Page images
PDF
EPUB

Following the advice of Mr. Fitzwarren, he sent for the proper tradesmen, who fitted him out and dressed him like a gentleman, after which he returned to the house of Mr. Fitzwarren, who had invited him to remain there until he could provide himself with a better home.

When young Mr. Whittington appeared with clean face, nicely combed hair, a cocked hat and the fashionable clothes then worn by young gentlemen, he was indeed comely to look upon, a fact which Miss Alice did not fail to notice. Whittington was an observant young man, and soon fitted himself nicely to his new position in society. Remembering the kindness that Alice had always shown him, he would indeed have been ungrateful had he not shown a great interest in her. He was always trying to do little acts of kindness for her, and she in turn showed that she appreciated his efforts. In a little while they were deeply in love, and Mr. Fitzwarren was not long in noticing the situation.

By this time Whittington had won his way so far into the good graces of his former master that the latter proposed a match between him and Miss Alice. At first Whittington objected on the grounds of his humble birth, but that objection was soon overruled, and the Lord Mayor of London and the aldermen were invited to the wedding. After the honeymoon was over, Whittington went into partnership with his wife's father, and their commercial business made them immensely wealthy.

Whittington was not spoiled by his rapid rise to riches, but remained honest in all his dealings and became popular with every one who knew him, because of his good manners and lively wit.

History tells us that Mr. Whittington and his lady, with their family of several children, lived in great splendor and were very happy. He was sheriff of London, three times Lord Mayor, and was knighted by King Henry the Fifth. When the king returned from the great battle of Agincourt, Sir Richard entertained him and his court in grand style at Guild Hall. So delighted was his majesty that he was pleased to say, "Never prince had such a subject."

In return Richard remarked, "Never had subject such a prince."

The king complimented him again on the fire, which was of choice woods, cloves, mace and other spices which gave forth a pleasing fragrance. On hearing the king's praise, Sir Richard said, "I think I can make the fire much more pleasing to Your Maj esty. Here are Your Maj esty's bonds, amounting to over sixty thousand pounds, for loans made in the progress of the war. All these I will throw into the flames, and I believe Your Majesty can say that you never saw another such fire."

Suiting the action to the words, he cast the bonds into the flames, where they were quickly destroyed, leaving the king and his nobles to marvel at such wealth and liberality.

The remainder of his days Sir Richard spent surrounded by wealth and beloved by all, and his children grew up around him into manhood and womanhood.

He built many charitable houses and a church and college, to which he made an allowance for the support of poor scholars. He built, too, the famous prison of Newgate, where there was to be seen as late as 1780 a statue of Sir Richard with his cat.

Such is the popular legend of Dick Whittington and his cat. We do not know how much of this is true, but there was a Sir Richard Whittington who arose from poverty to wealth and was three times Lord Mayor of London.

THE WOLF AND THE LAMB

AS a Wolf was lapping at the head of a running L brook, he spied a stray Lamb paddling at some distance down the stream. Having made up his mind to seize her, he bethought himself how he might justify his violence.

"Villain," said he, running up to her, "how dare you muddle the water that I am drinking?"

"Indeed," said the Lamb humbly, "I do not see how I can disturb the water, since it runs from you to me, not from me to you."

"Be that as it may," replied the Wolf, "it was but a year ago that you called me names."

"Oh, Sir!" said the Lamb, trembling, "a year ago I was not born."

"Well," replied the Wolf, "if it was not you, it was your father, and that is arl the same; but it is no use trying to argue with me;" and he fell upon the Lamb and tore her to pieces.

THE STORY OF JOSEPH

[graphic]

^^^^.HEN Joseph was little more than a child, he began to help his brothers keep and feed the flocks of their father on the hills of Palestine. Joseph was then the youngest of Jacob's sons, and Jacob loved the lad more than he did any of the others, and to show his affection made him a coat of many colors.

The brethren, seeing how much their father loved Joseph, hated him, and would not at any time, unless the father was within hearing, speak to the boy a kind or a gentle word.

Now it happened one time, as Joseph slept, he dreamed a curious dream, and in the morning he told it to his brothers.

"Listen to the dream I had last night," he said. "I thought I was with you binding sheaves of grain in the field, and when I laid down my sheaf, it stood up, and yours, standing up all around, bowed down and worshipped my sheaf."

His brethren answered, "Foolish boy, do you think then that you should be our king and we should be subject to you and obey your orders?"

So the dream became another cause of envy and hatred, both of which were increased when Joseph had another dream and told it to his father and his brethren.

"Last night in my sleep I thought I saw the sun, the moon and eleven stars worship me."

Even the father blamed the boy for telling his dream in so proud and lofty a manner.

"What!" said the father. "Do you think that this dream means that I and your mother and your brethren shall worship you upon earth?"

Nevertheless, the father wondered if this did not mean that some time Joseph would be king.

A little while after, it happened that Jaeob called

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »