【新概念英语四】第9课 Royal espionage 王室谍报活动
First listen and then answer the following question.
What important thing did King Alfred learn when he penetrated the Danish camp of Guthrum?
Alfred the Great acted as his own spy, visiting Danish camps disguised as a minstrel. In those days wandering minstrels were welcome everywhere. They were not fighting men, and their harp was their passport. Alfred had learned many of their ballads in his youth, and could vary his programme with acrobatic tricks and simple conjuring.
While Alfred's little army slowly began to gather at Athelney, the king himself set out to penetrate the camp of Guthrum, the commander of the Danish invaders. These had settled down for the winter at Chippenham: thither Alfred went. He noticed at once that discipline was slack: the Danes had the self-confidence of conquerors, and their security precautions were casual. They lived well, on the proceeds of raids on neighbouring regions. There they collected women as well as food and drink, and a life of ease had made them soft.
Alfred stayed in the camp a week before he returned to Athelney. The force there assembled was trivial compared with the Danish horde. But Alfred had deduced that the Danes were no longer fit for prolonged battle: and that their commissariat had no organization, but depended on irregular raids.
So, faced with the Danish advance, Alfred did not risk open battle but harried the enemy. He was constantly on the move, drawing the Danes after him. His patrols halted the raiding parties: hunger assailed the Danish army. Now Alfred began a long series of skirmishes -- and within a month the Danes had surrendered. The episode could reasonably serve as a unique epic of royal espionage!
BERNARD NEWMAN Spies in Britain
【New words and expressions 生词和短语】
espionage n. 间谍活动
Alfred 公元871-899 年间任英国国王
Danish adj. 丹麦的，丹麦人的，丹麦语的
minstrel n. 中世纪的吟游歌手
wandering adj. 漫游的
harp n. 坚琴
ballad n. 民歌
acrobatic adj. 杂技的
conjuring n. 魔术
Athelney n. 阿塞尔纳（英国一个小岛）
Chippenham n. 切本哈姆（英国一个城市）
thither adv. 向那里
Dane n. 丹麦人
slack adj. 涣散的
conqueror n. 征服者
casual adj. 马虎的，随便的
precaution n. 预防，警惕
proceeds n. 所得
assemble v. 集合
trivial adj. 微不足道的
prolonged adj. 持久的
commissariat n. 军粮供应
harry v. 骚扰
assail v. 袭击
skirmish n. 小规模战斗
episode n. 一个事件，片断
epic n. 史诗
例句：The heavy rain had penetrated right through her coat.
例句：The party has been penetrated by extremists.
例句：I explained the problem to him several times but it didn't seem to penetrate.
2. act as，担任，充当。
If someone or something acts as a particular thing, they have that role or function.
例句：I must find someone to act as a deputy for me during my absence.
3. disguised as，伪装成。
a man disguised as...表示伪装成……的人；
例句：The raiders disguised themselves as security guards.
例句：The supposed beggar was really a police officer in disguise.
4. settle down，安定，驻扎。
When someone settles down, they start living a quiet life in one place, especially when they get married or buy a house.
例句：At 30 we need to settle down to our lives and shed from fantasies.
5. They lived well, on the proceeds of raids，他们的生活舒适，靠袭击（周围地区）掠夺得到的财物为生。
live on=live off，靠……为生。
例句：If you live on a mountain, you live off the mountain; if you live by the water, you live off the water.
6. proceeds n. 收入；
proceed v. 进行下去；
proceedings n. 诉讼，进程。
例句：Proceeds from the concert will go to charity.
例句：Shall we proceed with the planned investment?
例句：The workers decided to take judicial proceedings against the company.
7. be fit for，适宜于……。
例句：He's been ill and isn't fit for work yet.