Old Aeson

a very old manIn this story by Arthur Quiller-Couch, a very old man is found almost frozen to death outside a rich man’s house. The rich man takes the old man in and has him cared for. But the old man has a mysterious power. He begins to suck the life out of the rich man, turning him into an old man as he becomes younger..

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

There is also a word that is in our Pre-Intermediate word list but has a meaning in the story which is different to the one most commonly used. We are told that when the old man was found he was too weak to get up, and crying for help in his foreign tongue. The word here means a language.

Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1800 word list are: , beggar, , demon, , , , , , , merchant, miracle, , , , , , spoil, suck, , and .

General Comments on the Story

We are not given the names of any of the characters in this story. When the describes how the old man looked as he became younger, he uses the : It was Aeson renewed and thankless. This gives a to the title, which can also be found at the beginning of Act 5 in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice:

In such a night
Medea gathered the ed s
That did renew old Aeson.

In Greek ology Aeson was the father of Jason, the famous of Argonauts story fame. Aeson was king of Iolcus, but had the crown taken from him by his half-brother Pelias. When Jason returned from his adventures, he found his father alive but very old and . Medea, a who Jason had married while on his journey, made Aeson young again by giving him a magic . Unfortunately, from then on, none of these people could be described as having lived “happily ever after”. But that is another story!


Click here to visit our Facebook page where you can “like” this story, comment about it, or ask us a question.

beggar(n: beggar pl beggars) A person (often homeless or disabled) who lives by asking others to give them money, food, etc. (คนขอทาน) 2000

cheek(n: cheek pl cheeks) One of the parts of the face below each eye and to the side of the nose and mouth. (แก้ม) 3000

demon(n: demon pl demons) An evil spirit; a devil. Demons from Hell. (ปีศาจ) 4000

flow(v: flow, flows, flowed, flowing) To move in a steady and continuous way; to move along in the way that water does. The river flowed into the sea. The traffic was flowing freely. (ไหล) 2000

guest(n: guest pl guests) 1. A visitor who stays in a hotel etc. We have accommodation for 500 guests. A person that you have invited to your house or to a particular event that you are paying for. We are having guests for dinner. Also an adjective: A guest bedroom. (ผู้มาเยือน) 3000

item(n: item pl items) 1. A separate object, article etc, especially one of a number named in a list. He ticked the items as he read through the list. (ของ) 2. A separate piece of information or news. Did you see the item about dogs in the newspaper? (ข่าว) 1000

merchant(n: merchant pl merchants) A trader, especially one who buys goods from producers in large amounts and sells them to other sellers in smaller amounts. (พ่อค้า) 3000

miracle(n: miracle pl miracles) An unusual or wonderful event that cannot be explained and is believed to be caused by the power of God. (ปาฏิหาริย์) 3000

mystery(n: mystery pl mysteries) 1. Something that is not known or is difficult to understand or explain. The cause of the illness remains a mystery to doctors. 2. Something that cannot be, or has not been, explained. How the universe was formed remains a mystery. (ความลึกลับ) 3000
(adj: mysterious) Used to describe something difficult to understand or explain. (ลี้ลับ)

servant(n: servant pl servants) Someone who is hired to do household or personal duties [such as cleaning and cooking]. (คนรับใช้) 1000

1. (v: spoil, spoils, spoiled or spoilt, spoiling) To damage or ruin; to make bad or useless; to reduce the quality or value of. (ทำให้เสีย) 2. To give (a child etc) too much of what he or she wants and possibly make his or her character, behavior etc worse by doing it. (ตามใจจนเสียคน) 3000

rotten fruit spoiled-child

suck(v: suck, sucks, sucked, sucking) 1. To have something in your mouth and use your tongue, lips, etc to pull on it or to get liquid, air, etc out of it. Young animals learn to suck milk from their mothers. 2. To pull something somewhere using the force of moving air, water, etc. The vacuum cleaner sucked up all the dirt from the carpet. (ดูด) 3000

suffer(v: suffer, suffers, suffered, suffering) 1. To experience pain, illness, or injury. He died instantly and did not suffer. (ทนทุกข์ทรมาน) 2. To experience something unpleasant such as defeat, loss, or damage. Our country suffered a great deal during the war. (ประสบความทุกข์) 2000

thief(n: thief pl thieves) Someone who takes (something) from the owner in a way that is wrong or against the law; a robber. The thief got away with all my money. (ขโมย) 3000

warn(v: warn, warns, warned, warning) 1. To tell (someone) about possible danger or trouble. I was warned about the dangerous dog. (เตือน) 2. To tell (someone) to do or not to do something in order to avoid danger or trouble. I warned him to be careful. (เตือน; บอกให้รู้)
(n: warning, warnings) 1. Something that warns. A warning sign. (สัญญาณเตือน) 2. A statement that bad or wrong behavior will be punished if it happens again. The failing students got a final a warning. (คำเตือน) 2000

weight(n: weight, weights) 1. A measurement that indicates how heavy a person or thing is. Please indicate your height and weight on the form. 2. A heavy object that is lifted during exercising. A 10-pound weight. (หน่วยวัดน้ำหนัก) 3. Something that causes worry or sadness. When I heard he was safe, I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my mind. (น้ำหนัก) 1000

wise(adj: wise, wiser, wisest) Having gained a lot of knowledge from books or experience or both and able to use it well. (ฉลาด)
(n: wisdom; noncount) 1. The knowledge gained from books or experience. 2. The quality or state of being wise. (ปัญญา; สติปัญญา) 2000

youth(n: youth pl youths) 1. The state of being young, especially before becoming adult. He got into a lot of trouble in his youth. (วัยหนุ่มสาว) 2. A boy of fifteen to twenty years old approximately. Two youths were kicking a football in the park. (เด็กหนุ่มสาว) 3. Young people in general. Today's youth has/have no sense of responsibility! (พลังหนุ่มสาว)
(adj: youthful) 1. Of youth. Youthful pleasures. (อ่อนวัย) 2. Energetic, active, young-looking etc. Exercise will keep you youthful. (ความเป็นหนุ่มสาว) 2000

tongue(n: tongue pl tongues) 1. The soft, movable part in the mouth that is used for tasting and eating food and in human beings for speaking. (ลิ้น) 2. A language. English is his mother/native tongue. He speaks with a foreign tongue. (ภาษา) 3000

bald(adj: bald, balder, baldest) Having no hair or very little hair on the head. He is losing his hair; soon he will be bald. (หัวล้าน) 5000

beyond(prep: beyond) 1. On the other side of. My house is just beyond those trees. (ที่อยู่ไกลออกไป) 2. Farther on than something in time or place. I cannot plan beyond tomorrow. (ที่ไกลกว่า) 3. To a degree or amount greater than; out of the range, power etc of. He is beyond help. (เลยออกไป) 4. Other than; in addition to. What is there to say beyond what's already been said? (นอกจาก) 2000

droop(v: droop, droops, drooped, drooping) 1. (of a plant) To become ​weak and ​begin to ​bend towards the ​ground from heat or lack of water. The flowers were drooping in the hot sun. (เหี่ยว) 2. To (cause to) flop, bend or hang down. The branches of the trees drooped over the pond. (ห้อยต่ำ) 8000

exhaust(v: exhaust, exhausts, exhausted, exhausting) 1. To make very tired or wear out (someone) completely. She was exhausted by her long walk. (ทำให้หมดแรง) 2. To use all of; to use completely. We have exhausted our supplies. (ใช้หมด) 3000
(adj: exhausted) Very tired or completely worn out. (เหน็ดเหนื่อย)
(n: exhaustion; noncount) A state of extreme tiredness or fatigue. (ความเหนื่อย) 8000

fade(v: fade, fades, faded, fading) To (make something) lose strength, color, loudness etc. (เลือน) 3000

hint(n: hint pl hints) 1. A statement that passes on information without giving it openly or directly. I can't tell you the answer, but I'll give you a hint. He didn't actually say he wanted more money, but he dropped a hint. (การบอกใบ้) 2. A helpful suggestion or piece of advice. I can give you some useful gardening hints. (การเตือน) 3. A very small amount; a slight impression. There was a hint of fear in his voice. (จำนวนเล็กน้อย) 3000

hospitality(n: hospitality, noncount) The friendly welcome and treatment of guests or strangers; an act or show of welcome. It was wonderful to be met with such hospitality after our long journey. (การให้การต้อนรับด้วยความยินดี) 6000
(adj: hospitable) Showing kindness to guests. She is one of the most hospitable people I know. (ที่มีความโอบอ้อมอารีย์) 12000

(adv: meanwhile) At or during the same time; in the meantime. You can set the table. Meanwhile, I'll start making dinner.

pane(n: pane pl panes) A sheet of glass in a window or door. A pane of glass. (กระจก) 5000

pity(n: pity, noncount) A strong feeling of sadness about the troubles or pain of someone or something. She has had a hard life and deserves your pity. (ความสงสาร)
(v: pity, pities, pitied, pitying) To feel very sorry for someone or something. I pity anyone who has to work at that place. (สงสาร) 3000

sole(adj: sole) 1. Being the only one; only, single. The sole purpose is to help the poor. (โดดเดี่ยว) 2. Not shared; belonging to one person or group only. His wife owns the sole rights to the book. (เป็นเจ้าของเพียงหนึ่งเดียว) 3000
(n: sole pl soles) 1. The bottom part of the foot; the part on which one stands and walks. (หลังเท้า) 2. The part of a shoe, boot, etc., that touches the ground. He was wearing heavy boots with thick rubber soles. (พื้นรองเท้า) 6000

sorrow(n: sorrow pl sorrows) 1. [Something which causes] a feeling of sadness or grief, especially the loss of someone or something. I felt great sorrow over the death of my friend. He led a life filled with joys and sorrows. (ความเศร้าใจ) 6000

soul(n: soul pl souls) The spirit; the non-physical part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever. (วิญญาณ) 3000

suspicion(n: suspicion pl suspicions) 1. A feeling that someone is possibly guilty of a crime or of doing something wrong. Her strange behavior has aroused suspicion. 2. A feeling that something bad is likely or true. There has long been a suspicion that the painting is a copy. 3. A feeling of doubt. His story is so unlikely that it has raised some suspicion. (ความคลางแคลงใจ) 5000

wrinkle(n: wrinkle pl wrinkles) A small line or fold that appears on your skin as you grow older. (ริ้วรอย) 4000

narrator(n: narrator pl narrators) Someone who tells a story; a storyteller. (ผู้เล่าเรื่อง) 7000

(n: metaphor pl metaphors) A comparison between two unlike things that share similar qualities. A word or phrase for one is used to refer to the other in order to show or suggest that they are similar. The comparison is indirect in that it does not use the words "like" or "as". He was drowning in paperwork. He's a tiger when he's angry. (อุปมา) 7000

clue(n: clue pl clues) Something that helps a person find something, understand something, or solve a mystery or puzzle. (เบาะแส) 2000

enchant(v: enchant, enchants, enchanted, enchanting) 1. To attract and hold someone's attention by being interesting, pretty, etc.; to delight. The book has enchanted children for many years. (ทำให้หลงใหล) 2. To put a magic spell on. The story is about a wizard who enchants a princess. (ร่ายมนต์ใส่)
(adj: enchanted) 1. Very delighted; fascinated. 2. Under a spell; bewitched; magical.

herb(n: herb pl herbs) A plant or a part of a plant that is used as medicine or to give flavor to food. (สมุนไพร) 4000

myth(n: myth pl myths) 1. An idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true. It's a myth that money brings happiness. 2. A story that was told in an ancient culture, especially one dealing with gods, heroes etc. (นิทานปรัมปรา) 5000
(n: mythology, noncount) A collection of myths. We have been studying Greek mythology. (ตำนาน) 7000

hero(n: hero pl heroes) A person admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. (วีรชน)
(adj: heroic) Used to describe someone who acts like a hero or the kind of brave things that heroes do. (กล้าหาญ) 3000
'Hero' can refer to either a man or a woman, but it is often used to refer specifically to a man. The word for a woman who is brave and admired is 'heroine'.

frail(adj: frail, frailer, frailest) 1. Having less than a normal amount of strength or force; very weak, especially in health. A frail child/old man. (ขี้โรค) 2. Easily damaged or destroyed. A small and frail ship. (แบบบาง) 9000

sorceress(n: sorceress pl sorceresses) A woman who practices sorcery; a witch. (แม่มด)
(n: sorcery, noncount) 1. The use of magical powers that are obtained through evil spirits. (วิชาหมอผี) 2. Witchcraft or magic in general. (วิชาการใช้เวทมนตร์) 10000

potion(n: potion pl potions) A drink that is meant to have a special or magical effect on someone. The hero was given a magical potion that would make him fall in love with the first person he meets. (ยาน้ำ; ยาพิษ; ยาเสน่ห์) 8000