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I still stood absolutely dumbfounded at what appeared to me her miraculous self-possession, and most inscrutable hypocrisy, when the cook entered.
Dumbfound: 使说不出话来, 使发楞
Inscrutable: 不可思议的:难于测量或理解的;费解的

'Mrs. Poole,' said she, addressing Grace, 'the servants' dinner will soon be ready: will you come down?'
'No; just put my pint of porter and bit of pudding on a tray, and I'll carry it upstairs.'
'You'll have some meat?'
'Just a morsel, and a taste of cheese, that's all.'
'And the sago?'
'Never mind it at present: I shall be coming down before tea-time: I'll make it myself.'
The cook here turned to me, saying that Mrs. Fairfax was waiting for me: so I departed.
Porter: 黑啤酒
Sago: 西米

I hardly heard Mrs. Fairfax's account of the curtain conflagration during dinner, so much was I occupied in puzzling my brains over the enigmatical character of Grace Poole, and still more in pondering the problem of her position at Thornfield and questioning why she had not been given into custody that morning, or, at the very least, dismissed from her master's service. He had almost as much as declared his conviction of her criminality last night: what mysterious cause withheld him from accusing her? Why had he enjoined me, too, to secrecy? It was strange: a bold, vindictive, and haughty gentleman seemed somehow in the power of one of the meanest of his dependants; so much in her power, that even when she lifted her hand against his life, he dared not openly charge her with the attempt, much less punish her for it.
Conflagration: 大火, 大火灾
Enigmatical: 难解的, 不可思议的, 谜一般的
Withhold: 使停止;限制,阻挡
Enjoin: 吩咐, 命令, 嘱咐, <主美>禁止
Vindictive: 仇恨深的
Lift one’s hand against: 威胁
Much less: 更不用说

Had Grace been young and handsome, I should have been tempted to think that tenderer feelings than prudence or fear influenced Mr. Rochester in her behalf; but, hard-favoured and matronly as she was, the idea could not be admitted. 'Yet,' I reflected, 'she has been young once; her youth would be contemporary with her master's: Mrs. Fairfax told me once, she had lived here many years. I don't think she can ever have been pretty; but, for aught I know, she may possess originality and strength of character to compensate for the want of personal advantages. Mr. Rochester is an amateur of the decided and eccentric: Grace is eccentric at least. What if a former caprice (a freak very possible to a nature so sudden and headstrong as his) has delivered him into her power, and she now exercises over his actions a secret influence, the result of his own indiscretion, which he cannot shake off, and dare not disregard?' But, having reached this point of conjecture, Mrs. Poole's square, flat figure, and uncomely, dry, even coarse face, recurred so distinctly to my mind's eye, that I thought, 'No; impossible! my supposition cannot be correct. Yet,' suggested the secret voice which talks to us in our own hearts, 'you are not beautiful either, and perhaps Mr. Rochester approves you: at any rate, you have often felt as if he did; and last night- remember his words; remember his look; remember his voice!'
Hard-favoured: 面貌严厉的, 面貌难看的
Matronly: 主妇似的, 女总管似的
For aught I know: 也许, 说不定, 也未可知
For want of: 因缺乏
Uncomely: 不标致的, 不优美的, 不漂亮的


'A strange affair!' I said, in a low voice: then, looking at her fixedly- 'Did Mr. Rochester wake nobody? Did no one hear him move?'
She again raised her eyes to me, and this time there was something of consciousness in their expression. She seemed to examine me warily; then she answered-
'The servants sleep so far off, you know, Miss, they would not be likely to hear. Mrs. Fairfax's room and yours are the nearest to master's; but Mrs. Fairfax said she heard nothing: when people get elderly, they often sleep heavy.' She paused, and then added, with a sort of assumed indifference, but still in a marked and significant tone- 'But you are young, Miss; and I should say a light sleeper: perhaps you may have heard a noise?'
'I did,' said I, dropping my voice, so that Leah, who was still polishing the panes, could not hear me, 'and at first I thought it was Pilot: but Pilot cannot laugh; and I am certain I heard a laugh, and a strange one.'
She took a new needleful of thread, waxed it carefully, threaded her needle with a steady hand, and then observed, with perfect composure-
'It is hardly likely master would laugh, I should think, Miss, when he was in such danger: you must have been dreaming.'
'I was not dreaming,' I said, with some warmth, for her brazen coolness provoked me. Again she looked at me; and with the same scrutinising and conscious eye.
Brazen: 厚颜无耻的

'Have you told master that you heard a laugh?' she inquired.
'I have not had the opportunity of speaking to him this morning.'
'You did not think of opening your door and looking out into the gallery?' she further asked.
She appeared to be cross-questioning me, attempting to draw from me information unawares. The idea struck me that if she discovered I knew or suspected her guilt, she would be playing off some of her malignant pranks on me; I thought it advisable to be on my guard.
Unawares: 不知不觉间, 无意中

'On the contrary,' said I, 'I bolted my door.'
'Then you are not in the habit of bolting your door every night before you get into bed?'
'Fiend! she wants to know my habits, that she may lay her plans accordingly!' Indignation again prevailed over prudence: I replied sharply, 'Hitherto I have often omitted to fasten the bolt: I did not think it necessary. I was not aware any danger or annoyance was to be dreaded at Thornfield Hall: but in future' (and I laid marked stress on the words) 'I shall take good care to make all secure before I venture to lie down.'
'It will be wise thing to do,' was her answer: 'this neighbourhood is as quiet as any I know, and I never heard of the hall being attempted by robbers since it was a house; though there are hundreds of pounds' worth of plate in the plate-closet, as is well known. And you see, for such a large house, there are very few servants, because master has never lived here much; and when he does come, being a bachelor, he needs little waiting on: but I always think it best to err on the safe side; a door is soon fastened, and it is as well to have a drawn bolt between one and any mischief that may be about. A deal of people, Miss, are for trusting all to Providence; but I say Providence will not dispense with the means, though He often blesses them when they are used discreetly.' And here she closed her harangue: a long one for her, and uttered with the demureness of a Quakeress.
Err on the safe side: 宁可失之谨慎 / 选择稳妥的做法
Harangue: 长篇大论的演说


Chapter 16

I BOTH wished and feared to see Mr. Rochester on the day which followed this sleepless night: I wanted to hear his voice again, yet feared to meet his eye. During the early part of the morning, I momentarily expected his coming; he was not in the frequent habit of entering the schoolroom, but he did step in for a few minutes sometimes, and I had the impression that he was sure to visit it that day.
But the morning passed just as usual: nothing happened to interrupt the quiet course of Adele's studies; only soon after breakfast, I heard some bustle in the neighbourhood of Mr. Rochester's chamber, Mrs. Fairfax's voice, and Leah's, and the cook's- that is, John's wife- and even John's own gruff tones. There were exclamations of 'What a mercy master was not burnt in his bed!' 'It is always dangerous to keep a candle lit at night.' 'How providential that he had presence of mind to think of the water-jug!' 'I wonder he waked nobody!' 'It is to be hoped he will not take cold with sleeping on the library sofa,' etc.
Providential: 及时的;幸运的
Presence of mind: 镇定, 沉着

To much confabulation succeeded a sound of scrubbing and setting to rights; and when I passed the room, in going downstairs to dinner, I saw through the open door that all was again restored to complete order; only the bed was stripped of its hangings. Leah stood up in the window-seat, rubbing the panes of glass dimmed with smoke. I was about to address her, for I wished to know what account had been given of the affair: but, on advancing, I saw a second person in the chamber- a woman sitting on a chair by the bedside, and sewing rings to new curtains. That woman was no other than Grace Poole.
Confabulation: 交谈, 闲谈
Set to rights: 整理, 整顿

There she sat, staid and taciturn-looking, as usual, in her brown stuff gown, her check apron, White handkerchief, and cap. She was intent on her work, in which her whole thoughts seemed absorbed: on her hard forehead, and in her commonplace features, was nothing either of the paleness or desperation one would have expected to see marking the countenance of a woman who had attempted murder, and whose intended victim had followed her last night to her lair, and (as I believed), charged her with the crime she wished to perpetrate. I was amazed-confounded. She looked up, while I still gazed at her: no start, no increase or failure of colour betrayed emotion, consciousness of guilt, or fear of detection. She said 'Good morning, Miss,' in her usual phlegmatic and brief manner; and taking up another ring and more tape, went on with her sewing.
Taciturn: 缄默的, 沉默寡言的
Perpetrate a crime: 犯罪
Phlegmatic: 冷静的, 冷淡的

'I will put her to some test,' thought I: 'such absolute impenetrability is past comprehension.'
'Good morning, Grace,' I said. 'Has anything happened here? I thought I heard the servants all talking together a while ago.'
'Only master had been reading in his bed last night; he fell asleep with his candle lit, and the curtains got on fire; but, fortunately, he awoke before the bedclothes or the woodwork caught, and contrived to quench the flames with the water in the ewer.'
Impenetrability: 深奥, 不可测知


He re-entered, pale and very gloomy. 'I have found it all out,' said he, setting his candle down on the washstand; 'it is as I thought.'
'How, sir?'
He made no reply, but stood with his arms folded, looking on the ground. At the end of a few minutes he inquired in rather a peculiar tone-
'I forget whether you said you saw anything when you opened your chamber door.'
'No, sir, only the candlestick on the ground.'
'But you heard an odd laugh? You have heard that laugh before, I should think, or something like it?'
'Yes, sir: there is a woman who sews here, called Grace Poole,- she laughs in that way. She is a singular person.'
'Just so. Grace Poole- you have guessed it. She is, as you say, singular- very. Well, I shall reflect on the subject. Meantime, I am glad that you are the only person, besides myself, acquainted with the precise details of to-night's incident. You are no talking fool: say nothing about it. I will account for this state of affairs' (pointing to the bed): 'and now return to your own room. I shall do very well on the sofa in the library for the rest of the night. It is near four:- in two hours the servants will be up.'
'Good-night, then, sir,' said I, departing.
He seemed surprised- very inconsistently so, as he had just told me to go.
'What!' he exclaimed, 'are you quitting me already, and in that way?'
'You said I might go, sir.'
'But not without taking leave; not without a word or two of acknowledgment and good-will: not, in short, in that brief, dry fashion. Why, you have saved my life!- snatched me from a horrible and excruciating death! and you walk past me as if we were mutual strangers! At least shake hands.'
Excruciating: 极痛苦的, 折磨人的

He held out his hand; I gave him mine: he took it first in one, then in both his own.
'You have saved my life: I have a pleasure in owing you so immense a debt. I cannot say more. Nothing else that has being would have been tolerable to me in the character of creditor for such an obligation: but you: it is different;- I feel your benefits no burden, Jane.'
He paused; gazed at me: words almost visible trembled on his lips,- but his voice was checked.
'Good-night again, sir. There is no debt, benefit, burden, obligation, in the case.'
'I knew,' he continued, you would do me good in some way, at some time;- I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not'- (again he stopped)- 'did not' (he proceeded hastily) 'strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing. People talk of natural sympathies; I have heard of good genii: there are grains of truth in the wildest fable. My cherished preserver, good-night!'
Strange energy was in his voice, strange fire in his look.
'I am glad I happened to be awake,' I said: and then I was going.
'What! you will go?'
'I am cold, sir.'
'Cold? Yes,- and standing in a pool! Go, then, Jane; go!' But he still retained my hand, and I could not free it. I bethought myself of an expedient.
Expedient: 权宜之计

'I think I hear Mrs. Fairfax move, sir,' said I.
'Well, leave me': he relaxed his fingers, and I was gone.
I regained my couch, but never thought of sleep. Till morning dawned I was tossed on a buoyant but unquiet sea, where billows of trouble rolled under surges of joy. I thought sometimes I saw beyond its wild waters a shore, sweet as the hills of Beulah; and now and then a freshening gale, wakened by hope, bore my spirit triumphantly towards the bourne: but I could not reach it, even in fancy- a counteracting breeze blew off land, and continually drove me back. Sense would resist delirium: judgment would warn passion. Too feverish to rest, I rose as soon as day dawned.
Bourne: 目的地
Delirium: 极度兴奋


The hiss of the quenched element, the breakage of a pitcher which I flung from my hand when I had emptied it, and, above all, the splash of the shower-bath I had liberally bestowed, roused Mr. Rochester at last. Though it was now dark, I knew he was awake; because I heard him fulminating strange anathemas at finding himself lying in a pool of water.
Fulminate: 怒骂, 怒喝
Anathema: 诅咒

'Is there a flood?' he cried.
No, sir,' I answered; 'but there has been a fire: get up, do; you are quenched now; I will fetch you a candle.'
'In the name of all the elves in Christendom, is that Jane Eyre?' he demanded. 'What have you done with me, witch, sorceress? Who is in the room besides you? Have you plotted to drown me?'
'I will fetch you a candle, sir; and, in Heaven's name, get up. Somebody has plotted something: you cannot too soon find out who and what it is.'
Sorceress: 女魔法师,女巫

'There! I am up now; but at your peril you fetch a candle yet: wait two minutes till I get into some dry garments, if any dry there be- yes, here is my dressing-gown. Now run!'
I did run; I brought the candle which still remained in the gallery. He took it from my hand, held it up, and surveyed the bed, all blackened and scorched, the sheets drenched, the carpet round swimming in water.
Drench: 湿透;浸透

'What is it? and who did it?' he asked.
I briefly related to him what had transpired: the strange laugh I had heard in the gallery; the step ascending to the third storey; the smoke,- the smell of fire which had conducted me to his room; in what state I had found matters there, and how I had deluged him with all the water I could lay hands on.
Transpire: (事情)发生

He listened very gravely; his face, as I went on, expressed more concern than astonishment; he did not immediately speak when I had concluded.
'Shall I call Mrs. Fairfax?' I asked.
'Mrs. Fairfax? No; what the deuce would you call her for? What can she do? Let her sleep unmolested.'
Unmolested: 没有苦恼的, 无麻烦的

'Then I will fetch Leah, and wake John and his wife.'
'Not at all: just be still. You have a shawl on. If you are not warm enough, you may take my cloak yonder; wrap it about you, and sit down in the arm-chair: there,- I will put it on. Now place your feet on the stool, to keep them out of the wet. I am going to leave you a few minutes. I shall take the candle. Remain where you are till I return; be as still as a mouse. I must pay a visit to the third storey. Don't move, remember, or call any one.'
He went: I watched the light withdraw. He passed up the gallery very softly, unclosed the staircase door with as little noise as possible, shut it after him, and the last ray vanished. I was left in total darkness. I listened for some noise, but heard nothing. A very long time elapsed. I grew weary: it was cold, in spite of the cloak; and then I did not see the use of staying, as I was not to rouse the house. I was on the point of risking Mr. Rochester's displeasure by disobeying his orders, when the light once more gleamed dimly on the gallery wall, and I heard his unshod feet tread the matting. 'I hope it is he,' thought I, 'and not something worse.'
Unshod: 赤脚的


All at once I remembered that it might be Pilot, who, when the kitchen-door chanced to be left open, not unfrequently found his way up to the threshold of Mr. Rochester's chamber: I had seen him lying there myself in the mornings. The idea calmed me somewhat: I lay down. Silence composes the nerves; and as an unbroken hush now reigned again through the whole house, I began to feel the return of slumber. But it was not fated that I should sleep that night. A dream had scarcely approached my ear, when it fled affrighted, scared by a marrow-freezing incident enough.
This was a demoniac laugh- low, suppressed, and deep- uttered, as it seemed, at the very keyhole of my chamber door. The head of my bed was near the door, and I thought at first the goblin-laugher stood at my bedside- or rather, crouched by my pillow: but I rose, looked round, and could see nothing; while, as I still gazed, the unnatural sound was reiterated: and I knew it came from behind the panels. My first impulse was to rise and fasten the bolt; my next, again to cry out, 'Who is there?'
demoniac: 魔鬼的, 恶魔的, 着魔的, 疯狂的
reiterate: 反复地说

Something gurgled and moaned. Ere long, steps retreated up the gallery towards the third-storey staircase: a door had lately been made to shut in that staircase; I heard it open and close, and all was still.
gurgle: (流水的)汩汩声, 欢乐的(咯咯声), (人发)咯咯声, 汩汩地流

'Was that Grace Poole? and is she possessed with a devil?' thought I. Impossible now to remain longer by myself: I must go to Mrs. Fairfax. I hurried on my frock and a shawl; I withdrew the bolt and opened the door with a trembling hand. There was a candle burning just outside, and on the matting in the gallery. I was surprised at this circumstance: but still more was I amazed to perceive the air quite dim, as if filled with smoke; and, while looking to the right hand and left, to find whence these blue wreaths issued, I became further aware of a strong smell of burning.
a wreath of smoke: 烟圈

Something creaked: it was a door ajar; and that door was Mr. Rochester's, and the smoke rushed in a cloud from thence. I thought no more of Mrs. Fairfax; I thought no more of Grace Poole, or the laugh: in an instant, I was within the chamber. Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire. In the midst of blaze and vapour, Mr. Rochester lay stretched motionless, in deep sleep.
'Wake! wake!' I cried. I shook him, but he only murmured and turned: the smoke had stupefied him. Not a moment could be lost: the very sheets were kindling, I rushed to his basin and ewer; fortunately, one was wide and the other deep, and both were filled with water. I heaved them up, deluged the bed and its occupant, flew back to my own room, brought my own water-jug, baptized the couch afresh, and, by God's aid, succeeded in extinguishing the flames which were devouring it.
stupefy: 使失去知觉或使不省人事
ewer: (盛洗脸水的)大口水罐
deluge: 淹没:被水淹没;使泛滥


The ease of his manner freed me from painful restraint: the friendly frankness, as correct as cordial, with which he treated me, drew me to him. I felt at times as if he were my relation rather than my master: yet he was imperious sometimes still; but I did not mind that; I saw it was his way. So happy, so gratified did I become with this new interest added to life, that I ceased to pine after kindred: my thin crescent-destiny seemed to enlarge; the blanks of existence were filled up; my bodily health improved; I gathered flesh and strength.
imperious: 专横的

And was Mr. Rochester now ugly in my eyes? No, reader: gratitude, and many associations, all pleasurable and genial, made his face the object I best liked to see; his presence in a room was more cheering than the brightest fire. Yet I had not forgotten his faults; indeed, I could not, for he brought them frequently before me. He was proud, sardonic, harsh to inferiority of every description: in my secret soul I knew that his great kindness to me was balanced by unjust severity to many others. He was moody, too; unaccountably so; I more than once, when sent for to read to him, found him sitting in his library alone, with his head bent on his folded arms; and, when he looked up, a morose, almost a malignant, scowl blackened his features. But I believed that his moodiness, his harshness, and his former faults of morality (I say former, for now he seemed corrected of them) had their source in some cruel cross of fate. I believed he was naturally a man of better tendencies, higher principles, and purer tastes than such as circumstances had developed, education instilled, or destiny encouraged. I thought there were excellent materials in him; though for the present they hung together somewhat spoiled and tangled. I cannot deny that I grieved for his grief, whatever that was, and would have given much to assuage it.
sardonic: 嘲笑的, 挖苦的, 讥讽的
of every description: 各种各样的, 形形色色的
morose: 闷闷不乐的
malignant: 怀恶意的
assuage: 缓和, 减轻, 镇定

Though I had now extinguished my candle and was laid down in bed, I could not sleep for thinking of his look when he paused in the avenue, and told how his destiny had risen up before him, and dared him to be happy at Thornfield.
'Why not?' I asked myself. 'What alienates him from the house? Will he leave it again soon? Mrs. Fairfax said he seldom stayed here longer than a fortnight at a time; and he has now been resident eight weeks. If he does go, the change will be doleful. Suppose he should be absent spring, summer, and autumn: how joyless sunshine and fine days will seem!'
doleful: 悲哀的, 阴沉的, 寂寞的

I hardly know whether I had slept or not after this musing; at any rate, I started wide awake on hearing a vague murmur, peculiar and lugubrious, which sounded, I thought, just above me. I wished I had kept my candle burning: the night was drearily dark; my spirits were depressed. I rose and sat up in bed, listening. The sound was hushed.
I tried again to sleep; but my heart beat anxiously: my inward tranquillity was broken. The clock, far down in the hall, struck two. Just then it seemed my chamber-door was touched; as if fingers had swept the panels in groping a way along the dark gallery outside. I said, 'Who is there?' Nothing answered. I was chilled with fear.
lugubrious: (尤指故意装出来的)可怜的, 悲惨的, 悲哀的
grope one's way: 摸着走


'Oh, that is the light in which you view it! Well, I must go in now; and you too: it darkens.'
But I stayed out a few minutes longer with Adele and Pilot- ran a race with her, and played a game of battledore and shuttlecock. When we went in, and I had removed her bonnet and coat, I took her on my knee; kept her there an hour, allowing her to prattle as she liked: not rebuking even some little freedoms and trivialities into which she was apt to stray when much noticed, and which betrayed in her a superficiality of character, inherited probably from her mother, hardly congenial to an English mind. Still she had her merits; and I was disposed to appreciate all that was good in her to the utmost. I sought in her countenance and features a likeness to Mr. Rochester, but found none: no trait, no turn of expression announced relationship. It was a pity: if she could but have been proved to resemble him, he would have thought more of her.
battledore and shuttlecock:  板羽球游戏
rebuke: 斥责, 指责
superficiality: 肤浅, 浅薄
congenial: 同类的:具有同样的品味、习性或性情的
turn of expression: 表达方式, 措辞

It was not till after I had withdrawn to my own chamber for the night, that I steadily reviewed the tale Mr. Rochester had told me. As he had said, there was probably nothing at all extraordinary in the substance of the narrative itself: a wealthy Englishman's passion for a French dancer, and her treachery to him, were every-day matters enough, no doubt, in society; but there was something decidedly strange in the paroxysm of emotion which had suddenly seized him when he was in the act of expressing the present contentment of his mood, and his newly revived pleasure in the old hall and its environs. I meditated wonderingly on this incident; but gradually quitting it, as I found it for the present inexplicable, I turned to the consideration of my master's manner to myself. The confidence he had thought fit to repose in me seemed a tribute to my discretion: I regarded and accepted it as such. His deportment had now for some weeks been more uniform towards me than at the first. I never seemed in his way; he did not take fits of chilling hauteur: when he met me unexpectedly, the encounter seemed welcome; he had always a word and sometimes a smile for me: when summoned by formal invitation to his presence, I was honoured by a cordiality of reception that made me feel I really possessed the power to amuse him, and that these evening conferences were sought as much for his pleasure as for my benefit.
treachery: 背叛
paroxysm: 迸发:感情或行为的突然爆发
discretion: 谨慎,周详:有谨慎品质;慎重周到
as such: 同样地, 同量地
deportment: 行为, 举止
hauteur: 傲慢, 自大
cordiality: 诚实, 郑重, 诚恳

I, indeed, talked comparatively little, but I heard him talk with relish. It was his nature to be communicative; he liked to open to a mind unacquainted with the world glimpses of its scenes and ways (I do not mean its corrupt scenes and wicked ways, but such as derived their interest from the great scale on which they were acted, the strange novelty by which they were characterised); and I had a keen delight in receiving the new ideas he offered, in imagining the new pictures he portrayed, and following him in thought through the new regions he disclosed, never startled or troubled by one noxious allusion.
with relish: 津津有味地, 有兴趣地


'They began to talk; their conversation eased me completely: frivolous, mercenary, heartless, and senseless, it was rather calculated to weary than enrage a listener. A card of mine lay on the table; this being perceived, brought my name under discussion. Neither of them possessed energy or wit to belabour me soundly, but they insulted me as coarsely as they could in their little way: especially Celine, who even waxed rather brilliant on my personal defects- deformities she termed them. Now it had been her custom to launch out into fervent admiration of what she called my "beaute male": wherein she differed diametrically from you, who told me point-blank, at the second interview, that you did not think me handsome. The contrast struck me at the time and-'
frivolous: 轻佻的, 琐碎的
mercenary: 唯利是图的
belabour: 不断辱骂和嘲弄, 就...作过分的冗长的讨论或分析等
deformity: 残缺, 畸形, 残废, 畸形的人或物
diametrically: 直接地
point-blank: 正面地, 坦白地

Adele here came running up again.
'Monsieur, John has just been to say that your agent has called and wishes to see you.'
'Ah! in that case I must abridge. Opening the window, I walked in upon them; liberated Celine from my protection; gave her notice to vacate her hotel; offered her a purse for immediate exigencies; disregarded screams, hysterics, prayers, protestations, convulsions; made an appointment with the vicomte for a meeting at the Bois de Boulogne. Next morning I had the pleasure of encountering him; left a bullet in one of his poor etiolated arms, feeble as the wing of a chicken in the pip, and then thought I had done with the whole crew. But unluckily the Varens, six months before, had given me this filette Adele, who, she affirmed, was my daughter; and perhaps she may be, though I see no proofs of such grim paternity written in her countenance: Pilot is more like me than she. Some years after I had broken with the mother, she abandoned her child, and ran away to Italy with a musician or singer. I acknowledged no natural claim on Adele's part to be supported by me, nor do I now acknowledge any, for I am not her father; but hearing that she was quite destitute, I e'en took the poor thing out of the slime and mud of Paris, and transplanted it here, to grow up clean in the wholesome soil of an English country garden. Mrs. Fairfax found you to train it; but now you know that it is the illegitimate offspring of a French opera-girl, you will perhaps think differently of your post and protegee: you will be coming to me some day with notice that you have found another place- that you beg me to look out for a new governess, etc.- Eh?'
exigency: 苛求, 紧急, 紧急事件
convulsions: 抽搐
etiolated: 缺乏活力的
fillette: 小姑娘,女孩
paternity: 父子关系
destitute: 困穷的
e'en: (=even)恰好, 即使,甚至
slime: 粘土, 稀泥
protegee: 女门徒

'No: Adele is not answerable for either her mother's faults or yours: I have a regard for her; and now that I know she is, in a sense, parentless- forsaken by her mother and disowned by you, sir- I shall cling closer to her than before. How could I possibly prefer the spoilt pet of a wealthy family, who would hate her governess as a nuisance, to a lonely little orphan, who leans towards her as a friend?'
have a regard for: 重视, 注意到


'"I will like it" said I; "I dare like it;" and' (he subjoined moodily) 'I will keep my word; I will break obstacles to happiness, to goodness- yes, goodness. I wish to be a better man than I have been, than I am; as Job's leviathan broke the spear, the dart, and the habergeon, hindrances which others count as iron and brass, I will esteem but straw and rotten wood.'
subjoin: 增补, 附加
leviathan: (《圣经》中象征邪恶的)海中怪兽, 巨物
habergeon: (中世纪武士穿的高领无袖的)短锁子甲, 短鳞铠甲

Adele here ran before him with her shuttlecock. 'Away!' he cried harshly; 'keep at a distance, child; or go in to Sophie!' Continuing then to pursue his walk in silence, I ventured to recall him to the point whence he had abruptly diverged-
'Did you leave the balcony, sir,' I asked, 'when Mdlle. Varens entered?'
I almost expected a rebuff for this hardly well-timed question, but, on the contrary, waking out of his scowling abstraction, he turned his eyes towards me, and the shade seemed to clear off his brow. 'Oh, I had forgotten Celine! Well, to resume. When I saw my charmer thus come in accompanied by a cavalier, I seemed to hear a hiss, and the green snake of jealousy, rising on undulating coils from the moonlit balcony, glided within my waistcoat, and ate its way in two minutes to my heart's core. Strange!' he exclaimed, suddenly starting again from the point. 'Strange that I should choose you for the confidant of all this, young lady; passing strange that you should listen to me quietly, as if it were the most usual thing in the world for a man like me to tell stories of his opera-mistresses to a quaint, inexperienced girl like you! But the last singularity explains the first, as I intimated once before: you, with your gravity, considerateness, and caution were made to be the recipient of secrets. Besides, I know what sort of a mind I have placed in communication with my own: I know it is one not liable to take infection: it is a peculiar mind: it is a unique one. Happily I do not mean to harm it: but, if I did, it would not take harm from me. The more you and I converse, the better; for while I cannot blight you, you may refresh me.' After this digression he proceeded-
rebuff: (对请求等)断然拒绝
scowl: 愁容, 怒容
charmer: 可爱的人, 迷人的人
cavalier: 骑士, 武士, 对女人献殷勤, 有礼貌的绅士
passing: 非常地
blight: 毁坏; 摧毁; 毁灭
digression: 离题, 脱轨

'I remained in the balcony. "They will come to her boudoir, no doubt," thought I: "Let me prepare an ambush." So putting my hand in through the open window, I drew the curtain over it, leaving only an opening through which I could take observations; then I closed the casement, all but a chink just wide enough to furnish an outlet to lovers' whispered vows: then I stole back to my chair; and as I resumed it the pair came in. My eye was quickly at the aperture. Celine's chambermaid entered, lit a lamp, left it on the table, and withdrew. The couple were thus revealed to me clearly: both removed their cloaks, and there was "the Varens," shining in satin and jewels,- my gifts of course,- and there was her companion in an officer's uniform; and I knew him for a young roué of a vicomte- a brainless and vicious youth whom I had sometimes met in society, and had never thought of hating because I despised him so absolutely. On recognising him, the fang of the snake Jealousy was instantly broken; because at the same moment my love for Celine sank under an extinguisher. A woman who could betray me for such a rival was not worth contending for; she deserved only scorn; less, however, than I, who had been her dupe.
aperture: 孔, 穴, 缝隙
roué: 狡猾的人,诡诈的人,不择手段的人
vicomte: [法]子爵
fang:  (毒蛇的)毒牙, 牙根, 尖端
dupe: 被愚弄的人; 容易受骗的人


'You never felt jealousy, did you, Miss Eyre? Of course not: I need not ask you; because you never felt love. You have both sentiments yet to experience: your soul sleeps; the shock is yet to be given which shall waken it. You think all existence lapses in as quiet a flow as that in which your youth has hitherto slid away. Floating on with closed eyes and muffled ears, you neither see the rocks bristling not far off in the bed of the flood, nor hear the breakers boil at their base. But I tell you- and you may mark my words- you will come some day to a craggy pass in the channel, where the whole of life's stream will be broken up into whirl and tumult, foam and noise: either you will be dashed to atoms on crag points, or lifted up and borne on by some master-wave into a calmer current- as I am now.
bristling: 竖立的
breaker: 碎浪,浪花
mark: 注意;留心

'I like this day; I like that sky of steel; I like the sternness and stillness of the world under this frost. I like Thornfield, its antiquity, its retirement, its old crow-trees and thorn-trees, its grey facade, and lines of dark windows reflecting that metal welkin: and yet how long have I abhorred the very thought of it, shunned it like a great plague-house? How I do still abhor-'
facade: 正面
welkin: [诗]苍穹, 天空

He ground his teeth and was silent: he arrested his step and struck his boot against the hard ground. Some hated thought seemed to have him in its grip, and to hold him so tightly that he could not advance.
grind one's teeth: 磨牙, 咬牙切齿

We were ascending the avenue when he thus paused; the hall was before us. Lifting his eye to its battlements, he cast over them a glare such as I never saw before or since. Pain, shame, ire, impatience, disgust, detestation, seemed momentarily to hold a quivering conflict in the large pupil dilating under his ebon eyebrow. Wild was the wrestle which should be paramount; but another feeling rose and triumphed: something hard and cynical: self-willed and resolute: it settled his passion and petrified his countenance: he went on-
detestation: 憎恶, 厌恶的人, 嫌恶
self-willed: 任性的, 顽固的

'During the moment I was silent, Miss Eyre, I was arranging a point with my destiny. She stood there, by that beech-trunk- a hag like one of those who appeared to Macbeth on the heath of Forres. "You like Thornfield?" she said, lifting her finger; and then she wrote in the air a memento, which ran in lurid hieroglyphics all along the house-front, between the upper and lower row of windows, "Like it if you can? Like it if you dare!"
beech: 山毛榉树
hag: 女巫, 丑婆, 魔女
lurid: 可怕的
hieroglyphics: 象形文字书写体系


Chapter 15

MR. ROCHESTER did, on a future occasion, explain it. It was one afternoon, when he chanced to meet me and Adele in the grounds: and while she played with Pilot and her shuttlecock, he asked me to walk up and down a long beech avenue within sight of her.
He then said that she was the daughter of a French opera-dancer, Celine Varens, towards whom he had once cherished what he called a 'grande passion.' This passion Celine had professed to return with even superior ardour. He thought himself her idol, ugly as he was: he believed, as he said, that she preferred his 'taille d'athlete' to the elegance of the Apollo Belvidere.
shuttlecock: 羽毛球; 板羽球; 毽球
profess: 自称…;假装

'And, Miss Eyre, so much was I flattered by this preference of the Gallic sylph for her British gnome, that I installed her in an hotel; gave her a complete establishment of servants, a carriage, cashmeres, diamonds, dentelles, etc. In short, I began the process of ruining myself in the received style, like any other spoony. I had not, it seems, the originality to chalk out a new road to shame and destruction, but trode the old track with stupid exactness not to deviate an inch from the beaten centre. I had- as I deserved to have- the fate of all other spoonies. Happening to call one evening when Celine did not expect me, I found her out; but it was a warm night, and I was tired with strolling through Paris, so I sat down in her boudoir; happy to breathe the air consecrated so lately by her presence. No,- I exaggerate; I never thought there was any consecrating virtue about her: it was rather a sort of pastille perfume she had left; a scent of musk and amber, than an odour of sanctity. I was just beginning to stifle with the fumes of conservatory flowers and sprinkled essences, when I bethought myself to open the window and step out on to the balcony. It was moonlight and gaslight besides, and very still and serene. The balcony was furnished with a chair or two; I sat down, and took out a cigar,- I will take one now, if you will excuse me.'
Gallic: 高卢的:属于或关于高卢或法国的;法国人的
sylph: 窈窕淑女
gnome: 侏儒
received: 被一般承认的, 被认为标准的
spoony: 痴情的人
chalk out: 打图样, 设计, 标出
beaten: 常走的
consecrated: 神圣的, 被视为神圣的
sanctity: 圣洁

Here ensued a pause, filled up by the producing and lighting of a cigar; having placed it to his lips and breathed a trail of Havannah incense on the freezing and sunless air, he went on-
'I liked bonbons too in those days, Miss Eyre, and I was croquant - (overlook the barbarism)- croquant chocolate comfits, and smoking alternately, watching meantime the equipages that rolled along the fashionable streets towards the neighbouring opera-house, when in an elegant close carriage drawn by a beautiful pair of English horses, and distinctly seen in the brilliant city-night, I recognised the "voiture" I had given Celine. She was returning: of course my heart thumped with impatience against the iron rails I leant upon. The carriage stopped, as I had expected, at the hotel door; my flame (that is the very word for an opera inamorata) alighted: though muffled in a cloak- an unnecessary encumbrance, by the bye, on so warm a June evening- I knew her instantly by her little foot, seen peeping from the skirt of her dress, as she skipped from the carriage step. Bending over the balcony, I was about to murmur "Mon ange"- in a tone, of course, which should be audible to the ear of love alone- when a figure jumped from the carriage after her; cloaked also; but that was a spurred heel which had rung on the pavement, and that was a hatted head which now passed under the arched porte cochere of the hotel.
incense: 熏香, 熏香的烟
bonbon: <法语>小糖果
comfit: 糖果, 酒馅的巧克力
equipage: 装备马车
voiture: [法]轻便马车
flame: 【非正式用语】 爱人,情人
inamorata: 情人, 情妇
encumbrance: 阻碍, 累赘, 妨害物


'It has struck nine, sir.'
'Never mind,- wait a minute: Adele is not ready to go to bed yet. My position, Miss Eyre, with my back to the fire, and my face to the room, favours observation. While talking to you, I have also occasionally watched Adele (I have my own reasons for thinking her a curious study,- reasons that I may, nay, that I shall, impart to you some day). She pulled out of her box, about ten minutes ago, a little pink silk frock; rapture lit her face as she unfolded it; coquetry runs in her blood, blends with her brains, and seasons the marrow of her bones. "Il faut que je l'essaie!" cried she, "et a l'instant meme!" and she rushed out of the room. She is now with Sophie, undergoing a robing process: in a few minutes she will re-enter; and I know what I shall see,- a miniature of Celine Varens, as she used to appear on the boards at the rising of-. But never mind that. However, my tenderest feelings are about to receive a shock: such is my presentiment; stay now, to see whether it will be realised.'
nay: <书>不仅如此, 而且
coquetry: (女子的)卖弄风情, 撒娇; 媚态, 轻浮的对待
season: 缓和, 调和

Ere long, Adele's little foot was heard tripping across the hall. She entered, transformed as her guardian had predicted. A dress of rose-coloured satin, very short, and as full in the skirt as it could be gathered, replaced the brown frock she had previously worn; a wreath of rosebuds circled her forehead; her feet were dressed in silk stockings and small white satin sandals.
'Est-ce que ma robe va bien?' cried she, bounding forwards; 'et mes souliers? et mes bas? Tenez, je crois que je vais danser!'
And spreading out her dress, she chasseed across the room; till, having reached Mr. Rochester, she wheeled lightly round before him on tip-toe, then dropped on one knee at his feet, exclaiming-
'Monsieur, je vous remercie mille fois de votre bonte; then rising, she added, 'C'est comme cela que maman faisait, n'est-ce pas, monsieur?'
chasse: 作快滑步, 以快滑步跳舞
on tip-toe: 踮脚

'Pre-cise-ly!' was the answer; 'and, "comme cella," she charmed my English gold out of my British breeches' pocket. I have been green, too, Miss Eyre- ay, grass green: not a more vernal tint freshens you now than once freshened me. My Spring is gone, however, but it has left me that French floweret on my hands, which, in some moods, I would fain be rid of. Not valuing now the root whence it sprang; having found that it was of a sort which nothing but gold dust could manure, I have but half a liking to the blossom, especially when it looks so artificial as just now. I keep it and rear it rather on the Roman Catholic principle of expiating numerous sins, great or small, by one good work. I'll explain all this some day. Good-night.'
breeches: 马裤, <口>裤子
vernal: 春天的, 春天发生的, 和煦的, 青春的
floweret: 小花
be rid of: 摆脱
manure: 施肥于
expiate: 补偿, 赎罪


'They cannot be, sir, if they require a new statute to legalise them.'
'They are, Miss Eyre, though they absolutely require a new statute: unheard-of combinations or circumstances demand unheard-of rules.'
'That sounds a dangerous maxim, sir; because one can see at once that it is liable to abuse.'
'Sententious sage! so it is: but I swear by my household gods not to abuse it.'
'You are human and fallible.'
'I am: so are you- what then?'
'The human and fallible should not arrogate a power with which the divine and perfect alone can be safely intrusted.'
unheard-of: 前所未闻的, 空前的
maxim: 格言, 座右铭
sententious: 好说教的; 自以为正义的
fallible: 易错的, 可能犯错的
arrogate: 僭越:无权冒用或要求;盗用

'What power?'
'That of saying of any strange, unsanctioned line of action,- "Let it be right."'
'"Let it be right"- the very words: you have pronounced them.'
'May it be right then,' I said, as I rose, deeming it useless to continue a discourse which was all darkness to me; and, besides, sensible that the character of my interlocutor was beyond my penetration; at least, beyond its present reach; and feeling the uncertainty, the vague sense of insecurity, which accompanies a conviction of ignorance.
unsanctioned: 未批准的; 不可接受的

'Where are you going?'
'To put Adele to bed: it is past her bedtime.'
'You are afraid of me, because I talk like a Sphynx.'
'Your language is enigmatical, sir: but though I am bewildered, I am certainly not afraid.'
'You are afraid- your self-love dreads a blunder.'
'In that sense I do feel apprehensive- I have no wish to talk nonsense.'
enigmatical: 难解的, 不可思议的, 谜一般的

'If you did, it would be in such a grave, quiet manner, I should mistake it for sense. Do you never laugh, Miss Eyre? Don't trouble yourself to answer- I see you laugh rarely; but you can laugh very merrily: believe me, you are not naturally austere, any more than I am naturally vicious. The Lowood constraint still clings to you somewhat; controlling your features, muffling your voice, and restricting your limbs; and you fear in the presence of a man and a brother- or father, or master, or what you will- to smile too gaily, speak too freely, or move too quickly: but, in time, I think you will learn to be natural with me, as I find it impossible to be conventional with you; and then your looks and movements will have more vivacity and variety than they dare offer now. I see at intervals the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close-set bars of a cage: a vivid, restless, resolute captive is there; were it but free, it would soar cloud-high. You are still bent on going?'
austere: 严峻的, 严厉的, 操行上一丝不苟的
vivacity: 活泼,轻快的行为


'I only remind you of your own words, sir: you said error brought remorse, and you pronounced remorse the poison of existence.'
'And who talks of error now? I scarcely think the notion that flittered across my brain was an error. I believe it was an inspiration rather than a temptation: it was very genial, very soothing- I know that. Here it comes again! It is no devil, I assure you; or if it be, it has put on the robes of an angel of light. I think I must admit so fair a guest when it asks entrance to my heart.'
'Distrust it, sir; it is not a true angel.'
'Once more, how do you know? By what instinct do you pretend to distinguish between a fallen seraph of the abyss and a messenger from the eternal throne- between a guide and a seducer?'
seraph: [圣经]六翼天使

'I judged by your countenance, sir, which was troubled when you said the suggestion had returned upon you. I feel sure it will work you more misery if you listen to it.'
'Not at all- it bears the most gracious message in the world: for the rest, you are not my conscience-keeper, so don't make yourself uneasy. Here, come in, bonny wanderer!'
bonny: 漂亮的

He said this as if he spoke to a vision, viewless to any eye but his own; then, folding his arms, which he had half extended, on his chest, he seemed to enclose in their embrace the invisible being.
'Now,' he continued, again addressing me, 'I have received the pilgrim- a disguised deity, as I verily believe. Already it has done me good: my heart was a sort of charnel; it will now be a shrine.'
deity: 神, 神性
charnel: 藏骸所, 停尸房

'To speak truth, sir, I don't understand you at all: I cannot keep up the conversation, because it has got out of my depth. Only one thing, I know: you said you were not as good as you should like to be, and that you regretted your own imperfection;- one thing I can comprehend: you intimated that to have a sullied memory was a perpetual bane. It seems to me, that if you tried hard, you would in time find it possible to become what you yourself would approve; and that if from this day you began with resolution to correct your thoughts and actions, you would in a few years have laid up a new and stainless store of recollections, to which you might revert with pleasure.'
sully: 玷污
bane: 毒药, 祸害

'Justly thought; rightly said, Miss Eyre; and, at this moment, I am paving hell with energy.'
'I am laying down good intentions, which I believe durable as flint. Certainly, my associates and pursuits shall be other than they have been.'
'And better?'
'And better- so much better as pure ore is than foul dross. You seem to doubt me; I don't doubt myself: I know what my aim is, what my motives are; and at this moment I pass a law, unalterable as that of the Medes and Persians, that both are right.'
ore: 矿石, 含有金属的岩石
dross: (金属熔化时浮升至表面的)渣滓, 无用之物


'How was your memory when you were eighteen, sir?'
'All right then; limpid, salubrious: no gush of bilge water had turned it to fetid puddle. I was your equal at eighteen- quite your equal. Nature meant me to be, on the whole, a good man, Miss Eyre; one of the better kind, and you see I am not so. You would say you don't see it; at least I flatter myself I read as much in your eye (beware, by the bye, what you express with that organ; I am quick at interpreting its language). Then take my word for it,- I am not a villain: you are not to suppose that- not to attribute to me any such bad eminence; but, owing, I verily believe, rather to circumstances than to my natural bent, I am a trite commonplace sinner, hackneyed in all the poor petty dissipations with which the rich and worthless try to put on life. Do you wonder that I avow this to you? Know, that in the course of your future life you will often find yourself elected the involuntary confidant of your acquaintances' secrets: people will instinctively find out, as I have done, that it is not your forte to tell of yourself, but to listen while others talk of themselves; they will feel, too, that you listen with no malevolent scorn of their indiscretion, but with a kind of innate sympathy; not the less comforting and encouraging because it is very unobtrusive in its manifestations.'
limpid: 无忧虑的, 平稳无事的: a limpid childhood 无忧无虑的童年
salubrious: 有益健康的
bilge water: 船底的污水
fetid: 发臭的
puddle: 污水坑
villain: 坏人
hackneyed: 不新奇的, 陈腐的, 常见的
dissipation:  放荡
avow: 坦率承认
confidant: 心腹朋友, 知己
forte: 长处
malevolent: 有恶意的, 坏心肠的
indiscretion: 轻率的言行; 失检的事情

'How do you know?- how can you guess all this, sir?'
'I know it well; therefore I proceed almost as freely as if I were writing my thoughts in a diary. You would say, I should have been superior to circumstances; so I should- so I should; but you see I was not. When fate wronged me, I had not the wisdom to remain cool: I turned desperate; then I degenerated. Now, when any vicious simpleton excites my disgust by his paltry ribaldry, I cannot flatter myself that I am better than he: I am forced to confess that he and I are on a level. I wish I had stood firm- God knows I do! Dread remorse when you are tempted to err, Miss Eyre; remorse is the poison of life.'
be superior to: 优越于, 不受诱惑, 不屈服于
wrong: 亏待
simpleton: 笨蛋, 傻子
paltry: 邪恶的,可鄙的
ribaldry: 下流; 猥亵语言; 下流的笑话
err: 犯错, 做错, 犯罪

'Repentance is said to be its cure, sir.'
'It is not its cure. Reformation may be its cure; and I could reform- I have strength yet for that- if- but where is the use of thinking of it, hampered, burdened, cursed as I am? Besides, since happiness is irrevocably denied me, I have a right to get pleasure out of life: and I will get it, cost what it may.'
'Then you will degenerate still more, sir.'
'Possibly: yet why should I, if I can get sweet, fresh pleasure? And I may get it as sweet and fresh as the wild honey the bee gathers on the moor.'
'It will sting- it will taste bitter, sir.'
'How do you know?- you never tried it. How very serious- how very solemn you look: and you are as ignorant of the matter as this cameo head' (taking one from the mantelpiece). 'You have no right to preach to me, you neophyte, that have not passed the porch of life, and are absolutely unacquainted with its mysteries.'
cameo: 浮雕
neophyte: 新入教者, 新信徒


'The smile is very well,' said he, catching instantly the passing expression; 'but speak too.'
'I was thinking, sir, that very few masters would trouble themselves to inquire whether or not their paid subordinates were piqued and hurt by their orders.'
'Paid subordinates! What! you are my paid subordinate, are you? Oh yes, I had forgotten the salary! Well then, on that mercenary ground, will you agree to let me hector a little?'
mercenary: 被雇佣的
hector: 恃强凌弱;虚张声势

'No, sir, not on that ground; but, on the ground that you did forget it, and that you care whether or not a dependant is comfortable in his dependency, I agree heartily.'
'And will you consent to dispense with a great many conventional forms and phrases, without thinking that the omission arises from insolence?'
'I am sure, sir, I should never mistake informality for insolence: one I rather like, the other nothing free-born would submit to, even for a salary.'
omission: 省略; 删除; 遗漏
freeborn: 生而自由的, 自由民的

'Humbug! Most things free-born will submit to anything for a salary; therefore, keep to yourself, and don't venture on generalities of which you are intensely ignorant. However, I mentally shake hands with you for your answer, despite its inaccuracy; and as much for the manner in which it was said, as for the substance of the speech; the manner was frank and sincere; one does not often see such a manner: no, on the contrary, affectation, or coldness, or stupid, coarse-minded misapprehension of one's meaning are the usual rewards of candour. Not three in three thousand raw school-girl-governesses would have answered me as you have just done. But I don't mean to flatter you: if you are cast in a different mould to the majority, it is no merit of yours: Nature did it. And then, after all, I go too fast in my conclusions: for what I yet know, you may be no better than the rest; you may have intolerable defects to counterbalance your few good points.'
humbug: 废话;胡扯
candour: 直率,公正

'And so may you,' I thought. My eye met his as the idea crossed my mind: he seemed to read the glance, answering as if its import had been spoken as well as imagined--
'Yes, yes, you are right,' said he; 'I have plenty of faults of my own: I know it, and I don't wish to palliate them, I assure you. God wot I need not be too severe about others; I have a past existence, a series of deeds, a colour of life to contemplate within my own breast, which might well call my sneers and censures from my neighbours to myself. I started, or rather (for like other defaulters, I like to lay half the blame on ill fortune and adverse circumstances) was thrust on to a wrong tack at the age of one-and-twenty, and have never recovered the right course since: but I might have been very different; I might have been as good as you- wiser- almost as stainless. I envy you your peace of mind, your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure- an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not?'
palliate: 掩饰
wot: wit 的第一人称或第三人称单数一般现在时
censure: 责难
adverse circumstances: 逆境
inexhaustible: 无穷无尽的


Instead of speaking, I smiled; and not a very complacent or submissive smile either.
'Speak,' he urged.
'What about, sir?'
'Whatever you like. I leave both the choice of subject and the manner of treating it entirely to yourself.'
Accordingly I sat and said nothing: 'If he expects me to talk for the mere sake of talking and showing off, he will find he has addressed himself to the wrong person,' I thought.
'You are dumb, Miss Eyre.'
I was dumb still. He bent his head a little towards me, and with a single hasty glance seemed to dive into my eyes.
'Stubborn?' he said, 'and annoyed. Ah! it is consistent. I put my request in an absurd, almost insolent form. Miss Eyre, I beg your pardon. The fact is, once for all, I don't wish to treat you like an inferior: that is' (correcting himself), 'I claim only such superiority as must result from twenty years' difference in age and a century's advance in experience. This is legitimate, et j'y tiens, as Adele would say; and it is by virtue of this superiority, and this alone, that I desire you to have the goodness to talk to me a little now, and divert my thoughts, which are galled with dwelling on one point- cankering as a rusty nail.'
He had deigned an explanation, almost an apology, and I did not feel insensible to his condescension, and would not seem so.
insolent: 傲慢的, 无礼的
by virtue of: 依靠, 由于
gall: 厌烦或激怒;烦恼
canker: 受到腐蚀
deign: 赐予
condescension: 屈尊

'I am willing to amuse you, if I can, sir- quite willing; but I cannot introduce a topic, because how do I know what will interest you? Ask me questions, and I will do my best to answer them.'
'Then, in the first place, do you agree with me that I have a right to be a little masterful, abrupt, perhaps exacting, sometimes, on the grounds I stated, namely, that I am old enough to be your father, and that I have battled through a varied experience with many men of many nations, and roamed over half the globe, while you have lived quietly with one set of people in one house?'
'Do as you please, sir.'
'That is no answer; or rather it is a very irritating, because a very evasive one. Reply clearly.'
'I don't think, sir, you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.'
'Humph! Promptly spoken. But I won't allow that, seeing that it would never suit my case, as I have made an indifferent, not to say a bad, use of both advantages. Leaving superiority out of the question, then, you must still agree to receive my orders now and then, without being piqued or hurt by the tone of command. Will you?'
I smiled: I thought to myself Mr. Rochester is peculiar- he seems to forget that he pays me L30 per annum for receiving his orders.
seeing that: 因为
pique: 不满, 生气, 愤怒


'Hope of what, sir?'
'Of my final re-transformation from India-rubber back to flesh?'
'Decidedly he has had too much wine,' I thought; and I did not know what answer to make to his queer question: how could I tell whether he was capable of being re-transformed?
'You looked very much puzzled, Miss Eyre; and though you are not pretty any more than I am handsome, yet a puzzled air becomes you; besides, it is convenient, for it keeps those searching eyes of yours away from my physiognomy, and busies them with the worsted flowers of the rug; so puzzle on. Young lady, I am disposed to be gregarious and communicative tonight.'
worsted: 精纺毛织物
gregarious: 合群的,爱交友的

With this announcement he rose from his chair, and stood, leaning his arm on the marble mantelpiece: in that attitude his shape was seen plainly as well as his face; his unusual breadth of chest, disproportionate almost to his length of limb. I am sure most people would have thought him an ugly man; yet there was so much unconscious pride in his port; so much ease in his demeanour; such a look of complete indifference to his own external appearance; so haughty a reliance on the power of other qualities, intrinsic or adventitious, to atone for the lack of mere personal attractiveness, that, in looking at him, one inevitably shared the indifference, and, even in a blind, imperfect sense, put faith in the confidence.
port: 举止;行为
demeanour: 行为, 举止
intrinsic: (指价值、性质)固有的, 内在的, 本质的
adventitious: 偶然的, 外来的
atone for: 赎回; 偿还; 补偿(过失)
put faith in: 相信, 信任

'I am disposed to be gregarious and communicative tonight,' he repeated, 'and that is why I sent for you: the fire and the chandelier were not sufficient company for me; nor would Pilot have been, for none of these can talk. Adele is a degree better, but still far below the mark; Mrs. Fairfax ditto; you, I am persuaded, can suit me if you will: you puzzled me the first evening I invited you down here. I have almost forgotten you since: other ideas have driven yours from my head; but to-night I am resolved to be at ease; to dismiss what importunes, and recall what pleases. It would please me now to draw you out-- to learn more of you- therefore speak.'
below the mark: 不够标准, 不好
importune: 胡搅蛮缠;对…强求


'Hope of what, sir?'
'Of my final re-transformation from India-rubber back to flesh?'
'Decidedly he has had too much wine,' I thought; and I did not know what answer to make to his queer question: how could I tell whether he was capable of being re-transformed?
'You looked very much puzzled, Miss Eyre; and though you are not pretty any more than I am handsome, yet a puzzled air becomes you; besides, it is convenient, for it keeps those searching eyes of yours away from my physiognomy, and busies them with the worsted flowers of the rug; so puzzle on. Young lady, I am disposed to be gregarious and communicative tonight.'
worsted: 精纺毛织物
gregarious: 合群的,爱交友的

With this announcement he rose from his chair, and stood, leaning his arm on the marble mantelpiece: in that attitude his shape was seen plainly as well as his face; his unusual breadth of chest, disproportionate almost to his length of limb. I am sure most people would have thought him an ugly man; yet there was so much unconscious pride in his port; so much ease in his demeanour; such a look of complete indifference to his own external appearance; so haughty a reliance on the power of other qualities, intrinsic or adventitious, to atone for the lack of mere personal attractiveness, that, in looking at him, one inevitably shared the indifference, and, even in a blind, imperfect sense, put faith in the confidence.
port: 举止;行为
demeanour: 行为, 举止
intrinsic: (指价值、性质)固有的, 内在的, 本质的
adventitious: 偶然的, 外来的
atone for: 赎回; 偿还; 补偿(过失)
put faith in: 相信, 信任

'I am disposed to be gregarious and communicative tonight,' he repeated, 'and that is why I sent for you: the fire and the chandelier were not sufficient company for me; nor would Pilot have been, for none of these can talk. Adele is a degree better, but still far below the mark; Mrs. Fairfax ditto; you, I am persuaded, can suit me if you will: you puzzled me the first evening I invited you down here. I have almost forgotten you since: other ideas have driven yours from my head; but to-night I am resolved to be at ease; to dismiss what importunes, and recall what pleases. It would please me now to draw you out-- to learn more of you- therefore speak.'
below the mark: 不够标准, 不好
importune: 胡搅蛮缠;对…强求