Gujarat Board GSEB Class 12 English Textbook Solutions Flamingo Chapter 1 The Last Lesson Textbook Exercise Important Questions and Answers, Notes Pdf.
Gujarat Board Textbook Solutions Class 12 English Flamingo Chapter 1 The Last Lesson
GSEB Class 12 English The Last Lesson Text Book Questions and Answers
Think as you Read (Textbook Page No. 7)
What was Franz expected to be prepared with for school that day?
That day Franz was expected to be prepared with participles because M. Hamel had said that he would question them on participles. Franz did not know anything about participles.
What did Franz notice that was unusual about the school that day?
Usually, when the school began, there was a great bustle, which could be heard out in the street. But it was all very still that day. Everything was as quiet as Sunday morning. There was no opening or closing of desks. His classmates were already in their places. The teacher’s great ruler instead of rapping on the table, was under M. Hamel’s arm.
What had been put up on the bulletin- board?
For the last two years, all the bad news had come from the bulletin board. An order had come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The Germans had put up this notice on the bulletin board.
Think as you Read (Textbook Page No. 8)
What changes did the order from Berlin cause in school that day?
M. Hamel had put on his best dress – his beautiful green coat, his frilled shirt and the little black silk cap, all embroidered. The whole school seemed so strange and solemn. On the backbenches that were always empty, the elderly village people were sitting quietly like the kids.
How did Franz’s feelings about M. Hamel and school change?
Franz came to know that it was the last lesson in French that M. Hamel would give them. From the next day, they will be taught only German. Then he felt sorry for not learning his lessons properly. His books, which seemed a nuisance and a burden earlier were now old friends. His feelings about M. Hamel also changed. He forgot all about his ruler and how cranky he was.
Understanding the Text:
The people in this story suddenly realise how precious their language is to them. What shows you this? Why does this happen?
M. Hamel told the students and villagers that henceforth only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. Those who called themselves Frenchmen would neither be able to speak nor write it. He praised French as the most beautiful, the clearest and most logical language in the world. He said that for the enslaved people, their language was the item to their prison. Then the people realised how precious their language was to them. This shows people’s love for their own culture, traditions and country. Pride in one’s language reflects pride in the motherland.
Franz thinks, “Will they make them sing in German, even the pigeons ?” What could this mean? (There could be more than one answer.)
This comment of Franz shows a Frenchman’s typical reaction to the imposition of learning German, the language of the conquerors. Being deprived of the learning of mother tongue would mean cutting off all bonds with the motherland. Teaching the pigeons to sing in German indicates how far -the Germans would go in their attempts of linguistic chauvinism.
Talking about the Text
“When a people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language it is as if they had the key to their prison.” Can you think of examples in history where a conquered people had their language taken away from them or had a language imposed on them?
Mother tongue helps a person to express his feelings and thoughts most lucidly and intimately. Conquerors try to subdue and control the people of the enslaved territory by enforcing many measures such as use of force to crush dissent and imposing their own language on them.
From time immemorial the victorious nations have imposed their own language on the conquered people and taken away their own language from them. The Romans conquered many parts of Europe and replaced the local languages by their own language – Latin. Later on Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French developed from Latin. The Muslim invaders imposed Arabic and Persian in the countries of Asia overpowered by them. In many Arab countries the local religion and language have disappeared. In India, a new language Urdu developed from the mixture of Persian and Hindi.
What happens to a linguistic minority in a state? How do you think they can keep their language alive? For example:
Punjabis in Bengaluru Tamilians in Mumbai Kannadigas in Delhi Gujaratis in Kolkata
The linguistic minority in any state is easily marked and faces the same discrimination as the religious, social or ethnic minorities. There is, however, a pronounced difference in the treatment meted out and the level of acceptance displayed by the majority community in that region/city. Some cities like Delhi, Mumbai are cosmopolitan in outlook.
The linguistic minority tries to preserve its identity through an intimate contact, interaction and preservation of their language in social get-togethers, family functions and festivals of their own region. Adherence to social customs and traditions in family gatherings/group meetings of women also promote the unity between members of the linguistic minority.
In short, they create a mini-Punjab in Bengaluru, mini-Chennai in Mumbai, mini-Bengaluru in Delhi and mini-Surat in Kolkata.
Is it possible to carry pride in one’s language too far? Do you know what ‘linguistic chauvinism’ means?
‘Linguistic chauvinism’ means an aggressive and unreasonable belief that your own language is better than all others. This shows an excessive or prejudiced support for one’s own language. Sometimes pride in one’s own language goes too far and the linguistic enthusiasts can be easily identified by their extreme zeal for the preservation and spread of their language. In their enthusiasm, love and support for their own language, they tend to forget that other languages too have their own merits, long history of art, culture and literature behind them.
Instead of bringing unity and winning over others as friends, having excessive pride in one’s own language creates ill-will and disintegration. The stiff resistance to the acceptance of Hindi as national language by the southern states of India is a direct outcome of the fear of being dominated by Hindi enthusiasts. The result is that ‘One India’ remains only a slogan.
Working with Words:
English is a language that contains words from many other languages. This inclusiveness is one of the reasons it is now a ‘world language’. For example:
petite – French
kindergarten – German
capital – Latin
democracy – Greek
bazaar – Hindi
Find out the origins of the following words:
tycoon, barbecue, zero
tulip, veranda, ski
logo, robot, trek
Tycoon – Japanese
Tulip – Persian
Logo – Greek
Bandicoot – Telugu
Barbecue – Spanish
Veranda – Portuguese
Robot – Czech
Zero – Arabic
Ski – Norwegian
Trek – South African Dutch
Notice the underlined words in these sentences and tick the option that best explains their meaning:
(a) “What a thunderclap these words were to me !”
The words were :
(i) loud and clear.
(ii) startling and unexpected.
(iii) pleasant and welcome.
(ii) startling and unexpected.
(b) “When a people are enslaved, as long as they hold fast to their language it is as if they had the key to their prison.”
It is as if they have the key to the prison as long as they
(i) do not lose their language.
(ii) are attached to their language.
(iii) quickly learn the conqueror’s language.
(ii) are attached to their language.
(c) Don’t go so fast, you will get to your school in plenty of time.
You will get to your school.
(i) very late.
(ii) too early.
(iii) early enough.
(iii) early enough.
(d) I never saw him look so tall.
(i) had grown physically taller.
(ii) seemed very confident.
(iii) stood on the chair.
(ii) seemed very confident.
Read this sentence:
M. Hamel had said that he would question us on participles.
In the sentence above, the verb form ‘had said in the first part is used to indicate an ‘earlier past’. The whole story is narrated in the past. M. Hamel’s ‘saying’ happened earlier than the events in this story. This form of the verb is called the past perfect.
Pick out five sentences from the story with this form of the verb and say why this form has been used.
1. For the last two years all our bad news had come .from there.
Reason: The ‘coming’ of bad news happened earlier than the bulletin in the story.
2. Hauser had brought an old primer.
Reason: The event of ‘bringing’ happened earlier than Franz noticed it.
3. That was what they had put up at the town hall!
Reason: The ‘putting up’ of bulletin happened earlier. Now it is recalled.
4. They had not gone to school more.
Reason: The action of ‘not going happened much earlier.
5. The hop vine that he had planted himself twined about the windows to the roof.
Reason: The ‘planting of hop vine happened earlier than its twining about the windows.
Write a notice for your school bulletin- board. Your notice could be an announcement of a forthcoming event, or a requirement to be fulfilled, or a rule to be followed.
AMRUT PUBLIC SCHOOL
25 July 2020
The school has decided to celebrate its Annual Sports Day on 25 July 2020. All those interested tp participate in the various sports activities are requested to give their names to their respective class teachers latest by 6 July 2020 in the following format.
Name : Class & Section :
Activity 1 : Activity 2 : Activity 3 :
A copy of the list of sports activities has been sent to your class teacher. Please note that no student is allowed to participate in more than three sports activities.
Write a paragraph of about 100 words arguing for or against having to study three languages at school.
India is a land of diversity. Nonetheless, unity is a necessity. Language is a means of communication. It is one of the ways through which we can understand each other. Most Indian languages originated from Sanskrit, as such many common words are found in these languages. Regional languages play vital role in the development of a child. They cannot be neglected. External invasions in the past have brought in the influence of foreign languages. English to a certain extent can be considered as international language.
A larger percentage of Indian people understand Hindi language. When people migrate from one part of India to another a common language proves to be helpful in communication. Though we accept Hindi as a national language sometimes politics corrupts the minds of citizens. The three-language formula has proved to be beneficial. It is very helpful for students to adjust themselves in the society not only in India but other countries also.
Have you ever changed your opinion about someone or something that you had earlier liked or disliked? Narrate what led you to change your mind.
After completing my high school I joined the higher secondary section. All the students were strangers to each other. During my first month, I came across one boy named Arvind. Gradually I developed liking for him. I felt he was a very courageous boy. He was very straightforward in his dealings with teachers. His impolite behaviour was taken by me as an act of courage. He always looked down upon the students of opposite sex.
He was never good at his studies and affirmed that it was not necessary to score marks in the eleventh class. One day I saw him smoking in the washroom. Having liked Arvind and being influenced by him I scored very less marks in the first terminal examination. Since I had scored very high marks at the tenth standard level, my parents were shocked to see my poor performance.
My parents wanted to know the reason for my poor results. They came to school and spoke to the teachers who gave them the correct picture of the situation. My parents then made me understand that I was on the wrong track. I realised my drawback. My liking for Arvind was converted to dislike. I now feel relieved and am back on the right.
GSEB Class 12 English The Last Lesson Additional Important Questions and Answers
1. Answer the following questions in three to Jour sentences each :
Why do you think was little Franz afraid of being scolded?
Franz was afraid of being scolded that day especially because M. Hamel, the teacher, had said that he would question them on participles. Franz frankly admits that he was totally ignorant about the topic. His exact words are: “I did not know the first word about them.” Secondly, he had started for school very late that morning.
What does M. Hamel say about the importance of language to an ‘enslaved people’?
M. Hamel advises his students to guard French language from the onslaught from invader’s influence and not to forget it ever. When people are enslaved, he thinks, as long as they held fast to their language, they have key to their prison.
“What can be the matter now ?” says Franz. Why, do you think, did he make this comment?
There was a bulletin board near the town hall. When Franz passed by it, he noticed a crowd there. He did not stop to look at it. He wondered what could be the matter then. For the last two years, they had received all the bad news from the bulletin board – the lost battle, conscription and the orders of the commanding officer.
Who was Wachter? What did he ask Franz and why? How did Franz react?
Wachter was a blacksmith. He was reading the latest bulletin. He asked Franz not to go so fast to his school. He added that the little boy would get to his school in plenty of time. Wachter had read the latest bulletin about teaching of German. Franz thought that the blacksmith was making fun of him. So, he ran to school and reached there breathless.
What does M. Hamel announce at the start of the lesson? How does this change Franz’s feelings towards his school?
M. Hamel, the teacher, informed the students in a deep, solemn voice that it was their last French lesson in the school. As German invaders encroached that part of France, henceforth only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new master would come and conduct classes from next day. As this was going to be their last French class, he wanted all of his students to pay him more attention.
“What a thunderclap these words were to me!” What were the words that shocked and surprised the narrator?
Hamel told the children in a solemn voice that it was their last French Lesson. Henceforth, only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new master would arrive next day and therefore he wanted his students to be little more attentive in his final class. The teacher’s kind gesture and use of soft words shocked and surprised the narrator.
“He had the courage to hear every lesson to the very last.” What led Franz to make this remark?
Frantz noticed how sad Hamel was on having to leave a place which he held so dear for 40 long years and not being allowed to teach French any longer.’ But he kept a tab on his emotions and performed his duties faithfully. He called off the class after listening to every lesson to the last. Hamel’s dignified stance and his loyalty to his duty forced Franz to such realisation.
How did M. Hamel behave as the last lesson came to an end?
M. Hamel stood up in his chair. He looked very pale and tall. He wanted to say some parting words, but something choked him. Then he wrote “Vive La France !” on the blackboard with a piece of chalk. Then he stopped. He leaned his head against the wall. Without a word, he made a gesture to the students with his hand to permit them to go as the school was over.
2. Answer the following questions in six to seven sentences each:
Why was Franz scared that day? What did he see on his way to school and how did he get to his desk?
Franz was not good at learning. He would rather take the day off and waste time in searching birds’ eggs or going sliding on the Saar. Franz was scared that day because M. Hamel had said that he would question them on participles. Franz did not know anything about participles. He found that the day was warm and bright. The birds were chirping at the edge of the woods. The Prussian soldiers were drilling in the open fields.
There was a crowd in front of the bulletin board near the town hall. Franz found the schoolroom unusually quiet. So, he had no option but to open the door and go in before everybody. He blushed and was frightened of the teacher. M. Hamel spoke very kindly to him and asked him to go to his place quickly. Franz jumped over the bench and sat down at his desk.
What order had been received from Berlin that day? What effect did it have on the life at school?
An order had been received from Berlin that only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. This order had far-reaching effects on the life at school. M. Hamel, who had been teaching French at the village school for the last forty years would deliver his last lesson that day.
It was in honour of the last lesson that M. Hamel, the teacher had put on his best clothes. Old men of the village were sitting quietly at the back of the classroom. They were sad as well as sorry for they had not gone to school more. They had come to thank the master for his forty years of faithful service and to show respect for the country that was theirs no more.
The teacher addressed the students in a solemn and gentle tone. He asked them to be attentive and explained everything quite patiently. He appealed to them to preserve French among them. During slavery, it would act as key to the prison. He felt so overwhelmed by emotion that he could not bid farewell properly.
What do you think is the theme of the story ‘The Last Lesson’? What is the reason behind its universal appeal?
The theme of the story ‘The Last Lesson is linguistic chauvinism of the proud conquerors and the pain that is inflicted on the people of a territory by them by taking away the right to study or speak their own language and thus make them aliens in their own land of birth. The story has a sub-theme also. It highlights the attitudes of the students and teachers to learning and teaching.
Though the story is located in a particular village of Alsace district of France which had passed into Prussian hands, it has a universal appeal. It highlights the efforts of the victors to crush their victims-the vanquished people in all possible manner – materially, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Taking away mother tongue from the people is the harshest punishment. The proper equation between student and teacher, his focused attention, helpful and encouraging attitude and kind treatment can encourage students to learn better.
Comment on the appropriateness of the title ‘The Last Lesson.
The story has an appropriate and suggestive title. It is the centre of attention throughout and the whole story revolves around it. The beginning of the story serves as preparation for it. The unusual quietness at school, presence of village elders and the teacher in his Sunday best dress – all point out to the unusual and unique occasion-the last lesson in French in a French village school in a district conquered by the Prussians. While delivering the last lesson, the teacher wants to transmit all his knowledge in one go.
He explains everything with patience and the students, as well as old villagers, listen attentively. For the narrator, it is an unforgettable experience. “Ah, how well I remember it, that last lesson,” says he. Old Hauser is crying and his voice trembled with emotion. As the teacher is unable to express his emotions because of choked throat, he ends the lesson by writing ‘Vive La France’ on the blackboard. He makes a gesture with his hand to indicate that the school is dismissed and students can go home.
What impression do you form of M. Hamel on the basis of your study of the story ‘The Last Lesson’?
M. Hamel is an experienced teacher who has been teaching in that village school for forty years. He imparts primary education in all subjects. He is a hard task-master and students like Franz, who are not good learners, are in great dread of being scolded by him. The latest order of the Prussian conquerors upsets him. He has to leave the place forever and feels heartbroken. He feels sad but exercises self-control.
He has the courage to hear every lesson to the last. His performance during the last lesson is exemplary. He is kind even to a latecomer like Franz. He uses a solemn and gentle tone while addressing the students. He has a logical mind and can analyse problems and deduce the reasons responsible for it.
He knows the emotional hold of a language over its users. He is a good communicator and explains everything patiently. Partings are painful and being human, M. Hamel too is no exception. He fails to say goodbye as his throat is choked. On the whole, he is a patriotic gentleman.
Reading Comprehension (Textual):
Read the following passages and select the most appropriate options as answers to the questions given below them:
“Don’t go so fast, bub; you’ll get to your school in plenty of time”
I thought he was making fun of me and reached M. Hamel’s little garden all out of breath. Usually, when school began, there was a great bustle, which could be heard out in the street, the opening and closing of desks, lessons repeated in unison, very loud, with our hands over our ears to understand better, and the teacher’s great ruler rapping on the table.
But now it was all so still I had counted on the commotion to get to my desk without being seen; but, of course, that day everything had to be as quiet as Sunday morning. Through the window, I saw my classmates, already in their places, and M. Hamel walking up and down with his terrible iron ruler under his Earn. I had to open the door and go in before everybody. You can imagine how I blushed and how frightened I was.
But nothing happened. M. Hamel saw me and said very kindly, “Go to your place quickly, little Franz. We were beginning without you.”
1. The meaning of the phrase ‘out of breath’ is…
A. ‘without fatigue’.
D.‘with great efforts’.
2. Usually one of the following things did not happen when the school began:
A. There was a great bustle.
B. Lessons were repeated simultaneously.
C. All started singing prayer in unison.
D. The teacher’s great ruler started rapping on the table.
C. All started singing prayer in unison.
3. The writer had depended on ……………………… to steal to his seat unnoticeably.
A. a hubbub.
B. a great silence.
C. inattentiveness of the teacher.
D. his smartness.
A. a hubbub.
4. M. Hamel used an iron ruler for …………………. .
A. knocking on the table.
B. punishing his students with.
C. taking measurement.
D. Both A’ and ‘B’
D. Both A’ and ‘B’
My last French lesson! Why I hardly knew how to write! I should never learn anymore! I must stop there, then! Oh, how sorry I was for not learning my lessons, for seeking birds’ eggs, or going sliding on the Saar! My books, that had seemed such a nuisance a while ago, so heavy to carry, my grammar, and my history of the saints, were old friends now that I couldn’t give up. And M. Hamel, too; the idea that he was going away, that I should never see him again, made me forget all about his ruler and how cranky he was.
Poor man, It was in honour of this last lesson that he had put on his fine Sunday clothes, and now I understood why the old men of the village were sitting there in the back of the room. It was because they were sorry, too, that they had not gone to school more. It was their way of thanking our master for his forty years of faithful service and of showing their respect for the country that was theirs no more.
1. The writer was feeling greatly sorry for ………….. .
A. not learning his French lessons.
B. seeking bird’s eggs.
C. teasing his teacher.
D. Both A and ‘B’
D. Both A and ‘B’
2. With the message of the leaving of his teacher M. Hamel, the writer forgot ……………………. .
A. that he punished him with a ruler.
B. that he was idiosyncratic.
C. that he taunted every now and then.
D. Both A and ‘B’
D. Both A and ‘B’
3. This passage reveals the writer’s ……………………… for his teacher, M. Hamel.
4. The old men of the village were sitting in the back of the room to ……………………. .
A. thank the master for his forty years of faithful service.
B. show their respect for the country that was theirs no more.
C. learn something new from the learned teacher.
D. Both A and ‘B’
D. Both A and ‘B’
But he had the courage to hear every lesson to the very last. After the writing, we had a lesson in history, and then the babies chanted their ba, be, bi, bo, bu. Down there at the back of the room, old Hauser had put on his spectacles and holding his primer in both hands, spelled the letters with them. You could see that he, too, was crying; his voice trembled with emotion, and it was so funny to hear him that we all wanted to laugh and cry. Ah, how well I remember it, that last lesson!
All at once, the church clock struck twelve. Then the Angelus. At the same moment, the trumpets of the Prussians, returning from drill, sounded under our windows. M. Hamel stood up, very pale, in his chair. I never saw him look so tall. “My friends,” said he, “I-I-” But something choked him. He could not go on.
Then he turned to the blackboard, took a piece of chalk, and, bearing on with all his might, he wrote as large as he could-
“Vive La France!”
1. Give another word that can replace the word ‘courage’ retaining the meaning in the first sentence of this passage.
2. ‘Angelus’ is a ……………… .
C. church bell.
D. school bell.
C. church bell.
3. ‘I never saw him look so tali’. Here the word ‘tall’ denotes ………………. .
4. The phrase ‘bearing on’ means ………………………….. .
A. ‘relevant to’.
B. ‘taking support’.
C. ‘dependent on’.
B. ‘taking support’.
Fill in the blanks choosing the correct words given in the brackets and write the answers only:
(on, till, except, bench, little, fright, embroidered, frilled)
I jumped over the ………1…….. and sat down at my desk. Not .………..2…….. then, when I had got a little over my ……..3…… did I see it our teacher had …………4………. his beautiful green coat, his ……….5……… shirt, and the …………6………… black silk cap, all …………7……….. that he never wore ……….8………. on inspection and prize days.
(wanted, stroke, patience, explained, away, knew, listened, almost)
I had never .….1……. so carefully, and that he had never ……2…. everything with so much ….3….. It seemed …..4….. as if the poor man ……5…... to give us all he …….6……. before going …….7…….. and to put it all into our heads at one ……8……
Choose the correct meanings of the phrases/idioms and rewrite the sentences:
(1) Riding a car without license, I was in great dread of being caught, (trying to escape from, scared, greatly humiliated)
(2) You can always count on him for good advice, (be happy with, depend, expect from)
(3) She reproached herself for having spoken so harshly, (felt ashamed, fought with, forgave)
(4) The audience were clapping and stamping in unison, (in excitement, out of great joy, all together)
(1) Riding a car without license, I was scared of being caught.
(2) You can always depend on him for good advice.
(3) She felt ashamed for having spoken so harshly.
(4) The audience were clapping and stamping all together.
Rectification of Errors:
Rectify the errors in the following text:
It was all much more tempting then the rules for participles, and I had the strength resisting, and hurried off to the school. When I pass the town hall, there was a crowd in front of the bulletin board.
When I was thinking of all this, I heard my name-calling. It was my turn to recite. What would I not had given to be able to say that dreadful rule for the participant all through, very loud and clear.
Punctuate the following passage:
I heard M. Hamel say to me I won’t scold you little Franz you must feel bad enough see how it is every day we have said to ourselves bah I’ve plenty of time I’ll learn it tomorrow
I heard M. Hamel say to me, “I won’t scold you, little Franz; you must feel bad enough. See how it is! Every day we have said to ourselves, “Bah ! I’ve plenty of time. I’ll learn it tomorrow.”
Convert the following into Indirect Speech :
My teacher said, “My children, this is the last lesson I shall give you. The order has come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new master comes tomorrow. This is your last French lesson. I want you to be very attentive.”
My teacher announced very gracefully, addressing us as his children that that was the last lesson he would give us. He declared that the order had come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. Then he informed us that the new master would come the next day. He told us that that was our last French lesson and instructed that he wanted us to be very attentive.
Transformation of Sentences:
Rewrite as directed:
1. I hurried by as fast as I could go, (Remove ‘as fast as’.)
2. That day everything had to be as quiet as Sunday morning. (Use ‘unlike’.)
3. How I blushed and how frightened I was! (Turn into Assertive.)
4. I hardly knew how to write. (Turn into Negative.)
5. You can neither speak nor write your own language. (Use ‘either … or’.)
6. French is the most beautiful language in the world, according to M. Hamel. (Change the Degree.)
7. The only sound was the scratching of the pens over the paper. (Remove ‘only’.)
1. I hurried by with my utmost ability to go.
2. That day everything had not to be noisy, unlike Sunday morning.
3. I was greatly blushed and frightened.
4. I did not know how to write.
5. You cannot either speak or write your own language.
6. French is more beautiful than any other language in the world, according to M. Hamel. OR
No other language in the world is so beautiful as French, according to M. Hamel.
7. There was no other sound than the scratching of the pens over the paper.
The Last Lesson Summary in English
The Last Lesson Introduction:
Alphonse Daudet (13 May 1840- 16 December 1897) was a French novelist and short-story writer. Formerly, he was a school teacher; later he quit it to make a living as a journalist in Paris. He took to writing, his poems collected into a volume called ‘Les Amoureuses’.
The Last Lesson Summary:
The narrator (Franz) started for school very late that morning. He feared his class teacher, would question him on participles. The narrator didn’t know anything about it which may displease his teacher. Hence, he expected a scolding from him. He thought of running away and spending the day out of doors as the weather was very warm and bright. On his second thought, he decided otherwise and hurried off to school.
As Franz walked past the town hall, he saw a big crowd in front of the bulletin board which displayed all the bad news for two years. The people usually got the news of lost battles and other important information only from there. Usually, there was a lot of hustle and bustle when the school begem. The opening and closing of desks and lessons orally repeated loudly in unison created a lot of commotion. But now it was all so still.
He could depend on the commotion to get to his desk without being noticed. But now he went in before everybody. He blushed and was quite frightened. But fortunately for him, nothing happened. No punishment. M. Hamel saw and asked him very kindly to take his seat. M. Hamel was informal clothes that he wore only on inspection and prize days. The whole school seemed quite strange and silent. The most surprising thing was the presence of the village elders.
They were sitting quietly on the backbenches. M. Hamel mounted his chair and spoke in a grave and gentle tone. “My children, this is the last lesson I shall give you.” He told them that an order had come from Berlin. Only German would be taught in the schools of Alsace.
The new master would join the next day. It was their last lesson in French. He wanted them to be very attentive. The narrator felt sorry for not learning his lessons. He never liked his books. He didn’t have any interest in grammar and history. But now he developed a fascination for them.
Even he started liking M. Hamel. The idea that he would not teach them anymore made Franz forget all about his ruler and the cranky attitude he had towards his students. When it was his turn to recite the participles, Franz got mixed up and confused. But surprisingly M. Hamel didn’t scold him. M. Hamel showed his concern that people of Alsace generally gave no importance to French.
They ignored learning their own native language. Franz was not the only exception as many others were also guilty on this reason. He declared that the French language was the most beautiful language in the world. It was the clearest and most logical. They must guard it among themselves and never forget it. It appeared that M. Hamel wanted to give them all he knew before going away. All at once, the church clock struck twelve. The trumpets of the Prussian soldiers sounded under their windows. M. Hamel stood up, very pale, in his chair.
He tried to speak but something choked him and he was unable to speak it out. Then he turned to the blackboard. He took a piece of chalk and wrote as large as he could: “Vive La France !” (Long Live France !”) and made a gesture to them with his hand that “School is dismissed – you may go.”