« 上一页继续 »
pence." "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 area 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 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." "A fig for the silver rims!" cried my wife in a passion. "I dare say 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."
By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived. He
now saw that he had been imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his figure, had marked him for an easy prey. I therefore asked the circumstance of his deception. 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 a third of the 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."
-"The Vicar of Wakefield."
Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog
GOOD people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
In Islington there was a man,
A kind and gentle heart he had,
The naked every day he clad,
And in that town a dog was found,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
This dog and man at first were friends;
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Around from all the neighbouring streets The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
The wound it seemed both sore and sad
And while they swore the dog was mad,
But soon a wonder came to light,
The dog it was that died.
Tony's Directions to the Travellers
LANDLORD; YOUNG MARLOW; HASTINGS; TONY LUMPKIN, HARDCASTLE'S stepson.
Mar. What a tedious, uncomfortable day have we had of it! We were told it was but forty miles across the country, and we have come above three-score.
Hast. And all, Marlow, from that unaccountable reserve of yours, that would not let us inquire more frequently on the way.
Mar. I own, Hastings, I am unwilling to lay myself under an obligation to every one I meet, and often stand the chance of an unmannerly answer.
Hast. At present, however, we are not likely to receive any answer.
Tony. No offence, gentlemen; but I'm told you have been inquiring for one Mr. Hardcastle in these parts. Do you know what part of the country you are in?
Hast. Not in the least, sir, but should thank you for information.
Tony. Nor in the way you came?
Hast. No, sir; but if you can inform us
Tony. Why, gentlemen, if you know neither the road you are going, nor where you are, nor the road you came, the first thing I have to inform you is, that-you have lost your way.
Mar. We wanted no ghost to tell us that.
Tony. Pray, gentlemen, may I be so bold as to ask the place from whence you came?
Mar. That's not necessary toward directing us where we are to go.
Tony. No offence; but question for question is all fair, you know. Pray, gentlemen, is not this same Hardcastle a cross-grain'd, old-fashion'd, whimsical fellow, with an ugly face, a daughter, and a pretty son?
Hast. We have not seen the gentleman; but he has the family you mention.
Tony. The daughter, a tall, trapesing, trolloping, talkative maypole; the son, a pretty, well-bred, agreeable youth, that everybody is fond of.
Mar. Our information differs in this: the daughter is said to be well-bred and beautiful; the son an awkward booby, reared up and spoiled at his mother's apron-string.
Tony. He-he! h'm. Then, gentlemen, all I have to tell you is, that you won't reach Mr. Hardcastle's house this night, I believe.
Tony. It's a damned long, dark, boggy, dangerous way. Stingo, tell the gentleman the way to Mr. Hardcastle's (winking at the LANDLORD)-Mr. Hardcastle's of Quagmire Marsh. You understand me.
Land. Master Hardcastle's? Lack-a-daisy! my masters, you're come a deadly deal wrong. When you came to the bottom of the hill, you should have cross'd down Squash Lane.
Mar. Cross down Squash Lane?
Land. Then you were to keep straight forward till you came to four roads.
Mar. Come to where four roads meet?
Tony. Ay; but you must be sure to take only one.
Mar. Oh, sir! you're facetious.
Tony. Then, keeping to the right, you are to go sideways till you come upon Crack-skull Common; there you must look