Page images

nurse restored to Rosetta her fine clothes, and the wedding-feast lasted a fortnight. Everybody rejoiced, even little Fretillon, who never afterwards was fed on anything less dainty than partridge wings.

[graphic][merged small]


NCE upon a time, a great while

) ago, when men did eat more and burbs drink less, about that time there was wont to walk the world many harmless spirits, called fairies, who danced in brave order, in fairy rings, on green hills, with sweet music. Many mad pranks would they play, such as pinching of girls black and blue, and misplacing things in illordered houses. But lovingly would they use girls that were cleanly, giving them silver, and other pretty toys; which they would leave for them, sometimes in their shoes, sometimes in their pockets, sometimes in bright basins, and clean vessels.

Now the King of these Fairies fell in love with a fair young damsel, and there was a great feast at the wedding. After a long time this damsel had a baby, and the old women, that then had more wit than those who are living now, bade her be of good com

fort, for the child must needs be fortu☆ nate, who had so noble a father as a $


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

fairy was. The birth of this child so rejoiced his father's heart, that the mother was nightly supplied with everything befitting her condition, and all kinds of dainties. · The gossips liked this fare so well, that she never wanted company, Wine had she of all sorts, as muscadine, sack, malmsey, and claret. This pleased her neighbours so well, that few that came to see her but they had home with them sweetmeats in such abundance, that some of their teeth are spoilt to this day.

All praised this honest fairy for his care, and the child for his beauty, and the mother for a happy woman. One day he was christened, at the which all this good cheer was doubled, which made most of the women so wise, that none of them the next day could re

member the child's name but the ☆ clerk, and he may thank his book for it, or else it had been utterly lost.

So much for the birth of little Robin.

When Robin was grown to six years of age, he was so knavish that all the neighbours did complain of him ; for no sooner was his mother's back turned but he was in one knavish action or another, so that his mother was constrained (to avoid these complaints) to take him with her to market, or wheresoever she went or rid. But this helped little or nothing, for if he rid before her, then would he make mouths and ill-favoured faces at those he met; if he rid behind her, then would he clap his hand on his tail, so that his mother was weary of the many complaints that came against him ; yet knew not how to beat him justly for it, because she never saw him do

that which was worthy blows. The $ complaints were daily so renewed, that

« PreviousContinue »