AP English Literature and Composition Practice Test 20

Questions 1-15 refer to the following information.

I am a rather elderly man. The nature of my
avocations, for the last thirty years, has brought
me into more than ordinary contact with what
would seem an interesting and somewhat singular
05set of men, of whom, as yet, nothing, that
I know of, has ever been written—I mean, the
law-copyists, or scriveners.1 I have known very
many of them, professionally and privately,
and, if I pleased, could relate diverse histories,
10at which good-natured gentlemen might smile,
and sentimental souls might weep. But I waive
the biographies of all other scriveners, for a
few passages in the life of Bartleby, who was a
scrivener, the strangest I ever saw, or heard of.
15While, of other law-copyists, I might write the
complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort
can be done. I believe that no materials exist for
a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It
is an irreparable loss to literature. Bartleby was
20one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable,
except from the original sources, and,
in his case, those are very small. What my own
astonished eyes saw of Bartleby, that is all I
know of him, except, indeed, one vague report,
25which will appear in the sequel.
Ere introducing the scrivener, as he first
appeared to me, it is fit I make some mention
of myself, my employees, my business, my
chambers, and general surroundings; because
30some such description is indispensable to an
adequate understanding of the chief character
about to be presented. Imprimis:2 I am a man
who, from his youth upwards, has been filled
with a profound conviction that the easiest
35way of life is the best. Hence, though I belong
to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous,
even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing
of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my
peace. I am one of those unambitious lawyers
40who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws
down public applause; but, in the cool tranquillity
of a snug retreat, do a snug business
among rich men's bonds, and mortgages, and
title-deeds. All who know me, consider me an
45eminently safe man. The late John Jacob Astor,3
a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm,
had no hesitation in pronouncing my first
grand point to be prudence; my next, method. I
do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the
50fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession
by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which,
I admit, I love to repeat; for it hath a rounded
and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto
bullion. I will freely add, that I was not insensible
55to the late John Jacob Astor's good opinion.
Some time prior to the period at which this
little history begins, my avocations had been
largely increased. The good old office, now
extinct in the State of New York, of a Master
60in Chancery,4 had been conferred upon me. It
was not a very arduous office, but very pleasantly
remunerative. I seldom lose my temper;
much more seldom indulge in dangerous
indignation at wrongs and outrages; but, I
65must be permitted to be rash here, and declare
that I consider the sudden and violent abrogation
of the office of Master in Chancery, by the
new Constitution, as a—premature act; inas-
much as I had counted upon a life-lease of the
70profits, whereas I only received those of a few
short years. But this is by the way.
My chambers were up stairs, at No.——Wall
Street. At one end, they looked upon the white
wall of the interior of a spacious skylight shaft,
75penetrating the building from top to bottom.
This view might have been considered rather
tame than otherwise, deficient in what landscape
painters call "life." But, if so, the view from
the other end of my chambers offered, at least, a
80contrast, if nothing more. In that direction, my
windows commanded an unobstructed view of
a lofty brick wall, black by age and everlasting
shade; which wall required no spyglass to bring
out its lurking beauties, but, for the benefit of
85all near-sighted spectators, was pushed up to
within ten feet of my window panes. Owing to
the great height of the surrounding buildings,
and my chambers being on the second floor,
the interval between this wall and mine not a
90little resembled a huge square cistern.

1 Clerks whose job was to copy documents by hand
2 A legal term meaning "in the first place"
3 In the mid-nineteenth century Astor was one of America's wealthiest men
4 A type of court that handled issues of fairness; abolished in New York in 1846

1. On the whole, the passage is about

2. The relationship between the narrator and Bartleby can best be described as

3. Grammatically, the phrase "law-copyists, or scriveners" (line 7) functions as

4. In lines 11–25 of the passage, the narrator is most concerned with

5. The sentence starting in lines 17–18 does which of the following?

6. The phrase "original sources" (line 21) can best be understood to mean

7. Lines 32–41 serve mainly to show that the narrator

8. In lines 33–55, the narrator uses all of the following stylistic devices EXCEPT

9. In its context, "suffered" (line 38) can best be interpreted to mean

10. Which of the following best characterizes the narrator's style?

11. The narrator chooses the phrase "a—premature act" (line 68) most probably

12. As used in line 45, the word "safe" means which of the following?

13. The allusion to the late John Jacob Astor (line 45) serves mainly to

14. The shift in the narrator's rhetorical stance between lines 72–75 and lines 76–90 can best be described as one from

15. The narrator establishes the tone of the last paragraph (lines 76–90), primarily by