学习啦【英语文摘】 编辑：韦彦 发布时间：2016-08-27
A very dear cat一条贵重的宝贝猫
Kidnappers are rarely interested in animals， but they recently took considerable interest in Mrs. Eleanor Ramsay's cat. Mrs. Eleanor Ramsay， a very wealthy old lady， has shared a flat with her cat， Rastus， for a great many years. Rastus leads an orderly life. He usually takes a short walk in the evenings and is always home by seven o'clock. One evening， however， he failed to arrive. Mrs. Ramsay got very worried. She looked everywhere for him but could not find him.
There days after Rastus' disappearance， Mrs. Ramsay received an anonymous letter. The writer stated that Rastus was in safe hands and would be returned immediately if Mrs. Ramsay paid a ransom of $1，000. Mrs. Ramsay was instructed to place the money in a cardboard box and to leave it outside her door. At first she decided to go to the police， but fearing that she would never see Rastus again —— the letter had made that quite clear —— she changed her mind. She withdrew $1000 from her bank and followed the kidnapper's instructions. The next morning， the box had disappeared but Mrs. Ramsay was sure that the kidnapper would keep his word. Sure enough， Rastus arrived punctually at seven o'clock that evening. He looked very well though he was rather thirsty， for he drank half a bottle of milk. The police were astounded when Mrs. Ramsay told them what she had done. She explained that Rastus was very dear to her. Considering the amount she paid， he was dear in more ways than one!
In 1908 Lord Northcliffe offered a prize of $1，000 to the first man who would fly across the English Channel. Over a year passed before the first attempt was made. On July 19th， 1909， in the early morning， Hubert Latham took off from the French coast in his plane the 'Antoinette IV.' He had travelled only seven miles across the Channel when his engine failed and he was forced to land on sea. The 'Antoinette' floated on the water until Latham was picked up by a ship.
Two days alter， Louis Bleriot arrived near Calais with a plane called 'No. XI'. Bleriot had been making planes since 1905 and this was his lattes model. A week before， he had completed a successful overland flight during which he covered twenty-six miles. Latham， however， did not give up easily. He， too， arrived near Calais on the same day with a new 'Antoinette'. It looked as if there would be an exciting race across the Channel. Both planes were going to take off on July 25th， but Latham failed to get up early enough， After making a short test flight at 4，15 a.m.， Bleriot set off half an hour later. His great flight lasted thirty-seven minutes. When he landed near Dover， the first person to greet him was a local policeman. Latham made another attempt a week later and got within half a mile of Dover， but he was unlucky again. His engine failed and he landed on the sea for the second time.
Lesson 21 Daniel Mendoza丹尼尔。门多萨
Boxing matches were very popular in England two hundred years ago. In those days， boxers fought with bare fists for prize money. Because of this， they were known as 'prizefighters'. However， boxing was very crude， for these were no rules and a prizefighter could be seriously injured or even killed during a match.
One of the most colourful figures in boxing history was Daniel Mendoza， who was born in 1764. The use of gloves was not introduced until 1860， when the Marquis of Queensberry drew up the first set of rules. Though he was technically a prizefighter, Mendoza did much to change crude prizefighting into a sport， for he brought science to the game. In this day， Mendoza enjoyed tremendous popularity. He was adored by rich and poor alike.
Mendoza rose to fame swiftly after a boxing match when he was only fourteen years old. This attracted the attention of Richard Humphries who was then the most eminent boxer in England. He offered to train Mendoza and his young pupil was quick to learn. In fact， Mendoza soon became so successful that Humphries turned against him. The two men quarrelled bitterly and it was clear that the argument could only be settled by a fight. A match was held at Stilton， where both men fought for an hour. The public bet a great deal of money on Mendoza， but he was defeated. Mendoza met Humphries in the ring on a later occasion and he lost for a second time. It was not until his third match in 1790 that he finally beat Humphries and became Champion of England. Meanwhile， he founded a highly successful Academy and even Lord Byron became one of his pupils. He earned enormous sums of money and was paid as much as $100 for a single appear one of his pupils. He earned enormous sums of money and was paid as much as $100 for a single appearance. Despite this， he was so extravagant that he was always in debt. After he was defeated by a boxer called Gentleman Jackson， he was quickly forgotten. He was sent to prison for failing to pay his debts and died in poverty in 1836.
Lesson 22 By heart熟记台词
Some plays are so successful that they run for years on end， In many ways， this is unfortunate for the poor actors who are required to go on repeating the same lines night after night. One would expect them to know their parts by heart and never have cause to falter. Yet this is not always the case.
A famous actor in a highly successful play was once cast in the role of an aristocrat who had been imprisoned in the Bastille for twenty years. In the last act， a gaoler would always come on to the stage with a letter which he would hand to the prisoner. Even though the noble was expected to read the letter at each performance， he always insisted that it should be written out in full.
One night， the gaoler decided to play a joke on his colleague to find out if， after so many performances， he had managed to learn the contents of the letter by heart. The curtain went up on the final act of the play and revealed the aristocrat sitting alone behind bars in his dark cell. Just then， the gaoler appeared with the precious letter in his bands. He entered the cell and presented the letter to the aristocrat. But the copy he gave him had not been written out in full as usual. It was simply a blank sheet of paper. The gaoler looked on eagerly， anxious to see if his fellow actor had at last learnt his lines. The noble stared at the blank sheet of paper for a few seconds. Then， squinting his eyes， he said： 'The light is dim. Read the letter to me'. And he promptly handed the sheet of paper to the gaoler. Finding that he could not remember a word of the letter either， the gaoler replied： 'The light is indeed dim， sire， I must get my glasses.' With this， he hurried off the stage. Much to the aristocrat's amusement， the gaoler returned a few moments later with a pair of glasses and the usual copy of the letter with he proceeded to read to the prisoner.
Lesson 23 One man's meat is another man's poison各有所爱
People become quite illogical when they try to decide what can be eaten and what cannot be eaten. If you lived in the Mediterranean， for instance， you would consider octopus a great delicacy. You would not be able to understand why some people find it repulsive. On the other hand， your stomach would turn at the idea of frying potatoes in animal fat —— the normally accepted practice in many northern countries. The sad truth is that most of us have been brought up to eat certain foods and we stick to them all our lives.
No creature has received more praise and abuse than the common garden snail. Cooked in wine， snails are a great luxury in various parts of the world. There are countless people who， ever since their early years， have learned to associate snails with food. My friend， Robert， lives in a country where snails are despised. As his flat is in a large town， he has no garden of his own. For years he has been asking me to collect snails from my garden and take them to him. The idea never appealed to me very much， but one day， after heavy shower， I happened to be walking in my garden when I noticed a huge number of snails taking a stroll on some of my prize plants. Acting on a sudden impulse， I collected several dozen， put them in a paper bag， and took them to Robert. Robert was delighted to see me and equally pleased with my little gift. I left the bag in the hall and Robert and I went into the living room where we talked for a couple of hours. I had forgotten all about the snails when Robert suddenly said that I must stay to dinner. Snails would， of course， be the main dish. I did not fancy the idea and I reluctantly followed Robert out of the room. To our dismay， we saw that there were snails everywhere： they had escaped from the paper bag and had taken complete possession of the hall! I have never been able to look at a snail since then.
Lesson 24 A skeleton in the cupboard“家丑”
We often read in novels how a seemingly respectable person or family has some terrible secret which has been concealed from strangers for years. The English language possesses a vivid saying to describe this sort of situation. The terrible secret is called 'a skeleton in the cupboard'. At some dramatic moment in the story， the terrible secret becomes known and a reputation is ruined. The reader's hair stands on end when he reads in the final pages of the novel that the heroine a dear old lady who had always been so kind to everybody， had， in her youth， poisoned every one of her five husbands.
It is all very well for such things to occur in fiction. To varying degrees， we all have secrets which we do not want even our closest friends to learn， but few of us have skeletons in the cupboard. The only person I know who has a skeleton in the cupboard is George Carlton， and he is very pound of the fact. George studied medicine in his youth. Instead of becoming a doctor， however， he became a successful writer of detective stories. I once spend an uncomfortable weekend which I shall never forget at his house. George showed me to the guestroom which， he said， was rarely used. He told me to unpack my things and then come down to dinner. After I had stacked my shirts and underclothes in two empty drawers， I decided to hang one of the tow suits I had brought with me in the cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of two suits I had brought with me in the cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of it suits I had brought with me in the cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of it petrified. A skeleton was dangling before my eyes. The sudden movement of the door made it sway slightly and it gave me the impression that it was about to leap out at me. Dropping my suit， I dashed downstairs to tell George. This was worse than "a terrible secret'; this was a read skeleton! But George was unsympathetic. 'Oh， that，' he said with a smile as if he were talking about an old friend. 'That's Sebastian. You forget that I was a medical student once upon a time.'
Lesson 25 The Cutty Sark“卡蒂萨克”号帆船
One of the most famous sailing ships of the nineteenth century， the Cutty Sark， can still be seen at Greewich. She stands on dry land and is visited by thousands of people each year. She serves as an impressive reminder of the great ships of past. Before they were replaced by steamships， sailing vessels like the Cutty Sark were used to carry tea from China and wool from Australia. The Cutty Sark was one the fastest sailing ships that has ever been built. The only other ship to match her was the Thermopylae. Both these ships set out from Shanghai on June 18th， 1872 on an exciting race to England. This race， which went on for exactly four exactly four months， was the last of its kind. It marked the end of the great tradition of ships with sails and the beginning of a new era.
The first of the two ships to reach Java after the race had begun was the Thermopylae， but on the Indian Ocean， the Cutty Sark took lead. It seemed certain that she would be the first ship home， but during the race she had a lot of bad luck. In August， she was struck by a very heavy storm during which her rudder was torn away. The Cutty Sark rolled from side to side and it became impossible to steer her. A temporary rudder was made on board from spare planks and it was fitted with great difficulty. This greatly reduced the speed of the ship， for there was a danger that if she traveled too quickly， this rudder would be torn away as well. Because of this， the Cutty Sark lost her lead. After crossing the Equator， the captain called in at a port to have a new rudder fitted， but by now the Thermopylae was over five hundred miles ahead. Though the new rudder was fitted at tremendous speed， it was impossible for the Cutty Sark to win. She arrived in England a week after the Thermopylae. Even this was remarkable， considering that she had had so many delays. These is no doubt that if she had not lost her rudder she would have won the race easily.
Lesson 26 Wanted： a large biscuit tin征购大饼干筒
No one can avoid being influenced by advertisements. Much as we may pride ourselves on our good taste， we are no longer free to choose the things we want， for advertising exerts a subtle influence on us. In their efforts to persuade us to buy this or that product， advertisers have made a close study of human nature and have classified all our little weaknesses. Advertisers discovered years ago that all of us love to get something for nothing. An advertisement which begins with the magic word FREE can rarely go wrong. These days， advertisers not only offer free samples， but free cars， free houses， and free trips round the world as well. They devise hundreds of competitions which will enable us to win huge sums of money. Radio and television have made it possible for advertisers to capture the attention of millions of people in this way.
During a radio programme， a company of biscuit manufacturers once asked listeners to bake biscuits and send them to their factory. They offered to pay $10 a pound for the biggest biscuit baked by a listener. The response to this competition was tremendous. Before long， biscuits of all shapes and sizes began arriving at the factory. One lady brought in a biscuit on a wheelbarrow. It weighed nearly 500 pounds. A little later， a man came along with a biscuit which occupied the whole boot of his car. All the biscuits that were sent were carefully weighed. The largest was 713 pounds. It seemed certain that this would win the prize. But just before the competition closed， a lorry arrived at the factory with a truly colossal biscuit which weighed 2，400 pounds. It had been baked by a college student who had used over 1，000 pounds of flour， 800 pounds of sugar， 200 pounds of fat， and 400 pounds of various other ingredients. It was so heavy that a crane had to be used to remove it from the lorry. The manufacturers had to pay more money than they had anticipated， or they bought the biscuit from the student for $24，000.
Lesson 27 Nothing to sell and nothing to buy不卖也不买
It has been said that everyone lives by selling something. In the light of this statement， teachers live by selling knowledge， philosophers by selling wisdom and priests by selling spiritual comfort. Though it may be possible to measure the value of material good in terms of money， it is extremely difficult to estimate the true value of the services which people perform for us. There are times when we would willingly give everything we possess to save our lives， yet we might grudge paying a surgeon a high fee for offering us precisely this service. The conditions of society are such that skills have to be paid for in the same way that goods are paid for at a shop. Everyone has something to sell.
Tramps seem to be the only exception to this general rule. Beggars almost sell themselves as human being to arouse the pity of passers-by. But real tramps are not beggars. They have nothing to sell and require nothing from others. In seeking independence， they do not sacrifice their human dignity. A tramp may ask you for money， but he will never ask you to feel sorry for him. He has deliberately chosen to lead the life he leads and is fully aware of the consequences. He may never be sure where the next meal is coming from， but his is free from the thousands of anxieties which afflict other people. His few material possessions make it possible for him to move from place to place with ease. By having to sleep in the open， he gets far closer to the world of nature than most of us ever do. He may hunt， beg， or stead occasionally to keep himself alive; he may even， in times of real need， do a little work; but he will never sacrifice his freedom. We often speak of my even， in times of real need， do a little work; but he will never sacrifice his freedom. We often speak of tramps with contempt and put them in the same class as beggars， but how many of us can honestly say that we have not felt a little envious of their simple way of life and their freedom from care?