...F OUR i
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Homoe anJd F,,rcrg n M s.iorLarvy Socii ty
S presenteb to ,-- '
in ric on orof hi rv iC
Col- It fc'r this Soci eI,
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The Baldwin Library
171--- *- -- .
"EDRIC TELLS HIS TALES OF DARING AND PERIL "-. 25.
ENGLISH ROYS AND GIRLS IN FAR-OFF
KATE T. SIZER.
I''" -' ~
L ': i''
goa obun :
CHARLES H. KELLY, 2, CASTLE ST., CITY RD., E.C.;
AND 66, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
HAYMAN, CHRISTY AND LILLY, LTD.,
HATTON WORKS, 118, FARRINGDON ROAD
AND 20, 2Q. ST. BRIDE ST.. E.G.
I. HUGH'S ANCESTOR THE EARLY BRITON 9
II. AT A SAXON FARM 19
III. IN A NORMAN CASTLE 27
IV. IN WHITTINGTON'S LONDON, A.D.-I739 36
V. IN THE REIGN OF GOOD QUEEN BESS .45
VI. AT THE TIME OF THE GREAT FIRE OF
LONDON, A.D., 1666 54
Or, English Boys and Girls in Far-off Times.
HUGH'S ANCESTOR THE EARLY BRITON.
--'" HERE are the rest of them, Uncle
I--, The rest of whom ?" Uncle
Phil looked up from his book
"The rest of our ancestors," answered Hugh,
a fair-haired thoughtful-looking boy of ten, who,
while his uncle had been buried deep in his
reading, was looking round the room at the
The two sat alone in the oak-panelled
dining-room of an old-fashioned town house.
They lived alone; for Uncle Phil had never
had brother or sister except Hugh's father; and
Hugh could not remember either father or
mother, for both had died when he was a baby.
But Hugh never felt a lonely orphan ; his uncle,
still young and merry and kind, had taken good
care to prevent that. The pair were famous
friends and playfellows. Ir Hugh ever wanted
other company, why, then, as he said, there were
the family pictures, which with their serious,
attentive eyes seemed to watch all that was done,
as well as listen to all that was said.
Now, uncle, please put down your book and
chat. I want my question answered dreadfully,"
said Hugh beseechingly.
"Lessons done?" asked the uncle, with a
lift of his eyebrows.
All done. Now listen, uncle dear, and look
at the pictures. There is my father and my
pretty mother in her wedding-dress over the
fireplace. There's grandfather in his judge's
wig and grandmother, on each side of the door.
And great-grandfather and great-grandmother
over by the window: and that's all-except
aunts and uncles. But why do they stop
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THE MAN SHOOTS, AND DOWN FALLS TH B131RD."-;. 14,
HUGH'S ANCESTOR THE EARLY BRITON. 13
Stop where ? His uncle was puzzled.
"Is it the people who stop, or only the
pictures ? Had great-grandfather a father? "
Of course," said Uncle Phil, much
"And he a father before that?" Hugh
pursued the subject thoughtfully.
And he a father before that ? Hugh had
to shut his eyes to think this out.
Yes, my .boy."
Then I suppose I have a long, long chain
of grandfathers and grandmothers too, stretching
all the way back to the time of William the
Conqueror. How wonderful!" said the boy,
opening his eyes again in the surprise of the
Further back still," said Hugh's uncle.
It's like a story. Oh, Uncle Phil, how I
should like to hear about some of those far away
ancestors You know so much, could you not
tell me something about them ? Tell me what
they did and looked like when they were boys
and girls of my age. Let us play that you are a
wonderful magician, like those Sir Walter Scott
made stories about, and that you have a magic
glass, which gives you pictures of the past. Now,
uncle, do begin "
Uncle Phil smiled and looked into the fire,
stroking his moustache in a thoughtful pause.
Hugh came to nestle at his feet, and waited
patiently, knowing the story was sure to come.
Is the magic glass clear? Can you see any-
thing? he ventured to ask presently.
"It was dim at first," answered his uncle,
for I was looking a long way back, before Julius
Caesar came to Britain. England was a wild,
rough country then, you know, and as I look into
the glass I see scarcely a town or village; but I see
trees and heathland and swamp. There are
many trees where I am looking, Hugh, and a
gleam of water. It is a lake, or still, quiet river
near a big forest. There are reeds and rushes
by the water's edge, and a boat is half hidden in
the reeds. A man and a boy sit watching in the
boat. Beautiful birds, wild swans, herons, and
bustards are swimming on the lake. The man
has a bow in his hand, and is fitting an arrow to
the string. Now a swan, with its white body
and arching neck, gets up from the water; the
man shoots, and down falls the bird. 'Pick up
the bird, Riol,' he says in the Keltic language;
HUGH'S ANCESTOR THE EARLY BRITON. 15
and the boy-our ancestor, you know-comes
"What is he like ?" asks Hugh eagerly.
"He has a long head and dark hair; his
eyes are dusky blue. Why, really, Hugh, your
eyes are not unlike his. He wears a tunic and
trousers of dark blue cloth. He is stooping
over the beautiful bird, and has pulled the
arrow out of its side. Look at the arrow-head,
Hugh? Riol's father spent some hours yester-
day chipping it out of stone, and it is too
precious to be lost. A little thong of leather
ties the arrow-head to the wooden shaft; and
the arrow has done its work well, as the slain
bird shows. Riol's father cut him a knife
yesterday out of stone, and fixed it in a wooden
handle. Look, he is using it to cut a stick down
to carry the bird upon."
A knife of stone What a clumsy thing it
must be! said Hugh contemptuously.
"Riol is patient, and he thinks his stone
knife a splendid treasure. Only a few of the
grown up men have knives or chisels of
bronze or iron. Now the boy is back at the
boat, and he and his father, having provided
enough for supper, paddle away over the
clear waters to their house. Such a queer
house it is! "
Tell me about it, uncle."
It is in the middle of the lake. A number
of low mounds are there, and on each a hut is
built. Each little house stands high and dry on
a small platform made of wood and brushwood ;
the walls are partly of wicker-work covered with
clay. Riol's sister, Gwen, sits on the platform
outside their home, weaving a basket, for which
Riol brought her the willow twigs this morning.
She looks up suddenly with a cry."
Oh what is the matter? asks Hugh.
"'Father, take care,' she cries. Her quick
eye has seen something moving on the bank by
which her father and brother are passing. Some
Britons of a hostile tribe have hidden themselves
in the bushes, and bent their bows. Whit I
goes an arrow, just missing Riol's head. But he
and his father are too quick for their enemies,
and with a stroke or two of their paddles they
are out of reach. They have saved their lives,
and their fine, new boat, which was what the
other Britons probably wanted. Quickly they
reach their home, and have climbed by a
rough ladder on to the platform, from which
HUGH'S ANCESTOR THE EARLY BRITON. 17
they can look back with scorn at their disap-
pointed enemies, who have no boat and cannot
"What does Gwen say ?" asks Hugh.
"She claps her hands for joy that her father
and Riol have escaped. Then she picks up the
swan and strips it of its feathers. A little fire is
burning on a clay hearth in the hut. The fire-
flames are twinkling on the other mounds near,
for it is supper-time in the lake village. Gwen
puts the bird down to roast in the ashes of the
fire, and so hot and savoury it soon smells that
Riol feels hungry, and plunges his hand into an
earthenware pot near to find a piece of bread
to munch till supper is ready. Careless boy '
says Gwen; for Riol somehow manages to over-
turn the pot, and with a crash it rolls bumping
along the platform and down into the lake.
"'Our best pot!' wails Gwen, till Riol
"'No matter, Gwen! I know a nice bed of
clay on shore. To-morrow you and I will go
and fetch some. I love to pat and squeeze the
soft clay into pots and pans; and you are so
clever, you can draw all sorts of pretty patterns
with a knife on the sides of the pots. We will
make so many that we will have a whole row
standing on the platform here to harden in the
"So Gwen shakes back her amber locks
with a smile, and gives Riol the best bit of the
now roasted swan for supper, and the little
quarrel is made up. Darkness comes over the
world, and Gwen and Riol lie down to rest on
beds of deerskins. They do not say 'Our
Father' before they go to sleep, for their priests,
the Druids, have only taught them of cruel, false
gods, whom they are glad to forget. So Gwen
falls asleep, thinking only of her cooking and
her household work, and Riol lies listening to
the howls of bears and wolves in the forest
beyond the lake, and dreams of being a man to
hunt them by-and-by."
"Is that all the story? And did all the
Britons live like that ? asks Hugh.
Not all; for some lived in the woods, and
some were farmers, with herds of cattle and
cornfields. But some lived as I have told you,
and their lake villages may be seen to this day.
Now, Hugh, it's your bedtime, too. Good-
night. Sleep as sound as Gwen and Riol,"
AT A SAXON FARM.
SNCLE PHIL'S slippers lay before the
Fire, dinner had just been cleared
,1-c from the table, and Hugh, in a low
S chair beside the hearth, sat waiting
S in a state of the highest impatience.
It was Saturday; there were no lessons to break
in on the long evening; Uncle Phil had pro-
mised another story. And now, just as they
were ready to begin, a client of Uncle Phil
must call. "Dear me !" thought Hugh, "what
trials boys have to bear !"
Bang That was the office door. Hugh
jumped up joyfully. Uncle Phil, has he gone
at last? Oh come quick, and don't waste
another minute of our evening. How I wish
there was no such thing as business "
"Where would our bread and cheese be
then ? laughed Uncle Phil. "But now, as I
know your patience has been much tried,
Hugh, we will look in the magic glass straight
away; and see how winter evenings like
this were spent in England a thousand years
By the boys and girls," put in Hugh. I
don't care so much about what the grown ups
did. Tell me what my Saxon ancestor, who
was a boy in the year A.D. 894, was doing.
What was his name? "
Shall we call him Wulfnoth ?" said Uncle
Phil; "and we will take a look at him as he
comes home from school in the winter twilight
He is pondering over the difficulties of kic, kcc,
hoc, and wondering if ever his stiff fingers will be
able to write and draw as well as the monks, his
"Does he have a monk to teach him ? "
"Certainly; no one but the monks knew
enough to be schoolmasters. Wulfnoth and
other boys go daily to the monastery school to
learn to read Latin and Anglo-Saxon, and sing
psalms, and count up figures. Wulfnoth is not
very fond of his lessons, I am sorry to say ; and
he has quite made up his mind on one point-
he will never be a monk. He will be like
AT A SAXON FARM.
his father half-soldier, half-farmer -and he
is running up the hill eagerly now to see
what has been done at home while he was
What is his home like ? asked Hugh.
It stands by itself on a hill, looking down
at the city of Winchester. It is rather a big
house, built all of wood, but only one storey
high. There are sheepfolds and cattle-sheds
round it, for Wulfnoth's father is rich in flocks
and herds; and close by are the huts of his serfs,
who take care of them. Just as Wulfnoth comes
near several yoke of oxen climb the hill,
dragging ploughs of iron after them. Some
ploughmen walk beside, and also a tall, stately
man, wrapped in a long mantle lined with fox-
fur. 0 father,' cries Wulfnoth, 'have you been
"'Hurry in, my boy,' answers Edric, the
father ; 'we are late for noon-meat.'"
I don't want to interrupt," Hugh
breaks in softly, "but, please, what is noon-
The Saxon name for dinner," says Uncle
Phil. As they enter the biggest room in the
house, a hall with a low roof held up by wooden
pillars, Hilda, Wulfnoth's sister, comes springing
to meet them. She has long, flowing, fair hair
like her father and brother, for they are free-
born; but the serfs who are laying the table for
dinner have close-cropped heads. A pleasant
scent of steaming savoury broth rises up,
and an incense of roasted capons and boiled
pork. Hilda unlooses the gold brooch that
pins her father's mantle, Wulfnoth flings off
his own, and they all sit down to dinner
-the master's family at the upper end of
the board, the servants and slaves at the
"Hilda sips her broth daintily out of a
carved wooden bowl ; Wulfnoth hacks with his
knife-nobody used forks then, you know
Hugh-at a roast pheasant he himself snared
What do they talk about? asks Hugh.
"I will tell you. Hilda, girl-like, is full of
chatter. 0 Wulfnoth,' she says, 'is my little
book done yet ?' Wulfnoth shakes his head
ruefully in answer. He is writing at the monas-
tery school a copy of the Psalms for Hilda, which
she, under his teaching, will learn to read when
he brings it home."
AT A SAXON FARM.
"Why has she not learned before?" says
"Because she does not go to the school
with the boys. She stays at home and helps
her mother dry herbs, and spin linen, and
do lovely embroidery. There was no work
so good as the English ladies' work in those
I want my book dreadfully,' sighs
Hilda; 'I have never even seen a book ex-
cept when the priest reads out of one at the
"'I think reading is only fit for women and
priests,' bursts out Wulfnoth impetuously.
'You never learnt to read, father, and yet see
what a brave soldier and clever farmer you are !
Why must I learn ?'
"'There was no King Alfred when I was
young,' answers Edric, with a smile.
"'Oh I forgot. King Alfred loves learned
men,' admitted Wulfnoth more gently; for he
had often seen the noble king pass through the
streets of Winchester, and to be one of Alfred's
bodyguard when he grew up was the boy's
"'Yes; Alfred thinks men ought to know
how to study as well as fight. At nights,
when his subjects are sleeping, he is bid-
ding his secretary write down the wise
thoughts which he has prepared for the teach-
ing of his people. He fights for us, rules us,
cares for us night and day; and you, Wulf-
noth, must try to be what the good king
"'Well, I will,' says Wulfnoth obediently ;-
'but I love better to fight, or hunt, or plough
"' Here comes what we all love best of all,
cries Hilda, joyfully. Dinner was ended, and
the serfs were lifting the table away, throwing
the bones left from the meal to the shaggy dogs
at the hearth. An old, white-bearded servant
brought a five-stringed harp, and set it before
"'To tug at the harp
With my nails sharp,
is what every Saxon boy should learn; so the
rhyme says, you know,' laughed Hilda.
"'And King Alfred can do that too,' said
So while Hilda crouches on a little stool
AT A SAXON FARM.
at her father's feet to listen, the boy plays
and sings a hunting-song, Then the white-
bearded servant takes the harp and plays a
beautiful melody, now soft and sweet, then
inspiriting as a battle chant. Edric pushes
away the wooden mug of mead that stands
"' That is like the song we sang at the fight
of Ethandune,' he says, and Hilda claps her
hands delightedly. She knows one of her father's
stories is coming.
"The winter winds make the wooden casements
rattle, and the snow falls without ; but the little
group by the fire within heed nothing, while
Edric tells his tales of daring and peril in the
great war with the Danes.
"' Father,' says Hilda at the close,' who saved
our England in that dreadful time ?'
"' King Alfred,' answered Wulfnoth quickly
and proudly, before his father can reply.
"'No,' says Edric, laying his hand on the
boy's head ;' the king himself would tell you, it
was God. And, Wulfnoth, if you want to grow
up a man after our royal Alfred's heart, you
must learn the lesson he first learnt, to fear
26 HUGH'S ANCESTORS.
Oh, Uncle Phil," sighed Hugh, as the story
came to an end ; "if I could change places with
any of my ancestors, it should be with Wulf-
noth. Just think of having seen that splendid
IN A NORMAN CASTLE,
.." F course I cannot hear about all my
\-\ I ancestors," remarked Hugh one even-
-- ing, as he and Uncle Phil sat together
.r:f as usual; "it would take too long.
But may I hear next of one who
lived in the Norman times-the days of the
crusades and of Robin Hood, when so many
interesting things happened ? I wish you would
tell me, uncle, just what I should have been
doing if I had been my own ancestor in the
time of Cceur-de-lion ? "
Uncle Phil smiled as he looked down at the
little figure in the big chair. You are not tall
enough, Hugh, and too fond of reading. They
would have made a shaven monk of you in
those days, while the ancestor of whom I am
going to tell you was a different sort of boy.
You can find a name to call him."
"Geoffrey-was that a Norman name ? "
asked Hugh, after a moment's pause.
"Yes, it was. Now, peeping into my magic
glass, I see the walls of a great castle rising up.
A great wood covers the hill near, and deer
among the trees are tossing their antlered heads.
A stream runs through the valley, where a mill
for grinding corn stands, with a few poor folks'
cottages beside. But the castle is so big and
lordly-looking, with its walls and towers and
square keep, that I see the castle more plainly
Does Geoffrey-our ancestor-live there? "
"You shall hear. The drawbridge over the
moat is down, and a great many people are
going in and out of the castle. Some come
from the village, some are farmers from the
country round, and they meet the soldiers and
servants who live in the castle, and talk together
with sad faces."
Why are they sad ? said Hugh.
Listen. One of the solders is telling
the new comers, 'Our good lord died this
"' Alas-the-day!' says a man in a farmer's
L..~1. .~ Il"i_ i
" IT IS NOT YOURS-NOTHING IS YOURS NOW,' SAYS SIR ROLAND."-p. 32.
IN A NORMAN CASTLE.
dress. He was always kind to his tenants, and
who will rule over us now ?'
"The soldier shakes his head with a dole-
ful look in answer. 'Prince John, the king's
brother, has already sent some one to take
charge of the estate,' he whispers. Our little
lord is to be ward of the knight Roland de
"'Why, he is a bad, cruel knight,' says the
farmer, looking as dismayed as the soldier; 'he
will be harsh to all under him.'
"'Yes,' replied the soldier. Hear how he is
talking to Lord Geoffrey now.'"
Where is Geoffrey ?" interrupted Hugh.
Up the winding steps inside the castle you
come to an upper room looking on the court-
yard, and there is Geoffrey, a boy of twelve,
who has this morning lost his father. Opposite
him stands a tall, dark-bearded man, dressed in
a long tunic and short mantle, wearing shoes
with long pointed toes. Geoffrey is crying still
over his sad loss, but the stern man whom Prince
John has sent to be his guardian has no mercy.
He is talking to the boy.
"'Can you ride?'
"' Oh, yes!' Geoffrey's eyes brighten through
his tears. 'I have a beautiful black horse of my
own in the stables.'
"' It is not yours-nothing is yours now.
All is mine till you come of age,' says Sir
Geoffrey looks up aghast. 'Oh but won't
you let me keep my own horse? My father
gave it me, and he knows what the huntsman's
bugle-call means as well as I do.'
"' Then he will do well for me to ride,' said
Sir Roland. 'Don't cry, boy,' he adds roughly;
'you shall have some sort of a horse instead,
for you are to be my squire when you are old
enough, and ride behind me to battle.'
"' But I want my own, my very own, horse,'
"' Can you play chess ?' asks Sir Roland.
"Geoffrey nods; he cannot keep his tears
back to speak.
"' That is well; for I like a game of chess to
amuse me in the evenings, and you are going
away from here to live in my castle. You are
to be a page there, and wait on my lady-wife;
and if you do not do as you are told, though you
are an earl's son, you will be well punished.'
"Geoffrey stares at his guardian with big
IN A NORMAN CASTLE.
frightened eyes. .'Will Blanche come too?' is
all he dares say.
"Your sister? No,' says Sir Roland. I
shall send her to be a nun in a convent, and
then I myself can keep the money your father
left for her marriage-portion.'
The knight laughs, as if he thought this a
good joke, and as some servants come in just
then to ask his orders, Geoffrey slips behind
them and darts out at the door, only too glad to
"Where does he go ?" asks Hugh.
The castle stairs wind up and up, very high
and steep. Geoffrey climbs to the top, and goes
into a little turret-room, where the windows are
larger and wider than those down below. An
embroidery frame stands there with a piece of
tapestry trailing on the ground, as if hastily
thrown aside. By one of the windows kneels a
girl, a little older than Geoffrey, with dark eyes
like his, and dark hair falling round her face.
"'0 sister O sister !' cries the boy, as he
runs to her and clings round her, sobbing.
"' Have you seen our guardian, Sir Roland ?'
"'Cruel man, I hate him!' says Geoffrey
doubling his fist. 'He is going to take me from
you, and send you to a convent.'
"Blanche turns pale. I won't go,' she says.
"'He will make you,' sobs Geoffrey. 'Oh,
he is a harsh, bad man !'
"'Oh why did father die?' Blanche says
pitifully. 'Our mother is dead, and there is
no one to take care of us.' And both the poor
children cry together in each other's arms.
At last Blanche lifts her head resolutely.
'Sir Roland may send me to a convent, but I
will not stay there. Don't cry so, Geoffrey.
By-and-by the king will come home from the
crusades. He will remember that our father was
a loyal vassal to him. He will not let this
guardian treat us so cruelly.'
Geoffrey wipes his eyes a little comforted.
Presently a servant runs breathlessly up the
stairs to say that Sir Roland is riding away, and
his little page must go with him. The brother
and sister hold each other tight for a minute for
a long kiss, and then 'Adieu,' says poor Blanche,
and 'Adieu,' echoes Geoffrey sadly.
As he rides off behind Sir Roland, one of
his father's men comes near and whispers to
him : I'll take care of your pet hawk, Lord
IN A NORMAN CASTLE.
Geoffrey. Your guardian shall not have that as
well as your horse.'
"And the boy smiles back gratefully, and
feels there are a few kind hearts still in the
"Oh !" cried Hugh pityingly, as Uncle Phil
was silent. Were there really such cruel doings
Quite as cruel, or worse, Hugh, I fear," said
his uncle. Nobody read their Bible in those
times, or learned to be kind to the weak and
helpless. Be thankful, my boy, you live to-
=-- -- ---_,T~I~-~
IN WHITTINGTON'S LONDON, A.D. 1379.
,," ,HAT is the next story?" asked
Hugh eagerly, when one of the
S--i ~evenings he delighted in came
S round, and Uncle Phil was neither
t r too tired nor too busy to talk
"About your ancestor the baker-boy, I
think," said his uncle, after a minute's reflection.
"Oh-h!" began Hugh in dismay, "but my
last ancestor lived in a Norman castle."
Uncle Phil laughed. It is two hundred
years since then, Hugh-time for plenty of
changes. And this baker-boy lived in the days
of Dick Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of
"Did he?" Hugh looked more interested.
"Well, please peep into your magic glass, Uncle
Phil. Perhaps I may like what you see there."
IN WHITTINGTON'S LONDON, A.D. 1379. 37
"I see a London street," began his uncle
" and a poor little wooden house there. The
house has only one room in it, and on a heap of
straw up in a corner two children are sleeping.
In another corner a woman is busy filling her
basket with small articles, leather laces, spurs,
inkhorns, purses, sheets of parchment, and other
things; some of which would be thought very
funny to-day. There is no glass in the window
and the woman has pulled back the shutter, so
the sun shines straight on the boy's face and
presently wakes him.
"' Get up, lie-a-bed !' says his mother smiling
"' Is it m-morning ?' asks Stephen, with a
big yawn. Then, turning to little Elena at his
side, he cries sternly: 'Elena, wake up What a
very lazy girl you are !'
Elena wakes, quite startled; then catches
sight of her mother's laughing face. I don't
believe you have been awake long, Stephen,' she
Her brother pretends not to hear this. He
is busy putting on his tabard, a funny, short
little coat, open at the sides. While Elena gets
into her little russet gown, the mother lays their
38 HUGH'S ANCESTORS.
breakfast on a wooden bench close to them.
Only coarse brown bread (bis, they called it) and
water from a fountain near; but Stephen and
his sister have good appetites. If they can get
enough to eat, they are well satisfied ; for since
their father died, they have often known what it
.is to be hungry.
"' It is past seven of the clock,' soon says the
mother; 'we must be going. Stephen, help
carry my basket ; and, Elena, keep close beside
They all put on long coats with close
hoods, and go out into the busy streets, where
knights on great war-horses and black, gray, or
white-gowned monks are passing, with sailors
from the river and wagoners from the country.
Shopmen are calling out the names of their
goods and prices, and the mother and children
hurry along, till they reach the street of the
Chepe,* where a tall stone cross is standing.
"On the steps of the cross and near by were
several women, selling small articles like those
Stephen's mother carried. Some had little low
booths to keep their wares in, some had open
stalls, one or two had only baskets. Each kept
"THE BLACK-GOWNED FRIAR LOOKED UP AS THE BOY SPOKE."--)~ 41.
IN WHITTINGTON'S LONDON, A.D. 1379. 41
her appointed place or station,* and did their
best to dispose of their goods to the passers-by.
"' Run, Stephen,' cried his mother. Ask
that friar to buy an inkhorn.'
The black-gowned friar looked up as the
boy spoke, for he had been counting his beads
and muttering Latin prayers even in the streets.
He did not want an inkhorn; but he did want
some parchment to take home to his monastery,
so Stephen came back rejoicing to his mother
with a silver penny. Then a tall squire on a
kicking horse bought a pair of spurs, and a
dainty lady with ermine fur on her hood bought
a purse ; it was quite a good day for the widow.
"' Should you like to be a friar and learn to
read and write, Stephen ?' asked Elena.
"'No,' said her brother promptly ; 'I should
like to be a knight with a war-horse.'
But only rich boys can be knights, while
even a poor boy like you can be a learned
monk,' said Elena.
"' I wish Stephen could be a baker, like his
father,' said their mother.
"'Well, mother, I should like that very
The origin of the modern stationers' business.
much,' answered Stephen. 'Then, Elena, I
would bring you home fine white bread for sup-
per every night and a mutton pasty Sundays.'
And straightway, to his sister's great amuse-
ment, he began to call out as he had heard the
bakers do: 'Mutton pasty, one penny Fine
roast goose, sixpence All hot !' Elena
laughed, but the mother tried to hush him, for
the passers-by were stopping to wonder at this
little baker, who had no pies or bread to sell.
One gentleman especially, wearing a splen-
did robe and a gold chain, was watching little
Stephen with a smile. At his side hung a heavy
purse, and as he stood there someone out of the
crowd slipped nimbly behind, and cut the purse
from the girdle on which it hung. Stephen's
quick eye saw the ill deed at once.
"'Stop thief!' he cried, dropping his cry of
Mutton pasties !' The gentleman turned just
in time to save his purse from being carried off.
A little crowd quickly collected; a serjeant
hurried the thief away to punishment; but the
gentleman hurried his way to where Stephen
stood on the steps of the cross.
"'An honest boy!' he said to the mother.
'What are you going to make of him ?'
IN WHITTINGTON'S LONDON, A.D. 1379. 43
"' He should be 'prentice to the baker where
his father served,' she answered sadly ; 'but we
owe our master a debt for bread, and till that is
paid he will not take the boy.'
"'How much is the debt?' asked the
"' Five shillings,' she said-a sum that was
large to a poor man or woman in those days.
"'Take that sum; your boy has saved me
more than that.'
"The stranger pressed the coins into the
grateful mother's hand, and then turning laid his
own hand on Stephen's head, looking down at
him with shrewd, kindly eyes.
Serve your master faithfully, my boy,' he
said. 'Deal truly and charitably with all men
and God be with you !'
Then before mother or son could thank
him, he was gone.
"' Mother, who was that? cried Stephen.
The poor woman was wiping away tears of
joy. 'Did you not see his golden chain ?' she
said. 'That was our good Lord Mayor, Sir
"'How soon will Stephen be a baker
mother ?' asked little Elena.
44 HUGH'S ANCESTORS.
"' We will pay the master's debt to-night;
perhaps Stephen can begin to-morrow.'
"'Then shall I have my white bread to-
morrow, Stephen ?' asked the little maiden.
At which Stephen, capering, began again
his cries of' Mutton pasty all hot one penny '
till the mother, half-laughing, half-scolding, was
obliged to pick up her basket, and take her
excited children home."
Hugh laughed as the story ended. What a
merry little ancestor! I am not sure that I do
not like him best of all."
IN THE REIGN OF GOOD QUEEN BESS.
ILL the next ancestor I hear about
SA be a prince or a beggar boy ? I
,.L "i find there are all sorts among
C- 3 them," said Hugh.
"t "Neither ; but a little boy who
once sat in this very oak-panelled room where
we are now sitting, and watched the quaint
sights that passed along the town streets in the
reign of good Queen Bess."
Tell me his name, and all about him, please,
Uncle Phil," said Hugh, much interested.
"Edmund, or Ned, as his sister Constance
called him, lived here with his father and mother.
His father was a knight, a grand gentleman,
often away in London at the queen's court, and
he wanted Edmund to grow up just like him.
But Ned, though only a little boy, already had
his own ideas of what he wished.
"Constance," said he to his sister, as he met
her on the stairs one fine spring morning, 'come
with me for a walk in the town. We will go to
my favourite shop.'
Constance was a sweet-faced girl of fifteen,
with fair hair tucked away under a close little
cap. She smiled down at her little brother.
"' I should like to come, Ned, but our mother
has bidden me sit and sew in her chamber.'
"'Constance! Constance!' cried a sharp
voice, and a stern-faced lady in a grand gown of
stiff silk appeared at a door near by. Lazy girl,
why do you not come when you are called ? "
"The lady carried in her hand a fan of pea-
cock feathers, and as she spoke she gave Con-
stance a smart rap with the handle."
Oh, what a shame, to hit a girl !" interrupted
Parents were dreadfully stern to their chil-
dren, then, Hugh ; and when Ned saw his sister
beaten he waited trembling for fear his turn
should come next. But his mother only said:
'Ned, don't stay hindering your sister; go out
with nurse to order my velvet gown at the
tailor's.' And Ned very gladly obeyed.
The streets of the town were narrow and
'N5- -~~ ~ JN)P
"IN SPITE OF HIS ENTREATIES, NURSE HURRIED NED AWAY."--. 51.
IN THE REIGN OF GOOD QUEEN BESS. 49
very dirty, for every one flung their rubbish out
of doors. Fine houses like this stood side by
side with shops or low-built cottages, no order
in building being thought of. But Ned looked
on a walk through the streets as great fun, and
could hardly wait till his nurse put on her hood
with its long veil, and adjusted her ruff round
her neck. With his little velvet cap on his head
Ned had soon been ready.
"At the crossing of the street they met a
peasant girl with a bunch of wild flowers in her
'To-morrow will be May Day,' said the
nurse, 'and, if you are good, I will wake you
early to see the youths and maidens of the town
bring home the maypole and set it up in the
market-place. They will hang wreaths of flowers
on the pole, and all the townsfolk will come out
to see the games.'
"'That will be nice,' said little Ned ; but
nurse, dear nurse, before we go home do take
me to see the shop I like best.'
"Nurse frowned, but she could not quite
withstand the boy's coaxing. When they had
visited the tailor, sitting cross-legged in his
shop, and ordered the velvet gown, they turned
into another street. There, under a protecting
roof, but open to the street, stood a shop, filled
with glittering wares in gold and silver, dishes,
plates, and beautiful drinking vessels. The gold-
smith sat inside his shop at his work.
Ned's delighted eyes rested on the shining
articles. Good Master John,' he pleaded, in his
soft childish voice, 'show me whatever you have
made since I last came.'
"The man rose with a smile, and reached
down some golden cups. He knew this little
visitor well, and since Ned's father was a great
man in the town, the boy found most people
ready to please him.
"'Are these made of the gold from the
Spanish ship?' asked Master Ned, looking at
the cups critically.
"'Of the very same,' answered the gold-
"'Ah!' cried the boy enthusiastically,
'when I am a man I will be a sailor. And I will
sail.the seas in search of Spanish treasure-ships.
And when I have found one, and plundered it, I
will bring the gold home for you to make into
cups and goblets for me, Master John.'
"This was Ned's day-dream, to be a sailor
IN THE REIGN OF GOOD QUEEN BESS. 51
and fight the Spaniards. Those were the days
of Drake and other famous seafarers, and many
English boys, besides Ned, when they heard the
stories the shipmen could tell of far-off lands
and seas, felt a burning desire to go and find
some wonderful adventures of their own.
The goldsmith's son looked up and nodded
approval. He was a bigger boy than Ned, but
his secret wishes were the same. 'You shall go
with me, Jack," said Ned, with instant comrade-
"'Oh fie, fie, Master Ned!' scolded nurse at
once. 'You are to be a young gentleman at
home, you know, never a rough sailor. Come
away from the goldsmith's shop. I shall not let
you come here again if it puts such things into
"' Oh! let Master Ned see the silver pitcher
I helped make,' urged Jack, springing forward
to stop them.
"But nurse proved inexorable. In spite of
all his entreaties she hurried her little charge
away, and he had to listen to a lecture on his
naughtiness all the road home.
"' Constance,' said Ned that afternoon, when
for a few minutes the two children were allowed
to play alone in the long, high gallery that ran
outside the house round the courtyard-
'Constance, when I am a man, I will be
"Constance stooped and kissed him. Her
eyes were red with tears, for her tasks that
morning had been long and difficult, and her
mother hard to please. But she spoke gently.
"' Ned, dear, we are only children now, and
must do as we are told.'
"' I can't; I won't,' said Master Ned.
"But Constance shook her head at him,
smiling. In one of the window-seats of the
house lay a silver-clasped book, which her tutor
had taught her to read. It was a Greek
Testament, for young ladies were often quite
learned in those times; and among the texts
Constance had spelled out, and, better still, put
into practice, was this one : 'Children obey your
"And was Ned ever a sailor? asked Hugh
Yes, but not one of the plundering pirate
kind, I am glad to say. By the time he was
a man nobler work was ready for him. The
IN THE REIGN OF GOOD QUEEN BESS. 53
Spanish Armada came to attack our coasts, and
Ned was one of the brave volunteers who died in
the defence of their country and their religion."
And what became of Constance ? "
"Sweet Constance married, and had a troop
of little sons and daughters. She taught her
girls to study and sew as young gentlewomen
should, but I don't think she was ever a cross
or harsh mother to them. She had learned
differently from that Greek Testament which
she loved and read so much."
"Thank you for the story, Uncle Phil," said
Hugh, after thinking it all over silently. How
interesting it makes all history to me, to feel
that my own ancestors were living when the
Spanish Armada came, and in all such famous
times. Do you know, it makes me feel like a
bit of history myself?"
And so you are," said Uncle Phil. What
happens to-day will be history to-morrow."
AT THE TIME OF THE GREAT FIRE OF
LONDON, A.D. 1666.
" ND about whom am I to hear to-day,
Uncle Phil ? asked Hugh.
His uncle did not answer directly.
He was bending over the map of a
small town, with plenty of trees and
clear spaces scattered about among the houses,
and only one or two bridges crossing its big,
What place is that, uncle ? asked Hugh,
and then, catching sight of the word "Thames,"
printed on one of the river-bends, he cried out
in astonishment: "That little town cannot be
Uncle Phil laughed. London it is, Hugh,
or rather it was. This is a map of the London
of two hundred years ago, where lived the
little ancestors of whom I am going to tell
AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE OF LONDON. 55
"The home of Jack and Paulina was in a
street of this old London. Very early they
woke one morning, and heard the old bellman
come under their window ringing his bell, and
calling out, Past four of the clock, and a fine
They could not be satisfied with hearing
only; jumping out of bed, they peeped from
their garret window to see if the sky looked
bright. In the street below the wind was making
a number of signboards creak. Their father was
a mercer, or draper, and over his door hung a
big board with a green gown painted on it.
Over the spicer's or grocer's next door was
painted a pair of glittering scales, at the gold-
smith's a silver tankard, and so on over all the
shop doors down the street. Very strange we
should think it ; but Jack and Paulina thought
it quite natural to say they were going to buy
gloves or plums at the sign of the Crimson Hand
or the Green Vine, instead of saying, as we do,
at Mr. Jones the draper's, or Mr. Brown the
"' Oh I do hope father will think it is fine
enough,' cried Jack, as he peeped from his little
"' Suppose we begin to dress ; it would never
do to be late,' suggested his sister.
"' Oh, no!' answered Jack, and began at once
to brush out his brown hair. It took some time,
for his hair was long, and frizzed so as to stand
out round his head like a wig. Then he put on
his Sunday coat of flowered satin ; while Paulina
was busy getting into her little sarcenet petti-
coat, trimmed with lace, and laying out a pink
hood which was her special pride."
Flowered satin for a boy How grand !"
broke in Hugh.
Men were rather fond of wearing fine things
just then, in the reign of Charles II. and after.
Have you not seen the ruffles of lace and velvet
coats in old portraits of gentlemen, Hugh ? But
to go back to our little ancestors. While the
children were dressing a sound of music came
from the room below.
"'Father is up,' cried Jack joyfully. 'He
is playing his organ. Oh, do be quick,
"In great haste they ran downstairs, but
remembered, before entering the room, to walk
quietly and make their excited little faces as
grave as they could, It was Sunday morning,
" TVBY REMEMBERED, BEFORE ENTERING THE ROOM, TO WALK QUIETLY."--,. 56.
AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE OF LONDON. 59
and Sundays were kept very strictly in Puritan
households. Even their father, kind and merry
as he was to them on week days, kissed them
to-day without a smile, and pointed to a little
stool in the corner on which they were to sit
quietly till breakfast-time.
The room was not papered, but the walls
were hung round with green serge hangings.
The mahogany chairs and couch were not unlike
what we use to-day. The children's father wore
a black silk coat with big skirts, and a huge wig
flowed over his shoulders. When he sat down
to breakfast he took up his hat from the table
near, and put it on."
"Put on his hat for meals! how funny!"
Was it not ? But it was the custom then.
Jack and Paulina could scarcely swallow the
cold beef and bread put on their plates, they
were so busy all breakfast-time watching their
father. Presently they heard him tell the black
servant who waited on them, Order my coach
for a ride' ; and then Jack squeezed Paulina's
hand secretly under the table."
"What were they so pleased about?" enquired
They were Puritans, you know, and in the
reign of King Charles II. some very cruel.laws
had been passed. All Nonconformist ministers
had been driven from their homes and churches,
and not allowed even to come near a town. The
people who loved to hear them preach were
obliged to go a long way into the country, and
there hold meetings secretly. Jack and Paulina
had never been to one of these meetings, and
now to their great joy their parents had promised
to take them."
What fun I always wished I lived in those
exciting times !" cried Hugh.
Fun I am not so sure of that," said Uncle
Phil. Very quietly Jack and Paulina crept
into the coach after their father and mother.
Though only children, they knew they were
going on a dangerous errand. Silently the
party drove along the city streets, and then
out on the country roads towards Hampstead.
There, in a furze-grown hollow of the heath,
they found the minister and his congregation.
Before beginning the service two or three men
were posted on the heath near, to see if any
stranger came past who seemed like a spy on
AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE OF LONDON. 61
"' Jack,' whispered Paulina, I'm a little bit
"'Nonsense !' returned her brother; but
under his flowered satin coat his own heart was
thumping rather hard.
"'Jack,' whispered Paulina again, 'if the
constables did come and find us here, what
would they do to us?'
"'Put us in prison, most likely,' said her
brother; and Paulina this time could see even
his cheeks turn white at the thought.
"But the service proceeded safely, and as
the children listened to the solemn prayers and
hymns they forgot their fears. By the time
they mounted into the coach again, which had
been left a long way from the heath, so that
even the coachman should not know where they
were going, Jack and Paulina were blithe as
two little birds. They chatted, sitting with
hands clasped in each other's, over the new
experience as gaily as they dared on a
As they came near London, the coachman
"'What is that ?' he said, pointing to a heavy
black cloud in the sky.
"' It looks like fire,' said the children's father.
'Drive faster. It may be in our part of the
"They drove on, and groups of frightened
people met them on the way. The fire The
fire !' they cried, pointing back at the soaring
Very still and frightened sat the children,
and with every step they went the father looked
graver and graver. At many points they saw
flames shoot up from the city roofs. In far-
away streets they could see the gay-painted
signboards shine so bright by the light of
that dreadful illumination ; then a cloud of
smoke and burst of fiercer flame would
sweep signboards and houses quite away.
Would their own home be safe when they
Yes, they turned the corner of the street,
and there stood their own home just as they
had left it, the September sun shining down
upon it, and the wind playing lightly with the
green curtains at the window. At the sight
Jack squeezed Paulina's hand tighter than
"' P'r'aps, Paulina,' he whispered, with a
AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE OF LONDON. 63
jerk between each word, 'p'r'aps our home
was kept safe because we were away saying our
"' Oh !' cried Paulina, with a sob,'let us say
a fresh prayer now, for the many little children
who have lost their homes.'
Paulina's prayers were needed, for that
fine September morning was the first day of the
Great Fire of London. Before the fire ended,
half London was burnt out of house and home.
But our two little ancestors took no hurt through
all, and 'p'r'aps,' as Jack said, their prayers had
something to do with it."
"And is this the last story you wil tell me,
Uncle Phil?" asked Hugh, when Jack and
Paulina's experiences came to an end.
Yes, my boy ; for I think these are enough
to have shown you what I wanted you to see.
As you grow older and learn more of past times,
you will be able to make fresh stories for your-
self. And I hope history will now seem more
interesting to you as you think that in all times
men and women were living who were actually
linked to you. When you read of beautiful
lives and noble deeds, remember that it was
64 HUGH'S ANCESTORS.
men and women just like yourself who did them,
and try to make your life a worthy one to carry
on the chain."
I will try," said Hugh, as he threw himself
on his uncle's neck for a grateful hug, which was
the real finis to these stories.