The Baldwin Library
GOODY TWO SHOES.N the reign of good Queen Bess, there was an honest,p industrious countryman named Meanwell, who, livingunder a hard landlord, was cruelly turned out of his littlefarm, which had enabled him to support a wife and twochildren, called Tommy and Margery. Care and misfor-tune soon shortened his days; and his wife, not longafter, followed him to the grave. At her death the twopoor children were left in a sad plight, and had tomake all sorts of shifts to keep themselves from starving.They were also without proper clothes to keep themwarm; and as for shoes, they had not even two pairsbetween them: Tommy, who' had to go about more thanhis sister, had a pair to himself, but little Margery for along time wore but one shoe.But Heaven had heard their dying mother's prayers,and had watched over and protected them. Relief wasat hand, and better things were in store for them, Ithappened that Mr. Goodall1*he clergyman of the parish,heard of their sad wandering sort of life, and so he sentfor the two children, and kindly offered to shelter themuntil they could get regular work to do. Soon after this,a gentleman came from London on a visit, and no soonerdid he hear the story of the orphans, than he resolved to.be their friend. The very first thing he did was to ordera pair of shoes to be made for Margery. And he offeredto take Tommy to London, promising to put him in away to do well by going abroad.
-Margery's New Shoes.As these two children loved each other very dearly,Margery was in great trouble when the time came forher brother to start, and wept bitterly. But Tommy, in
Margery Teaching.order to comfort her, promised he would not fail to come tback to see her, when he should return from foreign coun-tries, and grow to be a man.
4GOODY TWO SHOES.After he was gone, Margery began to recover herusual cheerfulness: but what helped greatly to put herinto good spirits, was the pleasure she took in her newshoes. As soon as the old shoemaker brought them, sheput them on, and ran at once to the clergyman's wife,crying out with glee, as she pointed to them, "Two shoes,ma'am! See, Two shoes!" These words she kept on re-peating to everybody she met, and so came to be calledGOODY Two SHOES.Now Margery was a thoughtful little girl, and wasmost anxious to learn to read and write. When Mr.Goodall saw this, he kindly taught her what she mostwished to know, and in a short time she became a betterscholar than any of the children who went to the villageschool. As soon as she found that this was the case, shethought she would try to teach such poor children as couldnot go to school. Now, as very few books were thenprinted, she thought she could get over the difficulty bycutting, out of wood, six sets of capital letters like these:ABCDEF GHIJKLMNOPQR STUVWXYZ.And ten sets of these common letters:abcdef ghij klmnopqrstuvwxyz.When, after much pains and trouble, she had finishedall these wooden letters, she managed to borrow an oldspelling-book, and, with the help of this, she made herplaymates set up' the words she wished them to spell.One day, as Margery was coming home from the nextvillage, she met with some wicked,. idle boys, who had tied
GOODY TWO SHOES.5a young raven to a staff, and were just going to throwstones at it. She offered at once to buy the raven for apenny, and this they. agreed to. She then brought himhome to the parsonage, and gave him the name of Ralph,and a fine bird he was. Madge soon taught him to speakseveral words, and also to pick up letters, and even tospell a word or two.Some years before Margery began to teach the poorcottagers' children, Sir Walter Welldon, a wealthy knight,had set up an elderly widow lady in a small school inthe village. This gentlewoman was at length taken ill,and was no longer able to attend to her duties. WhenSir Walter heard of this, he sent for Mr. Goodall, andasked him to look out for some one who would be ableand willing to take Mrs. Gray's place as mistress of theschool.The worthy clergyman could think of no one so wellqualified for the task as Margery Meanwell, who, thoughbut young, was grave beyond her years, and was growingup to be a comely maiden; and when he told his mindto the knight, Margery was at once chosen. Sir Walterbuilt a larger school-house for Margery's use; so that shecould have all her old p.pils about her that liked tocome, as well as the regular scholars.From this time, no one called her "Goody TwoShoes," but generally Mrs. Margery, and she was moreand more liked and respected by her neighbors.Soon after Margery had become mistress of theschool, she saved a dove from some cruel boys, and shecalled him Tom, in remembrance of her brother now faraway, and from whom she had heard no tidings.
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8GOODY TWO SHOES.About this time a lamb had lost its dam, and itsowner was about to have it killed; when Margery heardof this, she bought the. lamb- and brought it home. Someneighbors, finding how fond of such pets Margerywas, presented her with a nice playful little dog calledJumper, and also with a skylark. Now, master Ralphwas a shrewd bird, and a bit of a wag too, and whenWill, the Lamb, and Carol, the Lark, made their appear-ance, the knowing fellow picked out the following verse,to the great amusement of everybody:-"Early to bed, and early to rise,Is the way to be healthy, wealthy, and wise."Mrs. Margery was ever on the look-out to be usefulto her neighbors. Now a traveler from London had pre-sented her with a new kind of instrument, a rough-lookingbarometer, by the help of which she could often guess cor-rectly how the weather would be, a day or two beforehand.This caused a great talk about the country, and so pro-voked were the people of the distant villages at the bet-ter luck of the. Mouldwell folks, that they accused Mrs.Margery of being a witch, and sent old Nicky Noodle togo and tax ler with it, and to scrape together whateverevidence he could against her. When this wiseacre sawher at her school-door, with her raven on one shoulder,and the dove on the other; the lark on her hand, and the!nmb and little dog by her side; the sight took his breathaway for a time, and he scampered off, crying out, "Awitch, a witch, a witch!"She laughed at the simpleton's folly, and called himjocosely a " conjuror 1" for his pains; but poor Mrs. Mar-
GOODY TWO SHOES.gery did not know how much folly and wickedness therewas in the world, and she was greatly surprised to findthat the half-witted Nicky Noodle had got a warrantagainst her.At the meeting of the justices, before whom she wassummoned to appear, many of her neighbors were pres-ent, ready to speak up for her character if needful. But itturned out that the charge made against her was nothingmore than Nicky's idle tale that she was a witch. No w-a-days it seems strange that such a thing could be; -butin England, at that period, so fondly styled by some "thegood old times," many silly and wicked things were con-stantly being done, especially by the rich and powerfulagainst the poor-such things as would not now be borne.It happened that, among the justices who met tohear this charge against Mrs. Margery, there was but onesilly enough to think there was any ground for it; hisname was Shallow, and it was he who had granted thewarrant. But she soon silenced him (when he kept re-peating, that she must be a witch to foretell the weather,besides harboring many strange creatures about her,) byexplaining the use of her weather-glass.Fortunately her patron, Sir Walter Welldon, was wellacquainted with the use of the new instrument. Whenhe had explained its nat ure to his foolish brother-justice,he turned the whole charge into ridicule; and gave Mrs.Margery such a high character, that the justices not onlyreleased her at once, but gave her their public thanks forthe good services she had done in their neighborhood.One of these gentlemen, Sir Edward Lovell, whewas a widower, fell ill, and requested Mrs. Margery to
Margery Before Justice Shallow.take charge of his house, and look after his dear chil-dren. Having taken counsel with her kind old friendthe clergyman, she consented to this, and quite won Sir
Margery's Brother Arrives in Time.Edward's respect and admiration by her skill and ten-derness in nursing him, and by the great care she tookof his children.
12GOODY TWO SHOES.By the time that Sir Edward fully regained hishealth, he had become more and more attached to Mrs.Margery. It was not then to be wondered at, that whenshe talked of going back to her school, he should offerher his hand in marriage. This proposal took her quiteby surprise, but she really loved Sir Edward; and herfriends, Sir Walter and Mr Goodall, advised her to accepthim, telling her she would then be able to do many moregood works than she had ever done before.All things having been settled, and the day fixed,the great folks and others in the neighborhood came incrowds to see the wedding, for glad they were thatone who had, ever since she was a child, been so deserv-ing, was to be thus rewarded. Just as the bride andbridegroom were about to enter the church, their friendsassembled outside were busily engaged in watching theprogress of a horseman, handsomely dressed and mounted,who was galloping up a distant slope leading to thechurch, as eagerly as if he wanted to get there beforethe marriage. This gentleman, so elegantly dressed,proved to be no other than Margaret's brother, our formeracquaintance little Tommy, just returned with greathonor and profit fiom a distant country. When they hadrecovered from this pleasant surprise, the loving couplereturned to the altar, and were married, to the satisfac-tion of all present.After her happy marriage, Lady Lovell continued topractise all kinds of good; and took great pains inincreasing and improving the school of which she hadbeen the mistress, and placed there a poor but ortlhyscholar and his wife to preside over it.
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