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新概念英语第3册课文翻译(5)

2016-12-3016:02:39 来源:学派网 点击:
    
Lesson24 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 cup board '. 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 week-end 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 in the cupboard one of the two suits I had brought with me. 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。”
   
Lesson25 The Cutty Sark
One of the most famous sailing ships of the nineteenth century, the Cutty Sark, can still be seen at Greenwich. She stands on dry land and is visited by thousands of people each year. She serves as an impressive reminder of the great ships of the past. Before they were replaced by steam-ships, sailing vessels like the Cutty Sark were used to carry tea from China and wool from Australia.  The Cutty Sark was one of the fastest sailing ships that has ever been built. The only other ship to match her was the Thermopylae. Both these ships set out from Shanghai on June 18th, 1872 on an exciting race to England. This race, which went on for exactly four months, was the last of its kind. It marked the end of the great tradition of ships with sails and the beginning of a new era. The first of the two ships to reach Java after the race had begun was the Thermopylae, but on the Indian Ocean, the Cutty Sark took the lead. It seemed certain that she would be the first ship home, but during the race she had a lot of bad luck. In August, she was struck by a very heavy storm during which her rudder was torn away. The Cutty Sark rolled from side to side and it became impossible to steer her. A temporary rudder was made on board from spare planks and it was fitted with great difficulty. This greatly reduced the speed of the ship, for there was danger that if she travelled too quickly, this rudder would be torn away as well. Because of this, the Cutty Sark lost her lead. After crossing the equator , the captain called in at a port to have a new rudder fitted, but by now the Thermopylae was over five hundred miles ahead. Though the new rudder was fitted at tremendous speed, it was impossible for the Cutty Sark to win. She arrived in England a week after the Thermopylae. Even this was remarkable, considering that she had had so many delays. There is no doubt that if she had not lost her rudder she would have won the race easily.
 人们在格林威治仍可看到19世纪最有名的帆船之一“卡蒂萨克”号。它停在陆地上,每年接待成千上万的参观者。它给人们留下深刻的印象,使人们回忆起历史上的巨型帆船,在蒸汽船取代帆船之前。“卡蒂萨克”号之类的帆船被用来从中国运回茶叶,从澳大利亚运回羊毛。“卡蒂萨克”号是帆船制造史上建造的最快的一艘帆船。唯一可以与之一比高低的是“塞姆皮雷”号帆船。两船于1872年6月18日同时从上海启航驶往英国,途中展开了一场激烈的比赛。这场比赛持续了整整4个月,是这类比赛中的最后一次,它标志着帆船伟大传统的结束与一个新纪元的开始。

    比赛开始后,“赛姆皮雷”号率先抵达爪哇岛。但在印度洋上,“卡萨萨克”号驶到了前面。看来,它首先返抵英国是确信无疑的了,但它却在比赛中连遭厄运。8月份“卡蒂萨克”号遭到一场特大风暴的袭击,失去了一只舵。船身左右摇晃,无法操纵。船员用备用的木板在船上赶制了一只应急用的舵,并克服重重困难将舵安装就位,这样一来,大大降低了船的航速。因为船不能开得太快,否则就有危险,应急舵也会被刮走。因为这个缘故,“卡蒂萨克”号落到了后面。跨越赤道后,船长将船停靠在一个港口,在那儿换了一只舵。但此时,“赛姆皮雷”号早已在500多英里之遥了。尽管换装新舵时分秒必争,但“卡蒂萨克”号已经不可能取胜了,它抵达英国时比“塞姆皮雷”号晚了1个星期。但考虑到路上的多次耽搁,这个成绩也已很不容易了。毫无疑问,如果中途没有失去舵, “卡帝萨克”号肯定能在比赛中轻易夺冠。
 
Lesson26 Wanted: a large biscuit tin
No one can avoid being influenced by advertisements. Much as we may pride ourselves on our good taste, we are no longer free to choose the things we want, for advertising exerts a subtle influence on us. In their efforts to persuade us to buy this or that product, advertisers have made a close study of human nature and have classified all our little weaknesses. Advertisers discovered years ago that all of us love to get something for nothing. An advertisement which begins with the
magic word FREE can rarely go wrong. These days, advertisers not only offer free samples but free cars, free houses, and free trips round the world as well. They devise hundreds of competitions which will enable us to win huge sums of money. Radio and television have made it possible for advertisers to capture the attention of millions of people in this way. During a radio programme, a company of biscuit manufacturers once asked listeners to bake biscuits and send them to their factory. They offered to pay $2 a pound for the biggest biscuit baked by a listener. The response to this competition was tremendous. Before long, biscuits of all shapes and sizes began arriving at the factory. One lady brought in a biscuit on a wheelbarrow. It weighed nearly 500 pounds. A little later, a man came along with a biscuit which occupied the whole boot of his car. All the biscuits that were sent were carefully weighed. The largest was 713 pounds. It seemed certain that this would win the prize. But just before the competition closed, a lorry arrived at the factory with a truly colossal biscuit which weighed 2400 pounds. It had been baked by a college student who had used over 1000 pounds of flour, 800 pounds of sugar, 200 pounds of fat, and 400 pounds of various other ingredients. It was so heavy that a crane had to be used to remove it from the lorry. The manufacturers had to pay more money than they had anticipated, for they bought the biscuit from the student for $4800.
 没有人能避免受广告的影响。尽管我们可以自夸自己的鉴赏力如何敏锐,但我们已经无法独立自主地选购自己所需的东西了。这是因为广告在我们身上施加着一种潜移默化的影响。做广告的人在力图劝说我们买下这种产品或那种产品之前,已经仔细地研究了人的本性,并把人的弱点进行了分类。
    做广告的人们多年前就发现我们大家都喜欢免费得到东西。凡是用“免费”这个神奇的词开头的广告很少会失败的。目前,做广告的人不仅提供免费样品,而且还提供免费汽车,免费住房,免费周游世界。他们设计数以百计的竞赛,竞赛中有人可赢得巨额奖金。电台、电视使做广告的人可以用这种手段吸引成百万人的注意力。
    有一次,在电台播放的节目里,一个生产饼干的公司请听众烘制饼干送到他们的工厂去。他们愿意以每磅10美元的价钱买下由听众烘制的最大的饼干。这次竞赛在听众中引起极其热烈的反响。不久,形状各异,大小不一的饼干陆续送到工厂。一位女士用手推车运来一个饼干,重达500磅左右。相隔不一会儿,一个男子也带来一个大饼干,那个饼干把汽车的行李箱挤得满满的。凡送来的饼干都仔细地称量。最重的一个达713磅,看来这个饼干获奖无疑了。但就在竞赛截止时间将到之际,一辆卡车驶进了工厂,运来了一个特大无比、重达2,400磅的饼干。它是由一个大学生烘制的,用去1,000多磅的面粉、800磅食糖、200磅动物脂肪及400磅其他各种原料。饼干份量太重了,用了一台起重机才把它从卡车上卸下。饼干公司不得不付出比他们预计多得多的钱,因为为买下那学生烘制的饼干他们支付了24,000美元。
   
Lesson27 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 goods 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 possession 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?
 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?
    
Lesson28 Five pounds too dear
Small boats loaded with wares sped to the great liner as she was entering the harbour. Before she had anchored, the men from the boats had climbed on board and the decks were soon covered with colourful rugs from Persia, silks from India, copper coffee pots, and beautiful hand-made silver-ware. It was difficult not to be tempted. Many of the tourists on board had begun bargaining with the tradesmen, but I decided not to buy anything until I had disembarked. I had no sooner got off the ship than I was assailed by a man who wanted to sell me a diamond ring. I had no intention of buying one, but I could not conceal the fact that I was impressed by the size of the diamonds. Some of them were as big as marbles. The man went to great lengths to prove that the diamonds were real. As we were walking past a shop, he held a diamond firmly against the window and made a deep impression in the glass. It took me over half an hour to get rid of him.
The next man to approach me was selling expensive pens and watches. I examined one of the pens closely. It certainly looked genuine. At the base of the gold cap, the words 'made in the U.S.A.' had been neatly inscribed. The man said that the pen was worth &10, but as a special favour, he would let me have it for &8. I shook my head and held up a finger indicating that I was willing to
pay a pound. Gesticulating wildly, the man acted as if he found my offer outrageous, but he eventually reduced the price to &3. Shrugging my shoulders, I began to walk away when, a moment later, he ran after me and thrust the pen into my hands. Though he kept throwing up his arms in despair, he readily accepted the pound I gave him. I felt especially pleased with my wonderful bargain--until I got back to the ship. No matter how hard I tried, it was impossible to fill this beautiful pen with ink and to this day it has never written a single word !
当一艘大型班船进港的时候,许多小船载着各种杂货快速向客轮驶来。大船还未下锚。小船上的人就纷纷爬上客轮。一会儿工夫,甲板上就摆满了色彩斑斓的波斯地毯。印度丝绸。铜咖啡壶以及手工制作的漂亮的银器。要想不为这些东西所动心是很困难的。船上许多游客开始同商贩讨价还价起来,但我打定主意上岸之前什么也不买。
    我刚下船,就被一个人截住,他向我兜售一枚钻石戒指。我根本不想买,但我不能掩饰这样一个事实:其钻石之大给我留下了深刻的印象。有的钻石像玻璃球那么大。那人竭力想证明那钻石是真货。我们路过一家商店时,他将一颗钻石使劲地往橱窗上一按,在玻璃上留下一道深痕。我花了半个多小时才摆脱了他的纠缠。
    向我兜售的第二个人是卖名贵钢笔和手表的。我仔细察看了一枝钢笔,那看上去确实不假,金笔帽下方整齐地刻有“美国制造”字样。那人说那支笔值50英镑,作为特别优惠,他愿意让我出30英镑成交。我摇摇头,伸出5根手指表示我只愿出5镑钱。那人激动地打着手势,仿佛我的出价使他不能容忍。但他终于把价钱降到了10英镑。我耸耸肩膀掉头走开了。一会儿,他突然从后追了上来,把笔塞到我手里。虽然他绝望地举起双手,但他毫不迟疑地收下了我付给他的5镑钱。在回到船上之前,我一直为我的绝妙的讨价还价而洋洋得意。然而不管我如何摆弄,那枝漂亮的钢笔就是吸不进墨水来。直到今天,那枝笔连一个字也没写过!
      
lesson29 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 America, has recently come into fashion. It is cal1ed' sick humour '. Comedians base their jokes on tragic situations 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 doctor 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 man took heart and, sure enough, on New Year's 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.
 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。
   
Lesson30 The death of a ghost
For years villagers believed that Endley farm was haunted. The farm was owned by two brothers, Joe and Bert Cox. They employed a few farm hands, but no one was willing to work there long. Every time a worker gave up his job, he told the same story. Farm labourers said that they always woke up to find the work had been done overnight. Hay had been cut and cow sheds had been cleaned. A farm worker, who stayed up all night, claimed to have seen a figure cutting corn in the
moonlight. In time, it became an accepted fact that the Cox brothers employed a conscientious ghost that did most of their work for them.
No one suspected that there might be someone else on the farm who had never been seen. This was indeed the case. A short time ago, villagers were astonished to learn that the ghost of Endley had died. Everyone went to the funeral, for the 'ghost' was none other than Eric Cox, a third brother who was supposed to have died as a young man. After the funeral, Joe and Bert revealed
a secret which they had kept for over forty years. Eric had been the eldest son of the family. He had been obliged to join the army during the first World War. As he hated army life he decided to desert his regiment. When he learnt that he would be sent abroad, he returned to the farm and his farther hid him until the end of the war. Fearing the authorities, Eric remained in hiding after the war as well. His father told everybody that Eric had been killed in action. The only other people who knew the secret were Joe and Bert. They did not even tell their wives. When their father died, they thought it their duty to keep Eric in hiding. All these years, Eric had lived as a recluse(隐遁者, 寂寞者). He used to sleep during the day and work at night, quite unaware of the fact that he had become the ghost of Endley. When he died, however, his brothers found it impossible to keep the secret any longer.
 多年来,村民们一直认为恩得利农场在闹鬼。恩得利农场属于乔.考科斯和鲍勃.考科斯兄弟俩所有。他们雇了几个农工,但谁也不愿意在那儿长期工作下去。每次雇工辞职后都叙述着同样的故事。雇工们说,常常一早起来发现有人在夜里把活干了,干草已切好,牛棚也打扫干净了。有一个彻夜未眠的雇工还声称他看见一个人影在月光下收割庄稼。随着时间的流逝,考科斯兄弟雇了一个尽心尽责的鬼,他们家的活大部分都让鬼给干了,这件事成了公认的事实。
    谁也没想到农场竟会有一个从未露面的人。但事实上确有此人。不久之前,村民们惊悉恩得利农场的鬼死了。大家都去参加了葬礼,因为那“鬼”不是别人,正是农场主的兄弟埃里克.考科斯。人们以为埃里克年轻时就死了。葬礼之后,乔和鲍勃透露了他们保守了长达50多年的秘密。
    埃里克是这家长子。年龄比他两个弟弟大很多,第二次世界大战期间被迫参军。他讨厌军旅生活,决定逃离所在部队。当他了解自己将被派遣出国时,他逃回农场,父亲把他藏了起来,直到战争结束。由于害怕当局,埃里克战后继续深藏不露。他的父亲告诉大家,埃里克在战争中被打死了。除此之外,只有乔与鲍知道这个秘密。但他俩连自己的妻子都没告诉。父亲死后,他们兄弟俩认为有责任继续把埃里克藏起来。这些年来,埃里克过着隐士生活,白天睡觉,夜里出来干活,一点不知道自己已成了恩得利家场的活鬼。他死后,他的弟弟们才觉得无法再保守这个秘密了。
     

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