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天下分享 3093

天下 分享




It is a good thing my aunt Harriet died years ago. If she were alive today she would not be able to air her views on her favourite topic of conversation: domestic servants. Aunt Harriet lived in that leisurely age when servants were employed to do housework. She had a huge, rambling country house called 'The Gables'. She was sentimentally attached to this house, for even though it was far too big for her needs, she persisted in living there long after her husband's death. Before she grew old, Aunt Harriet used to entertain lavishly. I often visited The Gables when I was a boy. No matter how many guests were present, the great house was always immaculate. The parquet floors shone like mirrors; highly polished silver was displayed in gleaming glass cabinets; even my uncle's huge collection of books was kept miraculously free from dust. Aunt Harriet presided over an invisible army of servants that continuously scrubbed, cleaned, and polished. She always referred to them as 'the shifting population', for they came and went with such frequency that I never even got a chance to learn their names. Though my aunt pursued what was, in those days, an enlightened policy, in that she never allowed her domestic staff to work more than eight hours a day, she was extremely difficult to please. While she always criticized the fickleness of human nature, she carried on an unrelenting search for the ideal servant to the end of her days, even after she had been sadly disillusioned by Bessie.

Bessie worked for Aunt Harriet for three years. During that time she so gained my aunt's confidence that she was put in charge of the domestic staff. Aunt Harriet could not find words to praise Bessie's industriousness and efficiency. In addition to all her other qualifications, Bessie was an expert cook. She acted the role of the perfect servant for three years before Aunt Harriet discovered her 'little weakness'. After being absent from the Gables for a week, my aunt unexpectedly returned one afternoon with a party of guests and instructed Bessie to prepare dinner. No only was the meal well below the usual standard, but Bessie seemed unable to walk steadily. She bumped into the furniture and kept mumbling about the guests. When she came in with the last course -- a huge pudding -- she tripped on the carpet and the pudding went flying through the air, narrowly missed my aunt, and crashed on the dining table with considerable force. Though this caused great mirth among the guests, Aunt Harriet was horrified. She reluctantly came to the conclusion that Bessie was drunk. The guests had, of course, realized this from the moment Bessie opened the door for them and, long before the final catastrophe, had had a difficult time trying to conceal their amusement. The poor girl was dismissed instantly. After her departure, Aunt Harriet discovered that there were piles of empty wine bottles of all shapes and sizes neatly stacked in what had once been Bessie's wardrobe. They had mysteriously found their way there from the wine cellar!





rambling adj. 杂乱无章的

sentimentally adv. 感情上,多情地

lavishly adv. 慷慨地,大方地

immaculate adj. 清洁的,无污点的

parquet n. 镶木地板

gleam v. 发亮,闪光

preside v. 指挥

invisible adj. 看不见的,无形的

scrub v. 擦拭,刷洗

enlightened adj. 开明的

fickleness n. 变化无常

unrelenting adj. 不屈不挠的,不松懈的

disillusion v. 使幻想破灭

industriousness n. 勤奋

qualification n. 资格,能力

mirth n. 欢笑,高兴

stack v. 整齐地堆放

cellar n. 地窖



The New Year is a time for resolutions. Mentally, at least, most of us could compile formidable lists of 'dos' and 'don'ts'. The same old favorites recur year in year out with monotonous regularity. We resolve to get up earlier each morning, eat less, find more time to play with the children, do a thousand and one jobs about the house, be nice to people we don't like, drive carefully, and take the dog for a walk every day. Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. If we remain inveterate smokers, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure. Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. We also make the fundamental error of announcing our resolutions to everybody so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways. Aware of these pitfalls, this year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself. I limited myself to two modest ambitions: to do physical exercise every morning and to read more of an evening. An all-night party on New Year's Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on the first day of the year, but on the second, I applied myself assiduously to the task.

The daily exercises lasted only eleven minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before anyone had got up. The self-discipline required to drag myself out of bed eleven minutes earlier than usual was considerable. Nevertheless, I managed to creep down into the living room for two days before anyone found me out. After jumping about on the carpet and twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me. The next morning the whole family trooped in to watch the performance. That was really unsettling, but I fended off the taunts and jibes of the family good-humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea. However, my enthusiasm waned. The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. Little by little the eleven minutes fell to zero. By January 10th, I was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning, I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home form work Resisting the hypnotizing effect of television, I sat in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to a book. One night, however, feeling cold and lonely, I went downstairs and sat in front of the television pretending to read. That proved to be my undoing, for I soon got back to my old bad habit of dozing off in front of the screen. I still haven't given up my resolution to do more reading. In fact, I have just bought a book entitled How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute. Perhaps it will solve my problem, but I just haven't had time to read it!



早锻炼一共只有11分钟,我打算在别人起床之前进行。这就要求我比平时早11分钟把自己从床上拽起来,这种自我约束是很艰苦的。不过开头两天我还是成功地蹑手蹑脚地来到楼下起居室,被谁也没发现。我在地毯上跳来蹦过去,扭曲身子,摆出各种姿势,弄得浑身不舒服,然后坐到桌边吃早饭,一副筋疲力尽的样子。正是这副模样泄露了我的秘密。第二天早晨全家人结队来到起居室看我表演。这真叫人不好意思,但我心平气和地顶住全家人的嘲笑和奚落。不久,大家对我习以为常了,而这时我的热情却减退了。我花在锻炼上的时间逐渐减少,慢慢地从11分钟减到了零。到了1月 10日,我恢复了原来的作息时间。我辩解说,早晨少耗费精力锻炼,晚上下班回家看书时头脑更清醒些。有几天晚上,我极力摆脱了电视的诱惑,坐在自己的房间里,两眼盯在书上。可是,有一天夜里,我感到又冷又孤单,便来到楼下坐在电视机前假装看书。这下我可完了,因为不一会儿,我就恢复了以前的坏习惯,在屏幕前打起瞌睡来。但我还没有放弃多看些书的决心。事上,我刚买来一本叫《一分钟读一千字的诀窍》的书。也许这本书能解决我的问题,但我一直还没时间去看这本书!


resolution n. 决心

mentally adv. 内心里

compile v. 编辑,编制

formidable adj. 令人畏惧的

recur v. 再发生,又出现

regularity n. 规律性

accomplishment n. 成就

attainment n. 达到

inveterate adj. 根深蒂固的

self-improvement n. 自我完善

cheme n. 简单的计划,方案

ambitious adj. 雄心勃勃的

pitfall n. 意外的困难,易犯的错误

modest adj. 要求不过分的

assiduously adv. 刻苦地

self-discipline n. 自我约束

frame n. 躯体

betray v. 暴露,显露

troop v. 成群结队地走动

unsettle v. 使不安

taunt n. 嘲笑,奚落人的话

jibe n. 嘲弄,挖苦

good-humouredly adv. 和气地,心情好地

wane v. 逐渐变小,变弱

diminish v. 减少,缩小

hypnotize v. 使欲睡,使朦胧

undoing n. 祸根,毁灭的原因

screen n. 电视机屏幕



Predicting the future is notoriously difficult. Who could have imagined, in the mid 1970s, for example, that by the end of the 20th century, computers would be as common in people's homes as TV sets? In the 1970s, computers were common enough, but only in big business, government departments, and large organizations. These were the so-called mainframe machines. Mainframe computers were very large indeed, often occupying whole air-conditioned rooms, employing full-time technicians and run on specially-written software. Though these large machines still exist, many of their functions have been taken over by small powerful personal computers, commonly known as PCs.

In 1975, a primitive machine called the Altair, was launched in the USA. It can properly be described as the first 'home computer' and it pointed the way to the future. This was followed, at the end of the 1970s, by a machine called an Apple. In the early 1980s, the computer giant, IBM produced the world's first Personal Computer. This ran on an 'operating system' called DOS, produced by a then small company named Microsoft. The IBM Personal Computer was widely copied. From those humble beginnings, we have seen the development of the user-friendly home computers and multimedia machines which are in common use today.

Considering how recent these developments are, it is even more remarkable that as long ago as the 1960s, an Englishman, Leon Bagrit, was able to predict some of the uses of computers which we know today. Bagrit dismissed the idea that computers would learn to 'think' for themselves and would 'rule the world', which people liked to believe in those days. Bagrit foresaw a time when computers would be small enough to hold in the hand, when they would be capable of providing information about traffic jams and suggesting alternative routes, when they would be used in hospitals to help doctors to diagnose illnesses, when they would relieve office workers and accountants of dull, repetitive clerical work. All these computer uses have become commonplace. Of course, Leon Bagrit could not possibly have foreseen the development of the Internet, the worldwide system that enables us to communicate instantly with anyone in any part of the world by using computers linked to telephone networks. Nor could he have foreseen how we could use the Internet to obtain information on every known subject, so we can read it on a screen in our homes and even print it as well if we want to. Computers have become smaller and smaller, more and more powerful and cheaper and cheaper. This is what makes Leon Bagrit's predictions particularly remarkable. If he, or someone like him, were alive today, he might be able to tell us what to expect in the next fifty years.


众所周知,预测未来是非常困难的。举个例子吧,在20世纪70年代中叶又有谁能想得到在20世纪末的时候,家庭用的计算机会像电视机一样普遍?在70年代,计算机已经相当普及了,但只用在大公司,政府部门和大的组织之中,它们被称为主机。计算机主机确实很大,常常占据了装有空调的多间房间,雇用专职的技师,而且得用专门编写的软件才能运行。虽然这种大计算机仍然存在,但它们的许多功能已被体积小但功能齐全的个人电脑——即我们常说的 PC机——所代替了。




notoriously adv. (尤指因坏事)众所周知地

full-time adj. 专职的

technician n. 技师

software n. 软件

user-friendly adj. 容易操作的,好用的

mainframe n. 主机,中央处理机

multimedia adj. 多媒体的

alternative adj. 选择的

diagnose v. 诊断

relieve v. 减轻

accountant n. 会计

repetitive adj. 重复的

clerical adj. 办公室工作的

Internet n. 国际交互网

network n. 网络



My cousin, Harry, keeps a large curiously-shaped bottle on permanent display in his study. Despite the fact that the bottle is tinted a delicate shade of green, an observant visitor would soon notice that it is filled with what looks like a thick, grayish substance. If you were to ask Harry what was in the bottle, he would tell you that it contained perfumed mud. If you expressed doubt or surprise, he would immediately invite you to smell it and then to rub some into your skin. This brief experiment would dispel any further doubts you might have. The bottle really does contain perfumed mud. How Harry came into the possession of this outlandish stuff makes an interesting story which he is fond of relating. Furthermore, the acquisition of this bottle cured him of a bad habit he had been developing for years.

Harry used to consider it a great joke to go into expensive cosmetic shops and make outrageous requests for goods that do not exist. He would invent fanciful names on the spot. On entering a shop, he would ask for a new perfume called 'Scented Shadow' or for 'insoluble bath cubes'. If a shop assistant told him she had not heard of it, he would pretend to be considerably put out. He loved to be told that one of his imaginary products was temporarily out of stock and he would faithfully promise to call again at some future date, but of course he never did. How Harry managed to keep a straight face during these performances is quite beyond me.

Harry does not need to be prompted to explain how he bought his precious bottle of mud. One day, he went to an exclusive shop in London and asked for 'Myrolite', the shop assistant looked puzzled and Harry repeated the word, slowly stressing each syllable. When the woman shook her head in bewilderment, Harry went on to explain that 'myrolite' was a hard, amber-like substance which could be used to remove freckles. This explanation evidently conveyed something to the woman who searched shelf after shelf. She produced all sorts of weird concoctions, but none of them met with Harry's requirements. When Harry put on his act of being mildly annoyed, the assistant promised to order some for him. Intoxicated by his success, Harry then asked for perfumed mud. He expected the assistant to look at him in blank astonishment. However, it was his turn to be surprised, for the woman's eyes immediately lit up and she fetched several bottles which she placed on the counter for Harry to inspect. For once, Harry had to admit defeat. He picked up what seemed to be the smallest bottle and discreetly asked the price. He was glad to get away with a mere twenty pounds and he beat a hasty retreat, clutching the precious bottle under his arm. From then on, Harry decided that this little game he had invented might prove to be expensive. The curious bottle, which now adorns the bookcase in his study, was his first and last purchase of rare cosmetics.






permanent adj. 永久的

tint v. 给……染色

delicate adj. 淡色的

shade n. 色度

observant adj. 观察力敏锐的

greyish adj. 浅灰色的

dispel v. 驱散,消除

outlandish adj. 稀奇古怪的

acquisition n. 获得

cosmetic n. 化妆品

outrageous adj. 无理的,令人不能容忍的

fanciful adj. 想像出来的

insoluble adj. 不可溶解的

prompt v. 敦促,激励

exclusive adj. 专售高档商品的

syllable n. 音节

bewilderment n. 迷惑,糊涂

freckle n. 雀斑

evidently adv. 显然的,明显地

weird adj. 奇异的,古怪的

concoction n. 调制品

intoxicate v. 陶醉,得意忘形

blank adj. 无表情的,茫然的

discreetly adv. 谨慎地

clutch v. 抓住

adorn v. 装饰,打扮



The Scandinavian countries are much admired all over the world for their enlightened social policies. Sweden has evolved an excellent system for protecting the individual citizen from high-handed or incompetent public officers. The system has worked so well, that it has been adopted in other countries too.

The Swedes were the first to recognize that public official like civil servants, police officers, health inspectors or tax-collectors can make mistakes or act over-zealously in the belief that they are serving the public. As long ago as 1809, the Swedish Parliament introduced a scheme to safeguard the interest of the individual. A parliamentary committee representing all political parties appoints a person who is suitably qualified to investigate private grievances against the State. The official title of the person is 'Justiteombudsman', but the Swedes commonly refer to him as the 'J.O.' or 'Ombudsman'. The Ombudsman is not subject to political pressure. He investigates complaints large and small that come to him from all levels of society. As complaints must be made in writing, the Ombudsman receives an average of 1,200 letters a year. He has eight lawyer assistants to help him and examines every single letter in detail. There is nothing secretive about the Ombudsman's work, for his correspondence is open to public inspection. If a citizen's complaint is justified, the Ombudsman will act on his behalf. The action he takes varies according to the nature of the complaint. He may gently reprimand an official or even suggest to parliament that a law be altered. The following case is a typical example of the Ombudsman's work.

A foreigner living in a Swedish village wrote to the Ombudsman complaining that he had been ill-treated by the police, simply because he was a foreigner. The Ombudsman immediately wrote to the Chief of Police in the district asking him to send a record of the case. There was nothing in the record to show that the foreigner's complaint was justified and the Chief of Police strongly denied the accusation. It was impossible for the Ombudsman to take action, but when he received a similar complaint from another foreigner in the same village, he immediately sent one of his lawyers to investigate the matter. The lawyer ascertained that a policeman had indeed dealt roughly with foreigners on several occasions. The fact that the policeman was prejudiced against foreigners could not be recorded in the official files. It was only possible for the Ombudsman to find this out by sending one of his representatives to check the facts. The policeman in question was severely reprimanded and was informed that if any further complaints were lodged against him, he would be prosecuted. The Ombudsman's prompt action at once put an end to an unpleasant practice which might have gone unnoticed.






evolve v. 逐渐形成

high-handed adj. 高压的,专横的

incompetent adj. 不够格的,不称职的

over-zealously adv. 过分热情地

safeguard v. 保护

parliamentary adj. 国会的

qalified adj. 合格的

grievance n. 不平,冤屈

Justiteombudsman n. (瑞典的)司法特派员

ombudsman n. (瑞典和英国的)司法特派员

secretive adj. 保密的

correspondence n. 来往信件

alter v. 改变

accusation n. 谴责,指控

ascertain v. 查出,查明

prejudiced adj. 有偏见的,不公平的

prompt adj. 即时的


★ 新概念英语第三册第57课:Back in the old country

★ 新概念英语第三册第55课:From the earth Greetings

★ lessons 28~30新概念英语第三册课后答案详解

★ 新概念英语第三册第6课:Smash-and-grab

★ 新概念英语第三册

★ 新概念英语

★ 新概念英语第三册第35课:Justice was done

★ 新概念英语第三册第6课:Smash-and-grab