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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Timid Lucy » CHAPTER IV. AN ANNOUNCEMENT.
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 All the family at the cottage were awake at sunrise the next morning, and there was an unusual bustle1 throughout the house. Mrs. Maxwell was flying about with a duster in her hand, giving her orders to the servants, and working twice as busily as any of them. The large room opposite to Lucy's was open, and being put in thorough order. This room had been occupied by Lucy's mother during her illness, and had been kept closed since her death. It had always seemed a gloomy place to the little girl; she had peeped in when the door chanced to be open to air the apartment. Now it was undergoing an entire change; the shutters2, so long fastened, were thrown back, and muslin curtains fluttered in the morning breeze; neat covers had been placed on the dark bureau and table; and on the latter Mrs. Maxwell was placing a large India work-box that had belonged to Mrs. Vale, and which Lucy had not seen since she was a very little child.
Before going down to breakfast, she stepped in to see the pleasant change more closely; she was startled by meeting a mild glance from a sweet face on the wall. It was her mamma's portrait that looked thus gently upon her, and she almost expected the kind face to bend down to kiss her, as it had been wont3 to do when that dear mamma was alive. Lucy had never seen this picture before, and she could not help wondering where it had come from, and why it was placed there, where none of the family could see it. Indeed, she was thoroughly4 puzzled to understand what could be the cause of all this commotion5 in the usually quiet house.
Mrs. Maxwell poured out coffee in silence, and Lucy asked no questions; but before they rose from the table, Harty came bounding into the room, crying, "Guess who is coming here, Lucy."
"Isn't it cousin Jack6?" asked Lucy, almost sighing to think what a life she should lead with the two boys to tease her.
"Guess again," said Harty; and she did guess all the aunts, cousins, and friends that had ever been to make them a visit, but in vain. When Harty had enjoyed her curiosity long enough, he said, "Well, Miss Mouse" (a name he often called her), "sister Rosa is coming home to live, and she is to tell us what to do, and be like a little mother for us! That's what father told me."
Lucy did not know whether to be glad or sorry at this news; she had not seen her sister for many years, and perhaps she might be afraid of her, and perhaps Rosa might not care for such a little girl as herself, even younger than Harty.
The excited boy was in a state of great delight, and he talked to Lucy until she quite entered into his feelings. "Won't it be nice," he said, "to have Rosa at home? I shall offer her my arm when she goes to church, and lead you with the other hand. I shall lend her my 'Swiss Family Robinson;' I mean to put it in her room, that she may read it whenever she pleases. But she need not attempt to make me mind her, for I sha'n't do it; I am not going to have any girl set over me!"
"Oh, fie! Harty!" said Lucy, "to speak so of sister Rosa before you have seen her."
"Before I have seen her!" repeated Harty; "I remember her perfectly7; I have not forgotten how I used to play—she was my horse—and drive her round the house; you were only a little baby then."
"Not so very little," answered Lucy, pettishly8, for her brother had made her feel as if it were a disgrace to be young.
While they were talking, Julia Staples9 called to walk with her to school. Lucy soon told her all about her sister's expected return.
"I should not think you would like it!" said Julia; "she'll want the nicest of everything for herself, and make you wait on her, as if you were her servant."
Before they reached the school-house, Lucy was quite sure that Rosa's coming would make her unhappy. Julia Staples had been talking with little thought, but she had roused evil feelings in Lucy's mind which were strangers there. She was not naturally envious10, but now her heart burned at the idea that her sister would always be praised, and go out with her father, while she would be left at home with no one to care for her. Children do not think enough of the harm they may do each other by idle conversation. Julia might have encouraged Lucy in feeling kindly11 towards her expected sister, and have made her look forward to the meeting with pleasure; but she filled her mind with wicked, envious thoughts.
Do my young friends ever think whether they have roused wrong feelings in their companions? Two children can hardly talk together for half an hour without having some influence over each other, for good or for evil. The wrong thought that you have planted in the heart of a child may strengthen, and lead her to do some very wicked thing when you have forgotten the conversation.
A traveller once took some seeds of a very valuable plant with him on a journey. From time to time he cast them in the fields as he passed, and when he was far away they sprang up and were a great blessing12 to the people who owned the fields. A wicked traveller might have scattered13 the seeds of poisonous plants, which would have grown up to bring sickness and death to all who partook of them. Our life is like a journey, and whenever we talk with the people around us, we cast some seeds in their hearts, those which may spring up to bless them, or those which may cause them sin and sorrow.


1 bustle esazC     
  • The bustle and din gradually faded to silence as night advanced.随着夜越来越深,喧闹声逐渐沉寂。
  • There is a lot of hustle and bustle in the railway station.火车站里非常拥挤。
2 shutters 74d48a88b636ca064333022eb3458e1f     
百叶窗( shutter的名词复数 ); (照相机的)快门
  • The shop-front is fitted with rolling shutters. 那商店的店门装有卷门。
  • The shutters thumped the wall in the wind. 在风中百叶窗砰砰地碰在墙上。
3 wont peXzFP     
  • He was wont to say that children are lazy.他常常说小孩子们懒惰。
  • It is his wont to get up early.早起是他的习惯。
4 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。
5 commotion 3X3yo     
  • They made a commotion by yelling at each other in the theatre.他们在剧院里相互争吵,引起了一阵骚乱。
  • Suddenly the whole street was in commotion.突然间,整条街道变得一片混乱。
6 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。
7 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。
8 pettishly 7ab4060fbb40eff9237e3fd1df204fb1     
  • \"Oh, no,'she said, almost pettishly, \"I just don't feel very good.\" “哦,不是,\"她说,几乎想发火了,\"我只是觉得不大好受。” 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
  • Then he tossed the marble away pettishly, and stood cogitating. 于是他一气之下扔掉那个弹子,站在那儿沉思。 来自英汉文学 - 汤姆历险
9 staples a4d18fc84a927940d1294e253001ce3d     
n.(某国的)主要产品( staple的名词复数 );钉书钉;U 形钉;主要部份v.用钉书钉钉住( staple的第三人称单数 )
  • The anvil onto which the staples are pressed was not assemble correctly. 订书机上的铁砧安装错位。 来自辞典例句
  • I'm trying to make an analysis of the staples of his talk. 我在试行分析他的谈话的要旨。 来自辞典例句
10 envious n8SyX     
  • I don't think I'm envious of your success.我想我并不嫉妒你的成功。
  • She is envious of Jane's good looks and covetous of her car.她既忌妒简的美貌又垂涎她的汽车。
11 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。
12 blessing UxDztJ     
  • The blessing was said in Hebrew.祷告用了希伯来语。
  • A double blessing has descended upon the house.双喜临门。
13 scattered 7jgzKF     
  • Gathering up his scattered papers,he pushed them into his case.他把散乱的文件收拾起来,塞进文件夹里。


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