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首页 » 英文励志小说 » A Sicilian Romance » CHAPTER II
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 'When the marquis married Maria de Vellorno, which was about this period, he designed to quit Mazzini for Naples. His son was to accompany him, but it was his intention to leave you, who were both very young, to the care of some person qualified1 to superintend your education. My circumstances rendered the office acceptable, and my former friendship for your mother made the duty pleasing to me. The marquis was, I believe, glad to be spared the trouble of searching further for what he had hitherto found it difficult to obtain—a person whom inclination2 as well as duty would bind3 to his interest.'
Madame ceased to speak, and Emilia and Julia wept to the memory of the mother, whose misfortunes this story recorded. The sufferings of madame, together with her former friendship for the late marchioness, endeared her to her pupils, who from this period endeavoured by every kind and delicate attention to obliterate4 the traces of her sorrows. Madame was sensible of this tenderness, and it was productive in some degree of the effect desired. But a subject soon after occurred, which drew off their minds from the consideration of their mother's fate to a subject more wonderful and equally interesting.
One night that Emilia and Julia had been detained by company, in ceremonial restraint, later than usual, they were induced, by the easy conversation of madame, and by the pleasure which a return to liberty naturally produces, to defer5 the hour of repose6 till the night was far advanced. They were engaged in interesting discourse7, when madame, who was then speaking, was interrupted by a low hollow sound, which arose from beneath the apartment, and seemed like the closing of a door. Chilled into a silence, they listened and distinctly heard it repeated. Deadly ideas crowded upon their imaginations, and inspired a terror which scarcely allowed them to breathe. The noise lasted only for a moment, and a profound silence soon ensued. Their feelings at length relaxed, and suffered them to move to Emilia's apartment, when again they heard the same sounds. Almost distracted with fear, they rushed into madame's apartment, where Emilia sunk upon the bed and fainted. It was a considerable time ere the efforts of madame recalled her to sensation. When they were again tranquil8, she employed all her endeavours to compose the spirits of the young ladies, and dissuade9 them from alarming the castle. Involved in dark and fearful doubts, she yet commanded her feelings, and endeavoured to assume an appearance of composure. The late behaviour of the marquis had convinced her that he was nearly connected with the mystery which hung over this part of the edifice10; and she dreaded11 to excite his resentment12 by a further mention of alarms, which were perhaps only ideal, and whose reality she had certainly no means of proving.
Influenced by these considerations, she endeavoured to prevail on Emilia and Julia to await in silence some confirmation13 of their surmises14; but their terror made this a very difficult task. They acquiesced15, however, so far with her wishes, as to agree to conceal16 the preceding circumstances from every person but their brother, without whose protecting presence they declared it utterly17 impossible to pass another night in the apartments. For the remainder of this night they resolved to watch. To beguile18 the tediousness of the time they endeavoured to converse19, but the minds of Emilia and Julia were too much affected20 by the late occurrence to wander from the subject. They compared this with the foregoing circumstance of the figure and the light which had appeared; their imaginations kindled21 wild conjectures22, and they submitted their opinions to madame, entreating23 her to inform them sincerely, whether she believed that disembodied spirits were ever permitted to visit this earth.
'My children,' said she, 'I will not attempt to persuade you that the existence of such spirits is impossible. Who shall say that any thing is impossible to God? We know that he has made us, who are embodied24 spirits; he, therefore, can make unembodied spirits. If we cannot understand how such spirits exist, we should consider the limited powers of our minds, and that we cannot understand many things which are indisputably true. No one yet knows why the magnetic needle points to the north; yet you, who have never seen a magnet, do not hesitate to believe that it has this tendency, because you have been well assured of it, both from books and in conversation. Since, therefore, we are sure that nothing is impossible to God, and that such beings may exist, though we cannot tell how, we ought to consider by what evidence their existence is supported. I do not say that spirits have appeared; but if several discreet25 unprejudiced persons were to assure me that they had seen one, I should not be proud or bold enough to reply—'it is impossible.' Let not, however, such considerations disturb your minds. I have said thus much, because I was unwilling26 to impose upon your understandings; it is now your part to exercise your reason, and preserve the unmoved confidence of virtue27. Such spirits, if indeed they have ever been seen, can have appeared only by the express permission of God, and for some very singular purposes; be assured that there are no beings who act unseen by him; and that, therefore, there are none from whom innocence28 can ever suffer harm.'
No further sounds disturbed them for that time; and before the morning dawned, weariness insensibly overcame apprehension29, and sunk them in repose.
When Ferdinand learned the circumstances relative to the southern side of the castle, his imagination seized with avidity each appearance of mystery, and inspired him with an irresistible30 desire to penetrate31 the secrets of his desolate32 part of the fabric33. He very readily consented to watch with his sisters in Julia's apartment; but as his chamber34 was in a remote part of the castle, there would be some difficulty in passing unobserved to her's. It was agreed, however, that when all was hushed, he should make the attempt. Having thus resolved, Emilia and Julia waited the return of night with restless and fearful impatience35.
At length the family retired36 to rest. The castle clock had struck one, and Julia began to fear that Ferdinand had been discovered, when a knocking was heard at the door of the outer chamber.
Her heart beat with apprehensions37, which reason could not justify38. Madame rose, and enquiring39 who was there, was answered by the voice of Ferdinand. The door was cheerfully opened. They drew their chairs round him, and endeavoured to pass the time in conversation; but fear and expectation attracted all their thoughts to one subject, and madame alone preserved her composure. The hour was now come when the sounds had been heard the preceding night, and every ear was given to attention. All, however, remained quiet, and the night passed without any new alarm.


1 qualified DCPyj     
  • He is qualified as a complete man of letters.他有资格当真正的文学家。
  • We must note that we still lack qualified specialists.我们必须看到我们还缺乏有资质的专家。
2 inclination Gkwyj     
  • She greeted us with a slight inclination of the head.她微微点头向我们致意。
  • I did not feel the slightest inclination to hurry.我没有丝毫着急的意思。
3 bind Vt8zi     
  • I will let the waiter bind up the parcel for you.我让服务生帮你把包裹包起来。
  • He wants a shirt that does not bind him.他要一件不使他觉得过紧的衬衫。
4 obliterate 35QzF     
  • Whole villages were obliterated by fire.整座整座的村庄都被大火所吞噬。
  • There was time enough to obliterate memories of how things once were for him.时间足以抹去他对过去经历的记忆。
5 defer KnYzZ     
  • We wish to defer our decision until next week.我们希望推迟到下星期再作出决定。
  • We will defer to whatever the committee decides.我们遵从委员会作出的任何决定。
6 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。
7 discourse 2lGz0     
  • We'll discourse on the subject tonight.我们今晚要谈论这个问题。
  • He fell into discourse with the customers who were drinking at the counter.他和站在柜台旁的酒客谈了起来。
8 tranquil UJGz0     
adj. 安静的, 宁静的, 稳定的, 不变的
  • The boy disturbed the tranquil surface of the pond with a stick. 那男孩用棍子打破了平静的池面。
  • The tranquil beauty of the village scenery is unique. 这乡村景色的宁静是绝无仅有的。
9 dissuade ksPxy     
  • You'd better dissuade him from doing that.你最好劝阻他别那样干。
  • I tried to dissuade her from investing her money in stocks and shares.我曾设法劝她不要投资于股票交易。
10 edifice kqgxv     
  • The American consulate was a magnificent edifice in the centre of Bordeaux.美国领事馆是位于波尔多市中心的一座宏伟的大厦。
  • There is a huge Victorian edifice in the area.该地区有一幢维多利亚式的庞大建筑物。
11 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
12 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。
13 confirmation ZYMya     
  • We are waiting for confirmation of the news.我们正在等待证实那个消息。
  • We need confirmation in writing before we can send your order out.给你们发送订购的货物之前,我们需要书面确认。
14 surmises 0de4d975cd99d9759cc345e7fb0890b6     
v.臆测,推断( surmise的第三人称单数 );揣测;猜想
  • The detective is completely correct in his surmises. 这个侦探所推测的完全正确。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • As the reader probably surmises, a variety of interest tables exists. 正如读者可能推测的那样,存在着各种各样的利息表。 来自辞典例句
15 acquiesced 03acb9bc789f7d2955424223e0a45f1b     
v.默认,默许( acquiesce的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Senior government figures must have acquiesced in the cover-up. 政府高级官员必然已经默许掩盖真相。
  • After a lot of persuasion,he finally acquiesced. 经过多次劝说,他最终默许了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 conceal DpYzt     
  • He had to conceal his identity to escape the police.为了躲避警方,他只好隐瞒身份。
  • He could hardly conceal his joy at his departure.他几乎掩饰不住临行时的喜悦。
17 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。
18 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。
19 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。
20 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
21 kindled d35b7382b991feaaaa3e8ddbbcca9c46     
(使某物)燃烧,着火( kindle的过去式和过去分词 ); 激起(感情等); 发亮,放光
  • We watched as the fire slowly kindled. 我们看着火慢慢地燃烧起来。
  • The teacher's praise kindled a spark of hope inside her. 老师的赞扬激起了她内心的希望。
22 conjectures 8334e6a27f5847550b061d064fa92c00     
推测,猜想( conjecture的名词复数 )
  • That's weighing remote military conjectures against the certain deaths of innocent people. 那不过是牵强附会的军事假设,而现在的事实却是无辜者正在惨遭杀害,这怎能同日而语!
  • I was right in my conjectures. 我所猜测的都应验了。
23 entreating 8c1a0bd5109c6bc77bc8e612f8bff4a0     
恳求,乞求( entreat的现在分词 )
  • We have not bound your feet with our entreating arms. 我们不曾用恳求的手臂来抱住你的双足。
  • The evening has come. Weariness clings round me like the arms of entreating love. 夜来到了,困乏像爱的恳求用双臂围抱住我。
24 embodied 12aaccf12ed540b26a8c02d23d463865     
v.表现( embody的过去式和过去分词 );象征;包括;包含
  • a politician who embodied the hopes of black youth 代表黑人青年希望的政治家
  • The heroic deeds of him embodied the glorious tradition of the troops. 他的英雄事迹体现了军队的光荣传统。 来自《简明英汉词典》
25 discreet xZezn     
  • He is very discreet in giving his opinions.发表意见他十分慎重。
  • It wasn't discreet of you to ring me up at the office.你打电话到我办公室真是太鲁莽了。
26 unwilling CjpwB     
  • The natives were unwilling to be bent by colonial power.土著居民不愿受殖民势力的摆布。
  • His tightfisted employer was unwilling to give him a raise.他那吝啬的雇主不肯给他加薪。
27 virtue BpqyH     
  • He was considered to be a paragon of virtue.他被认为是品德尽善尽美的典范。
  • You need to decorate your mind with virtue.你应该用德行美化心灵。
28 innocence ZbizC     
  • There was a touching air of innocence about the boy.这个男孩有一种令人感动的天真神情。
  • The accused man proved his innocence of the crime.被告人经证实无罪。
29 apprehension bNayw     
  • There were still areas of doubt and her apprehension grew.有些地方仍然存疑,于是她越来越担心。
  • She is a girl of weak apprehension.她是一个理解力很差的女孩。
30 irresistible n4CxX     
  • The wheel of history rolls forward with an irresistible force.历史车轮滚滚向前,势不可挡。
  • She saw an irresistible skirt in the store window.她看见商店的橱窗里有一条叫人着迷的裙子。
31 penetrate juSyv     
  • Western ideas penetrate slowly through the East.西方观念逐渐传入东方。
  • The sunshine could not penetrate where the trees were thickest.阳光不能透入树木最浓密的地方。
32 desolate vmizO     
  • The city was burned into a desolate waste.那座城市被烧成一片废墟。
  • We all felt absolutely desolate when she left.她走后,我们都觉得万分孤寂。
33 fabric 3hezG     
  • The fabric will spot easily.这种织品很容易玷污。
  • I don't like the pattern on the fabric.我不喜欢那块布料上的图案。
34 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。
35 impatience OaOxC     
  • He expressed impatience at the slow rate of progress.进展缓慢,他显得不耐烦。
  • He gave a stamp of impatience.他不耐烦地跺脚。
36 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。
37 apprehensions 86177204327b157a6d884cdb536098d8     
  • He stood in a mixture of desire and apprehensions. 他怀着渴望和恐惧交加的心情伫立着。
  • But subsequent cases have removed many of these apprehensions. 然而,随后的案例又消除了许多类似的忧虑。
38 justify j3DxR     
  • He tried to justify his absence with lame excuses.他想用站不住脚的借口为自己的缺席辩解。
  • Can you justify your rude behavior to me?你能向我证明你的粗野行为是有道理的吗?
39 enquiring 605565cef5dc23091500c2da0cf3eb71     
  • a child with an enquiring mind 有好奇心的孩子
  • Paul darted at her sharp enquiring glances. 她的目光敏锐好奇,保罗飞快地朝她瞥了一眼。


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