- Somerset Maugham
Từ trước tới nay tôi vẫn đinh ninh cho rằng một khi một người phụ nữ đã định lấy ai làm chồng thì không gì có thể cứu nổi anh ta ngoài việc bỏ của chạy lấy người ngay lập tức.
Tuy nhiên, trên thực tế, không phải lúc nào người ta cũng làm được như vậy, bởi vì có một lần, một người bạn của tôi khi thấy mối nguy cơ tất yếu ấy đang lù lù hiện ra đầy đe doạ trước mắt, anh ta liền vội vã xuống tàu từ một hải cảng nào đó (tất cả hành lý anh đem theo lúc đó chỉ vẻn vẹn có một chiếc bàn chải đánh răng mà thôi, điều đó chứng tỏ rằng anh đã ý thức sâu sắc đến mức nào về mối nguy cơ và sự cần thiết phải hành động tức thời không được chậm trễ ấy!), và anh đã bỏ ra cả một năm trời đi chu du vòng quanh thế giới. Nhưng khi thầm nghĩ rằng mình đã thoát nạn (chẳng là, anh ấy cho rằng phụ nữ hay thay lòng đổi dạ, và sau 12 tháng trời đằng đẵng, chắc chắn cô nàng đã quên hết chuyện cũ rồi!), anh đã lên bờ ở chính cái cảng năm xưa, thì người đầu tiên anh trông thấy đang vẫy tay hân hoan mừng đón anh từ trên bến cảng lại chính là cô gái bé bỏng mà anh đã bỏ trốn.
Một lần khác tôi được biết có một anh chàng trong một tình huống như vậy đã tìm trăm phương nghìn kế để thoát thân. Tên anh ta là Roger Charing. Anh ta không còn trẻ trung gì khi đem lòng thầm yêu trộm nhớ Ruth Barlow. Hẳn anh đã có đủ kinh nghiệm để khiến mình phải cảnh giác, tuy nhiên Ruth Barlow có một cái tài trời phú cho (không biết tôi có nên gọi đó là một biệt tài không?), biệt tài này thường làm cho đa số cánh tu mi nam tử hết phương tự vệ, và chính biệt tài này cũng đã làm cho Roger lẫn, mất hết lý trí thông thường, tính thận trọng và sự khôn ngoan của một con người trần tục trong anh. Anh đã ngã gục ngay từ loạt đạn đầu. Biệt tài đó chính là tính đa sầu đa cảm của Barlow.
Bà Barlow - vì chính nàng đã goá hai đời chồng - có đôi mắt đen huyền, mơ màng đến tuyệt vời, cặp mắt long lanh gợi cảm nhất mà tôi chưa hề gặp bao giờ. Cặp mắt nàng lúc nào cũng như đẫm lệ: chúng toát lên ý nghĩa rằng cuộc đời này quả là quá sức chịu đựng đối với nàng, và ta cảm thấy rằng những nỗi khốn khổ, những nỗi đau thương của nàng thật không ai có thể sánh nổi. Cũng giống như oger Charing, ví thử bạn là một người đàn ông khoẻ mạnh, lực lưỡng lại lắm bạc nhiều tiền, thì ắt hẳn bạn sẽ phải tự nhủ rằng: nhất định ta phải ra tay chặn đứng những nỗi bất công của cuộc đời đối với con người bé bỏng, yếu đuối đáng thương này. Ôi, được làm tiêu tan nỗi u sầu trên khoé mắt tròn xoe đáng yêu kia của nàng thì thật là một điều kỳ diệu biết chừng nào!
Qua Roger, tôi được biết rằng mọi người đã đối xử với Ruth Barlow rất tệ bạc. Nàng quả là một trong số những con người bất hạnh, chẳng hề gặp chuyện tử tế bao giờ. Nếu nàng lấy chồng, thì hắn đánh đập, hành hạ nàng; nếu nàng thuê một tay môi giới thì hắn lừa dối nàng; nếu nàng mướn một tay nấu bếp thì hắn lại luôn luôn say mèm. Trong đời, chưa bao giờ nàng gặp được một điều gì may mắn cả.
Khi Roger báo cho tôi biết là cuối cùng anh đã thuyết phục được nàng kết hôn với anh, tôi đã chúc anh hạnh phúc.
- Tôi hy vọng anh và Barlow sẽ là những người bạn tốt của nhau – Roger nói - Cô ấy có hơi ngại anh, anh biết đấy, cô ấy cho rằng anh chai đá lắm.
- Tôi xin thề tôi không hiểu tại sao chị ấy lại nghĩ về tôi như vậy.
- Anh cũng thích Ruth Barlow đấy chứ?
- Rất thích !
- Barlow đã có một thời sa ngã, thật đáng thương. Tôi cảm thấy sao mà ái ngại cho cô ấy thế !
- Thế à ! – Tôi nói.
Tôi không thể nói ít hơn được. Tôi biết Ruth Barlow là một con người chẳng ra gì, và tôi cho rằng ả đang mưu toan gì đây. Riêng tôi, tôi vẫn tin rằng ả rắn như đanh.
Lần đầu tiên tôi biết Ruth Barlow khi chúng tôi cùng nhau chơi bài Bridge và khi ả chơi cùng hội với tôi, ả đã đánh lận hai quân bài cao nhất của tôi. Tôi đã đối xử như một người quân tử, nhưng tôi phải thú thực rằng chính tôi, chứ không phải ả, là người đã tức phát điên lên. Thế rồi vào khoảng chiều tối hôm đó, khi ả đã thua tôi một số tiền lớn, ả hứa là sẽ gửi séc để trả tôi, nhưng thực tế đã không bao giờ trả cả. Tôi chỉ có thể nghĩ rằng nếu lần sau gặp lại nhau thì chính tôi, chứ không phải ả, là người sẽ mang cái vẻ mặt lâm ly, rầu rĩ.
Roger đưa Ruth Barlow đi giới thiệu với tất cả các bạn bè của anh. Anh tặng nàng những đồ trang sức tuyệt đẹp. Anh đưa nàng đi du ngoạn khắp nơi. Họ công bố là lễ cưới của họ sẽ được tổ chức trong một tương lai gần nhất.
Roger rất hạnh phúc. Anh đang làm một việc tốt, đồng thời cũng là việc anh rắp tâm muốn thực hiện. Tuy vậy, nếu Roger có cảm thấy hơi quá tự mãn một chút (thực ra sự việc không đáng để người ta cảm thấy tự mãn đến như vậy) thì đó quả là một chuyện hơi lạ và đáng ngạc nhiên.
Thế rồi bỗng nhiên anh ấy lại ngãng ra. Tôi không hiểu lí do tại sao. Khó có thể vì anh ấy chán ngấy cái lối nói chuyện của nàng, vì nàng có hề biết chuyện trò gì đâu. Có lẽ chỉ vì vẻ mặt đa sầu đa cảm của nàng không còn làm rung động trái tim anh nữa chăng? Anh đã tỉnh ngộ và một lần nữa anh lại trở lại con người khôn ngoan, từng trải trước kia. Anh thừa biết rằng Barlow đã quyết chí lấy anh mà anh thì đã thề độc rằng không đời nào anh lại cưới Barlow làm vợ cả. Anh đang ở trong một tình thế tiến thoái lưỡng nan. Giờ thì anh đã tỉnh ngộ cho nên anh đã thấy rõ loại người phụ nữ mà anh đang phải đương đầu rồi. Anh biết rõ rằng nếu anh yêu cầu nàng buông anh ra, thì nàng sẽ (bằng cách khêu gợi của mình) bắt anh phải trả một giá đắt cho những tình cảm bị tổn thương của nàng. Vả chăng, đối với một người đàn ông, phụ tình một người phụ nữ nó khó xử thế nào ấy. Mọi người thể nào cũng nghĩ rằng anh là một gã sở khanh, trăng hoa tồi tệ.
Roger vẫn giữ kín những ý nghĩ của mình không tâm sự với ai cả. Anh không hề để lộ một lời nói hoặc một cử chỉ nào biểu hiện rằng tình cảm của anh đối với Ruth Barlow đã thay đổi. Anh vẫn chú ý tới những ước muốn của nàng, anh vẫn đưa nàng đi ăn hiệu, hai người vẫn đi xem hát với nhau, anh vẫn gửi hoa tặng nàng, anh vẫn tỏ ra tình tứ và duyên dáng. Họ đã quyết định là họ sẽ tổ chức lễ cưới ngay sau khi họ tìm được một ngôi nhà phù hợp với ý muốn của mình bởi vì cả hai vẫn còn phải đi ở thuê. Và thế là hai người bắt đầu cuộc săn lùng nhà cửa theo ý muốn của họ. Các đại lý đã gửi cho oger danh sách những nhà rao bán để anh xem và anh đã đưa Barlow đi xem một số ngôi nhà. Thật khó có thể tìm được một ngôi nhà nào làm vừa lòng họ. Roger lại tiếp tục gửi thư đến các đại lý khác. Hai người đi xem hết ngôi nhà này đến ngôi nhà khác. Họ quan sát tỉ mỉ, từ căn hầm dưới tầng trệt cho tới căn gác xép dưới mái nhà. Khi thì chúng quá rộng, khi thì chúng quá hẹp; khi thì chúng quá xa trung tâm, khi thì chúng lại quá gần; khi thì chúng quá đắt; khi thì chúng lại quá tốn kém vào các khoản sửa sang, tu bổ; khi thì chúng quá ngột ngạt; khi thì chúng lại quá trống trải; khi thì chúng quá tối tăm, khi thì chúng quá ảm đạm, tiêu điều. Roger bao giờ cũng tìm ra được một sai sót khiến cho ngôi nhà không phù hợp với yêu cầu. Quả thật anh cũng là người khó chiều, anh không thể nỡ lòng nào bắt Ruth Barlow thân yêu của anh phải ở trong bất cứ ngôi nhà nào, trừ phi đó là một ngôi nhà hoàn hảo, mà muốn có ngôi nhà hoàn hảo thì phải mất công tìm kiếm mới thấy được. Săn lùng nhà cửa quả là một việc làm rất mệt và rất chán; chẳng mấy chốc Ruth Barlow tỏ ra bực bội, Roger van xin nàng hãy kiên trì. Chắc chắn ở một nơi nào đó có chính ngôi nhà mà họ đang tìm kiếm, và chỉ cần kiên trì một chút là họ có thể tìm ra được ngay. Họ đã xem xét hàng trăm ngôi nhà, họ đã leo hàng ngàn bậc thềm, họ đã kiểm tra không biết bao nhiêu căn bếp mà kể. Ruth Barlow cảm thấy kiệt sức và đã hơn một lần nàng nổi cáu.
- Nếu anh không tìm được một ngôi nhà ngay - nàng nói - thì tôi sẽ phải xem xét lại quyết định của mình. Vì nếu anh cứ tiếp tục như thế này mãi, thì bao nhiêu năm nữa chúng ta cũng chẳng lấy được nhau.
- Đừng nói thế, em! – Anh đáp – Anh van em hãy kiên trì một chút. Anh vừa mới nhận được một số danh sách nhà cửa hoàn toàn mới do các đại lý mà anh mới biết gửi cho. Ít ra cũng phải có đến sáu chục ngôi nhà trong các danh sách đó.
Thế là hai người lại lao vào cuộc săn lùng một lần nữa. Họ xem thêm không biết bao nhiêu ngôi nhà; trong hai năm trời họ chỉ toàn đi xem nhà. Ruth Barlow trở nên ít nói và khinh khỉnh. Cặp mắt đen láy dịu buồn của nàng lại ánh lên một vẻ âu sầu, rầu rĩ. Sức chịu đựng của con người chỉ có hạn. Bà Ruth Barlow đã kiên trì hết mức, và cuối cùng bà đã nổi cơn tam bành.
- Anh có còn muốn cưới tôi nữa hay không đấy? - Ruth hởi Roger.
Có một vẻ cứng rắn khác thường trong giọng nói của nàng, nhưng nó không hề làm thay đổi vẻ dịu dàng trong lời đáp của anh.
- Tất nhiên là anh vẫn muốn cưới em. Chúng ta nhất định sẽ cưới nhau ngay sau khi chúng ta tìm được một ngôi nhà theo đúng ý nguyện của chúng ta. Nhân thể anh muốn báo cho em biết là anh vừa mới nhận được thông tin về một ngôi nhà nào đó có thể phù hợp với chúng ta đấy.
- Ngay giờ đây tôi không cảm thấy còn đủ sức để xem thêm nhà với anh nữa.
- Em yêu của anh, anh e rằng em trông có vẻ hơi mệt đấy!
Ruth Barlow nằm liệt giường liệt chiếu. Nàng không muốn nhìn mặt Roger nữa, và anh đành phải tới nơi nàng ở để thăm hỏi và tặng hoa. Anh vẫn ân cần, lịch sự như lúc nào hết. Ngày nào anh cũng viết thư báo cho nàng hay rằng anh đã lại nhận được thêm thông tin về một ngôi nhà mới nữa để hai người cùng đi xem. Một tuần lễ trôi qua và rồi anh bỗng nhận được bức thư sau đây:
Tôi cho rằng anh không thực lòng yêu tôi. Tôi đã tìm được một người muốn được quan tâm chăm sóc tôi, và ngay hôm nay đây, tôi sẽ lấy anh ta.
Roger gửi thư trả lời qua một phái viên đặc biệt:
Em Ruth thân yêu,
Tin của em làm cho trái tim anh tan nát. Anh sẽ chẳng bao giờ hàn gắn nổi vết thương này, nhưng tất nhiên hạnh phúc của em bao giờ cũng phải là mối quan tâm hàng đầu của anh. Anh gửi kèm theo đây mấy bản danh sách nhà mới nữa để em tham khảo, những danh sách này mới tới sáng nay bằng đường bưu điện và anh tin chắc rằng nhất định em sẽ tìm được trong số này một ngôi nhà đúng như sở thích của em.
William Somerset Maugham
I have always been convinced that if a woman once made up her mind to marry a man nothing but instant flight could save him. Not always that; for once a friend of mine., seeing the inevitable loom menacingly before him, took ship from a certain port (with a toothbrush for all his luggage, so conscious was he of his danger and the necessity for immediate action) and spent a year travelling round the world; but when, thinking himself safe (women are fickle, he said, and in twelve months she will have forgotten all about me), he landed at the selfsame port the first person he saw gaily waving to him from the quay was the little lady from whom he had fled. I have only once known a man who in such circumstances managed to extricate himself. His name was Roger Charing. He was no longer young when he fell in love with Ruth Barlow and he had had sufficient experience to make him careful; but Ruth Barlow had я gift (or should I call it a, quality?) that renders most men defenseless, and it was this that dispossessed Roger of his common sense, his prudence and his worldy wisdom. He went down like a row of ninebins. This was the gift of pathos. Mrs. Barlow, for she was twice a widow, had splendid dark eyes and they were the most moving I ever saw; they seemed to be ever on the point of filling with tears; they suggested that the world was too much for her, and you felt that, poor dear, her sufferings had been more than anyone should be asked to bear. If, like Roger Charing, you were a strong, hefty fellow with plenty of money, it was almost inevitable that you should say to yourself: I must stand between the hazards of life and this helpless little thing, or, how wonderful it would be to take the sadness out of those big and lovely eyes! I gathered from Roger that everyone had treated Mrs. Barlow very badly. She was apparently one of those unfortunate persons with whom nothing by any chance goes right. If she married a husband he beat her; if she employed a broker he cheated her; if she engaged a cook she drank. She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die.2
When Roger told me that he had at last persuaded her to marry him, I wished him joy.
"I hope you'll be good friends," he said. "She's a little afraid of you, you know; she thinks you're callous.
"Upon my word I don't know why she should think that."
"You do like her, don't you?"
"She's had a rotten time, poor dear. I feel so dreadfully sorry for her."
"Yes," I said.
I couldn't say less. I knew she was stupid and I thought she was scheming. My own belief was that she was as hard as nails.
The first time I met her we had played bridge together and when she was my partner she twice trumped my best card. I behaved like an angel, but I confess that I thought if the tears were going to well up into anybody1 s eyes they should have been mine rather than hers. And when, having by the end of the evening lost a good deal of money to me, she said she would send me a cheque and never did, I could not but think that I and not she should have worn a pathetic .expression when next we met.
Roger introduced her to his friends. He gave her lovely jewels. He took her here, there, and everywhere. Their marriage was announced for the immediate future. Roger was very happy. He was committing a good action and at the same time doing something he had very much a mind to. It is an uncommon situation and it is not surprising if he was a trifle more pleased with himself than was altogether becoming.
Then, on a sudden, he fell out of love. I do not know why. It could hardly have been that he grew tired of her conversation, for she had never had any conversation. Perhaps it was merely that this pathetic look of hers ceased to wring his heart-strings. His eyes were opened and he was once more the shrewd man of the world he had been. He became acutely conscious that Ruth Barlow had made up her mind to marry him and he swore a solemn oath that nothing would induce him to marry Ruth Barlow. But he was in a quandary. Now that he was in possession of his senses he saw with clearness the sort of woman he had to deal with and he was aware that, ii he asked her to release him, she would (in her appealing way) assess her wounded feelings at an immoderately high figure.3 Besides, it is always awkward for a man to jilt a woman. People are apt to think he has behaved badly.
Roger kept his own counsel. He gave neither byword nor gesture an indication that his feelings towards Ruth Barlow had changed. He remained attentive to all her wishes; he took her to dine at restaurants, they went to the play together, he sent her flowers; he was sympathetic and charming. They had made up their minds that they would be married as soon as they found a house that suited them, for he lived in chambers and she in furnished rooms; and they set about looking at desirable residences. The agents sent Roger orders to view and he took Ruth to see a number of houses. It was very hard to find anything that was guite satisfactory. Roger applied to more agents. They visited house after house. They went over them thoroughly, examining them from the cellars in the basement to the attics under the roof. Sometimes they were too large and sometimes they were too small, sometimes they were too far from the centre of things and sometimes they were too close; sometimes they were too expensive and sometimes they wanted too many repairs; sometimes they were too stuffy and sometimes they were too airy; sometimes they were too dark and sometimes they were too bleak. Roger always found a fault that made the house unsuitable. Of course he was hard to please; he could not bear to ask his dear Ruth to live in any but the perfect house, and the perfect house wanted finding. House-hunting is a tiring and a tiresome business and presently Ruth began to grow peevish. Roger begged her to have patience; somewhere, surely, existed the very house they were looking for, and it only needed a little perseverance and they would find it. They looked at hundreds of houses; they climbed thousands of stairs; they inspected innumerable kitchens. Ruth was exhausted and more than once lost her temper.
"If you don't find a house soon," she said, "I shall have to reconsider my position. Why, if you go on like this we shan't be married for years."
"Don't say that," he answered. "I beseech you to have patience. I've just received some entirely new lists from agents I've only just heard of. There must be at least sixty houses on them."
They set out on the chase again. They looked at more houses and more houses. For two years they looked at houses. Ruth grew silent and scornful: her pathetic, beautiful eyes acquired an expression that was almost sullen. There are limits to human endurance. Mrs. Barlow had the patience of an angel, but at last she revolted.
"Do you want to marry me or do you not?" she asked him.
There was an unaccustomed hardness in her voice, but it did not affect the gentleness of his reply.
"Of course I do. We'll be married the very moment we find a house. By the way I've just heard of something that might suit us."
"I don't feel well enough to look at any more houses just yet."
"Poor dear, I was afraid you were looking rather tired."
Ruth Barlow took to her bed. She would not see Roger and he had to content himself with calling at her lodgings to enquire and sending her flowers. He was as ever assiduous and gallant. Every day he wrote and told her that he had heard of another house for them to look at. A week passed and then he received the following letter:
I do not think you really love me. I have found someone who is anxious to take care of me and I am going to be married to him today.
He sent back his reply by special messenger:
Your news shatters me. 1 shall never get over the blow, but of course your happiness must be my first consideration. 1 send you herewith seven orders to view; they arrived by this morning's post and lam quite sure you will find among them a house that will exactly suit you.
1. He went down like a row of ninepins, (fig.) here: He was defeated at once and surrendered without resisting.
2. She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die: There was never anything dear to her that she wouldn't lose. "A little lamb" is somebody that one loves dearly; an allusion to the well-known nursery rhyme:
Mary had a little lamb.
Its fleece was white as snow,
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.
1. She would assess her wounded feelings at an immoderately high figure: she would make him pay much for jilting her
1. hazard n a chance, risk or danger, as a life full of hazards; the hazards of one's life; at all hazards at all risks; whatever dangers there may be, e.g. You should do it at all hazards, to take hazards to run risks, e.g. He was aware that he was taking hazards but there was no way back.
Hazard vt 1) trust to chance; take the risk of, e.g. Rock-climbers sometimes hazard their lives. 2) offer or venture, as to hazard a remark (guess), battle
Hazardous a risky; dependent on chance, as a hazardous climb. Ant. safe, secure, sheltered.
2. persuade vt I) convince; lead (a person) by argument to believe something or to think in a certain way, as to persuade a person of the truth of a report, e.g. I persuaded myself that all was well. 2) cause (a person) by argument to do something, e.g. His friends could never persuade him to go to a hockey-match: he said the absurdity of the game made him feel too sorry for the players.
Persuaded p.p. (predic. only) certain; convinced, e.g. I am almost persuaded of his honesty.
Persuasion n, e.g. No persuasion on my part could make him do it. He agreed to stay in bed only after much persuasion.
Word Discrimination: to convince, to persuade.
To convince a person means to satisfy his understanding as to the truth of something by proof, evidence or arguments, e.g. Nothing will convince me that lies and falsehoods can be justified. Adjectives: convinced, convincing, as convinced bachelor; convincing proof, evidence, statement, reason.
To persuade a person is to influence him in some way, either by argument, proof or otherwise. Conviction or the process of convincing leads to belief. Persuasion leads to action. A stubborn person may be convinced of the necessity of doing something, but nothing may be able to persuade him to do it, e.g. You have persuaded me that I must apologize.
To convince a person is to prove the truth to him. To persuade a person is more than that: it implies not only convincing, but also influencing a person to act, to do something on the basis of his conviction.
Persuade may refer to the process itself of arguing with a person whereas convince is never used in this sense, but implies rather the final result of argument. E.g. We were persuading him to give up that dangerous plan, but failed to convince him.
3. Scheme v – plan or form a plan, esp. a secret or dishonest one, e.g. They schemed to overthrow their rivals.
Scheme n 1) a plan, e.g. The designer acquainted us with the scheme. 2) an arrangement in which each part fits the other parts perfectly, as a colour (furnishing) scheme (i.e. an arrangement chosen so that the effect is pleasing) 3) a secret, esp. dishonest, plan, e.g. Their scheme was exposed and the criminals were soon put on trial. 4) a carefully arranged statement of a plan, e.g. In the first lesson the teacher gave the students a scheme of work for the year.
4. Commit v – 1} (usu.) to do a bad or foolish act, as to commit a crime, suicide, an error, e.g. He committed a grave error and he was conscious of it. I wonder what made him commit suicide. 2) handover or give up for safe keeping; entrust; place, as to commit smth. to paper (to writing); to write it down, e.g. If you are very ill, you have to commit yourself to doctors and nurses. The prisoner was committed for trial (i.e. sent before the judges to be tried). The body was committed to the flames, (i.e. burnt). 3) to speak or act in such a way that one will be compelled to do smth, e.g. He has committed himself to support his brother's children (i.e. said or done smth that makes it necessary for him to support them).
5. Acute a 1) (of the mind and the senses) sharp; quick, e.g. Dogs have an acute sense of smell. A man with an .acute mind soon knows whether a book is valuable or not. 2) severe, sharp and sudden, e.g. A bad tooth may cause acute pain. 3) very strong; deeply felt, e.q. His son's success in the examinations gave him acute pleasure. 4) (of an illness) serious and causing great suffering; coming sharply to a crisis. (Cf. chronic), as acute gastritis 5) sharp, pointed, as an acute angle (one that is less than a right angle)
Acutely adv – e.g. He was acutely conscious of her presence, and it made him unusually silent.
6. Appeal v –
1) ask someone to decide a question; (esp.) ask someone to say that one is right; ask earnestly for something, e.g. The prisoner appealed to the judge for mercy. She appealed to me to protect her. 2) Move the feelings; interest; attract, e.g. Do these paintings appeal to you? (Do you like them?) Bright colours appeal to small children. The sea voyage does not appeal to me.
Appealing pl. p., a imploring, e.g. The girl said it with such an appealing smile that Mr. Fowler, to his own surprise, granted the request, though but half a minute before he meant to refuse it.
Appeal n 1) an earnest call for help, as to collect signatures to an appeal, e.g. An appeal is being made for help for those who lost their homes in the earthquake. 2) a call to smth. or smb. to make a decision, e.g. So powerful seemed his appeal that the people were deeply moved. 3) interest or attraction, e.g. That sort of music hasn't much appeal for me. (I'm not much attracted by it.) The novel has general appeal, to make an appeal to smb. to attract smb., e.g. This type of romantic hero is sure to make an appeal to feminine hearts.
Word Discrimination: to address, to apply to, to appeal to, to turn to, to consult, to go to
To address, which is a formal word, means to speak to smb., to make a speech, as to address a person, audience, meeting. It is not followed by a preposition, but in the expression "to address oneself to smb." the preposition "to" is used. E.g. It is to you, sir, I address myself. Also: That remark was addressed to his neighbour.
To apply (to smb. for smth.) is more limited in use than to address and is even more formal. We say: to apply to an authority, to apply for work, information, permission, a certificate, etc. E.g. Carrie decided to apply to the foreman of the shoe factory for work.
To appeal (to smb. for smth.) to ask earnestly for smth. (usu. for help or moral support), to appeal to someone's feelings.
To turn (to smb. for smth.) to go to someone for help (less formal and less emotional), e.g. The child turned to its mother for help.
To consult to go for advice or information, as to consult a lawyer, a doctor, a map, a dictionary. E.g. Nobody ever thought of consulting him. I must consult the doctor.
To see and to go to may be used in the meaning of "to consult" (coll.), as to see a doctor, a lawyer.
7. Endurance n ability to endure, e.g. He showed remarkable powers of endurance. There are limits to human endurance.
endure verb – bear bravely; remain firm or unmoved; suffer without complaining, as to endure suffering (pain, torture, etc.), e.g. If help does not come, they will endure to the end, 2) suffer; bear; put up with (esp. in the negative with 'can, could, be able1), e.g. I can't endure that man. 3) last; continue in existence, as as long as life endures.
enduring pr. p., a, as an enduring peace (i.e. one that will last a long time)
8. Content v – satisfy, e.g. There were no roses at the florist's, and we had to content ourselves with big, red carnations. There is no contenting some people (i.e. it's impossible to satisfy them).
contented a satisfied, as a contented look (smile, laugh, etc.)
content a (predic. only) 1) satisfied with what one has or has had; not wishing for any more, e.g. He is content with very little. 2) willing, e.g. I am content to remain where I am now.
content n the condition of being satisfied; feeling easy in one's mind, as to live in peace and content (i.e. peacefully and happily, with no worry or anxiety); to one's heart's content as much as one wants, e.g. And now you may enjoy yourself to your heart's content.
Word Combinations and Phrases
To be as hard as nails
To have (very much) a mind to do smth.
To fall out of love
To keep one's own counsel
To be apt to do smth.
To want finding (washing, a good beating, etc.)
To take to one's bed to be one's first consideration
1. a) Listen to the recording of Text Two and mark the stresses and tunes, b) Repeat the text in the intervals after the model.
2. Consult a dictionary, transcribe the following words and practise their pronunciation:
inevitable, menacingly, necessity, quay, extricate, experience, dispossess, prudence, pathos, hazard, apparently, persuade, callous, dreadfully, scheming, angel, cheque, pathetic, jewel, acutely, solemn, oath, quandary, release, assess, immoderately, gesture, restaurant, sympathetic, chamber, agent, basement, attic, tiring, patience, perseverance, innumerable, reconsider, endurance, revolt, content, assiduous, messenger, herewith
3. Read the following word combinations paying attention to different types of assimilation and the linking "r":
and the necessity for immediate action; round the world; at the selfsame port; that dispossessed Roger of his common sense; on the point of filling with tears; between the hazards of life and this helpless little thing; she twice trumped my best card; his eyes were opened; he swore a solemn oath; in her appealing way; people are apt to think; in the basement; made the house unsuitable; they climbed thousands of stairs; but it did not affect the gentleness of his reply; we'll be married the very moment we find a house
4. Read the following sentences: beginning with "I have always been convinced...", "Not always that..." and "Mrs. Barlow, for she was twice a widow..,.". Divide them into intonation groups; read them using proper intonation patterns and beating the time; mind strong and weak forms of form words and al! the phonetic phenomena of connected speech.
5. Read the following extracts: from "When Roger told me,..." up to "...as hard as nails", from "If you don't find a house soon,..." up to "...sixty houses on them", and from "Mrs. Barlow had the patience of an angel..." up to "...Ruth Barlow took to her bed" paying attention to the intonation of the stimuli and responses in the dialogues. Convey proper attitudes by using adequate intonation patterns.
6. Read the text and consider its following aspects:
a) What is the relation of the opening passage of the story (ending "... from whom he had fled") to the main plot? Comment on the syntax of the second sentence ("Not always that;..."); justify its length.
b) What would be lost if the sentence "but Ruth Barlow had a 'gift' (or should I call it a 'quality'?! That renders most men defenseless" were written "but Ruth Barlow had a 'quality' that renders most men defenseless..."? What does the device of contrasting 'quality' to 'gift' aim at?
c) Select from the first paragraph words and phrases characterizing Ruth Barlow. What is the attitude implied? What method of characterization is used here? Point out clichés. Why does the author use them? How do they colour Roger's attachment to Ruth?
d) Analyze the rhythm in the sentence beginning "If she married a husband..." and the effect achieved. Indicate the stylistic devices in "She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die".
e) What method (or methods) of characterization is used in the fragment beginning "I couldn't say less...", ending "...when next we met"? Is this description of Ruth in full accord with the one given in the first paragraph? If not, what is the reason? Explain "as hard as nails".
f) Exemplify the author's use of vivid epithets in the character of Ruth Barlow. Which features of hers do they accentuate?
g) Point out instances of irony. (Is it irony or humour? Prove your point.)
h) What is the purpose of the parenthesis in "...she would (in her appealing way) assess her wounded feelings..."?
i) Comment on the sentence structure in "Sometimes they were too large...". What is the effect achieved?
j) Exemplify the use of metaphors, similes and repetition. Comment on their effect.
k) Indicate the variety of the sentences and the rhythmic effects achieved.
1) Point out the climax of the story. Comment on the methods used for heightening the tension in the passages leading to the climax.
7. Copy out from Text Two the sentences containing the word combinations and phrases given above and translate them into Russian.
8. Paraphrase the following sentences using the word combinations and phrases:
1. Conflict almost tore her apart. She was not sure whether she should have the heart to talk with them or keep her plans secret. 2. Before she has a special check on her heart and general condition we must take care of her. We should think about her health in the first place. 3. He had drive and energy... Besides, he could be pitiless, so Johnson thought he was the right man to run his business. 4.1 doubt if my opinion will have enough weight. As a rule youngsters disregard the advice of adults. 5. She could hardly hold her temper in check. She wished to say very unladylike things to him. 6. For some reasons of his own he held back some information and kept his plans secret. 7. Your dress is stained. It needs to be cleaned.
9. Write sentences of your own using the given list of word combinations and phrases (3 sentences on each item).
10. Compose short situations in dialogue form using the word combinations and phrases. Pay attention to the intonation of the stimuli and responses.
11. Discuss the following with your partner:
1. Was Roger really in love with Ruth Barlow or was he only committing a good action?
2. Comment on Roger Charing’s plan. Do you find it interesting?
3. Was Roger a good psychologist? Prove it by the facts from the story.
4. Follow through the text how the author shows his attitude to the main characters.
12. Answer the following questions:
1. What kind of woman was Ruth Barlow? Was she really in love with Roger? Why did she make up her mind to marry him? 2. Was Roger in love with Ruth? Was it a serious and a profound feeling? 3. What kind of man was Roger? How do his flat-chase tactics characterize him? How should he have behaved? 4. Whose side do you take in the conflict: Ruth's or Roger's? 5. Isn't there anything to be said in Ruth's defence? 6. What is the social significance of the story?
13. Study the vocabulary notes and translate the examples into Ukrainian.
14. Translate the following sentences into Ukrainian paying attention to the words and word combinations in italics:
A. 1. "There are certain hazards in looking too attractive in the classroom," Bester said. 2. When he saw the lovely Sofie, the youth could not help admitting that the captive possessed a treasure which would fully reward his toil and hazard. 3. Travel on the thoroughfares of Manila was not without its hazards. 4. The hazards of radioactive waste are receiving as much attention as the hazards of radioactive fallout. 5. He had endeavoured to persuade his father to permit him to accompany me, but in vain. 6. Mrs. Brooke foresaw that the task of persuading Rosa to this marriage would be the fiercest and most important of all the engagements they had taken part in. 7. We could not tear ourselves away from each other, nor persuade ourselves to say the word "Farewell". 8. My persuasions have restrained my uncle from undertaking a journey to Ingolstadt. 9.1 could not persuade myself to confide to him that event which was so often present to my recollections. 10. There is something in your words which persuades me that you are sincere. 11.1 avoided explanation for I had a persuasion that I should be supposed mad. 12. We decided to put the scheme into operation as soon as possible.
B. 1.1 shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. 2.1 wandered like an evil spirit, for I had committed deeds of mischief beyond description horrible. 3. He refused to commit himself by talking about the crime. 4. The article appealed to patriotism and called for immediate action. 5. He appealed to her reason but in vain. She would not listen to him. 6. My passionate and indignant appeals were lost upon them. 7. Intellectual pleasure is the most satisfying and the most enduring. 8. He could not endure seeing animals treated cruelly. 9.1 can't endure the thought that he will have to content himself with such a poor job. 10. Exhaustion succeeded to the extreme fatigue both of body and of mind which I had endured. 11.1 was better fitted by my constitution for the endurance of cold than heat. 12.1 have endured toil and misery. I have endured incalculable fatigue, and cold, and hunger. 13.1 had not been content with the results promised by the modern professors of natural science. 14. The blue lake, and snow-clad mountains, they never change; and I think our placid home and our contented hearts are regulated by the same immutable laws. 15. They did not appear rich, but they were contented and happy; their feelings were serene and peaceful. 16- "You are in the wrong," he replied; "and instead of threatening, I am content to reason with you." 17. During my youthful days discontent never visited my mind. 18. In spite of the intense labour and wonderful discoveries of modern philosophers, I always came from my studies discontented and unsatisfied.
15. Fill in the blanks with "to persuade" or "to convince" in the required form. Give reasons for your choice:
1. The conclusion of this speech ... my father that my ideas were deranged. 2.1 was firmly... in my own mind that she was guiltless of this murder. 3. During Elizabeth's illness many arguments had been urged to ... my mother to refrain from attending upon her. 4. Who would believe, unless his sense ... him, in the existence of such a monster? 5. We ... him that his method was inefficient but we could not... him to try our method. 6. Martin Eden could not... Ruth that he would become a writer. 7. Ruth could not... Martin to take ajob as clerk and give up writing. 8. Atticus could not... the jury that Robinson was not guity, 9. The members of the Digamma Pi Society ... Fatty to use cribs at the exams. 10. For centuries Outer Space seemed as unattainable as the Moon. Now everybody is ... that Space will be conguered. 11. It took a great deal of... on his part to get her agree to publish excerpts from her account of her daily life. 12. He ... her to let him take one of the notebooks to his newspaper.
16. Write a one-page summary of Text Two.
17. Retell the story of Roger's "narrow escape" using your active vocabulary, word combinations, phrases and patterns: a) as Ruth Barlow sees it: she is, certainly, bewildered and even indignant; use proper intonation means to convey her attitude to Roger and his conduct; b) as Roger tells it to a friend of his in a confidential way; he is greatly relieved; express his attitude by using proper intonation means; c) from the point of view of the lady next door to Ruth Barlow's who pretends to sympathize with Ruth and disapprove of Roger's behaviour, but, in fact, hugely enjoys the situation; use adequate intonation patterns to convey her attitudes.
18. Discuss the events of the story in dialogues as they would be treated by: a) Ruth Barlow and a lady friend of hers: b) Roger and the narrator of the story. Use proper intonation means in the stimuli and responses to convey proper attitudes.
19. Reread the text to answer the following questions on its style and composition.
a) In what way does the story begin? Is the reader's interest awakened at once? If so, how does the author achieve it?
b) What is gained by telling the story in the first person? From whose point of view is it told? Point out the passages reflecting the narrator's attitude, Roger's and the author's. Is the author detached in his attitude to Ruth? Prove your point.
c) Is the plot an important feature of the story? Indicate briefly the stages by which the narrative is unfolded.
d) Does the story end as the reader expects? Point out passages aiming at suspense.
e) Is the title appropriate? Does it reflect the point of the story?
f) What words and phrases give atmosphere to the story in descriptions of human appearance, characters, human relations? (Make up lists.)
g) Do you regard "The Escape" as a typical specimen of Somerset Maugham's prose? Read the following to answer the question:
The qualities of Somerset Maugham are not at all elusive. An innate dramatic sense enables him to write sound, solidly constructed novels that never fail to interest the reader, His prose is clean and hard and is always marked by a precision that is rare in contemporary writing. Passion and lyricism are not evident but in their place the reader will find a superbly controlled irony and a brilliant wit. Transforming the commonplace into art, he produced a long, distinguished list of plays, short stories and novels that will never cease to give the greatest of pleasure.