Урок 24. Текст.


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One of the early settlers in California was a rich German whose name was Sutter. He owned a great deal of farm-land with large fruit-gardens, wide wheat fields, and a fort protected by guns. He had thousands of cows and other cattle, sheep, and horses. At the end of the Mexican War (1848) (1) Mr Sutter wanted to build a saw-mill; so he sent some of his men up a river to begin work. One of the men, while digging, found a few small bits of shining yellow metal. He took them down to the fort, where tests were made to see if the material was gold. It was. Further search showed that there was more of it along the river.

At first Sutter and his men agreed to keep the discovery secret, but soon the news began to spread. The Califomians would not believe it for some time. But one day a man came down from Sutler's Fort to San Francisco [,sænfrən'siskou] with a bottle of gold dust, and shouted, "Gold, gold!" At Once people from all over the territory (2) set out for the mining areas. Workers left their jobs, farmers left their crops standing in the fields, soldiers deserted from the army, and sailors deserted from their ships. They all left their families behind.

Many of these first-comers grew rich (3). They found the places where it was easiest to dig out the gold. Many dug from ten to fifty dollar's worth in a day.

At the end of the year 1848 and the beginning of 1849 news began to reach people farther east that gold had been discovered in California. At first they laughed at such a story. But the story was repeated again and again, and finally men began to listen. Within a few months the news spread all over the East. Men sold their houses to get money enough to go to California. Mexicans, British, French, Germans and from Asia and all over the world; joined in the rush. Most of them set out in the year 1849, and were therefore called Forty-Niners.

The would be miners (4) were chiefly young men. Most of them dressed in red flannel shirts, trousers, wide hats, with guns and knives in their belts. They wore not ordinary shoes, but high boots. They let their hair and beards grow long.

When they reached California, the men immediately hurried to the mines. These were along rivers or on the sides of mountains. The men dug up the gravel from the river banks, put it in a pan, and washed the earth away with water. In the bottom of the pan would remain wet sand and usually some gold dust. When the sand was dry, they blew it away (5): the gold, being heavier, remained. They found it hard to dig all day in the hot sun, often standing waist-deep in the ice-cold water of the mountain rivers.

(to be continued)


(1) Mexican War - война между США и Мексикой, окончившаяся в 1848 г. отторжением от Мексики территории штатов Калифорния, Техас и Нью-Мексико.

(2) from all over the territory - со всех концов территории. Дальше в тексте вы встретите all over the East - по всему востоку Америки и from all over the world - со всех концов света.

(3) first-comers значит people who came first, т.е. первые поселенцы. То grow rich - разбогатеть. Глагол to grow часто значит становиться, хотя его основное значение - расти.

(4) the would be miners - зд. те, кто хотели стать рудокопами. Сочетание would be, стоящее перед существительным, имеет значение мнимый, претендующий, мнящий себя.

(5) to blow away - сдувать, выдувать. Глагол to blow дуть вам встречался в уроке 1.

Анализ слов

В этом уроке много простых, "бытовых" слов, над запоминанием которых придется усиленно поработать.

Среди слов в международными корнями можно назвать в первую очередь fort, flannel, army, metal, German, territory.

Примыкают к ним слова gravel гравий, soldier солдат. Сравните также следующие английские слова а родственными им русскими:

boot сапог со словом бутсы (футбольные)
protect защищать протекция
repeat повторять репетиция
chief главный, глава шеф

Глагол to desert не только узкое значение дезертировать, но и более широкое покидать, с осудительным оттенком. Например: Не deserted his wife and children.

Слово discover обнаруживать распадается на привычные вам элементы: cover покрывать и приставку dis-, придающую словам противоположное значения (урок 23). Further и farther представляют собой формы сравнительной степени от far далеко, далекий, дальнейший. Слова mine, miner, означающие прииск, рудокоп, в других контекстах могут значит мина, минер.

Слово search поиски вам будем легче запомнить, если вы сопоставите его со словом research научное изыскание (урок 20).

Заметьте множественное число слов knife (knives) и sheep.

Глагол to set является одним из самых многозначных в английском языке. Посмотрите его значения в общем англо-русском словаре.

Несколько примеров, иллюстрирующих значение worth: How much is it worth? Сколько это стоит? Don't read this book. It is not worth it. He читайте эту книгу, она того не стоит. This play is worth seeing. Эту пьесу стоит посмотреть. В тексте слово worth имеет значение на сумму.

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