40 defiance RmSzx     
n.挑战,挑衅,蔑视,违抗
参考例句:
  • He climbed the ladder in defiance of the warning.他无视警告爬上了那架梯子。
  • He slammed the door in a spirit of defiance.他以挑衅性的态度把门砰地一下关上。
41 exemption 3muxo     
n.豁免,免税额,免除
参考例句:
  • You may be able to apply for exemption from local taxes.你可能符合资格申请免除地方税。
  • These goods are subject to exemption from tax.这些货物可以免税。
42 penetration 1M8xw     
n.穿透,穿人,渗透
参考例句:
  • He is a man of penetration.他是一个富有洞察力的人。
  • Our aim is to achieve greater market penetration.我们的目标是进一步打入市场。
43 apprehension bNayw     
n.理解,领悟;逮捕,拘捕;忧虑
参考例句:
  • There were still areas of doubt and her apprehension grew.有些地方仍然存疑,于是她越来越担心。
  • She is a girl of weak apprehension.她是一个理解力很差的女孩。
44 surmise jHiz8     
v./n.猜想,推测
参考例句:
  • It turned out that my surmise was correct.结果表明我的推测没有错。
  • I surmise that he will take the job.我推测他会接受这份工作。
45 solicitous CF8zb     
adj.热切的,挂念的
参考例句:
  • He was so solicitous of his guests.他对他的客人们非常关切。
  • I am solicitous of his help.我渴得到他的帮助。
46 catching cwVztY     
adj.易传染的,有魅力的,迷人的,接住
参考例句:
  • There are those who think eczema is catching.有人就是认为湿疹会传染。
  • Enthusiasm is very catching.热情非常富有感染力。
47 defer KnYzZ     
vt.推迟,拖延;vi.(to)遵从,听从,服从
参考例句:
  • We wish to defer our decision until next week.我们希望推迟到下星期再作出决定。
  • We will defer to whatever the committee decides.我们遵从委员会作出的任何决定。
48 concurrence InAyF     
n.同意;并发
参考例句:
  • There is a concurrence of opinion between them.他们的想法一致。
  • The concurrence of their disappearances had to be more than coincidental.他们同时失踪肯定不仅仅是巧合。
49 elegance QjPzj     
n.优雅;优美,雅致;精致,巧妙
参考例句:
  • The furnishings in the room imparted an air of elegance.这个房间的家具带给这房间一种优雅的气氛。
  • John has been known for his sartorial elegance.约翰因为衣着讲究而出名。
50 worthy vftwB     
adj.(of)值得的,配得上的;有价值的
参考例句:
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我认为他不值得信赖。
  • There occurred nothing that was worthy to be mentioned.没有值得一提的事发生。
51 footpath 9gzzO     
n.小路,人行道
参考例句:
  • Owners who allow their dogs to foul the footpath will be fined.主人若放任狗弄脏人行道将受处罚。
  • They rambled on the footpath in the woods.他俩漫步在林间蹊径上。
52 hearty Od1zn     
adj.热情友好的;衷心的;尽情的,纵情的
参考例句:
  • After work they made a hearty meal in the worker's canteen.工作完了,他们在工人食堂饱餐了一顿。
  • We accorded him a hearty welcome.我们给他热忱的欢迎。
53 puddle otNy9     
n.(雨)水坑,泥潭
参考例句:
  • The boy hopped the mud puddle and ran down the walk.这个男孩跳过泥坑,沿着人行道跑了。
  • She tripped over and landed in a puddle.她绊了一下,跌在水坑里。
54 graceful deHza     
adj.优美的,优雅的;得体的
参考例句:
  • His movements on the parallel bars were very graceful.他的双杠动作可帅了!
  • The ballet dancer is so graceful.芭蕾舞演员的姿态是如此的优美。


欢迎访问英文小说网http://novel.tingroom.com

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533