An Old Miser

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Scrooge Miser SelfishSome time ago there was an old miser who lived in England, by the name of Dancer. His income was fifteen thousand dollars a year. Besides this he had immense sums of gold and silver stowed away in different places where nobody would be likely to find it. He never gave away a cent to anybody; and he never liked to spend the least trifle for himself, if he could help it. He used to wear an old hat, which he had kept for nearly twenty years. One day, a lady who knew him, met him in the street, aud persuaded him to buy another hat. He wouldn’t be so extravagant as to get a new one, so he finally concluded to buy a second-hand one from an old Jew. He gave him a shilling for it. But the next time the lady saw the old miser, she observed he was still wearing his old hat; and, on inquiring about it, she found that the hat he gave a shilling for he had persuaded his servant to buy from him for one shilling and sixpence. So he made sixpence by the sale and went on wearing his old hat.

In cold weather he used to lie in bed most of the time, so as to keep warm and save the expense of a fire. He never used snuff himself, but always carried a snuff-box about him, and when anybody offered him snuff he would take a pinch, but, instead of using it, would open his box and put it in. When the box was full he would sell it, or exchange it for farthing candles. These were the only lights he had in his house, and these were never used except when he was going to bed. He seldom washed his hands or face except when the sun was shining. Then he would go to some pool or stream near where he lived, and wash himself, using sand to save soap. When he was washed he would lie on his back and dry himself in the sun, because it wasn’t worth while to go to the expense of a towel. He never would have his shoes cleaned, because rubbing them with a brush helped to wear them out. After his death, cups and jars and jugs were found stowed away in different holes and corners about his house, filled with gold and silver coin, and his greatest happiness, while living, was to take these out, count them over, and then put them carefully back.

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