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Additional Exercises

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I. Read the following; description. Use it to describe a stationer's shop you know:

Oil the cistern borders of Chancery Lane, that is to say, more particularly in Cook's Court, Cursitor Street, Mr. Snagsby, Law-Stationer, pursues his lawful calling. In the shade of Cook's Court, at most times a shady place, Mr. Snagsby has dealt in all sorts of blank forms of legal process; in skins and rolls of parchment; in paper — foolscap, brief, draft, brown, white, whitey-brown, and blotting; in stamps; in office-quills, pens, ink, India-rubber, pounce, pins, pencils, sealing-wax, and wafers; in red tape and green ferret; in pocket-books, almanacks, dia­ries, and law lists; in string boxes, rulers, inkstands —glass and leaden, penknives, scissors, bodkins, and other small office-cutlery; in short, in articles too numerous to mention, ever since he was out of his time, and went into partnership with Peffer. (Ch. Dickens. Bleak House)

II. Read and translate the following description of a junk-shop in India:

... the shop fascinated Kim. The Lahore Museum was larger, but here were more wonders — ghost-daggers and prayer-wheels from Tibet; turquoise and raw amber necklaces; green jade bangles; curiously packed incense — sticks in jars crusted over with raw garnets; the devil masks of overnight and a wall full of peacock-blue draperies; gilt figures of Buddha, and little por­table lacquer altars; Russian samovars with turquoises on the lid; egg-shell china sets in quaint octagonal cane boxes; yellow ivory, crucifixes —from Japan of all places in the world...; carpets in dusty bales, smelling atrociously, pushed back behind torn and rotten screens of geometrical work; Persian water-jugs for the hands after meals; dull copper incense-burners neither Chinese nor Persian, with friezes of fantastic devils running round them; tarnished silver belts that knotted like raw hide; hair-pins of jade, ivory, and plasma; arms of all sorts and kinds, and a thousand other oddments were cased, or piled, or merely thrown into the room...

(R. Kipling. Kim)

III.Read and translate the following description of a dolly-shop:

The stock-in-trade of this old gentleman comprise chrono-meters, barometers, telescopes, compasses, charts, maps, sextants,. quadrants, and specimens ofevery kind of instrument used in the working of a ship's course, or the keeping of a ship’s reckoning, or the prosecuting of a ship's discoveries. Objects in brass and glass were in his drawers and on his shelves, which none but the initiated could have found thetop of, or guessed the use of, or having once examined, could have ever got back again into their mahogany nests without assistance. Everything was jammed into the tightest cases, fitted into the narrowest corners, [...] and screwed into the acutest angles, to prevent its philosophical composure from being disturbed by the rolling of the sea. Such extraordinary precautions were taken in every instance to save room, and keep the thing compact; and so much practical navigation was fitted, and cushioned, and screwed into every box (whether the box was a mere slab as some were, or something between a cocked hat and a star­fish, as others were, and those quite mild and modest boxes as compared with others); that the shop itself, partaking of the general infection, seemed almost to become a snug, sea­going, ship-shape concern, wanting only good sea-room, in the event of an unexpected launch, to work its way securely to any desert island in the world.

(Ch. Dickens. Dombey and Son)


"Professor Alabaster is the great collector," I said, "and he's looking for some good genuine stuff, oils." [...]

"Oh yes," said Ikey. [.,.]

"And he's very keen on Morland," I said. "You haven't got a little Morland?"2 It was safe to ask for Morland. Every junk shop in England has two or three Morlands from one-and-sixpence, with horse and stable in a real wood frame, to seven-and-sixpence with added straw, figure, one tree and label of the Duke of Devonshire's collection at Chatsworth.

Ikey had two. Nice brown ones. The first had a horse, stable, dog, man and tree. The second was more important. It had a stable, a dog, a horse, a peasant, a tree and a gate.

"That's not bad," I said to Ikey,"I like the gate. It's real. I like the way it opens. How much is that one?"

"Thirty guineas, sir."

That didn't shake me. Thirty guineas is the usual price of a seven-and-sixpenny Morland, with gate.

"That's cheap for a genuine Morland," I said. "Can you give a guarantee? 1 couldn't advise Professor Alabaster to spend thirty guineas on a genuine Morland without a guar­antee."

"Oh yes," Ikey breathed in a faint voice. "Of course. It comes out of the Wallace collection."

"Well, even if they did throw it out, I might bring the Professor to see it. The horse's knees are very genuine. How much did you say?"

"Thirty-five guineas, sir," said Ikey. "The frame is original."

"Make it pounds."

"Couldn't take anything less than guineas, sir. It would fetch a hundred and fifty guineas at Christie’s. Only needs a little cleaning and restoration."


Suddenly Gulley Jimson notices another picture by a painter whose name he gives as Ruffisno. Much bargaining about the Morland and Ruffiano comes to nothing.


... I was just going out of the shop when I stopped and pointed at the Ruffiano. "I'll tell you what, I'll give you sixty guineas — and take it away tonight. Providing it's sound, of course, and a genuine Ruffiano."

"Couldn't do it under a hundred, sir."

"Split the difference 5 and say seventy-five. Or look here, you're right about the frame. It's a good frame."

"Hand-carved pear, sir. You couldn't get such a frame for seventy-five guineas by itself."

"That's what I say. Fifty guineas is much too little. Split the difference and say sixty pounds for the frame alone. At least I'll let you have it for that. And that leaves two guineas for the canvas. Forty-two bob."

The argument goes on much in the same way for some more time.

“Thirty-nine for the Ruffiano. Thai's the lowest price," said Ikey.

We’ll make it guineas, Mr Isaacson. I always deal in guineas. Thirty-one and sixpence. And I’II do the insurance and packing at my own expense. Twenty-eight bob cash on thenail.”

"All right, sir," said the old rascal suddenly.

But ofcourse Jimsonnever bought the picture.

(J. Cary. The Horse's Mouth)


1 Gulley Jimson, an impoverished painter of great talent, comes to an art-dealer's to buy a canvas. But he enters into endless conver­sation with Mr. Isaacson, the dealer (who is facetiously referred to as Ikey), pretending that he wants to purchase a picture for his pa­tron, Professor Alabaster. Jimson himself is ragged, and Mr. Isaacson sees through him. But the shop is on the verge of ruin, and Mr. Isaacson is patient and polite.

2 Morland, George (1763—1804), English painter of animals and rustic scenes.

3 pounds, guineas: a pound is worth 20—, and a guinea is worth 21—; for further details see pp. 27—28

4 Christie — a sale-room in London esp. for art sales

5 split the difference — agree upon a price between two figures that have been suggested

6 bob (pi. unchanged; slang, very common) — a shilling

7 cash on the nail — cash down; to pay on the nail means to pay at once, without delay (ср. русск. деньги на бочку)


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