English CSS Paper 1975

ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)

Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100

  1. Make a precis of the following passage in about 200 words.
    What virtues must we require of a man to whom we entrust directing of our affairs? Above all, a sense of what is possible. In politics, it is useless to formulate great and noble projects if, due to the existing state of the country, they cannot be accomplished. The impulses of a free people are at all times a parallelogram of forces The great statesman realizes precisely what these forces are and says to himself without ever being seriously mistaken: “I can go just so far and no further”. He does not allow himself to favour one class, foreseeing the inevitable reactions of the neglected groups. A prudent doctor does not cure his patient of a passing complaint with a remedy that produces a permanent diseases of the liver; and a judicious statesman neither appeases the working class at the risk of angering the bourgeoisie, nor does he indulge the bourgeoisie at the expense of the working class. He endeavours to regard the nation as a great living body whose organs are interdependent. He takes the temperature of public opinion every day, and if the fever increases he sees to it that the country rests.

Though he may fully appreciate the power of public opinion, a forceful and clever statesman realizes that he can influence it fairly easily. He has calculated the people’s power to remain indifferent to his efforts; they have their moment of violence, and their angry protests are legitimate if the Government brings poverty on them, takes away their traditional liberty, or seriously interferes with their home life. But they will allow themselves to be led by a man who knows where he is going and who shows them clearly that he has the nation’s interest at heart and that they may have confidence in him.

The sense of what is possible is not only the ability to recognize that certain things are impossible — a negative virtue — but also to know that, to a courageous man, things which may appear to be very difficult are in fact possible. A great statesman does not say to himself: “This nation is weak,” but “This nation is asleep; I shall wake it up. Laws and institutions are of the people’s making; if necessary, I shall change them”.

But above all, the determination to do something must be followed by acts, not merely words. Mediocre politicians spend most of their time devising schemes and preaching doctrines. They talk of structural reforms, they invent faultless social systems and formulate plans for perpetual peace. In his public speeches the true statesman knows how, if necessary, to make polite bows to new theories and to pronounce ritualistic phrases for the benefit of those who guard temple gates; but he actually occupies himself by taking care of the real needs of the nation. He endeavours to accomplish definite and precise objectives in ways that seem best to him. If he finds obstacles in his path, he makes detours. Vanity, intellectual pride, and a feeling for system are serious handicaps to the politicians. Some party leaders are ready to sacrifice the country for a theory or a set of principles. The true leader says: “Let the principles go but I must save the nation”.

  1. Read the following poem in simple prose and comment on the difference in the effective use of language between the poem and its prose version by you.
    Since brass, not stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea.
    But sad morality o’er-sways their power,
    How with this range shall beauty hold a plea.
    O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
    Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
    When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
    Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
    O, fearful meditation, where, alack
    Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?
    Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
    Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
    O, none, unless this miracle have might,
    That in black ink my Love may still shine bright,

  1. (a) Distinguish between the meaning of the words in the following pairs and use them in sentences to indicate what these different meanings are:
    (i) Amiable, Amicable (ii) Considerable, Considerate (iii) Ingenuous, Ingenious (iv) Momentary, Momentous (v) Virtuous, Virtual

(b) Use any FIVE of the following idioms in your own sentences to illustrate their meaning.
(i) To sow one’s wild oats (ii) Storm in a tea cup (iii) to keep late Hours to throw cold water on (iv) A cock-and-bull story (v) To bear the brunt of (vi) Tied to apron-strings of (vii) To move heaven and earth (viii) To blow one’s own trumpet (ix) To rest on one’s laurels

  1. Develop the following quotation into a paragraph of each about 120 words.
    “At critical moments in their history it is Islam that saved Muslims and not vice versa”.
    Write a complete character-sketch of the man or the woman who has impressed you in the most in your life.

  2. Pakistan has yet to produce a scientist of international calibre. Pinpoint the factors which, in your opinion, are responsible for this poor showing of ours in the field of science and suggest concrete measures which the Government and our Universities should take to help Pakistan scientists make solid contributions in their respective fields,
    Discuss in depth and detail what conditions are conducive to the growth of regionalism and provincialism — the two great menaces to national solidarity — and how they can best be eliminated.


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