父亲拆看我的信件.doc

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'父亲拆看我的信件.doc'
?父亲拆看我的信件  There was a time in my boyhood when I felt that Father had handicappedme severely in life by naming me after him, “Clarence.” All literature, so far as I could see, was thronged withobjectionable personsnamed Clarence. Percy was bad enough, but there had been some good fighters named Percy. The only Clarence in history was a dukewho did something dirty at Tewkesbury, and who died a ridiculous death afterwards in a barrel of malmsey.   As for the Clarences in the fiction I read, they were horrible. In one story, for instance, there were two brothers, Clarence and Frank. Clarence was a “vaindisagreeablelittle fellow,” who was proud of his curly hair and fine clothes, while Frank was a“rollickingboy who was ready to play games with anybody.” Clarence didn’t like to play games, of course. He just minced aroundlooking on.   One day when the mother of these boys had gone out, this story went on, Clarence “tempted” Frank to disobey her and fly their kite on the roof. Frank didn’t want to, but Clarence kept tauntinghim and daringhim until Frank was stunginto doing it. After the two boys went up to the roof, Frank got good and dirty, running up and down and stumbling over scuttles, while Clarence sat there, giving him orders, and kept his nattyclothes tidy. To my horror, he even spread out his handkerchief on the trapdoorto sit on. And to crown all, this sneaktold onFrank as soon as their mother came in.   I asked Mother how this name had ever happened to spring upin our family. She explained that my great-great-grandfather was Benjamin Day, and my greatgrandfather was Henry, and consequently my grandfather had been named Benjamin Henry. He in turn had named his eldest son Henry and his second son Benjamin. The result was that when Father was born there was no family name left. The privilege of choosing a name for Father had thereuponbeen given to Grandma, and unluckily for the Day family she had been reading a novel, the hero of which was named Clarence.   I knew that Grandma, though very like Grandpa in some respects, had a dreamy side which he hadn’t, a side that she usually kept to herself, in her serene, quiet way. Her romantic choice of this name probably made Grandpa smile, but he was a detachedsort of man who didn’t take small matters seriously, and who drew a good deal of private amusement from the happenings of everyday life. Besides, he was partly to blame in this case, because that novel was one he had published himself in his magazine.
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