An "apple polisher" is one who gives gifts to win friendship or special treatment. It is not exactly a
bribe(贿赂),but is close to it.
All sorts of people are apple polishers, including politicians and people in high offices ? just about
everybody. Oliver Cromwell, the great English leader, offered many gifts to win the support of George
Fox and his party, but failed.
There are other phrases meaning the same thing as "apple-polishing" ?? "soft-soaping" or "butter-up".
A gift is just one way to "soft-soap" somebody, or to "butter him up". Another that is just as effective is
flattery, giving someone high praise ?? telling him how good he looks, or how well he speaks, or how
talented and wise he is.
Endless are the ways of flattery. Who does not love or hear it ? Only an unusual man can resist the
thrill of being told how wonderful he is. In truth, flattery is good medicine for most of us, who gets so
little of it.
We need it to be more sure of ourselves. It cannot hurt unless we get carried away by it. But we just
lap it up for its food value and nourishment, as a cat laps up milk, then we can still remain true to
Sometimes, however, flattery will get you nothing from one who has had too much of it. A good
example is the famous 12th century legend of King Canute of Denmark and England. The king got
tired of listening to the endless sickening flattery of his courtiers(朝臣).They overpraised him to the
skies, as a man of limitless power.
He decided to teach them a lesson. He took them to the seashore and sat down. Then he ordered
the waves to stop coming in. The tide was too busy to listen to him. The king was satisfied. This might
show his followers how weak his power was and how empty their flattery.
1.Which of the following activities has nothing to do with "apple-polishing" ?
A. A boy tells his girlfriend how pretty she looks
B. An employee tells his boss how good he is at management
C. A knight(骑士)is said to be of limitless power by his followers
D. A teacher praised his students for their talent and wisdom.
2.Which of the following statement about flattery is TRUE according to the author ?
A. Too much flattery can carry us away
B. Flattery is too empty to do people any good
C. Flattery can get nothing but excessive(过度的)pride
D. Flattery is one of the ways to apple-polish people.
3. King Canute of Denmark and England took his followers to the seashore because __________.
A. he was sick of his normal
B. he disliked being overpraised any more
C. he wanted them to realize how wise he was
D. he wanted them to see how weak he was as a king
4. The author thinks that flattery can do good to those who _________.
A. are really excellent
B. lack confidence
C. are politicians or in high offices
D. think highly of themselves