Child's Morality Story

Adapted From Antique British Book
© By James Dearmore, December, 2009
[Gospel Web Globe]

From Graphic Stories for Boys and Girls — published in England in the 1800's --- A series of morality stories for children.

In the good old days there lived in Edinburgh a lawyer by the name of Ramsay. The Ramsays had two daughters, Phemie and Margery --- both very pretty, but they were very unlike each other in disposition. Phemie was a wild, mischievous girl, who dearly loved a frolic, even though it might be at the expense of her best friend, or of a poor, harmless, dumb creature.

Very different was her younger sister, Margery --- a gentle, tender-hearted little lassie, who loved fun well enough, but who loved love better. Margery was very fond of pets, and one day her good father brought her a pretty, playful kitten. Her pets were friends and playfellows for Margery, but Phemie took delight only in teasing them, and they, in return, feared and disliked her.

The Ramsays occupied the second floor of a great, high building, in which there lived also many other families. Among these was Lord Glenalbin, a celebrated judge, who lived on the first floor.

It happened that the space between this house and the next was very narrow — not more than six feet — and that across the way lived another judge, a friend of Lord Glenalbin. On fine mornings these two gentlemen, each leaning out of his chamber window, often enjoyed a chat together before going to court.

One morning, when they were very earnestly talking, Phemie and Margery were looking down upon them from the window above. Suddenly Phemie ran away, but soon came back, bringing Margery's kitten, with a long silk cord tied about it, and in spite of all that Margery could do, she swung the poor scared creature over the windowsill, and let it down, down, and dropped it right on his lordship's big white wig!

Becoming frightened at her trick, she began to pull in; but pussy, frantic with fright, fixed its sharp claws into the wig, and hung on desperately --- so, when it rose, the wig rose with it. Just imagine his lordship's surprise and horror, on feeling his wig lifted from his head, and seeing it go whirling up into the air, as though carried by invisible goblins, for at first he could see neither kitten nor cord!

But his friend over the way had seen the whole affair, and roared with laughter at his ridiculous plight, which, of course, did not help him to take it in very good humour. Though justly angry at the trick that had been played upon him, his anger soon cooled in the remembrance of the fun of it.

When the mother came hurrying down with the wig, to make a humble apology for her tricky daughter, she found his lordship quite ready and willing to forgive the little offender.

But when Mrs. Ramsay returned, she scolded her wild daughter soundly. As for the cat, she said she would tell old Davie to give her a toss into the lake, with a stone about her neck. Poor Margery was filled with grief and horror at these words. She did not try to plead with her angry mother, but, folding her kitten close in her pinafore, she stole out of the room, ran down to the first floor, and asked to see Lord Glenalbin. He had gone to the court-house.

his timid little girl, brave now for her dear pet's sake, followed the judge even to that strange, and, as it seemed to her, that awful place! Margery found his lordship in the midst of a group of his friends, talking, it may be, about the business of the day.

She, with great fear, crept up to his lordship, and pulled at his long black robe.

Raising her soft brown eyes to his face, and lifting up her kitten, which just then gave a piteous mew, she said: "Please, my lord, forgive my little kitten for lifting your lordship's wig off your lordship's head! It did not know whose wig it was. Mother is so troubled about it that she says old Davie shall drown my pet. Oh, will you not forgive the poor creature? I cannot see it go away to die." And the poor child burst into tears.

"Hush, hush, my pretty child!" said Lord Glenalbin, "they shall not kill your pet.

Here, I'll write it a pardon; take it to your mother, and I'll answer for it she will not harm a single hair of the little kitten's head."

Margery did not tell him that she was not the saucy angler ; she thought that would not be generous towards her sister ; but she took the paper, humbly thanked his lordship, and ran home.

Lord Glenalbin took a great fancy to little Margery, which lasted all his life; and I have heard that his noble young son had this fancy also, and that finally Margery became Lady Glenalbin, and made one of the prettiest ladies in all Scotland. — End of Story

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