Урок 18. Текст.


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In North America slavery existed in the southern states until 1865, while in the northern states there was no slavery at that time. Negro slaves who lived in the South often wanted to escape to the North. To do so (1), they had to have conductors. These conductors usually were other slaves, who had escaped.

They organized a system called the Underground Railroad. It was not really a railroad, as the slaves had to walk all the way. It was not even a road, bur a system under which the Negroes were able to escape across the Mason and Dixon line (2) into the free states. There were "stations" on the "underground", often in the homes of white people who were helping the slaves.

In 1850, however, a cruel law was passed (3) under which escaped slaves were to be returned to their former owners.

You will now read ant article about one of these courageous conductors. It is a life story of a remarkable woman called Harriet ['hæriət] Tubman ['tʌbmən].

Harriet Tubman was the most courageous and best conductor on the dangerous Underground Railroad. She never lost a "passenger". As long as the North Star shone, she said she could lead any party of slaves to the northern states.

The Underground Railroad, as you know, was a wonderfully connected secret road by which slaves escaped to freedom. In may places, good friends, both Negro and white, gave them food and money and helped them on their way.

To be a conductor was the most dangerous job of all, because in leading other slaves to freedom the conductors might lose their own lives (4). Harriet Tubman went back nineteen times and led hundreds of people to freedom.

When Harriet was only five years old, she already had to work hard in the fields under the hot sun of the South, and was beaten cruelly, as all the slaves were.

One night she ran away and slowly made her way up North (5). This is now she felt when she reached the Mason and Dixon line: "When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came like gold through the trees, and I felt as if I was in heaven".

Harriet Tubman decided to help as many of her brothers and sisters to freedom (6) as she could. So she worked hard to earn money and every time she had saved up a little, she went back and brought some more slaves out of the South.

Many times she was in great danger and was nearly caught. Once she came face to face with her former owner. She had two chickens in her arms. Quickly she dropped the chickens, and as they ran about, Harriet bent her head and ran after them, as if she wanted to catch them.

The owner could not see her face and she got away safely.

Such a loved leader was Harriet Tubman that she was called "General Tubman".

Harriet Tubman worked all her life to help win full freedom for the Negro people. This small, very courageous woman died at 93 (7). Her name is know all over the world as one of the greatest of American women.


(1) to do so - чтобы сделать это (инфинитив выражает обстоятельство цели)

(2) Mason ['meisn] and Dixon ['diksn] line - "линия Мейсона и Диксона", граница между северными и южными штатами, проходящая по 30°43'19" северной широты. Названа так по имени двух английских астрономов,| определивших эту линию в 1763-1767 гг.

(3) a law was passed - был принят закон (ср. прошел закон). Основное значение to pass - проходить, передавать.

(4) lives [laivz] - множ. число от существительного life жизнь

(5) made her way up North - добралась до севера

(6) to help ... to freedom - помочь получить свободу

(7) at 93 - в 93 года (в возрасте)

Анализ слов

В этом уроке сравнительно немного международных слов и еще меньше таких, где смысл русских и английских слов совпадает полностью. Приближается к ним слово conductor, образованное из conduct проводить, вести и суффикса -or. Но русское слово кондуктор имеет очень ограниченное значение, в то время как conductor - это проводник в широком смысле, в том числе в физике: Iron is a good conductor. Железо - хороший проводник.

Прилагательное safe безопасный вошло в русский язык как сейф. По своему облику слова money, story, brother, sister, cross, to beat имеют нечто общее с русскими словами монета, история, брат, сестра, крест, бить, хотя сходство между beat и бить случайное. Корень cross вы встречали уже в слове across сквозь, через, поперек (урок 15), т.е. крест-накрест, крестообразно. Не мешает вспомнить спортивный термин кросс, а также слово crossword кроссворд, где вам известны оба элемента: cross пересекать, крест и word слово (в кроссворде, как вы знаете, слова расположены крестообразно).

Существительное railroad возникло путем сложения основ rail рельс road дорога. Из урока 5 вы знаете синоним этого слова - railway.

Наречие hard с трудом, тяжело сравните с прилагательным hard твердый, жесткий (урок 10).

По основному значению глагол to love любить совпадает с глаголом to like (урок 8), но последний глагол менее эмоционален и приближается к русскому нравиться. Сравните, например. We love our Motherland Мы любим нашу Родину и I like this story Мне нравится этот рассказ.

Глагол to save спасать связан общим корнем с прилагательным safe безопасный, о котором мы только что говорили. Dangerous и wonderfully образованы с помощью известных вам суффиксов от danger опасность и wonder чудо.

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