学习啦【英语美文欣赏】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-09-30
Nanjing the Beloved City
Nanjing has witnessed the continuous emergence of many distinguished talents and noble hearts as well as monumental achievements that shone through the ages. Attracted by her special appeal, a great number of powerful figures and people actuated by high ideals have stayed in or frequented this metropolis to contend for the lead or to give play to their genius and virtues. Military commanders such as Sun Quan and Xie An; political leaders such as Hong Xiuquan and Dr. Sun Yat-sen; scientists like Zu Chongzhi, Ge Hong, Li Shizhen and Zhenghe; men of letters such as Liu Xie, Xiao Tong, Cao Xueqin and Wu Jingzi; artists like Wang Xizhi, Gu Kaizhi, Xu Beihong and Fu Baoshi; educators such as Tao Xingzhi; and architects like Yang Tingbao—all these renowned historical figures used to settle on this blessed land to have their splendid dreams fulfilled. The towering Purple Mountains and billowing Yangtze River nurtured them and provided them with arenas in which to realize their aspirations. By virtue of their genius, vision, and sagacity, these best and brightest sons and daughters of the nation made spectacular contributions to the resplendent Chinese civilization.
The tremendous changes that have taken place in Nanjing since New China was founded are even more inspiring, just as the much quoted couplet from a poem written by the late Chairman Mao Zedong on the occasion of the liberation of the city on April 23, 1949 has it:
The city, a tiger crouching, a dragon curling, outshines its ancient glories;
In heroic triumph heaven and earth have been overturned.
Balmy spring winds returned to bring new life to this historic city, of which the common people came to be the genuine masters. The night marish sufferings and humiliations of the past were left behind once and for all. The citizens of Nanjing have been working hard to give this age-old town a new appearance. Especially for the past ten years or more, the country’s reform and opening-up policy has infused new vigor into this beautiful and famous city. Newly built industries, an efficient transportation network extending in all directions, picturesque urban construction, a booming tertiary industry, a varied and colorful cultural life, all these and more added charm and vitality to this modern metropolis, which retains somehow the ambiance and features of an ancient capital. The prophecy of Dr. Sun Yat-sen father of modern China that “Nanjing will have a future that knows no bounds” is becoming true.
Nanjing, an old city with a rich and celebrated past, yet vigorous in her new youth-how lovely she is!
A Few Memories of Mr. Lu Xun
Mr. Lu Xun had a plant pot in his sitting-room. It looked like the jar European women fetchedwater with, as shown in paintings. It was of a bluish-gray, with a few ripples naturally embossedwith its own glaze and, on either side of it, there was a handle close to the top. Planted in itwas some evergreen.
The first time I visited Mr. Lu Xun I asked:
“What is the name of this plant? There is no fire in the room, but it is not frozen.”
It was toward evening one winter day. The sitting-room downstairs was dim. Mr. Lu Xun wassmoking a cigarette. When he took it away from his lips, holding it between his fingers at thecorner of his desk, small puffs rose as high as the top of his grayish hair and, further up, theywere no longer visible.
“This plant is called evergreen. It’s always like that.” He flicked the cigarette ash to the ashtraynext to the pot and the cigarette grew redder still like a small flower glimmering two or threeinches from the cuff of his sleeve.
“It is not affected by the cold, is it?” I asked another time, not remembering exactly when.
“No, it is not.” said Mrs. Lu. “It’s a very tough plant.” She held the pot by the top, shaking it forme to see.
I noticed there were some pebbles around the bottom. Later, as I got to know them better,went up to the black table once or twice for a closer look at the plant. As I came from the coldnorth I always wondered why this plant did not wither even in winter.
The plant was now still alive. Sometimes it was placed on the black table, other times in front ofMr. Lu Xun’s photograph. But it had been transplanted into a glass pot through which theiryellowish roots could be seen at the bottom.
Mrs. Lu would chat with us while moving from one plant to another, checking if any of them hadturned yellow or needed clipping or watering. She would keep herself busy in her room.Sometimes she examined the evergreen, sometimes she talked of Mr. Lu Xun, in front of hisphotograph, as if of someone of remote past.
But where was the pot now? It was standing in the graveyard, in the grass, its bottom missing.The bottomless, empty pot had been there spring through autumn until the pomegranate atthe head of the neighboring tomb had blossomed and borne fruit.
Since the Japanese bombardment of Shanghai only Mrs. Lu has made a detour to visit thetomb, but no others have ever been there. The tomb must have been overgrown with wildgrass and the porcelain bust of Mr. Lu Xun buried up to the chest, not to mention what wouldhave happened to the pot.
As for us over here, there is not much we can do but write some memorial articles. But whowill go and trim the grass on his tomb? We are getting further and further away from him, butno matter how far away we are, we must remember the grass on his tomb.
The Miao Dragon-Boat Festival
The Dragon-Boat Festival is the most important celebration of the Miao people, who live alongthe Qingshui Rwerin southeastem Guizhou Province. Every year between 30,000 and 40,000Miaos participate in the festivities.
In the eyes of the Miaos, the dragon is a symbol of good luck. Girls like to adorn their hair withsilver omaments shaped like dragons and wear clothes embroidered or woven with dragonpatterns.
The Miaos build exquisite"dragon boats," which are in reality a body formed from three canoes-one large and two small-that are strung together. A carved head, painted red, blue, or yellow, ismade from the trunk of a weeping willow tree. It is 2 meters long and sports a pair of horns. Aspecial shelter in seven parts, extending 28 meters, to house dragon boatshas been built inevery Miao village along the Qingshui River from Pingzhao in Shibing county to Liuhe in Taijiangcounty.
The Miao Dragon-Boat Festivalis celebrated from the 24th to the 27th ofthe fifth lunar month.But according to local custom, people are allowed to send their dragon boats down the riverafter the 16th, provided that they have finished weeding their fields. The earlier appearance ofthe boats onthe river tesifies to the villagers' efficiency, and conscientious peasants con-siderit a shame not to finish weeding before the festivities begin.
During the festival, each family makes r:ice wine and zongba (a kind of dump-ling made ofglutinous rice) and calls on friends and relatives. Married womenvisit their parents' homesbearing gifts-zongba, geese, and ducks.
In each boat, an old man rides straddling the dragon's neck. He is the mostrespected man inthe village, chosen by the villagers to be the coxswain. Wearing a gown and a mandarinjacket,the old man beats a drum to set the pace for the oarsmen, and severalboys about 10 years ofage, wearmg dresses,beat drums and gongs. The oarsmen, 40 in all, wield 5-foot-longwooden oars. These powerful-looking men wear horsetail-shaped hats, blue jacketsandtrousers, and embroidered waistbands pinned with silver ornaments. The hats, traditionallydowry gifts for girls from the upper reaches of theQingshui River, have become an essentialfeature of the costumes worn bythe dragon-boat oarsmen.
The Miao Dragon-Boat Festival differs from the Han celebration. They are not celebrated on thesame date (the Hans' takes place on the fifth day of thefifth lunar month), and they followdifferent traditions. While the Hans only hold dragon-boat races during the festival, theMiaostake the opportunity to visit friends and relatives. Before a dragon-boat setsout,somebody sings an auspicious song to the boatmen, wishing them agood voyage. Young menset out in boats early in the morning. When they approach a village, they fire guns toannounce their arrival. The villagers setoff firecrackers in response and then go to meet them.The hosts present twocups of rice wine to each oarsman and then tie gifts for their relatives-ducks, geese, and colored silks-onto the heads of the dragons. The tradi-tional gifts for sons-in.law, uncles, and nephews are pigs or sheep.
At 4 p.m. the boats stop alongside the riverbank. The drummers and oars~men on the boatseat glutinous rice balls and meat with their fingers. Womenand children on the shore ask theboatmen to share their food. It is said thateating food from a dragon-boat protects one fromdisaster and gives goodluck.
Horse races and bullfights are held during the festival. Girls in holiday dress dance to theaccompaniment of drums. It is not unusual for young people to meet their future spouses atthe songfests held on festival nights.