English CSS Paper 1977

ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)

Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100

  1. Write a precis of the following passage.

Those who regard the decay of civilization as something quite normal and natural console themselves with the thought that it is not civilization, but a civilization, which is falling a prey to dissolution, that there will be a new age and a new race in which there will blossom a new civilization. But that is a mistake. The earth no longer has in reverse, as it had once, gifted people as yet unused, who can relieve us and take our place in some distant future as the leader of our spiritual life. We already know all those that the earth has to dispose of. There is not one among them which is not already taking such a part in our civilization that its spiritual fate is determined by our own. All of them, the gifted and the un-gifted, the distant and the near, have felt the influence of those forces of barbarism which are yet working among us. All of them are, like ourselves, diseased, and only as we recover can they recover.

It is not the civilization of a race, but that of mankind, present and future alike, that we must give up as lost, if belief in the rebirth of our civilization is a vain thing. But it need not to be so given up. If the ethical is the essential element in civilization, decadence changes into renaissance as soon as ethical activities are set to work again in our convictions and in the ideas which we undertake to stamp upon reality. The attempt to bring this about is well worth making, and it should be world-wide. It is true that the difficulties that have to be reckoned with in this undertaking are so great that only the strongest faith in the power of the ethical spirit will let us venture on it.

Again the renewal of civilization is hindered by the fact that it is so exclusively the individual personality which must be looked to as the agent in the new movement.

The renewal of civilization has nothing to do with movements which bear the characters of the experiences of the crowd, these are never anything but reactions to external happenings. But civilization can only revive when there shall come into being in a number of individuals a new tone of mind independent of the one prevalent among the crowd and in opposition to it, a tone of mind which will gradually win influence over the collective one, and in the end determine its character. It is only an ethical movement which can rescue us from the slough of barbarism, and the ethical comes into existence on in individuals.

The final decision as to what the future of a society shall be depends not on how near its organization is to perfection, but on the degrees of worthiness in its individual members. The most important, and yet the least easily determinable, element in history is the series of unobtrusive general changes which take place in the individual dispositions, and that is why it is so difficult to understand thoroughly the men and events of past times. The character and worth of individuals among the mass and the way they work themselves into membership of the whole body, receiving influences from it and giving others back, we can even today only partially and uncertainly understand.

One thing, however, is clear. Were the collective body works more strongly on the individual than the latter does upon it, the result is deterioration because the noble elements on which everything depends, namely the spiritual and moral worthiness of the individual is thereby necessarily constricted and hampered. Decay of the spiritual and moral life then sets in which renders society incapable of understanding and solving the problems which it has to face. Therefore, sooner or later, it is the duty of individuals to a higher conception of their capabilities and undertake the function which only the individual can perform, that of producing new spiritual-ethical ideas. If this does not come about many times over nothing can save us.

2.(a) Read the following poem carefully and paraphrase it in modern English prose.

(b) Write a brief criticism of the poem.
Mortality, behold and fear,
What a change of flesh is here!
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within these heaps of stones,
Here they lie, had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands.
Where from their pulpits scal’d with dust
They preach, ‘In greatness is not trust’.
Here’s an acre sown indeed
With the richest royalist seed
That the earth did e’er suck in.
Since the first-man died for sin,
Here the bones of birth have cried
‘Though gods they were, as men they died!’
Here are sands; ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin’d sides of Kings:
Here’s the world of pomp and state
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.

  1. (a) Use any FIVE of the following pair of words in sentences to bring out clearly their difference in meaning.
    (i) Altar, Alter (ii) Apposite, Opposite (iii) Bear, Bare (iv) Complacent, Complaisant (v) Confident, Confidant (vi) Disease, Decease (vii) Gate, Gait (viii) Judicial, Judicious (ix) Ingenious, Ingenuous (x) Yoke, Yolk

(b) Use any FIVE of the following expressions in your own sentences to illustrate their meaning,
(i) To bear the brunt of (ii) To call a spade a spade (iii) To fight shy of (iv) To cry over the split milk (v) To burn the candle at both ends (vi) To rob peter to pay Paul (vii) To take the bull by the horns (viii) Playing to the gallery (ix) Holding out the olive branch (x) To make out

  1. Write a letter to your local newspaper, explaining of some local nuisance and making some positive recommendations.
    Write a description of about 200 words of a rural or urban scene with which you are familiar.

  2. Briefly discuss “The Role of the University in Economic Development”.
    Discuss in about 250 words ONE of the following topics:
    (a) How Free is Press?
    (b) The Lure of Fashion


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