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Passage Six (The Present Is the Most Important)
Shams and delusions are esteemed for soundest truths, while reality is fabulous. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be , music and poetry would resound along the streets. When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, --that petty fears and petty pleasure are but the shadow of reality. This is always exhilarating and sublime. By closing the eyes and slumbering, by consenting to be deceived by shows, men establish and confirm their daily life of routine and habit everywhere, which still is built on purely illusory foundation. Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure. I have read in a Hindoo book, that “there was a king’s son, who, being expelled in infancy from his native city, was brought up by a forester, and, growing up to maturity in that state, imagined himself to belong to the barbarous race with which be lived. One of his father’s ministers having discovered him, revealed to him what he was, and the misconception of his character was removed, and he knew himself to be a prince. So soul, from the circumstances in which it is placed, mistakes its own character, until the truth is revealed to it by some holy teacher, and then it knows itself to be Brahme.” We think that that is which appears to be. If a man should give us an account of the realities he beheld, we should not recognize the place in his description. Look at a meeting-house, or a court-house, or a jail, or a shop. Or a dwelling-house, and say what that thing really is before a true gaze, and they would all go to pieces in your account of them. Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all ages. And we are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us. The universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions; whether we travel fast or slow, the track is laid for us. Let us spend our lives in conceiving then. The poet or the artist never yet had as fair and noble a design but some of his posterity at least could accomplish it.

  1. The writer’s attitude toward the arts is one of
[A]. admiration. [B]. indifference. [C]. suspicion. [D]. repulsion
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  2. The author believes that a child.
[A]. should practice what the Hindoos preach.
[B]. frequently faces vital problems better than grownups do.
[C]. hardly ever knows his true origin.
[D]. is incapable of appreciating the arts.

  3. The author is primarily concerned with urging the reader to
[A]. look to the future for enlightenment. [B]. appraise the present for its true value.
[C]. honor the wisdom of the past ages. [D]. spend more time in leisure activities.

  4. The passage is primarily concerned with problem of
[A]. history and economics. [B]. society and population.
[C]. biology and physics. [D]. theology and philosophy.
Vocabulary

  1. sham 虚伪

  2. delusion 欺骗

  3. fabulous 荒诞无稽的,不存在的

  4. exhilarating 令人高兴的

  5. sublime 崇高的

  6. slumber 睡眠
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  7. Hindoo 印度

  8. Brahma 婆罗门(贵族)

  9. come, fall, go to pieces 崩溃,垮台

  10. culminate 达到顶点

  11. lapse 时间的推移/消逝

  12. apprehend 领悟,理解

  13. instill (慢慢地)滴注,灌输

  14. drench 浸泡,使湿透

  15. posterity 子孙后代

  16. look to 指望,注意
[NextPage]
难句译注

  1. If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.
[结构简析] 虚拟条件句,主句中 to compare it with… know 是插入语,也有假设之意。
[参考译文] 如果人们坚持只观察现实,不让自己被蒙蔽,那么生活,把它和我们知道的事情相比较,就象神 话,象一千零一夜中描述的一切。

  2. When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, --that petty fears and petty pleasure are but the shadow of reality.
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[结构简析] 主句中两个 that. 第一个是 perceive 的宾语从句。破折号的第二个 that 从句是说明,对比前一个 that 句。
[参考译文] 在我们冷静和明智时,我们会感到只有伟大的和有价值的东西才能永恒绝对地存在,而那些微不 足道的恐惧和欢乐仅仅是现实的阴影而已。

  3. By closing the eyes and slumbering, by consenting to be deceived by shows, men establish and confirm their daily life of routine and habit everywhere, which still is built on purely illusory foundation.
[参考译文] 闭上眼睛,昏昏欲睡,允许自己被表面现象所蒙蔽,人们通过这些手段来建立和确定他们的生活 日程和各种习惯。这仍然是建立在幻(觉)想基础上的东西。

  4. So soul, from the circumstances in which it is placed, mistakes its own character, until the truth is revealed to it by some holy teacher, and then it knows itself to be Brahme.”
[结构简析] from the circumstances in which … ,介词短语+定从,实际上都是修饰 mistake
[参考译文] 从它所处的环境中出发,灵魂把自己的身份搞错了。直到某个神圣的先生揭示的事实,那时它才 知道自己是个贵族。

  5. We think that that is which appears to be.
[结构简析] 第一个 that 是引导 think 的宾语从句的连接词, 第二个 that 是代词, 作宾从中的主语, 指上述“灵 魂”整个句子。
[参考译文] 我们想那就是看起来那个样子(情况似乎就是那样)。
写作方法与文章大意
这是一篇从哲学角度探讨人应重视现实的论说文。采用以对比,具体实例说明的写作手法。先用虚伪和欺骗 被尊为至高无上的真理一事,跟正视现实,尊重必然的东西对比,引出后者是美好生活的来源。再以大人和孩子 对比,孩子更能分辨生活的规律。最后从过去,未来和现在对比,人们对过去认为就是这么一回事,崇拜遥远的 一切。作者提醒人们??此时此地的现实是最重要的。
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答案祥解

  1. A. 钦佩。本文第三句“如果我们只尊重必然的东西,尊重有权威为必然的东西,那么音乐和诗歌会重新在 街上唱诵。”本文最后一句“虽然诗人或艺术从来没有如此美好和崇高的设想,但他们有些后代至少会达到这一步 的。”还有难句译注
  1。这些都说明作者对艺术视为崇高和美好,不是被蒙蔽的东西。
B. 漠不关心。 C. 怀疑的。 D. 排斥。多不对。

  2. B. 孩子们常常比成人更好地棉队各种问题。本文第七句“孩子们游戏生活(整天只知道玩儿),却比难以很 好的生活的成人们更清楚的分辨出显示生活的真正规律和种种关系。”
A. 孩子应当实践印度布道宣传的东西。 C. 几乎对其真实出身一无所知。 这是讲王子的事情, 不是一般孩子。 D. 难以欣赏艺术。并未提及。

  3. B. 珍视目前的真正价值。这在文章倒数第五句“永恒中,确实有真实和崇高的东西存在。但是所有这一切 时间,地点,机遇都是在此时此地。上帝本身在现时达到了顶峰。在今后流逝的岁月中,它绝不会更加神圣崇高。 我们只有长期不断地灌输和浸润在周围现实之中, 才能理解什么是崇高和神圣的东西。 不论我们的步伐快还是慢, 路线已为我铺定。那就让我们的生命在体会感受中度过。”作者强调现实才是人们应该抓住的。
A. 指望未来给予启迪。 C. 尊重过去的智慧。 D. 在悠闲的活动中花更多的时间。

  4. D. 神学和哲学。整篇文章都传递了这两个内容,特别是哲学推理论说。
A. 历史和经济学。 B. 社会和人口。 C. 生物和物理。
Passage Seven (Forecasting of Statistics)
Nearly two thousand years have passed since a census decreed by Caesar Augustus become part of the greatest story ever told. Many things have changed in the intervening years. The hotel industry worries more about overbuilding than overcrowding, and if they had to meet an unexpected influx, few inns would have a manager to accommodate the weary
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guests. Now it is the census taker that does the traveling in the fond hope that a highly mobile population will stay long enough to get a good sampling. Methods of gathering, recording, and evaluating information have presumably been improved a great deal. And where then it was the modest purpose of Rome to obtain a simple head count as an adequate basis for levying taxes, now batteries of complicated statistical series furnished by governmental agencies and private organizations are eagerly scanned and interpreted by sages and seers to get a clue to future events. The Bible does not tell us how the Roman census takers made out, and as regards our more immediate concern, the reliability of present day economic forecasting, there are considerable differences of opinion. They were aired at the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the American Statistical Association. There was the thought that business forecasting might well be on its way from an art to a science, and some speakers talked about newfangled computers and high-falutin mathematical system in terms of excitement and endearment which we, at least in our younger years when these things mattered, would have associated more readily with the description of a fair maiden. But others pointed to the deplorable record of highly esteemed forecasts and forecasters with a batting average below that of the Mets, and the President-elect of the Association cautioned that “high powered statistical methods are usually in order where the facts are crude and inadequate, the exact contrary of what crude and inadequate statisticians assume.” We left his birthday party somewhere between hope and despair and with the conviction, not really newly acquired, that proper statistical methods applied to ascertainable facts have their merits in economic forecasting as long as neither forecaster nor public is deluded into mistaking the delineation of probabilities and trends for a prediction of certainties of mathematical exactitude.

  1. Taxation in Roman days apparently was based on
[A]. wealth. [B]. mobility. [C]. population. [D]. census takers.

  2. The American Statistical Association
[A]. is converting statistical study from an art to a science.
[B]. has an excellent record in business forecasting.
[C]. is neither hopeful nor pessimistic.
[D]. speaks with mathematical exactitude.
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  3. The message the author wishes the reader to get is
[A]. statisticians have not advanced since the days of the Roman.
[B]. statistics is not a
 

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