The passage comes from the quill of a renowned essayist of the 16th century.
|disagrees with me. Nor have I noticed that I am affected by full or new moons, by|
5autumn or spring.
We are subject to fickle and inexplicable changes. For example, radishes, which
I first found to agree with me, afterwards disagreed, and now they agree again. In
several things I have found my stomach and palate to vary in the same way: I have
changed more than once from white wine to claret, and back again from claret to
I have a dainty tooth for fish, and the meatless days are my meat-days; my fasts
are my feasts. Besides, I believe that it is, as some people say, more easily digested
than meat. As it goes against my conscience to eat meat on fish-days, so my taste
rebels against mixing meat and fish; the difference seems to me too wide.
15From my youth up I have occasionally skipped a meal; either to sharpen my appetite
for the next day (for, as Epicurus used to fast and make lean meals in order to
accustom his greed to dispense with plenty, I do so, on the contrary, in order to train
my greed to take better advantage of plenty and to enjoy it more cheerfully); or I used
to fast to keep my strength for the performance of some mental or bodily action; for
20both my body and mind are made cruelly sluggish by repletion. . . . To cure my ailing
digestion, I say that we should not so much look to what we eat as to whom we eat
To me no dressing is so acceptable, and no sauce so appetizing, as that derived
from good company. I think it is more wholesome to eat more at leisure with a
25good friend, and less, and to eat oftener. But I would give hunger and appetite their
due; I should take no pleasure in dragging through three or four wretched repasts a
day, restricted by doctors' orders. Who will assure me that I can recover at suppertime
the good appetite I had this morning? Let us old men especially take the first
opportunity that comes our way. Let us leave the making of dietaries to doctors and
30almanac makers . . . .
I do not cover my legs and thighs more in winter than in summer: simple silk hose.
For the relief of my colds I gave way to the habit of keeping my head warmer, and my
belly on account of the colic. But in a few days my ailments became accustomed to
them and scorned my ordinary precautions: from a cap I advanced to a kerchief, and
35from a bonnet to a lined hat. The wadding of my doublet is now only ornamental.
All that would be of no avail unless I added a hare's skin or a vulture's plumage, with
a skull-cap for the head. Continue this gradual progress and you will go a long way.
I shall take care not to do so, and would gladly go back to where I began, if I dared.
"Have you developed a new ailment? Is the remedy no longer of any avail? You
40have grown accustomed to it? Then try another." In this way they ruin their health
who allow themseves to be fettered by enforced rules, and superstitiously adhere to
them; they need more and more, and after that more again. There is no end.
1. Which of the following best describes the rhetorical function of the last sentence of paragraph 1 (lines 4–5)?
2. The author's references to radishes and to claret (second paragraph) function in all of the following ways EXCEPT to
3. The description of the speaker's "dainty tooth for fish" (line 11) contributes to the unity of the passage by
4. Lines 11–14 contain all of the following EXCEPT
5. In lines 15–22, the speaker uses which of the following reasons to justify his occasional fasting?
I. To increase his appetite
II. To overeat without feeling guilty
III. To derive greater enjoyment from his meals
6. The passage as a whole can best be described as
7. Which of the following best describes the rhetorical function of lines 24–28 in the passage?
8. The speaker's allusion to going back to "where I began" (line 38) refers to
9. Which of the following phrases is probably exaggerated for effect?
10. The principal contrast drawn by the author of the passage is between