This Day in History April 9… 歷史上的今天 4月9日

On this day in 1859, a 23-year-old youth named Samuel Langhorne Clemens received his steamboat pilot's license. Two years before this, he was a pilot's apprentice. Clemens was supposed to write a series of humorous travel letters for a newspaper. However, after writing only five, he decided he would rather be a steamboat pilot. You are probably wondering why we are discussing this young man because his name doesn't sound familiar. However, Clemens eventually went back to writing, changed his name to Mark Twain, and became one of history's greatest writers. Without him, excellent characters like Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Fin would not exist today.


1859年 的今天,一位名叫薩繆爾.朗賀恩.克萊門斯的23歲年輕人取得了他的汽船駕駛員執照。兩年前,他是位駕駛員的學徒。克萊門斯本來應該要為一家報社撰寫一系 列旅遊的軼聞趣事,但寫了僅僅5篇後,他便決定寧願當個汽船駕駛員。你可能正納悶為什麼我們要談論這個年輕人,因為他的名字聽起來並不耳熟。不過話說回 來,克萊門斯最後還是回過頭來從事寫作,將自己名字改為馬克.吐溫,並成了史上最偉大作家之ㄧ。如果沒有他,像是湯姆.索耶和哈克伯理.芬等出色的人物如 今便不會存在。

◎steamboat n.(主要用於內河的)汽船
◎license n.執照,許可証
.a driver's license汽車駕照
例:Although Andy drives skillfully, he doesn't have a driver's license.(雖然安迪很會開車,不過他卻沒有駕照。)
◎apprentice n.學徒
would rather V (than V)
例:Mary would rather be single for the rest of her life than marry Dave.(瑪麗寧願下半輩子單身也不願嫁給大衛。)
◎wonder + 疑問詞引導的名詞子句 納悶/想知道……
例:I wonder what my boyfriend got me for my birthday.(我很想知道我男友買了什麼生日禮物送我。)
◎familiar a.熟悉的
.sound/look familiar聽起來耳熟/看起來眼熟
◎eventually adv.最後,終於


馬克.吐溫擁有「幽默作家」之稱,一生從事過許多工作:工人、記者(journalist)、汽船駕駛 (steamboat pilot)、編輯、演說家等,這些經歷讓他日後擁有源源不絕的寫作題材,許多出自他的言詞都為後代奉為名言而廣為流傳。例如電影《班傑明的奇幻旅 程》(The Curious Case of Benjamin Button),其原著小說的作者史考特.費茲傑羅(F. Scott Fitzgerald)靈感便出自馬克.吐溫的話:「如果我們能夠出生的時候80歲,逐漸接近18歲,人生一定更美好。」 (Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.)。

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