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ACT Reading Test - 8

Reading Questions

DIRECTIONS: The passage in this test is followed by several questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question. You may refer to the passage as often as necessary.

It is peaceful here and pleasant at Interlaken. Nothing going on-at least nothing but brilliant life-giving sunshine. There are floods and floods of that. One may properly

5 speak of it as "going on," for it is full of the suggestion of activity; the light pours down with energy, with visible enthusiasm. This is a good atmosphere to be in, morally as well as physically. After trying the political

10 atmosphere of the neighboring monarchies, it is healing and refreshing to breathe in air that has known no taint of slavery for six hundred years, and to come among a people whose political history is great and fine, and

15 worthy to be taught in all schools and studied by all races and peoples. For the struggle here throughout the centuries has not been in the interest of any private family, or any church, but in the interest of

20 the whole body of the nation, and for shelter and protection of all forms of belief. This fact is colossal. If one would realize how colossal it is, and of what dignity and majesty, let him contrast it with the purposes

25 and objects of the Crusades, the siege of York, the War of the Roses, and other historic comedies of that sort and size. Last week I was beating around the Lake of Four Cantons, and I saw Rutli and Altorf.

30 Rutli is a remote little patch of a meadow, but I do not know how any piece of ground could be holier or better worth crossing oceans and continents to see, since it was there that the great trinity of Switzerland

35 joined hands six centuries ago and swore the oath which set their enslaved and insulted country forever free; and Altorf is also honorable ground and worshipful, since it was there that William, surnamed Tell

40 (which interpreted means "The foolish talker"-that is to say, the too-daring talker), refused to bow to Gessler's hat. Of late years the prying student of history has been delighting himself beyond measure over a

45 wonderful find which he has made-to wit, that Tell did not shoot the apple from hisson's head. To hear the students jubilate, one would suppose that the question of whether Tell shot the apple or didn't was an

50 important matter; whereas it ranks in importance exactly with the question of whether Washington chopped down the cherry-tree or didn't. The deeds of Washington, the patriot, are the essential

55 thing; the cherry-tree incident is of no consequence. To prove that Tell did shoot the apple from his son's head would merely prove that he had better nerve than most men and was as skillful with a bow as a

60 million others who preceded and followed him, but not one whit more so. But Tell was more and better than a mere marksman, more and better than a mere cool head; he was a type; he stands for Swiss patriotism;

65 in his person was represented a whole people; his spirit was their spirit-the spirit which would bow to none but God, the spirit which said this in words and confirmed it with deeds. There have always been Tells in

70 Switzerland-people who would not bow. There was a sufficiency of them at Rutli; there were plenty of them at Murten; plenty at Grandson; there are plenty today. And the first of them all-the very first, earliest

75 banner-bearer of human freedom in this world-was not a man, but a woman- Stauffacher's wife. There she looms dim and great, through the haze of the centuries, delivering into her husband's ear that gospel

80 of revolt which was to bear fruit in the conspiracy of Rutli and the birth of the first free government the world had ever seen.

This passage is taken from the essay "Switzerland, the Cradle of Liberty", published in What is Man? And Other Essays by Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens] in 1906.
Ref : http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/twain_switzerland.htm

1. The author's general point of view expressed in this essay is
A) Switzerland has more heroes than other countries.
B) Switzerland has much better weather than its European neighbors and it's healthier*
C) The atmosphere of Switzerland is refreshing to both body and spirit.
D) William Tell is an overrated historical leader since he really didn't shoot an apple off his son's head


2. Which of the following statements is the best paraphrase of lines 16-21?
A) For centuries Switzerland has struggled to defend and protect the interests of its people, politically and religiously, on a national scale.
B) Switzerland as a nation has not been concerned about religion for centuries.
C) Switzerland has struggled to protect itself from private interests for many centuries.
D) There has not been slavery in Switzerland for more than six hundred years.


3. What can be inferred from lines 30-37?
A) Rutli is the place where Christians in Switzerland were freed from slavery.
B) Rutli is the place where the country of Switzerland was born.
C) Everyone should see the meadow of Rutli at least once in his life.
D) The people of Switzerland were enslaved and insulted until they went to Rutli.


4. We can infer from lines 38-42 that
A) William talked a lot.
B) William was foolish.
C) William didn't like Gessler's hat.
D) William defied Gessler's authority.


5. The story of William Tell shooting the apple from his son's head is
A) an anecdote
B) a historical fact
C) hotly debated by historians
D) of interest only to students


6. Why does Twain talk about George Washington and the cherry tree?
A) To show that there are always false stories told about heroes.
B) To show that Tell was the father of his country like Washington
C) To draw an analogy between the Tell and Washington
D) Because both anecdotes involve patriots and trees.


7. In line 42 the word "bow" means
A) a looped knot
B) a weapon for firing arrows
C) the front part of a ship
D) bending the upper body forward


8. The sentence "There have always been Tells in Switzerland" (line 69-70) means

A) William's family was very old and well known
B) William was a common type in Switzerland
C) There are a lot of foolish talkers in Switzerland.
D) William was not important.


9. In which section would we find Mark Twain's definition of a hero?
A) lines 66-69
B) lines 53-56
C) lines 34-37
D) lines 21-27


10. Which statement best summarizes lines 72-83?
A) The movement towards freedom in Switzerland began long ago with Stauffacher's wife, whose words culminated in the formation of the new country at Rutli.
B) Stauffacher's wife started the revolt that freed Switzerland.
C) Stauffacher's wife was the greatest Swiss hero, but she had to work for freedom secretly through her husband,
D) A woman began the movement for an independent Switzerland by whispering to her husband about revolt.




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