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The Professor / Учитель. Книга для чтения на английском языке

The Professor / Учитель. Книга для чтения на английском языке
The Professor / Учитель. Книга для чтения на английском языке Шарлотта Бронте Е. Г. Тигонен Classical literature (Каро) Предлагаем вниманию читателей первый роман Шарлотты Бронте (1816–1855), вышедший в свет посмертно, в 1857 году. В его основе – впечатления от времени, проведенного автором в брюссельском пансионе для девиц, где будущая писательница совершенствовалась во французском языке. В книгу вошел полный неадаптированный текст романа с комментариями и словарем. Шарлотта Бронте The Professor / Учитель. Книга для чтения на английском языке Комментарии и словарь Е. Г. Тигонен © КАРО, 2012 Об авторе Английская писательница Шарлотта Бронте родилась 22 июня 1816 года в семье сельского священника в Йоркшире. Ее мать умерла, оставив своему бедному мужу семью из пяти дочерей и сына. Шарлотте в ту пору было всего пять лет. Две ее старшие сестры в 1824 году поступили в школу в Ковэн-Бридже, но год спустя вернулись больными и умерли одна за другой. Девятилетняя Шарлотта вынуждена была взять на себя обязанности хозяйки дома и заботу о младших сестрах и брате и продолжала образование дома, отдаваясь своей склонности к писательству. Весной 1846 года Шарлотта и ее младшие сестры Эмилия и Энн решились выступить с первыми плодами своей литературной деятельности. Вышел в свет небольшой томик их стихов под мужскими псевдонимами Коррер (Шарлотта), Эллис (Эмилия) и Актон (Энн) Бель. К сожалению, книга осталась незамеченной публикой. В 1849 году появился роман «Джен Эйр», завоевавший огромный успех и переведенный на многие европейские языки. Не много найдется книг с неизвестным именем автора на обложке, которые были бы встречены с таким бесспорным одобрением. К автору возник всеобщий интерес, но скромная писательница не открывала своего настоящего имени. На фоне трагических обстоятельств жизни писательницы (в сентябре 1848 года умер ее младший брат, в декабре того же года – Эмилия, в мае следующего – Энн) вышел в свет второй роман Шарлотты Бронте «Шерли» (1849), вызвавший к себе огромный интерес мастерски нарисованной картиной жизни рабочих в провинции. Перед Шарлоттой открылись двери лучших литературных кружков Лондона, но привыкшая к уединению писательница тяготилась общественным вниманием и почти все время проводила в своем старом доме. В 1853 году вышел в свет ее последний роман «Городок». В следующем году Шарлотта вышла замуж за Артура Николлса Бейлля, священника в приходе своего отца, но уже 31 марта 1855 года она умерла, сильно простудившись во время одной из прогулок по своим любимым вересковым лугам. Простуда вызвала обострение туберкулеза, от которого умерли все ее сестры и мать. Шарлотта Бронте считается одной из талантливейших представительниц школы Теккерея, ее любимого писателя. Обладая нервным и впечатлительным темпераментом, она владела тем, что Гёте называл секретом гения, – способностью проникнуться индивидуальностью и субъективным настроением постороннего лица. Она с поразительной яркостью изображала все, что ей приходилось видеть и чувствовать. Если иногда чрезмерная яркость образов переходит в некоторую грубость красок, а излишний мелодраматизм в положениях и сентиментальный финал ослабляют художественное впечатление, то реализм, с которым изображены события, разворачивающиеся в ее романах, делает эти недостатки незаметными. * * * Несколько месяцев в 1842 году Шарлотта и Эмилия Бронте провели в Брюсселе, где совершенствовались во французском языке. Тетка, заботившаяся о девушках после смерти их матери, согласилась оплачивать их пребывание в одном из пансионов, чтобы в дальнейшем, вернувшись в Англию, Шарлотта и Эмилия могли основать школу. Впечатления от этого периода легли в основу первого романа Шарлотты Бронте «Учитель», вышедшего в свет посмертно в 1857 году. Chapter I Introductory The other day, in looking over my papers, I found in my desk the following copy of a letter, sent by me a year since to an old school acquaintance: “DEAR CHARLES, “I think when you and I were at Eton together, we were neither of us what could be called popular characters: you were a sarcastic, observant, shrewd, cold-blooded creature; my own portrait I will not attempt to draw, but I cannot recollect that it was a strikingly attractive one – can you? What animal magnetism drew thee and me together I know not; certainly I never experienced anything of the Pylades and Orestes[1 - Pylades and Orestes – Орест, в древнегреческой мифологии сын Агамемнона и Клитемнестры, убивший мать и ее возлюбленного, мстя за убитого ими отца; Пилад – лучший друг Ореста] sentiment for you, and I have reason to believe that you, on your part, were equally free from all romantic regard to me. Still, out of school hours we walked and talked continually together; when the theme of conversation was our companions or our masters we understood each other, and when I recurred to some sentiment of affection, some vague love of an excellent or beautiful object, whether in animate or inanimate nature, your sardonic coldness did not move me. I felt myself superior to that check THEN as I do NOW. “It is a long time since I wrote to you, and a still longer time since I saw you. Chancing to take up a newspaper of your county the other day, my eye fell upon your name. I began to think of old times; to run over the events which have transpired since we separated; and I sat down and commenced this letter. What you have been doing I know not; but you shall hear, if you choose to listen, how the world has wagged with me[2 - how the world has wagged with me – (разг.) как у меня обстоят дела]. “First, after leaving Eton, I had an interview with my maternal uncles, Lord Tynedale and the Hon.[3 - Hon – сокр. от Honorable, достопочтенный, ставится перед именем младшего сына английского пэра или перед именем правительственного чиновника] John Seacombe. They asked me if I would enter the Church, and my uncle the nobleman offered me the living of Seacombe, which is in his gift, if I would[4 - if I would – (разг.) если я соглашусь]; then my other uncle, Mr. Seacombe, hinted that when I became rector of Seacombe-cum-Scaife, I might perhaps be allowed to take, as mistress of my house and head of my parish, one of my six cousins, his daughters, all of whom I greatly dislike. “I declined both the Church and matrimony. A good clergyman is a good thing, but I should have made a very bad one. As to the wife – oh how like a night-mare is the thought of being bound for life to one of my cousins! No doubt they are accomplished and pretty; but not an accomplishment, not a charm of theirs, touches a chord in my bosom[5 - not an accomplishment, not a charm of theirs, touches a chord in my bosom – (разг.) их обаяние и прочие достоинства не затронули в моем сердце ни единой струны]. To think of passing the winter evenings by the parlour fire-side of Seacombe Rectory alone with one of them – for instance, the large and well-modelled statue, Sarah – no; I should be a bad husband, under such circumstances, as well as a bad clergyman. “When I had declined my uncles’ offers they asked me ‘What I intended to do?’ I said I should reflect[6 - said I should reflect – (разг.) сказал, что мне надо подумать]. They reminded me that I had no fortune, and no expectation of any, and, after a considerable pause, Lord Tynedale demanded sternly, ‘Whether I had thoughts of following my father’s steps and engaging in trade?’ Now, I had had no thoughts of the sort. I do not think that my turn of mind qualifies me to make a good tradesman; my taste, my ambition does not lie in that way; but such was the scorn expressed in Lord Tynedale’s countenance as he pronounced the word TRADE – such the contemptuous sarcasm of his tone – that I was instantly decided. My father was but a name to me, yet that name I did not like to hear mentioned with a sneer to my very face. I answered then, with haste and warmth, ‘I cannot do better than follow in my father’s steps; yes, I will be a tradesman.’ My uncles did not remonstrate; they and I parted with mutual disgust. In reviewing this transaction, I find that I was quite right to shake off the burden of Tynedale’s patronage, but a fool to offer my shoulders instantly for the reception of another burden – one which might be more intolerable, and which certainly was yet untried. “I wrote instantly to Edward – you know Edward – my only brother, ten years my senior, married to a rich mill-owner’s daughter, and now possessor of the mill and business which was my father’s before he failed. You are aware that my father – once reckoned a Croesus[7 - Croesus – Крез, царь Лидии (560–546 до н. э.), известен своими несметными сокровищами] of wealth – became bankrupt a short time previous to his death, and that my mother lived in destitution for some six months after him, unhelped by her aristocratical brothers, whom she had mortally offended by her union with Crimsworth, the – — shire manufacturer. At the end of the six months she brought me into the world, and then herself left it without, I should think, much regret, as it contained little hope or comfort for her. “My father’s relations took charge of Edward, as they did of me, till I was nine years old. At that period it chanced that the representation of an important borough in our county fell vacant; Mr. Seacombe stood for it. My uncle Crimsworth, an astute mercantile man, took the opportunity of writing a fierce letter to the candidate, stating that if he and Lord Tynedale did not consent to do something towards the support of their sister’s orphan children, he would expose their relentless and malignant conduct towards that sister, and do his best to turn the circumstances against Mr. Seacombe’s election. That gentleman and Lord T. knew well enough that the Crimsworths were an unscrupulous and determined race; they knew also that they had influence in the borough of X – — ; and, making a virtue of necessity, they consented to defray the expenses of my education. I was sent to Eton, where I remained ten years, during which space of time Edward and I never met. He, when he grew up, entered into trade, and pursued his calling with such diligence, ability, and success, that now, in his thirtieth year, he was fast making a fortune. Of this I was apprised by the occasional short letters I received from him, some three or four times a year; which said letters never concluded without some expression of determined enmity against the house of Seacombe, and some reproach to me for living, as he said, on the bounty of that house. At first, while still in boyhood, I could not understand why, as I had no parents, I should not be indebted to my uncles Tynedale and Seacombe for my education; but as I grew up, and heard by degrees of the persevering hostility, the hatred till death evinced by them against my father – of the sufferings of my mother – of all the wrongs, in short, of our house – then did I conceive shame of the dependence in which I lived, and form a resolution no more to take bread from hands which had refused to minister to the necessities of my dying mother[8 - had refused to minister to the necessities of my dying mother – (разг.) которые отказали в куске хлеба моей умирающей матери]. It was by these feelings I was influenced when I refused the Rectory of Seacombe, and the union with one of my patrician cousins. “An irreparable breach thus being effected between my uncles and myself, I wrote to Edward; told him what had occurred, and informed him of my intention to follow his steps and be a tradesman. I asked, moreover, if he could give me employment. His answer expressed no approbation of my conduct, but he said I might come down to – — shire, if I liked, and he would ‘See what could be done in the way of furnishing me with work[9 - in the way of furnishing me with work – (разг.) чтобы обеспечить меня работой].’ I repressed all – even mental comment on his note – packed my trunk and carpet-bag, and started for the North directly. “After two days’ travelling (railroads were not then in existence) I arrived, one wet October afternoon, in the town of X – — . I had always understood that Edward lived in this town, but on inquiry I found that it was only Mr. Crimsworth’s mill and warehouse which were situated in the smoky atmosphere of Bigben Close; his residence lay four miles out, in the country. “It was late in the evening when I alighted at the gates of the habitation designated to me as my brother’s. As I advanced up the avenue, I could see through the shades of twilight, and the dark gloomy mists which deepened those shades, that the house was large, and the grounds surrounding it sufficiently spacious. I paused a moment on the lawn in front, and leaning my back against a tall tree which rose in the centre, I gazed with interest on the exterior of Crimsworth Hall. “‘Edward is rich,’ thought I to myself. ‘I believed him to be doing well[10 - believed him to be doing well – (разг.) знал, что он процветает (дела его идут блестяще)] – but I did not know he was master of a mansion like this.’ Cutting short all marvelling; speculation, conjecture, etc., I advanced to the front door and rang. A man-servant opened it – I announced myself – he relieved me of my wet cloak and carpet-bag, and ushered me into a room furnished as a library, where there was a bright fire and candles burning on the table; he informed me that his master was not yet returned from X – — market, but that he would certainly be at home in the course of half an hour. “Being left to myself, I took the stuffed easy chair, covered with red morocco, which stood by the fireside, and while my eyes watched the flames dart from the glowing coals, and the cinders fall at intervals on the hearth, my mind busied itself in conjectures concerning the meeting about to take place. Amidst much that was doubtful in the subject of these conjectures, there was one thing tolerably certain – I was in no danger of encountering severe disappointment; from this, the moderation of my expectations guaranteed me. I anticipated no overflowings of fraternal tenderness; Edward’s letters had always been such as to prevent the engendering or harbouring of delusions of this sort. Still, as I sat awaiting his arrival, I felt eager – very eager – I cannot tell you why; my hand, so utterly a stranger to the grasp of a kindred hand, clenched itself to repress the tremor with which impatience would fain have shaken it. “I thought of my uncles; and as I was engaged in wondering whether Edward’s indifference would equal the cold disdain I had always experienced from them, I heard the avenue gates open: wheels approached the house; Mr. Crimsworth was arrived; and after the lapse of some minutes[11 - after the lapse of some minutes – (устар.) через несколько минут], and a brief dialogue between himself and his servant in the hall, his tread drew near the library door – that tread alone announced the master of the house. “I still retained some confused recollection of Edward as he was ten years ago – a tall, wiry, raw youth; NOW, as I rose from my seat and turned towards the library door, I saw a fine-looking and powerful man, light-complexioned, well-made, and of athletic proportions; the first glance made me aware of an air of promptitude and sharpness, shown as well in his movements as in his port, his eye, and the general expression of his face. He greeted me with brevity, and, in the moment of shaking hands, scanned me from head to foot; he took his seat in the morocco covered arm-chair, and motioned me to another sent. “‘I expected you would have called at the counting-house in the Close,’ said he; and his voice, I noticed, had an abrupt accent, probably habitual to him; he spoke also with a guttural northern tone, which sounded harsh in my ears, accustomed to the silvery utterance of the South. “‘The landlord of the inn, where the coach stopped, directed me here,’ said I. ‘I doubted at first the accuracy of his information[12 - doubted at first the accuracy of his information – (разг.) поначалу усомнился в его словах], not being aware that you had such a residence as this.’ “‘Oh, it is all right!’ he replied, ‘only I was kept half an hour behind time, waiting for you – that is all. I thought you must be coming by the eight o’clock coach.’ “I expressed regret that he had had to wait; he made no answer, but stirred the fire, as if to cover a movement of impatience; then he scanned me again. “I felt an inward satisfaction that I had not, in the first moment of meeting, betrayed any warmth, any enthusiasm; that I had saluted this man with a quiet and steady phlegm. “‘Have you quite broken with Tynedale and Seacombe?’ he asked hastily. “‘I do not think I shall have any further communication with them; my refusal of their proposals will, I fancy, operate as a barrier against all future intercourse.’ “‘Why,’ said he, ‘I may as well remind you at the very outset of our connection[13 - remind you at the very outset of our connection – (устар.) хочу предупредить вас с самого начала], that “no man can serve two masters.” Acquaintance with Lord Tynedale will be incompatible with assistance from me.’ There was a kind of gratuitous menace in his eye as he looked at me in finishing this observation. “Feeling no disposition to reply to him, I contented myself with an inward speculation on the differences which exist in the constitution of men’s minds. I do not know what inference Mr. Crimsworth drew from my silence – whether he considered it a symptom of contumacity or an evidence of my being cowed by his peremptory manner. After a long and hard stare at me, he rose sharply from his seat. “‘To-morrow,’ said he, ‘I shall call your attention to some other points; but now it is supper time, and Mrs. Crimsworth is probably waiting; will you come?’ “He strode from the room, and I followed. In crossing the hall, I wondered what Mrs. Crimsworth might be. ‘Is she,’ thought I, ‘as alien to what I like as Tynedale, Seacombe, the Misses Seacombe – as the affectionate relative now striding before me? or is she better than these? Shall I, in conversing with her, feel free to show something of my real nature; or – ’ Further conjectures were arrested by my entrance into the dining-room. “A lamp, burning under a shade of ground-glass, showed a handsome apartment, wainscoted with oak; supper was laid on the table; by the fire-place, standing as if waiting our entrance, appeared a lady; she was young, tall, and well-shaped; her dress was handsome and fashionable: so much my first glance sufficed to ascertain. A gay salutation passed between her and Mr. Crimsworth; she chid him, half-playfully, half-poutingly, for being late; her voice (I always take voices into the account in judging of character[14 - take voices into the account in judging of character – (разг.) когда я составляю представление о чьем-либо характере, голос и тембр его немаловажен]) was lively – it indicated, I thought, good animal spirits. Mr. Crimsworth soon checked her animated scolding with a kiss – a kiss that still told of the bridegroom (they had not yet been married a year); she took her seat at the supper-table in first-rate spirits. Perceiving me, she begged my pardon for not noticing me before, and then shook hands with me, as ladies do when a flow of good-humour disposes them to be cheerful to all, even the most indifferent of their acquaintance. It was now further obvious to me that she had a good complexion, and features sufficiently marked but agreeable; her hair was red – quite red. She and Edward talked much, always in a vein of playful contention; she was vexed, or pretended to be vexed, that he had that day driven a vicious horse in the gig, and he made light of her fears. Sometimes she appealed to me. “‘Now, Mr. William, isn’t it absurd in Edward to talk so? He says he will drive Jack, and no other horse, and the brute has thrown him twice already.’ “She spoke with a kind of lisp[15 - with a kind of lisp – (разг.) с легкой шепелявостью], not disagreeable, but childish. I soon saw also that there was more than girlish – a somewhat infantine expression in her by no means small features; this lisp and expression were, I have no doubt, a charm in Edward’s eyes, and would be so to those: of most men, but they were not to mine. I sought her eye, desirous to read there the intelligence which I could not discern in her face or hear in her conversation; it was merry, rather small; by turns I saw vivacity, vanity, coquetry, look out through its irid, but I watched in vain for a glimpse of soul[16 - watched in vain for a glimpse of soul – (разг.) душу ее я не смог увидеть]. I am no Oriental; white necks, carmine lips and cheeks, clusters of bright curls, do not suffice for me without that Promethean spark which will live after the roses and lilies are faded, the burnished hair grown grey. In sunshine, in prosperity, the flowers are very well; but how many wet days are there in life – November seasons of disaster, when a man’s hearth and home would be cold indeed, without the clear, cheering gleam of intellect. “Having perused the fair page of Mrs. Crimsworth’s face, a deep, involuntary sigh announced my disappointment; she took it as a homage to her beauty, and Edward, who was evidently proud of his rich and handsome young wife, threw on me a glance – half-ridicule, half-ire. “I turned from them both, and gazing wearily round the room, I saw two pictures set in the oak panelling – one on each side the mantelpiece. Ceasing to take part in the bantering conversation that flowed on between Mr. and Mrs. Crimsworth, I bent my thoughts to the examination of these pictures. They were portraits – a lady and a gentleman, both costumed in the fashion of twenty years ago. The gentleman was in the shade. I could not see him well. The lady had the benefit of a full beam from the softly shaded lamp. I presently recognised her; I had seen this picture before in childhood; it was my mother; that and the companion picture being the only heirlooms saved out of the sale of my father’s property[17 - saved out of the sale of my father’s property – (разг.) спасенные от продажи с молотка вещи моего отца]. “The face, I remembered, had pleased me as a boy, but then I did not understand it; now I knew how rare that class of face is in the world, and I appreciated keenly its thoughtful, yet gentle expression. The serious grey eye possessed for me a strong charm, as did certain lines in the features indicative of most true and tender feeling. I was sorry it was only a picture. “I soon left Mr. and Mrs. Crimsworth to themselves; a servant conducted me to my bedroom; in closing my chamber-door, I shut out all intruders[18 - shut out all intruders – (разг.) разом затворился от всех] – you, Charles, as well as the rest. “Good-bye for the present,     “WILLIAM CRIMSWORTH.” To this letter I never got an answer; before my old friend received it, he had accepted a Government appointment in one of the colonies, and was already on his way to the scene of his official labours. What has become of him since, I know not. The leisure time I have at command, and which I intended to employ for his private benefit, I shall now dedicate to that of the public at large. My narrative is not exciting, and above all, not marvellous; but it may interest some individuals, who, having toiled in the same vocation as myself, will find in my experience frequent reflections of their own. The above letter will serve as an introduction. I now proceed. Chapter II A fine October morning succeeded to the foggy evening that had witnessed my first introduction to Crimsworth Hall. I was early up and walking in the large park-like meadow surrounding the house. The autumn sun, rising over the – — shire hills, disclosed a pleasant country; woods brown and mellow varied the fields from which the harvest had been lately carried; a river, gliding between the woods, caught on its surface the somewhat cold gleam of the October sun and sky; at frequent intervals along the banks of the river, tall, cylindrical chimneys, almost like slender round towers, indicated the factories which the trees half concealed; here and there mansions, similar to Crimsworth Hall, occupied agreeable sites on the hill-side; the country wore, on the whole, a cheerful, active, fertile look. Steam, trade, machinery had long banished from it all romance and seclusion. At a distance of five miles, a valley, opening between the low hills, held in its cups the great town of X – — . A dense, permanent vapour brooded over this locality[19 - A dense, permanent vapour brooded over this locality – (разг.) Густая неподвижная пелена нависала над местностью] – there lay Edward’s “Concern.” I forced my eye to scrutinize this prospect, I forced my mind to dwell on it for a time, and when I found that it communicated no pleasurable emotion to my heart – that it stirred in me none of the hopes a man ought to feel, when he sees laid before him the scene of his life’s career – I said to myself, “William, you are a rebel against circumstances; you are a fool, and know not what you want; you have chosen trade and you shall be a tradesman. Look!” I continued mentally – “Look at the sooty smoke in that hollow, and know that there is your post! There you cannot dream, you cannot speculate and theorize – there you shall out and work!” Thus self-schooled[20 - Thus self-schooled – (разг.) Настроившись таким образом], I returned to the house. My brother was in the breakfast-room. I met him collectedly – I could not meet him cheerfully; he was standing on the rug, his back to the fire – how much did I read in the expression of his eye as my glance encountered his, when I advanced to bid him good morning; how much that was contradictory to my nature! He said “Good morning” abruptly and nodded, and then he snatched, rather than took, a newspaper from the table, and began to read it with the air of a master who seizes a pretext to escape the bore of conversing with an underling. It was well I had taken a resolution to endure for a time, or his manner would have gone far to render insupportable the disgust I had just been endeavouring to subdue. I looked at him: I measured his robust frame and powerful proportions; I saw my own reflection in the mirror over the mantelpiece; I amused myself with comparing the two pictures. In face I resembled him, though I was not so handsome; my features were less regular; I had a darker eye, and a broader brow – in form I was greatly inferior – thinner, slighter, not so tall. As an animal[21 - As an animal – (устар.) В физическом развитии], Edward excelled me far; should he prove as paramount in mind as in person I must be a slave – for I must expect from him no lion-like generosity to one weaker than himself; his cold, avaricious eye, his stern, forbidding manner told me he would not spare. Had I then force of mind to cope with him? I did not know; I had never been tried. Mrs. Crimsworth’s entrance diverted my thoughts for a moment. She looked well, dressed in white, her face and her attire shining in morning and bridal freshness. I addressed her with the degree of ease her last night’s careless gaiety seemed to warrant, but she replied with coolness and restraint: her husband had tutored her; she was not to be too familiar with his clerk. As soon as breakfast was over Mr. Crimsworth intimated to me that they were bringing the gig round to the door, and that in five minutes he should expect me to be ready to go down with him to X – — . I did not keep him waiting; we were soon dashing at a rapid rate along the road. The horse he drove was the same vicious animal about which Mrs. Crimsworth had expressed her fears the night before. Once or twice Jack seemed disposed to turn restive[22 - seemed disposed to turn restive – (разг.) пытался выказать свой непокорный нрав], but a vigorous and determined application of the whip from the ruthless hand of his master soon compelled him to submission, and Edward’s dilated nostril expressed his triumph in the result of the contest; he scarcely spoke to me during the whole of the brief drive, only opening his lips at intervals to damn his horse. X – — was all stir and bustle[23 - was all stir and bustle – (разг.) всюду царили оживление и суета] when we entered it; we left the clean streets where there were dwelling-houses and shops, churches, and public buildings; we left all these, and turned down to a region of mills and warehouses; thence we passed through two massive gates into a great paved yard, and we were in Bigben Close, and the mill was before us, vomiting soot from its long chimney, and quivering through its thick brick walls with the commotion of its iron bowels. Workpeople were passing to and fro; a waggon was being laden with pieces. Mr. Crimsworth looked from side to side, and seemed at one glance to comprehend all that was going on; he alighted, and leaving his horse and gig to the care of a man who hastened to take the reins from his hand, he bid me follow him to the counting-house. We entered it; a very different place from the parlours of Crimsworth Hall – a place for business, with a bare, planked floor, a safe, two high desks and stools, and some chairs. A person was seated at one of the desks, who took off his square cap when Mr. Crimsworth entered, and in an instant was again absorbed in his occupation of writing or calculating – I know not which. Mr. Crimsworth, having removed his mackintosh, sat down by the fire. I remained standing near the hearth; he said presently: “Steighton, you may leave the room; I have some business to transact with this gentleman. Come back when you hear the bell.” The individual at the desk rose and departed, closing the door as he went out. Mr. Crimsworth stirred the fire, then folded his arms, and sat a moment thinking, his lips compressed, his brow knit. I had nothing to do but to watch him – how well his features were cut! what a handsome man he was! Whence, then, came that air of contraction – that narrow and hard aspect on his forehead, in all his lineaments? Turning to me he began abruptly: “You are come down to – — shire to learn to be a tradesman?” “Yes, I am.” “Have you made up your mind on the point?[24 - Have you made up your mind on the point? – (разг.) Вы твердо намерены заниматься именно этим делом?] Let me know that at once.” “Yes.” “Well, I am not bound to help you, but I have a place here vacant, if you are qualified for it. I will take you on trial. What can you do? Do you know anything besides that useless trash of college learning – Greek, Latin, and so forth?” “I have studied mathematics.” “Stuff! I dare say you have.” “I can read and write French and German.” “Hum!” He reflected a moment, then opening a drawer in a desk near him took out a letter, and gave it to me. “Can you read that?” he asked. It was a German commercial letter; I translated it; I could not tell whether he was gratified or not – his countenance remained fixed. “It is well;” he said, after a pause, “that you are acquainted with something useful, something that may enable you to earn your board and lodging: since you know French and German, I will take you as second clerk to manage the foreign correspondence of the house. I shall give you a good salary – 90£ a year – and now,” he continued, raising his voice, “hear once for all what I have to say about our relationship, and all that sort of humbug[25 - and all that sort of humbug – (разг.) и прочей подобной чепухи]! I must have no nonsense on that point; it would never suit me. I shall excuse you nothing on the plea of being my brother; if I find you stupid, negligent, dissipated, idle, or possessed of any faults detrimental to the interests of the house, I shall dismiss you as I would any other clerk. Ninety pounds a year are good wages, and I expect to have the full value of my money out of you; remember, too, that things are on a practical footing in my establishment – business-like habits, feelings, and ideas, suit me best. Do you understand?” “Partly,” I replied. “I suppose you mean that I am to do my work for my wages; not to expect favour from you, and not to depend on you for any help but what I earn; that suits me exactly, and on these terms I will consent to be your clerk.” I turned on my heel, and walked to the window; this time I did not consult his face to learn his opinion: what it was I do not know, nor did I then care. After a silence of some minutes he recommenced: “You perhaps expect to be accommodated with apartments at Crimsworth Hall, and to go and come with me in the gig. I wish you, however, to be aware[26 - I wish you, however, to be aware – (разг.) Однако, да будет вам известно] that such an arrangement would be quite inconvenient to me. I like to have the seat in my gig at liberty for any gentleman whom for business reasons I may wish to take down to the hall for a night or so. You will seek out lodgings in X – — .” Quitting the window, I walked back to the hearth. “Of course I shall seek out lodgings in X – —,” I answered. “It would not suit me either to lodge at Crimsworth Hall.” My tone was quiet. I always speak quietly. Yet Mr. Crimsworth’s blue eye became incensed; he took his revenge rather oddly. Turning to me he said bluntly: “You are poor enough, I suppose; how do you expect to live till your quarter’s salary becomes due?” “I shall get on,” said I. “How do you expect to live?” he repeated in a louder voice. “As I can, Mr. Crimsworth.” “Get into debt at your peril! that’s all,” he answered. “For aught I know you may have extravagant aristocratic habits: if you have, drop them; I tolerate nothing of the sort here, and I will never give you a shilling extra, whatever liabilities you may incur – mind that.” “Yes, Mr. Crimsworth, you will find I have a good memory.” I said no more. I did not think the time was come for much parley[27 - for much parley – (разг.) для долгих разговоров]. I had an instinctive feeling that it would be folly to let one’s temper effervesce often with such a man as Edward. I said to myself, “I will place my cup under this continual dropping; it shall stand there still and steady; when full, it will run over of itself – meantime patience. Two things are certain. I am capable of performing the work Mr. Crimsworth has set me; I can earn my wages conscientiously, and those wages are sufficient to enable me to live. As to the fact of my brother assuming towards me the bearing of a proud, harsh master, the fault is his, not mine; and shall his injustice, his bad feeling, turn me at once aside from the path I have chosen? No; at least, ere I deviate, I will advance far enough to see whither my career tends. As yet I am only pressing in at the entrance – a strait gate enough; it ought to have a good terminus.” While I thus reasoned, Mr. Crimsworth rang a bell; his first clerk, the individual dismissed previously to our conference, re-entered. “Mr. Steighton,” said he, “show Mr. William the letters from Voss, Brothers, and give him English copies of the answers; he will translate them.” Mr. Steighton, a man of about thirty-five, with a face at once sly and heavy, hastened to execute this order; he laid the letters on the desk, and I was soon seated at it, and engaged in rendering the English answers into German. A sentiment of keen pleasure accompanied this first effort to earn my own living – a sentiment neither poisoned nor weakened by the presence of the taskmaster, who stood and watched me for some time as I wrote. I thought he was trying to read my character, but I felt as secure against his scrutiny as if I had had on a casque with the visor down[28 - as if I had had on a casque with the visor down – (разг.) как будто на мне был шлем с опущенным забралом] – or rather I showed him my countenance with the confidence that one would show an unlearned man a letter written in Greek; he might see lines, and trace characters, but he could make nothing of them; my nature was not his nature, and its signs were to him like the words of an unknown tongue. Ere long he turned away abruptly, as if baffled, and left the counting-house; he returned to it but twice in the course of that day; each time he mixed and swallowed a glass of brandy-and-water, the materials for making which he extracted from a cupboard on one side of the fireplace; having glanced at my translations – he could read both French and German – he went out again in silence. Chapter III I served Edward as his second clerk faithfully, punctually, diligently. What was given me to do I had the power and the determination to do well. Mr. Crimsworth watched sharply for defects, but found none; he set Timothy Steighton, his favourite and head man, to watch also. Tim was baffled; I was as exact as himself, and quicker. Mr. Crimsworth made inquiries as to how I lived, whether I got into debt – no, my accounts with my landlady were always straight. I had hired small lodgings, which I contrived to pay for out of a slender fund – the accumulated savings of my Eton pocket-money; for as it had ever been abhorrent to my nature to ask pecuniary assistance[29 - it had ever been abhorrent to my nature to ask pecuniary assistance – (разг.) мне всегда претило просить о материальном вспомоществовании], I had early acquired habits of self-denying economy; husbanding my monthly allowance with anxious care, in order to obviate the danger of being forced, in some moment of future exigency, to beg additional aid. I remember many called me miser at the time, and I used to couple the reproach with this consolation – better to be misunderstood now than repulsed hereafter. At this day I had my reward; I had had it before, when on parting with my irritated uncles one of them threw down on the table before me a 5 £. note, which I was able to leave there, saying that my travelling expenses were already provided for. Mr. Crimsworth employed Tim to find out whether my landlady had any complaint to make on the score of my morals; she answered that she believed I was a very religious man, and asked Tim, in her turn, if he thought I had any intention of going into the Church some day; for, she said, she had had young curates to lodge in her house who were nothing equal to me for steadiness and quietness. Tim was “a religious man” himself; indeed, he was “a joined Methodist,” which did not (be it understood) prevent him from being at the same time an engrained rascal, and he came away much posed at hearing this account of my piety. Having imparted it to Mr. Crimsworth, that gentleman, who himself frequented no place of worship, and owned no God but Mammon[30 - Mammon – «золотой телец» (Новый Завет. Матф. 6:24; Лука 16:9, 11, 13)], turned the information into a weapon of attack against the equability of my temper. He commenced a series of covert sneers, of which I did not at first perceive the drift, till my landlady happened to relate the conversation she had had with Mr. Steighton; this enlightened me; afterwards I came to the counting-house prepared, and managed to receive the millowner’s blasphemous sarcasms, when next levelled at me, on a buckler of impenetrable indifference. Ere long he tired of wasting his ammunition on a statue, but he did not throw away the shafts – he only kept them quiet in his quiver. Once during my clerkship I had an invitation to Crimsworth Hall; it was on the occasion of a large party given in honour of the master’s birthday; he had always been accustomed to invite his clerks on similar anniversaries, and could not well pass me over; I was, however, kept strictly in the background[31 - I was, however, kept strictly in the background – (разг.) однако, держали меня строго в тени]. Mrs. Crimsworth, elegantly dressed in satin and lace, blooming in youth and health, vouchsafed me no more notice than was expressed by a distant move; Crimsworth, of course, never spoke to me; I was introduced to none of the band of young ladies, who, enveloped in silvery clouds of white gauze and muslin, sat in array against me on the opposite side of a long and large room; in fact, I was fairly isolated, and could but contemplate the shining ones from affar, and when weary of such a dazzling scene, turn for a change to the consideration of the carpet pattern. Mr. Crimsworth, standing on the rug, his elbow supported by the marble mantelpiece, and about him a group of very pretty girls, with whom he conversed gaily – Mr. Crimsworth, thus placed, glanced at me; I looked weary, solitary, kept down like some desolate tutor or governess; he was satisfied. Dancing began; I should have liked well enough to be introduced to some pleasing and intelligent girl, and to have freedom and opportunity to show that I could both feel and communicate the pleasure of social intercourse – that I was not, in short, a block, or a piece of furniture[32 - that I was not, in short, a block, or a piece of furniture – (разг.) что я не какой-нибудь камень или предмет мебели], but an acting, thinking, sentient man. Many smiling faces and graceful figures glided past me, but the smiles were lavished on other eyes, the figures sustained by other hands than mine. I turned away tantalized, left the dancers, and wandered into the oak-panelled dining-room. No fibre of sympathy united me to any living thing in this house; I looked for and found my mother’s picture. I took a wax taper from a stand, and held it up. I gazed long, earnestly; my heart grew to the image. My mother, I perceived, had bequeathed to me much of her features and countenance – her forehead, her eyes, her complexion. No regular beauty pleases egotistical human beings so much as a softened and refined likeness of themselves; for this reason, fathers regard with complacency the lineaments of their daughters’ faces, where frequently their own similitude is found flatteringly associated with softness of hue and delicacy of outline. I was just wondering how that picture, to me so interesting, would strike an impartial spectator, when a voice close behind me pronounced the words: “Humph! there’s some sense in that face[33 - there’s some sense in that face – (разг.) в этом лице ощущается глубина].” I turned; at my elbow stood a tall man, young, though probably five or six years older than I – in other respects of an appearance the opposite to commonplace; though just now, as I am not disposed to paint his portrait in detail, the reader must be content with the silhouette I have just thrown off; it was all I myself saw of him for the moment: I did not investigate the colour of his eyebrows, nor of his eyes either; I saw his stature, and the outline of his shape; I saw, too, his fastidious-looking retroussé[34 - retroussé – (фр.) вздернутый] nose; these observations, few in number, and general in character (the last excepted), sufficed, for they enabled me to recognize him. “Good evening, Mr. Hunsden,” muttered I with a bow, and then, like a shy noodle as I was, I began moving away – and why? Simply because Mr. Hunsden was a manufacturer and a mill-owner, and I was only a clerk, and my instinct propelled me from my superior. I had frequently seen Hunsden in Bigben Close, where he came almost weekly to transact business with Mr. Crimsworth, but I had never spoken to him, nor he to me, and I owed him a sort of involuntary grudge, because he had more than once been the tacit witness of insults offered by Edward to me. I had the conviction that he could only regard me as a poor-spirited slave, wherefore I now went about to shun his presence and eschew his conversation[35 - I now went about to shun his presence and eschew his conversation – (разг.) мне хотелось поскорее избавиться от его общества]. “Where are you going?” asked he, as I edged off sideways. I had already noticed that Mr. Hunsden indulged in abrupt forms of speech, and I perversely said to myself: “He thinks he may speak as he likes to a poor clerk; but my mood is not, perhaps, so supple as he deems it, and his rough freedom pleases me not at all.” I made some slight reply, rather indifferent than courteous, and continued to move away. He coolly planted himself in my path. “Stay here awhile,” said he: “it is so hot in the dancing-room; besides, you don’t dance; you have not had a partner to-night.” He was right, and as he spoke neither his look, tone, nor manner displeased me; my amour-propre[36 - amour-propre – (фр.) самолюбие] was propitiated; he had not addressed me out of condescension, but because, having repaired to the cool dining-room for refreshment, he now wanted some one to talk to, by way of temporary amusement[37 - by way of temporary amusement – (разг.) чтобы слегка развлечься (перекинуться парой слов)]. I hate to be condescended to, but I like well enough to oblige; I stayed. “That is a good picture,” he continued, recurring to the portrait. “Do you consider the face pretty?” I asked. “Pretty! no – how can it be pretty, with sunk eyes and hollow cheeks? but it is peculiar; it seems to think. You could have a talk with that woman, if she were alive, on other subjects than dress, visiting, and compliments.” I agreed with him, but did not say so. He went on. “Not that I admire a head of that sort; it wants character and force; there’s too much of the sen-si-tive (so he articulated it, curling his lip at the same time) in that mouth; besides, there is Aristocrat written on the brow and defined in the figure; I hate your aristocrats.” “You think, then, Mr. Hunsden, that patrician descent may be read in a distinctive cast of form and features?” “Patrician descent be hanged![38 - Patrician descent be hanged! – (разг.) К чертям благородное происхождение!] Who doubts that your lordlings may have their ‘distinctive cast of form and features’ as much as we – — shire tradesmen have ours? But which is the best? Not theirs assuredly. As to their women, it is a little different: they cultivate beauty from childhood upwards, and may by care and training attain to a certain degree of excellence in that point, just like the Oriental odalisques. Yet even this superiority is doubtful. Compare the figure in that frame with Mrs. Edward Crimsworth – which is the finer animal?” I replied quietly: “Compare yourself and Mr. Edward Crimsworth, Mr. Hunsden.” “Oh, Crimsworth is better filled up than I am, I know besides he has a straight nose, arched eyebrows, and all that; but these advantages – if they are advantages – he did not inherit from his mother, the patrician, but from his father, old Crimsworth, who, MY father says, was as veritable a – — shire blue-dyer as ever put indigo in a vat yet withal the handsomest man in the three Ridings[39 - in the three Ridings – Райдинги, три части, на которые исторически делился Йоркшир (северная Англия)]. It is you, William, who are the aristocrat of your family, and you are not as fine a fellow as your plebeian brother by long chalk[40 - by long chalk – (разг.) далеко не такой; совершенно отличный].” There was something in Mr. Hunsden’s point-blank mode of speech which rather pleased me than otherwise because it set me at my ease. I continued the conversation with a degree of interest. “How do you happen to know that I am Mr. Crimsworth’s brother? I thought you and everybody else looked upon me only in the light of a poor clerk.” “Well, and so we do; and what are you but a poor clerk? You do Crimsworth’s work, and he gives you wages – shabby wages they are, too.” I was silent. Hunsden’s language now bordered on the impertinent, still his manner did not offend me in the least – it only piqued my curiosity; I wanted him to go on, which he did in a little while. “This world is an absurd one,” said he. “Why so, Mr. Hunsden?” “I wonder you should ask: you are yourself a strong proof of the absurdity I allude to.” I was determined he should explain himself of his own accord[41 - of his own accord – (разг.) по своей воле], without my pressing him so to do – so I resumed my silence. “Is it your intention to become a tradesman?” he inquired presently. “It was my serious intention three months ago.” “Humph! the more fool you – you look like a tradesman! What a practical business-like face you have!” “My face is as the Lord made it, Mr. Hunsden.” “The Lord never made either your face or head for X – — . What good can your bumps of ideality, comparison, self-esteem, conscientiousness, do you here? But if you like Bigben Close, stay there; it’s your own affair, not mine.” “Perhaps I have no choice.” “Well, I care nought about it – it will make little difference to me what you do or where you go; but I’m cool now – I want to dance again; and I see such a fine girl sitting in the corner of the sofa there by her mamma; see if I don’t get her for a partner in a jiffy[42 - in a jiffy – (разг.) вмиг]! There’s Waddy – Sam Waddy making up to her[43 - making up to her – (разг.) подбирается к ней]; won’t I cut him out?” And Mr. Hunsden strode away. I watched him through the open folding-doors; he outstripped Waddy, applied for the hand of the fine girl, and led her off triumphant. She was a tall, well-made, full-formed, dashingly-dressed young woman, much in the style of Mrs. E. Crimsworth; Hunsden whirled her through the waltz with spirit; he kept at her side during the remainder of the evening, and I read in her animated and gratified countenance that he succeeded in making himself perfectly agreeable. The mamma too (a stout person in a turban – Mrs. Lupton by name) looked well pleased; prophetic visions probably flattered her inward eye. The Hunsdens were of an old stem[44 - were of an old stem – (разг.) принадлежали к старинному роду]; and scornful as Yorke (such was my late interlocutor’s name) professed to be of the advantages of birth, in his secret heart he well knew and fully appreciated the distinction his ancient, if not high lineage conferred on him in a mushroom-place like X – —, concerning whose inhabitants it was proverbially said, that not one in a thousand knew his own grandfather. Moreover the Hunsdens, once rich, were still independent; and report affirmed that Yorke bade fair, by his success in business, to restore to pristine prosperity the partially decayed fortunes of his house. These circumstances considered, Mrs. Lupton’s broad face might well wear a smile of complacency as she contemplated the heir of Hunsden Wood occupied in paying assiduous court to her darling Sarah Martha. I, however, whose observations being less anxious, were likely to be more accurate, soon saw that the grounds for maternal self-congratulation were slight indeed; the gentleman appeared to me much more desirous of making, than susceptible of receiving an impression. I know not what it was in Mr. Hunsden that, as I watched him (I had nothing better to do), suggested to me, every now and then, the idea of a foreigner. In form and features he might be pronounced English, though even there one caught a dash of something Gallic; but he had no English shyness: he had learnt somewhere, somehow, the art of setting himself quite at his ease, and of allowing no insular timidity to intervene as a barrier between him and his convenience or pleasure. Refinement he did not affect, yet vulgar he could not be called; he was not odd – no quiz – yet he resembled no one else I had ever seen before; his general bearing intimated complete, sovereign satisfaction with himself; yet, at times, an indescribable shade passed like an eclipse over his countenance[45 - at times, an indescribable shade passed like an eclipse over his countenance – (разг.) временами лицо его как будто омрачалось какой-то тенью], and seemed to me like the sign of a sudden and strong inward doubt of himself, his words and actions – an energetic discontent at his life or his social position, his future prospects or his mental attainments – I know not which; perhaps after all it might only be a bilious caprice. Chapter IV No man likes to acknowledge that he has made a mistake in the choice of his profession, and every man, worthy of the name, will row long against wind and tide before he allows himself to cry out, “I am baffled![46 - I am baffled! – (разг.) Я проиграл!]” and submits to be floated passively back to land. From the first week of my residence in X – — I felt my occupation irksome. The thing itself – the work of copying and translating business-letters – was a dry and tedious task enough, but had that been all, I should long have borne with the nuisance[47 - I should long have borne with the nuisance – (разг.) я еще долго мог бы мириться с такой неприятностью]; I am not of an impatient nature, and influenced by the double desire of getting my living and justifying to myself and others the resolution I had taken to become a tradesman, I should have endured in silence the rust and cramp of my best faculties; I should not have whispered, even inwardly, that I longed for liberty; I should have pent in every sigh by which my heart might have ventured to intimate its distress under the closeness, smoke, monotony and joyless tumult of Bigben Close, and its panting desire for freer and fresher scenes; I should have set up the image of Duty, the fetish of Perseverance, in my small bedroom at Mrs. King’s lodgings, and they two should have been my household gods, from which my darling, my cherished-in-secret, Imagination, the tender and the mighty, should never, either by softness or strength, have severed me. But this was not all; the antipathy which had sprung up between myself and my employer striking deeper root and spreading denser shade daily, excluded me from every glimpse of the sunshine of life; and I began to feel like a plant growing in humid darkness out of the slimy walls of a well. Antipathy is the only word which can express the feeling Edward Crimsworth had for me – a feeling, in a great measure, involuntary, and which was liable to be excited by every, the most trifling movement, look, or word of mine. My southern accent annoyed him; the degree of education evinced in my language irritated him; my punctuality, industry, and accuracy, fixed his dislike, and gave it the high flavour and poignant relish of envy; he feared that I too should one day make a successful tradesman. Had I been in anything inferior to him, he would not have hated me so thoroughly, but I knew all that he knew, and, what was worse, he suspected that I kept the padlock of silence on mental wealth in which he was no sharer[48 - kept the padlock of silence on mental wealth in which he was no sharer – (устар.) держал под замком молчания интеллектуальные сокровища, ему недоступные]. If he could have once placed me in a ridiculous or mortifying position, he would have forgiven me much, but I was guarded by three faculties – Caution, Tact, Observation; and prowling and prying as was Edward’s malignity, it could never baffle the lynx-eyes of these, my natural sentinels. Day by day did his malice watch my tact, hoping it would sleep, and prepared to steal snake-like on its slumber; but tact, if it be genuine, never sleeps. I had received my first quarter’s wages, and was returning to my lodgings, possessed heart and soul with the pleasant feeling that the master who had paid me grudged every penny of that hard-earned pittance (I had long ceased to regard Mr. Crimsworth as my brother – he was a hard, grinding master[49 - was a hard, grinding master – (разг.) был суровым, чрезмерно требовательным хозяином]; he wished to be an inexorable tyrant: that was all). Thoughts, not varied but strong, occupied my mind; two voices spoke within me; again and again they uttered the same monotonous phrases. One said: “William, your life is intolerable.” The other: “What can you do to alter it?” I walked fast, for it was a cold, frosty night in January; as I approached my lodgings, I turned from a general view of my affairs to the particular speculation as to whether my fire would be out; looking towards the window of my sitting-room, I saw no cheering red gleam. “That slut of a servant has neglected it as usual[50 - That slut of a servant has neglected it as usual – (разг.) Эта растяпа служанка, как всегда, забыла разжечь камин],” said I, “and I shall see nothing but pale ashes if I go in; it is a fine starlight night – I will walk a little farther.” It was a fine night, and the streets were dry and even clean for X – — ; there was a crescent curve of moonlight to be seen by the parish church tower, and hundreds of stars shone keenly bright in all quarters of the sky. Unconsciously I steered my course towards the country; I had got into Grove Street, and began to feel the pleasure of seeing dim trees at the extremity, round a suburban house, when a person leaning over the iron gate of one of the small gardens which front the neat dwelling-houses in this street, addressed me as I was hurrying with quick stride past. “What the deuce is the hurry? Just so must Lot have left Sodom, when he expected fire to pour down upon it, out of burning brass clouds.” I stopped short, and looked towards the speaker. I smelt the fragrance, and saw the red spark of a cigar; the dusk outline of a man, too, bent towards me over the wicket. “You see I am meditating in the field at eventide,” continued this shade. “God knows it’s cool work! especially as instead of Rebecca on a camel’s hump, with bracelets on her arms and a ring in her nose, Fate sends me only a counting-house clerk, in a grey tweed wrapper.” The voice was familiar to me – its second utterance enabled me to seize the speaker’s identity. “Mr. Hunsden! good evening.” “Good evening, indeed! yes, but you would have passed me without recognition if I had not been so civil as to speak first.” “I did not know you.” “A famous excuse![51 - A famous excuse! – (разг.) Известная отговорка!] You ought to have known me; I knew you, though you were going ahead like a steam-engine. Are the police after you?” “It wouldn’t be worth their while; I’m not of consequence enough to attract them.” “Alas, poor shepherd! Alack and well-a-day![52 - Alack and well-a-day! – (разг.) Увы и ах!] What a theme for regret, and how down in the mouth you must be[53 - how down in the mouth you must be – (разг.) должно быть, пребываете в унынии], judging from the sound of your voice! But since you’re not running from the police, from whom are you running? the devil?” “On the contrary, I am going post to him.” “That is well – you’re just in luck[54 - you’re just in luck – (разг.) вам повезло]: this is Tuesday evening; there are scores of market gigs and carts returning to Dinneford to-night; and he, or some of his, have a seat in all regularly; so, if you’ll step in and sit half-an-hour in my bachelor’s parlour, you may catch him as he passes without much trouble. I think though you’d better let him alone to-night, he’ll have so many customers to serve; Tuesday is his busy day in X – — and Dinneford; come in at all events.” He swung the wicket open as he spoke. “Do you really wish me to go in?” I asked. “As you please – I’m alone; your company for an hour or two would be agreeable to me; but, if you don’t choose to favour me so far, I’ll not press the point. I hate to bore any one.[55 - I hate to bore any one. – (разг.) Терпеть не могу кому-либо навязываться.]” It suited me to accept the invitation as it suited Hunsden to give it. I passed through the gate, and followed him to the front door, which he opened; thence we traversed a passage, and entered his parlour; the door being shut, he pointed me to an arm-chair by the hearth; I sat down, and glanced round me. It was a comfortable room, at once snug and handsome; the bright grate was filled with a genuine – — shire fire, red, clear, and generous, no penurious South-of-England embers heaped in the corner of a grate. On the table a shaded lamp diffused around a soft, pleasant, and equal light; the furniture was almost luxurious for a young bachelor, comprising a couch and two very easy chairs; bookshelves filled the recesses on each side of the mantelpiece; they were well-furnished, and arranged with perfect order. The neatness of the room suited my taste; I hate irregular and slovenly habits. From what I saw I concluded that Hunsden’s ideas on that point corresponded with my own. While he removed from the centre-table to the side-board a few pamphlets and periodicals, I ran my eye along the shelves of the book-case nearest me. French and German works predominated, the old French dramatists, sundry modern authors, Thiers, Villemain, Paul de Kock, George Sand, Eugene Sue; in German – Goethe, Schiller, Zschokke, Jean Paul Richter; in English there were works on Political Economy. I examined no further, for Mr. Hunsden himself recalled my attention. “You shall have something[56 - You shall have something – (зд.) Вам надо чего-нибудь выпить],” said he, “for you ought to feel disposed for refreshment after walking nobody knows how far on such a Canadian night as this; but it shall not be brandy-and-water, and it shall not be a bottle of port, nor ditto of sherry. I keep no such poison. I have Rhein-wein for my own drinking, and you may choose between that and coffee.” Here again Hunsden suited me: if there was one generally received practice I abhorred more than another, it was the habitual imbibing of spirits and strong wines. I had, however, no fancy for his acid German nectar[57 - acid German nectar – (разг.) кислый немецкий нектар], but I liked coffee, so I responded: “Give me some coffee, Mr. Hunsden.” I perceived my answer pleased him; he had doubtless expected to see a chilling effect produced by his steady announcement that he would give me neither wine nor spirits; he just shot one searching glance at my face to ascertain whether my cordiality was genuine or a mere feint of politeness. I smiled, because I quite understood him; and, while I honoured his conscientious firmness, I was amused at his mistrust; he seemed satisfied, rang the bell, and ordered coffee, which was presently brought; for himself, a bunch of grapes and half a pint of something sour sufficed. My coffee was excellent; I told him so, and expressed the shuddering pity with which his anchorite fare inspired me. He did not answer, and I scarcely think heard my remark. At that moment one of those momentary eclipses I before alluded to had come over his face, extinguishing his smile, and replacing, by an abstracted and alienated look, the customarily shrewd, bantering glance of his eye. I employed the interval of silence in a rapid scrutiny of his physiognomy. I had never observed him closely before; and, as my sight is very short[58 - as my sight is very short – (разг.) я очень близорук], I had gathered only a vague, general idea of his appearance; I was surprised now, on examination, to perceive how small, and even feminine, were his lineaments; his tall figure, long and dark locks, his voice and general bearing, had impressed me with the notion of something powerful and massive; not at all: my own features were cast in a harsher and squarer mould than his. I discerned that there would be contrasts between his inward and outward man; contentions, too; for I suspected his soul had more of will and ambition than his body had of fibre and muscle. Perhaps, in these incompatibilities of the “physique” with the “morale,[59 - incompatibilities of the “physique” with the “morale” – (разг.) несовместимость физического с духовным]” lay the secret of that fitful gloom; he WOULD but COULD not, and the athletic mind scowled scorn on its more fragile companion. As to his good looks, I should have liked to have a woman’s opinion on that subject; it seemed to me that his face might produce the same effect on a lady that a very piquant and interesting, though scarcely pretty, female face would on a man. I have mentioned his dark locks – they were brushed sideways above a white and sufficiently expansive forehead; his cheek had a rather hectic freshness; his features might have done well on canvas, but indifferently in marble: they were plastic; character had set a stamp upon each; expression re-cast them at her pleasure, and strange metamorphoses she wrought, giving him now the mien of a morose bull, and anon that of an arch and mischievous girl; more frequently, the two semblances were blent, and a queer, composite countenance they made. Starting from his silent fit, he began: “William! what a fool you are to live in those dismal lodgings of Mrs. King’s, when you might take rooms here in Grove Street, and have a garden like me!” “I should be too far from the mill.” “What of that? It would do you good to walk there and back two or three times a day; besides, are you such a fossil that you never wish to see a flower or a green leaf?” “I am no fossil.” “What are you then? You sit at that desk in Crimsworth’s counting-house day by day and week by week, scraping with a pen on paper, just like an automaton; you never get up; you never say you are tired; you never ask for a holiday; you never take change or relaxation; you give way to no excess of an evening[60 - you give way to no excess of an evening – (устар.) вечером ничего лишнего вы себе не позволяете]; you neither keep wild company, nor indulge in strong drink.” “Do you, Mr. Hunsden?” “Don’t think to pose me with short questions; your case and mine are diametrically different, and it is nonsense attempting to draw a parallel. I say, that when a man endures patiently what ought to be unendurable, he is a fossil.” “Whence do you acquire the knowledge of my patience?” “Why, man, do you suppose you are a mystery? The other night you seemed surprised at my knowing to what family you belonged; now you find subject for wonderment in my calling you patient. What do you think I do with my eyes and ears? I’ve been in your counting-house more than once when Crimsworth has treated you like a dog; called for a book, for instance, and when you gave him the wrong one, or what he chose to consider the wrong one, flung it back almost in your face; desired you to shut or open the door as if you had been his flunkey; to say nothing of your position at the party about a month ago, where you had neither place nor partner, but hovered about like a poor, shabby hanger-on; and how patient you were under each and all of these circumstances!” “Well, Mr. Hunsden, what then?” “I can hardly tell you what then; the conclusion to be drawn as to your character depends upon the nature of the motives which guide your conduct; if you are patient because you expect to make something eventually out of Crimsworth, notwithstanding his tyranny, or perhaps by means of it[61 - notwithstanding his tyranny, or perhaps by means of it – (разг.) вопреки его тирании, а то и воспользовавшись ею], you are what the world calls an interested and mercenary, but may be a very wise fellow; if you are patient because you think it a duty to meet insult with submission, you are an essential sap, and in no shape the man for my money; if you are patient because your nature is phlegmatic, flat, inexcitable, and that you cannot get up to the pitch of resistance, why, God made you to be crushed; and lie down by all means, and lie flat, and let Juggernaut[62 - Juggernaut – Джаггернаут, в индийской мифологии божество, воплощающее неумолимый рок; обычно изображается восседающим на колеснице] ride well over you.” Mr. Hunsden’s eloquence was not, it will be perceived, of the smooth and oily order. As he spoke, he pleased me ill. I seem to recognize in him one of those characters who, sensitive enough themselves, are selfishly relentless towards the sensitiveness of others. Moreover, though he was neither like Crimsworth nor Lord Tynedale, yet he was acrid, and, I suspected, overbearing in his way: there was a tone of despotism in the urgency of the very reproaches by which, he aimed at goading the oppressed into rebellion against the oppressor. Looking at him still more fixedly than I had yet done, I saw written in his eye and mien a resolution to arrogate to himself a freedom so unlimited that it might often trench on the just liberty of his neighbours. I rapidly ran over these thoughts, and then I laughed a low and involuntary laugh, moved thereto by a slight inward revelation of the inconsistency of man. It was as I thought: Hunsden had expected me to take with calm his incorrect and offensive surmises, his bitter and haughty taunts; and himself was chafed by a laugh, scarce louder than a whisper. His brow darkened, his thin nostril dilated a little. “Yes,” he began, “I told you that you were an aristocrat, and who but an aristocrat would laugh such a laugh as that, and look such a look? A laugh frigidly jeering; a look lazily mutinous; gentlemanlike irony, patrician resentment. What a nobleman you would have made, William Crimsworth! You are cut out for one; pity Fortune has baulked Nature[63 - pity Fortune has baulked Nature – (разг.) жаль, что Фортуна обошла великую Природу]! Look at the features, figure, even to the hands – distinction all over – ugly distinction! Now, if you’d only an estate and a mansion, and a park, and a title, how you could play the exclusive, maintain the rights of your class, train your tenantry in habits of respect to the peerage, oppose at every step the advancing power of the people, support your rotten order, and be ready for its sake to wade knee-deep in churls’ blood; as it is, you’ve no power; you can do nothing; you’re wrecked and stranded on the shores of commerce; forced into collision with practical men, with whom you cannot cope, for YOU’LL NEVER BE A TRADESMAN.” The first part of Hunsden’s speech moved me not at all, or, if it did, it was only to wonder at the perversion into which prejudice had twisted his judgment of my character; the concluding sentence, however, not only moved, but shook me; the blow it gave was a severe one, because Truth wielded the weapon. If I smiled now, it, was only in disdain of myself. Hunsden saw his advantage; he followed it up. “You’ll make nothing by trade,” continued he; “nothing more than the crust of dry bread and the draught of fair water on which you now live; your only chance of getting a competency lies in marrying a rich widow, or running away with an heiress.” “I leave such shifts to be put in practice by those who devise them,” said I, rising. “And even that is hopeless,” he went on coolly. “What widow would have you? Much less, what heiress? You’re not bold and venturesome enough for the one, nor handsome and fascinating enough for the other. You think perhaps you look intelligent and polished; carry your intellect and refinement to market, and tell me in a private note what price is bid for them.” Mr. Hunsden had taken his tone for the night; the string he struck was out of tune[64 - the string he struck was out of tune – (разг.) его занесло не туда; не надо было этого говорить], he would finger no other. Averse to discord, of which I had enough every day and all day long, I concluded, at last, that silence and solitude were preferable to jarring converse; I bade him good night. “What! Are you going, lad? Well, good night: you’ll find the door.” And he sat still in front of the fire, while I left the room and the house. I had got a good way on my return to my lodgings[65 - I had got a good way on my return to my lodgings – (разг.) Я проделал уже большую часть пути к дому] before I found out that I was walking very fast, and breathing very hard, and that my nails were almost stuck into the palms of my clenched hands, and that my teeth were set fast; on making this discovery, I relaxed both my pace, fists, and jaws, but I could not so soon cause the regrets rushing rapidly through my mind to slacken their tide. Why did I make myself a tradesman? Why did I enter Hunsden’s house this evening? Why, at dawn to-morrow, must I repair to Crimsworth’s mill? All that night did I ask myself these questions, and all that night fiercely demanded of my soul an answer. I got no sleep; my head burned, my feet froze; at last the factory bells rang, and I sprang from my bed with other slaves. Chapter V There is a climax to everything, to every state of feeling as well as to every position in life. I turned this truism over in my mind as, in the frosty dawn of a January morning, I hurried down the steep and now icy street which descended from Mrs. King’s to the Close. The factory workpeople had preceded me by nearly an hour, and the mill was all lighted up and in full operation when I reached it. I repaired to my post in the counting-house as usual; the fire there, but just lit, as yet only smoked[66 - the fire there, but just lit, as yet only smoked – (разг.) огонь в камине едва горел, зато вовсю дымил]; Steighton had not yet arrived. I shut the door and sat down at the desk; my hands, recently washed in half-frozen water, were still numb; I could not write till they had regained vitality, so I went on thinking, and still the theme of my thoughts was the “climax.” Self-dissatisfaction troubled exceedingly the current of my meditations. “Come, William Crimsworth,” said my conscience, or whatever it is that within ourselves takes ourselves to task – “come, get a clear notion of what you would have, or what you would not have[67 - get a clear notion of what you would have, or what you would not have – (разг.) выясните же для себя, чего вы желаете, а чего нет]. You talk of a climax; pray has your endurance reached its climax? It is not four months old. What a fine resolute fellow you imagined yourself to be when you told Tynedale you would tread in your father’s steps, and a pretty treading you are likely to make of it! How well you like X – —! Just at this moment how redolent of pleasant associations are its streets, its shops, its warehouses, its factories! How the prospect of this day cheers you! Letter-copying till noon, solitary dinner at your lodgings, letter-copying till evening, solitude; for you neither find pleasure in Brown’s, nor Smith’s, nor Nicholl’s, nor Eccle’s company; and as to Hunsden, you fancied there was pleasure to be derived from his society – he! he! how did you like the taste you had of him last night? was it sweet? Yet he is a talented, an original-minded man, and even he does not like you; your self-respect defies you to like him; he has always seen you to disadvantage; he always will see you to disadvantage; your positions are unequal, and were they on the same level your minds could not assimilate; never hope, then, to gather the honey of friendship out of that thorn-guarded plant. Hello, Crimsworth! where are your thoughts tending? You leave the recollection of Hunsden as a bee would a rock, as a bird a desert; and your aspirations spread eager wings towards a land of visions where, now in advancing daylight – in X – — daylight – you dare to dream of congeniality, repose, union. Those three you will never meet in this world; they are angels. The souls of just men made perfect may encounter them in heaven, but your soul will never be made perfect. Eight o’clock strikes! your hands are thawed[68 - your hands are thawed – (устар.) руки согрелись], get to work!” “Work? why should I work?” said I sullenly: “I cannot please though I toil like a slave.” “Work, work!” reiterated the inward voice. “I may work, it will do no good,” I growled; but nevertheless I drew out a packet of letters and commenced my task – task thankless and bitter as that of the Israelite crawling over the sun-baked fields of Egypt in search of straw and stubble wherewith to accomplish his tale of bricks. About ten o’clock I heard Mr. Crimsworth’s gig turn into the yard, and in a minute or two he entered the counting-house. It was his custom to glance his eye at Steighton and myself, to hang up his mackintosh, stand a minute with his back to the fire, and then walk out. Today he did not deviate from his usual habits; the only difference was that when he looked at me, his brow, instead of being merely hard, was surly; his eye, instead of being cold, was fierce. He studied me a minute or two longer than usual, but went out in silence. Twelve o’clock arrived; the bell rang for a suspension of labour[69 - the bell rang for a suspension of labour – (разг.) звонок возвестил о перерыве]; the workpeople went off to their dinners; Steighton, too, departed, desiring me to lock the counting-house door, and take the key with me. I was tying up a bundle of papers, and putting them in their place, preparatory to closing my desk, when Crimsworth reappeared at the door, and entering closed it behind him. “You’ll stay here a minute,” said he, in a deep, brutal voice, while his nostrils distended and his eye shot a spark of sinister fire. Alone with Edward I remembered our relationship, and remembering that forgot the difference of position; I put away deference and careful forms of speech; I answered with simple brevity. “It is time to go home,” I said, turning the key in my desk. “You’ll stay here!” he reiterated. “And take your hand off that key! leave it in the lock!” “Why?” asked I. “What cause is there for changing my usual plans?” “Do as I order,” was the answer, “and no questions! You are my servant, obey me! What have you been about – ?” He was going on in the same breath, when an abrupt pause announced that rage had for the moment got the better of articulation. “You may look, if you wish to know,” I replied. “There is the open desk, there are the papers.” “Confound your insolence! What have you been about?” “Your work, and have done it well.” “Hypocrite and twaddler! Smooth-faced, snivelling greasehorn!” (this last term is, I believe, purely – — shire, and alludes to the horn of black, rancid whale-oil, usually to be seen suspended to cart-wheels, and employed for greasing the same.) “Come, Edward Crimsworth, enough of this. It is time you and I wound up accounts.[70 - It is time you and I wound up accounts. – (разг.) Пора нам с вами подвести черту.] I have now given your service three months’ trial, and I find it the most nauseous slavery under the sun. Seek another clerk. I stay no longer.” “What! do you dare to give me notice? Stop at least for your wages.” He took down the heavy gig whip hanging beside his mackintosh. I permitted myself to laugh with a degree of scorn I took no pains to temper or hide. His fury boiled up, and when he had sworn half-a-dozen vulgar, impious oaths, without, however, venturing to lift the whip, he continued: “I’ve found you out and know you thoroughly, you mean, whining lickspittle! What have you been saying all over X – — about me? answer me that!” “You? I have neither inclination nor temptation to talk about you[71 - have neither inclination nor temptation to talk about you – (разг.) и в мыслях не было говорить о вас].” “You lie! It is your practice to talk about me; it is your constant habit to make public complaint of the treatment you receive at my hands. You have gone and told it far and near that I give you low wages and knock you about like a dog. I wish you were a dog! I’d set-to this minute, and never stir from the spot till I’d cut every strip of flesh from your bones with this whip.” He flourished his tool. The end of the lash just touched my forehead. A warm excited thrill ran through my veins, my blood seemed to give abound, and then raced fast and hot along its channels. I got up nimbly, came round to where he stood, and faced him. “Down with your whip!” said I, “and explain this instant what you mean.” “Sirrah! to whom are you speaking?” “To you. There is no one else present, I think. You say I have been calumniating you – complaining of your low wages and bad treatment. Give your grounds[72 - Give your grounds – (разг.) Докажите] for these assertions.” Crimsworth had no dignity, and when I sternly demanded an explanation, he gave one in a loud, scolding voice. “Grounds! you shall have them; and turn to the light that I may see your brazen face blush black, when you hear yourself proved to be a liar and a hypocrite. At a public meeting in the Town-hall yesterday, I had the pleasure of hearing myself insulted by the speaker opposed to me in the question under discussion, by allusions to my private affairs; by cant about monsters without natural affection, family despots, and such trash; and when I rose to answer, I was met by a shout from the filthy mob, where the mention of your name enabled me at once to detect the quarter in which this base attack had originated. When I looked round, I saw that treacherous villain, Hunsden acting as fugleman. I detected you in close conversation with Hunsden at my house a month ago, and I know that you were at Hunsden’s rooms last night. Deny it if you dare.” “Oh, I shall not deny it! And if Hunsden hounded on the people to hiss you[73 - hounded on the people to hiss you – (разг.) натравливал на вас людей], he did quite right. You deserve popular execration; for a worse man, a harder master, a more brutal brother than you are has seldom existed.” “Sirrah! sirrah!” reiterated Crimsworth; and to complete his apostrophe, he cracked the whip straight over my head. A minute sufficed to wrest it from him[74 - A minute sufficed to wrest it from him – (устар.) Я мигом вырвал у него хлыст], break it in two pieces, and throw it under the grate. He made a headlong rush at me, which I evaded, and said: “Touch me, and I’ll have you up before the nearest magistrate.” Men like Crimsworth, if firmly and calmly resisted, always abate something of their exorbitant insolence; he had no mind to be brought before a magistrate, and I suppose he saw I meant what I said. After an odd and long stare at me, at once bull-like and amazed, he seemed to bethink himself that, after all, his money gave him sufficient superiority over a beggar like me, and that he had in his hands a surer and more dignified mode of revenge than the somewhat hazardous one of personal chastisement. “Take your hat,” said he. “Take what belongs to you, and go out at that door; get away to your parish, you pauper: beg, steal, starve, get transported, do what you like; but at your peril venture again into my sight! If ever I hear of your setting foot on an inch of ground belonging to me, I’ll hire a man to cane you.” “It is not likely you’ll have the chance; once off your premises, what temptation can I have to return to them? I leave a prison, I leave a tyrant; I leave what is worse than the worst that can lie before me, so no fear of my coming back.” “Go, or I’ll make you[75 - or I’ll make you – (зд.) или я сам вас вышвырну]!” exclaimed Crimsworth. I walked deliberately to my desk, took out such of its contents as were my own property, put them in my pocket, locked the desk, and placed the key on the top. “What are you abstracting from that desk?” demanded the mill-owner. “Leave all behind in its place, or I’ll send for a policeman to search you.” “Look sharp about it, then,” said I, and I took down my hat, drew on my gloves, and walked leisurely out of the counting-house – walked out of it to enter it no more. I recollect that when the mill-bell rang the dinner hour, before Mr. Crimsworth entered, and the scene above related took place, I had had rather a sharp appetite, and had been waiting somewhat impatiently to hear the signal of feeding time. I forgot it now, however; the images of potatoes and roast mutton were effaced from my mind by the stir and tumult which the transaction of the last half-hour had there excited. I only thought of walking, that the action of my muscles might harmonize with the action of my nerves; and walk I did, fast and far. How could I do otherwise? A load was lifted off my heart; I felt light and liberated. I had got away from Bigben Close without a breach of resolution; without injury to my self-respect. I had not forced circumstances; circumstances had freed me. Life was again open to me; no longer was its horizon limited by the high black wall surrounding Crimsworth’s mill. Two hours had elapsed before my sensations had so far subsided as to leave me calm enough to remark for what wider and clearer boundaries I had exchanged that sooty girdle. When I did look up, lo! straight before me lay Grovetown, a village of villas about five miles out of X – — . The short winter day, as I perceived from the far-declined sun, was already approaching its close; a chill frost-mist was rising from the river on which X – — stands, and along whose banks the road I had taken lay; it dimmed the earth, but did not obscure the clear icy blue of the January sky. There was a great stillness near and far; the time of the day favoured tranquillity, as the people were all employed within-doors, the hour of evening release from the factories not being yet arrived; a sound of full-flowing water alone pervaded the air, for the river was deep and abundant, swelled by the melting of a late snow. I stood awhile, leaning over a wall; and looking down at the current: I watched the rapid rush of its waves. I desired memory to take a clear and permanent impression of the scene, and treasure it for future years[76 - treasure it for future years – (зд.) чтобы хранить эти воспоминания долгие годы]. Grovetown church clock struck four; looking up, I beheld the last of that day’s sun, glinting red through the leafless boughs of some very old oak trees surrounding the church – its light coloured and characterized the picture as I wished. I paused yet a moment, till the sweet, slow sound of the bell had quite died out of the air; then ear, eye and feeling satisfied, I quitted the wall and once more turned my face towards X – — . Chapter VI I re-entered the town a hungry man; the dinner I had forgotten recurred seductively to my recollection; and it was with a quick step and sharp appetite I ascended the narrow street leading to my lodgings. It was dark when I opened the front door and walked into the house. I wondered how my fire would be; the night was cold, and I shuddered at the prospect of a grate full of sparkless cinders. To my joyful surprise, I found, on entering my sitting-room, a good fire and a clean hearth. I had hardly noticed this phenomenon, when I became aware of another subject for wonderment; the chair I usually occupied near the hearth was already filled; a person sat there with his arms folded on his chest, and his legs stretched out on the rug. Short-sighted as I am, doubtful as was the gleam of the firelight, a moment’s examination enabled me to recognize in this person my acquaintance, Mr. Hunsden. I could not of course be much pleased to see him, considering the manner in which I had parted from him the night before[77 - considering the manner in which I had parted from him the night before – (устар.) учитывая то, как расстался с ним прошлым вечером], and as I walked to the hearth, stirred the fire, and said coolly, “Good evening,” my demeanour evinced as little cordiality as I felt; yet I wondered in my own mind what had brought him there; and I wondered, also, what motives had induced him to interfere so actively between me and Edward; it was to him[78 - it was to him – (разг.) именно благодаря ему; из-за него 60], it appeared, that I owed my welcome dismissal; still I could not bring myself to ask him questions, to show any eagerness of curiosity; if he chose to explain, he might, but the explanation should be a perfectly voluntary one on his part; I thought he was entering upon it. “You owe me a debt of gratitude,” were his first words. “Do I?” said I; “I hope it is not a large one, for I am much too poor to charge myself with heavy liabilities of any kind.” “Then declare yourself bankrupt at once, for this liability is a ton weight at least. When I came in I found your fire out, and I had it lit again, and made that sulky drab of a servant stay and blow at it with the bellows till it had burnt up properly; now, say ‘thank you!’” “Not till I have had something to eat; I can thank nobody while I am so famished.” I rang the bell and ordered tea and some cold meat. “Cold meat!” exclaimed Hunsden, as the servant closed the door, “what a glutton you are; man! Meat with tea! you’ll die of eating too much.” “No, Mr. Hunsden, I shall not.” I felt a necessity for contradicting him; I was irritated with hunger, and irritated at seeing him there, and irritated at the continued roughness of his manner. “It is over-eating that makes you so ill-tempered,” said he. “How do you know?” I demanded. “It is like you to give a pragmatical opinion without being acquainted with any of the circumstances of the case; I have had no dinner.” What I said was petulant and snappish enough, and Hunsden only replied by looking in my face and laughing. “Poor thing![79 - Poor thing! – (разг.) Бедолага!]” he whined, after a pause. “It has had no dinner, has it? What! I suppose its master would not let it come home. Did Crimsworth order you to fast by way of punishment[80 - order you to fast by way of punishment – (разг.) в наказание вас заставили поститься], William!” “No, Mr. Hunsden.” Fortunately at this sulky juncture, tea was brought in, and I fell to upon some bread and butter and cold beef directly. Having cleared a plateful, I became so far humanized as to intimate to Mr. Hunsden that he need not sit there staring, but might come to the table and do as I did, if he liked. “But I don’t like in the least,” said he, and therewith he summoned the servant by a fresh pull of the bell-rope, and intimated a desire to have a glass of toast-and-water. “And some more coal,” he added; “Mr. Crimsworth shall keep a good fire while I stay.” His orders being executed, he wheeled his chair round to the table, so as to be opposite me. “Well,” he proceeded. “You are out of work, I suppose.” “Yes,” said I; and not disposed to show the satisfaction I felt on this point, I, yielding to the whim of the moment, took up the subject as though I considered myself aggrieved rather than benefited by what had been done. “Yes – thanks to you, I am. Crimsworth turned me off at a minute’s notice[81 - turned me off at a minute’s notice – (разг.) вмиг вышвырнул меня с работы], owing to some interference of yours at a public meeting, I understand.” “Ah! what! he mentioned that? He observed me signalling the lads, did he? What had he to say about his friend Hunsden – anything sweet?” “He called you a treacherous villain.” “Oh, he hardly knows me yet! I’m one of those shy people who don’t come out all at once, and he is only just beginning to make my acquaintance, but he’ll find I’ve some good qualities – excellent ones! The Hunsdens were always unrivalled at tracking a rascal; a downright, dis-honourable villain is their natural prey – they could not keep off him wherever they met him; you used the word pragmatical just now – that word is the property of our family; it has been applied to us from generation to generation; we have fine noses for abuses; we scent a scoundrel a mile off; we are reformers born, radical reformers; and it was impossible for me to live in the same town with Crimsworth, to come into weekly contact with him, to witness some of his conduct to you (for whom personally I care nothing; I only consider the brutal injustice with which he violated your natural claim to equality) – I say it was impossible for me to be thus situated and not feel the angel or the demon of my race at work within me. I followed my instinct, opposed a tyrant, and broke a chain.” Now this speech interested me much, both because it brought out Hunsden’s character, and because it explained his motives; it interested me so much that I forgot to reply to it, and sat silent, pondering over a throng of ideas it had suggested. “Are you grateful to me?” he asked, presently. In fact I was grateful, or almost so, and I believe I half-liked him at the moment, notwithstanding his proviso[82 - proviso – (лат.) условие, оговорка] that what he had done was not out of regard for me. But human nature is perverse. Impossible to answer his blunt question in the affirmative, so I disclaimed all tendency to gratitude, and advised him if he expected any reward for his championship, to look for it in a better world, as he was not likely to meet with it here. In reply he termed me “a dry-hearted aristocratic scamp,” whereupon I again charged him with having taken the bread out of my mouth. “Your bread was dirty, man!” cried Hunsden – “dirty and unwholesome! It came through the hands of a tyrant, for I tell you Crimsworth is a tyrant, – a tyrant to his workpeople, a tyrant to his clerks, and will some day be a tyrant to his wife.” “Nonsense! bread is bread, and a salary is a salary. I’ve lost mine, and through your means[83 - through your means – (разг.) с вашей помощью].” “There’s sense in what you say, after all,” rejoined Hunsden. “I must say I am rather agreeably surprised to hear you make so practical an observation as that last. I had imagined now, from my previous observation of your character, that the sentimental delight you would have taken in your newly regained liberty would, for a while at least, have effaced all ideas of forethought and prudence. I think better of you for looking steadily to the needful.” “Looking steadily to the needful! How can I do otherwise? I must live, and to live I must have what you call ‘the needful,’ which I can only get by working. I repeat it, you have taken my work from me.” “What do you mean to do?” pursued Hunsden coolly. “You have influential relations; I suppose they’ll soon provide you with another place.” “Influential relations? Who? I should like to know their names.” “The Seacombes.” “Stuff! I have cut them.[84 - I have cut them. – (разг.) Я порвал с ним отношения.]” Hunsden looked at me incredulously. “I have,” said I, “and that definitively.” “You must mean they have cut you, William.” “As you please. They offered me their patronage on condition of my entering the Church[85 - on condition of my entering the Church – (разг.) при условии, что я приму духовный сан]; I declined both the terms and the recompence; I withdrew from my cold uncles, and preferred throwing myself into my elder brother’s arms, from whose affectionate embrace I am now torn by the cruel intermeddling of a stranger – of yourself, in short.” I could not repress a half-smile as I said this; a similar demi-manifestation of feeling appeared at the same moment on Hunsden’s lips. “Oh, I see!” said he, looking into my eyes, and it was evident he did see right down into my heart. Having sat a minute or two with his chin resting on his hand, diligently occupied in the continued perusal of my countenance, he went on: “Seriously, have you then nothing to expect from the Seacombes?” “Yes, rejection and repulsion. Why do you ask me twice? How can hands stained with the ink of a counting-house, soiled with the grease of a wool-warehouse, ever again be permitted to come into contact with aristocratic palms?” “There would be a difficulty, no doubt; still you are such a complete Seacombe in appearance, feature, language, almost manner, I wonder they should disown you.” “They have disowned me; so talk no more about it.” “Do you regret it, William?” “No.” “Why not, lad?” “Because they are not people with whom I could ever have had any sympathy.” “I say you are one of them.” “That merely proves that you know nothing at all about it; I am my mother’s son, but not my uncles’ nephew.” “Still – one of your uncles is a lord, though rather an obscure and not a very wealthy one, and the other a right honourable: you should consider worldly interest[86 - you should consider worldly interest – (зд.) вы можете от этого немало выиграть].” “Nonsense, Mr. Hunsden. You know or may know that even had I desired to be submissive to my uncles, I could not have stooped with a good enough grace ever to have won their favour. I should have sacrificed my own comfort and not have gained their patronage in return.” “Very likely – so you calculated your wisest plan was to follow your own devices at once?” “Exactly. I must follow my own devices[87 - I must follow my own devices – (разг.) Я должен рассчитывать только на себя] – I must, till the day of my death; because I can neither comprehend, adopt, nor work out those of other people.” Hunsden yawned. “Well,” said he, “in all this, I see but one thing clearly – that is, that the whole affair is no business of mine.” He stretched himself and again yawned. “I wonder what time it is,” he went on: “I have an appointment for seven o’clock.” “Three quarters past six by my watch.” “Well, then I’ll go.” He got up. “You’ll not meddle with trade again?” said he, leaning his elbow on the mantelpiece. “No; I think not.” “You would be a fool if you did. Probably, after all, you’ll think better of your uncles’ proposal and go into the Church.” “A singular regeneration must take place in my whole inner and outer man before I do that. A good clergyman is one of the best of men.” “Indeed! Do you think so?” interrupted Hunsden, scofingly. “I do, and no mistake. But I have not the peculiar points which go to make a good clergyman; and rather than adopt a profession for which I have no vocation, I would endure extremities of hardship from poverty.” “You’re a mighty difficult customer to suit.[88 - You’re a mighty difficult customer to suit. – (разг.) На вас трудно угодить.] You won’t be a tradesman or a parson; you can’t be a lawyer, or a doctor, or a gentleman, because you’ve no money. I’d recommend you to travel.” “What! without money?” “You must travel in search of money, man. You can speak French – with a vile English accent, no doubt – still, you can speak it. Go on to the Continent, and see what will turn up for you there.” “God knows I should like to go!” exclaimed I with involuntary ardour. “Go: what the deuce hinders you? You may get to Brussels, for instance, for five or six pounds, if you know how to manage with economy.” “Necessity would teach me if I didn’t.” “Go, then, and let your wits make a way for you when you get there. I know Brussels almost as well as I know X – —, and I am sure it would suit such a one as you better than London.” “But occupation, Mr. Hunsden! I must go where occupation is to be had; and how could I get recommendation, or introduction, or employment at Brussels?” “There speaks the organ of caution. You hate to advance a step before you know every inch of the way. You haven’t a sheet of paper and a pen-and-ink?” “I hope so,” and I produced writing materials with alacrity; for I guessed what he was going to do. He sat down, wrote a few lines, folded, sealed, and addressed a letter, and held it out to me. “There, Prudence, there’s a pioneer to hew down the first rough difficulties of your path. I know well enough, lad, you are not one of those who will run their neck into a noose[89 - who will run their neck into a noose – (разг.) кто кидается очертя голову] without seeing how they are to get it out again, and you’re right there. A reckless man is my aversion, and nothing should ever persuade me to meddle with the concerns of such a one. Those who are reckless for themselves are generally ten times more so for their friends.” “This is a letter of introduction, I suppose?” said I, taking the epistle. “Yes. With that in your pocket you will run no risk of finding yourself in a state of absolute destitution, which, I know, you will regard as a degradation – so should I, for that matter. The person to whom you will present it generally has two or three respectable places depending upon his recommendation.” “That will just suit me,” said I. “Well, and where’s your gratitude?” demanded Mr. Hunsden; “don’t you know how to say ‘thank you?’” “I’ve fifteen pounds and a watch, which my godmother, whom I never saw, gave me eighteen years ago,” was my rather irrelevant answer; and I further avowed myself a happy man, and professed that I did not envy any being in Christendom. “But your gratitude?” “I shall be off presently, Mr. Hunsden – to-morrow, if all be well: I’ll not stay a day longer in X – — than I’m obliged.” “Very good – but it will be decent to make due acknowledgment for the assistance you have received; be quick! It is just going to strike seven: I’m waiting to be thanked.” “Just stand out of the way, will you, Mr. Hunsden: I want a key there is on the corner of the mantelpiece. I’ll pack my portmanteau before I go to bed.” The house clock struck seven. “The lad is a heathen[90 - The lad is a heathen – (разг.) Парень просто дикарь (невежа)],” said Hunsden, and taking his hat from a sideboard, he left the room, laughing to himself. I had half an inclination to follow him: I really intended to leave X – — the next morning, and should certainly not have another opportunity of bidding him good-bye. The front door banged to. “Let him go,” said I, “we shall meet again some day.” Chapter VII Reader, perhaps you were never in Belgium? Haply you don’t know the physiognomy of the country[91 - the physiognomy of the country – (устар.) облик этой страны]? You have not its lineaments defined upon your memory, as I have them on mine? Three – nay four – pictures line the four-walled cell where are stored for me the records of the past. First, Eton. All in that picture is in far perspective, receding, diminutive; but freshly coloured, green, dewy, with a spring sky, piled with glittering yet showery clouds; for my childhood was not all sunshine – it had its overcast, its cold, its stormy hours. Second, X – —, huge, dingy; the canvas cracked and smoked; a yellow sky, sooty clouds; no sun, no azure; the verdure of the suburbs blighted and sullied – a very dreary scene. Third, Belgium; and I will pause before this landscape. As to the fourth, a curtain covers it, which I may hereafter withdraw, or may not, as suits my convenience and capacity. At any rate[92 - At any rate – (разг.) В любом случае; как бы то ни было 70], for the present it must hang undisturbed. Belgium! name unromantic and unpoetic, yet name that whenever uttered has in my ear a sound, in my heart an echo, such as no other assemblage of syllables, however sweet or classic, can produce. Belgium! I repeat the word, now as I sit alone near midnight. It stirs my world of the past like a summons to resurrection; the graves unclose, the dead are raised; thoughts, feelings, memories that slept, are seen by me ascending from the clouds – haloed most of them – but while I gaze on their vapoury forms, and strive to ascertain definitely their outline, the sound which wakened them dies, and they sink, each and all, like a light wreath of mist, absorbed in the mould, recalled to urns, resealed in monuments. Farewell, luminous phantoms! This is Belgium, reader. Look! don’t call the picture a flat or a dull one – it was neither flat nor dull to me when I first beheld it. When I left Ostend on a mild February morning, and found myself on the road to Brussels, nothing could look vapid to me. My sense of enjoyment possessed an edge whetted to the finest, untouched, keen, exquisite. I was young; I had good health; pleasure and I had never met; no indulgence of hers had enervated or sated one faculty of my nature. Liberty I clasped in my arms for the first time, and the influence of her smile and embrace revived my life like the sun and the west wind. Yes, at that epoch I felt like a morning traveller who doubts not that from the hill he is ascending he shall behold a glorious sunrise; what if the track be strait, steep, and stony? he sees it not; his eyes are fixed on that summit, flushed already, flushed and gilded, and having gained it he is certain of the scene beyond. He knows that the sun will face him, that his chariot is even now coming over the eastern horizon, and that the herald breeze he feels on his cheek is opening for the god’s career a clear, vast path of azure, amidst clouds soft as pearl and warm as flame. Difficulty and toil were to be my lot[93 - Difficulty and toil were to be my lot – (устар.) Трудности и тяжелая работа были моим уделом (выпали на мою долю)], but sustained by energy, drawn on by hopes as bright as vague, I deemed such a lot no hardship. I mounted now the hill in shade; there were pebbles, inequalities, briars in my path, but my eyes were fixed on the crimson peak above; my imagination was with the refulgent firmament beyond, and I thought nothing of the stones turning under my feet, or of the thorns scratching my face and hands. I gazed often, and always with delight, from the window of the diligence (these, be it remembered, were not the days of trains and railroads). Well! and what did I see? I will tell you faithfully. Green, reedy swamps; fields fertile but flat, cultivated in patches that made them look like magnified kitchen-gardens; belts of cut trees, formal as pollard willows, skirting the horizon; narrow canals, gliding slow by the road-side; painted Flemish farmhouses; some very dirty hovels; a gray, dead sky; wet road, wet fields, wet house-tops: not a beautiful, scarcely a picturesque object met my eye along the whole route; yet to me, all was beautiful, all was more than picturesque. It continued fair so long as daylight lasted, though the moisture of many preceding damp days had sodden the whole country; as it grew dark, however, the rain recommenced, and it was through streaming and starless darkness my eye caught the first gleam of the lights of Brussels. I saw little of the city but its lights that night. Having alighted from the diligence, a fiacre conveyed me to the Hotel de – —, where I had been advised by a fellow-traveller to put up; having eaten a traveller’s supper, I retired to bed, and slept a traveller’s sleep[94 - slept a traveller’s sleep – (разг.) уснул как убитый; провалился в сон]. Next morning I awoke from prolonged and sound repose with the impression that I was yet in X – —, and perceiving it to be broad daylight I started up, imagining that I had overslept myself and should be behind time at the counting-house. The momentary and painful sense of restraint vanished before the revived and reviving consciousness of freedom, as, throwing back the white curtains of my bed, I looked forth into a wide, lofty foreign chamber; how different from the small and dingy, though not uncomfortable, apartment I had occupied for a night or two at a respectable inn in London while waiting for the sailing of the packet! Yet far be it from me to profane the memory of that little dingy room! It, too, is dear to my soul; for there, as I lay in quiet and darkness, I first heard the great bell of St. Paul’s telling London it was midnight, and well do I recall the deep, deliberate tones, so full charged with colossal phlegm and force. From the small, narrow window of that room, I first saw the dome, looming through a London mist. I suppose the sensations, stirred by those first sounds, first sights, are felt but once; treasure them, Memory; seal them in urns, and keep them in safe niches! Well – I rose. Travellers talk of the apartments in foreign dwellings being bare and uncomfortable; I thought my chamber looked stately and cheerful. It had such large windows – croisées[95 - croisées – (фр.) оконный переплет] that opened like doors, with such broad, clear panes of glass; such a great looking-glass stood on my dressing-table – such a fine mirror glittered over the mantelpiece – the painted floor looked so clean and glossy; when I had dressed and was descending the stairs, the broad marble steps almost awed me, and so did the lofty hall into which they conducted. On the first landing I met a Flemish housemaid: she had wooden shoes, a short red petticoat, a printed cotton bedgown, her face was broad, her physiognomy eminently stupid; when I spoke to her in French, she answered me in Flemish, with an air the reverse of civil[96 - with an air the reverse of civil – (ирон.) тоном отнюдь не учтивым]; yet I thought her charming; if she was not pretty or polite, she was, I conceived, very picturesque; she reminded me of the female figures in certain Dutch paintings I had seen in other years at Seacombe Hall. I repaired to the public room; that, too, was very large and very loft y, and warmed by a stove; the floor was black, and the stove was black, and most of the furniture was black: yet I never experienced a freer sense of exhilaration than when I sat down at a very long, black table (covered, however, in part by a white cloth), and, having ordered breakfast, began to pour out my coffee from a little black coffee-pot. The stove might be dismal-looking to some eyes, not to mine, but it was indisputably very warm, and there were two gentlemen seated by it talking in French; impossible to follow their rapid utterance, or comprehend much of the purport of what they said – yet French, in the mouths of Frenchmen, or Belgians (I was not then sensible of the horrors of the Belgian accent[97 - I was not then sensible of the horrors of the Belgian accent – (разг.) тогда еще меня не ужасал бельгийский акцент]) was as music to my ears. One of these gentlemen presently discerned me to be an Englishman – no doubt from the fashion in which I addressed the waiter; for I would persist in speaking French in my execrable South-of-England style, though the man understood English. The gentleman, after looking towards me once or twice, politely accosted me in very good English; I remember I wished to God that I could speak French as well; his fluency and correct pronunciation impressed me for the first time with a due notion of the cosmopolitan character of the capital I was in; it was my first experience of that skill in living languages I afterwards found to be so general in Brussels. I lingered over my breakfast as long as I could; while it was there on the table, and while that stranger continued talking to me, I was a free, independent traveller; but at last the things were removed, the two gentlemen left the room; suddenly the illusion ceased, reality and business came back. I, a bondsman just released from the yoke, freed for one week from twenty-one years of constraint, must, of necessity, resume the fetters of dependency. Hardly had I tasted the delight of being without a master when duty issued her stern mandate: “Go forth and seek another service.” I never linger over a painful and necessary task; I never take pleasure before business[98 - I never take pleasure before business – (разг.) для меня дело всегда было на первом месте], it is not in my nature to do so; impossible to enjoy a leisurely walk over the city, though I perceived the morning was very fine, until I had first presented Mr. Hunsden’s letter of introduction, and got fairly on to the track of a new situation. Wrenching my mind from liberty and delight, I seized my hat, and forced my reluctant body out of the Hotel de – — into the foreign street. It was a fine day, but I would not look at the blue sky or at the stately houses round me; my mind was bent on one thing, finding out “Mr. Brown, Numero —, Rue Royale,” for so my letter was addressed. By dint of inquiry I succeeded; I stood at last at the desired door, knocked, asked for Mr. Brown, and was admitted. Being shown into a small breakfast-room, I found myself in the presence of an elderly gentleman – very grave, business-like, and respectable-looking. I presented Mr. Hunsden’s letter; he received me very civilly. After a little desultory conversation he asked me if there was anything in which his advice or experience could be of use. I said, “Yes,” and then proceeded to tell him that I was not a gentleman of fortune, travelling for pleasure, but an ex-counting-house clerk, who wanted employment of some kind, and that immediately too[99 - and that immediately too – (разг.) и к тому же немедленно]. He replied that as a friend of Mr. Hunsden’s he would be willing to assist me as well as he could. After some meditation he named a place in a mercantile house at Liege, and another in a bookseller’s shop at Louvain. “Clerk and shopman!” murmured I to myself. “No.” I shook my head. I had tried the high stool[100 - had tried the high stool – (зд.) уже насиделся на высоком конторском табурете]; I hated it; I believed there were other occupations that would suit me better; besides I did not wish to leave Brussels. “I know of no place in Brussels,” answered Mr. Brown, “unless indeed you were disposed to turn your attention to teaching. I am acquainted with the director of a large establishment who is in want of a professor of English and Latin.” I thought two minutes, then I seized the idea eagerly. “The very thing[101 - The very thing – (разг.) То, что надо], sir!” said I. “But,” asked he, “do you understand French well enough to teach Belgian boys English?” Fortunately I could answer this question in the affirmative; having studied French under a Frenchman, I could speak the language intelligibly though not fluently. I could also read it well, and write it decently. “Then,” pursued Mr. Brown, “I think I can promise you the place, for Monsieur Pelet will not refuse a professor recommended by me; but come here again at five o’clock this afternoon, and I will introduce you to him.” The word “professor” struck me. “I am not a professor,” said I. “Oh,” returned Mr. Brown, “professor, here in Belgium, means a teacher, that is all.” My conscience thus quieted, I thanked Mr. Brown, and, for the present, withdrew. This time I stepped out into the street with a relieved heart; the task I had imposed on myself for that day was executed. I might now take some hours of holiday. I felt free to look up. For the first time I remarked the sparkling clearness of the air, the deep blue of the sky, the gay clean aspect of the white-washed or painted houses; I saw what a fine street was the Rue Royale, and, walking leisurely along its broad pavement, I continued to survey its stately hotels, till the palisades, the gates, and trees of the park appearing in sight, offered to my eye a new attraction. I remember, before entering the park, I stood awhile to contemplate the statue of General Belliard, and then I advanced to the top of the great staircase just beyond, and I looked down into a narrow back street, which I afterwards learnt was called the Rue d’Isabelle. I well recollect that my eye rested on the green door of a rather large house opposite, where, on a brass plate, was inscribed, “Pensionnat de Demoiselles[102 - Pensionnat de Demoiselles – (фр.) Пансион для девиц].” Pensionnat! The word excited an uneasy sensation in my mind; it seemed to speak of restraint. Some of the demoiselles, externats[103 - demoiselles, externats – (фр.) приходящие ученицы] no doubt, were at that moment issuing from the door – I looked for a pretty face amongst them, but their close, little French bonnets hid their features; in a moment they were gone. I had traversed a good deal of Brussels before five o’clock arrived, but punctually as that hour struck I was again in the Rue Royale. Re-admitted to Mr. Brown’s breakfast-room, I found him, as before, seated at the table, and he was not alone – a gentleman stood by the hearth. Two words of introduction designated him as my future master. “M. Pelet, Mr. Crimsworth; Mr. Crimsworth, M. Pelet”, a bow on each side finished the ceremony. I don’t know what sort of a bow I made; an ordinary one, I suppose, for I was in a tranquil, commonplace frame of mind; I felt none of the agitation which had troubled my first interview with Edward Crimsworth. M. Pelet’s bow was extremely polite, yet not theatrical, scarcely French; he and I were presently seated opposite to each other. In a pleasing voice, low, and, out of consideration to my foreign ears, very distinct and deliberate, M. Pelet intimated that he had just been receiving from “le respectable M. Brown[104 - le respectable M. Brown – (фр.) уважаемый мистер Браун],” an account of my attainments and character, which relieved him from all scruple as to the propriety of engaging me as professor of English and Latin in his establishment; nevertheless, for form’s sake[105 - for form’s sake – (разг.) для проформы], he would put a few questions to test my powers. He did, and expressed in flattering terms his satisfaction at my answers. The subject of salary next came on; it was fixed at one thousand francs per annum[106 - per annum – (лат.) в год], besides board and lodging. “And in addition,” suggested M. Pelet, “as there will be some hours in each day during which your services will not be required in my establishment, you may, in time, obtain employment in other seminaries, and thus turn your vacant moments to profitable account.” I thought this very kind, and indeed I found afterwards that the terms on which M. Pelet had engaged me were really liberal for Brussels; instruction being extremely cheap there on account of the number of teachers. It was further arranged that I should be installed in my new post the very next day, after which M. Pelet and I parted. Well, and what was he like? and what were my impressions concerning him? He was a man of about forty years of age, of middle size, and rather emaciated figure; his face was pale, his cheeks were sunk, and his eyes hollow; his features were pleasing and regular, they had a French turn (for M. Pelet was no Fleming, but a Frenchman both by birth and parentage), yet the degree of harshness inseparable from Gallic lineaments was, in his case, softened by a mild blue eye, and a melancholy, almost suffering, expression of countenance; his physiognomy was “fine et spirituelle[107 - fine et spirituelle – (фр.) тонкая и умная].” I use two French words because they define better than any English terms the species of intelligence with which his features were imbued. He was altogether an interesting and prepossessing personage. I wondered only at the utter absence of all the ordinary characteristics of his profession, and almost feared he could not be stern and resolute enough for a schoolmaster. Externally at least M. Pelet presented an absolute contrast to my late master, Edward Crimsworth. Influenced by the impression I had received of his gentleness, I was a good deal surprised when, on arriving the next day at my new employer’s house, and being admitted to a first view of what was to be the sphere of my future labours, namely the large, loft y, and well-lighted schoolrooms, I beheld a numerous assemblage of pupils, boys of course, whose collective appearance showed all the signs of a full, flourishing, and well-disciplined seminary. As I traversed the classes in company with M. Pelet, a profound silence reigned on all sides, and if by chance a murmur or a whisper arose, one glance from the pensive eye of this most gentle pedagogue stilled it instantly. It was astonishing, I thought, how so mild a check could prove so effectual. When I had perambulated the length and breadth of the classes, M. Pelet turned and said to me: “Would you object to taking the boys as they are, and testing their profficiency in English?” The proposal was unexpected. I had thought I should have been allowed at least 3 days to prepare; but it is a bad omen to commence any career by hesitation[108 - it is a bad omen to commence any career by hesitation – (разг.) дурная примета – начинать любое дело с сомнений и колебаний], so I just stepped to the professor’s desk near which we stood, and faced the circle of my pupils. I took a moment to collect my thoughts, and likewise to frame in French the sentence by which I proposed to open business. I made it as short as possible: “Messieurs, prenez vos livres de lecture.[109 - Messieurs, prenez vos livres de lecture. – (фр.) Господа, приготовьте книги для чтения.]” “Anglais ou Français, monsieur?[110 - Anglais ou Français, monsieur? – (фр.) На английском или на французском, мсье?]” demanded a thickset, moon-faced young Flamand in a blouse. The answer was fortunately easy: “Anglais.[111 - Anglais. – (фр.) На английском.]” I determined to give myself as little trouble as possible in this lesson; it would not do yet to trust my unpractised tongue with the delivery of explanations; my accent and idiom would be too open to the criticisms of the young gentlemen before me, relative to whom I felt already it would be necessary at once to take up an advantageous position, and I proceeded to employ means accordingly. “Commencez![112 - Commencez! – (фр.) Начинайте!]” cried I, when they had all produced their books. The moon-faced youth (by name Jules Vanderkelkov, as I afterwards learnt) took the first sentence. The “livre de lecture” was the “Vicar of Wakefield,” much used in foreign schools because it is supposed to contain prime samples of conversational English; it might, however, have been a Runic scroll for any resemblance the words, as enunciated by Jules, bore to the language in ordinary use amongst the natives of Great Britain. My God! how he did snufle, snort, and wheeze! All he said was said in his throat and nose, for it is thus the Flamands speak, but I heard him to the end of his paragraph without proffering a word of correction, whereat he looked vastly self-complacent, convinced, no doubt, that he had acquitted himself like a real born and bred “Anglais.” In the same unmoved silence I listened to a dozen in rotation, and when the twelfth had concluded with splutter, hiss, and mumble, I solemnly laid down the book. “Arrêtez![113 - Arrêtez! – (фр.) Достаточно.]” said I. There was a pause, during which I regarded them all with a steady and somewhat stern gaze; a dog, if stared at hard enough and long enough, will show symptoms of embarrassment, and so at length did my bench of Belgians. Perceiving that some of the faces before me were beginning to look sullen, and others ashamed, I slowly joined my hands, and ejaculated in a deep “voix de poitrine[114 - voix de poitrine – (фр.) утробным голосом]”: “Comme c’est aff reux![115 - Comme c’est aff reux! – (фр.) Какой ужас!]” They looked at each other, pouted, coloured, swung their heels; they were not pleased, I saw, but they were impressed, and in the way I wished them to be. Having thus taken them down a peg in their self-conceit[116 - Having thus taken them down a peg in their self-conceit – (разг.) Осадив таким образом этих самонадеянных юнцов], the next step was to raise myself in their estimation; not a very easy thing, considering that I hardly dared to speak for fear of betraying my own deficiencies. “Écoutez, messieurs![117 - “Écoutez, messieurs! – (фр.) Слушайте, господа!]” said I, and I endeavoured to throw into my accents the compassionate tone of a superior being, who, touched by the extremity of the helplessness, which at first only excited his scorn, deigns at length to bestow aid. I then began at the very beginning of the “Vicar of Wakefield,” and read, in a slow, distinct voice, some twenty pages, they all the while sitting mute and listening with fixed attention; by the time I had done nearly an hour had elapsed. I then rose and said: “C’est assez pour aujourd’hui, messieurs; demain nous recommencerons, et j’espere que tout ira bien.[118 - C’est assez pour aujourd’hui, messieurs; demain, nous recommencerons, et j’espere que tout ira bien. – (фр.) На сегодня все, господа; завтра мы возобновим чтение и, надеюсь, все будет хорошо.]” With this oracular sentence I bowed, and in company with M. Pelet quitted the school-room. “C’est bien! c’est tres bien!” said my principal as we entered his parlour. “Je vois que monsieur a de l’adresse; cela me plait, car, dans l’instruction, l’adresse fait tout autant que le savoir.[119 - C’est bien! c’est tres bien! Je vois que monsieur a de l’adresse; cela me plait, car, dans l’instruction, l’adresse fait tout autant que le savoir. – (фр.) Хорошо! Очень хорошо!.. Я вижу, у мсье есть талант; мне это нравится, ибо в учительском деле талант столь же ценим, как и ученость.]” From the parlour M. Pelet conducted me to my apartment, my “chambre[120 - chambre – (фр.) комната],” as Monsieur said with a certain air of complacency. It was a very small room, with an excessively small bed, but M. Pelet gave me to understand that I was to occupy it quite alone, which was of course a great comfort. Yet, though so limited in dimensions, it had two windows. Light not being taxed in Belgium, the people never grudge its admission into their houses; just here, however, this observation is not very à propos[121 - à propos – (фр.) кстати], for one of these windows was boarded up; the open windows looked into the boys’ playground. I glanced at the other, as wondering what aspect it would present if disencumbered of the boards. M. Pelet read, I suppose, the expression of my eye; he explained: “La fenêtre fermée donne sur un jardin appartenant à un pensionnat de demoiselles,” said he, “et les convenances exigent – enfin, vous comprenez – n’est-ce pas, monsieur?[122 - La fenêtre fermée donne sur un jardin appartenant à un pensionnat de demoiselles, … et les convenances exigent – enfin, vous comprenez – n’est-ce pas, monsieur? – (фр.) Забитое окно выходит в сад женского пансиона и приличия требуют… словом, вы понимаете, не правда ли, мсье?]” “Oui, oui[123 - Oui, oui – (фр.) Да, да],” was my reply, and I looked of course quite satisfied; but when M. Pelet had retired and closed the door after him, the first thing I did was to scrutinize closely the nailed boards, hoping to find some chink or crevice which I might enlarge, and so get a peep at the consecrated ground. My researches were vain, for the boards were well joined and strongly nailed. It is astonishing how disappointed I felt. I thought it would have been so pleasant to have looked out upon a garden planted with flowers and trees, so amusing to have watched the demoiselles at their play; to have studied female character in a variety of phases, myself the while sheltered from view by a modest muslin curtain, whereas, owing doubtless to the absurd scruples of some old duenna of a directress, I had now only the option of looking at a bare gravelled court, with an enormous “pas de géant[124 - pas de géant – (фр.) огромная голая площадка]” in the middle, and the monotonous walls and windows of a boys’ school-house round. Not only then, but many a time after, especially in moments of weariness and low spirits, did I look with dissatisfied eyes on that most tantalizing board, longing to tear it away and get a glimpse of the green region which I imagined to lie beyond. I knew a tree grew close up to the window, for though there were as yet no leaves to rustle, I often heard at night the tapping of branches against the panes. In the daytime, when I listened attentively, I could hear, even through the boards, the voices of the demoiselles in their hours of recreation, and, to speak the honest truth, my sentimental reflections were occasionally a trifle disarranged by the not quite silvery, in fact the too often brazen sounds, which, rising from the unseen paradise below, penetrated clamorously into my solitude. Not to mince matters[125 - Not to mince matters – (разг.) Честно признаться], it really seemed to me a doubtful case whether the lungs of Mdlle[126 - Mdlle – (фр.) сокр. от Mademoiselle]. Reuter’s girls or those of M. Pelet’s boys were the strongest, and when it came to shrieking the girls indisputably beat the boys hollow[127 - beat the boys hollow – (разг.) обставляли мальчиков (по части криков и визга)]. I forgot to say, by-the-by, that Reuter was the name of the old lady who had had my window bearded up. I say old, for such I, of course, concluded her to be, judging from her cautious, chaperon-like proceedings; besides, nobody ever spoke of her as young. I remember I was very much amused when I first heard her Christian name; it was Zoraïde – Mademoiselle Zoraïde Reuter. But the continental nations do allow themselves vagaries in the choice of names, such as we sober English never run into. I think, indeed, we have too limited a list to choose from. Meantime my path was gradually growing smooth before me. I, in a few weeks, conquered the teasing difficulties inseparable from the commencement of almost every career. Ere long[128 - Ere long – (устар.) Очень скоро] I had acquired as much facility in speaking French as set me at my ease with my pupils; and as I had encountered them on a right footing[129 - on a right footing – (разг.) уверенно и свободно] at the very beginning, and continued tenaciously to retain the advantage I had early gained, they never attempted mutiny, which circumstance, all who are in any degree acquainted with the ongoings of Belgian schools, and who know the relation in which professors and pupils too frequently stand towards each other in those establishments, will consider an important and uncommon one. Before concluding this chapter I will say a word on the system I pursued with regard to my classes: my experience may possibly be of use to others. It did not require very keen observation to detect the character of the youth of Brabant, but it needed a certain degree of tact to adopt one’s measures to their capacity. Their intellectual faculties were generally weak, their animal propensities strong; thus there was at once an impotence and a kind of inert force in their natures; they were dull, but they were also singularly stubborn, heavy as lead and, like lead, most difficult to move. Such being the case, it would have been truly absurd to exact from them much in the way of mental exertion; having short memories, dense intelligence, feeble reflective powers, they recoiled with repugnance from any occupation that demanded close study or deep thought. Had the abhorred effort been extorted from them by injudicious and arbitrary measures on the part of the Professor, they would have resisted as obstinately, as clamorously, as desperate swine; and though not brave singly, they were relentless acting en masse[130 - en masse – (фр.) все вместе]. I understood that before my arrival in M. Pelet’s establishment, the combined insubordination of the pupils had effected the dismissal of more than one English master. It was necessary then to exact only the most moderate application from natures so little qualified to apply – to assist, in every practicable way, understandings so opaque and contracted – to be ever gentle, considerate, yielding even, to a certain point, with dispositions so irrationally perverse; but, having reached that culminating point of indulgence, you must fix your foot, plant it, root it in rock – become immutable as the towers of St. Gudule; for a step – but half a step farther, and you would plunge headlong into the gulf of imbecility; there lodged, you would speedily receive proofs of Flemish gratitude and magnanimity in showers of Brabant saliva and handfuls of Low Country mud. You might smooth to the utmost the path of learning, remove every pebble from the track; but then you must finally insist with decision on the pupil taking your arm and allowing himself to be led quietly along the prepared road. When I had brought down my lesson to the lowest level of my dullest pupil’s capacity – when I had shown myself the mildest, the most tolerant of masters – a word of impertinence, a movement of disobedience, changed me at once into a despot. I offered then but one alternative – submission and acknowledgment of error, or ignominious expulsion. This system answered, and my influence, by degrees, became established on a firm basis. “The boy is father to the man[131 - The boy is father to the man – Уже в ребенке заложены черты взрослого чеовека. (Вордсворт)],” it is said; and so I often thought when looked at my boys and remembered the political history of their ancestors. Pelet’s school was merely an epitome of the Belgian nation. Chapter VIII And Pelet himself? How did I continue to like him? Oh, extremely well! Nothing could be more smooth, gentlemanlike, and even friendly, than his demeanour to me. I had to endure from him neither cold neglect, irritating interference, nor pretentious assumption of superiority. I fear, however, two poor, hard-worked Belgian ushers in the establishment could not have said as much; to them the director’s manner was invariably dry, stern, and cool. I believe he perceived once or twice that I was a little shocked at the difference he made between them and me, and accounted for it by saying, with a quiet sarcastic smile: “Ce ne sont que des Flamands – allez![132 - Ce ne sont que des Flamands – allez! – (фр.) Они же фламандцы!]” And then he took his cigar gently from his lips and spat on the painted floor of the room in which we were sitting. Flamands certainly they were, and both had the true Flamand physiognomy, where intellectual inferiority is marked in lines none can mistake; still they were men, and, in the main, honest men; and I could not see why their being aboriginals of the flat, dull soil should serve as a pretext for treating them with perpetual severity and contempt. This idea of injustice somewhat poisoned the pleasure I might otherwise have derived from Pelet’s soft affable manner to myself. Certainly it was agreeable, when the day’s work was over, to find one’s employer an intelligent and cheerful companion; and if he was sometimes a little sarcastic and sometimes a little too insinuating, and if I did discover that his mildness was more a matter of appearance than of reality – if I did occasionally suspect the existence of flint or steel under an external covering of velvet – still we are none of us perfect[133 - still we are none of us perfect – (разг.) никто из нас не совершенен]; and weary as I was of the atmosphere of brutality and insolence in which I had constantly lived at X – —, I had no inclination now, on casting anchor in calmer regions, to institute at once a prying search after defects that were scrupulously withdrawn and carefully veiled from my view. I was willing to take Pelet for what he seemed – to believe him benevolent and friendly until some untoward event should prove him otherwise. He was not married, and I soon perceived he had all a Frenchman’s, all a Parisian’s notions about matrimony and women. I suspected a degree of laxity in his code of morals, there was something so cold and blasé[134 - blasé – (фр.) пресыщенный; скептический] in his tone whenever he alluded to what he called “le beau sexe[135 - le beau sexe – (фр.) прекрасный пол];” but he was too gentlemanlike to intrude topics I did not invite, and as he was really intelligent and really fond of intellectual subjects of discourse, he and I always found enough to talk about, without seeking themes in the mire. I hated his fashion of mentioning love; I abhorred, from my soul, mere licentiousness. He felt the difference of our notions, and, by mutual consent, we kept off ground debateable. Pelet’s house was kept and his kitchen managed by his mother, a real old Frenchwoman; she had been handsome – at least she told me so, and I strove to believe her; she was now ugly, as only continental old women can be; perhaps, though, her style of dress made her look uglier than she really was. Indoors she would go about without cap, her grey hair strangely dishevelled; then, when at home, she seldom wore a gown – only a shabby cotton camisole; shoes, too, were strangers to her feet, and in lieu[136 - in lieu – (фр.) вместо] of them she sported roomy slippers, trodden down at the heels[137 - roomy slippers, trodden down at the heels – (разг.) домашние шлепанцы со стоптанными задниками]. On the other hand, whenever it was her pleasure to appear abroad, as on Sundays and fête-days, she would put on some very brilliant-coloured dress, usually of thin texture, a silk bonnet with a wreath of flowers, and a very fine shawl. She was not, in the main, an ill-natured old woman, but an incessant and most indiscreet talker; she kept chiefly in and about the kitchen, and seemed rather to avoid her son’s august presence; of him, indeed, she evidently stood in awe[138 - she evidently stood in awe – (разг.) она определенно трепетала]. When he reproved her, his reproofs were bitter and unsparing; but he seldom gave himself that trouble. Madame Pelet had her own society, her own circle of chosen visitors, whom, however, I seldom saw, as she generally entertained them in what she called her “cabinet,” a small den of a place adjoining the kitchen, and descending into it by one or two steps. On these steps, by-the-by, I have not unfrequently seen Madame Pelet seated with a trencher on her knee, engaged in the threefold employment of eating her dinner, gossiping with her favourite servant, the housemaid, and scolding her antagonist, the cook; she never dined, and seldom indeed took any meal with her son; and as to showing her face at the boys’ table, that was quite out of the question. These details will sound very odd in English ears, but Belgium is not England, and its ways are not our ways. Madame Pelet’s habits of life, then, being taken into consideration, I was a good deal surprised when, one Thursday evening (Thursday was always a half-holiday), as I was sitting all alone in my apartment, correcting a huge pile of English and Latin exercises, a servant tapped at the door, and, on its being opened, presented Madame Pelet’s compliments, and she would be happy to see me to take my “goûter[139 - goûter – (фр.) полдник]” (a meal which answers to our English “tea”) with her in the dining-room. “Plaît-il?[140 - Plaît-il? – (фр.) Извините?]” said I, for I thought I must have misunderstood, the message and invitation were so unusual; the same words were repeated. I accepted, of course, and as I descended the stairs, I wondered what whim had entered the old lady’s brain; her son was out – gone to pass the evening at the Salle of the Grande Harmonie or some other club of which he was a member. Just as I laid my hand on the handle of the dining-room door, a queer idea glanced across my mind. “Surely she’s not going to make love to me[141 - she’s not going to make love to me – (разг.) не станет же она меня соблазнять],” said I. “I’ve heard of old Frenchwomen doing odd things in that line; and the goûter? They generally begin such affairs with eating and drinking, I believe.” There was a fearful dismay in this suggestion of my excited imagination, and if I had allowed myself time to dwell upon it, I should no doubt have cut there and then[142 - should no doubt have cut there and then – (зд.) без сомнения, я бы проигнорировал приглашение], rushed back to my chamber, and bolted myself in; but whenever a danger or a horror is veiled with uncertainty, the primary wish of the mind is to ascertain first the naked truth, reserving the expedient of flight for the moment when its dread anticipation shall be realized. I turned the door-handle, and in an instant had crossed the fatal threshold, closed the door behind me, and stood in the presence of Madame Pelet. Gracious heavens! The first view of her seemed to confirm my worst apprehensions. There she sat, dressed out in a light green muslin gown, on her head a lace cap with flourishing red roses in the frill; her table was carefully spread; there were fruit, cakes, and coffee, with a bottle of something – I did not know what. Already the cold sweat started on my brow, already I glanced back over my shoulder at the closed door, when, to my unspeakable relief, my eye, wandering mildly in the direction of the stove, rested upon a second figure, seated in a large fauteuil[143 - fauteuil – (фр.) кресло] beside it. This was a woman, too, and, moreover, an old woman, and as fat and as rubicund as Madame Pelet was meagre and yellow; her attire was likewise very fine, and spring flowers of different hues circled in a bright wreath the crown of her violet-coloured velvet bonnet. I had only time to make these general observations when Madame Pelet, coming forward with what she intended should be a graceful and elastic step, thus accosted me: “Monsieur is indeed most obliging to quit his books, his studies, at the request of an insignificant person like me – will Monsieur complete his kindness by allowing me to present him to my dear friend Madame Reuter, who resides in the neighbouring house – the young ladies’ school.” “Ah!” thought I, “I knew she was old,” and I bowed and took my seat. Madame Reuter placed herself at the table opposite to me. “How do you like Belgium, Monsieur?” asked she, in an accent of the broadest Bruxellois. I could now well distinguish the difference between the fine and pure Parisian utterance of M. Pelet, for instance, and the guttural enunciation of the Flamands. I answered politely, and then wondered how so coarse and clumsy an old woman as the one before me should be at the head of a ladies’ seminary, which I had always heard spoken of in terms of high commendation. In truth there was something to wonder at. Madame Reuter looked more like a joyous, free-living old Flemish fermière[144 - fermière – (фр.) фермерша], or even a maÎtresse d’auberge[145 - maÎtresse d’auberge – (фр.) хозяйка гостиницы], than a staid, grave, rigid directrice de pensionnat. In general the continental, or at least the Belgian old women permit themselves a licence of manners, speech, and aspect, such as our venerable granddames would recoil from as absolutely disreputable, and Madame Reuter’s jolly face bore evidence that she was no exception to the rule of her country; there was a twinkle and leer in her left eye; her right she kept habitually half shut, which I thought very odd indeed. After several vain attempts to comprehend the motives of these two droll old creatures for inviting me to join them at their gouter, I at last fairly gave it up, and resigning myself to inevitable mystification, I sat and looked first at one, then at the other, taking care meantime to do justice to the confitures, cakes, and coffee, with which they amply supplied me. They, too, ate, and that with no delicate appetite, and having demolished a large portion of the solids, they proposed a “petit verre[146 - petit verre – (фр.) рюмочка; по рюмочке].” I declined. Not so Mesdames Pelet and Reuter; each mixed herself what I thought rather a stiff tumbler of punch, and placing it on a stand near the stove, they drew up their chairs to that convenience, and invited me to do the same. I obeyed; and being seated fairly between them, I was thus addressed first by Madame Pelet, then by Madame Reuter. “We will now speak of business,” said Madame Pelet, and she went on to make an elaborate speech, which, being interpreted, was to the effect that she had asked for the pleasure of my company that evening in order to give her friend Madame Reuter an opportunity of broaching an important proposal, which might turn out greatly to my advantage. “Pourvu que vous soyez sage,” said Madame Reuter, “et à vrai dire, vous en avez bien l’air[147 - Pourvu que vous soyez sage… et à vrai dire, vous en avez bien l’air – (фр.) Только бы вы были благоразумны… а с виду вы именно такой]. Take one drop of the punch” (or ponche, as she pronounced it); “it is an agreeable and wholesome beverage after a full meal.” I bowed, but again declined it. She went on: “I feel,” said she, after a solemn sip – “I feel profoundly the importance of the commission with which my dear daughter has entrusted me, for you are aware, Monsieur, that it is my daughter who directs the establishment in the next house?” “Ah! I thought it was yourself, madame.” Though, indeed, at that moment I recollected that it was called Mademoiselle, not Madame Reuter’s pensionnat. “I! Oh, no! I manage the house and look after the servants, as my friend Madame Pelet does for Monsieur her son – nothing more. Ah! you thought I gave lessons in class – did you?” And she laughed loud and long, as though the idea tickled her fancy amazingly. “Madame is in the wrong to laugh,” I observed; “if she does not give lessons, I am sure it is not because she cannot;” and I whipped out a white pocket-handkerchief and wafted it, with a French grace, past my nose, bowing at the same time. “Quel charmant jeune homme![148 - Quel charmant jeune homme! – (фр.) Какой очаровательный молодой человек!]” murmured Madame Pelet in a low voice. Madame Reuter, being less sentimental, as she was Flamand and not French, only laughed again. “You are a dangerous person, I fear,” said she; “if you can forge compliments at that rate, Zoraïde will positively be afraid of you; but if you are good, I will keep your secret, and not tell her how well you can flatter. Now, listen what sort of a proposal she makes to you. She has heard that you are an excellent professor, and as she wishes to get the very best masters for her school (car Zoraïde fait tout comme une reine, c’est une veritable maîtresse-femme[149 - car Zoraïde fait tout comme une reine, c’est une véritable maîtresse-femme – (фр.) Зораида во всем как королева, и она замечательная руководительница]), she has commissioned me to step over this afternoon, and sound Madame Pelet as to the possibility of engaging you. Zoraïde is a wary general; she never advances without first examining well her ground. I don’t think she would be pleased if she knew I had already disclosed her intentions to you; she did not order me to go so far, but I thought there would be no harm in letting you into the secret, and Madame Pelet was of the same opinion. Take care, however, you don’t betray either of us to Zoraïde – to my daughter, I mean; she is so discreet and circumspect herself, she cannot understand that one should find a pleasure in gossiping a little – ” “C’est absolument comme mon fils![150 - C’est absolument comme mon fils! – (фр.) В точности как мой сын!]” cried Madame Pelet. “All the world is so changed since our girlhood!” rejoined the other: “young people have such old heads now. But to return, Monsieur. Madame Pelet will mention the subject of your giving lessons in my daughter’s establishment to her son, and he will speak to you; and then to-morrow, you will step over to our house, and ask to see my daughter, and you will introduce the subject as if the first intimation of it had reached you from M. Pelet himself, and be sure you never mention my name, for I would not displease Zoraïde on any account.” “Bien! bien![151 - Bien! bien! – (фр.) Хорошо, хорошо!]” interrupted I – for all this chatter and circumlocution began to bore me very much; “I will consult M. Pelet, and the thing shall be settled as you desire. Good evening, mesdames – I am infinitely obliged to you.” “Comment! vous vous en allez déjà?” exclaimed Madame Pelet. “Prenez encore quelque chose, monsieur; une pomme cuite, des biscuits, encore une tasse de café?[152 - Comment! vous vous en allez déjà? Prenez encore quelque chose, monsieur; une pomme cuite, des biscuits, encore une tasse de café? – Как, вы уже уходите?.. Съешьте еще что-нибудь, мсье: печеное яблочко, бисквиты, еще чашечку кофе?]” “Merci, merci, madame – au revoir.[153 - Merci, merci, madame – au revoir. – (фр.) Благодарю, благодарю вас, мадам, – до свидания.]” And I backed at last out of the apartment. Having regained my own room, I set myself to turn over in my mind the incident of the evening. It seemed a queer affair altogether, and queerly managed; the two old women had made quite a little intricate mess of it; still I found that the uppermost feeling in my mind on the subject was one of satisfaction. In the first place it would be a change to give lessons in another seminary, and then to teach young ladies would be an occupation so interesting – to be admitted at all into a ladies’ boarding-school would be an incident so new in my life. Besides, thought I, as I glanced at the boarded window, “I shall now at last see the mysterious garden: I shall gaze both on the angels and their Eden.” Chapter IX M. Pelet could not of course object to the proposal made by Mdlle. Reuter; permission to accept such additional employment, should it offer, having formed an article of the terms on which he had engaged me. It was, therefore, arranged in the course of next day that I should be at liberty to give lessons in Mdlle. Reuter’s establishment four afternoons in every week. When evening came I prepared to step over in order to seek a conference with Mademoiselle herself on the subject; I had not had time to pay the visit before, having been all day closely occupied in class. I remember very well that before quitting my chamber, I held a brief debate with myself as to whether I should change my ordinary attire for something smarter. At last I concluded it would be a waste of labour. “Doubtless,” thought I, “she is some stiff old maid; for though the daughter of Madame Reuter, she may well number upwards of forty winters[154 - may well number upwards of forty winters – (разг.) уж всяко отсчитала лет сорок]; besides, if it were otherwise, if she be both young and pretty, I am not handsome, and no dressing can make me so, therefore I’ll go as I am.” And off I started, cursorily glancing sideways as I passed the toilet-table, surmounted by a looking-glass: a thin irregular face I saw, with sunk, dark eyes under a large, square forehead, complexion destitute of bloom or attraction; something young, but not youthful, no object to win a lady’s love, no butt for the shafts of Cupid[155 - no butt for the shafts of Cupid – (разг.) не мишень для стрел Купидона] Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/charlotte-bronte/the-professor-uchitel-kniga-dlya-chteniya-na-angliyskom-y/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом. notes Примечания 1 Pylades and Orestes – Орест, в древнегреческой мифологии сын Агамемнона и Клитемнестры, убивший мать и ее возлюбленного, мстя за убитого ими отца; Пилад – лучший друг Ореста 2 how the world has wagged with me – (разг.) как у меня обстоят дела 3 Hon – сокр. от Honorable, достопочтенный, ставится перед именем младшего сына английского пэра или перед именем правительственного чиновника 4 if I would – (разг.) если я соглашусь 5 not an accomplishment, not a charm of theirs, touches a chord in my bosom – (разг.) их обаяние и прочие достоинства не затронули в моем сердце ни единой струны 6 said I should reflect – (разг.) сказал, что мне надо подумать 7 Croesus – Крез, царь Лидии (560–546 до н. э.), известен своими несметными сокровищами 8 had refused to minister to the necessities of my dying mother – (разг.) которые отказали в куске хлеба моей умирающей матери 9 in the way of furnishing me with work – (разг.) чтобы обеспечить меня работой 10 believed him to be doing well – (разг.) знал, что он процветает (дела его идут блестяще) 11 after the lapse of some minutes – (устар.) через несколько минут 12 doubted at first the accuracy of his information – (разг.) поначалу усомнился в его словах 13 remind you at the very outset of our connection – (устар.) хочу предупредить вас с самого начала 14 take voices into the account in judging of character – (разг.) когда я составляю представление о чьем-либо характере, голос и тембр его немаловажен 15 with a kind of lisp – (разг.) с легкой шепелявостью 16 watched in vain for a glimpse of soul – (разг.) душу ее я не смог увидеть 17 saved out of the sale of my father’s property – (разг.) спасенные от продажи с молотка вещи моего отца 18 shut out all intruders – (разг.) разом затворился от всех 19 A dense, permanent vapour brooded over this locality – (разг.) Густая неподвижная пелена нависала над местностью 20 Thus self-schooled – (разг.) Настроившись таким образом 21 As an animal – (устар.) В физическом развитии 22 seemed disposed to turn restive – (разг.) пытался выказать свой непокорный нрав 23 was all stir and bustle – (разг.) всюду царили оживление и суета 24 Have you made up your mind on the point? – (разг.) Вы твердо намерены заниматься именно этим делом? 25 and all that sort of humbug – (разг.) и прочей подобной чепухи 26 I wish you, however, to be aware – (разг.) Однако, да будет вам известно 27 for much parley – (разг.) для долгих разговоров 28 as if I had had on a casque with the visor down – (разг.) как будто на мне был шлем с опущенным забралом 29 it had ever been abhorrent to my nature to ask pecuniary assistance – (разг.) мне всегда претило просить о материальном вспомоществовании 30 Mammon – «золотой телец» (Новый Завет. Матф. 6:24; Лука 16:9, 11, 13) 31 I was, however, kept strictly in the background – (разг.) однако, держали меня строго в тени 32 that I was not, in short, a block, or a piece of furniture – (разг.) что я не какой-нибудь камень или предмет мебели 33 there’s some sense in that face – (разг.) в этом лице ощущается глубина 34 retroussé – (фр.) вздернутый 35 I now went about to shun his presence and eschew his conversation – (разг.) мне хотелось поскорее избавиться от его общества 36 amour-propre – (фр.) самолюбие 37 by way of temporary amusement – (разг.) чтобы слегка развлечься (перекинуться парой слов) 38 Patrician descent be hanged! – (разг.) К чертям благородное происхождение! 39 in the three Ridings – Райдинги, три части, на которые исторически делился Йоркшир (северная Англия) 40 by long chalk – (разг.) далеко не такой; совершенно отличный 41 of his own accord – (разг.) по своей воле 42 in a jiffy – (разг.) вмиг 43 making up to her – (разг.) подбирается к ней 44 were of an old stem – (разг.) принадлежали к старинному роду 45 at times, an indescribable shade passed like an eclipse over his countenance – (разг.) временами лицо его как будто омрачалось какой-то тенью 46 I am baffled! – (разг.) Я проиграл! 47 I should long have borne with the nuisance – (разг.) я еще долго мог бы мириться с такой неприятностью 48 kept the padlock of silence on mental wealth in which he was no sharer – (устар.) держал под замком молчания интеллектуальные сокровища, ему недоступные 49 was a hard, grinding master – (разг.) был суровым, чрезмерно требовательным хозяином 50 That slut of a servant has neglected it as usual – (разг.) Эта растяпа служанка, как всегда, забыла разжечь камин 51 A famous excuse! – (разг.) Известная отговорка! 52 Alack and well-a-day! – (разг.) Увы и ах! 53 how down in the mouth you must be – (разг.) должно быть, пребываете в унынии 54 you’re just in luck – (разг.) вам повезло 55 I hate to bore any one. – (разг.) Терпеть не могу кому-либо навязываться. 56 You shall have something – (зд.) Вам надо чего-нибудь выпить 57 acid German nectar – (разг.) кислый немецкий нектар 58 as my sight is very short – (разг.) я очень близорук 59 incompatibilities of the “physique” with the “morale” – (разг.) несовместимость физического с духовным 60 you give way to no excess of an evening – (устар.) вечером ничего лишнего вы себе не позволяете 61 notwithstanding his tyranny, or perhaps by means of it – (разг.) вопреки его тирании, а то и воспользовавшись ею 62 Juggernaut – Джаггернаут, в индийской мифологии божество, воплощающее неумолимый рок; обычно изображается восседающим на колеснице 63 pity Fortune has baulked Nature – (разг.) жаль, что Фортуна обошла великую Природу 64 the string he struck was out of tune – (разг.) его занесло не туда; не надо было этого говорить 65 I had got a good way on my return to my lodgings – (разг.) Я проделал уже большую часть пути к дому 66 the fire there, but just lit, as yet only smoked – (разг.) огонь в камине едва горел, зато вовсю дымил 67 get a clear notion of what you would have, or what you would not have – (разг.) выясните же для себя, чего вы желаете, а чего нет 68 your hands are thawed – (устар.) руки согрелись 69 the bell rang for a suspension of labour – (разг.) звонок возвестил о перерыве 70 It is time you and I wound up accounts. – (разг.) Пора нам с вами подвести черту. 71 have neither inclination nor temptation to talk about you – (разг.) и в мыслях не было говорить о вас 72 Give your grounds – (разг.) Докажите 73 hounded on the people to hiss you – (разг.) натравливал на вас людей 74 A minute sufficed to wrest it from him – (устар.) Я мигом вырвал у него хлыст 75 or I’ll make you – (зд.) или я сам вас вышвырну 76 treasure it for future years – (зд.) чтобы хранить эти воспоминания долгие годы 77 considering the manner in which I had parted from him the night before – (устар.) учитывая то, как расстался с ним прошлым вечером 78 it was to him – (разг.) именно благодаря ему; из-за него 60 79 Poor thing! – (разг.) Бедолага! 80 order you to fast by way of punishment – (разг.) в наказание вас заставили поститься 81 turned me off at a minute’s notice – (разг.) вмиг вышвырнул меня с работы 82 proviso – (лат.) условие, оговорка 83 through your means – (разг.) с вашей помощью 84 I have cut them. – (разг.) Я порвал с ним отношения. 85 on condition of my entering the Church – (разг.) при условии, что я приму духовный сан 86 you should consider worldly interest – (зд.) вы можете от этого немало выиграть 87 I must follow my own devices – (разг.) Я должен рассчитывать только на себя 88 You’re a mighty difficult customer to suit. – (разг.) На вас трудно угодить. 89 who will run their neck into a noose – (разг.) кто кидается очертя голову 90 The lad is a heathen – (разг.) Парень просто дикарь (невежа) 91 the physiognomy of the country – (устар.) облик этой страны 92 At any rate – (разг.) В любом случае; как бы то ни было 70 93 Difficulty and toil were to be my lot – (устар.) Трудности и тяжелая работа были моим уделом (выпали на мою долю) 94 slept a traveller’s sleep – (разг.) уснул как убитый; провалился в сон 95 croisées – (фр.) оконный переплет 96 with an air the reverse of civil – (ирон.) тоном отнюдь не учтивым 97 I was not then sensible of the horrors of the Belgian accent – (разг.) тогда еще меня не ужасал бельгийский акцент 98 I never take pleasure before business – (разг.) для меня дело всегда было на первом месте 99 and that immediately too – (разг.) и к тому же немедленно 100 had tried the high stool – (зд.) уже насиделся на высоком конторском табурете 101 The very thing – (разг.) То, что надо 102 Pensionnat de Demoiselles – (фр.) Пансион для девиц 103 demoiselles, externats – (фр.) приходящие ученицы 104 le respectable M. Brown – (фр.) уважаемый мистер Браун 105 for form’s sake – (разг.) для проформы 106 per annum – (лат.) в год 107 fine et spirituelle – (фр.) тонкая и умная 108 it is a bad omen to commence any career by hesitation – (разг.) дурная примета – начинать любое дело с сомнений и колебаний 109 Messieurs, prenez vos livres de lecture. – (фр.) Господа, приготовьте книги для чтения. 110 Anglais ou Français, monsieur? – (фр.) На английском или на французском, мсье? 111 Anglais. – (фр.) На английском. 112 Commencez! – (фр.) Начинайте! 113 Arrêtez! – (фр.) Достаточно. 114 voix de poitrine – (фр.) утробным голосом 115 Comme c’est aff reux! – (фр.) Какой ужас! 116 Having thus taken them down a peg in their self-conceit – (разг.) Осадив таким образом этих самонадеянных юнцов 117 “Écoutez, messieurs! – (фр.) Слушайте, господа! 118 C’est assez pour aujourd’hui, messieurs; demain, nous recommencerons, et j’espere que tout ira bien. – (фр.) На сегодня все, господа; завтра мы возобновим чтение и, надеюсь, все будет хорошо. 119 C’est bien! c’est tres bien! Je vois que monsieur a de l’adresse; cela me plait, car, dans l’instruction, l’adresse fait tout autant que le savoir. – (фр.) Хорошо! Очень хорошо!.. Я вижу, у мсье есть талант; мне это нравится, ибо в учительском деле талант столь же ценим, как и ученость. 120 chambre – (фр.) комната 121 à propos – (фр.) кстати 122 La fenêtre fermée donne sur un jardin appartenant à un pensionnat de demoiselles, … et les convenances exigent – enfin, vous comprenez – n’est-ce pas, monsieur? – (фр.) Забитое окно выходит в сад женского пансиона и приличия требуют… словом, вы понимаете, не правда ли, мсье? 123 Oui, oui – (фр.) Да, да 124 pas de géant – (фр.) огромная голая площадка 125 Not to mince matters – (разг.) Честно признаться 126 Mdlle – (фр.) сокр. от Mademoiselle 127 beat the boys hollow – (разг.) обставляли мальчиков (по части криков и визга) 128 Ere long – (устар.) Очень скоро 129 on a right footing – (разг.) уверенно и свободно 130 en masse – (фр.) все вместе 131 The boy is father to the man – Уже в ребенке заложены черты взрослого чеовека. (Вордсворт) 132 Ce ne sont que des Flamands – allez! – (фр.) Они же фламандцы! 133 still we are none of us perfect – (разг.) никто из нас не совершенен 134 blasé – (фр.) пресыщенный; скептический 135 le beau sexe – (фр.) прекрасный пол 136 in lieu – (фр.) вместо 137 roomy slippers, trodden down at the heels – (разг.) домашние шлепанцы со стоптанными задниками 138 she evidently stood in awe – (разг.) она определенно трепетала 139 goûter – (фр.) полдник 140 Plaît-il? – (фр.) Извините? 141 she’s not going to make love to me – (разг.) не станет же она меня соблазнять 142 should no doubt have cut there and then – (зд.) без сомнения, я бы проигнорировал приглашение 143 fauteuil – (фр.) кресло 144 fermière – (фр.) фермерша 145 maÎtresse d’auberge – (фр.) хозяйка гостиницы 146 petit verre – (фр.) рюмочка; по рюмочке 147 Pourvu que vous soyez sage… et à vrai dire, vous en avez bien l’air – (фр.) Только бы вы были благоразумны… а с виду вы именно такой 148 Quel charmant jeune homme! – (фр.) Какой очаровательный молодой человек! 149 car Zoraïde fait tout comme une reine, c’est une véritable maîtresse-femme – (фр.) Зораида во всем как королева, и она замечательная руководительница 150 C’est absolument comme mon fils! – (фр.) В точности как мой сын! 151 Bien! bien! – (фр.) Хорошо, хорошо! 152 Comment! vous vous en allez déjà? Prenez encore quelque chose, monsieur; une pomme cuite, des biscuits, encore une tasse de café? – Как, вы уже уходите?.. Съешьте еще что-нибудь, мсье: печеное яблочко, бисквиты, еще чашечку кофе? 153 Merci, merci, madame – au revoir. – (фр.) Благодарю, благодарю вас, мадам, – до свидания. 154 may well number upwards of forty winters – (разг.) уж всяко отсчитала лет сорок 155 no butt for the shafts of Cupid – (разг.) не мишень для стрел Купидона
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