Test: ISEE Upper Level Reading

The following is a letter by T. Thatcher, published in The Publishers Circular on September 27th, 1902.

September 27th, 1902


SIR—In these days of increasing rapid artificial locomotion, may I be permitted to say a word in favour of a very worthy and valuable old friend of mine, Mr. Long-Walk?

I am afraid that this good gentleman is in danger of getting neglected, if not forgotten.  We live in days of water trips and land trips, excursions by sea, road, and rail—bicycles and tricycles, tram cars and motor cars, hansom cabs and ugly cabs; but in my humble opinion good honest walking exercise for health beats all other kinds of locomotion into a cocked hat.  In rapid travelling all the finer nerves, senses, and vessels are ‘rush’ and unduly excited, but in walking every particle of the human frame, and even the moral faculties, are evenly and naturally brought into exercise.  It is the best discipline and physical mental tonic in the world.  Limbs, body, muscles, lungs, chest, heart, digestion, breathing, are healthily brought into normal operation, while. especially in the long distance walk, the exercise of patience, perseverance, industry, energy, perception, and reflection—and, indeed, all the senses and moral faculties—are elevated and cultivated healthfully and naturally.  Many never know the beauty of it because they never go far enough: exercise and hard work should never be relinquished at any age or by either sex.  Heart disease, faintness, and sudden death, and even crime, are far more due to the absence of wholesome normal exercise and taste than to anything else, to enervating luxuries rather than to hill climbing.

I usually give myself a holiday on a birthday, and as I lately reached my 63rd I determined to give myself a day with my old friend Mr. Long-Walk, and decided to tramp to the city of Wells and back for my birthday holiday—a distance of about forty-two miles.  Fortune favours the brave, and, thanks to a mosquito that pitched on my nose and was just commencing operations, I woke very early in the morning.  It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.  Mosquitoes are early birds, but I stole a march on them.  But to my journey.

I started at about 5 A.M., and proceeding viá Dundry and Chow Stoke, reached Wells soon after 10 A.M.  After attending the Cathedral, I pursued my walk homeward by a different route, viá Chewton Mendip, Farrington, Temple Cloud, Clutton, and Pensford.

To make a walk successful, mind and body should be free of burden.  I never carry a stick on a long walk, but prefer to be perfectly free, giving Nature’s balancing poles—the pendulum arms—complete swing and absolute liberty.  Walking exercises, together with a well-educated palate, are the greatest physicians in the world: no disease can withstand them.  I returned from my forty-two miles tramp with birthday honours and reward.  I had no headache on the following morning, but was up early in good form, fresh and ready for work.  Forty-two miles may be too strong a dose for many, but I cannot too strongly recommend for a day’s companionship the society of my old and well-tried friend, Mr. Long-Walk.

Faithfully yours,

T. Thatcher

44 College Green, Bristol.


What does the author mean when he says that he prefers to be “perfectly free?”

He wishes to be free of mental burdens, like everyday worries.

He wishes to be free of physical burdens, like walking sticks.

Both of these answers

Neither of these answers

1/40 questions


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