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英语故事2  

2012-12-06 16:13:03|  分类: 教学 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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48. A Miser Man(一个守财奴)

A very stingy man who had no pleasure but that of making money sold his all, namely, his place and fields, and forged all the money he received into a mass of gold, and buried it in the ground. Every day he visited the spot, which was one of his daily greatest pleasures. Then a man who occasionally came to the neighborhood saw this miser digging up the earth with joy. When this neighbor went there and dug the earth, he found a buried treasure, to his great astonishment. He resolved to run off with it outright. When the miser came to the spot the following day, he found his treasure missing, to his great amazement. It furious agony and desperation, he cursed God and man tearing his hair like a mad man. When a pedestrian asked his of his bitter sorrow, the miser told his story in great detail, but the passenger comforted and consoled him, saying, “You need not cry over your loss of treasure. I think your loss is not so great as you think. Bury in that place a stone of the same size in place of your mass of gold, and regard it as your lost one. You will hardly tell the difference the two, because, as far as you are concerned, gold is all one with a stone in point of utility.” Happiness does not consist in owning money, but in reasonable using of it.

 

 

 49.T he Hare and the Tortoise(野兔与乌龟)

One fine hot bay Mr. Hare met with Mts. Tortoise. Mr. Hare said to Mrs. Tortoise: “What a slow walker you are! You cannot run so fast as I, to be sure!” “Well, my friend, let us run a race and see which of us will win. Let us run up to the top of that hill,” said Mrs. Tortoise. “All right!” said Mr. Hare. So they started a race. Mrs. Tortoise walked with a slow, steady pace, up to the top of the hill. She never stopped a moment. But Mr. Hare ran, almost flying like an arrow. On the way he often stopped to eat grass. When he went halfway up the hill, he lay down for a nap, saying, “If Mrs. Tortoise passes by me, I can easily catch up with her.” When he awoke and looked around, he could not see her. Then he ran up the hill as fast al he could, and at the very top, he found Mrs. Tortoise at rest. She had won her success. “Slow and steady wins the race.”    **”Slow and steady wins the race.”     

 

 

50. The Dog and His Shadow(狗和他的影子)

A dog who was crossing a river with a piece of meat in his mouth happened to look over the side of the bridge saw his own shadow in the water. The foolish dog took his own shadow for another dog with a piece of meat larger than his own, and let go his own meat so that he could attack the other dog and get his meat from him. Of course he lost his own meat by this, for it sank to the bottom and he was not able to get it back. Then he saw that the other dog had lost his piece, too. And he went sadly home. *** “Grasp all, lose all”

 

 

51. The Fox and the Crow(狐狸与乌鸦)

Once upon a time a crow stole a piece of cheese, and flew with it to a tree. She sat on a branch of the tree and began to eat it. Just at that time a fox was passing by and saw her. He was hungry and wanted the cheese. “I want to have that piece of cheese for my dinner,” he said to himself; “but how can I get it? I cannot climb the tree.” “Good morning, Mrs. Crow, good morning,” said Mr. Fox. “How beautiful your feathers are! Your voice must be as beautiful as your feathers are. Just sing one song for me. After that I will call you the Queen of Birds.” Mrs. Crow was much delighted, and began to sing “Caw! Caw! Caw!” Down fell the sly fox wanted. And without waiting to hear the rest of the song, Mr. Fox picked it up quickly, and away with it, saying, “ Your voice is really sweet and beautiful, Mrs. Crow, but you not very clever.”

 

 

52. The Crow and the Pitcher(乌鸦与水罐)

One day a crow saw a pitcher and, feeling ready to die with thirst, flew to it with joy hoping to find it full of water. When he reached it he discovered, to his great disappointment, that it contained but a very little water, and that so low in the pitcher that he could not reach it. He tried every means in his power to get at the water, even endeavoring to overturn the vessel, but this he was not strong enough to do. At last, seeing some peddles lying about, he brought them one by one and dropped them down the neck of the pitcher, and, thus, by degrees, he raised the water up to the brim, when he was able to drink to his heart’s content. *** “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

 

 

53. The Lion and the Mouse(狮子与老鼠)

Long ago a great lion was fast asleep in the wood. A mouse ran over the lion's paw. The great lion woke up and caught the little mouse, and was going to kill her. The poor mouse looked up.“ O dear Lion! ’’ Cried the Mouse; “ Do you kill me? Please spare my life. If you spare my life now, I will repay you some day.” “ How can you repay me?” said the Lion. “You are too small to help a great lion.” But he lifted the paw and away the mouse ran. Not long afterward, the lion was caught in a net, and could not get out. “ I can' t break this net,” he said, “ I'm afraid I shall be killed.” Just then the little mouse happened to pass by. She ran up to the lion and said, “ Kind friend, I will help you.” She cut the ropes of the strong net with her sharp teeth. “ Thank you,” said the Lion. “ I see that even a little mouse can help a great lion.”

 

 

54. The Man, His Son and His Ass(男人、他的儿子与他的驴子)

A man and his son were once driving their ass along a country road, to sell him at the fair. They soon passed some girls, who were drawing water at a well. “Look,” said one of the girls; “see those silly people trudging along in the dust, while their ass walks at ease.” The man heard what they said, and put his boy on the ass’s back. They had not gone far before they came to some old men. “See here, now,” said one of them to the others. “This shows that what I said is true. Nowadays the young take on care of the old. See this boy riding while his poor old father has to walk by his son to get down, and he mounted the ass himself. In a little while, they met three women with children in their arms. “For shame” said the women. “How can you let that poor boy walk when he looks so tired, and you ride like a king?” The man then took the boy up behind him on the saddle, and they rode on to the town. Just before they got there, some young men stopped them, and said, “Is that ass yours?” “Yes,” said the man. “One would not think so,” said they, “by the way you load him. You look more fit to carry him than he to carry you.” So the man and the boy got off, tied the ass’s legs with a rope, and fastened him to a pole; and, each taking one of the pole, carried him along, while everyone they met laughed at them. By and by they came to a bridge. Then the ass began to kick, and, breaking the rope, fell into the water, and was drowned. The old man took his son, and went home as best he could, thinking to himself, “When we try to please everybody, we please nobody.”

 

 

55. The Lark and Her Young Ones(云雀与她的幼儿们)

A lark had made her nest in spring in a field of young green wheat Her little ones had been growing larger and stronger all the summer, while the wheat grew taller and closer about their home. As autumn drew near, the young birds were almost old enough to fly, and the wheat was nearly ripe. One day the owner of the wheat-fled came, and the little Larks herd him say to his son, the little Larks heard him say to his son, “I think the wheat is already ripe, so we must ask our friends to come and help us gather it in.“ This startled the little birds. When their mother came home they told her what they had heard. “There is no need for moving yet my children said the mother. But when she left them as usual the next morning she told them to listen to what the Farmer would say if he came again, and to tell her exactly what it was, when she came back to them. After a few days the owner of the field came again, and the eager birds listened to get more news for their mother. “Since our friends have not come,” the farmer the Farmer said to his son, “go and ask your “Not yet,” said the mother; “the man who only asks his friends to help him is not who only asks his friends to help him is not to be feared; but watch and listen, if he comes again.” And by and by he came. Seeing the wheat so ripe that it was shedding its grain, he said, “tomorrow we will come ourselves and cut the wheat.” And when the birds told this to their mother, she said, “it is time now to be off, my children, for the man is in earnest this time. He no longer trusts to others to do his work, but means to do it himself.” *** ”Self-help is the best help.”

 

 

56. The Wind and the Sun(风与太阳)

The North Wind was rushing along and blowing the clouds as he passed. “Who is so strong as I?” he cried. “I am even stronger than the sun.’’ “Can you show that you are stronger?” asked the Sun. “A traveler is coming over the hill,” said the Wind. “Let us see which of us can first make him take off his long cloak. The one who succeeds will prove himself the stronger.” The North began first. He blew a gale, tore up trees, and raised clouds of dust. But the traveler only wrapped his clock more closely about him, and kept on his way. Then the Sun began to shine. He drove away the clouds and warmed the air. Higher and higher he climbed in the blue sky shining in all his glory. “What a fine day we are having after the blow!” said the traveler, as threw off his cloak. ***

“Kindness is a greater governor than anger.”

 

 

57. The Woodman and Mercury(樵夫与Mercury神)

Once upon a time, a Woodman was cutting down a tree by the side of a lake. By accident he let his ax fall into the water. As he lost the tool with which he had gained his livelihood, he sat down upon the bank and felt very sad about his hard fate. To his surprise, Mercury appeared, and asked him what was the matter. When he heard the story of the man’s misfortune, he dived to the bottom of the lake, and, bringing up a golden ax, asked if that were the one he had lost. Hearing that it was not his, Mercury dived a second time, and, returning with a silver ax in his hand, again asked the Woodman if it were his. The Woodman denied this too, saying that it was not his. Mercury dived a third time, and brought up the very ax that the man had lost. This the poor man took with joy and thankfulness. So pleased was Mercury at the honesty of the man, that he gave him the other two axes besides his own. ***When he returned home, the Woodman told his companions all that had happened. One of them decided to see if he could secure the same good fortune for himself. He ran to the lake, and threw his ax in on purpose, then sat down upon the bank and lamented his sad fate. Mercury appeared as before, and wanted to know the cause of his grief. After hearing the man’s story, he dived, and brought up a golden ax, and asked him if that were his. Delighted at the sight of the golden ax, the fellow answered that it was, and eagerly attempted to get hold of it. The God saw that he was dishonest, and refused to hand it to him. The man went home disappointed. *** “Honesty is the best policy.”

 

 

58. The Milkmaid and Her Pail of Milk(牛奶女工与她的牛奶桶)

Dolled the Milkmaid having been a good girl, and careful in her work, her mistress gave her a pail of fresh milk for herself. With the pail upon her head, Dolly tripped gaily along on her way to the town, where she was going to sell her milk. “ For this milk,” said Dolly, “ I shall get a shilling, and with it I will buy twenty of the eggs laid by our neighbor’ s fine fowls. “ The mistress will surely lend me a hen, and, allowing for all mishaps, I shall raise a good dozen of chicks. “ They will be well grown before the next fair-time comes round, and it is then that chickens bring the highest price. I shall be able to sell them for a guinea. “ Then I will buy that sweater that I saw in the village the other day, and a hat and ribbons, too; and when I go to the fair, how smart I shall be! “ Robin will be there and will come up and offer to be friends again. But I won’ t come round too easily; and when he wants me for a partner in the dance, I shall just toss up my head and__ ” Here Dolly gave her head the least bit of a toss, when down came the pail, and all the milk was spilled upon the ground. Poor Dolly! It was hr good-by to eggs, chickens, sweater, hat, ribbons, and all. *** “Don’t count your chicken before they are hatched.”

 

 

59. Ulysses and the Bag of WindsUlysses与风袋)

Long, long ago, there lived upon a little island a Greek king named Ulysses. One time Ulysses sailed far away across the sea to fight for his country, and for ten long years he was away from his beautiful wife and his little son. At last the Greeks captured the city they were fighting against, and the war ended. “Now I can go back to my island home,” said Ulysses, joyfully, as he and his men set sail for home. “ Once more I can see my wife and son!” on the way, they stopped to rest at the home of a king named Eolus, who lived on an island in the sea. It was a wonderful island; all around it was a high wall of bronze. Eolus was king of the winds. He could make the winds sleep so soundly that the sea would be as smooth as glass, or he could make them blow so hard that the waves would be as high as mountains. When Ulysses was ready to start on his way again, Eolus said, “I will help you to reach your home, Ulysses. I will put all the stormy winds in this great bag of ox-hide. Then they cannot harm you. “I will the bag with this golden chain; but I will leave out the gentle west wind, do bear you safely home. Guard the bag of winds carefully. And do not let anyone untie the chain.” Then the west wind blew softly and sent them in safety on their way. For nine days and nine nights Ulysses guarded the bag of winds, until at last he became very tired and sleepy. Now the men with Ulysses did not know what was in the great bag. “see how he guards it !” they said. “Surely it has gold and silver in it, for it is tied with a golden chain. We helped Ulysses in the war; why should he have all the gold and the silver?” at last, on the tenth day, they came in sight of their dear island. “Look, look!” cried the men, joyfully. “There are our green fields! Soon we shall see our homes.” Then the weary Ulysses, thinking that he need not guard the bag any longer, fell fast asleep. “now we can see what is in the bag!” so they crept up to the bag and untied the golden chain. Out flew all the stormy winds, roaring and howling! In a moment, great waves arose and drove the ship far from the land. The noise of the winds and the waves awoke Ulysses. Where was his little island home? Where were the green fields he loved so well? They were far, far away, for the ship was out on the stormy sea. “Oh, what shall I do?” cried Ulysses. “I fear that I shall never see my home again. But I must not give up; I will try again and again. Some day I may reach my home, and see my wife and son once more.” “After a long time, the stormy winds drove the ship back to the island where Eolus lived. How glad Ulysses was when “Eolus can help us,” he said. “He will the winds again” but Eolus was angry with Ulysses and his men. “Go away!” Eolus said. “I will not help you a second time, for it is your own fault that he stormy winds are out of the bag.” So once more Ulysses set out upon the sea, and it was many long years before he saw his island home again.

 

 

60. Echo(林涧女神)

Thousands of years ago the people told strange stories to one another, and believed many strange things. The believed that in all the woods and streams and hills and hollows lived fair creatures, and they called these creatures nymphs. These nymphs were fair and beautiful, and they loved beautiful flowers and murmuring brooks. The fairest of them all was Echo, and her voice was the sweetest. But one day Echo displeased Queen Juno. Like, but you shall have nothing else. You shall never speak first. You can only answer when others speak to you.” Poor Echo! She became thin and pale, and thinner and paler, until at last Queen Juno’s word came. Only her voice was left. She wandered from place to place in the woods, unseen, and heard only when others spoke. On a quiet evening you may hear her, if you walk near some high rock where she loves to hide. Call to her, and she will answer, “ Where are you?” you may ask. “ ---You?” she will reply. “Are you Echo?” you may ask. “ ----Echo?” she answers. “Come to me!” you cry. “-----me!” she replies. “I like you,“ you say to her. “----you, “ Echo repeats. Now a very curious thing is true. Echo always answers in the same tone in which you speak to her. If you sing, she sings back to you. If you shout, she shouts to you again. If you cry, she cries, too. If you are cross and ill natured, she will be cross and ill natured, too. *** Two brothers once went into the woods to find Echo. They could not hear her voice, although they called and called. At last one of them cried impatiently, “ You are a mean old cheat!” Quick as thought came back the cross reply, “----cheat! ” The other boy cried quickly, “ He didn’t mean that. ” The same tone came back in Echo’ “---- that.” When the boys told their mother what had happened, she smiled, and said, “ That happens, the world over. Gentle words will bring forth gentle words, and harsh tones will be echoed by harsh tones.”

 

 

61. Narcissus(水仙花神)

Long, long ago there lived in Greece a young boy named Narcissus. All day long he tended his sheep on the hills, and drove them from place to place to find the very best pasture. One day he came to a little stream and wanted to drink from it. The water was very clear and reflected everything that leaned over it. While Narcissus was waiting for the sheep to drunk, he chanced to see his own face in the water. He had never seen his likeness before, and he was so pleased with the pretty picture that he looked at it for a long time. He forgot all about his sheep. The sheep waited for a long time near the stream, but at last they wandered away without the shepherd and were lost. Jupiter, the great god of that country, was very angry whish Narcissus for forgetting his sheep, and made up his mind to punish him. So Narcissus looked at himself very log, and when he turned to look after his flock he found that his feet had taken root. He could not move nor lift his head, but had to keep it hung down. Then, little by little, he changed into the flower that we know so well, the narcissus. This is why we often find this dainty flower growing on the banks of streams and always with its pretty head hung down.  

 

62. Arachne(织女神)

Arachne lived in a small village on the shores of the Mediterranean. Her parents were very poor. While her mother was busy cooking the simple meals for the family, or working in the fields, Arachne used to spin all day long Her wheel made a steady whirring like the buzzing of some insect. She grew so skillful from constant practice, that the threads she drew out were almost as fine as the mists that rose from the sea near by.   One day Arachne’s father, who was a fisher-man, came home with his baskets full of little shell-fish, which were of a bright crimson or purple color. He thought the color of the little shellfish so pretty that he tried the experiment of dyeing Arachne’s wools with them. The result was the most vivid hue that had ever been seen in any kind of woven fabric. After this,  Arachne’s tapestries always showed some touch of the new color. They now found a ready sale, and, in fact, soon became famous. Arachne’s family moved to a much larger house. Her mother did not have to work in the fields any more, nor was her father any longer obliged to go out in his boat to catch fish. Arachne, herself, became as her tapestries. She heard admiring words on every side, and her head was a little turned by them. When, as often happened, people praised the beautiful color that had been produced by the shell-fish, she did not tell how her father had help her, took all the credit to herself. While she was weaving, a group of people often stood behind her loom, watching the pictures grow. One day she overheard someone say that even the great goddess, Minerva, the patron goddess of spinning, could not weave more beautiful tapestries than this fisherman’s daughter. This was a very foolish thing to say, but Arachne thought it was true, true. She heard another say that Arachne wove so beautifully that she must have been taught by Minerva herself. Now, the truth is, that Minerva had taught Arachne. It was Minerva who had sent the little shell-fish to those coasts; and, although she never allowed herself to be seen, she often stood behind the girl and guided her shuttle. But Arachne, never having seen the goddess, thought she owed everything to herself alone, and began to boast of her skill. One day she said: “It has been said that I can weave quite as well as the goddess, Minerva, if not better. I should like to have a weaving match with her, and then it would be seen which could do best.” These wicked words had hardly left Arachne’s mouth, before she heard the sound of a crutch on the floor. Turning to look behind her, she saw a feeble old woman in a rusty gray cloak. The woman’s eyes were as gray as her cloak, and strangely bright and clear for one so old. She leaned heavily on her crutch, and when she spoke, her voice was cracked and weak. “I am many years older than you,” she said. “Take my advice. Ask Minerva’s pardon for your ungrateful words. If you are truly sorry, she will forgive you.” Now Arachne had never been very respectful to old persons, particularly when they wore rusty cloaks, and she was very angry at being reproved by this one. “Don’t advise me,” she said. “Go and advise your own children. I shall say and do what I please.” At this an angry light came into the old woman’s gray eyes; her crutch suddenly changed to a shining lance; she dropped her cloak; and there stood the goddess herself. Arachne’s face grew very red, and then very white, but she would not ask Minerva’s pardon, even then. Instead, she said that she was ready for the weaving match. So two weaving frames were brought in, and attached to one of the beams overhead. Then Minerva and foolish Arachne stood side by side and each began to weave a piece of tapestry. As Minerva wove, her tapestry began to show pictures of mortals who had been foolhardy and boastful, like Arachne, and who had been punished by the gods. It was meant for a kindly warming to Arachne. But Arachne would not heed the warning. She wove into her tapestry pictures representing certain foolish things that the gods of Olympus had done. This was very disrespectful, and it is no wonder that when Arachne’s tapestry was finished, Minerva tore it to pieces. Arachne was frightened now, but it was too late. Minerva suddenly struck her on the forehead with her shuttle. Then Arachne shrank to a little creature no larger than one’s thumb. “Since you think yourself so very skillful in spinning and weaving,” said Minerva, “you shall do nothing else but spin and weave all your life.” Upon this Arachne, in her new shape, ran quickly into the first dark corner she could find. She was now obliged to earn her living by spinning webs of exceeding fineness, in which she caught many flies, just as her father had caught fish in his nets. She was called the Spinner. The children of this first little spinner have become very numerous; but their old name of spinner has been changed to that of spider. Their delicate webs often cover the grass on a morning when the day is to be fine.

 

 

63. The Laurel of Apollo(阿波罗的月桂冠)

One day Cupid, the son of Venus, sat on the bank of a river, playing with his bow and arrows. The arrows were very tiny. Some of them had points of gold and the others points of lead. With the former Cupid shot love into people’ s hearts; with the latter he shot fear into them. Just then Apollo, the great sun-god, happened to walk along the bank of the same river and when he saw Cupid at his play, he laughed at him and said, “ Ho! What are such little arrows as these good for? ” Cupid’ s feelings were very much hurt at this. He said nothing, but decided to use his arrows on Apollo. So he drew out two arrows a leaden one and a golden one. Looking all about him for some mark for his arrow, he saw Daphne, the daughter of the river-god, walking through a grove. Cupid shot the leaden-pointed arrow straight at Daphne’ s heart. With the golden one he struck Apollo. As soon as Apollo saw Daphne, he loved her very much, but she was afraid and ran away. Apollo ran after her, calling that there was nothing to fear, but she would not stop running .The faster Apollo followed, the faster Daphne ran. She ran till she came to the bank of her father’s river, and she was so tired that she could run no farther. She called to her father for help. The river-god heard her, and before Apollo could overtake her, changed her into a tree, a beautiful tree with glossy evergreen leaves and pink blossoms as beautiful own cheeks. When Apollo came up with Daphne, there she stood on the bank of the river, not a nymph any longer, but a beautiful tree. Apollo gathered some of the leaves and made himself a wreath of its evergreen leaves, which he always wore for Daphne’s sake. This tree still grows in Greece and is called the Laurel of Apollo.

 

 

64. Noah's Ark(诺亚方舟)

The Bible story tells that men and women became so wicked that God was sorry He had made the Earth. He looked at the way men and women were living, and determined to punish them by sending a great flood; but there was one good man, and for his sake God saved the Earth. This man was Noah. He called Noah, we are told, and bade him build a great Ark out of wood, with rooms in it for his wife and is sons, and his sons’ wives, with one great window and with a mighty door in the side, The Ark was to be covered with pitch inside and outside, and to be built so well that-it should have room for two of every living thing, with food for each one. Noah, having made the Ark, called two of every living thing upon the Earth-animals, birds, and insects; and, laying in a great quantity of food, he himself, and his wife and his children, with all these other living things, entered the Ark. When they were all in, the windows of the heavens were opened, and the water covered the highest mountains. And in the flood the wicked perished. But God remembered Noah. The rain ceased, the waters passed away, and the sun-light went into the Ark. Then Noah let a raven fly from the window of the Ark, and in did not come back to him. Noah then sent out a dove, which flew terrified above the waters and returned to the window of the Ark. After seven days more Noah sent out the dove again, and this time it returned bearing in its bills a leaf of olive. Noah then knew that the Earth was dry, and when he again sent the dove forth it did not return. Then Noah came out with his family, and on an altar of stones they offered thanks to God. So God was pleased with Noah, and set a bow of light in the sky after the rain.

 

 

65. The Forbidden Fruit(禁果)

When God created the world the man was quite alone. Seeing this, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a good companion for him.” He caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and took one of his ribs, and out of this rib, he made a woman. We call this man Adam and this woman Eve. God let Adam and Eve rule the earth and enjoy it. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden in peace and happiness! The animals came to them when they called them; the birds sang above their heads as they walked; and the fish came to the side of the lake to watch them as they stood in the sunlight. What a happy Garden this was! What a peaceful Paradise this was! But this happy and peaceful life did not last long. The Bible tells us a strange story which fills our eyes with tears. And this is that strange story which the Bible tells us. God had given man everything on the earth except one thing. There was one thing which man was not to do. If man did this one thing, he would lose all his peace and all his happiness. And man did do this very thing. The one thing man was not to do was to eat of the fruit growing on a certain tree in the Garden of Eden. There were a thousand other of which man might eat, but only this one was forbidden. It was God’s test of man’s love. If man loved God, he would not eat of this tree; if he did not love God, he would disobey. So, you see, this was God’s test of man’s love. Well, Satan, the wicked Tempter, took the form of a serpent and glided into the Garden of Eden, and sought out Eve while she was away from her husband’s side, and suggested to her that she should eat of the fruit. And, although Eve did not at once obey him, she argued with him, instead of driving him from her. So the temptation to eat the fruit stayed in her mind; she allowed herself to think about it ; and at last the temptation was too great for her. She ate the fruit, and took it to Adam, and persuaded him also to do this forbidden thing. Then Adam and Eve heard the voice of God, and they were afraid and hid themselves in the trees. And God punished them. But the punishment was not a cruel one. He made them go out of the Garden of Eden and toil for their existence. Now, though work is hard, it is yet far better than idleness; and in setting man to till the earth, God has provided him with the opportunity of becoming better and kinder and purer. Have you ever seen a picture of Adam and Eve going out with tears and shame from their beautiful Garden of Innocence? And did you ever notice that over them the face of God was smiling with love and pity? God knows that His children shall one day return to their garden and to Him.

 

 

66. The Tower of Babel{巴比塔}

We are told that in the beginning of the world all the people lived in one place. By and by, that part of the earth became very crowded, and many families began to move from place to place, looking for new homes. All the people moved into a country between two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Here they found that the soil could be made into bricks, and that the bricks could be heated and made hard. So it was easy to build houses to live in. Then they wanted to build a great city and rule all the people around them. The people said to one another: "Let us build a great tower, the top of which will reach to the sky. And let us give a name to our city, that we may be kept together and not scattered over the earth." So they began to build their great tower with bricks, which they piled up one story above another. But God did not wish all the people on the earth to live close together. God knew that if they all lived together, those that were wicked would lead away from God those that were good, and all the world would become evil again, as it had been before the flood. So while they were building the great tower, God  caused their speech to change. At that time all men were speaking the same language. But now they could not understand one another. The people that belonged to one family could not understand those of another family----just as, at the present time, the English cannot talk to the French until they have learned the French language. So the people scattered to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, and the earth became covered with many people, living in many lands and speaking many languages. Thus the tower stayed forever unfinished, and the city which they had built was named Babel, which means confusion, because it was there that God changed the language of all the earth. The city was afterward known as Babylon, and the tower as the Tower of Babel.

 

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