外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 英语文化视窗 > 文学与艺术 > 小说 正文
  • 站内搜索:

THE VISION SPLENDID (chapter2,part2)

2006-08-28 23:26

    PART 2

    Jeff came to his new life on the full tide of an enthusiasm that did not begin to ebb till near the close of his first semester. He lived in a new world, one removed a million miles from the sordid one through which he had fought his way so many years. All the idealism of his nature went out in awe and veneration for his college. It stood for something he could not phrase, something spiritually fine and intellectually strong. When he thought of the noble motto of the university, "To Serve," it was always with a lifted emotion that was half a prayer. His professors went clothed in majesty. The chancellor was of godlike dimensions. Even the seniors carried with them an impalpable aura of learning.

    The illusion was helped by reason of the very contrast between the jostling competition of the street and the academic air of harmony in which he now found himself. For the first time was lifted the sense of struggle that had always been with him.

    The outstanding notes of his boyhood had been poverty and

    meagerness. It was as if he and his neighbors had been flung into a lake where they must keep swimming to escape drowning. There had been no rest from labor. Sometimes the tragedy of disaster had swept over a family. But on the campus of the university he found the sheltered life. The echo of that battling world came to him only faintly.

    He began to make tentative friendships, but in spite of the advice of his cousin they were with the men who did not count. Samuel Miller was an example. He was a big, stodgy fellow with a slow mind which arrived at its convictions deliberately. But when he had made sure of them he hung to his beliefs like a bulldog to a bone.

    It was this quality that one day brought them together in the classroom. An instructor tried to drive Miller into admitting he was wrong in an opinion. The boy refused to budge, and the teacher became nettled.

    "Mr. Miller will know more when he doesn't know so much," the instructor snapped out.

    Jeff's instinct for fair play was roused at once, all the more because of the ripple of laughter that came from the class. He spoke up quietly.

    "I can't see yet but that Mr. Miller is right, sir."

    "The discussion is closed," was the tart retort.

    After class the dissenters walked across to chapel together.

    "Poke the animal up with a stick and hear him growl," Jeff laughed airily.

    "Page always thinks a fellow ought to take his say-so as gospel," Miller commented.

    Most of the students saw in Jeff Farnum only a tallish young man, thin as a rail, not particularly well dressed, negligent as to collar and tie. But Miller observed in the tanned face a tender, humorous mouth and eager, friendly eyes that looked out upon the world with a suggestion of inner mirth. In course of time he found out that his friend was an unconquerable idealist.

    Jeff made discoveries. One of them was a quality of brutal indifference in some of his classmates to those less fortunate. These classy young gentlemen could ignore him as easily as a hurrying business man can a newsboy trying to sell him a paper. If he was forced upon their notice they

    were perfectly courteous; otherwise he was not on the map for them.

    Another point that did not escape his attention was the way in which the institution catered to Merrill and Frome, because they were large donors to the university. He had once heard Peter C. Frome say in a speech to the students that he contributed to the support of Verden University because it was a "safe and conservative citadel which never had yielded to demagogic assaults." At the time he had wondered just what the president of the Verden Union Water Company had meant. He was slowly puzzling his way to an answer.

    Chancellor Bland referred often to the "largehearted Christian gentlemen who gave of their substance to promote the moral and educational life of the state." But Jeff knew that many believed Frome and Merrill to be no better than robbers on a large scale. He knew the methods by which they had gained their franchises and that they ruled the politics of the city by graft and corruption. Yet the chancellor was always ready to speak or write against municipal ownership. It was common talk on the streets that Professor Perkins, of the chair of political science, had had his expenses paid to England by Merrill to study the street railway system of Great Britain, and that Perkins had duly written several bread-and-butter articles to show that public ownership was unsuccessful there.

    The college was a denominational one and the atmosphere wholly orthodox. Doubt and skepticism were spoken of only with horror. At first it was of himself that Jeff was critical. The spirit of the place was opposed to all his convictions, but he felt that perhaps his reaction upon life had been affected too much by his experiences.

    He asked questions, and was suppressed with severity or kindly paternal advice. It came to him one night while he was walking bareheaded under the stars that there was in the place no intellectual stimulus, though there was an elaborate presence of it. The classrooms were arid. Everywhere fences were up beyond which the mind was not expected to travel. A thing was right, because it had come to be accepted. That was the gospel of his fellows, of his teachers. Later he learned that it is also the creed of the world.

    What Jeff could not understand was a mind which refused to accept

    the inevitable conclusions to which its own processes pushed it. Verden University lacked the courage which comes from intellectual honesty. Wherefore its economics were devitalized and its theology an anachronism.

    But Jeff had been given a mind unable to lie to itself. He was in very essence a non-conformist. To him age alone did not lend sanctity to the ghosts of dead yesterdays that rule to-day.

相关热词:文学 小说
栏目相关课程表
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
趣味英语速成 钟 平 18课时 试听 179元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语预备级 (Pre-Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语一级 (Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语二级 (Movers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语三级 (Flyers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
初级英语口语 ------ 55课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
中级英语口语 ------ 83课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
高级英语口语 ------ 122课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,国内某知名中学英语教研组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师
钟平 北大才俊,英语辅导专家,累计从事英语教学八年,机械化翻译公式发明人……详情>>
钟平:趣味英语速成网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371