Урок 22. Текст.


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The facts that we know with absolute certainty about William Shakespeare can be given in a few paragraphs. It is not strange that we know so little about one of the greatest men that the world has produced. His age was not one of biographical writing. Newspapers and magazines did not exist. Encyclopaedias, dictionaries of names and volumes of Who Is Who (1) had not been heard of. Few letters were written and less were kept. Yet we know about Shakespeare as much as (2) we do about most of the writers of his time, and even of many who lived much later.

The playwright's fathers, John Shakespeare, moved to Stratford-on-Avon (3) about 1550 and became a dealer in corn, meat, wool and leather. He probably dealt besides in all things that farmers about the village produced. He seems to have been a good man of business (4), though he could not write. His wife, the writer's mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a rich farmer in the village of Wilmcote. He gave his daughter a house, with some land and a good sum of money.

John Shakespeare and his wife were living in a house in Hanley Street when their children were born. It was a house two stories high (5) with small windows cut in the roof. In general appearance it remains much the same as it looked in 1556. Simple and ordinary-looking, it is still the most famous house in England and one of the most famous in the world.

Men and women from all parts of the earth have visited Stratford to see it. Stones and poems have been written about it. For here, in a small room on the second floor, William Shakespeare was born.

How little we know of Shakespeare, compared with poets of the 19th century, is shown by the fact that we are not certain of the exact date on which the greatest of all poets was born But most probably he was born on April 23, 1564 He died also on this date, April 23, in 1616.

Of the poet's early years we know next to nothing (6) It is a mistake, however, to think that he had no education There was in Stratford a free Grammar School (7) to which the boy was sent Here he studied mainly Latin, for education then in England consisted almost entirely of classics.

His friend of later years, Ben Johnson (8). said that Shakespeare had "small Latin and less Greek", but that is not quite true. We cannot compare his knowledge with that of Johnson, who was educated in a college, but the Bible thoroughly. It is clear, too, that by nature he was a boy of remarkable power of observation (9). He was educated more by people and the world of Nature about him than by books and formal teaching.

Shakespeare left the Grammar School when he was thirteen years old and never went to school again. About this time his father's money difficulties began. Another pair of hands was needed at home and William was the oldest son. Just what he did (10), however, between his fourteenth and eighteenth years we cannot say. Probably he helped his father in his business. We know nothing about his work, his reading and the events that were developing his mind during those five years, but we must remember that he was just a boy living in a small town before the age of newspapers, far from people of education and culture During this period as little is know of him as of Cromwell (11) during the same period; as little, but no less.

When William was only eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway [ˈhætəweɪ] the daughter of a farmer from a village not far from Stafford. Anne was nine years older than William and the marriage was not happy. On May 26, 1583 their daughter Susanna [suzˈænə] was born. Two years later, two sons were born to Shakespeare, and soon after the young husband and father left his native town for London.

(to be continued)


(1) Who is Who - название справочника с именами, адресами и краткими биографическими данными о лицах, занимающих более или менее видное положение. (Буквально: Кто есть кто).

(2) as much as - здесь значит столько же

(3) Startford-on-Avon ['strætfəd ɔn 'eivən] - город в Англии, родина Шекспира

(4) man of business - деловой человек, делец

(5) two stories high - высотой в два этажа

(6) next to nothing - почти ничего

(7) a free Grammar School - историческое название средней школы с преподаванием классических языков. Здесь значит бесплатный (при основном значении свободный).

(8) Ben Jonson - Бен Джонсон (1573-1637), английский драматург, современник Шекспира

(9) power of observation - наблюдательность

(10) just what he did - что именно он делал

(11) Cromwell ['krɔmwel] - Оливер Кромвель (1599-1658), крупнейший деятель английской буржуазной революции XVII века.

Анализ слов

Основной анализ слов к этому уроку сделайте сами. Отмечаем лишь те слова, где сходство с уже известными вам словами не бросается в глаза.

To consist сравните со словом консистенция.

Слова school и школа восходят к одному корню, который мы видим также в слове схоластика.

Существительное playwright драматург образовалось путем словосложения. Play значит пьеса, иногда игра; глагол to play значит играть Второй элемент этого слова (wright) значит мастер.

Запомните, что magazine значит журнал. Это одно из тех сравнительно немногих слов, где сходство с русским словом может ввести в заблуждение.

Существительное mind употребляется как в философском смысле mind and matter дух и материя, так и в бытовом: body and mind тело и душа. В сочетаниях оно может значить память: to keep in mind помнить, иметь в виду, то же значение имеет to bear in mind. Глагол to mind значит заботиться, смотреть за кем-либо, например: to mind the children. Min your own business значит: Не вмешивайтесь в чужие дела (буквально: заботьтесь о своих делах). В вопросительных и отрицательных предложениях to mind значит иметь что-либо против, возражать и часто сочетается с герундием: Do you mind my smoking? Вы не возражаете, если я закурю?

Пояснения требуют также слова few, a few; little, a little. Слова few и little переводится мало. Различие между ними заключается в том, что few употребляется с названиями предметов, которые можно сосчитать, в то время как little - с названиями веществ или понятий. Например, few books (pens, ships, engineers) мало книг (ручек, кораблей, инженеров), little water (time, energy, attention) мало воды (времени, энергии, внимания). Различие между few и little аналогично различию между much и many, о которых мы упоминали в уроке 8 (раздел о вопросительных словах).

Слова few, little в сочетании с артиклем а приобретают значение немного, некоторое количество. Это новое значение очень важно учитывать в переводе. Сравните:

We have few good pictures. У нас мало хороших картин.
We have a few good pictures. У нас есть несколько хороших картин.
Не has little money. У него мало денег.
Не had a little money. У него было немного денег.
Не had a little French. Я мало (плохо) говорю по-французски.
I speak French a little. Я немного говорю по-французски.

Вы видите, что few, little имеют отрицательный оттенок, тогда как а few, a little - положительный.

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