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首页 » 经典英文小说 » 红与黑 The Red and the Black » Part 1 Chapter 20
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Part 1 Chapter 20

The Anonymous1 LettersDo not give dalliance Too much the rein2; the strongest oaths arestraw To the fire i'the blood.

  The TempestAs they left the drawing-room about midnight, Julien found time tosay to his mistress: 'Do not let us meet tonight, your husband has suspicions; I would swear that that long letter he was reading with such displeasure is an anonymous one.'

  Fortunately, Julien locked himself into his room. Madame de Renalconceived the mad idea that this warning was simply a pretext3 for notcoming to see her. She lost her head absolutely, and at the usual hourcame to his door. Julien, hearing a sound in the corridor, instantly blewout his lamp. Someone was attempting to open his door; was it Madamede Renal, was it a jealous husband?

  Early the next morning, the cook, who took an interest in Julien,brought him a book on the cover of which he read these words written inItalian: Guardate alia pagina 130.

  Julien shuddered4 at the imprudence, turned to page one hundred andthirty and found fastened to it with a pin the following letter written inhaste, bedewed with tears, and without the least attempt at spelling.

  Ordinarily Madame de Renal spelt quite well; he was moved by this detail and began to forget the frightful5 imprudence.

  'So you would not let me in tonight? There are moments when I feelthat I have never seen into the depths of your heart. Your look frightensme. I am afraid of you. Great God! Can it be, you have never loved me?

  In that case, my husband can discover our love, and shut me up inlifelong imprisonment6, in the country, apart from my children. PerhapsGod wills it so. I shall soon die; but you will be a monster.

   'Do you not love me? Are you tired of my follies7, of my remorse8, impious one? Do you wish to ruin me? I give you an easy method. Go, showthis letter to all Verrieres, or rather show it to M. Valenod alone. Tell himthat I love you; but no, utter no such blasphemy9; tell him that I adoreyou, that life only began for me on the day when I first saw you; that inthe wildest moments of my girlhood, I had never even dreamed of thehappiness that I owe to you; that I have sacrificed my life to you, that Iam sacrificing my soul to you. You know that I am sacrificing far more.

  'But what does he know of sacrifices, that man? Tell him, tell him, tomake him angry, that I defy all evil-speakers, and that there is but onemisfortune in the world for me, that of beholding10 a change in the oneman who holds me to life. What a blessing11 for me to lose it, to offer it insacrifice, and to fear no longer for my children!

  'Doubt not, dear friend, if there be an anonymous letter, it comes fromthat odious12 being who, for the last six years, has pursued me with hisloud voice, with a list of the jumps his horse has taken, with his fatuityand with the endless enumeration13 of all his advantages.

  'Is there an anonymous letter? Wicked one, that is what I wished todiscuss with you; but no, you were right. Clasping you in my arms, forthe last time perhaps, I could never have discussed the matter calmly, asI do when I am alone. From this moment our happiness will not be soeasily secured. Will that be an annoyance14 to you? Yes, on the days whenyou have not received some amusing book from M. Fouque. The sacrificeis made; tomorrow, whether there be an anonymous letter or not, I shalltell my husband that I have received an anonymous letter, that he mustinstantly offer you a large sum to accept another post, find some decentpretext, and send you back without delay to your family.

  'Alas15, dear friend, we are going to be parted for a fortnight, perhaps amonth! But there, I do you justice, you will suffer as much as I. Still, thisis the only way to counteract16 the effect of this anonymous letter; it is notthe first that my husband has received, and on my account too. Alas!

  How I have laughed at them!

  'The whole purpose of my scheme is to make my husband think thatthe letter comes from M. Valenod; I have no doubt that he is its author. Ifyou leave the house, do not fail to go and establish yourself at Verrieres.

  I shall contrive17 that my husband conceives the idea of spending a fortnight there, to prove to the fools that there is no coolness between himand myself. Once you are at Verrieres, make friends with everyone, eventhe Liberals. I know that all the ladies will run after you.

   'Do not go and quarrel with M. Valenod, nor crop his ears, as you oncethreatened; on the contrary, show him every politeness. The essentialthing is that it should be known throughout Verrieres that you are goingto Valenod's, or to some other house, for the children's education.

  'That is what my husband will never stand. Should he resign himselfto it, well, at least you will be living in Verrieres, and I shall see yousometimes. My children, who are so fond of you, will go to see you.

  Great God! I feel that I love my children more, because they love you.

  What remorse! How is all this going to end? I am wandering … Well,you understand what you must do; be gentle, polite, never contemptuous with these vulgar personages, I implore18 you on my knees: they are tobe the arbiters19 of our destiny. Doubt not for a moment that my husbandin dealing20 with you will conform to whatever public opinion mayprescribe.

  'It is you that are going to provide me with this anonymous letter; armyourself with patience and a pair of scissors. Cut out of a book the wordsyou will see below; paste them together, with water-glue, on the sheet ofblue paper that I send you; it came to me from M. Valenod. Be preparedfor a search of your room; burn the pages of the book you mutilate. Ifyou do not find the words ready made, have the patience to composethem letter by letter. To spare you trouble, I have cut the anonymous letter short. Alas! If you no longer love me, as I fear, how long mine mustseem to you!

  ANONYMOUS LETTER"MADAME,All your little goings on are known; but the persons to whose interestit is to check them have been warned. From a lingering affection foryourself, I beg you to detach yourself entirely21 from the little peasant. Ifyou have the wisdom to do this, your husband will believe that thewarning he has received was misleading, and he will be left in his error.

  Bear in mind that I know your secret; tremble, unhappy woman; henceforward you must tread a straight path, driven by me."'As soon as you have finished pasting together the words that make upthis letter (do you recognise the Governor's style in it?) come out of yourroom, I shall meet you about the house.

  'I shall go to the village, and return with a troubled countenance22; Ishall indeed be greatly troubled. Great God! What a risk I am running,and all because you thought you detected an anonymous letter. Finally,with a woebegone face, I shall give my husband this letter, which will have been handed to me by a stranger. As for you, go for a walk in thedirection of the woods with the children, and do not return until dinnertime.

  'From the rocks above, you can see the tower of the dovecote. If allgoes well, I shall place a white handkerchief there; if not, you will seenothing.

  'Ungrateful wretch23, will not your heart find out some way of tellingme that you love me, before starting on this walk? Whatever may befallme, be certain of one thing: I should not survive for a day a final parting.

  Ah! bad mother! These are two idle words that I have written, dear Julien. I do not feel them; I can think only of you at this moment, I havewritten them only so as not to be blamed by you. Now that I find myselfbrought to the point of losing you, what use is there in pretence24? Yes, letmy heart seem black as night to you, but let me not lie to the man whomI adore! I have been all too deceitful already in my life. Go to, I forgiveyou if you love me no longer. I have not time to read my letter through.

  It is a small thing in my eyes to pay with my life for the happy dayswhich I have spent in your arms. You know that they will cost me morethan life.'


1 anonymous lM2yp     
  • Sending anonymous letters is a cowardly act.寄匿名信是懦夫的行为。
  • The author wishes to remain anonymous.作者希望姓名不公开。
2 rein xVsxs     
  • The horse answered to the slightest pull on the rein.只要缰绳轻轻一拉,马就作出反应。
  • He never drew rein for a moment till he reached the river.他一刻不停地一直跑到河边。
3 pretext 1Qsxi     
  • He used his headache as a pretext for not going to school.他借口头疼而不去上学。
  • He didn't attend that meeting under the pretext of sickness.他以生病为借口,没参加那个会议。
4 shuddered 70137c95ff493fbfede89987ee46ab86     
v.战栗( shudder的过去式和过去分词 );发抖;(机器、车辆等)突然震动;颤动
  • He slammed on the brakes and the car shuddered to a halt. 他猛踩刹车,车颤抖着停住了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I shuddered at the sight of the dead body. 我一看见那尸体就战栗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 frightful Ghmxw     
  • How frightful to have a husband who snores!有一个发鼾声的丈夫多讨厌啊!
  • We're having frightful weather these days.这几天天气坏极了。
6 imprisonment I9Uxk     
  • His sentence was commuted from death to life imprisonment.他的判决由死刑减为无期徒刑。
  • He was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for committing bigamy.他因为犯重婚罪被判入狱一年。
7 follies e0e754f59d4df445818b863ea1aa3eba     
罪恶,时事讽刺剧; 愚蠢,蠢笨,愚蠢的行为、思想或做法( folly的名词复数 )
  • He has given up youthful follies. 他不再做年轻人的荒唐事了。
  • The writings of Swift mocked the follies of his age. 斯威夫特的作品嘲弄了他那个时代的愚人。
8 remorse lBrzo     
  • She had no remorse about what she had said.她对所说的话不后悔。
  • He has shown no remorse for his actions.他对自己的行为没有任何悔恨之意。
9 blasphemy noyyW     
  • His writings were branded as obscene and a blasphemy against God.他的著作被定为淫秽作品,是对上帝的亵渎。
  • You have just heard his blasphemy!你刚刚听到他那番亵渎上帝的话了!
10 beholding 05d0ea730b39c90ee12d6e6b8c193935     
v.看,注视( behold的现在分词 );瞧;看呀;(叙述中用于引出某人意外的出现)哎哟
  • Beholding, besides love, the end of love,/Hearing oblivion beyond memory! 我看见了爱,还看到了爱的结局,/听到了记忆外层的哪一片寂寥! 来自英汉 - 翻译样例 - 文学
  • Hence people who began by beholding him ended by perusing him. 所以人们从随便看一看他开始的,都要以仔细捉摸他而终结。 来自辞典例句
11 blessing UxDztJ     
  • 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。
12 odious l0zy2     
  • 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。
13 enumeration 3f49fe61d5812612c53377049e3c86d6     
  • Predictive Categoriesinclude six categories of prediction, namely Enumeration, Advance Labeling, Reporting,Recapitulation, Hypotheticality, and Question. 其中预设种类又包括列举(Enumeration)、提前标示(Advance Labeling)、转述(Reporting)、回顾(Recapitulation)、假设(Hypotheticality)和提问(Question)。 来自互联网
  • Here we describe a systematic procedure which is basically "enumeration" in nature. 这里介绍一个本质上是属于“枚举法”的系统程序。 来自辞典例句
14 annoyance Bw4zE     
  • 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。
15 alas Rx8z1     
  • Alas!The window is broken!哎呀!窗子破了!
  • Alas,the truth is less romantic.然而,真理很少带有浪漫色彩。
16 counteract vzlxb     
  • The doctor gave him some medicine to counteract the effect of the poison.医生给他些药解毒。
  • Our work calls for mutual support.We shouldn't counteract each other's efforts.工作要互相支持,不要互相拆台。
17 contrive GpqzY     
  • Can you contrive to be here a little earlier?你能不能早一点来?
  • How could you contrive to make such a mess of things?你怎么把事情弄得一团糟呢?
18 implore raSxX     
  • I implore you to write. At least tell me you're alive.请给我音讯,让我知道你还活着。
  • Please implore someone else's help in a crisis.危险时请向别人求助。
19 arbiters 002fb01970e06cc858b3b1184ec6c15a     
仲裁人,裁决者( arbiter的名词复数 )
  • In the forensicfield, the final arbiters of quality are the courts. 在法医学领域,质量的最后仲裁者是法庭。
  • They are, increasingly, arbiters of which types of borrowers get credit. 它们正越来越多地充当决定哪几种借款人可获得信贷的裁决人角色。
20 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
21 entirely entirely     
  • 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。
22 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。
23 wretch EIPyl     
  • You are really an ungrateful wretch to complain instead of thanking him.你不但不谢他,还埋怨他,真不知好歹。
  • The dead husband is not the dishonoured wretch they fancied him.死去的丈夫不是他们所想象的不光彩的坏蛋。
24 pretence pretence     
  • 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。


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