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 August 27.

Twain at the summit of a pyramid (Cheops) - from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (died 1910)

On the one hand, a mighty sea of yellow sand stretched away toward the ends of the earth, solemn, silent, shorn of vegetation, its solitude uncheered by any forms of creature life. On the other, the Eden of Egypt was spread below us - a broad green floor, cloven by the sinuous river, dotted with villages, its vast distances measured and marked by the diminishing stature of receding clusters of palms. It lay asleep in an enchanted atmosphere. There was no sound, no motion. Above the date-plumes in the middle distance swelled a domed and pinnacled mass, glimmering through a tinted, exquisite mist [Cairo]. Away toward the horizon a dozen shapely pyramids watched over ruined Memphis, and at our feet the bland impassible Sphynx looked out upon the picture from her throne in the sands as placidly and pensively as she had looked upon its like full fifty lagging centuries ago.

1. The stature of the palms diminished because
A. they were farther and farther away.
B. they were undernourished.
C. they were in Cairo.
D. they were in villages.
2. "Its like" refers to
A. the sands.
B. a dozen shapely pyramids.
C. the picture of Egypt as seen by the Sphynx.
D. a domed and pinnacled mass.
3. "Impassible" here means
A. impossible.
B. without emotion.
C. forbidding.
D. indestructible.
4. Date-plumes were
A. rock formations.
B. the dozen pyramids.
C. ruined Memphis.
D. the upgrowing foliage of date palms.
The entire book can be downloaded as an html zip file from Project Gutenberg: The Innocents Abroad.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-A . . . . . . . . . . 2-C . . . . . . . . . . 3-B . . . . . . . . . . 4-D

Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at