Reading – Part 1 – Multiple Choice 2

Reading – Part 1 – Multiple Choice 2

You are going to read an extract from a novel.

For questions 1-6, choose the best answer [A, B , C  or  D].

Through the curtained windows of the furnished apartment which Mrs. Horace Hignett had rented for her stay in New York, rays of golden sunlight peeped in like the foremost spies of some advancing army. It was a fine summer morning. The hands of the Dutch clock in the hall pointed to thirteen minutes past nine; those of the ormolu clock in the sitting-room to eleven minutes past ten; those of the carriage clock on the bookshelf to fourteen minutes to six. In other words, it was exactly eight; and Mrs. Hignett acknowledged the fact by moving her head on the pillow, opening her eyes, and sitting up in bed. She always woke at eight precisely.

Was this Mrs. Hignett the Mrs. Hignett, the world-famous writer on Theosophy, the author of “The Spreading Light,” “What of the Morrow,” and all the rest of that well-known series? I’m glad you asked me. Yes, she was. She had come over to America on a lecturing tour.

The year 1921, it will be remembered, was a trying one for the inhabitants of the United States. Every boat that arrived from England brought a fresh swarm of British lecturers to the country. Novelists, poets, scientists, philosophers, and plain, ordinary bores; some herd instinct seemed to affect them all simultaneously. It was like one of those great race movements of the Middle Ages. Men and women of widely differing views on religion, art, politics, and almost every other subject; on this one point the intellectuals of Great Britain were single-minded, that there was easy money to be picked up on the lecture platforms of America and that they might just as well grab it as the next person.

Mrs. Hignett had come over with the first batch of immigrants; for, spiritual as her writings were, there was a solid streak of business sense in this woman and she meant to get hers while the getting was good. She was half way across the Atlantic with a complete itinerary booked before 90 per cent of the poets and philosophers had finished sorting out their clean collars and getting their photographs taken for the passport.

She had not left England without a pang, for departure had involved sacrifices. More than anything else in the world she loved her charming home in the county of Hampshire. She revelled in its    (line 22)   shady walks, its silver lake, its noble elms, the old grey stone of its walls. She felt that she belonged there and would surely return after making her fortune in foreign climes.

Her son, Eustace, had accompanied his mother to America. It was his faint snores which she could hear in the adjoining room, as, having bathed and dressed, she went down the hall to where breakfast awaited her. She smiled tolerantly. She had never desired to convert her son to her own early rising habits, for she was an indulgent mother. Eustace would get up at half-past nine, long after she had finished breakfast, read her mail, and started her duties for the day.

Breakfast was on the table in the sitting-room, a modest meal of rolls, cereal, and imitation coffee. Beside the pot containing this hell-brew was a little pile of letters. Mrs. Hignett opened them as she ate. The majority were from disciples and dealt with matters of purely theosophical interest. There was an invitation from the Butterfly Club asking her to be the guest of honour at their weekly dinner. Altogether a dull mail. Mrs. Hignett skimmed through it without interest, setting aside one or two of the letters for Eustace, who acted as her unpaid secretary, to answer later in the day.

She had just risen from the table when there was a sound of voices in the hall, and presently the domestic staff, a gaunt Irish lady of advanced years, entered the room.



1  Mrs. Hignett woke up at 8 a.m. every morning

A  by looking at her Dutch clock.

B  by comparing all the clocks and taking an average time.

C  from habit.

D  because her curtains were open.


2  According to the author, British lecturers travelled to the United States

A  to teach students about the Middle Ages.

B  to make as much money as possible.

C  because they were intellectuals.

D  to be able to express their religious beliefs freely.


3  Most British lecturers

A  had not emigrated to work in the United States yet.

B  were well organized and knew how to teach in universities.

C  were already working in the States by 1921.

D  had too many clothes to pack in their suitcases.


4  The word its in line 22  refers to

A  trees.

B  America.

C  lakes.

D  the county of Hampshire.

Mrs. Hignett

A  disapproved of her son’s lazy habits.

B  found her son’s snoring annoying.

C  wished her son would get up earlier.

D  didn’t mind Eustace’s sleeping and rising habits.


6  From the author’s description, the reader can assume that the breakfast was

A  Eustace’s favourite meal of the day.

B  pretty unappetizing.

C  quite poor, except the coffee.

D  always served in the bedroom.



1 C    She always woke at eight precisely.

2 B    there was easy money to be picked up on the lecture platforms of America.

3 A    before 90 per cent of the poets and philosophers had finished …. taken for the passport.

4 D    she loved her charming home in the county of Hampshire

5 D    She smiled tolerantly.    she was an indulgent mother.

6 B    imitation coffee    this hell-brew

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