SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 3 - reading 6

Questions 1-11 are based on the following
passage.


This passage is excerpted from Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables. Originally published in 1851. In this scene, set in the American Colonies when they were still governed by England, Colonel Pyncheon holds a party at his home for a visiting English dignitary.




One inauspicious circumstance there was, which

awakened a hardly concealed displeasure in the breasts of a

few of the more punctilious visitors. The founder of this
stately mansion—a gentleman noted for the square and
5 ponderous courtesy of his demeanor, ought surely to have

stood in his own hall, and to have offered the first welcome

to so many eminent personages as here presented themselves

in honor of his solemn festival. He was as yet invisible; the

most favored of the guests had not beheld him. This
10 sluggishness on Colonel Pyncheon's part became still more

unaccountable, when the second dignitary of the province

made his appearance, and found no more ceremonious a

reception. The lieutenant-governor, although his visit was

one of the anticipated glories of the day, had alighted from
15 his horse, and assisted his lady from her side-saddle, and

crossed the Colonel's threshold, without other greeting than

that of the principal domestic.
This person—a gray-headed man, of quiet and most

respectful deportment—found it necessary to explain that his
20 master still remained in his study, or private apartment; on

entering which, an hour before, he had expressed a wish on

no account to be disturbed.
"Do not you see, fellow," said the high-sheriff of the

county, taking the servant aside, "that this is no less a man
25 than the lieutenant-governor? Summon Colonel Pyncheon at

once! I know that he received letters from England this

morning; and, in the perusal and consideration of them, an

hour may have passed away without his noticing it. But he

will be ill-pleased, I judge, if you suffer him to neglect the
30 courtesy due to one of our chief rulers, and who may be said

to represent King William, in the absence of the governor

himself. Call your master instantly."
"Nay, please your worship," answered the man, in much

perplexity, but with a backwardness that strikingly indicated
35 the hard and severe character of Colonel Pyncheon's

domestic rule; "my master's orders were exceeding strict;

and, as your worship knows, he permits of no discretion in

the obedience of those who owe him service. Let who list

open yonder door; I dare not, though the governor's own
40 voice should bid me do it!"
"Pooh, pooh, master high sheriff!" cried the lieutenant-

governor, who had overheard the foregoing discussion, and

felt himself high enough in station to play a little with his

dignity. "I will take the matter into my own hands. It is time
45 that the good Colonel came forth to greet his friends; elsewe

shall be apt to suspect that he has taken a sip too much of his

Canary wine, in his extreme deliberation which cask it were

best to broach in honor of the day! But since he is so much

behindhand, I will give him a remembrancer myself!"
50 Accordingly, with such a tramp of his ponderous riding-

boots as might of itself have been audible in the remotest of

the seven gables, he advanced to the door, which the servant

pointed out, and made its new panels reecho with a loud, free

knock. Then, looking round, with a smile, to the spectators,
55 he awaited a response. As none came, however, he knocked

again, but with the same unsatisfactory result as at first. And

now, being a trifle choleric in his temperament, the

lieutenant-governor uplifted the heavy hilt of his sword,

wherewith he so beat and banged upon the door, that, as
60 some of the bystanders whispered, the racket might have

disturbed the dead. Be that as it might, it seemed to produce

no awakening effect on Colonel Pyncheon. When the sound

subsided, the silence through the house was deep, dreary, and

oppressive, notwithstanding that the tongues of many of the
65 guests had already been loosened by a surreptitious cup or

two of wine or spirits.
"Strange, forsooth!—very strange!" cried the lieutenant-

governor, whose smile was changed to a frown. "But seeing

that our host sets us the good example of forgetting
70 ceremony, I shall likewise throw it aside, and make free to

intrude on his privacy."
He tried the door, which yielded to his hand, and was

flung wide open by a sudden gust of wind that passed, as

with a loud sigh, from the outermost portal through all the
75 passages and apartments of the new house. It rustled the

silken garments of the ladies, and waved the long curls of the

gentlemen's wigs, and shook the window-hangings and the

curtains of the bedchambers; causing everywhere a singular

stir, which yet was more like a hush. A shadow of awe and
80 half-fearful anticipation—nobody knew wherefore, nor of

what—had all at once fallen over the company.

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Question 1 Over the course of the passage, the main focus shifts from