Lesson 41 Illusions of pastoral peace

The quiet life of the country has never appealed to me. City born and city bred, I have always regarded the country as something you look at through a train window, or something you occasional visit during the weekend. Most of my friends live in the city, yet they always go into raptures at the mere mention of the country. Though they extol the virtues of the peaceful life, only one of them has ever gone to live in the country and he was back in town within six months. Even he still lives under the illusion that country life is somehow superior to town life. He is forever talking about the friendly people, the clean atmosphere, the closeness to nature and the gentle pace of living. Nothing can be compared, he maintains, with the first cockcrow, the twittering of birds at dawn, the sight of the rising sun glinting on the trees and pastures. This idyllic pastoral scene is only part of the picture. My friend fails to mention the long and friendless winter evenings in front of the TV -- virtually the only form of entertainment. He says nothing about the poor selection of goods in the shops, or about those unfortunate people who have to travel from the country to the city every day to get to work. Why people are prepared to tolerate a four-hour journey each day for the dubious privilege of living in the country is beyond me. They could be saved so much misery and expense if they chose to live in the city where they rightly belong.

If you can do without the few pastoral pleasures of the country, you will find the city can provide you with the best that life can offer. You never have to travel miles to see your friends. They invariably live nearby and are always available for an informal chat or an evening's entertainment. Some of my acquaintances in the country come up to town once or twice a year to visit the theatre as a special treat. For them this is a major operation which involves considerable planning. As the play draws to its close, they wonder whether they will ever catch that last train home. The cit dweller never experiences anxieties of this sort. The latest exhibitions, films, or plays are only a short bus ride away. Shopping, too, is always a pleasure. There is so much variety that you never have to make do with second best. Country people run wild when they go shopping in the city and stagger home loaded with as many of the exotic items as they can carry. Nor is the city without its moments of beauty. There is something comforting about the warm glow shed by advertisements on cold wet winter nights. Few things could be more impressive than the peace that descends on deserted city streets at weekends when the thousands that travel to work every day are tucked away in their homes in the country. It has always been a mystery to me why city dwellers, who appreciate all these things, obstinately pretend that they would prefer to live in the country.

【New words and expressions】 生词和短语

●illusion n. 幻想,错觉

●pastoral adj. 田园的

●breed v. 培育

●rapture n. 欣喜

●extol v. 赞美,颂扬

●superior adj. 优越的

●cockcrow n. 鸡叫

●twitter v. (鸟)吱吱叫,喊喊喳喳叫

●glint v. 闪烁

●pasture n. 牧场

●idyllic adj. 田园诗的

●virtually adv. 几乎;差不多

●dubious adj. 可疑的,怀疑的

●privilege n. 特权

●misery n. 苦难

●acquaintance n. 熟人

●treat n. 难得的乐事,享受

●dweller n. 居住者

●stagger v. 摇晃;蹒跚

●exotic adj. 寻乎寻常的,外来的

●glow n. 白炽光

●descend v. 下落,降临

●tuck v. 缩进,隐藏

●obstinately adv. 固执地,顽固地

参考译文

宁静的乡村生活从来没有吸引过我。我生在城市,长在城市,总认为乡村是透过火车车窗看到的那个样了,或偶尔周末去游玩一下景象。我的许多朋友都住在城市,但他们只要一提起乡村,马上就会变得欣喜若狂。尽管他们都交口称赞宁静的乡村生活的种种优点,但其中只有一个人真去农村住过,而且不足6个月就回来了。即使他也仍存有幻觉,好像乡村生活就是比城市生活优越。他滔滔不绝地大谈友好的农民,洁净的空气,贴近大自然的环境和悠闲的生活节奏。他坚持认为,凌晨雄鸡第一声啼叫,黎明时分小鸟吱喳欢叫,冉冉升起的朝阳染红树木、牧场,此番美景无与伦比。但这种田园诗般的乡村风光仅仅是一个侧面。我的朋友没有提到在电视机前度过的漫长寂寞的冬夜--电视是唯一的娱乐形式。他也不说商店货物品种单调,以及那些每天不得不从乡下赶到城里工作的不幸的人们。人们为什么情愿每天在路上奔波4个小时去换取值得怀疑的乡间的优点,我是无法理解的。要是他们愿意住在本来属于他们的城市,则可以让他们省去诸多不便与节约大量开支。

如果你愿舍弃乡下生活那一点点乐趣的话,那么你会发出城市可以为你提供生活最美好的东西。你去看朋友根本不用跋涉好几英里,因为他们都住在附近,你随时可以同他们聊天或在晚上一起娱乐。我在乡村有一些熟人,他们每年进城来看一回或几回戏,并把此看作一种特殊的享受。看戏在他们是件大事,需要精心计划。当戏快演完时,他们又为是否能赶上末班火车回家而犯愁。这种焦虑,城里人是从未体验过的。坐公共汽车几站路,就可看到最新的展览、电影、戏剧。买东西也是一种乐趣。物品种繁多,从来不必用二等品来凑合。乡里人进城采购欣喜若狂,每次回家时都买足了外来商品,直到拿不动方才罢休,连走路都摇摇晃晃的。城市也并非没有良辰美景。寒冷潮湿的冬夜里,广告灯箱发出的暖光,会给人某种安慰。周末,当成千上万进城上班的人回到他们的乡间寓所之后,空旷的街市笼罩着一种宁静气氛,没有什么能比此时的宁静更令人难忘了。城里人对这一切心里很明白,却偏要执拗地装出他们喜欢住在乡村的样子,这对我来说一直是个谜。

重点词汇

◆illusion n. 幻想,错觉(delusion; false perception)

Eg: He lives under the illusion.

常用短语:be under an/the illusion that 错误地相信,错误地认为

under no illusion that 没有什么幻想

have illusion about / have no illusion about 对...抱有/不抱有幻想

Eg: I was under the illusion that he was honest until he was caught stealing some money. 在他偷钱被抓住之前,我一直错误地相信他是正直的。

We live under no illusion that country life is beautiful.

比较

delusion 幻觉(尤指精神病人)

Eg: He is under the delusion that somebody will kill him tomorrow.

He lives under the delusion that he will be killed sometime.

vision 憧景

Eg: I live under the vision that I have a bright future.

词根及相关:

illusioned adj. 充满幻想的

Eg: The world of children is illusioned. 孩子们的世界是充满幻想的。

illusionary adj. 错觉的,幻觉的

Eg: Don't believe in him. What he said is illusionary picture.

illusive adj. 虚假的,不可靠的

Eg: What he described was illusive. Don't depend on him any more.

imaginary 虚构的 Eg: The story is imaginary, don't be taken in.

imaginative 富有想像力的 Eg: Children are more imaginative than adults.

unimaginative 缺乏想像力的

imaginable 能想像得出的(须放在被修饰词之后) Eg: This is the idea / way imaginable.

◆breed v. 饲养(动物)(keep (animals) for the purpose of producing young,正式用语)

不规则动词:breed / bred / bred

breed sb (as sth):养育,教育,训练(bring up; train; educate)

Eg: As a mother, you must breed good manners into your child.

联想breed / raise / bring up / rear :除bring up只可表示养育小孩外,其它三个词既可表示对人的抚育,也可表示对家禽、动物等的饲养

Eg: raise /breed pets 养宠物     raise / breed dogs.

I must rear the child because I have the duty.

It's difficult raising a family on a small income.

He rears / breeds / raises two dogs.

v. 导致,产生(cause; lead; result in; give rise to)

Eg: War breeds misery and ruin. 战争导致毁灭和悲惨。

Your carelessness bred the accident.

短语:breed in and in 近亲结婚,同种繁殖  breed out and out 非近亲结婚,异种繁殖

◆rapture n. 欣喜(great joy; intense delight)

Eg: At the news, they are in raptures. 或者:At the news, they are great delighted.

常用短语:in raptures about/over sth, go into raptures over/about sth 对...欣喜若狂, 对...感到非常高兴

Eg: I am in raptures about the new book.

He went into raptures when he heard the good news.

联想

joy / happiness 最普通的词

Eg: We have a good time and we are full of happiness.

delight 高兴,喜悦,程度强于joy, 但不如rapture,也不如rapture那么正式

Eg: I feel delighted. 或者:I am in raptures.

elation 兴高采烈;得意洋洋 Eg: He has got the feeling of elation.

bliss 极乐;无尚的幸福

Eg: Nothing in the world can make you happier than bliss.

A sound sleep is my bliss.

glee 欢乐,高兴,欢心 (诗歌中)

◆◆◆extol v. 赞美,颂扬(praise (sb/ sth) highly,正式用语)

Eg: I want to extol the virtues of human beings. 我要颂扬人类的美德。

联想

praise 最普通的词

I can't find a good word to praise you / your ability.

compliment v. & n. 恭维

Eg: One likes to hear compliments on one's appearance. 人们都喜欢别人恭维自己的仪表。

exalt 高度赞扬(正式用语)

laud 赞美(正式用语或用于修辞) Eg: I want to laud your beauty, ability and your wealth.

◆superior adj. 优越的(better than the average) 本身表示比...优越,无比较级和最高级

be superior to 比...优越 Eg: In my opinion, town life is superior to country life.

词根相关

inferior 下等的,下级的

be inferior to 比...低,不如... Eg: In my opinion, country life is inferior to city life.

senior 年长的,高级的 / junior 年少的,下级的

Eg: senior high school 高中  /  junior high school 初中

    He will soon be working in an office as a junior clerk. (NCE3 lesson 4)

posterior较晚的 / prior 在前的

Eg: This work is of great importance, it should be prior to that one.

This work is of no significance, it should be inferior to that one.

◆idyllic adj. 田园诗的(like a description of the country life in a poem)

Eg: He is leading an idyllic life. 他过着田园诗般的生活。

◆dubious adj. 可疑的,怀疑的(not certain and slightly suspicious about sth; doubtful)

联想:

dubious

be dubious about/of  对...怀疑,对...不肯定,主要表示不肯定的,不确定的

Eg: I am dubious about her motives. 我怀疑她的动机。

suspicious / doubtful:suspicious语气比doubtful肯定

Eg: It's very suspicious that she was in the house when the crime happened.

I am not sure about your ability to do so. 或者:I am doubtful of your ability.

我们可以看看这两个词对应的动词:doubt / suspect

Eg: I suspect that he stole the car last night. 语气较肯定的猜疑

I doubt whether he stole the car. 语气不太肯定

questionable强调质疑,有问题的,值得争议的

This is a questionable conclusion / decision.

skeptical 怀疑论的,怀疑的 (与suspicious意思接近,但属于正式用法)

Eg: Your idea is skeptical.

◆privilege n. 特权(special right or advantage available only to a particular person)

Eg: Such is human nature, that a great many people are often willing to sacrifice higher pay for the privilege of becoming white collar workers. (NCE3 lesson 4)

◆treat n. 难得的乐事,享受(scarce amusement; enjoy)

Eg: Having dinner with you is my treat.

常用短语:be one's treat = sb stand treat 请客 Eg: Let's go to have dinner. It's my treat

v. treat sb. to 宴请,招待(give sb sth enjoyable)

Eg: It's my pleasure to treat you to dinner.

v. treat sb as 按...对待某人(act or behave in a certain way towards sb)

Eg: I treat him as my best friend.

v. treat with sb. 跟某人商谈(negotiate with sb)

Eg I can't bring it to a conclusion. I want to treat with you.

v. treat of sth./sb. 关于...,提及到...(speak of) Eg: We treat of tramps contemptuously.

◆descend v. 下落,降临(come or go down,书面用语)

Eg: darkness descends very soon because winter is coming.

v. descend from 遗传,传下(pass from father to son; be inherited by sb from sb)

Eg: The watch descended from his grandfather.

descend on / upon 突然袭击,突然访问(attack sb/ sth suddenly; visit sb/ sth unexpectedly)

Eg: The police descended on their hide-out. 警察突然袭击了他们的藏身处。

Yesterday, my best friend descended on me.

反义词ascend 攀登,上升 Eg: The airplane is ascending at tremendous speed.

◆obstinately adv. 固执地,顽固地(toughly; stiffly)

obstinate adj. 顽固而不易被别人所改变

Eg: If you are an obstinate person, nobody can change your mind.

联想:

stubborn 倔强的,顽固的

Eg: He is such a stubborn person that he insists on finishing what he wants to do.

Don't try to persuade him because he is an obstinate person.

as stubborn as mule 像牛一样倔强

persistent 坚持的,固执的

Eg: She eventually married the most persistent of her admirers. 她最终嫁给了她的追求者中最痴情的一个。

strong minded 顽强的,意志力强的

Eg: If you are a strong minded person, you can do everything well.

Vocabulary exercise:

Read this text. Then use the word given in boldfaced capitals to form a word that fits in the space.

‘It's surprising how PEACE it can be in the center of the city,' an old ACQUAINT said to me the other day. ‘I know it's VIRTUAL impossible for you country people to understand us city DWELL, but just tell me this: why do you and your country friends OBSTINATE refuse to believe that there is no PLEASE to be found in the center of a city other than exotic ENTERTAIN of all kinds? You know, within a few minutes' walk of almost any busy street in London there is a park full of twittering birds. And such a VARY of birds, too!'