现代大学英语精读(现代大学英语精读五)

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现代大学英语精读

现代大学英语精读

Lsaac Bashevis Singer (1904—1991) was born in a Jewish village in Poland. In 1935 he immigrated to New York.

Singer wrote many stories and novels, as well as books for juveniles and four autobiographies (including Lost in America, 1981). In 1978 his work received world attention when he was awarded the Noble Prize in Literature.

The Son from America------lsaac Bashevis Singer

The village of Lentshin was tiny. It was surrounded by little huts with thatchad roofs. Between the huts there were fields, where the owners planted vegetables or pastured their goats.

In the smallest of these huts lived old Berl, a man in his eighties, and his wife Berlcha. Old Berl was one of the Jews driven from Russia who had settled in Poland. He was short, broad-shouldered, and had a small white beard, and in summer and winter he wore a sheepskin hat, a padded cotton jacket, and stout boots. He had a half acre of field, a cow, a goat, and chickens.

The couple had a son, Samuel, who had gone to America forty years ago. It was said in Lentshin that he became a millionaire there. Every month, the Lentshin letter carrier brought old Berl a money order and a letter that no one could read because many of the words were English. How much money Samuel sent his parents remained a secret. They never seemed to use the money. What for? The garden, the cow, and the goat provided most of their needs.

No one cared to know where Berl kept the money that his son sent him. The hut consisted of one room, which contained all their belongings: the table, the shelf for meat, the shelf for milk foods, the two beds, and the clay oven. Sometimes the chickens roosted in the woodshed and sometimes, when it was cold, in a coop near the oven. The goat, too, found shelter inside when the weather was bad. The more prosperous villagers had kerosene lamps, but Berl and his wife did not believe in new gadgets. only for the Sabbath would Berlcha buy candles at the store. In summer, the couple got up at sunrise and retired with the chickens. In the long winter evenings, Berlcha spun flax and Berl sat beside her in the silence of those who enjoy their rest.

once in a while when Berl came home from the synagogue, he brought news to his wife. In Warsaw there were strikers who demanded that the czar abdicate. Somebody by the name of Dr. Herzl had come up with the idea that Jews should settle again in Palestine. Berlcha listened and shook her head. Her face was yellowish and wrinkled like a cabbage leaf. She was half deaf. Berl had to repeat each word he said to her.

Here in Lentshin nothing happened except usual events: a cow gave birth to a calf, a young couple got married. Actually, Lentshin had become a village with few young people. The young men left for Zakroczym, for Warsaw, and sometimes for the United States. Like Samuel, they sent letters and photographs in which the men wore top hats and the women fancy dresses.

Berl and Berlcha also received such photographs. But their eyes were failing and neither he nor she had glasses. They could barely make out the pictures. Samuel had sons and daughters—and grandchildren. Their names were so strange that Berl and Berlcha could never remember them. But what difference do names make? America was on the other side of the ocean, at the edge of the world. A talmud teacher who came to Lentshin had said that Americans walked with their heads down and their feet up. Berl and Berlcha could not grasp this. How was it possible? But since the teacher said so it must be true.

One Friday morning, when Berlcha was kneading the dough for the Sabbath loaves, the door opened and a nobleman entered. He was so tall that he had to bend down to get through the door. He was followed by the coachman who carried two leather suitcases. In astonishment Berlcha raised her eyes.

The nobleman looked around and said to the coachman in Yiddish, "Here it is." He took out a silver ruble and paid him. Then he said, "You can go now."

When the coachman closed the door, the nobleman said, "Mother, it's me, your son Samuel-Sam."

Berlcha heard the words and her legs grew numb. The nobleman hugged her, kissed her forehead, both her cheeks, and Berlcha began to cackle like a hen, "My son!"

At that moment Berl came in from the woodshed, his arms piled with logs. The goat followed him. When he saw a nobleman kissing his wife, Berl dropped the wood and exclaimed, "What is this?"

The nobleman let go of Berlcha and embraced Berl. "Father! "

For a long time Berl was unable to utter a sound. Then he asked, "Are you Samuel?"

"Yes, Father, I am Samuel. "

"Well, peace be with you. " Berl grasped his son's hand. He was still not sure that he was not being fooled. Samuel wasn't as tall and heavy as this man, but then Berl reminded himself that Samuel was only fifteen years old when he had left home. Berl asked, "Why didn't you let us know that you were coming?"

"Didn't you receive my cable?" Samuel asked.

Berl did not know what a cable was.

Berlcha had scraped the dough from her hands and enfolded her son.

"I never thought I could live to see this. Now, I am happy to die," Berlcha said. Berl was amazed. These were just the words he could have said earlier. After a while Berl came to himself and said, "Pescha, you will have to make a double Sabbath pudding in addition to the stew."

It was years since Berl had called Berlcha by her given name. only now did Berlcha begin to cry. Yellow tears ran from her eyes, and everything became dim. Then she called out, "It's Friday—I have to prepare for the Sabbath." Yes, she had to knead the dough for the loaves. With such a guest, she had to make a larger Sabbath stew. The winter day is short and she must hurry.

Her son understood what was worrying her, because he said, "Mother, I will help you."

The nobleman took off his jacket and remained in his vest, on which hung a solidgold-watch chain. He rolled up his sleeves. "Mother, I was a baker for many years in New York," he said, and he began to knead the dough.

Berlcha wept for joy. Her strength left her, and she slumped onto the bed.

Berl said, "Women will always be women." And he went to the shed to get more wood. The goat sat down near the oven; she gazed with surprise at this strange man.

The neighbors had heard the good news that Berl's son had arrived from America and they came to greet him. The women began to help Berlcha prepare for the Sabbath. Some laughed, some cried. The room was full of people, as at a wedding. After Berlcha lit the candles, father and son went to the little synagogue across the street. A new snow had fallen. The son took large steps, but Berl warned him, "Slow down."

In the synagogue the Jews sang their prayers. All the time, the snow outside kept falling. When Berl and Samuel left the Holy Place, the village was unrecognizable. Everything was covered in snow. One could see only the contours of the roofs and the candles in the windows. Samuel said, "Nothing has changed here."

Berlcha had prepared fish, chicken soup with rice, meat, carrot stew. The family ate and drank, and when it grew quiet for a while one could hear the chirping of the house cricket.

After the final prayer Samuel asked, "Father, what did you do with all the money I sent you?"

Berl raised his white brows. "It's here."

"Didn't you put it in a bank?"

"There is no bank in Lentshin."

"Where do you keep it?"

Berl hesitated. "One is not allowed to touch money on the Sabbath, but I will show you. "He crouched beside the bed and began to shove something heavy. A boot appeared. Its top was stuffed with straw. Berl removed the straw and the son saw that the boot was full of gold coins. He lifted it.

"Father, this is a treasure!" he called out.

"Well."

"Why didn't you spend it?"

"On what? Thank God, we have everything."

"Why didn't you travel somewhere?"

"Where to? This is our home."

The son asked one question after the other, but Berl's answer was always the same: They had everything. The garden, the cow, the goat, the chickens provided them with all they needed. The son said, "If thieves knew about this, your lives wouldn't be safe."

"There are no thieves here."

"What will happen to the money?"

"You take it." ”

Slowly, Berl and Berlcha grew accustomed to their son and his American Yiddish. Berlcha could hear him better now. She even recognized his voice. He was saying, "Perhaps

we should build a larger synagogue."

"The synagogue is big enough," Berl replied.

"Perhaps a home for old people."

"No one sleeps in the street."

The next day after the Sabbath meal was eaten, Berl and Berlcha lay down for a nap. They soon began to snore. The goat, too, dozed off. The son put on his cloak and his hat and went for a walk. He strode with his long legs across the marketplace. He stretched out a hand and touched a roof. He had a desire to talk to someone, but it seemed that the whole of Lentshin was asleep.

Samuel returned home. Dusk had fallen. Berl went to the synagogue for the evening prayers and the son remained with his mother.

In the twilight Samuel put his hand into his jacket pocket and touched his checkbook, his letters of credit. He had come here with big plans. He had a suitcase filled with presents for his parents. He wanted to help the village. He brought not only his own money but funds from the Lentshin Society in New York. But this village needed nothing. From the synagogue one could hear people chanting. The cricket, silent all day, started again its chirping. Berlcha began to sway and utter holy rhymes inherited from mothers and grandmothers.

冷申村的贵客---艾萨克·巴舍维斯·辛格

冷申村微不足道,四周全是小小的茅草屋,草屋之间是田地,农民们在这些田地上或种蔬菜,或放牧羊群。

在这片茅屋中,最小的那间里,住着八十多岁的老贝尔和妻子蓓查。老贝尔是一个被从俄国驱逐、移居波兰的犹太人,他个头不高,宽宽的肩膀,留一小撮白胡子,无论寒暑都戴着一顶羊皮帽、一件棉衣和一双结实的靴子。他有半英亩田、一头母牛、一只山羊和一群鸡。

老两口有个儿子,叫塞缪尔,四十年前去了美国,冷申村的人都说他在那边已是百万富翁了。每个月,村里的邮递员都会给老贝尔带来一张汇票,和一封没人认得的信,因为信上很多字都是英文。塞缪尔给父母寄了多少钱,这还是个秘密。他们似乎从未动过这些钱,为什么呢?有菜园、有牛、还有羊,这都在很大程度上满足了生活所需。

没人注意到贝尔把儿子寄的钱藏哪儿了。这件茅屋只有一个房间,却堆满了他们的全部家当:桌子、肉架、奶制品架、两张床、粘土烤箱。有时候,鸡会栖息在木棚上,天冷时,则会栖于烤箱旁边的鸡笼里,天气不好时,羊也会在这里睡觉。家境好的人家有煤油灯,但是贝尔和妻子都不稀罕这些新玩意。只有在安息日,蓓查才会去商店买些蜡烛。夏天,老两口日出时起床、鸡栖时睡觉。漫长冬夜里,蓓查织布,贝尔坐在她旁边,在静谧中享受休息时光。

偶尔,贝尔从犹太教堂回来后,会给老伴儿讲些新闻:华沙的罢工者要求沙皇退位;有个叫赫兹的人献策说,犹太人应该再次迁入巴勒斯坦。蓓查边听边摇头。她的脸色发黄,脸像甘蓝叶一样皱巴。耳朵半聋,贝尔得把每个字反复说给她听。

在冷申村,什么不寻常的事都没有,除了平日的琐事:一头母牛生了一头小牛犊,一对年轻人成婚了。事实上,冷申村的年轻人已经不多了,青年男子们去了Zakroczym(波兰某地),去了华沙,有的去了美国。他们像塞缪尔那样,往家里寄信、寄照片,照片上的男子都戴着高高的帽子,女人都穿着精美的衣服。

贝尔和蓓查也收过这样的.照片,但是他们的老眼不行了,老两口都没有眼镜,他们几乎看不清照片上的人。塞缪尔有儿子们,也有女儿们,还有孙子呢。他们的名字很奇怪,贝尔和蓓查都记不住。但是这些名字有什么不同的意义呢?美国在大洋的另一端,地球的另一头。曾有一位教犹太法典的教师来到村子里,他告诉村里人,美国人走路是头朝下、脚朝上。贝尔和蓓查不明白,这怎么可能呢?但是既然这位教师是这么说的,那肯定是这样的。

一个星期五的早上,蓓查在揉面,做安息日吃的面包,这时,门开了,进来一位贵客。他个子很高,进门时只得弯着腰。身后是一个马车夫,手里提着两个皮箱。

蓓查吃惊地睁大眼睛。

贵客看了下四周,用意第绪语跟马车夫说,“就是这里了。”他掏出一枚银卢比给他,然后说,“现在你可以走了。”

马车夫关门走后,贵客开口说,“妈妈,是我,您的儿子塞缪尔。”

听到这句话,蓓查的双腿麻木起来。贵客拥抱了她,亲吻她的前额和双手,蓓查突然像母鸡那样咯咯笑起来,“我的儿!” 此刻贝尔从木棚进屋来,怀里抱满锯木,身后跟着山羊。

看到一个贵客吻着妻子,锯木从怀里落下,贝尔惊呼,“是谁?!”

贵客放开蓓查,又拥抱了贝尔。“爸爸!”

好大一会儿,贝尔说不出一句话来。后来,他问道,“你是塞缪尔?”

“是的,爸爸,我就是塞缪尔。”

“啊,你还好好的。”贝尔抓住儿子的一只手。他还不能确定自己是否在被愚弄,塞缪尔可不像这个人这么高、这么壮,但是随后贝尔想起来,塞缪尔离家那年只有十五岁啊!

贝尔问道,“为什么不通知我们你回来呢?”

“你们没收到我的电报?”塞缪尔问道。

贝尔不知道什么是电报。

蓓查刮掉手上的面屑,拥抱了儿子。

“我从没想到可以在有生之年再见到你,这会儿,我高兴极了,”蓓查说。贝尔吃了一惊,这可是他刚才想要说的话啊! 过了一会儿,贝尔回过神来,说,“蓓儿,除了这些炖肉,你还得再做份安息日饺子。”

贝尔好多年没叫蓓查的教名了,可是这会儿,蓓查开始哭起来,黄色的眼泪滚落出来,眼前的一切都模糊了。一会儿她叫道,“今天是星期五--我要做安息日饭食了。”是的,她得揉面做面包了。来了这么一位贵客,她要做一大份安息日炖肉。冬天天短,她必须抓紧时间。

儿子看出了母亲在为什么烦恼,他说,“妈妈,我来帮你。”

贵客儿子脱下上衣,只穿着汗衫,脖子里挂着实心金表链,他挽起袖子,“妈,我在纽约做过很多年面包师,”他说,开始揉面。

蓓查破涕为笑,她感到浑身无力,便倒在床上休息。

贝尔说,“女人终归是女人啊!”他走进木屋,再拿些木头。山羊在烤箱旁卧下,吃惊地瞪着这个陌生人。

邻居们听到贝尔儿子从美国回来的好消息,纷纷前来问候。女人们开始帮助蓓查为安息日张罗着。有的笑、有的哭。屋子里满是人,像闹新婚一样。

傍晚,蓓查点起蜡烛后,父亲和儿子就到街对面的犹太小教堂去了。又一场雪开始下起来,儿子大步流星地走着,贝尔提醒他,“慢点,慢点。”

教堂里,犹太人唱着祈祷歌。外面一直下着雪。贝尔和塞缪尔离开这座圣殿时,整个村庄已经变了样儿。大雪笼盖了一切,只能看到屋顶的轮廓和窗子里的烛光。塞缪尔说,“一切还是老样子。”

蓓查做了鱼、鸡汤米饭、肉、炖胡萝卜。一家人开始吃喝,一时一切归于寂静,只能听到房子里蟋蟀的唧唧声。

祈祷完毕,塞缪尔问,“爸爸,我寄给你们的那些钱,你们都怎么花的?”

贝尔扬了扬白眉毛,“在家里放着呢。”

“为什么不存银行呢?”

“村子里没有银行。”

“那你藏到哪儿了?”

贝尔犹豫了一下,“安息日里不能碰钱,不过我会给你看。”他蹲在床边,笨重地推着什么。一只靴子。靴子上面塞满了麦秆,贝尔取出麦秆,这时,儿子看到,靴子里满是金币。他举起靴子。

“爸爸,这可是财宝啊!”他叫道。

“是的。”

“你为什么不花掉呢?”

“买什么?谢天谢地,我们什么都不缺。”

“为什么不去旅行呢?”

“去哪儿?这儿就是家!”

儿子问了一个又一个问题,但是贝尔的回答都是一样的:他们什么都有,菜园、母牛、山羊、鸡满足了生活所需。儿子说,“要是小偷知道了,你们就危险了。”

“这儿没有小偷。”

“那这些钱怎么办呢。”

“你拿走吧。

慢慢地,贝尔和蓓查习惯了儿子和他的美国式意第绪语。蓓查现在有点能听懂他的话了,她甚至能听出他的声音。听,他在说话:

“或许我们得建一所大教堂了。”

“这座已经够大了,”贝尔回道。

“或许得给老年人盖房子。”

“没有人睡在大街上。”

第二天塞缪尔吃过饭,贝尔和蓓查躺下睡午觉,他们很快开始打鼾,那只山羊也开始打盹儿。儿子披上斗篷、戴上帽子,出去走走。他甩开两条长腿,大步走在市场上。他伸出一只手,摸到了一家房顶。他想找人谈谈天,但是好像整个冷申村都在睡觉。

塞缪尔回到家,已是黄昏了,贝尔去教堂做晚祷,儿子在家陪着母亲。

微光中,塞缪尔把手伸向外套口袋里,摩挲着自己的支票薄和信用证。他带着很大的计划回来,手提箱里装满了给父母的礼物,他想帮助村里人,除了自己的钱,他还带回了纽约冷申社团的基金,但是这个村子什么都不缺。

从教堂的方向传来一阵歌声,安静了一整天的蟋蟀,突然唧唧叫了起来。蓓查开始摇晃着,哼着从母亲、祖母那里传下来的圣歌。

注:艾萨克·巴舍维斯·辛格(1904-1991)出生在波兰的一个犹太人村庄,1935年移居纽约。

辛格创作了很多故事和小说、青少年读物和四部自传(包括1981年的《迷失在美国》)。1978年,他被授予诺贝尔文学家,他的作品因此得到了全世界的关注。

1.immigrate v. 移居入境

例句:

People from many countries immigrated to the United States and Canada.

许多国家的人移居到美国和加拿大。

2.juvenile n. 青少年

例句:

At first this shop sold newspapers and magazines only, but it has since put in juvenile books.

这家商店起初只出售报纸和杂志,后来又增售青少年读物。

3.tiny adj. 极小的,微小的

例句:

The tiny seeds planted ten years before had flowered.

10年前撒的种子这时已经开花了。

4.thatch n. 盖屋顶的材料,用草盖的屋顶,浓密的头发 v. 茸

例句:

Thatch hut is raised high above the paddy field on stilt.

茅草屋用柱高高地建在稻田之上。

5.pasture vt. 放牧

例句:

He's pasturing his cattle on the top meadow.

他正在高处的草地上放牛。

6.sheepskin n. 羊皮(绵羊皮,羊皮纸)

例句:

The college graduate is presented with a sheepskin to cover his intellectual nakedness.

大学毕业生被授予一张羊皮文凭来遮掩其皮毛知识。

7.stout adj. 强壮的,稳重的,肥胖的

例句:

Hope is a slender reed for a stout man to lean on.

希望是壮汉依靠的一根纤细的芦苇。

8.roost v. 栖息,安歇

例句:

Curse, like chicken, comes home to roost.

诅咒像鸡雏,必回栖息木。

9.kerosene lamp n. 煤油灯

10.spin v. 纺织,旋转,拉长

例句:

Silkworms spin cocoons.

蚕作茧。

11.synagogue n. 犹太人集会,犹太教会堂

例句:

Many Jews come to this synagogue on Saturday.

星期六的时候,许多犹太人到这所犹太教会堂来。

12.abdicate v. 放弃

例句:

King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936.

英王爱德华八世於1936年退位.

13.nobleman n. 贵族

例句:

Although his grandfather was a nobleman, he was very poor.

尽管他的祖父是贵族,他却非常穷困。

14.cackle v. 咯咯地叫,格格地笑,喋喋不休

例句:

The old woman gave a loud cackle.

老太太咯咯地笑起来。

15.scrape v. 刮掉,擦掉

例句:

I must have scraped some of the paint off when I was parking the car.

我准是停放汽车的时候刮掉了一些油漆。

16.knead v. 揉,按摩,捏制

例句:

Pizza dough must be knead for five minutes.

做比萨饼的面团要揉5分钟。

17.chirp v. 吱喳而鸣

例句:

Birds had begun to chirp among the trees.

鸟儿们已经开始在树林里叽叽喳喳地叫了。

18.crouch v. 蹲下,蜷著,缩著

例句:

He crouched down among the tangled foliage.

他蹲下把身子藏在紊乱的叶丛中。

19.snore v. 打鼾

例句:

Mary accused her husband of snore too loudly.

玛丽指责她丈夫打呼噜太响。

1.settle in v. 迁入

例句:

His uncle chose to settle in the countryside.

他叔父决意在乡下定居。

2e up with v. 赶上, 提出

例句:

He's come up with a great idea.

他想出了一个绝好的办法。

3.roll up vt. 袅袅上升、卷起、到达

例句:

He rolled up his sleeves and got to work in the garden.

他卷起了袖子,在花园里干起活来。

4.one after the other adv.相继地

例句:

History is like a series of journeys, one coming after the other.

历史是一次又一次旅程的连接。

5.lay down vi. 放下、记下、拟定、建造

例句:

He lay down on the sofa and soon fell asleep.

她躺在沙发上很快就睡著了。

现代大学英语精读(现代大学英语精读)

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