A Happy Boy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 94 pages of information about A Happy Boy.

“You cannot lift me into the carriage.”

“Indeed?  Can I not?”

“No; because you will not.”

“Will I not?  Listen now, Marit, just for sport, you see, just for sport.  I am going to tell you that I will crush the backbone of that worthless fellow of yours.”

“No; you would not dare do so.”

“I would not dare?  Do you say I would not dare?  Who should interfere?  Who?”

“The school-master.”

“School—­school—­school-master.  Does he trouble his head about that fellow, do you think?”

“Yes; it is he who has kept him at the agricultural school.”

“The school-master?”

“The school-master.”

“Hearken now, Marit; I will have no more of this nonsense; you shall leave the parish.  You only cause me sorrow and trouble; that was the way with your mother, too, only sorrow and trouble.  I am an old man.  I want to see you well provided for.  I will not live in people’s talk as a fool just for this matter.  I only wish your own good; you should understand this, Marit.  Soon I will be gone, and then you will be left alone.  What would have become of your mother if it had not been for me?  Listen, Marit; be sensible, pay heed to what I have to say.  I only desire your own good.”

“No, you do not.”

“Indeed?  What do I want, then?”

“To carry out your own will, that is what you want; but you do not ask about mine.”

“And have you a will, you young sea-gull, you?  Do you suppose you know what is for your good, you fool?  I will give you a taste of the rod, I will, for all you are so big and tall.  Listen now, Marit; let me talk kindly with you.  You are not so bad at heart, but you have lost your senses.  You must listen to me.  I am an old and sensible man.  We will talk kindly together a little; I have not done so remarkably well in the world as folks think; a poor bird on the wing could easily fly away with the little I have; your father handled it roughly, indeed he did.  Let us care for ourselves in this world, it is the best thing we can do.  It is all very well for the school-master to talk, for he has money himself; so has the priest;—­let them preach.  But with us who must slave for our daily bread, it is quite different.  I am old.  I know much.  I have seen many things; love, you see, may do very well to talk about; yes, but it is not worth much.  It may answer for priests and such folks, peasants must look at it in a different light.  First food, you see, then God’s Word, and then a little writing and arithmetic, and then a little love, if it happens to come in the way; but, by the Eternals! there is no use in beginning with love and ending with food.  What can you say, now, Marit?”

“I do not know.”

“You do not know what you ought to answer?”

“Yes, indeed, I know that.”

“Well, then?”

“May I say it?”

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A Happy Boy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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