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2009-01-05 00:41:17|  分类: 美文欣赏 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Predicting the future is notoriously difficult. 众所周知,预测未来是非常困难的。
Who could have imagined,in the mid 1970s,for example,that by the end of the 20th century, 举个例子吧,在20世纪70年代中叶又有谁能想像得到在20世纪来的时候,
computers would be as common in people's homes as TV sets? 家庭用的计算机会像电视机一样普遍?
In the 1970s,computers were common enough, 在70年代,计算机已经相当普及了,
but only in big business,government departments,and large organizations. 但只用在大的公司、政府部门和大的组织之中,
These were the so-called mainframe machines. 它们被称为主机。
Mainframe computers were very large indeed, 计算机主机确实很大,
often occupying whole air-conditioned rooms, 常常占据了装有空调的多间房间,
employing full-time technicians and run on specially-written software. 雇用专职的技师,而且得用专门编写的软件才能运行。
Though these large machines still exist, 虽然这种大计算机仍然存在,
many of their functions have been taken over by small powerful personal computers,commonly known as PCs. 但是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。
In 1975,a primitive machine called the Altair,was launched in the USA. 1975年,美国推出了一台被称为“牛郎星”的原始机型。
It can properly be described as the first 'home computer' and it pointed the way to the future. 严格地说起来,它可以被称为第一台“家用电脑”,而且它也指出了今后的方向。
This was followed,at the end of the 1970s,by a machine called an Apple. 70年代末,在牛郎星之后又出现了一种被称为“苹果”的机型。
In the early 1980s,the computer giant,IBM produced the world's first Personal Computer. 80年代初,计算机行业的王牌公司美国国际商用机器公司(IBM)生产出了世界上第一台个人电脑。
This ran on an 'operating system' called D0S, 这种电脑采用了一种被称为磁盘操作系统(DOS)的工作程序,
produced by a then small company named Microsoft. 而这种程序是由当时规模不大的微软公司生产的。
The IBM Personal Computer was widely copied. IBM的个人电脑被大规模地模仿。
From those humble beginnings, 从那些简陋的初级阶段,
we have seen the development of the user-friendly home computers and multimedia machines which am in common use today. 我们看到了现在都已普及的、使用简便的家用电脑和多媒体的微机的发展。
Considering how recent these developments are, 想一想这些发展的时间多么短,
it is even more remarkable that as long ago as the 1960s,an Englishman,Leon Bagrit, 就更觉得在60年代的英国人莱昂·巴格瑞特有着非凡的能力。
was able to predict some of the uses of computers which we know today. 他预言我们今天知道的计算机的一些用途。
Bagrit dismissed the idea that computers would learn to 'think' for themselves and would 'rule the world', 巴格瑞特根本不接受计算机可以学会自己去“思考”和计算机可以“统治世界”这种想法,
which people liked to believe in those days. 而这种想法是当时的人们都愿意相信的。
Bagrit foresaw a time when computers would be small enough to hold in the hand, 巴格瑞特预示有一天计算机可以小到拿在手上,
when they would be capable of providing information about traffic jams and suggesting alternative routes, 计算机可以提供有关交通阻塞的信息,并建议可供选择的其他路线,
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. 计算机在医院里可以帮助医生诊断病情,计算机可以使办公室人员和会计免除那些枯燥、重复的劳动。
All these computer uses have become commonplace. 计算机的所有这些功能现在都变得很平常。
Of course,Leon Bagrit could not possibly have foreseen the development of the Internet, 当然了,莱昂·巴格瑞特根本没有可能预测到国际交互网,
the worldwide system that enables us to communicate instantly with anyone in any part of the world by using computer linked to telephone networks. 就是把计算机连结到电话线路上,以便和世界上任何一个地方的人立即进行联系的一个世界范围的通讯系统的发展。
Nor could he have foreseen how we could the Internet to obtain information on every known subject, 他也无法预测到我们可以利用国际交互网获取有关任何已知专题的信息,
so we can read it on a screen in our homes and even pr1nt it as wen if we want to. 以便在家里的屏幕上阅读,如果愿意的话甚至可以将其打印出来。
Computers have become smaller and smaller,more and more powerful and cheaper and cheaper. 计算机已经变得体积越来越小、功能越来越多、价格越来越低,
This is what makes Leon Bagrit's predictions particularly remarkable. 这就是莱昂·巴格瑞特的预测非凡的地方。
If he,or someone like him,were alive today, 如果他或是像他的什么人今天还活着的话,
he might be able to tell us what to expect in the next fifty years. 他大概可以告诉我们下一个50年后会发生什么事情。
My cousin,Harry,keeps a large curiously shaped bottle on permanent display in his study. 我的堂兄哈里在他的书房里一直摆着一只形状古怪的大瓶子。
Despite the fact that the bottle is tinted a delicate shade of green, 尽管那只瓶子呈淡绿色,
an observant visitor would soon notice that it is filled with what looks like a thick greyish substance. 但细心的客人很快就会发现瓶里装的是一种看上去黏稠、颜色发灰的东西。
If you were to ask Harry what was in the bottle, 要是你问哈里瓶里装着什么,
he would tell you that it contained perfumed mud. 他会告诉你是香水泥。
If you expressed doubt or surprise, 如果你表示怀疑或惊奇,
he would immediately invite you to smell it and then to rub some into your skin. 他会立即请你闻一闻,然后取出一些抹在你的皮肤上。
This brief experiment would dispel any further doubts you might entertain. 这一简单的试验会消除你可能存有的一切疑虑。
The bottle really does contain perfumed mud. 瓶里装的的确是香水泥。
How Harry came into the possession of this outlandish stuff makes an interesting story which he is fond of relating. 哈里是如何得到这种稀奇古怪的东西的,这里有个有趣的故事,而且他挺爱把它讲给别人昕。
Furthermore,the acquisition of this bottle cured him of a bad habit he had been developing for years. 此外,得到这瓶香水泥还治好了他多年的一个坏习惯。
Harry used to consider it a great joke to go into expensive cosmetic shops and make outrageous requests for goods that do not exist. 哈里曾认为走进一家名贵化妆品商店,荒唐地提取要买一种根本不存在的商品是件很开心的事儿。
He would invent fanciful names on the spot. 他会当场编造出一些稀奇古怪的货名。
On entering a shop,he would ask for a new perfume called 'Scented Shadow' or for 'insoluble bath cubes'. 他走进商店后,会提出要一种名叫“香影”的新型香水或者什么“不溶浴皂”。
If a shop assistant told him she had not heard of it, 要是女售货员告诉他从未听说过这些东西,
he would pretend to be considerably put out. 他会装出十分遗憾和不安的样子。
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, 他爱听售货员说他想像出来的那种东西暂时脱销,于是他就煞有介事地许诺改天再来光顾。
but of course he never did. 当然,他再也不会来了。
How Harry managed to keep a straight face during these performances is quite beyond me. 我实在想像不出哈里在这些表演中是怎样装出一本正经的样子的。
Harry does not need to be prompted to explain how he bought his precious bottle of mud. 毋须暗示哈里就会向你讲起他买下那瓶珍贵香水泥的经过。
One day,he went to an exclusive shop in London and asked for 'Myrolite'. 一天,他去伦敦一家高级商店要买一种叫“密诺莱特”的东西。
The shop assistant looked puzzled and Harry repeated the word,slowly stressing each syllable. 店员露出诧异的神色。哈里又慢慢地、一字一顿地说了一遍这个词。
When the woman shook her head in bewilderment, 那个女售货员还是迷惑不解地摇了摇头。
Harry went on to explain that 'myrolite' was a hard,amber-like substance which could be used to remove freckles. 哈里便进一步解释“密诺莱特”是一种质地坚硬,状似珑琐的东西,可以用来除去雀斑。
This explanation evidently conveyed something to the woman who searched shelf after shelf. 他的解释显然对女售货员有些启示,她一个货架接着一个货架地寻找。
She produced all sorts of weird concoctions, 拿出各种各样稀奇古怪的化妆品,
but none of them met with Harry's requirements. 但没有一样能够符合哈里的要求。
When Harry put on his act of being mildly annoyed, 哈里装出不高兴的样子时,
the girl promised to order some for him. 女售货员答应为他定货。
Intoxicated by his success,Harry then asked for perfumed mud. 哈里为他的骗术而感到洋洋得意,又提出要买香水泥。
He expected the assistant to look at him in blank astonishment. 他原想女售货员会惊奇地望着他,
However,it was his turn to be surprised, 不知所措,没料到这回该轮到他自己吃惊了。
for the girl's eyes immediately lit up and she 'fetched several botties which she placed on the counter for Harry to inspect. 因为那女售货员听完哈里的话后,马上眼睛一亮,拿出几瓶东西放在柜台上让哈里挑选。
For once,Harry had to admit defeat. 哈里只好认输。
He picked up what seemed to be the smallest bottle and discreetly asked the price. 他挑出一个看上去最小的瓶子,谨慎地问了价。
He was glad to get away with a mere five guineas and he beat a hasty retreat, 他庆幸自己只破费了20英镑便得以脱身。
clutching the precious bottle under his arm. 他把那只宝贵的瓶子放在腋下夹着,溜之大吉。
From then on,Harry decided that this little game he had invented might prove to be expensive. 从那以后,他认识到自己发明的小小恶作剧是要付出很大代价的。
The curious bottle which now adorns the bookcase in his study was his first and last purchase of rare cosmetics. 在他书房的书柜里摆着的那瓶形状古怪的香水泥就是他第一次也是最后一次购买的稀有化妆品。
The Scandinavian countries are much admired all over the world for their enlightened social policies. 斯堪的纳维亚半岛各国实行的开明的社会政策,受到全世界的推崇。
Sweden has evolved an excellent system for protecting the individual citizen from high-handed or incompetent public officers. 在瑞典,已逐渐形成了一种完善的制度以保护每个公民不受专横的和不称职的政府官员的欺压。
The system has worked so well,that it has been adopted in other countries too. 由于这种制度行之有效,已被其他国家采纳。
The Swedes were the first to recognize that public officials like civil servants, 是瑞典人首先认识到政府工作人员如文职人员、
police officers,health inspectors or tax-collectors can make mistakes or act over-zealously in the belief that they are serving the public. 警官、卫生稽查员、税务人员等等也会犯错误或者自以为在为公众服务而把事情做过了头。
As long ago as 1809,the Swedish Parliament introduced a scheme to safeguard the interest of the individual. 早在1809年,瑞典议会就建立了一个保护公民利益的制度。
A parliamentary committee representing all political parties appoints a person who is suitably qualified to investigate private grievances against the State. 议会内有一个代表各政党利益的委员会,由它委派一位称职的人选专门调查个人对国家的意见。
The official title of the person is 'Justiteombudsman', 此人官衔为“司法特派员”,
but the Swedes commonly refer to him as the 'J.O.' or 'Ombudsman'. 但瑞典人一般都管他叫“J.O.”,即“司法特派员”。
The Ombudsman is not subject to political pressure. 司法特派员不受任何政治压力的制约。
He investigates complaints large and small that come to him from all levels of society. 他听取社会各阶层的各种大小意见,并进行调查。
As complaints must be made in writing,the Ombudsman receives an average of 1200 letters a year. 由于意见均需用书面形式提出,司法特派员每年平均收到1200封信。
He has eight lawyer assistants to help him and he examines every single letter in detail. 他有8位律师做他的助手协助工作,每封信都详细批阅。
There is nothing secretive about the Ombudsman's work, 司法特派员的工作没有什么秘密可言,
for his correspondence is open to public inspection. 他的信件是公开的,供公众监督。
If a citizen's complaint is justified,the Ombudsman will act on his behalf. 如果公民的意见正确,司法特派员便为他伸张正义。
The action he takes varies according to the nature of the complaint. 司法特派员采取的行动因意见的性质不同而有所不同。
He may gently reprimand an official or even suggest to parliament that a law be altered. 他可以善意地批评某位官员,也可以甚至向议会提议修改某项法律。
The following case is a typical example of the Ombudsman's work. 下述事件是司法特派员工作的一个典型例子。
A foreigner living in a Swedish village wrote to the Ombudsman complaining that he had been ill-treated by the police, 一个住在瑞典乡村的外国人写信给司法特派员,抱怨说他受到警察虐待,
simply because he was a foreigner. 原因就是因为他是个外国人。
The Ombudsman immediately wrote to the Chief of Police in the district asking him to send a record of the case. 司法特派员立即写信给当地的警察局长,请他寄送与此事有关的材料。
There was nothing in the record to show that the foreigner's complaint was justified and the Chief of Police stoutly denied the accusation. 材料中没有任何文字记载证明外国人所说的情况符合事实,警察局长矢口否认这一指控。
It was impossible for the Ombudsman to take action, 司法特派员难以处理。
but when he received a similar complaint from another foreigner in the same village, 但是,当他又收到住在同一村庄的另一个外国人写的一封内容类似的投诉信时,
he immediately sent one of his lawyers to investigate the matter. 他立即派出一位律师前去调查。
The lawyer ascertained that a policeman had indeed dealt roughly with foreigners on several occasions. 律师证实有个警察确实多次粗鲁地对待外国人。
The fact that the policeman was prejudiced against foreigners could not be recorded in he official files. 警察歧视外国人的事在官方档案中不可能加以记载,
It was only possible for the Ombudsman to find this out by sending one of his representatives to check the facts. 司法特派员只有派他的代表去核对事实才能了解真相。
The policeman in question was severely reprimanded and was informed that if any further complaints were lodged against him, 当事的警察受到严厉斥责,并被告知,如果再有人投诉他,
he would be prosecuted. 他将受到起诉。
The Ombudsman's prompt action at once put an end to an unpleasant practice which might have gone unnoticed. 司法特派员及时采取的行动,迅速制止了这一起不愉快的事件,不然这件事可能因未得到人们注意而不了了之。
We have been brought up to fear insects. 我们自幼就在对昆虫的惧怕中长大。
We regard them as unnecessary creatures that do more harm than good. 我们把昆虫当作害多益少的无用东西。
Man continually wages war on item, 人类不断地同昆虫斗争,
for they contaminate his food,carry diseases,or devour his crops. 因为昆虫弄脏我们的食物,传播疾病,吞噬庄稼。
They sting or bite without provocation; 它们无缘无故地又叮又咬;
they fly uninvited into our rooms on summer nights, 夏天的晚上,它们未经邀请便飞到我们房间里,
or beat against our lighted windows. 或者对着露出亮光的窗户乱扑乱撞。
We live in dread not only of unpleasant insects like spiders or wasps, 我们在日常生活中,不但憎恶如蜘蛛、黄蜂之类令人讨厌的昆虫,
but of quite harmless ones like moths. 而且憎恶并无大害的飞峨等。
Reading about them increases our understanding with out dispelling our fears. 阅读有关昆虫的书能增加我们对它们的了解,却不能消除我们的恐惧心理。
Knowing that the industrious ant lives in a highly organized society does nothing to prevent us from being filled with revulsion when we find hordes of them crawling over a carefully prepared picnic lunch. 即使知道勤奋的蚂蚁生活在具有高度组织性的社会里,当看到大群蚂蚁在我们精心准备的午间野餐上爬行时,我们也无法抑制对它们的反感。
No matter how much we like honey, 不管我们多么爱吃蜂蜜,
or how much we have read about the uncanny sense of direction which bees possess, 或读过多少关于蜜蜂具有神秘的识别方向的灵感的书,
we have a horror of being stung. 我们仍然十分害怕被蜂蜇。
Most of our fears are unreasonable,but they are impossible to erase. 我们的恐惧大部分是没有道理的,但却无法消除。
At the same time,however,insects are strangely fascinaing. 同时,不知为什么昆虫又是迷人的。
We enjoy reading about them, 我们喜欢看有关昆虫的书,
especially when we find that, 尤其是当我们了解到,
like the praying mantis,they lead perfectly horrible lives. 螳螂等过着一种令人生畏的生活时,就更加爱读有关昆虫的书了。
We enjoy staring at them entranced as they go about their business, 我们喜欢入迷地看它们做事,
unaware (we hope) of our presence. 它们不知道(但愿如此)我们就在它们身边。
Who has not stood in awe at the sight of a spider pouncing on a fly, 当看到蜘蛛扑向一只苍蝇时,谁能不感到敬畏呢?
or a column of ants triumphantly bearing home an enormous dead beetle? 或者当一队蚂蚁抬着一只巨大的死甲虫凯旋而归时,
Last summer I spent days in the garden watching thousands of ants crawling up the trunk of my prize peach tree. 去年夏天,我花了好几天时间站在花园里观察成千只蚂蚁爬上我那棵心爱的桃树的树干。
The tree has grown against a warm wall on a sheltered side of the house. 那棵树是靠着房子有遮挡的一面暖墙生长的。
I am especially proud of it, 我为这棵树感到特别自豪,
not only because it has survived several severe winters, 不仅因为它度过了几个寒冬终于活了下来,
but because it occasionally produces luscious peaches. 而且还因为它有时结出些甘甜的桃子来。
During the summer,I noticed that the leaves of the tree were beginning to wither. 到了夏天,我发现树叶开始枯萎,
Clusters of tiny insects called aphides were to be found on the underside of the leaves. 结果在树叶背面找到成串的叫作蚜虫的小虫子。
They were visited by a laop colony of ants which obtained a sort of honey from them. 蚜虫遭到了一窝蚂蚁的攻击,蚂蚁从它们身上可以获得一种蜜。
I immediately embarked on an experiment which, 我当即动手作了一项试验,
even though it failed to get rid of the ants,kept me fascinated for twenty-four hours. 这项试验尽管没有使我摆脱这些蚂蚁,却使我着迷了24小时。
I bound the base of the tree with sticky tape, 我用一条胶带把桃树底部包上,
making it impossible for the ants to reach the aphides. 不让蚂蚁接近蚜虫。
The tape was so sticky that they did not dare to cross it. 胶带极粘,蚂蚁不敢从上面爬过。
For a long time,I watched them scurrying around the base of the tree in bewilderment. 在很长一段时间里,我看见蚂蚁围着大树底部来回转悠,不知所措。
I even went out at midnight with a torch and noted with satisfaction (and surprise) that the ants were still swarming around the sticky tape without being able to do anything about it. 半夜,我还拿着电筒来到花园里,满意地(同时惊奇地)发现那些蚂蚁还在围着胶带团团转,无能为力。
I got up early next morning hoping to find that the ants had given up in despair. 第二天早上,我起床后希望看到蚂蚁已因无望而放弃了尝试,
Instead,I saw that they had discovered a new route. 结果却发现它们又找到一条新的路径。
They were climbing up the wall of the house and then on to the leaves of the tree. 它们正在顺着房子的外墙往上爬,然后爬上树叶。
I realized sadly that I had been completely defeated by their ingenuity. 我懊丧地感到败在了足智多谋的蚂蚁手下。
The ants had been quick to find an answer to my thoroughly unscientific methods! 蚂蚁已很快找到了相应的对策,来对付我那套完全不科学的?????
Recent developments in astronomy have made it possible to detect planets in our own Milky Way and in other galaxies. 天文学方面的最新发展使得我们能够在银河系和其他星系发现行星。
This is a major achievement because, 这是一个重要的成就,
in relative terms,planets are very small and do not emit light. 因为相对来说,行星很小,而且也不发光。
Finding planets is proving hard enough, 寻找行星证明相当困难,
but finding life on them will prove infinitely more difficult. 但是要在行星上发现生命会变得无比艰难。
The fist question to answer is whether a planet can actually support life. 第一个需要解答的问题是一颗行星是否有能够维持生命的条件。
In our own solar system,for example, 举例来说,在我们的太阳系里,
Venus is far too hot and Mars is far too cold to support life. 对于生命来说,金星的温度太高,而火星的温度则太低。
Only the Earth provides ideal conditions, 只有地球提供了理想的条件,
and even here it has taken more than four billion years for plant and animal life to evolve. 而即使在这里,植物和动物的进化也用了40亿年的时间。
Whether a planet can support life depends on the size and brightness of its star,that is its 'sun'. 一颗行星是否能够维持生命取决于它的恒星,即它的“太阳”的大小和亮度。
Imagine a star up to twenty times larger,brighter and hotter than our own sun. 设想一下,一颗恒星比我们的太阳还要大,还要亮,还要热20倍。
A planet would have to be a very long way from it to be capable of supporting life. 那么一颗行星为了维持生命就要离它的恒星非常远。
Alternatively,if the star were small, 反之,如果恒星很小,
the life-supporting planet would have to have close orbit round it and also provide the perfect conditions for life forms to develop. 维持生命的行星就要在离恒星很近的轨道上运行,而且要有极好的条件才能使生命得以发展。
But how would we find such a planet? 但是,我们如何才能找到这样一颗行星呢?
At present,there is no telescope in existence that is capable of detecting the presence of life. 现在,没有一台现存的望远镜可以发现生命的存在。
The development of such a telescope will be one of the great astronomical projects of the twenty-first century. 而开发这样一台望远镜将会是21世纪天文学的一个重要的研究课题。
It is impossible to look for life on another planet using earth-based telescopes. 使用放置在地球上的望远镜是无法观察到其他行星上的生命的。
Our own warm atmosphere and the heat generated by the telescope would make it impossible to detect objects as small as planets. 地球周围温暖的大气层和望远镜散出的热量使得我们根本不可能找到比行星更小的物体。
Even a telescope in orbit round the earth, 即使是一台放置在围绕地球的轨道上的望远镜,
like the very successful Hubble telescope, 如非常成功的哈勃望远镜,
would not be suitable because of the dust particles in our solar system. 也因为太阳系中的尘埃微粒而无法胜任。
A telescope would have to be as far away as the planet Jupiter to look for life in outer space, 望远镜要放置在木星那样遥远的行星上才有可能在外层空间搜寻生命,
because the dust becomes thinner the further we travel towards the outer edges of our own solar system. 因为我们越是接近太阳系的边缘,尘埃就越稀薄。
Once we detected a planet, 一旦我们找到这样一颗行星,
we would have to find a way of blotting out the light from its star, 我们就要想办法将它的恒星射过来的光线遮暗,
so that we would be able to see,the planet proper1y and analyse its atmosphere. 这样我们就能彻底“看见”这颗行星并分析它的大气层。
In the first instance, 首先,
we would be looking for plant life,rather than 'little green men'. 我们要寻找植物,而不是那种“小绿人”。
The life forms most likely to develop on a planet would be bacteria. 在行星上最容易生存下来的是细菌。
It is bacteria that have generated the oxygen we breathe on earth. 正是细菌生产出我们在地球上呼吸的氧气。
For most of the earth's history they have been the only form of life on out planet. 在地球发展的大部分进程中,细菌是地球上唯一的生命形式。
As Earth-dwellers, 作为地球上的居民,
we always cherish the hope that we will be visited by little green men and that we will be able to communicate with them. 我们总存有这样的希望:小绿人来拜访我们,而我们可以和他们交流。
But this hope is always in the realms of science fiction. 但是,这种希望总是只在科幻小说中存在。
If we were able to discover lowly forms of lite like bacteria on another planet, 如果我们能够在另一颗行星上找到诸如细菌那种低等生命,
it would completely change our view of ourselves. 那么这个发现将彻底改变我们对我们自己的看法。
As Daniel Goldin of NASA observed, 正如美国国家航空和宇宙航空局的丹尼尔·戈尔丁指出的:
'Finding life elsewhere would change everything.No human endeavour or thought would be unchanged by it.' “在其他地方发现生命会改变一切。任何人类的努力和想法都会发生变化。”
The river which forms the eastern boundary of our farm has always played an important part in our lives. 形成我们农场东部边界的一条河流一直在我们生活中发挥着重要作用。
Without it we could not make a living. 要是没有这条河,我们就无法生存下去。
There is only enough spring water to supply the needs of the house, 泉水只能满足家庭生活用水,
so we have to pump from the river for farm use. 因此我们必须从河里抽水以用于农业生产。
We tell the river all our secrets. 我们向那条河倾诉我们的秘密。
We know instinctively, 我们本能地懂得,
just as beekeepers with their bees, 就像养蜂人和他的蜜蜂那样,
that misfortune might overtake us if the important events of our lives were not related to it. 要是我们不把生活中的重大事件告诉那条河,就可能大祸临头。
We have special river birthday parties in the summer. 夏天,我们为这条河举办特殊的生日宴会。
Sometimes we go upstream to a favourite backwater, 有时,我们溯流而上来到我们喜爱的回水河汊举办;
sometimes we have our party at the boathouse, 有时在船坞举办。
which a predecessor of ours at the farm built in the meadow hard by the deepest pool for swimming and diving. 那船坞是农场的一位前辈在一块草地上盖的,草地紧挨着一个专供游泳、跳水的深水池。
In a heat wave we choose a midnight birthday party and that is the most exciting of all. 天气炎热时,我们便选择在半夜举办生日集会,这种集会是最令人激动的。
We welcome the seasons by the riverside, 我们在河边迎接一年四季。
crowning the youngest girl with flowers in the spring, 春天在河边为最年轻的姑娘戴上花冠,
holding a summer festival on Midsummer Eve, 夏天在河边欢庆“仲夏前夜”,
giving thanks for the harvest in the autumn, 秋天在河边为丰收而感恩,
and throwing a holly wreath into the current in the winter. 冬天往河中抛撒一个冬青花环。
After a long period of rain the river may overflow its banks. 久雨之后,河水会泛滥成灾。
This is a rare occurrence as our climate seldom god to extremes. 但是在我们这里,气候很少发生异常,河水极少泛滥。
We are lucky in that only the lower fields, 值得庆幸的是,只有低洼地受到洪水影响,
which make up a very small proportion of our farm,are affected by flooding, 而低洼地在我们农场比例很小。
but other farms are less favourably sited,and flooding can sometimes spell disaster for their owners. 其他农场地势欠佳,洪水有时会给农场主带来灾难。
One bad winter we watched the river creep up the lower meadows. 有一年冬天,天气不好,我们眼看着河水浸没了地势较低的草地。
All the cattle had been moved into stalls and we stood to lose little. 所有的牲口已提前转移到畜圈里,没有造成什么损失。
We were,however,worried about our nearest neighbours, 不过,我们很为我们的近邻担心。
whose farm was low lying and who were newcomers to the district. 他们的农场地势低洼,而且他们又是新来乍到。
As the floods had put the telephone out of order, 由于洪水造成了电话中断,
we could not find out how they were managing. 我们无法了解他们的情况。
From an attic window we could get a sweeping view of the river where their land joined ours, 从顶楼窗口看去,我们农场与他们农场接壤处的那段河流一览无余。
and at the most critical juncture we took turns in watching that point. 在最紧急的时刻,我们轮流监视那段河流的险情。
The first sign of disasterwas a dead sheep floating down. 灾难的第一个迹象是一只死羊顺流而下,
Next came a horse,swimming bravely, 接着是一匹活马勇敢地与水搏击。
but we were afraid that the strength of the current would prevent its landing anywhere before it became exhausted. 但我们担心,洪水的力量将使它上岸之前就筋疲力尽了。
Suddenly a raft appeared,looking rather like Noah's ark, 突然,出现了一只筏子,看起来很像诺亚方舟,
carrying the whole family,a few hens,the dogs,a cat,and a bird in a cage. 上面载着他们全家老小,还有几只母鸡、几只狗、一只猫与一只鸟笼,那里头有一只小鸟。
We realized that they must have become unduly frightened by the rising flood, 我们意识到他们一定是被不断上涨的洪水吓坏了。
for their house,which had sound foundations, 因为他们的房子地基牢固,
would have stood stoutly even if it had been almost submerged. 即使洪水几乎灭顶也不会倒塌。
The men of our family waded down through our flooded meadows with boathooks, 我家的男人们手拿船篙蹚过被水淹没的草场,
in the hope of being able to grapple a corner of the raft and pull it out of the current towards our bank. 希望能够钩住筏子一角,将它拽出激流,拖回岸边。
We still think it a miracle that they were able to do so. 他们终于成功了。至今我们仍认为这是个奇迹。
I stopped to let the car cool off and to study the map. 我停下车,让汽车发动机冷却一下,同时查看一下地图。
I had expected to be near my objective by now, 我本想离目的地已经不远,
but everything still seemed alien to me. 但周围一切对我仍很陌生。
I was only five when my father had taken me abroad, 我5岁那年,父亲就带我出了国,
and that was eighteen years ago. 那是18年前的事了。
When my mother had died after a tragic accident, 当时我母亲在一次事故中惨死,
he did not quickly recover from the shock and loneliness. 父亲未能很快从悲痛与孤独中恢复过来。
Everything around him was full of her presence,continually reopening the wound. 他身边的一切都有母亲的影子不断地勾起他的伤感。
So he decided to emigrate. 于是他决定移居他国。
In the new country he became absorbed in making a new life for the two of us, 在这个新的国家里,父亲专心致志地为我们俩开创一种新的生活,
so that he gradually ceased to grieve. 慢慢地不伤心了。
He did not marry again and I was brought up without a woman's care;  父亲没有再娶,因此,我在没有母亲的环境里长大成人。
but I lacked for nothing, 但我却什么都不缺,
for he was both father and mother to me. 他既当父亲又当母亲。
He always meant to go back one day but not to stay. 他总想将来回国看看,但却不愿长期住下去,
His roots and mine had become too firmly embedded in the new land. 因为他与我一样已经把根深深地扎在了异国的土地上。
But he wanted to see the old folk again and to visit my mother's grave. 但是,他想看一看家乡父老乡亲,为我的母亲扫墓。
He became mortally ill a few months before we had planned to go and, 就在他计划回国的前几个月,他突然身患绝症。
when he knew that he was dying, 他知道自己已奄奄一息,
he made me promise to go on my own. 于是他要我答应一定单独回故乡一趟。
I hired a car the day after landing and bought a comprehensive book of maps, 我下飞机后租了一辆车,并买了一本详尽的地图册。
which I found most helpful on the cross country journey, 在乡间行车途中,我觉得它非常有用,
but which I did not think I should need on the last stage. 但快到家了,我倒觉得它没什么用了。
It was not that I actually remembered anything at all. 这倒并非是我背熟了地图,
But my father had described over and over again what we should see at every milestone,after leaving the nearest town, 而是父亲曾详细给我讲了在过了离故乡最近的那个小镇后,在每一个路标处可见到些什么。
so that I was positive I should recognize it as familiar territory. 因此,我相信这段路对我来说会是很熟悉的。
Well,I had been wrong,for I was now lost. 唉,实际我错了,我现在迷路了。
I looked at the map and then at the milometer. 我看了看地图,又查了一下里程表。
I had come ten miles since leaving the town, 从小镇出来,我走了10英里。
and at this point,according to my father, 照父亲的说法,
I should be looking at farms and cottages in a valley, 我面前应是一个山谷,有农场与村舍,
with the spire of the church of our village showing in the far distance. 还可远远望见老家村子里的教堂的尖顶。
I could see no valley,no farms,no cottages and no church spire--only a lake. 可现在我却看不到山谷,看不见农舍,也看不见教堂尖顶,看见的只是一片湖泊。
I decided that I must have taken a wrong turning somewhere. 我想一定是在什么地方拐错了弯儿。
So I drove back to the town and began to retrace the route,taking frequent glances at the map. 于是我驾车返回小镇,重新按路线行驶。
I landed up at the same corner. 结果又来到刚才那个拐弯处。
The curious thing was that the lake was not marked on the map. 奇怪的是那个湖没有在地图上标出。
I felt as if I had stumbled into a nightmare country, 我感到自己迷迷糊糊地闯进了恶梦境地。
as you sometimes do in dreams. 就像平时作梦那样。
And,as in a nightmare,there was nobody in sight to help me. 就像在恶梦里一样,见不到一个人可以帮助我。
Fortunately for me, 不过,我是幸运的,
as I was wondering what to do next, 正当我走投无路之时,
there appeared on the horizon a man on horseback,riding in my direction. 从天边出现一个骑马的人向我骑来。
I waited till he came near,then I asked him the way to our old village. 等他走近了,我问他去老家的路。
He said that there was now no village. 他说那村子已经没有了。
I thought he must have misunderstood me. 我想他一定误解了我的意思,
so I repeated its name. 于是又说了一遍村庄的名字。
This time he pointed to the lake. 这次他用手指了一下那个湖。
The village no longer existed because it had been submerged,and all the valley too. 村庄已不复存在,因为已经为水所淹,山谷也被水淹没了。
The lake was not a natural one,but a man made reservoir. 这不是一个天然湖泊,是一座人工修建的水库。
The old lady was glad to be back at the block of flats where she lived. 老妇人回到了她居住的公寓楼,心里很高兴。
Her shopping had tired her and her basket had grown heavier with every step of the way home. 去商店买东西把她搞得筋疲力尽;在回家的路上,她每走一步,就感到手里的篮子又重了一点。
In the lift her thoughts were on lunch and a good rest;  她乘上电梯后,只想着午餐和好好休息一下。
but when she got out at her own floor, 但她到了自己的楼层走出电梯后,
both were forgotten in her sudden discovery that her front door was open. 就把这两件事忘了个干净,因为她突然发现她家的大门开着。
She was thinking that she must reprimand her daily maid the next morning for such a monstrous piece of negligence, 她心想明天上午一定要好好训斥那个干家务的帮手,她竟如此疏忽大意。
when she remembered that she had gone shopping after the maid had left and she knew that she had turned both keys in their locks. 但突然她记起来了,帮手是在她出去买东西之前走的,她还记得曾用了两把钥匙把大门锁上了。
She walked slowly into the hall and at once noticed that all the room doors were open, 她慢慢地走进前厅,立即发现所有的房门都敞开着,
yet following her regular practice she had shut them before going out. 而她记得在出门买东西前,她按老规矩是把房门一一锁上的。
Looking into the drawing room,she saw a scene of confusion over by her writing desk. 她往起居室里看去,写字台边一片狼藉。
It was as clear as daylight then that burglars had forced an entry during her absence. 事情很清楚,在她外出时,窃贼曾闯进家门。
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