Английский текст для чтения – 9

Короткий английский текст для практики чтения и перевода.

George Washington, commonly called the father of his country, was born in 1732. The son of a wealthy Virginia planter, he was privately educated and trained to be a surveyor. But as an officer in the French and Indian War, he became interested in military leadership.

In 1759, Washington married a rich widow named Martha Custis, who later became famous as a gracious hostess in the first president’s home. After his marriage, he returned to his V irginia plantation, Mount Vernon, to live the life of a gentleman farmer. He also became involved in colonial opposition to British policies in America.

By 1775, relations with England had become so bad that the colonists were ready to fight for their independence. The Continental Congress named Washington commander-in-chief of the revolutionary army. His job was very difficult, since his army was small, poorly fed, and inadequately clothed. The men suffered greatly during terribly cold winters. While begging for more men and supplies, Washington had to fight the Revolutionary War with poorly equipped, untrained soldiers. He never asked for and never received any salary for the job he performed. In fact, he often spent his own money to buy clothing for his men and send aid to their fami lies. Washington brought to the battlefield great military ability and a noble character.

Washington was the first man not a king whose birthday was publicly celebrated during his lifetime. Before the colonies declared their independence, celebrations honouring the birthdays of British rulers were customary. After the Declaration of Independence, the American people ignored royal birthdays and began instead to celebrate General Washington’s birthday.

When the war ended in 1783, Washington eagerly returned to Mount Vernon. But his peaceful retirement was interrupted when he was unanimously chosen first president of the United States. He took office in 1789 and was reclected in 1792. In 1796 he refused a third term and retired from political l ife. He died two years later and was buried at Mount Vernon, which one million tourists visit every year. Shortly after his death, Washington was praised in these famous words: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

To many Americans, Washington symbolizes dignity, statesmanship, and, above all, honesty. The famous cherry tree story, which was invented by Washington’s first biographer, has become a lesson in morals for all American schoolchildren. B ecause of this story, traditional desserts on Washington’s Birthday are cherry pie or a log-shaped cake decorated with cherries.

After “The US.A. Customs and Institutions” by E. and M. Tiersky