19.1.7 【英语美文】 经典重读• 短篇小说之王 莫泊桑 The Necklace《项链》英文版选读

time:2019-01-07 Source:

17日有趣的免费英语课《英语PK台》京晶主持

节目直播:1400-1500 当晚重播:2200-2300

周一嘉宾 Judy #看书有道,美文名篇# Reading makes a full man 

周一主题:【英语美文】经典重读·世界短篇小说之王莫泊桑 The Necklace《项链》英文版选读



了解今日课堂:

《项链》是法国作家莫泊桑创作于1884年的短篇小说。故事讲述了小公务员的妻子玛蒂尔德为参加一次晚会,向朋友借了一串钻石项链来炫耀自己的美丽。不料项链在回家途中不慎丢失,令她只得借钱买新项链还给朋友。为偿还债务,她节衣缩食打短工,整整劳苦了十年。最后,得知所借的项链原是一串假钻石。

The Necklace – Introduction

Seemingly small, trivial happenings can have huge consequences for your future, even though you would not expect this at all. In this story of the French writer Guy de Maupassant, we read about how one small event created major changes in the lives of Mathilde Loisel and her husband. They are a couple living in simple circumstances, not poor not rich, yet Mathilde is unhappy. She wishes to be rich and show off her wealth and beauty, yet wealth is what she and her husband lack. One night they are both invited to a luxurious party and, to steal the show with her appearance, Mathilde borrows a very expensive diamond necklace from her friend. After the party is over, we read about “how singular life is, how changeable! What a little thing it takes to save you or to lose you.”

The Necklace

By Guy de Maupassant

1.    She was one of those pretty and charming girls, but had no dowry, no expectations, no means of being known, understood, loved, married by a man rich and distinguished; and she married a little clerk in the Department of Education. She was simple since she could not be adorned; but she was unhappy. She suffered intensely, feeling herself born for every delicacy and every luxury. She had no dresses, no jewellery; nothing. And yet she felt herself made for that only. So she wept all day long, from chagrin, from regret, from despair, and from distress.  

2.    But one evening her husband came in with a proud air, holding in his hand a large envelope. “There,” said he, “there’s something for you.” She quickly took a printed card out of the envelope which said: “The Minister of Education begs M. and Mme. Loisel to do them the honor to pass the evening with them at the palace of the Ministry, on Monday, January 18.” Instead of being delighted, as her husband hoped, she threw the invitation on the table with annoyance, murmuring: “What do you want me to do with that?”     

3.    “But, my dear, I thought you would be pleased. You never go out, and here’s a chance, a fine one!” She looked at him with an irritated eye and she declared with impatience: “What do you want me to put on to go there?” He shut up, astonished and distracted at seeing that his wife was weeping. He stuttered: What’s the matter? What’s the matter?” “I have no clothes, and in consequence I cannot go to this party.” He was disconsolate. He began again: “See here, Mathilde, how much would this cost, a proper dress?” “I don’t know exactly, but it seems to me that with four hundred francs I might do it.” He grew a little pale, but he said: “All right. I will give you four hundred francs. But take care to have a pretty dress.”

4.    The day of the party drew near, and Mme. Loisel seemed sad, restless, and anxious. Yet her dress was ready. One evening her husband said to her: “What’s the matter?” And she answered: “It annoys me not to have a jewel, not a single stone, to put on. I would almost rather not go to this party. There’s nothing more humiliating than to look poor among a lot of rich women.” But her husband cried: “Go find your friend, Mme. Forester, and ask her to lend you some jewellery.” She gave a cry of joy: “That’s true. I had not thought of it.”

5.    The next day she went to her friend and asked if she could borrow some jewellery. Mme. Forester opened her large jewellery box, and said to Mme. Loisel: “Choose, my dear.” She saw many precious jewels, yet she kept on asking: “You haven’t anything else?” All at once she discovered, in a box of black satin, a superb necklace of diamonds, and her heart began to beat with boundless desire. Her hands trembled in taking it up. She fastened it round her throat, on her high dress, and remained in ecstasy. Then, she asked, full of anxiety: “Can you lend me this, only this?” “Yes, yes, certainly.” She sprang to her friend’s neck, kissed her, and then escaped with her treasure.

6.    The day of the party arrived. Mme. Loisel was a success. She was the prettiest of them all, elegant, gracious, smiling, and mad with joy. All the men were looking at her, inquiring her name, asking to be introduced. Everyone wanted to dance with her. The Minister took notice of her. She danced in the triumph of her beauty. They both left eventually about four in the morning. 

7.    Before undressing and getting into bed, she suddenly gave a cry. Her husband, half undressed already, asked: “What is the matter with you?” She turned to him, terror-stricken: “I—I—I have not Mme. Forester’s diamond necklace!” He jumped up, frightened. “What? How?” And they searched in the folds of the dress, in the folds of her wrap, in the pockets, everywhere. They looked for the entire rest of the night and the following days, but did not find it.

8.    At the end of a week looking everywhere possible, they had lost all hope. And M. Loisel, aged by five years, declared: “We must see how we can replace those jewels.” At a jeweller nearby, they found a diamond necklace just like the one they lost. It was priced forty thousand francs. Loisel possessed only eighteen thousand francs. He had to borrow the remainder. He borrowed, asking a thousand francs from one, five hundred from another, five here, three there. He gave promissory notes, made ruinous agreements, dealt with usurers, with all kinds of lenders. Frightened by all the anguish of the future, he went on to buy the new diamond necklace.

9.    Mme. Loisel made the best of it, heroically. “The frightful debts must be paid” she thought. She would pay it. They dismissed the servant; they changed their rooms; they took an attic under the roof. She learned the rough work of the household. She washed the dishes, wearing out her pink nails on the greasy pots and the bottoms of the pans. She washed the dirty linen, the shirts and the towels, which she dried on a rope. Dressed like a woman of the people, she went to the fruiterer, the grocer, the butcher, a basket on her arm, bargaining, insulted, fighting for her wretched money.

10.  This life lasted ten years. At the end of ten years they had paid everything back, everything, with the accumulation of heaped-up interest. Mme. Loisel seemed aged now. She had become a robust woman, hard and rough, of a poor household. Only sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she sat down by the window and she thought of that evening long ago, of that ball, where she had been so beautiful and so admired. What would have happened if she had not lost that necklace? Who knows? Who knows? How singular life is, how changeable! What a little thing it takes to save you or to lose you.

11.  Then, one Sunday, she perceived suddenly a woman walking with a child. It was Mme. Forester, still young, still beautiful, still seductive. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. Why not? “Good morning, Jeanne.” The other did not recognize her: “But—madam—I don’t know—are you not making a mistake?” “No. I am Mathilde Loisel.” Her friend gave a cry: Oh! —My poor Mathilde, how you are changed.” “Yes, I have had hard days since I saw you, and many troubles, —and that because of you.” “Of me? —How so?” “You remember that diamond necklace that you lent me to go to the ball at the Ministry?” “Yes. And then?” “Well, I lost it.” “How can that be? —since you brought it back to me?” “I brought you back another just like it. And now for ten years we have been paying for it. You will understand that it was not easy for us, who had nothing. At last, it is done, and I am mighty glad.”

12.  “You say that you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?” “Yes. You did not notice it, even, did you? They were exactly alike?” And she smiled with proud and naïve joy. Mme. Forester, much moved, took her by both hands: “Oh, my poor Mathilde. But mine were false. At most they were worth five hundred francs!”   


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