Lesson 9 Royal espionage

from Spies in Britain

9-1. Alfred the Great acted as his own spy, visiting Danish camps disguised as a minstrel.


【讲解】Alfred the Great,阿尔弗雷德大帝,古英国国王,22岁登基,为抵抗入侵的丹麦人,先后与丹麦军交战6年未能取胜,后潜匿于阿森尔尼岛,终于打败丹麦军。visiting Danish camps disguised as a minstrel作方式状语,修饰acted。disguised as a minstrel作方式状语,修饰visiting。


disguise:假扮,化装(to change someone’s appearance so that people cannot recognize them),

She disguised herself as a man with a false beard.

9-2. In those days wandering minstrels were welcome everywhere.


【讲解】wandering minstrels,浪迹四方的吟游歌手。中世纪时期,欧洲云游四方的歌手一般都身带竖琴,自弹自唱,传颂古代的历史传说。


wandering:漫游的;闲逛的;流浪的(one uses wandering to describe a person who moves from place to place and has no permanent home)。

minstrel:(中世纪的)吟游歌手(a singer or musician in the Middle Ages)。

9-3. They were not fighting men, and their harp was their passport.


9-4. Alfred had learned many of their ballads in his youth, and could vary his programme with acrobatic tricks and simple conjuring.




acrobatic:杂技的(acrobatic movements involve moving your body in a very skillful way, for example by jumping through the air or balancing on a rope),另掌握acrobatics(杂技)和acrobat(杂技演员)。

9-5. 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.


【讲解】the king himself指Alfred the Great。Guthrum是入侵英国的丹麦军首领。公元878年5月,被阿尔弗雷德大帝战败,改奉基督教,并认阿尔弗雷德大帝为教父。


penetrate:深入;进入;打入(to succeed in becoming accepted into a group or an organization, sometimes in order to find out their secrets),

penetratethe territory of enemies渗入敌人领土

penetratean enemy organization打入敌人组织


9-6. These had settled down for the winter at Chippenham: thither Alfred went.


【讲解】these指the Danish invaders。


thither:到那儿,向那儿(in that direction),

How the print of a foot came thither, I knew not, nor could in the last imagine.