AP English Language and Composition Practice Test 30

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Question 10 questions

Time 11 minutes

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Questions 1-10 refer to the following information.

The passage below is an excerpt from a book on world history written late in the 20th century.

In the United States on the opening of Congress in January, 1890, a newly elected
Speaker of the House of Representatives was in the Chair. A physical giant, six feet
three inches tall, weighing almost three hundred pounds and dressed completely in
Lineblack, "out of whose collar rose an enormous clean-shaven baby face like a Casaba
5melon flowering from a fat black stalk, he was a subject for a Franz Hals, with long
white fingers that would have enraptured Memling."*1 Speaking in a slow drawl, he
delighted to drop cool pearls of sarcasm into the most heated rhetoric and to watch
the resulting fizzle with the bland gravity of a New England Buddha. When a wordy
perennial, Representative Springer of Illinois, was declaiming to the House his passionate
10preference to be right rather than President, the Speaker interjected, "The
gentleman need not be disturbed; he will never be either." When another member,
notorious for ill-digested opinions and a halting manner, began some remarks with,
"I was thinking, Mr. Speaker, I was thinking . . ." the Chair expressed the hope that
"no one will interrupt the gentleman's commendable innovation." Of two particularly
15inept speakers, he remarked, "They never open their mouths without subtracting
from the sum of human knowledge." It was said that he would rather make an
epigram than a friend. Yet among the select who were his chosen friends he was
known as "one of the most genial souls that ever enlivened a company," whose conversation,
"sparkling with good nature, was better than the best champagne." He
20was Thomas B. Reed, Republican of Maine, aged fifty. Already acknowledged after
fourteen years in Congress as "the ablest running debater the American people ever
saw," he would, before the end of the session, be called "the greatest parliamentary
leader of his time, . . . far and away the most brilliant figure in American politics."
Although his roots went back to the beginning of New England, Reed was not
25nurtured for a political career by inherited wealth, social position or landed estate.
Politics in America made no use of these qualities, and men who possessed them
were not in politics. Well-to-do, long-established families did not shoulder-but
shunned-the responsibilities of government. Henry Adams' eldest brother, John,
"regarded as the most brilliant of the family and the most certain of high distinction,"
30who made a fortune in the Union Pacific Railroad, "drew himself back" from
government, according to his brother. "He had all he wanted; wealth, children,
society, consideration; and he laughed at the idea of sacrificing himself in order to
adorn a Cleveland Cabinet or get cheers from an Irish mob."2 This attitude was not
confined to the rather worn-out Adamses. When the young Theodore Roosevelt
35announced his intention of entering politics in New York in 1880, he was laughed at
by the "men of cultivated and easy life" who told him politics were "low" and run by
"saloon-keepers, horse-car conductors and the like," whom he would find "rough,
brutal and unpleasant to deal with."

* Hals: Dutch painter 1582–1666; Memling: Flemish painter of 15th century. Both specialized in portraits.

1 DE CASSERES, BENJAMIN, "Tom Reed," American Mercury, February, 1930. The following quotations in this paragraph, in order, are from CLARK, CHAMP, My Quarter Century of American Politics, 2 vols., New York, Harper, 1920, I, 287; LEUPP, FRANCIS E., "Personal Recollections of Thomas Brackett Reed," Outlook, September 3, 1910; McCALL, SAMUEL, The Life of Thomas Brackett Reed, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1914, 248; DUNN, ARTHUR WALLACE, From Harrison to Harding, 2 vols. New York, Putnam's 1922, I, 165; FOULKE, WILLIAM DUDLEY, A Hoosier Autobiography, Oxford Univ. Press, 1922, 110; PORTER, ROBERT P., "Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine," McClure's, October, 1893. "The ablest running debater" was said by Rep. John Sharp Williams, Democratic Leader of the House; "the greatest parliamentary leader" by Lodge; "far and away the most brilliant" by CLARK, II, 10.

2 HENRY ADAMS on his brother John: Sept. 1, 1894, Letters, ed. Worthington Chauncey Ford, 2 vols. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1930–38, II, 55.

1. The development of the first paragraph of the passage can best be described as

2. Which of the following rhetorical effects does the author achieve by delaying the disclosure of the Speaker's name until lines 19–20?

3. The structure of lines 6–11 ("Speaking . . . either'") can best be described as

4. Overall, the writers whose words are documented by footnote 1 viewed Speaker Reed as

5. Taken as a whole, footnote 1 suggests that the author of the passage

6. The author's use of the phrase "New England Buddha" (line 8) refers mainly to the man's

7. Which of Reed's characteristics does the author illustrate with the quotations in lines 10–16?

I. Reed's quick wit

II. Reed's fondness for sarcasm

III. Reed's dislike of pretentiousness

8. In context, the phrase "ill-digested" (line 12) is best interpreted to mean

9. Which of the following is an accurate reading of information in footnote 2 (line 33)?

10. The author's reference to Roosevelt (lines 34–38) is meant to illustrate