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in fitting out Moses for the fair, trimming his hair, and brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins.
6. 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 called “thunder and lightning," which, though grown too short, was much too good to be thrown away.
His waistcoat was of goslin green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad black ribbon. We all followed him several paces from the door, bawling after him, "Good luck! good luck!” till we could see him no longer.
7. He was scarce gone, when Mr. Thornhill's butler came to congratulate us upon our good fortune, saying that he had overheard his young master mention our names with great commendation.
8. Good fortune seemed resolved not to come alone. Another footman from the same family followed with a card for my daughters, importing that the two ladies had received such pleasing accounts from Mr. Thornhill of us all, that after a few previous inquiries, they hoped to be perfectly satisfied. Ay,” cried my wife, see it is no easy matter to get into the families of the great : but when one once gets in, then, as Moses says, one may go to sleep." To this piece of humour,--for she intended it for wit,—my daughters assented with a loud laugh of pleasure; in short, such was her satisfaction at this message, that she actually put her hand in her pocket and gave the messenger sevenpence-halfpenny.
9. This was to be our visiting-day. The next that came was Mr. Burchell, who had been at the fair. He brought my little ones a pennyworth of gingerbread each,
I'll tell you
which my wife undertook to keep for them and give them a little at a time. He brought my daughters also a couple of boxes in which they might keep wafers, snuff, patches, or even money when they got it.
10. As it was now almost nightfall, I began to wonder what could keep our son so long at the fair.
11. “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 on a rainy day. I have seen him buy such bargains as would amaze one. a good story about that which will make your sides split with laughing. But, as I live, yonder comes Moses, without a horse, and the box at 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.
12. “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.
“Ah, 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. 6 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 have you parted with the colt, and brought us back nothing but a gross of paltry green spectacles !"
“Dear mother," cried the boy, “ why won't you listen to reason? I had them a dead bargain, or I should not have bought them. The silver rims alone will sell for double the money."
13. “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.”
14. “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 ! 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.”
15. “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."
16. By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived. He now saw that he had indeed been imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his figure, had marked
him for an easy prey.
I therefore asked him the circumstances of his deception.
17. He sold the horse, it seems, and walked the fair in search of another. A reverend-looking man brought him to a tent under pretence of having one to sell. “Here,” continued Moses, we met another man very well dressed, who desired to borrow twenty pounds upon these, saying that he wanted money, and would dispose of them for the third of their value. The first gentleman, who pretended to be my friend, whispered me to buy them, and cautioned me not to let so good an offer pass. I sent for Mr. Flamborough, and they talked him up as finely as they did me; and so at last we were persuaded to buy the two gross between us.”—Goldsmith.
SUMMARY.—The vicar proposed to sell the colt and buy a horse that would carry either one or two persons, so that he and his wife might make a good appearance at church or when paying a visit. The vicar's wife had a high opinion of her son Moses,a discreet boy, as she described him, who could buy or sell to very good advantage. He was sent to the fair, therefore, to make as good a bargain as he could. He sold the colt for £3, 5s. 2d., which seemed a good price to the vicar and to his wife ; but he was beguiled into buying a gross of green spectacles, which were little better than rubbish. Ant-ag-o-nists, opponents. Hig-gles, hesitates, to try to get Com-men-da-tion, praise.
a better bargain. Com-miss-ion, a duty to be dis- Toi'et, dress. charged.
Sha-greer', a kind of leather.
QUESTIONS. What did the vicar wish to do for the colt? What did he bring with his horse ? Why? Who back with him? From whom had was sent to the fair to make a he bought them? What was their bargain? Why was he chosen for value? How had he been led the work? How much did he get into the swindle ?
EXERCISES.–1. Parse and analyse-We had at last the satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon the colt.
2. Adjectives are formed by adding ous, scme, and y, which mean “full of,” as dubious, full of doubt; toilsome, full of labour; rocky, full of rocks, Give the exact meaning of the following words glorious, frolicsome, grassy.
[JAMES Hogg (b. 1772, d. 1835) the writer of the following spirited poem, is best known by the name of the Ettrick Shepherd, from having been born in the forest of Ettrick, and being for many years, like his fathers before him, employed as a shepherd. He received but little regular education, but in spite of this disadvantage, his genius soon displayed itself. His chief work is called “The Queen's Wake," and consists of poetical tales, supposed to be sung to Queen Mary in Holyrood. It soon became well known, both in this country and in America, and the writer obtained a place among Scottish poets. Some of his songs are lively and striking.]
1. Bird of the wilderness,
Blithesome and cumberless,
Emblem of happiness!
Blest is thy dwelling-place!
Wild is thy lay and loud
Far in the downy cloud;
Where on thy dewy wing,
Where art thou journeying?
3. O'er fell and fountain sheen,
O'er moor and mountain green,
Over the cloudlet dim,
Over the rainbow's rim,