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 June 2.

From "Roughing It" by Mark Twain (died 1910)

By and by, an old friend of mine, a miner, came down from one of the decayed mining camps of Tuolumne, California, and I went back with him. We lived in a small cabin on a verdant hillside, and there were not five other cabins in view over the wide expanse of hill and forest. Yet, a flourishing city of two or three thousand population had occupied this grassy dead solitude during the flush times of twelve or fifteen years before, and where our cabin stood had once been the heart of the teeming hive, the centre of the city. When the mines gave out, the town fell into decay and in a few years wholly disappeared - streets, dwellings, shops, everything - and left no sign. The grassy slopes were as green and smooth and desolate of [human] life as if they had never been disturbed. The mere handful of miners still remaining had seen the town spring up, spread, grow and flourish in its pride, and they had seen it sicken and die and pass away like a dream. With it their hopes had died and their zest of life. They had long ago resigned themselves to their exile and ceased to correspond with their distant friends or turn longing eyes toward their early homes. They had accepted banishment, forgotten the world, and been forgotten of the world. They were far from telegraphs and railroads, and they stood, as it were, in a living grave, dead to the events that stirred the globe's great populations, dead to the common interests of men, isolated and outcast from brotherhood with their kind.

1. The Latin origin of flourish meant
A. to become large.
B. to become healthy.
C. to become rich.
D. to blossom/flower.
2. The town died because
A. it was too isolated.
B. the ore diminished.
C. the location was too harsh.
D. there were no telegraphs or railroads.
3. The remaining miners were
A. living well from their investments.
B. in touch with their families.
C. failures.
D. too poor to return home.
4. Twain contrasts the remaining miners with
A. the common interests of men.
B. grassy slopes.
C. exile.
D. decay.
The complete text of Roughing It is available from Project Gutenberg as a downloadable file: Roughing It.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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

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