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时间:2020-02-28 14:25:29 作者:为家而战 浏览量:16501

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"Maybe just a little then, Georges," Retief said judiciously. Georges jabbed the knife in far enough to draw a bead of blood. The Aga Kaga grunted.

Then Mary told her that the nearest friend she had was the widow, but she was so sweet and kind, no one could suspect her of harm.

"Mean that you may be turned out of the place at an hour's notice," Joe Kenyon interrupted him. "If you get on the old man's wrong side he'll have no scruples. That's what happened with my brother James, Eleanor's father, you know. He wanted to marry a girl, such a charming girl she was too—Eleanor takes after her—and somehow or other he put the old man's back up. Poor old Jim, he had an awful time—married Eleanor—Eleanor's mother, you understand—out of hand, and they practically starved. He used to write, but we couldn't help him, of course not to count; and the old man wouldn't. He was as hard as nails—hard as nails. They were in South America somewhere, Rio, I think it was, when Jim's wife died, and he only survived her about six months. We heard all about it from a fellow called Payne and his wife. Payne was in the Cable Company out there, and Jim knew them and asked them to bring Eleanor home. She was only seven or eight then, a dark, solemn little chit as ever you saw, poor dear. By God! you could tell she'd been through it. I can see them all standing in the hall now. Payne was a great stout chap with a grayish beard. His wife was a big woman too. They had Lord knows how many children of their own, I believe. And that little solemn elf Eleanor looked like a midget beside them. Thin as a herring she was, but as pretty as a fairy. She was always graceful, even as a bit of a child—sure in her movements—it was a pleasure to watch her...."

“No question of his having been shot, eh?”

"I shouldn't be surprised if he did," Eleanor replied, looking thoughtfully across the formal garden. "However, I dare say he'll tell you about it himself when he knows you a little better. You're—you're rather new to us just at present. We're so secluded here. We don't very often see people from the outside."

Of course Mr. Mainwearing had no special training as a teacher. He had no ideas about education at all. He had no social philosophy. He had never asked why he was alive or what he was up to. Instinct, perhaps, warned him that the answer might be disagreeable. Much less did he inquire what his boys were likely to be up to. And it did not occur to him, it did not occur to any one in those days, to consider that these deficiencies barred him in any way from the preparation of the genteel young for life. He taught as he had been taught; his teachers had done the same; he was 172the last link of a long chain of tradition that had perhaps in the beginning had some element of intention in it as to what was to be made of the pupil. Schools, like religions, tend perpetually to forget what they are for. High Cross School, like numberless schools in Great Britain in those days, had forgotten completely; it was a mysterious fated routine; the underlying idea seemed to be that boys must go to school as puppies have the mange. Certain school books existed, God alone knew why, and the classes were taken through them. It was like reading prayers. Certain examination boards checked this process in a way that Mr. Mainwearing felt reflected upon his honour, and like all fundamentally dishonest people he was inclined to be touchy about his honour. But parents wanted examination results and he had to give in. Preparation for examinations dominated the school; no work was done in the school that did not lead towards an examination paper; if there had been no examinations, no work would have been done at all. But these examinations might have been worse than they were. The examiners were experienced teachers and considerate for their kind. They respected the great routine. The examiners in classics had, at best, Babu Latin and less Greek, and so they knew quite well how to set a paper that would enable the intelligent candidate to conceal an entire incapacity for reading, writing, or speaking a classical language; the examiners in mathematics knew nothing of practical calculations, and treated the subject as a sort of Patience game; the foreign language examiners stuck loyally to the grammar; in drawing the examiners asked you to copy copies, they did not, at any rate, require you to draw things; and altogether the curse of examinations might have pressed on Mr. Mainwearing harder than it did. Suppose the language papers had been just long passages to translate into and out of English, and that the mathematical test had been all problems, and the drawing test had been a test of drawing anything! What school could have stood the strain?

"Give me the key, you old goose!" screamed Theodora in his face, and shaking his arm violently.

The desire to start had now become almost an obsession, and he held out obstinately against Markham's well-meant persuasions that he should wait, as previously planned, to benefit by the arrangements already concluded for the convenient return of the party to the nearest junction on the railway. Finally it was settled that he should

"More beauty," Somers suggested.

For a short time the conversation was on

"I do indeed, Margaret--why shouldn't I? He is quite nice and gentlemanly, and has charming eyes."

I am gratefully sensible of the honourable distinction implied in the determination of the Delegates of the Clarendon Press to have my History of Botany translated into the world-wide language of the British Empire. Fourteen years have elapsed since the first appearance of the work in Germany, from fifteen to eighteen years since it was composed,—a period of time usually long enough in our age of rapid progress for a scientific work to become obsolete. But if the preparation of an English translation shows that competent judges do not regard the book as obsolete, I should be inclined to refer this to two causes. First of all, no other work of a similar kind has appeared, as far as I know, since 1875, so that mine may still be considered to be, in spite of its age, the latest history of Botany; secondly, it has been my endeavour to ascertain the historical facts by careful and critical study of the older botanical literature in the original works, at the cost indeed of some years of working-power and of considerable detriment to my health, and facts never lose their value,—a truth which England especially has always recognised.

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Doctor Clarke told me, as illustrating the fanaticism of the Bohemian people in this matter of language, that his little girls, who had been educated in German schools and preferred to speak that language among themselves, had more than once been hooted at, and even stoned, by young Bohemians in the part of the town where he lives, because they spoke a language which the masses of the people had been brought up to hate.

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“I should like to know why,” Mrs Durant said.

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As he crossed the room he reflected that Eleanor at least would give him an unprejudiced opinion. There was something honest and straightforward about her. She was, for instance, utterly unlike Elizabeth.

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The Pres-i-dent told those to whom he had read his “draft” that he had not called them to ask their ad-vice but to place the mat-ter be-fore them.

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