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girl, “as sweet as sugar-candy.” This was the banished Prince of Wales, who tried to win back his father's kingdom more than a hundred years ago, and gained battles, and took cities, and would have recovered the throne if his officers had followed him. But he was as unfortunate as he was brave, and when he had no longer a chance, perhaps he did love good ale and wine rather too dearly. As for the pretty girls, they all ran after him, and he could not run away like Georgey Porgey. There is plenty of poetry about Charley, as well as about King Arthur.
About King Charles the First, "upon a black horse," a child will soon hear at least as much as he can want, and perhaps his heart“ will be ready to burst,” as the rhyme says, with sorrow for the unhappy King. After he had his head cut off, “the Parliament soldiers went to the King,” that is, to his son Charles, and crowned him in his turn, but he was thought a little too gay. Then we come to the King “who had a daughter fair, and gave the Prince of Orange her.”
There is another rhyme about him :
“O what's the rhyme to porringer?
Ken ye the rhyme to porringer?
And he gave her to an Oranger.
Ken ye how he requited him?
Ken ye how he requited him?
And ta'en the crown in spite o' him.
The dog, he shall na keep it lang,
To flinch we'll make him fain again ;
And James shall have his ain again.”
The truth is, that the Prince of Orange and the King's daughter fair (really a very pretty lady, with a very ugly husband) were not at all kind to the King, but turned him out of England. the grandfather of Charley who loved good ale and wine, and who very nearly turned out King Georgey Porgey, a German who “ kissed the girls and made them cry,” as the poet likewise says. Georgey was not a handsome King, and nobody cared much for him; and if any poetry was made about him, it was
very bad stuff, and all the world has forgotten it. He had a son called Fred, who was killed by a cricket-ball--an honourable death. A poem was made when Fred died :
“Here lies Fred,
Who was alive and is dead.
This poet seems to have preferred Charley, who wore a white rose in his bonnet, and was much handsomer than Fred.
Another rhyme tells about Jim and George, and how Jim got George by the nose. This Jim was
Charley's father, and the George whom he “got by the nose
was Georgey Porgey, the fat German. Jim was born on June 10; so another song says
“Of all the days that's in the year,
The Tenth of June to me's most dear,
To welcome Jamie the Rover.”
But, somehow, George really got Jim by the nose, in spite of what the poet says; for it does not do to believe all the history in song-books.
After these songs there is not much really useful information in the Nursery Rhymes. Simple Simon was not Simon Fraser of Lovat, who was sometimes on Jim's side, and sometimes on George's, till he got his head cut off by King George. That Simon was not simple.
The Babes in the Wood you may read about here and in longer poems; for instance, in a book called “The Ingoldsby Legends." It was their wicked uncle who lost them in the wood, because he wanted their money. Uncles were exceedingly bad long ago, and often smothered their nephews in the
Tower, or put out their eyes with red-hot irons. But now uncles are the kindest people in the world, as every child knows.
About Brian O'Lin there is more than this book
“ Brian O'Lin had no breeches to wear;
He bought him a sheepskin to make him a pair,
He is also called Tom o’ the Lin, and seems to have been connected with Young Tamlane, who was carried away by the Fairy Queen, and brought back to earth by his true love. Little Jack Horner lived at a place called Mells, in Somerset, in the time of Henry VIII. The plum he got was an estate which had belonged to the priests. I find nobody else here about whom history teaches us till we come to Dr. Faustus. He was not
He was not “a very good man”; that is a mistake, or the poem was written by a friend of the Doctor's. In reality he was a wizard, and raised up Helen of Troy from the other world, the most beautiful woman who