学习啦【英语美文欣赏】 编辑:韦彦 发布时间:2016-09-18



  Knowledge and Virtue

  Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another; good sense is not conscience, refinement is nothumility, nor is largeness and justness of view faith. Philosophy, however enlightened,however profound, gives no command over the passions, no influential motives, no vivifyingprinciples. Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman.It iswell to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid,equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life—theseare the connatural qualities of a large knowledge; they are the objects of a University. I amadvocating, I shall illustrate and insist upon them; but still, I repeat, they are no guaranteefor sanctity or even for conscientiousness, and they may attach to the man of the world, to theprofligate, to the heartless, pleasant, alas, and attractive as he shows when decked out inthem. Taken by themselves, they do but seem to be what they are not; they look like virtue ata distance, but they are detected by close observers, and in the long run; and hence it is thatthey are popularly accused of pretense and hypocrisy, not, I repeat, from their own fault,but because their professors and their admirers persist in taking them for what they are not,and are officious in arrogating for them a praise to which they have no claim. Quarry thegranite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk, then may you hope withsuch keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contendagainst those giants,the passion and the pride of man.


  "Packing" a Person

  A person, like a commodity, needs packaging. But going too far is absolutely undesirable. Alittle exaggeration, however, does no harm when it shows the person's unique qualities totheir advantage. To display personal charm in a casual and natural way, it is important forone to have a clear knowledge of oneself. A master packager knows how to integrate art andnature without any traces of embellishment, so that the person so packaged is nocommodity but a human being, lively and lovely. A young person, especially a female, radiantwith beauty and full of life, has all the favor granted by God. Any attempt to make up would beself-defeating. Youth, however, comes and goes in a moment of doze. Packaging for themiddle-aged is primarily to conceal the furrows ploughed by time. If you still enjoy life'sexuberance enough to retain self-confidence and pursue pioneering work, you are uniquein your natural qualities, and your charm and grace will remain. Elderly people are beautiful iftheir river of life has been, through plains, mountains and jungles, running its course as itshould. You have really lived your life which now arrives at a complacent stage of serenityindifferent to fame or wealth. There is no need to resort to hair-dyeing; the snow-cappedmountain is itself a beautiful scene of fairyland. Let your looks change from young to oldsynchronizing with the natural ageing process so as to keep in harmony with nature, forharmony itself is beauty, while the other way round will only end in unpleasantness. To be inthe elder's company is like reading a thick book of deluxe edition that fascinates one so much asto be reluctant to part with. As long as one finds where one stands, one knows how topackage oneself, just as a commodity establishes its brand by the right packaging.


  Three Passions I Have Lived for

  Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing forlove, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. Thesepassions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course over a deepocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because itbrings ecstasy —ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of my life for afew hours for this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness —that terribleloneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the coldunfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it, finally, because in the union of love I have seen,in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined.

  This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what—at last—I have found. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understandthe hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine ... A little of this, but not much, Ihave achieved. Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward theheavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in myheart.

  Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people —a hated burden totheir sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of whathuman life should be. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer. This has beenmy life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.


  A Little Girl

  Sitting on a grassy grave, beneath one of the windows of the church, was a little girl. With her head bent back she was gazing up at the sky and singing, while one of her little hands was pointing to a tiny cloud that hovered like a golden feather above her head. The sun, which had suddenly become very bright, shining on her glossy hair, gave it a metallic luster, and it was difficult to say what was the color, dark bronze or black. So completely absorbed was she in watching the cloud to which her strange song or incantation seemed addressed, that she did not observe me when I rose and went towards her. Over her head, high up in the blue, a lark that was soaring towards the same gauzy cloud was singing, as if in rivalry. As I slowly approached the child, I could see by her forehead, which in the sunshine seemed like a globe of pearl, and especially by her complexion, that she uncommonly lovely. Her eyes, which at one moment seemed blue-gray, at another violet, were shaded by long black lashes, curving backward in a most peculiar way, and these matched in hue her eyebrows, and the tresses that were tossed about her tender throat were quivering in the sunlight. All this I did not take in at once; for at first I could see nothing but those quivering, glittering, changeful eyes turned up into my face. Gradually the other features, especially the sensitive full-lipped mouth, grew upon me as I stood silently gazing. Here seemed to me a more perfect beauty than had ever come to me in my loveliest dreams of beauty. Yet it was not her beauty so much as the look she gave me that fascinated me, melted me.

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