英语美文推荐:Companionship of Books

http://www.sina.com.cn  2009年11月08日 22:20  中国奥数网 

  Companionship of Books (Samuel Smiles-- The political reformer and moralist was born)

  A man may usually be known by the books he reads as well as by the company(playmates) he keeps;(Birds of a feather flock together)for there is a companionship (friendship) of books as well as of men; and one should always live in the best company, whether it be of books or of men. --- the author has contrast of books and friends。

  A good book may be among the best of friends。(a good book is like our best friend) It is the same today that it always was, and it will never change. It is the most patient and cheerful of companions. It does not turn its back upon us (abandon) in times of adversity or distress。(in times of misfortunes or poverty) It always receives us with the same kindness,amusing and instructing us in youth, and comforting and consoling us in age。(in old age)


  Men often discover their affinity (close relationship) to each other by the love they have each for a book --- just as two persons sometimes discover a friend by the admiration which both have for a third. There is an old proverb, “Love me, and love my dog。” But there is more wisdom in this:” Love me, love my book。” The book is a truer and higher bond of union. (uniting force) Men can think, feel, and sympathize (share the feelings or ideas of another) with each other through their favorite author. They live in him together, and he (lives) in them. ---they can find their opinions from books, in reverse, the ideas of the author influence them too。


  “Books,” said Hazlitt,“Wind into the heart; the poet's verse slides in the current of our blood. We read them when young, we remember them when old. We feel that it has happened to ourselves. They are to be very cheap and good. We breathe but the air of books。”


  A good book is often the best urn (a vase with foot and round body, especially as anciently for storing ashes of the dead. 有腳之圓形缸,古時以此缸盛人屍體之骨殖。) of a life enshrining (inclosing or preserving as in shrine. 保而藏之(如帝王駕崩,高僧圓寂之後,藏其遺骸於神龕中)。) the best that life could think out; for the world of a man's life is, for the most part, but the world of his thoughts. Thus the best books are treasuries (a place where valuable things are kept. ) of good words, the golden (precious, excellent) thoughts, which, remembered and cherished, become our constant companions and comforters (a thing that gives comfort). “They are never alone,” said Sir Philip Sidney, “that are accompanied by noble thoughts。”


  The good and true thought may in times of temptation (lure) be as an angel of mercy purifying and guarding the soul. It also enshrines the germs of action, for good words almost always inspire to good works。


  Books possess an essence of immortality (the nature of endless life). They are by far the most lasting products of human effort. Temples and statues decay (rot), but books survive. Time is of no account (of no importance ) with great thoughts, which are as fresh today as when they first passed through their author's minds, ages ago. What was then said and thought still speaks to us as vividly as ever from the printed page. The only effect of time has been to sift out (make sth bad away) the bad products; for nothing in literature can long survive but what is really good。


  Books introduce us into the best society they bring us into the presence of the greatest minds that have ever lived. We hear what they said and did; we see them as if they were really alive; we sympathize with them, enjoy with them, grieve with them; their experience becomes ours, and we feel as if we were in a measure (in some degree ) actors with them in the scenes which they describe。


  The great and good do not die even in this world. Embalmed (Spring embalms the woods and fields。春天使森林和田野吐露芬芳。) in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which one still listens. Hence we ever remain under the influence of the great men of old. The imperial intellects of the world are as much alive now as they were ages ago。


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