MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

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

I changed the subject by seeming to wonder what could keep our son so long at the fair, as it was now almost nightfall.  “Never mind our son,” cried my wife; “depend upon it, he knows what he is about.  I’ll warrant we’ll never see him sell his hen of a rainy day.  I have seen him bring such bargains as would amaze one.  I’ll tell you a good story about that, that will make you split your sides with laughing.  But, as I live, yonder comes Moses, without a horse, and the box on his back.”

As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and sweating under the deal box, which he had strapped round his shoulders like a pedlar.  “Welcome, welcome, Moses!  Well, my boy, what have you brought us from the fair?” “I have brought you myself,” cried Moses, with a sly look, and resting the box on the dresser.  “Ay, Moses,” cried my wife, “that we know; but where is the horse?” “I have sold him,” cried Moses, “for three pounds five shillings and twopence.”  “Well done, my good boy,” returned she; “I knew you would touch them off.  Between ourselves, three pounds five shillings and twopence is no bad day’s work.  Come, let us have it then.”  “I have brought back no money,” cried Moses again.  “I have laid it all out in a bargain, and here it is,” pulling out a bundle from his breast; “here they are; a gross of green spectacles, with silver rims and shagreen cases.”  “A gross of green spectacles!” repeated my wife, in a faint voice.  “And you have parted with the colt, and brought us back nothing but a gross of green paltry spectacles!” “Dear mother,” cried the boy, “why won’t you listen to reason?  I had them a dead bargain, or I should not have brought them.  The silver rims alone will sell for double the money.”  “A fig for the silver rims,” cried my wife, in a passion:  “I dare swear they won’t sell for above half the money at the rate of broken silver, five shillings an ounce.”  “You need be under no uneasiness,” cried I, “about selling the rims, for they are not worth sixpence; for I perceive they are only copper varnished over.”  “What!” cried my wife, “not silver! the rims not silver?” “No,” cried I, “no more silver than your saucepan.”  “And so,” returned she, “we have parted with the colt, and have only got a gross of green spectacles, with copper rims and shagreen cases?  A murrain take such trumpery!  The blockhead has been imposed upon, and should have known his company better.”  “There, my dear,” cried I, “you are wrong; he should not have known them at all.”  “Marry, hang the idiot!” returned she, “to bring me such stuff:  if I had them I would throw them in the fire.”  “There again you are wrong, my dear,” cried I, “for though they be copper, we will keep them by us, as copper spectacles, you know, are better than nothing.”

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