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        > 小學英語 > 小學英語教材 > 澳大利亞語文第六冊 >  第55篇

        (原版)澳大利亞語文第六冊 LESSON 55







        I VAN T URGENEV (1828-1883) was one of the greatest Russian novelists.

        I was on my way from hunting, and was walking up the garden avenue [1] . My dog was running in front of me. Suddenly he slackened his pace and began to steal forward as though he scented game ahead.

        I looked along the avenue, and I saw on the ground a young sparrow, its beak edged with yellow, and its head covered with soft down. It had fallen from the nest while a strong wind was blowing and shaking the birches of the avenue. There it sat and never stirred, except to stretch out its little half-grown wings in a helpless flutter.

        My dog was slowly approaching it when suddenly, darting from the tree overhead, an old black-throated sparrow dropped like a stone right before his nose, and, all rumpled and flustered, with a plaintive, desperate cry, flung itself once, twice, at his open jaws with their great teeth.

        The sparrow would save its young one; it screened it with its own body; the tiny frame quivered with terror; the little cries grew wild and hoarse; it sank and died. It had sacrificed itself [2] .

        What a huge monster the dog must have seemed to it. And yet it could not stay up there on its safe bough. A power stronger than its own will tore it away.

        My dog stood still, and then slunk back disconcerted [3] . Plainly he, too, had to recognize that power. I called him to me; and a feeling of reverence [4] came over me as I passed on.

        Yes, do not laugh. It was really reverence I felt before that little heroic bird and the passionate outburst of its love.

        Love, I thought, is verily stronger than death and the terror of death. By love—only by love—is life sustained and moved.


        * * *

        [1] avenue: A pathway planted along each side with trees.

        [2] sacrificed itself: Gave itself to save another.

        [3] disconcerted: Thrown into confusion.

        [4] reverence: Awe combined with respect.


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