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 22.

From "Doctors' Commons" in "Sketches by Boz" by Charles Dickens (died 1870)

There was one individual who amused us mightily. This was one of the bewigged gentlemen in the red robes, who was straddling before the fire in the centre of the Court in the attitude of the brazen Colossus, to the complete exclusion of everybody else. He had gathered up his robe behind in much the same manner as a slovenly woman would her petticoats on a very dirty day in order that he might feel the full warmth of the fire. His wig was put on all awry, with the tail straggling about his neck. His scanty grey trousers and short black gaiters, made in the worst possible style, imported an additional inelegant appearance to his uncouth person, and his limp, badly-starched shirt-collar almost obscured his eyes. We shall never be able to claim any credit as a physiognomist again, for, after a careful scrutiny of this gentleman’s countenance, we had come to the conclusion that it bespoke nothing but conceit and silliness, when our friend whispered in our ear that he was no other than a doctor of civil law and heaven knows what besides. So of course we were mistaken, and he must be a very talented man. He conceals it so well, though, perhaps with the merciful view of not astonishing ordinary people too much, that you would suppose him to be one of the stupidest dogs alive.

1. The brazen Colossus was made out of
A. clay.
B. wood.
C. iron.
D. brass.
2. The author says that he did a poor job as
A. a scrutinizer.
B. an ordinary person.
C. a physiognomist
D. a talented man.
3. Ordinary people would be astonished by
A. an uncouth person.
B. a person who looked talented.
C. conceit and silliness.
D. a stupid dog.
4. The bewigged gentleman enjoyed
A. the warmth of a fire.
B. the people at the Court.
C. fooling people.
D. a slovenly appearance.
The complete sketches can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg: Sketches by Boz.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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