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高级英语lesson 14

lesson fourteen

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning星期六的晚上和星期日上午

by Alan Sillitoe Text

14-1 He sat by the canal fishing on a Sunday morning in spring, at an elbow(赤楊樹) where alders dipped over the water like old men on their last legs, pushed by young sturdy oaks from behind.



He straightened his back, his fingers freeing nylon line from a speedily revolving reel.


Around him lay knapsack and jacket, an empty catch-net, his bicycle, and two tins of worms dug from the plot of garden at home before setting out.


Sun was breaking through clouds, releasing a smell of earth to heaven.


Birds sang. A soundless and minuscular explosion of water caught his eye.


He moved nearer the edge, stood up, and with a vigorous sweep of his arm, cast out the line.


14-2 Another solitary man was fishing further along the canal, but Arthur knew that they would leave each other in peace, would not even call out greetings .



No one bothered you: you were a hunter, a dreamer, your own boss away from it all for a few hours on any day that the weather did not throw down its rain .


Like the corporal in the army who said it was marvellous (了不起的)the things you thought about as you sat on the lavatory(廁所). Even better than that, it was marvellous the things that came to you in the tranquillity of fishing.



14-3 He drank tea from the flask and ate a cheese sandwich, then sat back to watch the red and white float--up to its waist(腰部) in water under the alder trees(楊柳樹下)--and keep an eye always close to it for the sudden indication of a fortunate catch.




For himself, his own catch had been made, and he would have to wrestle with it for the rest of his life.


Whenever you caught a fish, the fish caught you, in a way of speaking , and it was the same with anything else you caught, like the measles or a woman. .

你不管什么时候钓上了鱼,鱼也同时钩住了你,可以说,你所捉住的其他任何东西也是如此,比如说麻疹或女人。Everyone in the world was caught, somehow, one way or another, and those that weren't were always on the way to it.


As soon as you were born you were captured by fresh air that you screamed against the minute you came out .


Then you were roped in by a factory, had a machine slung around your neck , and then you were hooked .up by the arse with a



Mostly you were like a fish: you swam about with freedom , thinking how good it was to be left alone, doing anything you wanted to do and caring about no one, when suddenly: SPLUTCH!--the big hook clapped itself into your mouth and you were caught.


Without knowing what you were doing you had chewed off more than you could bite and had to stick with the same piece of bait for the rest of your life .


It meant death for a fish; but for a man it might not be so bad.


Maybe it was only the beginning of something better in life, better than you could ever have thought possible before clamping your avid jaws down over the vital bait.


Arthur knew he had not yet bitten, that he had really only licked the bait and. found it tasty, that he could still disengage his mouth from the nibbled morsel. But he did not want to do so.



If you went through life refusing all the bait dangled before you, that would be no life at all.


No changes would be made and you would have nothing to fight against. Life would be as dull as ditchwater.


You could kill yourself by too much cunning. (狡猾的)


Even though bait meant trouble, you could not ignore it for ever.


He laughed to think that he was full of bait already, half-digested (消化一半的食物)slop that had certainly given him a share of trouble, one way or another.


14-4 Watching the float so intently made him sleepy: he had been with Doreen until two the night before.


They spoke of getting married in three months, by which time, Arthur said, they would have collected a good amount of money, nearly a hundred and fifty pounds, not counting income-tax rebate, which will probably bump it up to a couple of hundred.



So they would be sitting pretty, Doreen replied, because Mrs. Greatton had already offered to let them stay with her for as long as they liked, paying half the rent. For she would be lonely when Chumley left.



Arthur said he would be able to get on with Mrs. Greatton , because living there he would be the man of the house.

因为丘姆雷搬走了,她会感到寂寞。阿瑟说他会和格瑞顿太太相处融洽,因为住在那儿,他将成为那幢房子的男主人。And if there was any argument, they could get rooms somewhere. So it looked as though they'd be all right together, he thought, as long as a war didn't start, or trade slump and bring back the dole.


As long as there wasn't a famine, a plague(瘟疫) to sweep over England, an earthquake to crack it in two and collapse the city

around them, or a bomb to drop and end the world with a big bang.

只要英国不发生饥荒、瘟疫;只要不发生地震,把英国震成两半,把城市震坍;只要不投下导弹砰地一声摧毁这个世界。But you couldn't concern yourself too much with these things if you had plans and wanted to get something out of life that you had never had before.


And that was a fact, he thought, chewing a piece of grass.


14-5 He fixed the rod firmly against the bank and stood to stretch himself. He yawned widely, felt his legs weaken, then strengthen, then relax, his tall figure marked against a background of curving canal and hedges and trees bordering it.




He rubbed his hand over the rough features of his face , upwards over thick lips, grey eyes, low forehead ,short fair hair, then looked up at the mixture of grey cloud and blue patches of sky overhead .


For some reason he smiled at what he saw, and turned to walk some yards along the towpath.


Forgetting the stilled float in the water, he stopped to urinate against the bushes. While fastening his trousers, he saw the float in violent agitation, as if it were suddenly alive and wanted to leap out of the water,



14-6 He ran back to the rod and began winding in the reel with steady movements .


His hands worked smoothly and the line came in so quickly that it did not seem to be moving except on the reel itself where the nylon thread (尼龍線)grew in thickness and breadth, where he evened it out with his thumb so that it would not clog (纏住)at a vital moment .


The fish came out of the water, flashing and struggling on the end of the line, and he grasped it firmly in his hand to take the hook from its mouth.



He looked into its glass-grey eye, at the brown pupil(瞳孔) whose fear expressed all the life that it had yet lived, and all its fear of the death that now threatened it.

他看着鱼呆滞无神的眼睛,看着它棕色的瞳孔,鱼眼里透露的恐惧述说了它的一生,以及对正威胁着它的死亡的恐惧。In its eye he saw the green gloom (朦朧綠影)of willow-sleeved canals(兩邊有柳樹) in cool decay(凄涼衰落), an eye filled with panic and concern for the remaining veins of life that circled like a silent whirlpool旋涡around it.


Where do fishes go when they die? he wondered.


The glow (發光)of long-remembered lives was mirrored in its eyes, and the memory of cunning curves executed in the moving shadows from reed to reed as it scattered the smaller fry(驅散小魚) and was itself chased by bigger fish(被大魚追趕) was also pictured there.



Arthur felt mobile waves of hope running the length of its squamous body from head to tail.


He removed the hook, and threw it back into the water. He watched it flash away and disappear.


14-7 One more chance, he said to himself;


but if you or any of your pals(好朋友) come back to the bait, it's curtains for ' em .


With float bobbing(擺動) before him once more he sat down to wait. This time it was war, and he wanted fish to take home, either to cook in the pan or feed to the cat.


It's trouble for you and trouble for me, and all over a piece of bait(誘餌), The fattest worm of the lot is fastened to the hook, so don't grumble (抱怨)when you feel that point sticking to your chops.


14-8 And trouble for me it'll be, fighting every day until I die.


Why do they make soldiers out of us when we're fighting up to the hilt as it is?


Fighting with mothers and wives,, landlords and gaffers(工頭), coppers, army, government.


If it's not one thing it's another, apart from the work we have to do and the way we spend our wages.


There's bound to be trouble in store for me every day of my life, because trouble it's always been and always will be.


Born drunk and married blind, misbegotten (私生)into a strange and crazy world, dragged up through the dole (救濟)and into the war with a gas-mask on your clock, and the sirens rattling into you every night while you rot with scabies in an air-raid shelter.

生来酗酒,盲目结婚,被私生在这个古怪疯狂的世界上,家庭靠领救济金把你拉扯大,也没能给你多少好的教育,接着你又被拖进第二次世界大战,头上成天戴着防毒面具,空袭警报每晚响彻在你耳畔,而你躲在防空洞里长出了疥疮。Slung into khaki at eighteen,


and when they let you out, you sweat again in a factory, grabbing for an extra pint,


doing women at the weekend and getting to know whose husbands are on the night-shift, working with rotten guts and an aching spine ,


and nothing for it but money to drag you back there every Monday morning .


14-9 Well, it's a good life and a good world, all said and done, if you don't weaken, and if you know that the big wide

world hasn't heard from you yet, no, not by a long way, though it won't be long now.



14-10 The float bobbed more violently than before and, with a grin on his face, he began to wind (繞)in the reel.


Lesson Fifteen Is America Falling Apart?


15-1 I am back in Bracciano, a castellated(城堡式) town about 13 miles north of Rome, after a year in New Jersey.


I find the Italian Government still unstable, gasoline more expensive than anywhere in the world, butchers and bank clerks and tobacconists(煙店老板) ready to go on strike at the drop of a hat(隨時的),


neo-fascists at their dirty work, the hammer(錘子) and sickle(鐮刀)painted on the rumps of public statues, a thousand-lira note (officially worth about $1.63) shrunk to the slightness of a dollar bill.



15-2 Nevertheless(然而), it's delightful to be back. People are underpaid but they go through an act of liking their work, the open markets are luscious with esculent color , the community is important than the state, the human condition is humorously accepted. 然而回到这里仍然令我高兴。人们得到的工资很低,但仍做出喜欢他们的工



The northern wind blows viciously today, and there's no central heating (中央暖氣)to turn on, but it will be pleasant when the wind drops.


The two television channels are inadequate(不充分的), but next Wednesday's return of an old Western is something to look forward to.


Manifold consumption(多樣化的消費) isn't important here.


The quality of life has nothing to do with the quantity of brand names.


What matters is talk, family, cheap wine in the open air, the wresting of minimal sweetness out of the long-known bitterness of living .



I was spoiled in(寵壞的) New Jersey.


15-3 In New Jersey, I never had to shiver by a fire that wouldn't draw, or go without canned food .


America made me develop new appetites in order to make proper use of the supermarket.


A character in Evelyn Waugh's Put out More Flags said that the difference between prewar and postwar life was that, prewar, if one thing went wrong the day was ruined(毀滅了); postwar, if one thing went right the day would be made.


America is a prewar country, psychologically(心理上的) unprepared for one thing to go wrong. Hence the neurosis, despair, the Kafka feeling that the whole marvelous fabric of American life is coming apart at the seams.



15-4 Let us stay for a while on this subject of consumption. American individualism, on the face of it an admirable philosophy, wishes to manifest(表現) itself in independence of the community. You don't share things in common; you have your own things. 让我们在消费这个题目上再稍微多说几句。美国式的个人主义在表面看来是



A family's strength is signalized by its possessions.


Herein lies a paradox. For the desire for possessions must eventually mean dependence on possessions.


Freedom is slavery. Once let the acquisitive instinct burgeon, and there are ruggedly individual forces only too ready to make it come to full and monstrous (巨大的)blossom.


New appetites are invented; what to the European are bizarre luxuries become, to the American, plain necessities.



15-5 During my year's stay in New Jersey I let my appetite flower into full Americanism except for one thing. I did not possess an automobile.


This self-elected deprivation(剝奪) was a way into the nastier(骯臟) side of the consumer society. Where private ownership prevails, public amenities (公共益事)decay or are prevented from coming into being.


The rundown rail services of America are something I try, vainly(徒勞的), to forget.


The nightmare of filth(骯臟), outside and in, that enfolds the trip from Springfield, Mass., to Grand Central Station would not be accepted in backward Europe.


But far worse is the nightmare of travel in and around Los Angeles, where public transport does not exist and people are literally choking to death in their exhaust fumes .


This is part of the price of individual ownership.


15-6 But if the car owner can ignore the lack of public transport, he can hardly ignore the decay(腐朽) of services in general.


His car needs mechanics, and mechanics grow more expensive and less efficient.


The gadgets in the home are cheaper to replace than repair.


The more efficiently self-contained the home seems to be, the more dependent it is on the great impersonal (冷漠的)corporations,

as well as a diminishing(縮小的) army of servitors.


Skills at the lowest level have to be wooed slavishly and exorbitantly (昂貴的)rewarded.


Plumbers will not come. Nor, at the higher level, will doctors. And doctors and dentists know their scarcity value and behave accordingly .


15-7 Americans are at last realizing that the acquisition of goods is not the whole of life.


Consumption, on one level, is turning insipid, especially as the quality of the goods seems to be deteriorating.


Planned obsolescence is not conducive to pride in workmanship. On another level, consumption is turning sour .


There is a growing guilt about the masses of discarded junk(丟棄的垃圾)- -rusting automobiles and refrigerators and washing machines and dehumidifiers(除濕器) that it is uneconomical to recycle.

对于大量回收利用不划算的废弃物品——锈蚀着的汽车、冰箱、洗衣机、除湿机——人们越来越感到有负罪感。Indestructible(不能破壞的) plastic hasn't even the grace to undergo chemical change .


America, the world's biggest consumer, is the world's biggest polluter.


Awareness of this is a kind of redemptive grace(彌補), but it has not led to repentance (悔改)and a revolution in consumer habits. 意识到这一点是某种弥补,但并未导致悔改和消费习惯上的革命。

Citizens of Los Angeles are horrified by the daily pall of golden smog, but they don't noticeably clamor for a decrease in the number of owner-vehicles.


There is no worse neurosis than that which derives from a consciousness of guilt and an inability to reform .


15-8 It would be unnecessary for me to list those areas in which thoughtful Americans feel that collapse is coming.


It is enough for me to concentrate on education. America has always despised its teachers and, as a consequence, it has been granted the teachers it deserves .


The quality of first-grade education that my son received, in a New Jersey town noted for the excellence of its public schools, could not, I suppose, be faulted on the level of dogged(執著) conscientiousness. 認真的態度


The teachers worked rigidly(嚴格的) from the approved rigidly programed primers.


But there seemed to be no spark(火花), no daring(膽識), no madness(激情), no readiness(願望??) to engage the individual child's mind as anything other than raw material for statistical reductions(數字計算).


The fear of being unorthodox(離經叛道)is rooted in the American teacher's soul; you can be fired for treading the path of

experimental enterprises.


15-9 I know that American technical genius, and most of all the moon landing, seems to give the lie to too summary

a condemnation (指責)of the educational system ,


but there is more to education than the segmental equipping of the mind.


There is that transmission of the value of the past as a force still miraculously fertile and moving mostly absent from American education at all levels.



15-10 Of course, America was built on a rejection of the past.


Even the basic Christianity which was brought to the continent in 1620 was of a novel and bizarre(新奇古怪) kind . And now America, filling in the vacuum left by the liquefied British Empire(解體了的英帝國), has the task of showing the best thing to the rest of the world.


The best thing can only be money-making and consumption for its own sake.


In the name of this ghastly creed (可怕的信念)the jungle(叢林) must be defoliated .


15-11 No wonder thoughtful Americans feel guilty and want to take all the blame they can find.


"What do Europeans really think of us?" is a common question at parties


. The expected answer is: "They think you're a load of decadent(腐化墮落地), gross-lipped(言語粗俗), potbellied(大腹便便) ,callous(麻木不仁的), overbearing (傲慢的)neo-imperialists."


But the fact is that such an answer, however much desired, would not be an honest one.


Europeans think more highly of Americans now than they ever did. Let me explain why.


15-12 When Europe had sunk to the level of sewer, America became the golden dream, the Eden where innocence could be recovered .


Original sin(原罪) was the monopoly of that dirty continent over there.


In America, progress was possible, and the wrongs committed against the Indians, the wildlife, the land itself, could be explained away in terms of the rational control of environment necessary for the building of a New Jerusalem.(耶路撒冷)


Morally there were only right and wrong; evil had no place in America.


15-13 At last, with the Vietnam War, Americans are beginning to realize that they are subject to original sin as much as Europeans are.


Some things the massive crime figures, for instance can now be explained only in terms of absolute evil(純粹的角度),


America is no longer Europe's daughter nor her rich stepmother; she is Europe's sister;


The agony(苦惱)that America is undergoing is not to be associated with breakdown as much as with the parturition of self-knowledge.



15-14 It has been assumed that the youth of America has been in the vanguard of the discovery of both the disease and the cure.


The various escapist movements, however, have committed the gross error(嚴重的錯誤) of assuming that original sin違背現實rested with their elders, their rulers, and that they themselves could manifes(表明)their essential innocence by building little neo-Edens.


The drug culture could confirm that the paradisal vision(天堂的幻景) was available to all who sought it


But instant ecstasy(短暫的入迷)has to be purchased, like any other commodity, and, in economic terms, that passive life involves parasitism. 消极生活意味着寄生状态。



Practically all of the crime I encountered in New York was a preying of the opium-eaters on the working community.


There has to be the snake in paradise. You can't escape the heritage of human evil by building communes,


usually on an agronomic ignorance that does violence to life .


The American young are well-meaning but misguided, and must not themselves be taken as guides.


15-15 The guides, as always, lie among the writers and artists.


And Americans ought to note that, however things may seem to be falling apart, arts and the humane scholarship are flourishing (欣欣向榮)here.


I'm not suggesting that writers and artists have the task of finding a solution to the American mess


but they can at least clarify its nature and show how it relates to the human condition in general.


Literature often reacts magnificently(出色) to an ambience of unease 不安or apparent breakdown.


15-16 I am not suggesting that Americans sit back and wait for a transient (短暫的)period of mistrust and despair to resolve itself. 我的意思并不是说美国人应坐着等待一个怀疑与绝望的过度阶段自行消失。

Americans living here and now have a right to an improvement in the quality of their lives, and they themselves must do something about it.



It is not right that men and women should fear to go on the street at night, and that they should sometimes fear the police as much as the criminals, both of whom sometimes look like mirror images of each other.

男男女女晚上不敢上街,有时他们怕警察如同怕罪犯,二者有时看上去犹如人和他的镜中映像一样相像,这不正常。There are too many guns about, and the disarming of the police should be a natural aspect of the disarming of the entire citizenry . 社会上的枪太多了,解除警察的武装应该是解除全体公民武装的一个自然组成部分。

15-17 American politics, at both the state and the Federal levels, is too much concerned with the protection of large fortunes.


(巨富) The wealth qualification for the aspiring politician is taken for granted;


a governmental system dedicated to專注the promotion of personal wealth in a few selected areas will never act for the public good .


The time has come, nevertheless,(然而) for citizens to demand, from their government,


amenities(愉快的事) for the many, of which adequate(足免的)state pensions and sickness benefits, as well as nationalized transport, should be priorities.(優先的)


15-18 This angst憂慮about America coming apart at the seams(接縫處), which apparently is shared by nearly 50 per cent of the entire American population, is something to rejoice 欣喜about .


A sense of sin is(負罪感) always admirable, though it must not be allowed to become neurotic.


I ask the reader to note that I, an Englishman who no longer lives in England and can't spend more than six months at a stretch in any other European country


, home to America as to a country more stimulating(刺激) than depressing.


I brave the brutality and the guilt in order to be on the scene. I shall be back