Book Creator

8th Grade

by Nishana KM

Pages 2 and 3 of 16

Look at the picture carefully.
1. What do you see in this picture?

2. What are the details you notice when you look at it closely?

3. How did the artist hide minute details from our eyes at first sight?
The Mysterious Picture

Let’s read a story from The Legend of the Glorious Adventures of Tyl Ulenspiegel. It narrates an interesting
episode from the life of an artist.
Charles De Coster (1827-’79),
the father of Belgian literature,
was born in Munich. His masterpiece is
The Legend of Tyl Ulenspiegel and Lamme
Goedzak (1867), a 16th-century romance,
which was barely read in Belgium because
it did not meet up to the conventional standards of
Belgian nationalism. But it gained popularity all
over the world. It is considered as one of the
classics in Belgian literature.
1 Tyl, in the course of his wanderings from
court to court, rode to the palace of the
Archduke of Battenburg on his donkey.
His clothes and appearance attracted
everyone’s attention. His cap was set
smartly on his head and the three bright
feathers on it danced in the breeze as he
rode. At the main entrance to the palace,
the Captain of the Guards called out to
him, ‘Hei there! You fellow on the donkey!
We don’t allow any loafers here. You and
your donkey already look like skeletons.’
1. Where do the events narrated in the story take

Ans:- The events of the story took place in the palace of the Archduke of Batt- Orenburg

2. Mention the two central characters you identify
at this point?

Ans:- Tyi Ulenspiegel and the Captain of the Guards are the characters at this point.
2 The Captain of the Guards was a tall,
well-built, red-haired man of about
twenty-five. He was handsomely dressed
in his gold-braided uniform. Tyl looked
at him coolly and then dismounted from
his donkey. He bowed low and said, ‘May
God bless you, Sir Captain! If I look like
a skeleton, it is not my fault. I’m very
hungry. I’ve come here because I’m forced
to. If you will be so good as to give me a
piece of the gold cord that you wear on
your coat, I’ll go and hang myself by the
teeth on that large leg of mutton that I
see hanging in that butcher’s shop.’
3. What do you understand about the character of
Tyl? Is he a serious man or one with sense of
humour? How do you know this?

Ans :- Tyl is person who wanders from court to court. He is a man with a good sense of humor. His appearance and mannerisms make us think so.
3 The Captain was playing a game of chess
with another officer. He looked curiously
at Tyl.
‘Where do you come from?’ he asked.
‘From Flanders,’ replied Tyl.
‘What do you want?’
‘I should like to show His Highness, the
Archduke, one of my paintings. I’m a
‘Well, if you are a painter and if you come
from Flanders, you may come in,’ said the
Captain somewhat impressed.
The Captain knew that Flemish painters
and their pictures were in great demand
all over Europe. Tyl was presented to the
Archduke. He saluted the Archduke three
times and stood before him with his head
bowed. 'May your Highness pardon me for
4. Is there a change in the attitude of the Captain?
What is the reason behind it?

Ans:- Yes, because the Captain of the Guards understood that Tyl was a Flemish painter.
my rashness in thinking that one of
my paintings will please your Highness. I
have brought a picture of Our Lady, the
Virgin, in her royal robes. I have painted
it specially so that I might lay it at your
noble feet.’ Tyl paused a few moments for
his words to sink in. Then he continued,
‘You must forgive me, Your Highness, if
I’ve dared to hope that this picture will
please you. Perhaps Your Highness might
wish to offer me the chair of your court
painter who died recently. I can see the
empty velvet chair waiting to be filled.’
5. The language used by Tyl when he speaks to
the Archduke shows his respect for him. Pick out
a few instances which show this.

Ans:- The words, “May, Your Highness pardon me. I might lay it at your noble feet.” shows Tyl’s respect for the Archduke.
The Virgin’s picture was a splendid
painting and the Archduke made up his
mind at once. He embraced and kissed
him on both cheeks. He said, ‘I shall be
delighted to make you my court painter.’
He directed him to the chair and made
him sit on it. ‘Well, my dear fellow,’ he said,
‘you do have a tongue in your head and
you certainly seem to know how to use it.
You are a very talkative fellow, aren’t you?’
4 ‘Your Highness, may it please you to
remember me and my donkey, Jeff, for just
one more minute,’ Tyl replied. ‘My donkey
has been feeding himself fairly well all
along the way on the thorns in the hedges
and the grass on the roadside. But I have
had nothing to eat for the past three days.
My stomach has been complaining very
loudly. Perhaps Your Highness can even
hear it now. I have been feeding myself
with dreams of good food and drink at
your royal table.’
6. What does Tyl wish to become?

Ans :- Tyi wished to become the court painter.
7. Do you think Tyl and his donkey are hungry?
Give reasons for your answer.

Ans :- The donkey was not hungry as it was fed fairly well all along the way. But Tyl had nothing to eat for the last three days.
The Archduke smiled and said, ‘Well, my
dear fellow, you will certainly have
something more solid than dreams to feed
on. But where is your donkey?’
‘I left him outside, opposite the palace. I
shall be most grateful if Jeff is looked
after. He needs a little fodder and lodging
at night,’ said Tyl.
The Archduke immediately ordered the
donkey to be taken care of and he added.
‘Treat it like one of my own animals.’
8. What does the Archduke want Tyl to do?

Ans :- The Archduke wanted Tyl to paint his portrait so as to leave his memory to his descendants.
5 Before long, supper was served and it
was like a wedding feast. The tables were
loaded with every kind of food and drink.
Wine flowed like water. The courtiers
stuffed themselves with the choicest
dishes. The Archduke made Tyl eat and
drink until his stomach was about to burst.
The Archduke too ate heartily. His face
was flushed with drink. But he seemed lost
in thought. He suddenly looked up and
said loudly, ‘Our court painter must paint
our portrait, so that we will have the
satisfaction of leaving our memory to our
descendants. We too have to take our place
in history along with our noble ancestors
whose portraits adorn these walls. It is sad
to think of death. We do not know when
God will think fit to summon us. But our
portrait should be painted.’