Albert Einstein was born in Germany in 1879, His father owned a factory that made electrical devices. His mother enjoyed music and books. His parents were Jewish but they did not observe many of the religion’s rules. Albert was a quite child who spent much of his time alone. He was slow to talk and had difficulty learning to read. When Albert was five years old, his father gave him a compass. The child was filled with wonder when he discovered that the compass needle always pointed in the same direction—to be north. He asked his father and his uncle what caused the needle to move. Their answers about magnetism and gravity were difficult for the boy to understand. Yet he spent a lot of time thinking about them. He said later that he felt something hidden had to be behind things.
Useful expressions and words:
1. device 装置，设备
leave to one’s own devices 听任某人自行其是，允许某人按自己的意愿做事
She left the child to her own devices for an hour in the afternoon.
2. compass 指南针
beyond one’s compass某人力所不及
catch/fetch/take a compass兜圈子，绕道，拐弯抹角
keep sth within compass 把某种事物限制在适当的范围内
speak within compass 谨慎小心地说
within sb’s compass 某人力所能及的
within the compass of 在……范围内