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The Character Of Happy Life

The Character of Happy Life

By Sir Henry WontonSir Henry Wonton: 

Sir Henry Wonton was a distinguished poet, scholar and diplomat. He had an eventful of rewards and hazards of public life, which, however, found a tranquil, close in his last days. Writing from his personal experience, he contributed a rich share to the English poetic literature of his time.

The Character of A happy Life


The Poem: ‘The Character of Happy Life’ is a lovely little poem written by Sir Henry Wonton. It is concerned with the life and virtues of a good man. Also It is deeply religious in spirit and simple but dignified in expression. Finally It lays emphasis not only on the promise of a heavenly reward but also on the enjoyment of a sever life of peaceful virtue on this search. As such, Walton’s virtues man gets the best of both the words. A sharp sense of contrast, between the uneasy life of an ambitious man and the contended life of a man satisfied with his obscurity, runs right through his poem. Writing from his personal experience, he wishes to tell us that rewards of ambitious life were very dazzling indeed, but its anxieties and dangers were also all too real.

Context: These lines are from the poem, ‘The Character of a Happy Life’ written by Sir Henry Wonton. It tells us about the qualities essential for a truly happy life.


Indepencdence, Honesty of thought and Truthfulness

(1): The poet says that the characteristics of a happy man are independence, honesty of thought and truthfulness. He has not learnt to be the slave of others. He is upright in all his thoughts actions. His honesty shields him from all dangers. He believes only in pure, simple truth. It guides him in the day-to-day affairs of his life. Naturally therefore, he enjoys the blessings of real happiness.

Self-control and freedom from worldly ambitions

(2): The poet says that the characteristics of a happy man are self-control and freedom from worldly ambitions. He is not the slave of his derives and passions. He does not fear death; the world is not too much with him. So he does not have any anxieties, either. He does not care for fame or fortune. As such he does not worry in the least, for what people say about him in private. Naturally, therefore, he enjoys the blessings of real happiness.

Freedom from Envy, Dislike for Praise:

(3): The poet says that the characteristics of a happy man are freedom from envy of worldly success, dislike for praise and diplomacy and love for virtue and goodness. He does not envy anybody who has risen to high position by the stroke of good fortune or through his own wickedness. He does not seek praise for it corrupts character and provokes the enmity of the envious. However, insincere praise may be ironic or mocking. So he is totally unaware of the wounds inflicted by praise. His strong ignorant of the principles of statecraft. All that he knows and understands is absolute goodness. He hears no evil, he sees not evil, he speaks no evil and he does no evil. Naturally, therefore, he enjoys the blessing of real happiness.

Freedom from rumors, care for his conscience

(4): The poet says that the characteristics of a happy man are freedom from rumors, care for his conscience and lack of wealth and position. He keeps his life free from all kinds of rumors. He listens only to the inner voice of his conscience. As his sincere guide, it is a strong hold, which shelters him from all kinds of evils. The world is not too much with him. So his state is not so great that it can feel flatters or tempt people to accuse him and help them to plunder him when he in ruined. Naturally, therefore, he enjoys the blessings of real happiness.

Happy man are piety and simple life

(5): The poet says that the characteristics of a happy man are piety and simple life. He worshiped God with sincere devotion. He does not pray for worldly things. Instead, he prays for His kindness and mercy only. He spends his innocent life in plain living and high thinking which is his motto. He either studies good books or sits in the company of noble friends. Naturally, therefore, he enjoys the blessings of real happiness.

Independence , Povert and Contentment

(6): The poet says that the characteristics of a happy man are independence, poverty of contentment. He is the slave neither of another’s will nor of his own passions. Indeed he is his own master. The world is not too much with him. He has no desire for wealth or worldly cares; he leads an obscure life of peaceful virtue. As much, he has no fear of a downfall either. True he has no riches, but he has happiness, is the greatest wealth a man can have. Naturally, therefore, he enjoys the blessings of a truly real happiness.

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Free online englihs notes XI Karachi Board, “The Character of Happy Life” written by Sir Henry Wonton, Important questions, Reference to context.

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English notes xii Karachi

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The Prisoner pf Zenda


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Reflections on the Re-Awakening East: By Bertrand Russel

The Day the Dam Broke: By James Thurber

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Act III of the Silver Box: By John Galsworthy

The World As I See it: By Albert Einstein

The Devoted Friend: By Oscar Wilde

Space Ship One: By James Jeans

Life in the Universe: J.A.V. Butler


The Seven Ages of Man: A Speech from As You Like it.

The Man of Life Upright

Lines from Samson Agonistes

Lines from An Essay on Man

Stanzas from An Elegy written in a Country Churchyard

The Solitary Reaper

Music When Soft Voices Die

Lines from Endymion

Say not the Struggle Naught Availeth

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Counts Revenge

Counts Revenge

The Count of Monte Cristo

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Counts Revenge

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Free online english notes XI Karachi Board,

  • Counts Revenge,
  • Character sketch of Counts of Monte Cristo (Edmund Dantes)
  • Count of Morcerf (Fernand Mondego)
  • Countess of Morcerf (Mercedes)
  • Albert
  • important characters of the drama Count of Monte Cristo
  • Important questions
  • Reference to context

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One Act Play: (Counts Revenge (pdf)

A One Act Play: (Counts Revenge) is a short drama depicting a particular incident in the life of a particular character.
The incident invariably is significant in revealing of the person’s life in a way that from the part it is easy to understand.
The whole, sometimes a plurality of incidents and characters may also occur but even so they are intensely concentrated towards an isolated purpose.

Variety of Ideas

The One Act Play chooses its theme from a large variety of ideas much as politics, war, religion, society, sex and what not.
Naturally, this contributes to its immense value and universal appeal which, along with absolute economy of words and a keen, brisk treatment, make the One Act play a powerful weapon in the hands of modern writers.

Drama and Fiction

In its way, the One Act play is closely comparable with the short story. The former has the same place in drama as the latter has in fiction.
In neither can the writer invent situations and characters with anything like the complexity and fullness of interest that can be achieved in the full length play or novel.

Strong Expressions

But out of these very limitations, arise the many attracting qualities that make a good one act play or a good shot story irresistible for discerning tastes.
The most vivid of these qualities are precision and concentration which find strong expression in all their intensity and simplicity through the medium of the One Act play, making it so rich, sensitive and powerful at the same time.

Attractive Qualities

For all its attractive qualities, the One Act play, however, has not achieved the same place in modern literature as the short story, which is largely due to practical obstacles.
The good short story lines in magazines and books but no play, of any kind is really alive until performed.
Needless to say, the professional theatres have all along given pride of place in entertainment to the full length play while the short play, known as ‘the curtain-raiser’ in stage parlance, has hardly ever found favour and has since gone almost completely out of fashion.
Very recently, however, the One Act play has made its re-appearance n the stage and won much applause from the audience.
Indeed, master-pieces like ‘The Browing Version’ have wonderfully demonstrated how rich and sensitive a short play can be.
Another good reason to be hopeful for the future of the One Act play is that sound broadcasting and more recently,
Television have come to demand short plays in abundance and attracted seasoned writers to apply their craft to the form.
But, more hopeful than anything else, is the popularity of One Act plays in the schools and colleges of English speaking countries which has come to be established all too firmly for they offer splendid entertainment without making large demands upon time, effort and property.
Besides, they have a high practical value for the student of a language; it demonstrates the use of the spoken language in vivid, meaningful contexts.
For types of language study are at once as useful and enjoyable as the study of a good play.

Two One Act Play

The Counts Revenge

(By J.H. Wash)
Introduction: –  ‘The Counts Revenge’ is a fine One-Act play presented as a striking place of melodrama. “TheThe author, J.H. Wash, skillfully, adopts an incident from “The Count of Monte Cristo”, a famous novel of the 19th century by the French writer Alexander Dumas.  


Edmund Dantes – The Sailor of Marseilles:

Long, long ago there lived a poor sailor in Marseilles, a large part on the Mediterrian sea coast of France, His name was Edmund Danties, and He was young and handsome, once he went on a long voyage and returned home after many years.

Mercedes – The Girl from Catalonia:

Not far from his place, lived a girl,  from Catalonia, a region of Spain. Not far from his place, lived a girl, Mercedes  from Catalonia, a region of Spain. She, too, was young and beautiful. Dantes fell in love with her, Soon he betrothed to her. He was happy for now hope to marry shortly to his sweet heart.

Fernand Mondego: The Fisherman

But there was also in that city another young man, a fisherman, Fernand Mondego, by name. He was a wicked villain. He resolved to win the Catalan girl from the young sailor.

The Most Devilish: (Plot ever hatched against Mortal).

So he hatched a plot against Dantes. Ind the most devilish plot ever hatched against mortal man. He produced false evidence to show that the sailor was a spy, an agent of the exiled Napoleon Buonaparte, once emperor of France.
He was trial in court, convicted as a spy and condemned to imprisonment for life, and then the poor innocent sailor was cast in an underground dungeon on an island fortress to pass the rest of his life as a victim of the black treachery of his rival.

Fernand Mondego Marries Mercedes:

Later on, He falsely informed Mercedes that Danties had died in goal. All men assured her of his death. Sometimes after, his cunning rival, the fisherman, asked her for her hand in marriage. She knew nothing of this villainy and his wickedness. Quite unaware of the deadly wrong, the simple girl easily taken in and gave her consent.Eventually, Fernand Mondego and Mercedes married together.

Fernand Mondego: (becomes the Count of Morcerf)

Now ever, the wicked rogue got on extremely well in life. He became an officer in the French Army and rose so far as to be a well-to-do nobleman with a distinguished place in society. In due course of time, he became the Count of Morcerf and lived in luxuriously furnished apartments in the Rue-du-Helder in Paris. More over his facial expression, Weak and fearful, his pale face, his thin compressed lips and his crafty expression easily defined him as a mean coward, a wicked, heartless villain.

Mercedes (become the Countess of Morcerf)

Needless to say, Mercedes, his wife now became the Countess of Morcerf. The unfortunate woman, soon after her marriage, discovered how mean and heartless her husband was indeed. True to his evil nature, he was often cruel not only to her but also to Albert, their only son.
Husband and wife had never been good friends before or they likely to be better friends now. On the other hand, Mercedes had never ceased to respect and admire Dantes and regard him noble.

Albert, a young French nobleman, was the only son of the Count and the Countess of Morcerf. Extremely sentimental by nature, he was a man of honour and a man of word. He was a close friend of the Count of Monte Cristo.

Beauchamp was the editor of a Paris newspaper. He, also, was a fast friend of Albert.

The Escape of Edmund Dantes & from the Dungeon:

The victim of the villainous Mondego.the innocent Dantes, betrayed to a living death, suffered slow, profound external torture in wrongful imprisonment in the underground dungeon on the island fortress for fourteen years. At last chance favoured him. He escaped from the dreadful place.

Edmund Dantes: (become the Count of Monte Cristo)

Edmund travelled and flourished. He re-established himself in life with wonderful speed and success. He grew rich and powerful. Within the short period of six years, he acquired wealth, influence, a title and a dazzling place in French society.
He lived like a prince, in the champs Elysses, a fashionable quarter of Paris, as the Count of Monte Cristo the mysterious stranger, who cloaked the person of Dantes splendidly dressed, handsome, gay, cymical, not very young, with a touch of the devil in him, he was ever his ordinary smiling self.
No wonder, he captured all Paris by his noble, charming, even obliging manners so that all loved and admired him. Moreover, the spirit of chivalry, romance and adventure raged a strong in him.
He was a good swordsman and a wonderful shot. His pistol never missed its aim, so excellent was his marksmanship indeed. He often travelled on holidays to Rome, to Normandy, to any place that caught his fancy.
Also, He always made it his first duty on returning to Paris from any journey to pay his compliments to the Countess of Morcerf.
He was a close friend of her son Albert as well. He often went with him to spend his holidays together to places like Rome and Normandy. Once he had actually saved his life from death. He was like a father to Albert.
In fact, he show many to mother and son and helped them in many ways. But there was one thing that struck singularity strange about him. He never broke bread in the house of Morcerf. He strictly followed the Arab custom not to eat in the house of a deadly enemy who was Cristo’s enemy. Morcerf enmity was against him and mortally offend him in the past.

The Counts Revenge:

Searching Investigations:-His one and only aim of life all along was to seek vengeance upon Fernand Mondego, now the count of Morcerf, the man who had done him deadly wrong for fourteen years which, unmistaken ably, is a large slice from a man’s life.
There was time enough for him to plan his revenge. Determined to pay back his bitter rival and enemy in his own coins, he made ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ the motto of his own life.
Ruthlessly, relentlessly, he pursued his wrong – door and ferreted his secrets. At last yet another gross, act of villainy committed by Morcerf came to light during the searching investigations.

The crime of High Treason:-

In 1823 when the French and the Turks were at war, Morcerf then a captain in the French Army, received bribes from the Turks and surrendered the French Fortress of Yanins to them.

Unearthed Documents:

The Count of Monte Cristo unearthed documents, signed, sealed and witnessed, which were unassailable proofs of Morcerf’s guilt.
He even found out an eye witness, a woman, who was actually present at the scene of the crime.
So, it was not he but Morcerf, who was a traitor to his people, who had betrayed his country, and who had committed the heinous crime of high treason against the motherland.

The Count of Monte Cristo wreaks his vengeance: – 

At last the count of Monte Cristo wreaked his vengeance.
Keeping himself in the background, he brought the accusations of the crime first in the press and then in parliament.
Notes written by Al-Saudia Expert English Language Home/Online Tutor in Karachi.