О дивный новый мир / Brave New WorldRead completely
Олдос Леонард Хаксли
Эксклюзивное чтение на английском языке
«О дивный новый мир» – антиутопия об «обществе потребления», в основах которого лежат генетическое программирование и строгий контроль над размножением, и об одном человеке, для которого это общество становится чужим.
Текст произведения снабжен грамматическим комментарием и словарем, в который вошли все слова, содержащиеся в тексте. Благодаря этому книга подойдет для любого уровня владения английским языком.
Aldous Huxley / Олдос Хаксли
О дивный новый мир / Brave New World
© Aldous Huxley, 1932
© И. Г. Дубиковская, адаптация текста, словарь, 2019
© ООО «Издательство АСТ», 2019
A grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.
The enormous room on the ground floor faced towards the north. A harsh thin light glared through the windows. The overalls of the workers were white, their hands gloved with a pale corpse-coloured rubber. The light was frozen, dead, a ghost. The only colourful things were the yellow barrels of the microscopes; streak after luscious streak in long recession down the work tables.
“And this,” said the Director opening the door, “is the Fertilizing Room.”
Bent over their instruments, three hundred Fertilizers were plunged, as the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning entered the room, in the scarcely breathing silence. A few newly arrived students, very young and callow, followed nervously at the Director’s heels. Each of them carried a notebook. The D. H. C. for Central London always made a point of personally conducting his new students round the various departments.
“Just to give you a general idea,” he would explain to them. For of course some sort of general idea they must have, if they were to do their work intelligently, if they were to be good and happy members of society.
“Tomorrow,” he would add, smiling at them in a slightly menacing way, “you’ll be settling down to serious work. You won’t have time for generalities. Meanwhile…”
Meanwhile, it was a privilege. The boys scribbled like mad.
The Director advanced into the room. Tall and rather thin, he had a long chin and big rather prominent teeth. Old, young? Thirty? Fifty? Fifty-five? It was hard to say. And in this year of stability, A.F.632, it didn’t occur to you to ask this question anyway.
“I shall begin at the beginning,” said the D.H.C. “These are the incubators.” And opening an insulated door he showed them racks upon racks of numbered test-tubes. “The week’s supply of ova. Kept at blood heat[1 - Kept at blood heat – поддерживаемые при температуре крови (=37°С)]. The male gametes,” and here he opened another door, “they have to be kept at thirty-five instead of thirty-seven. Full blood heat sterilizes.”
He gave them a brief description of the modern fertilizing process; spoke first, of course, of its surgical introduction; continued with the technique for preserving the ovary alive and actively developing; referred to the liquor in which the eggs were kept; and, leading the students to the work tables, actually showed them how this liquor was drawn off from the test-tubes and was let out drop by drop onto the specially warmed slides of the microscopes; how the eggs which it contained were inspected for abnormalities, counted and transferred to a porous receptacle; how this receptacle was immersed in a warm solution containing free-swimming spermatozoa; and how, after ten minutes, the container was lifted out of the liquor; where the Alphas and Betas remained until definitely bottled; while the Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons were brought out again, after only thirty-six hours, to undergo Bokanovsky’s Process[2 - Bokanovsky’s Process – метод Бокановского].
“Bokanovsky’s Process,” repeated the Director, and the students underlined the words in their little notebooks.
One egg, one embryo, one adult. But a bokanovskified egg [3 - a bokanovskified egg – яйцо, подвергнутое бокановскизации]will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into an embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.
“Essentially,” the D.H.C. concluded, “the process consists of a series of arrests of development[4 - arrest of development – замедление развития].”
He pointed. On a very slowly moving band a rack-full of test-tubes was entering a large metal box, and another rack-full was emerging. It took eight minutes for the tubes to go through, he told them. Eight minutes of hard X-rays. A few eggs died. The rest were returned to the incubators, where they began to develop. In the end, one egg was on its way to becoming anything from eight to ninety-six embryos—an improvement on nature. Identical twins—but not in twos and threes as in the old days, when an egg would sometimes accidentally divide, but in dozens at a time.
One of the students was fool enough to ask where the advantage was.
“My good boy! Can’t you see? Can’t you see?” He raised a hand; his expression was solemn. “Bokanovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!”
Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg.
“Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!” The director’s voice was very enthusiastic. “You really know where you are. For the first time in history. ‘Community, Identity, Stability.’ If we could bokanovskify [5 - bokanovskify – бокановскизировать]indefinitely the whole problem would be solved.”
Solved by standard Gammas, unvarying Deltas, uniform Epsilons. Millions of identical twins.
“But, alas,” the Director shook his head, “we can’t bokanovskify indefinitely.”
Ninety-six seemed to be the limit; seventy-two a good average. From the same ovary and with gametes of the same male that was the best that they could do. And even that was difficult.
“In nature it takes thirty years for two hundred eggs to reach maturity. But our business is to stabilize the population at this moment, here and now. Producing twins for over a quarter of a century—what would be the use of that?”
Obviously, no use at all.
“And in exceptional cases we can make one ovary help produce over fifteen thousand adult individuals.”
Beckoning to a fair-haired young man who happened to be passing at the moment. “Mr. Foster,” he called. The ruddy young man approached. “Can you tell us the record for a single ovary, Mr. Foster?”
“Sixteen thousand and twelve in this Centre,” Mr. Foster replied without hesitation. “Singapore has often produced over sixteen thousand five hundred; and Mombasa has reached the seventeen thousand mark once. Still, we mean to beat them if we can. I’m working on a wonderful Delta-Minus ovary at this moment. Going strong. We’ll beat them yet.”
“That’s the spirit I like!” cried the Director, and clapped Mr. Foster on the shoulder. “Come along with us, and tell these boys more.”
Mr. Foster smiled modestly. “With pleasure.” They went.
The Bottling Room was bustling with ordered activity. Pieces of fresh peritoneum ready to be cut came up in little lifts from the Organ Store in the sub-basement. Once the lift-hatches flew open the Bottle-Liner had only to reach out, take the flap, insert, smooth down, and then another flap of peritoneum appeared, ready to be slipped into yet another bottle.
One by one the eggs were transferred from their test-tubes to the larger containers. Then the peritoneal lining was slit, the morula dropped into place, the saline solution poured in. Then it was the turn of the labellers. Heredity, date of fertilization, membership of Bokanovsky Group—details were transferred from test-tube to bottle. Then the bottles travelled further to the Social Predestination Room.
“Eighty-eight cubic metres of card-index,” said Mr. Foster, as they entered.
“Containing all the relevant information,” added the Director. “On the basis of which they make their calculations.”
“So many individuals, of such and such quality,” said Mr. Foster.
“The Predestinators send in their figures to the Fertilizers.”
“Who give them the embryos they ask for.”
“And the bottles come in here to be predestined in detail.”
“After which they are sent down to the Embryo Store.”
“Where we now proceed ourselves.”
And opening a door Mr. Foster led the way down a staircase into the basement.
The temperature below was still tropical. Two doors and a passage with a double turn insured the cellar against any possible infiltration.
“Embryos are like photograph film,” said Mr. Foster, as he pushed open the second door. “They can only stand red light[6 - They can only stand red light – Они могут выносить только красный свет].”
The sultry darkness here was visible and crimson, like the darkness of closed eyes on a summer’s afternoon. Row upon row and tier above tier of bottles glinted like rubies, and among the rubies moved men and women with purple eyes and all the symptoms of lupus. There was a hum and rattle of machinery in the air.
“Give them a few figures, Mr. Foster,” said the Director, who was tired of talking.
Two hundred and twenty metres long, two hundred wide, ten high. He pointed upwards. The students lifted their eyes towards the distant ceiling.
Three tiers of racks: ground floor level, first gallery, second gallery. Near them three red ghosts were unloading bottles from a moving staircase. Each bottle could be placed on one of fifteen racks. Each rack was a conveyor traveling at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimetres an hour[7 - at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimetres an hour – со скоростью 33,3 см/ч]. Two hundred and sixty-seven days at eight metres a day. One round of the cellar at ground level, one on the first gallery, half on the second, and on the two hundred and sixty-seventh morning, sent to the Decanting Room. Independent existence—so called.
“But in that time,” Mr. Foster concluded, “we’ve managed to do a lot to them.”
“That’s the spirit I like,” said the Director once more. “Let’s walk around. You tell them everything, Mr. Foster.”
Mr. Foster duly told them.
Told them of the growing embryo on its bed of peritoneum. Explained why it had to be stimulated with drugs. Described the artificial circulation installed in every bottle. Showed them the simple mechanism that shook the embryos into familiarity with movement. Told them about the “trauma of decanting,” and the test for sex taking place in the neighborhood of Metre 200. Explained the system of labelling—a T for the males, a circle for the females and for those who were destined to become freemartins a question mark, black on a white ground.
“One fertile ovary in twelve hundred—that would really be enough for our purposes,” said Mr. Foster. “But we want to have a good choice. And we must always have an enormous margin of safety. So we allow as many as thirty per cent of the female embryos to develop normally. The others get a dose of male sex-hormone every twenty-four metres for the rest of the course. Result: they’re guaranteed sterile. Which brings us at last,” continued Mr. Foster, “to the much more interesting human invention.” He rubbed his hands. “We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future…” He was going to say “future World controllers,” but corrected himself “… future Directors of Hatcheries.” instead.
They were passing Metre 320 on Rack 11. A young Beta-Minus mechanic was busy with screw-driver and spanner on the blood-surrogate pump of a passing bottle. The hum of the electric motor deepened the more he turned the nuts. A final twist and he was done. He moved two paces down the line and began doing the same on the next pump.
“Reducing the number of revolutions per minute,” Mr. Foster explained. “The surrogate goes round slower; therefore passes through the lung at longer intervals; therefore gives the embryo less oxygen.”
“But why do you want to do that?” asked a student.
“Ass![8 - Ass! – Кретин!]” said the Director. “Hasn’t it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity?”
It evidently hadn’t occurred to him. He looked confused.
“The lower the caste,” said Mr. Foster, “the shorter the oxygen.” The first organ affected was the brain. After that the skeleton. At seventy per cent of normal oxygen you got dwarfs. At less than seventy eyeless monsters.
“Who are no use at all,” concluded Mr. Foster. “In Epsilons, we don’t need human intelligence.”
Didn’t need and didn’t get it. But though the Epsilon mind was mature at ten, the Epsilon body was not fit to work till eighteen. If the physical development could be speeded up till it was as quick, say, as a cow’s, what an enormous saving to the Community!
“Enormous!” murmured the students. Mr. Foster’s enthusiasm was infectious.
He became rather technical; spoke of the abnormality which made men grow so slowly; postulated a mutation to account for it[9 - postulated a mutation to account for it – предположил, что в этом виновата мутация]. Could the effects of this mutation be undone? Could the individual Epsilon embryo be reverted to the normality of dogs and cows? That was the problem.
Their wanderings had brought them to the neighborhood of Metre 170 on Rack 9. From this point onwards Rack 9 was enclosed and the bottle spent the remainder of their journey in a kind of tunnel, interrupted here and there by openings two or three metres wide.
“Heat conditioning,” said Mr. Foster.
Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Cold tunnels also produced hard X-rays. By the time they were decanted the embryos had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be silk spinners and steel workers. “We condition them to thrive on heat,” concluded Mr. Foster.
“And that,” said the Director, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue—liking what you’ve got to do. We aim at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.”
In a gap between two tunnels, a nurse was delicately probing with a long fine syringe into the contents of passing bottles.
“Well, Lenina,” said Mr. Foster.
The girl turned with a start. One could see that, for all the lupus and the purple eyes, she was very pretty.
“What are you giving them?” asked Mr. Foster, making his tone very professional.
“Oh, the usual typhoid and sleeping sickness.”
“Tropical workers start being inoculated at Metre 150,” Mr. Foster explained to the students. Then, turning back to Lenina, “Ten to five on the roof this afternoon,” he said, “as usual.”
On Rack 10 rows of next generation’s chemical workers were being trained in the toleration of lead, caustic soda, tar, chlorine. The first of a batch of two hundred and fifty rocket-plane engineers was just passing the eleven hundred metre mark on Rack 3. A special mechanism kept their containers in constant rotation. “To improve their sense of balance,” Mr. Foster explained.
“And now,” Mr. Foster went on, “I’d like to show you some very interesting conditioning for Alpha Plus Intellectuals. We have a big batch of them on Rack 5. They’re round about Metre 900. You can’t really do any useful intellectual conditioning till the fetuses have lost their tails. Follow me.”
But the Director had looked at his watch. “Ten to three,” he said. “No time for the intellectual embryos, I’m afraid. We must go up to the Nurseries before the children have finished their afternoon sleep.”
“At least one glance at the Decanting Room,” pleaded Mr. Foster.
“Very well then.” The Director smiled. “Just one glance.”
Mr. Foster was left in the Decanting Room. The D.H.C. and his students stepped into the nearest lift and were carried up to the fifth floor.
INFANT NURSERIES. NEO-PAVLOVIAN CONDITIONING ROOMS, announced the notice board.
The Director opened a door. They were in a large bare room, very bright and sunny. Half a dozen nurses were setting out bowls of roses [10 - setting out bowls of roses – расставляли горшки роз]in a long row across the floor. Thousands of petals, silkily smooth.
The nurses stiffened to attention [11 - stiffened to attention – замерли в ожидании]as the D.H.C. came in.
“Set out the books,” he said curtly.
In silence the nurses obeyed his command and set out nursery book in between the bowls, each opened at a colourful image of beast or fish or bird.
“Now bring in the children.”
They hurried out of the room and returned in a minute or two, each pushing a kind of tall dumb-waiter with eight-month-old babies, all exactly alike and all dressed in khaki.
“Put them down on the floor.”
The infants were unloaded.
“Now turn them so that they can see the flowers and books.”
Turned, the babies at once fell silent, then began to crawl towards those clusters of colours. Babies squealed with excitement.
The Director rubbed his hands. “Excellent!” he said.
The swiftest crawlers were already at their goal. Small hands touched, grasped, the roses and the books. The Director waited until all were happily busy. Then, “Watch carefully,” he said. And, lifting his hand, he gave the signal.
The Head Nurse, who was standing by a switchboard at the other end of the room, pressed down a little lever.
There was a violent explosion. A siren shrieked. Alarm bells rang.
The children started, screamed; their faces were distorted with terror.
“And now,” the Director shouted (for the noise was deafening), “now we proceed to rub in the lesson with a mild electric shock.”
He waved his hand again, and the Head Nurse pressed a second lever. The screaming of the babies suddenly changed its tone. There was something desperate, almost insane, about their sharp yelps. Their little bodies twitched, their limbs jerked as if to the tug of unseen wires[12 - as if to the tug of unseen wires – как будто кто-то тянул за невидимые нити].
“We can electrify that whole strip of floor,” explained the Director. “But that’s enough,” he signaled to the nurse.
The explosions ceased, the bells stopped ringing, the shriek of the siren died down. The little bodies relaxed, and yelping turned into a normal cry of ordinary terror.
“Offer them the flowers and the books again.”
The nurses obeyed; but at the sight of the flowers and the colourful books, the infants shrank away in horror, the volume of their crying increased.
“Observe,” said the Director triumphantly, “observe.”
Books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks—already in the infant mind they were linked.
“They’ll grow up with what the psychologists used to call an ‘instinctive’ hatred of books and flowers. They’ll be safe from books and botany all their lives.” The Director turned to his nurses. “Take them away again.”
Still yelling, the khaki babies were loaded on to their dumb-waiters and wheeled out.
One of the students held up his hand; he could see quite well why you couldn’t have lower-caste people wasting time on books, he couldn’t understand about the flowers. Why go to the trouble of making it psychologically impossible for Deltas to like flowers?
Patiently the D.H.C. explained. If the children were made to scream at the sight of a rose, that was on grounds of high economic policy. Not so very long ago, Gammas, Deltas, even Epsilons, had been conditioned to like flowers—flowers in particular and wild nature in general. The idea was to make them want to go out into the country, and so compel them to consume transport[13 - to consume transport – использовать транспорт, покупать собственные средства передвижения].
“And didn’t they consume transport?” asked the student.
“Quite a lot,” the D.H.C. replied. “But nothing else.”
Primroses and landscapes, he pointed out, have one defect: they are gratuitous. A love of nature keeps no factories busy. It was decided to abolish the love of nature, at any rate among the lower classes; but to keep the tendency to consume transport.
“We condition the masses to hate the country,” concluded the Director. “But simultaneously we condition them to love all country sports. At the same time, we see to it [14 - we see to it – мы устраиваем все так]that all country sports shall entail the use of elaborate apparatus. So that they consume manufactured articles as well as transport.”
“I see,” said the student, lost in admiration.
There was a silence; then, clearing his throat, “Once upon a time,” the Director began, “while our Ford was still on earth, there was a little boy called Reuben Rabinovitch. Reuben was the child of Polish-speaking parents.” The Director interrupted himself. “You know what Polish is, I suppose?”
“A dead language.”
“And ‘parent’?” questioned the D.H.C.
There was an uneasy silence. Several of the boys blushed. They had not yet learned to draw the distinction between smut and pure science. One, at last, had the courage to raise a hand.
“Human beings used to be…” he hesitated; the blood rushed to his cheeks. “Well, they used to be viviparous.”
“Quite right.” The Director nodded approvingly.
“And when the babies were decanted…”
“‘Born,’” came the correction.
“Well, then they were the parents—I mean, not the babies, of course; the other ones.” The poor boy was overwhelmed with confusion.
“In brief,” the Director summed up, “the parents were the father and the mother. These,” he said gravely, “are unpleasant facts; I know it. But then most historical facts are unpleasant.”
He returned to Little Reuben—to Little Reuben, in whose room, one evening, by an oversight, his father and mother happened to leave the radio turned on.
While the child was asleep, a broadcast programme from London suddenly started to come through; and the next morning Little Reuben woke up repeating word for word a long lecture by George Bernard Shaw. To Little Reuben this lecture was, of course, incomprehensible and, imagining that their child had suddenly gone mad, the parents sent for a doctor. He, fortunately, understood English, recognized the discourse as that which Shaw had broadcasted the previous evening, realized the significance of what had happened, and sent a letter to the medical press about it.
“The principle of sleep-teaching, or hypnopaedia, had been discovered.” The D.H.C. made an impressive pause.
“The case of Little Reuben occurred only twenty-three years after Our Ford’s first T-Model was put on the market. And yet these early experimenters were on the wrong track. They thought that hypnopaedia could be made an instrument of intellectual education…”
(A small boy asleep on his right side. Through a round grating in the side of a box a voice speaks softly.
“The Nile is the longest river in Africa and the second in length of all the rivers of the globe. Although falling short of the length of the Mississippi-Missouri…”
At breakfast the next morning, “Tommy,” someone says, “do you know which is the longest river in Africa?” A shaking of the head. “But don’t you remember something that begins: The Nile is the…”
“The-Nile-is-the-longest-river-in-Africa-and-the-second-in-length-of-all-the-rivers-of-the-globe…” The words come rushing out. “Although-falling-short-of…”
“Well now, which is the longest river in Africa?”
The eyes are blank. “I don’t know.”
“But the Nile, Tommy.”
“Then which river is the longest, Tommy?”
Tommy burst into tears. “I don’t know,” he cries.)
That discouraged the earliest investigators. The experiments were abandoned. No further attempt was made to teach children the length of the Nile in their sleep. You can’t learn a science unless you know what it’s all about.
“Whereas, if they’d only started on moral education,” said the Director, leading the way towards the door. The students followed him. “Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational.”
“Silence, silence,” whispered a loud speaker as they stepped out at the fourteenth floor. The students and even the Director himself rose automatically to the tips of their toes. They were Alphas, of course, but even Alphas have been well conditioned.
Fifty yards of tiptoeing brought them to a door which the Director cautiously opened. Eighty cots stood in a row against the wall. There was a sound of light regular breathing and a continuous murmur.
A nurse rose as they entered and came to the Director.
“What’s the lesson this afternoon?” he asked.
“We had Elementary Sex for the first forty minutes,” she answered. “But now it’s switched over to Elementary Class Consciousness.”
Eighty little boys and girls lay softly breathing. There was a whisper under every pillow. The D.H.C. stopped and, bending over one of the little beds, listened attentively.
“Elementary Class Consciousness, did you say? Let’s have it repeated a little louder by the trumpet.”
At the end of the room was a speaker. The Director walked up to it and pressed a switch.
“… all wear green,” said a soft but very distinct voice, beginning in the middle of a sentence, “and Delta Children wear khaki. I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.”
There was a pause; then the voice began again.
“Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so clever. I’m really awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able…”
The Director pushed back the switch.
“They’ll have that repeated forty or fifty times more before they wake; then again on Thursday, and again on Saturday. After that they go on to a more advanced lesson.”
Once more the Director touched the switch.
“… so clever,” the soft voice was saying, “I’m really awfully glad I’m a Beta, because…”
“Till at last the child’s mind is these suggestions, and the suggestions are the child’s mind. And the adult’s mind too—all his life long. These are suggestions from the State.” He banged the nearest table. “It therefore follows…”
A noise made him turn round.
“Oh, Ford!” he said in another tone, “I’ve woken the children.”
Outside, in the garden, it was playtime. Six or seven hundred of naked little boys and girls were running with shrill yells over the lawns, or playing ball games, or squatting silently in twos and threes among the flowering shrubs. The air was drowsy with the murmur of bees and helicopters.
“That’s a charming little group,” said the Director, pointing.
In a little grassy bay two children, a little boy of about seven and a little girl who might have been a year older, were playing, very gravely and with all the focused attention of scientists intent on a labour of discovery, a rudimentary sexual game.
From a neighbouring shrubbery emerged a nurse, leading by the hand a small boy, who cried as he went. An anxious-looking little girl followed them.
“What’s the matter?” asked the Director.
The nurse shrugged her shoulders. “Nothing much,” she answered. “This little boy seems rather reluctant to join in the ordinary erotic play. I’d noticed it once or twice before. And now again today. He started yelling just now…”
“I didn’t mean to hurt him or anything. Honestly,” said the anxious-looking little girl.
“Of course you didn’t, dear,” said the nurse reassuringly. She turned back to the Director. “I’m taking him to see the Assistant Superintendent of Psychology. Just to see if anything’s at all abnormal.”
“Quite right,” said the Director. “Take him. You stay here, little girl,” he added, as the nurse and the boy walked away. “What’s your name?”
“Run away now and see if you can find some other little boy to play with.”
The child scampered off into the bushes and was lost to sight[15 - was lost to sight – скрылась из виду].
The Director turned to his students. “What I’m going to tell you now,” he said, “may sound incredible. But then, when you’re not accustomed to history, most facts about the past do.”
He let out the amazing truth. For a very long period before the time of Our Ford, and even for some generations afterwards, erotic play between children had been regarded as abnormal (there was a roar of laughter); and not only abnormal, actually immoral (no!); and had therefore been rigorously suppressed.
An astonished look appeared on the faces of his listeners. They could not believe it.
“Even adolescents,” the D.H.C. was saying, “even adolescents like yourselves…”
“Not possible! Nothing?”
“In most cases, till they were over twenty years old.”
“Twenty years old?” echoed the students in disbelief.
“I told you that you’d find it incredible.”
“But what happened?” they asked. “What were the results?”
“The results were terrible.” A deep resonant voice broke startlingly into the dialogue.
They looked around. On the side stood a stranger—a man of middle height, black-haired, with a hooked nose, full red lips, eyes very piercing and dark.
The D.H.C. darted forward, his hand outstretched, smiling with all his teeth.
“Controller! What an unexpected pleasure! Boys, what are you thinking of? This is the Controller; this is his fordship, Mustapha Mond.”
The clock struck four. Voices called from the trumpet mouths.
“Main Day-shift off duty. Second Day-shift take over. Main Day-shift off…”
In the lift, on their way up to the changing rooms, Henry Foster and the Assistant Director of Predestination rather pointedly [16 - rather pointedly – специально, показательно]turned their backs on Bernard Marx from the Psychology Bureau.
Despite the change between shifts, machinery was still humming in the Embryo Store. The conveyors crept forward with their load of future men and women no matter what.
Lenina Crowne walked briskly towards the door.
His fordship Mustapha Mond! The eyes of the students almost popped out of their heads. Mustapha Mond! The Resident Controller for Western Europe! One of the Ten World Controllers. One of the Ten … and he was going to stay, to stay, yes, and actually talk to them … straight from the horse’s mouth. Straight from the mouth of Ford himself.
“You all remember,” said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, “you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk. History,” he repeated slowly, “is bunk.”
He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather whisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was Harappa, was Ur of the Chaldees; some spider-webs, and they were Thebes and Babylon and Cnossos and Mycenae. Whisk. Whisk—and where was Odysseus, where was Job, where was Jesus? Whisk—and those specks of antique dirt called Athens and Rome, Jerusalem and the Middle Kingdom—all were gone. Whisk—the place where Italy had been was empty. Whisk, the cathedrals; whisk, whisk, King Lear and the Thoughts of Pascal. Whisk, Passion; whisk, Requiem; whisk, Symphony; whisk…
“Going to the Feelies this evening, Henry?” enquired the Assistant Predestinator. “I hear the new one at the Alhambra is great. There’s a love scene on a bearskin rug. Every hair of the bear reproduced. The most amazing tactual effects.”
“That’s why you’re taught no history,” the Controller was saying. “But now the time has come…”
The D.H.C. looked at him nervously.
Mustapha Mond intercepted his anxious glance and the corners of his red lips twitched ironically.
“It’s all right, Director,” he said in a tone of faint derision, “I won’t corrupt them.”
The D.H.C. was overwhelmed with confusion.
Those who feel themselves despised do well to look despising[17 - Those who feel themselves despised do well to look despising. – Презирающих тебя сам встречай презрением.]. The smile on Bernard Marx’s face was contemptuous. Every hair on the bear indeed!
“I shall make a point of going,” said Henry Foster.
Mustapha Mond leaned forward, shook a finger at them. “Just try to realize it,” he said. “Try to realize what it was like to have a viviparous mother.”
That smutty word again. But none of them smiled this time.
“Try to imagine what ‘living with one’s family’ meant.”
They tried; obviously without success.
“And do you know what a ‘home’ was?”
They shook their heads.
Lenina Crowne opened the door marked GIRLS’ DRESSING-ROOM and walked into a deafening chaos of arms and bosoms and underclothing.
“Hullo, Fanny,” said she to the young woman who had the locker next to hers.
Fanny worked in the Bottling Room, and her surname was also Crowne. But as the two thousand million inhabitants of the plant had only ten thousand names between them, the coincidence was not particularly surprising.
Lenina pulled at her zippers—downwards on the jacket, downwards at the two that held trousers, downwards again to loosen her undergarment. Still wearing her shoes and stockings, she walked off towards the bathrooms.
Home, home—a few small rooms, stiflingly over-inhabited by people. No air, no space; a prison; darkness, disease, and smells.
(The Controller’s description was so vivid that one of the boys, more sensitive than the rest, turned pale at the mere description and was on the point of being sick.)
Lenina got out of the bath and toweled herself dry. Eight different scents and eau-de-cologne were laid on in little taps over the wash-basin. She turned on the third from the left, dabbed herself with chypre and, carrying her shoes and stockings in her hand, went out to see if one of the vibro-vacuum machines were free.
And home was as squalid psychically as possible. Psychically, it was a rabbit hole, hot with the frictions of tightly packed life, reeking with emotion. Maniacally, the mother brooded over her children (her children)… like a cat over its kittens; “My baby, my baby,” over and over again. “My baby, and oh, oh, at my breast, the little hands, the hunger! Till at last my baby sleeps, my baby sleeps with a bubble of white milk at the corner of his mouth. My little baby sleeps…”
“Yes,” said Mustapha Mond, nodding his head, “you may well shudder[18 - you may well shudder – меня тоже передергивает].”
“Who are you going out with tonight?” Lenina asked, returning from the vibro-vac.
Lenina raised her eyebrows in astonishment.
“I’ve been feeling rather out of sorts [19 - feeling rather out of sorts – не очень хорошо себя чувствую]lately,” Fanny explained. “Dr. Wells advised me to have a Pregnancy Substitute.”
“But you’re only nineteen. The first Pregnancy Substitute isn’t compulsory till twenty-one.”
“I know, dear. But some people are better if they begin earlier.” She opened the door of her locker and pointed to the row of boxes and labelled phials on the upper shelf.
“SYRUP OF CORPUS LUTEUM,” Lenina read the names aloud. “OVARIN, GUARANTEED FRESH: NOT TO BE USED AFTER AUGUST 1ST, A.F. 632. MAMMARY GLAND EXTRACT: TO BE TAKEN THREE TIMES DAILY, BEFORE MEALS, WITH A LITTLE WATER. PLACENTIN: 5cc TO BE INJECTED INTRAVENALLY EVERY THIRD DAY… Ugh!” Lenina shuddered. “How I loathe intravenals, don’t you?”
“Yes. But when they do one good…” Fanny was a particularly sensible girl.
Our Ford—or Our Freud, as, for some reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters—had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life.
“Extremes,” said the Controller, “meet. For the good reason that they were made to meet.”
“Dr. Wells says that a three months’ Pregnancy Substitute will make all the difference to my health for the next three or four years.”
“Well, I hope he’s right,” said Lenina. “But, Fanny, do you really mean to say that for the next three months you’re not supposed to…”
“Oh no, dear. Only for a week or two, that’s all. I suppose you’re going out?”
“Again?” Fanny’s face took on an expression of pained and disapproving astonishment. “Do you mean to tell me you’re still going out with Henry Foster?”
Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. But there were also husbands, wives, lovers. There were also monogamy and romance.
“Though you probably don’t know what those are,” said Mustapha Mond.
They shook their heads.
Family, monogamy, romance. Everywhere exclusiveness.
“But everyone belongs to everyone else,” he concluded, citing the hypnopaedic proverb.
The students nodded, agreeing with a statement which upwards of sixty-two thousand repetitions in the dark had made them accept as self-evident and utterly indisputable.
“But after all,” Lenina was protesting, “it’s only about four months now since I’ve been having Henry.”
“Only four months! And there’s been nobody else except Henry all that time. Has there?”
Lenina blushed scarlet. “No, there hasn’t been anyone else,” she answered. “And I jolly well don’t see why there should have been.”
“Oh, she jolly well doesn’t see why there should have been,” Fanny repeated. Then, with a sudden change of tone, “But seriously,” she said, “I really do think you ought to be careful. At forty, or thirty-five, it wouldn’t be so bad. But at your age, Lenina! And you know how strongly the D.H.C. objects to anything intense or long-drawn. Four months of Henry Foster, without having another man—why, he’d be furious if he knew…”
Mother, monogamy, romance. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder these poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty—they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly, how could they be stable?
“Of course there’s no need to give him up. Have somebody else from time to time, that’s all. He has other girls, doesn’t he?”
Lenina admitted it.
“Of course he does. Trust Henry Foster to be the perfect gentleman. And then there’s the Director to think of. You know what a stickler…”
Nodding, “He patted me on the behind this afternoon,” said Lenina.
“There, you see!” Fanny was triumphant. “That shows what he stands for. The strictest conventionality.”
“Stability,” said the Controller. “No civilization without social stability. No social stability without individual stability.” His voice was a trumpet.
The machine turns, turns and must keep on turning—forever. It is death if it stands still. Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men, obedient men.
Crying, screaming with pain, muttering with fever, bemoaning old age and poverty—how can they tend the wheels? And if they cannot tend the wheels…
“And after all,” Fanny’s tone was coaxing, “it’s not as though there were anything painful or disagreeable about having one or two men besides Henry. And seeing that you ought to be a little more promiscuous…”
“Stability,” insisted the Controller, “stability. The primal and the ultimate need. Stability. Hence all this.”
With a wave of his hand he indicated the gardens, the huge building of the Conditioning Centre, the naked children running across the lawns.
Lenina shook her head. “I hadn’t been feeling very keen on promiscuity lately. There are times when one doesn’t. Haven’t you found that too, Fanny?”
Fanny nodded her sympathy and understanding. “But one’s got to make the effort,” she said. “One’s got to play the game. After all, everyone belongs to everyone else.”
“Yes, everyone belongs to everyone else,” Lenina repeated slowly and, sighing, was silent for a moment; then, taking Fanny’s hand, gave it a little squeeze. “You’re quite right, Fanny. As usual. I’ll make the effort.”
Impulse arrested spills over, and the flood is feeling, the flood is passion, the flood is even madness. The unchecked stream flows smoothly down its appointed channels into a calm well-being.
“Fortunate boys!” said the Controller. “No pains have been spared to make your lives emotionally easy—to preserve you from having emotions at all.”
“Ford’s in his flivver,” murmured the D.H.C. “All’s well with the world.”
“Lenina Crowne?” said Henry Foster, echoing the Assistant Predestinator’s question. “Oh, she’s a splendid girl. I’m surprised you haven’t had her.”
“I can’t think how it is I haven’t,” said the Assistant Predestinator. “I certainly will. At the first opportunity.”
From his place on the opposite side of the changing-room aisle, Bernard Marx overheard what they were saying and turned pale.
“And to tell the truth,” said Lenina, “I’m beginning to get just a tiny bit bored with nothing but Henry every day.” She pulled on her left stocking. “Do you know Bernard Marx?”
Fanny looked startled. “You don’t mean to say …?”
“Why not? Bernard’s an Alpha Plus. Besides, he asked me to go to one of the Savage Reservations with him. I’ve always wanted to see a Savage Reservation.”
“But his reputation?”
“What do I care about his reputation?”
“They say he doesn’t like Obstacle Golf.”
“They say, they say,” mocked Lenina.
“And then he spends most of his time by himself—alone.” There was horror in Fanny’s voice.
“Well, he won’t be alone when he’s with me. And why are people so beastly to him? I think he’s rather sweet.” She smiled to herself; how absurdly shy he had been! Frightened almost—as though she were a World Controller.
“Consider your own lives,” said Mustapha Mond. “Has any of you ever encountered an insurmountable obstacle?”
The question was answered by a negative silence.
“Has any of you ever had to live through a long time-interval between the consciousness of a desire and its fulfillment[20 - between the consciousness of a desire and its fulfillment – между возникновением желания и его удовлетворением]?”
“Well,” began one of the boys, and hesitated.
“Speak up,” said the D.H.C.
“I once had to wait nearly four weeks before a girl I wanted would let me have her.”
“And you felt a strong emotion in consequence?”
“Horrible; precisely,” said the Controller.
“Talking about her as though she is a bit of meat.” Bernard ground his teeth. “Have her here, have her there … She said she’d think it over, she said she’d give me an answer this week. Oh, Ford, Ford, Ford.” He would have liked to go up to them and hit them in the face—again and again.
“Yes, I really do advise you to try her,” Henry Foster was saying.
“Take Ectogenesis. Pfitzner and Kawaguchi had got the whole technique worked out. But would the Governments look at it? No. There was something called Christianity. Women were forced to go on being viviparous.”
“He’s so ugly!” said Fanny.
“But I rather like his looks.”
“And then so small.” Fanny made a grimace.
“I think that’s rather sweet,” said Lenina.
Fanny was shocked. “They say somebody made a mistake when he was still in the bottle—thought he was a Gamma and put alcohol into his blood-surrogate. That’s why he’s so stunted.”
“What nonsense!” Lenina was indignant.
“Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable.”
“You’re welcome, I assure you. You’re welcome.”
Henry Foster patted the Assistant Predestinator on the shoulder. “Everyone belongs to everyone else, after all.”
One hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years, thought Bernard Marx, who was a specialist on hypnopaedia. Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth. Idiots!
“Or the Caste System. Constantly proposed, constantly rejected. There was something called democracy.”
“Well, all I can say is that I’m going to accept his invitation.”
Bernard hated them, hated them. But they were two, they were large, they were strong.
“The Nine Years’ War began in A.F. 141.”
“Not even if it were true about the alcohol in his blood-surrogate.”
“Phosgene, chloropicrin, ethyl iodoacetate, diphenylcyanarsine, trichlormethyl, chloroformate, dichlorethyl sulphide. Not to mention hydrocyanic acid.”
“Which I simply don’t believe,” Lenina concluded.
“The noise of fourteen thousand aeroplanes advancing in open order.”
“Because I do want to see a Savage Reservation.”
=well, what? An enormous hole in the ground, a pile of masonry, some bits of flesh and mucus, a foot, with the boot still on it, flying through the air and landing, flop, in the middle of the geraniums!
“You’re hopeless, Lenina, I give up.”
“The Russian technique for infecting water supplies was particularly ingenious.”
Back turned to back, Fanny and Lenina continued their changing in silence.
“The Nine Years’ War, the great Economic Collapse. There was a choice between World Control and destruction. Between stability and…”
“Fanny Crowne’s a nice girl too,” said the Assistant Predestinator.
In the nurseries, the Elementary Class Consciousness lesson was over, the voices were adapting future demand to future industrial supply. “I do love flying,” they whispered, “I do love flying, I do love having new clothes, I do love…”
“Liberalism, of course, was dead of anthrax, but all the same you couldn’t do things by force.”
“Not nearly so as Lenina. Oh, not nearly.”
“But old clothes are beastly,” continued the whisper. “We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending[21 - «Чем старое чинить, лучше новое купить.»], ending is better than mending, ending is better…”
“Government’s an affair of sitting, not hitting. You rule with the brains and the buttocks, never with the fists. For example, there was the conscription of consumption.”
“There, I’m ready,” said Lenina, but Fanny remained speechless. “Let’s make peace, Fanny, darling.”
“Every man, woman and child compelled to consume so much a year. In the interests of industry. The sole result…”
“Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches; the more stitches…”
“One of these days,” said Fanny, “you’ll get into trouble.”
“Objection on an enormous scale. Anything not to consume. Back to nature.”
“I do love flying. I do love flying.”
“Back to culture. Yes, actually to culture. You can’t consume much if you sit still and read books.”
“Do I look all right?” Lenina asked. Her jacket was made of bottle green acetate cloth with green viscose fur; at the cuffs and collar.
“Eight hundred people were mowed down by machine guns at Golders Green.”
“Ending is better than mending, ending is better than mending.”
Green corduroy shorts and white stockings turned down below the knee.
“Then came the famous British Museum Massacre. Two thousand culture fans gassed with dichlorethyl sulphide.”
A green-and-white jockey cap; bright-green, highly polished shoes.
“In the end,” said Mustapha Mond, “the Controllers realized that force was no good. The slower methods of ectogenesis, neo-Pavlovian conditioning and hypnopaedia…”
And round her waist she wore a green morocco-surrogate cartridge belt, bulging with the regulation supply of contraceptives.
“The discoveries of Pfitzner and Kawaguchi were at last made use of. An intensive propaganda against viviparous reproduction…”
“Perfect!” cried Fanny enthusiastically. She could never resist Lenina’s charm for long. “And what a perfectly sweet Malthusian belt!”
“Accompanied by a campaign against the Past; by the closing of museums, the blowing up of historical monuments; by the suppression of all books published before A.F. 150.”
“I simply must get one like it,” said Fanny.
“There were some things called the pyramids, for example.”
“My old black-patent bandolier…”
“And a man called Shakespeare. You’ve never heard of them of course.”
“It’s an absolute disgrace—that bandolier of mine.”
“Such are the advantages of a really scientific education.”
“The more stitches the less riches; the more stitches the less…”
“The introduction of Our Ford’s first T-Model…”
“I’ve had it nearly three months.”
“Chosen as the opening date of the new era.”
“Ending is better than mending; ending is better…”
“There was a thing, as I’ve said before, called Christianity.”
“Ending is better than mending.”
“The ethics and philosophy of under-consumption…”
“I love new clothes, I love new clothes, I love…”
“So essential when there was under-production; but in an age of machines—positively a crime against society.”
“Henry Foster gave it to me.”
“All crosses had their tops cut and became T’s. There was also a thing called God.”
“It’s real morocco-surrogate.”
“We have the World State now. And Ford’s Day celebrations, and Community Sings, and Solidarity Services.”
“Ford, how I hate them!” Bernard Marx was thinking.
“There was a thing called Heaven; but all the same they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol.”
“Like meat, like so much meat.”
“There was a thing called the soul and a thing called immortality.”
“Do ask Henry where he got it.”
“But they used to take morphia and cocaine.”
“And what makes it worse, she thinks of herself as meat.”
“Two thousand pharmacologists and bio-chemists were subsidized in A. P. 178.”
“He does look glum,” said the Assistant Predestinator, pointing at Bernard Marx.
“Six years later it was being produced commercially. The perfect drug.”
“Let’s bait him.”
“Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant.”
“Glum, Marx, glum.” The clap on the shoulder made him start, look up. It was that brute Henry Foster. “What you need is a gramme of soma.”
“All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.”
“Ford, I should like to kill him!” But all he did was to say, “No, thank you,” and fend off the tube of tablets.
“Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology.”
“Take it,” insisted Henry Foster, “take it.”
“Stability was practically assured.”
“One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments,” said the Assistant Predestinator.
“It only remained to conquer old age.”
“Damn you, damn you!” shouted Bernard Marx.
“Gonadal hormones, transfusion of young blood, magnesium salts…”
“And do remember that a gramme is better than a damn.” They went out, laughing.
“All the physiological stigmata of old age have been abolished. And along with them, of course…”
“Don’t forget to ask him about that Malthusian belt,” said Fanny.
“Along with them all the old man’s mental peculiarities. Characters remain constant throughout a whole lifetime.”
“… two rounds of Obstacle Golf to get through before dark. I must fly.”
“Work, play—at sixty our powers and tastes are what they were at seventeen.”
“Idiots, swine!” Bernard Marx was saying to himself, as he walked down the corridor to the lift.
“Now—such is progress—the old men work, the old men copulate—and there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon. Returning whence they find themselves on the other side of the crevice, safe on the solid ground of daily labour and distraction, scampering from feely to feely, from girl to pneumatic girl, from Electromagnetic Golf course to…”
Slowly, majestically, with a faint humming of machinery, the Conveyors moved forward, thirty-three centimeters an hour. In the red darkness glinted innumerable rubies.
The lift was crowded with men from the Alpha Changing Rooms, and Lenina was greeted by many friendly nods and smiles. She was a popular girl and, at one time or another, had spent a night with almost all of them.
In the corner, she saw the small thin body and the melancholy face of Bernard Marx.
“Bernard!” she stepped up to him. “I was looking for you. I wanted to talk to you about our New Mexico plan.” Out of the corner of her eye she could see Benito Hoover gaping with astonishment. It annoyed her. “I’d love to come with you for a week in July,” she went on. “That is, if you still want to have me.”
Bernard’s pale face flushed.
“Shouldn’t we talk about it somewhere else?” he stammered. “With all these people about…”
Lenina laughed. “How funny you are! You’ll give me at least a week’s warning, won’t you?”
Before Bernard could answer, the lift came to a standstill. They walked out to the roof.
It was warm and bright. The summer afternoon was drowsy with the hum of passing helicopters. Bernard Marx drew a deep breath. He looked up into the sky and round the blue horizon and finally down into Lenina’s face.
She smiled at him. “I must fly, Bernard. Henry gets cross if I keep him waiting. Let me know in good time about the date.” And waving her hand she ran away towards the hangars.
Henry Foster was already seated in the cockpit of his machine, waiting, when Lenina arrived.
“Four minutes late,” was all his comment, as she climbed in beside him. He started the engines. The machine shot vertically into the air. The speedometer showed that they were rising at the best part of two kilometres a minute. London diminished beneath them. The huge table-topped buildings [22 - table-topped buildings – здания с плоскими крышами]were no more, in a few seconds, than a bed of geometrical mushrooms sprouting from the green of park and garden. In the midst of them, a taller fungus, the Charing-T Tower, lifted towards the sky.
Lenina looked down through the window in the floor between her feet. They were flying over the six kilometre zone of park-land that separated Central London from its first ring of suburbs. Centrifugal Bumble-puppy towers gleamed between the trees. Below, a Delta gymnastic display and community sing was in progress.
“What a hideous colour khaki is,” remarked Lenina, voicing the hypnopaedic prejudices of her caste. “I’m glad I’m not a Delta or a Gamma.”
Ten minutes later they were at Stoke Poges and had started their first round of Obstacle Golf.
Bernard hastened across the roof.
Lenina was making him suffer. He remembered those weeks of timid indecision, during which he had no courage to ask her. Dared he face the risk of being humiliated? But if she were to say yes! Well, now she had said it and he was still wretched—wretched that she went to join Henry Foster, that she found him funny for not wanting to talk of their most private affairs in public. Wretched because she had behaved as any healthy and virtuous English girl would have.
He opened the door of his lock-up and called to a lounging couple of Delta-Minus attendants to come and push his machine out on to the roof. The hangars were staffed by a single Bokanovsky Group, and the men were twins, identically small, black and hideous. For whatever the cause Bernard’s physique was hardly better than that of the average Gamma. He stood eight centimetres short of the standard Alpha height and was too slender. Contact with members of the lower castes always reminded him of this.
Slackly, it seemed to him, and with reluctance, the twin attendants wheeled his plane out on the roof.
“Hurry up!” said Bernard irritably. One of them glanced at him. “Hurry up!” he shouted more loudly, and there was an ugly rasp in his voice.
He climbed into the plane and, a minute later, was flying southwards, towards the river.
The various Bureau of Propaganda and the College of Emotional Engineering were housed in a single sixty-story building in Fleet Street. In the basement and on the low floors were the presses and offices of the three great London newspapers—777e Hourly Radio, an upper-caste sheet, the pale green Gamma Gazette, and, on khaki paper and in words exclusively of one syllable, The Delta Mirror. Then came the Bureau of Propaganda by Television, by Feeling Picture, and by Synthetic Voice and Music respectively—twenty-two floors of them. Above were the search laboratories and the Sound-Track Writers and Synthetic Composers rooms. The top eighteen floors were occupied the College of Emotional Engineering.
Bernard landed on the roof of Propaganda House and stepped out.
“Ring down to Mr. Helmholtz Watson,” he ordered the Gamma-Plus porter, “and tell him that Mr. Bernard Marx is waiting for him on the roof.”
He sat down and lit a cigarette.
Helmholtz Watson was writing when the message came down.
“Tell him I’m coming at once,” he said and hung up the receiver. Then he got up and walked briskly to the door.
He was a powerfully built man, broad-shouldered, massive, and yet quick in his movements. His hair was dark and curly. He was handsome and looked like an Alpha Plus. By profession he was a lecturer at the College of Emotional Engineering (Department of Writing) and a working Emotional Engineer. He wrote regularly for The Hourly Radio, composed feely scenarios, and had the knack for slogans and hypnopaedic rhymes.
“Able,” was the verdict of his superiors. “Perhaps, a little too able.”
Yes, a little too able; they were right. A mental excess had produced in Helmholtz Watson effects very similar to those in Bernard Marx. It had isolated Bernard from his fellow men, and the sense of this became in turn a cause of wider separation. Helmholtz Watson had also become aware of his difference from the people who surrounded him. He had realized quite suddenly that sport, women, communal activities were only, so far as he was concerned, second bests. Really, and at the bottom, he was interested in something else. But in what? In what?
Three charming girls from the Bureau of Propaganda by Synthetic Voice walked up to him as he stepped out of the lift.
“Oh, Helmholtz, darling, do come and have a picnic supper with us on Exmoor.”
He shook his head, he pushed his way through them. “No, no. I’m busy.”
It was not till he had actually climbed into Bernard’s plane and slammed the door that they gave up pursuit.
“These women!” he said, as the machine rose into the air. “These women!” And he shook his head, he frowned. “Too awful,” Bernard hypocritically agreed, wishing that he could have as many girls as Helmholtz did, and with as little trouble. He was seized with a sudden urgent need to boast. “I’m taking Lenina Crowne to New Mexico with me,” he said in a tone as casual as he could make it.
“Are you?” said Helmholtz, with a total absence of interest. Then after a little pause, “This last week or two I’ve been cutting all my committees and all my girls. It’s been worth it, I think.”
The rest of the short flight was accomplished in silence. When they had arrived and were comfortably stretched out on the pneumatic sofas in Bernard’s room, Helmholtz began again.
Speaking very slowly, “Did you ever feel,” he asked, “as though you had something inside you that was only waiting for you to give it a chance to come out? Some sort of extra power that you aren’t using?” He looked at Bernard questioningly.
“You mean all the emotions one might be feeling if things were different?”
Helmholtz shook his head. “Not quite. I’m thinking of a queer feeling I sometimes get, a feeling that I’ve got something important to say and the power to say it—only I don’t know what it is. If there was some different way of writing … Or else something else to write about … You see, I’m pretty good at inventing phrases. But that doesn’t seem enough. It’s not enough for the phrases to be good; what you make with them ought to be good too.”
“But your things are good, Helmholtz.”
“Oh, as far as they go.” Helmholtz shrugged his shoulders. “But they go such a little way. They aren’t important enough, somehow. I feel I could do something much more important. But what? What is there more important to say? Words can be like X-rays, if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced. That’s one of the things I try to teach my students—how to write piercingly. But what on earth’s the good of being pierced by an article about a Community Sing, or the latest improvement in scent organs?”
“Hush!” said Bernard suddenly, and lifted a warning finger; they listened. “I believe there’s somebody at the door,” he whispered.
Helmholtz got up, tiptoed across the room, and with a sharp quick movement flung the door wide open. There was, of course, nobody there.
“I’m sorry,” said Bernard, feeling and looking uncomfortably foolish. “I suppose I’ve got things on my nerves a bit. When people are suspicious with you, you start being suspicious with them.”
He passed his hand across his eyes and sighed. “If you knew what I’d had to put up with recently,” he said almost tearfully. “If you only knew!”
Helmholtz Watson listened with a certain sense of discomfort. “Poor little Bernard!” he said to himself. But at the same time he felt rather ashamed for his friend. He wished Bernard would show a little more pride.
By eight o’clock the light was failing. Lenina and Henry abandoned their game and walked back towards the Club.
A buzzing of helicopters filled the twilight. Every two and a half minutes a bell announced the departure of one of the light monorail trains which carried the lower caste golfers back from their separate course to the metropolis.
Lenina and Henry climbed into their machine and started off. At eight hundred feet Henry slowed down the helicopter screws, and they hung for a minute or two above the fading landscape. The forest of Burnham Beeches stretched like a great pool of darkness towards the western sky. Their eyes were drawn to the buildings of the Slough Crematorium. For the safety of night-flying planes, its four tall chimneys were flood-lighted and tipped with crimson danger signals.
“Why do the smoke-stacks have those things like balconies around them?” enquired Lenina.
“Phosphorus recovery,” explained Henry. “P
used to go right out of circulation every time they cremated someone. Now they recover over ninety-eight per cent of it. More than a kilo and a half per adult corpse. Fine to think we can go on being socially useful even after we’re dead. Making plants grow.”
Lenina, meanwhile, had turned her eyes away. “Fine,” she agreed. “But queer that Alphas and Betas won’t make any more plants grow than those nasty little Gammas and Deltas and Epsilons.”
“All men are equal on the chemical level. Besides, even Epsilons perform important services.”
“Even an Epsilon…” Lenina suddenly remembered an occasion when, as a little girl at school, she had woken up in the middle of the night and become aware, for the first time, of the whispering that had haunted all her sleeps. She saw again the beam of moonlight, the row of small white beds; heard once more the soft, soft voice that said: “Everyone works for everyone else. We can’t do without anyone. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn’t do without Epsilons. Everyone works for everyone else. We can’t do without anyone…” Lenina remembered her first shock of fear and surprise; her speculations through half a wakeful hour; and then, under the influence of the endless repetition, the gradual soothing of her mind…
“I suppose Epsilons don’t really mind being Epsilons,” she said aloud.
“Of course they don’t. How can they? They don’t know what it’s like being anything else.”
“I’m glad I’m not an Epsilon,” said Lenina, with conviction.
“And if you were an Epsilon,” said Henry, “your conditioning would have made you no less thankful that you weren’t a Beta or an Alpha.” He put his forward propeller into gear and headed the machine towards London.
Landing on the roof of Henry’s forty-story apartment house in Westminster, they went straight down to the dining-hall. There, in a loud and cheerful company, they ate an excellent meal. Soma was served with the coffee. Lenina took two half-gramme tablets and Henry three. At twenty past nine they walked across the street to the newly opened Westminster Abbey Cabaret. It was a night almost without clouds, moonless and starry; but of this Lenina and Henry were fortunately unaware. The electric sky-signs effectively shut off the outer darkness. “CALVIN STOPES AND HIS SIXTEEN SEXOPHONISTS.” From the facade of the new Abbey the giant letters invitingly glared. “LONDON’S FINEST SCENT AND COLOUR ORGAN. ALL THE LATEST SYNTHETIC MUSIC.”
They entered. The air seemed hot and somehow breathless with the scent of sandalwood. On the domed ceiling of the hall, the colour organ had momentarily painted a tropical sunset. The Sixteen Sexophonists were playing an old favourite: “There ain’t no Bottle in all the world like that dear little Bottle of mine.” Four hundred couples were five-stepping round the polished floor. Lenina and Henry were soon the four hundred and first.
“Bottle of mine, it’s you I’ve always wanted!
Bottle of mine, why was I ever decanted?
Skies are blue inside of you,
The weather’s always fine;
There ain’t no Bottle in all the world
Like that dear little Bottle of mine.”
Five-stepping with the other four hundred round and round Westminster Abbey, Lenina and Henry were yet dancing in another world—the warm, the richly coloured, the infinitely friendly world of soma-holiday. How kind, how good-looking, how delightfully amusing everyone was! “Bottle of mine, it’s you I’ve always wanted…” But Lenina and Henry had what they wanted … They were inside, here and now—safely inside with the fine weather, the blue sky.
“Good-night, dear friends. Good-night, dear friends.” The loud speakers veiled their commands in a genial and musical politeness. “Good-night, dear friends…”
Obediently, with all the others, Lenina and Henry left the building.
Swallowed half an hour before closing time, that second dose of soma had raised an impenetrable wall between the actual universe and their minds. Bottled, they crossed the street; bottled, they took the lift up to Henry’s room. And yet, bottled as she was[23 - bottled as she was – несмотря на дурман], Lenina did not forget to take all the contraceptive precautions. Years of intensive hypnopaedia and Malthusian drill three times a week had made it almost as automatic as blinking.
“Oh, and that reminds me,” she said, as she came back from the bathroom, “Fanny Crowne wants to know where you found that lovely green morocco-surrogate cartridge belt you gave me.”
Alternate Thursdays were Bernard’s Solidarity Service days. After an early dinner he hailed a taxi on the roof and told the man to fly to the Fordson Community Singery.
“Damn, I’m late,” Bernard said to himself as he first caught sight of Big Henry, the Singery clock. And sure enough, as he was paying off his cab, Big Henry sounded the hour[24 - sounded the hour – пробил]. “Ford, Ford, Ford…” Nine times. Bernard ran for the lift.
The great auditorium for Ford’s Day celebrations and other Community Sings was at the bottom of the building. Bernard dropped down to floor thirty-three, hurried along the corridor, stood hesitating for a moment outside Room 3210, then opened the door and walked in.
Thank Ford! He was not the last. Three chairs of the twelve arranged round the table were still unoccupied. He slipped into the nearest of them as silently as he could.
Turning towards him, “What were you playing this afternoon?” the girl on his left asked. “Obstacle, or Electro-magnetic?”
Bernard looked at her (Ford! It was Morgana Rothschild) and had to admit that he had been playing neither. Morgana stared at him with astonishment. There was an awkward silence.
Then pointedly she turned away and addressed herself to the more sporting man on her left.
“A good beginning for a Solidarity Service,” thought Bernard miserably. If only he had given himself time to look around instead of scuttling for the nearest chair! He could have sat between Fifi Bradlaugh and Joanna Diesel. Instead he had gone and blindly planted himself next to Morgana. Morgana! Ford! Those black eyebrows of hers—that eyebrow, rather—Ford! And on his right was Clara Deterding. She was really too pneumatic. Whereas Fifi and Joanna were absolutely right.
The last arrival was Sarojini Engels.
“You’re late,” said the President of the Group severely. “Don’t let it happen again.”
Sarojini apologized and slid into her place. The group was now complete. Man, woman, man, in a ring of endless alternation round the table. Twelve of them ready to be made one, waiting to come together, to be fused, to lose their twelve separate identities in a larger being.
The President stood up, made the sign of the T and, switching on the synthetic music, let loose the soft beating of drums and a choir of instruments, haunting melody of the first Solidarity Hymn.
The President made another sign of the T and sat down. The service had begun. The dedicated soma tablets were placed in the centre of the table. The loving cup of strawberry ice-cream soma was passed from hand to hand and, with the formula, “I drink to my annihilation.” Then the First Solidarity Hymn was sung.
“Ford, we are twelve; oh, make us one,
Like drops within the Social River,
Oh, make us now together run
As swiftly as thy shining Flivver.”
Twelve stanzas. And then the loving cup was passed a second time. “I drink to the Greater Being” was now the formula. All drank. The Second Solidarity Hymn was sung.
“Come, Greater Being, Social Friend,
We long to die, for when we end,
Our larger life has but begun.”
Again twelve stanzas. By this time the soma had begun to work. Eyes shone, cheeks were flushed. Even Bernard felt himself a little melted. When Morgana Rothschild turned and beamed at him, he did his best to beam back. But the eyebrow, it was still there; he couldn’t ignore it, couldn’t, however hard he tried. For the third time the loving cup went round; “I drink to the imminence of His Coming,” said Morgana Rothschild. She drank and passed the cup to Bernard. “I drink to the imminence of His Coming,” he repeated. He handed the cup to Clara Deterding. “It’ll be a failure again,” he said to himself. “I know it will.”
The loving cup had made its circuit. Lifting his hand, the President gave a signal; the chorus broke out into the third Solidarity Hymn.
“Feel how the Greater Being comes!
Rejoice and, in rejoicings, die!
Melt in the music of the drums!
For I am you and you are I.”
The sense of the Coming’s imminence was like an electric tension in the air. The President switched off the music and, with the final note of the final stanza, there was absolute silence. The President reached out his hand; and suddenly a Voice, a deep strong Voice, more musical than any merely human voice, richer, warmer, more vibrant with love and yearning and compassion, a wonderful, mysterious, supernatural Voice spoke from above their heads. Very slowly, “Oh, Ford, Ford, Ford,” it said on a descending scale. A sensation of warmth radiated thrillingly out from the bodies of those who listened; tears came into their eyes. “Listen!” trumpeted the voice. “Listen!” They listened. “The feet of the Greater Being,” it went on. The whisper almost expired. “The feet of the Greater Being are on the stairs.” And once more there was silence. And suddenly the tearing point was reached. Morgana Rothschild sprang to her feet.
“I hear him,” she cried. “I hear him.”
“He’s coming,” shouted Sarojini Engels.
“Yes, he’s coming, I hear him.” Fifi Bradlaugh and Tom Kawaguchi rose simultaneously to their feet.
“Oh, oh, oh!” Joanna testified.
“He’s coming!” yelled Jim Bokanovsky.
“Oh, he’s coming!” screamed Clara Deterding.
Feeling that it was time for him to do something, Bernard also jumped up and shouted: “I hear him; He’s coming.” But it wasn’t true. He heard nothing and, for him, nobody was coming. But he waved his arms, he shouted with the best of them; and when the others began to jig and stamp and shuffle, he also jigged and shuffled.
Round they went, a circular procession of dancers, each with hands on the hips of the dancer in front of them, round and round, shouting in unison, stamping to the rhythm of the music with their feet. Twelve as one, twelve as one. The music quickened. And all at once a great synthetic bass boomed out the words which announced the approaching atonement and final consummation of solidarity, the coming of the Twelve-in-One. “Orgy-porgy,” it sang, while the drums continued to beat their feverish rhythm:
“Orgy-porgy, Ford and fun,
Kiss the girls and make them One.
Boys at One with girls at peace;
Orgy-porgy gives release.”
The dancers caught up the refrain. And as they sang, the lights began slowly to fade—to fade and at the same time to grow warmer, richer, redder, until at last they were dancing in the crimson twilight of an Embryo Store. “Orgy-porgy…” In their blood-coloured darkness the dancers continued for a while to circulate. “Orgy-porgy…” Then the circle wavered, broke, fell in partial disintegration on the ring of couches which surrounded the table. “Orgy-porgy…” Tenderly the deep Voice crooned and cooed.
They were standing on the roof; Big Henry had just sung eleven. The night was calm and warm.
“Wasn’t it wonderful?” said Fifi Bradlaugh. “Wasn’t it simply wonderful?” She looked at Bernard with an expression of rapture. Hers was the calm ecstasy of achieved consummation, the peace. A rich and living peace. “Didn’t you think it was wonderful?” she insisted, looking into Bernard’s face with those supernaturally shining eyes.
“Yes, I thought it was wonderful,” he lied and looked away. He was as miserably isolated now as he had been when the service began. Alone even in Morgana’s embrace—much more alone, indeed, more hopelessly himself than he had ever been in his life before. He was utterly miserable, and perhaps (her shining eyes accused him), perhaps it was his own fault. “Quite wonderful,” he repeated; but the only thing he could think of was Morgana’s eyebrow.
Odd, odd, odd, was Lenina’s verdict on Bernard Marx. So odd, indeed, that in the course of the next few weeks she had wondered more than once whether she shouldn’t change her mind about the New Mexico holiday, and go instead to the North Pole with Benito Hoover. The trouble was that she knew the North Pole, had been there with George Edzel only last summer, and found it pretty grim. Added to that, she had only been to America once before. And even then, a cheap week-end in New York. The prospect of flying West again, and for a whole week, was very inviting. Moreover, for at least three days of that week they would be in the Savage Reservation. As an Alpha-Plus psychologist, Bernard was one of the few men she knew entitled to a permit. For Lenina, the opportunity was unique.
“Alcohol in his blood-surrogate,” was Fanny’s explanation of every eccentricity. But Henry, with whom Lenina had rather anxiously discussed her new lover, had compared poor Bernard to a rhinoceros.
“You can’t teach a rhinoceros tricks,” he had explained. “Some men are almost rhinoceroses; they don’t respond properly to conditioning. Poor Devils! Bernard’s one of them. Luckily for him, he’s pretty good at his job. Otherwise the Director would never have kept him. I think he’s pretty harmless.”
Pretty harmless, perhaps; but also pretty disquieting. That mania, to start with, for doing things in private. Which meant, in practice, not doing anything at all. For what was there that one could do in private. (Apart, of course, from going to bed: but one couldn’t do that all the time.) The first afternoon they went out together was particularly fine. Lenina had suggested a swim at Toquay Country Club followed by dinner at the Oxford Union. But Bernard thought there would be too much of a crowd. Then what about a round of Electro-magnetic Golf at St. Andrew’s? But again, no: Bernard considered that Electro-magnetic Golf was a waste of time.
“Then what’s time for?” asked Lenina in some astonishment.
Apparently, for going walks in the Lake District. “Alone with you, Lenina.”
“But, Bernard, we shall be alone all night.”
Bernard blushed and looked away. “I meant, alone for talking,” he mumbled.
“Talking? But what about?”
In the end she persuaded him, much against his will, to fly over to Amsterdam to see the Women’s Heavyweight Wrestling Championship.
“In a crowd,” he grumbled. “As usual.” He remained gloomy the whole afternoon; wouldn’t talk to Lenina’s friends and refused to take the half-gramme raspberry soma sundae. “I’d rather be myself,” he said. “Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.”
Lenina shrugged her shoulders. “A gramme is always better than a damn,” she concluded with dignity, and drank the sundae herself.
On their way back across the Channel, Bernard insisted on stopping his propeller and hovering within a hundred feet of the waves. The weather had taken a change for the worse; a south-westerly wind had sprung up, the sky was cloudy.
“Look,” he commanded.
“But it’s horrible,” said Lenina, shrinking back from the window. She was appalled by the rushing emptiness of the night, by the black water beneath them, by the pale face of the moon. “Let’s turn on the radio!”
“I want to look at the sea in peace,” he said. “One can’t even look with that beastly noise going on.”
“But I don’t want to look.”
“But I do,” he insisted. “It makes me feel as though I am … more. More on my own, not a part of something else.”
Lenina was crying. “It’s horrible, it’s horrible,” she kept repeating. “And how can you talk like that about not wanting to be a part of the social body? After all, everyone works for everyone else. We can’t do without anyone. Even Epsilons…”
“Yes, I know,” said Bernard. “‘Even Epsilons are useful’! So am I. And I damned well wish I weren’t!”
“Bernard, you’re saying the most awful things.”
“Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina?”
“I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”
He laughed, “Yes, ‘Everybody’s happy nowadays.’ Wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina? In your own way; not in everybody else’s way.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she repeated. “Oh, do let’s go back, Bernard. I do so hate it here.”
“Don’t you like being with me?”
“I do, Bernard. It’s this horrible place.”
“I thought we’d be more … more together here. More together than in that crowd, or even in my rooms. Don’t you understand that?”
“I don’t understand anything,” she said with decision. “Nothing. Least of all, why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours.”
He looked at her in silence, his face unresponsive and very grave. After a few seconds Lenina’s eyes flinched away; she uttered a nervous little laugh, tried to think of something to say and couldn’t. The silence prolonged itself.
When Bernard spoke at last, it was in a small tired voice. “All right then,” he said, “we’ll go back.” And stepping hard on the accelerator, he sent the machine up into the sky. They flew in silence for a minute or two. Then, suddenly, Bernard began to laugh.
“Feeling better?” she asked.
For answer, he lifted one hand from the controls and, slipping his arm around her, began to fondle her breasts.
“Thank Ford,” she said to herself, “he’s all right again.”
Half an hour later they were back in his rooms. Bernard swallowed four tablets of soma, turned on the radio and television and began to undress.
“Well,” Lenina enquired, with when they met next afternoon on the roof, “did you think it was fun yesterday?”
Bernard nodded. They climbed into the plane. A little jolt, and they were off.
“Everyone says I’m awfully plump,” said Lenina, patting her own legs.
“Awfully.” But there was an expression of pain in Bernard’s eyes. “Like meat,” he was thinking.
She looked up with a certain anxiety. “But you don’t think I’m too plump, do you?”
He shook his head. Like so much meat.
“You think I’m all right.” Another nod. “In every way?”
“Perfect,” he said aloud. And inwardly. “She thinks of herself that way. She doesn’t mind being meat.”
“All the same,” he went on, after a little pause, “I still rather wish it had all ended differently. I didn’t want it to end with our going to bed. Not at once, not the first day.”
“But then what …?”
He began to talk a lot of incomprehensible and dangerous nonsense. Lenina did her best to stop the ears of her mind; but every now and then a phrase would insist on becoming audible.
“I want to know what passion is,” she heard him saying. “I want to feel something strongly.”
“When the individual feels, the community reels,” Lenina pronounced.
“Well, why shouldn’t it reel a bit?”
“Adults intellectually and during working hours,” he went on. “Infants where feeling and desire are concerned. It might be possible to be an adult all the time.”
“I don’t understand.” Lenina’s tone was firm.
“I know you don’t. And that’s why we went to bed together yesterday—like infants—instead of being adults and waiting.”
“But it was fun,” Lenina insisted. “Wasn’t it?”
“Oh, the greatest fun,” he answered, but in a voice so mournful, that Lenina felt all her triumph suddenly evaporate.
“I told you so,” was all that Fanny said. “It’s the alcohol they put in his surrogate.”
“All the same[25 - All the same – Все равно],” Lenina insisted. “I do like him. But I wish he weren’t so odd.”
Stopping for a moment outside the door of the Director’s room, Bernard drew a deep breath. He knocked and entered.
“A permit for you to sign, Director,” he said as airily as possible, and laid the paper on the writing-table.
The Director glanced at him sourly. But the stamp of the World Controller’s Office was at the head of the paper and the signature of Mustapha Mond, bold and black, across the bottom. Everything was perfectly in order. The director had no choice. He signed and was about to return the paper without a word of comment, when his eye was caught by something written in the permit.
“For the New Mexican Reservation?” he said, and his face expressed a kind of agitated astonishment.
Surprised by his surprise, Bernard nodded. There was a silence.
The Director leaned back in his chair, frowning. “How long ago was it?” he said, speaking more to himself than to Bernard. “Twenty years, I suppose. Twenty-five. I must have been your age…” He sighed and shook his head.
“I had the same idea as you,” the Director was saying. “Wanted to have a look at the savages. Got a permit for New Mexico and went there for my summer holiday. With the girl I was having at the moment. She was a Beta-Minus, and I think” (he shut his eyes), “I think she had yellow hair. Well, we went there, and we looked at the savages, and we rode about on horses and all that. And then—it was almost the last day of my leave … well, she got lost. She must have gone for a walk, alone. At any rate, when I woke up, she wasn’t there. And the most frightful thunderstorm I’ve ever seen was just bursting on us. I searched and I shouted and I searched. But there was no sign of her. The next day there was a search. But we couldn’t find anything. She must have fallen into a gully somewhere; or been eaten by a mountain lion. Ford knows. Anyhow it was horrible. It upset me very much at the time, more than it ought to have done, I dare say. Because, after all, it’s the sort of accident that might have happened to anyone. I actually dream about it sometimes,” the Director went on in a low voice. “Dream of being woken up by thunder and finding her gone; dream of searching and searching for her under the trees.” He fell silent.
“You must have had a terrible shock,” said Bernard, almost enviously.
At the sound of his voice the Director started into a guilty realization of where he was; shot a glance at Bernard, and averting his eyes, blushed darkly. Then he looked at him again with sudden suspicion and anger. “Don’t imagine,” he said, “that I’d had any relation with the girl. Nothing emotional, nothing long-drawn. It was all perfectly healthy and normal.” He handed Bernard the permit. “I really don’t know why I bored you with this story.” Furious with himself for having given away a discreditable secret, he vented his rage on Bernard. “And I should like to take this opportunity, Mr. Marx,” he went on, “to say that I’m not at all pleased with the reports I receive of your behaviour outside working hours. I have the good name of the Centre to think of. My workers must be above suspicion, particularly those of the highest castes. And so, Mr. Marx, I give you fair warning.” The Director’s voice was the expression of the disapproval of Society itself. “If ever I hear again of any lapse from a proper standard of infantile decorum, I shall ask for your transference to a Sub-Centre—preferably to Iceland. Good morning.” And swivelling round in his chair, he picked up his pen and began to write.
“That’ll teach him,” he said to himself. But he was mistaken. Bernard left the room elated by the feeling of his individual significance and importance. Even the thought of persecution didn’t bother him. He felt strong enough to face even Iceland. Walking along the corridor, he actually whistled.
The journey was quite uneventful. The Blue Pacific Rocket was two and a half minutes early at New Orleans, lost four minutes in a tornado over Texas, but was able to land at Santa Fe less than forty seconds behind schedule time.
“Not so bad,” Lenina conceded.
They slept that night at Santa Fe. The hotel was excellent—incomparably better, for example, than that horrible Aurora Bora Palace in which Lenina had suffered so much the previous summer. Liquid air, television, vibro-vacuum massage, radio, boiling caffeine solution, hot contraceptives, and eight different kinds of scent were laid on in every bedroom. The synthetic music plant was working as they entered the hall and left nothing to be desired. A notice in the lift announced that there were sixty Escalator-Squash-Racket Courts in the hotel, and that Obstacle and Electro-magnetic Golf could both be played in the park.
“But it sounds simply too lovely,” cried Lenina. “I almost wish we could stay here. Sixty Escalator-Squash Courts…”
“There won’t be any in the Reservation,” Bernard warned her. “And no scent, no television, no hot water even. If you feel you can’t stand it, stay here till I come back. You mustn’t come to the Reservation unless you really want to.”
“But I do want to.”
“Very well, then,” said Bernard; and it was almost a threat.
Their permit required the signature of the Warden of the Reservation, at whose office next morning they duly presented themselves. They were admitted almost immediately.
The Warden was a blond Alpha-Minus, short, red, moon-faced, and broad-shouldered, with a loud booming voice. Once started, he went on and on—boomingly.
“… five hundred and sixty thousand square kilometres, divided into four distinct Sub-Reservations, each surrounded by a high-tension wire fence.”
At this moment, and for no apparent reason, Bernard suddenly remembered that he had left the Eau de Cologne tap in his bathroom wide open and running.
“… supplied with current from the Grand Canyon hydro-electric station.”
“Cost me a fortune by the time I get back. Quickly telephone to Helmholtz Watson.”
“… upwards of five thousand kilometres of fencing at sixty thousand volts.”
“You don’t say so,” said Lenina politely, not knowing in the least what the Warden had said, but taking her cue from his dramatic pause. When the Warden started booming, she had swallowed half a gramme of soma, and now could sit serenely, not listening, thinking of nothing at all.
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Kept at blood heat – поддерживаемые при температуре крови (=37°С)
Bokanovsky’s Process – метод Бокановского
a bokanovskified egg – яйцо, подвергнутое бокановскизации
arrest of development – замедление развития
bokanovskify – бокановскизировать
They can only stand red light – Они могут выносить только красный свет
at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimetres an hour – со скоростью 33,3 см/ч
Ass! – Кретин!
postulated a mutation to account for it – предположил, что в этом виновата мутация
setting out bowls of roses – расставляли горшки роз
stiffened to attention – замерли в ожидании
as if to the tug of unseen wires – как будто кто-то тянул за невидимые нити
to consume transport – использовать транспорт, покупать собственные средства передвижения
we see to it – мы устраиваем все так
was lost to sight – скрылась из виду
rather pointedly – специально, показательно
Those who feel themselves despised do well to look despising. – Презирающих тебя сам встречай презрением.
you may well shudder – меня тоже передергивает
feeling rather out of sorts – не очень хорошо себя чувствую
between the consciousness of a desire and its fulfillment – между возникновением желания и его удовлетворением
«Чем старое чинить, лучше новое купить.»
table-topped buildings – здания с плоскими крышами
bottled as she was – несмотря на дурман
sounded the hour – пробил
All the same – Все равно