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新编大学英语第二版 Book2 Unit 1 A Good Heart to Lean On

More than I realized, Dad has helped me keep my balance.

[1] When I was growing up, I was embarrassed to be seen with my father. He was severely crippled and very short, and when we would walk together, his hand on my arm for balance , people would stare. I would be ashamed of the unwanted attention. If he ever noticed or was bothered, he never let on.

[2] It was difficult to coordinate our steps—his halting, mine impatient—and because of that, we didn't say much as we went along. But as we started out, he always said, “You set the pace. I will try to adjust to you. ”

[3] Our usual walk was to or from the subway, which was how he got to work. He went to work sick, and despite nasty weather. He almost never missed a day, and would make it to the office even if others could not. It was a matter of pride for him.

[4] When snow or ice was on the ground, it was impossible for him to walk, even with help. At such times my sisters or I would pull him through the streets of Brooklyn , N.Y ., on a child's sleigh to the subway entrance. Once there, he would cling to the handrail until he reached the lower steps that the warmer tunnel air kept ice-free.In Manhattan the subway station was the basement of his office building, and he would not have to go outside again until we met him in Brooklyn on his way home..

[5] When I think of it now, I marvel at how much courage it must have taken for a grown man to subject himself to such indignity and stress. And I marvel at how he did it —without bitterness or complaint.

[6] He never talked about himself as an object of pity, nor did he show any envy of the more fortunate or able . What he looked for in others was a “good heart”, and if he found one, the owner was good enough for him.

[7] Now that I am older, I believe that is a proper standard by which to judge people , even though I still don't know precisely what a “good heart” is. But I know the times I don't have one myself.

[8] Unable to engage in many activities, my father still tried to participate in some way. When a local baseball team found itself without a manager , he kept it going. He was a knowledgeable baseball fan and often took me to Ebbets Field to see the Brooklyn Dodgers play. He liked to go to dances and parties, where he could have a good time just sitting and watching.

[9] On one memorable occasion a fight broke out at a beach party, with everyone punching and shoving .He wasn't content to sit and watch, but he couldn't stand unaided on the soft sand. In frustration he began to shout, “I'll fight anyone who will sit down with me! I'll fight anyone who will sit down with me! ”

[10] Nobody did. But the next day people kidded him by saying it was the first time any fighter was urged to take a dive even before the bout began.

[11] I now know he participated in some things vicariously through me, his only son. When I played ball (poorly), he “played” too. When I joined the Navy, he “joined” too. And when I came home on leave, he saw to it that I visited his office. Introducing me, he was really saying, “This is my son, but it is also me, and I could have done this, too, if things had been different. ” Those words were never said aloud.

[12] He has been gone many years now, but I think of him often. I wonder if he sensed my reluctance to be seen with him during our walks. If he did, I am sorry I never told him how sorry I was, how unworthy I was, how I regretted it. I think of him when I complain about trifles, when I am envious of another's good fortune, when I don't have a “good heart”.

[13] At such times I put my hand on his arm to regain my balance, and say, “You set the pace. I will try to adjust to you.” ( 703 words)


善良之心,  久久相依

1 随着我渐渐长大,当别人看见我和爸爸在一起,我会觉得很尴尬。他身材矮小,走起路来跛得很厉害。我们一起走时,他要把手搭在我的肩上才能保持平衡,人们就会盯着我们看。对这种不必要的注意我觉得非常难堪。他也许曾注意到,或着觉得烦恼,但他从来没有流露出来。

2 要协调我们的步伐并不容易,他(的步子)一瘸一拐的,我(走起来)则缺乏耐心。因此,我们走路的时候并不怎么说话。但出发时,他总是说:“你定步伐,我会尽量跟上。”

3 我们通常在家和地铁之间来往,这是他上班的必由之路。不论生病还是碰到恶劣的天气他都去上班,几乎没有旷过一天工。即使别人无法上班,他也要去办公室。对他来说这是一种自豪。

4 当地上有冰或雪的时候,即使有人帮忙他也无法走路。这时,我或者我的姐妹就用孩子玩的雪撬拉着他,穿过纽约布鲁克林的街道,直到地铁的入口处。一到那儿,他就能紧紧抓住扶手一直走下去, 地铁道里比较暖和,下面的楼梯不结冰。曼哈顿的地铁站正好是他办公楼的地下室,因此除了从布鲁克林我们去接他的地方到回家为止,他都不用再出去。

5 一个成年男子要有多少勇气才能承受这种屈辱和压力,我现在想来惊讶不已。他从没有痛苦或抱怨,他是怎么做到这一步的我感到不可思议。

6 他从不把自己当作同情的对象,也从不对更幸运的或更能干的人表示任何嫉妒。他在别人身上所寻找的是一颗“善心”。如果他找到了一颗善心,那么有这么颗心的人对他来说就是一位大好人了。

7 由于年龄的增长,我相信那是一种用来判断人的恰当的标准,尽管我还不能精确地知道什么是一颗“善心”。但是,当我自己没有的时候,我是知道的。

8 尽管很多活动我爸爸不能参加,但他还是尽量用某种方式参与。当本地的一支棒球队发现缺经理的时候,他使它维持下去。他是一个很懂行的棒球迷,经常带我去埃贝茨球场看布鲁克林的道奇队打球。他喜欢参加舞会和聚会,就是坐在一旁观看,也很开心。

9 有一件事我至今难忘。一次沙滩聚会上,人们打了起来,每个人都在推推搡搡,拳头你来我往。于是他无法袖手旁观,但没有人帮忙,在松软的沙滩上他站不起来。困窘之际,他开始大叫:“谁坐到我这儿来,我就跟他打!谁坐到我这儿来,我就跟他打!”

10 没人坐下和他打。但是第二天,人们都和他开玩笑说,拳击尚未开始,对手就故意认输了,这还是第一次。

11 我现在才明白,有些事他是通过我,他唯一的儿子,间接参与的。当我打球(打得很糟糕)的时候,他也在“打”。我加入海军,他也“加入”。当我休假回家的时候,他总要我去他的办公室。 在介绍我的时候,他实际上是在说:“这是我的儿子,但也是我。如果不是这种情形的话,我也能做这些。”可是这些话从没有说出来。

12 父亲已去世多年。但我还是经常想起他。不知道他当时是否感觉到了我曾不愿意别人看见我和他走在一起。如果他感觉到了,我很遗憾我从没有告诉过他后来我感到多么难过,多么渺小,多么后悔。每当我为琐事抱怨的时候,每当我嫉妒别人好运的时候,每当我没有一颗“善心”的时候,就想起了他。13 在这种时候,我就把手放在他的手臂上,来重新获得平衡,并说:“你定步伐,我会尽量跟上。”


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