新编英语教程第三册Unit11

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Unit 11

TEXT I

Shaka — King of the Zulus

Text

Shaka's military career started at about the same time as Napoleon's came to an end at Waterloo. Neither man had ever heard of the other, yet they had a surprising amount in common, particularly in their genius for war and politics. Had Shaka been born in Europe he too might well have altered the course of world affairs. As it was, he built the Zulu nation. And he would have destroyed it had it not been for the courage of a minor chieftain, Gala.
When he was still only twenty-nine, Shaka seized the throne of the Zulus. It took him very little time to turn the Zulu people into a first-class fighting race because he was absolutely ruthless, never moving without an escort of "slayers", whose job it was to kill anyone who displeased him in any way. If his warriors could not run 50 miles a day, they died; if they were unable to dance barefoot on a carpet of jungle thorns, they died; if they showed anything less than suicidal courage in battle, they would be unhesitatingly murdered by the slayers. Shaka was inhuman, perhaps, but he built up a formidable army in a very short time.
Shaka had already increased his kingdom from 100 square miles to 100,000 when personal tragedy struck: his mother, Nandi, died. Nandi was the one person for whom Shaka felt deep affection, and on her death something seemed to snap in his mind. What followed was unbelievable, but it was recorded by an Englishman named Flynn who was in the area at the time.
Nandi was buried, and 12,000 warriors were ordered to guard her grave for a year. Then Shaka sent his impis or regiments to scour the countryside and punish all those who had failed to be present at the funeral. Only after this had been done did he announce his orders for mourning: no crops were to be planted the following year; no milk was to be used — it was to be drawn from the cow and poured on to the earth and all women who were found with child during the following year were to be put to death with their husbands. As the staple diet of the Zulus consisted of grain and milk products, this order was little less than a sentence of national starvation.
Shaka now developed a brooding and bitter spirit: "I have conquered the world but lost my mother," he would cry, "and all taste has gone out of my life."
After two months of intensive mourning over Nandi's death, the country was in a desperate state. The fields were overgrown with weeds and one of the staple diets, namely milk, was no longer on the food list. Total ruin now faced the Zulu nation, and it was obvious that those who had not been killed by Shaka would certainly starve to death.
Finally, one of Shaka's warriors, Gala, determined to end the tyranny. "It is enough," he told his family. "Someone must tell the Great Elephant. I shall do it. " Gala's family stared at him in horror: to challenge the King's wishes at such a moment was to ask for instant death. But Gala took his warrior's stick and went to Bulawayo to see Shaka. When he reached the right distance from the royal enclosure he shouted: "O King, you have destroyed your country. What will you reign over? Will you create a new race? Shall we all die because your mother died? You have destroyed the country. Your country will be inhabited by other kings, for your people will die of hunger. As for me, O King, I say you are dead yourself through this mother of yours. Stuff a stone into your stomach. This is not the first time anyone has died in Zululand!"
Stuff a stone into your stomach! This was the Zulu way of saying: "pull yourself together". There was a gasp of horror from the onlookers, and the slayers took a grip on their clubs. That a man should dare to speak to the King in such a way was unthinkable, and Gala's life seemed to be measured in seconds. But Shaka turned to his Councillors and said: "What use are you to me? You never dared, like Gala, to tell me to stuff a stone in my stomach. Now let all men know that crops are to be planted as usual and that milk may be drunk again. And as for you," said Shaka, turning to Gala, "you shall have a mighty gift of many cattle."
From an article in Look and Learn

TEXT II

The Stamping of the Thorns

Shaka's particular genius lay in his great personal attention to detail and in his capacity for hard work. If at all possible, he always insisted on inspecting everything himself, and he invariably checked all reports by getting evidence from as many sources as possible. He was a firm believer in the saying: "It is the master's eye which makes the cow grow fat."
Two months after becoming king, Shaka called all his "regiments" together. His combined fighting forces totalled only about 500 men. He told them of the virtues of the short, heavy stabbing spear or assegai which he himself had designed to replace the light throwing one used in the past by the Zulu fighters. As he expected, the younger soldiers took up the new assegai with enthusiasm, soon to be followed by the older men.
Next Shaka ordered all his regiments to throw away their sandals. There was considerable protest at this, especially from the older groups, but he pointed to his own bare feet and even ran a race to prove that he was faster than any of his men wearing sandals.
A month later, Shaka noticed that there was still a lot of dissatisfaction and grumbling about his order that sandals should no longer be worn. So, he told one of his regiments to collect many basketfuls of the sharp "devil thorns". These thorns have three spikes, one of which always points upwards when they lie on the ground.
When enough of these thorns had been collected, Shaka ordered them to be spread over the parade ground. All his regiments were then ordered to parade a little to the side of the ground covered with thorns. Shaka then addressed them: "It has come to my ears," he said, "that some of you have soft feet, and this has made me very sad. So I have decided to help you harden them!"
Shaka then ordered his men to stamp the thorns into the ground with their bare feet. Anyone who hesitated or did not stamp hard enough was to be killed at once by his "slayers".
The regiments gritted their teeth and, led by Shaka himself, spread over the parade ground. Shaka turned to face them and the stamping began. Shaka's feet, however, were horny and impervious. He felt nothing; but his eagle eye at once picked out those who were hesitant. These men were told to stand forward and were then clubbed to death by the slayers. And so he went on, searching up and down the lines, but after half a dozen examples had been made all the soldiers stamped as hard as they could.
When Shaka was satisfied that the thorns had been stamped out of sight he told his men they could go. That evening they were given a great feast at which they could eat and drink as much as they liked.
From Shaka Zulu by E. A. Ritter
Unit 11 TEXT I Shaka — King of the Zulus Text Shaka's military career started at about the same time as Napoleon's came to an end at Waterloo. Neither man had ever heard of the other, yet they had a surprising amount in common, particularly in their genius for war and politics. Had Shaka been born in Europe he too might well have altered the course of world affairs. As it was, he built the Zulu nation. And he would have destroyed it had it not been for the courage of a minor chieftain, Gala. When he was still only twenty-nine, Shaka seized the throne of the Zulus. It took him very little time to turn the Zulu people into a first-class fighting race because he was absolutely ruthless, never moving without an escort of "slayers", whose job it was to kill anyone who displeased him in any way. If his warriors could not run 50 miles a day, they died; if they were unable to dance barefoot on a carpet of jungle thorns, they died; if they showed anything less than suicidal courage in battle, they would be unhesitatingly murdered by the slayers. Shaka was inhuman, perhaps, but he built up a formidable army in a very short time. Shaka had already increased his kingdom from 100 square miles to 100,000 when personal tragedy struck: his mother, Nandi, died. Nandi was the one person for whom Shaka felt deep affection, and on her death something seemed to snap in his mind. What followed was unbelievable, but it was recorded by an Englishman named Flynn who was in the area at the time. Nandi was buried, and 12,000 warriors were ordered to guard her grave for a year. Then Shaka sent his impis or regiments to scour the countryside and punish all those who had failed to be present at the funeral. Only after this had been done did he announce his orders for mourning: no crops were to be planted the following year; no milk was to be used — it was to be drawn from the cow and poured on to the earth and all women who were found with child during the following year were to be put to death with their husbands. As the staple diet of the Zulus consisted of grain and milk products, this order was little less than a sentence of national starvation. Shaka now developed a brooding and bitter spirit: "I have conquered the world but lost my mother," he would cry, "and all taste has gone out of my life." After two months of intensive mourning over Nandi's death, the country was in a desperate state. The fields were overgrown with weeds and one of the staple diets, namely milk, was no longer on the food list. Total ruin now faced the Zulu nation, and it was obvious that those who had not been killed by Shaka would certainly starve to death. Finally, one of Shaka's warriors, Gala, determined to end the tyranny. "It is enough," he told his family. "Someone must tell the Great Elephant. I shall do it. " Gala's family stared at him in horror: to challenge the King's wishes at such a moment was to ask for instant death. But Gala took his warrior's stick and went to Bulawayo to see Shaka. When he reached the right distance from the royal enclosure he shouted: "O King, you have destroyed your country. What will you reign over? Will you create a new race? Shall we all die because your mother died? You have destroyed the country. Your country will be inhabited by other kings, for your people will die of hunger. As for me, O King, I say you are dead yourself through this mother of yours. Stuff a stone into your stomach. This is not the first time anyone has died in Zululand!" Stuff a stone into your stomach! This was the Zulu way of saying: "pull yourself together". There was a gasp of horror from the onlookers, and the slayers took a grip on their clubs. That a man should dare to speak to the King in such a way was unthinkable, and Gala's life seemed to be measured in seconds. But Shaka turned to his Councillors and said: "What use are you to me? You never dared, like Gala, to tell me to stuff a stone in my stomach. Now let all men know that crops are to be planted as usual and that milk may be drunk again. And as for you," said Shaka, turning to Gala, "you shall have a mighty gift of many cattle." From an article in Look and Learn TEXT II The Stamping of the Thorns Shaka's particular genius lay in his great personal attention to detail and in his capacity for hard work. If at all possible, he always insisted on inspecting everything himself, and he invariably checked all reports by getting evidence from as many sources as possible. He was a firm believer in the saying: "It is the master's eye which makes the cow grow fat." Two months after becoming king, Shaka called all his "regiments" together. His combined fighting forces totalled only about 500 men. He told them of the virtues of the short, heavy stabbing spear or assegai which he himself had designed to replace the light throwing one used in the past by the Zulu fighters. As he expected, the younger soldiers took up the new assegai with enthusiasm, soon to be followed by the older men. Next Shaka ordered all his regiments to throw away their sandals. There was considerable protest at this, especially from the older groups, but he pointed to his own bare feet and even ran a race to prove that he was faster than any of his men wearing sandals. A month later, Shaka noticed that there was still a lot of dissatisfaction and grumbling about his order that sandals should no longer be worn. So, he told one of his regiments to collect many basketfuls of the sharp "devil thorns". These thorns have three spikes, one of which always points upwards when they lie on the ground. When enough of these thorns had been collected, Shaka ordered them to be spread over the parade ground. All his regiments were then ordered to parade a little to the side of the ground covered with thorns. Shaka then addressed them: "It has come to my ears," he said, "that some of you have soft feet, and this has made me very sad. So I have decided to help you harden them!" Shaka then ordered his men to stamp the thorns into the ground with their bare feet. Anyone who hesitated or did not stamp hard enough was to be killed at once by his "slayers". The regiments gritted their teeth and, led by Shaka himself, spread over the parade ground. Shaka turned to face them and the stamping began. Shaka's feet, however, were horny and impervious. He felt nothing; but his eagle eye at once picked out those who were hesitant. These men were told to stand forward and were then clubbed to death by the slayers. And so he went on, searching up and down the lines, but after half a dozen examples had been made all the soldiers stamped as hard as they could. When Shaka was satisfied that the thorns had been stamped out of sight he told his men they could go. That evening they were given a great feast at which they could eat and drink as much as they liked. From Shaka Zulu by E. A. Ritter
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