L o u-,t'
NEW YEAR'S EVE.
THE KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY.
FRISKY THE SQUIRREL.
BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.
N the New Year's Eve"-the first story in the
"Welcome Visitor"-we see our old friends, the
Days, feasting with their King before he leaves them.
The "Kingdom of the Greedy" teaches that greediness
brings its own punishment, and shows us that no greedy
child can be a welcome visitor anywhere. Frisky the
Squirrel" tells how a pet was lost and found. Of Dick
Whittington" we need say nothing; every child loves the
tale of the poor boy who sate by the wayside and listened
to the sound of the bells. With this old favourite, and so
many pretty new ones added to it, AUNT LOUISA hopes
to be, in reality as well as in name, a Welcome Visitor.
NEW YEAR'S EVE.
NEW YEAR'S EVE.
THE Old Year's work was nearly done;
He knew his reign drew near its close,
That soon would set his last red sun,
And he should pass to sweet repose.
Only twelve months made up his age,
Yet he would gladly yield his state;
Hoping that on Time's open page
His own might be a glorious date.
Around him then he called the Hours-
His servants who have done his will-
Brought forth green leaves and summer flowers,
Or bound with frost the trickling rill.
"My children," said Old Year, "draw near:
My last day soon will gild the east;
In honour to the coming Year,
Upon his Eve I '11 have a feast.
"So hurry forth on wings of light,
And take these letters from your King;
Invite the Days for New Year's Night,
And quickly back their answers bring."
The New Year standing by his side,
A rose-crowned child-as yet unknown-
His brother heard with love and pride-
Ah I soon those Hours will be his own.
NE W YEA R'S E VE.
The Hours went forth-the dark, the light-
To do their royal master's will;
Five o'Clock crowned with stars of night,
And Eight, who never can be still.
Beneath a grand old British tree
They met three Days, whom in such weather
They never could have hoped to see
Assembled (in the cold) together.
For though St. Valentine must know
How bitter "snowdrop-time" can be,
April Fools' Day detests the snow,
And May Day loves the flowery lea.
Yet here they are I Jack-in-the-Green
From forth his leafy shelter peeps,
And-gazing wondering on the scene-
Believes the Hours are chimney-sweeps I
Says Eight o'Clock, "I'm very glad
To meet you, sweet St. Valentine-
Postmaster-General of love I-
You'll help me in this task of mine.
'Pray take these letters, gentle friend,
And bear them for me to the Days;
You ought, since you on us depend
For forwarding your tender lays."
"I '11 do my best," said Valentine,
"And straightway on your errand go;
No Day, I'm certain, will decline,
Or find a mere excuse for 'No."'
He kept his word. The grandee Days
At once accept: the humbler kind,
Unused, poor things, to courtly ways,
To join the royal feast declined.
NE W YEA R'S E VE.
The Rainy Days, with many tears,
Declared they wept in loyal woe,
But must decline: they had great fears
Their dresses were too wet to go.
The Frosty Days declined. They said
They feared the Old Year's mirth to chill,
And make some pretty noses red,
Should they the royal wish fulfil.
The Sunny Days flew laughing by,
And said the New Year soon would see
That they were full of loyalty,
When once their Sovereign he should be.
The merry Eve at last is here:
The Old Year heads the stately table,
And tries his happy guests to cheer
As much-kind heart I-as he is able.
The New Year, who is seated nigh
(Although the guests do not perceive him),
Is pleased to see how by-and-bye
These merry subjects will receive him.
Beside Old Year, King Twelfth Day see;
His knife is raised to cut his cake;
For all Days that have property
An offering to the banquet make.
Shrove Tuesday brings his frying-pan,
Eager to prove his cooking skill,
And show his Monarch-if he can-
That pancakes are worth eating still.
Behind Old Year, holding a ring,
Sits February Twenty-nine;
Leap Year alone his turn can bring
Amongst the other Days to dine.
NE W YEAR'S E VE.
Valentine's Day with pride displays
A letter, full of "loves" and "dears,"
In which, in very tender lays,
He sings as he has sung for years.
Beside him sits, with calm, pure face,
Sweet Lady Day, who does not see
The pictured folly. Sweetest grace
Is hers of maiden modesty.
April Fools' Day has left the seat
Beside her (where he ought to be),
To flirt with May Day, fair and sweet,
In sight of all the company.
And she-who is not over-wise-
Rewards his jests with merry smile,
Forgetting that in April's eyes
'Tis only clever to beguile.
When will May Day more wisdom learn ?
When cease to "dress up" and to play?
I know not I-Look, where, with his fern
And roses, stands Midsummer Day.
Behind a sunburnt reaper tells
Of wheat made golden by the sun,
When honest hands the ripe ear fells,
And Midsummer's good work is done.
Young Michaelmas his goose has brought,
In memory of the glorious day
When England with th' Armada fought,
And Spaniards owned her ocean sway.
He wears the jolly farm-boy's dress,
And welcome is where'er he comes:
Michaelmas Day and good Queen Bess
Are household words in all our homes.
NE W YEA R'S E VE.
Guy Faux Day with his lantern sits
Quite friendly with the Lord Mayor's Day:
Now only sport for childish wits,
He yields the boys a game of play.
Old Father Christmas gives a toast:
"A blessing on the generous Year
Who is to-night our courteous host;
To his successor, happy cheer.
"May every Day with good be crowned,
And all the darling children blessed;
May comforts everywhere abound,
And honoured age find quiet rest."
The Old Year thanked his merry friend,
"Hoped the New Year would happy prove;"
And said it cheered him at the end
To meet with so much faithful love.
Being very wise, his speech was short;
And then all left the banquet-hall,
Prepared for any merry sport,
And answering the music's call.
Valentine leads out pretty May,
And in the centre gaily dances;
While round them April's mocking Day
In merry mischief gaily prances.
Lord Mayor's Day gazing, gravely stands;
First of September and October,
Holding their birds up in their hands,
Are talking all their shooting over.
When suddenly Guy Faux steals round,
"To illustrate," he said, "their story;"
And soon a mighty cracker's sound
Declares that bad boy's in his glory.
NE W YEA R'S EVE.
Then follow squibs and Catherine-wheels,
And coloured stars that dance about;
Till on the air a faint sound steals,
And suddenly the bells ring out.
Solemn and sweet upon the air
They ring the parting Old Year's knell;
The Days in sudden silence there
Bid him in thought a sad farewell.
His form is fading from their sight:
Another sits upon his throne,
And claims from them his due and right-
For are the Days not now his own?
A fair young Year, who never yet
Has seen a care or pain or tear;
With smiles they greet him, and forget
With him each anxious doubt-and fear.
A happy New Year may he be,
Sweet reader mine, to you and all,
And many bright ones may you see
Before life's shadows round you fall.
KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY.
THE KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY.
HE Kingdom of the Greedy, well known in history, was inhabited by a small
people, who had only one fault-they were too fond of pies and tarts! They
would eat nothing else. The consequence was that the kingdom was full of
invalids, and pies and tarts were followed daily by pills and powders. The King saw that
if he did not change the food of his subjects, he would soon have none, for they would all
die. Happily, a wise thought came into his Majesty's head, and he telegraphed for Mother
Mitchel, the best of all the pastrycooks. She soon arrived with her black cat Fanfreluche,
who was an excellent judge of tarts. The good woman respectfully asked what she could do
for the King, and his Majesty instantly begged her to make him a tart as big as the Capitol
-bigger, if possible, but certainly not smaller. When the King uttered this order, the
pages and courtiers were so pleased that they could scarcely help shouting, Long live the
King! The Monarch gave Mother Mitchel one month in which to make this wonderful tart.
It is enough," she proudly replied, brandishing her crutch. Then taking leave of his
Majesty, she and her cat set out for their home. Mother Mitchel lost no time. On her
way she engaged all the little pastrycooks in the country, and all the six-year-old children
who loved to make pastry. Then Mother Mitchel called upon all the millers, and bade
them bring her as many sacks of fine flour as they could grind in a week. All the windmills
set to work-Br-r-r br-r-r What a noise they made! The clatter was so great
that all the birds flew away, and even the clouds fled from the sky.
Then Mother Mitchel ordered the farmers' wives to bring her seven thousand fresh
eggs. You may think how sorry the hens were.! They thought they should never have
any more chickens, and clucked mournfully. The milkmaids also were ordered. to bring
twenty thousand pails of milk. The poor little calves had only half a dinner in consequence,
and fared very sadly; while the cows were very angry indeed, and kicked over many milk-
THE KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY.
pails. A thousand pounds of the best butter were churned and put into baskets. It was
all brought to Mother Mitchel on the appointed day, and she took care to see that it was
very good. Next came the grocers, each bearing a sugar-loaf nearly as big as himself; and
then a whole army of country people, with wheelbarrows and baskets full of cherries and
plums, peaches, apples, and pears. The little helpers were soon very busy paring apples and
stoning plums, peaches, cherries, &c.; while Fanfreluche moved round to see that no one ate
the fruit. The next thing to be done was to grate the sugar-pounded sugar not being
known in those days. This was a very hard task, and Mother Mitchel employed the
strongest boys on it (see cover). With mallet and knife she broke the cones into round
pieces, and the little cooks grated them till they were too small to hold.
It was then the turn of the ambitious scullions to break the seven thousand eggs.
Now, it is not hard to break an egg, but to separate the yolks and whites requires skill and
care. Then the boys and girls drew lots as to who should beat the whites and who the
yolks. Those who had the whites to beat liked the job the best, because they made such
beautiful white froth; but both sets of beaters had very tired arms when the eggs were done.
Now began Mother Mitchel's work. She made all the fruit into jam, and very hard work
it was too for forty-eight hours. Meantime she had ordered two hundred great kneading-
troughs to mix the paste in, and the little pastrycooks rolled up their sleeves, and began to
knead the dough, with cries of Hi! HiI" which might be heard for miles. You must
recollect this paste was not to be eaten, but to build a tart with as big as the Capitol. The
little bakers stooped and rose at their task so like drilled soldiers, that a foreign Ambassador
who saw them wrote to his Court to say that he wished his countrymen could load and fire
as well as these boys could knead. When each troughful of dough was ready, it was moulded
into the form of bricks, and the building began. The walls were four feet thick, and the
edifice was divided into as many rooms as there were kinds of fruit-jam. As soon as the
walls were finished, twenty-four ladders were set up, and twenty-four experienced cooks
ascended them, armed with enormous cooking-spoons. Behind them followed the kitchen
boys, carrying on their heads great pots and pans filled to the brim with jam and sweetmeats,
with which the cooks soon filled every room or compartment. Mother Mitchel then went up
the ladders, and tasted all the sweets to see if they were good.
Nothing was now wanted but to crown this sublime edifice with a roof or dome.
THE KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY.
Mother Mitchel had employed a young engineer under herself to build the fortress. His
genius was now fully displayed. The dome, made of a single piece of dough, was raised in
the air by twelve balloons, directed by ropes exactly over the walls, and, at the word of
command, it gently descended upon the right spot. Now the difficulty was how to bake
this monster tart. Mother Mitchel was equal to the occasion. She had an enormous
furnace built round the tart, which thus found itself shut up in an immense earthen pot.
In its walls thirty ovens blazed, and in two days the nose of Mother Mitchel informed
her that the pastry was cooked. Its perfume filled the country. The people eagerly came to
help pull down its earthen case, and in a very short time the TART was unveiled, and appeared
in all its splendour. The dome, being gilded, reflected the rays of the sun in a most dazzling
manner. It was adorned with sugar-plums of all colours, and surmounted by a splendid
crown of macaroons, spun chocolate, and candied fruits.
The wildest delight filled the Kingdom of the Greedy; the people shouted and danced
round it, but no one dared touch it till the King arrived. They resolved meantime to
show their gratitude to Mother Mitchel for what she had done. They crowned her with
the laurel of conquerors, which is also,the laurel of cooks. They placed her, with her crutch
and her cat, on a sort of throne, and carried her in triumphal procession round her great
work. Before her marched the musicians, playing on all sorts of instruments the national
air of the Kingdom of the Greedy-" The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts"-and
certainly at that moment Mother Mitchel was Queen of all hearts in that country.
The Royal procession soon afterwards arrived. A great stairway had been built for the
King and his Ministers to mount to the summit of the wonderful TART. The King
ascended it, and from thence addressed his people.
My children," he said, you adore tarts. You despise all other food. If you could,
you would even eat tarts in your sleep. Very well; here is one large enough to satisfy you.
But know that while there remains a crumb of this august tart, from which I am proud to
look down on you, all other food is forbidden you on pain of death. I have ordered all the
shops for food to be shut up, for here you have that which you love best. Greedy ones,
behold your TART I"
Loud hurrahs answered him. "Long live the King! Long live Mother Mitchel and
her cat Down with bread, mutton, and beef!" Everybody was delighted-even the
THE KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY
doctors, who understood the King better than his subjects did. Then the Royal Engineers
were called out to assault the cake-fortress, and, with pick and sword, made a breach in it.
The people, seated at long tables, were soon stuffing themselves like mad, when the King
turned to his Prime Minister, and said, "The train is fired; how long will it burn?"
Six weeks, your Majesty," replied he.
The King laughed. "All goes well," said he, for him who knows how to wait."
No one knows how long the Greedy people would have sat eating tart, had not the
King given his command that the feast should cease, telling them that the tables would be
ready for them again at six o'clock. Then they all ran off to the river to wash, for they were
sticky in the extreme. Many of the children were marmalade from head to foot. When
they had finished washing, the river ran red and yellow, and the fishes were quite surprised,
the water tasted so sweet.
Six o'clock brought back the feast, and the people, after a walk and a nap, were quite
ready to attack the tart again; but the King fancied that the hole they now made in the tart
was a little smaller than that of the morning.
The next day the feast again went on gaily, but the King noticed that there were a few
empty seats. "Why is this?" he said to the Court Physician.
"Your Majesty," said the great man, "a few weak stomachs-that's all "
The next day there were larger empty spaces. The eighth day the crowd had
diminished one-half; the ninth, three-quarters; the tenth day, of the thousand who came
at first, only two hundred remained; on the eleventh day only one hundred; and on the
twelfth, alas !-who would have thought it ?-only one answered the call to dinner. Truly
he was big enough. His body resembled a hogshead, his mouth an oven, and his lips-we
dare not say what. He was known in the town by the name of Patapouf. They dug a fresh
lump for him from the middle of the tart; it quickly disappeared, and he retired with great
dignity, proud to have maintained the glory of the Greedy Kingdom. But the next day
even he, the very last, appeared no more. It was soon known that everybody in the
?kingdom was suffering agonies from too much tart. Let us not talk of those hours of
torture. Mother Mitchel was in despair, and those Ministers who guessed the truth did
not dare open their lips. The King waited three days without a word; then he said to his
Ministers, Let us go and see how my poor people are, and feel their pulse a little."
THE KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY.
The good King went to every house, without forgetting a single one.
Oh oh your Majesty," said all, the tart was good, but may we never see it again I
Better were dry bread. Your Majesty, for mercy's sake, a little dry bread I Oh! a morsel
of dry bread, how good it would be! "
No, indeed," replied the King; there is more of that tart!"
"What, your Majesty! must we eat it all?"
"You must!" sternly replied the King; "you MUST! By the immortal beefsteaks I
not one of you shall have a slice of bread, and not a loaf shall be baked in the kingdom,
while there remains a crumb of that excellent tart!"
"What misery thought these poor people. "That tart for ever! "
The sufferers were in despair. There was only one cry through all the town-" Ow!
ow ow! "-for even the strongest and most courageous were in horrible agonies.
The spiteful tart looked in at all the windows too! Built upon a height, it commanded
the town, and the mere sight of it made everybody ill, while its former admirers had nothing
but ill words for it now. Unhappily, nothing they could say or do made it any smaller; still
formidable, it was a frightful joke for those miserable mortals.
In the midst of this terrible consternation the King remained inexorable during eight
days. His heart bled for his people, but the lesson must sink deep if it were to bear fruit
in future. When their pains were cured, little by little, through fasting alone, and his
subjects pronounced these trembling words, "We are hungry!" the King sent them trays
laden with-the inevitable tart.
"Ah!" cried they, with anguish, "the tart again! Always the tart, and nothing but
the tart I Better were death! "
A few, who were almost famished, shut their eyes, and tried to eat a bit of the detested
food; but it was all in vain-they could not swallow a mouthful.
At length came the happy day when the King, thinking their punishment had been
severe enough, and could never be forgotten, believed them at length cured of their
greediness. That day he ordered Mother Mitchel to make in one of her colossal pots a
super-excellent soup, of which a bowl was sent to every family. They received it with as
much rapture as the Hebrews did the manna in the desert. They would gladly have had
twice as much, but, after their long fast, it would not have been prudent. It was a proof
THE KINGDOM OF THE GREEDY.
that they had learned something already that they understood this. The next day, more
soup. This time the King allowed slices of bread in it. The next day there was a little
more bread in it, and a little soup-meat. Then for a few days the kind Prince gave them
roast beef and vegetables. The cure was complete.
The joy over this new diet was as great as ever had been felt for the tart. It promised
to last longer. They were sure to sleep soundly, and to wake refreshed. It was pleasant to
see in every house tables surrounded with happy rosy faces, and laden with good nourishing
The Greedy people never fell back into their old ways. Their once puffed-out, sallow
faces shone with health; they became, not fat, but muscular, ruddy, and solid. The
butchers and bakers re-opened their shops; the pastrycooks and confectioners shut theirs.
The country of the Greedy was turned upside down, and if it kept its name, it was only
from habit. To-day, in that marvellous country there cannot be found a paper of sugar-
plums or a basket of cakes. It is charming to see their red lips and their beautiful teeth
If they have still a King, he may well be proud to be their ruler.
Does this story teach that tarts and pies should never be eaten? No; but there is
reason in all things.
Ask no more about Mother Mitchel. She was ridiculed without measure by those who
had adored her. To complete her misfortune, she lost her cat. Alas for Mother Mitchel!
The King received the reward of his wisdom. His grateful people called him neither
Charles the Bold, nor John the Terrible, nor Louis the Great, but always by the noble name
of PROSPER THE REASONABLE.
FRISKY THE SQUIRREL.
"FRISKY" THE SQUIRREL,
C. E. BOWEN,
AUTHOR OF "THE ROBIN'S CHRISTMAS EVE."
ONE day a wounded squirrel lay
Half dead upon the ground;
A keeper passing with his gun,
The little creature found.
Young Archie Gray of Fawley Hall
Was also in the wood,
And begged that he might take it
To save it, if he could.
The keeper shook his head in doubt;
"'T was too far gone," he said.
He feared that ere the morning came,
The squirrel would be dead.
But care and skill will wonders work;
And I am glad to tell
That very soon through Archie's care
It grew quite strong and well.
Ere long the merry little thing
Was sociable and tame,
And being very frolicsome,
Frisky" became its name.
He'd spring and gambol round t
Performing antics droll;
Or climb and gravely take his seat
Upon the curtain-pole.
When, wearied out with all his play,
He felt inclined to sleep,
He'd gently steal to Archie's side,
Then in his pocket creep.
And there curl'd up so warm and
He put himself to bed;
His nose tuck'd in between his paws,
, His tail wound round his head.
He search'd about, but not a trace
Of Frisky could he see,
Except some nut-shells he had left
Beneath a neighboring tree.
At home, he always used to come
In answer to his name;
But now, though Archie loudly called,
No little Frisky came.
Yet all this time upon a gate
Which led within the wood,
Scarcely a stone's throw from the
A little figure stood.
'T was Frisky, brandishing his tail
And looking round with glee;
Most likely thinking to himself,
How sweet is liberty! "
But suddenly whilst there he sat,
He caught his master's eyes;
Who, shouting joyfully, ran off,
Hoping to seize his prize.
No, no," thought Frisky, free I am,
And free I mean to be!"
So, just as Archie reached the gate,
He sprang upon a tree.
Over the gate with lightning speed
His eager master flew,
No farther could he follow him,
The cunning squirrel knew.
So, climbing to an upper branch,
He sat there quite at ease,
Seeming as if he thought it fun
His master thus to tease.
For as poor Archie stood below,
In very mournful case,
The rogue threw down some wither'd
Upon his upturn'd face!
And then from tree to tree he sprang,
Thinking it famous fun
To keep his master going too
As fast as he could run.
The wood was getting very dark,
For now 't was nearly night;
No longer could poor Archie keep
The squirrel in his sight.
His heart was sad and sorrowful,
He felt all hope was o'er;
Frisky, too charmed with liberty,
Would come again no more!
Another trouble now arose,
He found he'd lost his way;
And feared that in the lonely wood
He all night long must stay.
Fill'd with alarm, the boy began
Most bitterly to cry;
He dreaded lest perhaps with cold
And hunger he should die.
Two long hours pass'd, yet there he
Still toiling to and fro;
As far as ever from the point
To which he ought to go.
His teeth were chatt'ring with the
His fingers numb'd by frost;
And dreadful stories fill'd his mind
Of people who'd been lost.
At length he sunk upon the ground,
Completely wearied out;
His limbs felt stiff, his strength was
From wandering about.
Now very soon the moon arose,
With soft and silv'ry light;
And full of comfort to the boy
Was such a cheering sight.
He found that close beside him stood
A large old hollow tree;
And thought that if he crept inside,
Much warmer he would be.
Some of the bark had crumbled off,
Leaving an opening wide;
And, putting in his hand, he found
A heap of leaves inside.
These, being very soft and dry,
Would serve him for a bed;
But Archie would not go to rest
Before his prayers were said.
How thankfully he called to mind
That God could hear a prayer
Offer'd from church, or house, or
For God is everywhere!
He knelt with boyish confidence,
Protection to implore;
And when he rose, no longer felt
As lonely as before.
Then through the opening
Within the tree he crept,
And soon upon his leafy bed
He comfortably slept.
At home, his absence after dark
Had caused intense alarm,
Lest some occurrence unforeseen,
Had brought the boy to harm.
And anxiously they sallied forth,
And sought him all around;
But long in vain,-no trace of him
Could anywhere be found.
At length his father in the search
The hollow tree espied;
He held his lantern to the hole,
And threw its light inside.
A joyful sight it must have been,
His truant boy to see,
Unhurt and safe, and slumb'ring
Within the shelt'ring tree.
" Archie, my lad the father cried,
You've found a cosy place
In which to sleep, whilst giving me
A very anxious chase!
"Wake up! wake up! and let us
To calm your mother's fear;
And tell me, as we walk along,
What can have brought you here!"
Archie, arous'd, was quite perplex'd
To think where he could be;
He wondered much to find himself
Inside a hollow tree!
But as his memory recalled
All that had lately pass'd,
Thankful indeed was he to know
That help had come at last.
And then he told them how he'd
To follow Frisky's flight,
And wandering on, had been at length
O'ertaken by the night.
'T is scarcely needful here to tell
How great his mother's joy,
When safe and sound within her arms
She found her missing boy.
Welcome to Archie's dazzled eyes
The cheerful room and light,
And not less welcome, we suspect,
His supper was to-night.
But more than ever now he miss'd
His merry little pet;
He thought of all his winning ways
And antics with regret.
They both had liv'd so happily,
Companions day by day;
He felt as though a friend he lov'd
Were taken quite away.
All of a sudden Archie starts,
Then gives a joyous shout;
No wonder! From his coat, behold,
The squirrel has sprung out!
Yes! there he'd been,-he never
Of running quite away;
Though he had teased his master
It all had been in play.
High on a branch he kept a watch
On Archie down below;
And saw him when the moon ap-
Within the old tree go.
All fun was over now; he knew
'Twas time to be in bed;
And found it very cold to sit
Upon a bough instead.
At length he thought he'd scramble
Within the tree to peep;
Where, as the reader is aware,
Archie was fast asleep.
At once the cunning fellow saw
The best thing he could do
Would be, to creep within the hole,
And go to sleep there too!
He mov'd so very noiselessly,
No sound had Archie heard;
Though Frisky slid inside his coat,
He neither woke nor stirr'd.
So all this time, whilst he supposed
His little pet had fled,
There he was lying, warm and snug,
Within his usual bed.
And now he made him understand
By signs which Archie knew,
That, having fasted like himself,
He wanted supper too.
He stretch'd his limbs, and wash'd
As soon as he'd been fed,
Then he and Archie, both tired out,
Were glad to go to bed.
'T is said, as Frisky older grew,
He learnt to mend his ways,
And never after this event
Play'd truant all his days.
I've finished now, my little friends,
The tale I had to tell,
And, hoping you have been amused,
I bid you all farewell.
THE OLD BALLAD
A MERCHANT, once upon a time, who had great store of
Among his household placed a youth sore pinch'd by want and cold;
No father or no mother watch'd with love o'er this poor boy,
Whose dearest treasure was a Cat, his pet and only joy,
That came to him beseechingly when death was at the door,
And kindly to relieve her wants he shared his little store.
A grateful Cat! no mice might live where she put up to dwell,
And Whittington could calmly sleep, while Puss watched o'er his
That once o'erran with vermin so, no rest had he by night,
Placed in this garret vile to please a cruel woman's spite.
Alice advises him to send his Cat.
Now on the Thames a gallant ship lay ready to set sail,
When spoke the Merchant, Ho! prepare to catch the fav'ring gale;
And each who will his fortune try, haste, get your goods on board,
The gains ye all shall share with me, whatever they may afford;
From distant lands where precious musks and jewels rare are found,
What joy to waft across the seas their spoils to English ground!"
So hasted then each one on board, with what he best could find,
Before the ship for Afric's land flew swiftly with the wind.
The little boy he was so poor, no goods had he to try,
And as he stood and saw the ship, a tear bedimm'd his eye,
To think how Fortune smiled on all except on his sad lot-
As if he were by gracious Heaven neglected and forgot!
The Merchant and his daughter too, fair Alice, mark'd his grief,
And with a gentle woman's heart, intent on kind relief,
She bade him bring his Cat to try her fortune o'er the sea;
"Who knows," she said, "what she may catch in gratitude to thee!"
With weeping and with sore lament he brought poor Puss on board;
And now the ship stood out for sea, with England's produce stored.
And as she sped far out of sight, his heart was like to break;
His friend had gone that shared his crust, far sweeter for her sake.
Humble his lot the Merchant knew, but knew not that the Cook
With blows and cuffs the boy assail'd, and surly word and look,
Until his life a burden seemed, too grievous to be borne,
Though Alice oft would pity him, so lowly and forlorn.
Now musing long, the thought arose his plight could scarce be worse,
And forth he rush'd into the fields, regardless of his course.
The cutting winds blew bleak and cold upon his shiv'ring breast,
His naked feet were pierced with thorns, on every side distressed;
He sank, o'erpowered with grief and pain, upon a wayside stone,
Bethinking there to end his days, with none to make him moan:
And calling upon GOD for aid in this last hour of need-
On GOD, who never yet refused to hear the wretched plead.
And now the bells sound loud and clear, as thus he lay forlorn,
Seeming to say, 0 Whittington, thou foolish boy, return!
Lord Mayor of London thou shalt be, Dick Whittington, if thou
Wilt turn again, and meet thy lot with bold and manly brow."*
The six bells of Bow Church rang, and seemed to say to him:
"Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London;
Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London."
The Return of the Ship.
Up sprang the boy to hear such sounds, so cheerful and so sweet,
He felt no more the piercing winds, the thorns beneath his feet,
But raising up his eyes to Heaven, he prayed for strength to bear
Whatever in His wisdom GOD might please to make him share.
And now his steps retracing fast, good news he quickly hears,-
How that a richly-laden ship, amid ten thousand cheers,
Had entered port from distant climes, full freighted with their gold,
By traffic gained for English wares in honest barter -sold.
With shout and song the crew rejoiced-not less the folk on shore-
Told of adventures strange and rare among the blackamoor;
And how their King was glad to see our English sailors bold,
Who sat and ate and drank with him from cups of purest gold.
Once on a day, amid their cheer, when health went gaily round,
How were the crew amazed to see, in swarms upon the ground,
Unnumber'd rats and mice rush forth and seize the goodly cheer,
While stood the wondering guests aloof, o'erwhelmed with dread and
Oat at Banquet killing Rats.
"Oh!" said the King, "what sums I'd give to rid me of these vile
Detested rats, whose ravages our bed and board defile!"
Now, hearing this, the sailors straight bethought them of the Cat,
And said, "O King, we'll quickly rid your palace of each rat."
"Indeed !" the King, delighted, said; "go fetch her quick as thought,
For such a treasure many a year I've long and vainly sought;
And should she prove as ye have said, your ship shall loaded be
With gold in heaps, so rich a prize I deem your Cat to be."
And now the Cat did soon perform such feats as ne'er were seen;
Oh, how the scampering, mangled rats amused the King and Queen!
Rich treasures now for Whittington were sent on board the ship,
That, laden with a golden freight, did let her cables slip,
And stood for England, while the breeze a favoring impulse lent,
As if for sake of Whittington both ship and breeze were sent.
And soon again the bells rang forth a loud and merry strain,
For wealth and honours crowded now on Whittington amain.
With gentle Alice for his bride, he stands before the priest,
And after holy rites and vows comes next the wedding feast.
The poor were feasted well, I ween, upon that happy day,
And never from his door did go the poor uncheer'd away.
" Lord Mayor of London" spoke the bells-they spoke both well and
And still the stone is pointed out unto the traveller's view,
Where Whittington, in prayer to GOD, cast all his fears aside,
And rose and braced him for the strife, whatever might betide.