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The Adverntures of Tom Sawyer Chapter1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

The Pinch-bug and His Prey
(Chapter 5)

ABOUT half-past ten the cracked bell of the small church began to ring, and presently the people began to gather for the morning sermon. The Sunday-school children distributed themselves about the house and occupied pews with their parents, so as to be under supervision. Aunt Polly came, and Tom and Sid and Mary sat with her -- Tom being placed next the aisle, in order that he might be as far away from the open window and the seductive outside summer scenes as possible. The crowd filed up the aisles: the aged and needy postmaster, who had seen better days; the mayor and his wife -- for they had a mayor there, among other unnecessaries; the justice of the peace; the widow Douglass, fair, smart, and forty, a generous, good-hearted soul and well-to-do, her hill mansion the only palace in the town, and the most hospitable and much the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St. Petersburg could boast; the bent and venerable Major and Mrs. Ward; lawyer Riverson, the new notable from a distance; next the belle of the village, followed by a troop of lawn-clad and ribbon-decked young heart-breakers; then all the young clerks in town in a body -- for they had stood in the vestibule sucking their cane-heads, a circling wall of oiled and simpering admirers, till the last girl had run their gantlet; and last of all came the Model Boy, Willie Mufferson, taking as heedful care of his mother as if she were cut glass. He always brought his mother to church, and was the pride of all the matrons. The boys all hated him, he was so good. And besides, he had been "thrown up to them" so much. His white handkerchief was hanging out of his pocket behind, as usual on Sundays -- accidentally. Tom had no handkerchief, and he looked upon boys who had as snobs.

The congregation being fully assembled, now, the bell rang once more, to warn laggards and stragglers, and then a solemn hush fell upon the church which was only broken by the tittering and whispering of the choir in the gallery. The choir always tittered and whispered all through service. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred, but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a great many years ago, and I can scarcely remember anything about it, but I think it was in some foreign country. The minister gave out the hymn, and read it through with a relish, in a peculiar style which was much admired in that part of the country. His voice began on a medium key and climbed steadily up till it reached a certain point, where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost word and then plunged down as if from a spring-board:

Shall I be car-ri-ed toe the skies, on flow'ry beds of ease,

Whilst others fight to win the prize, and sail thro' blood-y seas?

He was regarded as a wonderful reader. At church "sociables" he was always called upon to read poetry; and when he was through, the ladies would lift up their hands and let them fall helplessly in their laps, and "wall" their eyes, and shake their heads, as much as to say, "Words cannot express it; it is too beautiful, too beautiful for this mortal earth."

After the hymn had been sung, the Rev. Mr. Sprague turned himself into a bulletin-board, and read off "notices" of meetings and societies and things till it seemed that the list would stretch out to the crack of doom -- a queer custom which is still kept up in America, even in cities, away here in this age of abundant newspapers. Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

And now the minister prayed. A good, generous prayer it was, and went into details: it pleaded for the church, and the little children of the church; for the other churches of the village; for the village itself; for the county; for the State; for the State officers; for the United States; for the churches of the United States; for Congress; for the President; for the officers of the Government; for poor sailors, tossed by stormy seas; for the oppressed millions groaning under the heel of European monarchies and Oriental despotisms; for such as have the light and the good tidings, and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear withal; for the heathen in the far islands of the sea; and closed with a supplication that the words he was about to speak might find grace and favor, and be as seed sown in fertile ground, yielding in time a grateful harvest of good. Amen.

There was a rustling of dresses, and the standing congregation sat down. The boy whose history this book relates did not enjoy the prayer, he only endured it -- if he even did that much. He was restive all through it; he kept tally of the details of the prayer, unconsciously -- for he was not listening, but he knew the ground of old, and the clergyman's regular route over it -- and when a little trifle of new matter was interlarded, his ear detected it and his whole nature resented it; he considered additions unfair, and scoundrelly. In the midst of the prayer a fly had lit on the back of the pew in front of him and tortured his spirit by calmly rubbing its hands together, embracing its head with its arms, and polishing it so vigorously that it seemed to almost part company with the body, and the slender thread of a neck was exposed to view; scraping its wings with its hind legs and smoothing them to its body as if they had been coat-tails; going through its whole toilet as tranquilly as if it knew it was perfectly safe. As indeed it was; for as sorely as Tom's hands itched to grab for it they did not dare -- he believed his soul would be instantly destroyed if he did such a thing while the prayer was going on. But with the closing sentence his hand began to curve and steal forward; and the instant the "Amen" was out the fly was a prisoner of war. His aunt detected the act and made him let it go.

The minister gave out his text and droned along monotonously through an argument that was so prosy that many a head by and by began to nod -- and yet it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone and thinned the predestined elect down to a company so small as to be hardly worth the saving. Tom counted the pages of the sermon; after church he always knew how many pages there had been, but he seldom knew anything else about the discourse. However, this time he was really interested for a little while. The minister made a grand and moving picture of the assembling together of the world's hosts at the millennium when the lion and the lamb should lie down together and a little child should lead them. But the pathos, the lesson, the moral of the great spectacle were lost upon the boy; he only thought of the conspicuousness of the principal character before the on-looking nations; his face lit with the thought, and he said to himself that he wished he could be that child, if it was a tame lion.

Now he lapsed into suffering again, as the dry argument was resumed. Presently he bethought him of a treasure he had and got it out. It was a large black beetle with formidable jaws -- a "pinchbug," he called it. It was in a percussion-cap box. The first thing the beetle did was to take him by the finger. A natural fillip followed, the beetle went floundering into the aisle and lit on its back, and the hurt finger went into the boy's mouth. The beetle lay there working its helpless legs, unable to turn over. Tom eyed it, and longed for it; but it was safe out of his reach. Other people uninterested in the sermon found relief in the beetle, and they eyed it too. Presently a vagrant poodle dog came idling along, sad at heart, lazy with the summer softness and the quiet, weary of captivity, sighing for change. He spied the beetle; the drooping tail lifted and wagged. He surveyed the prize; walked around it; smelt at it from a safe distance; walked around it again; grew bolder, and took a closer smell; then lifted his lip and made a gingerly snatch at it, just missing it; made another, and another; began to enjoy the diversion; subsided to his stomach with the beetle between his paws, and continued his experiments; grew weary at last, and then indifferent and absent-minded. His head nodded, and little by little his chin descended and touched the enemy, who seized it. There was a sharp yelp, a flirt of the poodle's head, and the beetle fell a couple of yards away, and lit on its back once more. The neighboring spectators shook with a gentle inward joy, several faces went behind fans and handkerchiefs, and Tom was entirely happy. The dog looked foolish, and probably felt so; but there was resentment in his heart, too, and a craving for revenge. So he went to the beetle and began a wary attack on it again; jumping at it from every point of a circle, lighting with his fore-paws within an inch of the creature, making even closer snatches at it with his teeth, and jerking his head till his ears flapped again. But he grew tired once more, after a while; tried to amuse himself with a fly but found no relief; followed an ant around, with his nose close to the floor, and quickly wearied of that; yawned, sighed, forgot the beetle entirely, and sat down on it. Then there was a wild yelp of agony and the poodle went sailing up the aisle; the yelps continued, and so did the dog; he crossed the house in front of the altar; he flew down the other aisle; he crossed before the doors; he clamored up the home-stretch; his anguish grew with his progress, till presently he was but a woolly comet moving in its orbit with the gleam and the speed of light. At last the frantic sufferer sheered from its course, and sprang into its master's lap; he flung it out of the window, and the voice of distress quickly thinned away and died in the distance.

By this time the whole church was red-faced and suffocating with suppressed laughter, and the sermon had come to a dead standstill. The discourse was resumed presently, but it went lame and halting, all possibility of impressiveness being at an end; for even the gravest sentiments were constantly being received with a smothered burst of unholy mirth, under cover of some remote pew-back, as if the poor parson had said a rarely facetious thing. It was a genuine relief to the whole congregation when the ordeal was over and the benediction pronounced.

Tom Sawyer went home quite cheerful, thinking to himself that there was some satisfaction about divine service when there was a bit of variety in it. He had but one marring thought; he was willing that the dog should play with his pinchbug, but he did not think it was upright in him to carry it off.

明明白白读英语 轻轻松松记单词

You can memorize words in an efficient way if you pronounce them reasonably. Say words correctly, and you will learn them easily. Correct pronunciation means correct spelling of the words. English spelling is not good to guide its pronunciation. But spelling and pronunciation have closed relationship. They match each other perfectly. Sometimes we can pronounce a word according to its spelling. English pronunciation can also guide its spelling. This is a two-way communication.
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第5章 礼拜添花样,大钳甲虫戏小狗

大约10点30分的时候,小教堂的破钟开始响了起来,随即大家便聚集在一起听上午的布道。主日学校的孩子们各随各的父母坐在教堂里,为的是好受他们的监督。波莉姨妈来了,汤姆、希德和玛丽在她旁边坐下来。汤姆被安排在靠近过道的位子上坐着,为的是尽可能和开着的窗户及外面诱人的夏日景物离得远一些。人们簇拥着顺着过道往里走:有上了年纪的贫苦的邮政局局长,他曾经是过过好日子的;有镇长和他的太太——这地方竟然还有个镇长,这和其他许多没有必要的摆设一样;有治安法官;有道格拉斯寡妇,她40来岁,长得小巧而美丽,为人宽厚,慷慨大方而又心地善良,生活还算富裕,她山上的住宅是镇上唯一漂亮讲究的,可算得上殿堂,每逢节庆日,她可是圣彼德堡镇上人们引以为荣的最热情好客、最乐善好施的人;有驼背的、德高望重的华德少校和他的夫人;还有维尔逊律师,一位远道而来的新贵客。再下面就是镇上的大美人,后面跟着一大帮穿细麻布衣服、扎着缎带的、让人害单相思病的年轻姑娘。跟在她们后里的是镇上所有年轻的店员和职员,他们一涌而进——原来他们是一群如痴如醉的爱慕者,开始都站在门廊里,嘬着自己的手指头,围在那儿站成一道墙似的,一直到最后一个姑娘走出他们的包围圈为止。最后进来的一位是村里的模范儿童威利·莫夫逊,他对他母亲照顾得无微不至,就好像她是件易碎的雕花玻璃品似的。他总是领着他妈妈到教堂来,其他的妈妈都引以为豪。而男孩子们都恨他,因为他太乘巧,太听话。况且他常被人夸奖,让他们觉得难堪。他白色的手绢搭拉在屁股口袋的外面,星期天也不例外——偶而有次把除外。汤姆没有手绢,他鄙视那些有手绢的孩子们,把他们看作是故作姿态的势利小人。

听布道的人到齐后,大钟又响了一遍,为的是提醒那些迟到的和在外面乱跑的人。教堂里一片寂静,显得十分庄严,只有边座席上唱诗班里有些低声嘻笑和说话的声音,打破了这种寂静,而且自始至终整个布道过程,唱诗班里一直有人在窃窃私语,低声说笑。曾有过一个唱诗班不像这样没教养,可是我忘记那是在什么地方了。这是许多年以前的事了,我几乎对那些事没有印象了,不过,我想大概是在外国吧。

牧师把大家要唱的歌颂主的歌词拿了出来,津津有味地念了一遍,他那特别的腔调在那地区是受人欢迎的。他的音量先由中音部开始,逐渐升高,一直升到最高音的一个字,强调了一下,然后就像从跳板上跳下来一样,突然降低:

为获功勋别人正浴血奋战

在沙场

我岂能安睡花床梦想

进天堂

大家一致认为他的朗诵很精彩,很美妙。在教堂的“联欢会”上,他经常被请来给大家朗诵诗文,每当他念完之后,妇女们都要举起双手,然后软绵绵地把手落下来,放在膝上,一面“转溜”着眼睛,一面摇头,好像在说:“这简直是语言无法形容的,太美了,这样动听的声音在这凡俗的人世间实在是太难得了。”

唱完颂主歌之后,牧师斯普拉格先生就把自己变成了一块布告牌,开始宣布一些集会和团体的通知之类的事情,他一直说个没完,似乎他要宣布事情就得讲个不停直到世界末日霹雳声响时才停止——这是一种很奇怪的习惯,至今在美国还保留着,甚至在当今新闻报纸很多的城市里还没有改变这种习惯。通常传统习俗越是没有多少理由存在,越很难消除它。

再后来牧师就做祷告了。这是一篇很好的、内容丰富的祷告词,面面俱到:它为教堂和里面的孩子们祈祷;为全县向主求福;为漂泊在狂风暴雨的海洋上可怜的水手们求福;为被迫在欧洲君主制度和东方专制制度铁蹄下呻吟着的数万劳苦大众求福;为那些有了教主的光和福音而熟视无睹、充耳不闻的人求福;为远处海岛上的那些异帮教徒求福;最后牧师祈求天主恩准他所说的话,希望他的话像播种在肥沃土地里的种子一样,将会开花结果,造福无穷。阿门。

站着的人们在一片衣服的沙沙声中都坐了下来。这本书里讲述的主人公并不欣赏这篇祷告词,他只是忍受着罢了,能忍受就算不错了。他在祈祷过程中,一直不安分。他记录下祷告词的详细内容,不过是无意识地这么做——因为他没有听,但是他熟悉牧师先生惯弹的老调,惯用的陈词罢了——每当祷告词里加进一点新内容时,他的耳朵立刻就能辨别出来,而且浑身上下都不舒服。他认为加进去的太不合适,也不光明正大,简直是在耍无赖。在祈祷做到半中间的时候,有一只苍蝇落在他前面的座椅靠背上,它不慌不忙地搓着腿,伸出胳膊抱住头,用劲地擦着脑袋,它的头几乎好像要和身子分家似的,脖子细的像根线,露出来看得清清楚楚。它又用后腿拨弄翅膀,把翅膀向身上拉平,好像翅膀是它礼服的后摆;它不紧不慢,自在逍遥地老在那儿做着一全套梳妆打扮的动作,似乎很清楚自己是绝对安全的。这只苍蝇的逍遥劲让汤姆心里难受极了。那小东西的确很安全,因为当汤姆两手发痒,慢慢地移过去想抓它时,又停住了,他不敢——他相信在做祷告时干这种事情,他的灵魂立刻就会遭到毁灭的。可是,当祷告讲到最后一句时,他弓着手背悄悄地向苍蝇靠过去,“阿门”刚一说出口,苍蝇就做了阶下囚。他姨妈发现后让他把苍蝇放掉了。

牧师宣布了布道词引用的《圣经》章节,接着就单调乏味地进行施道,如此平淡啰嗦以致于有许多人渐渐地低下头打瞌睡——他的布道词里讲了数不清的各种各样的地狱里的刑罚,让人有种感觉,能够有资格让上帝选入天堂的真是为数极少,几乎不值得拯救了。汤姆计算着祷告词的页数,做完礼拜他总能说出牧师经文的页数,至于内容他是很少知道。然而这一回却不同:他对内容真有点感兴趣了。牧师描绘了幅辉煌而动人的画面:千年至福时期全世界各族人民团聚在一起,狮子和羊羔躺在一起,由一个孩子领着它们。可是这伟大的场面没有一点感动汤姆,他关注的是那里面的人物在成千上万的人们面前所显出的惹人注目的神气。想到这里,他的脸上露出喜色。他暗自想如果那头狮子驯服不吃人的话,他很愿意自己就是那孩子。

当牧师继续枯燥无味地往下讲道时,汤姆重新又陷入了痛苦之中。立刻他想起了他的一个宝贝玩意,赶快把它拿了出来。那是一只下巴骨长得可怕的大黑甲虫——他叫它“大钳甲虫”。这只甲虫是装在雷管筒子里。它一被放出来,就咬汤姆的手指。他很自然地弹了一下手指,那甲虫就滚到过道里,仰面朝天,无奈地弹动着它那几条腿,翻不了身。汤姆把被咬痛的手指放到嘴里,眼巴巴地看着“大钳甲虫”,很想把它抓回来,可是他怎么也够不到。其他的人对牧师的布道也不感兴趣,就拿这只甲虫来解闷,他们也盯着它看。这时一只游荡的狮子狗懒洋洋地走过来,心情郁闷,在安闲的夏日里显得懒懒散散,它在屋里待腻了,很想出来换换环境。它一眼发现了这只甲虫,垂着的尾巴立即竖起来,晃动着。它审视了一下这个俘虏,围着它转了一圈,远远地闻了闻,又围着它走了一圈,胆子渐渐大了起来,靠近点又闻了闻。它张开嘴,小心翼翼地想把它咬住,可是却没咬住。于是它试了一回,又一回,渐渐地觉得这很开心,便把肚子贴着地,用两只脚把甲虫挡在中间,继续捉弄它。最后它终于厌烦了,下巴一点一点往下低,刚一碰到它的对手就被它咬住了。狮子狗尖叫一声,猛然摇了一下头,于是甲虫被它摔出了有一两码,摔得仰面朝天。邻座的观看者心里感到一种轻松的愉快,笑了起来,有些人用扇子和手绢遮住了脸,汤姆简直高兴死了。那只狗看起来傻乎乎的,也许它自己也觉得如此吧,可是它怀恨在心,决计报复。于是,它又走近甲虫,小心翼翼地开始再向它进攻。它围着它转,一有机会就扑上去,前爪离甲虫还不到一英尺远,又靠上去用牙齿去咬它,忙得它头直点,耳朵也上下直扇悠。可是,过了一会儿,它又厌烦了。它本想拿只苍蝇来开开味,可是仍不能解闷;然后,它鼻子贴着地面,跟着一只蚂蚁走,不久又打了呵欠,叹了口气,把那只甲虫彻底地给忘记了,一屁股坐在甲虫上面。于是,就听到这狗痛苦地尖叫起来,只见它在过道上飞快地跑着。它不停地叫着,不停地跑着,从圣坛前面跑过去,跑到了另一边的过道上。它又从大门那儿跑出去,跑到门边上的最后一段跑道,它往前跑,越是痛得难受,后来简直成了一个毛茸茸的彗星,闪着光亮,以光的速度在它的轨道上运行着。最后这只痛得发疯的狮子狗,越出了跑道,跳到主人的怀里;主人一把抓住它,把它扔到窗户外,痛苦的叫声很快地小下来,最后在远处听不见了。

这时候,教堂里所有的人都因竭力不发出笑声而憋得满脸通红,喘不过气来,布道声嘎然止住,一片寂静。接着牧师又开始讲道,犹犹豫豫而且声音走调,再想引起注意,无论如何是不可能的了,因为即便他说的内容很严肃,在后面座位背后忍不住总有一阵子失敬的笑声传来,好像这个可怜的人刚刚说了什么可笑的事情。等人们终于结束了受难,牧师给他们祝福的时候,全场都不免感到一阵轻松。

汤姆·索亚心情舒畅地回了家。他心里想,做礼拜时再加上点花样,倒挺有趣的。美中不足的是:他愿意让那只狗和大钳甲虫玩耍,可是它竟带着甲虫跑了,这未免太不够朋友了。

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