by Leo Tolstoy
Answers for all the questions from the lesson ‘Three Questions’ included in the CHSE +2 book ‘Invitation to English – 2’.
Think it out – 1
1. What were the three questions that occurred to the king? What did he do get the answers to his questions?
Answers – The king was inquisitive and very dutiful in nature. He was weighed down by the onerous royal responsibilities, and couldn’t hope to lead an ordinary man’s life. He wondered if he could simplify his responsibilities. One day, he pondered over three questions. The first one was finding a way to figure out the opportune time to commence every work. At second place, he wanted to figure out the people whose company he should shun. The third, but probably the most significant one, was the way of developing the prescience to prioritize his actions according to their significance.
2. What answers did the wise men give to his first question?
Answer – To the first question, the wise man gave various convoluted answers. Some of them counseled the king to plan out the future and act in accordance with that. Some others spoke rather confidently that predicting the future was beyond the realms of anybody’s intellect. They advised the king to treat all situations equally and selectively pick his conducts. Meanwhile, some others were adamant that the king alone would never be able to correctly time his actions on his own. They recommended him to enjoy his luxury and form a council of wise men that would help him to be calculative. Reaching out to magicians for help in future prediction came in as the most absurd answer at last.
3. How did the wise men answer his second question?
Answer – The second question was comparatively simpler than the first one. The wise men present before the king suggested to him what they thought to be most judicious according to their life experiences. The king was told that the counselors, doctors, priests and warriors were the best people to repose his trust on.
4. What answers did the king get for his third question?
Answer – The third question, like the two other questions, was open to multitude of interpretations and opinions. The intellectuals, reaching their differing conclusions, suggested occupations such as science, religious worship and prowess in warfare.
5. Why did he decide to consult a hermit?
Answer – The plethora of conflicting answers confused the king and he wasn’t content with any of them. The quest to satisfy his curiosity made him reach out to a sagacious hermit.
Think it out – 2
1. Where did the King meet the hermit? How did the hermit receive the King?
Answer – The king, stripped himself of his apparel, guards, ride, and made his way into the hermit’s dwelling. The hermit was devoid of any reaction which indicates his complete disregard for the king disguised as a commoner.
2. How did the King help the hermit?
Answer – The king noticed the frail-looking hermit toiling hard and decided to give him some relief. He asked the hermit to take a break and started digging the earth himself with a shovel.
3. How did the King nurse the wounded stranger?
Answer – The stranger was in excruciating pain with blood exuding steadily from his wounded body. The king took pity on his misery and immediately came to his rescue. Having freed the man from his tight clothing, he attempted to sterilize the spot of injury by washing away the blood. He repeated that procedure until the flow of blood subsided and finally bandaged the wound to conceal it. He also provided the man water to quench his thirst.
4. Why did the wounded person desire to serve the King as his most faithful slave?
Answer – The wounded person, driven by vengeance, had set out to assassinate the king. The unexpected turn of events flipped the fortune in the king’s favour and the man fell victim to his own trap. Coincidentally, the king became the man’s saviour when he was hovering between life and death. The man, having realized the king’s act of generosity, felt immense guilt for harbouring malice for him in the past. In an attempt to redeem himself of the guilt, he expressed his desire to serve the king obsequiously.
Think it out – 3
1. How did the hermit answer the king’s questions?
Answer – The hermit wanted the king to experience the truth on his own. Once the man was gone the king reminded him about his questions. The hermit, in response, put it shrewdly that the answers had already been given. He outlined the incidents of the two days that the king had been there and pointed out that the present is the only moment that matters, the person with whom an individual is at the given moment matters the most and attending to him/her is the individual’s highest priority.
2. Was the king satisfied with the hermit’s answers? Give a reasoned answer.
Answer – The intellectuals had all let him down. He had turned to the hermit as his final resort. The emancipated mystic had put the gospel before him through practicality. The king no longer needed to depend on anybody to provide him the answer for it had already been understood by him. Rationally thinking, there shouldn’t be a grain of dissatisfaction in the king with regard to the hermit’s answers.