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2007年07月19日    来源:   字体:   打印

  lesson18 The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1)


  1.Until he was thirty years old,Fotheringay did not believe in miracles.It was while he was asserting the impossibility of miracles that he discovered his extraordinary powers.He was having a drink in a bar.Toddy Beamish opposed everything he said by a monotonouss but effective “So you say,”and drove him to the limit of his patience.Angry with Mr Beamish,Mr Fotheringay determined to make an unusual effort.

  2.“Look here,Mr.Beamish,” said Mr.Fotheringay.“Let us clearly understand what a miracle is.It's something contrary to the course of nature done by power of will.”

  3.“So you say”said Mr.Beamish.

  4.“For instance”said Mr.Fotheringay.“Here would be a miracle.That lamp,in the natural course of nature,couldn't burn like that upside down,could it,Beamish?”

  5.“You say it couldn't,”said Beamish.

  6.“And you?”said Fotheringay.“You don't mean to say……?”

  7.“No,”said Beamish reluctantly.“No,it couldn't.”

  8.“Very well”said Mr.Fotheringay.“Then here comes someone,perhaps myself,and stands here,and say to that lamp,as I might do,collecting all my will——'Turn upside down without breaking,and go on burning steady,and ——Hullo!”

  9.It was enough to make anyone say “Hullo!”The incredible was visible to them all.The lamp hung upside down in the air,burning quietly with its flame pointing down.

  10.Mr.Fotheringay stood with a forefinger stretched out and the troubled face of one expecting a terrible crash.A cyclist,who was sitting next to the lamp,ducked and jumped across the bar.For nearlly three seconds the lamp remained still.A faint cry of mental distress came from Mr.Fotheringay:“I can't keep it up,”he said,“any longer.” He staggered back,and the lamp suddenly fell.

  11.It was lucky it had a metal container,or the whold place would have been on fire.Mr.Cox,the landlord,was the first to speak,and his remark was to the effect that Fotheringay was a fool.Fotheringay himself was astonished beyond measure at the thing that had occurred.The subsequent conversation threw no light on the matter,and everyone accused Fotheringay of a silly trick.He himself was terribly puzzled,and he rather agreed with them.

  12.He went home red-faced and hot.It was only when he found himself alone in his little bedroom that he was able to think clearly and ask,“What on earth happened?”

  13.He had removed his coat and boots,and was sitting on the bed with his hands in his pocket.He was repeating for the seventeenth time,“I didn't want the thing to turn over,”when it occurred him that at the precise moment he said the commanding words he had willed the thing that he said.And when he waw the lamp in the air he had left that it depended on him to maintain it there without being clear how this was to be done.He decided on another experiment.

  14.He pointed to his candle and collected his mind,thought he felt he did a foolish thing.“Be raised up,”he said. The candle was raised,hung in the air for a moment,and then fell with a crash on his table,leaving him a darkness.

  15.For a time Mr.Fotheringay sat perfectly still,“It did happen,after all,”he said.“And how I'm going to explain it,I don't know.” He sighed heavily,and began feeling in his pockets for a match.He could find none,and he groped about the table.“I wish I had a match,”he said.He tried his coat,and there were none there,and then it doawed upon him that miracles were possible even with matches.He stretched out a hand.“Let there be a match in the hand,” he said.He felt some light object fall across his palm,and his fingers closed upon a match.

  16.After several futile attemtps to light this,he threw it down,and then it occurred to him that he might have willed it to be lit.He did so,and saw it burning on the table.He caught it up hastily,and it went out.His perception of possibilities enlarged,and he felt for and replaced the candle in its candlestick.“Here!You be lit,”said Mr.Fotheringay,and at once the candle was burning.For a time he stared at it,and then looked up and met his own gaze in the looking glass.

  17.“What about miracles now?”said Mr.Fotheringay,addressing his own reflection.

  18.The subsequent thoughts of Mr.Fotheringay were refused.So far as he could see,he had only to will the thing. After his first experiences,he wished to make only very cautious experiments.But he lifted a sheet of paper,and turned a glass of water pink,and then green,and got himself a toothbrush.In the early hours of the morning he had reached the fact that his will power must be unusual and strong.The fears of his first discovery were now mixed with pride and ideas of advantage.He heard the church clock striking one,and decided to get into bed without further delay.As he struggled to get his shirt over head,he was struck with a brilliant idea.“Let me be in bed,”he saiddd,and found himself so.“Undressed,”he added;and,finding the sheets cold,he said hastily,“and in my nightshirt——no,in a nice soft woollen nightshirt.Ah!” he said with immense enjoyment.“And now let me be comfortably asleep……”

  19.He awoke at his usual hour and was thoughtful all through breakfast-time.He wondered whether his experience might not be a dream.At last his mind turned again to cautious experiments.For instance,he had three eggs for breakfast; two were supplied by his landlady,good,but from the shop,and one was a delicious fresh goose-egg,laid,cooked,and served by his extraodinary will.He hurried to work in a state of profound but carefully concealed excitement.All day he could do no work because of his astonishing knowledge,but this caused him no inconvenience,because he made up for it miraculously in his last ten minutes.

  20.As the day passed,his state of mind passed from wonder to delight.He intended,among other things,to increase his personal property by acts of creation,and called into existence a number of nice things.But he could see that the gift required caution and watchfulness.

  21.After supper one night,he went out to try a few miracles in private by the gasworks.He struck his walking stick into the ground and commandedd the dry wood to blossom.The air was immediately full of the scent of roses.He struck a match and saw that this beautiful miracle was indeed accomplished.His satisfaction was ended by advancing footsteps. Afraid thatt someone woulde discover his powers,he siadd to the stick hastily,“Go back.”What he meant was “Change back”;but the stick moved backwards at a considerable speed,and there came a cry of anger from the approaching person.“Who are you throwing rosebushes at,you fool?”cried a voice.

  22.“I'm sorry”said Mr.Fotheringay.He saw Winch,a policeman,advancing.

  23.“What do you meannn by it?”asked Winch.“Hullo!It's you,is it?The man who broke the lamp at that bar!What did you do it for?Do you knnow that stickk hurt?”

  24.For the moment Fotheringay could not utter a word.His silence seemed to irritate Mr.Winch.“You've been assaulting the police,young man,this time.”

  25.“Look here,Mr.Winch,” said Fotheringay,annoyed and comfused.“I'm very sorry.The fact is……”


  27.He could think of no answer but the truth.“I was working a miracle.” He tried to speak as casually as he could.

  28.“Working a ……! Look! Don't talk rot.working a miracle,indeed! Well,that's really funny! You're the man who doesn't believe in miracles…… The fact is,this is another of your silly tricks.Now I tell you……”

  29.But Mr.Fotheringay never heard what Mr.Winch was going to tell him.He realized that he had given himself away. He became violently irritated.He turned on the policeman swiftly and fiercely.“Listen,” he said.“I've had enough of this.I'll show you a silly trick,Go to Hades!”

  30.He was alone!

  31.Mr.Fotheringay performed no more miracles that,nor did he touble to see what had become of his flowering stick. He went back,scared and very quiet.“Good heavens!” he said,“It's an extremely powerful gift.I didn't mean as much as that.Not really……I wonder what Hades is like.”

  32.He sat on the bed taking off his shoes.Struck by a happy thought he transferred the policeman to San Francisco,and then went to bed.

  33.The nest day Fotheringay heard two interesting piece of news.Someone had planted a most beautiful climbing rose near the gasworks,and everyone was looking for Contable Winch.