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Chapter 2. The Painful Fall of a Great Reputation
 Basil Grant and I were talking one day in what is perhaps the most perfect place for talking on earth—the top of a tolerably deserted1 tramcar. To talk on the top of a hill is superb, but to talk on the top of a flying hill is a fairy tale.
The vast blank space of North London was flying by; the very pace gave us a sense of its immensity and its meanness. It was, as it were, a base infinitude, a squalid eternity2, and we felt the real horror of the poor parts of London, the horror that is so totally missed and misrepresented by the sensational3 novelists who depict4 it as being a matter of narrow streets, filthy5 houses, criminals and maniacs6, and dens7 of vice9. In a narrow street, in a den8 of vice, you do not expect civilization, you do not expect order. But the horror of this was the fact that there was civilization, that there was order, but that civilisation10 only showed its morbidity11, and order only its monotony. No one would say, in going through a criminal slum, “I see no statues. I notice no cathedrals.” But here there were public buildings; only they were mostly lunatic asylums12. Here there were statues; only they were mostly statues of railway engineers and philanthropists—two dingy13 classes of men united by their common contempt for the people. Here there were churches; only they were the churches of dim and erratic14 sects15, Agapemonites or Irvingites. Here, above all, there were broad roads and vast crossings and tramway lines and hospitals and all the real marks of civilization. But though one never knew, in one sense, what one would see next, there was one thing we knew we should not see—anything really great, central, of the first class, anything that humanity had adored. And with revulsion indescribable our emotions returned, I think, to those really close and crooked16 entries, to those really mean streets, to those genuine slums which lie round the Thames and the City, in which nevertheless a real possibility remains17 that at any chance corner the great cross of the great cathedral of Wren18 may strike down the street like a thunderbolt.
“But you must always remember also,” said Grant to me, in his heavy abstracted way, when I had urged this view, “that the very vileness19 of the life of these ordered plebeian20 places bears witness to the victory of the human soul. I agree with you. I agree that they have to live in something worse than barbarism. They have to live in a fourth-rate civilization. But yet I am practically certain that the majority of people here are good people. And being good is an adventure far more violent and daring than sailing round the world. Besides—”
“Go on,” I said.
No answer came.
“Go on,” I said, looking up.
The big blue eyes of Basil Grant were standing21 out of his head and he was paying no attention to me. He was staring over the side of the tram.
“What is the matter?” I asked, peering over also.
“It is very odd,” said Grant at last, grimly, “that I should have been caught out like this at the very moment of my optimism. I said all these people were good, and there is the wickedest man in England.”
“Where?” I asked, leaning over further, “where?”
“Oh, I was right enough,” he went on, in that strange continuous and sleepy tone which always angered his hearers at acute moments, “I was right enough when I said all these people were good. They are heroes; they are saints. Now and then they may perhaps steal a spoon or two; they may beat a wife or two with the poker22. But they are saints all the same; they are angels; they are robed in white; they are clad with wings and haloes—at any rate compared to that man.”
“Which man?” I cried again, and then my eye caught the figure at which Basil's bull's eyes were glaring.
He was a slim, smooth person, passing very quickly among the quickly passing crowd, but though there was nothing about him sufficient to attract a startled notice, there was quite enough to demand a curious consideration when once that notice was attracted. He wore a black top-hat, but there was enough in it of those strange curves whereby the decadent23 artist of the eighties tried to turn the top-hat into something as rhythmic24 as an Etruscan vase. His hair, which was largely grey, was curled with the instinct of one who appreciated the gradual beauty of grey and silver. The rest of his face was oval and, I thought, rather Oriental; he had two black tufts of moustache.
“What has he done?” I asked.
“I am not sure of the details,” said Grant, “but his besetting25 sin is a desire to intrigue26 to the disadvantage of others. Probably he has adopted some imposture27 or other to effect his plan.”
“What plan?” I asked. “If you know all about him, why don't you tell me why he is the wickedest man in England? What is his name?”
Basil Grant stared at me for some moments.
“I think you've made a mistake in my meaning,” he said. “I don't know his name. I never saw him before in my life.”
“Never saw him before!” I cried, with a kind of anger; “then what in heaven's name do you mean by saying that he is the wickedest man in England?”
“I meant what I said,” said Basil Grant calmly. “The moment I saw that man, I saw all these people stricken with a sudden and splendid innocence28. I saw that while all ordinary poor men in the streets were being themselves, he was not being himself. I saw that all the men in these slums, cadgers, pickpockets29, hooligans, are all, in the deepest sense, trying to be good. And I saw that that man was trying to be evil.”
“But if you never saw him before—” I began.
“In God's name, look at his face,” cried out Basil in a voice that startled the driver. “Look at the eyebrows30. They mean that infernal pride which made Satan so proud that he sneered31 even at heaven when he was one of the first angels in it. Look at his moustaches, they are so grown as to insult humanity. In the name of the sacred heavens look at his hair. In the name of God and the stars, look at his hat.”
I stirred uncomfortably.
“But, after all,” I said, “this is very fanciful—perfectly32 absurd. Look at the mere33 facts. You have never seen the man before, you—”
“Oh, the mere facts,” he cried out in a kind of despair. “The mere facts! Do you really admit—are you still so sunk in superstitions34, so clinging to dim and prehistoric35 altars, that you believe in facts? Do you not trust an immediate36 impression?”
“Well, an immediate impression may be,” I said, “a little less practical than facts.”
“Bosh,” he said. “On what else is the whole world run but immediate impressions? What is more practical? My friend, the philosophy of this world may be founded on facts, its business is run on spiritual impressions and atmospheres. Why do you refuse or accept a clerk? Do you measure his skull37? Do you read up his physiological38 state in a handbook? Do you go upon facts at all? Not a scrap39. You accept a clerk who may save your business—you refuse a clerk that may rob your till, entirely40 upon those immediate mystical impressions under the pressure of which I pronounce, with a perfect sense of certainty and sincerity41, that that man walking in that street beside us is a humbug42 and a villain43 of some kind.”
“You always put things well,” I said, “but, of course, such things cannot immediately be put to the test.”
Basil sprang up straight and swayed with the swaying car.
“Let us get off and follow him,” he said. “I bet you five pounds it will turn out as I say.”
And with a scuttle44, a jump, and a run, we were off the car.
The man with the curved silver hair and the curved Eastern face walked along for some time, his long splendid frock-coat flying behind him. Then he swung sharply out of the great glaring road and disappeared down an ill-lit alley45. We swung silently after him.
“This is an odd turning for a man of that kind to take,” I said.
“A man of what kind?” asked my friend.
“Well,” I said, “a man with that kind of expression and those boots. I thought it rather odd, to tell the truth, that he should be in this part of the world at all.”
“Ah, yes,” said Basil, and said no more.
We tramped on, looking steadily46 in front of us. The elegant figure, like the figure of a black swan, was silhouetted47 suddenly against the glare of intermittent48 gaslight and then swallowed again in night. The intervals49 between the lights were long, and a fog was thickening the whole city. Our pace, therefore, had become swift and mechanical between the lamp-posts; but Basil came to a standstill suddenly like a reined50 horse; I stopped also. We had almost run into the man. A great part of the solid darkness in front of us was the darkness of his body.
At first I thought he had turned to face us. But though we were hardly a yard off he did not realize that we were there. He tapped four times on a very low and dirty door in the dark, crabbed51 street. A gleam of gas cut the darkness as it opened slowly. We listened intently, but the interview was short and simple and inexplicable52 as an interview could be. Our exquisite53 friend handed in what looked like a paper or a card and said:
“At once. Take a cab.”
A heavy, deep voice from inside said:
“Right you are.”
And with a click we were in the blackness again, and striding after the striding stranger through a labyrinth54 of London lanes, the lights just helping55 us. It was only five o'clock, but winter and the fog had made it like midnight.
“This is really an extraordinary walk for the patent-leather boots,” I repeated.
“I don't know,” said Basil humbly56. “It leads to Berkeley Square.”
As I tramped on I strained my eyes through the dusky atmosphere and tried to make out the direction described. For some ten minutes I wondered and doubted; at the end of that I saw that my friend was right. We were coming to the great dreary57 spaces of fashionable London—more dreary, one must admit, even than the dreary plebeian spaces.
“This is very extraordinary!” said Basil Grant, as we turned into Berkeley Square.
“What is extraordinary?” I asked. “I thought you said it was quite natural.”
“I do not wonder,” answered Basil, “at his walking through nasty streets; I do not wonder at his going to Berkeley Square. But I do wonder at his going to the house of a very good man.”
“What very good man?” I asked with exasperation58.
“The operation of time is a singular one,” he said with his imperturbable59 irrelevancy60. “It is not a true statement of the case to say that I have forgotten my career when I was a judge and a public man. I remember it all vividly61, but it is like remembering some novel. But fifteen years ago I knew this square as well as Lord Rosebery does, and a confounded long sight better than that man who is going up the steps of old Beaumont's house.”
“Who is old Beaumont?” I asked irritably62.
“A perfectly good fellow. Lord Beaumont of Foxwood—don't you know his name? He is a man of transparent63 sincerity, a nobleman who does more work than a navvy, a socialist64, an anarchist65, I don't know what; anyhow, he's a philosopher and philanthropist. I admit he has the slight disadvantage of being, beyond all question, off his head. He has that real disadvantage which has arisen out of the modern worship of progress and novelty; and he thinks anything odd and new must be an advance. If you went to him and proposed to eat your grandmother, he would agree with you, so long as you put it on hygienic and public grounds, as a cheap alternative to cremation66. So long as you progress fast enough it seems a matter of indifference67 to him whether you are progressing to the stars or the devil. So his house is filled with an endless succession of literary and political fashions; men who wear long hair because it is romantic; men who wear short hair because it is medical; men who walk on their feet only to exercise their hands; and men who walk on their hands for fear of tiring their feet. But though the inhabitants of his salons68 are generally fools, like himself, they are almost always, like himself, good men. I am really surprised to see a criminal enter there.”
“My good fellow,” I said firmly, striking my foot on the pavement, “the truth of this affair is very simple. To use your own eloquent70 language, you have the 'slight disadvantage' of being off your head. You see a total stranger in a public street; you choose to start certain theories about his eyebrows. You then treat him as a burglar because he enters an honest man's door. The thing is too monstrous71. Admit that it is, Basil, and come home with me. Though these people are still having tea, yet with the distance we have to go, we shall be late for dinner.”
Basil's eyes were shining in the twilight72 like lamps.
“I thought,” he said, “that I had outlived vanity.”
“What do you want now?” I cried.
“I want,” he cried out, “what a girl wants when she wears her new frock; I want what a boy wants when he goes in for a clanging match with a monitor—I want to show somebody what a fine fellow I am. I am as right about that man as I am about your having a hat on your head. You say it cannot be tested. I say it can. I will take you to see my old friend Beaumont. He is a delightful73 man to know.”
“Do you really mean—?” I began.
“I will apologize,” he said calmly, “for our not being dressed for a call,” and walking across the vast misty74 square, he walked up the dark stone steps and rang at the bell.
A severe servant in black and white opened the door to us: on receiving my friend's name his manner passed in a flash from astonishment75 to respect. We were ushered76 into the house very quickly, but not so quickly but that our host, a white-haired man with a fiery77 face, came out quickly to meet us.
“My dear fellow,” he cried, shaking Basil's hand again and again, “I have not seen you for years. Have you been—er—” he said, rather wildly, “have you been in the country?”
“Not for all that time,” answered Basil, smiling. “I have long given up my official position, my dear Philip, and have been living in a deliberate retirement78. I hope I do not come at an inopportune moment.”
“An inopportune moment,” cried the ardent80 gentleman. “You come at the most opportune79 moment I could imagine. Do you know who is here?”
“I do not,” answered Grant, with gravity. Even as he spoke81 a roar of laughter came from the inner room.
“Basil,” said Lord Beaumont solemnly, “I have Wimpole here.”
“And who is Wimpole?”
“Basil,” cried the other, “you must have been in the country. You must have been in the antipodes. You must have been in the moon. Who is Wimpole? Who was Shakespeare?”
“As to who Shakespeare was,” answered my friend placidly82, “my views go no further than thinking that he was not Bacon. More probably he was Mary Queen of Scots. But as to who Wimpole is—” and his speech also was cloven with a roar of laughter from within.
“Wimpole!” cried Lord Beaumont, in a sort of ecstasy83. “Haven't you heard of the great modern wit? My dear fellow, he has turned conversation, I do not say into an art—for that, perhaps, it always was but into a great art, like the statuary of Michael Angelo—an art of masterpieces. His repartees, my good friend, startle one like a man shot dead. They are final; they are—”
Again there came the hilarious85 roar from the room, and almost with the very noise of it, a big, panting apoplectic86 old gentleman came out of the inner house into the hall where we were standing.
“Now, my dear chap,” began Lord Beaumont hastily.
“I tell you, Beaumont, I won't stand it,” exploded the large old gentleman. “I won't be made game of by a twopenny literary adventurer like that. I won't be made a guy. I won't—”
“Come, come,” said Beaumont feverishly88. “Let me introduce you. This is Mr Justice Grant—that is, Mr Grant. Basil, I am sure you have heard of Sir Walter Cholmondeliegh.”
“Who has not?” asked Grant, and bowed to the worthy89 old baronet, eyeing him with some curiosity. He was hot and heavy in his momentary90 anger, but even that could not conceal91 the noble though opulent outline of his face and body, the florid white hair, the Roman nose, the body stalwart though corpulent, the chin aristocratic though double. He was a magnificent courtly gentleman; so much of a gentleman that he could show an unquestionable weakness of anger without altogether losing dignity; so much of a gentleman that even his faux pas were well-bred.
“I am distressed93 beyond expression, Beaumont,” he said gruffly, “to fail in respect to these gentlemen, and even more especially to fail in it in your house. But it is not you or they that are in any way concerned, but that flashy half-caste jackanapes—”
At this moment a young man with a twist of red moustache and a sombre air came out of the inner room. He also did not seem to be greatly enjoying the intellectual banquet within.
“I think you remember my friend and secretary, Mr Drummond,” said Lord Beaumont, turning to Grant, “even if you only remember him as a schoolboy.”
“Perfectly,” said the other. Mr Drummond shook hands pleasantly and respectfully, but the cloud was still on his brow. Turning to Sir Walter Cholmondeliegh, he said:
“I was sent by Lady Beaumont to express her hope that you were not going yet, Sir Walter. She says she has scarcely seen anything of you.”
The old gentleman, still red in the face, had a temporary internal struggle; then his good manners triumphed, and with a gesture of obeisance94 and a vague utterance95 of, “If Lady Beaumont... a lady, of course,” he followed the young man back into the salon69. He had scarcely been deposited there half a minute before another peal96 of laughter told that he had (in all probability) been scored off again.
“Of course, I can excuse dear old Cholmondeliegh,” said Beaumont, as he helped us off with our coats. “He has not the modern mind.”
“What is the modern mind?” asked Grant.
“Oh, it's enlightened, you know, and progressive—and faces the facts of life seriously.” At this moment another roar of laughter came from within.
“I only ask,” said Basil, “because of the last two friends of yours who had the modern mind; one thought it wrong to eat fishes and the other thought it right to eat men. I beg your pardon—this way, if I remember right.”
“Do you know,” said Lord Beaumont, with a sort of feverish87 entertainment, as he trotted97 after us towards the interior, “I can never quite make out which side you are on. Sometimes you seem so liberal and sometimes so reactionary98. Are you a modern, Basil?”
“No,” said Basil, loudly and cheerfully, as he entered the crowded drawing-room.
This caused a slight diversion, and some eyes were turned away from our slim friend with the Oriental face for the first time that afternoon. Two people, however, still looked at him. One was the daughter of the house, Muriel Beaumont, who gazed at him with great violet eyes and with the intense and awful thirst of the female upper class for verbal amusement and stimulus99. The other was Sir Walter Cholmondeliegh, who looked at him with a still and sullen100 but unmistakable desire to throw him out of the window.
He sat there, coiled rather than seated on the easy chair; everything from the curves of his smooth limbs to the coils of his silvered hair suggesting the circles of a serpent more than the straight limbs of a man—the unmistakable, splendid serpentine101 gentleman we had seen walking in North London, his eyes shining with repeated victory.
“What I can't understand, Mr Wimpole,” said Muriel Beaumont eagerly, “is how you contrive102 to treat all this so easily. You say things quite philosophical103 and yet so wildly funny. If I thought of such things, I'm sure I should laugh outright104 when the thought first came.”
“I agree with Miss Beaumont,” said Sir Walter, suddenly exploding with indignation. “If I had thought of anything so futile105, I should find it difficult to keep my countenance106.”
“Difficult to keep your countenance,” cried Mr Wimpole, with an air of alarm; “oh, do keep your countenance! Keep it in the British Museum.”
Every one laughed uproariously, as they always do at an already admitted readiness, and Sir Walter, turning suddenly purple, shouted out:
“Do you know who you are talking to, with your confounded tomfooleries?”
“I never talk tomfooleries,” said the other, “without first knowing my audience.”
Grant walked across the room and tapped the red-moustached secretary on the shoulder. That gentleman was leaning against the wall regarding the whole scene with a great deal of gloom; but, I fancied, with very particular gloom when his eyes fell on the young lady of the house rapturously listening to Wimpole.
“May I have a word with you outside, Drummond?” asked Grant. “It is about business. Lady Beaumont will excuse us.”
I followed my friend, at his own request, greatly wondering, to this strange external interview. We passed abruptly107 into a kind of side room out of the hall.
“Drummond,” said Basil sharply, “there are a great many good people, and a great many sane108 people here this afternoon. Unfortunately, by a kind of coincidence, all the good people are mad, and all the sane people are wicked. You are the only person I know of here who is honest and has also some common sense. What do you make of Wimpole?”
Mr Secretary Drummond had a pale face and red hair; but at this his face became suddenly as red as his moustache.
“I am not a fair judge of him,” he said.
“Why not?” asked Grant.
“Because I hate him like hell,” said the other, after a long pause and violently.
Neither Grant nor I needed to ask the reason; his glances towards Miss Beaumont and the stranger were sufficiently109 illuminating110. Grant said quietly:
“But before—before you came to hate him, what did you really think of him?”
“I am in a terrible difficulty,” said the young man, and his voice told us, like a clear bell, that he was an honest man. “If I spoke about him as I feel about him now, I could not trust myself. And I should like to be able to say that when I first saw him I thought he was charming. But again, the fact is I didn't. I hate him, that is my private affair. But I also disapprove111 of him—really I do believe I disapprove of him quite apart from my private feelings. When first he came, I admit he was much quieter, but I did not like, so to speak, the moral swell112 of him. Then that jolly old Sir Walter Cholmondeliegh got introduced to us, and this fellow, with his cheap-jack wit, began to score off the old man in the way he does now. Then I felt that he must be a bad lot; it must be bad to fight the old and the kindly113. And he fights the poor old chap savagely114, unceasingly, as if he hated old age and kindliness115. Take, if you want it, the evidence of a prejudiced witness. I admit that I hate the man because a certain person admires him. But I believe that apart from that I should hate the man because old Sir Walter hates him.”
This speech affected116 me with a genuine sense of esteem117 and pity for the young man; that is, of pity for him because of his obviously hopeless worship of Miss Beaumont, and of esteem for him because of the direct realistic account of the history of Wimpole which he had given. Still, I was sorry that he seemed so steadily set against the man, and could not help referring it to an instinct of his personal relations, however nobly disguised from himself.
In the middle of these meditations118, Grant whispered in my ear what was perhaps the most startling of all interruptions.
“In the name of God, let's get away.”
I have never known exactly in how odd a way this odd old man affected me. I only know that for some reason or other he so affected me that I was, within a few minutes, in the street outside.
“This,” he said, “is a beastly but amusing affair.”
“What is?” I asked, baldly enough.
“This affair. Listen to me, my old friend. Lord and Lady Beaumont have just invited you and me to a grand dinner-party this very night, at which Mr Wimpole will be in all his glory. Well, there is nothing very extraordinary about that. The extraordinary thing is that we are not going.”
“Well, really,” I said, “it is already six o'clock and I doubt if we could get home and dress. I see nothing extraordinary in the fact that we are not going.”
“Don't you?” said Grant. “I'll bet you'll see something extraordinary in what we're doing instead.”
I looked at him blankly.
“Doing instead?” I asked. “What are we doing instead?”
“Why,” said he, “we are waiting for one or two hours outside this house on a winter evening. You must forgive me; it is all my vanity. It is only to show you that I am right. Can you, with the assistance of this cigar, wait until both Sir Walter Cholmondeliegh and the mystic Wimpole have left this house?”
“Certainly,” I said. “But I do not know which is likely to leave first. Have you any notion?”
“No,” he said. “Sir Walter may leave first in a glow of rage. Or again, Mr Wimpole may leave first, feeling that his last epigram is a thing to be flung behind him like a firework. And Sir Walter may remain some time to analyse Mr Wimpole's character. But they will both have to leave within reasonable time, for they will both have to get dressed and come back to dinner here tonight.”
As he spoke the shrill119 double whistle from the porch of the great house drew a dark cab to the dark portal. And then a thing happened that we really had not expected. Mr Wimpole and Sir Walter Cholmondeliegh came out at the same moment.
They paused for a second or two opposite each other in a natural doubt; then a certain geniality120, fundamental perhaps in both of them, made Sir Walter smile and say: “The night is foggy. Pray take my cab.”
Before I could count twenty the cab had gone rattling121 up the street with both of them. And before I could count twenty-three Grant had hissed122 in my ear:
“Run after the cab; run as if you were running from a mad dog—run.”
We pelted123 on steadily, keeping the cab in sight, through dark mazy streets. God only, I thought, knows why we are running at all, but we are running hard. Fortunately we did not run far. The cab pulled up at the fork of two streets and Sir Walter paid the cabman, who drove away rejoicing, having just come in contact with the more generous among the rich. Then the two men talked together as men do talk together after giving and receiving great insults, the talk which leads either to forgiveness or a duel—at least so it seemed as we watched it from ten yards off. Then the two men shook hands heartily124, and one went down one fork of the road and one down another.
Basil, with one of his rare gestures, flung his arms forward.
“Run after that scoundrel,” he cried; “let us catch him now.”
We dashed across the open space and reached the juncture125 of two paths.
“Stop!” I shouted wildly to Grant. “That's the wrong turning.”
He ran on.
“Idiot!” I howled. “Sir Walter's gone down there. Wimpole has slipped us. He's half a mile down the other road. You're wrong... Are you deaf? You're wrong!”
“I don't think I am,” he panted, and ran on.
“But I saw him!” I cried. “Look in front of you. Is that Wimpole? It's the old man... What are you doing? What are we to do?”
“Keep running,” said Grant.
Running soon brought us up to the broad back of the pompous126 old baronet, whose white whiskers shone silver in the fitful lamplight. My brain was utterly127 bewildered. I grasped nothing.
“Charlie,” said Basil hoarsely128, “can you believe in my common sense for four minutes?”
“Of course,” I said, panting.
“Then help me to catch that man in front and hold him down. Do it at once when I say 'Now'. Now!”
We sprang on Sir Walter Cholmondeliegh, and rolled that portly old gentleman on his back. He fought with a commendable129 valour, but we got him tight. I had not the remotest notion why. He had a splendid and full-blooded vigour130; when he could not box he kicked, and we bound him; when he could not kick he shouted, and we gagged him. Then, by Basil's arrangement, we dragged him into a small court by the street side and waited. As I say, I had no notion why.
“I am sorry to incommode you,” said Basil calmly out of the darkness; “but I have made an appointment here.”
“An appointment!” I said blankly.
“Yes,” he said, glancing calmly at the apoplectic old aristocrat92 gagged on the ground, whose eyes were starting impotently from his head. “I have made an appointment here with a thoroughly131 nice young fellow. An old friend. Jasper Drummond his name is—you may have met him this afternoon at the Beaumonts. He can scarcely come though till the Beaumonts' dinner is over.”
For I do not know how many hours we stood there calmly in the darkness. By the time those hours were over I had thoroughly made up my mind that the same thing had happened which had happened long ago on the bench of a British Court of Justice. Basil Grant had gone mad. I could imagine no other explanation of the facts, with the portly, purple-faced old country gentleman flung there strangled on the floor like a bundle of wood.
After about four hours a lean figure in evening dress rushed into the court. A glimpse of gaslight showed the red moustache and white face of Jasper Drummond.
“Mr Grant,” he said blankly, “the thing is incredible. You were right; but what did you mean? All through this dinner-party, where dukes and duchesses and editors of Quarterlies had come especially to hear him, that extraordinary Wimpole kept perfectly silent. He didn't say a funny thing. He didn't say anything at all. What does it mean?”
Grant pointed132 to the portly old gentleman on the ground.
“That is what it means,” he said.
Drummond, on observing a fat gentleman lying so calmly about the place, jumped back, as from a mouse.
“What?” he said weakly, “... what?”
Basil bent133 suddenly down and tore a paper out of Sir Walter's breastpocket, a paper which the baronet, even in his hampered134 state, seemed to make some effort to retain.
It was a large loose piece of white wrapping paper, which Mr Jasper Drummond read with a vacant eye and undisguised astonishment. As far as he could make out, it consisted of a series of questions and answers, or at least of remarks and replies, arranged in the manner of a catechism. The greater part of the document had been torn and obliterated135 in the struggle, but the termination remained. It ran as follows:
C. Says... Keep countenance.
W. Keep... British Museum.
C. Know whom talk... absurdities136.
W. Never talk absurdities without...
“What is it?” cried Drummond, flinging the paper down in a sort of final fury.
“What is it?” replied Grant, his voice rising into a kind of splendid chant. “What is it? It is a great new profession. A great new trade. A trifle immoral137, I admit, but still great, like piracy138.”
“A new profession!” said the young man with the red moustache vaguely139; “a new trade!”
“A new trade,” repeated Grant, with a strange exultation140, “a new profession! What a pity it is immoral.”
“But what the deuce is it?” cried Drummond and I in a breath of blasphemy141.
“It is,” said Grant calmly, “the great new trade of the Organizer of Repartee84. This fat old gentleman lying on the ground strikes you, as I have no doubt, as very stupid and very rich. Let me clear his character. He is, like ourselves, very clever and very poor. He is also not really at all fat; all that is stuffing. He is not particularly old, and his name is not Cholmondeliegh. He is a swindler, and a swindler of a perfectly delightful and novel kind. He hires himself out at dinner-parties to lead up to other people's repartees. According to a preconcerted scheme (which you may find on that piece of paper), he says the stupid things he has arranged for himself, and his client says the clever things arranged for him. In short, he allows himself to be scored off for a guinea a night.”
“And this fellow Wimpole—” began Drummond with indignation.
“This fellow Wimpole,” said Basil Grant, smiling, “will not be an intellectual rival in the future. He had some fine things, elegance142 and silvered hair, and so on. But the intellect is with our friend on the floor.”
“That fellow,” cried Drummond furiously, “that fellow ought to be in gaol143.”
“Not at all,” said Basil indulgently; “he ought to be in the Club of Queer Trades.”


1 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。
2 eternity Aiwz7     
  • The dull play seemed to last an eternity.这场乏味的剧似乎演个没完没了。
  • Finally,Ying Tai and Shan Bo could be together for all of eternity.英台和山伯终能双宿双飞,永世相随。
3 sensational Szrwi     
  • Papers of this kind are full of sensational news reports.这类报纸满是耸人听闻的新闻报道。
  • Their performance was sensational.他们的演出妙极了。
4 depict Wmdz5     
  • I don't care to see plays or films that depict murders or violence.我不喜欢看描写谋杀或暴力的戏剧或电影。
  • Children's books often depict farmyard animals as gentle,lovable creatures.儿童图书常常把农场的动物描写得温和而可爱。
5 filthy ZgOzj     
  • The whole river has been fouled up with filthy waste from factories.整条河都被工厂的污秽废物污染了。
  • You really should throw out that filthy old sofa and get a new one.你真的应该扔掉那张肮脏的旧沙发,然后再去买张新的。
6 maniacs 11a6200b98a38680d7dd8e9553e00911     
  • Hollywood films misrepresented us as drunks, maniacs and murderers. 好莱坞电影把我们歪曲成酒鬼、疯子和杀人凶手。 来自辞典例句
  • They're not irrational, potentially homicidal maniacs, to start! 他们不是非理性的,或者有杀人倾向的什么人! 来自电影对白
7 dens 10262f677bcb72a856e3e1317093cf28     
n.牙齿,齿状部分;兽窝( den的名词复数 );窝点;休息室;书斋
  • Female bears tend to line their dens with leaves or grass. 母熊往往会在洞穴里垫些树叶或草。 来自辞典例句
  • In winter bears usually hibernate in their dens. 冬天熊通常在穴里冬眠。 来自辞典例句
8 den 5w9xk     
  • There is a big fox den on the back hill.后山有一个很大的狐狸窝。
  • The only way to catch tiger cubs is to go into tiger's den.不入虎穴焉得虎子。
9 vice NU0zQ     
  • He guarded himself against vice.他避免染上坏习惯。
  • They are sunk in the depth of vice.他们堕入了罪恶的深渊。
10 civilisation civilisation     
  • Energy and ideas are the twin bases of our civilisation.能源和思想是我们文明的两大基石。
  • This opera is one of the cultural totems of Western civilisation.这部歌剧是西方文明的文化标志物之一。
11 morbidity OEBxK     
  • MC's also significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality induced by honeybee venom. 肥大细胞同样也能显著降低蜜蜂毒液诱发疾病的发病率和死亡率。 来自互联网
  • The result shows that incidence of myopia morbidity is 44.84%. 结果表明:近视眼的发病率为44.84%。 来自互联网
12 asylums a7cbe86af3f73438f61b49bb3c95d31e     
n.避难所( asylum的名词复数 );庇护;政治避难;精神病院
  • No wonder Mama says love drives people into asylums. 难怪南蛮妈妈说,爱情会让人变成疯子。 来自互联网
13 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。
14 erratic ainzj     
  • The old man had always been cranky and erratic.那老头儿性情古怪,反复无常。
  • The erratic fluctuation of market prices is in consequence of unstable economy.经济波动致使市场物价忽起忽落。
15 sects a3161a77f8f90b4820a636c283bfe4bf     
n.宗派,教派( sect的名词复数 )
  • 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。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He had subdued the religious sects, cleaned up Saigon. 他压服了宗教派别,刷新了西贡的面貌。 来自辞典例句
16 crooked xvazAv     
  • He crooked a finger to tell us to go over to him.他弯了弯手指,示意我们到他那儿去。
  • You have to drive slowly on these crooked country roads.在这些弯弯曲曲的乡间小路上你得慢慢开车。
17 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。
18 wren veCzKb     
  • A wren is a kind of short-winged songbird.鹪鹩是一种短翼的鸣禽。
  • My bird guide confirmed that a Carolina wren had discovered the thickets near my house.我掌握的鸟类知识使我确信,一只卡罗莱纳州鹪鹩已经发现了我家的这个灌木丛。
19 vileness 152a16dbbe75db0c44b2a4fd4aac4f59     
  • Separating out the vileness is impossible. 分离其中不良的部分是不可能的。 来自互联网
  • The vileness of his language surprised us. 他言语的粗俗令我们吃惊。 来自互联网
20 plebeian M2IzE     
  • He is a philosophy professor with a cockney accent and an alarmingly plebeian manner.他是个有一口伦敦土腔、举止粗俗不堪的哲学教授。
  • He spent all day playing rackets on the beach,a plebeian sport if there ever was one.他一整天都在海滩玩壁球,再没有比这更不入流的运动了。
21 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。
22 poker ilozCG     
  • He was cleared out in the poker game.他打扑克牌,把钱都输光了。
  • I'm old enough to play poker and do something with it.我打扑克是老手了,可以玩些花样。
23 decadent HaYyZ     
  • Don't let decadent ideas eat into yourselves.别让颓废的思想侵蚀你们。
  • This song was once banned, because it was regarded as decadent.这首歌曾经被认定为是靡靡之音而被禁止播放。
24 rhythmic rXexv     
  • Her breathing became more rhythmic.她的呼吸变得更有规律了。
  • Good breathing is slow,rhythmic and deep.健康的呼吸方式缓慢深沉而有节奏。
25 besetting 85f0362e7fd8b00cc5e729aa394fcf2f     
adj.不断攻击的v.困扰( beset的现在分词 );不断围攻;镶;嵌
  • Laziness is my besetting sin. 懒惰是我积重难返的恶习。 来自辞典例句
  • His besetting sin is laziness. 他所易犯的毛病就是懒惰。 来自辞典例句
26 intrigue Gaqzy     
  • Court officials will intrigue against the royal family.法院官员将密谋反对皇室。
  • The royal palace was filled with intrigue.皇宫中充满了勾心斗角。
27 imposture mcZzL     
  • Soiled by her imposture she remains silent.她背着冒名顶替者的黑锅却一直沉默。
  • If they knew,they would see through his imposture straight away.要是他们知道,他们会立即识破他的招摇撞骗行为。
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 pickpockets 37fb2f0394a2a81364293698413394ce     
n.扒手( pickpocket的名词复数 )
  • Crowded markets are a happy hunting ground for pickpockets. 拥挤的市场是扒手大展身手的好地方。
  • He warned me against pickpockets. 他让我提防小偷。 来自《简明英汉词典》
30 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。
31 sneered 0e3b5b35e54fb2ad006040792a867d9f     
讥笑,冷笑( sneer的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He sneered at people who liked pop music. 他嘲笑喜欢流行音乐的人。
  • It's very discouraging to be sneered at all the time. 成天受嘲讽是很令人泄气的。
32 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。
33 mere rC1xE     
  • That is a mere repetition of what you said before.那不过是重复了你以前讲的话。
  • It's a mere waste of time waiting any longer.再等下去纯粹是浪费时间。
34 superstitions bf6d10d6085a510f371db29a9b4f8c2f     
迷信,迷信行为( superstition的名词复数 )
  • Old superstitions seem incredible to educated people. 旧的迷信对于受过教育的人来说是不可思议的。
  • Do away with all fetishes and superstitions. 破除一切盲目崇拜和迷信。
35 prehistoric sPVxQ     
  • They have found prehistoric remains.他们发现了史前遗迹。
  • It was rather like an exhibition of prehistoric electronic equipment.这儿倒像是在展览古老的电子设备。
36 immediate aapxh     
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
37 skull CETyO     
  • The skull bones fuse between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.头骨在15至25岁之间长合。
  • He fell out of the window and cracked his skull.他从窗子摔了出去,跌裂了颅骨。
38 physiological aAvyK     
  • He bought a physiological book.他买了一本生理学方面的书。
  • Every individual has a physiological requirement for each nutrient.每个人对每种营养成分都有一种生理上的需要。
39 scrap JDFzf     
  • A man comes round regularly collecting scrap.有个男人定时来收废品。
  • Sell that car for scrap.把那辆汽车当残品卖了吧。
40 entirely entirely     
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
41 sincerity zyZwY     
  • His sincerity added much more authority to the story.他的真诚更增加了故事的说服力。
  • He tried hard to satisfy me of his sincerity.他竭力让我了解他的诚意。
42 humbug ld8zV     
  • I know my words can seem to him nothing but utter humbug.我知道,我说的话在他看来不过是彻头彻尾的慌言。
  • All their fine words are nothing but humbug.他们的一切花言巧语都是骗人的。
43 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。
44 scuttle OEJyw     
  • There was a general scuttle for shelter when the rain began to fall heavily.下大雨了,人们都飞跑着寻找躲雨的地方。
  • The scuttle was open,and the good daylight shone in.明朗的亮光从敞开的小窗中照了进来。
45 alley Cx2zK     
  • We live in the same alley.我们住在同一条小巷里。
  • The blind alley ended in a brick wall.这条死胡同的尽头是砖墙。
46 steadily Qukw6     
  • 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。
47 silhouetted 4f4f3ccd0698303d7829ad553dcf9eef     
  • We could see a church silhouetted against the skyline. 我们可以看到一座教堂凸现在天际。
  • The stark jagged rocks were silhouetted against the sky. 光秃嶙峋的岩石衬托着天空的背景矗立在那里。
48 intermittent ebCzV     
  • Did you hear the intermittent sound outside?你听见外面时断时续的声音了吗?
  • In the daytime intermittent rains freshened all the earth.白天里,时断时续地下着雨,使整个大地都生气勃勃了。
49 intervals f46c9d8b430e8c86dea610ec56b7cbef     
n.[军事]间隔( interval的名词复数 );间隔时间;[数学]区间;(戏剧、电影或音乐会的)幕间休息
  • The forecast said there would be sunny intervals and showers. 预报间晴,有阵雨。
  • Meetings take place at fortnightly intervals. 每两周开一次会。
50 reined 90bca18bd35d2cee2318d494d6abfa96     
勒缰绳使(马)停步( rein的过去式和过去分词 ); 驾驭; 严格控制; 加强管理
  • Then, all of a sudden, he reined up his tired horse. 这时,他突然把疲倦的马勒住了。
  • The officer reined in his horse at a crossroads. 军官在十字路口勒住了马。
51 crabbed Svnz6M     
adj.脾气坏的;易怒的;(指字迹)难辨认的;(字迹等)难辨认的v.捕蟹( crab的过去式和过去分词 )
  • His mature composi tions are generally considered the more cerebral and crabbed. 他成熟的作品一般被认为是触动理智的和难于理解的。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • He met a crabbed, cantankerous director. 他碰上了一位坏脾气、爱争吵的主管。 来自辞典例句
52 inexplicable tbCzf     
  • It is now inexplicable how that development was misinterpreted.当时对这一事态发展的错误理解究竟是怎么产生的,现在已经无法说清楚了。
  • There are many things which are inexplicable by science.有很多事科学还无法解释。
53 exquisite zhez1     
  • I was admiring the exquisite workmanship in the mosaic.我当时正在欣赏镶嵌画的精致做工。
  • I still remember the exquisite pleasure I experienced in Bali.我依然记得在巴厘岛所经历的那种剧烈的快感。
54 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。
55 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
56 humbly humbly     
adv. 恭顺地,谦卑地
  • We humbly beg Your Majesty to show mercy. 我们恳请陛下发发慈悲。
  • "You must be right, Sir,'said John humbly. “你一定是对的,先生,”约翰恭顺地说道。
57 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。
58 exasperation HiyzX     
  • He snorted with exasperation.他愤怒地哼了一声。
  • She rolled her eyes in sheer exasperation.她气急败坏地转动着眼珠。
59 imperturbable dcQzG     
  • Thomas,of course,was cool and aloof and imperturbable.当然,托马斯沉着、冷漠,不易激动。
  • Edward was a model of good temper and his equanimity imperturbable.爱德华是个典型的好性子,他总是沉着镇定。
60 irrelevancy bdad577dca3d34d4af4019a5f7c2d039     
61 vividly tebzrE     
  • The speaker pictured the suffering of the poor vividly.演讲者很生动地描述了穷人的生活。
  • The characters in the book are vividly presented.这本书里的人物写得栩栩如生。
62 irritably e3uxw     
  • He lost his temper and snapped irritably at the children. 他发火了,暴躁地斥责孩子们。
  • On this account the silence was irritably broken by a reproof. 为了这件事,他妻子大声斥责,令人恼火地打破了宁静。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
63 transparent Smhwx     
  • The water is so transparent that we can see the fishes swimming.水清澈透明,可以看到鱼儿游来游去。
  • The window glass is transparent.窗玻璃是透明的。
64 socialist jwcws     
  • China is a socialist country,and a developing country as well.中国是一个社会主义国家,也是一个发展中国家。
  • His father was an ardent socialist.他父亲是一个热情的社会主义者。
65 anarchist Ww4zk     
  • You must be an anarchist at heart.你在心底肯定是个无政府主义者。
  • I did my best to comfort them and assure them I was not an anarchist.我尽量安抚他们并让它们明白我并不是一个无政府主义者。
66 cremation 4f4ab38aa2f2418460d3e3f6fb425ab6     
  • Cremation is more common than burial in some countries. 在一些国家,火葬比土葬普遍。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Garbage cremation can greatly reduce the occupancy of land. 垃圾焚烧可以大大减少占用土地。 来自互联网
67 indifference k8DxO     
  • 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。
68 salons 71f5df506205527f72f05e3721322d5e     
n.(营业性质的)店( salon的名词复数 );厅;沙龙(旧时在上流社会女主人家的例行聚会或聚会场所);(大宅中的)客厅
  • He used to attend to his literary salons. 他过去常常去参加他的文学沙龙。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Conspiracy theories about Jewish financiers were the talk of Paris salons. 犹太金融家阴谋论成为巴黎沙龙的话题。 来自互联网
69 salon VjTz2Z     
  • Do you go to the hairdresser or beauty salon more than twice a week?你每周去美容院或美容沙龙多过两次吗?
  • You can hear a lot of dirt at a salon.你在沙龙上会听到很多流言蜚语。
70 eloquent ymLyN     
  • He was so eloquent that he cut down the finest orator.他能言善辩,胜过最好的演说家。
  • These ruins are an eloquent reminder of the horrors of war.这些废墟形象地提醒人们不要忘记战争的恐怖。
71 monstrous vwFyM     
  • The smoke began to whirl and grew into a monstrous column.浓烟开始盘旋上升,形成了一个巨大的烟柱。
  • Your behaviour in class is monstrous!你在课堂上的行为真是丢人!
72 twilight gKizf     
  • Twilight merged into darkness.夕阳的光辉融于黑暗中。
  • Twilight was sweet with the smell of lilac and freshly turned earth.薄暮充满紫丁香和新翻耕的泥土的香味。
73 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。
74 misty l6mzx     
  • He crossed over to the window to see if it was still misty.他走到窗户那儿,看看是不是还有雾霭。
  • The misty scene had a dreamy quality about it.雾景给人以梦幻般的感觉。
75 astonishment VvjzR     
  • 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。
76 ushered d337b3442ea0cc4312a5950ae8911282     
v.引,领,陪同( usher的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The secretary ushered me into his office. 秘书把我领进他的办公室。
  • A round of parties ushered in the New Year. 一系列的晚会迎来了新年。 来自《简明英汉词典》
77 fiery ElEye     
  • She has fiery red hair.她有一头火红的头发。
  • His fiery speech agitated the crowd.他热情洋溢的讲话激动了群众。
78 retirement TWoxH     
  • 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。
79 opportune qIXxR     
  • Her arrival was very opportune.她来得非常及时。
  • The timing of our statement is very opportune.我们发表声明选择的时机很恰当。
80 ardent yvjzd     
  • He's an ardent supporter of the local football team.他是本地足球队的热情支持者。
  • Ardent expectations were held by his parents for his college career.他父母对他的大学学习抱着殷切的期望。
81 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。
82 placidly c0c28951cb36e0d70b9b64b1d177906e     
  • Hurstwood stood placidly by, while the car rolled back into the yard. 当车子开回场地时,赫斯渥沉着地站在一边。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • The water chestnut floated placidly there, where it would grow. 那棵菱角就又安安稳稳浮在水面上生长去了。 来自汉英文学 - 中国现代小说
83 ecstasy 9kJzY     
  • He listened to the music with ecstasy.他听音乐听得入了神。
  • Speechless with ecstasy,the little boys gazed at the toys.小孩注视着那些玩具,高兴得说不出话来。
84 repartee usjyz     
  • This diplomat possessed an excellent gift for repartee.这位外交官具有卓越的应对才能。
  • He was a brilliant debater and his gift of repartee was celebrated.他擅长辩论,以敏于应答著称。
85 hilarious xdhz3     
  • The party got quite hilarious after they brought more wine.在他们又拿来更多的酒之后,派对变得更加热闹起来。
  • We stop laughing because the show was so hilarious.我们笑个不停,因为那个节目太搞笑了。
86 apoplectic seNya     
  • He died from a stroke of apoplexy.他死于中风。
  • My father was apoplectic when he discovered the truth.我父亲在发现真相后勃然大怒。
87 feverish gzsye     
  • He is too feverish to rest.他兴奋得安静不下来。
  • They worked with feverish haste to finish the job.为了完成此事他们以狂热的速度工作着。
88 feverishly 5ac95dc6539beaf41c678cd0fa6f89c7     
adv. 兴奋地
  • Feverishly he collected his data. 他拼命收集资料。
  • The company is having to cast around feverishly for ways to cut its costs. 公司迫切须要想出各种降低成本的办法。
89 worthy vftwB     
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我认为他不值得信赖。
  • There occurred nothing that was worthy to be mentioned.没有值得一提的事发生。
90 momentary hj3ya     
  • 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。
91 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。
92 aristocrat uvRzb     
  • He was the quintessential english aristocrat.他是典型的英国贵族。
  • He is an aristocrat to the very marrow of his bones.他是一个道道地地的贵族。
93 distressed du1z3y     
  • He was too distressed and confused to answer their questions. 他非常苦恼而困惑,无法回答他们的问题。
  • The news of his death distressed us greatly. 他逝世的消息使我们极为悲痛。
94 obeisance fH5xT     
  • He made obeisance to the king.他向国王表示臣服。
  • While he was still young and strong all paid obeisance to him.他年轻力壮时所有人都对他毕恭毕敬。
95 utterance dKczL     
  • This utterance of his was greeted with bursts of uproarious laughter.他的讲话引起阵阵哄然大笑。
  • My voice cleaves to my throat,and sob chokes my utterance.我的噪子哽咽,泣不成声。
96 peal Hm0zVO     
  • The bells of the cathedral rang out their loud peal.大教堂响起了响亮的钟声。
  • A sudden peal of thunder leaves no time to cover the ears.迅雷不及掩耳。
97 trotted 6df8e0ef20c10ef975433b4a0456e6e1     
小跑,急走( trot的过去分词 ); 匆匆忙忙地走
  • She trotted her pony around the field. 她骑着小马绕场慢跑。
  • Anne trotted obediently beside her mother. 安妮听话地跟在妈妈身边走。
98 reactionary 4TWxJ     
  • They forced thousands of peasants into their reactionary armies.他们迫使成千上万的农民参加他们的反动军队。
  • The reactionary ruling clique was torn by internal strife.反动统治集团内部勾心斗角,四分五裂。
99 stimulus 3huyO     
  • Regard each failure as a stimulus to further efforts.把每次失利看成对进一步努力的激励。
  • Light is a stimulus to growth in plants.光是促进植物生长的一个因素。
100 sullen kHGzl     
  • He looked up at the sullen sky.他抬头看了一眼阴沉的天空。
  • Susan was sullen in the morning because she hadn't slept well.苏珊今天早上郁闷不乐,因为昨晚没睡好。
101 serpentine MEgzx     
  • One part of the Serpentine is kept for swimmers.蜿蜒河的一段划为游泳区。
  • Tremolite laths and serpentine minerals are present in places.有的地方出现透闪石板条及蛇纹石。
102 contrive GpqzY     
  • Can you contrive to be here a little earlier?你能不能早一点来?
  • How could you contrive to make such a mess of things?你怎么把事情弄得一团糟呢?
103 philosophical rN5xh     
  • The teacher couldn't answer the philosophical problem.老师不能解答这个哲学问题。
  • She is very philosophical about her bad luck.她对自己的不幸看得很开。
104 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。
105 futile vfTz2     
  • They were killed,to the last man,in a futile attack.因为进攻失败,他们全部被杀,无一幸免。
  • Their efforts to revive him were futile.他们对他抢救无效。
106 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。
107 abruptly iINyJ     
  • He gestured abruptly for Virginia to get in the car.他粗鲁地示意弗吉尼亚上车。
  • I was abruptly notified that a half-hour speech was expected of me.我突然被通知要讲半个小时的话。
108 sane 9YZxB     
  • He was sane at the time of the murder.在凶杀案发生时他的神志是清醒的。
  • He is a very sane person.他是一个很有头脑的人。
109 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。
110 illuminating IqWzgS     
  • We didn't find the examples he used particularly illuminating. 我们觉得他采用的那些例证启发性不是特别大。
  • I found his talk most illuminating. 我觉得他的话很有启发性。
111 disapprove 9udx3     
  • I quite disapprove of his behaviour.我很不赞同他的行为。
  • She wants to train for the theatre but her parents disapprove.她想训练自己做戏剧演员,但她的父母不赞成。
112 swell IHnzB     
  • The waves had taken on a deep swell.海浪汹涌。
  • His injured wrist began to swell.他那受伤的手腕开始肿了。
113 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
114 savagely 902f52b3c682f478ddd5202b40afefb9     
adv. 野蛮地,残酷地
  • The roses had been pruned back savagely. 玫瑰被狠狠地修剪了一番。
  • He snarled savagely at her. 他向她狂吼起来。
115 kindliness 2133e1da2ddf0309b4a22d6f5022476b     
  • Martha looked up into a strange face and dark eyes alight with kindliness and concern. 马撒慢慢抬起头,映入眼帘的是张陌生的脸,脸上有一双充满慈爱和关注的眼睛。 来自辞典例句
  • I think the chief thing that struck me about Burton was his kindliness. 我想,我对伯顿印象最深之处主要还是这个人的和善。 来自辞典例句
116 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。
117 esteem imhyZ     
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我认为他不值得信赖。
  • The veteran worker ranks high in public love and esteem.那位老工人深受大伙的爱戴。
118 meditations f4b300324e129a004479aa8f4c41e44a     
默想( meditation的名词复数 ); 默念; 沉思; 冥想
  • Each sentence seems a quarry of rich meditations. 每一句话似乎都给人以许多冥思默想。
  • I'm sorry to interrupt your meditations. 我很抱歉,打断你思考问题了。
119 shrill EEize     
  • Whistles began to shrill outside the barn.哨声开始在谷仓外面尖叫。
  • The shrill ringing of a bell broke up the card game on the cutter.刺耳的铃声打散了小汽艇的牌局。
120 geniality PgSxm     
  • They said he is a pitiless,cold-blooded fellow,with no geniality in him.他们说他是个毫无怜悯心、一点也不和蔼的冷血动物。
  • Not a shade was there of anything save geniality and kindness.他的眼神里只显出愉快与和气,看不出一丝邪意。
121 rattling 7b0e25ab43c3cc912945aafbb80e7dfd     
adj. 格格作响的, 活泼的, 很好的 adv. 极其, 很, 非常 动词rattle的现在分词
  • This book is a rattling good read. 这是一本非常好的读物。
  • At that same instant,a deafening explosion set the windows rattling. 正在这时,一声震耳欲聋的爆炸突然袭来,把窗玻璃震得当当地响。
122 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。
123 pelted 06668f3db8b57fcc7cffd5559df5ec21     
(连续地)投掷( pelt的过去式和过去分词 ); 连续抨击; 攻击; 剥去…的皮
  • The children pelted him with snowballs. 孩子们向他投掷雪球。
  • The rain pelted down. 天下着大雨。
124 heartily Ld3xp     
  • 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。
125 juncture e3exI     
  • The project is situated at the juncture of the new and old urban districts.该项目位于新老城区交界处。
  • It is very difficult at this juncture to predict the company's future.此时很难预料公司的前景。
126 pompous 416zv     
  • He was somewhat pompous and had a high opinion of his own capabilities.他有点自大,自视甚高。
  • He is a good man underneath his pompous appearance. 他的外表虽傲慢,其实是个好人。
127 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。
128 hoarsely hoarsely     
  • "Excuse me," he said hoarsely. “对不起。”他用嘶哑的嗓子说。
  • Jerry hoarsely professed himself at Miss Pross's service. 杰瑞嘶声嘶气地表示愿为普洛丝小姐效劳。 来自英汉文学 - 双城记
129 commendable LXXyw     
  • The government's action here is highly commendable.政府这样的行动值得高度赞扬。
  • Such carping is not commendable.这样吹毛求疵真不大好。
130 vigour lhtwr     
  • She is full of vigour and enthusiasm.她有热情,有朝气。
  • At 40,he was in his prime and full of vigour.他40岁时正年富力强。
131 thoroughly sgmz0J     
  • The soil must be thoroughly turned over before planting.一定要先把土地深翻一遍再下种。
  • The soldiers have been thoroughly instructed in the care of their weapons.士兵们都系统地接受过保护武器的训练。
132 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
133 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
134 hampered 3c5fb339e8465f0b89285ad0a790a834     
妨碍,束缚,限制( hamper的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The search was hampered by appalling weather conditions. 恶劣的天气妨碍了搜寻工作。
  • So thought every harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg. 圣彼德堡镇的那些受折磨、受拘束的体面孩子们个个都是这么想的。
135 obliterated 5b21c854b61847047948152f774a0c94     
v.除去( obliterate的过去式和过去分词 );涂去;擦掉;彻底破坏或毁灭
  • The building was completely obliterated by the bomb. 炸弹把那座建筑物彻底摧毁了。
  • He began to drink, drank himself to intoxication, till he slept obliterated. 他一直喝,喝到他快要迷糊地睡着了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
136 absurdities df766e7f956019fcf6a19cc2525cadfb     
n.极端无理性( absurdity的名词复数 );荒谬;谬论;荒谬的行为
  • She has a sharp eye for social absurdities, and compassion for the victims of social change. 她独具慧眼,能够看到社会上荒唐的事情,对于社会变革的受害者寄以同情。 来自辞典例句
  • The absurdities he uttered at the dinner party landed his wife in an awkward situation. 他在宴会上讲的荒唐话使他太太陷入窘境。 来自辞典例句
137 immoral waCx8     
  • She was questioned about his immoral conduct toward her.她被询问过有关他对她的不道德行为的情况。
  • It is my belief that nuclear weapons are immoral.我相信使核武器是不邪恶的。
138 piracy 9N3xO     
  • The government has already adopted effective measures against piracy.政府已采取有效措施惩治盗版行为。
  • They made the place a notorious centre of piracy.他们把这地方变成了臭名昭著的海盗中心。
139 vaguely BfuzOy     
  • He had talked vaguely of going to work abroad.他含糊其词地说了到国外工作的事。
  • He looked vaguely before him with unseeing eyes.他迷迷糊糊的望着前面,对一切都视而不见。
140 exultation wzeyn     
  • It made him catch his breath, it lit his face with exultation. 听了这个名字,他屏住呼吸,乐得脸上放光。
  • He could get up no exultation that was really worthy the name. 他一点都激动不起来。
141 blasphemy noyyW     
  • His writings were branded as obscene and a blasphemy against God.他的著作被定为淫秽作品,是对上帝的亵渎。
  • You have just heard his blasphemy!你刚刚听到他那番亵渎上帝的话了!
142 elegance QjPzj     
  • The furnishings in the room imparted an air of elegance.这个房间的家具带给这房间一种优雅的气氛。
  • John has been known for his sartorial elegance.约翰因为衣着讲究而出名。
143 gaol Qh8xK     
  • He was released from the gaol.他被释放出狱。
  • The man spent several years in gaol for robbery.这男人因犯抢劫罪而坐了几年牢。


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