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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

Tell my lord marquis of Carabas


When the cat had obtained what he asked for, he gayly began to equip himself: he drew on his boots; and putting the bag about his neck, he took hold of the strings with his fore paws, and bidding his master take courage, immediately sallied forth. The first attempt Puss made was to go into a warren in which there were a great number of rabbits. He put some bran and some parsley into his bag; and then stretching himself out at full length as if he was dead, he waited for some young rabbits, who as yet knew nothing of the cunning tricks of the world, to come and get into the bag, the better to feast upon the dainties he had put into it. Scarcely had he lain down before he succeeded as well as could be wished. A giddy young rabbit crept into the bag, and the cat immediately drew the strings, and killed him without mercy. Puss, proud of his prey, hastened directly to the palace, where he asked to speak to the king. On being shown into the apartment of his majesty, he made a low bow, and said, "I have brought you, sire, this rabbit from the warren of my lord the marquis of Carabas, who commanded me to present it to your majesty with the assurance of his respect." (This was the title the cat thought proper to bestow upon his master.) "Tell my lord marquis of Carabas," replied the king, "that I accept of his present with pleasure, and that I am greatly obliged to him." Soon after, the cat laid himself down in the same manner in a field of corn, and had as much good fortune as before; for two fine partridges got into his bag, which he immediately killed and carried to the palace: the king received them as he had done the rabbit, and ordered his servants to give the messenger something to drink. In this manner he continued to carry presents of game to the king from my lord marquis of Carabas, once at least in every week.

One day, the cat having heard that the king intended to take a ride that morning by the river's side with his daughter, who was the most beautiful princess in the world, he said to his master: "If you will but follow my advice, your fortune is made. Take off your clothes, and bathe yourself in the river, just in the place I shall show you, and leave the rest to me," The marquis of Carabas did exactly as he was desired, without being able to guess at what the cat intended. While he was bathing the king passed by, and puss directly called out as loud as he could bawl: "Help! help! My lord marquis of Carabas is in danger of being drowned!" The king hearing the cries, put his head out at the window of his carriage to see what was the matter: when, perceiving the very cat who had brought him so many presents, he ordered his attendants to go directly to the assistance of my lord marquis of Carabas. While they were employed in taking the marquis out of the river, the cat ran to the king's carriage, and told his majesty, that while his master was bathing, some thieves had run off with his clothes as they lay by the river's side; the cunning cat all the time having hid them under a large stone. The king hearing this, commanded the officers of his wardrobe to fetch one of the handsomest suits it contained, and present it to my lord marquis of Carabas, at the same time loading him with a thousand attentions. As the fine clothes they brought him made him look like a gentleman, and set off his person, which was very comely, to the greatest advantage, the king's daughter was mightily taken with his appearance, and the marquis of Carabas had no sooner cast upon her two or three respectful glances, then she became violently in love with him.

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