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首页 » 经典英文小说 » 红与黑 The Red and the Black » Part 1 Chapter 3
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Part 1 Chapter 3

The Bread of the PoorA virtuous1 priest who does not involve himself in intrigue2 is ablessing for the village.

  FLEURYIt should be explained that the cure of Verrieres, an old man of eighty,but blessed by the keen air of his mountains with an iron character andstrength, had the right to visit at any hour of the day the prison, the hospital, and even the poorhouse. It was at six o'clock in the morning precisely3 that M. Appert, who was armed with an introduction to the curefrom Paris, had had the good sense to arrive in an inquisitive4 little town.

  He had gone at once to the presbytery.

  As he read the letter addressed to him by M. le Marquis de La Mole5, aPeer of France, and the wealthiest landowner in the province, the cureChelan sat lost in thought.

  'I am old and liked here,' he murmured to himself at length, 'theywould never dare!' Turning at once to the gentleman from Paris, witheyes in which, despite his great age, there burned that sacred fire whichbetokens the pleasure of performing a fine action which is slightlydangerous:

  'Come with me, Sir, and, in the presence of the gaoler and especially ofthe superintendents6 of the poorhouse, be so good as not to express anyopinion of the things we shall see.' M. Appert realised that he had to dealwith a man of feeling; he accompanied the venerable cure, visited theprison, the hospital, the poorhouse, asked many questions and, notwithstanding strange answers, did not allow himself to utter the least wordof reproach.

  This visit lasted for some hours. The cure invited M. Appert to dinewith him, but was told that his guest had some letters to write: he didnot wish to compromise his kind friend any further. About three o'clock, the gentlemen went back to complete their inspection7 of the poorhouse,after which they returned to the prison. There they found the gaolerstanding in the doorway8; a giant six feet tall, with bandy legs; terror hadmade his mean face hideous9.

  'Ah, Sir,' he said to the cure, on catching10 sight of him, 'is not this gentleman, that I see with you, M. Appert?'

  'What if he is?' said the cure.

  'Because yesterday I received the most definite instructions, which thePrefect sent down by a gendarme11 who had to gallop12 all night long, not toallow M. Appert into the prison.'

  'I declare to you, M. Noiroud,' said the cure, 'that this visitor, who is inmy company, is M. Appert. Do you admit that I have the right to enterthe prison at any hour of the day or night, bringing with me whom Iplease?'

  'Yes, M. le cure,' the gaoler murmured in a subdued13 tone, lowering hishead like a bulldog brought reluctantly to obedience14 by fear of the stick.

  'Only, M. le cure, I have a wife and children, if I am reported I shall bedismissed; I have only my place here to live on.'

  'I too should be very sorry to lose mine,' replied the worthy15 cure, in avoice swayed by ever increasing emotion.

  'What a difference!' the gaoler answered promptly16; 'why you, M. lecure, we know that you have an income of 800 livres, a fine place in thesun … '

  Such are the events which, commented upon, exaggerated in twentydifferent ways, had been arousing for the last two days all the evil passions of the little town of Verrieres. At that moment they were serving astext for the little discussion which M. de Renal was having with his wife.

  That morning, accompanied by M. Valenod, the governor of the poorhouse, he had gone to the cure's house, to inform him of their extremedispleasure. M. Chelan was under no one's protection; he felt the fullforce of their words.

  'Well, gentlemen, I shall be the third parish priest, eighty years of age,to be deprived of his living in this district. I have been here for six andfifty years; I have christened almost all the inhabitants of the town,which was no more than a village when I came. Every day I marryyoung couples whose grandparents I married long ago. Verrieres is myfamily; but I said to myself, when I saw the stranger: "This man, who has come from Paris, may indeed be a Liberal, there are far too many ofthem; but what harm can he do to our poor people and our prisoners?"'

  The reproaches of M. de Renal, and above all those of M. Valenod, thegovernor of the poorhouse, becoming more and more bitter:

  'Very well, gentlemen, have me deprived,' the old cure had cried, in aquavering voice. 'I shall live in the town all the same. You all know thatforty-eight years ago I inherited a piece of land which brings me 800livres; I shall live on that income. I save nothing out of my stipend17, gentlemen, and that may be why I am less alarmed when people speak oftaking it from me.'

  M. de Renal lived on excellent terms with his wife; but not knowingwhat answer to make to the question, which she timidly repeated: 'Whatharm can this gentleman from Paris do to the prisoners?' he was justabout to lose his temper altogether when she uttered a cry. Her secondson had climbed upon the parapet of the wall of the terrace, and wasrunning along it, though this wall rose more than twenty feet from thevineyard beneath. The fear of alarming her son and so making him fallrestrained Madame de Renal from calling him. Finally the child, whowas laughing at his own prowess, turned to look at his mother, noticedhow pale she was, sprang down upon the avenue and ran to join her. Hewas well scolded.

  This little incident changed the course of the conversation.

  'I am quite determined18 to engage young Sorel, the sawyer's son,' saidM. de Renal; 'he will look after the children, who are beginning to be toomuch of a handful for us. He is a young priest or thereabouts, a goodLatin scholar, and will bring the children on; for he has a strong character, the cure says. I shall give him 300 francs and his board. I had somedoubts as to his morals; for he was the Benjamin of that old surgeon, theMember of the Legion of Honour who on pretence19 of being their cousincame to live with the Sorels. He might quite well have been nothing better than a secret agent of the Liberals; he said that our mountain air wasgood for his asthma20; but that has never been proved. He had served inall Buonaparte's campaigns in Italy, and they even say that he votedagainst the Empire in his day. This Liberal taught young Sorel Latin, andleft him all the pile of books he brought here with him. Not that I shouldever have dreamed of having the carpenter's son with my children; butthe cure, only the day before the scene which has made a permanentbreach between us, told me that this Sorel has been studying theology for the last three years, with the idea of entering the Seminary; so he is not aLiberal, and he is a Latin scholar.

  'This arrangement suits me in more ways than one,' M. de Renal wenton, looking at his wife with an air of diplomacy21; 'Valenod is tremendously proud of the two fine Norman horses he has just bought for hiscalash. But he has not got a tutor for his children.'

  'He is quite capable of taking this one from us.'

  'Then you approve of my plan?' said M. de Renal, thanking his wife,with a smile, for the excellent idea that had just occurred to her. 'There,that's settled.'

  'Oh, good gracious, my dear, how quickly you make up your mind!'

  'That is because I have a strong character, as the cure has had occasionto see. Let us make no pretence about it, we are surrounded by Liberalshere. All these cloth merchants are jealous of me, I am certain of it; twoor three of them are growing rich; very well, I wish them to see M. deRenal's children go by, out walking in the care of their tutor. It will makean impression. My grandfather used often to tell us that in his youngdays he had had a tutor. It's a hundred crowns he's going to cost me, butthat will have to be reckoned as a necessary expense to keep up ourposition.'

  This sudden decision plunged22 Madame de Renal deep in thought. Shewas a tall, well-made woman, who had been the beauty of the place, asthe saying is in this mountain district. She had a certain air of simplicityand bore herself like a girl; in the eyes of a Parisian, that artless grace,full of innocence23 and vivacity24, might even have suggested ideas of amildly passionate25 nature. Had she had wind of this kind of success, Madame de Renal would have been thoroughly26 ashamed of it. No traceeither of coquetry or of affectation had ever appeared in her nature. M.

  Valenod, the wealthy governor of the poorhouse, was supposed to havepaid his court to her, but without success, a failure which had given amarked distinction to her virtue27; for this M. Valenod, a tall young man,strongly built, with a vivid complexion28 and bushy black whiskers, wasone of those coarse, brazen29, noisy creatures who in the provinces arecalled fine men.

  Madame de Renal, being extremely shy and liable to be swayed by hermoods, was offended chiefly by the restless movements and loud voiceof M. Valenod. The distaste that she felt for what at Verrieres goes by thename of gaiety had won her the reputation of being extremely proud ofher birth. She never gave it a thought, but had been greatly pleased to see the inhabitants of Verrieres come less frequently to her house. Weshall not attempt to conceal30 the fact that she was reckoned a fool in theeyes of their ladies, because, without any regard for her husband's interests, she let slip the most promising31 opportunities of procuring32 finehats from Paris or Besancon. Provided that she was left alone to stroll inher fine garden, she never made any complaint.

  She was a simple soul, who had never risen even to the point of criticising her husband, and admitting that he bored her. She supposed,without telling herself so, that between husband and wife there could beno more tender relations. She was especially fond of M. de Renal whenhe spoke33 to her of his plans for their children, one of whom he intendedto place in the army, the second on the bench, and the third in thechurch. In short, she found M. de Renal a great deal less boring than anyof the other men of her acquaintance.

  This wifely opinion was justified34. The Mayor of Verrieres owed hisreputation for wit, and better still for good tone, to half a dozen pleasantries which he had inherited from an uncle. This old Captain de Renalhad served before the Revolution in the Duke of Orleans's regiment35 ofinfantry, and, when he went to Paris, had had the right of entry into thatPrince's drawing-rooms. He had there seen Madame de Montesson, thefamous Madame de Genlis, M. Ducrest, the 'inventor' of the Palais-Royal.

  These personages figured all too frequently in M. de Renal's stories. Butby degrees these memories of things that it required so much delicacy36 torelate had become a burden to him, and for some time now it was onlyon solemn occasions that he would repeat his anecdotes37 of the House ofOrleans. As he was in other respects most refined, except when the talkran on money, he was regarded, and rightly, as the most aristocratic personage in Verrieres.


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1 virtuous upCyI     
adj.有品德的,善良的,贞洁的,有效力的
参考例句:
  • She was such a virtuous woman that everybody respected her.她是个有道德的女性,人人都尊敬她。
  • My uncle is always proud of having a virtuous wife.叔叔一直为娶到一位贤德的妻子而骄傲。
2 intrigue Gaqzy     
vt.激起兴趣,迷住;vi.耍阴谋;n.阴谋,密谋
参考例句:
  • Court officials will intrigue against the royal family.法院官员将密谋反对皇室。
  • The royal palace was filled with intrigue.皇宫中充满了勾心斗角。
3 precisely zlWzUb     
adv.恰好,正好,精确地,细致地
参考例句:
  • It's precisely that sort of slick sales-talk that I mistrust.我不相信的正是那种油腔滑调的推销宣传。
  • The man adjusted very precisely.那个人调得很准。
4 inquisitive s64xi     
adj.求知欲强的,好奇的,好寻根究底的
参考例句:
  • Children are usually inquisitive.小孩通常很好问。
  • A pat answer is not going to satisfy an inquisitive audience.陈腔烂调的答案不能满足好奇的听众。
5 mole 26Nzn     
n.胎块;痣;克分子
参考例句:
  • She had a tiny mole on her cheek.她的面颊上有一颗小黑痣。
  • The young girl felt very self- conscious about the large mole on her chin.那位年轻姑娘对自己下巴上的一颗大痣感到很不自在。
6 superintendents 89312ee92e8a4cafd8b00b14592c93a7     
警长( superintendent的名词复数 ); (大楼的)管理人; 监管人; (美国)警察局长
参考例句:
  • Unlike their New York counterparts, Portland school superintendents welcomed McFarlane. 这一次,地点是在波特兰。
  • But superintendents and principals have wide discretion. 但是,地方领导和校长有自由裁量权。
7 inspection y6TxG     
n.检查,审查,检阅
参考例句:
  • On random inspection the meat was found to be bad.经抽查,发现肉变质了。
  • The soldiers lined up for their daily inspection by their officers.士兵们列队接受军官的日常检阅。
8 doorway 2s0xK     
n.门口,(喻)入门;门路,途径
参考例句:
  • They huddled in the shop doorway to shelter from the rain.他们挤在商店门口躲雨。
  • Mary suddenly appeared in the doorway.玛丽突然出现在门口。
9 hideous 65KyC     
adj.丑陋的,可憎的,可怕的,恐怖的
参考例句:
  • The whole experience had been like some hideous nightmare.整个经历就像一场可怕的噩梦。
  • They're not like dogs,they're hideous brutes.它们不像狗,是丑陋的畜牲。
10 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。
11 gendarme DlayC     
n.宪兵
参考例句:
  • A gendarme was crossing the court.一个宪兵正在院子里踱步。
  • While he was at work,a gendarme passed,observed him,and demanded his papers.正在他工作时,有个警察走过,注意到他,便向他要证件。
12 gallop MQdzn     
v./n.(马或骑马等)飞奔;飞速发展
参考例句:
  • They are coming at a gallop towards us.他们正朝着我们飞跑过来。
  • The horse slowed to a walk after its long gallop.那匹马跑了一大阵后慢下来缓步而行。
13 subdued 76419335ce506a486af8913f13b8981d     
adj. 屈服的,柔和的,减弱的 动词subdue的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • He seemed a bit subdued to me. 我觉得他当时有点闷闷不乐。
  • I felt strangely subdued when it was all over. 一切都结束的时候,我却有一种奇怪的压抑感。
14 obedience 8vryb     
n.服从,顺从
参考例句:
  • Society has a right to expect obedience of the law.社会有权要求人人遵守法律。
  • Soldiers act in obedience to the orders of their superior officers.士兵们遵照上级军官的命令行动。
15 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。
16 promptly LRMxm     
adv.及时地,敏捷地
参考例句:
  • He paid the money back promptly.他立即还了钱。
  • She promptly seized the opportunity his absence gave her.她立即抓住了因他不在场给她创造的机会。
17 stipend kuPwO     
n.薪贴;奖学金;养老金
参考例句:
  • The company is going to ajust my stipend from this month onwards.从这一个月开始公司将对我的薪金作调整。
  • This sum was nearly a third of his total stipend.这笔钱几乎是他全部津贴的三分之一。
18 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。
19 pretence pretence     
n.假装,作假;借口,口实;虚伪;虚饰
参考例句:
  • The government abandoned any pretence of reform. 政府不再装模作样地进行改革。
  • He made a pretence of being happy at the party.晚会上他假装很高兴。
20 asthma WvezQ     
n.气喘病,哮喘病
参考例句:
  • I think he's having an asthma attack.我想他现在是哮喘病发作了。
  • Its presence in allergic asthma is well known.它在过敏性气喘中的存在是大家很熟悉的。
21 diplomacy gu9xk     
n.外交;外交手腕,交际手腕
参考例句:
  • The talks have now gone into a stage of quiet diplomacy.会谈现在已经进入了“温和外交”阶段。
  • This was done through the skill in diplomacy. 这是通过外交手腕才做到的。
22 plunged 06a599a54b33c9d941718dccc7739582     
v.颠簸( plunge的过去式和过去分词 );暴跌;骤降;突降
参考例句:
  • The train derailed and plunged into the river. 火车脱轨栽进了河里。
  • She lost her balance and plunged 100 feet to her death. 她没有站稳,从100英尺的高处跌下摔死了。
23 innocence ZbizC     
n.无罪;天真;无害
参考例句:
  • There was a touching air of innocence about the boy.这个男孩有一种令人感动的天真神情。
  • The accused man proved his innocence of the crime.被告人经证实无罪。
24 vivacity ZhBw3     
n.快活,活泼,精神充沛
参考例句:
  • Her charm resides in her vivacity.她的魅力存在于她的活泼。
  • He was charmed by her vivacity and high spirits.她的活泼与兴高采烈的情绪把他迷住了。
25 passionate rLDxd     
adj.热情的,热烈的,激昂的,易动情的,易怒的,性情暴躁的
参考例句:
  • He is said to be the most passionate man.据说他是最有激情的人。
  • He is very passionate about the project.他对那个项目非常热心。
26 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。
27 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。
28 complexion IOsz4     
n.肤色;情况,局面;气质,性格
参考例句:
  • Red does not suit with her complexion.红色与她的肤色不协调。
  • Her resignation puts a different complexion on things.她一辞职局面就全变了。
29 brazen Id1yY     
adj.厚脸皮的,无耻的,坚硬的
参考例句:
  • The brazen woman laughed loudly at the judge who sentenced her.那无耻的女子冲着给她判刑的法官高声大笑。
  • Some people prefer to brazen a thing out rather than admit defeat.有的人不愿承认失败,而是宁肯厚着脸皮干下去。
30 conceal DpYzt     
v.隐藏,隐瞒,隐蔽
参考例句:
  • He had to conceal his identity to escape the police.为了躲避警方,他只好隐瞒身份。
  • He could hardly conceal his joy at his departure.他几乎掩饰不住临行时的喜悦。
31 promising BkQzsk     
adj.有希望的,有前途的
参考例句:
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。
32 procuring 1d7f440d0ca1006a2578d7800f8213b2     
v.(努力)取得, (设法)获得( procure的现在分词 );拉皮条
参考例句:
  • He was accused of procuring women for his business associates. 他被指控为其生意合伙人招妓。 来自辞典例句
  • She had particular pleasure, in procuring him the proper invitation. 她特别高兴为他争得这份体面的邀请。 来自辞典例句
33 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。
34 justified 7pSzrk     
a.正当的,有理的
参考例句:
  • She felt fully justified in asking for her money back. 她认为有充分的理由要求退款。
  • The prisoner has certainly justified his claims by his actions. 那个囚犯确实已用自己的行动表明他的要求是正当的。
35 regiment JATzZ     
n.团,多数,管理;v.组织,编成团,统制
参考例句:
  • As he hated army life,he decide to desert his regiment.因为他嫌恶军队生活,所以他决心背弃自己所在的那个团。
  • They reformed a division into a regiment.他们将一个师整编成为一个团。
36 delicacy mxuxS     
n.精致,细微,微妙,精良;美味,佳肴
参考例句:
  • We admired the delicacy of the craftsmanship.我们佩服工艺师精巧的手艺。
  • He sensed the delicacy of the situation.他感觉到了形势的微妙。
37 anecdotes anecdotes     
n.掌故,趣闻,轶事( anecdote的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • amusing anecdotes about his brief career as an actor 关于他短暂演员生涯的趣闻逸事
  • He related several anecdotes about his first years as a congressman. 他讲述自己初任议员那几年的几则轶事。 来自《简明英汉词典》


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