NCERT Textbook - The Browning Version Class 11 Notes | EduRev

English Class 11

Class 11 : NCERT Textbook - The Browning Version Class 11 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


50 HORNBILL
6 .  The Browning Version
Terence Rattigan
Notice these expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
³ remove ³ kept in ³ sadist
³ slackers ³ got carried away ³ shrivelled up
³ muck ³ cut
This is an excerpt from The Browning Version*. The scene is set
in a school. Frank is young and Crocker-Harris, middle-aged. Both
are masters. Taplow is a boy of sixteen who has come in to do
extra work for Crocker-Harris. But the latter has not yet arrived,
and Frank finds Taplow waiting.
FRANK: Do I know you?
TAPLOW: No, sir.
FRANK: What’s your name?
TAPLOW: Taplow.
FRANK: Taplow! No, I don’t. You’re not a scientist I gather?
TAPLOW: No, sir, I’m still in the lower fifth. I can’t specialise
until next term — that’s to say, if I’ve got my
remove all right.
FRANK: Don’t you know if you’ve got your remove?
TAPLOW: No sir, Mr Crocker-Harris doesn’t tell us the results
like the other masters.
* The reference within the play of Robert Browning’s translation of the Greek
tragedy, Agamemnon
2019-20
Page 2


50 HORNBILL
6 .  The Browning Version
Terence Rattigan
Notice these expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
³ remove ³ kept in ³ sadist
³ slackers ³ got carried away ³ shrivelled up
³ muck ³ cut
This is an excerpt from The Browning Version*. The scene is set
in a school. Frank is young and Crocker-Harris, middle-aged. Both
are masters. Taplow is a boy of sixteen who has come in to do
extra work for Crocker-Harris. But the latter has not yet arrived,
and Frank finds Taplow waiting.
FRANK: Do I know you?
TAPLOW: No, sir.
FRANK: What’s your name?
TAPLOW: Taplow.
FRANK: Taplow! No, I don’t. You’re not a scientist I gather?
TAPLOW: No, sir, I’m still in the lower fifth. I can’t specialise
until next term — that’s to say, if I’ve got my
remove all right.
FRANK: Don’t you know if you’ve got your remove?
TAPLOW: No sir, Mr Crocker-Harris doesn’t tell us the results
like the other masters.
* The reference within the play of Robert Browning’s translation of the Greek
tragedy, Agamemnon
2019-20
THE BROWNING VERSION 51
FRANK: Why not?
TAPLOW: Well, you know what he’s like, sir.
FRANK: I believe there is a rule that form results should
only be announced by the headmaster on the last
day of term.
TAPLOW: Yes — but who else pays attention to it — except
Mr Crocker-Harris?
FRANK: I don’t, I admit — but that’s no criterion. So you’ve
got to wait until tomorrow to know your fate, have
you?
TAPLOW: Yes, sir.
FRANK: Supposing the answer is favourable — what then?
TAPLOW: Oh — science, sir, of course.
FRANK: (sadly) Yes. We get all the slackers.
TAPLOW: (protestingly) I’m extremely interested in science, sir.
FRANK: Are you? I’m not. Not, at least, in the science I
have to teach.
TAPLOW: Well, anyway, sir, it’s a good deal more exciting
than this muck (indicating his book).
FRANK: What is this muck?
TAPLOW: Aeschylus, sir. The Agamemnon.
FRANK: And your considered view is that the Agamemnon
is muck?
TAPLOW: Well, no, sir. I don’t think the play is muck —
exactly. I suppose, in a way, it’s rather a good
plot, really, a wife murdering her husband and all
that. I only meant the way it’s taught to us — just
a lot of Greek words strung together and fifty lines
if you get them wrong.
FRANK: You sound a little bitter, Taplow.
TAPLOW: I am rather, sir.
FRANK: Kept in, eh?
TAPLOW: No, sir. Extra work.
FRANK: Extra work — on the last day of school?
2019-20
Page 3


50 HORNBILL
6 .  The Browning Version
Terence Rattigan
Notice these expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
³ remove ³ kept in ³ sadist
³ slackers ³ got carried away ³ shrivelled up
³ muck ³ cut
This is an excerpt from The Browning Version*. The scene is set
in a school. Frank is young and Crocker-Harris, middle-aged. Both
are masters. Taplow is a boy of sixteen who has come in to do
extra work for Crocker-Harris. But the latter has not yet arrived,
and Frank finds Taplow waiting.
FRANK: Do I know you?
TAPLOW: No, sir.
FRANK: What’s your name?
TAPLOW: Taplow.
FRANK: Taplow! No, I don’t. You’re not a scientist I gather?
TAPLOW: No, sir, I’m still in the lower fifth. I can’t specialise
until next term — that’s to say, if I’ve got my
remove all right.
FRANK: Don’t you know if you’ve got your remove?
TAPLOW: No sir, Mr Crocker-Harris doesn’t tell us the results
like the other masters.
* The reference within the play of Robert Browning’s translation of the Greek
tragedy, Agamemnon
2019-20
THE BROWNING VERSION 51
FRANK: Why not?
TAPLOW: Well, you know what he’s like, sir.
FRANK: I believe there is a rule that form results should
only be announced by the headmaster on the last
day of term.
TAPLOW: Yes — but who else pays attention to it — except
Mr Crocker-Harris?
FRANK: I don’t, I admit — but that’s no criterion. So you’ve
got to wait until tomorrow to know your fate, have
you?
TAPLOW: Yes, sir.
FRANK: Supposing the answer is favourable — what then?
TAPLOW: Oh — science, sir, of course.
FRANK: (sadly) Yes. We get all the slackers.
TAPLOW: (protestingly) I’m extremely interested in science, sir.
FRANK: Are you? I’m not. Not, at least, in the science I
have to teach.
TAPLOW: Well, anyway, sir, it’s a good deal more exciting
than this muck (indicating his book).
FRANK: What is this muck?
TAPLOW: Aeschylus, sir. The Agamemnon.
FRANK: And your considered view is that the Agamemnon
is muck?
TAPLOW: Well, no, sir. I don’t think the play is muck —
exactly. I suppose, in a way, it’s rather a good
plot, really, a wife murdering her husband and all
that. I only meant the way it’s taught to us — just
a lot of Greek words strung together and fifty lines
if you get them wrong.
FRANK: You sound a little bitter, Taplow.
TAPLOW: I am rather, sir.
FRANK: Kept in, eh?
TAPLOW: No, sir. Extra work.
FRANK: Extra work — on the last day of school?
2019-20
52 HORNBILL
TAPLOW: Yes, sir, and I might be playing golf. You’d think
he’d have enough to do anyway himself,
considering he’s leaving tomorrow for good —
but oh no, I missed a day last week when I
was ill — so here I am — and look at the
weather, sir.
FRANK: Bad luck. Still there’s one comfort. You’re pretty
well certain to get your remove tomorrow for being
a good boy in taking extra work.
TAPLOW: Well, I’m not so sure, sir. That would be true of
the ordinary masters, all right. They just wouldn’t
dare not to give a chap a remove after his taking
extra work. But those sort of rules don’t apply to
the Crock — Mr Crocker-Harris. I asked him
yesterday outright if he’d given me a remove and
do you know what he said, sir?
FRANK: No. What?
TAPLOW: (imitating a very gentle, rather throaty voice) “My
dear Taplow, I have given you exactly what  you
deserve. No less; and certainly no more.” Do you
know sir, I think he may have marked me down,
rather than up, for taking extra work. I mean, the
man’s hardly human. (He breaks off quickly.)
Sorry, sir. Have I gone too far?
FRANK: Yes. Much too far.
TAPLOW: Sorry, sir. I got carried away.
FRANK: Evidently. (He picks up a newspaper and opens it) —
Er Taplow.
TAPLOW: Yes, sir?
FRANK: What was that Crocker-Harris said to you? Just —
er — repeat it, would  you?
TAPLOW: (imitating again) “My dear Taplow, I have given
you exactly what you deserve. No less; and
certainly no more.”
FRANK: (looking severe) Not in the least like him. Read
your nice Aeschylus and be quiet.
TAPLOW: (with dislike) Aeschylus.
2019-20
Page 4


50 HORNBILL
6 .  The Browning Version
Terence Rattigan
Notice these expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
³ remove ³ kept in ³ sadist
³ slackers ³ got carried away ³ shrivelled up
³ muck ³ cut
This is an excerpt from The Browning Version*. The scene is set
in a school. Frank is young and Crocker-Harris, middle-aged. Both
are masters. Taplow is a boy of sixteen who has come in to do
extra work for Crocker-Harris. But the latter has not yet arrived,
and Frank finds Taplow waiting.
FRANK: Do I know you?
TAPLOW: No, sir.
FRANK: What’s your name?
TAPLOW: Taplow.
FRANK: Taplow! No, I don’t. You’re not a scientist I gather?
TAPLOW: No, sir, I’m still in the lower fifth. I can’t specialise
until next term — that’s to say, if I’ve got my
remove all right.
FRANK: Don’t you know if you’ve got your remove?
TAPLOW: No sir, Mr Crocker-Harris doesn’t tell us the results
like the other masters.
* The reference within the play of Robert Browning’s translation of the Greek
tragedy, Agamemnon
2019-20
THE BROWNING VERSION 51
FRANK: Why not?
TAPLOW: Well, you know what he’s like, sir.
FRANK: I believe there is a rule that form results should
only be announced by the headmaster on the last
day of term.
TAPLOW: Yes — but who else pays attention to it — except
Mr Crocker-Harris?
FRANK: I don’t, I admit — but that’s no criterion. So you’ve
got to wait until tomorrow to know your fate, have
you?
TAPLOW: Yes, sir.
FRANK: Supposing the answer is favourable — what then?
TAPLOW: Oh — science, sir, of course.
FRANK: (sadly) Yes. We get all the slackers.
TAPLOW: (protestingly) I’m extremely interested in science, sir.
FRANK: Are you? I’m not. Not, at least, in the science I
have to teach.
TAPLOW: Well, anyway, sir, it’s a good deal more exciting
than this muck (indicating his book).
FRANK: What is this muck?
TAPLOW: Aeschylus, sir. The Agamemnon.
FRANK: And your considered view is that the Agamemnon
is muck?
TAPLOW: Well, no, sir. I don’t think the play is muck —
exactly. I suppose, in a way, it’s rather a good
plot, really, a wife murdering her husband and all
that. I only meant the way it’s taught to us — just
a lot of Greek words strung together and fifty lines
if you get them wrong.
FRANK: You sound a little bitter, Taplow.
TAPLOW: I am rather, sir.
FRANK: Kept in, eh?
TAPLOW: No, sir. Extra work.
FRANK: Extra work — on the last day of school?
2019-20
52 HORNBILL
TAPLOW: Yes, sir, and I might be playing golf. You’d think
he’d have enough to do anyway himself,
considering he’s leaving tomorrow for good —
but oh no, I missed a day last week when I
was ill — so here I am — and look at the
weather, sir.
FRANK: Bad luck. Still there’s one comfort. You’re pretty
well certain to get your remove tomorrow for being
a good boy in taking extra work.
TAPLOW: Well, I’m not so sure, sir. That would be true of
the ordinary masters, all right. They just wouldn’t
dare not to give a chap a remove after his taking
extra work. But those sort of rules don’t apply to
the Crock — Mr Crocker-Harris. I asked him
yesterday outright if he’d given me a remove and
do you know what he said, sir?
FRANK: No. What?
TAPLOW: (imitating a very gentle, rather throaty voice) “My
dear Taplow, I have given you exactly what  you
deserve. No less; and certainly no more.” Do you
know sir, I think he may have marked me down,
rather than up, for taking extra work. I mean, the
man’s hardly human. (He breaks off quickly.)
Sorry, sir. Have I gone too far?
FRANK: Yes. Much too far.
TAPLOW: Sorry, sir. I got carried away.
FRANK: Evidently. (He picks up a newspaper and opens it) —
Er Taplow.
TAPLOW: Yes, sir?
FRANK: What was that Crocker-Harris said to you? Just —
er — repeat it, would  you?
TAPLOW: (imitating again) “My dear Taplow, I have given
you exactly what you deserve. No less; and
certainly no more.”
FRANK: (looking severe) Not in the least like him. Read
your nice Aeschylus and be quiet.
TAPLOW: (with dislike) Aeschylus.
2019-20
THE BROWNING VERSION 53
FRANK: Look, what time did Mr Crocker-Harris tell you to
be here?
TAPLOW: Six-thirty, sir.
FRANK: Well, he’s ten minutes late. Why don’t you cut?
You could still play golf before lock-up.
TAPLOW: (really shocked) Oh, no, I couldn’t cut. Cut the
Crock — Mr Crocker-Harris? I shouldn’t think it’s
ever been done in the whole time he’s been here.
God knows what would happen if I did. He’d
probably follow me home, or something...
FRANK: I must admit I envy him the effect he seems to
have on you boys in the form. You all seem scared
to death of him. What does he do — beat you all,
or something?
TAPLOW: Good Lord, no. He’s not a sadist, like one or two
of the others.
FRANK: I beg your pardon?
TAPLOW: A sadist, sir, is someone who gets pleasure out of
giving pain.
FRANK: Indeed? But I think you went on to say that some
other masters...
TAPLOW: Well, of course, they are, sir. I won’t mention
names, but you know them as well as I do. Of
course I know most masters think we boys don’t
understand a thing — but, sir, you’re different.
You’re young — well, comparatively, anyway —
and you’re science. You must know what
sadism is.
FRANK: (after a pause) Good Lord! What are our schools
coming to?
TAPLOW: Anyway, the Crock isn’t a sadist. That’s what I’m
saying. He wouldn’t be so frightening if he were —
because at least it would show he had some
feelings. But he hasn’t. He’s all shrivelled up
inside like a nut and he seems to hate people to
like him. It’s funny, that. I don’t know any other
master who doesn’t like being liked —
2019-20
Page 5


50 HORNBILL
6 .  The Browning Version
Terence Rattigan
Notice these expressions in the text.
Infer their meaning from the context.
³ remove ³ kept in ³ sadist
³ slackers ³ got carried away ³ shrivelled up
³ muck ³ cut
This is an excerpt from The Browning Version*. The scene is set
in a school. Frank is young and Crocker-Harris, middle-aged. Both
are masters. Taplow is a boy of sixteen who has come in to do
extra work for Crocker-Harris. But the latter has not yet arrived,
and Frank finds Taplow waiting.
FRANK: Do I know you?
TAPLOW: No, sir.
FRANK: What’s your name?
TAPLOW: Taplow.
FRANK: Taplow! No, I don’t. You’re not a scientist I gather?
TAPLOW: No, sir, I’m still in the lower fifth. I can’t specialise
until next term — that’s to say, if I’ve got my
remove all right.
FRANK: Don’t you know if you’ve got your remove?
TAPLOW: No sir, Mr Crocker-Harris doesn’t tell us the results
like the other masters.
* The reference within the play of Robert Browning’s translation of the Greek
tragedy, Agamemnon
2019-20
THE BROWNING VERSION 51
FRANK: Why not?
TAPLOW: Well, you know what he’s like, sir.
FRANK: I believe there is a rule that form results should
only be announced by the headmaster on the last
day of term.
TAPLOW: Yes — but who else pays attention to it — except
Mr Crocker-Harris?
FRANK: I don’t, I admit — but that’s no criterion. So you’ve
got to wait until tomorrow to know your fate, have
you?
TAPLOW: Yes, sir.
FRANK: Supposing the answer is favourable — what then?
TAPLOW: Oh — science, sir, of course.
FRANK: (sadly) Yes. We get all the slackers.
TAPLOW: (protestingly) I’m extremely interested in science, sir.
FRANK: Are you? I’m not. Not, at least, in the science I
have to teach.
TAPLOW: Well, anyway, sir, it’s a good deal more exciting
than this muck (indicating his book).
FRANK: What is this muck?
TAPLOW: Aeschylus, sir. The Agamemnon.
FRANK: And your considered view is that the Agamemnon
is muck?
TAPLOW: Well, no, sir. I don’t think the play is muck —
exactly. I suppose, in a way, it’s rather a good
plot, really, a wife murdering her husband and all
that. I only meant the way it’s taught to us — just
a lot of Greek words strung together and fifty lines
if you get them wrong.
FRANK: You sound a little bitter, Taplow.
TAPLOW: I am rather, sir.
FRANK: Kept in, eh?
TAPLOW: No, sir. Extra work.
FRANK: Extra work — on the last day of school?
2019-20
52 HORNBILL
TAPLOW: Yes, sir, and I might be playing golf. You’d think
he’d have enough to do anyway himself,
considering he’s leaving tomorrow for good —
but oh no, I missed a day last week when I
was ill — so here I am — and look at the
weather, sir.
FRANK: Bad luck. Still there’s one comfort. You’re pretty
well certain to get your remove tomorrow for being
a good boy in taking extra work.
TAPLOW: Well, I’m not so sure, sir. That would be true of
the ordinary masters, all right. They just wouldn’t
dare not to give a chap a remove after his taking
extra work. But those sort of rules don’t apply to
the Crock — Mr Crocker-Harris. I asked him
yesterday outright if he’d given me a remove and
do you know what he said, sir?
FRANK: No. What?
TAPLOW: (imitating a very gentle, rather throaty voice) “My
dear Taplow, I have given you exactly what  you
deserve. No less; and certainly no more.” Do you
know sir, I think he may have marked me down,
rather than up, for taking extra work. I mean, the
man’s hardly human. (He breaks off quickly.)
Sorry, sir. Have I gone too far?
FRANK: Yes. Much too far.
TAPLOW: Sorry, sir. I got carried away.
FRANK: Evidently. (He picks up a newspaper and opens it) —
Er Taplow.
TAPLOW: Yes, sir?
FRANK: What was that Crocker-Harris said to you? Just —
er — repeat it, would  you?
TAPLOW: (imitating again) “My dear Taplow, I have given
you exactly what you deserve. No less; and
certainly no more.”
FRANK: (looking severe) Not in the least like him. Read
your nice Aeschylus and be quiet.
TAPLOW: (with dislike) Aeschylus.
2019-20
THE BROWNING VERSION 53
FRANK: Look, what time did Mr Crocker-Harris tell you to
be here?
TAPLOW: Six-thirty, sir.
FRANK: Well, he’s ten minutes late. Why don’t you cut?
You could still play golf before lock-up.
TAPLOW: (really shocked) Oh, no, I couldn’t cut. Cut the
Crock — Mr Crocker-Harris? I shouldn’t think it’s
ever been done in the whole time he’s been here.
God knows what would happen if I did. He’d
probably follow me home, or something...
FRANK: I must admit I envy him the effect he seems to
have on you boys in the form. You all seem scared
to death of him. What does he do — beat you all,
or something?
TAPLOW: Good Lord, no. He’s not a sadist, like one or two
of the others.
FRANK: I beg your pardon?
TAPLOW: A sadist, sir, is someone who gets pleasure out of
giving pain.
FRANK: Indeed? But I think you went on to say that some
other masters...
TAPLOW: Well, of course, they are, sir. I won’t mention
names, but you know them as well as I do. Of
course I know most masters think we boys don’t
understand a thing — but, sir, you’re different.
You’re young — well, comparatively, anyway —
and you’re science. You must know what
sadism is.
FRANK: (after a pause) Good Lord! What are our schools
coming to?
TAPLOW: Anyway, the Crock isn’t a sadist. That’s what I’m
saying. He wouldn’t be so frightening if he were —
because at least it would show he had some
feelings. But he hasn’t. He’s all shrivelled up
inside like a nut and he seems to hate people to
like him. It’s funny, that. I don’t know any other
master who doesn’t like being liked —
2019-20
54 HORNBILL
FRANK: And I don’t know any boy who doesn’t use that for
his own purposes.
TAPLOW: Well, it’s natural sir. But not with the Crock —
FRANK: Mr Crocker-Harris.
TAPLOW: Mr Crocker-Harris. The funny thing is that in spite
of everything, I do rather like him. I can’t help it.
And sometimes I think he sees it and that seems
to shrivel him up even more —
FRANK: I’m sure you’re exaggerating.
TAPLOW: No, sir. I’m not. In form the other day he made
one of his classical jokes. Of course nobody
laughed because nobody understood it, myself
included. Still, I knew he’d meant it as funny, so
I laughed. Out of ordinary common politeness,
and feeling a bit sorry for him for having made a
poor joke. Now I can’t remember what the joke
was, but suppose I make it. Now you laugh, sir.
(Frank laughs.)
TAPLOW: (in a gentle, throaty voice) “Taplow — you laughed
at my little joke, I noticed. I must confess that I
am pleased at the advance your Latin has made
since you so readily have understood what the
rest of the form did not. Perhaps, now, you would
be good enough to explain it to them, so that they
too can share your pleasure”.
The door up right is pushed open and Millie Crocker-Harris
enters. She is a thin woman in her late thirties, rather more
smartly dressed than the general run of schoolmasters’
wives.  She is wearing a cape and carries a shopping
basket. She closes the door and then stands by the screen
watching  Taplow and  Frank. It  is a few seconds before
they notice her.
FRANK: Come along, Taplow (moves slowly above the
desk). Do not be so selfish as to keep a good joke
to yourself. Tell the others… (He breaks off
suddenly, noticing Millie.)  Oh Lord!
2019-20
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