NCERT Textbook Chapter 13 - The Dear Departed, Class 10, English | EduRev Notes

Literature Reader Class 10

Class 10 : NCERT Textbook Chapter 13 - The Dear Departed, Class 10, English | EduRev Notes

 Page 1


Drama
D.1    The Dear Departed
byStanley Houghton
CBSE
135
1. Read an excerpt from the diary of a man of 72 years
As I sit here alone and waiting
I gaze at people passing me by.
I try to smile and reach out to them
But no one notices; no one waits.
They look to me like I am nothing-
Are they afraid to be seen saying "Hi" to an old 
man like me? 
Once my life, it's like a flower,
I had bloomed into a child.
Now, like the dying flower
 Waiting for my one day to come-
It will be then that I am gone,
And yet, I still would not have heard that simple word, "Hi"
That for so long my heart had desired.
What do you think is he feeling?
What situation do you think leads to people feeling so?
Can such people be helped? How?
2.  Read the news story given below.
India's elderly face growing neglect
By Tinku Ray 
BBC News, Delhi
There has been a steady rise recently in reports of cases of elderly being 
abused, harassed and abandoned in India. 
•
•
•
13 13
UNIT UNIT
Page 2


Drama
D.1    The Dear Departed
byStanley Houghton
CBSE
135
1. Read an excerpt from the diary of a man of 72 years
As I sit here alone and waiting
I gaze at people passing me by.
I try to smile and reach out to them
But no one notices; no one waits.
They look to me like I am nothing-
Are they afraid to be seen saying "Hi" to an old 
man like me? 
Once my life, it's like a flower,
I had bloomed into a child.
Now, like the dying flower
 Waiting for my one day to come-
It will be then that I am gone,
And yet, I still would not have heard that simple word, "Hi"
That for so long my heart had desired.
What do you think is he feeling?
What situation do you think leads to people feeling so?
Can such people be helped? How?
2.  Read the news story given below.
India's elderly face growing neglect
By Tinku Ray 
BBC News, Delhi
There has been a steady rise recently in reports of cases of elderly being 
abused, harassed and abandoned in India. 
•
•
•
13 13
UNIT UNIT
CBSE
Drama
136
Traditionally older people have been revered in India, signified by the touching 
of their feet by the younger generation. 
Prime ministers and Pesidents have almost always been senior citizens. 
Joint family systems - where three or more generations lived under one roof - 
were a strong support - network for the elderly. 
But more children are now leaving their parental homes to set up their own.
Discuss in groups: 
a) What are the reasons for the old people being "abused, harassed and 
abandoned" in India?
b) What are the problems faced by the old people as a result?
3. The play 'The Dear Departed' can be performed on the stage. The first step would 
be a dramatized reading of the play as a whole class activity. Later, your teacher 
will assign you roles which you will play after an audition. Later the play can be 
put up on stage. 
Characters
Sisters MRS. SLATER
MRS. JORDAN
Their Husbands HENRY SLATER
BEN JORDAN
VICTORTIA SLATER   A girl of ten
ABEL MERRYWEATHER Grandfather
increasing 
materialism 
Reasons for 
neglect of 
old people
Page 3


Drama
D.1    The Dear Departed
byStanley Houghton
CBSE
135
1. Read an excerpt from the diary of a man of 72 years
As I sit here alone and waiting
I gaze at people passing me by.
I try to smile and reach out to them
But no one notices; no one waits.
They look to me like I am nothing-
Are they afraid to be seen saying "Hi" to an old 
man like me? 
Once my life, it's like a flower,
I had bloomed into a child.
Now, like the dying flower
 Waiting for my one day to come-
It will be then that I am gone,
And yet, I still would not have heard that simple word, "Hi"
That for so long my heart had desired.
What do you think is he feeling?
What situation do you think leads to people feeling so?
Can such people be helped? How?
2.  Read the news story given below.
India's elderly face growing neglect
By Tinku Ray 
BBC News, Delhi
There has been a steady rise recently in reports of cases of elderly being 
abused, harassed and abandoned in India. 
•
•
•
13 13
UNIT UNIT
CBSE
Drama
136
Traditionally older people have been revered in India, signified by the touching 
of their feet by the younger generation. 
Prime ministers and Pesidents have almost always been senior citizens. 
Joint family systems - where three or more generations lived under one roof - 
were a strong support - network for the elderly. 
But more children are now leaving their parental homes to set up their own.
Discuss in groups: 
a) What are the reasons for the old people being "abused, harassed and 
abandoned" in India?
b) What are the problems faced by the old people as a result?
3. The play 'The Dear Departed' can be performed on the stage. The first step would 
be a dramatized reading of the play as a whole class activity. Later, your teacher 
will assign you roles which you will play after an audition. Later the play can be 
put up on stage. 
Characters
Sisters MRS. SLATER
MRS. JORDAN
Their Husbands HENRY SLATER
BEN JORDAN
VICTORTIA SLATER   A girl of ten
ABEL MERRYWEATHER Grandfather
increasing 
materialism 
Reasons for 
neglect of 
old people
CBSE
Drama
137
(The scene is the sitting room of a small house in a lower middle-class district of a 
provincial town. On the spectator's left is the window, with the blinds down. A sofa is in 
front of it. On his right is a fireplace with an armchair by it. In the middle of the wall facing 
the spectator is the door into the passage. To the left of the door a cheap, shabby chest 
of drawers, to the right a sideboard. In the middle of the room is a table, with chairs 
round it. Ornaments and a cheap American clock are on the mantelpiece, in the hearth 
a kettle. By the sideboard a pair of gaudy new carpet slippers. The table is partly laid for 
tea, and the necessaries for the meal are on the sideboard, as also are copies of an 
1 2
evening paper and of TIT-BITS  and PEARSON'S WEEKLY . Turning to the left 
through the door takes you to the front door; to the right, up-stairs. In the passage a hat-
stand is visible. When the curtain rises Mrs. Slater is seen laying the table. She is a 
vigorous, plump, red-faced,vulgar woman, prepared to do any amount of straight 
talking to get her own way. She is in black, but not in complete mourning. She listens for 
a moment and then goes to the window, opens it and calls into the street).
MRS. SLATER (sharply) Victoria, Victoria! D'ye hear? Come in, will you?
(MRS. SLATER closes window and puts the blind straight and then 
3
returns to her work at the table. VICTORIA, a precocious  girl 
often, dressed in colours, enters.)
4
MRS. SLATER : I'm amazed at you, Victoria; I really am. How you can gallivanting  
about in the street with your grandfather lying dead and cold 
upstairs, I don't know. Be off now, and change your dress before 
your Aunt Elizabeth and your Uncle Ben come. It would never do for 
5
them to find you in colours .
VICTORIA : What are they coming for? They haven't been here for ages.
MRS. SLATER : They're coming to talk over poor grandpa's affairs. Your father sent 
them a telegram as soon as we found he was dead. (A noise is 
heard.)
Good gracious, that's never them. (MRS. SLATER: hurries to the 
door and opens it.) No, thank goodness! It's only your father.
(HENRY SLATER, a stooping, heavy man with a drooping 
6
moustache, enters. He is wearing a black tailcoat , grey trousers, a 
black lie and a bowler hat. He carriers a little paper parcel.)
1 A British weekly magazine founded by George Newnes in 1881, which was in mass circulation 
in England. 
2 A British weekly magazine founded by Sir Cyril Pearson (1866-1921) in 
1890.
3 a person whose mental attitude is developed beyond his/ her age
4 go about seeking pleasure
5 wearing gay dress
6 a man's black coat worn for formal daytime occasions and having a long rounded and split tail
TIT-BITS- 
PEARSON'S WEEKLY - 
precocious - 
gallivanting - 
colours - 
tailcoat - 
Page 4


Drama
D.1    The Dear Departed
byStanley Houghton
CBSE
135
1. Read an excerpt from the diary of a man of 72 years
As I sit here alone and waiting
I gaze at people passing me by.
I try to smile and reach out to them
But no one notices; no one waits.
They look to me like I am nothing-
Are they afraid to be seen saying "Hi" to an old 
man like me? 
Once my life, it's like a flower,
I had bloomed into a child.
Now, like the dying flower
 Waiting for my one day to come-
It will be then that I am gone,
And yet, I still would not have heard that simple word, "Hi"
That for so long my heart had desired.
What do you think is he feeling?
What situation do you think leads to people feeling so?
Can such people be helped? How?
2.  Read the news story given below.
India's elderly face growing neglect
By Tinku Ray 
BBC News, Delhi
There has been a steady rise recently in reports of cases of elderly being 
abused, harassed and abandoned in India. 
•
•
•
13 13
UNIT UNIT
CBSE
Drama
136
Traditionally older people have been revered in India, signified by the touching 
of their feet by the younger generation. 
Prime ministers and Pesidents have almost always been senior citizens. 
Joint family systems - where three or more generations lived under one roof - 
were a strong support - network for the elderly. 
But more children are now leaving their parental homes to set up their own.
Discuss in groups: 
a) What are the reasons for the old people being "abused, harassed and 
abandoned" in India?
b) What are the problems faced by the old people as a result?
3. The play 'The Dear Departed' can be performed on the stage. The first step would 
be a dramatized reading of the play as a whole class activity. Later, your teacher 
will assign you roles which you will play after an audition. Later the play can be 
put up on stage. 
Characters
Sisters MRS. SLATER
MRS. JORDAN
Their Husbands HENRY SLATER
BEN JORDAN
VICTORTIA SLATER   A girl of ten
ABEL MERRYWEATHER Grandfather
increasing 
materialism 
Reasons for 
neglect of 
old people
CBSE
Drama
137
(The scene is the sitting room of a small house in a lower middle-class district of a 
provincial town. On the spectator's left is the window, with the blinds down. A sofa is in 
front of it. On his right is a fireplace with an armchair by it. In the middle of the wall facing 
the spectator is the door into the passage. To the left of the door a cheap, shabby chest 
of drawers, to the right a sideboard. In the middle of the room is a table, with chairs 
round it. Ornaments and a cheap American clock are on the mantelpiece, in the hearth 
a kettle. By the sideboard a pair of gaudy new carpet slippers. The table is partly laid for 
tea, and the necessaries for the meal are on the sideboard, as also are copies of an 
1 2
evening paper and of TIT-BITS  and PEARSON'S WEEKLY . Turning to the left 
through the door takes you to the front door; to the right, up-stairs. In the passage a hat-
stand is visible. When the curtain rises Mrs. Slater is seen laying the table. She is a 
vigorous, plump, red-faced,vulgar woman, prepared to do any amount of straight 
talking to get her own way. She is in black, but not in complete mourning. She listens for 
a moment and then goes to the window, opens it and calls into the street).
MRS. SLATER (sharply) Victoria, Victoria! D'ye hear? Come in, will you?
(MRS. SLATER closes window and puts the blind straight and then 
3
returns to her work at the table. VICTORIA, a precocious  girl 
often, dressed in colours, enters.)
4
MRS. SLATER : I'm amazed at you, Victoria; I really am. How you can gallivanting  
about in the street with your grandfather lying dead and cold 
upstairs, I don't know. Be off now, and change your dress before 
your Aunt Elizabeth and your Uncle Ben come. It would never do for 
5
them to find you in colours .
VICTORIA : What are they coming for? They haven't been here for ages.
MRS. SLATER : They're coming to talk over poor grandpa's affairs. Your father sent 
them a telegram as soon as we found he was dead. (A noise is 
heard.)
Good gracious, that's never them. (MRS. SLATER: hurries to the 
door and opens it.) No, thank goodness! It's only your father.
(HENRY SLATER, a stooping, heavy man with a drooping 
6
moustache, enters. He is wearing a black tailcoat , grey trousers, a 
black lie and a bowler hat. He carriers a little paper parcel.)
1 A British weekly magazine founded by George Newnes in 1881, which was in mass circulation 
in England. 
2 A British weekly magazine founded by Sir Cyril Pearson (1866-1921) in 
1890.
3 a person whose mental attitude is developed beyond his/ her age
4 go about seeking pleasure
5 wearing gay dress
6 a man's black coat worn for formal daytime occasions and having a long rounded and split tail
TIT-BITS- 
PEARSON'S WEEKLY - 
precocious - 
gallivanting - 
colours - 
tailcoat - 
CBSE
Drama
138
HENRY : Not come yet, eh?
MRS. SLATER : You can see they haven't, can't you? Now, Victoria, be off upstairs 
and that quick. Put your white frock on with a black sash.
(VICTORIA goes out.)
MRS. SLATER : (to HENRY): I'm not satisfied, but it's the best we can do till our new 
7
black's ready , and Ben and Elizabeth will never have thought 
about mourning yet, so we'll outshine them there-
(HENRY sits in the armchair by the fire.)
Get your boots off, HENRY; Elizabeth's that prying she notices the 
least speck of dirt.
HENRY : I'm wondering if they'll come at all. When you an Elizabeth quarreled 
she said she'd never set foot in your house again.
MRS. SLATER : She'll come fast enough after her share of what grandfather's left. 
You know how hard she can be when she likes. Where she gets it 
from I can't tell. (MRS. SLATER unwraps the parcel HENRY has 
brought. It contains an apple pie, which she puts on a dish on the 
table.)
HENRY : I suppose it's in the family.
MRS. SLATER : What do you mean by that. Henry Slater?
HENRY : I was referring to your father, not to you. Where are my slippers?
MRS. SLATER : In the kitchen; but you want a new pair, those old ones are nearly 
worn out. (Nearly breaking down.)You don't seem to realize what it's 
costing me to bear up like I am doing. My heart's fit to break when I 
see the little trifles that belonged to grandfather lying around, and 
think he'll never use them again. (Briskly)
Here! You'd better wear these slippers of grandfather's now. It's 
lucky he'd just got a new pair-
HENRY : They'll be very small for me, my dear.
MRS. SLATER : They'll stretch, won't they? I'm not going to have them wasted. (She 
has finished laying the table.)
8
Henry, I've been thinking about that bureau of grandfather's that's 
in his bedroom. You know I always wanted to have it after he died.
7 till our new till a new dress of mourning is ready
8 a writing desk with drawers
black's ready - 
bureau - 
Page 5


Drama
D.1    The Dear Departed
byStanley Houghton
CBSE
135
1. Read an excerpt from the diary of a man of 72 years
As I sit here alone and waiting
I gaze at people passing me by.
I try to smile and reach out to them
But no one notices; no one waits.
They look to me like I am nothing-
Are they afraid to be seen saying "Hi" to an old 
man like me? 
Once my life, it's like a flower,
I had bloomed into a child.
Now, like the dying flower
 Waiting for my one day to come-
It will be then that I am gone,
And yet, I still would not have heard that simple word, "Hi"
That for so long my heart had desired.
What do you think is he feeling?
What situation do you think leads to people feeling so?
Can such people be helped? How?
2.  Read the news story given below.
India's elderly face growing neglect
By Tinku Ray 
BBC News, Delhi
There has been a steady rise recently in reports of cases of elderly being 
abused, harassed and abandoned in India. 
•
•
•
13 13
UNIT UNIT
CBSE
Drama
136
Traditionally older people have been revered in India, signified by the touching 
of their feet by the younger generation. 
Prime ministers and Pesidents have almost always been senior citizens. 
Joint family systems - where three or more generations lived under one roof - 
were a strong support - network for the elderly. 
But more children are now leaving their parental homes to set up their own.
Discuss in groups: 
a) What are the reasons for the old people being "abused, harassed and 
abandoned" in India?
b) What are the problems faced by the old people as a result?
3. The play 'The Dear Departed' can be performed on the stage. The first step would 
be a dramatized reading of the play as a whole class activity. Later, your teacher 
will assign you roles which you will play after an audition. Later the play can be 
put up on stage. 
Characters
Sisters MRS. SLATER
MRS. JORDAN
Their Husbands HENRY SLATER
BEN JORDAN
VICTORTIA SLATER   A girl of ten
ABEL MERRYWEATHER Grandfather
increasing 
materialism 
Reasons for 
neglect of 
old people
CBSE
Drama
137
(The scene is the sitting room of a small house in a lower middle-class district of a 
provincial town. On the spectator's left is the window, with the blinds down. A sofa is in 
front of it. On his right is a fireplace with an armchair by it. In the middle of the wall facing 
the spectator is the door into the passage. To the left of the door a cheap, shabby chest 
of drawers, to the right a sideboard. In the middle of the room is a table, with chairs 
round it. Ornaments and a cheap American clock are on the mantelpiece, in the hearth 
a kettle. By the sideboard a pair of gaudy new carpet slippers. The table is partly laid for 
tea, and the necessaries for the meal are on the sideboard, as also are copies of an 
1 2
evening paper and of TIT-BITS  and PEARSON'S WEEKLY . Turning to the left 
through the door takes you to the front door; to the right, up-stairs. In the passage a hat-
stand is visible. When the curtain rises Mrs. Slater is seen laying the table. She is a 
vigorous, plump, red-faced,vulgar woman, prepared to do any amount of straight 
talking to get her own way. She is in black, but not in complete mourning. She listens for 
a moment and then goes to the window, opens it and calls into the street).
MRS. SLATER (sharply) Victoria, Victoria! D'ye hear? Come in, will you?
(MRS. SLATER closes window and puts the blind straight and then 
3
returns to her work at the table. VICTORIA, a precocious  girl 
often, dressed in colours, enters.)
4
MRS. SLATER : I'm amazed at you, Victoria; I really am. How you can gallivanting  
about in the street with your grandfather lying dead and cold 
upstairs, I don't know. Be off now, and change your dress before 
your Aunt Elizabeth and your Uncle Ben come. It would never do for 
5
them to find you in colours .
VICTORIA : What are they coming for? They haven't been here for ages.
MRS. SLATER : They're coming to talk over poor grandpa's affairs. Your father sent 
them a telegram as soon as we found he was dead. (A noise is 
heard.)
Good gracious, that's never them. (MRS. SLATER: hurries to the 
door and opens it.) No, thank goodness! It's only your father.
(HENRY SLATER, a stooping, heavy man with a drooping 
6
moustache, enters. He is wearing a black tailcoat , grey trousers, a 
black lie and a bowler hat. He carriers a little paper parcel.)
1 A British weekly magazine founded by George Newnes in 1881, which was in mass circulation 
in England. 
2 A British weekly magazine founded by Sir Cyril Pearson (1866-1921) in 
1890.
3 a person whose mental attitude is developed beyond his/ her age
4 go about seeking pleasure
5 wearing gay dress
6 a man's black coat worn for formal daytime occasions and having a long rounded and split tail
TIT-BITS- 
PEARSON'S WEEKLY - 
precocious - 
gallivanting - 
colours - 
tailcoat - 
CBSE
Drama
138
HENRY : Not come yet, eh?
MRS. SLATER : You can see they haven't, can't you? Now, Victoria, be off upstairs 
and that quick. Put your white frock on with a black sash.
(VICTORIA goes out.)
MRS. SLATER : (to HENRY): I'm not satisfied, but it's the best we can do till our new 
7
black's ready , and Ben and Elizabeth will never have thought 
about mourning yet, so we'll outshine them there-
(HENRY sits in the armchair by the fire.)
Get your boots off, HENRY; Elizabeth's that prying she notices the 
least speck of dirt.
HENRY : I'm wondering if they'll come at all. When you an Elizabeth quarreled 
she said she'd never set foot in your house again.
MRS. SLATER : She'll come fast enough after her share of what grandfather's left. 
You know how hard she can be when she likes. Where she gets it 
from I can't tell. (MRS. SLATER unwraps the parcel HENRY has 
brought. It contains an apple pie, which she puts on a dish on the 
table.)
HENRY : I suppose it's in the family.
MRS. SLATER : What do you mean by that. Henry Slater?
HENRY : I was referring to your father, not to you. Where are my slippers?
MRS. SLATER : In the kitchen; but you want a new pair, those old ones are nearly 
worn out. (Nearly breaking down.)You don't seem to realize what it's 
costing me to bear up like I am doing. My heart's fit to break when I 
see the little trifles that belonged to grandfather lying around, and 
think he'll never use them again. (Briskly)
Here! You'd better wear these slippers of grandfather's now. It's 
lucky he'd just got a new pair-
HENRY : They'll be very small for me, my dear.
MRS. SLATER : They'll stretch, won't they? I'm not going to have them wasted. (She 
has finished laying the table.)
8
Henry, I've been thinking about that bureau of grandfather's that's 
in his bedroom. You know I always wanted to have it after he died.
7 till our new till a new dress of mourning is ready
8 a writing desk with drawers
black's ready - 
bureau - 
CBSE
Drama
139
HENRY : You must arrange with Elizabeth when you're dividing things up.
MRS. SLATER : Elizabeth's that sharp she'll see I'm after it, and she'll drive a hard 
9
bargain over it. Eh, what it is to have a low money grubbing spirit!
HENRY : Perhaps she's got her eye on the bureau as well.
MRS. SLATER : She's never been here since grandfather bought it. If it was only 
down here instead of in his room, she'd never guess it wasn't our 
own.
HENRY : (startled) Amelia! (He rises.)
MRS. SLATER : Henry, why shouldn't we bring that bureau down here now? We 
could do it before they come.
HENRY(stupefied) : I wouldn't care to.
MRS. SLATER : Don't look so daft. Why not?
HENRY : It doesn't seem delicate, somehow.
MRS. SLATER : We could put that shabby old chest of drawers upstairs where
the bureau is now. Elizabeth could have that and welcome.I've 
always wanted to get rid of it. (She points to the drawers.)
HENRY : Suppose they come when we're doing it.
MRS. SLATER : I'll fasten the front door. Get your coat off. Henry; we'll change it. 
(MRS. SLATER goes out to fasten the front door. HENRY takes his 
coat off . MRS. SLATER reappears.)
MRS. SLATER : I'll run up and move the chairs out of the way.
(VICTORIA appears, dressed according to her mother's 
instructions.)
VICTORIA : Will you fasten my frock up the back, mother?
MP.S.SLATER : I'm busy; get your father to do it.
(MRS. SLATER: hurries upstairs, and HENRY fastens the frock.)
VICTORIA : What have you got your coat off for, Father?
HENRY : Mother and me is going to bring grandfather's bureau down here.
VICTORIA : (after a moment's thought.): Are we pinching it before Aunt Elizabeth 
comes?
9 to argue in an aggressive manner and force somebody to agree on the best 
possible arrangement.
drive a hard bargain - 
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