For, while all who needed aid were in truth beggars, not all the beggars needed aid; and hereafter I shall only give alms to those I know to be honestly in want."

"It is wisely said, my friend," returned the Prince, "and I feel I was wrong to doubt the wisdom of my father's councilors. Go, Borland, and ask the King if he will graciously attend me here."

The King arrived and bowed smilingly before the Prince whom he had set to reign in his own place, and at once the boy arose and presented his sire with the scepter and crown, saying,

"Forgive me, oh my King, that I presumed to doubt the wisdom of your rule. For, though the sun has not yet set, I feel that I am all unworthy to sit in your place, and so I willingly resign my power to your more skillful hands. And the coffers which I, in my ignorance, had determined to empty for the benefit of those unworthy, are still nearly full, and more than enough remains for the expenses of the carnival. Therefore forgive me, my father, and let me learn wisdom in the future from the justness of your rule."

Thus ended the reign of Prince Lilimond as King, and not till many years later did he again ascend the throne upon the death of his father.

And really there was not much suffering in the kingdom at any time, as it was a prosperous country and well governed; for, if you look for beggars in any land you will find many, but if you look only for the deserving poor there are less, and these all the more worthy of succor.

I wish all those in power were as kind-hearted as little Prince Lilimond, and as ready to help the needy, for then there would be more light hearts in the world, since it is "better to give than to receive."

Tom, the Piper's Son

Tom, the Piper's Son

Tom, Tom, the piper's son, Stole a pig and away he run; The pig was eat and Tom was beat And Tom ran crying down the street.

There was not a worse vagabond in Shrewsbury than old Barney the piper. He never did any work except to play the pipes, and he played so badly that few pennies ever found their way into his pouch. It was whispered around that old Barney was not very honest, but he was so sly and cautious that no one had ever caught him in the act of stealing, although a good many things had been missed after they had fallen into the old man's way.

Barney had one son, named Tom; and they lived all alone in a little hut away at the end of the village street, for Tom's mother had died when he was a baby. You may not suppose that Tom was a very good boy, since he had such a queer father; but neither was he very bad, and the worst fault he had was in obeying his father's wishes when Barney wanted him to steal a chicken for their supper or a pot of potatoes for their breakfast. Tom did not like to steal, but he had no one to teach him to be honest, and so, under his father's guidance, he fell into bad ways.

One morning

Tom, Tom, the piper's son, Was hungry when the day begun; He wanted a bun and asked for one, But soon found out that there were none.

"What shall we do?" he asked his father

"Go hungry," replied Barney, "unless you want to take my pipes and play in the village. Perhaps they will give you a penny."

"No," answered Tom, shaking his head; "no one will give me a penny for playing; but Farmer Bowser might give me a penny to stop playing, if I went to his house. He did last week, you know."

"You 'd better try it," said his father; "it 's mighty uncomfortable to be hungry."

So Tom took his father's pipes and walked over the hill to Farmer Bowser's house; for you must know that

Tom, Tom, the piper's son, Learned to play when he was young; But the only tune that he could play Was "Over the hills and far away."

And he played this one tune as badly as his father himself played, so that the people were annoyed when they heard him, and often begged him to stop.

When he came to Farmer Bowser's house, Tom started up the pipes and began to play with all his might.

Children's Books
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
Children's Picture Books