« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
2. 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."
3. As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was willing enough to intrust him. with this commission; and the next morning I noticed his sister 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.
4. 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 sister 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.
5. I began 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."
6. 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?"
7. "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."
8. "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