11 Plus


  1. High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded
  2. all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red
  3. ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.
  4. He was very much admired indeed. “He is as beautiful as a weathercock,” remarked one of
  5. the Town Councillors who wished to gain a reputation for having artistic tastes; “only not
  6. quite so useful,” he added, fearing that people should think him unpractical, which he really
  7. was not.
  8. “Why can’t you be like the Happy Prince?” asked a sensible mother of her little boy who
  9. was crying for the moon. “The Happy Prince never dreams of crying for anything.”
  10. “I am glad there is someone in the world who is quite happy,” muttered a disappointed
  11. man as he gazed at the wonderful statue.
  12. “He looks just like an angel,” said the Charity Children as they came out of the cathedral
  13. in their bright scarlet cloaks and their clean white pinafores.
  14. “How do you know?” said the Mathematical Master, “you have never seen one.”
  15. “Ah! but we have, in our dreams,” answered the children; and the Mathematical Master
  16. frowned and looked very severe, for he did not approve of children dreaming.
  17. One night there flew over the city a little Swallow. His friends had gone away to Egypt six
  18. weeks before, but he had stayed behind, for he was in love with the most beautiful Reed. He
  19. had met her early in the spring as he was flying down the river after a big yellow moth, and
  20. had been so attracted by her slender waist that he had stopped to talk to her.
  21. “Shall I love you?” said the Swallow, who liked to come to the point at once, and the Reed
  22. made him a low bow. So he flew round and round her, touching the water with his wings, and
  23. making silver ripples. This was his courtship, and it lasted all through the summer.
  24. “It is a ridiculous attachment,” twittered the other Swallows; “she has no money, and far
  25. too many relations”, and indeed the river was quite full of Reeds. Then, when the autumn
  26. came, they all flew away.
  27. After they had gone, he felt lonely, and began to tire of his lady-love. “She has no
  28. conversation,” he said, “and I am afraid that she is always flirting with the wind.” And
  29. certainly, whenever the wind blew, the Reed made the most graceful curtseys. “I admit that
  30. she loves staying in one place,” he continued, “but I love travelling, and my wife,
  31. consequently, should love travelling also.”
  32. “Will you come away with me?” he said finally to her; but the Reed shook her head,
  33. she was so attached to her home.
  34. “You have been trifling with me,” he cried. “I am off to the Pyramids. Good-bye!” and he
  35. flew away.
  36. All day long he flew, and at night-time he arrived at the city. “Where shall I put up?” he
  37. said; “I hope the town has made preparations.”
  38. Then he saw the statue on the tall column.
  39. “I will put up there,” he cried; “it is a fine position, with plenty of fresh air.” So he alighted
  40. just between the feet of the Happy Prince.


Text adapted from The Happy Prince, by Oscar Wilde, which is in the public domain.




Which of the following is closest in meaning to ‘alighted’ (line 39)?