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Chapter 26
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William's desire of seeing Fanny dance made more than a momentary1 impression on his uncle. The hope of an opportunity, which Sir Thomas had then given, was not given to be thought of no more. He remained steadily2 inclined to gratify so amiable3 a feeling; to gratify anybody else who might wish to see Fanny dance, and to give pleasure to the young people in general; and having thought the matter over, and taken his resolution in quiet independence, the result of it appeared the next morning at breakfast, when, after recalling and commending what his nephew had said, he added, "I do not like, William, that you should leave Northamptonshire without this indulgence. It would give me pleasure to see you both dance. You spoke4 of the balls at Northampton. Your cousins have occasionally attended them; but they would not altogether suit us now. The fatigue5 would be too much for your aunt. I believe we must not think of a Northampton ball. A dance at home would be more eligible6; and if--"

"Ah, my dear Sir Thomas!" interrupted Mrs. Norris, "I knew what was coming. I knew what you were going to say. If dear Julia were at home, or dearest Mrs. Rushworth at Sotherton, to afford a reason, an occasion for such a thing, you would be tempted7 to give the young people a dance at Mansfield. I know you would. If _they_ were at home to grace the ball, a ball you would have this very Christmas. Thank your uncle, William, thank your uncle!"

"My daughters," replied Sir Thomas, gravely interposing, "have their pleasures at Brighton, and I hope are very happy; but the dance which I think of giving at Mansfield will be for their cousins. Could we be all assembled, our satisfaction would undoubtedly8 be more complete, but the absence of some is not to debar the others of amusement."

Mrs. Norris had not another word to say. She saw decision in his looks, and her surprise and vexation required some minutes' silence to be settled into composure. A ball at such a time! His daughters absent and herself not consulted! There was comfort, however, soon at hand. _She_ must be the doer of everything: Lady Bertram would of course be spared all thought and exertion9, and it would all fall upon _her_. She should have to do the honours of the evening; and this reflection quickly restored so much of her good-humour as enabled her to join in with the others, before their happiness and thanks were all expressed.

Edmund, William, and Fanny did, in their different ways, look and speak as much grateful pleasure in the promised ball as Sir Thomas could desire. Edmund's feelings were for the other two. His father had never conferred a favour or shewn a kindness more to his satisfaction.

Lady Bertram was perfectly10 quiescent11 and contented12, and had no objections to make. Sir Thomas engaged for its giving her very little trouble; and she assured him "that she was not at all afraid of the trouble; indeed, she could not imagine there would be any."

Mrs. Norris was ready with her suggestions as to the rooms he would think fittest to be used, but found it all prearranged; and when she would have conjectured13 and hinted about the day, it appeared that the day was settled too. Sir Thomas had been amusing himself with shaping a very complete outline of the business; and as soon as she would listen quietly, could read his list of the families to be invited, from whom he calculated, with all necessary allowance for the shortness of the notice, to collect young people enough to form twelve or fourteen couple: and could detail the considerations which had induced him to fix on the 22nd as the most eligible day. William was required to be at Portsmouth on the 24th; the 22nd would therefore be the last day of his visit; but where the days were so few it would be unwise to fix on any earlier. Mrs. Norris was obliged to be satisfied with thinking just the same, and with having been on the point of proposing the 22nd herself, as by far the best day for the purpose.

The ball was now a settled thing, and before the evening a proclaimed thing to all whom it concerned. Invitations were sent with despatch14, and many a young lady went to bed that night with her head full of happy cares as well as Fanny. To her the cares were sometimes almost beyond the happiness; for young and inexperienced, with small means of choice and no confidence in her own taste, the "how she should be dressed" was a point of painful solicitude15; and the almost solitary16 ornament17 in her possession, a very pretty amber18 cross which William had brought her from Sicily, was the greatest distress19 of all, for she had nothing but a bit of ribbon to fasten it to; and though she had worn it in that manner once, would it be allowable at such a time in the midst of all the rich ornaments20 which she supposed all the other young ladies would appear in? And yet not to wear it! William had wanted to buy her a gold chain too, but the purchase had been beyond his means, and therefore not to wear the cross might be mortifying21 him. These were anxious considerations; enough to sober her spirits even under the prospect22 of a ball given principally for her gratification.

The preparations meanwhile went on, and Lady Bertram continued to sit on her sofa without any inconvenience from them. She had some extra visits from the housekeeper23, and her maid was rather hurried in making up a new dress for her: Sir Thomas gave orders, and Mrs. Norris ran about; but all this gave _her_ no trouble, and as she had foreseen, "there was, in fact, no trouble in the business."

Edmund was at this time particularly full of cares: his mind being deeply occupied in the consideration of two important events now at hand, which were to fix his fate in life--ordination24 and matrimony--events of such a serious character as to make the ball, which would be very quickly followed by one of them, appear of less moment in his eyes than in those of any other person in the house. On the 23rd he was going to a friend near Peterborough, in the same situation as himself, and they were to receive ordination in the course of the Christmas week. Half his destiny would then be determined25, but the other half might not be so very smoothly26 wooed. His duties would be established, but the wife who was to share, and animate27, and reward those duties, might yet be unattainable. He knew his own mind, but he was not always perfectly assured of knowing Miss Crawford's. There were points on which they did not quite agree; there were moments in which she did not seem propitious28; and though trusting altogether to her affection, so far as to be resolved--almost resolved-- on bringing it to a decision within a very short time, as soon as the variety of business before him were arranged, and he knew what he had to offer her, he had many anxious feelings, many doubting hours as to the result. His conviction of her regard for him was sometimes very strong; he could look back on a long course of encouragement, and she was as perfect in disinterested29 attachment30 as in everything else. But at other times doubt and alarm intermingled with his hopes; and when he thought of her acknowledged disinclination for privacy and retirement31, her decided32 preference of a London life, what could he expect but a determined rejection33? unless it were an acceptance even more to be deprecated, demanding such sacrifices of situation and employment on his side as conscience must forbid.

The issue of all depended on one question. Did she love him well enough to forego what had used to be essential points? Did she love him well enough to make them no longer essential? And this question, which he was continually repeating to himself, though oftenest answered with a "Yes," had sometimes its "No."

Miss Crawford was soon to leave Mansfield, and on this circumstance the "no" and the "yes" had been very recently in alternation. He had seen her eyes sparkle as she spoke of the dear friend's letter, which claimed a long visit from her in London, and of the kindness of Henry, in engaging to remain where he was till January, that he might convey her thither34; he had heard her speak of the pleasure of such a journey with an animation35 which had "no" in every tone. But this had occurred on the first day of its being settled, within the first hour of the burst of such enjoyment36, when nothing but the friends she was to visit was before her. He had since heard her express herself differently, with other feelings, more chequered feelings: he had heard her tell Mrs. Grant that she should leave her with regret; that she began to believe neither the friends nor the pleasures she was going to were worth those she left behind; and that though she felt she must go, and knew she should enjoy herself when once away, she was already looking forward to being at Mansfield again. Was there not a "yes" in all this?

With such matters to ponder over, and arrange, and re-arrange, Edmund could not, on his own account, think very much of the evening which the rest of the family were looking forward to with a more equal degree of strong interest. Independent of his two cousins' enjoyment in it, the evening was to him of no higher value than any other appointed meeting of the two families might be. In every meeting there was a hope of receiving farther confirmation37 of Miss Crawford's attachment; but the whirl of a ballroom38, perhaps, was not particularly favourable39 to the excitement or expression of serious feelings. To engage her early for the two first dances was all the command of individual happiness which he felt in his power, and the only preparation for the ball which he could enter into, in spite of all that was passing around him on the subject, from morning till night.

Thursday was the day of the ball; and on Wednesday morning Fanny, still unable to satisfy herself as to what she ought to wear, determined to seek the counsel of the more enlightened, and apply to Mrs. Grant and her sister, whose acknowledged taste would certainly bear her blameless; and as Edmund and William were gone to Northampton, and she had reason to think Mr. Crawford likewise out, she walked down to the Parsonage without much fear of wanting an opportunity for private discussion; and the privacy of such a discussion was a most important part of it to Fanny, being more than half-ashamed of her own solicitude.

She met Miss Crawford within a few yards of the Parsonage, just setting out to call on her, and as it seemed to her that her friend, though obliged to insist on turning back, was unwilling40 to lose her walk, she explained her business at once, and observed, that if she would be so kind as to give her opinion, it might be all talked over as well without doors as within. Miss Crawford appeared gratified by the application, and after a moment's thought, urged Fanny's returning with her in a much more cordial manner than before, and proposed their going up into her room, where they might have a comfortable coze, without disturbing Dr. and Mrs. Grant, who were together in the drawing-room. It was just the plan to suit Fanny; and with a great deal of gratitude41 on her side for such ready and kind attention, they proceeded indoors, and upstairs, and were soon deep in the interesting subject. Miss Crawford, pleased with the appeal, gave her all her best judgment42 and taste, made everything easy by her suggestions, and tried to make everything agreeable by her encouragement. The dress being settled in all its grander parts-- "But what shall you have by way of necklace?" said Miss Crawford. "Shall not you wear your brother's cross?" And as she spoke she was undoing43 a small parcel, which Fanny had observed in her hand when they met. Fanny acknowledged her wishes and doubts on this point: she did not know how either to wear the cross, or to refrain from wearing it. She was answered by having a small trinket-box placed before her, and being requested to chuse from among several gold chains and necklaces. Such had been the parcel with which Miss Crawford was provided, and such the object of her intended visit: and in the kindest manner she now urged Fanny's taking one for the cross and to keep for her sake, saying everything she could think of to obviate44 the scruples45 which were making Fanny start back at first with a look of horror at the proposal.

"You see what a collection I have," said she; "more by half than I ever use or think of. I do not offer them as new. I offer nothing but an old necklace. You must forgive the liberty, and oblige me."

Fanny still resisted, and from her heart. The gift was too valuable. But Miss Crawford persevered46, and argued the case with so much affectionate earnestness through all the heads of William and the cross, and the ball, and herself, as to be finally successful. Fanny found herself obliged to yield, that she might not be accused of pride or indifference47, or some other littleness; and having with modest reluctance48 given her consent, proceeded to make the selection. She looked and looked, longing49 to know which might be least valuable; and was determined in her choice at last, by fancying there was one necklace more frequently placed before her eyes than the rest. It was of gold, prettily50 worked; and though Fanny would have preferred a longer and a plainer chain as more adapted for her purpose, she hoped, in fixing on this, to be chusing what Miss Crawford least wished to keep. Miss Crawford smiled her perfect approbation51; and hastened to complete the gift by putting the necklace round her, and making her see how well it looked. Fanny had not a word to say against its becomingness, and, excepting what remained of her scruples, was exceedingly pleased with an acquisition so very apropos52. She would rather, perhaps, have been obliged to some other person. But this was an unworthy feeling. Miss Crawford had anticipated her wants with a kindness which proved her a real friend. "When I wear this necklace I shall always think of you," said she, "and feel how very kind you were."

"You must think of somebody else too, when you wear that necklace," replied Miss Crawford. "You must think of Henry, for it was his choice in the first place. He gave it to me, and with the necklace I make over to you all the duty of remembering the original giver. It is to be a family remembrancer. The sister is not to be in your mind without bringing the brother too."

Fanny, in great astonishment53 and confusion, would have returned the present instantly. To take what had been the gift of another person, of a brother too, impossible! it must not be! and with an eagerness and embarrassment54 quite diverting to her companion, she laid down the necklace again on its cotton, and seemed resolved either to take another or none at all. Miss Crawford thought she had never seen a prettier consciousness. "My dear child," said she, laughing, "what are you afraid of? Do you think Henry will claim the necklace as mine, and fancy you did not come honestly by it? or are you imagining he would be too much flattered by seeing round your lovely throat an ornament which his money purchased three years ago, before he knew there was such a throat in the world? or perhaps"--looking archly-- "you suspect a confederacy between us, and that what I am now doing is with his knowledge and at his desire?"

With the deepest blushes Fanny protested against such a thought.

"Well, then," replied Miss Crawford more seriously, but without at all believing her, "to convince me that you suspect no trick, and are as unsuspicious of compliment as I have always found you, take the necklace and say no more about it. Its being a gift of my brother's need not make the smallest difference in your accepting it, as I assure you it makes none in my willingness to part with it. He is always giving me something or other. I have such innumerable presents from him that it is quite impossible for me to value or for him to remember half. And as for this necklace, I do not suppose I have worn it six times: it is very pretty, but I never think of it; and though you would be most heartily55 welcome to any other in my trinket-box, you have happened to fix on the very one which, if I have a choice, I would rather part with and see in your possession than any other. Say no more against it, I entreat56 you. Such a trifle is not worth half so many words."

Fanny dared not make any farther opposition57; and with renewed but less happy thanks accepted the necklace again, for there was an expression in Miss Crawford's eyes which she could not be satisfied with.

It was impossible for her to be insensible of Mr. Crawford's change of manners. She had long seen it. He evidently tried to please her: he was gallant58, he was attentive59, he was something like what he had been to her cousins: he wanted, she supposed, to cheat her of her tranquillity60 as he had cheated them; and whether he might not have some concern in this necklace--she could not be convinced that he had not, for Miss Crawford, complaisant61 as a sister, was careless as a woman and a friend.

Reflecting and doubting, and feeling that the possession of what she had so much wished for did not bring much satisfaction, she now walked home again, with a change rather than a diminution62 of cares since her treading that path before.

威廉想看范妮跳舞,姨父把这件事牢记在心。托马斯爵士答应要给他一个机会,并非说过就抛到脑后了。他打定主意要满足威廉对妹妹的这份亲切情意,满足想要看范妮跳舞的其他人的心愿,同时给所有年轻人一次娱乐的机会。他经过仔细考虑,暗自做了决定,第二天早晨吃早饭时,重又提起了外甥说的话,并加以赞赏,接着补充说:“威廉,我要让你在离开北安普敦郡之前参加这样一次活动。我很乐意看着你们俩跳舞。你上次提到北安普敦的舞会。你表哥表姐偶尔去参加过,不过那里的舞会现在并不完全适合我们,太累人了,你姨妈吃不消。依我看,我们不要去考虑北安普敦什么时候举行舞会,在家里开个舞会可能更合适。要是——”

“啊!亲爱的托马斯爵士,”诺里斯太太打断了他的话,“我知道下面会怎么样。我知道下面你要说什么。要是亲爱的朱莉娅在家,要是最亲爱的拉什沃思太太在索瑟顿,就为举行这样的活动提供了一个理由,你会想在曼斯菲尔德给年轻人开个舞会。我知道你会这样做的。要是她们俩能在家为舞会增色,你今年圣诞节就可以举行舞会。谢谢你姨父,威廉,谢谢你姨父。”

“我的女儿们,”托马斯爵士一本正经地插嘴道,“在布赖顿自有她们的娱乐活动,我想她们玩得非常快乐。我想在曼斯菲尔德举办的舞会是为她们的表弟表妹举办的。如果全家人都在,那肯定会高兴极了。不过,不能因为有的人不在家,就不让其他人组织娱乐活动。”

诺里斯太太没再说话。她从脸色上看出,托马斯爵士主意已定。她又惊奇又恼火,过了一会才平静下来。居然在这个时候举办舞会!他的女儿都不在家,事先也不征求她的意见!不过,她马上就感到欣慰了。一切必然由她操办。伯特伦夫人当然不会费心出力,事情会整个落在她身上。舞会将由她主持,一想到这里,她的心情立即大为好转,大家表示高兴和感谢的话还没说完,她便和大家一起有说有笑了。

埃德蒙、威廉和范妮听说要开舞会,正如托马斯爵士所希望的那样,在神情和言词中,都以不同的方式表现了自己的欣喜感激之情。埃德蒙是为那兄妹俩感激父亲。父亲以前给人帮忙或做好事,从来没有让他这样高兴过。

伯特伦夫人一动不动地坐着,感到十分满意,没有任何意见。托马斯爵士向她保证舞会不会给她增添什么麻烦,她则向丈夫保证说:她压根儿不怕麻烦,其实她也想象不出会有什么麻烦。

诺里斯太太欣欣然地正想建议用哪些房间举行舞会.却发现舞场早已安排妥当,她想在日期上发表个意见,看来舞会的日期也已经定好了。托马斯爵士饶有兴味地制订了一个周密的计划,一旦诺里斯太太能静下来听他说话,他便念了念准备邀请的家庭名单,考虑到通知发得比较晚,预计能请到十二或十四对年轻人,接着又陈述了他把日期定在二十二日的理由。威廉二十四日就得赶回朴次茅斯,因而二十二日是他来此探亲的最后一天。再说,鉴于时间已很仓促,又不宜于再往前提,诺里斯太太只得表示这正符合她的想法,她本来也打算建议定在二十二日,认为这一天合适极了。

举办舞会的事已完全说定了,黄昏未到,相关的人已个个皆知。请帖迅速发出了,不少年轻小姐像范妮一样,当晚就寝时心里乐滋滋地琢磨来琢磨去。范妮琢磨的事情有时几乎越出了快乐的范畴。她年纪轻,经历少,没有多少选择的余地,加上对自己的眼光又缺乏自信,“我该怎么打扮”也就成了一个伤脑筋的问题。威廉从西西里岛给她带回的一个十分漂亮的琥珀十字架,是她拥有的唯一的装饰品。正是这件装饰品给她带来了最大的苦恼,因为她没有别的东西来系这十字架,只有一条缎带。她以前曾经这样戴过一次,但是这一次其他小姐都会戴着贵重的装饰品,她还能那样戴着出现在她们中间吗?然而要是不戴呀!威廉原来还想给她买一根金项链,但钱不够没有买成。因此,她要是不戴这个十字架,那会伤他的心。这重重顾虑使她焦灼不安。尽管舞会主要是为她举办的,她也打不起精神。

舞会的准备工作正在进行,伯特伦夫人依然坐在沙发上,全都不用她操心。女管家多来了几趟,侍女在为她赶制新装。托马斯爵士下命令,诺里斯太太跑腿,这一切没给伯特伦夫人带来丝毫麻烦,像她预料的那样:“其实,这件事没什么麻烦的。”

埃德蒙这时候的心事特别多,满脑子都在考虑行将决定他一生命运的两件事——接受圣职和结婚——两件事都很重大,其中一件舞会过后就要来临,因此他不像家里其他人那样看重这场舞会。二十三日他要到彼得伯勒附近去找一个与他境况相同的朋友,准备在圣诞节那个星期一起去接受圣职。到那时,他的命运就决定了一半——另外一半却不一定能顺利解决。他的职责将确定下来,但是分担他的职责、给他的职责带来欢乐和奖赏的妻子,却可能还得不到。他清楚自己内心的想法,但是克劳福德小姐是怎么想的,他有时并没有把握。有些问题他们的看法不尽一致,有些时候她似乎不很合意。尽管他完全相信她的情意,决定(几乎决定)一旦眼前的种种事务安排妥当,一旦他知道有什么可以奉献给她,他便尽快做出决断,但他对后果如何常常忧虑重重,放心不下。有时候,他深信她有意于他。他能回想起她长期对他情意绵绵,而且像在其他方面一样,对他的情意完全不是出于金钱的考虑。但有的时候,他的希望当中又掺杂着疑虑和担心。他想起她曾明确表示不愿隐居乡下,而要生活在伦敦——这不是对他的断然拒绝又是什么?除非他做出自我牺牲,放弃他的职位和职业,她也许会接受他,但那越发使不得了,他的良心不允许他这样做。

这件事整个取决于一个问题。她是否十分爱他,甘愿放弃那些极为重要的条件——是否十分爱他,已经觉得那些条件不再那么重要了?他经常拿这个问题自问自答,虽然他的回答常常是肯定的,但有时也会是否定的。

克劳福德小姐很快就要离开曼斯菲尔德了,因此在最近,那肯定和否定的念头在交替出现。她收到了朋友的来信,请她到伦敦多住些日子,而亨利答应在这里住到元月,以便把她送到伦敦。她一说起朋友的这封信和亨利的这番厚意,两眼不禁闪烁着喜悦的光芒。她谈到伦敦之行的喜悦时,他从她兴奋的语调中听出了否定。不过,这只是在做出决定的第一天发生的,而且是在得到这可喜消息后的一个钟头之内,当时她心中只有她要去看望的朋友。自那以后,他听她说起话来不一样了,感情也有所不同——心里比较矛盾。他听她对格兰特太太说她舍不得离开她,还说她要去见的朋友、要去寻求的快乐,都赶不上她要告别的朋友、要舍弃的乐趣。尽管她非去不可,也知道去了后会过得很快活,但她已在盼望重返曼斯菲尔德。难道这里面没有肯定的成分吗?

由于有这样一些问题要考虑,要筹划来筹划去,埃德蒙也就无法像家里其他人那样兴致勃勃地期盼那个夜晚。在他看来,那个夜晚除了能给表弟表妹带来快乐之外,跟两家人的平常聚会比起来,也没有什么大不了的。往常每次聚会的时候,他都渴望克劳福德小姐进…步向他表白真情。但在熙熙攘攘的舞场上,也许不太利于她产生和表白这样的情感。他提前和她约定,要跟她跳头两曲舞,这是这次舞会所能给他个人带来的全部快乐,也是别人从早到晚都在为舞会忙碌的时候,他所做的唯一一点准备工作。

舞会在星期四举行。星期三早晨,范妮仍然拿不准她应该穿什么衣服,便决心去征求更有见识的人的意见,于是就去请教格兰特太太和她妹妹。大家公认这两个人富有见识,按照她们的意见去办,肯定万无一失。既然埃德蒙和威廉到北安普敦去了,她有理由猜想克劳福德先生也不会在家,于是便向牧师住宅走去,心想不会找不到机会和那姐妹俩私下商量。对于范妮来说,这次求教要在私下进行是非常重要的,因为她对自己这样操心打扮有点害羞。

她在离牧师住宅几米远的地方碰到了克劳福德小姐。克劳福德小姐正要去找她。范妮觉得,她的朋友虽然不得不执意要折回去,但并不乐意失去散步的机会。因此范妮立即道明来意,说对方如果愿意帮忙,给她出出主意,在户外说和在家里说都一样。克劳福德小姐听说向她求教,似乎感到很高兴,稍微想了想,便显出更加亲热的样子,请范妮跟她一起回去,并建议到楼上她的房里,安安静静地聊聊天,而不要打扰了待在客厅里的格兰特夫妇。这正合范妮的心思。她非常感激朋友的一片好意。她们走进房内,上了楼梯,不久就深入地谈起了正题。克劳福德小姐很乐于范妮向她求教,尽力把自己的见识传授给她,替她出主意,使样样事情都变容易了,一边又不断鼓励她,使样样事情都带上了快乐的色彩。服装的大问题已经解决了,“不过你戴什么项链呢?”克劳福德小姐问。“你戴不戴你哥哥送你的十字架?”她一边说一边解开一个小包,她们在门外相遇的时候,范妮就看见她手里拿着这个小包。范妮向她坦言了自己在这个问题上的心愿和疑虑,不知道是戴好还是不戴好。她得到的答复是,一个小小的首饰盒摆在了她面前,请她从儿条金链子和金项链中任选一条。这就是克劳福德小姐拿的那个小包里的东西,她要去看范妮也就是要把这些东西送给她挑选。现在,她极其亲切地恳求范妮挑一条配她的十字架,也好留做纪念,范妮一听吓了一跳,脸上露出惊恐的神色,她再三好言相劝,帮她打消顾虑。

“你看我有多少条,”克劳福德小姐说,“我连一半都用不上,平时也想不起来了。我又不是给你新买的,只不过送你一条旧项链。你要原谅我的冒失,给我点面子。”

范妮仍然拒不肯收,而且是从心坎里不想收。这礼物太贵重了。然而克劳福德小姐不肯作罢,情真意切地向她说明理由,叫她替威廉和那十字架着想,替舞会着想,也替她自己着想,终于把她说服了。范妮不得不从命,免得落个瞧不起人、不够朋友之类的罪名。她有些勉强地答应了她,开始挑选。她看了又看,想断定哪一条价钱最便宜。其中有一条她觉得她见到的次数多一些,最后便选择了这一条。这是条精致的金项链。虽说她觉得一条比较长的、没有特殊花样的金链子对她更合适,但她还是选择了这一条,认为这是克劳福德小姐最不想保留的。克劳福德小姐笑了笑表示十分赞许,赶忙来了个功戚愿满的举动,把项链戴在她脖子上,让她对着镜子看看多么合适。

范妮觉得戴在脖子上是很好看,能得到这样一件合适的装饰,不由得感到很高兴,不过心里的顾虑并未完全消除。她觉得这份人情若是欠了别的什么人,也许会好些。不过她不该这么想。克劳福德小姐待她这么好,事先考虑到了她的需要,证明是她的真正朋友。“我戴着这条项链的时候,时刻都会想着你,”她说,“记着你对我多么好。”

“你戴着这条项链的时候,还应该想起另外一个人,”克劳福德小姐回答道。“你应该想起亨利,因为这原是他买的。他给了我,我现在把它转赠给你,由你来记住这原来的赠链人吧。想到妹妹也要想到哥哥。”

范妮听了大为骇然,不知所措,想立即归还礼物。接受别人授之于人的礼物——而且是哥哥赠的——决不能这样做!绝对不行!她急急忙忙、慌慌张张地把项链又放回棉花垫上,似乎想要再换一条,或者一条也不要,让朋友觉得很有意思。克劳福德小姐心想,她还从没见过这么多虑的人。“亲爱的姑娘,”她笑着说道,“你怕什么呀?你以为亨利见了会说这条项链是我的,你用不正当的手段弄到手的吗?你以为亨利看到这条项链戴在这么漂亮的脖子上,会感到异常高兴吗?要知道,他还没看到这漂亮的脖子之前,那项链已买了三年了。或许——”露出调皮的神情,“你大概怀疑我们串通一气,他事前已经得知,而且是他授意我这么做的吧?”

范妮面红耳赤,连忙分辩说她没有这么想。

“那好,”克劳福德小姐认真起来了,但并不相信她的话,回答道,“为了证明你不怀疑我耍弄花招,像往常一样相信我一片好心,你就把项链拿去,什么话都不要再讲。告诉你吧,我不会因为这是我哥哥送给我的,我就不能再送给别人;同样,也不能因为这是我哥哥送给我的,我再送你的时候你就不能接受。他总是送我这个送我那个的。他送我的礼物不计其数.我不可能样样都当宝贝,他自己也大半都忘记了。至于这条项链,我想我戴了不到六次。这条项链是很漂亮,可我从没把它放在心上。虽然首饰盒里的链子和项链你挑哪一条我都欢迎之至,但说实话,你恰好挑了我最舍得送人,也最愿意让你挑去的一条。我求你什么也别说了。这么一件小事,不值得我们费这么多口舌。”

范妮不敢再推辞了,只好重新道谢,接受了项链。不过,她不像起初那么高兴了,因为克劳福德小姐眼里有一股神气,使她看了不悦。

克劳福德先生的态度变了,她不可能没有察觉。她早就看出来了。他显然想讨她的欢心,对她献殷勤,有点像过去对她的两个表姐那样。她猜想,他是想像耍弄她们那样耍弄她。他未必与这条项链没有关系吧!她不相信与他无关。克劳福德小姐虽然是个关心哥哥的妹妹,但却是个漫不经心的女人,不会体贴朋友。

范妮在回家的路上想来想去,满腹疑云,即便得到了自己朝思暮想的东西,心里也不觉得多么高兴。来时的重重忧虑现在并没有减少,只不过换了一种性质而已。


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 momentary hj3ya     
adj.片刻的,瞬息的;短暂的
参考例句:
  • We are in momentary expectation of the arrival of you.我们无时无刻不在盼望你的到来。
  • I caught a momentary glimpse of them.我瞥了他们一眼。
2 steadily Qukw6     
adv.稳定地;不变地;持续地
参考例句:
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
3 amiable hxAzZ     
adj.和蔼可亲的,友善的,亲切的
参考例句:
  • She was a very kind and amiable old woman.她是个善良和气的老太太。
  • We have a very amiable companionship.我们之间存在一种友好的关系。
4 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
参考例句:
  • 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。
5 fatigue PhVzV     
n.疲劳,劳累
参考例句:
  • The old lady can't bear the fatigue of a long journey.这位老妇人不能忍受长途旅行的疲劳。
  • I have got over my weakness and fatigue.我已从虚弱和疲劳中恢复过来了。
6 eligible Cq6xL     
adj.有条件被选中的;(尤指婚姻等)合适(意)的
参考例句:
  • He is an eligible young man.他是一个合格的年轻人。
  • Helen married an eligible bachelor.海伦嫁给了一个中意的单身汉。
7 tempted b0182e969d369add1b9ce2353d3c6ad6     
v.怂恿(某人)干不正当的事;冒…的险(tempt的过去分词)
参考例句:
  • I was sorely tempted to complain, but I didn't. 我极想发牢骚,但还是没开口。
  • I was tempted by the dessert menu. 甜食菜单馋得我垂涎欲滴。
8 undoubtedly Mfjz6l     
adv.确实地,无疑地
参考例句:
  • It is undoubtedly she who has said that.这话明明是她说的。
  • He is undoubtedly the pride of China.毫无疑问他是中国的骄傲。
9 exertion F7Fyi     
n.尽力,努力
参考例句:
  • We were sweating profusely from the exertion of moving the furniture.我们搬动家具大费气力,累得大汗淋漓。
  • She was hot and breathless from the exertion of cycling uphill.由于用力骑车爬坡,她浑身发热。
10 perfectly 8Mzxb     
adv.完美地,无可非议地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • 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。
11 quiescent A0EzR     
adj.静止的,不活动的,寂静的
参考例句:
  • It is unlikely that such an extremist organization will remain quiescent for long.这种过激的组织是不太可能长期沉默的。
  • Great distance in either time or space has wonderful power to lull and render quiescent the human mind.时间和空间上的远距离有一种奇妙的力量,可以使人的心灵平静。
12 contented Gvxzof     
adj.满意的,安心的,知足的
参考例句:
  • He won't be contented until he's upset everyone in the office.不把办公室里的每个人弄得心烦意乱他就不会满足。
  • The people are making a good living and are contented,each in his station.人民安居乐业。
13 conjectured c62e90c2992df1143af0d33094f0d580     
推测,猜测,猜想( conjecture的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The old peasant conjectured that it would be an unusually cold winter. 那老汉推测冬天将会异常地寒冷。
  • The general conjectured that the enemy only had about five days' supply of food left. 将军推测敌人只剩下五天的粮食给养。
14 despatch duyzn1     
n./v.(dispatch)派遣;发送;n.急件;新闻报道
参考例句:
  • The despatch of the task force is purely a contingency measure.派出特遣部队纯粹是应急之举。
  • He rushed the despatch through to headquarters.他把急件赶送到总部。
15 solicitude mFEza     
n.焦虑
参考例句:
  • Your solicitude was a great consolation to me.你对我的关怀给了我莫大的安慰。
  • He is full of tender solicitude towards my sister.他对我妹妹满心牵挂。
16 solitary 7FUyx     
adj.孤独的,独立的,荒凉的;n.隐士
参考例句:
  • 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。
17 ornament u4czn     
v.装饰,美化;n.装饰,装饰物
参考例句:
  • The flowers were put on the table for ornament.花放在桌子上做装饰用。
  • She wears a crystal ornament on her chest.她的前胸戴了一个水晶饰品。
18 amber LzazBn     
n.琥珀;琥珀色;adj.琥珀制的
参考例句:
  • Would you like an amber necklace for your birthday?你过生日想要一条琥珀项链吗?
  • This is a piece of little amber stones.这是一块小小的琥珀化石。
19 distress 3llzX     
n.苦恼,痛苦,不舒适;不幸;vt.使悲痛
参考例句:
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
20 ornaments 2bf24c2bab75a8ff45e650a1e4388dec     
n.装饰( ornament的名词复数 );点缀;装饰品;首饰v.装饰,点缀,美化( ornament的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • The shelves were chock-a-block with ornaments. 架子上堆满了装饰品。
  • Playing the piano sets up resonance in those glass ornaments. 一弹钢琴那些玻璃饰物就会产生共振。 来自《简明英汉词典》
21 mortifying b4c9d41e6df2931de61ad9c0703750cd     
adj.抑制的,苦修的v.使受辱( mortify的现在分词 );伤害(人的感情);克制;抑制(肉体、情感等)
参考例句:
  • I've said I did not love her, and rather relished mortifying her vanity now and then. 我已经说过我不爱她,而且时时以伤害她的虚荣心为乐。 来自辞典例句
  • It was mortifying to know he had heard every word. 知道他听到了每一句话后真是尴尬。 来自互联网
22 prospect P01zn     
n.前景,前途;景色,视野
参考例句:
  • This state of things holds out a cheerful prospect.事态呈现出可喜的前景。
  • The prospect became more evident.前景变得更加明朗了。
23 housekeeper 6q2zxl     
n.管理家务的主妇,女管家
参考例句:
  • A spotless stove told us that his mother is a diligent housekeeper.炉子清洁无瑕就表明他母亲是个勤劳的主妇。
  • She is an economical housekeeper and feeds her family cheaply.她节约持家,一家人吃得很省。
24 ordination rJQxr     
n.授任圣职
参考例句:
  • His ordination gives him the right to conduct a marriage or a funeral.他的晋升圣职使他有权主持婚礼或葬礼。
  • The vatican said the ordination places the city's catholics in a "very delicate and difficult decision."教廷说,这个任命使得这个城市的天主教徒不得不做出“非常棘手和困难的决定”。
25 determined duszmP     
adj.坚定的;有决心的
参考例句:
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
26 smoothly iiUzLG     
adv.平滑地,顺利地,流利地,流畅地
参考例句:
  • The workmen are very cooperative,so the work goes on smoothly.工人们十分合作,所以工作进展顺利。
  • Just change one or two words and the sentence will read smoothly.这句话只要动一两个字就顺了。
27 animate 3MDyv     
v.赋于生命,鼓励;adj.有生命的,有生气的
参考例句:
  • We are animate beings,living creatures.我们是有生命的存在,有生命的动物。
  • The girls watched,little teasing smiles animating their faces.女孩们注视着,脸上挂着调皮的微笑,显得愈加活泼。
28 propitious aRNx8     
adj.吉利的;顺利的
参考例句:
  • The circumstances were not propitious for further expansion of the company.这些情况不利于公司的进一步发展。
  • The cool days during this week are propitious for out trip.这种凉爽的天气对我们的行程很有好处。
29 disinterested vu4z6s     
adj.不关心的,不感兴趣的
参考例句:
  • He is impartial and disinterested.他公正无私。
  • He's always on the make,I have never known him do a disinterested action.他这个人一贯都是唯利是图,我从来不知道他有什么无私的行动。
30 attachment POpy1     
n.附属物,附件;依恋;依附
参考例句:
  • She has a great attachment to her sister.她十分依恋她的姐姐。
  • She's on attachment to the Ministry of Defense.她现在隶属于国防部。
31 retirement TWoxH     
n.退休,退职
参考例句:
  • She wanted to enjoy her retirement without being beset by financial worries.她想享受退休生活而不必为金钱担忧。
  • I have to put everything away for my retirement.我必须把一切都积蓄起来以便退休后用。
32 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
33 rejection FVpxp     
n.拒绝,被拒,抛弃,被弃
参考例句:
  • He decided not to approach her for fear of rejection.他因怕遭拒绝决定不再去找她。
  • The rejection plunged her into the dark depths of despair.遭到拒绝使她陷入了绝望的深渊。
34 thither cgRz1o     
adv.向那里;adj.在那边的,对岸的
参考例句:
  • He wandered hither and thither looking for a playmate.他逛来逛去找玩伴。
  • He tramped hither and thither.他到处流浪。
35 animation UMdyv     
n.活泼,兴奋,卡通片/动画片的制作
参考例句:
  • They are full of animation as they talked about their childhood.当他们谈及童年的往事时都非常兴奋。
  • The animation of China made a great progress.中国的卡通片制作取得很大发展。
36 enjoyment opaxV     
n.乐趣;享有;享用
参考例句:
  • Your company adds to the enjoyment of our visit. 有您的陪同,我们这次访问更加愉快了。
  • After each joke the old man cackled his enjoyment.每逢讲完一个笑话,这老人就呵呵笑着表示他的高兴。
37 confirmation ZYMya     
n.证实,确认,批准
参考例句:
  • 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。
38 ballroom SPTyA     
n.舞厅
参考例句:
  • The boss of the ballroom excused them the fee.舞厅老板给他们免费。
  • I go ballroom dancing twice a week.我一个星期跳两次交际舞。
39 favourable favourable     
adj.赞成的,称赞的,有利的,良好的,顺利的
参考例句:
  • The company will lend you money on very favourable terms.这家公司将以非常优惠的条件借钱给你。
  • We found that most people are favourable to the idea.我们发现大多数人同意这个意见。
40 unwilling CjpwB     
adj.不情愿的
参考例句:
  • 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。
41 gratitude p6wyS     
adj.感激,感谢
参考例句:
  • I have expressed the depth of my gratitude to him.我向他表示了深切的谢意。
  • She could not help her tears of gratitude rolling down her face.她感激的泪珠禁不住沿着面颊流了下来。
42 judgment e3xxC     
n.审判;判断力,识别力,看法,意见
参考例句:
  • The chairman flatters himself on his judgment of people.主席自认为他审视人比别人高明。
  • He's a man of excellent judgment.他眼力过人。
43 undoing Ifdz6a     
n.毁灭的原因,祸根;破坏,毁灭
参考例句:
  • That one mistake was his undoing. 他一失足即成千古恨。
  • This hard attitude may have led to his undoing. 可能就是这种强硬的态度导致了他的垮台。
44 obviate 10Oy4     
v.除去,排除,避免,预防
参考例句:
  • Improved public transportation would obviate the need tor everyone to have their own car.公共交通的改善消除了每人都要有车的必要性。
  • This deferral would obviate pressure on the rouble exchange rate.这一延期将消除卢布汇率面临的压力。
45 scruples 14d2b6347f5953bad0a0c5eebf78068a     
n.良心上的不安( scruple的名词复数 );顾虑,顾忌v.感到于心不安,有顾忌( scruple的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • I overcame my moral scruples. 我抛开了道德方面的顾虑。
  • I'm not ashamed of my scruples about your family. They were natural. 我并未因为对你家人的顾虑而感到羞耻。这种感觉是自然而然的。 来自疯狂英语突破英语语调
46 persevered b3246393c709e55e93de64dc63360d37     
v.坚忍,坚持( persevere的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • She persevered with her violin lessons. 她孜孜不倦地学习小提琴。
  • Hard as the conditions were, he persevered in his studies. 虽然条件艰苦,但他仍坚持学习。 来自辞典例句
47 indifference k8DxO     
n.不感兴趣,不关心,冷淡,不在乎
参考例句:
  • I was disappointed by his indifference more than somewhat.他的漠不关心使我很失望。
  • He feigned indifference to criticism of his work.他假装毫不在意别人批评他的作品。
48 reluctance 8VRx8     
n.厌恶,讨厌,勉强,不情愿
参考例句:
  • The police released Andrew with reluctance.警方勉强把安德鲁放走了。
  • He showed the greatest reluctance to make a reply.他表示很不愿意答复。
49 longing 98bzd     
n.(for)渴望
参考例句:
  • Hearing the tune again sent waves of longing through her.再次听到那首曲子使她胸中充满了渴望。
  • His heart burned with longing for revenge.他心中燃烧着急欲复仇的怒火。
50 prettily xQAxh     
adv.优美地;可爱地
参考例句:
  • It was prettily engraved with flowers on the back.此件雕刻精美,背面有花饰图案。
  • She pouted prettily at him.她冲他撅着嘴,样子很可爱。
51 approbation INMyt     
n.称赞;认可
参考例句:
  • He tasted the wine of audience approbation.他尝到了像酒般令人陶醉的听众赞许滋味。
  • The result has not met universal approbation.该结果尚未获得普遍认同。
52 apropos keky3     
adv.恰好地;adj.恰当的;关于
参考例句:
  • I thought he spoke very apropos.我认为他说得很中肯。
  • He arrived very apropos.他来得很及时。
53 astonishment VvjzR     
n.惊奇,惊异
参考例句:
  • They heard him give a loud shout of astonishment.他们听见他惊奇地大叫一声。
  • I was filled with astonishment at her strange action.我对她的奇怪举动不胜惊异。
54 embarrassment fj9z8     
n.尴尬;使人为难的人(事物);障碍;窘迫
参考例句:
  • She could have died away with embarrassment.她窘迫得要死。
  • Coughing at a concert can be a real embarrassment.在音乐会上咳嗽真会使人难堪。
55 heartily Ld3xp     
adv.衷心地,诚恳地,十分,很
参考例句:
  • He ate heartily and went out to look for his horse.他痛快地吃了一顿,就出去找他的马。
  • The host seized my hand and shook it heartily.主人抓住我的手,热情地和我握手。
56 entreat soexj     
v.恳求,恳请
参考例句:
  • Charles Darnay felt it hopeless entreat him further,and his pride was touched besides.查尔斯-达尔内感到再恳求他已是枉然,自尊心也受到了伤害。
  • I entreat you to contribute generously to the building fund.我恳求您慷慨捐助建设基金。
57 opposition eIUxU     
n.反对,敌对
参考例句:
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
58 gallant 66Myb     
adj.英勇的,豪侠的;(向女人)献殷勤的
参考例句:
  • Huang Jiguang's gallant deed is known by all men. 黄继光的英勇事迹尽人皆知。
  • These gallant soldiers will protect our country.这些勇敢的士兵会保卫我们的国家的。
59 attentive pOKyB     
adj.注意的,专心的;关心(别人)的,殷勤的
参考例句:
  • She was very attentive to her guests.她对客人招待得十分周到。
  • The speaker likes to have an attentive audience.演讲者喜欢注意力集中的听众。
60 tranquillity 93810b1103b798d7e55e2b944bcb2f2b     
n. 平静, 安静
参考例句:
  • The phenomenon was so striking and disturbing that his philosophical tranquillity vanished. 这个令人惶惑不安的现象,扰乱了他的旷达宁静的心境。
  • My value for domestic tranquillity should much exceed theirs. 我应该远比他们重视家庭的平静生活。
61 complaisant cbAyX     
adj.顺从的,讨好的
参考例句:
  • He has a pretty and complaisant wife.他有个漂亮又温顺的妻子。
  • He is complaisant to her.他对她百依百顺。
62 diminution 2l9zc     
n.减少;变小
参考例句:
  • They hope for a small diminution in taxes.他们希望捐税能稍有减少。
  • He experienced no diminution of his physical strength.他并未感觉体力衰落。


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