新概念經典教材精選的美文【名家名篇經典美文摘抄】

新概念經典教材精選的美文【名家名篇經典美文摘抄】
 
這個優秀文章是從新概念三、四的教材里精心挑選出來的,從貼近考研英語的角度來篩選,剔除了大部分的記敘文和說明文題材,主要就是論說文了。
 
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新概念三
Lesson 14     A noble gangster 貴族歹徒
There was a time when the owners of shops and businesses in Chicago had to pay large sums of money to gangsters in return for 'protection.' If the money was not paid promptly, the gangsters would quickly put a man out of business by destroying his shop. Obtaining 'protection money' is not a modern crime. As long ago as the fourteenth century, an Englishman, Sir John Hawkwood, made the remarkable discovery that people would rather pay large sums of money than have their life work destroyed by gangsters.
Six hundred years ago, Sir Johan Hawkwood arrived in Italy with a band of soldiers and settled near Florence. He soon made a name for himself and came to be known to the Italians as Giovanni Acuto. Whenever the Italian city-states were at war with each other, Hawkwood used to hire his soldiers to princes who were willing to pay the high price he demanded. In times of peace, when business was bad, Hawkwood and his men would march into a city-state and, after burning down a few farms, would offer to go away if protection money was paid to them. Hawkwood made large sums of money in this way. In spite of this, the Italians regarded him as a sort of hero. When he died at the age of eighty, the Florentines gave him a state funeral and had a pictured painted which was dedicated to the memory of 'the most valiant soldier and most notable leader, Signor Giovanni Haukodue.'
曾經有一個時期,芝加哥的店主和商行的老板們不得不拿出大筆的錢給歹徒以換取"保護"。如果交款不及時,歹徒們就會很快搗毀他的商店,讓他破產.榨取"保護金"并不是一種現代的罪惡行徑.早在14世紀,英國人約翰.霍克伍德就有過非凡的發現:"人們情愿拿出大筆的錢,也不愿畢生的心血毀于歹徒之手.
600年前,約翰.霍克伍德爵士帶著一隊士兵來到意大利,在佛羅倫薩附近駐扎下來,很快就出了名.意大利人叫他喬凡尼.阿庫托.每次意大利各城邦之間發生戰爭,霍克伍德把他的士兵雇傭給愿給他出高價的君主。和平時期,當生意蕭條時,霍克伍德便帶領士兵進入某個城邦,縱火燒毀一兩個農場,然后提出,如向他們繳納保護金,他們便主動撤離?;艨宋榈掠眠@種方法掙了大筆錢.盡管如此,意大利人還是把他視作某種英雄。他80歲那年死去時,佛羅倫薩人為他舉行了國葬,并為他畫像以紀念這位"驍勇無比的戰士、杰出的領袖喬凡尼.阿庫托先生."
Lesson 17   The longest suspension bridge in the world  世界上最長的吊橋
Verrazano, an Italian about whom little is known, sailed into New York Harbour in 1524 and named it Angouleme. He described it as 'a very agreeable situation located within two small hills in the midst of which flowed a great river.' Though Verrazano is by no means considered to be a great explorer, his name will probably remain immortal, for on November 21st, 1964, the longest suspension bridge in the world was named after him.
The Verrazano Bridge, which was designed by Othmar Ammann, joins Brooklyn to Staten Island. It has a span of 4,260 feet. The bridge is so long that the shape of the earth had to be taken into account by its designer. Two great towers support four huge cables. The towers are built on immense underwater platforms made of steel and concrete. The platforms extend to a depth of over 100 feet under the sea. These alone took sixteen months to build. Above the surface of the water, the towers rise to a height of nearly 700 feet. They support the cables from which the bridge has been suspended. Each of the four cables contains 26,108 lengths of wire. It has been estimated that if the bridge were packed with cars, it would still only be carrying a third of its total capacity. However, size and strength are not the only important things about this bridge. Despite its immensity, it is both simple and elegant, fulfilling its designer's dream to create 'an enormous object drawn as faintly as possible'.
1524年,一位鮮為人知的意大利人維拉薩諾駕船駛進紐約港,并將該港名為安古拉姆。他對該港作了這樣的描述:“地理位置十分適宜,位于兩座小山的中間,一條大河從中間流過”。雖然維拉薩諾絕對算不上一個偉大的探險家,但他的名字將流芳百世,因為1964年11月21日建成的一座世界上最長的吊橋是以他的名字命名。
維拉薩諾大橋由奧斯馬.阿曼設計,連結著布魯克林與斯塔頓島,橋長4,260英尺。由于橋身太長,設計者不得不考慮了地表的形狀。兩座巨塔支撐著4根粗大的鋼纜。塔身建在巨大的水下鋼盤混凝土平臺上。平臺深入海底100英尺。僅這兩座塔就花了16個月才建成。塔身高出水面將近700英尺。高塔支撐著鋼纜,而鋼纜又懸吊著大橋,4根鋼纜中的每根由26,108股鋼繩組成。據估計,若橋上擺滿了汽車,也只不過是橋的總承載力的1/3。然而,這座橋重要特點不僅是它的規模與強度。盡管此橋很大,但它的結構簡單,造型優美,實現了設計者企圖創造一個“盡量用細線條勾畫出一個龐然大物”的夢想。
Lesson 21   Daniel Mendoza       丹尼爾.門多薩
Boxing matches were very popular in England two hundred years ago. In those days, boxers fought with bare fists for prize money. Because of this, they were known as 'prize-fighters'. However, boxing was very crude, for there were no rules and a prize-fighter could be seriously injured or even killed during a match.
One of the most colourful figures in boxing history was Daniel Mendoza, who was born in 1764. The use of gloves was not introduced until 1860, when the Marquis of Queensberry drew up the first set of rules. Though he was technically a prize-fighter, Mendoza did much to change crude prize-fighting into a sport, for he brought science to the game. In his day, Mendoza enjoyed tremendous popularity. He was adored by rich and poor alike.
Mendoza rose to fame swiftly after a boxing-match when he was only fourteen years old. This attracted the attention of Richard Humphries who was then the most eminent boxer in England. He offered to train Mendoza and his young pupil was quick to learn. In fact, Mendoza soon became so successful that Humphries turned against him. The two men quarrelled bitterly and it was clear that the argument could only be settled by a fight. A match was held at Stilton, where both men fought for an hour. The public bet a great deal of money on Mendoza, but he was defeated. Mendoza met Humphries in the ring on a later occasion and he lost for a second time. It was not until his third match in 1790 that he finally beat Humphries and became Champion of England. Meanwhile, he founded a highly successful Academy and even Lord Byron became one of his pupils. He earned enormous sums of money and was paid as much as 100 pounds for a single appearance. Despite this, he was so extravagant that he was always in debt. After he was defeated by a boxer called Gentleman Jackson, he was quickly forgotten. He was sent to prison for failing to pay his debts and died in poverty in 1836.
兩百年前,拳擊比賽在英國非常盛行。當時,拳擊手們不戴手套,為爭奪獎金而搏斗。因此,他們被稱作“職業拳擊手”。不過,拳擊是十分野蠻的,因為當時沒有任何比賽規則,職業拳擊手有可能在比賽中受重傷,甚至喪命。
拳擊史上最引人注目的人物之一是丹尼爾.門多薩,他生于1764年。1860年昆斯伯里侯爵第一次為拳擊比賽制定了規則,拳擊比賽這才用上了手套。雖然門多薩嚴格來講不過是個職業拳擊手,但在把這種粗野的拳擊變成一種體育運動方面,他作出了重大貢獻。是他把科學引進了這項運動。門多薩在他的全盛時期深受大家歡迎,無論是富人還是窮人都對他祟拜備至。
門多薩在14歲時參加一場拳擊賽后一舉成名。這引起當時英國拳壇名將理查德.漢弗萊斯的注意。他主動提出教授門多薩,而年少的門多薩一學就會。事實上,門多薩不久便名聲大振,致使漢弗萊斯與他反目為敵。兩個人爭吵不休,顯而易見,只有較量一番才能解決問題。于是兩人在斯蒂爾頓設下賽場,廝打了一個小時。公眾把大筆賭注下到了門多薩身上,但他卻輸了。后來,門多薩與漢弗萊斯再次在拳擊場上較量,門多薩又輸了一場。直到1790年他們第3次對壘,門多薩才終于擊敗漢弗萊斯,成了全英拳擊冠軍。同時,他建立了一所拳擊學校,辦得很成功,連拜倫勛爵也成了他的學生。門多薩掙來大筆大筆的錢,一次出場費就多可達100英鎊。盡管收入不少,但他揮霍無度,經常債臺高筑。他被一個叫杰克遜紳士的拳擊手擊敗后很快被遺忘。他因無力還債而被捕入獄,最后于1836年在貧困中死去。
Lesson 24  A skeleton in the cupboard  “家丑
We often read in novels how a seemingly respectable person or family has some terrible secret which has been concealed from strangers for years. The English language possesses a vivid saying to describe this sort of situation. The terrible secret is called ‘a skeleton in the cupboard. At some dramatic moment in the story, the terrible secret becomes known and a reputation is ruined. The reader's hair stands on end when he reads in the final pages of the novel that the heroine, a dear old lady who had always been so kind to everybody, had, in her youth, poisoned every one of her five husbands.
It is all very well for such things to occur in fiction. To varying degrees, we all have secrets which we do not want even our closest friends to learn, but few of us have skeletons in the cupboard. The only person I know who has a skeleton in the cupboard is George Carlton, and he is very proud of the fact. George studied medicine in his youth. Instead of becoming a doctor, however, he became a successful writer of detective stories. I once spent an uncomfortable weekend which I shall never forget at his house. George showed me to the guest-room which, he said, was rarely used. He told me to unpack my things and then come down to dinner. After I had stacked my shirts and underclothes in two empty drawers, I decided to hang one of the two suits I had brought with me in the cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of it petrified. A skeleton was dangling before my eyes. The sudden movement of the door made it sway slightly and it gave me the impression that it was about to leap out at me. Dropping my suit, I dashed downstairs to tell George. This was worse than ‘a terrible secret’; this was a real skeleton! But George was unsympathetic. ‘Oh, that,’ he said with a smile as if he were talking about an old friend. ‘That's Sebastian. You forget that I was a medical student once upon a time. ’
在小說中,我們經常讀到一個表面上受人尊重的人物或家族,卻有著某種多年不為人所知的駭人聽聞的秘密。英語中有一個生動的說法來形容這種情況。驚人的秘密被稱作“柜中骷髏”。在小說的某個戲劇性時刻,可怕的秘密泄漏出來,接著便是某人的聲譽掃地。當讀者讀到小說最后幾頁了解到書中女主人公,那位一向待大家很好的可愛的老婦人年輕時一連毒死了她的5個丈夫時,不禁會毛骨悚然。
這種事發生在小說中是無可非議的。盡管我們人人都有各種大小秘密,連最親密的朋友都不愿讓他們知道,但我們當中極少有人有柜中骷髏。我所認識的唯一的在柜中藏骷髏的人便是喬治·卡爾頓,他甚至引以為自豪。喬治年輕時學過醫,然而,他后來沒當上醫生,卻成了一位成功的偵探小說作家。有一次,我在他家里度周末,過得很不愉快。這事我永遠不會忘記。喬治把我領進客房,說這間房間很少使用。他讓我打開行裝后下樓吃飯。我將襯衫、內衣放進兩個空抽屜里,然后我想把隨身帶來的兩套西服中的一套掛到大衣柜里去。我打開柜門,站在柜門前一下子驚呆了。一具骷髏懸掛在眼前,由于柜門突然打開,它也隨之輕微搖晃起來,讓我覺得它好像馬上要跳出柜門朝我撲過來似的。我扔下西服沖下樓去告訴喬治。這是比“駭人聽聞的秘密”更加驚人的東西,這是一具真正的骷髏??!但喬治卻無動于衷。“噢,是它呀!他笑著說道,儼然在談論一位老朋友。“那是塞巴斯蒂安。你忘了我以前是學醫的了。”
Lesson 27   Nothing to sell and nothing to buy 沒有東西可賣也沒有東西可買
It has been said that everyone lives by selling something. In the light of this statement, teachers live by selling knowledge, philosophers by selling wisdom and priests by selling spiritual comfort. Though it may be possible to measure the value of material good in terms of money, it is extremely difficult to estimate the true value of the services which people perform for us. There are times when we would willingly give everything we possess to save our lives, yet we might grudge paying a surgeon a high fee for offering us precisely this service. The conditions of society are such that skills have to be paid for in the same way that goods are paid for at a shop. Everyone has something to sell.
Tramps seem to be the only exception to this general rule. Beggars almost sell themselves as human beings to arouse the pity of passers-by. But real tramps are not beggars. They have nothing to sell and require nothing from others. In seeking independence, they do not sacrifice their human dignity. A tramp may ask you for money, but he will never ask you to feel sorry for him. He has deliberately chosen to lead the life he leads and is fully aware of the consequences. He may never be sure where the next meal is coming from, but he is free from the thousands of anxieties which afflict other people. His few material possessions make it possible for him to move from place to place with ease. By having to sleep in the open, he gets far closer to the world of nature than most of us ever do. He may hunt, beg, or steal occasionally to keep himself alive; he may even, in times of real need, do a little work; but he will never sacrifice his freedom. We often speak of tramps with contempt and put them in the same class as beggars, but how many of us can honestly say that we have not felt a little envious of their simple way of life and their freedom from care?
據說每個人都靠出售某種東西來維持生活。根據這種說法,教師靠賣知識為生,哲學家靠賣智慧為生,牧師靠賣精神安慰為生。雖然物質產品的價值可以用金錢來衡量,但要估算別人為我們為所提供的服務的價值卻是極其困難的。有時,我們為了挽救生命,愿意付出我們所占有的一切。但就在外科大夫給我們提供了這種服務后,我們卻可能為所支付的昂貴的費用而抱怨。社會上的情況就是如此,技術是必須付錢去買的,就像在商店里要花錢買商品一樣。人人都有東西可以出售。
在這條普遍的規律前面,好像只有流浪漢是個例外,乞丐出售的幾乎是他本人,以引起過路人的憐憫。但真正的流浪并不是乞丐。他們既不出售任何東西,也不需要從別人那兒得到任何東西,在追求獨立自由的同時,他們并不犧牲為人的尊嚴。游浪漢可能會向你討錢,但他從來不要你可憐他。他是故意在選擇過那種生活的,并完全清楚以這種方式生活的后果。他可能從不知道下頓飯有無著落,但他不像有人那樣被千萬樁愁事所折磨。他幾乎沒有什么財產,這使他能夠輕松自如地在各地奔波。由于被迫在露天睡覺,他比我們中許多人都離大自然近得多。為了生存,他可能會去打獵、乞討,偶爾偷上一兩回;確實需要的時候,他甚至可能干一點兒活,但他決不會犧牲自由。說起流浪漢,我們常常帶有輕蔑并把他們與乞丐歸為一類。但是,我們中有多少人能夠坦率地說我們對流浪漢的簡樸生活與無憂無慮的境況不感到有些羨慕呢?
Lesson 33  A day to remember  難忘的一天
 We have all experienced days when everything goes wrong. A day may begin well enough, but suddenly everything seems to get out of control. What invariably happens is that a great number of things choose to go wrong at precisely the same moment. It is as if a single unimportant event set up a chain of reactions. Let us suppose that you are preparing a meal and keeping an eye on the baby at the same time. The telephone rings and this marks the prelude to an unforeseen series of catastrophes. While you are on the phone, the baby pulls the table-cloth off the table, smashing half your best crockery and cutting himself in the process. You hang up hurriedly and attend to baby, crockery, etc. Meanwhile, the meal gets burnt. As if this were not enough to reduce you to tears, your husband arrives, unexpectedly bringing three guests to dinner.
Things can go wrong on a big scale, as a number of people recently discovered in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney. During the rush hour one evening two cars collided and both drivers began to argue. The woman immediately behind the two cars happened to be a learner. She suddenly got into a panic and stopped her car. This made the driver following her brake hard. His wife was sitting beside him holding a large cake. As she was thrown forward, the cake went right through the windscreen and landed on the road. Seeing a cake flying through the air, a lorry–driver who was drawing up alongside the car, pulled up all of a sudden. The lorry was loaded with empty beer bottles and hundreds of them slid off the back of the vehicle and on to the road. This led to yet another angry argument. Meanwhile, the traffic piled up behind. It took the police nearly an hour to get the traffic on the move again. In the meantime, the lorry driver had to sweep up hundreds of broken bottles. Only two stray dogs benefited from all this confusion, for they greedily devoured what was left of the cake. It was just one of those days!
我們大家都有過事事不順心的日子。一天開始時,可能還不錯,但突然間似乎一切都失去了控制。情況經常是這樣的,許許多多的事情都偏偏趕在同一時刻出問題,好像是一件無關緊要的小事引起了一連串的連鎖反應。假設你在做飯,同時又在照看孩子。這時電話鈴響了,它預示著一連串意想不到的災難的來臨。就在你接電話時,孩子把桌布從桌子上扯了下來,將家中最好的陶瓷餐具半數摔碎,同時也弄傷了他自己。你急急忙忙掛上電話,趕去照看孩子和餐具。這時,飯又燒糊了。好像這一切還不足以使你急得掉淚,你的丈夫接著回來了,事先沒打招呼就帶來3個客人吃飯。
就像許多人最近在悉尼郊區帕拉馬塔所發現的那樣,有時亂子會鬧得很大。一天傍晚交通最擁擠時,一輛汽車撞上前面一輛汽車,兩個司機爭吵起來。緊跟其后的一輛車上的司機碰巧是個初學者,她一驚之下突然把車停了下來。她這一停使得跟在后頭的司機也來了個急剎車。司機的妻子正坐在他身邊,手里托著塊大蛋糕。她往前一沖,蛋糕從擋風玻璃飛了出去掉在馬路上。此時,一輛卡車正好從后邊開到那輛汽車邊上,司機看見一塊蛋糕從天而降,緊急剎車??ㄜ嚿涎b著空啤酒瓶,成百只瓶子順勢從卡車后面滑出車外落在馬路上。這又引起了一場唇槍舌劍的爭吵。與此同時,后面的車輛排成了長龍,警察花了將近一個小時才使車輛又開起來。在這段時間里,卡車司機不得不清掃那幾百只破瓶子。只有兩只野狗從這一片混亂中得到了好處,它們貪婪地吃掉了剩下的蛋糕。這就是事事不順心的那么一天!
Lesson 34  A happy discovery  幸運的發現
 Antique shops exert a peculiar fascination on a great many people. The more expensive kind of antique shop where rare objects are beautifully displayed in glass cases to keep them free from dust is usually a forbidding place. But no one has to muster up courage to enter a less pretentious antique shop. There is always hope that in its labyrinth of musty, dark, disordered rooms a real rarity will be found amongst the piles of assorted junk that litter the floors.
No one discovers a rarity by chance. A truly dedicated bargain hunter must have patience, and above all, the ability to recognize the worth of something when he sees it. To do this, he must be at least as knowledgeable as the dealer. Like a scientist bent on making a discovery, he must cherish the hope that one day he will be amply rewarded.
My old friend, Frank Halliday, is just such a person. He has often described to me how he picked up a masterpiece for a mere£50. One Saturday morning, Frank visited an antique shop in my neighbourhood. As he had never been there before, he found a great deal to interest him. The morning passed rapidly and Frank was about to leave when he noticed a large packing-case lying on the floor. The dealer told him that it had just come in, but that he could not be bothered to open it. Frank begged him to do so and the dealer reluctantly prised it open. The contents were disappointing. Apart from an interesting-looking carved dagger, the box was full of crockery, much of it broken. Frank gently lifted the crockery out of the box and suddenly noticed a miniature painting at the bottom of the packing-case. As its Composition and line reminded him of an Italian painting he knew well, he decided to buy it. Glancing at it briefly, the dealer told him that it was worth£50. Frank could hardly conceal his excitement, for he knew that he had made a real discovery. The tiny painting proved to be an unknown masterpiece by Correggio and was worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
古玩店對許多人來說有一種特殊的魅力。高檔一點的古玩店為了防塵,把文物漂亮地陳列在玻璃柜子里,那里往往令人望而卻步。而對不太裝腔作勢的古玩店,無論是誰都不用壯著膽子才敢往里進。人們還常常有希望在發霉、陰暗、雜亂無章、迷宮般的店堂里,從雜亂地擺放在地面上的、一堆堆各式各樣的破爛貨里找到一件稀世珍品。
無論是誰都不會一下子就發現一件珍品。一個到處找便宜貨買的人必須具有耐心,而且最重要的是看到珍品時要有鑒別珍品的能力。要做到這一點,他至少要像古董商一樣在行。他必須像一個專心致志進行探索的科學家那樣抱有這樣的希望,即終有一天,他的努力會取得豐碩的成果。
我的老朋友弗蘭克·哈利戴正是這樣一個人。他多次向我詳細講他如何只花50英鎊便買到一位名家的杰作。一個星期六的上午,弗蘭克去了我家附近的一家古玩店。由于他從未去過那兒,結果他發現了許多有趣的東西。上午很快過去了,弗蘭克正準備離去,突然看見地板上放著一只體積很大的貨箱。古董商告訴他那只貨箱剛到不久,但他嫌麻煩不想把它打開。經弗蘭克懇求,古董商才勉強把貨箱撬開了。箱內東西令人失望。除了一柄式樣別致、雕有花紋的匕首外,貨箱內裝滿了陶器,而且大部分都已破碎。弗蘭克輕輕地把陶器拿出箱子,突然發現在箱底有一幅微型畫,畫面構圖與線條使他想起了一幅他所熟悉的意大利畫,于是他決定將畫買下來。古董商漫不經心看了一眼那幅畫,告訴弗蘭克那畫值50英鎊。弗蘭克幾乎無法掩飾自己興奮的心情,因為他明白自己發現了一件珍品。那幅不大的畫原來是柯勒喬的一幅未被發現的杰作,價值幾十萬英鎊。
Lesson 38   The first calender 最早的日歷
Future historians will be in a unique position when they come to record the history of our own times. They will hardly know which facts to select from the great mass of evidence that steadily accumulates. What is more, they will not have to rely solely on the written word. Films, videos, CDs and CD-ROMS are just some of the bewildering amount of information they will have. They will be able, as it were, to see and hear us in action. But the historian attempting to reconstruct the distant past is always faced with a difficult task. He has to deduce what he can from the few scanty clues available. Even seemingly insignificant remains can shed interesting light on the history of early man.
Up to now, historians have assumed that calendars came into being with the advent of agriculture, for then man was faced with a real need to understand something about the seasons. Recent scientific evidence seems to indicate that this assumption is incorrect.
Historians have long been puzzled by dots, lines and symbols which have been engraved on walls, bones, and the ivory tusks of mammoths. The nomads who made these markings lived by hunting and fishing during the last Ice Age which began about 35,000 B.C. and ended about 10,000 B.C. By correlating markings made in various parts of the world, historians have been able to read this difficult code. They have found that it is connected with the passage of days and the phases of the moon. It is, in fact, a primitive type of calendar. It has long been known that the hunting scenes depicted on walls were not simply a form of artistic expression. They had a definite meaning, for they were as near as early man could get to writing. It is possible that there is a definite relation between these paintings and the markings that sometimes accompany them. It seems that man was making a real effort to understand the seasons 20,000 years earlier than has been supposed.
未來的歷史學家在寫我們這一段歷史的時候會別具一格。對于逐漸積累起來的龐大材料,他們幾乎不知道選取哪些好,而且,也不必完全依賴文字材料。電影、錄像、光盤和光盤驅動器只是能為他們提供令人眼花繚亂的大量信息的幾種手段。他們能夠身臨其境般地觀看我們做事,傾聽我們講話。但是,歷史學家企圖重現遙遠的過去可是一項艱巨的任務,他們必須根據現有的不充分的線索進行推理。即使看起來微不足道的遺物,也可能揭示人類早期歷史的一些有趣的內容。
歷史學家迄今認為日歷是隨農業的問世而出現的,因為當時人們面臨著了解四季的實際需要,但近期科學研究發現,好像這種假設是不正確的。
長期以來,歷史學家一直對雕刻在墻壁上、骨頭上、古代長毛象的象牙上的點、線和形形色色的符號感到困惑不解。這些痕跡是游牧人留下的,他們生活在從公元前約35,000年到公元前10,000年的冰川期的末期,以狩獵、捕魚為生。歷史學家通過把世界各地留下的這種痕跡放在一起研究,終于弄懂了這種費解的代碼。他們發現代碼與晝夜更迭和月亮圓缺有關,事實上是一種最原始的日歷。大家早就知道,畫在墻上的狩獵圖景并不是單純的藝術表現形式,它們有著一定的含義,因為它們已接近古代人的文字形式。有時,這種圖畫與墻壁上的刻痕共存,它們之間可能有一定的聯系??磥砣祟愒缇椭铝τ谔剿魉募咀冞w了,比人們想像的要早20,000年。
Lesson 40  Who's who  真假難辨
It has never been explained why university students seem to enjoy practical jokes more than anyone else. Students specialize in a particular type of practical joke: the hoax. Inviting the fire-brigade to put out a non-existent fire is a crude form of deception which no self-respecting student would ever indulge in. Students often create amusing situations which are funny to everyone except the victims.
When a student recently saw two workmen using a pneumatic drill outside his university, he immediately telephoned the police and informed them that two students dressed up as workmen were tearing up the road with a pneumatic drill. As soon as he had hung up, he went over to the workmen and told them that if a policeman ordered them to go away, they were not to take him seriously. He added that a student had dressed up as a policeman and was playing all sorts of silly jokes on people. Both the police and the workmen were grateful to the student for this piece of advance information.
The student hid in an archway nearby where he could watch and hear everything that went on. Sure enough, a policeman arrived on the scene and politely asked the workmen to go away. When he received a very rude reply from one of the workmen, he threatened to remove them by force. The workmen told him to do as he pleased and the policeman telephoned for help. Shortly afterwards, four more policemen arrived and remonstrated with the workmen. As the men refused to stop working, the police attempted to seize the pneumatic drill. The workmen struggled fiercely and one of them lost his temper. He threatened to call the police. At this, the police pointed out ironically that this would hardly be necessary as the men were already under arrest. Pretending to speak seriously, one of the workmen asked if he might make a telephone call before being taken to the station. Permission was granted and a policeman accompanied him to a pay phone. Only when he saw that the man was actually telephoning the police did he realize that they had all been the victims of a hoax.
誰也弄不清為什么大學生好像比任何人都更喜歡惡作劇。大學生擅長一種特殊的惡作劇——戲弄人。請消防隊來撲滅一場根本沒有的大火是一種低級騙局,有自尊心的大學生決不會去做。大學生們常常做的是制造一種可笑的局面,除了受害者大家都覺得非?;?。
最近有個學生看見兩個工人在大學校門外用風鉆干活,馬上打電話報告警察,說有兩個學生裝扮成工人,正在用風鉆破壞路面。掛上電話后,他又馬上來到工人那兒,告訴他們若有個警察來讓他們走開,不要把他當回事;還對工人說,有個學生常裝扮成警察無聊地同別人開玩笑。警察與工人都對那個學生事先通報情況表示感謝。
那學生躲在附近一拱形門廊里,在那兒可以看見、聽到現場發生的一切。果然,警察來了,有禮貌地請工人離開此地;但其中一個工人粗魯地回了幾句。于是警察威脅要強行使他們離開。工人說,悉聽尊便。警察去打電話叫人。一會兒工夫,又來了4個警察,規勸工人離開。由于工人拒絕停下手中的活,警察想奪風鉆。兩個工人奮力抗爭,其中一個發了火,威脅說要去叫警察。警察聽后譏諷地說,這大可不必,因為他倆已被逮捕了。其中一個工人裝模作樣地問道,在被帶往警察局之前,是否可以打一個電話。警察同意了,陪他來到一個投幣電話前。當他看到那個工人真的是給警察掛電話,才恍然大悟,原來他們都成了一場騙局的受害者。
Lesson 41  Illusions of Pastoral Peace  寧靜田園生活的遐想
 The quiet life of the country has never appealed to me. City born and city bred, I have always regarded the country as something you look at through a train window, or something you occasionally visit during the weekend. Most of my friends live in the city, yet they always go into raptures at the mere mention of the country. Though they extol the virtues of the peaceful life, only one of them has ever gone to live in the country and he was back in town within six months. Even he still lives under the illusion that country life is somehow superior to town life. He is forever talking about the friendly people, the clean atmosphere, the closeness to nature and the gentle pace of living. Nothing can be compared, he maintains, with the first cock crow, the twittering of birds at dawn, the sight of the rising sun glinting on the trees and pastures. This idyllic pastoral scene is only part of the picture. My friend fails to mention the long and friendless winter evenings in front of the TV ---- virtually the only form of entertainment. He says nothing about the poor selection of goods in the shops, or about those unfortunate people who have to travel from the country to the city every day to get to work. Why people are prepared to tolerate a four-hour journey each day for the dubious privilege of living in the country is beyond me. They could be saved so much misery and expense if they chose to live in the city where they rightly belong.
If you can do without the few pastoral pleasures of the country, you will find the city can provide you with the best that life can offer. You never have to travel miles to see your friends. They invariably live nearby and are always available for an informal chat or an evening's entertainment. Some of my acquaintances in the country come up to town once or twice a year to visit the theatre as a special treat. For them this is a major operation which involves considerable planning. As the play draws to its close, they wonder whether they will ever catch that last train home. The city dweller never experiences anxieties of this sort. The latest exhibitions, films, or plays are only a short bus ride away. Shopping, too, is always a pleasure. There is so much variety that you never have to make do with second best. Country people run wild when they go shopping in the city and stagger home loaded with as many of the exotic items as they can carry. Nor is the city without its moments of beauty. There is something comforting about the warm glow shed by advertisements on cold wet winter nights. Few things could be more impressive than the peace that descends on deserted city streets at weekends when the thousands that travel to work every day are tucked away in their homes in the country. It has always been a mystery to me why city dwellers, who appreciate all these things, obstinately pretend that they would prefer to live in the country.
寧靜的鄉村生活從來沒有吸引過我。我生在城市,長在城市,總認為鄉村是透過火車車窗看到的那個樣子,或偶爾周末去游玩一下的景象。我的許多朋友都住在城市,但他們只要一提起鄉村,馬上就會變得欣喜若狂。盡管他們都交口稱贊寧靜的鄉村生活的種種優點,但其中只有一人真去農村住過,而且不足6個月就回來了。即使他也仍存有幻覺,好像鄉村生活就是比城市生活優越。他滔滔不絕地大談友好的農民,潔凈的空氣,貼近大自然的環境和悠閑的生活節奏。他堅持認為,凌晨雄雞第一聲啼叫,黎明時分小鳥吱喳歡叫,冉冉升起的朝陽染紅樹木、牧場,此番美景無與倫比。但這種田園詩般的鄉村風光僅僅是一個側面。我的朋友沒有提到在電視機前度過的漫長寂寞的冬夜——電視是唯一的娛樂形式。他也不說商店貨物品種單調,以及那些每天不得不從鄉下趕到城里工作的不幸的人們。人們為什么情愿每天在路上奔波4個小時去換取值得懷疑的鄉間的優點,我是無法理解的。要是他們愿意住在本來屬于他們的城市,則可以讓他們省去諸多不便與節約大量開支。
如果你愿舍棄鄉下生活那一點點樂趣的話,那么你會發現城市可以為你提供生活中最美好的東西。你去看朋友根本不用跋涉好幾英里,因為他們都住在附近,你隨時可以同他們聊天或在晚上一起娛樂。我在鄉村有一些熟人,他們每年進城來看一回或幾回戲,并把此看作一種特殊的享受??磻蛟谒麄兪羌笫?,需要精心計劃。當戲快演完時,他們又為是否能趕上末班火車回家而犯愁。這種焦慮,城里人是從未體驗過的。坐公共汽車幾站路,就可看到最新的展覽、電影、戲劇。買東西也是一種樂趣。物品品種繁多,從來不必用二等品來湊合。鄉里人進城采購欣喜若狂,每次回家時都買足了外來商品,直到拿不動方才罷休,連走路都搖搖晃晃的。城市也并非沒有良辰美景。寒冷潮濕的冬夜里,廣告燈箱發出的暖光,會給人某種安慰。周末,當成千上萬進城上班的人回到了他們的鄉間寓所之后,空曠的街市籠罩著一種寧靜的氣氛,沒有什么能比此時的寧靜更令人難忘了。城里人對這一切心里很明白,卻偏要執拗地裝出他們喜歡住在鄉村的樣子,這對我來說一直是個謎。
Lesson 42   Modern cavemen     現代洞穴人
Cave exploration, or pot-holing, as it has come to be known, is a relatively new sport. Perhaps it is the desire for solitude or the chance of making an unexpected discovery that lures people down to the depths of the earth. It is impossible to give a satisfactory explanation for a pot-holer's motives. For him, caves have the same peculiar fascination which high mountains have for the climber. They arouse instincts which can only be dimly understood.
Exploring really deep caves is not a task for the Sunday afternoon rambler. Such undertakings require the precise planning and foresight of military operations. It can take as long as eight days to rig up rope ladders and to establish supply bases before a descent can be made into a very deep cave. Precautions of this sort are necessary, for it is impossible to foretell the exact nature of the difficulties which will confront the pot-holer. The deepest known cave in the world is the Gouffre Berger near Grenoble. It extends to a depth of 3,723 feet. This immense chasm has been formed by an underground stream which has tunneled a course through a flaw in the rocks. The entrance to the cave is on a plateau in the Dauphine Alps. As it is only six feet across, it is barely noticeable. The cave might never have been discovered had not the entrance been spotted by the distinguished French pot-holer, Berger. Since its discovery, it has become a sort of pot-holers' Everest(珠峰). Though a number of descents have been made, much of it still remains to be explored.
 
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