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Don't beat me

Don't beat me
That morning when I got up after a long and sleepless night, I was immediately called downstairs. When I went into the sitting-room with my books I found there my mother, Mr Murdstone1 with a cane in his hand, and his sister. My mother looked anxious. I understood they had spoken about me. I was terribly frightened. I was to answer my lesson. But I felt the words of my lesson slipping off.
 

I tried to stop them, but they seemed to have put skates on and slip away from me2. We began badly and went on worse. I had come in, thinking that I was very well prepared, but it turned out to be quite a mistake. Mr Murdstone took me out and accompanied me upstairs. When we got to my room, he suddenly put my head under his arm. «Don’t beat me!» I cried, «I have tried to learn, sir, but I can’t learn while you and Miss Murdstone are near me, I can’t indeed!» Seizing the sleeve of his coat I stopped him for a moment, begging him not to beat me. It was only for a moment that I stopped him, for he cut me heavily an instant afterwards and at the same instant I caught his hand between my teeth and bit it. He beat me then as if he was going to beat me to death. Above all the noise we made, I heard my mother running up the stairs and crying out. Then he was gone, and the door was locked outside, and I was lying, hot and tom3, upon the floor. When I became quiet, what an unnatural stillness there seemed to be in the whole house! It had begun to grow dark and I was lying with my head upon the window-sill weeping bitterly, when the key was turned and Miss Murdstone appeared with some bread and milk. These she put down upon the table, without a word and then disappeared locking the door after her. I sat there for a long time, wondering whether anybody else would come. Nobody came, I undressed and went to bed and there I began to wonder what would be done to me. (After Ch. Dickens)

Notes

1 Murdstone [!m3:dstaun] — Мэрдстоун (фамилия)

2 they seemed to have put on skates and slip away from me—казалось, что у страниц нового урока выросли крылья и они улетели от меня

3 I was lying, hot and torn — я лежал разгоряченный и совершенно разбитый

 

Ex. 2. Answer the questions.

 

1. When was the boy called downstairs?

2. Whom did he find downstairs?

3. Why was he terribly frightened?

4. Why did the boy’s mother look anxious?

5. What did he understand when he looked at their faces?

6. How did he begin his lesson?

7. How badly was the boy beaten?

8. How did the boy protest against the punishment?

9. What did the boy do in his room upstairs?

10. How long did he stay alone locked in his room?

 

Ex. 3. Make questions to which the following sentences are answers.

 

1. He had a cane in his hand. (What... ?) What did Mr Murdstone have in his hand?

2. Don’t beat me! (What... ?)

3. Seizing the sleeve of Mr Murdstone’s coat. (How ... ?)

4. It was only for a moment. (For how long ... ?)

5. As if he was going to beat him to death. (How ... ?)

6. The mother was runing up the stairs and crying out. (What... ?)

7. The door was locked outside. (Why ... ?)

8. He was lying with his head on the window-sill. (Where ... ?)

9. Miss Murdstone appeared with some bread and milk. (Who ... ?)

10. He undressed and went to bed. (What... ?)

 

Ex. 4. Choose the best translation.

 

1. But I felt the words of my lesson slipping off

a) Но я чувствовал, что слова выученного урока улетели.

b) Но я чувствовал, что слова выученного урока вылетали у меня из головы.

c) Но как я себя чувствовал, когда слова урока вылетели из головы.

 

2. I had come in, thinking that I was very well prepared.

a) ... думая, что я был очень хорошо подготовлен.

b) ... думая, что всё было очень хорошо приготовлено.

c) ... подумав, что я всё очень хорошо приготовил.

 

3. Seizing the sleeve of his coat I stopped him for a moment.

a) Когда я схватил рукав его пальто...

b) Схватив рукав его пальто...

c) Хватая его за рукав пальто...

 

4. I heard ту mother running up the stairs.

a) Я слышал, что моя мама бежала вверх по лестнице.

b) Услышав, что моя мама бежит вверх по лестнице.

c) Я слушал, а мама бежала вверх по лестнице.

 

5. I was lying with mу head upon the window-sill weeping bitterly.

a) Моя голова лежала на подоконнике, и я горько плакал.

b) Я лежал с головой на подоконнике, горько плача.

c) Положив голову на подоконник, я горько плакал.

 

6. I sat there for a long time, wondering whether anybody would come.

a) ... представляя себе, что кто-то заходит.

b) ... и думал о том, придет ли кто-нибудь.

c) ... думая, что кто-нибудь придёт.

 

Ex. 5. Develop these ideas to sum up the contents of the story.

 

1. The boy couldn’t remember his lesson in the presence of his family.

2. The boy was badly punished and locked in his room.

 

Ex. 6. Give your opinion on the following points.

 

1. It’s difficult to be good at many subjects without much encouragement.

2. Corporal punishment helps to make children study and behave better.

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