On the last day of the french teacher’s lecture, the whole school seemed so strong and solemn. All the back benches were full of village people, who were sitting there quietly like the students. After the French-Prusian war (1870-1871) France was defeated. The french district of Alsace and Lovraine had passed into Prussian hands.Their french teacher, Mr. Hamel told the students that an order had come from Berlin to teach only German not French in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine and this was the last french lesson he would give them. He announced that the new German master would come tomorrow.
These words of M. Hame were like a peal of thunder to franz and others thought that they
hardly know to write french. They felt that they would never learn french quite seriously. Books, seemed such a nuisance a short while ago-so-heavy to Carry, his grammer and his story of Saints. They seems that Mr. Hamel wanted to give his pupil all the he had. After finishing his last lecture they are firm determined to learn their language as they know it was a key to their freedom from slavery.
The story was written in the days of the Franco-Prussian war in which France was
defeated by Prussia. In this story the French districts of Alsace-Lorraine have passed into Prussian hands. M. Hamel is the teacher of French and a boy, Franz who never serious in the class of M. Hamel. One day he was late for school. He feared that his teacher would scold as he was not very sure about participles which the teacher, M. Hamel, is going to test that day. But finally he decided to go to school. As he entered he saw the crowd has gathered round the bulletin board. He did not stop there. On arriving at school, he noted an unusual silence. He entered into the class and was greeted with a strange sight. The last benches which were always empty were occupied by the village elders who look grim and solemn. Franz noticed M. Hamel was dressed nicely and asked Franz to sit so that he could start his lesson. The teacher made a startling announcement that this would be their last lesson in French as the new teacher would be arriving the following day. He said, “ The order has come from Berlin to teach only German in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. The new teacher comes tomorrow. This is your last French lesson. I want you to be very attentive.” There came a sudden change in the minds of the people and they developed a new profound love French. Franz was overcome with a feeling of remorse and regretted for wasting his time in trivial pursuits. He decided to pay attention to the lesson since school had become very important for him. The people and Franz himself realized how precious their language is to them. M. Hamel had been teaching in that school for last forty years. His dedication, devotion, discipline impressed them. He realizes the real worth of his school and the teacher whom they have all taken for granted all these years. M. Hamel in his last address told about the importance of French. He called that it was the most beautiful language in the world. It is the clearest and the most logical one. M.Hamel was overcome by strong emotions and in large letter he wrote on the board ‘Viva La France’ – long live France!
Crowd in front of the bulletin board: It was the usual sight in front of the bulletin board at the Town Hall. People would come there to know about the updates of the war and their fate. On that day it was more shocking for the villagers as German language was imposed to be taught in their schools in place of their mother language.