English: Reading Comprehension Set 8

Story Based Reading Comprehension RC for IBPS RRB PO/Clerk, IBPS Clerk, SBI Clerk, NICL Assistance, NIACL Assistant and other competitive exams.

Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

A tailor and a goldsmith were travelling together, and one evening when the sun had sunk behind the mountains, they heard the sound of distant music, which became more and more distinct. It sounded strange, but so pleasant that they forgot all their weariness and stepped quickly onwards. The moon had already arisen when they reached a hill on which they saw a crowd of little men and women, who had taken each other’s hands, and were whirling round in the dance with the greatest pleasure and delight.

They sang to it most charmingly, and that was the music which the travellers had heard. In the midst of them sat an old man who was rather taller than the rest. He wore a parti-coloured coat, and his hoary beard hung down over his chest. The two remained standing full of astonishment, and watched the dance. The old man made a sign that they should enter, and the little folks willingly opened their circle. The goldsmith, who had a hump, and like all hunch-backs was daring enough, stepped in. The tailor felt a little afraid at first, and held back, but when he saw how merrily all was going, he plucked up his courage, and followed. The circle closed again directly, and the little folks went on singing and dancing with the wildest leaps. The old man, however, took a large knife which hung to his girdle, whetted it, and when it was sufficiently sharpened, he looked round at the strangers.

They were terrified, but they had not much time for reflection, for the old man seized the goldsmith and with the greatest speed, shaved the hair of his head clean off, and then the same thing happened to the tailor. But their fear left them when, after he had finished his work, the old man clapped them both on the shoulder in a friendly manner, as much as to say, they had behaved well to let all that be done to them willingly, and without any struggle. He pointed with his finger to a heap of coals which lay at one side, and signified to the travellers by his gestures that they were to fill their pockets with them. Both of them obeyed, although they did not know of what use the coals would be to them, and then they went on their way to seek a shelter for the night.

When they had got into the valley, the clock of the neighbouring monastery struck twelve, and the song ceased. In a moment all had vanished, and the hill lay in solitude in the moonlight.

The two travellers walked onwards and eventually found an inn, and covered themselves up on their straw-beds with their coats, but in their weariness forgot to take the coals out of them before doing so. A heavy weight on their limbs awakened them earlier than usual. They felt in the pockets, and could not believe their eyes when they saw that they were not filled with coals, but with pure gold. Happily, too, the hair of their heads and beards was there again as thick as ever.

They had now become rich folks, but the goldsmith, who, in accordance with his greedy disposition, had filled his pockets better, was twice as rich as the tailor. A greedy man, even if he has much, still wishes to have more, so the goldsmith proposed to the tailor that they should wait another day, and go out again in the evening in order to bring back still greater treasures from the old man on the hill. The tailor refused, and said, I have enough and am content. Now I shall be a master, and marry my dear object – for so he called his sweetheart – and I am a happy man. But he stayed another day to please him.

In the evening the goldsmith hung a couple of bags over his shoulders that he might be able to stow away a great deal, and took the road to the hill. He found, as on the night before, the little folks at their singing and dancing, and the old man again shaved him clean, and made signs to him to take some coal. He was not slow about stuffing as much into his bags as would go, went back quite delighted, and covered himself over with his coat. Even if the gold does weigh heavily, said he, I will gladly bear that, and at last he fell asleep with the sweet anticipation of waking in the morning an enormously rich man.

When he opened his eyes, he got up in haste to examine his pockets, but how amazed he was when he drew nothing out of them but black coals, and that howsoever often he put his hands in them. The gold I got the night before is still there for me, thought he, and went and brought it out, but how shocked he was when he saw that it likewise had again turned into coal. He smote his forehead with his dusty black hand, and then he felt that his whole head was bald and smooth, as was also the place where his beard should have been. But his misfortunes were not yet over. He now remarked for the first time that in addition to the hump on his back, a second, just as large, had grown in front on his chest. Then he recognized the punishment of his greediness, and began to weep aloud.

The good tailor, who was awakened by this, comforted the unhappy fellow as well as he could, and said, you have been my comrade in my travelling time. You shall stay with me and share in my wealth. He kept his word, and the poor goldsmith never wanted for anything, but he was obliged to carry the two humps as long as he lived, and to cover his bald head with a cap.

  1. What happened when they entered into the valley?
    A) They covered themselves up on their straw beds with their coats.
    B) They saw an old man.
    C) The clock of the neighbouring monastery strucked twelve and the song ceased.
    D) They pointed with their fingers to a heap of coals.
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation:

    In para 4 When they had got into the valley, the clock of the neighbouring monastery struck twelve, and the song ceased. In a moment all had vanished, and the hill lay in solitude in the moonlight.
  2. In the given story, who had a hump on his back?
    A) The old man
    B) The Goldsmith
    C) The Tailor
    D) The Tailor & the Goldsmith both
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option B
    Explanation:

    In fifth line of para 2 The goldsmith, who had a hump, and like all hunch-backs was daring enough, stepped in
  3. Why did tailor refused to wait another day?
    A) Because he was extremely tired.
    B) He got disappointed because he found less gold
    C) Because his pockets were filled with coals.
    D) Because he had enough gold and was a happy man.
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option D
    Explanation:

    In last of para 6 . The tailor refused, and said, I have enough and am content. Now I shall be a master, and marry my dear object – for so he called his sweetheart – and I am a happy man. But he stayed another day to please him
  4. What could be an appropriate moral of the story?
    A) A tailor and a Goldsmith
    B) The result of greediness is always harmful
    C) There is a victory ahead of fear
    D) The importance of contentment & satisfaction in life.
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option B
  5. What made the Goldsmith amazed next day?
    I. He drew nothing out of pocket but black coals
    II. He found his whole head was bald and smooth
    III. He found a second hump has grown on his back.
    IV. The gold he got the night before was turned into coal
    A) Only I follow
    B) Only II, III & IV follow
    C) All follow except III
    D) Only III & IV follow
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option B
    Explanation:

    In 2nd last para When he opened his eyes, he got up in haste to examine his pockets, but how amazed he was when he drew nothing out of them but black coals, and that howsoever often he put his hands in them. The gold I got the night before is still there for me, thought he, and went and brought it out, but how shocked he was when he saw that it likewise had again turned into coal. He smote his forehead with his dusty black hand, and then he felt that his whole head was bald and smooth, as was also the place where his beard should have been. But his misfortunes were not yet over. He now remarked for the first time that in addition to the hump on his back, a second, just as large, had grown in front on his chest.
  6. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in BOLD as used in the passage.
    Hoary
    A) Old-fashioned
    B) Modern
    C) Designer
    D) Developed
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option A
    Explanation:

    Hoary means ancient ,age-old
  7. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in BOLD as used in the passage.
    Whirling
    A) Creeping
    B) Dragging
    C) Rotating
    D) Crawling
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation:

    Whirling means rotating, spinning.
  8. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in BOLD as used in the passage.
    Comrade
    A) Challenger
    B) Nemesis
    C) Companion
    D) Archenemy
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option C
    Explanation:

    Comrade means friend , colleague
  9. Choose the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE in meaning as the word printed in BOLD as used in the passage.
    Anticipation
    A) Expectation
    B) Intuition
    C) Foresight
    D) Astonishment
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option D
    Explanation:

    Anticipation means Expectation
  10. Choose the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE in meaning as the word printed in BOLD as used in the passage.
    Solitude
    A) Lonliness
    B) Company
    C) Isolation
    D) Reclusion
    E) None of these
    View Answer
    Option B
    Explanation:

    Solitude means aloneness

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