The Boy and his Mother

119. THE BOY AND HIS MOTHER. A little boy, who went to school, stole one of his school-fellow's horn-books, and brought it home to his mother, who was so far from correcting and discouraging him upon account of the theft, that she commended and gave him an apple for his pains. In process of time, as the child grew up to be a man, he accustomed himself to greater robberies, and at last, being apprehended, and committed to gaol, he was tried and condemned for felony.
On the day of his execution, as the officers were conducting him to the gallows, he was attended by a vast crowd of people, and among the rest by his mother, who came sighing and sobbing along, and taking on extremely for her son's unhappy fate; which the criminal observing, called to the sheriff, and begged the favour of him that he would give him leave to speak a word or two to his poor afflicted mother.
The sheriff (as who would deny a dying man so reasonable a request) gave him permission; and the felon, while, as everyone thought, he was whispering something of importance to his mother, bit off her ear, to the great offence and surprise of the whole assembly. ‘What!” says they, “was not this villain contented with the impious acts which he has already committed, but that he must increase the number of them by doing this violence to his mother?”
“Good people,” replied he, “I would not have you to be under a mistake; that wicked woman deserves this, and even worse, at my hands; for if she had chastised and chid, instead of rewarding and caressing me, when in my infancy I stole the horn-book from the school, I had not come to this ignominious untimely end.” [more info]

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