Ольга Володина The Truest Wisdom Петрозаводск - страница №2/4
2. Read the extracts from the novel.
Edward Driffield worked at night, and Rosie, having nothing to do, was glad to go out with one or other of her friends. She liked luxury and Quentin Forte was well-to-do. He would fetch her in the cab and take her to dine, and she would be on her grandest clothes for him; and Harry Retford, though he never had a bob, behaved as if he had, and took her about in hansoms too and gave her dinner in one or other of the little restaurants that were becoming modish in Soho. He was an actor and clever one, but he was difficult to suit and so was often out of work. He was about thirty, a man with a pleasantly ugly face and a clipped way of speaking that made what he said sound funny. Rosie liked his devil-may-care attitude toward life, the swagger with which he wore clothes made by the best tailor in London and unpaid for, the recklessness with which he would put a fiver he hadn’t got on a horse, and the generosity with which he flung his money about when a lucky win put him in funds. He was gay, charming, vain, boastful, and unscrupulous. Rosie told me that once he had pawned his watch to take her out to dinner and then borrowed a couple of pounds from the actor manager who had given them seats for the play in order to take him out to supper with them afterwards.
But she was just as well pleased to go with Lionel Hillier to his studio and eat a chop that he and she cooked between them and spent the evening talking, and it was only very rarely that she would dine with me at all. I used to fetch her after I had my dinner out and she hers with Driffield, and we would get on a bus and go to a music hall. We went here and there, to the Pavilion or the Tivoli, sometimes to the Metropolitan if there was a particular turn we wanted to see; but our favourite was the Canterbury. It was cheap and the show was good. We ordered a couple of beer and I smoked my pipe. Rosie looked round with delight at the great dark smoky house, crowded to the ceiling with the inhabitants of South London.
I discovered that she was a great reader. She liked history, but only history of certain kind, the lives of queens and mistresses of royal personages; and she would tell me with a childish wonder of the strange things she read. “I like to read about real things”, she said.” I don’t much care about novels.”
She was never a great talker. Often when, the night being fine, we decided to walk back from the hall at which we had been spending the evening, she never opened her mouth. But her silence was intimate and comfortable. It did not exclude you from thoughts that engaged her apart from you; it included you in a pervasive well-being.
I was talking about her once to Lionel Hillier and I said to him that I could not understand how she had turned from the fresh pleasant-looking young woman into the lovely creature whose beauty now practically everyone acknowledged. (There were people who made reservations. “Of course she has a very good figure,” they said, “but it’s not the sort of face I very much admire personally.” And others said: “Oh, yes, of course, a very pretty woman; but it’s a pity she hasn’t a little more distinction.”)
“I can explain that to you in half a jiffy,” said Lionel Hillier. “She was only flesh, buxom wench when you first met her. I made her beauty.” I forget what my answer was, but I know it was ribald. “All right. That just shows you don’t know anything about beauty. No one ever thought very much of Rosie till I saw her like the sun shining silver. It wasn’t till I painted it that anyone knew that her hair was the most lovely thing in the world.”
“Did you make her neck and her breasts and her carriage and her bones?” I asked. “Yes, damn you, that’s just what I did do.”
When Hillier talked of Rosie in front of her she listened to him with a smiling gravity. A little flush came into her pale cheeks. I think that at first when he spoke to her of her beauty she believed he was just making game of her; but when she found out that he wasn’t, when he painted her silvery gold, it had no particular effect on her. She was a trifle amused, pleased of course, and a little surprised, but it didn’t turn her head. She thought him a little mad. I often wondered whether there was anything between them.
Sometimes when we were sitting side by side in a music hall I looked at her face; I do not think I was in love with her; I merely enjoyed the sensation of sitting quietly beside her and looking at the pale gold of her hair and the pale gold of her skin. She had the serenity of a summer evening when the light fades slowly the unclouded sky. There was nothing dull in her immense placidity; it was as living as the sea when under the August sun laid calm and shining along the Kentish coast. She reminded me of a sonatina by an old Italian composer with its wistfulness in which there is yet an urbane flippancy and its light rippling gaiety in which echoes still that trembling of a sigh. Sometimes, feeling my eyes on her, she would turn round and for a moment or two look me full in the face. She did not speak. I did not know of what she was thinking.
Then one night when we had walked home from the Canterbury, and I was leaving her at her door, when I held out my hand she laughed a little, a low chuckle it was, and leaned forward. “You old silly,” she said. She kissed me on the mouth. It was not a hurried peck, nor was it a kiss of passion. Her lips, those very full red lips of hers, rested on mine long enough for me to be conscious of their shape and their warmth and their softness. Then she withdrew them, but without hurry, in silence pushed open the door, slipped inside, and left me. I was so startled that I had not been able to say anything. I accepted her kiss stupidly. I remained inert. I turned away and walked back to my lodging. I seemed to hear still in my ears Rosie’s laughing. It was not contemptuous or wounding, but frank and affectionate; it was as though she laughed because she was fond of me.
well-to-do, devil-may-care attitude, here and there, to have no particular on somebody, to be difficult to suit, used to work, every other day, to gossip, to pawn, to put somebody in funds
7. Form nouns from the following verbs of the active vocabulary and use them in the sentences of your own.
to persuade, to effect, to behave, to acknowledge, to admire, to exclude, to include
8. Form nouns from the following adjectives and use them in the sentences of your own speaking about the characters of the text.
generous, gay, charming, vain, boastful, unscrupulous, inert, contemptuous, wounding, frank, affectionate
9. Translate into English using the active vocabulary.
1. Он вел себя как богач, хотя не имел ни копейки.
2. Твои слова вскружили ей голову, а ты всего лишь беззаботно играл с ней.
3. Ее признание не произвело на него никакого впечатления.
4. Неудача в любви не исключает положительных эмоций.
5. Она сопровождала его повсюду.
6. Ты слишком свободно общаешься с ней. Веди себя прилично.
11. Open the brackets using the appropriate form of the Infinitive. Explain the grammar rule. Translate into Russian.
12. Answer the following questions:
13. Describe the males courting Rosie:
14. What would you say if you were different characters?
1. Imagine you are Lionel Hillier. Tell us about your concern for Rosie’s appearance and behavior.
2. Imagine you are Rosie. Tell us about your friendship with Harry Retford.
3. Imagine you are the author. Tell us your impression of Rosie.
15. Say everything you can about Rosie ... (Consider the following):
16. Discuss the text.
1. In what tenor is the extract written (dry, matter-of fact, ironical, pathetic)?
2. Note the choice of words in which the author described Rosie. What role do the many adjectives play in the text?
3. How did the author accentuate the contrast between Rosie and other women?
17. What impressed you most of all in the text and why?
18. Write а summary of your comments on the extract. State its message.
William Somerset Maugham
1. Learn the material about the novel.
The main character of “The Theater” Julia Lambert was in her prime, the greatest actress in England. On stage she was a true professional, in full possession of her emotions. Off stage, however, she was bored with her husband, less disciplined about her behavior. She is first amused by the attention of a shy but ambitious fan then thrilled by his persistence and at last wildly but dangerously in love… Although Maugham is most celebrated as a novelist and a shortstory writer, it was as a playwright that he first knew success. Theater was both a tribute to a world which he had retired and a persuasive testimony to his enthusiasm for drama and the stage.
2. Read the extracts from the novel.
After taking off her stage make-up Julia had done nothing to her face except put the very faintest shading of blue under her eyes. She had a smooth, pale skin and without rouge on her cheeks or red on her lips she looked wan. The man’s dressing-gown gave an effect at once helpless, fragile and gallant. Her heart was beating painfully and she was very anxious, but looking at herself in the glass she murmured: Mimi in the last act of Boheme. Almost without meaning to she coughed once or twice consumptively. She turned off the bright lights on her dressing-table and lay down on the sofa. Presently there was a knock on the door and Evie announced Mr Fennell. Julia held out a white, thin hand.
“I’m lying down. I’m afraid I’m not very well. Find yourself a chair. It’s nice of you to come.”
“I’m sorry. What’s the matter?”
“Oh, nothing.’ She forced a smile to her ashy lips. “I haven’t been sleeping very well the last two or three nights.” She turned her beautiful eyes on him and for a while gazed at him in silence. His expression was sullen, but she had a notion that he was frightened. “I’m waiting for you to tell me what you’ve got against me?” She said at last in a low voice. It trembled a little, she noticed, but quite naturally. (“Christ, I believe I’m frightened too”.)
“There’s no object in going back to that. The only thing I wanted to say to you was this: I’m afraid I can’t pay you the two hundred pounds I owe you right away. I simply haven’t got it, but I’ll pay you by degrees. I hate having to ask you to give me time, but I can’t help myself.”
She sat up on the sofa and put both her hands to her beating heart. “I don’t understand. I’ve lain awake for two whole nights turning it all over in my mind. I thought I should go mad. I’ve been trying to understand. I can’t. I can’t. (What play did I say that in?”)
“Oh yes, you can, you understand perfectly. You were angry with me and you wanted to get back on me. And you did. You got back on me all right. You couldn’t have shown your contempt for me more clearly.”
“But why should I want to get back on you? Why should I be angry with you?”
“Because I went to Maidenhead with Roger to that party and you wanted me to come home.”
“But I told you to go. I said I hoped you’d have a good time.”
“You know you did, but your eyes were blazing with passion. I didn’t want to go, but Roger was keen on it. I told him I thought we ought to come back and dine with you and Michael, but he said you’d be glad to have us off your hands, and I didn’t like to make a song and dance about it. And when I saw you were in a rage it was too late to get out of it.”
“I wasn’t in a rage. I can’t think how you got such an idea in your head. It was so natural that you should want to go the party. You can’t think I’m such a beast as to grudge you a little fun in your fortnight’s holiday. My poor lamb, my only fear was that you would be bored. I so wanted you to have a good time.”
“Then why did you send me that money and write me that letter? It was so insulting.”
Julia’s voice faltered. Her jaw began to tremble and the loss of control over her muscles was strangely moving. Tom looked away uneasily. “I couldn’t bear to think of your having to throw away your money on tips. I know that you’re not terribly rich and I knew you’ve spent a lot on green fees. I hate women who go about with young men and let them pay for everything. It’s in considerable. I treated you just as I’d have treated Roger. I never thought it would hurt your feelings.”
“Will you swear that?”
“Of course I will. My God, is it possible that after all these months you don’t know me better than that? If what you think were true, what a mean, cruel, despicable woman I should be, what a cad, what a heartless, vulgar beast! Is that what you think I am?” A poser.
“Anyhow it doesn’t matter. I ought never to have accepted valuable presents from you and allowed you to lend me money. It’s put me in a rotten position. Why I thought you despised me is that I can’t help feeling that you’ve got a right to. The fact is that I can’t afford to run around with people who are so much richer than I am. I was a fool to think I could. It’s been fun and I’ve had a grand time, but now I’m through. I’m not going to see you any more.”
She gave a deep sigh. “You don’t care two hoots for me. That’s what that mean.”
“That’s not fair.”
“You’re everything in the world to me. You know that. I’m so lonely and your friendship means a great deal to me. I’m surrounded by hangers-on and parasites and I knew you were disinterested. I felt I could rely on you. I so loved being with you. You were the only person in the world with whom I could be entirely myself. Don’t you know what a pleasure it was to me to help you a little? It wasn’t for your sake I made you little presents, it was for my own; it made me so happy to see you using the things I’ve given you. If you’d cared for me at all they wouldn’t have humiliated you, you’d have been touched to owe me something.” She turned her eyes on him once more. She could always cry easily, and she was really so miserable now that she did not have to make even a small effort. He had never seen her cry before. She could cry, without sobbing, her wonderful dark eyes wide open, with a face that was almost rigid. Great heavy tears ran down it. And her quietness, the immobility of the tragic body, were terribly moving. She hadn’t cried like that since she cried in The Stricken Heart. Christ, how that play had shattered her. She was not looking at Tom, she was looking straight in front of her; she was really distracted with grief, but what was it? Another self within her knew what she was doing, a self that shared in her unhappiness and yet watched its expression. She felt a sudden anguish wring his heartstrings; she felt that his flesh and blood could not suppose the intolerable pain of hers.
“Julia.” His voice was broken. She slowly turned her liquid eyes on him. It was a woman crying that he knew, it was all the woe of humankind, it was the immeasurable, the inconsolable grief that is the lot of man. He threw himself down on his knee and took her in his arm. “Dearest, Dearest.” For the moment she didn’t move. It was as if she did not know that he was there.
…When he had gone she sat down at the dressing-table and had a good look at herself. “How lucky I am that I can cry without my eyelids swelling”, she said. She massaged them a little. “All the same, what mugs men are.” She was happy. Everything would be all right now. She had got him back. But somewhere, at the back of her mind or in the bottom of her heart, was a feeling of ever so slight contempt for Tom because he was such a simple fool.
to look wan, to give an effect, to murmur, to announce, to cough, to gaze at, to frighten, to tremble, to owe, to pay by degrees, to be angry with, to get back on somebody, to have a good time, to blaze with passion, to be keen on, to have somebody off one’s hands, to be in rage, to be bored, to hurt one’s feelings, to despise, to swear, to have a grand time, hanger-on, to be for one’s sake, to care for, to sob, to mean a great deal, to contempt, to make an effort, to be distracted with grief, to rely on somebody, to humiliate, to lend money, to look uneasily, to tip
4. Recall the situations from the text in which the active vocabulary is used.
5. Make up your own sentences with the words and phrases of the active vocabulary.
6. Explain the meaning of the following words and phrases in English.
Use the English- English dictionary.
to contempt, the woe of humankind, a mug, rigid, hanger-on, fragile, to despise, anxious, gallant
7. Form nouns from the following adjectives from the text and use them in the sentences of your own.
anguish, miserable, mean, cruel, despicable, fragile, gallant, angry, boring
8. Translate into English using the active vocabulary.
9. Translate the following into Russian paying attention to the italicized words and phrases, say it in other English words:
10. Open the brackets using the appropriate form of the Infinitive. Explain the grammar rule.
11. Explain the use of the article and its absence in the following sentences.
12. Translate the sentences into Russian. Explain the use of the modal verbs.
13. Give your first opinion of the novel. Would you like to read the whole work of W.S. Maugham? Why?
14. Make an outline of the text in the form of key questions. Stick to one tense. Answer the questions in groups.
15. Say everything you can about Julia. What impressed you in her? What kind of person is she? Give her portrait. What were her interests, habits, attitudes?
16. What was 1) Julia’s attitude to Tom and 2) his own feelings towards her? Could it be different in other circumstances? Why? Why was Julia so sweet to him? Did it imply a positive or negative meaning?
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