READ THE PASSAGE AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT FOLLOW.
One day, a ragged beggar was creeping along from house to house. He carried an
old wallet in his hand and was asking at every door for a few cents to buy something
to eat. As he was grumbling at his misfortune, he kept wondering why it was that
folks who had so much money were never satisfied but were always wanting more.
"Here," he said, "is the master of this house–I know him well. He was always a
good businessman, and he made himself wondrously rich a long time ago. Had he
been wise, he would have stopped then. He would have turned over his business to
someone else, and then he could have spent the rest of his life in ease. But what
did he do instead? He built ships and sent them to sea to trade with foreign lands.
He thought he would get mountains of gold."
"But there were great storms on the water; his ships were wrecked, and his riches
were swallowed up by the waves. Now, all his hopes lie at the bottom of the sea,
and his great wealth has vanished."
"There are many such cases. Men seem to never be satisfied unless they gain
the whole world."
"As for me, if I had only enough to eat and to buy clothing, I would not want
Just at that moment, Fortune came down the street. She saw the beggar and stopped.
She said to him:
"Listen! I have long wished to help you. Hold your wallet, and I will pour this gold
into it, but only on this condition: all that falls into the wallet shall be pure gold, but
every piece that falls upon the ground shall become dust. Do you understand?"
"Oh, yes, I understand," said the beggar.
"Then be careful," said Fortune. "Your wallet is old, so, do not load it too heavily."
The beggar was so glad that he could hardly wait. He quickly opened his wallet, and
a stream of yellow gold poured into it. The wallet grew heavy.
"Is that enough?" asked Fortune.
"Isn't it cracking?"
The beggar's hands began to tremble. Ah, if the gold would only pour forever!
"You are the richest man in the world now!"
"Just a little more, add just a handful or two."
"There, it's full. The wallet will burst."
"But it will hold just a little more!"
Another piece was added, and the wallet split. The treasure fell upon the ground and
turned to dust. The beggar had nothing now but his empty wallet, and it was torn
from top to bottom. He was as poor as before.
How did the master of the house become poor?
A He was robbed.
B His ships sank at sea.
C He was a nice man, he gave away his fortune.
D His fortune was burnt down with his house.