SPEECH AND COMPOSITION EXERCISES*

(for class and homework)

TEXTS

I

Dolores works in a shop selling gramophone records. One afternoon a middle-aged woman came in, sat down on a stool in front of the counter, and smiled at her brightly.

"I want a record, dear," she began. "One I heard on the radio this morning."

"What was the record called?" Dolores asked, without much hope. The woman shook her head.

"I don't remember. I should know it if I heard it, though. Perhaps if you play me a few records, I shall be able to pick it out."

She settled herself more comfortably on her stool.

"We have hundreds of records in stock," Dolores pointed out. "It would take a very long time to play you even a little of each. Could you hum it to me?"

The woman shook her head again. "I can't even sing the National Anthem in tune. We should only get into a complete muddle if I were to start humming." She looked quite depressed, as if this reminder of her lack of musical ability were the last straw. Then suddenly her face brightened.

"I've just remembered something," she said. "It comes from a play. There's a girl who speaks very badly, if you see what I mean. But after a time she learns to talk well. Something about - what do you call it? Phonetics?"

This was enough for Dolores. "If you ask me, it's from 'My Fair Lady'," she said.

"That's it, dear. If you'd thought of it sooner, we wouldn't have wasted so much time. I suppose you are new to the job."

(From "English at Home" by W. R. Lee)

EXERCISES

I. Supply a title to the story and give reasons for your choice.

II. Pick out sentences in the story illustrating the various types of if-clauses.

III. Make up 5 Russian sentences with clauses of unreal condition based on the story. Ask your comrades to translate them into English.

II

The doctor was absent much longer than either he or the ladies had anticipated. The servants ran up and down stairs perpetually; from which tokens it was justly concluded that something important

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was going on in the bed-room above. At length-he returned; and in reply to an anxious inquiry after his patient, looked very mysterious, and closed the door carefully.

"This is a very extraordinary thing, Mrs. Maylie," said the doctor, standing with his back to the door, as if to keep it shut.

"He is not in danger, I hope?" said the old lady.

"Why, that would not be an extraordinary thing, under the circumstances," replied the doctor; "though I don't think he is. Have you seen this thief?"

"No," rejoined the old lady.

"Nor heard anything about him?"

"No ... Rose wished to see the man," said Mrs. Maylie, "but I wouldn't hear of it."

"Humph!" rejoined the doctor." There is nothing very alarming in his appearance. Have you any objection to seeing him in my presence?"

"If it be necessary," replied the old lady, "certainly not."

"Then I think it is necessary," said the doctor; "at all events, I am quite sure that you would deeply regret riot having done so, if you postponed it. He is perfectly quiet and comfortable now."

"Stop," said the doctor, in a whisper, as he softly turned the handle of the bed-room door, "let me first see that he is in visiting order."

Stepping before them, he looked into the room. Motioning Mrs. May-lie and Rose to advance, he closed the door when they had entered; and gently drew back the curtains of the bed. Upon it, instead of the dogged, black-visaged ruffian they had expected to behold, there lay a mere child: worn with pain and exhaustion, and sunk into a deep sleep.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What book does the passage come from?

II. What surprised the doctor when he saw the patient?

III. What do you think happened in the house before the doctor was called in?

IV. What additional details of the story can you give?

III

He proposed that we should have scrambled eggs for breakfast. He said he would cook them. It seemed, from his account, that he was very good at doing scrambled eggs. He often did them at picnics and when out on yachts. He was quite famous for them. People who had once tasted his scrambled eggs, so we gathered from his conversation, never cared for any other food afterwards.

It made our mouths water to hear him talk about the things, and we handed him out the stove and the frying-pan and all the eggs that had not smashed and begged him to begin.

The result was not altogether the success that we had anticipated. There seemed so little to show for the business. Six eggs had gone

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into the frying-pan, and all that came out was a teaspoonful of burnt and unappetising-looking mess.

He said it was the fault of the frying-pan, and thought it would have gone better if we had had a fish-kettle and a gas-stove; and we decided not to attempt the dish again until we had those aids to housekeeping by us.

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES

I. What book is the passage taken from?

II. Write a few disjunctive questions based on the passage and ask your comrades to respond to them.

III. What do you think of the man who did scrambled eggs?

IV. Do you remember any other episodes from the book? Retell one of them.

IV

On the following day he spent some hours with a theatrical agent of his acquaintance. In the afternoon he went to Oxford. On the day. after he drove down to the country, - it was late when he returned.

He had telephoned before he left to make an appointment with Mr. Alistair Blunt for that same evening.

it was half past nine when he reached the Gothic House.

Alistair Blunt was alone in the library when Poirot was shown.in.

He looked an eager question at his visitor as he shook hands,

He said:

"Well?"

Slowly, Poirot nodded his head.

Blunt looked at him in most incredulous appreciation.

"Have you found her?"

"Yes. Yes, I have found her."

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What helps you guess the author of the passage? What is the author's name?

II. How do you know that it is a passage from a detective story?

III. Have you read any short stories by the author? Tell one of them.

V

At eighteen I knew French, German, and some Italian, but Г was extremely uneducated and I was deeply conscious of my ignorance. I read everything that came my way. I suppose it gained me a certain amount of general knowledge which is useful for the novelist to have. One never knows when an out of the way bit of information will come in handy. I made lists of what I read and one of these lists by some accident I still have. It is my reading for two months and, but that I made it only for myself, I could not believe that it was veracious. It shows that I read three of Shakespeare's plays, two volumes of Mommsen’s.

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History of Rome, a large part of Lanson's Liiteralure Francaise, two or three novels, some of the French classics, a couple of-scientific works, and a play of Ibsen's. I was indeed the industrious apprentice. During the time I was at St Thomas's Hospital I went systematically through English, French, Italian, and Latin literature. I read a lot of history, a little philosophy, and a good deal of science. My curiosity was too great to allow me to give much time to reflect upon what I read; I could hardly wait to finish one book, so eager was I to begin another. This was always an adventure, and I would start upon a famous work as excitedly as a reasonable young man would go in to bat for his side or a nice girl go to a dance. Now and then journalists in search of copy ask me what is the most thrilling moment of my life. If I were not ashamed to, I might answer that it is the moment when I began to read Goethe's Faust. I have never quite lost this feeling, and even now the first pages of a book sometimes send the blood racing through my veins. To me reading is a rest as to oth'er people conversation or a game of cards. It is more than that; it is a necessity, and if I am deprived of it for a little while I find myself as irritable as the addict deprived of his drug. I would sooner read a time-table or a catalogue than nothing at all.

And yet, though I have read so much, I am a bad reader. 1 read slowly and I am a poor skipper. I find it difficult to leave a book, however bad and however much it bores me, unfinished. I could count on my fingers the number of books that I have not read from cover to cover. On the other hand there are few books that I have read twice. I know very well that there are many of which I cannot get the full value on a single reading, but in that they have given me all I was capable of getting at the time, and this, though I may forget their details, remains a permanent enrichment. I know people who read the same book over and over again. It can only be that they read with their eyes and not with their sensibility. It is a mechanical exercise like the Tibetan's turning of a pray ing-wheel. It is doubtless a harmless occupation, but they are wrong if they think it an intelligent one.

(From "The Summing Up" by S. Maugham)

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What do we learn from the extract about the author's way of reading? What did he gain from such reading?

II. Why did he call himself a bad reader?

III. How do you read books? Do you make lists of what you've read or intend to read? Do you always read books to the end, however boring you may find them? Are there any books you've read twice? If so, what made you do it?

VI

I saw him not infrequently, and now and then played chess with him. He was of uncertain temper. Sometimes he Would sit silent and abstracted, taking no notice of anyone; and at others, when he was in

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a good humour, he would talk in his own halting way. He never said a clever thing, but he had a vein of brutal sarcasm which was not ineffective and he always said what he thought. He was indifferent to the susceptibilities of others and when he wounded them was amused. He was constantly offending Dick so- bitterly that he flung away, vowing he would never speak to him again; but there was a solid force in him that attracted the fat Dutchman against his will, so that he came back, fawning like a clumsy dog, though he knew that his only greeting would be the blow he dreaded.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What book does the passage come from?

II. What do you think of the man? What made him such an extraordinary person? Why did he attract other people?

VII

Johnsy's eyes were open wide. She was looking out the.window arid counting - counting backwards.

"Twelve," she said, and a little later "eleven"; and then "ten", and "nine", and then "eight" and "seven", almost together.

Sue looked solicitously out of the window. What was there to count? There was only a bare, dreary yard to be seen, and the blank side of the brick house twenty feet away. An old, old ivy vine, gnarled and decayed at the roots, climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold breath of autumn had stricken its leaves from the vine until its skeleton branches clung, almost bare, to the crumbling bricks.

"What is it, dear?" asked Sue.

"Six," said Johnsy, in almost a whisper. "They're falling faster now. Three days ago there were almost a hundred. It made my head ache to count them. But now it's easy. There goes another one. There are only five left now.

QUEST/ONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What is the title of the story? Who is its author?

Il. What state do you think Johnsy was in? Why did she watch the dry leaves falling?

III. What happened later?

VIII

Whatever grounds of self-congratulation our hero might have, for having escaped so quietly from his late awkward situation, his present position was by no means enviable. He was alone, in an open passage, in a strange house, in the middle of the night, half dressed; it was not to be supposed that he could find his way in perfect darkness to a room \\liich he had been wholly unable to discover with a light, and if he made the slightest noise in his fruitless attempts to do so,

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he stood every chance of being shot at, and perhaps killed by some wakeful traveller. He had no resource but to remain where he was, until daylight appeared. So after groping his way a few paces down the passage, and to his infinite alarm, stumbling over several pairs of boots in so doing, he crouched into a little recess in the wall, to wait for morning, as philosophically as he might.

He was nut destined, however, to undergo this additional trial of patience: for he had not been long ensconced in his present concealment, when to his unspeakable horror, a man, bearing a light, appeared at the end of the passage. His horror was suddenly converted into joy, however, when he recognized the form of his attendant. It was indeed his faithful attendant, who after sitting up thus late, in conversation with the Boots, who was sitting up for the mail, was now about to retire to rest.

"My man," saidour hero, suddenly appearing before him. "Where's my bed-room?"

The attendant stared at his master with the most emphatic surprise; and it was not until the question had been repeated several times, that he turned round and led the way to the long-sought apartment.

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES

I. What book does the extract come from? Comment on the language.

II.How did the man happen to find himself in the gloomy passages alone and half-dressed?

III. Write a simplified version of the passage using your active whenever possible.

IX

Reflecting that prevention is better than cure, Peggy Dixon, a pretty, dark-haired girl of twenty-four decided to have her small, second-hand car overhauled before she went on holiday. She wanted to reduce the risk of mechanical trouble. This was very sensible of her.

Less sensible was her decision, on the morning that she set off for the coast, to take a short cut, ignoring the fact that the beaten road is the safest. For unexpectedly, in a quiet country lane, the engine began to splutter and the car slowed to a half. As a policewoman, Peggy knew quite a lot about cars, and now she carried out various fault-finding tests.

While she was working under the bonnet, another car drew up behind hers. A good-looking, well-dressed young man got out and said confidently: "In trouble? Perhaps I can help?"

Because she was feeling cross with herself, Peggy replied rather testily: "I think it's only a minor electrical fault that I can easily trace, thank you."

"Easier said than done! Mind if I try the starter? I'm always glad to offer to help a lame dog over a stile."

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Peggy didn't like being referred to as a lame dog.

"Thanks, but I'm not in any great difficulty," she said with a hint of defiance.

"Oh yes, you are!" cried the young man, who was already in the driving seat and had switched on the ignition. "There's not a drop of petrol .in your tank."

Peggy bit her lips with vexation. She'd gone to all the trouble of having her car overhauled, but had quite forgotten to. have the tank filled up with petrol.

And she and the stranger were miles from anywhere. Good-looking he might be, and well-dressed, but how far could he be trusted? Beauty - or being handsome - was, she knew, skin deep and clothes did not make the man.

The stranger put his hands in his trouser pockets and began to whistle. Peggy wished he wouldn't be so cheerful. His manner irritated her.

"Unfortunately," he said presently, "I haven't got a spare can of petrol, but; Г have got a bottle of lemonade."

"They say one is never too old to learn," retorted Peggy sarcastically. "I'll be interested to know how the engine of a car can be mads to run on lemonade."

"It can't. But there are tricks in every trade ..."

Peggy watched him walk over to his own car, take out a lemonade bottle, empty its contents on the roadside, and then produce a length of transparent plastic tubing.

"What I'm going to do now," he said, "is a well-known practice among thieves. I'll siphon some petrol from the tank of my car into the lemonade bottle. Four bottles full should be enough to get you to the nearest garage."

It wasn't until John Smith was filling the bottle with petrol for the fourth time that she noticed the number plate on his car. Seeing it made her catch her breath. She opened the door of her own car and searched in her handbag for the notebook. Four pages were filled with the numbers of cars stolen within a radius of 50 miles of the police station where she worked. "ZXV 1001," she read to herself. John Smith was driving a stolen car.

(From "Modern English", 1973)

EXERCISES

I. Pick out all the proverbs in the story and give their Russian equivalents.

II. Write an end to the story using some of the following proverbs;

to take the bull by the horns; what must be must be; appearances are deceptive; strike while the iron is hot; second thoughts are best; he or she who makes no mistakes makes nothing; one good turn deserves another.

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X

They were hardly settled in their new house when fresh trouble came to them.

"Have you heard about Jones?" said the old man one day with an anxious face.

"No," I answered.

"He's ill - some sort of fever, poor chap - has been ill for three days, and they never told me or sent for me."

From day to day I had reports from the old man of the progress of Jones's illness. "I sit with him every day," he said. "Poor chap, he was very bad yesterday for a while - mind wandered, quite delirious. I could hear him from the next room, seemed to think someone was hunting him. 'Is that damn old fool gone?' I heard him say."

"I went in and soothed him. 'There is no one here, my dear boy,' I said, 'no one, only me ...' He turned over and groaned. Mrs. Jones begged me to leave him. 'You look quite used up,' she said. 'Go out into the open air,' 'My dear Mrs. Jones,' I said, 'what does it matter about me?'"

Eventually, thanks no doubt to the old man's care, Jones got well.

"Yes," said the old man to me a few weeks later, "Jones is all right again now, but his illness was a long hard pull. I haven't had an evening to myself since it began. But I'm paid, sir, now, more than paid for anything I've done. The gratitude of those two people - it's unbelievable."

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What story does the passage fit into?

II. What do you think the cause of Mr. Jones's illness was?

XI

The second day out I was wandering around the boat deck and ran into his hide-out - a little nook where he had taken his deck chair.

We had caught glimpses of him before and, in fact, Betsy and I used him in the little game we played aboard the ship - trying to guess what business different people were in. I looked at the bushy hair, the ragged gray beard, the pullover sweater and the sandals, and violated my own rule by saying I thought he was an artist, a French artist.

Betsy laughed at me because we had long since agreed that people don't often look their business. She said she thought he was either a Greek archbishop or a member of the British parliament.

When I poked my nose into his hide-out he raised his head and gave me as nasty a scowl as you ever saw in your life. I started to back away, mumbling an apology, and then his expression changed.

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"Wait!" he called out. "You are American?"

His English was good, and he asked me if I had a moment to help him with a small problem. He wanted to know if there was a United States Senator named Boat or Ship or Ferry. He showed me the ship's daily puzzle which he was trying to work out.

I sat down and puzzled over the thing. The definition was, "Senator who crosses a river." I thought of Senator Ford, the raconteur, but there were no Fords on the passenger list, and then I got it - Senator Bridges. There was a Miss Ethelyn Bridges on board.

My bearded friend swiftly lettered in the name "Bridges" on his puzzle sheet, and then leaped from his chair and went flying off down the deck.

I didn't see him again until next day, just before lunch, when he came into the main lounge, grabbed me by the arm and drew me off into a corner.

"Look!" he said in a hoarse whisper. In the palm of his big hand he was holding a man's wallet, made of pigskin.

"The prize!" he said. "I won it! You, my friend, are responsible. Come and have a cocktail with me."

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. How does (he passage fit info the story "One Coat of White"?

II. Bring out the meaning of "People don’t often look their business". Do you agree to the statement? Give examples to justify jour point of view.

XII

Travel is the name of a modern disease which became rampant in the mid-fifties and is still spreading. Its symptoms are easily recognizable. The patient grows restless in the early spring and starts rushing about from one travel agent to another collecting useless information about places he does not intend to visit, studying handouts, etc; then he, or usually she, will do a round of tailors, milliners, summer sales, sports shops, and spend three and a half times as much as he or she can afford; finally in August, the patient will board a plane, train, coach or car and proceed to foreign parts along with thousands of fellow-sufferers not because he is interested in or attracted by the place he is bound for, nor because he can afford to go, but simply because he cannot afford not to. The disease is highly infectious. Nowadays you catch foreign travel rather as you caught influenza in the twenties, only more so.

The result is that in the summer months (and in the last few years also during the winter season) everybody is on the move.

What is the aim of their travelling? Each nationality has its own different one. The Americans want to take photographs of themselves in:.(a) Trafalgar Square with the pigeons, (b) in St. Mark's Square, Venice, with the pigeons and (c) in front of the Arc de Tri-omphe, in Paris, without pigeons. The idea is simply to collect

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documentary proof that they have been there. The German travels to check up on his guide-books: when he sees that the Ponte di Rialto is really at its proper venue, that the Leaning Tower is in its appointed place in Pisa and is leaning at the promised angle - he ticks these things off in his guide-book and returns home with the gratifying feeling that he has not been swindled. But why do the English travel?

First, because their neighbour does and they have caught the bug from him. Secondly, they used to be taught that travel broadens the mind and although they have by now discovered the sad truth that whatever travel may do to the mind, Swiss or German food certainly broadens other parts of the body, the old notion still lingers on. But lastly - and perhaps mainly - they travel to avoid foreigners. Here, in England, one is always exposed to the danger of meeting all sorts of peculiar aliens. Not so on one's journeys in Europe, if one manages things intelligently. I know many English people who travel in groups, stay in hotels where even the staff is English, eat roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on Sundays and Welsh rarebit and steak and kidney pudding on weekdays, all over Europe. The main aim ef the Englishman abroad is to meet people; I mean, of course, nice English people from next door or from the next street. Normally one avoids one's neighbour ('It is best to keep yourself to yourself - 'We leave other alone and want to be left alone' etc, etc). If you meet your next door neighbour in the High Street or at your front door you pretend not to see him or, at best, nod coolly; but if you meet him in Capri or Granada, you embrace him fondly and stand him a drink or two; and you may even discover that he is quite a nice chap after all and both of you might just as well have stayed at home.

(From "How to Be Inimitable" by George Mikes)

QUESTIONS FОR DISCUSSION

I. How does the author characterize a modern disease the name of which is travel? Are you taken with a similar disease when your summer or winter vacations are coming?

II. What aim do you set yourself when you travel or go hiking?

III. What thoughts in the extract strike you as most humorous?

XIII

A. How does your housekeeper get on with your pupil?

B. Oh, she's jolly glad to get so much taken off her hands; for before the girl came, she used to have to find things and remind rne of my appointments. But she's got some silly bee in her bonnet about the girl. She keeps saying "You don't think, sir", doesn't she, Pick?

C. Yes, that's the formula "You don't think, sir". That's the end of every conversation about our pupil.

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В. As if I ever stop thinking about the girl and her confounded vowels and consonants. I'm worn out, thinking about her, and watching her lips and her teeth and her tongue, not to mention her soul, which is the quaintest of the lot.

A. You certainly are a pretty pair of babies playing with your live doll.

B. Playing! The hardest job I ever tackled: make no mistake about that, mother.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What is the title of the play? What are the names of the characters who take part in the conversation?

II. Who is the girl they are talking about? What do you know about her?

III. What is the attitude of B. and C. towards the girl?

IV. Have you seen the screen version of the play? Did you like it? What title does it come under?

XIV

The sight of a tailor-shop gave me a sharp longing to throw off my rags, and clothe myself decently once more. Could I afford it? No; I had nothing in the world but a million pounds. So I forced myself to go on. But soon I was drifting back again. The temptation persecuted me cruelly. I must have passed the shop back and forth six times during that manful struggle. At last I gave in; I had to. 1 asked if they had a misfit suit that had been thrown on their hands. The fellow I spoke to nodded his head toward another fellow, and gave me no answer. I went to the indicated fellow, and he indicated another fellow with his head, and no words. I went to him, and he said: "'Tend to you presently."

I waited till he was done with what he was doing. Then he took me into a back room, looked through a pile of rejected suits, and selected the cheapest one for me. I put it on. It didn't fit, and wasn't in any way attractive, but it was new, and I was anxious to have it; so I didn't find any fault, but said shyly:

"Could you possibly wait a few days for the money? I haven't any small change about me."

The fellow looked at me sarcastically, and said:

"Oh, you haven't? Well, of course,.! didn't expect it. I'd expect gentleman like you to carry only large bills."

I was hurt and said:

"My friend, you shouldn't judge a stranger always by the clothes he wears. I am quite able to pay for this suit. I simply didn't wish to put you to the trouble of changing a large note."

He modified his style a little at that, and said:.

"I didn't mean any harm, but why did you jump to the conclusion that we couldn't change any note that you might happen to be .carrying around? On the contrary, we can."

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I handed the note to him,-and said:

"Oh, very well; 1 apologize."

He received it with a smile, one of those large smiles which goes all around over the face, and has folds in it, and wrinkles, and spirals, and looks like the place where you have thrown a brick in a pond; and then in the act of his taking a glimpse at the bill this smile froze solid, and turned yellow, and looked like those wavy spreads of lava which you find hardened on the side of the Vesuvius.

The man stood there holding the bill, and looking like that, and the proprietor hurried up to see what was the matter and said briskly:

"Well, what's up? What's the trouble? What's wrong?"

QUESTIONS AND EXERC/SES

I. What is the tille of the story the passage comes from?

II. How did the man come into possession of the banknote?

III. Write what you think happened when the proprietor of the tailor-shop saw the banknote.

IV. What proverbs do you know that might apply in this situation?

V. Pick out from the passage five active structural patterns. Make up several exercises to activate them. Act as teacher and have the exercises done in class.

XV

1) He sits not a dozen yards away. If I glance over my shoulder I can see him. And if 1 catch his eye - and usually I catch his eye - it meets me with an expression -

It is mainly an imploring look - and yet with suspicion in it. Confound his suspicion! If I wanted to tell on him I should have told long ago. I don't tell and I don't tell, and he ought to feel at ease. Who would believe me if I did tell?

Poor old martyr! The fattest clubman in London. And why does he keep on eternally eating?

He sits at one of the little club tables in the huge bay by the fire, stuffing. What is he stuffing? I glance furtively and catch him biting at the round of hot buttered tea-cake, with his eyes on me. Confound him! - with his eye on me.

That settles it, Pyecraft! Since you will behave as though I was not a man of honour, I'll write the whole thing down - the plain truth about Pyecraft. The man I helped, the man I shielded and who has made my club unendurable, absolutely unendurable, with his eternal appeal, with the perpetual "don't tell" of his looks.

Well, here's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

2) He did come back.. He does. There he sits behind me now stuffing hot buttered tea-cakes. And no one in the whole world knows - except his housekeeper and me - that he weighs practically nothing; that he is a mere boring mass of assimilatory matters, mere clouds in clothing, and most inconsiderate of men. There he sits watching

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until I have done this writing. Then, he will come billowing up to me...

He will tell me over again all about it, how it feels, how it doesn't feel, how he sometimes hopes it is passing off a little. And always somewhere in that fat, abundant discourse he will say, "The secret's keeping, eh? If anyone knew of it I should be so ashamed... Makes a fellow look such a fool, you know. Crawling about on a ceiling and all that..."

And now to elude Pyecraft, occupying, as he does, an admirable strategic position between me and the door.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What is the title of the story the passages come from?

II. How do the passages fit into the story?

III. What made the author change his attitude towards Pyecraft and write the whole truth about him?

IV. What sentence shows that the author was afraid of Pyecraft when he had finished writing the story?

V. What do you think is the most rational attitude towards one's weight and dieting?

XVI

Next afternoon young Swain was shown into the big living room. The old man looked at him appraisingly.

"Sir, I'm not an artist yet," answered the young man.

"Umph?" Swain arranged some paper and crayons on the table,

"Let's try and draw that vase over there on the mantelpiece," he suggested. "Try it, Mister Ellsworth, please."

"Umph!" The old man took a piece of crayon in a shaky hand and made a scrawl. He made another scrawl and connected the two with a couple of crude lines. "There it is, young man," he snapped a grunt of satisfaction. Frank Swain was patient. He needed the five dollars. Ran an elevator at night to pay tuition fees.

"If you want to draw you will have to look at what you're drawing, sir," he said calmly.

When the art student came the following week there was a drawing on the table that had a slight resemblance to the vase.

The wrinkles deepened at the corners of the old man's eyes and he asked, "Well, what do you think of it?"

"Not bad, sir," answered the patient student. "But it's a bit lopsided'."

"By gum," old Ellsworth chuckled. "I see.The halves don't match." He added a few lines with a palsied hand and colored the open spaces blue like, a child playing with a picture book.

When the late spring sun began to cloak the fields and gardens with color, the old man executed a god-awful smudge which he called "Trees Dressed in White". It resembled a gob of salad dressing thrown violently up against the side of a house! Then he made a startling

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announcement. He was going to exhibit it in the summer show at the Lathrop Gallery!

"We've got to stop him," said Mr. Ellsworth's old servant. "If the papers get hold of this, he will become a laughing-stock."

"No," admonished the doctor. "We can't interfere with him now and take a chance of spoiling all the good work that we've accomplished."

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES

I. What story is the passage taken from?

II. Do you remember why the old man wa* persuaded to take up art?

III. Do you think he managed to get even with his doctor?

IV. Using the passage as a basis make up several exercises to activate the word combinations and structural patterns given below. Act as teacher and have the exercises done in class.

to suggest doing smth; to offer to do smth; to be able to do smth; to be capable of doing smth; to-persuade smb to do smth; to convince smb that; would rather; had better; to have smth done; to afford to do smth

XVII

"Would you like to go home?" I said to the kid.

"Aw, what for?" said he. "I don't have any fun at home. I hate to go to school. I like to camp out. You won't take me back home again, will you?"

"Not right away," said I. "We'll stay here in the cave awhile."

"All right!" said he. "That'll be fine. I never had such fun in all my life."

We went to bed about eleven o'clock. We spread down some wide-blankets and quilts and put the kid between us. We weren't afraid he'd run away. But he kept us awake for three long hours. At last, 1 fell into a troubled sleep, and dreamed that I had been.kidnapped and chained to a tree by a ferocious pirate with red hair.

Just at daybreak, I was awakened by a series of awful screams from my friend. They weren't yells, or howls, or shouts, or whoops, such as you'd expect from a manly set of vocal organs - they were simply indecent, terrifying, humiliating screams, such as women emit when they see ghosts or caterpillars. It's an awful thing to hear a strong, desperate, fat man scream incontinently in a cave at daybreak.

I jumped up to see what the matter was, The kid. was sitting on Bill's chest, with one hand twined in Bill's hair. In the other he had the sharp case-knife we used for slicing bacon; and he was industriously and realistically trying to take Bill's, scalp, according to the sentence that had been pronounced upon him the evening before.

310

1 got the knife away from the kid and made him lie down again. But, from that moment, Bill's spirit was broken. He again lay down on his side of the bed, but he never closed an eye again in sleep as long as that boy was with us.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What is-the title of the story the passage comes from?

II. How did the buy happen "to be wrth the men in the cave?

III. Did the men. manage to buy a tavern as they had planned?

IV. Have you seen the screen version of the story? Did you like it?

XVIII

"Well, Ma'am, I am happy to congratulate you."

"What upon?" said my aunt, sharply.

The doctor was fluttered again, by the extreme severity of my aurit's manner; so he-made her a little bow and gave her a little smile, to mollify her.

Well, Ma'am," resumed Mr. Chillip, as soon as he had courage, "I am happy to congratulate you. All is over, Ma'am, and well over."

How is she?" said my aunt, folding her arms with her bonnet Still tied on one of them.

"Well, Ma'am, she will soon be quite comfortable, I hope," returned Mr. Chillip. "Quite as comfortable as we can expect a young mother to be, under these melancholy domestic circumstances. There cannot be any objection to your seeing her presently, Ma'am. It' may do her good."

"And she. How is s/ie?" said my aunt, sharply.

Mr. Chillip laid his head a little more on one side, and looked at my - aunt like an amiable bird.

"Ma'am," returned Mr. Chillip, "I apprehended you had known. "It's a boy."

My aunt said never a word, but took her bonnet by the strings, in the manner of a sling, aimed a blow at Mr, Chillip's head with it,'put it on bent, walked out, and never came back. She vanished like a discontended fairy; or like one of those supernatural beings, whom it was popularly supposed I was entitled to see;' and never came back any more.

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES

I. Do you remember the title of the book the passage is. taken from?

II. Explain why the lady and the doctor misunderstood each other. Why did the lady leave so abruptly?

III. What else do you know about the lady?

IV. Consult die Concise Oxford' Dictionary and comment on the origin of the following -words:

extreme; to bow; severity; to mollify; melancholy; a head; to apprehend; to walk; to vanish; to return

311

XIX

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

The New Year is a time for resolutions. Mentally, at least, most of us could compile formidable lists of "do's" and "don'ts". The same old favourites recur year in year out with monotonous regularity. We resolve to get up earlier each morning, eat less, find more time to play with children, do a thousand one jobs about the house, be nice to people you don't like, drive carefully, and take the dog for a walk every day. Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. We also make the fundamental error of announcing our resolutions to everybody so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our old ways. Aware of these pitfalls, this year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself. I limited myself to two modest ambitions: to do physical exercises every morning and to read more of an evening. An all-night party on New Year's Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on the first day of the year, but on the second, I applied myself assiduously to the task.

The daily exercises lasted only eleven minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before anyone had got up. The self-discipline required to drag myself out of bed eleven minutes earlier than usual was considerable. Nevertheless, I managed to creep down into the living-room for two days before anyone found me out. After jumping about on the carpet and twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me. The next morning the whole family trooped in to watch the performance. That was really unsettling but I fended off the taunts and jibes of the family good-humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea. However, my enthusiasm waned. The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished- Little by little the eleven minutes fell to zero. By January 10th, I was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home from work. Resisting the hypnotizing effect of television, I sat in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to a book. One night, however, feeling cold and lonely, I went downstairs and sat in front of the television pretending to read. That proved to be my undoing, for I soon got back to my old habit of dozing off in front of the screen. I still haven't given up my resolution to do more reading. In fact, I have just bought a book entitled "How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute". Perhaps it will solve my problem, but I just haven't had time to read it!

(From "Developing Skills" by L. G. Alexander)

312

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES

I. What efforts at self-improvement have you ever made? Were they successful?

II. Write a short story about one of your efforts at self-improvement and what came of it.

III. Pick out words and word combinations in the story which you think are used by the author to achieve a humorous effect.

XX

On the way to the station William remembered with a fresh pang of disappointment that he was taking nothing down to the kiddies. Poor little chaps! It was harden them. Their first words always were as they ran to greet him, "What have you got for me, daddy?" and he had nothing. He would have to buy them some sweets at the station. But that was what he had done for the past four Saturdays; their faces had fallen last time when they saw the same old boxes produced again.

And Paddy had said, "I had red ribbing on mine bee-fore!"

And Johnny had said, "It's always pink on mine, I hate pink."

But what was William to do? The affair wasn't so easily settled. In the old days, of course, he would have taken a taxi off to a decent toyshop and chosen them something in five minutes. But nowadays they had French toys, Russian toys, Serbian toys - toys from God knows where. It was over a year since Isabel had scrapped the old donkeys and engines and so on because they were so "dreadfully sentimental" and "so appallingly bad for the babies' sense of form".

"It's so important," the new Isabel had explained, "that they should like the right things from the very beginning. It saves so much later on. Really, if the poor pets have to spend their infant years staring at these horrors, one can imagine them growing up and asking to be taken to the Royal Academy."*

And she spoke as though a visit to the Royal Academy was certain immediate death to any one ...

"Well, I don't know," said William slowly. "When I was their age I used to go to bed hugging an old towel with a knot in it."

The new Isabel looked at him, her eyes narrowed, heir lips apart.

"Dear William! I'm sure you did!" she laughed in the new way.

Sweets it would have to be, however, thought William gloomily, fishing in his pocket for change for the taxi-man. And he saw the kiddies handing the boxes round - they were awfully generous little chaps - while Isabel's precious friends didn't hesitate to help themselves...

What about fruit? William hovered before a stall just inside the station. What about a melon each? Would they have to share that, too? Or a pineapple for Pad, and a melon for Johnny? Isabel's friends could hardly go sneaking up to the nursery at the children's meal-times. All the same, as he bought the melon William had a

313

horrible vision of one of Isabel's young poets lapping up a slice, for some reason, behind the nursery door.

With his two very awkward parcels he strode off to his train. 'The platform was crowded, the train was in. Doors banged open and shut. There came such a loud hissing from the engine that people looked dazed as they scurried to and fro. William made straight for the first-class smoker, stowed away his suitcase and parcels, and taking a huge wad of papers out of his inner pocket, he flung down in the corner and began to read.

(From "Marriage a la Mode" by Catherine Mansfield)

EXERCISES

I. Make up a few questions on the passage and ask your comrades to answer them.

II. Think of a number of statements concerning events in the text and ask your comrades to find evidence in the text to support them.

XXI

DON JUAN (an excerpt)

By G. G. Byron (1788-1824)

VIII

But to our tale: the Donna Inez sent
Her son to Cadiz only to embark;
To stay there had not answered her intent,
But why? - we leave the reader in the dark -
'T was for voyage the young man was meant,
As if a Spanish ship were Noah's ark,
To wean him from the wickedness of earth,
And send him like a dove of promise forth.

IX

Don Juan bade his valet pack his things
According to direction, then received
A lecture and some money: for four springs
He was to travel: and though Inez grieved
(As every kind of parting has its stings),
She hoped he would improve - perhaps believed:
A letter, too, she gave (he never read it)
Of good advice - and two or three of credit.

X

In the mean time, to pass her hours away,
Brave Inez now set up a Sunday school

314

For naughty children, who would rather play
(Like truant rogues) the devil, or the fool:
Infants of three years old were taught that day,
Dunces were whipt, or set upon a stool:
The great success of Juan's .education
Spurr'd her to teach another generation.

XI

Juan embark'd - the ship got under way,
The wind was fair, the water passing rough;
A devil of a sea rolls in that bay.
As I, who've cross'd it oft, know well enough;
And, standing upon the deck, the dashing spray
Flies in one's face, and makes it weather-tough:
And there he stood to take, and take again
His first - perhaps his last - farewell of Spain.

XII

1 can't but say it is an awkward sight
To see one's- native land receding through
The growing waters; it unmans one quite,
Especially when life is rather new;
1 recollect Great Britain's coast looks white,
But almost every other country's blue,
When gazing on them, mystified by distance,
We enter on our nautical existence.

XIII

So Juan stood, bewilder'd on the deck;
The wind sung, cordage strain'd, and sailors swore,
And the ship creak'd, the town became a speck,
From which away so fair and fast they bore.
The best of remedies is a beefsteak
Against sea-sickness: try it, sir, before ,
You sneer, and I assure you this is true,
For I have found it answer - so may you.

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES

I. What do the stanzas tell you about Don Juan and Donna Inez and their mutual relations. And what do they tell about Byron'himself?

II. What stylistic devices have you noticed in the stanzas?

III. What other episodes from the poem do you remember?

IV. The following translation of the above stanzas from "Don Juan" is by P. Kozlov. Compare the translation with the original text and point out the parts that were left out by the translator. What parts of the translation do not correspond literally to the original?

315

VIII

Но вновь к рассказу! В Кадис послан был
Жуан, но мать ему велела строго
Не оставаться в нем. Кто не грешил
На суше, где соблазнов всяких много?
Надеялась она, что сердца пыл
Остудит в нем далекая дорога.
На корабле, от шашней удален,
Мог плавать как в ковчеге Ноя он.

IX

Напутствие прослушал наш повеса
И, денег взяв, укладываться стал.
Грустила, расставаясь с ним, Инесса
(Он на четыре года уезжал).
Без слез разлуки нет; но факт, что беса
Сынок отгонит - донну утешал.
С инструкцией (что впрочем не прочел он)
Жуан сел на корабль, унынья полон.

X

Инесса между тем, с сынком простясь,
Устроила воскресные собрания,
Чтобы отучать мальчишек от проказ;
Им строгие давала назидания.
Она пребольно секла их не раз.
Так удалось Жуана воспитанье,
Что поколенье новое от зла
Спасти - ей мысль блестящая пришла.

XXII

It had been a day like other days at the office. Nothing special had happened. Harold hadn't come back from lunch until close on four o'clock. Where had he been? What had he been doing? He wasn't going to let his father know. Old Mr. Neave had happened to he in the hall, saying good-bye to a caller, when Harold walked in, perfectly dressed as usual, cool, smiling that peculiar little half-smile that women found so attractive.

Ah, Harold was too handsome, too handsome by far; that had been the trouble all the time. No man had a right to such eyes and such lips. As for his mother, his sisters, and the servants, it was not too much to say that they made a young god of him; they worshipped Harold, they forgave him everything; and he had needed some forgiving ever since the time when he was thirteen and he had stolen his mother's purse, taken the money and hidden the purse in the cook's

316

bedroom. Old Mr. Neave struck sharply with his stick upon the pavement edge. But it wasn't only his family who spoiled Harold, |he thought, it was everybody; he had only to look and to smile, and down they went before him. So perhaps it wasn't strange that he expected the office to do the same. But it couldn't be done. No business - not even a successful, established, big paying business - could be played with. A man had either to put his whole heart and soul into it, or it went all to pieces before his eyes.

And then Charlotte and the girls were always asking him to hand the whole thing over to Harold, to retire, and to spend his time enjoying himself. Enjoying himself! Old Mr. Neave stopped under a group of ancient trees outside the Government buildings. Enjoying himself! Sitting at home, conscious all the time that his life's work was slipping away, disappearing through Harold's fine fingers, while Harold smiled...

"Why will you be so unreasonable, Father? There's absolutely no need for you to go to the office. It only makes it very awkward for us when people say how tired you're looking. Here's this huge house and garden. Surely you could be happy in it for a change. Or you could take up some hobby."

And Lola, the youngest, said, "All men ought to have hobbies. It makes life impossible if they haven't."

"Well, well!" He couldn't help a bitter smile as painfully he began to climb the hill that led into Harcourt Avenue. Where would Lola and her sisters and Charlotte be, if he'd taken up hobbies? Hobbies couldn't pay for the town house and the seaside bungalow, and their horses, and the sixty-guinea gramophone in the music room for them to dance to. But he was not complaining. No, they were smart, good-looking girls, and Charlotte was a remarkable woman; it was natural for them to be modern in their ideas. As a matter of fact no other house in the town was as popular as theirs; no other family had so many visitors. And how many times old Mr. Neave, pushing the cigar-box across the smoking-room table, had listened to praises of his wife, his girls, of himself even.

"You're an ideal family, sir, an ideal family. It's like something one reads about or sees on the stage."

"That's all right, my boy," old Neave would reply. "Try one of these cigars. I think you'll like them. And if you care to smoke in the garden, you'll find the girls there, I dare say."

That was why the girls never married, so people said. They could have married anybody. But they had too good a time at home. They were too happy together, the girls and Charlotte. H'm, h'm. Well, well! Perhaps so...

By this time he had walked the length of fashionable Harcourt Avenue; he had reached the corner house, their house. The carriage gates were pushed back; there were fresh marks of wheels on the drive. And then he faced the big white-painted house, with its wide-open windows, its curtains floating outwards. On each side of the entrance pinkish, bluish masses of flowers lay like light among the

317

spreading leaves. And somehow it seemed to old Mr. Neave that the house and the flowers, and even the fresh marks on the drive, were saying, "There is young life here. There are girls - "

From the music room sounded the piano, quick, loud and impatient. Through the drawing-room door that was half-open voices floated.

Suddenly the music-room door opened and Lola dashed out. She started, she nearly screamed, at the sight of old Mr. Neave.

"Oh, Father? What a fright you gave me! Have you just come home? Why isn't Charles here to help you off with your coat?"

Her face was red with playing, her eyes shone, the hair fell over her forehead. And she breathed as though she had come running through the dark and was frightened. Old Mr. Neave stared at his youngest daughter; he felt he had never seen her before. So that was Lola, was it? But she seemed to have forgotten her father; it was not for him that she was waiting there. The telephone rang. A-sh! Lola gave a cry and dashed past him. The door of the telephone'room shut noisily, and at the same moment Charlotte called, "Is that you, •Father?"

"You're tired again," said Charlotte. "Did you walk back?"

"Yes, I walked home," said old Mr. Neave, and he sank into one of the immense drawing-room chairs.

"But why didn't you take a cab?" said Ethel. "There are hundreds of cabs at that time."

"My dear Ethel," said Marion, "if Father prefers to tire himself out, I really don't see what business it is of ours to interfere."

"Children! Children!" said Charlotte. "Did Harold leave the office before you, dear?"

"I'm not sure," said old Mr. Neave. "I'm not sure. I didn't see him after four o'clock."

(From "An Ideal Family" by Katherine Mansfield)

QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES

I. What have you learned about Mr. Neave's family? Was there much understanding between Mr. Neave and his family?

II. What did he mean by saying: "... it was natural for them to be modern in their ideas"? Was he old-fashioned?

III. What was the cause of Mr. Neave's anxiety?

IV. Think of a number of statements concerning events in the text and ask your comrades to find evidence in the text to support them.

V. What is the author's attitude to her characters?

VI. Comment on the title of the story.

VII. Using the story as a basis make up several exercises to activate the word combinations given below. Act as teacher and ask your fellow-sludents to do your exercises:

to be annoyed at smth or with smb; to confide one's troubles to smb; to give smb to understand; on the face of it; to draw the line somewhere

318

XXIII

The girl plunged like a wind-driven storm-petrol on her way. She looked up at the ragged sierras of cloud-capped buildings that rose above the streets, shaded by the night lights. They were so like the wintry mountains of her Western home that she felt a satisfaction such as the hundred-thousand-dollar house had seldom brought her.

A policeman caused her to waver on a corner, just by his eye and weight.

"Hello, Mabel!" said he. "Kind of late for you to be out, ain't it?"

"I - I am just going to the drug store," said the girl, hurrying past him.

Turning eastward, the direct blast cut down her speed one half. She made zigzag tracks in the snow; but she was as tough as a pine-tree sapling, and bowed to it as gracefully. Suddenly the studio-building loomed before her, a familiar landmark, like a cliff above some well-remembered canon. The haunt of business and its hostile neighbour, art, was darkened and silent. The elevator stopped at ten.

Up eight flights of stairs the girl climbed, and rapped firmly at the door numbered "89". She had been there many times before, with her uncle.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

I. What story is the passage taken from? How does it fit into it?

II. What did the girl look like as she hurried to the painter's studio? What do you know about her from the rest of the story?

III. What city is described in the passage? What similes help you guess? What do you know about the city?

XXIV

Read the text and comment on it. What is your idea of a future city?

CITIES OF THE FUTURE

The subject of future cities is now new. Thomas More and Saint-Simon, Robert Owen and Nikolai Chernyshevsky wrote of them in their time as cities of happiness and social harmony. Writers of fantastic tales dreamed of them as they tried to peer into the future. Yet the world kept changing and the technical means of solving the numerous tasks facing mankind also changed. Today cities of the future are already emerging before our very eyes.

What will future cities be like? How large will they be? There is no unanimous opinion on this subject.

This is how Alexander Kazantsev, the well-known Soviet science fiction writer, sees Moscow in the future.

"There is no city in the accepted sense of the word. Only the scientific and administrative centres have remained. Muscovites will live, in the main, many kilometres away from the centre, in well-appointed cottages and houses in the lap of nature. The entire

319

territory will be turned into a huge forest-park. Synthetic food factories will make it possible to free huge areas at present under cultivation."

The picture he presents is quite an attractive one. For it would really be wonderful to break out of the stone walls that have been pressing upon man for ages and return to nature.

Most architects, however, hold a different point of view. They are for the city, but a city of every possible comfort and one that offers reliable protection from all the unfavourable effects of the outer world. The arguments they adduce in favour of further urbanization are well founded. First of all, one must take into account the prospect of a steadily increasing world population.

Population growth forces cities to grow outwards, and in the opinion of some scientists is liable in the ultimate end to lead to the emergence of a single gigantic planet-polis, a world wide city. In Europe something of this kind can be expected in 150 years.

The Soviet Union with its huge spaces is not in danger of such a rapid merging of towns and cities. But in principle the problem has also become actual.

What is the alternative? First of all to go over to vertical structures. The project designed by engineer Dryazgov consists of a truncated cone having a base with a diameter of 34 km and a height of 1,5 km. It is capable of accommodating 54 million people in the housing quarters encircling its outer surface in tiers. Five gigantic cities of this kind, each covering an area not exceeding that of present-day Moscow, could house nearly the entire Soviet population.

Vertical cities are not only many-storey, structures linked at ground level. They will be connected at several levels, which makes it possible to speak of spatial town-building, one of the most promising in Soviet architecture. This building principle makes it possible to save much of the land. Vertical cities will be located amidst fields and forests, the surrounding world will be one of abundant verdure and have a pure and healthy atmosphere.

Vertical cities can now grow not only upwards but also downwards. Underground urbanization is an effective means of overcoming congestion in big cities. That is why underground construction is making steady headway in the USSR: new metro lines are being laid; garages and high-speed municipal transport are going underground; cinema, theatres, exhibition halls, shops, etc are also submerging.

Scientific and technological progress offers diverse means of economizing such a valuable thing as land. These include intensification of agriculture and the development of chemical and microbiological foodstuffs, aquaculture or sea-farming, "miniaturization" of industry, and new architectural solutions for housing areas. Moscow already has several many-storey buildings lacking aground floor. They are built on U-like supports occupying exceedingly small areas thereby leaving more free space for other purposes.

(From "Sputnik", No. 12, 1977)

320


*Exercises to texts I-XII are to be done with Part I of the textbook; exercises to texts XIII-XXIV -with Part II.

*The Royal Academy of Arts



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