Friday, 5 February 2016

Workbook Answers/Solutions of A Collection of ICSE Poems and Short Stories, Princess September by - W. Somerset Maugham

Workbook Solution of Princess September by - W. Somerset Maugham


 (i) The king said that he would cut off the queen’s head after the birth of their twelfth daughter. The king’s decision to cut off the queen’s head was strange because he was extremely fond of his queen. The queen felt uneasy on hearing the king’s decision to cut off her head because she knew that the king would be unhappy after doing so.

 (ii) The king and queen had nine daughters. They were named after the months of the year, because they were nine and the days of the week were not sufficient to name then. The king’s daughter’s were first named after the four seasons, then the days of the week and finally months in a year.

 (iii) Princess September had a very sweet and charming nature, whereas her elder sisters had embittered characters. The difference in their nature was because Princess September, being the youngest, had just one name, September, whereas her elder sisters’ names had been changed often, with the change in number of their siblings. The elder sisters of Princess September out of jealousy offered to buy her a green and yellow parrot to replace her singing nightingale.

 (a) The King’s liking for the parrot’s greeting, ‘God Save the King’ shows that he loved flattery.
 (b) The King’s act of giving presents on his birthday shows that he did not value the feelings or sentiments of those who used to gift him presents on other occasions as he used to give those presents to others on his birthday.

 (v) Although the king was fond of the queen, yet he decided to have her head cut off. This shows that he was not emotionally attached to her. The queen was finally saved when she gave birth to sons only and named them after the letters of the alphabet.


 (i) The parrots could only say ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Pretty Polly’ in seven oriental languages whereas the nightingale could sing beautifully. The nightingale is shown to be an artist by depicting her as having good manners befitting an artist like bowing before the audience and being appreciated.

(ii) The king did not mind hearing the phrase ‘God Save the King’ often but was tired of hearing the parrots repeating the phrase ‘Pretty Polly’.

 (iii) Princess September’s parrot died in its golden cage. She was full of grief on finding that her parrot had died and burst into tears. She kept on crying and went to bed, without any supper.

 (iv) The queen was annoyed at Princess September’s act of bursting into tears at the loss of her parrot. She considered it as sheer nonsense and sent Princess September to bed, without supper. This shows her to be an uncaring and non affectionate mother.

 (v) The maids of Honor wanted to go to a party. So they put Princess September to bed as quickly as possible and went away leaving her by herself.

 (vi) The beautiful song sung by the nightingale pulled Princess September out of her gloom.


(i) The little bird sang about the lake in the king’s garden, the reflection of the willow trees in the still water and the goldfish that seemed to glide in and out of the branches of the willow tree reflected in the water.

(ii) The nightingale’s song gave comfort to the mourning Princess. She stopped crying, forgot her grief and that she had not taken her supper.

(iii) The bird gave the Princess a bow as a part of its artistic good manners. It tells us that the bird has the temperament of an artist.

(iv) The little bird offered to take the place of the Princess’ parrot because of her charming nature and to provide comfort to her in her grief.

(v) The Princess was delighted to hear the nightingale’s offer and clapper her hands in joy.

(vi) Princess September and the bird became good friends. The princess used to take good care of the bird, whereas the bird used to sing beautiful songs to her as and when she desired. And as a true friend, the bird did not mind her putting him in a cage, whereas Princess September granted the bird freedom realizing that a true bird cannot sing in confinement.


(i) ‘They’ refer to the eight parrots that belonged to the eight princesses. They used to say ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Pretty Polly’ in seven oriental languages.

(ii) The Princesses made this remark when the king said that he was tired of hearing their parrots say Pretty Polly.

 (iii) The king had a poor opinion of his Councillors. According to him, his Councillors said the same thing in seven different ways but without conveying any meaning. It tells us that the king had his own fixed principles and did not readily took the ideas of his Councillors.

 (iv) The Princesses’ characters were naturally embittered because of having to change their names often with the change in number of their sisters.

(v) The Princesses’ first offered to buy a lovely green and yellow parrot to replace the nightingale, in order to avenge themselves on Princess September. But when she declined the offer, they persuaded her to put the nightingale in a cage.


(i) The little bird had gone to visit his father-in-law. He returned so late because he attended the party hosted by his father-inlaw.

 (ii) When the bird did not come in time the Princess thought whether the bird was in any trouble or had he been ensnared by hawks or men or whether he had forgotten her and taken fancy to somebody else.

(iii) The Princess finally decided to put the bird in the cage because she was concerned for his safety and did not want to lose him as she had lost her parrot.

 (iv) The bird questioned the Princess as to why she has put him in the cage. But when she answered that it was for his safety, the bird did not mind her putting him in the cage as long as she would let him out in the morning.

(v) Princess September reasoned that to protect him from her mother’s prowling cats she had put him in the cage. The bird said that he did not like living in the cage. But when the Princess told him that it was for his safety, the bird seemed satisfied with her reason because he thought that she would let her go out in the morning.


(i) No, the Princess was not aware of what was good for the bird. She acted on the advice of her sisters and her own concern for the safety of the bird, without realizing the bird’s need for freedom.

(ii) The bird said that he could not sing without seeing the trees, the lake and the green rice growing in the fields, since these beauties of nature inspired him to sing.

 (iii) In order to satisfy the bird’s wish, Princess September took the bird out in the open air to have him look at the trees, the lake and the green rice fields. No, it did not help the bird to sing because he longed for freedom and not just a glance at nature’s beauty.

(iv) The other Princesses told Princess September to remain firm in her act of putting the bird in the cage because it was for his good and safety only and that he would get used to the cage in a day. They further said that if he was obstinate, he would die and she would get rid of him.

(v) When the Princess woke up, she saw the nightingale lying at the bottom of the cage, on his side, with his eyes closed and looking as if it were dead.

(vi) On seeing the bird lying like a dead one, Princess September opened the door and lifted the bird with her hand out of the cage. She felt little relieved on finding that the bird was still alive. She told the bird that she had put him in the cage for his safety only but if that is harmful for him, she would let him out of the cage to be happy in his own way.

(vii) Princess September’s act of freeing the bird gave a new lease of life to him. He flew away but kept his promise and continued to visit Princess September, eating out of her hand and singing beautiful songs to her. Princess September kept the window of her room open all the time for the bird to come and go. This allowed sunlight and fresh air to enter her room. Consequently, she got nature’s nourishment and grew up to be extremely beautiful and married the King of Cambodia.

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  1. It is awesome it helps me in framing many answers
    It is a very good reference

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. ur ans are very gud but still my eng teacher gives me less marks but i wont tell ur ans are wrong cause my eng teacher is partial and she gives the other person with same ans full marks but not for me...but still ur ans are lot more clearer and definite as compared to her so thank you

  4. Wow its so good its something I was looking since last year

  5. Awesome answers hope dis wud help me a lot...

  6. Thankuuuuuu so much

  7. Superb man ������������������������
    Hats �� off to u
    But I also want essay type questions/ project work topics pls....
    My exams are approaching

    1. Ya... can pls... post them

    2. U should be self dependent
      Not just depend on this app
      Khud bhi kuch karlo cheating toh har koi karta hai

  8. Great! Very helpful! It will be helpful if you give some essay type questions also

  9. Thank you very much

  10. It is bad as this app contains answers of old edition .

  11. It is really of a great aid loved it

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  15. From where to get there questions pls reply fast

  16. Very good answers upto board pattern

  17. Which publication does your answers belong I want evergreens

  18. there is a small mistake in question 1. is it 12 or 9?

    1. It is 12.If there were 12 daughters the queen would have been killed, but because September was last queen was saved.The max. no.of daughters they could have was 12.

  19. This stories ar no more for board of use...n ur answers ar so nice...But can u please provide me the questions and answer of - the heart of the tree