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Antique shops exert a peculiar fascination on a great many people. The more expensive kind of antique shop where rare objects are beautifully displayed in glass cases to keep them free from dust is usually a forbidding place. But no one has to muster up courage to enter a less pretentious antique shop. There is always hope that in its labyrinth of musty, dark, disordered rooms a real rarity will be found amongst the piles of assorted junk that litter the floors.

No one discovers a rarity by chance. A truly dedicated bargain hunter must have patience, and above all, the ability to recognize the worth of something when he sees it. To do this, he must be at least as knowledgeable as the dealer. Like a scientist bent on making a discovery, he must cherish the hope that one day he will be amply rewarded.

My old friend, Frank Halliday, is just such a person. He has often described to me how he picked up a masterpiece for a mere £50. One Saturday morning, Frank visited an antique shop in my neighbourhood. As he had never been there before, he found a great deal to interest him. The morning passed rapidly and Frank was about to leave when he noticed a large packing case lying on the floor. The dealer told him that it had just come in, but that he could not be bothered to open it. Frank begged him to do so and the dealer reluctantly prised it open. The contents were disappointing. Apart from

an interesting looking carved dagger, the box was full of crockery, much of it broken. Frank gently lifted the crockery out of the box and suddenly noticed a miniature Painting at

the bottom of the packing case. As its composition and line reminded him of an Italian painting he knew well, he decided

to buy it. Glancing at it briefly, the dealer told him that

it was worth £50. Frank could hardly conceal his excitement, for he knew that he had made a real discovery. The tiny painting proved to be an unknown masterpiece by Correggio and was worth thousands of pounds.






















antique n. 古玩

fascination n. 魅力,迷惑力

forbidding adj. 望而生畏的,望而却步的

muster v. 鼓起

pretentious adj. 自命不凡的,矫饰的

labyrinth n. 迷宫

musty adj. 陈腐的,发霉的

rarity n. 稀世珍品

assorted adj. 各式各样的

junk n. 破料货,废品

litter v. 杂乱地布满

dedicated adj. 专心致志的

dealer v. 商人

cherish v. 期望,渴望

amply adv. 充足地

masterpiece n. 杰作

mere adj. 仅仅的

prise v. 撬开

carve v. 镌刻

dagger n. 短剑,匕首

miniature adj. 小巧的,小型的

composition n. 构图



The word justice is usually associated with courts of law. We might say that justice has been done when a man's innocence or guilt has been proved beyond doubt. Justice is part of the complex machinery of the law. Those who seek it, undertake an arduous journey and can never be sure that they will find it. Judges, however wise or eminent, are human and can make mistakes.

There are rare instances when justice almost ceases to be an abstract conception. Reward or punishment are meted out quite independent of human interference. At such times, justice acts like a living force. When we use a phrase like it serves him right, we are, in part, admitting that a

certain set of circumstances has enabled justice to act of

its own accord.

When a thief was caught on the premises of a large fur store one morning, the shop assistants must have found it impossible to resist the temptation to say 'it serves him right'. The shop was an old converted house with many large,

disused fireplaces and tall, narrow chimneys. Towards midday, a girl heard a muffled cry coming from behind one of the walls. As the cry was repeated several times, she ran to tell the manager who promptly rang up the fire brigade. The cry

had certainly come from one of the chimneys, but as there

were so many of them, the fire fighters could not be certain which one it was. They located the right chimney by tapping

at the walls and listening for the man's cries. After

chipping through a wall which was eighteen inches thick, they found that a man had been trapped in the chimney. As it was extremely narrow, the man was unable to move, but the firemen were eventually able to free him by cutting a huge hole in

the wall. The sorry-looking, blackened figure that emerged,

at once admitted that he had tried to break into the shop during the night but had got stuck in the chimney. He had

been there for nearly ten hours. Justice had been done even before the man was handed over to the police.






















justice n. 正义,公正;司法

court n. 法院

law n. 法律

innocence n. 无辜

undertake v. 承担,着手做

arduous adj. 艰苦的,艰难的

abstract adj. 抽象的

concept n. 概念,观点

interference n. 干涉

accord n. 一致

premises n. 房屋

convert v. 转变,改变

disused adj. 不再用的,废弃的

fireplace n. 壁炉

muffle v. 捂住,厌抑

chip v. 砍,削,凿

blacken v. 不变黑

emerge v. (从某处)出现



We are less credulous than we used to be. In the nineteenth century, a novelist would bring his story to a conclusion by presenting his readers with a series of coincidences——most of them wildly improbable. Readers happily accepted the fact that an obscure maidservant was really the hero's mother. A long-lost brother, who was presumed dead, was really alive all the time and wickedly plotting to bring about the hero's downfall. And so on. Modern readers would find such naive solutions totally unacceptable. Yet, in real life, circumstances do sometimes conspire to bring about coincidences which anyone but a nineteenth century novelist would find incredible.

When I was a boy, my grandfather told me how a German taxi driver, Franz Bussman, found a brother who was thought to have been killed twenty years before. While on a walking tour with his wife, he stopped to talk to a workman. After they had gone on, Mrs Bussman commented on the workman's

close resemblance to her husband and even suggested that he might be his brother. Franz poured scorn on the idea,

pointing out that his brother had been killed in action during the war. Though Mrs Bussman was fully acquainted with this story, she thought that there was a chance in a million that she might be right. A few days later, she sent a boy to the workman to ask him if his name was Hans Bussman, Needless to say, the man's name was Hans Bussman and he really was Franz's long-lost brother. When the brothers were reunited, Hans explained how it was that he was still alive. After having been wounded towards the end of the war, he had been sent to hospital and was separated from his unit. The

hospital had been bombed and Hans had made his way back into Western Germany on foot. Meanwhile, his unit was lost and all records of him had been destroyed. Hans returned to his

family home, but the house had been bombed and no one in the neighbourhood knew what had become of the inhabitants. Assuming that his family had been killed during an air raid, Hans settled down in a village fifty miles away where he had remained ever since.





credulous adj. 轻信的

improbable adj. 不大可能的

obscure adj. 不起眼的

maidservant n. 女仆,女佣

presume v. 假定

wickedly adv. 心眼坏地,居心叵测地

plot v. 密谋

downfall n. 倒台,垮台

naive adj. 天真的

unacceptable adj. 不能接受的

conspire v. (事件)巧合促成incredible adj. 难以置信的resemblance n. 相似

scorn n. 嘲弄,挖苦acquaint v. 使了解

reunite v. 使团聚

assume v. 假定,认为

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