Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving

















































































































 -  He had a wife as miserly as himself; they were so miserly that
they even conspired to cheat each other - Page 340
Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving - Page 340 of 433 - First - Home

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He Had A Wife As Miserly As Himself; They Were So Miserly That They Even Conspired To Cheat Each Other.

Whatever the woman could lay hands on she hid away; a hen could not cackle but she was on the alert to secure the new-laid egg.

Her husband was continually prying about to detect her secret hoards, and many and fierce were the conflicts that took place about what ought to have been common property. They lived in a forlorn-looking house, that stood alone and had an air of starvation. A few straggling savin trees, emblems of sterility, grew near it; no smoke ever curled from its chimney; no traveller stopped at its door. A miserable horse, whose ribs were as articulate as the bars of a gridiron, stalked about a field where a thin carpet of moss, scarcely covering the ragged beds of pudding-stone, tantalized and balked his hunger; and sometimes he would lean his head over the fence, looked piteously at the passer-by, and seem to petition deliverance from this land of famine.

The house and its inmates had altogether a bad name. Tom's wife was a tall termagant, fierce of temper, loud of tongue, and strong of arm. Her voice was often heard in wordy warfare with her husband; and his face sometimes showed signs that their conflicts were not confined to words. No one ventured, however, to interfere between them; the lonely wayfarer shrunk within himself at the horrid clamor and clapper-clawing; eyed the den of discord askance, and hurried on his way, rejoicing, if a bachelor, in his celibacy.

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