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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. “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 two pence.” “Well done, my good boy,” returned she; “I knew you would touch them off. Between ourselves, three pounds five shillings and two pence 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 you have parted with the colt, and brought us back nothing but a gross of green paltry spectacles !” “Dear mother,” cried the boy, “why don'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 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.” “ 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 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. 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.”
OFT has it been my lot to mark
Two travellers of such a cast,
Of the Chameleon's form and nature.
“ Hold there!” the other quick replies, “ 'Tis green—I saw it with these eyes, As late with open mouth it lay, And warmed it in the sunny ray; Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed, And saw it eat the air for food.” “ I've seen it, sir, as well as you, And must again affirm it blue ; . At leisure I the beast surveyed, Extended in the cooling shade.”
“ 'Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye.” “ Green!” cries the other, in a fury : “ Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes ? ”
“ 'Twere no great loss,” the friend replies ; “ For if they always serve you thus, You'll find them but of little use."
So high at last the contest rose,
Whether the thing was green or blue.
“Sirs,"cries the umpire, “cease your pother-
“Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,"
He said ; then full before their sight