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时间:2006-09-22 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:clian1   字体: [ ]

     Making a living as a door-to-door salesman demands a thick skin, both to protect against the weather and against constantly having the door shut in your face. Bill Porter puts up with all this and much, much more.
      干挨家挨户上门推销这一营生得脸皮厚,这是因为干这一行不仅要经受风吹日晒,还要承受一次又一次的闭门羹。比尔 · 波特忍受着这一切,以及别的种种折磨。 


Life of a Salesman

Tom Hallman Jr.

     Alex Haley served in the Coast Guard during World War ll. On an especially lonely day to be at sea -- Thanksgiving Day -- he began to give serious thought to a holiday that has become, for many Americans, a day of overeating and watching endless games of football. Haley decided1 to celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving by writing three very special letters.



Writing Three Thank-You Letters

Alex Haley

1     It was 1943, during World War II, and I was a young U. S. coastguardsman. My ship, the USS Murzim, had been under way for several days. Most of her holds contained thousands of cartons of canned or dried foods. The other holds were loaded with five-hundred-pound bombs packed delicately in padded racks. Our destination was a big base on the island of Tulagi in the South Pacific.



2    I was one of the Murzim's several cooks and, quite the same as for folk ashore2, this Thanksgiving morning had seen us busily preparing a traditional dinner featuring roast turkey.

3    Well, as any cook knows, it's a lot of hard work to cook and serve a big meal, and clean up and put everything away. But finally, around sundown, we finished at last.

4    I decided first to go out on the Murzim's afterdeck for a breath of open air. I made my way out there, breathing in great, deep draughts3 while walking slowly about, still wearing my white cook's hat.

5    I got to thinking about Thanksgiving, of the Pilgrims, Indians, wild turkeys, pumpkins4, corn on the cob, and the rest.       我开始思索起感恩节这个节日来,想着清教徒前辈移民、印第安人、野火鸡、南瓜、玉米棒等等。

6    Yet my mind seemed to be in quest of something else -- some way that I could personally apply to the close of Thanksgiving. It must have taken me a half hour to sense that maybe some key to an answer could result from reversing the word "Thanksgiving" -- at least that suggested a verbal direction, "Giving thanks."
      可我脑子里似乎还在搜索着别的事什么――某种我能够赋予这一节日以个人意义的方式。大概过了半个小时左右我才意识到,问题的关键也许在于把Thanksgiving这个字前后颠倒一下――那样一来至少文字好懂了:Giving thanks。

7    Giving thanks -- as in praying, thanking God, I thought. Yes, of course. Certainly.

8    Yet my mind continued turning the idea over.

9    After a while, like a dawn's brightening, a further answer did come -- that there were people to thank, people who had done so much for me that I could never possibly repay them. The embarrassing truth was I'd always just accepted what they'd done, taken all of it for granted. Not one time had I ever bothered to express to any of them so much as a simple, sincere "Thank you."

10    At least seven people had been particularly and lastingly6 helpful to me. I realized, swallowing hard, that about half of them had since died -- so they were forever beyond any possible expression of gratitude7 from me. The more I thought about it, the more ashamed I became. Then I pictured the three who were still alive and, within minutes, I was down in my cabin.

11    Sitting at a table with writing paper and memories of things each had done, I tried composing genuine statements of heartfelt appreciation8 and gratitude to my dad, Simon A. Haley, a professor at the old Agricultural Mechanical Normal College in Pine Bluff9, Arkansas; to my grandma, Cynthia Palmer, back in our little hometown of Henning, Tennessee; and to the Rev5. Lonual Nelson, my grammar school principal, retired10 and living in Ripley, six miles north of Henning.

12    The texts of my letters began something like, "Here, this Thanksgiving at sea, I find my thoughts upon how much you have done for me, but I have never stopped and said to you how much I feel the need to thank you -- " And briefly11 I recalled for each of them specific acts performed on my behalf.

13    For instance, something uppermost about my father was how he had impressed upon me from boyhood to love books and reading. In fact, this graduated into a family habit of after-dinner quizzes at the table about books read most recently and new words learned. My love of books never diminished and later led me toward writing books myself. So many times I have felt a sadness when exposed to modern children so immersed in the electronic media that they have little or no awareness12 of the marvelous world to be discovered in books.

14    I reminded the Reverend Nelson how each morning he would open our little country town's grammar school with a prayer over his assembled students. I told him that whatever positive things I had done since had been influenced at least in part by his morning school prayers.

15    In the letter to my grandmother, I reminded her of a dozen ways she used to teach me how to tell the truth, to share, and to be forgiving and considerate of others. I thanked her for the years of eating her good cooking, the equal of which I had not found since. Finally, I thanked her simply for having sprinkled my life with stardust.

16    Before I slept, my three letters went into our ship's office mail sack. They got mailed when we reached Tulagi Island.

17    We unloaded cargo13, reloaded with something else, then again we put to sea in the routine familiar to us, and as the days became weeks, my little personal experience receded14. Sometimes, when we were at sea, a mail ship would rendezvous15 and bring us mail from home, which, of course, we accorded topmost priority.
      我们卸了货,又装了其它物品,随后我们按熟悉的常规,再次出海。 一天又一天,一星期又一星期,我个人的经历渐渐淡忘。我们在海上航行时,有时会与邮船会合,邮船会带给我们家信,当然这是我们视为最紧要的事情。

18    Every time the ship's loudspeaker rasped, "Attention! Mail call!" two hundred-odd shipmates came pounding up on deck and clustered about the two seamen16, standing17 by those precious bulging18 gray sacks. They were alternately pulling out fistfuls of letters and barking successive names of sailors who were, in turn, shouting back "Here! Here!" amid the pushing.

19    One "mail call" brought me responses from Grandma, Dad, and the Reverend Nelson -- and my reading of their letters left me not only astonished but more humbled19 than before.

20    Rather than saying they would forgive that I hadn't previously20 thanked them, instead, for Pete's sake, they were thanking me -- for having remembered, for having considered they had done anything so exceptional.

21    Always the college professor, my dad had carefully avoided anything he considered too sentimental21, so I knew how moved he was to write me that, after having helped educate many young people, he now felt that his best results included his own son.
      身为大学教授的爸爸向来特别留意不使用任何过于感情化的文字,因此, 当他对我写道,在教了许许多多的年轻人之后,他认为自己最优秀的学生当中也包括自己的儿子时,我知道他是多么地感动。

22    The Reverend Nelson wrote that his decades as a "simple, old-fashioned principal" had ended with schools undergoing such swift changes that he had retired in self-doubt. "I heard more of what I had done wrong than what I did right," he said, adding that my letter had brought him welcome reassurance22 that his career had been appreciated.
      纳尔逊牧师写道,他那平凡的传统校长的岁月随着学校里发生的如此迅猛的变化而结束,他怀着自我怀疑的心态退了休。“说我做得不对的远远多于说我做得对的,” 他写道,接着说我的信给他带来了振奋人心的信心:自己的校长生涯还是有其价值的。

23    A glance at Grandma's familiar handwriting brought back in a flash memories of standing alongside her white rocking chair, watching her  "settin' down" some letter to relatives. Character by character, Grandma would slowly accomplish one word, then the next, so that a finished page would consume hours. I wept over the page representing my Grandma's recent hours invested in expressing her loving gratefulness to me -- whom she used to diaper!

24    Much later, retired from the Coast Guard and trying to make a living as a writer, I never forgot how those three "thank you" letters gave me an insight into how most human beings go about longing23 in secret for more of their fellows to express appreciation for their efforts.

25    Now, approaching another Thanksgiving, I have asked myself what will I wish for all who are reading this, for our nation, indeed for our whole world -- since, quoting a good and wise friend of mine, "In the end we are mightily24 and merely people, each with similar needs." First, I wish for us, of course, the simple common sense to achieve world peace, that being paramount25 for the very survival of our kind.

26    And there is something else I wish -- so strongly that I have had this line printed across the bottom of all my stationery26: "Find the good -- and praise it."





1 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
2 ashore tNQyT     
  • The children got ashore before the tide came in.涨潮前,孩子们就上岸了。
  • He laid hold of the rope and pulled the boat ashore.他抓住绳子拉船靠岸。
3 draughts 154c3dda2291d52a1622995b252b5ac8     
n. <英>国际跳棋
  • Seal (up) the window to prevent draughts. 把窗户封起来以防风。
  • I will play at draughts with him. 我跟他下一盘棋吧!
4 pumpkins 09a64387fb624e33eb24dc6c908c2681     
n.南瓜( pumpkin的名词复数 );南瓜的果肉,南瓜囊
  • I like white gourds, but not pumpkins. 我喜欢吃冬瓜,但不喜欢吃南瓜。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Then they cut faces in the pumpkins and put lights inside. 然后在南瓜上刻出一张脸,并把瓜挖空。 来自英语晨读30分(高三)
5 rev njvzwS     
  • It's his job to rev up the audience before the show starts.他要负责在表演开始前鼓动观众的热情。
  • Don't rev the engine so hard.别让发动机转得太快。
6 lastingly 8c0953228008835c514cd52e4e76289c     
  • At least seven people had been particularly and lastingly helpful to me. 至少有七个人对我有过不同寻常、影响深远的帮助。 来自互联网
  • Due to great attachment to the ecologic environment, eco-tourism must develop lastingly. 摘要生态旅游对生态环境具有非常大的依赖性,必须走可持续发展道路。 来自互联网
7 gratitude p6wyS     
  • I have expressed the depth of my gratitude to him.我向他表示了深切的谢意。
  • She could not help her tears of gratitude rolling down her face.她感激的泪珠禁不住沿着面颊流了下来。
8 appreciation Pv9zs     
  • I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to you all.我想对你们所有人表达我的感激和谢意。
  • I'll be sending them a donation in appreciation of their help.我将送给他们一笔捐款以感谢他们的帮助。
9 bluff ftZzB     
  • His threats are merely bluff.他的威胁仅仅是虚张声势。
  • John is a deep card.No one can bluff him easily.约翰是个机灵鬼。谁也不容易欺骗他。
10 retired Njhzyv     
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
11 briefly 9Styo     
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
12 awareness 4yWzdW     
  • There is a general awareness that smoking is harmful.人们普遍认识到吸烟有害健康。
  • Environmental awareness has increased over the years.这些年来人们的环境意识增强了。
13 cargo 6TcyG     
  • The ship has a cargo of about 200 ton.这条船大约有200吨的货物。
  • A lot of people discharged the cargo from a ship.许多人从船上卸下货物。
14 receded a802b3a97de1e72adfeda323ad5e0023     
v.逐渐远离( recede的过去式和过去分词 );向后倾斜;自原处后退或避开别人的注视;尤指问题
  • The floodwaters have now receded. 洪水现已消退。
  • The sound of the truck receded into the distance. 卡车的声音渐渐在远处消失了。
15 rendezvous XBfzj     
  • She made the rendezvous with only minutes to spare.她还差几分钟时才来赴约。
  • I have a rendezvous with Peter at a restaurant on the harbour.我和彼得在海港的一个餐馆有个约会。
16 seamen 43a29039ad1366660fa923c1d3550922     
  • Experienced seamen will advise you about sailing in this weather. 有经验的海员会告诉你在这种天气下的航行情况。
  • In the storm, many seamen wished they were on shore. 在暴风雨中,许多海员想,要是他们在陆地上就好了。
17 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
18 bulging daa6dc27701a595ab18024cbb7b30c25     
膨胀; 凸出(部); 打气; 折皱
  • Her pockets were bulging with presents. 她的口袋里装满了礼物。
  • Conscious of the bulging red folder, Nim told her,"Ask if it's important." 尼姆想到那个鼓鼓囊囊的红色文件夹便告诉她:“问问是不是重要的事。”
19 humbled 601d364ccd70fb8e885e7d73c3873aca     
adj. 卑下的,谦逊的,粗陋的 vt. 使 ... 卑下,贬低
  • The examination results humbled him. 考试成绩挫了他的傲气。
  • I am sure millions of viewers were humbled by this story. 我相信数百万观众看了这个故事后都会感到自己的渺小。
20 previously bkzzzC     
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
21 sentimental dDuzS     
  • She's a sentimental woman who believes marriage comes by destiny.她是多愁善感的人,她相信姻缘命中注定。
  • We were deeply touched by the sentimental movie.我们深深被那感伤的电影所感动。
22 reassurance LTJxV     
  • He drew reassurance from the enthusiastic applause.热烈的掌声使他获得了信心。
  • Reassurance is especially critical when it comes to military activities.消除疑虑在军事活动方面尤为关键。
23 longing 98bzd     
  • Hearing the tune again sent waves of longing through her.再次听到那首曲子使她胸中充满了渴望。
  • His heart burned with longing for revenge.他心中燃烧着急欲复仇的怒火。
24 mightily ZoXzT6     
  • He hit the peg mightily on the top with a mallet. 他用木槌猛敲木栓顶。
  • This seemed mightily to relieve him. 干完这件事后,他似乎轻松了许多。
25 paramount fL9xz     
  • My paramount object is to save the Union and destroy slavery.我的最高目标是拯救美国,摧毁奴隶制度。
  • Nitrogen is of paramount importance to life on earth.氮对地球上的生命至关重要。
26 stationery ku6wb     
  • She works in the stationery department of a big store.她在一家大商店的文具部工作。
  • There was something very comfortable in having plenty of stationery.文具一多,心里自会觉得踏实。
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