SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 3 - reading 14

Questions 1-11 are based on the following

This passage is excerpted from Charlotte Bronte, Villette. Originally published in 1853. In this chapter, the narrator and her host, Mrs. Bretton, are trying to occupy a young girl, Paulina, who is staying with them.

One afternoon, Mrs. Bretton, coaxing [Paulina] from her

usual station in a corner, had lifted her into the window-seat,

and, by way of occupying her attention, told her to watch the
passengers and count how many ladies should go down the
5 street in a given time. She had sat listlessly, hardly looking,

and not counting, when—my eye being fixed on hers—I

witnessed in its iris and pupil a startling transfiguration.

These sudden, dangerous natures—sensitive as they are

called—offer many a curious spectacle to those whom a
10 cooler temperament has secured from participation in their

angular vagaries. The fixed and heavy gaze swum, trembled,

then glittered in fire; the small, overcast brow cleared; the

trivial and dejected features lit up; the sad countenance

vanished, and in its place appeared a sudden eagerness, an
15 intense expectancy. "It is!" were her words.
Like a bird or a shaft, or any other swift thing, she was

gone from the room. How she got the house-door open I

cannot tell; probably it might be ajar; perhaps Warren was in

the way and obeyed her behest, which would be impetuous
20 enough. I—watching calmly from the window—saw her, in

her black frock and tiny braided apron (to pinafores she had

an antipathy), dart half the length of the street; and, as I was

on the point of turning, and quietly announcing to Mrs.

Bretton that the child was run out mad, and ought instantly to
25 be pursued, I saw her caught up, and rapt at once from my

cool observation, and from the wondering stare of the

passengers. A gentleman had done this good turn, and now,

covering her with his cloak, advanced to restore her to the

house whence he had seen her issue.
30 I concluded he would leave her in a servant's charge and

withdraw; but he entered: having tarried a little while below,

he came up-stairs.
His reception immediately explained that he was known to

Mrs. Bretton. She recognised him; she greeted him, and yet
35 she was fluttered, surprised, taken unawares. Her look and

manner were even expostulatory; and in reply to these, rather

than her words, he said,—"I could not help it, madam: I

found it impossible to leave the country without seeing with

my own eyes how she settled."
40 "But you will unsettle her."
"I hope not. And how is papa's little Polly?"
This question he addressed to Paulina, as he sat down and

placed her gently on the ground before him.
"How is Polly's papa?" was the reply, as she leaned on his
45 knee, and gazed up into his face.
It was not a noisy, not a wordy scene: for that I was

thankful; but it was a scene of feeling too brimful, and which,

because the cup did not foam up high or furiously overflow,

only oppressed one the more. On all occasions of vehement,
50 unrestrained expansion, a sense of disdain or ridicule comes

to the weary spectator's relief; whereas I have ever felt most

burdensome that sort of sensibility which bends of its own

will, a giant slave under the sway of good sense.

[tsb]Mr. Home was a stern-featured—perhaps I should rather
55 say, a hard-featured man: his forehead was knotty, and his

cheekbones were marked and prominent. The character of his

face was quite Scotch; but there was feeling in his eye, and

emotion in his now agitated countenance. His northern accent

in speaking harmonised with his physiognomy. He was at
60 once proud-looking and homely-looking. He laid his hand on

the child's uplifted head. She said—"Kiss Polly."
He kissed her. I wished she would utter some hysterical

cry, so that I might get relief and be at ease. She made

wonderfully little noise: she seemed to have got what she
65 wanted—all she wanted, and to be in a trance of content.

Neither in mien nor in features was this creature like her sire,

and yet she was of his strain: her mind had been filled from

his, as the cup from the flagon.

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