It is the story of school teacher who taught French in a district of France. The district had been captured by the Prussian army. French teachers were asked to leave their schools. This story describes the last lesson of one such teacher. The story is narrated by a little student named Franz in teacher’s class.
Little Franz was late for school that morning. He was afraid that teacher would scold him. He was also afraid because the teacher was to ask question on participles and he didn’t know a word about them. Franz thought of running away and spending the day out of doors. He saw the Prussian solders drilling in the open fields. On his way, Franz passed by the Town Hall. He saw a crowd of people in front of the bulletin board. When Franz reached his school, it was all quiet. Franz saw that the teacher was in one of his best dresses. And at the back of the class, the village people were sitting quietly. Everybody looked sad. Mr. Hamel began in a very grave and gentle tone. ‘My children, this is my last lesson to you’. The order from Berlin has come to teach only German in schools of Alsace and Lorraine. Now, Franz understood why MR. Hamel was in his best clothes. He also understood why the old men of the village were sitting there. Mr. Hamel opened a grammar and gave his last lesson to the class. Little Franz was amazed to see that he understood every word of it. All at once, the church clock struck twelve. The sounds of the midday brayer were heard. He was choked with emotions. He took a piece of chalk and wrote on the black board, as large as he could, ‘’Long Live France’’.
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