The Magical Coat
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2010-11-22 02:07 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

My l4-year-old son, John, and I spotted1 the coat simultaneously2(同时地) . It was hanging on a rack(齿条,行李架) at a secondhand clothing store in Northampton Mass, crammed3 in with shoddy(假冒的,劣质的) trench4 coats and an assortment5(分类,混合物) of sad, woolen6 overcoats -- a rose among thorns.

While the other coats drooped7(下垂,消沉) , this one looked as if it were holding itself up. The thick, black wool of the double-breasted chesterfield(长大衣) was soft and unworn, as though it had been preserved in mothballs(卫生球) for years in dead old Uncle Henry's steamer trunk. The coat had a black velvet8 collar, beautiful tailoring, a Fifth Avenue label and an unbelievable price of $28. We looked at each other, saying nothing, but John's eyes gleamed. Dark, woolen topcoats were popular just then with teenage boys, but could cost several hundred dollars new. This coat was even better, bearing that touch of classic elegance9 from a bygone(过去的) era.

John slid his arms down into the heavy satin(缎子) lining10 of the sleeves and buttoned the coat. He turned from side to side, eyeing himself in the mirror with a serious, studied expression that soon changed into a smile. The fit was perfect.

John wore the coat to school the next day and came home wearing a big grin(露齿笑) . "Ho. did the kids like your coat?" I asked. "They loved it," he said, carefully folding it over the back of a chair and smoothing it flat. I started calling him "Lord Chesterfield" and "The Great Gatsby."

Over the next few weeks, a change came over John. Agreement replaced contrariness(反对,矛盾) , quiet, reasoned discussion replaced argument. He became more judicious11, more mannerly, more thoughtful, eager to please. “Good dinner, Mom," he would say every evening.

He would generously loan his younger brother his tapes and lecture him on the niceties(精密,美好) of behaviour; without a word of objection, he would carry in wood for the stove. One day when I suggested that he might start on homework before dinner, John -- a veteran procrastinator12(拖拉者) – said, “You’re right. I guess I will.”

When I mentioned this incident to one of his teachers and remarked that I didn't know what caused the changes, she said laughing. "It must be his coat!" Another teacher told him she was giving him a good mark not only because he had earned it but because she liked his coat. At the library, we ran into a friend who had not seen our children in a long time, “Could this be John?" he asked, looking up to John's new height, assessing the cut of his coat and extending his hand, one gentleman to another.

John and I both know we should never mistake a person's clothes for the real person within them. But there is something to be said for wearing a standard of excellence13 for the world to see, for practising standards of excellence in though, speech, and behaviour, and for matching what is on the inside to what is on the outside.

Sometimes, watching John leave for(动身去) school, I've remembered with a keen sting what it felt like to be in the eighth grade -- a time when it was as easy to try on different approaches to life as it was to try on a coat. The whole world, the whole future is stretched out ahead, a vast panorama14(全景,全貌) where all the doors are open. And if I were there right now, I would picture myself walking through those doors wearing my wonderful, magical coat.


1 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
2 simultaneously 4iBz1o     
  • The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously.雷达波几乎可以同时追着多个目标。
  • The Windows allow a computer user to execute multiple programs simultaneously.Windows允许计算机用户同时运行多个程序。
3 crammed e1bc42dc0400ef06f7a53f27695395ce     
adj.塞满的,挤满的;大口地吃;快速贪婪地吃v.把…塞满;填入;临时抱佛脚( cram的过去式)
  • He crammed eight people into his car. 他往他的车里硬塞进八个人。
  • All the shelves were crammed with books. 所有的架子上都堆满了书。
4 trench VJHzP     
  • The soldiers recaptured their trench.兵士夺回了战壕。
  • The troops received orders to trench the outpost.部队接到命令在前哨周围筑壕加强防卫。
5 assortment FVDzT     
  • This shop has a good assortment of goods to choose from.该店各色货物俱全,任君选择。
  • She was wearing an odd assortment of clothes.她穿着奇装异服。
6 woolen 0fKw9     
  • She likes to wear woolen socks in winter.冬天她喜欢穿羊毛袜。
  • There is one bar of woolen blanket on that bed.那张床上有一条毛毯。
7 drooped ebf637c3f860adcaaf9c11089a322fa5     
弯曲或下垂,发蔫( droop的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Her eyelids drooped as if she were on the verge of sleep. 她眼睑低垂好像快要睡着的样子。
  • The flowers drooped in the heat of the sun. 花儿晒蔫了。
8 velvet 5gqyO     
  • This material feels like velvet.这料子摸起来像丝绒。
  • The new settlers wore the finest silk and velvet clothing.新来的移民穿着最华丽的丝绸和天鹅绒衣服。
9 elegance QjPzj     
  • The furnishings in the room imparted an air of elegance.这个房间的家具带给这房间一种优雅的气氛。
  • John has been known for his sartorial elegance.约翰因为衣着讲究而出名。
10 lining kpgzTO     
  • The lining of my coat is torn.我的外套衬里破了。
  • Moss makes an attractive lining to wire baskets.用苔藓垫在铁丝篮里很漂亮。
11 judicious V3LxE     
  • We should listen to the judicious opinion of that old man.我们应该听取那位老人明智的意见。
  • A judicious parent encourages his children to make their own decisions.贤明的父亲鼓励儿女自作抉择。
12 procrastinator 45276f0ce91842a23f9d729940f391be     
n. 拖延者, 拖拉者, 因循者
  • General Peckem's communications about cleanliness and procrastination made Major Major feel like a filthy procrastinator. 佩克姆将军谈到清洁和拖延的那些简报,使梅杰少校感到自己象一个邋遢的、作风拖拉的家伙。
  • This is also a great help if you are a procrastinator. 如果你是一个拖拉的人,这样会对你很有帮助。
13 excellence ZnhxM     
  • His art has reached a high degree of excellence.他的艺术已达到炉火纯青的地步。
  • My performance is far below excellence.我的表演离优秀还差得远呢。
14 panorama D4wzE     
  • A vast panorama of the valley lay before us.山谷的广阔全景展现在我们面前。
  • A flourishing and prosperous panorama spread out before our eyes.一派欣欣向荣的景象展现在我们的眼前。
TAG标签: school coat clothes