学习啦【英语美文欣赏】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-09-30
If I Were King
Recently in a movie magazine I came across the title of a film: If I Were King. It has put me in mind of something entirely foreign to the film in question. I wonder what would become of this world if I myself were king. This is of course a ridiculous fancy, for being a king is the last thing I aspire to and also a thing I utterly despise. What the hell is a king? How can I still be so feudalistic in my mind? Moreover, if one is really bent on being a king, he will try to carry out his design by deeds instead of by words. But, to put it hypothetically, suppose I were king, what would this world look like?
If I were king, my wife would of course be queen. With all her moral excellence, of which I make no doubt, she would be more than qualified for being a queen. But even if she had no virtue to speak of, or were just a whore, she would be queen all the same. Imagine how noble and dignified a queen would be and how people would keep lauding her to the skies like mad! It is indeed great fun for me to visualize all of this.
If I were king, my son, if any, would be crown prince or prince. I don't think my son will be ignorant or worthless in every way like an idiot. But even if that were not the case, he would still be crown prince or prince. Imagine how noble and dignified a crown prince or prince would be and how people would keep lauding him to the skies like mad! It is indeed great fun for me to visualize all of this.
If I were king, my daughters would be princesses, and my relatives by marriage would all become members of the royal family. No matter how ugly and perverse or whatnot they were, people would keep lauding them to the skies like mad just the same because they were dignitaries.
If I were king, I would be addressed as "Your Majesty" and every word of mine would become a "royal edict". All my subjects would leave no stone unturned to carry out every will, every avaricious desire and even every whim of mine, even though they were beyond the possible. I would do no wrong simply because no one dared to call it a wrong. I would commit no crime simply because no one dared to call it a crime. No one would dare to berate or find fault with me unless I was removed from the throne, which meant that I was no longer the king. I would see all people hang their heads, bow low or prostrate themselves at my feet, including my respected elders, teachers, friends and even those who had used to swagger arrogantly in front of me. I could see none of their faces; all I could see were the tops of their heads or the hats or helmets on their heads. The only faces I could see would be ingratiating or supplicating—faces that dared not smile to express joy; faces that dared not refrain from a forced smile when there was no joy at all to justify a smile; faces that dared not to cry to express sorrow; faces that dared not refrain from a feigned cry when there was no sorrow to justify a cry. I could hear no true voices of my people. All I could hear would be the feeble, soft, timid and affected voice, like that of female Peking opera singer, chanting, "Long live the King!" That would be their language in toto. "Great is the King, our enlightened lord!" That would be the sole content of their language. There would be no one above me or on an equal footing with me. I would even feel bored, lonely and isolated.
Why would people behave like that? Why would they flatter my wife, my children and my relatives? Because I was king, their master. It would suddenly dawn on me that living among these flunkeys, including my esteemed elders, teachers and friends, I myself, too, was nothing but a mere head flunkey.
I am the citizen of the Republic. Being accustomed to the mode of thinking and living of a republican citizen, I would deeply abhor all servility and flunkeys, including my esteemed elders, teachers and friends. Dear scientists, please don't laugh at me. Methinks the world is very much in need of reform simply because of the presence of these flunkeys. I would regard it as the deepest disgrace and sorrow of my life to live among the flunkeys and become their chief. I would rather become a tyrant or an enlightened king so that I could kill off all my subjects, among them my respected elders, teachers and friends, and have the flunkeys species exterminated once for all. Then, with all my subjects gone, I would no longer be the king of flunkeys.
If I were king and ultimately ended up becoming no king at all, I would indeed be the greatest king that had ever breathed since time immemorial. I would join true people all the world over in giving three cheers for myself.
Our institute employed an English teacher. He looked very strange red-faced, golden-haired,with a thick growth of whiskers that reached all the way to the nose. He was really tall– no lessthan six foot five. When he came in through the door, he had to lower his head to avoidbanging against the door frame. It looked as though he always bowed to you at the door andthat was much too polite.
What was more, he never laughed, when he chatted with his Chinese students on amusingstories, nor did his face show any expression as if he knew no sense of humour. However,when it came to topics of the most dull nature, he would burst into uncontrollable laughter,roaring while rocking in his chair, almost falling flat on his back, his Adam’s apple dancing up anddown in his throat and his whiskers fluttering all over his face. The students would then look ateach other, wondering if he was in his right mind.
One day he set the students an essay to see how well they could write in English, the topicbeing A Comment on Life on the Campus-it her complimentary or critical. That was simple.And his students, quick at writing, finished it at one go and turned it in no time. He wentthrough the papers and picked one that he thought the best. When he read it out to thestudents, they were greatly perplexed. Of all the comments, why did he like this one best, Nota single word of it was true.
It was about the campus cafeteria and the author was a peaceable and timid guy from a villagenear the town. In order not to offend the school authorities — a decisive factor: concerninghis final grading, evaluation and, above; all, where he was to go after graduation — he hadmade up a high-sounding story in praise of the cafeteria regardless of reality, thus making hisClaSS- mates very angry. The teacher was as well aware of the cafeteria’s terrible conditions,but why should this piece in particular have appealed to him so much, Someone asked.
“This is undoubtedly a good one,” the teacher insisted. “Unprecedentedly good! Just listen –”He began to read. “‘The most beautiful spot on campus is not the Classrooms, nor the sportsground, nor the small lawn with a fountain at the school gate; it is our cafeteria. Look! Thewindows are so clean , that you scarcely notice any glass on them’ –” “He paused, his eyesflashing with a glint of humour and his brows shooting upward. “Listen! Isn’t it humorous?”
Humorous? But what was humorous about it? The students were hard put to it.
“If you were not careful enough,’” the teacher read on, ‘”and had a fall on the floor, you wouldbe amazed to find that you had not fallen at all because you did not get a single particle of duston your clothes. If you had worked in the cafeteria long enough, you would have forgotten whata fly looks like … ” He paused again, his tongue clicking admiration. Working up a very funnyexpression on his face, he went on, “Listen, please! Could anyone else have made it morehumorous?” He laughed so hard that he could scarcely continue.
By now the students seemed to be cottoning on.
The teacher went on his reading punctuated by fits of laughter .”How wonderfully is the foodcooked here! What a great variety of dishes you have here and how well your appetite issatisfied! In fact it is only at the cafeteria of the institute that you eating enjoyable….”
Suddenly the students laughed, rocking the classroom with their laughter.
Following this logic, God knows how many articles we would be able to produce, articles thatare just as well-worded, quick-witted, artfully-conceived and set you rolling with laughter!
A night Visitor
-A true Story a ‘Celebrity’ Being Interviewed
By Lou Shiyi
Mr. Huang was old. People addressed him as “Respected Mr. Huang”. Being old, he easily got tired and could not help it. After supper, having watched News Today on the TV, he began to feel sleepy, so he went about washing his face and feet before going to bed.
Suddenly the door-bell rang, announcing the arrival of a visitor. As Mr. Huang had never refused any visit before, this one should be received with courtesy too. Quickly putting his socks back on and smoothing his hair, he hurried to the door, and there he was confronted by a man with a glowing face. By the first word he uttered Mr. Huang knew that this man was from a far-off place. The man took out a calling card from his pocket and said: “I’m a reporter of the Literature and Arts Gazette of S city, and I’m here to see you on Mr. X’s recommendation. I’ve come to attend a symposium in Beijing and in the meantime I’m visiting some celebrities here. I’ve had the honor of visiting with Respected Mr. Z and Mr. J.”
“I’m not much of a celebrity though. How can I be lined up with them. However, since you’ve come, come on in and take a seat. Whatever you want to talk about please go ahead.”
“What’s your name?”
Mr. Huang was shocked. How come he is here visiting me as a “celebrity” and doesn’t even know my name?
“Well, my name is…”
“No, but I’m asking about your original name.”
“You mean the one my mother gave me when I was small? But it was eighty years ago and I’ve clean forgotten it myself. I’m sorry about that.”
“What about the pen name you use regularly?”
“For so many years I’ve written all sorts of stuff under all sorts of pen names. I’m not sure I can sort them out at the moment.”
Then came the second question.
“Where are you from? From the south?”
“Yes, quite, but not too far south. In fact I’m from a place where people are known to your area as ‘Shanghainese’.”
“Where do you work and how much do you earn?”
“I’m too old to work any more. I’m not drawing any salary except some pension-I’m a ‘pensioner’ as the Westerners call it.”
“:I see. You’re retired. How much pension do you receive each month? Not too small a sum, I guess?” he said, running his eyes around the sitting-room.
“Enough to keep me going, that’s all.”
Thinking that the answers given were too curt and brief, he came up with a new idea.
“Shall we have a photo taken together?”
He produced a camera from his bag and went on: “Let’s ask the old woman to help us, the one who’s just brought us tea. Give a push to the button. Just as simple as that.”
Feeling terribly sorry for his wife, Mr. Huang protested: “I’m sorry I forgot to introduce her to you. ‘The old woman is my wife. She knows nothing about the camera, so forget about the photo. Let’s go on with your questions.” Mr. Huang was kind of irritated to find that the visitor, while asking questions, kept jotting down notes like a security policeman checking household registrations.
“What do you do at home? Writing an autobiography?”
“Not qualified to do that. Just sitting idle at home. I haven’t touched the pen for ages, as a matter of fact.”
“Shall we talk about literature and arts?”
”Could you make it more specific, please?”
“For example, these days people are discussing Poet P’s mystic poetry. What do you think of it?”
“I’m sorry I haven’t read any of his poetry and I don’t think I can understand it. I have yet to catch up. I seldom read newspapers and magazines and never concern myself with the discussion of his poetry.”
“Would you like to talk about literature going pop, then? This is the theme of the symposium this time. Could you air some views on that?”
“Literature going pop? Very Well. Make it understandable to all. This is my view, if you like?” Mr. Huang began to feel drowsy again.
“Could you please tell me how you feel about the general trend of literature and arts at the moment?”
“I don’t ‘feel’ much about that but, ‘ at the moment’, I ‘feel’ sleepy. I ‘feel’ like going to bed.”
This was terribly disappointing to the visitor. “Well, well, I must apologize for having disturbed you. I’ll visit you again next time I am in Beijing.” With this he stood up.
“I must apologize to you, sir. You’ve come from afar but I haven’t got much to offer. Pardon me for not seeing you off. You are welcome to drop in next time.”