To us it seems so natural to put up an umbrella to keep the water off when it rains. But actually the umbrella was not invented as protection against rain. Its first use was as a shade against the sun. Nobody knows who first invented it, but the umbrella was used in very ancient times. Probably the first to use it were the Chinese, was back in the eleventh century B. C. We know that the umbrella was used in ancient Egypt and Babylon as a sunshade. And there was a strange thing connected with its use： it became a symbol of honor and authority. In the Far East in ancient times, the umbrella was allowed to be used only by royalty or by those in high offices.
In Europe, the Greeks were the first to use the umbrella as a sunshade. And the umbrella was in common use in ancient Greece. But it is believed that the first persons in Europe to use the umbrella as protection against rain were the ancient Romans. During the Middle Ages, the use of the umbrella practically disappeared. Then it appeared again in Italy in the late sixteenth century. And again it was considered a symbol of power and authority. By 1680, the umbrella appeared in France and later on in England. By the eighteenth century, the umbrella was used against rain throughout most of Europe. Umbrellas have not changed much in style during all this time, though they have become much lighter in weight. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that women's umbrellas began to be made in a whole variety of colors.
46. The first use of umbrella was as .
A. protection against rain B. a shade against the sun
C. a symbol of power D. a symbol of honor
47. were the people who first used umbrellas.
A. Chinese B. Romans C. Greeks D. Egyptians
48. The umbrella was used only by royalty or by those in high offices .
A. in Europe in the 18th century B. in ancient Egypt and Babylon
C. in the Far East in ancient times D. during the Middle Ages
49. According to the passage, which of the following is not true?
A. Women enjoy using umbrellas with varied kinds of colors nowadays.
B. The inventor of the umbrella is unknown.
C. Once ordinary people had no right to use umbrellas.
D. Umbrellas were popular and cheap in ancient times.
50. Which of the following is the best title of the passage?
A. When Was the Umbrella Invented? B. The History of Umbrella
C. Umbrella一A Symbol of Honor D. Who Used Umbrella First?