A CURIOUS DECISION
A poor chimney-sweeper, who had not enough money to buy a meal, stopped one hot summer day at noon before an eating-house, and remained regaling his nose with the smell of the victuals. The master of the shop told him several times to go away, but the sweep(1) could not leave the savory smell, though unable to purchase the taste of the food. At last the cook came out of the shop, and taking hold of the sweep, declared that, as he had been feeding upon(2) the smell of his victuals, he should not go away without paying half the price of a dinner. The poor fellow said that he neither could nor would pay, and that he would ask the first person who should pass, whether it was not an unreasonable and un- just demand.
The case was referred to a policeman,(3) who happened to pass at that moment. He said to the sweep: "As you have been feasting one of your senses with the odor of this man's meat(4), it is but just you should make him some recompense; therefore you shall(5), in your turn, regale one of his senses, which seems to be more insatiable than your appetite. How much money have you ?"
"I have but two pence in all the world, sir, and I must buy me some bread."
"Never mind," answered tile officer, "take your two pence between your hands; now rattle them loudly."
The sweep did so, and the officer, turning to the cook, said: "Now, sir, 1 think he has paid you: the smell of you victuals regaled his nostrils; the sound of his money has tick- led your ears."
This decision gave more satisfaction to the bystanders than to the cook, but it was the only payment he could obtain.
(1) the sweep： 掃煙囪的工人。
(2) feed upon(on)...： 以……為食物。
(3) The case was referred to a policeman： 此事提交警察處理。to refer…to：把……提交。
(4) meat： 這裏作"食物"解．
(5) you shall： shall用於陳述句的第二、第三人稱時，表示說話者的意向，命令，允諾，警告等。這裏作"應該"解。在現代英語中，表示這種意思時，一般都用should代替shall。