MATERIAL FOR RENDERING AND DISCUSSION

I. a) Give Russian equivalents for the following adjectives used in Lessons 1-8:

hostile (to), friendly; indifferent; frank, sincere, candid; wonderful, admirable, delightful, charming; cheerful, lighthearted; thoughtful, careless; wasteful, practical, business-like; steady, level-headed; affectionate; demonstrative; decent, discreet, indiscreet; interfering, meddling; intrusive, officious; persistent, stubborn; hot-tempered, even-tempered, good-tempered, bad-tempered; patient, impatient; irritable; inconspicuous; artistic; trying, tedious; colourful, colourless; intelligent; original; stern; impertinent; sensible, sensitive; cautious; vulgar; just, fair,

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unjust, unfair; humble, haughty; placid; vain; extravagant; ambitious; incapable (of); self-confident; revengeful; absent-minded, broad-minded, narrow-minded; odd; squeamish; sympathetic

b) Give the character sketches of: a) one of the three friends (Lesson Two); b) Gwendolen, Jack and Lady Bracknell (Lesson Three); c) Andrew and Christine (Lesson Four); d) The boy and the girl (Lesson Five); e) Ellsworth (Lesson Six); f) Napoleon and the Lady (Lesson Seven); g) The doctor (Lesson Eight), using as many of the adjectives given above as possible.

II. a) Read the story:

THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER

By W. Somerset Maugham

When I was a very small boy I was made to learn by heart certain of the fables-of La Fontaine, and the moral of each was carefully explained to me. Among those I learnt was "The Ant and the Grasshopper", which is devised to bring home to the young the useful lesson that in an imperfect world industry is rewarded and giddiness punished. In this admirable fable (I apologise for telling something which everyone is politely, but inexactly, supposed to know) the ant spends a laborious summer gathering its winter store; while the grasshopper sits on a blade of grass singing to the sun. Winter comes and the ant is comfortably provided for, but the grasshopper has an empty larder: he goes to the ant and begs for a little food. Then the ant gives him her classic answer:

"What were you doing in the summer time?"

"Saving your presence, I sang, I sang all day, all night."

"You sang. Why, then go and dance."

I do not ascribe it to perversity on my part, but rather to the inconsequence of childhood, which is deficient in moral sense, that I could never quite reconcile myself to the lesson. My sympathies were with the grasshopper and for some time I never saw an ant without putting my foot on it. In this summary (and, as I have discovered since, entirely human) fashion I sought to express my disapproval of prudence and common sense.

I could not help thinking of this fable when the other day I saw George Ramsay lunching by himself in a restaurant. I never saw anyone wear an expression of such deep gloom. He was staring into space. He looked as though the burden of the whole world sat on his shoulders. I was sorry for him: I suspected at once that his unfortunate brother had been causing trouble again. I went up to him and held out my hand.

"How are you?" I asked.

"I'm not in hilarious spirits," he answered.

"Is it Tom again?"

He sighed.

"Yes, it's Tom again."

"Why don't you chuck him? You've done everything in the world for him. You must know by now that he's quite hopeless."

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I suppose every family has a black sheep. Tom had been a sore trial to his for twenty years. He had begun life decently enough: he went into business, married and had two children. The Ramsays were perfectly respectable people and there was every reason to suppose that Tom Ramsay would have a useful and honourable career. But one day, without warning, he announced that he didn't like work and that he wasn't suited for marriage. He wanted to enjoy himself. He would listen to no expostulations. He left his wife and his office. He had a little money and he spent two happy years in the various capitals of Europe. Rumours of his doings reached his relations from time to time and they were profoundly shocked. He certainly had a very good time. They shook their heads and asked what would happen when his money was spent. They soon found out: he borrowed. He was charming and unscrupulous. I have never met anyone to whom it was more difficult to refuse a loan. He made a steady income from his friends and he made friends easily. But he always said that the money you spent on necessities was boring; the money that was amusing to spend was the money you spent on luxuries. For this he depended on his brother George. He did not waste his charm on him. George was a serious man and insensible to such enticements. George was respectable. Once or twice he fell to Tom's promises of amendment and gave him considerable sums in order that he might make a fresh start. On these Tom bought a motorcar and some very nice jewellery. But when circumstances forced George to realise that his brother would never settle down and he washed his hands of him, Tom, without a qualm, began to blackmail him; It was not very nice for a respectable lawyer to find his brother shaking cocktails behind the bar of his favourite restaurant or to see him waiting on the box-seat of a taxi outside his club. Tom said that to serve in a bar or to drive a taxi was a perfectly decent occupation, but if George could oblige him with a couple of hundred pounds he didn't mind for the honour of the family 'giving it up. George paid.

Once Tom nearly went to prison. George was terribly upset. He went into the whole discreditable affair. Really Tom had gone too far. He had been wild, thoughtless and selfish, but he had never before done anything dishonest, by which George meant illegal; and if he were prosecuted he would assuredly be convicted. But you cannot allow your only brother to go to gaol. The man Tom had cheated, a man called Cronshaw, was vindictive. He was determined to take the matter into court; he said Tom was a scoundrel and should be punished. It cost George an. infinite deal of trouble and five hundred pounds to settle the affair. I have never seen him in such a rage as when he heard that-Tom and Cronshaw had gone off together to Monte Carlo the moment they cashed the cheque. They spent a happy month there.

For twenty years Tom raced and gambled, philandered with the prettiest girls, danced, ate in the most expensive restaurants, and dressed beautifully. He always looked as if he had just stepped out of a bandbox. Though he was forty-six you would never have taken him for more than thirty-five. He was a most amusing companion and though you knew he was perfectly worthless you could not but enjoy his society. He had high

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spirits, аn unfailing gaiety and incredible charm. I never grudged the contributions he regularly levied on me for the necessities of his existence. I never lent him fifty pounds without feeling that I was in his debt. Tom Ramsay knew everyone and everyone knew Tom Ramsay. You could not approve of him, but you could not help liking him.

Poor George, only a year older than his scapegrace brother, looked sixty. He had never taken more than a fortnight's holiday in the year for a quarter of a century. He was in his office every morning at nine-thirty and never left it till six. He was honest, industrious and worthy. He had a good wife, to whom he had never been unfaithful even in thought, and four daughters to whom he was the best of fathers. He made a point of saving a third of his income and his plan was to retire at fifty-five to a little house in the country where he proposed to cultivate his garden and play golf. His life was blameless. He was glad that he was growing old because Tom was growing old too. He rubbed his hands and said:

"It was all very well when Tom was young and good-looking, but he's only a year younger than I am. In four years he'll be fifty. He won't find life so easy then. I shall have thirty thousand pounds by the time I'm fifty. For twenty-five years I've said that Tom would end in the gutter. And we shall see how he likes that. We shall see if it really pays best to work or be idle."

Poor George! I sympathized with him. I wondered now as I sat down beside him what infamous thing Tom had done. George was evidently very much upset.

"Do you know what's happened now?" he asked me.

I was prepared for the worst. I wondered if Tom had got into the hands of the police at last. George could hardly bring himself to speak.

"You're not going to deny that all my life I've been hard-working, decent, respectable and straightforward. After a life of industry and thrift I can look forward to retiring on a small income in gilt-edged securities. I've always done my duty in that state of life in which it has pleased Providence to place me."

"True."

"And you can't deny that Tom has been an idle, worthless, dissolute and dishonourable rogue. If there were any justice he'd be in the workhouse."

"True."

George grew red in the face.

"A few weeks ago he became engaged to a woman old enough to be his mother. And now she's died and left him everything she had. Half a million pounds, a yacht, a house in London and a house in the Country."

George Ramsay beat his clenched fist on the table.

"It's not fair, I tell you; it's not fair. Damn it, it's not fair." I could not help it. I burst into a shout of laughter as I looked at George's wrathful face, I rolled in my chair; I very nearly fell on the floor. George never forgave me. But Tom often asked me to excellent dinners in his charming house in Mayfair, and if he occasionally borrows a trifle from me, that is merely from force of habit. It is never more than a sovereign.

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b) Copy out from the story English equivalents for the following words and word combinations:

трудолюбие; легкомыслие; благоразумие; здравый смысл; респектабельный; беспринципный; легко заводить друзей; беспечный; эгоистичный; негодяй; занимательный собеседник; обладать невероятным обаянием; исполнительный; трудолюбивый; верный; безупречный; сочувствовать (симпатизировать) кому-л.; прямой; беспутный; бесчестный

c) Describe each of the brothers using the above-mentioned words and word combinations. Say which of the brothers you sympathize with and why.

III. Read the following sentences and passages. Write out the italicized words and translate them into Russian:

1. Among the forms to be filled out in applying for admission to the University of Wisconsin is a personal-data sheet. In response to the request to "List Your Personal Strengths", one eighteen-year applicant wrote: "Sometimes I am trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent." Where the form said: "List of .Your Weaknesses", he wrote: "Sometimes I am not trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent." 2. John was a silent, rather sullen man, he was by nature reserved. 3. Bill was a timid man, shy and clumsy in company. 4. It would be foolish to deny that he had amiable traits. He was'without pretence, a hearty fellow, really good-natured. 5. "Thank you, George, you're most reliable" said Jane. 6. She was so extraordinary common-place-a thin faded woman of about fifty.

IV. Answer the following questions:

1. What kind of person will never arrest anyone's attention? (take a risk, spend more than he can afford, take anything to heart, lose his temper, do a silly thing, disobey instructions, waver in the face of danger, fail his friend) 2. What kind of people are often lonely? (are usually surrounded by friends, are easily forgotten, are quick to see the point, think only of themselves, feel uneasy in company, keep their thoughts to themselves, easily lose their patience, enjoy other people's confidence) 3. What kind of people are called good mixers, poor mixers, colourful, discreet, just, business-like, level-headed, sympathetic, revengeful, squeamish, persistent, haughty, humble, placid, broad-minded, vulgar, vain, ambitious? 4. What do you call a person who can't keep a secret? (can appreciate a piece of art, feels deeply, pokes his nose into other people's affairs, intrudes his views on others, is always sure of himself, is mostly in high spirits, gets annoyed easily, keeps on forgetting things, is unlike others, says what he thinks, has no moral principles) 5. What traits of character would you appreciate in a wife (a husband), a mother (a father), a son (a daughter), a bosom friend? What traits would you detest most? 6. What traits of character are required to make a good teacher, a good doctor, a good lawyer, a good journalist? What traits might prevent one from becoming a good specialist in those fields?

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V. Translate the following into English:

1. Александр Грин создал в своих книгах мир ярких и смелых людей, простодушных, как дети, и добрых. В этом мире живут коричневые от солнца моряки, золотоискатели, охотники, неунывающие бродяги и очаровательные женщины, веселые и нежные. 2. Чем-то напомнила она мне Ребекку Шарп, эту теккереевскую Бекки, тщеславную, уверенную в себе, дерзкую и одновременно трусливую, неискреннюю и обольстительную Бекки. 3. Сестры были совсем не похожи друг на друга: Джейн была тихая и незаметная девушка, трудолюбивая, но довольно ограниченная, а Грета - легкомысленная, нетерпеливая и вспыльчивая, но умная и очень интересная как собеседница. 4. Никогда не знаешь, чего ожидать от него: он то дружелюбен и приветлив, то суров и даже враждебен. 5. Друзья Роберта считали его жену, Мод, идеальной женщиной. "Замечательная женщина, тактичная и скромная, верный и надежный друг",- говорили они. 6. Муж и жена прекрасно подходили друг к другу: оба были благоразумны, практичны и респектабельны, только немного скучны и очень заурядны. 7. Поверьте мне, она не так уж добра и благожелательна. Это маска, за которой прячется эгоизм и тщеславие/

VI. a) Read the story;

ВЕТКА МИМОЗЫ

О. Легов

Виктор спешил. Когда до метро оставалось уже несколько шагов, он подумал: "Купить бы что-нибудь. Но что? Обещал Наденьке быть в четыре. Осталось каких-нибудь двадцать минут!"

У входа в метро, как добрая фея, возникла женщина с тремя пушистыми , ветками какого-то растения.

- Мимоза! - улыбнулся Виктор, подойдя ближе.- Девчонки любят цветы. А тут в такую непогодь - мимоза!

Раздумывать было некогда: двумя ветками "фея" уже одарила кого-то, правда, не бескорыстно. Третью успел взять Виктор. Зеленая, с серебряным отливом, с золотистыми бархатными шариками, она была свежа, как зимний морозный день.

"Какая удача!" - обрадовался Виктор. И, осторожно держа ветку за нижнюю, толстую часть стебля, вошел в метро.

- Мама, смотри - мимоза! - услышал он вдруг, обернулся и увидел женщину с девочкой лет семи. Мать и дочка смотрели на цветок и улыбались его счастливому обладателю. Виктор улыбнулся им в ответ. С соседнего эскалатора, поднимавшегося навстречу, все, улыбаясь, провожали взглядом нарядную ветку.

Вот не по летам серьезный парень поднял глаза от книги, увидел мимозу, улыбнулся и опять будто утонул в книге. Две подружки лет по семнадцати, завидя зеленую с золотыми бусинками ветку, прервали даже разговор и некоторое время лишь молча улыбались.

Сходя с эскалатора, Виктор почувствовал, что кто-то трогает его за локоть.

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- А сколько отдал; сынок? - услышал он высокий старческий голос.

- Неважно,- улыбнулся Виктор.

- А все-таки?

В вагон они вошли вместе. Когда старику уступили место, он равнодушно отмахнулся и, став рядом с Виктором, опять спросил:

- Так сколько заплатил-то?

Эта настойчивость была забавной.

- Какая разница, папаша! - удивился Виктор.- За такую красавицу можно заплатить!

- Да, хороша.

Старик вынул руку из рукавицы и погладил золотые гроздья.

- Молодой человек, не разрешайте мять мимозу! - не выдержала сидящая напротив дама с модной сумкой на коленях.

- Я разве мну? - обиделся старик.

- Если каждый будет трогать ветку, вы ее не довезете,- категорически заключила она, обращаясь по-прежнему к Виктору.

- Где вы ее купили?

- У входа. Там было всего три ветки,- ответил Виктор и подумал о Наденьке. Тоже, наверное, спросит, сколько отдал. Она ведь практичная, как этот папаша. И Виктор вспомнил, как два дня назад они с Наденькой подавали заявление в загс.

- Кому нужны эти заявления?!-удивлялся он тогда.- Расписались бы, и дело с концом. Так нет. Сначала подай бумагу, потом жди, не зная чего, целых две недели, и только после этого можно прийти и тогда уже расписаться ...

А Наденьке такой порядок понравился.

- За две недели многое может измениться,- возразила она.- Люди ведь живые. Бывает, передумывают.

"Практичный человек Наденька",- еще раз подумал он.

... На улице люди с поднятыми воротниками опять смотрели на живую мимозу, как на чудо. Несколько раз Виктора останавливали и спрашивали, где удалось ее купить.

Наконец, он остановился у знакомой двери. Нажав кнопку звонка, Виктор спрятал мимозу за спину. Дверь открыла Наденька. Заметив, что Виктор держит руки за спиной, она стала заглядывать то справа, то слева. Тогда, поцеловав Наденьку, он протянул ей мимозу. И тут ее лицо стало таким, как если бы она была мальчишкой и ей вместо карманного фонарика подарили куклу.

- А-а, цветы,- вяло протянула она.

- Тебе не нравится?! - удивился Виктор.

- Да нет, почему. Поставлю в воду. Хотя все равно ведь осыплется.

Виктор не понимал. Он по-прежнему стоял у порога. Дверь в переднюю была открыта. Наденька взяла его за руку.

- Заходи уж, рыцарь. На улице пока не лето.

Он вошел, но так неуверенно, будто по ошибке попал к незнакомым людям. Недоумевая, сказал:

- Это же мимоза, Наденька! ...

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В загсе есть книга. В нее записывают молодоженов. Виктор и Наденька в этой книге не записаны.

b) Answer the following questions;

1. Why did Victor think he was lucky to buy a branch of mimosa? 2. Why did the mimosa attract everyone's attention? 3. Why was Na-denka rather disappointed than pleased to be given flowers? 4. How does her disappointment characterize her? 5. Why couldn't Victor understand her disappointment? 6. Why didn't they get married? 7. They say that extremes meet. Do you think it is true?

c) Give character sketches of the young man and the girl.

VII. Give a character-sketch of a) a friend of yours, b) a character from a novel, play or film.

VIII. Speak of a portrait in which the artist managed to bring out the person's character through his appearance.

IX. Comment on the following quotations:

1. "Character is fate." (Thomas Mann) 2. "There are people who say that suffering ennobles. It is not true. As a general rule it makes a man petty, querulous and selfish." (W. Somerset Maugham)

X. a) Give Russian equivalents for the following sayings, b) Explain in English how each of them characterizes people:

1. A hard nut to crack. 2. A wolf in sheep's clothing. 3. All sugar and honey. 4. Neither fish nor flesh.

Try Your Hand at Teaching

I. Pick out from school vocabulary adjectives characterizing people and make sure that your fellow students remember them.

II. Adapt the story "The Ant and the Grasshopper" for secondary school pupils.

III. Collect short stories revealing the traits of character of people and animals suitable for a discussion in class at school.

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