Сборники английских текстов
The First Love
Abe Lincoln Grows Up Fashion and Clothes.
Richard Gardiner walked towards the gates of his college, having spent a studious Saturday morning in the library. He was going into the Hall of his college for lunch; but as there was a good half-hour to go yet he decided to call on a man he knew called Fortescue, and invite him to come to tea on the next day.
Richard was now in his second year at Cambridge, and fully understood what the tradition of the university demanded of him. He was there to study, certainly, but everyone, he found, became very angry indeed if ever it were suggested that all that Cambridge had to offer its undergraduates was its many opportunities for studying.
But the time of day between lunch and tea was to be spent chiefly in games. Richard, fully understanding this, had joined his college boat-club and went rowing on six afternoons a week. And the time between tea at about four-thirty and dinner at about six-thirty was to be spent in the company of one's friends.
On most days of the week, therefore, Richard went out to tea in the rooms of other undergraduates or invited other undergraduates to have tea in his rooms.
In one's first year at Cambridge one is perhaps too new to the university to feel completely happy when doing all the pleasant things: and in one's third year with one's final degree examination at the end of it, it is necessary to turn one's back on many of the university's pleasures. But in one's second year life is gay and comparatively easy. And Richard Gardiner was in his second year.
Whistling cheerfully, he made his way towards Fortescue's rooms.
Fortescue was older than was once usual undergraduates. He had been in Royal Air Force and had only begun his university career after the end of the war. He was a large, soft-voiced man, with a heavy body and a very dark skin. He spoke slowly, and always sounded a little gloomy.
He climbed the stairs to Fortescue's rooms and knocked on the door. There being no answer, he pushed the door open and walked in. To his surprise he saw the shining eyes and friendly smile of a very pretty girl.
"Oh, I'm sorry," he said.
"Are you looking for Cyril?" she said.
"Oh, no, it doesn't matter at all. I'll — I can — I'll see him some other time. It wasn't important."
And he turned to go.
"Oh, please don't go. He'll be here any minute. Sit down."
"No, really. It's not at all important, it really isn't."
"Don't go just because I'm here," she was saying. "If Cyril finds I've driven one of his friends away he'll dislike me even more than he does now. Have a cigarette."
He ought not to stay, but he couldn't refuse a cigarette from so beautiful a being and he took one from the box she was now handing to him. She had taken it from Fortescue's mantelpiece.
They talked for a little while. And then, just as for the fourth time he was telling her it was time that he went, they heard the sound of Cyril Fortescue's footsteps on the stairs, and a moment or two afterwards saw his large body filling the doorway.
"Hullo, Gardiner," he said, seeming to take no notice of the girl.
Richard stood up awkwardly, and the girl laughed.
"Now, Cyril," she said, "you must introduce me to your friend properly."
"I should have thought," Fortescue said, in a manner that seemed to Richard far from polite, "that you were good enough to introduce yourself. Anyway, Richard, if it'll do you any good, meet my sister Jane. Jane, meet Richard Car-diner, one of the more sensible of my fellow-undergraduates.
"I really came," he said to Fortescue, "to invite you to tea tomorrow, but I expect you've other things to do now."
"Oh, you needn't think I let this sister of mine interfere too much in my life when she comes here. But I tell you what — you come to tea with us tomorrow. I shall need some help in keeping her out of trouble. Besides, I know I bore her almost as much as she bores me."
Richard looked from Fortescue to his sister.
"Yes, do come," she said, "you can see how unpleasant he is to me."
"I shall be delighted," Richard said.
Вопросы к тексту:
1. What did the tradition of Cambridge demand of Richard?
2. What year was Richard in and what did it mean?
3. Who was Richard's friend there in Cambridge?
4. Who did Richard find in Fortescue's room?
5. Where was Richard invited to?
The First Love
Abe Lincoln Grows Up