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 May 18.

Entering the Mediterranean Sea from "The Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain (died 1910)

While we stood admiring the cloud-capped peaks [of Africa] and the lowlands robed in misty gloom, a finer picture burst upon us and chained every eye like a magnet - a stately ship, with canvas piled on canvas till she was one towering mass of bellying sail! She came speeding over the sea like a great bird. Africa and Spain were forgotten. All homage was for the beautiful stranger. While everybody gazed she swept superbly by and flung the Stars and Stripes to the breeze! Quicker than thought, hats and handkerchiefs flashed in the air, and a cheer went up! She was beautiful before - she was radiant now. Many a one on our decks knew then for the first time how tame a sight his country's flag is at home compared to what it is in a foreign land. To see it is to see a vision of home itself and all its idols and feel a thrill that would stir a very river of sluggish blood!

1. A river of sluggish blood would be stirred by
A. the sight in a foreign land of one's country's flag.
B. the coast of Africa.
C. the sight of Europe.
D. the beautiful sailing ship.
2. The beautiful stranger was
A. Africa.
B. Spain.
C. a sailing ship.
D. a vision of home.
3. "Canvas piled on canvas" refers to
A. rigging.
B. sails.
C. a great bird.
D. the people aboard.
4. The sails are compared to
A. a magnet.
B. the Stars and Stripes.
C. a vision of home.
D. bellies.

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