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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 高分版》 Unit 13 - TEXT TWO

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2019年02月10日

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Tracy Borman can tell a good story. Admittedly, her subject is a gift. But Henrietta Howard, mistress to George II, lived in the midst of a large cast of characters, many of them entangled in the complicated politics of 18th-century court life, and Ms. Borman handles them and their world with aplomb.
Though the 18th century is called the Age of Reason, it was anything but. Henrietta was born in 1689, a year after the balance of power in Britain shifted from monarch to Parliament. But this did nothing to shift the tyranny of men over women, and Henrietta's life was largely shaped by violent and unreasonable men. When she was eight, her father, the profligate and choleric squire of Blickling Hall in Norfolk, challenged a neighbour to a duel for impugning his valour. He was killed for his pains, leaving a wife, eight children and a pile of debts. Eight years later, perhaps hoping to help her now motherless siblings, Henrietta released her dowry money by marrying a cousin, Charles Howard, 14 years her senior.
It was a disaster. Charles turned out to be a compulsive gambler and wife-beater, and their lives descended into lodging-house flits and near-starvation. Then, aged 25, Henrietta made her own astonishing gamble. In 1714, when Queen Anne lay dying, she took herself and Charles off to Hanover, where George Louis, heir presumptive to the English throne, held court. There she joined throngs of other hopefuls, all jockeying for the notice either of George Louis, or his son, George Augustus, or his daughter-in-law, Caroline.
Henrietta's gamble paid off, though frying pans and fires come to mind. Her appointment as Woman of the Bedchamber to Princess Caroline meant long days of tedious and exacting ceremony, such as holding her mistress's wash basin on bended knee, a point that Caroline spitefully insisted on when Henrietta became her husband's mistress. Not that that was much comfort, either. The man was a boor, and dull with it. In any case, Henrietta never really supplanted Caroline. Being a royal mistress was, in this case, more a post than a romance. But it suited Henrietta in that it protected her from her husband—something the law denied her.
Henrietta was known for her discreet and even temper, but she must also have had sharp elbows. As Ms. Borman vividly shows, the court was a scandal-mongering, fickle place, driven by political factionalism and held at fever pitch by the royal family's own very public quarrels. This was the atmosphere Henrietta breathed. And yet she somehow managed to be liked. Even acid-tongued poet, Alexander Pope, described her as reasonable, good-humoured, witty and, above all, a friend.
Some of Ms. Borman's most engaging writing describes Henrietta's circle of friends—poets, writers and wits such as Lord Chesterfield and Horace Walpole—and the pleasure they all took in the design of her Palladian villa, Marble Hill at Twickenham. When her husband's death made it safe for her to retire, this was where she came: to entertain, to re-marry, to have a home. After a life of winging it, such hard-wrung domesticity feels almost heroic.
1. Tracy Borman is probably _____.
[A] a story teller
[B] a historian
[C] a novelist
[D] an autobiographer
2. According to the passage, 18th century is characterized by _____.
[A] the widespread notion of reason
[B] extensive violence among men
[C] irrationality underneath the overcoat of rationality
[D] the tyranny of men over women
3. The word “supplanted” (Line 5, Paragraph 4) most probably means _____.
[A] hated
[B] displaced
[C] threatened
[D] pleased
4. Henrietta chose to be a royal mistress because _____.
[A] she wanted to have a romance with the royal family member
[B] such a royal post helped her to climb up the social ladder
[C] she wanted to dodge her husband
[D] she could be exempt from Caroline's tedious ceremony
5. Henrietta must have had sharp elbows in order to _____.
[A] maintain good temper when serving the royal family
[B] survive the complicated disputes
[C] have herself accepted by all the people she met
[D] make friends with reasonable people

1. Tracy Borman is probably _____.
[A] a story teller
[B] a historian
[C] a novelist
[D] an autobiographer
1. Tracy Borman可能是 _____。
[A] 讲故事的人
[B] 历史学家
[C] 小说家
[D] 自传作家
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆
分析:推理题。文章第一句说Tracy Borman是个讲故事的好手,由此可以推断出她不是历史学家;而后面提到她对人物的描写,可以推断出她是写小说的。此外,这部书不是关于她自己的,因此她也不是一个自传作家。选项A有一定的干扰性,文章最后一段说Berman女士在描写人物时笔触迷人,由此可以推断她是个作家而不仅是个讲故事的人。因此,正确答案为C。
2. According to the passage, 18th century is characterized by _____.
[A] the widespread notion of reason
[B] extensive violence among men
[C] irrationality underneath the overcoat of rationality
[D] the tyranny of men over women
2. 根据这篇文章,18世纪的特点是 _____。
[A] 广为传播的理念——理性
[B] 男人之间充满了暴力
[C] 在理性外衣下的非理性
[D] 男人对于女人的残酷控治
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:细节题。文章第二段一开头就提到Though the 18th century is called the Age of Reason, it was anything but. 即18世纪被称为理性时代,但事实却恰恰相反。那么可以看出,18世纪在理性的外衣下,其实质是非理性的。因此,选项C为正确答案。
3. The word “supplanted” (Line 5, Paragraph 4) most probably means _____.
[A] hated
[B] displaced
[C] threatened
[D] pleased
3. supplanted这个词(第四段第五行)最有可能的意思是 _____。
[A] 憎恨
[B] 代替
[C] 威胁
[D] 讨好
答案:B 难度系数:☆
分析:猜词题。根据上下文,Caroline刁难Henrietta,因为知道她是自己丈夫的情人;而后面写的是王室的情人只是个“职位”,而没有浪漫可言;由此可以推断,Henrietta和国王的儿子并没有什么感情。因此,选项B最为合适,即Henrietta从来没有真正地替代公主。
4. Henrietta chose to be a royal mistress because _____.
[A] she wanted to have a romance with the royal family member
[B] such a royal post helped her to climb up the social ladder
[C] she wanted to dodge her husband
[D] she could be exempt from Caroline's tedious cere-mony
4. Henrietta选择去做王室的情人,是因为 _____。
[A] 她想要和王室成员有一段浪漫史
[B] 这样的一个王室职位能够帮助她爬上社会高层
[C] 她想要躲避自己的丈夫
[D] 她想要使自己免于遵守Caroline那些枯燥的仪式
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:细节题。第四段末尾提到,王室情人这个职位很适合Henrietta,因为可以保护她免受丈夫的伤害;而文章最后又提到,在她丈夫死后,她就马上离开了王宫。因此可以看出,她选择这个职位是为了躲避自己的丈夫,因此选项C为正确答案。A显然是一个干扰选项,而选项B的错误在于,文章并没有提及她想爬到社会高层。选项D也是错误的,因为那不是她的主要目的,而且她也必须履行那些仪式。
5. Henrietta must have had sharp elbows in order to _____.
[A] maintain good temper when serving the royal family
[B] survive the complicated disputes
[C] have herself accepted by all the people she met
[D] make friends with reasonable people
5. Henrietta手腕必须强硬,以便于 _____。
[A] 保持好脾气,以更好地服务王室
[B] 在复杂纷繁的斗争中生存下来
[C] 为所有她见到的人所接受
[D] 和理智的人交朋友
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:推理题。文章第五段提到,虽然她非常审慎、性格很好,但是手腕需要强硬些,原文的“肘部尖锐些”应当是一个比喻。下文又说这是因为宫廷是一个是非之地,因此可以推断,这个引申义是指运用这种手段来保护自己、使自己能够在复杂纷繁的皇室斗争中生存下来,因此选项B为正确答案。其余三个选项都是文章中提到的一些细节内容,与本题题干无关。

Tracy Borman是个讲故事的好手,必须承认,她选取的题材是不同凡响的。Henrietta Howard,这位乔治二世的情人生活在一大群人物中间,他们许多人都和18世纪宫廷生活的复杂政治纠结在一起,但Borman女士却能沉静地描述这些人以及他们的世界。
虽然18世纪被称为理性时代,但事实却恰恰相反。Henrietta出生于1689年,而在1688年,英国的政权由君主转向了议会,但没有摒弃男性对女性的专制,Henrietta的大部分生活都是由一些暴力、非理性的男性控制着。8岁时,她的父亲,一个贪图享乐、性格暴躁的诺福克Blickling Hall乡绅,因为一位邻居质疑他不勇猛,就向邻居提出了决斗。他最终因为伤痛死去,留下了妻子、八个孩子和一堆债务。八年后,也许是希望可以帮助当时已失去母亲的兄弟姐妹们,Henrietta嫁给了比她大14岁的表哥Charles Howard,条件是免于出嫁妆钱。
这段婚姻是个灾难。Charles是个没有自制力的赌徒,还经常殴打妻子,他们的生活颠沛流离,几近饿死。就在这时,25岁的Henrietta给自己下了个令人震惊的赌注。1714年,安妮皇后去世,Henrietta和Charles一起到了汉诺威,在那里,英国王位的假定继承人George Louis继位。Henrietta成了那些希望通过一些手段引起George Louis或是他儿子George Augustus和儿媳Caroline注意的人之一。
Henrietta赌赢了,尽管她得留意煎锅和火苗。她成为了Caroline公主的卧室女仆,这就意味着她每天都得应付那些单调、严格的礼节,比如屈膝端着洗脸盆到某一高度,这是Caroline在Henrietta成为她丈夫的情妇后恶意坚持的。并不是说做George Augustus的情妇是什么舒服的事情。他是个粗野的男人,而且也厌烦了。但无论如何,Henrietta从没有真正取代过Caroline。既然这样,作王室情人更多的是一个职位,而不是什么浪漫的事情,但这个职位却适合Henrietta,因为这能够使她免于受到丈夫的伤害,而这正是法律不能给予她的。
Henrietta因她的审慎和温和的性格而著称,但是她一定有强硬的手腕。正像Borman女士生动地描写的那样,宫廷是个谣言肆虐、感情淡薄的地方,受政治的党派之争驱动,加上王室内部公开的争吵,这一直是个水深火热之地。而这就是Henrietta生活的地方,但她却让人人都喜欢她。即使是尖酸刻薄的诗人Alexander Pope也把她形容为理智、风趣、机敏,最重要的是Pope把她当成了朋友。
Borman女士用迷人笔触描述了Henrietta的朋友们,有诗人、作家还有像Lord Chesterfield和 Horace Walpole那样的才子,以及他们在为设计Henrietta位于Twickenham大理石山上的Palladian别墅时的快乐。在丈夫死后,Henrietta就可以安全地退隐了,她开始享乐,然后再嫁人,拥有了一个家。经历过这一切杂乱的生活之后,辛苦得来的家庭生活感觉就像是英雄史诗一般壮美。
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