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雅思阅读材料:Alfred Nobel的一生

2014-04-13 17:35   我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

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Alfred Nobel,the Swedish inventor and industrialist,was a man of many contrasts.He was the son of abankrupt,but became a millionaire;a scientist with alove ofliterature,an industrialist who managed to remain an idealist.He made a fortune but lived a very simple life,and although cheerful in company he was often sad in private.A lover of mankind, he never had a wife or family to love him;a patriotic①son of his native land,he died alone on foreign soil.He invented a new explosive,dynamite②,to improve the peacetime industries of mining and road building,but saw it was used as a weapon of war to kill and injure his fellow men.During his useful life he often felt he was useless:“Alfred Nobel,”he once wrote of himself,“ought to have been put to death by a kind doctor as soon as,with a cry,he entered life.”World-famous for his works he was never personally well known,for throughout his life he avoided publicity.“I do not see,” he once said,“that I have deserved any fame and I have no taste for it,”but since his death his name has brought fame and glory to others.

He was born in Stockholm on October 21,1833but moved to Russia with his parents in 1842,where his father,Immanuel,made a strong position for himself in the engineering industry.Immanuel Nobel invented the landmine and made a lot of money from government orders for it during the Crimean War,but went bankrupt soon after.Most of the family returned to Sweden in 1859,where Alfred rejoined them in 1863,beginning his own study of explosives in his father's laboratory.He had never been to school or university but had studied privately.And by the time he was twenty,he was a skillful chemist and excellent linguist, speaking Swedish,Russian,German, French and English.Like his father,Alfred Nobelwas imaginative and inventive,but he had better luck in business and showed more financialsense.He was quick to see industrial openings for his scientificinventions and built up over 80companies in 20different coun- tries.Indeed his greatness lay in his outstanding ability to combine the qualities ofan original scientist with those of a forward-looking industrialist.

But Nobel's main concern was never with making money or even with making scientific discoveries.Seldom happy,he was always searching for a meaning to life,and from his youth had taken aserious interest in literature and philosophy.Perhaps he could not find ordinary human love—he never married—he came to care deeply about the whole of mankind.He was always generous to the poor:“I'd rather take care of the stomachs of the living than the glory of the dead in the form ofstone materials,”he once said.His greatest wish,however,was to see an end to wars,and thus peace betweennations,and he spent much time and money working for this cause untilhis death in Italy in 1896.His famous will,in which he left money to provide prizesfor outstanding work in Physics,Chemistry,Physiology,Medicine, Literature and Peace,is a memorial to his interests and ideals.And so,the man who felt he should have died at birth is remembered and respected long after his death.

瑞典发明家、实业家艾尔弗雷德·诺贝尔是一个集多种对立现象于一身的人。他是破产者的儿子,日后却成了百万富翁;他是科学家,却爱好文学;他是个始终保持理想主义者本色的实业家。他发了大财,生活却很简朴;与人相处时他笑逐颜开,独处时却常常郁郁寡欢。他热爱人类,却从未享受过拥有妻室与子女的天伦之乐。他热爱祖国,却客死异国。为了发展和平时期的采矿业和筑路业,他发明了一种新型炸药———甘油炸药,却亲眼目睹此发明被用作残杀、伤害人类的战争武器。在他颇有建树的一生中,他常常觉得自己渺小无用。“艾尔弗雷德·诺贝尔,”他曾这样写到自己,“本该在呱呱坠地之时就让一位好心的医生给弄死。”他虽因自己的发明而闻名全球,但其个人生活世人向来知之甚少,因为他毕生都避免抛头露面。“我真不明白自己何以徒有虚名,”他这么说过,“我对虚名不感兴趣。”可是在他死后,他的名字却给别人带来名声与荣耀。

艾尔弗雷德·诺贝尔1833年10月21日生于斯德哥尔摩,1842年随父母移居俄国,他父亲依梅纽尔在俄国的工程界创立了稳固的地位。依梅纽尔·诺贝尔发明了地雷,并在克里米亚战争期间从政府的大量定货中赚了一大笔钱,可惜好景不长,很快便遭破产。1859年,大部分家人返回瑞典,艾尔弗雷德则于1863年与家人团聚,并在父亲的实验室里开始研制炸药。他从未上过学,全靠自学成才,20岁时便成了一名技术娴熟的化学师,通晓数国语言,能熟练地说瑞典语、俄语、德语、法语和英语。像父亲一样,艾尔弗雷德·诺贝尔有着丰富的想象力和创造力,但他在事业上却比他父亲走得远,也更有经济头脑。他不失时机地把自己的科学发明运用到工业上,在 20个国家内开设了80多家公司。他的过人之处实际上就在于他有杰出的才能,把一个具有独创性的科学家和一个具有远见卓识的实业家的品质融为一体。

但诺贝尔主要关注的既不是赚钱,也不是探求科学上的发现。他郁郁寡欢,总在探索人生的意义,从青年时代起便对文学和哲学产生了浓厚的兴趣。或许是因为他找寻不到普通人的欢爱———他终生未娶———便逐渐对全体人类产生深情的关切。他对穷人向来慷慨大度。“我宁肯关心生者的饥肠,而不愿为死者树碑立传。”他曾经这么说过。然而他最大的愿望是期盼战争不再,国与国之间从而能永享和平。他为此而投入了大量的时间和财力,直到1896年在意大利去世。他在遗嘱中将钱留出来,为在物理、化学、生理学、医学和文学以及和平事业方面作出杰出成就的人提供奖金,他的这一著名遗嘱是他多种兴趣与理想的纪念碑。就这样,一个觉得自己出生时就该死去的人,死后很久仍然得到人们的缅怀与崇敬。

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