lap of land

lapany of various hollow or depressed areas, such as a hollow in the land




genius the guardian spirit of a place, group of people, or institution





In the thirteen British colonies that became the United States in 1776, British money was often in circulation. Each colony issued its own paper money, with pounds, shillings, and pence used as the standard units of account. Some coins were minted in the colonies, such as the 1652 pine-tree shilling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. After the United States adopted the dollar as its unit of currency and accepted the gold standard, one British shilling was worth 24 US cents. Due to ongoing shortages of US coins in some regions, shillings continued to circulate deep into the 19th century. Shillings are described as the standard monetary unit throughout the autobiography of Solomon Northup (1853) and mentioned several times in the Horatio Alger, Jr. story, Ragged Dick (1868).



coverlet=bedspread: 床罩

The bedspread sits on top of the comforter and is ornamental.



, glistened from their covert of asparagus tops is 'andirons' (one word), a set of two rests that hold logs in to fire. The shovel (for ashes) and tongs (to move wood in the fire) complete the set. 
a covert can be defined as 'Area of thick undergrowth where animals hide.' For instance, a fox can hide in a covert. 
Asparagus tops have a very 'ferny' appearance, and if there were some in the fireplace (the fire is obviously not lit), maybe for decoration, it would look as if the andirons are in thick vegetation. The metal must be very clean and polished, as it gleams. 
Here is a picture of asparagus tops, to give an idea of what it would look like:

2.It's a metaphor. 
In this case covert as a noun means "a thicket in which game can hide." 

"...andirons, with their accompanying shovel and tongs, glistened from their covert of asparagus tops;" 

The andirons, shovel, and tongs are standing in a fireplace surrounded by asparagus . The asparagus is perhaps being used as a decoration, or is growing there.



quilting frolic


IIn the 1800s, quilting frolics, bees, and parties were gatherings of women and girls at which it was customary for attendants to work together on one quilt. The quilt would be stretched on a large frame that some or all of the attendants could sit around as they stitched. At this stage in the quiltmaking process, the top, batting, and backing were all layered together, and members of the quilting frolic would work to finish the quilting of the whole so that the finished quilt could be soon used or given as a gift. Quilting frolics were social events for women, and during the day they might cook while they quilted or bring food to the event.


Because opportunities for socializing were scarce, invitations to quilting frolics were expected, and it was considered rude not to invite every able woman to a frolic. In 1849, Everand Dickinson of Izard County wrote, “It is customary here for the Neighbors to take turns in helping each other harvest. They all go with their wives and daughters and babies. The men gather the wheat while the women quilt.” A quilting frolic might be held to complete an everyday quilt, but it might also be held for special quilts such as the customary thirteen quilts, or baker’s dozen, that would go in the hope chest of a young woman who was soon to be married.




God save the mark This parenthetic phrase can be used as an exclamation of contempt, impatience, or derision; as a formula spoken to avert an evil omen; or as a phrase serving to soften or lessen the offensiveness of something said. Contrary to popular belief that this expression was originally used by archers, it is now believed to have been originally used by midwives at the birth of a child bearing a“mark.” Shakespeare popularized the phrase and its variant bless the mark in his plays.

He had not been there (bless the mark) a pissing while, but all the chamber smelt him. (Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona1591)

In modern use, save the mark is most often heard as an ironic expression of contempt.

The crisis of apathetic melancholy … from which he emerged by the reading of Marmontel’s Memoirs (Heaven save the mark!) and Wordsworth’s poetry. (William James, The Varieties of ReligiousExperience1902)




repay sb. in kind: 回報某人



教材中翻成刻痕, 我覺得不正確, 放在句中的文意是不通的



score n. 20為一組 a group or set of 20.

, gave his horse half a score of kicks: 踢了他的馬十來下



stock n. A long white neckcloth worn as part of a formal riding habit 


The most formal neckwear of all was the stock.  This was a band of white linen of an even finer quality than the shirt's, carefully pleated horizontally and stitched to fit closely over a shirt's collar and tightly around the neck. (Military officers wore black stocks, like the one on General Cornwallis, above left.) The stock had tabs in the back that buckled together with a pronged metal buckled through worked eyelets. Although it sat on the back of a gentleman's neck, the stock buckle could be an important piece of male jewelry. Stock buckles were often made of cut steel, silver, or even gold, and embellished with gemstones or paste jewels, imitation diamonds that glittered in the candlelight, above right. 


a whole budget of---  : 一整堆的---

be carried off by--- :由---致死

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