One time while on his walk George met Mr. Cattanzara coming home very late from work. He wondered if he was drunk but then could tell he wasn't. Mr. Cattanzara, a stocky, bald-headed man who worked in a change booth on an IRT station, lived on the next block after George's, above a shoe repair store. Nights, during the hot weather, he sat on his stoop in an undershirt, reading the New York Times in the light of the shoemaker's window. He read it from the first page to the last, then went up to sleep. And all the time he was reading the paper, his wife, a fat woman with a white face, leaned out of the window, gazing into the street, her thick white arms folded under her loose breast, on the window ledge.

  Once in a while Mr. Cattanzara came home drunk, but it was a quiet drunk. He never made any trouble, only walked stiffly up the street and slowly climbed the stairs into the hall. Though drunk he looked the same as always, except for his tight walk, the quietness, and that his eyes were wet. George liked Mr. Cattanzara because he remembered him giving him nickels to buy lemon ice with when he was a squirt. Mr. Cattanzara was a different type than those in the neighbourhood. He asked different questions than the others when he met you, and he seemed to know what went on in all the newspapers. He read them, as his fat sick wife watched from the window.

  "What are you doing with yourself this summer, George?" Mr. Cattanzara asked. "l see you walkin' around at night."

  George felt embarrassed. "I like to walk."

  "What are you doin' in the day now?"

  "Nothing much just now. I'm waiting for a job." Since it shamed him to admit that he wasn't working, George said, "I'm reading a lot to pick up my education."

  "What are you readin'?"

  George hesitated, then said, "I got a list of books in the library once and now I'm gonna read them this summer." He felt strange and a little unhappy saying this, but he wanted Mr. Cattanzara to respect him.

  "How many books are there on it?"

  "I never counted them. Maybe around a hundred."

  Mr. Cattanzara whistled through his teeth.

  "I figure if l did that," George went on earnestly, "it would help me in my education. 1 don't mean the kind they give you in high school. I want to know different things than they learn there, if you know what I mean."

  The change maker nodded. "Still and all, one hundred books is a pretty big load for one


  "It might take longer."

  "After you're finished with some, maybe you and I can shoot the breeze about them?" said Mr. Cattanzara.

  "When I'm finished," George answered.

  Mr. Cattanzara went home and George continued on his walk. After that, though he had the urge to, George did nothing different from usual. He still took his walks at night, ending up in the little park. But one evening the shoemaker on the next block stopped George to say he was a good boy, and George figured that Mr. Cattanzara had told him all about the books he was reading. From the shoemaker it must have gone down the street, because George saw a couple of people smiling kindly at him, though nobody spoke to him personally. He felt a little better around the neighbourhood and liked it more, though not so much he would want to live in it forever. He had never exactly disliked the people in it, yet he had never liked them very much either. It was the fault of the neighbourhood. To his surprise, George found out that his father and his sister Sophie knew about his reading too. His father was too shy to say anything about it - he was never much of a talker in his whole life -- but Sophie was softer to George, and she showed him in other ways she was proud of him.

  22. In the excerpt, Mr. Cattanzara was described as a man who

  A. was fond of drinking. B. showed a wide interest.

  C. often worked overtime. D. liked to gossip after work.

  23. It can be inferred from the passage that

  A. Mr. Cattanzara was surprised at George's reading plan.

  B. Mr. Cannazara was doubtful about George throughout.

  C. George was forced to tell a lie and then regretted.

  D. George lied at the beginning and then became serious.

  24. After the street conversation with Mr. Cattanzara, George

  A. remained the same as usual.

  B. became more friendly with Mr. Cattanzara.

  C. began to like his neighbours more than ever.

  D. continued to read the books from the list.

  25. We can tell from the excerpt that George

  A. had a neither close nor distant relationship with his father.

  B. was dissatisfied with his life and surroundings.

  C. found that his sister remained skeptical about him.

  D. found his neighbours liked to poke their nose into him.



  Abraham Lincoln turns 200 this year, and he's beginning to show his age. When his birthday arrives, on February 12, Congress will hold a special joint session in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall, a wreath will be laid at the great memorial in Washington, and a webcast will link school classrooms for a "teach-in" honouring his memory.

  Admirable as they are, though, the events will strike many of us Lincoln fans as inadequate, even halfhearted -- and another sign that our appreciation for the 16th president and his towering achievements is slipping away. And you don't have to be a Lincoln enthusiast to believe that this is something we can't afford to lose.

  Compare this year's celebration with the Lincoln centennial, in 1909. That year, Lincoln's likeness made its debut on the penny, thanks to approval from the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Communities and civic associations in every comer of the country erupted in parades, concerts, balls, lectures, and military displays. We still feel the effects today: The momentum unloosed in 1909 led to the Lincoln Memorial, opened in 1922, and the Lincoln Highway, the first paved transcontinental thoroughfare.

  The celebrants in 1909 had a few inspirations we lack today. Lincoln's presidency was still a living memory for countless Americans. In 2009 we are farther in time from the end of the Second World War than they were from the Civil War; families still felt the loss of loved ones from that awful national trauma.

  But Americans in 1909 had something more: an unembarrassed appreciation for heroes and an acute sense of the way that even long-dead historical figures press in on the present and make us who we are.

  One story will illustrate what l'm talking about.

  In 2003 a group of local citizens arranged to place a statue of Lincoln in Richmond, Virginia, former capital of the Confederacy. The idea touched off a firestorm of controversy. The Sons of Confederate Veterans held a public conference of carefully selected scholars to "reassess" the legacy of Lincoln. The verdict - no surprise - was negative: Lincoln was labeled everything from a racist totalitarian to a teller of dirty jokes.

  I covered the conference as a reporter, but what really unnerved me was a counter-conference of scholars to refute the earlier one. These scholars drew a picture of Lincoln that only our touchy-feely age could conjure up. The man who oversaw the most savage war in our history was described - by his admirers, remember - as "nonjudgmental," "unmoralistic," "comfortable with ambiguity."

  I felt the way a friend of mine felt as we later watched the unveiling of the Richmond statue in a subdued ceremony: "But he's so small!"

  The statue in Richmond was indeed small; like nearly every Lincoln statue put up in the past half century, it was life-size and was placed at ground level, a conscious rejection of the heroic - approachable and human, yes, but not something to look up to.

  The Richmond episode taught me that Americans have lost the language to explain Lincoln's greatness even to ourselves. Earlier generations said they wanted their children to be like Lincoln: principled, kind, compassionate, resolute. Today we want Lincoln to be like us.

  This helps to explain the long string of recent books in which writers have presented a Lincoln made after their own image. We've had Lincoln as humorist and Lincoln as manic-depressive, Lincoln the business sage, the conservative Lincoln and the liberal Lincoln, the emancipator and the racist, the stoic philosopher, the Christian, the atheist - Lincoln over easy and Lincoln scrambled.

  What's often missing, though, is the timeless Lincoln, the Lincoln whom all generations, our own no less than that of 1909, can lay claim to. Lucky for us, those memorializers from a century ago - and, through them, Lincoln himself- have left us a hint of where to find him. The Lincoln Memorial is the most visited of our presidential monuments. Here is where we find the Lincoln who endures: in the words he left us, defining the country we've inherited. Here is the Lincoln who can be endlessly renewed and who, 200 years after his birth, retains the power to renew us.

  26. The author thinks that this year's celebration is inadequate and even halfhearted because

  A. no Lincoln statue will be unveiled.

  B. no memorial coins will be issued.

  C. no similar appreciation of Lincoln will be seen.

  D. no activities can be compared to those in 1909.

  27. According to the passage, what really makes the 1909 celebrations different from this year's?

  A. Respect for great people and their influence.

  B. Variety and magnitude of celebration activities.

  C. Structures constructed in memory of Lincoln.

  D. Temporal proximity to Lincoln's presidency.

  28. In the author's opinion, the counter-conference

  A. rectified the judgment by those carefully selected scholars.

  B. offered a brand new reassessment perspective.

  C. came up with somewhat favourable conclusions.

  D. resulted in similar disparaging remarks on Lincoln.

  29. According to the author, the image of Lincoln conceived by contemporary people

  A. conforms to traditional images.

  B. reflects the present-day tendency of worship.

  C. shows the present-day desire to emulate Lincoln.

  D. reveals the variety of current opinions on heroes.

  30. Which of the following best explains the implication of the last paragraph?

  A. Lincoln's greatness remains despite the passage of time.

  B. The memorial is symbolic of the great man's achievements.

  C. Each generation has it own interpretation of Lincoln.

  D. People get to know Lincoln through memorializers.