NCERT Solution for Class 7 English Honeycomb Book Chapter 5 Quality Summary, Explanation, Question Answer
Quality Class 7 English – NCERT Class 7 English Honeycomb book Lesson 5 Detailed explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered. Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 7 Click Here
Class 7 English (Honeycomb book) Chapter 5 Quality
|Quality Introduction||Quality Summary|
|Quality Explanation||Quality Question Answers|
The story starts with the author telling us about Mr. Gessler, a German shoemaker. The author tells us that he knew Mr. Gessler from his days of youth. The shoemaker used to make the author’s father’s boots. He lived with his elder brother in his shop, which was a small by-street shop in a fashionable or famous part of London.
Quality Class 7 Video Explanation
This story is about a German shoemaker whose name is Mr. Gessler. He is acquainted with the author from his days of youth, when the shoemaker used to make boots for the author’s father. The shoemaker used to live with his elder brother in his shop. His shop was a small by-street shop which was located in the fashionable part of London. However, the shop was a bit different than the rest of the shops. There was no sign on the shop except for the name written on it and there were a few pairs of boots in the window. The shoemaker made only what was ordered by the customer and the shoemaker was so skilled that the boots he made always fit the customer perfectly. The author comments that the boots he made and how he made them seemed mysterious and wonderful. The author had even asked the shoemaker if it was hard to make such boots. The shoemaker smiled and replied, saying that it was an art. The author said that going to his store often was not possible because his shoes lasted longer than expected, such was the quality. The atmosphere inside the shop was different as well. It was like going inside a church. The customer had to wait by sitting on a single wooden chair. A guttural sound would come from upstairs and tip tap of the shoemaker’s slippers as he would descend the stairs. Mr. Gessler had an unprofessional look. He would stand a little bent towards the customer in his leather apron and the sleeves of his shirt turned back. He would blink as though he had just been awakened by some dream of boots. The author would then put forward his order and the shoemaker would bring a piece of leather. In his German accent, the shoemaker would admire the piece and the author would do so too. Then the shoemaker would ask the author when he would want his order and he would say as conveniently as he could. The shoemaker would keep the date as the next fortnight but if it were his elder brother who would be attending the author, he would say that he would ask his brother and then let him know. They would then bid each other goodbye and the shoemaker would go back to his dream of boots. One day, the author told Mr. Gessler that the last pair of shoes creaked. The shoemaker however said that they shouldn’t have creaked and became sorrowful. He then asked the author to bring that pair of boots back and he promised to look at it. He explained that there were some boots which were bad from the start and if those boots happened to be damaged beyond repair, he would take them off his bill. The author once went to Mr. Gessler’s store to complain about boots he bought at a large firm. He took his order and observed each and every part of his boots. He firmly said that he had not made those boots and even pointed where the boot was hurting the author’s feet. The shoemaker harshly commented on the big firms and how the advertisements had been taking away his customers. For the time, he talked of his hardships. The author felt so bad for the shoemaker that he ordered many pairs of boots which last him two years because of the good quality. After a few months when he visited Mr. Gessler’s store, he got to know that Mr. Gessler’s elder brother was dead. Again, out of sorrow, the author ordered many pairs. After that, the author spent over a year abroad. When he came back, he visited Mr. Gessler’s store and ordered boots of all kinds.
After receiving his orders, the author decided to visit Mr. Gessler and thank him for his service. However, when he reached the location, the name of the shoemaker was not written on the shop. Soon, he got to know from the new owner that Mr. Gessler had died of starvation. The owner went on saying that Mr. Gessler lost all his customers because of his slow speed and because he never advertised. Mr. Gessler would never stop working on boots and would never use a penny to feed himself. He said that Mr. Gessler had the best leather and made good boots. The author with a heavy heart also said that Mr. Gessler made good boots.
I knew him from the days of my extreme youth because he made my father’s boots. He lived with his elder brother in his shop, which was in a small by-street in a fashionable part of London.
by street-side street
fashionable – famous or trendy
‘I’ in this story is the author. The author tells us that he knew a person from his childhood as the person used to make his father’s boots. This person lived with his elder brother in his shop only, indicating that the person he is talking about did not have a house. Then the author tells that the shop was in a small by-street in the famous part of London of that time.
The shop had a certain quiet distinction. There was no sign upon it other than the name of Gessler Brothers; and in the window a few pairs of boots. He made only what was ordered, and what he made never failed to fit. To make boots—such boots as he made—seemed to me then, and still seems to me, mysterious and wonderful.
quiet – small
distinction – the difference
The shop was a bit different than the others. There was no sign upon it except the name of Gessler Brothers, who lived and worked in the shop. In the window of the shop, there were only a few pairs of boots on display. He didn’t have ready-made boots. The customer had to ask for a particular style and give his foot size and other necessary details and Mr. Gessler would make the boots according to the information he got. The boots he made never failed to fit. Such boots – according to the author – seemed and still seem to him – mysterious and wonderful.
I remember well my shy remarks, one day, while stretching out to him my youthful foot. “Isn’t it awfully hard to do, Mr Gessler?” And his answer, given with a sudden smile from out of the redness of his beard: “Id is an ardt!’’
remarks – comments
youthful – young
The author tells us about how shyly he had once asked Mr. Gessler while stretching out his youthful foot to him if making boots was awfully hard to do. The sudden smile was visible from the redness of his beard as he told the author in his German accent that it was an art.
It was not possible to go to him very often— his boots lasted terribly, having something beyond the temporary, some essence of boot stitched into them.
One went in, not as into most shops, but restfully, as one enters a church, and sitting on the single wooden chair, waited. A guttural sound, and the tip-tap of his slippers beating the narrow wooden stairs and he would stand before one without a coat, a little bent, in leather apron, with sleeves turned back, blinking — as if awakened from some dream of boots.
lasted terribly: lasted very long
guttural: harsh and grating
The author says that it was not possible for anyone to go and order boots from Mr. Gessler very often, for the boots he made lasted very long. They had something in them which made them last longer than they were supposed to and they had some essence of boot stitched into them.
A customer’s experience in the shop was different than most shops. One went into the shop and waited by sitting comfortably in a single wooden chair. According to ther author, this was similar to one visiting the church. A guttural sound would come along with the noise of his slippers beating the narrow wooden stairs. He would stand before one without a coat. His posture was a little bent. He would come to the customer in his regular work clothes – a leather apron with the sleeves of his shirt folded backward. He would blink rapidly as if he had been awakened from some dream of boots.
And I would say, “How do you do, Mr Gessler? Could you make me a pair of Russian leather boots?”
Without a word he would leave me retiring whence he came, or into the other portion of the
shop, and I would continue to rest in the wooden chair inhaling the incense of his trade. Soon he would come back, holding in his hand a piece of gold-brown leather. With eyes fixed on it he would remark, “What a beaudiful biece!” When I too had admired it, he would speak again. “When do you wand dem?” And I would answer, “Oh! As soon as you conveniently can.” And he would say, “Tomorrow fordnighd?” Or if he were his elder brother: “I will ask my brudder.”
incense: The smell of leather is compared to the smell of incense in a church.
The author would greet the shoemaker and tell him his order.
Without a word, the shoemaker would go to bring something to show the author. The author would sit again and wait while inhaling the smell of leather which corresponded with the smell of incense in a church. The shoemaker would come back, a piece of gold-brown leather in his hand. The shoemaker would admire the piece in his German accent. The author would admire the piece too. Then Mr. Gessler would ask when the author would like his order. The author did not want to put any pressure on him and would tell him that he could give it as convenient to him. Now, the next answer would differ. If Mr. Gessler would be the one to take the order, the answer would be after a fortnight. But if his elder brother were there, the answer would be that he would ask his brother and then let him know.
Then I would murmur, ‘’Thank you! Good morning, Mr Gessler.” “Good morning’” he would reply, still looking at the leather in his hand. And as I moved to the door, I would hear the tip-tap of his slippers going up the stairs: to his dream of boots.
Then the author would thank and bid the shoemaker goodbye. The shoemaker would do the same, his eyes still observing the piece of leather. As the author would move towards the door, he would hear the tip tap of his slippers going up the stairs, resuming his dream of boots.
I cannot forget that day on which I had occasion to say to him, “Mr Gessler, that last pair of boots creaked, you know.”
He looked at me for a time without replying, as if expecting me to withdraw or qualify the statement, then said,“ld shouldn’d’ave greaked.’’
“It did, I’m afraid.”
withdraw – take back
qualify – modify
The author then talks about the day on which he had told the shoemaker about the last pair of boots which creaked.
Mr. Gessler looked at the author without replying. He was expecting the author to take back his statement or to modify it. When the author didn’t do so, Mr. Gessler said that it shouldn’t have creaked.
The author then said that the boots did creak.
“You god dem wed before dey found demselves.”
“I don’t think so.”
“At that he lowered his eyes, as if hunting for memory of those boots and I felt sorry I had mentioned this grave thing. “Zend dem back,” he said, “I will look at dem.”
hunting – searching
grave – sad
The shoemaker said that it was possible that they were wet before the author put them on.
However, the author rejected this possibility.
The shoemaker lowered his eyes and hunted for the memory of the boots. Mr. Gessler looked sad and the author felt bad for mentioning such a grave thing to such a hardworking person like him. Then the shoemaker told the author to bring the boots back to him. He wished to detect the fault in them.
“Zome boods,” he continued slowly, “are bad from birdt. If I can do noding wid dem I take dem off your bill.”
The shoemaker then told the author that there are some boots which are bad since the starting of their manufacture, which is something that cannot be fixed. If there would be such a case for the boots too, he said, he would take them off the author’s bill.
Once (once only) I went absent-mindedly into his shop in a pair of boots bought in an emergency at some large firm. He took my order without showing me any leather and I could feel his eyes penetrating the inferior covering of my foot. At last he said, “Dose are nod my boods.”
absent-mindedly – not paying attention
The author then tells about the day when he once went absent-mindedly into his shop to buy boots as the ones that he had bought from a large firm in an emergency were not comfortable. Also he wanted to ask the shoemaker if he had made those boots. Mr. Gessler took his order without showing him any leather as he was busy studying the uncomfortable boots the author was wearing. When the author questioned him about the boots, the shoemaker said that those were not made by him.
The tone was not one of anger, nor of sorrow, not even of contempt, but there was in it something quiet that froze the blood. He put his hand down and pressed a finger on the place where the left boot was not quite comfortable.
“Id ’urds’ you dere,” he said, “Dose big virms ’ave no self-respect.” And then, as if something had given way within him, he spoke long and bitterly. It was the only time I ever heard him discuss the conditions and hardships of his trade.
hardships: the hard times
The tone of the shoemaker when he told the author that those boots were not made by him was not of anger or of sadness. Neither was it disrespectful. However, he sounded so emotionless that the author was terrified. This indicates that Mr. Gessler’s tone was cold and bitter, as though he were talking about someone or something he truly hated or was against. The shoemaker then put his hand down and pressed a finger at the left boot, specifically where the author was not finding the boot comfortable.
The shoemaker then told the author in his German accent that the spot he was touching was hurting the author. Then, bitterly and longingly, he began speaking about the conditions and the hardships of his trade. He complained that the big firms had no self-respect. It was the first time the author had heard him discuss something so personal about his business.
“Dey get id all,” he said, “dey get id by advertisement, nod by work. Dey take id away from us, who lofe our boods. Id gomes to disbresently I haf no work. Every year id gets less. You will see.” And looking at his lined face I saw things I had never noticed before, bitter things and bitter struggle and what a lot of grey hairs there seemed suddenly in his red beard!
lined: having wrinkles
Mr. Gessler said that the large firms paid more attention to the quantity of money rather than the quality of their products. Their advertisement was more attractive than their work, but the people don’t know that. The people get easily attracted to the large firms. Hence, the large companies took all his customers because of the advertisements. Presently, he had no work and was probably suffering financially because of this. He also mentioned that every year his work got less and that it would affect him so badly that the author would soon see how hard his work was. The author looked at his old face which was lined and saw things he had never noticed before. He noticed the bitter things and the bitter struggles Mr. Gessler had to go through. He could see the grey hair in the shoemaker’s red beard, which indicated that he had become too old to endure the bitterness but he was still trying to go on.
As best I could, I explained the circumstances of those ill-omened boots. But his face and voice made so deep an impression that during the next few minutes I ordered many pairs. They lasted longer than ever. And I was not able to go to him for nearly two years.
ill-omened: something which gave bad luck
The author explained the conditions of the uncomfortable shoes to the shoemaker. But the facial expression and the tone of the shoemaker had made such a deep impact on the author that he couldn’t help but buy so many pairs during the next few minutes that he did not need to visit him for the next two years.
It was many months before my next visit to his shop. This time it appeared to be his elder brother, handling a piece of leather.
“Well, Mr Gessler,” I said, “how are you?” He came close, and peered at me. “I am breddy well,” he said slowly “but my elder brudder is dead.”
peered: looked closely and carefully
Many months before he went to his shop to order something, he went to the shop casually, just to meet the shoemaker. When he went to the shop, he saw that Mr. Gessler’s elder brother was handling a piece of leather.
The author greeted Mr. Gessler and asked about his well-being. Mr. Gessler came closer to the author and looked carefully at him because he was having trouble in recognising the author. In his German accent, he told the author that he was fine but his brother was dead.
And I saw that it was indeed himself but how aged and wan! And never before had I heard him mention his brother. Much shocked, I murmured, “Oh! I am sorry!”
“Yes,” he answered, “he was a good man, he made a good bood. But he is dead.” And he touched the top of his head, where the hair had suddenly gone as thin as it had been on that of his poor brother, to indicate, I suppose, the cause of his death. “Do you wand any boods?” And he held up the leather in his hand. “ld’s a beaudiful biece.”
The author was shocked to hear such news. He thought that he was talking to the elder brother but instead it was the shoemaker all along. This indicates that the shoemaker had become very old and weak and that he closely resembled his elder brother. The author murmured an apology. He couldn’t speak louder because of the shock he had received.
Mr. Gessler then said that his elder brother was a good man and made good boots. Then, he touched the top of the head, where he was going bald. This indicated that the shoemaker wanted to indicate that the cause of his elder brother was old age. Then, the shoemaker changed the topic by talking about boots and showing the author a beautiful piece of leather.
I ordered several pairs. It was very long before they came—but they were better than ever. One simply could not wear them out. And soon after that I went abroad.
The author felt so bad for the shoemaker that he ordered several pairs. They came after a long time, which means that he was too weak to do all the work on time. However, the quality was better than ever. They were so good that they lasted longer than ordinary boots. Soon after the author received the boots, he went abroad.
It was over a year before I was again in London. And the first shop I went to was my old friend’s. I had left a man of sixty; I came back to one of seventy-five, pinched and worn, who genuinely, this time, did not at first know me.
Over a year had passed. The author was back again in London. The first shop the author went to was Mr. Gessler’s, whom he considered his old friend. He then tells us how much the shoemaker’s appearance had changed. When the author had left England, the shoemaker looked like he was in his sixties, but when the author met him again, he saw that he was now meeting a man of seventy-five. Mr. Gessler looked pinched and worn, who couldn’t recognise the author.
“Do you wand any boods?” he said. “I can make dem quickly; id is a zlack dime.”
I answered, “Please, please! I want boots all around—every kind.”
slack: break, relax
The shoemaker asked the author if he wanted any boots. He added that he could make them quickly as he had free time.
The author requested the shoemaker to make boots of each kind.
I had given those boots up when one evening they came. One by one I tried them on. In shape and fit, in finish and quality of leather they were the best he had ever made. I flew downstairs, wrote a cheque and posted it at once with my own hand.
given … up: thought they would never come
The order was taking a lot of time to arrive, so the author had given up those boots and the hope that someday they would arrive. However, the boots arrived in the evening that day. One by one he tried each and every boot he had received. In every aspect, shape, fit, finishing and quality, they were the best boots the shoemakerhad ever made. The author quickly went downstairs to write and post the cheque.
A week later, passing the little street, I thought I would go in and tell him how splendidly the new boots fitted. But when I came to where his shop had been, his name was gone.
I went in very much disturbed. In the shop, there was a young man with an English face.
disturbed: alarmed, shocked
A week after he had received his order, he passed the little street where Mr. Gessler’s shop was located. The author felt like going to the shoemaker and praising his work. However, when he reached the place where his shop was located, he saw that the shoemaker’s name was not there anymore.
The author was disturbed to see this and went into the shop, scared of what he would find out. In the shop, there was a young, English man instead of Mr. Gessler.
“Mr Gessler in?” I said.
“No, sir,” he said. “No, but we can attend to anything with pleasure. We’ve taken the shop over.”
“Yes. yes,” I said, “but Mr Gessler?”
“Oh!” he answered, “dead.”
“Dead! But I only received these boots from him last Wednesday week.”
The author asked the young man if the shoemaker was in the shop.
The young man replied in negative. He then added that he could attend anything with pleasure and had taken the shop over.
The author however didn’t pay much attention to the comment as he wanted to meet Mr. Gessler. He repeated his question.
The young man understood and told the author that he was dead.
The author exclaimed, as he couldn’t believe what he had just heard. He told the man that it wasn’t possible for him to be dead as he had received the boots just last Wednesday week.
“Ah!” he said, “poor old man starved himself. Slow starvation, the doctor called it! You see he went to work in such a way! Would keep the shop on; wouldn’t have a soul touch his boots except himself. When he got an order, it took him such a time. People won’t wait. He lost everybody. And there he’d sit, going on and on. I will say that for him—not a man in London made a better boot. But look at the competition! He never advertised! Would have the best leather too, and do it all himself. Well, there it is. What could you expect with his ideas?”
The young English man started explaining what had happened. He told the author that Mr. Gessler had starved himself. According to the doctors, the cause of death was slow starvation. It happened because of how he would work. He would keep the shop on but won’t let anyone touch the boots except himself. When he would get an order, he would take too much time to make and deliver them. That’s how the shoemaker started losing his customers. People didn’t have that much patience. However, the shoemaker wouldn’t stop working. The man agreed that Mr. Gessler made the best boots. But the fact that he never advertised made so much competition that he couldn’t keep the pace. He concluded saying that, with the ideas the shoemaker had, this was bound to happen.
“That may be a bit flowery, as the saying is— but I know myself he was sitting over his boots day and night, to the very last you see, I used to watch him. Never gave himself time to eat; never had a penny in the house. All went in rent and leather. How he lived so long I don’t know. He regularly let his fire go out. He was a character. But he made good boots.”
The author couldn’t still understand how the cause of death was starvation.
The man said that the cause might be a bit fancy and over-elaborate – but he used to observe his actions, from day to night, till the last boot Mr. Gessler would make that day. The shoemaker never gave himself time to eat and didn’t have a penny in his house. He would spend all his money on rent and leather, but not on food. According to the man, it was surprising to see someone so old live so long without food. He was someone who had a unique character, but he made good boots.
“Yes,” I said, “he made good boots.”
The author agreed with the young man. He made good boots.
Quality Question Answers
Working with the Text
Answer the following questions.
Q1. What was the author’s opinion about Mr Gessler as a bootmaker?
Ans. According to the author, his boots and the way he made them were both, till the present, mysterious and wonderful. He found his boots the best boots, which never failed to fit the owner.
Q2. Why did the author visit the shop so infrequently?
Ans. The boots Mr. Gessler made never failed to fit in. They were so good that they lasted very long. Therefore, there was no need to visit the shop frequently.
Q3. What was the effect on Mr Gessler of the author’s remark about a certain pair of boots?
Ans. When the author remarked about a certain pair of boots, Mr. Gessler looked surprised. The shoemaker waited for the author to either withdraw or qualify his statement. When the author didn’t do so, he tried to remember which boots the author was talking about. He had a sad expression on his face. He then asked the author to return the boots to him so that he can see to the matter.
Q4. What was Mr Gessler’s complaint against “big firms”?
Ans. Mr. Gessler complained that the big firms cared only about the quantity of the money and products, not about the quality of the boots. Instead of making better goods, they focused on advertisements. The only reason why these forms were so rich was because of their advertisements, not because of their work. He complained that, due to this reason, people who are passionate about boot-making don’t get as many customers as the big firms get. This was the reason why he was not earning enough money.
Q5. Why did the author order so many pairs of boots? Did he really need them?
Ans. The author ordered so many pairs of boots because he felt bad for Mr. Gessler. In order to give him money, he ordered many pairs so that the shoemaker would earn more money. Moreover, the shoemaker loved making boots, so the author must have thought that ordering many pairs of boots would keep him busy and happy.
No, the author did not need them. He ordered so many boots not for himself, but for the sake of the shoemaker.
Working with Language
Q1. Study the following phrases and their meanings. Use them appropriately to complete the sentences that follow.
look after: take care of
look down on: disapprove or regard as inferior
look in (on someone): make a short visit
look into: investigate
look out: be careful
look up: improve
look up to: admire
(i) After a very long spell of heat, the weather is ____________ at last.
(ii) We have no right to _____________ people who do small jobs.
(iii) Nitin has always ____________ his uncle, who is a self-made man.
(iv) The police are ___________ the matter thoroughly.
(v) If you want to go out, I will ____________ the children for you.
(vi) I promise to ______________ on your brother when I visit Lucknow next.
(vi) ____________ when you are crossing the main road.
Ans. (i) After a very long spell of heat, the weather is looking up at last.
(ii) We have no right to look down on people who do small jobs.
(iii) Nitin has always looked up to his uncle, who is a self-made man.
(iv) The police are looking into the matter thoroughly.
(v) If you want to go out, I will look after the children for you.
(vi) I promise to look in on your brother when I visit Lucknow next.
(vi) Look out when you are crossing the main road.
Q2. Each of the following words contains the sound ‘sh’ (as in shine) in the beginning or in the middle or at the end. First speak out all the words clearly. Then arrange the words in three groups in the table on page 80.
Q3. In each of the following words ‘ch’ represents the same consonant sound as in ‘chair’. The words on the left have this sound initially. Those on the right have it finally. Speak each word clearly.
Underline the letters representing this sound in each of the following words.
(i) feature (iv) reaching (vii) riches
(ii) archery (v) nature (viii) batch
(iii) picture (vi) matches (ix) church
Ans. (i) feature