MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

    So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause,
       With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning,
    While chief baron Ear sat to balance the laws,
       So fam’d for his talent in nicely discerning.

    In behalf of the Nose it will quickly appear,
       And your lordship, he said, will undoubtedly find,
    That the nose has had spectacles always in wear,
       Which amounts to possession time out of mind.

    Then holding the spectacles up to the court—­
       Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle,
    As wide as the ridge of the nose is; in short,
    Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle.

    Again, would your lordship a moment suppose
       (’Tis a case that has happen’d, and may be again)
    That the visage or countenance had not a nose,
       Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then?

    On the whole it appears, and my argument shows,
       With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
    That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose,
       And the Nose was as plainly intended for them.

Then shifting his side as a lawyer knows how,
He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes;
But what were his arguments few people know,
For the court did not think they were equally wise.

So his lordship decreed, with a grave, solemn tone,
Decisive and clear, without one if or but—­
That, whenever the Nose put his Spectacles on,
By daylight or candlelight—­Eyes should be shut!


* * * * *


Alnaschar was a very idle fellow, that never would set his hand to any business during his father’s life.  When his father died he left him to the value of a hundred drachmas in Persian money.  Alnaschar, in order to make the best of it, laid it out in bottles, glasses, and the finest earthenware.  These he piled up in a large open basket; and, having made choice of a very little shop, placed the basket at his feet, and leaned his back upon the wall in expectation of customers.  As he sat in this posture, with his eyes upon the basket, he fell into a most amusing train of thought, and was overheard by one of his neighbours, as he talked to himself in the following manner:—­“This basket,” says he, “cost me at the wholesale merchant’s a hundred drachmas, which is all I had in the world.  I shall quickly make two hundred of it by selling it in retail.  These two hundred drachmas will in a very little while rise to four hundred; which, of course, will amount in time to four thousand.  Four thousand drachmas cannot fail of making eight thousand.  As soon as by these means I am master of ten thousand, I will lay aside my trade of a glass-man and turn jeweller.  I shall then deal in diamonds, pearls, and all sorts of rich stones.  When I

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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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