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新概念英语第三册:The ideal servant

2014-07-21 17:50

来源:新东方网整理

作者:

  新概念一直被视为英语学习的经典教材,为了让同学们能够更加全面完善的学习新概念英语第三册,新东方网英语频道将帮助同学们一起总结知识点。

  The ideal servant 理想的仆人

  It is a good thing my aunt Harriet died years ago. If she were alive today she would not be able to air her views on her favourite topic of conversation: domestic servants. Aunt Harriet lived in that leisurely age when servants were employed to do housework. She had a huge, rambling country house called 'The Gables'. She was sentimentally attached to this house, for even though it was far too big for her needs, she persisted in living there long after her husband's death. Before she grew old, Aunt Harriet used to entertain lavishly. I often visited The Gables when I was boy. No matter how many guests were present, the great house was always immaculate. The parquet floors shone like mirrors; highly polished silver was displayed in gleaming glass cabinets; even my uncle's huge collection of books was kept miraculously free from dust. Aunt Harriet presided over an invisible army of servants that continuously scrubbed, cleaned, and polished. She always referred to them as 'the shifting population', for they came and went with such frequency that I never even got a chance to learn their names. Though my aunt pursued what was, in those days, an enlightened policy, in that she never allowed her domestic staff to work more than eight hours a day, she was extremely difficult to please. While she always criticized the fickleness of human nature, she carried on an unrelenting search for the ideal servant to the end of her days, even after she had been sadly disillusioned by Bessie.

  我的姑妈哈丽特好多年前就去世了,这倒是件好事。如果她活到今天,她将不能就她热衷的话题“佣人”发表意见了。哈丽特生活在一个悠闲的年代,家务事都由雇来的佣人代劳。她在乡下有一幢巨大杂乱的房子,叫作“山墙庄园”。她对这幢房子在感情上难舍难分。房子实在太大了,但在丈夫去世多年后,她仍然执意长年住在那儿。哈丽特姑妈年轻时,喜欢大摆宴席,招待宾客。我小时候常去“山墙庄园”作客。不管去多少宾客,大房子里总是收拾得干干净净。镶木地板洁如明镜,擦得发亮的银器陈列在明亮的玻璃柜里,连姑夫的大量藏书也保存得很好,奇迹般地一尘不染。哈丽特姑妈统率着一支看不见的佣人大军,他们不停地擦拭、清扫、刷洗。她称这些佣人叫“流动人口”,因为他们来匆匆,所以我甚至都没有机会知道他们的姓名。姑妈待佣人在当时算是开明的,从来不让佣人每天工作超过8小时,但他们很难使她称心如意。她一方面总是批评人的本性朝三暮四,另一方面她又持之以恒地寻找一个理想的佣人。即使在贝西大大地伤她的心之后,她还在找,一直到她死去。

  New words and expressions 生词和短语

  rambling

  adj. 杂乱无章的

  sentimentally

  adv. 感情上,多情地

  immaculate

  adj. 清洁的,无污点的

  lavishly

  adv. 慷慨地,大方地

  parquet

  n. 镶木地板

  gleam

  v. 发亮,闪光

  preside

  v. 指挥

  invisible

  adj. 看不见的,无形的

  scrub

  v. 擦拭,刷洗

  enlightened

  adj. 开明的

  fickleness

  n. 变化无常

  unrelenting

  adj. 不屈不挠的,不松懈的确良

  disillusion

  v. 使幻想破灭的

  qualification

  n. 资格,能力

  mirth

  n. 欢笑,高兴

  stack

  v. 整齐地堆放

  cellar

  n. 地窖

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