I. Read and translate the following description. Say what makes it so vivid and beautiful:
Usually the circus would arrive at a new town very early in the morning, before daybreak. He would go into town immediately: he would go to the markets, or with farmers who had come in for the circus. [...] He walked among the farmers» wagons, and he dealt with them on the spot for the prodigal plenty of their wares — the country melons bedded in sweet hay, the cool, sweet pounds of butter wrapped in clean, wet cloths, with dew and starlight still upon them, the enormous battered cans foaming with fresh milk, the new-laid eggs which he bought by the gross and hundred dozen, the tender, limey pullets by the score, the delicate bunches of green scallions, *' the heavy red ripeness of huge tomatoes, the sweet-leaved lettuces, crisp as celery, the fresh-podded peas and the succulent young beans, as well as the potatoes spotted with the loamy earth, the winy apples, the peaches, and the cherries, the juicy corn stacked up in shocks of luring green, and the heavy, blackened rinds of the home-cured hams and bacons.
As the markets opened, he would begin to trade and dicker with the butchers for their finest cuts of meat. They would hold great roasts up in their goutedfingers, they wouldroll up tubs of fresh-ground sausage, they would smack with their long palms the flanks of beeves and porks. He would driveback to the circus with a wagonfull of meat and vegetables.
(Th. Wolfe. The Web and the Rock)
II.Translate the following passages anddiscuss them:
There is a distinct difference in "class" between the pedlars and the costers. These latter claim for themselves, and not without justification, the status of an aristocracy, of street vendors. [...] Costers are by no means to be numbered among the London poor. They are men of substance. Their haulage animals and their vehicles are both of good quality. The Cockney coster, whether he has a permanent stall pitch in a market street, or whether he has a "round"—that is, an area consisting of a number of streets adjacent to each other which he visits daily vending his wares from door to door — is as dignified and as individualistic in his occupation as are any other endogamous peasant folk in the country. [...] In old time the costers traded in both greengrocery and fish. Today itinerant fishmongers are rarely of the coster race whereas there are numerous well set up establishments in main road shopping parades selling the choicest of fruit, flowers and vegetables, the proprietors of which are of coster descent. [...] Costermongering simple as it may seem, calls for qualities of shrewdness, vigour, determination, and above all, wit. The down-and-out who stands silent upon the kerb in a market street with bootlaces in his hand and hope in his heart, will retain the former and lose the latter. [...]
In the old days a pitch in a market street was very hard to get. The rule itself was simple: the first to set up a stall in the morning held the position; and though the costers respected each other's claims, jealous shopkeepers sometimes waged a pitch-jumping war, and quite lively seconds were spent pushing stalls over and receiving black eyes, till the police were called (by the shopkeepers, needless to add). Today with licences and rentings and market-refuse-removal fees and the like to pay, the coster's pitch is safe from attack; however the markets cannot accommodate all who have something to sell. On the outskirts of the area barrow-boys lurk, and the more ambitious, with a load of exotic fruit or expensive flowers, invade "Central London's streaming road" — the Strand, Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, Cannon Street, Oxford Street. [...] Closely akin to the costers are the small (that is, small by comparison with the combines) cartage contractors. The humblest coster, whose only means of transport is a hand-barrow, is always willing, subject to the time of day and the business of the market, to undertake transport of goods for a modest fee. Those in a bigger way, possessing a horse and cart, make a sideline of furniture removals; and there are others who, through this branch of industry, have graduated out of the market. By possessing a small fleet of vans, they have ceased to be "costers", and have become "business men".
(B) COVENT GARDEN PORTERS' BASKET RACE
This great sporting event, the participants in which wear no special uniform — merely the ragged trousers, rough shirt and coarse footgear of their normal workaday donning — calls ho spectators from the lounges and bars of luxury, rouses no enthusiasm in the general public, attracts no parasites of the 'sporting fraternity'. With a pile of baskets poised on their heads, and towering up above first-floor windows they weave their way through the normal obstructions of the adjacent streets at a speed that would be hard to maintain even without the supracranial pillars of baskets. They steer clear of obstacles, keeping their necks rigid and, swivelling eyes to the right and to the left, preserve the equilibrium of the load. The other wholesale markets each have their specialities in balance, speed and skill; but potato sacks are less picturesque than bushel baskets, and fish boxes are positively repulsive.
(J. Franklyn. The Cockney. A Survey of London Life and Language)
III. Read the following description. Describe a fair you have seen.
Levenford Fair was an annual festival, the nucleus of which was the congregation of a number of travelling troupes and side-shows, l a small menagerie, which featured actually an elephant and a cage of two lions, an authentic shooting gallery where real bullets were used, and two fortune-tellers with unimpeachable and freely displayed credentials, which together with a variety of other minor attractions assembled at an agreed date upon that piece of public land known locаlly as the Сommon. The ground was triangular in shape. On one side, at the town end, stood the solidly important components of the fair, the larger tents and marquees, on another the moving vehicles of pleasure, swings, roundabouts and merry go-rounds and on the third, bordering the meadows of the river I.even, were the galleries, coco-nut shies, 1 lab-in-the-tub 2 and molly-dolly 3 stalls, the fruit, lemonade, hokey-pokey and nougat vendors, and a multitude of small booths which.engaged and fascinated the eye. The gathering was by far the largest of its kind in the district and, its popularity set by precedent and appreciation, it drew like a magnet upon the town and countryside during the evenings for the period of one scintillating week embracing within its confines jovial mass of humanity, which even now slowly surged around the trigon on a perpetually advancing wave of pleasure.
1a small show or entertainment at a larger one
(A. J. Cronin. Hatter's Castle)
FOR REFERENCE NOTE
1 this attraction consists in knocking down coco-nuts from poles
by wooden balls; one who manages to knock down a coco-nut gets
it as a prize
2 a kind of game of marbles a soft sweets and playthings
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