HOB GIVES HIS FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND



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HOB GIVES HIS FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF ENGLAND



(The students whom we have met in Books I and II, Lucille, Frieda, Olaf, Jan, Pedro and Hob, are back again with Mr. Priestley, their teacher, in his study.)

H o b: Do you remember, sir, that at our last lesson before the holidays you promised to let me tell the story of my first day in England?

M r. P r i e st 1e y: I remember it very well; and so now, at our very first lesson, we are all waiting to hear what you have to tell us.

H o b: Thank yow, sir. Well, my first impressions of Eng­ land are connected with food.

L u c i 11e: You don't need to tell us that!

H o b: ...and, strange to say, they are of how an English breakfast beat me.

F r i e d a: You don't really expect us to believe that, do you, Hob?

H o b: Well, it's quite true. Of course, it was some time ago and, though I say it myself, I'm a better man now than I was then, but, honestly, I was beaten. But let me begin at the beginning.

* * *

When I left the train at Victoria Station my first impression

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was of rain and fog and people with umbrellas. A taxi-cab, which might have been used by Lot and his family as they left Sodom and Gomorrah, took me and my luggage and struggled braveny through the traffic. And what traffic and what crowds! I had never believed my geography tea-cher when he told us then were more people in London than in the whole of my country.

 

J) ;::;:, _ Ir :: trestm , but I be-

. ::.':; I!! lieved him now.


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However, I got to my little hotel at last, and the first thing that took my eye was the porter,


a big fat man with a round pink face like an advertisement for babies' food. Then I met the manager. He rubbed his hands all the time as if he was washing them, and smiled without stopping. What he said I could not understand, though I had learned English at school. I said to myself "Perhaps he doesn't speak it very well - some English people don't". But I told him my name, and he smiled again and told one of the little boys with brass buttons to show me up to my room. Ten minutes later I was lying a hot bath washing off the last dusty reminders of the Continent; another ten minutes and I was under the bedclothes and fast asleep.

When I woke next morning, I felt hungrier than I had gver felt in my life before; I seemed to have a hole instead of a stomach. I dressed quickly and hurried down to the dining­ room. It was a big room with six tall windows and the ugliest wallpaper I had ever seen. However, I had been told that the hotel was not beautiful but that you were better fed there than in any other hotel in London; - and that was what I wanted just then.

The waiter came hurrying up. Before I came downstairs I had prepared myself very carefully for what I must say. I had looked three times in my dictionary to make sure that "break­ fast" really meant "breakfast". I had tried to get the right pro­ nunciation and had stood in front of a mirror and twisted my mouth until it ached.

The waiter asked me something I could not understand, but I spoke only my one prepared word, "BREAKFAST". He looked at me in a puzzled way, so I repeated it. Still he did not under­ stand. It was unbelievable that English people didn't under­ stand tjeir own language. The waiter shook his head, bowed and went away, but he came back in a minute and brought the manager with him. I was feeling slightly annoyed, but I said, "BREAKFAST". The manager smiled and washed his hands, but looked as helpless as the waiter, so I took out a pencil and wrote on the table napkin, "Breakfast". I have never seen such surprised faces in my life-so perhaps I did not pronounce it correctly after all.

A little later the waiter brought a tray with tea, toast, butter and marmalade - enough to feed a small army - and went away. But I was hungry, and I left nothing; I am sure I drank at least two pints of tea, ate almost a loaf of toasted bread and large quantities of butter and marmalade with it. When the waiter came back I thought his face showed a little surprise,


but you can never tell what a waiter's face really shows. In another minute he brought another tray with a huge portion of bacon and eggs. He must have misunderstood me, but I thought it was no use explaining to people who don't under­ stand their own language, so I just set to work on the bacon and eggs and ate on steadily, wondering all the time whether I could possibly clear that plate or whether I should burst.

Well, I finished the bacon and eggs, and was just trying to get up out of the chair when here was the waiter again with another tray. This time it was a whole fish in a thick white sauce. Surely this must be a joke, I thought; but before I could tell him any­ thing, he had put down the tray and gone away. There was nothing for it but to face that fish with what little courage I had left, but all the time I was eating it I was trying to think of what I could say to that waiter when he returned. I had brought my grammar book with me in case of need, but have you noticed how all these grammar books give you sentences like this:

The little girl gave the pen of my aunt to the gardener. -but not the essential English about breakfasts big enough to feed an army? But at last I had made up two sentences in my mind - avoiding verbs as much as possible, because I was never sure

which were irregular. I called the waiter to me. He bowed, and then I told him in very correct English what I thought of Eng­ lish breakfasts. I told him that only a man who was dying of hunger could eat such a breakfast. He must have understood me at once. I felt very proud of my English, especially "dying of hunger"; that was a grand expression. I have never seen anyone clear away the empty plates as fast as he did; he almost ran out of the room, but in a minute he was back again - with a big plateful of sandwiches. This was too much. I gave up the strug­ gle. I got up and made my way slowly and heavily to my room - at least five pounds heavier. I never believed until then that any meal could defeat me, but on that day I met my Waterloo...1

Y nP A >K HE HIHI

(B yrrpaxHemrnx II-VII rronTopHeTCH rpaMMarn:qecKHii MaTepMa.n: M3 Kimm II).

I. Ilplf)J.YMaiiTe npe,IVIOJKeuus co cJie;zyrom:uMu CJIOBaMu u CJIOBoco11e- TaHHHMH:

1. expect 2. connected with 3. struggle

 

1 To meet one's Waterloo = to be completely defeated. Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1815.


4. traffic

5. dusty

6. umbrella

7. advertisement

8. brass

9. ugly


10. twist

11. bow

12. loaf

13. tray

14. burst

15. in case of need


16. avoid

17. dying of hunger

18. big enough

19. defeat

20. marmalade

21. sauce


II. IIocTaBbTe maroJibIB coomeTcmy10mee npome,11;mee BpeMJI u ,11;aii­ Te ero ua3Bauue:

1. When I leave the train my impression is of rain and fog.

2. He takes my luggage and struggles through the traffic.

3. I have never believed my geography teacher; I think he has said that to make the lesson interesting.

4. The first thing that takes my eye is the porter.

5. I can't understand what he says.

6. He tells one of the little boys to show me to my room.

7. When I wake I feel hungry.

8. I have been told that you are well fed in this hotel.

9. I can't understand him, but I speak my prepared words.

10. He doesn't understand me.

11. I take out a pencil and write "breakfast".

12. Perhaps I do not pronounce it correctly.

13. The waiter brings in a tray with tea and toast and goes away.

14. He misunderstands me.

15. I set to work on the bacon and eggs and eat steadily.

16. I am wondering whether I can clear the plate, or whether I shall burst.

17. I tell him that only a man who is dying of hunger can eat such a breakfast.

18. He almost runs out of the room.

19. I give up the struggle and get up to make my way out.

20. I don't believe a meal can defeat me - but I meet my Waterloo.

21. I shall finish my breakfast by ten o'clock. (Tum this verb into the Future Perfect Tense.)

III. 3aMeuuTe BL1,11;eJieuuL1e CJIOBa npmIDKaTeJILHh MH MeCTOHMeHHJIMH­ CYIIJeCTBHTeJih Hh MH:

1. You told me your first impressions, now I will tell you

my first impressions.

2. Those are my first impressions. What are your first impressions?

3. Your taxis look very old; our taxis are newer.


4. I shook my head, and the waiter shook his head.

5. In the breakfast-room of the hotel there were four people: a woman, her two small sons and I. I ate my breakfast, she ate her breakfast, and the boys ate their breakfast.

IV. "I had prepared myself very careful y". KaKHM MeCTOHMeHneM BB­ JUieTcB 3,11;ecb myself! Ha30BHTe cooTBeTcTByrorn,ue MecTonMeHHB AJIB you (e,11;. q.), him, her, you, t, us, them. 06'hBCHHTe pa3Hnu,y B npeAJio-

}KeHHBX:

1. He helped him. 2. He helped himself.

V. qTo Bblpa}KaIOT shall, will u going to B CJie,11;yrorn,ux npeAJIO}KeHnax:

1. Tell me what you want for breakfast and I will get it for you.

2. Shall I bring you some more sandwiches?

3. If you want more sandwiches you shall have them.

4. I will learn to speak English even if it takes me five years.

5. I am going to write a letter home tomorrow afternoon.

6. There are a lot of black clouds in the sky; I think it is going to rain.

VI. Ha30BHTe epeMB, ucnoJib3yeMoe B npeAJIO}KeHHBX, u o6'bBCHHTe ero ynoTpe6JieHne:

1. I am sure Hob won't be feeling hungry after that breakfast.

2. This time tomorrow I shall be flying to Paris. What will you be doing then?

VII. YKa}KHTe pa3Hnuy Me)K.!Q' npeAJIO}KeneM c uaroJIOM B ,11;eiicTBH­ TeJILHOM 3aJiore u npeAJIO}KeHneM c uaroJIOM B CTPMaTeJILHOM 3aJiore. Ilpeo6pa3yiiTe ,11;eiicTBHTeJibHblH 3aJIOr B CTpa,!J;aTeJibHbIU:

1. Mr. Priestley teaches the students.

2. A taxi-cab took me to my hotel.

3. In this hotel the mancger meets all the new guests.

4. The waiter brings the breakfast.

5. The waiter brought the breakfast.

6. The waiter will bring the breakfast.

7. They feed you well at this hotel.

8. They speak English there, but not Ruritanian.

9. They will feed me well at this hotel.

10. They fed me well at that hotel.

CoquHenue

1. OnumnTe npoucmecTBHB B oTeJie c TOqKH 3peHnB mlm11naHTa.

2. HanumnTe paccKa3, KOTOpblii 3aKaHqneaJicB 6b1 cJioBaMn: "...but that day I met my Waterloo ".


LESSON 2



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