Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest.

‘And do they get up and tell you stories?’

’Sometimes they does, but oftenmost they curses me, and bids me be quiet!  But I can’t be quiet, either before the fire or abed; so I runs out of the house, and stares at the rocks, at the trees, and sometimes at the clouds, as they run a race across the bright moon; and, the more I stares, the more frighted I grows, till I screeches and holloas.  And last night I went into the barn, and hid my face in the straw; and there, as I lay and shivered in the straw, I heard a voice above my head singing out “To whit, to whoo!” and then up I starts, and runs into the house, and falls over my brother Denis, as he lies at the fire.  “What’s that for?” says he.  “Get up, you thief!” says I, “and be helping me.  I have been out into the barn, and an owl has crow’d at me!"’

‘And what has this to do with playing cards?’

’Little enough, Shorsha dear!—­If there were card-playing, I should not be frighted.’

‘And why do you not play at cards?’

’Did I not tell you that the thief, my uncle Phelim, stole away the pack?  If we had the pack, my brother Denis and the gossoons would be ready enough to get up from their sleep before the fire, and play cards with me for ha’pence, or eggs, or nothing at all; but the pack is gone—­bad luck to the thief who took it!’

‘And why don’t you buy another?’

‘Is it of buying you are speaking?  And where am I to get the money?’

‘Ah! that’s another thing!’

’Faith it is, honey!—­And now the Christmas holidays is coming, when I shall be at home by day as well as night, and then what am I to do?  Since I have been a saggarting, I have been good for nothing at all—­neither for work nor Greek—­only to play cards!  Faith, it’s going mad I will be!’

‘I say, Murtagh!’

‘Yes, Shorsha dear!’

‘I have a pack of cards.’

’You don’t say so, Shorsha ma vourneen?—­you don’t say that you have cards fifty-two?’

‘I do, though; and they are quite new—­never been once used.’

‘And you’ll be lending them to me, I warrant?’

‘Don’t think it!—­But I’ll sell them to you, joy, if you like.’

’Hanam mon Dioul! am I not after telling you that I have no money at all!’

’But you have as good as money, to me, at least; and I’ll take it in exchange.’

‘What’s that, Shorsha dear?’

‘Irish!’

‘Irish?’

’Yes, you speak Irish; I heard you talking it the other day to the cripple.  You shall teach me Irish.’

‘And is it a language-master you’d be making of me?’

’To be sure!—­what better can you do?—­it would help you to pass your time at school.  You can’t learn Greek, so you must teach Irish!’

Before Christmas, Murtagh was playing at cards with his brother Denis, and I could speak a considerable quantity of broken Irish.

CHAPTER XI

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Lavengro; the Scholar, the Gypsy, the Priest from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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