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MISS WATERLOW IN BED
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THIS is Miss Waterlow in bed.
 
Mrs. Waterlow is kissing her good-night, and saying:
 
“God bless you and keep you, my darling darlingest, my sweetheart, my little baby one.”
 
Miss Waterlow gives a little far-away smile. She is thinking:
 
“I know a funny thing to think when I’m alone.”
 
Mrs. Waterlow is looking at her as if she could never stop looking, and saying:
 
“Thank you, and thank you, God, for giving me my darling darlingest. You do understand, don’t you, that it doesn’t matter what happens to me, but oh! don’t let anything terrible happen to her!”
 
Miss Waterlow is thinking:
 
“I shall pretend I’m big as the moon, and nobody can catch me I’m so big. Isn’t that funny?{36}”
 
“Good-night, beloved. Sleep well, my darling darlingest.”
 
Miss Waterlow is remembering something ... something very beautiful ... but it all happened so long ago that she has forgotten the beginning of it before she remembers the end.
 
“Oh, my lovely, when you look like that you make me want to cry. What are you thinking of, darlingest?”
 
Miss Waterlow won’t tell.
 
Yet perhaps for a moment Mrs. Waterlow has been there, too.
 
“God bless you, my lovely,” she says, and puts out the light.
 
Miss Waterlow is alone.
 
 
Miss Waterlow at this time was one. It is a tremendous age to be, and often she would lie on her back and laugh to think of all the babies who were None. When{37} she was six months old, Mr. Waterlow, who was a poet, wrote some verses1 about her and he slipped them proudly into Mrs. Waterlow’s hand one evening. Owing to a misunderstanding, they were used to wedge2 the nursery window, which rattled3 at night; and though they wedged4 very delightfully5 for some time, Mr. Waterlow couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. Mrs. Waterlow was, of course, as sorry as she could be when she understood what had happened, but it was then too late. As Mr. Waterlow said: Once you have bent6 a piece of poetry, it is never quite the same again. Fortunately for all of us, two lines at the end, torn off so as to make the wedge the right thickness, have survived. They go like this:
 
“She never walks, and she never speaks—
And we’ve had her for weeks and weeks and weeks!”
Now the truth was that Miss Waterlow{38} could speak if she wanted to, but she had decided7 to wait until she was quarter-past-one. The reason was that she had such lovely things to remember, if only she could remember them. You can’t talk and think. For a year and a quarter she would just lie on her back and remember ... and then when she had it all quite clear in her mind, she would tell them all about it. But nobody can speak without practice. So every night, as soon as she was alone, she practised.
 
She practised now.
 
“Teddy!” she called.
 
Down on the floor, at the foot of her bed, Teddy-bear, whose head was nodding on his chest, woke up with a start.
 
“What is it?” he grumbled8.
 
“Are you asleep, Teddy?”
 
“I are and I aren’t,” said Teddy.
 
“I forght I were, and I weren’t,” said Miss Waterlow.{39}
 
“Well, well, what is it?”
 
“What’s a word for a lovely—a lovely—you know what I mean—and all of a sudden—only you don’t because—what is the word, Teddy?”
 
“Condensedmilk,” said Teddy.
 
“I don’t fink it is,” said Miss Waterlow.
 
“As near as you can get nowadays.”
 
Miss Waterlow sighed. She never seemed to get very near.
 
“Perhaps I shall never tell them,” said Miss Waterlow sadly. “Perhaps they don’t have the word.”
 
“Perhaps they don’t,” said Teddy. “It’s a funny thing about them,” he went on, waking up slightly, “what a few words they have got. Take ‘condensedmilk’ as an example. It does, but it isn’t really, if you see what I mean. That’s why I never talk to ’em now. They don’t get any richness{40} into their words—they don’t get any what I call flavour. There’s no bite.”
 
“I want a word—”
 
“Better go to sleep,” said Teddy, his head nodding suddenly again.
 
“Shan’t I ever be able to tell them?” asked Miss Waterlow wistfully.
 
“Never,” said Teddy sleepily. “They’ve got the wrong words.”
 
Miss Waterlow lay there, wrapt in drowsy9 and enchanted10 memories of that golden land to which she could never quite return. She would tell them all about it some day ... but not now ... not now ... not now....
 
She gave a little sigh, and was asleep.

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1 verses 58c1fc238a0a27814478346c10880255     
诗( verse的名词复数 ); 韵文; 诗节; (的)节
参考例句:
  • He quotes a few verses from Tennyson in his paper. 他在论文中引用了英国诗人丁尼生的几行诗句。
  • Tom sang the verses and everybody joined in chorus. 汤姆唱独唱部分,然后大家一起唱合唱部分。
2 wedge Xp5yV     
n.楔子,楔形物;vt.楔住,嵌,挤进;vi.被卡住
参考例句:
  • Put a wedge under the door so that it will stay open.在门下面插个楔,好让门开着。
  • The box won't wedge into such a narrow space.那盒无法塞进那么小的地方去。
3 rattled b4606e4247aadf3467575ffedf66305b     
慌乱的,恼火的
参考例句:
  • The truck jolted and rattled over the rough ground. 卡车嘎吱嘎吱地在凹凸不平的地面上颠簸而行。
  • Every time a bus went past, the windows rattled. 每逢公共汽车经过这里,窗户都格格作响。
4 wedged 20ce7def80719dd409707f688c20ba24     
楔( wedge的过去式和过去分词 ); 楔形物; (击高尔夫球的)楔形铁头球棒
参考例句:
  • The bone wedged in his throat and strangled him. 骨头卡在喉咙里使他窒息。
  • He wedged himself through the narrow window. 他从狭窄的窗户中挤了过去。
5 delightfully f0fe7d605b75a4c00aae2f25714e3131     
大喜,欣然
参考例句:
  • The room is delightfully appointed. 这房子的设备令人舒适愉快。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The evening is delightfully cool. 晚间凉爽宜人。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
6 bent QQ8yD     
n.爱好,癖好;adj.弯的;决心的,一心的
参考例句:
  • 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。
7 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。
8 grumbled ed735a7f7af37489d7db1a9ef3b64f91     
抱怨( grumble的过去式和过去分词 ); 发牢骚; 咕哝; 发哼声
参考例句:
  • He grumbled at the low pay offered to him. 他抱怨给他的工资低。
  • The heat was sweltering, and the men grumbled fiercely over their work. 天热得让人发昏,水手们边干活边发着牢骚。
9 drowsy DkYz3     
adj.昏昏欲睡的,令人发困的
参考例句:
  • Exhaust fumes made him drowsy and brought on a headache.废气把他熏得昏昏沉沉,还引起了头疼。
  • I feel drowsy after lunch every day.每天午饭后我就想睡觉。
10 enchanted enchanted     
adj. 被施魔法的,陶醉的,入迷的 动词enchant的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • She was enchanted by the flowers you sent her. 她非常喜欢你送给她的花。
  • He was enchanted by the idea. 他为这个主意而欣喜若狂。


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