FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 1998 ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100
Q1. Make a precis of the following passage about one-third of its length and suggest a suitable title.
Lying is indeed an accursed vice. We are men, and we have relations with one another by speech. If we recognized the horror and gravity of an untruth, we should more justifiably punish it with fire than any other crime. I commonly find people taking the most ill-advised pains to correct their children for their harmless faults, and worrying them about heedless acts which leave no trace and have no consequences. Laying – and in a lesser degree obstinacy – are, in my opinion, the only faults whose birth and progress we should consistently oppose. They grow with a child’s growth, and once the tongue has got the knack of lying, it is difficult to imagine how impossible it is to correct it. Whence it happens that we find some otherwise excellent men subject to this fault and enslaved by it. I have a decent lad as my tailor, whom I have never heard to utter a single truth, even when it would have been to his advantage.
If like the truth, falsehood had only one face, we should know better where we are, for we should then take the opposite of what a liar said to be the truth. But the opposite of truth has a hundred thousand shapes and a limitless field.
The Pythagoreans regard good as certain and finite, and evil as boundless and uncertain. There are a thousand ways of missing the bull’s eye, only one of hitting it. I am by no means sure that I could induce myself to tell a brazen and deliberate lie even to protect myself from the most obvious and extreme danger. St Augustine said that we are better off in the company of a dog we know that in that of a man whose language we do not understand. Therefore, those of different nations do not regard one another as men and how much less friendly is false speech than silence.
Q2. Read the following passages and answer the questions given at the end in your own words.
Accumulated property treads the powers of thought in the dust, extinguishes the sparks of genius, and reduces the great mass of mankind to be immersed in sordid cars; beside depriving the rich, as we have already said, of the most salubrious and effectual motives to activity. If superfluity were banished, the necessity for the greater part of the manual industry of mankind would be superseded; and the rest, being amicably shared among all the active and vigorous members of the community, would be burdensome to none. Every man would have a frugal, yet wholesome diet; every man would go forth to that moderate exercise of his corporal functions that would give hilarity to the spirits; none would be made torpid with fatigue, but all would have the leisure to cultivate the kindly and philanthropic affections of the soul and to let loose his faculties in the search of intellectual improvement. What a contrast does this scene present us with the present state of human society, where the peasant and the laborer work till their understandings are benumbed with toil, their sinews contracted and made callous by being forever on the stretch, and their bodies invaded, with infirmities and surrendered to an untimely grave? What is the fruit of this disproportioned and unceasing toil? At evening they return to a family, famished with hunger, exposed half naked to the inclemencies of the sky, hardly sheltered, and denied the slenderest instruction, unless in a few instances, where it is dispensed by the hands of ostentatious charity, and the first lesson communicated is unprincipled servility. All this while their rich neighbor.
How rapid and sublime would be the advances of intellect if all men were admitted into the field of knowledge! At present ninety-nine persons in a hundred are no more excited to any regular exertions of general and curious thought, than the brutes themselves. What would be the state of the public mind in a nation, where all were wise, all had laid aside the shackles of prejudice and implicit faith, all adopted with fearless confidence the suggestions of truth, and the lethargy of the soul was dismissed forever? It is to be presumed that the inequality of mind would in a certain degree be permanent, but it is reasonable to believe that the geniuses of such an age would far surpass the grandest exertions of intellect that are at present known. Genius would not be depressed with false wants and niggardly patronage.
(i) Suggest an appropriate title for the passage.
(ii) What does the writer mean by the following expressions? Hilarity of spirit, Corporal functions, Torpid with fatigue, Let loos faculties.
(iii) What according to the writer is the cause of the poor man’s short life?
(iv) Does the writer favor charity for the poor? Support your answer with the writer’s argument.
(v) How does the writer compare the present day man with brutes?
(vi) The writer does not state why there will always be an inequality of mind among men, suggest a reason from your own knowledge of human psychology.
(vii) In the passage, the writer leaves his statement about the rich neighbor incomplete. Draw briefly the contrast the writer had in mind.
(viii) What according to the writer would promote intellectual improvement?
(ix) Given another word with similar meaning for Callous, Sinews, Inclemencies, Ostentatious, Benumbed, Salubrious
Q3. Write a comprehensive note of approximately 250 words on ONE of the following subjects.
(i) The two main reasons for reading imaginative literature are pleasure and insight
(ii) Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
(iii) Democracy if it is stupid and unjust, is as evil as, stupid and cruel tyranny. (Socrates)
(iv) The so-called custodians of human rights are guilty of violating the rights of the backward nations
Q4. Correct the following sentences.
(i) This is all the farther you can go.
(ii) He seemed to be an industrious person but this was only an allusion
(iii) His avocation is dentistry.
(iv) The antiquarian bade one million dollars for the old painting.
(v) The ferry collided against the tug-boat.
(vi) Poetry is more sensual than prose.
(vii) Both Naeem and Shahid is tired, they should go back.
(viii) He was seeking political asylum but was not permitted to emigrate to the USA.
(ix) I wouldn’t be in your books for all the wealth in the world.
(x) Are you trying to infer that I would be something dishonest?
Q5. Complete the conversation by choosing the correct idioms.
The tricks of the trade; the blessing in disguise; his own man; the gift of the gab; the pillar of society; another cup of tea; a mug’s game; a piece of cake; a feather in his cap; the rank and file
Have you heard about Adams? He says that losing his job was probably ———- because he was tired of being just one of a thousand wage-earners at the firm, just one of ———-. He thinks working for someone else is really ———- when you can work for yourself. So she is going to open up his own computer shop. “Really! well it will be a ———- if he makes a success of it.” “He is taking Jan into partnership with him.” “Jan, eh? Now he’s ———- I don’t like him at all.” “Well he may not be what one could call ———- but he is the right sort of man to get a business going. He’s a good talker.” “Oh yes Jan has certainly got ———- and it won’t take him long to learn ———- “I told Adam that having his own business certainly won’t be ———-” “It’s hard work. But he is determined to be ———- at last, so I wish him good luck.”
Q6. Use FIVE of the following pairs of words so as to bring out the difference in their meanings.
(i) Occlude, Occult (ii) Practical, Practicable (iii) Raze, Raise (iv) Cannon, Canon (v) Avenge, Revenge (vi) Caret, Carat (vii) Revel, Reveal
(viii) Aviary, Apiary (ix) Demesne, Demean
Q7. Explain FIVE of the following idioms by using them into sentences.
(i) The last ditch (ii) A square meal (iii) Go public (iv) Run riot (v) The backroom boys (vi) Foot the bill (vii) Set the pace (viii) At times
(ix) Steal the show (x) Grey matter