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新概念英语第四册(含lrc文本) Lesson 9 Royal espionage

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Lesson 9
Royal espionage
王室谍报活动

First listen and then answer the following question.
听录音,然后回答以下问题。
What important thing did King Alfred learn when he penetrated the Danish camp of Guthrum?
Alfred the Great acted 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. There 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
episode
n. 一个事件,片断
epic
n. 史诗
harry
v. 骚扰
assail
v. 袭击
skirmish
n. 小规模战斗

阿尔弗雷德大帝曾亲自充当间谍。他扮作吟游歌手到丹麦军队的营地里侦察。当时,浪迹天涯的吟游歌手到处受欢迎,他们不是作战人员,竖琴就是他们的通行证。阿尔弗德年轻时学过许多民歌,并能穿插演一些杂技和小魔术使自己的节目多样化。 阿尔弗雷德人数不多的军队开始在阿塞尔纳慢慢集结时,他亲自潜入丹麦入侵司令官古瑟罗姆的营地。丹麦军已在切本哈姆扎下营准备过冬,阿尔弗雷便来到此地。他马上发现丹麦军纪律松弛,他们以征服者自居,安全措施马马虎虎。他们靠掠夺附近的地区的财物过着舒适的生活。他们不仅搜刮吃的喝的,而且抢掠妇女,安逸的生活已使丹麦军队变得软弱无力。 阿尔弗雷德在敌营呆了一个星期后,回到了阿塞尔纳。他集结在那里的军队和丹麦大军相比是微不足道的,然而,阿尔弗雷德断定,丹麦人已不再适应持久的战争,他们的军需供应处于无组织状态,只是靠临时抢夺来维持。 因此,面对丹麦人的进攻,阿尔弗雷德没有贸然同敌人作战,而是采用骚扰敌人的战术。他的部队不停地移动,牵着敌人的鼻子,让他们跟着跑。他派出巡逻队阻止敌人抢劫,因而饥饿威胁着丹麦军队。这时,阿尔弗雷德发起一连串小规模的进攻,结果不出一个月,丹麦人就投降了。这一幕历史可以说是王室谍报活动中最精彩的篇章。

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