Born as a serf, Taras lost his parents in his early teens and grew up in poverty and misery. He was taught to read by the village deacon, and was often beaten for wasting time on drawing, for which he had a talent. Baron Engelhardt, the owner of Taras, took the boy with him to Vilno (modern Vilnus) and there Taras for the first time heard different languages and saw people who had been freed from serfdom. There he studied painting for four years and then his master took him to St.Petesburg.

The famous Russian artist Karl Bryullov was so much impressed by Shevchenkos pictures that decided to help him and soon bought him out from serfdom. Immediately after that, T.Shevchenko was admitted to St.Petersburg Academy of Arts, where he studied painting and engraving. Shevchenko was awarded three silver medals for his works and by the end of his life he had become an Academician in engraving.

Studying at the Academy T.Shevchenko improved his general education and at the same time found his second and main calling poetry. There, in St.Petersburg, Shevchenko never forgot his Motherland and her sufferings under the yoke of serfdom. He wrote poems in Ukrainian and in 1840 published his first book of poems Kobzar.

In 1846 in Kyiv T.Shevchenko joined the secret anti-serfdom society and soon was arrested for that and sent to prison in Orenburg. There he wrote a cycle of poems called In Prison.

T.Shevchenko was set free in 1857, but not allowed to live in Ukraine. He returned to St.Petersburg and started to work at the Academy of Arts. He also continued writing and became close friends with the outstanding Russian writers and poets. In 1859 Shevchenko was allowed to visit Ukraine and it turned to be his last visit before his death on March, 10, 1861.

It is difficult to estimate the value of Taras Shevchenko for Ukraine and the world literature. In his poems and drawings he shows the heart of Ukrainian people and their mysterious Ukrainian soul.




misery ,



engraving ,

to be awarded

yoke ,

to allow

to estimate


1. Decide if the following statements are true or false:

1) Taras Shevchenko was born in slavery.

2) He lost his parents in his early childhood.

3) He was taught to read and write by his owner.

4) His first travelling was made to St.Petersburg.

5) The famous Russian artist Karl Bryullov very much liked Shevchenkos pictures.

6) Russian painters and writers bought Shevchenko out from serfdom.

7) Taras Shevchenko became an Academician in engraving.

8) His first book of poems Kobzar was published in 1840.

9) In the middle 1840th the poet was arrested and imprisoned in Orenburg.

10) Shevchenko became close friends with the outstanding Russian writers and poets.


2. Answer the following questions:

1) Why is Taras Shevchenko called the singer of Ukraine?

2) Was his childhood happy?

3) Who taught to read the future poet?

4) What impressed young Taras in Vilno?

5) What role did Karl Bryullov play in Shevchenkos life?

6) Where did Shevchenko study painting and engraving?

7) When did he begin to write poems?

8) What was his first book of poems?

9) What happened to Taras Shevchenko in 1846?

10) What did he do after he had been freed?

11) When was the poet allowed to visit Ukraine again?

12) Why is Shevchenkos heritage considered to be of world-wide importance?



Text 7. Study the following information. Consult the dictionary.

The Sovereign

Functions of the Sovereign:

opening and closing Parliament;

approving the appointment of the Prime Minister;

giving her Royal assent to bills;

giving honours such as peerages, knighthoods and medals;

Head of the Commonwealth;

Head of the Church of England;

Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Ten things the Queen could do by using the royal prerogative:

1. Dismiss the Government.

2. Declare war.

3. Disband the army.

4. Sell all the ships in the Navy.

5. Dismiss the Civil Service.

6. Give territory away to a foreign power.

7. Make everyone a peer.

8. Declare a State of Emergency.

9. Pardon all offenders.

10. Create universities in every parish in the United Kingdom.


The Queens particular likes.

1. Horse racing (Were it not for my Archbishop of Canterbury, I should be off in my plane to Longchamps every Sunday).

2. Scottish country dancing.

3. Jigsaw puzzles.

4. Long-stemmed, deep-pink carnations.

5. Champagne.

6. Deerstalking.

7. Quiet evenings at home watching TV with her supper on a tray.

8. Crossword puzzles.

9. The Beatles film Yellow Submarine.

10. Sandringham.


Dislikes of the Queen.

1. Ivy.

2. Tennis, including Wimbledon.

3. Milk pudding.

4. Grouse.

5. Any talk of Edward the 8th.

6. Charles Dickens.

7. Dictating letters.

8. Cigar smoke.

9. Sailing.

10. Listening to after-dinner speeches.


Comprehension check. Find these in the lists above.


1. The name of a famous French horse-racing track.

2. The name of the Queens country house in Norfolk.

3. The name of her favourite flower.

4. The title of the head of the Church of England.

5. The name of the sport of hunting deer.

6. A green plant which grows on the outside walls of houses.

7. A bird which is shot and eaten.

8. The name of the Queens uncle, who gave up the throne to marry a divorced American woman.

9. The name of a famous nineteenth-century British writer.

10.The name of a famous English music-group, known all over the world.



Text 8



The population of Wales is over 3 million people. About 75 percent of the people of Wales live in towns and urban districts. The Welsh people are fond of folk music, singing, poetry and drama. Welsh literature is one of the oldest in Europe. There are many choirs in Wales, the standard of singing is high and the love of good music is widespread.

An Eisteddfod

Every year, in August, there is a national Eisteddfod in Wales. What is Eisteddfod? It is a meeting of Welshmen interested in Welsh poetry, Welsh songs and music. One year it is in a town in North Wales, the next year it is in a town in South Wales. It lasts for a week. People come to an Eisteddfod every day. Some want to listen to the poems; some want to listen to the singing; and some want just to meet their friends and talk in Welsh. The Welsh people from many countries come back to Wales for the National Eisteddfod. You wont hear much English at an Eisteddfod. There are competitions here for the best Welsh poem and song of the year. The competitions are organized by the Druids. The Druids wear long clothes; their leader is always a poet. Welsh traditions are very old, and the Welsh people are very proud of them.


Eisteddfod , , .

Druid .


Test yourself. Complete the quiz.

1. What is an Eisteddfod?

a) a city b) a meeting c) a part of Britain

2. Where does an Eisteddfod take place?

a) in London b) in the country c) in the town of Wales

3. How long does it last?

a) for a week b) three months c) two days

4. Who organizes an Eisteddfod?

a) the composers b) the singers c) the Druids

5. Who is the leader of Druids?

a) a musician b) a poet c) a singer


2. Complete the following:

1. Every year, in August, there ______ .

2. It is a meeting of Welshmen interested in ______ .

3. You wont hear much ______ .

4. There are competitions at an Eisteddfod for ______ .

5. The Druids wear ______ .

6. Welsh people decided to use some old traditions and ceremonies at _______ .


Text 9


Different Indian tribes inhabited America long before European explorers and later on settlers appeared there. Indian customs and traditions were extraordinary diverse because they lived under different conditions to which they had adapted. Women were responsible for farming and food, men hunted and participated in war. Their life was communal. Their culture was oral. Most Indian tribes were closely tied to the land, some were fierce and warlike.

First Americans or Amerindians descend from tribal peoples of Eastern Siberia. There are many cultural similarities between people of Siberia and Alaska, including their myths. There used to be a land bridge that united the continents across The Bering Strait.

First white settlers on American continent were Vikings from Scandinavia. They came long before Columbuss discovery. Scandinavian sagas tell us about the trip and the colony they settled called Vinland. Later on they were attacked by Amerindians and escaped to Greenland.

The Viking voyage to North America remained unknown to Europe. Only in the 60s of the 20th century archeologists found some ruins of Vikings houses dating from that period. The New World lay undiscovered for 500 years until in 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed into the Caribbean Sea.

America is often called The melting potas it is a nation of immigrants. Immigrants of different races and nationalities from many countries of the world formed that nation. Lots of European roots can be easily traced. There were three major countries involved in the colonization of America Spain, France and England. Spanish colonization of America started soon after Christopher Columbuss discovery. Spain claimed the whole of the new world and considered the new continent as a possible source of wealth. Spaniards got royal license which gave them the right to the tenth of the wealth in the new colony but they equipped and financed the expedition themselves. The majority of them were adventure seekers and were interested only in gold and silver that they hoped to find in South America. For three centuries Spanish America flourished and made Spain the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. Few Spaniards really settled in the New World. Those who did created a profitable agricultural economy. They brought with them their language and learning, tools, grains, vegetables and fruits, domestic animals.

The Spanish colonized all South America and ruled vast territories in North America, but their interest in North America was half-hearted: they didnt find any gold there and had to fight with warlike Indians.

The Spanish were not the only nation to claim the New Worlds lands. The French also had an interest there. In 1524 the French King sent an Italian sailor Giovanni Verazano to find a new way to Asia and a land rich in gold. He sailed into the harbour of New York. Today a bridge there carries his name.

Later on the French discovered the St. Lawrence river in present day Canada. The forests along the river were full of fur-bearing animals; the river was rich in fish. The French did not establish any successful colony. But they developed good contacts with Indians and beaver-fur became a major trading item for the next three hundred years. First, the French claimed Canada. Later they explored the interior and reached the Mississippi river. Traders extended down the St. Lawrence through the Great Lakes where they established some forts. These forts grew into modern Detroit and Chicago. Gradually the French went down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Soon they claimed the vast territory from the Great Lakes down and to the west of the Mississippi. It became their colony under the name Louisiana.

The English in those days were too busy making war in Spain and their interest in the new World awoke later. They tried to establish their own settlements as far back as 1587 in Virginia. The land was called Virginia in honour of Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. In 1585 Sir Walter Raleigh, an explorer, a writer and a pirate who was a favourite of the Queen, sent the first group of settlers to the New World. The colony didnt survive. The Indians attacked them. The survivors were brought home by the British ships.

a tribe [t r a i b] , ,

to inhabit [i n΄h æ bi t] , ,

a settler [΄s e t l ə] ,

diverse [d a i ΄v ə: s] ,

fierce [f i ə s] , , ,

to descend [d i ΄s e n d] , , ,

the Bering Strait .

to settle [΄s e t l] , ,

to escape [i s ΄k e i p] , ,

the melting pot [΄m e l t i ŋ ΄p ) t] (,


to claim [k l e i m] ,

a license [΄l a i s (ə) n s] ,

to flourish [΄f l r i ∫] ,

profitable [΄p r )f i t ə b l] ,

The Gulf of Mexico [g l f ə v ΄m e k s i k o u]

to survive [s ə ΄v a i v] ,


Choose the right answer.

1. Indian customs and traditions were extraordinary diverse because ______

a) they came from different territories;

b) they lived under different territories;

c) they appeared at different times;

2. First Americans descend from ______

a) western Europe;

b) Norway;

c) Tribal peoples of North Eastern Siberia.

3. First white settlers were ______

a) Vikings from Greenland;

b) Spanish monks;

c) The French.

4. The major three countries that started colonization of America were ______

a) Spain, France and Germany;

b) Spain, France and England;

c) Holland, Germany and Spain.

5. Why was Spain so interested in colonization of the New World?

a) They were looking for adventures;

b) They were looking for a new continent;

c) They needed new lands and riches as a new source of wealth.

6. The French first settled in ______

a) Canada;

b) Louisiana;

c) Spain.

7. The first people who sailed to America were ______

a) Spanish;

b) Vikings;

c) English.

8. The first European settlements in America were founded by ______

a) England;

b) France;

c) Spain.

9. The British Empire started the colonization of America a century later than Spain because it ______

a) did not need new lands;

b) was busy making war with Spain;

c) did not have a good flat.

10. The first English settlement was called Virginia in honour ______

a) of Sir Raleighs wife;

b) of a lake not far from the settlement;

c) of the English Queen Elizabeth the First.

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