Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Umbrella Morals



Read the following essay.
On Umbrella Morals
-Alfred George Gardiner
A sharp shower came on as I walked along the street, but I did not put up my umbrella. The truth is I couldn't put up my umbrella. The frame would not work for one thing, and even if it had worked, I would not have put the thing up, because it was falling to pieces and I would be the laughing stock. The fact is, the umbrella is not my umbrella at all. It is the umbrella of some person who I hope will read these lines. He has got my silk umbrella. I have got the cotton one he left in exchange. I imagine him walking along the street under my umbrella, and throwing a scornful glance at the fellow who was carrying his ugly thing. I dare say the rascal laughed silently as he eyed the fool with his cotton umbrella. He is one of those people who have what I may call an umbrella conscience.

I hope you know the sort of person I mean. He would never put his hand in another's pocket, or forge a cheque or rob a cashbox --not even if he had the chance. But he will swap umbrellas, or forget to return a book, or take a rise out of the railway company. In fact he is a thoroughly honest man who allows his honesty the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he takes your umbrella at random from the barber's stand. He knows he can't get a worse one than his own. He may get a better one. He doesn't look at it very closely until he is well on his way. Then, "Dear me! I've taken the wrong umbrella," he says, with an air of surprise, for he likes really to feel that he has made a mistake. "Ah, well, it's no use going back now. He'd be gone. And I've left him mine! "It is thus that we play hide-and-seek with our own conscience. It is not enough not to be found out by others; we refuse to be found out by ourselves. Quite impeccable people, people who ordinarily seem unspotted from the world, are afflicted with umbrella morals.

It was a well-known preacher who was found dead in a first-class railway carriage with a third-class ticket in his pocket. And as for books, who has any morals where they are concerned? I remember some years ago the library of a famous divine and literary critic, who had died, being old. It was a splendid library of rare books, chiefly concerned with seventeenth-century writers, about whom he was a distinguished authority. Multitudes of the books had the marks of libraries all over the country. He had borrowed them and never found a convenient opportunity of returning them. They clung to him like precedents to law. Yet he was a holy man and preached admirable sermons, as I can bear witness. And, if you press me on the point, I shall have to own that it is hard to part with a book you have come to love.

It is possible, of course, that the gentleman who took my silk umbrella did really make a mistake. Perhaps if he knew the owner he would return it with his compliments. After my experience to-day, I think I will engrave my name on my umbrella. But not on that baggy thing standing in the corner. I do not care who relieves me of that. It is anybody's for the taking.

Here is a summary written by a student. Read it carefully and edit it in terms of the absence of 'linkers, tense, prepositions, articles and punctuation.

Summary written by a student
In this essay, the author talks about his umbrella. He said "The truth is I couldn't put up my umbrella. The frame would not work for one thing, and even if it had worked, I would not have put the thing up, because it was falling to pieces and I would be the laughing stock." he said that his own silk umbrella was took away by some rascal who has umbrella conscience.

In the second para he said that he will swap umbrellas, or forget to return a book, or take a rise out of the railway company. In fact he is a thoroughly honest man who allows his honesty the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he takes your umbrella at random from the barber's stand. Then he says he took the umbrella in mistake. I like what the author says here "Dear me! I've taken the wrong umbrella. Ah, well, its no use going back now. He'd be gone. And I've left him mine!"

Third para talked of a preacher, a famous literary critic who are dishonest, but I don't think they are dishonest it is quite possible anybody including you but me. haven't you ever forgot to return a library book? The author himself agreed in the end saying if you press me on the point, I shall have to own that it is hard to part with a book you have come to love.

The author ends the story agreeing that the man who takes his umbrella returns it with compliments. He learnt an lesson that he must write his name on umbrella. I fully agree with author, I write my name on my umbrella, books, and suitcase where I go on tour because if my suitcase is lost and you find you return it seeing my name I forgot to tell I always write my address so you can send it to my address.

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