酷兔英语



Chronicles of Carlingford.

THE

PERPETUAL CURATE

MRS OLIPHANT

_ALLA PADRONA MIA;

ED A TE, SORELLA CARISSIMA!

CONSOLATRICI GENTILLISSIME

DELLA DESOLATA._

CHAPTER I.

Carlingford is, as is well known, essentially a quiet place. There is

no trade in the town, properly so called. To be sure, there are two or

three small counting-houses at the other end of George Street, in that

ambitious pile called Gresham Chambers; but the owners of these places

of business live, as a general rule, in villas, either detached or

semi-detached, in the North-end, the new quarter, which, as everybody

knows, is a region totally unrepresented in society. In Carlingford

proper there is no trade, no manufactures, no anything in particular,

except very pleasant parties and a superior class of people--a very

superior class of people, indeed, to anything one expects to meet

with in a country town, which is not even a county town, nor the seat

of any particular interest. It is the boast of the place that it has no

particular interest--not even a public school: for no reason in the

world but because they like it, have so many nice people collected

together in those pretty houses in Grange Lane--which is, of course, a

very much higher tribute to the town than if any special inducement had

led them there. But in every community some centre of life is necessary.

This point, round which everything circles, is, in Carlingford, found in

the clergy. They are the administrators of the commonwealth, the only

people who have defined and compulsory duties to give a sharp outline to

life. Somehow this touch of necessity and business seems needful even

in the most refined society: a man who is obliged to be somewhere at a

certain hour, to do something at a certain time, and whose public duties

are not volunteer proceedings, but indispensable work, has a certain

position of command among a leisurely and unoccupied community, not to

say that it is a public boon to have some one whom everybody knows and

can talk of. The minister in Salem Chapel was everything in his little

world. That respectableconnection would not have hung together half so

closely but for this perpetual subject of discussion, criticism, and

patronage; and, to compare great things with small, society in Carlingford

recognised in some degree the same human want. An enterprising or

non-enterprising rector made all the difference in the world in Grange

Lane; and in the absence of a rector that counted for anything (and poor

Mr Proctor was of no earthly use, as everybody knows), it followed, as a

natural consequence, that a great deal of the interest and influence of

the position fell into the hands of the Curate of St Roque's.

But that position was one full of difficulties, as any one acquainted

with the real state of affairs must see in a moment. Mr Wentworth's

circumstances were, on the whole, as delicate and critical as can be

imagined, both as respected his standing in Carlingford and the place

he held in his own family--not to speak of certain other personal

matters which were still more troublesome and vexatious. These last of

course were of his own bringing on; for if a young man chooses to fall

in love when he has next to nothing to live upon, trouble is sure to

follow. He had quite enough on his hands otherwise without that

crowning complication. When Mr Wentworth first came to Carlingford,

it was in the days of Mr Bury, the Evangelical rector--his last

days, when he had no longer his old vigour, and was very glad of

"assistance," as he said, in his public and parish work. Mr Bury had a

friendship of old standing with the Miss Wentworths of Skelmersdale,

Mr Francis Wentworth's aunts; and it was a long time before the old

Rector's eyes were opened to the astounding fact, that the nephew of

these precious and chosen women held "views" of the most dangerous

complexion, and indeed was as near Rome as a strong and lofty

conviction of the really superior catholicity of the Anglican Church

would permit him to be. Before he found this out, Mr Bury, who had

unlimited confidence in preaching and improving talk, had done all he

could to get the young man to "work," as the good Rector called it,

and had voluntarily placed all that difficult district about the canal

under the charge of the Curate of St Roque's. It is said that the

horror with which, after having just written to Miss Leonora Wentworth

to inform her what "a great work" his young friend was doing among the

bargemen, Mr Bury was seized upon entering St Roque's itself for the

first time after the consecration, when the young priest had arranged

everything his own way, had a very bad effect on his health, and

hastened his end. And it is indeed a fact that he died soon after,

before he had time to issue the interdict he intended against Mr

Wentworth's further exertions in the parish of Carlingford. Then came

Mr Proctor, who came into the town as if he had dropped from the

skies, and knew no more about managing a parish than a baby; and

under his exceptional incumbency Mr Wentworth became more than ever

necessary to the peace of the community. Now a new _regime_ had been

inaugurated. Mr Morgan, a man whom Miss Wodehouse described as "in the

prime of life," newly married, with a wife also in the prime of life,

who had waited for him ten years, and all that time had been under

training for her future duties--two fresh, new, active, clergymanly

intellects, entirely open to the affairs of the town, and intent

upon general reformation and sound management--had just come into

possession. The new Rector was making a great stir all about him, as

was natural to a new man; and it seemed, on the whole, a highly

doubtful business whether he and Mr Wentworth would find Carlingford

big enough to hold them both.

"We could not have expected to begin quite without difficulties," said

Mrs Morgan, as she and her husband discussed the question in the

drawing-room of the Rectory. It was a pretty drawing-room, though Mr

Proctor's taste was not quite in accordance with the principles of

the new incumbent's wife: however, as the furniture was all new, and as

the former rector had no further need for it, it was of course, much the

best and most economicalarrangement to take it as it stood--though the

bouquets on the carpet were a grievance which nothing but her high

Christian principles could have carried Mrs Morgan through. She looked

round as she spoke, and gave an almost imperceptible shake of her head:

she, too, had her share of disagreeables. "It would not look like

Christ's work, dear," said the clergyman's wife, "if we had it all our

own way."

"My dear, I hope I am actuated by higher motives than a desire to have

it all my own way," said the Rector. "I always felt sure that Proctor

would make a mess of any parish he took in hand, but I did not imagine

he would have left it to anybody who pleased to work it. You may

imagine what my feelings were to-day, when I came upon a kind of

impromptu chapel in that wretched district near the canal. I thought

it a Little Bethel, you know, of course; but instead of that, I find

young Wentworth goes there Wednesdays and Fridays to do duty, and that

there is service on Sunday evening, and I can't tell what besides.

It may be done from a good motive--but such a disregard of all

constituted authority," said the Rector, with involuntary vehemence,

"can never, in my opinion, be attended by good results."

"Mr Wentworth, did you say?" said Mrs Morgan, upon whose female soul

the Perpetual Curate's good looks and good manners had not been

without a certain softening effect. "I am so sorry. I don't wonder you

are vexed; but don't you think there must be some mistake, William? Mr

Wentworth is so gentlemanly and nice--and of very good family, too.

I don't think he would choose to set himself in opposition to the

Rector. I think there must be some mistake." "It's a very aggravating

mistake, at all events," said Mr Morgan, rising and going to the

window. It was, as we have said, a very pretty drawing-room, and the

windows opened upon as pretty a bit of lawn as you could see, with one

handsome cedar sweeping its dark branches majestically over delicious

greensward; but some people did think it was too near George Street

and the railway. Just at that moment a puff of delicate white vapour

appeared over the wall, and a sudden express-train, just released from

the cover of the station, sprang with a snort and bound across the

Rector's view, very imperfectly veiled by the lime-trees, which were

thin in their foliage as yet. Mr Morgan groaned and retreated--out of

his first exaltation he had descended all at once, as people will do

after building all their hopes upon one grand event, into great

depression and vexation, when he found that, after all, this event did

not change the face of existence, but indeed brought new proofs of

mortality in the shape of special annoyances belonging to itself in

its train. "On the whole," said the Rector, who was subject to fits of

disgust with things in general, "I am tempted to think it was a

mistake coming to Carlingford; the drawbacks quite overbalance the

advantages. I did hesitate, I remember--it must have been my better

angel: that is, my dear," he continued, recollecting himself, "I would

have hesitated had it not been for you."

Here there ensued a little pause. Mrs Morgan was not so young as she

had been ten years ago, all which time she had waited patiently for

the Fellow of All-Souls, and naturally these ten years and the

patience had not improved her looks. There was a redness on her

countenance nowadays which was not exactly bloom; and it stretched

across her cheeks, and over the point of her nose, as she was

painfully aware, poor lady. She was silent when she heard this,

wondering with a passing pang whether he was sorry? But being a

thoroughly sensible woman, and above indulging in those little appeals

by which foolish ones confuse the calm of matrimonial friendship, she

did not express the momentary feeling. "Yes, William," she said,

sympathetically, casting her eyes again on the objectionable carpet,

and feeling that there _were_ drawbacks even to her happiness as the

wife of the Rector of Carlingford; "but I suppose every place has its

disadvantages; and then there is such good society; and a town like

this is the very place for your talents; and when affairs are in your

own hands--"

"It is very easy talking," said the vexed Rector. "Society and

everybody would turn upon me if I interfered with Wentworth--there's

the vexation. The fellow goes about it as if he had a right. Why,

there's a Provident Society and all sorts of things going on, exactly

as if it were his own parish. What led me to the place was seeing

some ladies in grey cloaks--exactly such frights as you used to make

yourself, my dear--flickering about. He has got up a sisterhood, I

have no doubt; and to find all this in full operation in one's own

parish, without so much as being informed of it! and you know I don't

approve of sisterhoods--never did; they are founded on a mistake."

"Yes, dear. I know I gave up as soon as I knew your views on that

subject," said Mrs Morgan. "I daresay so will the ladies here. Who

were they? Did you speak to them? or perhaps they belonged to St

Roque's."

"Nobody belongs to St Roque's," said the Rector, contemptuously--"it

has not even a district. They were the two Miss Wodehouses."

Mrs Morgan was moved to utter a little cry. "And their father is

churchwarden!" said the indignant woman. "Really, William, this is too

much--without even consulting you! But it is easy to see how _that_

comes about. Lucy Wodehouse and young Wentworth are--; well, I don't

know if they are engaged--but they are always together, walking and

talking, and consulting with each other, and so forth--a great deal

more than I could approve of; but that poor elder sister, you know,

has no authority--nor indeed any experience, poor thing," said the

Rector's wife; "that's how it is, no doubt." "Engaged!" said the

Rector. He gave a kindly glance at his wife, and melted a little.

"Engaged, are they? Poor little thing! I hope she'll be as good as you

have been, my dear; but a young man may be in love without interfering

with another man's parish. I can't forgive that," said Mr Morgan,

recovering himself; "he must be taught to know better; and it is very

hard upon a clergyman," continued the spiritual ruler of Carlingford,

"that he cannot move in a matter like this without incurring a storm

of godless criticism. If I were sending Wentworth out of my parish, I

shouldn't wonder if the 'Times' had an article upon it, denouncing me

as an indolent priest and bigot, that would neither work myself nor

let my betters work; that's how these fellows talk."

"But nobody could say such things of you," said Mrs Morgan, firing up.

"Of me! they'd say them of St Paul, if he had ever been in the

circumstances," said the Rector; "and I should just like to know what

he would have done in a parish like this, with the Dissenters on one

side, and a Perpetual Curate without a district meddling on the other.

Ah, my dear," continued Mr Morgan, "I daresay they had their troubles

in those days; but facing a governor or so now and then, or even

passing a night in the stocks, is a very different thing from a

showing-up in the 'Times,' not to speak of the complications of duty.

Let us go out and call at Folgate's, and see whether he thinks

anything can be done to the church."

"Dear, you wouldn't mind the 'Times' if it were your duty?" said the

Rector's wife, getting up promptly to prepare for the walk.

"No, I suppose not," said Mr Morgan, not without a thrill of importance;

"nor the stake," he added, with a little laugh, for he was not without a

sense of humour; and the two went out to the architect's to ascertain

the result of his cogitations over the church. They passed that sacred

edifice in their way, and went in to gaze at it with a disgust which

only an unhappypriest of high culture and aesthetic tastes, doomed to

officiate in a building of the eighteenth century, of the churchwarden

period of architecture, could fully enter into. "Eugh!" said Mr Morgan,

looking round upon the high pews and stifling galleries with an expressive

contraction of his features--his wife looked on sympathetic; and it was

at this unlucky moment that the subject of their late conference made

his appearance cheerfully from behind the ugly pulpit, in close

conference with Mr Folgate. The pulpit was a three-storeyed mass, with

the reading-desk and the clerk's desk beneath--a terrible eyesore to the

Rector and his wife.

"I can fancy the expediency of keeping the place in repair," said the

Curate of St Roque's, happy in the consciousness of possessing a

church which, though not old, had been built by Gilbert Scott, and

cheerfully unconscious of the presence of his listeners; "but to

beautify a wretched old barn like this is beyond the imagination of

man. Money can't do everything," said the heedless young man as he

came lounging down the middle aisle, tapping contemptuously with his

cane upon the high pew-doors. "I wonder where the people expected to

go to who built Carlingford Church? Curious," continued the young

Anglican, stopping in mid career, "to think of bestowing _consecration_

upon anything so hideous. What a pass the world must have come to,

Folgate, when this erection was counted worthy to be the house of God!

After all, perhaps it is wrong to feel so strongly about it. The walls

_are_ consecrated, though they are ugly; we can't revoke the blessing.

But no wonder it was an unchristian age."

"We have our treasure in earthen vessels," said Mr Morgan, somewhat

sternly, from where he stood, under shelter of the heavy gallery. Mr

Wentworth was shortsighted, like most people nowadays. He put up his

glass hastily, and then hurried forward, perhaps just a little

abashed. When he had made his salutations, however, he returned

undismayed to the charge.

"It's a great pity you have not something better to work upon," said

the dauntless Curate; "but it is difficult to conceive what can be

done with such an unhallowed type of construction. I was just saying


生词表:
  • properly [´prɔpəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.适当地;严格地   (初中英语单词)
  • tribute [´tribju:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.贡物;献礼;颂词   (初中英语单词)
  • outline [´autlain] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.外形 vt.画出…轮廓   (初中英语单词)
  • minister [´ministə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.部长;大臣 v.伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • chapel [´tʃæpəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小教堂   (初中英语单词)
  • connection [kə´nekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.联系;关系;联运   (初中英语单词)
  • discussion [di´skʌʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.讨论;辩论   (初中英语单词)
  • criticism [´kritisizəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.批评;评论(文)   (初中英语单词)
  • absence [´æbsəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不在,缺席;缺乏   (初中英语单词)
  • consequence [´kɔnsikwəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.结果;后果;推断   (初中英语单词)
  • delicate [´delikət] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精美的;微妙的   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • otherwise [´ʌðəwaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.另外 conj.否则   (初中英语单词)
  • nephew [´nevju:, ´nɛfju] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.侄子;外甥   (初中英语单词)
  • charge [tʃɑ:dʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.收费;冲锋 n.费用   (初中英语单词)
  • priest [pri:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教士;牧师;神父   (初中英语单词)
  • arrangement [ə´reindʒmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.整理;排列;筹备   (初中英语单词)
  • carpet [´kɑ:pit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.地毯 vt.铺地毯   (初中英语单词)
  • wretched [´retʃid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可怜的;倒霉的   (初中英语单词)
  • female [´fi:meil] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.女(性)的 n.女人   (初中英语单词)
  • opposition [,ɔpə´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.反对;反抗;阻力   (初中英语单词)
  • sprang [spræŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  spring 的过去式   (初中英语单词)
  • existence [ig´zistəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.存在;生存;生活   (初中英语单词)
  • hesitate [´heziteit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.犹豫,踌躇   (初中英语单词)
  • sensible [´sensəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.感觉得到的   (初中英语单词)
  • confuse [kən´fju:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.使混乱;混淆;慌乱   (初中英语单词)
  • approve [ə´pru:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.赞成;同意;批准   (初中英语单词)
  • forgive [fə´giv] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.原谅,谅解,宽恕   (初中英语单词)
  • spiritual [´spiritʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精神(上)的;神圣的   (初中英语单词)
  • governor [´gʌvənə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.总督;州长   (初中英语单词)
  • promptly [´prɔmptli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.敏捷地;即时地   (初中英语单词)
  • thrill [θril] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.震惊;激动;刺激   (初中英语单词)
  • humour [´hju:mə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.幽默,诙谐   (初中英语单词)
  • disgust [dis´gʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.厌恶 vt.令(人)作呕   (初中英语单词)
  • unhappy [ʌn´hæpi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不幸的;不快乐的   (初中英语单词)
  • culture [´kʌltʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.修养;文化;饲养   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathetic [,simpə´θetik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.同情的,有同情心的   (初中英语单词)
  • conference [´kɔnfərəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.讨论(会);会谈   (初中英语单词)
  • imagination [i,mædʒi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.想象(力)   (初中英语单词)
  • career [kə´riə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.经历;生涯;职业   (初中英语单词)
  • worthy [´wə:ði] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有价值的;值得的   (初中英语单词)
  • strongly [´strɔŋli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.强烈地;强有力地   (初中英语单词)
  • gallery [´gæləri] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.画廊;美术馆;长廊   (初中英语单词)
  • hastily [´heistili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.急速地;草率地   (初中英语单词)
  • conceive [kən´si:v] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.设想;表达;怀孕   (初中英语单词)
  • construction [kən´strʌkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.建设;修建;结构   (初中英语单词)
  • community [kə´mju:niti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.团体;社区;公众   (高中英语单词)
  • commonwealth [´kɔmənwelθ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.国家;共和国;联邦   (高中英语单词)
  • compulsory [kəm´pʌlsəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.强迫的;义务的   (高中英语单词)
  • volunteer [,vɔlən´tiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.志愿者 v.自愿做   (高中英语单词)
  • indispensable [,indi´spensəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.绝对必要的   (高中英语单词)
  • respectable [ri´spektəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可敬的;有身价的   (高中英语单词)
  • perpetual [pə´petʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.永恒的;终身的   (高中英语单词)
  • earthly [´ə:θli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.地球的;世俗的   (高中英语单词)
  • critical [´kritikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.批评的;关键性的   (高中英语单词)
  • vigour [´vigə] 移动到这儿单词发声  (=vigor) n.活力;精力   (高中英语单词)
  • parish [´pæriʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教区(的全体居民)   (高中英语单词)
  • accordance [ə´kɔ:dəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.一致;调和   (高中英语单词)
  • sweeping [´swi:piŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.掠过的 n.扫除;清除   (高中英语单词)
  • foliage [´fəuli-idʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.叶子,簇叶   (高中英语单词)
  • patiently [´peiʃəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.有耐心地;坚韧地   (高中英语单词)
  • architecture [´ɑ:kitektʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.建筑术;建筑学   (高中英语单词)
  • cheerfully [´tʃiəfuli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.高兴地,愉快地   (高中英语单词)
  • consciousness [´kɔnʃəsnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.意识;觉悟;知觉   (高中英语单词)
  • unconscious [ʌn´kɔnʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无意识的;不觉察的   (高中英语单词)
  • hideous [´hidiəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.丑陋的,可怕的   (高中英语单词)
  • hurried [´hʌrid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.仓促的,慌忙的   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • essentially [i´senʃəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.本质上,基本上   (英语四级单词)
  • totally [´təutəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.统统,完全   (英语四级单词)
  • clergy [´klə:dʒi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.牧师;教士   (英语四级单词)
  • refined [ri´faind] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精制的;文雅的   (英语四级单词)
  • leisurely [´leʒəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.从容地,慢慢地   (英语四级单词)
  • complication [,kɔmpli´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.复杂;混乱;纠纷   (英语四级单词)
  • exceptional [ik´sepʃənəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.异常的,特别的   (英语四级单词)
  • economical [,i:kə´nɔmikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.节俭的;经济的   (英语四级单词)
  • grievance [´gri:vəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.不平;冤情;抱怨   (英语四级单词)
  • disregard [,disri´gɑ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.不顾;漠视   (英语四级单词)
  • momentary [´məuməntəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.瞬息间的   (英语四级单词)
  • indignant [in´dignənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.义愤的,愤慨的   (英语四级单词)
  • unlucky [ʌn´lʌki] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.倒霉的,不幸的   (英语四级单词)
  • pulpit [´pulpit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.讲坛   (英语四级单词)
  • heedless [´hi:dlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不注意的,不留心的   (英语四级单词)
  • grange [´greindʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.农场;庄园   (英语六级单词)
  • inducement [in´dju:smənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.诱导,动机   (英语六级单词)
  • unoccupied [ʌn´ɔkjupaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.空闲的,没人住的   (英语六级单词)
  • enterprising [´entəpraiziŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有事业心的   (英语六级单词)
  • rector [´rektə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.校长;主任;负责人   (英语六级单词)
  • preaching [´pri:tʃiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.说教 a.说教的   (英语六级单词)
  • consecration [,kɔnsi´kreiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.献祭;奉献   (英语六级单词)
  • involuntary [in´vɔləntəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无意识的;非自愿的   (英语六级单词)
  • vexation [vek´seiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.烦恼(的原因)   (英语六级单词)
  • contemptuously [kən´temptjuəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.蔑视地;傲慢地   (英语六级单词)
  • erection [i´rekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.直立,建立;建筑物   (英语六级单词)
  • earthen [´ə:θən, -ðən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.泥土做的;大地的   (英语六级单词)
  • dauntless [´dɔ:ntlis] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无畏的;不屈不挠的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 18:29:09
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