In this short book the author conveys a very good image of the lives ofIrish country children at the end of the nineteenth century.
ntirely to behave yourselves and grow up fine and respectable, like the lad in the tale. It goes like this now:--"
"It was once long ago in old Ireland, there was living a fine, clean, honest, poor widow woman, and she having two sons [Note 1], and she fetched the both of them up fine and careful, but one of them turned out bad entirely. And one day she says to him, says she:--
"`I've given you your living as long as ever I can, and it's you must go out into the wide world and seek your fortune.'
"`Mother, I will,' says he.
"`And will you take a big cake with my curse, or a little cake with my blessing?' says she.
"`A big cake, sure,' says he.
"So she baked a big cake and cursed him, and he went away laughing! By and by, he came forninst a spring in the woods, and sat down to eat his dinner off the cake, and a small, little bird sat on the edge of the spring.
"`Give me a bit of your cake for my little ones in the nest,' said she; and he caught up a stone and th