Testing the Reader in You!

Read the short passage then answer the questions.

-Narrative The following passage is adapted from a short story written in the 19th century.

Monsieur Chantal stopped. He was sitting on the edge of the billiard table, his feet hanging, and was playing with a ball with his left hand, while with his right he crumpled a rag which served to rub the chalk marks from the slate. A little (5) red in the face, his voice thick, he was talking away to himself now, lost in his memories. After a slight pause he continued: “By Jove! She was pretty at eighteen–and graceful– and perfect. Ah! She was so sweet–and good and true–and (10) charming! She had such eyes- blue-transparent–clear–such eyes as I have never seen since!” I asked: “Why did she never marry?” He answered, not to me, but to the word “marry” which had caught his ear, “Why? why? She never would–she never (15) would! She had a dowry of thirty thousand francs, and she received several offers–but she never would! She seemed sad at that time. That was when I married my cousin, little Charlotte, my wife, to whom I had been engaged for six years.”

(20) I looked at M. Chantal, and it seemed to me that I was looking into his very soul, and I was suddenly witnessing one of those humble and cruel tragedies of honest, straightforward, blameless hearts, one of those secret tragedies known to no one, not even the silent and resigned (25) victims. A rash curiosity suddenly impelled me to exclaim: “You should have married her, Monsieur Chantal!” He startled, looked at me, and said, “I? Marry whom?” “Mademoiselle Pearl.” (30)” Why?” “Because you loved her more than your cousin.” He stared at me with strange, round, bewildered eyes and stammered, “I loved her–I? How? Who told you that?” “Why, anyone can see that–and it’s even on account of her (35) that you delayed for so long your marriage to your cousin who had been waiting for you for six years.” He dropped the ball which he was holding in his left hand, and, seizing the chalk rag in both hands, he buried his face in it and began to sob. He was weeping with his eyes, nose and (40) mouth in a heartbreaking yet ridiculous manner, like a sponge which one squeezes. I felt bewildered, ashamed; I wanted to run away, and I no longer knew what to say, do, or attempt.

Suddenly Madame Chantal’s voice sounded on the stairs. (45)“Haven’t you men almost finished smoking your cigars?” I opened the door and cried: “Yes, madame, we are coming right down.” Then I rushed to her husband, and, seizing him by the shoulders, I cried: “Monsieur Chantal, my friend Chantal, (50) listen to me; your wife is calling; pull yourself together, we must go downstairs.” I caught him by the hands and dragged him into his bedroom, muttering: “I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon, Monsieur Chantal, for having caused you such sorrow–but–( 55) I did not know–you–you understand.” He squeezed my hand, saying: “Yes–yes–there are difficult moments.” Then he plunged his face into a bowl of water. When he emerged from it he did not yet seem to me to be presentable; (60) but I thought of a little stratagem. As he was growing worried, looking at himself in the mirror, I said to him, “All you have to do is to say that a little dust flew into your eye and you can cry before everybody to your heart’s content.” I went over to Mademoiselle Pearl and watched her, (65) tormented by an ardent curiosity, which was turning to positive suffering. She must indeed have been pretty, with her gentle, calm eyes, so large that it looked as though she never closed them like other mortals. Her gown was a little ridiculous, a real old maid’s gown, which was unbecoming (70) without appearing clumsy.

“Mademoiselle Pearl” by Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

1. In line 13 (“ He answered,… ear”), the author views Monsieur Chantal’s reaction as:

 (A) peculiar

(B) expected

(C) erroneous

(D) thoughtful

(E) intelligible

2. The word “dowry” (line 15) most nearly means?

(A) real estate

(B) status

(C) capital

(D) prospect

(E) alimony

3. In “You… Chantal!” (line 27), the narrator’s attitude is best described as:

(A) considerate

(B) vexing

(C) decadent

(D) whimsical

(E) aggravated

4. The author would most likely characterize the attitude of Monsieur Chantal “I loved… that?” (line 33) as:

(A) pretentious

(B) modest

(C) secretive

(D) frustrated

(E) enchanted

5. Which of the following best describes the change in Monsieur Chantal’s feeling from (line 1-6) to (line 37-43)

(A) fear to intrepid

(B) nostalgic to flustered

(C) sentimental to dreamy

(D) content to gloomy

(E) agitated to paranoia

 

 

 

 

 

Answers:

1. A       2. E      3. C     4. D      5. B

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LIKE Test Prep Books (2012-09-07). Advanced Reading, Writing, and Grammar for Test Prep (Kindle Locations 749-762). LIKE TEST PREP. Kindle Edition.

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LIKE Test Prep Books (2012-09-07). Advanced Reading, Writing, and Grammar for Test Prep (Kindle Locations 696-713). LIKE TEST PREP. Kindle Edition.

LIKE Test Prep Books (2012-09-07). Advanced Reading, Writing, and Grammar for Test Prep (Kindle Locations 682-695). LIKE TEST PREP. Kindle Edition.

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