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Class 9 NCERT Solutions English Chapter D.2 - The Bishop's Candlesticks

The Bishop's Candlesticks Exercise 112

Solution 1

The answer given below is just a sample. You are recommended to elaborate on the questions depending on your views and opinions. 






A few guidelines 






If you were travelling by bus and you saw someone pick another passenger's pocket.



  • Alert the passenger and everyone on the bus.


  • Ask the conductor to stop the bus.


  • Ask the other passengers to help you nab the pickpocket.


  • If you manage to nab him, ask the driver to divert the bus to the nearest police station and hand him over to the police.


If you found a wallet on the road.  



  • Pick it up and check if there is any information in it that could lead you to the owner.


  • If there is an address book or telephone book, call the numbers and inform someone that you have found it.


  • If you manage to contact the owner ask him or her to meet you in some place where you can hand the wallet over.


If you were in a shop and you saw a well-dressed lady shoplifting.  



  • Ascertain whether the lady is actually stealing.


  • If she is, inform her that it is not the right thing to do.


  • If she ignores your advice and is rude to you, inform the owner of the shop about what you have seen.


If your best friend is getting involved with an undesirable set of friends.  



  • You should call him/her aside and  advice him/her about the consequences and disadvantages of this type of friendship.


  • If he/she does not listen, you should ask a few of his/her genuine friends to talk to him/her out of keeping such a company.


  • You could speak to his/her parents or  caretakers and ask them to advise him/her.


If you were in school and you saw one of your class-mates steal another child's pen. 



  • Go up to the child quietly and ask him/her to return it.


  • Inform the child the reason why he/she should not steal; Tell him/her how it could lead to bigger crimes.


  • If the child refuses to return the pen, inform the teacher as someone else in the class may be wrongly blamed for the missing pen.

Solution 2

This is an activity to be carried out by the students in the class.

The Bishop's Candlesticks Exercise 128

Solution 4

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

Solution 5a

kind- hearted -cruel, nasty, mean

unscrupulous -scrupulous, honest, principled

forgiving -unforgiving, unpardonable, merciless 

stern - sympathetic, compromising, lenient

benevolent -malicious, unkind, malevolent

credulous -shrewd, suspicious

generous -miserly, stingy, tightfisted

 pious -irreverent, impious, sinful 

suspicious- trustful, believing, trusting

sympathetic -unconcerned, uncaring, callous

understanding-inconsiderate, misunderstanding, intolerant 

wild -tame, calm, civilized, controlled

innocent -guilty, corrupt, culpable

penitent -unrepentant, unashamed, shameless

clever - dull, foolish, ignorant 

brutal -gentle, caring,  humane

cunning  -naïve, kind

caring -uncaring,  heartless, selfish

sentimental - indifferent, unemotional, uncaring

trusting-deceitful ,suspicious, dubious 

protective-unprotective ,unsheilding, harmful, injurious

concerned-unconcerned, indifferent, nonchalant 

honourable -dishonourable, disgraceful, ignominious

embittered-unresentful, content, satisfied


The Bishop's Candlesticks Exercise 129

Solution 5b(i)


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. "


Stern, suspicious, protective


...... "take my comforter, it will keep you warm."


Kindhearted , benevolent, generous, caring, concerned


"If people lie to me they are poorer, not I."


Forgiving, understanding, innocent, trusting


"You are like a child. I 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 I can do so very little."


Kindhearted, sympathetic


"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.




Solution 5b(ii)


Lines from the play


Quality revealed


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


Suspicious, cunning


"You have your soul to lose, my son." 




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


Unscrupulous, wild, brutal


" ... 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? 




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




The Bishop's Candlesticks Exercise 130

Solution 6a

This answer depends on each student's views and opinions. 



A few guidelines 


Yes, the Bishop was right in selling the salt cellars


  • He was a pious man of God.


  • He was kind hearted and generous.


  • He believed in freeing the world from poverty and he practiced charity.


  • He was not materialistic and realized that the need of the poor was more important than his needs.


  • Mere Gringoire needed the money for her rent and would be turned out of her home if she did not pay it in time.


  • He could eat salt out of china but poor Mere Gringoire would be on the street if he had not given her the money.


No the Bishop was wrong in selling the salt cellars:


  • Although he was a pious, generous hearted man of God he should have asked for his sister's permission before he sold their belongings.


  • Charity at one's own expense is not a practical endeavour.


  • He could do charity with his own things but his sister must have had some sentimental attachment to the saltcellars so he should have asked for her permission before he got rid of them.

Solution 6b

Perome felt that people pretended to feel sick so that the Bishop would visit them. He was a pious man who prayed with his people when they were ill. He was also generous and kindhearted; he helped the needy and even gave them money for their material needs. His sister, however, felt that he was a simple, gullible man and they were all only taking advantage of his kind and generous nature.

Solution 6c

Jeanette was the convict's ailing wife. Being unemployed, the convict had no choice but to steal in order to buy food for their subsistence.

However, he was caught and sentenced to ten years in prison. Jeanette died the night he was sentenced. She may have died of the illness or starvation.


Solution 6d

The convict says, "I am too old a bird to be caught with chaff.

By this statement he means that he is too 'smart' and well experienced a convict to be tricked by the simple bishop.

When the convict demanded some food, the bishop said he would ask his sister for the keys of the cupboard. The convict did not believe him as he felt the bishop actually wanted to set off an alarm to nab the convict. He therefore said these words.

Solution 6e

It was a bad year for the convict and his wife Jeanette, as he had no work. She was ill and dying and they had no food. The convict stole in order to buy her food but was caught. He pleaded with them and told them why he had stolen but they only laughed at him.


He was sentenced to ten years in the prison hulks. They chained him like a wild animal and lashed him like a hound. He fed on filth, was covered with vermin and slept on boards but he never complained. The inhuman treatment meted out to him at the prison made him lose his humanity.  


Solution 6f

No, the punishment given to the convict was not justified.

He was guilty of stealing only to feed his wife who was dying of starvation. But they showed him no mercy and

treated him like a beast. They chained him like a wild animal, lashed him like a hound and fed him filth. He was covered with vermin and had to sleep on boards. This kind of treatment is inhuman and not justified.

The convict is eager to reach Paris because it was a big city and the Police would never be able to find him there.

Solution 6g

Before leaving, the convict asks the Bishop to bless him. This change was brought about because of the benevolent nature of the Bishop.

 When the Sergeant arrested the convict for stealing the Bishop's candlesticks, he was told by the Bishop that the convict was his friend. Since he had gifted the candlesticks to the convict, he had committed no wrong and so he asked the Sergeant to set the convict free.


Once the Sergeant left, the Bishop asked the convict to rest there for the night.  The convict was moved by the Bishop's kindness as he had only experienced cruelty at the hands of others. He therefore had a change of heart and asked the Bishop to bless him.

Solution 7Aa

(iii) she did not wish to criticise the Bishop in front of Marie.


Solution 7Ab

(i) the Bishop has sold her salt-cellars.


The Bishop's Candlesticks Exercise 131

Solution 7Ba

(i) Mere Gringoire


Solution 7Bb

(ii) as she knew that he was a generous person.


Solution 7Ca

(iii) she was unable to pay the rent of her house.

Solution 7Cb

(ii) she felt that Mere Gringoire was taking undue advantage of the Bishop.

The Bishop's Candlesticks Exercise 132

Solution 8




I believe you want to convert me; save my soul, don't you call it? Well, it's no good --- see? I don't want any damned religion.


Ah, you are admiring my candlesticks, I am proud of them.



  'Why the devil do you leave the window unshuttered and the door unbarred so that anyone can come in?'


'Not my candlesticks, sister, surely not those…..he might have left me those'.


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


'What and leave you with him to be cheated again, perhaps murdered? No, I will not'.



Later, the convict says, "it's a queer thing to ask, but - could you, would you bless me before I go."

When the bishop returned, he heard the convict drop the candlestick on the table and knew immediately he was trying to steal it. However, the Bishop pretended that he knew nothing and asked him whether he was admiring the candlesticks. 


If the door had been barred the convict could not have entered the house.

 The Bishop was upset that the convict had stolen his candlesticks. But when Perome said she was going to inform the police the Bishop said his mother would have wished the convict to have them had she been there.

Later he hands the convict the candlesticks and tells him to start a new life.

Later as she was leaving, Perome picks up the candlesticks clearly showing she was not worried about the Bishop being murdered but only about the candlesticks being stolen again.






The Bishop's Candlesticks Exercise 133

Solution 9

Turning points are situations in life that bring about significant changes in people.


In the play, the convict goes through several situations that are turning points in his life. here are four turning points:


Initially, the convict lived a normal life with his wife in a little cottage. The convict lost his job and his wife fell ill. They were starving and she was dying. As he needed money for food he resorted to stealing but was caught and thrown into prison for ten years. His wife died and he was tortured in the prison. These bitter experiences changed him and he became inhuman.


While the convict was suffering a lot in the prison, one day he was lucky enough to escape when one of the jailers was careless and forgot to chain him up. He was free.


The convict spent six weeks on the road stealing. When he found the Bishop's house, he experienced kindness and generosity of the Bishop. However, instead of being grateful to him, he stole his silver candlesticks.


When the Sergeant arrested him with the candlesticks, the Bishop did not accuse him of stealing but said that those sticks were a gift to him. The convict was moved by the kindheartedness of the Bishop. He repented and had a change of heart. He also and asked the Bishop to bless him.


Solution 10

A debate is a group activity to be carried out in class. Please elaborate the following points during your discussion.  

"Criminals are wicked and deserve punishment"


  • Most criminals know the extent of their crimes and their repercussions.

  • Many of them have a sound mind; they find satisfaction through carnage.

  • Motivation to commit crime is inherent and criminals cannot be reformed.

  • Even if they are reformed, the society cannot take a chance and accept such people.

  • Acts against innocent children and the aged are unprovoked and unjustified.

  • By drinking and driving, people often endanger the lives of the innocents apart from their own. These perpetrators should be brought to justice.

  • The only way justice can be done is through punishing the criminal.

  • Only severe punishment will deter a criminal from committing the same crime again.

  • We should make examples out of these criminals so the others don't follow in their footsteps.


  • Criminals are not born but made.

  • They are often forced to commit a wrong deed because of their circumstances: unemployment, poverty, ill health, frustration etc.

  • Crime is like an illness that needs to be treated and cured.

  • Punishment should be administered as per the severity of the crime.

  • Measures should be taken to reform and counsel criminals.

  • The society should give reformed criminals a second chance to lead a normal life.

Solution 11

It is recommended that you use your creativity and imagination to write this answer. You may use the following points to write your letter.


  • Begin the letter by an appropriate salutation (Dear Rev. Bishop).

  • Introduce yourself in case the Bishop must have forgotten you. Mention a few incidents that will help him remember you.

  • Describe how life changed for you after you came to Paris. Tell him how you used those candlesticks to start a new life.

  • Write about how you are helping ex-convicts reform and live a better life.

  • Invite him to visit you so that he can see what you have been doing.

  • Conclude the letter by seeking his blessings.



Solution 12

This is an activity to be carried out in class by the students.

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