Tom Sawyer – Part Sixteen

Before you read the text, read the following comprehension questions.

1. What time did the church bells start ringing?

2. Where did Tom have to sit?

3. How old was the widow Douglass?

4. What did Willie Mufferson have in his back pocket?

5. In the writer’s opinion, how did most church choirs behave?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

CHAPTER V

About half-past ten the cracked bell of the small church began to ring, and the people soon began to get together for the morning sermon. The Sunday-school children distributed themselves around the house and sat down with their parents.

Aunt Polly came, and Tom, Sid and Mary sat with her. Tom was made to sit next to the aisle, so that he was as far away from the open window and the seductive outside summer scenes as possible.

The crowd filed up the aisles: the old postmaster, who had seen better days; the mayor and his wife; the justice of the peace; the widow Douglass, fair, smart, and forty, a generous, goodhearted person and wealthy, her hill mansion was the only palace in the town, and the most hospitable and attractive place that St. Petersburg had; the old and well-respected Major and Mrs. Ward; the lawyer Riverson; next came the local beauty queen – the belle of the village, followed by a crowd of smart young heart- breakers; then came all the young men in a group. They had been standing around doing nothing much, looking cool and admiring the girls until the last girl had passed by them; and last of all came the Model Boy, Willie Mufferson, taking so much care of his mother as if she were made of glass. He always brought his mother to church, and he was the pride of all the matrons. The boys all hated him, he was so good. And besides, he had been "thrown up to them" so much.
His white handkerchief was hanging out of his back pocket, as usual
on Sundays, accidentally. Tom had no handkerchief, and he thought that boys who had one as snobs.

The congregation being fully assembled, now, the bell rang once more, to warn the lazy and slow-moving. A solemn silence fell upon the church which was only broken by the giggling and whispering of the choir in the gallery.

The choir always giggled and whispered all through the service. There was once a church choir that did not have bad manners, but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a long time ago, and I can hardly remember anything about it, but I think it was in some foreign country. Diccionario online

... to be continued!

* The text has been adapted from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain


  Download the original book for free
 

*Consulta un PDF con la información y resumen de 100 libros en inglés
que puedes descargar en 1 único archivo.

 

  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones

Tom Sawyer – Part Seventeen

Before you read the text, read the following comprehension questions.
 

1. When was the church minister asked to read poetry?

2. What does the phrasal verb ‘kept up’ mean in the phrase, “This is a strange custom which is still kept up in America”?

3. What did everyone do when the minister had finished the prayer?

4. What took Tom’s attention during the prayer?

5. What did Tom’s aunt make him do?
   

Now read the text and answer the questions.
 
CHAPTER V

The minister gave out the hymn, and read it enthusiastically, in a strange style which was admired very much in that part of the country. His voice began on a medium key and got higher and higher until it reached a certain point, where one word was emphasized with the highest note and then it dropped again quickly:

“Shall I be carried to the skies, on flowery BEDS of ease,
While others fight to win the prize, and sail through BLOODY seas?”

He was regarded as a wonderful reader. At church social events he was always asked to read poetry; and when he had finished, the ladies would lift up their hands and let them fall helplessly in their laps, and roll their eyes, and shake their heads, as if as to say, "Words cannot express it; it is too beautiful, TOO beautiful for this mortal earth."

After the hymn had been sung, the Rev. Mr. Sprague turned himself into a bulletin-board, and read "notices" of meetings and societies and things until it seemed that the list would continue on forever.

This is a strange custom which is still kept up in America, even in cities, despite the fact that the world now has plenty of newspapers.
Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

And now the minister prayed. A good, generous prayer it was, and it went into details: it pleaded for the church, and the little children of the church; for the other churches of the village; for the village itself; for
the county; for the State; for the State officers; for the United States; for the churches of the United States; for Congress; for the President; for the officers of the Government; for poor sailors, tossed by stormy seas; for the oppressed millions suffering under the heel of European monarchies and Oriental despotisms; for people who have the light and good luck, and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear and appreciate it; for the
Godless men and women in the far away islands; and he closed with a prayer that the words he was about to speak might find grace and favor, and be as seed sown in fertile ground, giving in time a grateful harvest of
good. Amen.

There was a rustling of dresses, and the standing congregation sat down. The boy whose story this book tells did not enjoy the prayer, he only put up with it. He was sleepy all through it. He heard the details of the prayer but he wasn’t really listening. But he knew the words, and the way the minister told them. When something new was included, his ear noticed it and his whole nature resented it; he thought that extra things were unfair, and dishonest. Diccionario online

In the middle of the prayer a fly had landed on the back of the seat in front of him and tortured him by calmly rubbing its hands together, embracing its head with its arms, and polishing it so vigorously that it seemed to almost break away from the body, and the tiny thin neck was exposed to view; scraping its wings with its back legs and smoothing them to its body; going through its whole bathroom routine as calmly as if it knew it was perfectly safe.

As indeed it was; because as much as Tom's hands wanted to catch it they did not dare. Tom believed his soul would be instantly destroyed if he did such a thing while the prayer was going on.

But with the closing sentence his hand began to close and move forward; and the instant the "Amen" was out the fly was a prisoner of war. His aunt detected the act and made him let it go.

... to be continued!

* The text has been adapted from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain


  Download the original book for free
 

*Consulta un PDF con la información y resumen de 100 libros en inglés
que puedes descargar en 1 único archivo.

 

  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones
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