Life and death of Tom Thumb, the little giant

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Life and death of Tom Thumb, the little giant  (1720) 

Date is estimated.





King of the Country of Eagles.

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Printed at the Foot of the Horse-wynd. (Price One Penny.)

The Life of Tom Thumb.

MR Thomas Thumb was the son of Mr Theophilus Thumb, of Thumb Hall, in Northumberland. At the Time of his Birth, the Sun was eclipsed; which, is supposed, stinted his Grouth, and made him almost invisible. His Father was greately disconcerted at having such a little tiney toy of a Child, and his Mother too forgot her duty to him, till a very learned Gentleman looked at him through pair of spectacles, and told his Parents, that he would be a a very litttle man, and a very great Man; is a Riddle, we are to solve by and by.

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This was said by the Gentleman with the pair of Spectacles to Tom's Father, who immediatly bought for his Son, all Mr. Crowne's little Books and Tome read from the Beginning to the End first one Volume, and then another till he had made himself master of the whole

As Tom’s Father had been at London, served in the Train Bands, and performed many Feats of Valour both in White Chaple and Benhill Fields, he would have his Son become a Warriour also, therefore his Mother made him a Sword of a small Needle, an invulnerable Helmet of a Hazel Nut-shell, and a coat of Marl of a Mouse's Ears; of which he was so fond, that he always went armed, and on that account the Neighbours first called him Captain Thumb, then Colonel Thumb, end at last obtained the Name of General.

The great People, as well as the little, are subject to Misfortunes, from which neither Arms nor Honours can protect them, Goody Thumb being one Day in a Hurry, and being unable to dress anything for her son's Dinner, gave him a Piece of a hogs Sweet bread, and bid him carry it to the bake house to be dressed. Tom put it on his head, and as he was trudging, along, a Rogue of a Raven, who had been long about the

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Village and was half wild, mistaking both Tom and his meat for a piece of Carrion, trussed him up in his claws and flew with him to his black Sweetheart soon dispatched the meat, but left poor Tom, laid along side of their eggs in a terrible Fright, and almost perished with bunger. Tom's wit, however, soon relieved him from this Distress; for perceiving that the Ravens were flown to the next Tree and were there gossipping with other of their companions, he slily run his Sword into one of the Ravens eggs on that Side which lay downwards, and clapping his Mouth to the Place he sucked it, and made a most delicious Repast.

After a few days Tom saw with concern, that his stock of Food greatly decreafed and that when all the Eggs were gone he should be in danger of starving; and every one knows, it must be a sad thing to be starved upon the top of such a high Tree; he therefore watched every Opportunity of making his Escape; and one day, when there was but one egg left, and the Ravens were gone out for food, he put the egg in his Pocket, opposite the Sword Side, and clambering over the Nest, let himself down from branch to branch, till the Bark of the Tree became rough enough for him to lay hold of. and then clung by degrees down the body; tired and and fatigued, he at last came to a large Limb, where there was a Squirrel's Nest, and there he crept in for shelter and took up his Lodging for that Night.

The young Squirrels liked his Company very well; but when old Goody Scug came home she seemed very angry, but when she saw Tom pull the egg out of his pocket, and found that he did not intend to feast on their Food, he became easy, and they all sat down and supped together.

Tom arose in the morning with the Sun, and set out on his Journey, traveling still on the rough Bark till almost night; when as it rained very hard, he crept for Shelter into a Wren’s Nest The poor Wren was very much alarmed on seeing so formidable Fellow enter her dwelling, which was then full of young ones; and as Tom had too much Humanity to disturb a whole Family he left the poor distressed Mother, and took up his Lodging on a bough under the tree here he was well sheltred from the rain. Again in the Morning he set out with the Sun, and travelling hard arrived at the bottom of the Tree a- about noon, where he was attacked by a Humble Bee with whom he fought a most desperate Battle, he attacked our Hero full in the face. Tom received the Blow with that Undauntedness which true Courage only can inspire, and drawing his Sword, returned the blow with the most interpid Resolution. he slew the Bee, which to him appeared dreadfull as a Dragon and was fanning himself with the Flap of his coat. when Esquire Bugle, one of his Father's Friends, rod by from Hunting; Tom hailed him, but the Esquire was at too great a Distance to hear him. However, one of the hounds, which Tom knew making up to him, he laid hold of his Ear, sprung upon his Back, and rode Home to his disconsolate Father and Mother, who received him with great Joy.

Tom Thumb's Reputation being firmly established at Home, he determined to travel into foreign Parts, to see if he could find a Nation where there were more Fools than in his own. He was for a long tine doubtful what part he should first visit. He consulted his Friends on this on this occasion, who generaly advised him to sail to the Kingdom of Eagles He took their Advice in Part, but not in the whole for knowing that a ship would be a long time sailing to that far distant country, and considering at the same time, that a Philosopher might travel without Baggage, and live upon his Brains, and knowing also that the Eagles were now about to leave the Country he placed himself in a small chest, of his own making, which had a door on one side, and a ring at the top, very artfully contrived for the purpose. But thinking it advisiable to take a nap before he departed, he laid himself down in it with great composure of mind, and slept some time; till at last he was frighted by a noise over his Head, like the clapping of wings, and saw through a hole he made with the point of his Sword, that an Eagle, had got the ring of his chest in his Beak. In a little time, the Flutter of wings seemed to increase, and though he was tossed up and down like a Sign in a windy day. he plainly perceived that he rode through the Air and over the Sea at a surprising rate.

We must observe that Tom like a dutiful Child, consulted both his Father and mother about this Method of Travelling, who objected to it and said, that nothing could be learned by flying through a Country: besides, added they, should an Eagle take you up, he may let the chest fall upon a Rock, like a Tortoise, pick out your body, and devour it. As much, quoth Tom as by galloping through a Country, which is the modern mode of travelling; and therefore after kissing them and receiving their blessing, he prepared for his journey, being determined to project, at all hazards

Tom, now began to think that the Eagle might serve him the trick, which his Father and Mother had so judiciously cautioned him against, was prepared for the worst that could happen, and the Eagle being by this Time arrived in his own Country. Tom perceived he was on a sudden darting towards the Ground; when our Hero, with his wonted Firmness, opened the Door of his chest, and saved himself by jumping into a large Mess of milk porridge which was intended for the Giant Grumbo, who was then king of the Country. The Giant mutterd a few words with a growl which made the Vallies ring it was so loud and dreadful; and then taking Mr Thumb up in his spoon, threw him out of the Bowl but not till Tom had first taken a sup or two of the Broth He lay for some time by the Giant's Leg, where he observed all his actions; and finding that he pulled bread out of pocket to crumb his Mess, Tom slily crept up his coat as he was sitting down, and got into his Pocket, where he feasted himself for several Day's, taking care, whenever the Giant put his Hand in his Pocket, to hide behind his Snuff Box; and whenever the Giant slept, Tom got Liquor out of his Can. In the course of his Residence here, Tom grew so hardy, that he would frequently peep out of the Giant s Pocket, when he found him about a bad Action, and after giving him a Goad with his Sword, would boldly call out Sirrah! what are you at there, Sirrah! and pop in his Head, and hide behind the Snuff-Box as usual. The Giant not only missed his Bread, but found something instead thereof which he did not like; for Tom who had convey'd all the Food among the Linings of the folds, where he had room to range, but made use of the Pocket for another Purpose, which was not altogether fair, but he could not help it.

Tom continued in this Situation till he had discovered the Giant's Disposition, which he found was very bad; for he had a very heavy Head and a hard Heart. Tom knew there would be no travelling the country with till he had broken the spirit of this turbulent Giant, and reduced him to better manners: he therefore would suffer him to rest, but whenever he began to sleep, pricked him with his little sword, so that, after some time, he was so weak for want of rest, that he could not walk He kept him in this State till he had learned the Language of the country: and then as he lay in bed, Tom got upon his Breast, and thus addressed him. "Are you inclined, O Grumbo to live or to die; If you would live you must take my advice, and behave with humanity and Kindness to all your subjects and to me, but if you would rather die than do good, do so for nobody will be sorry for you." The Giant, who had never seen Tom before but in his Mess of Porridge, thought that he fell from the Moon to punish his Inquities, begged that he might live to make amends for his bad Behaviour, which he did, and was very fond of Mr. Thumb, and would do nothing without him; so that Tom in a manner, had the whole direction of the Kingdom After Tom had lived here for some years he married the King's Daughter, by her he had two sons Gog and Magog two great Princes. one year was hardly spent, when Tom was riding one day he fell of his horse and was killed outright. FINIS

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.