Punctuality is a necessary habit in all public affairs of a civilized society. Without it nothing could ever be brought to a conclusion, everything would be in a stage of chaos. Only in a sparsely populated rural community is it possible to disregard it. In ordinary living there can be some tolerance of unpunctuality. The intellectual, who is working on some abstruse problem, has everything coordinated and organised for the matter in hand. He is therefore forgiven, if late for the dinner party. But people are often reproached for unpunctuality when their only fault is cutting things fine. It is hard for energetic, quick-minded people to waste time, so they are often tempted to finish a job before setting out to keep an appointment. If no accidents occur on the way, like punctured tyres, diversion of traffic, sudden descent of fog, they will be on time. They are often more industrious and more useful citizens than those whose are never late. The over-punctual can be as much a trial to others as the unpunctual. The guest who arrives half an hour too soon is the greatest nuisance. Some friends of my family had this irritating habit. The only thing to do was to ask them to come half an hour later than the other guests. Then they arrived just when we wanted them. If you are catching a train, it is always better to be comfortable early than even a fraction of a minute too late. Although being early may mean wasting a little time, this will be less than if you miss the train and have to wait an hour or so for the next one. And you avoid the frustration of arriving at the very moment when the train is drawing out of the station and being unable to get on it. And even a harder situation is to be on the platform in good time for a train and still to see it go off without you. Such an experience befell a certain young girl the first time she was travelling alone. She entered the station twenty minutes before the train was due, since her parents had impressed upon her that it would be unforgivable to miss it and cause the friends with whom she was going to stay to make two journeys to meet her. She gave her luggage to a porter and showed him her ticket. To her horror he said that she was two hours too soon. She felt in her handbag for the piece of paper on which her father had written down all the details of the journey and gave it to the porter. He agreed that a train did come in the station at the time on the paper and that it did stop, but only to take on water, not passengers. The girl asked to see a timetable, feeling sure that her father could not have made such a mistake. The porter went to fetch one and arrived back with the Station Master, who produced it with a flourish and pointed out a microscopic ‘0’ beside the time of the arrival of the train at his station. The girl, tears streaming down her face, begged to be allowed to slip into the guard’s van. But the Station Master was adamant: rules will not be broken. And she had to watch that train disappear towards her destination while she was left behind.
- The author feels it is necessary to be punctual in a civilized society, because:
(a) it makes people think that you are a good tempered person.
(b) it elevates your social status.
(c) it helps to conduct things without confusion.
(d) it makes your friends trust you.
- The. author’s family asked some of their friends to come half an hour later than others because:
(a) they did not like their friends.
(b) they did not want them to meet other guests.
(c) these friends had to meet some other people on the way.
(d) they were in the habit of arriving too early.
- The author implies that it is better to arrive early at the station so that:
(a) there is no chance of missing your train.
(b) there is a chance of meeting the important people who travel by train.
(c) you can get into the compartment of your choice.
(d) you can find porters to help you and carry your luggage.
- The expression ‘to her horror’ used in the passage comes nearest in meaning to
(a) she was very scared to see.
(b) she was disgusted to discover.
(c) she was disappointed to find.
(d) she was surprised to find.