The Baldwin Library
ELSIE E.MILLS. 1893
-^XA T **/.
THE BIRS BEGANTO SING
By ASCOTT R. HOPE
ILLUSTRATED BY CHARLES O. MURRAY
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
NEW YORK: 416 BROOME STREET
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHAIRING CfOSS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS,
DESIGNED BY CHARLES O. MURRAY AND ARRANGED AND ENGRAVED BY
JAMES D. COOPER.
FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS.
The Birds began to sing Frontispiece Cockatoo and Blackbird ...... 15
Blackbirds in the Tree ... ... I King counting out his Money ... 17
Children forming Words ..... 5 Page with Cage of Blackbirds ... 19
Z in the Witch's Shop ... ... 8 Soldiers and Police merry-
Z putting the Poison in Pot ... o1 making .............. 23
Y and Dame Etcetera ...... 12 Salting their Tails ......... 4
Humpty-Dumpty had a great Johnny as a King ... ...... 43
Fall ... ...... Frontissiece King shouting to Humpty-
Johnny at the Well ... ... ... 27 Dumpty on the Wall ...... 45
Johnny grows Tall ... ...... 32 The King wounded in Battle ... 49
Johnny as a Man of Business ... 35 Johnny comes to himself again ... 52
Johnny as a Duke ......... 39 Johnny at Dinner ... ...... 53
JACK AND JILL.
The Fairy Fountain ... Frontispiece The Ogre ...... ... ...... 73
Initial-Fairy in the Pie ...... 57 Preparing the Bad-boy Pie ... 75
Jack and Jill in Parlour ... ... 59 Jack falling ... ... ... ... ... 78
The Fairy comes ... ... ... 63 Jack in the Toad-pit ... ... ... 80
Jack and Jill start off ... ... ... 67 Jack dreams of the Doctor ... 84
The Dragon Bull ... ... .. 70 Pastry versus Pills ... ... .. 85
iv LIST OF ILLUSTRA TIONS.
FIGHTING FOR THE CROWN.
Coming to Arms ... ..Frozntispiece Prince Crystal and the Peasants 99
Miltreating the Ambassadors ... 89 Prince Crystal to be executed o10
King Unicorn on the Ice ... ... 9 Princess Alexandra to be exe-
Crier declaring W ar... ... ... 93 cuted ... ... ... ... ... 107
Nurse Weeping... ......... 96 Peace and War.. ..... I I
Baby Bunting bewitched Frontispiece Tom, Dick, and Harry sowing 141
Nurse on the Fire Engine ... 117 Baby Bunting discovered as a
Baby Bunting is exhibited ... II9 Rabbit ... ... ... ... 144
Crosspatch at her Cauldron ... 123 Execution of the Wizard ... ... 150
Take away that Cake ... 125 Harry writing ... ... ... ... 56
Wizard in his Balloon ... ... 134 The Transformation... ... ... 160
Wizard produces the Sewing Public Rejoicing ... ... 162
Machines ... ... ... ... 138 Tailpiece ... ... . .. 163
The Toys in a Tantrum Frontispiece Lectured by a Monkey ... ... 8o
Boy Blue asleep on Haycock ... 167 Riding on Hobby-horse ... ... 185
Noah's Ark ... ... .. ... 171 Jack-in-the-box ... ... .. ... 87
Speaking to Elephant ...... 172 In the Corridor of Chessmen ... I88
Chasing a Top ... ... ...... 176 Before King Punch ... ... 191
Speaking to a Dog ... ... ... 178 Caught by the Farmer .... 193
THE MOUSE ON THE CLOCK.
Initial--The Clock of Time ... 197 Summer ... ... ..... ... 212
W inter ... ... ... ... ... 200 Autumn ... ... ... ... ... 218
Spring ... ... ... ... ... 207 Exit M house ... .. .. ... 220
FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS.
2 F$OUR AND TWENTY
LA 3 Li K I RD
1 NCE upon a time there lived
a King and a Queen, who had
no less than twenty-six children, six girls and
twenty boys; To save the trouble of invent-
ing names for so many, their parents simply
called them by the letters of the Alphabet: thus
the girls were A, E, I, O, U, and Y; and the
boys B, C, D, F, G, H, and so on. By these
names they were known all over the kingdom,
though B was so like R that they were often
mistaken for each other. J, too, was very slim
and elegant for a boy, and if you did not look
at his dress you might have supposed him to
be his twin sister I. M and W were easily distin-
4 A large and hiy zzlnursery.
guished from the rest, because they were much
fatter. F's voice was very like V's, but their faces
were quite different. In the same way, when B
and P had a cold in their heads, you could not
have told which was speaking.
They were all very good children except one,
whom we are going to talk about presently. IThere
never was a family so kind to each other. When
H lost himself or fell down, as he often did, the rest
all ran to help this weak little fellow. When R got
into a scrape, as he sometimes did, his brothers and
sisters would come and beg that they might be
punished instead of him, especially W, who was his
chief crony, and used to do some of his hard exer-
cises for him. If C and K, who did not always
agree, began to fight, their brothers always tried
to separate them. And when 0 cried, as she was
fond of doing, her sisters did all they could to
comfort her. They were always either at their
lessons or playing together, and their favourite
game was spelling. It was very pretty to see them
running into rows, so as to make up such words as
The black shieep of tke family. 5
love, beauty, hope, joy, jam, wziscdom, and so forth.
They did not care to have any other playmates,
but sometimes they wished there had been two
P's among them, for then they would have been
able to spell happy, which was what they all felt
from morning to night.
All ? No, there was one who was not good,
nor happy either, and that was crooked Z, who,
being the youngest, had been spoiled, and had
turned out selfish and ill-tempered. From the
time that he was able to think, he seemed
discontented with everything, though he was
petted by everybody, and had not nearly so much
to do as the rest. He wanted to be grown up,
and have plenty of money, as his papa had, and be
6 Z was cross and c unnzmg, hence
able to eat as much bread-and-honey as he pleased,
like his mamma. He was angry because he was
crooked and ugly, and because he could not play
at spelling so well as his sister E, who was the
most active of all in these games, and the greatest
favourite with everybody. He made himself very
unhappy by thinking that he was the youngest,
and by envying his eldest brother B, who would
become King in good time after their father. He
should have taken a lesson from his sister Y, the
next above him in age, who was always very
happy, and whose little Grecian nose was poked
into everything merry and lively which went on;
indeed, she was such a romp, that people some-
times said she was more like a boy than a girl.
But no-poor Z took no pleasure except in being
miserable, and he grew to hate his brothers and
sisters because they were not so miserable as
himself. Then a dreadful thought came into his
mind. If he could but get rid of all the rest, he
would be left the only child, and the kingdom
would all belong to him when his father died.
All t is slory of sixpence. 7
Now it must be known that each of the
princes and princesses had sixpence a week
given to His or Her Royal Highness for pocket-
money. Most of them used to club their money
together to have jam at tea, or put their six-
pences in the savings' bank to buy a present
for the King and Queen on their birthdays;
but Z was very greedy, and generally went
at once to spend his sixpence at a sweet-shop
near the palace, kept by an ugly old woman
who had lately come to live there. This old
woman was really a very wicked and powerful
witch, who hated all the men and women in the
world, and especially the children, to whom it was
her greatest pleasure to sell a sort of poisoned
toffee that always made them ill. But she
rather liked Z, because he did not like other
people, and would let him have two ounces of
barley sugar for three halfpence. So he used to
sit in her shop for hours, making himself sick, and
telling her how much he envied his brothers and
8 Make me king, you wicked witc/,
"Would you really like to get rid of them ?"
said she, one day, when he was talking in this
Of course," said Z. "Shouldn't I be a King
and have whatever I pleased, if the rest were out
"of the way ? "
And I will make you great and rick. 9
Ugh! ugh! ugh!" grunted the witch. It
was her way of laughing for joy, to find that there
was some one in the world almost as wicked as
herself. Now, what will you give me if I help
you to get them out of the way ? "
Give you ?-oh! I'll give you anything I can.
I'll give you my sixpence next Saturday, and when
I am King, I will make you a duchess."
Ugh! ugh !--a nice duchess I should make !
But bring the sixpence, and we will see."
So, next Saturday, as soon as the lessons were
over, Z got his pocket-money, and ran down to
the old woman's shop, eager to make the bargain
she had proposed to him.
Ugh! ugh!" she chuckled, ringing the six-
pence on the counter to see that it was a good
one. "That's right--that's right, my dear; you
shall be the King yet. You have only to mix this
meal with some of their food, and your brothers
and sisters will all turn into blackbirds, and never
trouble you any more." With that she brought
out a small bag of rye-meal, and filled Z's pocket
o1 What naughty Z did on the sly
with it, and he ran back to the palace as fast as
his long legs would carry him.
When he got back it was not yet dinner-time,
for the children at fashionable palaces dine so late
as two o'clock often. Z went into the kitchen
and looked about him, which he could easily do,
as the cook had gone out to the poultry yard for
a moment to fetch an egg or two to put into the
With tke pocketfuill of rye. 11
pudding. She had left the pot boiling on the fire,
and, before she came back, Z emptied the rye-
meal out of his pocket into it, and stole away
without being seen. And when the cook came
back and went on stirring the pudding, she little
knew what mischief she was helping to do.
Ding, dong! Ding, dong! went the dinner-
bell, and all the Royal children came rocking
into the nursery, where their old nurse, Dame
Etcetera, had already laid the table, and set out
the silver spoons and forks and mugs, given to
each of the princes and princesses by their fairy
godmothers. Their dinner was plain, though
good; the King did not like his children to grow
up too fond of eating. First, they had roast
mutton, with potatoes and cabbage; and any one
who didn't clear up his plate, fat and all, was not
allowed to have any pudding. It was a capital
pudding that day--flour and eggs and milk and
raisins and lemon-peel,-and the children began
to clap their hands when they saw it, all except
the biggest ones, who were too dignified and
12 The wicked spell is now at zvork,
pretended not to care. Each of them was helped
in order-first the young princesses, beginning
with the eldest, then the princes,-and before
long the clattering of spoons up and down the
long nursery-table told that the pudding would
soon be disposed of. Only little Y stole up to
old Etcetera, and whispered,-
"Nurse, dear, I have eaten enough: may I take
my pudding to some poor person ? I have seen
some to-day, looking, oh so iniserable."
And Z his share is not to shirk. 13
That's a kind-hearted little darling!" said
Dame Etcetera, giving her a kiss. Run off with
you, and be sure to be back in time for tea."
So Y got her little straw hat, ornamented with
pheasant's feathers to show that she was a
princess, and slipped out of the palace, leaving
her brothers and sisters to the enjoyment of their
And they did enjoy it-all but sulky Z, who
sat playing with his spoon and looking as if
nothing was good enough for him. Nurse
Etcetera, who little suspected the truth, thought
he was only in one of his usual tantrums, and
spoke sharply to him.
Come, eat your pudding, your Royal High-
I don't like it," said Z, beginning to whimper.
If you don't eat it at once, it shall be set
aside, and given you for your tea."
Z cried and sulked; but that was no good.
The Royal Family had been brought up to do as
they were bid, and he knew he should have to
14 Ot they ran and away they flew,
eat his pudding sooner or later. However, he
thought it would not matter, since, if any harm
happened to him as well as his brothers and
sisters, he could go to his friend the witch and
have it set right. So he finished his plate of
pudding, and they all went into the garden to
Now, what shall we play at?" said X, who
was very stupid, and never could begin anything.
Let us play at 'I spy,'" E was going to say,
but the words changed in her mouth into I fly ;"
and, to the astonishment of all the brothers and
sisters except Z, they found that their clothes
had suddenly become feathers, their arms wings,
their mouths bills, and their feet claws. In one
minute more, where a crowd of merry children
had been running about, you could see nothing
but a flock of four-and-twenty blackbirds, twitter-
ing and fluttering and scraping, as if to ask one
another what it all meant.
Z was not among them. As soon as he felt
himself changed into a bird, he flew off awkwardly
And Z became a blackbird too. 15
enough, as fast as his new wings could carry
him, to the house of the witch. But when he
arrived there he found nobody but a great ugly
cockatoo, which flew at him with the most
horrible screams, and attacked him with its claws.
Z defended himself as well as
y he could, and when they had
pecked at each other till both
of them were tired, they flew
i, l away, and were never heard of
no other than
"'"'-" -'" :-- '- .,,
16 No royal family to be seen !
ing her wretched appearance, had offered her the
pudding which she was carrying. The old woman
never refused anything, and never was grateful for
anything. Without a word of thanks, she seized
the plate from Y's hands and began to gobble up
its contents. But before she had quite finished,
what was Y's horror and amazement to hear her
give a dreadful screech, and then to see her
suddenly changed into a great, ugly bird, which it
was enough to make any child shudder even to
The little princess did not wait another moment,
but ran home as fast as she could to tell her
brothers and sisters what had happened. But
when she got to the palace, they were nowhere to
be seen. She searched out of doors, indoors,
upstairs, downstairs, in the garden, in the
shrubbery, in the schoolroom, in the nursery, but
all in vain. The maid, who was in the garden
hanging up clothes, helped her to look, and when
they could see nothing of any of the children,
they began to feel frightened, and fetched the
Bad news for tIe King and Queen I7
nurse; but old Dame Etcetera was no more able
to find her young charges than they had been.
Then they went to tell the Queen. She was in
1 ALii i
iii. i __ 1
the parlour eating bread-and-honey; but when
she heard what had happened, she hastened to
18 All the palace horror-striuck.
the King, who was employed in his favourite
occupation of counting out his money. He, too,
was greatly alarmed, and at once counted out
several bags of half-crowns, which he ordered to
be offered by public proclamation to any one who
should bring back his children safe and sound.
All the police of the kingdom were sent for to aid
in the search, and before the evening everybody
within ten miles of the palace was talking of this
dreadful thing that had happened, and doing his
best to find the young princes and princesses,
who were beloved by all the nation.
But imagine the grief of all in the palace!
The Queen bitterly reproached herself with eating
too much bread-and-honey, and not looking after
her children enough; the King vowed that he
would give half his treasures to see his sons and
daughters come back safe and sound. As for poor
little Y, she did nothing but cry all the evening.
She was allowed to come down to dinner, and
without having her hair curled, too; indeed, her
mother, after what had happened, would not let
The boy ini bultons is in luck. 19
her only remaining child out of sight for a single
moment. But none of the Royal Family cared to
eat, and the dinner was sent down untasted, to
the great sorrow of the cook, who thought her
Royal master could not bear up against his trouble,
if he did not take some food.
said she. Let me see What is he fond of?"
\ j' i, "I
I must do him some dainty dish for suplper,"
said she. Let me see! What is he fond of?"
At that moment, one of the pages came into the
kitchen, carrying a cage full of blackbirds. He
had seen a flock of them twittering at the window
20 Preparalions for a pie.
of the palace nursery, and had caught them by
putting salt on their tails, little thinking who they
"The very thing!" cried the cook. His
Majesty likes nothing better than a blackbird pie.
Polly, put the kettle on, and fetch me out the
Then she proceeded to make the blackbirds-
four-and-twenty there were of them exactly-into
a pie, paying no attention to the way in which
they scratched and hopped about, and looked up
to her face, trying to let her know that they were
the young princes and princesses.
In the meanwhile, messages were arriving every
five minutes at the palace-cabs, letters, telegrams,
couriers, but none brought good news. The
royal children were nowhere to be found, and it
was supposed that they had all gone to slide and
fallen into the water. Many persons, however,
did not believe this, as it was the height of
summer and there was no ice. Some suTggested
that they had gone out in a boat, but there wasn't
The dainty dish thjc lKinlg will try. 21
a boat within twenty miles of the palace. Then,
again, it was mentioned as likely that they had
been eaten up by a wild beast, though wild beasts
were not known in that country, except at the
Zoological Gardens. Four regiments of infantry,
two of cavalry, and twenty cannon were sent out
at once to scour the woods, and nobody in the
palace would go to bed until something was
known for certain of the fate of the poor princes
At length, in spite of his grief, the King began
to feel rather hungry, and supper was ordered.
Among other things, the blackbird pie was put on
the table, and the Lord High Chamberlain took a
knife and fork, and set to work cutting it open to
the sound of slow music, as was the custom at all
the Royal banquets. And now a most extraor-
dinary thing happened.
Four-and-twenty blackbirds popped their heads
out of the pie-dish, and began to sing so beautifully
and tenderly, that all present would have been
delighted, if they had not been too much alarmed.
22 This broke the sell,
The ladies of the court shrieked, the lords stared
and grasped the hilts of their swords. The King
and Queen started up in amazement, asking each
other what this might mean. Only little Y
recognized the voices of her brothers and sisters,
and bent over the pie, crying bitterly.
Then was seen a still more extraordinary
thing; the most extraordinary thing that ever
happened in that country. As fast as Y's tears
fell on each of the birds their human shape came
back to them, and soon the whole four-and-twenty
princes and princesses were flocking round their
father and mother, and thanking Y for having set
them free from this terrible enchantment. It was
Y who had done it, for the tears of love and pity
are far more powerful than the strongest arts of
the most wicked witches.
Now imagine the delight of everybody; how
the King and Oueen kissed their children a
thousand times; how all the royal family sat up to
supper, and had cake and honey and lemonade;
how the bells were rung for joy over the whole
And all was well, 23
kingdom; how the soldiers and policemen who
had taken part in the search were treated to beef
and beer in the kitchen of the palace; how it was
ordered that, in honour of the event, the schoolboys
and schoolgirls throughout the land should, from
that day, have three months extra holidays every
year; how the fortunate page was elevated to
the peerage under the title of Baron Boots-and-
Buttons, with a blackbird's tail supported by a
24 And inozo tere is nZo more to Ic/l.
cage and a salt-box for his coat of arms; and how
their young Royal Highnesses grew up without
any further misfortune, and lived happily all
the rest of their days It is supposed that they
were the original inventors of Spelling Bees,"
which should properly be called the Game of the
Spelling Blackbirds. But crooked Z never more
came to play among them, and the active and
obliging S was always called on to take his place
in the alphabet.
,c~ id !
II UM PTY-DUMPTY.
H PMHA A RTi.
SHERE was once a lazy,
discontented, and trou-
blesome little boy, whose name I am not quite sure
about, though think it must, have been Billy,
Bobby, Freddy, Frankie, Tommy, Teddy, or some
such name belonging to one or other of my young
friends. But perhaps we shall get on better with
our story if we agree to call him Johnny, and let
the cap be tried on by whomever it may seem
28 A bad begz'Iiinui to Ite day.
This Johnny lived in a humble little cottage in
the country with his mother, a poor widow who
found it very difficult to keep herself and her only
child, though she worked hard from morning till
night. And Johnny not only helped her very
little, but was not grateful enough to her for all
the trouble she took with him. He was always
grumbling, which is a thing boys never do now-a-
days unless they are very naughty indeed; but it
must be remembered that this boy lived long ago,
when there were no School Boards or moral stories
for children. One morning Johnny thought fit to
sulk and not to take his breakfast, because his
kind mother would not o-ive him treacle with his
porridge, and for this good reason, that she had
none to give him. So he went out of the house
in a very bad humour, leaving his hot porridge
and milk untasted, and sat down by the side of a
well that bubbled out of the earth in front of the
"Oh dear what an unhappy, unfortunate, and
ill-used boy I am sighed Johnny, as he took a
He had a wish and fou;zd a way. 29
good long drink of the cool water, not without
a thought that, after all, his porridge and milk
would have been better for breakfast.
Now this well was a well-known stream, as
funny people used to say in the newspapers of
that country. It was a wishing-well. The
country-folks had a tale that any one drinking out
of it might have whatever he wished for; and
some of them believed it, though they never could
hear of any case in which even the oldest inhabi-
tant had had his wishes gratified in this way.
Johnny scarcely believed it, for it is now a long
time since young people began to be wiser than
their elders ; but as he drank the water, he thought
of the magic power which it was said to possess,
and muttered to himself,-
"(I don't suppose it is true, but perhaps it is
worth trying. I wish it was true; I wish it was
of any use to wish for whatever I wished for, as
people do in the fairy stories. Wouldn't I just
wish for all sorts of nice things !
Would you ?" cried a shrill voice behind him.
30 What do I see ?
Johnny started, turned sharp round, and saw
a strange sight which made him open his mouth
and his eyes as wide as they would go. On the
top of the wall opposite his mother's cottage was
perched such a funny little fat figure-an old man
with a hump-back and a long hooked nose, who sat
cross-legged and rocked himself from side to side,
grinning from ear to ear, and staring at Johnny as
if he thought of eating him up.
Who are you ?" said Johnny in amazement.
" I never saw you before in all my life."
Nor did any one else, my dear, though I dare-
say you have often heard tell of me. My name is
Humpty-Dumpty-aren't you glad to see me?
Perhaps you don't know what I can do for you, if
I like ?"
No, indeed gasped Johnny, quite frightened
by the way in which this odd old man was grinning
Well, you certainly don't know everything,"
chuckled Humpty-Dumpty. Listen I have
the power to give you whatever you wish for.
How cani this be? 31
Nobody else ever had and nobody else ever will.
These fairy tales are not true, not a word of
them But what I tell you is true; and if you
don't believe it, I will soon show you what I can
do. I have come to help you to all your wishes,
only take care not to wish for too much, or you
shall see what you shall see "
Johnny sucked his thumb and didn't know what
to make of it; then in his perplexity, he ran back
into the cottage to tell his mother. But as soon
as she saw him at the door, she called out,
Be off with you, Johnny, my dear! Don't
you see that I am washing the floor ? You and
your dirty boots must stay outside till I have done."
So Johnny turned back, pouting, and grumbling
out as usual that he was very ill-treated.
Mother always wants to turn me out of the
house when I wish to go in, and she wishes me to
stay in whenever I want to go out. It's very
hard! I wish I was grown up to be a man and
had a house of my own; then I could do what I
32l He grows a maiz in' half a minute,
As he said this, he looked up at the wall to see
if Humpty-Dumpty was still sitting on the top of
it. There he was, sure enough, and, most extra-
ordinary to tell, the wall seemed to be growing
higher and higher beneath him. Johnny was not
so much astonished at this, as he was a moment
afterwards, when he found that he too was grow-
ing with a rapidity that al-
most took his breath away,
"while his skin was becoming-
Si r o u g h a n d b r o w n a n d a
.-" -- beard was sprouting on his
Face by whole inches at once.
i But when he suddenly stop-
ped growing thus at the rate
So f fi f t y y e a r s a m i n u t e o r
so, his astonishment seemed
somehow to disappear, and
he understood as a matter
of course that his wish had
been granted, that he was a
"grown-up man all of a sud-
Yet still his lot ihas troubles in ii. 33
den, and that the cottage beside him was his own, as
well as a large family of children who were running
round him and calling out for something to eat. He
was in no better humour than when he had been a
little boy two minutes ago, for a squalling baby had
kept him awake all night, making both its parents
cross and weary. This was more than he had
bargained for, but Johnny could not help himself.
He knew that he had to shoulder his spade and
set off to work in a field at some little distance,
that he might earn money to support his family
and pay the rent of his cottage. Off he went,
with his bit of dinner tied up in a handkerchief,
grumbling that his wife had not provided some-
thing better, and telling the children that they
must be content with crusts till he brought home
The day was very hot, and the earth was very
hard, and before Johnny had got half through his
task of digging, he felt tired out and aching in all
his limbs, as if for years they had been racked by
rheumatism, so that he soon began to think it not
34 He'll wish agani;, izow he's begun.
such a fine thing to be a grown-up man after all.
But he knew that he must toil on, for the sun had
passed the highest point in the sky, and there was
still more than half the work to be done before he
could claim the wages for which his family were
waiting at home. Stopping to wipe the perspira-
tion from his face, he looked up and saw Humpty-
Dumpty grinning and chuckling on the top of the
wall, as if to remind him that he only had what
he had wished for. He looked away, and saw the
farmer in whose employment he was coming to
find fault with him because his work was not
quickly or well enough done. With a grunt he
took up his spade again, and was going on with
his digging and also with his grumbling.
This is a wretched life to have wished for
indeed I might as well have wished to be a rich
man while I was about it. They don't have to
work hard in the hot sun, but sit comfortably at
home and take it easy. I wish I was a gentle
man, like our landlord !"
The words were scarcely out of his mouth before
No sooner said than it is done. 35
Johnny's spade shrivelled up, and he found that it
had become a pen, and that the hand holding it
had turned white and soft in an instant, and instead
of digging in the fields, he was writing at a table
covered with books and papers, all of which had
to be read and attended to, for the gentleman
36 TZis came C of cnzvyinYg kis bettlers.
Johnny had envied was a busier man than might
Johnny rose and walked to the window. He
saw that he was living in one of the best houses
in the handsomest street in a large and flourishing
city. But how did Humpty-Dumpty come there ?
for there he was, with a broad grin on his face,
sitting right opposite the window on the top of his
wall, which, moreover, had grown ever so much
higher, as it was bound to do so often as Johnny
had a fresh wish granted him.
Johnny turned hastily back to his writing-table,
and sat down wearily to the mass of reading and
writing which he knew he was obliged to get
through. He had a headache, and though there
was a fire in the room, he felt chilly, for he had
not time to keep his blood circulating by healthy
exercise. For the same reason he had no appetite,
and his breakfast stood beside him untasted.
Was this all that the kindness of Humpty-
i)umpty could do for a man ?" thought Johnny,
become a gentleman. Ah! I often think that
Ok, who would be a man of letters 37
these little ragged children playing in the street
are happier than I am; but I am not so foolish
as to wish to change places with them, for I
know they have their troubles as well as myself.
I wonder if to have too little to eat is as great
a trouble as to have too much to do! I am
sure that a day-labourer who gets good wages
must be happier than I am, for his work does not
make him bilious or sleepless. Well, well, life
has plenty of troubles for all of us, I suppose;
and the only way to get over them is by working
hard at whatever one's work is, so I must waste
no more time."
But as he took up his pen again, there was a
knock at the door, and a servant brought in
a number of letters, some requiring immediate
answers, some telling of losses and annoyances,
some speaking of fresh work.
When he had read through his letters, Johnny
threw himself back in his chair, and cried out,-
Surely, no man was ever so much worried as
I am I really cannot stand it; I feel more and
38 I //zk I'd better be a duke.
more ill every day; I must take a holiday. But
how am I to find time ? I cannot trust any one
with my affairs; I have no one to assist me. If
I were only a great nobleman now, there would
be plenty of people to save me trouble, and I
should have nothing to do but to live on the fat
of the land, and show off my magnificence and
cleverness and politeness, all day long! Yes, I
think I should enjoy being a rich nobleman-say
a duke. I wish I were one! "
Whiz! Away went books and papers, streets
and squares, vanishing like a soap-bubble, and
Johnny found himself sitting in state on the terrace
of a splendid castle looking over a beautiful park,
which was crowded by persons coming on foot or
in carriages to pay their respects to him, for he
was now a duke, and the greatest man for many
miles around. The castle was furnished in the
most sumptuous manner; it was surrounded by
gardens and fountains that were the wonder of
the whole county, and grounds that had cost a
small fortune to lay out; but in the middle of all
Now see how dinifi ed I look 39
this grandeur its owner saw one familiar object
that seemed out of place, to wit, the wall on
which Humpty-Dumpty sat, and which had now
grown so high that it over-topped the highest
towers of the castle. Duke Johnny was not very
well pleased at the behaviour of his funny old
friend; for he was shaking his sides with laughter,
and twisting up his face in the most ludicrous
40 /Was ie ;ot nozow a lucy boy?
shapes as impudently as if he quite forgot that he
was in the presence of a real nobleman.
"Hadn't you better go away now ?" said
Johnny civilly, for he knew that he ought to feel
obliged to the old fellow. You have done for
me as much as I can expect, and I don't wish to
take up your time any longer. I think you might
go home. Of course I shall be glad to see you at
the castle whenever you are passing this way."
Not yet, not yet chuckled Humpty-Dumpty,
almost choking with laughter as he looked down
on the new nobleman's magnificence, and wriggling
about on his perch till you would have thought he
was just going to fall off, if you had seen him.
He was seen, however, by nobody except the
master of the castle, who could not get him out of
One would have supposed that now his Grace
Duke Johnny had nothing to do but enjoy himself
all day long. He had at his command whatever
luxuries money could buy, countless servants to
wait upon him, whenever he chose to call for
Nothizg to do buzt to enjoy. 41
them, the swiftest horses and the most comfort-
able carriages to take him wherever he desired.
Not very long ago, though it seemed to him as if
years had passed since then, he had been a poor
cottager's boy; now he was one of the great folks
of the land, and owner of more beautiful things
than he was likely to see in his whole lifetime.
But, strange to say, he found that he grew tired
of it all sooner than of the cheapest toy which his
mother had ever brought him from the fair.
Instead of enjoying the pleasures that were con-
stantly offered him, he was always wishing for
some new one, and always finding fault with it as
soon as it was within his reach. And all the
while Humpty-Dumpty sat high on his wall, which
grew higher every minute till it threatened to
reach the clouds, and laughed to see that not even
a duke could be contented.
Dukes have their troubles as well as humbler
people, and the greatest trouble of our duke's life
was another duke who owned the next estate to
his. When Duke Johnny mounted the roof of
42 Alas his lot he still lamented.
his castle, and surveyed his property stretching
to meet the sky as far as the eye could reach, he
felt no pleasure in the sight, because he remem-
bered that his neighbour's estate was said to be
still larger. If he gave an entertainment at which
a thousand guests were assembled, it was all
spoiled to his mind by the news that the other
duke had been feasting two thousand people.
When the nobles went to court, and the king
spoke civilly to him, as became his station, he
only felt angry to see that his Majesty smiled
more graciously on his rival. At last he felt that
he could bear it no longer, and cried out,-
This fellow spoils all my happiness It
would be better not to live at all than to see him
perpetually swaggering in front of me and looking
more prosperous than I am. I might just as
well have become the greatest man in the nation
while I was about it. But it is not too late-
is it, Humpty-Dumpty ? I wish to be a king,
And in an instant his castle had changed into a
At last, he sure will be contented. 43
palace, his servants into lordly courtiers, his cap
into a crown, and his most illustrious Majesty,
Johnny the First, was seated on his throne in the
halls of his ancestors. Being used by this time to
these sudden transformations, he took this one
very calmly, and with the truly royal dignity that
at once came natural to him, ordered all present
to retire, which they did forthwith, walking back-
~"d~a ~,~YF~F- `Y:~==
44 Bun ere kis royal rank he tires of,
wards and making low bows in the most reverent
and ridiculous manner.
Now," said Johnny to himself, with a sigh of
relief, I think I may begin to be happy."
But just then his eye fell upon the wall outside
of the palace gates, which had grown so high that
now the top of it could scarcely be seen, and
every one who passed under it must have thought
that it was going to fall in another moment. On
the top was still perched the queer figure, and
though at that height he looked no bigger than a
nut, the king felt sure that Humpty-Dumpty was
wriggling about and laughing in his provoking
way. This annoyed his Majesty very much, for
no king likes to be laughed at, and Johnny didn't
wish to be any longer reminded of the mears by
which he had risen to such good fortune. So he
looked up to Humpty-Dumpty, and cried out,
making a speaking trumpet of both his hands, -
I really think you had better go away now!
Many thanks for all your civility, but I don't
require you any further."
Another foolish wis he fires off. 45
Yes, you do yes, you do !"
was the answer, which seemed
to come from the clouds, ac-
companied by a burst of laugh- -
ter that sounded like a peal of __ !,
No, indeed I don't, Mr. I- -I
Humpty-Dumpty. I have arrived at last at the
height of my ambition, and my majesty is now
graciously pleased to dispense with your services.
Just mention whatever
reward you would like,
and I will send it up to
S you by one of my lords-
But the figure did
not move, and the king
went on in an offended
; "', tone,--
Really, my good
Fellow, you must not
stay there, crinninoy and wagcglinc about in that
Z'7 11 Z71 6
46 Hzzimpty-Dzmptby on his wall.
excessively disrespectful way in my august pre-
sence. You were very good company when I lived
in the cottage with my mother; but vulgar old
people like you are not fit for the society of a
I tell you I have not done with you, and you
have not done with me," screamed Humpty-
Dumpty from his lofty perch. There is plenty
to wish for yet in the world, and you will never
be satisfied till you have wished for more than
you will wish for."
"I cannot demean my royal self by holding
any further conversation with such an unmannerly
vagabond," replied the king, drawing himself up
stiffly, and fixing the crown firm upon his head.
" But if you don't go away at once, I will order
my Lord High Policeman to make you move on."
"He he!" chuckled the old man. That's
not the way to do it! Nobody can get rid of
me but yourself-nobody but yourself, King
And what would be the -ood of being a king
Humpty-Dumlzpy has a fall. 47
if I am to be contradicted in this manner!" cried
Johnny in a pet. Of course I can have what-
ever I wish for, so I wish to get rid of Humpty-
Whew! thump! crash! Something had come
whirling down from above and broken into a
hundred pieces at his feet. This was Humpty-
Dumpty, whose rocking and grinning now seemed
to be all over, for he lay still and scattered, his
hump in one place, his nose in another, his legs in
another, and so on. And when his Majesty King
Johnny saw how his rash wish had been gratified,
he began to think he had made a mistake.
I wish I hadn't done it," he said. It is my
royal wish and pleasure that the old fellow be set
up again on his perch as usual."
But not one of the pieces of Humpty-Dumpty
stirred. With him the king's power of wishing
had been destroyed. Then Johnny perceived
how foolish he had been, and was very much
vexed. He at once issued orders that the whole
court should assemble and do their best to set
48 All the king's horses and /his men
Humpty-Dumpty up again; but their exertions
were all in vain. There was no ladder in the
kingdom which would have reached to the top of
that wall, even if they could have put the old man
together; and the various parts of his body were
so twisted and misshapen that they could not find
out how to put them together, even if they could
have made them stick to each other; and the
scattered limbs of him would have fallen in pieces
even if the efforts of all the king's horses and all
the king's men had not been unavailing to move
the smallest of them from the place where it
lay. So his Majesty was obliged to give up the
attempt, and with a sigh to resign himself to the
hard fate of reigning with no more power to have
his wishes granted than is possessed by other
After all, he thought, this ought not to be such
a very miserable life. But before long he found
out how often a crown pricks the head of its
wearer. This was the most unfortunate reign
that the country had known for centuries. Every
Could zno set him up again. 49
day some fresh trouble came upon the king. His
enemies invaded his territories and defeated his
troops ; his subjects rebelled, his ministers
quarrelled, his treasury was empty, his stomach
was out of order, and the luckless King Johnny
found ever new reason to regret the loss of
Humpty-Dumpty and his most invaluable gift.
At last, after being severely wounded in a
desperate battle, and chased by the enemy's
cavalry till he could scarcely sit on his horse,
abandoned by all his followers, and not knowing
50 health and wishing at an end,
where to turn for a morsel of bread or a drop of
water, he flung himself on the ground, as his steed
fell dead beneath him, and cried out bitterly :
"Much good have I got by being able to
get whatever I wished for. I might as well
have been content to remain a poor child in my
mother's cottage ; that was much better indeed,
for then I had a pleasure in wishing for things
which I did not expect to get, and now I know
that whatever I wish for is sure not to satisfy
"Oh, you have found that out, have you ?"
cried at his back a shrill voice which he knew very
well; and Johnny turned round to find that he
had become a little boy again, and that Humpty-
Dumpty, as ugly and queer-looking as ever, was
sitting grinning at him from the wall of his
Well, what do you wish for now ?" said this
strange old man, tying himself into a sort of knot,
and rolling about as if tormented by an agony
To the moral now attend. 5 i
I wish," said Johnny,-" I don't wish-I mean,
I wish to have nothing more to do with you."
"That's right! No more you shall, my boy.
I told you that nobody ever had the chance which
you have had, and nobody ever will have it
again; for the world would become too miserable
to live in if anybody was able to have just what
he liked. So, Johnny, you go back to your
mother, and give her as little trouble as you can.
But if you will promise me to tell your story for the
warning of all discontented people, I will give you
a hint which will be of far more use to you than
the power that you have lately enjoyed and abused
-shall I ?"
Please, sir," said Johnny, much humiliated by
his recent experiences.
Listen began Humpty-Dumpty, holding up
a great crooked fore-finger, and looking quite
grave. Nobody can have what he likes, but
everybody can try to like what he has; and that
is what I advise you to do. If you are ever so
poor, but contented, you will be far happier than
52 The lesson he has understood,
if you had all the treasures in the world, and
wished for more. People don't believe this,
though they are told it over and over again ; but
it is true-it is true "
It is time-it is time for dinner! called out
Johnny's mother, coming to the door of the
cottage; and at the same moment Humpty-
Dumpty rocked himself so violently on the wall
that he tumbled backwards and disaeared into
"( i& 'i/ .
Dumpty rocked himself so violently on the wall
that he tumbled backwards and disappeared into
And is goiZng to be g00od. 53
the well, and has never been seen again, and never
Johnny ran to his mother, and tried by a smile
to make her forget his sullenness in the morning.
"Come along, lad," she said cheerily, I have
nothing but beans and bacon for your dinner; but
there's many that's worse off, and we must make
the best of it."
7 --- --
JACK AND JILL.
HERE lived, not very long ago,
and still may be living, for all I
IA know, a very respectable couple
of the name of Horner, who had
I two children, a son and a daugh-
ter. These children had been
christened John and Angelina,
>- but they were generally called
Jack and Jill, by which names they are well
known to most of us, though few persons have
heard all that I am going to tell you about them.
One day, about Christmas time, their mother,
with her bonnet and shawl on, came into the room
where Jack and Jill were playing, and found that
it was very cold, so she put on her spectacles and
saw that a window had been broken.
Who has done this ?" cried Mrs. Horner, not
at all well pleased. My dear children, have I
not forbidden you to throw your balls about in
the house ? "
58 Little 7ack HoIrner
Jill turned very red and cast her eyes down to
the floor; but Jack held up his head, and said :
"It wasn't me, mamma. I told Jill she was
very naughty; but I have been good."
Oh, mamma, I quite forgot you told us not to
play with our balls here !" cried poor Jill.
But I remembered," said Jack.
"I am very sorry. Please don't be angry
I can't help being a little angry, my dear,"
said her mother. You ought not to forget what
I tell you. It is naughty."
"I know it is," sobbed Jill; "but I will try and
remember, and not do it again."
But I am good. Am I not good, mamma ?"
Yes, my boy, you are good if you do as you are
told. And, as a reward, you shall have the whole
of this Christmas pie, which I meant to divide
between you two. Now, your father and I are going
out to market, and I hope you will both behave
yourselves like good children while we are away."
Sal in a corner, 59
I shall," said Jack.
I will try," said Jill.
"That's right," said Mrs. Horner, and gave
Jack the pie which she had promised him, and
went away, leaving the two children alone.
J il l ,
Now, what did Master Jack Horner do ? His
sister was still crying in one corner, and he sat
down in another, and ate up all his pie without
offering her the very least bit. And every time
6o Eatinig- a Chrzistmhas pie.
that he pulled out a plum he would say very
gravely something like this
You see, Jill, what I get by being a good boy.
Don't you wish you had been good too, and then
you would have had half of this nice pie ? "
Indeed I do, and then I shouldn't have vexed
mamma," was all poor Jill could say.
I should like to give you a piece of my pie,"
said Jack, gobbling away with great satisfaction.
" But you know you don't deserve it."
I know I don't, Jack," said poor Jill, still
sobbing in the corner.
But presently, as her tears dried, she looked a
little-just a little-at the pie, which nevertheless
Jack finished every bit, remarking, as he put the
last morsel into his mouth:
How glad I am that I am a good boy! Aren't
you sorry, Jill, that you are naughty ?"
"Oh, yes, Jack. I wish I could be good al-
I wish I could have a Christmas pie always,"
said Jack, and went on preaching a little sermon
Ok, what a good boy am I! 6 I
to his sister, as he picked up the crumbs that
had dropped, and ate them too. You see,
Jill, you should always be good, because then
you get nice things given you; but if you are
naughty you get nothing but a whipping, which
isn't at all nice. Haven't you read in the fairy
stories that good boys and girls always had every-
thing made right for them, and were sure to marry
the prince or princess at the end, in spite of all
that wild beasts or wicked giants or cross old
witches could do to prevent them ? I wonder that
anybody can be so stupid as to be naughty."
"Yes, but it is hard not to be naughty some-
times," said Jill.
Quite easy, if you think of the pie!" said
Shall I tell you what I wish, Jack ? said his
sister, drawing her chair closer to him. I wish
we lived long ago, in the days when benevolent
fairies used to come to people's christenings, and
make them amiable and obedient and good-tem-
pered all their lives. How easy it would be for us
62 There are noa fairies,
to do as we ought, if we had a fairy godmother to
give us such a gift as that !"
What a silly thing to wish cried Jack. You
don't suppose, do you, that fairies ever really did
such things ? I only talked to you about them
because I thought you would not understand me
if I spoke sensibly. There never were any fairies,
no more than the Man in the Moon, or the Old
Woman of Banbury Cross, as you will learn when
you get as far on in your lessons as I have done.
Fairies, indeed If there are any, let one of them
come into the room this moment, and bring me a
Do you really wish that ? cried Jill, opening
her round eyes to the widest; for she had not half
understood what her brother said, and thought he
believed such a thing not impossible.
Yes, I do," mumbled Jack, shutting his eyes,
for he was beginning to feel drowsy after eating
all that heavy pastry.
And now happened a wonderful thing-a most
wonderful thing: so wonderful that perhaps no
Ak, but there is! 63
one will believe it, though it is certainly as true as
any other part of this story. A fairy did come
into the room. How she got there might well be
i i i "
remained shut; and she didn't come out of the
cupboard, for that had been open all the afternoon ;
i ." ,1 -
a puzzle. She didn't come in by the door, for that
remained shut; and she didn't come out of the
cupboard, for that had been open all the afternoon;
64 7ack anud 7ll,
and she didn't come down the chimney, because a
great fire was blazing up it; and she didn't come
from under the table, because the children had
been playing hide-and-seek" there a little before.
So I am inclined to think that she must have found
her way somehow or other through the hole which
Jill's unlucky ball had made in the window. At
all events, there she was, dressed all in white, with
an ivory wand in her hand and a crown of lilies on
her head, standing over the children and smiling
I have not come to bring you a present," she
said in a very sweet voice, for nearly everything
in this world that is worth having must be gone
for, and not brought to you. But I am come to
tell you where you may find something which is
very well worth having if you choose to take the
trouble of fetching it."
What is it ? cried Jack.
Oh, thank you! cried Jill.
You know the hill behind your father's house ?
Well, on the top of that hill there is a magic spring
Go uip this ,Hll. 65
of sparkling water, which many people have seen,
but few understand the real value of it. You
cannot miss the way. Climb the hill; take the
largest pail in the house, and fill it at the fountain ;
then bring it home, and keep that pail of water as
you would keep a king's treasure. For whenever
you dip a piece of bread into this water it will be
changed into cake, and if it is buttered the butter
will become jam; while every stone that you dip
in the same way will be turned into a plum, or an
apple, or a pear, or a gooseberry, or a cherry, ac-
cording to the size of it, and the season of the year."
Jill's eyes were open wider than ever, but not
so wide as Jack's mouth. He began to grin and
lick his lips.
Set off now, my dears," said the fairy. You
may meet with enemies and obstacles by the way,
but if you are good children, and do your best to
help each other, you will be able to overcome them
all. There this is my Christmas present to you,
and never think again that good fairies have dis-
appeared from the earth."
66 To fetch a pail of water.
So saying, the fairy vanished as suddenly and
strangely as she had come, and left our young
friends capering about for joy.
Let us start this moment !" exclaimed Jack.
"I long to be back again, turning stones into
almonds and raisins as fast as I can dip them in."
We must get back before papa and mamma
come home," declared Jill. This will be such a
surprise for them."
How nice they will taste !" said Jack, thinking
of the plums.
How pleased they will be said Jill, thinking
of her parents.
"Well, are we ready ? said Jack. Remember
that I am to be allowed to dip my bread into the
pail before you. It must have been to me the
fairy came, because I was good, you know, so it is
only fair that I should have first turn."
Of course it is," said Jill.
You shall have a chance when I have quite
done. And I'll tell you what you may do; you
may get the pail and carry it, if you like. I think
7ack first, and z'il comes afler. 67
you ought to, as you were naughty, and it is a
wonder you were allowed to come with me
"Very well," said Jill, for she always gave in to
Off they went, then, Jack hurrying on in front,
and Jill trotting behind with the pail. They had
not far to go to the foot of the hill; but there they
found in front of them a wide thicket of briars and
brambles through which they must pass. When
Jack saw this, he said to his sister:
I expect you will not be able to get through
68 yack is for cry/in0,
here, Jill. I shall manage it easily enough, for the
fairy is sure to help me; fairies always do help
good boys. So you had better give me the pail,
and if you can't get through I won't wait for you,
and you can go home and pick up a heap of stones
for me to turn into plums."
Jill said nothing to this, and they went straight
ahead and plunged among the thorns. But now,
to Jack's great disgust, he found that no fairy
cleared them away for him, and before long he
was scratched and pricked all over, and seemed to
have lost his way in the densest part of the thicket.
Then he lost heart and tried to go back; but he
could neither go backwards nor forwards without
hurting himself, and at last he turned up the pail,
and sitting down on it began to cry.
Don't cry, dear Jack," said his sister, struco-lino-
through the branches and making up to him at
that moment. Let us try again."
Just see how my clothes are torn, and my
hands and face all bleeding he said, indignantly.
" That's what comes of goino- out with a nau-ghty
And fill for trying. 69
o-irl. If I had been alone now I should have
found my way all right."
"Oh, Jack, I am so sorry cried Jill, wiping
his face with her pocket-handkerchief, and taking
the pail from him.
"Then, after a little more grumbling on Jack's
part, they set out again, and by-and-bye got clear
of the thorny thicket, and began fairly to ascend
It was much steeper and stonier than it had
looked from a little distance, and Jack soon found
himself wishing< that he had not eaten all that rich
pie, which made him feel lazy and disinclined for
such violent exercise. Several times he lay down
in a bad temper, and sulkily declared that he could
not go any further; but Jill cheered him up, and
again and agTain encouraged him to make another
So they toiled on, and had got about half way
up the hill when they met a dragon.
It was a very fierce and large dragon, that
looked like a nmad bull, and had great horns, also
70 Here is a sight to make them quail.
sharp, long teeth, and a tail as thick as a ship's
cable, with which it beat the ground till it shook
beneath the children's feet. And when they felt
this small earthquake, and heard the dragon roaring
loud enough to drown the noise of a waterfall, and
saw it making enormous strides towards them,
they began to be frightened.
Now, Jill," said Jack, I told you something
of this sort would happen. There is always a
ill turns pale and 7ack turns tail. 71
dragon to guard these magic treasures, but it never
does anything to good people, who are under the
protection of the fairies ; so this one must be come
Oh, dear !" cried Jill. "Will it eat me,
There's no saying," said Jack, and ran away
manfully, leaving his sister, pale and trembling, to
the dragon's mercy.
Up came the terrible beast, snapping its teeth
and swishing its tail; but, instead of touching Jill,
it made after Jack, and in one minute had caught
him, and in two had tossed him in the air with its
horns, and in three would have gobbled him up, if
Jill had not rushed to the spot, and, falling on her
knees, exclaimed :
Oh, please, dear dragon, don't hurt my brother !
\e are only going to fetch a pail of water from
the top of the hill, and we won't do you any harm."
The dragon dropped Jack, who was screaming
at the full pitch of his voice between its jaws. It
turned to Jill, and seemed to like the look of her,
72 Ohi, dear me!
for it came gently up and rubbed its great horns
softly against her, and lay down and let her pat it
and make friends with it. And this dragon must
have been a good-natured creature after all, for
when Jill brought up the pail, it quietly allowed itself
to be milked; and the two children were able to
refresh themselves before proceeding on their way.
After thanking the dragon, which said Good-
bye to them with a civil grunt, they went slowly
on, for Jack had not yet got over his fright.
But as soon as they had crossed the next fence
they saw a very cruel and ugly ogre at the other
end of the field. He wore top-boots and a broad-
brimmed hat, just like a farmer, and ran up,
brandishing a thick stick in one hand and shaking
his other fist at the children, who crouched down
behind the hedge; but that was no good, for the
ogre roughly pulled them out, and asked savagely:
Why are you trespassing in my country ?"
Please sir, we didn't mean--," began Jill.
You didn't mean. Ah, ha! you shall see what
I mean. I mean eating! And with that he
AnZ ogre see 73
caught hold of Jack by the collar, and began
luocmingo him off.
Don't take me roared Jack. It wasn't me
that was naughty. I am good."
"Yes, and you are fat," was all the ogre's
answer, as he dragged the boy off in spite of his
howls and entreaties, leaving Jill to cry all alone
in the field.
7 4 MAakzio angz oS 7-e s pzc,
Kicking, struggling, and bellowing, Jack was
carried off to the ogre's castle, where the monster
flung him down on the floor of the kitchen, and
said to his wife
"Put him safely away for to-night, and to-
morrow you can hang him up to make him tender.
Let me see, there is nothing for our Sunday dinner.
He will do nicely."
"A little tough, and will take a cood deal of
baking," said she, poking Jack in the side, so that
he shuddered and crouched up in a heap with
Then the ogre sat down to make his supper on
a cold pie of bad boys who had been caught stealing
turnips in his fields, and his wife locked up Jack
in a cage, where he sat snivelling and watching
her roll out the paste for another pie. He was to
go into that pie, most likely It was horrible to
think of, and Jack began to bellow with all his
might; but the ogre threatened to eat him up at
once if he wasn't quiet. For," said he, I am
going to sleep."
A4 und a pluziz i i ani to be I. 75
-- -- __
In fact, after smoking a pipe as big as a band-
box, and drinking up a small barrelful of beer, the
ogre fell asleep, and began to snore so loudly that
the windows shook. Then his wife stepped out
to gather sticks to heat the oven in which the pie
was to be baked ; and, presently, the lamp went
out also, and Jack found himself all alone in the
Oh dear !-oh dear he whimpered. Please
76 BPut ere comes 7ill.
some fairy or other, come and help me out of this
dreadful place. I never heard of a good boy being
so ill-treated before."
At this moment he heard a little voice whisper-
ing near him; and though he could not see, he
knew it must be his sister.
"Hush!" she said. I have taken the key
out of the ogre's pocket, and I am going to let
you out, and we will be off before anybody sees
"Well, be quick about it!" growled Jack.
"What a time you have been! "
Jill cautiously opened the door of the cage. The
rusty hinges creaked, but the ogre's snoringdrowned
the noise, and without arousing him Jack stole
out of the cage, and taking his sister's hand they
groped their way to the door, and made haste to
fly from the castle, thinking every moment that
they heard the ogre's heavy tread behind them.
But they didn't, for he slept like a top; and his
wife, having met with a neighbour at the baker's
shop, stood gossiping there so long that she did
ITh/y clwib /hie hiill. 77
not return till midnight. By this time Jack and
Jill were far away, and out of the ogre's territories.
It was so dark that they could scarcely see
where they were going; but they hurried on, now
slipping into a ditch, now sticking in a hedge, now
stumbling upon a root, and now sinking over
the ankles in mud. In this way they wandered
about half the night, and at last were delighted to
find themselves close to the top of the hill.
Here we are! said Jack, puffing and blowing.
" Now, then, didn't I tell you that the fairies
would help me ? "
A few more steps brought them in sight of the
sparkling fountain, which gushed out into a crystal
basin at the foot of a tall Christmas tree, every
branch of it gay and glittering with the most
beautiful presents-toys, books, packets of bon-
bons, and other fine things-which made Jack's
mouth and eyes water, and called forth a cry of
wonder from Jill. Wax tapers, of every colour,
lit it up and shone all round, so that it could be
seen that the fountain was surrounded by a band
78 7ack falls dozon
of lovely fairies, dressed in white muslin frocks
with blue sashes, and satin slippers, and silvery
wings. Balancing themselves on their toes, and
waving their arms gracefully in sign of welcome,
the fairies came forward to meet our travellers,
and Jill stopped and shrank back as if ashamed to
find herself so fortunate. But Jack, snatching the
pail from her hand, boldly rushed towards the
fountain. His eyes were all taken up by the good
__ __ things that hung on the
Christmas tree, and he
:-- .- .did not look to his
"feet then he must
1, f, ,' .. . .-_.-
have tripped on a
stone or slipped on a
"1 piece of orange-peel,
Al. .for suddenly, on the
very brow of the hill,
he staggered, fell, and
began to roll down.
Down, down, down the hill he went, head over
heels, rolling and bowling from ridge to ridge,
Aznd cracks his cr07Cown. 79
thumping and bumping on rocks, splashing and
smashing through puddles and hedges, clutching
wildly and in vain with one hand at each bush or
tuft of grass, and in the other holding fast the pail,
which clanked and clattered at every bound.
Down he went, till at last, when he thought he
was never going to stop, he came tumbling into a
deep pit at the bottom, striking his head against
the pail and raising a great lump upon it. As
soon as he was able to find his voice, he of course
began to call out lustily; and when he was sure
that no bones were broken, and could look about
him and saw that the pit was full of venomous
snakes, toads, cockroaches, and other loathsome
creatures, which all came crowding round him,
hissing and squeaking and croaking, he roared
louder than ever, and bellowed:
Boo-hoo Boo-hoo Is this the way to treat
a good boy I will never be good any more.
Oh, dear Oh, dear "
Just then he looked up, and caught sight of Jill
comn down after him very fast and w hen she
80 Thiis s zwhat comes
came near he saw that she was not tumbling, but
flying, for the fairies had lent her their pretty sil-
ver wings. Down she came into the pit, and not
a moment too soon,
as the largest and
ugliest of the toads I
had already opened
its mouth to swallow A
her brother up. But X
it foolishly stopped to
say, "What a good '
( s ,---
'I --- t-7r--,
Of too ;miuck pzlums. 81
toad am I and this gave Jack time to make a
desperate clutch at Jill's hand, and then--
With a start he awoke, and sat up rubbing his
eyes, and wondering what in all the world had
been happening to him; and at the other side of
the fire Jill was nursing her doll, and telling it not
to be naughty, or mamma would be vexed when
she came home.
Oh, Jill, you can't think what a dreadful dream
I have had That pie must have made me ill,
and I have such a headache said Jack, putting
up his hand to his head to make sure that it really
was not broken.
Oh, Jack, I am so sorry said Jill, just as she
had done in the dream.
But now the front door opened, and Mr. and
Mrs. Horner came home very wet and tired, and
laden with a turkey, plums, currants, suet, and
other good things for Christmas, which at any
other time would have delighted Jack beyond
measure; but now he was too unwell to take any
notice of them.
82 Oh, w/za a good girl was she !
Jill ran to meet the old people, and to take her
father's hat and umbrella, and her mother's cloak
and galoshes. Then Mrs. Horner held out a
paper bag, saying, kindly:
I am quite sure that my dear little girl is sorry
for having forgot my orders, so I have brought
home a nice Christmas pie for her, too."
"Oh, thank you, mamma!" cried Jill, and at
once took it over to Jack, and tried to comfort
him by offering him some of it.
But Jack was too far gone to be comforted. He
began to cry, and declared that he had a pain
everywhere, and especially in his head, and that
he was very unhappy, and that he never wished
to see another pie in his life.
No, my boy, a Christmizas pill is what you
must have," said his father, chuckling over his
little joke. Pills, pies, and plums-all very good
things in their way, if you don't take too much of
"And no wonder you are ill, if you ate up all
that rich pie at once !" declared Mrs. Horner.
And oh, zwzha a bad ;i had ile! 83
"But you come straight off to bed, and we will
soon set you to rights, and I hope this will be a
warning to you not to be so greedy another time."
So Jack was put to bed and had nasty medicine
given him, and lay fretting and aching and tossing
about in a sad frame of mind and body; and Jill
came softly into the room and sat with him, and
read to him, and bathed his hot forehead with eau-
de-Cologne, and did everything she could think of
for his comfort, till he could not help being aware
that she was an unusually kind sister, and actually
began to feel sorry that he often behaved so
selfishly to her. At last he fell asleep, and half
the night was troubled with another restless dream,
in which an ogre of a doctor was always coming
to see him, in a gig drawn by a dragon, bringing
a Christmas tree covered with plasters and
powders and medicine bottles, and ordering him
to eat nothing but a Christmas pie, in which
plums and pills were jumbled up in indigestible
COlnf S1i0o .
Now-a-days, when all children are so clever, they
84 A. greedy boy's Ckristmas tree
II I t
know that these ugly nightmares are nothing but
a sign of something being the matter with us.
But, ah the most absurd dreams may be strangely
true, for in them we can sometimes see ourselves
as we really are, and might know thus that none
of us are so good as we should be. A very little
knowledge of this kind is more wholesome and
more to be wished for than all the pies in the
A lesson for you and me. 85
world, which is not to say that children are to
be naughty, but that it is better to be sorry for
having done wrong than to be proud and greedy
when plums have been civen us for doino right.
/i ,ff /
FIGHTING FOR THE CROWN.
.~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ... ...
CMN TO ARMS.
HERE were once
two powerful mon-
"" archs, King Lion
and King Unicorn,
/ hiwhose palaces stood
at the top of two
hills opposite each
other, with a beau-
tiful and thickly-
between. Each of
these kings thought
himself the greatest
man in the world, and their subjects also believed
their own kingdom to be the greatest of all
countries: so there was a great deal of jealousy