【初中英语听力小故事一】 ulius Caesar
Nearly two thousand years ago there lived in Rome a man whose name was Julius Caesar. He was the greatest of all the
Romans. Why was he so great?
He was a brave warrior，and had conquered many countries for Rome. He was wise in planning and doing. He knew how to make men both love and fear him.
At last he made himself the ruler of Rome. Some said he wished to become its king. But the Romans at that time did not believe in kings.
Once when Caesar was passing through a little country village, all the men, women and children of the place came out to see him. There were not more than fifty of them, all together, and they were led by their mayor，who told each one what to do.
These simple people stood by the roadside and watched Caesar pass. The mayor looked very proud and happy; for was he not the ruler of this village? He felt that he was almost as great as Caesar himself.
Some of the ranking officers who were with Caesar laughed. They said, "See how that fellow struts at the head of his little flock!”
"Laugh as you will." said Caesar, he has reason to be proud. "I would rather be the head man of a village than the second man in Rome!"
At another time, Caesar was crossing a narrow sea in a boat. Before he was half way to the farther shore, a storm overtook him. The wind blew hard; the waves dashed high; the lightning flashed; the thunder rolled.
It seemed every minute as though the boat would sink. The captain was in great fright. He had crossed the sea many times, but never in such a storm as this. He trembled with fear; he could not guide the boat; he fell down upon his knees; he moaned, "All is lost! All is lost!"
But Caesar was not afraid. He bade the man get up and take his oars again. "Why should you be afraid?" he said."The boat will not be lost; for you have Caesar on board."
【初中英语听力小故事二】 Caesar Augustus
Many consider Augustus to be Rome's greatest emperor; his policies certainly extended the Empire's life span and initiated the celebrated Pax Romana or Pax Augusta. He was intelligent,decisive，and ashrewd politician, but he was not perhaps as charismatic as Julius Caesar, Nevertheless, his legacy proved more enduring.
The longevity of Augustus' reign and its legacy to the Roman world should not be overlooked as a key factor in its success. As Tacitus wrote, the younger generations alive in AD 14 had never known any form of government other than the Principate. Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC,for instance), matters might have turned out differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican oligarchy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a monarchy in these years.
Augustus' own experience, his patience, his tact, and his political acumen also played their parts. He directed the future of the Empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus' ultimate legacy was the peace and prosperity the Empire enjoyed for the next two centuries under the system he initiated.
His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor. Every emperor of Rome adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, which gradually lost its character as a name and eventually became a title.
【初中英语听力小故事三】 Benjamin Franklin
Franklin's parents were both pious Puritans. The family attended the old South Church, the most liberal Puritan congregation in Boston, where Benjamin Franklin was baptized in 1706.
Franklin's father, a poor chandler, owned a copy of a book, Bonifacius: Essays to Do Good, by the Puritan preacher and family friend Cotton Mather, which Franklin often cited as a key influence on his life. The book preached the importance of forming voluntary associations to benefit society. Franklin learned about forming do-good associations from Cotton Mather, but his organizational skills made him the most influential force in making voluntarism an enduring part of the American ethos.
他的父亲是位贫困的杂货商，拥有一本Bonifacius的书，书名为:行善箴言，这本书是一个清教传教士也是富兰克林家族的朋友Cotton Mather写的。此人对富兰克林的人生产生了关键性的影响。书中亦提及:成立志愿协会对社会的好处。从Cotton Mather身上，富兰克林得知成立行善协会将会对社会产生贡献，但富兰克林的组织才能使其成为影响形成美国人坚忍个性的最主要力量。
Franklin formulated a presentation of his beliefs and published it in 1728. It did not mention many of the Puritan ideas as regards belief in salvation, the pinity of Jesus,and indeed most religious dogma. He clarified himself as a deist in his 1771 autobiography, although he still considered himself a Christian. He retained a strong faith in a God as the wellspring of morality and goodness in man, and as a providential actor in history responsible for American independence.
When he stopped attending church, Franklin wrote in his autobiography: "Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles.I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that He made the world, and governed it by His providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal;and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter."
【初中英语听力小故事四】 Thomas Jefferson
While the Presidential election was taking place in the House of Representatives, amid scenes of great excitement, strife and intrigue, which was to decide whether Jefferson or Burr should be the chief magistrate of the nation, Jefferson was stopped one day, as he was coming out of the Senate chamber, by Governor Morris, a prominent leader of the Federalists.
Mr. Morris said, "I wish to have an earnest talk with you, Mr. Jefferson, on the alarming situation of things."
"I am very glad," said Jefferson, "to talk matters over with you."
"As you well know," said Mr. Morris, "I have been strenuously opposing you, as have also the large majority of the
"To be frank with you," he continued, "we are very much afraid of you. We fear, first, that you will turn all the
Federalists out of office; second, that you will put down the navy; third, that you will wipe off the public debt. Now, if you will declare, or authorize your friends to declare that you will not take these steps, your election will be made sure."
Mr. Jefferson replied, "Governor Morris, I naturally want to be President, and yet I cannot make any terms to obtain the position. I shall never go into the office by capitulation. I cannot have my hands tied by any conditions which would hinder me from pursuing the measures which I deem best for the public good. I must be perfectly free.The world can judge my future course by that which I have hither to follow. I am thankful to you for your interest, but I cannot make the slightest promise."