Задание 14 из ЕГЭ по английскому языку: задача 14

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The farm lay in a small valley in the Somersetshire hills, an old stone house surrounded by other buildings. Over the doorway stood the date when it was built, 1673, and the house looked as much a part of the landscape as the trees that stood around it. Two lines of elm trees led from the road to the well-kept garden.

The people who lived there had owned it ever since it was built from father to son in an unbroken line. George Meadows was now a man of fifty and his wife a year or two younger. They were both fine, honest people, and their children, two boys and three girls, were good-looking and strong. I have never seen a more united family. Their life had a completeness that gave it beauty as absolute as that of a symphony by Beethoven or a picture by Titian. They were happy and they deserved their happiness.

But the master of the house was not George Meadows; it was his mother. She was twice the man her son was, they said in the village. She was a woman of seventy, tall, with grey hair and bright eyes. Her word was law in the house and on the farm; but she had humour, and people laughed at her jokes and repeated them. She was a good business woman, and you had to get up very early in the morning to do better than she did. She was a character.

One day Mrs George stopped me on my way home. She was very excited. (Her mother-in-law was the only Mrs Meadows we knew: George’s wife was only known as Mrs George.)

“Whoever do you think is coming here today?” she asked me. “Uncle George Meadows. You know? He who was in China.”

“Why, I thought he was dead.”

“We all thought he was dead.”

I had heard the story of Uncle George Meadows a dozen times, and it had amused me because it was like the story of an old ballad. It was strangely touching to find this story in real life. For Uncle George Meadows and Tom, his younger brother, had both been in love with Mrs Meadows when she was Emily Green, fifty years or more ago, and when she married Tom, George had gone away to sea.

They heard of him on the China coast. For twenty years, now and then he sent them presents; then there was no more news of him; when Tom Meadows died, Mrs Meadows wrote and told him, but received no answer and at last they thought he must be dead. But two or three days ago to their great surprise they had received a letter from the sailors’ home at Portsmouth. It appeared that for the last ten years George Meadows had lived there, a sick old man, and now, feeling that he had not much longer to live, wanted to see once more the house in which he was born. Albert Meadows, George’s son, had gone over to Portsmouth in the Ford to fetch him, and he was to arrive in Somerset that afternoon.

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Mrs Meadows got up ...

  1. as early as her neighbours.
  2. as early as the members of her family.
  3. late in the morning.
  4. earlier than most of her neighbours.

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