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 3.

From "On Keeping a Secret" by William Cowper (died 1800)

There is no mark of our confidence taken more kindly by a friend than the entrusting him with a secret - nor any which he is so likely to abuse. Confidantes in general are like crazy firelocks, which are no sooner charged and cocked than the spring gives way and the report immediately follows. Happy to have been thought worthy [of] the confidence of one friend, they are impatient to manifest their importance to another, till between them and their friend, and their friend’s friend, the whole matter is presently known to all our friends. . . The secret catches as it were by contact and like electrical matter breaks forth from every link in the chain, almost at the same instant. Thus the whole Exchange [market] may be thrown into a buzz tomorrow by what was whispered . . . this morning, and in a week’s time the streets may ring with the intrigues of a woman of fashion, bellowed out from the foul mouths of the hawkers, though at present it is known to no creature living but her gallant and her waiting-maid.

1. When referring to a gun, a report is
A. answering to authority.
B. a telltale.
C. an explosive noise.
D. gossip.
2. The MLG origin of hawker meant
A. breeder of hawks.
B. person who coughs.
C. person with little income.
D. retail dealer/peddler.
3. MLG means
A. middle low German.
B. multiple languages German.
C. middle late German.
D. most likely German.
4. A gallant is
A. an official.
B. a suitor/lover.
C. an annoying person.
D. a flatterer.
The complete essay can be found at On Keeping a Secret.

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