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текст по английскому языку ( THE MODEL MILLIONAIRE)
If you are not wealthy there is no use in being a charming fellow. Romance is the privilege of the rich, not the profession of the unemployed. The poor should be practical and prosaic. It is better to have a permanent income than to be charming. These are the great truths of modern life which Hughie Erskine never realised. Poor Hughie! He was wonderfully good-looking, but poor.
To make matters worse, he was in love. The girl he loved was Laura Merton, the daughter of a retired colonel. Laura adored him, and he was ready to kiss her shoestrings.
They were the handsomest couple in London, and had not a penny between them. The Colonel was very fond of Hughie, but would not hear of any engagement.
"Come to me, my boy, when you have got ten thousand pounds of your own, and we'll see about it," he used to say; and that made Hughie very unhappy.
One morning, as he was on his way to Holland Park, where the Mertons lived, he dropped to see his friend Alan Trevor, a painter.
When Hughie came in he found Trevor putting the finishing touches to a wonderful life-size picture of a beggar-man. The beggar himself was standing on a raised platform in a corner of the studio. He was a wizened old man, wit!) a wrinkled face, and a most piteous expression.
"What an amazing model!" whispered Hughie, as he shook hands with his friend.
"An amazing model?" cried Trevor. "I should think so! You don't meet such beggars every day. What an etching Rembrandt would have made of him!"
"Poor old man!" said Hughie, "how miserable he looks!"
"Certainly," replied Trevor, "you don't want a beggar to look happy, do you?"
At this moment the servant came in, and told Trevor that the framemaker wanted to speak to him.
"Don't run away, Hughie," he said, as he went out, "I'll be back in a moment."
The old beggar-man took advantage of Trevor's absence to rest for a moment on a wooden bench that was behind him. He looked so miserable that Hughie could not help pitying him, and felt in his pockets to see what money he had. All he could find was a sovereign and some coppers. "Poor old fellow," he thought to himself, "he wants it more than I do", and he walked across the studio and slipped the sovereign into the beggar's hand.
The old man got up, and a faint smile appeared on his lips. "Thank you, sir," he said, "thank you."
Then Trevor arrived, and Hughie took his leave, blushing a little at what he had done.
The next day he met Trevor again.
"Well, Alan, is your picture finished?" he asked.
"Finished and framed, my boy!" answered Trevor. "By the way, the old model you saw is quite devoted to you. I had to tell him all about you — who you are, where you live. What your income is, what prospects you have — "
"My dear Alan," cried Hughie, "I'll probably find him waiting for me when I go home. But of course, you are only joking.
Poor old man! I wish I could do something for him. I have heaps of old clothes at home — do you think he would care for them? His rags were falling to bits."
"But he looks splendid in them," said Trevor. "I wouldn't paint him in a frock coat for anything. What you call rags I call romance. However, I'll tell him of your offer."
"And now tell me how Laura is," said Trevor. "The old model was quite interested in her."
"You don't mean to say you talked to him about her?" said Hughie.
"Certainly I did. He knows all about the retired colonel, the lovely Laura, and the 10,000 pounds."
"You told that old beggar all my private affairs?" cried Hughie, looking very red and angry.
"My dear boy," said Trevor, smiling, "That old beggar, as you call him, is one of the richest men in Europe. He has a house in every capital, dines off gold plate, and could buy all London tomorrow if he wished."
"What on earth do you mean?" exclaimed Hughie.
"What I say," said Trevor. "The old man you saw in the studio is Baron Housberg. He is a great friend of mine, buys all my pictures, and he paid me a month ago to paint him as a beggar."
"Baron Hausberg!" cried Hughie.
"Good heavens! I gave him a sovereign!"
"Gave him a sovereign!" cried Trevor, and he burst into laughter. "My dear boy, you'll never see it again."
, Hughie walked home, feeling very unhappy, and leaving Alan Trevor in fits of laughter.
The next morning, as he was at breakfast, the servant handed him an envelope.
On the outside was written, "A wedding present to Hughie Erskine and Laura Merton, from an old beggar," and inside was a cheque for 10,000 pounds.
When they were married Alan Trevor was the best man, and the Baron made a speech at the wedding breakfast.
(After O. Wilde)

1 Hughie Erskine [,hju:i siskin]
2 Laura Merton [,lo:ra 'тз:1п]
3 Baron Housberg [,Ьзегэп 'hausbaig]
4 best man шафер, свидетель на свадьбе
Категория: Учителю иностранного языка | Добавил: pepsikola (01 Мар 2012)
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