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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Schoolmaster and Other Stories » IN THE GRAVEYARD
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“THE wind has got up, friends, and it is beginning to get dark. Hadn’t we better take ourselves off before it gets worse?”
The wind was frolicking among the yellow leaves of the old birch trees, and a shower of thick drops fell upon us from the leaves. One of our party slipped on the clayey soil, and clutched at a big grey cross to save himself from falling.
“Yegor Gryaznorukov, titular1 councillor and cavalier . .” he read. “I knew that gentleman. He was fond of his wife, he wore the Stanislav ribbon, and read nothing. . . . His digestion2 worked well . . . . life was all right, wasn’t it? One would have thought he had no reason to die, but alas3! fate had its eye on him. . . . The poor fellow fell a victim to his habits of observation. On one occasion, when he was listening at a keyhole, he got such a bang on the head from the door that he sustained concussion4 of the brain (he had a brain), and died. And here, under this tombstone, lies a man who from his cradle detested5 verses and epigrams. . . . As though to mock him his whole tombstone is adorned6 with verses. . . . There is someone coming!”
A man in a shabby overcoat, with a shaven, bluish-crimson countenance7, overtook us. He had a bottle under his arm and a parcel of sausage was sticking out of his pocket.
“Where is the grave of Mushkin, the actor?” he asked us in a husky voice.
We conducted him towards the grave of Mushkin, the actor, who had died two years before.
“You are a government clerk, I suppose?” we asked him.
“No, an actor. Nowadays it is difficult to distinguish actors from clerks of the Consistory. No doubt you have noticed that. . . . That’s typical, but it’s not very flattering for the government clerk.”
It was with difficulty that we found the actor’s grave. It had sunken, was overgrown with weeds, and had lost all appearance of a grave. A cheap, little cross that had begun to rot, and was covered with green moss8 blackened by the frost, had an air of aged9 dejection and looked, as it were, ailing10.
“. . . forgotten friend Mushkin . . .” we read.
Time had erased11 the never, and corrected the falsehood of man.
“A subscription12 for a monument to him was got up among actors and journalists, but they drank up the money, the dear fellows . . .” sighed the actor, bowing down to the ground and touching13 the wet earth with his knees and his cap.
“How do you mean, drank it?”
That’s very simple. They collected the money, published a paragraph about it in the newspaper, and spent it on drink. . . . I don’t say it to blame them. . . . I hope it did them good, dear things! Good health to them, and eternal memory to him.”
“Drinking means bad health, and eternal memory nothing but sadness. God give us remembrance for a time, but eternal memory—what next!”
“You are right there. Mushkin was a well-known man, you see; there were a dozen wreaths on the coffin14, and he is already forgotten. Those to whom he was dear have forgotten him, but those to whom he did harm remember him. I, for instance, shall never, never forget him, for I got nothing but harm from him. I have no love for the deceased.”
“What harm did he do you?”
“Great harm,” sighed the actor, and an expression of bitter resentment15 overspread his face. “To me he was a villain16 and a scoundrel—the Kingdom of Heaven be his! It was through looking at him and listening to him that I became an actor. By his art he lured17 me from the parental18 home, he enticed19 me with the excitements of an actor’s life, promised me all sorts of things—and brought tears and sorrow. . . . An actor’s lot is a bitter one! I have lost youth, sobriety, and the divine semblance20. . . . I haven’t a half-penny to bless myself with, my shoes are down at heel, my breeches are frayed21 and patched, and my face looks as if it had been gnawed22 by dogs. . . . My head’s full of freethinking and nonsense. . . . He robbed me of my faith—my evil genius! It would have been something if I had had talent, but as it is, I am ruined for nothing. . . . It’s cold, honoured friends. . . . Won’t you have some? There is enough for all. . . . B-r-r-r. . . . Let us drink to the rest of his soul! Though I don’t like him and though he’s dead, he was the only one I had in the world, the only one. It’s the last time I shall visit him. . . . The doctors say I shall soon die of drink, so here I have come to say good-bye. One must forgive one’s enemies.”
We left the actor to converse23 with the dead Mushkin and went on. It began drizzling24 a fine cold rain.
At the turning into the principal avenue strewn with gravel25, we met a funeral procession. Four bearers, wearing white calico sashes and muddy high boots with leaves sticking on them, carried the brown coffin. It was getting dark and they hastened, stumbling and shaking their burden. . . .
“We’ve only been walking here for a couple of hours and that is the third brought in already. . . . Shall we go home, friends?”


1 titular wonwV     
  • The Queen is titular head of the Church of England.英国女王是英国国教名义上的领袖。
  • He is titular head,and merely signs laws occasionally.他是名义上的首脑,不过偶尔签字批准法律法规。
2 digestion il6zj     
  • This kind of tea acts as an aid to digestion.这种茶可助消化。
  • This food is easy of digestion.这食物容易消化。
3 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。
4 concussion 5YDys     
  • He was carried off the field with slight concussion.他因轻微脑震荡给抬离了现场。
  • She suffers from brain concussion.她得了脑震荡。
5 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
6 adorned 1e50de930eb057fcf0ac85ca485114c8     
  • The walls were adorned with paintings. 墙上装饰了绘画。
  • And his coat was adorned with a flamboyant bunch of flowers. 他的外套上面装饰着一束艳丽刺目的鲜花。
7 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。
8 moss X6QzA     
  • Moss grows on a rock.苔藓生在石头上。
  • He was found asleep on a pillow of leaves and moss.有人看见他枕着树叶和苔藓睡着了。
9 aged 6zWzdI     
  • He had put on weight and aged a little.他胖了,也老点了。
  • He is aged,but his memory is still good.他已年老,然而记忆力还好。
10 ailing XzzzbA     
  • They discussed the problems ailing the steel industry. 他们讨论了困扰钢铁工业的问题。
  • She looked after her ailing father. 她照顾有病的父亲。
11 erased f4adee3fff79c6ddad5b2e45f730006a     
v.擦掉( erase的过去式和过去分词 );抹去;清除
  • He erased the wrong answer and wrote in the right one. 他擦去了错误答案,写上了正确答案。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He removed the dogmatism from politics; he erased the party line. 他根除了政治中的教条主义,消除了政党界限。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 subscription qH8zt     
  • We paid a subscription of 5 pounds yearly.我们按年度缴纳5英镑的订阅费。
  • Subscription selling bloomed splendidly.订阅销售量激增。
13 touching sg6zQ9     
  • It was a touching sight.这是一幅动人的景象。
  • His letter was touching.他的信很感人。
14 coffin XWRy7     
  • When one's coffin is covered,all discussion about him can be settled.盖棺论定。
  • The coffin was placed in the grave.那口棺材已安放到坟墓里去了。
15 resentment 4sgyv     
  • All her feelings of resentment just came pouring out.她一股脑儿倾吐出所有的怨恨。
  • She cherished a deep resentment under the rose towards her employer.她暗中对她的雇主怀恨在心。
16 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。
17 lured 77df5632bf83c9c64fb09403ae21e649     
  • The child was lured into a car but managed to escape. 那小孩被诱骗上了车,但又设法逃掉了。
  • Lured by the lust of gold,the pioneers pushed onward. 开拓者在黄金的诱惑下,继续奋力向前。
18 parental FL2xv     
  • He encourages parental involvement in the running of school.他鼓励学生家长参与学校的管理。
  • Children always revolt against parental disciplines.孩子们总是反抗父母的管束。
19 enticed e343c8812ee0e250a29e7b0ccd6b8a2c     
诱惑,怂恿( entice的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He enticed his former employer into another dice game. 他挑逗他原来的老板再赌一次掷骰子。
  • Consumers are courted, enticed, and implored by sellers of goods and services. 消费者受到商品和劳务出售者奉承,劝诱和央求。
20 semblance Szcwt     
  • Her semblance of anger frightened the children.她生气的样子使孩子们感到害怕。
  • Those clouds have the semblance of a large head.那些云的形状像一个巨大的人头。
21 frayed 1e0e4bcd33b0ae94b871e5e62db77425     
adj.磨损的v.(使布、绳等)磨损,磨破( fray的过去式和过去分词 )
  • His shirt was frayed. 他的衬衫穿破了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The argument frayed their nerves. 争辩使他们不快。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
22 gnawed 85643b5b73cc74a08138f4534f41cef1     
咬( gnaw的过去式和过去分词 ); (长时间) 折磨某人; (使)苦恼; (长时间)危害某事物
  • His attitude towards her gnawed away at her confidence. 他对她的态度一直在削弱她的自尊心。
  • The root of this dead tree has been gnawed away by ants. 这棵死树根被蚂蚁唼了。
23 converse 7ZwyI     
  • He can converse in three languages.他可以用3种语言谈话。
  • I wanted to appear friendly and approachable but I think I gave the converse impression.我想显得友好、平易近人些,却发觉给人的印象恰恰相反。
24 drizzling 8f6f5e23378bc3f31c8df87ea9439592     
下蒙蒙细雨,下毛毛雨( drizzle的现在分词 )
  • The rain has almost stopped, it's just drizzling now. 雨几乎停了,现在只是在下毛毛雨。
  • It was drizzling, and miserably cold and damp. 外面下着毛毛细雨,天气又冷又湿,令人难受。
25 gravel s6hyT     
  • We bought six bags of gravel for the garden path.我们购买了六袋碎石用来铺花园的小路。
  • More gravel is needed to fill the hollow in the drive.需要更多的砾石来填平车道上的坑洼。


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