The Bishop's Candlesticks

The Bishop's Candlesticks is a drama, written by Norman Mckinnell. He was a Scottish stage and film actor, and a playwright. In this play, he has frequently used some French words, as the drama represents France as the location of the story.

Vocabulary:

  • Monseigneur (French) - My Lord (a title of respect given to a person of high rank).
  • Nincompoop - Idiot, Fool.
  • Mon Dieu (French) - My God.
  • Mere - Mother.
  • Dot - Here, Dowry.
  • Comforter - Muffler.
  • Bailiff - An officer of the court.
  • Dupe - A person who is easily deceived.
  • Scamp- A rascal/vagabond.
  • Parish - An area with its own church.
  • Too old a bird to be caught with chaff - Too old to be duped.
  • Wolf - Here, hunger.
  • Entrails - Intestines.
  • To be at the beck and call of - To obey.
  • Ne'er-do-well - A good for nothing.
  • Voraciously - Greedily.
  • Virgin: Here, Mary, Mother of Jesus.
  • Prison hulks - Ships used as a prison houses.
  • Start me fair - Enable me to get a good start in life.
  • Slinking - Moving stealthily.
  • Dogged - Stubborn.
  • Prie-Dieu (French) - A kneeling desk for use in prayer.



The Characters:


  • The Bishop.
  • The Convict.
  • Persome, the Bishop's sister.
  • Marie.
  • Sergeant of Gendarmes.
The Drama:


Scene: The kitchen of the Bishop's cottage, It is plainly but substantially furnished. Doors, and a Window. Fireplace with heavy mantelpiece down. Oak settee with
cushions behind door. Table in window with writing materials and crucifix (wood).
Eight-day beside the window. Kitchen dresser with cupboard to lock. Oak dinner
table . Chairs, books, et cetera. Winter wood scene without. On the mantel piece are two very
handsome candlesticks which look strangely out of place with their surroundings.

[Marie and Persome discovered. Marie stirring some soup on the fire. Persome laying the
cloth, etc.]

Persome: Marie, isn't the soup boiling yet ?
Marie: Not yet, madam.
Persome: Well, it ought to be. You haven't tended the fire properly, child.
Marie: But, madam, you yourself made the fire up.
Persome: Don't answer me back like that. It is rude.
Marie: Yes, madam.
Persome: Then don't let me have to rebuke you again.
Marie: No, madam.
Persome: I wonder where my brother can be. (Looking at the clock.) It is after eleven
o'clock and no sign of him. Marie !
Marie: Yes, madam.
Persome: Did Monseigneur the Bishop leave any message for me ?
Marie: No, madam.
Persome: Did he tell you where he was going?
Marie: Yes, madam.
Persome (imitating): 'Yes, madam'. Then why haven't you told me, stupid!
Marie: Madam didn't ask me.
Persome: But that is no reason for your not telling me, is it ?
Marie: Madam said only this morning I was not to chatter, so I thought...
Persome: Ah, Mon Dieu! You thought! Ah! It is hopeless.
Marie: Yes, madam.
Persome: Don't keep saying 'Yes, Madam' like a parrot, nincompoop.
Marie: No, madam.
Persome: Well. Where did Monseigneur say he was going?
Marie: To my mother's, madam.
Persome: To your mother's indeed ! And why, pray ?
Marie: Monseigneur asked me how she was, and I told him she was feeling poorly.
Persome: You told him she was feeling poorly did you? And so my brother is to be kept out
of his bed, and go without his supper because you told him she was feeling
poorly. There's gratitude for you!
Marie: Madam, the soup is boiling!
Persome: Then pour it out, fool, and don't chatter. (Marie about to do so.) No, no, not like
that. Here, let me do it, and do you put the salt-cellars on the table-the silver
ones.
Marie: The silver ones, Madam?
Persome: Yes, the silver ones. Are you deaf as well as stupid?
Marie: They are sold, madam.
Persome: Sold! (with horror) Sold! Are you mad? Who sold them? Why were they sold?
Marie: Monseigneur the Bishop told me this afternoon, while you were out, to take them
to Monseigneur Gervais, who has often admired them, and sell them for as much
as I could.
Persome: But you had no right to do so without asking me.
Marie (with awe): But, madam, Monseigneur the Bishop told me.
Persome: Monseigneur the Bishop is a-ahem! But-but what can he have wanted with the
money!
Marie: Pardon, madam, but I think it was for Mere Gringoire.
Persome: Mere Gringoire indeed! Mere Gringoire! What, the old witch who lives at the top
of the hill, and who says she is bedridden because she is too lazy to do any
work? And what did Mere Gringoire want with the money, pray ?
Marie: Madam, it was for the rent. The bailiff would not wait any longer, and threatened
to turn her out to-day if it were not paid, so she sent little Jean to Monseigneur to
ask for help, and-
Persome: Oh, mon Dieu! It is hopeless, hopeless. We shall have nothing left. His estate is
sold, his savings have gone. His furniture, everything. Were it not for my little dot
we should starve ! And now my beautiful-beautiful (sob) salt-cellars. Ah, it is too
much, too much. (She breaks down crying.)
Marie: Madam, I am sorry, if I had known-
Persome: Sorry, and why pray? If Monseigneur the Bishop chooses to sell his salt-cellars
he may do so, I suppose. Go and wash your hands, they are disgracefully dirty.
Marie: Yes, madam. (Goes)

[The Bishop enters]

Bishop: Ah! how nice and warm it is in here! It is worth going out in the cold for the sake of
the comfort of coming in.

[Persome has hastened to help him off with his coat etc. Marie has dropped a deep
courtesy.]

Bishop: Thank you, dear. (Looking at her.) Why, what is the matter ? You have been
crying. Has Marie been troublesome, eh ? (shaking his finger at her) Ah !
Persome: No, it wasn't Marie-but-but-
Bishop: Well, well, you shall tell me presently! Marie, my child, run home now; your
mother is better. I have prayed with her, and the doctor has been. Run home!
(Marie putting on cloak and going.) And, Marie, let yourself in quietly in case your
mother is asleep.
Marie: Oh, thanks, thanks, Monseigneur.

[She goes to door; as it opens the snow drives in.]

Bishop: Here, Marie, take my comforter, it will keep you warm. It is very cold to-night.
Marie: Oh, no Monseigneur ! (shamefacedly).
Persome: What nonsense, brother, she is young, she won't hurt.
Bishop: Ah, Persome, you have not been out, you don't know how cold it has become.
Here, Marie, let me put it on for you. (Does so) There! Run along little one.

[Marie exits]

Persome: Brother, I have no patience with you. There, sit down and take your soup, it has
been waiting ever so long. And if it is spoilt, it serves you right.
Bishop: It smells delicious.
Persome: I'm sure Marie's mother is not so ill that you need have stayed out on such a night
as this. I believe those people pretend to be ill just to have the Bishop call on
them. They have no thought of the Bishop!
Bishop: It is kind of them to want to see me.
Persome: Well, for my part, I believe that charity begins at home.
Bishop: And so you make me this delicious soup. You are very good to me, sister.
Persome: Good to you, yes! I should think so. I should like to know where you would be
without me to look after you. The dupe of every idle scamp or lying old woman in
the parish!
Bishop: If people lie to me they are poorer, not I.
Persome: But it is ridiculous; you will soon have nothing left. You give away everything,
everything!!!
Bishop: My dear, there is so much suffering in the world, and I can do so little (sighs), so
very little.
Persome: Suffering, yes; but you never think of the suffering you cause to those who love
you best, the suffering you cause to me.
Bishop (rising): You, sister dear ? Have I hurt you ? Ah, I remember you had been crying.
Was it my fault ? I didn' t mean to hurt you. I am sorry.
Persome: Sorry. Yes. Sorry won't mend it. Humph ! Oh, do go on eating your soup before it
gets cold.
Bishop: Very well, dear. (Sits.) But tell me-
Persome: You are like a child. I can't trust you out of my sight. No sooner is my back turned
than you get that little minx Marie to sell the silver salt-cellars.
Bishop: Ah, yes, the salt-cellars. It is a pity. You-you were proud of them?
Persome: Proud of them. Why, they have been in our family for years.
Bishop: Yes, it is a pity. They were beautiful; but still, dear, one can eat salt out of china
just as well.
Persome: Yes, or meat off the floor, I suppose. Oh, it's coming to that. And as for that old
wretch, Mere Gringoire, I wonder she had the audacity to send here again. The
last time I saw her I gave her such a talking to that it ought to have had some
effect.
Bishop: Yes! I offered to take her in here for a day or two, but she seemed to think it might
distress you.
Persome: Distress me !!!
Bishop: And the bailiff, who is a very just man, would not wait longer for the rent, so -soyou
see I had to pay it.
Persome: You had to pay it. (Gesture of comic despair.)
Bishop: Yes, and you see I had no money so I had to dispose of the salt-cellars. It was
fortunate I had them, wasn't it ? (Smiling) But I'm sorry I have grieved you.
Persome: Oh, go on! Go on! You are incorrigible. You'll sell your candlesticks next.
Bishop (with real concern): No, no, sister, not my candlesticks.
Persome: Oh! Why not ? They would pay somebody's rent, I suppose.
Bishop: Ah, you are good, sister, to think of that; but-but I don't want to sell them. You see,
dear, 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; but perhaps it is a sin to set such store by them ?
Persome: Brother, brother, you will break my heart (with tears in her voice). There! Don't
say anything more. Kiss me and give me your blessing. I'm going to bed. (They
kiss.)

[Bishop makes the sign of the Cross and murmurs a blessing. Persome locks cupboard
door and goes R.]

Persome: Don't sit up too long and tire your eyes.
Bishop: No, dear! Good night!

[Persome exits]

Bishop: (comes to table and opens a book, then looks up at the candlesticks). They
would pay somebody's rent. It was kind of her to think of that.

[He stirs the fire, trims the lamp, arranges some books and papers, sits down, is restless,
shivers slightly ; clock outside strikes twelve and he settles to read. Music during this. Enter
the Convict stealthily ; he has a long knife and seizes the Bishop from behind]

Convict: If you call out you are a dead man!
Bishop: But, my friend, as you see, I am reading. Why should I call out? Can I help you in
any way ?
Convict (hoarsely): I want food. I'm starving, I haven't eaten anything for three days. Give
me food quickly, quickly, curse you.
Bishop (eagerly): But certainly, my son, you shall have food. I will ask my sister for the keys
of the cupboard. [Rising]
Convict: Sit down !!! (The Bishop sits smiling.) None of that, my friend! I'm too old a bird to
be caught with chaff. You would ask your sister for the keys, would you ? A likely
story! You would rouse the house too. Eh? Ha!! ha! A good joke truly. Come,
where is the food ? I want no keys. I have a wolf inside me tearing at my entrails,
tearing me; quick, tell me; where the food is.
Bishop (aside): I wish Persome would not lock the cupboard. (Aloud) Come, my friend, you
have nothing to fear. My sister and I are alone here.
Convict: How do I know that ?
Bishop: Why, I have just told you.

[Convict looks long at the Bishop.]

Convict: Humph! I'll risk it. (Bishop, going to door R.) But mind! Play me false and as sure
as there are devils in hell, I'll drive my knife through your heart. I have nothing to
lose.
Bishop: You have your soul to lose, my son; it is of more value than my heart. (At door,
calling.) Persome! Persome!

[The Convict stands behind him, with his knife ready.]

Persome (within): Yes, brother.
Bishop: Here is a poor traveller who is hungry. If you are not undressed will you come and
open the cupboard and I will give him some supper.
Persome (within): What, at this time of night ? A pretty business truly. Are we to have no sleep
now, but to be at the beck and call of every ne'er-do-well who happens to
pass?
Bishop: But, Persome, the traveller is hungry.
Perome: Oh, very well. I am coming. (Persome enters. She sees the knife in the
Convict's hand.) (Frightened) Brother, what is he doing with that knife?
Bishop: The knife-oh, well, you see, dear, perhaps he may have thought that I-I had sold
ours. [Laughs gently.]
Persome: Brother, I am frightened. He glares at us like a wild beast (aside to him).
Convict: Hurry, I tell you. Give me food or I'll stick my knife in you both and help myself.
Bishop: Give me the keys, Persome (she gives them to him). And now, dear, you may go
to bed.

[Persome going. The Convict springs in front of her.]

Convict: Stop! Neither of you leave this room till I do.

[She looks at the Bishop.]

Bishop: Persome, will you favour this gentleman with your company at supper? He
evidently desires it.
Persome: Very well, brother.

[She sits down at table staring at the two.]

Bishop: Here is some cold pie and a bottle of wine and some bread.
Convict: Put them on the table, and stand below it so that I can see you.

[Bishop does so and opens drawer in table, taking out knife and fork, looking at
the knife in Convict's hand.]

Convict: My knife is sharp. (He runs his finger along the edge and looks at them
meaningly.) And as for forks…. (taking it up) (laughs) Steel! (He throws it away).
We don't use forks in prison.
Persome: Prison ?
Convict: (Cutting off an enormous slice, which he tears with his fingers like an animal.
Then starts) What was that ? (He looks at the door.) Why the devil do you leave
the window unshuttered and the door unbarred so that anyone can come in ?
(shutting them.)
Bishop: That is why they are left open.
Convict: Well, they are shut now !
Bishop (sighs): For the first time in thirty years.

[Convict eats voraciously and throws a bone on the floor.]

Persome: Oh, my nice clean floor!

[Bishop picks up the bone and puts it on plate.]

Convict: You're not afraid of thieves?
Bishop: I am sorry for them.
Convict: Sorry for them. Ha ! ha ! ha!
(Drinks from bottle) That's a good one. Sorry for them. Ha! ha! ha! (Drinks)
(suddenly) What the devil are you ?
Bishop: I am a bishop.
Convict: Ha! ha ! ha ! A Bishop: Holy Virgin, a bishop.
Bishop: I hope you may escape that, my son. Persome, you may leave us; this
gentleman will excuse you.
Persome: Leave you with-
Bishop: Please! My friend and I can talk more-freely then.

[By this time, owing to his starving condition, the wine has affected the Convict]

Convict: What's that ? Leave us. Yes, yes, leave us. Good night. I want to talk to the
Bishop, The Bishop: Ha! ha!

[Laughs as he drinks, and coughs.]

Bishop: Good night, Persome.

[He holds the door open and she goes out, holding in her skirts as she passes
the Convict]

Convict (chuckling to himself): The Bishop: Ha ! ha ! Well I'm-(Suddenly very loudly) D'you
know what I am ?
Bishop: I think one who has suffered much.
Convict: Suffer ? (puzzled) suffered? My God, yes. (Drinks) But that's a long time ago. Ha!
ha! That was when I was a man. Now I'm not a man; now I'm a number; number
15729, and I've lived in Hell for ten years.
Bishop: Tell me about it-about Hell.
Convict: Why? (Suspiciously) Do you want to tell the police-to set them on my track ?
Bishop: No! I will not tell the police.
Convict: (looks at him earnestly). I believe you (scratching his head), but curse me if I
know why.
Bishop: (laying his hand on the Convict's arm). Tell me about the time-the time before
you went to-Hell.
Convict: It's so long ago I forget; but I had a little cottage, there were vines growing on it.
(Dreamily) They looked pretty with the evening sun on them, and, and-there was
a woman- she was (thinking hard)-she must have been my wife-yes. (Suddenly
and very rapidly). Yes, I remember! She was ill, we had no food, I could get no
work, it was a bad year, and my wife, my Jeanette, was ill, dying (pause), so I
stole to buy her food. (Long pause. The Bishop gently pats his hand.) They
caught me. I pleaded to them, I told them why I stole, but they laughed at me, and
I was, sentenced to ten years in the prison hulks (pause), ten years in Hell. The
night I was sentenced, the gaoler told me-told me Jeanette was dead. (Sobs with
fury) Ah, curse them, curse them. God curse them all.

[He sinks on the table, sobbing.]

Bishop: Now tell me about the prison ship, about Hell.
Convict: Tell you about it ? Look here, I was a man once. I'm a beast now, and they made
me what I am. They chained me up like a wild animal, they lashed me like a
hound. I fed on filth, I was covered, with vermin, I slept on boards, and I
complained. Then they lashed me again. For ten years, ten years. Oh God! They
took away my name, they took away my soul, and they gave me a devil in its
place. But one day they were careless, one day they forgot to chain up their wild
beast, and he escaped. He was free. That was six weeks ago. I was free, free to
starve.
Bishop: To starve ?
Convict: Yes, to starve. They feed you in Hell, but when you escape from it you starve.
They were hunting me everywhere and I had no passport, no name. So I stole
again. I stole these rags. I stole my food daily. I slept in the woods, in barns, any
where. I dare not ask for work, I dare not go into a town to beg, so I stole, and they
have made me what I am, they have made me a thief. God curse them all.

[Empties the bottle and throws it into the fire-place R., smashing it.]

Bishop: My son, you have suffered much but there is hope for all.
Convict: Hope ! Hope ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! [Laughs wildly.]
Bishop: You have walked far; you are tired. Lie down and sleep on the couch there, and I
will get you some coverings.
Convict: And if anyone comes ?
Bishop: No one will come; but if they do are you not my friend?
Convict: Your friend? (puzzled)
Bishop: They will not molest the Bishop's friend.
Convict: The Bishop's friend.

[Scratching his head, utterly puzzled]

Bishop: I will get the coverings. [Exits]
Convict: (looks after him, scratches his head) The Bishop's friend! (He goes to fire to
warm himself and notices the candlesticks, He looks round to see if he is alone,
and takes them down, weighing them.) Silver, by God, heavy. What a prize!

[He hears the Bishop coming, and in his haste drops one candlestick on the
table.]

[The Bishop enters]

Bishop: (sees what is going on, but goes to the settee up with coverings.) Ah, you are
admiring my candlesticks. I am proud of them. They were a gift from my mother.
A little too handsome for this poor cottage perhaps, but all I have to remind me of
her. Your bed is ready. Will you lie down now ?
Convict: Yes, yes, I'll lie down now. (puzzled) -Look-here, why the devil are you-ki- kind to
me? (Suspiciously). What do you want? Eh?
Bishop: I want you to have a good sleep, my friend.
Convict: 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 freaking religion, and as for the Church-bah! I hate
the Church.
Bishop: That is a pity, my son, as the Church does not hate you.
Convict: You are going to try to convert me. Oh! Ha! ha! That's a good idea. Ha ! ha ! ha!
No, no, Monseigneur the Bishop: I don't want any of your Faith, Hope, and
Charity --see? So anything you do for me you're doing to the devil-understand?
(defiantly)
Bishop: One must do a great deal for the devil in order to do a little for God.
Convict: (angrily). I don't want any freaking religion, I tell you.
Bishop: Won't you lie down now? It is late?
Convict: (grumbling). Well, all right, but I won't be preached at, I-I-(on couch). You're sure
no one will come?
Bishop: I don't think they will; but if they do-you yourself have locked the door.
Convict: Humph! I wonder if it's safe. (He goes to the door and tries it, then turns and sees
the Bishop holding the covering, annoyed) Here! you go to bed. I'll cover myself.
(The Bishop hesitates.) Go on, I tell you.
Bishop: Good night, my son. [Exits]

[Convict waits till he is off, then tries the Bishop's door.]

Convict: No lock, of course. Curse it. (Looks round and sees the candlesticks again.)
Humph! I'll have another look at them. (He takes them up and toys with them.)
Worth hundreds I'll warrant. If I had these turned into money they'd start me fair.
Humph! The old boy's fond of them too, said his mother gave him them. His
mother, yes. They didn't think of my mother when they sent me to Hell. He was
kind to me too-but what's a Bishop for except to be kind to you? Here, cheer up,
my hearty, you're getting soft. God! Wouldn't my chain-mates laugh to see
15729 hesitating about collaring the plunder because he felt good. Good ! Ha ha!
Oh, my God! Good! Ha! ha! 15729 getting soft. That's a good one. Ha ! ha! No, I'll
take his candlesticks and go. If I stay here he'll preach at me in the morning and
I'll get soft. Curse him and his preaching too. Here goes!

[He takes the candlesticks, stows them in his coat, and cautiously exits L.C. As
he does so the door slams.]

Persome (without): Who's there ? Who's there, I say ? Am I to get no sleep to-night ? Who's
there, I say ? (Enter R, Persome) I'm sure I heard the door shut. (Looking
round.) No one here ? (Knocks at the Bishop's door L. Sees the candlesticks
have gone.) The candlesticks, the candlesticks. They are gone. Brother, brother,
come out. Fire, murder, thieves!

[The Bishop enters]

Bishop: What is it, dear, what is it ? What is the matter ?
Persome: He has gone. The man with the hungry eyes has gone, and he has taken your
candlesticks.
Bishop: Not my candlesticks, sister, surely not those. (He looks and sighs.) Ah, that is
hard, very hard, I………I-He might have left me those. They were all I had
(almost breaking down).
Persome: Well, but go and inform the police. He can't have gone far. They will soon catch
him, and you'll get the candlesticks back again. You don't deserve them, though,
leaving them about with a man like that in the house.
Bishop: You are right, Persome: It was my fault. I led him into temptation.
Persome: Oh, nonsense I led him into temptation indeed. The man is a thief, a common
scoundrelly thief. I knew it the moment I saw. Go and inform the police or I will.

[Going; but he stops her.]

Bishop: And have him sent back to prison, (very softly), sent back to Hell. No Persome: It
is a just punishment for me; I set too great store by them. It was a sin. My
punishment is just; but, oh God, it is hard, it is very hard. [He buries his head in
his hands.]
Persome: No, brother, you are wrong. If you won't tell the police, I will. I will not stand by and
see you robbed. I know you are my brother and my Bishop, and the best man in
all France; but you are a fool, I tell you, a child, and I will not have your goodness
abused, I shall go and inform the police (Going).
Bishop: Stop, Persome: The candlesticks were mine; they are his now. It is better, so. He
has more need of them than I. My mother would have wished it so had she been
here.
Persome: But-[Great knocking without]
Sergeant (without): Monseigneur, Monseigneur, we have something for you. May we enter ?
Bishop: Enter, my son.

[Enter Sergeant and three Gendarmes with Convict bound. The Sergeant
carries the candlesticks.]

Persome: Ah, so they have caught you, villain, have they ?
Sergeant: Yes, madam, we found this scoundrel slinking along the road, and as he
wouldn't give any account of himself we arrested him on suspicion. Holy Virgin,
isn't he strong and didn't he struggle. While we were securing him these
candlesticks fell out of his pockets. (Persome seizes them, goes to table, and
brushes them with her apron lovingly.) I remembered the candlesticks of
Monseigneur the Bishop, so we brought him here that you might identity them,
and then we'll lock him up.

[The Bishop and the Convict have been looking at each other-the Convict with
dogged defiance.]

Bishop: But - but I don't understand ; this gentleman is my very good friend.
Sergeant: Your friend, Monseigneur!! Holy Virgin ! Well!!!
Bishop: Yes, my friend. He did me the honour to sup with me to-night, and I-I have given
him the candlesticks.
Sergeant (incredulously): You gave him-him your candlesticks ? Holy Virgin!
Bishop (severely): Remember, my son, that she is holy.
Sergeant (saluting): Pardon, Monseigneur.
Bishop: And now I think you may let your prisoner go.
Sergeant: But he won't show me his papers; he won't tell me who he is.
Bishop: I have told you he is my friend.
Sergeant: Yes, that's all very well, but-
Bishop: He is your Bishop's friend; surely that is enough.
Sergeant: Well, but
Bishop: Surely?

[A pause. The Sergeant and the Bishop look at each other]

Sergeant: I-I-Humph! (To his men) Loose the prisoner. (They do so). Right about turn, quick
march!

[Sergeant and Gendarmes exit. A long pause.]

Convict: (Very slowly, as if in a dream). You told them you had given me the candlesticks -
given me them. By God!
Persome: (Shaking her fist at him and hugging the candlesticks to her breast). Oh, you
scoundrel, you pitiful scoundrel. You come here, and are fed and warmed, andand
you thieve; steal from your benefactor. Oh, you blackguard.
Bishop: Persome, you are overwrought. Go to your room.
Persome: What, and leave you with him to be cheated again, perhaps murdered ? No, I will
not.
Bishop: (With slight severity) Persome, leave us. I wish it. [She looks hard at him, then
turns towards her door.]
Persome: Well, if I must go, at least I'll take the candlesticks with me.
Bishop: (More severely) Persome, place the candlesticks on that table and leave us.
Persome: (Defiantly). I will not!
Bishop: (Loudly and with great severity). I, your Bishop, command it.

[Persome does so with great reluctance and exits]

Convict: (Shamefacedly) Monseigneur, I'm glad I didn't get away with them; curse me, I
am. I'm glad.
Bishop: Now won't you sleep here ? See, your bed is ready.
Convict: No! (Looking at the candlesticks) No ! no! I daren't, I daren't. Besides, I must go
on, I must get to Paris; it is big, and I-I can be lost there. They won't find me there.
And I must travel at night. Do you understand ?
Bishop: I see-you must travel by night.
Convict: I-I-didn't believe there was any good in the world; one doesn't when one has
been in Hell; 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 ? I-I think it would help me. I-
[Hangs his head very shamefacedly.]

[Bishop makes the sign of the Cross and murmurs a blessing.]

Convict: (Tries to speak, but a sob almost chokes him). Good night.

[He hurries towards the door.]

Bishop: Stay, my son, you have forgotten your property (giving him the candlesticks).
Convict: You mean me-you want me to take them ?
Bishop: Please; they may help you. (The Convict takes the candlesticks in absolute
amazement.) And, my son, there is a path through the woods at the back of this
cottage which leads to Paris; it is a very lonely path and I have noticed that my
good friends the gendarmes do not like lonely paths at night. It is curious.
Convict: Ah, thanks, thanks, Monseigneur. I-I-(He sobs.) Ah, I'm a fool, a child to cry, but
somehow you have made me feel that-that it is just as if something had come
into me- as if I were a man again and not a wild beast. [The door at back is open,
and the Convict is standing in it.]
Bishop: (Putting his hand on his shoulder). Always remember, my son, that this poor
body is the Temple of the Living God.
Convict: (With great awe). The Temple of the Living God. I'll remember.


[The Bishop closes the door and goes quietly to the Prie-Dieu in the window,
he sinks on his knees and bows his head in prayer.]

Moral:


  • The bishop's act teaches us goodness. This gives us an idea of mercy, compassion and grace. He knew that the convict was not responsible for his sufferings. He was forced to steal. He had no other way to save his wife. He should be forgiven. He should be given another chance.
  • The bishop is not violent towards the convict's badness. He conquers his badness using goodness. He feels sorry for the convict, and indirectly makes him admit his mistakes and start a fresh new life happily.
  • The bishop is kind enough to give his candlesticks to the convict, knowing that the convict had previously tried to steal it. He believes that the convict deserved the candlesticks and another chance, for he had previously borne a lot of misery for a mistake he was forced to do.
  • Persome's admission to the bishop's orders teaches us to respect our elders and follow their orders.

About the Writer: 

Norman Mckinnell (1870-1932) was an actor and a dramatist, As a playwright he is
known for the play, 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' which is an adaptation of a section of
Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables". The play, which is very popular, is based on the
theme that love and kindness can change a man rather than violence. The play is
about a convict who 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. He is captured and brought back. He expects to
go back to jail, but the Bishop informs the police they are a gift. The act of the Bishop
reforms the convict to a belief in the spirit of God that dwells in the heart of every
human being.

Diwali (Deepavali)

Deepavali (Pronounced Deepaavalee) is a Hindu-festival which originated in the Indian-sub-continent, but now-a-days is celebrated vastly in Fiji, U. K., Mauritius, Canada, Portugal, U. S. A., Caribbean Islands, et cetera. It is also known as Diwali over many places where it is celebrated. The word ‘Diwali’ has its origin from the wrong and improper pronunciation of ‘Deepavali’ done by the British.
This festival is celebrated to remark the return of Lord Rama (Pronounced Raam) from Sri Lanka (Pronounced Shree Lankaa) after defeating Ravan (Pronounced Raavan, the ‘n’ having a guttural pronunciation), the ruler of Sri Lanka at that time.
This is a common question: Why are Ganesha and Lakshmi worshipped on the occasion of Diwali?
Traditionally in Hinduism, every religious and auspicious function begins with worship of Lord Ganesha (Pronounced Ganesh, the ‘n’ having a guttural pronunciation). No other God is equal in significance to Ganesha. The reason for this greater significance is that the word Ganesha is a form of Brahma and hence symbolizes Omkar.
However, Ganesha and Lakshmi (Pronounced Lakshmee) are worshipped on this day due to some reasons including these:
Ganesha is to be worshipped in the beginning of every religious and auspicious occasion.
Lakshmi is to be worshipped in order to gain wealth.
Lakshmi, after adopting Ganesha as her son, declared that she would never be worshipped alone, without the worshipping of Ganesha.

Crime

Crime is a curse on the planet. Crime is to perform any such activity that
1)is illegal (not always).
2)causes a big loss.
3)hurts someone a lot.
4)is not supposed to be done.

Now-a-days, teenage people mostly do crimes. This causes the future
generations are interested in them. The world is full of crimes. There
are seldom societies which never had a crime.

Long, long ago, was a time when there was almost no crime. Then came a time
when people started to betray each other and break rules. Even many ancient
kings and queens were addicted to crimes. That led to the rise of crimes,
which led us to such a world that is full of crimes.

Areas which have less harmony and unity are most prone to crimes. Crime
started to spread from one society to another, which almost made the world
full of crimes. Human is the animal which is the most powerful, most
intelligent, and most crazy creature of all. How?

It is powerful as:
•It can do almost anything that God can do.
•It can kill any creature, whether it is small or big.
•It can build many creations that probably no one else can build.

It is intelligent as:
•It utilised its brain and made it progress more than others.
•It built the transport system, which made it able to cover lakhs of kms in an
hour.
•It built the computer, which can help it in many of his tasks.
•It built robots, which can move, talk and study like humans.

But it is a crazy, mad and fool as:
•It kills its very own brothers and sisters for almost NO reason.
•It harms and destroys the nature's gifts and later searches for them after
making them extinct e.g. many animals (ancient) have been made extinct by
killing due to human greed.
Crime is a very bad thing for everybody, thus should try to not do any. If we
make ourselves perfect, then at least 0.01 % of the world can be known as
perfect. We should contribute to the world, who gives us food, water, air,
shelter, etc. by making ourselves perfect.

Bullying

First of all, for those who don't know, I'm going to tell what is bullying.
Bullying is to torture the victim physically, verbally, emotionally or sexually.

Children all over the world do suffer a lot due to this. This results in stress and
internal pain for the victim.
Bullying is mainly done in childrens' schools and educational institutions worldwide. It may also be done when
children get out to play and so on. The main reasons for a child to be bullied
are:
•The child is more intelligent than others, causing jealousy in other students of
the same grade.
•The child is very innocent, which makes others understand that bullying it
may not cause any type of 'an earthquake'.
•The child is of a lower physical structure allowing bigger and stronger
children to corner the feeble ones.

Is bullying good?

Why yes:
•It increases the immune system in the children to fight such circumstances
later in their life.
•It makes the children experience things which make them recognize that they
have to pass through such circumstances whole life.

Why no:
•It may make the child more feeble, decreasing its chances of progressing later
in its life.
•In case of blackmailing, the child would not be able to take any strong action
against the bully.
•If there is no strong action taken, it will make the bully realize that it is
supreme, and there can be no one against it.

How to take action if your child is being bullied:
•Soothe your child.
•Tell it that you take care of it and you understand it
problems.
•Recommend it some ways to fight the bullies.
•Do not overreact as it may make the situation worse.
•Help it regain it dignity.
•Complain to a higher authority if the child is physically or sexually bullied.

How to take action if you realize that your child is a bully:
•Please do not overreact.
•If your child is being bullied, stop it immidiately.
•Tell your child it is bad to bully.
•Praise it to make a good behaviour.
•If problem still persists, talk to its teachers. Perhaps they may handle it
better than you.

Muslims and their discrimination

"Why are Muslims discriminated?",
This question is what I ask every time I
watch web pages containing bad
information such as:
1)Muslims should be killed.
2)Muslims are terrorists.
3)Muslims are *******.
4)Muslims are the cause of battles.
et cetera.

Why is this so? Yes, I agree that some of the Muslims are terrorists, but that is not so with the whole Muslim race. I have myself studied and observed Quran and
found it interesting. If there is a poll to find out a Holy book book that teaches many good values, I will surely rate the Holy Quran as one of the best ones. Without the Muslims,

  • Urdu would not have been invented, and the Hindi usually spoken by the Indians would have just remained the Apabhramsha-Hindi instead.
  • Arabic would have become a minor language without the existence of such an influential civilization, which is now-a-days widely South-West Asian, North-East African and South-East European parts.


At last, I just want to say that instead of looking at the bad side of the Muslims, we should rather respect them and treat them all as our own brothers, since a man is not known by its religion, caste, gender or creed, it is only known by its qualities.

Natural Resources

Our Mother - The Nature, provided us all the necessary components for maintaining life on Earth, but nobody can be sure that those components are free gifts for us.

We all have right on it, but that doesn't mean that we should use it unnecessarily. We all are responsible for what the nature bears, and therefore the human race also bears the nature's revenge. The Tsunami of Japan has harmed crores of lives of humans, animals, birds and aquatic species. We all know that it got caused just because of the bombs dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So we could say that it was not natural, but human-made disaster. After the end of the British Raj in India, she faced a lots of problem regarding food, which later got in control through the Green and other Revolutions.

So why don't we use natural resources in a limit? Why don't we stop using those resources unnecessarily? Why don't we stop wasting natural components for our battles? Hey, this article is not for just reading! You should make the lessons learnt through this article prevail in your life to make the earth a world of enough natural resources for us and our future generations.

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