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新概念三 Lesson 14 A noble gangster 贵族歹徒 There was a time when the owners of shops and businesses in Chicago had to pay large sums of money to gangsters in return for 'protection.' If the money was not paid promptly, the gangsters would quickly put a man out of business by destroying his shop. Obtaining 'protection money' is not a modern crime. As long ago as the fourteenth century, an Englishman, Sir John Hawkwood, made the remarkable discovery that people would rather pay large sums of money than have their life work destroyed by gangsters. Six hundred years ago, Sir Johan Hawkwood arrived in Italy with a band of soldiers and settled near Florence. He soon made a name for himself and came to be known to the Italians as Giovanni Acuto. Whenever the Italian city-states were at war with each other, Hawkwood used to hire his soldiers to princes who were willing to pay the high price he demanded. In times of peace, when business was bad, Hawkwood and his men would march into a city-state and, after burning down a few farms, would offer to go away if protection money was paid to them. Hawkwood made large sums of money in this way. In spite of this, the Italians regarded him as a sort of hero. When he died at the age of eighty, the Florentines gave him a state funeral and had a pictured painted which was dedicated to the memory of 'the most valiant soldier and most notable leader, Signor Giovanni Haukodue.'
曾经有一个时期,芝加哥的店主和商行的老板们不得不拿出大笔的钱给歹徒以换取"保护"。 如果交款不及时,歹徒们就会很快捣毁他的商 店,让他破产.榨取"保护金"并不是一种现代的罪恶行径.早在 14 世纪,英国人约翰.霍克伍德就有过非凡的发现:"人们情愿拿出大笔的钱,也不 愿毕生的心血毁于歹徒之手. 600 年前,约翰.霍克伍德爵士带着一队士兵来到意大利,在佛罗伦萨附近驻扎下来,很快就出了名.意大利人叫他乔凡尼.阿库托.每次意大 利各城邦之间发生战争,霍克伍德把他的士兵雇佣给愿给他出高价的君主。 和平时期,当生意萧条时,霍克伍德便带领士兵进入某个城邦,纵火 烧毁一两个农场,然后提出,如向他们缴纳保护金,他们便主动撤离。霍克伍德用这种方法挣了大笔钱.尽管如此,意大利人还是把他视作某种 英雄。他 80 岁那年死去时,佛罗伦萨人为他举行了国葬,并为他画像以纪念这位"骁勇无比的战士、杰出的领袖乔凡尼.阿库托先生."
Lesson 17 The longest suspension bridge in the world 世界上最长的吊桥 Verrazano, an Italian about whom little is known, sailed into New York Harbour in 1524 and named it Angouleme. He described it as 'a very agreeable situation located within two small hills in the midst of which flowed a great river.' Though Verrazano is by no means considered to be a great explorer, his name will probably remain immortal, for on November 21st, 1964, the longest suspension bridge in the world was named after him. The Verrazano Bridge, which was designed by Othmar Ammann, joins Brooklyn to Staten Island. It has a span of 4,260 feet. The bridge is so long that the shape of the earth had to be taken into account by its designer. Two great towers support four huge cables. The towers are built on immense underwater platforms made of steel and
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concrete. The platforms extend to a depth of over 100 feet under the sea. These alone took sixteen months to build. Above the surface of the water, the towers rise to a height of nearly 700 feet. They support the cables from which the bridge has been suspended. Each of the four cables contains 26,108 lengths of wire. It has been estimated that if the bridge were packed with cars, it would still only be carrying a third of its total capacity. However, size and strength are not the only important things about this bridge. Despite its immensity, it is both simple and elegant, fulfilling its designer's dream to create 'an enormous object drawn as faintly as possible'.
1524 年,一位鲜为人知的意大利人维拉萨诺驾船驶进纽约港,并将该港名为安古拉姆。他对该港作了这样的描述:“地理位置十分适 宜,位于两座小山的中间,一条大河从中间流过”。虽然维拉萨诺绝对算不上一个伟大的探险家,但他的名字将流芳百世,因为 1964 年 11 月 21 日建成的一座世界上最长的吊桥是以他的名字命名。 维拉萨诺大桥由奥斯马.阿曼设计,连结着布鲁克林与斯塔顿岛,桥长 4,260 英尺。由于桥身太长,设计者不得不考虑了地表的形状。 两座巨塔支撑着 4 根粗大的钢缆。塔身建在巨大的水下钢盘混凝土平台上。平台深入海底 100 英尺。仅这两座塔就花了 16 个月才建成。 塔身高出水面将近 700 英尺。高塔支撑着钢缆,而钢缆又悬吊着大桥,4 根钢缆中的每根由
  26,108 股钢绳组成。据估计,若桥上摆满了 汽车,也只不过是桥的总承载力的 1/
  3。然而,这座桥重要特点不仅是它的规模与强度。尽管此桥很大,但它的结构简单,造型优美,实 现了设计者企图创造一个“尽量用细线条勾画出一个庞然大物”的梦想。
丹尼尔. Lesson 21 Daniel Mendoza 丹尼尔.门多萨 Boxing matches were very popular in England two hundred years ago. In those days, boxers fought with bare fists for prize money. Because of this, they were known as 'prize-fighters'. However, boxing was very crude, for there were no rules and a prize-fighter could be seriously injured or even killed during a match. One of the most colourful figures in boxing history was Daniel Mendoza, who was born in 17
  64. The use of gloves was not introduced until 1860, when the Marquis of Queensberry drew up the first set of rules. Though he was technically a prize-fighter, Mendoza did much to change crude prize-fighting into a sport, for he brought science to the game. In his day, Mendoza enjoyed tremendous popularity. He was adored by rich and poor alike. Mendoza rose to fame swiftly after a boxing-match when he was only fourteen years old. This attracted the attention of Richard Humphries who was then the most eminent boxer in England. He offered to train Mendoza and his young pupil was quick to learn. In fact, Mendoza soon became so successful that Humphries turned against him. The two men quarrelled bitterly and it was clear that the argument could only be settled by a fight. A match was held at Stilton, where both men fought for an hour. The public bet a great deal of money on Mendoza, but he was defeated. Mendoza met Humphries in the ring on a later occasion and he lost for a second time. It was not until his third match in 1790 that he finally beat Humphries and became Champion of England. Meanwhile, he founded a highly successful Academy and even Lord Byron became one of his pupils. He earned enormous sums of money and was paid as much as 100 pounds for a single appearance. Despite this, he was so extravagant that he was always in debt. After he was defeated by a boxer called Gentleman Jackson, he was quickly forgotten. He was sent to prison for failing to pay his debts and died in poverty in 18
  36.
两百年前,拳击比赛在英国非常盛行。当时,拳击手们不戴手套,为争夺奖金而搏斗。因此,他们被称作“职业拳击手”。不过,拳击 是十分野蛮的,因为当时没有任何比赛规则,职业拳击手有可能在比赛中受重伤,甚至丧命。 拳击史上最引人注目的人物之一是丹尼尔.门多萨,他生于 1764 年。1860 年昆斯伯里侯爵第一次为拳击比赛制定了规则,拳击比赛 这才用上了手套。虽然门多萨严格来讲不过是个职业拳击手,但在把这种粗野的拳击变成一种体育运动方面,他作出了重大贡献。是他把 科学引进了这项运动。门多萨在他的全盛时期深受大家欢迎,无论是富人还是穷人都对他祟拜备至。 门多萨在 14 岁时参加一场拳击赛后一举成名。这引起当时英国拳坛名将理查德.汉弗莱斯的注意。他主动提出教授门多萨,而年少的 门多萨一学就会。事实上,门多萨不久便名声大振,致使汉弗莱斯与他反目为敌。两个人争吵不休,显而易见,只有较量一番才能解决问 题。于是两人在斯蒂尔顿设下赛场,厮打了一个小时。公众把大笔赌注下到了门多萨身上,但他却输了。后来,门多萨与汉弗莱斯再次在 拳击场上较量,门多萨又输了一场。直到 1790 年他们第 3 次对垒,门多萨才终于击败汉弗莱斯,成了全英拳击冠军。同时,他建立了一 所拳击学校,办得很成功,连拜伦勋爵也成了他的学生。门多萨挣来大笔大笔的钱,一次出场费就多可达 100 英镑。尽管收入不少,但他 挥霍无度,经常债台高筑。他被一个叫杰克逊绅士的拳击手击败后很快被遗忘。他因无力还债而被捕入狱,最后于 1836 年在贫困中死去。
家丑” Lesson 24 A skeleton in the cupboard “家丑 家丑 We often read in novels how a seemingly respectable person or family has some terrible secret which has been concealed from strangers for years. The English language possesses a vivid saying to describe this sort of situation. The terrible secret is called ‘a skeleton in the cupboard’. At some dramatic moment in the story, the a terrible secret becomes known and a reputation is ruined. The reader's hair stands on end when he reads in the final pages of the novel that the heroine, a dear old lady who had always been so kind to everybody, had, in her youth, poisoned every one of her five husbands. It is all very well for such things to occur in fiction. To varying degrees, we all have secrets which we do not want even our closest friends to learn, but few of us have skeletons in the cupboard. The only person I know who has a skeleton in the cupboard is George Carlton, and he is very proud of the fact. George studied medicine in his youth.
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Instead of becoming a doctor, however, he became a successful writer of detective stories. I once spent an uncomfortable weekend which I shall never forget at his house. George showed me to the guest-room which, he said, was rarely used. He told me to unpack my things and then come down to dinner. After I had stacked my shirts and underclothes in two empty drawers, I decided to hang one of the two suits I had brought with me in the cupboard. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of it petrified. A skeleton was dangling before my eyes. The sudden movement of the door made it sway slightly and it gave me the impression that it was about to leap out at me. Dropping my suit, I dashed downstairs to tell George. This was worse than ‘a terrible secret’; this was a real skeleton! But George was unsympathetic. ‘Oh, that,’ he said with a smile as if he were talking about an old friend. ‘That's Sebastian. You forget that I was a medical student once upon a time. ’
在小说中,我们经常读到一个表面上受人尊重的人物或家族,却有着某种多年不为人所知的骇人听闻的秘密。英语中有一个生动的说 法来形容这种情况。惊人的秘密被称作“柜中骷髅”。在小说的某个戏剧性时刻,可怕的秘密泄漏出来,接着便是某人的声誉扫地。当读者 读到小说最后几页了解到书中女主人公,那位一向待大家很好的可爱的老妇人年轻时一连毒死了她的 5 个丈夫时,不禁会毛骨悚然。 这种事发生在小说中是无可非议的。尽管我们人人都有各种大小秘
 

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