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´╗┐Title: Goody Two Shoes
Author: Crane, Walter, 1845-1915
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Goody Two Shoes" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: GOODY TWO SHOES




[Illustration: GOODY

[Illustration: ABCDEFGH

                            GOODY TWO SHOES.

IN the reign of good Queen Bess, there was an honest, industrious
countryman named Meanwell, who, living under a hard landlord, was
cruelly turned out of his little farm, which had enabled him to support
a wife and two children, called Tommy and Margery. Care and misfortune
soon shortened his days; and his wife, not long after, followed him to
the grave. At her death the two poor children were left in a sad plight,
and had to make all sorts of shifts to keep themselves from starving.
They were also without proper clothes to keep them warm; and as for
shoes, they had not even two pairs between them: Tommy, who had to go
about more than his sister, had a pair to himself, but little Margery
for a long time wore but one shoe.

But Heaven had heard their dying mother's prayers, and had watched over
and protected them. Relief was at hand, and better things were in store
for them. It happened that Mr. Goodall, the clergyman of the parish,
heard of their sad wandering sort of life, and so he sent for the two
children, and kindly offered to shelter them until they could get
regular work to do. Soon after this, a gentleman came from London on a
visit, and no sooner did he hear the story of the orphans, than he
resolved to be their friend. The very first thing he did was to order a
pair of shoes to be made for Margery. And he offered to take Tommy to
London, promising to put him in a way to do well by going abroad.



As these two children loved each other very dearly, Margery was in great
trouble when the time came for her brother to start, and wept bitterly.
But Tommy, in order to comfort her, promised he would not fail to come
back to see her, when he should return from foreign countries.

After he was gone, Margery began to recover her usual cheerfulness: but
what helped greatly to put her into good spirits, was the pleasure she
took in her new shoes. As soon as the old shoemaker brought them, she
put them on, and ran at once to the clergyman's wife, crying out with
glee, as she pointed to them, "Two shoes, ma'am! See, Two shoes!" These
words she kept on repeating to everybody she met, and so came to be

Now Margery was a thoughtful little girl, and was most anxious to learn
to read and write. When Mr. Goodall saw this, he kindly taught her what
she most wished to know, and in a short time she became a better scholar
than any of the children who went to the village school. As soon as she
found that this was the case, she thought she would try to teach such
poor children as could not go to school. Now, as very few books were
then printed, she thought she could get over the difficulty by cutting,
out of wood, six sets of capital letters like these:--

          A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.

And ten sets of these common letters:--

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

When, after much pains and trouble, she had finished all these wooden
letters, she managed to borrow an old spelling-book, and, with the help
of this, she made her playmates set up the words she wished them to

One day, as Margery was coming home from the next village, she met with
some wicked, idle boys, who had tied a young raven to a staff, and were
just going to throw stones at it. She offered at once to buy the raven
for a penny, and this they agreed to. She then brought him home to the
parsonage, and gave him the name of Ralph, and a fine bird he was. Madge
soon taught him to speak several words, and also to pick up letters, and
even to spell a word or two.

Some years before Margery began to teach the poor cottagers' children,
Sir Walter Welldon, a wealthy knight, had set up an elderly widow lady
in a small school in the village. This gentlewoman was at length taken
ill, and was no longer able to attend to her duties. When Sir Walter
heard of this, he sent for Mr. Goodall, and asked him to look out for
some one who would be able and willing to take Mrs. Gray's place as
mistress of the school.

The worthy clergyman could think of no one so well qualified for the
task as Margery Meanwell, who, though but young, was grave beyond her
years, and was growing up to be a comely maiden; and when he told his
mind to the knight, Margery was at once chosen. Sir Walter built a
larger school-house for Margery's use; so that she could have all her
old pupils about her that liked to come, as well as the regular

From this time, no one called her "Goody Two Shoes," but generally Mrs.
Margery, and she was more and more liked and respected by her

Soon after Margery had become mistress of the school, she saved a dove
from some cruel boys, and she called him Tom, in remembrance of her
brother now far away, and from whom she had heard no tidings.


About this time a lamb had lost its dam, and its owner was about to have
it killed; when Margery heard of this, she bought the lamb and brought
it home. Some neighbours, finding how fond of such pets Margery was,
presented her with a nice playful little dog called Jumper, and also
with a skylark. Now, master Ralph was a shrewd bird, and a bit of a wag
too, and when Will, the lamb, and Carol, the lark, made their
appearance, the knowing fellow picked out the following verse, to the
great amusement of everybody:--

             "Early to bed, and early to rise,
              Is the way to be healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Mrs. Margery was ever on the look-out to be useful to her neighbours.
Now a traveller from London had presented her with a new kind of
instrument, a rough-looking barometer, by the help of which she could
often guess correctly how the weather would be, a day or two beforehand.
This caused a great talk about the country, and so provoked were the
people of the distant villages at the better luck of the Mouldwell
folks, that they accused Mrs. Margery of being a witch, and sent old
Nicky Noodle to go and tax her with it, and to scrape together whatever
evidence he could against her. When this wiseacre saw her at her
school-door, with her raven on one shoulder and the dove on the other,
the lark on her hand, and the lamb and little dog by her side, the sight
took his breath away for a time, and he scampered off, crying out, "A
witch, a witch, a witch!"

She laughed at the simpleton's folly, and called him jocosely a
"conjuror!" for his pains; but poor Mrs. Margery did not know how much
folly and wickedness there was in the world, and she was greatly
surprised to find that the half-witted Nicky Noodle had got a warrant
against her.

At the meeting of the justices, before whom she was summoned to appear,
many of her neighbours were present, ready to speak up for her character
if needful. But it turned out that the charge made against her was
nothing more than Nicky's idle tale that she was a witch. Now-a-days it
seems strange that such a thing could be; but in England, at that
period, so fondly styled by some "the good old times," many silly and
wicked things were constantly being done, especially by the rich and
powerful against the poor--such things as would not now be borne.

It happened that, among the justices who met to hear this charge against
Mrs. Margery, there was but one silly enough to think there was any
ground for it; his name was Shallow, and it was he who had granted the
warrant. But she soon silenced him when he kept repeating that she
_must_ be a witch to foretell the weather, besides harbouring many
strange creatures about her, by explaining the use of her weather-glass.


Fortunately her patron, Sir Walter Welldon, was well acquainted with the
use of the new instrument. When he had explained its nature to his
foolish brother-justice, he turned the whole charge into ridicule, and
gave Mrs. Margery such a high character, that the justices not only
released her at once, but gave her their public thanks for the good
services she had done in their neighbourhood.

One of these gentlemen, Sir Edward Lovell, who was a widower, fell ill,
and requested Mrs. Margery to take charge of his house, and look after
his dear children. Having taken counsel with her kind old friend the
clergyman, she consented to this, and quite won Sir Edward's respect and
admiration by her skill and tenderness in nursing him, and by the great
care she took of his children.

By the time that Sir Edward fully regained his health, he had become
more and more attached to Mrs. Margery. It was not then to be wondered
at, that when she talked of going back to her school, he should offer
her his hand in marriage. This proposal took her quite by surprise, but
she really loved Sir Edward; and her friends, Sir Walter and Mr.
Goodall, advised her to accept him, telling her she would then be able
to do many more good works than she had ever done before.


All things having been settled, and the day fixed, the great folks and
others in the neighbourhood came in crowds to see the wedding, for glad
they were that one who had, ever since she was a child, been so
deserving, was to be thus rewarded. Just as the bride and bridegroom
were about to enter the church, their friends assembled outside were
busily engaged in watching the progress of a horseman, handsomely
dressed and mounted, who was galloping up a distant slope leading to the
church, as eagerly as if he wanted to get there before the marriage.
This gentleman, so elegantly dressed, proved to be no other than
Margaret's brother, our former acquaintance little Tommy, just returned
with great honour and profit from a distant foreign country. When they
had recovered from this pleasant surprise, the loving couple returned to
the altar, and were married, to the satisfaction of all present.

After her happy marriage, Lady Lovell continued to practise all kinds of
good; and took great pains in increasing and improving the school of
which she had been the mistress, and placed there a poor but worthy
scholar and his wife to preside over it.

[Illustration: GOODY

[Illustration: ABCDEFGH

[Illustration:WALTER CRANE'S



Transcriber Notes:

Passages in italics were indicated by _underscores_.

Small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up

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