The hardworking blacksmith Jones used to work all day in his shop and so hard working was he that at times he would make the sparks fly from his hammer.
The son of Mr. Smith, a rich neighbor, used to come to see the blacksmith everyday and for hours and hours he would enjoy himself watching how the tradesman worked.
"Young man, why don't you try your hand to learn to make shoe tacks, even if it is only to pass the time?" said the blacksmith. "Who knows, one day, it may be of use to you."
The lazy boy began to see what he could do. But after a little practice he found that he was becoming very skilled and soon he was making some of the finest tacks.
Old Mr. Smith died and the son on account of the war lost all his goods. He had to leave home and was forced to take up residence in another country. It so happened that in this village there were numerous shoemakers who were spending a lot of money to buy tacks for their shoes and even at times when they paid high prices they were not always able to get what they wanted, because in that part of the country there was a high demand for soldiers' shoes.
Our young Mr. Smith, who was finding it difficult to earn his daily bread, remembered that once upon a time he had learned the art of making tacks and had the sudden idea of making a bargain with the shoemakers. He told them that he would make the tacks if they would help to get him settled in his workshop. The shoemakers were only too glad of the offer. And after a while, Mr. Smith found that he was soon making the finest tacks in the village.
"How funny it seems," he used to say, "even making tacks can bring a fortune. My trade is more useful to me than were all my former riches."
Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s longest-serving and only woman prime minister, has died aged 87 after suffering a stroke, prompting a flood of tributes from across the globe.
Leaders lined up to pay their respects to the former prime minister, who revolutionised the UK economy during an 11-year tenure, as she rolled back the state and put in place some of the country’s most radical and controversial reforms.
David Cameron, UK prime minister, described the former Conservative prime minister as the “greatest peacetime prime minister”.
“[She] took a country that was on its knees and made Britain stand tall again. We can’t deny that Lady Thatcher divided opinion. For many of us, she was and is an inspiration. For others she was a force to be defined against.
“But if there is one thing that cuts through all of this – one thing that runs through everything she did – it was her lion-hearted love for this country,” he said.
President Barack Obama said: “The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.”
The prime minister’s office announced that parliament would be recalled for a special session on Wednesday to pay tribute to Thatcher. Her funeral will be held at the end of next week at St Paul’s Cathedral.
英国首相办公室宣布，周三议会将召开一次特别会议，向撒切尔致哀。她的葬礼将于下周末在伦敦圣保罗大教堂(St Paul's Cathedral)举行。
She will have a “full ceremonial funeral” with military honours as was afforded to the Queen Mother and Lady Diana. The British flag flew at half mast over Parliament to honour Thatcher as all UK political parties suspended campaigning for the local elections on May 2.
Thatcher, who transformed Britain with her free-market revolution, had been in poor health since suffering minor strokes in 2002.
Statesmen past and present shared their memories of the woman dubbed the “Iron Lady”. Tony Blair, the second longest-serving postwar prime minister, called her “a towering political figure”. “Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader. Her global impact was vast.”
George W. Bush, former US president, described her as a “great ally” who “strengthened the special relationship”.
美国前总统小布什(George W. Bush)称撒切尔为一位“强化了美英特殊关系的伟大盟友”。
Thatcher had a particularly close relationship with Ronald Reagan, the former US president.
With Reagan, she helped bring about the end of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The British prime minister saw herself as the perfect intermediary between the two countries, having struck up constructive relationships with both Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president, and a man with whom she told Reagan “we can do business”.
Mr Gorbachev said Thatcher helped end the Cold War: “Thatcher was a politician whose word carried great weight,” he said in a statement on his website. “Our first meeting in 1984 marked the beginning of a relationship that was at times difficult, not always smooth, but was treated seriously and responsibly by both sides.”
Lech Walesa, Poland’s former president and anti-communist freedom figure, said Thatcher was key in hastening the fall of the Iron Curtain: “She was a great person. She did a great deal for the world, along with Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Solidarity, she contributed to the demise of communism in Poland and central Europe.”
波兰前总统、反对共产主义的自由派人士列赫?瓦文萨(Lech Walesa)表示，撒切尔在加速“铁幕”(Iron Curtain)倒塌的过程中发挥了关键的作用：“她是一位伟人。她为世界做出了巨大的贡献，她与罗纳德?里根、教皇约翰?保罗二世(Pope John Paul II)和波兰团结工会(Solidarity)一起，推动了波兰与中欧共产主义政权的终结。”
Her other great success abroad was in the Falklands War against Argentina, which invaded the islands in 1982. Thatcher defied resistance in her own cabinet to send a 25,000-strong task force to the tiny archipelago, which troops eventually recaptured after two months.
Her legacy was just as long-lasting at home. A succession of prime ministers, Labour and Conservative alike, have felt unable or unwilling to depart from the blueprint she established of a state serviced by privatised utilities and free of the stranglehold of organised unions.
In Africa, when the antelope wakes up every morning, the first thing that comes to his mind is“, I must be able to run faster than the fastest lion, or I will be killed by a lion.” And at just the same time, the lion wakes out of his dream, and the first thing flashing into his mind is, “I must be able to catch up with the slowest antelope; otherwise I will starve to death.” So,almost at the same moment both the antelope and the lion jump to their feet, and start running toward the rising sun.
Such is life — whether you are an antelope or a lion, you ought to dash forward without hesitation when the sun rises.