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 February 16.

Selection from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay Self-reliance

When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing of ourselves but allow a passage to its beams. If we ask whence this comes, if we seek to pry into the soul that causes, all philosophy [rational investigation] is at fault. Its presence or its absence is all we can affirm.

Every man discriminates between the voluntary acts of his mind and his involuntary perceptions, and he knows that to his involuntary perceptions a perfect faith is due. He may err in the expression of them, but he knows that these things are so, like day and night, not to be disputed. My wilful actions and acquisitions are but roving [aimless], [whereas] the idlest reverie, the faintest native emotion command my curiosity and respect.

Thoughtless people contradict as readily the statement [telling] of perceptions as of opinions, or rather much more readily, for they do not distinguish between perception and notion [idea]. They fancy that I choose to see this or that thing. But perception is not whimsical, but fatal [derived from fate].

1. Like day and night, these are not to be disputed:
A. acquisitions.
B. wilful actions.
C. involuntary perceptions.
D. voluntary acts.
2. These are but roving:
A. day and night.
B. involuntary perceptions.
C. reveries.
D. wilful actions.
3. We do not choose
A. perceiving.
B. statements.
C. wilful actions.
D. voluntary acts.
4. (See The Latin origin of perception meant
A. judging.
B. a taking in.
C. looking at.
D. using the senses.
The information comes from Classic Essays

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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