TRIBUTE Alfred Coppard
Two honest young men lived in Braddle, worked together at the spinning mills at Braddle, and courted the same girl in the Town of Braddle, a girl named Patience who was poor and pretty. One of them, Nathan Regent, who wore cloth uppers to his best boots, was steady, silent, and dignified, but Tony Vassall, the other, was such a happy-go-lucky fellow that he soon carried the good will of Patience in his heart, in his handsome face, in his pocket at the end of his nickel watch chain, or wherever the sign of requited love is carried by the happy lover. The virtue of steadiness you see, can be measured only by the years, and thus Tony had put such a hurry into the tender bosom of Patience; silence may very well be golden, but it is acurrency. not easy to negotiate in the kingdom of courtship; dignity is so much less than simple faith that it is unable to move even one mountain, it charms the hearts only of bank managers and bishops.
So Patience married Tony Vassall and Nathan turned his attention to other things, among them to a girl who had a neat little, fortune - and Nathan married that.
Braddle is a large gaunt hill covered with dull little houses, and it has flowing from its side a stream which feeds a gigantic and beneficent mill. Without that mill - as everybody in Braddle knew, for it was there that everybody in Braddle worked - the heart of Braddle would cease to beat. Tony went on working at the mill. So did Nathan in a way, but he had a cute ambitious wife, and what with her money and influence he was soon made a manager of one of the departments. Tony went on working at the mill. In a few more years Nathan's steadiness so increased his opportunities that he became joint manager of the whole works. Then his colleague died; he was appointed sole manager, and his wealth became so great that eventually Nathan and Nathan's wife bought the entire concern. Tony went on working at the mill. He now had two sons and a daughter, Nancy, as well as his wife Patience, so that even his possessions may be said to have increased although his position was no different from what it had been for twenty years.
The Regents, now living just outside Braddle, had one child, a daughter named Olive, of the same age as Nancy. She was very beautiful and had been educated at a school to which she rode on a bicycle until she was eighteen.
About that time, you must know, the country embarked upon a disastrous campaign, a war so calamitous that every sacrifice was demanded of Braddle. The Braddle mills were worn from their very bearings by their colossal efforts, increasing by day or by night, to provide what were called the sinews of war. Almost everybody in Braddle grew white and thin and sullen with the strain of constant labour. Not quite everybody, for the Regents received such a vast increase of wealth that their eyes sparkled; they scarcely knew what to do with it; their faces were neither white nor sullen.
"In times like these," declared Nathan's wife, "we must help our country still more, still more we must help; let us lend our money to the country." "Yes," said Nathan.
So they lent their money to their country. The country paid them tribute, and therefore, as the Regents' wealth continued to flow in, they helped their country more and more; they even lent the tribute back to the country and received yet more tribute for that.
"In times like these," said the country, "we must have more men, more men we must have." And so Nathan went and sat upon a Tribunal; for, as everybody in Braddle knew, if the mills of Braddle ceased to grind, the heart of Braddle would cease to beat.
"What can we do to help our country?" asked Tony Vassall of his master, "we have no money to lend."
"No?" was the reply. "But you can give your strong son Dan."
Tony gave his son Dan to the country. "Good-bye, dear son," said his father, and his brother and his sister Nancy said '"Good-bye." His mother kissed him. Dan was killed in battle; his sister Nancy took his place at the mill. In a little while the neighbours said to Tony Vassall:
"What a fine strong son is your young Albert Edward!"
And Tony gave his son Albert Edward to the country.
"Good-bye, dear son," said his father; his sister kissed him, his mother wept on his breast.
Albert Edward was killed in battle; his mother took his place at the mill.
But the war did not cease; though friend and foe alike were almost drowned in blood it seemed as powerful as eternity, and in time Tony Vassall too went to battle and was killed. The country gave Patience a widow's pension, as well as a touching inducement to marry again; she .died of grief. Many people died in those days, it was not strange at all Nathan and his wife got so rich that after the war they died of over-eating, and their daughter Olive came into a vast fortune and a Trustee.
The Trustee went on lending the Braddle money to the country, the country went on sending large sums of interest to Olive (which was the country's tribute to her because of her parents' unforgotten, and indeed unforgettable, kindness), while Braddle went on with its work of enabling the country to do this. For when the war came to an end the country told Braddle that those who had not given their lives mustnow turn to and really work, work harder than before the war, much, much harder, or the tribute could not be paid and the heart of Braddle would therefore cease to beat. Braddle folk saw that this was true, only too true, and they did as they were told.
The Vassall girl, Nancy, married a man who had done deeds of valour in the war. He was a mill hand like her father, and they had two sons, Daniel and Albert Edward. Olive married a grand man, though it was true he was not very grand to look at. He had a small sharp nose, but that did not matter very much because when you looked at him in profile his bouncing red cheeks quite hid the small sharp nose, as completely as two hills hide a little barn in a valley. Olive lived in a grand mansion with numerous servants who helped her to rear a little family of one, a girl named Mercy, who also had a small sharp nose and round red cheeks.
Every year after the survivors' return from the war Olive gave a supper to her workpeople and their families, hundreds of them; for six hours there would be feasting and toys, music and dancing. Every year Olive would make a little speech to them all, reminding them all of their duty to Braddle and Braddle's duty to the country, although, indeed, she did not remind them of the country's tribute to Olive. That was perhaps a theme unfitting to touch upon, it would have been boastful and quite unbecoming.
"These are grave times for our country," Olive would declare, year after year; "her responsibilities are enormous, we must all put our shoulders to the wheel. Every year one of the workmen would make a little speech in reply, thanking Olive for enabling the heart of Braddle to continue its beats, calling down the spiritual blessings of heaven and the golden blessings of the world upon Olive's golden head. One year the honour of replying fell to the husband of Nancy, and he was more than usually eloquent for on that very day their two sons had commenced to doff bobbins at the mill. No one applauded louder than Nancy's little Dan or Nancy's Albert Edward, unless it was Nancy herself. Olive was always much moved on these occasions. She felt that she did not really know these people, that she would never know, them; she wanted to go on seeing them, being with them, and living with rapture in their workaday world. But she did not do this.
"How beautiful it all is!" she would sigh to her daughter, Mercy, who accompanied her. "I am so happy. All these dear people are being cared for by us, just simply us. God's scheme of creation - you see - the Almighty - we are his agents - we must always remember that. It goes on for years, years upon years it goes on. It will go on, of course, yes, for ever; the heart of Braddle will not cease to beat. The old ones die, the young grow old, the children mature and marry and keep the mill going. When I am dead..."
"O, yes, indeed, one day! Then you will have to look after all these things, Mercy, and you will talk to them - just like me. Yes, to own the mill is a grave and difficult thing, only those who own them know how grave and difficult; it calls forth all one's deepest and rarest qualities; but it is a divine position, a noble responsibility. And the people really love me - I think."
Coppard, Alfred (1878—1957)
An English short story writer and poet. Had tried many ways of earning a living when yet a boy. The early years of his life were later described in such stories as "The Presser", "Pomona's Babe", "The Cherry Tree". Followed the Dickens-Hardy tradition depicting the common man with impassioned concern and warm humour. Was a staunch fighter for peace. Collections of short stories: "Adam and Eve and Pinch me" (1921), "Clorinda Walks in Heaven" (1922), "Fishmonger's Fiddle" (1925), "Silver Circus" (1928) and others.
· Pamphlet – a small thin book with paper covers often dealing with a matter of public interest f.a. a political pamphlet
· Braddle – the name of the town
· Nathan – Нейтан, Натан
· Tony - Тоуни, Тони
· Trustee – a person or firm that holds & controls property or money for the advantage of someone else; a member of the group appointed to control the affairs of a company etc.
· The Almighty – this word is usually written in capital letters, it means : able to do everything. Syn.: omnipotent f.a. Almighty God;
Words & word-combinations to be memorized:
Spinning mills, happy-go-lucky, sign of requited love, to negotiate, to charm the heart, gaunt, steadiness, sole manager, entire concern, to embark upon, a disastrous campaign, calamitous, sinews of war, to pay smb. tribute, foe, to drown in blood, inducement, to die of over-eating, to do deeds of valour, to rear, to put shoulders to the wheel, eloquent;
I. TEXT EXERCISES:
1.Translate the first paragraph of the text
2.Find synonyms & antonyms in the text
3.Describe the situations in which the words & word-combinations are used in the text under study
4.Paraphrase the italicized words & expressions from the text:
· The virtue of steadiness you see, can be measured only by the years, and thus Tony had put such a hurry into the tender bosom of Patience; silence may very well be golden, but it is a currency not easy to negotiate in the kingdom of courtship; dignity is so much less than simple faith that it is unable to move even one mountain, it charms the hearts only of bank managers and bishops.
· Braddle is a large gaunt hill covered with dull little houses, and it has flowing from its side a stream which feeds a gigantic and beneficent mill.
· About that time, you must know, the country embarked upon a disastrous campaign, a war so calamitous that every sacrifice was demanded of Braddle.
· "In times like these," said the country, "we must have more men, more men we must have." And so Nathan went and sat upon a Tribunal.
· He had a small sharp nose, but that did not matter very much because when you looked at him in profile his bouncing red cheeks quite hid the small sharp nose, as completely as two hills hide a little barn in a valley.
· It will go on, of course, yes, for ever; the heart of Braddle will not cease to beat.
II. Give the definitions of the following words from English-English dictionary:
To negotiate, gount, steadiness, calamitious, eloquent;
6. Translate into English
· Не может быть, чтобы этот беспечный мальчишка получил такую должность!
· Вы полагаете, что весь этот план был тщательно продуман? - Нет, всё произошло случайно.
· Он отплатил той же монетой и нисколько не пожалел об этом.
· Твердость и упорство – это одна из главных черт, которые требуются, чтобы добиться успеха в каком-либо деле.
· В настоящее время наши российские предприятия начинают приносить доходы государству.
· Требуются огромные деньги и материальные ресурсы, чтобы исправить сложившееся положение в экономике этой страны.
· Все города Киевской Руси были вынуждены платить дань.
· Слова «enemy» и «foe» являются синонимами и употребляются в разных стилях речи.
· Говорили, что его жена умерла либо от горя, либо от болезни.
· Постоянное повышение стипендии в нашем институте является стимулом хорошей учёбы.
1. Make up 10-15 sentences with the new words & expressions
2. Give the gist of the pamphlet
3. Define the composition of the text under study
4. Try to define the massage of the pamphlet
5. Try to find the stylistic devices used in the text
6. Express the main idea & theme of the pamphlet
7. Draw a conclusion
8. Compose your own pamphlet including all the components of composition
1. Work in pairs with the new vocabulary of the pamphlet
2. Discuss the stylistic devices used in the text
3. Analyze the whole text according to the plan