Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales | Annotated Tale

Note that only the "Fireside Nursery Stories" section of this book has been included in the database comprising 19 tales. COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in November 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Miser and His Wife, The

ONCE upon a time there was an old miser, who lived with his wife near a great town, and used to put by every bit of money he could lay his hands on. His wife was a simple woman, and they lived together without quarrelling, but she was obliged to put up with very hard fare. Now, sometimes, when there was a sixpence she thought might be spared for a comfortable dinner or supper, she used to ask the miser for it, but he would say, "No, wife, it must be put by for Good Fortune." It was the same with every penny he could get hold of, and notwithstanding all she could say, almost every coin that came into the house was put by "for Good Fortune."

               The miser said this so often, that some of his neighbours heard him, and one of them thought of a trick by which he might get the money. So the first day that the old chuff was away from home, he dressed himself like a wayfaring man, and knocked at the door. "Who are you?" said the wife. He answered, "I am Good Fortune, and I am come for the money which your husband has laid by for me." So this simple woman, not suspecting any trickery, readily gave it to him, and, when her good man came home, told him very pleasantly that Good Fortune had called for the money which had been kept so long for him.


"Let us cast away nothing," says Mr. Gifford, "for we know not what use we may have for it." So will every one admit whose reading has been sufficiently extensive to enable him to judge of the value of the simplest traditional tales. The present illustrates a passage in Ben Jonson in a very remarkable manner,—

——Say we are robb'd,       
If any come to borrow a spoon or so;       
I will not have Good Fortune or God's Blessing       
Let in, while I am busy.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Miser and His Wife, The
Tale Author/Editor: Halliwell, James Orchard
Book Title: Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales
Book Author/Editor: Halliwell, James Orchard
Publisher: John Russell Smith
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1849
Country of Origin: England
Classification: unclassified

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