The English Character
To other Europeans, the best known quality of the British, and in particular of the English, is "reserved".
A reserved person is one who does not talk very much to strangers, does not show much emotion, and seldom gets excited.
It is difficult to get to know a reserved person: he never tells you anything about himself,
and you may work with him for years without ever knowing where he lives, how many children he has, and what his interests are.
English people tend to be like that.
Closely related to English reserve is English modesty.
Within their hearts, the English are perhaps no less conceited than anybody else, but in their relations with others they value at least a show of modesty.
Self-praise is felt to be impolite. If a person is, let us say, very good at tennis and someone asks him if he is a good player,
he will seldom reply "Yes", because people will think him conceited.
He will probably give an answer like, "I'm not bad, or " I think I'm very good, or "Well, I'm very keen on tennis."
"Even if he had managed to reach the finals in last year's local championships, he would say it in such a way as to suggest that it was only due to a piece of good luck.
Since reserve and modesty are part of his own nature, the typical English tends to expect them in others.
He secretly looks down on more excitable nations, and likes to think of himself as more reliable than they are.
He doesn't trust big promises and open shows of feelings, especially if they are expressed in flowery language.
He doesn't trust self-praise of any kind.
This applies not only to what other people may tell him about themselves orally, but to the letters they may write to him.
To those who are fond of flowery expressions, the Englishman may appear uncomfortably cold.英语四级晨读美文2
"The days that make us happy make us wise."_ John Masefield
When I first read this line by England's Poet Laureate, it startled me. What did Masefield mean? Without thinking about it much. I had always assumed that the opposite was true. But his sober assurance was arresting. I could not forget it.
Finally, I seemed to grasp his meaning and realized that here was a profound observation. The wisdom that happiness makes possible lies in clear perception, not fogged by anxiety nor dimmed by despair and boredom, and without the blind spots caused by fear.
Active happiness not mere satisfaction or contentment_ Often comes suddenly, like an April shower or the unfolding of a bud. Then you discover what kind of wisdom has accompanied it. The grass is greener, bird songs are sweeter, the shortcomings of your friends are more understandable and more forgivable. Happiness is like a pair of eyeglasses correcting your spiritual vision.
Nor are the insights of happiness limited to what is near around you. Unhappy, with your thoughts turned in upon your emotional woes, your vision is cut short as though by a wall. Happy, the wall crumbles.
The long vista is there for the seeing. The ground at your feet, the world about you _people, thoughts, emotions, pressures_ are now fitted into the larger scene. Every thing assumes a fairer proportion. And here is the beginning of wisdom.英语四级晨读美文3
When we were young, we had dreams and expectations. We imagine things; we keep thinking about what we want to be, what we want to do, what makes us proud and happy and what will we become.
We grew up, and things seemed like having their own way. We accept our success or failures and we move on. The rapid change, the need to do the urgent things, the works, the pressures and the failures, all kill part of our visions.
Things have changed, but they cannot really take away the dreams. We still have to dream on, to visualize our desires, our wants, our vision of our future, even when we are considered too old for such things.
Cornell Sanders started his business when he was sixty, and started the whole successful KFC business. The main thing is not the age whether being too old, or too young, but it is the desire to dream on, and the courage to realize it.
The ability to dream on is one of the fine qualities of human race that other species do not possess. So dream on, and put a deadline: make it a giant dream, a tiny one, an old everlasting one, a new-found one, a hobby-related one, a change of life one, a religious one, a stupid one, a stroke of genius one, or just whatever... just continue to dream on... Then, Just Go and Do It!英语四级晨读美文4