The Blue Castle. Błękitny zamek w wersji do nauki angielskiegoTekst

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Zaznacz właściwą odpowiedź (A, B lub C).

1. Valancy

A) disliked her mother’s questions concerning her feelings.

B) cried during an attack of pain.

C) cried whenever she felt lonely.

2. Valancy’s mother

A) lighted fire only when it was really cold.

B) didn’t like Valancy lying in bed until half past eight.

C) was believed to have caused her husband’s death.

3. Which of the following is false?

A) Valancy hated the way her family called her.

B) Valancy suffered from various illnesses every winter.

C) Reading was concerned idleness at Mrs. Frederick’s house.

4. Cars seemed

A) quite attractive to Olive.

B) quite attractive to Valancy.

C) improper to the entire Stirling clan.

5. Uncle Benjamin

A) made Valancy laugh at his funny riddles.

B) said a lot of original things.

C) could influence Valancy’s future.

O słowach
BLIŹNIAKI SYJAMSKIE

“One who wooed her with all the romantic ardour of the age of chivalry and won her after long devotion and many deeds of derring- do, and was wedded to her with pomp and circumstance in the great, banner-hung chapel of the Blue Castle.”

Pomp and circumstance (pompa, parada) należy do licznej grupy utartych wyrażeń zwanych czasami przez anglistów Siamese twins, czyli bliźniakami syjamskimi. Wyrażenia te składają się z par lub grup wyrazów połączonych najczęściej spójnikami and lub or. Istotne jest, że kolejności poszczególnych członów danego wyrażenia nie można odwrócić – są to utarte zwroty idiomatyczne i kolokacje. Oto kilka tego typu wyrażeń zbudowanych według schematu rzeczownik + and + rzeczownik:

 airs and graces – poza, maniera, afektacja

 (old) ball and chain – kula u nogi, (pejoratywne) żona

 bread and circuses/games – chleb i igrzyska

 hammer and tongs – z całej siły

 horse and buggy – staroświecki

 law and order – prawo i porządek, praworządność

 trial and error – metoda prób i błędów

 song and dance – ceregiele, sceny, (przenośnie) przedstawienie

 track and field – lekkoatletyka

 hugs and kisses – uściski, buziaczki

Bread and butter to synonim podstawowego źródła utrzymania, a salt and pepper może odnosić się do koloru (szary, popielaty). Każdego z tych wyrażeń można również użyć, aby zapobiec pechowi. Według przesądnych, kiedy dwie osoby – zazwyczaj zakochani – idące obok siebie są zmuszone na chwilę rozdzielić się ze względu na przeszkodę stojącą na ich drodze (jak słup czy drzewo), może to sprowadzić nieszczęście. Aby je odżegnać, należy zawołać właśnie bread and butter lub salt and pepper.

Gramatyka
RZECZOWNIK… POLICZALNY CZY NIE?

“Valancy felt that Cousin Stickles, with her broad, flat, wrinkled face, a mole right on the end of her dumpy nose, bristling hairs on her chin, (…) had yet this advantage over her – this right to look down on her.”

Niektóre rzeczowniki mają dwa użycia – policzalne i niepoliczalne. Niektóre spośród nich występują jako policzalne przy stosunkowo niewielkiej różnicy znaczenia. Są to głównie wyrazy oznaczające substancje, w tym artykuły spożywcze i płyny, które w użyciu policzalnym nie odnoszą się już do ogólnie pojmowanej substancji, lecz określają jej pewną ilość (porcję, kawałek itd.). Należą do nich np. tea, water, stone czy pojawiający się w cytacie hair. Porównaj przykłady:

Town inhabitants were deprived of drinking water.

Mieszkańcy miasta zostali pozbawieni wody pitnej.

Can you get two sparkling waters, please?

Czy możesz kupić dwie wody gazowane?

His hair has visibly thinned out.

Jego włosy widocznie się przerzedziły.

I’ve just found a hair in my soup!

Właśnie znalazłem włos w zupie!

Niektóre rzeczowniki abstrakcyjne (np. noise, language, experience) w użyciu policzalnym również tylko w niewielkim stopniu zmieniają znaczenie – odnoszą się po prostu do jednostkowego przykładu swojego ogólnego sensu, np.:

I’m absolutely sure Stella has got more experience than the rest of the team.

Jestem zupełnie pewny, że Stella ma więcej doświadczenia niż reszta zespołu.

We had a strange experience during our trip.

Podczas wycieczki mieliśmy dziwne doświadczenie.

Have we got enough time?

Czy mamy wystarczająco dużo czasu?

It’s been a wonderful time!

To wspaniały czas!

Pewne rzeczowniki w zależności od użycia policzalnego lub niepoliczalnego zmieniają znaczenie w bardziej istotny sposób. Poniższa tabela ilustruje te różnice znaczeniowe niektórych wyrazów.


RzeczownikPolski odpowiednik dla użycia niepoliczalnegoPolski odpowiednik dla użycia policzalnego
airpowietrzeatmosfera, nastrój
brainintelektmózg
damage/damagesszkoda, krzywda, uszkodzeniedamages: odszkodowanie
paperpapiergazeta; dokument
roommiejsce, przestrzeńpokój, pomieszczenie
tincyna; blachapuszka
wooddrewnolas
youthmłodość; młodzieżmłody człowiek

Kultura i historia
GINGHAM, CZYLI KRATKA PO AZJATYCKU

Gingham to lniana bądź wełniana tkanina pokryta regularnym, kraciastym wzorem. Najczęściej występują desenie niebiesko-białe lub czerwono-białe (aczkolwiek w powyższym rozdziale Valancy zakłada sukienkę w kratkę brązową), przy czym rozmiary pól mogą być rozmaite: od drobniutkich do bardzo dużych. Bardzo praktyczną cechą „ginghamu” jest fakt, że tkanina ta nie ma strony „lewej” i „prawej”, dzięki czemu z obu stron wygląda identycznie.

Słowo pochodzi z języka malajskiego, którym posługują się m.in. mieszkańcy Malezji, Brunei, Singapuru i Filipin. W malajskim brzmiało on genggang i oznaczało „pasiasty”. Zgodnie z opinią części językoznawców „gingham” przedostał się do mowy Szekspira za pośrednictwem kupców holenderskich na początku XVII wieku. Po raz pierwszy pojawia się w piśmie w 1615 roku, na kartach dziennika niejakiego Richarda Cocksa, naczelnika jednej z brytyjskich placówek handlowych w Japonii. Teoria „holenderska” wydaje się słuszna, gdyż to właśnie Holendrzy od końca XVI stulecia prowadzili ożywioną wymianę handlową (przede wszystkim niezwykle wówczas cennymi przyprawami) z mieszkańcami terenów, na których posługiwano się językiem malajskim i gdzie w efekcie założyli kolonię o nazwie Holenderskie Indie Wschodnie.

Spostrzegawczy czytelnik zauważy, iż Malajowie swoje tkaniny pokrywali wzorem pasiastym, nie kratką. Kraciasta odmiana powstała, jak się wydaje, dopiero w Anglii i do XX wieku występowała obok tradycyjnej, pasiastej, która jednak stopniowo traciła na popularności. Miejscem najbardziej intensywnej produkcji ginghamu był Manchester, gdzie powstawały zazwyczaj tkaniny biało-niebieskie.

Na początku XX wieku – akcja „Blue Castle” rozgrywa się około 1920 roku – gingham stał się niezwykle cenionym materiałem na sukienki młodych panienek i szkolne mundurki. Szyto z niego również ubranka dla małych chłopców. Ze względu na wytrzymałość, żywe ubarwienie i lekkość, gingham znakomicie nadawał się na stroje letnie, tym bardziej że dobiegła już końca rygorystyczna epoka wiktoriańska, kiedy to dzieciom nie wypadało nosić barwnych strojów.

Garść ciekawostek:

 Gdy francuska gwiazda kina, Brigitte Bardot, założyła na swoje wesele w 1959 roku sukienkę w różowy gingham, moda, jaka natychmiast wybuchła, spowodowała w całej Francji niedobory tego rodzaju tkaniny. Swoją drogą Francuzi, od dawna niecierpiący określać rzeczy słowami pochodzenia angielskiego, kratkę gingham nazywają „kratką Vichy”.

 W Indiach popularny jest rodzaj ręcznika kąpielowego zwany gamucha. On także pokryty jest wzorem gingham, przy czym kratki łączą najczęściej kolory czerwony, pomarańczowy bądź zielony.

 W Indonezji wzór gingham, ze względu na swoje kontrastowe barwy, symbolizuje odwieczną walkę dobra ze złem.

 Znaczenie duchowe ma gingham również w Japonii. Tego typu tkaninami tradycyjnie owijano posągi poświęcone zmarłym dzieciom.

 Członkowie afrykańskiego plemienia Masajów noszą ludowe stroje w przypominające kratkę gingham już od kilku tysięcy lat.

Ćwiczenia

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1. Połącz wyrazy (1–10) z ich synonimami i definicjami (A–J).

1) asset

2) chuckle

3) deliberately

4) endure

5) forlorn

6) minutely

7) persist

8) relinquish

9) sinister

10) turret

A) to give up (something)

B) lonely, sad

C) to insist

D) portending something bad

E) a small tower

F) intentionally

G) quiet laughter

H) to bear, to stand

I) in detail

J) something useful

2. Uzupełnij zdania wyrazami z ramki w odpowiedniej formie.

barren; crouch; glower; leak; maid; marble; patronizing; robe; sulk; timid

a) One hundred years ago single women like us were called old ………… .

b) The roof needs repairing – there’s a ………… .

c) Janet ………… next to the children and began playing with them.

d) Mike may seem a ………… boy, but he proves quite sociable once he gets to know someone.

e) Henry ………… all day after he’d been punished.

f) The princess wore a beautiful ………… .

g) We entered an amazing ………… staircase.

h) She gave us instructions in a disgruntled, ………… tone, which made Henry really angry.

i) The boss ………… at his secretary.

j) This region consists mostly of ………… land.

3. Uzupełnij zdania wyrazami z ramki w odpowiedniej formie. Jeśli to konieczne, dodaj a/an w odpowiednim miejscu.

paper; education; damage; speech; tea; room; tin

a) Agnes is preparing ………… on the consequences of recent migrations, which will be published in a scientific journal.

b) Jim went through traditional ………… when he was young.

c) The storm caused severe ………… to the entire neighbourhood.

d) If we do not recycle ………… and …………, our planet will suffer even more.

e) The party leader gave rousing campaign ………… .

f) Being capable of ………… is what differs us form animals.

g) India is a major producer of ………… .

h) Can I have ice-…………, please?

i) I’m afraid there’s not enough ………… in the house for all our guests.

j) If you have ………… of tuna, why don’t we make a salad?

4. Niespełna trzydziestoletnia Valancy jest uznawana już za starą pannę; co więcej, stanowi to powód jej udręki oraz pretekst do niewybrednych żartów i przykrych uwag ze strony krewnych. Wybierz jeden z tematów (około 250 wyrazów):

a) Being an Old Maid – Is It Still a Problem?

b) Old Maid – Myths and Stereotypes.

Part 2
SŁOWNICTWO
CHAPTER 6

The ordeal was not so dreadful, after all. Dr. Trent was as gruff and abrupt as usual, but he did not tell her her ailment was imaginary. After he had listened to her symptoms and asked a few questions and made a quick examination, he sat for a moment looking at her quite intently. Valancy thought he looked as if he were sorry for her. She caught her breath for a moment. Was the trouble serious? Oh, it couldn’t be, surely – it really hadn’t bothered her MUCH – only lately it had got a little worse.

Dr. Trent opened his mouth – but before he could speak the telephone at his elbow rang sharply. He picked up the receiver. Valancy, watching him, saw his face change suddenly as he listened, “’Lo – yes – yes – WHAT? – yes – yes” – a brief interval – “My God!”

Dr. Trent dropped the receiver, dashed out of the room and upstairs without even a glance at Valancy. She heard him rushing madly about overhead, barking out a few remarks to somebody—presumably his housekeeper. Then he came tearing downstairs with a club bag in his hand, snatched his hat and coat from the rack, jerked open the street door and rushed down the street in the direction of the station.

Valancy sat alone in the little office, feeling more absolutely foolish than she had ever felt before in her life. Foolish—and humiliated. So this was all that had come of her heroic determination to live up to John Foster and cast fear aside. Not only was she a failure as a relative and non-existent as a sweetheart or friend, but she was not even of any importance as a patient. Dr. Trent had forgotten her very presence in his excitement over whatever message had come by the telephone. She had gained nothing by ignoring Uncle James and flying in the face of family tradition.

For a moment she was afraid she was going to cry. It WAS all so – ridiculous. Then she heard Dr. Trent’s housekeeper coming down the stairs. Valancy rose and went to the office door.

“The doctor forgot all about me,” she said with a twisted smile.

“Well, that’s too bad,” said Mrs. Patterson sympathetically. “But it wasn’t much wonder, poor man. That was a telegram they ‘phoned over from the Port. His son has been terribly injured in an auto accident in Montreal. The doctor had just ten minutes to catch the train. I don’t know what he’ll do if anything happens to Ned – he’s just bound up in the boy. You’ll have to come again, Miss Stirling. I hope it’s nothing serious.”

“Oh, no, nothing serious,” agreed Valancy. She felt a little less humiliated. It was no wonder poor Dr. Trent had forgotten her at such a moment. Nevertheless, she felt very flat and discouraged as she went down the street.

Valancy went home by the short-cut of Lover’s Lane. She did not often go through Lover’s Lane – but it was getting near supper-time and it would never do to be late. Lover’s Lane wound back of the village, under great elms and maples, and deserved its name. It was hard to go there at any time and not find some canoodling couple – or young girls in pairs, arms intertwined, earnestly talking over their secrets. Valancy didn’t know which made her feel more self-conscious and uncomfortable.

This evening she encountered both. She met Connie Hale and Kate Bayley, in new pink organdy dresses with flowers stuck coquettishly in their glossy, bare hair. Valancy had never had a pink dress or worn flowers in her hair. Then she passed a young couple she didn’t know, dandering along, oblivious to everything but themselves. The young man’s arm was around the girl’s waist quite shamelessly. Valancy had never walked with a man’s arm about her. She felt that she ought to be shocked – they might leave that sort of thing for the screening twilight, at least – but she wasn’t shocked. In another flash of desperate, stark honesty she owned to herself that she was merely envious. When she passed them she felt quite sure they were laughing at her – pitying her – “there’s that queer little old maid, Valancy Stirling. They say she never had a beau in her whole life” – Valancy fairly ran to get out of Lover’s Lane. Never had she felt so utterly colourless and skinny and insignificant.

Just where Lover’s Lane debouched on the street, an old car was parked. Valancy knew that car well – by sound, at least—and everybody in Deerwood knew it. This was before the phrase “tin Lizzie” had come into circulation – in Deerwood, at least; but if it had been known, this car was the tinniest of Lizzies – though it was not a Ford but an old Grey Slosson. Nothing more battered and disreputable could be imagined.

It was Barney Snaith’s car and Barney himself was just scrambling up from under it, in overalls plastered with mud. Valancy gave him a swift, furtive look as she hurried by. This was only the second time she had ever seen the notorious Barney Snaith, though she had heard enough about him in the five years that he had been living “up back” in Muskoka. The first time had been nearly a year ago, on the Muskoka road. He had been crawling out from under his car then, too, and he had given her a cheerful grin as she went by—a little, whimsical grin that gave him the look of an amused gnome. He didn’t look bad – she didn’t believe he was bad, in spite of the wild yarns that were always being told of him. Of course he went tearing in that terrible old Grey Slosson through Deerwood at hours when all decent people were in bed – often with old “Roaring Abel,” who made the night hideous with his howls – “both of them dead drunk, my dear.” And every one knew that he was an escaped convict and a defaulting bank clerk and a murderer in hiding and an infidel and an illegitimate son of old Roaring Abel Gay and the father of Roaring Abel’s illegitimate grandchild and a counterfeiter and a forger and a few other awful things. But still Valancy didn’t believe he was bad. Nobody with a smile like that could be bad, no matter what he had done.

It was that night the Prince of the Blue Castle changed from a being of grim jaw and hair with a dash of premature grey to a rakish individual with overlong, tawny hair, dashed with red, dark-brown eyes, and ears that stuck out just enough to give him an alert look but not enough to be called flying jibs. But he still retained something a little grim about the jaw.

Barney Snaith looked even more disreputable than usual just now. It was very evident that he hadn’t shaved for days, and his hands and arms, bare to the shoulders, were black with grease. But he was whistling gleefully to himself and he seemed so happy that Valancy envied him. She envied him his light-heartedness and his irresponsibility and his mysterious little cabin up on an island in Lake Mistawis – even his rackety old Grey Slosson. Neither he nor his car had to be respectable and live up to traditions. When he rattled past her a few minutes later, bareheaded, leaning back in his Lizzie at a rakish angle, his longish hair blowing in the wind, a villainous-looking old black pipe in his mouth, she envied him again. Men had the best of it, no doubt about that. This outlaw was happy, whatever he was or wasn’t. She, Valancy Stirling, respectable, well-behaved to the last degree, was unhappy and had always been unhappy. So there you were.

Valancy was just in time for supper. The sun had clouded over, and a dismal, drizzling rain was falling again. Cousin Stickles had the neuralgia. Valancy had to do the family darning and there was no time for Magic of Wings.

“Can’t the darning wait till tomorrow?” she pleaded.

“Tomorrow will bring its own duties,” said Mrs. Frederick inexorably.

Valancy darned all the evening and listened to Mrs. Frederick and Cousin Stickles talking the eternal, niggling gossip of the clan, as they knitted drearily at interminable black stockings. They discussed Second Cousin Lilian’s approaching wedding in all its bearings. On the whole, they approved. Second Cousin Lilian was doing well for herself.

“Though she hasn’t hurried,” said Cousin Stickles. “She must be twenty-five.”

“There have not – fortunately – been many old maids in our connection,” said Mrs. Frederick bitterly.

Valancy flinched. She had run the darning needle into her finger.

Third Cousin Aaron Gray had been scratched by a cat and had blood- poisoning in his finger. “Cats are most dangerous animals,” said Mrs. Frederick. “I would never have a cat about the house.”

She glared significantly at Valancy through her terrible glasses. Once, five years ago, Valancy had asked if she might have a cat. She had never referred to it since, but Mrs. Frederick still suspected her of harbouring the unlawful desire in her heart of hearts.

Once Valancy sneezed. Now, in the Stirling code, it was very bad form to sneeze in public.

“You can always repress a sneeze by pressing your finger on your upper lip” said Mrs. Frederick rebukingly.

Half-past nine o’clock and so, as Mr. Pepys would say, to bed. But First Cousin Stickles’ neuralgic back must be rubbed with Redfern’s Liniment. Valancy did that. Valancy always had to do it. She hated the smell of Redfern’s Liniment – she hated the smug, beaming, portly, be-whiskered, be-spectacled picture of Dr. Redfern on the bottle. Her fingers smelled of the horrible stuff after she got into bed, in spite of all the scrubbing she gave them.

Valancy’s day of destiny had come and gone. She ended it as she had begun it, in tears.