1）Editors of newspapers and magazines often go to extremes to provide their readers with unimportant facts and statistics.
- go to extremes to do sth. 过分地……，在某方面走极端
2）Last year a journalist had been instructed by a well-known magazine to write an article on the president's palace in a new African republic.
- had been done 过去完成时被动态，强调过去两个动作的先后关系,使用被动态更是为了突出主语，即动作的承受者
- instructe sb. in sth.
3）When the article arrived, the editor read the first sentence and then refused to publish it.
4）The article began: 'Hundreds of steps lead to the high wall which surrounds the president's palace'
5）The editor at once sent the journalist a fax instructing him to find out the exact number of steps and the height of the wall.
6）The journalist immediately set out to obtain these important facts, but he took a long time to send them.
- immediately是上文at once的替换，增加可读性
- The secretary immediately set out to verify these important facts, but she took a long time to finish it
7）Meanwhile, the editor was getting impatient, for the magazine would soon go to press.
- at the same time
- (in the) meantime
8）He sent the journalist two more faxes, but received no reply.
9）He sent yet another fax informing the journalist that if he did not reply soon he would be fired.
10）When the journalist again failed to reply, the editor reluctantly published the article as it had originally been written.
11） Not only had the poor man been arrested, but he had been sent to prison as well.
- not only...but，译为不但...而且
- had the poor man采用了部分倒装，只把助动词，be 动词(之前没有其他助动词)或情态动词置于主语之前，将强调内容提前
12）However, he had at last been allowed to send a fax in which he informed the editor that he had been arrested while counting the 1,084 steps leading to the fifteen-foot wall which surrounded the president's palace.
- had been done过去完成时强调过去的过去/两个动作的先后关系，且为被动态突出动作承受者
- in which....counting the定从，关系代词