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Самые лучшие английские сказки / The best english fairy tales - Матвеев Сергей - Страница 1

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Самые лучшие английские сказки / The Best English Tales

Подготовка текста, комментарии, упражнения и словарь С. А. Матвеева; иллюстрации М. М. Салтыкова

© Матвеев С. А., подготовка текста, комментарии, упражнения, словарь

© ООО «Издательство АСТ»

The Master and His Pupil

There was once a very learned man in the north-country who knew all the languages under the sun, and who was acquainted with all the mysteries of the world. He had one big book bound in black calf and clasped with iron, and with iron corners, and chained to a table on the floor. When he read this book, he unlocked it with an iron key. This famous book contained all the secrets of the spiritual world. It told how many angels there were in heaven, and how they marched in their ranks, and sang, and what were their several functions, and what was the name of each great angel of might. And it told of the demons, how many of them there were, and what were their several powers, and their labours, and their names, and how they might be summoned,[1] and how tasks might be imposed on them,[2] and how they might be chained to be as slaves to man.[3]

Now the master had a pupil who was a foolish lad, and he acted as servant to the great master. The boy was never allowed[4] to look into the black book, hardly to enter the private room.

One day the master was out. The lad was very curious. So he hurried to the chamber where his master kept his wonderful apparatus for changing copper into gold, and lead into silver. There was his magic mirror in which he could see all that was passing in the world. There also was the shell which when held to the ear[5] whispered all the words that were spoken by anyone the master desired to know about. The lad tried in vain[6] with the crucibles to turn copper and lead into gold and silver. He looked long and vainly into the mirror; smoke and clouds passed over it, but he saw nothing plain. And the shell produced to his ear only indistinct murmurings, like the breaking of distant seas on an unknown shore. “I can do nothing,” he said; “as I don’t know the right words to utter, and they are locked up in that magic book.”

He looked round, and, see! the book was not locked. The master had forgotten to lock it before he went out. The boy rushed to it, and opened the volume. It was written with red and black ink, and much of it he could not understand. But he put his finger on a line and spelled it through.

At once the room was darkened, and the house trembled; a clap of thunder rolled through the passage and the old room, and there stood before him a horrible, horrible form, breathing fire, and with eyes like burning lamps. It was the demon, whom he had called up[7] to serve him.

“Set me a task![8]” said he, with a voice like the roaring of an iron furnace.

The boy only trembled, and his hair stood up.

“Set me a task, or I shall strangle you!”

But the lad could not speak. Then the evil spirit stepped towards him, and putting forth his hands touched his throat. The fingers burned his flesh. “Set me a task!”

“Water that flower,” cried the boy in despair, pointing to a geranium which stood in a pot on the floor. Instantly the spirit left the room, but in another instant he returned with a barrel on his back, and poured its contents over the flower; and again and again he went and came, and poured more and more water, till the floor of the room was ankle-deep.[9]

“Enough, enough!” gasped the lad; but the demon did not hear him. The lad didn’t know the words by which to send him away, and still he fetched water.

It rose to the boy’s knees and still more water was poured. It mounted to his waist, and the demon still kept on bringing barrels full. It rose to his armpits, and he scrambled to the table-top. And now the water in the room stood up to the window and washed against the glass, and around his feet on the table. It still rose; it reached his breast. The poor boy cried, but all was useless. The evil spirit was pouring and pouring and pouring water. But the master remembered on his journey that he had not locked his book, and therefore returned, and at the moment when the water was bubbling about the pupil’s chin, rushed into the room and spoke the words which cast the demon back into his fiery home.


1. Выберите правильный вариант:

1. A learned man had a book in which he had the knowledge to control angels.

2. A learned man had a book in which he had the knowledge to control demons.

3. A learned man had a book in which he had the knowledge to control people.

4. A learned man had a book in which he had the knowledge to control stupid pupils.

2. What is a demon?

1. a supernatural being, often depicted in humanoid form with feathered wings on the back and halo around the head

2. a mythological human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf

3. a supernatural, malevolent being

4. an animated corpse raised by magical means

3. What is magic?

1. the act of producing musical sounds with the voice

2. a form of communication between two demons

3. a performing art that entertains audiences

4. the use of paranormal methods to manipulate natural forces

4. What did the foolish pupil one day do with the magic book?

1. The foolish pupil decided to burn it.

2. The foolish pupil brought it to the library.

3. The foolish pupil did absolutely nothing.

4. The foolish pupil began to study.

5. What did the demon do when the pupil summoned him?

1. The demon tried to steal the book.

2. The demon appeared and demanded a task from the foolish pupil.

3. The demon disappeared at once.

4. The demon wanted to play magic games.

6. Закончите предложение:

The demon went on watering the flower until ____________________________________.

7. Выберите правильный вариант:

1. The master remembered that he had left his book unlocked, returned and dispelled the demon.

2. The master remembered that he had left his money at home and returned.

3. The master did not want to dispell the demon.

4. The master never returned.

8. Why did the pupil order the demon to water the flower?

1. Just in case.[10]

2. He wanted to have a good garden.

3. He liked plants very much.

4. He wanted to save his life.

9. Выберите правильный ответ:

"Enough, enough!" cried the lad; but the demon did not hear him. Why?

1. Because the demon was deaf.

2. Because the lad didn't know the words by which to send the demon away.

3. Because the demon was angry with the boy.

4. Because the demon did not speak English.

10. Выберите нужный глагол: