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´╗┐Title: Dick and His Cat - An Old Tale in a New Garb
Author: Ellis, Mary
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dick and His Cat - An Old Tale in a New Garb" ***

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       An Old Tale
      IN A NEW GARB.

      By MARY ELLIS.


       J. HAMILTON,

[Illustration: DICK AND HIS CAT.]

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



The story of "Dick Whittington and his Cat" has so often amused the
little ones, who never wearied of its repetition, that the author of
the following version thought she might extend the pleasure derived
from it by putting it in language which they could read for

No word contains more than _four letters_, and none is over _one
syllable_ in length, so that any child who has the least knowledge of
reading will be able to enjoy it for himself.



Once on a time, a poor boy was seen to go up and down the side-walk of
a town, and sob and cry. At last he sat down on a door-step. He was
too weak to run more. He had had no food all the day. It was a day in
June. The air was mild. The warm sun sent down its rays of love on
all. But poor Dick had no joy on this fair day.

He laid his head down on the step, and took a nap; for he was sick
and weak for want of food. As he lay, a girl came to the door. She saw
the poor boy lie on the step; but he did not see her. She went in,
and said to a man who was in the room, "A poor boy has lain down on
our step to take a nap."

The man came to the door to see the boy. He said, "This boy does not
look nice. His hair has not seen a comb all day; his face and feet are
full of dirt; and his coat is torn."

The man did not like such a mean boy to be at his door. But when he
saw the lad's thin, pale face, as he lay at his feet, he felt sad for

Just then the boy woke up. He went to run off when he saw the man and
girl at the door, but they made him stay.

"Why did you lie down here?" the man said to the boy.

"I was weak and sick."

"Have you had no food to eat?"

"I have had no food all day."

Then the girl went in and got him a roll and a mug of milk. The boy
ate so fast and so much that they had to wait till he was done, to
talk to him more.

"Have you no pa nor ma?" said the man. A tear fell from the poor
boy's eye, as he said, "I have no pa, and my ma they took from me, and
I can not find her. She was sick a long time. I used to sit at her
side and lay my head on her knee. Once she said to me that my pa had
gone home to God, and that she must go too. Then she got too sick to
rise from her bed. One day they put me on the bed by her side. She
laid her hand on my head, and she said, "I pray Thee, O God, take
care of my poor boy."

"Then she shut her eyes and grew so pale, and her hand got so cold,
it made me cry. But she did not move, nor turn her eyes on me. They
took me off the bed and sent me out to play. But I sat down at the
door and wept for my ma.

"The next day I saw them lay her in a long box of wood and take her
off. I have run up and down all day to find her. Do you know what
they have done with my ma? Oh! tell me, if you can." Then the poor lad
wept so hard that the man and the girl felt sad for him.

"How old are you, my boy?" said the man.

"I was six last May."

"What is your name?"


"Well, Dick," said this good man, "you may come in here, if you like,
and stay till you can find your ma. I will give you food to eat, and
you can help me to work. When your ma does come for you, you may go
home with her."




Dick soon made up his mind to live with this kind, good man. The man
was not rich. He had to work hard, and Dick was made to work too. But
he did not mind that.

But the girl was not kind to Dick. She gave him a box on the ear when
he did not do as she bid him. She did not let him sit down to eat till
she had done, and all that she gave him was the bits that she had
left. She made him a bed of a pile of old rags, at one end of the

Dick had no one now to show him how to be good, and he soon got to be
a bad boy. He told lies, and when no eye was on him, he took what was
not his. He did not know God saw him. He used a bad word now and
then, and did not work so well as once he did.

The man who took Dick to live with him was sad to see him such a bad
boy, and did not know what to do with him.

Dick had now no joy in life, for no bad boy can be gay and glad. But
he did not like to feel that he was made sad by his own bad ways. He
said it was the way he had to live that made him bad.




Poor Dick had now no one to love him but a cat. One day, when he was
out at play, he saw some boys pelt a cat to kill her. He did not like
to have them kill the cat, so he ran to her, took her up in his arms,
and took her home. The girl let him keep the cat, for she kept off all
the rats and mice. She was a gray cat. She had fine soft fur, and a
long tail. When Dick had done his tea, he took puss on his knee to pat
her on the head, and talk to her, as if she knew all that he said to

She then did rub her head on his arm, and purr, and lie down on his
knee and take a nap. She had her bed on his heap of rags.

Once when Dick had felt bad all day, he lay down on his bed. He said
to puss, "No one is kind to me but you, puss; no one has love for me.
I will run off. I will not stay."

Dick did not shut his eyes, but when it was yet dark, he got up, and
went out of his room, down to the door. He put his hand on the key and
gave it a turn. He felt the cold air on his face when he went out.
But he ran on fast, till he was so weak, he had to stop.

Just then a big bell near him rang out loud on the air to say that
day had come once more. It made Dick turn his eyes to see this bell,
and as it rang, he felt it say to him,

"Turn back, Dick!--Turn back, Dick!--Turn back, Dick!"

Dick did not move. He did not know what to do. His eyes were on the
bell as it rung out,

"Turn back, Dick!--Turn back, Dick! Turn back, Dick!"

It put him in mind of the time when his ma had laid her hand on his
head ere she went to God, and said, "O God, take care of my poor boy!"
It put him in mind what a bad boy he had been, and how he had made
his life a hard one by his ill ways. He made up his mind to go back.
But then he said, "If they find out I have run off, they will beat
me." This fear made him run so fast, that he got home and back to his
heap of rags ere the man and the girl were up.

As Dick lay on his bed, he made up his mind to be a good boy. He knew
his ma used to pray to God to make him good, so he bent his own knee
to pray, and said, "O God, make Dick a good boy."

Just then the girl came to the door, and said, "Dick! Dick! get up! It
is day!" So Dick soon went down and was so kind and good, they did
not know what to make of it. But Dick went on day by day, and soon he
saw that when he was kind and good, they were kind and true to him.

It was hard work for Dick to give up all his bad ways. But each morn
and eve he went to God, to ask Him for help, and he did not ask in
vain. By-and-by the girl let him sit with her. She made him a good
bed. Miss Puss yet kept her seat on his knee, when he sat down to
rest, and all was love and joy.




One day a man, by the name of Jack, came to see them. He was to go on
the sea in a big ship, to a far off land. He had come to say good-bye.
He said to them, "The land that the ship will sail to, is a far off
land, and the men who live in it are not like us, and do not know our
ways. They do not eat or wear what we do. Now what you give me I will
take with me, and sell it for you, and when I come back I will pay
you what I get for it. It may be that I will get much gold for it; for
the men in that far off land like what is made here, more than what
they have at home."

So the man and the girl were glad, and gave him much to sell for
them. Poor Dick sat, with his cat on his knee; a tear was in his eye,
for he too felt the wish to have some gold. The man saw him look sad,
and said, "Well, Dick, my son, and what will you send?" Dick wept. "I
have but my cat," said Dick. "Well, send that," said Jack; "it may be
she will sell for more than all the rest." They all had much fun at
this, and Dick had to join in. He took puss up in his arms. He gave
her a kiss and a pat on her head. He felt her soft fur. It was hard
for him to part with her, for she had been his pet for a long time.
But at last he set her down. He got a big bag. He put puss in it. She
did not like to be thus shut up, but Dick tied her in.

So the man took the bag in his arms, and went to his ship. When he
got to the ship, he let the cat out of the bag. She was glad to be
free once more, and ran to find Dick. But poor Dick was at home, sad;
for he knew that he had seen his puss for the last time.

The ship was full of rats and mice, and puss had a fine time. She made
them fly, and soon no more rats and mice were to be seen in the ship.
The men were glad to have the cat, and gave her food and milk, so that
she was well off.



The ship went on her way. It was more than a year when they got to
that far off land.

The man who took the cat, had, as was said, the name of Jack. He left
the ship when he got to the land, and went to see the king. The king
was glad to see Jack, and told him, he must stay and dine with him.

When they went to the room to dine, they saw that rats and mice were
in it too, and had eat much of the food. They saw the rats and mice
jump down and run when they went in the room.

The king was in a rage, that he had lost his meal. Jack said to him,
"Why do you let the rats and mice do so?" "I do not know how to help
it," said the king. "I will give a pile of gold to one who will rid me
of them."

Then Jack was glad. He said to the king, "If you will give me a pile
of gold, I will rid you of the rats and mice." The king said, "You are
in fun. You do not know how to get rid of them." Jack said, "We will
see." So the next day, he put the cat in a bag, and went with the bag
in his arm to the king. Puss did not like to be shut up in the bag,
and made much fuss.

The king was glad to see Jack, and said, "Let me see what you have in
your bag." But Jack said, "Not just yet; wait till we see the rats
and mice."

So they went to the room to dine. The rats and mice were at the food
just as they had been. Jack took the cord off the bag, and took out
the cat. The king did not know what a cat was; for he had no cats in
his land.

Jack held her in his arms till she had lost her fear, and then set
her down with the rats and mice. She soon made them know what a cat
was, and put them in such fear that they all fled. The king was so
glad that he did not know what to do.

They sat down to dine. Not a rat came out of its hole. The king ate
his meal with joy, and puss sat on his knee and fed out of his dish.
The king told Jack he must let him keep the cat. Jack said, "I will
give her to you, but you must give me the pile of gold." The king was
glad to keep the cat and pay the gold. So Jack put the gold in the
bag that had held the cat, and went back to the ship.

A year more went by, ere Jack and his ship came back to port. He soon
went to see Dick, with the bag of gold. The man and the girl were
both glad to find that Jack had sold what they gave him, and that he
had got a good deal for them. But when Jack told them of the cat, and
took out the bag of gold, they did not know what to say. And when poor
Dick was told that it was all for him, he had to cry for joy, and all
the rest wept with him, for they were all fond of Dick now, he had
come to be such a good boy.

"Well, Dick," said Jack, "what will you do with all this gold? Let us
see what will be best." So they all said much, and sat up till it was
late, to talk of Dick and his pile of gold.

At last Dick said, "I will give some of it to each of you, who have
been so good and kind to me. I will take part of the rest and lay it
out upon my mind, that I may be wise when I grow to be a man. And what
is left I will lay up, so that when I am a man, I will have it to
work with, that I may grow to be rich; for to be good, and wise, and
rich, is what I wish."

They all said Dick knew what was best. So that is what was done with
the pile of gold that the king gave for the cat.

[Illustration: FINIS]

Transcriber's Note:

Minor punctuation errors have been amended without note.

The frontispiece illustration has been moved to follow the title page.

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