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STORIESFORSUMMER DAYSANDWINTER NIGHTS.2lluutrate WITH COLOURED PLATES AND WOOD ENGRAVINGS.LONDON:GROOMBRIDGE AND SONS,5, PATERNOSTER ROW.1873.
CONTENTSLOUIS DUVAL.THE SEA KINGS.THE YOUNG EMIGRANTS.ROUND THE WORLD.THE PROPHET AND THE LOST CITY.THE SHIP AND THE ISLAND.
LOUIS DUVAL.CHAPTER ITHE GARRET.ETWEEN sixty and seventy years ago, on a.dismal April day, in one of the garrets ofa large house, in one of the narrow streetsof Paris, were to have been found, hadthey been sought, a wrinkled, lame, and half blindold woman, and a little boy about eight years old.The old woman's name, spelt English fashion, wasMargaret-Margaret Duval; and that of the boy, whowas her grandson, was Louis Duval.That old Margaret and her grandson were veryB
LOUIS DUVAL.poor, could easily have been seen. There was butlittle furniture in the room, and that was old: thebroken walls were patched with coarse paper; while,cold and gloomy as was the weather-and Aprilweather, even in Paris, is often very cold and gloomy-not a spark of fire was visible on the hearth. But,in -spite of these signs of povear y,' b'er wre signsalso:.f respectability in that-garret. It was clkau,and.soEvis:the old woman, b6dthlri.prson and.cdcthin;so lal s.as the boy. :'The dress of Margiret., espe-ciarlly, islOwidi]at- she'dadc -seen latter :days. As tothafteif ;Lisit Aii h aotofr richc, exoeptiag' its clean-liness, to. ditiBgiuith himiifrom the 'children of otherpoor familiesrwithwhich 'Paris aboafided, and withwhich all large cities abound. He had on a coarseloose frock, and was barefoot. A pair of woodenshoes, or sabots, as they are called in France, stood inone corner of the garret, and from their small size, itwas evident they belonged to the boy, but probablyhe had put them off to avoid making a noise in walk-ing, or it may be to ease his feet, which were chilledand swollen.Louis was seated on the ground, leaning againsthis grandmother's knee, and looking up wistfully ather wrinkled face. It was long past noon, and theyhad not dined." Will my father come back soon, do you think,grandmother ?" asked Louis, breaking a long silence."I do not know, my poor boy," replied Margaret."If he should have succeeded in getting work, he willnot be long, I think. It will be such good news.""And if he should not, grandmother," said theboy, softly." Then he will not return till past nightfall, and,"--Margaret stopped herself in what she was going
LOUIS DUVAL.o :say, stroked her grandson's hair with a tremblinghand, :and stooping down with difficulty, she kissedhis pale forehead." And what, grandmother-what were you goingto .vay ?"1 W1y, then, my darling child," Margaret answered.in a low, calm voice, "we must do as thousandsbesides in poor unhappy France are this day doing-what we ourselves have begun to do, dear Louis.""'What is that, grandmother?" asked the boy." We are doing nothing, I think; I wish we were, I-wish I had something to do. What is it so many areedking, grandmother?""S.TAVING, my poor boy; dying with hunger,nothing more. It is best to starve, I think," con-tiued M.:rg ict, bitterly; "best for me, for I am'old and good for nothing; best for you, my patientLouis, it will save you from the bad days thatmust come; best for your father, too, if all I hearbr: i'o.o. Ah, Louis, it was a sorrowful day whenyour poor mother sickened and died; but we ought.to-be glad now that she is at rest."Louis did not speak again for some time; but,layiu L'-: h aid on his grandmother's knee, he buriedhis faein the folds of her gown, and sobbed aloud.:jtt -was quite true that both Louis and his grand-Smothl.r were pinched with hunger, as well as shiveringwith c.ld. TL.:y had tasted no food that day; andone -nmall kla.: of coarse bread was all they, and"-Loui's father, had eaten the day before. Indeed,for d:t., ar-d weeks, and months, this poor family had-been struggling with want, and had only been pre--*erved from starving by parting with almost all theyhad in the world, excepting.the clothes they wore.HIIery Dunval,.the son of Margaret, and the father
LOUIS DUVAL.of Louis, was by trade a paper-stainer, and a skilfulworkman; but he had long been out of work; forFrance was at that time in so sad a state that multi-tudes of artisans could find no employment, and whenit was obtained, they could scarcely procure sufficientfood for their families with the wages they received,for work was cheap and bread was exceedingly dear.Thus what Margaret had said was quite true,-in thecities and towns and villages of France were thou-sands slowly perishing with hunger. It was verymournful.And sad it was for Louis Duval to think of starving.He could not understand why it should be. Aroundhim he knew the rich were living in luxury, andwhy should he, and his father and grandmother,have nothing to eat? Ah, who shall tell how manygloomy thoughts came into that little boy's mind, ashe sat, leaning his head on his grandmother's knee !At length he looked up-"Grandmother," he said, "you shall not starve.I will go and beg.""You must not beg, Louis," replied Margaret,sternly. "The Duvals were never beggars. Be-sides," she added, mildly and sadly, " of whom wouldyou beg, my poor boy? The rich care nothing whe-ther or not the poor starve. Starve and welcome,"they would say. They are too much used to hear ofsuch things to mind it. No, no: they dance and sing,and go to court and to the theatres; they dress ingay clothes, and dine daily on luxuries; but they nevercare who suffers, so that they do not. It is so inFrance now; but it will not always be so, perhaps,though we may not live to see the change. No, no,Louis, you must not beg."At this moment a sound of distant music was
LOUIS DUVAL.heard. It came from below, and seemed far distant,as indeed it was: but they both heard it."Hark, grandmother! " said Louis, his attentionturned for a moment from his own sufferings, by thesound of music: he was fond of music. " Ah, theyare gay and happy below. Do you know, there is afresh family on the first floor : the other grand folksare gone.""It matters little to us, my poor Louis, who comesor who goes. It is strange, too, that riches andpoverty, splendour and want, should be brought soclose together as they are in Paris-all under oneroof. But who has the first floor now, Louis ? ""The Count St. Clair, grandmother. I was toldthat is his name. He was married but a few days ago.He sometimes lives in Paris; but he has a large cha-teau in Anjou, and great estates; he is going therenext week."Louis did not notice his grandmother while he wasspeaking; but, looking directly afterwards at hercountenance, he saw that she was troubled."Grandmother! dear grandmother I" exclaimedLouis, " do I offend you ?""It is nothing, my boy," she said, "I shall bebetter soon. I did not think ever to live under thesame roof as the St. Clairs. But it matters nothing.""Do you know them, then, grandmother? ""Listen, Louis; I am better now: I will tell youwhat I know of them."Louis forgot his hunger, and listened." I was not always lame and half blind, my boy,"said Margaret Duval; "nor was I always poor andhopeless: but you know this, without being told itnow. Well, many years ago-forty years or more-Ilived- ."
LOUIS' DUVAL."In Anjou, grandmother; I have heard you speakof Anjou," said Louis, interrupting her."Yes, in Anjou. We had a small farm,-yourgrandfather and I. It was near the Chateau St. Clair;and the Count was our landlord-our master.""Not this Count, grandmother; it cannot be. Heis not so old as forty years, I think. I saw him yes-terday.""It was his father, who was then a young man.Your own father was then an infant, Louis.""Yes, dear grandmother," said the boy." He was a great oppressor, that Count St. Clair,and thought that all the people on his large estateswere by right his servants, ay, his slaves, and werebound to obey him in all things. I knew this, and Iwished poor Eustace to give up the farm and go away.But he would not. He was born on the farm, he said,and had always lived on it, and he loved every bit ofground on it; besides, whore could we go? If weshould leave our little farm, we might not be able toget another, for the Count would set other landlordsagainst us, and Eustace was brought up to be a farmer,and could work at nothing else; where then could wego? This indeed was true, and I could not answerhim; so we kept on our farm, and were poor enough,with rent and taxes and tithes and dues to keep usdown: for it was then as it is now; the poor and theworkers paid the taxes, not the rich. Well, we werepoor enough, but we were happy."Poor Margaret's voice sunk and trembled as shecame to this part of her story; and she paused someminutes before she could proceed. At length she re-covered herself."It soon came to an end-this happiness," saidshe. " One summer it was very hot and fine; and the
LOUIS DUVAL.corn on our land, which was all corn-land, was readyfor cutting very early in the season. Poor Eustaceand our men were beginning to get in the harvestwhen the Count went by, with his gamekeeper, andordered them to leave off. He was a great sportsman-the Count; and he said it would disturb the youngbroods were the corn cut so soon. Ah, he cared moreabout his game than about his tenants."" He was a wicked man, then," said Louis indig-nantly: "and I would not have minded what he said,I would not-no.""Your grandfather, boy, was of the same mind.I was near enough to hear what passed, and I went topoor Eustace, and begged him tam6lbythe, Count; forit was the law. I do notfknow howitatnay be now;-itis no better, I dare say; .butithwata tenant dared notcut his corn if his land d fdnbaia him, unless hewould be ruined."But poor Eustace wasangry, and,ent on reap-ing all that day faster than bE fre. Ah it was his lastday's work. The next, he was sought for and tornfrom me, and put into prison. The corn was left un-cut; great rains came, and the crops rotted on theground. I was not able to get money for the rent,and with my infant was turned out of our only home;and poor Eustace died soon in prison of a brokenheart. And this is all the good I know of the St.Claira."" But, grandmother," said Louis, when he foundthe story was ended; " you came afterwards to Pais,and got richer than you ever were in Anjou."" Not so, Louis; how could I be rich when I hadlost my best treasure, poor Eustace ? God was good,though; and found friends for me; and while I wasbroeng and could work, I saved something, and
LOUIS DUVAL.brought up my little orphan Henry, your father, andput him to a trade; and a great comfort was he to me.But what can one do in such times as these, with breadso dear, and work so scarce? Ah, Louis, is not yourfather a good workman, and industrious and sober?and do not we, and thousands besides, starve ? Franceis full of St. Clairs, boy. They do what they will with... -I-I,'i:us. They grind and grind, and grudge us food; butit will not be for ever. God sees it. Ah- " andMargaret left off speaking.It was becoming dusk; and the little boy could notdistinguish very clearly; but as his grandmother satmotionless in her arm-chair-the only chair in theroom-with her eyes more than half-closed, he feltsure she slept. She sometimes did sleep in her chair,and.at such times Louis took care not to disturbher.Margaret slept on, and the garret was in darkness.
LOUIS DUVAL.No one came near, and Louis sat by the window,watching the dull red lights which glimmered in thestreets below, and cast a gloomy haze on the atmo-sphere around. Faint and sick with hunger, the poorboy fancied every slight noise he heard must be hisfather's returning footsteps; but still his father didnot come. Then his thoughts turned to what hisgrandmother had been telling him, and his youngheart swelled with bitter feelings.An hour passed away-two hours; and Louis wasstill watching. It became dark, and the boy was un-easy, although he scarcely knew why, for he was usedto sitting in the dark with his grandmother, and wasused also to her sleeping in her chair. But now shewas so quiet, and slept so long, he wished she wouldwake.All at once a thought came into his head; andquietly taking up his sabots, he crept softly out of theroom, and the next minute he was descending thestairs.i-
LOUS DUVAL.CHAPTER II.SCENES IN THE STREETS.EARLIER on that same April day, in a different quarterof Paris, were to be seen crowds of working men,haggard, unshaven, ragged, and for the most partdirty. Many were barefoot, others wore sabots.There were women, too, with shrunken cheeks, andtattered garments. And there were children, clingingto their mothers, crying for food.Some of the men were talking loudly and fiercely,and their gestures were very fierce also. Otherslooked downcast and sullen. The women, too, wereadding their shrill voices to the uproar, and throwingup their bare arms. It was painful to see them thusexcited, and shocking it was to hear the dreadfulwords they uttered.There was a cause for all this. It was in a quarterof Paris where there were several manufactories, andthe houses around were crowded with 'workpeople.Now they had nothing to do, for some of the factorieswere entirely, and others were partly closed. Worsethan this, the people had nothing to eat, and hungerhad driven or was driving them to desperation. Theycursed the government, which, they said, had broughtruin upon the country, and they were angry with theiremployers, who had dismissed them from work.This was not the first day that the poor starvingpeople had met in large numbers in this part of Paris;but day after day, as more workmen were thrown outof employ, and as the sufferings of others increased,
LOUIS DUVAL.the discontented crowd had become larger and morerestless.It was about noon, on this day, that a man ofmiddle age, in a working dress, and looking carewornand sad, silently passing through these groups of rest-less 4oungers, was recognized by one of the noisiestof the .talkers among the men, and addressed by thename of Henry-Henry Duval."'What brings you here, Henry ?" said he."I am seeking for work, my friend," replied Henry,in a; melancholy tone.Henry was answered by a hollow mocking laughfrom those who heard him."Work!" said his acquaintance or friend, "areyou so simple as to suppose workmen are wanted inParis? Look around you.""I see enough indeed to make my heart ache,"replied Henry, " and almost enough to cause me to giveup my quest in sorrow and despair; but I do not sufferalone; and for their sakes who suffer with me, I mustsee what perseverance will do. Adieu, my friends."In another minute Henry Duval had turned thecorner of the street, and was out of sight." So it always is," said the man who had spoken toHeary: "if Duval can get, work, and earn but enoughto keep his mother and son from starving, littleenough will he care for the rest of Paris. I am sorry,too, that he is like the rest of us. We workedtogether once, and he is a good-natured fellow, andclever too; but for all that, he might as well havestayed at home. Work !" he continued in a scornfuland vehement tone, " ay, ay, there will be work enoughfor us all soon.""Why did you not get him to join us?" whisperedSa dark-looking man at the orator's elbow.
LOUIS DUVAL."Hush! the time is not come yet. Wait a littlelonger. I know where he is going, and what willcome of it."The afternoon of that April day was far advanced,and yet the crowd of discontented sufferers was notdiminished. Few had retired to their wretched homesto dine, for at those homes there were but empty cup-boards. Indeed, it was better to remain where theywere, for in the midst of the groups most clamorousfor food, strangers had suddenly appeared, distributingsmall but welcome rations of bread among the hungrypeople. Who these strangers were, or whence theycame, no one seemed to know. They were coarselydressed, and fierce in their aspect, but to the starvingmultitude they seemed like messengers of mercy.It was, then, late in the afternoon that HenryDuval once more appeared in the crowd. His face wasflushed with rage; his hands were clenched as in des-peration; his whole look was changed: yet still hewould have passed silently and unheeded, had not hisformer acquaintance once more approached him." Ah, Henry, you have been long gone, and you donot seem to have been spending your time very agree-ably. Eh?"" Leave me alone, Jerome," said Henry, fiercely,"what would you have of a desperate man ?"" I would have nothing," replied Jerome, softly,"but I would give him much.""Ah, you cannot give what I need, can you ? canyou ?" exclaimed Henry, passionately." What need you, Henry ? ""Bread, bread; for my mother, for my boy-bread! ""Be patient, Henry; yes, I can, I promise, beforenight you shall have bread," said Jerome, "and more
LOUIS DUVAL.than bread, you shall have "-- and here he laid hishand off his friend's shoulder, and whispered in hisear-" revenge; you shall have revenge.""Revenge on whom? What do you mean,Jerome ? ""1 Revenge," whispered Jerome, "on the man whohas insulted you, who said that your mother was-"" Hold, hold " exclaimed Henry, hastily; " wouldyou drive me quite mad ?""No, my friend, I would bring you to your senses,"replied the tempter; "but enough of this. You wentto Reveillon's factory ?""I did."" And you found the whole hive in confusion.""True enough, it was," said Henry; "Reveillonhas this morning reduced his workmen's wages, andthey refuse to work. You might have told me thisthree hours ago: it would have saved my time. Well,what more ?""You waited, as you say, nearly three hours beforethe great man could be seen.""Would that I had not seen him at all," saidHenry."But you did see him, my friend," continuedJerome, speaking calmly, " and you humbled yourselfto him-you begged-""I told him," said Henry, speaking fast and loud,that I was starving-starving ;-that my mother andmy boy-poor Louis-had not tasted bread for twenty-four hours, and were perishing; and I asked for work,as he hoped for mercy, to give me the privilege ofworking but for a crust of bread for them.""And he pitied you-of course he pitied you ?"" "He laughed at my distress; he mocked mytones; he cursed me for a democrat, and told me
LOUIS DUVAL.that bread was too good for such rascals; he-but nomatter." a"No, no matter what else he said," replied Jerome,as he sprang into an empty cart, from which, inanother minute, he was fiercely addressing the franticmultitude. A few words were enough, and beforeHenry Duval could understand what was going on, orcould escape from the crowd which pressed aroundhim, he heard shouts from all quarters, " V'ive HenryS,, ,Duval;" "A bas Rcveillon !" "Duval for ever;""Down with Reveillon "There was something now for the crowd to do; andbefore many minutes had passed away, a rude effigyof the unfeeling and unpopular manufacturer was pre-pared, a mock court of justice was arranged in andaround the cart, and after being formally condemnedto death, the effigy was suspended by the neck to alamp-iron, amidst the execrations of the enraged mul-
LOUIS DUVAL.titude, among which were some of Reveillon's dis-charged workmen.During these proceedings, which, however, did nottake long, Duval had remained a stupefied spectator;but others in the crowd were more active. The sameferocious-looking strangers who, at an earlier hour,had distributed bread to the hungry people, were nowbusy in feeding their minds with dark hints at revenge.Those whom they addressed were for the most partignorant and vicious, and they found ready listeners.In a short time, a rude and tumultuous procession wasformed, torches were procured, and, amidst shouts ofterrible threatening, they proceeded to Reveillon'sSfatory, led on by Jerome and the dark-looking man,between whom, at an early part of the day, a fewwords, already recorded, had passed. With them,linked arm in arm, was Henry Duval."A bas leveillon!" "Down with Reveillon!" wasshouted by hundreds of voices, as the mob approachedthe factory, and a savage attack was immediately madeupon the house. In a few minutes an entrance wasforced. Happily, the manufacturer and his family hadescaped, but not a moment too soon. Before thatfearful night was over the house was stripped from topto bottom. All the furniture was thrown into the streetand destroyed; every window was smashed, and theBuilding itself, when morning came, ,vas a miserable ruin..While these scenes of violence were going on, noopposition was offered; but active among the ferociouscrowd were the same mysterious strangers, distributingmoney and wine to the panting rioters, while, fleeingfrom the scene were to be seen the half-dressed in-Shabitants of the quarter, who knew not whose housemight be next attacked, or what fresh madness might' be in ctoro.f-
LOUIS DUVAL.Sickened with what he saw, and fainting for want ofnourishment, as well as anxious for his mother andson, Henry Duval would gladly have escaped. Butescape he could not. Presently money was thrustinto his hand, and a flask of wine. Parched withthirst he gladly lifted the flask and drank. A long,deep draught it was, and then, like the rest of thecrowd, he became frantic, and shouted for revenge.By morning light the work was completed, andwhile pausing, perhaps, to consult what madnessshould next be committed, the tramping of horses washeard. " The soldiers are coming at last," shoutedJerome, who through the night had been one of themost active of the leaders; "the soldiers are coming.Stand firm, men."He was answered with a loud cheer, and the troopwhich a minute afterwards drew up in front of themwas greeted with shouts of defiance.The mob was ordered by the officers instantly todisperse." Down with them !" shouted Jerome; and obedientto this word of command, the rioters assailed thesoldiers with bricks and stones from the ruinedbuilding.At length the word was given to the soldiers tofire, and fearful destruction followed; for when therioters dispersed, they left behind two hundred deadbodies and three hundred wounded. Among theformer was Jerome, and among the wounded wasHenry Daval.
LOUIS DUVAL.CHAPTER III.THE FIRST-FLOOR.ENGLISH people, when they first enter Paris, are struckwith the singular construction of the houses, which".rise to the height of five or six storeys, with floorsin the attics, and are each inhabited by a number offamilies. This custom a good deal resembles that ofEdinburgh, where a number of families inhabit sepa-rate floors, entered by common stairs, but those stairsare entered directly from the street. In Paris, thecommon stairs are situated within an enclosed coach-entry, where there is a porter's lodge, and the portertakes charge of the enclosed court, and shuts the largeouter door at night. By this means, the houses on thes stairs are effectually guarded, and kept free fromvagrants. In the courtyards, coaches and horses areSacoommodated, and frequently they contain offices ofProfessional persons as well as warehouses. Through-out the wb:.le city, even in the most splendid parts,Shops or offices are found on the ground-floors of thehouses level with the streets.""This short description of the houses of Paris willas4it the young reader to understand how the first-floor of a larle house should happen to be inhabitedby a nobleauu, while the upper part of the same housewas the abode of wretchedness and want. In truth,'nethiug in that city is more common than suchragemuut.s, while from the first-floor to the garretta bfoud members of every class of society be-The very high and the very low.
LOUIS DUVAL.On that same April night of which so much hasalready been said in the former chapters, the CountessSt. Clair, dressed for the theatre, was descending thebroad stairs which led from her splendid apartmentsto the courtyard, where her carriage was alreadywaiting. Two servants in rich liveries were attendingher with lights, and she had reached the first landing-place, when a little boy, almost breathless with run-ning, and seemingly much terrified, hastily passedher, and making a false step, stumbled and fell on thestairs. The next moment a stout man, in the dress ofa baker, with a cotton nightcap on his head, followed,and seizing the prostrate child, was roughly dragginghim away.As the angry man and sobbing boy passed the lady,who stood looking on, wondering what it all couldmean, the baker bowed."Pardon my rudeness, madame," he said; "I begten thousand pardons, but this young rogue- ""Poor little fellow !" exclaimed the Countess,interrupting the baker; "what can he have donewrong ?"The tone of pity served to recall the boy to hissenses. He tore himself from the grasp of his captor,and cast himself at the lady's feet."Madame, madame, have pity," he cried. "Donot let them send me to prison, dear lady, kind lady 1I did not mean, madame- I could not help it,madame. It was for my grandmother.""What does it all mean? " asked the lady." Ce jeune larron, madame, this young rogue, thislittle thief, entered my shop, and stole a loaf. See,madame, here it is;" and saying this,% the injuredbaker picked up from the landing a small loaf whichhad fallen from the child's hand, and had rolled un-
"F-LOUIS DUVAL.heeded almost to the lady's feet. "See, madame,"said the baker, " here it is.""Madame, dear madame," cried the boy in anagony, "I did not steal. Indeed, indeed, I told himI would pay another day when my father earns money" I1 4"MADAME, MADAME, HAVE PITY."the first penny, madame, the first penny. Was iting, madame ? was it stealing? "'"I am afraid, my poor child" said the young"ss, "that it was little less than stealing.
LOUIS DUVAL.But," added she, turning to the baker, " did he thusoffer to pay, and do you know the boy ? ""I will tell you the truth, madame," replied thebaker, "I do know the boy, for he has often come tomy shop for bread, and I know Henry Duval, hisfather, and that he is sober and honest; but what isthat? He has no work, and cannot pay, and I cannotafford to lose a loaf. It is true, madame, this childasked me to trust him, 'for his grandmother was ingreat want of food, and when I refused, madame-andI felt obliged to refuse-the little rogue snatched up aloaf-this loaf-and ran away, saying he must have it,and his father would pay.""Poor child " repeated the lady; " well, let himgo, and give him the loaf. I will pay you. Anthony,"she said to one of her attendants, " pay this man, andsee that the boy comes to no further harm."*Louis Duval clutched the loaf then heliait to him,and p,.uring out rapidly his thanks to the lady, beganto ascend the stairs."Poor child," exclaimed the 'Countess St. Clair forthe fourth time, " I am half disposed to follow him;"and she put one foot on the stairs leading upwards." Madame," said Anthony, who had satisfied thebaker and dismissed him, " the carriage waits !"" Then let it wait a little longer, sir," replied theyoung lady rather haughtily; "I am going this way,and please to follow me." Saying this, she steppedlightly up the stairs, and soon caught sight of Louis.Higher and higher went the boy, and higher andhigher ascended the lady and her servant. At length,when the lady was panting with exertion, and Anthonyinwardly thinking, perhaps, what a hard life is theirswho have to wait on fanciful young Countesses, thestairs, which at every landing-place had become nar-
LOUIS DUVAL.rower and steeper, terminated in a dark passage. Oneither side of the passage were broken and crazy doors,mostly half open, which seemed to lead into emptyattics, and above was the bare roof of the house,through which the night air gained admittance bymany a chink.The boy was still before, and unconscious offollowers. Taking off his sabots, he gently opened adoor at the further end of the passage, and entered.For a moment or two all was silent, and the youngCountess approached the door and entered, followedby Anthony, bearing a light.The boy started as the light gleamed upon thewall, and then, without speaking, crept closely to theside of his grandmother, who still sat motionless inthe chair as he had left her. Her hand lay in her lap,and he took it in his own to press to his lips. Thensuddenly dropping it in terror, he uttered a loud cry" She is dead--she is dead "Yes, dead-cold dead-starved to death!* *"This is not a fit place for madame," said Anthony,respectfully bowing to the trembling young lady, afterascertaining that they were indeed in the chamberof death."You are wrong," replied the Countess St. Clair,recovering herself, "you are very wrong, Anthony;it is a fit place for me; and I wish that every gaywoman in Paris could see this sight. No wonder thepeople say we are heartless and selfish, when, evenover our heads, in the very houses we live in, they arestarving to death.""What, then, will madame do?" asked the servant,who stood shivering with cold, and half terrified atsight of the poor old woman dead.
LOUIS DUVAL."In the first place, light me down stairs; we can,as you seem to think, do no further good here. Stay,you would not leave this poor weeping child alonewith the dead. Come, my poor, poor boy, your grand-mother is indeed past help, but come you with me.I will give you food.""My father will be here soon," sobbed Louis,drawing back. "Oh what shall I do?"It was not difficult, however, to persuade thefrightened boy to leave the garret,-for what childlikes to be alone with death ? The lady assured him,too, that the porter should be spoken to, that someone should be sent to take charge of his poor deadgrandmother, and that his father, on his return home,should be directed where to find him." The carriage still waits, madame," said Anthony,as the lady and Louis entered the warm and richly-furnished apartments of the Count of St. Clair."Dismiss it then, and go seek the Count. I wasto meet him at the theatre. Tell him I could not, andask him- Stay, I will give you a note, and theCountess wrote a few hasty lines; " take that; it willexplain all."The servant bowed low, and withdrew.* *Two days after this, the Count and Countess St.Ck.ir were by themselves in their breakfast-room."I wonder," said the lady, " that the boy's fatherhas not yet appeared."" You need wonder no longer, then, my dear lady;he was wounded in the riot the other night, in thesuburb St. Antonine, and is now in one of thehospitals. When he is well enough, he will be takento prison.""Are you sure? " asked the lady earnestly.
LOUIS DUVAL."Nay, not sure. There may be more Duvals thanone. I know only, that amongst the list of woundedrioters figures the name of Henry Duval, by trade apaper-stainer.""It is he," said the Countess. " Poor child," shecontinued, "his father a prisoner, and wounded, hisgrandmother dead! Why, why did the people riot?""Ma foi, my faith, who can tell? " returned theCount carelessly, "they were hungry perhaps. Theysay, however, that the Duke of Orleans was at thebottom of it, and that it was his money which was sofreely distributed in the crowd. But who knows?Time will show. But this boy, what do you do withhim, my dear Julia ?""Let us take him with us to Chateau St. Clair,"pleaded the lady; and as she had not been a wifemany weeks, she had no difficulty in obtaining herwish. So one day in the following week, Louis Duval,newly clothed in decent mourning, was riding in aluxurious carriage, in company with madame's ownmaid, leaving far behind Paris,-his father in prison,.and his grandmother in her grave.
LiOIS DUVAL.CHAPTER IV.SCENES IN A REVOLUTION.THE sorrows of childhood are soon forgotten or soft-ened. At first Louis Duval refused to be comforted;the shocking and unexpected death of his grandmother,and the absence of his father, to him so unaccountable,threw him into the wildest sorrow. But time, thegreat healer, calmed him; and the kindness of hisprotectors, with plenty of food and new warm clothing,reconciled him, in some measure, to his loss. By thistime, therefore, that he left Paris with his new friends,there were few traces of sadness on his countenance.The long journey of nearly two hundred miles,which occupied four days, was also a pleasant changeto a child who had lived all his short life in a largecrowded city. To him the country was enchanting,bright as it was with the fresh green of spring-tide,and lively with flocks of sheep. His companion, too,was a kind-hearted girl, who enlivened the way bytelling the young traveller of the glories of ChateauSt. Clair, which, by the way, she had not yet seen,while she now and then raised his hopes by assuringhim that his father would soon follow them to thatwonderful place.But travelling four days together, though in a softand comfortable carriage, and by easy stages withpleasant resting-places between them, is tiring both tobody and mind; and Louis was very glad when, onthe evening of the fourth day, he was woke out of asound sleep by the carriage stopping in a large pavedcourtyard surrounded by high buildings, which he was
LOUIS DUVAL.told were those of Chateau St. Clair. He was thengiven into the care of an old housekeeper, who puthim in mind of his poor grandmother, only that shewas much stouter and more active; and, in a shorttime, he was quietly sleeping in a small bed in one ofthe upper rooms of the Chateau.From this time, for more than three years, theChateau was Louis's home; and except that he oftenthought of his father, of whom he could never hearany tidings, he could not have had a happier home.The kind young Countess did not think it beneath herto take notice of the poor child whom she had savedfrom starving, and the Count also good-naturedlysometimes played with him in the great hall of theChateau, and at other times made him his companionwhen he went shooting over his estate, or fishing in thebeautiful and noble river-the Loire-which was notmore than a mile from Chateau St. Clair. And Louiswas glad to see that, however much of a tyrant the old,Count had been, the young Count was greatly belovedby his tenants around, for whom he had always a kindword, and whom, so far as could be seen, he neitherinjured nor insulted.The servants at the Chateau, also, were kind to thelittle fellow. Anthony, his earliest acquaintance amongthem, taught him to read and write. One of thegrooms taught him to ride and manage a horse, andone of the gamekeepers taught him to shoot with bowand arrow, and promised in time to teach him to shootwith a gun. Then there was an old priest who livedat the Chateau as chaplain, who taught him Latin, andjoked with him sometimes about going to college; andthere were the old housekeeper and madame's maid,who indulged him and petted him, partly, perhaps,because they had no one else in the Chateau to indulge
LOUIS DUVAL.and pet; partly too because they knew it would pleasemadame, and partly, also, because he was really a verytractable and engaging boy, and they pitied his orphanstate; for "as for his good-for-nothing father," theysaid, though not in Louis's hearing, " who was put inprison for rioting, no doubt he was sent to the galleysfor life, if he was not hung."But while the life of Louis Duval was passing thusquietly in Anjou, events were taking place elsewherewhich were greatly to influence his future life. Ofthese events, the boy heard but little, though his pro-tectors knew too much for their peace and comfort.And as this story is intended to illustrate certainimportant events in history as well as to give amuse-ment for " a summer day," or " a winter night," wemust say a few words about the French Revolution,which began, in outward seeming, in the year 1789.Long before that year, however, it had reallybegun, for quite true it was, as old Margaret Duvalhad said, the poor felt themselves oppressed by therich and longed for a change. This was nothingnew. Then came a bad harvest in the year 1788,and this, together with bad government, caused suchdistress, that the poor, as you have read, were suffer-ing by hundreds for want of food. This stirred themup in revenge against those who, as they said, hadbrought them to such a state of destitution and misery.There were others, also, who were not poor, whowished for a change. Some of these were good andwise men, and friends of their country; others of themthought only of themselves and their own selfish pur-poses, and by them the riot was brought about, or, atleast, helped on, in which Louis's father, poor HenryDuval, was wounded.After that sad affair, things got worse instead of
LOUIS DUVAL.better. It would take long to tell of the differentparties in the state, of the changes and quarrels inparliament, of the confusion and dismay of the govern-ment, and also how the King of France, Louis theSixteenth, who was a kind-hearted prince, but not aparticularly wise one, began to wish himself anywherebut where he was, since he did not know how tomanage his people for the best;-for their best andfor his own. In short, there were sufferings uncountedand without hope of relief, murmurings without noticeor regard, and strivings of the people without prospectof an end.You have heard, perhaps, of the Bastille, a gloomyold prison in Paris, in which those who offended thekings and governments of France were used to be con-fined. A fearful prison it was, if but a twentieth or ahundredth part of the stories told of it were true. Thepeople of France looked upon it with terror, and hatedthe sight of its grim and dark walls.Three months had not passed away from the day onwhich our story begins, and Paris was in open rebellion.The people had risen by thousands against the govern-ment, and were ready for almost anything. Paris wassurrounded with soldiers, but these soldiers felt kindlytowards the people, and were more likely to take partwith them than against them. While affairs were inthis terrible state, it became known that the King haddismissed a minister whom the people counted on astheir friend; and it was whispered that it was intendedby the King and his government to make fierce warat once upon the people, and put them down by force.It was said, too, that the cannon on the top of theBastille were loaded and pointed, ready for firing uponthe city.Then there was a loud cry of " Treachery, trea-
LOUIS DUVAL.chery;" many of the soldiers joined the people, whoseized arms-pikes, swords, and guns-whereverthey could be found; and shouting, "To the Bastille !to the Bastille down with the Bastille !" they rushedtowards the gloomy building. After a fierce attackand a feeble resistance, the Bastille was won, theprisoners it contained were set at liberty, its governorwas killed, and the detested old prison itself wasburned and demolished.But the destruction of the Bastille did not feedhungry thousands; and though it was a triumph, itwas not a relief. But the people had now got armsin their hands, and knew that they were powerful:they did not, however, use their power aright. Manyfrightful murders were committed in Paris, of thosewhom the people looked upon as their tyrants andenemies; and the nobles of France began to hastenaway from the unhappy country, into other lands.From Paris, these disturbances spread through a
LOUIS DIVAL.large part of France; for this great Revolution, likea mighty river, rolled on and on, overwhelming allthat came in its way; so that in almost every cityand town in France, as well as in country villages andhamlets, the poor rose in rebellion against the rich,committing all kinds of cruel excesses without checkor hindrance.Then came another bad harvest; for the countrypeople around Paris had been much too busy in theRevolution to attend to such things as sowing andreaping: so it was more difficult than ever for the poorto get food. This made them desperate: they deter-mined to have new laws and no lords; they insultedthe King, so that he was afraid for his life; andbrought him in triumph from his palace at Versailles,to Paris, where they said he should in future live, thatthe people might watch over him.Another year passed away, and the Revolutionwas still going on. The people seemed to get moreand more savage, and, like wild beasts thirsting forblood, they continued to take fearful revenge upon allwhom they supposed to be their enemies. All orderand power of governing aright were lost, and nothingremained of royalty but the name. At length, theKing, sad and fearful, escaped one summer's nightfrom Paris, taking with him his family, intending toleave his kingdom and his crown.But this was not to be. The people, indeed, werenot so fond of poor Louis the Sixteenth as to wishhim, on that account, to remain with them; but theythought it would be safer for them to have him inParis, than to allow him to leave the country; so theypursued the unhappy fugitives, and brought them backagain with fierce exultation.Another year-a year of confusion, wretchedness,
LOUIS DUVAL.and crime-passed away, and Louis was still king inname, but not in power; and even the name was soonto be denied him. The power had long ago passedinto other hands. Once, the people wore cruelly op-pressed by selfish and luxurious nobles; now, thetyrants of France were the most ignorant and viciousof the people.At midnight, on the 9th of August, 1792, those ofthe people of I'aris who were asleep, were aroused fromtheir slumbers by the violent ringing of the tocsin, oralarm bells of the city. Well was the meaning of thatwarning sound understood; and soon every street wasin commotion. Here and there a few groups of soldiersand citizens were seen hastening to the palace of theTuileries, to defend the King from violence; elsewherewere great mobs of desperate and ruthless men, march-ing to the same spot to dethrone, and, in all likelihood,to murder him. At about six o'clock, the heavy firingof cannon told the King and those about him that hisfoes were coming; and come they did, with terribleshouts of "Down with the tyrant, down with the traitor!no king-no tyrant; long live the nation; long liveFrance; liberty for ever!" The frightened King andhis family were persuaded to flee from the palace, andtake refuge in the National Assembly-the Parliamentof France, which then was sitting. They fled: thepalace was taken; six hundred of the King's defenderswere murdered; and that same day, in the NationalAssembly, Louis was told that he was king no longer,that France would no longer have a king; and that,instead of a palace, he must thenceforth be lodged ina prison, to answer for the crimes he had committed,and caused to be committed against his country.These were some of the scenes of this French Revo-lution.
LOUIS DUVAL.CHAPTER V.AN UNEXPECTED MEETING AND ITS RESULTS.IT was towards the end of August, that Louis Dnval,one bright calm evening, was walking towards thelittle village of St. Clair, which was not more thanhalf-a-mile from the Chateau, on some errand for hisfriend, the old priest. There were pleasant sightsin Anjou at this time, compared with other partsof France, although even here, the Revolution hadbrought disturbances and alarm. Still, the harvest-fields, on this evening in August, were rich withsheaves of corn, which the reapers were cutting, readyfor storing away in barns or stacks; and merry songs,with shouts of laughter from the busy peasantry,sounded far through the clear air, and were echoedback again by the thick woods which seemed, on threesides, to shut in the delightful valley in which werethe Chateau and village of St. Clair, and which wasbounded, on the fourth, by the river.It was along a well-paved road, with a flourish-ing hedgerow on either side, that Louis Duval went,humming to himself one of the songs of the peasantry,the echo of which had caught his ear. He was noweleven years old, strong and healthy; and not many,perhaps, who had seen him on that sad night when hisgrandmother died,-thin, pale, frightened, and coarselyclad as he was,-would have recognized him now.He had passed no one on the road, and was justentering the village, when, from a little auberge, orroadside tavern, a man, meanly dressed, stepped forth.Their eyes met; and the next moment, Louis wasclasped in his father's arms, sobbing, as though hisheart would break for very gladness.
LOUIS DUVAL." There, my son, that will do," said Henry Duval,somewhat coldly but not harshly; "recover yourself,Louis, or we shall be observed; and I have that to sayto you which none besides must hear. Let us find aplace where we may be sure there are no listeners."Louis led his father into a meadow that was near;and they both seated themselves on a bank, still warmwith the rays of the setting sun."Father, dear father," said Louis, fondly kissinghis father's hand, "I thought I should never see youagain."" I could not seek you sooner, dear Louis," repliedHenry Duval; "it is but a few months since I wasfreed from the prison into which the tyrants had castme? and since then I have been busy, very busy. Ihave work now, Louis."There was something so fierce in his father's toneand gestures, that Louis looked at him in wonder, asthough the thought had crossed his mind, " Is this myfather ? can it be ?"Perhaps Henry Duval had some suspicion that sucha thought was in his boy's mind, for he said, morequietly, and quite sadly, "I am changed since yousaw me last, Louis; am I not ""MMy father,-still my father," replied the weepingboy." And you are changed too, Louis; how have thesepeople used you ?""Who, father?""These St. Clairs; have they been kind to you ?"Louis replied with all the warmth of gratitude,that indeed, indeed, the Count and the Countess werevery kind, and all at the Chateau were very kind tohim,-that he would have been quite happy, only foreht longing he had to be again with his father.
LOUIS DUVAL."It is well," said Duval, gloomily; "it is well forthem that they have dealt thus with you," and hesunk for a moment or two into deep silence." Father," said Louis, again starting the conversa-tion, " how did you know where to find me ?"" The porter in our old house told me, boy, thatthe St. Clairs had taken you away; he told me, too,how my mother died-starved to death, Louis; it istoo horrible to think of, were it not that the day ofreckoning is come. So when I knew you were safe, Iwent to work with a light heart, trusting that thetime would come when we should meet again. Andwe have met. It is fortunate you were coming thisway, my son, for I was puzzling myself how to getspeech with you."" I am glad, too," said the boy; " but you wouldhave come to the Chateau, would you not ? And youwill go there with me now? The Count and Madamewill be glad to see you, I am sure; and you may stayas long as you like. Ah, y6u need not go awayagain--"" Boy," said Duval, sternly, "you do not knowwhat you are saying. Do I not tell you I have workto do ?""I forgot that," replied Louis; "whom do youwork for, father ?"" The Republic, my son; the glorious Republic ofFrance; for liberty !""I do not understand it," said Louis, softly. "Ihave heard that there are great troubles in France,and that the poor have risen against the rich, and thatmany of the noblesse have been murdered, and othershave fled the country. ButI do not know what it means."" You will soon know, then," said his father, slowlyand firmly; "and now listen, my son: but first, ID
LOUIS DUVAL.suppose it is news to you that there is now no king ofFrance ?""I had not heard that, father. Is he dead, then?'"Not dead, Louis, but dragged from his proudthrone. There is no king, boy, and henceforth therewill be no kings in France. It is a free country now.Neither are there any noblesse in France-no countsand countesses, no monsieurs and madames. All thisfoolery is done away, Louis, and all are equal. The lawsare changed, too. There is no longer one law for the richand another for the poor. Do you understand this ?"Louis was not quite sure that he did. It seemedstrange, but he did not say so."Then, boy, mind, you speak no more of countsor madames, unless you wish to lose what few brainsyou have. You say also that people have been mur.dered; but you speak of what you do not understand,and only as you have been told. When great offendersare put to death, it is not usual to call it murder."Louis Duval was .more and more puzzled, and hewas distressed, too. He had never in his remembranceheard his father talk in this way before, and he won-dered what it could all mean."Well, well, enough of this now," said Duval,starting to his feet. " It is time that we were going.You will go with me, Louis.""Where, father?"" This night to Angers; to-merrow towards Paris."This announcement struck poor Louis with dismay.He loved his father much, and was not unwilling toaccompany him. But to leave his protectors withouteven saying how grateful he was for all their pastkindness He burst into tears of grief this time-not of joy. Besides this, his father's manner was sostrange, so altered from what he had remembered it.
LOUIS DUVAL."Decide for yourself, Louis, but decide quickly,"said his father. "You may return to the Chateau, ifyou please, and share the fate of the St. Clairs; but,in that case, you will never see me more. I shall haveno son-you no father.""I will go with you; you are my father," saidLouis, passionately. " You, and you only !"There was a look of gratified affection in the faceof Henry Duval, as he embraced the agitated boy." You are my son," he said; " and you shall be worthyof your country. Let us now go."There was a narrow path which led from the vil-lage to the broad river. Along this path the fatherand son silently walked till they reached the river'sbank. A small boat was moored there, into whichHenry Duval stepped, and beckoned his son to followhim. Two boatmen who had been stretched at the bot-tom of the boat now seated themselves at the oars, andin a few minutes were rowing lustily up the stream.It was some hours before they reached the town ofAngers, and as the chills of night descended, Duvalwrapped around his son a coarse cloak with which hewas provided. It was a slight action, but it cheeredthe boy.At length the boat stopped at a wharf, and Duvalinformed Louis that the voyage was ended. Theythen left the boat, and proceeded, through severallanes and narrow streets, to the house of a grocerin the market-place, with whom they were to lodgefor the night. Through all this time, but few wordshad passed between Louis and his father, and the boysunk into a troubled sleep, wondering at the suddenchange which had passed over his prospects, and mar-velling what should be the end of it all. In onething, however, he felt unchanged-in attachment to
LOUIS DUVAL.his protectors; and one thought, above all others,cast a gloom over his mind-the fear that some mys-terious danger threatened them, from which he him-self had been snatched by the affection of his father,but of which they were ignorant.On the following day Duval and his son commencedtheir journey to Paris-not, however, until the boyhad been compelled to exchange the garments inwhich he had left St. Clair for others of a coarsertexture. " You will be taken for a young aristocrat,"said his father, "if you are seen in such fine clothes,and bring us both into trouble;" so Louis submitted.They travelled from town to town, sometimes onfoot, and sometimes on hired horses, or in countrycarts. There was much that was mysterious to theboy in his father's movements. In every town atwhich they stopped, Louis noticed that his father heldlong and secret conversations with certain persons,whom, if he afterwards met in the streets, he did notappear to recognize. He was aware,' too, that therewas some secret sign by which they were known toeach other. It was evident, also, to the boy that hisfather was in no want of money, and that in everyplace in which he stopped, he was able, if he pleased,to obtain a fresh supply from his numerous friends.As they approached nearer to Paris, Duval becamemore communicative, and gave Louis a history ofmany of the events which had taken place in Parisand elsewhere since last they parted. He said thatsome things had been done which could not be com-mended or justified, but that such unfortunate occur-rences must be looked for when a great but oppressedpeople are striving for liberty against those who hadbeen their tyrants. On the other hand, he declaredthat the Revolution was a glorious revolution, and that
LOUIB DUVAL.France was then fast advancing to such prosperity andhappiness as had never before been known. All this,coming as it did from the lips of his father, whom hehad always dearly loved, Louis soon firmly believed;the more so when he remembered his own formersufferings, and the death of his grandmother, whichhe was taught to believe had been caused by the vices,and selfishness, and tyranny of the great.At length they reached Paris, and, to Louis's sur-prise, went straight to the street, and the very housein that street, in which they had formerly lodged. Notnow, however, did they find their home in the miserablegarret; but boldly opening the door which led to theapartments on the first-floor, Henry Duval informedhis son that those rooms, with all the fine furniturethey contained, were their present lodgings. It waswith mingled feelings of regret and exultation, thatthe young republican laid his head that night on thepillow of the very bed in which, three years before,he had been placed by the charity of the Countess St.Clair.CHAPTER VI.THE HIDING-PLACE.Found years after the flight of Louis Duval, the valleyof St. Clair was sadly changed from the peacefulappearance which, at that time, it had presented. Itwas autumn; but the fields, instead of being livelywith industry, and rich with a plentiful harvest, wereuncultivated, trodden down hard, and nourished only,here and there, a few weeds. The hedges, once sotrim and thick with foliage, were neglected, and fullof wide gaps; for many a mile they had entirely dis-
LOUIS DUVAL.appeared. There were no signs of traffic on the roads,any more than signs of life in the fields. No men,no cattle, were to be seen throughout the valley. Thelittle village of St. Clair was now only a mournfulassemblage of ruined, blackened walls. The Chateauwas also in ruins, and both Chateau and village were,to all appearance, deserted. In two respects only wasthe scene unaltered : the valley was still three partsencircled with its belt of thick forest, and on the fourthside the river still hemmed it in.How did these changes come to pass? They werethe work of the revolution, which Henry Duval hadsaid was so glorious. The people of that part ofFrance in which was Anjou, had not wished for a re-volution. They were quite satisfied that the world-their little world-should roll on as it had done longbefore they were born. So when all the rest ofFrance was full of disturbance-turned upside down-the people of La Vendee, as this part of the countrywas called, went on quietly, cultivating their ground,and grumbling only when they heard news of thegreat revolution.But they were not allowed to remain thus quietand tranquil; for as fast as the revolution gainedstrength, new laws were put in force, and against thesethe people of La Vendee rebelled; and very soon afterLouis Duval left St. Clair, there began to be great dis-turbances all around, in which the poor and the rich,the landlords and their tenants and labourers, heldtogether against the new order of things. Whentidings were brought to them that the king was nolonger a king, but a prisoner, the Vendeans were veryangry; but when, six months afterwards, it was toldthem that this poor prisoner had been brought to trialand condemned, and had really lost his head, as well
LOUIS DUVAL.as his crown, they were roused to fury; and when,a little later still, they were called upon to send largenumbers of their young men as soldiers for this samerevolution, which they hated from the bottom of theirhearts, they could bear it no longer, but at once madeup their minds that, if they must fight, they wouldfight against the new government instead of for it.And thus began what is called in history " the revolu-tionary war in La Vendee."And, like all other wars, this revolutionary warbrought with it terrible sufferings. Sometimes theVendeans were successful, and sometimes the repub-lican armies beat the Vendeans; but whichever waysuccess turned, the fighting was accompanied bypestilence and famine; and besides the thousands whowere killed in battle, with those who perished after-wards of their wounds in dreadful misery, many thou-sands more of the helpless inhabitants-the womenand children, the aged and infirm-were cruelly put todeath by the soldiers of the republic.For more than three years was this fearful warcontinued, for almost all the Vendeans had becomesoldiers; but at length, they were beaten, and obligedto take to flight, or to hide themselves as they bestcould. And then came vengeance upon the miserablecountry. Fresh troops of soldiers were sent to destroyall that remained to show that it had once been ahappy country. The chateaux of the gentry who hadtaken part in the war-and almost all had done so-were plundered and destroyed; cultivated lands weretrampled down; villages were burnt; and frightfulexecutions took place, which, only to think of, makesone thrill with horror.It was in the twilight of an autumn day, then, thata small boat, in which was only one person, approached
LUIS DUVAU.the bank of the Loire, near to the ruined village of St.Clair. The boatman, if man he might be called, for hewas but a tall youth, hastily fastened his boat to thebank, and landed.' Looking around him very keenly,and seeing no one near, he swiftly ran over the desolateground between himself and the deserted Chateau,leaving the village-or what was once the village-athis right hand. He well knew the nearest way, andin a short time, he stood in the midst of the scorchedand broken walls of what had once been his happyhome; for the intruder was Louis Duval.Greatly was he altered from what he had beenwhen last he trod on that same spot. Four years hadadvanced him from boyhood to youth, had put strengthinto his limbs, and knowledge into his mind; and themany strange and fearful scenes he had witnessed andpassed through had made him reckless of danger.His father had risen, from step to step, to be a leaderamong the republicans, and Louis had for four yearsbeen his constant companion. And Louis Duval stoodnow, armed as a soldier, on the floors of the Chateauwhich had been his shelter in adversity. Had he nowsought it as a shelter it would have been a very poorone, for it was roofless and bare, and the autumnnight-air moaned as it played in and out of the shatteredwindows and open doorways.But it was something different from shelter thatLouis then sought. He passed from room to roomthrough the lower floor of the Chateau; then, at therisk of breaking his neck, he climbed the broken stairsto the upper apartments, and continued his search.At length, convinced that he was labouring in vain,he descended and withdrew.He next entered what had once been the garden ofthe Chateau, but was now a wilderness. Its choice
LOUIS DUVAL.shrubs had been hacked and hewed in wanton sport,its beds and paths and grass plots could not, in thatdim light at least, be distinguished from each other;and the fine statues which had once ornamented itsterraces, were all overturned and broken. Throughall this desolation Louis passed on, then crossed otherwasted fields until he reached the edge of the forest,which, after a minute's thought, he entered.In that same part of the forest, and at that samehour, were two wretched fugitives, starving, and look-ing only to death as a release from their sufferings.These two persons were the Count and Countess St.Clair. Through the whole war, the Count had beenfighting for what he thought the right, but without suc-cess, and he had returned to his Chateau just in timeto escape with his lady, and to save her from fallinginto the hands of their enemies. Their servants hadalready fled, and the poor old priest had weeks beforebeen seized in an attempt to escape, and was cruellyput to death. An hour after the Count and Madamehad left the Chateau, it was surrounded by a troop ofsoldiers, who having searched it in vain, commencedplundering it, and then set it on fire. But thefugitives were safe-hidden in a curious cave in theforest, the secret of which the Count thought wasknown only to himself. But what availed it to themthat they were safe from enemies, secure in their secrethiding-place, if they were at last to perish by famine ?It was now a week since they had fled, and the smallstore of provisions they conveyed with them was allgone. There was.no hope of obtaining more food, norof escape. They seemed to be shut up in a tomb, andthey had given themselves over to despair, as they"warmed their shivering hands over a charcoal fire,which cast a dull light within the hiding-place, but
LOUIS DUVAL.which could not by any possibility be seen from with-out.Suddenly they heard a slight rustling at theentrance of the cave, which was in the very thickest ofthe forest, and was overgrown with brushwood andbrambles, and at the sound, the Count started to his feet."We are discovered, then, after all," he said;" but they shall not take us without a struggle;" andhe drew a pistol from his breast.But he did not fire it; for before he could discernthe intruder, Louis-for he it was-was at his feet." I guessed I might find you here," he said; "andI am here alone to seek you, and, if possible,to save you."" It is not possible, Louis," replied the Count,gloomily, "we are perishing even now with hunger.Look at that dear one, and judge what her sufferingsmust have been."The youth looked with eager compassion at theslight and shrunken form of his former protectress,who had sunk, at his first entrance, upon a couch ofdry leaves and withered grass.In a moment, Louis had emptied from his pocketsa flask of wine and several small loaves. " Take thesenow," he said; " there is more provision in the boat. Iwill run and fetch it."" Stay, young man," said the Count sternly : " youare about to betray us. You shall not leave this cavealive.""Can you think thus of me ?" exclaimed Louis,with tears in his eyes. " Can I ever have forgottenyour kindness, and that of madame, when once I wasnear perishing, and had none besides to care for me?""No-no," said the Countess, speaking for thefirst time, "there is good faith in Louis; he will notbetray us. Let him go unhurt, dear husband."
LOUIS DUVAL." Not until he explains how he came to discover us.""That is easily done, sir," said Louis; " oncewhen I was taking a bird's nest from one of the hightrees just by, you passed beneath, and I saw youpush aside the bushes at the entrance of the cave.You looked around first though, as if to make sureyou were not observed. Then, when you came back,and as you again passed beneath the tree, I heard yousay quietly to yourself, 'It will be a safe hiding-place,for no one besides myself knows the secret but oldStephen, and he is even now dying.' And so, indeed,it was, sir, for old Stephen, the charcoal-burner, diedthat same day of age and ague. Well, sir, as soon asyou were gone, I got down from the tree, and foundout the cave, too; and that was how I knew where tolook for you."" But how did you know we had not escaped alto-gether, Louis ?" asked the lady." I did not think it possible, madame, for sincethe attack on St. Clair, the country has been closelywatched."
LOUIS DUVAL."Then how could you come hither unobserved ?"demanded the Count; " and, indeed, how came you inAnjou ? and what are you ? And why went you awayfrom us so hastily and secretly ? Come, you must givesome account of yourself before I trust you out ofsight;" and again the Count laid his hand upon hispistol.Nevertheless, he did not forget to urge his wife toeat of what Louis had brought; neither did he alto-gether neglect his own requirements. On his part,Louis seemed in no particular hurry to depart; forwhile his old protectors were eagerly eating, he seatedhimself at a little distance, and told them as much ofhis own history as is already known to the reader."And I came hither without much danger," hesaid, "for my father has now tihe command of a regi-ment which Er,:camped, two days ':ia, not two milesfrom this spot, on thL river's bank; and by his con-trivance,-for, madame, i:h.'uhi my father is a repub-lican soldier, he is not a cruel .Lud persecuting one,and he has a memory for your kindness to me,-so byhis contrivance I stole away from the camp, and noone but himself knows whither I went. And thenyou know, sir, I am well acquainted with the riverand the woods about here, so that, knowing where oursentinels are placed, I can easily pass them on myreturn."" Louis," said the Count, when the youth hadfinished his explanations, " I will trust you; but ifyou deceive me--"" I will not deceive you, sir,-neither will myfather; and we have promised each other to save youand madame. May I go now to the boat ?"The Count nodded, and Louis disappeared. Inless than an hour he returned with the provisions he
LOUIS DUVAL.had spoken of; and when, at midnight, he withdrew,it was with the promise of contriving some plan bywhich the fugitives might escape from a countrywhere for them to remain was almost certain death.A few nights after this a boat crossed the Loirefrom the woods of St. Clair. Three persons were inthe boat in the dress of peasants. On landing on theopposite shores of Brittany, they found fastened to atree three horses, which they mounted, and then rodeoff at a rapid pace. These seeming peasants were theCount, the Comntess, and Louis Duval.Brittany, like Anjou, was overrun with republicansoldiers, and, but that Loaiis knew p risely in whatdirection to go to avoid meeting them, escape wouldhave been impossible. Even for him it was a difficultand dangerous task; but at length it was accom-plished ; and reaching the sea-coast, the young guideand protector saw his friends safely embarked in afishing-boat, the owner of which, for a large reward,engaged to land them in Jersey. Louisthen returned,taking the sameprecautions as before, and reached theencampment of his father's regiment unsuspected. Itwas supposed, indeed, that he had been on some secretservice for the good of the French Republic.Twenty years and more have passed away, andonce more we are at the Chateau St. Clair. Passingthrough the village, we find that the houses have beenrebuilt, and that the fields are smiling again withplenty. The ruined walls of the Chateau have beenrestored, and its grandeur renewed. A'gentlemanand lady, past the middle of life, are there, and therealso is an aged officer leaning on the arm of a youngerone-his son. Among the thousand and one strangeand improbable events which took place in France
LOUIS DUVAL.during those changing years, the Count and CountessSt. Clair had regained their property and returned totheir former home, while Henry Duval and his son hadrisen to honour and fame as officers in the army of"France." Ah, General," says the Count, as the little party,standing together on the broad steps of the Chateau,watched the setting sun, "if it had not been for youand your brave son, we should have perished miserablyin yonder cave."" Ah, Count," answers the General, " had you nothad compassion on the starving, friendless boy, he, too,would have perished unheeded.""And that story," continues Louis Duval, "whichMadame has embellished with so many wonderfuladventures, would not have been written."And, in reply, Madame smiles.
THE YOUNGo SEA-IKING.THE SEA-KINGS.CHAPTER I.THE COUNTRY OF THE SEA-KINGS-THEIR RELIGION-KINGHAKE'S FIRE-SHIP-THE VIKINGS-INGIALD AND THEWOLF 'S HEART.OW, grandfather, we are ready for the story."'"What story ?"""1 Oh, the one that you promised afteryou told us that nice one about WilliamTell.""Did I promise you one ?"" Oh yes, grandfather, that you did. It was sum-mer then, but it is winter now. See how bright the fireburns; and there is your arm-chair in the warm corner.Do sit down, grandfather, and tell us the story."
THE SEA-KINGS." Yes, children, as you say, it was summer then,and very pleasant under the tree; and although thefrosty wind blows keenly now, and all the branchesare bare, yet each season has its pleasures. Some-times we fancy, when the curtains are drawn close andall is snug, and the light shines on happy faces, thatthe cold winter season is-nmore welcome than the glad-some summer. It is very'comfortableto sit round thefire and read, or talk, or tell stories; and so, if youmill pay attention, I will tell you something about theSea-Kings.""Oh grandfather, that seems a nice name for astory; but who were the Sea-Kings?"" They had much to do with the early history ofour own country, as you will know before long, if youlisten."Now, to understand clearly about the Sea-Kings,we must first look at a map of Europe. Here you see,up at the top, or north, are Norway and Sweden,which form, as it were, but one country, with theBaltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia on one side, and theNorth Sea on the other. Then away out in the oceanyou see Iceland, and lower down the Faroe, Shetland,and Orkney Isles, and under these England, Scotland,and Ireland. These countries lie so near together, andthere is so much water all about them, that it is notsurprising the inhabitants should have been in thehabit of making voyages from one to the other, northat in the present day there should be so much simi-larity among the languages spoken by the differentpeoples who inhabit them.You will see also that the whole coast of Norwayis full of ins and outs, long narrow rugged points ofland stretching out, and the water flowing up intodeep bays between, besides numerous islands, great
THE SEA-KINGS.and small, scattered a little way off in the sea allalong the shore. This shore is for the most part veryhigh and rocky, the waves beat against it with greatfury in stormy weather, and the tide runs so fiercely insome of the narrow channels that vessels cannot crossthem, and in one place forms a dangerous whirlpool.The deep bays are called fiords, and when once youget inside these, you find the water as still as a lake,because they are sheltered from the wind and theocean outside by the high steep cliffs; some of themare a hundred miles long. In many places the cliffsare quite bleak and barren; in others, fir-trees growthickly upon them and on the rocky islets, and theirshadow in the water below looks very beautiful. To-wards the inner end of the fiords the land is low inparts, and here are found green and grassy meadowsand small farms, where the people live in a simple,contented style, in some respects much as they did inthe time of the Sea-Kings. Then going farther intothe country, you come to a high, flat, mountainousland called the field, or fells, as the people say in thenorth of England, and this you will see runs all downfrom north to south, and divides Norway from Sweden.Here and there the field comes so near to the sea,that there is not room for meadows or farms, and insuch spots the pine forests grow thick and wild almostto the water's edge, and would be good hiding-placesfor people afraid to show themselves and their deeds inopen daylight. Several rapid rivers rush down fromthe field, forming grand waterfalls in their shortcourse, and run into the sea generally at the head of thefiords. Numbers of salmon and other fish are caught inthem, and are much prized as food by the inhabitants.Besides this, I must tell you that the climate ofthese countries is not the same as we have it here in
THE SEA-KINGS.England; the summer is shorter and hotter, and thewinter longer and colder. Fields are ploughed, theseed sown, the corn grows, ripens, and is cut downand stacked away all in the space of about twomonths. So bright and hot is the summer, that theflowers seem to leap up as it were out of the groundto adorn the meadows, the grass of which growsthicker and greener than in southern lands. And howwelcome is the approach of this season, for it unlocks allnature's treasures The snow melts on the mountainslopes, the green turf peeps through, the tiny brooksbegin to flow, the torrents swell, and the riversrush down with a mighty flood. The trees burstalmost all at once into leaf, the birds sing with ecstasy,and all creation seems to start into joy. No wonderthat the early inhabitants of such a country lookingon the lofty mountains, the bright sky, the darkforests, and blue sea, should have had strange fancies,and believed that invisible beings dwelt within them.Some among them of calm and gentle dispositionsmight have been heard to sing-"It joys me well the sweet spring-tide, when leaves and flowersappear,It joys me well by greenwood side, the blithe bird's song to hear."But there were others who liked better the excite-ment of danger and strife, and they would reply-"But more, by Thor, I joy to see the battle-ships afar,And all the ranks with banners set preparing for the war."During part of the summer it is always daylight,and for some weeks in winter there is none but star-light. The winter lasts more than half of the year,and is so cold, with so much snow and ice, that noout-of-door work can be done, and the people choose
THE SEA-KINGS.this dreary season for visiting and merry-makings, andfriendly parties at each other's houses, in which thecustoms and superstitions of former times are oftentalked about. I have given you this short account ofthe country that you may understand well what is tofollow. It is sometimes called the Scandinavian penin-sula, and if you look a little to the south of it on themap, you will see a country somewhat similar to itnamed Denmark, of which we shall also have some-thing to say.Away to the east of Europe you will find a cornerof that great quarter of the world, Asia. Almostever since the Flood, the people there have been verynumerous, and from time to time they have wanderedforth in large troops to other countries. They livedby fighting and plundering on the way, and whereverthey found a place that suited them, they took pos-session of it until they again felt an inclination to gofarther. Well, as some writers say, about 400 yearsbefore the birth of Christ, one of these multitudescame up out of Asia, and made their way across thebroad level regions of the east and north of Europe,till they came to the Scandinavian peninsula in thewest, where they settled and made it their home. Itis believed that their reason for choosing that countrywas the great quantity of copper and iron there lyingin the earth; they used to dig these metals up andfashion them into weapons of war. Some people thinkthat this did not happen until after the birth of Christ,but that is a question which cannot be decided withcertainty. When these tribes went thus from place toplace, they were under the command of a leader orchief, and the one who led the people into Norwayand Sweden was called Odin. It was said of himthat he was a most brave and eloquent chief; when he
THE SEA-KINQS.looked at his friends his face was comely and beautiful,but to his enemies his countenance appeared fierce andterrible. He could persuade any one to do as hepleased, and was always victorious in battle. He hadtwelve godars, or wise and brave men, who helpedhim to govern and make laws for the people. Besidesthese things, which appear very right and proper,other things are related concerning Odin altogether ofa marvellous nature; how that he had two talkingravens who flew into all parts of the earth, and broughthim news from every quarter, so that he always knewwhat was going on. And about his doings amonggiants and dwarfs, and extraordinary and wonderfulanimals, and how he overcame them all, and reignedthe first in power and dominion.At that time printing was not invented, and thosepeople did not know how to write, or make paper,therefore they could not preserve the history of events,so well as we can in our day. They had to trust totheir memories, and there was a class of men calledskalds, whose business it was to gain knowledge ofeverything that took place, and learn it by heart, andtell it to others before they died, so that the accountsshould not be forgotten. But as time went on somelittle matters went out of memory and others werebrought in, and at last when they talked about Odinthey said he was a god; and under him there wereother gods, some for evil, some for good. Thor wasthe god of war, his weapon was a huge mallet whichhe threw at his enemies, and when it thundered thepeople used to say that was the noise of Thor's malletflying through the air. Then there was Loke theevil spirit, and Baldur, the god of light, the youngestand most beautiful of all the gods. It was related ofhim that nothing could injure him except the mistletoe,
THE SEA-KINGS.and one day Loke caused an arrow of mistletoe to beshot at him, and so Baldur died, to the great sorrow ofall the others: a festival was afterwards held in hishonour. There was also a god of fire, one for wind,one for the sea; some to punish cowards, others toreward the brave. In the end belief in the power ofthese gods came to be the religion of the people; andthey used to worship them in woods and temples, andkill animals for burnt sacrifices, and when their cropsfailed from bad seasons they would sometimes kill aman, and offer him up, thinking that this would pleasethe gods, and cause them to send a good harvest in thenext year. Their heaven was a place called Walhalla,or hall of heroes; no women were in it, and none wentthere but those who died in battle; and there theypassed their time in eating meat and drinking meadand ale. It was thought a great misfortune anddisgrace to a man to be a coward or die in his bed,because then, as they believed, they went to a placewhere there was no good cheer as in the Walhalla.This belief made them always willing to fight, andgreat part of their history tells of nothing but battles:to die in war was to win everlasting enjoyment.These seem to us strange notions; but the peoplethen did not know better, they had never heard ofChristianity which teaches us that peacemakers areblessed.So it went on for a great many years; meantimesome Saxons, a German tribe, had rowed across thesea in a few boats and made settlements in England-this was 1400 years ago. These people held the samebelief and were a branch of the same race as those Ihave been telling you of, whom we will now call theNorthmen-a title by which they are most known.They in their turn sailed across the same sea some
TIE SEA-KINGS.centuries later, and established themselves in thiscountry; and it is mostly from these two races thatthe English nation has descended.The Northmen used to hold three or four greatfestivals in the course of the year; one of them was inhonour of Friga the wife of Odin; and another, inwhich Odin himself was celebrated by one of his namesYolner; it took place in December, and when Chris-tianity was introduced it came to be held on Christmasday, and was known as the Yule-feast, a name whichis still used in Scotland. Another was to celebrateBaldur, and this afterwards came to be the feast ofSaint John. In the ancient times horseflesh wasalways eaten at these festivals, a custom which showsthat the people came first from Asia, for there theTartars eat horseflesh at the present day. Not tohave eaten it would have been thought by the North-men as a great dishonour to their gods.Some strange adventures are said to have happenedat the earlier periods of their history. Once a chiefnamed Sweyder resolved to travel far and wide untilhe had found Odin. As he was going through a wildpart of the country he saw a dwarf standing by a largestone, who invited him in, promising that he shouldfind what he was seeking. This was one of the dwarfsthat could make stones open and shut as he pleased:so Sweyder went into the opening ahd immediately thehuge rock closed together, and he was never seen after-wards. Then there was prince Dag, who had a talkingsparrow, which flew hither and thither, and broughtnews of what was doing in the land. One day whilethe bird was picking some grain in a field the ownerthrew a stone and killed it; on which Dag went withhis men to avenge the loss of his favourite; he slowthe people on the farm and took away much plunder.
THE SEA-KINGS.As he was going across a river with his troop, a poorthrall, or labouring peasant, ran up and throw a hay-fork into the midst of them; it struck Dag, and he fellfrom his horse and died; and the skalds made a poemwhich related how that even a great man sometimes losthis life for a very small matter, and by a very humblehand.Once there was a king Hake-a fierce and mightywarrior who killed the king of Sweden and made him-self master of his country. Three years afterwards,two brothers, vikings, came up against him, with theirwar-ships and many fighting men; but king IHake wasso brave and strong that he gained a victory with fewermen and drove the enemy away. He had, however,been grievously wounded, and seeing that his dayscould not be long, he gave orders that one of his greatships should be made ready, and all his dead warriorsplaced upon it with their weapons, and a pile of tar-wood built up over them. Then the king had himselflaid on the top of the pile and made some of his peopleset it on fire, and hoist the sails. A strong wind was
THE SEA-KINGS.blowing which carried the blazing ship far out uponthe ocean, in sight of the amazed spectators, who allsaid that king Hake had chosen a glorious way of end-ing his life. From this we can understand how greatwas the courage and daring of these old Northmen.Whenever they were short of provisions or othernecessaries, they would go off on plundering expedi-tions, and seize all they could lay their hands on andbring it home by shiploads. If one of the better sortof people commanded the expedition he was then calleda sea-king, although he might have no land or anydominion but his vessel. The plunderers from amongthe thralls and common people were named vikings;in the present day they would be called pirates. Fre-quently they murdered all .who opposed them; orcarried them away as slaves, sin the same way thatnegroes areinow:toln from Africaand sold in southerncountries. Oaueeagirl named'Ym.a was captured witha number of thorals ;who mwre =minding cattle, andthough she -was poor she as beautifiil and well-behaved. She :was liked by everybody :for her gooddisposition, and ,was sometimes -seni.by the king, whoat last married 'her; and ,so, as the old history says,"Yrsa became queen of Sweden, and was consideredan excellent woman." Good conduct, it is often saidnever fails of being approved.There were. some of the kings -who paid attentionto other matters as well as fighting: one of these wasnamed Onund. He had roads made through allSweden, across forests and morasses and also overmountains; and he was therefore called Onund Road-maker.One day king Onund's son, Ingiald, a boy aboutsix years old, was playing with Alf, another prince ofthe same age; each one pretended to be a captain
THE SEA-KINGS.leading on his army. Alf proved to be the strongest,which made Ingiald almost cry with vexation. So oneof his companions came up and led him away to ablind old man, named Svipdag, and told him of thematter. Svipdag said it was a shame that Onund'sson should not be as strong as any other king's son,and he took a wolf's heart, and roasted it on the tongsover the fire, and gave it to Ingiald to eat; and fromthat time the boy became a most ferocious person,and of the worst disposition. Such was the belief inthat day; but the truth was, that Ingiald's own heartwas bad. Afterwards, when he came to be king, heinvited six other kings to a feast in a large hall atUpsal, and when they had eaten and drunk plentifully,he ordered the hall to be set on fire, so that the sixkings were burned to death, with all their attendants,and Ingiald took possession of their dominions. He atlength perished himself in a similar manner; for oneday, when he was feasting in a spacious hall, hisenemies came up with a great army, whereupon Ingiald,seeing no chance of escape, set to drinking greatdraughts of ale, with his captains and soldiers, andthen setting fire to the building, they all perished.
THE SEA-KINGS.CHAPTER II.KING HARALD THE FAIE-HAIRED-ISLANDS DISCOVERED-NORMANDY CONQUERED-KING ATHELSTAN AND THEWONDERFUL SWORD-KING HAKON-THE THING-OLAFSOLD AS A SLAVE-THE EARL AND THE SLAVE-BATTLEWITH KING SWEND.IT is not easy to fix the date of the events about whichI have been telling, but now we come to a time that ismuch better known; it is the reign of king Halfdan,who.was called the Black, on account of his dark hair.He began to reign at the age of eighteen, about theyear 841, more than a thousand years ago; and madeseveral good laws, and caused them to be respected.Once his queen dreamt that she was in the garden,and plucked a thorn out of her dress, which struckroots down into the earth, and grew into a large andbeautiful tree with green and wide-spreading branches.The king never had dreams, and he asked the reasonof one of his wise men, who told him he would be sureto dream if he slept in the sty among the swine.Halfdan did so, and dreamt that "he had the mostbeautiful hair, which was all in ringlets; some so longas to fall upon the ground, some reaching to themiddle of his legs, some to his knees, some to his neck,and some were only as knots springing from his head.These ringlets were of various colours; but one ringletsurpassed all the others in beauty, lustre, and size."In those days, people placed great faith in dreams,and these were supposed to show that the children ofthe king and queen would one day come to greatexcellence and power; perhaps we shall hear some-
THE SEA-KINGS.thing about them as we go on. After reigning abouttwenty-two years, Halfdan was drowned by the icebreaking under him as he was crossing a lake in thewinter.He was succeeded by his son, Harald Haarfager, orFair-haired. He had much trouble at first to defendthe kingdom from other chiefs, who tried to gainpossession of it after his father's death; but Haraldovercame them, and declared that he would not cut orcomb his hair until he had brought the whole of Nor-way under subjection. To do this, it took him tenyears, during which he fought a great many battles,and numbers of the people left the country and sailedacross the ocean, and discovered Iceland and the FaroeIsles, and the Shetlands, and other islands off thecoast of Scotland, and settled themselves in these coun-tries. Large parties of them went about as vikings,and plundered everywhere, until at last king Haralddetermined to punish them, and sailed with a fleet tothe Orkneys, and drove all the pirates out of theseislands, and afterwards conquered part of the westcoast of Scotland. It was there he had his hair cutand combed, and obtained the name of Fair-haired.Although he had brought all Norway under his sway,yet as his sons grew up, they and some of the chiefsquarrelled for a division of the kingdom; and onenamed Rolf was banished because he would not livepeaceably. This Rolf sailed away with his ships, till hecame to that part of France now called Normandy, afterthe Northmen, where he fought with the inhabitants,and made himself master of the country, and reignedthere for the rest of his life. He had a son, William,one of whose descendants was grandfather of Williamthe Conqueror, a famous personage in the history ofEngland.
THE SEA-KINGS.The Saxon king, Athelstan, at this time reignedover England; he sent messengers to Norway tomake a present of a sword to king Harald, and assoon as Harald took it by the handle, the messengerstold him that he had become the king of England'ssubject. Harald was displeased at this, but he wasa man who did not give way to anger, and he let themessengers depart. The next year, however, he senta ship to England, and gave the command to one ofhis warriors, and desired him to carry his youngestson, Hakon, and place him on king Athelstan's knee.This was done to show that Harald was a greater manthan the English king; but Athelstan was a wise andgood man, and took good care of Hakon, and had himbaptized and properly brought up and instructed. Theboy grew up so stout and strong, that one day whenthe king gave him a sword, he cut half through a mill-stone with it at one blow. The sword after that wascalled Quernbiter; quern being the name for a mill-stone. It must have been a wonderful sword!King Harald died when he was more than eightyyears old. Eric, one of his sons, wished to take hisplace, but Athelstan sent Hakon over from England,with ships and men, and the people chose Hakon fortheir king, although he was not more than fifteen yearsold. This made Eric discontented, and he tried toraise a war, in which he did not succeed, and then hesailed away to England, where Athelstan made himearl or ruler of Northumberland, on condition that heshould defend it from vikings and other plunderers.He took up his residence at Jorvik, or York, andwatched over the land for several years, till Athelstandied, and Edmund became king. Eric then sailed tothe southwards, and pillaged the coast of England; atlast an army was sent against him, and he was slain.
THE SEA-KINGS.Hakon was a wise ruler. He strove to keep peaceamong all his subjects, so that one should not injureor oppress the other, and established some excellentlaws. As he had been instructed in Christianity inEngland, he wished to introduce this religion intoNorway; but when any change was to be made, itcould not be done without asking the people's opinionand permission at a public meeting, called a Thing,or, as it is pronounced, Ting. This was a kind of par-liament held in the open air, which, in later days, gaverise to our present British Parliament, whereby thenation preserves its liberties. Well, Hakon assembleda Thing, and great multitudes came to it. Whenthey were seated, he stood up and said it was " hismessage and entreaty to the bonders (peasants) andhouseholding men, both great and small, and to thewhole public in general, young and old, rich and poor,women as well as men, that they should all allowthemselves to be baptized, and should believe in oneGod, and in Christ the Son, and refrain from all sacri-fices and heathen gods; and should keep holy the
THE SEA-KINGS.seventh day, and abstain from all work on it, andkeep a fast on the seventh day."Old customs and habits are not to be changed ina moment, even at the word of a king. The paganNorthmen were as ready to fight and die for theirreligion as Christians have been for theirs in otherparts of the world, and they told Hakon that theywore willing to obey him in all matters but that ofgiving up their ancient faith, and if he wished to forcethem, then they would not have him for king, butchoose some other. Hakon was not well pleased atthis; however, earl Sigurd, a man of judgment, ad-vised him to yield for a time to the will of the Thing,and wait for a more favourable opportunity to bringin Christianity. So the business ended withoutstrife.About this time the sons of that Eric who had beenkilled in England began to be troublesome; theythought they had a right to the kingdom, and camewith parties of vikings to ravage the country. There-upon Hakon made a law that all the people in thedistricts along the sea-coast, as far back as the salmonswam up the rivers, should furnish a number of war-ships, with men and provisions, for the defence of theshores, and so repel the enemies. At the same time,beacons were made ready on the tops of the hills, tobe lighted when hostile armies were seen approaching,and thus give the signal of alarm from one eminenceto another all over the country. Before long, mes-sengers arrived with news of the fleet coming, com-manded by Eric's sons; and although Hakon had notso many ships, he determined to stand the battle, andgirded on his good sword Quernbiter. The two armiesmet; the custom was to throw their spears, and thenrush to close combat; many strove to come near the
THE SEA-KINGS.king of Norway, but Hakon kept them off, as theskald sang:-"* The body-coats of linked steel,The woven iron coats of mailLike water fly before the swingOf Hakon's sword-the champion."Presently a chief named Eyvind came up to theattack; then Hakon wielding Quernbiter with bothhands, gave him such a blow as clove him through hishelmet and head down to his shoulder. On this theenemy began to give way, followed by the Northmen,when all at once an arrow struck king Hakon throughthe arm near his shoulder. He was carried away tohis ship, and the wound bound up, but the bleedingcould not be stopped, and he felt himself growing veryweak, therefore he bade his men row homewards asfast as possible. There was not time to go far, andthey put ashore at a place called Hakon's Hill, for theking was almost lifeless. He sent word to Eric'ssons, that they should be kings over the country, asHarald, their grandfather, had been before them, andso died. He was called Hakon the Good, and friendsand enemies sorrowed over his death. They buriedhim, according to their custom, under a large moundof earth, there upon the shore, and made paganspeeches over his tomb, and wished him in Walhalla.When Eric's sons came into power, they werejealous of one another and of the great chiefs. Theywere afraid of king Hakon's wise earl Sigurd, andone night burnt him -in his house, and caused someothers to be killed. Now Sigurd had large estatesin Drontheim district, where he was much belovedby the people. As soon as they heard of his death,they took his son, named Hakon, to be their leader,and refused to be governed by the kings. Aboutc
THE SEA-KINGS.the same time a queen named Astrid, whose husbandwas one of those who had been slain, was trying toescape with her young son Olaf into Russia, for shefeared the sons of Eric. She found some friends, whosent her away in a ship; but the vessel was capturedon the voyage by pirates, and Olaf was sold as a slavein exchange for a ram. The buyer afterwards sold himagain for a cloak to a farmer, who treated him well,and kept him six years. At the end of this time, anuncle of his, who lived in the service of the king ofRussia, came over to collect the taxes, and seeingOlaf, who was a very handsome boy, he asked him whohe was. Olaf told him all his adventures, on whichhis uncle bought him from the farmer, and took himto the city of Novogorod, and there had him broughtup. Walking one day in the market-place, Olaf sawthe man who had first bought him for a slave, andhaving a little axe in his hand, he killed him with ablow on the head. The people would have maltreatedhim for this, had not his uncle taken him to thequeen's palace for protection; he entered into herservice, and stayed there several years.Meanwhile there had been much strife and fightingbetween Norway and Denmark, which lasted nearlytwenty years; several of the kings had fallen in battle,and earl Hakon had become ruler of the Northmen.Olaf grew tired of staying at Novogorod, and wentaway on plundering cruises with his ships; he sailedto England and pillaged in many places, and then goingto Ireland, he married a princess, and lived in thecountry. That was not a good state of things whichpermitted a great chief to go out with his, men, andsteal the goods of others. It is much better now withlaws to protect the poor as well as the rich.Now Olaf knew that he was a descendant from
THE SEA-KINGS.Harald Haarfager, and had therefore a title to be calledking of Norway. So, after several years, he left Irelandand sailed to his own country. He arrived just at thetime that the bonders were taking up arms againstearl Hakon for some injustice which he had committed,and they went in great numbers to join Olaf's army.Hakon had been much beloved, for he was on thewhole a wise ruler, yet he was forced to fly. Hetravelled secretly with Karker, one of his thralls, andwent to a house in the forest, where lived one of hiswives, whom he asked to conceal him. A sharp pur-suit was being made for the earl, and Thora (that washis wife's name) said the only safe hiding-place wouldbe the pig-sty. " Well, let it be made ready for us,"said Hakon; " for to save our life is the first and fore-most concern.'? The slave dug a great hole in thesty, bore away the earth that he dug out, and laidwood over it. Then the earl and Karker both wentinto the hole. Thora covered it with wood, and threwearth and dung over it, and drove the swine upon thetop of it." Near by there lay a great stone.By-and-by Olaf came there with his warriors seek-ing the earl; they searched the house and all the holesand corners they could think of, but without findingwhat they wanted. " Then Olaf held a House Thing,or council, out in the yard, and stood upon the greatstone which lay beside the swine-sty, and made aspeech to the people, in which he promised to enrichthe man with rewards and honours who should kill theearl. This speech was heard by the earl and thrallKarker. There was a little daylight admitted tothem." Why art thou so pale," said the earl, " and nowagain as black as earth? Thou hast not the intentionto betray me ? "
THE SEA-KINGS." By no means," replied Karker.", We were born on the same night," said the earl,"c and the time will be short between our deaths."King Olaf went away in the evening. Whennight came, the earl kept himself awake; but Karkerslept, and was disturbed in his sleep, and the earlwoke him." They then kept themselves awake both; the one,as it were, watching the other. But towards day theearl suddenly dropped asleep; thereupon Karker drewout a large knife, and cut off his head and ran away.Late in the day he came to Lade, where he deliveredthe earl's head to king Olaf, and told all these circum-stances of his own and earl Hakon's doings. Olaf hadhim taken out and beheaded."There is much to be learned from this event. Wesee that a traitor sometimes meets with punishmentinstead of reward; and we see how that a great manwho had been chief ruler of a kingdom, died a crueldeath in a noisome hole, while another, who had beensold as a slave in his boyhood, came to be king overthe country.You will, I dare say, remember that when Olaf wascaptured, his mother was taken prisoner at the sametime by the vikings, and kept as a slave in that sameprovince of Russia where her son had been brought up.Now it so happened that Lodin, a rich Norway mer-chant, who used to make trading voyages, sailed onesummer to that place; and "there he saw a womanwho was to be sold as a slave; and on looking at her,he knew her to be Astrid, who had been married toking Tryggve. But she was altogether unlike whatshe had been when we last saw her; for now she waspale, meagre in countenance, and ill-clad. He went upto her, and asked how matters stood with her. She
THE SEA-KINCS.replied, "It is heavy to be told; for I have been soldas a slave, and now I am again brought here for sale."After speaking together a little, Astrid knew him, andbegged him to buy her, and bring her home to hisfriends. " On this condition," said he, " I will bringthee home to Norway,-that thou wilt marry me."Now as Astrid stood in great need, and moreover knewthat Lodin was a man of high birth, rich, and brave,she promised to do so for her ransom. Lodin accord-ingly bought Astrid, took her home to Norway withhim, and married her with her friends' consent." Thusthe mother as well as her son was restored to hernative land once more, and her husband and his re-latives were consulted by king Olaf as some of his chiefcouncillors.It is recorded of Olaf that he was very expert in allbodily exercises; he could climb, swim, and run betterthan most men. Once he climbed up and left his shieldon the peak of a mountain where no one else couldfollow him; he could run all round the rail of his ship,and outside along the oars while his men were rowing.
THE SEA-KINGS.He could use his sword with either hand, and throwtwo spears at once. He was besides of a very livelyand generous disposition, which made him much be-loved by his people, who held brave qualities in thehighest admiration. But notwithstanding that he pro-fessed to be a Christian, he was very cruel towards hisenemies and punished them in the severest manner;some he ordered to be thrown over precipices, otherswere hunted by dogs or burnt alive; and once he hada number of men fastened to a rock in the sea at lowwater, and when the tide came up they were alldrowned. Such deeds as these show how easy it is tobe misled by passion.Before these times Olaf had very much offendedSigrid the queen of Sweden; she was now married toSwend, king of Denmark, the same who once reignedin England, and whom we call Swey t his son wasKnut or Canute the Great, who rebuke to his flatter-ing courtiers is so welt known. Well, Sigrid wasalways urging her husband to. rais an army andattack king Olaf; Swend at. last coaasmted to do so,and got the king of Sweden and ears Eric to bringtheir ships and men and join with him. MeantimeOlaf had gone to a part of the Rissiau dominions onthe Baltic Sea, to give away his sister in marriage.He had a great many ships with him: as the oldrhyme says-"From out the south bold Tryggve's son"With one-and-seventy ships came on :But the false earl the king betrayed;And treacherous Sigvald, it is said,Deserted from king Olafs fleet,And basely fled, the Danes to meet."It must have been a fine sight to see all theseships; the blue waves curling before their keels, the
THE SEA-KINGS.foaming sweep of numerous oars, the sails bellying out,striped red and white and purple, the gilt figures atthe head and stern, and the bright shields hanging allround the bulwarks. There was one very fine shipcalled the Crane, which had the figure-head of a bird;another was the Dragon; and the most stately of allwas the Long Serpent, which was steered by kingOlaf. Now the false earl Sigvald had persuaded Olafto steer near to an island behind which Swend and hisconfederates lay concealed with all their fleet, so thatbefore he was aware he saw all their forces comingagainst him. Then some of his advisers begged himto sail away as fast as possible, for the risk was toogreat, but Olaf replied, " Strike the sails; never shallmen of mine think of flight. I never fled from battle.Let God dispose of my life, but flight I never shalltake."It was the custom then for each party to fastentheir ships together with ropes; as soon as this wasdone the battle began. Fast and furious fell the blows;grappling irons were thrown to pull the ships towardseach other, and very soon Olaf's men had taken severalvessels from the Swedes and Danes and cleared themof their crews, so that Swend and the king of Swedenwere forced to give back for a while. Earl Erichowever had a ship named Iron Beard, and was mak-ing fearful havoc on Olaf's line, taking his ships oneafter another and cutting them loose, until at last hecame up by the side of the Long Serpent, in whichOlaf himself was. Eric was the son of earl Hakonwho had been murdered in the hole under the swine-sty, and the remembrance of this made him fightthe more desperately. A great many men had takenrefuge on board the Long Serpent, and now spears,battle-axes, and other weapons were cast at them in
THE SEA-KINGS.such numbers that they became mad with rage, and intheir eagerness to get close to their enemies they forgotthey were upon the water, and so rushing hastily outof the vessel most of them were drowned. King Olafstill kept his place on the quarter-deck and gave thecommand; and "Einar Tambarskelver, one of thesharpest of bow-shooters, stood by the mast, and shotwith his bow. He shot an arrow at earl Eric, whichhit the tiller-end just above the earPs head so hardthat it entered the wood up to the arrow-shaft. Theearl looked that way, and asked if they knew who hadshot; and at the same moment another arrow flewbetween his hand and his side, and into the stuffing ofthe chief's stool, so that the barb stood far out on theother side. Then said the earl to a man called Fin, ofLaplandish race, who was a superior archer, " Shootthat tall man by the mast." Fin shot; and the arrowhit the middle of Einar's bow just at the moment thathe was drawing it, and the bow was split in two parts.":What is that," cried king Olaf, "that brokewith such a noise? ""Norway, king, from thy hands," answered Einar."No! not quite so much as that," says the king;"take my bow and shoot," flinging the bow to him.Einar took the bow, and drew it over the head ofthe arrow. " Too weak, too weak," said he, "for thebow of a mighty king! " and throwing the bow aside,he took sword and shield, and fought valiantly.After this, the battle became fiercer than before;earl Eric boarded the Long Serpent but was drivenback after a sharp struggle; he tried again with moremen, and so few defenders were left that he succeeded.Then Olaf and his marshal both leaped overboard fromthe quarter-deck, and all that remained of the crewsprang also into the sea. Olaf sank immediately, but
THE SEA-KINGS.the marshal was saved; and then all earl Eric's menraised a great shout, and the earl kept the Long Ser-pent for himself.Such was the end of king Olaf Trygvesson in theyear 1000: many, however, believed that he was notdrowned, but that he threw off his armour underwater, and dived away beneath the war-vessels, untilhe came to a friendly ship at some distance off, whichtook him to land. This was doubtless one of thosewonderful rumours with which people at times love todivert themselves, for Olaf was never again seen inNorway. His conquerors divided the kingdom amongthemselves. During his reign, some adventurousvikings discovered Greenland and the northern partsof America.
THE SEA-KINGS.CHAPTER III.BATTLE OP LONDON BRIDGE-KING OLAF'S VISIT TO HISPARENTS-HIS BROTHERS AT PLAY-KING CANUTEMAKES WAR-THE LAKE IN THE FOREST.WE now come to another Olaf, son of Harald, one ofthe petty kings whohad been killed in the battlesagainstearl Hakon. He was very daring and ready-witted,and quick at getting out of danger and difficulty. Hesailed once up into the great lake by which Stockholmnow stands, and stayed there some time to plunder;but the king of Sweden came with ships and stretchedchains across the entrance and caught the Northmenin a trap. Thereupon Olaf caused a canal to be dugfrom the lake to the sea, all across several miles of flatcountry; and as the chronicle relates-" It fell heavyrain just at this time; and as the canal was dug outto the sea, the water and the stream rushed into it.Then Olaf had all the rudders unshipped, and hoistedall sail aloft. It was blowing a strong breeze astern,and they steered with their oars, and the ships came ina rush over all the shallows, and got into the sea with-out any damage." In this way Olaf escaped thedanger: the remains of the canal are to be seen evenat this day.After this he sailed across to England, about thetime that king Swend died. As soon as Ethelred, therightful Saxon king, heard of the death of his enemy,he came over from France, where he had taken refuge,and invited all who were willing to enter his serviceand assist him in recovering his kingdom from theDanes, who were then widely scattered in England,
THE SEA-KINGS.and numerous and powerful. "Then many peopleflocked to him; and among others came king Olafwith a great troop of Northmen to his aid. Theysteered first to London, and sailed into the Thameswith their fleet; but the Danes had a castle within.On the other side of the river is a great trading place,which is called Sudrviki (now Southwark). There theDanes had raised a great work, dug large ditches, andwithin had built a bulwark of stone, timber and turf,where they had stationed a strong army. King Ethel-red ordered a great assault; but the Danes defendedthemselves bravely, and king Ethelred could makenothing of it. Between the castle and Southwarkthere was a bridge, so broad that two waggons couldpass each other upon it. On the bridge were raisedbarricades, both towers and wooden parapets, in thedirection of the river, which were nearly breast high;and under the bridge were piles driven into the bottomof the river. Now when the attack was made, thetroops stood on the bridge everywhere and defendedthemselves. King Ethelred was very anxious to getpossession of the bridge, and he called together all thechiefs to consult how they should get the bridgebroken down. Then said king Olaf he would attemptto lay his fleet alongside of it, if the other ships woulddo the same. It was then determined in this council,that they should lay their war forces under the bridge;and each made himself ready with ships and men."King Olaf ordered great platforms of floatingwood to be tied together with hazel bands, and forthis he took down old houses; and with these as aroof, he covered over his ships so widely, that itreached over the ships' sides. Under this screen heset pillars so high and stout, that there was roomfor swinging their swords, and the roofs were strong
BATTLEE OP LONDON IBIDGE.'
THE SEA-KINGS.enough to withstand the stones cast down upon them.Now when the fleet and men were ready, they rowedup along the river; but when they came near thebridge, there were cast down upon them so manystones and missile weapons, such as arrows and spears,that neither helmet nor shield could hold out againstit; and the ships themselves were so greatly damaged,that many retreated out of it. But king Olaf, and theNorthmen's fleet with him, rowed quite up under thebridge, laid their cables around the piles which sup-ported it, and then rowed off with all the ships, ashard as they could, down the stream. The piles werethus shaken to the bottom, and were loosened underthe bridge. Now, as the armed troops stood thick ofmen upon the bridge, and there were likewise manyheaps of stones and other weapons upon it, and thepiles under it being loosened and broken, the bridgegave way, and a great part of the men upon it fell intothe river, and all the others fled, some into the castle,some into Southwark. Thereafter Southwark wasstormed and taken. Now when the people in thecastle saw that the river Thames was mastered, andthat they could not hinder the passage of ships up intothe country, they became afraid, surrendered thetower, and took Ethelred to be their king." A songwas made on this event, which says:-"London bridge is broken down-Gold is won, and bright renown,Shields resounding,War-horns sounding,Ilildur shouting in the din!Arrows singing,Mail-coats ringing,Odin makes our Olaf win!"Thus by Olaf's assistance the kingdom wasrecovered, though the Danes were still troublesome in
THE SEA-KINGS.some parts where they had strong castles. Ethelred'swife was Emma, sister of Robert and William, earls ofYormandy, and this marriage was one of the reasonswhy William afterwards conquered England. Olafwas entrusted with a fleet to sail round the coasts anddefend the whole country, which duty he fulfilled forthree years, until Ethelred's death, when he sailedaway and plundered along the shores of France. Heintended to go to Jerusalem, but was warned by adream to return to Norway.Earl Eric, who gained the sea-fight that I told youof in the last chapter, was brother-in-law of Canute,king of Denmark, and Canute wished to recover thepower that his father Swend had lost in England; soEric joined him with troops, and helped him to takethe castle of London, and drive out king Ethelred'ssons, who took refuge in Normandy. Eric fell ill anddied in England, and thus the way was opened forOlaf to make himself king over Norway. He sailedalong the coast, and held Things with the people, buta great many refused to acknowledge him. Then hewent away to visit his relations, whom he had not seenfor many years, and to ask their assistance. A mes-senger ran on with news of his coming; when hismother Aasta heard of it, she " stood up directly, andordered the men and girls to put everything in thebest order. She ordered four girls to bring out allthat belonged to the decoration of the room, and putit in order with hangings and benches. Two fellowsbrought straw for the floor; two brought forwardfour-cornered tables and the drinking-jugs; two boreout victuals and placed the meat on the table; twoshe sent away from the house to procure, in the great-est haste, all that was needed; and two carried in theale; and all the other serving-men and girls went
THE SEA-KINGS.outside of the house. Messengers went to seek herhusband king Sigurd wherever he might be, andbrought to him his dress-clothes, and his horse withgilt saddle, and his bridle, which was gilt and set withprecious stones. Four men she sent off to the fourquarters of the country, to invite all the great people toa feast, which she prepared as a rejoicing for her son'sreturn. All who were before in the house she madeto dress themselves with the best they had, and lentclothes to those who had none suitable."King Sigurd was standing in his corn-field when"the messengers came to him and brought him thenews, and also told him all that Aasta was doing athome in the house. He had many people on his farm.Some were shearing corn; some bound it together;some drove it to the building; some unloaded it, andput it in stack or barn; but the king, and two menwith him, went sometimes into the field, sometimes tothe place where the corn was put into the barn. Hisdress, it is told, was this :-He had a blue kirtle andblue hose; shoes which were laced about the legs;a grey cloak, and a grey wide-brimmed hat; a veilbefore his face (to keep off the musquitos); a staff inhis hand with a gilt-silver head on it, and a silver ringaround it. He attended carefully to his cattle andhusbandry, and managed his household himself. Hewas nowise given to pomp, and was rather taciturn;but a man of the best understanding in Norway."I have quoted this description of domestic life andmanners that you may have an idea of the way inwhich people lived at that time. We see that strawwas strewed over the floor to serve as a carpet; thebest furniture and decorations were kept apart andonly used on particular occasions, as is still the casewith many people in England. We find that they had
THE SEA-KINGS.several things for comfort as well as ornament; andthat although a man was called a king, he could goout and look after his farming men, and see that theydid their work properly.What follows gives us a little further insight intothe state of manners: Sigurd sat down there in thefield, "and made them take off his shoes, and putcorduvan boots on, to which he bound his gold spurs.Then he put off his cloak and coat, and dressed him-self in his finest clothes, with a scarlet cloak over all;girded on his sword, set a gilded helmet on his head,and mounted his horse. He sent his labouring peopleout to the neighbourhood, and gathered to him thirtywell-clothed men, and rode home with them. As theyrode up to the house, and were near the room, theysaw on the other side of the house the banners of Olafcoming waving; and there was he himself, with abouta hundred men, all well equipped. People weregathered over all upon the house-tops. King Sigurdimmediately saluted his step-son from horseback in afriendly way, and invited him and his men to come inand drink a cup with him. Aasta, on the contrary,went up and kissed her son, and invited him to staywith her; and land, and people, and all the good shecould do for him, stood at his service. KingOlaf thanked her kindly for her invitation. Thenshe took him by the hand, and led him into theroom, to the high seat. King Sigurd got mento take charge of their clothes, and provide theirhorses with corn; and then he himself went to hishigh seat, and the feast was made with the great-est splendour."It is pleasant to contemplate this scene a little,and to find so much love and friendliness displayed ata time when frequent turbulence made many people
THE SEA-KINGS.think that it was better to live in strife than in peace."We see here how the mother showed her love for herson; she kissed him, and did all she could to makehim honourable. A mother's love never fails; it isalways ready to bless her children, whatever may betheir condition: if she rejoices in their prosperity,so she does not forsake them in adversity.Well, after a good deal of conversation and prudentcounsel, Sigurd agreed to support Olaf in establishinghis power over the whole kingdom. Thing-meetingswere held in several districts, and most of the peopleagreed to acknowledge him as king. Olaf was severeto his enemies, but he endeavoured to benefit hispeople. We are told that it was his " custom torise betimes in the morning, put on his clothes, washhis hands, and then go to the church and joih in themorning prayers. Thereafter he went to the Thing-meeting, to bring people to agreement with eachother, or to talk of one or the other matter thatappeared to him necessary. He invited to him greatand small, who were known to be men of understand-ing. He settled Christian privileges according to theadvice of Bishop Grimkel, and other learned priests;and bent his whole mind to uprooting heathenism,and old customs which he thought contrary to Chris-tianity. And he succeeded so far, that the bondersaccepted of the laws which the king proposed."Some time afterwards king Sigurd died, and Olafwent to see his mother Aasta. She had three children,who were sons of Sigurd, and brought them out forOlaf to see them. He took the two eldest, Halfdanand Guttorm, on his knees, and made a wry face,which frightened them; so he set them down, andtook up the youngest, only three years old, namedHarald, and looked angrily at him. But Harald wasD
THE SEA-KINGS.not at all afraid, and plucked at Olaf's beard, andit was, therefore, said that he would grow up to be abold man. The next day, as the king and his motherwere walking about the farm, they saw the three boysplaying. Guttorm and Halfdan were pretending tobuild large houses and barns, and to have great num-bers of cattle and sheep, while Harald was sailinglittle pieces of wood about in a pond. So you seefrom this that children played in Norway eight hundredyears ago, pretty much as they do now in England.Well, Olaf asked Harald what he was doing, and theboy replied that he was sailing his ships of war;on which the king laughed, and said, "The timemay come, young friend, when thou wilt commandships."Then the king called to him Halfdan and Guttorm,and first he asked Guttorra, " What wouldst thou liketo have?"" Corn land," replied he." And how great wouldst thou like thy corn landto be ?"" I would have the whole ness that goes out intothe lake sown with corn every summer." A ness isa cape or point of land; and on that one there wereten farms.The king replies, " There would be a great deal ofcorn there." And turning to Halfdan, he asked," And what wouldst thou like to have ?"" Cows," he replied." How many wouldst thou like to have ?""When they went to the lake to be watered, Iwould have so many, that they stood as tight roundthe lake as they could stand.""That would be a great house-keeping," said theking, "and therein ye take after your father."
THE SEA-KINGS.Then the king says to Harald, " And what wouldstthou like best to have ?"" House-servants," answered the little boy."And how many wouldst thou have ?""Oh! I would like to have so many as wouldeat up my brother Halfdan's cows at a single meal."Then .Olaf laughed, and said to Aasta, "Here,mother, thou art bringing up a king."Perhaps Olaf only spoke in jest, but what he saidturned out to be true; and this little boy, who wasfloating small blocks of wood in a pond, came to be aking in after years, under the name of King HaraldSigurdsson. We shall hear more about him by and by.Perhaps, if we could have looked in upon thoselittle boys with their mother and friends, when seatedround the fire in the long winter evenings, we shouldhave heard some of the numerous fairy tales whichwere then believed to be true. Whatever took placein the woods, the fields, or about the house, which thepeople could not explain, they used at once to say itwas the work of the fairies; and they fancied that infine moonlight nights in summer, these little elves usedto meet on sheltered grass-plots, and hold their merry-makings, and chant-" Round about, round about, in a fine ring,Thus we dance, thus we dance, and thus we sing-Trip and go, to and fro, over this green,All about, in and out, for our brave queen."We do not believe in fairies now, because improvedknowledge explains to us many things which weremysteries to our forefathers, and nature's works are socurious that the fireside stories we relate about themare not less wonderful than the marvellous tales offormer days.
THE SEA-KINGS.Although at first it appeared that Olaf would rulethe land peaceably, he in time would be always goingsomewhere on war expeditions. Among other placeshe went to Denmark, and plundered all along thecoast. Now Canute, who reigned in England, wasking of Denmark too, and, like all these rulers of whomI have been telling you, he was a sea-king also, readyto sail at any time for attack or defence. As soon ashe heard of Olaf's proceedings, he left England with avery numerous fleet of large ships, some of them largerthan had ever before been seen. His own ship had120 rowers, and there was much gilding and paintabout them all, and the sails were striped with gaycolours. The skalds made fine songs about it: one ofthem begins with this verse-"4 Canute is out beneath the sky-Canute of the clear blue eye!The king is out on the ocean's breast,Leading his grand fleet from the west.'The king of Sweden had joined with Olaf, andboth together they thought to be able to resistCanute's mighty forces. They came to the Helgeriver, and while the Swedish king stayed at themouth of it with the ships, Olaf went with his peoplea long way up through the forest to a lake from whichthe river ran. Here they cut down trees, and made astrong dam, so that the water could not run away, andthe lake became deeper and deeper as the little streamscontinued to pour into it from the hills, and they laidgreat logs of timber in the dry bed of the river. Aday or two after, messengers came hastily with newsthat Canute was coming ; on which Olaf broke downthe dam, and marched the shortest way to the shipswith his men, and joining the Swedish king, they went
THE SEA-KINGS.a little way out to sea, and lay to in order of battle.Canute saw them, but thought it would be best to putoff the fight till the next day; and he sailed with anumber of his ships into the mouth of the river, andthere cast anchor. Some of his sailors went on shore,and were occupying themselves in various ways, whenall at once the river was seen rushing down like amighty waterfall. There were many turnings andwindings between the lake and the sea, so that ithappened just as Olaf had planned; the over-swollenstream bearing the heavy logs and trees of which thedam had been made, poured furiously onwards, sinkingseveral of the ships, flooding the shore, and drowningall the people who had landed. Some of the shipswere cut loose from their cables, and driven out to sea,and Canute's vessel was floated in among Olaf's fleet,but it was so large and strong that it could not betaken, and presently the two parties separated. Theking of Sweden returned to his own country, and luftOlaf with so small a force, that he could offer no re-sistance, and went, after a while, to take refuge withJarisleif, the king of Russia. Great part of his peoplethen accepted Canute as king of Norway.After a time Olaf collected an army, and cameagain into the country, but although he met with somefriends, most of the bonders were against him. Theydisliked him because of his just judgments: they hadbeen used to go out as vikings between seed-time andharvest, and burn down houses, and steal cattle. Olafpunished them for such doings; and therefore theythought it best not to have him for king. Some timeafterwards, both armies met at a place called Stiklestad,where there was a very sharp battle, in which Olaf waskilled.It was said that Olaf could work miracles, and
THE SEA-KINGS.after his death he was made a saint, and many cures,as the old monks reported, were performed at histomb. He is now spoken of in history as Olaf thesaint. St. Olave's church, which stands near LondonBridge, is named after him.CHAPTER IV.HAEALD THE CASTLE-TAKER-HIS ESCAPE FROM CONSTAN-TINOPLE-THE MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN-EXPEDITION TOENGLAND-DEATH OF HARALD-CONCLUSION.You will perhaps remember that Olaf saw his threelittle brothers at play; well, Harald, the youngest,was in the battle of Stiklestad. He was then aboutfifteen years old. After the fight, he escaped into"Sweden, and from thence went and lived some yearsin Russia, where he travelled far and wide in. theeastern parts of the country. At length he becamea sea-king, and had the command of a vessel; so thatwhat Olaf said to him when he was floating the littleblocks of wood in the pond came true. He sailedaway all along the coast of France and Spain, andthrough the narrow passage now called the Straits ofGibraltar, into the Mediterranean Sea, and on till hecame to Constantinople, where he entered into theservice of the Greek Emperor Michael. There wasalready a good number of Northmen in the city; theywere glad to have a leader from their own country, andjoined Harald's troop; and whenever they went outto fight, they always gained the victory, while theGreek soldiers were often defeated. They went overto Africa, and made war upon the Saracens; and thensailed to Sicily, where they besieged a strong castle.
THE SEA-KINGS.The walls were so high and thick, that they could notdestroy them, and in those days there were no cannon.At last Harald contrived a plan: " He made his bird-catchers catch the small birds which had their nestswithin the castle, but flew into the woods by day toget food for their young. He had small splinters oftarred wood bound upon the backs of the birds,smeared these over with wax and sulphur, and set fireto them. As soon as the birds were let loose, they allflew at once to the castle to their young, and to theirnests, which they had under the house roofs, that werecovered with reeds or straw. The fire from the birdsseized upon the house roofs; and although each birdcould only carry a small burden of fire, yet all at oncethere was a mighty flame, caused by so many birdscarrying fire with them, and spreading it widelyamong the house-roofs. Thus one house after theother was set on fire, until the castle itself was inflames. Then the people came out of the castle andbegged for mercy. Harald granted life and safety toall who asked quarter, and made himself master ofthe place."From this castle they went to another, which wasquite as strong and difficult to be taken. Here theyconcealed themselves behind the steep bank of a river,and dug a hole underground similar to a tunnel,working day and night, until they judged the farthestend was under the castle. Then they dug upwards,and presently came to a stone floor, which they brokethrough, and found themselves in the great hall.Many people of the castle were seated in the hall,eating and drinking, and not at all expecting suchvisitors; some were killed, and others fled, pursued bythe Northmen, who opened their gates, and let in theircomrades, who had waited outside. Much oooty was
THE SEA-KINGS.found here. Harald sent all that ever came to hisshare to the Russian king at Novogorod, that it mightbe taken care of, as he hoped some day to return tohis native country.After this they took a third castle, and marchedagainst a fourth, stronger than all the rest. They sur-rounded the building on all sides; and while they laythere, Harald fell ill, as it appeared, with a dangeroussickness. The people of the castle wondered that noassault was made upon them, and sent out spies tolearn the cause. These heard that it was because thecommander was expected to die; and before long mes-sengers came and asked leave to bury Harald's bodyin the castle with the assistance of the priests. It"was then believed that the corpse of a king broughtgreat honour and riches to a church or chapel, andleave was given. The priests put on their robes, andwent to meet the coffin, which was carried by some ofthe soldiers. As soon as they came to the gates,which were wide open, they set the coffin down acrossthe entrance, so that they could not be closed again,and blew their trumpets, and rushed on with drawnswords. The whole army of the Northmen ran up onhearing the alarm, and poured into the castle, and ina few minutes it was entirely in their possession. Thusthey gained it by a trick; for Harald was not reallydead; and the coffin was an empty one, intended onlyto keep the gate open, and thereby gain an entranceto the castle.In this way Harald went on for a few years,gathering great wealth by the booty which fell intohis hands; it is said that he fought eighteen successfulbattles during the time. Afterwards he went toJerusalem, which was then in the hands of theCrusaders and cleared the roads in the Holy Land
THE SEA-KINGS.of robbers, and bathed in the river Jordan. The songsays-" The Northern king cleared far and wide,Jordan's fair banks on either side;The robber bands before him fled,And his great name was widely spread."When this was done, he went back to Constan-tinople, and made ready to return to his own country;but the Empress Zoe did not wish to lose so brave acommander, and had him shut up in prison. Harald,however, escaped; and going down to the shore withhis men, seized two galleys, and rowed away. A shortdistance above the city, the channel grows narrowerjust where it enters the Black Sea, and here a strongchain was kept stretched across by the Emperor'sorder, to prevent vessels going in or out without per-mission. When they came near the chain, Haraldordered the men at the oars to row as fast as theycould, and all those who were not rowing to stand inthe stern of the galleys, whereby the head rose highabove the water. In this way, as the motion was soquick, they ran far up on the chain, and when theywere fast, Harald bade the men run into the head ofthe galleys, which made that end overbalance theother, and slide off the chain into the deep water onthe other side. One of the galleys was not strongenough to bear the strain, and broke in two, andseveral of the men were drowned. Thus Haraldescaped from the port of Constantinople, and sailedquickly to Russia; and when he came to Novogorod,he found all the treasures which he had sent quite safe,and there was so much, that Harald was said to be therichest man ever seen in the northern dominions.He had long loved Elizabeth, the daughter of king
THE SEA-KINGS.Jarisleif, and now he married her, and for a time allwent very merrily.There was an earl named Swend, a son of one ofHarald's relatives, who came to him with troops, andpromised to help him to conquer Norway, of whichcountry Magnus was then king. Magnus heard ofHarald's bravery and success in his undertakings,whereupon he sent and offered to divide the kingdomwith him, rather than have strife. Harald acceptedthis offer; and so came to pass that other saying of hisbrother Olaf, that Aasta, his mother, was bringing upa king. Swend was not pleased at this friendly ar-rangement, and wanted Harald to make war on kingMagnus, and went away one everiing angry becausehis advice was not taken. Harald suspected that thedispute would lead to some mischief, and when he wenton board his ship to sleep, he told his footboy to keepwatch and see what happened; and instead of lyingdown as usual, he put a block of wood into his bed-place; and reposed himself in another part of thevessel. At midnight, a boat came quietly to the side;a man crept softly up, and struck so hard a blow withan axe in the bed where Harald used to lay, that itremained sticking fast in the block of wood. In aminute the man had slipped into the boat again, androwed away in the darkness, so that he could not beseen; but when the boy who had been set to watchwoke his master, they found the axe still fast in thewood; a proof that some one had been there withan evil intent to kill the king. Harald then said thatit was best to trust no longer to so false a friend asSwend, and ordered his men to row northwards, andin a few days they came to where Magnus was staying.Much friendship and goodwill was expressed on bothsides; -Magnus fulfilled his promise of giving up half
THE SEA-KINGS.of the kingdom, and Harald divided his money andtreasures with Magnus, to the great astonishment ofthe people: they could not believe that so much richescould be brought together in one place. Not longafter this, Magnus fc4l sick and died, and Harald be-came king of the whole country.Swend had become king of Denmark, and therewas always enmity between them; Harald sailed manytimes with ships and men to pillage his neighbour'scoasts. Once he came into Lymfiord, which has anarrow entrance, but stretches out very wide inside.The Danes came to the shore to oppose him, and hewas obliged to anchor for a time at a small barrenisland. Soon they wanted water to drink, and nonecould be found. Then Harald ordered his men tocatch some earthworms, and lay them in front of thefire. This was done to make them thirsty, and whenthey were a little scorched, he had a thread tied roundtheir tails, and let them go. The worms crawled awaytill they came to a place where they crept downwardsinto the earth, and Harald ordered his men to dig inthat spot for water. They did so, and found morethan was wanted for all the crews. Meantime Swendhad come to the mouth of the fiord with a large num-ber of ships, hoping to make a prize of the Northmenand their vessels. But as night was coming on, Iaraldsteered away to another part of the fiord, where it wasseparated only by a narrow neck of land from the opensea. Here, as soon as it was daik, he had his shipsunloaded, and dragged across the neck of land to thesea on the other side, and loaded them again, andsailing away before daybreak, he escaped from thedanger which threatened him. Some months after-wards, there was a great sea-fight between the two, inwhich Swend was defeated, and seventy of his ships
THE SEA-KINGS.captured, and he had a narrow escape for his life, forhe was swimming about for some time in the water,and at last got to the shore in a small boat.In the year 1066, when Harald had been king ofNorway for twenty years, Edward the Confessor, kingof England, died; and Harald, a son of earl Godwin,became king in his stead. Toste, his brother, wasdispleased at this, for he thought that he also hadright to be king; so he left the country, and went toDenmark, and begged Swend to lend him ships andmen, that he might go back to England, and takeaway the power from his brother. But Swend saidthat he thought it was better to remain quiet, and notrisk so much; then Toste answered that he would trysomewhere else, where he would, perhaps, have goodsuccess. He travelled to Norway, and laid his plansbefore king Harald, telling him that so renowned awarrior should be ready to undertake so grand anenterprise. Harald considered a little while, and atlast consented to assist Toste, and sent out a war-message over the land, and soon a great fleet of morethan two hundred ships was collected.They set sail, and stopped first at the Orkneyislands, where Harald left his queen and two daugh-ters; they then went on to Yorkshire, where theyburnt the town of Scarborough, and did other mis-chief. Next, they rowed up the river Humber andcame to York, where the earls Morcr and Walthiofhad a large army. Harald and the Northmen rushedto the attack with so much fury, that the Englishtroops gave way, and earl Morcar was slain. Thisso dismayed the people in that part of the country,that numbers of them promised to be faithful to theinvaders.A few days afterwards, however, the English king
THE SEA-KINGS.Harald came up with another army; on which HaraldSigurdsson, king of Norway, drew up his men in orderof battle, and waited for the attack. Presently amessenger rode up, and asked if earl Toste wasthere, and the earl answered for himself. Then themessenger replied that his brother Harald would givehim a third part of the kingdom if he would be peace-able. Toste replied, that it would have been better ifthe offer had been made sooner, and asked what shouldbe given to king Harald Sigurdsson. The messengerrejoined, that the king of England would give himseven feet of English ground to lie upon."Then," said the earl, "let king Harald Godwinssonknow that we will not forsake king Harald Sigurdsson ;that we are ready to do battle, and die with honour orgain a victory."Then the fight began: for a long time it seemedthat the Northmen would be victorious, for the English-men could do nothing against their close ranks andlong spears. On both sides the arrows flew as thickas hail, and many valorous deeds were done. At lastan arrow pierced the king of Norway in the throat,and he fell dead on the field. This sight made his menfight with more fury than ever, till they were so wearyas scarcely to be able to stand, and at length theEnglish army gained the victory. Some of the North-men fled, and escaped into different parts of the country,and others went back to the ships and sailed away totheir own land.Thus fell Harald Sigurdsson, one of the bravest ofthe sea-kings. Had he stayed at home in Norway hemight, perhaps, have lived for many years longer; butambition often tempts people into dangerous and fatalenterprises. His namesake Harald, the English king,met with a similar fate shortly afterwards, for no sooner
THE SEA-KINGB.had he gained this victory, than he had to march withall speed to the south of England to meet a new in-vader, William, earl of Normandy, afterwards calledthe Conqueror. A dreadful battle took place betweenthe two armies, in which Harald was slain.Thus my story comes to a close with an event im-portant in the history of our own country, as well asin that of the Sea-Kings. Although we may look backon these fierce and indomitable warriors with feelingsof dread, it is yet certain that Providence, who over-rules all things for good, has caused great benefits toresult from their inroads and conquests in England.They were animated by a strong spirit of freedom, andresisted with courage and eloquence attempts at oppres-sion on the part of their rulers. They spread thisspirit wherever they went, and introduced their Thing-meetings or parliaments among the people whom theysubjected, and thus laid the foundations of civil rightand constitutional liberty. Their language, too, thoughsomewhat similar to that spoken by the early inhabi-tants of our native land, was full of fire and vigour;it was ardent and glowing from the orator, touchingand lofty from the poet, sweet in love, and 'tender inpity, manly and clear in the mouth of the many. Sucha language, interfused with that of another nation,could not fail to eniich and invigorate it; and now, wewho speak the English tongue, one destined apparentlyto become the language of the greater part of theworld, have reason to be thankful .for the additionsmade to it by the Northmen. Many of our towns,villages, and hamlets still bear the names given to themby the daring conquerors. They have left lastingtraces behind-in our government, our manners andcustoms, our literature and industry. To them we owemuch of our vigour of character, our love of freedom,
THE SEA-KINGS.and spirit of enterprise; and it may with truth be saidthat England would not be the country she now is hadit not been for the SEA-KINaS.There were many other kings in Norway after this,but the history of their reigns is very similar to thatWhich I have related. There was the same violenceand bloodshed, the same grasping for power, with attimes very sore oppression of the people, who wouldmost of them much rather have lived in peace andquiet. Plundering expeditions were still sent out fre-quently as far as England and Scotland, and the North-men carried off everything they could lay their handson, caring nothing for the sufferings of the inhabitantsthey so cruelly robbed. The last incursion that thesea-kings made into England was in 1153, in the reignof king Stephen. Since then, by slow degrees, abetter spirit has grown up, and now, in most countriesof Europe, the people are learning that peace is pre-ferable to war: Norway and Sweden, which were oncethe scenes of such mighty events, have become quietand industrious countries. The iron and copper minesof Sweden are still worked, but the metal produced isapplied to purposes less warlike than by the Northmenof former days; it is sent into different parts of theworld, and manufactured into articles of utility. TheNorwegians are good ship-builders and hardy mariners,and in this respect they resemble the sea-kings ofolden times. They do not now visit the coasts of othercountries with fire and sword, but they carry the mer-chandise which their labour has produced, and exchangeit for other articles of which they stand in need. Inthis way people find out that it is better to live onfriendly terms, and to promote good-will among each