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First listen and then answer the following question.


What, according to the author, is the best way to overcome the fear of death as you get older?

Some old people are oppressed by the fear of death. In the young there is a justification for this feeling. Young men who have reason to fear that they will be killed in

battle may justifiably feel bitter in the thought that they have been cheated of the best things that life has to offer. But in an old man who has known human joys and sorrows, and has achieved whatever work it was in him to do, the fear of death is somewhat abject and ignoble. The best way to overcome it -- so at least it seems to me -- is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river -- small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past boulders and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will be not unwelcome. I

should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no longer do, and content in the thought that what was possible has been done.

BERTRAND RUSSELL How to grow old from Portraits from Memory

【New words and expressions 生词和短语】

oppress v. 忧郁,压抑

justification n. 正当理由

justifiably adv. 无可非议地

cheat v. 欺骗

abject adj. 可怜的

ignoble adj. 不体面的,可耻的

impersonal adj. 超脱个人感情影响的

ego n. 自我

receded v. 退去

increasing adv. 日益,持续

passionately adv. 激昂地

painlessly adv. 毫无痛苦地

vitality n. 精力

weariness n. 疲惫感



①To oppress people means to treat them cruelly.压迫、压制。

例句:The people are oppressed by the military goverment.


②make (sb) feel wo rried, uncomfortable or unhappy.使担心、使烦恼。

例句:It was not just the weather which oppressed her.


2.in the young,在年轻人身上。


the old 老年人

the rich 有钱人

the disabled 残疾人

这种用法相比起the old/rich/disabled people更地道。

3.Young men who have reason...that life has to offer.这

个句子较长,其中有3个that。第一个that引到一个宾语从句that...battle,是fear的宾语。第二个that引导一个同位语从句that they...to offer,说明thought的内容。第三个that引导一个定语从句that life has to offer,修饰things。

4.cheat of...,从……那里骗取……。

①If someone cheats you out of something, they get it from you by behaving dishonestly.

例句:He was cheated (out) of his rightful inheritance.


②If someone cheats on their husband, wife, or partner, they have a sexual relationship with another person. 不忠于妻子、丈夫或情人.

例句:I'd found Philippe was cheating on me and I was angry and hurt.


5.whatever work it was in him to do,他所能做的任何工作。

6.so at least it seems to me,这里一个插入语,用了倒装语序,自然的语序是at least it seems so to me。在英语中适当的使


7.bit by bit,一点一点地。

bit by bit=little by little

例句:He saved money bit by bit until he have enough to buy a car.


例句:Little by little the snow disappeared.



①If one thing merges with another, or is merged with another, they combine or come together to make one whole thing. You can also say that two things merge, or are merged.

例句:The two marching columns moved closer and finally merged.



例句:The bank merged with its major rival.



例句:As the tide receded we were able to look for shells.


10.carry on,继续实行。

例句:We'll carry on as arranged and they can do their worst.


例句:After his death, his children will certainly carry on his career.






可怜又可鄙。克服怕死的办法 -- 至少在我看来是这样 -- 就是逐渐




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