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CHAPTER VIII. STAYING AT HOME.
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 The house was very still, and as Lucy moved about she was half startled at the sound of her own footsteps. She went into her sister's room to sit, for she fancied that it was more pleasant than her own; and then all Rosa's books were there; perhaps she might like to look at some of them.
 
The Bible was on the table; she took it up. "Rosa, from her Uncle Gillette," was written on the blank leaf; and before it were several sentences. They were as follows:—"Remember when you open this book, that God is with you, that He is speaking to you. Remember to ask God to bless to you what you read. When you close the book, think over what you have been reading, and take the first opportunity to practise it."
 
As Lucy read the first sentence, a fooling of awe1 stole over her; and she almost trembled to think how often she had carelessly opened the word of God, and hurried over its sacred pages. Now she reverently2 turned to the place where her sister had left the mark the evening before. The story of the storm on the sea of Galilee caught her eye: as she read it she felt sure that it must have been that sweet narrative3 which had so fixed4 Rosa's attention when she watched her.
 
Lucy repeated, again and again, the words of the blessed Saviour5, "Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith?" They seemed addressed to her by the kind Friend who stilled the tempest, and who, Rosa had said, would be ever with her to take care of her, if she would love Him and strive to be truly His child. "I will, I will love Him, and try to please Him," she said, half-aloud. "I should never be afraid, if I were sure He would watch over me."
 
She took up the Prayer Book, and read the verses with which the Morning Service commences. Some of them she did not quite understand; but when she came to "I will arise, and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy6 to be called thy son," she was reminded of the day when her sister had read to her the sweet parable7 from which those words are taken, and how she had said that one purpose of the parable was to show how willing God is to receive all those who really come to Him. Again her purpose strengthened to be His child, who could so freely forgive.
 
Lucy had been over the same Service almost every Sunday since she had been able to read, and could now find all the places without assistance, but she had hardly noticed many parts of it, and to some she had listened, while they were repeated by others, as if she had no part in the matter. Now the exhortation8, "Dearly beloved brethren, the Scripture9 moveth us in sundry10 places," seemed so direct and simple, that she wondered she could ever have heard it without feeling for how important a purpose she had come into the house of God.
 
With a strange feeling of solemnity, she knelt down and began to repeat the Confession11 aloud. The words were so simple and natural, and so true, that she seemed rather to be speaking what had long been in her heart, than repeating what had been spoken by many voices around her from Sunday to Sunday, while she thoughtlessly glanced on the page, or let her mind wander to other things. As she said, "We have done those things that we ought not to have done," little faults she had committed, acts known only to herself, came thronging12 on her memory. Among these painful recollections was the falsehood she had told about the light the morning after the thunder-storm. The whole fearful scene of that night came back to her: again she seemed standing13, trembling and alone, in the passage, while the incessant14 lightning appeared to threaten her with instant death. So long she dwelt on these circumstances, that she quite forgot she was on her knees, speaking to the mighty15 God of heaven. Suddenly it flashed upon her, and she started up, as if she feared He would immediately punish her for seeming to be praying, while her thoughts were far away. Lucy had begun to realize that prayer is something more than merely repeating a form of words.
 
The little girl had hardly risen from her knees before there was a ring at the door. She set off immediately to save Betsy the trouble of coming up stairs, for the poor old woman suffered much from rheumatism16, and Lucy knew it gave her great pain to move about. "I will go, Betsy," she called, as she passed the stairway.
 
A ragged17 Irishman was standing at the door. Lucy was almost afraid to turn the key, lest he should lay hold of her with his hard, rough hands: she felt inclined to call out to him to go away, as the doctor was not at home; but she thought of the misery18 that giving way to her fear of Mrs. Tappan's dog had cost her, and her father's reproof19, and she resolved that no poor sufferer should go uncared-for because she was afraid to speak to a man in ragged clothes.
 
She threw the door wide open, and was quite relieved when the Irishman took off his hat, and asked her very respectfully, "Is the doctor in?"
 
"He is not," answered Lucy, promptly20: "where shall I tell him to call?"
 
"Sure and it's jist down the lane, forninst Bridget O'Brady's: he can't miss it, for isn't it the poorest bit of roof in the place? and tell him to come quick, if you plase, miss."
 
The man turned to go away, but Lucy called after him, not at all satisfied that the direction would be sufficient. "What is your name?" she asked; "I want to put it down on the slate21 for my father."
 
"It's Owen M'Grath, plase you; and don't be afther stopping me, for who will be minding the baby, and the mother so sick, while I am jist talking here?" So saying, he hurried from the door.
 
Lucy had very little idea how the name was to be spelt, but she put it down as well as she could, the direction and all, and looked at it quite proudly when it was done. It was neatly22 written, but oh, the spelling!
 
"Who was that, Miss Lucy?" called Betsy.
 
"An Irishman with a queer name: he says he lives by Bridget O'Brady's," was the reply.
 
"Oh! dreadful!" shouted Betsy. "Why, Miss Lucy, they've got the small-pox in all them dirty little houses; you've ketched it for certain. Go, take off every rag of clothes you've got on, and throw them into the tub there in the yard: I don't know who'll wash 'em. I am sure I should not want to touch 'em with a broomstick."
 
Poor Lucy, pale and trembling, ran up stairs and did as Betsy had advised. Even in the midst of her fright she could not help thinking that she was glad it was her calico, not the favourite silk, that she happened to have on, since she must thrust it into the water, to lie there till some one should dare to remove it.
 
The happy birds were still singing about the pretty cottage, and the trees were waving in the sunshine, but Lucy did not see them; her hands were pressed tightly over her eyes, and she rocked to and fro, thinking of all the horrible stories she had heard about the disease which Betsy said she had "ketched for certain."
 
"I shall be very ill," she thought, "and who will dare to nurse me? Perhaps I shall die; and if I get well, my face will be all marked, so that nobody will like to look at me. I wonder if Rosa would be afraid to sit by my bed, if nobody else would stay with me. I should hate to see her face all pitted. How badly I should feel if she should take the small-pox from me. Perhaps I shall give it to her if I see her now." At this last thought, Lucy ran into her own little room. There she sat sobbing23 until church was out. She forgot that there was a Friend with her, in that quiet room, who could have given her comfort, if she had called on Him in her trouble.
 

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 awe WNqzC     
n.敬畏,惊惧;vt.使敬畏,使惊惧
参考例句:
  • The sight filled us with awe.这景色使我们大为惊叹。
  • The approaching tornado struck awe in our hearts.正在逼近的龙卷风使我们惊恐万分。
2 reverently FjPzwr     
adv.虔诚地
参考例句:
  • He gazed reverently at the handiwork. 他满怀敬意地凝视着这件手工艺品。
  • Pork gazed at it reverently and slowly delight spread over his face. 波克怀着愉快的心情看着这只表,脸上慢慢显出十分崇敬的神色。
3 narrative CFmxS     
n.叙述,故事;adj.叙事的,故事体的
参考例句:
  • He was a writer of great narrative power.他是一位颇有记述能力的作家。
  • Neither author was very strong on narrative.两个作者都不是很善于讲故事。
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 saviour pjszHK     
n.拯救者,救星
参考例句:
  • I saw myself as the saviour of my country.我幻想自己为国家的救星。
  • The people clearly saw her as their saviour.人们显然把她看成了救星。
6 worthy vftwB     
adj.(of)值得的,配得上的;有价值的
参考例句:
  • 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。
7 parable R4hzI     
n.寓言,比喻
参考例句:
  • This is an ancient parable.这是一个古老的寓言。
  • The minister preached a sermon on the parable of the lost sheep.牧师讲道时用了亡羊的比喻。
8 exhortation ihXzk     
n.劝告,规劝
参考例句:
  • After repeated exhortation by his comrades,he finally straightened out his thinking.经过同志们再三劝导,他终于想通了。
  • Foreign funds alone are clearly not enough,nor are exhortations to reform.光有外资显然不够,只是劝告人们进行改革也不行。
9 scripture WZUx4     
n.经文,圣书,手稿;Scripture:(常用复数)《圣经》,《圣经》中的一段
参考例句:
  • The scripture states that God did not want us to be alone.圣经指出上帝并不是想让我们独身一人生活。
  • They invoked Hindu scripture to justify their position.他们援引印度教的经文为他们的立场辩护。
10 sundry CswwL     
adj.各式各样的,种种的
参考例句:
  • This cream can be used to treat sundry minor injuries.这种药膏可用来治各种轻伤。
  • We can see the rich man on sundry occasions.我们能在各种场合见到那个富豪。
11 confession 8Ygye     
n.自白,供认,承认
参考例句:
  • Her confession was simply tantamount to a casual explanation.她的自白简直等于一篇即席说明。
  • The police used torture to extort a confession from him.警察对他用刑逼供。
12 thronging 9512aa44c02816b0f71b491c31fb8cfa     
v.成群,挤满( throng的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • Architects from around the world are thronging to Beijing theacross the capital. 来自世界各地的建筑师都蜂拥而至这座处处高楼耸立的大都市——北京。 来自互联网
  • People are thronging to his new play. 人们成群结队地去看他那出新戏。 来自互联网
13 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • 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。
14 incessant WcizU     
adj.不停的,连续的
参考例句:
  • We have had incessant snowfall since yesterday afternoon.从昨天下午开始就持续不断地下雪。
  • She is tired of his incessant demands for affection.她厌倦了他对感情的不断索取。
15 mighty YDWxl     
adj.强有力的;巨大的
参考例句:
  • A mighty force was about to break loose.一股巨大的力量即将迸发而出。
  • The mighty iceberg came into view.巨大的冰山出现在眼前。
16 rheumatism hDnyl     
n.风湿病
参考例句:
  • The damp weather plays the very devil with my rheumatism.潮湿的天气加重了我的风湿病。
  • The hot weather gave the old man a truce from rheumatism.热天使这位老人暂时免受风湿病之苦。
17 ragged KC0y8     
adj.衣衫褴褛的,粗糙的,刺耳的
参考例句:
  • A ragged shout went up from the small crowd.这一小群人发出了刺耳的喊叫。
  • Ragged clothing infers poverty.破衣烂衫意味着贫穷。
18 misery G10yi     
n.痛苦,苦恼,苦难;悲惨的境遇,贫苦
参考例句:
  • Business depression usually causes misery among the working class.商业不景气常使工薪阶层受苦。
  • He has rescued me from the mire of misery.他把我从苦海里救了出来。
19 reproof YBhz9     
n.斥责,责备
参考例句:
  • A smart reproof is better than smooth deceit.严厉的责难胜过温和的欺骗。
  • He is impatient of reproof.他不能忍受指责。
20 promptly LRMxm     
adv.及时地,敏捷地
参考例句:
  • He paid the money back promptly.他立即还了钱。
  • She promptly seized the opportunity his absence gave her.她立即抓住了因他不在场给她创造的机会。
21 slate uEfzI     
n.板岩,石板,石片,石板色,候选人名单;adj.暗蓝灰色的,含板岩的;vt.用石板覆盖,痛打,提名,预订
参考例句:
  • The nominating committee laid its slate before the board.提名委员会把候选人名单提交全体委员会讨论。
  • What kind of job uses stained wood and slate? 什么工作会接触木头污浊和石板呢?
22 neatly ynZzBp     
adv.整洁地,干净地,灵巧地,熟练地
参考例句:
  • 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。
23 sobbing df75b14f92e64fc9e1d7eaf6dcfc083a     
<主方>Ⅰ adj.湿透的
参考例句:
  • I heard a child sobbing loudly. 我听见有个孩子在呜呜地哭。
  • Her eyes were red with recent sobbing. 她的眼睛因刚哭过而发红。


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