A. Determining the main idea.

Choose the best answer. Do not refer to the text.

The main idea of the essay is that ________.( C )

(a) Haley didn't accept a job with a high pay and finally became a successful writer

(b) Haley recalled how his past experiences helped him to produce his masterpiece

(c) Haley recalled how he kept writing in spite of setbacks and poverty and succeeded in becoming a writer at last

(d) Haley showed that some dreams could come true while others couldn't


Read each sentence below and determine the part of speech of the underlined word. Then, choose the dictionary meaning that best defines the word and write its part of speech and meaning number in the blanks.

1. As she relived the suffering, fear and humiliation of the past 30 years, tears rolled down her cheeks.

Part of speech ( Noun )

Meaning number ( Both 1 and 2, in The Random House College Dictionary )


2. I'd say I wanted to go to the toilet, or pretend to cry.

Part of speech ( Verb )

Meaning number ( 2 in The Random House College Dictionary )


3. Afterward, as I paced around my little room, I started to feel like a fool.

Part of speech ( Verb )

Meaning number ( 15 in The Random House College Dictionary )


4. Another Village neighbor was a handsome young singer who ran a struggling restaurant.

Part of speech ( Verb )

Meaning number ( 67 in The Random House College Dictionary )


5. I could picture myself once again huddled over the typewriter in that cold, bleak, one-room apartment.

Part of speech ( Verb )

Meaning number ( 14 in The Random House College Dictionary )


6. The river was set on gravel which let the water through.

Part of speech ( Verb )

Meaning number ( 1 in The Random House College Dictionary )

Passage One

The quest for success always begins with a target. As Berra once said, "You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

Too many people wander through life like sleepwalkers. Each day they follow familiar routines, never asking, "What am I doing with my life?" and they don't know what they're doing because they lack goals.

Goal-setting is a focusing of the will to move in a certain direction. Begin with a clear conception of what you want. Write down your goals and date them - putting them into words clarifies them. Rather than concentrating on objects to acquire and possess, focus on fulfilling your desires to do, to produce, to contribute - goal-setting that yields the true sense of satisfaction we all need.

It's important to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal. While losers visualize the penalties of failure, winners visualize the rewards of success. I've seen it among athletes, entrepreneurs and public speakers.

I've done it myself. I was terrified of air travel. F

riends quoted statistics contrasting air and highway safety, but it made no difference. I had read too many articles describing crash scenes and imagined these scenes vividly. I had programmed myself, without realizing it, to stay off planes.

Then one summer I had the opportunity to fly on a private plane with friends to a resort. I didn't want to miss out on a great vacation. So I spent two weeks imagining a smooth flight on a beautiful sunny day and an easy landing.

When the day arrived, I was eager to go. To everyone's surprise, I got on the plane and flew. I loved every minute of it, and I still use the techniques I employed that day.

(290 words)

1. According to the passage, if you want to be successful, the first thing for you to do is to ________.( D )

(a) find the right methods

(b) be careful

(c) know your ability

(d) have a clear goal

2. If you have a target, you will ________.( B )

(a) wander like a sleepwalker

(b) know well what you are doing

(c) do the same work everyday without questioning it

(d) work very hard

3. Goal-setting means ________.( C )

(a) concentrating on things you want to possess

(b) listing all the things you desire to have

(c) focusing on doing things truly valuable

(d) visualizing the penalties of failure

4. The problem with the author before he overcame his fear of air travel is that ________.( C )

(a) he didn't know air travel is safer than highway travel

(b) he knew he was reluctant to fly but was unable to do anything about it

(c) he read too much about plane crashes and tried to avoid flying unconsciously

(d) he wanted to take a private plane instead of a public one

5. A good title for the passage is ________.( A )

(a) Define Your Goals

(b) Visualize Rewards of Success

(c) Overcome the Fear of Air Travel

(d) Sleepwalking Through Life TOP

Passage Two

My father was 17 when he left the farm in Cameron, N.C., and set off for Baltimore to apply for a job at the Martin Aircraft Company. When asked what he wanted to do, he said, "Everything."

He explained that his goal was to learn every job in the factory. He'd like to go to a department and find out what was done there. When the supervisor determined his work was as good as anyone else's, he'd want to go to a different department and start over. The personnel people agreed to this unusual request, and by the time H. T. Morris was 20, he'd made his way through the huge factory and was working in experimental design for a fantastic salary.

Whenever he went to a new department, he looked for the guys who had been around forever. These were the people novices usually avoided, afraid that next to them they'd look like the beginners they were.

My father asked them every question he could think of. They liked this inquisitive young man and showed

him shortcuts they had developed that no one else had ever asked about. These sages became his mentors. Whatever your goals, plan to network with those who know more than you. Model your efforts on theirs, adjusting and improving as you go.

(218 words)

6. The author's father applied for a job at the Martin Aircraft Company and his goal was ________.( C )

(a) to be a good worker with a special knowledge about his work

(b) to do everything assigned him willingly

(c) to be able to do whatever job there was in the factory

(d) to be a good supervisor himself in the future

7. The request made by the author's father was regarded by the personnel department as ________.( B )

(a) natural

(b) strange

(c) unacceptable

(d) over-reaching

8. It took the author's father about ________ years to be able to do every job in the big factory. ( B )

(a) two

(b) three

(c) five

(d) six

9. The veteran workers in the factory liked the author's father because the young man was ________.( C )

(a) willing to look like a beginner

(b) trying to avoid being around forever

(c) always asking questions

(d) interested in his mentors

10. The advice given by the author is: ________.( D )

(a) Have a goal in your life

(b) Be modest while working

(c) Be ready to ask questions

(d) Learn from those who know more than you TOP

Passage Three

In any field it's important to have ambition and drive. But having worked as a psychologist with athletes, executives, artists and young people, I've learned that those who rise to the headiest heights in any field aren't necessarily the ones with the greatest natural talent. They're the diligent few who put in the hours. They work hard. And then they work harder.

Recent research by fellow psychologists bears out the significance of focused hard work. In 1988, K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University in Tallahassee and colleagues in Germany compared the careers of two groups of young musicians. The ten members of the first group were identified as potential topflight international performers. Another ten were identified as merely "good". Ericsson also included ten violinists performing in orchestras of international reputation, such as the Berlin Philharmonic. Both student groups kept diaries of their current practice schedules, and all three groups provided estimates of their earlier schedules.

Of the student musicians, Ericsson found, by the age of 20, the "good" group had practiced 7500 hours - an impressive total. But the potential world-class performers had practiced a staggering 10 000 hours - the equivalent of more than a year of hard work. "It's the difference between a college freshman and a junior," Ericsson says. Moreover, the top group's total practice time matched almost exactly that of the symphony performers at the same age.


f course, there's a difference between hard work and drudgery. Keeping your nose mindlessly to the grindstone will only get you abraded nostrils. It's important to put in the hours. But it's not just the hours that count. For hard work to really pay off, you need to work effectively.

(276 words)


11. According to the author, the most important quality for one desiring the greatest achievements is ________.( D )

(a) ambition

(b) drive

(c) the greatest natural talent

(d) hard work

12. It can be learned from the passage that the aim of Ericsson's research work was ________.( C )

(a) to find the highflying

(b) to find the best young musicians

(c) to find the importance of hard work

(d) to understand the psychology of potentially successful musicians

13. Ericsson's research showed that ________.( D )

(a) the potential world-class performers had spent more years practicing in school

(b) the students in the "good" group had not worked very hard

(c) the students in the "good" group were college freshmen while the potential world-class performers were college juniors

(d) the students in the top group spent much more time practicing

14. The word "drudgery" in the last paragraph means ________.( C )

(a) laziness

(b) light work

(c) dull work

(d) interesting work

15. A good title for the passage is: ________.( D )

(a) Ericsson and His Research

(b) The Difference Between Hard Work and Effective Work

(c) Practice Makes Perfect

(d) The Importance of Hard Work

Isambard Kingdom Brunel


by Miles Kington


I can honestly say that all the good fortune I have ever had has been due not to luckiness but to unluckiness. Looking back through my career, I can see that everything fortunate that has happened to me has come about through a misfortune in some other undertaking.

This might be a hereditary quality, as my father shared it in great degree. He was a Frenchman by birth and was destined for the priesthood. But he showed much talent for drawing and making things, and little for worshipping God. So even the priest urged my father's parents to divert him from the Church. Accordingly he became a great maker and designer of things. He would no doubt have prospered well in France were it not for a little event called the Revolution, which caused him to flee France to the USA with a price on his head.

After many adventures there (including being made Chief Engineer of New York City and taking American citizenship) he came to England. He married an English girl and found himself with a great reputation, being employed to design and build the first tunnel under the Thames. It was, I believe, the first tunnel under a great river anywhere. My father had to invent the process as he proceeded.

His process was a good one. Unfortunately (how often that word has occurred in my life!), the survey done

by geologists for us showed that the bed of the Thames lay on firm clay which would permit us to dig the tunnel with safety. They were wrong.

The river was set on gravel which let the water through. This we did not find out until we were halfway across the river and the water broke in.

I myself was in the tunnel at the time. I can still remember the crunching of the timbers and the dousing of the gas lights as the water sped towards us and we ran for our lives. The Thames in those days was little more than an open sewer and the water in which I found myself was, let us say, far from healthy. Little wonder that when I escaped from the watery grave under the Thames I succumbed to some bad fever and was dispatched to recuperate, not at Brighton as I had hoped (this was judged too exciting a place for a young man) but at Bristol.

So there I was, a young, ambitious engineer with no work and not much health, in a place I had never seen before. But I was resolved to make the best of a bad job.

I recovered my strength by clambering about the rocks of the Clifton Gorge and making sketches of the environs.

This was to prove a golden experience when it was known that the merchants of Bristol wished to have a bridge built across the Clifton Gorge and invited designs for it. I submitted a design.

It was rejected by the aged Thomas Telford, acting for the judges. Luckily, all the designs were rejected and the judges asked for fresh ideas, including some from Telford himself. Thus challenged, the old man came up with what I can only call a senile design involving gigantic columns reaching up from the floor of the gorge itself.

This was duly rejected and my new design was accepted. Overjoyed, I set to work immediately.

All would have been well had not the money run out. Some worthy citizen had set aside a large sum half a century previously in order to accrue interest and build up enough funds to build the bridge. Unfortunately (that word again!) either he had not set enough aside or the interest had been insufficient and the proceeding came to a halt. Other plans I had afoot at the time (new designs for Bristol docks, a canal scheme in Lincolnshire, etc.) were all suspended for one reason or another. So all I had behind me was incompleteness and disappointment.

You might have noticed that everything I had done until now (or not done) fell into different areas of engineering. I had tried tunnels, bridges, canals, just as my father before had tried everything from a design for the Congress building in Washington (which was accepted but not built due to lack of money) to a process for manufacturing army boots by machine. This process was encouraged by the War Office in 1815. The result was that just as the Battle of Waterloo was fought and peace descended on Europe, my father was producing the largest heap of unused army boots the world had seen at that time. It led to a condition of penury whic

h led him briefly into a debtor's prison, a thing I have always dreaded.

Where was I? Yes, I was pointing out the multiplicity of things I attempted, as an illustration of how engineers in my day were not limited to one activity. A man who designed and cut a canal one year might well be building and shooting a new cannon the next.

Science was simpler then, or perhaps it was just that we were more ambitious, less specialized. Today, I believe, you will find an engineer who can only design office desks. Such a thing was undreamed of in my day. And in fact the next I was to embark on was something I had never attempted before: the building of a railway.

I was, you will recall, in Bristol on account of an illness and had stayed there on account of a botched bridge. Then it was time for my fortunes to take an upward swing again. The merchants of Bristol decided that it was time to counter the great threat of the port of Liverpool to take over their position as the second port after London, and that the only way to accomplish this was to engage me to engineer a railway from Bristol to London.

I had never built a railway in my life! But then, nobody else had. Everything we did in those days seemed to be for the first time, whether it was tunneling under the Thames or spanning the Avon. And I might say that my winning design for the Clifton Bridge involved a span longer than any built in the history of the known world!

Today you have loftier plans. You aim for the moon, and we only aimed to get to Bristol. There is this difference: that having reached the moon, you decided it was not worth doing a second time. Our link between London and Bristol has never been out of use or fashion.

Of course, I was never content to see Bristol as a destination. I always dream of starting at London, proceeding to Bristol by train, transferring to the largest and fastest new ship in the world and arriving in New York in record time. I was to build that ship. It was, unfortunately, to be my greatest disappointment.

So my last break was like my first - both lucky and unlucky. If I had time to tell you the whole story of my life, how elated you would be - and how tragically cast down as well!

(1 197 words)


Follow-up Exercises

A. Comprehending the text.

Choose the best answer.

1. At the beginning of the article, the author says that ________.( C )

(a) he has never had any good fortune

(b) he has been unlucky all the time

(c) his good fortune has come from misfortunes

(d) he has experienced both good fortunes and misfortunes

2. It can be learned from the text that ________.( B )

(a) the priest thought that the author's father was fit for work in the priesthood

(b) the author's father had much talent for designing things

(c) the author's father worshipped God very much

(d) the author did not doubt that his father had prospered well in Fran


3. When the author's father proceeded with building a tunnel under the Thames, he found that ________.( D )

(a) the survey made by geologists was accurate

(b) the survey made by geologists warned against the possibility of tunneling there

(c) the survey made by geologists didn't permit them to dig the tunnel

(d) the survey made by geologists was wrong concerning the bed of the Thames

4. What happened when the workers were tunneling halfway across the Thames? ( C )

(a) The workers broke a sewer and the water ran out.

(b) The tunnel went in the wrong direction and water flooded in.

(c) The gravel let the water through and the tunnel collapsed.

(d) Gas exploded and water flooded in.

5. The author submitted a design for a bridge across the Clifton Gorge but the design was rejected by Thomas Telford who was ________.( B )

(a) a court judge

(b) an engineer himself

(c) successful with his own design

(d) full of fresh ideas himself

6. The problem with the project of building a bridge at the Clifton Gorge was ________.( D )

(a) lack of proper designs

(b) lack of enough manpower

(c) lack of interest

(d) insufficient funds

7.Which of the following is NOT true? ( D )

(a) The author had to stop building the bridge at the Clifton Gorge because of money problems.

(b) The author's plans for Bristol docks and a canal scheme in Lincolnshire were both suspended because of certain reasons.

(c) Both the author and his father had tried different kinds of jobs in engineering.

(d) The new designs for Bristol docks and a canal scheme in Lincolnshire were used as examples to show the author's talent for designing.

8.The author's father was put into a debtor’s prison because ________.( C )

(a) he didn't have enough money to build the Congress building in Washington

(b) he was asked by the War Office to manufacture goods as supplies for the army

(c) he produced too many army boots and failed to sell them

(d) the Battle of Waterloo was fought and peace was restored in Europe

9. The author might be described as all of the following except ________.( C )

(a) versatile

(b) ambitious

(c) highly specialized

(d) hard working

10.The author was engaged to build a railway from Bristol to London ________.( D )

(a) because he had built a railway before

(b) though others had more experience in building a railway before

(c) so that Bristol could become the second port after London

(d) so that Bristol could remain the second port after London

11.The author was obviously proud of what he had accomplished because ________.( B )

(a) he thought his plans were loftier than modern ones

(b) his work was practical and useful

(c) he was content with what he could do

(d) he had built the largest and fastest new ship at the time

12.The purpose of the author's story is to tell us that ________.( D )

(a) in the old days engineers had to work hard to succeed

(b) good engineers should always be practical

(c) sometimes hard work won't help you achieve your goal

(d) the road to success is never easy

B. Discussing the following topics.

1. Brunel said, "I can honestly say that all the good fortune I have ever had has been due not to luckiness but to unluckiness." Do you agree with Brunel? Why?



Brunel said so because he always found something useful for himself from unfavorable situations. This also proves that he was competent in making the best of disadvantageous conditions, for example, he tried to design a bridge when he stayed in Bristol recuperating from his illness.

2.Have you ever had luck regarding your academic studies? Explain.


In my opinion, luck comes from hard work in academic studies. Only when I have devoted enough time and efforts to study may I be able to make great improvements.

3. Is it hard work or luck that plays a decisive role in one's career?


Surely it is hard work that plays a decisive role in one's career. Only hard work may bring luck to us. We can not rest ourselves on hoping for luckiness in everything we do. Maybe someone is lucky and gets what he or she wants, but this circumstance occurs only when one is ready for it. Luck comes from hard work.

Text 1 The Shadowland of Dreams


About the author


Alex Haley (1925-1992) American biographer, scriptwriter, author who became famous with the publication of the novel Roots, which traces his ancestry back to Africa and covers seven American generations as they are taken slaves to the United States. The book was adapted to television series, and woke up an interest in genealogy, particularly among African-Americans. Alex Haley was born in Ithaca, New York. His father was a teacher of agriculture. The family moved to the small town of Henning, Tennessee, when Alex Haley was an infant. In Henning Haley heard stories from maternal grandmother, Cynthia Palmer, who traced the family genealogy to Haley's great-great-great-great-grandfather, who was an African, called Kin-Tay and brought by slave-ship to America. Haley did not excel at school or university. During World War Two Haley enlisted in the Coast Guard and started to write adventure stories. After twenty years of service, Haley left the Coast Guard in 1959 to become a full-time writer.


Language notes


1. When I left a 20-year-career in the Coast Guard to become a freelance writer, I had no prospect at all.




A freelance writer is a writer who earns his money without being in the regular employment of any particular organ



2. It didn't even matter that it was cold and had no bathroom.




The that-clause is the real subject standing for the first "it".


3. On the phone was an old acquaintance from the Coast Guard, now stationed in San Francisco.




The sentence structure is inverted for the subject is too long.


4. He had once lent me a few bucks and liked to egg me about it.




Egg here means to encourage strongly or to urge persistently.


e.g. I didn't want to accept her offer but Peter kept egging me on.


5. From deep inside a bull-headed resolution welled up.




Well up means to flow or start to flow, and here well is used as a verb.


e.g. Anger was welling up in him.


Blood was welling out from the wound.


6. Rumor had it that if a customer ordered steak the singer would dash to a supermarket across the street to buy one.



Rumor has it that is a common sentence pattern meaning that people are saying.


7. I'd be hard pressed to say which means the most to me.




Be hard pressed means to feel it very difficult.



Text 2 Isambard Kingdom Brunel


About the author


Miles Kington is an English humorist and a regular columnist.

About Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in Portsea on 9th April 1806 to an English mother and a French father. His father, Marc Brunel, was a French monarchist whose continuing residence in revolutionary France had made life there somewhat uncomfortable. When working in New York, Marc conceived and patented machines to produce wooden pulley-blocks for the world's navies. This tackle block technology was adopted by the British Admiralty.

Isambard had a French and English education. The technical side included mathematics and apprenticeship with Breguet, a precision-instrument maker. Further practical experience came from working in the family engineering office and at the Maudsley engineering works. Throughout his life Isambard, the engineering star, never stopped working on projects which called for complex organizational ability. In 1859 he died from overwork. His life was a hectic sequence of ambitious, high-risk, leading-edge projects involving complex tasks, new technology, people, politics, investors and funding. In order to commemorate him Brunel University is named after him.


Language notes

1. Looking back through my career, I can see that everything fortunate that has happened to me has come about through a misfortune in some other undertaking.



Come about means to happen, esp. in a way that seems impossible to prevent.


e.g. How did it come about that he knew where we were.


2. He was a Frenchman by birth and was destined for the priesthood.




Be destined (for) means intended, esp. by fate, for some special purpose.


e.g. Coming from a theatrical family, I was destined for a career on the stage.


It was destined that they would marry.


3. He would no doubt have prospered well in France were it not for a little event called the Revolution, which caused him to flee France to the USA with a price on his head.




Note the sentence is in the subjunctive mood and before "were it" if is omitted.


4. But I was resolved to make the best of a bad job.




Make the best of a bad job means to accept in a cheerful way bad or unsatisfactory conditions and do the best one can in the situation.


5. All would have been well had not the money run out.




Note that the subjunctive mood is used in the sentence and the word if is omitted.


6. I was, you will recall, in Bristol on account of an illness and had stayed there on account of a botched bridge.




On account of means because of.

e.g. Tom delayed his departure on account of the bad weather.




艾力克斯? 哈利



许多人怀有美好的愿望,期望能成为作家,但是能够梦想成真的人不多。艾力克斯? 哈利也想成为作家,可是他成功了。阅读下面这篇文章,看一看他成功的原因。










我放弃了在海岸警卫队做了二十年的工作,为的是成为一名自由撰稿人,这时,我根本没有前途可言。我所拥有的只是一位住在纽约市的朋友,乔治? 西姆斯,他和我是在田纳西州的赫宁一起长大的。乔治为我找了个家,位于格林威治村公寓大楼中的一间腾空的储藏室,而他是那幢大楼的管理员。房子里冷嗖嗖的,没有卫生间,不过这没什么。我马上买了一台旧的手动打字机,感觉自己颇象一位名符其实的作家 。




然而,大约一年后,我的写作生涯依然没有任何起色,我开始怀疑自己。卖出一篇小说是如此艰难,以至我几乎填不饱肚子。但是,我清楚的是我想写作,我已梦寐以求了许多年。我并不准备成为一名到死时还在想假如的人。我会坚持把我的梦想付诸实践 -- 即使这梦想意味着不稳定的生活和对失败的恐惧。这是希望的阴暗面,任何心存梦想的人都必须学会在这阴暗面下生存。




后来有一天,我接到了一个电话,由此改变了我的一生。这并不是一位代理人或编辑打来电话,主动要求与我签大的稿约。恰恰相反 -- 是一声鸣笛,诱使我放弃梦想。打电话来的是海岸警卫队的老熟人,现在在旧金山。他曾经借给我几美元,喜欢催我还给他。“我什么时候才能拿到那十五美元,艾力克斯?”他逗我说。








当这些美元在我的脑海里晃动时,某种东西却使我神志清醒起来。我的内心深处升起一个坚强的信念。我曾经梦想成为一名作家 -- 一名专业作家。那才是我的追求。“谢谢你,但是我不去,”我听见自己在说。“我会坚持到底来写作。”


后来,我在蜗居里踱来踱,开始觉得自己象个傻瓜。我打开橱柜 -- 一只钉在墙上的桔黄色板条箱 -- 把里面的东西全部弄了出来:两罐沙丁鱼。我把手伸进口袋,只摸出十八美分。我把罐头和硬币一起塞进一个皱巴巴的纸袋中。你看,艾力克斯,我自言自语道,你迄今为止努力的结果都在这里。我不知道,自己是不是曾经情绪如此低落过。


通过乔治,我结识了另外一些正在艰苦奋斗的艺术家,象乔? 德拉尼,一位来自田纳西州科诺科斯威尔市的老画家。乔经常常没吃饭的钱,于是就去光顾附近社区的一位屠户和一个食品商。屠户会送给他一些带点肉的大骨头,从食品商那里他可以弄到一些 枯萎的蔬菜。乔做南方炖汤需要的就是这些。

村里另一位邻居是个年少英俊的歌手,他惨淡经营着一家餐馆。据说,如果有客人点牛排,这位歌手会火速冲到街对面的超市买一个。他的名字是哈利? 百拉芬特。











有生以来第一次我是如此富有,第一次享受到处处受欢迎的礼遇。电话铃响个不停,带来了新朋新友,新交易。我收拾行装,搬到了洛杉矶。在那儿我可以协助制作《根》的电视 短篇系列片。那是一段令人困惑,又令人欣喜若狂的时期;从某种意义上说,我被成功的光芒照花了眼。





涌而来。我又一次看到 自己在寒气逼人、冷冷清清的单室公寓里蜷缩在打字机旁的情景。我自言自语道,袋子里的东西也是我的根的一部分,我永远也不能忘记。


我把这些东西送到鲁西提,用框架装起来。我一直把那个透明的塑料盒摆在天天能看得到的地方。现在它就放在科诺科斯威尔我的办公桌上,与普利策奖放在一起,还有一张《根》的电视制作 获得的九项艾美奖的照片,以及斯宾卡奖章 - NAACP(全国有色人种促进协会)的最高荣誉。很难说哪一个对我最重要,然而,仅有一件能提醒我在阴影之地坚持下去所需要的勇气和坚韧不拔精神。





伊萨姆巴德? 金德姆? 布鲁内尔


米历斯? 金顿












在美国的数次历险之后(包括被任命为纽约市的总工程师和加入美国国籍),他来到了英国。他娶了位英国姑娘,受聘设计、建造泰晤士河第一条隧道, 名声大震。我相信,那也是全世界在大河下面建造的第一条隧道。父亲得一边设计,一边施工。



他的工程进展很出色。不幸的是(这个词在我的一生中出现得多么频繁啊!),地质学家为我们做的调查显示,泰晤士河的河床着在坚硬的泥土上,允许我们安全地挖掘隧道 -- 他们搞错了。




我当时人就在隧道中,现在我仍然清晰地记得,水向我们急涌而来,大伙儿仓惶逃命,木桩发出嘎吱嘎吱的声音,煤气灯也被水淹没 了。当时的泰晤士河不过是一个露天的下水道,我身边的水,我可以说,远不是有益健康的。难怪我从泰晤士河下面的水墓中逃出来后,就发起了高烧,被送去疗养,不过并非如我所愿送到布莱顿(人们认为这个地方过于激动人心,不适宜青年人),而是把我送到了布









年迈的托马斯? 泰尔福特代表评判员否决了这份设计方案。不过,幸运的是,所有的设计方案都遭到否决,评判们要求有新意(包括要求泰尔福特本人提出一些新意)。 这位年迈的老人面临挑战,提出了一项我可以说是老得不中用的方案。此方案提出从峡谷底部架起巨柱。




如果不是经费耗尽的话,一切就会进展得很顺利。某位有威望的市民早在半个世纪之前就已经留置了一大笔钱,为的是增长利息,积累足够的资金建造这座桥。不幸的是(又是这几个字!),不是他没有留置足够的款项就是增长的利息尚不充裕,于是工程搁浅。我当时准备的其他方案(布里斯托尔码头的新设计,林肯郡的运河规划等等)全都因为这个或那个的原因被搁置。于是我所剩的,只是 半途而废和失望沮丧。




你可能已经注意到,至今我所做成的(或没做成的)一切都属于工程学的不同领域。我尝试过修隧道、架桥梁、挖运河,恰如我父亲以前一样,他什么都干过,从华盛顿的国会大厦 设计(方案被采纳,但因资金缺乏而夭折)到用机器生产军靴 的设计。此项设计受到了1815年战争委员会的鼓励。结果,在滑铁卢大战结束,和平降临欧洲之时,父亲还在生产当时全世界上最多但是无用的 军靴。这直接导致了父亲极度的贫困,也使他被投入负债人监狱,监禁了一段时间,这是一件我一直害怕的事。





说到哪儿啦?对了,我正指出我所尝试的工作种类的多样性,来说明我那个年代工程师们如何不局限于一种活动。一个人这一年从事的是设计和开挖一条运河,下一年可能做的 就是制造和发射一门新大炮。

当时科学较为简单,或者,也许是我们有较多的雄心,较少的专业化。今天,我相信你能找到只会设计办公桌的工程师。这样的事情在我那个时代是做梦也想不到的。实际上, 接下去我要做的一件事是我以前从未尝试过的:建造铁路。


为生病才来到布里斯托尔,呆在那儿是因为一座弊脚的桥梁。现在该是我又走好运的时候了。布里斯托尔的商家们 得出结论,反击利物浦港威胁的时候到了,因为利物浦意欲取代布里斯托尔,位居伦敦之后的第二大港。他们认为唯一能取得胜利的途径,是由我着手建造一条由布里斯托尔通往伦敦的铁路。


如今你们怀有更加宏伟的计划。你们的目标是到达月球,而我们只想能抵达布里斯托尔!这二者之间的区别在于:到达月球之后,你们会得出结论,此事不值得重复。而我们在伦敦与布里斯托尔之间建立的联系从来没有失去 过功用或过时。


因此,我最后一次的转机与我的第一次相同 - 既幸运又不幸!倘若我有时间把我一生的经历全说给你听,你一定会非常兴奋 -- 同样也会悲剧性地感到沮丧!


B. Comprehending the text.

Choose the best answer.

1. According to Haley, there is a difference between "being a writer" and writing and the latter means ________.( B )

(a) a dream you cherish

(b) spending hours at the typewriter writing

(c) expecting the fame and wealth of a writer

(d) mistaking "writing" for wealth and fame

2. Haley thinks that ________.( A )

(a) writing is in fact a lonely, private and poor-paying affair

(b) only those who succeed in writing know neglect and poverty

(c) as long as you work hard at writing your work will achieve recognition

(d) only those whose longing is never requited know long periods of neglect and poverty

3. Which of the following is true about Haley? ( C )

(a) When Haley decided to work as a freelance writer, he was 20 years old.

(b) When Haley began writing full time, he lived in a room with modern facilities.

(c) A year after Haley began writing full time, he found that he could hardly support himself by writing.

(d) When Haley began writing, he thought that he was a great writer.

4. The call that changed Haley's life was from ________.( C )

(a) an agent who offered to make a big contract with him

(b) an editor who was quite interested in one of the books Haley was writing

(c) an old acquaintance who made an offer tempt

ing him to give up his dream

(d) a friend who demanded him to pay back some debt

5. Haley didn't accept the job with $6 000 a year because ________.( D )

(a) he wanted a nice apartment and a used car

(b) the money was too easy

(c) he couldn't have any time for writing

(d) he wanted to be a full time writer

6. Haley cited the examples of Joe Delaney and Harry Belafonte to show that ________.( C )

(a) some people never succeed despite their hard work

(b) people who have dreams have to suffer

(c) people have to make sacrifices to live creatively

(d) successful artists always have dreams

7. What project put Haley in the spotlight of fame? ( D )

(a) He wrote articles that began to sell

(b) He wrote essays about civil rights

(c) He went south and wrote about his childhood.

(d) He researched and traced his family's history in his book, Roots

8. When Haley rediscovered his sardine cans and eighteen cents years later, ________.( D )

(a) he could hardly believe that they once belonged to him

(b) he felt sad and cold, thinking of his past years as a lonely writer

(c) he had them framed because they won him a lot of awards

(d) he thought that they were part of his roots and important to him


C. Understanding vocabulary.

Choose the correct definition according to the context.

1. For every writer kissed by fortune there are thousands more whose longing is never requited. ( D )

(a) reconsidered

(b) realized

(c) required

(d) rewarded
2. When I left a 20-year-career in the Coast Guard to become a freelance writer, I had no prospects at all. ( A )

(a) chances of future success

(b) financial support

(c) social connections

(d) permanent job

3. On the phone was an old acquaintance from the Coast Guard, now stationed in San Francisco. ( A )

(a) working

(b) found

(c) busy

(d) resting

4. What's more, I could write on the side. ( B )

(a) full time

(b) as a secondary occupation

(c) with more concentration

(d) with enough time

5. From deep inside a bull-headed resolution welled up. ( A )

(a) rose like water

(b) took shape

(c) came into sight

(d) overwhelmed

6. Through him I met other struggling artists like Joe Delaney, a veteran painter from Knoxville, Tenn. ( D )

(a) poorly paid

(b) practical

(c) senior

(d) experienced

7. Often Joe lacked food money, so he'd visit a neighborhood butcher who would give him big bones with morsels of meat and a grocer who would hand him some wilted vegetables. ( A )

(a) less than fresh

(b) cheap

(c) edible

(d) less nutritious

8. The shadows had turned into dazzling limelight. ( D )

(a) substantial success

(b) center of public attention

(c) places without shadow

(d) full daylight

9. It was a confusing, exhilarating time, and in a s

ense I was blinded by the light of my success. ( C )

(a) entertaining and interesting

(b) urgent and decisive

(c) delighting and exciting

(d) critical and rare

10. I opened it, and there were two corroded sardine cans, a nickel, a dime and three pennies. ( A )

(a) rusted

(b) used

(c) corrupted

(d) salted


D. Discussing the following topics.

1.Why did the phone call change Haley's life? If you were in the same situation, would you accept the offer?



That call drove Alex Haley to make up his mind to become a full-time writer. He had decided to choose writing as his life-long profession no matter how hard it would be. Although his acquaintance was trying to tempt Alex to give up his writing, he rejected his offer and chose to live in poverty. It was just his spirit of persistence that led him to success.

2. What lesson did Haley learn in the end ?


Roots made Alex Haley famous and wealthy. He was very excited about what was brought to him by fame. He nearly forgot his hardships in the past until he saw the brown paper bag which contained the things of the past. Now Alex Haley realized that these things were also part of his roots. It was telling him that only courage and persistence may bring success and when one had gained fame one should not forget the past,be proud and self-complacent.