Popular Tales of the Germans/Volume 2/Legends Concerning Number-Nip/Legend 4

Popular Tales of the Germans  (1791)  by Johann Karl August Musäus, translated by Thomas Beddoes
Legends Concerning Number-Nip: Legend IV

Published in German as the fourth of the "Legenden von Rübezahl" in Volksmärchen der Deutschen (vol. 2, 1783). For other versions, see Legends of Rübezahl.


THOUGH the favourite of the Gnome had been scrupulously careful to conceal the real origin of his good fortune, lest other solicitants should teize his patron by importunate applications of the same kind, the affair, nevertheless, at last became the country’s talk; for when the husband’s secret hovers between the wife’s lips, the slightest gale will blow it away, as easy as a soap-bubble from the bowl of a tobacco-pipe. Mrs. Dobbins communicated it to a discreet neighbour; she to her gossip, the village barber—and he of course to all his customers; so it was noised abroad in the village, and afterwards through the whole parish. At the encouraging tale the broken house-keepers, the idlers, and the spendthrifts pricked up their ears; they repaired in troops to the mountain, insolently invoking and importuning the Gnome. They were joined by gold-finders and gypsies, who crossed the mountain, dug holes in every likely spot, in hopes of finding the copper of dollars. Number-Nip let them carry on their operations without molestation, as thinking it hardly worth his while to be seriously angry with such vagabonds: sometimes he would amuse himself by causing a blue flame to dance about in the night, and when the lurkers would run eagerly and throw their hats and wigs upon it, he would let them dig up from the place large pots, seemingly full of gold, which they carried home in great triumph, and kept nine days without saying a word, or touching it; but when they came, at the end of this term, to examine the prize, they found only filth and stench, or potsherds and pebbles. Nevertheless they went on with their idle search, and caused fresh disturbance. At last the spirit grew angry, and buffeted the worthless crew out of his domains by severe hail-storms, and became so fretful that no wanderer ventured upon the mountain without apprehension; scarce any escaped without a scourging, and the name Number-Nip had no more been heard in the mountain since the memory of man.

One day, as the spirit lay basking by the hedge of his garden, he espied, walking along in great unconcern, a female figure, whose singularity and accompaniments arrested his whole attention. She had a child at the breast, another rode on her back, a third she led by the hand, and a fourth carried an empty basket with a rake, for she was come for a basket of leaves for her cattle at home. ‘Truly a mother,’ thinks Number-Nip, ‘must be a kind affectionate creature; see how she drags herself along with her load of four children, and over and above attends to her houshold business, and all without a murmur: this is in faith buying the raptures of love at an high price!’ These reflections put him into great good humour, and he felt an inclination to converse with the traveller. She set down her children upon the turf, and began to strip the leaves from off the bushes, but the little ones, feeling the time pass heavy, began to squall unmercifully. The mother immediately quitted what she was about, played and toyed with the children, took them up in her arms, dandled and tossed them till she had lulled them asleep, and then she returned to her work. Soon after the flies bit the little sleepers, and they began their tune anew: the mother, notwithstanding, shewed no sign of impatience. She ran to the wood to gather black-berries and bilberries; having distributed them among the oldest, she put the youngest to her breast. This maternal method of proceeding delighted the Gnome exceedingly. But the squaller, he that had rode upon his mother’s back, was not to be appeased: he was an obstinate capricious child, threw away the bilberries that the affectionate mother gave him, crying all the while as if he had been spitted. This was too much for her patience; so she called out, ‘Number-Nip! do come, and eat me up this squalling child.’ That moment the spirit appeared in his collier’s shape, and, stepping up to the woman, said, ‘Here am I, what is thy will?’ This apparition threw her into great consternation; but, as she was none of your nervous hysterical damsels, she soon collected her spirits: and taking courage she replied, ‘I called thee only to still the children, and now they have done crying I have no further occasion for thee, but am, nevertheless, obliged for thy good will.’ ‘Dost thou not know,’ returned the Gnome, ‘that no one takes such a liberty here, without paying dear for his rashness? I will take thee at thy word: give me the child that cried, and I will eat him up; I have not met with such a tender morsel this many a day.’ On this he stretched out his sooty arms towards the infant.

As a brood hen, aware of the hawk hovering high over head in the air, or alarmed at an attack from the wanton spaniel in the court-yard, first warns her chickens by anxious chuckling to retire into the strong hold of the pen, then raises her feathers, spreads her wings, and prepares for an unequal combat with the stronger foe—so our intrepid mother darted her clinched fist, quick as lightening, into the collier’s beard, resolutely exclaiming, ‘Monster! thou shalt first tear the mother’s heart out of this body, before thou robbest me of my child!’ Number-Nip Was not prepared for so resolute an assault; he started back as if afraid: indeed he had never met with so rough an experiment in the whole course of his study of mankind. ‘There is no occasion to put thyself in a passion,’ said he, with a friendly smile, ‘I am no cannibal, as thou imaginest, neither will I do thee or thy children the least harm; but give me the squaller, I have taken a fancy to the brat. I will support him like a lord; he shall be cloathed in silk and sattin; I will bring him up to be a fine fellow, and he shall be able to assist his father and brothers hereafter—Ask me five pounds for him, and thou shalt be paid the money.’

‘Ha! so the child pleases thee, does he? Aye, truly he is a cherub of a child; I would not sell this boy for all the money upon earth.’

‘Fool! hast thou not three children besides? Are they not enough to load and plague thee? Thou must labour hard to maintain them, and I see they will not suffer thee to rest by day or by night.’

‘This is very true—but I am their mother—I must do my duty by them. Children bring sorrow and trouble, but they bring much comfort also.’

‘Comfort indeed! to load thyself with the bundles every day—to swaddle them, to keep them clean, to be subject to all their filth and screaming,’

‘Truly, Sir, you are but little acquainted with a mother’s feelings; a single friendly look, the sweet smiles and lisping of the little innocents repay all labour and trouble—Look now at this little angel here, how he clings to me, the coaxer! Now he is no longer the same boy that cried and screamed so—Ah, that I had an hundred hands to toss and carry you, and to labour for you, ye pretty darlings!’

‘So then! has thy husband no hands to work?’

‘Hands! yes he has hands indeed! stirring hands too, as I feel sometimes.’

‘How! can thy husband find in his heart to lift an arm against thee? against such a wife?—But I’ll break his bones, the tyrant! the assassin!’

‘Then, in sooth, you’ll have plenty of bones to break, if every husband that lays hands upon his wife is to have his bones suffer for it. The men are a naughty tribe; therefore, says the proverb, After marriage comes sorrow,—but I must e’en submit to it, since I once have vowed to take it for better and worse.’

‘That is indeed true; but if thou wert sure the men were a naughty tribe beforehand, it was but a foolish bargain to take one for better and for worse.’

‘Perhaps it was; but Stephen was a brisk handsome wild young man, with a good trade; as for me, I was but a poor simple girl, without a farthing for my portion. So he came to me and gave me a dollar earnest, and the bargain was struck. Afterwards, indeed, he took away the dollar, but I have the wild man left still.’

The spirit smiled: ‘But perhaps it is thou that makest him wild by thy perverseness.’

‘Oh! he has long since driven that devil out of me. But Stephen is close-fisted. When I ask him for six-pence, he blusters in the house, worse than you do at times in the mountain. Then he casts my poverty in my teeth, and I must needs hold my tongue. Had I but brought him a portion, I should easily know how to stop his mouth.’

‘What is thy husband’s trade?’

‘He is a glassman: he earns his bread hardly enough. The poor slave is obliged to carry an heavy burden quite from Bohemia hither every year; if he breaks a glass by the way, truly wife and children must pay for it; but love’s blows break no bones.’

‘And thou canst love the man, that plays the game of wedlock so foully with thee?’

‘Why not? Is he not the father of my children? they will make all good again, and reward us well to boot, when they once grow up.’

‘Poor consolation; I doubt children, forsooth, never fail to return mighty thanks for their parents care and trouble! Thy boys will squeeze the last farthing out of thy pocket, when the emperor presses them for soldiers, and sends them far away beyond Hungary, to be slaughtered by the Turks.’

‘That gives me small concern: if they are killed they will die in the service of their king and country; but they may bring home prize-money, and comfort their aged parents.’

The spirit now renewed his proposals for the boy; but the mother disdained to return him any answer; she raked up the leaves, and stuffed them into the basket, on the top of which she tied the little squaller fast by his leading-strings; and Number-Nip turned away, as if he was departing about his business; but the woman, finding the burden too heavy to lift, called him back; ‘I called you once,’ said she, ‘and you came; be so good as come again, and help me up with this load; and if you will do me any further favour, give the boy that pleases you a Whitsuntide-gift, to buy him a couple of cakes. His father comes to-morrow, and he will bring us some white bread out of Bohemia.’ The spirit answered, I will help thee up with thy burden with all my heart; but unless thou wilt give me up the boy entirely, he shall have no gift from me.’ ‘It is well,’ replied the woman, and went her way.

The farther she went, the heavier grew the basket: she at last almost fainted under the load, and was forced to breathe every ten steps. This seemed extremely odd: it made her suspect all was not right; she imagined Number-Nip had served her some trick; so she set the basket on the next stone, and turned it topsy-turvy, in order to examine if he had not slipped some stones into it unawares: nothing, however, but leaves fell out, and not a single stone; she therefore filled it again only half, and scraped as many leaves into her apron as it would hold. But the burden soon became too heavy for her again; she was obliged to empty it once more: all this much surprised the good woman, for she was strong, and had been used to carry huge burdens of fodder, without feeling any such difficulty. Nevertheless she arranged every thing at home, jaded as she was; she put the leaves before the goat and the young kids, gave the children their supper, laid them to sleep, said her evening prayers, and went to rest with a light and contented heart.

The dawn of day, and the wakeful suckling, who impatiently demanded his breakfast, roused the industrious housewife out of a sound nap, to her daily labours. She first went, as usual, to the goat-house with her milking-pail. But what a shocking sight! the poor old milch goat lay along stiff, and stretched out at all-fours. On examination it appeared that she was stone dead. The kids rolled their eyes frightfully in their sockets; their tongues hung out at their mouths, and violent convulsion fits shewed that they were wringing with death. A mishap like this had never befallen the good wife since she began housekeeping; she sunk down, quite overpowered with grief, on a bundle of straw, holding her apron before her face, for she could not bear to look at the poor creatures’ dying struggles. At last she exclaimed, with a profound sigh, ‘Unfortunate woman that I am! what shall I do now? and what will my sour husband say when he comes home? Alas! God’s blessing has now forsaken me for ever in this world!’ The same instant she condemned her heart for the profane thought.—‘If the poor cattle be all the blessing God has given thee in this world, what is Stephen, and what are thy children?’—She blushed deep for her rashness—‘Farewell all the riches in the world,’ thought she, ‘still thou hast thy husband and thy four children. The fountain of milk for the poor suckling is not dried up, and, for the other three, there is water in the well. Suppose Stephen should make a quarrel of it, and give thee a few hard blows, what is that but a passing scud; and the sky, as every body knows, will lour now and then in the happiest marriages. My heart acquits me of any fault; I have been guilty of no neglect. Harvest is coming on apace; I can then go a reaping: and in winter I will spin till the hour of midnight; a goat will be to be got some way or other; and when I have a goat once, kids will come of themselves.’

These reflections revived her drooping spirits. She wiped away her tears, and on lifting up her eyes she was aware of a leaf at her feet, that glittered as bright as virgin gold. She picked it up, and behold it was heavy like gold. She arose nimbly, hurried to her neighbour the Jewess, and with great eagerness shewed her the windfall. The Jewess declared it was pure gold, and, after a little haggling, gave her in exchange two heavy dollars down upon the table. All her sorrow was now forgotten. The poor woman had never so abounded in sterling coin in all her life. She ran to the bake-house, and bought puffs and cakes for the children, and a pig’s pudding, which she put by to dress for Stephen, when he should come hungry and tired off his journey in the evening. How did the children jump and cling to their joyful mother, as she began to serve so uncommon a breakfast among them! She gave a free indulgence to the maternal pleasure of feeding the hungry crew. Her next care was to remove the cattle (which she supposed had been killed by a witch) with the intention of concealing this domestic calamity from her husband as long as she could. But how was she astonished, on looking accidentally into the feeding-trough, to see a whole heap of golden leaves glittering in it! Had she been acquainted with the popular tales of the Greeks, she would easily have fallen upon the idea, that her poor cattle had died of king Midas’s indigestion. An idea of the kind actually did come across her imagination, and she immediately whetted her case-knife, opened the goat’s carcase, and found in the stomach a piece of gold as large as a walnut, and so in proportion in the stomachs of the kids.

She now saw no end to her riches; but, in taking possession of them she took possession of the heavy cares attending them; she became uneasy and fearful: she had a palpitation at her heart—hesitated whether she should lock up her treasure in the chest, or bury it in the cellar. She was alarmed for fear of thieves. She firmly resolved, however, not to let the surly Stephen know all at once, very justly apprehending he would be instigated by the dæmon of avarice to take all the mammon to himself, and let her and the children perish with hunger. She considered long how she should most prudently go to work; but could come to no determination.

The parish priest was the patron and defender of all maltreated wives. Either out of pure goodness of heart, or from a natural partiality, he paid due respect to the female as to the weaker vessel, and would not allow husbands given to fisty-cuffs to abuse his daughter confessors; and never failed to lay a severe penance upon the boisterous family tyrants whenever complaints were made to him. In the case of Stephen, he had never spared the magic fish-liver of penance, in hopes of smoking the evil spirit out of the bed-chamber, for the benefit of the poor wife[1]. She therefore betook herself in her present difficulty to the tender-hearted watchman of souls, and gave him a faithful account of her adventure with Number-Nip, in what manner he had holpen her to great riches, and her anxiety how to dispose of it; and then she authenticated the story, by producing the whole stock of gold, which she had brought with her by way of document. The priest fell to crossing himself with great earnestness at this extraordinary occurrence, though he was all the while sincerely rejoiced at the good fortune of the poor woman: he then began to pull his night-cap backwards and forwards, in order to start some lucky contrivance for securing to her the possession of her money, without raising an hue and cry about the way in which she came by it; as also for keeping it out of the tenacious clutches of Stephen.

After a long pause of deliberation, he spoke in this manner: ‘Hearken to me, my daughter, I have thought of a scheme for managing the whole matter. Weigh out all thy gold to me, that I may keep it faithfully for thee: then I will write a letter in Italian, which shall run in this manner—that thy brother, who went abroad several years ago, had sailed for the East Indies in the Venetian service, and that he died there, having first made a will, leaving thee all his property, under condition that the parson of the parish should be thy trustee, that it might be for thy use alone, and that of no other person. I do not desire fee or recompence for myself; only consider that thou art indebted to the supplications of holy mother church for the blessing Heaven has showered down upon thy head; therefore present our chancel with a rich surplice for mass.’ This scheme exceedingly pleased his client; she chearfully promised the donation: the priest conscientiously weighed the gold in her presence to a scruple, and put it into the church coffer, when his spiritual daughter quitted him with a light and joyful heart.

Number-Nip was a patron of the fair sex, as well as the good village priest, however with this difference, that the latter respected the sex in general, because, as he said, the Holy Virgin belonged to it, without ever shewing any such partiality to individuals as might afford the tongue of scandal an opportunity of throwing discredit upon his good name; whereas the former thoroughly hated the whole sex, on account of one girl who had outwitted him, though his caprice sometimes induced him to take an individual under his protection, and to render her essential services. He was displeased with the savage Stephen, in proportion as he had been captivated by the behaviour and sentiments of his patient wife; he therefore had a strong inclination to take vengeance upon him for her sake, to play him some trick that should bring him to shame, and thereby make him so tame, that his wife might set her toe on his eye at pleasure. For this purpose he saddled the nimble eastern wind, mounted, and gallopped away over hill and dale, scouring like a ranger on the scout all the high and cross roads leading to Bohemia: wherever he was aware of a traveller with a burden, he was at his heels in an instant, and examined his pack with the scrupulousness of a tide-waiter. Luckily there passed along no tramper with glass wares, otherwise he would surely have been well trounced, without the smallest chance of retribution, even though he had not been the man Number-Nip was on the look-out for.

With measures so well concerted the heavy-laden Stephen had no chance of escaping. In the afternoon, a fine muscular fellow, with an huge pack upon his shoulders came boldly striding along. As soon as the postilion on the east wind caught a glance of him, he jumped for joy that his prey was now in his hands, and prepared to strike a masterly blow. The panting Stephen had nearly climbed the hill; the last ascent only remained, and then he had down hill all the way home; he therefore mustered up his strength to make the last effort; but the hill was steep, and the burden heavy. Accordingly he was forced to rest oftener than once before he gained the top, propping the crate each time upon his knotty crab-stick, in order to ease its oppressive weight, and wiping away the big drops of sweat that broke out from his forehead. By an exertion of his last remaining vigour he reached the summit, and now a smooth even path led to the descent. In the middle of the way there lay a fir-tree that had been lately sawed, close by the path, part of the bole stood upright as an arrow, and level at the top as a table. Round it there grew a luxuriant bed of dark-green grass. The resting-place so tempted the weary glass-man, that he immediately set his crate upon the upright log, and stretched himself along on the shady side among the luxuriant grass. Here he began to consider what profit this burden would produce: upon an exact calculation he found that if he spent not a single penny at home, but made the industrious hand of his wife provide the family with food and cloaths, he should just be able to buy an ass at Smiedberg fair, and lay in a cargo of goods. The idea of transferring the load from his own back to Dapple’s, and walking at his ease beside, so delighted his fancy at this moment, when his shoulders were raw and sore, that he could not help carrying on his agreeable reverie. ‘Now when once I have the ass,’ thinks he, ‘I shall soon convert it into an horse; and when I have got the nag snug in the stable, an acre of ground to grow oats for provender will come in course. One acre will soon grow to two, two to four, till I get an hide in time, and then a good farm, and then poor Jane shall have a new gown.’

He had not got quite so far with his projects, as to spurn the grand vizier’s daughter, like his predecessor Alnaschar, when Number-Nip sent forth his roaring whirlwind, and overset the log with such violence, that all the brittle contents of the basket were broken into a thousand fragments. This was a thunder-stroke to poor Stephen, whose ears were at the same instant saluted by a loud horse-laugh at a distance, if it was not fancy, or the echo of the crash of broken glass: he guessed it was some fairy’s prank, for the violent gust of wind had the appearance of something supernatural, and when he came to look carefully about him, log and branches had all disappeared; he had no difficulty in guessing who was the author of the mischief. ‘Scoundrel Number-Nip!’ he cried, ‘thou envious and wicked sprite! What have I done, that thou shouldst snatch my morsel of bread from my mouth, the hard-earned fruit of my sweat and toil? Alas! ruined man that I am for ever!’ He then underwent a furious paroxysm of rage, and poured out all the abuse he was master of against the spirit of the mountain: ‘Villain! scoundrel! now thou haft taken away all I have in the world, come and throttle me.’ Indeed, at that instant, he had no more value for his life than for one of his broken glasses. Number-Nip, however, was no more to be seen or heard.

The bankrupt Stephen unless he chose to carry his crate empty home, was fain to set about picking up the fragments, in order to exchange them for a couple of beer-glasses, at the glass-house, towards raising a new stock. Melancholy as a merchant whose ship, with every thing on board, has been swallowed by the greedy ocean, he began to descend the mountain with a thousand dismal ideas, mingled however with various speculations, in what manner he might set on foot his trade again. Among other things, his wife’s goats came across his imagination; but she loved them almost as well as her children, and by fair means he knew there was no possibility of inducing her to part with them: after mature deliberation, he therefore fixed upon the following piece of knavery—not to give any intimation of his misfortune at home, not even to return thither by day, but to steal about midnight into the house, drive the goats to Smiedberg market, and lay out the money they would fetch in fresh glass ware; and on his return to call his wife to a strict account, and feign vehement anger for her negligence, in suffering the cattle to be stolen while he was away.

With this well-concerted scheme, the unfortunate collector of fragments concealed himself in a copse near the village, in longing expectation of the hour of midnight, that he might rob himself. When it struck twelve he set out on his thief’s errand, climbs over the low passage-door, opens it within, and creeps softly, under the pangs of a guilty conscience, to the goat-house, for he was apprehensive his wife would catch him as he was executing his felonious design. Contrary to custom, he found the goat-house door wide open, a circumstance which agreeably disappointed him, for he discovered in this neglect some pretence to varnish his own undertaking. But in the goat-house all was void and empty, he could not grope out any thing that had the breath of life in its nostrils, neither goat nor kid. In his first alarm, he conceived that he had been anticipated by a more dexterous thief, for misfortunes, he remembered, seldom come single. He sunk down dispirited upon the straw, and gave himself entirely up to sullen sorrow, on the failure of this laudable attempt to set on foot his trade again.

Jane on her return from the priest had industriously put her house in readiness to receive her husband with a savoury meal, to which she had invited the spiritual protector of the sex, who had promised to bring a can of table wine; intending to give Stephen, when the good chear had warmed his heart, an account of his wife’s windfall, and to explain the conditions according to which he should be allowed to partake. Towards evening she looked repeatedly from the window, then in her impatience ran out beyond the village, stood on tip-toe, and lifted up her sloe-black eyes towards the road in great anxiety, on account of his long delay: as night advanced she was extremely alarmed; her fears and apprehensions followed her to bed, and expelled all thoughts of supper out of her head. Not a wink of sleep closed her tear-swoln eyes till morning, when she fell into a restless slumber. Poor Stephen in the goat-house did not feel a whit more comfortable; in his sadness of heart, and for want of rest, he thought the night would never be at an end: he was so low and crest-fallen, that he could not find in his heart to knock at his own door. At length, however, he stole out, rapped very gently, and in a faint-hearted voice whispered, ‘Pray rise, dear wife, and open the door to thy husband.’ Jane no sooner heard the sound of his voice, than up she started, like a nimble roe, unfastened the door, and joyfully clasped her husband in her arms; but he returned her heart-felt caresses with great coldness, and having set down his basket, threw himself, in a fit of sullenness, along the bench. His sorrowful figure and countenance pierced his overjoyed wife to the heart. ‘What grieves thee, my dear Stephen? what is the matter with thee? art thou not well?’ He made no reply to her affectionate enquiry, but by sighs and groans. She soon, however, drew from him the cause of his grief, for adversity having softened his heart, he could not any longer conceal the fatal accident from his tender-hearted consort. Hearing that Number-Nip had practised this unlucky prank, she immediately guessed the kind intention of the spirit, and could not refrain from bursting out into a loud laugh—a liberty which Stephen would have severely resented in his more manful mood. But now he suffered her unseasonable levity to pass unchastised, and only enquired anxiously after the goat and kids. This tickled his wife’s diaphragm still more, for she perceived the careful house-keeper had been prying into every corner. ‘What dost thou trouble thyself about my cattle for?’ said she; ‘thou hast not yet made the least enquiry after the poor children. The creatures are yonder in the pasture, and in no danger of running away. As for Number-Nip’s prank, do not take that so much to heart, who knows how soon he or another may make us rich amends?’ ‘Aye, thou mayest wait long enough for that,’ said the disheartened husband. ‘Little looked for often comes at last,’ retorted the merry-hearted wife. ‘Do not despair, Stephen, though thou haft no glass and I no goat, yet we have four fine children, and four stout arms to maintain them and ourselves; this is all our wealth.’ ‘Then Lord have mercy upon us!’ cried Stephen, in absolute despondency; ‘if the cattle are gone, go and drown the four brats, for to maintain them is what I cannot pretend to do.’—‘Why then I will,’ rejoined Jane.

At these words the friendly father confessor came in. He had listened without, and overheard the whole dialogue; so he took up the word, read Stephen a long sermon upon the text, ‘Money is the root of all evil;’ and after he had sufficiently inculcated the law, he proclaimed the gospel of the rich inheritance of his wife; drew the Italian letter out of his pocket, and interpreted to him, that the parson for the time being was appointed executor of the will, and that he had already safely received the legacy of his departed brother-in-law.

Stephen stood up all the while as stupid and aukward as a Chinese idol; he could do nothing but nod his head from time to time, when, on mentioning THE HIGH AND MIGHTY REPUBLIC OF VENICE, the priest respectfully took off his hat. When he was become a little more master of his thoughts, he eagerly embraced his faithful wife, and made her a second declaration of love, not less warm than the first; and, though it now arose from very different motives, Jane received it with equal kindness. From this moment Stephen became the most pliant of husbands, a tender father to his children, and withal a regular industrious housekeeper, for idleness had never been his failing.

The honest priest exchanged the gold by degrees for sterling money, and purchased a large farm, on which Stephen and Jane lived all their lives. The surplus he lent at interest, and managed the capital of his ghostly daughter as conscientiously as if it had been the church-money, for which service he received no other recompence but the surplice: Jane caused this badge of ecclesiastical pomp to be made so rich and sumptuous, that no archbishop need have been ashamed to wear it.

The affectionate mother, in her old age, had great joy from her children. Number-Nip’s favourite became a brave fellow, and practised the virtuous lessons she dictated, in the unlettered integrity of her heart.

  1. And the angel said unto Tobias, touching the heart and the liver, ‘If an evil spirit trouble any, we must make a smoak thereof before the man or woman, and the party shall be no more vexed.’ Tobit, vi. 7.—The translator quotes this verse, not only to explain the author’s allusion, but to remind an age in which the Bible is read neither with so much assiduity nor devotion as in the golden days of good Queen Bess, of a scriptural recipe, that may be as useful in many modern families, as it proved in that of the gallant and adventurous Tobias.