The Time Message
Elwood N. Chapman
1Time is tricky. It is difficult to control and easy to waste. When you look ahead, you think you have more time than you need. For example, at the beginning of a semester, you may feel that you have plenty of time on your hands. But toward the end of the term you may suddenly find that time is running out. You don't have enough time to cover all your duties, so you get worried. What is the answer？Control！
2Time is dangerous. If you don't control it, it will control you. If you don't make it work for you, it will work against you. So you must become the master of time, not its servant. As a first-year college student, time management will be your number one problem.
3Time is valuable. Wasting time is a bad habit. It is like a drug. The more time you waste,the easier it is to go on wasting time. If you seriously wish to get the most out of college, you must put the time message into practice.
Message 1. Control time from the beginning.
4Time is today, not tomorrow or next week. Start your plan at the beginning of the term.
Message 2. Get the notebook habit.
5Go and buy a notebook today. Use it to plan your study time each day. Once a weekly study plan is prepared, follow the same pattern every week with small changes. Sunday is a good day to make the plan for the following week.
Message 3. Be realistic.
6Often you know from experience how long it takes you to write a short essay, to study for a quiz, or to review for a final exam.
When you plan time for these things, be realistic. Allow for unexpected things. Otherwise your entire plan may be upset.
Message 4. Plan at least one hour for each hour in class.
7How much study time you plan for each classroom hour depends on four things: (1) your ability, (2) the difficulty of the class, (3) the grades you hope to achieve, and (4) how well you use your study time. One thing, however, is certain: you should plan at least one hour of study for each classroom hour. In many cases, two or three hours will be required.
Message 5. Keep your plan flexible.
8It is important that you re-plan your time on a weekly basis so that you can make certain changes when necessary. For example, before mid-term or final exams, you will want to give more time to reviewing. A good plan must be a little flexible so that special projects can be done well.
Message 6. Study for some time each class day.
9Some solid work each day is better than many study hours one day and nothing the next. When you work out your schedule, try to include at least two study hours each day. This will not only keep the study habit alive but also keep you up to date on your class assignments.
Message 7. Free on Saturday -- study on Sunday.
10It is good to stop all study activities for one full day. Many students choose Saturdayfor sports or social activities. Sunday, on the other hand, seems to be the best study dayfor many students. It is a good day to catch up on back reading and other assignments.
Hans Christian Andersen's Own Fairy Tale (I)
Donald and Louise Peattie
1Once upon a time there was a poor boy who lived in Denmark.His father, a shoemaker, had died, and his mother had married again.
2One day the boy went to ask a favor of the Prince of Denmark.When the Prince asked him what he wanted, the boy said, “I want to write plays in poetry and to act at the Royal Theater.” The Prince looked at the boy, at his big hands and feet, at his big nose and large serious eyes, and gave a sensible answer. “It is one thing to act in plays, another to write them. I tell you this for your own good; learn a useful trade like shoemaking.”
3So the boy, who was not sensible at all, went home. There he took what little money he had, said good-bye to his mother and his stepfather and started out to seek his fortune. He was sure that some day the name Hans Christian Andersen would be known all over Denmark.
4To believe such a story one would have to believe in fairy tales! Hans Christian knew many such tales. He had heard some of them from his father, who had worked hard at his trade, but liked to read better than to make shoes. In the evenings, he had read aloud fromThe Arabian Nights. His wife understood very little of the book, but the boy, pretending to sleep, understood every word.
5By day, Hans Christian went to a house where old women worked as weavers. There he listened to the tales that the women told as they worked at their weaving. In those days, there were almost as many tales in Denmark as there were people to tell them.
6Among the tales told in the town of Odense, where Andersen was born in 1805, was one about a fairy who brought death to those who danced with her. To this tale, Hans Christian later added a story from his own life.
7Once, when his father was still alive, a young lady ordered a pair of red shoes. When she refused to pay for them, unhappiness filled the poor shoemaker's house. From that small tragedy and the story of the dancing fairy, the shoemaker's son years later wrote the story that millions of people now know as The Red Shoes. The genius of Andersen is that he put so much of everyday life into the wonder of his fairy tales.
8When Hans Christian's mother was a little girl, she was sent out on the streets to beg. She did not want to beg, so she sat out of sight under one of the city bridges. She warmed her cold feet in her hands, for she had no shoes. She was afraid to go home. Years later, her son, in his pity for her and his anger at the world, wrote the angry story She's No Good and the famous tale The Little Match Girl.
9Through his genius, he changed every early experience, even his father's death, into a fairy tale. One cold day the boy had stood looking at the white patterns formed on the window by the frost. His father showed him a white, 'woman-like figure among the frost patterns. “That is the Snow Queen,” said the shoemaker. “Soon she will be coming for me.”A few months later he was dead. And years later, Andersen turned that sad experience into a fairy tale, The Snow Queen.
10After the Prince told him to learn a trade, Hans Christian went to Copenhagen. He was just fourteen years old at the time.
11When he arrived in the city, he went to see as many important people as he could find — dancers, writers and theater people of Copenhagen. But none of them lent a helping hand to the boy with the big hands, the big feet and the big nose. Finally, he had just seven pennies left.
12The boy had a beautiful high, clear voice. One day a music teacher heard him singing and decided to help him. He collected money from his friends and gave it to the boy so that he could buy food and clothing while he studied singing.
13Hans Christian was happier than he had ever been in his life. But soon his boy's voice broke. The beautiful high voice was gone forever.
14The boy soon found new friends who admired his genius. There was even a princess who gave him a little money from time to time for food and clothes. But Hans Christian bought little food and no clothes. Instead, he bought books and went to the theater.
Hans Christian Andersen's Own Fairy Tale (Ⅱ)
Donald and Louise Peattie
1In Copenhagen, Hans Christian lived in an attic in an old house, where he had a good view of the city. But there was one big fact that he could not see right under his own nose. The plays and poetry that he wrote were not very good.
2Hans Christian made friends with a few kind people. Among them was Jonas Collin of the Royal Theater. This kind man collected funds from friends to send the young writer to school. Hans felt most at ease with children. He ate his dinner in turn at the homes of six friends. In each home the children begged him for stories.
3Hans told a tale so vividly that you could see and hear toy soldiers marching and toy horses galloping. And he could make the most wonderful papercuts. These are kept today in the Andersen Museum, which is in the house where he was born in Odense.
4Andersen remained single all his life. The good Collin family —three generations of them— became all the family he was ever to have. They all loved him, but they advised him not to write any more poetry and plays, and to try to get a government job. They talked as he later made the animals talk in his stories: "I tell you this for your own good," said the Hen to theUgly Duckling, “you should learn to lay eggs like me.” In The Ugly Duckling Hans Christiantold the story of his own life.
5When his first book of fairy tales was published in 1835, Andersen didn't think it would be successful, but children read the stories and wanted more. So, encouraged by their interest, he began what we know today as his great work. For 37 years, a new book of Andersen's fairy tales came out each Christmas. The books were full of everyday truth, of wonder, of sad beauty, of humor. Children and their parents had never read such tales before.
6Andersen's tales are a poet's way of telling us the truth about ourselves. He looked deeply into the heart of things. Even in a child's toy lost in the street, he could see some story with the light of gold in it. All of us laugh at the humor of The Emperor's New Clothes, but we remember the story every time men pretend to be something that they are not.
7Although he was now famous, he was more kind-hearted than ever. One day on the street he met a man who had once treated him badly. The old and unhappy man said that he was sorry for what he had done. Andersen forgave the man and comforted him. The Prince who had told Andersen to learn a useful trade was now the King. He invited the writer to his palace and told him that he might ask for any favor. Andersen replied simply,"But I don't need anything at all."
8He was already loved all over the world. The awkward figure and kind ugly face had become so famous that his friends, the children, recognized him wherever he was. His books were translated into many different languages and read all over the world. He was received at the royal courts of Europe and admired by many kings.
9The greatest writers of the day, from Dickens to Victor Hugo, looked upon him as one of themselves. Among them, he at last learned happily that "it doesn't matter if you are born in a duck-yard, as long as you come from a swan's egg."
10Happiest of all was the day he returned to the "duck-yard," nearly 50 years after he had left it. All Odense took part in the great celebration for the shoemaker's son who was now the prince of fairy tales. A great dinner was held in his honor. That night, hundreds of people came to his window and called to him.What was then in his full heart — that gentle heart that had been lonely for so long—was best expressed in his own words: "To God and man, my thanks, my love."
1It is the first time I have ever been on a stage—I don't even know what a stage looks like—but I'm up there now and I open this "script," but I don't know what it is. The director tells me to read the part of “John.” Everywhere I see "John" I must read everything under that.
2Then I see him sitting in a front seat staring at me with the strangest look. He says, "Get off that stage." I say, "What do you mean?" He says, "Just come on down off that stage and stop wasting my time. You're no actor. You don't even know how to read."
3I leave and walk off down 135th Street saying to myself, "You can hardly read. You can't be an actor and you' re not able to read." I begin to think about what he' s said to me. Now I know I can't read too well. Here I am, eighteen years of age, and if I live to be eighty, for the next sixty-two years I'm going to be a dishwasher. I'm not going to be able to make people notice me.
4During the next six months, I spent as much time as possible reading. One of the restaurants I worked in during that period was in Astoria, Long Island. The work was hard and heavy, but we would have most of the dishes cleared away by 11:00 or 11: 15 p.m. It was my custom to sit out near the kitchen door and read the newspaper.
5At the waiters' table there was an old Jewish man who used to watch me trying to read that paper.I asked him one night what a word meant, and he told me. I thanked him and went back to my paper.He went on watching me for a few seconds and then said, “Do you run across a lot of words you don't understand?” I said, "A lot — because I'm just beginning to learn to read well,"and he said,"I'll sit with you here and work with you for a while."
6So at about eleven every night when he sat down for his meal, I would come out of the kitchen and sit down next to him and read articles from the front page of the paper. When I ran into a word I didn't know (and I didn't know half of the article, because any word longer than a couple of syllables gave me trouble) be explained the meaning of the word and gave me the pronunciation Then he' d send me back to the sentence so I could understand the word in context.
7Then I would take the paper away with me, armed now with the meaning of those words, and reread and reread the article so that the meaning of those words would get locked into my memory. Every evening we did that.
8I stayed there at that job for about five or six weeks and I learned from him a way to study, and then I went off to other jobs. I have never been able to thank him properly because I never knew then what an enormous contribution he was making to my life. He was wonderful, and a little bit of him is in everything I do.
9After that, I always looked for the meaning of words, and when I ran into words I couldn't pronounce and didn't understand, I would work on them until I began to understand. I would keep going over and over the sentence they were in, and after a while I would begin to get an idea of what the word meant just by repeating the sentence. That became a habit, as did all the other things he left me with.
1The story began on a downtown Brooklyn street corner. An elderly man had collapsed while crossing the street, and an ambulance rushed him to Kings County Hospital. There, when he came to now and again, the man repeatedly called for his son.
2From a worn letter found in his pocket, an emergency-room nurse learned that his son was a Marine stationed in North Carolina. It seemed there were no other relatives.
3Someone at the hospital called the Red Cross office in Brooklyn, and a request for the boy to rush to Brooklyn was sent to the Red Cross director of the North Carolina Marine Corps camp. Because time was short — the patient was dying — the Red Cross man and officer set out in a jeep. They found the young man wading through some marshes in a military exercise. He was rushed to the airport in time to catch the one plane that might enable him to reach his dying father.
4It was mid-evening when the young Marine walked into the entrance lobby of Kings County Hospital. A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
5“Your son is here,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened. The medicine he had been given because of the pain from his heart attack made his eyes weak and he only dimly saw the young man in Marine Corps uniform standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his strong fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement. The nurse brought a chair, so the Marine could sit by the bed.
6Nights are long in hospitals, but all through the night the young Marine sat there in the dimly-lit ward, holding the old man's hand and offering words of hope and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine rest for a while. He refused.
7Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was there, but he paid no attention to her and the night noises of the hospital —the clanking of an oxygen tank, the laughter of night-staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans and snores of other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son through most of the night．
8It was nearly dawn when the patient died．The Marine placed on the bed the lifeless hand he had been holding，and went to tell the nurse．While she did what she had to do，he smoked a cigarette—his first since he got to the hospital.
9Finally，she returned to the nurse's station，where he was waiting．She started to offer words of sympathy，but the Marine interrupted her．“Who was that man?”he asked．
10"He was your father，"she answered，startled．
11"No，he wasn't，"the Marine replied．"I never saw him before in my life．"
12"Why didn't you say something when I took you to him?" the nurse asked．"I knew immediately there'd been a mistake，but
I also knew he needed his son，and his son just wasn't here．When I realized he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son，I guessed he really needed me．So I stayed．"
14With that，the Marine turned and left the hospital. Two days later a message came in from the North Carolina Marine Corps base informing the Brooklyn Red Cross that the real son was on his way to Brooklyn for his father's funeral．It turned out there had been two Marines with the same name and similar numbers in the camp．Someone in the personnel office had pulled out the wrong record．
15But the wrong Marine had become the right son at the right time．And he proved，in a very human way，that there are people who care what happens to their fellow men．
How Dictionaries Are Made
S. I. Hayakawa
1It is widely believed that every word has a correct meaning, that we learn these meanings mainly from teachers and grammars, and that dictionaries and grammar books are the highest authority in matters of meaning and usage. Few people ask by what authority the writers of dictionaries and grammars say what they say. I once got into an argument with an English woman over the pronunciation of a word and offered to look it up in the dictionary. The English woman said firmly, “What for? I am English I was born and brought up in England. The way I speak is English.” Such confidence about one's own language is not uncommon among the English. In the United States, however, anyone who is willing to quarrel with the dictionary is regarded as out of his mind.
2Let us see how dictionaries are made and how the editors arrive at definitions(arrive at). What follows applies only to those
dictionary offices where firsthand research goes on — not those in which editors simply copy existing dictionaries. The task of writing a dictionary begins with reading huge amounts of the literature of the period or subject that the dictionary is to cover. As the editors read, they copy on cards every unusual use of a common word, a large number of common words in their ordinary uses, and also the sentences in which each of these words appears.
3That is to say, the context of each word is collected, along with the word itself. For a really big job of dictionary writing, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, millions of such cards are collected, and the task of editing occupies decades. As the cards are collected, they are arranged in alphabetical order. When the sorting is completed, there will be for each word anywhere from two or three to several hundred sentences, each on its card, which illustrate the meaning and use of the word.
4To define a word, then, the dictionary editor places before him all the cards illustrating that word; each of the cards represents an actual use of the word by a writer of some importance. He reads the cards carefully, throws away some, rereads the rest, and divides them up according to what he thinks are the several senses of the word. Finally, he writes his definitions, following the hard-and-fast rule that each definition must be based on what the sentences in front of him show about the meanings of the word. The editor cannot be influenced by what he thinks a given word ought to mean. He must work according to the cards, or not at all.
5The writing of a dictionary, therefore, is not a task of setting up ruling statements about the “true meanings” of words, but a task of recording, to the best of one's ability, what various words have meant to authors in the distant or immediate past. The writer of a dictionary is a historian, not a lawgiver. If, for example, we had been writing a dictionary in 1890, or even as late as 1919, we could have said that the word “broadcast” means “to scatter” (seed, for example), but we could not have laid down that from 1919 on the most common meaning of the word should become “to send out programs by radio or television.” To regard the dictionary as an "authority," therefore, is to look upon the dictionary writer as being able to see into the future, which neither he nor anyone else can do. In choosing our words when we speak or write, we can be guided by the historical record provided for us by the dictionary, but we should not be bound by it, because new situations, new experiences, new inventions, new feelings are always making us give new uses to old words.
Love of Life
1Two men walked slowly, one after the other, through the shallow water of a stream. All they could see were stones and earth. The stream ran cold over their feet. They had blanket packs on their backs. They had guns, but no bullets; matches, but no food.
2Suddenly the man who followed fel l over a stone. He hurt his foot badly and called:“Hey, Bill, I've hurt my foot.” Bill continued straight on without looking back.
3The man was alone in the empty land, but he was not lost. He knew the way to their camp, where he would find food and bullets. He struggled to his feet and limped on. Bill would be waiting for him there, and together they would go south to the Hudson Bay Company. He had not eaten for two days. Often he stopped to pick some small berries and put them into his mouth. The berries were tasteless, and did not satisfy, but he knew he must eat them.
4In the evening he built a fire and slept like a dead man. When he woke up, the man took out a small sack. It weighed fifteen pounds. He wasn't sure if he could carry it any longer. But he couldn't leave it behind. He had to take it with him. He put it back into his pack, rose to his feet and staggered on.
5His foot hurt, but it was nothing compared with his hunger, which made him go on until darkness fell. His blanket was wet, but he knew only that he was hungry. Through his restless sleep he dreamed of banquets and of food. The man woke up cold and sick, and found himself lost. But the small sack was still with him. As he dragged himself along, the sack became heavier and heavier. The man opened the sack, which was full of small pieces of gold. He left half the gold on a rock.
6Eleven days passed, days of rain and cold. One day he found the bones of a deer. There was no meat on them. The man broke the bones and he sucked and chewed on them like an animal. Would he, too, be bones tomorrow? And why not? This was life. Only life hurt. There was no hurt in death. To die was to sleep. Then why was he not ready to die? He, as a man, no longer
strove. It was the life in him, unwilling to die, that drove him on.
7One morning he woke up beside a river. Slowly he followed it with his eyes and saw it emptying into a shining sea(empty into)．When he saw a ship on the sea，he closed his eyes．He knew there could be no ship，no sea，in this land．A vision，he told himself．He heard a noise behind him，and turned around．A wolf，old and sick，was coming slowly toward him．This was real，he thought．The man turned back，but the sea and the ship were still there．He didn't understand．Had he been walking north，away from the camp，toward the sea? He stood up and started slowly toward the ship，knowing full well the sick wolf was following him．In the afternoon，he found some bones of a man．Beside the bones was a small sack of gold, like his own．So Bill had carried his gold to the end．He would carry Bill's gold to the ship．Ha—ha! He would have the last laugh on Bill．His laughing sounded like the low cry of an animal．The wolf cried back．The man stopped suddenly and turned away．How could he laugh about Bill's bones and take his gold?
8The man was very sick，now．He crawled about，on hands and knees．He had lost everything—his blanket，his gun，and his gold．Only the wolf stayed with him hour after hour．At last he could go on no further．He fell．The wolf came close to him, but the man was ready．He got on top of the wolf and held its mouth closed．Then he bit it with his last strength．The wolf's blood streamed into his mouth．Only love of life gave him enough strength．He held the wolf with his teeth and killed it, then he fell on his back and slept．
9The men on the ship saw a strange object lying on the beach．It was moving toward them—perhaps twenty feet an hour．The men went over to look and could hardly believe it was a man．
fatter with each day．Then one day they saw him put a lot of bread under his shirt．They examined his bed and found food under his blanket．The men understood．He would recover from it，they said．
A Fiddle and the Law
John J. Floherty
1Special Agent X came to a cabin about two miles up the mountain. He had come to get Cal Richards, an armed and dangerous killer. Through a broken window, he saw a man with a beard watching him closely. Agent X drew a deep breath. He stepped up to the cabin door with a cheerful “Hello!”
2Beside the fireplace, an old man sat silently. Still standing near the window was thebearded man — a gun in his hands.
3“Government man, aren't you?” said the man with the gun.
4“Yes,” replied the agent with a friendly smile. “You must be Pappy Richards.”
5“Sure. I'm Cal's pa. And you're not going to get him.” The gun pointed at the G-man.
6Agent X looked around the cabin. “I've been assigned to do it,”he said. “But I can see he isn't here today. I guess I'll have to come again.” Then he caught sight of a violin hanging on the wall. “Who plays the fiddle?” he asked.
7For a moment there was silence. Then the old man by the fire spoke up. “Pappy,” he said. “He's the best fiddler in these parts. You ought to hear him play Turkey in the Straw.” The G-man seemed deeply impressed. “You don't say! I play a little myself. Mind if I look at the violin?”
8As he crossed the room to the instrument, he knew that the gun was still aimed at him. He felt sweat on his forehead, but he took the violin from the wall as calmly as if he were a welcome visitor. He turned it carefully and wiped off the bow. Then he broke into the lively music of Turkey in the Straw. The old man began to beat time, tapping one foot on the dirt floor. But Pappy stood unmoved, gun in hand and eyes alert.
9One tune after another Agent X played,occasionally glancing at Pappy. Suddenly the music changed, and from the strings came the sweet notes of an old folk song. The cabin was filled with glorious sound. Agent X was playing better than he had ever played in his life. Pappy Richards stood enchanted, the defiance in his eyes giving way to a look of wonder. The gun was now pointed toward the floor.When the final notes of the song died away, Pappy placed the gun in a corner.
10“Well, stranger,” Pappy said, “that was first-class fiddling. Maybe you'll stay for dinner and play some more for us.”
11After they had eaten, the three men sat in the spring sunshine outside the cabin. They talked about fiddle tunes and the fiddlers that Pappy and the old man had known here in the mountains.
12They talked for an hour, and not once did anyone speak of the reason for the G-man's visit. Once more the bow danced across the strings; and so another hour passed quickly.Still not a word was said about Cal Richards. Finally the agent said, “Sorry I must be getting back to the vil lage.”
13Pappy's friend eyed him for a moment and said, “How about Cal? Y ou want him, don't you?” There was a touch of amusement in his voice.
14“Well, no,”said the G-man with a smile. “I don't want him. The government wants him,and you know how it is when the government wants a man. It may take days or months or years to get him, but they'll get him. And the longer it takes, the worse off he is. ”
15“Does the government always get the guy it wants?”
16“No, not always. Sometimes he dies.”
17Pappy, sitting on a nearby log, was deep in thought. “See here, stranger,” he interrupted suddenly. “I like the way you talk and I like the way you fiddle. I guess you're a decent guy.” He paused as if it were hard to go on. Then, he said in a thick voice, “I — well, I'll have a talk with Cal. I think he might give himself up tomorrow. You be at the sheriff's office at noon !”
18“Noon tomorrow!” said the agent, wondering if he looked as surprised as he felt. “So long until then.” After he left, he wiped his sweating forehead and sighed with relief．
1Many people think that when they become rich and successful, happiness will naturally follow. Let me tell you that certainly nothing is further from the truth. The world is full of very rich people who are as miserable as hell. We have all read stories about movie stars committing suicide or dying from drugs. Quite clearly, money is not the answer to all problems.
2Wealth achieved through dishonest means does not bring happiness. Lottery winnings do not bring happiness. Wealth left by parents does not bring happiness. In fact, money alone is almost worthless. If you have both self-esteem and money, however, you are well on the way to happiness. What is missing in both self-esteem and money is productive work and a real contribution towards the happiness of others. The secret to happiness lies in the contribution towards the happiness of others. You can fool others but you can never fool yourself. If you obtain wealth through luck or dishonest means，you will know you did not earn it．If you have taken advantage of or hurt others to earn your wealth，you will not be happy．You will not like yourself．You will not feel you are capable．
3There are many highly-paid managers and entertainers who do not like themselves．Outwardly，they seem successful，but deep down they are miserable．They know they are contributing very little of real value and all the time they live in fear of being exposed as cheats．They know they are not earning their wealth．They know they are cheating the company，the government or society．But they can't fool themselves．
4Long-term happiness is based on honesty，productive work，contribution, and self-esteem．Happiness is not an end；it is a process. It is a continuous process of honest，productive work which makes a real contribution to others and makes you feel like a worthwhile person．As Dr．Wayne wrote，“There is no way to happiness．Happiness is the way．”There is no use saying“Some day when I achieve these goals，when I get this car，build this house and have this business...then I will be really happy．”Life just does not work that way．If you wait for certain things to happen and depend on external circumstances of life to make you happy，you will always feel unfulfilled．There will always be something missing．
5Long-term happiness is a process of moving towards worthwhile goals and contributing towards the welfare and happiness of others. It does not mean that you should give away all your wealth. It means continuously creating values for others through your own honest,productive work. It means doing what you love and loving what you do. It means achieving your goals and then challenging yourself to bigger and better things. It means always striving for more, learning and growing. Doing nothing means death. Activity means life. Find your purpose, set some goals, do what you love, love what you do, work honestly and productively and contribute real values to the others. In the long term, that's what it's all about.
6Inh sh t ort terme, you can start practising being happy right now without any obvious reason. How will you know how to be happy if you don' t try it? It is the same as acting and feeling rich. Don' t wait for another 10 years to start feeling rich, successful and happy.Start practising n ow. You know that they say “practice makes perfect.”Pretend that you are rich and you will become rich. Pretend and act as if you were happy and you will be happy.Pretend and act as if you were miserable and... Well, forget about this last one. You have been practising that one for far too long.
The Joker (Ⅰ)
1It was a very happy funeral, a great success. Even the sun shone that day for the late Henry Ground. Lying in his coffin, he was probably enjoying himself, too. Once more, and for the last time on this earth, he was the centre of attention. Yes, it was a very jolly affair. People laughed and told each other jokes. Relatives who had not spoken for years smiled at each other and promised to stay in touch. And, of course, everyone had a favourite story to tell about Henry.
2“Do you remember the time he dressed up as a gypsy and went from door to door telling people's fortunes? He actually made 6 pounds in an afternoon!”
3“I was once having dinner with him in an expensive restaurant. When the wine-waiter brought the wine, he poured a drop into Henry's glass and waited with a proud expression on his face, as if to say …Taste it, you peasant. It's clear that you know nothing about wine. ' So Henry, instead of tasting it, the way any normal person would do, dipped his thumb and forefinger into the wine. Then he put his hand to his ear and rolled his forefinger and thumb together as if he were listening to the quality of the wine! Then he nodded to the wine-waiter seriously, as if to say …Yes, that's fine. You may serve it. ' You should have seen the wine-waiter' s face! and how Henry managed to keep a straight face, I'll never know!”
4“Did you hear about the practical joke he played when he was a student, the one with the road-menders? Some workmen were digging a hole in the road. First, Henry phoned the police and told them that some students were digging a hole in the road, and that he didn't think it was a very funny thing to do. Then he went to the workmen and told them that some students had dressed up as policemen and were coming to tell them to stop digging the hole! Well, you can imagine what happened!”
5“Yes, old Henry loved to pull people's legs. Once, when he was invited to an exhibition of some abstract modern painter's latest work, he managed somehow to get in the day before and turn all the paintings upside down. The exhibition ran for four days before anyone noticed !”
6“His father, poor man, could never understand why Henry did such crazy things.”
7“It's hard to believe that Henry was a Ground when you think how different he was from hisbrothers.”
8Yes, it was difficult to believe that he was a Ground. He was born into an unimportant but well-to-do family. He was the youngest of five sons. The Grounds were a handsome lot: blue-eyed, fair-haired, clever and ambitious. The four older boys all made a success of their lives. They married beautiful girls of good family, and produced children as fair and handsome and clever as themselves. The eldest became a clergyman; the second ended up as the headmaster of a famous public school; the third went into business and became rich; the fourth followed in his father's footsteps and became a lawyer. That is why everybody was amazed when the youngest Ground, Henry, turned out to be a lazy good-for-nothing.
9Unlike his brothers, he had brown eyes and dark hair, but he was every bit as handsome and charming, which made him quite a lady-killer. And, although he never married, there is no doubt at all that Henry Ground loved women. He also loved eating, drinking, laughing, talking and a thousand other activities which don't make money or improve the human life. One of his favourite pastimes was doing nothing. His idea of an energetic afternoon when the sun was shining was to sit under a tree, with a pretty girl by his side, and all the time in the world to talk of this and that, to count the blades of grass.
10What a worthless fellow! Some people whispered that his real father was not the present Mr. Ground at all, but a wild gypsy who had come one day to the house and had swept Mrs. Ground off her feet with his dancing black eyes and his wicked immoral ways. It was a good story, interesting and romantic, but surely untrue. One thing was sure: you couldn't help liking Henry Ground and his talent for making you laugh. Henry Ground was, above all else, a joker.
The Joker (Ⅱ)