The Ingoldsby Legends, by Thomas Ingoldsby

Nursery Reminiscences.

I remember, I remember,

When I was a little Boy,

One fine morning in September

Uncle brought me home a toy.

I remember how he patted

Both my cheeks in kindliest mood;

‘Then,’ said he, ‘you little Fat-head,

There’s a top because you’re good.’

Grandmamma — a shrewd observer —

I remember gazed upon

My new top, and said with fervour,

‘Oh! how kind of Uncle John!’

While mamma, my form caressing, —

In her eye the tear-drop stood,

Read me this fine moral lesson,

‘See what comes of being good!’

. . .

I remember, I remember,

On a wet and windy day,

One cold morning in December,

I stole out and went to play;

I remember Billy Hawkins

Came, and with his pewter squirt

Squibb’d my pantaloons and stockings,

Till they were all over dirt!

To my mother for protection

I ran, quaking every limb:

— She exclaimed, with fond affection,

‘Gracious Goodness! look at him!’ —

Pa cried, when he saw my garment,

— ’Twas a newly-purchased dress —

‘Oh! you nasty little Warment,

How came you in such a mess?’

Then he caught me by the collar,

— Cruel only to be kind —

And to my exceeding dolour,

Gave me — several slaps behind.

Grandmamma, while yet I smarted,

As she saw my evil plight,

Said — ’twas rather stony-hearted —

‘Little rascal! sarve him right!’

I remember, I remember,

From that sad and solemn day,

Never more in dark December

Did I venture out to play.

And the moral which they taught, I

Well remember; thus they said —

‘Little Boys, when they are naughty,

Must be whipped and sent to bed!’

Poor Uncle John!

‘After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well,’ in the old family vault in Denton chancel — and dear Aunt Fanny too! — the latter also ‘loo’d me weel,’ as the Scotch song has it, — and since, at this moment, I am in a most soft and sentimental humour — ( — whisky toddy should ever be made by pouring the boiling fluid — hotter if possible — upon the thinnest lemon-peel, — and then — but everybody knows ‘what then — ’) I dedicate the following ‘True History’ to my beloved

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Last updated Monday, March 17, 2014 at 16:47