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Part 1 Chapter 27

First Experience of LifeThe present moment, by God! is the ark of the Lord. Woe1 betidethe man who lays his hand upon it.

  DIDEROTThe reader will kindly2 excuse our giving but few clear and precise details of this epoch3 in Julien's life. Not that we lack them, far from it; butperhaps the life he led in the Seminary is too black for the modest colouring which we have sought to preserve in these pages. People who havebeen made to suffer by certain things cannot be reminded of themwithout a horror which paralyses every other pleasure, even that to befound in reading a story.

  Julien met with little success in his attempts at hypocrisy4 in action; hepassed through moments of disgust and even of complete discouragement. He was utterly5 unsuccessful, and that moreover in a vile6 career.

  The slightest help from without would have sufficed to restore his morale7, the difficulty to be overcome was not great; but he was alone, aslonely as a vessel8 abandoned in mid-ocean. 'And if I should succeed,' hesaid to himself; 'to have to spend my whole life in such evil company!

  Gluttons who think of nothing but the ham omelette they are going todevour at dinner, or men like the abbe Castanede, to whom no crime istoo black! They will rise to power; but at what a price, great God!

  'Man's will is powerful, I see it written everywhere; but is it sufficiently9 so to overcome such repulsion? The task of great men has alwaysbeen easy; however terrible was their danger, it was beautiful in theireyes; and who but myself can realise the ugliness of all that surroundsme?'

  This was the most trying moment in his life. It was so easy for him toenlist in one of the fine regiments10 that were stationed at Besancon! Hemight become a teacher of Latin; he wanted so little to keep himself alive! But then, no career, no future for his imagination: it was a livingdeath. Here is a detailed11 account of one of his wretched days.

  'My presumption12 has so often flattered itself upon my being differentfrom the other young peasants! Well, I have lived long enough to seethat difference breeds hatred,' he said to himself one morning. This greattruth had just been revealed to him by one of his most annoying failures.

  He had laboured for a week to make himself agreeable to a student wholived in the odour of sanctity. He was walking with him in the courtyard,listening submissively to idiocies13 that sent him to sleep as he walked.

  Suddenly a storm broke, the thunder growled14, and the saintly studentexclaimed, thrusting him rudely away:

  'Listen, each for himself in this world, I have no wish to be struck bylightning: God may blast you as an infidel, another Voltaire.'

  His teeth clenched15 with rage and his eyes opened towards the sky furrowed16 by streaks17 of lightning: 'I should deserve to be submerged, were Ito let myself sleep during the storm!' cried Julien. 'Let us attempt the conquest of some other drudge18.'

  The bell rang for the abbe Castanede's class of sacred history.

  These young peasants who lived in such fear of the hard toil19 andpoverty of their fathers, were taught that day by the abbe Castanede thatthat being so terrible in their eyes, the Government, had no real or legitimate20 power save what was delegated to it by God's Vicar on Earth.

  'Render yourselves worthy21 of the Pope's bounties22 by the sanctity ofyour lives, by your obedience23, be like a rod in his hands,' he went on,'and you will attain24 to a superb position where you will be in supremecommand, under no man's control; a permanent position, of which theGovernment pays one third of the emoluments25, and the faithful, rousedby your preaching, the other two thirds.'

  On leaving his classroom, M. Castanede stopped in the courtyard.

  'You may well say of a cure, each man gets what he deserves,' he saidto the students who gathered round him. 'I myself have known mountain parishes where the fees came to more than those of many towncures. There was as much in money, not to speak of the fat capons, eggs,fresh butter, and endless little delicacies26; and there the cure takes the firstplace without challenge: no good meal to which he is not invited, mademuch of,' etc.

  No sooner had M. Castanede gone up to his own room, than the students divided into groups. Julien belonged to none of these; they drew away from him as from a tainted27 wether. In each of the groups, he saw astudent toss a copper28 in the air, and if he guessed head or tail aright, hiscompanions concluded that he would soon have one of these livingswith fat fees.

  Stories followed. One young priest, barely a year in orders, havingpresented a domestic rabbit to an old cure's servant, had got the cure toask for him as his assistant, and a few months afterwards, for the curehad died almost immediately, had succeeded him in a good living.

  Another had managed to have his name put forward for the eventualsuccession to the curacy of a prosperous country town, by attending allthe meals of the paralytic29 old cure and carving30 his chickens for himgracefully.

  The seminarists, like young men in every profession, exaggerated theeffect of these little stratagems31 when they were out of the ordinary andstruck the imagination.

  'I must,' thought Julien, 'take part in these conversations.' When theywere not discussing sausages and rich livings, their talk ran on theworldly side of ecclesiastical teaching; the differences between Bishopsand Prefects, mayors and cures. Julien saw lurking32 in their minds theidea of a second God, but of a God far more to be feared and far morepowerful than the first; this second God was the Pope. It was said, butwith lowered voice, and when the speaker was quite certain of not beingoverheard by M. Pirard, that if the Pope did not take the trouble to appoint all the Prefects and all the mayors in France, it was because he haddelegated the King of France for that duty, by naming him the Eldest33 Sonof the Church.

  It was about this time that Julien thought he might derive34 some benefitfrom his admiration35 for M. de Maistre's book on the Pope. He did, as amatter of fact, astonish his fellow-students; but this was a fresh misfortune. He annoyed them by expressing their opinions better than theycould themselves. M. Chelan had been a rash counsellor for Julien as hehad been for himself. After training him to the habit of reasoning accurately36 and not letting himself be taken in by vain words, he had omittedto tell him that in a person of little repute this habit is a crime; for soundreasoning always gives offence.

  Julien's fine speech was therefore only another crime against him. Hiscompanions, being compelled to think about him, succeeded in findingtwo words to express all the horror with which he filled them: they nicknamed him Martin Luther; 'chiefly,' they said, 'because of that infernal logic37 of which he is so proud.'

  Several young seminarists had fresher complexions38 and might bereckoned better looking than Julien; but he had white hands, and couldnot hide certain habits of personal cleanliness. This distinction was noneat all in the grim dwelling39 into which destiny had cast him. The uncleanpeasants among whom he lived declared that he had extremely lax morals. We are afraid to tire the reader by an account of our hero's endlessmishaps. To take one instance, the more vigorous among his companionstried to make a practice of thrashing him; he was obliged to arm himselfwith a metal compass and to inform them, but only by signs, that hewould use it. Signs cannot be represented, in a spy's report, sodamningly as words.


1 woe OfGyu     
  • Our two peoples are brothers sharing weal and woe.我们两国人民是患难与共的兄弟。
  • A man is well or woe as he thinks himself so.自认祸是祸,自认福是福。
2 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
3 epoch riTzw     
  • The epoch of revolution creates great figures.革命时代造就伟大的人物。
  • We're at the end of the historical epoch,and at the dawn of another.我们正处在一个历史时代的末期,另一个历史时代的开端。
4 hypocrisy g4qyt     
  • He railed against hypocrisy and greed.他痛斥伪善和贪婪的行为。
  • He accused newspapers of hypocrisy in their treatment of the story.他指责了报纸在报道该新闻时的虚伪。
5 utterly ZfpzM1     
  • Utterly devoted to the people,he gave his life in saving his patients.他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
  • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled.她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
6 vile YLWz0     
  • Who could have carried out such a vile attack?会是谁发起这么卑鄙的攻击呢?
  • Her talk was full of vile curses.她的话里充满着恶毒的咒骂。
7 morale z6Ez8     
  • The morale of the enemy troops is sinking lower every day.敌军的士气日益低落。
  • He tried to bolster up their morale.他尽力鼓舞他们的士气。
8 vessel 4L1zi     
  • The vessel is fully loaded with cargo for Shanghai.这艘船满载货物驶往上海。
  • You should put the water into a vessel.你应该把水装入容器中。
9 sufficiently 0htzMB     
  • It turned out he had not insured the house sufficiently.原来他没有给房屋投足保险。
  • The new policy was sufficiently elastic to accommodate both views.新政策充分灵活地适用两种观点。
10 regiments 874816ecea99051da3ed7fa13d5fe861     
(军队的)团( regiment的名词复数 ); 大量的人或物
  • The three regiments are all under the command of you. 这三个团全归你节制。
  • The town was garrisoned with two regiments. 该镇有两团士兵驻守。
11 detailed xuNzms     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
12 presumption XQcxl     
  • Please pardon my presumption in writing to you.请原谅我很冒昧地写信给你。
  • I don't think that's a false presumption.我认为那并不是错误的推测。
13 idiocies 29161d5a4844b43b66d7f7823b9f8956     
n.极度的愚蠢( idiocy的名词复数 );愚蠢的行为;白痴状态
  • the idiocies of bureaucracy 官僚体系所为的蠢事
  • Each morning he gloomily recognized his idiocies of the evening before. 他每天早晨沮丧地认识到昨天晚上的荒唐。 来自辞典例句
14 growled 65a0c9cac661e85023a63631d6dab8a3     
v.(动物)发狺狺声, (雷)作隆隆声( growl的过去式和过去分词 );低声咆哮着说
  • \"They ought to be birched, \" growled the old man. 老人咆哮道:“他们应受到鞭打。” 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He growled out an answer. 他低声威胁着回答。 来自《简明英汉词典》
15 clenched clenched     
v.紧握,抓紧,咬紧( clench的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He clenched his fists in anger. 他愤怒地攥紧了拳头。
  • She clenched her hands in her lap to hide their trembling. 她攥紧双手放在腿上,以掩饰其颤抖。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 furrowed furrowed     
v.犁田,开沟( furrow的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Overhead hung a summer sky furrowed with the rash of rockets. 头顶上的夏日夜空纵横着急疾而过的焰火。 来自辞典例句
  • The car furrowed the loose sand as it crossed the desert. 车子横过沙漠,在松软的沙土上犁出了一道车辙。 来自辞典例句
17 streaks a961fa635c402b4952940a0218464c02     
n.(与周围有所不同的)条纹( streak的名词复数 );(通常指不好的)特征(倾向);(不断经历成功或失败的)一段时期v.快速移动( streak的第三人称单数 );使布满条纹
  • streaks of grey in her hair 她头上的绺绺白发
  • Bacon has streaks of fat and streaks of lean. 咸肉中有几层肥的和几层瘦的。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
18 drudge rk8z2     
  • I feel like a real drudge--I've done nothing but clean all day!我觉得自己像个做苦工的--整天都在做清洁工作!
  • I'm a poor,miserable,forlorn drudge;I shall only drag you down with me.我是一个贫穷,倒运,走投无路的苦力,只会拖累你。
19 toil WJezp     
  • The wealth comes from the toil of the masses.财富来自大众的辛勤劳动。
  • Every single grain is the result of toil.每一粒粮食都来之不易。
20 legitimate L9ZzJ     
  • Sickness is a legitimate reason for asking for leave.生病是请假的一个正当的理由。
  • That's a perfectly legitimate fear.怀有这种恐惧完全在情理之中。
21 worthy vftwB     
  • 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。
22 bounties 14745fd05fd9002f5badcb865e64de92     
(由政府提供的)奖金( bounty的名词复数 ); 赏金; 慷慨; 大方
  • They paid bounties for people to give up their weapons. 他们向放下武器的人发放赏金。
  • This foundation provided bounties of more than 5 million last year. 去年该基金会赠款达五百万元以上。
23 obedience 8vryb     
  • 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。
24 attain HvYzX     
  • I used the scientific method to attain this end. 我用科学的方法来达到这一目的。
  • His painstaking to attain his goal in life is praiseworthy. 他为实现人生目标所下的苦功是值得称赞的。
25 emoluments eaa2355fcb5f099421e4dac05c4aa7ec     
n.报酬,薪水( emolument的名词复数 )
  • The emoluments of this profession is not satisfactory. 此行业的报酬不令人满意。 来自辞典例句
  • Emoluments connected with this position include free education for the children. 与这职务有关的酬劳包括为子女提供免费教育。 来自互联网
26 delicacies 0a6e87ce402f44558508deee2deb0287     
n.棘手( delicacy的名词复数 );精致;精美的食物;周到
  • Its flesh has exceptional delicacies. 它的肉异常鲜美。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • After these delicacies, the trappers were ready for their feast. 在享用了这些美食之后,狩猎者开始其大餐。 来自英汉非文学 - 民俗
27 tainted qgDzqS     
adj.腐坏的;污染的;沾污的;感染的v.使变质( taint的过去式和过去分词 );使污染;败坏;被污染,腐坏,败坏
  • The administration was tainted with scandal. 丑闻使得政府声名狼藉。
  • He was considered tainted by association with the corrupt regime. 他因与腐败政府有牵连而名誉受损。 来自《简明英汉词典》
28 copper HZXyU     
  • The students are asked to prove the purity of copper.要求学生们检验铜的纯度。
  • Copper is a good medium for the conduction of heat and electricity.铜是热和电的良导体。
29 paralytic LmDzKM     
adj. 瘫痪的 n. 瘫痪病人
  • She was completely paralytic last night.她昨天晚上喝得酩酊大醉。
  • She rose and hobbled to me on her paralytic legs and kissed me.她站起来,拖着她那麻痹的双腿一瘸一拐地走到我身边,吻了吻我。
30 carving 5wezxw     
  • All the furniture in the room had much carving.房间里所有的家具上都有许多雕刻。
  • He acquired the craft of wood carving in his native town.他在老家学会了木雕手艺。
31 stratagems 28767f8a7c56f953da2c1d90c9cac552     
n.诡计,计谋( stratagem的名词复数 );花招
  • My bargaining stratagems are starting to show some promise. 我的议价策略也已经出现了一些结果。 来自电影对白
  • These commanders are ace-high because of their wisdom and stratagems. 这些指挥官因足智多谋而特别受人喜爱。 来自互联网
32 lurking 332fb85b4d0f64d0e0d1ef0d34ebcbe7     
  • Why are you lurking around outside my house? 你在我房子外面鬼鬼祟祟的,想干什么?
  • There is a suspicious man lurking in the shadows. 有一可疑的人躲在阴暗中。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
33 eldest bqkx6     
  • The King's eldest son is the heir to the throne.国王的长子是王位的继承人。
  • The castle and the land are entailed on the eldest son.城堡和土地限定由长子继承。
34 derive hmLzH     
  • We derive our sustenance from the land.我们从土地获取食物。
  • We shall derive much benefit from reading good novels.我们将从优秀小说中获得很大好处。
35 admiration afpyA     
  • 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。
36 accurately oJHyf     
  • It is hard to hit the ball accurately.准确地击中球很难。
  • Now scientists can forecast the weather accurately.现在科学家们能准确地预报天气。
37 logic j0HxI     
  • What sort of logic is that?这是什么逻辑?
  • I don't follow the logic of your argument.我不明白你的论点逻辑性何在。
38 complexions 514dc650e117aa76aab68e5dbcf1b332     
肤色( complexion的名词复数 ); 面色; 局面; 性质
  • Dry complexions are replenished, feel soft, firm and smooth to the touch. 缓解肌肤的干燥状况,同时带来柔嫩、紧致和光滑的出众效果。
  • Western people usually have fairer complexions than Eastern people. 由于人种不同,西方人的肤色比东方人要白很多。
39 dwelling auzzQk     
  • Those two men are dwelling with us.那两个人跟我们住在一起。
  • He occupies a three-story dwelling place on the Park Street.他在派克街上有一幢3层楼的寓所。


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