PASSAGE I Elias: A Parable
adv. at a later time 后来
e.g. We had tea, and afterwards we sat in the garden for a while.
adv. on or to one side of the main position, direction, etc. ......一边
e.g. The doctor pulled aside the curtain and examined the patient.
n. (plural calves) young of cattle 小牛
v. stop; come or bring (something) to an end 停止
e.g. The company has decided to cease all UK business after this year.
prep.about (somebody or something) 关于
e.g. If you have any information concerning the recent accident, please call the police.
v. be made up (of something) 由......组成
e.g. The team consists of two teachers and ten students.
v. become smaller or less 减少
e.g. The memory of them will not be diminished by time.
v. refuse to do what someone with authority tells you to do 违背，不遵从
e.g. She had disobeyed her parents' instruction to leave the party at ten o'clock and they were very angry.
adv. in a correct or proper manner 正当地，恰当地
v. provide food and drink for somebody, especially in one's home 招待
e.g. We entertain a lot of people, mainly my wife's friends.
e.g. Although she had been ill for a long time, it still came as a shock (震惊) when she eventually died.
v. be greater or more than 超过
e.g. The final cost should not exceed $ 5,000.
n. a larger amount of something than is allowed or needed 过多，过剩，超过
e.g. The car reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
n. food for farm animals 饲料
e.g. That's all for now, folks.
adj. happening or existing before, but not now 以前的
e.g. They asked the woman, a former nurse at the hospital, for information.
v. make (someone) feel very unhappy 使伤心
e.g. It grieves me to see how selfish they've become.
n. agreement (of feelings, interests, opinions, etc.) 和谐
e.g. Before the recent trouble there was a long period of peace and harmony.
n. (用作饲料的) 干草
adj. having a low social class or position 地位低贱的
e.g. They are of humble birth.
v. 放纵自己 (或某人)
e.g. I love champagne (香槟) but it's not often I can indulge myself.
v. give someone/something a disease 传染，感染
e.g. All the tomato plants are infected with a virus.
n. a female horse or donkey 牝马，牝驴
n. great suffering or discomfort 痛苦
e.g. Ten years of marriage to him have made her life a misery.
adv. in addition, further, besides 而且，除此之外
e.g. It was a good car, and it was, moreover, a fair price they were asking for it.
e.g. The Jackson family have occupied this apartment for the past six months.
e.g. He is occupied with the repair of the farm tools.
adv. simply or without decoration 俭朴地
n. the situation or experience of being poor 贫穷
e.g. In 1991 almost 36 million Americans were living below the poverty line.
v. be useful or helpful to someone 得到好处
e.g. I certainly profited from the two years I spent in that company.
n. the thing or things that someone owns 财产
e.g. The notice said "PRIVATE PROPERTY, KEEP OFF".
n. a part or share of a larger amount 比例，部分
e.g. The report shows that poor families spend a large proportion of their income on food.
e.g. She is a respectable young woman from a good family.
e.g. After dinner our host said, "Shall we retire to the sitting room?"
v. make known something that was previously secret or unknown 披露
e.g. He revealed that he had been in prison twice before.
n. (plural wolves)狼
Elias: A Parable
At one time the elderly couple had been the wealthiest in the region,
now they were merely servants who had nothing but each other.
In the Province of Oufa there lived a man named Elias. His father died a year after he married, and left him a poor man. At that time Elias's property consisted only of seven mares, two cows, and twenty sheep, but now that he had become master he began to better himself. He and his wife worked hard from morning till night for thirty years, growing richer each year.
Elias had two sons and a daughter, all of whom he duly married off. In the days of his poverty his sons had worked with him; but when they became rich, they began to indulge in foolish pleasures. One of them, in particular, began to drink to excess. Eventually the elder of the two was killed in a fight, and the other one, because he disobeyed his father, was turned out.
Elias turned him out, but at the same time he gave him a house and cattle. His own wealth was thus diminished in proportion.
Soon afterwards his sheep became infected with disease, and many of them died. Next, there was a year of drought, when no hay grew, so that many cattle starved to death during the following winter. Then the Khirgizes came and stole the best of his horses, and his property was diminished even more. By the time he had reached his seventieth year, all the property left to him consisted of the clothes on his body and his wife, Sham Shemagi, who was as old as himself. The son whom he had turned out had gone to a distant land, and his daughter was dead; so that there was no one left to help the old people.
However a former neighbor of theirs, named Muhamedshah, felt sorry for them. He was neither rich nor poor, but lived plainly and was a respectable man. Remembering the days when he had been a guest in the house of Elias, he asked the couple to come and live with him and do some work for him if they liked. Elias thanked his good neighbor, and went with his old wife to live in the service of Muhamedshah. At first it grieved them to do so; but in time they got used to it, and settled down to live there and to work as much as their strength permitted.
It suited their master to have them in his service, since the old people had been in authority themselves, and so knew how to do things. Moreover, they were never lazy, but worked the best they knew. Yet Muhamedshah used to feel sorry to see people formerly so high in the world now reduced to such a difficult situation.
One day some of Muhamedshah's friends came to visit him. When the guests learned that Elias, once the wealthiest man in the region, was merely a servant of the host, they were so surprised that they asked the couple about their former life.
"Old man," said one of the guests, "tell me whether it grieves you—now as you look upon us—to remember your former fortunes and your present life of misery?"
Elias smiled and answered: "If I were to speak to you of our happiness or misery you might not believe me. You should rather ask my wife. She has both a woman's heart and a woman's tongue, and will tell you the whole truth about that matter."
Then the guest called to the old woman who was seated behind the curtain  "Tell me, old woman, what you think concerning your former happiness and your present misery."
And Sham Shemagi answered from behind the curtain: "This is what I think concerning them. I lived with my husband for fifty years—seeking happiness, and never finding it; but now, although we live as servants, and this is only the second year since we were left poor, we have found true happiness, and desire no other."
Both the guests and their host were surprised at this—the latter, indeed, so much so that he rose to his feet to draw aside the curtain and look at the old woman. There she stood—her hands folded in front of her, and a smile upon her face, as she gazed at her old husband and he smiled back at her in return. Then she went on: "I am telling you the truth, I am not joking. For half a century we sought happiness and never found it so long as we were rich; yet now that we have nothing—now that we have come to live among humble folk—we have found such happiness as could never be exceeded."
"Where, then, does your happiness lie?" asked the guest.
"When we were rich my husband and I had so many cares that we had no time to talk to one another, or think of our souls, or pray to God. If guests were with us we were fully occupied in thinking how to entertain them. Moreover, when guests had arrived we had their servants to look after. In addition, we constantly worried lest a wolf kill one of our fowls or calves, or thieves drive off the horses. We lay awake at night worrying, lest the ewes should lie on their lambs, and we got up again and again to see that all was well. When we retired to rest, we would find ourselves filled with fresh anxieties as to how to get fodder for the winter, and so on. Moreover, my husband and I could never agree. He would say that a thing must be done in this way, and I that it must be done in that; and so we would begin to quarrel. The life led us only from worry to worry, but never to happiness."
"But how is it now?" asked the guest.
"Now," replied the old woman, "when my husband and I rise in the morning, we always greet each other in love and harmony. We live peacefully, having nothing to worry about. Our only care is how best to serve the master. We work according to our strength, and with a good will, so that the master profits from our work. Then, when we come in, we find dinner and supper ready for us. Whenever it is cold we have fuel to warm us and sheepskin coats to wear. Moreover, we have time to talk to one another, to think about our souls, and to pray to God. For fifty years we sought happiness—but only now have we found it."
The guests burst out laughing, but Elias cried:"Do not laugh, good sirs. This is no joke, but the truth. We have revealed it to you—not for our own diversion, but for your good."
Then the guests ceased to laugh, and became thoughtful. (1，173 words)
Phrases and Expressions
break /burst out laughing
suddenly start to laugh 突然笑了起来
e.g. They all burst out laughing at the expression on her face.
in authority 有权
e.g. We need to get the support of someone in authority.
especially or specifically 尤其
e.g. The whole meal was good but the wine in particular was excellent.
in proportion 成比例
e.g. The length and height of the room were in proportion.
rise to one's feet
stand up 站起来
e.g. He rose unsteadily to his feet to reply to the speech of welcome.
get used to a new way of life, job, etc. 习惯......；安定下来
e.g. I'm sure the child will settle down in his new school.
so much so that 到这样的程度以至
e.g. He longed to visit Beijing, so much so that he dreamed about it.
force somebody to leave a place 把......赶出去
e.g. He was turned out of the hotel because he was penniless.
PASSAGE II A Letter to God
adj. (of a person or their behavior) pleasant and friendly 亲切的
e.g. She wrinkled (皱起) her brow as she thought.
e.g. I bought a bunch of flowers in the market.
e.g. He's hoping for a career as a police officer.
n. 分 (辅币单位，为菲律宾和某些南美洲国家的比索的1%)
n. giving money, food, help, etc. to the needy 慈善
e.g. I try to show a little charity because I know he's lonely, but it's hard because he's so boring.
v. express an opinion about someone or somebody 评论
e.g. People were always commenting on my sister's looks.
n. the quality of being certain of your abilities or of trusting other people, plans or the future 信心
e.g. You don't seem to have much confidence in your boss. Isn't she very good?
e.g. A guilty conscience was preventing her from sleeping at night.
n. quiet happiness, satisfaction 满足
e.g. Once asleep his face wore a look of pure contentment.
v. make somebody feel certain 使确信
e.g. Your explanation might have convinced Mary, but it didn't convince me.
e.g. Her correspondence with Jim lasted many years.
n. the top or highest point of something 顶，顶部
n. a very dishonest person 骗子，窃贼
n. dawn 黎明
v. refuse to allow someone to have or do something 拒绝
e.g. No one should be denied a good education.
v. cover (as if) with dots or small spots 散布于，布满，点缀
e.g. We have offices dotted all over the region.
v. cover or decorate something 披盖
e.g. Wild flowers draped the hillside. 野花铺满山腰。
n. someone who is paid for working for someone else 雇员
adj. easily seen or understood 明显的
e.g. The audience (观众) waited with evident excitement for the performance to begin.
v. cry out suddenly and loudly from pain, anger, surprise, etc. 惊叫
e.g. "You can't leave so soon!" she exclaimed.
adv. with obvious enjoyment and enthusiasm 尽情地
n. 小山 (山腰), 山坡
v. teach or show someone how to do something 指导
e.g. I've been instructed to write down the name of everyone present.
adv. in detail, deeply 详尽地
e.g. kidney-bean n. 菜豆，肾形豆
e.g. The dog jumped up and licked her face.
v. force (someone) to do something 迫使.......做
e.g. She feels obliged to be nice to Jack because he's her boss.
n. 比索 (拉丁美洲国家和菲律宾的货币单位)
v. say in advance that (something) will happen 预言
e.g. Who could have predicted that within ten years he'd be in charge of the whole company?
e.g. The heavy rainfall ruined the match.
v. look like or be similar to 相像
e.g. Mick closely resembled his father.
n. a formal decision 决定
e.g. The United Nations passed a resolution to increase aid to the Third World.
v. (resowed, resown / resowed) plant (land) with seed again 重新播种
n. fixed regular (usually monthly) payment to employees doing other than manual or mechanical work 薪水
v. examine with great attention 细察
e.g. She anxiously scanned the faces of the men leaving the train in the hope of finding her husband.
n. person's name written by himself 签名
e.g. The doctor's signature was difficult to read.
adj. small, not serious or important 微小的
e.g. I haven't the slightest idea what she's talking about.
adj. in a lonely remote place 孤单的
e.g. She wasn't happy to walk down such a solitary path late at night.
adj. feeling, showing or causing sorrow or sadness 悲伤的
e.g. With a sorrowful sigh she folded (折叠) the letter and put it away.
A Letter to God
The house—the only one in the entire valley—sat on the crest of a low hill. From this height one could see the river and, next to the corral, the field of ripe corn dotted with the kidney-bean flowers that always promised a good harvest.
The only thing the earth needed was a rainfall, or at least a shower. Throughout the morning Lencho—who knew his fields intimately—had done nothing else but scan the sky toward the northeast.
"Now we're really going to get some water, woman."
The woman, who was preparing supper, replied:
"Yes, God willing."
The oldest boys were working in the field, while the smaller ones were playing near the house, until the woman called to them all:
"Come for dinner..."
It was during the meal that, just as Lencho had predicted, big drops of rain began to fall. In the northeast huge mountains of clouds could be seen approaching. The air was fresh and sweet.
The man went out to look for something in the corral for no other reason than  to allow himself the pleasure of feeling the rain on his body, and when he returned he exclaimed:
"Those aren't raindrops falling from the sky, they're new coins. The big drops are ten-centavo pieces and the little ones are fives..."
With a satisfied expression he looked at the field of ripe corn with its kidney-bean flowers, draped in a curtain of rain. But suddenly a strong wind began to blow and together with the rain very large hailstones began to fall. These truly did resemble new silver coins. The boys, exposing themselves to the rain, ran out to collect the frozen pearls.
"It's really getting bad now," exclaimed the man. "I hope it passes quickly."
It did not pass quickly. For an hour the hail rained on the house, the garden, the hillside, the cornfield, on the whole valley. The field was white, as if covered with salt. Not a leaf remained on the trees. The corn was totally destroyed. The flowers were gone from the kidney-bean plants. Lencho's soul was filled with sadness. When the storm had passed, he stood in the middle of the field and said to his sons:
"A plague of locusts would have left more than this... The hail has left nothing: this year we will have no corn or beans..."
That night was a sorrowful one:
"All our work, for nothing!"
"There's no one who can help us!"
"We'll all go hungry this year..."
But in the hearts of all who lived in that solitary house in the middle of the valley, there was a single hope: help from God.
"Don't be so upset, even though this seems like a total loss. Remember, no one dies of hunger!"
"That's what they say: no one dies of hunger..."
All through the night, Lencho thought only of his one hope: the help of God, whose eyes, as he had been instructed, see everything, even what is deep in one's conscience.
Lencho was an ox of a man, working like an animal in the fields, but still he knew how to write. The following Sunday, at daybreak, after having convinced himself that there is a protecting spirit, he began to write a letter which he himself would carry to town and place in the mail.
It was nothing less than a letter to God.
"God," he wrote, "if you don't help me, my family and I will go hungry this year. I need a hundred pesos in order to resow the field and to live until the crop comes, because the hailstorm..."
He wrote "To God" on the envelope, put the letter inside, and, still troubled, went to town. At the post office he placed a stamp on the letter and dropped it into the mailbox.
(How do you think the story will go? )
One of the employees, who was a postman and also helped at the post office, went to his boss laughing heartily and showed him the letter to God. Never in his career as postman had he known that address. The postmaster—a fat, amiable fellow—also broke out laughing, but almost immediately he turned serious and, tapping the letter on his desk, commented:
"What faith! I wish I had the faith of the man who wrote this letter. To believe the way he believes. To hope with the confidence that he knows how to hope with. Starting up a correspondence with God!"
So, in order not to destroy that wonderful example of faith, revealed by a letter that could not be delivered, the postmaster came up with an idea: answer the letter. But when he opened it, it was evident that to answer it he needed something more than goodwill, ink, and paper. But he stuck to his resolution: he asked for money from his employees, he himself gave part of his salary, and several friends of his were obliged to give something "for an act of charity".
It was impossible for him to gather together the hundred pesos, so he was able to send the farmer only a little more than half. He put the bills in an envelope addressed to Lencho and with them a letter containing only a single word as a signature: God.
The following Sunday Lencho came a bit earlier than usual to ask if there was a letter for him. It was the postman himself who handed the letter to him, while the postmaster, experiencing the contentment of a man who has performed a good deed, looked on from the doorway of his office.
(How do you expect Lencho will react to the letter and the bills? )
Lencho showed not the slightest surprise on seeing the bills—such was his confidence—but he became angry when he counted the money... God could not have made a mistake, nor could he have denied Lencho what he had requested!
Immediately, Lencho went up to the window to ask for paper and ink. On the public writing table, he started to write, with much wrinkling of his brow, caused by the effort he had to make to express his ideas. When he finished, he went to the window to buy a stamp which he licked and then stuck to the envelope with a blow of his fist.
The moment that the letter fell into the mailbox the postmaster went to open it. It said:
"God: of the money that I asked for, only seventy pesos reached me. Send me the rest, since I need it very much. But don't send it to me through the mail, because the post-office employees are a bunch of crooks. Lencho." (1，092 words)
Phrases and Expressions
ask for 要求得到
e.g. I ) It's the nicest present I've ever had-I couldn't ask for a better one.
II) You are as good a friend as anyone could ask for.
come up with
find or produce (an answer, a solution, etc) 想出
e.g. She came up with a new idea for increasing sales.
1) free or without paying 免费地
e.g. I got the picture for nothing from a friend.
2) without a good result 白白地
e.g. My wish is that those who died for the liberty of their country did not die for nothing.
e.g. A large crowd looked on as the band played.
e.g. Only one man tried to help us; the rest just looked on in silence.
1) continue doing something (despite difficulties, etc) 坚持
e.g. I hated practicing, but I stuck to it and now I can play pretty well.
e.g. It was so hot that his shirt was sticking to his back.