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英语人生:英语名篇诵读菁华全文

时间:2009-12-05 21:37:19  来源:  作者:

 A Gentleman

It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarassed action of those about him,and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself.

 
The true gentleman in like manner carefully avoids whatever may cause ajar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast;---all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint,or suspicion,or gloom, or resentment; his great concern being to make every one at their ease and at home.
 
He has his eyes on all his company; he is tender towards the bashful,gentle towards the distant,and merciful towards the absurd; he can rocollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation,and never wearisome. He makes light of favours while he does them and seems to be receiving when he is conferring.
 
He never speaks of himself except when compelled,never defends himself by a mere retort,he has no ears for slander or gossip,is crupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him,and interprets everything for the best.
 
He is never mean or little in his disputes,never takes unfair advantage,never mistakes personalities or sharp saying for arguments,or insinuates evil which he dare not say out.From a long-sighted prudence,he ovserves the maxim of the ancient sage,that we should ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend.
 
He has too much good sense to be affronted at insults,he is too well employed to remember injuries,and too indolent to bear malice. He is patient,forbearing, and resigned,on principles,he submits to pain,because it is inevitable,to bereavement,because it is irreparable,and to death,because it is destiny. If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blunder.

  Dating

Nevertheless she returned to the beer and drank her share, and they went on their way. It was now nearly dark, and as soon as they had withdrawn from the lights of the town they walked closer together, till they touched each other. She wondered why he did not put his arm round her waist, but he did not; he merely said what to himself seemed a quite bold enough thing: "Take my arm."

 

   She took it, thoroughly, up to the shoulder. He felt the warmth of her body against his, and putting his stick under his other arm held with his right hand her right as it rested in its place.

 

   "Now we are well together, dear, aren't we?" he observed.

 

   "Yes," said she; adding to herself: "Rather mild!"

 

   "How fast I have become!" he was thinking.

 

   Thus they walked till they reached the foot of the upland, where they could see the white highway ascending before them in the gloom. From this point the only way of getting to Arabella's was by going up the incline, and dipping again into her valley on the right. Before they had climbed far they were nearly run into by two men who had been walking on the grass unseen.

 

   "These lovers--you find 'em out o' doors in all seasons and weathers-- lovers and homeless dogs only," said one of the men as they vanished down the hill.

 

   Arabella tittered lightly.

 

   "Are we lovers?" asked Jude.

 

   "You know best."

 

   "But you can tell me?"

 

   For answer she inclined her head upon his shoulder. Jude took the hint, and encircling her waist with his arm, pulled her to him and kissed her.

 

   They walked now no longer arm in arm but, as she had desired, clasped together. After all, what did it matter since it was dark, said Jude to himself. When they were half-way up the long hill they paused as by arrangement, and he kissed her again. They reached the top, and he kissed her once more.

 

   "You can keep your arm there, if you would like to," she said gently.

 

   He did so, thinking how trusting she was. 


Despair

 

In the dull twilight of the winter afternoon she came to the end of the long road which had begun the night Atlanta fell. She had set her feet upon that road a spoiled, selfish and untried girl, full of youth, warm of emotion, easily bewildered by life. Now, at the end of the road, there was nothing left of that girl. Hunger and hard labor, fear and constant strain, the terrors of war and the terrors of Reconstruction had taken away all warmth and youth and softness. About the core of her being, a shell of hardness had formed and, little by little, layer by layer, the shell had thickened during the endless months.

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