The Upright Official
There was once an upright and honest government official. Whenever the king wanted to do something wrong, this official would stop him. This infuriated the king who didn’t like anyone telling him what he could or couldn’t do. Therefore the king came up with a plan to get rid of the official. He falsely accused him of a crime. The judge was forced to find him guilty. The king then passed sentence.
“Here are two boxes. Each box has a piece of paper in it. On one piece of paper is the word, “die” and on the other, “live”. If you choose the word “die” you will be executed but if you choose the word “live” you can go free. Tomorrow morning you will be brought to the execution ground to make your choice,” the king told the official.
The judge, who felt sorry for the official, told him, “Beware, it is a trap. The king has written the word “die” on both pieces of paper.” The official said nothing, but gave a little smile
The next morning the official was brought to the execution ground. Two boxes were placed in front of him. He stepped forward, chose a piece of paper and without reading it, swallowed it. People were astonished. The official then spoke. “The piece of paper I just swallowed had the word “live “on it. You can see the other piece of paper has the word “die” on it.
The King, realizing he had been outwitted, had to let the official go free.
1) upright (adj.) –正直的，誠實的
2) government official –政府官員
3) infuriate (v.) –使大怒
4) get rid of – 擺脫
5) falsely (adv.) –錯誤的，不正確的
6) accuse (v.) – 指控，控告
7) crime (n.) – 罪行
8) judge (n.) – 審判，法官
9) guilty (adj.) – 有罪宣判
10) pass sentence- 宣判
11) execute (v.) –實施，執行
12) execution ground – 處決的地方，行刑的地方
13) feel sorry for – 對…感到對不起
14) trap (n.) –陷阱
15) swallow (v.) – 吞
16) astonished (adj.) – 驚訝的，驚愕的
17) outwit (v.) –以機智取勝，騙過
1.Choose the best answers.
A. What did the official do wrong?
(a) Be dishonest.
(b) Tell the king what to do.
(c) Falsely accuse the king.
B. The king wanted to
(a) get rid of the official.
(b) to reward the official.
(c) to make the official a judge.
(d) be executed.
C. The judge
(a) warned the king.
(b) didn’t know what the king planned to do.
(c) had sympathy for the official.
(d) wanted to punish the official.
D. The official
(a) had a plan.
(b) didn’t know what to do.
(c) begged the king for forgiveness.
(d) laughed at the king.
E. At last the king
(a) sent the official to jail.
(b) executed him.
(c) freed him.
(d) punished the judge.
2) Write T for True or F for False beside these statements about the story.
(a) The king loved the official. ___
(b) The official did something wrong. ___
(c) The king planned to kill the official. ___
(d) The king’s plan worked. ___
(e) The king warned the judge. ___
3) Complete the following sentences by putting in the correct form of the verb in brackets.
(a) The official (accuse) _________ by the king.
(b) The king planned (execute) _________ the official.
(c) The judge (feel) _________ sympathy for the official.
(d) The king (outwit) _______ by the official.
(e) The official (take) ________ to the execution ground.
4) Write short answers
(a) Why didn’t the king like the official?
(b) What kind of person was the official?
(c) How did the king plan to get rid of the official?
(d) Who warned the official?
(e) What did the official do with the piece of paper?
5) Find words or phrases in the story similar in meaning to the following.
a) make somebody angry ________________________
b) say somebody did something wrong ________________
d) not true ________________________________________
e) make somebody go away _____________________________