Part I Pre-reading Task
Listen to the recording two or three times and then think over the following questions:
1. Do you have a favorite love song? What is its name? Who is the singer? Can you sing or hum the tune?
2. What is the song you have just heard mainly about?
3. Do you think it appropriate to begin this unit with a love song? Why or why not?
The following word in the recording may be new to you:
A letter or telephone call comes from someone you have not met, and you find yourself imagining what the person looks like, putting a face to the hidden voice. Are you any good at this? Sometimes it is easy to get it wrong.
A VALENTINE STORY
John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station.
He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun twelve months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he soon found himself absorbed, not by the words of the book, but by the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.
In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II.
During the next year the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She explained: "If your feeling for me has any reality, any honest basis, what I look like won't matter. Suppose I'm beautiful. I'd always be haunted by the feeling that you had been taking a chance on just that, and that kind of love would disgust me. Suppose I'm plain (and you must admit that this is more likely). Then I'd always fear that you were going on writing to me only because you were lonely and had no one else. No, don't ask for my picture. When you come to New York, you shall see me and then you shall make your decison. Remember, both of us are free to stop or to go on after that — whichever we choose..."
When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting — 7:00 p.m. at Grand Central Station, New York.
"You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my lapel." So, at 7:00 p.m. he was in the station looking for a girl who had filled such a special place in his life for the past 12 months, a girl he had never seen, yet whose written words had been with him and sustained him unfailingly.
I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened:
A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her golden hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive.
I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose.
As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. "Going my way, sailor?" she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair pinned up under a worn hat.
She was more than a little overweight, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes.
The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.
And there she stood. Her pale, round face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly glow. I did not hesitate.
My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful.
I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?"
The woman's face broadened into a smile. "I don't know what this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!"
It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom. The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.
"Tell me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "and I will tell you who you are."
New Words and Expressions
v. (cause to) become straight or level （使）变直；（使）变平整
make one's way
a. splendid in size or appearance 宏伟的；壮丽的
vt. completely hold the attention of (sb.);take in 完全吸引住…的注意；吸收
vt. be a sign of, show 反映，显示
a. thinking about what other people need; thinking deeply 体贴的；深思的
a. happening or coming before or earlier 早先的，先前的
n. a person who owns sth. 所有人
vt. find the exact position of; establish in a certain place 找到…的位置；使坐落于
vi. exchange letters regularly 通信
ad., a. to or in another country 去（在）国外（的），去（在）海外（的）
a. (of land) able to produce good crops 肥沃的，富饶的
n. love story; love affair 爱情故事；风流韵事
vt. make (sb.) worry or make (them) sad; (of ghosts) visit (a place) regularly 使担忧，使苦恼；（鬼魂）常出没于
take a chance (on sth.)
attempt to do sth. in spite of the possibility of failure; take a risk 碰运气；冒险
vt. cause a strong and often sick feeling of dislike 使厌恶，使反感
vt. arrange for sth. to happen or to be done at a particular time 安排；排定
vt. support emotionally; keep (an effort, etc.) going, maintain 支持；使（努力等）持续下去，保持
a. slender; small 苗条的；细小的，微小的
a., n. (woman) having fair or yellow hair 金发的（女郎）
a. fine, well-formed; soft, tender 精美的；柔软的，娇嫩的
go sb.'s way
go in sb.'s direction 朝某人走去
more than a little
a. too fat or heavy 过胖的，超重的
v. (cause to) break into two or more parts 裂开；破裂
a. (of interest, feelings, etc.) strong; deep 强烈的；热切的
n. earnest desire 渴望
vt. spend time or go somewhere with (sb.) 陪伴
vt. support 支持，维护
a. showing or having good sense 通情达理的，理智的
n. a warm light 光亮，光辉
vi. pause before doing sth. or making a decision 踌躇，犹豫
v. take a very tight hold (of) 握紧，紧握
vt. recognize or say who or what (sb./sth.)is 识别
a. feeling or showing thanks to another person 感激的
be grateful to (sb.) for (sth.)
v. make or become broader （使）变宽；（使）扩大
n. reaction; answer 反应；回答
in response to
in answer to 作为对…的回应
a. pretty; able to attract 美的；有吸引力的
New York City