Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/238

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"Hear the sledges with the bells,
Sil-ver bells!"

Very silvery, don't you see?

Stella. Oh, yes! excuse me. (Reads in a very silly tone.)

"Hear the sledges with the bells,
Sil——ver bells!"

Festus. Oh, no, no! that's too silly.

Stella. Sir!

Festus. I mean, there's too much of the sil in silver. (Repeats his reading. She imitates it.)

Festus. Ah! that's better. Thank you: you are charming. (She looks at him.) That is, a charming reader. Go on.

Stella. (Reads.)

"What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle"—

Festus. (Interrupting.) I beg your pardon: "twinkle."

Stella. No, sir: "tinkle."

Festus. But I am sure it is "twinkle."

Stella. Can't I believe my own eyes?

Festus. Not unless they "twinkle."

Stella. Look for yourself. (Shows him the book.)

Festus. My stars! it is "tinkle." I beg your pardon. Go on.


"How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air"—

Festus. No, no: frosty,—frosty air.

Stella. No, sir: it's icy air.

Festus. You are mistaken: "frosty."

Stella. Am I? Look for yourself.

Festus. Well, I declare! It is, I see, icy. I beg your pardon. Go on.

Stella. I see, I see. You are bent on interrupting me. What do you mean, sir?

Festus. What can you expect, if you don't know how to read?

Stella. Sir, this is provoking. I don't know how to read?

Festus. Not "The Bells," I know.

Stella. Oh! do you? Well, sir, I know you are no gen-