Учебно-методический комплекс дисциплины «Функциональная стилистика иностранного и русского/казахского языков»




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ЗАДАНИЯ САМОСТОЯТЕЛЬНОЙ РАБОТЫ


Short stories for stylistic analysis

SHERWOOD ANDERSON

The revolution victory in Russia and the beginning of the capitalist system crisis made a great influence on the crea­tive work of Anderson. Anderson's life is full of events.

He was born in 1876 in small town, called Kamden, Ohio, in the Middle West of the USA. His family was very big and poor; his father was a craftsman, his mother washed the lin­en of rich people. The writer worked from the early age: he was a sending boy, helped his father in painting works. That's why he didn't get a good education.

In 1896 young Anderson left his native town for Chicago, where he began to work as the railway worker, some time later he started working as the agent in the advertisement office. In 1898 Anderson as a soldier took part in the Amer­ican-Spanish war, after finishing which he served in differ­ent offices in Chicago. In 1907-1912 he became the chef and later the owner of a small sending firm in Ohio.

His literature way wasn't usual. He began writing late, in the middle 30's. During his visit in Chicago he met such writers and critics as Yoldo Frank, Ben Hekt, Fkoid Dell and others. They all were connected by the critical attitude to the American reality.

In 1921 the American journal «Dial» awarded Anderson the first prize for his novels. His works had an enormous success in the period of searching different shapes in the art. But there was one problem: he didn't get a lot of money for his creative work; and just even having become famous writ­er he had to think, how to earn money at another jobs. With this purpose he came out with the lectures in 1925, sometimes later he became the owner of 2 paper-offices. During the period of economic crisis Ms public activity especially cleared up; he spoke sharply of the democracy. He wrote, hie wife in 1932: «There's no American democracy. America is ruled by the narrow people group»

At the end of the life he got an official recognition and was selected to the National Institute of arts and literature. Anderson died in March 1941.

Before you read Look through the following sentences and try to guess what the story might be about.

There is a lot of things you - at the beginning of the

have got to promise a mother story because she does not know any better.

He had his sister with him and - in the middle of the story

another girl and the sister

looked around over his

shoulder, accidental at first,

not intending to start anything

— and her eyes and mine

happened to meet.

I made a fool of myself, that is - at the end of the story what I did- I said my name was Walter Mother from Ohio.

I'M A FOOL

It was a hard jolt for me, one of the most bitterest I ever had to face. And it all came about through my own foolish­ness, too. Even yet sometimes, when I think of it, I want to cry or swear or kick myself. Perhaps, even now, after all this time, there will be a kind of satisfaction in making myself look cheap by telling of it.

It began at three o'clock one October afternoon as I sat in the grand stand at the fall trotting and pacing meet at San-dusky, Ohio.

To tell the truth, I felt a little foolish that I should be sitting in the grand stand at all. During the summer before I had left my home town with Harry Whitehead and, with a nigger named Burt, had taken a job as swipe with one of the two horses Harry was campaigning through the fall race meets

of talking about it? Such fellows don't know nothing at all that year. Mother cried and my sister Mildred, who wanted to get a job as a school teacher in our town that fall, stormed and scolded about the house all during the week before I left. They both thought it something disgraceful that one of our family should take a place as a swipe with race horses. I've an idea Mildred thought my taking the place would stand in the way of her getting the job she'd been working so long for. But after all I had to work, and there was no other work to be got. A big lumbering fellow of nineteen couldn't just hang around the house and I had got too big to mow people's lawns and sell newspapers. Little chaps who could get next to peo­ple's sympathies by their sizes were always getting jobs away from me. There was one fellow who kept saying to everyone who wanted a lawn mowed or a cistern cleaned, that he was saving money to work his way through college, and I used to lay awake nights thinking up ways to injure him without being found out. I kept thinking of wagons running over him and bricks falling on his head as he walked along the street. But never mind him.

I got the place with Harry and I liked Burt fine. We got along splendid together. He was a big nigger with a lazy sprawling body and soft, kind eyes, and when it came to a fight he could hit like Jack Johnson. He had Bucephalus, a big black pacing stallion that could do 2. 09 or 2.10, if he had to, and I had a little gelding named Doctor Fritz that never lost a race all fall when Harry wanted him to win.

We set out from home late in July in a box car with the two horses and after that, until late November, we kept mov­ing along to the race meets and the fairs. It was a peachy time for me, I'll say that. Sometimes now I think that boys who are raised regular in houses, and never have a fine nig­ger like Burt for best friend, and go to high schools and college, and never steal anything, or get drunk a little, or learn to swear from fellows who know how, or come walking up in front of a grand stand in their shirt sleeves and with dirty horsey pants on when the races are going on and the grand stand is full of people all dressed up — What's the use

l. They've never had no opportunity.

But I did. Burt taught me how to rub down a horse and put the bandages on after a race and steam a horse out and a lot of valuable things for any man to know. He could wrap a bandage on a horse's leg so smooth that if it had been the same color you would think it was his skin, and I guess he'd have been a big driver, too, and got to the top like Murphy and Walter Cox and the others if he hadn't been black.

Gee whizz, it was fun. You got to a county seat town, maybe say on a Saturday or Sunday, and the fair began the next Tuesday and lasted until Friday afternoon. Doctor Fritz would be, say in the 2.25 trot on Tuesday afternoon and on Thursday afternoon Bucephalus would knock 'em cold in the «free-for-all» pace. It left you a lot of time to hang around and listen to horse talk, and see Burt knock some yap cold that got too gay, and you'd find out about horses and men and pick up a lot of stuff you could use all the rest of your life, if you had some sense and salted down what you heard and felt and saw.

And then at the end of the week when the race meet was over, and Harry had run home to tend up to his livery stable business, you and Burt hitched the two horses to carts and drove slow and steady across country, to the place for the next meeting, so as to not over-heat the horses, etc., etc., you know.

Gee whizz, Gosh almighty, the nice hickorynut and beech­nut and oaks and other kinds of trees along the roads, all brown and red, and the good smells, and Burt singing a song that was called Deep River, and the country girls at the win­dows of houses and everything. You can stick your colleges up your nose for all me. I guess I know where I got my education.

Why, one of those little burgs of towns you come to on the way, say now on a Saturday afternoon, and Burt says, «let's lay up here». And you did.

And you took the horses to a livery stable and fed them, and you got your good clothes out of a box and put them on. stand. «Give me three twenty-five cent cigars,» I said. There was a lot of horsemen and strangers and dressed-up people from other towns standing around in the lobby and in the bar, and I mingled amongst them. In the bar there was a fellow with a cane and a Windsor tie on, that it made me sick to look at him. I like a man to be a man and dress up, but not to go put on that kind of airs. So I pushed him aside, kind of rough, and had me a drink of whiskey. And then he looked at me, as though he thought maybe he'd get gay, but he changed his mind and didn't say anything. And then I had another drink of whiskey, just to show him something, and went out and had a hack out to the races, all to myself, and when I got there I bought myself the best seat I could get up in the grand stand, but didn't go in for any of these boxes. That's putting on too many airs. And so there I was, sitting up in the grand stand as gay as you please and looking down on the swipes coming out with their horses, and with their dirty horsey pants on and the horse blankets swung over their shoulders, same as I had been doing all the year before. I liked one thing about the same as the other, sitting up there and feeling grand and being down there and looking up at the yaps and feeling grand­er and more important, too. One thing's about as good as another, if you take it just right. I've often said that. Well, right in front of me, in the grand stand that day, there was a fellow with a couple of girls and they was about my age. The young fellow was a nice guy all right. He was the kind maybe that goes to college and then comes to be a lawyer or maybe a newspaper editor or something like that, but he wasn't stuck on himself. There are some of that kind are all right and he was one of the ones. He had his sister with him and another girl and the sister looked around over his shoulder, accidental at first, not in­tending to start anything — she wasn't that kind — and her eyes and mine happened to meet. You know how it is. Gee, she was a peach! She had on a soft dress, kind of a blue stuff and it looked carelessly made, but was well sewed and made and everything. I knew that much, I blushed when she looked right at me and so did she. She was the nicest girl I've ever seen in my life. She wasn't stuck on herself and she could talk proper grammar without being like a school teacher or something like that. What I mean is, she was O.K. I think maybe her father was well-to-do, but not rich to make her chesty because she was his daugh­ter, as some are. Maybe he owned a drug store or a drygoods store in their home town, or something like that. She never told me and I never asked. My own people are all O.K. too, when you come to that. My grandfather was Welsh and over in the old country, in Wales, he was — But never mind that.

The first heat of the first race come off and the young fellow setting there with the two girls left them and went down to make a bet. I knew what he was up to, but he didn't talk big and noisy and let everyone around know he was a sport, as some do. He wasn't that kind. Well, he come back and I heard him tell the two girls what horse he'd bet on, and when the heat was trotted they all half got to their feet and acted in the excited, sweaty way people do when they've got money down on a race, and the horse they bet on is up there pretty close at end, and they think maybe he'll come on with a rush, but he never does because he hasn't got the old juice in him, come right down to it.

And then, pretty soon, the horses came out for the 2.18 pace and there was a horse in it I knew. He was a horse Bob French had in his string but Bob didn't own him. He was a horse owned by a Mr. Mathers down at Marietta, Ohio.

This Mr. Mathers had a lot of money and owned some coal mines or something, and he had a swell place out in the coun­try, and he was stuck on race horses, but was a Presbyterian or something, and I think more than likely his wife was one, too, maybe a stiffer one than himself. So he never raced his horses himself, and the story round the Ohio race tracks was that when one of his horses got ready to go to the races he turned him over to Bob French and pretended to his wife he was sold.

EXERCISES

I. Memorize the following words and reproduce the situa­tion in which they are used:


  1. peach;

  2. soft dress;

  3. staff;

  4. barrel factory;

  5. horse race;

  6. to hang around;

  7. to look around;

  8. to intend.

II. Give the English equivalents for:

Тяжелый удар, глупость, опростоволоситься, верзила, угодить, телега, чудесно ладить, драка, сшибать с ног.

III. Translate into English.



1. Может быть, теперь, когда прошло уже столько времени, мне станет легче, если я расскажу, как я тогда опростоволосился.


  1. Я люблю, чтобы мужчина был одет как мужчина, а
    не нацеплял на себя бог весть чего.

  2. Она не важничала и могла говорить без грамма­
    тических ошибок, не напоминая при этом школьную

учительницу.

IV. For discussion.

1. Why did the main character of the story tell lies to the girl?

  1. Describe his attitude to the girl.

  2. Do you remember why the main hero was disappointed.

V. Comment on the stylistic devices used in the following sentences:

1. He was a big nigger with a lazy sprawling body and

soft, kind eyes.

  1. She was a peach.

  2. He looked like a wooden horse.



CAT IN THE RAIN by E. Hemingway

There were only two Americans stopping at the hotel. They did not know any of the people they passed on the stairs on their way to and from their room. Their room was on the second floor facing the sea. It also faced the public garden and the war monument. There were big palms and green benches in the public garden. In the good weather there was always an artist with his easel. Artists liked the way the palms grew and the bright colors of the hotels facing the gardens and the sea. Italians came from a long way off to look up at the war monument. It was made of bronze and glistened in the rain. It was raining. The rain dripped from the palm trees. Water stood in pools on the gravel paths. The sea broke in a long line in the rain and slipped back down the beach to come up and break again in a long line in the rain. The motor cars were gone from the square by the war monument. Across the square in the doorway of the cafe a waiter stood looking out at the empty square.

The American wife stood at the window looking out. Out­side right under their window a cat was crouched under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be dripped on.

«I'm going down and get that kitty,» the American wife said.

«1*11 do it,» her husband offered from the bed.

«No, I'll get it. The poor kitty out trying to keep dry un­der a table.»

The husband went on reading, lying propped up with the two pillows at the foot of the bed.

«Don't get wet,» he said.

The wife went downstairs and the hotel owner stood up and bowed to her as she passed the office. His desk was at the far end of the office. He was an old man and very tall.

«I piove,» the wife said. She liked the hotelkeeper. «Si, si, Signora, brutto tempo. It's very bad weather.»

He stood behind his desk in the far end of the dim room. The wife liked him. She liked the deadly serious way he re-ceived any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her. She liked the way he felt about being a hotelkeeper. She liked his old, heavy face and big

hands.

Liking him she opened the door and looked out. It was raining harder. A man in a rubber cape was crossing the empty square to the cafe. The cat would be around to the right. Perhaps she could go along under the leaves. As she stood in the doorway an umbrella opened behind her. It was the maid who looked after their room.

«You must not get wet,» she smiled, speaking Italian. Of course, the hotelkeeper had sent her.

With the maid holding the umbrella over her, she walked along the gravel path until she was under their window. The table was there, washed bright green in the rain, but the cat was gone. She was suddenly disappointed. The maid looked up at her.

«Ha perduto qualque cosa, Signora?» «There was a cat,» said the American girl. «A cat?* «Si, il gatto.»

«A cat?» the maid laughed. «A cat in the rain?» «Yes,» she said, «under the table.» Then, «Oh, I wanted it so much.

I wanted a kitty.»

When she talked English the maid's face tightened. «Come, Signora,» she said. «We must get back inside. You

will be wet.»

«I suppose so,» said the American girl. They went back along the gravel path and passed in the door. The maid stayed outside to close the umbrella. As the American girl passed the office, the padrone bowed from his desk. Something felt very small and tight inside the girl. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time really important. She had a momentary feeling of being of supreme importance. She went on up the stairs. She opened the door of the room. George was on the bed, reading.

«Did you get the cat?» he asked, putting the book down.

«It was gone.»

«Wonder where it went to,» he said, resting his eyes from

reading.

She sat down on the bed.

«I wanted it so much,» she said. «I don't know why I wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty. It isn't any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain.» George was reading again.

She went over and sat in front of the mirror of the dres­sing table looking at herself with the hand glass. She studied her profile, first one side and then the other. Then she stu­died the back of her head and her neck.

«Don't you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out?» she asked, looking at her profile again.

George looked up and saw the back of her neck, clipped close like a boy's.

«I like it the way it is.»

«I get so tired of it,» she said. «I get so tired of looking like a boy.»

George shifted his position in the bed. He hadn't looked away from her since she started to speak. «You look pretty darn nice,» he said.

She laid the mirror down on the dresser and went over to the window and looked out. It was getting dark.

«I want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel,» she said. «I want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.» «Yeah?» George said from the bed.

«And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles. And I want it to be spring and I want to brush my hair out in front of a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some new clothes.»

«Oh, shut up and get something to read,» George said. He was reading again.

His wife was looking out of the window. It was quite dark now and still raining in the palm trees. «Anyway, I want a cat,» she said, «I want a cat. I want a cat now. If I can't have long hair or any fun, I can have a cat.»George was not listening. He was reading his book. His wife looked out of the window where the light had come on in the square.

Someone knocked at the door.

«Avanti,» George said. He looked up from his book.

In the doorway stood the maid. She held a big tortoise-shell cat pressed tight against her and swung down against her body.

«Excuse me,» she said, «the padrone asked me to bring this for the Signora.»

EXERCISES

I. Memorize the following words and reproduce the situa­tions in which they are used:

Gravel path, padrone, crouch, dim, tortoiseshell.

II. Give the English equivalents for:


  1. мокрые от дождя зелёные столики;

  2. поклониться, поздороваться;

  3. манера;

  4. чертовски хорошо выглядеть.

III. Translate into English:

  1. Море разделилось полосой дождя на две части.
    Волны, скользя вниз к берегу, возвращались снова в морскую лучину, вновь и вновь преломляясь длинной полосой дождя.

  2. Когда она говорила по-английски, горничная непроиз­вольно кривила лицо.

  3. Ее сердце сжалось в маленький комочек.

  4. Мне нравится, так как есть.

  5. Дождь капал на пальмовые деревья.

IV. The questions for discussion:

  1. Describe the weather.

  2. What were the relations in this young family?

  3. What was the attitude of padrone to a young woman?

  4. Describe the feelings of a young woman who didn't see the cat?

5. Why did the maid bring the cat «to Signora»?

V. Comment on the role of stylistic devises used in the following sentences:

  1. Artists liked the way the palms grew and the bright
    colors of the hotels facing the gardens and the sea.

  2. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same
    time really important.

Before you read the text look through the following sen­tences and try to guess what the story might be about.

In the fall the war was always - at the beginning of the there, but we did not go to it story, any more.

The machines were new then - in the middle of the
and it was we who were to story

prove them.

No one expected her to die. - at the end of the story

IN ANOTHER COUNTRY

In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it any more. It was cold in the fall in Milan and the dark came very early. Then the electric lights came on, and it was pleasant along the streets looking in the windows. There was much game hanging outside the shops, and the snow pow­dered in the fur of the foxes and the wind blew their tails. The deer hung stiff and heavy and empty, and small birds blew in the wind and the wind turned their feathers. It was a cold fall and the wind came down from the mountains.

We were all at the hospital every afternoon, and there were different ways of walking across the town through the dusk to the hospital. Two of the ways were alongside canals,

О. HENRY

Originally William Sydney Porter (1862-1910) — U.S. short-story writer. Born in Greensboro, N.Y., he wrote for newspapers and later worked as a bank-teller in Texas, where he was convicted of embezzlement; he began writing humou-ristic stories in prison as O. Henry. He moved to New York, where his tales romanticizing the commonplace, particularly the life of ordinary New Yorkers, and often using coinci­dence and surprise endings, became highly popular. His col­lections include «Oabbages and Kings» (1904); «The Four Million» (1906), including «The Gift of the Magi»; «The Trimmed Lamp» (1907), including «The Last Leaf»; and «Whirligigs» (1910), including «The Ransom of Red Chief».

Before you read the text Look through the following sentences and guess what the story is about.

  1. There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the
    shabby little couch and howl.

  2. One was Jim's gold watch... the other was Delia's hair.

  3. They are the magi.

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI

One dollar and eighthy-seven cents. That was all. And six­ty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one's cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Delia counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shab­by little couch and howl. So Delia did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. Afurnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar de­scription, but it certainly had that word on the look-out for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name «Mr. James Dillingham Young».

The «Dillingham» had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20 the letters of «Dillingham» looked blurred, as though they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassum­ing D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called «Jim» and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Delia. Which is all very good.

Delia finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomor­row would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calcu­lated. They always are. Only $ 1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling — something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $ 8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Delia, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfa­ther's. The other was Delia's hair. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Delia would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Delia's beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and mbde itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: «Mme. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.» One flight up Delia ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the «Sofronie.»

«Will you buy my hair?» asked Delia.

«I buy hair,» said Madame. «Take your hat off and let's have a sight at the looks of it.»

Down rippled the brown cascade.

«Twenty dollars,» said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand-

«Give it to me quick,» said Delia.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. For­get the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim's present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, antf she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation — as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness and value — the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Delia reached home her intoxication gave way a lit­tle to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends — a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant school­boy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, careful­ly, and critically.

«If Jim doesn't kill me,» she said to herself, «before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do — oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty-seven cents?»

At 7 o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Delia doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit of saying little silent prayers about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: «Please God, make him think I am still pretty.»

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two — and to be burdened with a family I He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Delia, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been pre­pared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Delia wriggled off the table and went for him.

«Jim, darling,» she cried, «don't look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold it because I couldn't have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again — you won't mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say «Merry Christmas!» Jim, and let's be happy. You don't know what a nice — what a beauti­ful, nice gift I've got for you.»

«You've cut off your hair?» asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

«Cut it off and sold it,» said Delia. «Don't you like me just as well, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?»

Jim looked about the room curiously.

«You say your hair is gone?» he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

«You needn't look for it,» said Delia. «It's sold, I tell you — sold and gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were num­bered,» she went on with a sudden serious sweetness, «but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?»

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Delia. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dol­lars a week or a million a year — what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

«Don't make any mistake, Dell,» he said, «about me. I don't think there's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.»

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs — the set of combs, side and back, that Delia had worshipped for long in a Broadway win­dow. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims — just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of pos­session. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: «My hair grows so fast, Jim!»

And then Delia leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, «Oh, oh!»

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

«Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.»

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

«Dell,» said he, «let's put our Christmas presents away and keep them a while. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.»

The magi, as you know, were wise men — wonderfully wise men — who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger.




They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

EXERCISES

I. Give English equivalents for words and expressions.

A parsimony, a sob, to coax, to be shrunk to, to look blurred, sterling, a pier-glass, agile, a mighty pride, a janitor, curling irons, a truant schoolboy, to wiggle off, a scrutiny, a wit, the magi, a singed cat, ardent, a dandy, a manger, a hashed met­aphor, a mammoth task.

II. Translate into Russian.

  1. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment.

  1. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far.

  1. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Delia would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majes­
    ty's Jewels and gifts.

  2. Where she stopped the sign read: »Mme. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds*. One flight up Delia ran, and col­lected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly,
    hardly looked the « Sofronie*.

  3. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in de­sign, property proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation, as all good
    things should do.

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   ...   27

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