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首页 » 经典英文小说 » 红与黑 The Red and the Black » Part 1 Chapter 4
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Part 1 Chapter 4

Father and SonE sara mia colpa, Se cosi e?

  MACHIAVELLI'My wife certainly has a head on her shoulders!' the Mayor of Verrieresremarked to himself the following morning at six o'clock, as he made hisway down to Pere Sorel's sawmill. 'Although I said so to her, to maintainmy own superiority, it had never occurred to me that if I do not take thislittle priest Sorel, who, they tell me, knows his Latin like an angel, thegovernor of the poorhouse, that restless spirit, might very well have thesame idea, and snatch him from me, I can hear the tone of conceit1 withwhich he would speak of his children's tutor! … This tutor, once I've secured him, will he wear a cassock?'

  M. de Renal was absorbed in this question when he saw in the distancea peasant, a man of nearly six feet in height, who, by the first dawninglight, seemed to be busily occupied in measuring pieces of timber lyingby the side of the Doubs, upon the towpath. The peasant did not appearany too well pleased to see the Mayor coming towards him; for hispieces of wood were blocking the path, and had been laid there in contravention of the law.

  Pere Sorel, for it was he, was greatly surprised and even more pleasedby the singular offer which M. de Renal made him with regard to his sonJulien. He listened to it nevertheless with that air of grudging-melancholy and lack of interest which the shrewd inhabitants of those mountains know so well how to assume. Slaves in the days of Spanish rule,they still retain this facial characteristic of the Egyptian fellahin.

  Sorel's reply was at first nothing more than a long-winded recital2 of allthe formal terms of respect which he knew by heart. While he was repeating these vain words, with an awkward smile which enhanced theair of falsehood and almost of rascality3 natural to his countenance4, theold peasant's active mind was seeking to discover what reason could be inducing so important a personage to take his scapegrace of a son intohis establishment. He was thoroughly5 dissatisfied with Julien, and it wasfor Julien that M. de Renal was offering him the astounding6 wage of 300francs annually7, in addition to his food and even his clothing. This lastcondition, which Pere Sorel had had the intelligence to advance on thespur of the moment, had been granted with equal readiness by M. deRenal.

  This demand impressed the Mayor. 'Since Sorel is not delighted andoverwhelmed by my proposal, as he ought naturally to be, it is clear,' hesaid to himself, 'that overtures8 have been made to him from anotherquarter; and from whom can they have come, except from Valenod?' Itwas in vain that M. de Renal urged Sorel to conclude the bargain thereand then: the astute9 old peasant met him with an obstinate10 refusal; hewished, he said, to consult his son, as though, in the country, a rich father ever consulted a penniless son, except for form's sake.

  A sawmill consists of a shed by the side of a stream. The roof is heldup by rafters supported on four stout11 wooden pillars. Nine or ten feetfrom the ground, in the middle of the shed, one sees a saw which movesup and down, while an extremely simple mechanism12 thrusts forwardagainst this saw a piece of wood. This is a wheel set in motion by the milllade which drives both parts of the machine; that of the saw whichmoves up and down, and the other which pushes the piece of woodgently towards the saw, which slices it into planks13.

  As he approached his mill, Pere Sorel called Julien in his stentorianvoice; there was no answer. He saw only his two elder sons, young giants who, armed with heavy axes, were squaring the trunks of fir whichthey would afterwards carry to the saw. They were completely engrossed15 in keeping exactly to the black line traced on the piece of wood,from which each blow of the axe14 sent huge chips flying. They did nothear their father's voice. He made his way to the shed; as he entered it,he looked in vain for Julien in the place where he ought to have beenstanding, beside the saw. He caught sight of him five or six feet higherup, sitting astride upon one of the beams of the roof. Instead of payingcareful attention to the action of the machinery16, Julien was reading abook. Nothing could have been less to old Sorel's liking17; he might perhaps have forgiven Julien his slender build, little adapted to hard work,and so different from that of his elder brothers; but this passion for reading he detested18: he himself was unable to read.

   It was in vain that he called Julien two or three times. The attention theyoung man was paying to his book, far more than the noise of the saw,prevented him from hearing his father's terrifying voice. Finally, despitehis years, the father sprang nimbly upon the trunk that was being cut bythe saw, and from there on to the cross beam that held up the roof. A violent blow sent flying into the mill lade the book that Julien was holding;a second blow no less violent, aimed at his head, in the form of a box onthe ear, made him lose his balance. He was about to fall from a height oftwelve or fifteen feet, among the moving machinery, which would havecrushed him, but his father caught him with his left hand as he fell.

  'Well, idler! So you keep on reading your cursed books, when youought to be watching the saw? Read them in the evening, when you goand waste your time with the cure.'

  Julien, although stunned19 by the force of the blow, and bleeding profusely20, went to take up his proper station beside the saw. There weretears in his eyes, due not so much to his bodily pain as to the loss of hisbook, which he adored.

  'Come down, animal, till I speak to you.' The noise of the machineagain prevented Julien from hearing this order. His father who hadstepped down not wishing to take the trouble to climb up again on to themachine, went to find a long pole used for knocking down walnuts21, andstruck him on the shoulder with it. No sooner had Julien reached theground than old Sorel, thrusting him on brutally22 from behind, drove himtowards the house. 'Heaven knows what he's going to do to me!' thoughtthe young man. As he passed it, he looked sadly at the mill lade intowhich his book had fallen; it was the one that he valued most of all, theMemorial de Sainte-Helene.

  His cheeks were flushed, his eyes downcast. He was a slim youth ofeighteen or nineteen, weak in appearance, with irregular but delicate features and an aquiline23 nose. His large dark eyes, which, in moments ofcalm, suggested a reflective, fiery24 spirit, were animated25 at this instantwith an expression of the most ferocious26 hatred27. Hair of a dark chestnut,growing very low, gave him a narrow brow, and in moments of anger awicked air. Among the innumerable varieties of the human countenance,there is perhaps none that is more strikingly characteristic. A slim andshapely figure betokened28 suppleness29 rather than strength. In his childhood, his extremely pensive30 air and marked pallor had given his fatherthe idea that he would not live, or would live only to be a burden uponhis family. An object of contempt to the rest of the household, he hated his brothers and father; in the games on Sundays, on the public square,he was invariably beaten.

  It was only during the last year that his good looks had begun to winhim a few supporters among the girls. Universally despised, as a feeblecreature, Julien had adored that old Surgeon-Major who one day ventured to speak to the Mayor on the subject of the plane trees.

  This surgeon used now and then to pay old Sorel a day's wage for hisson, and taught him Latin and history, that is to say all the history thathe knew, that of the 1796 campaign in Italy. On his death, he had bequeathed to him his Cross of the Legion of Honour, the arrears31 of hispension, and thirty or forty volumes, the most precious of which had justtaken a plunge32 into the public lade, diverted by the Mayor's influence.

  As soon as he was inside the house, Julien felt his shoulder gripped byhis father's strong hand; he trembled, expecting to receive a shower ofblows.

  'Answer me without lying,' the old peasant's harsh voice shouted inhis ear, while the hand spun33 him round as a child's hand spins a lead soldier. Julien's great dark eyes, filled with tears, found themselves startinginto the little grey eyes of the old peasant, who looked as though hesought to penetrate34 to the depths of his son's heart.


1 conceit raVyy     
  • As conceit makes one lag behind,so modesty helps one make progress.骄傲使人落后,谦虚使人进步。
  • She seems to be eaten up with her own conceit.她仿佛已经被骄傲冲昏了头脑。
2 recital kAjzI     
  • She is going to give a piano recital.她即将举行钢琴独奏会。
  • I had their total attention during the thirty-five minutes that my recital took.在我叙述的35分钟内,他们完全被我吸引了。
3 rascality d42e2a118789a8817fa597e13ed4f92d     
4 countenance iztxc     
  • 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。
5 thoroughly sgmz0J     
  • 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。
6 astounding QyKzns     
  • There was an astounding 20% increase in sales. 销售量惊人地增加了20%。
  • The Chairman's remarks were so astounding that the audience listened to him with bated breath. 主席说的话令人吃惊,所以听众都屏息听他说。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 annually VzYzNO     
  • Many migratory birds visit this lake annually.许多候鸟每年到这个湖上作短期逗留。
  • They celebrate their wedding anniversary annually.他们每年庆祝一番结婚纪念日。
8 overtures 0ed0d32776ccf6fae49696706f6020ad     
n.主动的表示,提议;(向某人做出的)友好表示、姿态或提议( overture的名词复数 );(歌剧、芭蕾舞、音乐剧等的)序曲,前奏曲
  • Their government is making overtures for peace. 他们的政府正在提出和平建议。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He had lately begun to make clumsy yet endearing overtures of friendship. 最近他开始主动表示友好,样子笨拙却又招人喜爱。 来自辞典例句
9 astute Av7zT     
  • A good leader must be an astute judge of ability.一个优秀的领导人必须善于识别人的能力。
  • The criminal was very astute and well matched the detective in intelligence.这个罪犯非常狡猾,足以对付侦探的机智。
10 obstinate m0dy6     
  • She's too obstinate to let anyone help her.她太倔强了,不会让任何人帮她的。
  • The trader was obstinate in the negotiation.这个商人在谈判中拗强固执。
11 stout PGuzF     
  • He cut a stout stick to help him walk.他砍了一根结实的枝条用来拄着走路。
  • The stout old man waddled across the road.那肥胖的老人一跩一跩地穿过马路。
12 mechanism zCWxr     
  • The bones and muscles are parts of the mechanism of the body.骨骼和肌肉是人体的组成部件。
  • The mechanism of the machine is very complicated.这台机器的结构是非常复杂的。
13 planks 534a8a63823ed0880db6e2c2bc03ee4a     
(厚)木板( plank的名词复数 ); 政纲条目,政策要点
  • The house was built solidly of rough wooden planks. 这房子是用粗木板牢固地建造的。
  • We sawed the log into planks. 我们把木头锯成了木板。
14 axe 2oVyI     
  • Be careful with that sharp axe.那把斧子很锋利,你要当心。
  • The edge of this axe has turned.这把斧子卷了刃了。
15 engrossed 3t0zmb     
  • The student is engrossed in his book.这名学生正在专心致志地看书。
  • No one had ever been quite so engrossed in an evening paper.没人会对一份晚报如此全神贯注。
16 machinery CAdxb     
  • Has the machinery been put up ready for the broadcast?广播器材安装完毕了吗?
  • Machinery ought to be well maintained all the time.机器应该随时注意维护。
17 liking mpXzQ5     
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
18 detested e34cc9ea05a83243e2c1ed4bd90db391     
v.憎恶,嫌恶,痛恨( detest的过去式和过去分词 )
  • They detested each other on sight. 他们互相看着就不顺眼。
  • The freethinker hated the formalist; the lover of liberty detested the disciplinarian. 自由思想者总是不喜欢拘泥形式者,爱好自由者总是憎恶清规戒律者。 来自辞典例句
19 stunned 735ec6d53723be15b1737edd89183ec2     
adj. 震惊的,惊讶的 动词stun的过去式和过去分词
  • The fall stunned me for a moment. 那一下摔得我昏迷了片刻。
  • The leaders of the Kopper Company were then stunned speechless. 科伯公司的领导们当时被惊得目瞪口呆。
20 profusely 12a581fe24557b55ae5601d069cb463c     
  • 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。
  • He had been working hard and was perspiring profusely. 他一直在努力干活,身上大汗淋漓的。
21 walnuts 465c6356861ea8aca24192b9eacd42e8     
胡桃(树)( walnut的名词复数 ); 胡桃木
  • Are there walnuts in this sauce? 这沙司里面有核桃吗?
  • We ate eggs and bacon, pickled walnuts and cheese. 我们吃鸡蛋,火腿,腌胡桃仁和干酪。
22 brutally jSRya     
  • The uprising was brutally put down.起义被残酷地镇压下去了。
  • A pro-democracy uprising was brutally suppressed.一场争取民主的起义被残酷镇压了。
23 aquiline jNeyk     
  • He had a thin aquiline nose and deep-set brown eyes.他长着窄长的鹰钩鼻和深陷的褐色眼睛。
  • The man has a strong and aquiline nose.该名男子有强大和鹰鼻子。
24 fiery ElEye     
  • She has fiery red hair.她有一头火红的头发。
  • His fiery speech agitated the crowd.他热情洋溢的讲话激动了群众。
25 animated Cz7zMa     
  • His observations gave rise to an animated and lively discussion.他的言论引起了一场气氛热烈而活跃的讨论。
  • We had an animated discussion over current events last evening.昨天晚上我们热烈地讨论时事。
26 ferocious ZkNxc     
  • The ferocious winds seemed about to tear the ship to pieces.狂风仿佛要把船撕成碎片似的。
  • The ferocious panther is chasing a rabbit.那只凶猛的豹子正追赶一只兔子。
27 hatred T5Gyg     
  • He looked at me with hatred in his eyes.他以憎恨的眼光望着我。
  • The old man was seized with burning hatred for the fascists.老人对法西斯主义者充满了仇恨。
28 betokened 375655c690bd96db4a8d7f827433e1e3     
v.预示,表示( betoken的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Nothing betokened that the man know anything of what had occurred. 显然那个人还不知道已经发生了什么事。 来自互联网
  • He addressed a few angry words to her that betokened hostility. 他对她说了几句预示敌意的愤怒的话。 来自互联网
29 suppleness b4e82c9f5182546d8ba09ca5c2afd3ff     
柔软; 灵活; 易弯曲; 顺从
  • The leather may need to be oiled every two to three weeks in order to retain its suppleness. 为了保持皮革的柔韧性,可能两三周就要上一次油。
  • She tried to recover her lost fitness and suppleness. 她试图恢复她失去的身体的康健和轻柔。
30 pensive 2uTys     
  • He looked suddenly sombre,pensive.他突然看起来很阴郁,一副忧虑的样子。
  • He became so pensive that she didn't like to break into his thought.他陷入沉思之中,她不想打断他的思路。
31 arrears IVYzQ     
  • The payments on that car loan are in arrears by three months.购车贷款的偿付被拖欠了三个月。
  • They are urgent for payment of arrears of wages.他们催讨拖欠的工钱。
32 plunge 228zO     
  • Test pool's water temperature before you plunge in.在你跳入之前你应该测试水温。
  • That would plunge them in the broil of the two countries.那将会使他们陷入这两国的争斗之中。
33 spun kvjwT     
  • His grandmother spun him a yarn at the fire.他奶奶在火炉边给他讲故事。
  • Her skilful fingers spun the wool out to a fine thread.她那灵巧的手指把羊毛纺成了细毛线。
34 penetrate juSyv     
  • Western ideas penetrate slowly through the East.西方观念逐渐传入东方。
  • The sunshine could not penetrate where the trees were thickest.阳光不能透入树木最浓密的地方。


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