MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.
       The creature’s neither one nor t’other. 
       I caught the animal last night,
       And view’d it o’er by candle-light: 
       I marked it well—­’twas black as jet. 
       You stare; but, sirs, I’ve got it yet: 
       And can produce it”—­“Pray, sir, do: 
       I’ll lay my life the thing is blue.” 
       “And I’ll be sworn, that when you’ve seen
       The reptile you’ll pronounce him green!”
       “Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,”
       Replies the man, “I’ll turn him out: 
       And when before your eyes I’ve set him,
       If you don’t find him black, I’ll eat him,”
       He said, and full before their sight,
       Produced the beast, and lo!—­’twas white. 
       Both stared:  the man looked wondrous wise: 
       “My children,” the chameleon cries
       (Then first the creature found a tongue),
       “You all are right, and all are wrong;
       When next you tell of what you view,
       Think others see as well as you! 
       Nor wonder if you find that none
       Prefers your eyesight to his own.”


* * * * *


All this conversation, however, was only preparatory to another scheme; and indeed I dreaded as much.  This was nothing less than that, as we were now to hold up our heads a little higher in the world, it would be proper to sell the colt, which was grown old, at a neighbouring fair, and buy us a horse that would carry us single or double upon an occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church, or upon a visit.  This at first I opposed stoutly; but it was stoutly defended.  However, as I weakened, my antagonist gained strength, till at last it was resolved to part with him.  As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing could prevail upon her to permit me from home.  “No, my dear,” said she, “our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell to a very good advantage:  you know all our great bargains are of his purchasing.  He always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them till he gets a bargain.”

As I had some opinion of my son’s prudence, I was willing enough to entrust him with this commission; and the next morning I perceived his sisters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming his hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins.  The business of the toilet being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon the colt, with a deal box before him to bring home groceries in.  He had on a coat made of that cloth they call “thunder-and-lightning,” which, though grown too short, was much too good to be thrown away.  His waistcoat was of gosling green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad black riband.  We all followed him several paces from the door, bawling after him, “Good luck! good luck!” till we could see him no longer. ***

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