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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Timid Lucy » CHAPTER IX. THE KING AND HIS WEAPONS.
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 Rosa and Harty were scarcely out of the church door before he began, "Oh! Rosa, did you see how grand Madam Maxwell looked, when she moved for you to take the end of the pew? It was as much as to say, 'I suppose, little miss, you think you ought to sit here, but you are very presuming.' I would have taken it if I had been in your place. It made me mad to see her settle herself so satisfied, when you refused."
"Fie, Harty!" answered Rosa; "Mrs. Maxwell is a great deal older than I am, and it is far more suitable that she should have the most comfortable seat. I should be sorry if my coming home interfered1 with her in any way. She has been most faithful in taking charge of the house since—since—" since our dear mother died, Rosa would have added, but her eyes filled and her voice failed her. The familiar scene in the church had brought her lost mother freshly before her, and she well remembered when they last trod that same path together.
After a few moments she recovered herself, and said, "When I last passed this spot, Harty, our dear mother was with me. She had been talking very sweetly to me, as we walked, of the blessing2 we had in being able to go out that pleasant morning, and worship God with His people, while so many poor invalids3 must remain at home, and even dear father could not be with us. Just here, I asked her a question which had long been in my mind. I had always noticed that as soon as she entered the pew, she knelt down for a few minutes. I wondered what that was for, as I could not find anything about it in the Prayer Book. 'Mother,' said I, 'what do you say when you kneel down before church begins?' 'I make a short prayer,' she answered, 'that I may remember that I am in God's house, and that He will teach me to worship Him aright. Many people,' she continued, 'who come early to church, quite forget that they are in the house of God as much before the service begins as afterwards, and spend the time until the clergyman comes in, in looking about and observing their neighbours, until their minds are quite unfit to join in any solemn duty. I think the habit of asking the blessing of God on the prayers you are about to offer, and the truths you are about to hear, is a great help in reminding you immediately that you are with the Lord in His holy temple.' 'Won't you teach me a little prayer to say, that I may do as you do?' I asked. 'Yes, darling,' she answered, with one of her sweet, loving smiles; and as we walked by this hedge, which was just planted then, she taught me these words, which I have said, many, many times since our dear mother was taken by her Heavenly Father to a better world:—
"'Lord, make me remember that I am in Thy house. Keep me from dullness and wandering thoughts. Hear my prayers to-day, and bless to my soul the truths I shall hear, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.'"
Harty listened with interest to every word that Rosa tittered: he often wanted to hear some one talk of his mother, but it was too sad a subject for his father to speak freely upon, and Lucy could hardly remember her.
Rosa gladly perceived that he was interested, and added, "I will write out the little prayer for you, Harty; I know you will like to keep it, and use it, for our dear mother's sake."
Harty looked embarrassed, but he did not refuse his sister's offer. She immediately changed the subject by saying, "Poor little Lucy will be glad to see us by this time. I hope she can go out this afternoon. I like to have her with us."
Harty wondered that Rosa should wish for the society of such a child as Lucy; but his respect for her involuntarily rose when he found that Rosa spoke4 affectionately of her.
As they drew near the house, they caught a glimpse of Lucy looking sorrowfully from her window. She did not run to meet them, as they expected, but old Betsy came out saying, "Oh! only think of it! Miss Lucy has got the small-pox, I know she has. There's been a man here that must have it, for he lives down by Bridget O'Brady's, where they are dirty enough to make them all ill."
Rosa was startled for a moment, but she answered calmly, "But Lucy has been vaccinated5, Betsy; she would not take the small-pox even if the man really had it."
"I don't believe nothin' at all in vaxnation," said Betsy; "it don't stand to reason. I telled Miss Lucy she'd ketched the small-pox, and I believe she has."
"Poor child!" said Rosa; and she ran hastily up stairs. Harty did not follow, for although he laughed at Lucy's timidity, he was a bit of a coward about some things himself; and old Betsy's words had alarmed him not a little.
"Let me in, Lucy," said Rosa's sweet voice entreatingly6; "I could not take the small-pox if you had it."
Lucy gladly unfastened the door. Rosa took the trembling girl in her lap. For a few moments Lucy sobbed7 violently, and not a word was spoken; at length Rosa said, tenderly, "Dear Lucy, there is no danger of what you dread8 so much. Here, let me look at those little arms: there is the scar where you wore vaccinated when you were a baby, that you might never take the small-pox. Your kind father took good care that his little Lucy should not have her smooth face all pitted."
"Can't I have it?" asked Lucy, the tears still in her eyes.
"No! certainly not!" was the reply.
"But, dearest," continued Rosa, "you may be exposed to other diseases quite as dangerous. I wish you could learn to trust the Heavenly Father, who loves you more dearly even than our own papa; then you would not be afraid of anything. Shall I tell you what I heard uncle Gillette saying to one of the little girls at school, who was afraid of lightning."
"Oh! do," said Lucy; "I am so frightened when it thunders."
Lucy nestled closer in her sister's lap, and Rosa began.
"There was once a mighty9 king who was so terrible in war that all his enemies were afraid of him; the very sound of his name made them tremble. His arm was so strong that the horse and its rider would sink under one blow of his battle-axe; and when he struck with his sharp sword, his enemies fell dead at his feet. This mighty king had a little fair-haired daughter, who watched him as he prepared for the battle. She saw him put on his helmet, and laughed as the plumes10 nodded above his brow. She saw the stately battle-axe brought forth11; she saw him take his keen sword in his hand; he tried its edge, then waved it about his head in the sunlight. She laughed as it glanced sparkling through the air; and even while it was upheld she ran towards her father to take a parting kiss. Why was not the little child afraid of the mighty king with the fierce weapons? Because he was her father; she knew that he loved her, loved her as his own life. She knew that those dangerous weapons would never be used against her unless to save her from worse peril12. Do you understand what uncle Gillette meant by this story?"
"Not exactly," said Lucy; "won't you tell me?"
"He meant," said Rosa, "that God is like that mighty king. Sickness, lightning, danger, trial, death, are all His weapons; but we need not fear them if we are truly His children. When the sharp lightning flashes in the sky, we can look calmly at its beauty, for it is in our Father's hand. Sickness may be around us, but our Father can keep us safe. Death may come, but it will only be to send us to our Father's arms."
"But I am not His child," half sobbed Lucy.
"His child you are, my dear little sister: His loving, obedient child, I hope you will be."
At this moment the dinner-bell rang. Rosa waited till Lucy could wash away the traces of her tears and smooth her hair, and then they went down stairs together. Mrs. Maxwell looked up with a smile as Rosa came in; her thoughtful deference13 was beginning to have its effect.
"Hurrah14! for the small-pox!" shouted Harty, as Lucy came in. He had heard from his father that the danger was imaginary, and, forgetting his own fears, he quite despised Lucy for her fright.
"Come here, my little patient," said the doctor to the blushing child. "I don't wonder my pet was frightened: old Betsy ought to be ashamed for being so foolish. Poor Owen M'Grath could injure no one; his sorrow is his worst disease. You see I made out the name in your spelling, and I am obliged to my little girl for trying to write the message so exactly. Owen had as neat a little home as you could wish to see, but it is a sad, sad place now. His poor wife has long been ill with consumption; she died this noon, and there is no one to take charge of his little baby but his daughter, who is only as old as you are, Lucy."
"Can we not do something for them, father?" asked Rosa.
"How like her mother," thought the doctor. "Yes, dear child," he replied; "I will take you to see them to-morrow."
"May I go too?" asked Harty, eagerly.
The father smiled and nodded his head. "We will not leave little Lucy behind, either," he added, to her great delight; "that is, if she is well enough. My pet looks a little pale yet. You did well, Mrs. Maxwell, not to let her go out this morning."
Mrs. Maxwell gave a glance at Lucy, which made her drop her eyes.
"I shall not be at home to hear your catechism this evening, Lucy," said Mrs. Maxwell, as she left the dinner-table; "I am going to see a sick friend after church, as Miss Rosa can take my place at tea-time."
"Willingly," said Rosa, "and hear the catechism too," she added, internally.


1 interfered 71b7e795becf1adbddfab2cd6c5f0cff     
v.干预( interfere的过去式和过去分词 );调停;妨碍;干涉
  • Complete absorption in sports interfered with his studies. 专注于运动妨碍了他的学业。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • I am not going to be interfered with. 我不想别人干扰我的事情。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 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。
3 invalids 9666855fd5f6325a21809edf4ef7233e     
病人,残疾者( invalid的名词复数 )
  • The invention will confer a benefit on all invalids. 这项发明将有助于所有的残疾人。
  • H?tel National Des Invalids is a majestic building with a golden hemispherical housetop. 荣军院是有着半球形镀金屋顶的宏伟建筑。
4 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。
5 vaccinated 8f16717462e6e6db3389d0f736409983     
  • I was vaccinated against tetanus. 我接种了破伤风疫苗。
  • Were you vaccinated against smallpox as a child? 你小时候打过天花疫苗吗?
6 entreatingly b87e237ef73e2155e22aed245ea15b8a     
  • She spoke rapidly and pleadingly, looked entreatingly into his face. 她辩解似的讲得很快,用恳求的目光看着他的脸。
  • He lifted his eyes to her entreatingly. 他抬起头用哀求的目光望着她。
7 sobbed 4a153e2bbe39eef90bf6a4beb2dba759     
哭泣,啜泣( sob的过去式和过去分词 ); 哭诉,呜咽地说
  • She sobbed out the story of her son's death. 她哭诉着她儿子的死。
  • She sobbed out the sad story of her son's death. 她哽咽着诉说她儿子死去的悲惨经过。
8 dread Ekpz8     
  • We all dread to think what will happen if the company closes.我们都不敢去想一旦公司关门我们该怎么办。
  • Her heart was relieved of its blankest dread.她极度恐惧的心理消除了。
9 mighty YDWxl     
  • 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。
10 plumes 15625acbfa4517aa1374a6f1f44be446     
羽毛( plume的名词复数 ); 羽毛饰; 羽毛状物; 升上空中的羽状物
  • The dancer wore a headdress of pink ostrich plumes. 那位舞蹈演员戴着粉色鸵鸟毛制作的头饰。
  • The plumes on her bonnet barely moved as she nodded. 她点点头,那帽子的羽毛在一个劲儿颤动。
11 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。
12 peril l3Dz6     
  • The refugees were in peril of death from hunger.难民有饿死的危险。
  • The embankment is in great peril.河堤岌岌可危。
13 deference mmKzz     
  • Do you treat your parents and teachers with deference?你对父母师长尊敬吗?
  • The major defect of their work was deference to authority.他们的主要缺陷是趋从权威。
14 hurrah Zcszx     
  • We hurrah when we see the soldiers go by.我们看到士兵经过时向他们欢呼。
  • The assistants raised a formidable hurrah.助手们发出了一片震天的欢呼声。


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