SUGAR AND SPICE
Comical Tales Comically Dressed
BY JAMES JOHNSON
LONDON: DEAN & SON, 160A, FLEET STREET, E.C. FACTORS AND CHRISTMAS CARD MANUFACTURERS.
A knock at the door! A visitor more.
SUGAR AND SPICE.
Our dear children gave a party, Not one grown person there; And the laughter, it was hearty, Without a servant's care.
"One must," said they, "a servant be," And quick they cried, "one should." So they cast lots, did that par—ty: The lot fell on T. Good.
They rang the bell, he never came; They called, he would not hear; They stamped, but it was all the same, T. Good would not appear.
They coaxed him in with marmalade, To take a letter out. He said that he was scarcely made "To post and run about!"
Said he, "I've seen rich people do Kind acts for servants' good; But seldom have I known, its true, Them act as e'er they should!
"That is, you know, quite to a T, And sure as eggs are eggs, Men-servants in a family, Care mostly for their legs!"
Oh! Tommy was quite rated high By all the children fair. He pardon begged, and quick did fly To run both here and there.
* * * * *
Now mind and do as you are bid, Or you'll come in for blame; And never let your joy be hid Beneath some passing shame.
Knock, knock, knock! paste, paste, paste! Use wax, and thread, and awl each day While there's light to work we'll haste, For health and time soon pass away.
THE LITTLE BOOTMAKER.
Young Franky's boots were sent to be mended. The girl came back and said they would not be done for a week; the cobbler was so busy.
Annie, of the same family, who knew nothing of this, sent hers, and said they must be done by the next day.
The cobbler said if they brought him two pairs again to do at once, he'd knock their heads together with his lasts, and then give them a good "welting." He was the only cobbler in the village, or he would not have been so independent.
Franky had often watched the boot-maker at his work; so he coaxed his father to let him have some money to buy tools and leather, in order that he and his sisters might play at making boots and shoes.
He set to work, and they had such fun!
Annie came and asked young master cobbler what time it was; and Franky pretended to hit her on the head with a last, and said it had "just struck one." Then he measured her, and cut out his vamps, sides, linings, welts, soles, and heels. Next he made a soft-like sock of leather. This he turned inside out, and did his best to sew on a welt.
The boot was turned out right again, and then he sewed on a thin sole, and over this nailed another. The heel he formed by fastening little bits of leather one upon the other.
After all this, he took a piece of common glass, and scraped the sides and bottoms of the soles, and heel-balled the sides of the soles and heels, and the boots were made. He did not try any other ornamental work. Of course the young lad could not do this without the help of a cobbler, to shew him what and how to do each portion of his boot-making; but the man was frightened at having so apt a pupil, and begged pardon for his former neglect; for though they were not all they might have been; they were boots.
"I see," said he, "if some people neglect their work, there are sure to be others about who will soon leave them no business to do."
After this, he would sit for quite half a day at his work without going round to the "Cobbler's Arms." Some people said it was the wax that got on his seat that made him do it; but I do not think it was.
A flower lives, a flower dies, And we so stand and fall; Some flowers waft scent to the skies, And pleasure give to all.
THE LITTLE GARDENER.
There was no nicer garden in all Surrey than Mr. Woffle's. A funny name you'll say, but he couldn't help that. One day he came home, and after first kissing his three children, who were all fairly good ones—you know what I mean, neither better nor worse than most little children you and I know—said, the governess, before he went to business, had mentioned that they had of late attended to their lessons, and he should be pleased to grant them anything in reason. They all blushed,—Eva, a soldier's coat colour! James, a light red! and Edwin, a rose-lozenge hue! The fact was, they had all been saying how they should like to gather some flowers and have a game at playing at lady and gentleman and gardener.
They spoke right out and told their father what was in their minds.
He said "By all means, my dears."
Tom became gardener. You can guess who were the others. A very gentlemanly one he was, too. Full of nice bows and smiles. As for Eva, she looked quite the grown lady, and acted so well, that when she put her hand in her pocket for her purse, Edwin was quite surprised to find that only threepenny and fourpenny pieces came out of it.
"Now what sort of bouquets would your ladyship like me to cut?" asked Tom, holding up a very pretty rose before his sister.
"I have consulted his lordship, here," answered, Eva, very grandly, "and I'll have ten dozen in five minutes, like this one in my hand!"
"I'm pleased, your ladyship," said Tom, respectfully, "that you give me plenty of time to execute so large an order, or I might not have been able to have come up with them to time!"
"Oh! great people are never in a hurry," quietly remarked Edwin.
Tom cut all the flowers he knew could be spared from the greenhouse, and her ladyship and his lordship took them and gave them to a poor girl whose sick mother wanted some little pleasure; and the girl sold the flowers for gentlemen's button-holes.
When Mr. Woffles heard all about it, he was very pleased, and kissed the little Woffles all round. Wasn't it a nice game for rich children to play at; to do good to poor ones?
When children try their best to please, It makes them good and kind, And gives to those they love some ease, And ev'ry comfort find.
THE LITTLE COOKS.
Everybody who knew Frank Green, liked him. He was always trying to do something to make those around him comfortable. His brothers, George and Edwin, were nice little fellows enough; but Franky, as people loved to call him, was the favourite. And he was generally so careful in all he undertook, that his parents let him do nearly everything in reason he desired.
So, one fine morning, when his mother and father were about to start for the Crystal Palace, Frank, who had been sitting on his thumbs and thinking very deeply, jumped up all of a sudden and said, (he tried to speak in an off-hand manner); "I suppose you couldn't say to a minute, could you, when you'll be back?"
Father laughed, and mother turned aside her head for an instant
"And mother's laughing, too," cried little Edwin. You can see him; but I'd better introduce them.
1st—Frank: right hand, near oven.
2nd—George: holding bird.
3rd—Edwin: bearing tray and cover.
Now we can go on.
"I know mother's laughing," said Edwin, "because the back of her neck's red!"
Mother kissed him, and said she'd be back at five o'clock, exactly; and father shook the boys by the hand, and said he'd be home at five, too.
The moment they were gone, Frank beckoned his brothers to him, and said in whispers;
"Let's ask the cook to give us leave, and then treat mother and father to a jolly good dinner, and cook it ourselves!"
George clapped his hands with delight, and Edwin danced for a moment or two quite on his own account.
"Let's have some shrimps and marmalade," said he, about to run out of the room.
Frank and George laughed at him and told him he might buy some shrimps for a sauce and the marmalade would do for the pastry. They went to work, and Frank gave his orders quite like a grand cook. He tried the cookery book, but, boy as he was, he threw it away in disgust. "For," said he, "if you live in one town, you'd have to send to another to get all the things named in it." They had two nice birds and a joint, and many other things.
When their parents came home, and saw the table laid out with what the children had paid for out of their pocket money, they were very pleased; and, mind, I won't be sure; but I don't think the boys lost anything by their generosity. One thing I must tell, you as a secret—Edwin nearly shed a tear when he found he had eaten so much of the meat, which his money had bought, that he couldn't find room for his marmalade-tart.
A hare runs away, And little boys play; And girls they have skippers, While maidens work slippers.
THE YOUNG SPORTSMAN.
Henry Downing's father was a gamekeeper; so you will not be surprised to hear that he was very fond of playing at hunting and shooting.
His dearest friend was little Minnie Warren. He ran up to her one fine September day, and said, "Oh! Minnie, father has been so kind; he has given me a hare, and after you and I have had a game at hunting it, I'm to give it to you, and you're to give it to your mother to jug. There! what say you to that?"
Minnie was pleased.
It was fun to see how they made believe.
Minnie tied, oh! such a long string to the hare's hind legs, and walked off a good way; and just as Henry cocked his gun and pretended to fire, she gave the string a pull, and off she ran, Henry after her.
They played at this till they were quite tired, and then our little friend at last made a pretence of shooting very carefully; and then Minnie quite gravely let him come and pick Miss Hare up.
"Now," said Henry, "walk home first and stand at the door with your arms crossed, and look quite seriously at me when I come up and give it to you. My gun will be in my left hand, and the hare in the other; so I shan't be able to take my hat off; but I'll bow twice, and make it up that way."
He gave it to her; and Mrs. Warren was pleased when her daughter handed her Henry's gift.
You may be sure he was asked to dine with them when it was cooked.
Minnie said the hare turned out tender, on purpose; and Henry added he believed he enjoyed the game.
Mrs. Warren said it was the knocking about that made it so soft. But it came out all right, jugged; and with the black currant jelly it was really,—but there! I dare say you know what it was.
Lazy people think they're clever. So won't work like common folk; But in life they'll prosper never, If all's true that I've heard spoke.
THE LITTLE DAUBER.
Mr Frampton was a fashionable portrait painter; and, one day when he was out with his wife, young Richard, his son, who was quite a spoiled boy, fetched in some of his little acquaintances—two young gentlemen and one lady.
"Now," said he, trying to look wise, "Miss Fanny, just stand with flowers in your hand while I paint you like a grand lady; and one of you quiz the work as it goes on, and the other pretend to be in raptures with the portrait."
"Will you write her name under it, when it's done?" asked Bobby Butt, who was always ready with his fun.
"No," answered Richard, laughingly; "I shall make it a speaking likeness."
"Well, I'm glad of that," returned the lady; "for I shouldn't like to be taken with my mouth shut."
So they went to work.
Richard looked at the lady very sharp, particularly with his right eye,—you can see him; and Bob took a penny out of his pocket and held it in front of him as if it were an eye-glass; and Frank put his right leg out, and bent forward and said every now and then, "To a T!" "Charming!" "Nature improved!" and other such flatteries.
It was very well to say all this; but the truth must be told: when Richard had painted the lady's head and neck, he had no more room on the canvas; and what was done was so ugly, that the subject threw her bouquet at it. Then Richard sent it back again, at which she boxed his ears.
"It certainly is like nothing in the world," said Bob, putting his hands before his eyes as he looked at the smudges.
"Of course not," retorted Richard; "it's in the high school of art, and is not therefore meant to be natural!"
"Oh! that alters the case," said Frank. After a bit they began to throw the things about, and a terrible mess and rout they made.
When they were quite tired, Richard said, "Now I'll show you all my toys!" and he was about to go out of the studio to fetch them,—
"Stay where you are!" cried his father, slyly entering. "You have been spoiling my things, and romping where you have no business; I must set you a task as a punishment, and your friends must go home at once."
All the boys turned red enough without being painted; and Richard's father said, quite sternly, "Next time, before you, children, play with, and destroy property, just ask yourselves how you would like your playthings meddled with and broken?"
Oh! Boys and Girls can useful prove, If they will only try; And smile and work in some slight groove, As well as play or cry.
THE BUSY BEES.
Little Bob he fetched a board, And then began to saw, And Mary Jane said she'd afford Him help to do much more, While he used his—saw! saw! saw!
Young Dick he held his mallet high, And struck the wedge quite bold, Until it made the wood quick fly Like feathers with no hold, Blown by the wind quite—cold! cold! cold!
And John and James sawed up and down, John sawed up; James sawed low; The birds they flew all o'er the town To tell the folks these things were so, As if they did—know! know! know!
They made some boxes, tops, and hoops, They fashioned bowls and chairs, They sold a thousand million scoops, And seven hundred stairs; And this Bob—declares! declares! declares!
Eleven hundred sticks they cut, And all of them good size; With a five mile long water-butt, "In which to float," Tom cries, And "Time," they said—"flies! flies! flies!"
Oh! work and play are very good, Work number one, you know; Play number two has ever stood The best in this world's show And it should be—so! so! so!
Hence these young children played at work, And thus learnt to work well, And now their duties they ne'er shirk, Which is all I've to tell, And you to—spell! spell! spell!
Or, maybe, read and then to write, Until you know it through; Which will to you give great delight, And mem'ry strengthen too, As you ought to—do! do! do!
And, who knows, one day you may give Some stories to the young, To make your name through ages live And loud your praises sung. Keep your life well—strung! strung! strung!
'Tis said 'That he who fights and runs away Is sure to live to fight another day;' But better to clear keep of ev'ry brawl, And then you'll never have to fight at all.
THE LITTLE SOLDIERS.
Robert and Henry Graham were handsome, rich little fellows; but very fast and fond of imitating. Indeed, they were more like little men than young boys. And as their parents gave them plenty of pocket-money, they did many things that otherwise they would not have done. Added to this, they were spoiled by their father. You see, it's generally 'mother' who does this; so for a wonder we'll have a change.
Well, one day the two boys went to the family tailor, and Robert said, very big, "Haw! measure us for two suits of military clothes, officers' ones, haw! and see that you send home with them at the same time—swords, muskets, canes, sentry box, tents, and all, haw! necessarythings for playing at soldiers!"
Now, don't let it slip out of your mind that a bit before this, the boys' rich uncle had bought them some beautiful sets of boxes of soldiers.
When the clothes and other things came home, these young fellows, followed by the dog, which they called their army, dressed themselves, cleverly set up their tents, and went to work in good earnest. Billy, the dog, sniffed at the butt of the musket to make quite sure that it was not loaded. Robert put his glass to his right eye, and having posted Henry as a sentry, began to officer over, him, commanding him rather more than his brother liked.
It's not a nice thing to see a soldier cry; but if you look at Harry, you will find that he feels hurt very much.
"Haw! hem! sir!" roared Robert, "with, haw! the help of my glass I see, haw! a speck of rust on one of your buttons, haw! as big as the tip of a fly's eyelash!"
The dog at this set up a howl. The howl called their mother's attention to the garden, and then she saw them. With a funny smile she took all their toy soldiers and walked to her children.
"Haw! Pre-sent, Fire!" cried Bob.
"Certainly," said his mother; and almost before they knew what she was about, all the soldiers were set out, just like two armies, and Mrs. Graham called the gardener to lay a train of gunpowder, and called—mimicking Robert—"Present, Fire!" and set fire to it, and there was heard a tremendous "pop," followed by a "puff," and then; no! there wasn't a bit of one of all those soldiers and horses left large enough to make a match of.
The boys began to cry.
"Now," said their mother, "others, you see, can play at soldiers. What right had you to go to the tailor and order clothes of him! neither I nor your father gave you permission; I have a great mind to make you go to school in those soldiers' suits; and nice fun your play fellows would make of you!"