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Title: Stories of the Olden Time - (Historical Series—Book IV Part I)
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories of the Olden Time - (Historical Series—Book IV Part I)" ***

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  COPYRIGHT, 1889,

  E. P. 12


When we go back to the early history of any people, we find that fact
and fiction are strangely blended, and that the stories told are
largely made up of traditions distorted and exaggerated by imagination
and time. The myth, however, is valuable as representing the first
steps of a nation in the evolution of its literature from a barbaric
state, and as indicating special national characteristics.

The myths of Greece, for example, are chiefly derived from the
traditions extant when the alphabet was invented, and are preserved in
the poetic stories of Homer and Virgil. Combined, they make that
mythology which grew up in Greece, and which now so largely permeates
the literature of every civilized language.

The first stories given in this book are myths. They stand first in
the order of precedence because they stand first in the order of time.

The myths are followed by a few parables and fables, forms of stories
which from the earliest times have been used to apply some
well-established principle of morals to practical conduct.

Next follow legends, where we are called upon to separate the probable
from the improbable, the true from the false. Herodotus, the father of
history, wrote his account of the "Persian Empire" several hundred
years after the events took place which he has recorded. The stories
had been preserved to his day by tradition.

In the traditional stories and in the truer records which follow, the
pupil will see the play of the same emotions and passions which
actuate men at the present time, and the careers of the great
conquerors, Frederic and Napoleon, differ little essentially from
those of Alexander and Cæsar. Tyranny remains the same forever,
encroaching upon human liberty and limiting the field of human
conduct. It will be seen also that from the state of barbarism there
has been a gradual evolution which more and more places men under the
protection of equal laws.

These books are to be used mainly for the stories they contain. By a
simple reproduction in speech or in writing, we have the best possible
language lesson. The value of the books may be entirely lost by
catechisms which demand the literal reproduction of the text.




        I. Arion                                                7
       II. Arachne                                             12
      III. Polyphemus                                          15
       IV. Ulysses's Return                                    17
        V. Thor's Visit to Jotunheim                           20


       VI. The Wolf and the Dog                                24
      VII. Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard             26
     VIII. Parable of the Sower and the Seed                   28
       IX. Pairing-Time anticipated                            30


        X. The Gift of Tritemius                               33
       XI. Damon and Pythias                                   36
      XII. King Canute                                         40
     XIII. A Norseman's Sword                                  43
       IV. The Story of King Alfred and St. Cuthbert           46
       XV. A Roland for an Oliver                              49
      XVI. The Legend of Macbeth                               52


     XVII. Chevy-Chase                                         59
    XVIII. Valentine and Ursine                                65


      XIX. Sennacherib                                         71
       XX. Glaucon                                             75
      XXI. Cyrus and his Grandfather                           80
     XXII. Cyrus and the Armenians                             83
    XXIII. The Macedonian Empire                               90
     XXIV. Alexander's Conquests                               98
      XXV. Judas Maccabæus, the Hebrew William Tell           106


     XXVI. Tarquin the Wicked                                 117
    XXVII. The Roman Republic                                 127
   XXVIII. Cincinnatus                                        137
     XXIX. The Roman Father                                   141
      XXX. Archimedes                                         150
     XXXI. The Death of Cæsar                                 154
    XXXII. How Romans lived                                   161


   XXXIII. Conversion of the English                          169
    XXXIV. Leo the Slave                                      173
     XXXV. The Moors in Spain                                 179
    XXXVI. Charlemagne                                        183


   XXXVII. The Norsemen                                       191
  XXXVIII. Rolf the Ganger                                    200
    XXXIX. The True Story of Macbeth                          206
       XL. Duke William of Normandy                           211
      XLI. The Norman Conquest                                217
     XLII. King Richard Cœur de Lion in the Holy Land      224
    XLIII. King John and the Charter                          230
     XLIV. An Early Election to Parliament                    237
      XLV. The Battle of Cressy                               245
     XLVI. The Battle of Agincourt                            251




1. Arion was a famous musician, and dwelt at the court of Periander,
King of Corinth, with whom he was a great favorite. There was a
musical contest in Sicily, and Arion longed to compete for the prize.
He told his wish to Periander, who besought him like a brother to give
up the thought. "Pray stay with me," he said, "and be contented. He
who strives to win may lose." Arion answered: "A wandering life best
suits the free heart of a poet. A talent which a god bestowed upon me
I would fain make a source of pleasure to others; and if I win the
prize, how will the enjoyment of it be increased by the consciousness
of my wide-spread fame!"

2. He went, won the prize, and embarked with his wealth in a
Corinthian vessel for home. On the second morning after setting sail,
the wind breathed mild and fair. "O Periander!" he exclaimed, "dismiss
your fears. Soon shall you forget them in my embrace. With what lavish
offerings will we display our gratitude to the gods, and how merry
will we be at the festal board!" The wind and sea continued favorable,
not a cloud dimmed the firmament. He had not trusted too much to the
ocean, but to man he had. He overheard the seamen plotting to get
possession of his treasure. Presently they surrounded him, loud and
mutinous, and said: "Arion, you must die! If you would have a grave on
the shore, yield yourself to die on this spot; but if otherwise, cast
yourself into the sea."

3. "Will nothing satisfy you but my life?" said he; "take my gold in
welcome. I willingly buy my life at that price." "No, no; we can not
spare you. Your life would be too dangerous to us. Where could we go to
escape Periander if he should know that you had been robbed by us? Your
gold would be of little use to us, if, on returning home, we could never
more be free from fear." "Grant me, then," said he, "a last request,
since naught will prevail to save my life, that I may die as I have
lived, as becomes a bard. When I shall have sung my death-song, and my
harp-strings cease to vibrate, then I will bid farewell to life, and
yield to my fate." This prayer, like the others, would have been
unheeded--they thought only of their booty--but to hear so famous a
musician moved their hearts. "Suffer me," he added, "to arrange my
dress. Apollo will not favor me unless I am clad in my minstrel garb."

4. He clothed himself in gold and purple, fair to see, his tunic fell
around him in graceful folds, jewels adorned his arms, his brow was
crowned with a golden wreath, and over his neck and shoulders flowed
his hair, perfumed with odors. His left hand held the lyre, his right
the ivory wand with which he struck the chords. Like one inspired he
seemed to drink the morning air and glitter in the morning ray. The
seamen gazed in admiration. He strode forward to the vessel's side,
and looked down into the blue sea.

5. Addressing his lyre, he sang: "Companion of my voice, come with me
to the realm of shades! Though Cerberus may growl, we know the power
of song can tame his rage. Ye heroes of Elysium, who have passed the
darkling flood--ye happy souls, soon shall I join your band. Yet can
ye relieve my grief? Alas! I leave my friend behind me. Thou, who
didst find thy Eurydice, and lose her again as soon as found, when she
had vanished like a dream, how thou didst hate the cheerful light! I
must away, but I will not fear. The gods look down upon us. Ye who
slay me unoffending, when I am no more your time of trembling shall
come! Ye Nereids, receive your guest, who throws himself upon your
mercy!" So saying, he sprang into the deep sea. The waves covered him,
and the seamen held their way, fancying themselves safe from all
danger of detection.

6. But the strains of his music had drawn around him the inhabitants
of the deep to listen, and dolphins followed the ship as if charmed by
a spell. While he struggled in the waves a dolphin offered him its
back, and carried him mounted thereon safe to shore. At the spot where
he landed, a monument of brass was afterward erected upon the rocky
shore to preserve the memory of the event.

7. When Arion and the dolphin parted, each returning to his own
element, Arion thus poured forth his thanks: "Farewell, thou faithful,
friendly fish! Would that I could reward thee! but thou canst not wend
with me, nor I with thee; companionship we may not have. May Galatea,
queen of the deep, accord thee her favor, and thou, proud of the
burden, draw her chariot over the smooth mirror of the deep!"

[Illustration: _Arion and the Dolphin._]

8. Arion hastened from the shore, and soon saw before him the towers
of Corinth. He journeyed on, harp in hand, singing as he went, full of
love and happiness, forgetting his losses, and mindful only of what
remained, his friend and his lyre. He entered the hospitable halls,
and was soon clasped in the embrace of Periander. "I come back to
thee, my friend," he said. "The talent which a god bestowed has been
the delight of thousands, but false knaves have stripped me of my
well-earned treasure." Then he told all the wonderful events that had
befallen him. Periander, who heard him in amazement, said: "Shall such
wickedness triumph? Then in vain is power lodged in my hands. That we
may discover the criminals you must lie here concealed, so that they
come without suspicion."

9. When the ship arrived in the harbor, he summoned the mariners
before him. "Have you heard anything of Arion?" he inquired. "I
anxiously look for his return." They replied, "We left him well and
prosperous in Tarentum." As they said these words, Arion stepped forth
and faced them. He was clad in all his glory as when he leaped into
the sea. They fell prostrate at his feet, as if a lightning-bolt had
struck them. "We meant to murder him, and he has become a god! O
earth, open and receive us!" Then Periander spoke: "He lives, the
master of the lay! kind Heaven protects the poet's life. As for you, I
invoke not the spirit of vengeance; Arion wishes not your blood. Ye
slaves of avarice, begone! Seek some barbarous land, and never may
aught beautiful delight your souls!"


1. In the old mythology it was considered a great sin for any mortal
to enter into a contest with a god, and whenever one did so he
incurred a fearful penalty. The maiden Arachne early showed marvelous
skill in embroidery and all kinds of needle-work. So beautiful were
her designs that the nymphs themselves would leave their groves and
fountains, and come and gaze delighted upon her work. It was not only
beautiful when it was done, but was beautiful in the doing. As they
watched the delicate touch of her fingers they declared that the
goddess Minerva must have been her teacher. This Arachne denied, and,
grown very vain of her many compliments, she said: "Let Minerva try
her skill with mine, and if beaten I will pay the penalty!"

2. Minerva heard this, and was greatly displeased at the vanity and
presumption of the maiden. Assuming the form of an old woman she went
to Arachne and gave her some friendly advice. "I have much
experience," she said, "and I hope you will not despise my counsel.
Challenge mortals as much as you like, but do not try and compete with
a goddess!" Arachne stopped her spinning, and angrily replied: "keep
your counsel for your daughters and handmaids; for my part, I know
what I say, and I stand to it. I am not afraid of the goddess."

3. Minerva then dropped her disguise, and stood before the company in
her proper person. The nymphs at once paid her homage. Arachne alone
had no fear. She stood by her resolve, and the contest proceeded. Each
took her station, and attached the web to the beam. Both worked with
speed; their skillful hands moved rapidly, and the excitement of the
contest made the labor light.


4. Minerva wrought into her web the scene of her contest with Neptune.
The gods are all represented in their most august forms, and the
picture is noble in its perfect simplicity and chaste beauty. In the
four corners she wrought scenes where mortals entered into contest
with gods and were punished for their presumption. These were meant as
warnings to her rival to give up the contest before it was too late.

5. Arachne filled her web with subjects designedly chosen to exhibit
the failings and errors of the gods. Every story to their discredit
she appears to have treasured up. The last scene she represented was
that of Jupiter in the form of a bull carrying off Europa across the
sea, leaving the heart-broken mother to wander in search of her child
until she died.

6. Minerva examined the work of her rival, and doubly angry at the
presumption and the sacrilege manifested in her choice of subjects,
struck her web with a shuttle and tore it from the loom. She then
touched the forehead of Arachne and made her feel her guilt and shame.
This she could not endure, and went out and hanged herself. Minerva
pitied her, as she saw her hanging by a rope. "Live, guilty woman,"
said she; "and that you may preserve the memory of this lesson,
continue to hang, you and your descendants, to all future times." She
sprinkled her with the juice of aconite, and immediately her form
shrunk up, her head grew small, and her fingers grew to her sides and
served as legs. All the rest of her is body, out of which she spins
her thread, often hanging suspended by it in the same attitude as when
Minerva touched her and transformed her into a spider.


1. When Troy was captured, Ulysses, the King of Ithaca, set sail for
his native country. With favorable winds he should have reached home
in a few months, but he met with so many adventures that it was ten
years before he saw the shores of his beloved Ithaca. At one time he
and his companions landed upon an unknown shore in search of food.
Ulysses took with him a jar of wine as a present should he meet with
any inhabitants. Presently they came to a large cave, and entered it.
There they found lambs and kids in their pens, and a table spread with
cheese, fruits, and bowls of milk. But soon the master of the cave,
Polyphemus, returned, and Ulysses saw that they were in the land of
the Cyclops, a race of immense giants. The name means "round eye," and
these giants were so called because they had but one eye, and that was
placed in the middle of the forehead.

2. Polyphemus drove into the cave the sheep and the goats to be
milked, and then placed a huge rock at the mouth of the cave to serve
as a door. While attending to his supper he chanced to spy the Greeks,
who were hidden in one corner. He growled out to them, demanding to
know who they were, and where from. Ulysses replied, stating that they
were returning from the siege of Troy, and that they had landed in
search of provisions. At this Polyphemus gave no answer, but seizing a
couple of Greeks, he killed and ate them up on the spot. He then went
to sleep, and his snoring sounded like thunder in the ears of the
terrified Greeks all the livelong night. In the morning the giant
arose, ate two more men, and went out with his flocks, having
carefully secured the door so that the remainder could not get away.

3. Then Ulysses contrived a plan to punish the giant, and get away
from his clutches. He found a great bar of wood which the giant had
cut for a staff. This his men sharpened at one end and hardened at the
fire. Then a number were selected to use it, and they awaited events.
In the evening Polyphemus returned, and having eaten his two men he
lay down to sleep. But Ulysses presented him with some of the wine
from the jar which the giant eagerly drank, and called for more. In a
short time he was quite drunk, and then he asked Ulysses his name, and
he replied: "My name is Noman."

[Illustration: _Polyphemus._]

4. When the giant was fairly asleep, the sailors seized the sharpened
stick, and, aiming it directly at his single eye, they rushed forward
with all their might. The eye was put out, and the giant was left
blind. He felt around the cave trying to catch his tormentors, but
they contrived to get out of his way. He then howled so loud that his
neighbors came to see what was the matter, when he said, "I am hurt,
Noman did it!" Then they said, "If no man did it, we can not help
you." So they went home, leaving him groaning.

5. In the morning Polyphemus rolled away the stone to let out his
sheep and goats, and the Greeks contrived to get out with them without
being discovered. Once out, they lost no time in driving the flocks
down to the shore, and then with their vessels well provisioned they
set sail once more for their native land.


1. Ulysses, the lord of Ithaca, went to assist the Greeks in the siege
of Troy. For ten long years the war lasted, and when Troy fell,
Ulysses was ten more years in reaching his home. He met with so many
accidents and adventures that delayed him, that even his stout heart
almost gave out as he thought of the wife and children waiting for him
through all these weary years. In the mean time his son Telemachus had
grown to manhood, and had gone in search of his father.

2. During all this time his wife, Queen Penelope, never lost hope, but
lived daily looking for her husband to come sailing over the sea. But
while the master was away, more than a hundred young lords laid claim
to the hand of Penelope, so as to obtain the power and riches of
Ulysses. They lorded it over the palace and people as if they were the
owners of both, and they paid no attention to the wishes of Penelope,
as she was but a woman, and could not protect herself. Her only safety
lay in the fact that the suitors were jealous of each other, and no
one could make any advance until Penelope had made her selection.

[Illustration: _Ulysses and his Dog._]

3. At last Ulysses returned in the disguise of a beggar. No one knew
him except his old dog Argus, who, in his excess of joy, died while
licking his hands. He made himself known to Eumæus, a faithful
servant, and by him was presented to Telemachus, who had just
returned. Great was the joy of father and son at thus meeting each
other. Then the three laid a plan to punish the suitors and to rid
Ithaca of their presence. In carrying out this plan, Telemachus went
to his mother's palace publicly, and the suitors bade him welcome,
though they secretly hated him, and had tried to take his life. Here
he found feasting going on, and, at his request, the supposed beggar
was admitted to the foot of the table.

4. Penelope had put off her decision on various pretexts until now,
when there appeared no other reason for delay. So she announced that
she would accept the one who would shoot an arrow through twelve rings
arranged in a line. A bow formerly used by Ulysses was brought in and
all other arms removed. All things being ready, the first thing to be
done was to attach the string to the bow, which required the bow to be
bent. Telemachus tried and failed. Then each of the suitors tried in
turn, and all failed. They even rubbed the bow with tallow, but it
would not bend.

5. Here Ulysses spoke and said: "Beggar as I am, I once was a soldier,
and there is some strength in these old limbs of mine yet. Let me
try." The suitors hooted at him, and would have turned him out of the
hall; but Telemachus said it was best to gratify the old man, and so
put the bow in his hand. Ulysses took it and easily adjusted the cord.
Then he selected an arrow and sent it through the twelve rings at the
first shot. Before the suitors recovered from their astonishment he
sent another through the heart of the most insolent of them.
Telemachus, Eumæus, and another faithful servant sprang to their aid.
The suitors looked around for arms, but there were none. Ulysses did
not let them remain long in doubt; he announced himself as the
long-lost chief whose house they had invaded, whose substance they had
squandered, and whose wife and son they had persecuted for ten long
years, and told them he meant to have ample vengeance. All the suitors
were slain but two, and Ulysses was left master of his own palace and
the possessor of his kingdom and wife.

[Illustration: _Penelope and Ulysses's Bow._]


1. Thor, the god of the Northmen, who always carried a hammer to make
his way or obtain his wishes, heard of the giant's country, Jotunheim,
of which Utgard was the capital, and he resolved on a visit to that
region to try his strength with any one whom he might find. So,
accompanied by his servants, Thiolfi and Loki, he set out. Thiolfi was
of all men the swiftest on foot. At nightfall they took refuge from a
storm in a very large building which they imperfectly saw in the dim
light, but were kept awake by loud thunder which shook their abode
like an earthquake. In the morning it was found that the thunder was
the snoring of a huge giant sleeping near by, and that the building in
which they had taken shelter was the giant's glove.

2. The giant, whose name was Skrymer, knew Thor, and proposed that
they should travel together, to which the god consented. At night they
encamped, and soon the giant was asleep. Thor, finding that he could
not untie the provision-bag which the giant had carried all day, went
into a rage and struck the sleeper a mighty blow with, his hammer.
Skrymer awoke and said, "The leaves are falling, for one just now fell
upon my breast." They lay down again, and soon the giant began to
snore so loud that Thor could get no sleep, so he grasped the hammer
in both hands and dealt him another blow. Skrymer awoke and called
out, "How fares it with thee, Thor? A bird must be overhead--a bunch
of moss has just now fallen upon me." Just before daylight Thor
thought that he would end this matter then, so he seized his hammer
and threw it with all his might. Skrymer awoke, and stroking his cheek
said, "An acorn fell upon my head. But let us be stirring, as we have
a long day before us."

3. When within sight of the city Skrymer turned off, as his route lay in
another direction, and soon Thor and his companions were in presence of
the giant king. Addressing Thor, the king asked if he or his companions
could do anything better than others, for he said that no one was
permitted to remain in the city unless he excelled in something.

4. Loki, who was a great eater, proposed a feast, and the king called
Logi to come out and compete with him. A trough filled with meat was
placed in the midst of the hall, and Loki beginning at one end soon
ate all the flesh to the middle of the trough; but it was found that
Logi had devoured both flesh and bones and the trough to boot. So the
company adjudged Loki vanquished.

5. Next Thiolfi presented himself to run a race, and the king brought
out a young man named Hugi to run with him. Hugi ran over the course
and turning back met Thiolfi but just started. Then the king remarked
that if Thor could not do better than his servants, it were well that
he stay at home. Then a drinking-match was proposed, and a drinking
horn was brought in. It was not very large, but was of great length,
and the king remarked that any one of his subjects ought to empty it
at a single draught, but none would fail to do so in three draughts.
Thor drank long and deep, but the horn was as full as before; a second
trial met with a similar failure. Then Thor straightened himself for a
mighty effort and drank as the thirsty earth drinks of the rains from
heaven. The liquor was diminished, but still the horn was nearly full.
"I perceive," said the king, "that thou canst not be very thirsty, or
thou wouldst drink more."

6. "What new trial do you propose?" said Thor. "We have a trifling
game here," said the king, "in which we exercise none but children. It
consists in merely lifting my cat from the ground, and I should not
have mentioned it to the great Thor if I had not observed that thou
art by no means what we took thee for." As he finished speaking, a
large gray cat sprang into the hall. Thor put forth all his mighty
strength three times without lifting her, though on the third trial
one foot was raised from the floor.

7. "Well," said the king, "only one trial remains for thee. Thou must
wrestle with somebody, and after thy failures to-day none of our men
will wrestle with thee." So saying, the king called upon his old
nurse, a toothless crone, shaking and trembling on the edge of the
grave. Thor grasped her and put forth a mighty effort, but the old
woman stood fast. At last she grasped him in turn, and he was thrown
upon his knee. The king here interfered, and the contests came to an
end. The travelers, however, were royally entertained, and after a
good night's rest, and a bountiful breakfast, they bade the king
good-by, and set out on their return.

8. Toward night they overtook a traveler, who proved to be Skrymer,
their former companion and guide, and they encamped together in the
very wood where they passed their first night together. The giant,
perceiving the dejected looks of Thor, said, "Something appears to
trouble thee; has thy journey gone amiss?" Thereupon Thor related the
whole story of his failures. "Then," said the giant, "take heart, for
thou hast performed great wonders, but hast been the victim of
delusions. Observe me closely!" Thor looked, and saw that Skrymer and
the king were one and the same person.

9. "Now," said the king, "Loki devoured all that was set before him,
but Logi was Fire, and consumed trough and all. Hugi, with whom
Thiolfi was running, was Thought, and not the swiftest runner can keep
pace with that. The horn that thou failedst to empty had its lower end
in the sea, and thou wilt see how the very ocean is lowered by thy
draught. The cat is the animal that bears up the world, and thy last
mighty effort caused the solid earth to shake as with an earthquake.
The old woman with whom thou wrestledst was old age, and she throws
everybody." The king then pointed out the place where Thor dealt his
blows on the night of their first meeting, and lo! three mighty chasms
showed where the solid mountains had been rent asunder.




Lean, hungry wolf, fell in one moonlight night with a jolly, plump,
well-fed mastiff, and after the first greetings were passed, the wolf
accosted him: "You look extremely well," said he, "I think I never saw a
more graceful, comely personage; but how comes it about, I beseech you,
that you should live so much better than I? I may say, without vanity,
that I venture fifty times more than you do, and yet I am almost ready
to perish with hunger." The dog answered very bluntly: "Why, you may
live as well as I if you will do the same services for it." The wolf
pricked up his ears at the proposal, and requested to be informed what
he must do to earn such plentiful meals. "Very little," answered the
dog; "only to guard the house at night, and keep it from thieves and
beggars." "With all my heart," rejoined the wolf, "for at present I have
but a sorry time of it; and, I think, to change my hard lodging in the
woods, where I endure rain, frost, and snow, for a warm roof over my
head and plenty of food, will be no bad bargain." "True," said the dog,
"therefore, you have nothing more to do than to follow me."

2. As they were jogging along together, the wolf spied a circle, worn
round his friend's neck, and, being almost as curious as some of a
higher species, he could not forbear asking what it meant. "Pooh!
nothing," said the dog, "or at most a mere trifle." "Nay, but pray,"
urged the wolf, "inform me." "Why, then," said the dog, "perhaps it is
the collar to which my chain is fastened; for I am sometimes tied up
in the day-time, because I am a little fierce, and might bite people,
and am only let loose at night. But this is done with design to make
me sleep in the day, more than anything else, that I may watch the
better in the night-time. As soon as the twilight appears, I am turned
loose, and may go where I please. Then my master brings me plates of
bones from the table with his own hands; and whatever scraps are left
by the family fall to my share, for you must know I am a favorite with
everybody. So, seeing how you are to live, come along! Why, what is
the matter with you?" "I beg your pardon," replied the wolf, "but you
may keep your happiness to yourself. I am resolved to have no share in
your dinners. Half a meal, with liberty, is, in my estimation, worth a
full one without it."


1. For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder,
which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.

2. And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent
them into his vineyard.

3. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle
in the market-place,

4. And said unto them; go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is
right I will give you. And they went their way.

5. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

6. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing
idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

7. They say unto him, because no man hath hired us. He saith unto
them, go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that
shall ye receive.

8. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his
steward, call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from
the last unto the first.

9. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they
received every man a penny.

10. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have
received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

11. And when they had received it, they murmured against the good man
of the house,

12. Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made
them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.


13. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong:
didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14. Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last,
even as unto thee.

15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine
eye evil, because I am good?

16. So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be
called, but few chosen.

                                        (_St. Matthew, xx. 1-16._)


1. The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.

2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he
went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a
sower went forth to sow;

4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way-side, and the fowls
came and devoured them up:

5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and
forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had
no root, they withered away.

7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked

8. But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a
hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold.

9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

10. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto
them in parables?

11. He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know
the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

[Illustration: _A Sower went forth to Sow._]

12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more
abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even
that he hath.

13. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see
not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

                                      (_St. Matthew xiii, 1-13._)


    1. I shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau
       If birds confabulate or no;
       'Tis clear that they were always able
       To hold discourse,--at least in fable;
       And even the child, who knows no better
       Than to interpret by the letter
       A story of a cock and bull,
       Must have a most uncommon skull.

    2. It chanced then on a winter's day,
       But warm and bright and calm as May,
       The birds, conceiving a design
       To forestall sweet Saint Valentine,
       In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
       Assembled on affairs of love,
       And with much twitter and much chatter,
       Began to agitate the matter.

    3. At length a bull-finch, who could boast
       More years and wisdom than the most,
       Entreated, opening wide his beak
       A moment's liberty to speak,
       And silence publicly enjoined,
       Briefly delivered thus his mind:
       "My friends! be cautious how ye treat
       The subject upon which we meet;
       I fear we shall have winter yet."

    4. A finch, whose tongue knew no control,
       With golden wings and satin poll,
       A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
       What marriage means, thus pert, replied:
       "Methinks the gentleman," quoth she,
       "Opposite in the apple-tree,
       By his good will, would keep us single
       'Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle,
       Or, what is likelier to befall,
       'Till death exterminate us all.
       I marry without more ado!
       My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?"

    5. Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
       Turning short round, strutting and sidling,
       Attested glad his approbation
       Of an immediate conjugation.
       Their sentiments so well expressed,
       Mightily influenced all the rest.
       All paired and each pair built a nest.

    6. But though the birds were thus in haste,
       The leaves came out not quite so fast,
       And destiny, that sometimes bears
       An aspect stern on men's affairs,
       Not altogether smiled on their's.
       The wing of late breathed gently forth,
       Now shifted east and east by north.
       Bare trees and shrubs, but ill, you know
       Could shelter them from rain or snow.


    7. Stepping into their nests they paddled;
       Themselves were chilled, their eggs were addled;
       Soon every father bird and mother,
       Grew quarrelsome and pecked each other,
       Parted without the least regret--
       Except that they had ever met--
       And learned in future to be wiser
       Than to neglect a good adviser.

    8. Moral:
           Misses, the tale that I relate,
             This moral seems to carry--
           Choose not alone a proper mate,
             But proper time to marry.




    1. Tritemius, of Herbipolis, one day,
       While kneeling at the altar's foot to pray,
       Alone with God, as was his pious choice,
       Heard from without a miserable voice,
       A sound which seemed of all sad things to tell,
       As of a lost soul crying out of hell.

    2. Thereat the abbot paused; the chain whereby
       His thoughts went upward broken by that cry;
       And, looking from the casement, saw below
       A wretched woman, with gray hair a-flow,
       And withered hands held up to him, who cried
       For alms as one who might not be denied.

[Illustration: _The gift of Tritemius._]

    3. She cried, "For the dear love of Him who gave
       His life for ours, my child from bondage save,--
       My beautiful, brave first-born, chained with slaves
       In the Moor's galley, where the sun-smit waves
       Lap the white walls of Tunis!" "What I can
       I give," Tritemius said: "my prayers." "O man
       Of God," she cried, for grief had made her bold,
       "Mock me not thus; I ask not prayers, but gold.
       Words will not serve me, alms alone suffice;
       Even while I speak, perchance, my first-born dies."

    4. "Woman," Tritemius answered, "from our door
       None go unfed; hence are we always poor;
       A single soldo is our only store.
       Thou hast our prayers; what can we give thee more?"

    5. "Give me," she said, "the silver candlesticks
       On either side of the great crucifix;
       God may well spare them on his errands sped,
       Or he can give you golden ones instead."

    6. Then spake Tritemius: "Even as thy word,
       Woman, so be it! (Our most gracious Lord,
       Who loveth mercy more than sacrifice,
       Pardon me if a human soul I prize
       Above the gifts upon his altar piled!)
       Take what thou askest, and redeem thy child."

    7. But his hand trembled as the holy alms
       He placed within the beggar's eager palms;
       And as she vanished down the linden shade,
       He bowed his head, and for forgiveness prayed.

    8. So the day passed, and when the twilight came
       He woke to find the chapel all aflame,
       And, dumb with grateful wonder, to behold
       Upon the altar candlesticks of gold!



1. About four hundred years before the Christian era, the government
of Syracuse fell into the hands of Dionysius, a successful general of
the army. He dispossessed the magistrates whom the people elected, and
was therefore a usurper. While ruling justly in the main, he had a
capricious temper, and often in his rage performed actions which he
sincerely regretted in his sober moments. He was a good scholar, and
very fond of philosophy and poetry, and he delighted to have learned
men around him, and he had naturally a generous spirit; but the sense
that he was in a position that did not belong to him, and that every
one hated him for assuming it, made him very harsh and suspicious. It
is of him that the story is told, that he had a chamber hollowed in
the rock near his state prison, and constructed with galleries to
conduct sounds like an ear, so that he might overhear the conversation
of his captives; and of him, too, is told that famous anecdote which
has become a proverb, that on hearing a friend, named Damocles,
express a wish to be in his situation for a single day, he took him at
his word, and Damocles found himself at a banquet with everything that
could delight his senses, delicious food, costly wine, flowers,
perfumes, music, but with a sword with the point almost touching his
head, and hanging by a single horse-hair! This was to show the
condition in which a usurper lived.

[Illustration: _Damon and Pythias._]

2. Thus Dionysius was in constant dread. He had a wide trench round his
bedroom, with a drawbridge that he drew up and put down with his own
hands; and he put one barber to death for boasting that he held a razor
to the tyrant's throat every morning. After this he made his young
daughters shave him; and by-and-by he would not trust them with a
razor, and caused them to singe off his beard with hot nut-shells.

3. One philosopher, named Philoxenus, he sent to a dungeon for finding
fault with his poetry, but he afterward composed another piece, which
he thought so superior that he could not be content without sending
for this adverse critic to hear it. When he had finished reading it,
he looked to Philoxenus for a compliment; but the philosopher only
turned round to the guards, and said dryly, "Carry me back to prison."
This time Dionysius had the sense to laugh, and forgive his honesty.

4. All these stories may not be true; but that they should have been
current in the ancient world, shows what was the character of the man
of whom they were told, how stern and terrible was his anger, and how
easily it was incurred. Among those who came under it was a
Pythagorean called Pythias, who was sentenced to death, according to
the usual fate of those who fell under his suspicion.

5. Pythias had lands and relations in Greece, and he entreated as a
favor to be allowed to return thither and arrange his affairs,
engaging to return within a specified time and suffer death. The
tyrant laughed his request to scorn. Once safe out of Sicily, who
would answer for his return? Pythias made reply that he had a friend
who would become security for his return; and while Dionysius, the
miserable man who trusted nobody, was ready to scoff at his
simplicity, another Pythagorean, by name Damon, came forward and
offered to become surety for his friend, engaging that, if Pythias did
not return according to promise, to suffer death in his stead.

6. Dionysius, much astonished, consented to let Pythias go, marveling
what would be the issue of the affair. Time went on, and Pythias did
not appear. The Syracusans watched Damon, but he showed no
uneasiness. He said he was secure of his friend's truth and honor, and
that if any accident had caused his delay, he should rejoice in dying
to save the life of one so dear to him.

7. Even to the last day Damon continued serene and content, however it
might fall out; nay, even when the very hour drew nigh and still no
Pythias. His trust was so perfect that he did not even grieve at having
to die for a faithless friend who left him to the fate to which he had
unwarily pledged himself. It was not Pythias's own will, but the winds
and waves, so he still declared, when the decree was brought and the
instruments of death made ready. The hour had come, and a few moments
more would have ended Damon's life, when Pythias duly presented himself,
embraced his friend, and stood forward himself to receive his sentence,
calm, resolute, and rejoiced that he had come in time.

8. Even the dim hope they owned of a future state was enough to make
these two brave men keep their word, and confront death for one
another without quailing. Dionysius looked on more struck than ever.
He felt that neither of such men must die. He reversed the sentence of
Pythias, and calling the two to his judgment-seat, he entreated them
to admit him as a third in their friendship.

                                              _Charlotte M. Yonge._


    1. Upon his royal throne he sat
         In a monarch's thoughtful mood;
       Attendants on his regal state,
         His servile courtiers stood,
       With foolish flatteries, false and vain,
       To win his smile, his favor gain.

    2. They told him e'en the mighty deep
         His kingly sway confessed;
       That he could bid its billows leap,
         Or still its stormy breast!
       He smiled contemptuously and cried,
       "Be then my boasted empire tried!"

    3. Down to the ocean's sounding shore
         The proud procession came,
       To see its billows' wild uproar
         King Canute's power proclaim,
       Or, at his high and dread command,
       In gentle murmurs kiss the strand.

    4. Not so thought he, their noble king,
         As his course he seaward sped;
       And each base slave, like a guilty thing,
         Hung down his conscious head:
       He knew the ocean's Lord on high!
       They, that he scorned their senseless lie.

    5. His throne was placed by ocean's side,
         He lifted his scepter there,
       Bidding, with tones of kingly pride,
         The waves their strife forbear;
       And while he spoke his royal will,
       All but the winds and waves were still.

[Illustration: _Canute and his Courtiers._]

    6. Louder the stormy blast swept by,
         In scorn of idle word;
       The briny deep its waves tossed high,
         By his mandate undeterred,
       As threatening, in their angry play,
       To sweep both king and court away.

    7. The monarch, with upbraiding look,
         Turned to the courtly ring;
       But none the kindling eye could brook
         Even of his earthly king;
       For in that wrathful glance they see
       A mightier monarch wronged than he!

    8. Canute, thy regal race is run;
         Thy name had passed away,
       But for the meed this tale hath won,
         Which never shall decay:
       Its meek, unperishing renown
       Outlasts thy scepter and thy crown.

    9. The Persian, in his mighty pride,
         Forged fetters for the main,
       And, when its floods his power defied,
         Inflicted stripes as vain;
       But it was worthier far of thee
       To know thyself than rule the sea!

                        _Bernard Barton._


1. The smelting of iron in the north of Europe is believed to have
commenced with the Finns or Laplanders, the original inhabitants of
Scandinavia, who then occupied the localities where the best ores are
still found. The diminutive stature of these people compared with that
of their Gothic invaders, their skill in penetrating the bowels of the
earth in search of ores, the smoke of their collieries, the flame and
thunder of their furnaces and forges, and, above all, the excellent
temper of the weapons wrought by them--all these conspired to render
them objects of superstitious wonder to the Goths.

2. The legendary stories of that people are filled with strange tales
of the northern dwarfs, who lived in the solid rock, and possessed
magic skill in all the various arts of the smith. One of these legends
may be worth citing, and the rather, because it relates to Vanlander,
the Scandinavian Vulcan, of whom many traditions are extant, even in
England, where he is styled Wayland Smith. At the age of thirteen
Vanlander was apprenticed by his father, the giant Vade, to two of the
dwarfs who dwelt in the interior of the mountain, and he applied
himself so faithfully to their instructions, that in two years he
equaled his masters in knowledge of all the arts of smithery, both
black and white.

3. Being at the court of King Nidung, where his dexterity as a smith
became known, a rivalship arose between him and Amilias, principal
smith to the king. Amilias challenged Vanlander to a trial of skill,
upon condition that the life of the vanquished should be at the
disposal of the victor. The terms proposed were that Vanlander should
forge a sword, and Amilias a helmet, cuirass, and other defensive
armor, and a twelvemonth was allowed for preparation. If the sword of
Vanlander penetrated the armor of Amilias, the former was to be
declared the victor, if otherwise, his life was forfeited to his rival.

[Illustration: _A Norseman's Sword._]

4. Amilias spent the whole year at his task, but Vanlander did not
commence his labors until two months before the trial. He now, after
seven days' labor, exhibited to the king a sword of great beauty and
excellent temper, but too heavy for use. By way of testing its edge,
he took a cushion stuffed with wool a foot in thickness, threw it into
the river, and let it float with the current against the edge of the
sword, which cut it fairly in two. The king thought this a sufficient
proof, but Vanlander was not satisfied.

5. He took the sword to his smithy, filed it quite to dust, and after
subjecting the filings to an odd process of animal chemistry, he
forged from them another sword of somewhat smaller size than the
first, though still rather heavy. Upon testing this sword in the same
manner as before, it readily divided a cushion two feet in thickness,
and the king thought it the finest weapon in the world, but Vanlander
said he would have it half as good again before he was done with it.

6. It was now reduced to filings, which were treated as in the former
instance, and in three weeks Vanlander produced a sword of convenient
size, inlaid with gold, and with an ornamental hilt, all of the
highest finish and beauty. The king and the smith went again to the
river with a cushion three feet in thickness, which was thrown into
the water and driven against the blade as before. The sword divided
the cushion as easily as the water, and without even checking its
progress as it floated with the current, and King Nidung declared its
fellow could not be found on earth.

7. At the appointed day Amilias put on his armor, all of which was of
double plates, and, declaring himself ready for the trial, seated
himself in a chair, and defied his rival to do his worst. Vanlander
stepped behind him, gave him a blow upon the helmet, and asked him if
he felt the edge. "I felt as if cold water were running through me,"
replied Amilias. "Shake yourself," said Vanlander. His rival did so,
and fell asunder, the sword having cleft him to the chine.

                                                _George P. Marsh._


1. Now King Alfred was driven from his kingdom by the Danes, and he
lay hid three years in the Isle of Glastonbury. And it came to pass on
a day that all his folk were gone out to fish, save only Alfred
himself and his wife and one servant whom he loved. And there came a
pilgrim to the king and begged for food. And the king said to his
servant, "What food have we in the house?" And his servant answered,
"My lord, we have but 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 poor pilgrim." So the servant did as his lord commanded him,
and gave to the pilgrim half of the loaf and half of the wine, and the
pilgrim gave great thanks to the king.

2. And when the servant returned he found the loaf whole, and the wine
as much as there had been aforetime. And he greatly wondered, and he
wondered also how the pilgrim had come into the isle, for that no man
could come there save by water, and the pilgrim had no boat. And the
king greatly wondered also. And at the ninth hour came back the folk
who had gone to fish. And they had three boats full of fish, and they
said, "Lo, we have caught more fish this day than in all the three
years that we have tarried in this island!" And the king was glad,
and he and his folk were merry; yet he pondered much upon that which
had come to pass.

3. And when night came the king went to his bed, and the king lay
awake and thought of all that had come to pass by day. And presently
he saw a great light, like the brightness of the sun, and he saw an
old man with black hair, clothed in priest's garments, and with a
miter on his head, and holding in his right hand a book of the Gospels
adorned with gold and gems. And the old man blessed the king, and the
king said unto him, "Who art thou?" And he answered: "Alfred, my son,
rejoice; for I am he to whom thou didst this day give thine alms, and
I am called Cuthbert the Soldier of Christ.

4. "Now be strong and very courageous, and be of joyful heart, and
hearken diligently to the things which I say unto thee; for henceforth
I will be thy shield and thy friend, and I will watch over thee and
over thy sons after thee. And now I will tell thee what thou must do:
Rise up early in the morning and blow thine horn thrice, that thine
enemies may hear it and fear, and by the ninth hour thou shalt have
around thee five hundred men harnessed for the battle. And this shall
be a sign unto thee that thou mayst believe. And after seven days thou
shalt have, by God's gift and my help, all the folk of this land
gathered unto thee upon the mount that is called Assaudun. And thus
shalt thou fight against thine enemies, and doubt not that thou shalt
overcome them.

5. "Be thou, therefore, glad of heart, and be strong and very
courageous, and fear not, for God hath given thine enemies into thine
hand. And he hath given thee also all this land and the kingdom of thy
fathers, to thee and to thy sons and to thy sons' sons after thee. Be
thou faithful to me and to my folk, because that unto thee is given
all the land of Albion. Be thou righteous, because thou art chosen to
be the king of all Britain. So may God be merciful unto thee, and I
will be thy friend, and none of thine enemies shall ever be able to
overcome thee."

6. Then was King Alfred glad at heart, and he was strong and very
courageous, for that he knew that he would overcome his enemies by the
help of God and St. Cuthbert his patron. So in the morning he arose
and sailed to the land, and blew his horn three times, and when his
friends heard it they rejoiced, and when his enemies heard it they
feared. And by the ninth hour, according to the word of the Lord,
there were gathered unto him five hundred men of the bravest and
dearest of his friends.

7. And he spake unto them and told them all that God had said unto them
by the mouth of his servant Cuthbert, and he told them that, by the gift
of God and by the help of St. Cuthbert, they would overcome their
enemies and win back their own land. And he bade them, as St. Cuthbert
had taught him, to be pious toward God and righteous toward men. And he
bade his son Edward, who was by him, to be faithful to God and St.
Cuthbert, and so he should always have victory over his enemies. So they
went forth to battle and smote their enemies and overcame them, and King
Alfred took the kingdom of all Britain, and he ruled well and wisely
over the just and the unjust for the rest of his days.

                                                  _E. A. Freeman._


1. Milon, or Milone, a knight of great family, and distantly related
to Charlemagne, having secretly married Bertha, the emperor's sister,
was banished from France. After a long and miserable wandering on foot
as mendicants, Milon and his wife arrived at Sutri, in Italy, where
they took refuge in a cave, and in that cave Orlando was born. There
his mother continued, drawing a scanty support from the compassion of
the neighboring peasants, while Milon, in quest of honor and fortune,
went into foreign lands. Orlando grew up among the children of the
peasantry, surpassing them all in strength and manly graces.

2. Among his companions in age, though in station far more elevated,
was Oliver, son of the governor of the town. Between the two boys a
feud arose, that led to a fight, in which Orlando thrashed his rival;
but this did not prevent a friendship springing up between the two
which lasted through life.

3. Orlando was so poor that he was sometimes half naked. As he was a
favorite of the boys, one day four of them brought some cloth to make
him clothes. Two brought white and two red; and from this circumstance
Orlando took his coat-of-arms, or quarterings.

4. When Charlemagne was on his way to Rome, to receive the imperial
crown, he dined in public in Sutri. Orlando and his mother that day had
nothing to eat, and Orlando, coming suddenly upon the royal party, and
seeing abundance of provisions, seized from the attendants as much as he
could carry off, and made good his retreat in spite of their resistance.

5. The emperor, being told of this incident, was reminded of an
intimation he had received in a dream, and ordered the boy to be
followed. This was done by three of the knights, whom Orlando would
have encountered with a cudgel on their entering the grotto, had not
his mother restrained him. When they heard from her who she was, they
threw themselves at her feet, and promised to obtain her pardon from
the emperor. This was easily effected. Orlando was received into favor
by the emperor, returned with him to France, and so distinguished
himself that he became the most powerful support of the throne and of

6. On another occasion, Orlando encountered a puissant Saracen
warrior, and took from him, as the prize of victory, the sword
Durindana. This famous weapon had once belonged to the illustrious
prince Hector of Troy. It was of the finest workmanship, and of such
strength and temper that no armor in the world could stand against it.

7. Guerin de Montglave held the lordship of Vienne, subject to
Charlemagne. He had quarreled with his sovereign, and Charles laid
siege to his city, having ravaged the neighboring country. Guerin was
an aged warrior, but relied for his defense upon his four sons and two
grandsons, who were among the bravest knights of the age. After the
siege had continued two months, Charlemagne received tidings that
Marsilius, King of Spain, had invaded France, and, finding himself
unopposed, was advancing rapidly in the southern provinces. At this
intelligence, Charles listened to the counsel of his peers, and
consented to put the quarrel with Guerin to the decision of Heaven, by
single combat between two knights, one of each party, selected by lot.

8. The proposal was acceptable to Guerin and his sons. The name of the
four, together with Guerin's own, who would not be excused, and of the
two grandsons, who claimed their lot, being put into a helmet,
Oliver's was drawn forth, and to him, the youngest of the grandsons,
was assigned the honor and the peril of the combat. He accepted the
award with delight, exulting in being thought worthy to maintain the
cause of his family. On Charlemagne's side Roland was designated
champion, and neither he nor Oliver knew who his antagonist was to be.

9. They met on an island in the Rhône, and the warriors of both camps
were ranged on either shore, spectators of the battle. At the first
encounter both lances were shivered, but both riders kept their seats
immovable. They dismounted and drew their swords. Then ensued a combat
which seemed so equal, that the spectators could not form an opinion
as to the probable issue. Two hours and more the knights continued to
strike and parry, to thrust and ward, neither showing any sign of
weariness, nor ever being taken at unawares.

10. At length Orlando struck furiously upon Oliver's shield, burying
Durindana in its edge so deeply that he could not draw it back, and
Oliver, almost at the same moment, thrust so vigorously upon Orlando's
breastplate that his sword snapped off at the handle. Thus were the two
warriors left weaponless. Scarcely pausing a moment, they rushed upon
one another, each striving to throw his adversary to the ground, and,
failing in that, each snatched at the other's helmet to tear it away.
Both succeeded, and at the same moment they stood bareheaded face to
face, and Roland recognized Oliver, and Oliver Roland. For a moment they
stood still; and the next, with open arms, rushed into one another's
embrace. "I am conquered," said Orlando. "I yield me," said Oliver.

11. The people on the shore knew not what to make of all this.
Presently they saw the two late antagonists standing hand-in-hand, and
it was evident the battle was at an end. The knights crowded around
them, and with one voice hailed them as equal in glory. If there were
any who felt disposed to murmur that the battle was left undecided,
they were silenced by the voice of Ogier the Dane, who proclaimed
aloud that all had been done that honor required, and declared that he
would maintain that award against all gainsayers.

12. The quarrel with Guerin and his sons being left undecided, a truce
was made for four days, and in that time, by the efforts of Duke Namo
on the one side, and of Oliver on the other, a reconciliation was
effected. Charlemagne, accompanied by Guerin and his valiant family,
marched to meet Marsilius, who hastened to retreat across the frontier.



1. Soon after the Scots and Picts had become one people, there was a
king of Scotland called Duncan, a very good old man. He had two sons,
Malcolm and Donaldbane. But King Duncan was too old to lead out his
army to battle, and his sons were too young to help him. Now it
happened that a great fleet of Danes came to Scotland and landed their
men in Fife and threatened to take possession of that province. So a
numerous Scottish army was levied to go out to fight with them. The
king intrusted the command to Macbeth, a near kinsman.

2. This Macbeth, who was a brave soldier, put himself at the head of
the Scottish army and marched against the Danes. And he took with him
a near relative of his own called Banquo, a brave and successful
soldier. There was a great battle fought between the Danes and the
Scots, and Macbeth and Banquo defeated the Danes and drove them back
to their ships, leaving a great many of their soldiers killed and
wounded. Then Macbeth and his army marched back to Forres in the north
of Scotland, rejoicing on account of their victory.

3. Now, at this time, there lived in the town of Forres three old
women, whom people thought were witches, and supposed they could tell
what was to come to pass. These old women went and stood by the
way-side, in a great moor near Forres, and waited until Macbeth came
up. And then stepping before him as he was marching at the head of his
soldiers the first woman said, "All hail Macbeth! hail to the Thane of
Glamis!" The second said, "All hail to the Thane of Cawdor!" Then the
third wishing to pay him a higher compliment, said: "All hail Macbeth,
that shall be King of Scotland!" While Macbeth stood wondering what
they could mean, Banquo stepped forward and asked if they had not
something good to say to him. And they said he should not be so great
as Macbeth, yet his children should succeed to the throne of Scotland
and reign for a great number of years.

4. Before Macbeth had recovered from his surprise, there came a
messenger to tell him that his father was dead; so that, he was Thane
of Glamis; and then came a second messenger from the king to thank
Macbeth for the great victory over the Danes, and to tell him that the
Thane of Cawdor had rebelled against the king, and that the king had
taken his office from him, and had sent to make Macbeth Thane of
Cawdor. Macbeth, seeing that a part of their words came true, began to
think how he might become king as the three old women had predicted.
Now Lady Macbeth was a very wicked woman, and she showed Macbeth that
the only way to become king was to kill good King Duncan. At first
Macbeth would not listen to her, but at last his ambition to be king
became so great that he resolved to murder his kinsman and best friend.

5. To accomplish his purpose he invited King Duncan to visit him in
his own castle near Inverness, and the king accepted the invitation.
Macbeth and his lady received their distinguished guests with great
seeming joy and made for them a great feast. At the close of the feast
the king retired to rest, and all the other guests followed his
example. The two personal attendants of the king whose duty it was to
watch over him while asleep, were purposely made drunk by Lady
Macbeth, and they fell upon their couch in a profound slumber.

[Illustration: _Macbeth._]

6. Then Macbeth came into King Duncan's room about two o'clock in the
morning. It was a terrible stormy night, but the noise of the wind and
the thunder could not awaken the king, as he was old and weary with
his journey; neither could it awaken the two sentinels. They all slept
soundly. So Macbeth stepped gently over the floor and took the two
dirks which belonged to the sentinels and stabbed poor old King Duncan
to the heart, so he died without a groan. Then Macbeth put the bloody
daggers into the hands of the sleeping sentinels and daubed their
hands and faces with blood. Macbeth was frightened at what he had
done, but his wife made him wash his hands and go to bed.

7. Early in the morning the nobles and gentlemen who attended on the
king assembled in the great hall of the castle, and then they began to
talk of what a dreadful storm there had been the night before. They
waited for some time, but finding the king did not come out, one of the
noblemen went to see whether he was well or not. But when he came into
the room he found King Duncan dead, and went back and spread the alarm.
The Scottish nobles were greatly enraged at the sight, and Macbeth made
believe he was more enraged than any of them, and drawing his sword he
killed the two attendants of the king, still heavy with sleep in
consequence of the drink furnished by Lady Macbeth the night before.

8. Malcolm and Donaldbane, the two sons of Duncan, when they saw their
father dead, fled from the castle, as they believed that Macbeth had
committed the murder. Malcolm, the eldest son, made his way to the
English court, and solicited aid to get possession of his father's
throne. In the mean time Macbeth took possession of the kingdom of
Scotland. The remembrance of his great crime continually haunted him,
and he became so sleepless as to be nearly insane. He remembered that
the witches had said that the children of Banquo should reign as kings
in Scotland, and he became terribly jealous of his old friend and
companion. At last he hired ruffians to waylay Banquo and his sons and
murder them. The scheme was partially successful--Banquo was killed
but the sons escaped, and from him descended a long line of the early
Scottish kings.

9. But Macbeth was not more happy after he had slain his friend and
cousin Banquo. He knew that people began to suspect him of his evil
deeds, and he was constantly afraid that some of his nobles would
treat him as he treated King Duncan. In his perplexity he sought the
three witches he had met before, to ask them what was to happen to him
in the future. They answered him that he should not be conquered nor
lose the crown of Scotland until a great forest, called Birnam Wood
should come to attack him in his strong castle on Dunsinane hill. As
the distance between the two was about twelve miles, Macbeth thought
it was impossible that the trees should ever come to assault him in
his castle. He immediately summoned all his nobles to assist him in
strengthening his castle at Dunsinane. All the nobles were obliged to
furnish oxen and horses to drag the heavy stones and logs used on the
fortification up the steep hill.

10. One day Macbeth noticed a pair of oxen so tired with their burden
that they fell down under their load. Upon inquiry he learned that they
belonged to Macduff, the Thane of Fife. The king, who was jealous of
Macduff, flew into a great rage and declared that "since the Thane of
Fife sends such worthless cattle as these to do my labor, I will put his
own neck into the yoke, and make him drag the burden himself." A friend
of Macduff who heard this speech hastened to the king's castle and
informed Macduff who was walking about while the dinner was preparing.

11. Macduff snatched a loaf of bread from the table, called for his
horses and servants, and galloped off toward his own castle of
Kennoway in Fife. When Macbeth returned he first asked what had become
of Macduff, and being informed that he had fled from Dunsinane,
Macbeth put himself at the head of a large force of his guards, and
immediately pursued. Macduff reached his castle which is built upon
the shore of the sea, a little in advance of the king. He ordered his
wife to shut the gates of the castle and pull up the drawbridge, and
on no account permit the king or any of his soldiers to enter. In the
mean time he went aboard a small ship and put out to sea.

12. Macbeth then summoned the lady to open the gates and deliver up
her husband. "Do you see," said she, "yon white sail upon the sea?
Yonder goes Macduff to the court of England. You will never see him
again until he comes with young Prince Malcolm to pull you down from
the throne and put you to death. You will never be able to put your
yoke upon the neck of the Thane of Fife."

13. Some say that Macbeth was so enraged at the escape of Macduff that
he stormed and took the castle, and put to death the wife and children
of Macduff. But others say that Macbeth turned back from the strong
castle and its brave defenders, and returned to his own home at
Dunsinane. Macduff readily found Prince Malcolm and the English king,
fitted them out with an army. Upon entering Scotland a large share of
the nobles deserted Macbeth and joined the forces of Malcolm. The army
marched as far as Birnam Wood where they encamped to rest and recuperate.

14. Macbeth, in the mean time, shut himself up in his castle, where he
thought himself safe according to the old woman's prophecy, until
Birnam Wood should advance against him, and this he never expected to
see. Malcolm's army having entirely recovered their strength and
vigor, at length were ready to march. As they were about to start,
Macduff advised each soldier to cut down the bough of a tree and carry
it so as to conceal the strength of the army as they crossed the
valley. The sentinel on the castle walls saw all these green boughs
advancing, ran to Macbeth and informed him that the wood of Birnam was
moving toward the castle of Dunsinane. The king at first called him a
liar and threatened to put him to death; but when he looked from the
walls himself, and saw the appearance of a forest approaching from
Birnam, he remembered the prediction, and felt that the hour of his
destruction had come.

15. His followers were also superstitious and began to desert him. But
Macbeth, at the head of those who remained true to him sallied out,
and was killed in a hand-to-hand conflict with Macduff. This story, a
tradition, is told by Sir Walter Scott, and forms the foundation of
Shakespeare's tragedy of "Macbeth."




    1.  God prosper long our noble king,
          Our lives and safeties all;
        A woful hunting once there did
          In Chevy-Chase befall.

    2.  The stout Earl of Northumberland
          A vow to God did make
        His pleasure in the Scottish woods
          Three summer days to take--

    3.  The chiefest harts in Chevy-Chase
          To kill and bear away.
        These tidings to Earl Douglas came,
          In Scotland where he lay;

    4.  Who sent Earl Percy present word
          He would prevent his sport.
        The English earl, not fearing that,
          Did to the woods resort,

    5.  With fifteen hundred bowmen bold,
          All chosen men of might,
        Who knew full well in time of need
          To aim their shafts aright.

    6.  The gallant greyhounds swiftly ran
          To chase the fallow deer;
        On Monday they began to hunt
          When daylight did appear;

    7.  And long before high noon they had
          A hundred fat bucks slain;
        Then, having dined, the drovers went
          To rouse the deer again.

    8.  Lord Percy to the quarry went,
          To view the slaughtered deer;
        Quoth he, "Earl Douglas promised
          This day to meet me here;

    9.  "But if I thought he would not come--
          No longer would I stay";
        With that a brave young gentleman
          Thus to the earl did say:

    10. "Lo, yonder doth Earl Douglas come--
          His men in armor bright,
        Full twenty hundred Scottish spears
          All marching in our sight."

    11. Earl Douglas on his milk-white steed,
          Most like a baron bold,
        Rode foremost of his company,
          Whose armor shone like gold.

    12. "Show me," said he, "whose men you be,
          That hunt so boldly here,
        That, without my consent, do chase
          And kill my fallow-deer."

    13. The first man that did answer make
          Was noble Percy he--
        Who said: "We list not to declare,
          Nor show whose men we be:

    14. "Yet will we spend our dearest blood
          Thy chiefest harts to slay."
        Then Douglas swore a solemn oath,
          And thus in rage did say:

    15. "Ere thus I will out-bravèd be,
          One of us two shall die!
        I know thee well, an earl thou art--
          Lord Percy, so am I.

    16. "Let you and me the battle try,
          And set our men aside."
        "Accursed be he," Earl Percy said,
          "By whom this is denied!"

    17. Then stepped a gallant squire forth,
          Witherington was his name,
        Who said: "I would not have it told
          To Henry, our king, for shame,

    18. "That e'er my captain fought on foot,
          And I stood looking on.
        You two be earls," said Witherington,
          "And I a squire alone.

    19. "I'll do the best that do I may,
          While I have power to stand;
        While I have power to wield my sword
          I'll fight with heart and hand."

    20. Our English archers bent their bows--
          Their hearts were good and true;
        At the first flight of arrows sent,
          Full fourscore Scots they slew.

    21. Yet stays Earl Douglas on the bent,
          As chieftain stout and good;
        As valiant captain, all unmoved,
          The shock he firmly stood.

    22. His host he parted had in three,
          As leaders ware and tried;
        And soon his spearmen on their foes
          Bore down on every side.

    23. At last these two stout earls did meet;
          Like captains of great might,
        Like lions wode, they laid on lode,
          And made a cruel fight.

    24. "Yield thee, Lord Percy," Douglas said.
          "In faith I will thee bring
        Where thou shalt high advancèd be
          By James, our Scottish king.

    25. "Thy ransom I will freely give,
          And this report of thee--
        Thou art the most courageous knight
          That ever I did see."

    26. "No, Douglas," saith Earl Percy then,
          "Thy proffer I do scorn;
        I will not yield to any Scot
          That ever yet was born."

    27. With that there came an arrow keen
          Out of an English bow,
        Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart--
          A deep and deadly blow;

    28. Who never spake more words than these
          "Fight on, my merry men all;
        For why, my life is at an end;
          Lord Percy sees my fall."

    29. Then leaving life, Earl Percy took
          The dead man by the hand,
        And said: "Earl Douglas, for thy life
          Would I had lost my land!

    30. "In truth, my very heart doth bleed
          With sorrow for thy sake;
        For sure a more redoubted knight
          Mischance did never make."

    31. A knight amongst the Scots there was
          Who saw Earl Douglas die,
        Who straight in wrath did vow revenge
          Upon the Earl Percy.

    32. Sir Hugh Mountgomery was he called,
          Who with a spear full bright,
        Well mounted on a gallant steed,
          Ran fiercely through the fight;

    33. And past the English archers all,
          Without a dread or fear,
        And through Earl Percy's body then
          He thrust his hateful spear.

    34. So thus did both these nobles die,
          Whose courage none could stain.
        An English archer then perceived
          The noble earl was slain.

    35. Against Sir Hugh Mountgomery
          To right a shaft he set;
        The gray goose-wing that was thereon
          In his heart's blood was wet.

    36. This fight did last from break of day
          Till setting of the sun;
        For when they rung the evening-bell
          The battle scarce was done.

    37. Of fifteen hundred Englishmen
          Went home but fifty-three;
        The rest in Chevy-Chase were slain,
          Under the greenwood-tree.

    38. The news was brought to Edinburg,
          Where Scotland's king did reign,
        That brave Earl Douglas suddenly
          Was with an arrow slain.

    39. "Oh, heavy news!" King James did say;
          "Scotland can witness be,
        I have not any captain more
          Of such account as he."

    40. Like tidings to King Henry came
          Within as short a space,
        That Percy of Northumberland
          Was slain in Chevy-Chase;

    41. "Now God be with him," said our king,
          "Since 'twill no better be;
        I trust I have within my realm
          Five hundred as good as he:

    42. "Yet shall not Scot or Scotland say
          But I will vengeance take;
        I'll be revengèd on them all
          For brave Earl Percy's sake!"

    43. This vow full well the king performed
          After at Humbledown:
        In one day fifty knights were slain,
          With lords of high renown;

    44. And of the rest, of small account,
          Did many hundreds die:
        Thus endeth the hunting of Chevy-Chase,
          Made by the Earl Percy.

    45. God save the king and bless this land
          With plenty, joy, and peace;
        And grant, henceforth, that foul debate
          'Twixt noblemen may cease!

                              _Old Ballad._


    1.  When Flora 'gins to deck the fields
          With colors fresh and fine,
        Then holy clerks their matins sing
          To good St. Valentine.

    2.  The King of France, that morning fair,
          He would a-hunting ride,
        To Artois Forest prancing forth
          In all his princely pride.

    3.  To grace his sports a courtly train
          Of gallant peers attend,
        And with their loud and cheerful cries
          The hills and valleys rend.

    4.  Through the deep forest swift they pass,
          Through woods and thickets wild,
        When down within a lonely dell
          They found a new-born child.

    5.  All in a scarlet kerchief laid,
          Of silk so fine and thin,
        A golden mantle wrapt him round,
          Pinned with a silver pin.

    6.  The sudden sight surprised them all,
          The courtiers gathered round;
        They look, they call, the mother seek--
          No mother could be found.

    7.  At length the king himself drew near,
          And, as he gazing stands,
        The pretty babe looked up and smiled,
          And stretched his little hands.

    8.  "Now, by the rood," King Pepin says,
          "This child is passing fair;
        I wot he is of gentle blood,
          Perhaps some prince's heir.

    9.  "Go, bear him home unto my court,
          With all the care you may,
        Let him be christened Valentine,
          In honor of this day.

    10. "And look me out some cunning nurse,
          Well nurtured let him be;
        Nor aught be wanting that becomes
          A bairn of high degree."

    11. They looked him out a cunning nurse,
          And nurtured well was he;
        Nor aught was wanting that became
          A bairn of high degree.

    12. Thus grew the little Valentine,
          Beloved of king and peers,
        And showed in all he spake or did
          A wit beyond his years.

    13. But chief in gallant feats of arms
          He did himself advance,
        That, ere he grew to man's estate,
          He had no peer in France.

    14. And now the early down began
          To shade his youthful chin,
        When Valentine was dubbed a knight,
          That he might glory win.

    15. "A boon, a boon, my gracious liege,
          I beg a boon of thee:
        The first adventure that befalls
          May be reserved for me."

    16. "The first adventure shall be thine,"
          The king did smiling say.
        Not many days, when lo! there came
          Three palmers clad in gray.

    17. "Help, gracious lord," they weeping said,
          And knelt, as it was meet;
        "From Artois Forest we are come,
          With weak and weary feet.

    18. "Within those deep and dreary woods
          There dwells a savage boy,
        Whose fierce and mortal rage doth yield
          Thy subjects dire annoy.

    19. "To more than savage strength he joins
          A more than human skill;
        For arms no cunning may suffice
          His cruel rage to still."

    20. Up then rose Sir Valentine
          And claimed that arduous deed.
        "Go forth and conquer," said the king,
          "And great shall be thy meed."

    21. Well mounted on a milk-white steed,
          His armor white as snow,
        As well beseemed a virgin knight,
          Who ne'er had fought a foe--

    22. To Artois Forest he repairs,
          With all the haste he may,
        And soon he spies the savage youth
          A-rending of his prey!

    23. His unkempt hair all matted hung
          His shaggy shoulders round;
        His eager eye all fiery glowed,
          His face with fury frowned.

    24. Like eagle's talons grew his nails,
          His limbs were thick and strong,
        And dreadful was the knotted oak
          He bare with him along.

    25. Soon as Sir Valentine approached,
          He starts with sudden spring,
        And yelling forth a hideous howl,
          He made the forest ring.

    26. As when a tiger fierce and fell
          Hath spied a passing roe,
        And leaps at once upon his throat,
          So sprang the savage foe.

    27. So lightly leaped with furious force,
          The gentle knight to seize,
        But met his tall uplifted spear,
          Which sank him on his knees.

    28. A second stroke, so stiff and stern,
          Had laid the savage low;
        But, springing up, he raised his club,
          And aimed a dreadful blow.

    29. The watchful warrior bent his head,
          And shunned the coming stroke;
        Upon his taper spear it fell,
          And all to shivers broke.

    30. Then, lighting nimbly from his steed,
          He drew his burnished brand;
        The savage quick as lightning flew
          To wrest it from his hand.

    31. Three times he grasped the silver hilt,
          Three times he felt the blade;
        Three times it fell with furious force,
          Three ghastly cuts it made.


    "_To court his hairy captive soon
      Sir Valentine doth bring,
    And, kneeling down upon his knee,
      Presents him to the king._"


    32. Now with redoubled rage he roared,
          His eyeballs flashed with fire,
        Each hairy limb with fury shook,
          And all his heart was ire.

    33. But soon the knight, with active spring,
          O'erturned his hairy foe,
        And now between their sturdy fists
          Passed many a bruising blow.

    34. But brutal force and savage strength
          To art and skill must yield;
        Sir Valentine at length prevailed,
          And won the well-fought field.

    35. Then binding straight his conquered foe
          Fast with an iron chain,
        He ties him to his horse's tail,
          And leads him o'er the plain.

    36. To court his hairy captive soon
          Sir Valentine doth bring,
        And, kneeling down upon his knee,
          Presents him to the king.

    37. With loss of blood and loss of strength,
          The savage tamer grew,
        And to Sir Valentine became
          A servant tried and true.

    38. And, 'cause with bears he first was bred,
          Ursine they called his name--
        A name which unto future times
          The Muses shall proclaim.

                                _Old Ballad._




1. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith
the Lord God of Israel, that which thou hast prayed to me against
Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.

2. This is the word that the Lord hath spoken concerning him; The
virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to
scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

3. Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast
thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against
the Holy One of Israel.

4. By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With
the multitude of my chariots, I am come up to the height of the
mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall
cedar-trees thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof: and I will enter
into the lodgings of his borders, and into the forest of his Carmel.

5. I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my
feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places.

6. Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient
times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou
shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps.

7. Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed
and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green
herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be
grown up.

8. But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy
rage against me.

9. Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine
ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy
lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

10. And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such
things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which
springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and
plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof.

11. And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet
again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.

12. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that
escape out of Mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.

13. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He
shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come
before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.

14. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall
not come into this city, saith the Lord.

15. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and
for my servant David's sake.

16. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went
out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and
five thousand; and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they
were all dead corpses.

17. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned,
and dwelt at Nineveh.

                                          _II Kings, xix, 20-36._


    1. The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold,
       And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
       And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
       When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

    2. Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
       That host with its banners at sunset was seen;
       Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
       That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

    3. For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
       And breathed on the face of the foe as he passed;
       And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
       And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still.

    4. And there lay the steed, with his nostrils all wide,
       But through them there rolled not the breath of his pride;
       And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
       And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

    5. And there lay the rider, distorted and pale,
       With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail,
       And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
       The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

    6. And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
       And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
       And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
       Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.




1. When Glaucon, the son of Ariston, attempted to harangue the people,
from a desire, though he was not yet twenty years of age, to have a
share in the government of the state, no one of his relatives, or
other friends, could prevent him from getting himself dragged down
from the tribunal and making himself ridiculous; but Socrates, who had
a friendly feeling toward him on account of Charmides, the son of
Glaucon, as well as on account of Plato, succeeded in prevailing on
him, by his sole dissuasion, to relinquish his purpose.

[Illustration: _Socrates._]

2. Meeting him by chance, he first stopped him by addressing him as
follows, that he might be willing to listen to him: "Glaucon," said
he, "have you formed an intention to govern the state for us?" "I
have, Socrates," replied Glaucon. "By Jupiter," rejoined Socrates, "it
is an honorable office, if any other among men be so; for it is
certain that, if you attain your object, you will be able yourself to
secure whatever you may desire, and will be in a condition to benefit
your friends; you will raise your father's house, and increase the
power of your country; you will be celebrated first of all in your own
city, and afterward throughout Greece, and perhaps, also, like
Themistocles, among the barbarians, and, wherever you may be, you will
be an object of general admiration." Glaucon, hearing this, was highly
elated, and cheerfully stayed to listen. Socrates next proceeded to
say: "But it is plain, Glaucon, that if you wish to be honored, you
must benefit the state." "Certainly," answered Glaucon. "Then, in the
name of the gods," said Socrates, "do not hide from us how you intend
to act, but inform us with what proceeding you will begin to benefit
the state." But as Glaucon was silent, as if just considering how he
should begin, Socrates said: "As, if you wished to aggrandize the
family of a friend, you would endeavor to make it richer, tell me
whether you will in like manner also endeavor to make the state
richer?" "Assuredly," said he. "Would it then be richer, if its
revenues were increased?" "That is at least probable," said Glaucon.
"Tell me then," proceeded Socrates, "from what the revenues of the
state arise, and what is their amount; for you have doubtless
considered, in order that if any of them fall short, you may make up
the deficiency, and that if any of them fail, you may procure fresh
supplies." "These matters, by Jupiter," replied Glaucon, "I have not

3. "Well, then," said Socrates, "if you have omitted to consider this
point, tell me at least the annual expenditure of the state; for you
undoubtedly mean to retrench whatever is superfluous in it." "Indeed,"
replied Glaucon, "I have not yet had time to turn my attention to that
subject." "We will therefore," said Socrates, "put off making our
state richer for the present; for how is it possible for him who is
ignorant of its expenditure and its income to manage those matters?"

4. "But Socrates," observed Glaucon, "it is possible to enrich the
state at the expense of our enemies." "Extremely possible, indeed,"
replied Socrates, "if we be stronger than they; but if we be weaker,
we may lose all that we have." "What you say is true," said Glaucon.

5. "Accordingly," said Socrates, "he who deliberates with whom he
shall go to war, ought to know the force both of his own country and
of the enemy, so that, if that of his own country be superior to that
of the enemy, he may advise it to enter upon the war, but if inferior,
may persuade it to be cautious of doing so." "You say rightly," said

[Illustration: _Socrates and Glaucon._]

6. "In the first place, then," proceeded Socrates, "tell us the
strength of the country by land and sea, and next that of the enemy."
"But, by Jupiter," exclaimed Glaucon, "I should not be able to tell
you on the moment, and at a word." "Well, then, if you have it written
down," said Socrates, "bring it, for I should be extremely glad to
hear what it is." "But, to say the truth," replied Glaucon, "I have
not yet written it down."

7. "We will therefore put off considering about war for the present,"
said Socrates, "for it is very likely that on account of the magnitude
of these subjects, and as you are just commencing your administration,
you have not yet examined into them. But to the defense of the
country, I am quite sure that you have directed your attention, and
that you know how many garrisons are in advantageous positions, and
how many not so, what number of men would be sufficient to maintain
them, and what number would be insufficient, and that you will advise
your countrymen to make the garrisons in advantageous positions
stronger, and to remove the useless ones."

8. "By Jove," replied Glaucon, "I shall recommend them to remove them
all, as they keep guard so negligently, that the property is secretly
carried off out of the country." "Yet, if we remove the garrisons,"
said Socrates, "do you not think that liberty will be given to anybody
that pleases to pillage? But," added he, "have you gone personally and
examined as to this fact, or how do you know that the garrisons
conduct themselves with such negligence?" "I form my conjectures,"
said he. "Well, then," inquired Socrates, "shall we settle about these
matters also, when we no longer rest upon conjecture, but have
obtained certain knowledge?" "Perhaps that," said Glaucon, "will be
the better course."

9. "To the silver-mines, however," continued Socrates, "I know that
you have not gone, so as to have the means of telling us why a smaller
revenue is derived from them than came in some time ago." "I have not
gone thither," said he. "Indeed, the place," said Socrates, "is said
to be unhealthy, so that when it is necessary to bring it under
consideration, this will be a sufficient excuse for you." "You jest
with me," said Glaucon. "I am sure, however," proceeded Socrates,
"that you have not neglected to consider, but have calculated, how
long the corn which is produced in the country, will suffice to
maintain the city, and how much it requires for the year, in order
that the city may not suffer from scarcity unknown to you, but that,
from your own knowledge, you may be able, by giving your advice
concerning the necessaries of life, to support the city and preserve
it." "You propose a vast field for me," observed Glaucon, "if it will
be necessary for me to attend to such subjects."

10. "Nevertheless," proceeded Socrates, "a man can not order his house
properly, unless he ascertains all that it requires, and takes care to
supply it with everything necessary; but since the city consists of
more than ten thousand houses, and since it is difficult to provide
for so many at once, how is it that you have not tried to aid one
first of all, suppose that of your uncle, for it stands in need of
help? If you be able to assist that one, you may proceed to assist
more; but if you be unable to benefit one, how will you be able to
benefit many? Just as it is plain that, if a man can not carry the
weight of a talent, he need not attempt to carry a greater weight?"

11. "But I would improve my uncle's house," said Glaucon, "if he would
but be persuaded by me." "And then," resumed Socrates, "when you can
not persuade your uncle, do you expect to make all the Athenians,
together with your uncle, yield to your arguments?

12. "Take care, Glaucon, lest, while you are eager to acquire glory,
you meet with the reverse of it. Do you not see how dangerous it is
for a person to speak of, or undertake, what he does not understand?
Contemplate, among other men, such as you know to be characters that
plainly talk of, and attempt to do, what they do not know, and
consider whether they appear to you, by such conduct, to obtain more
applause or censure, whether they seem to be more admired or despised?

13. "Contemplate, again, those who have some understanding of what
they say and do, and you will find, I think, in all transactions, that
such as are praised and admired are of the number of those who have
most knowledge, and that those who incur censure and neglect are among
those that have least.

14. "If, therefore, you desire to gain esteem and reputation in your
country, endeavor to succeed in gaining a knowledge of what you wish
to do; for if, when you excel others in this qualification, you
proceed to manage the affairs of the state, I shall not wonder if you
very easily obtain what you desire."



1. When Cyrus was twelve years old, his mother Mandana took him with
her into Media to his grandfather Astyages, who, from the many things
he had heard in favor of the young prince, had a great desire to see
him. In this court young Cyrus found very different manners from those
of his own country: pride, luxury, and magnificence reigned here
universally. Astyages himself was richly clothed, had his eyes
colored, his face painted, and his hair embellished with artificial
locks; for the Medes affected an effeminate life--to be dressed in
scarlet and to wear necklaces and bracelets--whereas the habits of the
Persians were very plain and coarse.

2. All this finery had no effect upon Cyrus, who, without criticising
or condemning what he saw, was content to live as he had been brought
up, and adhered to the principles he had imbibed from his infancy. He
charmed his grandfather with his sprightliness and wit, and gained the
favor of all by his noble and engaging behavior. I shall only mention
one instance, whereby we may judge of the rest. Astyages, to make his
grandson unwilling to return home, made a sumptuous entertainment, in
which there was a vast plenty and profusion of everything that was
nice and delicate. Cyrus looked upon all this exquisite cheer and
magnificent preparation with great indifference, and, observing that
it excited the surprise of Astyages, "The Persians," says he to the
king, "instead of going such a roundabout way to appease their hunger,
have a much shorter one to the same end: a little bread and cresses
with them answer the purpose."

3. Astyages desiring Cyrus to dispose of all the meats as he thought
fit, the latter immediately distributed them to the king's
officers-in-waiting: to one, because he taught him to ride; to
another, because he waited well upon his grandfather; and to a third,
because he took great care of his mother. Sacas, the king's
cup-bearer, was the only person to whom he gave nothing. This officer,
besides the post of cup-bearer, had that likewise of introducing those
who were to have audience with the king; and, as he could not possibly
grant that favor to Cyrus as often as he desired it, he had the
misfortune to displease the prince, who took this occasion to show his

4. Astyages, manifesting some concern at the neglect of this officer,
for whom he had a particular regard, and who deserved it, as he said,
on account of the wonderful dexterity with which he served him--"Is
that all, father?" replied Cyrus; "if that be sufficient to merit your
favor, you shall see I will quickly obtain it; for I will take upon me
to serve you better than he." Cyrus immediately equipped as a
cup-bearer, and advancing gravely with a serious countenance, a napkin
upon his shoulder, and holding the cup nicely with three of his
fingers, presented it to the king with a dexterity and a grace that
charmed both Astyages and Mandana. When he had done he threw himself
upon his grandfather's neck, and, kissing him, cried out with great
joy: "O Sacas! poor Sacas! thou art undone; I shall have thy place!"

5. Astyages embraced him with great fondness, and said: "I am highly
pleased, my dear child; nobody can serve me with a better grace; but
you have forgot one essential ceremony, which is that of tasting";
and, indeed, the cup-bearer was used to pour some of the liquor into
his left hand, and to taste it, before he presented it to the king.
"No," replied Cyrus, "it was not through forgetfulness that I omitted
that ceremony." "Why, then," says Astyages, "for what reason did you
not do it?" "Because I apprehended there was poison in the liquor."
"Poison, child! How could you think so?" "Yes, poison, father, for not
long ago, at an entertainment you gave to the lords of your court,
after the guests had drunk a little of that liquor, I perceived all
their heads were turned. They sang, made a noise, and talked they did
not know what; you yourself seemed to have forgotten that you were
king, and they that they were subjects; and when you would have danced
you could not stand upon your legs." "Why," said Astyages, "have you
never seen the same thing happen to your father?" "No, never," says
Cyrus. "What, then? How is it with him when he drinks?" "Why, when he
has drunk, his thirst is quenched, and that is all."

6. Mandana being upon the point of returning to Persia, Cyrus joyfully
complied with the repeated requests his grandfather had made to him to
stay in Media; being desirous, as he said, to perfect himself in the
art of riding, which he was not yet master of, and which was not known
in Persia, where the barrenness of the country and its craggy,
mountainous situation rendered it unfit for the breeding of horses.

7. During the time of his residence at this court his behavior
procured him infinite love and esteem. He was gentle, affable,
beneficent, and generous. Whenever the young lords had any favor to
ask of the king, Cyrus was their solicitor. If the king had any
subject of complaint against them, Cyrus was their mediator; their
affairs became his, and he always managed them so well that he
obtained whatever he desired.



1. The King of Armenia who was vassal to the Medes, looking upon them
as ready to be swallowed up by a formidable league formed against
them, thought fit to lay hold of this occasion to shake off their
yoke. Accordingly he refused to pay them the ordinary tribute, and to
send them the number of troops he was obliged to furnish in time of
war. This highly embarrassed Cyaxares, who was afraid at this
juncture of bringing new enemies upon his hands if he undertook to
compel the Armenians to execute their treaty.

2. But Cyrus, having informed himself exactly of the strength and
situation of the country, undertook the affair. The important point was
to keep his design secret, without which it was not likely to succeed.
He therefore appointed a great hunting-match on that side of the
country; for it was his custom to ride out that way, and frequently to
hunt with the king's son and the young noblemen of Armenia. On the
appointed day, he set out with a numerous retinue. The troops followed
at a distance, and were not to appear till a signal was given. After
some days' hunting, when they had nearly reached the palace where the
court resided, Cyrus communicated his design to his officers; and sent
Chrysanthes with a detachment, ordering them to make themselves master
of a certain steep eminence, where he knew the king used to retire in
case of an alarm, with his family and his treasures.

3. This being done, he sent a herald to the king of Armenia, to summon
him to perform the treaty, and in the mean time ordered his troops to
advance. Never was a court in greater surprise and perplexity. The
king was conscious of the wrong he had done, and was not in a
condition to support it. However, he did what he could to assemble his
forces together from all quarters; and in the mean time dispatched his
youngest son, called Stabaris, into the mountains, with his wives, his
daughters, and whatever was most precious and valuable. But when he
was informed by his scouts that Cyrus was closely pursuing, he
entirely lost all courage, and all thoughts of making a defense.

4. The Armenians, following his example, ran away, every one where he
could, to secure what was dearest to him. Cyrus, seeing the country
covered with people that were endeavoring to make their escape, sent
them word that no harm should be done to them if they stayed in their
houses; but that as many as were taken running away should be treated
as enemies. This made them all retire to their habitations, excepting
a few that followed the king.

5. On the other hand, they that were conducting the princesses to the
mountains fell into the ambush Chrysanthes had laid for them, and were
most of them taken prisoners. The queen, the king's son, his
daughters, his eldest son's wife, and his treasures, all fell into the
hands of the Persians.

6. The king, hearing this melancholy news, and not knowing what would
become of him, retired to a little eminence, where he was presently
invested by the Persian army, and obliged to surrender. Cyrus ordered
him with all his family to be brought to the midst of the army. At
that very instant arrived Tigranes, the king's eldest son, who was
just returned from a journey. At so moving a scene he could not
forbear weeping. Cyrus, addressing himself to him, said: "Prince, you
are come very seasonably to be present at the trial of your father."
And immediately he assembled the captains of the Persians and Medes,
and called in also the great men of Armenia. Nor did he so much as
exclude the ladies from this assembly, who were there in their
chariots, but gave them full liberty to hear and see all that passed.

7. When all was ready and Cyrus had commanded silence, he began with
requiring of the king, that in all the questions he was about to
propose to him, he would answer sincerely, because nothing could be
more unworthy a person of his rank than to use dissimulation or
falsehood. The king promised he would. Then Cyrus asked him, but at
different times, proposing each article separately, and in order,
whether it was not true, that he had made war upon Astyages, King of
the Medes, his grandfather; whether he had not been overcome in that
war, and in consequence of his defeat had concluded a treaty with
Astyages; whether by virtue of that treaty he was not obliged to pay a
certain tribute, to furnish a certain number of troops, and not to
keep any fortified place in his country.

8. It was impossible for the king to deny any of these facts, which
were all public and notorious. "For what reason, then," continued
Cyrus, "have you violated the treaty in every article?" "For no
other," replied the king, "than because I thought it a glorious thing
to shake off the yoke, to live free, and to leave my children in the
same condition." "It is really glorious," answered Cyrus, "to fight in
defense of liberty, but if any one, after he is reduced to servitude,
should attempt to run away from his master, what would you do with
him?" "I must confess," said the king, "I would punish him." "And if
you had given a government to one of your subjects, and he should be
found to misbehave, would you continue him in his post?" "No,
certainly; I would put another in his place." "And if he had amassed
great riches by his unjust practices?" "I would strip him of them."
"But, which is still worse, if he had held intelligence with your
enemies, how would you treat him?" "Though I should pass sentence upon
myself," replied the king, "I must declare the truth; I would put him
to death." At these words Tigranes tore his tiara from his head, and
rent his garments; the women burst out into lamentations and outcries,
as if the sentence had actually passed upon him.

9. Cyrus, having again commanded silence, Tigranes addressed himself
to the prince to this effect: "Great prince, can you think it
consistent with your wisdom, to put my father to death, even against
your own interest?" "How against my interest?" replied Cyrus. "Because
he was never so capable of doing you service." "How do you make that
appear? Do the faults we commit enhance our merit, and give us a new
title to consideration and favor?" "They certainly do, provided they
serve to make us wiser; for wisdom is of inestimable value. Are either
riches, courage, or address to be compared to it? Now it is evident,
this single day's experience has infinitely improved my father's
wisdom. He knows how dear the violation of his word has cost him. He
has proved and felt how much you are superior to him in all respects.
He has not been able to succeed in any of his designs; but you have
happily accomplished all yours; and with such expedition and secrecy
that he has found himself surrounded and taken before he expected to
be attacked, and the very place of his retreat has served only to
ensnare him."

10. "But your father," replied Cyrus, "has yet undergone no sufferings
that can have taught him wisdom." "The fear of evils," answered
Tigranes, "when it is so well founded as this is, has a much sharper
sting, and is more capable of piercing the soul, than the evil itself.
Besides, permit me to say, that gratitude is a stronger and more
prevailing motive than any whatever; and there can be no obligations
in the world of a higher nature than those you will lay upon my
father--his fortune, liberty, scepter, life, wives, and children, all
restored to him with such a generosity. Where can you find,
illustrious prince, in one single person, so many strong and powerful
ties to attach him to your service?"

11. "Well, then," replied Cyrus, turning to the king, "if I should
yield to your son's entreaties, with what number of men, and what sum
of money, will you assist us in the war against the Babylonians?" "My
troops and treasures," says the Armenian king, "are no longer mine;
they are entirely yours. I can raise forty thousand foot and eight
thousand horse; and as for money, I reckon, including the treasure
which my father left me, there are about three thousand talents ready
money. All these are wholly at your disposal." Cyrus accepted half the
number of the troops, and left the king the other half, for the
defense of the country against the Chaldeans, with whom he was at war.

12. The annual tribute which was due to the Medes he doubled, and
instead of fifty talents exacted a hundred, and borrowed the like sum
over and above in his own name. "But what would you give me," added
Cyrus, "for the ransom of your wives?" "All that I have in the world,"
replied the king. "And for the ransom of your children?" "The same
thing." "From this time, then, you are indebted to me the double of
all your possessions. And you, Tigranes, at what price would you
redeem the liberty of your lady?" Now he had lately married her, and
was passionately fond of her. "At the price," said he, "of a thousand
lives if I had them." Cyrus then conducted them all to his tent, and
entertained them at supper. It is easy to imagine what transports of
joy there must have been upon this occasion.

13. After supper, as they were discoursing upon various subjects,
Cyrus asked Tigranes what was become of a governor whom he had often
seen hunting with him, and for whom he had a particular esteem.
"Alas!" said Tigranes, "he is no more; and I dare not tell you by what
accident I lost him." Cyrus pressed him to tell him. "My father,"
continued Tigranes, "seeing I had a very tender affection for this
governor, and that I was extremely attached to him, suspected it might
be of some ill consequence and put him to death. But he was so honest
a man, that as he was ready to expire, he sent for me and spoke to me
in these words: 'Tigranes, let not my death occasion any
dissatisfaction in you toward the king your father. What he has done
to me did not proceed from malice, but only from prejudice, and a
false notion wherewith he was unhappily blinded.'" "Oh, the excellent
man!" cried Cyrus, "never forget the last advice he gave you."

14. When the conversation was ended, Cyrus, before they parted,
embraced them all, as in token of a perfect reconciliation. This done,
they got into their chariots, with their wives, and went home full of
gratitude and admiration. Nothing but Cyrus was mentioned the whole
way; some extolling his wisdom, others his valor; some admiring the
sweetness of his temper, others praising the beauty of his person and
the majesty of his mien. "And you," said Tigranes, addressing himself
to his lady, "what do you think of Cyrus's aspect and deportment?" "I
do not know," replied the lady, "I did not observe him." "Upon what
object, then, did you fix your eyes?" "Upon him that said he would
give a thousand lives to ransom my liberty."

The next day the King of Armenia sent presents to Cyrus, and
refreshments for his whole army, and brought him double the sum of
money he was required to furnish. But Cyrus took only what had been
stipulated, and restored him the rest. The Armenian troops were
ordered to be ready in three days' time, and Tigranes desired to
command them.



1. After the battle of Platæa, in which the army of the Persian king
Xerxes was defeated and destroyed, the Greek states became the
dominant power in the civilized world, and the Greek cities became
centers of influence and art. Under Pericles, the successor of
Themistocles, Athens, in richness and beauty of her palaces and
temples, arrived at a point of excellence which far surpassed anything
the world had before seen. But jealousies between different states led
to civil wars that desolated the whole land, and in the next one
hundred and fifty years scarcely any progress was made in adding to
the national strength. While these bloody wars were going on
principally between Sparta and Athens, the tribes of Macedon, a region
lying immediately north of Greece, were rapidly becoming civilized and
consolidated. In 359 B. C. Philip became the reigning monarch.

2. He was very desirous of being considered as a Greek, invited
distinguished men to his court, and ordered public rejoicings in his
kingdom when his chariots had won the prize at the Olympic games. He
was very clever, and cared little about the justice and honor of the
means by which he attained his ends, which were, to hold in subjection
all the rest of Greece, and to conquer Persia. In the first design he
succeeded, for the latter he only prepared the way for his son. He had
both to form his officers and his army. The first he attempted by
bringing the young nobles to his court, and there instructing them;
and in the last he succeeded in a remarkable manner.

3. The chief strength of the army, as he constituted it, was in the
phalanx, a body of sixteen thousand foot soldiers, fully armed in the
Greek fashion, with spears twenty-four feet long. When drawn up in
order of battle, the four front ranks held their spears pointing
outward, and stood at such a space apart, that the foremost line had
four spear-points between each man and the enemy, or on occasion they
marched with their shields touching, so as to form an almost
impenetrable wall.

4. As soon as Philip's designs against Greece were apparent, a strong
spirit of resistance showed itself, and chiefly at Athens, where the
great orator, Demosthenes, never ceased to rouse his countrymen to
maintain their freedom. Demosthenes had trained himself in eloquence
under great difficulties; he naturally either stammered, or had an
indistinct pronunciation--a defect which he cured by speaking with
pebbles in his mouth, and he used to rehearse his speeches to the
roaring sea, in order to nerve himself against the clamors of a
tumultuous assembly. He so far succeeded, that he often swayed the
minds of the Athenians; his name stands as the first of orators, and
his Philippics, as his discourses against Philip are called, are
considered as models of rhetoric.

5. At Cheronæa, in 338, a battle was fought by Philip against the
allied forces of the Athenians and Thebans. At one time the Athenians
gained some advantage, but they used it so ill, that Philip, calling
out to his troops, "They do not know how to conquer," made a sudden
charge, and routed them with great slaughter. The battle of Cheronæa
was the end of the independence of Greece, which from that time
forward became subject to Macedon, in spite of its many struggles to
shake off the yoke, and recover the liberty which had been lost for
want of a firm, united, settled government.

6. The King of Macedon next commenced his arrangements for his other
favorite scheme--the invasion of Asia; but in the year 336, in the
midst of the feasts in honor of his daughter's marriage, he was
murdered by a young Macedonian noble, who was slain in the first anger
of the surrounding guards, without having time to disclose the motive
of his crime.

7. Alexander, son of Philip and his Epirot queen Olympias, was twenty
years of age when he came to the throne. On the night of his birth the
temple of Diana, at Ephesus, was burned to the ground by a man named
Erostratus, in the foolish desire of making himself notorious, and
this Alexander liked to consider as an omen that he should himself
kindle a flame in Asia.

8. He traced his descent from his father's side from Hercules, and by
his mother's from Achilles, and throughout his boyhood he seems to
have lived in a world of the old Greek poetry, sleeping with Homer's
works under his pillow, and dreaming of deeds in which he should rival
the fame of the victors of Troy. He was placed under the care of
Aristotle, the great philosopher of Stagira, to whom, when Philip had
written to announce Alexander's birth, he had said that he knew not
whether most to rejoice at having a son, or that his son would have
such a teacher as Aristotle.

9. From him the young Alexander learned to think deeply, to resolve
firmly, and devise plans of government; by others he was instructed in
all the graceful accomplishments of the Greeks, and under his father
he was trained to act promptly. At fourteen he tamed the noble horse
Bucephalus, which no one else dared to mount; two years later he
rescued his father in a battle with the Scythians, and he commanded
the cavalry at Cheronæa, but he was so young at the time of his
accession, that the Greeks thought they had nothing to fear from him.

[Illustration: _Battle on the Granicus._]

10. There were very ungenerous rejoicings at Athens at the murder of
Philip. Demosthenes, though he had just lost a daughter, crowned himself
with a wreath of flowers, and came with great tokens of joy to announce
it to the Athenians so soon after the event, as almost to excite a
suspicion that he must have been concerned in the crime. But they found
that their joy was unfounded, for no sooner did Thebes take up arms,
than Alexander marched against it, destroyed the walls, killed many of
the citizens, and blotted it out from the number of Greek cities. The
other states did not dare to make any further opposition, and he was
thus at leisure to prepare for the invasion of Persia.

11. Leaving Antipater as governor of Macedon, he set out in the spring
of 334, at the head of thirty thousand infantry and four thousand five
hundred cavalry, and bade farewell to his native land, which he was
never to see again. He crossed the Hellespont, and was the first man
to leap on Asiatic ground; then, while his forces were landing, he
went to visit the spot which had so long been the object of his
dreams--the village which marked the site of Troy. He offered a
sacrifice at the tomb of Achilles, hung up his own shield in the
temple, and took down one which was said to be a relic of the Greek
conquerors, intending to have it always borne before him in battle.

12. His march was at first toward the east, along the shore of the
Hellespont, until at the river Granicus he met the Persians drawn up
on the other bank of the river, under the command of the satrap
Memnon. Alexander himself, at the head of his cavalry, charged through
the midst of the rapid stream, won the landing-place, and followed by
the phalanx, quickly gained a complete victory.

13. All the neighboring country fell into his hands, and after taking
possession of it, he changed his course, marching along the shores of
the Ægean, and taking all the towns. It was his first object to cut
the Persians off from their seaports, and thus deprive them of the use
of their fleet, which was so superior to his own, that he never
ventured on one sea-fight.

14. This march round the western and southern coasts of Asia Minor,
together with an expedition into the interior, occupied a year, and in
the early part of the summer, he arrived at Tarsus, in Cilicia. Here,
on entering the city, overwhelmed with heat and fatigue, he bathed in
the cold waters of the Cydnus, and the chill brought on a violent
fever, which nearly cost him his life. A letter was sent to warn him
that his physician, Philip, had been bribed by the Persian king to
poison him. While he was reading it the physician himself brought him
a draught of medicine; the king put the letter into his hand, took the
cup and drank it off, even before Philip could profess his innocence.
In three days' time he was again able to appear at the head of his
troops, and not before he was needed, for the enemy's army was near at
hand, under King Darius Codomanus himself.

15. The Persians advanced in great state. First came a number of
persons bearing silver altars, on which burned the sacred fire; then
followed the Magi, and three hundred and sixty-five youths robed in
scarlet, in honor of the days of the year. Next came the chariot and
horses of the Sun, with their attendants, and afterward the army
itself, the Immortal Band, with gold-handled lances, white robes, and
jeweled corslets, and a host of others of less note, all far more fit
for show than for battle. Darius himself, arrayed in purple robes and
glittering with jewels, was in the midst, in a chariot covered with
gold ornaments, and with him came his mother, Sisygambis, his
principal wife, his daughters, a number of other ladies, and a
multitude of slaves. This unwieldy and useless host took up their
position on the hilly ground above the city of Issus, where they were
so entangled among the rocks, that their numbers were of little profit
to them, and it was an easy victory for the Macedonians. No sooner did
Darius see that the day was against him, than he turned his chariot
and fled, leaving his family to fall into the hands of the conqueror,
while he himself hastened to Babylon to collect another army.

16. Alexander treated the mother, wife, and children of Darius with
great kindness and courtesy, sending an officer to assure them of his
protection, and going the next morning to visit them, accompanied by
his friend Hephæstion, a young man of his own age. Alexander, though
of beautiful and noble countenance, and well formed for strength and
activity, was rather short in stature, and as his dress was very
simple, Sisygambis mistook Hephæstion for the King of Macedon, and
threw herself on the ground before him; and she was greatly confused
and distressed when she discovered her error; but Alexander said, as
he raised her, "You were not deceived, for he is Alexander's other
self." He gave her the name of mother, never sat down in her presence
except at her request, and showed in every point a respect and
courtesy such as she had probably never before received from the
Asiatic princes, who always held women in contempt.

17. Pursuing his intention of first destroying the naval power of the
Persian empire, Alexander next entered Phoenicia, and readily received
the submission of Zidon, but Tyre refused to admit him within the
walls. New Tyre, which was built after the seventy years' desolation
which followed the conquest by Nebuchadnezzar, stood upon an island
about half a mile from the shore, and was inhabited by a numerous and
brave people, who thought themselves secure from an enemy who had no
fleet to bring against them.

18. Alexander was, however, not to be daunted by any difficulty. He at
first attempted to build a causeway from the shore to the island, and
when the Tyrians destroyed his works he went to Zidon and there
obtained a fleet, by means of which he at length took the city after a
seven months' siege. He stained his victory by a cruel slaughter, and
made slaves of all whose lives were spared, excepting a few whom the
Zidonians contrived to conceal in their ships. This was the final fall
of the great merchant city, so often predicted by Isaiah and Ezekiel.

19. He then marched through the rest of Palestine, intending to punish
Jerusalem, which had stood loyal to Darius, and refused to send him
supplies. The Jews, on his approach, prayed for guidance and
protection, and it was revealed to Jaddua, the high-priest, that he
should open the gates and go forth in his sacred robes to receive the
Grecian conqueror. It was accordingly done; and Jaddua, in the
vestments of Aaron, came forth at the head of the choir of priests in
white garments as Alexander and the Greeks mounted the hill toward the
city. No sooner did the king meet the procession than he bent down to
the ground in adoration, and walked in the midst of the priests to the
temple, where a sacrifice was offered; and he not only spared the
Jews, but showed them much favor.

20. He told his generals that before he left Macedon he had seen in a
dream a figure exactly resembling that of the high-priest, which had
foretold all his conquests. And surely there is little reason to doubt
that such a revelation might be made to a conqueror marked out as
clearly by prophecy as Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus, before he set out on
the work appointed for him. Both his predecessors in conquest, as soon
as they came in contact with the chosen people, were taught that they
were the subjects of prophecy; and Alexander, in his turn, was shown
by Jaddua the prediction of Daniel, which spoke of him as a he-goat
(the actual ensign of Macedon), "Who came from the West, and smote the
ram, and brake his two horns, and cast him down and trampled on him."
"And the rough goat is the King of Grecia."

21. He then proceeded southward, besieged and took Gaza, after a brave
resistance, which he cruelly requited, and entered Egypt, subduing it
with little difficulty. On one of the peninsulas formed by the mouth
of the Nile, he founded a city, called after his name Alexandria,
which became the capital of Egypt under its Greek rulers, and one of
the most famous cities in the world. He made an expedition to the
temple of Jupiter Ammon, on an oasis in the Libyan desert, and
consulted the oracle there, and then after appointing a Macedonian
satrap in Egypt, retraced his steps toward the Holy Land, and marched
toward Babylonia, where Darius was again collecting his forces to
oppose him.

                                            _Charlotte M. Yonge._


1. Alexander crossed the Euphrates and Tigris without opposition, and
the decisive battle did not take place till he reached the plain of
Arbela, where the Persians were drawn up to receive him. The
Macedonians wished to make a night attack, but Alexander would not
permit it, saying that he disdained to steal a victory, and the combat
took place the next day.

2. The present army of Persians was drawn from the more remote
regions of Bactria and Parthia, where the men were more warlike, and
they fought better than any whom the Macedonians had before
encountered; but Darius himself fled early in the day, leaving behind
him his bow and shield; his men lost courage, and followed him, and
Alexander was left master of the field of Arbela.

3. This battle placed in his power all the western part of the Persian
empire, and he had only to march to the great cities of Babylon, Susa,
Ecbatana, and Persepolis, to take possession of the huge stores of
treasures there heaped up by the Persian kings, which he now
distributed among his followers with royal bounty. The unfortunate
Darius escaped into Bactria, where two satraps, in whom he had
confided, treacherously seized him and made him prisoner, carrying him
along with them as they fled before Alexander, until at length, being
closely pressed by the Greeks, they threw their darts at him, and left
him lying on the ground mortally wounded.

4. He was still alive when some of the Greeks came up, but died before
the arrival of Alexander. The conqueror wept as he beheld the corpse
of the last of a line of such great princes; he threw his own cloak
over it, and sent it to Babylon, where it was buried with great

[Illustration: _Alexander at the Dead Body of Darius._]

5. The wife of Darius had died a prisoner, but Sisygambis still
remained with her grandchildren at Babylon. Only once does Alexander
seem to have hurt her feelings, and this was through ignorance of
Persian customs. He showed her some robes of his sister's own weaving
and embroidery, and offered to have her grand-daughters instructed in
the same art, at which she wept, since Persian ladies deemed such
employments work fit only for slaves and captives, and Alexander was
obliged to explain how honorably the loom and needle were esteemed
by his own countrywomen.

6. Alexander was much attached to his own mother, Olympias, and
portions of his letters to her have come down to our time. She was a
proud and violent woman, who often interfered with Antipater, governor
of Macedon, and caused him to send many complaints to the king: "Ah!"
said Alexander, "Antipater does not know that one tear of a mother
will blot out ten thousand of his letters."

7. Alexander had indeed an open and affectionate heart, but he was
fast becoming too much uplifted by his successes. On Darius's death,
he took the state as well as the title of a king of Persia, wore the
tiara and robes, and claimed from the Macedonians the same servile
tokens of homage as were paid by the eastern nations, thus causing
perpetual heart-burnings among them, since they could neither endure
to see their king exalted so much further above them, nor to be placed
on the same level with the barbarians whom they despised.

8. Their jealousies troubled Alexander from the time he assumed the
tiara of Persia. He found it impossible to raise the condition of the
Persians, and treat them with favor, without offending the
Macedonians, and his temper did not always endure these provocations.
The worst action of his life was the sentencing to death, on a false
accusation, the wise old General Parmenio, and his son; and in a fit
of passion at a riotous banquet, he slew, with his own hand, his
friend Clitus, his nurse's son, who had saved his life at the battle
of Granicus. It was the deed of a moment of drunken violence, and he
bitterly lamented it, shutting himself up for several days without
allowing any one to approach him, and paying all honors to the memory
of his murdered friend.

9. His pride and vain-glory went so far, that he declared that the
oracle of Jupiter Ammon had announced that he was the son of Jupiter,
and sent to Greece to desire to be enrolled among the gods in his
life-time. Some of the Greeks were shocked at his profanity, others
laughed at him; but all the Spartans said was, "If Alexander will be a
god, let him."

10. The next four years were the most laborious of Alexander's life.
He pursued the murderers of Darius into Bactria and Sogdiana, avenged
his death, and reduced the numerous hill-forts as far as the frontier
of Scythia. Fierce insurrections broke out among the wild tribes of
Sogdiana, which it required all his activity and judgment to quell,
and more than once provoked him into cruelty, though in general,
conqueror as he was, he was no spoiler, but wherever he went founded
cities, and tried to teach the Persians the civilized arts of Greece.

11. In 326 he set out for India, as the region was called round the
river Indus. Here the inhabitants were warlike, and Porus, king of a
portion of the country, made a brave resistance, but was at length
defeated and taken prisoner. On being brought before Alexander he said
he had nothing to ask, save to be treated as a king. "That I shall do
for my own sake," said Alexander, and accordingly not only set him at
liberty, but enlarged his territory.

12. All these Indian nations brought a tribute of elephants, which the
Macedonians now for the first time learned to employ in war. Alexander
wished to proceed into Hindostan, a country hitherto entirely unknown,
but his soldiers grew so discontented at the prospect of being led so
much farther from home, into the utmost parts of the earth, that he
was obliged to give up his attempt, and very unwillingly turned back
from the banks of the Sutlej.

13. While returning, he besieged a little town belonging to a tribe
called the Malli, and believed to be the present city of Mooltan. He
was the first to scale the wall, and after four others had mounted,
the ladder broke, and he was left standing on the wall, a mark for the
darts of the enemy. He instantly leaped down within the wall into the
midst of the Malli, and there setting his back against a fig-tree,
defended himself until a barbed arrow deeply pierced his breast, and,
after trying to keep up a little longer, he sunk, fainting, on his
shield. His four companions sprung down after him--two were slain, but
the others held their shields over him till the rest of the army
succeeded in breaking into the town and coming to the rescue.

14. His wound was severe and dangerous, but he at length recovered,
sailed down to the mouth of the Indus, and sent a fleet to survey the
Persian Gulf, while he himself marched along the shore. The country
was bare and desert, and his army suffered dreadfully from heat,
thirst, and hunger, while he readily shared all their privations. A
little water was once brought him on a parching day, as a great prize,
but since there was not enough for all, he poured it out on the sand,
lest his faithful followers should feel themselves more thirsty when
they saw him drink alone.

15. At last he safely arrived at Caramania, whence he returned to the
more inhabited and wealthy parts of Persia, held his court with great
magnificence at Susa, and then went to Babylon. Here embassies met him
from every part of the known world, bringing gifts and homage, and
above all, there arrived from the Greek states the much desired
promise that he should be honored as a god. He was at the highest
pitch of worldly greatness to which mortal man had yet attained, and
his designs were reaching yet further; but his hour was come, and at
Babylon, the home of pride, "the great horn" was to be broken.

[Illustration: _Alexander the Great._]

16. In the marshes into which the Euphrates had spread since its
channel was altered by Cyrus, there breathed a noxious air, and a few
weeks after Alexander's arrival, he was attacked by a fever, perhaps
increased by intemperance. He bore up against it as long as possible,
continued to offer sacrifices daily, though with increasing
difficulty, and summoned his officers to arrange plans for his
intended expedition; but his strength failed him on the ninth day, and
though he called them together as usual, he could not address them.
Perhaps he thought in that hour of the prophecy he had seen at
Jerusalem, that the empire he had toiled to raise should be divided,
for he is reported to have said that there would be a mighty contest
at his funeral games. He made no attempt to name a successor, but he
took off his signet-ring, placed it on the finger of Perdiccas, one of
his generals, and a short time after expired, in the thirty-third year
of his age, and the twelfth of his reign.

17. There was a voice of wailing throughout the city that night. The
Babylonians shut up their houses, and trembled at the neighborhood of
the fierce Greek soldiery, now that their protector was dead; the
Macedonians stood to arms all night, as if in presence of the enemy;
and when in the morning the officers assembled in the palace council
chamber, bitter and irrepressible was the burst of lamentation that
broke out at the sight of the vacant throne, where lay the crown,
scepter, and royal robes, and where Perdiccas now placed the
signet-ring. More deeply than all mourned the prisoner, the aged
Sisygambis, who covered her face with a black veil, sat down in a
corner of her room, refused all entreaties to speak or to eat, and
expired five days after Alexander.

18. Nor did the Persians soon cease to lament the conqueror, who had
ruled them more beneficently than their own monarchs had done; their
traditions made Alexander a prince of their own, and adorned him with
every virtue valued in the East. That he had many great faults has
already been shown, and, of course, by the rules of justice, his
conquests were but reckless gratifications of his own ambition; but he
was a high-minded, generous man, open of heart, free of hand, and for
the most part acting up to his knowledge of right; and if unbridled
power, talent of the highest order, and glory such as none before or
since has ever attained, inflamed his passions, and elated him with
pride, still it is not for us to judge severely of one who had such
great temptations, and so little to guide him aright.

                                            _Charlotte M. Yonge._


1. The kingdom of Judah escaped destruction at the hands of
Sennacherib, but its respite was short. Soon afterward Babylon,
closely related to Assyria, and the heir of its dominion, swept into
captivity in distant Mesopotamia nearly all that were left of Hebrew
stock. For a time, the nation seemed to have been wiped from the face
of the earth. The ten tribes of Israel that had been first dragged
forth never returned to Judea, and their ultimate fate, after the
destruction of Nineveh, whose splendor they had in their servitude
done so much to enhance, was that of homeless wanderers. The harp of
Judah, silent upon the devastated banks of the Jordan, was hung upon
the Babylonian willows, for how could the exiles sing the Lord's song
in a strange land! But the cry went forth at length that Babylon had
fallen in her turn, just as destruction had before overtaken Nineveh.
In the middle of the sixth century B. C., Cyrus the Mede made a
beginning of restoring the exiles, who straightway built anew the
Temple walls.

2. In David's time, the population of Palestine must have numbered
several millions, and it largely increased during the succeeding
reigns. Multitudes, however, had perished by the sword, and other
multitudes were retained in strange lands. Scarcely fifty thousand
found their way back in the time of Cyrus to the desolate site of
Jerusalem, but, one hundred years later, the number was increased by a
re-enforcement under Ezra. From this nucleus, with astonishing
vitality, a new Israel was presently developed. With weapons always at
hand to repel the freebooters of the desert, they constructed once
more the walls of Jerusalem. Through all their harsh experience their
feelings of nationality had not been at all abated; their blood was
untouched by foreign admixture, though some Gentile ideas had entered
into the substance of their faith. The conviction that they were the
chosen people of God was as unshaken as in the ancient time. With
pride as indomitable as ever, intrenched within their little corner of
Syria, they confronted the hostile world.

3. But a new contact was at hand, far more memorable even than that
with the nations of Mesopotamia--a contact whose consequences affect
at the present hour the condition of the greater part of the human
race. In the year 332 B. C., the high-priest, Jaddua, at Jerusalem,
was in an agony, not knowing how he should meet certain new invaders
of the land, before whom Tyre, and Gaza, the old Philistine
stronghold, had fallen, and who were now marching upon the city of
David. But God warned him in a dream that he should take courage,
adorn the city, and open the gates; that the people should appear in
white garments of peace, but that he and the priests should meet the
strangers in the robes of their office. At length, at the head of a
sumptuous train of generals and tributary princes, a young man of
twenty-four, upon a beautiful steed, rode forward from the way going
down to the sea to the spot which may still be seen, called,
anciently, Scopus, the prospect, because from that point one
approaching could behold, for the first time, Jerusalem crowned by the
Temple rising fair upon the heights of Zion and Moriah.

4. The youth possessed a beauty of a type in those regions hitherto
little known. As compared with the swarthy Syrians in his suite, his
skin was white; his features were stamped with the impress of command,
his eyes filled with an intellectual light. With perfect horsemanship he
guided the motions of his charger. A fine grace marked his figure, set
off with a cloak, helmet, and gleaming arms, as he expressed with
animated gestures his exultation over the spectacle before him. But now,
down from the heights came the procession of the priests and the people.
The multitude proceeded in their robes of white; the priests stood
clothed in fine linen; while the high-priest, in attire of purple and
scarlet, upon his breast the great breastplate of judgment with its
jewels, upon his head the mitre marked with the plate of gold whereon
was engraved the name of God, led the train with venerable dignity.

5. Now, says the historian, when the Phœnicians and Chaldeans that
followed Alexander thought that they should have liberty to plunder
the city, and torment the high-priest to death, the very reverse
happened; for the young leader, when he saw the multitude in the
distance, and the figure of the high-priest before, approached him by
himself, saluted him, and adored the name, which was graven upon the
plate of the mitre. Then a captain, named Parmino, asked him how it
came to pass that, when all others adored him, he should adore the
high-priest of the Jews. To whom the leader replied: "I do not adore
him, but that God who hath honored him with his high-priesthood; for I
saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at
Dios in Macedonia, who, when I was considering how I might obtain the
dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass
over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and could
give me the dominion over the Persians." Then, when Alexander had
given the high-priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him and
he came into the city, and he offered sacrifice to God in the Temple,
according to the high-priest's direction, and magnificently treated
both the high-priest and the priests. He granted all the multitude
desired; and when he said to them that if any of them would enlist
themselves in his army on this condition, that they should continue
under the laws of their forefathers, he was willing to take them with
him, many were ready to accompany him in his wars.

6. But this Aryan troop that went southward is less interesting to us
than companies that departed westward, for in these westward marching
bands went the primeval forefathers from whose venerable loins we
ourselves have proceeded. They passed into Western Asia, and from Asia
into Europe--each migrating multitude impelled by a new swarm sent forth
from the parent hive behind. At the head of the Adriatic Sea an Aryan
troop had divided, sending down into the eastern peninsula the ancestors
of the Greeks, and into the western peninsula the train destined to
establish upon the seven hills the power of Rome. Already the Aryan
pioneers, the Celts, on the outmost rocks of the western coast of
Europe, were fretting against the barrier of storm and sea, across which
they were not to find their way for many ages. Already Phœnician
merchants, trading for amber in the far-off Baltic, had become aware of
the wild Aryan tribes pressing to the northwest--the Teutons and Goths.
Already, perhaps, upon the outlying spur of the Ural range, still other
Aryans had fixed their hold, the progenitors of the Sclav. The
aboriginal savage of Europe was already nearly extinct. His lance of
flint had fallen harmless from the Aryan buckler; his rude altars had
become displaced by the shrines of the new gods. In the Mediterranean
Sea each sunny isle and pleasant promontory had long been in Aryan
hands, and now in the wintry forests to the northward the resistless
multitudes had more recently fixed their seats.

7. In the Macedonians, the Aryans, having established their dominion
in Europe, march back upon the track which their forefathers long
before had followed westward; and now it is that the Hebrews become
involved with the race that from that day to this has been the
master-race of the world. It was a contact taking place under
circumstances, it would seem, the most auspicious--the venerable old
man and the beautiful Greek youth clasping hands, the ruthless
followers of the conqueror baffled in their hopes of booty, the
multitudes of Jerusalem, in their robes of peace, filling the air with
acclamations, as Alexander rode from the place of prospect, upon the
heights of Zion, into the solemn precincts of the Temple.

8. The successors of Alexander the Great made the Jews a link between
the Hellenic populations that had become widely scattered throughout the
East by the Macedonian conquests, and the great barbarian races among
whom the Greeks had placed themselves. The dispersion of the Jews, which
had already taken place to such an extent through the Assyrian and
Babylonian conquests, went forward now more vigorously. Throughout
Western Asia they were found everywhere, but it was in Egypt that they
attained the highest prosperity and honor. The one city, Alexandria
alone, is said to have contained at length a million Jews, whom the
Greek kings of Egypt, the Ptolemies, preferred in every way to the
native population. Elsewhere, too, they were favored, and hence they
were everywhere hated; and the hatred assumed a deeper bitterness from
the fact that the Jew always remained a Jew, marked in garb, in feature,
in religious faith, always scornfully asserting the claim that he was
the chosen of the Lord. Palestine became incorporated with the empire of
the Seleucidæ, the Macedonian princes to whom had fallen Western Asia.
Oppression at last succeeded the earlier favor, the defenses of
Jerusalem were demolished, and the Temple defiled with pagan ceremonies;
and now it is that we reach some of the finest figures in Hebrew
history, the great high-priests, the Maccabees.

9. There dwelt at the town of Modin a priest, Mattathias, the
descendant of Asmonæus, to whom had been born five sons--John, Simon,
Judas Maccabæus, or the Hammer, Eleazar, and Jonathan. Mattathias
lamented the ravaging of the land and the plunder of the Temple by
Antiochus Epiphanes, and when, in the year 167 B. C., the Macedonian
king sent to Modin to have sacrifices offered, the Asmonæan returned a
spirited reply. "Thou art a ruler," said the king's officers, "and an
honorable and great man in this city, and strengthened with sons and
brethren. Now, therefore, come thou first: so shalt thou and thy
house be in number of the king's friends, and thou and thy children
shall be honored with silver and gold and many rewards." But
Mattathias replied with a loud voice: "Though all the nations that are
under the king's dominions obey him, and fall away every one from the
religion of their fathers, yet will I and my sons and my brethren,
walk in the covenant of our fathers. God forbid that we should forsake
the law and the ordinances! We will not hearken to the king's words to
go from our religion, either on the right hand or the left."

10. An heroic struggle for freedom at once began, which opened for the
Jews full of sadness. An apostate Jew, approaching to offer sacrifice
in compliance with the command of Antiochus, was at once slain by
Mattathias, who struck down also Apelles, the king's general, with
some of his soldiers. As he fled with his sons into the desert,
leaving his substance behind him, many of the faithful Israelites
followed, pursued by the Macedonians seeking revenge. The oppressors
knew well how to choose their time. Attacking on the Sabbath-day,
when, according to old tradition, it was a transgression even to
defend one's life, a thousand with their wives and children were
burned and smothered in the caves in which they had taken refuge. But
Mattathias, rallying those that remained, taught them to fight on the
Sabbath, and at all times. The heathen altars were overthrown, the
breakers of the law were slain, the uncircumcised boys were everywhere
circumcised. But the fullness of time approached for Mattathias; after
a year his day of death had come, and these were his parting words to
his sons: "I know that your brother Simon is a man of counsel; give
ear unto him always; he shall be a father unto you. As for Judas
Maccabæus, he hath been mighty and strong even from his youth up; let
him be your captain and fight the battles of the people. Admit among
you the righteous."

11. No sooner had the father departed, than it appeared that the
captain whom he had designated was a man as mighty as the great
champions of old, Joshua and Gideon and Samson. He forthwith smote
with defeat Apollonius, the general in the Samaritan country, and when
he had slain the Greek he took his sword for his own. Seron, general
of the army in Cœle-Syria, came against him with a host of
Macedonians strengthened by apostate Jews. The men of Judas Maccabæus
were few in number, without food, and faint-hearted, but he inspired
them with his own zeal, and overthrew the new foes at Bethoron. King
Antiochus, being now called eastward to Persia, committed military
matters in Palestine to the viceroy, Lysias, with orders to take an
army with elephants and conquer Judea, enslave its people, destroy
Jerusalem, and abolish the nation. At once the new invaders were upon
the land; of foot-soldiers there were forty thousand, of horsemen
seven thousand, and as they advanced many Syrians and renegade Jews
joined them. Merchants marched with the army, with money to buy the
captives as slaves, and chains with which to bind those whom they
purchased. But Judas Maccabæus was no whit dismayed. Causing his
soldiers to array themselves in sackcloth, he made them pray to
Jehovah. He dismissed those lately married, and those who had newly
come into great possessions, as likely to be faint-hearted. After
addressing those that remained, he set them in the ancient order of
battle, and waited the opportunity to strike.

12. The hostile general, fancying he saw an opportunity to surprise
the little band of Hebrews, sent a portion of his host against them,
by secret ways at night. But the spies of Judas were out. Leaving the
fires burning brightly in his camp, to lure forward those who were
commissioned to attack him, he rushed forth under the shadows against
the main body, weakened by the absence of the detachment. He forced
their position, though strongly defended, overcame the army; then
turned back to scatter utterly the other party who were seeking him in
the abandoned camp. He took great booty of gold and silver, and of
raiment purple and blue. He marched home in great joy to the villages
of Judea, singing hymns to God, as was done in the days of Miriam,
long before, because they had triumphed gloriously.

13. The next year Lysias advanced from Antioch, the Syrian capital,
with a force of sixty-five thousand. Judas Maccabæus, with ten
thousand, overthrew his vanguard, upon which the viceroy, terrified at
the desperate fighting, retired to assemble a still greater army. For
a time there was a respite from war, during which Judas counseled the
people to purify the Temple. The Israelites, overjoyed at the revival
of their ancient customs, the restoration of the old worship in all
its purity, and the relief from foreign oppressors, celebrated for
eight days a magnificent festival. The lamps in the Temple porches
were rekindled to the sound of instruments and the chant of the
Levites. But one vial of oil could be found, when, lo, a miracle! the
one vial sufficed for the supply of the seven-branched golden
candlestick for a week. This ancient Maccabæan festival faithful Jews
still celebrate under the name of the Hanoukhah, the Feast of Lights.

14. Judas subdues also the Idumeans of the southward, and the
Ammonites. His brethren, too, have become mighty men of valor.
Jonathan crosses the Jordan with him and campaigns against the tribes
to the eastward. Eleazar is a valiant soldier, and Simon carries
succor to the Jews in Galilee. But at length the Macedonian is again
at hand, more terrible than before. The foot are a hundred thousand,
the horse twenty thousand; and as rallying-points, thirty-two
elephants tower among the ranks. About each one of the huge beasts is
collected a troop of a thousand foot and five hundred horse; high
turrets upon their backs are occupied by archers; their great flanks
and limbs are cased in plates of steel. The host show their golden and
brazen shields, making in the sun a glorious splendor, and shout in
exultation so that the mountains echo. In the battle that follows
Fortune does not altogether favor the Jews. In particular, the
champion Eleazar lays down his life. He had attacked the largest
elephant, a creature covered with plated armor, and carrying upon his
back a whole troop of combatants, among whom it was believed that the
king himself fought. Eleazar had slain those in the neighborhood,
then, creeping beneath the belly of the elephant, had pierced him. As
the brute fell, Eleazar was crushed in the fall. Judas was forced to
retire within the defenses of Jerusalem, where still further disaster
seemed likely to overcome him. Dissensions among themselves, however,
weakened the Macedonians. Peace was offered the Jews, and permission
to live according to the law of their fathers--proposals which were
gladly accepted, although the invaders razed the defenses of the Temple.

15. The peace was not enduring. New Macedonian invasions followed; new
Hebrew successes, the Maccabees and their partisans making up, by
their fierce zeal, their military skill, and dauntless valor, for
their want of numbers. But a sad day came at last. Judas, twenty times
outnumbered, confronts the leader Bacchides in Galilee. The Greek sets
horsemen on both wings, his light troops and archers before the
heavier phalanx, and takes his own station on the right. The Jewish
hero is valiant as ever; the right wing of the enemy turns to flee.
The left and center, however, encompass him, and he falls, fighting
gloriously, having earned a name of the most skillful and valorous of
the world's great vindicators of freedom.

               _James K. Hosmer. "The Story of the Jews."_
                       _Putnam's "Stories of the Nations" Series._




1. For his tyranny King Tarquin was banished from Rome about 500 B.
C., and after his expulsion he sent messengers to Rome to ask that his
property should be given up to him, and the senate decreed that his
prayer should be granted. But the king's ambassadors, while they were
in Rome, stirred up the minds of the young men and others who had been
favored by Tarquin, so that a plot was made to bring him back. Among
those who plotted were Titus and Tiberius, the sons of the consul
Brutus; and they gave letters to the messengers of the king. But it
chanced that a certain slave hid himself in the place where they met,
and overheard them plotting; and he came and told the thing to the
consuls, who seized the messengers of the king with the letters upon
their persons, authenticated by the seals of the young men. The
culprits were immediately arrested; but the ambassadors were let go,
because their persons were regarded as sacred. And the goods of King
Tarquin were given up for plunder to the people.

2. Then the traitors were brought up before the consuls, and the sight
was such as to move all beholders to pity; for among them were the
sons of Lucius Junius Brutus himself, the first consul, the liberator
of the Roman people. And now all men saw how Brutus loved his country;
for he bade the lictors put all the traitors to death, and his own
sons first; and men could mark in his face the struggle between his
duty as a chief magistrate of Rome and his feelings as a father. And
while they praised and admired him they pitied him yet more. This was
the first attempt to restore Tarquin the Proud.

3. When Tarquin saw that the plot at home had failed, he prevailed on
the people of Tarquinii and Veii to make war with him against the
Romans. But the consuls came out against them; Valerius commanding the
main army, and Brutus the cavalry. And it chanced that Aruns, the
king's son, led the cavalry of the enemy. When he saw Brutus, he
spurred his horse against him, and Brutus did not decline the combat.
They rode straight at each other with leveled spears; and so fierce
was the shock, that they pierced each other through from breast to
back, and both fell dead.

4. Then, also, the armies fought, but the battle was neither won nor
lost. But in the night a voice was heard by the Etruscans, saying that
the Romans were the conquerers. So the enemy fled by night; and when
the Romans arose in the morning, there was no man to oppose them. Then
they took up the body of Brutus, and departed home, and buried him in
public with great pomp.

5. And thus the second attempt to restore King Tarquin was frustrated.
After the death of Brutus, Valerius, the remaining consul, ruled the
people for awhile by himself, and began to build himself a house upon
the ridge called Velia, which looks down upon the forum. So the people
thought that he was going to make himself king; but when he heard
this, he called an assembly of the people, and appeared before them
with his fasces lowered, and with no axes in them, whence the custom
remained ever after, that no consular lictors wore axes within the
city, and no consul had power of life and death except when he was in
command of his legions abroad. And he pulled down the beginning of his
house upon the Velia, and built it below that hill. Also, he passed
laws that every Roman citizen might appeal to the people against the
judgment of the chief magistrates. Wherefore he was greatly honored
among the people, and was called _Poplicola_, or _Friend of the People_.

6. After this Valerius called together the great assembly of the
centuries, and they chose Spurius Lucretius, father of Lucretius, to
succeed Brutus. But he was an old man, and not many days afterward he
died, and Marcus Horatius was chosen in his stead.

7. The temple on the Capitol which King Tarquin began had never yet been
consecrated. Then Valerius and Horatius drew lots which should be the
consecrator, and the lot fell on Horatius. But the friends of Valerius
murmured, and they wished to prevent Horatius from having the honor; so,
when he was now saying the prayer of consecration, with his hand upon
the door-post of the temple, there came a messenger who told him that
his son was just dead, and that one mourning for a son could not rightly
consecrate the temple. But Horatius kept his hand upon the door-post,
and told them to see to the burial of his son, and finished the rite of
consecration. Thus did he honor the gods even above his own son.

8. In the next year Valerius was again made consul, with Titus
Lucretius; and Tarquin, despairing now of aid from his friends at Veii
and Tarquinii, went to Lars Porsena of Clusium, a city on the river
Clanis, which falls into the Tiber. Porsena was, at this time,
acknowledged as chief of the twelve Etruscan cities; and he assembled
a powerful army and came to Rome. He came so quickly that he reached
the Tiber, and was near the Sublician Bridge before there was time to
destroy it; and if he had crossed it the city would have been lost.

9. Then, a noble Roman, called Horatius Cocles, of the Lucerian tribe,
with two friends--Spurius Lartius, a Ramnian, and Titus Herminius, a
Titian--posted themselves at the far end of the bridge, and defended
the passage against all the Etruscan host, while the Romans were
cutting it off behind them. When it was all but destroyed, his two
friends retreated across the bridge, and Horatius was left alone to
bear the whole attack of the enemy. He kept his ground, standing
unmoved amid the darts which were showered upon his shield, till the
last beams of the bridge fell crashing into the river. Then he prayed,
saying, "Father Tiber, receive me, and bear me up I pray thee." He
then plunged in, and reached the other side safely; and the Romans
honored him greatly: they put up his statue in the Comitium, and gave
him as much land as he could plow round in a day, and every man at
Rome subscribed the cost of one day's food to reward him.


10. This story is told in very spirited verse by Macaulay, in his poem
of Horatius:


    1.  Fast by the royal standard,
          O'erlooking all the war,
        Lars Porsena of Clusium
          Sate in his ivory car.
        By the right wheel rode Mamilius,
          Prince of the Latian name;
        And by the left false Sextus,
          That wrought the deed of shame.

    2.  But when the face of Sextus
          Was seen among the foes,
        A yell that rent the firmament
          From all the town arose.
        On the house-tops was no woman
          But spate toward him and hissed;
        No child but screamed out curses,
          And shook its little fist.

    3.  But the consul's brow was sad,
          And the consul's speech was low;
        And darkly looked he at the wall,
          And darkly at the foe.
        "Their van will be upon us
          Before the bridge goes down;
        And if they once may win the bridge,
          What hope to save the town?"

    4.  Then out spoke brave Horatius,
          The captain of the gate:
        "To every man upon this earth
          Death cometh soon or late.
        And how can man die better
          Than facing fearful odds
        For the ashes of his fathers,
          And the temples of his gods!

[Illustration: _Horatius._]

    5.  "Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul
          With all the speed ye may;
        I, with two more to help me,
          Will hold the foe in play.
        In yon straight path a thousand
          May well be stopped by three.
        Now, who will stand on either hand,
          And keep the bridge with me?"

    6.  Then out spoke Spurius Lartius,
          A Ramnian proud was he:
        "Lo, I will stand on thy right hand,
          And keep the bridge with thee."
        And out spoke strong Herminius,
          Of Titian blood was he:
        "I will abide on thy left side,
          And keep the bridge with thee."

    7.  The three stood calm and silent,
          And looked upon the foes.
        And a great shout of laughter
          From all the vanguard rose:
        And forth three chiefs came spurring
          Before that mighty mass;
        To earth they sprang, their swords they drew
        And lifted high their shields, and flew
          To win the narrow pass.

    8.  Aunus from green Tifernum,
          Lord of the Hill of Tines;
        And Seius, whose eight hundred slaves
          Sicken in Ilva's mines;
        And Picus, long to Clusium
          Vassal in peace and war,
        Who led to fight his Umbrian powers
        From that gray crag where, girt with towers,
        The fortress of Nequinum lowers
          O'er the pale waves of Nar.

    9.  Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus
          Into the stream beneath;
        Herminius struck at Seius,
          And clove him to the teeth;
        At Picus brave Horatius
          Darted one fiery thrust,
        And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms
          Clashed in the bloody dust.

    10. But meanwhile axe and lever
          Have manfully been plied,
        And now the bridge hangs tottering
          Above the boiling tide.
        "Come back, come back, Horatius,"
          Loud cried the Fathers all.
        "Back, Lartius! back, Herminius!
          Back, ere the ruin fall!"

    11. Back darted Spurius Lartius;
          Herminius darted back:
        And as they passed, beneath their feet
          They felt the timbers crack.
        But when they turned their faces,
          And on the further shore
        Saw brave Horatius stand alone,
          They would have crossed once more.

    12. But with a crash like thunder
          Fell every loosened beam,
        And, like a dam, the mighty wreck
          Lay right athwart the stream;
        And a long shout of triumph
          Rose from the walls of Rome,
        As to the highest turret tops
          Was splashed the yellow foam.

    13. Alone stood brave Horatius,
          But constant still in mind;
        Thrice thirty thousand foes before,
          And the broad flood behind.
        "Down with him!" cried false Sextus,
          With a smile on his pale face.
        "Now yield thee," cried Lars Porsena,
          "Now yield thee to our grace."

    14. Round turned he, as not deigning
          Those craven ranks to see;
        Naught spake he to Lars Porsena,
          To Sextus naught spake he;
        But he saw on Palatinus
          The white porch of his home,
        And he spake to the noble river
          That rolls by the towers of Rome.

    15. "Oh, Tiber! Father Tiber!
          To whom the Romans pray,
        A Roman's life, a Roman's arms,
          Take thou in charge this day!"
        So he spoke, and speaking sheathed
          The good sword by his side,
        And with his harness on his back
          Plunged headlong in the tide.

    16. But fiercely ran the current,
          Swollen high by months of rain;
        And fast his blood was flowing;
          And he was sore in pain,
        And heavy with his armor,
          And spent with changing blows:
        And oft they thought him sinking,
          But still again he rose.

    17. And now he feels the bottom;
          Now on dry earth he stands;
        Now round him throng the fathers,
          To press his gory hands;
        And now with shouts and clapping,
          And noise of weeping loud,
        He enters through the River-gate,
          Borne by the joyous crowd.

    18. And still his name sounds stirring
          Unto the men of Rome,
        As the trumpet-blast that cries to them
          To charge the Volscian home;
        And wives still pray to Juno
          For boys with hearts as bold
        As his who kept the bridge so well
          In the brave days of old.

    19. And in the nights of winter,
          When the cold north winds blow,
        And the long howling of the wolves
          Is heard amidst the snow;
        When round the lonely cottage
          Roars loud the tempest's din,
        And the good logs of Algidus
          Roar louder yet within;

    20. When the oldest cask is opened,
          And the largest lamp is lit,
        When the chestnuts glow in the embers,
          And the kid turns on the spit;
        When young and old in circle
          Around the firebrands close;
        When the girls are weaving baskets,
          And the lads are shaping bows;

    21. When the goodman mends his armor,
          And trims his helmet's plume;
        When the goodwife's shuttle merrily
          Goes flashing through the loom;
        With weeping and with laughter
          Still is the story told,
        How well Horatius kept the bridge
          In the brave days of old.




1. The establishment of the republic marked an era in the history of
Rome. The people had decreed, that for them there never should be a
king, and the law was kept to the letter; though, if they meant that
supreme authority should never be held among them by one man, it was
violated many times. The story of Rome is unique in the history of the
world, for it is not the record of the life of one great country, but
of a city that grew to be strong, and successfully established its
authority over many countries.

2. The most ancient and the most remote from the sea of the cities of
Latium, Rome soon became the most influential, and began to combine in
itself the traits of the peoples near it; but owing to the singular
strength and rare impressiveness of the national character, these were
assimilated, and the inhabitant of the capital remained distinctively
a Roman in spite of his intimate association with men of different
origin and training.

3. The citizen of Rome was practical, patriotic, and faithful to
obligation; he loved to be governed by inflexible law; and it was a
fundamental principle with him that the individual should be
subordinate to the state. His kings were either organizers, like Numa
and Ancus-Marcius, or warriors like Romulus and Tullus Hostilius; they
either made laws, like Servius, or they enforced them with the
despotism of Tarquinius Superbus. It is difficult for us to conceive
of such majestic power emanating from a territory so insignificant.

4. We hardly realize that Latium did not comprise a territory quite
fifty miles by one hundred in extent, and that it was but a hundred
miles from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic. It was but a short walk
from Rome to the territory of the Etruscans, and when Tarquin found an
asylum at Cære, he did not separate himself by twenty miles from the
scene of his tyranny. Ostia was scarcely more distant, and one might
have ridden before the first meal of the day to Lavinium, or Alba, or
Veii, or to Ardea, the ancient city of the Rutuli. It is important to
keep these facts in mind as we read the story of the remarkable city.

5. All towns were built on hills in these early days, for safety in
case of war, as well as because the valleys were insalubrious, but
this was not a peculiarity of the Romans, for in New England in the
late ages of our own ancestors, they were obliged to follow the same
custom. On the tops and slopes of seven hills, as they liked to remind
themselves, the Romans built their city. They were not impressive
elevations, though their sides were sharp and rocky, for the loftiest
rose less than three hundred feet above the sea-level. Their summits
were crowned with groves of beech trees and oaks, and in the lower
lands grew osiers and other smaller varieties.

[Illustration: _Ancient Roman Monument._]

6. The earlier occupations of the Roman people were war and
agriculture, or the pasturage of flocks and herds. They raised grapes
and made wines; they cultivated the oil-olive, and knew the use of its
fruit. They found copper in their soil, and made a pound of it their
unit of value, but it was so cheap that ten thousand pounds of it were
required to buy a war-horse, though cattle and sheep were much lower.
They yoked their oxen and called the path they occupied a _jugerum_
(_jugum_--a cross-beam or a yoke), and this in time came to be their
familiar standard of square measure, containing about two-thirds of an
acre. Two of these were assigned to a citizen, and seven were the
narrow limit to which only one's landed possessions were for a long
time allowed to extend. In time commerce was added to the pursuits of
the men, and with it came fortunes and improved dwellings, and public
buildings. Laziness and luxury were frowned upon by the early Romans.
Mistress and maid worked together in the affairs of the household,
like Lucretia and other noble women of whom history tells, and the man
did not hesitate to hold the plow, as the example of Cincinnatus will
show us. Time was precious, and thrift and economy were necessary to
success. The father was the autocrat in the household, and exercised
his power with stern rigidity.

7. Art was backward, and came from abroad; of literature there was
none, long after Greece had passed its period of heroic poetry. The
dwellings of the citizens were low and insignificant, though, as time
passed on, they became more massive and important. The vast public
structures of the later kings were comparable to the taskwork of the
builders of the Egyptian pyramids, and they still strike us with
astonishment, and surprise.

8. The religion of these strong conquerors was narrow, severe, and
dreary. The early fathers worshiped native deities only. They
recognized gods everywhere--in the home, in the grove, and on the
mountain. They erected their altars on the hills; they had their lares
and penates to watch over their hearth-stones, and their vestal
virgins kept everlasting vigil near the never-dying fires in the
temples. With the art of Greece that made itself felt through Etruria,
came also the influence of the Grecian mythology, and Jupiter, Juno,
and Minerva found a shrine on the top of the Capitoline, where the
first statue of a deity was erected. The mysterious sibylline books
are also a mark of the Grecian influence, coming from Cumæ, a colony
of Magna Græcia.

9. During the period we have considered, the city passed through five
distinct stages of political organization. The government at first was
an elective monarchy, the electors being a patriarchal aristocracy.
After the invasion of the Sabines there was a union with that people,
the sovereignty being held by rulers chosen from each, but it was not
long before Rome became the head of a federal state. The Tarquins
established a monarchy, which rapidly degenerated into an offensive
tyranny, which aroused rebellion and at last led to the republic.

10. During all these changes, the original aristocrats and their
descendants held their position as the Populus Romanus, the Roman
people, insisting that every one else must belong to an inferior order,
and, as no body of men is willing to be condemned to a hopelessly
subordinate position in a state, there was a perpetual antagonism
between the patricians and the plebeians, between the aristocracy and
the commonalty. This led to a temporary change under Servius Tullius,
when property took the place of pedigree in establishing a man's rank
and influence; but owing to the peculiar method of voting adopted, the
power of the commons was not greatly increased. However, they had made
their influence felt, and were encouraged.

11. The overturning of the scheme by Tarquin favored a union of the
two orders for the punishment of that tyrant, and they combined; but
it was only for a time. When the danger had been removed, the tie was
found broken and the antagonism rather increased, so that the
subsequent history for five generations, though exceedingly
interesting, is largely a record of the struggles of the commons for
relief from the burdens laid upon them by the aristocrats.

[Illustration: _Roman Private Life._]

12. The father passed down to his son the story of the oppression of
the patricians, and the son told the same sad narrative to his
offspring. The mother mourned with her daughter over the sufferings
brought upon them by the rich, for whom their poor father and brothers
were obliged to fight the battles, while they were not allowed to
share the spoil, nor to divide the lands gained by their own prowess.
The struggle was not so much between patrician and plebeian as between
the rich and the poor. It was intimately connected with the uses of
money in those times. What could the rich Roman do with his
accumulations? He might buy land or slaves, or he might become a
lender; to a certain extent he could use his surplus in commerce; but
of these its most remunerative employment was found in usury. As there
were no laws regulating the rates of interest, they became exorbitant,
and as it was customary to compound it, debts rapidly grew beyond the
possibility of payment. As the rich made the laws they naturally
exerted their ingenuity to frame them in such a way as to enable the
lender to collect his dues with promptness and with little regard for
the feelings or interests of the debtor.

13. It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to form a proper
conception of the magnitude of the wrongs involved in the system of
money-lending at Rome during the period of the republic. The small
farmers were ever needy, and came to their wealthy neighbors for
accommodation loans. If these were not paid when due, the debtor was
liable to be locked up in prison, to be sold into slavery, with his
children, wife, and grandchildren; and the heartless law reads, that
in case the estate should prove insufficient to satisfy all claims,
the creditors were actually authorized to cut the body to pieces, that
each Shylock might take the pound of flesh that he claimed.

14. At last the severity of the lenders overreached itself. It was in
the year 495 B. C., that a poor but brave debtor, one who had been at
the very front in the wars, broke out of his prison, and while the
wind flaunted his rags in the face of the populace, clanked his chains
and told the story of his calamities so effectually in words of
natural eloquence, that the commons were aroused to madness, and
resolved at last to make a vigorous effort, and seek redress for their
wrongs in a way that could not be resisted.

15. The form of this man stands out forever on the pages of Roman
history, as he entered the forum with all the badges of his misery
upon him. His pale and emaciated body was but partially covered by his
wretched tatters; his long hair played about his shoulders, and his
glaring eyes and the grizzled beard hanging down before him added to
his savage wildness. As he passed along he uncovered the scars of near
two score battles that remained upon his breast, and explained to
inquirers that while he had been serving in the Sabine war, his house
had been pillaged and burned by the enemy; that when he had returned
to enjoy the sweets of the peace he had helped to win, he had found
that his cattle had been driven off, and a tax imposed.

16. To meet the debts that thronged upon him and the interest by which
they were aggravated, he had stripped himself of his ancestral farms.
Finally, pestilence had overtaken him, and as he was not able to work,
his creditor had placed him in a house of detention, the savage
treatment in which was shown by the fresh stripes upon his bleeding back.

17. At the moment a war was imminent, and the forum--the entire city,
in fact--already excited, was filled with the uproar of the angry
plebeians. Many confined for debt broke from their prison-houses and
ran from all quarters into the crowds to claim protection. The majesty
of the consuls was insufficient to preserve order, and while the
discord was rapidly increasing horsemen rushed into the gates
announcing that an enemy was actually upon them, marching to besiege
the city. The plebeians saw that their opportunity had arrived, and
when proud Appius Claudius called upon them to enroll their names for
the war, they refused the summons, saying that the patricians might
fight their own battles; that for themselves it was better to perish
together at home rather than to go to the field and die separated.

18. Threatened with war beyond the gates, and with riot at home, the
patricians were forced to promise to redress the civil grievances. It
was ordered that no one could seize or sell the goods of a soldier
while he was in camp, or arrest his children, and that no one should
detain a citizen in prison or in chains, so as to hinder him from
enlisting in the army. When this was known, the released prisoners
volunteered in numbers, and entered upon the war with enthusiasm. The
legions were victorious, and when peace was declared, the plebeians
anxiously looked for the ratification of the promises made to them.

19. Their expectations were disappointed. They had, however, seen
their power, and were determined to act upon their new knowledge.
Without undue haste they protected their homes on the Aventine, and
retreated the next year to a mountain across the Anio, about three
miles from the city, to a spot which afterward held a place in the
memories of the Romans similar to that which the green meadow on the
Thames called Runnymede has held in British history since the June day
when King John met his commons there, and gave them the great charter
of their liberties.

20. The plebeians said calmly that they would no longer be imposed
upon; that not one of them would thereafter enlist for a war until the
public faith was made good. They reiterated the declaration that the
lords might fight their own battles, so that the perils of conflict
should lie where its advantages were. When the situation of affairs
was thoroughly understood, Rome was on fire with anxiety, and the
enforced suspense filled the citizens with fear lest an external enemy
should take the opportunity for a successful onset upon the city.

21. Meanwhile the poor secessionists fortified their camp, but
carefully refrained from actual war. The people left in the city
feared the senators, and the senators in turn dreaded the citizens
lest they should do them violence. It was a time of panic and
suspense. After consultation, good counsels prevailed in the senate,
and it was resolved to send an embassy to the despised and downtrodden
plebeians, who now seemed to hold the balance of power, and to treat
for peace, for there could be no security until the secessionists had
returned to their homes.

22. The spokesman on the occasion was Menenius Agrippa Lanatus who was
popular with the people and had a reputation for eloquence. The
address of this good man had its desired effect, and the people were
at last willing to listen to a proposition for their return. It was
settled that there should be a general release of all those who had
been handed over to their creditors, and a cancelling of debts, and
that two of the plebeians should be selected as their protectors, with
power to veto objectionable laws, their persons being as inviolable at
all times as were those of the sacred messengers of the gods. These
demands, showing that the plebeians did not seek political power, were
agreed to, the Valerian laws were reaffirmed, and a solemn treaty was
concluded, each party swearing for itself and its posterity, with all
the formality of representatives of foreign nations.

23. The two leaders of the commons, Caius Licinius and Lucius Albinus,
were elected the first tribunes of the people, as the new officers
were called, with two ædiles to aid them. They were not to leave the
city during their term of office, their doors being open night and
day, that all who needed their protection might have access to them.
The hill upon which this treaty had been concluded was ever after
known as the Sacred Mount; its top was enclosed and consecrated, an
altar being built upon it, on which sacrifices were offered to
Jupiter, the god of terror and deliverance, who had allowed the
commons to return home in safety, though they had gone out in
trepidation. Henceforth the commons were to be protected; they were
better fitted to share the honors as well as the benefits of their
country, and the threatened dissolution of the nation was averted.

            _Arthur Gilman, M. A. "The Story of Rome."_
                      _Putnam's "Stories of the Nations Series."_


1. In the course of the early Roman wars, Minucius, one of the consuls
suffered himself to be cut off from Rome, in a narrow valley of Mount
Algidus, and it seemed as if hope of delivery there was none. However,
five horsemen found means to escape and report at Rome the perilous
condition of the consul and his army. Then the other consul consulted
the senate, and it was agreed that the only man who could deliver the
army was Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. He was thereupon named dictator,
and deputies were sent to acquaint him with his high dignity.

2. He was called Cincinnatus, because he wore his hair in long curling
locks, _cincinni_, and, though he was a patrician he lived on his own
small farm, like any plebeian yeoman. This farm was beyond the
Tiber, and here he lived contentedly with his wife Racilia.

3. Two years before he had been consul, and had been brought into
great distress by the conduct of his son, Kæso. This Kæso was a Wild
and insolent young man, who despised the plebeians and hated their
tribunes. One Volscius Fictor alleged that he and his brother, an old
and sickly man, had been attacked by Kæso and a party of young
patricians by night, and that his brother had died of the treatment
then received. The indignation of the people rose high; and Kæso was
forced to go into exile. After this the young patricians became more
insolent than ever, but they courted the poorest of the people, hoping
to engage them on their side against the more respectable plebeians.

4. Next year all Rome was alarmed by finding that the Capitol had been
seized by an enemy during the night. This enemy was Appius Herdonius, a
Sabine, and with him was associated a band of desperate men, exiles and
runaway slaves. The first demand he made was that all Roman exiles
should be restored. The consul, P. Valerius, collected a force and took
the Capitol, but was killed in the assault, and Cincinnatus, father of
the banished Kæso, was chosen to succeed him. When he heard the news of
his elevation, he turned to his wife, and said: "I fear, Racilia, our
little field must remain this year unsown." Then he assumed the robe of
state, and went to Rome. It was believed that Kæso had been concerned in
the desperate enterprise that had just been defeated. What had become of
him was unknown; but that he was already dead was pretty certain; and
his father was very bitter against the tribunes and their party, to whom
he attributed his son's disgrace and death.

5. P. Valerius, the consul, had persuaded the plebeians to join in the
assault of the Capitol, by promising to gain them further privileges;
this promise Cincinnatus refused to keep, and used all his power to
frustrate the attempts of the tribunes to gain its fulfillment. At the
end of his year of office, however, when the patricians wished to
continue him in the consulship, he positively declined the offer, and
returned to his rustic life as if he had never left it.

6. It was two years after these events that the deputies of the
senate, who came to invest him with the ensigns of dictatorial power,
found him working on his little farm. He was clad in his tunic only,
and as the deputies advanced they bade him put on his toga, that he
might receive the commands of the senate in seemly guise. So he wiped
off the dust and sweat, and bade his wife fetch his toga, and asked
anxiously whether all was right or no. Then the deputies told him how
the army was beset by the Æquian foe, and how the Senate looked to him
as the savior of the state. A boat was provided to carry him over the
Tiber; and when he reached the other bank, he was greeted by his
family and friends, and the greater part of the senate, who followed
him to the city, while he himself walked in state, with his four and
twenty lictors.

7. That same day the dictator and his master of horse came down into
the forum, ordered all shops to be shut, and all business to be
suspended. All men of the military age were to meet in the Field of
Mars before sunset, each man with five days' provisions and twelve
stakes; the older men were to get the provisions ready, while the
soldiers were preparing the stakes. Thus all was got ready in time:
the dictator led them forth; and they marched so rapidly, that by
midnight they had reached Mount Algidus, where the army of the consul
was hemmed in.

8. Then the dictator, when he had discovered the place of the enemy's
army, ordered his men to put all their baggage down in one place, and
then to surround the enemy's camp. They obeyed, and each one raising a
shout, began digging the trench and fixing his stakes, so as to form a
palisade round the enemy. The consul's army, which was hemmed in,
heard the shout of their brethren, and flew to arms; and so hotly did
they fight all night, that the Æquians had no time to attend to the
new foe, and next morning found themselves hemmed in on all sides by
the trench and palisade, so that they were now between two Roman
armies. They were thus forced to surrender. The dictator required them
to give up their chiefs, and made their whole army pass under the
yoke, which was formed by two spears fixed upright in the ground, and
a third bound across them at the top.

9. Cincinnatus returned to Rome amid the shouts and exultation of his
soldiers: they gave him a golden crown, in token that he had saved the
lives of many citizens; and the senate decreed that he should enter the
city in triumph. So Cincinnatus accomplished the purpose for which he
had been made dictator in twenty-four hours. One evening he marched
forth to deliver the consul, and the next evening he returned
victorious. But he would not lay down his high office till he had
avenged his son. Accordingly, he summoned Volscius Fictor, the accuser,
and had him tried for perjury. The man was condemned and banished; and
then Cincinnatus once more returned to his wife and farm.



1. Among the most interesting of the early legends of Rome is that of
Virginius, a soldier of the army belonging to the plebeian order.
While performing his duty in the army which was encamped about twenty
miles from Rome, his young daughter, Virginia, about fifteen years
of age found her home with her near relatives in the city. Her beauty
attracted the attention of Appius Claudius, one of the ten governors
of Rome. With the view of getting possession of her person, he ordered
one of his clients, M. Claudius by name, to lay hands upon her as she
was going to her school in the Forum, and to claim her as his slave.
The man did so; and when the cries of her nurse brought a crowd round
them, M. Claudius insisted on taking her before the decemvir, in order
(as he said) to have the case fairly tried. Her friends consented, and
no sooner had Appius heard the matter, than he gave judgment that the
maiden should be delivered up to the claimant, who should be bound to
produce her in case her alleged father appeared to gainsay the claim.

[Illustration: _The Seizure of Virginia._]

2. Now this judgment was directly against one of the laws of the
Twelve Tables, which Appius himself had framed: for therein it was
provided, that any person being at freedom should continue free, till
it was proved that such person was a slave. Icilius her betrothed,
therefore, with Numitorius, the uncle of the maiden, boldly argued
against the legality of the judgment; and at length, Appius, fearing a
tumult, agreed to leave the girl in their hands, on condition of their
giving bail to bring her before him next morning; and then, if
Virginius did not appear, he would at once, he said, give her up to
her pretended master.

3. To this Icilius consented; but he delayed giving bail, pretending
that he could not procure it readily, and in the mean time he sent off a
secret message to the camp on Algidus to inform Virginius of what had
happened. As soon as the bail was given, Appius also sent a message to
the decemvirs in command of that army, ordering them to refuse leave of
absence to Virginius. But when this last message arrived, Virginius was
already half-way on his road to Rome; for the distance was not more
than twenty miles, and he had started at nightfall.

4. Next morning early, Virginius entered the forum leading his
daughter by the hand, both clad in mean attire. A great number of
friends and matrons attended him; and he went about among the people
entreating them to support him against the tyranny of Appius. So, when
Appius came to take his place on the judgment-seat, he found the forum
full of people, all friendly to Virginius and his cause. But he
inherited the boldness as well as the vices of his sires, and though
he saw Virginius standing there, ready to prove that he was the
maiden's father, he at once gave judgment against his own law, that
Virginia should be given up to M. Claudius, till it should be proved
that she was free. The wretch came up to seize her, and the lictors
kept the people from him. Virginius now despairing of deliverance,
begged Appius to allow him to ask the maiden whether she were indeed
his daughter or no. "If," said he, "I find I am not her father, I
shall bear her loss the lighter." Under this pretense, he drew her
aside to a spot upon the northern side of the forum (afterward called
the Novæ Tabernæ), and here, snatching up a knife from a butcher's
stall, he cried: "In this way only can I keep thee free!" and, so
saying, stabbed her to the heart.

5. Then he turned to the tribunal, and said: "On thee, Appius, and on
thy head be this blood." Appius cried out to sieze "the murderer"; but
the crowd made way for Virginius, and he passed through them holding up
the bloody knife, and went out at the gate, and made straight for the
army. There, when the soldiers had heard his tale, they at once
abandoned their decemviral generals, and marched to Rome. They were soon
followed by the other army from the Sabine frontier; for to them
Icilius had gone, and Numitorius; and they found willing ears among the
men. So the two armies joined their banners, elected new generals, and
encamped upon the Aventine hill, the quarter of the plebeians.

6. Meantime, the people at home had risen against Appius; and after
driving him from the forum, they joined their armed fellow citizens
upon the Aventine. There the whole body of the commons, armed and
unarmed, hung like a dark cloud ready to burst upon the city.



    1. When Appius Claudius saw that deed he shuddered and sank down,
       And hid his face some little space with the corner of his gown,
       Till with white lips and blood-shot eyes Virginius tottered nigh,
       And stood before the judgment-seat, and held the knife on high.
       "Oh! dwellers in the nether gloom, avengers of the slain,
       By this dear blood, I cry to you, do right between us twain;
       And even as Appius Claudius hath dealt with me and mine,
       Deal you by Appius Claudius and all the Claudian line!"
       So spake the slayer of his child, and turned, and went his way;
       But first he cast one haggard glance to where the body lay,
       And writhed, and groaned a fearful groan; and then with steadfast
       Strode right across the market-place into the sacred street.

    2. Then up sprang Appius Claudius: "Stop him; alive or dead!
       Ten thousand pounds of copper to the man who brings his head."
       He looked upon his clients, but none would work his will.
       He looked upon his lictors, but they trembled and stood still.
       And as Virginius, through the press, his way in silence cleft,
       Ever the mighty multitude fell back to right and left.
       And he hath passed in safety unto his woful home,
       And there ta'en horse to tell the camp what deeds are done in

    3. By this the flood of people was swollen from every side,
       And streets and porches round were filled with that o'erflowing
       And close around the body gathered a little train
       Of them that were the nearest and dearest to the slain.
       They brought a bier, and hung it with many a cypress crown,
       And gently they uplifted her, and gently laid her down.
       The face of Appius Claudius wore the Claudian scowl and sneer,
       And in the Claudian note he cried, "What doth this rabble here?
       Have they no crafts to mind at home, that hitherward they stray?
       Ho! lictors, clear the market-place, and fetch the corpse away!"

    4. Till then the voice of pity and fury was not loud,
       But a deep, sullen murmur, wandered among the crowd.
       Like the moaning noise that goes before the whirlwind on the deep,
       Or the growl of a fierce watch-dog but half-aroused from sleep.
       But when the lictors at that word, tall yeomen all, and strong,
       Each with his axe and sheaf of twigs, went down into the throng,
       Those old men say, who saw that day of sorrow and of sin,
       That in the Roman Forum was never such a din.
       The wailing, hooting, cursing, the howls of grief and hate,
       Were heard beyond the Pincian hill, beyond the Latin gate.

    5. But close around the body, where stood the little train
       Of them that were the nearest and dearest to the slain,
       No cries were there, but teeth set fast, low whispers, and black
       And breaking up of benches, and girding up of gowns.
       'Twas well the lictors might not pierce to where the maiden lay,
       Else surely had they been all twelve torn limb from limb that day.
       Right glad they were to struggle back, blood streaming from their
       With axes all in splinters, and raiment all in shreds.

[Illustration: _The Dead Virginia._]

    6. Then Appius Claudius gnawed his lip, and the blood left his cheek;
       And thrice he beckoned with his hand, and thrice he strove to
       And thrice the tossing forum sent up a frightful yell--
       "See, see, thou dog! what thou hast done; and hide thy shame in
       Thou that wouldst make our maidens slaves, must first make slaves
                 of men.
       Tribunes!--Hurrah for tribunes! Down with the wicked Ten!"
       And straightway, thick as hailstones, came whizzing through the
       Pebbles, and bricks, and potsherds, all round the curule chair;
       And upon Appius Claudius great fear and trembling came;
       For never was a Claudius yet brave against aught but shame.

    7. So now 'twas seen of Appius. When stones began to fly,
       He shook, and crouched, and wrung his hands, and smote upon his
       "Kind clients, honest lictors, stand by me in this fray!
       Must I be torn to pieces? Home, home the nearest way."
       While yet he spake, and looked around with a bewildered stare,
       Four sturdy lictors put their necks beneath the curule chair;
       And fourscore clients on the left, and fourscore on the right,
       Arrayed themselves with swords and staves, and loins girt up for

    8. But, though without or staff or sword, so furious was the throng,
       That scarce the train, with might and main, could bring their lord
       Twelve times the crowd made at him; five times they seized his
       Small chance was his to rise again, if once they got him down:
       And sharper came the pelting; and evermore the yell--
       "Tribunes! we will have tribunes!" rose with a louder swell:
       And the chair tossed as tosses a bark with tattered sail,
       When raves the Adriatic beneath an eastern gale,
       When the Calabrian sea-marks are lost in clouds of spume,
       And the great Thunder-Cape has donned his veil of inky gloom.
       One stone hit Appius in the mouth, and one beneath the ear;
       And ere he reached Mount Palatine, he swooned with pain and fear.
       His cursed head, that he was wont to hold so high with pride,
       Now, like a drunken man's, hung down, and swayed from side to
       And when his stout retainers had brought him to his door,
       His neck and face were all one cake of filth and clotted gore.



1. This extraordinary man was a native of Syracuse, a city of Sicily. He
was born two hundred and eighty-eight years before the Christian era,
and from fifty to one hundred years after the appearance of the
far-famed Euclid. Who his parents were, and what was their rank in life
are not known, though it is claimed that he was in some way related to
Hiero the king of Syracuse. It is said that Hiero considered himself
greatly honored by such a relation, and well he might be, for science
and genius combined are much higher than royalty. Besides it is probable
that the name of the monarch would never have been preserved except in
connection with the great philosopher.

2. By whom he was instructed in the elements of education, history
fails to inform us, but it tells us of the progress he made in
mechanics and geometry, and for the sake of the quiet necessary to
pursue these branches he gave up all the advantages of a political
life derived from his connection with the king. His favorite studies
had more charms for him than the glitter of events or the plunder of
conquered cities.

3. After studying at home until he could learn nothing more in the
city of his birth, he repaired to Alexandria in Egypt, at that time
the educational center that had inherited the philosophy and culture
of Athens. Here he studied for some years and became acquainted with
the most distinguished scholars of his day. Among his most intimate
friends was Conon, a famous mathematician from Samos, who often
exchanged problems with him for solution. While staying at Alexandria
he began his work of practical invention which he afterward turned to
such good account.

[Illustration: _Archimedes._]

4. Some of his ardent admirers have maintained that Archimedes
taught the Egyptians more than they taught him; that while he imbibed
philosophy and book learning, he more than repaid the New Athens by
inventions which were of the greatest use in the ordinary work of the
home and the shop. Although we do not know exactly what he turned his
hand to, we are quite sure that in many ways he performed feats that
have scarcely been surpassed in modern times.

5. After his return to his native city, Archimedes continued his
studies with unabated vigor, often neglecting his food and the care of
his person when a new problem was to be solved or a new invention
perfected. The method of determining the relative amount of gold and
base metal in Hiero's crown occurred to him while in his bath, and
without stopping to put on his clothes, he is said to have rushed
through the streets exclaiming "_Eureka!_ Eureka!"

6. To prevent the ruin of his health his servants were sometimes
obliged to take him by main force to the table and bath, and to take
his daily exercise. Hiero at one time expressed an admiration of some
of his inventions when Archimedes replied that had he a place to fix
his machines upon he could move the earth itself. His days were passed
in study and retirement until the safety of his native city called him
out to take part in its defense.

7. During the wars between the Romans and Carthaginians, the people of
Sicily, and especially the Syracusans, had for a long time remained
neutral or been in alliance with the Romans. But a Carthaginian
interest sprung up which mastered and sought to extend itself over the
whole island. As soon as the news of this political movement and
rebellion reached Marcellus, the Roman general, he hastened with a
strong force into Sicily, and after the capture of the principalities
he laid siege to Syracuse.

8. Here he met with an unexpected check. The inventive genius of
Archimedes enabled the Syracusans to successfully defend their city
for three years. He so improved the warlike instruments for the
discharge of missiles, that he repeatedly beat back the most
determined assault, and the Romans were more than once on the point of
abandoning the siege, believing that the city was defended by the
gods. By means of long and powerful levers, together with grappling
irons, he is said to have destroyed many of the Roman galleys when
they approached the walls of the city; and when they retired for
safety he set them on fire by a combination of immense burning-glasses.

9. The story of these exploits is told by the Romans themselves, and
there can be no doubt but here Science gained one of her greatest
triumphs. The success of the new engine was evidently so great, that
an element of superstition entered into the record. But the triumph of
genius was not complete. During a festival in honor of Diana when wine
flowed freely, the guards neglected to man some particular part of the
walls. The Romans observing this scaled the walls and made themselves
masters of the city.

10. Amid the plunder and carnage which followed, Archimedes was killed.
Marcellus had given orders for his special protection, but the deed was
done by a Roman soldier. One account says that he was slain in his
laboratory where he was found studying a problem, and he refused to move
until he had completed the solution. Another account says that he was
put to death on the street while drawing a geometrical figure in the
sand. The third and most rational account is that while bearing some
boxes of mathematical instruments to Marcellus he was killed by a
soldier who supposed that the boxes contained treasure. His death
happened about 210 B. C. at the age of seventy-six.


[Illustration: _Cæsar (enlarged from a Roman Coin)._]

1. The greatest of Rome's generals, and one of the greatest of
military chieftains of all ages, was Julius Cæsar. Of a patrician
family, he was one of the most accomplished men of Rome. He was great
in civil as well as military life. He became the most popular of the
greatest men of Rome's most brilliant days. His military feats rivaled
those of Alexander, and he extended the rule of Rome through all
central Europe, completely subduing all of the tribes with which he
came in contact. From his northern victories he turned his victorious
army south, crossed the Rubicon, which marked the border of his own
province, and seized the control of Rome.

2. In the management of civil affairs he was as successful as in the
field. He corrected abuses that had crept into the political management
of affairs, and placed new safeguards around the rights of the people.

3. His administration was almost as brilliant as that of Pericles in
Athens; yet the principal nobles did not love him, and with the people
at large he suffered still more, from a belief that he wished to be
made king. On his return from Spain he had been named dictator and
imperator for life. His head had for some time been placed on the
money of the republic, a regal honor conceded to none before him.
Quintilis, the fifth month of the old calendar, received from him the
name which it still bears. The senate took an oath to guard the safety
of his person.

4. He was honored with sacrifices, and honors hitherto reserved for
the gods. But Cæsar was not satisfied. He was often heard to quote the
sentiment of Euripides, that, "if any violation of law is excusable,
it is excusable for the sake of gaining sovereign power." It was no
doubt to ascertain the popular sentiments that various propositions
were made toward an assumption of the title of king. His statues in
the forum were found crowned with a diadem; but two of the tribunes
tore it off, and the mob applauded.

5. On the 26th of January, at the great Latin festival on the Alban
Mount, voices in the crowd saluted him as king; but mutterings of
discontent reached his ears, and he promptly said; "I am no king, but
Cæsar." The final attempt was made at the Lupercalia on the 15th of
February. Antony, in the character of one of the priests of Pan,
approached the dictator as he sat presiding in his golden chair, and
offered him an embroidered band, like the diadem of Oriental
sovereigns. The applause which followed was partial, and the dictator
put the offered gift aside. Then a burst of genuine cheering greeted
him, which waxed louder still when he rejected it a second time. Old
traditional feeling was too strong at Rome even for Cæsar's daring
temper to brave it. The people would submit to the despotic rule of a
dictator, but would not have a king.

6. Other causes of discontent had been agitating various classes at
Rome. The more fiery partisans of Cæsar disapproved of his clemency;
the more prodigal sort were angry at his regulations for securing the
provincials from oppression. The populace of the city complained--the
genuine Romans, at seeing favor extended to provincials, those of
foreign origin because they had been excluded from the corn bounty.
Cæsar, no doubt, was eager to return to his army, and escape from the
increasing difficulties which beset his civil government. But as soon
as he joined the army, he would assume monarchical power in virtue of
the late decree; and this consideration urged the discontented to a
plot against his life.

7. The difficulty was to find a leader. At length Marcus Junius Brutus
accepted the post of danger. This young man, a nephew of Cato, had
taken his uncle as an example for his public life. But he was fonder
of speculation than of action. His habits were reserved, rather those
of a student than a statesman. He had reluctantly joined the cause of
Pompey, for he could ill forget that it was by Pompey that his father
had been put to death in cold blood. After the battle of Pharsalia he
was treated by Cæsar almost like a son. In the present year he had
been proclaimed prætor of the city, with the promise of the
consulship. But the discontented remnants of the senatorial party
assailed him with constant reproaches. The name of Brutus, dear to all
Roman patriots, was made a rebuke to him. "His ancestors expelled
the Tarquins; could he sit quietly under a king's rule?" At the foot
of the statue of that ancestor, or on his own prætorian tribunal,
notes were placed, containing phrases such as these: "Thou art not
Brutus: would thou wert." "Brutus, thou sleepest." "Awake, Brutus."
Gradually he was brought to think that it was his duty as a patriot to
put an end to Cæsar's rule even by taking his life.

8. The most notable of those who arrayed themselves under him was
Cassius. This man's motive is unknown. He had never taken much part in
politics; he had made submission to the conquerer, and had been
received with marked favor. Some personal reason probably actuated his
unquiet spirit. More than sixty persons were in the secret, most of
them, like Brutus and Cassius, under personal obligations to the
dictator. Publius Servilius Casca was by his grace tribune of the
plebs. Lucius Tullius Cimber was promised the government of Bithynia.
Decius Brutus, one of his old Gallic officers, was prætor elect, and
was to be gratified with the rich province of Cisalpine Gaul. Caius
Trebonius, another trusted officer, had received every favor which the
dictator could bestow; he had just laid down the consulship, and was
on the eve of departure for the government of Asia. Quintius Ligarius
had lately accepted a pardon from the dictator, and rose from a sick
bed to join the conspirators.

9. A meeting of the senate was called for the Ides of March, at which
Cæsar was to be present. This was the day appointed for the murder.
The secret had oozed out. Many persons warned Cæsar that some danger
was impending. A Greek soothsayer told him of the very day. On the
morning of the Ides his wife arose so disturbed by dreams, that she
persuaded him to relinquish his purpose of presiding in the senate,
and he sent Antony in his stead.

10. This change of purpose was reported after the House was formed.
The conspirators were in despair. Decius Brutus at once went to Cæsar,
told him that the Fathers were only waiting to confer upon him the
sovereign power which he desired, and begged him not to listen to
auguries and dreams. Cæsar was persuaded to change his purpose, and
was carried forth in his litter. On his way, a slave who had
discovered the conspiracy tried to attract his notice, but was unable
to reach him for the crowd. A Greek philosopher, named Artemidorus,
succeeded in putting a roll of paper into his hand, containing full
information of the conspiracy; but Cæsar, supposing it to be a
petition, laid it by his side for a more convenient season. Meanwhile,
the conspirators had reason to think that their plot had been
discovered. A friend came up to Casca and said, "Ah, Casca, Brutus has
told me your secret!" The conspirator started, but was relieved by the
next sentence: "Where will _you_ find money for the expenses of the
ædileship?" More serious alarm was felt when Popillius Lænas remarked
to Brutus and Cassius: "You have my good wishes; but what you do, do
quickly"--especially when the same senator stepped up to Cæsar on his
entering the house, and began whispering in his ear. So terrified was
Cassius, that he thought of stabbing himself instead of Cæsar, till
Brutus quietly observed, that the gestures of Popillius indicated that
he was asking a favor, not revealing a fatal secret. Cæsar took his
seat without further delay.

[Illustration: _Antony delivering the Oration on the Death of Cæsar._]

11. As was agreed, Cimber presented a petition praying for his
brother's recall from banishment; and all the conspirators pressed
round the dictator, urging his favorable answer. Displeased at their
importunity, Cæsar attempted to rise. At that moment Cimber seized the
lappet of his robe, and pulled him down; and immediately Casca
struck him from the side, but inflicted only a slight wound. Then all
drew their daggers and assailed him. Cæsar for a time defended himself
with the gown folded over his left arm, and the sharp-pointed style
which he held in his right hand for writing on the wax of his tablets.
But when he saw Brutus among the assassins, he exclaimed, "You, too,
Brutus!" and covering his face with his gown, offered no further
resistance. In their eagerness, some blows intended for their victim
fell upon themselves. But enough reached Cæsar to do the bloody work.
Pierced by twenty-three wounds, he fell at the base of Pompey's
statue, which had been removed after Pharsalia by Antony, but had been
restored by the magnanimity of Cæsar.

12. Thus died "the foremost man of all the world," a man who failed in
nothing that he attempted. He might, Cicero thought, have been a great
orator; his "Commentaries" remain to prove that he was a great writer.
As a general he had few superiors, as a statesman and politician no
equal. That which stamps him as a man of true greatness, is the entire
absence of vanity and self-conceit from his character. He paid,
indeed, great attention to his personal appearance, even when his hard
life and unremitting activity had brought on fits of an epileptic
nature, and left him with that meager visage which is familiar to us
from his coins. Even then he was sedulous in arranging his robes, and
was pleased to have the privilege of wearing a laurel crown to hide
the scantiness of his hair. But these were foibles too trifling to be
taken as symptoms of real vanity. His successes in war, achieved by a
man who in his forty-ninth year had hardly seen a camp, add to our
conviction of his real genius. These successes were due not so much to
scientific manœuvres, as to rapid audacity of movement, and mastery
over the wills of men.

13. The effect of Cæsar's fall was to cause a renewal of bloodshed for
another half generation; and then his work was finished by a far less
general ruler. Those who slew Cæsar were guilty of a great crime, and
a still greater blunder.



1. The Roman house at first was extremely simple, being of but one
room, called the _atrium_ or darkened chamber, because its walls were
stained by the smoke that rose from the fire upon the hearth, and with
difficulty found its way through a hole in the roof. The aperture also
admitted light and rain, the water that dripped from the roof being
caught in a cistern that was formed in the middle of the room. The
atrium was entered by way of a vestibule open to the sky, in which the
gentleman of the house put on his toga as he went out. Double doors
admitted the visitor to the entrance-hall, or _ostium_.

2. There was a threshold upon which it was unlucky to place the left
foot; a knocker afforded means of announcing one's approach, and a
porter, who had a small room at the side, opened the door, showing the
caller the words _Cave canem_ (beware of the dog), or _Salve_
(welcome), or perchance the dog himself reached out toward the visitor
as far as his chain would allow. Sometimes, too, there would be
noticed in the mosaic of the pavement the representation of the
faithful domestic animal which has so long been the companion as well
as the protector of his human friend. Perhaps myrtle or laurel might
be seen on a door, indicating that a marriage was in process of
celebration, or a chaplet announcing the happy birth of an heir.
Cypress, probably set in pots in the vestibule, indicated a death, as
a crape festoon does upon our own door-handles, while torches, lamps,
wreaths, garlands, branches of trees, showed that there was joy from
some cause in the house.

3. In the "black room" the bed stood; there the meals were cooked and
eaten, there the goodman received his friends, and there the goodwife
sat in the midst of her maidens spinning. The original house grew
larger in the course of time: wings were built on the sides--and the
Romans called them wings as well as we (_ala_, a wing). Beyond the
black room a recess was built in which the family records and archives
were preserved, but with it for a long period the Roman house stopped
its growth.

4. Before the empire came, however, there had been great progress in
making the dwelling convenient as well as luxurious. Another hall had
been built out from the room of archives, leading to an open court,
surrounded by columns, known as the _peristylum_ (_peri_, about,
_stulos_, a pillar), which was sometimes of great magnificence.
Bedchambers were made separate from the atrium, but they were small,
and would not seem very convenient to modern eyes.

5. The dining-room, called the _triclinium_ (Greek, _kline_, a bed)
from its three couches, was a very important apartment. In it were
three lounges surrounding a table, on each of which three guests might
be accommodated. The couches were elevated above the table, and each
man lay almost flat on his breast, resting on his left elbow, and
having his right hand free to use, thus putting the head of one near
the breast of the man behind him, and making natural the expression
that he lay in the bosom of the other. As the guests were thus
arranged by threes, it was natural that the rule should have been
made that a party at dinner should not be less in number than the
Graces, nor more than the Muses, though it has remained a useful one
ever since.

6. Before the republic came to an end, it was so fashionable to have a
book-room that ignorant persons who might not be able to read even the
titles of their own books endeavored to give themselves the appearance
of erudition by building book-rooms in their houses, and furnishing
them with elegance. The books were in cases arranged around the walls
in convenient manner, and busts and statues of the Muses, of Minerva,
and of men of note were used then as they are now for ornaments.
House-philosophers were often employed to open to the uninstructed the
stores of wisdom contained in the libraries.

[Illustration: _Interior of a Roman Bath-Room, Ruins of Pompeii._]

7. As wealth and luxury increased, the Romans added the bath-room to
their other apartments. In the early ages they had bathed for comfort
and cleanliness once a week, but the warm bath was apparently unknown
to them. In time this became very common, and in the days of Cicero
there were hot and cold baths, both public and private, which were
well patronized. Some were heated by fires in flues, directly under
the floors, which produced a vapor-bath. The bath was, however,
considered a luxury, and at a later date it was held a capital offense
to indulge in one on a religious holiday, and the public baths were
closed when any misfortune happened to the republic.

8. Comfort and convenience united to take the cooking out of the
atrium into a separate apartment known as the _culina_, or kitchen, in
which was a raised platform on which coals might be burned, and the
processes of broiling, boiling, and roasting might be carried on in a
primitive manner, much like the arrangement still to be seen at Rome.
On the tops of the houses, after a while, terraces were planned for
the purpose of basking in the sun, and sometimes they were furnished
with shrubs, fruit-trees, and even fish-ponds. Often there were upward
of fifty rooms in a house on a single floor; but in the course of time
land became so valuable that other stories were added, and many lived
in flats. A flat was sometimes called an _insula_, which meant,
properly, a house not joined to another, and afterward was applied to
hired lodgings. _Domus_, a house, meant a dwelling occupied by one
family, whether it were an _insula_ or not.

[Illustration: _Lares and Penates._]

9. The floors of these rooms were sometimes, but not often, laid with
boards, and generally were formed of stones, tiles, bricks, or some
sort of cement. In the richer dwellings they were often inlaid with
mosaics of elegant patterns. The walls were often faced with marble,
but they were usually adorned with paintings; the ceilings were left
uncovered, the beams supporting the floor or the roof above being
visible, though it was frequently arched over. The means of lighting
either by day or night, were defective. The atrium was, as we have
seen, lighted from above, and the same was true of other apartments,
those at the side being illuminated from the larger ones in the
middle of the house. There were windows, however, in the upper
stories, though they were not protected by glass, but covered with
shutters or lattice-work, and, at a later period, were glazed with
sheets of mica. Smoking lamps, hanging from the ceiling or supported
by candelabra, or candles gave a gloomy light by night in the houses,
and torches without.

10. The sun was chiefly depended upon for heat, for there were no
proper stoves, though braziers were used to burn coals upon, the smoke
escaping through the aperture in the ceiling, and, in rare cases,
hot-air furnaces were constructed below, the heat being conveyed to
the upper rooms through pipes. There has been a dispute regarding
chimneys, but it seems almost certain that the Romans had none in
their dwellings, and indeed, there was little need of them for
purposes of artificial warmth in so moderate a climate as theirs.

11. Such were some of the chief traits of the city-houses of the
Romans. Besides these there were villas in the country, some of which
were simply farm-houses, and others places of rest and luxury
supported by the residents of cities. The farm-villa was placed, if
possible, in a spot secluded from visitors, protected from the
severest winds, and from the malaria of marshes, in a well-watered
place, near the foot of a well-wooded mountain. It had accommodations
for the kitchen, the wine-press, the farm superintendent, the slaves,
the animals, the crops, and the other products of the farm. There were
baths, and cellars for the wine and for the confinement of the slaves
who might have to be chained.

[Illustration: _Roman Villa._]

12. Varro thus describes life at a rural household: "Manius summons
his people to rise with the sun, and in person conducts them to the
scene of their daily work. The youths make their own bed, which labor
renders soft to them, and supply themselves with water-pot, and lamp.
Their drink is the clear fresh spring; their fare bread, with onions
as a relish. Everything prospers in house and field. The house is no
work of art, but an architect might learn symmetry from it. Care is
taken of the field that it shall not be left disorderly, and waste or
go to ruin through slovenliness or neglect; and in return, grateful
Ceres wards off damage from the produce, that the high-piled sheaves
may gladden the heart of the husbandman. Here hospitality still holds
good, the bread-pantry, the wine-vat, and the store of sausages on the
rafter, lock and key are at the service of the traveler, and piles of
food are set before him; contented, the sated guest sits, looking
neither before him, nor behind, dozing by the hearth in the kitchen.
The warmest double wool sheepskin is spread as a couch for him. Here
people still, as good burgesses, obey the righteous law which neither
out of envy injures the innocent, nor out of favor pardons the guilty.
Here they speak no evil against their neighbors. Here they trespass
not with their feet on the sacred hearth, but honor the gods with
devotion and with sacrifices; throw to the familiar spirit his little
bit of flesh into his appointed little dish, and when the master of
the household dies accompany the bier with the same prayer with which
those of his father and of his grandfather were borne forth."

            _Arthur Gilman, M. A. "The Story of Rome."_
                      _Putnam's "Stories of the Nations Series."_




1. Some time before Gregory became Pope, perhaps about the year 574,
he went one day through the market at Rome, where, among other things,
there were still men, women, and children to be sold as slaves. He saw
there some beautiful boys who had just been brought by a
slave-merchant, boys with a fair skin and long fair hair, as English
boys then would have.

2. He was told that they were heathen boys from the Isle of Britain.
Gregory was sorry to think that forms which were so fair without
should have no light within, and he asked again what was the name of
their nation. "_Angles_," he was told. "_Angles_," said Gregory; "they
have the faces of _angels_, and they ought to be made fellow-heirs of
the angels in heaven. But of what province or tribe of the Angles are
they?" "Of _Deira_," said the merchant. "_De ira!_" said Gregory;
"then they must be delivered from the wrath of God. And what is the
name of their king?" "_Ælla._" "_Ælla_; then _Alleluia_ shall be sung
in his land."

3. Gregory then went to the Pope, and asked him to send missionaries
into Britain, of whom he himself would be one, to convert the English.
The Pope was willing, but the people of Rome, among whom Gregory was a
priest and was much beloved, would not let him go. So nothing came of
the matter for some time.

4. We do not know whether Gregory was able to do anything for the poor
English boys whom he saw in the market, but he certainly never forgot
his plan for converting the English people. After a while he became
Pope himself. Of course, he now no longer thought of going into
Britain himself, as he had enough to do in Rome. But he now had power
to send others. He therefore presently sent a company of monks, with
one called Augustine at their head, who became the first Archbishop of
Canterbury, and is called the Apostle of the English.

5. This was in 597. The most powerful king in Britain at this time was
Æthelbert, of Kent, who is said to have been lord over all the kings
south of the Humber. This Æthelbert had done what was very seldom done
by English kings then or for a long time after; he had married a
foreign wife, the daughter of Chariberth, one of the kings of the
Franks, in Gaul.

6. Now, the Franks had become Christians; so when the Frankish queen
came over to Kent, Æthelbert promised that she should be allowed to
keep to her own religion without let or hindrance. She brought with
her, therefore, a Frankish bishop named Lindhard, and the queen and
her bishop used to worship God in a little church near Canterbury,
called Saint Martin's, which had been built in the Roman times. So you
see that both Æthelbert and his people must have known something
about the Christian faith before Augustine came.

7. It does not, however, seem that either the king or any of his
people had at all thought of turning Christians. This seems strange
when one reads how easily they were converted afterward. One would
have thought that Bishop Lindhard would have been more likely to
convert them than Augustine, for, being a Frank, he would speak a
tongue not very different from English, while Augustine spoke Latin,
and, if he ever knew English at all, he must have learned it after he
came into the island. I can not tell you for certain why this was.
Perhaps they did not think that a man who had merely come in the
queen's train was so well worth listening to as one who had come on
purpose all the way from the great city of Rome, to which all the West
still looked up as the capital of the world.

8. So Augustine and his companions set out from Rome, and passed
through Gaul, and came into Britain, even as Cæsar had done ages
before. But this time Rome had sent forth men not to conquer lands,
but to win souls. They landed first in the Isle of Thanet, which joins
close to the east part of Kent, and thence they sent a message to King
Æthelbert, saying why they had come into his land. The king sent word
back to them to stay in the isle till he had fully made up his mind
how to treat them; and he gave orders that they should be well taken
care of meanwhile.

9. After a little while he came himself into the isle, and bade them
come and tell him what they had to say. He met them in the open air,
for he would not meet them in a house, as he thought they might be
wizards, and that they might use some charm or spell, which he thought
would have less power out-of-doors. So they came, carrying an image
of our Lord on the cross, wrought in silver, and singing litanies as
they came. And when they came before the king, they preached the
gospel to him and to those who were with him.

10. So King Æthelbert hearkened to them, and he made answer like a
good and wise man. "Your words and promises," said he, "sound very
good unto me; but they are new and strange, and I can not believe them
all at once, nor can I leave all that I and my fathers, and the whole
English folk, have believed so long. But I see that ye have come from
a far country to tell us that which ye yourselves hold for truth; so
ye may stay in the land, and I will give you a house to dwell in and
food to eat; and ye may preach to my folk, and if any man of them will
believe as ye believe, I hinder him not."

11. So he gave them a house to dwell in in the royal city of
Canterbury, and he let them preach to the people. And, as they drew
near to the city, they carried their silver image of the Lord Jesus,
and sang litanies, saying, "We pray Thee, O Lord, let thy anger and
thy wrath be turned away from this city, and from thy holy house,
because we have sinned. Alleluia!"

12. Thus Augustine and his companions dwelt at Canterbury, and
worshiped in the old church where the queen worshiped, and preached to
the men of the land. And many men hearkened to them and were baptized,
and before long King Æthelbert himself believed and was baptized; and
before the year was out there were added to the Church more than ten
thousand souls.



1. In A. D. 533, the Franks had fully gained possession of all the
north of Gaul, except Brittany. Clovis had made them Christians in
name, but they still remained horribly savage, and the life of the
Gauls under them was wretched. The Burgundians and Visigoths, who had
peopled the southern and eastern provinces, were far from being
equally violent. They had entered on their settlements on friendly
terms, and even showed considerable respect for the Roman-Gallic
senators, magistrates, and higher clergy, who all remained unmolested
in their dignity and riches. Thus it was that Gregory, Bishop of
Langres, was a man of high rank and consideration in the Burgundian
kingdom, whence the Christian Queen Clotilda had come; and even after
the Burgundians had been subdued by the four sons of Clovis, he
continued a rich and prosperous man.

2. After one of the many quarrels and reconciliations between these
fierce brethren, there was an exchange of hostages for the observance
of the terms of the treaty. These were not taken from among the
Franks, who were too proud to submit to captivity, but from among the
Gaulish nobles, a much more convenient arrangement for the Frankish
kings, who cared for the life of a "Roman" infinitely less than even
for the life of a Frank. Thus many young men of senatorial families
were exchanged between the domains of Theodoric to the south, and of
Hildebert to the northward, and quartered among Frankish chiefs, with
whom at first they had nothing more to endure than the discomfort of
living as guests with such rude and coarse barbarians.

3. But ere long fresh quarrels arose between Theodoric and Hildebert,
and the unfortunate hostages were at once turned into slaves. Some of
them ran away, if they were near the frontier; but Bishop Gregory was
in the utmost anxiety about his nephew Attalus, who had been last
heard of as being placed under the charge of a Frank who lived between
Trèves and Metz. The bishop sent emissaries to make secret inquiries,
and they brought back the word that the unfortunate youth had been
reduced to slavery, and was made to keep his master's herds of horses.
Upon this the uncle again sent off his messengers with presents for
the ransom of Attalus; but the Frank rejected them, saying, "One of
such high race can only be redeemed for ten pounds weight of gold."

4. This was beyond the bishop's means, and, while he was considering
how to raise the sum, the slaves were all lamenting for their young
lord, to whom they were much attached, till one of them, named Leo,
the cook to the household, came to the bishop, saying to him, "If thou
wilt give me leave to go, I will deliver him from captivity." The
bishop replied that he gave free permission, and the slave set off for
Trèves, and there watched anxiously for an opportunity of gaining
access to Attalus; but, though the poor young man, no longer daintily
dressed, bathed, and perfumed, but ragged and squalid, might be seen
following his herds of horses, he was too well watched for any
communication to be held with him.

5. Then Leo went to a person, probably of Gallic birth, and said:
"Come with me to this barbarian's house, and there sell me for a
slave. Thou shalt have the money; I only ask thee to help me thus
far." Both repaired to the Frank's abode, the chief among a confused
collection of clay and timber huts, intended for shelter during eating
and sleeping. The Frank looked at the slave, and asked him what he
could do. "I can dress whatever is eaten at lordly tables," replied
Leo. "I am afraid of no rival; I only tell thee the truth when I say
that, if thou wouldst give a feast to the king, I could send it up in
the neatest manner." "Ha!" said the barbarian, "the Sun's day is
coming. I shall invite my kinsmen and friends. Cook me such a dinner
as may amaze them, and make them say, 'We saw nothing better in the
king's house.'" "Let me have plenty of poultry, and I will do
according to my master's bidding," returned Leo.

6. Accordingly, he was purchased for twelve gold-pieces, and on the
Sunday, as Bishop Gregory of Tours, who tells the story, explains,
that the barbarians called the Lord's day, he produced a banquet after
the most approved Roman fashion, much to the surprise and delight of
the Franks, who had never tasted such delicacies before, and
complimented their host upon them all the evening. Leo gradually
became a great favorite, and was placed in authority over the other
slaves, to whom he gave out their portions of broth and meat. But from
the first he had not shown any recognition of Attalus, and had signed
to him that they must be strangers to one another.

7. A whole year passed away in this manner, when one day Leo wandered,
as if for pastime, into the plain where Attalus was watching the
horses, and sitting down on the ground at some paces off, and with his
back toward his young master so that they might not be seen talking
together, he said: "This is the time for thoughts of home! When thou
hast led the horses to the stable to-night, sleep not. Be ready at the
first call!"

8. That day the Frank lord was entertaining a large number of guests,
among them his daughter's husband, a jovial young man, given to jesting.
On going to rest he fancied he should be thirsty at night, and called
Leo to place a pitcher of hydromel by his bedside. As the slave was
setting it down, the Frank looked slyly from under his eyelids and said
in joke, "Tell me, my father-in-law's trusty man, wilt thou not some
night take one of his horses and run away to thine own home?"

9. "Please God, it is what I mean to do this very night," answered the
Gaul, so undauntedly that the Frank took it as a jest, and answered,
"I shall look out, then, that thou dost not carry off anything of
mine," and then Leo left him, both laughing.

10. All were soon asleep, and the cook crept out to the stable, where
Attalus usually slept among the horses. He was broad awake now, and
ready to saddle the two swiftest; but he had no weapon, except a small
lance, so Leo boldly went back to his master's sleeping hut, and took
down his sword and shield, but not without awakening him enough to ask
who was moving. "It is I, Leo," was the answer; "I have been to call
Attalus to take out the horses early. He sleeps as hard as a
drunkard." The Frank went to sleep again, quite satisfied, and Leo,
carrying out the weapons, soon made Attalus feel like a free man and a
noble once more.

11. They passed unseen out of the inclosure, mounted their horses and
rode along the great Roman road from Trèves as far as the Meuse, but
they found the bridge guarded, and were obliged to wait till night,
when they cast their horses loose, and swam the river, supporting
themselves on boards that they had found on the bank. They had as yet
had no food since the supper at their master's, and were thankful to
find a plum-tree in the wood, with fruit, to refresh them in small
degree, before they lay down for the night. The next morning they went
on in the direction of Rheims, carefully listening whether there were
any sounds behind, until, on the broad, hard-paved causeway, they
heard the trampling of horses. Happily a bush was near, behind which
they crept, and here the riders actually halted for a few moments to
arrange their harness. Men and horses were both those they feared, and
they trembled at hearing one say: "Woe is me that those rogues have
made off, and have not been caught! On my salvation, if I catch them,
I will have one hung, and the other chopped into little bits!"

12. It was no small comfort to hear the trot of the horses resumed, and
soon dying away in the distance. That same night, the two faint, hungry,
weary travelers, foot-sore and exhausted, came stumbling into Rheims,
looking about for some person still awake, to tell them the way to the
house of the priest Paul, a friend of Attalus's uncle. They found it
just as the church-bell was ringing for matins, a sound that must have
seemed very like home to these members of an episcopal household. They
knocked, and in the morning twilight met the priest going to his
earliest Sunday-morning service. Leo told his young master's name, and
how they had escaped, and the priest's first exclamation was a strange
one: "My dream is true! This very night I saw two doves, one white and
one black, who came and perched on my hand."

13. The good man was overjoyed, but he scrupled to give them any food,
as it was contrary to the Church's rules for the fast to be broken
before mass; but the travelers were half-dead with hunger, and could
only say, "The good Lord pardon us, for, saving the respect due to his
day, we must eat something, since this is the fourth day since we have
touched bread or meat." The priest, upon this, gave them some bread
and wine, and after hiding them carefully, went to church, hoping to
avert suspicion. But their master was already at Rheims, making strict
search for them, and learning that Paul the priest was a friend of the
Bishop of Langres, he went to the church, and there questioned him
closely. But the priest succeeded in guarding his secret, and though
he incurred much danger--as the Salic law is very severe against
concealers of runaway slaves--he kept Attalus and Leo for two days,
till the search was over, and their strength restored, so that they
could proceed to Langres. There they were welcomed like men risen from
the dead; the bishop wept on the neck of Attalus, and was ready to
receive Leo as a slave no more, but a friend and deliverer.

14. A few days after, Leo was solemnly led to the church. Every door
was set open as a sign that he might henceforth go whithersoever he
would. Bishop Gregorius took him by the hand, and, standing, before
the archdeacon, declared that for the sake of the good services
rendered by his slave Leo, he set him free, and created him a Roman
citizen. Then the archbishop read a writing of manumission. "Whatever
is done according to the Roman law is irrevocable. According to the
constitution of the Emperor Constantine, of happy memory, and the
edict that declares that whosoever is manumitted in church, in the
presence of the bishops, priests, and deacons, shall become a Roman
citizen under protection of the Church; from this day Leo becomes a
member of the city, free to go and come where he will, as if he had
been born of free parents. From this day forward he is exempt from all
subjection of servitude, of all duty of a freedman, all bond of
clientship. He is and shall be free, with full and entire freedom, and
shall never cease to belong to the body of Roman citizens."

15. At the same time Leo was endowed with lands, which raised him to
the rank of what the Franks called a Roman proprietor, the highest
reward in the bishop's power, for the faithful devotion that had
incurred such dangers in order to rescue the young Attalus from his
miserable bondage.

                                            _Charlotte M. Yonge._


1. Scarcely had the Arabs become firmly settled in Spain before they
commenced a brilliant career. Adopting what had now become the
established policy of the commanders of the Faithful in Asia, the
caliphs of Cordova distinguished themselves as patrons of learning,
and set an example of refinement strongly contrasting with the
condition of the native European princes. Cordova, under their
administration, at its highest point of prosperity, boasted of more
than two hundred thousand houses, and more than a million inhabitants.
After sunset a man might walk through it in a straight line for ten
miles by the light of the public lamps. Seven hundred years after this
time there was not so much as one public lamp in London. Its streets
were solidly paved. In Paris, centuries subsequently, who ever stepped
over his threshold on a rainy day stepped up to his ankles in mud.

2. Other cities, as Granada, Seville, Toledo, considered themselves
rivals of Cordova. The palaces of the caliphs were magnificently
decorated. Those sovereigns might well look down with supercilious
contempt on the dwellings of the rulers of Germany, France, and
England, which were scarcely better than stables--chimneyless,
windowless, and with a hole in the roof for the smoke to escape, like
the wigwams of certain Indians.

3. The Spanish Mohammedans had brought with them all the luxuries and
prodigalities of Asia. Their residences stood forth against the clear
blue sky, or were embosomed in woods. They had polished marble
balconies, overhanging orange-gardens, courts with cascades of water,
shady retreats provocative of slumber in the heat of the day,
retiring-rooms, vaulted with stained glass, speckled with gold, over
which streams of water were made to gush; the floors and walls were
of exquisite mosaic. Here a fountain of quicksilver shot up in a
glistening spray, the glittering particles falling with a tranquil
sound like fairy bells; there, apartments into which cool air was
drawn from flower-gardens, in summer, by means of ventilating towers,
and in the winter through earthen pipes, or caleducts, imbedded in the
walls--the hypocaust, in the vaults below, breathing forth volumes of
warm and perfumed air through these hidden passages.

4. The walls were not covered with wainscot, but adorned with
arabesques and paintings of agricultural scenes and views of paradise.
From the ceilings, corniced with fretted gold, great chandeliers hung,
one of which, it is said, was so large that it contained one thousand
and eighty-four lamps. Clusters of frail marble columns surprised the
beholder with the vast weights they bore. In the boudoirs of the
sultanas they were sometimes of verd-antique, and incrusted with
lapis-lazuli. The furniture was of sandal and citron wood inlaid with
mother-of-pearl, ivory, silver, or relieved with gold and precious
malachite. In orderly confusion were arranged vases of rock-crystal,
Chinese porcelain, and tables of exquisite mosaic. The winter
apartments were hung with rich tapestry; the floors were covered with
embroidered Persian carpets. Pillows and couches of elegant forms were
scattered about the rooms, which were perfumed with frankincense.

5. It was the intention of the Saracen architect, by excluding the
view of the external landscape, to concentrate attention on his work,
and since the representation of the human form was religiously
forbidden, and that source of decoration denied, his imagination ran
riot with the complicated arabesques he introduced, and sought every
opportunity of replacing the prohibited work of art by the trophies
and rarities of the garden. For this reason the Arabs never produced
artists; religion turned them from the beautiful, and made them
soldiers, philosophers, and men of affairs. Splendid flowers and rare
exotics ornamented the court-yards and even the inner chambers.

6. Great care was taken to make due provision for the cleanliness,
occupation, and amusement of the inmates. Through pipes of metal,
water, both warm and cold, to suit the season of the year, ran into
baths of marble; in niches, where the current of air could be
artificially directed, hung dripping _alcarazzas_. There were
whispering-galleries for the amusement of the women; labyrinths and
marble play-courts for the children; for the master himself, grand
libraries. The Caliph Alhakem's was so large that the catalogue alone
filled forty volumes. He had also apartments for the transcribing,
binding, and ornamenting of books. A taste for caligraphy and the
possession of splendidly illuminated manuscripts seems to have
anticipated in the caliphs, both of Asia and Spain, the taste for
statuary and painting among the later popes of Rome.

7. Such were the palace and gardens of Zehra, in which Abderrahman III
honored his favorite sultana. The edifice had twelve hundred columns
of Greek, Italian, Spanish, and African marble. The body-guard of the
sovereign was composed of twelve thousand horsemen, whose cimeters and
belts were studded with gold. This was that Abderrahman who, after a
glorious reign of fifty years, sat down to count the number of days of
unalloyed happiness he had experienced, and could only enumerate
fourteen. "O man!" exclaimed the plaintive caliph, "put not your trust
in this present world."

8. No nation has ever excelled the Spanish Arabs in the beauty and
costliness of their pleasure-gardens. To them also we owe the
introduction of very many of our most valuable cultivated fruits, such
as the peach. Retaining the love of their ancestors for the cooling
effect of water in a hot climate, they spared no pains in the
superfluity of fountains, hydraulic works, and artificial lakes in
which fish were raised for the table. Into such a lake, attached to
the palace of Cordova, many loaves were cast each day to feed the

9. There were also menageries of foreign animals, aviaries of rare
birds, manufactories in which skilled workmen, obtained from foreign
countries, displayed their art in textures of silk, cotton, linen, and
all the miracles of the loom; in jewelry and filigree-work, with which
they ministered to the female pride. Under the shade of cypresses
cascades disappeared; among flowering shrubs there were winding walks,
bowers of roses, seats cut out of rock, and crypt-like grottoes hewn
in the living stone. Nowhere was ornamental gardening better
understood; for not only did the artist try to please the eye as it
wandered over the pleasant gradation of vegetable color and form--he
also boasted his success in the gratification of the sense of smell by
the studied succession of perfumes from beds of flowers.

10. In the midst of all this luxury, which can not be regarded by the
historian with disdain, since in the end it produced a most important
result in the south of France, the Spanish caliphs, emulating the
example of their Asiatic compeers, were not only the patrons but the
personal cultivators of human learning. One of them was himself the
author of a work on polite literature in not less than fifty volumes;
another wrote a treatise on algebra. When Taryak, the musician, came
from the East to Spain, the Caliph Abderrahman rode forth to meet him
with honor. The College of Music in Cordova was sustained by ample
government patronage, and is said to have produced many illustrious

                                                _John W. Draper._


1. We come now to one of the greatest men of all times, Charles the
Great, son of Pepin the Short, a man who has left his mark on history
for all time. Charles (called by the French Charlemagne) was great in
many ways, whereas most great men are great in one or two. He was a
great warrior, a great political genius, an energetic legislator, a
lover of learning, and a lover also of his natural language and poetry
at a time when it was the fashion to despise them. And he united and
displayed all these merits in a time of general and monotonous
barbarism, when, save in the church, the minds of men were dull and

2. From 769 to 813, in Germany and Western and Northern Europe,
Charlemagne conducted thirty-two campaigns against the Saxons,
Frisians, Bavarians, Avars, Slavs, and Danes; in Italy, five against
the Lombards; in Spain, Corsica, and Sardinia, twelve against the
Arabs, two against the Greeks, and three in Gaul itself, against the
Aquitanians and Bretons--in all, fifty-three expeditions in forty-five
years, among which those he undertook against the Saxons, the
Lombards, and the Arabs were long and difficult wars.

3. The kingdom of Charles was vast; it comprised nearly all Germany,
Belgium, France, Switzerland, and the north of Italy and of Spain. He
had, in ruling this mighty realm, to deal with different nations,
without cohesion, and to grapple with their various institutions and
bring them into system.

4. The first great undertaking of Charles was against the Saxons. They
were still heathen, and were a constant source of annoyance to the
Franks, for they made frequent inroads to pillage and destroy their
towns and harvests.

5. In the line of mountains which forms the step from lower into upper
Germany, above the Westphalian plains, is one point at which the river
Weser breaks through and flows down into the level land about three
miles above the town of Minden. This rent in the mountain is called
the Westphalian Gate. The hills stand on each side like red sandstone
door-posts, and one is crowned by some crumbling fragments of a
castle; it is called the Wittekindsberg, and takes its name from
Wittekind, a Saxon king, who had his castle there. Wittekind was a
stubborn heathen, and a very determined man.

6. In 772 Charles convoked a great assembly at Worms, at which it was
unanimously resolved to march against the Saxons and chastise them for
their incursions. Charles advanced along the Weser, through the gate,
destroyed Wittekind's castle, pushed on to Paderborn, where he threw
down an idol adored by the Saxons, and then was obliged to return and
hurry to Italy to fight the Lombards, who had revolted. Next year he
invaded Saxony again. He built himself a palace at Paderborn, and
summoned the Saxon chiefs to come and do homage. Wittekind alone
refused, and fled to Denmark.

[Illustration: _Charlemagne._]

7. No sooner had Charles gone to fight the Moors in Spain than
Wittekind returned, and the Saxons rose at his summons, and, bursting
into Franconia, devastated the land up to the walls of Cologne.
Charles returned and fought them in two great battles, defeated them,
erected fortresses in their midst, and carried off hostages. Affairs
seemed to prosper, and Charles deemed himself as securely master of
Saxony as Varus had formerly in the same country, and under precisely
the same circumstances. Charles then quitted the country, leaving
orders for a body of Saxons to join his Franks and march together
against the Slavs. The Saxons obeyed the call with alacrity, and soon
outnumbered the Franks. One day, as the army was crossing the
mountains from the Weser, at a given signal the Saxons fell on their
companions and butchered them.

8. When the news of this disaster reached Charles he resolved to teach
the Saxons a terrible lesson. Crossing the Rhine, he laid waste their
country with fire and sword, and forced the Saxons to submit to be
baptized and accept Christian teachers. Those who refused he killed.
At Verdun he had over four thousand of the rebels beheaded. At
Detmold, Wittekind led the Saxons in a furious battle, in which
neither gained the victory. In another battle, on the Hase, they were
completely routed.

9. Then Wittekind submitted, came into the camp of Charles, and asked
to be baptized. A little ruined chapel stands on the Wittekindsberg,
above the Westphalian Gate, and there, according to tradition, near
the overturned walls of his own castle, the stubborn heathen bowed the
neck to receive the yoke of Christ. Charles's two nephews, the sons of
Karlomann, were with Desiderius, the Lombard king, and Desiderius
tried to force the Pope to anoint them kings of the Franks, to head a
revolt against Charles. When the great king heard this he came over
the Alps into Italy, dethroned Desiderius, and shut him up in a
monastery. Then he crowned himself with the iron crown of the Lombard
kings, which was said to have been made out of one of the nails that
fastened Christ to the cross.

10. Duke Thassils of Bavaria had married a daughter of Desiderius, and
he refused to acknowledge the authority of Charles. He also stirred up
the Avars who lived in Hungary to invade the Frankish realm. Charles
marched against Thassils, drove him out of Bavaria, subdued the Avars,
and converted the country between the Ems and Raab--that is, Austria
proper--into a province, which was called the East March, and formed the
beginning of the East Realm (Oesterreich), or Austria. Charles also
fought the Danes, and took from them the country up to the river Eider.

11. When we consider what continuous fighting Charles had, it is a
wonder to us that he had time to govern and make laws; but he devoted
as much thought to arranging his realm and placing it under proper
governors as he did to extending its frontiers.

12. Charles constituted the various parts of his vast
empire--kingdoms, duchies, and counties. He was himself the sovereign
of all these united, but he managed them through counts and
vice-counts. The frontier districts were called marches, and were
under march-counts, or margraves. Count is not a German title; the
German equivalent is Graf, and the English is earl. The counties were
divided into hundreds; a hundred villages went to a vice-count. He had
also counts of the palace, who ruled over the crown estates, and
send-counts (_missi_), whom he sent out yearly through the country to
see that his other counts did justice, and did not oppress the people.
If people felt themselves wronged by the counts, they appealed to
these send-counts; and if the send-counts did not do them justice,
they appealed to the palatine-counts.

13. Every year Charles summoned his counts four times, when he could,
but always once, in May, to meet him in council, and discuss the
grievances of the people. As the great dukes were troublesome, because
so powerful, Charles tried to do without them, and to keep them in
check. He gave whole principalities to bishops, hoping that they would
become supporters of him and the crown against the powerful dukes.

14. He was also very careful for the good government of the Church. He
endowed a number of monasteries to serve as schools for boys and
girls. He had also a collection of good, wholesome sermons made in
German, and sent copies about in all directions, requiring them to be
read to the people in church. He invited singers and musicians from
Italy to come and improve the performance of divine worship, and two
song-schools were established, one at Gall, another at Metz. His
Franks, he complained, had not much aptitude for music; their singing
was like the howling of wild beasts or the noise made by the
squeaking, groaning wheels of a baggage-wagon over a stony road!

15. Charles was particularly interested in schools, and delighted in
going into them and listening to the boys at their lessons. One day
when he had paid such a visit he was told that the noblemen's sons
were much idler than those of the common citizens. Then the great king
grew red in the face and frowned, and his eyes flashed. He called the
young nobles before him and said in thundering tones: "You grand
gentlemen! You young puppets! You puff yourselves up with the thoughts
of your rank and wealth, and suppose you have no need of letters! I
tell you that your pretty faces and your high nobility are accounted
nothing by me. Beware! beware! Without diligence and conscientiousness
not one of you gets anything from me."

16. Charles dearly loved the grand old German poems of the heroes, and
he had them collected and copied out. Alas! they have been lost. His
stupid son, thinking them rubbish, burned them all. The great king
also sent to Italy for builders, and set them to work to erect palaces
and churches. His favorite palaces were at Aix and at Ingelheim. At
the latter place he had a bridge built over the Rhine. At Aix he built
the cathedral with pillars taken from Roman ruins. It was quite
circular, with a colonnade going round it; inside it remains almost
unaltered to the present day.

17. He was very eager to promote trade, and so far in advance of the
times was he that he resolved to cut a canal so as to connect the Main
with the Regnitz, and thus make a water-way right across Germany from
the Rhine to the Danube, and so connect the German Ocean with the
Black Sea. The canal was begun, but wars interfered with its
completion, and the work was not carried out till the present century
by Louis I of Bavaria.

18. Charles was a tall, grand looking man, nearly seven feet high. He
was so strong that he could take a horseshoe in his hands and snap it.
He ate and drank in moderation, and was grave and dignified in his

19. In the year 800, an insurrection broke out in Rome against Pope
Leo III. While he was riding in procession his enemies fell on him,
threw him from his horse, and an awkward attempt was made to put out
his eyes and cut out his tongue. Thus, bleeding and insensible, he was
put into a monastery. The Duke of Spoleto, a Frank, hearing of this,
marched to Rome and removed the wounded Pope to Spoleto, where he was
well nursed and recovered his eye-sight and power of speech. Charles
was very indignant when he heard of the outrage, and he left the
Saxons, whom he was fighting, and came to Italy to investigate the
circumstance. He assumed the office of judge, and the guilty persons
were sent to prison in France.

20. Then came Christmas-day, the Christmas of the last year in the
eighth century of Christ. Charles and all his sumptuous court, the
nobles and people of Rome, the whole clergy of Rome, were present at
the high services of the birth of Christ. The Pope himself chanted the
mass; the full assembly were rapt in profound devotion. At the close
the Pope rose, advanced toward Charles with a splendid crown in his
hands, placed it upon his brow, and proclaimed him Cæsar Augustus.
"God grant life and victory to the great emperor!" His words were lost
in the acclamations of the soldiery, the people, and the clergy.

21. Charles was taken completely by surprise. What the consequences
would be to Germany and to the papacy, how fatal to both, neither he
nor Leo could see. So Charlemagne became King of Italy and Emperor of
the West--the successor of the Cæsars of Rome.

22. When Charles felt that his end was approaching, he summoned all
his nobles to Aix into the church he had there erected. There, on the
altar, lay a golden crown. Charles made his son Ludwig, or Louis,
stand before him, and, in the audience of his great men, gave him his
last exhortation: to fear God and to love his people as his own
children, to do right and to execute justice, and to walk in integrity
before God and man. With streaming eyes Louis promised to fulfill his
father's command. "Then," said Charles, "take this crown, and place it
on your own head, and never forget the promise you have made this day."

      _Sabine, Baring-Gould. "The Story of Germany."_
                      _Putnam's "Stories of the Nations" Series._



1. The Gulf Stream flows so near to the southern coast of Norway, and
to the Orkneys and Western Islands, that their climate is much less
severe than might be supposed. Yet no one can help wondering why they
were formerly so much more populous than now, and why the people who
came westward even so long ago as the great Aryan migration, did not
persist in turning aside to the more fertile countries that lay
farther southward. In spite of all their disadvantages, the
Scandinavian peninsula, and the sterile islands of the northern seas,
were inhabitated by men and women whose enterprise and intelligence
ranked them above their neighbors.

2. Now, with the modern ease of travel and transportation, these
poorer countries can be supplied from other parts of the world. And
though the summers of Norway are misty and dark and short, and it is
difficult to raise even a little hay on the bits of meadow among the
rocky mountain-slopes, commerce can make up for all deficiencies. In
early times there was no commerce, except that carried on by the
pirates, if we may dignify their undertakings by such a respectable
name, and it was hardly possible to make a living from the soil
alone. But it does not take us long to discover that the ancient
Northmen were not farmers, but hunters and fishermen. It had grown
more and more difficult to find food along the rivers and broad grassy
wastes of inland Europe, and pushing westward they had at last reached
the place where they could live beside waters that swarmed with fish
and among hills that sheltered plenty of game.

3. The tribes that settled in the north grew in time to have many
peculiarities of their own, and as their countries grew more and more
populous, they needed more things that could not easily be had, and a
fashion of plundering their neighbors began to prevail. Men were still
more or less beasts of prey. Invaders must be kept out, and at last
much of the industry of Scandinavia was connected with the carrying on
of an almost universal fighting and marauding. Ships must be built,
and there must be endless supplies of armor and weapons. Stones were
easily collected for missiles or made fit for arrows and spear-heads,
and metals were worked with great care.

4. In Norway and Sweden were the best places to find all these, and if
the Northmen planned to fight a great battle, they had to transport a
huge quantity of stones, iron, and bronze. It is easy to see why one
day's battle was almost always decisive in ancient times, for supplies
could not be quickly forwarded from point to point, and after the arrows
were all shot and the conquered were chased off the field, they had no
further means of offense except a hand-to-hand fight with those who had
won the right to pick up the fallen spears at their leisure. So, too, an
unexpected invasion was likely to prove successful; it was a work of
time to get ready for a battle, and when the Northmen swooped down upon
some shore town of Britain or Gaul, the unlucky citizens were at their
mercy. And while the Northmen had fish and game, and were mighty
hunters, and their rocks and mines helped forward their warlike
enterprises, so the forests supplied them with ship-timber, and they
gained renown as sailors wherever their fame extended.

5. There was a great difference, however, between the manner of life in
Norway and that of England and France. The Norwegian stone, however
useful for arrow-heads or axes, was not fit for building purposes. There
is hardly any clay there, either, to make bricks with, so that wood has
usually been the only material for houses. In the southern countries
there had always been rude castles in which the people could shelter
themselves, but the Northmen could build no castles that a torch could
not destroy. They trusted much more to their ships than to their houses,
and some of their captains disdained to live on shore at all.

6. There is something refreshing in the stories of old Norse life; of
its simplicity and freedom and childish zest. An old writer says that
they had "a hankering after pomp and pageantry," and by means of this
they came at last to doing things decently and in order, and to
setting the fashions for the rest of Europe. There was considerable
dignity in the manner of every-day life and housekeeping. Their houses
were often very large, even two hundred feet long, with flaring fires
on a pavement in the middle of the floor, and the beds built next the
walls on three sides, sometimes hidden by wide tapestries or foreign
cloth that had been brought home in the viking ships. In front of the
beds were benches where each man had his seat and footstool, with his
armor and weapons hung high on the wall above.

7. The master of the house had a high seat on the north side in the
middle of a long bench; opposite was another bench for guests and
strangers, while the women sat on the third side. The roof was high;
there were a few windows in it, and those were covered by skins, and
let in but little light. The smoke escaped through openings in the
carved, soot-blackened roof; and though in later times the rich men's
houses were more like villages, because they made groups of smaller
buildings for store houses, for guest-rooms, or for work-shops all
around still, the idea of this primitive great hall or living-room has
not even yet been lost. The latest copies of it in England and France
that still remain are most interesting; but what a fine sight it must
have been at night when the great fires blazed and the warriors sat on
their benches in solemn order, and the skalds recited their long
sagas, of the host's own bravery or the valiant deeds of his
ancestors! Hospitality was almost chief among the virtues.

8. We must read what was written in their own language, and then we
shall have more respect for the vikings and sea-kings, always
distinguishing between these two; for, while any peasant who wished
could be a viking--a sea-robber--a sea-king was a king indeed, and
must be connected with the royal race of the country. He received the
title of king by right as soon as he took command of a ship's crew,
though he need not have any land or kingdom. Vikings were merely
pirates; they might be peasants and vikings by turn, and won their
names from the inlets, the viks or wicks, where they harbored their
ships. A sea-king must be a viking, but naturally very few of the
vikings were sea-kings.

[Illustration: _A Viking's Home._]

9. The viking had rights in his own country, and knew what it was to
enjoy those rights; if he could win more land, he would know how to
govern it, and he knew what he was fighting for, and meant to win.
If we wonder why all this energy was spent on the high seas and in
strange countries, there are two answers: first, that fighting was the
natural employment of the men, and that no right could be held that
could not be defended; but besides this, one form of their energy was
showing itself at home in rude attempts at literature.

10. The more that we know of the Northmen, the more we are convinced
how superior they were in their knowledge of the useful arts to the
people whom they conquered. There is a legend that, when Charlemagne,
in the ninth century, saw some pirate ships cruising in the
Mediterranean, along the shores of which they had at last found their
way, he covered his face and burst into tears. He was not so much
afraid of their cruelty and barbarity as of their civilization. Nobody
knew better that none of the Christian countries under his rule had
ships or men that could make such a daring voyage. He knew that they
were skillful workers in wood and iron, and had learned to be
rope-makers and weavers; that they could make casks for their supply
of drinking-water, and understood how to prepare food for their long
cruises. All their swords and spears and bow-strings had to be made
and kept in good condition, and sheltered from the sea-spray.

11. When we picture the famous sea-kings' ships to ourselves, we do
not wonder that the Northmen were so proud of them, or that the skalds
were never tired of recounting their glories. There were two kinds of
vessels: the last-ships, that carried cargoes, and the long-ships, or
ships of war. Listen to the splendors of the "Long Serpent," which was
the largest ship ever built in Norway. A dragon-ship, to begin with,
because all the long-ships had a dragon for a figure-head, except the
smallest of them, which were called cutters, and only carried ten or
twenty rowers on a side. The "Long Serpent" had thirty-four rowers'
benches on a side, and she was one hundred and eleven feet long. Over
the sides were hung the shining red and white shields of the vikings,
the gilded dragon's head towered high at the prow, and at the stern a
gilded tail went curling off over the head of the steersman. Then,
from the long body, the heavy oars swept forward and back through the
water, and as it came down the fiôrd, the "Long Serpent" must have
looked like some enormous centipede creeping out of its den on an
awful errand, and heading out across the rough water toward its prey.

12. The voyages were often disastrous in spite of much clever
seamanship. They knew nothing of the mariner's compass, and found
their way chiefly by the aid of the stars--inconstant pilots enough on
such foggy, stormy seas. They carried birds, too, oftenest ravens, and
used to let them loose and follow them toward the nearest land. The
black raven was the vikings' favorite symbol for their flags, and
familiar enough it became in other harbors than their own. They were
bold, hardy fellows, and held fast to a rude code of honor and rank of

13. The valleys of the Elbe and the Rhine, of the Seine and the Loire,
made a famous hunting-ground for the dragon-ships to seek.

14. The people who lived in France were of another sort, but they
often knew how to defend themselves as well as the Northmen knew how
to attack. There are few early French records for us to read, for the
literature of that early day was almost wholly destroyed in the
religious houses and public buildings of France. Here and there a few
pages of a poem or of a biography or chronicle have been kept, but
from this very fact we can understand the miserable condition of the

15. The whole second half of the ninth century is taken up with the
histories of these invasions. We must follow for a while the progress
of events in Gaul, or France as we call it now, though it was made up
then of a number of smaller kingdoms. The result of the great siege of
Paris was only a settling of affairs with the Northmen for the time
being; one part of the country was delivered from them at the expense
of another.

16. They could be bought off and bribed for a time, but there was
never to be any such thing as their going back to their own country
and letting France alone for good and all. But as they gained at
length whole tracts of country, instead of the little wealth of a few
men to take away in their ships as at first, they began to settle down
in their new lands and to become conquerors and colonists instead of
mere plunderers. Instead of continually ravaging and attacking the
kingdoms, they slowly became the owners and occupiers of the conquered
territory; they pushed their way from point to point.

17. At first, as you have seen already they trusted to their ships,
and always left their wives and children at home in the north
countries, but as time went on, they brought their families with them
and made new homes, for which they would have to fight many a battle
yet. It would be no wonder if the women had become possessed by a love
of adventure, too, and had insisted upon seeing the lands from which
the rich booty was brought to them, and that they had been saying for
a long time: "Show us the places where the grapes grow and the
fruit-trees bloom, where men build great houses and live in them
splendidly. We are tired of seeing only the long larchen beams of
their high roofs, and the purple and red and gold cloths, and the red
wine and yellow wheat that you bring away. Why should we not go to
live in that country, instead of your breaking it to pieces, and going
there so many of you, every year, only to be slain as its enemies? We
are tired of our sterile Norway and our great Danish deserts of sand,
of our cold winds and wet weather, and our long winters that pass by
so slowly while the fleets are gone. We would rather see Seville and
Paris themselves, than only their gold and merchandise and the rafters
of their churches that you bring home for ship timbers."

18. The kingdoms of France had been divided and subdivided, and, while
we find a great many fine examples of resistance, and some great
victories over the Northmen, they were not pushed out and checked
altogether. Instead, they gradually changed into Frenchmen themselves,
different from other Frenchmen only in being more spirited, vigorous
and alert. They inspired every new growth of the religion, language,
or manners, with their own splendid vitality. They were like plants
that have grown in dry, thin soil, transplanted to a richer spot of
ground, and sending out fresh shoots in the doubled moisture and
sunshine. And presently we shall find the Northman becoming the Norman
of history. As the Northman, almost the first thing we admire about
him is his character, his glorious energy; as the Norman, we see that
energy turned into better channels, and bringing a new element into
the progress of civilization.

          _Sarah O. Jewett. "The Story of the Normans."_
                      _Putnam's "Stories of the Nations" Series._


1. The ninth century was a sad time for both England and France. The
Gothic tribes, in their march to the west had reached the sea in
Denmark and Norway, and had increased to such an extent as to take up
all the land fit for cultivation. The strength and courage which they
had shown in many a battle-field on the land was now transferred to
the sea, soldiers and knights becoming vikings and pirates. Fierce
worshipers were they of the old gods Odin, Frey, and Thor. They
plundered, they burned, they slew; they especially devastated churches
and monasteries, and no coast was safe from them from the Adriatic to
the farthest north--even Rome saw their long-ships, and, "From the
fury of the Northmen, good Lord deliver us!" was the prayer in every
litany of the West.

2. England had been well-nigh undone by them, when the spirit of her
greatest king awoke, and by Alfred they were overcome. Some were
permitted to settle down, and were taught Christianity and
civilization, and the fresh invaders were driven from the coast.
Alfred's gallant son and grandson held the same course, guarded their
coasts, and made their faith and themselves respected throughout the
North. But in France, the much harassed house of Charles the Great,
and the ill-compacted bond of different nations, were little able to
oppose their fierce assaults, and ravage and devastation reigned from
one end of the country to another.

3. However, the vikings, on returning to their native homes sometimes
found their place filled up, and the family inheritance incapable of
supporting so many. Thus they began to think of winning not merely
gold and cattle, but lands and houses, on the coasts they pillaged. In
Scotland, the Hebrides, and Ireland, they settled by leave of nothing
but their swords; in England, by treaty with Alfred; and in France,
half by conquest, half by treaty, always, however, accepting
Christianity as a needful obligation when they took posession of
southern lands. Probably they thought Thor was only the god of the
north, and that the "White Christ," as they called Him who was made
known to them in these new countries was to be adored in what they
deemed alone his territories.

4. Of all the sea-robbers who sailed from their rocky dwelling-places
by the fiôrds of Norway, none enjoyed higher renown than Rolf, called
the ganger, or walker, as tradition relates, because his stature was
so gigantic that, when clad in full armor, no horse could support his
weight, and he therefore always fought on foot.

5. Rolf's lot had, however, fallen in what he doubtless considered as
evil days. No such burnings and plunderings as had hitherto wasted
England and enriched Norway, fell to his share; for Alfred had made
the bravest Northman feel that his fleet and army were more than a
match for theirs. Ireland was exhausted by the former depredations of
the pirates, and, from a fertile and flourishing country had become a
scene of desolation. Scotland and its isles were too barren to afford
prey to the spoiler.

6. Rolf, presuming on the favor shown to his family while returning
from an expedition on the Baltic, made a descent on the coast of
Viken, a part of Norway, and carried off the cattle wanted by his
crew. The king, who happened at that time to be in that district, was
highly displeased, and, assembling a council, declared Rolf the Ganger
an outlaw.

7. The banished Rolf found a great number of companions, who, like
himself, were unwilling to submit to the strict rule of Harald, and
setting sail with them, he first plundered and devastated the coast
of Flanders, and afterward returned to France. In the spring of 896
the citizens of Rouen, scarcely yet recovered from the miseries
inflicted upon them by the fierce Danish rover Hasting, were dismayed
by the sight of a fleet of long, low vessels, with spreading sails,
heads carved like that of a serpent, and sterns finished like the tail
of a reptile, such as they well knew to be the keels of the dreaded
Northmen, the harbingers of destruction and desolation. Little hope of
succor or protection was there from King Charles the Simple; and,
indeed, had the sovereign been ever so warlike and energetic, it would
little have availed Rouen, which might have been destroyed twice over
before a messenger could reach Laon.

8. In this emergency, Franco, the archbishop, proposed to go forth to
meet the Northmen and attempt to make terms for his flock. The offer
was gladly accepted by the trembling citizens, and the good archbishop
went, bearing the keys of the town, to visit the camp which the
Northmen had begun to erect upon the bank of the river. They offered
him no violence, and he performed his errand safely. Rolf, the rude
generosity of whose character was touched by his fearless conduct,
readily agreed to spare the lives and property of the citizens, on
condition that Rouen was surrendered to him without resistance.

9. Entering the town, he there established his headquarters, and spent
a whole year in the adjacent parts of the country, during which time
the Northmen so faithfully observed their promise, that they were
regarded by the Rouennais rather as friends than as conquerors; and
Rolf, or Rollo, as the French called him, was far more popular among
them than their real sovereign. Wherever he met with resistance, he
showed, indeed, the relentless cruelty of the heathen pirate;
wherever he found submission, he was a kind master.

10. In the course of the following year, he advanced along the banks
of the Seine as far as its junction with the Eure. On the opposite
side of the river there were visible a number of tents, where slept a
numerous army, which Charles had at length collected to oppose this
formidable enemy. The Northmen also set up their camp, in expectation
of a battle, and darkness had just closed in on them when a shout was
heard on the opposite side of the river, and to their surprise a voice
was heard speaking in their own language. "Brave warriors, why come ye
hither, and what do ye seek?"

11. "We are Northmen, come hither to conquer France," replied Rollo.
"But who art thou who speakest our tongue so well?" "Heard ye never of
Hasting?" was the reply. "Yes," returned Rollo, "he began well, but
ended badly." "Will ye not, then," continued the old pirate, "submit
to my lord the king? Will ye not hold of him lands and honors?" "No,"
replied the Northmen, disdainfully, "we will own no lord, we will take
no gift, but we will have what we ourselves can conquer by force."

12. Here Hasting took his departure, and returning to the French camp,
strongly advised the commander not to hazard a battle. His counsel was
overruled by a young standard-bearer, who, significantly observing,
"Wolves make not war on wolves," so offended the old sea-king, that he
quitted the army that night, and never again appeared in France. The
wisdom of his advice was the next morning made evident, by the total
defeat of the French, and the advance of the Northmen, who in a short
space after appeared beneath the walls of Paris. Failing in their
attempt to take the city, they returned to Rouen, where they fortified
themselves, making it the capital of the territory they had conquered.

13. Fifteen years passed away, the summers of which were spent in
ravaging the dominions of Charles the Simple, and the winters in the
city of Rouen, and in the meantime a change had come over the leader.
He had been insensibly softened and civilized by his intercourse with
the good Archbishop Franco, and finding, perhaps, that it was not
quite so easy as he had expected to conquer the whole kingdom of
France, he declared himself willing to follow the example which he
once despised, and to become a vassal of the French crown for the
duchy of Neustria.

14. Charles, greatly rejoiced to find himself thus able to put a stop
to the dreadful devastations of the Northmen, readily agreed to the
terms proposed by Rollo, appointing the village of St. Clair-sur-Epte,
on the borders of Neustria, as the place of meeting for the purpose of
receiving his homage and oath of fealty.

15. The greatest difficulty to be overcome in this conference was the
repugnance felt by the proud Northman to perform the customary act of
homage before any living man, especially one whom he held so cheap as
Charles the Simple. He consented, indeed, to swear allegiance, and
declare himself the "king's man," with his hands clasped between those
of Charles. The remaining part of the ceremony, the kneeling to kiss
the foot of the liege lord, he absolutely refused, and was with
difficulty persuaded to permit one of his followers to perform it in
his name. The proxy, as proud as his master, instead of kneeling, took
the king's foot in his hand, and lifted it to his mouth while he stood
upright, thus overturning both monarch and throne, amid the rude
laughter of his companions, while the miserable Charles and his
courtiers felt such a dread of these new vassals that they did not
dare resent the insult.

16. On his return to Rouen, Rollo was baptized, and, on leaving the
cathedral, celebrated his conversion by large grants to the different
churches and convents of his duchy, making a fresh gift on each of the
days during which he wore the white robes of the newly baptized. All
of his warriors who chose to follow his example, and embrace the
Christian faith, received from him grants of land, to be held of him
on the same terms as those by which he held the dukedom from the king.
The country thus peopled by the Northmen, gradually assumed the name
of Normandy.

17. Applying themselves with all the ardor of their temper to their
new way of life, the Northmen quickly adopted the manners, language,
and habits which were recommended to them as connected with the holy
faith which they had just embraced, but without losing their own bold
and vigorous spirit. Soon the gallant and accomplished Norman knight
could scarcely have been recognized as the savage sea-robber, while,
at the same time, he bore as little resemblance to the cruel and
voluptuous French noble, at once violent and indolent.

18. There is no doubt, however, that the keen, unsophisticated vigor
of Rollo, directed by his new religion did great good in Normandy, and
that his justice was sharp, his discipline impartial, so that of him
is told the famous old story bestowed upon other just princes, that a
gold bracelet was left for three years untouched upon a tree in a
forest. He had been married, as part of the treaty, to Gisèle, a
daughter of King Charles the Simple, but he was an old grizzly
warrior, and neither cared for the other. A wife whom he had long
before taken, had borne him a son, named William, to whom he left his
dukedom in 932.


1. In the north of Scotland, where the cliffs bordering Moray Firth
face the auroral heavens, are two ancient towns, Inverness and Forres,
whose names are immortalized in Shakespeare's great tragedy of
Macbeth, for it is in their vicinity that most of its scenes are laid.

2. It is a wild, lonely country, and must have been wilder and
lonelier still eight hundred years ago, when from the neighboring
Norway coast the black boats of the vikings, or North Sea rovers, used
to come flocking into the quiet harbors of Moray and Cromarty Firths,
like so many swift birds of prey swooping suddenly in from the gray
horizon, snatching their plunder and flitting away on never-resting
wings only to return in greater numbers and depart with richer booty.

3. In 1033-1039, when the sons of Canute the Dane were wearing the
English crown, and not long after a few of the roving Norsemen had
drifted away to plant a little history and a great mystery across the
wide Atlantic, there reigned in Scotland a king by the name of Duncan
MacCrinan. Among his nobles was a certain Macbeth, Thane of Glamis,
about whom a great many stories are told, some of which would no doubt
have made their subject open his eyes, for if we may credit the sober
historians he was rather respectable than otherwise, and probably
slept much better o' nights than Mr. Shakespeare would have us
believe. It is even said that he made a pilgrimage to Rome and saw the
Pope, which certainly ought to establish his virtue to anybody's

4. At all events he was a brave soldier and able general, and Duncan
naturally thought that he had the right man in the right place when he
gave him command of the royal army and sent him off to drive out
Thorfinn and Thorkell, two Norse chiefs who had come over to conquer

5. Macbeth had wedded a lady named Grnoch MacBœdhe, which made him
cousin to the king, and very likely put strange notions into his head,
even if they never were there before. He was what we call "a rising
man," and so, having gloriously defeated Thorfinn and Thorkell, or,
some say, making them allies, he gloriously turned around and made war
upon Duncan MacCrinan. In this struggle Duncan was killed or mortally
wounded near Elgin, on Moray Firth, and Macbeth usurped the throne.

6. Others claim that Thorfinn had conquered that part of Scotland,
that Macbeth was his vassal and merely fulfilled his duty to his
over-lord in repelling an invasion by Duncan, in which the latter
deservedly met the common fate of war.

7. It is very difficult to learn the real truth about people who lived
before history was anything more than oral tradition, because, as in
the case of Macbeth, a great many legends gradually clustered about
their names, which were not committed to writing until many, many
years after the events actually occurred. The very earliest Scotch
writing ever discovered is only a charter, and is dated 1095, more
than fifty years after Duncan was "in his grave," and it was more than
three hundred years later that a Scotch prior, named Androwe of
Wyntonne, wrote a long historical poem which he called an Orygynale
Cronykil of Scotland. In it he relates the story of Macbeth and the
three witches, and the murder of Duncan, though he says that Macbeth
afterward made a very wise and just king, whose reign of seventeen
years was marked by great abundance, and by royal almsgiving and zeal
for "holy kirk."

8. But a Latin history of Scotland, written about a hundred years
before Shakespeare by an Aberdeen professor, and translated into
English under the title of Holinshed's Chronicle, supplied the great
dramatist with his plot, though it suited his purpose to combine the
true story of Macbeth with the murder of an earlier king. Then, adding
a great deal about ghosts and witches, and, above all, breathing into
these dry, long-dead mummies the quickening breath of genius, the
immortal playwright recreated a Macbeth who seems a far more real and
living character than many of our contemporaries.

9. By whatever means Macbeth secured the throne, history and fiction
agree as to the manner of his losing it. Duncan's sons, in reality
mere infants at their father's death, were hurried away by their
friends, and Malcolm, the elder, was committed to his mother's
brother, Siward, Earl of Northumbria, who in good time aided his young
kinsman to recover his birthright.

10. Macbeth, notwithstanding his prosperous reign, was regarded as a
usurper, and was consequently very unpopular with the loyal Scotch,
who, though proud and quarrelsome, were always devotedly true where
they recognized an obligation of fealty. So when Malcolm returned they
flocked around the beloved young heir, and defeated his enemy at
Dunsinane, though Macbeth was not killed at this place, as Shakespeare
says, but fled across the Grampians to rally at Lumphanan. Here he was
slain and the victorious Malcolm--called in history Malcolm
Canmore--now went to Scone and was crowned upon a famous stone,
believed by the Scotch to be the same that Jacob used for his pillow.
It is certainly the one that Edward I of England afterward took away
and made the seat of the coronation chair at Westminster Abbey, where
it is still to be seen.

11. But, like many another evil that has been wrought before now,
Macbeth's treason resulted in the ultimate good of his country; for
Malcolm, during his long exile, had become accustomed to the superior
civilization of the English, and now introduced many improvements
among his subjects. Having known, too, the sorrows of a fugitive, he
welcomed to his court the Saxon princes fleeing from Norman William,
among whom was Margaret Atheling, the gentle granddaughter of Edmund
Ironsides, who became his bride, and whose winning graces went far
toward refining the rude manners of the warlike Scots. One of their
sons was the saintly King David, who founded Melrose Abbey, and who is
said to have been to Scotland "all that Alfred was to England, and
more than Louis was to France."

12. Another noble, called Banquo, seems to have had some part in
Duncan's overthrow, but as the play of Macbeth was written in the
reign of James I, who was a Scot and traced his descent back to
Banquo, it was not deemed prudent or polite to represent the character
in an unflattering light; so he was pictured as noble and
incorruptible, and was so unfortunate, poor man, as to have to be
murdered to make the story end well.

13. Sir Walter Scott, in his "Tales of a Grandfather," gives us a
story differing little from the outline of Shakespeare's drama, but
then, who that has spent enraptured hours over Rob Roy and the Black
Dwarf could wish the charming wizard to spoil a good story for the
sake of mere historical exactness? not I, surely! And the Macbeth of
history, no matter how zealously we may try to discover him, or how
faithfully we may attempt, at this late day, to reconstruct his
damaged reputation, he can never be to us anything better than a very
misty tradition. Whatever he may have been eight hundred years ago,
the Macbeth _we_ know, the only real Macbeth there is or ever can be,
is after all the one that met the witches in the thunder-storm on
Forres Heath and then went home and murdered the gentle old king who
"had so much blood in him," and a moment later, startled by the
knocking at the gate, exclaimed in bitterest remorse: "Wake Duncan
with thy knocking! I would thou could'st!"

14. If you read this scene in the silent hours when every one else in
the house is sleeping, you will almost believe that you murdered
Duncan yourself, and that you hear Lady Macbeth's hoarse whisper in
your ear: "To bed, to bed, there's knocking at the gate. Come, come,
come, come, give me your hand. What's done can not be undone. To bed,
to bed, to bed."

15. Then you will shut the book in sudden terror of the lonely
midnight, and scramble into bed with the blood curdling in your veins,
and presently, aided by the darkness, your imagination will bridge the
gulf of centuries, and you will seem to see a long vaulted hall in a
mediæval palace, and in the hall a banquet spread, around which gather
lords of high degree, while on the canopied dais at the upper end sit
King Macbeth and his white-haired, pitiless, guilty queen. And from
the rainy outer darkness you may catch the faint echo of a mortal cry:
"Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!" And then as you picture the king
stepping down from his royal seat to meet a blood-stained murderer at
the door, you will have a momentary glimpse of Banquo lying in the
roadside ditch "with twenty trenchéd gashes in his head," and of
Fleance speeding away alone through the stormy night.


1. Now Duke William was in his park at Rouen, and in his hands he held
a bow ready strung, for he was going hunting, and many knights and
squires with him. And behold, there came to the gate a messenger from
England; and he went straight to the duke and drew him aside, and told
him secretly how King Edward's life had come to an end, and Harold had
been made king in his stead. And when the duke had heard the tidings,
and understood all that was come to pass, those that looked upon him
perceived that he was greatly enraged, for he forsook the chase, and
went in silence, speaking no word to any man, clasping and unclasping
his cloak, neither dared any man speak to him; but he crossed over the
Seine in a boat, and went to his hall, and sat down on a bench; and he
covered his face with his mantle, and leaned down his head, and there
he abode, turning about restlessly for one hour after another in
gloomy thought. And none dared speak a word to him, but they spake to
one another, saying: "What ails the duke? Why bears he such a mien?"

2. "That is it that troubles me," said the duke. "I grieve because
Edward is dead, and that Harold has done me a wrong; for he has taken
my kingdom who was bound to me by oath and promise." To these words
answered Fitz-Osbern the bold: "Sir, tarry not, but make ready with
speed to avenge yourself on Harold, who has been disloyal to you; for
if you lack not courage, there will be left no land to Harold. Summon
all whom you may summon, cross the sea and seize his lands; for no
brave man should begin a matter and not carry it on to the end."

3. Then William sent messengers to Harold to call upon him to keep
the oath that he had sworn; but Harold replied in scorn that he would
not marry his daughter, nor give up his land to him. And William sent
to him his defiance; but Harold answered that he feared him not, and
he drove all the Normans out of the land, with their wives and
children, for King Edward had given them lands and castles, but Harold
chased them out of the country; neither would he let one remain. And
at Christmas he took the crown, but it would have been well for
himself and his land if he had not been crowned, since for the kingdom
he perjured himself, and his reign lasted but a short space.

4. Then Duke William called together his barons, and told them all his
will, and how Harold had wronged him, and that he would cross the sea
and revenge himself; but without their aid he could not gather men
enough, nor a large navy; therefore, he would know of each one of them
how many men and ships he would bring. And they prayed for leave to
take counsel together, and the duke granted their request. And their
deliberations lasted long, for many complained that their burdens were
heavy, and some said that they would bring ships and cross the sea
with the duke, and others said they would not go, for they were in
debt and poor. Thus some would and some would not, and there was great
contention between them.

5. Then Fitz-Osbern came to them and said: "Wherefore dispute you,
sirs? Ye should not fail your natural lord when he goes seeking
honors. Ye owe him service for your fiefs, and where ye owe service ye
should serve with all your power. Ask not delay, nor wait until he
prays you; but go before, and offer him more than you can do. Let him
not lament that his enterprise failed for your remissness." But they
answered: "Sir, we fear the sea, and we owe no service across the
sea. Speak for us, we pray you, and answer in our stead. Say what you
will, and we will abide by your words." "Will ye all leave yourselves
to me?" he said. And each one answered: "Yes. Let us go to the duke,
and you shall speak for us."

6. And Fitz-Osbern turned himself about and went before him to the duke,
and spoke for them, and he said: "Sir, no lord has such men as you have,
and who will do so much for their lord's honor, and you ought to love
and keep them well. For you they say they would be drowned in the sea or
thrown into the fire. You may trust them well, for they have served you
long and followed you at great cost. And if they have done well, they
will do better; for they will pass the sea with you, and will double
their service. For he who should bring twenty knights will gladly bring
forty, and he who should serve you thirty will bring sixty, and he from
whom one hundred is due will willingly bring two hundred. And I, in
loving loyalty, will bring in my lord's business sixty ships, well
arrayed and laden with fighting men."

7. But the barons marveled at him, and murmured aloud at the words
that he spake and the promises he made, for which they had given him
no warrant. And many contradicted him, and there arose a noise and
loud disturbance among them; for they feared that if they doubled
their service it would become a custom, and be turned into a feudal
right. And the noise and outcry became so great that a man could not
hear what his fellow said. Then the duke went aside, for the noise
displeased him, and sent for the barons one by one, and spoke to each
one of the greatness of the enterprise, and that if they would double
their service, and do freely more than their due, it should be well
for them, and that he would never make it a custom, nor require of
them any service more than was the usage of the country, and such as
their ancestors had paid to their lord. Then each one said he would do
it, and he told how many ships he would bring, and the duke had them
all written down in brief. Bishop Odo, his brother, brought him forty
ships, and the Bishop of Le Mans prepared thirty, with their mariners
and pilots. And the duke prayed his neighbors of Brittany, Anjou, and
Maine, Ponthieu, and Boulogne, to aid him in this business; and he
promised them lands if England were conquered, and rich gifts and
large pay. Thus from all sides came soldiers to him.

8. Then he showed the matter to his lord the King of France, and he
sought him at St. Germer, and found him there; and he said that he
would aid him, so that by his aid he won his right, he would hold
England from him and serve him for it. But the king answered that he
would not aid him, neither with his will should he pass the sea; for
the French prayed him not to aid him, saying he was too strong
already, and that if he let him add riches from over the sea to his
lands of Normandy and all his good knights, there would never be
peace. "And when England shall be conquered," said they, "you will
hear no more of his service. He pays little service now, but then it
will be less. The more he has, the less he will do."

9. So the duke took leave of the king, and came away in a rage,
saying: "Sir, I go to do the best I can, and if God will that I gain
my right you shall see me no more but for evil. And if I fail, and the
English can defend themselves, my children shall inherit my lands, and
thou shalt not conquer them. Living or dead, I fear no menace!"

10. Then the duke sent to Rome clerks that were skilled in speech,
and they told the Pope how Harold had sworn falsely, and that Duke
William promised that if he conquered England he would hold it of St.
Peter. And the Pope sent him a standard and a very precious ring, and
underneath the stone there was, it is said, a hair of St. Peter's. And
about that time there appeared a great star shining in the south with
very long rays, such a star as is seen when a kingdom is about to have
a new king. I have spoken with many men who saw it, and those who are
cunning in the stars call it a comet.

11. Then the duke called together carpenters and ship-builders, and in
all the ports of Normandy there was sawing of planks and carrying of
wood, spreading of sails and setting up of masts, with great labor and
industry. Thus all the summer long and through the month of August
they made ready the fleet and assembled the men; for there was no
knight in all the land, nor any good sergeant, nor archer, nor any
peasant of good courage, of age to fight, whom the duke did not summon
to go with him to England.

12. When the ships were ready, they were anchored in the Somme at St.
Valery. And as the renown of the duke went abroad there came to him
soldiers one by one or two by two, and the duke kept them with him,
and promised them much. And some asked for lands in England, and
others pay and large gifts. But I will not write down what barons,
knights, and soldiers the duke had in his company; but I have heard my
father say (I remember it well, though I was but a boy) that there
were seven hundred ships, save four, when they left St. Valery--ships,
and boats, and little skiffs. But I found it written (I know not the
truth) that there were three thousand ships carrying sails and masts.

13. And at St. Valery they tarried long for a favorable wind, and the
barons grew weary with waiting; and they prayed those of the convent
to bring out to the camp the shrine of St. Valery, and they came to it
and prayed they might cross the sea, and they offered money till all
the holy body was covered with it, and the same day there sprang up a
favorable wind. Then the duke put a lantern on the mast of his ship,
that the other ships might see it and keep their course near, and an
ensign of gilded copper on the top; and at the head of the ships,
which mariners call the prow, there was a child made of copper holding
a bow and arrow, and he had his face toward England, and seemed about
to shoot.

14. Thus the ships came to port, and they all arrived together and
anchored together on the beach, and together they all disembarked. And
it was near Hastings, and the ships lay side by side. And the good
sailors and sergeants and esquires sprang out, and cast anchor, and
fastened the ships with ropes; and they brought out their shields and
saddles, and led forth the horses.

15. The archers were the first to come to land, every one with his bow
and his quiver and arrows by his side, all shaven and dressed in short
tunics, ready for battle and of good courage; and they searched all
the beach, but no armed man could they find. When they were issued
forth, then came the knights in armor, with helmet laced and shield on
neck, and together they came to the sand and mounted their war-horses;
and they had their swords at their sides, and rode with lances raised.
The barons had their standards and the knights their pennons. After
them came the carpenters, with their axes in their hands and their
tools hanging by their side. And when they came to the archers and to
the knights they took counsel together, and brought wood from the
ships and fastened it together with bolts and bars, and before the
evening was well come they had made themselves a strong fort. And they
lighted fires and cooked food, and the duke and his barons and knights
sat down to eat; and they all ate and drank plentifully and rejoiced
that they were come to land.

16. When the duke came forth of his ship he fell on his hands to the
ground, and there rose a great cry, for all said it was an evil sign;
but he cried aloud: "Lords, I have seized the land with my two hands,
and will never yield it. All is ours." Then a man ran to land and laid
his hand upon a cottage, and took a handful of the thatch, and
returned to the duke. "Sir," said he, "take seizin of the land; yours
is the land without doubt." Then the duke commanded the mariners to
draw all the ships to land and pierce holes in them and break them to
pieces, for they should never return by the way they had come.

                    _"Belt and Spur," Stories of the Old Knights._


1. Poor old Edward the Confessor, holy, weak, and sad, lay in his new
choir of Westminster--where the wicked cease from troubling and the
weary are at rest. The crowned ascetic had left no heir behind.
England seemed as a corpse, to which all the eagles might gather
together; and the South-English, in their utter need, had chosen for
their king the ablest, and it may be the justest, man in Britain--Earl
Harold Godwinson: himself, like half the upper classes of England
then, of all-dominant Norse blood; for his mother was a Danish princess.

[Illustration: _Edward the Confessor's Tomb._]

2. Then out of Norway, with a mighty host, came Harold Hardraade,
taller than all men, the ideal Viking of his time. He had been away to
Russia to King Jaroslaf; he had been in the Emperor's Varanger guard
at Constantinople--and, it was whispered, had slain a lion there with
his bare hands; he had carved his name and his comrades' in Runic
characters--if you go to Venice you may see them at this day--on the
loins of the great marble lion, which stood in his time not in Venice
but in Athens. And now, King of Norway and conqueror, for the time, of
Denmark, why should he not take England, as Sweyn and Canute took it
sixty years before, when the flower of the English gentry perished at
the fatal battle of Assingdune? If he and his half-barbarous host had
conquered, the civilization of Britain would have been thrown back,
perhaps, for centuries. But it was not to be.

3. England _was_ to be conquered by the Normans; but by the civilized,
not the barbaric; by the Norse who had settled, but four generations
before, in the northeast of France under Rou, Rollo, Rolf the Ganger,
so called, they say, because his legs were so long that, when on
horseback, he touched the ground and seemed to gang, or walk. He and
his Norsemen had taken their share of France, and called it Normandy
to this day; and meanwhile, with that docility and adaptability which
marks so often truly great spirits, they changed their creed, their
language, their habits, and had become, from heathen and murderous
Berserkers, the most truly civilized people in Europe, and--as was
most natural then--the most faithful allies and servants of the Pope
of Rome. So greatly had they changed, and so fast, that William Duke
of Normandy, the great-great grandson of Rolf the wild Viking, was
perhaps the finest gentleman, as well as the most cultivated sovereign
and the greatest statesman and warrior in Europe.

4. So Harold of Norway came with all his Vikings to Stamford Bridge by
York; and took, by coming, only that which Harold of England promised
him, namely, "forasmuch as he was taller than any other man, seven
feet of English ground."

5. The story of that great battle, told with a few inaccuracies, but
as only great poets tell, you should read, if you have not read it
already, in the "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturluson, the Homer of the

    High feast that day held the birds of the air and the beasts of the
    White-tailed erm and sallow glede,
    Dusky raven, with horny neb,
    And the gray deer the wolf of the wood.

The bones of the slain, men say, whitened the place for fifty years to

6. And remember that on the same day on which that fight
befell--September 27, 1066--William, Duke of Normandy, with all his
French-speaking Norsemen, was sailing across the British Channel,
under the protection of a banner consecrated by the Pope, to conquer
that England which the Norse-speaking Normans could not conquer.

7. And now King Harold showed himself a man. He turned at once from
the north of England to the south. He raised the folk of the southern,
as he had raised those of the central and northern shires, and in
sixteen days--after a march which in those times was a prodigious
feat--he was intrenched upon the fatal down which men called
Heathfield then, and Senlac, but Battle to this day--with William and
his French Normans opposite him on Telham Hill.

8. Then came the battle of Hastings. You all know what befell upon
that day, and how the old weapon was matched against the new--the
English axe against the Norman lance--and beaten only because the
English broke their ranks.

9. It was a fearful time which followed. I can not but believe that
our forefathers had been, in some way or other, great sinners, or two
such conquests as Canute's and William's would not have fallen on them
within the short space of sixty years. They did not want for courage,
as Stamford Brigg and Hastings showed full well. English swine, their
Norman conquerors called them often enough, but never English cowards.

10. Their ruinous vice, if we trust the records of the time, was what
the old monks called _accidia_, and ranked it as one of the seven
deadly sins: a general careless, sleepy, comfortable habit of mind,
which lets all go its way for good or evil--a habit of mind too often
accompanied, as in the case of the Anglo-Danes, with self-indulgence,
often coarse enough. Huge eaters and huger drinkers, fuddled with ale,
were the men who went down at Hastings--though they went down like
heroes--before the staid and sober Norman out of France.

11. But these were fearful times. As long as William lived, ruthless
as he was to all rebels, he kept order and did justice with a strong
and steady hand; for he brought with him from Normandy the instincts
of a truly great statesman. And in his sons' time matters grew worse
and worse. After that, in the troubles of Stephen's reign, anarchy let
loose tyranny in its most fearful form, and things were done which
recall the cruelties of the old Spanish _conquistadores_ in America.
Scott's charming romance of "Ivanhoe" must be taken, I fear, as a too
true picture of English society in the time of Richard I.

[Illustration: _Battle Abbey._]

12. And what came of it all? What was the result of all this misery and
wrong? This, paradoxical as it may seem: that the Norman conquest was
the making of the English people; of the free commons of England.

13. Paradoxical, but true. First, you must dismiss from your minds the
too common notion that there is now in England a governing Norman
aristocracy, or that there has been one, at least since the year 1215,
when the Magna Charta was won from the Norman John by Normans and by
English alike. For the first victors at Hastings, like the first
_conquistadores_ in America, perished, as the monk chronicles point
out, rapidly by their own crimes; and very few of our nobility can
trace their names back to the authentic Battle Abbey roll.

14. The cause is plain: The conquest of England by the Normans was not
one of those conquests of a savage by a civilized race, or of a
cowardly race by a brave race, which results in the slavery of the
conquered, and leaves the gulf of caste between two races--master and
slave. The vast majority, all but the whole population of England,
have always been free, and free as they are not when caste exists to
change their occupations. They could intermarry, if they were able
men, into the rank above them; as they could sink, if they were unable
men, into the rank below them.

15. Nay, so utterly made up now is the old blood-feud between Norman
and Englishman, between the descendants of those who conquered and
those who were conquered, that, in the children of the Prince of
Wales, after eight hundred years, the blood of William of Normandy is
mingled with the blood of Harold, who fell at Hastings. And so, by the
bitter woes which followed the Norman conquest was the whole
population, Dane, Angle, and Saxon, earl and churl, freeman and slave,
crushed and welded together into one homogeneous mass, made just and
merciful toward each other by the most wholesome of all teachings, a
community of suffering; and if they had been, as I fear they were, a
lazy and a sensual people, were taught--

    That life is not as idle ore,
    But heated hot with burning fears,
    And bathed in baths of hissing tears,
    And battered with the strokes of doom
    To shape and use.

                                              _Charles Kingsley._


1. At the end of August, 1191, Richard led his crusading troops from
Acre into the midst of the wilderness of Mount Carmel, where their
sufferings were terrible; the rocky, sandy, and uneven ground was
covered with bushes full of long, sharp prickles, and swarms of
noxious insects buzzed in the air, fevering the Europeans with their
stings; and in addition to these natural obstacles, multitudes of Arab
horsemen harrassed them on every side, slaughtering every straggler
who dropped behind from fatigue, and attacking them so unceasingly
that it was remarked, that throughout their day's track there was not
one space of four feet without an arrow sticking in the ground.
Richard fought indefatigably, always in the van, and ready to reward
the gallant exploits of his knights. A young knight who bore a white
shield, in hopes of gaining some honorable bearing, so distinguished
himself that Richard thus greeted him at the close of the day: "Maiden
knight, you have borne yourself as a lion, and done the deed of six

[Illustration: _Battle of Arsaaf._]

2. At Arsaaf, on the 7th of September, a great battle was fought.
Saladin and his brother had almost defeated the two religious orders
(the Templars and the Hospitallers), and the gallant French knight
Jacques d'Avesne, after losing his leg by a stroke from a cimeter,
fought bravely on, calling on the English king until he fell
overpowered by numbers. Cœur de Lion and Guillaume des Barres
retrieved the day, hewed down the enemy on all sides, and remained
masters of the field. It is even said that Richard and Saladin met
hand to hand, but this is uncertain. This victory opened the way to
Joppa, where the crusaders spent the next month in the repair of the
fortifications, while the Saracen forces lay at Ascalon.

3. While here, Richard often amused himself with hawking, and one day
was asleep under a tree when he was aroused by the approach of a party
of Saracens, and springing on his horse Frannelle, which had been
taken at Cyprus, he rashly pursued them and fell into an ambush. Four
knights were slain, and he would have been seized had not a Gascon
knight named Guillaume des Parcelets called out that he himself was
the Malak Rik (great king), and allowed himself to be taken. Richard
offered ten noble Saracens in exchange for this generous knight, whom
Saladin restored together with a valuable horse that had been captured
at the same time. A present of another Arab steed accompanied them;
but Richard's half-brother, William Longsword, insisted on trying the
animal before the king should mount it. No sooner was he on its back,
than it dashed at once across the country, and before he could stop it
he found himself in the midst of the enemy's camp. The two Saracen
princes were extremely shocked and distressed lest this should be
supposed a trick, and instantly escorted Longsword back with a gift of
three chargers, which proved to be more manageable.

4. From Joppa the crusaders marched to Ramla, and thence, on New
Year's Day, 1192, set out for Jerusalem through a country full of
greater obstacles than they had yet encountered. They were too full of
spirit to be discouraged until they came to Bethany, where the two
Grand Masters represented to Richard the imprudence of laying siege to
such fortifications as those of Jerusalem at such a season of the
year, while Ascalon was ready in his rear for a post whence the enemy
would attack him.

5. He yielded, and retreated to Ascalon, which Saladin had ruined and
abandoned, and began eagerly to repair the fortifications so as to be
able to leave a garrison there. The soldiers grumbled, saying they had
not come to Palestine to build Ascalon, but to conquer Jerusalem;
whereupon Richard set the example of himself carrying stones, and
called on Leopold, the Duke of Austria, to do the same. The sulky
reply, "He was not the son of a mason," so irritated Richard, that he
struck him a blow; Leopold straightway quitted the army, and returned
to Austria.

6. It was not without great grief and many struggles that Cœur de
Lion finally gave up his hopes of taking Jerusalem. He again advanced
as far as Bethany; but a quarrel with Hugh of Burgundy, and the
defection of the Austrians made it impossible for him to proceed, and
he turned back to Ramla. While riding out with a party of knights, one
of them called out, "This way, my lord, and you will see Jerusalem."
"Alas!" said Richard, hiding his face with his mantle, "those who are
not worthy to win the Holy City are not worthy to behold it." He
returned to Acre; but there hearing that Saladin was besieging Joppa,
he embarked his troops and sailed to its aid.

7. The crescent (the standard of the Saracens) shone on its walls as
he entered the harbor; but while he looked on in dismay, he was hailed
by a priest who had leaped into the sea and swum out to inform him
that there was yet time to rescue the garrison, though the town was in
the hands of the enemy. He hurried his vessel forward, leaped into the
water breast-high, dashed upward on the shore, ordered his immediate
followers to raise a bulwark of casks and beams to protect the landing
of the rest, and rushing up a flight of steps, entered the city alone.
"St. George! St. George!" That cry dismayed the infidels, and those in
the town to the number of three thousand fled in the utmost confusion,
and were pursued for two miles by three knights who had been fortunate
enough to find him.

8. Richard pitched his tent outside the walls, and remained there with
so few troops that all were contained in ten tents. Very early one
morning, before the king was out of bed, a man rushed into his tent,
crying out: "O king! we are all dead men!" Springing up, Richard
fiercely silenced him: "Peace! or thou diest by my hand!" Then, while
hastily donning his suit of mail, he heard that the glitter of arms
had been seen in the distance, and in another moment the enemy were
upon them, seven thousand in number. Richard had neither helmet nor
shield, and only seventeen of his knights had horses; but undaunted he
drew up his little force in a compact body, the knights kneeling on
one knee covered by their shields, their lances pointing outward, and
between each pair an archer with an assistant to load his cross-bow;
and he stood in the midst encouraging them with his voice, and
threatening to cut off the head of the first who turned to fly. In
vain did the Saracens charge that mass of brave men, not one seventh
of their number; the shields and lances were impenetrable; and without
one forward step or one bolt from the cross-bows, their passive
steadiness turned back wave after wave of the enemy.

9. At last the king gave the word for the cross-bowmen to advance,
while he, with the seventeen mounted knights charged, lance in rest.
His curtal axe bore down all before it, and he dashed like lightning
from one part of the plain to another, with not a moment to smile at
the opportune gift from the polite Malek-el-Afdal, who, in the hottest
of the fight, sent him two fine horses, desiring him to use them in
escaping from this dreadful peril. Little did the Saracen princes
imagine that they would find him victorious, and that they would mount
two more pursuers!

10. Next came a terrified fugitive with news that three thousand
Saracens had entered Joppa! Richard summoned a few knights, and
without a word to the rest galloped back into the city. The panic
inspired by his presence instantly cleared the streets, and riding
back, he again led his troops to the charge; but such were the swarms
of Saracens, that it was not till evening that the Christians could
give themselves a moment's rest, or look round and feel that they had
gained one of the most wonderful of victories. Since daybreak Richard
had not laid aside his sword or axe, and his hand was all over
blistered. No wonder that the terror of his name endured for centuries
in Palestine, and that the Arab chided his starting horse with, "Dost
think that yonder is the Malek Rik?" while the mother stilled her
crying child by threats that the Malek Rik should take it.

11. These violent exertions seriously injured Richard's health, and a
low fever placed him in great danger, as well as several of his best
knights. No command or persuasion could induce the rest to commence
any enterprise without him, and the tidings from Europe induced him to
conclude a peace and return home. Malek-el-Afdal came to visit him,
and a truce was signed for three years, three months, three weeks,
three days, three hours, and three minutes, thus so quaintly arranged
in accordance with some astrological views of the Saracens. Ascalon
was to be demolished on condition that free access to Jerusalem was to
be allowed to the pilgrims; but Saladin would not restore the piece of
the True Cross, as he was resolved not to conduce to what he
considered idolatry.

12. Richard sent notice that he was coming back with double his
present force to effect the conquest, and the Sultan answered, that if
the Holy City was to pass into Frank hands, none could be nobler than
those of the Malek Rik. Fever and debility detained Richard a month
longer at Joppa, during which time he sent the Bishop of Salisbury to
carry his offerings to Jerusalem. The prelate was invited to the
presence of Saladin, who spoke in high terms of Richard's courage, but
censured his rash exposure of his own life. On October 9, 1193,
Cœur de Lion took leave of Palestine, watching with tears its
receding shores, as he exclaimed, "O, Holy Land, I commend thee and
thy people unto God. May He grant me yet to return to aid thee!"

                                            _Charlotte M. Yonge._


1. On his return from the crusade Richard was taken prisoner by the
Duke of Austria. He bought his release only to find King Philip
attacking his French dominions, and to plunge into wearisome and
indecisive wars, in the midst of which he was slain at the Castle of
Chaluz. His brother John, who followed him on the throne, was a vile
and weak ruler, under whom the great sovereignty built up by Henry II
broke utterly down. Normandy, Maine, and Anjou were reft from him by
Philip of France, and only Aquitaine remained to him on that side of
the sea. In England his lust and oppression drove people and nobles to
join in resistance to him; and their resistance found a great leader
in the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton.

2. From the moment of his landing in England, Stephen Langton had
taken up the constitutional position of the primate in upholding the
old customs and rights of the realm against the personal despotism of
the kings. As Anselm had withstood William the Red, as Theobald had
withstood Stephen, so Langton prepared to withstand and rescue his
country from the tyranny of John. He had already forced him to swear
to observe the laws of Edward the Confessor, in other words the
traditional liberties of the realm. When the baronage refused to sail
for Poitou, saying that they owed service to him in England, but not
in foreign lands, he compelled the king to deal with them not by arms,
but by process of law. But the work which he now undertook was far
greater and weightier than this. The pledges of Henry the First had
long been forgotten when the justiciar brought them to light, but
Langton saw the vast importance of such a precedent. At the close of
the month he produced Henry's charter in a fresh gathering of barons
at St. Paul's, and it was at once welcomed as a base for the needed
reforms. From London Langton hastened to the king, whom he reached at
Northampton on his way to attack the nobles of the north, and wrested
from him a promise to bring his strife with them to legal judgment
before assailing them in arms.

3. With his enemies gathering abroad, John had doubtless no wish to be
entangled in a long quarrel at home, and the archbishop's mediation
allowed him to withdraw with seeming dignity. After a demonstration
therefore at Durham John marched hastily south again, and reached London
in October. His justiciar Geoffry Fitz-Peter at once laid before him the
claims of the Council of St. Alban's and St. Paul's, but the death of
Geoffry at this juncture freed him from the pressure which his minister
was putting upon him. "Now, by God's feet," cried John, "I am for the
first time king and lord of England," and he intrusted the vacant
justiciarship to a Poitevin, Peter des Roches, the Bishop of Winchester,
whose temper was in harmony with his own. But the death of Geoffry only
called the archbishop to the front, and Langton at once demanded the
king's assent to the charter of Henry the First.

4. In seizing on this charter as a basis for national action, Langton
showed a political ability of the highest order. The enthusiasm with
which its recital was welcomed showed the sagacity with which the
archbishop had chosen his ground. From that moment the baronage was no
longer drawn together in secret conspiracies by a sense of common
wrong or a vague longing for common deliverance; they were openly
united in a definite claim of national freedom and national law.
Secretly, and on the pretext of pilgrimage, the nobles met at St.
Edmundsbury, resolute to bear no longer with John's delays. If he
refused to restore their liberties they swore to make war on him till
he confirmed them by charter under the king's seal, and they parted to
raise forces with the purpose of presenting their demands at
Christmas. John, knowing nothing of the coming storm, pursued his
policy of winning over the Church by granting it freedom of election,
while he imbittered still more the strife with his nobles by
demanding scutage[A] from the northern nobles who had refused to
follow him to Poitou. But the barons were now ready to act, and early
in January, in the memorable year 1215, they appeared in arms to lay,
as they had planned, their demands before the king.

5. John was taken by surprise. He asked for a truce till Easter-tide,
and spent the interval in fevered efforts to avoid the blow. Again he
offered freedom to the Church, and took vows as a crusader against
whom war was a sacrilege, while he called for a general oath of
allegiance and fealty from the whole body of his subjects. But month
after month only showed the king the uselessness of further
resistance. Though Pandulf, the Pope's legate, was with him, his
vassalage had as yet brought little fruit in the way of aid from Rome;
the commissioners whom he sent to plead his cause at the shire courts
brought back news that no man would help him against the charter that
the barons claimed; and his efforts to detach the clergy from the
league of his opponents utterly failed. The nation was against the
king. He was far indeed from being utterly deserted. His ministers
still clung to him, men such as Geoffry de Lucy, Geoffry de Furnival,
Thomas Basset, and William Briwere, statesmen trained in the
administrative school of his father, and who, dissent as they might
from John's mere oppression, still looked on the power of the crown as
the one barrier against feudal anarchy; and beside them stood some of
the great nobles of royal blood, Earl William of Salisbury, his cousin
Earl William of Warenne, and Henry, Earl of Cornwall, a grandson of
Henry the First. With him too remained Ranulf, Earl of Chester, and
the wisest and noblest of the barons, William Marshal, the elder Earl
of Pembroke. William Marshal had shared in the rising of the younger
Henry against Henry II, and stood by him as he died; he had shared in
the overthrow of William Longchamp, and in the outlawry of John. He
was now an old man, firm, as we shall see in his aftercourse, to
recall the government to the path of freedom and law, but shrinking
from a strife which might bring back the anarchy of Stephen's day, and
looking for reforms rather in the bringing constitutional pressure to
bear upon the king than in forcing them from him by arms.

6. But cling as such men might to John, they clung to him rather as
mediators than adherents. Their sympathies went with the demands of
the barons when the delay which had been granted was over and the
nobles again gathered in arms at Brackley in Northamptonshire to lay
their claims before the king. Nothing marks more strongly the
absolutely despotic idea of his sovereignty which John had formed than
the passionate surprise which breaks out in his reply. "Why do they
not ask for my kingdom?" he cried. "I will never grant such liberties
as will make me a slave!" The imperialist theories of the lawyers of
his father's court had done their work. Held at bay by the practical
sense of Henry, they had told on the more headstrong nature of his
sons. Richard and John both held with Glanvill that the will of the
prince was the law of the land; and to fetter that will by the customs
and franchises which were embodied in the baron's claims seemed to
John a monstrous usurpation of his rights.

[Illustration: _King John and the Charter._]

7. But no imperialist theories had touched the minds of his people.
The country rose as one man at his refusal. At the close of May,
London threw open her gates to the forces of the barons, now arrayed
under Robert Fitz Walter as "Marshal of the Army of God and Holy
Church." Exeter and Lincoln followed the example of the capital;
promises of aid came from Scotland and Wales, the northern barons
marched hastily under Eustace de Vesci to join their comrades in
London. Even the nobles who had as yet clung to the king, but whose
hopes of conciliation were blasted by his obstinacy, yielded at last
to the summons of the "Army of God." Pandulf, indeed, and Archbishop
Langton still remained with John, but they counseled as Earl Ranulf
and William Marshal counseled his acceptance of the charter. None, in
fact, counseled its rejection save his new justiciar, the Poitevin
Peter des Roches and other foreigners who knew the barons purposed
driving them from the land. But even the number of these was small;
there was a moment when John found himself with but seven knights at
his back and before him a nation in arms. Quick as he was, he had been
taken utterly by surprise. It was in vain that in the short respite he
had gained from Christmas to Easter, he had summoned mercenaries to
his aid and appealed to his new suzerain, the Pope. Summons and appeal
were alike too late. Nursing wrath in his heart, John bowed to
necessity, and called the barons to a conference on an island in the
Thames between Windsor and Staines, near a marshy meadow by the
river-side, the meadow of Runnymede.

8. The king encamped on one bank of the river, the barons covered the
flat of Runnymede on the other. Their delegates met on the 15th of
July in the island between them, but the negotiations were a mere
cloak to cover John's purpose of unconditional submission. The Great
Charter was discussed and agreed to in a single day.

                                            _John Richard Green._

[Footnote A: Scutage, or shield-money, was the commutation paid in
lieu of military service by all who owed service to the king.]


     The following preliminary sketch by J. R. Green, the historian,
     serves as an introduction to Palgrave's picture of an election
     under Edward I:

     "It was Edward the First, who first made laws in what has ever
     since been called Parliament. For this purpose he called on the
     shires and larger towns to choose men to 'represent' them, or
     appear in their stead in the Great Council; the shires sending
     knights of the shire, the towns burgesses. These, added to the
     peers or high nobles and to the bishops, made up Parliament.

     "The business of Parliament was not only to make good laws for
     the realm, but to grant money to the king for the needs of the
     state in peace and war, and to authorize him to raise this money
     by taxes or subsidies from his subjects. So at first people saw
     little of the great good of such Parliaments, but dreaded their
     calling together, because they brought taxes with them. Nor did
     men seek, as they do now, to be chosen members of Parliament, for
     the way thither was long and travel costly, and so they did their
     best not to be chosen, and when chosen had to be bound over under
     pain of heavy fines to serve in Parliament."

1. During the last half-hour the suitors had been gathering round the
shire-oak awaiting the arrival of the high officer whose duty it was
to preside. Notwithstanding the size of the meeting, there was an
evident system in the crowd. A considerable proportion of the throng
consisted of little knots of husbandmen or churls, four or five of
whom were generally standing together, each company seeming to compose
a deputation. The churls might be easily distinguished by their dress,
a long frock of coarse yet snow-white linen hanging down to the same
length before and behind, and ornamented round the neck with broidery
rudely executed in blue thread. They wore, in fact, the attire of the
carter and plowman, a garb which was common enough in country parts
about five-and-twenty years ago, but which will probably soon be
recollected only as an ancient costume, cast away with all the other
obsolete characteristics of merry old England.

[Illustration: _An Early Election to Parliament._]

2. These groups of peasantry were the representatives of their
respective townships, the rural communes into which the whole realm
was divided; and each had a species of chieftain or head-man in the
person of an individual who, though it was evident that he belonged to
the same rank in society, gave directions to the rest. Interspersed
among the churls, though not confounded with them, were also very many
well-clad persons, possessing an appearance of rustic respectability,
who were also subjected to some kind of organization, being collected
into sets of twelve men each, who were busily employed in
confabulation among themselves. These were "the sworn centenary
deputies" or jurors, the sworn men who answered for or represented the
several hundreds.

3. A third class of members of the shire court could be equally
distinguished, proudly known by their gilt spurs and blazoned tabards
as the provincial knighthood, and who, though thus honored, appeared
to mix freely and affably in converse with the rest of the commons of
the shire.

4. A flourish of trumpets announced the approach of the high-sheriff,
Sir Giles de Argentein, surrounded by his escort of javelin-men, tall
yeomen, all arrayed in a uniform suit of livery, and accompanied,
among others, by four knights, the coroners, who took cognizance of
all pleas that concerned the king's rights within the county, and who,
though they yielded precedence to the sheriff, were evidently
considered to be almost of equal importance with him. "My masters,"
said the sheriff to the assembled crowd, "even now hath the
port-joye[B] of the chancery delivered to me certain most important
writs of our sovereign lord the king, containing his Grace's high
commands." At this time the chancellor, who might be designated as
principal secretary of state for all departments, was the great medium
of communication between king and subject: whatever the sovereign had
to ask or tell was usually asked or told by, or under, the directions
of this high functionary.

5. Now, although the gracious declarations which the chancellor was
charged to deliver were much diversified in their form, yet, somehow
or other, they all conveyed the same intent. Whether directing the
preservation of peace or preparing for the prosecution of a war,
whether announcing a royal birth or a royal death, the knighthood of
the king's son or the marriage of the king's daughter, the mandates of
our ancient kings invariably conclude with a request or a demand for
money's worth or money.

6. The present instance offered no exception to the general rule. King
Edward, greeting his loving subjects, expatiated upon the miseries
which the realm was likely to sustain by the invasion of the wicked,
barbarous, and perfidious Scots. Church and state, he alleged, were in
equal danger, and "inasmuch as that which concerneth all ought to be
determined by the advice of all concerned, we have determined,"
continued the writ, "to hold our Parliament at Westminster in eight
days from the feast of St. Hilary." The effect of the announcement was
magical. Parliament! Even before the second syllable of the word had
been uttered, visions of aids and subsidies rose before the appalled
multitude, grim shadows of assessors and collectors floated in the
ambient air.

7. Sir Gilbert Hastings instinctively plucked his purse out of his
sleeve; drawing the strings together, he twisted, and tied them in the
course of half a minute of nervous agitation into a Gordian knot,
which apparently defied any attempt to undo it, except by means
practiced by the son of Ammon. The Abbot of Oseney forthwith guided
his steed to the right about, and rode away from the meeting as fast
as his horse could trot, turning the deafest of all deaf ears to the
monitions which he received to stay.

8. The sheriff and the other functionaries alone preserved a tranquil
but not a cheerful gravity, as Sir Giles commanded his clerk to read
the whole of the writ, by which he was commanded "to cause two knights
to be elected for the shire; and from every city within his bailiwick
two citizens; and from every borough two burgesses--all of them of the
more discreet and wiser sort; and to cause them to come before the
king in this Parliament at the before-mentioned day and place, with
full powers from their respective communities to perform and consent
to such matters as by common counsel shall then and there be ordained;
and this you will in no wise omit, as you will answer at your peril."

9. A momentary pause ensued. The main body of the suitors retreated
from the high-sheriff, as though he had been a center of repulsion.
After a short but vehement conversation among themselves, one of the
bettermost sort of yeomen, a gentleman farmer, if we may use the
modern term, stepped forward and addressed Sir Giles: "Your worship
well knows that we, your commons, are not bound to proceed to the
election. You have no right to call upon us to interfere. So many of
the earls and barons of the shire, the great men, who ought to take
the main trouble, burthen, and business of the choice of the knights
upon themselves, are absent now in the king's service, that we neither
can nor dare proceed to nominate those who are to represent the
county. Such slender folks as we have no concern in these weighty
matters. How can we tell who are best qualified to serve?"

10. "What of that, John Trafford?" said the sheriff. "Do you think
that his Grace will allow his affairs to be delayed by excuses such as
these? You suitors of the shire are as much bound and obliged to
concur in the choice of the county members as any baron of the realm.
Do your duty; I command you in the king's name!"

11. John Trafford had no help. Like a wise debater, he yielded to the
pinch of the argument without confessing that he felt it; and, having
muttered a few words to the sheriff, which might be considered as an
assent, a long conference took place between him and some of his
brother stewards, as well as with other suitors. During this
confabulation several nods and winks of intelligence passed between
Trafford and a well-mounted knight; and while the former appeared to
be settling the business with the suitors, the latter, who had been
close to Sir Giles, continued gradually backing and sidling away
through the groups of shiresmen, and, just as he had got clear out of
the ring, John Trafford declared, in a most sonorous voice, that the
suitors had chosen Sir Richard de Pogeys as one of their

12. The sheriff, who, keeping his eye fixed upon Sir Richard as he
receded, had evidently suspected some manœuvre, instantly ordered
his bailiffs to secure the body of the member. "And," continued he
with much vehemence, "Sir Richard must be forthwith committed to
custody, unless he gives good bail--two substantial freeholders--that
he will duly attend in his place among the commons on the first day of
the session, according to the law and usage of Parliament."

13. All this, however, was more easily said than done. Before the
verbal precept had proceeded from the lips of the sheriff, Sir Richard
was galloping away at full speed across the fields. Off dashed the
bailiffs after the member, amid the shouts of the surrounding crowd,
who forgot all their grievances in the stimulus of the chase, which
they contemplated with the perfect certainty of receiving some
satisfaction by its termination; whether by the escape of the
fugitive, in which case their common enemy, the sheriff, would be
liable to a heavy amercement;[C] or by the capture of the knight, a
result which would give them almost equal delight, by imposing a
disagreeable and irksome duty upon an individual who was universally
disliked, in consequence of his overbearing harshness and domestic

14. One of the two above-mentioned gratifications might be considered
as certain. But, besides these, there was a third contingent
amusement, by no means to be overlooked, namely, the chance that in
the contest those respectable and intelligent functionaries, the
sheriff's bailiffs, might somehow or another come to some kind of
harm. In this charitable expectation the good men of the shire were
not entirely disappointed. Bounding along the open fields, while the
welkin resounded with the cheers of the spectators, the fleet courser
of Sir Richard sliddered on the grass, then stumbled and fell down the
sloping side of one of the many ancient British intrenchments by which
the plain was crossed, and, horse and rider rolling over, the latter
was deposited quite at the bottom of the foss, unhurt, but much

15. Horse and rider were immediately on their respective legs again:
the horse shook himself, snorted, and was quite ready to start; but
Sir Richard had to regird his sword, and before he could remount, the
bailiffs were close at him. Dick-o'-the-Gyves attempted to trip him
up, John Catchpole seized him by the collar of his pourpoint.[D] A
scuffle ensued, during which the nags of the bailiffs slyly took the
opportunity of emancipating themselves from control. Distinctly seen
from the moot-hill, the strife began and ended in a moment; in what
manner it had ended was declared without any further explanation,
when the officers rejoined the assembly, by Dick's limping gait and
the closed eye of his companion.

16. In the mean time Sir Richard had wholly disappeared, and the
special return made by the sheriff to the writ, which I translate from
the original, will best elucidate the bearing of the transaction:

"Sir Richard de Pogeys, knight, duly elected by the shire, refused to
find bail for his appearance in Parliament at the day and place within
mentioned, and having grievously assaulted my bailiffs in contempt of
the king, his crown, and dignity, and absconded to the Chiltern
Hundreds[E], into which liberty, not being shire-land or guildable, I
can not enter, I am unable to make any other execution of the writ as
far as he is concerned."

17. At the present day a nominal stewardship connected with the
Chiltern Hundreds, called an office of profit under the crown, enables
the member, by a species of juggle, to resign his seat. But it is not
generally known that this ancient domain, which now affords the means
of retreating out of the House of Commons, was in the fourteenth
century employed as a sanctuary in which the knight of the shire took
refuge in order to avoid being dragged into Parliament against his
will. Being a distinct jurisdiction, in which the sheriff had no
control, and where he could not capture the county member, it enabled
the recusant to baffle the process, at least until the short session
had closed.


[Footnote B: The port-joye was the messenger of the chancellor.]

[Footnote C: Fine.]

[Footnote D: Overcoat, or doublet.]

[Footnote E: The district of the Chilterns, or line of chalk-hills to
the east of Buckinghamshire.]


1. Froissart was a brilliant historian of the middle ages. His
writings are in quaint old French. At the request of Henry VIII of
England, a translation of his "Battle of Cressy" was made into the
English of that day. We insert this as a most lively description of
the battle itself, and as a specimen of old literature in which pupils
can not fail to take great interest:

2. Thenglysshmen who were in three batayls, lyeing on the grounde to
rest them, assone as they saw the frenchmen approche, they rose upon
their fete, fayre and easily, without any haste, and arranged their
batayls: the first, which was the prince's batell, the archers then
strode in the manner of a harrow, and the men at armes in the botome
of the batayle.

3. Therle of Northāpton and therle of Arundell, with the second
batell, were on a wyng in good order, redy to comfort the princes
batayle, if nede were. The lordes and knyghtes of France, cāe not
to the assemble togyder in good order, for some came before, and some
cāe after, in such haste and yvell order, y^t one of thē dyd
trouble another: when the french kyng sawe the englysshmen, his blode
chaunged, and sayde to his marshals, make the genowayes go on before,
and begynne the batayle in the name of god and saynt Denyse; ther were
of the genowayse crosbowes, about a fiftene thousand, but they were so
wery of goyng a fote that day, a six leages, armed with their
crosbowes, that they sayde to their constables, we be not well ordered
to fyght this day, for we be not in the case to do any great dede of
armes, we have more nede of rest. These wordes came to the erle of
Alanson, who sayd, a man is well at ease to be charged w^t suche a
sorte of rascalles, to be faynt and fayle now at moost nede. Also the
same season there fell a great rayne, and a clyps, with a terryble
thunder, and before the rayne, ther came fleying over both batayls, a
great nombre of crowes, for feare of the tempest comynge.

4. Than anone the eyre beganne to wax clere, and the sonne to shyne
fayre and bright, the which was right in the frenchmens eyen and on
thenglysshmens backes. Whan the genowayes were assembled to-guyder,
and began to aproche, they made a great leape and crye, to abasshe
thenglysshmen, but they stode styll, and styredde not for all that;
thāns the genowayes agayne the seconde tyme made another leape, and
a fell crye, and stepped forward a lytell, and thenglysshmen remeued
not one fote; thirdly agayne they leapt and cryed, and went forthe
tyll they come within shotte; thane they shotte feersly with their
crosbowes; thun thenglysshe archers stept forthe one pase, and lette
fly their arowes so hotly, and so thycke, that it semed snowe; when
the genowayes felte the arowes persynge through heeds, armes, and
brestes, many of them cast downe their crosbowes, and dyde cutte their
strynges, and retourned dysconfited.

5. Whun the frenche kynge sawe them flye away, he sayd, slee these
rascalles, for they shall lette and trouble us without reason: then ye
shulde have sene the men of armes dasshe in among them, and kylled a
great nombre of them; and ever styll the englysshmen shot where as
they sawe thyckest preace; the sharpe arowes ranne into the men of
armes, and into their horses, and many fell, horse and men, amōge
the genowayes; and when they were downe, they coude not relyve agayne,
the preace was so thycke, that one overthrewe another. And also amonge
the englysshmen there were certayne rascalles that went a fote, with
great knyves, and they went in among the men of armes, and slewe and
murdredde many as they lay on the grounde, both erles, baronnes,
knyghtes and squyers, whereof the kynge of Englande was after
dyspleased, for he had rather they had bene taken prisoners.

6. The valyant kyng of Behaygne, called Charles of Luzenbomge, sonne
to the noble emperour Henry of Luzenbomge, for all that he was nyghe
blynde, whun he understode the order of the batayle, he sayde to them
about hym, where is the lorde Charles my son? his men sayde, sir, we
can not tell, we thynke he be fyghtynge; thun he sayde, sirs, ye ar my
men, my companyons, and frendes in this journey. I requyre you bring
me so farre forwarde, that I may stryke one stroke with my swerde;
they sayde they wolde do his commandement, and to the intent that they
shulde not lese him in the prease, they tyed all their raynes of their
bridelles eche to other, and sette the kynge before to accomplysshe
his desyre, and so thei went on their ennemyes; the lorde Charles of
Behaygne, his sonne, who wrote hymselfe kyng of Behaygne, and bare the
armes, he came in good order to the batayle, but whāne he sawe that
the matter went awrie on their partie, he departed, I can not tell you
whiche waye, the kynge his father was so farre forwarde that he strake
a stroke with his swerde, ye and mo thun foure, and fought valyuntly,
and so dyde his compuny, and they advētured themselfe so forwarde,
that they were ther all slayne, and the next day they were founde in
the place about the kyng, and all their horses tyed eche to other.

7. The erle of Alansone came to the batayle right ordy notlye, and
fought with thenglysshmen; and the erle of Flaunders also on his
parte; these two lordes with their cōpanyes wosted the englysshe
archers, and came to the princes batayle, and there fought valyantly
longe. The frenche kynge wolde fayne have come thyder whanne he saw
their baners, but there was a great hedge of archers before hym. The
same day the frenche kynge hadde gyven a great blacke courser to Sir
John of Heynault, and he made the lorde Johan of Fussels to ryde on
hym, and to bere his banerre; the same horse tooke the bridell in the
tethe, and brought hym through all the currours of thē'glysshmen,
and as he wolde have retourned agayne, he fell in a great dyke, and
was sore hurt, and had been ther deed, and his page had not ben, who
followed him through all the batayls, and sawe where his maister lay
in the dyke, and had none other lette but for his horse, for
thenglysshmen wolde not yssue out of their batayle, for takyng of any
prisiner; thāne the page alyghted and relyved his maister, thun he
went not backe agayn y^e same way that they came, there was to many in
his way.

8. This batyle bytwene Broy and Cressy, this Saturday was right cruell
and fell, and many a feat of armes done, that came not to my
knowledge; in the night, dyverse knyghtes and sqyers lost their
maisters, and sometyme came on thenglysshmen, who receyved them in
such wyse, that they were ever nighe slayne; for there was none taken
to mercy nor to raunsome, for so thenglysshmen were determyned: in the
mornyng the day of the batayle, certayne frenchmen and almaygnes
perforce opyned the archers of the princes batayle, and came and
fought with the men of armes hande to hande: than the seconde batayle
of thenglysshmen came to sucour the princes batayle, the whiche was
tyme, for they had as thān moche ado; and they with y^e prince sent
a messanger to the kynge, who was on a lytell wyndmyll hyll; thun the
knyght sayd to the kyng, sir, therle of Warwyke, and therle of
Cāfort, Sir Reynolde Cobham, and other, suche as be about the
prince your sonne, as feersly fought with all, and ar sore handled,
wherefore they desyre you, that you and your batayle wolle come and
ayde them, for if the frenchmen encrease, as they dout they woll, your
sonne and they shall have much ado.

9. Thun the kynge sayde, is my sonne deed or hurt, or on the yerthe
felled? no sir, quoth the knyght, but he is hardely matched, wherefore
he hath nede of your ayde. Well, sayde the king, returne to him, and
to thrm that sent you hyther, and say to them, that they sende no more
to me for an adventure that falleth, as long as my son is alyve, and
also say to thē, that they suffre hym this day to wynne his
spurres, for if god he pleased, I woll this journey be his, and the
honoure therof, and to them that be aboute him. Thun the knyght
returned agayn to thē, and shewed the kynges wordes, the which
gretly encouraged them, and repoyned in that they had sende to the
kynge as they dyd. Sir Godfray of Harecourt, wolde gladly that the
erle of Harcourt, his brother, myghte have been saved, for he hurd say
by thē that he sawe his baner, howe that he was ther in the felde
on the french partie, but Sir Godfray coude not come to hym betymes
for he was slayne or he coude coē at hym, and so also was therle of
Almare, his nephue.

10. In another place the erle of Aleuson, and therle of Flaunders,
fought valyantly, every lorde under his owne banere; but finally they
coude not resyst agaynt the payssance of thenglysshmen, and so ther
they were also slayne, and dyvers knyghtes and sqyers, also therle of
Lewes of Bloyes, nephue to the frenche kyng, and the duke of Lorayne,
fought under their baners, but at last they were closed in among a
cōpany of englysshmen and welshmen, and were there slayed, for all
their powers. Also there was slayne the erle of Ausser, therle of
Saynt Poule, and many others.

11. In the evenynge, the frenche kynge, who had lefte about hym no
more than a threscore persons, one and other, whereof Sir John of
Heynalt was one, who had remounted ones the kynge, for his horse was
slayne with an arowe, thā sayde to the kynge, sir, departe hense,
for it is tyme, lese not yourselfe wylfully, if ye have losse at this
tyme, ye shall recover it agaynt another season, and soo he took the
kynge's horse by the brydell, and ledde hym away in a maner perforce;
than the kyng rode tyll he came to the castell of Broy. The gate was
closed, because it was by that tyme darke; than the kynge called the
captayne, who came to the walles, and sayd, Who is that calleth there
this tyme of night? than the kynge sayde, open your gate quickly, for
this is the fortune of Fraunce; the captayne knewe than it was the
kyng, and opyned the gate, and let downe the bridge; than the kyng
entred, and he had with hym but fyve baronnes, Sir Johan of Heynault,
Sir Charles of Monmorency, the lorde of Beaureive, the lorde Dobegny,
and the lorde of Mountfort; the kynge wolde not tary there, but
drāke and departed thense about mydnyght, and so rode by suche
guydes as knewe the country, tyll he came in the mornynge to Anyeuse,
and then he rested. This saturday the englysshmen never departed for
their batayls for chasynge of any man, but kept styll their felde, and
ever defended themselfe agaynst all such as came to assayle them; the
batayle ended about evynsonge tyme.


    1.  Fair stood the wind for France
        When we our sails advance,
        Nor now to prove our chance
          Longer will tarry;
        But, putting to the main,
        At Kaux, the mouth of Seine,
        With all his martial train,
          Landed King Harry.

    2.  And taking many a fort,
        Furnish'd in warlike sort,
        March'd toward Agincourt
          In happy hour;
        Skirmishing day by day
        With those that stop'd the way,
        Where the French gen'ral lay
          With all his power.

    3.  Which in his height of pride,
        King Henry to deride,
        His ransom to provide
          To the king sending;
        Which he neglects the while,
        As from a nation vile,
        Yet with an angry smile,
          Their fall portending.

    4.  And turning to his men,
        Quoth our brave Henry then,
        Though they be one to ten,
          Be not amazed.
        Yet, have we well begun,
        Battles so bravely won
        Have ever to the sun
          By fame been raised.

    5.  And for myself, quoth he,
        This my full rest shall be,
        England ne'er mourn for me,
          Nor more esteem me.
        Victor I will remain,
        Or on this earth lie slain,
        Never shall she sustain
          Loss to redeem me.

    6.  Poictiers and Cressy tell,
        When most their pride did swell,
        Under our swords they fell,
          No less our skill is,
        Than when our grandsire great,
        Claiming the regal seat,
        By many a warlike feat,
          Lop'd the French lilies.

    7.  The Duke of York so dread
        The eager vanward led;
        With the main Henry sped
          Amongst his henchmen.
        Excester had the rear,
        A braver man not there;
        O Lord, how hot they were
          On the false Frenchmen!

    8.  They now to fight are gone,
        Armor on armor shone,
        Drum now to drum did groan,
          To hear was wonder;
        That with the cries they make,
        The very earth did shake,
        Trumpet to trumpet spake,
          Thunder to thunder.

    9.  Well it thine age became,
        O noble Erpingham,
        Which did the signal aim
          To our hid forces;
        When from a meadow by,
        Like a storm suddenly,
        The English archery
          Struck the French horses.

    10. With Spanish yew so strong,
        Arrows a cloth-yard long,
        That like to serpents stung,
          Piercing the weather;
        None from his fellow starts,
        But playing manly parts,
        And, like true English hearts,
          Stuck close together.

    11. When down their bows they threw
        And forth their bilbows drew,
        And on the French they flew;
          Not one was tardy.
        Arms from their shoulders sent,
        Scalps to the teeth were rent,
        Down the French peasants went,
          Our men were hardy.

    12. This while our noble king,
        His broadsword brandishing,
        Down the French host did ding,
          As to o'erwhelm it;
        And many a deep wound lent,
        His arms with blood besprent,
        And many a cruel dent
          Bruisèd his helmet.

    13. Glo'ster, that duke so good,
        Next of the royal blood,
        For famous English stood,
          With his brave brother,
        Clarence, in steel so bright,
        Though but a maiden knight,
        Yet in that furious fight
          Scarce such another.

    14. Warwick in blood did wade,
        Oxford the foe invade,
        And cruel slaughter made,
          Still as they ran up;
        Suffolk his axe did ply,
        Beaumont and Willoughby;
        Bore them right doughtily,
          Ferrers and Fanhope.

    15. Upon Saint Crispin's day
        Fought was this noble fray,
        Which fame did not delay
          To England to carry.
        O when shall Englishmen
        With such acts fill a pen,
        Or England breed again
          Such a King Harry?

              _Michael Drayton._

      THE END.

Transcriber's Note

    * Punctuation errors have been corrected.

    * Footnotes have been moved to the end of the respective story.

    * Hyphenation of "housetops" and "house-tops" left as printed.

    * Pg 51 Corrected spelling of "breastplace" to "breastplate" in
    "... upon Orlando's breastplace that his sword ..."

    * Pg 137 Corrected spelling of "acccess" to "access" in "... might
    have acccess to them"

    * Pg 148 Corrected spelling of "forescore" to "fourscore" in "... on
    the left, and forescore on the ..."

    * Pg 176 Corrected spelling of "Treves" to "Trèves" in "... Roman
    road from Treves as far as the ..."

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