The Norfolk Gentleman's last Will and Testament.
[...] [...]ommitted the Keeping of his Children to his own Brother, who dealt most wickedly with them; and how God plagued him for it.

To the tune of Rogero.
[figure]
NOw ponder well, you Parents dear,
these Words which I shall write,
[...] dolful Story you shall hear,
[...]n time brought forth to light:
Gentleman of good account,
in Norfolk dwelt of late,
whose Wealth and Riches did formount,
most Men of his Estate.
Sore sick he was, and like to dye,
no help that he could have,
His Wife by him as sick did lye,
and both possess one Grave:
No love between these two was lost,
each was to other kind,
In love they liv'd, in love they dy'd,
and left two Babes behind.
The one a fine and pretty Boy,
not passing thrée Years old,
The other a Girl more young then he,
and made in Beauty's Mould:
[...]e Father left his little Son,
as plainly doth appear,
[...]hen he to perfect Age should come,
thrée hundred Pounds a year.
And to his little Daughter Jane,
five hundred Pound in Gold,
To be paid down on Marriage day,
which might not be controul'd
But if the Children chance to dye,
e'er they to Age should come,
Their Vnckle should possess their Wealth
for so the will did run.
Now Brother said the dying Man
look to my Children dear,
Be good unto my Boy and Girl,
no Friends else I have here:
To God and you I do commend
my Children night and day,
A little while be sure we had:
within this World to stay.
You must be Father Mother both,
and Vnckle all in one,
God knows what will become of them,
when I am dead and gone,
With that bespoke their Mother dear,
O Brother kind, quoth she
You are the Man must, bring my Babes
to Wealth or Misery.
If you do kéep [...]hem carefully,
then God will you reward,
If otherwise you seem to deal,
God will your Deeds regard,
With lips as cold as any stone
she kiss the Children small.
God bless you both my Children dear,
with that the tears did fall.
These Spéeches then their Brother spoke,
to sick Couple their,
The kéeping of your Children dear,
swéet Sister, do not fear:
God never prosper Me nor Mine,
nor ought else that I have,
If I do wrong your Children dear,
when you are laid in Grave.
Their Parents béen dead and gone,
the Children home he takes,
And brings them home unto his House,
and much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty Babes,
a Twelve-month and a Day,
But for their wealth he did devise
to make them both a way.
He bargined with two Ruffians rude,
which were of furious [...]ood,
That they should take the Children young
and slay them in a Wood:
And told his Wife, and all he had,
he did the Children send
To be brought up in f [...]ir London,
with one that was his Friend,
[figure]
Away then went these prety Babes,
rejoyceing at that ride:
Rejoyceing with a merry mind,
they should on Cock-horse ride
They prate and prattle pleasantly,
as they rode on the way,
To those that should their Butchers be,
and work their Lives decay.
So that the prety spéech they had,
made Murthers hearts relent,
And they that took the Déed to do,
full sore they did repent:
Yet one of them more hard of heart,
did vow to do his Charge,
Because the Wretch that hired him,
had paid him very large.
The other would not agrée thereto,
so here they fell at Strife;
With one another they did Fight,
about the Childrens Life:
And he that was of mildest mood,
did Slay the other their,
Within an unfrequented Wood,
where Babes did quake for fear.
He took the Children by the hand,
when tears stood in their eyes;
And bad them come and go with him,
and look they did not cry:
And two long Miles he led them thus,
while they for Bread complain,
Stay here, quoth he, i'll bring ye Bread,
when I do come again.
These pretty Babes with hand in hand,
went wandering up and down,
But never more they saw the Man,
approaching from the Town:
Their pretty Lips with Black-berries,
were all besmear'd and dy'd,
And w [...]e [...] they saw the darksom Night,
they [...] them down and cry'd.
Thus wandred these two pretty Babes,
till Death did end their Grief,
In one another Armes they dy'd,
as Babes wanting Relief:
No Burial these pretty Babes
of any Man receive,
Till Robin-red-brest painfully,
did cover them with Leaves.
And now the heavy wrath of God,
upon their Vnckle fell,
Yea, fearfull Feinds did hunt his House,
His Conscience fellt a Hell:
His Barns were fir'd, his Goods consum'd,
his Lands were barren made,
His Cattel dy'd within the Field,
and nothing with him staid,
And in the Voyage of Portugal,
two of his Sons did dye;
And to conclude, himself was brought
unto much Misery:
He pawn'd and Morgag'd all his Land,
e'er seven [...]ears came about;
And now at length this wicked Act,
did by this means come out:
The Fellow that did take in hand,
these Children for to kill;
Was for a Robbery iudg'd to dye,
as was God's blessed Will.
Who did confess the very Truth,
the which is here exprest,
Their Vnckl dy'd while he for Debt,
did long in Prison rest,
All you that be Executors made,
and Overseeos eke,
Of Childeren that be Fatherless,
and Infants mild and meek,
Take you Example by this thing,
and yeild to each his Right,
Least God with such like Mis [...]ry,
your wicked minds requite.

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