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Read carefully the passage given below and then answer the questions (a), (b), and (c) that follow :

You seemed at first to take no notice of your school-fellows, or rather to set yourself against them because they were strangers to you. They knew as little of you as you did of them, so that this would have been reason for their keeping aloof from you as well, which you would have felt as a hardship. Learn never to conceive a prejudice against others because you know nothing of them. It is bad reasoning and makes enemies of half the world. Do not think or them till they behave ill to you; and then strive to avoid the faults which you see in them. This will disarm their hostility sooner than pique or resentment or complaint. I thought you were disposed to criticize the dress of some of the boys as not so good as yours. Never despite any one for anything that he cannot help never at all, for his poverty. I would wish you to keep up appearances yourself as defense against the idle sneers of the world, but I would not have you value yourself upon them. I hope you will neither be the dupe nor victim of vulgar prejudices. Instead of saying above, “Never despise anyone for anything that he cannot help” --- I might have said, “Never despise anyone that you are glad and congratulate yourself on their familiar misfortunes. The sense of inferiority in others, without this indirect appeal to our selflove, is a painful feeling, and not an exulting one.

You complain since, that the boys laugh at you and do not care about, and that you are not related as you were at home. My dear, that is one chief reason you may meet with in life. You cannot always be with me, and perhaps it is as well that you cannot. But you must not expect others to show the same concern about you as I should. You have hitherto been a spoilt child, and have been used to have your own way a good dela, both in the house and among your playfellows, with whom you were too fond of being a leader but you have good nature and good sense, and will get the better of yourself, and who have something else to attend to besides humouring your whims and fancies; and you feel this as a repulse or piece of injustice. But the first lesson to learn is that there are other people in the world besides yourself.

There are a number of boys in the school where you are, whose amusements and pursuits (whatever they may be) are and ought to be of as much consequence to them as yours can be to you, and to which therefore, you must give yourself, you will only expose yourself to be the more thwarted and laughed at. True equality is the only true morality or true wisdom. Remember always that you are but one among others, and you can hardly mistake your place in society. In your father’s house you might do as pleased: in the world, you will find competitors at every turn. You are not born a King’s son to destroy or dictate to millions; you can only expect to share their fate, or settle your differences amicably with them. You already find it so at school; and I wish you to be reconciled to your situation as soon with as little pain as you can.

Five words or phrases are given below. Give the meaning of each used in the passage:

(i)  think ill = think bad (of person)

(ii)  disarm = to give up your or take away someone’s weapon, demilitarize.

(iii)  despise = hate, detest.

(iv)  thwarted = frustrated, foiled.

(v)  amicably = in a friendly way.

Answer the following questions in your own words:

i.  The passage is addressed to a young school boy by an elderly person of great experience. What could be the relation between the two? Which sentence that gives the clue?

ii.  Why do the school fellows after joining a new school keep themselves away from one another?

iii.  How do we make enemies of half the world? 

iv.  Explain : “The first lesson to learn is that there are other people in the world besides yourself.

v.  What is the idea implied when the writer says , “You are not born a king’s son?”

vi.  How can differences be settled amicably? Write a sentence suggesting one or two ways of setting differences.

In not more than 60 words of your own describe the main points of the advice given:

1 Answer

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(i)  The relation between the two is of father and son. The sentence “In your father’s house you might do as you pleased” gives the clue.

(ii)  They keep themselves away from one another at the time of joining a new school as no one knows about the others.

(iii)  It is somewhat psychological that we grow some prejudices or form ill-founded opinions against those whom we do not know. The other party also does the same. Thus we lose the opportunity of befriending most of the people.

(iv)  One should not give oneself more airs of self-importance. In a big school, there are many boys with various interests and jobs. It is ridiculous to think that everybody will give to attend to you. So it is better to realize that you are not the only person in the world.

(v)  A king’s son can do whatever he pleases. At one’s home one can do, to a certain extent, what one pleases. But in a school, amid a larger group, one has to adjust oneself in the group. One has to share one’s joys and problems with others.

(vi)  Differences can be settled amicably by meeting with one another, discussing, understanding other’s point of view and accepting one’s mistakes, if any.

One should not form prejudices against others without knowing about them fully well. Try to avoid other’s fault. Never look down upon anyone for his misfortunes. Do not take airs of self-importance.

Consider everyone equally important. Remember you are one among others. You have to adjust with the group and share your joys and problems with them.

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