Charlotte Mary Yonge.

A storehouse of stories : storehouse the first online

. (page 7 of 43)
Online LibraryCharlotte Mary YongeA storehouse of stories : storehouse the first → online text (page 7 of 43)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and then backward to him ; he was in hopes to decoy one
or both into his lodge, by throwing meat to them : but
those exemplary animals, hearing their fellows in trouble,
had no regard to their separate interest, taking no notice of
what he gave them \ but kept walking to and again with all
the tokens of uneasiness they could express; which so
moved him, that he hastened to the place ; where his pre-
sence caused immediately a cessation of arms, and both
parties retired a considerable distance from each other,
waiting his sharing the windfalls; which being done, they
quietly took that heap which lay next each kind, and went
to their different quarters.

Fourteen years more being passed, everything keeping its
natural course, there happened nothing extraordinary, each
succeeding year renewing the pleasures the preceding had
produced. Thunders and high winds being frequent, though
not equally violent, he thought it not material to record


them, or their effects ; as blowing and throwing fishes, shells,
empty vessels, battered chests, &c., ujjon the rock; only
transactions and events wonderful and uncommon : and
there happened a most surprising one a few days after,
^•hich though of no great moment, is as w-orthy of record as
any of far greater concern ; being a wonderful eftect of
Providence, manifested in a miraculous manner, though not
to be said supernatural.

One morning, when he had roasted a parcel of those roots
which he used to eat instead of bread, and this he commonly
did once a week, they eating best when stale; having spread
them on his table and chest to cool, he went out to walk,
leaving his door open to let the air in.

His walk, though graced with all the agreeables nature
could adorn it with to make it delightful ; a grass carpet,
embroidered with beautiful flowers of many different colours
and smells, under his feet, to tread on ; before and on
each side of him fine lofty trees, of various forms and
heights, clothed with pleasant green leaves, trimmed with
rich blossoms of many colours, to divert his eye ; a number
of various sorts of melodious singing-birds perching in their
most lovely shades, as though nature had studied to excel
man's brightest imagination, and exquisiteness of art : yet
all these profusenesscs of nature's wonders are not sufficient
to keep away or expel anxious thoughts from his mind. It
runs upon his two dear antelopes, the darling heads of his
present stock, which he took such care to bring up, and
were so engaging, always attending him in those fine w'alks;
adding, by their swift races, active leapings, and other un-
common diversions, to the natural pleasantness of the place;
which now, by their most lamented absence, is become a
dull memorandum of the barbarous manner in which they
were ravished away from him.

In these melancholy thoughts, which his lonesomeness
every now and then created, he returns home, where Pro-
vidence had left a remedy for his grievance: a companion,
far exceeding any he ever had, waits his return ; which was
a beautiful monkey of the finest kind, and the most com-
plete of the sortj as though made to manifest the unparalleled


skill of nature, and sent him by Providence to dissipate his

Being come to his lodge, and beholding that wonderful
creature, and in his own possession, at the farthest end of
it, and him at the entrance thereof to oppose its flight, if
offered, he is at once filled with joy and admiration : ' Long,'
said he, ' I endeavoured in vain to get one, and would have
been glad of any, though of the worst kind, and even of the
meanest of the sort ; and here kind Providence has sent me
one of an unparalleled beauty.

Having a considerable time admired the beast, which all
the while stood unconcerned, now and then eating of the
roots that lay before him, he shuts the door, and goes in,
with a resolution of staying within all day, in order to tame
him, which he hoped would be no difficult matter, his dis-
position being already pretty familiar, little thinking that
Providence, who sent him thither, had already qualified him
for the commission he bore ; which having found out by the
creature's surprising docility, he returns his Benefactor his
most hearty thanks for that miraculous gift.

This most wonderful animal having by its surprising
tractability and good nature, joined to its matchless hand-
someness, gained its master's love, beyond what is usual to
place on any sort of beasts ; he thought himself doubly
recompensed for all his former losses, especially for that of
his late ungrateful companion, who notwithstanding all the
obligations he held from him, basely left him, at a time he
might be most helpful : and as he fancied his dear Beau-
fidelle (for so he called that admirable creature) had some
sort of resemblance to the picture he framed of him, he
takes it down, thinking it unjust to bear in his sight that
vile object, which could not in anywise claim a likeness to
so worthy a creature as his beloved monkey.

One day, as this lovely animal was officiating the charge
it had of its own accord taken, being gone for wood, as
wont to do when wanted, he finds in his way a wild pome-
granate, whose extraordinary size and weight had caused it
to fall off the tree : he takes it home, and then returns for
his faggot ; in which time Quarll, wishing the goodness of


the inside might answer its outward beauty, cuts it open;
and, finding it of a dull lusciousness, too flat for eating, ima-
gined it might be used with things of an acid and sharp
taste ; having therefore boiled some water, he puts it into
a vessel, with a sort of an herb which is of taste and nature
of cresses, and some of the pomegranate, letting them infuse
some time, now and then stirring it ; which the monkey
having taken notice of, did the same : but one very hot day,
happening to lay the vessel in the sun, made it turn sour.

Quarll, who very much wanted vinegar in his sauces, was
well pleased with the accident, and so continued the souring
of the liquor, which proving excellent, he made a five gallon
vessel of it, having several which at times he found upon
the rock.

Having now store of vinegar, and being a great lover of
pickles, which he had learnt to make by seeing his wife,
who was an extraordinaiy cook, and made of all sorts every
year ; calling to mind he had often in his walks seen some-
thing like mushrooms, he makes it his business to look for
some : thus he picked up a kw^ of which Beaufidelle (who
followed him up and down) having taken notice, imme-
diately ranges about, and being nimbler footed than his
master, and not obliged to stoop so low, picked double the
quantity in the same space of time ; so that he soon had
enough to serve him till the next season.

His good success in making that sort of pickle encourages
him to try another; and, having taken notice of a plant in
the wood that bears a small green flower, which, before it is
blown, looks like a caper, he gathers a few ; and, their taste
and flavour being no way disagreeable, judging that, when
pickled, they would be pleasant, he tries them, which, ac-
cording to his mind, were full as good as the real ones ;
and gathers a sufficient quantity, with the help of his atten-
dant, stocking himself with two as pleasant pickles as
different sorts. But there is another which he admires
above all : none, to his mind, like the cucumber; and the
island producing none, left him no room to hope for any ;
yet (as likeness is a vast help to imagination) if he could
but find any thing, which ever so little resembles them in
* V


make, nature, or taste, it will please his fancy: he therefore
examines every kind of buds, blossoms, and seeds ; having
at last found that of a wild parsnip, which being long and
narrow, almost the bigness and make of a pickling cucumber,
green and crisp withal, full of a small flat seed, not unlike
that of the thing he would have it to be, he pickles some of
them ; which being of a colour, and near upon the make,
he fancies them quite of the taste.

His beans being at that time large enough for the first
crop, he gathers some for his dinner: the shells being tender
and of a delicate green, it came into his mind, they might
be made to imitate French beans : ' they are,' said he,
' near the nature, I can make them quite of the shape, so
be they have the same savour.' Accordingly he cuts them
in long narrow slips, and pickles some ; the other part he
boils ; and their being none to contradict their taste they
passed current for as good French beans as any that ever

The disappointment of having something more com-
fortable than water to drink being retrieved by producing,
in the room thereof, wherewithal to make his eatables more
delicious, he proceeds in his first project ; and, taking ne-
cessary care to prevent that accident which intercepted
success in his first undertaking, he accomplishes his design,
and makes a liquor no wise inferior to the best cyder : so
that now he has both to revive and keep up his spirits, as
well as to please his palate and suit his appetite.

Having now nothing to crave or wish for, but rather all
motives for content ; he lies down with a peaceable mind,
no care or fear disturbing his thoughts : his sleep is not
interrupted with frightful fancies, but rather diverted with
pleasant and diverting dreams ; he is not startled at thunder
or storms, though ever so terrible, his trust being on Pro-
vidence, who at sundr)' times, and in various manners, has
rescued him from death, though apparently unavoidable ;
being for above thirty years miraculously protected and
maintained in a place so remote from all human help and

* Here the narrative suddenly breaks off, as though the climax of

contentment had been attained. — Ed.




All the world must allow that Two-Shoes was not her real
name. No ; her father's name was Meanwell ; and he was
for many years a considerable farmer in the parish where
Margery was bom ; but by the misfortunes which he met with
in business, and the wicked persecutions of Sir Timothy Gripe,
and an overgrown farmer called Graspall, he was effectually

The case was thus. The parish of Mouldwell, where they
lived, had for many ages been let by the Lord of the
Manor in twelve different farms, in which the tenants lived
comfortably, brought up large families, and carefully sup-
ported the poor people who laboured for them, until the
estate by marriage and by death came into the hands of Sir

This gentleman, who loved himself better than all his
neighbours, thought it was less trouble to write one receipt for
his rent than twelve, and Farmer Graspall offering to take all
the farms as the leases expired. Sir Timothy agreed with
him, and in process of time he was possessed of every farm
but that occupied by Little IVLirgery's father, which he also
wanted \ for as Mr. Meanwell was a charitable good man, he
stood up for the poor at the parish meetings, and was unwilling
to have them oppressed by Sir Timothy and this avaricious
fanner. — Judge, O kind, humane, and courteous reader, what
a terrible situation the poor must be in, when this covetous
man was perpetual overseer, and every thing for their
maintenance was drawn from his hard heart and cruel hand.


But he was not only perpetual overseer, but perpetual
church warden ; and judge, O ye Christians, what state the
church must be in, when supported by a man without
religion or virtue. He was also perpetual surveyor of the
highways, and what sort of roads he kept up for the
convenience of travellers, those best knew who have had
the misfortune to pass through that parish. — Complaints
indeed were made, but to what purpose are complaints,
when brought against a man who can hunt, drink, and
smoke without the Lord of the Manor, who is also the
Justice of Peace %

The opposition which little Margery's father made to this
man's tyranny gave offence to Sir Timothy, who en-
deavoured to force him out of his farm ; and, to oblige him
to throw up the lease, ordered both a brick kiln and a dog
kennel to be erected in the farmer's orchard. This was
contrary to law, and a suit was commenced, in which
Margery's father got the better. The same offence was
again committed three different times, and as many actions
brought, in all of which the farmer had a verdict, and costs
paid him ; but, notwithstanding these advantages, the law
was so expensive, that he was ruined in the contest, and
obliged to give up all he had to his creditors ; which
effectually answered the purpose of Sir Timothy, who erec-
ted those nuisances in the farmer's orchard with that
intention. Ah, my dear reader, we brag of liberty, and
boast of our laws : but the blessings of the one, and the
protection of the other, seldom fall to the lot of the poor;
and especially when a rich man is their adversary. How, in
the name of goodness, can a poor wTCtch obtain redress,
when thirty pounds are insufficient to try his cause ? Where
is he to find money to fee counsel, or how can he plead his
cause himself (even if he was permitted) when our laws are
so obscure and so multiplied, that an abridgement of them
cannot be contained in fifty volumes folio.

As soon as Mr. Meanwell had called together his creditors,
Sir Timothy seized for a year's rent, and turned the farmer,
his wife, Little Marger}', and her brother out of doors, with-
out any of the necessaries of life to support them.


This elated the heart of Mr. Graspall, tliis crowned his
hopes, and filled the measure of his iniquity; for, besides
gratifying his revenge, this man's overthrow gave him the
the sole dominion over the poor, whom he depressed and
abused in a manner too horrible to mention.

Margery's father flew into another parish for succour, and
all those who were able to move left their dwellings and
sought employment elsewhere, as they found it would be
impossible to live under the tyranny of two such people.
The very old, the very lame, and the blind, were obliged to
stay behind, and whether they were starved, or what became
of them, history does not say ; but the character of the
great Sir Timothy, and avaricious tenant, were so infamous,
that nobody would work for them by the day, and servants
were afraid to engage themselves by the year, lest any
unforeseen accident should leave them parishioners in a
place where they knew they must perish miserably ; so that
great part of the land lay untilled for some years ; which
was deemed a just reward for such diabolical proceedings.

But what, says the reader, can occasion all this ? do you
intend this for children ? Permit me to inform you, that
this is not the book, sir, mentioned in the title, but an
introduction to that book ; and it is intended, sir, not for
those sort of children, but for children of six feet high, of
whichj as my friend has justly observed, there are many
millions in the kingdom ; and these reflections, sir, have
been rendered necessary by the unaccountable and diaboli-
cal scheme which many gentlemen now give into, of laying
a number of farms into one, and very often a whole parish
into one farm: which in the end must reduce the common
people to a stage of vassalage, worse than that under the
barons of old, or of the clans in Scotland, and will in time
depopulate the kingdom % * but as you are tired of the sub-
ject, I shall take myself away, and you may visit Little

* If the conjecture be true, which attributes this tale to Oliver Gold-
smith, we have seen the same spirit that prompted his poem of the
' Dt'scrtcd Village,' namely, indignation and dismay at the discourage-
ment of small holdings in the early part of the eighteenth century. — Ed.




Care and discontent shortened the days of Little Margery's
father. — He was forced from his family, and seized with a
violent fever in a place where Dr. James's powder was not
to be had, and where he died miserably. Margery's poor
mother survived the loss of her husband but a few days, and
died of a broken heart, leaving Margery and her little
brother to the wide world ; but, poor woman, it would have
melted your heart to have seen how frequently she heaved
her head, while she lay speechless, to survey with languish-
ing looks her little orphans, as much as to say, ' Do Tommy,
do Margery, come with me.' They cried, poor things, and
she sighed away her soul ; and I hope is happy.

It would both have excited your pity, and have done your
heart good, to have seen how these two little ones were
so fond of each other, and how hand in hand they trotted

They were both very ragged, and Tommy had no shoes,
but Margery had but one. They had nothing, poor things,
to support them (not being in their own parish) but what they
picked from the hedges, or got from the poor people, and
they lay every night in a barn. Their relations took no
notice of them ; no, they were rich, and ashamed to own
such a poor little ragged girl as Margery, and such a dirty
little curly pated boy as Tommy. Our relations and friends
seldom take notice of us when we are poor ; but as we grow
rich they grow fond. And this will always be the case,
while people love money better than they do God Almighty.
But such wicked folks who love nothing but money and are
proud and despise the poor, never come to any good in the
end, as we shall see by and by.




Mii. Smith was a very worthy clergyman, who lived in the
parish where little Margery and Tommy were born ; and
having a relation come to see him, who was a charitable
good man, he sent for these children to him. The gentle-
man ordered little Margery a new pair of shoes, gave Mr.
Smith some money to buy her clothes ; and said he would
take Tommy and make him a little sailor.

After some days the gentleman intended to go to London,
and take little Tommy with him, of whom you will know
more by and by, for we shall at a proper time present }'ou
with his history, his travels, and adventures.

The j)arting between these little children was very affect-
ing. Tommy cried, and they kissed each other an hundred
times: at last Tommy thus wiped off her tears with the end
of his jacket, and bid her cry no more, for that he would
:ome to her again when he returned from sea.



As soon as Little Margery got up in the morning, which was
very early, she run all round the village, ciying for her
brother ; and after some time returned greatly distressed.

However, at this instant, the shoemaker very opportu-
nately came in with the new shoes, for which she had been
measured by the gentleman's order.

Nothing could have supported Little Margery under the
affliction she was in for the loss of her brother, but the
pleasure she took in her two shoes. She ran out to Mrs.
Smith as soon as they were put on, and stroking down her
ragged apron thus cried out, 'Two-Shoes, Ma'am, see two,
Shoes.' And so she behaved to all the people she met, and
by that means obtained the name of goody two-shoes.


Little Margery was very happy in being with Mr. and Mrs.
Smith, who were very charitable and good to her, and had
agreed to bring her up with their family ; but as soon as that
tyrant of the parish, that Graspall, heard of her being there,
he applied first to Mr. Smith, and threatened to reduce his
tithes if he kept her ; and after that he spoke to Sir
Timothy, who sent Mr. Smith a peremptory message by his
servant, that he should send back Meanwell's girl to be
kept by her relations, and not harbour her in the parish.
This so distressed Mr. Smith, that he shed tears, and cried,
' Lord have mercy on the poor ! '

The prayers of the righteous fly upwards, and reach unto
the throne of heaven, as will be seen by the sequel.

Mrs. Smith was also greatly concerned at being thus
obliged to discard poor Little Margery. She kissed her,
and cried, as did also Mr. Smith, but they were obliged to
send her away, for the people who had ruined her father
could at any time have ruined them.



Little Margery saw how good and how wise Mr. Smith
Avas, and concluded that this was owing to his great learning,
therefore she wanted of all things to learn to read. For
this purpose she used to meet the little boys as they came
from school, borrow their books, and sit down and read till
they returned. By this means she got more learning than
any of her play mates, and laid the following scheme for
instructing those who were more ignorant than herself She
found that only the following letters were required to spell all
the words ; but as some of these letters are large, and some
small, she with her knife cut out of several pieces of wootl
ten sets of each of these :

a b c d e f g h i j k 1 m n o p q r s t u V w X )' z.

And having got an old spelling book, she made her
companions set up all the words they wanted to spell, and


after that she taught them to compose sentences. ' You
know what a sentence is, my dear; "I will be good," is a
sentence ; and is made up, as you see, of several words.'

I once went her rounds with her, and was highly diverted,
as you may see, if you please to look into the next chapter.



It was about seven o'clock in the morning when we set out
on this important business, and the first house we came to
was Farmer Wilson's. Here Margery stopped, and ran up
to the door, tap, tap, tap. ' Who's there % ' ' Only Little
Goody Two-Shoes,' answered Margery, 'come to teach Billy.'
' O ! Little Goody,' says Mrs. Wilson, with pleasure in her
face, ' I am glad to see you. Billy wants you sadly, for he
has learned his lesson.' Then out came the little boy.
' How do Doody Two-Shoes,' says he, not able to speak
plain. Yet this litUe boy had learned all his letters ; for
she threw down this alphabet mixed together thus :

b d f h k m o q s u w y X f a c e g i 1 n p r t V z j,

and he picked them up, called them by their right names,
and put them all in order thus :

a b c d e f g h i j k 1 m n o p q r s t u V w X y z.

The next place we came to was Farmer Simpson's.

' Bow, wow, wow,' says the dog at the door. 'Sirrah,' says
his mistress, ' what do you bark at Little Two Shoes; come in
Madge; here, Sally wants you sadly, she has learned all her
lesson.' 'Yes, that's what I have,' replied the little one, in
the country manner : and immediately taking the letters she
set up these syllables :

ba be bi bo bu, ca ce ci co cu

da de di do du, fa fe fi fo fu

and gave them their exact sounds as she composed them.
After this, Little Two-Shoes taught her to spell words of


one syllable, and she soon set up pear, plumb, top, ball, pin,
puss, dog, hog, fawn, buck, doe, lamb, sheep, ram, cow, bull,
cock, hen, and many more.

The next place we came to was Gaffer Cook's cottage.
Here a number of poor children were met to learn, who all
came round Little Margery at once, and having pulled out
her letters, asked the little boy next her, what he had for
dinner? Who answered, ' Bread ' (the poor children in many
places live very hard). ' Well then,' says she, ' set up the first
letter.' He put up the B, to which the next added r, and the
next e, the next a, the next d, and it stood thus. Bread.

And what had you Polly Comb, for your dinner % 'Apple
Pie,' answered the little girl : upon which the next in turn
set up a great A, the two next a p each, and so on, till the
two words Apple and Pie were united and stood thus, Apple

The next had potatoes, the next beef and turnips, which
were split, with many others, till the game of spelling was
finished. She then set them another task, and we pro-

The next place we came to was Farmer Thomson's,
where there was a great many little ones waiting for her.

'So, Little Mrs. Goody Two-Shoes,' says one of them,
' where have you been so long? ' • I have been teaching,'

Online LibraryCharlotte Mary YongeA storehouse of stories : storehouse the first → online text (page 7 of 43)