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 20.

From "Friendship" by Joseph Addison (died 1719)

One would think that the larger the company is in which we are engaged, the greater variety of thoughts and subjects would be started in discourse, but instead of this we find that conversation is never so much straitened and confined as in numerous assemblies. When a multitude meet together upon any subject of discourse, their debates are taken up chiefly with forms and general positions. Nay, if we come into a more contracted assembly of men and women, the talk generally runs upon the weather, fashions, news, and the like public topics. In proportion as conversation gets into clubs and knots of friends, it descends into particulars and grows more free and communicative, but the most open, instructive, and unreserved discourse is that which passes between two persons who are familiar and intimate friends. On these occasions, a man gives a loose to [lets loose] every passion and every thought that is uppermost [in his mind], discovers his most retired [unconscious] opinions of persons and timings [events], tries the beauty and strength of his sentiments, and exposes his whole soul to the examination of his friend.

1. The most instructive discourse occurs
A. among people at an assembly.
B. in a club.
C. in a knot of friends.
D. between two friends.
2. Addison likes conversation that is
A. straightened and confined.
B. open.
C. confined to the weather and fashions.
D. general.
3. Sentiments in this context are
A. opinions.
B. loves.
C. philosophies.
D. conclusions.
4. "More contracted" means
A. less intelligent.
B. less varied.
C. smaller.
D. less attractive.
The complete essay can be found at Friendship.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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