Англійська мова: Навчальний посібник - П.О. Бех 1992

Prominent people

Alfred Nobel

(A Man of Contrast)

Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833—1896), Swedish inventor and philanthropist, was a man of many contrasts. He was a son of a bankrupt, but became a millionaire; a scientist with a love of literature. He made a large fortune but lived a simple life. He was cheerful in company, and often sad in private. A lover of mankind, he never had a wife or family to love him, a patriotic son of his native land, he died alone on foreign soil. He discovered a new explosive, dynamite, to improve the peacetime industries of mining and road building, but saw it used as a weapon of war to kill and injure his fellow men. World-famous for his works he was never personally well-known, for throughout his life he avoided publicity, «I do not see», he once said, «that I have deserved any fame and I have no taste for it», but since his death his name has brought fame and glory to others.

He was born in Stockholm on October 21, 1833 but moved to Russia with his parents in 1842, where his father made a strong position in engineering industry. He made a lot of money for his invention of landmine (фугас), but later went bankrupt. Alfred came to Sweden in 1863, and started his own study of explosives in his father’s laboratory. He had never been to school or University but he studied privately and by the time he was twenty he became a skillful chemist and excellent linguist, speaking Swedish, Russian, German, French and English. Like his father, Alfred Nobel was imaginative and inventive, but he had better luck in business and showed more financial sense.

He was quick to see industrial openings for his scientific inventions and built up over 80 companies in 20 different countries. Indeed his greatness lay in his outstanding ability to combine the qualities of an original scientist with those of a forward-looking industrialist.

But Nobel’s main concern was never with making money or even making scientific discoveries. Seldom happy, he was always searching for a meaning to life, and from his youth he had taken a serious interest in literature and philosophy. Perhaps, because he could not find ordinary human love — he never married — he came to care deeply about the whole of mankind. He was always generous to the poor. His greatest wish, however, was to see an end to wars, and thus peace between nations, and he spent much time and money working for this cause until his death in Italy in 1896. His famous will, in which he left money to provide prizes for outstanding works in physics, chemistry, psychology, medicine, literature and peace, is a memorial to his interests and ideals. And so, the man who felt he should have died at birth is remembered and respected long after his death.

You can’t do without this vocabulary:

philanthropist — філантроп

bankrupt — банкрот

to make a fortune — розбагатіти

cheerful — бадьорий, веселий

explosive — вибуховий, вибухова речовина

peacetime — мирний час

mining — гірнича справа

injure — поранити

fellowman — співгромадянин

to avoid — уникати

publicity — публічність, гласність

to deserve — заслуговувати

fame, glory — слава

taste — смак

to make money — заробляти гроші

imaginative — наділений багатою уявою

inventive — винахідливий

looking-forward — передовий

to make discovery — робити відкриття

to search — шукати

to take interest in — проявляти інтерес до

generous — щедрий

to respect — поважати

Our follow-countrymen — Noble Prize Winners



Physiology and Medicine




P. Tcherenkov

N. Semenov

I. Pavlov

I. Frank

1. Tam


L. Davidovich



N. Basov

A. Prokhorov


P. Kapitza







L. Kantorovich

I. Bunin

A. Sakharov



B. Pasternak

M. Gorbachov


M. Sholokhov


A. Solzhenitsyn


J. Brodsky

By the way, among the Noble Prize winners are the following British and American writers and poets: R. Kipling (1907), G. B. Show (1925), S. Lewis (1930), J. Golsworthy (1932), E. O’Neill (1936), T. S. Eliot (1948), W. Faulkner (1949), Lord Russel (1950), Sir W. S. Churchill (1953), E. Hemingway (1954), J. Steinbeck (1962).

Charles Darwin


When Charles was 22 he left England for a five-year trip around the world. This trip is a very important one in the history of science, for it led Darwin to write one of the world’s most famous books. The book is «The Origin of Species». It gives Darwin’s ideas of how all the plants and animals of today have come from the very simple plants and animals that first lived on the Earth.

Darwin had not planned to be a scientist. He studied to be a doctor and then to be a minister. But he was interested in plants and animals. A friend who knew about Darwin’s interest in nature invited him to take the trip Darwin was seasick for much of the voyage, but he came back with the notes for his great book. He visited the Galapagus Islands, Australia, New Zealand. There he saw many strange plants and animals.

These were Darwin’s chief ideas: many more plants and animals are produced than can possibly live. Not two plants and animals, even of the same kind, are exactly alike and soon.

The idea that all the plants and animals of today came from the simple plants and animals of long ago is called «the theory of evolution».

The Origin of Species — Походження видів

to be seasick — хворіти морською хворобою

a voyage — плавання, морська подорож

the Galapagus Islands — Галапагоські острови

Winston Churchill

The prominent politician Winston Churchill was bom in 1874. He is the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and grandson of the seventh Duke of Marlborough. He was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst and entered the Army in 1895. In 1900 lie entered Parliament and soon became a prominent figure. He left the Conservative Party and joined the Liberals’ ranks because of his opposition to the Prime Minister’s policy. He held different responsible posts. At the outbreak of war he was First Lord of the Admiralty and was responsible for the speedy mobilization of the Fleet. He later held office as Minister of Munitions and Minister for War. Soon after the outbreak of the Second World War he became Prime Minister and his heartening leadership and speeches inspired the nation to greater efforts in the darkest days of the war.

Churchill had great literary gifts and he wrote many books, including a life of his father and histories of the First and Second World Wars.

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