Reading Comprehension 2

'The Mill on the Floss', by George Eliot

Read the following extract from Chapter One of 'The Mill on the Floss', by George Eliot. Complete each gap with the most appropriate word:
'The rush of the water and the booming of the mill bring a dreamy [1. sound/noise/deafness] , which seems to heighten the peacefulness of the scene. They are like a great curtain of sound, shutting one out from the world beyond. And now there is the thunder of the huge covered waggon coming home with sacks of
[2. coins/grain/bread] . That honest waggoner is thinking of his dinner, getting sadly dry in the oven at this late [3. hour/point/meal] ; but he will not touch it till he has fed his horses - the strong, submissive, meek-eyed beasts, who, I fancy, are looking mild reproach at him from between their blinkers, that he should
[4. point/crack/hold] his whip at them in that awful manner as if they needed that hint! See how they stretch their shoulders up the slope toward the bridge, with all the more energy because they are so near [5. gone/home/by] . Look at their grand shaggy feet that seem to grasp the firm earth, at the patient strength of their necks,
[6. held/loosed/bowed] under the heavy collar, at the mighty muscles of their struggling haunches! I should like well to hear them neigh over their hardly-earned feed of corn, and see them, with their moist [7. necks/head/tails] freed from the harness, dipping their eager nostrils into the muddy pond. Now they are on the bridge, and down they go again at a swifter pace, and the arch of the covered wagon [8. goes/disappears/ends] at the turning behind the trees.

'Now I can turn my eyes toward the
[9. house/mill/time] again, and watch the unresting wheel sending out its diamond jets of water. That little [10. boy/mill/girl] is watching it too; she has been standing on just the same spot at the edge of the water ever since I paused on the bridge. And that queer white cur with the brown ear seems to be leaping and barking in ineffectual remonstrance with the
[11. girl/wheel/riverside] ; perhaps he is jealous because his playfellow in the beaver bonnet is so rapt in its [12. movement/turn/water] . It is time the little playfellow went in, I think; and there is a very bright fire to tempt her: the red light shines out under the
[13. red/deepening/dark] grey of the sky. It is time, too, for me to leave off
[14. putting/leaving/resting] my arms on the cold stone of this [15. statue/bridge/gate] ...

'Ah, my arms are really benumbed. I have been pressing my elbows on the arms of my chair and dreaming that I was standing on the bridge in front of Dorlcote Mill as it looked one February afternoon many years ago.'


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