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Pension Seguin

Pension Seguin - раздел Связь, Предлагаемое пособие разработано для развития навыков опосредованного перевода и устной речи слушателей программы дополнительного профессионального образования «Переводчик в сфере профессиональной коммуникации» The Servant Who Opened The Door Was Twin Sis­Ter To That Efficient And Hideou...

The servant who opened the door was twin sis­ter to that efficient and hideous creature bearing a soup tureen into the First French Picture. Her round red face shone like freshly washed china. She had a pair of immense bare arms to match, and a quantity of mottled hair arranged in a sort of bow. I stammered in a ridiculous, breathless fashion, as though a pack of Russian wolves were behind me,

rather than five flights of beautifully polished French stairs.

"Have you a room?" The servant girl did not know. She would ask Madame. Madame was at dinner.

"Will you come in, please." Through the dark hall, guarded by a large black stove that had the appearance of a headless cat with one red all-seeing eye in the middle of its stomach, I followed her into the salon.

"Please to sit down," said the servant girl, clos­ing the door behind her. I heard her list slippers shuffle along the corridor, the sound of another door opening—a little clamour—instantly sup­pressed. Silence followed.

The salon was long and narrow, with a yellow floor dotted with white mats. White muslin curtains hid the windows: the walls were white, decorated with pictures of pale ladies drifting down cypress avenues to forsaken temples, and moons rising over boundless oceans. You would have thought that all the long years of Madame's virginity had been devoted to the making of white mats—that her childish voice had lisped its numbers in crochet-work stitches. I did not dare to begin counting them.

They rained upon me from every possible place, like impossible snowflakes. Even the piano stool was buttoned into one embroidered with P.F. I had been looking for a resting-place all the morning. At the start I flew up innumerable stairs as though they were major scales—the most cheerful things in the world —but after repeated failures the scales had resolved into the minor, and my heart, which was quite cast down by this time, leapt up again at these signs and tokens of vir­tue and sobriety. "A woman with such sober pas­sions," thought I, "is bound to be quiet and clean, with few babies and a much absent husband. Mats are not the sort of things that lend themselves in their making to cheerful singing. Mats are essen­tially the fruits of pious solitude. I shall certainly take a room here." And I began to dream of unpacking my clothes in a little white room, and getting into a kimono and lying on a white bed, watching the curtains float out from the windows in the delicious autumn air that smelled of apples and honey... until the door opened and a tall, thin woman in a lilac pinafore came in, smiling in a vague fashion.

"Madame Seguin?"

"Yes, Madame."

I repeated the familiar story. A quiet room, removed from any church bells, or crowing cocks, or little boys' schools, or railway stations.

"There are none of such things anywhere near here," said Madame, looking very surprised. "I have a very beautiful room to let, and quite unex­pectedly. It has been occupied by a young gentle­man from Buenos Aires whose father died, unfor­tunately, and implored him to return home im­mediately. Quite natural indeed."

"Oh, very!" said I, hoping that the Hamlet-like apparition was at rest again, and would not invade my solitude to make certain of his son's obedience.

"If Madame will follow me."

Down a dark corridor, round a corner I felt my

way. I wanted to ask Madame if this was where Buenos Airespere appeared unto his son, but 1 did not dare to.

"Here—you see. Quite away from everything," said Madame.

I have always viewed with a proper amount of respect and abhorrence those penetrating spirits who are not susceptible to appearances. What is there to believe in except appearances? I have near­ly always found that they are the only things worth enjoying at all, and if ever an innocent child lays its head upon my knee and begs for the truth of the matter, 1 shall tell it the story of my one and only nurse, who, knowing my horror of gooseberry jam, spread a coat of apricot over the top of the jam jar. As long as I believed it apricot I was happy, and learning wisdom, I contrived to eat the apricot and leave the gooseberry behind. "So, you see, my lit­tle innocent creature," I shall end, "the great thing to learn in this life is to be content with appea­rances, and shun the vulgarities of the grocer and philosopher."

Bright sunlight streamed through the windows of the delightful room. There was an alcove for the bed, a writing-table was placed against the window, a couch against the wall. And outside the window I looked down upon an avenue of gold and red trees and up at a range of mountains white with fresh fallen snow.

"One hundred and eighty francs a month," mur­mured Madame, smiling at nothing, but seeming to imply by her manner.

"Of course this has nothing to do with the mat-

ter," I said. "That is too much. I cannot afford more than one hundred and fifty francs."

"But," explained Madame, "the size! the alcove! And the extreme rarity of being overlooked by so many mountains."

"Yes," I said.

"And then the food. There are four meals a day, and breakfast in your room if you wish it."

"Yes," I said, more feebly.

"And my husband a Professor at the Conservatoire— that again is so rare."

Courage is like a disobedient dog, once it starts running away it flies all the faster for your attempts to recall it.

"One hundred and sixty," I said.

"If you agree to take it for two months I will accept," said Madame, very quickly. I agreed.

Marie helped to unstrap my boxes. She knelt on the floor, grinning and scratching her big red arms.

"Ah, how glad I am Madame has come," she said. "Now we shall have some life again. Monsieur Arthur, who lived in this room—he was a gay one. Singing all day and sometimes dancing. Many a time Mademoiselle Ambatielos would be playing and he'd dance for an hour without stop­ping."

"Who is Mademoiselle Ambatielos?" I asked.

"A young lady studying at the Conservatoire," said Marie, sniffing in a very friendly fashion. "But she gives lessons too. Ah, mon Dieu, sometimes when I am dusting in her room I think her fingers will drop off. She plays all day long. But I like that—that's life, noise is. That's what I say. You'll hear her soon. Up and down she goes!" said Marie, with extreme heartiness.

"But," I cried, loathing Marie, "how many other people are staying here?"

Marie shrugged. "Nobody to speak of. There's the Russian gentleman, a priest he is, and Madame's three children—and that's all. The chil­dren are lively enough," she said, filling the wash-stand pitcher, "but then there's the bady—the boy. Ah, you'll know about him, poor little one, soon enough!" She was so detestable I would not ask her anything further.

I waited until she was gone, and leaned against the window-sill, watching the sun deepen in the trees until they seemed full and trembling with gold, and wondering what was the matter with the mysterious baby.

All through the afternoon Mademoiselle Ambatielos and the piano warred with the Appassionata Sonata. They shattered it to bits and re-made it to their heart's desire— they unpicked it—and tried it in various styles. They added a little touch—caught up something. Finally they decided that the only thing of importance was the loud pedal. The mysterious baby, hidden behind heaven knows how many doors, cried with such curious persistence that I had to strain my ears, wondering if it was a baby or an engine or a far-off whistle. At dusk Marie, accompanied by the two little girls, brought me a lamp. My appearance disturbed these charming children to such an extent that they rushed up and down the corridor in a fren­zied state for half an hour afterwards, bumping themselves against the walls, and shrieking with derisive laughter.

At eight the gong sounded for supper. I was hungry. The corridor was filled with the warm, strong smell of cooked meat. "Well," I thought, "at any rate, judging by the smell, the food must be good." And feeling very frightened I entered the dining-room.

Two rows of faces turned to watch me. M. Seguin introduced me, rapped on the table with the soup spoon, and the two little girls, impudent and scornful, cried:

"Bon soir, Madame," while the baby, half washed away by his afternoon's perform­ance, emptied his cup of milk over his head while Madame Seguin showed me my seat. In the con­fusion caused by this last episode, and by his being carried away by Marie, screaming and spitting with rage, I sat down next to the Russian priest and oppo­site Mademoiselle Ambatielos. M. Seguin took a loaf of bread from a three-legged basket at his elbow and carved it against his chest. Soup was served—with vermicelli letters of the alphabet* floating in it. These were last straws to the little Seguins' table manners.

"Maman, Yvonne's got more letters than me."

"Maman, Helene keeps taking my letters out with her spoon."

"Children! Children! Quiet, quiet!" said Madame Seguin gently. "No, don't do it."

Helene seized Yvonne's plate and pulled it towards her.

"Stop," said M. Seguin, who was like a rat, with spectacles all misted over with soup steam. "Helene, leave the table. Go to Marie." Exit Helene, with her apron over her head.

Soup was followed by chestnuts and Brussels sprouts. All the time the Russian priest, who wore a pale blue tie with a buttoned frock-coat and a moustache fierce as a Gogol novel, kept up a flow of conversation with Mademoiselle Ambatielos. She looked very young. She was stout, with a high firm bust decorated with a spray of artificial roses. She never ceased touching the roses of her blouse or hair, or looking at her hands—with a smile trem­bling on her mouth and her blue eyes wide and star­ing. She seemed half intoxicated with her fresh young body.

"I saw you this morning when you didn't see me," said the priest. "You didn't." "I did."

"He didn't, did he, Madame?" Madame Seguin smiled, and carried away the chestnuts, bringing back a dish of pears.

"I hope you will come into the salon after din­ner," she said to me. "We always chat a little—we are such a family party." I smiled, wondering why pears should follow chestnuts.

"I must apologise for baby," she went on. "He is so nervous. But he spends his day in a room at the other end of the apartment to you. You will not be troubled. Only think of it! He passes whole days banging his little head against the floor and walls.

The doctors cannot understand it at all."

M. Seguin pushed back his chair, said grace. I followed desperately into the salon. "I expect you have been admiring my mats," said Madame Seguin, with more animation than she had hitherto

shown. "People always imagine they are the prod­uct of my industry. But, alas, no!

They are all made by my friend Madame Kummer, who has the pen­sion on the first floor."

 

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Предлагаемое пособие разработано для развития навыков опосредованного перевода и устной речи слушателей программы дополнительного профессионального образования «Переводчик в сфере профессиональной коммуникации»

ОТ АВТОРОВ... Предлагаемое пособие разработано для развития навыков опосредованного перевода и устной речи слушателей программы дополнительного профессионального...

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CONTENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR……………………………………………………….. BLISS…………………………………………………………………………... PICTURES…………………………

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New Zealand's most famous writer was closely associated with D.H. Lawrence and something of a rival of Virginia Woolf. Mansfield's creative years were burdened with loneliness, illness, jealousy, a

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1. open and sincere in expression; straightforward. bliss 2. to carry out or fulfill the command, order, or instruction.

Match one of the following adjectives to each description.
frank passionate curious amused distressed dreadful collected mysterious absurd extravagant bored a) A …………… person has strong romantic or sexual feelings and expresses them in thei

Pictures
Eight o'clock in the morning. Miss Ada Moss lay in a black iron bedstead, staring up at the ceiling. Her room, a Bloomsbury top-floor back,

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1. not having a clear shape. to take trouble 2. to smile widely at somebody. to give no sign

Sun and Moon
In the afternoon the chairs came, a whole big cart full of little gold ones with their legs in the air. And then the flowers came. When you

Find the English equivalents to the following words or phrases and use them in the sentences of your own.
1.to behave in a particular way in order to make other people believe smth that is not true. at any rate 2.to be annoyed or quite angr

Life of Ma Parker
When the literary gentleman, whose flat old Ma* Parker cleaned every Tuesday, opened the door to her that morning, he asked after her grands

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1. to be concerned or interested. to be a success 2. mental or emotional unhappiness or distress. to overcome

Marriage a la Mode
On his way to the station William remembered with a fresh pang of disappointment that he was taking nothing down to the kiddies. Poor little

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1.to take care of. to settle something 2. to lead or move, as to a course of action, by influence or persuasion. to fish

Miss Brill
Although it was so brilliantly fine—the blue sky powdered with gold and the great spots of light like white wine splashed over the Jardins P

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1.futile; useless. to decide on smth 2.being familiar with smth so that it no longer seems new or strange to you.

Her First Ball
Exactly when the ball began Leila would have found it hard to say. Perhaps her first real partner was the cab. It did not matter that she shared the cab with the Sheridan girls and their brother. S

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1. to like smth or like to do smth, to be willing to do smth weird 2.not happy or smiling; looking very serious

Match one of the following adjectives to each description.
ashamed exciting surprising terrified shy gloomy

Speak on or write an essay about your assessment of the story and your impressions of it.
The Lady's Maid Eleven o 'clock. A knock at the door. ...I hope I haven't disturbed you, madam. You weren't asleep—were you? But I've just given my lady her tea,

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1. to do one’s hair to cheat smb 2.full of extreme anger, raging to feel inclined to do smth

The Fly
"Y'are very snug in here," piped old Mr. Woodifield, and he peered out of the great, green-leather arm-chair by his friend the boss's desk as a baby peers out of its pram. His talk was ov

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1. to have a useful effect: to help smb. to be over 2. to meet or find something by chance. to make a nuisance

The Tiredness of Rosabel
At the corner of Oxford Circus Rosabel bought a bunch of violets, and that was practically the rea­son why she had so little tea—for a scone

Comprehension Check
a) What did Rosabel do to earn her living? b) What was her mood when she was returning home? c) What means did the author use to describe Rosabel’s tiredness? d) What had

Speak on or write an essay about your assessment of the story and your impressions of it.
  The Little Girl To the little girl he was a figure to be feared and avoided. Every morning befo

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1.an unusually large person properly 2.to search or examine thoroughly to give smth up

Put in the missing prepositions.
I looked … the apartment where I had spent most … my life. The window was open and sounds … the street mixed … the talk show … the radio that my mother always kept … It seemed that she had even tur

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column.
1. very likely to be influenced, harmed or affected by smth. immense 2. to suggest that smth is true or that you feel or think

Late at Night
(Virginia is seated by the fire. Her outdoor things are thrown on a chair; her boots are faintly steaming in the fender). Virginia (laying the letter down): I don't like this letter at all

Comprehension Check
a) What kind of letter did Virginia receive? b) Why did she consider it offensive? c) Why did Sunday evenings have a special effect on the woman? d) What are Virginia’s t

Sixpence
Children are unaccountable little creatures. Why should a small boy like Dicky, good as gold as a rule, sensitive, affectionate, obedient, and, mar­vellously sensible for his age, have moods when,

Match the following definitions in the left column with the words in the right column. Find sentences with these words in the story.
1. to make smb able to avoid doing smth difficult or unpleasant. to have moods 2. to deliberately try to forget an unpleasant m

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