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大学英语精读:第五册 UNIT 4

2007-03-02 08:29   来源:旺旺英语       我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

  Romance, betrayal, intrigue and tragedy - the making of a fascinating novel - are all there in The Gadfly. Ethel Voynich's first novel, The Gadfly came out in 1897 and became one of the most widely read books of the 20th century.

  We join the story in the closing pages, just after Arthur has been executed. Gemma, reading his last letter from prison, recognizes Arthur as her long-lost lover, only to lose him again —— this time for ever.

Epilogue

(From The Gadfly)

  by Ethel L.Voynich

  The stood still for a little while with the paper in her hand; then sat down by the open window to read. The letter was closely written in pencil, and in some parts hardly legible. But the first two words stood out quite clear upon the page; and they were in English:

  "Dear Jim."

  The writing grew suddenly blurred and misty. And she had lost him again —— had lost him again! At the sight of the familiar childish nickname all the hopelessness of her bereavement came over her afresh, and she put out her hands in blind desperation, as though the weight of the earth-clods that lay above him were pressing on her heart.

  Presently she took up the paper again and went on reading:

  "I am to be shot at sunrise to-morrow. So if I am to keep at all my promise to tell you everything, I must keep it now. But, after all, there is not much need of explanations between you and me. We always understood each other without many words, even when we were little thing."

  "And so, you see, my dear, you had no need to break your heart over that old story of the blow. It was a hard hit, of course; but I have had plenty of others as hard, and yet I have managed to get over them, —— even to pay back a few of them, —— and here I am still, like the mackerel in our nursery-book (I forget its name), 'Alive and kicking, oh!" This is my last kick though; and then, to-morrow morning, and —— 'Finita la Commedia!" You and I will translate that: 'The variety show is over'; and will give thanks to the gods that they have had, at least, so much mercy on us. It is not much, but it is something; and for this and all other blessings may we be truly thankful!

  "About that same to-morrow morning, I want both you and Martini to understand clearly that I am quite happy and satisfied, and could ask no better thing of Fate. Tell that to Martini as a message from me; he is a good fellow and a good comrade, and he will understand. You see, dear, I know that the stick-in-the-mud people are doing us a good turn and themselves a bad one by going back to secret trials and executions so soon, and I know that if you who are left stand together steadily and hit hard, you will see great things. As for me, I shall go out into the courtyard with as light a heart as any child starting home for the holidays. I have done my share of the work, and this death-sentence is the proof that I have done it thoroughly. They kill me because they are afraid of me; and what more can any man's heart desire?

  "It desires just one thing more, though. A man who is going to die has a right to a personal fancy, and mine is that you should see why I have always been such a sulky brute to you, and slow to forget old scores. Of course, though, you understand why, and I tell you only for the pleasure of writing the words. I loved you, Gemma, when you were an ugly little girl in a gingham frock, with your hair in a pig-tail down your back; and I love you still. Do you remember that day when I kissed your hand, and when you so piteously begged me 'never to do that again'? It was a scoundrelly trick to play, I know; but you must forgive that; and now I kiss the paper where I have written your name. So I have hissed you twice, and both times without your consent.

  "That is all. Good-bye, my dear."

  There was no signature, but a verse which they had learned together as children was written under the letter:

  "Then am I

  A happy fly,

  If I live

  Or if I die."

  Half an hour later Martini entered the room, and, startled out of the silence of half a life-time, threw down the placard he was carrying and flung his arms about her.

  "Gemma! What is it, for God's sake? Don't sob like that —— you that never cry! Gemma! Gemma, my darling!"

  "Nothing, Cesare; I will tell you afterwards —— I —— can't talk about it just now."

  She hurriedly slipped the tear-stained letter into her pocket; and, rising, leaned out of the window to hide her face. Martini held his tongue and bit his moustache. After all these years he had betrayed himself like a schoolboy —— and she had not even noticed it!

  "The Cathedral bell is tolling," she said after a little while, looking round with recovered self-command. "Someone must be dead."

  "That is what I came to show you," Martini answered in his everyday voice. He picked up the placard from the floor and handed it to her. Hastily printed in large type was a black-bordered announcement that: "Out dearly beloved Bishop, His Eminence the Cardinal, Monsignor Lorenzo Montanelli," had died suddenly at Ravenna, "from the rupture of an aneurism of the heart."

  She glanced up quickly from the paper. And Martini answered the unspoken suggestion in her eyes with a shrug of his shoulders.

  "What would you have, Madonna? Aneurism is as good a word as any other."

  NEW WORDS

  epilogue

  n.  the last part of a piece of literature 尾声,后记,跋

  gadfly

  n.  a fly that bites cattle 牛虻

  legible

  a.  (of handwriting or print) that can be reed, esp. easily

  blur

  vt. make less clear; dim

  misty

  a.  clouded with or as if with mist

  childish

  a.  of or typical of a child; immature

  nickname

  n.  a name used informally instead or a person's own name or a name connected with one's character or history

  bereavement

  n.  loss of relative or friend by death (亲人等的)丧失

  afresh

  ad. once more from the beginning; again

  desperation

  n.  the state of being desperate; a hopeless or reckless feeling  拚命;绝望

  clod

  n.  a lump or mass, esp. of clay 土块

  earth-clod

  n.

  mackerel

  n.  a striped sea fish often used as food 鲭鱼

  variety show

  杂耍

  mercy

  n.  kind treatment of a person in one's power 慈悲

  blessing

  n.  a gift from God or anything that brings happiness; an act of asking or receiving God's favor (祈神)赐福

  bless

  vt. in a sincere, honest or truthful manner; in fact or indeed

  thankful

  a.  showing or feeling gratitude; grateful

  comrade

  n.  a close companion, esp. a person who shares difficult work or danger 同志

  stick-in-the-mud

  a.  extremely conservative or old-fashioned  极端保守的,墨守成规的

  execution

  n.  (a case of) lawful killing as a punishment; performance of an order, plan, or piece of work (处)死刑;执行,实施

  steadily

  ad. firmly, unwaveringly 坚定地,不动摇地

  courtyard

  n.  an open space surrounded by walls or buildings 院子

  sulky

  a.  silent because of bad temper or resentment 愠怒的

  brute

  n.  beast; a cruel and harsh person

  score

  n.  a wrong or injury to be repaid

  old score

  wrong done in the past 旧仇,宿怨

  gingham

  n.  printed cotton or linen cloth 花条(格)布

  frock

  n.  a woman's or girl's dress

  pigtail

  n.  a braid of hair that hangs from the back of the head 辫子

  piteously

  ad. in a way that makes people feel pity

  scoundrelly

  a.  characteristic of a scoundrel; mean and wicked

  forgive

  vt. stop being angry at; pardon 原谅,宽恕

  consent

  n.  permission; agreement

  signature

  n.  the name of a person as written in his/her own handwriting

  verse

  n.  words put together with rhythm or rhyme or both; poetry

  placard

  n.  a large notice or advertisement put up or carried in a public place 招贴,布告,标语牌

  fling(flung)

  vt. throw hard; hurl

  darling

  n.  (used when speaking to someone you love or to a member of your family) 亲爱的

  cathedral

  n.  the main church of a district under the control of a bishop  大教堂

  toll

  vt. sound slowly and regularly, esp. to show that sb. has died (钟)鸣

  self-command

  n.  self-control

  hastily

  ad. in a hasty manner; quickly

  hasty

  a.

  border

  n.  the line where one thing ends and another begins; a strip along an edge

  black-bordered

  a.  with black borders 加黑框的

  beloved

  a.  dearly loved

  bishop

  n.  a high-ranking priest in charge of all the churches and priests in a large area 主教

  Eminence

  n.  (used when speaking to, or about a cardinal) 阁下(天主教中对红衣主教的尊称)

  cardinal

  n.  a priest with one of the highest ranks of the Roman Catholic Church红衣主教

  Monsignor

  n.  (It.) (used as a title for a priest of high rank in the Roman Catholic Church) (意)阁下(对于主教主教等的尊称)

  rupture

  n.  a sudden breaking apart or bursting 破裂

  aneurism

  n.  动脉瘤

  Madonna

  n.  (It.) Madame (意)夫人

  PHEASES & EXPRESSIONS

  stand out

  be more noticeable, be clearly seen

  come over

  take control of, cause sudden strong feelings in

  break sb.'s / one's heart

  make sb. / one feel very sad

  get over

  overcome; recover from

  pay back

  give the same treatment as received; take revenge on; return borrowed money

  do sb. a good / bad turn

  do sth. that benefits / harms sb.

  for God's sake

  (infml.) (used when asking strongly for sth. or as an expression of annoyance) 看在上帝份上;天哪,哎呀

  hold one's tongue

  be silent, not talk

  PROPER NAMES

  Ethel Lillian Voynich

  埃塞尔.丽莲.伏尼契

  Jim

  吉姆

  Gemma

  琼玛

  Cesare Martini

  切萨雷.玛丁尼

  Lorenzo Montanelli

  罗伦梭.蒙泰尼里

  Ravenna

  拉维纳

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