Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for April 1.

Continuation - Charles Lamb's A Masque of Days

Charles Lamb's A Masque of Days

Charles Lamb's A Masque of Days
(Too hard to read? See below.)

1. Ash Wednesday ate too much because
A. he was fat and generally ate too much.
B. he needed to store up calories.
C. he was used to fasting.
D. he always ate what he was offered.
2. Ash Wednesday's bib and tucker were made of sackcloth because
A. it is a cloth used for napkins.
B. it absorbs grease.
C. it is easily cleaned.
D. it is a sign of repentance.
3. Lord Mayor's Day is a time for
A. pageantry and show.
B. overeating.
C. fasting.
D. repentance.
4. "Nothing but" in this context means
A. not found anywhere.
B. no food except.
C. emptiness.
D. not agreeable.
5. The figures in the right-hand illustration are
A. Christmas Day and Ash Wednesday.
B. Lord Mayor's Day and Ash Wednesday.
C. Lord Mayor's Day and Last Day in December.
D. Christmas Day and Last Day in December.
This is the sixth in a series. The other five are at February 5, 2009 and February 26, 2009 and March 10, 2009 and March 17, 2009 and March 25, 2009.


Previously: The OLD YEAR being dead, and the NEW YEAR coming of age, wh: he does by Calendar Law, as soon as the breath is out of the old gentleman's body, nothing would serve the young spark but that he must give a dinner upon the occasion, to wh: all the Days in the year were invited. The Festivals, whom he deputed as his stewards, were mightily taken with the notion. They had been engaged time out of mind, they said, in providing mirth and good cheer for mortals below, and it was time they should have a taste of their own bounty. It was stiffly debated among them whether the Fasts should be admitted. Some said, the appearance of such lean, starved guests, with their mortified faces, would pervert the ends of the meeting. But the objection was overruled by Christmas Day, who had a design upon Ash Wednesday (as you shall hear) and a mighty desire to see how the old Domine would behave himself in his cups. Only the VIGILS [that is, the Vigils only, no others] were requested to come with their lanterns to light the gentlefolks home at night. All the Days came to their day. Covers were provided for three hundred and sixty-five guests at the principal table, with an occasional knife and fork at the side-board for the Twenty-Ninth of February. I should have told you that cards of invitation had been issued. The carriers were THE HOURS, twelve little, merry whirligig foot-pages as you should desire to see that went all round and found out the persons invited well enough with the exception of Easter Day, Shrove Tuesday, and a few such Moveables who had lately shifted their quarters. Well, they all met at last, foul Days, fine Days, all sorts of Days, and a rare din they made of it. There was nothing but Hail! fellow Day, Well met, brother Day, sister Day. Only LADY DAY kept a little aloof and seemed somewhat scornful. Yet some said TWELFTH DAY cut her out and out, for she came in a Tiffany suit, white and gold, like a queen on a frost-cake, all royal glittering and epiphanous. The rest came, some in green, some in white, but old Lent and his family were not yet out of mourning. Rainy Days came in, dripping, and sun-shiny Days helped them to change their stockings. Wedding Day was there in his marriage finery, a little the worse for wear. Pay Day came late, as he always does, and Doomsday sent word he might be expected. April Fool (as my young lord’s [the spark giving the party] jester) took upon himself to marshal the guests, and wild work he made with it. It would have posed [challenged] old Erra Pater [a publication that includes a calendar] to have found out any given Day in the year to erect a scheme upon [plan an event for] [because] good Days, bad Days were so [so much] shuffled together, to the confounding of all sober horoscopy. He had stuck the Twenty-First of June next to the Twenty-Second of December, and the former looked like a Maypole siding [beside] a marrowbone [a bone chewed for its marrow].

Currently: Ash Wednesday got wedged in (as was concerted [planned beforehand]) betwixt Christmas & Lord Mayor’s Days. Lord! how he [Ash Wednesday] laid about him! Nothing but barons [very large cuts of meat] of beef & turkeys would go down with [be consumed by] him, to the great greasing & detriment of his new sackcloth bib and tucker. And still Christmas Day was at his elbow, plying him with the wassail[spiced ale]-bowl, till he roared & hiccupp’d & protested there was no faith in dried ling [a type of fish], a sour, windy, acrimonious, censorious hy-po-crit-crit-critical mess & no dish for a gentleman. Then he dipt his fist into the middle of the great custard that stood before his left-hand neighbour & daubed his hungry beard all over with it, till you would have taken him for the Last Day in December it so hung in icicles.

The information comes from a Project Gutenberg eBook (free download of html zip file - Charles Lamb's A Masque of Days  ).

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-C..........2-D..........3-A..........4-B..........5-C
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at