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NCERT Solutions - The Bishop’s Candlesticks Notes | Study English Class 9 - Class 9

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Q1. Complete the following paragraph about the theme of the play in pairs.

The play deals with a ________ and ________ Bishop who is always ready to lend a ________ hand to anyone in distress. A ________ breaks into the Bishop’s house and is ________ and warmed. The benevolence of the Bishop somewhat
 ________ the convict, but, when he sees the silver candlesticks, he ________ them, and runs away. However, he is ________ and brought back. He expects to go back to jail, but the Bishop informs the police they are a ________ .
 The convict is ________ by this kindness of the Bishop and before he leaves he seeks the priest’s blessing.

Ans : convict, the, helping, convict, clothed, softens, steals, captured, gift, reformed.

2. Working in pairs, give the antonyms of the following words : 

kind- hearted, unscrupulous, forgiving, stern, benevolent, credulous, generous, pious, suspicious, sympathetic, understanding, wild, innocent, penitent, clever, brutal, cunning, caring, sentimental, trusting, protective, concerned, honourable, embittered

Ans :

  1. kind-hearted - cruel
  2. benevolent - malevolent, hard-hearted
  3. suspicious - open
  4. innocent - clever
  5. wild - generous
  6. sympathetic - embittered
  7. cunning - simple
  8. protective - aggressive
  9. unscrupulous - moral
  10. credulous - incredulous
  11. caring - careless
  12. concerned - indifferent
  13.  forgiving - resentful
  14. generous - miserly 
  15. understanding - misunderstanding
  16.  clever - innocent
  17. sentimental - practical
  18. honourable - dishonourable
  19. stern - gentle
  20. pious - irreligious, unholy
  21. brutal - humane
  22. trusting - suspicious
  23. embittered - forgiving 

 3. Select words from the box from question 2 to describe the characters in the play as revealed by the following lines from the play.


Lines from the Play


Quality revealed


“You told him she was feeling poorly, did you? And so my brother is to be kept out of bed, and go without his supper because you told him she was feeling poorly.”




.....  “take my comforter, it will keep you warm,”




“If people lie to me they are poorer, not L”




“You are like a child. 1 can’t trust you out of my sight. No sooner my back is turned than you get that minx Marie to sell the silver salt-cellars”.




“My dear there is so much suffering in the world, and 1 can do so very little.”




“My mother gave them to me on - on her death bed just after you were born, and ....and she asked me to keep them in remembrance of her, so I would like to keep them.




“I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff.”




“You have your soul to lose, my son.”




“Give me food or I'll stick my knife in you both and help myself.”




“... they have made me what I am, they have made me a thief. God curse them alL”




“Why the devil are you kind to me? What do you want?




“1 - I - didn't believe there was any good in the world ...but somehow I - ] - know you're good, and - and it's a queer thing to ask, but could you, would you bless me before I go?”




Ans :

1. Speaker : Persome
Quality revealed : stern, suspicious

2. Speaker : Bishop
Quality revealed : protective, caring

3. Speaker : Bishop
Quality revealed : pious, trusting

4. Speaker : Persome
Quality revealed : caring, concerned

5. Speaker : Bishop
Quality revealed : benevolent, sympathetic

6. Speaker : Bishop
Quality revealed : sentimental

7. Speaker : Convict
Quality revealed : suspicious, clever

8. Speaker : Bishop
Quality revealed : sympathetic

9. Speaker : Convict
Quality revealed : wild, cruel

10. Speaker : Convict
Quality revealed : embittered

11. Speaker : Convict
Quality revealed : suspicious

12. Speaker : Convict
Quality revealed : trusting, credulous

Q4. Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) Do you think the Bishop was right in selling the salt-cellars? Why / Why not?

Ans : Looking at Bishop’s nature and profession, it is obvious that magnanimity and humanity scores over personal preferences. Persome may cherish the salt-cellar but when it comes to helping others, there is no hesitation on Bishops. So he sells the salt-cellars to help Mere Gringoire, who could not pay her rent.

(b) Why does Persome feel the people pretend to be sick?

Ans : Persome is protective and wishes to maintain the household. She is pained to see that the entire humanity is turning upon them for charity and benevolence. She feels people like Marie’s mother pretend to be sick and take undue advantage of the Bishop.

(c) Who was Jeanette? What was the cause of her death? (CBSE 2010)

Ans. Jeanette was the convict’s wife. Jeanette was ill, there was no food and the convict had no money. So out of desperation, he stole food. The convict was caught and put in prison. Jeanette died due to illness and starvation.

(d) The convict says, “I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff”. What does he mean?

Ans. The convict has suffered, he is embittered, he is experienced. So he couldn’t be tricked. He ordered the Bishop to stay put because he couldn’t trust anyone not to report to the police and get him arrested.

(e) Why was the convict sent to the prison? What was the punishment given to him?

Ans. The convict was caught red-handed stealing a loaf of bread. He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.

(f) Do you think the punishment given to the convict was justified? Why / Why not? Why is the convict eager to reach Paris?

Ans. No, the punishment was not justified because stealing a bread was not such a brutal act as to deserve such severe punishment. The convict was eager to reach Paris since nobody knew him there and he wanted to start a fresh life there.

(g) Before leaving, the convict asks the Bishop to bless him. What brought about this change in him?

Ans. The Bishop’s benevolent, kind and caring attitude had brought about a change in the convict. That is why before leaving for Paris, he asks the Bishop to bless him.

Q5. Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow by choosing the correct options.

(A) Monseigneur, the Bishop is a ... a hem!

(a) Why does Persome not complete the sentence?
(i) She used to stammer while speaking.
(ii) She was about to praise the Bishop.
(iii) She did not wish to criticise the Bishop in front of Marie.
(iv) She had a habit of passing such remarks.

Ans : (iii)

(b) Why is she angry with the Bishop?
(i) The Bishop has sold her salt-cellars.
(ii) The Bishop has gone to visit Mere Gringoire.
(iii) He showed extra concern for Marie.
(iv) She disliked the Bishop.

Ans. (i)

(B) She sent little Jean to Monseigneur to ask for help.

(a) Who sent little Jean to the Bishop?
(i) Mere Gringoire
(ii) Marie
(iii) Persome
(iv) Marie’s mother

Ans. (i)

(b) Why did she send Jean to the Bishop?
(i) So that he could pray for her.
(ii) As she knew that he was a generous person.
(iii) As she was a greedy woman.
(iv) As she was a poor woman.

Ans. (ii)

(C) I offered to take her in here for a day or two, but she seemed to think it might distress you.

(a) The Bishop wanted to take Mere Gringoire in because _________.
(i) She was sick
(ii) She had no money
(iii) She was unable to pay the rent of her house
(iv) She was a close friend of Persome.

Ans. (iii)

(b) Persome would be distressed on Mere Gringoire’s being taken in because _______
(i) She did not want to help anyone.
(ii) She felt that Mere Gringoire was taking undue advantage of the Bishop.
(iii) She was a self-centred person.
(iv) She would be put to a great deal of inconvenience.

Ans. (ii)

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