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16 That I may
master's side. “Oh, master, grant me a boon !” said Little John. 6 What is the boon ?” said Robin. burn this fair Kirkley Hall for the injury that has been done to you, my kind master,” said Little John. Then Robin answered, “ No; I have never injured a woman in my life, nor man in woman's company, and I will not do so now." This was right of Robin, who, although he had been an outlaw, knew how to return good for evil.
Feeling himself dying, he asked for his bow and arrows, and begged Little John to prop him up that he might shoot one arrow more before he died. When he had shot it through the window, he said they were to bury him where it fell; that they were to lay a green sod under his head, and another under his feet; that his bow and arrows should be laid by his side, and that his grave was to be made of "gravel and green," that the people might say, "Here lies bold Robin Hood.” All this was readily promised, which pleased him very much, and there they buried bold Robin Hood, near to the fair Kirkleys.
LITTLE GOODY TWO-SHOES.
I am going to tell you the history of a very good and useful little girl, named Margery Meanwell. But as she was better known by the name of Goody Two-shoes, I shall call her by that name; and I will tell you directly how it was that little Margery Meanwell came to be called by such a funny
Farmer Meanwell, the father of little Margery and of her brother Tommy, was for many years a rich man. He had a large farm, and good wheat fields, and flocks of sheep, and plenty of money. But his good fortune forsook him, and he became poor, and was obliged to get people to lend him money to be able to pay the rent of his house and the wages of the servants who worked on his farm. Things went on worse and worse with the
farmer; when the time came at which he should pay back the money lent him, he was not able to do so.
He was soon obliged to sell his farm ; but this did not bring him money enough, so he found himself in a worse plight than
He went into another village, and took his wife and two little children with him. But though he was thus safe from Gripe and Graspall, the trouble and care he had to bear were too much for the ruined man. He fell ill, and worried himself so much about his wife and children, whom he was unable to supply with food and clothing, that he grew worse and worse, and died in a few days. His wife could not bear the loss of her husband, whom she loved very much. She fell sick too, and in three days she was dead.
So Margery and Tommy were left alone in the world, without either father or mother to love them or take care of them. The parents were buried in one grave; and when the funeral was over there seemed to be no one but the Father of the orphans, who dwells beyond the sky, to pity and take care of the desolate homeless children who were left alone in the wide world.
But though you would have pitied their sorrow, it would have done your heart good to have seen how fond these two little ones were of each other, and how, hand-in-hand, they toddled about. The poorer they became the more they seemed to love one another. Poor enough they were, and ragged and forlorn. Tommy, indeed, had two shoes, but Margery had but one. They wandered about houseless and hungry. They had nothing to eat or drink but the berries they picked from the hedges, or the scraps they got
from the poor people; and when night came they crept into a barn to sleep.
Now Mr. Smith, the clergyman of the village in which the children were born, was a kind, good man.
He was not rich himself, and could not give them money; so he set his wits to work to make some plan to help poor Farmer Meanwell's orphans; and this is how he managed to help them :
The clergyman had a relation staying with him-a kind, charitable man.
Mr. Smith told this relation all about Tommy and Margery, and the kind gentleman pitied the children, and sent for them to come and see him. He ordered little Margery a new pair of shoes, and gave Mr. Smith some money to buy her clothes, which indeed she wanted sadly. As for Tommy, he said he would take him and make a little sailor of him ; and to begin with, he had a jacket and trowsers made for him.
After some days the gentleman said he had to go to London, and would take Tommy with him; so he and Margery must say “Good-bye” to each other.
The parting between the two children was a very sad one. Tommy cried, and Margery cried, and they kissed each other over and over again. At last Tommy wiped off the tears with the cuff of his jacket, and bade her cry more, for he would come back to her when he returned from sea. Poor Margery was very sorry indeed to lose her brother; and when night came she was so sad and sorrowful that she went crying to bed.
The next day little Margery was still mourning for her brother, and going crying through the village as if in search of him, when the shoemaker came with the new shoes the kind gentleman had ordered to be made for her. Nothing could have supported little Margery under the sorrow she was in, but the pleasure she took in her new shoes. She
ran out to Mrs. Smith as soon as they were put on, and smoothing down her frock, cried out, “ Two shoes, ma'am, two shoes !" These words she repeated to all the people she met; and thus it was she got the name of “Goody Two-shoes,” or “Little Goody Two-shoes," or, as some of her playmates called her, “Old Goody Twoshoes."
HOW LITTLE MARGERY BECAME THE SCHOOLMISTRESS.
Now little Margery wanted above all things to learn to read. So she would stop the children as they came home from school, and borrow their books to learn from until they went back again. While the village children played at leapfrog, and ball, and puss in the corner, little Two-shoes sat, like a busy little puss in a corner, with a book reading. By this means she soon got more learning than her playmates; and as she wished that others should benefit by her knowledge, she laid the following plan for teaching those who did not know so much as herself.
She found that only twenty-six letters were required to spell all the words she could think of; but as some of these letters were large and some small, she cut out with her knife from thin pieces of wood ten sets of each.
She next got an old spelling book, and made her playmates set up all the words they wanted to spell, and after that she taught them to put sentences together, such as" Come to me.
« I see you.” “ You are a good boy,” and many others.
The usual manner of spelling, or carrying on the game, was this:-Suppose the word to be spelt was
" PlumPudding” (and I am sure that is a very good word), the
Ι children were placed in a circle round Goody Two-shoes, and the first brought the first letter in Plum-Pudding,
namely P, the next L, the next U, the next M, and so on till the whole word was spelt.
By and by Margery Meanwell became the schoolmistress, and a capital one she was. All her little scholars loved her; for she was never weary of laying plans for their improvement and pleasure. The room in which she taught was large and lofty, with plenty of fresh air in it; and as she knew that nature intended children to be always moving about, she placed her different sets of letters all round the school, so that every one was obliged to get up to fetch a letter or to spell a word when it came to their turn. This not only kept the children in health, but fixed the letters firmly in their minds.
The school had been in a very ruinous state, but it was now rebuilt, and everything in it was bright and nice.
Some time after this a poor lamb had lost its dam, and the farmer being about to kill it, she bought it of him, and brought it home with her to play with the children.
Again, a present was made to Miss Margery of a little dog. He was always in good temper, as little children ought to be; and always jumping about, as they like to be; and therefore they called him “ Jumper.” It was Jumper's duty to watch the door, and he stood there boldly, and would let nobody go out or any one come in without leave from his mistress.
Billy, the pet lamb, became a cheerful fellow too, and all the children were fond of him; wherefore Mrs. Two-shoes made it a rule that those who behaved best should have Will home with them at night to carry their satchel of books on his back, and bring it back to school in the morning A happy school was Miss Margery's, I assure you.