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 September 16.

Seeing a forget-me-not while tramping in the Alps from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain (died 1910)

In the most forlorn and arid and dismal [place] of all, where the racked and splintered debris was thickest, where the ancient patches of snow lay against the very path, where the winds blew bitterest and the general aspect was mournfulest and dreariest and furthest from any suggestion of cheer or hope, I found a solitary wee forget-me-not flourishing away, not a droop about it anywhere but holding its bright blue star up with the prettiest and gallantest air in the world, the only happy spirit, the only smiling thing in all that grisly desert. She seemed to say, "Cheer up! As long as we are here, let us make the best of it." I judged she had earned a right to a more hospitable place, so I plucked her up and sent her to America to a friend who would respect her for the fight she had made, all by her small self, to make a whole vast despondent Alpine desolation stop breaking its heart over the unalterable and hold up its head and look at the bright side of things for once.

1. "Racked" means
A. tortured.
B. wrecked.
C. driven by the wind.
D. hung up on shrubs and trees.
2. The word origin of debris meant
A. dirty.
B. broken down, crushed.
C. left behind.
D. piled together.
3. A grisly desert is a
A. horrible desert.
B. cloudy desert.
C. colorless desert.
D. flat desert.
4. "The unalterable" is the
A. unhappy.
B. unattractive.
C. uninteresting.
D. unchangeable.
The entire book can be downloaded as an HTML zip file from the Internet: A Tramp Abroad.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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

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