In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance a table of days, months, and years, and must live strictly according to it. Only thus, said they, could everything be done at its proper time. Others declared that it was impossible to decide beforehand the right time for every action, but that, not letting oneself be absorbed in idle pastimes, one should always attend to all that was going on, and then do what was most needful. Others, again, said that however attentive the king might be to what was going on, it was impossible for one man to decide correctly the right time for every action, but that he should have a council of wise men who would help him to fix the proper time for everything.
But then again others said there were some things which could not wait to be laid before a council, but about which one had at once to decide whether to undertake them or not. But in order to decide that, one must know beforehand what was going to happen. It is only magicians who know that; and, therefore, in order to know the right time for every action, one must consult magicians.
Many wise men gave different answers to the questions.
Many wise men gave answers, but all were different!
For the first question, the opinions were:
- Prepare a timetable and follow it strictly - so that everything can be done at the proper time.
- It is not possible to decide all things before doing.
- The king should not spend too much time on hobbies to pass away time, be always aware of what was going on- and do what is appropriate at the necessary time.
- The king should have a council (a group of wise people chosen to make rules and to give advice) - the council can help him to decide, as one man cannot take decisions separately.
- There may be urgent matters which needed quick decision - in such times council may not be useful.
- It is good to know about the future, so the king should hire magicians who can look into the future.
Meanings of difficult words:
a group of wise people chosen to make rules and to give advice
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-8. The Three Questions - Leo Tolstoy (retold) (pp. 102-112). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.