The Stalls Of Barchester Cathedral with English-Italian Dictionary by Montague Rhodes James (online free books)

(best ebooks to read)

The Stalls Of Barchester Cathedral Text

cathedral - cattedrale

James - Giacomo

This matter began, as far as I am concerned, with the reading of a notice in the obituary section of the Gentleman's Magazine for an early year in the nineteenth century:

obituary - necrologio

nineteenth - diciannovesimo ('before the noun'), ('in names of monarchs and popes') diciannovesimo g, diciannovesima g ('after the name') ('abbreviation' XIX), diciannovesimo

"On February 26th, at his residence in the Cathedral Close of Barchester, the Venerable John Benwell Haynes, D.D., aged 57, Archdeacon of Sowerbridge and Rector of Pickhill and Candley. He was of -- College, Cambridge, and where, by talent and assiduity, he commanded the esteem of his seniors; when, at the usual time, he took his first degree, his name stood high in the list of wranglers.

venerable - venerabile, venerando, onorevole, rispettabile, sacro

Archdeacon - arcidiacono

rector - parroco, rettore

Cambridge - city, university

assiduity - assiduita

esteem - stima

These academical honours procured for him within a short time a Fellowship of his College. In the year 1873 he received Holy Orders, and was shortly afterwards presented to the perpetual Curacy of Ranxton-sub-Ashe by his friend and patron the late truly venerable Bishop of Lichfield....

academical - accademico

procured - procurare, approvvigionare, acquistare, ottenere

fellowship - fratellanza

perpetual - perpetuo, perenne

curacy - curia

sub - sotto-, sub-

His speedy preferments, first to a Prebend, and subsequently to the dignity of Precentor in the Cathedral of Barchester, form an eloquent testimony to the respect in which he was held and to his eminent qualifications. He succeeded to the Archdeaconry upon the sudden decease of Archdeacon Pulteney in 1810.

speedy - veloce

preferments - preferenza

Prebend - Prebenda

Precentor - Precentore

eloquent - eloquente, loquace, articolato, verboso, pedissequo

Archdeaconry - Arcidiaconato

decease - decesso, morire

His sermons, ever conformable to the principles of the religion and Church which he adorned, displayed in no ordinary degree, without the least trace of enthusiasm, the refinement of the scholar united with the graces of the Christian. Free from sectarian violence, and informed by the spirit of the truest charity, they will long dwell in the memories of his hearers. (Here a further omission.

Sermons - sermone, predica

conformable - conforme

adorned - adornare, fregiare, abbellire

refinement - perfezionamento

Christian - cristiano, cristiana

sectarian - settario

dwell - abitare, checkdimorare

hearers - ascoltatore

omission - omissione

) The productions of his pen include an able defence of Episcopacy, which, though often perused by the author of this tribute to his memory, afford but one additional instance of the want of liberality and enterprise which is a too common characteristic of the publishers of our generation.

Episcopacy - episcopato

perused - leggere accuratamente

liberality - liberalita

publishers - editore

His published works are, indeed, confined to a spirited and elegant version of the Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus, a volume of Discourses upon the Several Events in the Life of Joshua, delivered in his Cathedral, and a number of the charges which he pronounced at various visitations to the clergy of his Archdeaconry. These are distinguished by etc., etc.

Joshua - Giosue

visitations - diritto di visita

clergy - clero

etc - ecc

The urbanity and hospitality of the subject of these lines will not readily be forgotten by those who enjoyed his acquaintance.

urbanity - urbanita

hospitality - ospitalita, talian: t-needed

acquaintance - conoscenza

His interest in the venerable and awful pile under whose hoary vault he was so punctual an attendant, and particularly in the musical portion of its rites, might be termed filial, and formed a strong and delightful contrast to the polite indifference displayed by too many of our Cathedral dignitaries at the present time."

hoary - canuto

vault - volta

punctual - puntuale

attendant - assistente

rites - rito

filial - filiale

delightful - delizioso

indifference - indifferenza

dignitaries - dignitario

The final paragraph, after informing us that Dr. Haynes died a bachelor, says:

bachelor - scapolo, celibe, zito, zitello, baccelliere

"It might have been augured that an existence so placid and benevolent would have been terminated in a ripe old age by a dissolution equally gradual and calm. But how unsearchable are the workings of Providence! The peaceful and retired seclusion amid which the honoured evening of Dr.

augured - augure, augurare

placid - placido

benevolent - benevolo

ripe - maturo

dissolution - dissoluzione

gradual - graduale

unsearchable - non ricercabile

workings - lavorare

Providence - Provvidenza

seclusion - isolamento

Haynes'life was mellowing to its close was destined to be disturbed, nay, shattered, by a tragedy as appalling as it was unexpected. The morning of the 26th of February--"

mellowing - posato, giudizioso

destined - destino

Nay - anzi, o per meglio dire

appalling - terribile, orrendo, pessimo, spaventoso

But perhaps I shall do better to keep back the remainder of the narrative until I have told the circumstances which led up to it. These, as far as they are now accessible, I have derived from another source.

I had read the obituary notice which I have been quoting, quite by chance, along with a great many others of the same period. It had excited some little speculation in my mind, but, beyond thinking that, if I ever had an opportunity of examining the local records of the period indicated, I would try to remember Dr. Haynes, I made no effort to pursue his case.

obituary notice - avviso di necrologio

Quite lately I was cataloguing the manuscripts in the library of the college to which he belonged. I had reached the end of the numbered volumes on the shelves, and I proceeded to ask the librarian Whether there were any more books which he thought I ought to include in my description. "I don't think there are," he said, "but we had better come and look at the manuscript class and make sure.

librarian - bibliotecario, bibliotecaria

Have you time to do that now?" I had time. We went to the library, checked off the manuscripts, and, at the end of our survey arrived at a shelf of which I had seen nothing.

checked off - spuntato

Its contents consisted for the most part of sermons, bundles of fragmentary papers, college exercises, Cyrus, an epic poem in several cantos, the product of a country clergyman's leisure, mathematical tracts by a deceased professor, and other similar material of a kind with which I am only too familiar. I took brief notes of these. Lastly, there was a tin box, which was pulled out and dusted.

Contents - contento, soddisfatto

bundles - insieme, fascina, fascio, pacchetto, fagotto

fragmentary - frammentario

epic poem - poema epico

clergyman - chierico, prete, sacerdote, ecclesiastico

tracts - tratto, estensione

deceased - decesso, morire

Lastly - Infine

Its label, much faded, was thus inscribed: "Papers of the Ven. Archdeacon Haynes. Bequeathed in 1834 by his sister, Miss Letitia Haynes."

inscribed - scrivere, incidere

bequeathed - legare, lasciare in eredita, trasmettere, tramandare, donare

I knew at once that the name was one which I had somewhere encountered, and could very soon locate it. "That must be the Archdeacon Haynes who came to a very odd end at Barchester. I've read his obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine. May I take the box home? Do you know if there is anything interesting in it?"

ve - ordine del giorno

The librarian was very willing that I should take the box and examine it at leisure. "I never looked inside it myself," he said, "but I've always been meaning to. I am pretty sure that is the box which our old Master once said ought never to have been accepted by the college.

He said that to Martin years ago; and he said also that as long as he had control over the library it should never be opened.

Martin - Martino

Martin told me about it, and said that he wanted terribly to know what was in it; but the Master was librarian, and always kept the box in the lodge, so there was no getting at it in his time, and when he died it was taken away by mistake by his heirs, and only returned a few years ago.

Lodge - casino, guardiola, portineria, loggia, alloggiare

heirs - erede, ereditiera, successore, ereditiero, checkereditiera

I can't think why I haven't opened it; but, as I have to go away from Cambridge this afternoon, you had better have first go at it. I think I can trust you not to publish anything undesirable in our catalogue."

undesirable - indesiderabile

I took the box home and examined its contents, and thereafter consulted the librarian as to what should be done about publication, and, since I have his leave to make a story out of it, provided I disguise the identity of the people concerned, I will try what can be done.

disguise - camuffamento, travestimento, mascheramento, camuffarsi

The materials are, of course, mainly journals and letters. How much I shall quote and how much epitomize must be determined by considerations of space. The proper understanding of the situation has necessitated a little-not very arduous-research, which has been greatly facilitated by the excellent illustrations and text of the Barchester volume in Bell's Cathedral Series.

epitomize - epitomare

necessitated - necessitare

arduous - arduo

When you enter the choir of Barchester Cathedral now, you pass through a screen of metal and coloured marbles, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, and find yourself in what I must call a very bare and odiously furnished place. The stalls are modern, without canopies.

marbles - marmo, biglia, pallina

Gilbert - Gilberto

odiously - odiosamente

furnished - fornire

canopies - baldacchino, calotta, tettuccio

The places of the dignitaries and the names of the prebends have fortunately been allowed to survive, and are inscribed on small brass plates affixed to the stalls. The organ is in the triforium, and what is seen of the case is Gothic. The reredos and its surroundings are like every other.

prebends - prebenda

brass - ottone, di ottone

affixed - confisso

triforium - triforio

Gothic - gotico

surroundings - periferia, circostante

Careful engravings of a hundred years ago show a very different state of things. The organ is on a massive classical screen. The stalls are also classical and very massive. There is a baldacchino of wood over the altar, with urns upon its corners.

engravings - incisione

baldacchino - ordine del giorno

altar - altare

urns - urna

Further east is a solid altar screen, classical in design, of wood, with a pediment, in which is a triangle surrounded by rays, enclosing certain Hebrew letters in gold. Cherubs contemplate these. There is a pulpit with a great sounding-board at the eastern end of the stalls on the north side, and there is a black and white marble pavement.

pediment - frontone

triangle - triangolo

enclosing - cintare

Hebrew - ebraico, ebreo, ebrea

Cherubs - cherubino

pulpit - pulpito

marble - marmo, biglia, pallina

pavement - pavimentazione stradale, pavimentazione, manto, manto stradale

Two ladies and a gentleman are admiring the general effect. From other sources I gather that the archdeacon's stall then, as now, was next to the bishop's throne at the south-eastern end of the stalls. His house almost faces the western part of the church, and is a fine red-brick building of William the Third's time.

throne - trono

William - Guglielmo

Here Dr. Haynes, already a mature man, took up his abode with his sister in the year 1810. The dignity had long been the object of his wishes, but his predecessor refused to depart until he had attained the age of ninety-two. About a week after he had held a modest festival in celebration of that ninety-second birthday, there came a morning, late in the year, when Dr.

abode - residenza, (abide), sopportare, tollerare, dimorare, risiedere

refused - rifiutare

Haynes, hurrying cheerfully into his breakfast-room, rubbing his hands and humming a tune, was greeted, and checked in his genial flow of spirits, by the sight of his sister, seated, indeed, in her usual place behind the tea-urn, but bowed forward and sobbing unrestrainedly into her handkerchief. "What-what is the matter? What bad news?" he began. "Oh, Johnny, you've not heard?

cheerfully - allegramente

humming - canticchiare, (hum), ronzio, canterellare

genial - cordiale

urn - urna

bowed - inchinarsi, chinare il capo

sobbing - singhiozzare

unrestrainedly - senza ritegno

handkerchief - fazzoletto

Johnny - Gianni

The poor dear archdeacon!" "The archdeacon, yes? What is it-ill, is he?" "No, no; they found him on the staircase this morning; it is so shocking." "Is it possible! Dear, dear, poor Pulteney! Had there been any seizure?" "They don't think so, and that is almost the worst thing about it. It seems to have been all the fault of that stupid maid of theirs, Jane." Dr. Haynes paused.

staircase - scalinata, tromba delle scale

seizure - convulsioni

maid - signorina, cameriera

Jane - Giovanna

"I don't quite understand, Letitia. How was the maid at fault?" "Why, as far as I can make out, there was a stair-rod missing, and she never mentioned it, and the poor archdeacon set his foot quite on the edge of the step-you know how slippery that oak is-and it seems he must have fallen almost the whole flight and broken his neck. It is so sad for poor Miss Pulteney.

slippery - scivoloso, sdrucciolevole

oak - quercia

Of course, they will get rid of the girl at once. I never liked her." Miss Haynes's grief resumed its sway, but eventually relaxed so far as to permit of her taking some breakfast. Not so her brother, who, after standing in silence before the window for some minutes, left the room, and did not appear again that morning.

sway - ondeggiamento, fluttuazione, dondolio, oscillazione

I need only add that the careless maid-servant was dismissed forthwith, but that the missing stair-rod was very shortly afterwards found under the stair-carpet-an additional proof, if any were needed, of extreme stupidity and carelessness on her part.

forthwith - all'istante, immediatamente, su due piedi, tempestivamente

stupidity - asinata, stupidaggine, fesseria

carelessness - negligenza

For a good many years Dr. Haynes had been marked out by his ability, which seems to have been really considerable, as the likely successor of Archdeacon Pulteney, and no disappointment was in store for him. He was duly installed, and entered with zeal upon the discharge of those functions which are appropriate to one in his position.

duly - debitamente

zeal - zelo

A considerable space in his journals is occupied with exclamations upon the confusion in which Archdeacon Pulteney had left the business of his office and the documents appertaining to it. Dues upon Wringham and Barnswood have been uncollected for something like twelve years, and are largely irrecoverable; no visitation has been held for seven years; four chancels are almost past mending.

exclamations - esclamazione

appertaining - appartengono

uncollected - inesatto

irrecoverable - irrecuperabile

visitation - diritto di visita

chancels - presbiterio

mending - rammendo

The persons deputized by the archdeacon have been nearly as incapable as himself. It was almost a matter for thankfulness that this state of things had not been permitted to continue, and a letter from a friend confirms this view. "[Greek: ho katechôn]," it says (in rather cruel allusion to the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians), "is removed as last. My poor friend!

deputized - agire come rappresentante/delegato di

incapable - incapace di

thankfulness - gratitudine

Greek - greco, greca

katechôn - ordine del giorno

allusion - allusione

epistle - epistola

Thessalonians - Tessalonica

Upon what a scene of confusion will you be entering! I give you my word that, on the last occasion of my crossing his threshold, there was no single paper that he could lay hands upon, no syllable of mine that he could hear, and no fact in connection with my business that he could remember.

syllable - sillaba

But now, thanks to a negligent maid and a loose stair-carpet, there is some prospect that necessary business will be transacted without a complete loss alike of voice and temper." This letter was tucked into a pocket in the cover of one of the diaries.

negligent - negligente

transacted - trattare

temper - carattere, temperamento

tucked - piega

There can be no doubt of the new archdeacon's zeal and enthusiasm. "Give me but time to reduce to some semblance of order the innumerable errors and complications with which I am confronted, and I shall gladly and sincerely join with the aged Israelite in the canticle which too many, I fear, pronounce but with their lips.

reduce to - ridurre, accorciare, dimagrire

semblance - sembianza, parvenza, apparenza

innumerable - innumerevole

gladly - volentieri

sincerely - sinceramente, in fede, con sincerita

Israelite - israelita

canticle - cantico

" This reflection I find, not in a diary, but a letter; the doctor's friends seem to have returned his correspondence to his surviving sister. He does not confine himself, however, to reflections.

His investigation of the rights and duties of his office are very searching and businesslike, and there is a calculation in one place that a period of three years will just suffice to set the business of the Archdeaconry upon a proper footing. The estimate appears to have been an exact one.

businesslike - professionale

suffice - bastare, essere sufficiente, soddisfare, fornire

For just three years he is occupied in reforms; but I look in vain at the end of that time for the promised Nunc dimittis. He has now found a new sphere of activity. Hitherto his duties have precluded him from more than an occasional attendance at the Cathedral services. Now he begins to take an interest in the fabric and the music.

vain - vanitoso, vanesio, vano

dimittis - ordine del giorno

hitherto - fin qui, fino a qui, fino ad ora, fino allora

precluded - precludere

Upon his struggles with the organist, an old gentleman who had been in office since 1786, I have no time to dwell; they were not attended with any marked success. More to the purpose is his sudden growth of enthusiasm for the Cathedral itself and its furniture. There is a draft of a letter to Sylvanus Urban (which I do not think was ever sent) describing the stalls in the choir.

organist - organista

As I have said, these were of fairly late date-of about the year 1700, in fact.

"The archdeacon's stall, situated at the south-east end, west of the episcopal throne (now so worthily occupied by the truly excellent prelate who adorns the See of Barchester), is distinguished by some curious ornamentation.

episcopal - episcopale, vescovile

worthily - degnamente

prelate - prelato

adorns - adornare, fregiare, abbellire

ornamentation - ornamento

In addition to the arms of Dean West, by whose efforts the whole of the internal furniture of the choir was completed, the prayer-desk is terminated at the eastern extremity by three small but remarkable statuettes in the grotesque manner.

dean - decano

extremity - estremita

statuettes - statuetta

grotesque - grottesco

One is an exquisitely modelled figure of a cat, whose crouching posture suggests with admirable spirit the suppleness, vigilance, and craft of the redoubted adversary of the genus Mus. Opposite to this is a figure seated upon a throne and invested with the attributes of royalty; but it is no earthly monarch whom the carver has sought to portray.

exquisitely - squisitamente

crouching - accucciarsi

posture - postura, atteggiamento, atteggiarsi

admirable - ammirevole

suppleness - flessuosita

vigilance - vigilanza

redoubted - ridotto

adversary - avversario, avversaria

genus - genere

royalty - diritto d'autore, royalty

earthly - terrestre

monarch - monarca

carver - intagliatore, intagliatrice, incisore

His feet are studiously concealed by the long robe in which he is draped: but neither the crown nor the cap which he wears suffice to hide the prick-ears and curving horns which betray his Tartarean origin; and the hand which rests upon his knee is armed with talons of horrifying length and sharpness. Between these two figures stands a shape muffled in a long mantle.

studiously - studiosamente

robe - veste, abito

draped - drappeggio

prick - pungere, forare

rests upon - poggia su di essa

talons - branca, grinfia

horrifying - inorridire

sharpness - nitidezza

muffled - coprire, attenuare

mantle - mantello, reticella

This might at first sight be mistaken for a monk or 'friar of orders grey,'for the head is cowled and a knotted cord depends from somewhere about the waist. A slight inspection, however, will lead to a very different conclusion.

friar - frate

cowled - cappuccio

knotted - nodo

cord - cordone

waist - vita, cintura, cintola

The knotted cord is quickly seen to be a halter, held by a hand all but concealed within the draperies; while the sunken features and, horrid to relate, the rent flesh upon the cheek-bones, proclaim the King of Terrors.

draperies - tenda

horrid - orrido

These figures are evidently the production of no unskilled chisel; and should it chance that any of your correspondents are able to throw light upon their origin and significance, my obligations to your valuable miscellany will be largely increased."

evidently - evidentemente

unskilled - imperito, inesperto, incompetente, impreparato

chisel - cesello

miscellany - miscellanea

There is more description in the paper, and, seeing that the woodwork in question has now disappeared, it has a considerable interest. A paragraph at the end is worth quoting:

woodwork - legno

"Some late researches among the Chapter accounts have shown me that the carving of the stalls was not, as was very usually reported, the work of Dutch artists, but was executed by a native of this city or district named Austin. The timber was procured from an oak copse in the vicinity, the property of the Dean and Chapter, known as Holywood.

Dutch - olandese, nederlandese, neerlandese

Austin - Austin

copse - bosco ceduo, macchia, fratta, boschetto

vicinity - vicinanza, dintorni, intorno

Upon a recent visit to the parish within whose boundaries it is situated, I learned from the aged and truly respectable incumbent that traditions still lingered amongst the inhabitants of the great size and age of the oaks employed to furnish the materials of the stately structure which has been, however imperfectly, described in the above lines.

respectable - rispettabile

incumbent - obbligatorio, imminente, incalzante, predominante, titolare

amongst - tra, in mezzo a

oaks - quercia

furnish - fornire

stately - prestante

imperfectly - imperfettamente

Of one in particular, which stood near the centre of the grove, it is remembered that it was known as the Hanging Oak.

grove - boschetto, piantagione

The propriety of that title is confirmed by the fact that a quantity of human bones was found in the soil about its roots, and that at certain times of the year it was the custom for those who wished to secure a successful issue to their affairs, whether of love or the ordinary business of life, to suspend from its boughs small images or puppets rudely fashioned of straw, twigs, or the like rustic materials."

propriety - correttezza

boughs - ramo

puppets - marionetta, fantoccio, pedina

rudely - ignorantemente, villanamente, scortesemente, inurbanamente

straw - festuca, pagliuzza, paglia

twigs - ramoscello, rametto

rustic - rustico, agreste, villico, campagnolo

So much for the archdeacon's archaeological investigations. To return to his career as it is to be gathered from his diaries. Those of his first three years of hard and careful work show him throughout in high spirits, and, doubtless, during this time, that reputation for hospitality and urbanity which is mentioned in his obituary notice was well deserved.

archaeological - archeologico

high spirits - buon umore

doubtless - senza dubbio

After that, as time goes on, I see a shadow coming over him-destined to develop into utter blackness-which I cannot but think must have been reflected in his outward demeanour. He commits a good deal of his fears and troubles to his diary; there was no other outlet for them. He was unmarried, and his sister was not always with him.

utter - completo, totale

blackness - nerezza

outward - verso l'esterno

demeanour - comportamento

unmarried - celibe, nubile

But I am much mistaken if he has told all that he might have told. A series of extracts shall be given:

"Aug. 30, 1816.-The days begin to draw in more perceptibly than ever. Now that the Archdeaconry papers are reduced to order, I must find some further employment for the evening hours of autumn and winter. It is a great blow that Letitia's health will not allow her to stay through these months. Why not go on with my Defence of Episcopacy? It may be useful.

perceptibly - percettibilmente

"Sept. 15.-Letitia has left me for Brighton.

Sept - Settembre

"Oct. 11.-Candles lit in the choir for the first time at evening prayers. It came as a shock: I find that I absolutely shrink from the dark season.

Oct - Ottobre

"Nov. 17.-Much struck by the character of the carving on my desk: I do not know that I had ever carefully noticed it before. My attention was called to it by an accident. During the Magnificat I was, I regret to say, almost overcome with sleep. My hand was resting on the back of the carved figure of a cat which is the nearest to me of the three figures on the end of my stall.

Nov - abbreviation of November

I was not aware of this, for I was not looking in that direction, until I was startled by what seemed a softness, a feeling as of rather rough and coarse fur, and a sudden movement, as if the creature were twisting round its head to bite me. I regained complete consciousness in an instant, and I have some idea that I must have uttered a suppressed exclamation, for I noticed that Mr.

startled - scattare, sobbalzare, spaventare, sorprendere, schivare, evitare

softness - morbidezza

coarse - grossolano, grezzo, rude, rozzo

uttered - completo, totale

exclamation - esclamazione

Treasurer turned his head quickly in my direction. The impression of the unpleasant feeling was so strong that I found myself rubbing my hand upon my surplice. This accident led me to examine the figures after prayers more carefully than I had done before, and I realized for the first time with what skill they are executed.

treasurer - tesoriere

surplice - cotta

"Dec. 6.-I do indeed miss Letitia's company. The evenings, after I have worked as long as I can at my Defence, are very trying. The house is too large for a lonely man, and visitors of any kind are too rare. I get an uncomfortable impression when going to my room that there is company of some kind. The fact is (I may as well formulate it to myself) that I hear voices.

Dec - abbreviation of December

This, I am well aware, is a common symptom of incipient decay of the brain-and I believe that I should be less disquieted than I am if I had any suspicion that this was the cause. I have none-none whatever, nor is there anything in my family history to give colour to such an idea.

incipient - incipiente

decay - imputridire

disquieted - inquietudine

Work, diligent work, and a punctual attention to the duties which fall to me is my best remedy, and I have little doubt that it will prove efficacious.

diligent - diligente

efficacious - efficace

"Jan. 1. My trouble is, I must confess it, increasing upon me. Last night, upon my return after midnight from the Deanery, I lit my candle to go upstairs. I was nearly at the top when something whispered to me, 'Let me wish you a happy New Year.'I could not be mistaken: it spoke distinctly and with a peculiar emphasis.

Deanery - Decanato

distinctly - distintamente

Had I dropped my candle, as I all but did, I tremble to think what the consequences must have been. As it was, I managed to get up the last flight, and was quickly in my room with the door locked, and experienced no other disturbance.

tremble - tremare, tremolare, tremore

disturbance - disturbo

"Jan. 15.-I had occasion to come downstairs last night to my workroom for my watch, which I had inadvertently left on my table when I went up to bed. I think I was at the top of the last flight when I had a sudden impression of a sharp whisper in my ear 'Take care.'I clutched the balusters and naturally looked round at once. Of course, there was nothing.

workroom - bottega

inadvertently - inavvertitamente

clutched - afferrare

balusters - balaustra

After a moment I went on-it was no good turning back-but I had as nearly as possible fallen: a cat-a large one by the feel of it-slipped between my feet, but again, of course, I saw nothing. It may have been the kitchen cat, but I do not think it was.

"Feb. 27.-A curious thing last night, which I should like to forget. Perhaps if I put it down here I may see it in its true proportion. I worked in the library from about 9 to 10.

Feb - Febbraio

The hall and staircase seemed to be unusually full of what I can only call movement without sound: by this I mean that there seemed to be continuous going and coming, and that whenever I ceased writing to listen, or looked out into the hall, the stillness was absolutely unbroken.

unusually - insolitamente

stillness - immobilita

unbroken - ininterrotto

Nor, in going to my room at an earlier hour than usual-about half-past ten-was I conscious of anything that I could call a noise. It so happened that I had told John to come to my room for the letter to the bishop which I wished to have delivered early in the morning at the Palace. He was to sit up, therefore, and come for it when he heard me retire.

This I had for the moment forgotten, though I had remembered to carry the letter with me to my room. But when, as I was winding up my watch, I heard a light tap at the door, and a low voice saying, 'May I come in?'(which I most undoubtedly did hear), I recollected the fact, and took up the letter from my dressing-table, saying, 'Certainly: come in.

winding - avvolgimento

recollected - ricordarsi

'No one, however, answered my summons, and it was now that, as I strongly suspect, I committed an error: for I opened the door and held the letter out. There was certainly no one at that moment in the passage, but, in the instant of my standing there, the door at the end opened and John appeared carrying a candle.

summons - convocazione

I asked him whether he had come to the door earlier; but am satisfied that he had not. I do not like the situation; but although my senses were very much on the alert, and though it was some time before I could sleep, I must allow that I perceived nothing further of an untoward character."

untoward - avverso

With the return of spring, when his sister came to live with him for some months, Dr. Haynes's entries became more cheerful, and, indeed, no symptom of depression is discernible unto the early part of September, when he was again left alone. And now, indeed, there is evidence that he was incommoded again, and that more pressingly.

more cheerful - piu allegro

discernible - discernibile

unto - verso

incommoded - incommodo

pressingly - in modo pressante

To this matter I will return in a moment, but I digress to put in a document which, rightly or wrongly, I believe to have a bearing on the thread of the story.

digress - divagare

rightly - giustamente

wrongly - a torto, ingiustamente, erroneamente

The account-books of Dr. Haynes, preserved along with his other papers, show, from a date but little later than that of his institution as archdeacon, a quarterly payment of Ł25 to J.L. Nothing could have been made of this, had it stood by itself. But I connect with it a very dirty and ill-written letter, which, like another that I have quoted, was in a pocket in the cover of a diary.

account-books - (account-books) libri contabili

quarterly - trimestrale, inquartato, trimestralmente

Of date or postmark there is no vestige, and the decipherment was not easy. It appears to run:

postmark - bollo postale, annullo postale, timbro postale

vestige - traccia, segno, strascico, impronta

decipherment - deciframento

"Dr Sr.

"I have bin expctin to her off you theis last wicks, and not Haveing done so must supose you have not got mine witch was saying how me and my man had met in with bad times this season all seems to go cross with us on the farm and which way to look for the rent we have no knowledge of it this been the sad case with us if you would have the great [liberality probably, but the exact spelling defies reproduction] to send fourty pounds otherwise steps will have to be took which I should not wish. Has you was the Means of my losing my place with Dr. Pulteney I think it is only just what I am asking and you know best what I could say if I was Put to it but I do not wish anything of that unpleasant Nature being one that always wish to have everything Pleasant about me.

expctin - ordine del giorno

theis - ordine del giorno

wicks - stoppino

supose - supporre

witch - strega

fourty - quaranta

"Your obedt Servt,

obedt - ordine del giorno

"Jane Lee."

Lee - riparo, sottovento

About the time at which I suppose this letter to have been written there is, in fact, a payment of Ł40 to J.L.

We return to the diary:

"Oct. 22.-At evening prayers, during the Psalms, I had that same experience which I recollect from last year.

Psalms - salmo

recollect - ricordarsi

I was resting my hand on one of the carved figures, as before (I usually avoid that of the cat now), and-I was going to have said-a change came over it, but that seems attributing too much importance to what must, after all, be due to some physical affection in myself: at any rate, the wood seemed to become chilly and soft as if made of wet linen.

chilly - freddo

linen - lino

I can assign the moment at which I became sensible of this. The choir was singing the words (Set thou an ungodly man to be ruler over him and) let Satan stand at his right hand.

thou - tu

ungodly - empio

ruler - righello, sovrano

Satan - Satana

"The whispering in my house was more persistent tonight. I seemed not to be rid of it in my room. I have not noticed this before. A nervous man, which I am not, and hope I am not becoming, would have been much annoyed, if not alarmed, by it. The cat was on the stairs tonight. I think it sits there always. There is no kitchen cat.

"Nov. 15.-Here again I must note a matter I do not understand. I am much troubled in sleep. No definite image presented itself, but I was pursued by the very vivid impression that wet lips were whispering into my ear with great rapidity and emphasis for some time together. After this, I suppose, I feel asleep, but was awakened with a start by a feeling as if a hand were laid on my shoulder.

vivid - chiaro, limpido

rapidity - rapidita

awakened - svegliare, svegliarsi

To my intense alarm I found myself standing at the top of the lowest flight on the first staircase. The moon was shining brightly enough through the large window to let me see that there was a large cat on the second or third step. I can make no comment. I crept up to bed again, I do not know how. Yes, mine is a heavy burden. [Then follows a line or two which has been scratched out.

brightly - vivacemente, brillantemente

scratched out - grattato, cancellato

I fancy I read something like 'acted for the best.']"

Not long after this it is evident to me that the archdeacon's firmness began to give way under the pressure of these phenomena. I omit as unnecessarily painful and distressing the ejaculations and prayers which, in the months of December and January, appear for the first time and become increasingly frequent. Throughout this time, however, he is obstinate in clinging to his post.

firmness - fermezza

phenomena - fenomeni

omit - omettere

unnecessarily - inutilmente

ejaculations - eiaculazione

obstinate - ostinato, pertinace

Why he did not plead ill-health and take refuge at Bath or Brighton I cannot tell; my impression is that it would have done him no good; that he was a man who, if he had confessed himself beaten by the annoyances, would have succumbed at once, and that he was conscious of this. He did seek to palliate them by inviting visitors to his house. The result he has noted in this fashion:

annoyances - seccatura, scocciatura, fastidio, disappunto, irritazione

succumbed - soccombere, arrendersi

palliate - palliativo

"Jan. 7.-I have prevailed on my cousin Allen to give me a few days, and he is to occupy the chamber next to mine.

"Jan. 8.-A still night. Allen slept well, but complained of the wind. My own experiences were as before: still whispering and whispering: what is it that he wants to say?

wind - vento

"Jan. 9.-Allen thinks this is a very noisy house. He thinks, too, that my cat is an unusually large and fine specimen, but very wild.

"Jan. 10.-Allen and I in the library until 11. He left me twice to see what the maids were doing in the hall: returning the second time he told me he had seen one of them passing through the door at the end of the passage, and said if his wife were here she would soon get them into better order. I asked him what coloured dress the maid wore; he said grey or white. I supposed it would be so.

maids - signorina, cameriera

"Jan. 11.-Allen left me today. I must be firm."

These words, I must be firm, occur again and again on subsequent days; sometimes they are the only entry. In these cases they are in an unusually large hand, and dug into the paper in a way which must have broken the pen that wrote them.

Apparently the archdeacon's friends did not remark any change in his behaviour, and this gives me a high idea of his courage and determination. The diary tells us nothing more than I have indicated of the last days of his life. The end of it all must be told in the polished language of the obituary notice:

polished - polacco

"The morning of the 26th of February was cold and tempestuous. At an early hour the servants had occasion to go into the front hall of the residence occupied by the lamented subject of these lines. What was their horror upon observing the form of their beloved and respected master lying upon the landing of the principal staircase in an attitude which inspired the gravest fears.

tempestuous - violento, turbolento

lamented - lamento, lamentarsi

Assistance was procured, and an universal consternation was experienced upon the discovery that he had been the object of a brutal and a murderous attack. The vertebral column was fractured in more than one place. This might have been the result of a fall: it appeared that the stair-carpet was loosened at one point.

consternation - costernazione

murderous - letale, micidiale, mortale, omicida

vertebral - ordine del giorno

fractured - frattura

loosened - allentare

But, in addition to this, there were injuries inflicted upon the eyes, nose and mouth, as if by the agency of some savage animal, which, dreadful to relate, rendered those features unrecognizable. The vital spark was, it is needless to add, completely extinct, and had been so, upon the testimony of respectable medical authorities, for several hours.

savage - selvaggio, primitivo, brutale, crudele, feroce, impietoso

dreadful - terribile

unrecognizable - irriconoscibile

needless - superfluo, inutile

extinct - estinto

The author or authors of this mysterious outrage are alike buried in mystery, and the most active conjecture has hitherto failed to suggest a solution of the melancholy problem afforded by this appalling occurrence."

conjecture - congettura, congetturare

melancholy - malinconia

The writer goes on to reflect upon the probability that the writings of Mr. Shelley, Lord Byron, and M. Voltaire may have been instrumental in bringing about the disaster, and concludes by hoping, somewhat vaguely, that this event may "operate as an example to the rising generation"; but this portion of his remarks need not be quoted in full.

writings - scritti

vaguely - vagamente

I had already formed the conclusion that Dr. Haynes was responsible for the death of Dr. Pulteney. But the incident connected with the carved figure of death upon the archdeacon's stall was a very perplexing feature. The conjecture that it had been cut out of the wood of the Hanging Oak was not difficult, but seemed impossible to substantiate.

perplexing - confondere, rendere perplesso

substantiate - dimostrare, documentare

However, I paid a visit to Barchester, partly with the view of finding out whether there were any relics of the woodwork to be heard of. I was introduced by one of the canons to the curator of the local museum, who was, my friend said, more likely to be able to give me information on the point than any one else.

relics - ricordo, avanzo, cimelio, reliquia

canons - canone

curator - talian: t-needed

local museum - museo locale

I told this gentleman of the description of certain carved figures and arms formerly on the stalls, and asked whether any had survived. He was able to show me the arms of Dean West and some other fragments. These, he said, had been got from an old resident, who had also once owned a figure-perhaps one of those which I was inquiring for. There was a very odd thing about that figure, he said.

inquiring - domandare, chiedere

"The old man who had it told me that he picked it up in a wood-yard, whence he had obtained the still extant pieces, and had taken it home for his children. On the way home he was fiddling about with it and it came in two in his hands, and a bit of paper dropped out.

whence - onde, donde, da dove

extant - ancora esistente

fiddling - parapetto

This he picked up and, just noticing that there was writing on it, put it into his pocket, and subsequently into a vase on his mantelpiece. I was at his house not very long ago, and happened to pick up the vase and turn it over to see whether there were any marks on it, and the paper fell into my hand.

vase - vaso

mantelpiece - (mensola di caminetto)

The old man, on my handing it to him, told me the story I have told you, and said I might keep the paper. It was crumpled and rather torn, so I have mounted it on a card, which I have here. If you can tell me what it means I shall be very glad, and also, I may say, a good deal surprised."

crumpled - spiegazzarsi

He gave me the card. The paper was quite legibly inscribed in an old hand, and this is what was on it:

legibly - in modo leggibile

"When I grew in the Wood

I was water'd wth Blood

wth - Cosa

Now in the Church I stand

Who that touches me with his Hand

If a Bloody hand he bear

bloody - sanguinosa

I councell him to be ware

councell - consulenza

Lest he be fetcht away

fetcht - ordine del giorno

Whether by night or day,

But chiefly when the wind blows high

chiefly - principalmente

In a night of February."

"This I dreampt, 26 Febr. Ao 1699. John Austin."

dreampt - sognato

"I suppose it is a charm or a spell: wouldn't you call it something of that kind?" said the curator.

"Yes," I said, "I suppose one might. What became of the figure in which it was concealed?"

"Oh, I forgot," said he. "The old man told me it was so ugly and frightened his children so much that he burnt it."

You are reading thanks to developer of Go to Glivia! Chatbot. Your best friend in English learning!

Back to the Main Page Back to the beggining Download Flashcards