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英语美文生活的法则

作者:admin    文章来源:盐田区外国语学校    更新时间:2017-12-29

  What do I believe? What laws do I live by? There are so many answers—work, beauty, truth, love—and I hope I do live by them.
  But in everyday things I live by the light of a supplementary[额外的] set of laws. I’d better call them rules of thumb[经验法则]. Rules of thumb aren’t very grand, but they do make the wheels go round.
  My father and mother sent me to good schools, but the finest thing they did for my education was to have seven children. I was the oldest, and my brothers and sisters were my best teachers.
  I learned first to pull my own weight in the boat[尽力做好本职工作]. Kids making a bob-sled[雪橇] have no use for the loafer[流浪者] who wants a free ride. Neither has the world. I learned to make the bed I slept in, and wash the glass I used, and mend what I broke, and mop up[擦干] where I spilled[溢出]. And if I was too lazy or too dainty[挑剔的] or too busy, and left it for someone else, somebody else soon taught me different.
  什么为我所信仰?什么是我生活的法则?答案有很多——工作、美丽、真理和爱——但愿我能以它们为准则生活。
  但在日常生活中,我还遵循着一套附加法则,即经验法则。这一法则并不十分高深,但它们确实能使事情顺利地进行。
  我的父母把我送到很好的学校学习,但他们在教育方面做得最好的事情就是养育了七个孩子。作为家中长女,我的弟弟妹妹们就是我最好的老师。
  我首先学会了履行长女的职责。对一个想搭顺风车的流浪者来说,会做雪橇的孩子毫无用处。这样的孩子对世界也没什么用处。我学会了自己铺床、洗自己用过的杯子、修补我弄坏的东西和擦干我弄湿的地方。如果我过于懒惰、挑剔或忙碌,而把这些事留给别人来做,那么很快就有人教我不能这样。
  Then, the same way, I learned that anger is a waste. It hurts nobody but me. A fit of the sullens[不高兴] got short shrift[忽视] in our house. It wasn’t pulling my weight in the boat. It was spoiling[扫兴] sport. And among seven children it got me nowhere[一事无成]. It might reduce four o’cat注1 to three o’cat, but the game went on just the same, and where was I? Out of it. Better go in and join the group around the piano and forget my grievance[委屈]. Better still, next time don’t fling down[猛然扔下] my bat[球棒] in a tantrum[发脾气]; keep my temper, and stay in the game. Here’s a rule of thumb that’s important, and the older I get, the more important I think it is. When I can do something, and somebody wants me to do it, I have to do it. The great tragedy[悲剧] of life is not to be needed. As long as you are able and willing to do things for people, you will be needed. Of course you are able; and if so, you can’t say no. My mother is 77. In 77 years she has never said no. Today she is so much in demand by 13 grandchildren and countless neighbors that her presence[存在, 出席] is eagerly contended[争夺] for. When I want to see her I have to pretend emergency[紧急情况].

  Then there’s the rule of curiosity. Your body would die if you stopped feeling hunger and thirst, and your mind will die if you lose your curiosity. This I learned from my father. My father was a naturalist[博物学家]. He could see the beetle[甲虫] under the bark[树皮], and draw it forth unharmed[没有受伤的] for us to squint[眯着眼看] at through the magnifying glass[放大镜]. He sampled[品尝] the taste of 33 different caterpillars[毛毛虫]. Fired[激发] by his example, once, my sister ate an ant. In case you are wondering, caterpillars taste like the green leaves they eat, and ants taste of lemon. I personally haven’t tasted any entomological specimens[昆虫标本] lately, but I am still rejoicing[高兴的] in the limitless curiosity, that draws me to books and people and places. I hope I never lose it. It would be like pulling down the blind.
  其次,同样地,我懂得了生气于事无补。除了我自己,愤怒伤害不了任何人。在我们家,闷闷不乐是不会有人搭理你的。尽管这并不是我的责任,却会令人觉得扫兴。何况在七个孩子中间生闷气对我毫无用处。没有我,“四只老猫”的游戏变成“三只老猫”,照样可以玩得很好。而我呢?只能被排除在外。最好的办法是,忘掉自己的委屈,加入他们,和大家一起围着钢琴玩。最好下次不要发脾气把球棒扔掉;控制住情绪,继续玩游戏。

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