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Chapter 14

COMPRISING A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THECOMPANY AT THE PEACOCK ASSEMBLED;AND A TALE TOLD BY A BAGMANt is pleasant to turn from contemplating1 the strife2 and turmoilof political existence, to the peaceful repose3 of private life.

  Although in reality no great partisan4 of either side, Mr.

  Pickwick was sufficiently5 fired with Mr. Pott’s enthusiasm, toapply his whole time and attention to the proceedings6, of whichthe last chapter affords a description compiled from his ownmemoranda. Nor while he was thus occupied was Mr. Winkle idle,his whole time being devoted9 to pleasant walks and short countryexcursions with Mrs. Pott, who never failed, when such anopportunity presented it self, to seek some relief from the tediousmonotony she so constantly complained of. The two gentlemenbeing thus completely domesticated10 in the Editor’s house, Mr.

  Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass were in a great measure cast upontheir own resources. Taking but little interest in public affairs,they beguiled12 their time chiefly with such amusements as thePeacock afforded, which were limited to a bagatelle-board in thefirst floor, and a sequestered13 skittle-ground in the back yard. Inthe science and nicety of both these recreations, which are farmore abstruse14 than ordinary men suppose, they were graduallyinitiated by Mr. Weller, who possessed15 a perfect knowledge ofsuch pastimes. Thus, notwithstanding that they were in a greatmeasure deprived of the comfort and advantage of Mr. Pickwick’ssociety, they were still enabled to beguile11 the time, and to preventits hanging heavily on their hands.

  It was in the evening, however, that the Peacock presentedattractions which enabled the two friends to resist even theinvitations of the gifted, though prosy, Pott. It was in the eveningthat the ‘commercial room’ was filled with a social circle, whosecharacters and manners it was the delight of Mr. Tupman toobserve; whose sayings and doings it was the habit of Mr.

  Snodgrass to note down.

  Most people know what sort of places commercial roomsusually are. That of the Peacock differed in no material respectfrom the generality of such apartments; that is to say, it was alarge, bare-looking room, the furniture of which had no doubtbeen better when it was newer, with a spacious17 table in the centre,and a variety of smaller dittos in the corners; an extensiveassortment of variously shaped chairs, and an old Turkey carpet,bearing about the same relative proportion to the size of the room,as a lady’s pocket-handkerchief might to the floor of a watch-box.

  The walls were garnished18 with one or two large maps; and severalweather-beaten rough greatcoats, with complicated capes19, dangledfrom a long row of pegs20 in one corner. The mantel-shelf wasornamented with a wooden inkstand, containing one stump21 of apen and half a wafer; a road-book and directory; a county historyminus the cover; and the mortal remains22 of a trout23 in a glasscoffin. The atmosphere was redolent of tobacco-smoke, the fumesof which had communicated a rather dingy24 hue25 to the whole room,and more especially to the dusty red curtains which shaded thewindows. On the sideboard a variety of miscellaneous articleswere huddled26 together, the most conspicuous27 of which were somevery cloudy fish-sauce cruets, a couple of driving-boxes, two orthree whips, and as many travelling shawls, a tray of knives andforks, and the mustard.

  Here it was that Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass were seatedon the evening after the conclusion of the election, with severalother temporary inmates28 of the house, smoking and drinking.

  ‘Well, gents,’ said a stout29, hale personage of about forty, withonly one eye―a very bright black eye, which twinkled with aroguish expression of fun and good-humour, ‘our noble selves,gents. I always propose that toast to the company, and drink Maryto myself. Eh, Mary!’

  ‘Get along with you, you wretch,’ said the hand-maiden,obviously not ill-pleased with the compliment, however.

  ‘Don’t go away, Mary,’ said the black-eyed man.

  ‘Let me alone, imperence,’ said the young lady.

  ‘Never mind,’ said the one-eyed man, calling after the girl asshe left the room. ‘I’ll step out by and by, Mary. Keep your spiritsup, dear.’ Here he went through the not very difficult process ofwinking upon the company with his solitary31 eye, to theenthusiastic delight of an elderly personage with a dirty face and aclay pipe.

  ‘Rum creeters is women,’ said the dirty-faced man, after apause.

  ‘Ah! no mistake about that,’ said a very red-faced man, behind acigar.

  After this little bit of philosophy there was another pause.

  ‘There’s rummer things than women in this world though, mindyou,’ said the man with the black eye, slowly filling a large Dutchpipe, with a most capacious bowl.

   ‘Are you married?’ inquired the dirty-faced man.

  ‘Can’t say I am.’

  ‘I thought not.’ Here the dirty-faced man fell into ecstasies32 ofmirth at his own retort, in which he was joined by a man of blandvoice and placid33 countenance34, who always made it a point to agreewith everybody.

  ‘Women, after all, gentlemen, ’ said the enthusiastic Mr.

  Snodgrass, ‘are the great props35 and comforts of our existence.’

  ‘So they are,’ said the placid gentleman.

  ‘When they’re in a good humour,’ interposed the dirty-facedman.

  ‘And that’s very true,’ said the placid one.

  ‘I repudiate36 that qualification,’ said Mr. Snodgrass, whosethoughts were fast reverting37 to Emily Wardle. ‘I repudiate it withdisdain―with indignation. Show me the man who says anythingagainst women, as women, and I boldly declare he is not a man.’

  And Mr. Snodgrass took his cigar from his mouth, and struck thetable violently with his clenched38 fist.

  ‘That’s good sound argument,’ said the placid man.

  ‘Containing a position which I deny,’ interrupted he of the dirtycountenance.

  ‘And there’s certainly a very great deal of truth in what youobserve too, sir,’ said the placid gentleman.

  ‘Your health, sir,’ said the bagman with the lonely eye,bestowing an approving nod on Mr. Snodgrass.

  Mr. Snodgrass acknowledged the compliment.

  ‘I always like to hear a good argument,’ continued the bagman,‘a sharp one, like this: it’s very improving; but this little argumentabout women brought to my mind a story I have heard an olduncle of mine tell, the recollection of which, just now, made me saythere were rummer things than women to be met with,sometimes.’

  ‘I should like to hear that same story,’ said the red-faced manwith the cigar.

  ‘Should you?’ was the only reply of the bagman, who continuedto smoke with great vehemence39.

  ‘So should I,’ said Mr. Tupman, speaking for the first time. Hewas always anxious to increase his stock of experience.

  ‘Should you? Well then, I’ll tell it. No, I won’t. I know you won’tbelieve it,’ said the man with the roguish eye, making that organlook more roguish than ever. ‘If you say it’s true, of course I shall,’

  said Mr. Tupman.

  ‘Well, upon that understanding I’ll tell you,’ replied thetraveller. ‘Did you ever hear of the great commercial house ofBilson & Slum? But it doesn’t matter though, whether you did ornot, because they retired40 from business long since. It’s eightyyears ago, since the circumstance happened to a traveller for thathouse, but he was a particular friend of my uncle’s; and my uncletold the story to me. It’s a queer name; but he used to call itTHE BAGMAN’S STORYand he used to tell it, something in this way.

  ‘One winter’s evening, about five o’clock, just as it began to growdusk, a man in a gig might have been seen urging his tired horsealong the road which leads across Marlborough Downs, in thedirection of Bristol. I say he might have been seen, and I have nodoubt he would have been, if anybody but a blind man hadhappened to pass that way; but the weather was so bad, and thenight so cold and wet, that nothing was out but the water, and sothe traveller jogged along in the middle of the road, lonesome anddreary enough. If any bagman of that day could have caught sightof the little neck-or-nothing sort of gig, with a clay-coloured bodyand red wheels, and the vixenish, ill tempered, fast-going baymare, that looked like a cross between a butcher’s horse and atwopenny post-office pony43, he would have known at once, that thistraveller could have been no other than Tom Smart, of the greathouse of Bilson and Slum, Cateaton Street, City. However, asthere was no bagman to look on, nobody knew anything at allabout the matter; and so Tom Smart and his clay-coloured gigwith the red wheels, and the vixenish mare42 with the fast pace,went on together, keeping the secret among them, and nobodywas a bit the wiser.

  ‘There are many pleasanter places even in this dreary41 world,than Marlborough Downs when it blows hard; and if you throw inbeside, a gloomy winter’s evening, a miry and sloppy44 road, and apelting fall of heavy rain, and try the effect, by way of experiment,in your own proper person, you will experience the full force ofthis observation.

  ‘The wind blew―not up the road or down it, though that’s badenough, but sheer across it, sending the rain slanting45 down likethe lines they used to rule in the copy-books at school, to make theboys slope well. For a moment it would die away, and the travellerwould begin to delude46 himself into the belief that, exhausted47 withits previous fury, it had quietly laid itself down to rest, when,whoo! he could hear it growling48 and whistling in the distance, andon it would come rushing over the hill-tops, and sweeping49 alongthe plain, gathering50 sound and strength as it drew nearer, until itdashed with a heavy gust51 against horse and man, driving the sharprain into their ears, and its cold damp breath into their very bones;and past them it would scour52, far, far away, with a stunning53 roar,as if in ridicule54 of their weakness, and triumphant55 in theconsciousness of its own strength and power.

  ‘The bay mare splashed away, through the mud and water, withdrooping ears; now and then tossing her head as if to express herdisgust at this very ungentlemanly behaviour of the elements, butkeeping a good pace notwithstanding, until a gust of wind, morefurious than any that had yet assailed56 them, caused her to stopsuddenly and plant her four feet firmly against the ground, toprevent her being blown over. It’s a special mercy that she didthis, for if she had been blown over, the vixenish mare was so light,and the gig was so light, and Tom Smart such a light weight intothe bargain, that they must infallibly have all gone rolling over andover together, until they reached the confines of earth, or until thewind fell; and in either case the probability is, that neither thevixenish mare, nor the clay-coloured gig with the red wheels, norTom Smart, would ever have been fit for service again.

  ‘“Well, damn my straps57 and whiskers,” says Tom Smart (Tomsometimes had an unpleasant knack58 of swearing)―“damn mystraps and whiskers,” says Tom, “if this ain’t pleasant, blow me!”

  ‘You’ll very likely ask me why, as Tom Smart had been prettywell blown already, he expressed this wish to be submitted to thesame process again. I can’t say―all I know is, that Tom Smart saidso―or at least he always told my uncle he said so, and it’s just thesame thing.

  “‘Blow me,” says Tom Smart; and the mare neighed as if shewere precisely59 of the same opinion.

  “‘Cheer up, old girl,” said Tom, patting the bay mare on theneck with the end of his whip. “It won’t do pushing on, such anight as this; the first house we come to we’ll put up at, so thefaster you go the sooner it’s over. Soho, old girl―gently―gently.”

  ‘Whether the vixenish mare was sufficiently well acquaintedwith the tones of Tom’s voice to comprehend his meaning, orwhether she found it colder standing16 still than moving on, ofcourse I can’t say. But I can say that Tom had no sooner finishedspeaking, than she pricked60 up her ears, and started forward at aspeed which made the clay-coloured gig rattle61 until you wouldhave supposed every one of the red spokes63 were going to fly out onthe turf of Marlborough Downs; and even Tom, whip as he was,couldn’t stop or check her pace, until she drew up of her ownaccord, before a roadside inn on the right-hand side of the way,about half a quarter of a mile from the end of the Downs.

  ‘Tom cast a hasty glance at the upper part of the house as hethrew the reins64 to the hostler, and stuck the whip in the box. Itwas a strange old place, built of a kind of shingle65, inlaid, as it were,with cross-beams, with gabled-topped windows projectingcompletely over the pathway, and a low door with a dark porch,and a couple of steep steps leading down into the house, instead ofthe modern fashion of half a dozen shallow ones leading up to it. Itwas a comfortable-looking place though, for there was a strong,cheerful light in the bar window, which shed a bright ray acrossthe road, and even lighted up the hedge on the other side; andthere was a red flickering66 light in the opposite window, onemoment but faintly discernible, and the next gleaming stronglythrough the drawn67 curtains, which intimated that a rousing firewas blazing within. Marking these little evidences with the eye ofan experienced traveller, Tom dismounted with as much agility68 ashis half-frozen limbs would permit, and entered the house.

  ‘In less than five minutes’ time, Tom was ensconced in the roomopposite the bar―the very room where he had imagined the fireblazing―before a substantial, matter-of-fact, roaring fire,composed of something short of a bushel of coals, and woodenough to make half a dozen decent gooseberry bushes, piled half-way up the chimney, and roaring and crackling with a sound thatof itself would have warmed the heart of any reasonable man. Thiswas comfortable, but this was not all; for a smartly-dressed girl,with a bright eye and a neat ankle, was laying a very clean whitecloth on the table; and as Tom sat with his slippered69 feet on thefender, and his back to the open door, he saw a charming prospectof the bar reflected in the glass over the chimney-piece, withdelightful rows of green bottles and gold labels, together with jarsof pickles71 and preserves, and cheeses and boiled hams, and roundsof beef, arranged on shelves in the most tempting72 and deliciousarray. Well, this was comfortable too; but even this was not all―forin the bar, seated at tea at the nicest possible little table, drawnclose up before the brightest possible little fire, was a buxomwidow of somewhere about eight-and-forty or thereabouts, with aface as comfortable as the bar, who was evidently the landlady74 ofthe house, and the supreme75 ruler over all these agreeablepossessions. There was only one drawback to the beauty of thewhole picture, and that was a tall man―a very tall man―in abrown coat and bright basket buttons, and black whiskers andwavy black hair, who was seated at tea with the widow, and who itrequired no great penetration76 to discover was in a fair way ofpersuading her to be a widow no longer, but to confer upon himthe privilege of sitting down in that bar, for and during the wholeremainder of the term of his natural life.

  ‘Tom Smart was by no means of an irritable77 or enviousdisposition, but somehow or other the tall man with the browncoat and the bright basket buttons did rouse what little gall78 he hadin his composition, and did make him feel extremely indignant,the more especially as he could now and then observe, from hisseat before the glass, certain little affectionate familiarities passingbetween the tall man and the widow, which sufficiently denotedthat the tall man was as high in favour as he was in size. Tom wasfond of hot punch―I may venture to say he was very fond of hotpunch―and after he had seen the vixenish mare well fed and welllittered down, and had eaten every bit of the nice little hot dinnerwhich the widow tossed up for him with her own hands, he justordered a tumbler of it by way of experiment. Now, if there wasone thing in the whole range of domestic art, which the widowcould manufacture better than another, it was this identicalarticle; and the first tumbler was adapted to Tom Smart’s tastewith such peculiar79 nicety, that he ordered a second with the leastpossible delay. Hot punch is a pleasant thing, gentlemen―anextremely pleasant thing under any circumstances―but in thatsnug old parlour, before the roaring fire, with the wind blowingoutside till every timber in the old house creaked again, TomSmart found it perfectly81 delightful70. He ordered another tumbler,and then another―I am not quite certain whether he didn’t orderanother after that―but the more he drank of the hot punch, themore he thought of the tall man.

  ‘“Confound his impudence82!” said Tom to himself, “whatbusiness has he in that snug80 bar? Such an ugly villain83 too!” saidTom. “If the widow had any taste, she might surely pick up somebetter fellow than that.” Here Tom’s eye wandered from the glasson the chimney-piece to the glass on the table; and as he felthimself becoming gradually sentimental84, he emptied the fourthtumbler of punch and ordered a fifth.

  ‘Tom Smart, gentlemen, had always been very much attachedto the public line. It had been long his ambition to stand in a bar ofhis own, in a green coat, knee-cords, and tops. He had a greatnotion of taking the chair at convivial85 dinners, and he had oftenthought how well he could preside in a room of his own in thetalking way, and what a capital example he could set to hiscustomers in the drinking department. All these things passedrapidly through Tom’s mind as he sat drinking the hot punch bythe roaring fire, and he felt very justly and properly indignant thatthe tall man should be in a fair way of keeping such an excellenthouse, while he, Tom Smart, was as far off from it as ever. So, afterdeliberating over the two last tumblers, whether he hadn’t aperfect right to pick a quarrel with the tall man for havingcontrived to get into the good graces of the buxom73 widow, TomSmart at last arrived at the satisfactory conclusion that he was avery ill-used and persecuted86 individual, and had better go to bed.

  ‘Up a wide and ancient staircase the smart girl preceded Tom,shading the chamber87 candle with her hand, to protect it from thecurrents of air which in such a rambling88 old place might havefound plenty of room to disport89 themselves in, without blowing thecandle out, but which did blow it out nevertheless―thus affordingTom’s enemies an opportunity of asserting that it was he, and notthe wind, who extinguished the candle, and that while hepretended to be blowing it alight again, he was in fact kissing thegirl. Be this as it may, another light was obtained, and Tom wasconducted through a maze90 of rooms, and a labyrinth91 of passages,to the apartment which had been prepared for his reception,where the girl bade him good-night and left him alone.

  ‘It was a good large room with big closets, and a bed whichmight have served for a whole boarding-school, to say nothing of acouple of oaken presses that would have held the baggage of asmall army; but what struck Tom’s fancy most was a strange,grim-looking, high backed chair, carved in the most fantasticmanner, with a flowered damask cushion, and the round knobs atthe bottom of the legs carefully tied up in red cloth, as if it had gotthe gout in its toes. Of any other queer chair, Tom would only havethought it was a queer chair, and there would have been an end ofthe matter; but there was something about this particular chair,and yet he couldn’t tell what it was, so odd and so unlike any otherpiece of furniture he had ever seen, that it seemed to fascinatehim. He sat down before the fire, and stared at the old chair forhalf an hour.―Damn the chair, it was such a strange old thing, hecouldn’t take his eyes off it.

  “‘Well,” said Tom, slowly undressing himself, and staring at theold chair all the while, which stood with a mysterious aspect by thebedside, “I never saw such a rum concern as that in my days. Veryodd,” said Tom, who had got rather sage92 with the hot punch―‘very odd.” Tom shook his head with an air of profound wisdom,and looked at the chair again. He couldn’t make anything of itthough, so he got into bed, covered himself up warm, and fellasleep.

  ‘In about half an hour, Tom woke up with a start, from aconfused dream of tall men and tumblers of punch; and the firstobject that presented itself to his waking imagination was thequeer chair.

  ‘“I won’t look at it any more,” said Tom to himself, and hesqueezed his eyelids93 together, and tried to persuade himself hewas going to sleep again. No use; nothing but queer chairs dancedbefore his eyes, kicking up their legs, jumping over each other’sbacks, and playing all kinds of antics.

  “‘I may as well see one real chair, as two or three complete setsof false ones,” said Tom, bringing out his head from under thebedclothes. There it was, plainly discernible by the light of the fire,looking as provoking as ever.

  ‘Tom gazed at the chair; and, suddenly as he looked at it, a mostextraordinary change seemed to come over it. The carving94 of theback gradually assumed the lineaments and expression of an old,shrivelled human face; the damask cushion became an antique,flapped waistcoat; the round knobs grew into a couple of feet,encased in red cloth slippers95; and the whole chair looked like avery ugly old man, of the previous century, with his arms akimbo.

  Tom sat up in bed, and rubbed his eyes to dispel96 the illusion. No.

  The chair was an ugly old gentleman; and what was more, he waswinking at Tom Smart.

  ‘Tom was naturally a headlong, careless sort of dog, and he hadhad five tumblers of hot punch into the bargain; so, although hewas a little startled at first, he began to grow rather indignantwhen he saw the old gentleman winking30 and leering at him withsuch an impudent97 air. At length he resolved that he wouldn’tstand it; and as the old face still kept winking away as fast as ever,Tom said, in a very angry tone―‘“What the devil are you winking at me for?”

  ‘“Because I like it, Tom Smart,” said the chair; or the oldgentleman, whichever you like to call him. He stopped winkingthough, when Tom spoke62, and began grinning like asuperannuated monkey.

  ‘“How do you know my name, old nut-cracker face?” inquiredTom Smart, rather staggered; though he pretended to carry it offso well.

  ‘“Come, come, Tom,” said the old gentleman, “that’s not theway to address solid Spanish mahogany. Damme, you couldn’ttreat me with less respect if I was veneered.” When the oldgentleman said this, he looked so fierce that Tom began to growfrightened.

  ‘“I didn’t mean to treat you with any disrespect, sir,” said Tom,in a much humbler tone than he had spoken in at first.

  ‘“Well, well,” said the old fellow, “perhaps not―perhaps not.



  ‘“I know everything about you, Tom; everything. You’re verypoor, Tom.”

  ‘“I certainly am,” said Tom Smart. “But how came you to knowthat?”

  ‘“Never mind that,” said the old gentleman; “you’re much toofond of punch, Tom.”

  ‘Tom Smart was just on the point of protesting that he hadn’ttasted a drop since his last birthday, but when his eye encounteredthat of the old gentleman he looked so knowing that Tom blushed,and was silent.

  ‘“Tom,” said the old gentleman, “the widow’s a fine woman―remarkably98 fine woman―eh, Tom?” Here the old fellow screwedup his eyes, cocked up one of his wasted little legs, and lookedaltogether so unpleasantly amorous99, that Tom was quite disgustedwith the levity100 of his behaviour―at his time of life, too! ‘“I am herguardian, Tom,” said the old gentleman.

  ‘“Are you?” inquired Tom Smart.

  ‘“I knew her mother, Tom,” said the old fellow: “and hergrandmother. She was very fond of me―made me this waistcoat,Tom.”

  ‘“Did she?” said Tom Smart.

  ‘“And these shoes,” said the old fellow, lifting up one of the redcloth mufflers; “but don’t mention it, Tom. I shouldn’t like to haveit known that she was so much attached to me. It might occasionsome unpleasantness in the family.” When the old rascal101 said this,he looked so extremely impertinent, that, as Tom Smartafterwards declared, he could have sat upon him without remorse102.

  ‘“I have been a great favourite among the women in my time,Tom,” said the profligate103 old debauchee; “hundreds of fine womenhave sat in my lap for hours together. What do you think of that,you dog, eh!” The old gentleman was proceeding7 to recount someother exploits of his youth, when he was seized with such a violentfit of creaking that he was unable to proceed.

  ‘“Just serves you right, old boy,” thought Tom Smart; but hedidn’t say anything.

  ‘“Ah!” said the old fellow, “I am a good deal troubled with thisnow. I am getting old, Tom, and have lost nearly all my rails. Ihave had an operation performed, too―a small piece let into myback―and I found it a severe trial, Tom.”

  ‘“I dare say you did, sir,” said Tom Smart.

  ‘“However,” said the old gentleman, “that’s not the point. Tom!

  I want you to marry the widow.”

  ‘“Me, sir!” said Tom.

  ‘“You,” said the old gentleman.

  ‘“Bless your reverend locks,” said Tom (he had a few scatteredhorse-hairs left)―“bless your reverend locks, she wouldn’t haveme.” And Tom sighed involuntarily, as he thought of the bar.

  ‘“Wouldn’t she?” said the old gentleman firmly.

  ‘“No, no,” said Tom; “there’s somebody else in the wind. A tallman―a confoundedly tall man―with black whiskers.”

  ‘“Tom,” said the old gentleman; “she will never have him.”

  ‘“Won’t she?” said Tom. “If you stood in the bar, old gentleman,you’d tell another story.” ‘“Pooh, pooh,” said the old gentleman. “Iknow all about that. “‘“About what?” said Tom.

  ‘“The kissing behind the door, and all that sort of thing, Tom,”

  said the old gentleman. And here he gave another impudent look,which made Tom very wroth, because as you all know, gentlemen,to hear an old fellow, who ought to know better, talking aboutthese things, is very unpleasant―nothing more so.

  ‘“I know all about that, Tom,” said the old gentleman. “I haveseen it done very often in my time, Tom, between more peoplethan I should like to mention to you; but it never came to anythingafter all.”

  ‘“You must have seen some queer things,” said Tom, with aninquisitive look.

  ‘“You may say that, Tom,” replied the old fellow, with a verycomplicated wink8. “I am the last of my family, Tom,” said the oldgentleman, with a melancholy105 sigh.

  ‘“Was it a large one?” inquired Tom Smart.

  ‘“There were twelve of us, Tom,” said the old gentleman; “fine,straight-backed, handsome fellows as you’d wish to see. None ofyour modern abortions―all with arms, and with a degree ofpolish, though I say it that should not, which it would have doneyour heart good to behold106.”

  ‘“And what’s become of the others, sir?” asked Tom Smart―‘The old gentleman applied107 his elbow to his eye as he replied,“Gone, Tom, gone. We had hard service, Tom, and they hadn’t allmy constitution. They got rheumatic about the legs and arms, andwent into kitchens and other hospitals; and one of ’em, with longservice and hard usage, positively108 lost his senses―he got so crazythat he was obliged to be burnt. Shocking thing that, Tom.”

  ‘“Dreadful!” said Tom Smart.

  ‘The old fellow paused for a few minutes, apparently109 strugglingwith his feelings of emotion, and then said―‘“However, Tom, I am wandering from the point. This tall man,Tom, is a rascally110 adventurer. The moment he married the widow,he would sell off all the furniture, and run away. What would bethe consequence? She would be deserted111 and reduced to ruin, andI should catch my death of cold in some broker’s shop.”

  ‘“Yes, but―”

  ‘“Don’t interrupt me,” said the old gentleman. “Of you, Tom, Ientertain a very different opinion; for I well know that if you oncesettled yourself in a public-house, you would never leave it, as longas there was anything to drink within its walls.”

  ‘“I am very much obliged to you for your good opinion, sir,”

  said Tom Smart.

  ‘“Therefore,” resumed the old gentleman, in a dictatorial112 tone,“you shall have her, and he shall not.”

  ‘“What is to prevent it?” said Tom Smart eagerly.

  ‘“This disclosure,” replied the old gentleman; “he is alreadymarried.”

  ‘“How can I prove it?” said Tom, starting half out of bed.

  ‘The old gentleman untucked his arm from his side, and havingpointed to one of the oaken presses, immediately replaced it, in itsold position.

  ‘“He little thinks,” said the old gentleman, “that in the right-hand pocket of a pair of trousers in that press, he has left a letter,entreating him to return to his disconsolate113 wife, with six―markme, Tom―six babes, and all of them small ones.”

  ‘As the old gentleman solemnly uttered these words, hisfeatures grew less and less distinct, and his figure more shadowy.

  A film came over Tom Smart’s eyes. The old man seemedgradually blending into the chair, the damask waistcoat to resolveinto a cushion, the red slippers to shrink into little red cloth bags.

  The light faded gently away, and Tom Smart fell back on hispillow, and dropped asleep.

  ‘Morning aroused Tom from the lethargic114 slumber115, into whichhe had fallen on the disappearance116 of the old man. He sat up inbed, and for some minutes vainly endeavoured to recall the eventsof the preceding night. Suddenly they rushed upon him. He lookedat the chair; it was a fantastic and grim-looking piece of furniture,certainly, but it must have been a remarkably ingenious and livelyimagination, that could have discovered any resemblance betweenit and an old man.

  ‘“How are you, old boy?” said Tom. He was bolder in thedaylight―most men are.

  ‘The chair remained motionless, and spoke not a word.

  ‘“Miserable morning,” said Tom. No. The chair would not bedrawn into conversation.

  ‘“Which press did you point to?―you can tell me that,” saidTom. Devil a word, gentlemen, the chair would say.

  ‘“It’s not much trouble to open it, anyhow,” said Tom, gettingout of bed very deliberately117. He walked up to one of the presses.

  The key was in the lock; he turned it, and opened the door. Therewas a pair of trousers there. He put his hand into the pocket, anddrew forth118 the identical letter the old gentleman had described!

  ‘“Queer sort of thing, this,” said Tom Smart, looking first at thechair and then at the press, and then at the letter, and then at thechair again. “Very queer,” said Tom. But, as there was nothing ineither, to lessen119 the queerness, he thought he might as well dresshimself, and settle the tall man’s business at once―just to put himout of his misery120.

  ‘Tom surveyed the rooms he passed through, on his waydownstairs, with the scrutinising eye of a landlord; thinking it notimpossible, that before long, they and their contents would be hisproperty. The tall man was standing in the snug little bar, with hishands behind him, quite at home. He grinned vacantly at Tom. Acasual observer might have supposed he did it, only to show hiswhite teeth; but Tom Smart thought that a consciousness oftriumph was passing through the place where the tall man’s mindwould have been, if he had had any. Tom laughed in his face; andsummoned the landlady.

  ‘“Good-morning ma’am,” said Tom Smart, closing the door ofthe little parlour as the widow entered.

  ‘“Good-morning, sir,” said the widow. “What will you take forbreakfast, sir?”

  ‘Tom was thinking how he should open the case, so he made noanswer.

  ‘“There’s a very nice ham,” said the widow, “and a beautifulcold larded fowl121. Shall I send ’em in, sir?”

  ‘These words roused Tom from his reflections. His admirationof the widow increased as she spoke. Thoughtful creature!

  Comfortable provider!

  ‘“Who is that gentleman in the bar, ma’am?” inquired Tom.

  ‘“His name is Jinkins, sir,” said the widow, slightly blushing.

  ‘“He’s a tall man,” said Tom.

  ‘“He is a very fine man, sir,” replied the widow, “and a very nicegentleman.”

  ‘“Ah!” said Tom.

  ‘“Is there anything more you want, sir?” inquired the widow,rather puzzled by Tom’s manner. ‘“Why, yes,” said Tom. “My dearma’am, will you have the kindness to sit down for one moment?”

  ‘The widow looked much amazed, but she sat down, and Tomsat down too, close beside her. I don’t know how it happened,gentlemen―indeed my uncle used to tell me that Tom Smart saidhe didn’t know how it happened either―but somehow or other thepalm of Tom’s hand fell upon the back of the widow’s hand, andremained there while he spoke.

  ‘“My dear ma’am,” said Tom Smart―he had always a greatnotion of committing the amiable―“my dear ma’am, you deservea very excellent husband―you do indeed.”

  ‘“Lor, sir!” said the widow―as well she might; Tom’s mode ofcommencing the conversation being rather unusual, not to saystartling; the fact of his never having set eyes upon her before theprevious night being taken into consideration. “Lor, sir!”

  ‘“I scorn to flatter, my dear ma’am,” said Tom Smart. “Youdeserve a very admirable husband, and whoever he is, he’ll be avery lucky man.” As Tom said this, his eye involuntarily wanderedfrom the widow’s face to the comfort around him.

  ‘The widow looked more puzzled than ever, and made an effortto rise. Tom gently pressed her hand, as if to detain her, and shekept her seat. Widows, gentlemen, are not usually timorous122, as myuncle used to say.

  ‘“I am sure I am very much obliged to you, sir, for your goodopinion,” said the buxom landlady, half laughing; “and if ever Imarry again―”

  ‘“If,” said Tom Smart, looking very shrewdly out of the right-hand corner of his left eye. “If―”

  “‘Well,” said the widow, laughing outright123 this time, “When I do,I hope I shall have as good a husband as you describe.”

  ‘“Jinkins, to wit,” said Tom.

  ‘“Lor, sir!” exclaimed the widow.

  ‘“Oh, don’t tell me,” said Tom, “I know him.”

  ‘“I am sure nobody who knows him, knows anything bad ofhim,” said the widow, bridling124 up at the mysterious air with whichTom had spoken.

  ‘“Hem!” said Tom Smart.

  ‘The widow began to think it was high time to cry, so she tookout her handkerchief, and inquired whether Tom wished to insulther, whether he thought it like a gentleman to take away thecharacter of another gentleman behind his back, why, if he hadgot anything to say, he didn’t say it to the man, like a man, insteadof terrifying a poor weak woman in that way; and so forth.

  ‘“I’ll say it to him fast enough,” said Tom, “only I want you tohear it first.”

  ‘“What is it?” inquired the widow, looking intently in Tom’scountenance.

  ‘“I’ll astonish you,” said Tom, putting his hand in his pocket.

  ‘“If it is, that he wants money,” said the widow, “I know thatalready, and you needn’t trouble yourself.”

  ‘“Pooh, nonsense, that’s nothing,” said Tom Smart, “I wantmoney. ’Tan’t that.”

  ‘“Oh, dear, what can it be?” exclaimed the poor widow.

  ‘“Don’t be frightened,” said Tom Smart. He slowly drew forththe letter, and unfolded it. “You won’t scream?” said Tomdoubtfully.

  ‘“No, no,” replied the widow; “let me see it.”

  ‘“You won’t go fainting away, or any of that nonsense?” saidTom.

  ‘“No, no,” returned the widow hastily.

  ‘“And don’t run out, and blow him up,” said Tom; “because I’lldo all that for you. You had better not exert yourself.”

  ‘“Well, well,” said the widow, “let me see it.”

  ‘“I will,” replied Tom Smart; and, with these words, he placedthe letter in the widow’s hand.

  ‘Gentlemen, I have heard my uncle say, that Tom Smart saidthe widow’s lamentations when she heard the disclosure wouldhave pierced a heart of stone. Tom was certainly very tender-hearted, but they pierced his, to the very core. The widow rockedherself to and fro, and wrung125 her hands.

  ‘“Oh, the deception126 and villainy of the man!” said the widow.

  ‘“Frightful, my dear ma’am; but compose yourself,” said TomSmart.

  ‘“Oh, I can’t compose myself,” shrieked127 the widow. “I shallnever find anyone else I can love so much!”

  ‘“Oh, yes you will, my dear soul,” said Tom Smart, letting fall ashower of the largest-sized tears, in pity for the widow’smisfortunes. Tom Smart, in the energy of his compassion128, had puthis arm round the widow’s waist; and the widow, in a passion ofgrief, had clasped Tom’s hand. She looked up in Tom’s face, andsmiled through her tears. Tom looked down in hers, and smiledthrough his.

  ‘I never could find out, gentlemen, whether Tom did or did notkiss the widow at that particular moment. He used to tell my unclehe didn’t, but I have my doubts about it. Between ourselves,gentlemen, I rather think he did.

  ‘At all events, Tom kicked the very tall man out at the frontdoor half an hour later, and married the widow a month after. Andhe used to drive about the country, with the clay-coloured gig withthe red wheels, and the vixenish mare with the fast pace, till hegave up business many years afterwards, and went to France withhis wife; and then the old house was pulled down.’

  ‘Will you allow me to ask you,’ said the inquisitive104 oldgentleman, ‘what became of the chair?’

  ‘Why,’ replied the one-eyed bagman, ‘it was observed to creakvery much on the day of the wedding; but Tom Smart couldn’t sayfor certain whether it was with pleasure or bodily infirmity. Herather thought it was the latter, though, for it never spokeafterwards.’

  ‘Everybody believed the story, didn’t they?’ said the dirty-facedman, refilling his pipe.

  ‘Except Tom’s enemies,’ replied the bagman. ‘Some of ’em saidTom invented it altogether; and others said he was drunk andfancied it, and got hold of the wrong trousers by mistake before hewent to bed. But nobody ever minded what they said.’

  ‘Tom Smart said it was all true?’

  ‘Every word.’

  ‘And your uncle?’

  ‘Every letter.’

  ‘They must have been very nice men, both of ’em,’ said thedirty-faced man.

  ‘Yes, they were,’ replied the bagman; ‘very nice men indeed!’


1 contemplating bde65bd99b6b8a706c0f139c0720db21     
深思,细想,仔细考虑( contemplate的现在分词 ); 注视,凝视; 考虑接受(发生某事的可能性); 深思熟虑,沉思,苦思冥想
  • You're too young to be contemplating retirement. 你考虑退休还太年轻。
  • She stood contemplating the painting. 她站在那儿凝视那幅图画。
2 strife NrdyZ     
  • We do not intend to be drawn into the internal strife.我们不想卷入内乱之中。
  • Money is a major cause of strife in many marriages.金钱是造成很多婚姻不和的一个主要原因。
3 repose KVGxQ     
  • Don't disturb her repose.不要打扰她休息。
  • Her mouth seemed always to be smiling,even in repose.她的嘴角似乎总是挂着微笑,即使在睡眠时也是这样。
4 partisan w4ZzY     
  • In their anger they forget all the partisan quarrels.愤怒之中,他们忘掉一切党派之争。
  • The numerous newly created partisan detachments began working slowly towards that region.许多新建的游击队都开始慢慢地向那里移动。
5 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。
6 proceedings Wk2zvX     
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
7 proceeding Vktzvu     
  • This train is now proceeding from Paris to London.这次列车从巴黎开往伦敦。
  • The work is proceeding briskly.工作很有生气地进展着。
8 wink 4MGz3     
  • He tipped me the wink not to buy at that price.他眨眼暗示我按那个价格就不要买。
  • The satellite disappeared in a wink.瞬息之间,那颗卫星就消失了。
9 devoted xu9zka     
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
10 domesticated Lu2zBm     
adj.喜欢家庭生活的;(指动物)被驯养了的v.驯化( domesticate的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He is thoroughly domesticated and cooks a delicious chicken casserole. 他精于家务,烹制的砂锅炖小鸡非常可口。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The donkey is a domesticated form of the African wild ass. 驴是非洲野驴的一种已驯化的品种。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 beguile kouyN     
  • They are playing cards to beguile the time.他们在打牌以消磨时间。
  • He used his newspapers to beguile the readers into buying shares in his company.他利用他的报纸诱骗读者买他公司的股票。
12 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)
  • 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》
13 sequestered 0ceab16bc48aa9b4ed97d60eeed591f8     
adj.扣押的;隐退的;幽静的;偏僻的v.使隔绝,使隔离( sequester的过去式和过去分词 );扣押
  • The jury is expected to be sequestered for at least two months. 陪审团渴望被隔离至少两个月。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Everything he owned was sequestered. 他的一切都被扣押了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 abstruse SIcyT     
  • Einstein's theory of relativity is very abstruse.爱因斯坦的相对论非常难懂。
  • The professor's lectures were so abstruse that students tended to avoid them.该教授的课程太深奥了,学生们纷纷躲避他的课。
15 possessed xuyyQ     
  • He flew out of the room like a man possessed.他像着了魔似地猛然冲出房门。
  • He behaved like someone possessed.他行为举止像是魔怔了。
16 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
17 spacious YwQwW     
  • Our yard is spacious enough for a swimming pool.我们的院子很宽敞,足够建一座游泳池。
  • The room is bright and spacious.这房间很豁亮。
18 garnished 978c1af39d17f6c3c31319295529b2c3     
v.给(上餐桌的食物)加装饰( garnish的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Her robes were garnished with gems. 她的礼服上装饰着宝石。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Serve the dish garnished with wedges of lime. 给这道菜配上几角酸橙。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 capes 2a2d1f6d8808b81a9484709d3db50053     
碎谷; 斗篷( cape的名词复数 ); 披肩; 海角; 岬
  • It was cool and they were putting on their capes. 夜里阴冷,他们都穿上了披风。
  • The pastor smiled to give son's two Capes five cents money. 牧师微笑着给了儿子二角五分钱。
20 pegs 6e3949e2f13b27821b0b2a5124975625     
n.衣夹( peg的名词复数 );挂钉;系帐篷的桩;弦钮v.用夹子或钉子固定( peg的第三人称单数 );使固定在某水平
  • She hung up the shirt with two (clothes) pegs. 她用两只衣夹挂上衬衫。 来自辞典例句
  • The vice-presidents were all square pegs in round holes. 各位副总裁也都安排得不得其所。 来自辞典例句
21 stump hGbzY     
  • He went on the stump in his home state.他到故乡所在的州去发表演说。
  • He used the stump as a table.他把树桩用作桌子。
22 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
23 trout PKDzs     
  • Thousands of young salmon and trout have been killed by the pollution.成千上万的鲑鱼和鳟鱼的鱼苗因污染而死亡。
  • We hooked a trout and had it for breakfast.我们钓了一条鳟鱼,早饭时吃了。
24 dingy iu8xq     
  • It was a street of dingy houses huddled together. 这是一条挤满了破旧房子的街巷。
  • The dingy cottage was converted into a neat tasteful residence.那间脏黑的小屋已变成一个整洁雅致的住宅。
25 hue qdszS     
  • The diamond shone with every hue under the sun.金刚石在阳光下放出五颜六色的光芒。
  • The same hue will look different in different light.同一颜色在不同的光线下看起来会有所不同。
26 huddled 39b87f9ca342d61fe478b5034beb4139     
  • We huddled together for warmth. 我们挤在一块取暖。
  • We huddled together to keep warm. 我们挤在一起来保暖。
27 conspicuous spszE     
  • It is conspicuous that smoking is harmful to health.很明显,抽烟对健康有害。
  • Its colouring makes it highly conspicuous.它的色彩使它非常惹人注目。
28 inmates 9f4380ba14152f3e12fbdf1595415606     
n.囚犯( inmate的名词复数 )
  • One of the inmates has escaped. 被收容的人中有一个逃跑了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The inmates were moved to an undisclosed location. 监狱里的囚犯被转移到一个秘密处所。 来自《简明英汉词典》
29 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。
30 winking b599b2f7a74d5974507152324c7b8979     
n.瞬眼,目语v.使眼色( wink的现在分词 );递眼色(表示友好或高兴等);(指光)闪烁;闪亮
  • Anyone can do it; it's as easy as winking. 这谁都办得到,简直易如反掌。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The stars were winking in the clear sky. 星星在明亮的天空中闪烁。 来自《简明英汉词典》
31 solitary 7FUyx     
  • I am rather fond of a solitary stroll in the country.我颇喜欢在乡间独自徜徉。
  • The castle rises in solitary splendour on the fringe of the desert.这座城堡巍然耸立在沙漠的边际,显得十分壮美。
32 ecstasies 79e8aad1272f899ef497b3a037130d17     
狂喜( ecstasy的名词复数 ); 出神; 入迷; 迷幻药
  • In such ecstasies that he even controlled his tongue and was silent. 但他闭着嘴,一言不发。
  • We were in ecstasies at the thought of going home. 一想到回家,我们高兴极了。
33 placid 7A1yV     
  • He had been leading a placid life for the past eight years.八年来他一直过着平静的生活。
  • You should be in a placid mood and have a heart-to- heart talk with her.你应该心平气和的好好和她谈谈心。
34 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。
35 props 50fe03ab7bf37089a7e88da9b31ffb3b     
小道具; 支柱( prop的名词复数 ); 支持者; 道具; (橄榄球中的)支柱前锋
  • Rescuers used props to stop the roof of the tunnel collapsing. 救援人员用支柱防止隧道顶塌陷。
  • The government props up the prices of farm products to support farmers' incomes. 政府保持农产品价格不变以保障农民们的收入。
36 repudiate 6Bcz7     
  • He will indignantly repudiate the suggestion.他会气愤地拒绝接受这一意见。
  • He repudiate all debts incurred by his son.他拒绝偿还他儿子的一切债务。
37 reverting f5366d3e7a0be69d0213079d037ba63e     
恢复( revert的现在分词 ); 重提; 回到…上; 归还
  • The boss came back from holiday all relaxed and smiling, but now he's reverting to type. 老板刚度假回来时十分随和,满面笑容,现在又恢复原样了。
  • The conversation kept reverting to the subject of money. 谈话的内容总是离不开钱的事。
38 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》
39 vehemence 2ihw1     
  • The attack increased in vehemence.进攻越来越猛烈。
  • She was astonished at his vehemence.她对他的激昂感到惊讶。
40 retired Njhzyv     
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
41 dreary sk1z6     
  • They live such dreary lives.他们的生活如此乏味。
  • She was tired of hearing the same dreary tale of drunkenness and violence.她听够了那些关于酗酒和暴力的乏味故事。
42 mare Y24y3     
  • The mare has just thrown a foal in the stable.那匹母马刚刚在马厩里产下了一只小马驹。
  • The mare foundered under the heavy load and collapsed in the road.那母马因负载过重而倒在路上。
43 pony Au5yJ     
  • His father gave him a pony as a Christmas present.他父亲给了他一匹小马驹作为圣诞礼物。
  • They made him pony up the money he owed.他们逼他还债。
44 sloppy 1E3zO     
  • If you do such sloppy work again,I promise I'll fail you.要是下次作业你再马马虎虎,我话说在头里,可要给你打不及格了。
  • Mother constantly picked at him for being sloppy.母亲不断地批评他懒散。
45 slanting bfc7f3900241f29cee38d19726ae7dce     
  • The rain is driving [slanting] in from the south. 南边潲雨。
  • The line is slanting to the left. 这根线向左斜了。
46 delude lmEzj     
  • You won't delude him into believing it.你不能诱使他相信此事。
  • Don't delude yourself into believing that she will marry you.不要自欺,别以为她会嫁给你。
47 exhausted 7taz4r     
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
48 growling growling     
n.吠声, 咆哮声 v.怒吠, 咆哮, 吼
  • We heard thunder growling in the distance. 我们听见远处有隆隆雷声。
  • The lay about the deck growling together in talk. 他们在甲板上到处游荡,聚集在一起发牢骚。
49 sweeping ihCzZ4     
  • The citizens voted for sweeping reforms.公民投票支持全面的改革。
  • Can you hear the wind sweeping through the branches?你能听到风掠过树枝的声音吗?
50 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
51 gust q5Zyu     
  • A gust of wind blew the front door shut.一阵大风吹来,把前门关上了。
  • A gust of happiness swept through her.一股幸福的暖流流遍她的全身。
52 scour oDvzj     
  • Mother made me scour the family silver.母亲让我擦洗家里的银器。
  • We scoured the telephone directory for clues.我们仔细查阅电话簿以寻找线索。
53 stunning NhGzDh     
  • His plays are distinguished only by their stunning mediocrity.他的戏剧与众不同之处就是平凡得出奇。
  • The finished effect was absolutely stunning.完工后的效果非常美。
54 ridicule fCwzv     
  • You mustn't ridicule unfortunate people.你不该嘲笑不幸的人。
  • Silly mistakes and queer clothes often arouse ridicule.荒谬的错误和古怪的服装常会引起人们的讪笑。
55 triumphant JpQys     
  • The army made a triumphant entry into the enemy's capital.部队胜利地进入了敌方首都。
  • There was a positively triumphant note in her voice.她的声音里带有一种极为得意的语气。
56 assailed cca18e858868e1e5479e8746bfb818d6     
v.攻击( assail的过去式和过去分词 );困扰;质问;毅然应对
  • He was assailed with fierce blows to the head. 他的头遭到猛烈殴打。
  • He has been assailed by bad breaks all these years. 这些年来他接二连三地倒霉。 来自《用法词典》
57 straps 1412cf4c15adaea5261be8ae3e7edf8e     
n.带子( strap的名词复数 );挎带;肩带;背带v.用皮带捆扎( strap的第三人称单数 );用皮带抽打;包扎;给…打绷带
  • the shoulder straps of her dress 她连衣裙上的肩带
  • The straps can be adjusted to suit the wearer. 这些背带可进行调整以适合使用者。
58 knack Jx9y4     
  • He has a knack of teaching arithmetic.他教算术有诀窍。
  • Making omelettes isn't difficult,but there's a knack to it.做煎蛋饼并不难,但有窍门。
59 precisely zlWzUb     
  • 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。
60 pricked 1d0503c50da14dcb6603a2df2c2d4557     
刺,扎,戳( prick的过去式和过去分词 ); 刺伤; 刺痛; 使剧痛
  • The cook pricked a few holes in the pastry. 厨师在馅饼上戳了几个洞。
  • He was pricked by his conscience. 他受到良心的谴责。
61 rattle 5Alzb     
  • The baby only shook the rattle and laughed and crowed.孩子只是摇着拨浪鼓,笑着叫着。
  • She could hear the rattle of the teacups.她听见茶具叮当响。
62 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
  • 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。
63 spokes 6eff3c46e9c3a82f787a7c99669b9bfb     
n.(车轮的)辐条( spoke的名词复数 );轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动
  • Her baby caught his fingers in the spokes of the pram wheel. 她宝宝的手指被婴儿车轮的辐条卡住了。 来自辞典例句
  • The new edges are called the spokes of the wheel. 新的边称为轮的辐。 来自辞典例句
64 reins 370afc7786679703b82ccfca58610c98     
感情,激情; 缰( rein的名词复数 ); 控制手段; 掌管; (成人带着幼儿走路以防其走失时用的)保护带
  • She pulled gently on the reins. 她轻轻地拉着缰绳。
  • The government has imposed strict reins on the import of luxury goods. 政府对奢侈品的进口有严格的控制手段。
65 shingle 8yKwr     
  • He scraped away the dirt,and exposed a pine shingle.他刨去泥土,下面露出一块松木瓦块。
  • He hung out his grandfather's shingle.他挂出了祖父的行医招牌。
66 flickering wjLxa     
  • The crisp autumn wind is flickering away. 清爽的秋风正在吹拂。
  • The lights keep flickering. 灯光忽明忽暗。
67 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
68 agility LfTyH     
  • The boy came upstairs with agility.那男孩敏捷地走上楼来。
  • His intellect and mental agility have never been in doubt.他的才智和机敏从未受到怀疑。
69 slippered 76a41eb67fc0ee466a644d75017dd69e     
  • She slippered across the room from her bed. 她下床穿着拖鞋走过房间 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • She saw pairs of slippered feet -- but no one was moving. 她看见一双双穿着拖鞋的脚--可是谁也没有挪动一步。 来自互联网
70 delightful 6xzxT     
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
71 pickles fd03204cfdc557b0f0d134773ae6fff5     
n.腌菜( pickle的名词复数 );处于困境;遇到麻烦;菜酱
  • Most people eat pickles at breakfast. 大多数人早餐吃腌菜。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I want their pickles and wines, and that.' 我要他们的泡菜、美酒和所有其他东西。” 来自英汉文学 - 金银岛
72 tempting wgAzd4     
a.诱人的, 吸引人的
  • It is tempting to idealize the past. 人都爱把过去的日子说得那么美好。
  • It was a tempting offer. 这是个诱人的提议。
73 buxom 4WtzT     
  • Jane is a buxom blond.简是一个丰满的金发女郎.
  • He still pictured her as buxom,high-colored,lively and a little blowsy.他心中仍旧认为她身材丰满、面色红润、生气勃勃、还有点邋遢。
74 landlady t2ZxE     
  • I heard my landlady creeping stealthily up to my door.我听到我的女房东偷偷地来到我的门前。
  • The landlady came over to serve me.女店主过来接待我。
75 supreme PHqzc     
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
76 penetration 1M8xw     
  • He is a man of penetration.他是一个富有洞察力的人。
  • Our aim is to achieve greater market penetration.我们的目标是进一步打入市场。
77 irritable LRuzn     
  • He gets irritable when he's got toothache.他牙一疼就很容易发脾气。
  • Our teacher is an irritable old lady.She gets angry easily.我们的老师是位脾气急躁的老太太。她很容易生气。
78 gall jhXxC     
  • It galled him to have to ask for a loan.必须向人借钱使他感到难堪。
  • No gall,no glory.没有磨难,何来荣耀。
79 peculiar cinyo     
  • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的样子很奇特。
  • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一种很奇怪的表情看着我。
80 snug 3TvzG     
  • He showed us into a snug little sitting room.他领我们走进了一间温暖而舒适的小客厅。
  • She had a small but snug home.她有个小小的但很舒适的家。
81 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
82 impudence K9Mxe     
  • His impudence provoked her into slapping his face.他的粗暴让她气愤地给了他一耳光。
  • What knocks me is his impudence.他的厚颜无耻使我感到吃惊。
83 villain ZL1zA     
  • He was cast as the villain in the play.他在戏里扮演反面角色。
  • The man who played the villain acted very well.扮演恶棍的那个男演员演得很好。
84 sentimental dDuzS     
  • She's a sentimental woman who believes marriage comes by destiny.她是多愁善感的人,她相信姻缘命中注定。
  • We were deeply touched by the sentimental movie.我们深深被那感伤的电影所感动。
85 convivial OYEz9     
  • The atmosphere was quite convivial.气氛非常轻松愉快。
  • I found it odd to imagine a nation of convivial diners surrendering their birthright.我发现很难想象让这样一个喜欢热热闹闹吃饭的民族放弃他们的习惯。
86 persecuted 2daa49e8c0ac1d04bf9c3650a3d486f3     
(尤指宗教或政治信仰的)迫害(~sb. for sth.)( persecute的过去式和过去分词 ); 烦扰,困扰或骚扰某人
  • Throughout history, people have been persecuted for their religious beliefs. 人们因宗教信仰而受迫害的情况贯穿了整个历史。
  • Members of these sects are ruthlessly persecuted and suppressed. 这些教派的成员遭到了残酷的迫害和镇压。
87 chamber wnky9     
  • For many,the dentist's surgery remains a torture chamber.对许多人来说,牙医的治疗室一直是间受刑室。
  • The chamber was ablaze with light.会议厅里灯火辉煌。
88 rambling MTfxg     
  • We spent the summer rambling in Ireland. 我们花了一个夏天漫游爱尔兰。
  • It was easy to get lost in the rambling house. 在布局凌乱的大房子里容易迷路。
89 disport AtSxD     
  • Every Sunday,they disport themselves either in the parks or in the mountains.每周日他们或去公园或去爬山。
  • A servant was washing the steps,and some crabs began to disport themselves in the little pools.一个仆人正在清洗台阶,一些螃蟹开始在小渠里玩耍。
90 maze F76ze     
  • He found his way through the complex maze of corridors.他穿过了迷宮一样的走廊。
  • She was lost in the maze for several hours.一连几小时,她的头脑处于一片糊涂状态。
91 labyrinth h9Fzr     
  • He wandered through the labyrinth of the alleyways.他在迷宫似的小巷中闲逛。
  • The human mind is a labyrinth.人的心灵是一座迷宫。
92 sage sCUz2     
  • I was grateful for the old man's sage advice.我很感激那位老人贤明的忠告。
  • The sage is the instructor of a hundred ages.这位哲人是百代之师。
93 eyelids 86ece0ca18a95664f58bda5de252f4e7     
n.眼睑( eyelid的名词复数 );眼睛也不眨一下;不露声色;面不改色
  • She was so tired, her eyelids were beginning to droop. 她太疲倦了,眼睑开始往下垂。
  • Her eyelids drooped as if she were on the verge of sleep. 她眼睑低垂好像快要睡着的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
94 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。
95 slippers oiPzHV     
n. 拖鞋
  • a pair of slippers 一双拖鞋
  • He kicked his slippers off and dropped on to the bed. 他踢掉了拖鞋,倒在床上。
96 dispel XtQx0     
  • I tried in vain to dispel her misgivings.我试图消除她的疑虑,但没有成功。
  • We hope the programme will dispel certain misconceptions about the disease.我们希望这个节目能消除对这种疾病的一些误解。
97 impudent X4Eyf     
  • She's tolerant toward those impudent colleagues.她对那些无礼的同事采取容忍的态度。
  • The teacher threatened to kick the impudent pupil out of the room.老师威胁着要把这无礼的小学生撵出教室。
98 remarkably EkPzTW     
  • I thought she was remarkably restrained in the circumstances. 我认为她在那种情况下非常克制。
  • He made a remarkably swift recovery. 他康复得相当快。
99 amorous Menys     
  • They exchanged amorous glances and clearly made known their passions.二人眉来眼去,以目传情。
  • She gave him an amorous look.她脉脉含情的看他一眼。
100 levity Q1uxA     
  • His remarks injected a note of levity into the proceedings.他的话将一丝轻率带入了议事过程中。
  • At the time,Arnold had disapproved of such levity.那时候的阿诺德对这种轻浮行为很看不惯。
101 rascal mAIzd     
  • If he had done otherwise,I should have thought him a rascal.如果他不这样做,我就认为他是个恶棍。
  • The rascal was frightened into holding his tongue.这坏蛋吓得不敢往下说了。
102 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。
103 profligate b15zV     
  • This young man had all the inclination to be a profligate of the first water.这个青年完全有可能成为十足的浪子。
  • Similarly Americans have been profligate in the handling of mineral resources.同样的,美国在处理矿产资源方面亦多浪费。
104 inquisitive s64xi     
  • 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。
105 melancholy t7rz8     
  • All at once he fell into a state of profound melancholy.他立即陷入无尽的忧思之中。
  • He felt melancholy after he failed the exam.这次考试没通过,他感到很郁闷。
106 behold jQKy9     
  • The industry of these little ants is wonderful to behold.这些小蚂蚁辛勤劳动的样子看上去真令人惊叹。
  • The sunrise at the seaside was quite a sight to behold.海滨日出真是个奇景。
107 applied Tz2zXA     
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
108 positively vPTxw     
  • She was positively glowing with happiness.她满脸幸福。
  • The weather was positively poisonous.这天气着实讨厌。
109 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
110 rascally rascally     
adj. 无赖的,恶棍的 adv. 无赖地,卑鄙地
  • They said Kelso got some rascally adventurer, some Belgian brute, to insult his son-in-law in public. 他们说是凯尔索指使某个下贱的冒险家,一个比利时恶棍,来当众侮辱他的女婿。
  • Ms Taiwan: Can't work at all, but still brag and quibble rascally. 台湾小姐:明明不行,还要硬拗、赖皮逞强。
111 deserted GukzoL     
  • The deserted village was filled with a deathly silence.这个荒废的村庄死一般的寂静。
  • The enemy chieftain was opposed and deserted by his followers.敌人头目众叛亲离。
112 dictatorial 3lAzp     
adj. 独裁的,专断的
  • Her father is very dictatorial.她父亲很专横。
  • For years the nation had been under the heel of a dictatorial regime.多年来这个国家一直在独裁政权的铁蹄下。
113 disconsolate OuOxR     
  • He looked so disconsolate that It'scared her.他看上去情绪很坏,吓了她一跳。
  • At the dress rehearsal she was disconsolate.彩排时她闷闷不乐。
114 lethargic 6k9yM     
  • He felt too miserable and lethargic to get dressed.他心情低落无精打采,完全没有心思穿衣整装。
  • The hot weather made me feel lethargic.炎热的天气使我昏昏欲睡。
115 slumber 8E7zT     
  • All the people in the hotels were wrapped in deep slumber.住在各旅馆里的人都已进入梦乡。
  • Don't wake him from his slumber because he needs the rest.不要把他从睡眠中唤醒,因为他需要休息。
116 disappearance ouEx5     
  • He was hard put to it to explain her disappearance.他难以说明她为什么不见了。
  • Her disappearance gave rise to the wildest rumours.她失踪一事引起了各种流言蜚语。
117 deliberately Gulzvq     
  • The girl gave the show away deliberately.女孩故意泄露秘密。
  • They deliberately shifted off the argument.他们故意回避这个论点。
118 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
119 lessen 01gx4     
  • Regular exercise can help to lessen the pain.经常运动有助于减轻痛感。
  • They've made great effort to lessen the noise of planes.他们尽力减小飞机的噪音。
120 misery G10yi     
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
121 fowl fljy6     
  • Fowl is not part of a traditional brunch.禽肉不是传统的早午餐的一部分。
  • Since my heart attack,I've eaten more fish and fowl and less red meat.自从我患了心脏病后,我就多吃鱼肉和禽肉,少吃红色肉类。
122 timorous gg6yb     
  • She is as timorous as a rabbit.她胆小得像只兔子。
  • The timorous rabbit ran away.那只胆小的兔子跑开了。
123 outright Qj7yY     
  • If you have a complaint you should tell me outright.如果你有不满意的事,你应该直率地对我说。
  • You should persuade her to marry you outright.你应该彻底劝服她嫁给你。
124 bridling a7b16199fc3c7bb470d10403db2646e0     
给…套龙头( bridle的现在分词 ); 控制; 昂首表示轻蔑(或怨忿等); 动怒,生气
  • Suellen, bridling, always asked news of Mr. Kennedy. 苏伦也克制着经常探询肯尼迪先生的情况。
  • We noticed sever al men loitering about the bridling last night. 昨天夜里我们看到有几个人在楼附近荡来荡去。
125 wrung b11606a7aab3e4f9eebce4222a9397b1     
绞( wring的过去式和过去分词 ); 握紧(尤指别人的手); 把(湿衣服)拧干; 绞掉(水)
  • He has wrung the words from their true meaning. 他曲解这些字的真正意义。
  • He wrung my hand warmly. 他热情地紧握我的手。
126 deception vnWzO     
  • He admitted conspiring to obtain property by deception.他承认曾与人合谋骗取财产。
  • He was jailed for two years for fraud and deception.他因为诈骗和欺诈入狱服刑两年。
127 shrieked dc12d0d25b0f5d980f524cd70c1de8fe     
v.尖叫( shriek的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She shrieked in fright. 她吓得尖叫起来。
  • Li Mei-t'ing gave a shout, and Lu Tzu-hsiao shrieked, "Tell what? 李梅亭大声叫,陆子潇尖声叫:“告诉什么? 来自汉英文学 - 围城
128 compassion 3q2zZ     
  • He could not help having compassion for the poor creature.他情不自禁地怜悯起那个可怜的人来。
  • Her heart was filled with compassion for the motherless children.她对于没有母亲的孩子们充满了怜悯心。


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