学习啦【英语美文欣赏】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-09-18
Two Ways of Thinking of History
There are two ways of thinking of history. There is, first, history regarded as a way of looking atother things, really the temporal aspect of anything,
from the universe to this nib with which I am writing. Everything has its history. There is thehistory of the universe,if only we knew it —and we know something of it, if we do not knowmuch. Nor is the contrast so great,when you come to think of it, between the universe andthis pen-nib.
A mere pen-nib has quite a considerable history. There is, to begin with, what has beenwritten with it, and that might be something quite important.
After all it was probably only one quill-pen or a couple that wrote Hamlet. Whatever has beenwritten with the pen-nib is part of its History. In addition to that there is the history of itsmanufacture: this particular nib is a “Relief” nib, No. 314, made by R. Esterbrook and Co. inEngland,
who supply the Midland Bank with pen-nibs, from whom I got it—a gift, I may say. But behindthis nib there is the whole process of manufacture....
In fact a pen nib implies universe,and the history of it implies its history. We may regard thisway of looking at it—history—as the time-aspect of all things: a pen-nib, the universe,thefiddle before me as I write, as a relative conception of history. There is, secondly, what wemight call a substantive conception of history, what we usually mean by it, history proper as asubject of study in itself.
On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth
No young man believes he will ever die. It was a saying of my brother’s, and a fine one. There is a feeling of Eternity in youth,which makes us amend for everything. To be young is to be as one of the Immortal Gods. One half of time indeed is flown
—the other half remains in store for us with all its countless treasures, for there is no line drawn, and we see no limit to our hopes and wishes. We make the coming age our own — The vast, the unbounded prospect lies before us.
Death, old age, are words without a meaning that pass by us like the idea air which we regard not. Others may have undergone,or may still be liable to them—we“bear a charmed life”, which laughs to scorn all such sickly fancies. As in setting out on delightful journey,we strain our eager gaze forward—Bidding the lovely scenes at distance hail! And see no end to the landscape, new objects presenting themselves as we advance. So, in the commencement of life, we set no bounds to our inclinations, nor to the unrestricted opportunities of gratifying them. We have as yet found no obstacle,no disposition to flag; and it seems that we can go on so forever. We look round in a new world,full of life, and motion, and ceaseless progress, and feel in ourselves all the vigor and spirit to keep pace with it, and do not foresee from any present symptoms how we shall be left behind in the natural course of things, decline into old age, and drop into the grave. It is the simplicity, and as it were abstractedness of our feelings in youth, that (so to speak) identifies us with nature, and (our experience being slight and our passions strong) deludes us into a belief of being immortal like it.
Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is inprivateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgementand disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars,one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs, come best fromthose that are learned. To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much forornament,is affectation; to make judgement wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar.They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like naturalplants,that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much atlarge, except they be bounded in by experience.
Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teachnot their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation.Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk anddiscourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to beswallowed,and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only inparts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly,and with diligenceand attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others;but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; elsedistilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading makes a full man;conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore,if a man write little，he hadneed have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he readlittle, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he does not. Histories make menwise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic andrhetoric able to contend.
International media such as TV network and magazine always give people in an information agemixed feelings. Like many other things, media is double-edged. As primary channels ofinformation, TV and magazine are convenient and economic sources of information forknowledge, entertainment, and shopping. Interestingly,sometimes the same piece ofinformation varies considerably
in its influences on audiences of different age. For example,in a TV commercial,a beautiful ladypromotes a certain brand of perfume, which supposablely makes girls more attractive toboys. For potential grown-up buyers, the ad is useful because they might be spending timesearching for such products. We save time in shopping and making decision by making use ofsuch advertisements. However, a teenage girl might get the wrong idea about the concept ofperfume. She could get money from her parents to buy the advertised product. Worse yet,she might use the appeal strategy employed in the commercial to get ahead in the future.
This is classic bad influence of media for young people’s overspending and inappropriatebehaviors.However, we find it very difficult to weigh between merits and problems of mediabecause they are often tightly incorporated. For instance, violent scenes in movies are believedto be partially responsible for violence-related crimes, particularly those committed by youngpeople. But on the contrary,such movies also give people a channel to release theiranger,anxiety, and pressure. Moreover,these movies show us bad and evil as well aspunishments for wrongdoings. Imagine we live in a world whose media is completely clean insuch sense. The dark side of media does not disappear just because we do not talk about it.Nevertheless certain kinds of information such as porn are better kept away from youngpeople. In conclusion, media should not be seen simply as bad or good because we need touse information properly to the best of our ability. But for certain segments of viewers, weshould be very careful with regard to the content of information and take measures to keepviewers from possible harmful influences of media.