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Part 1 Chapter 2

A MayorPrestige! Sir, is it nothing? To be revered1 by fools, gaped2 at bychildren, envied by the rich and scorned by the wise.

  BARNAVEFortunately for M. de Renal's reputation as an administrator3, a hugeretaining wall was required for the public avenue which skirts the hillside a hundred feet above the bed of the Doubs. To this admirable position it is indebted for one of the most picturesque4 views in France. But,every spring, torrents5 of rainwater made channels across the avenue,carved deep gullies in it and left it impassable. This nuisance, which affected6 everybody alike, placed M. de Renal under the fortunate obligation to immortalise his administration by a wall twenty feet in heightand seventy or eighty yards long.

  The parapet of this wall, to secure which M. de Renal was obliged tomake three journeys to Paris, for the Minister of the Interior before lasthad sworn a deadly enmity to the Verrieres avenue; the parapet of thiswall now rises four feet above the ground. And, as though to defy allMinisters past and present, it is being finished off at this moment withslabs of dressed stone.

  How often, my thoughts straying back to the ball-rooms of Paris,which I had forsaken7 overnight, my elbows leaning upon those greatblocks of stone of a fine grey with a shade of blue in it, have I swept withmy gaze the vale of the Doubs! Over there, on the left bank, are five orsix winding8 valleys, along the folds of which the eye can make out quiteplainly a number of little streams. After leaping from rock to rock, theymay be seen falling into the Doubs. The sun is extremely hot in thesemountains; when it is directly overhead, the traveller's rest is shelteredon this terrace by a row of magnificent planes. Their rapid growth, andhandsome foliage9 of a bluish tint10 are due to the artificial soil with whichthe Mayor has filled in the space behind his immense retaining wall, for, despite the opposition11 of the town council, he has widened the avenueby more than six feet (although he is an Ultra and I myself a Liberal, Igive him credit for it), that is why, in his opinion and in that of M. Valenod, the fortunate governor of the Verrieres poorhouse, this terrace isworthy to be compared with that of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

  For my part, I have only one fault to find with the Cours de la Fidelite;one reads this, its official title, in fifteen or twenty places, on marble slabswhich have won M. de Renal yet another Cross; what I should be inclined to condemn12 in the Cours de la Fidelite is the barbarous manner inwhich the authorities keep these sturdy plane trees trimmed and pollarded. Instead of suggesting, with their low, rounded, flattened13 heads, thecommonest of kitchen garden vegetables, they would like nothing betterthan to assume those magnificent forms which one sees them wear inEngland. But the Mayor's will is despotic, and twice a year every tree belonging to the commune is pitilessly lopped. The Liberals of the placemaintain, but they exaggerate, that the hand of the official gardener hasgrown much more severe since the Reverend Vicar Maslon formed thehabit of appropriating the clippings.

  This young cleric was sent from Besancon, some years ago, to keep aneye upon the abbe Chelan and certain parish priests of the district. Anold Surgeon-Major of the Army of Italy, in retirement14 at Verrieres, whoin his time had been simultaneously15, according to the Mayor, a Jacobinand a Bonapartist, actually ventured one day to complain to him of theperiodical mutilation of these fine trees.

  'I like shade,' replied M. de Renal with the touch of arrogance16 appropriate when one is addressing a surgeon, a Member of the Legion ofHonour; 'I like shade, I have my trees cut so as to give shade, and I donot consider that a tree is made for any other purpose, unless, like theuseful walnut17, it yields a return.'

  There you have the great phrase that decides everything at Verrieres:

  YIELD A RETURN; it by itself represents the habitual18 thought of morethan three fourths of the inhabitants.

  Yielding a return is the consideration that settles everything in this littletown which seemed to you, just now, so attractive. The stranger arrivingthere, beguiled19 by the beauty of the cool, deep valleys on every side,imagines at first that the inhabitants are influenced by the idea of beauty;they are always talking about the beauty of their scenery: no one candeny that they make a great to-do about it; but this is because it attracts acertain number of visitors whose money goes to enrich the innkeepers, and thus, through the channel of the rate-collector, yields a return to thetown.

  It was a fine day in autumn and M. de Renal was strolling along theCours de la Fidelite, his lady on his arm. While she listened to her husband, who was speaking with an air of gravity, Madame de Renal's eyewas anxiously following the movements of three little boys. The eldest,who might be about eleven, was continually running to the parapet asthough about to climb on top. A gentle voice then uttered the nameAdolphe, and the child abandoned his ambitious project. Madame deRenal looked like a woman of thirty, but was still extremely pretty.

  'He may live to rue20 the day, that fine gentleman from Paris,' M. deRenal was saying in a tone of annoyance21, his cheek paler even than wasits wont22. 'I myself am not entirely23 without friends at Court… .'

  But albeit24 I mean to speak to you of provincial25 life for two hundredpages, I shall not be so barbarous as to inflict26 upon you the tedium27 andall the clever turns of a provincial dialogue.

  This fine gentleman from Paris, so odious28 to the Mayor of Verrieres,was none other than M. Appert, 1 who, a couple of days earlier, had contrived29 to make his way not only into the prison and the poorhouse ofVerrieres, but also into the hospital, administered gratuitously30 by theMayor and the principal landowners of the neighbourhood.

  'But,' Madame de Renal put in timidly, 'what harm can this gentlemanfrom Paris do you, since you provide for the welfare of the poor with themost scrupulous31 honesty?'

  'He has only come to cast blame, and then he'll go back and have articles put in the Liberal papers.'

  'You never read them, my dear.'

  'But people tell us about those Jacobin articles; all that distracts us, andhinders us from doing good. 2 As for me, I shall never forgive the cure.'

  1.A contemporary philanthropist and prison visitor.

  2.authentic


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 revered 1d4a411490949024694bf40d95a0d35f     
v.崇敬,尊崇,敬畏( revere的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • A number of institutions revered and respected in earlier times have become Aunt Sally for the present generation. 一些早年受到尊崇的惯例,现在已经成了这代人嘲弄的对象了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The Chinese revered corn as a gift from heaven. 中国人将谷物奉为上天的恩赐。 来自辞典例句
2 gaped 11328bb13d82388ec2c0b2bf7af6f272     
v.目瞪口呆地凝视( gape的过去式和过去分词 );张开,张大
参考例句:
  • A huge chasm gaped before them. 他们面前有个巨大的裂痕。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The front door was missing. A hole gaped in the roof. 前门不翼而飞,屋顶豁开了一个洞。 来自辞典例句
3 administrator SJeyZ     
n.经营管理者,行政官员
参考例句:
  • The role of administrator absorbed much of Ben's energy.行政职务耗掉本很多精力。
  • He has proved himself capable as administrator.他表现出管理才能。
4 picturesque qlSzeJ     
adj.美丽如画的,(语言)生动的,绘声绘色的
参考例句:
  • You can see the picturesque shores beside the river.在河边你可以看到景色如画的两岸。
  • That was a picturesque phrase.那是一个形象化的说法。
5 torrents 0212faa02662ca7703af165c0976cdfd     
n.倾注;奔流( torrent的名词复数 );急流;爆发;连续不断
参考例句:
  • The torrents scoured out a channel down the hill side. 急流沿着山腰冲刷出一条水沟。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Sudden rainstorms would bring the mountain torrents rushing down. 突然的暴雨会使山洪暴发。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
6 affected TzUzg0     
adj.不自然的,假装的
参考例句:
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
7 Forsaken Forsaken     
adj. 被遗忘的, 被抛弃的 动词forsake的过去分词
参考例句:
  • He was forsaken by his friends. 他被朋友们背弃了。
  • He has forsaken his wife and children. 他遗弃了他的妻子和孩子。
8 winding Ue7z09     
n.绕,缠,绕组,线圈
参考例句:
  • A winding lane led down towards the river.一条弯弯曲曲的小路通向河边。
  • The winding trail caused us to lose our orientation.迂回曲折的小道使我们迷失了方向。
9 foliage QgnzK     
n.叶子,树叶,簇叶
参考例句:
  • The path was completely covered by the dense foliage.小路被树叶厚厚地盖了一层。
  • Dark foliage clothes the hills.浓密的树叶覆盖着群山。
10 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。
11 opposition eIUxU     
n.反对,敌对
参考例句:
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
12 condemn zpxzp     
vt.谴责,指责;宣判(罪犯),判刑
参考例句:
  • Some praise him,whereas others condemn him.有些人赞扬他,而有些人谴责他。
  • We mustn't condemn him on mere suppositions.我们不可全凭臆测来指责他。
13 flattened 1d5d9fedd9ab44a19d9f30a0b81f79a8     
[医](水)平扁的,弄平的
参考例句:
  • She flattened her nose and lips against the window. 她把鼻子和嘴唇紧贴着窗户。
  • I flattened myself against the wall to let them pass. 我身体紧靠着墙让他们通过。
14 retirement TWoxH     
n.退休,退职
参考例句:
  • She wanted to enjoy her retirement without being beset by financial worries.她想享受退休生活而不必为金钱担忧。
  • I have to put everything away for my retirement.我必须把一切都积蓄起来以便退休后用。
15 simultaneously 4iBz1o     
adv.同时发生地,同时进行地
参考例句:
  • The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously.雷达波几乎可以同时追着多个目标。
  • The Windows allow a computer user to execute multiple programs simultaneously.Windows允许计算机用户同时运行多个程序。
16 arrogance pNpyD     
n.傲慢,自大
参考例句:
  • His arrogance comes out in every speech he makes.他每次讲话都表现得骄傲自大。
  • Arrogance arrested his progress.骄傲阻碍了他的进步。
17 walnut wpTyQ     
n.胡桃,胡桃木,胡桃色,茶色
参考例句:
  • Walnut is a local specialty here.核桃是此地的土特产。
  • The stool comes in several sizes in walnut or mahogany.凳子有几种尺寸,材质分胡桃木和红木两种。
18 habitual x5Pyp     
adj.习惯性的;通常的,惯常的
参考例句:
  • He is a habitual criminal.他是一个惯犯。
  • They are habitual visitors to our house.他们是我家的常客。
19 beguiled f25585f8de5e119077c49118f769e600     
v.欺骗( beguile的过去式和过去分词 );使陶醉;使高兴;消磨(时间等)
参考例句:
  • She beguiled them into believing her version of events. 她哄骗他们相信了她叙述的事情。
  • He beguiled me into signing this contract. 他诱骗我签订了这项合同。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
20 rue 8DGy6     
n.懊悔,芸香,后悔;v.后悔,悲伤,懊悔
参考例句:
  • You'll rue having failed in the examination.你会悔恨考试失败。
  • You're going to rue this the longest day that you live.你要终身悔恨不尽呢。
21 annoyance Bw4zE     
n.恼怒,生气,烦恼
参考例句:
  • Why do you always take your annoyance out on me?为什么你不高兴时总是对我出气?
  • I felt annoyance at being teased.我恼恨别人取笑我。
22 wont peXzFP     
adj.习惯于;v.习惯;n.习惯
参考例句:
  • He was wont to say that children are lazy.他常常说小孩子们懒惰。
  • It is his wont to get up early.早起是他的习惯。
23 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。
24 albeit axiz0     
conj.即使;纵使;虽然
参考例句:
  • Albeit fictional,she seemed to have resolved the problem.虽然是虚构的,但是在她看来好象是解决了问题。
  • Albeit he has failed twice,he is not discouraged.虽然失败了两次,但他并没有气馁。
25 provincial Nt8ye     
adj.省的,地方的;n.外省人,乡下人
参考例句:
  • City dwellers think country folk have provincial attitudes.城里人以为乡下人思想迂腐。
  • Two leading cadres came down from the provincial capital yesterday.昨天从省里下来了两位领导干部。
26 inflict Ebnz7     
vt.(on)把…强加给,使遭受,使承担
参考例句:
  • Don't inflict your ideas on me.不要把你的想法强加于我。
  • Don't inflict damage on any person.不要伤害任何人。
27 tedium ngkyn     
n.单调;烦闷
参考例句:
  • We played games to relieve the tedium of the journey.我们玩游戏,来解除旅行的沉闷。
  • In myself I could observe the following sources of tedium. 从我自己身上,我所观察到的烦闷的根源有下列一些。
28 odious l0zy2     
adj.可憎的,讨厌的
参考例句:
  • The judge described the crime as odious.法官称这一罪行令人发指。
  • His character could best be described as odious.他的人格用可憎来形容最贴切。
29 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。
30 gratuitously 429aafa0acba519edfd78e57ed8c6cfc     
平白
参考例句:
  • They rebuild their houses for them gratuitously when they are ruined. 如果他们的房屋要坍了,就会有人替他们重盖,不要工资。 来自互联网
  • He insulted us gratuitously. 他在毫无理由的情况下侮辱了我们。 来自互联网
31 scrupulous 6sayH     
adj.审慎的,小心翼翼的,完全的,纯粹的
参考例句:
  • She is scrupulous to a degree.她非常谨慎。
  • Poets are not so scrupulous as you are.诗人并不像你那样顾虑多。


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