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        > 小學英語 > 小學英語教材 > 澳大利亞語文第六冊 >  第42課

        (原版)澳大利亞語文第六冊 LESSON 42

        所屬教程:澳大利亞語文第六冊

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        qinting

        2022年06月15日

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        https://online2.tingclass.net/lesson/shi0529/10000/10378/ab6_42.mp3
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        LESSON 42 PALISSY, THE POTTER

        PALISSY, THE POTTER

        There was a time in Europe, some hundreds of years ago, when nearly every craftsman [1] , no matter how humble, was an artist as well. That is to say, the love of beauty seemed to awake in many lands at once; so that masons [2] and joiners, weavers, and potters were all of one mind in trying to do their work in the finest and most faultless way.

        Towards the end of this period, while Henry VIII. reigned in England, there lived in France a young crafts-man named Palissy. He was by trade a glass-painter, painting those rich colours on stained-glass windows which are today the pride of so many French churches.

        To make these, much skill is required; for the tones must be not only beautiful, but lasting as well. Palissy, therefore, early learned much about colours, and how they are made up. But he could do other things too. After he was married and had a family to support, he went about the country making maps and plans of the great estates—measuring the hills, and noting down the rocks and springs and rivers.

        PALISSY, THE POTTER

        [From the painting by Mrs. E. M. Ward, in the Leicester Art Gallery ]

        But his old love of colour and beauty was not forgotten, and one day he was shown a white cup of rare enamelled ware [3] . This cup had a glaze upon it which no living potter could match; and, there and then, Palissy vowed within himself that he would find out the secret.

        PALISSY-WARE JUG

        So he set to work with clay and other materials to try to find out how this fine ware was made. He built a furnace in which to fire his cups and plates, and soon he became so eager about his task that he neglected all else.

        Many lovely things he made, graceful in shape and charming in design, but there was always some dullness or flaw in the glaze. Weeks, months, and years went by, and still Palissy laboured in vain. By degrees, all his money was spent, and he got into debt.

        Often his wife begged him, with tears, to awake from what seemed to her a foolish dream, but Palissy could not give up what he had set his heart upon. At length, one morning, he told her with trembling delight that the secret was his. "Go, call our neighbours" he cried, "and those to whom we are in debt. They shall see for themselves that Palissy, the potter, has won success!"

        So his wife called them all together, those who were friends and those who were not, and they crowded into Palissy's workshop to see the cups and platters [4] he had made.

        At the proper moment Palissy flung open the door of his furnace, but how dreadful was his dismay [5] ! Instead of the fragile [6] things he had placed there with such loving care, he saw nothing but a mass of dust and lime and broken pottery. The great heat had loosed some of the bricks in the walls of his furnace, and these, falling inwards, had smashed his precious handiwork to atoms.

        Then those who had come to see the result scoffed and jeered at the potter; whilst his children burst into tears, and cried bitterly for bread to eat. In that hour it seemed to Palissy as if indeed his dreams were vain and he had lived for nought.

        Yet you must not think that this was the end of his story. After the first shock, Palissy's courage came back. Repairing his furnace, he put forth all his skill in one beautiful vase; moulding little figures upon it, painting it in dainty colours, and lastly coating it with the glaze that was to bring him fame.

        The vase was then placed in the furnace, and all now depended on keeping it at a proper heat. But alas! the potter's store of fuel was used up.

        Was his work to be lost for want of a few logs of wood? No, indeed! Rushing into the house, Palissy seized his tables and chairs and fed them to the greedy furnace. Nothing was spared; the very planks of the floor were torn up and burned. The house was ruined, but the fire had done its work.

        Without a flaw, the beautiful vase came forth from the furnace. Soon the story of his glazed pottery spread through France; and it was not long till he was appointed by the king to make little rustic [7] figures for the adornment of the royal gardens.

        Upon this, Palissy removed his workshop to Paris, and there he made beautiful pottery to his heart's content. A "Palissy" plate was counted a treasure even then, and is of almost priceless value today.

        Thrown into the Bastille prison for his beliefs, Palissy showed the same pluck and firmness he had displayed when trying to find out how the white enamelled pottery was made. He refused to alter his views at the order of those in power, and he died in prison in 1589.

        * * *

        [1] craftsman: Workman in a skilled trade.

        [2] masons: Men who work with stone.

        [3] ware: Article of merchandise.

        [4] platters: Plates.

        [5] dismay: Disappointment, loss of courage.

        [6] fragile: Delicate.

        [7] rustic: Of the country.

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