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大学英语精读:第五册 UNIT 7

2007-03-02 15:47   来源:旺旺英语       我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

  Oliver Barrett IV, a Harvard student from a wealthy WASP family, fell in love with Jennifer, a Radcliff music major, daughter of a pastry chef of Italian descent. Jennifer returned his love. The two of them started talking about marriage, thinking they were made for each other. A banker and a squeamish parent, Oliver Barrett III refused to give his blessing to the proposed alliance. Oliver and Jennifer thereupon went ahead on their own, contented with their "love in a cottage".

  We join the novel in Chapter 13, three years after Oliver married Jennifer regardless of his father's fierce opposition. One day, they received an invitation from Oliver's parents to the old man's sixtieth birthday party. Jennifer preferred accepting the invitation, regarding it as a good opportunity for a reconciliation between father and son. But Oliver wouldn't gibe it a thought. Thus the two of them had a violent quarrel…

Love Story

by Erich Segal

  CHAPTER 13

  Mr. And Mrs. Oliver Barrett III

  request the pleasure of your company

  at a dinner in celebration of

  Mr. Barrett's sixtieth birthday

  Saturday, the sixth of March

  at seven o'clock

  Dover House, Ipswich, Massachusetts

  R. S. V. P.

  "Well?" asked Jennifer.

  "Do you even have to ask?" I replied. I was in the midst of abstracting The State v. Percival, a very important precedent in criminal law. Jenny was sort of waving the invitation to bug me.

  "I think it's about time, Oliver," she said.

  "For what?"

  "For you know very well that," she answered. "Does he have to crawl here on his hands and knees?"

  I kept working as she worked me over.

  "Ollie —— he's reaching out to you!"

  "Bullshit, Jenny. My mother addressed the envelope."

  "I thought you said you didn't look at it!" she sort of yelled.

  Okay, so I did glance at it earlier. Maybe it had slipped my mind. I was, after all, in the midst of abstracting The State v. Percival, and in the virtual shadow of exams. The point was she should have stopped haranguing me.

  "Ollie, think," she said, her tone kind of pleading now. "Sixty goddamn years old. Nothing says he'll still be around when you're finally ready for the reconciliation."

  I informed Jenny in the simplest possible terms that there would never be a reconciliation and would she please let me continue my studying. She sat down quietly, squeezing herself onto a corner of the sofa where I had my feet. Although she didn't make a sound, I quickly became aware that she was looking at me very hard. I glanced up.

  "Someday," she said, "when you're being bugged by Oliver V ——"

  "He won't be called Oliver, be sure of that!" I snapped at her. She didn't raise her voice, though she usually did when I did.

  "Listen, Ol, even if we name him Bozo the Clown that kid's still going to resent you because you were a big Harvard athlete. And by the time he's a freshman, you'll probably be in the Supreme Court!"

  I told her that our son would definitely not resent me. She then inquired how I could be so certain of that. I couldn't produce evidence. I mean, I simply knew our son would not resent me, I couldn't say precisely why. Jenny then remarked:

  "Your father loves you too, Oliver. Her loves you just the way you'll love Bozo. But you Barretts are so damn proud and competitive, you'll go through life thinking you hate each other."

  "If it weren't for you," I said jokingly.

  "Yes," she said.

  "The case is closed," I said, being, after all, the husband and head of household. My eyes returned to The State v. Perival and Jenny got up. But then she remembered.

  "There's still the matter of the RSVP."

  I said that a Radcliffe music major could probably compose a nice little negative RSVP without professional guidance.

  "Listen, Oliver," she said, "I've probably lied or cheated in my life. But I've never deliberately hurt anyone. I don't think I could."

  Really, at that moment she was only hurting me, so I asked her politely to handle the RSVP in whatever manner she wished, as long as the essence of the message was that we wouldn't show unless hell froze over. I returned once again to The State v. Percival.

  "What's the number?" I heard her say very softly. She was at the telephone.

  "Can't you just write a note?"

  "In a minute I'll lose my nerve. What's the number?"

  I told her and was instantly immersed in Percival's appeal to the Supreme Court. I was not listening to Jenny. That is, I tried not to. She was in the same room, after all.

  "Oh —— good evening, sir," I heard her say.

  She had her hand over the mouthpiece.

  "Ollie, does it have to be negative?"

  The nod of my head indicated that it had to be, the wave of my hand indicated that she should hurry up.

  "I'm terribly sorry," she said into the phone. "I mean, we're terribly sorry, sir…"

  We're! Did she have to involve me in this? And why can't she get to the point and hang up?

  "Oliver!"

  She had her hand on the mouthpiece again and was talking very loud.

  "He's wounded, Oliver! Can you just sit there and let you father bleed?"

  Had she not been in such an emotional state, I could have explained once again that stones do not bleed. But she was very upset. And it was upsetting me too.

  "Oliver," she pleaded, "could you just say a word?"

  To him? She must be going out of her mind!

  "I mean, like just maybe 'hello'?"

  She was offering the phone to me. And trying not to cry.

  "I will never talk to him. Ever," I said with perfect calm.

  And now she was crying. Nothing audible, but tears pouring down her face. And then she —— she begged.

  "For me, Oliver. I've never asked you for anything. Please."

  Three of us. There of us just standing (I somehow imagined my father being there as well) waiting for something. What? For me?

  I couldn't do it.

  Didn't Jenny understand she was asking the impossible? That I would have done absolutely anything else? As I looked at the floor, shaking my head in adamant refusal and extreme discomfort, Jenny addressed me with a kind of whispered fury I had never heard from her:

  "You are a heartless bastard,' she said. And then she ended the telephone conversation with my father saying:

  "Mr. Barrett, Oliver does want you to know that in his own special way…"

  She paused for breath. She had been sobbing, so it wasn't easy. I was much too astonished to do anything but await the end of my alleged "message."

  "Oliver loves you very much," she said, and hung up very quickly.

  There is no rational explanation for my actions in the next split second. I must never be forgiven for what I did.

  I ripped the phone from her hand, then from the socket —— and hurled it across the room.

  "God damn you, Jenny! Why don't you get the hell out of my life!"

  I stood still, panting like the animal I had suddenly become. Jesus Christ! What the hell had happened to me? I turned to look at Jen.

  But she was gone.

  I mean absolutely gone, because I didn't even hear footsteps on the stairs. Christ, she must have dashed out the instant I grabbed the phone. Even her coat and scarf were still there. The pain of not knowing what to do was exceeded only by that of knowing what I had done.

  I searched everywhere.

  In the Law School library, I prowled the rows of grinding students, looking and looking. Up and back, at least half a dozen times. Though I didn't utter a sound, I knew my glance was so intense, my face so fierce, I was disturbing the whole place. Who cares?

  But Jenny wasn't there.

  Then all through Harkness Commons, the lounge, the cafeteria. Then a wild sprint to look around Agassiz Hall at Radcliffe. Not there, either. I was running everywhere now, my legs trying to catch up with the pace of my heart.

  Paine Hall? (Ironic goddamn name!) Downstairs are piano practice rooms. I know Jenny. When she's angry, she pounds the keyboard. Right? But how about when she's scared to death?

  It's crazy walling down the corridor, practice rooms on either side. The sounds of Mozart and Bartok, Bach and Brahms filter out from the doors and blend into this weird infernal sound.

  Jenny's got to be here!

  Instinct made me stop at a door where I heard the pounding (angry?) sound of a Chopin prelude. I paused for a second. The playing was lousy —— stops and starts and many mistakes. At one pause I heard a girl's voice mutter, "Shit!" It had to be Jenny. I flung open the door.

  A Radcliffe girl was at the piano. She looked up. Au ugly, big-shouldered hippie Radcliffe girl, annoyed at my invasion.

  "What's the matter, man?" she asked.

  "Sorry," I replied, and closed the door again.

  Then I tried Harvard Square. Nothing.

  Where would Jenny have gone?

  I just stood there, lost in the darkness of Harvard Square, not knowing where to go or what to do next. A colored guy approached me and inquired if I was in need of a fix. I kind of absently replied, "No, thank you sir."

  I wasn't running now. I mean, what was the rush to return to the empty house? It was very late —— almost 1 A. M. —— and I was numb —— more with fright than with the cold (although it wasn't warm, believe me). From several yards off, I thought I saw someone sitting on the top of the steps. This had to be my eyes playing tricks, because the figure was motionless.

  But it was Jenny.

  She was sitting on the top step.

  I was too tired to panic, too relieved to speak. Inwardly I hoped she had some blunt instrument with which to hit me.

  "Jen?"

  "Ollie?"

  We both spoke so quietly, it was impossible to take an emotional reading.

  "I forgot my key," Jenny said.

  I stood there at the bottom of the steps, afraid to ask how long she had been sitting, knowing only that I had wronged her terribly.

  "Jenny, I'm sorry ——"

  "Stop!" she cut off my apology, then said very quietly, "Love means not ever having to say you're sorry."

  I climbed up the stairs to where she was sitting.

  "I'd like to go to sleep. Okay?" she said.

  "Okay."

  We walked up to our apartment. As we undressed, she looked at me reassuringly.

  "I meant what I said, Oliver."

  And that was all.

  NEW WORDS

  chapter

  n.  a main division of a book 章,回,篇

  r. s. v. p / R. S. V. P

  [Fr.] please reply

  abstract

  vt. make a shortened form of (a statement, speech, etc.) by separating out what is important 摘录……要点

  versus

  prep. (Latin) against  对

  precedent

  n.  a judicial decision, case, or proceeding that serves as a guide in future similar situations 前例;判例

  invitation

  n.  a spoken or written request to go or come somewhere or do sth.

  bug

  vt. annoy; irritate

  bullshit

  int, n. (sl.) foolish talk; nonsense

  virtual

  a.  almost what is stated; in fact though not officially

  harangue

  vt. attack or try to persuade with a long, loud, and scolding speech 向……夸夸其谈地演讲;大声训斥

  goddamn

  a.  (sl.) (used to express annoyance or give force to an expression) 该死的,讨厌的

  reconciliation

  n.  bring back of friendly relations  和解

  reconcile

  v.

  squeeze

  v.  fit by forcing, pressing or crowding 挤

  bozo

  n.  (sl.) a stupid person

  freshman

  n.  a student in the first year of high school or university

  supreme

  a.  highest in rank, power or authority

  precisely

  ad. exactly; accurately

  precise

  a.

  damn

  ad. (sl.) (used to give force to an expression, good or bad) very 非常

  jokingly

  ad. in a joking manner

  deliberately

  ad. On purpose

  deliberate

  a.

  essence

  n.  the basic or most important part of sth. 要素,实质

  nerve

  n.  any of the threadlike parts of the body which form a system to carry messages to and from the brain; courage 神经;勇气

  instantly

  ad. at once; immediately

  immerse

  vt. put deep into a body of liquid; cause (oneself) to enter deeply into an activity 使沉浸于;使(自己)专心于

  mouthpiece

  n.  the part of a musical instrument, telephone, etc. that is placed at or between the lips  (乐器的)吹口;(电话的)送话口

  bleed

  vi. lose blood

  upset

  vt. disturb or make worried

  audible

  a.  loud enough to be heard

  adamant

  a.  firmly or stubbornly determined

  refusal

  n.  the act of refusing

  fury

  a.  violent anger; rage 暴怒

  furious

  a.

  heartless

  a.  having no sympathy or pity

  bastard

  n.  a child of unmarried parents; (sl.) an unpleasant, disagreeable or cruel person

  allege

  vt. declare without definite proof 断言,宣称

  rational

  a.  able to reason; based on reason

  rip

  vt. tear open or split apart

  socket

  n.  插座

  hurl

  vt. throw with force

  pant

  vi. breathe in short, quick gasps 气喘

  footstep

  n.  a step of the foot; the sound of a foot stepping

  dash

  vi. move with sudden speed

  scarf

  n.  a piece of cloth worn around the neck or head for warmth or decoration

  prowl

  v.  徘徊于;在……搜寻

  grind

  vi. study hard, esp. for an examination

  fierce

  a.  extremely severe or violent; terrible

  commons

  n.  a dining hall where food is served to a large group at common tables 公共食堂

  lounge

  n.  public sitting room in a hotel, club, etc. (旅馆,俱乐部等的)休息室

  cafeteria

  n.  a restaurant in which customers wait on themselves 自助餐厅

  ironic

  a.  expressing one thing and meaning the opposite; expressing irony 讽刺的

  irony

  n.

  corridor

  n.  a narrow hallway or passage in a building, that often has rooms opening onto it

  filter

  vi. pass through a filter; pass slowly in a specific direction 过滤;透过

  blend

  vi. mix together thoroughly

  infernal

  a.  (inf.) extremely unpleasant; terrible

  instinct

  n.  an ability or way of behaving that a person or animal possesses from birth and does not need to learn 本能

  lousy

  a.  (inf.) very bad, unpleasant, useless, etc. 糟糕的,劣等的

  mutter

  v.  speak in a low voice that is hard to hear; complain or grumble 轻声低语;抱怨

  shit

  int. (taboo)(expressing anger or annoyance) 呸!妈的!

  hippie

  n.  (esp. in the 1960s and 1970s) a person who opposes the accepted standards of ordinary society, esp. when showing this by dressing in unusual clothes, living in groups together, and sometimes taking drugs for pleasure 嬉皮士

  invasion

  n.  the act of invading, esp. an attack in war when enemy spreads into and tries to control a country 入侵;侵犯

  fix

  n.  an injection of narcotics 毒品注射剂

  absently

  ad. in an absent-minded manner

  fright

  n.  sudden, intense fear

  motionless

  a.  without any movement; completely still

  inwardly

  ad. in the innermost being; mentally; to oneself

  inward

  a.  directed toward or located on the inside of interior

  blunt

  a.  having an edge or point that is not sharp 钝的

  instrument

  n.  a device used for a particular kind of work

  apology

  n.  a statement that one is sorry for sth.

  undress

  vi. take one's clothes off

  reassuringly

  ad. in a way that comforts, encourages, or restores confidence

  PHRASES & EXPRESSIONS

  in celebration of

  in order to celebrate

  sort of

  to some extent; rather有几分;有点

  work over

  subject to harsh or cruel treatment, as by beating, torture, etc.

  reach out(to)

  try to communicate (with); make contact (with)

  in the shadow of

  very near to

  kind of

  to some extent; sort of

  in simple terms

  in very plain language

  be certain of

  have no doubt about

  lose one's nerve

  panic suddenly and become afraid of sth. that one is doing; lose courage or self-control

  be immersed in

  be deeply absorbed in

  involve in

  cause to be mixed up in

  come / get to the point

  talk about the important thing; reach the central question or fact

  hang up

  place a telephone receiver back on its hook and break the connection

  go out of one's mind

  start to behave in a strange way; go crazy

  scared to death

  extremely frightened

  (be) in need of

  need or ought to have

  cut off

  interrupt or stop

  PROPER NAMES

  Erich Segal

  埃里克.西格尔

  Dover

  多佛

  Ipswich

  伊普斯威奇

  Massachusetts

  马萨诸塞(州)

  Jennifer

  詹妮弗

  Oliver Barrett

  奥利佛.巴雷特

  Percival

  珀西瓦尔

  Jenny

  詹妮

  Radcliffe

  拉德克利夫学院

  Harkness

  哈克尼斯公共食堂

  Agassiz Hall

  阿加西楼

  Paine Hall

  潘恩楼

  Bartok

  巴尔托克

  Bach

  巴赫

  Brahms

  勃拉姆斯

  Chopin

  肖邦

  Harvard Square

  哈佛广场

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