Comprehension Test – 5 (English 2nd language)

The enjoyment of physical possession of things would seem to be one of the prerogatives of wealth which has been little impaired. Presumably nothing has happened to keep the man who can afford them from enjoying his Rembrandt and his homegrown orchids. But enjoyment of things has always been associated with the third prerogative of wealth which is the distinct it confers. In a world where nearly everyone was poor, the distinction was very great. It was the natural consequence of rarity. In England it is widely agreed, the ducal families are not uniformly superior. There is a roughly normal incidence of intelligence and stupidity, good taste and bad taste, morality, immorality. But very few people are dukes and duchesses, although the later have become rather more frequent with modern easing of divorce laws. As a result, even though they may be intrinsically unexpectional they are regarded with some awe. So it has long have been with the rich. Were dukes numerous their position would deteriorate. As the rich have become more numerous, they have inevitably becomes a debased currency.

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