• Little Women - Chapter 44
    文章來源:未知 文章作者:enread 發布時間:2020-09-28 09:28 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
    "Please, Madam Mother, could you lend me my wife for half an hour? The luggage has come, and I've been making hay of Amy's Paris finery, trying to find some things I want," said Laurie, coming in the next day to find Mrs. Laurence sitting in her mother's lap, as if being made 'the baby' again.
    "Certainly. Go, dear, I forgot that you have any home but this," and Mrs. March pressed the white hand that wore the wedding ring, as if asking pardon for her maternal1 covetousness2.
    "I shouldn't have come over if I could have helped it, but I can't get on without my little woman any more than a . . ."
    "Weathercock can without the wind," suggested Jo, as he paused for a simile3. Jo had grown quite her own saucy4 self again since Teddy came home.
    "Exactly, for Amy keeps me pointing due west most of the time, with only an occasional whiffle round to the south, and I haven't had an easterly spell since I was married. Don't know anything about the north, but am altogether salubrious and balmy, hey, my lady?"
    "Lovely weather so far. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship. Come home, dear, and I'll find your bootjack. I suppose that's what you are rummaging5 after among my things. Men are so helpless, Mother," said Amy, with a matronly air, which delighted her husband.
    "What are you going to do with yourselves after you get settled?" asked Jo, buttoning Amy's cloak as she used to button her pinafores.
    "We have our plans. We don't mean to say much about them yet, because we are such very new brooms, but we don't intend to be idle. I'm going into business with a devotion that shall delight Grandfather, and prove to him that I'm not spoiled. I need something of the sort to keep me steady. I'm tired of dawdling6, and mean to work like a man."
    "And Amy, what is she going to do?" asked Mrs. March, well pleased at Laurie's decision and the energy with which he spoke7.
    "After doing the civil all round, and airing our best bonnet8, we shall astonish you by the elegant hospitalities of our mansion9, the brilliant society we shall draw about us, and the beneficial influence we shall exert over the world at large. That's about it, isn't it, Madame Recamier?" asked Laurie with a quizzical look at Amy.
    "Time will show. Come away, Impertinence, and don't shock my family by calling me names before their faces," answered Amy, resolving that there should be a home with a good wife in it before she set up a salon10 as a queen of society.
    "How happy those children seem together!" observed Mr. March, finding it difficult to become absorbed in his Aristotle after the young couple had gone.
    "Yes, and I think it will last," added Mrs. March, with the restful expression of a pilot who has brought a ship safely into port.
    "I know it will. Happy Amy!" and Jo sighed, then smiled brightly as Professor Bhaer opened the gate with an impatient push.
    Later in the evening, when his mind had been set at rest about the bootjack, Laurie said suddenly to his wife, "Mrs. Laurence."
    "My Lord!"
    "That man intends to marry our Jo!"
    "I hope so, don't you, dear?"
    "Well, my love, I consider him a trump11, in the fullest sense of that expressive12 word, but I do wish he was a little younger and a good deal richer."
    "Now, Laurie, don't be too fastidious and worldly-minded. If they love one another it doesn't matter a particle how old they are nor how poor. Women never should marry for money . . ." Amy caught herself up short as the words escaped her, and looked at her husband, who replied, with malicious13 gravity . . .
    "Certainly not, though you do hear charming girls say that they intend to do it sometimes. If my memory serves me, you once thought it your duty to make a rich match. That accounts, perhaps, for your marrying a good-for-nothing like me."
    "Oh, my dearest boy, don't, don't say that! I forgot you were rich when I said 'Yes'. I'd have married you if you hadn't a penny, and I sometimes wish you were poor that I might show how much I love you." And Amy, who was very dignified14 in public and very fond in private, gave convincing proofs of the truth of her words.
    "You don't really think I am such a mercenary creature as I tried to be once, do you? It would break my heart if you didn't believe that I'd gladly pull in the same boat with you, even if you had to get your living by rowing on the lake."
    "Am I an idiot and a brute15? How could I think so, when you refused a richer man for me, and won't let me give you half I want to now, when I have the right? Girls do it every day, poor things, and are taught to think it is their only salvation16, but you had better lessons, and though I trembled for you at one time, I was not disappointed, for the daughter was true to the mother's teaching. I told Mamma so yesterday, and she looked as glad and grateful as if I'd given her a check for a million, to be spent in charity. You are not listening to my moral remarks, Mrs. Laurence," and Laurie paused, for Amy's eyes had an absent look, though fixed17 upon his face.
    "Yes, I am, and admiring the mole18 in your chin at the same time. I don't wish to make you vain, but I must confess that I'm prouder of my handsome husband than of all his money. Don't laugh, but your nose is such a comfort to me," and Amy softly caressed19 the well-cut feature with artistic20 satisfaction.
    Laurie had received many compliments in his life, but never one that suited him better, as he plainly showed though he did laugh at his wife's peculiar21 taste, while she said slowly, "May I ask you a question, dear?"
    "Of course, you may."
    "Shall you care if Jo does marry Mr. Bhaer?"
    "Oh, that's the trouble is it? I thought there was something in the dimple that didn't quite suit you. Not being a dog in the manger, but the happiest fellow alive, I assure you I can dance at Jo's wedding with a heart as light as my heels. Do you doubt it, my darling?"
    Amy looked up at him, and was satisfied. Her little jealous fear vanished forever, and she thanked him, with a face full of love and confidence.
    "I wish we could do something for that capital old Professor. Couldn't we invent a rich relation, who shall obligingly die out there in Germany, and leave him a tidy little fortune?" said Laurie, when they began to pace up and down the long drawing room, arm in arm, as they were fond of doing, in memory of the chateau22 garden.
    "Jo would find us out, and spoil it all. She is very proud of him, just as he is, and said yesterday that she thought poverty was a beautiful thing."
    "Bless her dear heart! She won't think so when she has a literary husband, and a dozen little professors and professorins to support. We won't interfere23 now, but watch our chance, and do them a good turn in spite of themselves. I owe Jo for a part of my education, and she believes in people's paying their honest debts, so I'll get round her in that way."
    "How delightful24 it is to be able to help others, isn't it? That was always one of my dreams, to have the power of giving freely, and thanks to you, the dream has come true."
    "Ah, we'll do quantities of good, won't we? There's one sort of poverty that I particularly like to help. Out-and-out beggars get taken care of, but poor gentle folks fare badly, because they won't ask, and people don't dare to offer charity. Yet there are a thousand ways of helping25 them, if one only knows how to do it so delicately that it does not offend. I must say, I like to serve a decayed gentleman better than a blarnerying beggar. I suppose it's wrong, but I do, though it is harder."
    "Because it takes a gentleman to do it," added the other member of the domestic admiration26 society.
    "Thank you, I'm afraid I don't deserve that pretty compliment. But I was going to say that while I was dawdling about abroad, I saw a good many talented young fellows making all sorts of sacrifices, and enduring real hardships, that they might realize their dreams. Splendid fellows, some of them, working like heros, poor and friendless, but so full of courage, patience, and ambition that I was ashamed of myself, and longed to give them a right good lift. Those are people whom it's a satisfaction to help, for if they've got genius, it's an honor to be allowed to serve them, and not let it be lost or delayed for want of fuel to keep the pot boiling. If they haven't, it's a pleasure to comfort the poor souls, and keep them from despair when they find it out."
    "Yes, indeed, and there's another class who can't ask, and who suffer in silence. I know something of it, for I belonged to it before you made a princess of me, as the king does the beggarmaid in the old story. Ambitious girls have a hard time, Laurie, and often have to see youth, health, and precious opportunities go by, just for want of a little help at the right minute. People have been very kind to me, and whenever I see girls struggling along, as we used to do, I want to put out my hand and help them, as I was helped."
    "And so you shall, like an angel as you are!" cried Laurie, resolving, with a glow of philanthropic zeal27, to found and endow an institution for the express benefit of young women with artistic tendencies. "Rich people have no right to sit down and enjoy themselves, or let their money accumulate for others to waste. It's not half so sensible to leave legacies28 when one dies as it is to use the money wisely while alive, and enjoy making one's fellow creatures happy with it. We'll have a good time ourselves, and add an extra relish29 to our own pleasure by giving other people a generous taste. Will you be a little Dorcas, going about emptying a big basket of comforts, and filling it up with good deeds?"
    "With all my heart, if you will be a brave St. Martin, stopping as you ride gallantly30 through the world to share your cloak with the beggar."
    "It's a bargain, and we shall get the best of it!"
    So the young pair shook hands upon it, and then paced happily on again, feeling that their pleasant home was more homelike because they hoped to brighten other homes, believing that their own feet would walk more uprightly along the flowery path before them, if they smoothed rough ways for other feet, and feeling that their hearts were more closely knit together by a love which could tenderly remember those less blest than they.


    1 maternal 57Azi     
    • He is my maternal uncle.他是我舅舅。
    • The sight of the hopeless little boy aroused her maternal instincts.那個絕望的小男孩的模樣喚起了她的母性。
    2 covetousness 9d9bcb4e80eaa86d0435c91cd0d87e1f     
    • As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is the worst of all snares. 正如貪婪是萬惡之源一樣,貧窮是最壞的陷阱。 來自辭典例句
    • Poverty want many thing, but covetousness all. 貧窮可滿足;欲望卻難填。 來自互聯網
    3 simile zE0yB     
    • I believe this simile largely speaks the truth.我相信這種比擬在很大程度上道出了真實。
    • It is a trite simile to compare her teeth to pearls.把她的牙齒比做珍珠是陳腐的比喻。
    4 saucy wDMyK     
    • He was saucy and mischievous when he was working.他工作時總愛調皮搗蛋。
    • It was saucy of you to contradict your father.你頂撞父親,真是無禮。
    5 rummaging e9756cfbffcc07d7dc85f4b9eea73897     
    翻找,搜尋( rummage的現在分詞 ); 海關檢查
    • She was rummaging around in her bag for her keys. 她在自己的包里翻來翻去找鑰匙。
    • Who's been rummaging through my papers? 誰亂翻我的文件來著?
    6 dawdling 9685b05ad25caee5c16a092f6e575992     
    adj.閑逛的,懶散的v.混(時間)( dawdle的現在分詞 )
    • Stop dawdling! We're going to be late! 別磨蹭了,咱們快遲到了!
    • It was all because of your dawdling that we were late. 都是你老磨蹭,害得我們遲到了。 來自《現代漢英綜合大詞典》
    7 spoke XryyC     
    n.(車輪的)輻條;輪輻;破壞某人的計劃;阻撓某人的行動 v.講,談(speak的過去式);說;演說;從某種觀點來說
    • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他們的輪輻螺帽是從我們公司獲得的。
    • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.輻條是輪子上連接外圈與中心的條棒。
    8 bonnet AtSzQ     
    • The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.嬰孩的帽子遮住陽光,使之不刺眼。
    • She wore a faded black bonnet garnished with faded artificial flowers.她戴著一頂褪了色的黑色無邊帽,帽上綴著褪了色的假花。
    9 mansion 8BYxn     
    • The old mansion was built in 1850.這座古宅建于1850年。
    • The mansion has extensive grounds.這大廈四周的庭園廣闊。
    10 salon VjTz2Z     
    • Do you go to the hairdresser or beauty salon more than twice a week?你每周去美容院或美容沙龍多過兩次嗎?
    • You can hear a lot of dirt at a salon.你在沙龍上會聽到很多流言蜚語。
    11 trump LU1zK     
    • He was never able to trump up the courage to have a showdown.他始終鼓不起勇氣攤牌。
    • The coach saved his star player for a trump card.教練保留他的明星選手,作為他的王牌。
    12 expressive shwz4     
    • Black English can be more expressive than standard English.黑人所使用的英語可能比正式英語更有表現力。
    • He had a mobile,expressive,animated face.他有一張多變的,富于表情的,生動活潑的臉。
    13 malicious e8UzX     
    • You ought to kick back at such malicious slander. 你應當反擊這種惡毒的污蔑。
    • Their talk was slightly malicious.他們的談話有點兒心懷不軌。
    14 dignified NuZzfb     
    • Throughout his trial he maintained a dignified silence. 在整個審訊過程中,他始終沉默以保持尊嚴。
    • He always strikes such a dignified pose before his girlfriend. 他總是在女友面前擺出這種莊嚴的姿態。
    15 brute GSjya     
    • The aggressor troops are not many degrees removed from the brute.侵略軍簡直象一群野獸。
    • That dog is a dangerous brute.It bites people.那條狗是危險的畜牲,它咬人。
    16 salvation nC2zC     
    • Salvation lay in political reform.解救辦法在于政治改革。
    • Christians hope and pray for salvation.基督教徒希望并祈禱靈魂得救。
    17 fixed JsKzzj     
    • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你們倆選定婚期了嗎?
    • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目標一旦確定,我們就不應該隨意改變。
    18 mole 26Nzn     
    • She had a tiny mole on her cheek.她的面頰上有一顆小黑痣。
    • The young girl felt very self- conscious about the large mole on her chin.那位年輕姑娘對自己下巴上的一顆大痣感到很不自在。
    19 caressed de08c4fb4b79b775b2f897e6e8db9aad     
    愛撫或撫摸…( caress的過去式和過去分詞 )
    • His fingers caressed the back of her neck. 他的手指撫摩著她的后頸。
    • He caressed his wife lovingly. 他憐愛萬分地撫摸著妻子。
    20 artistic IeWyG     
    • The picture on this screen is a good artistic work.這屏風上的畫是件很好的藝術品。
    • These artistic handicrafts are very popular with foreign friends.外國朋友很喜歡這些美術工藝品。
    21 peculiar cinyo     
    • He walks in a peculiar fashion.他走路的樣子很奇特。
    • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.他用一種很奇怪的表情看著我。
    22 chateau lwozeH     
    • The house was modelled on a French chateau.這房子是模仿一座法國大別墅建造的。
    • The chateau was left to itself to flame and burn.那府第便徑自騰起大火燃燒下去。
    23 interfere b5lx0     
    • If we interfere, it may do more harm than good.如果我們干預的話,可能弊多利少。
    • When others interfere in the affair,it always makes troubles. 別人一卷入這一事件,棘手的事情就來了。
    24 delightful 6xzxT     
    • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我們在海濱玩得真痛快。
    • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支歡快的曲子。
    25 helping 2rGzDc     
    • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可憐的孩子們總是要求我把我的漢堡包再給他們一份。
    • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 這樣一來, 他在某些時候,有助于競爭的加強。
    26 admiration afpyA     
    • He was lost in admiration of the beauty of the scene.他對風景之美贊不絕口。
    • We have a great admiration for the gold medalists.我們對金牌獲得者極為敬佩。
    27 zeal mMqzR     
    • Revolutionary zeal caught them up,and they joined the army.革命熱情激勵他們,于是他們從軍了。
    • They worked with great zeal to finish the project.他們熱情高漲地工作,以期完成這個項目。
    28 legacies 68e66995cc32392cf8c573d17a3233aa     
    n.遺產( legacy的名詞復數 );遺留之物;遺留問題;后遺癥
    • Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind. 書是偉大的天才留給人類的精神財富。 來自辭典例句
    • General legacies are subject to the same principles as demonstrative legacies. 一般的遺贈要與指定數目的遺贈遵循同樣的原則。 來自辭典例句
    29 relish wBkzs     
    • I have no relish for pop music.我對流行音樂不感興趣。
    • I relish the challenge of doing jobs that others turn down.我喜歡挑戰別人拒絕做的工作。
    30 gallantly gallantly     
    adv. 漂亮地,勇敢地,獻殷勤地
    • He gallantly offered to carry her cases to the car. 他殷勤地要幫她把箱子拎到車子里去。
    • The new fighters behave gallantly under fire. 新戰士在炮火下表現得很勇敢。
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