33. Reading Skills Comprehension: Compassionate

By | June 17, 2019

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In modern times Abraham Lincoln stands as the model of a compassionate statesman. He showed this quality not only in striving for the emancipation or the American blacks but in the dignity with which he conducted the American Civil War. Lincoln did not fancy himself as a liberator. He thought it would be better for all if emancipator was a gradual process spread over many years.’

He proposed compensation for slave-owners in US bonds and grants for the rehabilitation of blacks— ‘colonization’ as he called it. But fate was to deem otherwise. The haste with which the south wanted to break away from the Union with the North, compelled him to move faster than he expected. Perhaps more than most men of his time he had thought through the issue of slavery.’ We must free the slaves’, he said,’ or be ourselves subdued ‘Before reading his first draft of the Proclamation of Emancipation, he told his colleagues, In giving freedom to the slaves, we assure freedom to the free’.

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln set his hand on the Proclamation of Emancipation declaring that on the first day of January 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state. shall be then and forever free’.

 Lincoln’s revulsion for slavery left him without any moral indignation or passion against the slave – owners. The guilt of the slave – owners, he felt, should be shared by the whole country, the North and the South, for it seemed to him that everyone in the nation was an accomplice in perpetuating that system. To have whipped up any hatred against slave – owners would, to him, have been an act of malice.

I shall do nothing in malice; he wrote, `what I deal’ with is too vast” for malicious dealing; As the Civil War was coming to a successful conclusion, a Northerner demanded of Lincoln `

Mr President, how are you going to treat the southerners when the war is over?

 Lincoln replied.’ As of they never went to .war?

When the news came of the victory of the north against the Confederate forces, someone suggested that the head of the confederation Administration, Jefferson Davies, really ought to be hanged. ‘Judge not, that yet be not judged’, Lincoln replied. As to the demand for the prosecution of rebels,

Lincoln replied. We must extinguish our resentments if we expect harmony and union. This was his last recorded utterance.

1. What came in Lincoln’s way of carrying out emancipation as a gradual process?

(a) His proposition to give a grant for the rehabilitation of slaves

 (b) His own over-enthusiasm to complete the process fast

(c) The inadequate compensation was given to slave – owners

(d) The haste of the South to break away from the union with the North

2. The sentence’ In giving freedom to the free ‘means

(a) if we give freedom to the slaves, they will serve us better

 (b) if we do not give freedom to the slaves, they will free themselves

 (c) by freeing slaves, we are honouring the concept of freedom

(d) by freeing slaves, we are safeguarding our own interests

3. The term ‘colonization’ as used in the passage means

 (a) handing over slaves to the slave-owners.

(b) efforts made by American blacks to free themselves

 (c) making separate dwelling arrangements for the slave – owners.

(d) None of the above

 4. Which of the following makes Abraham Lincoln a compassionate statesman?

(a) His hesitation in striving for the emancipation of American blacks

(b) Kiss efforts to force the American blacks from slavery

 (c) I am indolenine in conducting the American Civil War (-I) NNW of I he above

5. The incidents in the passage prove that Lincoln was

 (a) not an administrator.

 (b) sympathetic and kind-hearted statesman.

(c) afraid of the majority of slaves.

(d) unduly concerned for the safety of rebels

 6. According to Lincoln, the culprits of the system of slavery were

(a) the slave – owners alone.

(b) the slaves alone

 (c) Both the slaves and the slave-owners.

(d) all the people in the country.

 7. The author of the passage seems to be

(a) impressed with Lincoln’s good qualities

(b) an advocate of the system of slavery

 (c) an opponent of the system of slavery

 (d) a staunch and biased critic of Abraham Lincoln

8. Lincoln did not have any hatred for the slave-owners because

(a) they were in a vast majority

(b) they were not quality at all

 (c) they all belonged to upper caste

(d) None of the above

9. Which of the following statements is true in the context of the passage?

(a) Lincoln turned down the demand for the prosecution of rebels.

(b) Lincoln wondered how mere compassion could lead to harmony.

(c) Lincoln hailed the demand for hanging Jefferson Davies.

(d) The Civil War was fought by the Northerners and Southerners against the enemies


1. (d)               2. (c)

3. (d)               4. (d)

5. (b)                6. (d)

 7. (a)               8. (d)  

9. (a)

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