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unit 6 The Last Leaf

When Johnsy fell seriously ill, she seemed to lose the will to hang on to life. The doctor held out little hope for her. Her friends seemed helpless. Was there nothing to be done?


1 At the top of a three-story brick building, Sue and Johnsy had their studio. "Johnsy" was familiar for Joanna. One was from Maine; the other from California. They had met at a cafe on Eighth Street and found their tastes in art, chicory salad and bishop sleeves so much in tune that the joint studio resulted.


2 That was in May. In November a cold, unseen stranger, whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked about the district, touching one here and there with his icy fingers. Johnsy was among his victims. She lay, scarcely moving on her bed, looking through the small window at the blank side of the next brick house.


3 One morning the busy doctor invited Sue into the hallway with a bushy, gray eyebrow.


4 "She has one chance in ten," he said. "And that chance is for her to want to live. Your little lady has made up her mind that she's not going to get well. Has she anything on her mind?


5 "She -- she wanted to paint the Bay of Naples some day," said Sue. “她――她想有一天能去画那不勒斯湾,”苏说。

6 "Paint? -- bosh! Has she anything on her mind worth thinking about twice -- a man, for instance?"


7 "A man?" said Sue. "Is a man worth -- but, no, doctor; there is nothing of the kind."


8 "Well," said the doctor. "I will do all that science can accomplish. But whenever my patient begins to count the carriages in her funeral procession I subtract 50 per cent from the curative power of medicines." After the doctor had gone Sue went into the workroom and cried. Then she marched into Johnsy's room with her drawing board, whistling a merry tune.


9 Johnsy lay, scarcely making a movement under the bedclothes, with her face toward the window. She was looking out and counting -- counting backward.


10 "Twelve," she said, and a little later "eleven"; and then "ten," and "nine"; and then "eight" and "seven," almost together.


11 Sue looked out of the window. What was there to count? There was only a bare, dreary yard to be seen, and the blank side of the brick house twenty feet away. An old, old ivy vine climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold breath of autumn had blown away its leaves, leaving it almost bare.


12 "Six," said Johnsy, in almost a whisper. "They're falling faster now. Three days ago there were almost a hundred. It made my head ache to count them. But now it's easy. There goes another one. There are only five left now."


13 "Five what, dear? "


14 "Leaves. On the ivy vine. When the last one falls I must go, too. I've known that for three days. Didn't the doctor tell you?"


15 "Oh, I never heard of such nonsense. What have old ivy leaves to do with your getting well? Don't be so silly. Why, the doctor told me this morning that your chances for getting well real soon were ten to one! Try to take some soup now, and let Sudie go and buy port wine for her sick child."


16 "You needn't get any more wine," said Johnsy, keeping her eyes fixed out the window. "There goes another. No, I don't want any soup. That leaves just four. I want to see the last one fall before it gets dark. Then I'll go, too. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of thinking. I want to turn loose my hold on everything, and go sailing down, down, just like one of those poor, tired leaves."

“你不用再去买酒了,”约翰西说道,两眼一直盯着窗外。“又掉了一片。不,我不想喝汤。这一下只剩下4片了。我要在天黑前看到最后一片叶子掉落。那时我也就跟着走了。我都等腻了。也想腻了。我只想撇开一切, 飘然而去,就像那边一片可怜的疲倦的叶子。”

17 "Try to sleep," said Sue. "I must call Behrman up to be my model for the old miner. I'll not be gone a minute."


18 Old Behrman was a painter who lived on the ground floor beneath them. He was past sixty and had a long white beard curling down over his chest. Despite looking the part, Behrman was a failure in art. For forty years he had been always about to paint a masterpiece, but had never yet begun it. He earned a little by serving as a model to those young artists who could not pay the price of a professional. He drank gin to excess, and still talked of his coming masterpiece. For the rest he was a fierce little old man, who mocked terribly at softness in any one, and who regarded himself as guard dog to the two young artists in the studio above.


19 Sue found Behrman smelling strongly of gin in his dimly lighted studio below. In one corner was a blank canvas on an easel that had been waiting there for twenty-five years to receive the first line of the masterpiece. She told him of Johnsy's fancy, and how she feared she would, indeed, light and fragile as a leaf herself, float away, when her slight hold upon the world grew weaker. Old Behrman, with his red eyes plainly streaming, shouted his contempt for such foolish imaginings.


20 "What!" he cried. "Are there people in the world foolish enough to die because leafs drop off from a vine? I have never heard of such a thing. Why do you allow such silly ideas to come into that head of hers? God! This is not a place in

which one so good as Miss Johnsy should lie sick. Some day I will paint a masterpiece, and we shall all go away. Yes."


21 Johnsy was sleeping when they went upstairs. Sue pulled the shade down, and motioned Behrman into the other room. In there they peered out the window fearfully at the ivy vine. Then they looked at each other for a moment without speaking. A persistent, cold rain was falling, mingled with snow. Behrman, in his old blue shirt, took his seat as the miner on an upturned kettle for a rock.

两人上了楼,约翰西已经睡着了。苏放下窗帘,示意贝尔曼去另一个房间。在那儿两人惶惶不安地凝视着窗外的常青藤。接着两人面面相觑,哑然无语。外面冷雨夹雪,淅淅沥沥。贝尔曼穿着破旧的蓝色衬衣, 坐在充当矿石的倒置的水壶上,摆出矿工的架势。

22 When Sue awoke from an hour's sleep the next morning she found Johnsy with dull, wide-open eyes staring at the drawn green shade.


23 "Pull it up; I want to see," she ordered, in a whisper.


24 Wearily Sue obeyed.


25 But, Lo! after the beating rain and fierce wind that had endured through the night, there yet stood out against the brick wall one ivy leaf. It was the last on the vine. Still dark green near its stem, but with its edges colored yellow, it hung bravely from a branch some twenty feet above the ground.


26 "It is the last one," said Johnsy. "I thought it would surely fall during the night. I heard the wind. It will fall today, and I shall die at the same time."


27 The day wore away, and even through the twilight they could see the lone ivy leaf clinging to its stem against the wall. And then, with the coming of the night the north wind was again loosed.


28 When it was light enough Johnsy, the merciless, commanded that the shade be raised.


29 The ivy leaf was still there.


30 Johnsy lay for a long time looking at it. And then she called to Sue, who was stirring her chicken soup over the gas stove.


31 "I've been a bad girl, Sudie," said Johnsy. "Something has made that last leaf stay there to show me how wicked I was. It is a sin to want to die. You may bring me a little soup now, and some milk with a little port in it and -- no; bring me a hand-mirror first, and then pack some pillows about me, and I will sit up and watch you cook."


32 An hour later she said:


33 "Sudie, some day I hope to paint the Bay of Naples."


34 The doctor came in the afternoon, and Sue had an excuse to go into the hallway as he left.


35 "Even chances," said the doctor, taking Sue's thin, shaking hand in his.


36 "With good nursing you'll win. And now I must see another case I have downstairs. Behrman, his name is -- some kind of an artist, I believe. Pneumonia, too. He is an old, weak man, and the attack is acute. There is no hope for him; but he goes to the hospital today to be made more comfortable."


37 The next day the doctor said to Sue: "She's out of danger. You've won. The right food and care now -- that's all."


38 And that afternoon Sue came to the bed where Johnsy lay and put one arm around her.


39 "I have something to tell you, white mouse," she said. "Mr. Behrman died of pneumonia today in the hospital. He was ill only two days. He was found on the morning of the first day in his room downstairs helpless with pain. His shoes and clothing were wet through and icy cold. They couldn't imagine where he had been on such a terrible night. And then they found a lantern, still lighted, and a ladder that had been dragged from its place, and some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it, and -- look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on the wall. Didn't you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it's Behrman's masterpiece -- he painted it there the night that the last leaf fell."


He did not trust the woman to trust him. And he did not trust the woman not to trust him. And he did not want to be mistrusted now.


unit 7 Life of a Salesman

Making a living as a door-to-door salesman demands a thick skin, both to protect against the weather and against constantly having the door shut in your face. Bill Porter puts up with all this and much, much more.


Life of a Salesman

Tom Hallman Jr.

1 The alarm rings. It's 5:45. He could linger under the covers, listening to the radio and a weatherman who predicts rain. People would understand. He knows that.




2 A surgeon's scar cuts across his lower back. The fingers on his right hand are so twisted that he can't tie his shoes. Some days, he feels like surrendering. But his dead mother's challenge echoes in his soul. So, too, do the voices of those who believed him stupid, incapable of living independently. All his life he's struggled to prove them wrong. He will not quit.

3 And so Bill Porter rises.

他的下背有一道手术疤痕。他右手的手指严重扭曲,连鞋带都没法系。有时,他真想放弃不干了。可在他内心深处,一直回响着已故老母的激励, 还有那些说他蠢,说他不能独立生活的人的声音。他一生都在拚命去证明他们错了。他决不能放弃不干。


4 He takes the first unsteady steps on a journey to Portland's streets, the battlefield where he fights alone for his independence and dignity. He's a door-to-door salesman. Sixty-three years old. And his enemies -- a crippled body that betrays him and a changing world that no longer needs him -- are gaining on him.


5 With trembling hands he assembles his weapons: dark slacks, blue shirt and matching jacket, brown tie, tan raincoat and hat. Image, he believes, is everything.


6 He stops in the entryway, picks up his briefcase and steps outside. A fall wind has kicked up. The weatherman was right. He pulls his raincoat tighter.

7 He tilts his hat just so. 他在门口停了一下,提起公文包,走了出去。秋风骤起,冷飕飕的。天气预报员说得没错。他将雨衣裹裹紧。


8 On the 7:45 bus that stops across the street, he leaves his briefcase next to the driver and finds a seat in the middle of a pack of bored teenagers.


9 He leans forward, stares toward the driver, sits back, then repeats the process. His nervousness makes him laugh uncontrollably. The teenagers stare at him. They don't realize Porter's afraid someone will steal his briefcase, with the glasses, brochures, order forms and clip-on tie that he needs to survive.


10 Porter senses the stares. He looks at the floor.


11 His face reveals nothing. In his heart, though, he knows he should have been like these kids, like everyone on this bus. He's not angry. But he knows. His mother explained how the delivery had been difficult, how the doctor had used an instrument that crushed a section of his brain and caused cerebral palsy, a disorder of the nervous system that affects his speech, hands and walk.


12 Porter came to Portland when he was 13 after his father, a salesman, was transferred here. He attended a school

for the disabled and then Lincoln High School, where he was placed in a class for slow kids.


13 But he wasn't slow.


14 His mind was trapped in a body that didn't work. Speaking was difficult and took time. People were impatient and didn't listen. He felt different -- was different -- from the kids who rushed about in the halls and planned dances he would never attend.


15 What could his future be? Porter wanted to do something and his mother was certain that he could rise above his limitations. With her encouragement, he applied for a job with the Fuller Brush Co. only to be turned down. He couldn't carry a product briefcase or walk a route, they said.


16 Porter knew he wanted to be a salesman. He began reading help wanted ads in the newspaper. When he saw one for Watkins, a company that sold household products door-to-door, his mother set up a meeting with a representative. The man said no, but Porter wouldn't listen. He just wanted a chance. The man gave in and offered Porter a section of the city that no salesman wanted.


17 It took Porter four false starts before he found the courage to ring the first doorbell. The man who answered told him to go away, a pattern repeated throughout the day.


18 That night Porter read through company literature and discovered the products were guaranteed. He would sell that pledge. He just needed people to listen.


19 If a customer turned him down, Porter kept coming back until they heard him. And he sold.


20 For several years he was Watkins' top retail salesman. Now he is the only one of the company's 44,000 salespeople who sells door-to-door.


21 The bus stops in the Transit Mall, and Porter gets off.


22 His body is not made for walking. Each step strains his joints. Headaches are constant visitors. His right arm is nearly useless. He can't fully control the limb. His body tilts at the waist; he seems to be heading into a strong, steady wind that keeps him off balance. At times, he looks like a toddler taking his first steps.


23 He walks 10 miles a day.


24 His first stop today, like every day, is a shoeshine stand where employees tie his laces. Twice a week he pays for a shine. At a nearby hotel one of the doormen buttons Porter's top shirt button and slips on his clip-on tie. He then walks to another bus that drops him off a mile from his territory.


25 He left home nearly three hours ago.


26 The wind is cold and raindrops fall. Porter stops at the first house. This is the moment he's been preparing for since 5:45 a.m. He rings the bell.

风冷雨淋。波特在第一户人家门前停了下来。这是他从5:45分开始就为之准备的时刻。他按了门铃。27 A woman comes to the door.


28 "Hello."

29 "No, thank you, I'm just preparing to leave."

30 Porter nods.

31 "May I come back later?" he asks.

32 "No," says the woman.

33 She shuts the door.

34 Porter's eyes reveal nothing.

35 He moves to the next house.

36 The door opens.

37 Then closes.











38 He doesn't get a chance to speak. Porter's expression never changes. He stops at every home in his territory. People might not buy now. Next time. Maybe. No doesn't mean never. Some of his best customers are people who repeatedly turned him down before buying.


39 He makes his way down the street.

40 "I don't want to try it."

41 "Maybe next time."

42 "I'm sorry. I'm on the phone right now."

43 "No."






44 Ninety minutes later, Porter still has not made a sale. But there is always another home.

45 He walks on.

46 He knocks on a door. A woman appears from the backyard where she's gardening. She often buys, but not today, she says, as she walks away.

47 "Are you sure?" Porter asks.

48 She pauses.

49 "Well..."







50 That's all Porter needs. He walks as fast as he can, tailing her as she heads to the backyard. He sets his briefcase down and opens it. He puts on his glasses, removes his brochures and begins his sales talk, showing the woman pictures and describing each product.


51 Spices?

52 "No."

53 Jams?

54 "No. Maybe nothing today, Bill."

55 Porter's hearing is the one perfect thing his body does. Except when he gets a live one. Then the word "no" does not register.






56 Pepper?

57 "No."

58 Laundry soap?

59 "Hmm."

60 Porter stops. He smells blood. He quickly remembers her last order.

61 "Say, aren't you about out of soap? That's what you bought last time. You ought to be out right about now."

62 "You're right, Bill. I'll take one."








63 He arrives home, in a rainstorm, after 7 p.m. Today was not profitable. He tells himself not to worry. Four days left in the week.


64 At least he's off his feet and home.


65 Inside, an era is preserved. The telephone is a heavy, rotary model. There is no VCR, no cable.


66 His is the only house in the neighborhood with a television antenna on the roof.


67 He leads a solitary life. Most of his human contact comes on the job. Now, he heats the oven and slips in a frozen dinner because it's easy to fix.


68 The job usually takes him 10 hours.


69 He's a weary man who knows his days -- no matter what his intentions -- are numbered.


70 He works on straight commission. He gets no paid holidays, vacations or raises. Yes, some months are lean.


71 In 1993, he needed back surgery to relieve pain caused from decades of walking. He was laid up for five months and couldn't work. He was forced to sell his house. The new owners, familiar with his situation, froze his rent and agreed to let him live there until he dies.


72 He doesn't feel sorry for himself.

73 The house is only a building. A place to live, nothing more.

74 His dinner is ready. He eats at the kitchen table and listens to the radio. The afternoon mail brought bills that he will deal with later this week. The checkbook is upstairs in the bedroom.

75 His checkbook.





76 He types in the recipient's name and signs his name.

77 The signature is small and scrawled.

78 Unreadable.

79 But he knows.

80 Bill Porter.

81 Bill Porter, salesman.







82 From his easy chair he hears the wind lash his house and the rain pound the street outside his home. He must dress warmly tomorrow. He's sleepy. With great care he climbs the stairs to his bedroom.

83 In time, the lights go off.

84 Morning will be here soon.




When children take up ways of making a living that differ greatly from their parents, differences in outlook can easily arise. This is what Alfred Lubrano found. Brought up in the family of a building worker, education led him to develop different interests and ambitions from his father. Here he writes about how this affected their relationship.


unit 8 A Clone Is Born

Cloning offers the possibility of making exact copies of ourselves. Should this be allowed? What benefits and dangers may cloning bring?


A Clone Is Born

Gina Kolata 1 On July 5, 1996, at 5:00 p.m., the most famous lamb in history entered the world. She was born in a shed, just down the road from the Roslin Institute in Roslin, Scotland, where she was created. And yet her creator, Ian Wilmut, a quiet, balding fifty-two-year-old embryologist, does not remember where he was when he heard that the lamb, named Dolly, was born. He does not even recall getting a telephone call from John Bracken, a scientist who had monitored the pregnancy of the sheep that gave birth to Dolly, saying that Dolly was alive and healthy and weighed 6.6 kilograms.


2 No one broke open champagne. No one took pictures. Only a few staff members from the institute and a local veterinarian who attended the birth were present. Yet Dolly, who looked for all the world like hundreds of other lambs that dot the rolling hills of Scotland, was soon to change the world.


3 When the time comes to write the history of our age, this quiet birth, the creation of this little lamb, will stand out. The world is a different place now that she is born.


4 Dolly is a clone. She was created not out of the union of a sperm and an egg but out of the genetic material from

an udder cell of a six-year-old sheep. Wilmut fused the udder cell with an egg from another sheep, after first removing all genetic material from the egg. The udder cell's genes took up residence in the egg and directed it to grow and develop. The result was Dolly, the identical twin of the original sheep that provided the udder cells, but an identical twin born six years later.


5 Until Dolly entered the world, cloning was the stuff of science fiction. It had been raised as a possibility decades ago, then dismissed, something that serious scientists thought was simply not going to happen anytime soon. Now it is not fantasy to think that someday, perhaps decades from now, but someday, you could clone yourself and make tens, dozens, hundreds of genetically identical twins. Nor is it science fiction to think that your cells could be improved beforehand, genetically engineered to add some genes and remove others. \


6 True, it was a sheep that was cloned, not a human being. But there was nothing exceptional about sheep. Even Wilmut, who made it clear that he was opposed to the very idea of cloning people, said that there was no longer any theoretical reason why humans could not clone themselves, using the same methods he had used to clone Dolly. "There is no reason in principle why you couldn't do it." But, he added, "All of us would find that offensive."


7 We live in a time when we argue about pragmatism and compromises in our quest to be morally right. But cloning forces us back to the most basic questions that have plagued humanity since the dawn of recorded time: What is good and what is evil? And how much potential for evil can we tolerate to obtain something that might be good? Cloning, with its possibilities for creating our own identical twins, brings us back to the ancient sins of vanity and pride; the sins of Narcissus, who so loved himself, and of Prometheus, who, in stealing fire, sought the powers of God. So before we can ask why we are so fascinated by cloning, we have to examine our souls and ask, What exactly so bothers many of us about trying to make an exact copy of our genetic selves? Or, if we are not bothered, why aren't we?


8 We want children who resemble us. Even couples who use donor eggs or donor sperm, search catalogs of donors to find people who resemble themselves. Several years ago, a poem by Linda Pastan, called "To a Daughter Leaving Home," was displayed on the walls of New York subways. It read:

Is it my own image

I love so

in your face?

I lean over your sleep,

Narcissus over

his clear pool,

ready to fall in --

to drown for you

if necessary.

Yet if we so love ourselves, reflected in our children, why is it so terrifying to so many of us to think of seeing our exact genetic replicas born again, identical twins years younger than we? Is it one thing for nature to form us through a genetic lottery, and another for us to take complete control, abandoning all thoughts of somehow, through the mixing of genes, having a child who is like us, but better? Normally, when a man and a woman have a child together, the child is an unpredictable mixture of the two. We recognize that, of course, in the old joke in which a beautiful but dumb woman suggests to an ugly but brilliant man that the two have a child. Just think of how wonderful the baby would be, the woman says, with my looks and your brains. Aha, says the man. But what if the child inherited my looks and your brains?












9 Cloning brings us face-to-face with what it means to be human and makes us confront both the privileges and limitations of life itself. It also forces us to question the powers of science. Is there, in fact, knowledge that we do not want? Are there paths we would rather not pursue?


10 The time is long past when we can speak of the purity of science, divorced from its consequences. If any needed reminding that the innocence of scientists was lost long ago, they need only recall the comments of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the genius who was a father of the atomic bomb and who was transformed in the process from a supremely confident man, ready to follow his scientific curiosity, to a humbled and troubled soul, wondering what science had let loose.


11 Before the bomb was made, Oppenheimer said, "When you see something that is technically sweet you go ahead

and do it." After the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in a chilling speech delivered in 1947, he said: "The physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose."


12 As with the atom bomb, cloning is complex, multi-layered in its threats and its promises. It offers the possibility of real scientific advances that can improve our lives and save them. In medicine, scientists dream of using cloning to reprogram cells so we can make our own body parts for transplantation. Suppose, for example, you needed a bone marrow transplant. Some deadly forms of leukemia can be cured completely if doctors destroy your own marrow and replace it with healthy marrow from someone else. But the marrow must be a close genetic match to your own. If not, it will lash out at you and kill you. Bone marrow is the source of the white blood cells of the immune system. If you have someone else's marrow, you'll make their white blood cells. And if those cells think you are different from them, they will attack.


13 But suppose, instead, that scientists could take one of your cells -- any cell -- and merge it with a human egg. The egg would start to divide, to develop, but it would not be permitted to divide more than a few times. Instead, technicians would bathe it in proteins that direct primitive cells, embryo cells, to become marrow cells. What started out to be a clone of you could grow into a batch of your marrow -- the perfect match.


14 More difficult, but not inconceivable, would be to grow solid organs, like kidneys or livers, in the same way.


15 Another possibility is to create animals whose organs are perfect genetic matches for humans. If you need a liver,

a kidney, or even a heart, you might be able to get one from a specially designed pig clone.


16 The possibilities are limitless, scientists say, and so, some argue, we should stop focusing on our hypothetical fears and think about the benefits that cloning could bring.


Laurence Tribe used to be against human cloning. However, the arrival of Dolly the sheep led him to have second thoughts on the matter.


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