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Part 2 4 One of the silliest things in our recent history was the use of “Victorian” as a

Part 2 4 One of the silliest things in our recent history was the use of “Victorian” as a term of contempt or abuse. It had been made fashionable by Lytton Strachey with his clever, superficial and ultimately empty book Eminent Victorians, in which he damned with faint praise such Victorian heroes as General Gordon and Florence Nightingale. Strachey’s demolition job was clever because it ridiculed the Victorians for exactly those qualities on which they prided themselves—their high mindedness, their marked moral intensity, their desire to improve the human condition and their confidence that they had done so.

Yet one saw, even before the 100th anniversary of the death of Queen Victoria this year, that there were signs these sneering attitudes were beginning to change. Programmes on radio and television about Victoria and the age that was named after her managed to humble themselves only about half the time. People were beginning to realize that there was something heroic about that epoch and, perhaps, to fear that the Victorian age was the last age of greatness for this country.

Now a new book, What The Victorians Did For Us, aims further to redress the balance and remind us that, in most essentials, our own age is really an extension of what the Victorians created. You can start with the list of Victorian inventions. They were great lovers of gadgets from the smallest domestic ones to new ways of propelling ships throughout the far-flung Empire. In medicine, anaesthesia (developed both here and in America) allowed surgeons much greater time in which to operate—and hence to work on the inner organs of the body—not to mention reducing the level of pain and fear of patients.

To the Victorians we also owe lawn tennis, a nationwide football association under the modern rules, powered funfair rides, and theatres offering mass entertainment. And, of course, the modern seaside is almost entirely a Victorian invention. There is, of course, a darker side to the Victorian period. Everyone knows about it mostly because the Victorians catalogued it themselves. Henry Mayhew’s wonderful set of volumes on the lives of the London poor, and official reports on prostitution, on the workhouses and on child labour—reports and their statistics that were used by Marx when he wrote Das Kapital—testify to the social conscience that was at the center of “Victorian values”.

But now, surely, we can appreciate the Victorian achievement for what it was—the creation of the modern world. And when we compare the age of Tennyson and Darwin, of John Henry Newman and Carlyle, with our own, the only sensible reaction is one of humility: “We are our father’s shadows cast at noon”.

第16题:According to the author, Lytton Strachey’s book Eminent Victorians _____.

[A] accurately described the qualities of the people of the age

[B] superficially praised the heroic deeds of the Victorians

[C] was highly critical of the contemporary people and institutions

[D] was guilty of spreading prejudices against the Victorians


  参考答案

正确答案:D

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[A] disliked [B] defied [C] defeated [D] dishonored
Text 3 The provision of positive incentives to work in the new society will not be an easy task. But the most difficult task of all is to devise the ultimate and final sanction to replace the ultimate sanction of hunger—the economic whip of the old dispensation. Moreover, in a society which rightly rejects the pretence of separating economics from politics and denies the autonomy of the economic order, that sanction can be found only in some conscious act of society. We can no longer ask the invisible hand to do our dirty work for us.
I confess that I am less horror-struck than some people at the prospect, which seems to me unavoidable, of an ultimate power of what is called direction of labour resting in some arm of society, whether in an organ of state or of trade unions. I should indeed be horrified if I identified this prospect with a return to the conditions of the pre-capitalist era. The economic whip of laissez-faire undoubtedly represented an advance on the serf-like conditions of that period: in that relative sense, the claim of capitalism to have established for the first time a system of “free” labour deserves respect. But the direction of labour as exercised in Great Britain in the Second World War seems to me to represent as great an advance over the economic whip of the heyday of capitalist private enterprise as the economic whip represented over pre-capitalist serfdom.
Much depends on the effectiveness of the positive incentives, much, too, on the solidarity and self-discipline of the community. After all, under the system of laissez-faire capitalism the fear of hunger remained an ultimate sanction rather than a continuously operative force. It would have been intolerable if the worker had been normally driven to work by conscious fear of hunger; nor, except in the early and worst days of the Industrial Revolution, did that normally happen. Similarly in the society of the future the power of direction should be regarded not so much as an instrument of daily use but rather as an ultimate sanction held in reserve where voluntary methods fail. It is inconceivable that, in any period or in any conditions that can now be foreseen, any organ of state in Great Britain would be in a position, even if it had the will, to marshal and deploy the labour force over the whole economy by military discipline like an army in the field. This, like other nightmares of a totally planned economy, can be left to those who like to frighten themselves and others with scarecrows.
第31题:1. The word “sanction”(Line 2, Paragraph 1) is closest in meaning to______.
[A] corrective measures
[B] encouraging methods
[C] preventive efforts
[D] revolutionary actions

[A] other [B] simply [C] rather [D] all