pátek 14. listopadu 2014

Frances Hodgson Burnett: Editha's burglar

...  "Papa," she said in solemn little voice, and looking at him in a very solemn manner, "papa dear, what do you think of burglars- as a class?"(she said "as a class" because she had heard one of her papa's friends say it, and as he was a gentleman she admired very much, she liked to talk as he did.)
Her papa gave a little jump in his chair and as if she has startled him, and then he pushed his hair off his forehead and stared at her.
"Burglars! As a class!"he said and then he stared at her a minute again in rather a puzzled way. "Bless my soul!" he said "As a class, Nixie!"(that was his queer pet name for her.) "Nixie, where is your mother?"
"She is in bed, papa dear, and we mustn't disturb her," said Editha. "The party last night tired her out. I peeped in her room soflty as I came down. She looks so pretty when she is asleep. What do you think of burglars, papa?"
"I think they're a bad lot, Nixie," said her papa, "a bad lot."
"Are there no good burglars, papa?"
"Well, Nixie," answered papa, "I should say not. As a rule you know-" and here he began to smile, as people often smiled at Editha when she asked questions- "As a rule burglars are not distinguished for moral perspicuity and blameless character."
But Editha did not understand what moral perspicuity means, and besides she was thinking again."Miss Lane was talking to me the other day, about some poor children who had never been taught anything, they had never had any French or music lessons, and scarcely knew how to read, and she said they had never had any advantages. Perhaps that is the way with burglars, papa,- perhaps they have never had any advantages,- perhaps if they had had advantages, they might n't have been burglars."...

(https://archive.org/details/edithasburglar00burnrich;illustration: Henry Sandham)