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AMERICAN STORIES - The Ambitious Guest

时间:2006-05-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:yeying0716   字体: [ ]
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AMERICAN STORIES - The Ambitious1 Guest

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Broadcast: Saturday, December 17, 2005

ANNOUNCER2: Now, the Special English program, AMERICAN STORIES.

(MUSIC)

Our story today is called, "The Ambitious Guest. " It was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Here is Harry3 Monroe with our story.

STORYTELLER: One December night, a long, long time ago, a family sat around the fireplace4 in their home. A golden light from the fire filled the room. The mother and father laughed at something their oldest daughter had just said.

The girl was seventeen, much older than her little brother and sister, who were only five and six years old. A very old woman, the family's grandmother, sat knitting5 in the warmest corner of the room. And a baby, the youngest child, smiled at the fire's light from its tiny bed.

This family had found happiness in the worst place in all of New England. They had built their home high up in the White Mountains, where the wind blows violently all year long.

The family lived in an especially cold and dangerous spot. Stones from the top of the mountain above their house would often roll down the mountainside and wake them in the middle of the night.

No other family lived near them on the mountain. But this family was never lonely. They enjoyed each other's company, and often had visitors.

Their house was built near an important road that connected the White Mountains to the Saint6 Lawrence River. People traveling through the mountains in wagons7 always stopped at the family's door for a drink of water and a friendly word.

Lonely travelers, crossing the mountains on foot, would step into the house to share a hot meal. Sometimes, the wind became so wild and cold that these strangers would spend the night with the family. The family offered every traveler who stopped at their home a kindness that money could not buy.

On that December evening, the wind came rushing down the mountain. It seemed to stop at their house to knock at the door before it roared9 down into the valley.

The family fell silent for a moment. But then they realized that someone really was knocking at their door. The oldest girl opened the door and found a young man standing10 in the dark.

The old grandmother put a chair near the fireplace for him. The oldest daughter gave him a warm, shy smile. And the baby held up its little arms to him.

"This fire is just what I needed," the young man said. "The wind has been blowing in my face for the last two hours."

The father took the young man's travel bag. "Are you going to Vermont?" the older man asked.

"Yes, to Burlington," the traveler replied. "I wanted to reach the valley tonight. But when I saw the light in your window, I decided11 to stop. I would like to sit and enjoy your fire and your company for a while."

As the young man took his place by the fire, something like heavy footsteps12 was heard outside. It sounded as if someone was running down the side of the mountain, taking enormous13 steps.

The father looked out one of the windows.

"That old mountain has thrown another stone at us again. He must have been afraid we would forget him. He sometimes shakes his head and makes us think he will come down on top of us," the father explained to the young man.

"But we are old neighbors," he smiled. "And we manage to get along together pretty well. Besides, I have made a safe hiding place outside to protect us in case a slide brings the mountain down on our heads."

As the father spoke14, the mother prepared a hot meal for their guest. While he ate, he talked freely15 to the family, as if it were his own.

This young man did not trust people easily. Yet on this evening, something made him share his deepest secret with these simple mountain people.

The young man's secret was that he was ambitious. He did not know what he wanted to do with his life, yet. But he did know that he did not want to be forgotten after he had died. He believed that sometime during his life, he would become famous and be admired by thousands of people.

"So far," the young man said, "I have done nothing. If I disappeared tomorrow from the face of the earth, no one would know anything about me. No one would ask 'Who was he. Where did he go?' But I cannot die until I have reached my destiny16. Then let death come! I will have built my monument!"

The young man's powerful emotions touched the family. They smiled.

"You laugh at me," the young man said, taking the oldest daughter's hand. "You think my ambition is silly."

She was very shy, and her face became pink with embarrassment17. "It is better to sit here by the fire," she whispered, "and be happy, even if nobody thinks of us."

Her father stared into the fire.

"I think there is something natural in what the young man says. And his words have made me think about our own lives here.

"It would have been nice if we had had a little farm down in the valley. Some place where we could see our mountains without being afraid they would fall on our heads. I would have been respected by all our neighbors. And, when I had grown old, I would die happy in my bed. You would put a stone over my grave18 so everyone would know I lived an honest life."

"You see!" the young man cried out. "It is in our nature to want a monument. Some want only a stone on their grave. Others want to be a part of everyone's memory. But we all want to be remembered after we die!"

The young man threw some more wood on the fire to chase19 away the darkness.

The firelight fell on the little group around the fireplace: the father's strong arms and the mother's gentle smile. It touched the young man's proud face, and the daughter's shy one.

It warmed the old grandmother, still knitting in the corner. She looked up from her knitting and, with her fingers still moving the needles, she said, "Old people have their secrets, just as young people do."

The old woman said she had made her funeral clothes some years earlier. They were the finest clothes she had made since her wedding dress. She said her secret was a fear that she would not be buried in her best clothes.

The young man stared into the fire.

"Old and young," he said. "We dream of graves20 and monuments. I wonder how sailors feel when their ship is sinking, and they know they will be buried in the wide and nameless grave that is the ocean?"

A sound, rising like the roar8 of the ocean, shook the house. Young and old exchanged one wild look. Then the same words burst from all their lips.

"The slide! The slide!"

They rushed away from the house, into the darkness, to the secret spot the father had built to protect them from the mountain slide.

The whole side of the mountain came rushing toward21 the house like a waterfall of destruction22. But just before it reached the little house, the wave of earth divided in two and went around the family's home. Everyone and everything in the path of the terrible slide was destroyed, except the little house.

The next morning, smoke was seen coming from the chimney23 of the house on the mountain.

Inside, the fire was still burning. The chairs were still drawn24 up in a half circle around the fireplace. It looked as if the family had just gone out for a walk.

Some people thought that a stranger had been with the family on that terrible night. But no one ever discovered who the stranger was. His name and way of life remain a mystery. His body was never found.

(MUSIC)

Announcer: You have just heard the story, "The Ambitious Guest. " It was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and adapted for Special English by Dona de Sanctis. Your narrator was Harry Monroe. This is Shirley Griffith.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 ambitious GxIzU     
adj.有雄心的,劲头十足的,有野心的
参考例句:
  • One may be poor but never ceases to be ambitious.人穷志不穷。
  • He is an ambitious young man full of enthusiasm and vitality.他是个充满热情与活力的有远大抱负的青年。
2 announcer FVqzB     
n.宣布者;电(视)台播音员,报幕员
参考例句:
  • The radio announcer said it was nine o'clock.电台播音员报时9点整。
  • The announcer tells the listeners what programme comes next.广播员告诉听众下一个是什么节目。
3 harry heBxS     
vt.掠夺,蹂躏,使苦恼
参考例句:
  • Today,people feel more hurried and harried.今天,人们感到更加忙碌和苦恼。
  • Obama harried business by Healthcare Reform plan.奥巴马用医改掠夺了商界。
4 fireplace YjUxz     
n.壁炉,炉灶
参考例句:
  • The fireplace smokes badly.这壁炉冒烟太多。
  • I think we should wall up the fireplace.我想应该封住壁炉。
5 knitting GpQzeQ     
n.编结物;接合,联合;[外科]骨愈合v.(使)愈合( knit的现在分词);编结,编织;(使)紧密地结合;织平针
参考例句:
  • Weaving and knitting are traditional cottage industries. 编织和针织是传统的家庭手工业。
  • manipulative skills such as typing and knitting 诸如打字、编织这样的技能
6 saint yYcxf     
n.圣徒;基督教徒;vt.成为圣徒,把...视为圣徒
参考例句:
  • He was made a saint.他被封为圣人。
  • The saint had a lowly heart.圣人有谦诚之心。
7 wagons ff97c19d76ea81bb4f2a97f2ff0025e7     
n.四轮的运货马车( wagon的名词复数 );铁路货车;小手推车
参考例句:
  • The wagons were hauled by horses. 那些货车是马拉的。
  • They drew their wagons into a laager and set up camp. 他们把马车围成一圈扎起营地。
8 roar ZDwyc     
n.吼,咆哮,轰鸣,喧闹;vi.吼叫,大声说出,喧闹;vt.呼喊,使轰鸣
参考例句:
  • He began to roar when I took the chocolate away. 当我把巧克力拿走时,他大哭起来。
  • The machines roar incessantly during the hours of daylight.机器在白天隆隆地响个不停。
9 roared 3d44d5dc1458bf613413fd4d32d75446     
v.咆哮( roar的过去式和过去分词 );大笑;大哭;熊熊燃烧
参考例句:
  • A log fire roared in the open hearth. 柴火在敞开着的壁炉里熊熊燃烧。
  • Vroom! A sports car roared past. 呜的一声,一辆跑车疾驶而过。
10 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • 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。
11 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • 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。
12 footsteps 6508b080b068283fa9f93b103a1b4406     
n.脚步(声),一步的距离,足迹;脚步(声)( footstep的名词复数 );一步的距离;足迹
参考例句:
  • the sound of footsteps on the stairs 楼梯上的脚步声
  • Their footsteps echoed in the silence. 他们的脚步声在一片寂静中回荡着。
13 enormous xoExz     
adj.巨大的;庞大的
参考例句:
  • An enormous sum of money is injected each year into teaching.每年都有大量资金投入到教学中。
  • They wield enormous political power.他们行使巨大的政治权力。
14 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
15 freely LiexN     
adv.自由地,随便地,无拘无束地
参考例句:
  • She was unable to keep back her tears,and wept freely.她抑制不住泪水,痛痛快快地哭了起来。
  • A liquid flows freely and has no fixed shape.液体能自由流动,无固定形态。
16 destiny vvIxu     
n.命运,定数,天命
参考例句:
  • Nobody knows his own destiny.没有人知道自己的命运。
  • It was her destiny to become famous.她命里注定出名。
17 embarrassment fj9z8     
n.尴尬;使人为难的人(事物);障碍;窘迫
参考例句:
  • She could have died away with embarrassment.她窘迫得要死。
  • Coughing at a concert can be a real embarrassment.在音乐会上咳嗽真会使人难堪。
18 grave EeCz3     
n.墓穴,坟墓,雕刻工,抑音;adj.庄重的,严肃的,重大的,低沉的;vt.雕刻
参考例句:
  • Marriage is the grave of love.婚姻是爱情的坟墓。
  • This is a very grave matter indeed.这问题的确非常严重。
19 chase qUWyK     
vt.追逐,追赶,追求;n.追赶
参考例句:
  • The police grabbed the robbers after a long chase.警察经过长距离追赶后逮住了抢劫犯。
  • Would you chase me if I did?如果我逃开了,你会来追吗?
20 graves 594bca3f02fc8fcfe8133ce01b4e3f43     
n.(法国)格拉芙葡萄酒;坟墓( grave的名词复数 );死亡;钝重音符;沉音符v.坟墓( grave的第三人称单数 );死亡;钝重音符;沉音符
参考例句:
  • He went to visit the graves of his forefathers. 他去拜谒他祖先的墓地。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They were eating themselves into their graves. 他们吃喝过度,在自找死路。 来自《简明英汉词典》
21 toward on6we     
prep.对于,关于,接近,将近,向,朝
参考例句:
  • Suddenly I saw a tall figure approaching toward the policeman.突然间我看到一个高大的身影朝警察靠近。
  • Upon seeing her,I smiled and ran toward her. 看到她我笑了,并跑了过去。
22 destruction Rvjxs     
n.破坏,毁灭,消灭
参考例句:
  • The enemy bombs caused widespread destruction.敌人的炸弹造成大面积的破坏。
  • Overconfidence was his destruction.自负是他垮台的原因。
23 chimney zVoyu     
n.烟囱,烟筒;玻璃罩
参考例句:
  • The chimney blew out a cloud of black smoke.烟囱里喷出一团黑烟。
  • His father is a chimney sweeper.他的父亲是一位扫烟囱的工人。
24 drawn MuXzIi     
v.拖,拉,拔出;adj.憔悴的,紧张的
参考例句:
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
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TAG标签:   american story  ambitious  guest
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