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STUDY MATERIAL FOR CLASS X ENGLISH COMMUNICATIVE SA 1 TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA Summery: The Author and his companion had been driving near the city of Verona when they were stopped by two small boys, shabbily dressed, selling strawberries. The author’s driver cautioned the author against purchasing the fruits. The boys were very skinny but their eyes were sincere ant attracted attention. The author’s companion discovered that the elder one was thirteen years old, named Nicola, the younger was about twelve year old and his name was Jacopo. The author takes an instant liking for the boys- ends up buying their biggest basket of strawberries. Next morning, the author noticed those boys polishing shoes of people. They appeared to be doing a good job. The boys smiled and told the author that they performed many kinds of other jobs also like escorting tourists around the city and to show Juliet’s grave. Impressed, the author hired the boys immediately. Due to close interaction, the author discovered that the boys were very friendly and innocent. Beneath their cheerful smiles, however, he could discover seriousness, a hint of sadness that defied their age. The author did not regret his decision because the boys proved to be very resourceful. The author finds their eagerness to do work really remarkable. He was surprised when he saw the bow half asleep on a windy and deserted street, late at night. They had been struck by their desperation to do more and more work but he was surprised to note that they still wore torn clothes and hardly ate anything. The author’s trip was coming to an end. Before leaving, he asked both the boys if he could do something for them. Nicola, the elder one refused but the younger one requested the author to drive them to Poleta, 30Kms away, next day. The author is nonplussed. He had already given the day off to his driver. As a last gesture of goodwill, he volunteered to drive the two boys, himself. The following afternoon, they all drove to a tiny village, near a hill. The author was surprised to halt beside a villa. Before he could question, the boys leapt out and asked the author to pick them up from the same place, after an hour. The author couldn’t restrain his curiosity. He went in and was greeted by a nurse, who ushered him inside. Through a glass partition, the author saw that the boys were seated beside a hospital bed, with a girl of about 20years, who appeared to be their sister. The author refused the offer to be ushered inside, as he did not wish to intrude upon a happy family reunion. On being asked, the nurse told the author that the children’s father had been killed in war and bomb had destroyed their house and rendered their homeless. Children kept themselves alive by building a kind of shelter with rubble of their house. For many years the Germans ruled the city and the children had to undergo lot of suffering. The sister, Lucia, who wanted to be a singer, could not bear the cold and starvation, so she contracted tuberculosis of the spine. The boys brought Lucia there and every week brought enough money for her treatment. Despite scarcity of work after war, the brothers never faltered in their payment. Now Lucia was showing signs of improvement and the day was not far off when she would be able to walk and sing. The author was rejoined by the boys and they drove back to the city. The boys remain tight-lipped and the author also decided to remain quit because he respected their privacy and secret. The author left, filled with admiration at the courage and relentless efforts of two young boys, who remained determined despite the setbacks of the war. Questions What do you understand by the following statements? 1. “We do many things, Sir,” Nicola answered seriously. He glanced at us hopefully. Hint: The variety of works the two brothers did to survive and collect money for other responsibilities. 2. “he coloured deeply under his sun-burn, then grew pale” . Hint: The two boys were very hard...
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