There are many big and small libraries everywhere in our country. They have millions of books in different languages. You can find there the oldest and the newest books.
Every school has a library. Pupils come to the library to take books on different subjects.
The school library where Oleg studies is good. It is a large clean room. There are four big windows in it. The walls are light blue. There are a lot of shelves full of books. You can find books on literature, physics, history, chemistry, geography, biology and other subjects. There are books in English, too.
On the walls you can see pictures of some great writers and poets.
On the table near the window you can always see beautiful spring and autumn flowers.
Oleg likes to go to the library. He can always find there something new, something he needs.
At school again
Victor is back in Vorontsovo. He has just come but his thoughts are still in Kiev where the autumn is so beautiful.
This is not his first visit there. He has already been to Kiev and he has learnt its streets, roads, parks, theatres, cinemas and old and new beautiful buildings. He easily recognizes the streets, buildings, buses, parks and the noise. Noise is everywhere.
"I am very glad to see you again. How is everything?"
"Thank you, fine."
"Now tell me, where have you been all the time? I haven't seen you for ages and you haven't written a word. Did you go anywhere?"
"Certainly, I did. I have just come back from Kiev."
"How did you like it? Is it a good place to go to?"
"Splendid! You must go there some day, too."
"I certainly shall. And I shall write letters to you as I know you like to get letters."
This is our classroom. It is light, clean and large. The room is nice. Its ceiling and walls are white, its floor is brown. There is one door and three windows in it. When it is warm, they are open. When it is cold, they are shut. The door is always shut when we have our lessons.
There is a blackboard on the wall. We write on it. On the blackboard there are some words. They are English words. We read them: "We want to know English."
We sit on chairs in front of desks. The desks are nice and green.
The teacher's desk in near the blackboard. There are not many pupils in our class. There are only seventeen in it. Today fifteen pupils are present, two are absent.
We learn many subjects at school. They are: Russian, English, history, literature, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geography and physical training (or PT).
The big clock on the tower of the Palace of Westminster in London is often called Big Ben. But Big Ben is really the bell of the clock. It is the biggest clock bell in Britain. It weighs 13.5 tons.
The clock tower is 318 feet high. You have to go up 374 steps to reach the top. So the clock looks small from the pavement below the tower.
But its face is 23 feet wide. It would only just fit into some classrooms.
The minute-hand is 14 feet long. Its weight is equal to that of two bags of coal. The hour-hand is 9 feet long.
The clock bell is called Big Ben after Sir Benjamin Hall. He had the job to see that the bell was put up.
Sir Benjamin was a big man. One day he said in Parliament, "Shall we call the bell St. Stephen's?" St. Stephen's is the name of the tower.
But someone said for a joke, "Why not call it Big Ben?" Now the bell is known all over the world by that name.
Bob and Rose
Bob and Rose are English children. Bob is fifteen. Rose is fourteen. They are brother and sister. They go to school. Bob goes to a boys' school and Rose goes to a girls' school. The children's schools are not far from home. At school Bob learns English and German. Rose learns English and French. Bob and Rose have a lot of books at home. They have English, German and French books.
Rose is a very good pupil. She always works hard. She reads a lot of books. She always does all her exercises. She always helps her mother at home.
Bob does not work hard. He does not work at all. He does not like books and he does not like school. He does not like to help his mother at home. He is a lazy boy. He only likes to sing and dance. He knows some English songs, and he likes to sing them.
The British Museum
The British Museum has one of the largest libraries in the world. It has a copy of every book that is printed in the English language, so that there are more than six million books there. They receive nearly two thousand books and papers daily.
The British Museum Library has a very big collection of printed books and manuscripts, both old and new. You can see beautifully illustrated old manuscripts which they keep in glass cases.
You can also find there some of the first English books printed by Caxton. Caxton was a printer who lived in the fifteenth century. He made the first printing-press in England.
In the reading-room of the British Museum many famous men have read and studied.
Charles Dickens, a very popular English writer and the author of 'David Copperfield', 'Oliver Twist', 'Dombey and Son' and other books, spent a lot of time in the British Museum Library.
A busy day
Though it was winter Vadim Petrovich, the agronomist of the farm, had a busy day last Tuesday.
He began his morning with the radio, he listened to the news. At half past seven he got up, washed, did his morning exercises at an open window, dressed and had breakfast.
Vadim Petrovich likes mornings, because he can see his family, and he can have a talk with his wife and children.
At a quarter to nine Vadim Petrovich left home. It was a cold winter day. There was a lot of snow on the ground. The sky wasn't blue, and the sun didn't shine at all. There weren't any people in the street.
Vadim Petrovich went to the farm. It is not far from his house, so he walks there. The road was white with snow and he couldn't walk fast. When he came to the farm, some people wanted to see and talk to him. His working day began. At 1 o'clock he went home to have dinner. He had dinner with his wife and little daughter who does not go to school. He ate his dinner, rested a little, and went back to the farm. Vadim Petrovich had to talk to some people, to write some letters, and to do some other work.
At 5 o'clock he had an important meeting. And only at 8 o'clock he came home.
Charles Darwin (1809—1882)
A hundred years ago people believed that plants and animals had always been as they are now. They thought that all the different sorts of living things, including men and women, were put in this world by some mysterious power a few thousand years ago.
It was Charles Darwin, born at Shrewsbury on the 12th of February, 1809, who showed that this was just a legend. As a boy Darwin loved to walk in the countryside, collecting insects, flowers and minerals. He liked to watch his elder brother making chemical experiments. These hobbies interested him imuch more than Greek and Latin, which were his main subjects at school.
His father, a doctor, sent Charles to Edinburgh University to study medicine. But Charles did not like this. He spent a lot of time with a zoologist friend, watching birds and other animals, and collecting insects in the countryside.
Then his father sent him to Cambridge to be trained as a parson. But Darwin didn't want to be a doctor or a parson. He wanted to be a biologist.
In 1831 he set sail in the Beagle for South America to make maps of the coastline there. Darwin went in the ship to see the animals and plants of other lands. On his voyage round the world he looked carefully at thousands of living things in the sea and on land and came to very important conclusions.
This is what he came to believe. Once there were only simple jelly-like creatures living in the sea. Very slowly, taking hundreds millions of years, these have developed to produce all the different kinds of animals and plants we know today. But Darwin waited over twenty years before he let the world know his great ideas. During that time he was carefully collecting more information. It showed how right he was that all living things had developed from simpler creatures.
He wrote a famous book 'The Origin of Species'.
People who knew nothing about living things tried to make fun of Darwin's ideas.
The development of science has shown that Darwin's idea of evolution was correct.
Chefirovka is a large village not far from Tula. The people who live in Chefirovka grow vegetables and various kinds of fruit. They have domestic animals: cows, pigs, sheep, goats and even horses. You can see poultry there — hens, cocks, ducks, geese and turkeys. So they try to have everything they need to live well.
Among the villagers there is one who likes bees very much; that is Oleg Rodin.
Oleg Rodin has a hig house and an orchard in which there are many fruit-trees. The house stands on one of the hills. Between the hills there is a valley. It is very nice there.
Oleg Rodin has a family. The family is large. Its members live and work together. As to Oleg he takes care of the bees htmself. He does not trust them to anybody.
Oleg knows a lot about bees and he can tell you an interesting story about their life.
Bees live in colonies. Each colony of bees has only one queen. One queen is enough for the colony. If more than one queen is left alive swarming will not take place.
It is said about a bee:
"It gathers honey all the day,
From every opening flower."
That is all wrong. Bees don't gather honey. None of the 10,000 different kinds of bees gathers honey. What they do gather is nectar, which is something quite different.
This story you can hear from Oleg Rodin who likes to talk about bees, and certainly about his bees.
Chefirovka is a village where one of the daughters of the famous Russian writer L. Tolstoy lived. There are still some people who met the writer and talked to him.
Cities. Towns. Villages.
Houses are buildings. Schools and clubs are buildings, too. A shop is a building or a part of a building.
When there are many houses and other buildings together, they make a town. A city is a very big town.
When there are few houses and other buildings together, they make a village.
Cities, towns and villages have names.
Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Minsk, London, Cambridge, Oxford, etc. are the names of cities.
Cities, towns and villages have streets between their buildings, that is, the buildings are on each side of a street. On each side of the street, in front of the buildings there is a pavement. Between the pavements there is the road. People walk on the pavements, buses and cars drive on the roads.
We can get from one place to another by different means of communication. We can go by train, by airplane (or plane), by ship, by bus, by car, etc.
How can we get from Moscow to Vladivostok? We can get there either by train or by airplane. If we go by train it takes us about seven days. If we go by airplane it takes us about 12 hours only.
How can we get to the nearest town? We can get there either by bus or by train.
How can we get from one village to another? We usually use a bicycle, a motor-cycle or a bus to get from one village to another.
Can you tell us what women wear? It depends on the season of the year. Usually it is a skirt and a blouse or a dress. If it is cold, they wear a coat. A pair of gloves and a hat are necessary. They also wear stockings and shoes.
Can you tell us what men wear? They usually wear a shirt and trousers, a coat or a jacket, socks and shoes. If it is cold, they put on a coat, a cap or a hat and a pair of gloves.
If it rains, men and women wear a raincoat. In autumn when it is raining hard an umbrella is necessary.
A. Conan Doyle (1859—1930)
The norman conquest of England
The conquest of England by the Normans began in 1066 with the battle of Hastings, where the English fought against the Normans. The conquest was complete in 1086.
Who were these Normans who conquered England?
They were Vikings or 'Norsemen', men from the North. Some 150 years before the conquest of England they came to a part of France, opposite England, a part which we now call Normandy.
What did the Norman Conquest do to England?
It gave it French kings and nobles. The Normans also brought with them the French language. After the Norman Conquest there were three languages in England. There was Latin, the language of the church and the language in which all learned men wrote and spoke; the kings wrote their laws in Latin for some time after the Conquest. Then there was French, the language which the kings and nobles spoke and which many people wrote. Finally, there was the English language which remained the language of the masses of the people. Some men might know all these languages; many knew two; but most of the people knew only one. There Were some people who understood the French language though they could not speak it. Rich people who owned land, the landowners, often knew French and Latin. But poor people, the peasants did not understand French or Latin. They understood only English.
In time, however, came the general use of the English language. About 1350 English became the language of law; and at that time lived the first teacher who taught his boys to read and write English and to translate, not from Latin into French, but from Latin into English. Then between 1350 and 1400 lived Wyclif who made the first complete translation of the Bible into English, and Chaucer, 'the Father of English poetry'.
But the English language when it came into general use was not quite the same as it was before the Conquest. The grammar remained, but many words came into it from the French language.
The great fire of London
The London of the middle of the 17th century was a city of narrow, dirty streets. Indeed, the streets were so narrow that it was often possible for a person at a window on one side of the street to shake hands with a neighbour on the other side. There was little light and air. Rubbish lay piled up in dark corners. It is no wonder that epidemics were common.
The greatest epidemic of the plague broke out in 1665.
It was a sad time for London. The streets were empty, shops were closed and there were few boats on the Thames. Every house in which there were sick people was shut up, and no one was allowed to go in or out, and the door of the house was marked with a red cross.
The following year the Great Fire took place. It broke out late on a Saturday night in a street not far from London Bridge. The summer had been dry, a hot east wind blew and the fire spread quickly. This is what we read in the diary of John Evelyn, who saw the terrible fire with his own eyes. The Thames was covered with boats full of people. On the other side one could see carts carrying out the saved goods out into the fields and people putting up tents. At night the fire could be seen ten miles away.
The fire burned for five days and destroyed the greater part of the city. But it did the city good, as it cleared away the old wooden houses and dirty, narrow streets.
A monument near London Bridge still marks the spot where the fire broke out. Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect of that day, took part in rebuilding the city. The greater part of it had been of wood, but after the fire wider streets and brick houses were built. The old church of St. Paul was among the buildings destroyed by the fire. In its place Wren built the present St. Paul's Cathedral. He lies buried under the roof of nis own great work. These words are written on his grave: "Reader, it you want to see his monument, look around."
The British Isles lie in the north-west of Europe. They consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and many smaller ones. Great Britain, the largest island in Europe, includes England, Scotland, and Wales. It is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea, and from the Continent by the English Channel and the Straits of Dover. Great Britain and Northern Ireland form the United Kingdom (UK).
The surface of England and Ireland is flat, but the surface of Scotland and Wales is mountainous. The mountains are almost all in the western part. The highest mountain in the United Kingdom is Ben Nevis in Scotland (1343 m). The longest river is the Severn. It is in the south-west of England. The Thames is not so long as the Severn, it is shorter. The sea enters deeply into the land and has a great influence on the climate, which is damp but rather mild: the winter is not very cold and the summer is not very hot.
Over 57 million people live in the United Kingdom. Most of the people of Great Britain live in big towns and cities.
The capital of the country is London. The main industrial centres are Sheffield and Birmingham where iron goods are made, Manchester, the cotton centre of England, and others.
The important ports of the country are London, Liverpool, Glasgow and others.
Inventors and their inventions
New inventions are appearing every day to make our lives easier, longer, warmer, speedier and so on. But only a few inventors design a new machine or product that becomes so well-known that the invention, named after its creator, becomes a household word. Here are ten famous inventors and the inventions that are named after them:
1. Ladislao Biro, a Hungarian artist who emigrated to Argentina. In about 1943 he invented the ball-point pen or biro.
2. John Bowler, a London halter who designed the hard round hat known as the bowler in about 1850. It has become the symbol of British male respectability. And you can still see businessmen wearing bowlers in the City, the centre of London's commerce.
3. Louis Braille (1809—1852), born at Couvray, France. He became blind as a child. In 1824 he developed his own alphabet patterns known as Braille by which the blind could read by touch, based on a French army officer's invention for reading messages in the dark.
4. Samuel Colt (1814—1862), an American gunsmith. He designed a pistol, patented in 1836, with a revolving barrel that could fire six bullets, one after the other. The Colt was the first of its kind. Many "six-shooters" came later.
5. Rudolf Diesel (1858—1913), a German engineer who invented the diesel engine in 1897 and so began a transport revolution in cars, lorries and trains.
6. Hans Wilhelm Geiger (1882—1945), a German nuclear physicist. From 1906—1909 he designed a counter for detecting radioactivity. This was the beginning of modern geiger counters.
7. Charles Mackintosh (1766—1843), a Manchester textile chemist who, in 1823, developed a rubber solution for coating fabrics which led to the production of waterproof raincoats or mackintoshes.
8. Samuel Finley Breeze Morse (1791 — 1872), an American portrait painter who invented the telegraphic dot-dash alphabet known as morse code.
9. Louis Pasteur (1822—1895), a Frenchman who was both a chemist and a biologist. Pasteurisation is a method of sterilising milk by healing it.
10. Charles Rolls, a car salesman who with the engineer Henry Royce created the world-famous Rolls-Royce car. Rolls died in 1910.
Jack London (1876—1916)
Jack London, an American writer, came of a poor family. When he was a schoolboy he had to sell newspapers and do other work to get money for a living. Then he became a sailor. Later he did some other work.
His life was very hard and he described it in his book 'Martin Eden'.
Jack London wrote about fifty books: short stories, novels and other works.
He was made famous by his book 'Call of the Wild'. 'Martin Eden' is another of his well-known books.
You will read 'Brown Wolf', one of the stories written by Jack London. The story is adapted.
BROWN WOLF (after J. London)
One day John Smith and his wife Mary found a dog. He was a very wild and strange dog. The dog was weak and hungry, but he did not let them touch him and ate the food they gave him when they went away.
When the dog was strong again, he disappeared.
A few months later, when Smith was in a train, he saw his dog. The dog was running along the road. Smith got off the train at the next station, bought a piece of meat, caught the dog, and brought him home again. There he was tied up for a week.
At the end of the week Smith tied a metal plate to the dog with the words "Please, return to Smith, Ellen, California", and set the dog free. He disappeared again.
This time he was sent back by the train, was tied up for three days, was set free on the fourth day and disappeared again.
As soon as he received his freedom, he always ran north. The dog always came back hungry and weak and always ran away trcsh and strong.
At last the dog decided to stay with the Smiths, but a long time passed before they could touch him. They called the dog 'Wolf'.
One summer day a stranger came to the place where Smith and his wife lived. As soon as the dog saw him, he ran to the stranger and licked his hands with his tongue. Then the stranger said:
"His name isn't Wolf. It's Brown. He was my dog."
"Oh," cried Mary, "you are not going to take him away with you? Leave him here, he is happy."
The stranger then said, "His mother died and I brought him up on condensed milk. He never knew any mother but me. Do you think he wants to stay with you?"
"I am sure of it."
"Well," said the stranger. "He must decide it himself. I'll say goodbye and go away, if he wants to stay- let him stay. If he wants to come with me, let him come. I will not call him to come."
For some time Wolf watched the man. He waited for him to return. Then he ran after the man, caught his hand between his teeth and tried to stop him. The man did not stop. Then the dog ran back to where Smith and his wife sat. He tried to drag Smith after the stranger. The dog wanted to be at the same time with the old master and the new one. The stranger disappeared. The dog lay down at the feet, of Smith. Mary was happy. A few minutes later the dog got up and ran after the old master. He never turned his head. Faster and faster the dog ran along the road and in a few minutes he was gone.
John Taylor is an English boy. He can speak English very well, because English is his native language. John can speak French a little, because he studies this language at school. He works hard at his French, because he wants to know this language very v/ell. John cannot speak German at all, but he can read a little and understand German.
John likes his school. He never misses his lessons and he is never late. He is always sorry when he can't go to school.
Today John can't go to school. He can't get up, because he is ill. He must lie in bed.
Mother: John, why are you lying in bed? You must get up. It is a quarter past eight. You must go to school.
John: I can't get up, Mother. I'm hot and weak.
Mother: Oh, John, you are ill. I am afraid we must call the doctor.
John: Must I go to the hospital, Mother?
Mother: No, you needn't. You must stay in bed. The doctor must give you some medicine.
(The doctor comes.)
Mother: When can John get up and go to school?
The doctor: The boy can get up after two days. He must take this medicine three times a day.
John: May I read a book?
Mother: No, you can't. Take the medicine and rest a little.
Learning by heart
Some people have good memories, and can easily learn quite long poems by heart. But they often forget them almost as quickly as they learn them. There are other people who can only remember things when they have said them over and over, but when they do know them they don't forget them.
Charles Dickens, the famous English author, said that he could walk down any long street in London and then tell you the name of every shop he had passed. Many of the great men of the world have had wonderful memories.
A good memory is a great help in learning a language. Everybody learns his own language by remembering what he hears when he is a small child, and some children who live abroad with their parents seem to learn two languages almost as easily as one. In school it is not so easy to learn a second language, because the pupils have so little time for it, and they are busy with other subjects as well.
The best way for most of us to remember things is to join them in our mind with something which we know already, or which we easily remember because we have a picture of it in our mind. That is why it is better to learn words in sentences, not by themselves; or to see, or do, or feel what a word means when we first use it.
The human mind is rather like a camera, but it takes photographs not only of what we see but of what we feel, hear, smell and taste. When we take a real photograph with a camera, there is much to do before the photograph is finished and ready to show to our friends. In the same way, there is much work to be done before we can make a picture remain for ever in the mind.
Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.
When we have time for leisure, we usually need something that can amuse and interest us. There are several ways to do this.
People use radio or television. They switch on the radio set or TV set and choose the programme they like best. Some people like music. They listen (o various concerts of modern and old music, new and old songs, and see dances. Those who are fond of sports listen to or watch football and hockey matches. These are the most popular kinds of sports. There are a lot of fans among people. They can also see championships in athletics and other kinds of sports.-Everybody likes to see skating and dancing on the ice. Radio and television extend our knowledge about the world in which we live. Television helps us to 'visit' different lands, see new plants, animals, unusual birds, fish and insects, mountains and valleys, lakes, rivers, and seas. We are shown different countries, cities and towns and people who live there. On TV people could even see both sides of the Moon. This is what we can do at home.
If we want to go out, there arc a lot of cinemas, theatres, museums, Houses of Culture and clubs in our country where we can spend our free time.
In big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg it is often difficult to decide where to go in the evening. Newspapers tell us what is on at cinemas and theatres. If you are a theatre-goer, you will choose a play you want to see. If you are a film fan, you will go to a cinema. When new interesting plays are on. it is not easy to get tickets, because the theatres play to full houses every night. Then you must book tickets.
In small towns and villages they have no actors of their own. So they invite a group of actors from a big town or a city to show plays. Everyone likes to see the plays. Schools usually get tickets for their pupils. They go to the theatre with their teachers and have talks about the play they have seen.
The cinema has really become the most popular kind of art. Films are shown in cinemas, clubs. Houses of Culture and even schools in villages. Young and old people like to see films very much, and when a good film is on, the house is usually full.
In small towns and villages both Houses of Culture and clubs are the centres of cultural activities which are carried out through different sections. Those who like to dance join a dancing section. Those who are interested in music join a musical section where they are taught to play different musical instruments. People who are fond of sports can join sport sections, such as football, skiing, boating, chess, and others. The art section is one of the most popular with the people, because they can learn to create beautiful things there. Some members are taught to paint, and they organize local exhibitions of their paintings. Some do cutting work, others grow flowers and take part in town and region flower-shows.
Old traditions are coming to life. In some villages they build 'Huts on hen's legs', taverns in the old Russian style such as 'Lubava' on the way from Moscow to Novgorod, where people can meet their friends, have pleasant talks, eat Russian food and listen to Russian music.
So you can see how interesting are the ways in which leisure time can be spent
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