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1)1 am an old lawyer, and I have three men working for me. My business continued to grow and so I decided to get one more man to help write law documents.

2) I have met a great many people in my days, but the man who answered my advertisement was the strangest person I ever met or heard of.

3) He stood outside my office and waited for me to speak. He was a small man, quiet, and dressed in a clean but old suit of clothes. I asked him his name. It was Bartleby. After a few more questions, I told him he could work for me.

4) At first Bartleby almost worked himself too hard writing the legal papers 1 gave him. He worked through the day by sunlight and into the night by candlelight.

5) I was happy with his work, but not happy with the way he worked. He was too quiet. Had he been happy and cheerful, I would have liked him much better. But he worked well — like a machine, never looking or speaking.

6) One day I asked Bartleby to come to my office to study a legal paper with me. Without moving from his chair, Bartleby said, «I do not want to.»

7) 1 sat for a short time, too surprised to move. Then I became excited. «You do not want to. What do you mean? Are you sick? I want you to help me with this paper!» «I do not want to.»

8 ) His face was calm. His eyes showed no emotion. He was not angry. This is strange, I thought. What should I do? But the telephone rang, and I forgot the problem for the time being.

9) A few days later, four long documents came into the office. .They needed careful study, and I decided to give one document to each of my men. I called, and all came to my office. But not Bartleby. «Bartleby, quick, I am waiting.»

10) He came and stood in front of me for a moment. «I don’t want to, » he said, then turned and went back to his desk. I was so surprised that I could not move. I looked at the others, but found no words to speak. There was something about Bartleby that froze me, yet, at the same time, made me feel sorry for him.

#1.(…) How many assistants were there in the office at first?

#2. (…) Was Bartleby’s chief pleased with his work?

#3. (.. .) Why was the old lawyer speechless one day?

#4. (…) What was suspiciously unusual about Bartleby’s appearance?

#5. (…) How did Bartleby react to the lawyer’s request to enter his office?

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