小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Altar of the Dead » CHAPTER I.
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
CHAPTER I.
关注小说网官方公众号(noveltingroom),原版名著免费领。
 He had a mortal dislike, poor Stransom, to lean anniversaries, and loved them still less when they made a pretence1 of a figure.  Celebrations and suppressions were equally painful to him, and but one of the former found a place in his life.  He had kept each year in his own fashion the date of Mary Antrim’s death.  It would be more to the point perhaps to say that this occasion kept him: it kept him at least effectually from doing anything else.  It took hold of him again and again with a hand of which time had softened2 but never loosened the touch.  He waked to his feast of memory as consciously as he would have waked to his marriage-morn.  Marriage had had of old but too little to say to the matter: for the girl who was to have been his bride there had been no bridal embrace.  She had died of a malignant3 fever after the wedding-day had been fixed4, and he had lost before fairly tasting it an affection that promised to fill his life to the brim.
 
Of that benediction5, however, it would have been false to say this life could really be emptied: it was still ruled by a pale ghost, still ordered by a sovereign presence.  He had not been a man of numerous passions, and even in all these years no sense had grown stronger with him than the sense of being bereft6.  He had needed no priest and no altar to make him for ever widowed.  He had done many things in the world—he had done almost all but one: he had never, never forgotten.  He had tried to put into his existence whatever else might take up room in it, but had failed to make it more than a house of which the mistress was eternally absent.  She was most absent of all on the recurrent December day that his tenacity7 set apart.  He had no arranged observance of it, but his nerves made it all their own.  They drove him forth8 without mercy, and the goal of his pilgrimage was far.  She had been buried in a London suburb, a part then of Nature’s breast, but which he had seen lose one after another every feature of freshness.  It was in truth during the moments he stood there that his eyes beheld9 the place least.  They looked at another image, they opened to another light.  Was it a credible10 future?  Was it an incredible past?  Whatever the answer it was an immense escape from the actual.
 
It’s true that if there weren’t other dates than this there were other memories; and by the time George Stransom was fifty-five such memories had greatly multiplied.  There were other ghosts in his life than the ghost of Mary Antrim.  He had perhaps not had more losses than most men, but he had counted his losses more; he hadn’t seen death more closely, but had in a manner felt it more deeply.  He had formed little by little the habit of numbering his Dead: it had come to him early in life that there was something one had to do for them.  They were there in their simplified intensified11 essence, their conscious absence and expressive12 patience, as personally there as if they had only been stricken dumb.  When all sense of them failed, all sound of them ceased, it was as if their purgatory13 were really still on earth: they asked so little that they got, poor things, even less, and died again, died every day, of the hard usage of life.  They had no organised service, no reserved place, no honour, no shelter, no safety.  Even ungenerous people provided for the living, but even those who were called most generous did nothing for the others.  So on George Stransom’s part had grown up with the years a resolve that he at least would do something, do it, that is, for his own—would perform the great charity without reproach.  Every man had his own, and every man had, to meet this charity, the ample resources of the soul.
 
It was doubtless the voice of Mary Antrim that spoke14 for them best; as the years at any rate went by he found himself in regular communion with these postponed15 pensioners16, those whom indeed he always called in his thoughts the Others.  He spared them the moments, he organised the charity.  Quite how it had risen he probably never could have told you, but what came to pass was that an altar, such as was after all within everybody’s compass, lighted with perpetual candles and dedicated17 to these secret rites18, reared itself in his spiritual spaces.  He had wondered of old, in some embarrassment19, whether he had a religion; being very sure, and not a little content, that he hadn’t at all events the religion some of the people he had known wanted him to have.  Gradually this question was straightened out for him: it became clear to him that the religion instilled20 by his earliest consciousness had been simply the religion of the Dead.  It suited his inclination21, it satisfied his spirit, it gave employment to his piety22.  It answered his love of great offices, of a solemn and splendid ritual; for no shrine23 could be more bedecked and no ceremonial more stately than those to which his worship was attached.  He had no imagination about these things but that they were accessible to any one who should feel the need of them.  The poorest could build such temples of the spirit—could make them blaze with candles and smoke with incense24, make them flush with pictures and flowers.  The cost, in the common phrase, of keeping them up fell wholly on the generous heart.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 pretence pretence     
n.假装,作假;借口,口实;虚伪;虚饰
参考例句:
  • The government abandoned any pretence of reform. 政府不再装模作样地进行改革。
  • He made a pretence of being happy at the party.晚会上他假装很高兴。
2 softened 19151c4e3297eb1618bed6a05d92b4fe     
(使)变软( soften的过去式和过去分词 ); 缓解打击; 缓和; 安慰
参考例句:
  • His smile softened slightly. 他的微笑稍柔和了些。
  • The ice cream softened and began to melt. 冰淇淋开始变软并开始融化。
3 malignant Z89zY     
adj.恶性的,致命的;恶意的,恶毒的
参考例句:
  • Alexander got a malignant slander.亚历山大受到恶意的诽谤。
  • He started to his feet with a malignant glance at Winston.他爬了起来,不高兴地看了温斯顿一眼。
4 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
5 benediction 6Q4y0     
n.祝福;恩赐
参考例句:
  • The priest pronounced a benediction over the couple at the end of the marriage ceremony.牧师在婚礼结束时为新婚夫妇祈求上帝赐福。
  • He went abroad with his parents' benediction.他带着父母的祝福出国去了。
6 bereft ndjy9     
adj.被剥夺的
参考例句:
  • The place seemed to be utterly bereft of human life.这个地方似乎根本没有人烟。
  • She was bereft of happiness.她失去了幸福。
7 tenacity dq9y2     
n.坚韧
参考例句:
  • Tenacity is the bridge to success.坚韧是通向成功的桥。
  • The athletes displayed great tenacity throughout the contest.运动员在比赛中表现出坚韧的斗志。
8 forth Hzdz2     
adv.向前;向外,往外
参考例句:
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
9 beheld beheld     
v.看,注视( behold的过去式和过去分词 );瞧;看呀;(叙述中用于引出某人意外的出现)哎哟
参考例句:
  • His eyes had never beheld such opulence. 他从未见过这样的财富。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soul beheld its features in the mirror of the passing moment. 灵魂在逝去的瞬间的镜子中看到了自己的模样。 来自英汉文学 - 红字
10 credible JOAzG     
adj.可信任的,可靠的
参考例句:
  • The news report is hardly credible.这则新闻报道令人难以置信。
  • Is there a credible alternative to the nuclear deterrent?是否有可以取代核威慑力量的可靠办法?
11 intensified 4b3b31dab91d010ec3f02bff8b189d1a     
v.(使)增强, (使)加剧( intensify的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Violence intensified during the night. 在夜间暴力活动加剧了。
  • The drought has intensified. 旱情加剧了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
12 expressive shwz4     
adj.表现的,表达…的,富于表情的
参考例句:
  • Black English can be more expressive than standard English.黑人所使用的英语可能比正式英语更有表现力。
  • He had a mobile,expressive,animated face.他有一张多变的,富于表情的,生动活泼的脸。
13 purgatory BS7zE     
n.炼狱;苦难;adj.净化的,清洗的
参考例句:
  • Every step of the last three miles was purgatory.最后3英里时每一步都像是受罪。
  • Marriage,with peace,is this world's paradise;with strife,this world's purgatory.和谐的婚姻是尘世的乐园,不和谐的婚姻则是人生的炼狱。
14 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。
15 postponed 9dc016075e0da542aaa70e9f01bf4ab1     
vt.& vi.延期,缓办,(使)延迟vt.把…放在次要地位;[语]把…放在后面(或句尾)vi.(疟疾等)延缓发作(或复发)
参考例句:
  • The trial was postponed indefinitely. 审讯无限期延迟。
  • The game has already been postponed three times. 这场比赛已经三度延期了。
16 pensioners 688c361eca60974e5ceff4190b75ee1c     
n.领取退休、养老金或抚恤金的人( pensioner的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • He intends to redistribute income from the middle class to poorer paid employees and pensioners. 他意图把中产阶级到低薪雇员和退休人员的收入做重新分配。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I am myself one of the pensioners upon the fund left by our noble benefactor. 我自己就是一个我们的高贵的施主遗留基金的养老金领取者。 来自辞典例句
17 dedicated duHzy2     
adj.一心一意的;献身的;热诚的
参考例句:
  • He dedicated his life to the cause of education.他献身于教育事业。
  • His whole energies are dedicated to improve the design.他的全部精力都放在改进这项设计上了。
18 rites 5026f3cfef698ee535d713fec44bcf27     
仪式,典礼( rite的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • to administer the last rites to sb 给某人举行临终圣事
  • He is interested in mystic rites and ceremonies. 他对神秘的仪式感兴趣。
19 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。
20 instilled instilled     
v.逐渐使某人获得(某种可取的品质),逐步灌输( instill的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • Nature has instilled in our minds an insatiable desire to see truth. 自然给我们心灵注入了永无休止的发现真理的欲望。 来自辞典例句
  • I instilled the need for kindness into my children. 我不断向孩子们灌输仁慈的必要。 来自辞典例句
21 inclination Gkwyj     
n.倾斜;点头;弯腰;斜坡;倾度;倾向;爱好
参考例句:
  • She greeted us with a slight inclination of the head.她微微点头向我们致意。
  • I did not feel the slightest inclination to hurry.我没有丝毫着急的意思。
22 piety muuy3     
n.虔诚,虔敬
参考例句:
  • They were drawn to the church not by piety but by curiosity.他们去教堂不是出于虔诚而是出于好奇。
  • Experience makes us see an enormous difference between piety and goodness.经验使我们看到虔诚与善意之间有着巨大的区别。
23 shrine 0yfw7     
n.圣地,神龛,庙;v.将...置于神龛内,把...奉为神圣
参考例句:
  • The shrine was an object of pilgrimage.这处圣地是人们朝圣的目的地。
  • They bowed down before the shrine.他们在神龛前鞠躬示敬。
24 incense dcLzU     
v.激怒;n.香,焚香时的烟,香气
参考例句:
  • This proposal will incense conservation campaigners.这项提议会激怒环保人士。
  • In summer,they usually burn some coil incense to keep away the mosquitoes.夏天他们通常点香驱蚊。


欢迎访问英文小说网

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533