A FACSIMILE REPRODUCTION
EDITION OF 1766
WITH AN INTRODUCTION
GRIFFITH & FARRAN
Successors to Newbery & Harris
WEST CORNER OF ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD, LONDON
* * * * *
In The London Chronicle for December 19—January 1, 1765—the following advertisement appeared:—
"The Philosophers, Politicians, Necromancers, and the Learned in every Faculty are desired to observe that on the 1st of January, being New Year's Day (Oh, that we may all lead new Lives!), Mr Newbery intends to publish the following important volumes, bound and gilt, and hereby invites all his little friends who are good to call for them at the Bible and Sun, in St Paul's Churchyard: but those who are naughty are to have none.
"1. The Renowned History of Giles Gingerbread: a little boy who lived upon learning.
"2. The Easter Gift; or the way to be good; a book much wanted.
"3. The Whitsuntide Gift: or the way to be happy; a book very necessary for all families.
"4. The Valentine Gift: or how to behave with honour, integrity, and humanity: very useful with a Trading Nation.
"5. The Fairing: or a golden present for children. In which they can see all the fun of the fair, and at home be as happy as if they were there, a Book of great consequence to all whom it may concern.'
"We are also desired to give notice that there is in the Press, and speedily will be published either by subscription or otherwise, as the Public shall please to determine, The History of Little Goody Two Shoes, otherwise called Margery Two Shoes. Printed and sold at The Bible and Sun in St Paul's Churchyard, where may be had all Mr Newbery's little books for the children and youth of these kingdoms and the colonies. New Editions of those which were out of print are now republished.
"The publication of the Lilliputian System of Politics is postponed till the meeting of Parliament. This work, which will be replete with cuts and characters, is not intended to exalt or depress any particular country, to support the pride of any particular family, or to feed the folly of any particular party, but to stimulate the mind to virtue, to promote universal benevolence, to make mankind happy. Those who would know more of the matter may enquire of Mr Newbery."
This quaint and curious announcement, with its sly humour and serious playfulness, is characteristic of the house of John Newbery, in the latter part of the last century; and there is no need to speak here of the fame of the books for children which he published; "the philanthropic publisher of St Paul's Churchyard," as Goldsmith calls him, conferred inestimable benefits upon thousands of little folk, of both high and low estate. It is said of Southey when a child that
"The well-known publishers of "Goody Two Shoes," "Giles Gingerbread," and other such delectable histories, in sixpenny books for children, splendidly bound in the flowered and gilt Dutch paper of former days, sent him twenty such volumes, and laid the foundation of a love of books which grew with the child's growth, and did not cease even when the vacant mind and eye could only gaze in piteous, though blissful imbecility upon the things they loved."[A]
Many of these little books have been doubtless long since forgotten, though they did not deserve such a fate; but the name of "Goody Two Shoes" is still familiar to the ears of English children, though the book itself may be unknown to thousands of little ones of this later generation.
"Goody Two Shoes" was published in April 1765, and few nursery books have had a wider circulation, or have retained their position so long. The number of editions that have been published both in England and America is legion, and it has appeared in mutilated versions under the auspices of numerous publishing houses in London and the provinces, although of late years there have been no new issues. Even in 1802, Charles Lamb in writing to Coleridge, said—
""Goody Two Shoes" is almost out of print. Mrs Barbauld's stuff has banished all the old classics of the nursery, and the shopman at Newbery's hardly deigned to reach them off an old exploded corner of a shelf, when Mary asked for them. Mrs Barbauld's and Mrs Trimmer's nonsense lay in piles about. Knowledge, insignificant and vapid as Mrs Barbauld's books convey, it seems must come to a child in the shape of knowledge; and his empty noddle must be turned with conceit of his own powers when he has learnt that a horse is an animal, and Billy is better than a horse, and such like, instead of that beautiful interest in wild tales, which made the child a man, while all the time he suspected himself to be no bigger than a child. Science has succeeded to poetry no less in the little walks of children than with men. Is there no possibility of averting this sore evil? Think what you would have been now, if instead of being fed with tales and old wives' fables in childhood, you had been crammed with geography and natural history!
"Hang them!—I mean the cursed Barbauld crew, those blights and blasts of all that is human in man and child."[B]
There must, however, be many parents still living who remember the delight that the little story gave them in their younger days, and they will, no doubt, be pleased to see it once more in the form which was then so familiar to them. The children of to-day, too, will look on it with some curiosity, on account of the fact that it is one of the oldest of our nursery tales, and amused and edified their grand-parents and great grand-parents when they were children, while they cannot fail to be attracted by its simple, pretty, and interesting story.
* * * * *
The question of the authorship of the book is still an unsettled one. It was at one time commonly attributed to Oliver Goldsmith, and no one who reads the book will consider it to be unworthy of the poet's pen. We find, however, in Nichol's Literary Anecdotes, that
"It is not perhaps generally known that to Mr Griffith Jones, and a brother of his, Mr Giles Jones, in conjunction with Mr John Newbery, the public are indebted for the origin of those numerous and popular little books for the amusement and instruction of children which have been ever since received with universal approbation. The Lilliputian histories of Goody Two Shoes, Giles Gingerbread, Tommy Trip, &c., &c., are remarkable proofs of the benevolent minds of the projectors of this plan of instruction, and respectable instances of the accommodation of superior talents to the feeble intellects of infantine felicity."
Mr Giles Jones was the grandfather of the late Mr Winter Jones, formerly the Principal Librarian of the British Museum, and the book is attributed to the first-named gentleman in the catalogue of the British Museum. It is claimed also that the book offers internal evidence in support of Mr Giles Jones' authorship, inasmuch as Goody Two Shoes becomes Lady Jones, and one of the prominent families in the book is also named Jones.
Beyond this, however, there appears to be no evidence as to Mr Giles Jones being the writer, and I think something may be said as to the claim on behalf of the poet Goldsmith, although I am by no means anxious that the honour of having written it should be ascribed either to the one or to the other: the following remarks, which are mainly taken from an article I contributed to the Athenaeum in April 1881, are offered simply as speculations which may not be without interest to lovers of the little book. They may, perhaps, show that there is some reason for attributing the work to Oliver Goldsmith, although, of course, it is not claimed that they absolutely establish the fact.
Having occasion to examine carefully as many of the books for children published by John Newbery as I could procure (and they are as scarce as blackberries in midwinter, for what among books has so brief a life as a nursery book?), I was struck while perusing them with a certain distinct literary flavour, so to speak, which appeared to be common to a group of little volumes, all published about the same period. These were: "Goody Two Shoes," "Giles Gingerbread," "Tom Thumb's Folio," "The Lilliputian Magazine," "The Lilliputian Masquerade," "The Easter Gift," "A Pretty Plaything," "The Fairing," "Be Merry and Wise," "The Valentine's Gift," "Pretty Poems for the Amusement of Children Three Feet High," "A Pretty Book of Pictures," "Tom Telescope," and a few others. I give abbreviated titles only, but if space permitted I mould like to quote them in full; they are remarkable no less for their curious quaintness and their clever ingenuity than for their attractiveness to both parents (who, it must not be forgotten, are more often the real buyers of children's books) and the young people for whom they were written, and they are in themselves most entertaining and amusing reading. This group of little books possesses, moreover, another characteristic that is sufficiently remarkable of itself to be noticed. While they all evince a real genius for writing in a style suited to the capacities of little folk, there is a nameless something about them which, far more than is the case with thousands of other books for the young, is calculated to enforce the attention and excite the interest of "children of a larger growth."
Now one of this little group, "The Lilliputian Magazine," is attributed in the British Museum Catalogue to Oliver Goldsmith; and so strong is the family likeness in all the books I have mentioned, that I cannot but believe they are all by the same hand—a belief which I think will be shared by any one who will take the trouble to compare them carefully. But I should advise him to rely on the Newbery editions alone, for grievously garbled versions of nearly every one of these books have been issued from many different houses throughout the country.
Many authorities have supported the view that Goldsmith was the author of "Goody Two Shoes." Conspicuous among them was Washington Irving, who says, "It is suggested with great probability that he wrote for Mr Newbery the famous nursery story of 'Goody Two Shoes.'" It is said also that William Godwin held this opinion; and I believe there is authority for stating that the Misses Bewick, the daughters of the celebrated engraver, who illustrated an edition of the book for T. Saint, of Newcastle, understood from their father that it was by Oliver Goldsmith.
But let us turn to the book itself and see if it furnishes any evidence on the point. The very title, with its quaint phrasing, shows no common genius, and as Washington Irving says, "bears the stamp of his [Goldsmith's] sly and playful humour." As the book was published in 1765, it would most likely have been written just at the time when Goldsmith was working most industriously in the service of Newbery (1763-4), at which period it will be remembered that he was living near Newbery at Islington, and his publisher was paying for his board and lodging.
Without, of course, claiming that similarity of idea in different writings necessarily betokens the same authorship, I think the parallels that are to be found in this little book, with many of the sentiments in Oliver Goldsmith's acknowledged work—to say nothing of the almost universally recognized likeness to Goldsmith's style that is found in "Goody Two Shoes" may fairly be considered as throwing some light upon the question.
The most striking of these parallels is perhaps that furnished by the curious little political preface to the work—a preface which is quite unnecessary to the book, and I think would only have been inserted by one who was full of the unjustnesses at which he was preparing to aim a still heavier blow. In describing the parish of Mouldwell, where little Margery was born, an exact picture is drawn of "The Deserted Village," where
One only master grasps the whole domain And half a tillage tints thy smiling plain;
—— the man of wealth and pride Takes up a space that many a poor supplied: Space for his lakes his park's extended bounds, Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds.
And by this and other tyrannies, and being also
Scourged by famine from the smiling land,
for he was "unfortunate in his business" at about the same time, Sir Timothy accomplishes his aim, and
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green.
Ruined by this oppression, poor Mr Meanwell is turned out of doors, and flew to another parish for succour.
Where, then, ah! where shall poverty reside To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?
Sir Timothy, however, suffers for his injustice and wickedness, for "great part of the land lay untilled for some years, which was deemed a just reward for such diabolical proceedings."
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates and men decay.
Miss Charlotte Yonge, to whom I shall refer again, lays upon this: "If the conjecture be true which attributes this tale to Oliver Goldsmith, we have seen the same spirit which prompted his poem of 'The Deserted Village,' namely, indignation and dismay at the discouragement of small holdings in the early part of the eighteenth century."[C] Indeed, it may well be that we have in this preface even a more true picture of Lissoy than that given in the poem, which, as Mr William Black says in his monograph on Goldsmith, "is there seen through the softening and beautifying mist of years."
Much more might be said of the characteristics of this little book, which contains so much that reminds us not only of the style but the matter of many of Goldsmith's writings. Miss Yonge says: "There is a certain dry humour in some passages and a tenderness in others that incline us much to the belief that it could come from no one else but the writer of 'The Vicar of Wakefield' and 'The Deserted Village.' Indeed, we could almost imagine that Dr Primrose himself had described the panic at the supposed ghost in the church in the same tone as the ride to church, the family portrait, or the gross of green spectacles.'[D] We find in "Goody Two Shoes" every one of those distinctive qualities of Goldsmith's writings which Mr William Black so well summarizes in the book already referred to—"his genuine and tender pathos, that never at any time verges on the affected or theatrical;" his "quaint, delicate, delightful humour;" his "broader humour, that is not afraid to provoke the wholesome laughter of mankind by dealing with common and familiar ways and manners and men;" his "choiceness of diction;" his "lightness and grace of touch, that lend a charm even to" his "ordinary hack work."
* * * * *
The reprint which is here presented is a photographic facsimile of the earliest complete copy that we have been able to procure. Judging from fragments of earlier editions in the possession of the publishers, it would appear to be printed from exactly the same types as the original issue of April 1765. The copy from which the reprint is made was kindly lent to the publishers by Mr Ernest Hartley Coleridge, whose collection at the South Kensington Museum of eighteenth century books for children is well known. The actual size of that book is 4 inches by 2-3/4, but it has been thought better to print on somewhat larger paper. The original is bound in the once familiar Dutch flowered and gilt pattern paper, and we had hoped to present the reprint in a similar cover, but it was found impossible, as nothing like it could be procured, nor could the manufacturers of the present day exactly reproduce it.
[Footnote A: Essays from the Times. Robert Southey. By Samuel Phillips, pp. 168-169, vol. i.]
[Footnote B: See "The Works of Charles Lamb." By Percy Fitzgerald, M.A., F.S.A. Vol. 1. Page 420. London: E. Moxon & Co., 1876.]
[Footnote C: "A Storehouse of Stories," p. 69, First Series.]
[Footnote D: "A Storehouse of Stories," First Series, preface.]
Little GOODY TWO-SHOES;
Mrs. MARGERY TWO-SHOES.
The Means by which she acquired her Learning and Wisdom, and in consequence thereof her Estate; set forth at large for the Benefit of those,
Who from a State of Rags and Care And having Shoes but half a Pair; Their Fortune and their Fame would fix, And gallop in a Coach and Six.
See the Original Manuscript in the Vatican at Rome, and the Cuts by Michael Angelo. Illustrated with the Comments of our great modern Critics.
———————————— The THIRD EDITION. ———————————— LONDON:
Printed for J. NEWBERY, at the Bible and Sun in St.Paul's-Church-Yard, 1766. (Price Six-pence.)
Young Gentlemen and Ladies,
Who are good, or intend to be good,
Is inscribed by
Their old Friend
In St. Paul's Church-yard.
Little GOODY TWO-SHOES,
Old GOODY TWO-SHOES.
———————————— PART I. ————————————
INTRODUCTION. By the Editor.
All the World must allow, that Two Shoes was not her real Name. No; her Father's Name was Meanwell; and he was for many Years a considerable Farmer in the Parish where Margery was born; but by the Misfortunes which he met with in Business, and the wicked Persecutions of Sir Timothy Gripe, and an over-grown Farmer called Graspall, he was effectually ruined.
The Case was thus. The Parish of Mouldwell where they lived, had for many Ages been let by the Lord of the Manor into twelve different Farms, in which the Tenants lived comfortably, brought up large Families, and carefully supported the poor People who laboured for them; until the Estate by Marriage and by Death came into the Hands of Sir Timothy.
This Gentleman, who loved himself better than all his Neighbours, thought it less Trouble to write one Receipt for his Rent than twelve, and Farmer Graspall offering to take all the Farms as the Leases expired, Sir Timothy agreed with him, and in Process of Time he was possessed of every Farm, but that occupied by little Margery's Father; which he also wanted; for as Mr. Meanwell was a charitable good Man, he stood up for the Poor at the Parish Meetings, and was unwilling to have them oppressed by Sir Timothy, and this avaricious Farmer.—Judge, oh kind, humane and courteous Reader, what a terrible Situation the Poor must be in, when this covetous Man was perpetual Overseer, and every Thing for their Maintenance was drawn from his hard Heart and cruel Hand. But he was not only perpetual Overseer, but perpetual Church-warden; and judge, oh ye Christians, what State the Church must be in, when supported by a Man without Religion or Virtue. He was also perpetual Surveyor of the Highways, and what Sort of Roads he kept up for the Convenience of Travellers, those best know who have had the Misfortune to be obliged to pass thro' that Parish.—Complaints indeed were made, but to what Purpose are Complaints, when brought against a Man, who can hunt, drink, and smoak with the Lord of the Manor, who is also the Justice of Peace?
The Opposition which little Margery's Father made to this Man's Tyranny, gave Offence to Sir Timothy, who endeavoured to force him out of his Farm; and to oblige him to throw up the Lease, ordered both a Brick Kiln and a Dog-kennel to be erected in the Farmer's Orchard. This was contrary to Law, and a Suit was commenced, in which Margery's Father got the better. The same Offence was again committed three different Times, and as many Actions brought, in all of which the Farmer had a Verdict and Costs paid him; but notwithstanding these Advantages, the Law was so expensive, that he was ruined in the Contest, and obliged to give up all he had to his Creditors; which effectually answered the Purpose of Sir Timothy, who erected those Nuisances in the Farmer's Orchard with that Intention only. Ah, my dear Reader, we brag of Liberty, and boast of our Laws: but the Blessings of the one, and the Protection of the other, seldom fall to the Lot of the Poor; and especially when a rich Man is their Adversary. How, in the Name of Goodness, can a poor Wretch obtain Redress, when thirty Pounds are insufficient to try his Cause? Where is he to find Money to see Council, or how can he plead his Cause himself (even if he was permitted) when our Laws are so obscure, and so multiplied, that an Abridgment of them cannot be contained in fifty Volumes in Folio?
As soon as Mr. Meanwell had called together his Creditors, Sir Timothy seized for a Year's Rent, and turned the Farmer, his Wife, little Margery, and her Brother out of Doors, without any of the Necessaries of Life to support them.
This elated the Heart of Mr. Graspall, this crowned his Hopes, and filled the Measure of his Iniquity; for besides gratifying his Revenge, this Man's Overthrow gave him the sole Dominion of the Poor, whom he depressed and abused in a Manner too horrible to mention.
Margery's Father flew into another Parish for Succour, and all those who were able to move left their Dwellings and sought Employment elsewhere, as they found it would be impossible to live under the Tyranny of two such People. The very old, the very lame and the blind were obliged to stay behind, and whether they were starved, or what became of them, History does not say; but the Character of the great Sir Timothy, and his avaricious Tenant, were so infamous, that nobody would work for them by the Day, and Servants were afraid to engage themselves by the Year, lest any unforeseen Accident should leave them Parishioners in a Place, where they knew they must perish miserably; so that great Part of the Land lay untilled for some Years, which was deemed a just Reward for such diabolical Proceedings.
But what, says the Reader, can occasion all this? Do you intend this for Children, Mr. NEWBERY? Why, do you suppose this is written by Mr. NEWBERY, Sir? This may come from another Hand. This is not the Book, Sir, mentioned in the Title, but the Introduction to that Book; and it is intended, Sir, not for those Sort of Children, but for Children of six Feet high, of which, as my Friend has justly observed, there are many Millions in the Kingdom; and these Reflections, Sir, have been rendered necessary, by the unaccountable and diabolical Scheme which many Gentlemen now give into, of laying a Number of Farms into one, and very often of a whole Parish into one Farm; which in the End must reduce the common People to a State of Vassalage, worse than that under the Barons of old, or of the Clans in Scotland; and will in Time depopulate the Kingdom. But as you are tired of the Subject, I shall take myself away, and you may visit Little Margery. So, Sir, your Servant,
How and about Little Margery and her Brother.
Care and Discontent shortened the Days of Little Margery's Father.—He was forced from his Family, and seized with a violent Fever in a Place where Dr. James's Powder was not to be had, and where he died miserably. Margery's poor Mother survived the Loss of her Husband but a few Days, and died of a broken Heart, leaving Margery and her little Brother to the wide World; but, poor Woman, it would have melted your Heart to have seen how frequently she heaved up her Head, while she lay speechless, to survey with languishing Looks her little Orphans, as much as to say, Do Tommy, do Margery, come with me. They cried, poor Things, and she sighed away her Soul; and I hope is happy.
It would both have excited your Pity, and have done your Heart good, to have seen how fond these two little ones were of each other, and how, Hand in Hand, they trotted about. Pray see them.
They were both very ragged, and Tommy had two Shoes, but Margery had but one. They had nothing, poor Things, to support them (not being in their own Parish) but what they picked from the Hedges, or got from the poor People, and they lay every Night in a Barn. Their Relations took no Notice of them; no, they were rich, and ashamed to own such a poor little ragged Girl as Margery, and such a dirty little curl-pated Boy as Tommy. Our Relations and Friends seldom take Notice of us when we are poor; but as we grow rich they grow fond. And this will always be the Case, while People love Money better than Virtue, or better than they do GOD Almighty. But such wicked Folks, who love nothing but Money, and are proud and despise the Poor, never come to any good in the End, as we shall see by and by.
How and about Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith was a very worthy Clergyman, who lived in the Parish where Little Margery and Tommy were born; and having a Relation come to see him, who was a charitable good Man, he sent for these Children to him. The Gentleman ordered Little Margery a new Pair of Shoes, gave Mr. Smith some Money to buy her Cloathes; and said, he would take Tommy and make him a little Sailor; and accordingly had a Jacket and Trowsers made for him, in which he now appears. Pray look at him.
After some Days the Gentleman intended to go to London, and take little Tommy with him, of whom you will know more by and by, for we shall at a proper Time present you with some Part of his History, his Travels and Adventures.
The Parting between these two little Children was very affecting, Tommy cried, and Margery cried, and they kissed each other an hundred Times. At last Tommy thus wiped off her Tears with the End of his Jacket, and bid her cry no more, for that he would come to her again, when he returned from Sea. However, as they were so very fond, the Gentleman would not suffer them to take Leave of each other; but told Tommy he should ride out with him, and come back at Night. When night came, Little Margery grew very uneasy about her Brother, and after sitting up as late as Mr. Smith would let her, she went crying to Bed.
How Little Margery obtained the Name of Goody Two-Shoes, and what happened in the Parish.
As soon as Little Margery got up in the Morning, which was very early, she ran all round the Village, crying for her Brother; and after some Time returned greatly distressed. However, at this Instant, the Shoemaker very opportunely came in with the new Shoes, for which she had been measured by the Gentleman's Order.
Nothing could have supported Little Margery under the Affliction she was in for the Loss of her Brother, but the Pleasure she took in her two Shoes. She ran out to Mrs. Smith as soon as they were put on, and stroking down her ragged Apron thus, cried out, Two Shoes, Mame, see two Shoes. And so she behaved to all the People she met, and by that Means obtained the Name of Goody Two-Shoes, though her Playmates called her Old Goody Two-Shoes.
Little Margery was very happy in being with Mr. and Mrs. Smith, who were very charitable and good to her, and had agreed to breed her up with their Family; but as soon as that Tyrant of the Parish, that Graspall, heard of her being there, he applied first to Mr. Smith, and threatened to reduce his Tythes if he kept her; and after that he spoke to Sir Timothy, who sent Mr. Smith a peremptory Message by his Servant, that he should send back Meanwell's Girl to be kept by her Relations, and not harbour her in the Parish. This so distressed Mr. Smith that he shed Tears, and cried, Lord have Mercy on the Poor!
The Prayers of the Righteous fly upwards, and reach unto the Throne of Heaven, as will be seen in the Sequel.
Mrs. Smith was also greatly concerned at being thus obliged to discard poor Little Margery. She kissed her and cried; as also did Mr. Smith, but they were obliged to send her away; for the People who had ruined her Father could at any Time have ruined them.
How Little Margery learned to read, and by Degrees taught others.
Little Margery saw how good, and how wise Mr. Smith was, and concluded, that this was owing to his great Learning, therefore she wanted of all Things to learn to read. For this Purpose she used to meet the little Boys and Girls as they came from School, borrow their Books, and sit down and read till they returned;
By this Means she soon got more Learning than any of her Playmates, and laid the following Scheme for instructing those who were more ignorant than herself. She found, that only the following Letters were required to spell all the Words in the World; but as some of these Letters are large and some small, she with her Knife cut out of several Pieces of Wood ten Setts of each of these:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r (s) s t u v w x y z.
[Post-processor's note: (s) is an old-English style non-terminating letter "s".]
And six Setts of these:
A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
And having got an old Spelling-Book, she made her Companions set up all the Words they wanted to spell, and after that she taught them to compose Sentences. You know what a Sentence is, my Dear, I will be good, is a Sentence; and is made up, as you see, of several Words.
The usual Manner of Spelling, or carrying on the Game, as they called it, was this: Suppose the Word to be spelt was Plumb Pudding (and who can suppose a better) the Children were placed in a Circle, and the first brought the Letter P, the next l, the next u, the next m, and so on till the Whole was spelt; and if any one brought a wrong Letter, he was to pay a Fine, or play no more. This was at their Play; and every Morning she used to go round to teach the Children with these Rattle-traps in a Basket, as you see in the Print.
I once went her Rounds with her, and was highly diverted, as you may be, if you please to look into the next Chapter.
How Little Two-Shoes became a trotting Tutoress and how she taught her young Pupils.
It was about seven o'Clock in the Morning when we set out on this important Business, and the first House we came to was Farmer Wilson's. See here it is.
Here Margery stopped, and ran up to the Door, Tap, tap, tap. Who's there? Only little goody Two-Shoes, answered Margery, come to teach Billy. Oh Little Goody, says Mrs. Wilson, with Pleasure in her Face, I am glad to see you, Billy wants you sadly, for he has learned all his Lesson. Then out came the little Boy. How do doody Two-Shoes, says he, not able to speak plain. Yet this little Boy had learned all his Letters; for she threw down this Alphabet mixed together thus:
b d f h k m o q s u w y z [f] a c e g i l n p r t v x j
and he picked them up, called them by their right Names, and put them all in order thus:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r (s) s t u v w x y z.
[Post-processor's note: (s) is an old-English style non-terminating letter "s".]
She then threw down the Alphabet of Capital Letters in the Manner you here see them.
B D F H K M O Q S U W Y Z A C E G I L N P R T V X J.
and he picked them all up, and having told their Names, placed them thus:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
Now, pray little Reader, take this Bodkin, and see if you can point out the Letters from these mixed Alphabets, and tell how they should be placed as well as little Boy Billy.
The next Place we came to was Farmer Simpson's, and here it is.
Bow wow, wow, says the Dog at the Door. Sirrah, says his Mistress, what do you bark at Little Two-Shoes. Come in Madge; here, Sally wants you sadly, she has learned all her Lesson. Then out came the little one: So Madge! say she; so Sally! answered the other, have you learned your Lesson? Yes, that's what I have, replied the little one in the Country Manner; and immediately taking the Letters she set up these Syllables:
ba be bi bo bu, ca ce ci co cu da de di do du, fa fe fi so fu.
and gave them their exact Sounds as she composed them; after which she set up the following;
ac ec ic oc uc, ad ed id od ud af ef if of uf, ag eg ig og ug.
And pronounced them likewise. She then sung the Cuzz's Chorus (which may be found in the Little Pretty Play Thing, published by Mr. NEWBERY) and to the same Tune to which it is there set.
After this, Little Two-Shoes taught her to spell Words of one Syllable, and she soon set up Pear, Plumb. Top, Ball, Pin, Puss, Dog, Hog, Fawn, Buck, Doe, Lamb, Sheep, Ram, Cow, Bull, Cock, Hen, and many more.
The next Place we came to was Gaffer Cook's Cottage; there you see it before you.
Here a number of poor Children were met to learn; who all came round Little Margery at once; and, having pulled out her Letters, she asked the little Boy next her, what he had for Dinner? Who answered, Bread. (the poor Children in many Places live very hard) Well then, says she, set the first Letter. He put up the Letter B, to which the next added r, and the next e, the next a, the next d, and it stood thus, Bread.
And what had you Polly Comb for your Dinner? Apple-pye answered the little Girl: Upon which the next in Turn set up a great A, the two next a p each, and so on till the two Words Apple and Pye were united and stood thus, Apple-pye.
The next had Potatoes, the next Beef and Turnip which were spelt with many others, till the Game of Spelling was finished. She then set them another Task, and we proceeded.
The next Place we came to was Farmer Thompson's, where there were a great many little ones waiting for her.
So little Mrs. Goody Two-Shoes, says one of them, where have you been so long? I have been teaching, says she, longer than I intended, and am afraid I am come too soon for you now. No, but indeed you are not, replied the other; for I have got my Lesson, and so has Sally Dawson, and so has Harry Wilson, and so we have all; and they capered about as if they were overjoyed to see her. Why then, says she, you are all very good, and GOD Almighty will love you; so let us begin our Lessons. They all huddled round her, and though at the other Place they were employed about Words and Syllables, here we had People of much greater Understanding who dealt only in Sentences.
The Letters being brought upon the Table, one of the little ones set up the following Sentence.
The Lord have Mercy upon me, and grant that I may be always good, and say my Prayers, and love the Lord my God with all my Heart, with all my Soul, and with all my Strength; and honour the King, and all good Men in Authority under him.
Then the next took the Letters, and composed this Sentence.
Lord have Mercy upon me, and grant that I may love my Neighbour as myself, and do unto all Men as I would have them do unto me, and tell no Lies; but be honest and just in all my Dealings.
The third composed the following Sentence.
The Lord have Mercy upon me, and grant that I may honour my Father and Mother, and love my Brothers and Sisters, Relations and Friends, and all my Playmates, and every Body, and endeavour to make them happy.
The fourth composed the following.
I pray GOD to bless this whole Company, and all our Friends, and all our Enemies.
To this last Polly Sullen objected, and said, truly, she did not know why she should pray for her Enemies? Not pray for your Enemies, says Little Margery; yes, you must, you are no Christian, if you don't forgive your Enemies, and do Good for Evil. Polly still pouted; upon which Little Margery said, though she was poor, and obliged to lie in a Barn, she would not keep Company with such a naughty, proud, perverse Girl as Polly; and was going away; however the Difference was made up, and she set them to compose the following
For the CONDUCT of LIFE.
He that will thrive, Must rise by Five. He that hath thriv'n, May lie till Seven. Truth may be blam'd, But cannot be sham'd. Tell me with whom you go; And I'll tell what you do. A Friend in your Need, Is a Friend indeed. They ne'er can be wise, Who good Counsel despise.
A wise Head makes a close Mouth. Don't burn your Lips with another Man's Broth. Wit is Folly, unless a wise Man hath the keeping of it. Use soft Words and hard Arguments. Honey catches more Flies than Vinegar. To forget a Wrong is the best Revenge. Patience is a Plaister for all Sores. Where Pride goes, Shame will follow. When Vice enters the Room, Vengeance is near the Door. Industry is Fortune's right Hand, and Frugality her left. Make much of Three-pence, or you ne'er will be worth a Groat.
A Lie stands upon one Leg, but Truth upon two. When a Man talks much, believe but half what he says. Fair Words butter no Parsnips. Bad Company poisons the Mind. A covetous Man is never satisfied. Abundance, like Want, ruins many. Contentment is the best Fortune. A contented Mind is a continual Feast.
A LESSON in Religion.
Love GOD, for he is good. Fear GOD, for he is just. Pray to GOD, for all good Things come from him. Praise GOD, for great is his Mercy towards us, and wonderful are all his Works. Those who strive to be good, have GOD on their Side. Those who have GOD for their Friend, shall want nothing. Confess your Sins to GOD, and if you repent he will forgive you. Remember that all you do, is done in the Presence of GOD. The Time will come, my Friends, when we must give Account to GOD, how we on Earth did live.
A Moral LESSON.
A good Boy will make a good Man. Honour your Parents, and the World will honour you. Love your Friends, and your Friends will love you. He that swims in Sin, will sink in Sorrow. Learn to live, as you would wish to die. As you expect all Men should deal by you: So deal by them, and give each Man his Due.
As we were returning Home, we saw a Gentleman, who was very ill, sitting under a shady Tree at the Corner of his Rookery. Though ill, he began to joke with Little Margery, and said, laughingly, so, Goody Two-Shoes, they tell me you are a cunning little Baggage; pray, can you tell me what I shall do to get well? Yes, Sir, says she, go to Bed when your Rooks do. You see they are going to Rest already:
Do you so likewise, and get up with them in the morning; earn, as they do, every Day what you eat, and eat and drink no more than you earn; and you'll get Health and keep it. What should induce the Rooks to frequent Gentlemens Houses only, but to tell them how to lead a prudent Life? They never build over Cottages or Farm-houses, because they see, that these People know how to live without their Admonition.
Thus Health and Wit you may improve, Taught by the Tenants of the Grove.
The Gentleman laughing gave Margery Sixpence; and told her she was a sensible Hussey.
How the whole Parish was frighted.
Who does not know Lady Ducklington, or who does not know that she was buried at this Parish Church?
Well, I never saw so grand a Funeral in all my Life; but the Money they squandered away, would have been better laid out in little Books for Children, or in Meat, Drink, and Cloaths for the Poor.
This if a fine Hearse indeed, and the nodding Plumes on the Horses look very grand; but what End does that answer, otherwise than to display the Pride of the Living, or the Vanity of the Dead. Fie upon such Folly, say I, and Heaven grant that those who want more Sense may have it.
But all the Country round came to see the Burying, and it was late before the Corpse was interred. After which, in the Night, or rather about Four o'Clock in the Morning, the Bells were heard to jingle in the Steeple, which frightened the People prodigiously, who all thought it was Lady Ducklington's Ghost dancing among the Bell-ropes. The People flocked to Will Dobbins the Clerk, and wanted him to go and see what it was; but William said, he was sure it was a Ghost, and that he would not offer to open the Door. At length Mr. Long the Rector, hearing such an Uproar in the Village, went to the Clerk, to know why he did not go into the Church; and see who was there. I go, Sir, says William, why the Ghost would frighten me out of my Wits.—Mrs. Dobbins too cried, and laying hold of her Husband said, he should not be eat up by the Ghost. A Ghost, you Blockheads, says Mr. Long in a Pet, did either of you ever see a Ghost, or know any Body that did? Yes, says the Clerk, my Father did once in the Shape of a Windmill, and it walked all round the Church in a white Sheet, with Jack Boots on, and had a Gun by its Side instead of a Sword. A fine Picture of a Ghost truly, says Mr. Long, give me the Key of the Church, you Monkey; for I tell you there is no such Thing now, whatever may have been formerly.—Then taking the Key, he went to the Church, all the people following him. As soon as he had opened the Door, what Sort of a Ghost do ye think appeared? Why Little Two-Shoes, who being weary, had fallen asleep in one of the Pews during the Funeral Service, and was shut in all Night. She immediately asked Mr. Long's Pardon for the Trouble she had given him, told him, she had been locked into the Church, and said, she should not have rung the Bells, but that she was very cold, and hearing Farmer Boult's Man go whistling by with his Horses, she was in Hopes he would have went to the Clerk for the Key to let her out.
Containing an Account of all the Spirits, or Ghosts, she saw in the Church.
The People were ashamed to ask Little Madge any Questions before Mr. Long, but as soon as he was gone, they all got round her to satisfy their Curiousity, and desired she would give them a particular Account of all that she had heard and seen.
I went to the Church, said she, as most of you did last Night, to see the Burying, and being very weary, I sate me down in Mr. Jones's Pew, and fell fast asleep. At Eleven of the Clock I awoke; which I believe was in some measure occasioned by the Clock's striking, for I heard it. I started up, and could not at first tell where I was; but after some Time I recollected the Funeral, and soon found that I was shut in the Church. It was dismal dark, and I could see nothing; but while I was standing in the Pew, something jumped up upon me behind, and laid, as I thought, its Hands over my Shoulders.—I own, I was a little afraid at first; however, I considered that I had always been constant at Prayers and at Church, and that I had done nobody any Harm, but had endeavoured to do what Good I could; and then, thought I, what have I to fear? yet I kneeled down to say my Prayers. As soon as I was on my Knees something very cold, as cold as Marble, ay, as cold as Ice, touched my Neck, which made me start; however, I continued my Prayers, and having begged Protection from Almighty GOD, I found my Spirits come, and I was sensible that I had nothing to fear; for GOD Almighty protects not only all those who are good, but also all those who endeavour to be good.—Nothing can withstand the Power, and exceed the Goodness of GOD Almighty. Armed with the Confidence of his Protection, I walked down the Church Isle, when I heard something, pit pat, pit pat, pit pat, come after me, and something touched my Hand, which seemed as cold as a Marble Monument. I could not think what this was, yet I knew it could not hurt me, and therefore I made myself easy, but being very cold, and the Church being paved with Stone, which was very damp, I felt my Way as well as I could to the Pulpit, in doing which something brushed by me, and almost threw me down. However I was not frightened, for I knew, that GOD Almighty would suffer nothing to hurt me.
At last, I found out the Pulpit, and having shut too the Door, I laid me down on the Mat and Cushion to sleep; when something thrust and pulled the Door, as I thought for Admittance, which prevented my going to sleep. At last it cries, Bow, wow, wow; and I concluded it must be Mr. Saunderson's Dog, which had followed me from their House to Church, so I opened the Door, and called Snip, Snip, and the Dog jumped up upon me immediately. After this Snip and I lay down together, and had a most comfortable Nap; for when I awoke again it was almost light. I then walked up and down all the Isles of the Church to keep myself warm; and though I went into the Vault, and trod on Lady Ducklington's Coffin, I saw no Ghost, and I believe it was owing to the Reason Mr. Long has given you, namely, that there is no such Thing to be seen. As to my Part, I would as soon lie all Night in the Church as in any other Place; and I am sure that any little Boy or Girl, who is good, and loves GOD Almighty, and keeps his Commandments, may as safely lie in the Church, or the Church-yard, as any where else, if they take Care not to get Cold; for I am sure there are no Ghosts, either to hurt, or to frighten them; though any one possessed of Fear might have taken Neighbour Saunderson's Dog with his cold Nose for a Ghost; and if they had not been undeceived, as I was, would never have thought otherwise. All the Company acknowledged the Justness of the Observation, and thanked Little Two-Shoes for her Advice.
After this, my dear Children, I hope you will not believe any foolish Stories that ignorant, weak, or designing People may tell you about Ghosts; for the Tales of Ghosts, Witches, and Fairies, are the Frolicks of a distempered Brain. No wise Man ever saw either of them. Little Margery you see was not afraid; no, she had good Sense, and a good Conscience, which is a Cure for all these imaginary Evils.
Of something which happened to Little Two-Shoes in a Barn, more dreadful than the Ghost in the Church; and how she returned Good for Evil to her Enemy Sir Timothy.
Some Days after this a more dreadful Accident befel Little Madge. She happened to be coming late from teaching, when it rained, thundered, and lightened, and therefore she took Shelter in a Farmer's Barn at a Distance from the Village. Soon after, the Tempest drove in four Thieves, who, not seeing such a little creep-mouse Girl as Two-Shoes, lay down on the Hay next to her, and began to talk over their Exploits, and to settle Plans for future Robberies. Little Margery on hearing them, covered herself with Straw. To be sure she was sadly frighted, but her good Sense taught her, that the only Security she had was in keeping herself concealed; therefore she laid very still, and breathed very softly. About Four o'Clock these wicked People came to a Resolution to break both Sir William Dove's House, and Sir Timothy Gripe's, and by Force of Arms to carry off all their Money, Plate and Jewels; but as it was thought then too late, they agreed to defer it till the next Night. After laying this Scheme they all set out upon their Pranks, which greatly rejoiced Margery, as it would any other little Girl in her Situation. Early in the Morning she went to Sir William, and told him the whole of their Conversation. Upon which, he asked her Name, gave her Something, and bid her call at his House the Day following. She also went to Sir Timothy notwithstanding standing he had used her so ill; for she knew it was her Duty to do Good for Evil. As soon as he was informed who she was, he took no Notice of her; upon which she desired to speak to Lady Gripe; and having informed her Ladyship of the Affair, she went her Way. This Lady had more Sense than her Husband, which indeed is not a singular Case; for instead of despising Little Margery and her Information, she privately set People to guard the House. The Robbers divided themselves, and went about the Time mentioned to both Houses, and were surprized by the Guards, and taken. Upon examining these Wretches, one of which turned Evidence, both Sir William and Sir Timothy found that they owed their Lives to the Discovery made by Little Margery, and the first took great Notice of her, and would no longer let her lie in a Barn; but Sir Timothy only said, that he was ashamed to owe his Life to the Daughter of one who was his Enemy; so true it is, that a proud Man seldom forgives those he has injured.
How Little Margery was made Principal of a Country College.
Mrs. Williams, of whom I have given a particular Account in my New Year's Gift, and who kept a College for instructing little Gentlemen and Ladies in the Science of A, B, C, was at this Time very old and infirm, and wanted to decline that important Trust. This being told to Sir William Dove, who lived in the Parish, he sent for Mrs. Williams, and desired she would examine Little Two-Shoes, and see whether she was qualified for the Office.——This was done, and Mrs. Williams made the following Report in her Favour, namely, that Little Margery was the best Scholar, and had the best Head, and the best Heart of any one she had examined. All the Country had a great Opinion of Mrs. Williams, and this Character gave them also a great Opinion of Mrs. Margery; for so we must now call her.
This Mrs. Margery thought the happiest Period of her Life; but more Happiness was in Store for her. GOD Almighty heaps up Blessings for all those who love him, and though for a Time he may suffer them to be poor and distressed, and hide his good Purposes from human Sight, yet in the End they are generally crowned with Happiness here, and no one can doubt of their being so hereafter.
On this Occasion the following Hymn, or rather a Translation of the twenty-third Psalm, is said to have been written, and was soon after published in the Spectator.
The Lord my Pasture shall prepare, And feed me with a Shepherd's Care: His Presence shall my Wants supply, And guard me with a watchful Eye; My Noon-day Walks he shall attend, And all my Midnight Hours defend.
When in the sultry Glebe I faint, Or on the thirsty Mountain pant; To fertile Vales and dewy Meads, My weary wand'ring Steps he leads; Where peaceful Rivers, soft and slow, Amid the verdant Landskip flow.
Tho' in the Paths of Death I tread, With gloomy Horrors overspread, My stedfast Heart shall fear no ill, For thou, O Lord, art with me still; Thy friendly Crook shall give me Aid, And guide me thro' the dreadful Shade.
Tho' in a bare and rugged Way, Thro' devious lonely Wilds I stray, Thy Bounty shall my Pains beguile: The barren Wilderness shall smile, With sudden Greens & herbage crown'd, And Streams shall murmur all around.
Here ends the History of Little Two Shoes. Those who would know how she behaved after she came to be Mrs. Margery Two-Shoes must read the Second Part of this Work, in which an Account of the Remainder of her Life, her Marriage, and Death are set forth at large, according to Act of Parliament.
Mrs. MARGERY TWO-SHOES.
—————————— PART II. ——————————
In the first Part of this Work, the young Student has read, and I hope with Pleasure and Improvement, the History of this Lady, while she was known and distinguished by the Name of Little Two-Shoes; we are now come to a Period of her Life when that Name was discarded, and a more eminent one bestowed upon her, I mean I mean that of Mrs. Margery Two-Shoes: For as she was now President of the A, B, C College, it became necessary to exalt her in Title as well as in Place.
No sooner was she settled in this Office, but she laid every possible Scheme to promote the Welfare and Happiness of all her Neighbours, and especially of the Little Ones, in whom she took great Delight, and all those whose Parents could not afford to pay for their Education, she taught for nothing, but the Pleasure she had in their Company, for you are to observe, that they were very good, or were soon made so by her good Management.
Of her School, her Ushers, or Assistants, and her Manner of Teaching.
We have already informed the Reader, that the School where she taught, was that which was before kept by Mrs. Williams, whose Character you may find in my New Year's Gift. The Room was large, and as she knew, that Nature intended Children should be always in Action, she placed her different Letters, or Alphabets, all round the School, so that every one was obliged to get up to fetch a Letter, or to spell a Word, when it came to their Turn; which not only kept them in Health, but fixed the Letters and Points firmly in their Minds.
She had the following Assistants or Ushers to help her, and I will tell you how she came by them. Mrs. Margery, you must know, was very humane and compassionate; and her Tenderness extended not only to all Mankind, but even to all Animals that were not noxious; as your's ought to do, if you would be happy here, and go to Heaven hereafter. These are GOD Almighty's Creatures as well as we. He made both them and us; and for wise Purposes, best known to himself, placed them in this World to live among us; so that they are our fellow Tenants of the Globe. How then can People dare to torture and wantonly destroy GOD Almighty's Creatures? They as well as you are capable of feeling Pain, and of receiving Pleasure, and how can you, who want to be made happy yourself, delight in making your fellow Creatures miserable? Do you think the poor Birds, whose Nest and young ones that wicked Boy Dick Wilson ran away with Yesterday, do not feel as much Pain, as your Father and Mother would have felt, had any one pulled down their House and ran away with you? To be sure they do. Mrs. Two-Shoes used to speak of those Things, and of naughty Boys throwing at Cocks, torturing Flies, and whipping Horses and Dogs, with Tears in her Eyes, and would never suffer any one to come to her School who did so.
One Day, as she was going through the next Village, she met with some wicked Boys who had got a young Raven, which they were going to throw at, she wanted to get the poor Creature out of their cruel Hands, and therefore gave them a Penny for him, and brought him home. She called his Name Ralph, and a fine Bird he is. Do look at him and remember what Solomon says, The Eye that despiseth his Father, and regardeth not the Distress of his Mother, the Ravens of the Valley shall peck it out, and the young Eagles eat it. Now this Bird she taught to speak, to spell and to read; and as he was particularly fond of playing with the large Letters, the Children used to call this Ralph'a Alphabet.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
He always sat at her Elbow, as you see in the first Picture, and when any of the Children were wrong, she used to call out, Put them right Ralph, and a fine bird he is. Do look at him.
Some Days after she had met with the Raven, as she was walking in the Fields, she saw some naughty Boys, who had taken a Pidgeon, and tied a String to its Leg, in order to let it fly, and draw it back again when they pleased; and by this Means they tortured the poor Animal with the Hopes of Liberty and repeated Disappointment. This Pidgeon she also bought, and taught him how to spell and read, though not to talk, and he performed all those extraordinary Things which are recorded of the famous Bird, that was some Time since advertised in the Haymarket, and visited by most of the great People in the Kingdom. This Pidgeon was a very pretty Fellow, and she called him Tom. See here he is.
And as the Raven Ralph was fond of the large Letters, Tom the Pidgeon took Care of the small ones, of which he composed this Alphabet.
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.
The Neighbours knowing that Mrs. Two Shoes was very good, as to be sure nobody was better, made her a Present of a little Sky-lark, and a fine Bird he is.
Now as many People, even at that Time had learned to lie in Bed long in the Morning, she thought the Lark might be of Use to her and her Pupils, and tell them when to get up.
For be that is fond of his Bed, and lays 'till Noon, lives but half his Days, the rest being lost in Sleep, which is a Kind of Death.
Some Time after this a poor Lamb had lost its Dam, and the Farmer being about to kill it, she bought it of him, and brought it home with her to play with the Children, and teach them when to go to Bed; for it was a Rule with the wise Men of that Age (and a very good one, let me tell you) to
Rise with the Lark, and lie down with the Lamb.
This Lamb she called Will, and a pretty Fellow he is; do, look at him.
No sooner was Tippy the Lark and Will the Ba-lamb brought into the School, but that sensible Rogue Ralph, the Raven, composed the following Verse, which every little good Boy and Girl should get by Heart.
Early to Bed, and early to rise; Is the Way to be healthy, and wealthy, and wise.
A sly Rogue; but it is true enough; for those who do not go to Bed early cannot rise early; and those who do not rise early cannot do much Business. Pray, let this be told at the Court, and to People who have Routs and Rackets.
Soon after this, a Present was made to Mrs. Margery of little Dog Jumper, and a pretty Dog he is. Pray, look at him.
Jumper, Jumper, Jumper! He is always in a good Humour, and playing and jumping about, and therefore he was called Jumper. The Place assigned for Jumper was that of keeping the Door, so that he may be called the Porter of the College, for he would let nobody go out, or any one come in, without the Leave of his Mistress. See how he sits, a saucy Rogue.
Billy the Ba-lamb was a chearful Fellow, and all the Children were fond of him, wherefore Mrs. Two-Shoes made it a Rule, that those who behaved best should have Will home with them at Night to carry their Satchel or Basket at his Back, and bring it in the Morning. See what a fine Fellow he is, and how he trudges along.
A Scene of Distress; in the School.
It happened one Day, when Mrs. Two-Shoes was diverting the Children after Dinner, as she usually did with some innocent Games, or entertaining and instructive Stories, that a Man arrived with the melancholy News of Sally Jones's Father being thrown from his Horse, and thought past all Recovery; nay, the Messenger said, that he was seemingly dying, when he came away. Poor Sally was greatly distressed, as indeed were all the School, for she dearly loved her Father, and Mrs. Two-Shoes, and all the Children dearly loved her. It is generally said, that we never know the real Value of our Parents or Friends till we have lost them; but poor Sally felt this by Affection, and her Mistress knew it by Experience. All the School were in Tears, and the Messenger was obliged to return; but before he went, Mrs. Two-Shoes, unknown to the Children, ordered Tom Pidgeon to go home with the Man, and bring a Letter to inform her how Mr. Jones did. They set out together, and the Pidgeon rode on the Man's Head, (as you see here) for the Man was able to carry the Pidgeon, though the Pidgeon was not able to carry the Man, if he had, they would have been there much sooner, for Tom Pidgeon was very good, and never staid on an Errand.
Soon after the Man was gone the Pidgeon was lost, and the Concern the Children were under for Mr. Jones and little Sally was in some Measure diverted, and Part of their Attention turned after Tom, who was a great Favourite, and consequently much bewailed. Mrs. Margery, who knew the great Use and Necessity of teaching Children to submit chearfully to the Will of Providence, bid them wipe away their Tears, and then kissing Sally, you must be a good Girl, says she, and depend upon GOD Almighty for his Blessing and Protection; for he is a Father to the Fatherless, and defendeth all those who put their Trust in him. She then told them a Story, which I shall relate in as few Words as possible.
The History of Mr. Lovewell, Father to Lady Lucy.
Mr. Lovewell was born at Bath, and apprenticed to a laborious Trade in London, which being too hard for him, he parted with his Master by Consent, and hired himself as a common Servant to a Merchant in the City. Here he spent his leisure Hours not as Servants too frequently do, in Drinking and Schemes of Pleasure, but in improving his Mind; and among other Acquirements, he made himself a complete Master of Accompts. His Sobriety, Honesty, and the Regard he paid to his Master's Interest, greatly recommended him in the whole Family, and he had several Offices of Trust committed to his Charge, in which he acquitted himself so well, that the Merchant removed him from the Stable into the Counting-house.
Here he soon made himself Master of the Business, and became so useful to the Merchant, that in regard to his faithful Services, and the Affection he had for him, he married him to his own Niece, a prudent agreeable young Lady; and gave him a Share in the Business. See what Honesty and Industry will do for us. Half the great Men in London, I am told, have made themselves by this Means, and who would but be honest and industrious, when it is so much our Interest and our Duty.
After some Years the Merchant died, and left Mr. Lovewell possessed of many fine Ships at Sea, and much Money, and he was happy in a Wife, who had brought him a Son and two Daughters, all dutiful and obedient. The Treasures and good Things, however, of this Life are so uncertain, that a Man can never be happy, unless he lays the Foundation for it in his own Mind. So true is that Copy in our Writing Books, which tells us, that a contented Mind is a continual Feast.
After some Years successful Trade, he thought his Circumstances sufficient to insure his own Ships, or, in other Words, to send his Ships and Goods to Sea without being insured by others, as is customary among Merchants; when, unfortunately for him, four of them richly laden were lost at Sea. This he supported with becoming Resolution; but the next Mail brought him Advice, that nine others were taken by the French, with whom we were then at War; and this, together with the Failure of three foreign Merchants whom he had trusted, compleated his Ruin. He was then obliged to call his Creditors together, who took his Effects, and being angry with him for the imprudent Step of not insuring his Ships, left him destitute of all Subsistence. Nor did the Flatterers of his Fortune, those who had lived by his Bounty when in his Prosperity, pay the least Regard either to him or his Family. So true is another Copy, that you will find in your Writing Book, which says, Misfortune tries our Friends. All these Slights of his pretended Friends, and the ill Usage of his Creditors, both he and his Family bore with Christian Fortitude; but other Calamities fell upon him, which he felt more sensibly.
In his Distress, one of his Relations, who lived at Florence, offered to take his Son; and another, who lived at Barbadoes, sent for one of his Daughters. The Ship which his Son sailed in was cast away, and all the Crew supposed to be lost; and the Ship, in which his Daughter went a Passenger, was taken by Pyrates, and one Post brought the miserable Father an Account of the Loss of his two Children. This was the severest Stroke of all: It made him compleatly wretched, and he knew it must have a dreadful Effect on his Wife and Daughter; he therefore endeavoured to conceal it from them. But the perpetual Anxiety he was in, together with the Loss of his Appetite and Want of Rest, soon alarmed his Wife. She found something was labouring in his Breast, which was concealed from her; and one Night being disturbed in a Dream, with what was ever in his Thoughts, and calling out upon his dear Children; she awoke him, and insisted upon knowing the Cause of his Inquietude. Nothing, my Dear, nothing, says he, The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. This was sufficient to alarm the poor Woman; she lay till his Spirits were composed, and as she thought asleep, then stealing out of Bed, got the Keys and opened his Bureau, where she found the fatal Account. In the Height of her Distractions, she flew to her Daughter's Room, and waking her with her Shrieks, put the Letters into her Hands. The young Lady, unable to support this Load of Misery, fell into a Fit, from which it was thought she never could have been recovered. However, at last she revived; but the Shock was so great, that it entirely deprived her of her Speech.
Thus loaded with Misery, and unable to bear the Slights and Disdain of those who had formerly professed themselves Friends, this unhappy Family retired into a Country, where they were unknown, in order to hide themselves from the World; when, to support their Independency, the Father laboured as well as he could at Husbandry, and the Mother and Daughter sometimes got spinning and knitting Work, to help to furnish the Means of Subsistence; which however was so precarious and uncertain, that they often, for many Weeks together, lived on nothing but Cabbage and Bread boiled in Water. But God never forsaketh the Righteous, nor suffereth those to perish who put their Trust in him. At this Time a Lady, who was just come to England, sent to take a pleasant Seat ready furnished in that Neighbourhood, and the Person who was employed for the Purpose, was ordered to deliver a Bank Note of an hundred Pounds to Mr. Lovewell, another hundred to his Wife, and fifty to the Daughter, desiring them to take Possession of the House, and get it well aired against she came down, which would be in two or three Days at most. This, to People who were almost starving, was a sweet and seasonable Relief, and they were all sollicitous to know their Benefactress, but of that the Messenger himself was too ignorant to inform them. However, she came down sooner than was expected, and with Tears embraced them again and again: After which she told the Father and Mother she had heard from their Daughter, who was her Acquaintance, and that she was well and on her Return to England. This was the agreeable Subject of their Conversation till after Dinner, when drinking their Healths, she again with Tears saluted them, and falling upon her Knees asked their Blessings.
Tis impossible to express the mutual Joy which this occasioned. Their Conversation was made up of the most endearing Expressions, intermingled with Tears and Caresses. Their Torrent of Joy, however, was for a Moment interrupted, by a Chariot which stopped at the Gate, and which brought as they thought a very unseasonable Visitor, and therefore she sent to be excused from seeing Company.
But this had no Effect, for a Gentleman richly dressed jumped out of the Chariot, and pursuing the Servant into the Parlour saluted them round, who were all astonished at his Behaviour. But when the Tears trickled from his Cheeks, the Daughter, who had been some Years dumb, immediately cried out, my Brother! my Brother! my Brother! and from that Instant recovered her Speech. The mutual Joy which this occasioned, is better felt than expressed. Those who have proper Sentiments of Humanity, Gratitude, and filial Piety will rejoice at the Event, and those who have a proper Idea of the Goodness of God, and his gracious Providence, will from this, as well as other Instances of his Goodness and Mercy, glorify his holy Name, and magnify his Wisdom and Power, who is a Shield to the Righteous, and defendeth all those who put their Trust in him.
As you, my dear Children, may be sollicitous to know how this happy Event was brought about, I must inform you, that Mr. Lovewell's Son, when the Ship foundered, had with some others got into the long Boat, and was taken up by a Ship at Sea, and carried to the East Indies, where in a little Time he made a large Fortune; and the Pirates who took his Daughter, attempted to rob her of her Chastity; but finding her Inflexible, and determined to die rather than to submit, some of them behaved to her in a very cruel Manner; but others, who had more Honour and Generosity, became her Defenders; upon which a Quarrel arose between them, and the Captain, who was the worst of the Gang, being killed, the rest of the Crew carried the Ship into a Port of the Manilla Islands, belonging to the Spaniards; where, when her Story was known, she was treated with great Respect, and courted by a young Gentleman, who was taken ill of a Fever, and died before the Marriage was agreed on, but left her his whole Fortune.
You see, my dear Sally, how wonderfully these People were preserved, and made happy after such extreme Distress; we are therefore never to despair, even under the greatest Misfortunes, for GOD Almighty is All-powerful and can deliver us at any Time. Remember Job, but I think you have not read so far, take the Bible, Billy Jones, and read the History of that good and patient Man. At this Instant something was heard to slap at the Window, Wow, wow, wow, says Jumper, and attempted to leap up and open the Door, at which the Children were surprized; but Mrs. Margery knowing what it was, opened the Casement, as Noah did the Window of the Ark, and drew in Tom Pidgeon with a Letter, and see here he is.
As soon as he was placed on the Table, he walked up to little Sally, and dropping the Letter, cried, Co, Co, Coo, as much as to say, there read it. Now this poor Pidgeon had travelled fifty Miles in about an Hour, to bring Sally this Letter, and who would destroy such pretty Creatures.—But let us read the Letter.
My dear Sally,
GOD Almighty has been very merciful, and restored your Pappa to us again, who is now so well as to be able to sit up. I hear you are a good Girl, my Dear, and I hope you will never forget to praise the Lord for this his great Goodness and Mercy to us—What a sad Thing it would have been if your Father had died, and left both you and me, and little Tommy in Distress, and without a Friend: Your Father sends his Blessing with mine—Be good, my dear Child, and God Almighty will also bless you, whose Blessing is above all Things.
I am, my Dear Sally,
Your ever affectionate Mother,
Of the amazing Sagacity and Instincts of a little Dog.
Soon after this, a dreadful Accident happened in the School. It was on a Thursday Morning, I very well remember, when the Children having learned their Lessons soon, she had given them Leave to play, and they were all running about the School, and diverting themselves with the Birds and the Lamb; at this Time the Dog, all of a sudden, laid hold of his Mistress's Apron, and endeavoured to pull her out of the School. She was at first surprized, however, she followed him to see what he intended. No sooner had he led her into the Garden, but he ran back, and pulled out one of the Children in the same manner; upon which she ordered them all to leave the School immediately, and they had not been out five Minutes, before the Top of the House fell in. What a miraculous Deliverance was here! How gracious! How good was God Almighty, to save all these Children from Destruction, and to make Use of such an Instrument, as a little sagacious Animal to accomplish his Divine Will. I should have observed, that as soon as they were all in the Garden, the Dog came leaping round them to express his Joy, and when the House was fallen, laid himself down quietly by his Mistress.
Some of the Neighbours, who saw the School fall, and who were in great Pain for Margery and the little ones, soon spread the News through the Village, and all the Parents, terrified for their Children, came crowding in Abundance; they had, however, the Satisfaction to find them all safe, and upon their Knees, with their Mistress, giving God thanks for their happy Deliverance.
ADVICE from the MAN in the MOON.
Jumper, Jumper, Jumper, what a pretty Dog he is, and how sensible? Had Mankind half the Sagacity of Jumper, they would guard against Accidents of this Sort, by having a public Survey, occasionally made of all the Houses in every Parish (especially of those, which are old and decayed) and not suffer them to remain in a crazy State, 'till they fall down on the Heads of the poor Inhabitants, and crush them to Death. Why, it was but Yesterday, that a whole House fell down in Grace-church-street, and another in Queen's-street, and an hundred more are to tumble, before this Time twelve Months; so Friends, take Care of yourselves, and tell the Legislature, they ought to take Care for you. How can you be so careless? Most of your Evils arise from Carelesness and Extravagance, and yet you excuse yourselves, and lay the Fault upon Fortune. Fortune is a Fool, and you are a Blockhead, if you put it in her Power to play Tricks with you.
The MAN in the MOON.
You are not to wonder, my dear Reader, that this little Dog should have more Sense than you, or your Father, or your Grandfather.
Though God Almighty has made Man the Lord of the Creation, and endowed him with Reason, yet in many Respects, he has been altogether as bountiful to other Creatures of his forming. Some of the Senses of other Animals are more acute than ours, as we find by daily Experience. You know this little Bird, sweet Jug, Jug, Jug, 'tis a Nightingale. This little Creature, after she has entertained us with her Songs all the Spring, and bred up her little ones, flies into a foreign Country, and finds her Way over the Great Sea, without any of the Instruments and Helps which Men are obliged to make Use of for that Purpose. Was you as wise as the Nightingale, you might make all the Sailors happy, and have twenty thousand Pounds for teaching them the Longitude.
You would not think Ralph the Raven half so wise and so good as he is, though you see him here reading his book. Yet when the Prophet Elijah, was obliged to fly from Ahab King of Israel, and hide himself in a Cave, the Ravens, at the Command of God Almighty, fed him every Day, and preserved his Life.
And the Word of the Lord came unto Elijah, saying, Hide thyself by the Brook Cherith, that is before Jordan, and I have commanded the Ravens to feed thee there. And the Ravens brought him Bread and Flesh in the Morning, and Bread and Flesh in the Evening, and he drank of the Brook, Kings, B.I.C. 17.
And the pretty Pidgeon when the World was drowned, and he was confined with Noah in the Ark, was sent forth by him to see whether the Waters were abated, And he sent forth a Dove from him, to see if the Waters were abated from off the Face of the Ground. And the Dove came in to him in the Evening, and lo, in her Mouth was an Olive Leaf plucked off: So Noah knew that the Waters were abated from off the Earth. Gen. viii. 8. 11.
As these, and other Animals, are so sensible and kind to us, we ought to be tender and good to them, and not beat them about, and kill them, and take away their young ones, as many wicked Boys do. Does not the Horse and the Ass carry you and your burthens; don't the Ox plough your Ground, the Cow give you Milk, the Sheep cloath your Back, the Dog watch your House, the Goose find you in Quills to write with, the Hen bring Eggs for your Custards and Puddings, and the Cock call you up in the Morning, when you are lazy, and like to hurt yourselves by laying too long in Bed? If so, how can you be so cruel to them, and abuse God Almighty's good Creatures? Go, naughty Boy, go; be sorry for what you have done, and do so no more, that God Almighty may forgive you. Amen, say I, again and again. God will bless you, but not unless you are merciful and good.
The downfal of the School, was a great Misfortune to Mrs. Margery; for she not only lost all her Books, but was destitute of a Place to teach in; but Sir William Dove, being informed of this, ordered the House to be built at his own Expence, and 'till that could be done, Farmer Grove was so kind, as to let her have his large Hall to teach in.
The House built by Sir William, had a Statue erected over the Door of a Boy sliding on the Ice, and under it were these Lines, written by Mrs. Two-Shoes, and engraved at her Expence.
On SIN. A SIMILE.
As a poor Urchin on the Ice, When he has tumbl'd once or twice, With cautious Step, and trembling goes, The drop-stile Pendant on his Nose, And trudges on to seek the Shore, Resolv'd to trust the Ice no more: But meeting with a daring Mate, Who often us'd to slide and scate, Again is into Danger led, And falls again, and breaks his head. So Youth when first they're drawn to sin, And see the Danger they are in, Would gladly quit the thorney Way, And think it is unsafe to stay; But meeting with their wicked Train, Return with them to sin again: With them the Paths of Vice explore; With them are ruin'd ever more.
What happened at Farmer Grove's; and how she gratified him for the Use of his Room.
While at Mr. Grove's, which was in the Heart of the Village, she not only taught the Children in the Day Time, but the Farmer's Servants, and all the Neighbours, to read and write in the Evening; and it was a constant Practice before they went away, to make them all go to Prayers, and sing Psalms. By this Means, the People grew extremely regular, his Servants were always at Home, instead of being at the Ale-house, and he had more Work done than ever. This gave not only Mr. Grove, but all the Neighbours, an high Opinion of her good Sense and prudent Behaviour: And she was so much esteemed, that most of the Differences in the Parish were left to her Decision; and if a Man and Wife quarrelled (which sometimes happened in that Part of the Kingdom) both Parties certainly came to her for Advice. Every Body knows, that Martha Wilson was a passionate scolding Jade, and that John her husband, was a surly ill-tempered Fellow. These were one Day brought by the Neighbours for Margery to talk to them, when they fairly quarrelled before her, and were going to Blows; but she stepping between them, thus addressed the Husband; John, says she, you are a Man, and ought to have more Sense than to fly in a Passion, at every Word that is said amiss by your Wife; and Martha, says she, you ought to know your Duty better, than to say any Thing to aggravate your Husband's Resentment. These frequent Quarrels, arise from the Indulgence of your violent Passions; for I know, you both love one another, notwithstanding what has passed between you. Now, pray tell me John, and tell me Martha, when you have had a Quarrel the over Night, are you not both sorry for it the next Day? They both declared that they were: Why then, says she, I'll tell you how to prevent this for the future, if you will both promise to take my Advice. They both promised her. You know, says she, that a small Spark will set Fire to Tinder, and that Tinder properly placed will fire a House; an angry Word is with you as that Spark, for you are both as touchy as Tinder, and very often make your own House too hot to hold you. To prevent this, therefore, and to live happily for the future, you must solemnly agree, that if one speaks an angry Word, the other will not answer, 'till he or she has distinctly called over all the Letters in the Alphabet, and the other not reply, 'till he has told twenty; by this Means your Passions will be stifled, and Reason will have Time to take the Rule.
This is the best Recipe that was ever given for a married Couple to live in Peace: Though John and his Wife frequently attempted to quarrel afterwards, they never could get their Passions to any considerable Height, for there was something so droll in thus carrying on the Dispute, that before they got to the End of the Argument, they saw the Absurdity of it, laughed, kissed, and were Friends.
Just as Mrs. Margery had settled this Difference between John and his Wife, the Children (who had been sent out to play, while that Business was transacting) returned some in Tears, and others very disconsolate, for the Loss of a little Dormouse they were very fond of, and which was just dead. Mrs. Margery, who had the Art of moralizing and drawing Instructions from every Accident, took this Opportunity of reading them a Lecture on the Uncertainty of Life, and the Necessity of being always prepared for Death. You should get up in the Morning, says she, and to conduct yourselves, as if that Day was to be your last, and lie down at Night, as if you never expected to see this World any more. This may be done, says she, without abating of your Chearfulness, for you are not to consider Death as an Evil, but as a Convenience, as an useful Pilot, who is to convey you to a Place of greater Happiness: Therefore, play my dear Children, and be merry; but be innocent and good. The good Man sets Death at Defiance, for his Darts are only dreadful to the Wicked.
After this, she permitted the Children to bury the little Dormouse, and desired one of them to write his Epitaph, and here it is.
Epitaph on a DORMOUSE, really written by a little BOY.
In Paper Case, Hard by this Place, Dead a poor Dormouse lies; And soon or late, Summon'd by Fate, Each Prince, each Monarch dies.
Ye Sons of Verse, While I rehearse, Attend instructive Rhyme; No Sins had Dor, To answer for, Repent of yours in Time.
The whole History of the Considering Cap, set forth at large for the Benefit of all whom it may concern.
The great Reputation Mrs. Margery acquired by composing Differences in Families, and especially, between Man and Wife, induced her to cultivate that Part of her System of Morality and Economy, in order to render it more extensively useful. For this Purpose, she contrived what she called a Charm for the Passions; which was a considering Cap, almost as large as a Grenadier's, but of three equal Sides; on the first of which was written, I MAY BE WRONG; on the second, IT IS FIFTY TO ONE BUT YOU ARE; and on the third, I'LL CONSIDER OF IT. The other Parts on the out-side, were filled with odd Characters, as unintelligible as the Writings of the old Egyptians; but within Side there was a Direction for its Use, of the utmost Consequence; for it strictly enjoined the Possessor to put on the Cap, whenever he found his Passions begin to grow turbulent, and not to deliver a Word whilst it was on, but with great Coolness and Moderation. As this Cap was an universal Cure for Wrong-headedness, and prevented numberless Disputes and Quarrels, it greatly hurt the Trade of the poor Lawyers, but was of the utmost Service to the rest of the Community. They were bought by Husbands and Wives, who had themselves frequent Occasion for them, and sometimes lent them to their Children: They were also purchased in large Quantities by Masters and Servants; by young Folks, who were intent on Matrimony, by Judges, Jurymen, and even Physicians and Divines; nay, if we may believe History, the Legislators of the Land did not disdain the Use of them; and we are told, that when any important Debate arose, Cap, was the Word, and each House looked like a grand Synod of Egyptian Priests. Nor was this Cap of less Use to Partners in Trade, for with these, as well as with Husband and Wife, if one was out of Humour, the other threw him the Cap, and he was obliged to put it on, and keep it till all was quiet. I myself saw thirteen Caps worn at a Time in one Family, which could not have subsisted an Hour without them; and I was particularly pleased at Sir Humphry Huffum's, to hear a little Girl, when her Father was out of Humour, ask her Mamma, if she should reach down the Cap? These Caps, indeed, were of such Utility, that People of Sense never went without them; and it was common in the Country, when a Booby made his Appearance, and talked Nonsense, to say, he had no Cap in his Pocket.
Advice from FRIAR BACON.
What was Fortunatus's Wishing Cap, when compared to this? That Cap, is said to have conveyed People instantly from one Place to another; but, as the Change of Place does not change the Temper and Disposition of the Mind, little Benefit can be expected from it; nor indeed is much to be hoped from his famous Purse: That Purse, it is said, was never empty, and such a Purse, may be sometimes convenient; but as Money will not purchase Peace, it is not necessary for a Man to encumber himself with a great deal of it. Peace and Happiness depend so much upon the State of a Man's own Mind, and upon the Use of the considering Cap, that it is generally his own Fault, if he is miserable. One of these Caps will last a Man his whole Life, and is a Discovery of much greater Importance to the Public than the Philosopher's Stone. Remember what was said by my Brazen Head, Time is, Time was, Time is past: Now the Time is, therefore buy the Cap immediately, and make a proper Use of it, and be happy before the Time is past.
Yours ROGER BACON.
How Mrs. MARGERY was taken up for a Witch, and what happened on that Occasion.
And so it is true? And they have taken up Mrs. Margery then, and accused her of being a Witch, only because she was wiser than some of her Neighbours! Mercy upon me! People stuff Children's Heads with Stories of Ghosts, Faries, Witches, and such Nonsense when they are young, and so they continue Fools all their Days. The whole World ought to be made acquainted with her Case, and here it is at their Service.
The Case of Mrs. MARGERY.
Mrs. Margery, as we have frequently observed, was always doing Good, and thought she could never sufficiently gratify those who had done any Thing to serve her. These generous Sentiments, naturally led her to consult the Interest of Mr. Grove, and the rest of her Neighbours; and as most of their Lands were Meadow, and they depended much on their Hay, which had been for many Years greatly damaged by wet Weather, she contrived an Instrument to direct them when to mow their Grass with Safety, and prevent their Hay being spoiled. They all came to her for Advice, and by that Means got in their Hay without Damage, while most of that in the neighbouring Villages was spoiled.
This made a great Noise in the Country, and so provoked were the People in the other Parishes, that they accused her of being a Witch, and sent Gasser Goosecap, a busy Fellow in other People's Concerns, to find out Evidence against her. This Wiseacre happened to come to her School, when she was walking about with the Raven on one Shoulder, the Pidgeon on the other, the Lark on her Hand, and the Lamb and the Dog by her Side; which indeed made a droll Figure, and so surprized the that he cried out, a Witch! a Witch! upon this she laughing, answered, a Conjurer! a Conjurer! and so they parted; but it did not end thus, for a Warrant was issued out against Mrs. Margery, and she was carried to a Meeting of the Justices, whither all the Neighbours followed her.
At the Meeting, one of the Justices, who knew little of Life, and less of the Law, behaved very idly; and though no Body was able to prove any Thing against her, asked, who she could bring to her Character? Who can you bring against my Character, Sir, says she, there are People enough who would appear in my Defence, were it necessary; but I never supposed that any one here could be so weak, as to believe there was any such Thing as a Witch. If I am a Witch, this is my Charm, and (laying a Barometer or Weather Glass on the Table) it is with this, says she, that I have taught my Neighbours to know the State of the Weather. All the Company laughed, and Sir William Dove, who was on the Bench, asked her Accusers, how they could be such Fools, as to think there was any such Thing as a Witch. It is true, continued he, many innocent and worthy People have been abused and even murdered on this absurd and foolish Supposition; which is a Scandal to our Religion, to our Laws, to our Nation, and to common Sense; but I will tell you a Story.
There was in the West of England a poor industrious Woman, who laboured under the same evil Report, which this good Woman is accused of. Every Hog that died with the Murrain, every Cow that slipt her Calf, she was accountable for: If a Horse had the Staggers, she was supposed to be in his Head; and whenever the Wind blew a little harder than ordinary, Goody Giles was playing her Tricks, and riding upon a Broomstick in the Air. These, and a thousand other Phantasies, too ridiculous to recite, possessed the Pates of the common People: Horse-shoes were nailed with the Heels upwards, and many Tricks made use of, to mortify the poor Creature; and such was their Rage against her, that they petitioned Mr. Williams, the Parson of the Parish, not to let her come to Church; and at last, even insisted upon it: But this he over-ruled, and allowed the poor old Woman a Nook in one of the Isles to herself, where she muttered over her Prayers in the best Manner she could. The Parish, thus disconcerted and enraged, withdrew the small Pittance they allowed for her Support, and would have reduced her to the Necessity of starving, had she not been still assisted by the benevolent Mr. Williams.
But I hasten to the Sequel of my Story, in which you will find, that the true Source from whence Witchcraft springs is Poverty, Age, and Ignorance; and that it is impossible for a Woman to pass for a Witch, unless she is very poor, very old, and lives in a Neighbourhood where the People are void of common Sense.
Some Time after, a Brother of her's died in London, who, though he would not part with a Farthing while he lived, at his Death was obliged to leave her five thousand Pounds, that he could not carry with him.—This altered the Face of Jane's Affairs prodigiously: She was no longer Jane, alias Joan Giles, the ugly old Witch, but Madam Giles; her old ragged Garb was exchanged for one that was new and genteel; her greatest Enemies made their Court to her, even the Justice himself came to wish her Joy; and though several Hogs and Horses died, and the Wind frequently blew afterwards, yet Madam Giles was never supposed to have a Hand in it; and from hence it is plain, as I observed before, that a Woman must be very poor, very old, and live in a Neighbourhood, where the People are very stupid, before she can possibly pass for a Witch.
'Twas a Saying of Mr. Williams, who would sometimes be jocose, and had the Art of making even Satire agreeable; that if ever Jane deserved the Character of a Witch, it was after this Money was left her; for that with her five thousand Pounds, she did more Acts of Charity and friendly Offices, than all the People of Fortune within fifty Miles of the Place.
After this, Sir William inveighed against the absurd and foolish Notions, which the Country People had imbibed concerning Witches, and Witchcraft, and having proved that there was no such Thing, but that all were the Effects of Folly and Ignorance, he gave the Court such an Account of Mrs. Margery, and her Virtue, good Sense, and prudent Behaviour, that the Gentlemen present were enamoured with her, and returned her public Thanks for the great Service she had done the Country. One Gentleman in particular, I mean Sir Charles Jones, had conceived such an high Opinion of her, that he offered her a considerable Sum to take the Care of his Family, and the Education of his Daughter, which, however, she refused; but this Gentleman, sending for her afterwards when he had a dangerous Fit of Illness, she went, and behaved so prudently in the Family, and so tenderly to him and his Daughter, that he would not permit her to leave his House, but soon after made her Proposals of Marriage. She was truly sensible of the Honour he intended her, but, though poor, she would not consent to be made a Lady, till he had effectually provided for his Daughter; for she told him, that Power was a dangerous Thing to be trusted with, and that a good Man or Woman would never throw themselves into the Road of Temptation.
All Things being settled, and the Day fixed, the Neighbours came in Crouds to see the Wedding; for they were all glad, that one who had been such a good little Girl, and was become such a virtuous and good Woman, was going to be made a Lady; but just as the Clergyman had opened his Book, a Gentleman richly dressed ran into the Church, and cry'd, Stop! stop! This greatly alarmed the Congregation, particularly the intended Bride and Bridegroom, whom he first accosted, and desired to speak with them apart. After they had been talking some little Time, the People were greatly surprized to see Sir Charles stand Motionless, and his Bride cry, and faint away in the Stranger's Arms. This seeming Grief, however, was only a Prelude to a Flood of Joy, which immediately succeeded; for you must know, gentle Reader, that this Gentleman, so richly dressed and bedizened with Lace, was that identical little Boy, whom you before saw in the Sailor's Habit; in short, it was little Tom Two Shoes, Mrs. Margery's Brother, who was just come from beyond Sea, where he had made a large Fortune, and hearing, as soon as he landed, of his Sister's intended Wedding, had rode Post, to see that a proper Settlement was made on her; which he thought she was now intitled to, as he himself was both able and willing to give her an ample Fortune. They soon returned to the Communion-Table, and were married in Tears, but they were Tears of Joy.
There is something wonderful in this young Gentleman's Preservation and Success in Life; which we shall acquaint the Reader of, in the History of his Life and Adventures, which will soon be published.
CHAP. VII. and Last.
The true Use of Riches.
The Harmony and Affection that subsisted between this happy Couple, is inexpressible; but Time, which dissolves the closest Union, after six Years, severed Sir Charles from his Lady; for being seized with a violent Fever he died, and left her full of Grief, tho' possessed of a large Fortune.
We forgot to remark, that after her Marriage, Lady Jones (for so we must now call her) ordered the Chappel to be fitted up, and allowed the Chaplain a considerable Sum out of her own private Purse, to visit the Sick, and say Prayers every Day to all the People that could attend. She also gave Mr. Johnson ten Guineas a Year, to preach a Sermon, annually, on the Necessity and Duties of the marriage State, and on the Decease of Sir Charles; she gave him ten more, to preach yearly on the Subject of Death; she had put all the Parish into Mourning for the Loss of her Husband; and to those Men who attended this yearly Service, she gave Harvest Gloves, to their Wives Shoes and Stockings, and to all the Children little Books and Plumb-cakes: We must also observe, that she herself wove a Chaplet of Flowers, and before the Service, placed it on his Grave-stone; and a suitable Psalm was always sung by the Congregation.
About this Time, she heard that Mr. _Smith_ was oppressed by Sir Timothy Gripe_, the Justice, and his Friend _Graspall_, who endeavoured to deprive him of Part of his Tythes; upon which she, in Conjunction with her Brother, defended him, and the Cause was tried in _Westminster-hall_, where Mr. _Smith_ gained a Verdict; and it appearing that Sir _Timothy_ had behaved most scandalously, as a Justice of the Peace, he was struck off the List, and no longer permitted to act in that Capacity. This was a Cut to a Man of his imperious Disposition, and this was followed by one yet more severe; for a Relation of his, who had an undoubted Right to the _Mouldwell_ Estate, finding that it was possible to get the better at Law of a rich Man, laid Claim to it, brought his Action, and recovered the whole Manor of _Mouldwell_, and being afterwards inclined to sell it, he, in Consideration of the Aid Lady _Margery_ had lent him during his Distress, made her the first Offer, and she purchased the Whole, and threw it into different Farms, that the Poor might be no longer under the Dominion of two over-grown Men.
This was a great Mortification to Sir Timothy, as well as to his Friend Graspall, who from this Time experienced nothing but Misfortunes, and was in a few Years so dispossessed of his Ill-gotten Wealth, that his Family were reduced to seek Subsistance from the Parish, at which those who had felt the Weight of his Iron Hand rejoiced; but Lady Margery desired, that his Children might be treated with Care and Tenderness; for they, says she, are no Ways accountable for the Actions of their Father.
At her first coming into Power, she took Care to gratify her old Friends, especially Mr. and Mrs. Smith, whose Family she made happy.—She paid great Regard to the Poor, made their Interest her own, and to induce them to come regularly to Church, she ordered a Loaf, or the Price of a Loaf, to be given to every one who would accept of it. This brought many of them to Church, who by degrees learned their Duty, and then came on a more noble Principle. She also took Care to encourage Matrimony; and in order to induce her Tenants and Neighbours to enter into that happy State, she always gave the young Couple something towards House-keeping; and stood Godmother to all their Children, whom she had in Parties, every Sunday Evening, to teach them their Catechism, and lecture them in Religion and Morality; after which she treated them with a Supper, gave them such Books as they wanted, and then dispatched them with her Blessing. Nor did she forget them at her Death, but left each a Legacy, as will be seen among other charitable Donations when we publish her Will, which we may do in some future Volume. There is one Request however so singular, that we cannot help taking some Notice of it in this Place; which is, that of her giving so many Acres of Land to be planted yearly with Potatoes, for all the Poor of any Parish who would come and fetch them for the Use of their Families; but if any took them to sell they were deprived of that Privilege ever after. And these Roots were planted and raised from the Rent arising from a Farm which she had assigned over for that purpose. In short, she was a Mother to the Poor, a Physician to the Sick, and a Friend to all who were in Distress. Her Life was the greatest Blessing, and her Death the greatest Calamity that ever was felt in the Neighbourhood. A Monument, but without Inscription, was erected to her Memory in the Church-yard, over which the Poor as they pass weep continually, so that the Stone is ever bathed in Tears.
On this Occasion the following Lines were spoken extempore by a young Gentleman.
How vain the Tears that fall from you, And here supply the Place of Dew? How vain to weep the happy Dead, Who now to heavenly Realms are fled? Repine no more, your Plaints forbear, And all prepare to meet them there.