vocabulary Below is a reading passage followed by question with multiple-choices. Carefully read the passage and choose the best answer for the question that follows.
*Edward Sandford Martin ($1856-1939$) was a humor writer and one of the founders of Life Magazine. The following passage is an excerpt from Martin's essay, "The Tyranny of Things." In it, Martin discusses how easily people become slaves to material goods, including even material things that are thought to be justifiably coveted, such as large homes.*
There was a story in the newspapers the other day about a Massachusetts minister who resigned his charge because someone had given his parish a fine house, and his parishioners wanted him to live in it. His salary was too small, he said, to admit of his living in a big house, and he would not do it. He was even deaf to the proposal that he should share the proposed tenement 5 with the sewing societies and clubs of his church, and when the matter came to a serious issue, he relinquished his charge and sought a new field of usefulness. The situation was an amusing instance of the embarrassment of riches. Let no one to whom restricted quarters may have grown irksome, and who covets larger dimensions of shelter, be too hasty in deciding that the minister was wrong. Did you ever see the house that Hawthorne lived in at Lenox? Did you ever see $10$ Emerson's house at Concord? They are good houses for Americans to know and remember. They permitted thought.
A big house is one of the greediest cormorants which can light upon a little income. Backs may go threadbare and stomachs may worry along on indifferent filling, but a house *will* have things, though its occupants go without. It is rarely complete, and constantly tempts the $15$ imagination to flights in brick and dreams in lath and plaster. It develops annual thirsts for paint and wallpaper, at least, if not for marble and woodcarving. The plumbing in it must be kept in order on pain of death. Whatever price is put on coal, it has to be heated in winter; and if it is rural or suburban, the grass about it must be cut even though funerals in the family have to be put off for the mowing. If the tenants are not rich enough to hire people to keep their house clean, they must do it themselves, for there is no excuse that will pass among housekeepers for a dirty house. The master of a house too big for him may expect to spend the leisure which might be made intellectually or spiritually profitable, in acquiring and putting into practice fag ends of the arts of the plumber, the bell-hanger, the locksmith, the gas-fitter, and the carpenter. Presently he will know how to do everything that can be done in the house, except enjoy himself. He will learn about taxes, too, and water-rates, and how such abominations as sewers or new pavements are always liable to accrue at his expense. As for the mistress, she will be a slave to carpets and curtains, wallpaper, painters, and women who come in by the day to clean. She will be lucky if she gets a chance to say her prayers, and thrice and four times happy when she can read a book or visit with her friends. To live in a big house may be a luxury, provided that one has a full set of $30$ money and an enthusiastic housekeeper in one's family; but to scrimp in a big house is a miserable business. Yet such is human folly, that for a man to refuse to live in a house because it is too big for him, is such an exceptional exhibition of sense that it becomes the favorite paragraph of a day in the newspapers.
An ideal of earthly comfort, so common that every reader must have seen it, is to get a house so big that it is burdensome to maintain, and fill it up so full of gimcracks that it is a constant occupation to keep it in order. Then, when the expense of living in it is so great that you can't afford to go away and rest from the burden of it, the situation is complete and boarding houses and cemeteries begin to yawn for you. How many Americans, do you suppose, out of the droves that flock annually to Europe, are running away from oppressive houses?
When nature undertakes to provide a house, it fits the occupant. Animals which build by instinct build only what they need, but man's building instinct, if it gets a chance to spread itself at all, is boundless, just as all his instincts are. For it is man's peculiarity that nature has filled him with impulses to do things, and left it to his discretion when to stop. She never tells him when he has finished. And perhaps we ought not to be surprised that in so many cases it happens that he does not know, but just goes ahead as long as the materials last.
If another *man* tries to oppress him, he understands that and is ready to fight to death and sacrifice all he has, rather than submit; but the tyranny of *things* is so subtle, so gradual in its approach, and comes so masked with seeming benefits, that it has him hopelessly bound before he suspects his fetters. He says from day to day, "I will add thus to my house;" "I will have one or two more horses;" "I will make a little greenhouse in my garden;" "I will allow myself the luxury of another hired man;" and so he goes on having things and imagining that he is richer for them. Presently he begins to realize that it is the things that own him. He has piled them up on his shoulders, and there they sit like Sinbad's Old Man and drive him; and it becomes a daily question whether he can keep his trembling legs or not.
All of which is not meant to prove that property has no real value, or to rebut Charles Lamb's scornful denial that enough is as good as a feast. It is not meant to apply to the rich, who can have things comfortably, if they are philosophical; but to us poor, who have constant need to remind ourselves that where the verbs *to have* and *to be cannot* both be completely inflected, the verb *to be* is the one that best repays concentration.
Choose the statement the author would agree with.
A. Both the poor and the rich can enjoy large homes if they stay busy.
B. Wealthy homeowners are more likely to end up penniless than poor homeowners are.
C. People are inherently lazy and avoid work.
D. Human beings are naturally busy; they just don't know when to stop.
E. People give up too easily and settle for less. 8th Edition•ISBN: 9781259686764 (1 more)Byron Almen, Dorothy Payne, Stefan Kostka 8th Edition•ISBN: 9781260197082Byron Almen, Dorothy Payne, Stefan Kostka 9th Edition•ISBN: 9781319065072Eric Hinderaker, James A. Henretta, Rebecca Edwards, Robert O. Self 8th Edition•ISBN: 9781260947335Byron Almen, Dorothy Payne, Stefan Kostka