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Lesson 14: How to Grow Old

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1 Lesson 14: How to Grow Old on Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:51 pm


In spite of the title, this article will really be on how not to grow old, which, at my time of life, is a much more important subject.


My maternal grandmother, after having nine children who survived, one who died in infancy, and many miscarriages, as soon as she became a widow devoted herself to women’s higher education.


I have seventy-two grandchildren, and if I was sad each time I parted from one of them, I should have a dismal existence!


I do not believe that she ever had time to notice that she was going old.


It does not do to live in memories, in regrets for the good old days, or in sadness about friends who are dead.


The problem is staring us in the face.


I am at a loss what I ought to say on that occasion.


It is quite certain that mankind will eventually solve the riddle of AIDS.


Will a duck swim?


They ran away as fast as their legs could carry them.


Last night I heard him driving his pigs to market.


Their language was almost unrestrained by any motive of prudence.


It does not do to live in memories.


The fear of death is somewhat abject and ignoble.


As regards health, I have nothing useful to say since I have little experience of illness.


I never do anything whatever on the ground that it is good for health, though in actual fact the things I like doing are mostly wholesome.


The other thing to be avoided is clinging to youth in the hope of sucking vigour from its vitality.


I do not mean that one should be without interest in them, but one’s interest should be contemplative and, if possible, philanthropic, but not unduly emotional.


I should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no longer do, and content in the thought that what was possible has been done.


In that case you must realize that while you can still render them material service, such as making them an allowance or knitting them jumpers, you mustn’t expect that they will enjoy your company.


It is in this sphere that long experience really fruitful, and it is in the this sphere that the wisdom born of experience can be exercised without being oppressive.


Young men who have reason to fear that they will be killed in battle may justifiably feel bitter in the thought that they have been cheated of the best things that life has to offer.


If you have wide and keen interests and activities in which you can still be effective, you will have no reason to think about the merely statistical factor of the number of years you have already lived, still less of the probable brevity of your future.


Psychologically there are two dangers to be guarded against in old age.


It’s easy to think to oneself that one’s emotions used to be more vivid than they are, and one’s mind more keen.


If this is true it should be forgotten, and if it is forgotten it will probably not be true.


Men are much better than their ordinary life allows them to be.


I couldn’t beat a boy who hadn’t got a relation in the world and whose father had left him to me because he thought I’d be kind to him.


Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly.


One’s thoughts must be directed to the future. and to things about which there is something to be done. This is not always easy; one’s own past is a gradually increasing weight.


One of there is undue absorption in the past.


Our hopes and plans are scattered to the four winds.


Unemployment has stubbornly refused to contract for more than a decade.


Companies with a big staff in Beijing find themselves squeezed between high operating costs and shrinking business.


It is no use telling grown up children not to make mistakes, both because they will not believe you, and because mistakes are an essential part of education.


After all, all living creatures live by feeding on something else whether it be plant or animal, dead or alive.


The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue.


And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will be not unwelcome.


The best way is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal.


I eat and drink whatever I like, and sleep when I cannot keep awake.


But speaking as one of the seventy-two, I prefer her recipe.



In recent years, unable to move about easily, I have been leading a dull life like that of “a frog at the bottom of a well”. Reading his travel notes gave me great pleasure because they are so colourful and vivid that I felt I was actually there.


What I like best was the refreshing green which could be seen all over the country. It was much more pleasant to the eye than Beijing before liberation.


Rome was located on seven hills with 500 churches, big and small, and I visited nearly all of them.


In China, he has been to many places which I have never visited, with the exception of the Jinggang Mountains.


The only thing I worry about is that we may lose opportunities. If we don’t seize them, they will slip through our fingers as time speeds by.


Practice perseverance ad never give up a thing because it is hard or inconvenient.


Last year alone the engineers and technicians in the factory developed quite a number of new products.


Speaking of Paris, I could never forget the hundred days I had spent there.







Olympic mascot 奥运吉祥物

as regards 至于、关于

to cling to sth. 依附、抓紧


the wisdom born of experience 从经验中得出的智慧

to render sb. service 帮助某人

to part from 分手、离开

Good graciousl 天啊!上帝啊!

in the hope of 寄希望于

in spite of 尽管

grown-up children 成年子女

human joys and sorrows 人生的酸甜苦辣、人生悲欢离合

abject and ignoble 卑鄙无耻、令人不齿

be not unwelcome 未尝不好

think to oneself 对自己说/反思,细想

to guard against 提防、防止

sucking vigour 汲取力量

devote herself to 致力于

popular science 科普读物

keen interest 浓厚/强烈的兴趣

great-grand mother 曾祖母

popular science 科普读物

absorption in the past 沉溺于过去

the flower of one’s youth 风华正茂

反思、细想 think to oneself

幼年期的长度 length of infancy

酸甜苦辣 joys and sorrows

高等教育 higher education

外祖父 maternal grandfather

寄希望于 in the hope of

未尝不好 be not unwelcome

独立生活 live one’s own life

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