新概念英语朗诵比赛决赛材料

Passage one The double life of Alfred Bloggs

These days, people who do manual work often receive far more money than people who work in offices. People who work in offices are frequently referred to as "white-collar workers' for the simple reason that they usually wear a collar and tie to go to work. Such is human nature, that a great many people are often willing to sacrifice higher pay for the privilege of becoming white-collar workers. This can give rise to curious situations, as it did in the case of Alfred Bloggs who worked as a dustman for the Ellesmere Corporation.

When he got married, Alf was too embarrassed to say anything to his wife about his job. He simply told her that he worked for the Corporation. Every morning, he left home dressed in a smart black suit. He then changed into overalls and spent the next eight hours as a dustman. Before returning home at night, he took a shower and changed back into his suit. Alf did this for over two years and his fellow dustmen kept his secret Alf's wife has never discovered that she married a dustman and she never will, for Alf has just found another job. He will soon be working in an office. He will be earning only half as much as he used to, but he feels that his rise in status is well worth the loss of money. From now on, he will wear a suit all day and others will call him 'Mr. Bloggs', not 'Alf'. (250)

manual adj. 体力的                                  collar n. 衣领
sacrifice v. 牺牲,献出                            privilege n. 好处
dustman n. 清洁工                                  corporation n. 公司
overalls n. 工作服                                    shower n. 淋浴
secret n. 秘密                                           status n. 地位

参考译文:

如今,从事体力劳动的人的收入一般要比坐办公室的人高出许多。坐办公室的之所以常常被称作“白领工人”,就是因为他们通常是穿着硬领白衬衫,系着领带去上班。许多人常常情愿放弃较高的薪水以换取做白领工人的殊荣,此乃人之常情。而这常常会引起种种奇怪的现象,在埃尔斯米尔公司当清洁工的艾尔弗雷德.布洛斯就是一个例子。 艾尔弗结婚时,感到非常难为情,而没有将自己的职业告诉妻子。他只说在埃尔斯米尔公司上班。每天早晨,他穿上一身漂亮的黑色西装离家上班,然后换上工作服,当8个小时清洁工。晚上回家前,他洗个淋浴,重新换上那身黑色西服。两年多以来,艾尔弗一直这样,他的同事也为他保守秘密。艾尔弗的妻子一直不知道她嫁给了一个清洁工,而且她永远也不会知道了,因为艾尔弗已找到薪职,不久就要坐办公室里工作了。他将来挣的钱只有他现在的一半。不过他觉得,地位升高了,损失点儿钱也值得。从此,艾尔弗可以一天到晚穿西服了。别人将称呼他为“布洛格斯先生”,而不再叫他“艾尔弗”了。

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Passage two The facts

Editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes to provide their reader with unimportant facts and statistics. Last year a journalist had been instructed by a well-known magazine to write an article on the president's palace in a new African republic. When the article arrived, the editor read the first sentence and then refuse to publish it. The article began: 'Hundreds of steps lead to the high wall which surrounds the president's palace'. The editor at once sent the journalist a fax instructing him find out the exact number of steps and the height of the wall.

The journalist immediately set out to obtain these important facts, but the took a long time to send them Meanwhile, the editor was getting impatient, for the magazine would soon go to press. He sent the journalist two more faxes, but received no reply. He sent yet another fax informing the journalist that if he did not reply soon he would be fired. When the journalist again failed to reply, the editor reluctantly published the article as it had originally been written. A week later, the editor at last received a fax from the journalist. Not only had the poor man been arrested, but he had been sent to prison as well. However, he had at last been allowed to send a fax in which he informed the editor that the he had been arrested while counting the 1,084 steps leading to the fifteen-foot wall which surrounded the president's palace. (248)

editor n. 编辑                                           extreme n. 极端
statistics n. 统计数字                             journalist n. 新闻记者
president n. 总统                                    palace n. 王宫;宏伟的住宅
publish v. 出版                                        fax n. 传真
impatient adj. 不耐烦的                         fire v. 解雇
originally adv. 起初,原先,从前

参考译文:

报刊杂志的编辑常常为了向读者提供成立一些关紧要的事实和统计数字而走向极端。去年,一位记者受一家有名的杂志的委托写一篇关于非洲某个新成立共和国总统府的文章。稿子寄来后,编辑看第一句话就拒绝予以发表。文章的开头是这样的:“几百级台阶通向环绕总统的高墙。”编辑立即给那位记者发去传真,要求他核实一下台阶的确切数字和围墙的高度。 记者立即出发去核实这些重要的事实,但过了好长时间不见他把数字寄来,在此期间,编辑等得不耐烦了,因为杂志马上要付印。他给记者先后发去两份传真,但对方毫无反应。于是他又发了一份传真,通知那位记者说,若再不迅速答复,将被解雇。但记者还是没有回复。编辑无奈,勉强按原样发稿了。一周之后,编辑终于接到记者的传真。那个可怜的记者不仅被捕了,而且还被送进了监狱。不过,他终于获准发回了一份传真。在传真中他告诉编辑,就在他数通向15英尺高的总统府围墙的1,084级台阶时,被抓了起来。

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Passage three Smash-and-grab

The expensive shops in a famous near Piccadilly were just "opening. At this time of the morning, the arcade was almost empty. Mr. Taylor, the owner of a jewellery shop was admiring a new display. Two of his assistants had been working busily since eight o'clock and had only just finished. Diamond necklaces and rings had been beautifully arranged on a background of black velvet. After gazing at the display for several minutes, Mr. Taylor went back into his shop.

The silence was suddenly broken when a large car, with its headlights on and its home blaring, roared down the arcade. It came to a stop outside the jeweller's. One man stayed at the wheel while two others with black stocking over their faces jumped out and smashed the window of the shop with iron bars. While this was going on, Mr. Taylor was upstairs. He and his staff began throwing furniture out of the window. Chairs and tables went flying into the arcade. One of the thieves was struck by a heavy statue, but he was too busy helping himself to diamonds to notice any pain. The raid was all over in three minutes, for the men scrambled back into the car and it moved off at a fantastic speed. Just as it was leaving, Mr. Taylor rushed out and ran after it throwing ashtrays and vases, but it was impossible to stop the thieves. They had got away with thousands of pounds worth of diamonds. (247)

smash-and-grab n. 砸橱窗抢劫              arcade n. 有拱廊的街道
Piccadilly n.皮卡迪利大街                        jewllery n. 珠宝(总称)
Necklace n.项链                                        ring n. 戒指
Background n. 背景                                   velvet n. 天鹅绒,丝绒
Headlight n. (汽车等)前灯                   blare v.发嘟嗜声,吼叫
Staff n. 全体工作人员                                 raid n. 偷袭
Scramble n. 偷袭                                       scramble v. 爬行
Fantastic adj. 非常大的                             ashtray n. 烟灰缸

参考译文:

皮卡迪利大街附近的一条著名拱廊街道上,几家高档商店刚刚开始营业。在早晨的这个时候,拱廊街上几乎空无一人。珠宝店主泰勒先生正在欣赏新布置的橱窗。他手下两名店员从早上8点就开始忙碌,这时刚刚布置完毕。钻石项链、戒指漂亮地陈列在黑色丝绒上面。泰勒先生站在橱窗外凝神欣赏了几分钟就回到了店里。 宁静突然被打破,一辆大轿车亮着前灯,响着喇叭,呼啸着冲进了拱廊街,在珠宝店门口停了下来。一人留在驾驶座上,另外两个用黑色长筒丝袜蒙面的人跳下车来。他们用铁棒把商店橱窗的玻璃砸碎。这开始发生时,泰勒先生正在楼上。他与店员动手向窗外投掷家具,椅子,桌子飞落花流水在拱廊街上。一个窃贼被一尊很重的雕像击中,但由于他忙着抢钻石首饰,竟连疼痛都顾不上了。这场抢劫只持续了3分钟,因为窃贼争先恐后地爬上轿车,以惊人的速度开跑了。就在轿车离开的时候,泰勒先生从店里冲了出来,跟在车后追赶,一边还往车上扔烟灰缸、花瓶。但他已无法抓住那些窃贼了。他们已带着价值数千镑的首饰逃之夭夭了。

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Passage four The loss of the Titanic

The great ship, Titanic, sailed for New York from Southampton on April 10th, 1912. She was carrying 1,316 passengers and crew of 891. Even by modern standards, the 46,000 ton Titanic was a colossal ship. At the time, however, she was not only the largest ship that had ever been built, but was regarded as unsinkable, for she had sixteen watertight compartments. Even if two of these were flooded, she would still be able to float. The tragic sinking of this great liner will always be remembered, for she went down on her first voyage with heavy loss of life.

Four days after setting out, while the Titanic was sailing across the icy water of the North Atlantic, huge iceberg was suddenly spotted by a lookout. After the alarm had been given, the great ship turned sharply to avoid a direct collision. The Titanic turned just in time, narrowly missing the immense walk of ice, which rose over 100 feet out of the water beside her. Suddenly, there was a slight trembling sound from below, and the captain went down to see what had happened. The noise had been so faint that no one though that the ship had been damaged. Below, the captain realized to his horror that the Titanic was sinking rapidly, for five of her sixteen watertight compartments had already been flooded! The order to abandon ship was given and hundreds of people plunged into the icy water. As there were not enough lifeboats for everybody, 1,500 lives were lost.(253)

Southampton n. 南安普敦                      colossal adj. 庞大的
Watertight adj. 不漏水的                         compartment n.(轮船的)密封舱
Flood v. 充满水                                         float v. 漂浮,飘浮
Tragic adj. 悲惨的                                    liner n. 班船
Voyage n. 航行                                         iceberg n. 冰山
Lookout n. 了望员                                    collision n. 碰撞
Narrowly adv. 刚刚,勉强地                   miss v. 避开
Slight adj. 轻微的                                     tremble v. 震颤
Faint adj. 微弱的                                       horror n. 恐惧
Abandon v. 抛弃                                        plunge v. 投入,跳入
Lifeboat n. 救生船

参考译文:

巨轮“泰坦尼克”号1912年4月10日从南安普敦起锚驶向纽约。船上载有1,316名乘客与891名船员。却使用现代标准来衡量,45,000 吨的“泰坦尼克”号与算得上一艘巨轮了。当时,这艘轮船不仅是造船史上建造的最大的一艘船,而且也被认为是不会沉没的。因为船由16个密封舱组成,即使有两个舱进水,仍可漂浮的水面上。然而,这艘巨轮首航就下沉,造成大批人员死亡。人们将永远记着这艘巨轮的沉没惨剧。 “泰坦尼克”起航后的第4天,它正行驶在北大西洋冰冷的海面上。突然,了望员发现一座冰山。警报响过不久,巨轮急转弯,以避免与冰山正面相撞。“泰坦尼克”这个弯拐得及时,紧贴着高出海面100英尺的巨大的冰墙擦过去。突然,从船舱下部传来一声微颤音,船长走下船舱去查看究竟。由于这个声音非常轻,没人会想到船身已遭损坏。在下面,船长惊恐的地发现“泰坦尼克”号正在急速下沉,16个密封舱已有5个进水。于是,他发出弃船的命令,几百人跳进了冰冷刺骨的海水里。由于没有足够的救生艇运载所有乘客,结果,1,500 人丧生。

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Passage five Notguilty

Customs Officers are quite tolerant these days, but they can still stop you when you are going through the Green Channel and have nothing to declare. Even really honest people are often made to feel guilty. The hardened professional smuggler, on the other hand, is never troubled by such feelings, even if he has five hundred gold watches hidden in his suitcase. When I returned form abroad recently, a particularly officious young Customs Officer clearly regarded me as a smuggler.
    'Have you anything to declare?' he asked, looking me in the eye.
    'No', I answered confidently.
    'Would you mind unlocking this suitcase please?'
    'Not at all,' I answered.
    The Officer went through the case with great care. All the thing I had packed so carefully were soon in a dreadful mess. I felt sure I would never be able to close the case again. Suddenly, I saw the Officer's face light up. He had spotted a tiny bottle at the bottom of my case and he pounced on it with delight.
    'Perfume, eh?' he asked sarcastically. 'You should have declared that. Perfume is not exempt from import duty.'
    'But it isn't perfume,' I said. 'It's hair gel.' Then I added with a smile, 'It's a strange mixture I make myself.'
    As I expected, he did not believe me.
    'Try it!' I said encouragingly.
    The officer unscrewed the cap and put the bottle to his nostrils. He was greeted by an unpleasant smell which convinced him that I was telling the truth. A few minutes later, I was able to hurry away with precious chalk marks on my baggage.(258)

guilty: ['gilti] adj. 犯罪的,违法的                  tolerant: ['tɔlərənt] adj. 宽容的
declare: [di'klɛ;ə] v. 申报                                professional: [prə'feʃənəl] adj. 职业的,专业的
smuggler: ['smʌglə] n. 走私者                    officious: [ə'fiʃəs] adj. 爱管闲事的
confidently: ['kɔnfədəntli] adv. 自信地        dreadful: ['dredfəl] adj. 可怕的,一团糟的
pounce: [pauns] v. 猛抓,扑住                    perfume: ['pə:fju:m] n. 香水
sarcastically:[sɑ:r'kæstikəli] adv. 讽刺地  exempt: [ig'zempt] adj. 被免除的
duty: ['dju:ti] n. 税                                           gel: [dʒel] n. 凝胶
mixture: ['mikstʃə] n. 混合物                       unscrew: ['ʌn'skru:] v. 拧开
nostril: ['nɔstril] n. 鼻孔                                baggage: ['bægidʒ] n. 行李

参考译文:

现在的海关官员往往相当宽容。但是,当你通过绿色通道,没有任何东西需要申报时,他们仍可以拦住你。甚至是最诚实的人也常弄得觉得有罪似的,而老练的职业走私犯却使手提箱里藏着500只金表,却也处之泰然。最近一次,我也出国归来,碰上一位特别好管闲事的年轻海关官员,他显然把我当成走私犯。
“您有什么需要申报的吗?”他直盯着我的眼睛问。
“没有。”我自信地回答说。
“请打开这只手提箱好吗?”
“好的。”我回答说。
那位官员十分仔细地把箱子检查了一遍。所有细心包装好的东西一会儿工夫就乱成一团。我相信那箱子再也关不上了。突然,我看到官员脸上露出了得意的神色。他在我的箱底发现了一只小瓶,高兴地一把抓了起来。
“香水,嗯?”他讥讽地说道,“你刚才应该申报,香水要上进口税的。” “不,这不是香水,”我说,“是发胶。”接着我脸带微笑补充说:“这是一种我自己配制的奇特的混合物。”
“你就闻一闻吧!”我催促说。 海关官员拧开瓶盖,把瓶子放到鼻子底下。一股怪味袭来,使他相信了我说的真话。几分钟后,我终于被放行,手提划着宝贵的粉笔记号的行李,匆匆离去。 

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Passage six Life on a desert island

Most of us have formed an unrealistic picture of life on a desert island. We sometimes imagine a desert island to be a sort of paradise where the sun always shines. Life there is simple and good. Ripe fruit falls from the trees and you never have to work. The other side of the picture is quite the opposite. Life on a desert island is wretched. You either starve to death or live like Robinson Crusoe, Waiting for a boat which never comes. Perhaps there is an element of truth in both these pictures, but few of us have had the opportunity to find out.

Two men who recently spent five days on a coral island wished they had stayed there longer. They were taking a badly damaged boat from the Virgin Islands to Miami to have it repaired. During the journey, their boat began to sink. They quickly loaded a small rubber dinghy with food, matches, and cans of beer and rowed for a few miles across the Caribbean until they arrived at a tiny coral island. There were hardly any trees on the island and there was no water, but this did not prove to be a problem. The men collected rainwater in the rubber dinghy. As they had brought a spear gun with them, they had plenty to eat. They caught lobster and fish every day,and, as one of them put it 'ate like kings'. When a passing tanker rescued them five days later, both men were genuinely sorry that they had to leave. (258)

entitle v. 以......为名                                    calm v. 使镇定
desert island 荒岛                                    unrealistic adj. 不真实
paradise n. 天堂,乐士                            wretched adj. 可怜的,艰苦的
starve v. 挨饿                                             element n. 成分
opportunity n. 机会                                    coral n. 珊瑚
Virgin Islands 维尔京群岛                        Miami n. 迈阿密(美国最南的城市)
dinghy n. 救生筏,小船                             Caribbean n. 加勒比海
spear gun 捕鱼枪                                       lobster n. 龙虾
tanker n.油轮                                             genuinely adv. 由衷地
Robinson Crusoe 鲁滨孙.克鲁索(小说《鲁滨孙漂流记》主人公)

参考译文:

我们许多人对于荒岛生活有一种不切实际的想法。我们有时想象荒岛是阳光终日普照的天堂。在那里,生活简单又美好。成熟的水果从树上掉下来,人们根本无需劳动。另一种想法恰恰相反,认为荒岛生活很可怕,要么饿死,要么像鲁滨孙那样,天天盼船来,却总没见船影。也许,这两种都像都有可信之处。但很少有人能有机会去弄个究竟。 最近有两个人在一座珊瑚岛上呆了5天,他们真希望在那儿再多呆一些日子。他们驾着一条严重损坏的小船从维尔京群岛阿密修理。途中,船开始下沉,他们迅速把食物、火柴、罐装啤酒往一只救生筏上装。然后在加勒比海上划行了几英里,到了一座珊瑚岛上。岛上几乎没有一颗树,也没有淡水,但这不算什么问题。他们用像皮艇蓄积雨水。由于他们随身带了一支捕鱼枪,因此,吃饭不愁。他们天天捕捉龙虾和鱼,正如其中一位所说,吃得“像国王一样好”。5天后,一条油轮从那儿路过,搭救了他们。这二位不得不离开那个荒岛时,还真的感到遗憾呢!

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Passage seven   Fifty pence worth of trouble

Children always appreciate small gifts of money. Mum or dad, of course, provides a regular supply of pocket money, but uncles and ants are always a source of extra income. With some children, small sums go a long way. If fifty pence pieces are not exchanged for sweets, they rattle for months inside moneyboxes. Only very thrifty children manage to fill up a moneybox. For most of them, fifty pence is a small price to pay for a nice big bar of chocolate.

My nephew, George, has a moneybox but it is always empty. Very few of the fifty pence pieces and pound coins I have given him have found their way there. I gave him fifty pence yesterday and advised him to save it. Instead he bought himself fifty pence worth of trouble. On his way to the sweet shop, he dropped his fifty pence and it bounced along the pavement and then disappeared down a drain. George took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and pushed is right arm through the drain cover. He could not find his fifty pence piece anywhere, and what is more, he could no get his arm out. A crowd of people gathered round him and a lady rubbed his arm with soap and butter, but George was firmly stuck. The fire brigade was called and two fire fighters freed George using a special type of grease. George was not too upset by his experience because the lady who owns the sweet shop heard about his troubles and rewarded him with large box of chocolates. (263)

appreciate v. 欣赏,感激                            pocket money 零用钱
thrifty adj. 节约的                                          nephew n. 侄子,外甥
bounce v. 弹起,跳起                                  pavement n. 人行道
stick (stuck, stuck) v. 夹住                          brigade n. 旅,(消防)队
grease n. 润滑油

参考译文:

孩子们总是喜欢得到一些零花钱。爸爸妈妈当然经常给孩子零花钱,但是,叔舅婶姨也是孩子们额外收入来源。对于有些孩子来说,少量的钱可以花很长一段时间。如果50便士不拿来换糖吃,则可以放在储蓄罐里叮当响上好几月。但是能把储蓄罐装满的只有屈指可数的几个特别节俭的孩子。对大部分孩子来说,用50便士来买一大块好的巧克力,是算不了什么的。 我的外甥乔治有一个储蓄罐,但总是空空的。我给了不少50便士的硬币,但没有几个存到储蓄罐里。昨天,我给了他50便士让存起来,却拿这钱给自己买了50便士的麻烦。在他去糖果店的路上,50便士掉在地上,在人行道上跳了几下,掉进了阴沟里。乔治脱掉外套,卷起袖子,将右胳膊伸进了阴沟盖。但他摸了半天也没找到那50便士硬币,他的胳膊反倒退不出来了。这时在他周围上了许多人,一位女士在乔治胳膊上抹了肥皂,黄油,但乔治的胳膊仍然卡得紧紧的。有人打电话叫来消防队,两位消防队员使用了一种特殊的润滑剂才使乔治得以解脱。不过,此事并没使乔治过于伤心,因为糖果店老板娘听说了他遇到的麻烦后,赏给他一大盒巧克力。

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Passage eight Mary had a little lamb

Mary and her husband Dimitri lived in the tiny village of Perachora in southern Greece. One of Mary's prize possessions was a little white lamb which her husband had given her. She kept it tied to a tree in a field during the day and went to fetch it every evening. One evening, however, the lamb was missing. The rope had been cut, so it was obvious that the lamb had been stolen.
      When Dimitri came in from the fields, his wife told him what had happened. Dimitri at once set out to find the thief. He knew it would not prove difficult in such a small village. After telling several of his friends about the theft, Dimitri found out that his neighbour, Aleko, had suddenly acquired a new lamb. Dimitri immediately went to Aleko's house and angrily accused him of stealing the lamb. He told him he had better return it or he would call the police. Aleko denied taking it and led Dimitri into his backyard. It was true that he had just bought a lamb, he explained, but his lamb was black. Ashamed of having acted so rashly, Dimitri apologized to Aleko for having accused him. While they were talking it began to rain and Dimitri stayed in Aleko's house until the rain stopped. When he went outside half an hour later, he was astonished to find the little black lamb was almost white. Its wool, which had been dyed black, had been washed clean by the rain!(248)

prize: [praiz] adj. 珍贵的,宝贵的         tie: [tai] v. 拴,系
theft: [θeft] n. 偷盗行为,偷盗案          accuse: [ə'kju:z] v. 指控
deny: [di'nai] v. 否认                               ashamed: [ə'ʃeimd] adj. 感到羞耻的
apologize: [ə'pɔlədʒaiz] v. 道歉         dye: [dai] v. 染

参考译文:

玛丽与丈夫迪米特里住在希腊南部一个叫波拉考拉的小村庄里。玛丽最珍贵的财产之一就是丈夫送给她的一只白色小羔羊。白天,玛丽把羔羊拴在地里的一颗树上,每天晚上把它牵回家。可是,一天晚上,那只小羔羊失踪了。绳子被人割断,很明显小羔羊是被人偷走了。 迪米特里从地里回来,妻子把情况跟他一说,他马上出去找偷羔羊的人。他知道在这样一个小村庄里抓住小偷并不困难。把失窃的事告诉几个朋友后,迪米特里发出他的邻居阿列科家突然多了一只小羔羊。迪米特里立刻去了阿列科家,气呼呼地指责他偷了羔羊,告诉他最好把羊交还,否则就去叫警察。阿列科不承认,并把迪米特里领进院子。不错,他的确刚买了一只羔羊,阿列科解释说,但他的羔羊是黑色的。迪米特里为自己的鲁莽而感到不好意思,向阿列科道了歉,说是错怪了他。就在他俩说话的时候,天下起了雨,迪米特里便呆在阿列科家里避雨,一直等到雨停为止。半小时后,当他从屋里出来时,他惊奇地发现小黑羔羊全身几乎都变成白色。原来羊毛上染的黑色被雨水冲掉了!

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Passage nine A very dear cat

Kidnappersare rarely interested in animals, but they recently took considerable interest in Mrs. Eleanor Ramsay's cat. Mrs. Eleanor Ramsay, a very wealthy old lady, has shared a flat with her cat, Rastus, for a great many years. Rastus leads an orderly life. He usually takes a short walk in the evenings and is always home by seven o'clock. One evening, however, he failed to arrive. Mrs. Ramsay got very worried. She looked everywhere for him but could not find him.
      There days after Rastus' disappearance, Mrs. Ramsay received an anonymous letter. The writer stated that Rastus was in safe hands and would be returned immediately if Mrs. Ramsay paid a ransom of $1,000. Mrs. Ramsay was instructed to place the money in a cardboard box and to leave it outside her door. At first she decided to go to the police, but fearing that she would never see Rastus again -- the letter had made that quite clear -- she changed her mind. She withdrew $1000 from her bank and followed the kidnapper's instructions. The next morning, the box had disappeared but Mrs. Ramsay was sure that the kidnapper would keep his word. Sure enough, Rastus arrived punctually at seven o'clock that evening. He looked very well though he was rather thirsty, for he drank half a bottle of milk. The police were astounded when Mrs. Ramsay told them what she had done. She explained that Rastus was very dear to her. Considering the amount she paid, he was dear in more ways than one!(247)

kidnapper: [kid'næpə] n. 绑架者,拐     considerable: [kən'sidərəbl] adj. 相当大的
wealthy: ['welθi] adj. 富的,有钱的         anonymous: [ə'nɔniməs] adj. 匿名的
disappearance: [.disə'piərəns] 失踪     anonymous: [ə'nɔniməs] adj. 匿名的
ransom: ['rænsəm] n. 赎金                     cardboard: ['kɑ:dbɔ:d] n. 硬纸板
withdraw: [wið'drɔ:] v. (从银行)取钱 punctually: ['pʌnktjuəli] adv. 准时地
astound: [əs'taund] v. 使吃惊                             

参考译文:

绑架者很少对动物感兴趣。最近,绑架者却盯上了埃莉诺.拉姆齐太太的猫。埃莉诺.拉姆齐太太是一个非常富有的老妇人,多年来,一直同她养的猫拉斯一起住在一所公寓里。拉斯特斯生活很有规律,傍晚常常出去溜达一会儿,并且总是在7点钟以前回来。可是,有一天晚上,它出去后再也没回来。拉姆齐太太急坏了,四处寻找,但没有找着。 拉斯特斯失踪3天后,拉姆齐太太收到一封匿名信。写信人声称拉斯特斯安然无恙,只要拉姆齐太太愿意支付1,000 英镑赎金,可以立即将猫送还。他让拉姆齐太太把钱放在一个纸盒里,然后将纸盒放在门口。一开始拉姆齐太太打算报告警察,但又害怕再也见不到拉斯特斯——这点,信上说得十分明白——于是便改变了主意。她从银行取出1,000 英镑,并照绑架者的要求做了。第二天早晨,放钱的盒子不见了。但拉姆齐太太确信绑架者是会履行诺言的。果然,当天晚上7点正,拉斯特斯准时回来了。它看上去一切正常,只是口渴得很,喝了半瓶牛奶。拉姆齐太太把她所做的事告诉了警察,警察听后大为吃惊。拉姆齐太太解释说她心疼她的猫拉斯特斯。想到她所花的那笔钱,她的心疼就具有双重意义了。

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Passage ten The By heart

Some plays are so successful that they run for years on end, In many ways, this is unfortunate for the poor actors who are required to go on repeating the same lines night after night. One would expect them to know their parts by heart and never have cause to falter. Yet this is not always the case.
     A famous actor in a highly successful play was once cast in the role of an aristocrat who had been imprisoned in the Bastille for twenty years. In the last act, a gaoler would always come on to the stage with a letter which he would hand to the prisoner. Even though the noble was expected to read the letter at each performance, he always insisted that it should be written out in full.
      One night, the gaoler decided to play a joke on his colleague to find out if, after so many performances, he had managed to learn the contents of the letter by heart. The curtain went up on the final act of the play and revealed the aristocrat sitting alone behind bars in his dark cell. Just then, the gaoler appeared with the precious letter in his bands. He entered the cell and presented the letter to the aristocrat. But the copy he gave him had not been written out in full as usual. It was simply a blank sheet of paper. The gaoler looked on eagerly, anxious to see if his fellow actor had at last learnt his lines. The noble stared at the blank sheet of paper for a few seconds. Then, squinting his eyes, he said: “The light is dim. Read the letter to me”. And he promptly handed the sheet of paper to the gaoler. Finding that he could not remember a word of the letter either, the gaoler replied: “The light is indeed dim, sire, I must get my glasses.” With this, he hurried off the stage. Much to the aristocrat's amusement, the gaoler returned a few moments later with a pair of glasses and the usual copy of the letter with he proceeded to read to the prisoner.(253)

part: [pɑ:t] n. 剧中的角色,台词                       falter: ['fɔ:ltə] v. 支吾,结巴说
cast: [kɑ:st] (cast, cast) v. 选派…扮演角色   role: [rəul] n. 角色
aristocrat: ['æristəkræt] n. 贵族                       imprison: [im'prizn] v. 关押
Bastille: [bæs'ti:l] n. 巴士底狱                         gaoler: ['dʒeilə(r)] n. 监狱长,看守
colleague: ['kɔli:g] n. 同事                               curtain: ['kə:tən] n. (舞台上的)幕布
reveal: [ri'vi:l] v. 使显露                                     cell: [sel] n. 单人监房,监号
blank: [blæŋk] adj. 空白的                              squint: [skwint] v. 眯着(眼)看
dim: [dim] adj. 昏暗                                         sire: ['saiə] n. (古用法)陛下
proceed: [prə'si:d] v. 继续进行  

参考译文:

有些剧目十分成功,以致连续上演好几年。这样一来,可怜的演员们可倒霉了。因为他们需要一夜连着一夜地重复同样的台词。人们以为,这些演员一定会把台词背得烂熟,绝不会临场结巴的,但情况却并不总是这样。 有一位名演员曾在一出极为成功的剧目中扮演一个贵族角色,这个贵族已在巴士底狱被关押了20年。在最后一幕中,狱卒手持一封信上场,然后将信交给狱中那位贵族。尽管那个贵族每场戏都得念一遍那封信。但他还是坚持要求将信的全文写在信纸上。 一天晚上,狱卒决定与他的同事开一个玩笑,看看他反复演出这么多场之后,是否已将信的内容记熟了。大幕拉开,最后一幕戏开演,贵族独自一人坐在铁窗后阴暗的牢房里。这时狱卒上场,手里拿着那封珍贵的信。狱卒走进牢房,将信交给贵族。但这回狱卒给贵族的信没有像往常那样把全文写全,而是一张白纸。狱卒热切地观察着,急于想了解他的同事是否记熟了台词。贵族盯着纸看了几秒钟,然后,眼珠一转,说道:“光线太暗,请给我读一下这封信。”说完,他一下子把信递给狱卒。狱卒发现自己连一个字也记不住,于是便说:“陛下,这儿光线的确太暗了,我得去眼镜拿来。”他一边说着,一边匆匆下台。贵族感到非常好笑的是:一会儿工夫,狱卒重新登台,拿来一副眼镜以及平时使用的那封信,然后为那囚犯念了起来。

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Passage eleven One man's meat is another man's poison

People become quite illogical when they try to decide what can be eaten and what cannot be eaten. If you lived in the Mediterranean, for instance, you would consider octopus a great delicacy. You would not be able to understand why some people find it repulsive. On the other hand, your stomach would turn at the idea of frying potatoes in animal fat -- the normally accepted practice in many northern countries. The sad truth is that most of us have been brought up to eat certain foods and we stick to them all our lives.
       No creature has received more praise and abuse than the common garden snail. Cooked in wine, snails are a great luxury in various parts of the world. There are countless people who, ever since their early years, have learned to associate snails with food. My friend, Robert, lives in a country where snails are despised. As his flat is in a large town, he has no garden of his own. For years he has been asking me to collect snails from my garden and take them to him. The idea never appealed to me very much, but one day, after heavy shower, I happened to be walking in my garden when I noticed a huge number of snails taking a stroll on some of my prize plants. Acting on a sudden impulse, I collected several dozen, put them in a paper bag, and took them to Robert. Robert was delighted to see me and equally pleased with my little gift. I left the bag in the hall and Robert and I went into the living room where we talked for a couple of hours. I had forgotten all about the snails when Robert suddenly said that I must stay to dinner. Snails would, of course, be the main dish. I did not fancy the idea and I reluctantly followed Robert out of the room. To our dismay, we saw that there were snails everywhere: they had escaped from the paper bag and had taken complete possession of the hall! I have never been able to look at a snail since then.(258)

poison: ['pɔizn] (title) n. 毒药                     illogical: [i'lɔdʒikəl] adj. 不合逻辑的,无章法的
octopus: ['ɔktəpəs] n. 章鱼                        delicacy:['delikəsi]  n.   美味,佳肴
repulsive: [ri'pʌlsiv] adj.令人反感的,令人生厌的        stomach: ['stʌmək] n. 胃
turn: [tə:n] v. 感到恶心,翻胃                       fry: [frai] v. 油炸
fat: [fæt] n. (动物,植物)油                     abuse: [ə'bju:z] n. 辱骂,责骂
sarcastically:[sɑ:r'kæstikəli] adv. 讽刺地  exempt: [ig'zempt] adj. 被免除的
snail: [sneil] n. 蜗牛                                       luxury: ['lʌkʃəri] n. 奢移品,珍品
associate: [ə'səuʃieit] v. 联想到                 despise: [dis'paiz] v. 鄙视
appeal: [ə'pi:l] v. 引起兴致                             shower: ['ʃauə] n. 阵雨
stroll: [strəul] n. 溜达,散步                          impulse: ['impʌls] n. 冲动

参考译文:

在决定什么能吃而什么不能吃的时候,人们往往变得不合情理。比如,如果你住在地中海地区,你会把章鱼视作是美味佳肴,同时不能理解为什么有人一见章鱼就恶心。另一方面,你一想到动物油炸土豆就会反胃,但这在北方许多国家却是一种普通的烹任方法。不无遗憾的是, 我们中的大部分人,生来就只吃某几种食品,而且一辈子都这样。 没有一种生物所受到的赞美和厌恶会超过花园里常见的蜗牛了。蜗牛加酒烧煮后,便成了世界上许多地方的一道珍奇的名菜。有不计其数的人们从小就知道蜗牛可做菜。但我的朋友罗伯特却住在一个厌恶蜗牛的国家中。他住在大城市里的一所公寓里,没有自己的花园。多年来,他一直让我把我园子里的蜗牛收集起来给他捎去。一开始,他的这一想法没有引起我多大兴趣。后来有一天,一场大雨后,我在花园里漫无目的散步,突然注意到许许多多蜗牛在我的一些心爱的花木上慢悠悠的蠕动着。我一时冲动,逮了几十只,装进一只纸袋里,带着去找罗伯特。罗伯特见到我很高兴,对我的薄礼也感到满意。我把纸袋放在门厅里,与罗伯特一起进了起居室,在那里聊了好几个钟头。我把蜗牛的事已忘得一干二净,罗伯特突然提出一定要我留下来吃晚饭,这才提醒了我。蜗牛当然是道主菜。我并不喜欢这个主意,所以我勉强跟着罗伯特走进了起居室。使我们惊愕的是门厅里到处爬满了蜗牛:它们从纸袋里逃了出来,爬得满厅都是!从那以后,我再也不能看一眼蜗牛了。  

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Passage twelve A skeleton in the cupboard

        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 pound 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 spend an uncomfortable weekend which I shall never forget at his house. George showed me to the guestroom 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 two suits I had brought with me in the cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of it 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 read 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.'(258)

skeleton: ['skelitən] n. 骷髅                                     seemingly: ['si:miŋli] adv. 表面上地
respectable: [ris'pektəbl] adj.体面的,雅观的     conceal: [kən'si:l] v. 隐藏,隐瞒
vivid: ['vivid] adj. 生动的                                            dramatic: [drə'mætik] adj. 令人激动的,扣人心弦的
heroine: ['herəuin] n. 女主人公                               fiction: ['fikʃən] n. 小说
varying: ['vɛ;əriŋ] adj. 不同的                                   unpack: ['ʌn'pæk] vt. (从箱中)取出
stack: [stæk] v. (整齐地)堆放,排放                  Miami n. underclothes: ['ʌndəkləuðz] n. 内衣
petrify: ['petri.fai] v. 使惊呆                                       dangle: ['dæŋgl] v. 悬挂
sway: [swei] v. 摇摆                                                 unsympathetic: ['ʌnsimpə'θetik] adj. 不表同情的,无动于衷的

参考译文:

在小说中,我们经常读到一个表面上受人尊重的人物或家庭,却有着某种多年不为人所知的骇人听闻的秘密。英语中有一个生动的说法来形容这种情况。惊人的秘密称作“柜中骷髅”。在小说的某个戏剧性时刻,可怕的秘密泄漏出来,接着便是某人的声誉扫地。当读者到小说最后几页了解到书中女主人公,那位一向待大家很好的可爱的老妇人年轻时一连毒死了她的5个丈夫时,不禁会毛骨悚然。 这种事发生在小说中是无可非议的。尽管我们人人都有各种大小秘密。连最亲密的朋友都不愿让他们知道, 但我们当中极少有人有柜中骷髅。我所认识的唯一的在柜中藏骷嵝的人便是乔治.卡尔顿,他甚至引以为自豪。乔治年轻时学过医,然而,他后来没当上医生,却成了一位成功的侦探小说作家。有一次,我在他家里度周末,过得很不愉快。这事我永远不会忘记。乔治把我领进客房,说这间很少使用。他让我打开行装后下楼吃饭。我将衬衫、内衣放进两个空抽屉里,然后我想把随身带来的两套西服中的一套挂到大衣柜里去。我打开柜门,站在柜门前一下惊呆了。一具骷髅悬挂在眼前,由于柜门突然打开,它也随之轻微摇晃起来,让我觉得它好像马上要跳出柜门朝我扑过来似的。我扔下西服冲下楼去告诉乔治。这是比“骇人听闻的秘密”更加惊人的东西,这是一具真正的骷髅啊!但乔治却无动于衷。“噢,是它呀!他笑着说道,俨然在谈论一位老朋友。“那是塞巴斯蒂安。你忘了我以前是学医的了。”

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Passage thirteen Nothing to sell and nothing to buy

        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 being 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 his 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 stead 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 my 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.(258)

philosopher: [fi'lɔsəfə] n. 哲学家                    wisdom: ['wizdəm] n. 智慧
priest: [pri:st] n. 牧师                                         spiritual: ['spiritjuəl] adj. 精神上的
grudge: [grʌdʒ] v. 不愿给,舍不得给           surgeon: ['sə:dʒən] n. 外科大夫
passer-by: ['pa:sə'bai] n. 过路人(复数 passers-by)        dignity: ['digniti] n. 尊严
deliberately: [di'libərətli] adv. 故意地             consequence: ['kɔnsikwəns] n. 后果,结果
afflict: [ə'flikt] v. 使苦恼,折磨                           ease: [i:z] n. 容易
contempt: [kən'tempt] n. 蔑视的                      envious: ['enviəs] adj. 嫉妒的

参考译文:

据说每个人都靠出售某种东西来维持生活。根据这种说法,教师靠卖知识为生,哲学家靠卖智慧为生,牧师靠卖精神安慰为生。虽然物质产品的价值可以用金钱来衡量,但要估算别人为我们为所提供的服务的价值却是极其困难的。有时,我们为了挽救生命,愿意付出我们所占有的一切。但就在外科大夫给我们提供了这种服务后,我们却可能为所支付的昂贵的费用而抱怨。社会上的情况就是如此,技术是必须付钱去买的,就像在商店里要花钱买商品一样。人人都有东西可以出售。 在这条普遍的规律前面,好像只有流浪汉是个例外,乞丐出售的几乎是他本人,以引起过路人的怜悯。但真正的流浪并不是乞丐。他们既不出售任何东西,也不需要从别人那儿得到任何东西,在追求独立自由的同时,他们并不牺牲为人的尊严。游浪汉可能会向你讨钱,但他从来不要你可怜他。他是故意在选择过那种生活的,并完全清楚以这种方式生活的后果。他可能从不知道下顿饭有无着落,但他不像有人那样被千万桩愁事所折磨。他几乎没有什么财产,这使他能够轻松自如地在各地奔波。由于被迫在露天睡觉,他比我们中许多人都离大自然近得多。为了生存,他可能会去打猎、乞讨,偶尔偷上一两回;确实需要的时候,他甚至可能干一点儿活,但他决不会牺牲自由。说起流浪汉,我们常常带有轻蔑并把他们与乞丐归为一类。但是,我们中有多少人能够坦率地说我们对流浪汉的简朴生活与无忧无虑的境况不感到有些羡慕呢?  

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Passage fourteen Funny or not ?

Whether we find a joke funny or not largely depends on where we have been brought up. The sense of humour is mysteriously bound up with national characteristics. A Frenchman, for instance, might find it hard to laugh at a Russian joke. In the same way, a Russian might fail to see anything amusing in a joke which would make an Englishman laugh to tears.
       Most funny stories are based on comic situations. In spite of national differences, certain funny situations have a universal appeal. No matter where you live, you would find it difficult not to laugh at, say, Charlie Chaplin's early films. However, a new type of humour, which stems largely from the U.S., has recently come into fashion. It is called 'sick humour'. Comedians base their jokes on tragic situation like violent death or serious accidents. Many people find this sort of joke distasteful The following example of 'sick humour' will enable you to judge for yourself.
        A man who had broken his right leg was taken to hospital a few weeks before Christmas. From the moment he arrived there, he kept on pestering his doctor to tell him when he would be able to go home. He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. Though the doctors did his best, the patient's recovery was slow. On Christmas Day, the man still had his right leg in plaster. He spent a miserable day in bed thinking of all the fun he was missing. The following day, however, the doctor consoled him by telling him that his chances of being able to leave hospital in time for New Year celebrations were good. The good. The man took heart and, sure enough, on New Years' Eve he was able to hobble along to a party. To compensate for his unpleasant experiences in hospital, the man drank a little more than was good for him. In the process, he enjoyed himself thoroughly and kept telling everybody how much he hated hospitals. He was still mumbling something about hospitals at the end of the party when he slipped on a piece of ice and broke his left leg.(258)

largely: ['lɑ:dʒli] adv. 在很大程度上                   comic: ['kɔmik] adj. 喜剧的,可笑的
universal: [.ju:ni'və:səl] adj. 普通的                    comedian: [kə 'mi:diən] n.滑稽演员,喜剧演员
distasteful: [dis'teistful] adj. 讨厌的                    pester: ['pestə] v. 一再要求,纠缠
dread: [dred] v. 惧怕                                              recovery: [ri'kʌvəri] n. 康复
plaster: ['plɑ:stə] n. 熟石膏                                   console: [kən'səul] v. 安慰,慰问
hobble: ['hɔbl] v. 瘸着腿走                                    compensate: ['kɔmpənseit] v. 补偿
mumble: ['mʌmbl] v. 喃喃而语

参考译文:

我们觉得一则笑话是否好笑,很大程度取决于我们是在哪儿长大的。幽默感与民族有着神秘莫测的联系。譬如,法国人听完一则俄国笑话可能很难发笑。同样的道理,一则可以令英国人笑出泪来的笑话,俄国人听了可能觉得没有什么可笑之处。 大部分令人发笑的故事都是根据喜剧情节编写的。尽管民族不同,有些滑稽的情节却能产生普遍的效果。比如说,不管你生活在哪里,你看查理.卓别林的早期电影很难不发笑。然而,近来一种新式幽默流行了起来,这种幽默主要来自美国。它被叫作“病态幽默”。喜剧演员根据悲剧情节诸如暴死,重大事故等来编造笑话。许多人认为这种笑话是低级庸俗的。下面是个“病态幽默”的实例,你可据此自己作出判断。 圣诞节前几周,某人摔断了右腿被送进医院。从他进医院那一刻时,他就缠住医生,让医生告诉他什么时候能回家。他十分害怕在医院过圣诞。尽管医生竭力医治,但病人恢复缓慢。圣诞节那天,他的右腿还上着石膏,他在床上郁郁不乐地躺了一天,想着他错过的种种欢乐。然而,第二天,医生安慰他说,出院欢度新年的可能性还是很大的,那人听后振作了精神。果然,除夕时他可以一瘸一拐地去参加晚会了。为了补偿住院这一段不愉快的经历,那人喝得稍许多了一点。在晚会上他尽情娱乐,一再告诉大家他是多么讨厌医院。晚会结束时,他嘴里还在嘟哝着医院的事,突然踩到一块冰上滑倒了,摔断了左腿。

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Passage fifteen A day to remember

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 tablecloth 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!(258)

prelude: ['prelju:d] n. 序幕,前奏                              unforeseen: ['ʌnfɔ;:'si:n] adj. 意料之外的
series: ['siəri:z] n. 系列                                               catastrophe: [kə'tæstrəfi] n. 大祸,灾难
crockery: ['krɔkəri] n. 陶器,瓦器                             suburb: ['sʌbə:b] n. 郊区
collide: [kə'laid] v. 猛撞                                               panic: ['pænik] n. 惊慌,恐慌
windscreen ['windskri:n] n. (汽车的)挡风玻璃   alongside: [əlɔŋ'said] prep.在……的旁边,与……并排
slide: [slaid] (slid, slid) v. 滑                                      stray: [strei] adj. 迷失的,离群的
confusion: [kən'fju:ʒən] n. 混乱                                greedily: ['gri:dili] adv. 贪婪地
devour: [di'vauə] v. 狼吞虎咽地吃

参考译文:

我们大家都有过事事不顺心的日子。一天开始时,可能还不错,但突然间似乎一切都失去了控制。情况经常是这样的,许许多多的事情都偏偏赶在同一时刻出问题,好像是一件无关紧要的小事引起了一连串的连锁反应。假设你在做饭,同时又在照看孩子。这时电话铃响了。它预示着一连串意想不到的灾难的来临。就在你接电话时,孩子把桌布从桌子上扯下来,将家中最好的陶瓷餐具半数摔碎,同时也弄伤了他自己。你急急忙忙挂上电话,赶去照看孩子和餐具。这时,饭又烧糊了。好像这一切还不足以使你急得掉泪,你的丈夫接着回来了,事先没打招呼就带来3个客人吃饭。 就像许多人最近在悉尼郊区帕拉马塔发现的那样,有时乱子会闹得很大。一天傍晚交通最拥挤时,一辆汽车撞上前面一辆汽车,两个司机争吵起来。紧跟其后的一辆车上的司机碰巧是个初学者,她一惊之下突然把车停了下来。她这一停使得跟在后头的司机也来个急刹车。司机妻子正坐在他身边,手里托着块大蛋糕。她往前一冲,蛋糕从挡风玻璃飞了出去掉到马路上。此时,一辆卡车正好从后边开到那辆汽车边上,司机看见一块蛋糕从天而降,紧急刹车。卡车上装着空啤酒瓶。成百只瓶子顺势从卡车后面滑出车外落在马路上。这又引起一场唇枪舌剑的争吵。与此同时,后面的车辆排成了长龙,警察花了将近一个小时才使车辆又开起来。在这段时间里,卡车司机不得不清扫那几百只破瓶子。只有两只野狗从这一片混乱中得到好处,它们贪婪地吃掉了剩下的蛋糕。这就是事事不顺心的那么一天!

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