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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Young Peggy McQueen » CHAPTER IV. So Ends the Play.
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CHAPTER IV. So Ends the Play.

THE curtain rises next on the interior of the witch’s hut in the darkest woodland depths. The witch (who is none other than old Molly herself, with a few more wrinkles, put in with kohl, and bushy eyebrows1, beneath which fierce, cruel eyes glare like those of the basilisk. N.B.—I have never seen a basilisk, but I am told its eyes do shine fearfully and ferociously2!) the witch has snakes around her arms that raise their heads now and then to hiss3 vengefully. They do so now as the Forest Maiden4 enters, hand in hand with Adolphus, and followed by the blood-hound. The witch raises her head also—she has been spinning—and smooths back her elfin locks. The young lovers play their parts well, Leely looking timid and sweet, Adolphus bold and handsome.
“What wouldst thou with me, young sir?”
“I would, mother, have my fortune told me, and that of this fair maiden by my side.”
There is a sort of pandemonium5 scene here{46}—thunder, blue lightning, red fire, a terrible smell of burning brimstone, and, in one corner of the hut, half-hidden by smoke, is a black demon6 with red ochre eyes, long forked tail, and all the rest of it. I have strong reason to believe that the demon in this scene is none other than the dear little dwarf7, Willie Randolph.
But the witch reads the girl’s fortune well enough, apparently8. Leely would be captured by a fearful giant who dwelt far off in a mountain recess9, and borne away to his castle. This monster lived upon the flesh of human beings, and that alone. The flesh of men and women was his ordinary or daily food, but his special treat was that of a maiden young and fair, whom he first tortured to make her tender, and afterwards slew10.
It is just at this part of the witch’s hideous11 story that a louder clap of thunder than any which had yet been heard rolled forth12, a gleam of red light is noticed at the back of the stage, with a great cloud of smoke which presently cleared away to reveal the head and chest of the giant himself, flaming eyes, and teeth as large as tenpenny nails.
In the next two acts, adventure follows adventure thick and fast, boar-hunting,{47} and battles between gipsies and the forest rangers13, smuggling14 raids, everything, indeed, calculated to create a sensation, the whole mingled15 and mixed with pretty little love scenes at Leely’s cottage door.
The fifth act opens with a view of the giant’s donjon keep, and there, lo, and behold16! Leely is to be seen tied up by the hair of the head. There are other maidens17 there also, but they appear to be dead.
Giant and demon enter and pinch the Forest Maiden’s arms, to see if she is yet tender enough for the table. The other dead figures are probably dummies18, but Leely is life-like and natural.
But even now a horn is heard outside the castle walls. Exit the demon, coming back almost immediately to tell the terrible giant that his castle is surrounded, and that he is called upon to surrender.
He seizes a knife, and is apparently about to plunge19 it into Leely’s breast when the demon interferes20. A curtain is dropped and the scene is changed. The stage seems very much enlarged somehow, and well it need be, for here is the whole strength of the company engaged in deadly combat, to say nothing of hired supernumeraries.{48}
The giant lays about him with his club, and a man falls at every blow. The witch herself is here, there, and everywhere, offering incantations; there are thunderings and lightnings, and the excitement of the audience is wound up to the highest pitch. It culminates21 in a wild burst of applause, when an archer22 in buff and green fires an arrow which pierces the giant’s heart, and brings him to the ground with a thud which shakes the stage. Meanwhile the fierce blood-hound has seized the demon, and carried him shrieking23 into the forest. Adolphus steps as lightly as a bantam on to the giant’s chest, and, drawing his sword, cuts off his head. When he advances to the front of the stage with the dripping head in his hand, he receives the greatest ovation24 of this exciting evening.
Well, the curtain drops at last on the happy meeting of Leely and Adolphus, who rush into each other’s arms; while the witch, with her crutch25 held over their heads, seems to be blessing26 both, though what the precise value of a witch’s blessing is I have yet to learn.
The heroes are called before the curtain. The giant is hissed27, and smiles a ten-inch smile. The hound is cheered, and so is even{49} with the demon, but when Adolphus leads the charming Leely out, the shouting is deafening28, and the pretty actress is almost smothered29 with garlands and bouquets30 of forest flowers.
So ends the play.
But not the evening, for the giant afterwards goes through some wonderful performance with the dwarf. And Johnnie, the youthful athlete, gives ample evidence of his prowess in swinging dumb-bells and Indian clubs, all to suitable music. He even lifts the giant off the stage with one hand, while Willie stands on his shoulder.
“But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed!
Or like the snowfall in the river,
A moment white—then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place.”
The time is up; the end has come; the curtain drops and the band plays “God Save the King!{50}”


1 eyebrows a0e6fb1330e9cfecfd1c7a4d00030ed5     
眉毛( eyebrow的名词复数 )
  • Eyebrows stop sweat from coming down into the eyes. 眉毛挡住汗水使其不能流进眼睛。
  • His eyebrows project noticeably. 他的眉毛特别突出。
2 ferociously e84ae4b9f07eeb9fbd44e3c2c7b272c5     
  • The buck shook his antlers ferociously. 那雄鹿猛烈地摇动他的鹿角。
  • At intervals, he gritted his teeth ferociously. 他不时狠狠的轧平。
3 hiss 2yJy9     
  • We can hear the hiss of air escaping from a tire.我们能听到一只轮胎的嘶嘶漏气声。
  • Don't hiss at the speaker.不要嘘演讲人。
4 maiden yRpz7     
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
5 pandemonium gKFxI     
  • The whole lobby was a perfect pandemonium,and the din was terrific.整个门厅一片嘈杂,而且喧嚣刺耳。
  • I had found Adlai unperturbed in the midst of pandemonium.我觉得艾德莱在一片大混乱中仍然镇定自若。
6 demon Wmdyj     
  • The demon of greed ruined the miser's happiness.贪得无厌的恶习毁掉了那个守财奴的幸福。
  • He has been possessed by the demon of disease for years.他多年来病魔缠身。
7 dwarf EkjzH     
  • The dwarf's long arms were not proportional to his height.那侏儒的长臂与他的身高不成比例。
  • The dwarf shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. 矮子耸耸肩膀,摇摇头。
8 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。
9 recess pAxzC     
  • The chairman of the meeting announced a ten-minute recess.会议主席宣布休会10分钟。
  • Parliament was hastily recalled from recess.休会的议员被匆匆召回开会。
10 slew 8TMz0     
  • He slewed the car against the side of the building.他的车滑到了大楼的一侧,抵住了。
  • They dealt with a slew of other issues.他们处理了大量的其他问题。
11 hideous 65KyC     
  • The whole experience had been like some hideous nightmare.整个经历就像一场可怕的噩梦。
  • They're not like dogs,they're hideous brutes.它们不像狗,是丑陋的畜牲。
12 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。
13 rangers f306109e6f069bca5191deb9b03359e2     
护林者( ranger的名词复数 ); 突击队员
  • Do you know where the Rangers Stadium is? 你知道Rangers体育场在哪吗? 来自超越目标英语 第3册
  • Now I'm a Rangers' fan, so I like to be near the stadium. 现在我是Rangers的爱好者,所以我想离体育场近一点。 来自超越目标英语 第3册
14 smuggling xx8wQ     
  • Some claimed that the docker's union fronted for the smuggling ring.某些人声称码头工人工会是走私集团的掩护所。
  • The evidence pointed to the existence of an international smuggling network.证据表明很可能有一个国际走私网络存在。
15 mingled fdf34efd22095ed7e00f43ccc823abdf     
混合,混入( mingle的过去式和过去分词 ); 混进,与…交往[联系]
  • The sounds of laughter and singing mingled in the evening air. 笑声和歌声交织在夜空中。
  • The man and the woman mingled as everyone started to relax. 当大家开始放松的时候,这一男一女就开始交往了。
16 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。
17 maidens 85662561d697ae675e1f32743af22a69     
处女( maiden的名词复数 ); 少女; 未婚女子; (板球运动)未得分的一轮投球
  • stories of knights and fair maidens 关于骑士和美女的故事
  • Transplantation is not always successful in the matter of flowers or maidens. 花儿移栽往往并不成功,少女们换了环境也是如此。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
18 dummies e634eb20db508e3a31b61481a251bf93     
n.仿制品( dummy的名词复数 );橡皮奶头;笨蛋;假传球
  • If he dummies up, just try a little persuasion. 如果他不说话,稍微劝劝他就是了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • All the articles in the window are dummies. 橱窗里的全部物品都是仿制品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 plunge 228zO     
  • Test pool's water temperature before you plunge in.在你跳入之前你应该测试水温。
  • That would plunge them in the broil of the two countries.那将会使他们陷入这两国的争斗之中。
20 interferes ab8163b252fe52454ada963fa857f890     
vi. 妨碍,冲突,干涉
  • The noise interferes with my work. 这噪音妨碍我的工作。
  • That interferes with my plan. 那干扰了我的计划。
21 culminates 1e079cac199f50d1f246c67891eef29e     
v.达到极点( culminate的第三人称单数 )
  • Each civilization is born, it culminates, and it decay. 各种文明都要历经诞生,鼎盛和衰落。 来自《用法词典》
  • The tower culminates in a 40-foot spire. 这塔的顶端是一个40英尺高的塔尖。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
22 archer KVxzP     
  • The archer strung his bow and aimed an arrow at the target.弓箭手拉紧弓弦将箭瞄准靶子。
  • The archer's shot was a perfect bull's-eye.射手的那一箭正中靶心。
23 shrieking abc59c5a22d7db02751db32b27b25dbb     
v.尖叫( shriek的现在分词 )
  • The boxers were goaded on by the shrieking crowd. 拳击运动员听见观众的喊叫就来劲儿了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They were all shrieking with laughter. 他们都发出了尖锐的笑声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
24 ovation JJkxP     
  • The hero received a great ovation from the crowd. 那位英雄受到人群的热烈欢迎。
  • The show won a standing ovation. 这场演出赢得全场起立鼓掌。
25 crutch Lnvzt     
  • Her religion was a crutch to her when John died.约翰死后,她在精神上依靠宗教信仰支撑住自己。
  • He uses his wife as a kind of crutch because of his lack of confidence.他缺乏自信心,总把妻子当作主心骨。
26 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。
27 hissed 2299e1729bbc7f56fc2559e409d6e8a7     
发嘶嘶声( hiss的过去式和过去分词 ); 发嘘声表示反对
  • Have you ever been hissed at in the middle of a speech? 你在演讲中有没有被嘘过?
  • The iron hissed as it pressed the wet cloth. 熨斗压在湿布上时发出了嘶嘶声。
28 deafening deafening     
adj. 振耳欲聋的, 极喧闹的 动词deafen的现在分词形式
  • The noise of the siren was deafening her. 汽笛声震得她耳朵都快聋了。
  • The noise of the machine was deafening. 机器的轰鸣声震耳欲聋。
29 smothered b9bebf478c8f7045d977e80734a8ed1d     
(使)窒息, (使)透不过气( smother的过去式和过去分词 ); 覆盖; 忍住; 抑制
  • He smothered the baby with a pillow. 他用枕头把婴儿闷死了。
  • The fire is smothered by ashes. 火被灰闷熄了。
30 bouquets 81022f355e60321845cbfc3c8963628f     
n.花束( bouquet的名词复数 );(酒的)芳香
  • The welcoming crowd waved their bouquets. 欢迎的群众摇动着花束。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • As the hero stepped off the platform, he was surrounded by several children with bouquets. 当英雄走下讲台时,已被几名手持花束的儿童围住了。 来自《简明英汉词典》


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