English language training forum

Go Back   English language training forum > English Teaching Forum > English language training

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-28-2016, 03:20 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default Jacob Faithful by Frederick Marryat - book 1.

Jacob Faithful by Frederick Marryat.
Abridged and adapted from the novel.

CHAPTER I. My Birth and Family. I am Left an Orphan.

Dear reader, I was born upon the water, not upon the angry ocean, but in a lighter upon the river Thames. This lighter was manned by my father, my mother and myself. Before I say one word about myself, allow me to describe my parents. My mother was a fat clumsy woman. She walked little and seldom left the lighter. You could always find her in her cabin where she sat drinking gin. She drank from morning till night so that towards the end of the day she could not stand on her feet and had to lie down on her bed. My father was a long-armed little man who could manage his lighter very well but could do no more. He smoked very much and I never saw him without his pipe. But he did not like to talk much. I remember very clearly the few expressions that my father often used. One was Its no use crying; whats done cant be helped. When he said this quietly it meant that the conversation was ended and then nothing could move him. To my mother he used the expression Take it coolly. He said this when my mother got excited about something; but his words made her still more angry. Another expression which my father used when anything went wrong was Better luck next time. These expressions fully expressed his philosophy of life. He could neither write nor read, but he could make scratches which looked like hieroglyphics, and with the help of these he clumsily marked the quantity of the cargo.

I was the third child in the family, but my sister had died long before I was born and my elder brother was drowned when he was three years old. A year later my mother gave birth to another boy. That was I. My father took the event quite coolly: he did not take me to church but crossed my forehead with the end of his pipe and called me Jacob.

I do not remember much of my early childhood. I shall therefore pass it over and begin at the age of five when I could already help my father. Indeed, I was almost as clever as some boys are at ten. And by the time I was ten years old, I knew the name of every part of the river, the depth of water and many other things. I was already able to manage the lighter, too.

I was eleven when the catastrophe took place which changed the whole of my life. For the last two years my mother had drunk more than usual and had seldom left her bed. A great change had taken place in my father, too. He had grown old and weak, and seldom came on deck. I had to manage the lighter alone. One fine summer evening we were floating up the river with a heavy load of coal. I had finished my supper and lay down on the deck to rest. I was watching the stars above me and dreaming when I suddenly heard a loud scream. Another wild scream followed and my father came running out of the cabin. He rushed over the side of the lighter and disappeared under the water. For a few seconds I stood there, struck with horror. But my mothers screams came again and again and I hurried to her help. A strong thick smoke was coming up from the cabin, and I could not go in. I sat down and cried bitterly. In about ten minutes the smoke disappeared and all was silent in the cabin. I entered and called Mother! but there was no answer. Nothing was burning. I was astonished in a trembling voice I again called out Mother! Then I pulled the curtains of the bed my mothers burnt body lay in a black mass of cinders on the bed. I screamed with horror, walked unsteadily from the cabin and fell senseless on the deck.

As the reader may not quite understand what happened to my mother I must explain it to him. She had drunk too much gin and there was too much alcohol in her body. The gases that it produced had caught fire and she was burnt to death. It is easy to guess that this sight frightened my father to madness so that he did not know what he was doing when he jumped into the water.

And this is how I lost both my parents, one by fire and the other by water, at one and the same time.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-28-2016, 03:20 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

CHAPTER II. The Last Orders of My Father. My First Steps on Land.

It was daylight when I came to myself. I looked at the open door of the cabin and remembered all the horrors of the night before. Then I turned my eyes from the cabin door to the water and thought of my father. As the sun rose, the mist cleared away. Again I could see the trees, the houses, and the green fields on the banks. Other barges were slowly coming up the river. It was a busy world and I had my own task to carry out. I remembered the last words of my father: Dont forget, Jacob, we must be at the wharf early tomorrow morning. His orders had always been law to me, so I prepared to carry them out at once. The lighter moved forward managed by a boy of eleven. In about two hours it safely came to the wharf. Two men came on board and asked me what had happened and why I was alone in the lighter. I could not answer them: I threw myself down on the deck and cried as if my heart would break.

The men were astonished. They brought the clerk, and all of them went down into the cabin. When they returned they at once took me to the house of the ship-owner. It was the first time in my life that I had put my foot on dry land. I was led into the drawing-room where I found the ship-owner at breakfast with his wife and his daughter, a little girl nine years old.

I told them my story.

How strange and how horrible! said the lady to her husband. I cannot understand it even now.

But still it is true. Johnson the clerk has seen it all with his own eyes.

In the meantime I was looking round the room. There were many things in it that I had never seen before and all of them were rich and beautiful. For a short time I had for gotten my sorrow, but the ladys voice brought me back to my present situation.

Have you any friends, my poor boy? she asked.

No.

Do you know that you are an orphan?

Whats that?

That you have no father or mother, said the little girl.

Well, I answered, in my fathers words, its no use crying, whats done cant be helped.

But what are you going to do now? the ship owner asked looking hard at me.

Dont know, Im sure. Take it coolly, I replied.

What a very strange child, said the lady. Does he understand how great his misfortune is?

Better luck next time, missus, I said wiping my eyes with the back of my hand.

What strange answers from a child, said the ship owner to his wife. What is your name?

Jacob Faithful.

Can you write or read?

No. I wish I could.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-28-2016, 03:20 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

Very well, my poor boy, we shall see what we can do for you. But now go down with Sarah into the kitchen. Cook will take care of you. Sarah, my love, take him down to cook.

Sarah at once took me to the cooka kind-hearted fat woman who was moved by my sorrowful story and took good care of me. She gave me many good things to eat. Sorrow did not take away my appetite. I stopped from time to time to cry a little, wiped my eyes, and sat down again. It was more than two hours before I laid down my knife, and in a few minutes I was fast asleep on two chairs, covered by the cooks apron to keep away the flies.

My parents had not left me any money, but my mother was of help to me even after her death. The bed with her remains was brought on shore and put in the yard of the ship-owners house. People had heard the news about her strange death and thousands came to the yard to look at her remains. The ship-owner understood that he could use the situation for my benefit. A plate with some silver and gold was placed at. the foot of my poor mothers bed. There was a placard above it: For the benefit of the orphan. The people who came to look at my mothers remains dropped money into the plate. This continued for many days and during all that time I lived with the cook whom I helped with her work in the kitchen. On the eleventh day I was called upstairs by the ship-owner whom I found in the room together with a little gentleman in black.

Jacob, said the ship-owner, Here is a doctor who offers twenty pounds for the remains of your poor mother. It is a great sum of money and I advise you to let him have them.

What do you want them for? I asked.

I wish to keep them and take great care of them.

Well, if youll take care of the old woman, you may have her.

In this way we came to an agreement. The twenty pounds, added to the money collected in the plate, made a sum of forty seven pounds, which the ship-owner laid up for my use.

Next Mr. Drummond (that was the name of the ship-owner) ordered new clothes for me in which I felt very awkward. The day after my new clothes had been put on, I was called into the drawing-room, Mr. Drummond and his wife looked at me attentively and I saw that they liked my strong and slender fugure. Then Mr. Drummond told me that I should dine with them. Soon I was sitting in their dining-room on a high chair with my legs not quite reaching the floor. I blushed every minute and felt quite foolish. Mr. Drummond helped me to some hot soup, and put a silver spoon into my hand, but I did not know how to use it.

Now, Jacob, you must eat the soup with the spoon, said little Sarah, laughing. Be quick.

Take it coolly, I replied and put the spoon with the hot soup right into my mouth. The next moment the soup came back from my burnt throat, the spoon fell out of my hand, and I let out a loud cry of pain.

Poor boy! cried the lady, giving me a glass of water.

Its no use crying, replied I, whats done cant be helped.

Nobody has taken care of the poor boy, said the good-natured Mrs. Drummond. Come, Jacob, sit down and try it again. It will not burn you now.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-28-2016, 03:20 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

Better luck next time, said I, swallowing half a spoonful of the soup and spilling the other half on my clothes.

Mrs. Drummond wanted to show me how to use the spoon, but Mr. Drummond said: Let the boy eat in his own way. Only be quick, Jacob: we are waiting.

I laid down my spoon, and bending over my plate drank the soup right over its edge. I thought it was clever of me, but Mrs. Drummond said:

That is not the way to eat soup.

I made many mistakes during that dinner. I looked so funny that little Sarah was laughing at me all the time. For the first time in my life I felt terribly ashamed. At last I could not stand it any longer and broke into tears laying my head upon the table. Suddenly I felt a gentle touch upon my cheek. I looked up and saw the beautiful face of little Sarah. Her eyes were filled with tears.

I wont laugh at you any more, said she, so dont cry, Jacob!

I tried to smile in reply.

I wont cry, I said. The first time I get a piece of wood Ill cut you out a barge.

Oh, papa! Jacob says hell cut me out a barge.

That boy has a heart, said Mr. Drummond to his wife.

But will it swim, Jacob? asked the little girl.

Yes, and if it doesnt, call me a lubber.

Whats a lubber? replied Sarah.

Why, dont you know? I cried; and I felt proud that in this case I knew more than she did.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:15 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

CHAPTER III. I am Sent to a Charity School and Learn Something New about the Letter A.

On the same day Mr. Drummond decided to send me to school. I was given new clothes: a long coat of pepper and salt, yellow leather breeches and a cap. A tin plate was hung upon my breast with No 63 on it. This showed the number of the boys at the school. I was taken to the school by Mr. Drummond, and before we came there we met the boys all out walking. I was at once put into their ranks and Mr. Drummond went away.

The school had two chiefs the chief schoolmaster and the chief servant. The master was the more important of the two, and as he will often appear in the pages of my story, I shall describe him in detail. Domine Dobiensis; or Dreary Dobbs, as we called him, was a tall and thin man. He had a long face with a large nose. He was a learned man, because, firstly, he had written a book on Greek grammar, and, secondly, he was fond of solving mathematical problems. At the moments when he was deep in his calculations he did not see or hear anything around him. The boys knew this weakness of their teacher and often said: The Domine is in his dreams and talks in his sleep. At a moment like this he quite forgot about the class and the boys did what they liked. But when the Domine began to blow his nose it was a sure sign that he had returned from his abstraction. The boys stopped their games, opened their books, and silence again fell on the class.

The Domine loved a pun, and he often made puns in English, Greek and Latin. Nobody understood the Greek and Latin puns, and so nobody laughed at them. But that was, probably for the better because the Domine himself was a very serious man and never laughed aloud.

Jacob Faithful, come here, were the first words that I heard the next morning when I had taken my seat at the farther end of the schoolroom. I rose, and walked through two lines of boys to the masters high desk from which he looked down upon me.

Jacob Faithful, can you read?

No, I cant, I replied. I wish I could.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:15 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

A good answer, Jacob: your wish will come true. Do you know your alphabet? .

I dont know what that is.

Then you dont know it. Mr. Knapps will teach you. He teaches the beginners. To your studies now.

After saying this the Domine called up the first class, while Mr. Knapps called me to my first lesson.

Mr. Knapps was a thin young man of about twenty years of age. He-was small and weak, but very cruel. Although the Domine did not allow him to punish the boys, Mr. Knapps beat them when he remained alone with them in the schoolroom. I have almost nothing else to say of Mr. Knapps, except that he wore a black coat and wiped his pen on his left sleeve and his nose on the right.

What is that, boy? said Mr. Knapps, pointing to the letter A. I looked attentively and thought that I recognized one of my fathers hieroglyphics.

Thats half a bag, I replied.

Half a bag! Youre more than half a fool. Thats the letter A.

No; its half a bag. Father told me so.

Then your father was as big a fool as yourself!

Father knew what half a bag was, and so do I. Thats half a bag.

I tell you its the letter A, cried Mr. Knapps angrily.

Its half a bag, I repeated. Mr. Knapps dared not punish me while the Domine was present, so he came down from his high desk and led me up to the master.

I can do nothing with this boy, Sir, he said. He does not recognize the first letter in the alphabet and says that it is not the letter A but half a bag.

Do you not understand that you have come here to learn, Jacob Faithful?

Father always told me that that thing there meant half a bag.

You must forget what your father taught you and begin from the beginning. Do you understand?

No, I dont.

Then, little Jacob, remember that this is the letter A. Remember also that whatever Mr. Knapps may tell you, you must believe. Return, Jacob, to your place, and be a good boy,
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:16 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

CHAPTER IV. My First Fight at School. The Plot Against Me.

I returned to my place thinking what a strange thing the alphabet was. I felt hot and I could hardly walk in my shoes. So I took them off first one, then the other, and thought no more of them for some time. In the meantime the boys next to me passed them on with their feet to the others. In this way they were pushed along until they were near the masters desk. Then one of the boys caught one of my shoes and dropped it into the coat-pocket of the Domine who was in his usual thoughtful mood. A short time afterwards the boy got up, went to Mr. Knapps and put a question to him. While the teacher was answering it the boy dropped the other shoe into his pocket and then returned to his seat. I said nothing.

Soon the hours of school were over: the Domine looked at his watch and blew his nose. The boys were watching him attentively.

Tempus est ludendi, Domine said in a loud voice.

As this Latin phrase was used every day at the same hour, every boy in the school understood it. All the pupils rushed towards the door and disappeared. I alone remained sitting at my desk. The Domine rose from his seat and slowly approached me.

Jacob Faithful, why dont you leave your book? Didnt you understand that the hour of rest had come? Why dont you go with your comrades?

Because Ive got no shoes.

And where are your shoes, Jacob?

Ones in your pocket, I replied, and the others in Mr. Knappss.

The Domine put his hand into his pocket and pulled out the shoe.

Tell me, Jacob, who has done this?

The big boy with the red hair, I replied.

Mr. Knapps, we must punish Barnaby. Ring in the pupils.

The pupils were rung in and the red-haired boy was punished in front of the whole class. After that the boys were told that they could go and the Domine went away too, leaving Barnaby and myself together. He was pulling up his trousers and I was putting on my shoes. When this was done, we found ourselves standing face to face.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:16 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

Now, then, said Barnaby, holding one fist to my face, come out in the playground, Mr. Cinderella, and see if I wont beat you black and blue.

Its no use crying, said I good-naturedly: I was really sorry that they had whipped him. Whats done cant be helped. Did it hurt you much?

He thought that I was making fun of him and got angry.

Take it coolly, said I.

Barnaby got still more angry.

Better luck next time, I continued.

He shook his fist and ran into the playground telling me to follow him. In a minute or two I found him in the playground surrounded by the other boys to whom he was talking in an excited way.

Cinderella, where are your glass slippers? cried the boys as I appeared.

Come out, you son of a cinder! cried Barnaby.

Come out and fight him, or else youre a coward! exclaimed all the boys from No I to No 62.

He has had beating enough already, I replied, but hed better not touch me I can use my arms.

A ring was formed. Barnaby and myself were in the centre. He took off hisclothes, and I did the same. He was much older and stronger than I, and knew something about fighting. One boy came forward as my second. Barnaby advanced and held out his hand, which I shook heartily, thinking that it was all over. But at the same moment I received a heavy blow on the face. I got angry and returned it at once. I was very strong in my arms and threw them about giving my enemy blow after blow upon his ears. Barnaby was hitting straight out, and soon my nose and face were covered with blood. We fought for a long time in this way. My face was badly beaten, but I noticed that my enemy was getting tired, his blows were becoming weaker and weaker.

He has had enough, cried out my second, soon youll beat him, Jacob.

And so I did. Two or three blows more and he fell senseless to the ground.

From that day I became the cock of the school. The name of Cinderella given me by Barnaby because of my mothers strange death was dropped and nobody ever made fun of me again.

I learned easily and almost by instinct. I read my lesson once over, and threw my book aside, for I knew it all. I had not been six months at the school when I suddenly understood that the Domine loved me like a father. I think it was on the third day of the seventh month when I warmed his heart by quickly learning my first lesson in Latin. I remember how he took me into his little study, and put the Latin textbook into my hands. I knew the lesson in a quarter of an hour. He then looked into my smiling eyes, patted me on the head and said:

Bene fecisti, Jacob.

Many times afterwards, when the lesson was over, he would fix his eyes upon me, fall back on his chair, and make me tell him of my life on the river. I hardly need say that I loved him too, with all my heart. I studied hard to please him and I was proud of his love for me. My schoolfellows hated me because they feared me and envied me. When we walked out, which we did every day, the boys did not want to walk with me. The Domine learned about it, and ever after that, he walked with the boys and led me by the hand. This was of the greatest benefit to me, as he answered all my questions. In this way I learned many things from my clever teacher. A year and a half had passed and the Domine was unhappy without my company, and I greatly needed his. He was a father to me, and I loved him as a son should love a father, and as it will be seen later, he was my guide through life.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:16 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

But besides the boys there was someone else who envied me. It was Knapps. He plotted against me together with the boys who hated me. They all wanted to ruin me in the good opinion of my master.

Barnaby Bracegirdle could draw funny caricatures. Everybody knew about it but the Domine. First Barnaby drew a caricature of my mother and gave it to Mr. Knapps, who praised it and put it into his desk. After that Barnaby made a picture of the Domine with a very large nose and showed it to Mr. Knapps saying that I had drawn it. Mr. Knapps put that into his desk too. Several other funny caricatures were made of the Domine, and the boys gave them to Mr. Knapps saying that I had drawn them. But this was not enough. It was necessary to prove that they had been drawn by me. So Mr. Knapps once said to the Domine:

Jacob has a talent for drawing. I have seen some of his pictures.

Indeed, the boy has talent, the Domine replied.

A day or two afterwards he spoke to me.

I hear that you have a talent for drawing, Jacob.

I never had in my life, Sir, I replied.

Well, Jacob, I like your modesty, but it must not keep you from telling the truth. Dont do such a thing again.

I made no answer1 although I knew that I was telling the truth.

That evening I asked the Domine to give me a pencil as I wished to try to draw. For some days I drew all kinds of pictures and the Domine praised them.

The boy draws well, he said to Mr. Knapps, as he examined my drawings.

Why then did he say that he could not draw? Mr. Knapps replied.

It was modesty, but it was certainly wrong of him to say so.

Barnabys next step was to get the textbook which I then studied. Mr. Knapps did it for him, taking it out of the Domines study. On the first page of the book, where my name was, Barnaby drew a caricature head of the Domine. Then he tore out the page and gave it to Mr. Knapps who put it together with the rest of the drawings. Next day Mr. Knapps told the Domine that I drew caricatures of my schoolfellows. The Domine asked me about it and I said it was not true.

Remember he said he could not draw, Mr. Knapps told his master, but that was not true.

A few days passed, and Mr. Knapps again spoke to the Domine about me.

You know, he said, Jacob has made a few caricatures of you.

It is impossible, the Domine answered, you must be mistaken.

I can prove it, answered Mr. Knapps.

How?

I shall show up the boy tomorrow in the schoolroom. You will see how sly he is, although he is certainly very clever.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:21 PM
admin admin is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 567
() : 1
0 () 0
Default

CHAPTER V. My Enemies are Punished. Leave School and Become an Apprentice to a Waterman.

I did not know anything about the plot, and slept soundly that night. Breakfast passed as usual, and the bell rang for school. All the boys gathered in the schoolroom and the Domine walked in. Mr. Knapps followed him to his high desk. We knew that something was in the wind. The Domine took out his large handkerchief and blew his nose. There was a deep silence.


Jacob Faithful, come here, said he in an important tone.

I approached.

You are accused by Mr. Knapps of caricaturing your master. I never expected such a thing from you. You understand me, Jacobguilty, or not guilty?

Not guilty, Sir, I replied formly.

He says he is not guilty, Mr. Knapps.

Mr. Knapps then went to his desk and brought out the drawings.

These are the caricatures done by Jacob that have been given to me, he said, you see, they are all done by the same hand.

This is true, and in all of them I can see my own large nose.

Here is one drawing, Sir, which proves that Jacob is the one who drew them all. You see this caricature of yourself with his own name put to it his own handwriting. I was just turning over his textbook and noticed that the first page was torn out. Here it is, Sir with the picture drawn right on it.

That proves your guilt, Jacob Faithful. You must be punished.

If you please, Sir, may I not4 defend myself? I replied.

You have the right to do so, but what can you say in your defence?

May I look at those caricatures, Sir? I said.

The Domine handed them to me in silence. I looked them all over and knew at once that Barnaby Bracegirdle had drawn them.

These drawings are by Barnaby Bracegirdle, Sir, and not by me. I never drew a caricature in my life.

You said you could not draw at all, and afterwards proved by your pencil that it was not true.

I did not know that I could draw when I said so. It was to please you, Sir, that I asked for the pencil.

I wish you were not guilty, Jacob.

Will you ask Mr. Knapps from whom he had these drawings and at what time? There are so many of them.

Answer, Mr. Knapps.
__________________
Student of English
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

English language training forum. Learn English, Study English, Teach English as a second language.