Английский текст для чтения – 16

Короткий английский текст для практики чтения и перевода.

Once upon a time there was a very rich old man. He was also a very miserly old man. He had quite a few of poor yet expectant relatives who would not let him alone.

At Christmas time especially they crowded about him and showered presents upon him in the hope of being paid one day for their generosity. They brought him gifts suited for his old years, such as a pillow for his rheumatic back, and a handbell to ask for assistance in case of a sudden attack, and a book of reflections to tum his thoughts from worldly matters and a fountain-pen in case he might suddenly tum to worldly matters and make a will in their favour.

But strange to say, these gifts only added to the dislike that very rich, miserly old man fel t for his poor relatives.

On Christmas a certain nephew returned from abroad and, having nowhere to spend his holiday, thought he might as well look up the old man. He forgot about the family custom of making presents until he was in the train, when it was too late to buy one. However he examined his travel bag and found in it something he thought would do. On his arrival he found the usual crowd presenting the usual gifts to the old man.

“Uncle,” the young man said cheerfully, “you look years younger than when I saw you last. I have here a small gift which is of no value, but which will, I hope, be of use to you.”

His uncle took the parcel. Upon opening it, however, his face cleared, and he embraced his nephew so heartily that the other poor relatives left the scene in amazement.

The gift was a calendar for the next ten years.

You will be prepared to hear that the very rich old man made a new will, leaving his fortune to his nephew. And so he did. But you must remember that he was a mi serl y old man and had a hatred of waste. So, lest the calendar should be wasted, he took special pains to live the whole ten years longer, and before that length of time had elapsed the nephew had unfortunately died of dissipation.

After “Tact” by B. Sexelby