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With that bespake their mother dear,

“O brother kind,” quoth she, “ You are the man must bring my babes

To wealth or misery : “If you do keep them carefully,

Then God will you reward; If otherwise you seem to deal,

God will your deeds regard." With lips as cold as any stone,

They kissed the children small : “God bless you both my children dear !"

With that the tears did fall.

These speeches then their brother spoke

To this sick couple there ;
"The keeping of your children dear,

Sweet sister, do not fear;
God never prosper me nor mine,

Nor aught else that I have,
If I do wrong your children dear,

When you are laid in grave.”

Their parents being dead and gone,

The children home he takes,
And brings them both unto his house,

Where much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty babes

A twelvemonth and a day,
But, for their wealth, he did devise

To make them both away.

He bargained with two ruffians rude,

Which were of furious mood, That they should take the children young,

And slay them in a wood.


He told his wife and all he knew,

He would the children send
To be brought up in fair London,

With one that was his friend.

Away then went the pretty babes,

Rejoicing at that tide, Rejoicing with a merry mind

They should on cock-horse ride. They prate and prattle pleasantly,

As they rode on the way, To those that should their butchers be,

And work their lives' decay ;

So that the pretty speech they had,

Made murderers' hearts relent:
And they that took the deed to do,

Full sore they did repent.
Yet one of them, more hard of heart,

Did vow to do his charge,
Because the wretch that hired him

Had paid him very large.
The other would not agree thereto,

So here they fell at strife;
With one another they did fight,

About the children's life :
And he that was of mildest mood

Did slay the other there,
Within an unfrequented wood,

Where babes did quake for fear !

He took the children by the hand,

When tears stood in their eye, And bade them come and go with him,

And look they did not cry :

And two long miles he led them thus,

While they for bread complain : “Stay here," quoth he, “I'll bring ye bread,

When I do come again.”

These pretty babes, with hand in hand,

Went wandering up and down ; But never more they saw the man

Approachiug from the town ;
Their pretty lips with blackberries,

Were all besmeared and dyed,
And when they saw the darksome night,

They sat them down and cried.

Thus wandered these two pretty babes,

Till death did end their grief, In one another's arms they died,

As babes wanting relief :
No burial these pretty babes

Of any man receives,
Till robin red-breast painfully

Did cover them with leaves.


And now the heavy wrath of God

Upon their uncle fell;
Yea, fearful fiends did haunt his house

His conscience felt a hell :
His barns were fired, his goods consumed,

His lands were barren made ;
His cattle died within the field,

And nothing with him stayed.
And in the voyage of Portugal

Two of his sons did die ;
And, to conclude, himself was brought

Unto much misery :

He pawned and mortgaged all his land

Ere seven years came about i
And now at length this wicked act

Did by this means come out:
The fellow, that did take in hand

These children for to kill,
Was for a robbery judged to die,

As was God's blessed will ;
Who did confess the

The which is here exprest;
Their uncle died while he for debt

Did long in prison rest.

very truth,


that be executors,
And overseers eke,
Of children that be fatherless,

And infants mild and meek ;
Take you example by this thing,

And yield to each his right,
Lest God with such like misery

Your wicked minds requite.

Old Ballad.


A-gree'-ment Dif'-fer-ent But'-ler
Des-ti-na'-tion Sev'-e-reign


Char'-ac-ter Ap-par'-ent Cov'-et-ous-ness Sit-u-a'-tion

Some time ago, a noble Duke, in one of his walks, bought a cow, and left orders to have it sent to his house the following morning. According to the agreement the cow was sent, and the Duke who happened to be walking in the grounds, saw a little fellow trying in vain to drive the animal to its destination. The boy 6 And

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not knowing his Grace, sung out to him, “Come here, and lend us a hand wi' this beast.”

The Duke saw the mistake, and determined on having a joke with the little fellow. Pretending therefore not to understand him, he walked on slowly, the boy still craving his assistance. At last the boy cried out in a tone of apparent distress : “Come here man, and help us; and as sure as I'm a man I'll give you half I get!" This last appeal had the desired effect.

The Duke went and lent a helping hand. now,” said he, as they trudged along, “how much do you think you'll get for this job?” “Oh, I dont know," said the boy ; “but I'm sure o’ something, for the folk up at the house are good to everybody.” As they approached the house, the Duke darted from the boy and entered by a different way. He called a servant, and

put a sovereign into his hand, saying : 6 Give that to the boy who has brought the cow.” He returned to the walk, and was soon rejoined by

Well, how much did you get ? said the former. “A shilling, and there's the half o'it to ye.” “But you surely got more than a shilling!” “No," said the boy, with the utmost earnestness, “that's all I got -d'ye not think it's plenty !” “I do not ; there must be some mistake, and, if you return I fancy I can get you more.

The boy consented ; so back they went. The Duke rang the bell, and ordered all the servants to be assembled. “Now,” said his Grace to the boy,

point me out the person that gave you the shilling.' “It was that man there," pointing to the butler. The guilty man confessed his crime, and attempted an excuse, but his Grace stopped him ; ordered him to give the boy the sovereign, and to quit his service instantly. “You have lost,” said he, “ your money, your situation, and your character, by your covetousness; learn, henceforth, to be honest.”


the boy.


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