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尼亞加拉大瀑布

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  尼亞加拉大瀑布已成了老得沒牙的旅游景點。但是,如果你從飛機上鳥瞰的話,它就成了全新的景觀。你會意識到,老得沒牙的并不是尼亞加拉,而是我們觀賞它的方法已屬陳舊。

  大部分游客總是盡可能靠近瀑布,看著水流轟鳴而下。這讓人著魔,呆若木雞。游客站在那里,被奔騰不息的激流及其強大的力量所折服。但此后你會有這樣的感覺"那又怎么樣?水流到了懸崖邊,當然要往下淌落了。“

  但在高空你會馬上看個一清二楚。你看到瀑布的一邊是安大略湖,另一邊是伊利湖,把這兩個源連接起來的是34英里長的尼亞加拉河。當飛機稍往下飛行時,你會看到瀑布本身,沿著湖濱約有1英里寬的人行道,水從182英尺高的懸崖直沖下來,然后流入既深又窄的峽谷。你會頓悟你已看到了尼亞加拉瀑布的真面目:瀑布在運動著,而7英里長的峽谷只是瀑布在運動時沖出來的軌跡。這一事實馬上使你的想法完全改變。從地面上看,水往下沖入峽谷的原因似乎是因為下面有低地。而現在你會明白,事實正好相反:瀑布才是起因,而峽谷是結果。尼亞加拉峽谷看上去像是蟲在蘋果上咬出來的斑痕。

  尼亞加拉瀑布與人們在山上看到的瀑布有所不同。山上看到的瀑布是一條飛下山腰的細流;有的高于尼亞加拉瀑布,也許比它美麗,但它們卻沒有尼亞加拉瀑布的那種氣勢和爆發力。尼亞加拉瀑布屬于重量級——一股巨流全部從懸崖上沖瀉下來。

  從上往下看到的現實景像是瀑布自身的強烈運動在鑿峽谷。這是個很有意思的景觀。

  今天,瀑布依然一瀉千里。不過,本世紀人們開始利用它了。過去常常往下沖的大量的水,現在都流過美國和加拿大的發電站。

  在空中,你會理解美國與加拿大瀑布的實際差別。在美國境內的瀑布只占總水量的10%,而加拿大境內的瀑布占90%.加拿大境內的瀑布由于水量更大,所以它向上游移動得更快。和美國西部的大峽谷和山脈不同的是,尼亞加拉瀑布的壯觀是短期的——昨天它還在此地,明天也許會消失。

  Niagara Falls has become a tired old tourist sight. But if you look it over in an airplane, it becomes something completely new. You realize that it is not tired; only our way of looking at it is tired. Most visitors go as close to the falls as possible, and watch the waters thundering down. It is fascinating, in a stupefying way. You stand there, hyptonized by the sheer force, the untiring action that goes on and on. But afterward you have a feeling - "So what, really? The water comes to the cliff and, naturally, it falls down." But at altitude you see it all at once. You see Lake Ontario on one side and Lake Erie on the other, and linking them the 34-mile Niagara River. Then, coming down lower, you see the falls themselves, along a front almost a mile wide, plunges over a 182-foot cliff and flows off through a deep, narrow gorge. And right away, with a flash of understanding, you see the main fact about the Niagara Falls. The falls are moving, the seven-mile-long gorge is merely the track the falls have made as they move along. This instantly reverses all your ideas. On the ground it seemed that the water fell because there was this low place for it to fall into the gorge. Now you see it is the other way round. The falls are the cause, and the gorge is the result. Niagara Gorge looks like the track eaten into an apple by a worm. Niagara differs from the waterfalls you find in mountains, where a thin stream of water comes down a mountainside, half-flying. Some of them are much higher than Niagara, and perhaps more beautiful, but they lack mass and cutting power. Niagara belongs to the heavyweights - where a whole solid river plunges bodily over a cliff The real sight from above is the gigantic movement of the falls themselves, digging the gorge. The falls are still moving today. However, our century has tamed it a bit. A lot of water that used to plunge down now goes through the electric power stations, both American and Canadian. Above in the air, you will understand the real difference between the American and Canadian falls. The American Falls get only about 10% of the water, while the Canadian Falls get 90%. Because the volume of water is greater, the Canadian Falls are eroding far more rapidly. Unlike the mountains and canyons of the West, Niagara is a short- time glory that was here yesterday and will be gone tomorrow.

  注釋:

  1. all at once:突然。同at once(立刻)相似。只是語氣上更加強調是“豁然開朗”,一下子全明白了。

  2. a flash of understanding:突然間明白。Flash是“閃電”,明白的速度像閃電一般的快,可見是很形象的說法了。

  3. much higher than:比……高多了。像much、far這樣的詞,后面接形容詞要接比較級,而不能接原級。記住,我們常說的much better就是一個典型的例子。

  4. lack:缺少。Lack這個詞作動詞時,可以直接接賓語。但作名詞時,就要加介詞of,然后再接缺少的東西。這就是動詞lack和名詞lack的區別。

  5. our century has tamed it a bit:這句話就不能從字面上直接理解了。Our century實際上是指本世紀,a bit是有點的意思,引申為逐漸。這句話實際上是說本世紀人類已經開始逐漸征服他了。


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