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发表时间:2016-11-25内容来源:VOA英语学习网

4. Columbus.

4.哥伦布

Meantime Christopher Columbus, an Italian, had returned from an even more startling voyage. From what he had read, and from what other men had told him, he had come to believe that the earth was round. If this were really true, Cipango and Cathay were west of Europe as well as east of Europe. Columbus also believed that the earth was very much smaller than it really is, and that Cipango was only three thousand miles west of Spain. For a time people laughed at the idea of sailing westward to Cipango and Cathay. But at length Columbus secured enough money to fit out a little fleet.

一段时间之后,意大利人克里斯托弗·哥伦布完成了一次更令人吃惊的航行。哥伦布根据自己所见和其他人所说渐渐认为地球是圆的。如果果真如此,日本和中国既在欧洲的西方也在欧洲的东方。哥伦布还相信地球比人们以为的要小得多,而日本在西班牙的西方,距离西班牙仅三千英里。有一段时间人们嘲笑向西可以航行到达日本和中国这个想法,但是,哥伦布为之精心准备了足够的钱以装备一个小舰队。

5. The Voyage, 1492.

5.1492年的航行

Columbus left Spain in August, 1492, and, refitting at the Canaries, sailed westward into the Sea of Darkness. At ten o’clock in the evening of October 20, 1492, looking out into the night, he saw a light in the distance. The fleet was soon stopped. When day broke, there, sure enough, was land. A boat was lowered, and Columbus, going ashore, took possession of the new land for Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Aragon and Castile. The natives came to see the discoverers. They were reddish in color and interested Columbus—for were they not inhabitants of the Far East? So he called them Indians.

1492年8月,哥伦布离开西班牙,在加纳利补给,向西航行进入黑海。1492年10月20日傍晚10点,他看到远处的一盏灯,舰队迅速停下来,当然,天亮时他们看到了陆地。他们放下一只小船,哥伦布走到海岸上,为西班牙国王费迪南德和王后伊莎贝拉赢得这块新的陆地。陆地上的人过来看这些发现者,他们肤色微红,哥伦布感到不解——他们不是远东的居民吗?因此哥伦布把他们叫做印第安人。

6.The Indians and the Indies.

6.印第安人和印度地区

These Indians were not at all like those wonderful people of Cathay and Cipango whom Marco Polo had desCRIbed. Instead of wearing clothes of silk and of gold embroidered satin, these people wore no clothes of any kind. But it was plain enough that the island they had found was not Cipango. It was probably some island off the coast of Cipango, so on Columbus sailed and discovered Cuba. He was certain that Cuba was a part of the mainland of Asia, for the Indians kept saying “Cubanaquan.” Columbus thought that this was their way of pronouncing Kublai Khan—the name of a mighty eastern ruler. So he sent two messengers with a letter to that powerful monarch. Returning to Spain, Columbus was welcomed as a great admiral. He made three other voyages to America. But he never came within sight of the mainland of the United States.

这些印第安人与马克·波罗所描述的那些绝妙的日本人和中国人根本没有相似之处,他们没有穿丝绸和花缎子这类衣服。很显然,他们已经发现的陆地不是日本,它可能是某个远离日本海岸的岛屿,哥伦布继续前行并发现了古巴,他确信古巴是亚洲大陆的一部分,因为印第安人一致在叫嚷着“古巴坤”,哥伦布认为这是他们称道忽必烈(某个东方威武统治者的名字)的方式,于是他向自己伟大的皇帝写了两封信。回到西班牙,哥伦布被当作海军司令受到欢迎。之后,哥伦布三次航海到美洲,但是,他从来就没有到过今天的美国大陆。

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