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did from his. Lord N. was very ambitious to rival Tom in the pigeon's Favour, but in the eagerness of impetuosity he defeated his own purpose. The pigeon took fright and retreated. He pursued. Snatching the hat full of corn from Tom's hand, he followed the fugitive, coaxing it in such sweet accents as but one other little boy in the wide world could utter. The hard-hearted pigeon heeded not the music of his voice. It walked on till, turning into an inner court, it there took to its wings and flew to the top of the opposite wall. Poor N. rushed on unconscious of his danger, nor once perceived the heap of mud which had been that morning raked from a sewer, and lay directly in his way, and in which he would, the next moment, have measured all his length, had it not been for the agility of his companion, who, throwing himself before him,
saved him from falling farther than his knees. As he was not hurt, he would have joined Tom in the loud laugh which he instantly set up, had not the idea of Mrs. Pegg presented itself to his affrighted imagination, banishing all thoughts of mirth and gladness from his mind. As he looked in sad dismay on the woefully bespattered trowsers, the roses forsook his cheeks, the ruby lips grew pale, and the long dark silken fringes with which nature had adorned his seraph eyes, were moistened with the tears of anguish. He stood aghast and trembling; afraid to cry, lest his crying should reach the ears of Mrs. Pegg, and yet not able to refrain from giving vent to the misery which swelled his little heart. At length he took courage to turn his steps towards the house, supported by Tom, who was now little less terrified than himself, though he
knew not for what; when, all at once the sound of Mrs. Pegg's voice broke in thunder on his ears, and her stately form was seen advancing towards them, clothed in all the majesty of anger. Lord N. now screamed outright; but unmindful of his emotion she took him by the arm with one of those jerks which prove that dislocation is not so easily accomplished as some weak persons may imagine; and giving Tom a box on the ear which sent him staggering to the other side of the court, hastily proceeded with the culprit to her own apartment. How she stamped and raged, and scolded, it is needless to describe, but as she had stamped and raged, and scolded at offences of the same kind before now, and as it proved without effect, she determined on a new method of punishment. Having stripped the unfortunate delinquent
of of his soiled garments, she put him in a corner, there to stand during the term of her pleasure, and then calmly left him, in order to resume the occupation in which she had been so disagreeably interrupted.
It was in the month of May. The sun was hot, but the east wind blew chill. The poor boy had thrown himself into a heat running after the pigeon, which had been increased by succeeding agitation, and from wearing coat and trowsers lined with flannel, he was now exposed, without defence, to the piercing air of an open window. The consequences are not so surprising as his recovery appeared to be to those best acquainted with his danger.
These consequences it is certain Mrs. Pegg did not foresee, but she made no scruple of doing under the. eye of God, what she would not have done
Vol. r. H under under the eye of her mistress. And that she was conscious of doing wrong was evident from the rage she was in on finding that the situation in which she had left Lord N. was discovered by little Tom; who, deeply interested in the fate of his young master, and directed by his lamentations to the scene of punishment, had adventurously dared, by the assistance of a step-ladder, to peep in at the window, through which he hastily offered all the consolation in his power, by assuring Lord N. that the pigeon should be his own.