P'F. i'' :i ...
-~I F. :"ii ;' E
;I, u i:*
-1 /' j
of Alfred the Great.
of Robert the Bruce.
of Edward, the Black Prince.
WITH FORTY-EIGHT COLOURED AND TINTED ILLUSTRATIONS,.
LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK
-%XV- --- Yvfv
Story of Alfred the Great.
TRUE hero is a man as good as he is great, as kind as he is brave,
as generous as hc is strong. Such was the character of Alfred, whose
S name will be al\a s remembered with love and pride by Englishmen.
It is true that when very toung he had some serious faults. But
S 1 he saw their fully, and thoroughly amended them; therel'fore they' are
now adlmwot forgotten in the story of his useful life.
His father was named Ethelwolf, and lie had several sons; but
Alfred, as the youngest, %as the most dearly loved, and his birth, in
Sthe year 849, had been a great source of joy. After the mother of
this favourite child '\as dead, Ethelwolf felt so anxious to preserve
him from the dangers to which his kingdom was exposed by the
attacks of the Danes, Ehat he sent him
to the care of the Pope of Rome, when
he was just five years of age. Though
so young his position as a king's son
made Alfred of much importance in
that great city, and he received respect
and kindness from persons of the highest
rank. His stay did not last long; but
when seen years old he made a second
visit to Rome in Ethelwolf's company,
and as there %\as then no city so learned
and so civilized, Alfred must have
gained ideas which would never have
entered his mind at home in England
as it was in those times. But kings
and soldiers never learned to read then,
it was left wholly to those who served
e Church; so, despite his residence in
.Alfred reached the age of twelve
unPowing the letters of the
being to others he
for himself as the churchmen or "clerics" could. By this time Ethelwolf had found
a second wife in the young daughter of the King of France. She was very fond
of her little step-son, and encouraged his desire for knowledge. One day, after showing
him and his elder brothers,a book she possessed, in the written characters which were
used instead of printing, she said that he who first should prove himself able to read it
might have it for his own. Alfred at once sought a teacher; nor was it very long before he
came to his step-mother, read to her from her beautiful book, and claimed it as his promised
We hear next of our hero as a young man with a wife, named Ethelswitha, and several
little children. He had grown wise now, and being fond of study was always busy with his
books, trying to get many copies of them written and circulated among the people, so that
they might not be ignorant and untaught.
Then he asked clever men from other parts of the world to help him, and he placed
them at Oxford, which is now such a great seat of learning, living among them himself for a
long time. But it was very hard to employ the hours of the day well when there were no
________ ____ ____ ____ ____ __-
clocks to tell how the)' passed, so Alfred began to think of some plan by which he should
arrange the duties of his household with order. He had noticed that the time which the
candles in the church would burn depended wholly on their length and thickness, so he had
some made which lasted exactly four hours. It took, we may be sure, several trials to get
them right, but at last it was done; then certain marks were made on the wax of each
candle, at the distance of an inch, which meant that twenty minutes had gone since the flame .
was at the last mark. "i -
Now came a difficulty. The wind blew about the flame of the candle, and caused the':... .:
wax to burn irregularly, so King Alfred must think of a remedy. He found one which made. .: -
him the inventor of lanterns.
A box was made with the sides open, so that some very thin plates of horn cotildi
fastened in, for glass was unknown then. This plan protected the candles from cdil FAB
air or rough blasts of wind, and they kept time perfectly.*'
Alfred now could rule the duties of his day very punctually, but he could notaay.' .
amongst his books; he had to be a soldier,
too, with'enemies to guard against and. ;
battles to fight.
It was on the morning of a great -
combat with the Danes that he sent to ,
his brother (who was king because of .
Ethelwolf's death), begging him to bring .
out his men at once. Ethelred was found,. '
among his soldiers occupied with his'..,',:
prayers, and, despite Alfred's message ej,,!j::. ,.
.* o. ,
M' )Ct% '
." *-- Vr
*!- ". ;; .... ,"
he refused to help at all until
his religious duties were quite
over. The younger brother
felt very angry, and began the
fight with his own few fol-
lowers; however. King Ethel-
red joined him at last, and
they' succeeded in gaining the
victory. It was \cry soon :
after this that Ethelred died,
and Alfred became king in
his place. He would rather
that one of the sons of his
brothers might have reigned
first; but as they were very
young, and as the choice of
the people fell upon himself,
he yielded to their wish, and
was crowned with the usual
ceremonies at Winchester.
It was a very troublous
timefor England,and although -:..
the new King was a good I
soldier he had to bear some
severe defeats. For a while ..
he had to hide from every one.
and let even his friends be-- : ..
lieve him dead, or else he would have been made a, prisoner. One day, as he wandered in
the part of the country we now call Somersetshire, he came to a little hut which stood
quite alone in a solitary place. :
Dressed as a common wayfarer, no one Wiuld have recognized Alfred as the king; and
. *,.when he begged shelter, the cow-herd andhis wire understood that he was fleeing from
the Danes, and guessing nothing, gave him the hospitality he needed.
NE evening, while he remained there, the woman of the humble little but had set some
cakes to bake among the glowing embers of the stone hearth. Having occasion to go out,
she bade Alfred watch them carefully, and turn them now and then lest they should burn.
The poor, troubled King had good will to please his hostess; but in thinking of his
people and his country heforgot all about the cakes, and allowed them to burn. He was
. only roused by thfe'Sharp holding which the woman gave him for his carelessness.
After some time spent in this humble shelter, Alfred met with a few faithful men, to
h whom he made himself known, and they lived in retreat together, suffering many hardships.
S Ethelswitha and his children were with the King then, and it happened once that only a
small loaf of bread was left to them until the men who had gone out fishing should bring
.back what they had caught. But a beggar came to the-door, and the pitying heart of Alfred
;- was touched'-lby the sight of his need. Calling for the loaf which was their entire store, be.
a'-tk.,-4 0*.'.^ ; L -.^ ?.fa
broke it in two, and placing one half in the
beggar's hand, gave back the remainder to his
own hungry children.
While he had no public duties to occupy
him, and was forced to bear this hard change of
fortune, the King did not sink into gloom; he
hoped on for better times, and spent his days
in instructing his son, who by-and-by should be
king in his turn, and in, teaching his
little daughter ,Ethelfleda to read.
She was known as the best instructed
lady in the land when she became a
woman, and it is certain that this was
due to the lessons learned from her
good and wise father.
As a boy, Alfred had been ac-
customed to play on the harp, and
history gives us an example of the
use this musical skill was to him. It
occurred to his mind that the best
way of finding how the Danes in-
tended to attack his men upon the
next opportunity would be to send
Sa spy into their camp, such a plan
| being thought fair in time of war. It
was a common thing for some wan-
dering minstrel to go to the camps.of
soldiers and enliven them with songs
and ballads, so Alfred decided to dis-
guise himself and take his harp among
the Danes, and discover all that he
could by listening and looking around
him. He sang so well that the men
S led him among their officers, and even
I- Ll i~liiI
_i_ ~ __
into the tent of their leader Guthrum, who little suspected that this clever harpist was the
King he meant to find and to subdue.
Having succeeded thus well, Alfred went back to his friends, and they at once called
together the chief Saxon leaders. They told that the King was not dead, as was supposed,
but in hiding; also that he would meet them on a certain day in a place called Selwood
Forest, at a spot known as Egbert's Stone, to which they must repair as secretly as possible.
There was much rejoicing among the chieftains at this news, for the) had mourned their
King very deeply. When the)' met, an attack was planned, which later became successful
and gained them a victory. Guthrum made peace with Alfred, and remained in the country
as his friend and ally. The night before the decisive battle Alfred had dreamed that there
appeared to him one who in his youth had often rebuked his sins ; now, however, he seemed
J.fI~frHC Orq .^ ^^
to tell that.the past was pardoned, and that victory should be given on the coming day as a
sign of God's blessing. Alfred told his troops what he had dreamed, and they were so much
encouraged that it helped them to fight the more bravely, and so to gain the victory.
After this there followed some time of peace; but a new toe appeared in the person of
Hastings, who came over the German Ocean to attack our little island. He was already a
practised soldie'rand had done much by treachery and stratagem. For a long while he kept
the country in a disturbed .tate, by reason of the frequent battles in which first one side and
then the other was conqueror.
The wife and children of this Danish leader were taken after one encounter and led as
captives to Alfred's tent ; but he was too generous to retain or injure them, and he even
loaded them with presents to carry back to their own people. Such conduct had no effect
upon Hastings ; he fought again and again, and it \was some later time before King Alfred
freed England from the invasion, and drove the Danes back from our shores dis-
Now that there was peace he could return to his studies, and think of new plans for
educating and improving the common people. He was always tr'ir~r to make just laws. to
teach honest practices, to check all abuse of power, and uphold the wcdk Ind the oppressed. ,
thus proving how well he understood the duties of a king. For thrce or four years this time
of peace and prosperity lasted; robbery w\as now such an unknown crime that a valuable
pair of bracelets were hung up on the highway, yet remained untouched by very one; the
poor were well cared for, and the rich were content under the wise rule of their good
In all colleges and monasteries and houses of clerics, Alfred took care to have good
rules by which they should be governed, nor would he permit the least thing which he
believed to be wrong or harmful.
i. i| 1 ;
UT we read that when he had to reprove or correct any habit, he did it so kindly and
gently that no one could take offence, especially as it was plain that he had no other motive
in such action than the fulfilment of his duty to God and his duty to his people.
So those who were good felt that their wise King was a champion on the right side; and
the wicked could bring no accusation against him, so even if there was no change for the
better in them, they were obliged to be silent.
It does not often happen that a man so skilful as a soldier, and so successful in
S governing those who are under him. is also
Gentle in enforcing the plans he makes, and
Sis moved by such a devotion to duty w without: ,
thought of self. It was the union of all
these qualities with true religious feelings .: .:
which made this king of early times so dis- -
tinguished even among the many celebrated .
people whom the world has admired. '' T-
But now a disease from which he had
lorg suffered began to grow rapidly worse,
and feeling the end of his life approaching,
Alfred set himself to think of what should -.
happen when he was gone. His son bade .
fair to fulfil all the hopes of a good father,
.:";. _. ^s,.
___ _____________________________________ /I EBETS ^O
preparing by a virtuous youth to become a prudent and prosperous king; but some last
counsels must be given which would be remembered when he who spoke them had passed
Calling therefore Edward to his side, he gave him advice which would, if followed, secure
to him also a useful and happy reign. .He bade him act as a father to his people-to care for
and protect all those who were widowed and orphans; to comfort the poor, and act as a
shelter to t;ce eak; and with all his might to uphold right and uproot wrong. And having
said all this, the dyn.,g -.'ng added words which show us the rule by which his own life was
kept in order. My son, govern thyself by law. Then shall the Lord love thee, and God
himself shall be thy reward. Call thou upon him to advise thee in all thy need, and he shall
help thee to compass all thy desires." The good Alfred was fifty-two years old at the time
...... .. .
of his death, and he was mourned sincerely by all classes of hi. people. His body was
buried in the great cathedral of Winchester, where he had been crowned,'and then his son
began to reign in his stead.
Although he had done so much in restoring peace to England, Alfred the Great was not
able to subdue the Danish enemy so completely that they gave up all hope of in\a-ion.
There were frequent struggles between the two races for many long year-.- Lut the laws
which had been framed, and the institutions which were planned b,_ Hero King.'' about
whom we have told you, continued and improved as time went on, standing to his honour
even in this present day.
So we end his story with the words of a poet well known now to young readers:-
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime;
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time."
V O.J. -' -I
itSrc )/&Lj'C O/L'INC ALW~ifC O'/S:~
* ., .~- ** **
* ~ r.
Story of Robert the Bruce.
V 7; .
.- j .. .'. ..'.'.- ; -'-. 1 :...-"-
"- IN the old times, when there was fierce war between England and Scotland, Robert the
Bruce was alike the hope and the helper of his people, their noble and dauntless "hero-king."
He was the grandson of that Bruce who claimed the crown of Scotland against John Baliol.
SFrom his mother he derived the lands and the title of Earl of Carrick, and by the rights of
Shis father he was also the Lord of Annandale.
As quite a youth Robert Bruce dwelt amidst the courtiers of the King of England, and
under Edward's own superintendence received all that training in chivalry and in war which
his rank rendered necessary. But when he was older, the sad condition of his own country
changed Bruce's early liking for England into the deepest hatred, and he began consulting
with his friends as to the best manner of getting free of the heavy yoke.
Edward's soldiers were holding every town and castle, and treated the unhappy Scots
with the harshest cruelty. Whatever an Englishman might wish to possess he scrupled not
to seize; and if the owner made any resistance, such disobedience was punished by the loss of
his lands or money, if not of his life. One of those to whom Bruce confided his plans was
Comyn, who listened only that he might betray him.
When this treachery was discovered Bruce was greatly incensed, and meeting Comyn at
the Church of the Grey Friars in Dumfries, they began to dispute upon the very steps of the
altar. Carried away by the anger of the moment, Bruce drew his dagger and struck Comyn
down, and one of his followers despatched the wretched man by thrusting him through again
and again. This deed placed the impulsive young Scot in no little danger, so that for his own
Irot.-c>ti~n lie had, to :gather about him a -mall band of Illc,\er-r, and at the head of the'e he
marched t-i Scone, the place \here the former kin:g of Scotland had ben crom ned. Ten
\ears, hoit cier. bef.:re thi- time EdIward had carried off crown, robe-, and chair, -o Robert
th..: Bruce a- indebted to fried nd.
fIr all that \\a4 needed for the
crenmony cf making him king.
N circle f gold a-_ brrIwcd .
troirn cone of the church -tatue"
tV, 0e as c,'o, n the A bbot f'
Sc:ne, lent the chair: and a
r,_,bes which nmi. ht rve for' the .'
\Vhen Ki. Edward knc\
fhat had hap1 hned ahe ,
ruied to I'lurv, and tholt h nci,
b._,th c%\,ak andI I 1.1 e he Ilet out for
-c It I a ,l ,t th, l ,.a. o1f an arm \, v,
icr,-ceed -- l,-. :, i he sent the
Earl of Pernbrke in aLdIance tC
b,::Lin the attack. -
ii. ;, ,
Bruce was at Perth, and as soon as he knew that the English were at hand he challenged
their leader to meet him in battle. Pembroke replied that it was too late for that day-there
should be peace until the morrow ; therefore, trusting his honour as a knight, Bruce retired
into the wood of Methven, where they unbuckled their armour, and, allowing their horses to
graze, began preparations for supper.
Suddenly a cry was heard, and the English were upon them, and they could only
hurriedly grasp their swords to meet the attack. Though they fought bravely, it is not
surprising that Bruce and his little company sustained a defeat, and were forced to hide
themselves amidst the mountain passes of Athole.
For many a day and many a week King Robert and his friends led a hard, rough life
there. Some who had cared for him began to desert him; but others were faithful through
all, and among such were his brother Edward and the Lord James Douglas.
The Queen and the little Princess Marjoric were the companions of Bruce's misfortune,
with a few other noble ladies whose husbands or brothers were in his train. But as
l~t3 ~S~r ~rlJ i.s~.T. Sf.'^9~ "C ~- T~LF .r "?'.~l.c~
winter with all its hardships began to draw on, the King said that he must put them under
the care of his brother Nigel, in a castle so well defended that they ran no peril of falling
into the hands of the English.
The parting was very sad, for none could tell what dangers were to come or when they
might hope to meet again. Bruce and the other men now made their way to Cantyre, and
from thence took a boat to the little island of Rachlin, which lies some four miles off the
northern coast of Ireland. Here they remained in safety during the winter; but the Queen
and her little daughter, as well as Robert's two sisters, had been seized and imprisoned in
England, while Nigel Bruce and many another noble Scot had been made captive and
lhangd. \\hen ;prin- c:me iluce
\ `a- reZ-jlved to i:ht ane : -:, hie
said vt .irran, and i:Lfund -,m:,ie of
the chf- i thie wCterri i ,--, quite
rua,. t-, helpl him. His plan iwas tr
reco,'er fir-t hii own ca-tie o, Turn-
berr\ fiom the Erglish li, h eld it:
but he ti-k the precauti,-i o- lending
Stru_;t' -cout toc dclCcover the Minim-
be-r, he might expect to eIncIiter.
It had been agreed that sh,:uld there
bea 'lir chance (f succ-, a beacon
fire \\a to bC lighted ion the heights
above Turnherry, the gleam of which
could not fail to be scen on Arran
and oenlcomed there,. The day came,
and poor, anxiouul K ing Rhbert
walkedd to anrd firo on the beach
i .lth his friend., l,-king out towafrd
the ishl-re.th r the much-desired signal.
Time pa .scdJ, and they w\-r growing
dicheartcned, whien uddeniil, a faint
tingle of red showed on the ky. It
deepened into a broad glare, and
-~9~1 r, ,~~Me v. Vrne qr1.'? 2"i-C 2r 0 NE7.r' II
knowing it to be the beacon fire, the little company put off in their galleys and made for
land. Here the scout met the King ; but his face was gloomy, and he said the English were
there in great numbers. Robert cried out that he was a traitor; but it appeared that the scout
had never lit the fire, and as soon as he had perceived it, and thus knew that the secret of
the signal had been discovered, he hurried to meet his royal master and warn him of his
I for one will not turn back !" cried Edward Bruce.
Brother, if you are thus disposed," said the King, we will together receive that good
or evil fortune which God may send."
Percy, the English lord in command of Turnberry, had about two hundred men lodged in
:.b s~ ..r
the village adjoining the castle; and towards the middle of that night the Scots were upon
them, and made great slaughter. It was an encouraging beginning; but Bruce had many
attacks of ill-fortune, and was constantly driven from one hiding-place to another, so that
despite his courage there were moments when he was almost ready to abandon all hope.
One day he was trying to get a little rest within a cavern where he sought shelter
from the English, when his eye was attracted by a spider hanging by its long thread from
the roof above his head. It was trying to pass from one crevice to another; but again and
again it failed. "Will this spider try for the seventh time?" Bruce asked himself. If so,
and it succeeds in its attempt, I will learn from its perseverance to try to accomplish what
Thus the history of old Scotland depended for a moment upon a spider and its thread !
The seventh time was a success, and the insect' gained the point it desired; so the
discouraged King accepted this as a lesson for himself, and a new strength and a new resolve
seemed born within him. During the time of changing fortunes which followed, Bruce was
often in great danger of capture by the enemy. On one occasion they had got possession of
his own favourite blood-hound, and by this means they felt quite sure of tracking his
footsteps, however cleverly he might choose his place of hiding. When Robert heard of this
he divided his party into three; but the sagacious hound came on in the track of those with
whom the King might be found. Again they scattered in different paths; but when only one
man remained with Robert, the dog was not to be cheated, and it led on the pursuers without
a moment's wavering.
Then Bruce plunged knee-deep into a stream which ran through a wood he had just
entered. It was his last chance, for nearer and nearer sounded the baying of the blood-
hound. However, when it came to the spot where the two fugitives had taken to the water
it was completely thrown off the scent, therefore their pursuit had to be abandoned.
Thus safely traversing the wood, Bruce made his way to a wide moor; but in the midst
of it three men were seen approaching armed with swords and axes, and upon his shoulder
one of them was carrying a sheep. On being questioned, they said they were on the road to
join King Robert the Bruce; but believing they might be only spies employed by his enemies,
the King did not make himself
known. -"Till \we are better ac-
quaintcd," aid he, -' and as we are
travelling the ame road, you three
shall %\alk first and %\e t~%oj \ill I'fol-
lh,." They\ did not object, and after
this fashion the ijcurney a\\a, pursued
.-~2~l~aBC;~ 3 "-<.
until just at the hour of sunsetthey all arrived at a lonely house, n hich -cemed to have been
deserted by its inmates. .,
The strangers divided their sheep, and began cool:ini their .ni i portion at a fire they
kindled. Bruce accepted the share they gave hir, and cooked it at a separate f 2:beside
which he and his comrade were resting. 'After his meal the King fell asleep; but beinl,
roused by some slight noise, he had reason t)o zce that his first suspicion was correct,.and that
the three men were not friends but foes. lHe as'too late to prevent one of the traitor '"omn
slaying his companion ; but he managed to defend himself, and after a hard struggle he laid
them all lifeless on the ground. Then he left the ill-fatcd place with a heavy heart, because
of the loss of that faithful friend and foster-brother, I itl:,.ut whom he must now continue his
A special place had been agreed on as the .spot where the King should meet his
dispersed men; but when he reached it he found only the housewife awaiting him.. "I am.
a wanderer," said the Bruce in answer to her question who he was, and she bade him
welcome because of one special wanderer. He begged to know who this "one". might be.
" King Robert the Bruce," replied the housewife; "and I hope before I die to see him lord
and king over Scotland in spite of all his enemies." Then Robert Bruce made known who
he was, and the good woman brought out her two sons and bade them swear to be the King's
faithful servants and followers. A few moments after and the tramping of horses announced
the arrival of Edward Bruce and Lord James Douglas with about one hundred and fifty
men. These were successful in an encounter with the English on the following day, and
thus better days seemed about to dawn for Scotland.
.One of the most memorable victories gained over the English was the Battle of
Barinockburn ; but the chief source of rejoicing to the Bruce himself was that, after his great
success, he could by exchanging prisoners liberate his Queen and the Princess Marjorie from
the imprisonment they had been enduring for eight long years in England.
After the Battle of Bannockburn it be-
came tch turn (:,f the En:gldilh to endure
:omn i th,:,e ofa ti,_,n and uff- rings they
S ha.I lea pd liup. o t- ~ >,tlmecn. For me
-- t :. :r thirteen .e_-irs the
.n,-,ithlr, c-uiities -,Fr En-
vade1,-I:nd it ,a' ,nli durn.
t.cthe -ec'Cond .car of the reign
0of EI ard', ,1n that ] treat\-
F,,:'rlcti l peace Va, madc
bt, t.\cen the two nations
... Later. a maria e t,:,,k place
bett'.:-iin D)a' .ld, the _-:n of
Rob,:rt Bructe, and l:,ann.:,
En ._gln.- l. which h helped t,.
strelngtheni the Iricindhlipi
"that fillow.v.ud upon thirty-
t.O ',eat- of" rtr
Kiing R bert \\as not
old \'.t, but the trouble, of
--. his lif: had done great in-
-- -" i. j Ury t, his health, and he
Fdt, 7qA E J 7 14
became the victim of a disease which forced him to spend the rest of his days quietly. He
chose for a retirement the palace of Cardross on the Clyde; and whenever his sufferings per-
mitted it he interested himself in the building of new ships, or the improvement of those which
already belonged to Scotland. His purpose in this was to secure the good of his much-loved
country, by possessing a navy which served for both defence and commercial advancement.
The amusements of King Robert were simple: he liked to ride out and see hawking, or
to employ himself in the gardens of the palace; and he was much interested in the study of
architecture. It is told that a lion was encaged somewhere at Cardross, and its habits were
a source of constant inquiry to the "lion-brave" but now disabled King; even its low,
threatening roar was as music to him in those last years of enforced repose and quietude.
As he felt that his death drew nigh, the Bruce bade his best-trusted lords assemble round
him and swear loyalty and truth to his son David, promising also that the crown should be
given him as soon as he was of an age to govern the country. He had some special words
for his friend Lord James Douglas, whom he charged with the conveyance of his heart,
embalmed and encased, to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
This was King Robert's desire, because he had vowed a pilgrimage to those sacred
places as a thanksgiving for help in war and for the succeeding peace of his realm; but as
JA/A'O Oq This P
he had not had strength for iI .
the journey, he begged this
friend to see that hi; heart
was removed from his body
after his death, and that he
would deposit it in the wpcot
he had hoped to see in li fe.
Those who listened to thik '
request were moved to tears.
" I thank you, mozt gentle .
King," said Douglas," for the
honour you have done me ,;
in selecting me as the bearer
of so precious a treasure.
Most faith fully and willingly.
to the best of my power, shall
I obey your commands." 1
,~SC.. .~I.~ 7-o H, i Yo ._; ".-
"Praise be to God," said the King, "for now I shall die in peace. I know that the best
and most noble knight within my kingdom will perform for me that which I myself am not
able to accomplish."
Very soon after this interview Robert the Bruce died: he was in the fifty-fifth year of
his age. In castles and in cottages he was alike deeply mourned; for Alas !" cried the people
whom he had governed so well, his wisdom compelled even our enemies to respect us, and
he made the name of Scotland honourable in other lands."
There was an imposing funeral ceremony when the body of the illustrious monarch was
buried. in the choir of Dunfermline Abbey, but the sound of weeping could be distinguished
above the deep tones of the dirge which was chanted: the Scots wept for a king such as they
were never to boast again.
Lord James Douglas departed immediately afterwards for Jerusalem with a large
company of knights and their attendant squires. Obedient to Robert's command, he bore
the heart of the dead in a silver casket suspended from his neck; but he was not destined to
accomplish the task he had undertaken.
On his way he fell in with the Spanish army who were warring with the Saracens; and
deeming it right to assist them against the power of the infidels, he took command of a division
of their men. Seeing himself overcome by numbers, and in danger of death, Douglas snatched
the casket from his breast, and flinging it into the ranks of the enemy, cried, Pass on as thou
wert wont, and Douglas will follow thee or die !" Despite his valour the noble lord fell in the
midst of the affray; but those knights who escaped death regained possession of the treasure
he had borne about him, and carried it back to their own country, where it was reverently
deposited in Melrose Abbey. Thus-though he had wished it otherwise-the heart of The
Bruce," which in life had throbbed with a patriot's love and a soldier's courage, was to rest
among the people who had gloried in him as their King, and who have treasured his memory
and his name with affection and with a fitting pride through succeeding generations to the
Z Ls7- YrAf5 Q-. VVO'G ?OSF / S ,j'/Bw ,'
SN the 15th of June, in the year 1330, there was great joy in both the castle and the
cottage homes of old England, for news had been spread,abroad that a son was born to King
S Edward III. and his good wife Philippa. This child, whose infancy was spent in the royal
S nursery at Woodstock Palace, was afterwards known and loved by his country as the brave
Black Prince." At six years of age the little boy received the name of Duke of Cornwall.
It was the first time that the title of Duke" had been borne in our kingdom. This dignity
. gave the power of bestowing knighthood on the sons of English squires; so, as the young
Edward stood erect, with his sword girt about him, twenty loyal youths knelt at his feet and
rose up proud of the honour and title of knight.
Time passed, and at the age of thirteen the King gave his .on the further title of Prince
of Wales. He also desired to secure for the young prince the earldom of Flanders; but he
could not persuade the Flemings to agree to such a thing. They had rebelled against their
rightful ruler, and were letting themselves be governed by one Jacob van Arteveld. He was
a rich man, though not of high birth.
His tyranny soon made the people
grow tired of him. When, therefore, .
he asked them to transfer their obedi-
ence to the young son of the English
king, the Flemings not only refused,
but in their anger fell upon Jacob and
Edward I II. was very much vexed
when he knew that his scheme had
T fn'i D03N, ptj'%Ci ot.-ajF Ao I 9E, ru L~tE
failed. He went home at once, taking the Prince ot Wales with him, and declared that sooner
or later he would d be avenged on the men of Flanders. They were anxious to make peace
with him without doing what he had asked, so they' managed to sati-.f him with the excuse
that it wouldd be very unfair to make over to one of strange blood the rights of their own
Soon after this King Edward set his mind on the conquest of France. He felt that he
had a claim to it-after the death of h:s uncle, Charles the Fair; yet he was passed over in
favour of Philip of Valois, who was not :o near a relation. Having called together hi; men.
and made ready the ships to take them across the Channel. Edward left England, resolved c-n
war. He had his brave young son and his strongest lords in his company.
It was upon a little point of the coast of Normandy that the English \esscls touched the
shore, and while resting there, before pushing on towards the capital, young Edward, with
several others of the royal train, was knighted by the King.
[ME flE111W6S Rq~fUSE 10)
The French people were alarmed when they knew that the enemy was within a few
miles of Paris. But Edward marched on to St. Denis, because Philip had joined his army
thereabout. Some harm had been done on the way to certain towns and villages, especially
at Poix. The people there were either not ready or not willing to right \when the English
soldiers came upon them, so they offered a sum of money as the price of safety. The terms
were made, and 'the army passed on. King Edward and the Prince, with a small guard,
stayed one night in the town to receive the ransom. The men of Poix had now a mind to
get off their bargain, and not only refused to pay, but attacked the little company. Happily,
the last body of troops were still near enough to be recalled, and they punished this treachery
by slaying a great many of the people and burning the town. Two young ladies had been
left as the guardians of a castle near Poix while its lord was away. The\ were carried before
Edward ; but he received them kindly, and bade them have no fear, for the) should be safely
placed in any shelter they liked to
There are many rivers in this
part of France, and the English
soldiers were often sorely puzzled
how to manage, because the people
.constantly broke down the bridges
to hinder their march. One day
Edward found himself and his men
on the banks of the river Somme; C : .-
but it was too deep for them to try .. \\
i'--.:' :-o : "'*" .H
,. .. ^. ^-. -..--. Op
..... .... .;2 .. .-
*cl.~ .rhlEEDWvlqO ftW&HJED By
to cross it. He at once offered liberty and a large sum of money to any Frenchman who
would lead him to a place where the current might be safely forded, and one Gobin Adace
came to his help.
There is a ford," said he. and your men and your carriages may safely pass at certain
hours of the day; but when the tide is up it is not possible. You must set forth so early
that I may lead you over before the sun rises."
Under the guidance, then, of Gobin, King Edward, the Prince, and the army set forth.
Yet on reaching the Somme they were disappointed, for the sun was shining and the tide was
in. On the opposite bank a goodly array of French soldiers were drawn up ready for battle.
Bu.t Edward did not lose heart. There, on the river's brink, he awaited the first sign of the
tide turning, and then plunged into the water. His son and the soldiers followed; nor were
the French men-at-arms behindhand, for they felt as ready to fight thus as on land. It was
during this fierce combat that young Edward's sword was first stained with blood. But the
English had the victory, and having fought their way to the opposite biahk, they completely.
routed the French soldiers.
King Philip sapn made ready for another battle, and the two armies met near fhe town
of Cre.y. The Ernlish were far fewer in numbers, but the good order in Which they were
kept gained for us a victory of which we may always think with pride4 :
The young Prihce led on the first division of the army, and was in :he "fiercest and
hottest of the affray\ To him belonged the glory of success. When, at the,close of the day,
he met his father, it was a happy moment for both. Sweet son;said Kjin.g Edward, 1c'd
give you perseverance. You are, indeed, my own son, for very \aliantly have you this day
acquitted yourself. You are worthy to b, a king." Itis said that fromthis time the braVe
youth began to be kno\vn as the "Black Prince." ...
Calais was aell-defended town, and the people there would not yield to the English
monarch. He, however, was resolved to conquer them, and planting, his army outside the
walls, a long siege followed. Though the citizens were brave and patient, hunger and misery
at last subdued them, and they asked for mercy. By this time Edward had grown angry at
their long resistance, and this made him appear very hard-hearted. He said that he would
spare the city only on condition that six of its men came forth bare-headed and bare-footed
to his camp, wearing halters round their necks. They should lay down before him the key-
of their town and castle, and give themselves up to be dealt with as he pleased. For a little
while there was silence and weeping; but at length one Eustace de St. Pierre stood forth.
and said he would willingly die to save Calais, and five more townsmen followed his noble
example. When they knelt to Edward and begged for mercy he refused to listen. Some of
his nobles pleaded, but it was in vain; even his brave son besought pardon for the humbled
men, and his petition was not granted him Then Queen,Philippa came, and. flinging herself
at her royal husband's feet, would not be consoled until he relented. She led St. Pierre and
the others to her own tent then, and having given them food and money, she had them aflelv
taken out of the English camp. Soon after thi.; there was a truce made between the two
countries, and the Black Prince went back to England with the King and Queen.
ArTtq CqccY "Sweet .SOV 0q nt o persaYl av7Ce.- M,151 Va1a r.Y m..sI JijOU Ihr dfy acq'ife4_rursejf."
' i ,
S. It was during the
peace that Philip of
France died, and the
throne passed to his
son John. When the
period ol truce \as
over, the young Prince
journeyed to the west
of England, that he
might rouse the ardour
}'. ,of the people there; and
so well did he succeed
-that he sailed to France
.w-ith a goodly fleet and
a large number of fol-
I cmloers. On his former
S, visit he had fought by
his father's side; now
he began to show \ hat
... he could do alone. One of his great victories \va, the battle of
Poitiers, in which a po%%erful French army %%a' routed and their
King taken prisoner. While still flushed and stained from the alffray
the young conqueror bethought him of one of his bravest knights, Sir James
Audley, who had been in the front of the attack. When he heard that Sir
Jlames was covered with wounds, and lay in a litter not far from the spot, the Prince
begged to see him, and with gentle embraces thanked the injured knight for his faithful
service. He did not stop at kind words either, but gave him a handsome pension
It was very late before there could be time for rest and refreshment after that day of
triumph; but a splendid banquet had been prepared in the royal tent for the entertainment
of the captive King and his son. The Black Prince placed them in state at the table, and
then would serve them himself: he said he felt it an honour to attend on one who had
borne defeat so bravely. He further begged the humbled King not to be too much cast
down by his ill-success, assuring him that he would'be honourably treated by the King
of England. Next day the camp was broken up, and both victors and prisoners went
on to Bordeaux. After some stay there they proceeded to England, and King John
and his son had the Savoy Palace allotted to them as a residence. Later, they lived at
Windsor, where they amused themselves much as if they were at home, with hawking and
As no treaty of peace could be settled, the people of France did not get back their King
even when three years had passed, and Edward began to talk again of war. While he was
forming his plans he amused his royal prisoners by a very grand tilting match. Under the
guise of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, the King, his four sons, and nineteen
nobles held the field; and a great deal of pleasure, it was to the lords and ladies who
witnessed that three days' sport.
The tinre of truce being now expired, the army left England, and fresh fighting began.
But it was, not very long before peace was made and Edward saw fit to withdraw his claim
to, Erance, though he still held his former possessions there. It was about this time that the
Black Prince was married to his cousin Joan, called for her beauty the Fair Maid of Kent.
The story goes that he tried to gain her love for one of his friends, but without success,.
Afterwards he spoke -
for himself, and the ladyv '
accepted him. t
The next battle in -
which our Prince won --:
renown. took place in -
Spain, whither he had
gone to give help to
Don Pedro, who wa. si
deprived of his cro\n n i
as King of Castile. It
vas...a great victory;
and at its close Pedro
waq about to kneel and
thank his deliverer, but
the Black Prince would
not allow it. Cousin,"
said he, give thanks:
to God, for to him be- ::
longs the praise. The,;,.
victory comes from hitm ,
and not from me."
This Spanish jour- '
Sne i asT
broken health-the effect, some said, of poison. He was troubled, too, by heavy debt. % which
he had incurred in this war, and which Don Pedro would not repay. Having therefore to
make up the sum, the Black Prince levied a tax on the subjects in his French possessions,
and they in anger appealed against him to Charles. now King of France.
An impertinent paper was sent to the Prince, bidding him appear at Paris in an%\\er
to this complaint against him, and a couple of messengers were employed to deliver it. He
quietly heard them, and then gave his reply, "We shall wiillngly come to Paris, since
the King of France desires it; but it shall be with our helmet on our head and sixty
thousand men at our back.' The two Frenchmen were terrified, and, dropping on their
knees, asked mercy; and the Prince assured them that his anger was not against "!,tev.
but against the King who sent the message
The treaty of peace was soon after broken by the French, and the horrors of war broke
forth anew. Despite his failing health the Black Prince kept'his undaunted courage, and
when too weak to sit on his horse, compelled his men to carry him along %ith them upon
a litter. But it was noticed that he grew less merciful than once he was, and he allowed
some acts of cruelty w which those who most admire him are obliged to regret.
In the early part of i37 the advice of his physicians caused the Prince's return to
England, and he gave what was left to him uf his province of Aquitaine to his brother, the
Duke of Lancaster.
Before setting sail he summoned his barons, and made them swear fealty to their new
governor; and then, with his wife and his son Richard. he left France for Windsor, where
King Edward waited to welcome him. After a short visit the Prince went to his own
Manor of Berkhampstead.
A great improvement took place in his health after this time of rest, and he joined in
a new expedition which the King was about to make against the troublesome Gascons.
Before setting forth, a solemn assembly was held at Westminster, where little Richard (the
only son of the Black
Prince still living) was
acknowledged as the
heir to the crown,
-hould his father die
before Edward III. It
\\as a very fruitless
S1journey to France, and
the Prince returned
only to linger a short
%while in much suffer-
ing. As he felt his
death approaching he
set all his affairs in
order, and causing his
little son to be brought
to him, he solemnly
charged the child to act
upon good principles
and aims when the
4 throne of England
should be his. Just
P,OVCE too4qn fsio ood PiDrnO
,"Cousq ir e thels 3to 64, f r to r,,r bel thb e e v's r ,tor~!y eorrfrJro, ,.'.. a'd not" re' e'" c
at the end he pravecd earnestly- for the pardon of all that had been amiss in his lil'e,
and so breathed his last ; leaving the whole people mourning for the great Black Prince,
to w\rhose rein thev had looked forward as one that would be happy, and glorious He w~as
not quite forty-six years old when he died, and he w\as buried in Canterbury, Cathedral with
By his courage he had wvon the admiration of his countr)-, and his ju,tice and goodness
had made him univecrsall%, beloved. Thus the name of Prince Edw~ard, the hero: of Creev! and
Poitiers, is one of those which shine brightiv in the annals of Enaland, thou,--h centuries ha\e
passed since he wasa its hope and its defencge
Story of Golumbus.
Yf,;F.[O 5NEW HV.~PLtq& OF 101G46E
ERY little is known of the first years of Christopher Columbus. He was born in the old
Italian city of Genoa about 1435 : and as his father was poor, he resolved that his son should
learn enough to help him in gaining a respectable livelihood. Christopher, therefore, was
sent to study at Pa\ ia while he %\as still very young, and at the age of fourteen he began his
career as a sailor. It was when he w\as some years older, and after he had made many
voyages, that the idea came into his mind of there being new land to discover. He felt sure
that by travelling round the world from east to \vest he should succeed in. this scheme; but
as be had no money of his own to meet such an outlay, he must first try to get help from
some rich person.
As the Portuguese nation showed an interest ir, all fresh knowledge, Columbus first laid
his plans before their sov-
ereign, John II. This king,
however, asked the opinion
of some of his chief advisers,
and they persuaded him not
to supply the money needed
for such a voyage. Mlean-
while, they asked Christopher
to show them the chart he
had dra%%n of the supposed
route, and a ship was secretly
despatched without his being
told what was done. Stormy
weather and an unknown
sea drove it back again very
soon, and then Columbus
found out the deceit with
which he had been treated.
He was so angry that, al-
P. though he had been living
in Portugal for some years,
e left the country at once,
Skidding farewell to the grave
his.wife, which was there,
king with him his
Diego. He went
t t his native city, and
I" .f'rofi thence to Venice; but
no one cared to listen to or aid him in his desires. Poorer than before by reason of his
journeyings, the disappointed yet persevering man made his way to Spain. It would have
moved even a hard heart to pity to see this weary traveller arriving in a strange land
penniless, yet resolved to hope and to wait.
With his little boy clinging to his hand, Columbus rang at the gate of a Franciscan
convent in Andalusia, and humbly asked the porter to give him bread for the child. While
he spoke the prior of that religious house was passing near the open door, and seeing a tall and
noble-looking man standing there in poor attire, he inquired who he was and why he came.
At last Columbus had a kind and a patient listener, both to his troubles and to his great
scheme of discovery. This prior was struck by what he had to tell, and after sending for
some of the wisest men of the
town to hear the story, he gave
Chri-topher a letter which should
gain him admittance to the pres-
ence of the Spanish king, and
himself undertook the charge
and instruction of the little
Ferdinand and Isabella had
no thoughts for an) subject but
the conquest of Granada just at
that time, and poor Christopher
Columbus had his patience sorely
tried before they gave him an
The king listened coldly,
but Isabella believed that this
w \as a great project, and she
cried, "I will pledge my jewels
to raise the necessary Iunds "
Columbus went iryfully back
to the convent to tell the good
nevws; but there were plenty' of
." difficulties vet before him. It
was some time until the ships he
needed were supplied and a crew
found to man them; but at
qV,? 'S rOV,55 4: W 7~ 4',' OF ."-r J 0?0~~r~ 1 ~8.541
is f.r ~svye o iscoery woud e e ol ae rfi
lenSth there came the reward of patience, and on the 3rd August 1492 our eero put to sea
fN T iV U 5 /R S t 0 1: //^ a L :: '"
"i n/" D'e'Ae *TI fnBri #j raise rttf nweeswj fi. rr
length there came ta e reward of patience, and on the witd Aiugust i492 our hero put to sea
with about one hundred and twenty sailors. ,
This crew was made up of any men who could be had, and some of them did not under-
stand order and obedience. They declared that they were going on a useless search, and
that there was no new land to be found ; so if Columbus had not been very firm and calm,
this first voyage of discovery would have been only a failure.
Some among the sailors saidat at their only chance was to change their course ; but
their commander would not yield. Standing on deck, with his eyes fixed on that.vast stretch
of sea, hlie always gave the same order-the one word, Westward !"
At last the spirits of all the party were raised, for a sprig of berried thorn and a carved
wooden staff \%ere seen floating by: these proved that land could not be so very far off.
Columbus himself was the first to perceive certain signs that success was about to crown his
efforts. He stood one evening on the deck gazing anxiously towards the horizon, when sud-
denly he saw what he imagined to be a glimmer of light. He would not make too sure without
getting other judgment, so he called for one of his men to look in the same direction. The
sailor agreed that it was as Christopher said; and though the light presently disappeared, they
became more certain, by all they could observe, that land, and land inhabited by human
beings, was within easy reach. About the da\n of day a gun from one of the companion
ships told that the discovery was made, and as soon as itJ'1ecame it enough they might
hope to set foot on this new shore.
It was the morning of the 12th October that Columbus saw plainly before him an island
covered with trees, from beneath the shadow of which groups of unclothed savages
came running to the edge of the shore to look with surprise upon the Spanish vessels.
Ordering a small boat to be lowered, he stepped int6' it, holding the royal standard
in his hand. He was accompanied by the commanders of the two other ships,
who bore each a banner with the initials of Ferdinand and Isabella emblazoned
on them, and ornamented with the cro\w,.n.
As he sprang on shore Columbus knelt, and kissing the earth, gave
thanks to God that te' was safely there; then rising, he drew his s\\or nd tok-~'Jossession
solemnly in the name. o the Castilian king and queen, calling this isl]f. h~4 'scovery
zSf d Salvador. '
The sailors haOdirgotten by this time all their rebellious discdntat,'andl"t lhouted
with joy; then onc'fid all 'lpomiscd obedience to their brave leader a i rcoscat ve of
The natives ofthe island had looked on the strangers with surprise 'when seen on the
decks of their.vessels; but when the boats touched the shore the affrighted creatures fled to
the woods, as if expecting death to await them. .But they found that the new-corhers did
not pursue them, and they grew braver and drew near again, prostrating, themselves is if in
worship. Next, they gained courage enough to touch the garments of the. Spaniards; their
hands and faces also, and their long beards. The scarlet robe of Columbus appeared to
please them more than anything else, and they grew quite friendly when he gave them beads,
bells, coloured caps, and other things which were generally used in trading with the:people of
_I ~__I_ 1I (
the African Gold -Coast. In return, the savages brought offerings of parrots, and also a
kind of bread called cassava, which afterwards became much cultivated and used in Spain.
On leaving San Salvador, Columbus directed his course to a group of fertile-looking
islands not far off, and landing on the largest, he took
possession,, and named it Santa Maria. A third island
he called Fernandina ; and a fourth received the title of
his royal patroness, Isabella.
The return to Spain was a great triumph. The bells
were rung, a general holiday was kept, and those \who //
had treated Christopher's enterprise most scornfully now /'
loaded him with praise and honour. Hearing that the
king and court were at Barcelona, he wrote a letter / ,
to his majesty, saying that he had arrived, and was /
4n-- ~ ''
L VRLIS IJI(,-j Pr);LjSlc~y D~ I~E IVj. L..1i'O I.I (.d q~H~ irr n'5 SOrrE~Elj ',
waiting at Se\ille for .
coinmands. 1" "
It was but a very 'v'
little w while before a reply '- -.
came, and Columbus o was
in\;ted to appear at court
and form plans for a
second voyage of dis-
cover'. His journey w\as
more like the progress (of
a king than of a simple .
passed were thronged
to do honour to this re- -
\\'hen lie was in the
presence of the king and
queen, Columbus gave an
account of his voyage
and cf the i-lands here lie had landed. He showed the native gold in dust, the rare plants,
the birds and animals tht hle had brought thence, and some of the savages also whomr he
had persuaded to come with him to civilized shores. A grand relgious serve of thanks-
giving was afterwards held in the royal chapel, and the praise of Christopher Columbus was
upon every tongue.
A great many banquets were given in his honour, and the Story of the Egg' belongs
to this part of his life. One of the gentlemen of .the court felt jealous of all the favour
la shed on the popular discoverer, and on one occasion he scornfully said that others might
have been found quite able t teeheir courg e to the Indies, o which Columbus had not done.
Taking an egg, Christopher asked if any one there present would make it stand on end.
Every effort was useless, as we may suppose, until he himself struck one end on the table,
and thus left it standing by the help of the flattened shape it had taken. By this he meant
that it was \erv easy to see a thing possibic \\hen it was already
"2. The next voyage was arranged without any difficulty about money or
men. It occupied some three years, during which time several new islands
A third time Columbus started on his travels, and the discovery of
Trinidad gained him fresh glory. But now the jealousy of less clever men
began to change the mind of Ferdinand towards his faithful servant, and
as the result of calumny spoken concerning Columbus, one Bobadilla
was made governor of the islands in his place. This man reached
San Domingo in August of the year I 5oo, and taking up his
abode in the house of Columbus. seized all the gold and silver
and other rewards that had been given him, and even dared
1 to make him a prisoner, and send him home to Spain
as if he were a criminal.
It was in this moment of shame and trial
that the noble spirit of-the man shone brightest.
When those who had charge of him on
board the ship spoke pityingly, and
offered to relieve him of his
chains, Columbus refused to
accept such services. The
king commanded me to sub-
mit to Bobadilla," he an-
swered." and I will wear the
chains he has put upon me
until his majesty orders my
release. Then I will pre-
serve them always as me-
morials of the reward of my
In acting thus, Boba-
dilla had made a great error.
No sooner did Columbus
arrive in the condition of a
S.ser,d fhan the Spanish
S -..... ..
t ,,.o : "
_ ____ _. __I-~-iMrI~P~~~YI~I--IL- rr~II -IR~-J L -- -1- I.- I. -
people protested indignantly against such treatment. Isabella burst into tears as she sa\\
her former fa\ourite, and all her first trust in him was revived by the first glance at his sad
yet noble face. King Ferdinand also could not for very shame refuse to yield to the general
feeling, and thus he received the misjudged man with kindness, and bestowed on him many
signs of favour. Yet this apparent friendship on the part of the sovereign was very hollow
and short-lived. Ferdinand felt that Columbus had indeed struck on the right route to the
New World ; but it could be easily followed up by an)' one from out of the number who had
been companions of his successful voyages, therefore he had only to look round and choose a
Bobadilla's rule was soon proved to be bad; but yet Columbus wa .iain in Granada.
with many promises of
giving him back his rights,
while a third commander
%\as sent out to the islands. .;-
It was now, during his
keen disappointment, that ..
an early project came back to the still active mind of the old navigator, and he began to talk
of heading a band of Christians who should rescue the Holy Sepulchre from the infidels. But
he was at heart a sailor rather than a soldier, and this purpose gave place to another-the
finding out of a direct course to India. It was thus that Columbus started on his fourth
voyage of discovery; but he had not his first success. After much loss by sea he had to put
back to Spain. weakened in courage as well as in health by all that he had endured.
For his son's sake he now resolved to try once more to regain what had been wrongfully
taken from him, and to this end he sent the young man to court to plead his claims, for he
himself was ill and quite unfit for such a journey. But bv" this time Queen Isabella was dead,
and in her Columbus had lost his best friend. Ferdinand still refused to give back that
which had been the rightful property of his faithful old servant. He did, indeed, make the
offer of some estates in Castile; but this could rot be accepted, as it n would have been the same
thing as a denial of Christopher's claim to all of which he had been robbed.
Letting go, therefore, of every hope concerning this world's possessions and honours, the
8,,t?4.D/.L4 C.4rI; Lszs Y 9 r,-. 8f 7.T1?r'rf
C'i4", U 1 '8', 5 5--T .f 1 9-S //'If lA Cof
now aged man fixed his thoughts upon his fast approaching death. He prepared himself by
receiving the last rites of the Church to which he belonged, and passed peacefully away on
the 20th May 1506, being then about seventy years old.
His body was first buried in the vaults of the Convent of San Francisco; but it was after-
wards removed to the Chapel of the Santo Cristo in Seville. A third tomb was found for him in
Hispaniola in the year 1536; but even that was not a final resting-place. In 1795 the remains
of the now honoured Columbus were conveyed with much pomp to Havana, and deposited on
the right of the gland altar of the cathedral, \here they have ever since remained.
Like every one who has done real service to the world, this great man had hard battles
to fight against ignorance and prejudice ; yet he triumphed in the end. He did not indeed
fully carry out his great idea, for his life was not long enough ; but he did that which not only
made his name famous for all time. but which pointed the way to discoveries that were made
long after he was laid in his grave.
The story of Columbus is one that might have for its motto "Nil desperandum." From
court to court he had gone with his plans and charts, begging kings to let him tell how their
greatness and wealth might be increased, and we have seen how hard it was to get even a
hearing. The very people of the streets along which he walked pointed scornfully at this
man of great imagination and called him mad.
He went forth at, last on his first voyage with more to ridicule than to bid him God-
speed ;" he must needs keep a bold and brave heart when there were moments of fear even to
himself lest his life-dream was only a delusion. He was to prove what it is to be a royal
favourite, and what it is to be forgotten and misjudged; and, finally, he went down to his
grave a wronged and a slighted man. As he had been noble in ill-fortune, so was he noble
in prosperity and under the voice of slander. It was after his death that all he had been and
all that he had done became fitly understood and admired; and thus among the heroes of
the world men point now to the honoured name of Christopher Columbus.