AP English Language and Composition Practice Test 23

Questions 1-12 refer to the following information.

This is an excerpt from a speech made by a British nobleman who served in the government of Queen Victoria late in the 19th century.

It is no doubt true that we are surrounded by advisers who tell us that all study of
the past is barren except insofar as it enables us to determine the laws by which the
evolution of human societies is governed. How far such an investigation has been
up to the present time fruitful in results I will not inquire. That it will ever enable us
5to trace with accuracy the course which States and nations are destined to pursue in
the future, or to account in detail for their history in the past, I do not believe.
We are borne along like travelers on some unexplored stream. We may know
enough of the general configuration of the globe to be sure that we are making our
way toward the ocean. We may know enough by experience or theory of the laws
10regulating the flow of liquids, to conjecture how the river will behave under the varying
influences to which it may be subject. More than this we can not know. It will
depend largely upon causes which, in relation to any laws which we are ever likely
to discover, may properly be called accidental, whether we are destined sluggishly to
drift among fever-stricken swamps, to hurry down perilous rapids, or to glide gently
15through fair scenes of peaceful cultivation.
But leaving on one side ambitious sociological speculations, and even those more
modest but hitherto more successful investigations into the causes which have in
particular cases been principally operative in producing great political changes,
there are still two modes in which we can derive what I may call "spectacular" enjoyment
20from the study of history.
There is first the pleasure which arises from the contemplation of some great historic
drama, or some broad and well-marked phase of social development. The story
of the rise, greatness, and decay of a nation is like some vast epic which contains as
subsidiary episodes the varied stories of the rise, greatness, and decay of creeds, of
25parties, and of statesmen. The imagination is moved by the slow unrolling of this
great picture of human mutability, as it is moved by contrasted permanence of the
abiding stars. The ceaseless conflict, the strange echoes of long-forgotten controversies,
the confusion of purpose, the successes which lay deep the seeds of future evils,
the failures that ultimately divert the otherwise inevitable danger, the heroism which
30struggles to the last for a cause foredoomed to defeat, the wickedness which sides
with right, and the wisdom which huzzas at the triumph of folly-fate, meanwhile,
through all this turmoil and perplexity, working silently toward the predestined
end-all these form together a subject the contemplation of which we surely never
35But there is yet another and very different species of enjoyment to be derived from
the records of the past, which require a somewhat different method of study in order
that it may be fully tasted. Instead of contemplating, as it were, from a distance, the
larger aspects of the human drama, we may elect to move in familiar fellowship amid
the scenes and actors of special periods.
40We may add to the interest we derive from the contemplation of contemporary
politics, a similar interest derived from a not less minute and probably more accurate
knowledge of some comparatively brief passage in the political history of the
past. We may extend the social circle in which we move-a circle perhaps narrowed
and restricted through circumstances beyond our control-by making intimate
45acquaintances, perhaps even close friends, among a society long departed, but
which, when we have once learnt the trick of it, it rests with us to revive.
It is this kind of historical reading which is usually branded as frivolous and
useless, and persons who indulge in it often delude themselves into thinking that
the real motive of their investigation into bygone scenes and ancient scandals is
50philosophic interest in an important historical episode, whereas in truth it is not
the philosophy which glorifies the details, but the details that make tolerable the

1. The speaker's observation in the first sentence in the passage can best be described as an example of which of the following?

2. Which of the following best describes the rhetorical function of the third sentence in the passage (lines 4–6)?

3. Which of the following words or phrases is grammatically and thematically parallel to "account" (line 6)?

4. In lines 7–15 of the passage, the speaker uses an extended analogy that compares

5. As used in line 19, the word "spectacular" is best interpreted to mean

6. In describing the rewards of studying history (lines 21–34), the speaker emphasizes the

7. In paragraph 4 (lines 21–35) which of the following rhetorical devices is most in evidence?

8. Lines 27–34 contain all of the following EXCEPT

9. The speaker's reference to extending a "social circle" (line 43) serves primarily to

10. The "circumstances" referred to in line 44 can best be interpreted as

11. Which of the following phrases most closely describes the kind of reading referred to in line 47?

12. The passage as a whole can best be described as