My mother's relations were very different from the Mitfords. Her brother, Uncle Geoff, who often came to stay at Swimbrook, was a small spare man with th oughtful blue eyes and a rather silent manner. Compared to Uncle Tommy, he was a n intellectual of the highest order, and indeed his satirical pen belied his mild demeanor. He spent most of his waking hours composing letters to The Times and other publications in which he outlined his own particular theory of the develo pment of English history. In Uncle Geoff's view, the greatness of England had r isen and waned over the centuries in direct proportion to the use of natural man ure in fertilizing the soil. The Black Death of 1348 was caused by gradual loss of the humus fertility found under forest trees. The rise of the Elizabethans two centuries later was attributable to the widespread use of sheep manure.
Many of Uncle Geoff's letters-to-the-editor have fortunately been preserv ed in a privately printed volume called Writings of a Rebel. Of the collection, one letter best sums up his views on the relationship between manure and freedom. He wrote:
Collating old records shows that our greatness rises and falls with the li ving fertility of our soil. And now, many years of exhausted and chemically murd ered soil, and of devitalized food from it, has softened our bodies and still wo rse, softened our national character. It is an actual fact that character is lar gely a product of the soil. Many years of murdered food from deadened soil has made us too tame. Chemicals have had their poisonous day. It is now the worm's t urn to reform the manhood of England. The only way to regain our punch, our char acter, our lost virtues, and with them the freedom natural to islanders, is to compost our land so as to allow moulds, bacteria and earthworms to remake living soil to nourish Englishmen's bodies and spirits.
The law requiring pasteurization of milk in England was a particular target of Uncle Geoff's. Fond of alliteration, he dubbed it "Murdered Milk Measure", and established the Liberty Restoration League, with headquarters at his house in London, for the specific purpose of organizing a counteroffensive. "Freedom not Doctordom" was the League's proud slogan. A subsidiary, but nevertheless imp or tant, activity of the League was advocacy of a return to the "unsplit, slowly smoked fish" and bread made with "English stone-ground flour, yeast, milk, sea s alt and raw cane-sugar."
19. According to Uncle Geoff, national strength could only be regained by ___.
A. reforming the manhood of England
B. using natural manure as fertilizer
C. eating more bacteria-free food
D. granting more freedom to Englishmen
20. The tone of the passage can most probably be described as___.
A. facetious B. serious C. nostal gic D. factual
【詳細解答】 Geoff舅舅在寫給報社的信中提到"The only way to regain our punch, our character, our lost virtues, and with them the freedom natural to islanders, is to compost our land so as to allow moulds, bacteria and earthworms to remake liv ing soil to nourish Englishmen's bodies and spirits."由此可知，Geoff舅舅認為英國的興衰與使用天然肥料是成正比的，故選項B“使用天然肥料”為正確答案。