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首页 » 经典英文小说 » The Head of the House of Coombe » CHAPTER XV
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 Before Robin1 had been taken to the seaside to be helped by the bracing2 air of the Norfolk coast to recover her lost appetite and forget her small tragedy, she had observed that unaccustomed things were taking place in the house. Workmen came in and out through the mews at the back and brought ladders with them and tools in queer bags. She heard hammerings which began very early in the morning and went on all day. As Andrews had trained her not to ask tiresome3 questions, she only crept now and then to a back window and peeped out. But in a few days Dowson took her away.
When she came back to London, she was not taken up the steep dark stairs to the third floor. Dowson led her into some rooms she had never seen before. They were light and airy and had pretty walls and furniture. A sitting-room4 on the ground floor had even a round window with plants in it and a canary bird singing in a cage.
“May we stay here?” she asked Dowson in a whisper.
“We are going to live here,” was the answer.
And so they did.
At first Feather occasionally took her intimates to see the additional apartments.
“In perfect splendour is the creature put up, and I with a bedroom like a coalhole and such drawing-rooms as you see each time you enter the house!” she broke forth5 spitefully one day when she forgot herself.
She said it to the Starling and Harrowby, who had been simply gazing about them in fevered mystification, because the new development was a thing which must invoke6 some more or less interesting explanation. At her outbreak, all they could do was to gaze at her with impartial7 eyes, which suggested question, and Feather shrugged8 pettish9 shoulders.
“You knew I didn’t do it. How could I?” she said. “It is a queer whim10 of Coombe’s. Of course, it is not the least like him. I call it morbid11.”
After which people knew about the matter and found it a subject for edifying12 and quite stimulating13 discussion. There was something fantastic in the situation. Coombe was the last man on earth to have taken the slightest notice of the child’s existence! It was believed that he had never seen her—except in long clothes—until she had glared at him and put her hand behind her back the night she was brought into the drawing-room. She had been adroitly14 kept tucked away in an attic15 somewhere. And now behold16 an addition of several wonderful, small rooms built, furnished and decorated for her alone, where she was to live as in a miniature palace attended by servitors! Coombe, as a purveyor17 of nursery appurtenances, was regarded with humour, the general opinion being that the eruption18 of a volcano beneath his feet alone could have awakened19 his somewhat chill self-absorption to the recognition of any child’s existence.
“To be exact we none of us really know anything in particular about his mental processes.” Harrowby pondered aloud. “He’s capable of any number of things we might not understand, if he condescended20 to tell us about them—which he would never attempt. He has a remote, brilliantly stored, cynical21 mind. He owns that he is of an inhuman22 selfishness. I haven’t a suggestion to make, but it sets one searching through the purlieus of one’s mind for an approximately reasonable explanation.”
“Why ‘purlieus’?” was the Starling’s inquiry23. Harrowby shrugged his shoulders ever so lightly.
“Well, one isn’t searching for reasons founded on copy-book axioms,” he shook his head. “Coombe? No.”
There was a silence given to occult thought.
“Feather is really in a rage and is too Feathery to be able to conceal24 it,” said Starling.
“Feather would be—inevitably,” Harrowby lifted his near-sighted eyes to her curiously25. “Can you see Feather in the future—when Robin is ten years older?”
“I can,” the Starling answered.
The years which followed were changing years—growing years. Life and entertainment went on fast and furiously in all parts of London, and in no part more rapidly than in the slice of a house whose front always presented an air of having been freshly decorated, in spite of summer rain and winter soot26 and fog. The plants in the window boxes seemed always in bloom, being magically replaced in the early morning hours when they dared to hint at flagging. Mrs. Gareth-Lawless, it was said, must be renewed in some such mysterious morning way, as she merely grew prettier as she neared thirty and passed it. Women did in these days! Which last phrase had always been a useful one, probably from the time of the Flood. Old fogeys, male and female, had used it in the past as a means of scathingly unfavourable comparison, growing flushed and almost gobbling like turkey cocks in their indignation. Now, as a phrase, it was a support and a mollifier. “In these days” one knew better how to amuse oneself, was more free to snatch at agreeable opportunity, less in bondage27 to old fancies which had called themselves beliefs; everything whirled faster and more lightly—danced, two-stepped, instead of marching.
Robin vaguely28 connected certain changes in her existence with the changes which took place in the fashion of sleeves and skirts which appeared to produce radical29 effects in the world she caught glimpses of. Sometimes sleeves were closely fitted to people’s arms, then puffs30 sprang from them and grew until they were enormous and required delicate manipulation when coats were put on; then their lavishness31 of material fell from the shoulder to the wrists and hung there swaying until some sudden development of skirt seemed to distract their attention from themselves and they shrank into unimportance and skirts changed instead. Afterwards, sometimes figures were slim and encased in sheathlike draperies, sometimes folds rippled32 about feet, “fullness” crept here or there or disappeared altogether, trains grew longer or shorter or wider or narrower, cashmeres, grosgrain silks and heavy satins were suddenly gone and chiffon wreathed itself about the world and took possession of it. Bonnets33 ceased to exist and hats were immense or tiny, tall or flat, tilted34 at the back, at the side, at the front, worn over the face or dashingly rolled back from it; feathers drooped35 or stood upright at heights which rose and fell and changed position with the changing seasons. No garment or individual wore the same aspect for more than a month’s time. It was necessary to change all things with a rapidity matching the change of moods and fancies which altered at the rate of the automobiles36 which dashed here and there and everywhere, through country roads, through town, through remote places with an unsparing swiftness which set a new pace for the world.
“I cannot hark back regretfully to stage coaches,” said Lord Coombe. “Even I was not born early enough for that. But in the days of my youth and innocence37 express trains seemed almost supernatural. One could drive a pair of horses twenty miles to make a country visit, but one could not drive back the same day. One’s circle had its limitations and degrees of intimacy38. Now it is possible motor fifty miles to lunch and home to dine with guests from the remotest corners of the earth. Oceans are crossed in six days, and the eager flit from continent to continent. Engagements can be made by cable and the truly enterprising can accept an invitation to dine in America on a fortnight’s notice. Telephones communicate in a few seconds and no one is secure from social intercourse39 for fifteen minutes. Acquaintances and correspondence have no limitations because all the inhabitants of the globe can reach one by motor or electricity. In moments of fatigue40 I revert41 to the days of Queen Anne with pleasure.”
While these changes went on, Robin lived in her own world in her own quarters at the rear of the slice of a house. During the early years spent with Dowson, she learned gradually that life was a better thing than she had known in the dreary42 gloom of the third floor Day and Night Nurseries. She was no longer left to spend hours alone, nor was she taken below stairs to listen blankly to servants talking to each other of mysterious things with which she herself and the Lady Downstairs and “him” were somehow connected, her discovery of this fact being based on the dropping of voices and sidelong glances at her and sudden warning sounds from Andrews. She realized that Dowson would never pinch her, and the rooms she lived in were pretty and bright.
Gradually playthings and picture books appeared in them, which she gathered Dowson presented her with. She gathered this from Dowson herself.
She had never played with the doll, and, by chance a day arriving when Lord Coombe encountered Dowson in the street without her charge, he stopped her again and spoke43 as before.
“Is the little girl well and happy, Nurse?” he asked.
“Quite well, my lord, and much happier than she used to be.”
“Did she,” he hesitated slightly, “like the playthings you bought her?”
Dowson hesitated more than slightly but, being a sensible woman and at the same time curious about the matter, she spoke the truth.
“She wouldn’t play with them at all, my lord. I couldn’t persuade her to. What her child’s fancy was I don’t know.”
“Neither do I—except that it is founded on a distinct dislike,” said Coombe. There was a brief pause. “Are you fond of toys yourself, Dowson?” he inquired coldly.
“I am that—and I know how to choose them, your lordship,” replied Dowson, with a large, shrewd intelligence.
“Then oblige me by throwing away the doll and its accompaniments and buying some toys for yourself, at my expense. You can present them to Miss Robin as a personal gift. She will accept them from you.”
He passed on his way and Dowson looked after him interestedly.
“If she was his,” she thought, “I shouldn’t be puzzled. But she’s not—that I’ve ever heard of. He’s got some fancy of his own the same as Robin has, though you wouldn’t think it to look at him. I’d like to know what it is.”
It was a fancy—an old, old fancy—it harked back nearly thirty years—to the dark days of youth and passion and unending tragedy whose anguish44, as it then seemed, could never pass—but which, nevertheless, had faded with the years as they flowed by. And yet left him as he was and had been. He was not sentimental45 about it, he smiled at himself drearily—though never at the memory—when it rose again and, through its vague power, led him to do strange things curiously verging46 on the emotional and eccentric. But even the child—who quite loathed47 him for some fantastic infant reason of her own—even the child had her part in it. His soul oddly withdrew itself into a far remoteness as he walked away and Piccadilly became a shadow and a dream.
Dowson went home and began to pack neatly48 in a box the neglected doll and the toys which had accompanied her. Robin seeing her doing it, asked a question.
“Are they going back to the shop?”
“No. Lord Coombe is letting me give them to a little girl who is very poor and has to lie in bed because her back hurts her. His lordship is so kind he does not want you to be troubled with them. He is not angry. He is too good to be angry.”
That was not true, thought Robin. He had done that thing she remembered! Goodness could not have done it. Only badness.
When Dowson brought in a new doll and other wonderful things, a little hand enclosed her wrist quite tightly as she was unpacking49 the boxes. It was Robin’s and the small creature looked at her with a questioning, half appealing, half fierce.
“Did he send them, Dowson?”
“They are a present from me,” Dowson answered comfortably, and Robin said again,
“I want to kiss you. I like to kiss you. I do.”
To those given to psychical50 interests and speculations51, it might have suggested itself that, on the night when the creature who had seemed to Andrews a soft tissued puppet had suddenly burst forth into defiance52 and fearless shrillness53, some cerebral54 change had taken place in her. From that hour her softness had become a thing of the past. Dowson had not found a baby, but a brooding, little, passionate55 being. She was neither insubordinate nor irritable56, but Dowson was conscious of a certain intensity57 of temperament58 in her. She knew that she was always thinking of things of which she said almost nothing. Only a sensible motherly curiosity, such as Dowson’s could have made discoveries, but a rare question put by the child at long intervals59 sometimes threw a faint light. There were questions chiefly concerning mothers and their habits and customs. They were such as, in their very unconsciousness, revealed a strange past history. Lights were most unconsciously thrown by Mrs. Gareth-Lawless herself. Her quite amiable60 detachment from all shadow of responsibility, her brilliantly unending occupations, her goings in and out, the flocks of light, almost noisy, intimates who came in and out with her revealed much to a respectable person who had soberly watched the world.
“The Lady Downstairs is my mother, isn’t she?” Robin inquired gravely once.
“Yes, my dear,” was Dowson’s answer.
A pause for consideration of the matter and then from Robin:
“All mothers are not alike, Dowson, are they?”
“No, my dear,” with wisdom.
Though she was not yet seven, life had so changed for her that it was a far cry back to the Spring days in the Square Gardens. She went back, however, back into that remote ecstatic past.
“The Lady Downstairs is not—alike,” she said at last, “Donal’s mother loved him. She let him sit in the same chair with her and read in picture books. She kissed him when he was in bed.”
Jennings, the young footman who was a humourist, had, of course, heard witty61 references to Robin’s love affair while in attendance, and he had equally, of course, repeated them below stairs. Therefore,
Dowson had heard vague rumours62 but had tactfully refrained from mentioning the subject to her charge.
“Who was Donal?” she said now, but quite quietly. Robin did not know that a confidante would have made her first agony easier to bear. She was not really being confidential63 now, but, realizing Dowson’s comfortable kindliness64, she knew that it would be safe to speak to her.
“He was a big boy,” she answered keeping her eyes on Dowson’s face. “He laughed and ran and jumped. His eyes—” she stopped there because she could not explain what she had wanted to say about these joyous65 young eyes, which were the first friendly human ones she had known.
“He lives in Scotland,” she began again. “His mother loved him. He kissed me. He went away. Lord Coombe sent him.”
Dawson could not help her start.
“Lord Coombe!” she exclaimed.
Robin came close to her and ground her little fist into her knee, until its plumpness felt almost bruised66.
“He is bad—bad—bad!” and she looked like a little demon67.
Being a wise woman, Dowson knew at once that she had come upon a hidden child volcano, and it would be well to let it seethe68 into silence. She was not a clever person, but long experience had taught her that there were occasions when it was well to leave a child alone. This one would not answer if she were questioned. She would only become stubborn and furious, and no child should be goaded69 into fury. Dowson had, of course, learned that the boy was a relative of his lordship’s and had a strict Scottish mother who did not approve of the slice of a house. His lordship might have been concerned in the matter—or he might not. But at least Dowson had gained a side light. And how the little thing had cared! Actually as if she had been a grown girl, Dowson found herself thinking uneasily.
She was rendered even a trifle more uneasy a few days later when she came upon Robin sitting in a corner on a footstool with a picture book on her knee, and she recognized it as the one she had discovered during her first exploitation of the resources of the third floor nursery. It was inscribed70 “Donal” and Robin was not looking at it alone, but at something she held in her hand—something folded in a crumpled71, untidy bit of paper.
Making a reason for nearing her corner, Dowson saw what the paper held. The contents looked like the broken fragments of some dried leaves. The child was gazing at them with a piteous, bewildered face—so piteous that Dowson was sorry.
“Do you want to keep those?” she asked.
“Yes,” with a caught breath. “Yes.”
“I will make you a little silk bag to hold them in,” Dowson said, actually feeling rather piteous herself. The poor, little lamb with her picture book and her bits of broken dry leaves—almost like senna.
She sat down near her and Robin left her footstool and came to her. She laid the picture book on her lap and the senna like fragments of leaves on its open page.
“Donal brought it to show me,” she quavered. “He made pretty things on the leaves—with his dirk.” She recalled too much—too much all at once. Her eyes grew rounder and larger with inescapable woe72; “Donal did! Donal!” And suddenly she hid her face deep in Dowson’s skirts and the tempest broke. She was so small a thing—so inarticulate—and these were her dead! Dowson could only catch her in her arms, drag her up on her knee, and rock her to and fro.
“Good Lord! Good Lord!” was her inward ejaculation. “And she not seven! What’ll she do when she’s seventeen! She’s one of them there’s no help for!”
It was the beginning of an affection. After this, when Dowson tucked Robin in bed each night, she kissed her. She told her stories and taught her to sew and to know her letters. Using some discretion73 she found certain little playmates for her in the Gardens. But there were occasions when all did not go well, and some pretty, friendly child, who had played with Robin for a few days, suddenly seemed to be kept strictly74 by her nurse’s side. Once, when she was about ten years old, a newcomer, a dramatic and too richly dressed little person, after a day of wonderful imaginative playing appeared in the Gardens the morning following to turn an ostentatious cold shoulder.
“What is the matter?” asked Robin.
“Oh, we can’t play with you any more,” with quite a flounce superiority.
“Why not?” said Robin, becoming haughty75 herself.
“We can’t. It’s because of Lord Coombe.” The little person had really no definite knowledge of how Lord Coombe was concerned, but certain servants’ whisperings of names and mysterious phrases had conveyed quite an enjoyable effect of unknown iniquity76 connected with his lordship.
Robin said nothing to Dowson, but walked up and down the paths reflecting and building a slow fire which would continue to burn in her young heart. She had by then passed the round, soft baby period and had entered into that phase when bodies and legs grow long and slender and small faces lose their first curves and begin to show sharper modeling.
Accepting the situation in its entirety, Dowson had seen that it was well to first reach Lord Coombe with any need of the child’s. Afterwards, the form of presenting it to Mrs. Gareth-Lawless must be gone through, but if she were first spoken to any suggestion might be forgotten or intentionally77 ignored.
Dowson became clever in her calculations as to when his lordship might be encountered and where—as if by chance, and therefore, quite respectfully. Sometimes she remotely wondered if he himself did not make such encounters easy for her. But his manner never altered in its somewhat stiff, expressionless chill of indifference78. He never was kindly79 in his manner to the child if he met her. Dowson felt him at once casual and “lofty.” Robin might have been a bit of unconsidered rubbish, the sight of which slightly bored him. Yet the singular fact remained that it was to him one must carefully appeal.
One afternoon Feather swept him, with one or two others, into the sitting-room with the round window in which flowers grew. Robin was sitting at a low table making pothooks with a lead pencil on a piece of paper Dowson had given her. Dowson had, in fact, set her at the task, having heard from Jennings that his lordship and the other afternoon tea drinkers were to be brought into the “Palace” as Feather ironically chose to call it. Jennings rather liked Dowson, and often told her little things she wanted to know. It was because Lord Coombe would probably come in with the rest that Dowson had set the low, white table in the round windows and suggested the pothooks.
In course of time there was a fluttering and a chatter80 in the corridor. Feather was bringing some new guests, who had not seen the place before.
“This is where my daughter lives. She is much grander than I am,” she said.
“Stand up, Miss Robin, and make your curtsey,” whispered Dowson. Robin did as she was told, and Mrs. Gareth-Lawless’ pretty brows ran up.
“Look at her legs,” she said. “She’s growing like Jack81 and the Bean Stalk—though, I suppose, it was only the Bean Stalk that grew. She’ll stick through the top of the house soon. Look at her legs, I ask you.”
She always spoke as if the child were an inanimate object and she had, by this time and by this means, managed to sweep from Robin’s mind all the old, babyish worship of her loveliness and had planted in its place another feeling. At this moment the other feeling surged and burned.
“They are beautiful legs,” remarked a laughing young man jocularly, “but perhaps she does not particularly want us to look at them. Wait until she begins skirt dancing.” And everybody laughed at once and the child stood rigid—the object of their light ridicule—not herself knowing that her whole little being was cursing them aloud.
Coombe stepped to the little table and bestowed82 a casual glance on the pencil marks.
“What is she doing?” he asked as casually83 of Dowson.
“She is learning to make pothooks, my lord,” Dowson answered. “She’s a child that wants to be learning things. I’ve taught her her letters and to spell little words. She’s quick—and old enough, your lordship.”
“Learning to read and write!” exclaimed Feather.
“Presumption, I call it. I don’t know how to read and write—least I don’t know how to spell. Do you know how to spell, Collie?” to the young man, whose name was Colin. “Do you, Genevieve? Do you, Artie?”
“You can’t betray me into vulgar boasting,” said Collie. “Who does in these days? Nobody but clerks at Peter Robinson’s.”
“Lord Coombe does—but that’s his tiresome superior way,” said Feather.
“He’s nearly forty years older than most of you. That is the reason,” Coombe commented. “Don’t deplore84 your youth and innocence.”
They swept through the rooms and examined everything in them. The truth was that the—by this time well known—fact that the unexplainable Coombe had built them made them a curiosity, and a sort of secret source of jokes. The party even mounted to the upper story to go through the bedrooms, and, it was while they were doing this, that Coombe chose to linger behind with Dowson.
He remained entirely85 expressionless for a few moments. Dowson did not in the least gather whether he meant to speak to her or not. But he did.
“You meant,” he scarcely glanced at her, “that she was old enough for a governess.”
“Yes, my lord,” rather breathless in her hurry to speak before she heard the high heels tapping on the staircase again. “And one that’s a good woman as well as clever, if I may take the liberty. A good one if—”
“If a good one would take the place?”
Dowson did not attempt refutation or apology. She knew better.
He said no more, but sauntered out of the room.
As he did so, Robin stood up and made the little “charity bob” of a curtsey which had been part of her nursery education. She was too old now to have refused him her hand, but he never made any advances to her. He acknowledged her curtsey with the briefest nod.
Not three minutes later the high heels came tapping down the staircase and the small gust86 of visitors swept away also.


1 robin Oj7zme     
  • The robin is the messenger of spring.知更鸟是报春的使者。
  • We knew spring was coming as we had seen a robin.我们看见了一只知更鸟,知道春天要到了。
2 bracing oxQzcw     
  • The country is bracing itself for the threatened enemy invasion. 这个国家正准备奋起抵抗敌人的入侵威胁。
  • The atmosphere in the new government was bracing. 新政府的气氛是令人振奋的。
3 tiresome Kgty9     
  • His doubts and hesitations were tiresome.他的疑惑和犹豫令人厌烦。
  • He was tiresome in contending for the value of his own labors.他老为他自己劳动的价值而争强斗胜,令人生厌。
4 sitting-room sitting-room     
  • The sitting-room is clean.起居室很清洁。
  • Each villa has a separate sitting-room.每栋别墅都有一间独立的起居室。
5 forth Hzdz2     
  • 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。
6 invoke G4sxB     
  • Let us invoke the blessings of peace.让我们祈求和平之福。
  • I hope I'll never have to invoke this clause and lodge a claim with you.我希望我永远不会使用这个条款向你们索赔。
7 impartial eykyR     
  • He gave an impartial view of the state of affairs in Ireland.他对爱尔兰的事态发表了公正的看法。
  • Careers officers offer impartial advice to all pupils.就业指导员向所有学生提供公正无私的建议。
8 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 pettish LNUxx     
  • I can't act in pettish to you any further.我再也不能对你撒娇了。
  • He was getting more and more pettish and hysterical.他变得越来越任性,越来越歇斯底里。
10 whim 2gywE     
  • I bought the encyclopedia on a whim.我凭一时的兴致买了这本百科全书。
  • He had a sudden whim to go sailing today.今天他突然想要去航海。
11 morbid u6qz3     
  • Some people have a morbid fascination with crime.一些人对犯罪有一种病态的痴迷。
  • It's morbid to dwell on cemeteries and such like.不厌其烦地谈论墓地以及诸如此类的事是一种病态。
12 edifying a97ce6cffd0a5657c9644f46b1c20531     
adj.有教训意味的,教训性的,有益的v.开导,启发( edify的现在分词 )
  • Young students are advised to read edifying books to improve their mind. 建议青年学生们读一些陶冶性情的书籍,以提高自己的心智。 来自辞典例句
  • This edifying spectacle was the final event of the Governor's ball. 这个有启发性的表演便是省长的舞会的最后一个节目了。 来自辞典例句
13 stimulating ShBz7A     
  • shower gel containing plant extracts that have a stimulating effect on the skin 含有对皮肤有益的植物精华的沐浴凝胶
  • This is a drug for stimulating nerves. 这是一种兴奋剂。
14 adroitly adroitly     
  • He displayed the cigarette holder grandly on every occasion and had learned to manipulate it adroitly. 他学会了一套用手灵巧地摆弄烟嘴的动作,一有机会就要拿它炫耀一番。 来自辞典例句
  • The waitress passes a fine menu to Molly who orders dishes adroitly. 女服务生捧来菜单递给茉莉,后者轻车熟路地点菜。 来自互联网
15 attic Hv4zZ     
  • Leakiness in the roof caused a damp attic.屋漏使顶楼潮湿。
  • What's to be done with all this stuff in the attic?顶楼上的材料怎么处理?
16 behold jQKy9     
  • The industry of these little ants is wonderful to behold.这些小蚂蚁辛勤劳动的样子看上去真令人惊叹。
  • The sunrise at the seaside was quite a sight to behold.海滨日出真是个奇景。
17 purveyor GiMyN     
  • Silence, purveyor of gossip, do not spread that report. 快别那样说,新闻记者阁下,别散布那个消息。 来自互联网
  • Teaching purpose: To comprehensively understand the role function and consciousness composition of a news purveyor. 教学目的:全面深入的理解新闻传播者的角色功能和意识构成。 来自互联网
18 eruption UomxV     
  • The temple was destroyed in the violent eruption of 1470 BC.庙宇在公元前1470年猛烈的火山爆发中摧毁了。
  • The eruption of a volcano is spontaneous.火山的爆发是自发的。
19 awakened de71059d0b3cd8a1de21151c9166f9f0     
v.(使)醒( awaken的过去式和过去分词 );(使)觉醒;弄醒;(使)意识到
  • She awakened to the sound of birds singing. 她醒来听到鸟的叫声。
  • The public has been awakened to the full horror of the situation. 公众完全意识到了这一状况的可怕程度。 来自《简明英汉词典》
20 condescended 6a4524ede64ac055dc5095ccadbc49cd     
屈尊,俯就( condescend的过去式和过去分词 ); 故意表示和蔼可亲
  • We had to wait almost an hour before he condescended to see us. 我们等了几乎一小时他才屈尊大驾来见我们。
  • The king condescended to take advice from his servants. 国王屈驾向仆人征求意见。
21 cynical Dnbz9     
  • The enormous difficulty makes him cynical about the feasibility of the idea.由于困难很大,他对这个主意是否可行持怀疑态度。
  • He was cynical that any good could come of democracy.他不相信民主会带来什么好处。
22 inhuman F7NxW     
  • We must unite the workers in fighting against inhuman conditions.我们必须使工人们团结起来反对那些难以忍受的工作条件。
  • It was inhuman to refuse him permission to see his wife.不容许他去看自己的妻子是太不近人情了。
23 inquiry nbgzF     
  • Many parents have been pressing for an inquiry into the problem.许多家长迫切要求调查这个问题。
  • The field of inquiry has narrowed down to five persons.调查的范围已经缩小到只剩5个人了。
24 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。
25 curiously 3v0zIc     
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
26 soot ehryH     
  • Soot is the product of the imperfect combustion of fuel.煤烟是燃料不完全燃烧的产物。
  • The chimney was choked with soot.烟囱被煤灰堵塞了。
27 bondage 0NtzR     
  • Masters sometimes allowed their slaves to buy their way out of bondage.奴隶主们有时允许奴隶为自己赎身。
  • They aim to deliver the people who are in bondage to superstitious belief.他们的目的在于解脱那些受迷信束缚的人。
28 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。
29 radical hA8zu     
  • The patient got a radical cure in the hospital.病人在医院得到了根治。
  • She is radical in her demands.她的要求十分偏激。
30 puffs cb3699ccb6e175dfc305ea6255d392d6     
n.吸( puff的名词复数 );(烟斗或香烟的)一吸;一缕(烟、蒸汽等);(呼吸或风的)呼v.使喷出( puff的第三人称单数 );喷着汽(或烟)移动;吹嘘;吹捧
  • We sat exchanging puffs from that wild pipe of his. 我们坐在那里,轮番抽着他那支野里野气的烟斗。 来自辞典例句
  • Puffs of steam and smoke came from the engine. 一股股蒸汽和烟雾从那火车头里冒出来。 来自辞典例句
31 lavishness ad7cdc96a27b24b734dca4f5af6e3464     
32 rippled 70d8043cc816594c4563aec11217f70d     
  • The lake rippled gently. 湖面轻轻地泛起涟漪。
  • The wind rippled the surface of the cornfield. 微风吹过麦田,泛起一片麦浪。
33 bonnets 8e4529b6df6e389494d272b2f3ae0ead     
n.童帽( bonnet的名词复数 );(烟囱等的)覆盖物;(苏格兰男子的)无边呢帽;(女子戴的)任何一种帽子
  • All the best bonnets of the city were there. 城里戴最漂亮的无边女帽的妇女全都到场了。 来自辞典例句
  • I am tempting you with bonnets and bangles and leading you into a pit. 我是在用帽子和镯子引诱你,引你上钩。 来自飘(部分)
34 tilted 3gtzE5     
v. 倾斜的
  • Suddenly the boat tilted to one side. 小船突然倾向一侧。
  • She tilted her chin at him defiantly. 她向他翘起下巴表示挑衅。
35 drooped ebf637c3f860adcaaf9c11089a322fa5     
弯曲或下垂,发蔫( droop的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Her eyelids drooped as if she were on the verge of sleep. 她眼睑低垂好像快要睡着的样子。
  • The flowers drooped in the heat of the sun. 花儿晒蔫了。
36 automobiles 760a1b7b6ea4a07c12e5f64cc766962b     
n.汽车( automobile的名词复数 )
  • When automobiles become popular,the use of the horse and buggy passed away. 汽车普及后,就不再使用马和马车了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Automobiles speed in an endless stream along the boulevard. 宽阔的林荫道上,汽车川流不息。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
37 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。
38 intimacy z4Vxx     
  • His claims to an intimacy with the President are somewhat exaggerated.他声称自己与总统关系密切,这有点言过其实。
  • I wish there were a rule book for intimacy.我希望能有个关于亲密的规则。
39 intercourse NbMzU     
  • The magazine becomes a cultural medium of intercourse between the two peoples.该杂志成为两民族间文化交流的媒介。
  • There was close intercourse between them.他们过往很密。
40 fatigue PhVzV     
  • 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。
41 revert OBwzV     
  • Let us revert to the earlier part of the chapter.让我们回到本章的前面部分。
  • Shall we revert to the matter we talked about yesterday?我们接着昨天谈过的问题谈,好吗?
42 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。
43 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。
44 anguish awZz0     
  • She cried out for anguish at parting.分手时,她由于痛苦而失声大哭。
  • The unspeakable anguish wrung his heart.难言的痛苦折磨着他的心。
45 sentimental dDuzS     
  • She's a sentimental woman who believes marriage comes by destiny.她是多愁善感的人,她相信姻缘命中注定。
  • We were deeply touched by the sentimental movie.我们深深被那感伤的电影所感动。
46 verging 3f5e65b3ccba8e50272f9babca07d5a7     
  • He vowed understanding, verging on sympathy, for our approach. 他宣称对我们提出的做法很理解,而且近乎同情。
  • He's verging on 80 now and needs constant attention. 他已近80岁,需要侍候左右。
47 loathed dbdbbc9cf5c853a4f358a2cd10c12ff2     
v.憎恨,厌恶( loathe的过去式和过去分词 );极不喜欢
  • Baker loathed going to this red-haired young pup for supplies. 面包师傅不喜欢去这个红头发的自负的傻小子那里拿原料。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Therefore, above all things else, he loathed his miserable self! 因此,他厌恶不幸的自我尤胜其它! 来自英汉文学 - 红字
48 neatly ynZzBp     
  • Sailors know how to wind up a long rope neatly.水手们知道怎样把一条大绳利落地缠好。
  • The child's dress is neatly gathered at the neck.那孩子的衣服在领口处打着整齐的皱褶。
49 unpacking 4cd1f3e1b7db9c6a932889b5839cdd25     
n.取出货物,拆包[箱]v.从(包裹等)中取出(所装的东西),打开行李取出( unpack的现在分词 );拆包;解除…的负担;吐露(心事等)
  • Joe sat on the bed while Martin was unpacking. 马丁打开箱子取东西的时候,乔坐在床上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They are unpacking a trunk. 他们正在打开衣箱。 来自《简明英汉词典》
50 psychical 8d18cc3bc74677380d4909fef11c68da     
  • Conclusion: The Liuhe-lottery does harm to people, s psychical health and should be for bidden. 结论:“六合彩”赌博有害人们心理卫生,应予以严禁。 来自互联网
51 speculations da17a00acfa088f5ac0adab7a30990eb     
n.投机买卖( speculation的名词复数 );思考;投机活动;推断
  • Your speculations were all quite close to the truth. 你的揣测都很接近于事实。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • This possibility gives rise to interesting speculations. 这种可能性引起了有趣的推测。 来自《用法词典》
52 defiance RmSzx     
  • He climbed the ladder in defiance of the warning.他无视警告爬上了那架梯子。
  • He slammed the door in a spirit of defiance.他以挑衅性的态度把门砰地一下关上。
53 shrillness 9421c6a729ca59c1d41822212f633ec8     
54 cerebral oUdyb     
  • Your left cerebral hemisphere controls the right-hand side of your body.你的左半脑控制身体的右半身。
  • He is a precise,methodical,cerebral man who carefully chooses his words.他是一个一丝不苟、有条理和理智的人,措辞谨慎。
55 passionate rLDxd     
  • He is said to be the most passionate man.据说他是最有激情的人。
  • He is very passionate about the project.他对那个项目非常热心。
56 irritable LRuzn     
  • He gets irritable when he's got toothache.他牙一疼就很容易发脾气。
  • Our teacher is an irritable old lady.She gets angry easily.我们的老师是位脾气急躁的老太太。她很容易生气。
57 intensity 45Ixd     
  • I didn't realize the intensity of people's feelings on this issue.我没有意识到这一问题能引起群情激奋。
  • The strike is growing in intensity.罢工日益加剧。
58 temperament 7INzf     
  • The analysis of what kind of temperament you possess is vital.分析一下你有什么样的气质是十分重要的。
  • Success often depends on temperament.成功常常取决于一个人的性格。
59 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。
60 amiable hxAzZ     
  • 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。
61 witty GMmz0     
  • Her witty remarks added a little salt to the conversation.她的妙语使谈话增添了一些风趣。
  • He scored a bull's-eye in their argument with that witty retort.在他们的辩论中他那一句机智的反驳击中了要害。
62 rumours ba6e2decd2e28dec9a80f28cb99e131d     
n.传闻( rumour的名词复数 );风闻;谣言;谣传
  • The rumours were completely baseless. 那些谣传毫无根据。
  • Rumours of job losses were later confirmed. 裁员的传言后来得到了证实。
63 confidential MOKzA     
  • He refused to allow his secretary to handle confidential letters.他不让秘书处理机密文件。
  • We have a confidential exchange of views.我们推心置腹地交换意见。
64 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
65 joyous d3sxB     
  • The lively dance heightened the joyous atmosphere of the scene.轻快的舞蹈给这场戏渲染了欢乐气氛。
  • They conveyed the joyous news to us soon.他们把这一佳音很快地传递给我们。
66 bruised 5xKz2P     
  • his bruised and bloodied nose 他沾满血的青肿的鼻子
  • She had slipped and badly bruised her face. 她滑了一跤,摔得鼻青脸肿。
67 demon Wmdyj     
  • The demon of greed ruined the miser's happiness.贪得无厌的恶习毁掉了那个守财奴的幸福。
  • He has been possessed by the demon of disease for years.他多年来病魔缠身。
68 seethe QE0yt     
  • Many Indians continue to seethe and some are calling for military action against their riotous neighbour.很多印度人都处于热血沸腾的状态,很多都呼吁针对印度这个恶邻采取军事行动。
  • She seethed with indignation.她由于愤怒而不能平静。
69 goaded 57b32819f8f3c0114069ed3397e6596e     
v.刺激( goad的过去式和过去分词 );激励;(用尖棒)驱赶;驱使(或怂恿、刺激)某人
  • Goaded beyond endurance, she turned on him and hit out. 她被气得忍无可忍,于是转身向他猛击。
  • The boxers were goaded on by the shrieking crowd. 拳击运动员听见观众的喊叫就来劲儿了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
70 inscribed 65fb4f97174c35f702447e725cb615e7     
v.写,刻( inscribe的过去式和过去分词 );内接
  • His name was inscribed on the trophy. 他的名字刻在奖杯上。
  • The names of the dead were inscribed on the wall. 死者的名字被刻在墙上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
71 crumpled crumpled     
adj. 弯扭的, 变皱的 动词crumple的过去式和过去分词形式
  • She crumpled the letter up into a ball and threw it on the fire. 她把那封信揉成一团扔进了火里。
  • She flattened out the crumpled letter on the desk. 她在写字台上把皱巴巴的信展平。
72 woe OfGyu     
  • Our two peoples are brothers sharing weal and woe.我们两国人民是患难与共的兄弟。
  • A man is well or woe as he thinks himself so.自认祸是祸,自认福是福。
73 discretion FZQzm     
  • You must show discretion in choosing your friend.你择友时必须慎重。
  • Please use your best discretion to handle the matter.请慎重处理此事。
74 strictly GtNwe     
  • His doctor is dieting him strictly.他的医生严格规定他的饮食。
  • The guests were seated strictly in order of precedence.客人严格按照地位高低就座。
75 haughty 4dKzq     
  • He gave me a haughty look and walked away.他向我摆出傲慢的表情后走开。
  • They were displeased with her haughty airs.他们讨厌她高傲的派头。
76 iniquity F48yK     
  • Research has revealed that he is a monster of iniquity.调查结果显示他是一个不法之徒。
  • The iniquity of the transaction aroused general indignation.这笔交易的不公引起了普遍的愤怒。
77 intentionally 7qOzFn     
  • I didn't say it intentionally. 我是无心说的。
  • The local authority ruled that he had made himself intentionally homeless and was therefore not entitled to be rehoused. 当地政府裁定他是有意居无定所,因此没有资格再获得提供住房。
78 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。
79 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。
80 chatter BUfyN     
  • Her continuous chatter vexes me.她的喋喋不休使我烦透了。
  • I've had enough of their continual chatter.我已厌烦了他们喋喋不休的闲谈。
81 jack 53Hxp     
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
82 bestowed 12e1d67c73811aa19bdfe3ae4a8c2c28     
赠给,授予( bestow的过去式和过去分词 )
  • It was a title bestowed upon him by the king. 那是国王赐给他的头衔。
  • He considered himself unworthy of the honour they had bestowed on him. 他认为自己不配得到大家赋予他的荣誉。
83 casually UwBzvw     
  • She remarked casually that she was changing her job.她当时漫不经心地说要换工作。
  • I casually mentioned that I might be interested in working abroad.我不经意地提到我可能会对出国工作感兴趣。
84 deplore mmdz1     
  • I deplore what has happened.我为所发生的事深感愤慨。
  • There are many of us who deplore this lack of responsibility.我们中有许多人谴责这种不负责任的做法。
85 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。
86 gust q5Zyu     
  • A gust of wind blew the front door shut.一阵大风吹来,把前门关上了。
  • A gust of happiness swept through her.一股幸福的暖流流遍她的全身。


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