Private Library of
Etta Sackett Dobell
The Baldwin Librar
Urave' y i
- ---- -- --~r---~ c -II"CII ZC
FIFTY FAMOUS STORIES
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
NEW YORK CINCINNATI CHICAGO
COPYRIGHT, 1896, BY
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY.
FIFTV FAMOUS STORIES.
King Alfred and the Cakes .
King Alfred and the Beggar.
King Canute on the Seashore
The Sons of William the Con-
The White Ship ..
King John and the Abbot
A Story of Robin Hood .
Bruce and the Spider .
The Black Douglas .
Three Men of Gotham .
Other Wise Men of Gotham
The Miller of the Dee .
Sir Philip Sidney .. ..
The Ungrateful Soldier .
Sir Humphrey Gilbert .
Sir Walter Raleigh ...
Pocahontas . .
George Washington and his
Hatchet . .
Grace Darling . .
The Story of William Tell .
Arnold Winkelried ..
The Bell of Atri . .
How Napoleon crossed the Alps
The Story of Cincinnatus. .
The Story of Regulus ..
Cornelia's Jewels .. ..
Androclus and the Lion .
Horatius at the Bridge .
Julius Caesar .. .
The Sword of Damocles .
Damon and Pythias .
A Laconic Answer .
The Ungrateful Guest .
Alexander and Bucephalus .
Diogenes the Wise Man .
The Brave Three Hundred .
Socrates and his House .
The King and his Hawk .
Doctor Goldsmith . .
The Kingdoms . .
The Barmecide Feast .
The Endless Tale .. .
The Blind Men and the Elephant
Maximilian and the Goose Boy .
The Inchcape Rock ..
Whittington and his Cat .
Casabianca .. ...
Antonio Canova .
Picciola . .
Mignon . .
CONCERNING THESE STORIES.
THERE are numerous time-honored stories which have become so
incorporated into the literature and thought of our race that a knowl-
edge of them is an indispensable part of one's education. These
stories are of several different classes. To one class belong the popu-
lar fairy tales which have delighted untold generations of children,
and will continue to delight them to the end of time. To another
class belong the limited number of fables that have come down to us
through many channels from hoar antiquity. To a third belong the
harming stories of olden times that are derived from the literatures of
ancient peoples, such as the Greeks and the Hebrews. A fourth class
includes the half-legendary tales of a distinctly later origin, which have
for their subjects certain romantic episodes in the lives of well-known
heroes and famous men, or in the history of a people.
It is to this last class that most of the fifty stories contained in the
present volume belong. As a matter of course, some of these stories
are better known, and therefore morefamous, than others. Some have
a slight historical value; some are useful as giving point to certain
great moral truths; others are products solely of the fancy, and are
intended only to amuse. Some are derived from very ancient sources,
and are current in the literature of many lands; some have come to us
through the ballads and folk tales of the English people; a few are
of quite recent origin; nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions
in poetry and prose and in the conversation of educated people. Care
has been taken to exclude everything that is not strictly within the
limits of probability; hence there is here no trespassing upon the
domain of the fairy tale, the fable, or the myth.
That children naturally take a deep interest in such stories, no per-
son can deny; that the reading of them will not only give pleasure, but
will help to lay the foundation for broader literary studies, can scarcely
be doubted. It is believed, therefore, that the present collection will
be found to possess an educative value which will commend it as a
supplementary reader in the middle primary grades at school. It is also
hoped that the book will prove so attractive that it will be in demand
out of school as well as in.
Acknowledgments are due to Mrs. Charles A. Lane, by whom eight
or ten of the stories were suggested.
FIFTY FAMOUS STORIES RETOLD.
KING ALFRED AND THE CAKES.
MANY years ago there lived in Eng-land a wise
and good king whose name was Al-fred. No other
man ever did so much for his country as he; and
people now, all over the world, speak of him as
Alfred the Great.
In those days a king did not have a very easy
life. There was war almost all the time, and no
one else could lead his army into battle so well as
he. And so, between ruling and fighting, he had a
busy time of it indeed.
A fierce, rude people, called the Danes, had come
from over the sea, and were fighting the Eng-lish.
There were so many of them, and they were so
bold and strong, that for a long time they gained
every battle. If they kept on, they would soon be
the masters of the whole country.
At last, after a great battle, the English army
was broken up and scat-tered. Every man had to
save himself in the best way he could. King Al-
fred fled alone, in great haste, through the woods
Late in the day the king came to the hut of a
wood-cut-ter. He was very tired and hungry, and
he begged the wood-cut-ter's wife to give him some-
thing to eat and a place to sleep in her hut.
The wom-an was baking some cakes upon the
hearth, and she looked with pity upon the poor,
ragged fellow who seemed so hungry. She had
no thought that he was the king.
"Yes," she said, I will give you some supper if
you will watch these cakes. I want to go out and
milk the cow; and you must see that they do not
burn while I am gone."
King Alfred was very willing to watch the cakes,
but he had far greater things to think about. How
was he going to get his army to-geth-er again?
And how was he going to drive the fierce Danes
out of the land? He forgot his hunger; he forgot
the cakes; he forgot that he was in the woodcut-
ter's hut. His mind was busy making plans for
In a little while the wom-an came back. The
cakes were smoking on the hearth. They were
burned to a crisp. Ah, how angry she was !
"You lazy fellow!" she cried. "See what you
have done! You want some-thing to eat, but you
do not want to work! "
I have been told that she even struck the king
with a stick; but I can hardly be-lieve that she was
The king must have laughed to himself at the
thought of being scolded in this way; and he
was so hungry that he did not mind the woman's
angry words half so much as the loss of the
I do not know whether he had any-thing to eat
that night, or whether he had to go to bed without
his supper. But it was not many days until he
had gath-ered his men to-geth-er again, and had
beaten the Danes in a great battle..
KING ALFRED AND THE BEGGAR.
AT one time the Danes drove King Alfred from
his kingdom, and he had to lie hidden for a long
time on a little is-land in a river.
One day, all who were on the is-land, except the
king and queen and one servant, went out to fish.
It was a very lonely place, and no one could get to
it except by a boat. About noon a ragged beggar
came to the king's door, and asked for food.
The king called the servant, and asked, How
much food have we in the house ? "
My lord," said the servant, we have only one
loaf and a little wine."
Then the king gave thanks to God, and said,
" Give half of the loaf and half of the wine to this
The servant did as he was bidden. The beggar
thanked the king for his kindness, and went on his
In the after-noon the men who had gone out to
fish came back. They had three boats full of fish,
and they said, We have caught more fish to-day
than in all the other days that we have been on
The king was glad, and he and his people were
more hopeful than they had ever been before.
When night came, the king lay awake for a long
time, and thought about the things that had hap-
pened that day. At last he fancied that he saw
a great light like the sun; and in the midst of the
light there stood an old man with black hair, hold-
ing an open book in his hand.
It may all have been a dream, and yet to the king
it seemed very real indeed. He looked and won-
dered, but was not afraid.
"Who are you ? he asked of the old man.
Alfred, my son, be brave," said the man; "for I
am the one to whom you gave this day the half of
all the food that you had. Be strong and joyful
of heart, and listen to what I say. Rise up early
in the morning and blow your horn three times,
so loudly that the Danes may hear it. By nine
o'clock, five hundred men will be around you ready
to be led into battle. Go forth bravely, and within
seven days your en-e-mies shall be beaten, and you
shall go back to your kingdom to reign in peace."
Then the light went out, and the man was seen
In the morning the king arose early, and crossed
over to the mainland. Then he blew his horn
three times very loudly; and when his friends
heard it they were glad, but the Danes were filled
At nine o'clock, five hundred of his bravest sol-
diers stood around him ready for battle. He spoke,
and told them what he had seen and heard in his
dream; and when he had fin-ished, they all cheered
loudly, and said that they would follow him and fight
for him so long as they had strength.
So they went out bravely to battle; and they
beat the Danes, and drove them back into their
own place. And King Alfred ruled wisely and well
over all his people for the rest of his days.
KING CANUTE ON THE SEASHORE.
A HUNDRED years or more after the time of
Alfred the Great there was a king of England
named Ca-nute'. King Canute was a Dane; but
the Danes were not so fierce and cruel then as
they had been when they were at war with King
The great men and of-fi-cers who were around
King Canute were always praising him.
You are the greatest man that ever lived," one
Then an-oth-er would say,. king! there can
never be an-oth-er man so mighty as you."
And another would say, Great Canute, there is
nothing in the world that dares to dis-o-bey you."
The king was a man of sense, and he grew very
tired of hearing such foolish speeches.
One day he was by the sea-shore, and his of-fi-
cers were with him. They were praising him, as
they were in the habit of doing. He thought that
now he would teach them a lesson, and so he bade
them set his chair on the beach close by the edge
of the water,
"Am I the greatest man in the world?" he
"O king!" they cried, "there is no one so
mighty as you."
Do all things obey me ?" he asked.
There is nothing that dares to dis-o-bey you, 0
king!" they said. "The world bows before you,
and gives you honor."
"Will the sea obey me?" he asked; and he
looked down at the little waves which were lapping
the sand at his feet.
The foolish officers were puzzled, but, they did
not dare to say No."
Command it, O king! and it will obey," said
-"Sea," cried Canute, "I command you to come
no farther! Waves, stop your rolling, and do not
dare to touch my feet!"
But the tide came in, just as it always did. The
water rose higher and higher. It came up around
the king's chair, and wet not only his feet, but also
his robe. His officers stood about him, alarmed,
and won-der-ing whether he was not mad.
Then Canute took off his crown, and threw it
down upon the sand.
I shall never wear it again," he said. "And do
you, my men, learn a lesson from what you have
seen. There is only one King who is all-powerful:
and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean
in the hollow of his hand. It is he whom you
ought to praise and serve above all others."
THE SONS OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.
THERE was once a great king of England who
was called Wil-liam the Con-quer-or, and he had
One day King Wil-liam seemed to be thinking
of something that made him feel very sad; and the
--Sea, and yu to c e no fthe-"
"Sea, I cpmmiand you to come no farther"
wise men who were about him asked him what was
I am thinking," he said, of what my sons may
do after I am dead. For, unless they are wise and
strong, they cannot keep the kingdom which I have
won for them. Indeed, I am at a loss to know which
one of the three ought to be the king when I am
king!" said the wise men, "if we only
knew what things your'sons admire the most,
we might then be able to tell what kind of men
they will be. Perhaps, by asking each one of
them a few ques-tions, we can find out which
one of them will be best fitted to rule in your
The plan is well worth trying, at least," said the
king. Have the boys come before you, and then
ask them what you please."
The wise men talked with one another for a little
while, and then agreed that the young princes
should be brought in, one at a time, and that the
same ques-tions should be put to each.
The first who came into the room was Robert.
He was a tall, willful lad, and was nick-named Short
Fair sir," said one of the men, answer me this
question: If, instead of being a boy, it had pleased
God that you should be a bird, what kind of a bird
would you rather be ?"
"A hawk," answered Robert. I would rather
be a hawk, for no other bird reminds one so much
of a bold and gallant knight."
The next who came was young William, his
father's name-sake and pet. His face was jolly and
round, and because he had red hair he was nick-
named Rufus, or the Red.
Fair sir," said the wise man, answer me this
question: If, instead of being a boy, it had pleased
God that you should be a bird, what kind of a bird
would you rather be?"
An eagle," answered William. I would rather
be an eagle, because it is strong and brave. It is
feared by all other birds, and is there-fore the king
of them all."
Lastly came the youngest brother, Henry, with
quiet steps and a sober, thought-ful look. He had
been taught to read and write, and for that reason
he was nick-named Beau-clerc, or the Hand-some
Fair sir," said the wise man, "answer me this
question: If, instead of being a boy, it had pleased
God that you should be a bird, what kind of a bird
would you rather be?"
"A star-ling," said Henry. I would rather be a
star-ling, because it is good-mannered and kind and
a joy to every one who sees it, and it never tries to
rob or abuse its neigh-bor."
Then the wise men talked with one another for a
little while, and when they had agreed among them-
selves, they spoke to the king.
We find," said they, that your eldest son, Rob-
ert, will be bold and gallant. He will do some great
deeds, and make a name for himself; but in the end
he will be over-come by his foes, and will die in
"The second son, William, will be as brave and
strong as the eagle; but he will be feared and hated
for his cruel deeds. He will lead a wicked life, and
will die a shameful death.
The youngest son, Henry, will be wise and pru-
dent and peaceful. He will go to war only when he
is forced to do so by his enemies. He will be loved
at home, and re-spect-ed abroad; and he will die in
peace after having gained great pos-ses-sions."
Years passed by, and the three boys had grown
up to be men. King William lay upon his death-
bed, and again he thought of what would become
of his sons when he was gone. Then he re-mem-
bered what the wise men had told him; and so he
de-clared that Robert should have the lands which
he held in France, that William should be the King
of England, and that Henry should have no land at
all, but only a chest of gold.
So it hap-pened in the end very much as the wise
men had fore-told. Robert, the Short Stocking, was
bold and reckless, like the hawk which he so much
admired. He lost all the lands that his father had
left him, and was at last shut up in prison, where he
was kept until he died.
William Rufus was so over-bear-ing and cruel that
he was feared and hated by all his people. He led
a wicked life, and was killed by one of his own men
while hunting in the forest.
And Henry, the Handsome Scholar, had not only
the chest of gold for his own, but he became by and
by the King of England and the ruler of all the lands
that his father had had in France.
THE WHITE SHIP.
KING HENRY, the Handsome Scholar, had one
son, named William, whom he dearly loved. The
young man was noble and brave, and every-body
hoped that he would some day be the King of
One summer Prince William went with his father
across the sea to look after their lands in France.
FIFTY FAM. STO.-2
They were wel-comed with joy by all their people
there, and the young prince was so gallant and
kind, that he won the love of all who saw him.
But at last the time came for them to go back
to England. The king, with his wise men and
brave knights, set sail early in the day; but.Prince
William with his younger friends waited a little
while. They had had so joyous a time in France
that they were in no great haste to tear them-selves
Then they went on board of the ship which was
waiting to carry them home. It was a beau-ti-ful
ship with white sails and white masts, and it had
been fitted up on purpose for this voyage.
The sea was smooth, the winds were fair, and no
one thought of danger. On the ship, every-thing
had been ar-ranged to make the trip a pleasant one.
There was music and dancing, and everybody was
merry and glad.
The sun had gone down before the white-winged
vessel was fairly out of the bay. But what of that?
The moon was at its full, and it would give light
enough; and before the dawn of the morrow, the
narrow sea would be crossed. And so the prince,
and the young people who were with him, gave
themselves up to mer-ri-ment and feasting and joy.
The ear-li-er hours of the night passed by; and
then there was a cry of alarm on deck. A moment
after-ward there was a great crash. The ship had
struck upon a rock. The water rushed in. She
was sinking. Ah, where now were those who had
lately been so heart-free and glad?
Every heart was full of fear. No one knew what
to do. A small boat was quickly launched, and the
prince with a few of his bravest friends leaped into
it. They pushed off just as the ship was be-gin-ning
to settle beneath the waves. Would they be saved ?
They had rowed hardly ten yards from the ship,
when there was a cry from among those that were
Row back! cried the prince. "It is my little
sister. She must be saved!"
The men did not dare to disobey. The boat was
again brought along-side of the sinking vessel.
The prince stood up, and held out his arms for his
sister. At that moment the ship gave a great
lurch forward into the waves. One shriek of ter-
ror was heard, and then all was still save the sound
of the moaning waters.
Ship and boat, prince and prin-cess, and all the
gay com-pa-ny that had set sail from France, went
down to the bottom together. One man clung to a
floating plank, and was saved the next day. He
was the only person left alive to tell the sad story.
When King Henry heard of the death of his son
his grief was more than he could bear. His heart
was broken. He had no more joy in life; and men
say that no one ever saw him smile again.
Here is a poem about him that your teacher may
read to you, and perhaps, after a while, you may
learn it by heart.
HE NEVER SMILED AGAIN.
The bark that held the prince went down,
The sweeping waves rolled on;
And what was England's glorious crown
To him that wept a son?
He lived, for life may long be borne
Ere sorrow breaks its chain
Why comes not death to those who mourn?
He never smiled again.
There stood proud forms before his throne,
The stately and the brave;
But who could fill the place of one, -
That one beneath the wave?
Before him passed the young and fair,
In pleasure's reckless train;
But seas dashed o'er his son's bright hair-
He never smiled again.
He sat where festal bowls went round;
He heard the minstrel sing;
He saw the tour-ney's victor crowned
Amid the knightly ring.
A murmur of the restless deep
Was blent with every strain,
A voice of winds that would not sleep -
He never smiled again.
Hearts, in that time, closed o'er the trace
Of vows once fondly poured,
And strangers took the kins-man's place
At many a joyous board;
Graves which true love had bathed with tears
Were left to heaven's bright rain;
Fresh hopes were born for other years-
He never smiled again I
KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT.
I. THE THREE QUESTIONS.
THERE was once a king of England whose name
was John. He was a bad king; for he was harsh
and cruel to his people, and so long as he could
have his own way, he did not care what became of
other folks. He was the worst king that England
Now, there was in the town of Can'ter-bur-y a rich
old abbot who lived in grand style in a great house
called the Abbey. Every day a hundred noble men
sat down with him to dine; and fifty brave knights,
in fine velvet coats and gold chains, waited upon
him at his table.
When King John heard of the way in which the
abbot lived, he made up his mind to put a stop
to it. So he sent for the old man to come and
How now, my good abbot ?" he said. I hear
that you keep a far better house than I. How dare
you do such a thing? Don't you know that no
man in the land ought to live better than the king ?
And I tell you that no man shall."
"0 king!" said the abbot, "I beg to say that I
am spending nothing but what is my own. I hope
that you will not think ill of me for making things
pleasant for my friends and the brave knights who
are with me."
Think ill of you ? said the king. How can I
help but think ill of you ? All that there is in this
broad land is mine by right; and how do you dare
to put me to shame by living in grander style than I ?
One would think that you were trying to be king in
Oh, do not'say so!" said the abbot. For I "-
Not another word! cried the king. "Your fault
is plain, and unless you can answer me three ques-
tions, your head shall be cut off, and all your riches
shall be mine."
"I will try to answer them, O king!" said the
Well, then," said King John, "as I sit here with
my crown of gold on my head, you must tell me to.
within a day just how long I shall live. Sec-ond-ly,
you must tell me how soon I shall ride round the
whole world; and lastly, you shall tell me what I
"O king!" said the abbot, "these are deep, hard
questions, and I cannot answer them just now. But
if you will give me two weeks to think about them,
I will do the best that I can."
Two weeks you shall have," said the king; "but
if then you fail to answer me, you shall lose your
head, and all your lands shall be mine."
The abbot went away very sad and in great fear.
He first rode to Oxford. Here was a great school,
called a u-ni-ver'si-ty, and he wanted to see if any of
the wise pro-fess-ors could help him. But they shook
their heads, and said that there was nothing about
King John in any of their books.
Then the abbot rode down to Cam-bridge, where
there was another u-ni-ver-si-ty. But not one of the
teachers in that great school could help him.
At last, sad and sor-row-ful, he rode toward home
to bid his friends and his brave knights good-by.
For now he had not a week to live.
II. THE THREE ANSWERS.
As the abbot was riding up the lane which led to
his grand house, he met his shep-herd going to the
"Welcome home, good master!" cried the shep-
herd. "What news do you bring us from great
King John? "
"Sad news, sad news," said the abbot; and then
he told him all that had happened.
"Cheer up, cheer up, good master," said the shep-
herd. Have you never yet heard that a fool may
teach a wise man wit? I think I can help you out
of your trouble."
"You help me! cried the abbot. How? how?"
"Well," answered the shepherd, you know that.
everybody says that I look just like you, and that I
have some-times been mis-tak-en for you. So, lend
me your servants and your horse and your gown,
and I will go up to London and see the king. If
nothing else can be done, I can at least die in your
"My good shepherd," said the abbot, "you are
very, very kind; and I have a mind to let you try
your plan. But if the worst comes to the worst,
you shall not die for me. I will die for myself."
So the shepherd got ready to go at once. He
dressed himself with great care. Over his shep-
herd's coat he threw the abbot's long gown, and he
bor-rowed the abbot's cap and golden staff. When
all was ready, no one in the world would have
thought that he was not the great man himself.
Then he mounted his horse, and with a great train
of servants set out for London.
Of course the king did not know him.
"Welcome, Sir Abbot! he said. It is a good
thing that you have come back. But, prompt as
you are, if you fail to answer my three questions,
you shall lose your head."
"I am ready to answer them, O king!" said the
Indeed, indeed! said the king, and he laughed
to himself. Well, then, answer my first question:
How long shall I live ? Come, you must tell me to
the very day."
You shall live," said the shepherd, until the,
day that you die, and not one day longer. And you
shall die when you take your last breath, and not
one moment before."
The king laughed.
You are witty, I see," he said. But we will
let that pass, and say that your answer is right.
And now tell me hcw soon I may ride round the
"You shall live until the day that you die."
You must rise with the sun," said the shepherd,
" and you must ride with the sun until it rises again
the next morning. As soon as you do that, you will
find that you have ridden round the world in twenty-
The king laughed again. Indeed," he said, I
did not think that it could be done so soon. You
are not only witty, but you are wise, and we will let
this answer pass. And now comes my third and
last question: What do I think? "
"That is an easy, question," said the shepherd.
"You think that I am the Abbot of Can-ter-bur-y.
But, to tell you the truth, I am only his poor shep-
herd, and I have come to beg your pardon for him
and for me." And with that, he threw off his long
The king laughed loud and long.
"A merry fellow you are," said he, "and you shall
be the Abbot of Canterbury in your master's place."
O king! that cannot be," said the shepherd;
"for I can neither read nor write."
"Very well, then," said the king, I will give
you something else to pay you for this merry joke.
I will give you four pieces of silver every week as
long as you live. And when you get home, you
may tell the old abbot that you have brought him a
free pardon from King John."
A STORY OF ROBIN HOOD.
IN the rude days of King Rich-ard and King
John there were many great woods in England.
The most famous of these was Sher-wood forest,
where the king often went to hunt deer. In this
forest there lived a band of daring men called out-
They had done something that was against the
laws of the land, and had been forced to hide them-
selves in the woods to save their lives. There they
spent their time in roaming about among the trees,
in hunting the king's deer, and in robbing rich
trav-el-ers that came that way.
There were nearly a hundred of these outlaws,
and their leader was a bold fellow called Robin
Hood. They were dressed in suits of green, and
armed with bows and arrows; and sometimes they
carried long wooden lances and broad-swords, which
they knew how to handle well. When-ever they
had taken anything, it was brought and laid at the
feet of Robin Hood, whom they called their king.
He then di-vid-ed it fairly among them, giving to
each man his just share.
Robin never allowed his men to harm any-body
but the rich men who lived in great houses and did
no work. He was always kind to the poor, and
he often sent help to them; and for that reason
the common people looked upon him as their
Long after he was dead, men liked to talk about
his deeds. Some praised him, and some blamed
him. He was, indeed, a rude, lawless fellow; but
at that time, people did not think of right and
wrong as they do now.
A great many songs were made up about Robin
Hood, and these songs were sung in the cot-ta-ges
and huts all over the land for hundreds of years
Here is a little story that is told in one of those
Robin Hood was standing one day under a green
tree by the road-side. While he was lis-ten-ing to
the birds among the leaves, he saw a young man
passing by. This young man was dressed in a fine
suit of bright red cloth; and, as he tripped gayly
along the road, he seemed to be as happy as the
"I will not trou-ble him," said Robin Hood, "for
I think he is on his way to his wedding."
The next day Robin stood in the same place.
He had not been there long when he saw the
same young man coming down the road. But he
did not seem to be so happy this time. He had
left his scarlet coat at home, and at every step he
sighed and groaned.
Ah the sad day! the sad day! he kept saying
Then Robin Hood stepped out from under the
tree, and said, -
"I say, young man! Have you any money to
spare for my merry men and me?"
I have nothing at all," said the young man, "but
five shil-lings and a ring."
"A gold ring? asked Robin.
"Yes," said the young man, "it is a gold ring.
Here it is."
"Ah, I see!" said Robin: "it is a wedding
"I have kept it these seven years," said the
young man; I have kept it to give to my bride
on our wedding day. We were going to be mar-
ried yes-ter-day. But her father has prom-ised her
to a rich old man whom she never saw. And now
my heart is broken."
"What is your name ? asked Robin.
"My name is Allin-a-Dale," said the young man.
"What will you give me, in gold or fee," said
Robin, if I will help you win your bride again in
spite of the rich old man to whom she has been
--,, w- p i. ,
'( -' -K- --
I have no money," said
"' Aii, "but I will promise
:.. ...... .,;, All~~i n "b tIw lpr m s
LU uC yuur servaniL.
How many miles is it to the place where the
maiden lives? asked Robin.
It is not far," said Allin. "But she is to be
married this very day, and the church is five miles
Then Robin made haste to dress himself as a
harper; and in the after-noon he stood in the door
of the church.
Who are you?" said the bishop, "and what are
you doing here ?"
I am a bold harper," said Robin, "the best in
the north country."
"I am glad you have come," said the bishop
kindly. There is no music that I like so well as
that of the harp. Come in, and play for us."
I will go in," said Robin Hood; "but I will not
give you any music until I see the bride and bride-
Just then an old man came in. He was dressed
in rich clothing, but was bent with age, and was
feeble and gray. By his side walked a fair young
girl. Her cheeks were very pale, and her eyes were
full of tears.
This is no match," said Robin. Let the bride
choose for herself."
Then he put his horn to his lips, and blew three
times. The very next minute, four and twenty
men, all dressed in green, and car-ry-ing long bows
in their hands, came running across the fields.
And as they marched into the church, all in a row,
the fore-most among them was Allin-a-Dale.
Now whom do you choose? said Robin to the
I choose Allin-a-Dale," she said, blushing.
And Allin-a-Dale you shall have," said Robin;
" and he that takes you from Allin-a-Dale shall find
that he has Robin Hood to deal with."
And so the fair maiden and Allin-a-Dale were
married then and there, and the rich old man went
home in a great rage.
"And thus having ended this merry wedding,
The bride looked like a queen:
And so they re-turned to the merry green wood,
Amongst the leaves so green."
BRUCE AND THE SPIDER.
THERE was once a king of Scot-land whose name
was Robert Bruce. He had need to be both brave
and wise, for the times in which he lived were wild
and rude. The King of England was at war with
him, and had led a great army into Scotland to
drive him out of the land.
Battle after battle had been fought. Six times
had Bruce led his brave little army against his foes;
FIFTY FAM. STO.--3
and six times had his men been beaten, and driven
into flight. At last his army was scat-tered, and he
was forced to hide himself in the woods and in
lonely places among the moun-tains.
One rainy day, Bruce lay on the ground under a
rude shed, lis-ten-ing to the patter of the drops on
the roof above him. He was tired and sick at
heart, and ready to give up all hope. It seemed
to him that there was no use for him to try to do
As he lay thinking, he saw a spider over his
head, making ready to weave her web. He
watched her as she toiled slowly and with great
care. Six times she tried to throw her frail thread
from one beam to another, and six times it fell
Poor thing! said Bruce: "you, too, know what
it is to fail."
But the spider did not lose hope with the sixth
failure. With still more care, she made ready to
try for the seventh time. Bruce almost forgot his
own troubles as he watched her swing herself out
upon the slender line. Would she fail again?
No! The thread was carried safely to the beam,
and fas-tened there.
I, too, will try a seventh time! cried Bruce.
He arose and called his men together. He told
them of his plans, and sent them out with mes-sa-
ges of cheer to his dis-heart-ened people. Soon
there was an army of brave Scotch-men around
him. Another battle was fought, and the King of
England was glad to go back into his own country.
I have heard it said, that, after that day, no one
by the name of Bruce would ever hurt a spider.
The lesson which the little crea-ture had taught
the king was never for-got-ten.
THE BLACK DOUGLAS.
IN Scotland, in the time of King Robert Bruce,
there lived a brave man whose name was Doug-las.
His hair and beard were black and long, and his
face was tanned and dark; and for this reason
people nicknamed him the Black Douglas. He
was a good friend of the king, and one of his
In the war with the English, who were trying to
drive Bruce from Scotland, the Black Douglas did
many brave deeds; and the English people became
very much afraid of him. By and by the fear of
him spread all through the land. Nothing could
frighten an English lad more than to tell him that
the Black Douglas was not far away. Women
would tell their chil-dren, when they were naughty,
that the Black Douglas would get them; and this
would make them very quiet and good.
There was a large cas-tle in Scotland which the
English had taken early in the war. The Scot-tish
soldiers wanted very much to take it again, and the
Black Douglas and his men went one day to see
what they could do. It happened to be a hol-i-day,
and most of the English soldiers in the cas-tle were
eating and drinking and having a merry time. But
they had left watch-men on the wall to see that the
Scottish soldiers did not come upon them un-a-
wares; and so they felt quite safe.
In the e-ven-ing, when it was growing dark, the
wife of one of the soldiers went up on the wall
with her child in her arms. As she looked over
into the fields below the castle, she saw some dark
objects moving toward the foot of the wall. In the
dusk she could not make out what they were, and so
she pointed them out to one of the watch-men.
Pooh, pooh! said the watchman. Those are
nothing to frighten us. They are the farmer's cat-
tle, trying to find their way home. The farmer
himself is en-joy-ing the hol-i-day, and he has for-
gotten to bring them in. If the Douglas should
happen this way before morning, he will be sorry
for his care-less-ness."
But the dark objects were not cattle. They were
the Black Douglas and his men, creeping on hands
and feet toward the foot of the castle wall. Some
of them were dragging ladders behind them through
the grass. They would soon be climbing to the top
of the wall. None of the English soldiers dreamed
that they were within many miles of the place.
The woman watched them until the last one had
passed around a corner out of sight. She was not
afraid, for in the dark-en-ing twi-light they looked
indeed like cattle. After a little while she began
to sing to her child:-
"Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye,
Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye,
The Black Douglas shall not get ye."
All at once a gruff voice was heard behind her,
saying, Don't be so sure about that! "
She looked around, and there stood the Black
Douglas himself. At the same moment a Scottish
soldier climbed off a ladder and leaped upon the
wall; and then there came another and another
and another, until the wall was covered with them.
Soon there was hot fighting in every part of the
castle. But the English were so taken by sur-
prise that they could not do much. Many of them
were killed, and in a little while the Black Douglas
Don't be so sure about that I
Don't be so sure about that
"Don't be so sure about that l"
and his men were the masters of the castle, which
by right be-longed to them.
As for the woman and her child, the Black
Douglas would not suffer any one to harm them.
After a while they went back to England; and
whether the mother made up any more songs about
the Black Douglas I cannot tell.
THREE MEN OF GOTHAM.
THERE is a town in England called Go-tham, and
many merry stories are told of the queer people who
used to live there.
One day two men of Go-tham met on a bridge.
Hodge was coming from the market, and Peter was
going to the market.
"Where are you going? said Hodge.
"I am going to the market to buy sheep," said
"Buy sheep?" said Hodge. "And which way
will you bring them home? "
I shall bring them over this bridge," said Peter,
No, you shall not," said Hodge.
Yes, but I will," said Peter.
You shall not," said Hodge.
I will," said Peter.
Then they beat with their sticks on the ground as
though there had been a hundred sheep between
Take care!" cried Peter. "Look out that my
sheep don't jump on the bridge."
I care not where they jump," said Hodge; but
they shall not go over it."
But they shall," said Peter.
Have a care," said Hodge; "for if you say too
much, I will put my fingers in your mouth."
Will you ?" said Peter.
Just then another man of Gotham came from
the market with a sack of meal on his horse. He
heard his neigh-bors quar-rel-ing about sheep; but
he could see no sheep between them, and so he
stopped and spoke to them.
"Ah, you foolish fellows!" he cried. "It is
strange that you will never learn wisdom. Come
here, Peter, and help me lay my sack on my
Peter did so, and the man carried his meal to the
side of the bridge.
Now look at me," he said, and learn a lesson."
And he opened the mouth of the sack, and poured
all the meal into the river.
Now, neighbors," he said, "can you tell how
much meal is in my sack ? "
"How much meal is in my sack?"
There is none at all! cried Hodge and Peter
You are right," said the man; and you that
stand here and quarrel about nothing, have no more
sense in your heads than I have meal in my sack! "
OTHER WISE MEN OF GOTHAM.
ONE day, news was brought to Gotham that the
king was coming that way, and that he would pass
through the town. This did not please the men of
Gotham at all. They hated the king, for they knew
that he was a cruel, bad man. If he came to their
town, they would have to find food and lodg-ing for
him and his men; and if he saw anything that
pleased him, he would be sure to take it for his
own. What should they do?
They met together to talk the matter over.
Let us chop down the big trees in the woods, so
that they will block up all the roads that lead into
the town," said one of the wise men.
Good !" said all the rest.
So they went out with their axes, and soon all the
roads and paths to the town were filled with logs
and brush. The king's horse-men would have a
hard time of it getting into Gotham. They would
either have to make a new road, or give up the
plan al-to-geth-er, and go on to some other place.
When the king came, and saw that the road had
been blocked up, he was very angry.
Who chopped those trees down in my way? "
he asked of two country lads that were passing by.
The men of Gotham," said the lads.
"Well," said the king, go and tell the men of
Gotham that I shall send my sher-iff into their town,
and have all their noses cut off."
The two lads ran to the town as fast as they
could, and made known what the king had said.
Every-body was in great fright. The men ran
from house to house, carrying the news, and asking
one another what they should do.
Our wits have kept the king out of the town,"
said one; "and so now our wits must save our
True, true!" said the others. But what shall
we do? "
Then one, whose name was Dobbin, and who was
thought to be the wisest of them all, said, Let me
tell you something. Many a man has been pun-
ished because he was wise, but I have never heard
of any one being harmed because he was a fool.
So, when the king's sher-iff comes, let us all act
Good, good cried the others. We will all act
It was no easy thing for the king's men to open
the roads; and while they were doing it, the king
grew tired of waiting, and went back to London.
But very early one morning, the sheriff with a party
of fierce soldiers rode through the woods, and be-
tween the fields, toward Gotham. Just before they
reached the town, they saw a queer sight. The old
men were rolling big stones up the hill, and all the
young men were looking on, and grunting very
The sheriff stopped his horses, and asked what
they were doing.
We are rolling stones up-hill to make the sun
rise," said one of the old men.
You foolish fellow!" said the sheriff. Don't
you know that the sun will rise without any help ? "
Ah! will it ? said the old man. Well, I never
thought of that. How wise you are! "
And what are you doing? said the sheriff to
the young men.
Oh, we do the grunting while our fathers do the
working," they answered.
I see," said the sheriff. Well, that is the way
the world goes every-where." And he rode on
toward the town.
He soon came to a field where a number of men
were building a stone wall.
"What are you doing? he asked.
Why, master," they answered, there is a cuck-oo
in this field, and we are building a wall around it so
as to keep the bird from straying away."
"You foolish fellows! said the sheriff. Don't
you know that the bird will fly over the top of your
wall, no matter how high you build it ? "
"Why, no," they said. We never thought of
that. How very wise you are!"
The sheriff next met a man who was carrying a
door on his back.
What are you doing? he asked.
I have just started on a long jour-ney," said the
But why do you carry that door ?" asked the
I left my money at home."
Then why didn't you leave the door at home
I was afraid of thieves; and you see, if I have the
door with me, they can't break it open and get in."
You foolish fellow! said the sheriff. It would
be safer to leave the door at home, and carry the
money with you."
"Ah, would it, though?" said the man. Now,
I never thought of that. You are the wisest man
that I ever saw."
Then the sheriff rode on with his men; but every
one that they met was doing some silly thing.
Truly I believe that the people of Gotham are
all fools," said one of the horsemen.
That is true," said another. "It would be a
shame to harm such simple people."
Let us ride back to London, and tell the king
all about them," said the sheriff.
Yes, let us do so," said the horsemen.
So they went back, and told the king that Gotham
was a town of fools; and the king laughed, and said
that if that was the case, he would not harm them,
but would let them keep their noses.
THE MILLER OF THE DEE.
ONCE upon a time there lived on the banks of the
River Dee a miller, who was the hap-pi-est man in
England. He was always busy from morning till
night, and he was always singing as merrily as any
lark. He was so cheerful that he made everybody
else cheerful; and people all over the land liked to
talk about his pleasant ways. At last the king
heard about him.
I will go down and talk with this won-der-ful
miller," he said. Perhaps he can tell me how to
As soon as he stepped inside of the mill, he
heard the miller singing: -
"I envy no-body no, not I! -
For I am as happy as I can be;
And nobody envies me."
"You're wrong, my friend," said the king. You're
wrong as wrong can be. I envy you; and I would
gladly change places with you, if I could only be as
light-hearted as you are."
The miller smiled, and bowed to the king.
I am sure I could not think of changing places
with you, sir," he said.
Now tell me," said the king, "what makes you
so cheerful and glad here in your dusty mill, while
I, who am king, am sad and in trouble every day."
The miller smiled again, and said," I do not know
why you are sad, but I can eas-i-ly tell why I am
glad. I earn my own bread; I love my wife and
my children; I love my friends, and they love me;
and I owe not a penny to any man. Why should
I not be happy? For here is the River Dee, and
every day it turns my mill; and the mill grinds the
corn that feeds my wife, my babes, and me."
"Say no more," said
the king. Stay
\\ h re you
S are, and be
.- lt I envy
you. Xour '
dusty cap is worth
more than my
golden crown. Your mill
does more for you than my kingdom can do for
me. If there were more such men as you, what
a good place this world would be! Good-by, my
The king turned about, and walked sadly away;
and the miller went back to his work, singing: -
"Oh, I'm as happy as happy can be,
For I live by the side of the River Dee 1"
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.
A CRUEL battle was being fought. The ground
was covered with dead and dying men. The air
was hot and stifling. The sun shone down without
pity on the wounded soldiers lying in the blood and
One of these soldiers was a no-ble-man, whom
everybody loved for his gen-tle-ness and kindness.
Yet now he was no better off than the poorest
man in the field. He had been wounded, and would
die; and he was suf-fer-ing much with pain and
When the battle was over, his friends hurried to
his aid. A soldier came running with a cup in his
Here, Sir Philip," he said, "I have brought you
some clear, cool water from the brook. I will raise
your head so that you can drink."
FIFTY FAM. STO.-4
The cup was placed to Sir Philip's lips. How
thank-ful-ly he looked at the man who had brought
it Then his eyes met those of a dying soldier
who was lying on the ground close by. The wist-
ful look in the poor man's face spoke plainer than
"Give the water to that man," said Sir Philip
quickly; and then, pushing the cup toward him,
he said, Here, my comrade, take this. Thy need
is greater than mine."
What a brave, noble man he was! The name
of Sir Philip Sidney will never be for-got-ten; for
it was the name of a Chris-tian gen-tle-man who
always had the good of others in his mind. Was
it any wonder that everybody wept when it was
heard that he was dead ?
It is said, that, on the day when he was carried
to the grave, every eye in the land was filled with
tears. Rich and poor, high and low, all felt that
they had lost a friend; all mourned the death of
the kindest, gentlest man that they had ever known,
THE UNGRATEFUL SOLDIER.
HERE is another story of the bat-tie-field, and
it is much like the one which I have just told
Not quite a hundred years after the time of Sir
Philip Sidney there was a war between the Swedes
and the Danes. One day a great battle was fought,
and the Swedes were beaten, and driven from the
field. A soldier of the Danes who had been slightly
wounded was sitting on the ground. He was about
to take a drink from a flask. All at once he heard
some one say,-
sir! give me a drink, for I am dying."
It was a wounded Swede who spoke. He was
lying on the ground only a little way off. The
Dane went to him at once. He knelt down by the
side of his fallen foe, and pressed the flask to his
Drink," said he, "for thy need is greater than
Hardly had he spoken these words, when the
Swede raised himself on his elbow. He pulled a
pistol from his pocket, and shot at the man who
would have be-friend-ed him. The bullet grazed the
Dane's shoulder, but did not do him much harm.
"Ah, you rascal!" he cried. "I was going to
befriend you, and you repay me by trying to kill
me. Now I will punish you. I would have given
you all the water, but now you shall have only
half." And with that he drank the half of it, and
then gave the rest to the Swede.
When the King of the Danes heard about this,
he sent for the soldier and had him tell the story
just as it was.
Why did you spare the life of the Swede after
he had tried to kill you ? asked the king.
Because, sir," said the soldier," I could never
kill a wounded enemy."
Then you deserve to be a no-ble-man," said the
king. And he re-ward-ed him by making him a
knight, and giving him a noble title.
SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT.
MORE than three hundred years ago there lived in
England a brave man whose name was Sir Hum-
phrey Gil-bert. At that time there were no white
people in this country of ours. The land was cov-
ered with forests; and where there are now great
cities and fine farms there were only trees and
swamps among which roamed wild In-di-ans and
Sir Hum-phrey Gilbert was one of the first men
who tried to make a set-tle-ment in A-mer-i-ca,
Twice did he bring men and ships over the sea, and
twice did he fail, and sail back for England. The
second time, he was on a little ship called the Squir-
rel." Another ship, called the Golden Hind," was
not far away. When they were three days from
land, the wind failed, and the ships lay floating on
the waves. Then at night the air grew very cold.
A breeze sprang up from the east. Great white
ice-bergs came drifting around them. In the
morning the little ships were almost lost among
the floating mountains of ice. The men on the
"Hind" saw Sir Humphrey sitting on the deck
of the "Squirrel" with an open book in his hand.
He called to them and said, -
"Be brave, my friends! We are as near heaven
on the sea as on the land."
Night came again. It was a stormy night, with
mist and rain. All at once the men on the Hind "
saw the lights on board of the Squirrel go out.
The little vessel, with brave Sir Humphrey and all
his brave men, was swal-lowed up by the waves.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH.
THERE once lived in England a brave and noble
man whose name was Walter Ra-leigh. He was
not only brave and noble, but he was also hand-
some and polite; and for that reason the queen
made him a knight, and called him Sir Walter
I will tell you about it.
When Raleigh was a young man, he was one day
walking along a street in London. At that time
the streets were not paved, and there were no side-
walks. Raleigh was dressed in very fine style, and
he wore a beau-ti-ful scar-let cloak thrown over his
As he passed along, he found it hard work to
keep from stepping in the mud, and soiling his
hand-some new shoes. Soon he came to a puddle
of muddy water which reached from one side of the
street to the other. He could not step across. Per-
haps he could jump over it.
As he was thinking what he should do, he hap-
pened to look up. Who was it coming down the
street, on the other side of the puddle ?
It was E-liz-a-beth, the Queen of England, with
her train of gen-tle-wom-en and waiting maids. She
saw the dirty puddle in the street. She saw the
handsome young man with the scar-let cloak, stand-
ing by the side of it. How was she to get across?
Young Raleigh, when he saw who was coming,
forgot about himself. He thought only of helping
the queen. There was only one thing that he could
do, and no other man would have thought of that.
He took off his scarlet cloak, and spread it across
the puddle. The queen could step on it now, as on
a beautiful carpet.
She walked across. She was safely over the ugly
puddle, and her feet had not touched the mud. She
paused a moment, and thanked the young man.
As she walked onward with her train, she asked
one of the gen-tle-wom-en, "Who is that brave
gen-tle-man who helped us so handsomely? "
His name is Walter Raleigh," said the gentle-
He shall have his reward," said the queen.
Not long after that, she sent for Raleigh to come
to her pal-ace.
The young man went, but he had no scarlet cloak
to wear. Then, while all the great men and fine
ladies of England stood around, the queen made
him a knight. And from that time he was known
as Sir Walter Raleigh, the queen's favorite.
Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Humphrey Gilbert,
about whom I have already told you, were half-
When Sir Humphrey made his first voy-age to
America, Sir Walter was with him. After that, Sir
Walter tried sev-er-al times to send men to this
country to make a set-tle-ment.
But those whom he sent found only great forests,
and wild beasts, and say-age In-di-ans. Some of
them went back to England; some of them died
for want of food; and some of them were lost in
the woods. At last Sir Walter gave up trying to
get people to come to America.
But he found two things in this country which
the people of England knew very little about. One
was the po-ta-to, the other was to-bac-co.
If you should ever go to Ireland, you may be
shown the place where Sir Walter planted the few
po-ta-toes which he carried over from America. He
told his friends how the Indians used them for food;
and he proved that they would grow in the Old
World as well as in the New.
Sir Walter had seen the Indians smoking the
leaves of the to-bac-co plant. He thought that he
would do the same, and he carried some of the
leaves to England. Englishmen had never used
tobacco before that time; and all who saw Sir
Walter puff-ing away at a roll of leaves thought
that it was a strange sight.
One day as he was sitting in his chair and smok-
ing, his servant came into the room. The man saw
the smoke curling over his master's head, and he
thought that he was on fire.
He ran out for some water. He found a pail
that was quite full. He hurried back, and threw
the water into Sir Walter's face. Of course the
fire was all put out.
After that a great many men learned to smoke.
And now tobacco is used in all countries of the
world. It would have been well if Sir Walter
Raleigh had let it alone.
THERE was once a very brave man whose name
was John Smith. He came to this country many
years ago, when there were great woods everywhere,
and many wild beasts and Indians. Many tales
are told of his ad-ven-tures, some of them true and
some of them untrue. The most famous of all these
is the fol-low-ing:-
One day when Smith was in the woods, some
Indians came upon him, and made him their
pris-on-er. They led him to their king, and
in a short time they made ready to put him to
A large stone was brought in, and Smith was
made to lie down with his head on it. Then two
tall Indians with big clubs in their hands came for-
ward. The king and all his great men stood around
to see. The Indians raised their clubs. In another
moment they would fall on Smith's head.
But just then a little Indian girl rushed in. She
was the daugh-ter of the king, and her name was
Po-ca-hon'tas. She ran and threw herself between
Smith and the up-lift-ed clubs. She clasped Smith's
head with her arms. She laid her own head upon
O father! she cried, "spare this man's life. I
am sure he has done you no harm, and we ought to
be his friends."
The men with the clubs could not strike, for they
did not want to hurt the child. The king at first
did not know what to do. Then he spoke to some
of his war-riors, and they lifted Smith from the
ground. They untied the cords from his wrists and
feet, and set him free.
The next day the king sent Smith home; and
several Indians went with him to protect him from
After that, as long as she lived, Po-ca-hon-tas was
the friend of the white men, and she did a great
many things to help them.
GEORGE WASHINGTON AND HIS HATCHET.
WHEN George Wash-ing-ton was quite a little boy,
his father gave him a hatchet. It was bright and
new, and George took great delight in going about
arid chopping things with it.
He ran into the garden, and there he saw a tree
which seemed to say to him, Come and cut me
George had often seen his father's men chop
down the great trees in the forest, and he thought
ha t it
I F .. .
'I '1L 1)1d. S li ii et t'
work with his little hatchet, and,
as the tree was a very small one,
it did not take long to lay it low.
Soon after that, his father came home.
Who has been cutting my fine young cherry
tree? he cried. It was the only tree of its kind
in this country, and it cost me a great deal of
He was very angry when he came into the house.
If I only knew who killed that cherry tree," he
cried, I would yes, I would "-
Father !" cried little George. I will tell you
the truth about it. I chopped the tree down with
His father forgot his anger.
George," he said, and he took the little fellow in
his arms, George, I am glad that you told me
about it. I would rather lose a dozen cherry trees
than that you should tell one false-hood."
IT was a dark Sep-tem-ber morning. There was
a storm at sea. A ship had been driven on a low
rock off the shores of the Fame Islands. It had been
broken in two by the waves, and half of it had been
washed away. The other half lay yet on the rock,
and those of the crew who were still alive were cling-
ing to it. But the waves were dashing over it, and in
a little while it too would be carried to the bottom.
Could any one save the poor, half-drowned men
who were there?
On one of the islands was a light-house; and
there, all through that stormy night, Grace Darling
had listened to the storm.
Grace was the daughter of the light-house keeper,
and she had lived by the sea as long as she could
In the darkness of the night, above the noise of the
winds and waves, she heard screams and wild cries.
When day-light came, she could see the wreck, a
mile away, with the angry waters all around it. She
could see the men clinging to the masts.
"We must try to save them!" she cried. "Let
us go out in the boat at once!"
It is of no use, Grace," said her father. "We
cannot reach them."
He was an old man, and he knew the force of the
"We cannot stay here and see them die," said
Grace. We must at least try to save them."
Her father could not say, No."
In a few minutes they were ready. They set off
in the heavy lighthouse boat. Grace pulled one
oar, and her father the other, and they made straight
toward the wreck. But it was hard rowing against
such a sea, and it seemed as though they would
never reach the place.
At last they were close to the rock, and now
they were in greater danger than before. The fierce
waves broke against the boat, and it would have
been dashed in pieces, had it not been for the
strength and skill of the brave girl.
But after many trials, Grace's father climbed
upon the wreck, while Grace herself held the boat.
Then one by one the worn-out crew were helped
on board. It was all that the girl could do to keep
the frail boat from being drifted away, or broken
upon the sharp edges of the rock.
Then her father clam-bered back into his place.
Strong hands grasped the oars, and by and by all
were safe in the lighthouse. There Grace proved
to be no less tender as a nurse than she had been
brave as a sailor. She cared most kindly for the ship-
wrecked men until the storm had died away and they
were strong enough to go to their own homes.
All this happened a long time ago, but the name
of Grace Darling will never be forgotten. She lies
buried now in a little church-yard by the sea, not
far from her old home. Every year many people
go there to see her grave; and there a mon-u-ment
has been placed in honor of the brave girl. It is
not a large mon-u-ment, but it is one that speaks of
the noble deed which made Grace Darling famous.
It is a figure carved in stone of a woman lying at
rest, with a boat's oar held fast in her right hand.
THE STORY OF WILLIAM TELL.
THE people of Swit-zer-land were not always free
and happy as they are to-day. Many years ago a
proud tyrant, whose name was Gessler, ruled over
them, and made their lot a bitter one indeed.
One day this tyrant set up a tall pole in the pub-
lic square, and put his own cap on the top of it;
and then he gave orders that every man who came
into the town should bow down before it. But
there was one man, named William Tell, who
would not do this. He stood up straight with
folded arms, and laughed at the swinging cap.
He would not bow down to Gessler himself.
When Gessler heard of this, he was very angry.
He was afraid that other men would disobey, and
that soon the whole country would rebel against him.
So he made up his mind to punish the bold man.
William Tell's home was among the mountains,
and he was a famous hunter. No one in all the
land could shoot with bow and arrow so well as he.
Gessler knew this, and so he thought of a cruel plan
to make the hunter's own skill bring him to grief.
He ordered that Tell's little boy should be made to
stand up in the public square with an apple on his
head; and then he bade Tell shoot the apple with
one of his arrows.
Tell begged the tyrant not to have him make
this test of his skill. What if the boy should
move? What if the bow-man's hand should trem-
ble? What if the arrow should not carry true?
"Will you make me kill my boy ?" he said.
"Say no more," said Gessler. You must hit
the apple with your one arrow. If you fail, my
sol-diers shall kill the boy before your eyes,"
FIFTY FAM. STO.-5
Then, without another word, Tell fitted the
arrow to his bow. He took aim, and let it fly.
The boy stood firm and still. He was not afraid,
for he had all faith in his father's skill.
The arrow whistled through the air. It struck
the apple fairly in the center, and carried it away.
The people who saw it shouted with joy.
As Tell was turning away from the place, an
arrow which he had hidden under his coat dropped
to the ground.
Fellow!" cried Gessler, "what mean you with
this second arrow? "
"Tyrant! was Tell's proud answer, "this arrow
was for your heart if I had hurt my child."
And there is an old story, that, not long after
this, Tell did shoot the tyrant with one of his
arrows; and thus he set his country free.
A GREAT army was marching into Swit-zer-land.
If it should go much farther, there would be no
driving it out again. The soldiers would burn
the towns, they would rob the farmers of their
grain and sheep, they would make slaves of the
The men of Switzerland knew all this. They
knew that they must fight for their homes and
their lives. And so they came from the mountains
and valleys to try what they could do to save their
land. Some came with bows and arrows, some
with scythes and pitch-forks, and some with only
sticks and clubs.
But their foes kept in line as they marched along
the road. Every soldier was fully armed. As they
moved and kept close together, nothing could be
seen of them but their spears and shields and shin-
ing armor. What could the poor country people
do against such foes as these ?
We must break their lines," cried their leader;
"for we cannot harm them while they keep to-
The bowmen shot their arrows, but they glanced
off from the soldiers' shields. Others tried clubs
and stones, but with no better luck. The lines
were still un-bro-ken. The soldiers moved stead-i-ly
onward; their shields lapped over one another;
their thousand spears looked like so many long
bris-tles in the sun-light. What cared they for
sticks and stones and hunts-men's arrows ?
If we cannot break their ranks," said the Swiss,
"we have no chance for fight, and our country will
Then a poor man, whose name was Ar-nold
Wink'el-ried, stepped out.
On the side of yonder moun-tain," said he, I
have a happy home. There my wife and chil-dren
wait for my return. But they will not see me
again, for this day I will give my life for my coun-
try. And do you, my friends, do your duty, and
Switzer':i;d shall be free."
With these words he ran forward. Follow
me! he cried to his friends. -I will break the lines,
and then let every man fight as bravely as he can."
He had nothing in his hands, neither club nor
stone nor other weapon. But he ran straight on-
ward to the place where the spears were thickest.
Make way for lib-er-ty! he cried, as he dashed
right into the lines.
A hundred spears were turned to catch him upon
their points. The soldiers forgot to stay in their
places. The lines were broken. Arnold's friends
rushed bravely after him. They fought with what-
ever they had in hand. They snatched spears and
shields from their foes. They had no thought of
fear. They only thought of their homes and their
dear native land. And they won at last.
Such a battle no one ever knew before. But
Switzerland was saved, and Arnold Wink-el-ried did
not die in vain.
THE BELL OF ATRI.
A-TRI is the name of a little town in It-a-ly. It is
a very old town, and is built half-way up the side of
a steep hill.
A long time ago, the King of Atri bought a fine
large bell, and had it hung up in a tower in the
market place. A long rope that reached almost to
the ground was fas-tened to the bell. The smallest
child could ring the bell by pulling upon this rope.
It is the bell of justice," said the king.
When at last everything was ready, the people of
Atri had a great holiday. All the men and women
and children came down to the market place to look
at the bell of justice. It was a very pretty bell, and
was pol-ished until it looked almost as bright and
yellow as the sun.
How we should like to hear it ring!" they said.
Then the king came down the street.
Perhaps he will ring it," said the people; and
everybody stood very still, and waited to see what
he would do.
But he did not ring the bell. He did not even
take the rope in his hands. When he came to the
foot of the tower, he stopped, and raised his hand.
My people," he said, do you see this beautiful
bell? It is your bell; but it must never be rung
except in case of need. If any one of you is wronged
at any time, he may come and ring the bell; and
then the judges shall come together at once, and
hear his case, and give him justice. Rich and poor,
old and young, all alike may come; but no one must
touch the rope unless he knows that he has been
Many years passed by after this. Many times did
the bell in the market place ring out to call the
judges together. Many wrongs were righted, many
ill-doers were punished. At last the hempen rope
was almost worn out. The lower part of it was un-
twist-ed; some of the strands were broken; it became
so short that only a tall man could reach it.
"This will never do," said the judges one day.
"What if a child should be wronged ? It could not
ring the bell to let us know it."
They gave orders that a new rope should be put
upon the bell at once,-a rope that should hang
down to the ground, so that the smallest child could
reach it. But there was not a rope to be found
in all Atri. They would have to send across the
mountains for one, and it would be many days
before it could be brought. What if some great
wrong should be done before it came ? How could
the judges know about it, if the in-jured one could
not reach the old rope?
Let me fix it for you," said a man who stood
He ran into his garden, which was not far away,
and soon came back with a long grape-vine in his
"This will do for a rope," he said; and he
climbed up, and fastened it to the bell. The slen-
der vine, with its leaves and ten-drils still upon it,
trailed to the ground.
Yes," said the judges, it is a very good rope.
Let it be as it is."
Now, on the hill-side above the village, there
lived a man who had once been a brave knight.
In his youth he had ridden through many'lands,
and he had fought in many a battle. His 'best
friend through all that time had been his horse,--
a strong, noble steed that had borne him safe
through many a danger.
But the knight, when he grew older, cared no
more to ride into battle; he cared no more to do
brave deeds; he thought of nothing but gold; he
became a miser. At last he sold all that he had,
except his horse, and went to live in a little hut
on the hill-side. Day after day he sat among his
money bags, and planned how he might get more
gold; and day after day his horse stood in his bare
stall, half-starved, and shiv-er-ing with cold.
"What is the use of keeping that lazy steed ? "
said the miser to himself one morning. Every
week it costs me more to keep him than he is
worth. I .might sell him; but there is not a man
that wants him. I cannot even give him away. I
will turn him out to shift for himself, and pick grass
by the roadside. If he starves to death, so much
So the brave old horse was turned out to find
what he could among the rocks on the barren hill-
side. Lame and sick, he strolled along the dusty
roads, glad to find a blade of grass or a thistle. The
boys threw stones at him, the dogs barked at him,
and in all the world there was no one to pity him.
One hot afternoon, when no one was upon the
street, the horse chanced to wander into the mar-
ket place. Not a man nor child was there, for
the heat of the sun had driven them all indoors.
The gates were wide open; the poor beast could
roam where he pleased. He saw the grape-vine
rope that hung from the bell of justice. The leaves
and tendrils upon it were still fresh and green, for
it had not been there long. What a fine dinner
they would be for a starving horse!
He stretched his thin neck, and took one of the
tempting morsels in his mouth. It was hard to
break it from the vine. He pulled at it, and the
great bell above him began to ring. All the people
in Atri heard it. It seemed to say, -
Some one has done me wrong !
Some one has done me wrong !
Oh come and judge my case !
Oh come and judge my case !
For I've been wronged !"
The judges heard it. They put on their robes,
and went out through the hot streets to the mar-
ket place. They wondered who it could be who
would ring the bell at such a time. When they
passed through the gate, they saw the old horse
nibbling at the vine.
Ha cried one, it is the miser's steed. He has
come to call for justice; for his master, as every-
body knows, has treated him most shame-ful-ly."
He pleads his cause as well as any dumb brute
can," said another.
"And he shall have justice !" said the third.
Mean-while a crowd of men and women and chil-
dren had come into the market place, eager to learn
what cause the judges were about to try. When
they saw the horse, all stood still in wonder. Then
every one was ready to tell how they had seen him
wan-der-ing on the hills, unfed, un-ca'red for, while
his master sat at home counting his bags of gold.
Go bring the miser before us," said the judges
"Some one has done me wrong I''
--~LbPiI .rJr, l'~a~ilslll~ll~R~~;~
And when he came, they bade him stand and
hear their judg-ment.
This horse has served you well for many a year,"
they said. He has saved you from many a peril.
He has helped you gain your wealth. Therefore
we order that one half of all your gold shall be set
aside to buy him shelter and food, a green pasture
where he may graze, and a warm stall to comfort
him in his old age."
The miser hung his head, and grieved to lose his
gold; but the people shouted with joy, and the horse
was led away to his new stall and a dinner such as
he had not had in many a day.
HOW NAPOLEON CROSSED THE ALPS.
ABOUT a hundred years ago there lived a great
gen-er-al whose name was Na-po'le-on Bo'na-parte.
He was the leader of the French army; and France
was at war with nearly all the countries around.
He wanted very much to take his soldiers into
It-a-ly; but between France and Italy there are
high mountains called the Alps, the tops of which
are covered with snow.
Is it pos-si-ble to cross the Alps ?" said Na-po-
The men who had been sent to look at the passes
over the mountains shook their heads. Then one
of them said, It may be possible, but "-
Let me hear no more," said Napoleon. For-
ward to Italy!"
People laughed at the thought of an army of
sixty thousand men crossing the Alps where there
was no road. But Napoleon waited only to see
that everything was in good order, and then he
gave the order to march.
The long line of soldiers and horses and cannon
stretched for twenty miles. When they came to a
steep place where there seemed to be no way to go
farther, the trum-pets sounded "Charge!" Then
every man did his best, and the whole army moved
Soon they were safe over the Alps. In four days
they were marching on the plains of Italy.
The man who has made up his mind to win,"
said Napoleon, "will never say Im-pos-si-ble.'"
THE STORY OF CINCINNATUS.
THERE was a man named Cin-cin-na'tus who lived
on a little farm not far from the city of Rome. He
had once been rich, and had held the highest office
in the land; but in one way or another he had lost
all his wealth. He was now so poor that he had to
do all the work on his farm with his own hands.
But in those days it was thought to be a noble
thing to till the soil.
Cin-cin-na-tus was so wise and just that every-
body trusted him, and asked his advice; and when
any one was in trouble, and did not know what to
do, his neighbors would say,-
Go and tell Cincinnatus. He will help you."
Now there lived among the mountains, not far
away, a tribe of fierce, half-wild men, who were at
war with the Roman people. They per-suad-ed
another tribe of bold war-riors to help them, and
then marched toward the city, plun-der-ing and
robbing as they came. They boasted that they
would tear down the walls of Rome, and burn the
houses, and kill all the men, and make slaves of
the women and children.
At first the Romans, who were very proud and
brave, did not think there was much danger.
Every man. in Rome was a soldier, and the army
which went out to fight the robbers was the finest
in the world. No one staid at home with the
women and children and boys but the white-haired
" Fathers," as they were called, who made the laws
for the city, and a small company of men who
guarded the walls. Everybody thought that it
would be an easy thing to drive the men of the
mountains back to the place where they belonged.
But one morning five horsemen came riding
down the road from the mountains. They rode
with great speed; and both men and horses were
covered with dust and blood. The watchman at
the gate knew them, and shouted to them as they
gal-loped in. Why did they ride thus? and what
had happened to the Roman army?
They did not' answer him, but rode into the city
and along the quiet streets; and everybody ran
after them, eager to find out what was the matter.
Rome was not a large city at that time; and soon
they reached the market place where the white-
haired Fathers were sitting. Then they leaped
from their horses, and told their story.
Only yes-ter-day," they said, "our army was
marching through a narrow valley between two
steep mountains. All at once a thou-sand sav-
age men sprang out from among the rocks before
us and above us. They had blocked up the way;
and the pass was so narrow that we could not
fight. We tried to come back; but they had
blocked up the way on this side of us too. The
fierce men of the mountains were before us and
behind us, and they were throwing rocks down
upon us from above. We had been caught in a
trap. Then ten of. us set spurs to our horses; and
five of us forced our way through, but the other
five fell before the spears of the mountain men.
And now, O Roman Fathers! send help to our
army at once, or every man will be slain, and our
city will be taken."
"What shall we do?" said the white-haired
Fathers. "Whom can we send but the guards
and the boys? and who is wise enough to lead
them, and thus save Rome?"
All shook their heads and were very grave; for
it seemed as if there was no hope. Then one said,
"Send for Cincinnatus. He will help us."
Cincinnatus was in the field plowing when the
men who had been sent to him came in great haste.
He stopped and greeted them kindly, and waited
for them to speak.
Put on your cloak, Cincinnatus," they said,
"and hear the words of the Roman people."
Then Cincinnatus wondered what they could
mean. Is all well with Rome?" he asked; and
he called to his wife to bring him his cloak.
She brought the cloak; and Cincinnatus wiped
the dust from his hands and arms, and threw it over
his shoulders. Then the men told their errand.
They told him how the army with all the noblest
men of Rome had been en-trapped in the mountain
pass. They told him about the great danger the
city was in. Then they said, The people of Rome
make you their ruler and the ruler of their city, to
do with everything as you choose; and the Fathers
bid you come at once and go out against our ene-
mies, the fierce men of the mountains."
So Cincinnatus left his plow standing where it
was, and hurried to the city. When he passed
through the streets, and gave orders as to what
should be done, some of the people were afraid, for
they knew that he had all power in Rome to do
what he pleased. But he armed the guards and
the boys, and went out at their head to fight the
fierce mountain men, and free the Roman army
from the trap into which it had fallen.
A few days afterward there was great joy in
Rome. There was good news from Cincinnatus.
The men of the mountains had been beaten with
great loss. They had been driven back into their
And now the Roman army, with the boys and
the guards, was coming home with banners flying,
and shouts of vic-to-ry; and at their head rode
Cincinnatus. He had saved Rome.
Cincinnatus might then have made himself king;
for his word was law, and no man dared lift a finger
against him. But, before the people could thank
him enough for what he had done, he gave back
the power to the white-haired Roman Fathers, and
went again to his little farm and his plow.
He had been the ruler of Rome for sixteen days.
FIFTY FAM. STO.-6
THE STORY OF REGULUS.
ON the other side of the sea from Rome there
was once a great city named Car-thage. The
Roman people were never very friendly to the peo-
ple of Car-thage, and at last a war began between
them. For a long time it was hard to tell which
would prove the stronger. First the Romans
would gain a battle, and then the men of Car-
thage would gain a battle; and so the war went on
for many years.
Among the Romans there was a brave gen-er-al
named Reg'u-lus, a man of whom it was said
that he never broke his word. It so happened
after a while, that Reg-u-lus was taken pris-on-er
and carried to Carthage. Ill and very lonely, he
dreamed of his wife and little children so far
away beyond the sea; and he had but little hope
of ever seeing them again. He loved his home
dearly, but he believed that his first duty was to
his country; and so he had left all, to fight in
this cruel war.
He had lost a battle, it is true, and had been
taken prisoner. Yet he knew that the Romans
were gaining ground, and the people of Carthage
were afraid of being beaten in the end. They had
sent into other countries to hire soldiers to help
them; but even with these they would not be able
to fight much longer against Rome.
One day some of the rulers of Carthage came to
the prison to talk with Regulus.
We should like to make peace with the Roman
people," they said, and we are sure, that, if your
rulers at home knew how the war is going, they
would be glad to make peace with us. We will set
you free and let you go home, if you will agree to
do as we say."
What is that? asked Regulus.
In the first place," they said, "you must tell
the Romans about the battles which you have
lost, and you must make it plain to them that
they have not gained any-thing by the war. In
the second place, you must promise us, that, if
they will not make peace, you will come back to
"Very well," said Regulus, I promise you, that,
if they will not make peace, I will come back to
And so they let him go; for they knew that a
great Roman would keep his word.
When he came to Rome, all the people greeted
him gladly. His wife and children were very
happy, for they thought that now they would not
be parted again. The white-haired Fathers who
made the laws for the city came to see him.
They asked him about the war.
I was sent from Carthage to ask you to make
peace," he said. But it will not be wise to make
peace. True, we have been beaten in a few battles,
but our army is gaining ground every day. The
people of Carthage are afraid, and well they may
be. Keep on with the war a little while longer,
and Carthage shall be yours. As for me, I have
come to bid my wife and children and Rome fare-
well. To-morrow I will start back to Carthage and
to prison; for I have promised."
Then the Fathers tried to persuade him to stay.
Let us send another man in your place," they
Shall a Roman not keep his word ? answered
Regulus. I am ill, and at the best have not long
to live. I will go back, as I promised."
His wife and little children wept, and his sons
begged him not to leave them again.
I have given my word," said Regulus. The
rest will be taken care of."
Then he bade them good-by, and went bravely
back to the prison and the cruel death which he
This was the kind of courage that made Rome
the greatest city in the world.
IT was a bright morning in the old city of Rome
many hundred years ago. In a vine-covered sum-
mer-house in a beautiful garden, two boys were
standing. They were looking at their mother and
her friend, who were walking among the flowers
Did you ever see so handsome a lady as our
mother's friend? asked the younger boy, holding
his tall brother's hand. "She looks like a queen."
Yet she is not so beautiful as our mother," said
the elder boy. She has a fine dress, it is true; but
her face is not noble and kind. It is our mother
who is like a queen."
"That is true," said the other. "There is no
woman in Rome so much like a queen as our own
Soon Cor-ne'li-a, their mother, came down the
walk to speak with them. She was simply dressed
in a plain white robe. Her arms and feet were
bare, as was the custom in those days; and no
rings nor chains glit-tered about her hands and
neck. For her only crown, long braids of soft
brown hair were coiled about her head; and a
tender smile lit up her noble face as she looked
into her sons' proud eyes.
"Boys," she said, "I have something to tell
They bowed before her, as Roman lads were
taught to do, and said, "What is it, mother?"
"You are to dine with us to-day, here in the gar-
den; and then our friend is going to show us that
wonderful casket of jewels of which you have heard
The brothers looked, shyly at their mother's
friend. Was it possible that she had still other
rings besides those on her fingers? Could she
have other gems besides those which sparkled in
the chains about her neck?
When the simple out-door meal was over, a serv-
ant brought the casket from the house. The lady
opened it. Ah, how those jewels dazzled the eyes
of the wondering boys! There were ropes of pearls,
white as milk, and smooth as satin; heaps of shining
rubies, red as the glowing coals; sap-phires as blue
as the sky that summer day; and di-a-monds that
flashed and sparkled like the sunlight.
The brothers looked long at the gems.
Ah !" whis-pered the younger; if our mother
could only have such beautiful things! "
At last, how-ever, the casket was closed and
carried care-ful-ly away.
Is it true, Cor-ne-li-a, that you have no jewels?"
asked her friend. Is it true, as I have heard it
whis-pered, that you are poor ? "
No, I am not poor," answered Cornelia, and as
she spoke she drew her two boys to her side; "for
here are my jewels. They are worth more than all
I am sure that the boys never forgot their
mother's pride and love and care; and in after
years, when they had become great men in Rome,
they often thought of this scene in the garden.
And the world still likes to hear the story of Cor-
ANDROCLUS AND THE LION.
IN Rome there was once a poor slave whose
name was An'dro-clus. His master was a cruel
man, and so unkind to him that at last An-dro-clus
He hid himself in a wild wood for many days;
but there was no food to be found, and he grew so
weak and sick that he thought he should die. So
one day he crept into a cave and lay down, and
soon he was fast asleep.
After a while a great noise woke him up. A lion
had come into the cave, and was roaring loudly.
Androclus was very much afraid, for he felt sure
that the beast would kill him. Soon, however, he
saw that the lion was not angry, but that he limped
as though his foot hurt him.
Then Androclus grew so bold that he took hold
of the lion's lame paw to see what was the matter.
The lion stood quite still, and rubbed his head
against the man's shoulder. He seemed to say,
I know that you will help me."
Androclus lifted the paw from the ground, and
saw that it was a long, sharp thorn which hurt the
lion so much. He took the end of the thorn in
his fingers; then he gave a strong, quick pull, and
out it came. The lion was full of joy. He jumped
about like a dog, and licked the hands and feet of
his new friend.
Androclus was not at all afraid after this; and
when night came, he and the lion lay down and
slept side by side.
For a long time, the lion brought food to An-
droclus every day; and the two became such good
friends that Androclus found his new life a very
One day some soldiers who were passing
through the wood found Androclus in the cave.
They knew who he was, and so took him back to
It was the law at that time that every slave
who ran away from his master should be made
to fight a hungry lion. So a fierce lion was shut
up for a while without food, and a time was set
for the fight.
When the day came, thousands of people
crowded to see the sport. They went to such
places at that time very much as people now-a-days
go to see a circus show or a game of base-ball.
The door opened, and poor Androclus was
brought in. He was almost dead with fear, for the
roars of the lion could al-read-y be heard. He
looked up, and saw that there was no pity in the
thou-sands of faces around him.
Then the hungry lion rushed in. With a single
bound he reached the poor slave. Androclus gave
a great cry, not of fear, but of gladness. It was his
old friend, the lion of the cave.
The people, who had ex-pect-ed to see the man
killed by the lion, were filled with wonder. They
saw Androclus put his arms around the lion's neck;
they saw the lion lie down at his feet, and lick them
lov-ing-ly; they saw the great beast rub his head
against the slave's face as though he wanted to be
petted. They could not un-der-stand what it all
After a while they asked Androclus to tell them
" I '
liii i, i11 SB
* : 'l!ivb 1
Androclus and the Lion.
about it. So he stood up before them, and, with
his arm around the lion's neck, told how he and
the beast had lived together in the cave.
I am a man," he said; "but no man has ever
befriended me. This poor lion alone has been kind
'to me; and we love each other as brothers."
The people were not so bad that they could be
cruel to the poor slave now. Live and be free !"
they cried. Live and be free "
Others cried, "Let the lion go free too! Give
both of them their liberty!"
And so Androclus was set free, and the lion was
given to him for his own. And they lived together
in Rome for many years.
HORATIUS AT THE BRIDGE.
ONCE there was a war between the Roman people
and the E-trus'cans who lived in the towns on the
other side of the Ti-ber River. Por'se-na, the King
of the E-trus-cans, raised a great army, and marched
toward Rome. The city had never been in so great
The Romans did not have very many fighting
men at that time, and they knew that they were
not strong enough to meet the Etruscans in open
battle. So they kept themselves inside of their
walls, and set guards to watch the roads.
One morning the army of Por-se-na was seen
coming over the hills from the north. There were
thousands of horsemen and footmen, and they were
marching straight toward the wooden bridge which
spanned the river at Rome.
"What shall we do?" said the white-haired
Fathers who made the laws for the Roman peo-
ple. If they once gain the bridge, we cannot
hinder them from crossing; and then what hope
will there be for the town?"
Now, among the guards at the bridge, there was
a brave man named Ho-ra'ti-us. He was on the
farther side of the river, and when he saw that
the Etruscans were so near, he called out to the
Romans who were behind him.
Hew down the bridge with all the speed that
you can!" he cried. "I, with the two men who
stand by me, will keep the foe at bay."
Then, with their shields before them, and their
long spears in their hands, the three brave men
stood in the road, and kept back the horsemen
whom Porsena had sent to take the bridge.
On the bridge the Romans hewed away at the
beams and posts. Their axes rang, the chips flew
fast; and soon it trembled, and was ready to fall.
"Come back! come back, and save your lives!"
they cried to Ho-ra-ti-us and the two who were with
But just then Porsena's horsemen dashed toward
Run for your lives!" said Horatius to his friends'.
" I will keep the road."
They turned, and ran back across the bridge.
They had hardly reached the other side when there
was a crashing of beams and timbers. The bridge
toppled over to one side, and then fell with a great
splash into the water.
When Horatius heard the sound, he knew that
the city was safe. With his face. still toward
Porsena's men, he moved slowly back-ward till he
stood on the river's bank. A dart thrown by one
of Porsena's soldiers put out his left eye; but he
did not falter. He cast his spear at the fore-most
horseman, and then he turned quickly around. He
saw the white porch of his own home among the
trees on the other side of the stream;
"And he spake to the noble river
That rolls by the walls of Rome:
'0 Tiber father Tiber !
To whom the Romans pray,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms,
Take thou in charge to-day.' "
He leaped into the deep, swift stream. He still
had his heavy armor on; and when he sank out of
sight, no one thought that he would ever be seen
again. But he was a strong man, and the best
swimmer in Rome. The next minute he rose. He
was half-way across the river, and safe from the
spears and darts which Porsena's soldiers hurled
Soon he reached the farther side, where his
friends stood ready to help him. Shout after shout
greeted him as he climbed upon the bank. Then
Porsena's men shouted also, for they had never seen
a man so brave and strong as Horatius. He had
kept them out of Rome, but he had done a deed
which they could not help but praise.
As for the Romans, they were very grateful to
Horatius for having saved their city. They called
him Horatius Co'cles, which meant the "one-eyed
Horatius," because he had lost an eye in defending
the bridge; they caused a fine statue of brass to
be made in his honor; and they gave him as much
land as he could plow around in a day. And for
hundreds of years afterwards-
"With weeping and with laugh-ter,
Still was the story told,
How well Horatius kept the bridge
In the brave days of old."
NEARLY two thousand years ago there lived in
Rome a man whose name was Julius Ca'sar. He
was the greatest of all the Romans.
Why was he so great?
He was a brave warrior, and had con-quered
many countries for Rome. He was wise in plan-
ning and in doing. He knew how to make men
both love and fear him.
At last he made himself the ruler of Rome.
Some said that he wished to become its king.
But the Romans at that time did not believe in
Once when Coe-sar was passing through a little
country village, all the men, women, and children of
the place, came out to see him. There were not
more than fifty of them, all together, and they were
led by their may-or, who told each one what to do.
These simple people stood by the roadside and
watched Casar pass. The may-or looked very
proud and happy; for was he not the ruler of this
village ? He felt that he was almost as great a man
as Cassar himself.
Some of the fine of-fi-cers who were with Casar
laughed. They said, See how that fellow struts at
the head of his little flock!"
Laugh as you will," said Caesar, he has reason
to be proud. I would rather be the head man of a
village than the second man in Rome!"
At an-oth-er time, Caesar was crossing a narrow
sea in a boat. Before he was halfway to the farther
shore, a storm overtook him. The wind blew hard;
the waves dashed high; the lightning flashed; the
It seemed every minute as though the boat would
sink. The captain was in great fright. He had
crossed the sea many times, but never in such a
storm as this. He trembled with fear; he could
not guide the boat; he fell down upon his knees;
he moaned, "All is lost! all is lost! "
But Caesar was not afraid. He bade the man get
up and take his oars again.
"Why should you be afraid?" he said. "The
boat will not be lost; for you have Casar on
THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES.
THERE was once a king whose name was Di-o-
nys'i-us. He was so unjust and cruel that he won
for himself the name of tyrant. He knew that
almost everybody hated him, and so he was always
in dread lest some one should take his life.
But he was very rich, and he lived in a fine
palace where there were many beautiful and costly
things, and he was waited upon by a host of serv-
ants who were always ready to do his bidding.
One day a friend of his, whose name was Dam'o-
cles, said to him, -
"How happy you must be! You have here
everything that any man could wish."
Perhaps you would like to change places with
me," said the tyrant.
No, not that, O king!" said Dam-o-cles; "but
I think, that, if I could only have your riches and
your pleas-ures for one day, I should not want any
Very well," said the tyrant. "You shall have
And so, the next day, Damocles was led into the
palace, and all the servants were bidden to treat
him as their master. He sat down at a table in the
banquet hall, and rich foods were placed before him.
Nothing was wanting that could give him pleasure.
There were costly wines, and beautiful flowers, and
rare perfumes, and de-light-ful music. He rested
himself among soft cushions, and felt that he was
the happiest man in all the world.
Then he chanced to raise his eyes toward the
ceiling. What was it that was dangling above him,
FIFTY FAM. STO.--7
The Sword of Damocles.