By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Child's History of the World
Author: Hillyer, V. M.
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 "A Child's History of the World" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


                           A CHILD’S HISTORY
                             OF THE WORLD

                           By V. M. HILLYER

                    A CHILD’S GEOGRAPHY OF THE WORLD
                    A CHILD’S HISTORY OF THE WORLD
                    CHILD TRAINING
                    THE DARK SECRET

                          With EDWARD G. HUEY

                       A CHILD’S HISTORY OF ART


                           A CHILD’S HISTORY
                             OF THE WORLD

                             V. M. HILLYER

                     HEAD MASTER OF CALVERT SCHOOL
                            AT HOME,” ETC.

                     _With Many Illustrations by_
                           CARLE MICHEL BOOG
                             M. S. WRIGHT


                      D. APPLETON-CENTURY COMPANY
                       NEW YORK        LONDON

                          COPYRIGHT, 1924, BY
                            THE CENTURY CO.

                All rights reserved. This book, or parts
                thereof, must not be reproduced in any
                form without permission of the publisher.



  STORY                                                PAGE

  1 HOW THINGS STARTED                                    3

  2 UMFA-UMFA AND ITCHY-SCRATCHY                         10

  3 FIRE! FIRE!! FIRE!!!                                 16

  4 FROM AN AIRPLANE                                     20

  5 REAL HISTORY BEGINS                                  24

  6 THE PUZZLE-WRITERS                                   30

  7 THE TOMB-BUILDERS                                    36

  8 A RICH LAND WHERE THERE WAS NO MONEY                 42

  9 THE WANDERING JEWS                                   49

  10 FAIRY-TALE GODS                                     56

  11 A FAIRY-TALE WAR                                    64

  12 THE KINGS OF THE JEWS                               70

  13 THE PEOPLE WHO MADE OUR A B C’S                     74

  14 HARD AS NAILS                                       79

  15 THE CROWN OF LEAVES                                 84

  16 A BAD BEGINNING                                     89

  17 KINGS WITH CORKSCREW CURLS                          94

  18 A CITY OF WONDER AND WICKEDNESS                     99

  19 A SURPRISE PARTY                                   103

  20 THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD                        109

  21 RICH MAN, POOR MAN                                 114

  22 ROME KICKS OUT HER KINGS                           119

  23 GREECE VS. PERSIA                                  124

  24 FIGHTING MAD                                       132

  25 ONE AGAINST A THOUSAND                             137

  26 THE GOLDEN AGE                                     143

  27 WHEN GREEK MEETS GREEK                             151

  28 WISE MEN AND OTHERWISE                             156

  29 A BOY KING                                         162

  30 PICKING A FIGHT                                    168

  31 THE BOOT KICKS AND STAMPS                          173

  32 THE NEW CHAMPION OF THE WORLD                      177

  33 THE NOBLEST ROMAN OF THEM ALL                      184

  34 AN EMPEROR WHO WAS MADE A GOD!                     191

     GLORY”                                             197

  36 BLOOD AND THUNDER                                  203

  37 A GOOD EMPEROR AND A BAD SON                       210

  38 I -- H -- -- S -- -- -- -- V -- -- -- -- --        215

  39 OUR TOUGH ANCESTORS                                219

     CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD                             225

  41 NIGHTFALL                                          231

  42 BEING GOOD                                         236

  43 A CAMEL-DRIVER                                     242

  44 ARABIAN DAYS                                       250

  45 A LIGHT IN THE DARK AGES                           257

  46 GETTING A START                                    264

  47 THE END OF THE WORLD                               269

  48 REAL CASTLES                                       272

  49 KNIGHTS AND DAYS OF CHIVALRY                       278

  50 A PIRATE’S GREAT GRANDSON                          284

  51 A GREAT ADVENTURE                                  292

  52 TIT-TAT-TO; THREE KINGS IN A ROW                   297

  53 BIBLES MADE OF STONE AND GLASS                     304

  54 JOHN, WHOM NOBODY LOVED                            311

  55 A GREAT STORY-TELLER                               316

     POWDER                                             322

  57 THELON GEST WART HATE VERWAS                       327

  58 OFF WITH THE OLD, ON WITH THE NEW                  333

  59 A SAILOR WHO FOUND A NEW WORLD                     337

  60 FORTUNE-HUNTERS                                    346

     FOR GOLD AND ADVENTURE                             354

  62 BORN AGAIN                                         359

  63 CHRISTIANS QUARREL                                 365

  64 KING ELIZABETH                                     372

  65 THE AGE OF ELIZABETH                               378

  66 JAMES THE SERVANT; OR, WHAT’S IN A NAME?           384

  67 A KING WHO LOST HIS HEAD                           390

  68 RED CAP AND RED HEELS                              395

  69 A SELF-MADE MAN                                    402

  70 A PRINCE WHO RAN AWAY                              407

  71 AMERICA GETS RID OF HER KING                       412

  72 UPSIDE DOWN                                        420

  73 A LITTLE GIANT                                     428


  75 THE DAILY PAPERS OF 1854-1865                      443

  76 THREE NEW POSTAGE STAMPS                           449

  77 THE AGE OF MIRACLES                                454

  78 GERMANY FIGHTS THE WORLD                           460

  79 YESTERDAY, TO-DAY, AND TO-MORROW                   465

  This page is not for you, boys and girls.
  It is for that old man or woman--twenty,
  thirty, or forty years old, who may peek
  into this book; and is what they would
  call the


To give the child some idea of what has gone on in the world before he

To take him out of his little self-centered, shut-in life, which looms
so large because it is so close to his eyes;

To extend his horizon, broaden his view, and open up the vista down the
ages past;

To acquaint him with some of the big events and great names and fix
these in time and space as a basis for detailed study in the future;

To give him a chronological file with main guides, into which he can
fit in its proper place all his further historical study--

Is the purpose of this first SURVEY OF THE WORLD’S HISTORY.

  This part is not for you, either. It is for
  your father, mother, or teacher, and is
  what they would call the


In common with all children of my age, I was brought up on American
History and given no other history but American, year in and year out,
year after year for eight or more years.

So far as I knew 1492 was the beginning of the world. Any events or
characters before that time, reference to which I encountered by any
chance, were put down in my mind in the same category with fairy-tales.
Christ and His times, of which I heard only in Sunday-school, were to
me mere fiction without reality. They were not mentioned in any history
that I knew and therefore, so I thought, must belong _not_ to a realm
in time and space, but to a spiritual realm.

To give an American child only American History is as provincial as
to teach a Texas child only Texas History. Patriotism is usually
given as the reason for such history teaching. It only promotes a
narrow-mindedness and an absurd conceit, based on utter ignorance of
any other peoples and any other times--an intolerant egotism without
foundation in fact. Since the World War it has become increasingly more
and more important that American children should have a knowledge of
other countries and other peoples in order that their attitude may be
intelligent and unprejudiced.

As young as nine years of age, a child is eagerly inquisitive as to
what has taken place in the ages past and readily grasps a concept of
World History. Therefore, for many years Calvert School nine-year-old
pupils have been taught World History in spite of academic and
parental skepticism and antagonism. But I have watched the gradual
drift toward adoption of this plan of history teaching, and with it an
ever-increasing demand for a text-book of general history for young
children. I have found, however, that all existing text-books have to
be largely abridged and also supplemented by a running explanation and
comment, to make them intelligible to the young child.

The recent momentous studies into the native intelligence of children
show us what the average child at different ages can understand and
what he cannot understand--what dates, figures of speech, vocabulary,
generalities, and abstractions he can comprehend and what he cannot
comprehend--and in the future all text-books will have to be written
with constant regard for these intelligence norms. Otherwise, such
texts are very likely to be “over the child’s head.” They will be
trying to teach him some things at least that, in the nature of the
case, are beyond him.

In spite of the fact that the writer has been in constant contact with
the child mind for a great many years, he has found that whatever
was written in his study had to be revised and rewritten each time
after the lesson had been tried out in the class-room. Even though
the first writing was in what he considered the simplest language,
he has found that each and every word and expression has had to be
subjected again and again to this class-room test to determine what
meaning is conveyed. The slightest inverted phraseology or possibility
of double meaning has oftentimes been misconstrued or found confusing.
For instance, the statement that “Rome was _on_ the Tiber River” has
quite commonly been taken to mean that the city was literally built
_on top_ of the river, and the child has had some sort of fantastic
vision of houses built on piles in the river. A child of nine is still
very young--he may still believe in Santa Claus--younger in ideas, in
vocabulary and in understanding than most adults appreciate--even
though they be parents or teachers--and new information can hardly be
put too simply.

So the topics selected have not always been the most important--but the
most important that can be understood and appreciated by a child. Most
political, sociological, economic, or religious generalities are beyond
a child’s comprehension, no matter how simply told. After all, this
History is only a preliminary story.

Excellent biographies and stories from general history have been
written. But biographies from history do not give an historic outline.
They do not give any outline at all for future filling in; and, indeed,
unless they themselves are fitted into such a general historical
scheme, they are nothing more than so many disconnected tales floating
about in the child’s mind with no associations of time or space.

The treatment of the subject in this book is, therefore,
chronological--telling the story of what has happened century by
century and epoch by epoch, not by nations. The story of one nation is
interrupted to take up that of another as different plots in a novel
are brought forward simultaneously. This is in line with the purpose,
which is to give the pupil a continuous view or panorama of the ages,
rather than Greek History from start to finish, then, retracing the
steps of time, Roman History, and so on. The object is to sketch the
whole picture in outline, leaving the details to be gradually filled
in by later study, as the artist sketches the general scheme of his
picture before filling in the details. Such a scheme is as necessary to
orderly classification of historical knowledge as is a filing system in
any office that can function properly or even at all.

The Staircase of Time is to give a visual idea of the extent of time
and the progressive steps in the History of the World. Each “flight”
represents a thousand years, and each “step” a hundred--a century. If
you have a spare wall, either in the play-room, attic, or barn such
a Staircase of Time on a large scale may be drawn upon it from floor
to reaching height and made a feature if elaborated with pictures or
drawings of people and events. If the wall faces the child’s bed so
much the better, for when lying awake in the morning or at any other
time, instead of imagining fantastic designs on the wall-paper, he may
picture the crowded events on the Staircase of Time. At any rate, the
child should constantly refer either to such a Staircase of Time or to
the Time Table as each event is studied, until he has a mental image of
the Ages past.

At first a child does not appreciate time values represented by numbers
or the relative position of dates on a time line and will wildly say
twenty-five hundred B. C. or twenty-five thousand B. C. or twenty-five
million B. C. indiscriminately. Only by constantly referring dates to
position on the Staircase of Time or the Time Table can a child come
to visualize dates. You may be _amused_, but do not be _amazed_, if a
child gives 776 thousand years A.D. as the date for the First Olympiad,
or says that Italy is located in Athens, or that Abraham was a hero of
the Trojan War.

If you have ever been introduced to a roomful of strangers at one
time, you know how futile it is to attempt even to remember their
names to say nothing of connecting names and faces. It is necessary
to hear something interesting about each one before you can begin to
recall names and faces. Likewise an introduction to World History, the
characters and places in which are utterly unknown strangers to the
child, must be something more than a mere name introduction, and there
must be very few introductions given at a time or both names and faces
will be instantly forgotten. It is also necessary to repeat new names
constantly in order that the pupil may gradually become familiarized
with them, for so many strange people and places are bewildering.

In order to serve the purpose of a basal outline, which in the future
is to be filled in, it is necessary that the Time Table be made a
permanent possession of the pupil. This Time Table, therefore, should
be studied like the multiplication tables until it is known one
hundred per cent and for “keeps,” and until the topic connected with
each date can be elaborated as much as desired. The aim should be to
have the pupil able to start with Primitive Man and give a summary of
World History to the present time, with dates and chief events without
prompting, questioning, hesitation, or mistake. Does this seem too much
to expect? It is not as difficult as it may sound, if suggestions given
in the text for connecting the various events into a sequence and for
passing names and events in a condensed review are followed. Hundreds
of Calvert children each year are successfully required to do this very

The attitude, however, usually assumed by teachers, that “even if the
pupil forgets it all, there will be left a valuable impression,” is too
often an apology for superficial teaching and superficial learning.
History may be made just as much a “mental discipline” as some other
studies, but only if difficulties of dates and other abstractions are
squarely met and overcome by hard study and learned to be remembered,
not merely to be forgotten after the recitation. The story part the
child will easily remember, but it is the “who and when and where and
why” that are important, and this part is the serious study. Instead
of, “A man, once upon a time,” he should say, “King John in 1215 at
Runnymede because--”

This book, therefore, is not a supplementary reader but a basal history
study. Just enough narrative is told to give the skeleton flesh and
blood and make it living. The idea is not how much but how little can
be told; to cut down one thousand pages to less than half of that
number without leaving only dry bones.

No matter how the subject is presented it is necessary that the child
do his part and put his own brain to work; and for this purpose he
_should be required to retell each story after he has read it_ and
should be repeatedly questioned on names and dates as well as stories,
to make sure he is retaining and assimilating what he hears.

I recall how once upon a time a young chap, just out of college, taught
his first class in history. With all the enthusiasm of a full-back who
has just kicked a goal from field, he talked, he sang; he drew maps
on the blackboard, on the floor, on the field; he drew pictures, he
vaulted desks, and even stood on his head to illustrate points. His
pupils attended spellbound, with their eyes wide open, their ears wide
open, and their mouths wide open. They missed nothing. They drank in
his flow of words with thirst unquenched; but, like Baron Munchausen,
he had failed to look at the other end of the drinking horse that had
been cut in half. At the end of a month his kindly principal suggested
a test, and he gave it with perfect confidence.

There were only three questions:

  (1) Tell all you can about Columbus.
  (2)   “   “   “   “    “   Jamestown.
  (3)   “   “   “   “    “   Plymouth.

And here are the three answers of one of the most interested pupils:

  (1) He was a _grate_ man.
  (2)  “  “  “   “      “
  (3)  “  “  “   “      “ _to_.

Here is the


It starts far, far, below the bottom of the pages and rises up, UP, UP
to where we are NOW--each step a hundred years, each flight of steps a
thousand. It will keep on up until it reaches high heaven. From where
we are NOW let us look down the flights below us and listen to the
Story of what has happened in the long years gone by.





_Don’t devour these dates all at once, or they’ll make you sick, and
you’ll never want to see one again._

_Take them piecemeal, only one or two at a time after each story, and
be sure to digest them thoroughly._

  Beginning of the Earth                                               3
  First Rain-storm                                                     7
  Plants                                                               7
  Mites                                                                8
  Insects                                                              8
  Fish                                                                 8
  Frogs                                                                8
  Snakes                                                               8
  Birds                                                                8
  Animals                                                              8
  Monkeys                                                              8
  People                                                               8
  4000 B.C. Bronze Age Begins                                         16
  3400 B.C. Menes                                                     28
  2900 B.C. Cheops                                                    38
  2300 B.C. Chaldean Eclipse                                          46
  1900 B.C. Abraham Leaves Ur                                         49
  1700 B.C. Israelites go to Egypt                                    51
  1300 B.C. Exodus; Iron Age Begins                                   54
  1200 B.C. Trojan War                                                64
  1100 B.C. Samuel; Saul                                              70
  1000 B.C. Homer; Solomon; Hiram                             68, 71, 76
   900 B.C. Lycurgus                                                  79
   776 B.C. First Olympiad                                            87
   753 B.C. Founding of Rome                                          89
   700 B.C. Nineveh at Top                                            96
   612 B.C. Fall of Nineveh                                           98
            Draco; Solon                                         114-115
   538 B.C. Fall of Babylon                                          108
   509 B.C. End of Kings at Rome                                     119
   500 B.C. Brahmanism                                               111
            Buddhism                                                 112
            Confucius                                                113
   490 B.C. Marathon                                                 127
   480 B.C. Thermopylæ;                                              137
            Salamis                                                  140
   480 B.C. Golden Age                                               143
   430 B.C. Peloponnesian War                                        151
   336 B.C. }
   323 B.C. } Alexander the Great                               159, 162
   202 B.C. Zama                                                     175
   100 B.C. Birth of Julius Cæsar                                    184
    55 B.C. }
    54 B.C. } Conquest of Britain                                    186
    44 B.C.   Death of Julius Cæsar                                  190
    27 B.C. Augustus and the Empire                                  191
     4 B.C. Birth of Christ                                          197
            Nero                                                     203
            Titus                                                    206
    79 A.D. Pompeii destroyed                                        208
   179 A.D. Marcus Aurelius                                          210
   323 A.D. Constantine                                              215
   476 A.D. Downfall of Rome                                         227
   622 A.D. The Hegira                                               244
   732 A.D. Tours                                                    249
   800 A.D. Charlemagne                                              257
   900 A.D. King Alfred the Great                                    264
  1000 A.D. First Discovery of America                               269
  1066 A.D. William the Conqueror                                    286
  1100 A.D. The Crusades                                             292
  1215 A.D. King John; Magna Charta                                  311
  1300 A.D. Marco Polo                                               318
  1338 A.D. Beginning of One Hundred
            Years’ War; Crécy; Black
            Death; Joan of Arc                                       327
  1440 A.D. Invention of Printing                                    333
  1453 A.D. Fall of Constantinople                                   335
  1492 A.D. Columbus; Discovery of
            America                                                  337
  1497 A.D. Vasco da Gama                                            348
  1500 A.D. The Renaissance                                          359
            The Reformation                                          365
            Charles V                                                367
            King Henry VIII                                          369
            Elizabeth                                                372
  1588 A.D. Spanish Armada                                           375
  1600 A.D. Shakspere                                                380
  1640 A.D. Charles I and Oliver Cromwell                            390
            Cardinal Richelieu                                       395
            Louis XIV                                                397
  1700 A.D. Peter the Great                                          402
  1750 A.D. Frederick the Great                                      407
  1776 A.D. American Revolution                                      412
  1789 A.D. French Revolution                                        420
  1800 A.D. Napoleon                                                 428
  1861 A.D. Civil War                                                447
  1914 A.D. }
  1918 A.D. } The Great War                                          460




How Things Started

Once upon a time there was a boy--

Just like me.

He had to stay in bed in the morning until seven o’clock until his
father and mother were ready to get up;

So did I.

As he was always awake long before this time, he used to lie there and
think about all sorts of curious things;

So did I.

One thing he used to wonder was this:

What would the world be like if there were--

No fathers and mothers,

No uncles and aunts,

No cousins or other children to play with,

_No people at all, except himself_ in the whole world!

Perhaps you have wondered the same thing;

So did I.

At last he used to get so lonely, just from thinking how dreadful such
a world would be, that he could stand it no longer and would run
to his mother’s room and jump into bed by her side just to get this
terrible thought out of his mind;

So did I--for _I was the boy_.

Well, there _was_ a time long, long, long ago when there were no men
or women or children, _NO PEOPLE_ of any kind in the whole world. Of
course there were no houses, for there was no one to build them or to
live in them, no towns or cities--nothing that people make. There were
just wild animals--bears and wolves, birds and butterflies, frogs and
snakes, turtles and fish. Can you think of such a world as that?

        long, long, long

before that, there was a time when there were _NO PEOPLE_ and _NO
ANIMALS_ of any sort in the whole world; there were just growing
plants, trees and bushes, grass and flowers. Can you think of such a
world as that?

        long, long, long,
        long, long, long

before that, there was a time when there were _NO PEOPLE, NO ANIMALS,
NO PLANTS_, in the whole world; there was just bare rock and water
everywhere. Can you think of such a world as that?

        long, long, long
        long, long, long--you might
                    keep on saying--
       “long, long, long,” all day, and
                    to-morrow, and all
                    next week, and next
                    month, and next
                    year, and it would
                    not be long enough--

before this, there was a time when there was

There were only the Stars

Nothing else!

Now, real Stars are not things with points like those in the corner of
a flag or the gold ones you put on a Christmas tree. The real stars in
the sky have no points. They are huge burning coals of fire--coals of
fire. Each star, however, is so huge that there is nothing in the world
now anywhere nearly as big. One little bit, one little scrap of a star
is bigger than our whole world--than our whole world.

One of these stars is our Sun--yes, our Sun. The other stars would
look the same as the Sun if we could get as close to them. But at that
time, so long, long ago, our Sun was not just a big, round, white,
hot ball as we see it in the sky to-day. It was then more like the
fireworks you may have seen on the Fourth of July. It was whirling and
sputtering and throwing off sparks.

[Illustration: The sun sputtering and throwing off sparks.]

One of these sparks which the Sun threw far off got cool just as a
spark from the crackling log in the fireplace gets cool, and this
cooled-off spark was--

  What do you suppose?
  See if you can guess--
  It was our World!--yes, the World
  on which we now live.

At first, however, our World or Earth was nothing but a ball of rock.
This ball of rock was wrapped around with steam, like a heavy fog.

Then the steam turned to rain and it rained on the World,

  a  a  a
  n  n  n
  d  d  d

  i  i  i
  t  t  t

  r  r  r
  a  a  a
  i  i  i
  n  n  n
  e  e  e
  d  d  d

until it had filled up the hollows and made enormously big puddles.
These puddles were the oceans. The dry places were bare _rock_.

Then, after this, came the first living things--_tiny plants_ that you
could only have seen under a microscope. At first they grew only in
the water, then along the water’s edge, then out on the rock.

Then dirt or soil, as people call it, formed all over the rock and made
the rock into land, and the plants grew larger and spread farther over
the land.

Then, after this, came the first _tiny animals_ in the water. They were
wee _Mites_ like drops of jelly.

Then, after this, came things like _Insects_, some that live _in_ the
water, some _on_ the water, some _on_ the land, and some _in_ the air.

Then, after this, came _Fish_, that live only in the water.

Then, after this, came _Frogs_, that live in the water and on the land,

Then, after this, came _Snakes_ and huge _lizards_ bigger than
alligators, more like dragons; and they grew so big that at last they
could not move and died because they could not get enough food to eat.

Then, after this, came _Birds_ that lay eggs and those _Animals_ like
foxes and elephants and cows that nurse their babies when they are born.

Then, after this, came _Monkeys_.

Then, last of all, came--what do you suppose? Yes--_People_--men,
women, and children.

Here are the steps; see if you can take them:

      SUN, SPARK;
          SPARK, WORLD;
              WORLD, STEAM;
                  STEAM, RAIN;
                      RAIN, OCEANS.

          MITES, INSECTS;
              INSECTS, FISH;
                  FISH, FROGS;
                      FROGS, SNAKES.

              MONKEYS, PEOPLE;
                  And here we are!

What do you suppose will be next?


Umfa-Umfa and Itchy-Scratchy

How do you suppose I know about all these things that took place so
long ago?

I don’t.

I’m only guessing about them.

But there are different kinds of guesses. If I hold out my two closed
hands and ask you to guess which one has the penny in it, that is one
kind of a guess. Your guess might be right or it might be wrong. It
would be just luck.

But there is another kind of a guess. When there is snow on the ground
and I see tracks of a boot in the snow, I guess that a man must have
passed by, for boots don’t usually walk without some one in them. That
kind of a guess is not just luck but common sense.

And so we can guess about a great many things that have taken place
long ago, even though there was no one there at the time to see them or
tell about them.

Men have dug down deep under the ground in different parts of the world
and have found there--what do you suppose?

I don’t believe you would ever guess.

They have found the heads of arrows and spears and hatchets.

The peculiar thing about these arrows and spears and hatchets is that
they are not made of iron or steel, as you might expect, but of stone.

Now, we are sure that only men could have made and used such things,
for birds and fish or other animals do not use hatchets or spears.
We are also sure that these men must have lived long, long years ago
before iron and steel were known, because it must have taken long, long
years for these things to have become covered up so deep by dust and
dirt. We have also found the bones of the people themselves, who must
have died thousands upon thousands of years ago, long before any one
began to write down history. So we know that the people who were living
on the earth then were working and playing, eating and fighting--doing
many of the same things we are to-day--especially the fighting.

This time in the pre-history of the world, when people used such things
made of stone, is therefore called THE STONE AGE.

These First Stone Age People we call _Primitive_, which simply means
First as a Primer means First Reader. Primitive People were wild
animals. Unlike other wild animals, however, they walked on their hind

These First People had hair growing, not just on their heads, but all
over their bodies, like some shaggy dogs. They had no houses of any
sort in which to live. They simply lay down on the ground when night
came. Later, when the earth became cold, they found caves in the rocks
or in the hillsides where they could get away from the cold and storms
and other wild animals. So men, women, and children of this time were
called _Cave People_.

They spent their days hunting some animals and running and hiding from
others. They caught animals by trapping them in a pit covered over with
bushes, or they killed them with a club or a rock if they had a chance,
or with stone-headed arrows or hatchets. They even drew pictures of
these animals on the walls of their caves, scratching the picture with
a pointed stone, and some of these pictures we can still see to-day.

They lived on berries and nuts and grass-seeds. They robbed the nests
of birds for the eggs, which they ate raw, for they had no fire to cook
with. They were blood-thirsty; they liked to drink the warm blood of
animals they killed, as you would a glass of milk.

They talked to each other by some sort of grunts--

“Umfa, umfa, glug, glug.”

They made clothes of skins of animals they killed, for there was no
such thing as cloth. And yet, although they were real men, they lived
so much like wild animals that we call such people _savages_.

Primitive Men were not pleasant people. They were fearful and cruel
creatures, who beat and killed and robbed whenever they had a chance.

A cave man got his wife by stealing a girl away from her own cave home,
knocking her senseless, and dragging her off by her hair, if necessary.
The men were fighters but not brave. They would kill other animals and
other men if the others were weaker or if they could sneak upon them
and catch them off their guard, but if others were stronger they would
run and hide.

Their only rule of life was hurt and kill what you can, and run from
what you can’t. This is what we call the first law of nature--every man
for himself. They knew if they didn’t kill they would be killed, for
there were no laws nor police to protect them.

These primitive cave people are our ancestors, and we get from them
many of their wild ways. In spite of our religion and manners and
education, there are many men still living who act in the same way when
they get a chance.

Jails are made for such men.

Suppose you had been a boy or a girl in the Stone Age, with a name
like Itchy-Scratchy. I wonder how you would have liked the life.

When you woke up in the morning, you would not have bathed or even
washed your hands and face or brushed your teeth or combed your hair.

You ate with your fingers, for there were no knives or forks or spoons
or cups or saucers, only one bowl--which your mother had made out of
mud and dried in the sun to hold water to drink--no dishes to wash and
put away, no chairs, no tables, no table manners.

There were no books, no paper, no pencils.

There was no Saturday or Sunday, January or July. Except that one day
was warm and sunny or another cold and rainy, they were all alike.
There was no school to go to. Every day was a holiday.

There was nothing to do all day long but make mud pies or pick berries
or play tag with your brothers and sisters.

I wonder how you would like that kind of life!

“Fine!” do you think?--“a great life--just like camping out?”

But I have only told you part of the story.

The cave would have been cold and damp and dark, with only the bare
ground or a pile of leaves for a bed. There would probably have been
bats and big spiders sharing the cave with you.

You might have had on the skin of some animal your father had killed
but as this only covered part of your body and as there was no fire,
you would have felt cold in winter, and when it got very cold you might
have frozen to death.

For breakfast you might have had some dried berries or grass-seed or a
piece of raw meat, for dinner the same thing, for supper still the same

You would never have had any bread or milk or griddle-cakes with syrup,
or oatmeal with sugar on it, or apple pie or ice-cream.

There was nothing to do all day long but watch out for wild
animals--bears and tigers; for there was no door with lock and key, and
a tiger, if he found you out, could go wherever you went and “get you”
even in your cave.

And then some day your father, who had left the cave in the morning to
go hunting, would not return, and you would know he had been torn to
pieces by some wild beast, and you would wonder how long before your
turn would come next.

Do you think you would like to have lived then?


Fire! Fire!! Fire!!!

The first things are usually the most interesting--the first baby, the
first tooth, the first step, the first word, the first spanking. This
book will be chiefly the story of first things; those that came second
or third or fourth or fifth you can read about and study later.

Primitive People did not at first know what fire was. They had no
matches nor any way of making a light or a fire. They had no light
at night. They had no fire to warm themselves by. They had no fire
with which to cook their food. Somewhere and sometime, we do not know
exactly when or how, they found out how to make and use fire.

If you rub your hands together rapidly, they become warm. Try it. If
you rub them together still more rapidly, they become hot. If you rub
two sticks together rapidly, they become warm. If you rub two sticks
together very, very, very rapidly, they become hot and at last, if you
keep it up long enough and fast enough, are set on fire. The Indians
and boy scouts do this and make a fire by twisting one stick against

This was one of the first inventions, and this invention was as
remarkable for them at that time as the invention of electric light in
our own times.

People of the Stone Age had hair and beards that were never cut,
because they had nothing to cut them with, even had they wanted them
short, which they probably didn’t.

Their finger-nails grew like claws until they broke off.

They had no clothes made of cloth, for they had no cloth and nothing
with which to cut and sew cloth if they had.

They had no saws to cut boards, no hammer or nails to fasten them
together to make houses or furniture.

They had no forks nor spoons; no pots nor pans; no buckets nor shovels;
no needles nor pins.

The People of the Stone Age had never seen or heard of such a thing as
iron or steel or tin or brass or anything made of these metals. For
thousands and thousands of years Primitive People got along without any
of the things that are made of metal.

Then one day a Stone Age Man found out something by accident; a
“discovery” we call it.

He was making a fire; and a fire, which is to us such a common,
every-day thing, was still to him very wonderful. Round his fire he
placed some rock to make a sort of camp-fire stove. Now, it happened
that this particular rock was not ordinary rock but what we now call
“ore,” for it had copper in it. The heat of the fire melted some of the
copper out of the rock, and it ran out on the ground.

What were those bright, shining drops?

He examined them.

How pretty they were!

He heated some more of the same rock and got some more copper.

[Illustration: A cave man discovering copper.]

Thus was the first metal discovered.

At first people used the copper for beads and ornaments, it was so
bright and shiny. But they soon found out that copper could be pounded
into sharp blades and points, which were much better than the stone
knives and arrow-heads they had used before.

But notice that it was not iron they discovered first, it was copper.

We think people next discovered tin in somewhat the same way. Then,
after that, they found out that tin when mixed with copper made a
still harder and better metal than either alone. This metal, made of
tin and copper together, we now call bronze; and for two or three
thousand years people made their tools and weapons out of bronze. And
so we call the time when men used bronze tools, and bronze weapons for
hunting and fighting, the Bronze Age.

At last some man discovered iron, and he soon saw that iron was better
for most useful things than either copper or bronze. The Iron Age
started with the discovery of iron, and we are still in the Iron Age.

As people who lived in the Bronze and Iron Ages were able, after the
discovery of metal, to do many things they could not possibly have done
before with only stone, and as they lived much more as we do now, we
call people of the Bronze and Iron Ages “civilized.”

You may have heard in your mythology or fairy tales of a Golden Age
also, but by this is meant something quite different. The Golden Age
means a time when everything was beautiful and lovely and everybody
wise and good. There have been times in the World’s History which have
been called the Golden Age for this reason.

But I am afraid there never has been really a golden age--only in


From an Airplane

People of the Bronze and Iron Ages thought the world was flat, and they
knew only a little bit of the world, the small part where they lived;
and they thought that if you went too far the world came to an end
where you would



The far-away land which nobody knew they called the Ultima Thule. This
is a nice name to say--Ultima Thule, Ultima Thule--far-away Ultima

If we should go up in an airplane and look down on the world at the
place where the first civilized people once lived, we should see two
rivers, a sea and a gulf, and from so high up in the air they would
look something like this:

[Illustration: Map of Mesopotamia and Mediterranean.]

Now, you probably have never even heard of these rivers and seas, and
yet they have been known longer than any other places in the world. One
of these lines is the Tigris River, and the other is the Euphrates.
They run along getting closer and closer together until at last they
join each other and flow into what is called the Persian Gulf.

You might make these two rivers in the ground of your yard or garden or
draw them on the floor if your mother will let you. Just for fun you
might name your drinking-cup “Tigris” and your glass “Euphrates.” Then
you might call your mouth, into which they both empty, the “Persian
Gulf,” for you will hear a great many new names by and by, and as
grown-up people give names to their houses and boats, to their horses
and dogs, why shouldn’t you give names to things that belong to you?
For instance, you might call your chair, your bed, your table, your
comb and brush, even your hat and shoes, after these strange names.

Then, if we flew in our airplane to the west, we should see a country
called Egypt, another river, the Nile, and a sea now named the
Mediterranean. Mediterranean simply means “between the land,” for this
sea is surrounded by land. It is, indeed, almost like a big lake. It
is supposed that long, long ago in the Stone Age, there was no water
at all where this sea now is, only a dry valley, and that people once
lived there.

Along the Nile in Egypt and the Tigris and Euphrates were the only
civilized nations living in the Bronze Age. The rest of the World
people knew nothing about. There may have been Cave Men living in other
parts of the World, but it is only of the people in these two places
that we have any written history until after the Iron Age began.

All of the people who lived in the country of the Tigris and Euphrates
were white. We don’t know how nor when nor where colored people first
lived, though it is interesting to guess. There were, we think, just
three different white families and from these three families all the
white people in the world are descended. Yes, your family came from
here, ’way, ’way, ’way, ’way, back. So you will want to know the names
of these three families and which one was your own. They were:

  The Indo-Europeans, often called Aryans,
          The Semites, and
                The Hamites.

Most of us belong to the Aryan family, some are Semites, but very few
in this part of the World are Hamites.

If your name is Henry or Charles or William, you are probably an Aryan.

If it is Moses or Solomon, you are probably a Semite.

If it is Shufu or Rameses, you are probably a Hamite.

The Aryans came from higher up on the map than the other two families,
we think. They were the first people to tame wild horses and to use
them for riding and drawing carts. They also had tamed cows which they
used for milk, and sheep for their wool.


Real History Begins or ’Way ’Way Back to the Time of the Gipsies

You can remember the big things that have happened in your own lifetime.

And you have of course heard your father tell about things that
happened in his own life--how he fought the Germans in the Great War,

And if your grandfather is still living, he can tell you still other
stories of things that took place when he was a boy before even your
father was born.

  Perhaps your
  may have been living when Washington was
  President, and _his_

may have been living when there were only wild Indians in this country.

Although these ancestors, as they are called, are dead long since, the
story of what did happen in all their lifetimes ’way, ’way back has
been written down in books and this story is history--“his story” one
boy named it.

Christ was living in the Year 1--no, not the first year of the world,
of course.

Do you know how many years ago that was?

You can tell if you know what year this is now.

If Christ were living to-day, how old would He be?

Nineteen hundred and more years may seem a long time. But perhaps you
have seen or heard of a man or a woman who was a hundred years old.
Have you?

Well, in nineteen hundred years only nineteen men each a hundred years
old might have lived one after the other--nineteen men one after the
other since the time of Christ--and that doesn’t seem so long after all!

Everything that happened _before_ Christ was born is called B.C., which
you can guess are the initials of Before Christ, so B.C. stands for
Before Christ. So much is easy.

Everything that has happened in the world _since_ the time of Christ is
called A.D. This is not so easy for though A. might stand for After,
we know D. is not the initial of Christ. As a matter of fact, A. D.
are the initials of two Latin words, “Anno Domini.” Anno means “in the
year,” Domini “of the Lord”; so that Anno Domini is “in the year, of
the Lord,” which in ordinary, every-day language means of course “since
the time of Christ.”

The things I have told you that I have had to guess at we call
Before-History, or _Pre-History_--which means the same thing. But the
things that have happened in the lifetime of people, who have written
them down--the stories I don’t have to guess at--we call _History_.

The first history that we feel fairly sure is really true begins with
the Hamite family. The Hamites, you remember, were one of the three
families of the white race I have already told you about who lived by
the Tigris and Euphrates. We think that they moved away from the Tigris
and Euphrates Rivers and went down to Egypt long before history began.

Of course they didn’t pack all their furniture on a big wagon and
move to Egypt, as you might move from the house where you now live to
another. They lived in tents then and not in houses at all, and they
only moved along a day’s journey at a time as campers or Gipsies might
do. In fact, Gipsy is short for Egyptian. When they got tired of one
place or had eaten up everything there was near-by, they rolled up
their tents, packed them on camels, and moved a little farther along
to a new place. And so camping here for a while, then gradually moving
farther along to the next good place and camping there, they at last
got as far off as the land we now call Egypt. When they finally reached
Egypt they found it such a fine country in which to live that there
they stayed for good and were called Egyptians.

Why do you suppose they found Egypt such a fine country in which to
live? It was chiefly on account of a habit of the river Nile--a bad
habit you might at first think it--a habit of flooding the country once
every year.

It rains so hard in the spring that the water fills up the river Nile,
overflows its banks, and spreads far out over the land, but not very
deep. It is as if you had left a water-spigot turned on and the water
running, or had begun to water your garden with a hose, and then you
had gone off and forgotten it.

But the people know when the overflow is coming and they are glad for
it to come, so they put banks around some of it so that it is stored
up for watering the land during the rest of the year when there is no
rain. After most of the water has dried up, it has left a layer of
rich, dark, moist earth over the whole country. In this earth it is
easy to grow dates, wheat, and other things which are good for food.

If it were not for this yearly overflow of the Nile, the country of
Egypt would be a sandy desert in which no plant or living thing would
grow--for all plants as well as animals must have water and will die
without it. Egypt, without water, would be like the great Sahara
Desert, which is not far away. It is the Nile, therefore, that makes
the land so rich and Egypt such an easy and cheap country to live
in, for food grows with little or no labor and costs almost nothing.
Besides this, the climate is so warm that people need little clothing
and do not have to buy coal or make fires to heat their houses. So it
was to this country that the Hamites at last came, finally settled
down, and were thereafter called Egyptians.

[Illustration: Menes, 3400 B. C.]

The first Egyptian king whose name we know was Menes, but we do not
know much about him. We believe he built some kind of waterworks
so that the people might better use the water of the Nile, and he
probably lived about 3400 B. C. He may have lived either earlier or
later, but as this is an easy date to remember, we shall take it for
a starting-point. You might remember it by supposing it is a telephone
number of a person you wanted to call up:

Menes, First Egyptian king . . 3400 B.C.



The Puzzle-Writers

People of the Stone Age had learned how to talk to each other, but they
could not write, for there was no such thing as an alphabet or written
words, and so they could not send notes or messages to one another or
write stories. The Egyptians were the first people to think of a way to
write what they wanted to say.

The Egyptians did not write with letters like ours, however, but with
signs that looked like little pictures, a lion, a spear, a bird, a
whip. This picture-writing was called hieroglyphics--see if you can say
“Hi-e-ro-glyph-ics.” Perhaps you have seen, in the puzzle sections of
a newspaper, stories written in pictures for you to guess the meaning.
Well, hieroglyphics were something like that.

Here is the name of an Egyptian queen, whom you will hear about
later--written in hieroglyphics; her name you would never guess from
this funny writing. It is “Cleopatra.”

A king’s or queen’s name always had a line drawn around it, like the
one you see around the above name in order to mark it more prominently
and give it more importance. It was something like the square or circle
your mother may put around her initials or monogram on her letter-paper.

But there was no paper in those days and so the Egyptians wrote on the
leaves of a plant called papyrus that grew in the water. It is from
this name “papyrus” that we get the name “paper.” Can you see that
“paper” and “papyrus” look and sound something alike? The Egyptians’
books were written by hand, of course, but they had no pencils nor pens
nor ink to write with. For a pen they used a reed, split at the end,
and for ink a mixture of water and soot.

[Illustration: Cleopatra in hieroglyphic writing.]

Their books were not made of separate pages like our books, but from
a long sheet of papyrus-leaves pasted together. This was rolled up to
form what was called a scroll, something like a roll of wall-paper, and
was read as it was unrolled.

Stories of their kings and battles and great events in their history
they used to write on the walls of their buildings and monuments. This
writing they carved into the stone, so that it would last much longer
than that on the papyrus-leaves.

All the old Egyptians, who wrote in hieroglyphics and knew how to read
this writing, had died long since, and for a great many years no one
knew what such writing meant. But a little over a hundred years ago a
man found out by accident how to read and understand hieroglyphics once
again. This is the way he happened to do so.

The Nile separates into different streams before it flows into the
Mediterranean Sea. These separate streams are called mouths and one of
these mouths has been given the name “Rosetta.”

One day a man was digging nearby this Rosetta Mouth when he dug up a
stone something like a tombstone with several kinds of writing on it.
The top writing was in pictures which we now call hieroglyphics, and no
one understood what it meant. Below this was written what was supposed
to be the same story in the Greek language, and a great many people do
understand Greek. All one had to do, therefore, to find out the meaning
of the hieroglyphics, was to compare the two writings. It was like
reading secret writing when we know what the letters stand for. You may
have tried to solve a puzzle in the back of your magazine, and this
was just such an interesting puzzle, only there was no one to tell the
answer in the next number.

The puzzle was not so easy as it sounds, however, for it took a man
almost twenty years to solve it. That is a long time for any one to
spend in trying to solve a puzzle, isn’t it? But after this “key” to
the puzzle was found, men were able to read all of the hieroglyphics
in Egypt and so to find out what happened in that country long before
Christ was born.

This stone is called the Rosetta Stone, from the Rosetta Mouth of the
Nile where it was found. It is now in the great British Museum in
London and is very famous, because from it we were able to learn so
much history which we otherwise would not have known.

Egypt was ruled over by a king who was called a Pharaoh. When he died
his son became the Pharaoh and so on. All the other people were divided
into classes, and the children in each class usually became just what
their fathers had been. It was very unusual for an Egyptian to start at
the bottom and work up to the top, as a poor boy in this country may
do, though once in a great while this happened even in Egypt, as we
shall see by and by.

The highest class of people were called priests. They were not like
priests or ministers of the church nowadays, however, for there was
no church at that time. The priests made the religion and rules, which
every one had to obey as everybody does the laws of our land.

But the priests were not only priests; they were doctors and lawyers
and engineers, as well. They were the best-educated class, and they
were the only people who knew how to read and write, for it was very
difficult, as you might suppose, to learn how to read and write

The next highest class to the priests were the soldiers, and below
these were the lower classes--farmers, shepherds, shopkeepers,
merchants, mechanics, and last of all the swineherds.

The Egyptians did not worship one God as we do. They believed in
hundreds of gods and goddesses, and they had a special god for every
sort of thing, who ruled over and had charge of that thing--a god of
the farm, a god of the home, and so on. Some of their gods were good
and some were bad, but the Egyptians prayed to them all.

Osiris was the chief god, and Isis was his wife. Osiris was the god of
farming and judge of the dead. Their son Horus had the head of a hawk.

Many of their gods had bodies of men with heads of animals. Animals
they thought sacred. The dog and the cat were sacred animals. The
ibis, which was a bird like a stork, was another. Then there was the
beetle, which was called a scarab. If any one killed a sacred animal
he was put to death, for the Egyptians thought it much worse to kill a
sacred and holy creature than to kill even a human being.



The Tomb-Builders

[Illustration: Tu-tank-amen’s tomb showing foods preserved.]

The Egyptians believed that when they died, their souls stayed near
by their bodies. So when a person died they put in the tomb with him
all sorts of things that he had used in daily life--things to eat and
drink, furniture and dishes, toys and games. They thought the soul
would return to its own body at the day of judgment. They wanted their
bodies to be kept from decaying until judgment day, in order that the
soul might then have a body to return to. So they pickled the bodies
of the dead by soaking them in a kind of melted tar and wrapping them
round and round and round with a cloth like a bandage. A dead body
pickled in this way is called a mummy, and after thousands of years the
mummies of the Egyptian kings may still be seen. Most of them are not,
however, in the tombs where they were at first placed. They have been
moved away and put in museums, and we may see them there now. Although
they are yellow and dried up, they still look like

  “Little old men
   All skin and bones.”

At first only kings or important people of the highest classes were
made mummies, but after a while all the classes, except perhaps the
lowest, were treated in the same way. Sacred animals from beetles to
cows were also made into mummies.

When an Egyptian died his friends heaped up a few stones over his body
just to cover it up decently and keep it from being stolen or destroyed
by those wild animals that fed on dead bodies. But a king or a rich
man wanted a bigger pile of stones over his body than just ordinary
people had. So to make sure that his pile would be big enough, a king
built it for himself before he died. Each king tried to make his pile
larger than any one else’s until at last the pile of stones became so
big it was a hill of rocks and called a pyramid. The pyramids therefore
were tombs of the kings who built them while they were alive to be
monuments to themselves when they were dead. In fact a king was much
more interested in building a home for his dead body than he was in a
home for his live body. So, instead of palaces, kings built pyramids.
There are many of these pyramids built along the bank of the Nile, and
most of them were built, we think, just after 3000 B.C.

When a building is being put up nowadays, men use derricks and cranes
and engines to haul and raise heavy stones and beams. But the Egyptians
had no such machinery, and though they used huge stones to build the
pyramids, they had to drag these stones for many miles and raise them
into place simply by pushing and pulling them. The three biggest of
all the pyramids are near the city of Cairo. The largest one of them,
which is called the Great Pyramid, was built by a king named Cheops.
To remember when he lived, simply think of this as another telephone

  Cheops      2900 B.C.

It is said that one hundred thousand men worked twenty years to build
his pyramid. It is one of the largest buildings in the world, and some
of the blocks of stone themselves are as big as a small house. I have
been to the top of it, and it is like climbing a steep mountain with
rocky sides. I have also been far inside to the cave-like room in the
center where Cheop’s mummy was placed. There is nothing in there now,
however, except bats that fly about in the darkness, for the mummy has
disappeared--been stolen, perhaps.

[Illustration: Cheops building his pyramid.]

Near the Pyramid of Cheops is the Sphinx. It is a huge statue of a
lion with a man’s head. It is as big as a church, and though it is so
big, it has been carved out of one single rock. The rock, however, was
already there and so did not have to be carried. The Sphinx is a statue
of the god of the morning, and the head is that of one of the Egyptian
Pharaohs who built a pyramid near that of Cheops. The desert sand has
covered the paws and most of the body. Though the sand has been dug
away from time to time, the wind quickly covers the body with sand

The Egyptians carved other large statues of men and women out of rock.
These figures are usually many times bigger than life-size, and sit or
stand stiffly erect with both feet flat on the ground and hands close
to the body in the position some children take when they “sit” for
their photograph.

They built huge houses for their gods. These were called temples and
took the place of our churches. These temples had gigantic--that’s the
way it is spelled, though it means “giant-ic”--columns and pillars.
Ordinary people standing beside them look like dwarfs. Here is one of
these temples, and you can see how different it is from our churches:

[Illustration: Egyptian temple.]

They decorated their temples and pyramids, and the cases in which the
mummies were put, with drawings and paintings. The pictures they made,
however, looked something like those a young child might draw. For
example, when they wanted to make a picture of water, they simply made
a zigzag line to represent waves; when they tried to draw a row of men
back of a row in front, they put those in the back _on top_ of those
in front. To show that a man was a king, they made him several times
larger than the other men in the picture. When they painted a picture
they used any color they thought was pretty, usually blue or yellow or
brown. Whether the person or thing was really that color or not made no


A Rich Land Where There Was No Money

You have read in fairy-tales of a land where cakes and candy and
sugar-plums grow on trees, where everything you want to eat or to play
with can be had just by picking it. Well, long, long ago people used to
think there had been really such a country, and where do you suppose
they said it was? Somewhere near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers--those
rivers with the strange names I asked you to learn--and they called
this spot the Garden of Eden. We do not know exactly where it was, for
there is no such place now quite as wonderful as the Garden of Eden was
supposed to be.

Egypt was a land of one river, the Nile. The land of the Two Rivers had
several names.

Let us suppose we are flying over the country in an airplane and
looking down at the land between these two rivers. It is called
Mesopotamia, which is two Greek words simply meaning “Between the

See the land over there by the upper Tigris. It is called _Assyria_.

See the land near where the rivers join each other. That is called

See the land near where they empty. That is called _Chaldea_.

And see over there is _Mount Ararat_, where it is supposed Noah’s Ark
rested after the flood.

Here are a lot of new names. A young friend of mine had a train of toy
cars. He had noticed that the Pullman cars on which he had ridden had
names, and so he gave his toy cars names also. He called them:


Babylonia was a very rich country, for the two rivers brought down
and dropped great quantities of earth just as the Nile did in Egypt,
and this made very rich soil. Wheat, from which we make bread, is
called the staff of life. It is the most valuable of all foods which
grow. It is supposed that wheat first grew in Babylonia. Dates in
that part of the world are almost as important a food as wheat.
Dates, too, grow there very plentifully. Now, you may think dates are
something to be eaten almost like candy but in Babylonia dates took the
place of oatmeal. In the rivers there were quantities of good fish,
and as fishing was just fun, you see that the people who lived in
Babylonia--the Babylonians, as they were called--had plenty of good
food without having to do much work for it. No one had any money in
those days; people had cows and sheep and goats, and a man was rich who
had much of these “goods.” But if a man wanted to buy or sell, he had
to buy or sell by trading something he had for something he wanted.

Somewhere in Babylonia the people built a great tower called the _Tower
of Babel_, which you have probably heard about. It was more like a
mountain than a tower. They built other towers, too. Some say the Tower
of Babel and towers like it were built so that the people might have
a high place to which they could climb in case of another flood. But
others give a different reason. They say that the people who built
these towers came to Babylonia from farther north where there were
mountains. In this northern land they had always placed their altars
on the top of a mountain, to be close to heaven. So when they moved
to a flat country like Mesopotamia and Babylonia, where there were no
mountains, they _built_ mountains in order to have a high place for the
altar on top. To reach the top of these mountains or towers, they made,
instead of a staircase on the inside, a slanting roadway that wound
around the outside in somewhat the way a road winds around a mountain.

There was hardly any stone either in or near Babylonia as there was in
Egypt, and so the Babylonians built their buildings of bricks, which
were made of mud formed into blocks and dried in the sun. In the course
of time, bricks of this sort crumble and turn back into dust again just
as mud pies that you might make would do. This is the reason why all
that is left of the Tower of Babel and the other buildings that were
put up so long ago are now simply hills of clay into which the brick
has turned.

The Egyptians wrote on papyrus or carved their history in stone, but
the Babylonians had neither papyrus nor stone. All they had were
bricks. So they wrote on bricks before they were dried, while they
were still soft clay. This writing was made by punching marks into the
clay with the end of a stick. It was called _cuneiform_, which means
wedge-shaped, for it looked like little groups of wedge-shaped marks,
like chicken-tracks, made in the mud. I have seen boys’ writing that
looked more like cuneiform than it did like English.

The Babylonians as they watched their flocks by night and by day
watched also the sun and the moon and the stars moving across the sky.
So they came to know a great deal about these heavenly bodies.

Did you ever see the moon in the daytime?

Oh, yes, you can.

[Illustration: Babylonians watching eclipse.]

Well, every once in a great while the moon as it moves across the sky
gets in front of the sun and shuts out its light--just as, if you
should put a white plate in front of an electric light, the electric
light would be darkened. It may be ten o’clock in the morning and broad
daylight when suddenly the sun is covered up by the moon as by a white
plate and it becomes night and the stars shine out and chickens,
thinking it is night, go to roost. But in a few moments the moon passes
by and the sun shines out once again. This is called an _eclipse_ of
the sun.

Now you probably have never seen an eclipse of the sun, but some day
you may. At that time, and even to-day when ignorant people see an
eclipse of the sun, they think that something dreadful is going to
happen--the end of the world, perhaps, just because they have never
seen such a strange sight before and do not know that it is a thing
that happens regularly and that no harm comes from it.

Well, nearly twenty-three hundred years before Christ, 2300 B. C., the
Babylonians told beforehand just when there was going to be an eclipse
of the sun. They had watched the moon moving across the sky and they
had figured out how long it would be before it would catch up with the
sun and cross directly over it. So you see how much the old Babylonians
knew about such things. Men who study the stars and other heavenly
bodies are called astronomers, and the Babylonians, therefore, were
famous astronomers.

The Egyptians worshiped animals; but it was quite natural that the
Babylonians should worship these wonderful heavenly bodies, the sun,
moon, and stars, and they did.

The first king of Babylonia whom we know much about--and that much is
very little--was Sargon I, who may have lived about the same time that
the pyramids were built in Egypt.

About 2100 B. C. Babylonia had a king known far and wide for the laws
he made. His name was Hammurabi, and we still have the laws he made
though we no longer obey them; for they were carved into a stone in
cuneiform, and we have the stone. Sargon and Hammurabi are strange
names like no one’s name you ever heard before, yet they are real names
of real kings who ruled over real people.



The Wandering Jews

“You are” spells “Ur.” It is one of the shortest names I know. It is
the name of a little place in that part of Babylonia called Chaldea. In
this place--about nineteen hundred years B.C.--there lived a man named
Abraham. Abraham had a very large family and though he had no money he
was rich. He had large herds of sheep and goats, and these were the
chief riches in those days. Now, Abraham believed in one God, as we do,
while his neighbors, the Babylonians, worshiped idols and the heavenly
bodies, such as the sun, moon, and stars, as I have just said. Abraham
did not like his neighbors for this reason; and his neighbors didn’t
like him, either, for they thought his ideas were peculiar or even
crazy. So, about nineteen hundred years before Christ, Abraham took
his large family, his flocks, and his herds and moved to a land called
Canaan, far away on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

Abraham lived to be a very old man, and he had a large family. One of
his grandsons named Jacob, who was also known by the name of Israel,
had a son Joseph. You probably remember the Bible story of Jacob’s
favorite son Joseph with the coat of many colors. Joseph’s brothers
were jealous of him, as boys and even dogs are apt to be jealous of
any one who is liked better than they are. So they put Joseph into a
well and then sold him as a slave to some Egyptians who were passing
by. Then they told their father Jacob that Joseph had been killed by
wild animals. The Egyptians took Joseph to far-off Egypt--far away from

[Illustration: Abraham leaving Ur. 1900 B.C.]

But although Joseph was a slave in Egypt, and although, as I told you,
it was very difficult for any one to work his way up out of his class
to a higher class, he was so bright that at last he became one of the
rulers in Egypt.

Now, at that time when he was ruler there came a famine in Canaan and
there was no food. In Egypt, however, there was plenty of food stored
up. So Joseph’s wicked brothers went down to Egypt to beg the rulers
for bread. They probably thought by that time their brother was dead.
They did not know that he had become such a great man and that he was
now the ruler of whom they were begging food. You can imagine how
surprised they were and how ashamed they must have felt when they found
out that the great ruler was their own brother, whom they had planned
to kill and then had sold as a slave.

Joseph might have let his brothers starve to death or put them in
prison, or sent them back to Canaan without anything, if he had wanted
to revenge himself on them. But instead of doing any of these things,
he gave them not only all the food they wanted and more to take back
home, but made them rich presents besides. Then he told them to go back
and get the rest of his family and return with them to Egypt, and he
promised to give them a piece of land called Goshen where there would
be no famines and they might live happily. So they did as they were
told, and Israel and his sons and all their families came down and
settled in Goshen about 1700 B.C. They were called Israelites, which
means of course the children of Israel, and they believed they were
God’s chosen people. These are the people we now call the Jews.

After Joseph, who was of course an Israelite himself, died, the kings
or Pharaohs of Egypt did not like these foreign people who belonged to
the Semite family, and treated them very badly, as other peoples have
always treated the Jews badly ever since. Though the Jews and their
sons and sons’ sons lived in Egypt for about four hundred years, they
were always hated by the Egyptians.

Now about four hundred years from the time the Jews first came into
Egypt--400 from 1700 is 1300 B.C.--there was a ruler of Egypt called
Rameses the Great.

[Illustration: Rameses’ mummy.]

Rameses so hated the Jews that finally he gave orders to have every
Jewish boy baby killed. In this way he thought to get rid of these
people. One little Jewish boy named Moses, however, was saved, and when
he grew up he became the greatest leader of his people. Moses wanted to
get the Jews out of this unfriendly country where the people worshiped
false gods. And so at last he led all his people out of Egypt across
the Red Sea. This was called the Exodus, and it took place about 1300

[Illustration: Rameses the Great.]

After the Jews had left Egypt they first stopped at the foot of a
mountain called Mount Sinai, while Moses went up to the top where he
could be by himself and learn what God wanted him and the Jews to do.
Moses spent forty days praying on top of the mountain. When he came
down from the mountain-top, he brought with him the Ten Commandments,
the same Ten Commandments you may have learned in Sunday-school. But
Moses had been gone so long that when he came back again to his people
he found them worshiping a golden calf as the Egyptians had done. They
had lived in Egypt until they had come to think it was all right to
worship idols.

Moses was very angry. It was high time, he thought, that they should
get rid of the bad influence of their old Egyptian neighbors. And at
last he succeeded in making them worship God again and gave them the
Ten Commandments for their rule of life. So Moses is called a lawgiver
and the founder of the Jewish religion. Then Moses died, and the Jews
wandered from place to place for a great many years before they finally
settled in Canaan.

The Jews had no kings. They were ruled by men called judges, but the
judges lived very simply, just like every one else and not like kings
in palaces with servants and fine robes and rich jewels. But the Jews
wanted a real king as their enemies had and other nations who were
their neighbors. Strange they wanted a king which so many countries
have tried to get rid of--we should think they would have preferred a
President as we have.

So at last a judge who was named Samuel said they should have a king,
and Saul was chosen. Then Samuel poured olive-oil over Saul’s head.
This may seem a queer thing to do, but it took the place of putting
a crown on his head and was a sign that he was to be king. Samuel,
therefore, was the last one of their judges, and Saul was their first

All other nations at that time believed as the Egyptians and Chaldeans
did, in fairy-tale gods or idols. But the Jews alone believed in one
God. They had a Holy Book which had been written by their prophets.
This book is the Old Testament part of the Christian Bible.

So this is the story of the Wandering Jews who gave us the Old
Testament and the Ten Commandments, and here is the way they wandered:

  From Ur to Canaan--1900 B.C.

  From Canaan to Egypt--1700 B.C.

  From Egypt back to Canaan--1300 B.C.


Fairy-Tale Gods

There was once a man named Hellen--strange-sounding name for a man,
isn’t it? He was not a Semite and not a Hamite. He was an Aryan. He
had a great many children and children’s children, and they called
themselves Hellenes. They lived in a little scrap of a country that
juts out into the Mediterranean Sea, and they called their land Hellas.
I once upset a bottle of ink on my desk, and the ink ran out into a
wriggly spot that looked exactly as Hellas does on the map. Though
Hellas is hardly any bigger than one of our States, its history is more
famous than that of any other country of its size in the world. We call
Hellas “Greece” and the people who lived there “Greeks.”

About the same time the Jews were leaving Egypt, about the time when
people were beginning to use iron instead of bronze, that is, about
1300 B.C., we first begin to hear of Hellas and the Hellenes, of Greece
and the Greeks.

The Greeks believed in many gods, not in one God as we do and as the
Jews did, and their gods were more like people in fairy-tales than
like divine beings. Many beautiful statues have been made of their
different gods, and poems and stories have been written about them.

There were twelve--just a dozen--chief gods. They were supposed to
live on Mount Olympus, which was the highest mountain in Greece. These
gods were not always good, but often quarreled and cheated and did
even worse things. The gods lived on a kind of food that was much more
delicious than what we eat. It was called nectar and ambrosia, and the
Greeks thought it made those who ate it immortal; that is, so that they
would never die.

Let me introduce you to the family of the gods. I know you will be
pleased to meet them. Most of them have two names.

 _Jupiter or Zeus_ is the father of the gods and the the king who rules
 over all human beings. He sits on a throne and holds a zigzag flash
 of lightning called a thunderbolt in his hand. An eagle, the king of
 birds, is usually by his side.

 _Juno or Hera_ is his wife and therefore queen. She carries a scepter,
 and her pet bird, the peacock, is often with her.

 _Neptune or Poseidon_ is one of the brothers of Jupiter. He rules over
 the sea. He rides in a chariot drawn by sea-horses and carries in his
 hand a trident, which looks like a pitchfork with three points. He
 can make a storm at sea or quiet the waves simply by striking them
 with his trident.

 _Vulcan or Hephæstus_ is the god of fire. He is a lame blacksmith and
 works at a forge. His forge is said to be in the cave of a mountain,
 and as smoke and fire come forth from some mountains they are called
 volcanoes after the god Vulcan inside.

 _Apollo_ is the most beautiful of all the gods. He is the god of the
 sun and of song and music. Every morning--so the Greeks said--he
 drives his sun-chariot across the sky from the east to the west, and
 this makes the sun-lighted day.

 _Diana or Artemis_ is the twin sister of Apollo. She is the goddess of
 the moon and of hunting.

 _Mars or Ares_ is the terrible god of war, who is only happy when a
 war is going on--so that he is happy most of the time.

 _Mercury or Hermes_ is the messenger of the gods. He has wings on
 his cap and on his sandals, and he carries in his hand a wonderful
 winged stick or wand, which, if placed between two people who are
 quarreling, will immediately make them friends. One day Mercury saw
 two snakes fighting and he put his wand between them, whereupon they
 twined around it as if in a loving hug, and ever since the snakes have
 remained entwined around it. This wand is called a _caduceus_.

[Illustration: Birth of Minerva or Athene.]

 _Minerva or Athene_ is the goddess of wisdom. She was born in a very
 strange way. One day Jupiter had a terrible headache--what we call a
 “splitting” headache. It got worse and worse, until at last he could
 stand it no longer, but he took a very strange way to cure it. He
 called Vulcan, the lame blacksmith, and told him to hit him on the
 head with his hammer. Though Vulcan must have thought this a funny
 request, of course he had to obey the father god. So he struck Jupiter
 a terrible blow on the head, whereupon there sprang forth Minerva in
 all her armor, and the headache, of which she had been the cause, had
 gone. So she was born from his brain, that is why she is the goddess
 of wisdom. Minerva’s Greek name is Athene, and she founded a great
 city in Greece and named it after herself, Athens. She is supposed to
 look out for this city as a mother does for her child.

 _Venus or Aphrodite_ is the goddess of love and beauty. She is the
 most beautiful of the goddesses as Apollo is the most beautiful of the
 gods. She is said to have been born from the sea-foam. Cupid, her son,
 is a little chubby boy with a quiver of arrows on his back. He goes
 about shooting his invisible arrows into the hearts of human beings,
 but instead of dying when they are hit they at once fall in love
 with some one. That is why we put hearts with arrows through them on

 _Vesta_ is the goddess of the home and fireside, who looks out for the

 _Ceres or Demeter_ is the goddess of the farmer. These are the twelve
 gods of the Olympian family.

 _Pluto_ is a brother of Jupiter. He rules the world underground and
 lives down there.

There are many other less important gods and goddesses as well as some
gods that are half human, such as the three Fates and three Graces and
the nine Muses.

Some of the planets in the sky which look like stars are still called
by the names of these Greek gods. Jupiter is the name of the largest
planet. Mars is the name of one that is reddish--the color of blood.
Venus is the name of one that is very beautiful. There is also a
Mercury and a Neptune.

It is hard for us to understand how the Greeks could have prayed to
such gods as these, but they did. Their prayers, however, were not like
ours. Instead of kneeling and closing their eyes as we do, they stood
up and stretched their arms straight out before them. They did not pray
to be forgiven for their sins and to be made better. They prayed for
victory over their enemies or to be protected from harm.

When they prayed they often made the god an offering of animals, fruit,
honey, or wine in order to please him so that he would grant their
prayer. The wine they poured out on the ground, thinking the god would
like to have them do this. The animals they killed and then burned by
building a fire under them on an altar. This was called a sacrifice.
Their idea seemed to be that even though the gods could not eat the
meat of the animals nor drink the wine themselves, they liked to have
something _given up_ for them. And so even to-day we say a person makes
a sacrifice when he _gives up_ something for another.

When the Greeks were sacrificing they usually looked for some sign from
the god to see whether he was pleased or not with the sacrifice and
whether he would answer their prayer and do what they asked him or not.
A flock of birds flying overhead, a flash of lightning, or any unusual
happening they thought was a sign which meant something. Such signs
were called “omens.” Some omens were good and showed that the god would
do what he was asked, and some omens were bad and showed he would not.
Omens were very much like some of the signs that people believe in even
to-day when they say it is a good sign or good luck if you see the new
moon over the right shoulder or a bad sign or bad luck if you spill the

Not so very far from Athens is a mountain called Mount Parnassus. On
the side of Mount Parnassus was a town called Delphi. In the town of
Delphi there was a crack in the ground, from which gas came forth,
somewhat as it does from cracks in a volcano. This gas was supposed to
be the breath of the god Apollo, and there was a woman priest called a
priestess who sat on a three-legged stool or tripod over the crack so
as to breathe the gas. She would become delirious, as some people do
when they are sick with fever and we say they are “out of their heads,”
and when people asked her questions she would mutter strange things and
a priest would tell what she meant. This place was called the Delphic
Oracle, and people would go long distances to ask the oracle questions,
for they thought Apollo was answering them.

The Greeks went to the oracle whenever they wanted to know what to
do or what was going to happen, and they firmly believed in what the
oracle told them. Usually, however, the answers of the oracle were like
a riddle, so that they could be understood in more than one way. For
instance, a king who was about to go to war with another king asked the
oracle who would win. The oracle replied, “A great kingdom will fall.”
What do you suppose the oracle meant? Such an answer, which you can
understand in two or three ways, is still called “oracular.”


A Fairy-Tale War

The history of countries usually begins--and also ends--with war.
The first great happening in the history of Greece was a war. It was
called the Trojan War and was supposed to have taken place about twelve
hundred years before Christ, or not long after the beginning of the
Iron Age. But we are not only not sure of the date; we are not even
sure that there ever was such a war, for a great deal of it, we know,
is simply fairy-tale. This is the way the tale goes.

Once there was a wedding feast of the gods and goddesses on Mount
Olympus, when suddenly a goddess who had not been invited threw a
golden apple on the table. On the apple was written these words:

  To the Fairest.

The goddess who had thrown the apple was the goddess of quarreling; and
true to her name she _did_ start a quarrel, for each of the goddesses,
like vain human beings, thought she was the fairest and should have
the apple. At last they called in a shepherd boy named Paris to decide
which was the fairest.

Each goddess offered Paris a present if he would choose her. Juno, the
queen of the gods, offered to make him a king; Minerva, the goddess of
wisdom, offered to make him wise; but Venus, the goddess of beauty,
offered to give him the most beautiful girl in the world for his wife.

Now, Paris was not really a shepherd boy but the son of Priam, the king
of Troy, which was a city on the sea-shore opposite Greece. Paris when
a baby had been left on a mountain to die, but had been found by a
shepherd and brought up by him as his own child.

Paris didn’t care about being wise; he didn’t care about being king;
what he did want was to have the most beautiful girl in the world for
his wife, and so he gave the apple to Venus.

Now the most beautiful girl in the world was named Helen, and she was
already married to Menelaus, the king of Sparta. But in spite of that
fact Venus told Paris to go to Sparta in Greece, where he would find
Helen, and then run away with her. So Paris went to Sparta to visit
King Menelaus and was royally entertained by him. And then Paris,
although he had been treated so kindly and been trusted, one night
stole Helen away and carried her off across the sea to Troy. Though
this was in the Iron Age, it was the way a Cave Man of the Stone Age
might have acted.

Menelaus and the Greeks were naturally very angry and immediately
prepared for war and sailed off for Troy to get Helen back. Now, in
ancient times all cities had walls built around them to protect them
from the enemy. As there were no cannons nor guns nor deadly weapons
such as are used in war nowadays, it was very hard to get into a walled
city or capture it. Troy was protected in this way with walls; and
though the Greeks tried for ten years to capture it, at the end of the
ten years Troy was still unconquered.

So at last the Greeks decided to try a trick to get into the city.
They built a huge horse of wood, and inside this wooden horse they put
soldiers. They placed the horse in front of the city walls and then
sailed away as if at last they were giving up the war. The Trojans were
told by a spy that the horse was a gift of the gods and that they ought
to take it into the city. A Trojan priest named La-oc-o-on, however,
told his people not to have anything to do with the horse, for he
suspected a trick. But people seldom take advice when told _not_ to do
what they want to do.

Just then some huge snakes came out of the sea and attacked Laocoon
and his two sons and, twining round them, strangled them to death. The
Trojans thought this was a sign from the gods, or an omen as they would
have said, that they should not believe Laocoon; so they determined to
take the horse into the city against his advice. The horse was so big,
however, that it would not go through the gates, and in order to get it
inside of the walls they had to tear down part of the wall itself. When
night fell, the Greek soldiers came out of the horse and opened the
gates of the city. The other Greeks, who had been waiting just out of
sight, returned and entered through the gates and the hole the Trojans
had made in the wall. Troy was easily conquered then, and the city was
burned to the ground, and Helen’s husband carried her back to Greece.
For reason of this horse trick, we still have a saying, “Beware of the
Greeks bearing gifts,” which is as much as to say, “Look out for an
enemy who makes you a present.”

The story of the Trojan War was told in two long poems. Some people
think they are the finest poems that were ever written. One of these
poems is called the “Iliad,” from the name of the city of Troy, which
was also known as Ilium. The “Iliad” describes the Trojan War itself.
The other poem is called the “Odyssey” and describes the adventures
of one of the Greek heroes on his way home after the war was over.
This Greek hero’s name was Odysseus, which gives the name Odyssey to
the book, but he was also called Ulysses. These poems, the “Iliad” and
the “Odyssey,” were composed by a blind Greek poet named Homer, who is
supposed to have lived about two hundred years after the war; that is
about 1000 B.C.

Homer was a bard; that is, a singing poet who went about from place to
place and sang his poems to the people. Usually a bard played on the
lyre as he sang, and the people gave him something to eat or a place to
sleep to pay him for his songs. Nowadays, instead of a Homer singing
the “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” we have the organ-grinder and street piano
playing their tunes in front of our houses.

Homer never wrote down his poems, for he was blind; but the people were
very fond of hearing his songs, and they learned them by heart, and
mothers taught them to their children after Homer had died. At last,
many years later, another man wrote the poems down in Greek, and you
may some day read them in Greek, if you study that language, or at
least in an English translation.

Although the Greeks thought so much of Homer, he could hardly make a
living, and he almost had to beg his daily bread. After his death
however, the people of nine different cities each proudly said that
Homer was born in their city. And so some one has made this rime:

  Nine cities claimed blind Homer dead,
  Through which, alive, he’d begged his bread.

Some people now doubt that there ever was a poet named Homer. Others
think that instead of only one man there must have been several men,
perhaps nine, who composed these poems, and this might explain how he
could be born in nine different cities.



The Kings of the Jews

While the blind beggar Homer was singing his wonderful songs through
the streets of Greece, a great king of the Jews was singing other
wonderful songs in Canaan. This king was named David, and he wasn’t
born a king. He was only a shepherd boy in King Saul’s army. This is
the way he happened to become king.

At first, as you remember, the Jews had no kings; but they had asked
for kings, and at last they were given one by the name of Saul.

David had killed the giant Goliath. We all love this Bible story
because we are always glad when the skilful little chap beats the
great, big, bragging bully.

Well, King Saul had a daughter, and she fell in love with this brave
and athletic young David the Giant-Killer, and at last they were

So after Saul died David became king, and he was the greatest king the
Jews ever had. Although Saul had been king he had lived in a tent, not
in a palace, and he didn’t even have a capital city.

So David conquered a city in Canaan called Jerusalem and made this city
the capital of the Jews.

But David was not only a brave warrior and a great king; he wrote
beautiful songs as well.

The blind beggar Homer sang of his fairy-tale gods. The great King
David sang of his one God.

These songs are the Psalms, which you hear read and sung in church.

Nowadays even a popular song is popular for only a few months, but
the songs which David wrote almost three thousand years ago are still
popular to-day! The Twenty-third Psalm, which starts, “The Lord is my
shepherd,” is one of the most beautiful and a good one to learn by
heart. David likens himself to a sheep and his Lord to a good shepherd
who tenderly looks out for the comfort and safety of his sheep.

David’s son was named Solomon, and when David died Solomon became king.

If a good fairy had asked you what you would rather have than anything
in the world, I wonder what you would have chosen. When Solomon became
king, God is said to have appeared to him in a dream and asked him what
he would rather have than anything else in the world. Instead of saying
he wanted to be made rich or powerful, Solomon asked to be made wise,
and God said He would make him the wisest man that ever lived. Here is
a story that shows how wise he was.

Once upon a time two women came to Solomon with a baby, and each woman
said the baby was her own child. Solomon called for a sword and said,
“Cut the baby in two, and give each a half.” One of the women cried out
to give the baby to the other rather than do this, and Solomon then
knew who was the real mother and ordered the baby to be given to her.

Solomon built a magnificent temple made of cedar-wood from the famous
forest of Lebanon, and of marble and gold and studded with jewels. Then
he built himself a wonderful palace, which was so gorgeous and splendid
that people came from all over the world to see it. The Bible tells us
just how large this temple and palace were, not in feet but in cubits.
A cubit was the distance from a man’s elbow to the end of his middle
finger, which is about one foot and a half.

The queen of Sheba, among others, came a long distance across Arabia to
hear the wise sayings of Solomon and see his palace and the temple he
had built.

Although the palace and temple were considered extraordinarily
magnificent at that time, you must remember that this was a thousand
years before Christ.

Solomon’s temple and palace have disappeared long since, and there
is left of them neither stick nor stone. But his wise sayings are
preserved in every language and read by every people in every part of
the world. There are thousands of buildings now in the world that would
make his palace, if still standing, look like a child’s toy-house. But
no one has ever been able to say any better the things he said. Do
you think you could? Suppose you try. Here are some of them. They are
called proverbs.

 A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.

  What’s that mean?

 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches and loving favor
 rather than silver and gold.

  What’s that mean?

 Let another man praise thee and not thine own mouth.

  What’s that mean?

Solomon was the last great king the Jews ever had. After he died the
Jewish nation gradually broke up and went to pieces, and the great
Jewish people are to-day without a king, without a capital, and without
a country of their own, but are found in every other country of the


The People Who Made Our A B C’s

Long before people knew how to write, there lived a carpenter named
Cadmus. One day he was at work on a house when he wanted a tool that
he had left at home. Picking up a chip of wood, he wrote something on
it and, handing it to his slave, told him to go to his home and give
the chip to his wife, saying that it would tell her what he wanted. The
slave, wondering, did as he was told. Cadmus’s wife looked at the chip,
and without a word handed the tool to the amazed slave, who thought the
chip in some mysterious way had spoken the message. When he returned to
Cadmus with the tool, he begged for the remarkable chip, and when it
was given him, hung it around his neck for a charm.

This is the story the Greeks told of the man they say invented the
alphabet. We believe, however, that Cadmus was a mythical person, for
the Greeks liked to make up such stories, and we think no _one_ man
made the alphabet. But Cadmus was a Phenician and we do know that the
Phenician people invented the alphabet. You probably call it your A B
C’s, but the Greeks had much harder names for the letters. They called
_A_ “alpha,” _B_ “beta,” and so on. So the Greek boy spoke of learning
his “alpha beta,” and that is why we call it the “alphabet.”

[Illustration: Cadmus’ slave and the chip.]

You may never have heard of Phenicia or the Phenician people. Yet, if
there had been no such country as Phenicia, you might now be learning
at school to read and write in hieroglyphics or in cuneiform.

Up to this time, you know, people had very clumsy ways of writing.
The Egyptians had to draw pictures, and the Babylonians made writing
like chicken-tracks. The alphabet that the Phenicians invented had
twenty-two letters, and from it we get the alphabet we use to-day.

Of course, we do not use just the same alphabet now that the Phenicians
did, but some of the letters are almost, if not quite, like those we
now have after three thousand years. For instance the

  Phenician A was written on its side--(sideways A)
            E  “    “     backward--Ǝ
            Z  “    “  just the same--Z
            O  “    “    “   “    “ --O

The Phenicians lived next door to the Jews; in fact they belonged to
the same family--the Semites. Their country was just north of the
kingdom of the Jews; that is, above it on the map and lying along the
shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Phenicians had a great king named Hiram who lived at the same time
as Solomon. In fact, Hiram was a friend of Solomon and sent him some
of his best workmen to help build a temple at Jerusalem. And yet Hiram
himself and the Phenicians did not believe in the Jewish God.

The Phenicians worshiped idols, terrible monsters named Baal and
Moloch, which they called gods of the sun. They also believed in a
goddess of the moon named Astarte and made sacrifices of live children
to her idol, Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum; this is a real story and not a fairy-tale.
Just suppose you had been a child then!

The Jews, as we have learned, were very religious, but their neighbors,
the Phenicians, though Semites and therefore relatives, were business
people and thought of nothing but money, money, money--all the time.
And they were not particular how they earned it, whether honestly or
not. Nowadays, dealers know that they must be honest if they are to
be very successful, but the Phenicians were usually tricky in their
trading with people. They always drove a good bargain and sometimes
even cheated when they had a chance.

The Phenicians made many things to sell, and then they went far and
near to sell them.

They knew how to make beautiful cloth and glassware and objects in gold
and silver and ivory.

They knew the secret of making a wonderful purple dye from the body of
a little shell-fish that lived in the water near the city of Tyre. This
dye was known as Tyrian purple from the name of that city, and it was
so beautiful that kings’ robes were colored with it.

Tyre and Sidon were the two chief cities of Phenicia, and once upon a
time they were two of the busiest cities in the world.

In order to find people to sell to, the Phenicians traveled in boats
all over the Mediterranean Sea and even went outside this sea into the
Great Ocean. This opening is now called the Strait of Gibraltar but
was then known as the Pillars of Hercules. They went as far as the
British Isles. Other people in those days had not dared to go so far
in boats; they thought they would come to the edge of the ocean and
tumble off. But the Phenicians had no such fear, and so they were the
greatest sailors as well as the greatest traders of their times. Their
ships were built from the cedar-trees that grew on the slopes of their
hills, which were called Lebanon.

Wherever the Phenicians found good harbors for their boats, they
started little towns where they traded with the natives, who at that
time were almost savage. With ignorant savages they found they could
drive a good bargain. For a few glass beads or a piece of purple dyed
cloth worth very little they could get in return gold and silver and
other things worth a great deal. On the African coast, one of these
towns they started was called Carthage. Of Carthage we shall hear more
by and by, for it grew to be so wealthy and important that--but wait
until I come to that story.



Hard as Nails

Our story goes back again to Greece, the land of Homer and the
fairy-tale gods and to Sparta, where Helen once lived.

About nine hundred years before Christ was born, there lived in Sparta
a man named Lycurgus. That is a hard name, and when you hear about this
man you may think he was hard, too. Lycurgus wanted his city to be the
greatest in the world.

But first he had to find out what it was that made a city and a people

So he started off and traveled for years and years visiting all the
chief countries of the world to see if he could learn what it was that
made them great. And this is what he learned.

Wherever the people thought chiefly of fun and pleasure, of amusing
themselves and having a good time--he found they were not much good,
not much account--_not_ great.

Wherever the people thought chiefly of hard work and did what they
ought, whether it was pleasant or not, he found they were usually good
for something--some account--great.

So Lycurgus came back to his home Sparta and set to work to make a
set of rules which he thought would make his people greater than all
other people in the world. These rules were called a Code of Laws, and
I think you’ll agree they were very hard, and they made the Spartans
hard, too--as “hard as nails.” We shall see whether they made the
Spartans really great, also.

To begin with, babies, as soon as they were born, were examined to see
that they were strong and perfect. Whenever one was found that did not
seem to be so, he was put out on the mountain-side and left to die.
Lycurgus wanted no weaklings in Sparta.

When boys were seven years old, they were taken from their mothers and
put in a school, which was more like a soldiers’ camp than a school,
and they never lived anywhere else until they were sixty years old.

In this school they were not taught the things you are, but only the
things that trained them to be good soldiers.

There were no such things as school-books then.

There were no spelling-books.

There were no arithmetics.

There were no geographies. No one knew enough about the world to write
a geography.

There were no histories. No one knew much about things that had
happened in the world before that time, and of course none of the
history since then that you now study had taken place.

At certain times, the Spartan boy was whipped, not because he had
done anything wrong, but just to teach him to suffer pain without
whimpering. He would have been disgraced forever if he had cried, no
matter how badly he was hurt.

He was exercised and drilled and worked until he was ready to drop.
But still he was obliged to keep on, no matter how tired or hungry or
sleepy or aching he might be, and he must never show by any sign how he

He was made to eat the worst kind of food, to go hungry and thirsty
for long periods of time, to go out in the bitter cold with little or
no clothing, just to get used to such hardships and able to bear all
sorts of discomforts. This kind of training, this kind of hardening, is
therefore called “Spartan discipline.” How do you think you would have
liked it?

The Spartans’ food, clothing, and lodging were all furnished them,
though it was very poor food and poor clothing and poor lodging. They
were not allowed good things to eat, soft beds to lie on, or fine
clothing to wear. Such things were called luxuries, and luxuries,
Lycurgus thought, would make people soft and weak, and he wanted his
people hard and strong.

The Spartans were even taught to speak in a short and blunt manner;
they were taught not to waste words; they must say what they had to say
in as few words as possible. This manner of speaking we call “Laconic”
from the name Laconia, the state in which Sparta was located.

Once a king wrote to the Spartans a threatening letter, saying that
they had better do what he told them to, for _if_ he came and took
their country, he would destroy their city and make them slaves.

The Spartans sent a messenger back with their answer, and when the
letter was opened, it contained only one word:


Even to-day, we call such an answer, short but to the point, a Laconic

Did all this hard training and hard work make the Spartans the greatest
people in the world?

Lycurgus did make the Spartans the strongest and best fighters in the

The Spartans conquered all the peoples around about them, though there
were ten times as many--but--

They made these people their slaves, who did all their farming and
other work--but--

We shall see later whether Lycurgus’s idea was right.

North of Sparta was another great city of Greece called Athens. There
were, of course, many other towns in Greece, but Sparta and Athens
were the most important. In Athens the people lived and thought quite
differently from those in Sparta.

The Athenians were just as fond of everything beautiful as the Spartans
were of discipline and of everything military.

The Athenians loved athletic games of all sorts just as the Spartans
did, but they also loved music and poetry and beautiful statues,
paintings, vases, buildings, and such things that are known as the

The Athenians believed in training the mind _as well_ as the body. The
Spartans believed the training of the body was the all-important thing.
Which do you like better, the Athenians’ idea or the Spartans’ idea?

Once at a big game a very old man was looking for a seat on the
Athenians’ side. There was no seat empty, and no Athenian offered to
give him one. Whereupon the Spartans called to the old man and gave him
the best seat on their side. The Athenians cheered the Spartans to show
how fine they thought this act. At this the Spartans said:

“The Athenians _know_ what is right but they don’t _do_ it.”


The Crown of Leaves

Greek boys and young men and even girls loved all sorts of outdoor

They didn’t play football or baseball or basketball, but they ran and
jumped and wrestled and boxed and threw the discus--a thing like a big,
heavy dinner-plate of iron.

From time to time matches were held in different parts of Greece to see
who was the best in these sports.

The Big Meet, however, took place only once every four years at a
place called Olympia in southern Greece; and these Olympic games, as
they were called, were the most important affairs held in Greece, for
all the winners from different parts of the country were here matched
against each other to see who should be the champion of all Greece.

The time when the games were held was a great national holiday, for
the games were in honor of the head god Jupiter, or Zeus as the Greeks
called him. People came from all over the known world to see the games
much as they do now when a World’s Fair is held or a big football game.

Only Greeks could enter this contest, and only those who had never
committed a crime or broken any laws--as a boy nowadays must have a
clean record in order to be allowed to play on his college or school

If there happened to be a war going on at the time, and there usually
was, so important was this holiday that a truce was declared, and
everybody went off to the games. Nothing could be allowed to interfere
with the games, and even war was not as important. “Business before
pleasure!” When the games were finished, they started fighting again!

The Greek boys and young men would train for four years getting ready
for this big event, and then nine months before the great day they
would go to Olympia to get in training at an open-air gymnasium near
the field.

The games lasted five days and began and ended with a parade and
prayers and sacrifices to the Greek gods, beautiful statues to whom
were placed all about the field, for this was not only sport, but a
religious service in honor of Jupiter and the other gods.

There were all sorts of matches--in running, jumping, wrestling,
boxing, chariot-racing, and throwing the discus.

Any one who cheated would have been put out and never again allowed to
take part. The Greek believed in what we call being a good sport. He
didn’t brag if he won. He didn’t make excuses if he lost; he didn’t cry
out that the decision was unfair.

The athlete who won one or more of these games was the hero of all
Greece, and in particular of the town from which he came. The winner
received no money prize but was crowned with a wreath made of laurel
leaves. This he valued much more than an athlete nowadays does the
silver cup or gold medal he may win. Besides receiving the laurel
wreath, the winner had songs written to him by poets, and often statues
were made of him by sculptors.

There were not only athletic matches but contests between poets and
musicians to see who could write the best poetry or compose and play
the sweetest music on a kind of small harp called the lyre. The winners
of these contests did not receive a laurel wreath, but they were
carried in triumph on the shoulders of the throng, as you may have
seen the captain of a winning team picked up and raised aloft by his
fellow-players after he has won.

Now, in Greek History the first event which we can be absolutely sure
is true is the record of the winner of a foot-race in these Olympic
Games 776 years before Christ was born. And from this event the Greeks
began to count their history dates, as we do now from the birth of
Christ. It was their Year 1.

The four years’ time between the Olympic Games was called an Olympiad.
Up to this time, they had no calendar that gave the year or date,
so 776 is the date of the first Olympiad. Greek History before that
time may have been partly true, but we know much of it was mythical.
Beginning with 776, however, Greek history is pretty much all true.

[Illustration: Greek runner.]

After a long while they stopped having the games, but a few years ago
it was thought it would be a good thing to start them again. So, for
the first time since before Christ, new Olympic Games were again held
in 1896 A.D., not in Olympia, however, but in Athens. The games used
to be held only in Greece. Now they are held each time in a different
country. Only Greeks used to be allowed to take part. Now, however,
athletes from almost all the countries of the world are invited to
compete. War used to be stopped when the time for the games arrived.
Now the games are stopped when war is on.

From what we have learned of the Spartans’ training, we might guess
that they used to win most of the athletic prizes, and they did.

Do the Spartans still continue to win most of the prizes in the New
Olympic Games?

No. Not even the Greeks now carry off the chief prizes.



A Bad Beginning

Have you ever heard of the Seven-League Boots, the boots in which one
could take many miles at a single step?

Well, there is a still bigger boot; it is over five hundred miles long,
and it is in the Mediterranean Sea.

No, it’s not a real boot, but it would look like one if you were miles
high in an airplane and looking down upon it.

It is called Italy.

Something very important happened in Italy, not long after the First
Olympiad in Greece. It was so important that it was called the Year 1,
and for a thousand years people counted from it as the Greeks did from
the First Olympiad, and as we do now from the birth of Christ. This
thing that happened was not the birth of a man, however. It was the
birth of a city, and this city was called Rome.

The history of Rome starts with stories that we know are fairy-tales
or myths in the same way that the history of Greece does. Homer told
about the wanderings of the Greek, Odysseus. A great many years later a
poet named Vergil told about the wanderings of a Trojan named Æneas.

Æneas fled from Troy when that city was burning down and started off to
find a new home. Finally after several years he came to Italy and the
mouth of a river called the Tiber. There Æneas met the daughter of the
man who was ruling over that country, a girl by the name of Lavinia,
and married her, and they lived happily ever after. So the children of
Æneas and Lavinia ruled over the land, and they had children, and their
children had children, and their children had children, until at last
boy twins were born. These twins were named Romulus and Remus. Here
endeth the first part of the story and the trouble begins, for they did
not live happily ever after.

At the time the twins were born, a man had stolen the kingdom, and he
feared that these two boys might grow up and take his stolen kingdom
away from him. So he put the twins in a basket and set them afloat on
the river Tiber, hoping that they might be carried out to sea or upset
and be drowned. This, he thought, was nearly all right, so long as he
didn’t kill them with his own hands. But the basket drifted ashore
instead of going out to sea or upsetting, and a mother wolf found the
twins and nursed them as if they were her own babies. And a woodpecker
also helped and fed them berries. At last a shepherd found them and
brought them up as if they were his own sons until they grew up and
became men. This sounds a good deal like the story of Paris who was
left out to die and was found and brought up by a shepherd also.

[Illustration: Romulus and Remus with the wolf.]

Each of the twins then wished to build a city. But they could not agree
which one was to do it, and in quarreling over the matter, Romulus
killed his own twin brother Remus. Romulus then built the city by the
Tiber River, on the spot where he and his brother had been saved and
nursed by the mother wolf. Here there were seven hills. This was in
753 B.C., and he named the city Roma after his own name, and the people
who lived there were called Romans. So that is why, ever afterward,
the Roman kings always said they were descended from the Trojan hero,
Æneas, the great-great-great-grandfather of Romulus.

Don’t you believe this story? Neither do I. But it is such an old, old
story every one is supposed to have heard it even though it is only a

In order to get people for the city which he had started, it is said
that Romulus invited all the thieves and bad men who had escaped from
jail to come and live in Rome, promising them that they would be safe

Then as none of the men had wives, and there were no women in his new
city, Romulus thought up a scheme to get the men wives. He invited some
people called Sabines, who lived near-by, both men and women, to come
to Rome to a big party.

They accepted, and a great feast was spread. In the middle of the
feast, when every one was eating and drinking, a signal was given, and
each of the Romans seized a Sabine woman for his wife and ran off with

The Sabine husbands immediately prepared themselves for war against the
Romans, who had stolen their wives. When the battle had begun between
the two armies, the Sabine women ran out in the midst of the fighting
between their new and old husbands and begged them both to stop. They
said they had come to love their new husbands and would not return to
their old homes.

What do you think of that?

It sounds like a pretty bad beginning for a new city, doesn’t it? and
you may well wonder how Rome turned out--a city that started with
Romulus killing his brother and that was settled by escaped prisoners
who stole the wives of their neighbors. We must remember, however, that
then they were nearer the time when Primitive Men lived whose only rule
of life was: kill or be killed, steal or be stolen; and whose usual way
of getting wives was to knock them in the head and drag them off to
their caves while they were senseless. Besides, they believed in the
same gods as the Greeks, and we have heard how their gods did all sorts
of wicked things themselves. This, too, was long before Christ was
born, and at that time they did not know anything about the Christian
religion or what we call right and wrong.

You see I have tried to think of some good excuses for the actions of
these first Romans.


Kings with Corkscrew Curls

After Rome’s bad start she had one king after another, and some of
these kings were pretty good and some were pretty bad.

But the most important city in the world at this time was far away from
Rome on the Tigris River. This city was called Nineveh, and here lived
the kings of the country called Assyria, which I told you about some
time ago.

As usual, the chief thing we hear about Assyria and the Assyrians is
that they were fighting with their neighbors. This, however, was not
the fault of their neighbors.

The Assyrian kings who lived in Nineveh wanted more land and power,
and so they fought their neighbors in order to take their land away
from them. These kings had long corkscrew curls, and you may think
that only girls wear long curls and that a man with curls would be
“girl-like.” But these kings were not at all that kind. They were such
terrible fighters that they were feared far and near. They treated
their prisoners terribly; they skinned them alive, cut off their ears,
pulled out their tongues, bored sticks into their eyes, then bragged
about it. They made the people whom they conquered pay them huge sums
of money and promise to fight with them whenever they went to war.

And so Assyria became so strong and powerful that she at last owned
everything of importance in the world, the land between the rivers
called Mesopotamia, and the land to the east, north, and south, and
Phenicia, and Egypt, and pretty nearly everything except Greece and

This big, big country of Assyria was ruled by the kings at Nineveh,
who lived in great magnificence. They built wonderful palaces for
themselves, and on each side of the way that led to the palace they
placed rows of huge statues of bulls and lions with wings and men’s
heads as a rich man nowadays might plant a row of trees along the
driveway that leads up to his home. These winged animals are what are
called cherubs in the Bible.

Perhaps you have heard a particularly sweet and pretty little baby
called a cherub. Isn’t it strange that these hideous Assyrian monsters
should be called cherubs also?

When the Assyrian kings were not fighting men they were fighting wild
animals, for they were very fond of hunting with bow and arrow, and
they had pictures and statues made of themselves on horseback or in
chariots fighting lions. Often they would capture the animals they
hunted alive and put them in cages so that the people could come and
see them. This was something like a “zoo” such as we have nowadays.

[Illustration: An Assyrian cherub.]

The rulers of Assyria had very strange names. Sennacherib was one of
the most famous. Sennacherib lived about 700 B.C. Once upon a time
Sennacherib was fighting Jerusalem. His whole army was camped one
night when as they lay asleep something happened, for when the morning
came, none woke up; all were dead, both men and horses. An English poet
named Byron has written a poem called “The Destruction of Sennacherib”
describing this event. Perhaps they were poisoned; what do you think?

Assur-bani-pal was another king who ruled later--about 650 B.C. He was
a great fighter too, but he was also very fond of books and reading;
so Assur-bani-pal started the first public library. The books in that
first public library were, however, very peculiar. Of course they were
not printed books, and they were not even made of paper. They were
made of mud with the words pressed into the clay before it dried. This
writing was cuneiform, which I have already told you about. The books
were not arranged in bookcases, either, but were placed in piles on the
floor. They were, however, kept in careful order and numbered so that a
person who wanted to see a book in the library could call for it by its

Assyria reached the height of her power during the reign of Sennacherib
and Assur-bani-pal, and everything in Nineveh was so lovely for the
Ninevites that the time when Assur-bani-pal reigned was called the
Golden Age.

But although everything in Nineveh was so lovely for the Ninevites,
everywhere else the Assyrians were hated and feared, for their armies
brought death and destruction wherever they went.

So it came to pass that not long after Assur-bani-pal died, two of the
neighbors of Nineveh could stand it no longer. These two neighbors
were the king of Babylon, who lived south, and a people called the
Medes, who lived to the east and belonged to the Aryan family. So the
king of Babylon and the Medes got together and attacked Nineveh, and
together they wiped that city off the face of the earth. This was
in 612 B.C.--Six-One-Two--and the power of Nineveh and Assyria was
killed dead. This, therefore is called the Fall of Nineveh, the end of
Nineveh. We might put up a tombstone:



A City of Wonders and Wickedness

The king of Babylon had beaten Nineveh. But he didn’t stop with that.
He wanted his Babylon to be as great as Nineveh had been. So he went
on conquering other lands to the left and right until Babylon, in its
turn, became the leader and ruler of other countries. Was Babylon,
also, in its turn, to fall, as Nineveh had fallen?

When at last the king of Babylon died, he left his vast empire to his
son. Now, the king’s son was not called John or James or Charles or
anything simple like that. It was--Nebuchadnezzar, and I wonder if his
father called him by all that long name or shortened it to a nickname
like “Neb,” for instance, or “Chad,” or perhaps “Nezzar.” This is the
way Nebuchadnezzar wrote his name, for he used cuneiform writing. How
would you like to write your name in such a queer way?

[Illustration: Name of Nebuchadnezzar in cuneiform writing.]

Nebuchadnezzar set to work and made the city of Babylon the largest,
the most magnificent and the most wonderful city of that time and
perhaps of any time. The city was in the shape of a square and covered
more ground than the two largest cities in the world to-day--New York
and London--put together. He surrounded it with a wall fifty times as
high as a man--fifty times--whew!--and so broad that a chariot could
be driven along on the top, and in this wall he made one hundred huge
brass gates. The Euphrates River flowed under the wall, across the
city, and out under the wall on the other side.

Nebuchadnezzar could not find any one in Babylon who was beautiful
enough to be his queen. The Babylonian girls must have felt pretty
bad--or mad--about that. So he went to Media, the country that had
helped his father conquer Nineveh. There he found a lovely princess,
and so he married her and brought her home to Babylon.

Now, Media was a land of hills and mountains, whilst Babylon was on
level ground and without even a hill in sight. Nebuchadnezzar’s queen
found Babylonia so flat and uninteresting that she became homesick,
and she longed for her own country with its wild mountain scenery.
So, just to please her and keep her contented Nebuchadnezzar set to
work and _built_ a hill for her, but the queer thing was he built it
on top of the roof of his palace! On the sides of this hill he made
beautiful gardens, and these gardens he planted not only with flowers
but also with trees, so that his queen might sit in the shade and enjoy
herself. These were called Hanging Gardens. The Hanging Gardens and the
tremendous walls were known far and wide as one of the Seven Wonders of
the world.

Would you like to know what the other Wonders were?

Well, the pyramids in Egypt were one; the magnificent statue of Jupiter
at Olympia, where the Olympic Games were held, was another--so those
with the Hanging Gardens make three.

Nebuchadnezzar believed in idols like those terrible monsters the
Phenicians worshiped. The Jews away off in Jerusalem believed in one
God. Nebuchadnezzar wanted the Jews to worship his gods, but they would
not. He also wanted them to pay him taxes, and they would not. So he
sent his armies to Jerusalem, destroyed that city, burnt the beautiful
Temple that Solomon had built, and brought the Jews and all their
belongings to Babylon. There in Babylon Nebuchadnezzar kept the Jews
prisoners, and there in Babylon the Jews remained prisoners for fifty

Babylon had become not only the most magnificent city in the world; it
had become also the most wicked. The people of Babylon gave themselves
up to the wildest pleasures. Their only thought seemed to be, “Let’s
eat, drink, and be merry”; they thought nothing of the morrow; the more
wicked the pleasure the more they liked it.

But although Nebuchadnezzar seemed able to do and able to have
everything in the world he wanted, he finally went crazy. He thought
he was a bull, and he used to get down on his hands and knees and eat
grass, imagining he was a beast of the field.

And Babylon, in spite of its tremendous walls and brass gates, was
doomed. Babylon was to be conquered. It didn’t seem possible. How could
it be conquered, and who was to do the conquering? You would probably
never guess.


A Surprise Party

When I was a boy I was always told, and you have probably been told the
same thing:

“You can have no dessert until you have eaten your dinner.”

No matter whether I was hungry or not, “No dinner, no dessert.” This
was a rule which my father said was “like the laws of the Medes and

I didn’t know then who the Medes and Persians were, but I know now
that they were two Aryan families living next to Babylon--you remember
Nebuchadnezzar had married a Median girl--and that they were governed
by laws which were fixed so hard and fast and were so unchangeable that
we still speak of any such thing that does not change as like “the laws
of the Medes and Persians.”

The Medes and the Persians had a religion which was neither like that
of the Jews nor like the idol worship of the Babylonians. It had been
started by a Persian named Zoroaster, who was a wise man like Solomon.
He may even have lived about the same time as Solomon, but probably a
good deal later.

Zoroaster went about among the people, teaching them wise sayings and
hymns. These wise sayings have been gathered into a book, which is now
the Persian Bible.

Zoroaster taught that there were two great spirits in the world, the
Good Spirit and the Bad Spirit.

The Good Spirit, he said, was Light, and the Bad Spirit, Darkness.
The Good or Light he called Mazda; where have you heard that word, I
wonder. So the Persians kept a fire, in which they thought was the Good
Spirit, constantly burning on their altars, and they had men watch
over this flame to see that it never went out. These men who watched
the flame were called Magi, and they were supposed to be able to do
all sorts of wonderful things, so that we call such wonderful things
“magic,” and the people who are able to do them we call “magicians.”

At the time of this story which I’m telling you, the ruler of the Medes
and the Persians was a great king named Cyrus.

But before I go on with this story I must tell you about a little
country not far from Troy. This little country was called Lydia.
Perhaps you may know a girl named Lydia. I do. Lydia was ruled over
by a king named Crœsus who was the richest man in the world. When we
want to describe a man as very wealthy, we still say he is “as rich as

Crœsus owned nearly all the gold-mines, of which there were a great
many in that country, and besides this he collected money in the form
of taxes from all the cities near him.

Before the time of Crœsus people did not have money such as we have
now. When they wished to buy anything, they simply traded something
they had for something they wanted--so many eggs for a pound of meat or
so much wine for a pair of sandals. To buy anything expensive, such as
a horse, they paid with a lump of gold or silver, which was weighed in
the scales to see just how heavy it was. It is hard for us to think how
people could get along without cents and nickels, dimes, quarters and
dollars--with no money at all--and yet they did.

Crœsus, in order to make things simpler, cut up his gold into small
bits. Now, it was not easy for every one to weigh each piece each time
it was traded, for he might not have any scales handy. So Crœsus had
each piece weighed and stamped with its weight and with his name or
initials to show that he guaranteed the weight. These pieces of gold
and silver were only lumps with Crœsus’ seal pressed into them, but
they were the first real money even though they were not round and
beautifully engraved like our coins.

Now, Cyrus, the great Persian king, thought he would like to own this
rich country of Lydia with all its gold-mines, so he set out to conquer

When Cyrus was on the way Crœsus sent in a hurry to the oracle in
Greece to ask what was going to happen and who was going to win. You
will remember what I said about the oracle at Delphi and how people
used to ask the oracle questions--to have their fortunes told, as
nowadays some people ask the ouija board.

The oracle replied to Crœsus’ question:

“A great kingdom shall fall.”

Crœsus was delighted, for he thought the oracle meant that Cyrus’
kingdom would fall. The oracle _was_ right, but not in the way Crœsus
had thought.

A great kingdom did fall, but it was his own kingdom of Lydia and not
Cyrus’ that fell.

But Cyrus was still not satisfied with the capture of Lydia, and so at
last he attacked Babylon.

Now, the people in Babylon who thought of nothing but pleasure were
busy feasting and drinking and having a good time. Why should they
worry about Cyrus? Their city had walls that were so high and thick and
was protected by such strong gates of brass that it seemed as if no one
could possibly have captured it.

[Illustration: Delphic Oracle.]

But you remember that the Euphrates River ran beneath the walls
and crossed right through the city. Well, one night when the young
prince of Babylon named Belshazzar was having a gay party and enjoying
himself, feeling quite certain that no one could enter the city, Cyrus
made a dam and turned the waters of the river to one side. Then Cyrus’
army marched into the city through the dry river-bed and captured the
surprised Babylonians without even a fight. It is supposed that some of
the Babylonian priests helped him to do this and even opened the gates,
for Babylon had become so wicked that they thought it time for it to be

Old Lycurgus would have said: “I told you so. People who think of
nothing but pleasure never come to a good end.”

This surprise party was in 538--5 and 3 are 8.

Two years later Cyrus let the Jews, who had been carried away fifty
years before from Jerusalem, return to the home of their fathers, thus
ending the Babylonian Captivity.

To-day the only thing left of this great city of Babylon, which was
once bigger than New York and London together--Babylon the Wicked,
Babylon the Magnificent, Babylon with all its great walls and brass
gates and Hanging Gardens--is only a mound of earth. A few miles away
is a ruined tower. This tower, we think, may once have been the Tower
of Babel.


The Other Side of the World

There used to be a “missionary box” in my Sunday-school, and into this
box we dropped our pennies to send a missionary to the heathen.

The heathen, we were told, were people who lived on the other side of
the world and worshiped idols.

There was the heathen “Chinee,” the heathen “Japanee,” and the heathen

These heathen Indians were not our American Indians. They lived in a
country called India on the other side of the world. India looks on the
map like the little thing that hangs down in the back of your mouth
when the doctor says: “Stick out your tongue. Say ’Ah.’” Our Indians
are red, but the Indians from India are white. The white Indians belong
to the Aryan family, the same family that Cyrus belonged to.

Two thousand years before the time of Cyrus, an Aryan family had moved
away from the other Aryan families in Persia until they had come to
this country we now call India.

In the course of time there came to be four chief classes of people in
India, four chief classes of society--high society, low society, and
two classes of society in between. These classes were called castes,
and no one in one caste would have anything to do with one in another
caste. A boy or girl in one caste would never play with a boy or girl
in another caste. A man from one caste would never marry a woman in
another. No one from one caste would eat with one in another caste,
even though he were starving. Men in different castes were even afraid
of touching each other in passing on the street. It was almost as if
they were afraid of catching some horrible disease.

The highest caste of all were the Fighters and Rulers. The Rulers were
the Fighters, and the Fighters were the Rulers, for they had to be
fighters in order to keep their rule.

In the next caste were the Priests; and, as in the case of the Egyptian
priests, these men were not what we think of as priests nowadays. They
were what we should call professional men--doctors, lawyers, engineers,

Next came the farmers and tradespeople--the butcher, the baker, and
candlestick maker.

Fourth and last were the common laborers. These were the men who knew
nothing and could do nothing but dig or chop wood or carry water.

Below these four castes were still other people so low and mean that
they were called outcastes or Pariahs. We now call any person who has
done something so disgraceful that no one, not even the lowest, will
have anything to do with him a “pariah.”

The people in India believed in a god whom they called Brahma, and so
we call their religion Brahmanism. The Brahmanists believed that when
a person died his soul was born again in the body of another person or
perhaps of an animal. If he had been good while alive they thought his
soul went into the body of a higher caste man when he died--as if he
were promoted from one grade to the next. If, however, he had led a bad
life they thought his soul went into the body of a lower caste man or
even of an animal.

When a man died, his body was not buried, it was burned. If he were
a married man, his wife was obliged to throw herself alive upon the
burning flames. She was not allowed to live after her husband was dead.
If the wife died, that was another matter; the man simply got another
wife. In the Brahman temples were hideous idols, which the people
worshiped as gods. These idols had several heads apiece or many arms,
or many legs, or they had tusks sticking out of their mouths--or they
had horns coming out of their heads.

About the year 500 B.C. there was born a prince in India by the name of
Gautama. Gautama saw so much suffering and trouble in the world that
he felt it was not right that he himself, just because he by chance
had been born rich, should be happy while others were miserable and
unhappy. So he gave up the life to which he had been born and brought
up, a life of ease and luxury with all its good things, and spent his
entire time trying to make things better for his people.

Gautama taught the people to be good; he taught them to be honest; and
he taught them to help the poor and unfortunate. After a while people
began to call him Buddha, and he was so holy and pure that at last they
thought he must be god himself, and so they worshiped him as god.

These people who believed in Buddha were called Buddhists, and many,
many Brahmanists left their hideous idols and became Buddhists. You see
there was no such thing as a Christian religion as yet, for this was
still five hundred years before Christ was born, and Buddhism seemed so
much better than Brahmanism that we do not wonder that great numbers of
people became Buddhists.

Buddhists thought their religion was so good that they wanted everyone
to become Buddhists; so they sent missionaries across country and sea
to the island of Japan just as we send Christian missionaries now, and
this new religion spread far and wide.

Perhaps you have never met nor seen nor even heard of a Buddhist, and
yet to-day there are many more Buddhists on the other side of the world
than there are Christians!

About the same time that Gautama was starting Buddhism in India, a man
in China, a teacher by the name of Confucius, was teaching the people
of China what they ought to do and what they ought not to do. His
teachings filled several books and formed what came to be a religion
for the Chinese.

Confucius taught his people to obey their parents and teachers and
to honor their ancestors. This sounds something like one of the Ten
Commandments: “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

Confucius also taught the golden rule, the same golden rule you are
taught to-day, only instead of saying, “_Do_ unto others as you would
be done by,” he said, “Do _not_ do to others what you would _not_ want
others to do to you.”

In China there are still as many people who follow the teachings of
Confucius as there are Christians in all the rest of the world. So here
are two religions each as large or larger than the Christian religion.

China was highly civilized, even at this time, 500 B.C., and many
inventions were known and used in that country long before the rest of
the world ever heard of them. Yet we know little of China’s history
until a great deal later.


Rich Man, Poor Man

Whenever I pass a group of street boys playing ball, I almost always
hear some one shout, “That’s no fair!”

There always seem to be some players who think the others are not
playing fair. Sides are always quarreling.

They need an umpire.

When Athens was young there were two sides among the people--the rich
and the poor, the aristocrats and the common people--and they were
always quarreling. Each side was trying to get more power, and each
side said the other wasn’t playing fair.

They needed an umpire.

Athens had had kings, but the kings took the side of the rich, and so
at last the Athenians had kicked out the last king, and after that they
would have no more kings.

About the year 600 B.C. things became so very bad that a man named
Draco was chosen to make a set of rules for the Athenians to obey.
These rules he made were called the Code of Draco.

Draco’s Code made terrible punishments for any one who broke the rules.
If a man stole anything, even as small a thing as a loaf of bread, he
was not just fined or sent to jail; he was put to death! And no matter
how small the wrong a man had done, he was put to death for it. Draco
explained the reason for such a severe law by saying that a thief
deserved to be put to death and should be. A man who killed another
deserved _more_ than to be put to death, but unfortunately there was no
worse punishment to give him.

You can understand how much trouble the laws of Draco caused. They were
so hard that a little later another man was called upon to make a new
set of laws. This man was named Solon, and his laws were very just and
good. We now call senators and other people who make our laws “Solons”
after this man Solon who lived so long ago, even though their laws are
not always just and good.

Still the people were not satisfied with Solon’s laws. The upper
classes thought the laws gave too much to the lower classes, and the
lower classes thought they gave too much to the upper. Both classes,
however, obeyed the laws for a while, although both classes complained
against them.

But about 560 B.C. a man named Pisistratus stepped in and took charge
of things himself. He was not elected nor chosen by the people. He
simply made himself ruler, and he was so powerful that no one could
stop him. It was as if a boy made himself captain or umpire without
being chosen by those on the teams.

There were others from time to time in Greece who did the same thing,
and they were called tyrants. So Pisistratus was a tyrant. Nowadays
only a ruler who is cruel and unjust is called a tyrant. Pisistratus,
however, settled the difficulties of both sides, and, though a
tyrant in the Greek sense, he was neither cruel nor unjust. In fact,
Pisistratus ruled according to the laws of Solon, and he did a great
deal to improve Athens and the life of the people. Among other things
he did, he had Homer’s poems written down, so that people could read
them, for before this time people knew them only from hearing them
recited. So the people put up with Pisistratus and also with his son
for a while. But finally the Athenians got tired of the son’s rule and
drove all the Pisistratus family out of Athens in 510 B.C.

The next man to try and settle the quarrels of the two sides was named
Clisthenes. It is hard, sometimes, to learn the name of a stranger to
whom we have just been introduced unless we hear his name repeated
several times. So I will say over his name so that you can get used to
hearing it:


Your father may be poor or he may be rich.

If he is poor he has one vote when there is an election.

If he is rich he has one vote but only one vote and no more.

If he breaks the laws, whether he is rich or whether he is poor, he
must go to jail.

It was not always so; it is not always so even now. But long ago it was
much worse.

[Illustration: Ostracism.]

Clisthenes gave every one a vote--rich and poor alike--and ruled wisely
and well.

Clisthenes started something called ostracism. If for any reason the
people wanted to get rid of a man, all they had to do was to scratch
his name on any piece of a broken pot or jar they might find and drop
it in a voting-box on a certain day. If there were enough such votes,
the man would have to leave the city and stay away for ten years. This
was called ostracism, and a man so treated was said to be ostracized,
from the Greek name for such a broken piece of pottery, on which the
name was written. Even to-day we use this same word to speak of a
person whom no one will have anything to do with, whom no one wants
around, saying he has been ostracized.

Have you ever been sent away from the table to the kitchen or to your
room for being naughty?

Then you, too, have been ostracized.



Rome Kicks Out Her Kings

In 509 B.C. something happened in Rome.

There were two classes of people in Rome, just as there were in Athens;
the wealthy people who were called patricians and the poor people who
were called plebeians. We use the same words now and call people who
are rich and aristocratic “patricians,” and the people who are poor and
uneducated “plebeians.” The patricians were allowed to vote, but the
plebeians were not allowed to vote.

At last, however, the plebeians had been given the right to vote. But
in 509 Rome had a king named Tarquin. He didn’t think the plebeians
should be allowed to vote, and so he said they should not. The
plebeians would not stand this, and so they got together and drove
Tarquin out of the city, as the Athenians had driven out their king.
This was in 509, and Tarquin was the last king Rome ever had.

After King Tarquin had been driven out, the Romans started what is
called a republic, something like our own country, but they were
afraid to have only one man as president for fear he might make himself
king, and they had had enough of kings.

[Illustration: Lictor carrying fasces.]

So the Romans elected _two men_ each year to be rulers over them, and
these two men they called consuls. Each consul had a body-guard of
twelve men--just a dozen. These men were given the name “lictors,” and
each lictor carried an ax tied up in a bundle of sticks. This bundle of
sticks with the ax-head sticking out in the middle or at the end was
known as “fasces” and signified that the consuls had power to punish by
whipping with the sticks or by chopping off one’s head with the ax.

Perhaps you have seen fasces used as ornaments or as a decoration
around monuments or on buildings like a court-house, city hall, or
capitol. Why do you suppose they are used in this way?

One of the first two consuls was named Brutus the Elder, and he had two
sons. The king, Tarquin, who had been driven out of the city, plotted
to get back to Rome and become king once more. He was able to persuade
some Romans to help him. Among those whom he persuaded were, strange to
say, the two sons of Brutus--the new consul of Rome.

Brutus found out this plot and learned that his own children had helped
Tarquin. So Brutus had his sons tried. They were found guilty, and in
spite of the fact that they were his own children, he had the lictors
put both of them to death as well as the other traitors to Rome.

Tarquin did not succeed in getting back the rule of Rome in this way,
and so the next year he tried again. This time he got together an army
of his neighbors, the Etruscans, and with this army he attacked Rome.

Now, there was a wooden bridge across the Tiber River, which separated
the Etruscans from the city of Rome. In order to keep the Etruscans
from crossing into the city, a Roman named Horatius, who had already
lost one eye in fighting for Rome, gave orders to have this bridge
broken down.

While the bridge was being chopped down, Horatius with two of his
friends stood on the far side of the bridge and fought back the whole
Etruscan army. When the bridge was cracking under the blows of the
Roman soldiers, Horatius ordered his two friends to run quickly to the
other side before the bridge fell.

Then Horatius, all by himself, kept the enemy back until at last the
bridge crashed into the river. Horatius then jumped into the water
with all his armor on and swam toward the Roman shore. Though arrows
the Etruscans shot were falling all around him, and though his armor
weighed him down, he reached the other side safely. Even the Etruscans
were thrilled at his bravery, and, enemies though they were, they
cheered him loudly.

There is a very famous poem called “Horatius at the Bridge,” which
describes this brave deed, and most boys like to learn at least a part
of it.

A few years after Horatius, there lived another Roman named
Cincinnatus. He was only a simple farmer with a little farm on the bank
of the Tiber, but he was very wise and good, and the people of Rome
honored and trusted him.

One day when an enemy was about to attack the city--for in those days
there always seemed to be enemies everywhere ready to attack Rome on
any excuse--the people had to have a leader and a general. They thought
of Cincinnatus and went and asked him to be dictator.

Now, a dictator was the name they gave to a man who in case of sudden
danger was called upon to command the army and in fact all the people
for the time being while there was danger. Cincinnatus left his plow,
went with the people to the city, got together an army, went out and
defeated the enemy, and returned to Rome, all in twenty-four hours!

The people were so much pleased with the quick and decided way in which
Cincinnatus had saved Rome that they wanted him to keep right on being
their general in time of peace. Even though they hated kings so much,
they would have made him king if he would have accepted.

But Cincinnatus did not want any such thing. His duty done, he wanted
to return to his wife and humble home and his little farm. So in spite
of what many would have thought a wonderful chance, he did go back to
his plow, choosing to be just a simple farmer instead of being king.

The city of Cincinnati in Ohio is named after a society which was
founded in honor of this old Roman, who lived nearly five hundred years
before Christ.


Greece _vs._ Persia

Do you know what those two little letters “vs.” mean between Greece and
Persia in the name of this story?

Perhaps you have seen them used on football tickets when there was to
be a match between two teams, as, for example, Harvard vs. Yale.

They stand for “versus,” which means “against.”

Well, there was to be a great match between Greece and Persia, but
it wasn’t a game; it was a fight for life and death, a fight between
little Greece and great big Persia.

Cyrus, the great Persian king, had conquered Babylon and other
countries, as well, and he had kept on conquering until Persia ruled
most of the world, all except Greece and Italy.

About the Year 500 B.C. the new ruler of this vast Persian Empire was
a man named Darius. Darius looked at the map, as you might do, and saw
that he owned and ruled over a large part of it. What a pity, thought
he, that there should be a little country like Greece that did not
belong to him!

So Darius said to himself, “I must have this piece of land called
Greece to complete my empire.” Besides, the Greeks had given him some
trouble. They had helped some of his subjects to rebel against him.
Darius said, “I must punish these Greeks for what they have done and
then just add their country to mine.”

So he called his son-in-law and told him to go over to Greece and
conquer it.

His son-in-law did as he was told and started out with a fleet and an
army to do the punishing. But before his fleet could reach Greece it
was destroyed by a storm, and he had to go back home without having
done anything.

Darius was very angry at this, mad with his son-in-law and mad with the
gods who he thought had wrecked his ships, and he made up his mind that
he himself would go and do the punishing and conquering the next time.

First, however, he sent his messengers to all the Greek cities and
ordered each of them to send him some earth and some water as a sign
that they would give him their land and become his subjects peaceably
without a fight.

Many Greek cities were so frightened by the threat of Darius and by his
mighty power that they gave in at once and sent earth and water as
they were told to do.

But little Athens and little Sparta both hotly refused to do so, in
spite of the fact that they were only two small cities against the vast
empire of Darius.

Athens took Darius’ messenger and threw him into a well, saying, “There
is earth and water for you; help yourself”; and Sparta did likewise.
Then these two cities joined their forces and called on all their
neighbors to join with them to fight for their native land against
Darius and Persia.

So Darius made ready to conquer Athens and then Sparta.

[Illustration: A Trireme.]

In order to reach Athens his army had to be carried across the sea in
boats. Of course, in those days there were no steamboats. Steamboats
were invented thousands of years later. The only way to make a boat go
was with sails or with oars. To make a large boat move with oars, it
was necessary to have a great many rowers--three rows one above the
other on each side of the boat.

Such a boat was called a trireme, which means three rows of oars. It
took about 600 of these boats to carry Darius’ army over to Greece.
Each of these 600 boats carried, besides the rowers or crew, about 200
soldiers. So you can see for yourself how many soldiers Darius had
in this army, if there were 600 ship-loads of them and 200 soldiers
on each ship. Yes, that is an example in multiplication--120,000
soldiers--that’s right.

So the Persians sailed across the sea; and this time there was no
storm, and they reached the shore of Greece safely. They landed on a
spot called the plain of Marathon, which was only about twenty-six
miles away from Athens. You will see presently why I have told you just
the number of miles--twenty-six.

When the Athenians heard that the Persians were coming, they wanted to
get Sparta in a hurry to help, as she had promised to do.

Now, there were no telegraphs or telephones or railroads, of course,
in those days. There was no way in which they could send a message to
Sparta except to have it carried by hand.

So they called on a famous runner named Pheidippides to carry the
message. Pheidippides started out and ran the whole way from Athens to
Sparta, about one hundred and fifty miles, to carry the message. He ran
night and day, hardly stopping at all to rest or to eat, and on the
second day he was in Sparta.

The Spartans, however, sent back word that they couldn’t start just
then; the moon wasn’t full, and it was bad luck to start when the moon
wasn’t full, as nowadays some superstitious people think it bad luck
to start on a trip on Friday. They said they would come after a while,
when the moon was full.

But the Athenians couldn’t wait for the moon. They knew the Persians
would be in Athens before then, and they didn’t want them to get as far
as that.

So all the fighting men in Athens left their city and went forth to
meet the Persians on the plain of Marathon--twenty-six miles away.

The Athenians were led by a man named Miltiades, and there were only
ten thousand soldiers of them. Besides these, there were one thousand
more from a little near-by town, which was friendly with Athens and
wished to stand by her--eleven thousand in all. If you figure it out,
you will see that there were perhaps ten times as many Persians as
there were Greeks, ten Persian soldiers to one Greek soldier.

The Greeks, however, were trained athletes, as we know, and their whole
manner of life made them physically fit. The Persians were no match for
them. And so, in spite of the small number of Greeks, the large number
of Persians were beaten, and beaten badly. Of course the Greeks were
far better soldiers than the Persians, for all their training made them
so, but more than all this, they were fighting for themselves to save
their homes and their families.

Perhaps you have heard the fable of the hound who was chasing a hare.
The hare escaped. The hound was made fun of for not catching the little
hare. To which the hound replied, “I was only running for my supper;
the hare was running for his life.”

The Persian soldiers were not fighting for their homes or families,
which were away back across the sea; and it made little difference to
them who won, anyway, for they were merely hirelings on slaves; they
were fighting for a king because he ordered them to.

Naturally the Greeks were overjoyed at this victory.

Pheidippides, the famous runner, who was now at Marathon, started off
at once to carry the joyful news back to Athens, twenty-six miles away.
The whole distance he ran without stopping for breath. But he had not
had time to rest up from his long run to Sparta, which he had taken
only a few days before, and so fast did he run this long distance that
as soon as he had reached Athens and gasped the news to the Athenians
in the market-place he dropped down dead!

In honor of this famous run, they have nowadays, in the new Olympic
Games, what is called a Marathon race, in which the athletes run this
same distance.

[Illustration: “The First Marathon Race.”]

This battle of Marathon took place in 490 B. C. and is one of the most
famous battles in all history, for the great Persian army was beaten by
one little city and its neighbor, and the Persians had to go back to
their homes in disgrace.

A little handful of people, who governed themselves, had defeated a
great king with a large army of only hired soldiers or slaves.

But this was not the last the Greeks were to see of the Persians.



Fighting Mad

Darius was now angrier than ever, and still more determined to whip
those stubborn Greeks, who dared to defy him and his enormous power;
and he began to get ready for one more attempt. This time, however, he
made up his mind that he would get together such an army and navy that
there would be no chance in the world against it, and he made a solemn
oath to destroy the Greeks. So for several years he gathered troops and
supplies, but something happened, and in spite of his oath he did not
carry out his plan. Why? You guessed it. He died.

But Darius had a son named Xerxes--pronounced as if it began with a Z.

When I was a boy, there was an alphabet rime that began, “A is for
Apple,” and went on down to, “X is for Xerxes, a great Persian king.”
I learned the rime, though I did not know at that time anything either
about Xerxes or Persia.

Xerxes was just as determined as his father had been that the Greeks
must be beaten, so he went on getting ready.

But the Greeks also were just as determined that they must _not_ be
beaten, so they, too, went on getting ready, for they knew the Persians
would sooner or later come back and try again.

At this time there were two chief men in Athens, and each was trying to
be leader. One was named Themistocles--pronounced The-mis-to-klees--and
the other Aristides--pronounced Air-is-tie-dees. Notice how many Greek
names seem to end in “es.”

Themistocles urged the Athenians to get ready for what he knew was
coming, the next war with Persia. Especially did he urge the Athenians
to build a fleet of boats, for they had no boats and the Persians had a
great many.

Aristides, on the other hand, didn’t believe in Themistocles’ scheme to
build boats. He thought it a foolish expense and talked against it.

Aristides had always been so wise and fair that people called him
Aristides the Just. Some of the people wanted to get rid of him,
because they thought he was wrong and Themistocles was right. So they
waited till the time came to vote to ostracize any one they wanted to
get rid of. Do you remember who started this custom? Clisthenes--about
500 B.C.

When the day for voting came, a man who could not write and did not
know Aristides by sight happened to ask his help in voting. Aristides
inquired what name he should write, and the man replied, “Aristides.”

Aristides did not tell who he was, but merely said:

“Why do you want to get rid of this man? Has he done anything wrong?”

“Oh, no,” the voter replied. “He hasn’t done anything wrong”; but with
a long sigh he said, “I’m so tired of hearing him always called ’The

Aristides must have been surprised by this unreasonable answer, but
nevertheless he wrote his own name for the voter, and when the votes
were counted there were so many that he was ostracized.

Though it did not seem quite fair that Aristides should be ostracized,
it was fortunate, as it turned out, that Themistocles had his way, and
it was fortunate the Athenians went on preparing for war.

They built a fleet of triremes. Then they got all the cities and towns
in Greece to agree to join forces in case of war. Sparta, on account of
its fame as a city of soldiers, was made the leader of all the others
in case war should come.

And then, just ten years after the battle of Marathon, in 480 B. C.,
the great Persian army was again ready to attack Greece. It had been,
brought together from all parts of the vast Persian Empire and was far
bigger than the former army with its 120,000 men, although that was a
large army for those days.

This time the army is supposed to have consisted of over two million
soldiers--two million; just think of that! The question then was how
to get so many soldiers over to Greece. Such a multitude could not be
carried across to Greece in boats, for even the largest triremes only
held a few hundred men, and it would have taken--well, can you tell how
many boats, to carry over two million? Probably many more triremes than
there were in the whole world at that time. So Xerxes decided to have
his army march to Greece, the long way but the only way round. So they

Now, there is a strip of water called a strait, something like a wide
river, right across the path the Persian army had to take. This strait
was then called the Hellespont. It is, of course, still there, but if
you look on the map now you will find it is now called the Dardanelles.
But there was no bridge across the Hellespont, for it was almost a mile
wide, and they didn’t have bridges as long as that in those days. So
Xerxes fastened boats together in a line that stretched from one shore
to the other shore, and over these boats he built a floor to form a
bridge so that his army could cross upon it.

Hardly had he finished building the bridge, however, when a storm arose
and destroyed it. Xerxes, in anger at the waves, ordered that the water
of the Hellespont be whipped as if it were a slave he were punishing.
Then he built another bridge, and this time the water behaved itself,
and his soldiers were able to cross over safely.

So vast was Xerxes’ army that it is said to have taken it seven days
and seven nights marching continuously all the time in two long
unbroken lines to get over to the opposite shore. Xerxes’ fleet
followed the army as closely as they could along the shore, and at last
they reached the top of Greece. Down through the north of Greece the
army came, overrunning everything before it, and it seemed as though
nothing on earth could stop such numbers of men.


One Against a Thousand

There is a little narrow passageway with the mountains on one side
and the water on the other through which the Persians had to go to
reach Athens. This pass is called Thermopylæ, and you might guess what
Thermopylæ means if you notice that the first part is like Thermos
bottle, which means “hot” bottle. As a matter of fact, Thermopylæ meant
Hot Gateway, and was so named because this natural gateway to Greece
had hot springs near-by.

The Greeks decided that it was best to stop the Persians at this
gate--to go to meet them there first before they reached Athens. In
such a place a few Greek soldiers could fight better against a much
larger number.

It also seemed wise to send picked Greek troops to meet the Persians,
the very best soldiers in Greece with the very bravest general to lead

So the Spartan king, who was named Leonidas--which in Greek means “like
a lion”--was chosen to go to Thermopylæ, and with him seven thousand
soldiers--seven thousand soldiers to block the way of two million
Persians! Three hundred of these were Spartans, and a Spartan was
taught that he must never surrender, never give up. A Spartan mother
used to say to her son:

“Come back _with_ your shield or _on_ it.”

When Xerxes found his way blocked by this ridiculously small band of
soldiers, he sent his messengers ordering them to surrender, to give
themselves up.

And what do you suppose Leonidas replied?

It was what we should expect a Spartan to answer, brief and to the
point; that is, “Laconic.” He said simply:

“Come and take us.”

As there was nothing left for Xerxes to do but fight, he started his
army forward.

For two days the Persians fought the Greeks, but Leonidas still held
the pass, and the Persians were unable to get through.

Then a Greek traitor and coward, who thought he might save his own life
and be given a rich prize by Xerxes, told that king of a secret path
over the mountains by which he and his army might slip through and get
around Leonidas and his soldiers who blocked the way.

The next morning Leonidas learned that the Persians had found out this
path and were already on the way to pen him in from behind. There was
still a chance, however, for his men to escape, and Leonidas told all
those who wanted to do so to leave. Those that remained knew that the
fight was absolutely hopeless and that it meant certain death for all
them. In spite of this, however, one thousand men, including all the
three hundred Spartans stood by their leader, for, said they:

“We have been ordered to hold the pass, and a Spartan obeys orders, and
never surrenders, no matter what happens.”

So there Leonidas and his thousand men fought to the bitter end until
all except one of their number was killed.

The gateway to the city of Athens was now open, and things looked very
black for the Greeks, for there was nothing to prevent the Persians
from marching over the dead bodies of Leonidas and his men straight on
to Athens.

The Athenians, wondering what was to happen to them, hurriedly went to
the oracle at Delphi and asked what they should do.

The oracle replied that the city of Athens itself was doomed, that it
would be destroyed, there was no hope for it, but that the Athenians
themselves would be saved by wooden walls.

This answer, as was usually the case in whatever the oracle said, was
a riddle, the meaning of which seemed hard to solve. Themistocles,
however, said that he knew the answer. You remember that it was he who
had been working so hard to have a fleet of ships built. Themistocles
said that the oracle meant these ships when it spoke of the wooden

So the Athenians, following the supposed advice of the oracle, left
their city as Themistocles told them and went on board the ships, which
were not far away, in a bay called Salamis.

The Persian army reached Athens and found it deserted. So they burned
and destroyed the city as the oracle said. Then they marched on to the
Bay of Salamis, where the Athenians were on board the ships. There, on
a hill overlooking the bay, Xerxes had a throne built for himself so
that he could sit, as if in a box at the theater looking at a play, and
watch his own large fleet destroy the much smaller one of the Greeks
with all the Athenians on board.

The Greek fleet was commanded, of course, by Themistocles. His ships
were in this narrow bay or strait of water, somewhat in the same
way that the soldiers of Leonidas had been in the narrow valley at

[Illustration: Xerxes on his throne watching battle of Salamis.]

Themistocles, seeing that the Bay of Salamis looked somewhat like the
Pass of Thermopylæ, had an idea. He made believe he was a traitor like
the traitor at Thermopylæ and sent word to Xerxes that if the Persian
fleet divided and one half stayed at one end of the strait and the
other half closed off the other end of the strait, the Greeks would be
penned in between and caught as in a trap.

Xerxes thought this a good idea, so he gave orders to have his ships
do as Themistocles had suggested. But Xerxes, sitting smiling on his
throne, had the surprise of his life. The result was just the opposite
of what he had expected. With the Persian fleet separated in two parts,
the Greeks in between could fight both halves of the divided fleet at
the same time, and the space was so narrow that the Persians’ ships got
in the way of each other and rammed and sank their own boats.

And so the Persian fleet was completely beaten, and the proud and
boastful Xerxes, with most of his army and all the navy that was left,
made a hasty retreat back to Persia the way they had come.

And this was the last time the Persians ever tried to conquer little

If Themistocles had not had his way and built such a strong fleet, what
do you think would have become of Athens and Greece!


The Golden Age

When we were talking about the Stone Age and the Bronze Age, I told you
that later we should also hear of a Golden Age.

Well, we have come to the Golden Age now. This doesn’t mean that people
at this time used things made of gold, nor that they had a great deal
of gold money. It means--well, let us see what sort of a time it was,
and then you can tell what it means.

After the wars with Persia, Athens seemed to have been cheered up by
her victory to do wonderful things, and the next fifty years after the
Persians were driven out of Greece--that is, 480 to 430 B. C.--were
the most wonderful years in the history of Greece and perhaps the most
wonderful years in the history of the world.

Athens had been burned down by Xerxes. At the time it happened this
seemed like a terrible misfortune. But it wasn’t. The people set to
work and built a much finer and much more beautiful city than the old
one had been.

Now, the chief person in Athens at this time was a man named Pericles.
He was not a king nor a ruler, but he was so very wise and such a
wonderful speaker and such a popular leader that he was able to make
the Athenians do as he thought best. He was like the popular captain of
a football team, who is a fine player himself and can make fine players
of all the others on his team. Athens was his team, and he trained
it so well that any one of the team would have been able to fill any
position no matter how important it was. Some men became great artists.
Some men became great writers. Some men became great philosophers. Do
you know what philosophers are? They are wise men who know a great deal
and love knowledge.

The artists built many beautiful buildings, theaters, and temples. They
made wonderful statues of the Greek gods and goddesses and placed them
on the buildings and about the city.

The philosophers taught the people how to be wise and good.

The writers composed fine poems and plays. The plays were not like
those we have nowadays but were all about the doings of the gods and

The theaters were not like those we have nowadays, either. They were
always out of doors, usually on the side of a hill, where a “grand
stand” could be built facing the stage. There was little or no scenery,
and instead of an orchestra of musicians there was a chorus of singers
to accompany the actors. The actors wore false faces or masks to show
what their feelings were, a “comic” mask with a grinning face when they
wanted to be funny and a “tragic” mask with a sorrowful face when they
wanted to seem sad.

Perhaps you have seen pictures of these masks, for in the decorations
of our own theaters these same comic and tragic masks are sometimes

[Illustration: Tragic and comic masks.]

Athens had been named after the goddess Athene, who was supposed to
watch out for and look after the city. So the Athenians thought she
should have a special temple. Accordingly, they built one to her on
the top of a hill called the Acropolis. This temple they called in her
honor the Parthenon, meaning the “maiden,” one of the names by which
she was known.

The Parthenon is considered the most beautiful building in the world,
though as you see by the picture, as it is to-day, it is now in ruins.
In the center of this temple was a huge statue of Athene made of gold
and ivory by a sculptor named Phidias. We are told that it was the most
beautiful statue in the world as the Parthenon was the most beautiful
building, but it has completely disappeared, and no one knows what
became of it. One might guess, however, that the gold and ivory tempted
thieves, who may have stolen it piece by piece.

[Illustration: The Parthenon.]

Phidias made many other statues on the outside of the Parthenon, but
most of these have been carried away and put in museums or have been
lost or destroyed.

This statue of Athene and the other sculptures on the Parthenon made
Phidias so famous that he was asked to make a statue of Jupiter to be
placed at Olympia, where the Olympic Games were held. The statue of
Jupiter was finer even than the one he had made of Athene and was so
splendid that it was called one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You
remember the pyramids of Egypt and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were
two others of the Seven Wonders.

Phidias is probably the greatest sculptor that ever lived, but he did
a thing which the Greeks considered a crime and would not forgive. We
do not see anything so terribly wrong in what he did, but the Greeks’
idea of right and wrong was different from ours. This is what he did.
On the shield of the statue of Athene that he had made, Phidias carved
a picture of himself and also one of his friend Pericles. It was merely
a part of the decoration of the shield, and hardly any one would have
noticed it. But according to the Greek notion it was sacrilege to
make a picture of a human being on a statue of a goddess. So when the
Athenians found out what Phidias had done they threw him into prison,
and there he died.

The Greeks used different kinds of columns on their buildings, and
these columns are used in many public and in some private buildings
to-day. I’ll tell you what each kind is like; then see how many you can

The Parthenon was built in a style called Doric.

The top of the column is called the capital, and the capital of the
Doric column is shaped like a saucer with a square cover on top
of it. There was no base or block at the bottom of the column. It
rested directly on the floor. As the Doric column is so plain and
strong-looking it is called the man’s style.

The second style is called _Ionic_.

The capital of the Ionic column has a base, and the capital has
ornaments like curls underneath the square top, and the column has a

As this column is more slender and more ornamental than the Doric, it
is called the woman’s style.

The third style is called _Corinthian_.

[Illustration: 1. Doric. 2. Ionic. 3. Corinthian.]

The capital of the Corinthian column is higher than either of the other
two and still more ornamental. It is said that the architect who first
made this column got his idea for its capital from seeing a basketful
of toys that had been placed on a child’s grave as was the custom
instead of flowers. The basket had been covered with a slab, and leaves
of the thistle called the acanthus had grown up around the basket. It
looked so pretty that the architect thought it would make a beautiful
capital for a column, and so he copied it.

I asked some boys which one could find the most columns. The next
day one boy said he had seen two Ionic columns, one on each side of
the door of his house. The second had seen ten Doric columns on the
savings-bank. But the third said he had seen 138 Corinthian columns.

“Where on earth did you see so many?” I asked.

“I counted the lamp-posts from my house to the school,” he said. “They
were kind of Corinthian columns.”

One of the friends of Pericles was a man named Herodotus. He wrote in
Greek the first history of the world. For this reason Herodotus is
called the Father of History, and some day if you study Greek you may
read what he wrote in his own language. Of course, at that time there
was very little history to write. What has happened since _hadn’t_
happened then, and before his time little was known of what had taken
place. So Herodotus’s history was chiefly a story of the wars with
Persia, which I have just told you about. After that he had to stop;
there was nothing more to write about.

In those days every once in a while a terrible contagious disease,
called a plague, would break out, and people would be taken sick and
die by the thousands, for the doctors knew very little about the plague
or how to cure it. Such a plague came upon Athens, and the Athenians
died like poisoned flies. Pericles himself nursed the sick and did all
he could for them, but finally he, too, was taken sick with the plague
and died. So ended the Golden Age, which has been called in honor of
its greatest man the Age of Pericles.



When Greek Meets Greek

The Golden Age, when Athens was so wonderful, lasted for only fifty

Why, do you suppose, did it stop at all?

It stopped chiefly because of a fight.

This time, however, the fight was not between Greece and some one
outside, as in the Persian Wars. The fight was between two cities
that had before this been more or less friendly--mostly less--between
Sparta and Athens. It was a family quarrel between Greeks. And the
fight was all because one of these cities--Sparta--was jealous of the

The Spartans, as you know, were fine soldiers. The Athenians were fine
soldiers, too. But ever since Themistocles with the ships he had built
had beaten the Persians at Salamis, Athens had also a fine fleet, and
Sparta had no fleet. Furthermore, Athens had become the most beautiful
and most cultured city in the whole world.

Sparta did not care much about Athens’s beautiful buildings and her
education and culture and that sort of thing; that did not interest
her. What did make her jealous was Athens’s fleet. Sparta was inland,
not on nor near the sea-shore as Athens was; so she could not have a
fleet at all. Sparta did not intend, however, to let Athens get ahead
of her, and so on one excuse or another Sparta with all of _her_
neighbors started a war against Athens with all of _her_ neighbors.

Sparta was in a part of Greece which was called by the hard name, the
Peloponnesus. But in those days the boys did not think this a hard
name, for they were as familiar with it as you are with such a name as
Massachusetts, for instance, which would seem just as hard to a Greek
as Peloponnesus does to you. This war between Athens and Sparta was
therefore called the Peloponnesian War from the fact that it was not
only Sparta but all of the Peloponnesus that fought against Athens.

We think a war lasts entirely too long if it lasts four or five years,
but the Peloponnesian War lasted twenty-seven years! There is a saying,
“When Greek meets Greek then comes a tug of war!” which means to say,
“When two equal fighters such as Athens and Sparta, both Greek, meet
each other in battle, who knows how it will end?”

I am not going to tell you about all the battles that took place
during these twenty-seven years, but at the end of this long and bloody
war both cities were tired and worn out, and the glory of Athens was
gone. Although Sparta was ahead, neither city ever amounted to much
afterward. The Peloponnesian War ruined them both. That’s the way war

All during the Peloponnesian War there was a man at Athens by the
name of Socrates who, many think, was one of the wisest and best men
who ever lived. He was called a philosopher and went about the city
teaching the people what was right and what they ought to do. But
instead of actually _telling_ the people what he thought was right, he
asked them questions which made them see what was right. In this way,
chiefly by asking questions, he led people to find out for themselves
what he wanted them to know. This kind of teaching, simply by asking
questions, has ever since been called Socratic.

Socrates had a snub nose and was bald and quite ugly, and yet he was
very popular with the Athenians, which may seem strange, for the
Athenians loved beautiful faces and beautiful figures and beautiful
things, and Socrates was anything but beautiful. It must have been the
beauty of Socrates’s character that made them forget his ugliness,
as I know some boys and girls who think their teacher is perfectly
beautiful just because she is so good and kind that they love her,
although she is really not pretty at all.

Socrates had a wife named Xantippe. She had a bad temper and was the
worst kind of a crosspatch. She thought Socrates was wasting his time,
that he was a loafer, as he did no work that brought in any money. One
day she scolded him so loudly that he left the house, whereupon she
threw a bucket of water on him. Socrates, who never answered back,
merely remarked to himself:

“After thunder, rain may be expected.”

Socrates didn’t believe in all the Greek gods, Jupiter, Venus, and the
rest, but he was careful not to say so himself, for the Greeks were
very particular that no one should say or do anything against their
gods. Phidias, you remember, was thrown into prison for merely putting
his picture on the shield of the goddess Athene, and one would have
been put to death for teaching young men not to believe in the gods.

At last, however, Socrates, as he had feared he would be, was charged
with not believing in the Greek gods and with teaching others not to
believe in them. And so for this he was condemned to death. He was not
hanged or put to death as prisoners are now, however. He was ordered to
drink a cup of hemlock, which was a deadly poison. Socrates’s pupils,
or disciples, as they were then called, tried to have him refuse to
drink the cup, but he would not disobey the order; and so, when he was
nearly seventy years old, he drank the cup of hemlock and died with all
his disciples around him.

Although this was four hundred years before Christ was born, and
before, therefore, there were any such things as Christians or a
Christian religion, yet Socrates believed and taught two things that
are just what Christians also believe.

One of these things he believed was that each of us has inside a
conscience, which tells us what is right and what is wrong; we don’t
have to read from a book or be told by another what is right or what is

Another thing he taught was that there is a life after death and that
when we die our souls live on.

No wonder he was not afraid himself to die!


Wise Men and Otherwise

Have you ever been playing in your yard when a strange boy who had been
watching from the other side of the fence asked to be let into the
game, saying he would show you how to play? You didn’t want him around,
and you didn’t want him in, but somehow or other he got in and was soon
bossing everybody else.

Well, there was a man named Philip who lived north of Greece, and he
had been watching Sparta and Athens--not playing but fighting--and he
wanted “to get into the game.” Philip was king of a little country
called Macedonia, but he thought he would like to be king of Greece,
also, and it seemed to him a good time, when Sparta and Athens were
“down and out” after the Peloponnesian War, to step in and make himself
king of that country. Philip was a great fighter, but he didn’t want to
fight Greece unless he had to. He wanted to be made king peaceably, and
he wanted Greece to do it willingly. So he thought up a scheme to bring
this about, and this was his scheme.

He knew, as you do, how the Greeks hated the Persians whom they had
driven out of their country over a hundred years before. Although
the Persian Wars had taken place so long ago, the Greeks had never
forgotten the bravery of their forefathers and the tales of their
victories over the Persians. These stories had been told them over and
over by their fathers and grandfathers, and they loved to read and
reread them in Herodotus’s history of the world.

So Philip said to the Greeks:

“Your ancestors drove the Persians out of Greece, to be sure, but the
Persians went back to their country, and you didn’t go after them and
punish them as you should have done. You didn’t try ’to get even’ with
them. Why don’t you go over to Persia and conquer it now, and make the
Persians pay for what they did to you?” Then he slyly added:

“Let me help you. I’ll lead you against them.”

No one seemed to see through Philip’s scheme--nobody except one man.
This man was an Athenian named Demosthenes.

Demosthenes, when he was a boy, had decided that he would some day be
a great speaker or orator, just as you might say you are going to be a
doctor, or an aviator, or a lawyer when you grow up.

But Demosthenes had picked the one profession which by nature he was
worst fitted for. In the first place, he had such a very soft, weak
voice that one could hardly hear him. Besides this, he st-st-stammered
very b-b-badly and could not re-cite even a sh-sh-short p-p-poem
without hesit-t-tating and st-st-stumbling so that people laughed at
him. It seemed absurd, therefore, that he should aim to be a great

But Demosthenes practised and _practised_ and _practised_ by himself.
He went down on the sea-shore and put pebbles in his mouth to make it
more difficult to speak clearly. Then he spoke to the roaring waves,
making believe that he was addressing an angry crowd, who were trying
to drown the sound of his voice, so that he would have to speak very
loud indeed.

So at last, by keeping constantly at it, Demosthenes did become the
greatest speaker that ever lived. He spoke so wonderfully that he could
make his audience laugh or make them cry whenever he wanted to, and he
could persuade them to do almost anything he wished.

Now, Demosthenes was the man who saw through Philip’s scheme for
conquering Persia. He knew that Philip’s real aim was to become king
of Greece. So he made twelve speeches against him. These speeches were
known as Philippics, as they were against Philip. So famous were they
that even to-day we call a speech that bitterly attacks any one a

The Greeks who heard Demosthenes were red-hot against Philip while
they listened to him. But as soon as they got away from the sound of
Demosthenes’s words the same Greeks became lukewarm and did nothing to
stop Philip.

So at last, in spite of everything that Demosthenes had said, Philip
had his way and became king over all Greece.

Before, however, he could start out, as he had promised, to conquer
Persia, he was killed by one of his own men, so that he was unable to
carry out his plan.

But Philip had a son named Alexander. Alexander was only twenty years
old, not old enough even to vote if he had lived in our country, but
when his father died he became king of Macedonia and also of Greece.

When Alexander was a mere child, he saw some men trying without success
to tame a young and very wild horse that shied and reared in the air so
that no one was able to ride it. Alexander asked to be allowed to try
to ride the animal. Alexander’s father made fun of his son for wanting
to attempt what those older than he had been unable to do, but at last
gave his consent.

Now, Alexander had noticed what the others, although much older, had
not noticed. The horse seemed to be afraid of its own shadow, for young
colts are easily frightened by anything black and moving, as some
children are afraid of the dark.

So Alexander turned the horse around facing the sun, so that its shadow
would be behind, out of sight. He then mounted the animal and, to the
amazement of all, rode off without any further trouble.

His father was delighted at his son’s cleverness and gave him the horse
as a reward. Alexander named the horse Bucephalus and became so fond
of him that when the horse died Alexander built a monument to him and
named several cities after him.

Now, Alexander was a wonderful boy, but he had such a wonderful teacher
named Aristotle that some people think part, at least, of his greatness
was due to the teacher.

Aristotle was probably the greatest teacher that ever lived. If there
were more great teachers like Aristotle, it seems likely there would
have been more great pupils like Alexander.

Aristotle wrote books about all sorts of things--books about the stars
called astronomy, books about animals called zoölogy, and books on
other subjects that you probably have never even heard of, such as
psychology and politics.

For thousands of years these books that Aristotle wrote were the
school-books that boys and girls studied, and for a thousand years
they were the _only_ school-books. Nowadays, a school-book is usually
old-fashioned a few years after it is written and is then no longer
used. So you see how remarkable it was that Aristotle’s school-books
should have been used for so long a time.

Aristotle had been taught by a man named Plato, who was also a great
teacher and philosopher. Plato had been a pupil of Socrates, so that
Aristotle was a kind of “grand-pupil” of Socrates. You have heard of
the Wise Men of the East. These were the three Wise Men of Greece.


Some day you may read what they wrote or said over two thousand years


A Boy King

When you are twenty years old, what do you think you will be doing?

Will you be playing football on your college team?

Will you be working in a bank, or what?

When Alexander was twenty he was king of both Macedonia and Greece. But
Macedonia and Greece were entirely too small for this wonderful young
man. He wanted to own a much bigger country; in fact, he thought he
would like to own the whole world; that was all--nothing more.

So Alexander went right ahead with his father’s plan to conquer Persia.
The time had come to pay back Persia for that last invasion one hundred
and fifty years before.

He got together an army and crossed the Hellespont into Asia and won
battle after battle against the first Persian armies sent out to stop

He kept moving on, for Persia was a vast empire.

Soon he came to a town where in a temple there was kept a rope tied
into a very far-famed and puzzling knot. It was called the Gordian
Knot, and it was very famous because the oracle had said that whoever
should undo this knot would conquer Persia. But no one had ever been
able to untie it.

When Alexander heard the story, he went to the temple and took a look
at the knot. He saw at once that it would be impossible to untie it,
so, instead of even trying, as others had done, he drew his sword and
with one stroke cut the knot in two.

So now when a person settles something difficult, not by fussing with
it as one untangles a snarl, but at a single stroke, cutting through
all difficulties, we say he “cuts the Gordian Knot.”

From that time on, Alexander conquered one city after another and never
lost any battle of importance until he had conquered the whole of

Then he went into Egypt, which belonged to Persia, and conquered that
country, too. To celebrate this victory, he founded a town near the
mouth of the Nile and named it after himself, Alexandria. Then he
started there a great library which later grew to be so big that there
were said to be five hundred thousand books in it--that is, half a
million--and was the largest library of ancient times. The books were
not like those in the library of Assur-bani-pal nor the kind we have
now, of course, because printing had not been invented. They were every
one of them written by hand, and not on pages, but on long sheets which
were rolled up on sticks to form a scroll.

[Illustration: A scroll, pens and ink.]

In the harbor of Alexandria was a little island called Pharos, and on
this island some years later was built a remarkable lighthouse named
from the island, the Pharos, and its light could be seen for many
miles. It was really a building more like a modern sky-scraper with a
tower. It was over thirty stories high, which seemed most remarkable at
that time when most buildings were only one or two stories high, and
its light could be seen for many miles. So the Pharos of Alexandria was
called one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You have already heard of
three others, so this makes the fourth.

Alexandria grew in the course of time to be the largest and most
important seaport of the ancient world. Now, however, the Pharos and
the library and all the old buildings have long since disappeared.

But Alexander did not stay very long in any one place. He was
restless. He wanted to keep on the move. He wanted to see new places
and to conquer new people. He almost forgot his own little country of
Macedonia and Greece. Instead of being homesick, however, as most any
one would have been, he kept going farther and farther away from home
all the time. We should call such a man an adventurer or an explorer,
as well as a great general. And so he kept on conquering and didn’t
stop conquering until he had reached far-off India.

There in India his army, which had stayed on with him all the way,
became homesick and wanted to go back. They had been away from home
for more than ten years and were so far off that they were afraid they
would never get back.

Alexander was now only thirty years old, but he was called Alexander
the Great, for he was ruler of the whole world--at least, all of it
that was then known and inhabited by civilized people, except Italy,
which was still only a collection of little, unimportant towns at that
time. When Alexander found there were no more countries left for him to
conquer, he was so disappointed that he wept!

And so at last, when there was nothing more to conquer, he agreed to do
what his army begged him and started slowly back toward Greece.

He got as far as Babylon, the city once so large and so magnificent.
There he celebrated with a feast, but while feasting and drinking he
suddenly died. So he never reached Greece.

This was in 323 B.C. when he was but 33 years old. You can remember
these figures easily, for they are all 3’s except the middle figure in
the date, which is one less than 3.

Alexander the Great had conquered the largest country that has ever
been under the rule of one man, and yet this was not the only reason we
call him the “Great.”

He was not only a great ruler and a great general, but--this may
surprise you--he was also a great teacher. Aristotle had taught him to
be that.

Alexander taught the Greek language to the people whom he conquered
so that they could read Greek books. He taught them about Greek
sculpture and painting. He taught them the wise sayings of the Greek
philosophers, Socrates and Plato and his own teacher, Aristotle. He
trained the people in athletics as the Greeks did for their Olympic
Games. And so we can say that he taught far more people than any other
teacher who has ever lived.

Alexander had married a beautiful Persian girl named Roxana, but their
only child was a baby, not born until after his father’s death; so when
the great king died there was no one to rule after him. He had told his
generals before he died that the strongest one of them should be the
next ruler; to fight it out among themselves, as we sometimes say, “May
the best man win.”

So his generals did fight to see who should win, and finally four of
them, who were victorious, decided to divide up this great empire and
each have a share.

One of his generals was named Ptolemy I, and he took Egypt as his
share and ruled well; but the others did not amount to much, and
after a while their shares became unimportant and went to pieces.
Like a red toy balloon which stretches and stretches as you blow
it up, Alexander’s empire grew bigger and bigger until--all of a
sudden--“_pop_”--nothing was left but the pieces.


Picking a Fight

“Every dog has his day.”

A tennis or golf champion wins over the one who was champion before him
and then has a few years during which he is unbeaten. Sooner or later,
however, some younger and better man beats him and in turn takes the

It seems almost the same way with countries as with people. One country
wins the championship from another, holds it for a few years, and then,
when older, finally loses it to some new-comer.

We have seen that

  _Nineveh_ was champion for a while; then
    _Babylon_ had her turn; then
      _Persia_, had her turn; then
        _Greece_; and, lastly,

You may wonder who was to be the next champion after Alexander’s empire
went to pieces--who was to have the next turn.

When Alexander was conquering the world he went east toward the rising
sun, and south. He paid little attention to the country to the west
toward the setting sun. Rome, which we have not heard of for some time,
was then only a small town with narrow streets and frame houses. It
was not nearly important enough for Alexander to think much about.
Rome herself was not thinking of anything then except keeping the
neighboring towns from beating her.

[Illustration: Map of Mediterranean showing Carthage, Spain, etc.]

It is usual to speak of a city as “her” or “she” as if a city were a
girl, but Rome was more like a small boy whom all the other boys were
“picking” on. In the course of time, however, Rome began to grow up and
was not only able to take care of herself but could put up a very stiff
fight. She was then no longer satisfied with just defending herself. So
she fought and won battles with most of the other towns in Italy, until
at last she found herself champion of the whole of the “boot.” Then she
began to look around to see what other countries there were outside of
Italy that she might conquer.

Perhaps you have noticed that Italy, the “boot,” seems about to kick a
little island as if it were a football. This island is Sicily, and just
opposite Sicily was a city called Carthage.

Carthage had been founded by the Phenicians many years before and had
become a very rich and powerful city. As she was by the sea, she had
built many ships and traded with all the other seaports along the
Mediterranean, just as the old Phenician cities of Tyre and Sidon had

Carthage did not like to see Rome getting so strong and growing so big
and becoming so powerful. In other words, Carthage was jealous of Rome.

Rome, on her side, was jealous of the wealth and trade of Carthage. So
Rome anxiously looked around for some excuse to get into a fight with

Now, you know how easy it is to pick a quarrel and start a fight when
you are “looking for trouble.” One boy sticks out his tongue, the other
gives him a kick, and the fight is on.

Well, two countries are at times just like little boys; they start a
fight with just as little excuse, and though they call the fight “war”
it is nothing but a “scrap.” Only there are no fathers to come along
and give them both a spanking and send them to bed without any supper.

So it didn’t take long for Rome and Carthage to find an excuse, and a
war was started between them. The Romans called this fight a Punic War,
for “Punic” was their name for Phenician, and the Carthaginians were

As Carthage was across the water, the Romans could not get to her
except in boats. But Rome had no boats. She was not on the sea-shore,
and she knew nothing about making boats, nor about sailing them, if she
had had them.

The Carthaginians, on the other hand, had many, many boats, and, like
all the Phenicians, were old and experienced sailors.

But Rome happened to find the wreck of a Carthaginian ship that had
been cast ashore, and she at once set to work to make a copy of it.
In a remarkably short time she had built one ship, then another and
another, until she had a great many ships. Then, though she was new at
the game, she attacked the Carthaginian fleet.

It would seem that the Carthaginians could easily have won, for the
Romans knew so little about boats. But in sea battles, before this,
the fighting had been done by running into the enemy and ramming and
sinking their ships.

The Romans knew they were no match for the Carthaginians in this sort
of fighting. So they thought up a way in which they could fight them as
on land.

To do this they invented a kind of big hook which they called a “crow.”
The idea was for a ship to run close alongside a Carthaginian ship and,
instead of trying to sink her, to throw out this big hook or “crow,”
catch hold of the other ship, and pull both boats dose together. The
Roman soldiers would then scramble over the sides into the enemy’s boat
and fight them the same way they would on land.

The scheme worked.

This new kind of fighting took the Carthaginians by surprise, and they
were no match for the Romans at first.

But Rome did not have things all her own way by any means. The
Carthaginians soon learned how to fight in this fashion, too. So Rome
lost, as well as won, battles both on land and on sea. But at last she
did win, and the Carthaginians were beaten. Thus ended the first Punic


The Boot Kicks and Stamps

But the Carthaginians were not beaten for good. They were only waiting
for another chance to get even. As, however, they had been unsuccessful
in attacking Italy from in front as they had been doing, they made up
their minds to attack her from the back. Their scheme was to go the
long way round through Spain and down into Italy from the north.

In order to do this, they had first of all to conquer Spain so that
they could get through. They did this, however, rather easily, for the
Carthaginians had a very great general named Hannibal. But then came
the great difficulty, to get into Italy by this back way.

Across the top of the “boot,” at the north of Italy, there are the
great mountains called the Alps. They are miles high and covered even
in summer with ice and snow. There are crags and steep cliffs along
which any one passing who made a single misstep would be dashed to
death thousands of feet below.

It was the Alps, therefore, that formed a bigger and better wall than
any city or country could possibly build. Of course the Romans thought
it impossible for any army to climb over such a terribly high and
dangerous wall.

Time and again there have been things that people call impossible to
do, and then some one has come along and done them.

People said it was impossible to fly.

Then some one did it.

People said it was impossible to cross the Alps with an army.

Then Hannibal came along, and before the Romans knew what had happened
he had done it. He had crossed the Alps with his army and was in at the
back door!

The Romans were unable to keep him from marching on toward their city,
winning battle after battle as he came along. They were unable to
prevent him marching up and down Italy, conquering other towns in Italy
and doing pretty much as he pleased. It seemed as if Rome were beaten
and she were to lose all of Italy.

Now, in some games, if you can’t defend your own goal, it may be a good
plan to try attacking your opponent’s goal.

Rome thought she would try this plan. While Hannibal was attacking her,
she herself would attack Carthage while its general was away and there
was no strong goal-keeper to defend that city.

So the Romans sent a young man named Scipio with an army to do this.

First, however, Scipio went to Spain to cut Hannibal off from the way
he had come, and this country Scipio reconquered.

Then he went over to Africa to attack Carthage itself.

The Carthaginians, frightened at being attacked with their general and
his army far off in Italy, sent as fast as they could for Hannibal to
come home. When at last he arrived, it was too late. Scipio fought a
famous battle at Zama near Carthage, and the Carthaginians were beaten,
beaten a second time by the Romans. Thus ended the second Punic War in
202 B.C. This is another easy name and easy date--just like a telephone


The Romans had won two wars against Carthage; you would think that they
would now have been satisfied. But they weren’t. They thought they had
not beaten Carthage badly enough. They were afraid she was not quite
dead or that she might come to life. They thought there might be a
little spark left that might start a fire if it weren’t trampled out.

Now, it is bad sport to pummel your opponent after he is beaten, and
Carthage was beaten--beaten, black and blue--there was no hope of her
“coming back.” And yet a few years later the Romans attacked her again
for the third and last time.

Carthage was unable to defend herself, and the Romans viciously burned
the city to the ground. It is said they even plowed over the land
so that no trace of the city should remain, and sowed it with salt
which prevented anything growing there. After that Carthage was never
rebuilt, and now it is hard to tell even where the old city once was.



The New Champion of the World

You can well imagine how proud all the Romans now were that they _were_
Romans, for Rome was the champion fighter of the world. If a man could
toss his head and say, “I am a Roman citizen,” people were always ready
to do something for him, afraid to do him any harm, afraid what might
happen to them if they did. Rome was ruler not only of Italy but of
Spain and Africa. Like other nations before her, once she had started
conquering, she kept on conquering, until by 100 B.C. she in her turn
was ruler of almost all the countries bordering the Mediterranean
Sea--all except Egypt.

The New Champion of the World, who was to be champion for a great many
years, was very businesslike and practical.

The Greeks loved beautiful things, beautiful buildings, beautiful
sculpture, beautiful poems. The Romans copied the Greeks and learned
from them how to make many beautiful things, but the Romans were most
interested in practical and useful things.

For example, now that Rome ruled the world, she had to be able to send
messengers and armies easily and quickly in every direction to the
end of her empire and back again. So it was necessary for her to have
roads, for of course there were no railroads then. Now, an ordinary
road made by simply clearing away the ground gets full of deep ruts and
in rainy weather becomes so muddy that it can hardly be used at all.

So Rome set to work and built roads. These roads were like paved
streets. Large rocks were placed at the bottom for a foundation,
smaller stones placed on top, and large, flat paving-stones laid
over all. Thousands of miles of such roads she built to all parts of
her empire. One could go from almost anywhere all the way to Rome on
paved roads. We still have an expression, “All roads lead to Rome.” So
well were these roads made that many of them still exist to-day, two
thousand years after they were built.

The Romans also showed their practical minds by making two very
important city improvements. If you live in a city, you turn on a
spigot and you get plenty of pure water whenever you want it. The
people in cities at that time, however, usually had to get their water
both for drinking and for washing from wells or springs near-by. These
springs and wells often became dirty and made the people very sick.
And so every once in a while because of such dirty water there were
those terrible plagues, those terribly contagious diseases like the one
I told you about in Athens when people died faster than they could be

[Illustration: Roman Aqueduct.]

The Romans wanted pure water, and so they set to work to find lakes
from which they could get pure water. As oftentimes these lakes were
many miles away from the city, they then built big pipes to carry the
water all the way to the city. Such a pipe was not made of iron or
terra-cotta as nowadays, but of stone and concrete, and was called an
“aqueduct,” which in Latin means “water-carrier.” If this aqueduct had
to cross a river or a valley, they built a bridge to hold it up. Many
of these Roman aqueducts are still standing and in use to-day.

Now, up to this time waste water, after it had been used, and also
every other kind of dirt and refuse, was simply dumped into the street.
This naturally made the city or town filthy and unhealthy and was
another cause of plagues. But the Romans built great underground sewers
to carry off this dirt and waste water and empty it into the river or
into some other place where it would do no harm and cause no sickness.
Nowadays, every large city has aqueducts and sewers as a matter of
course, but the Romans were the first to build them on a large scale.

One of the most important things that Rome did was to make rules that
every one had to obey; laws, we call them. Many of these laws were so
fair and just that some of our own laws to-day are copied from them.

All the cities and towns of the Roman Empire had to pay money or taxes
to Rome. So Rome became the richest city in the world. Millions of this
money, which was brought to her, was spent in putting up beautiful
buildings in the city, temples to the gods, splendid palaces for the
rulers, public baths and huge open-air places called amphitheaters
where the people could be amused.

The amphitheaters were something like our football and baseball fields
or stadiums. They did not have football or baseball, however. They
had chariot-races, and deadly fights between men, or between men and
animals. Chariots were small carts with large wheels drawn by two or
by four horses and driven by a man standing up. Perhaps you have seen
chariot-races in the circus.

But the sport that the Romans enjoyed most of all was a Fight of
Gladiators. Gladiators were very strong and powerful men who had been
captured in battle by the Romans. They were made to fight with one
another or with wild animals for the amusement of the crowd. These
gladiatorial fights were very cruel, but the Romans enjoyed seeing
blood shed. They liked to see one man kill another or a wild animal. It
was so amusing. The movies would not have interested them half so much.
Usually the gladiators fought until one or the other was killed, for
the people were not, as a rule, satisfied until this was done.

Sometimes, however, if a gladiator, who had been knocked out, had shown
himself particularly brave and a good fighter or a good sport, the
people seated all around the amphitheater would turn their thumbs _up_
as a sign that his life was to be spared by the other gladiator. So the
winning gladiator, before killing his opponent whom he had down, would
wait to see what the people wished. If they turned their thumbs _down_,
it meant he was to finish the fight by killing his man.

But although Rome had become such a fine and beautiful and healthy
city in which to live, the rich people were getting most of the money
that came there from all over the empire. They were getting richer
and richer all the time, while the poor people, who got nothing, were
getting poorer and poorer all the time. The Romans brought the people
whom they conquered in battle to Rome and made them work for them
without pay. These were slaves and they did all the work. It is said
that there were more than twice as many slaves as Romans--two slaves
for every Roman citizen.

Now, Scipio, who had conquered Hannibal in the Punic War, had a
daughter named Cornelia Graccha, and she had two sons. They were very
fine boys, and Cornelia was naturally very proud of them.

One day a very rich Roman woman was visiting Cornelia and showing off
all her rings and necklaces and other ornaments, of which she had a
great many and was very proud.

When she had shown off all she had, she asked to see Cornelia’s jewels.

Cornelia called to her two boys, who were playing outside, and when
they came in to their mother she put her arms around them and said:

“_These_ are _my_ jewels.”

But boys who are jewels when they are young do not always turn out to
be jewels when they grow up. So you may wonder how Cornelia’s jewels
tinned out.

When they grew up, the Gracchi, as they were called, saw such great
extravagance among the rich and such great misery among the poor that
they wanted to do something about it. They saw that the poor had hardly
anything to eat and no place to live. This did not seem fair. So they
tried to lower the price of food, so that the poor might be able to buy
enough to eat. Then they tried to find some way to give the poor at
least a small piece of land where they might raise a few vegetables.
They were partly successful in bringing this about. But the rich people
didn’t like giving up anything to the poor, and they killed one of the
Gracchus brothers, and later they killed the other one, also. These
were Cornelia’s jewels.


The Noblest Roman of Them All

Here’s a puzzle for you:

A man once found a very old piece of money that had on it the date “100
B. C.”

That couldn’t be so. Why not? See if you can tell without looking at
the answer at the bottom of the page.[1]

[1] People living 100 years before Christ was born could not have known
when he was to be born and so could not put such a date on the coins
they made.

In the year 100 B. C. was born in Rome a boy who was named Julius Cæsar.

If you had asked him when he was born, he would have said in the Year

Why do you suppose?

Because Roman boys counted time from the founding of Rome in 753 B. C.,
and Cæsar was born 653 years after the city was founded. That makes it
100 years before Christ, doesn’t it?

_Pirates_ seemed to be everywhere in the Mediterranean Sea at that
time--_Pirates_. Now that Rome was ruler of the world, there were many
ships carrying gold from different parts of the empire to Rome. So
the pirates sailed up and down, lying in wait to capture and rob these
ships laden with gold.

When Cæsar grew to be a young man, he was sent off to sea to fight
these pirates, and he was captured by them. The pirates kept Cæsar a
prisoner and sent to Rome saying they would not let him go unless Rome
sent them a great deal of money. Cæsar knew that he would be killed if
the money was not sent. He knew, too, that he might be killed, anyway.
But he was not only not afraid but he told the pirates that if he lived
to get back home he would return with a fleet and punish every one of
them. When at last the money came they let him go, nevertheless. They
thought Cæsar would not dare to do what he said. They thought he was
just “talking big.” At any rate, they did not believe he would be able
to catch them. Cæsar, however, kept his word, came back after them as
he said he would do, and took them prisoners. Then he had them all put
to death on the cross, which was the Roman way of punishing thieves.

The far-off places of the Roman Empire were always fighting against
Rome trying to get rid of her rule, and had to be kept in order by a
general with an army. As Cæsar had shown such bravery in fighting the
pirates he was given an army and sent to fight two of these far-off
places--Spain and a country north of Spain then known as Gaul, which
is now France.

Cæsar conquered these countries, and then he wrote a history of his
battles in Latin, which of course was his own language. Nowadays this
book, called “Cæsar’s Commentaries,” is usually the first book which
those who study Latin read.

In 55 B. C. Cæsar crossed over in ships to the island of Britain, which
is now England, conquered it, and went back again next year in 54 B. C.

Cæsar was becoming famous for the way he conquered and ruled over the
western part of the Roman Empire. Besides this, he was very popular
with his soldiers.

Now there was in Rome at this time another general named Pompey. Pompey
had been successfully fighting in the eastern part of the Roman Empire
while Cæsar had been fighting in the west. Pompey had been a great
friend of Cæsar, but when he saw how much land Cæsar had conquered and
how popular he was with his soldiers, he became very jealous of him.
Notice how many quarrels and wars are caused simply by jealousy. You
have heard of at least two already.

So while Cæsar was away with his army Pompey went to the Roman Senate
and persuaded the senators to order Cæsar to give up the command of
his army and return to Rome.

When Cæsar received the order from the Senate to give up his command
and return to Rome, he thought over the matter for some time. Then at
last he made up his mind that he would return to Rome, but he would
_not_ give up his command. Instead, he decided that he and his army
would take command of Rome itself.

Now, there was a little stream called the Rubicon which separated the
part of the country over which Cæsar was given charge from that of
Rome. The Roman law forbade any general to cross this stream with an
army ready to fight--this was the line beyond which he must not pass,
for the Romans were afraid that if a general with an army got too close
to Rome he might make himself king.

When Cæsar decided not to obey the Senate, he crossed this stream--the
Rubicon--with his army and marched on to Rome.

People now speak of any dividing line from danger as “the Rubicon”
and say that a person “crosses the Rubicon” when he takes a step from
which there is no turning back, when he starts something difficult or
dangerous which he must finish.

When Pompey heard that Cæsar was coming he took to his heels and fled
to Greece. In a few days Cæsar had made himself head not only of Rome
but of all Italy. Cæsar then went after Pompey in Greece and in a
battle with his army beat him badly.

Now that Pompey was out of the way, Cæsar was the chief ruler of the
whole of the Roman Empire.

Egypt did not yet belong to Rome. So Cæsar next went there and
conquered that country. Now, in Egypt there was ruling a beautiful
queen named Cleopatra. Cleopatra was so charming that she seemed able
to make every one fall in love with her. Cleopatra flirted with Cæsar
and so fascinated him that he almost forgot everything else except
making love to her. So although he had won Egypt he made Cleopatra
queen over that country.

Just at this time some people in the far eastern part of the empire
started a war to get rid of the rule of Rome. Cæsar left Egypt,
traveled rapidly to the place where the enemy were, made quick work
of conquering them, then sent back the news of his victory to Rome
in the most laconic (do you remember what that means?) description
ever given of a battle. There were only three words in the message.
Although the messenger could have carried three thousand as easily as
three words, Cæsar sent a message that would have been short even for a
telegram. He wrote, “Veni, vidi, vici,” which means, “I came, I saw, I

When Cæsar at last got back to Rome, the people wanted to make him
king, or said they did. Cæsar was already more than king, for he was
head of the whole Roman Empire. But he wasn’t called king, for there
had been no kings since 509 B. C., when Tarquin was driven out. The
Romans had been afraid of kings and hated them, or were supposed to
hate them.

A few of the people thought that Cæsar was getting too much power
and believed it would be a terrible thing to make him a king. They,
therefore, decided on a plot to prevent such a thing happening. One of
these plotters was a man named Brutus who had been Cæsar’s very best

One day when Cæsar was expected to visit the Roman Senate they lay in
wait for him until he should appear--in the same way I have seen boys
hide around the corner for some schoolmate, against whom they had a
grudge, until he should come out of school.

Cæsar came along, and just as he was about to enter the Senate the
plotters crowded around him, and one after another they stabbed him.

Cæsar, taken by surprise, tried to defend himself; but all he had
was his stylus, which was a kind of pen he used for writing, and he
could not do much with that, in spite of a famous saying, “The pen is
mightier than the sword.”

When at last Cæsar saw Brutus--his best friend--strike at him, his
heart seemed broken and he gave up. Then, exclaiming in Latin, “Et tu,
Brute!” which means, “And thou, O Brutus!” he fell down dead. This was
in 44 B.C.

Antony, one of Cæsar’s true friends, made a speech over Cæsar’s dead
body, and his words so stirred the crowd of people that gathered round
that they would have torn the murderers to pieces if they could have
caught them.

Shakspere has written a play called “Julius Cæsar,” and the month of
July is named after him.

Now whom do you suppose Antony called “The Noblest Roman of Them All”?

“Julius Cæsar”?

No, you’re wrong. Brutus, the friend who stabbed Cæsar, was called,
“The Noblest Roman of Them All.”

Why, do you suppose?

You’ll have to read Antony’s speech at the end of the play to find out.

Cæsar was pronounced in Latin “Kaiser”; and in later years the rulers
of Germany were called this, and those of another country by the
shortened form, “Czar.”


An Emperor Who Was Made a God

A man is famous who has a town or a street named after him.

Will you ever do anything great enough to have even an alley named
after you?

But just suppose a month, one of the twelve months of the year, was
given your name!

Millions upon millions of people would then write and speak your name

But I’m going to tell you about a man who not only had a month named
after him but who was made a god!

After Cæsar had been killed, three men ruled the Roman Empire. One of
these three men was Antony, the friend of Cæsar, who made the famous
speech over his dead body. The second was Cæsar’s adopted son, who was
named Octavius. The name of the third you don’t need to know now, for
Antony and Octavius soon got rid of him. Then no sooner had they forced
him out than each of these two began to plot to get the share of the

Antony’s share, over which he ruled, was the eastern part of the
empire. The capital of this part was Alexandria in Egypt, and so
Antony went there to live.

In Egypt Antony fell in love with Cleopatra, as Cæsar before him had
done, and he finally married her.

Octavius, in the west, which was his share, then made war on Antony and
Cleopatra together, and in the end beat them both. Antony felt so bad
at being beaten by Octavius that he committed suicide.

His widow, Cleopatra, thereupon, flirted with Octavius as she had with
Julius Cæsar and Antony, hoping to make him also fall in love with her
and so win him in that way.

But it was no use. Octavius was a different kind of man from both
Julius Cæsar and Antony. He was cold-blooded and businesslike. He had
no heart for love-making. He would not let a woman charm him or turn
him aside from his plan, which was to be the greatest man in the world!

Cleopatra saw that it was no use trying her tricks on him. Then she
heard that she was going to be taken back to Rome and paraded through
the streets, as was done with any other prisoners taken in battle. She
could not stand such a shame as that, and so she made up her mind she
would not be taken back to Rome.

Now, in Egypt there is a kind of snake called an asp, which is deadly
poisonous. Taking one of these asps in her hand, she uncovered her
breast and let it bite her, and so she died.

Octavius was now ruler over all the countries that belonged to
Rome, and when he returned home to that city, the people hailed him
“Emperor.” He then gave up the name Octavius and had himself called
“Augustus Cæsar,” which is like saying, “His Majesty, Cæsar.” This was
in 27 B.C. Rome had got rid of her kings in 509. From now on she had
emperors, who were more than kings, for they ruled over many countries.

Octavius, now with his name changed to Augustus Cæsar, was only
thirty-six years old when he became sole master of the Roman world.
Rome was the great capital of this vast empire. The city of Rome had
probably as many people as New York City proper now has, and the Roman
Empire had perhaps as many people as the United States has at present.

Augustus set to work to make Rome a beautiful city. He tore down a
great many of the old buildings made of brick and put up in their place
a remarkable number of new and handsome buildings of marble. And so
Augustus always bragged that he found Rome brick and left it marble.

One of the finest buildings in Rome, the Pantheon, was built. Pantheon
means the temple of all the gods. Do not mix this with the Parthenon
in Athens, for the two buildings are quite different, and though the
names look something alike and sound something alike, they mean quite
different things; Parthenon is from the goddess Athene Parthenos;
Pantheon is from the two words “Pan theon,” which means “all gods.”

The Pantheon has a dome built of concrete. This dome is shaped like a
bowl turned upside down, and in the top of the dome is a round opening
called an eye. Though this eye is uncovered, the height is so great
above the floor that it is said that rain coming through the eye does
not wet the floor beneath but evaporates before reaching it.

So magnificent did the city become with all these wonderful buildings,
and so permanently did it seem to be built, that it was known as The
Eternal City and is still so spoken of.

There was a public square in Rome called the Forum. Here markets were
held and the people came together for all sorts of things. Around the
Forum were erected temples to the gods, court-houses, and other public
buildings. These court-houses were something like the temples that the
Greeks built, only the columns were put on the inside of the building
instead of on the outside.

[Illustration: Roman forum.]

Triumphal arches also were erected to celebrate great victories. When a
conquering hero returned from the war, he and his army passed through
this arch in a triumphal parade.

There had been in Rome a great amphitheater that is supposed to have
held more people than any structure that has ever been built--two
hundred thousand, it is said, or more than all the people who live in
some good-sized cities. This was called the Circus Maximus. It was at
last torn down to make room for other buildings.

Another amphitheater was the Colosseum, but this was not built until
some time after Augustus had died. It held about the same number as
the largest stadium in this country does to-day. Here were held those
fights between men, called gladiators, and wild animals that I have
already told you about. It is still standing, and, though it is in
ruins, you can sit in the same seats where the old Roman emperors did,
see the dens where the wild animals were kept, the doors where they
were let into the arena, and even bloody marks that are said to be the
stains made by the slain men and beasts.

So many famous writers lived at the time of Augustus that this has been
called the Augustan Age. Two of the best known Latin poets, whom every
school-boy now reads after he has finished “Cæsar’s Commentaries,”
lived at this time. These poets were Vergil and Horace. Vergil wrote
the “Æneid,” which told of the wanderings of Æneas, the Trojan, who
settled in Italy, and was the great-great-great-grandfather of Romulus
and Remus. Horace wrote many short poems called Odes. They were
love-songs of shepherds and shepherdesses and songs of the farm and
country life. People liked his songs, and many still name their sons
after him.

When Augustus Cæsar died, he was made a god, because he had done so
much for Rome; temples were built in which he was worshiped, and the
month of August was named after him.


“Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory”

Augustus Cæsar had been Ruler of the World.

He had found Rome brick and left it marble.

He had had a month named after him, and

He had been made a god!

Surely no one could ever be greater than he! Yet a greater than he was
living at the very same time--a greater ruler of a greater kingdom with
greater power and greater glory, although Augustus himself knew nothing
about Him and lived and died without ever having heard of Him. This
Man was born in the eastern part of Augustus’s empire in a tiny little
village called Bethlehem, and His name was Jesus Christ.

For many, many years after Christ was born no one except His family and
friends knew or cared anything about His birth or paid the slightest
attention to it.

Christ was a Jew, the son of a carpenter. As a boy and young man He
led a very simple and quiet life working in His father’s shop. He did
not begin to preach until He was more than thirty years old. Then He
went about teaching the people what we learn to-day as the Christian

He taught that there was one God over all.

He taught brotherly love, that one should love one’s neighbor as

He taught the golden rule; that is, “do unto others as you would be
done by.”

He taught that there was a life after death for which this short life
on earth was only a preparation; that therefore you should “lay up your
treasures in heaven” by doing good works here.

The poorer Jews listened to Christ and believed what He taught them.
But they thought He was going to set them free from the rule of the
Romans, which they hated. The Jewish priests, however, were afraid of
what Christ taught. He was teaching some things that were just the
opposite of what they themselves taught. So they plotted to have Him
put to death.

Now, the Jews could not put Christ to death without the permission of
the Roman ruler of that part of the empire where Christ lived. This
ruler was named Pilate. So they went to Pilate and told him that Christ
was trying to make himself king. Christ of course meant and always said
that He was a heavenly ruler and not an earthly king. The Jews knew
that Pilate would not care at all what religion Christ taught. There
were all sorts of religions in the Roman Empire--those that believed
in mythological gods and those that believed in idols and those that
believed in the sun, moon, and so on--one more new religion made little
difference to the Romans, and Christ would not be put to death simply
for teaching another. But the Jews knew if they could make Pilate
believe that Christ was trying to make himself a king, that was a thing
He could be crucified for. Pilate did not believe much in what the
Jews said against Christ. It was a small matter to him, one way or the
other, however. But he wanted to please the Jews, so he told them to go
ahead and put Christ to death if they wanted to. So He was crucified.

Christ had chosen twelve men to teach what He told them. These twelve
men were called apostles. After Christ was crucified these apostles
went through the land teaching the people what Christ had taught them.
Those who believed in and followed His teachings were called disciples
of Christ or Christians. The apostles were teachers; the disciples were

The Romans thought these disciples of Christ were trying to start a
new world empire, and that they were against Rome and the emperor and
should be arrested and put in prison. So the Christians usually held
their meetings in secret places, sometimes even underground, so that
they would not be found and arrested.

But after a while the leaders of the Christians became bolder. They
came out of their secret places and taught and preached openly,
although they knew they would sooner or later be thrown into prison and
perhaps killed. Indeed, so strongly did they believe in the teachings
of Christ that they seemed even glad to die for His sake, as He had
died on the cross for them.

In the first hundred years after Christ, there were a great many
Christians put to death because they were thought traitors. Christians
who died for Christ’s sake were called martyrs. The first martyr was
named Stephen. He was stoned to death about 33 A.D.

One of the men who helped in putting Stephen to death was a man
named Saul. Saul was a Roman citizen and, like other Roman citizens,
was proud of that fact. He thought the Christians were enemies of
his country, and he did everything he could to have the Christians
punished. Then, all of a sudden, Saul had a change of heart and came to
believe in the religion of the very people whom he had been fighting.
Whatever Saul did or whatever he believed he did or believed with his
whole soul. Though he had never seen Christ, he became one of the
chief Christians and then was made an apostle and was called by his
Roman name, Paul.

Paul preached the new religion far and wide just as earnestly as he had
fought against it at first. Then he, too, was condemned to death. Paul,
however, was, as I have said, a Roman citizen, and a Roman citizen
could not be put to death by the ordinary judges who were not Roman
citizens nor in the ordinary way by crucifying. So Paul appealed to
the emperor. Nevertheless, he was put in prison in Rome and afterward
beheaded. And so he is called St. Paul.

Peter was another of the chief apostles. Christ had said to him, “I
will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”[2] Peter, too,
was thrown into prison, and was sentenced to be crucified. But he asked
to be crucified with his head downward. He thought it too great an
honor to die in just the same way as his Lord. On this spot in Rome
where Peter was put to death was built long afterward the largest
church in the world, the Cathedral of St. Peter.

[2] Matthew, xvi, 19.

As everything before Christ’s birth is called B.C. and everything since
His birth is called A.D., you would naturally suppose that 0 would be
the date of His birth.

But it was not until some five hundred years later that people began
to date from Christ’s birth. And then, when they did begin to date
from this event, they made a mistake. It was found out that Christ was
really born four years before He was supposed to have been born--that
is, in 4 B.C.--but when the mistake was found out, it was then too late
to change.



Blood and Thunder

I once had a big Newfoundland dog, and he was one of the best friends
a boy ever had. I don’t know who it was that named him; he was named
before I got him; but whoever it was must either have been ignorant of
history or a bad chooser of names. He was called Nero, and even a dog
would have hated such a name, had he known whose it once was.

Every good story usually has a villain to make it interesting. Nero is
the prize villain of history. He was a Roman emperor who lived not long
after Christ, and he is considered the most terribly cruel and wicked
ruler that ever lived.

He killed his mother.

He killed his wife.

He killed his teacher, who was named Seneca. He was not a bad teacher,

We think that Nero ordered both St. Peter and St. Paul put to death,
for they were executed at this same time.

Nero seemed to take great pleasure in making others suffer. He loved to
see men torn to pieces by wild beasts; it amused him greatly. I have
seen boys who liked to throw stones at dogs just to hear them yelp, or
tear the wings off of butterflies. Such boys must have some Nero in
them; don’t you think?

If a man was a Christian, that gave Nero an excuse to torture him
horribly. Nero had some of the Christians wrapped in tar and pitch,
then placed around the garden of his palace and set fire to, as if
they were torches. It is even said that Nero set Rome on fire just for
the fun of seeing the city burn. Then he sat in a tower and, while he
watched the blaze spreading, played on a harp. The saying is that “Nero
fiddled while Rome burned”; but there were no fiddles at that time, and
so we know it must have been a harp. The fire burned day and night for
a whole week and destroyed more than half of the city. Then Nero laid
the blame on the Christians, who, he said, started the fire. Did you
ever blame another for something you had done?

Some think Nero really was crazy, and we hope he was, for it is hard to
think any human being who was not crazy could act as he did.

Nero built himself an immense palace and overlaid it extravagantly with
gold and mother-of-pearl. It was known as Nero’s House of Gold. At its
front door he put up a colossal statue of himself in bronze fifty feet
high. Both the House of Gold and the statue were later destroyed,
but the Colosseum, which was built a few years afterward, was named
Colosseum from this “coloss-al” statue of Nero that was once there.

Nero was very conceited. He thought he could write poetry and sing
beautifully. Although he did both very badly, he liked to show off, and
no one dared to laugh at him. Had any one been so bold as to make fun
of him or even to smile, he would have had that person put to death

Even the Roman people who were not Christians feared and hated Nero.
So they voted to have him put out of the way. But before they had a
chance to do anything, Nero heard what they were planning, and in order
to save himself the disgrace of being put to death by his own people
he decided to kill himself. He was such a coward, however, that he
couldn’t quite bring himself to plunge the sword into his heart. But
as he hesitated, holding the sword to his breast and whimpering, his
slave, impatient to finish the job, shoved the blade in. Thus was Rome
rid of its worst ruler.

So much for the first part of this “blood and thunder” story. Here is
the second part:

The Jews in Jerusalem didn’t like to have Rome rule over them. They
never had. But they were afraid to do much about it. But in the Year
70 A.D. they rebelled; that is, they said they would no longer obey
Rome or pay her money. The emperor sent his son, who was named Titus,
with an army to put an end to the rebellion, to punish them as if they
were disobedient children.

The Jews crowded into their city of Jerusalem to make a last stand
against the Romans. But Titus destroyed that city completely and the
Jews in it, a million of them, it is supposed. Then he robbed the great
temple of all its valuable ornaments and brought them back to Rome.

To celebrate this victory over Jerusalem an arch was built in the Forum
at Rome, and through this arch Titus and his army marched in triumph.
On this arch was carved a procession, showing Titus leaving the city
of Jerusalem with these ornaments. Chief among these ornaments was a
golden seven-branched candlestick he had taken from the temple. To-day
we see many copies in brass of this famous seven-branched candlestick.
Perhaps you may have one in your home on the mantelpiece.

The city was rebuilt later, but most of the Jews who were left have
ever since been living in all the other countries of the earth.

Titus became emperor, but in spite of the way in which he had massacred
so many Jews, he was not such a bad emperor as you might suppose. He
thought he was doing right in killing these men because they had
rebelled against Rome. But Titus had a rule of life, much like that the
Boy Scouts now have. This rule was, “Do at least one good turn a day.”

The third part of this story is the “thunder.”

In Italy there is a volcano named Vesuvius. You remember that “volcano”
came from the name “Vulcan,” the blacksmith god, and people imagined
that his forge in the heart of a volcano made the smoke and flame and
ashes. From time to time this volcano, Vesuvius, thunders and quakes
and spouts forth fire and throws up stones and gas and boils over with
red-hot melted rock called lava. It is the hot inside of the earth
exploding. Yet people build houses and towns near-by and live even
on the sides of the volcano. Every once in a while their homes are
destroyed when the volcano quakes or pours forth fire. Yet the same
people go right back and build again in the same place!

[Illustration: Vesuvius erupting, Pompeii in foreground.]

There was at the time of Titus a little town named Pompeii near the
base of Vesuvius. Wealthy Romans used to go there to spend the summer.
Suddenly, one day in the year 79 A.D., just after Titus had become
emperor, Vesuvius began to spout forth fire. The people living in
Pompeii rushed for their lives, but they hadn’t time to get away. They
were smothered with the gases from the volcano before they hardly had
time to move and, falling down dead, were buried deep in a boiling rain
of fire and ashes, just where they happened to be when the eruption, as
it was called, took place.

The people and their houses lay buried beneath the ashes for nearly
two thousand years, and in the course of time every one had forgotten
there ever had been such a place. People came back as they had before
and built houses over the spot where every one had forgotten there once
was a city. Then one day a man was digging a well over the spot where
Pompeii had once been. He dug up a man’s hand--no, not a real hand,
but the hand of a statue. He told others, and they set to work and dug
and dug to see what else they could find until the whole town was dug
out. And now one can go to Pompeii and see it very much as it was in 79
A.D., before it had ever been destroyed.

There are houses of the Romans who went there to spend their vacations.
There are shops and temples and palaces and public baths and the
theater and the market place or forum. The streets were paved with
blocks of lava, once melted stone. They still show ruts which were worn
into them by the wheels of the chariots that the Romans used to drive.
Stepping-stones were placed at some crossings, so that in case of heavy
rains, when the streets were full of water, one could cross on them
from curb to curb. These stepping-stones are still there. The floors of
the houses were made of bits of colored stone to form pictures. They
are still there. In the vestibule of one house, there is in the floor
a mosaic picture of a dog. Under it are the Latin words, “Cave canem.”
What does that mean? Can you guess? It means, “Look out for the dog!”
That was a Roman’s idea of a joke two thousand years ago!

The bones of the people who were caught and buried alive in the ashes
were also found. There were also found bronze ornaments worn by the
women, vases that decorated the home, lamps which they used to light
the houses, pots and pans and dishes. Beds and chairs were found just
as they had been buried. Still more remarkable, cakes were found on the
table, a loaf of bread half eaten, meat ready to be cooked, a kettle on
the fire with the ashes still underneath it--beans and peas and _one
egg_ unbroken--probably the oldest egg in the world!


A Good Emperor and a Bad Son

Have you ever said, “I don’t care,” when you really did care?

I have. Every one has.

Perhaps you have been naughty and have been told you could have no
dessert or must go to bed early, and you tossed your head and said, “I
don’t care.”

Well, once upon a time there was a society or club formed of grown-up
people who said they weren’t ever going to care what happened to them;
whether it was good or whether it was bad would make no difference.
I should call them the “Don’t Care Club,” but they called themselves
“Stoics,” and they thought the way to be good was “not to care.”

If a Stoic’s house burned down, he would say to himself and try to make
himself believe, “I don’t care; it doesn’t matter.”

If some one gave him a million dollars, he would say, “I don’t care; it
doesn’t matter.”

If he was told by the doctor he was going to die next week, he would
say, “I don’t care; it doesn’t matter.”

This Society of Stoics was started by a Greek philosopher named Zeno.

Zeno lived in Athens later than those philosophers, Socrates and Plato,
whom you have already heard about. Zeno said that the only way to be
good and the only way to be happy was not to care for pleasure and not
to mind pain or suffering but calmly to put up with everything, no
matter how unpleasant or disagreeable it was, and the Stoics believed
him. Even to-day people who bear troubles and pain and hardships
without a murmur are called stoics.

One of the chief members of the society was a Roman emperor.

Rome’s worst emperor, Nero, had been dead a hundred years when there
came to the throne this new emperor, who was just as good as Nero was
bad. This emperor was named Marcus Aurelius. Although he was so very
good and pious, he was not a Christian. Indeed, Marcus Aurelius treated
the Christians terribly, as they had been treated terribly by the
previous emperors, for he thought them traitors to the empire.

At this time most of the Romans had very little religion of any sort.
They were not Christians, but neither did they put much faith in their
own gods, Jupiter and Juno and the rest. They honored them because
they were brought up to honor them and because they thought if they
didn’t honor them they might have bad luck, so they took no chances.
But instead of believing in such gods, people usually believed in the
teachings of some wise man or philosopher and obeyed more or less the
rules he made. Zeno was one of these philosophers, and the Stoics were
the members of this society.

Although Marcus Aurelius was an emperor, he would rather have been a
Stoic philosopher or a priest. Although he had to be a soldier and a
general, he would rather have been a writer. When he was off, fighting
with his army, he carried his writing-materials with him, and he would
go to his tent at night and write out his thoughts. These thoughts he
called his “Meditations.” Here is one of the things he wrote:

 When you find you do not want to get up early in the morning, make
 this short speech to yourself. I am getting up now to do the business
 of a man. Was I made to do nothing but doze and keep warm under the

That was written long years ago, yet your father might have told you
the same thing this morning.

People read this book of Marcus Aurelius to-day, either in the Greek in
which it was written or translated into English.

A great many of Marcus Aurelius’ sayings seem almost as if they might
have been in the Bible. Indeed, some people keep his book by their
bedside as if it were a Bible.

One of his rules was, “Forgive your enemies,” and he seemed almost
glad to have enemies so that he might have a chance to forgive them.
Indeed, he took such a special delight in forgiving his enemies that
he even went out of his way to do so. Though Marcus Aurelius was not a
Christian, nevertheless he was more Christian in the way he acted than
some of the later emperors who were supposed to be Christians.

But like many people who are very good themselves, Marcus Aurelius was
unable to bring up his son to be so. His son was named Commodus, and
Commodus was just as bad as his father was good. He may have been bored
when a child by too many of his father’s instructions, for when he grew
up and was able to choose for himself and do as he pleased, instead of
following Zeno and joining the Stoics, he joined the society of another
philosopher called Epicurus.

Epicurus had lived about the same time as Zeno. But he had taught
what at first seems almost the opposite of what Zeno taught. Epicurus
said that the chief end and aim of man and the only good in the world
was pleasure; _but_, said he, the pleasure must be of the right kind.
Nowadays people who are very fond of eating nice things, whose whole
thought in life is the pleasure of eating, are called “epicures.”

Commodus’s one thought was pleasure, and the worst kind of pleasure at
that. A friend of mine thought Marcus Aurelius was such a fine man that
he named his son after him, “Marcus Aurelius Jones,” but when the son
grew up he was not at all like his namesake. The name “Commodus” would
have suited him much better, for instead of being good and pious, he
thought of nothing but pleasure and he was so bad that he ended in jail.

Commodus thought nothing of giving his people a good government; he
only thought of giving himself a good time. He was an athlete and had
beautiful muscles and a handsome figure, of which he was so proud that
he had a statue made of himself. The statue showed him as the strong
and muscular god Hercules. Commodus made the people worship him as
if he were this god. Just to show off his muscles and his muscular
ability, he himself took part in prize-fights--quite bad taste for
an emperor. He poisoned or killed any one who found fault with or
criticized him. He led a wild and dissipated life, but at last he met
the end he deserved. He was strangled to death by a wrestler.

Lycurgus would have said again:

“I told you so.”


I-- H-- S---- V-----

The name of this story I’m going to put at the end, for you wouldn’t
know what it means, anyway, until you have heard the story, and so it’s
no use looking ahead.

All through the years since Christ was crucified, those who said they
believed in Christ had been terribly treated--“persecuted,” we call
it--because they were Christians. They had been flogged; they had been
stoned; they had been torn with iron hooks; they had been roasted and
burned to death. Yet, strange as it may seem, in spite of this terrible
treatment, more and more people were becoming Christians every day.
They believed so strongly in life after death, and they believed that
they would be so much happier after death if they died for Christ’s
sake, that they seemed even glad to suffer and to be killed. But at
last the emperor himself put a stop to all these persecutions. This is
how it happened.

About the year 300 A.D. Rome had an emperor by the name of Constantine.
Constantine was not a Christian. His gods were the old Roman gods. He
probably did not put much faith in them, however.

Well, once upon a time Constantine was fighting with an enemy when he
dreamed one night that he saw in the sky a flaming cross. Beneath this
cross were written the Latin words, “In hoc signo vinces.” In English
this is, “In this sign thou shalt conquer.” Constantine thought this
meant that if he carried the Christian cross into battle he would
conquer. He thought it would at least be worth while to give the
Christian God a trial. So he had his soldiers carry the cross, and he
did win the battle. Then immediately he became a Christian himself and
asked every one in the Roman Empire to become a Christian also. From
that time on, all the Roman emperors who came after Constantine, all
except one, were Christians.

To celebrate Constantine’s victory the Roman Senate built a triumphal
arch in the Forum of Rome and called it the Arch of Constantine. If has
three openings; the Arch of Titus has only one.

Constantine’s mother was named Helena. She was one of the very first
to become a Christian and be baptized. Then she gave up her life to
Christian works and built churches at Bethlehem and on the Mount of
Olives. It is said that she went to Palestine and found the actual
cross on which Christ had been crucified three hundred years before and
sent part of it to Rome. When she died she was made a saint, and so
she is now called St. Helena.

Constantine built a church over the spot where St. Peter was supposed
to have been crucified. Many years later, this church was torn down so
that a much larger and grander church to St. Peter might be built there.

But Constantine did not care for Rome. He preferred to live in another
city in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. This city was called
Byzantium. So he moved from Rome to Byzantium and made that city his
capital. Byzantium was called New Rome, and then the name was changed
to Constantine’s city. In Greek, the word for “city” is “polis.” We see
the word used in Anna_polis_ and Indiana_polis_. So Constantine’s City
became Constantinepolis, and then shortened to Constantinople.

Hardly had the Roman Empire become Christian before a quarrel arose
between those Christians who believed one thing and those who believed
another. The chief thing they quarreled about was whether Christ was
equal to God the Father or not equal to Him. Constantine called the
two disagreeing sides together at a place called Nicæa to settle the
question. There the leaders of each side argued the matter hotly.
Finally, it was decided that the Christian Church should believe that
God the Son and God the Father were equal. Then they agreed to put
what they believed in words. This was called a creed, which means
“believe,” and because it was made at Nicæa it was known as the Nicene
Creed, which many Christians still say every Sunday.

Before the time of Constantine, there were no weekly holidays. Sunday
was no different from any other day. People worked or did just the
same things on Sunday as they did on other days. Constantine thought
Christians should have one day a week for the worship of God--a “holy
day,” or holiday, as we call it--so he made Sunday the Christian day of
rest, a “holy day” such as Saturday was for the Jews.

But although Constantine was head of the Roman Empire, there was
another man whom all Christians throughout the world looked to as their
spiritual head. This man was the Bishop of Rome. In Latin he was called
“papa,” which means the same thing in Latin that it does in English,
“father.” So the bishop of Rome was called “papa,” and this became
“pope.” St Peter was supposed to have been the first Bishop of Rome.
For many centuries the pope was the spiritual ruler of all Christians
everywhere, no matter in what country they lived.

As now you know what the name of this story means I’m putting it here:

 In Hoc Signo Vinces


Our Tough Ancestors

But Rome with the Roman Empire had had her day. She had risen as high
as she could. It was her turn to fall. She had become as large as she
ever was to be. It was her turn to be conquered. But you cannot guess
what people were to do the conquering and to be next in power.

When I was a boy there was a gang of toughs who lived down by the
gas-house and railroad tracks. They were ragged, unwashed, unschooled,
but terrible fighters. Their leader was known to us as Mug Mike, and
the very mention of him and his gang struck terror to our souls. Every
now and then they paid our neighborhood a visit. Once we had offered
fight, but with such terrible results that ever after at word of their
approach the alarm would be sounded and we would hide indoors.

For ages there had been such a gang of half-civilized toughs living on
the northern borders of the Roman Empire. Every now and then they tried
to cross over the border into the Roman lands, and the Romans had to
be constantly fighting them to keep them back where they belonged.
Julius Cæsar had fought with them. So had Marcus Aurelius and so had
Constantine. These wild and warlike people were called Teutons and--you
may be shocked to hear it, but--they are the ancestors of most of us!

They had light hair and blue eyes; that is, they were what we call
blonds. The Greeks and Romans and other people who lived around the
Mediterranean Sea had black hair and dark eyes. They were what we call
brunettes. If you have light or brown hair, you are probably a Teuton.
If you have black hair, you are probably not.

The Teutons were white people, and they were Aryans, but they were
uneducated toughs and could neither read nor write.

They wore skins of animals instead of clothes made of cloth. They lived
in huts made of wood, sometimes of branches woven together--like a
large basket. The women raised vegetables and took care of the cows
and horses. The men did the hunting and fighting and blacksmithing.
Blacksmithing was very important, for the blacksmith made the swords
and spears with which they fought and the tools with which they worked.
That is why the name “Smith” was so honored among them.

When the men went to battle they wore the heads of animals they had
killed, an ox’s head, horns and all, or the head of a wolf or bear or
fox. This was to make themselves look fierce and to frighten the enemy.

_Bravery_ was the chief thing the Teuton thought good. A man might lie,
he might steal, he might even commit murder, but if he was a brave
warrior, he was called a “good” man.

The Teutons did not have a king. They elected their chiefs, and of
course they always chose the man who was the bravest and strongest.
But he could not make his son ruler after him. So he was more like a
president than a king.

[Illustration: Teuton warrior.]

The Teutons had an entirely different set of gods from those of Greece
and Rome. Their chief god, as you might guess, was the god of war, and
they called him Woden. Woden was also the god of the sky. He was like
the two Greek gods, Jupiter and Mars, put together. Woden was supposed
to live in a wonderful palace in the sky called Valhalla, and many
tales are told of the wonderful things he did and of the adventures he
had. Wednesday, which was once Wodensday, is named after him. That is
why there is a letter “d” in this word, although we don’t pronounce it.

After Woden, Thor was the next most important god. He was the god
of thunder and lightning. He carried a hammer with which he fought
great giants who lived in the far-off cold lands and were called
“ice-giants.” Thursday, which was once Thorsday, is named after him.

Another god was named Tiu, and from his name we get Tuesday, and
another Freya, from whom we get Friday, so that four out of seven of
our days are named after Teuton gods, in spite of the fact that we
are--most of us--Christians and no longer believe in these gods.

Of the other three days of the week, Sunday and Monday of course are
named after the sun and moon, and Saturday is named after a Greek god,

From these wild people all fair-haired people to-day are said to
be descended--the English, French, German, and such of us whose
forefathers are English or French or German.

About the Year 400 A.D. these Teuton toughs were becoming particularly
troublesome to the Romans. They began to push their way down into the
northern part of the Roman Empire, and after a few years the Romans
could hold them back no longer. Two of these Teuton gangs, or tribes,
as they were called, went over into Britain, and the Romans who were
living there found it wisest to get out, go back to Rome, and leave the
country to the Teutons.

These tribes who settled in Britain were known as Angles and Saxons. So
the country came to be called the land of the Angles, or, for short,
“Angle-land.” After the words “Angle-land” were said over for many
years, they became “England,” which is what we call the country to-day.
The people of England are still known by the full name “Anglo-Saxons,”
and this is the name by which we call everything descended from these
old Teuton tribes of Angles and Saxons who settled in Britain about 400

Another gang or tribe called the Vandals went into Gaul. Gaul is where
France is now. Then they kept on down into Spain, stealing, smashing,
and burning like Mug Mike’s gang of toughs on Hallowe’en. They crossed
over by boats into Africa. They injured or destroyed everything they
came upon. So to-day when any one damages or destroys property
wickedly, we call him a vandal. If you cut up your desk, tear your
books, or scratch names on walls or fences, you, too, are a vandal.

A tribe called the Franks followed the Vandals into Gaul, and there
they stayed, giving the name “France” to that country.

The Teutons north of Italy were the Goths. They had a leader by the
name of Alaric. He was the “Mug Mike” of the gang of Goths. Alaric and
his Goths crossed over the mountains into Italy and robbed or destroyed
everything of value they could lay their hands on. They then entered
Rome and carried away whatever they wanted, and the Romans could not
stop them. But the worst was yet to come.



White Toughs and Yellow Toughs Meet the Champions of the World

The Teutons were wild toughs but they were white.

Farther north of the Teutons and to the east was a tribe of people who
were still more savage and fierce. They were called Huns. They lived
far off in the forests and wilds way beyond the Teutons, in a part of
the country that no one then knew much about.

The Huns were, we think, not white as the Teutons were, but yellow.
Even the Teutons themselves, fierce fighters though they were, feared
the Huns, and it was chiefly because they were afraid of them and
wanted to get away from them as far as they could that the Teutons went
over the borders into the Roman Empire. It was much easier to fight the
Romans than it was to fight the Huns.

The Huns seemed more like wild beasts than human beings. Their leader
was a dreadful creature named Attila. He boasted that nothing ever grew
again where his horse had trod. He and his Huns had conquered and laid
waste the country all the way from the East almost to Paris. At last
the Teutons made a stand against them and fought a great battle at a
place not so very far from Paris, a place called Châlons.

The Teutons fought desperately; they fought madly. It was white toughs
against yellow toughs, and the Huns were beaten. It was lucky they
were beaten, for if they had won, these dreadful wild, yellow people
might have conquered and ruled the world. The white toughs were
bad enough, but the yellow would have been worse. So the battle of
Châlons, 451 A.D., is written in history in capital letters and large
figures--CHÂLONS 451.

After Attila and his Huns had been beaten at Châlons they left the
Teutons alone, but they then went after the Romans. Turning back they
went down into Italy, where there was no one able to stop them. They
destroyed everything as they moved on. The people of the country didn’t
even attempt to fight. They thought the Huns were monsters and simply
fled before them. So on to Rome the Huns went.

Now, there was at Rome at this time a Pope named Leo I, which means
Lion. Leo, of course, was neither a soldier nor a fighting man, but he
and his cardinals and bishops went out from Rome to meet Attila. They
were not clad in armor, and none of them carried any weapons with which
to fight. The pope and those with him were dressed in gorgeous robes
and richly colored garments. It seemed as if they must be slaughtered
by Attila and his Huns like lambs before wolves.

But something strange happened when Attila and the pope met; exactly
what no one knows. Perhaps Attila was awed by the pomp and splendor of
those Christians. Perhaps he feared what Heaven might do to him if he
destroyed those holy beings who had come out to meet him as if from
heaven. At any rate, he did not destroy them, nor did he enter Rome,
but turned about and left Italy, left it for good and all, and he and
his Huns returned to the unknown land to the north from which they had

Now that the dreaded Attila was out of the way, the Vandals in Africa
saw their chance to attack Rome. Attila had barely left Italy before
the Vandals crossed over from Africa and sailed up the Tiber to Rome.
They captured the city without any difficulty, helped themselves to
everything they wanted, and carried away all Rome’s treasures.

Poor old Rome! She was at last beaten, beaten for good! She had been
the Champion for a great many years. But now all her strength was gone.
She was old and weak and no longer able to defend herself against
these gangs of toughs. Rome’s last emperor had the high-sounding name
“Romulus Augustulus,” the same name as the first king, Romulus, with
the addition of Augustulus, which means the little Augustus. But in
spite of his high-sounding name, Romulus Augustulus could do nothing.
He was like the little boy living in the marble house on the avenue,
the little boy with curls and a velvet suit, whom Mug Mike caught out
one day and--you can guess the rest. “Great Cæsar’s ghost!” How Cæsar’s
ghost must have felt!

It was the Year 476 that Rome was beaten. The western half of the
empire, of which Rome had been the capital, broke up into pieces, and
the pieces were ruled over by Teutons. Like Humpty Dumpty, Rome had had
a great fall, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t
put it together again. Only the eastern part, of which Constantinople
was the capital, still went on. This eastern half was not conquered by
the barbarians, and it still kept going for nearly a thousand years
longer until--but wait till we come to that time in history.

People speak of this date, 476, as the end of Ancient History. After
Ancient History, there was a time over five hundred years long which
was known as the Dark Ages--the Night-time of History. The Dark Ages
lasted from 476 to about 1000 A.D. These centuries are called the Dark
Ages, because during that long time the Teutons, those uneducated
toughs who were unable even to read and write, were the chief people in
Europe, and they ruled over those who had once been the educated and
cultured people.

The Teutons, though such rough toughs, barbarians as they were called,
were, strange to say, quick to learn many things from the Romans whom
they had conquered. Even before they had conquered Rome, most of the
Teutons had already become Christians.

Of course they had to learn the Latin language in order to talk to
their subjects. But they changed the Latin a good deal and mixed it
with their own language. This mixture of their own language with the
Latin at last became Italian. The Teutons who went to Spain in a like
way mixed their language with the Latin, and this mixture was Spanish.
In France the mixture of the two languages became French.

In Britain, however, the Anglo-Saxons would have nothing to do with
the Romans and would not use the Roman language but kept their own
language. After a while this language of the Anglo-Saxons was called
English. The Anglo-Saxons also kept their own religion, and they
worshiped Thor and Woden and their other gods until about one hundred
years later, or about 600 A.D.

At that time some English slaves were being sold in the slave-market
at Rome. They were very handsome. The pope saw them and asked who they

“They are Angles,” he was told.

“Angles!” exclaimed he; “they are handsome enough to be ’angels,’ and
they should certainly be Christians.”

So he sent some missionaries to England to convert the English;
to change Angles to Angels. So at last the English, too, became



It was 500 o’clock by History Time.

Night was coming on.

The Dark Ages had begun.

At least, that is what people call it now. But people didn’t call it so

Crazy people don’t think they are crazy.

Ignorant people don’t think they are ignorant.

So the Dark Ages didn’t think they were dark.

The ignorant Teutons were ruling over the pieces of the Western Empire.

  They couldn’t read; they couldn’t write.
  They didn’t know much except to fight.
  They didn’t know ’twas dark as night.

At Constantinople, however, a Roman was still ruling over the Eastern
Empire. This Roman was named Justinian. Now, up to this time there had
been a great many rules or laws by which the people were governed. But
there were so many of these rules and they were so mixed up that one
law would tell you you could do one thing and another would tell you
you couldn’t. It was as if your mother said you could stay up till nine
o’clock to-night and your father said you must go to bed at eight. It
was hard for people to tell, therefore, what one must do and what one
must not do.

In order to untangle this snarl, Justinian had a set of laws made for
the government of his people, and many of these were so good and so
just that they are still the law to-day. If you notice that Justinian
begins with “Just,” this will help you to remember that he was the one
who made _just_ laws.

Another thing Justinian did that has lasted to the present time. He
built in Constantinople a very beautiful church called Santa Sophia.
Though it is no longer a church, it is still standing after all these
years and is a beautiful sight to see. Still another thing he did
which you could never guess. It had nothing to do with war or law or

Travelers from the Far East, where China now is, had brought back
tales of a wonderful caterpillar that wound itself up with a fine,
thin thread over a mile long, and they told stories of how the Chinese
unwound this thread and wove it into cloth of the finest and smoothest
kind. This thread, as you might guess, was called silk, and the
caterpillar that made it was called the silkworm. People in Europe
had seen this beautiful silk cloth, but how it was made had been a
mystery--a secret. They thought it so wonderfully beautiful that it was
supposed to have been made by fairies or elves or even sent down from
heaven. Justinian found out about these caterpillars and had men bring
these silkworms into Europe so that his people also might make silk
cloth and have silk ribbons and fine silk garments, and therefore we
give him the honor of starting the manufacture of silk in Europe.

Outside of Justinian’s empire the ignorant Teutons were living. It took
them nearly a thousand years to learn as much as any school-boy now
knows, and the first thing they learned was not reading, nor writing,
but the Christian religion.

About the same time that Justinian lived there was a king in France
named Clovis. Clovis, of course, was a Teuton and belonged to the tribe
called the Franks, which gave the name “France” to that country. Clovis
believed in Thor and Woden as all of his people did. Clovis had a wife
named Clotilda, whom he loved very dearly. Clotilda, though a Teuton,
thought all the fighting and cruelty which her people seemed to like
was wrong. She had heard about the religion of Christ, which did not
believe in quarreling and fighting, and she thought she would like to
be a Christian. So she was baptized. Then she tried to persuade her
husband, Clovis, to become a Christian, also.

Clovis was just then going to war--the very thing the Christians
preached against. But, just to please his wife, he promised her, if he
won the battle, he would become a Christian. He did win, and he kept
his word and was baptized and had his soldiers baptized, also. Clovis
made Paris his capital, and Paris is still the capital of France.

It was about this same time, also, that a king named Arthur was ruling
in England. Many stories and poems have been written about him, which,
however, we know are fairy-tales and not history. But although we know
these stories are not true, they are, nevertheless, interesting--like
those tales that are told about the heroes of the Trojan War.

It was said that there was a sword called Excalibur stuck so fast in a
stone that no one could draw it out except the man who should be king
of England. All the nobles had tried without success to draw the sword,
when one day a young boy named Arthur pulled it out with the greatest
ease, and he was accordingly proclaimed king.

King Arthur chose a company of the nobles to rule with him, and as they
sat with him at a Round Table, they were known as the Knights of the
Round Table. Tennyson, the great English poet, has written in verse an
account of all the doings of King Arthur and his knights in a long poem
called “The Idylls of the King,” which you will have to read yourself,
for we must go on to the next story.



“Being Good”

What do you mean by “being good”?

The Teutons thought “being good” meant being brave.

The Athenians thought whatever was beautiful was “good.”

The Stoics thought “not caring” was “being good.”

The Epicureans thought having a good time was “being good.”

The martyrs thought “being good” meant suffering and dying for Christ’s

Ever since the time of the martyrs, Christians who wanted to be very,
very good indeed, went off into the wilderness and lived by themselves.
They wished to be far away from other people, so that they could spend
all their time praying and thinking holy thoughts. This, they believed
was “being good.”

One of the strangest of these men who wanted to get away from others
was named St. Simeon Stylites. He built for himself a pillar or column
fifty feet high, and on the top of it he lived with room only to sit
but not to lie down. There on the top he lived for many years, day
and night, winter and summer, while the sun shone on him and the rain
rained on him, and he never came down at all. He could be reached only
by a ladder, which his friends used to bring him food. High up out of
the world, he thought he could best lead a holy life. That was his idea
of “being good” although we should think such a person simply crazy.

In the course of time, however, men who wanted to lead holy lives,
instead of living alone as they had done at first, gathered in groups
and built themselves homes. These men were called monks, and the house
where they lived was known as a monastery or abbey. The head monk of
such an abbey was called an abbot, and he ruled over the other monks
like a father over his children, giving them orders and punishing them
when he thought they needed it.

In the five hundreds there lived an Italian monk named Benedict. He
believed very strongly that one must work if he was to be holy, that
work was a necessary part of being holy. He thought, also, that monks
should have no money of their own, for Christ had said in the Bible,
“If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the
poor.” So Benedict started a club or order of monks for those people
who would agree to three things:

The first thing they were to agree to was to have no money.

The second thing was to obey.

The third thing was not to marry.

Monks who joined this club were called Benedictines.

Now, you might think there would have been hardly any one who would
promise for life three such things as to have no money, to obey
the abbot--no matter what he told them to do--and never to marry.
Nevertheless, there were a great many men in every country of Europe
who did become Benedictines.

Usually the monks lived in little bare rooms like prison cells, and ate
their very simple meals together at a single table in a room called the
refectory. They prayed at sunrise and sunset, and many times during the
day besides, and they even woke up at midnight to say their prayers.
But praying was not all they had to do. Work of every kind they were
obliged to do, and they did it joyfully, whether the work was scrubbing
floors or digging in the garden.

Oftentimes the monastery was situated in a barren or swampy spot on
land that had been given the monks because it was no good, or even
worse than no good, dangerously unhealthy. But the monks set to work
and drained off the water, tilled the soil, and made the waste places
bloom like the rose. Then they raised vegetables for their table,
fodder for their horses and cattle and sheep. Everything they ate or
used or needed, they raised or made.

But they did not only the rougher hand-work; they did fine hand-work,
too. Printing had not been invented at this time; all books had to be
written by hand, and the monks were the ones who did this. They copied
the old books in Latin and Greek. Sometimes one monk would slowly read
the book to be copied, and several other monks at one time would copy
what he dictated. In this way a number of copies would be made.

[Illustration: Monk writing a manuscript.]

The pages of the books were not made of paper but of calfskin or
sheepskin, called vellum, and this vellum was much stronger and lasted
much longer than paper.

These old books which the monks wrote were called “manuscripts,”
which means “hand-written.” Many of these may now be seen in museums
and libraries. Some of these manuscripts have been beautifully
hand-printed with loving care and the initial letters and borders
ornamented with designs of flowers and vines and birds and pictures in
red and gold and other colors. If the monks hadn’t done this copying,
many of the old books would have been lost and unknown to us.

The monks also kept diaries, writing down from day to day and year
to year an account of the important things that happened. These old
diaries, or chronicles, as they were called, tell us the history of the
times. As there were then no newspapers, if these chronicles had not
been written we should not know what went on at that time.

The monks were the best educated people of those days, and they taught
others--both young and old--the things they themselves knew. The
monasteries were also inns for travelers, for any one who came and
asked for lodging was received and given food and a place to sleep,
whether he had any money to pay or not.

The monks helped the poor and needy. The sick, too, came to the
monastery to be treated and taken care of, so that a monastery was
often something like a hospital, too. Many people who had received such
help or attention made rich gifts to the monasteries, so they became
very wealthy, although the monks could own not so much as a spoon for

So you see the monks were not merely holy men; they were most useful
citizens. They were in many ways more nearly everything that Christ
would have wished than perhaps any one large group of men has ever been
since. They were really “GOOD FOR SOMETHING.”



A Camel-Driver

Every hundred years is called a century, but a thing that seems a
little strange is this--the hundred years from 500 to 600 is called the
_sixth_ century, not the fifth; the hundred years from 600 to 700 is
called the _seventh_ century, not the sixth; and so on. Thus 615, 625,
650, and so on are all _seventh_ century.

Well, we have now reached the seventh century--the six hundreds, and we
are to hear of a man who was to make a change in the whole world. He
was neither a Roman nor a Greek nor a Frank nor a Goth nor a Briton. He
was neither a king nor a general, but only a--

What do you suppose?


and he lived in a little town called Mecca in far-off Arabia. His name
was Mohammed. Mohammed went on an errand for a wealthy Arabian lady,
and the lady fell in love with him. Although he was a poor camel-driver
and only a servant and she was rich, they were married. They lived
happily together, and nothing remarkable happened until Mohammed was
forty years old.

[Illustration: Map of Saracenic empire showing Mecca, Medina,
Constantinople, Tours, Cordova, Bagdad, Jerusalem, also Europe.]

Mohammed had been in the habit of going out to a cave in the desert to
study and think. One day when he visited this cave he had a dream, or
a vision, as it is called when such things happen in the daytime when
one is awake. In this vision, so Mohammed said, the angel Gabriel had
appeared and told him that God, whom the Arabs called Allah, said he
must go forth and teach the people a new religion.

So Mohammed went home to his wife and told her what had happened, and
she believed his story and became his first follower. Mohammed then
went forth as he had been directed and taught his relatives and friends
what he said Allah had told him, and they, too, believed what he said
and became his followers.

But when he set out to teach others, who were not his friends nor
relatives, they simply thought him crazy and perhaps dangerous. So they
got together and planned to get rid of him--even kill him if necessary.
But he heard what they were planning, and so he packed up all his
belongings and, with his wife and those who believed in him, left the
city of Mecca and fled to the town of Medina, a little way off. This
was in 622--Six-Two-Two--and was called the Hegira, which in the Arabic
language means “flight.”

I have told you this exact date, for later as you will see this
religion, which Mohammed started, grew bigger and bigger, and now
at this very day there are one third as many people who believe in
Mohammed and the religion he started as there are who believe in Christ
and the religion He started; that is, there are now one third as many
Mohammedans in the world as there are Christians. The Mohammedans began
to count from the Hegira, 622, calling it the Year 1 as the Christians
did from the Birth of Christ, as the Greeks did from the First
Olympiad, as the Romans did from the Founding of Rome. So the Greeks,
the Romans, the Mohammedans, and the Christians each had a different
Year 1.

This new religion was called Islam. From time to time Mohammed received
messages which he said came from God. Mohammed himself could neither
read nor write, and so he had some one else write down these messages
on palm-leaves. There were so many of these messages that when they
were finally gathered together they made a big book. This book is
called the “Koran,” and it is the Mohammedan Bible and tells what
Mohammedans must do and what they must not do.

[Illustration: Muezzin on minaret calling to prayer.]

As Mohammed was born in Mecca, Mecca is the sacred city of the
Mohammedans. To Mecca each good Mohammedan tries to go at least once
in his lifetime, no matter how far off from it he may live; and toward
Mecca he always faces when he prays. There are always pilgrims, as
such travelers are called, wending their way to Mecca. The Mohammedans
worship in a temple called a _mosque_, but they also pray five times
each day wherever they may be. A man called a muezzin cries out this
time for prayer. He goes out on a little balcony on the minaret of the
mosque and calls aloud: “Come to prayer; come to prayer. There is but
one god and he is Allah.” Then, no matter who the Mohammedan is, no
matter where he may be or what he may be doing, even though he is in
the street or market-place, whether he is working or playing, he faces
toward Mecca, falls on his knees, bows his head and hands to the ground
and prays. Sometimes he carries a small rug called a prayer-rug with
him so that he may have something holy to kneel on when he prays.

[Illustration: Mohammedan praying.]

Many people liked this new religion. Those who believed in Islam were
known as Moslems, and before long, as I have told you, there were as
many Moslems or Mohammedans as there were Christians. At first the
Moslems tried to persuade others to join simply by talking to them and
telling them how fine their religion was, and how much better than what
they had already had. But very soon they began to _force_ others to
become Moslems whether they wanted to or not. Like the highway robber
who says, “Money or your life,” they gave every one a choice. “Money
or your life, or be a Moslem!” This may seem a strange way for people
to make others believe their religion, but the Moslems said that Allah
wanted all people to be Mohammedans, and didn’t want any one who was

Mohammed only lived for ten years after the Hegira; that is, until 632.
But those who came after Mohammed went on with the new religion and
kept on conquering and making people Mohammedans with the sword.

The new leaders and rulers of the Mohammedans were called caliphs. The
second caliph was named Omar. Omar went on to Jerusalem and built a
Mohammedan mosque in the place where the temple of Solomon had stood.
This mosque which Omar built still stands to-day in the same place in

The Arabs, or Saracens, as they are also called, kept on northward
toward Europe and conquered and converted every one to Islam as they
went along. Those they could not convert they put to death. At last
they reached the City of Constantine, Constantinople, where the people
were Christians. This was the gateway from Asia to Europe, and the
Arabs tried to get by. But the Christians poured down red-hot tar and
burning oil from the walls of the city, and the Moslems had to stop.
They could get no farther. Again and again the Moslems tried to capture
the city, but without success. Finally, they had to give up trying to
get into Europe by this way.

Then they tried the opposite direction from Mecca, the long, long,
way round to Europe. Across Egypt they went with little difficulty,
converting every one to Islam. Further on still they kept going, along
the coast of Africa, conquering everything before them until they
reached the ocean. Then they turned north, took boats, and crossed
over the Strait of Gibraltar and marched on up into Spain. Farther and
farther on they went up into France. It seemed as if they would soon
conquer all of Europe and make the whole civilized world Mohammedan.
But finally, near the town of Tours in France, they met their match.
The king of France had a right-hand man named Charles who had been
nicknamed Charles the Hammer because he could strike such terrific
blows. Charles was called Mayor of the Palace, which merely meant that
he was the chief servant of the king, but he was much more able than
the king himself. In fact, the king was of very little account.

Charles the Hammer, with his French soldiers, went forth to meet the
Moslems, and near Tours he beat them so badly that they never attempted
to go farther. So Europe at last was saved from Islam and the Saracens.
This battle of Tours was in 732, just 110 years from the time of the
Hegira. The Mohammedan religion had only been started 110 years before;
yet in this short time the Mohammedans had conquered and converted the
whole of the country bordering the Mediterranean from Constantinople
all the way round the southern edge and as far up into France as Tours.
The people south and east of the Mediterranean are still Mohammedans


Perhaps you have read the “Arabian Nights.” This is the story of

Arabian Days

The Moslems had tried to get into Europe by the front gate and failed.

They had then tried the back gate and failed.

Burning tar and oil had stopped them at Constantinople.

Charles the Hammer had stopped them at Tours.

So Europe was saved from the Moslems and from the Moslem religion of
Islam. Yet we may wonder what Europe would have been like if the Moslem
Arabs had conquered, for the Arabs were in many ways a great people,
and we have learned many things from them. Here are some of the things.

The Phenicians invented our alphabet, but the Arabs invented the
figures which we use to-day in arithmetic. 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on are
called Arabic figures. The Romans used letters instead of figures, V
stood for 5, X for 10, C for 100, M for 1000, and so on. Think how
difficult it must have been for a Roman boy to add such numbers as

  +  MC

They could not be added up in columns as we do. And when you think
of multiplying and dividing with Roman numbers, it seems almost
impossible, for example:

   × XIX

Occasionally you may see Roman figures still used--on clock-faces, for
instance--but all the figures that you use every day in your arithmetic
and that your father uses at the bank or store or office are Arabic

Another thing:

The Arabs built many beautiful buildings; but these buildings look
quite different from those that the Greeks and Romans and Christians
built. The doors and window-openings, instead of being square or round,
were usually horseshoe-shaped. On the top of their mosques they liked
to put domes shaped something like an onion, and at the corners they
put tall spires or minarets from which the muezzin could call aloud
the hour for prayer. They covered the walls of their buildings with
beautiful mosaics and designs. The Mohammedans, however, were very
careful that these designs were not copies of anything in nature, for
they had a commandment in the “Koran” something like the Christian
commandment, “Thou shalt not make ... any likeness of anything that is
in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the
water under the earth.” Because of this commandment they never made
drawings or pictures of any living thing, neither of plants nor flowers
nor animals. They thought they would be breaking the commandment if
they did. So they made designs out of lines and curves without copying
anything from nature. These designs were called Arabesques, and
although they were not like anything in nature, they were often very

Still another thing:

In Arabia there grew a little bush on which were small berries with
seeds inside. The sheep seemed to like these berries and, when they ate
them, became very lively. The Arabs themselves tried eating the seeds
of these berries with the same effect. Then they made a drink out of
these seeds by roasting and grinding them and boiling them in water.
This was coffee--which the Arabs had discovered and which is now drunk
all over the world.

Still another thing:

The Arabs found out that when the juice of grapes or other fruits or
grains spoiled, or fermented, as we call it, a peculiar change took
place. Any one who drank this changed juice became greatly excited and
even crazy. They called the new thing to which these juices changed,
“alcohol,” and they were so much afraid of it and what it did to those
who drank it that they forbade every Mohammedan to drink anything
containing alcohol, such as wine, beer, or whisky. So the Moslems
not only discovered alcohol, but, believing it to be poison, they
prohibited its use. They have been prohibitionists, therefore, for more
than a thousand years, while all the rest of the world has been using
wine and beer and other drinks containing alcohol until the United
States only recently forbade their use in this country.

Still another thing:

Woolen cloth which people used for clothes was made from the hair of
sheep or goats. As it took the hair of a great many such animals to
make a very little cloth, woolen cloth was expensive. The Arabs found
out a way of making cloth from a plant, the cotton plant, which of
course was much cheaper. Then in order to decorate the cloth and make
it pretty and attractive, they stamped the plain cloth with wooden
blocks shaped in different forms and dipped in color. This printed
cloth that the Arabs had invented was called calico.

Still another thing:

The Arabs made swords and knives of such wonderful steel that the
blades could be bent double without breaking. The blades were said to
be so keen they could cut through the finest hair if floated on water,
a thing that only the sharpest razor will do, and yet at the same time
so strong that they could cut through a bar of steel. Such swords were
made in the East at a place called Damascus, which is in Arabia, and in
the West at a place called Toledo, which is in Spain; and these swords
and knives were known as Damascus or Toledo blades. Unfortunately, no
one now knows the Arab’s secret for making such marvelous blades. It is
what is called a lost art.

Near where Babylon once was the Arabs built a city named Bagdad. You
have heard of it if you have ever read any of the “Arabian Nights,”
for most of these stories were told about Bagdad. It was the eastern
capital of the Moslems. There at Bagdad the Arabs built a great school
that was famous for many, many years. At Cordova in Spain was the
western capital of the Moslems, and there they built another great

[Illustration: Mohammedan veiled woman standing by Saracenic ornamented

I might tell you many other things these people did--how they invented
the game of chess, of all games the one that needs the most thought;
how they made clocks with pendulums to keep time--people had no real
clocks before; how they started wonderful libraries of books; and so
on--but this is enough for the present to show you what intelligent
people they were.

The Arabs were not Aryans. They belonged to the Semite family, the
same family to which the Phenicians and Jews belong. The Arabs were as
clever as their cousins the Phenicians, who, you remember, were very
clever, but they were also as religious as their other cousins the
Jews, who, you remember, were very religious.

But the Moslems had peculiar ideas about women. They thought it was
immodest for a woman to show her face to men, and so every woman had to
wear a thick veil which hid her face all except her eyes whenever she
went out where there were men. With such a veil she could see but not
be seen.

But here are their two most peculiar ideas: they believed women were
only fit to be slaves to the men, and they thought that a man might
have as many wives as he wished all at one time!

So we may wonder, then, what Europe would really have been like if the
Moslems had conquered all the rest of the world at that time--if they
had left no country Christian--_if we were all of us Moslems to-day
instead of Christians_!


A Light in the Dark Ages

Europe had been “dark” for three hundred years. You know what I mean.

There were not enough “bright” people to make it light. Ignorant
Teutons had been ruling over the pieces of the old Roman Empire.

The Arabs were bright, but they were not in Europe.

But in 800 there was a very “bright light”--a man--a king--who by his
might and power was able to join the pieces of Europe together once
again to form a new Roman Empire. He was not a Roman, however, but a
Teuton, as you can tell from his name, which was Charles. He was a
grandson of that Charles the Hammer who had stopped the Moslems at
Tours, and he was called by the French name Charlemagne, which means
Charles the Great.

Charlemagne at first was king of France alone, but he was not satisfied
to be king of that country only, and so he soon conquered the countries
on each side of him, parts of Spain and Germany. Then he moved the
capital of his empire from Paris to a place in Germany called
Aix-la-Chapelle, which was more convenient than Paris to this larger
empire, and besides at Aix-la-Chapelle there were warm springs which
made fine baths, and Charlemagne was very fond of bathing and was a
fine swimmer.

Italy was then ruled over by the pope. But the pope was having a good
deal of trouble with some tribes in the north of Italy, and he asked
Charlemagne if he wouldn’t come down and conquer them. Charlemagne was
quite ready and willing to help the pope, so he went over into Italy
and easily settled those troublesome tribes. The pope was grateful to
Charlemagne for this and wished to reward him.

Now, Christians everywhere used to make trips to Rome in order to pray
at the great Church of St. Peter, which had been built over the spot
where St. Peter had been crucified. Well, at Christmas-time in the Year
800 Charlemagne paid such a visit to Rome. On Christmas day he went to
the Church of St. Peter and was praying at the altar when suddenly the
pope came forward and put a crown on his head. The pope then hailed him
“Emperor,” and as the pope at that time could make kings and emperors,
Charlemagne became emperor of Italy added to the other countries over
which he already ruled. These countries together were really about the
same as the western part of the old Roman Empire. So Charlemagne’s
empire was now like a new Roman Empire, but with this big difference:
it was ruled over not by a Roman, but by a Teuton.

Charlemagne started out an ignorant uneducated Teuton, but he was
not like most other Teutons who didn’t know they were ignorant and
didn’t care whether they were ignorant or not. He was anxious to know
everything there was to be known. He wanted to be able to do everything
any one could do.

In those days when the Teutons were ruling, few people had any
education, and hardly any one could read or write. Charlemagne wanted
an education, but there was no one in his own country who knew enough
or was able to teach him. In England, however, there was a very learned
monk named Alcuin. He knew more than any one of that time, and so
Charlemagne invited Alcuin to come over from England and teach him
and his people. Alcuin taught Charles about the sciences; he taught
him Latin and Greek poetry; he taught him the wisdom of the Greek

Charlemagne learned all these things very easily, but when it came to
the simple matter of learning to read and write he found this too hard.
He did learn to read a little, but he seemed unable to learn to write.
It is said that he slept with his writing-pad under his pillow and
practised whenever he awoke. And yet he never learned to write anything
more than his name. He did not begin to study until he was a grown man,
but he kept on studying all the rest of his life. Except for reading
and writing, he became, next to his teacher, Alcuin, the best-educated
man in Europe.

In spite of the fact that Charlemagne’s daughters were princesses, he
had them taught how to weave and sew and make clothes and cook just as
if they had to earn their own living.

Although Charlemagne was such a rich and powerful monarch and could
have everything he wanted, he preferred to eat plain food and dress
in plain clothes. He did not like all the finery that those about him
loved. One day, just to make his nobles see how ridiculously dressed
they were in silks and satins, he took them out hunting in the woods
while a storm was going on, so that he could laugh at them. That was
his idea of a good joke. You can imagine how their silk and satin robes
looked after being soaked with rain, covered with mud, and torn by
briers. Charlemagne thought it was very funny.

But although his tastes were simple in matters of dress, he made his
home a magnificent palace. He furnished it with gold and silver tables
and chairs and other gorgeous furniture. He built in it swimming-pools
and a wonderful library and a theater and surrounded it with beautiful

At this time and all through the Dark Ages people had a strange way of
finding out whether a person had stolen or committed a murder or any
other crime. The person suspected was not taken into court and tried
before a judge and a jury to see whether he was telling the truth and
had done the thing or not. Instead he was made to carry a red-hot iron
for ten steps, or to dip his arm into boiling water, or to walk over
red-hot coals. If he was not guilty it was thought no harm would come
to him, or if he were burned it was thought that the burn would heal
right away. This was called _trial by ordeal_. It probably started
from the story told in the Bible of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego,
who, you remember, in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, had walked through
the fiery furnace unharmed because they had done no wrong. Strange to
say, though Charlemagne was so intelligent, he believed in the trial
by ordeal. To-day we have no such cruel and unfair way of finding out
whether one is guilty or not. Yet we say of a person who has a lot of
trouble that seems to be a test of his character, “He is going through
an ordeal.”

While Charlemagne was living, there was a caliph in far-off Bagdad
named Haroun, which is the Moslem spelling of Aaron. You may have heard
of him if you have read any of the “Arabian Nights,” for the “Arabian
Night” stories were written at this time, and Haroun is described in
them. Although Haroun was a Mohammedan, not a Christian, and though
he was ruler of an empire that hated the Christians, nevertheless he
admired Charlemagne very much. To show how much he thought of him, he
sent him valuable presents; among other things, a clock which struck
the hours, which you remember, was an invention of the Arabs. This was
a great curiosity, for there were then no clocks in Europe. People had
to tell time by the shadow the sun cast on a sun-dial, or else by the
amount of water or sand that dripped or ran out from one jar to another.

Haroun was a very wise and good ruler over the Moslems, and so he came
to be called “al Rashid,” which means “the Just.” Do you remember what
Greek was also called “the Just”?[3] Haroun used to disguise himself as
a workman and go about among his people. He would talk with those he
met along the street and in the market-place, trying to find out how
they felt about his government and about things in general. He found
they would talk freely to him when dressed in old clothes, for then
they did not know who he was but thought him a fellow-workman. In this
way, Haroun learned a great deal about his people’s troubles and what
they liked or didn’t like about his rule. Then he would go back to his
palace and give orders to have rules and laws made to correct anything
that seemed wrong or unjust.

[3] Aristides.

After Charlemagne died there was no one great enough or strong enough
to hold the new Roman Empire together, and once again it broke up into
small pieces, and “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could
not put it together again.”



Getting a Start

I once knew a boy who had a red birthmark on his arm. It was just the
shape of England on the map, and he used to call it “My England.”

England is just a little island.

It was quite an unimportant little island in 900 A.D.

England is still just a little island.

But it is now the most important island in the world!

About one hundred years after Charles the Great--that is, 900--there
was a king of England named Alfred. When Alfred was a boy he had a hard
time learning to read, for he did not like to study. In those days
many of the hand-written books made by the monks had pretty drawings
and letters made in bright colors and even in gold. One day Alfred’s
mother showed such a book to her children and promised to give it to
the one who could read it first. That was a game. Alfred wanted to win
the book, and so, for the first time in his life, he really tried. He
studied so hard that in a very short time he had learned to read before
his brothers and so he won the book.

When Alfred grew up, England was being troubled by pirates. These
pirates were cousins of the English--a tribe of Teutons called Danes.
The English had long ago become Christians and civilized, but their
cousins, the Danes, were still rough and wild. They came over from
their own country across the water, landed on the coast of England,
robbed the towns and villages, and then sailed back to their homes,
carrying off everything valuable they could lay their hands on--like
bad boys who climb a farmer’s fence and steal apples from his orchard.
At last the Danes became so bold that they didn’t even run away after
robbing the country; they were like the bad boys who stick out their
tongues and throw stones at the farmer who comes after them. The king’s
armies went out to punish these pirates, but, instead of beating, they
were beaten. It began to look as if these Danes, who were able to do
pretty much as they pleased, might conquer England and rule over the

Once when things looked pretty black for England, King Alfred was
without an army. Alone, ragged, tired out, and hungry, he came to the
hut of a shepherd and asked for something to eat. The shepherd’s wife
was baking some cakes by the fire, and she told Alfred he should have
one if he watched them while she went out to milk the cow. Alfred sat
down by the fire, but in thinking about what he could do to beat the
Danes he forgot all about the cakes, and when the shepherd’s wife
returned they were all burned. Thereupon she scolded him roundly and
drove him off, not knowing that it was her king that she was treating
in this way, for he never told her who he was.

Alfred decided that the best way to fight the Danes was not on land but
on the water, and so he set to work to build boats bigger and better
than those the Danes had. After a while he had something of a fleet,
and the boats he built were bigger than those of the Danes, but they
were so big that they could not go into shallow water without running
aground. The Danes’ boats, on account of their small size, could go
safely close in to shore. In deep water, however, Alfred’s fleet was
very strong and powerful. This was the first navy that England ever
had. England’s navy is now the largest in the world, and Alfred the
Great was the one who started it more than a thousand years ago.

After fighting with the Danes for many years, Alfred finally thought
it best to make an agreement with them and give them a part of England
to live in if they would promise to stop stealing and live peaceably.
So the Danes did agree to this, and they settled down peaceably on the
land that Alfred gave them--and then became Christians. After that
there was no further trouble.

Alfred made very strict laws and severely punished those who did wrong.
Indeed, it is said that the people of England were so careful to obey
the law in his reign that one might leave gold by the roadside, and no
one would steal it.

Alfred also brought over learned men from Europe to show his people how
to make things and to teach the boys and girls and the older people how
to read and write. He is also said to have started a school that is
now one of the greatest places of learning in the world, a university
called Oxford that is now more than a thousand years old.

But Alfred not only built a navy and made wise laws and started schools
and colleges which the English had not had before; he did many other
useful things, besides.

He invented, for instance, a way of telling time by a burning candle.
You have heard how wonderful the clock, that which Haroun-al-Rashid
sent to Charlemagne one hundred years before was thought to be.
Although striking clocks are, of course, very common nowadays, it was
an extraordinary thing then when there were no clocks nor watches at
all in England. Alfred found out how fast candles burned down and
marked lines around them at different heights--just the distance apart
that they burned in one hour. These were called time-candles.

Candles were also used for lighting, but when they were carried
outdoors they were very likely to be blown out by the wind. So Alfred
put the candle inside of a little box, and in order that the light
might shine through the box, he made sides of very thin pieces of
cow’s-horn, for glass then was very scarce. This box with horn sides
was called a horn lamp or “lamphorn,” and after a while this word when
said rapidly became “lanthorn,” and finally “lantern,” which we still
call such a thing to-day, although horn is, of course, no longer used,
but glass. This is one explanation of the word as the old spelling was
“lanthorn,” but it seems more likely that lantern came from the Latin
word “lanterna.”

Such inventions may seem very small and unimportant, and they are when
you think of the marvelous inventions and wonderful machines that are
made by the thousands nowadays. These inventions of Alfred were no
more than the household ideas for which some magazines now offer only
a dollar apiece. But I have told you about them just to show you how
ignorant and almost barbarian the English, as well as other Teuton
tribes of Europe, were in those days. How much superior were the Arab
thinkers with their striking clocks. The English were just “getting a


The End of the World

What would you do if you knew the world was coming to an end next week,
or even next year?

The people who lived in the tenth century thought the Bible said[4]
something that meant that the world was coming to an end in the Year
1000--which was called the millennium from the Latin word meaning a
thousand years.

[4] Book of Revelations, chapter xx.

Some people were glad that the world was coming to an end. They were
so poor and miserable and unhappy here that they were anxious to go to
heaven, where everything would be fine and lovely--if they had been
good here. So they were particularly good and did everything they could
to earn a place for themselves in heaven when this old world should end.

Others were not so anxious to have the world come to an end. But, they
thought, if it were coming to an end so soon, they might as well hurry
up and enjoy themselves here while they still had a chance.

Well, the Year 1000 came, and nothing happened. At first people simply
thought that a mistake had been made in counting the years--that there
had not really been one thousand years since Christ’s birth. The years
went by, and still people waited for the end. They re-read their Bibles
and thought perhaps it meant a thousand years after Christ’s _death_,
instead of his birth. As time went on, without any change, they began
to think the end was delayed for some reason they could not explain.
But it was not for many years after the millennium that people came at
last to realize that the world was not going to stop after all.

Every once in a while some one who thinks he knows more than others
says the end of the world is not far off, but we may be quite sure that
the world will keep on going and that it will keep on going long after
we have all grown up and died and our children have done the same.

At this time, when people were looking for the end of the world there
was in the north of Europe a tribe of Teutons who were not Christians
and knew and cared nothing about what the Bible said as to the end of
the world. They belonged to the same family as the Danes who had come
to England in the time of King Alfred. They were called Norsemen or
Vikings. They were bold seafaring men, even more hardy and unafraid
than the Phenician sailors of old. Their boats were painted black and
had prows carved with figures of sea-monsters or dragons. They sailed
the northern seas and went farther westward toward the setting sun than
any sailors had ever gone. They had discovered Iceland and Greenland,
and at last under their chief who was named Leif Ericson they reached
the shores of America. So about the same year that the Christians in
Europe were expecting the end of the world--the Year 1000--the Vikings
had gone to what they thought was “the end of the world.”

They called the new country Vineland or Wineland, because they found
grapes, from which wine is made, growing there. They did not go far on
shore, however, and they thought this new land was only another small
island. They had no idea it was a new world. But it was too far away
from their own country, and they found wild savages there who made
it so uncomfortable for them that they sailed back home leaving the
country for good. The Vikings did nothing more about their discovery,
and people forgot all about this new country until nearly five hundred
years later.


Real Castles

You may think that castles belong only in fairy-tales of princes and

But about the Year 1000 there were castles almost everywhere over
Europe, and they were not fairy-castles but real ones with real people
in them.

After the downfall of Rome in 476, the Roman Empire was broken to
pieces like a cut-up puzzle-map, and people built castles on the
pieces, and they kept on building castles up to the fourteen hundreds.
And this is why and how people built them and why they at last stopped
building them.

Whenever any ruler, whether he was a king or only a prince, conquered
another ruler, he gave to his generals, who had fought with him and
helped him to win, pieces of the conquered land as a reward instead of
paying them in money. The generals in turn gave pieces of their land to
the chief men who had been under them and helped them in battle. These
men who were given land were called lords or nobles, and each lord was
called a vassal of him who gave the land. Each vassal had to promise
to fight with his lord whenever he was needed. He could not make this
promise lightly in an offhand way, however. He had to do it formally so
that it would seem more binding. So the vassal had to kneel in front of
his lord, place his folded hands between the folded hands of his lord,
and make the solemn promise to fight when called upon. This was called
“doing homage.” Then once a year, at least, thereafter, he had to make
the same promise over again. This method of giving away land was known
as the Feudal System.

[Illustration: Castle, drawbridge, moat and knights.]

Each of these lords or nobles then built himself a castle on the land
that was given him, and there he lived like a little king with all his
work-people about him. The castle was not only his home, but it had to
be a fort as well to protect him from other lords who might try to
take his castle away from him. So he usually placed it on the top of
a hill or a cliff, so that the enemy could not reach it easily, if at
all. It had great stone walls often ten feet or more thick. Surrounding
the walls there was usually a ditch called a moat filled with water to
make it more difficult for an enemy to get into the castle.

In times of peace when there was no fighting the men farmed the land
outside of the castle; but when there was war between lords, all the
people went inside the castle walls, carrying all the food and cattle
and everything else they had, so that they could live there for months
or even years while the fighting was going on. A castle, therefore, had
to be very large to hold so many people and animals for so long a time,
and often it was really like a walled town.

Inside the walls of the castle were many smaller buildings to house the
people and animals and for cooking and storing the food. There might
even be a church or chapel. The chief building was, of course, the
house of the lord himself and this was called the _keep_.

The main room of the keep was the hall, which was like a very large
living-room and dining-room combined. Here meals were served at tables
which were simply long and wide boards placed on something to hold them
up. These boards were taken down and put away after the meal was over.
That is where we get the names “boarding” and “boarding-house.” There
were no forks nor spoons nor plates nor saucers nor napkins. Every one
ate with his fingers and licked them or wiped them on his clothes.
Table manners were more like _stable_ manners. The bones and scraps
they threw on the floor or to the dogs, who were allowed in the room.
Itchy-scratchy! At the end of the meal a large bowl of water and towels
were brought in so that those who wished might wash their hands.

After dinner the household was entertained during the long evenings
with songs and stories by men called minstrels, who played and sang and
amused the company.

Shut up within the castle walls, it seemed as if the lord and his
people would be absolutely safe against any attacks of his enemies. In
the first place, any enemy would have had to cross the moat or ditch
which surrounded the castle. Across this moat there was a drawbridge
to the entrance or gate of the castle. In the entrance itself was an
iron gate called a portcullis, which was usually raised like a window
to allow people to pass. In time of war the drawbridge was raised. But
in case an enemy was seen approaching and there was no time to raise
the drawbridge, this portcullis could be dropped at a moment’s notice.
When the drawbridge was raised there was no way of getting into the
castle except by crossing the moat filled with water. Any one trying
to do this would have had stones or melted tar thrown down on him.
Instead of windows in the wall of the castle there were only long slits
through which the fighters could shoot arrows at the enemy. At the same
time, it was very difficult for any one on the outside to hit the small
crack-like opening with an arrow.

And yet attacks _were_ made on castles. Sometimes the enemy built a
tall wooden tower on wheels. This they would roll up as closely as they
could get to the walls, and from its top shoot directly over into the

Sometimes they built tunnels from the outside right under the ground,
under the moat, and under the castle walls into the castle itself.

Sometimes they built huge machines called battering-rams, and with
these they battered down the walls.

Sometimes they used machines like great slingshots to throw stones over
the walls. Of course there were no cannons nor cannon-balls nor guns
nor gunpowder then.

The lord and his family were the society people; all the others were
little better than slaves. In times of peace most of the common people
lived outside the castle walls on the land called the _manor_. The
lord gave them just as little as he could and took from them just as
much as he could. He had to feed and take some care of them so that
they could fight for him and serve him, just as he had to feed and take
care of his horses that carried him to battle, and the cattle that
provided him with milk and meat. But he didn’t treat them as well as
he did his domestic animals. The common people had to give their time
and labor and a large part of the crops they raised to the lord. They
themselves lived in miserable huts more like cow-sheds, with only one
room, and that had a dirt floor. Above this was perhaps a loft reached
by a ladder where they went to bed. But bed was usually only a bundle
of straw, and they slept in the clothes they wore during the day.

These work-people were called serfs. Sometimes a serf could stand this
kind of life no longer, and he would run away. If he was not caught
within a year and a day, he was a free man. But if he was caught before
the year and a day were up, the lord might whip him, brand him with
hot irons, or even cut off his hands. Indeed, a lord could do almost
anything he wished with his serfs--except kill them, or sell them.

So what do you think of the Feudal System?


Knights and Days of Chivalry

Those _years_ in history which I have been telling you about are
known as the _days_ of chivalry--which means the times of ladies and
gentlemen. The lord and his family were the gentlemen and the ladies.
All the other people, by far the greater number, were just common

There were no schools for these common people. Little was done for
them. They were taught to work and nothing else. The sons of a lord
of a castle, however, were very carefully taught. But even they were
taught only two things, how to be gentlemen and how to fight. Reading
and writing were thought of no importance; in fact, it was usually
considered a waste of time to learn such things.

And this is the way the son of a lord was brought up. He stayed with
his mother until he was seven years old. When he reached the age of
seven he was called a page; and for the next seven years--that is,
until he was fourteen, he remained a page. During the time he was a
page his chief business was to wait on the ladies of the castle. He
ran their errands, carried their messages, waited on table, etc. He
also learned to ride a horse and to be brave and courteous.

When he was fourteen years old he became a squire and remained a squire
for the next seven years; that is, until he was twenty-one. During
the time he was a squire he waited on the men, as he had waited on
the ladies when he was a page. He attended to the men’s horses, went
to battle with them, led an extra horse, and carried another spear or
lance, in case these should be needed.

When he was twenty-one years old, if he had been a good squire and
had learned the lessons that he was taught, he then became a knight.
Becoming a knight was an important ceremony like graduating exercises,
for the grown boy was now to take up the business of a man.

To get ready for this ceremony, first, he bathed. This may not seem
worth mentioning, but in those days one very rarely took a bath,
sometimes not for years. He was then dressed in new clothes. Thus
washed and dressed, he prayed all night long in the church. When day
came he appeared before all the people and solemnly swore always to do
and to be certain things:

  To be brave and good;
  To fight for the Christian religion;
  To protect the weak;
  To honor women.

These were his vows. A white leather belt was then put on him and gold
spurs fastened on his boots. After this had been done he knelt, and
his lord struck him over the shoulders with the flat side of a sword,
saying as he did so, “I dub thee knight.”

A knight went into battle covered with a suit of armor made of iron
rings or steel plates like fish-scales, and with a helmet or hood of
iron. This suit protected him from the arrows and lances of the enemy.
Of course if they had had any shot or shell, armor would have been no
use at all, but they had no such things then.

Knights were so completely covered by their armor that when sides
became mixed up in fighting, they could not tell one another apart. It
was impossible to know which were friends and which were enemies.

So the knights wore, on the outside of the coat that went over their
armor, a design of an animal, such as a lion, or of a plant or a rose
or a cross or some ornament, and this design was known as a coat of
arms. Perhaps your father may use a coat of arms on his letter-paper
to-day, and if so he has inherited it from some great-great-grandparent
who was a knight.

A knight, as I told you, was first of all taught to be a gentleman,
and so we still speak of one who has good manners and is courteous,
especially to ladies, as knightly or chivalrous. When a knight came
into the presence of a lady he took off his helmet. It meant, “You are
my friend, and so I do not need my helmet.” That is why gentlemen raise
their hats nowadays when they meet ladies.

But the most important thing the knights had to learn was to fight.
Even their games were play fights.

Each country and each age has had its own games or sports in which it
has taken special delight. The Greeks had their Olympic Games. The
Romans had their chariot-races and gladiatorial contests. We have
football and baseball. But the chief sport of the knights was a kind of
sham battle called the tournament.

The tournament was held in a field known as the _lists_. Large crowds
with banners flying and trumpets blowing would gather around the lists
to watch the sham fight, as crowds nowadays flock to a big football
game waving pennants and tooting horns. The knights on horseback took
their places at opposite ends of the lists. They carried lances, the
points of which were covered so that they would not make a wound. At
a given signal, they rushed toward the center of the field and tried
with their lances to throw each other off their horses. The winner who
succeeded in throwing the other knights was presented with a ribbon
or a keepsake by one of the ladies, and a knight thought as much of
this trophy of victory as the winner of a cup in a tennis tournament

[Illustration: Lady with falcon.]

Knights were very fond of hunting with dogs. But they also hunted with
a trained bird called a falcon, and both lords and ladies delighted
in this sport. The falcon was trained like a hunting-dog to catch
other birds, such as wild ducks and pigeons and also small animals.
The falcon was chained to the wrist of the lord or lady, and its head
was covered with a hood as it was carried out to hunt. When a bird was
seen the hood was removed, and the falcon, which was very swift, would
swoop upon its prey and capture it. Thereupon the hunter would come
up, take the captured animal, and put the hood on the falcon again.
The men, however, usually preferred hunting the wild boar, which was a
kind of pig with sharp tusks, for this was more dangerous and therefore
supposed to be more of a man’s sport.



A Pirate’s _Great_ Grandson

When Alfred was king the Danes had raided England.

At the same time their cousins the Norsemen had raided the coast of

King Alfred at last had to give the Danes a part of the English coast,
and they then settled down and became Christians.

The French king likewise did the same thing. In order to save himself
from further raids, he gave the Norsemen a part of the French coast.
Then the Norsemen, as the Danes had done, settled down and became

These Norsemen who raided France were led by a very bold and brave
pirate named Rollo. In return for this gift of land Rollo was supposed
to do homage by kissing the king’s foot. But Rollo thought it beneath
him to kneel and kiss the king’s foot, so he told one of his men to do
it for him. His man did as he was told, but he didn’t like to do it,
either, and so as he kissed the king’s foot he raised it so high that
he tipped his Majesty over backward.


That part of France which was given the Norsemen came to be called
Normandy, and it is so called to-day, and the people were known
thereafter as Normans.

In 1066 there was a very powerful duke ruling over Normandy. His name
was William, and he was descended from Rollo the pirate. Perhaps your
name may be William. Perhaps you may even be descended from this

William was strong in body, strong in will, and strong in rule over
his people. He could shoot an arrow farther, straighter, and with more
deadly effect than any of his knights. No one else was strong enough
even to bend the bow he used.

William and his people had become Christians, but according to their
idea the Christian God was more like their old god Woden under a new
name. William believed that “might made right,” for he was descended
from a pirate, and he still thought and acted like a pirate. So
whatever he wanted he went after and took, even though he was supposed
to be a Christian.

Now, William was only a duke, not a king, and he wanted to be a king.
In fact, he thought he would like to be king of England, which was just
across the channel from his own dukedom.

It so happened that a young English prince named Harold was shipwrecked
on the coast of Normandy and was found and brought before William.
Now, it seemed likely that some day Harold would be king of England,
and William thought this a good chance to get England for himself. So
before he would let Harold leave, he made the young man promise that
when his turn came to be king he would give him England just as if that
country were a horse or a suit of armor that could be given away. Then,
in order that this promise should be solemnly binding, William made
Harold place his hand on the altar and swear, just as people place a
hand on the Bible nowadays, when they take an oath. After Harold had
sworn on the altar, William had the top lifted and showed Harold that
below it were the bones of some of the Christian saints. Swearing on
the bones of a saint was the most solemn kind of an oath one could
possibly take. It was thought one would not dare to break such an oath
for fear of the wrath of God.

Then Harold returned to England. But when the time came that he should
be king the people naturally would not let him give England to William.
Besides that, Harold said that such an oath, which he had taken against
his will, an oath which had been forced on him by a trick, was not
binding. So Harold became king.

When William heard that Harold had been made king, he was very angry.
He said that he had been cheated and that Harold had broken his oath.
So at once he got ready an army and sailed over to take the country
away from Harold.

As William landed from his boat he stumbled and fell headlong on the
shore. All his soldiers were shocked and greatly worried by this, for
they thought it very bad luck--a bad omen, the Greeks would have called
it. But William was quick-witted, and as he fell he grabbed up some of
the earth in both hands. Then, rising, he made believe he had fallen on
purpose and, lifting his hands in the air, exclaimed that he had taken
up the ground as a sign that he was going to have _all_ the land of
England. This changed the bad omen into good luck.

The battle started, and the English fought furiously to defend
themselves against these foreigners who were trying to take their
country away from them. Indeed, they had almost won the battle when
William gave an order to his men to pretend they were running away.
The English then followed, wildly rejoicing, and running pell-mell
after the Normans. Just as soon, however, as the English were scattered
and in disorder, William gave another signal, and his men faced about
quickly. The English were taken by surprise, and before they could get
into fighting order again, they were defeated, and Harold, their king,
was shot through the eye and killed. This was the battle of Hastings,
one of the most famous battles in English History.

Harold had put up a brave fight. But luck was against him. Only a few
days before this, he had had to fight a battle with his own brother,
who in a traitorous way had got together an army against him. We are
sorry for Harold, and yet it was probably better for England that
things turned out as they did--yet who can tell?

William marched on to London and had himself crowned king on Christmas
day, 1066. Ever since then he has been known as William the Conqueror,
and the event is called the Norman Conquest. After this England had a
new line of kings--a Norman family and a pirate family--to rule over

William divided England up among his nobles as if it were a pie, and
gave each a share in the feudal way. They had to do homage to him as
his vassals and promise to fight for him and to do as he said. Each of
William’s nobles built a castle on the property he was given. William
himself built a castle in London by the Thames River. On the same spot
Julius Cæsar had built a fort, but it had disappeared; and Alfred the
Great had built a castle there, but it, too, had disappeared. But the
castle William built is still standing to-day. It is known as the Tower
of London.

William was a splendid boss and very businesslike. He set to work and
had a list made of all the land in England, a list of all the people
and of all the property they had. This record was called the Domesday
Book and was something like the _census_ now taken in this country
every ten years. This list gave the name of every one in England and
everything each owned, even down to the last cow and pig. If your
ancestors were living in England then you can look in the Domesday Book
and find their names, how much land they owned, and how many cows and
pigs they had.

In order that no mischief might take place at night, William started
what was called the _curfew_. Every evening at a certain hour a bell
was rung. Then all lights had to be put out, and every one had to go
indoors--supposedly to bed.

One thing, however, that William did made the English very angry. He
was extremely fond of hunting, but there was no good place where he
could hunt near London. So in order to have a place for hunting, he
destroyed a large number of village houses and farms and turned that
part of the country into a forest. This was called the New Forest, and
though it is now nearly nine hundred years _old_ it is still called New
to this day.

But on the whole, William, although descended from a pirate, gave
England a good government and made it a much safer and better place in
which to live than it ever had been under its former rulers. So 1066
was almost like the Year 1 for the English.

We think it is remarkable when children of low-bred immigrants
become society leaders, when, as we say, they rise from overalls to
dress-suits, but here we have the son’s son of a pirate rising to be
king of England, and those living now who find they are descended from
him brag of it!



A Great Adventure

Have you ever played the game called “Going to Jerusalem” in which
every one scrambles to get a seat when the music stops playing?

Well, all during the Dark Ages “Going to Jerusalem” was not a game but
a real journey which Christians everywhere in Europe wanted to take and
did take if they could. They wanted to see the actual spot where Christ
had been crucified, to pray at the Holy Sepulcher, and to bring back a
palm-leaf as a souvenir, which they could show their friends, hang on
the wall, and talk about all the rest of their lives.

So there were always some good Christians--and also some bad
ones--“going to Jerusalem.” Sometimes they went all by themselves,
but more often they went with others. As of course there were no such
things as trains in those days, poor people had to walk nearly the
whole way from France and from England, from Spain and from Germany,
and so it took them many months and sometimes years to reach Jerusalem.
These travelers were called _pilgrims_, and their trip was called a

Jerusalem at that time belonged to the Turks, who were Mohammedans. The
Turks did not like these Christian pilgrims who came to see Christ’s
tomb, and they didn’t treat them very well. Indeed, some of the
pilgrims on their return told frightful stories of the way they had
been treated by the Turks and the way the holy places in Jerusalem were
also treated.

Just before the Year 1100 there was a pope at Rome named Urban. He
was the head of all the Christians in the world. Urban heard these
tales that the pilgrims told, and he was shocked. He thought it was a
terrible thing, anyway, for the Holy City, as Jerusalem was called,
and the Holy Land, where Jerusalem was located, to be ruled over by
Mohammedans instead of by Christians. So Urban made a speech and urged
all good Christians everywhere to get together and go on a pilgrimage
to the Holy Land, with the idea of fighting the Turks and taking the
city of Jerusalem away from them.

Now, there lived at that same time a monk whom people called Peter the
Hermit. A hermit is a man who goes off and lives entirely by himself,
usually in a cave or hut where no one can find him or go to see him,
where he can spend all day in prayer. Peter the Hermit thought such a
life was good for his soul, that it made him a better man to be hungry
and cold and uncomfortable.

Peter the Hermit had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was very angry
at what he saw there. So he, too, began to tell people everywhere he
went how disgraceful it was for them to allow Christ’s tomb to belong
to the Mohammedans and called on every one to start on a pilgrimage
with him to save Jerusalem. He talked to people in the churches, on the
street-corners, in the market-places, on the roadside. He was such a
wonderful orator that those who heard him wept at his descriptions and
begged to go with him.

Before long, thousands upon thousands of people, old and young, men and
women, and even some children had pledged themselves to join a band to
go to Jerusalem and take it away from the Mohammedans. As Christ had
died on the cross, they cut pieces of red cloth in the form of a cross
and sewed them on the fronts of their coats as a sign that they were
soldiers of the cross. So these pilgrims were called _Crusaders_, which
is the Latin word for a cross-bearer. As they knew they would be gone
a long time and perhaps never return, they sold all they had and left
their homes. Not only poor people but lords and nobles and even princes
joined the army of the Crusaders, and there were, besides the crowds on
foot, large companies of those who rode on horseback.

The plan was to start in the summer of 1096, four years before 1100,
but a great many were so anxious to get started that they didn’t wait
for the time that had been set. With Peter the Hermit and another pious
man named Walter the Penniless as their leaders, they started off
before things were really ready.

They had no idea how very far off Jerusalem was. They hadn’t studied
geography nor maps. They had no idea how long it would take, no idea
how they would get food to eat on their journey, no idea where they
would sleep. They simply trusted in Peter the Hermit and believed that
the Lord would provide everything and show them the way.

Onward they marched, “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” thousands upon
thousands, toward the east and far-off Jerusalem. Thousands upon
thousands of them died from disease and from hunger on the way. Every
time they came within sight of another city, they would ask, “Is this
Jerusalem?” so little did they know of the long distance that still lay
between them and that city.

When the Mohammedan army in Jerusalem heard that the Crusaders were
coming they went forth to meet the Christians and killed almost all
of those who had started out with Peter ahead of the rest. But those
Crusaders that had started out later, as had been planned at the
beginning, marched on.

Finally, after nearly four years, only a small band of that vast throng
that had set out so long before reached the walls of the Holy City.
When at last they saw Jerusalem before them, they were wild with joy.
They fell on their knees and wept and prayed and sang hymns and thanked
God that he had brought them to the end of their journey. Then they
furiously attacked the city. The Christians fought so terribly that
at last they beat the Mohammedans and captured Jerusalem. Then they
entered the gates and killed thousands, so that it is said the streets
of the Holy City ran with blood. This seems strange behavior for the
followers of Christ, who preached against fighting and commanded, “Put
up thy sword, for he that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword.”

The Crusaders then made one of their leaders named Godfrey ruler of the
city. Most of the other Crusaders that were left then went back home.
So ended what is known as the First Crusade.


Tit-Tat-To; Three Kings in a Row

  Here are three kings:
  Richard of England,
  Philip of France, and
  Frederick Barbarossa of Germany.

If you say their names over several times, they keep ringing through
your mind and you cannot seem to stop thinking them whether you want to
or not.

Jerusalem was captured. But it did not stay captured very long.

The Mohammedans attacked and won it back again.

So the Christians started a Second Crusade. Then about once in a
lifetime during the next two hundred years there was one Crusade after
another--eight or nine in all. Sometimes these later Crusades won back
Jerusalem for a while, but for a while only. Sometimes they did not
succeed at all.

The Third Crusade took place about a hundred years after the First;
that is, nearly 1200 A. D. These three kings--Richard of England,
Philip of France, and Frederick Barbarossa--started on the Third
Crusade. But they didn’t all finish. I will tell you about them in
three-two-one order.

[Illustration: Richard of England, Philip of France, and Frederick

Frederick’s name, Barbarossa, meant Red Beard, for in those days it was
the custom to give kings nicknames that described them. Frederick’s
capital was in Aix-la-Chapelle, as Charlemagne’s had been, but
Frederick was king only of Germany. When a young man he had tried to
make his country as large and powerful as the new Roman Empire that
Charlemagne had made. But he was not a great enough man, and so was
unable to do what Charlemagne had done. Frederick was quite old when
he started out on the Third Crusade with the other two kings. But he
never reached Jerusalem, for in crossing a stream on the way he was
drowned. So much for Frederick, the third king.

The second king, Philip of France, was jealous of the first king,
Richard, because Richard was so very popular and well liked by the
Crusaders. So Philip finally gave up the Crusade and went back to

Richard of England was then the only king left on the Crusade. It would
have been better if he, too, had gone back to his country instead of
gallivanting off on a Crusade. But he thought going on a Crusade was
much better sport than staying at home and working over the difficult
business of governing his people.

But although he had his faults, Richard was the kind of a man that
all men like and all women love. He was kind and gentle, yet strong
and brave. Richard the Lion-Hearted they called him. He was hard on
wrongdoers but fair and square. So people loved him, but they feared
him, too, for he punished the wicked and those who misbehaved. Even
long, long after he had died, mothers would try to quiet a naughty and
crying child by saying: “Hush! If you don’t be good, King Richard will
get you!”


Even Richard’s enemies admired him. The Mohammedan king of Jerusalem at
the time of this Third Crusade was named Saladin. Saladin, though being
attacked by Richard, admired him very much and even became his friend.
And so Saladin, instead of fighting Richard, finally made a friendly
agreement with him to treat the Holy Sepulcher and the pilgrims
properly. As this arrangement was satisfactory to every one, Richard
left Jerusalem to Saladin and started back home.

On his way home Richard was captured by one of his enemies and put in
prison and held for a large ransom from England. Richard’s friends did
not know where he was and did not know how to find him.

Now, it so happened that Richard had a favorite minstrel named Blondel.
Blondel had composed a song of which Richard was very fond. So when
Richard was taken prisoner, Blondel wandered over the country singing
everywhere this favorite song in the hope that Richard might hear it
and reveal where he was. One day he happened to sing beneath the very
tower where Richard was imprisoned. Richard heard him and answered by
singing the refrain of the song. His friends then knew where he was,
the ransom was paid, and Richard was allowed to go free.

When, at last, Richard did reach England, he still had adventures. This
was the time when Robin Hood was robbing travelers. Richard planned
to have himself taken prisoner by Robin Hood, so that he might capture
him and bring him to justice. So Richard disguised himself as a monk
and was captured as he had planned. But he found Robin Hood such a good
fellow after all that he forgave him and his men.

Richard’s coat of arms was a design of three lions, one above the
other; and this same design of three lions now forms part of the shield
of England.

After Richard’s Crusade there was a Fourth Crusade, and then in the
year 1212--which is an easy date to remember, because it is simply the
number 12 repeated--one, two, one, two--there was a crusade of children
only. This was known therefore as the Children’s Crusade. It was led by
a French boy about twelve years old named Stephen, who was named after
the first Christian martyr.

Children from all over France left their homes and their mothers and
fathers--it seems strange to us that their mothers and fathers let them
start off on such a trip--and marched south to the Mediterranean Sea.
Here they expected the waters of the sea would part and allow them
to march on dry land to Jerusalem, as they had read in the Bible the
waters of the Red Sea had done to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt.
But the waters did not part.

Some sailors, however, offered to take the children to Jerusalem in
their ships. They said they would do it for nothing, just for the love
of the Lord. But it turned out that these sailors were really pirates,
and as soon as they got the children on board their ships they steered
them straight across the Mediterranean to Africa into the very land of
their enemies, the Mohammedans. Here, it is said, the pirates sold the
children as slaves. This is not a Grimm’s Fairy-Tale, and the pirates
were not trapped by the children, so I cannot make a happy ending, for
it was not.

The last or Eighth Crusade was led by a king of France called Louis. He
was so pious and so devoted to the Lord that he was made a saint and
ever after has been called St. Louis. Yet this Crusade failed, and ever
since Jerusalem has been ruled by the Mohammedans until just recently,
when, in 1918, it was captured by the English, and this, then, was
really the Last Crusade.

Not all the Crusaders were good Christians. Like some people nowadays,
a great many were Christian only in name. In fact, though strange
to say, quite a number of the Crusaders were nothing but scalawags,
looking for excitement and adventure, and they went on a Crusade merely
as an excuse to rob and plunder.

The Crusades did not succeed in their object, which was to keep
Jerusalem for the Christians. Yet in spite of that, they did a great
deal of good. When the Crusades first started, the Crusaders were not
nearly as civilized as the people they went to conquer. But travel
sometimes teaches people more than books, and it taught the Crusaders.
They learned the customs of the other lands through which they went.
They learned languages and literature. They learned history and art.

There were then no public schools. Only a very, very few people had any
education at all. So the Crusades did what schools might have done.
They taught the people of Europe and put an end to the Dark Ages of



Bibles Made of Stone and Glass

How often do you go to church?

Probably not more than once a week--on Sundays.

But in the Middle Ages people usually went to church every day and
often several times a day. They did not go only when there was a church
service. They went to say their prayers by themselves; they went to
tell their troubles to the priest, to get advice from him, to burn a
candle to the Virgin Mary, or simply to chat with their friends.

All during the Crusades, and immediately after the Crusades, the chief
thing that people thought about was their church.

There was only one church in a neighborhood, and every one went to
the same church for there were no Baptists, nor Episcopalians, nor
Methodists; all were just Christians.

The church was every one’s meeting-house, and so people naturally gave
as much money and time and labor as they could to make their church
the best that could be built. That is why there were built in France
and other parts of Europe at this time many of the finest churches
and cathedrals in the world. These churches and cathedrals are still
standing, and, because they are so beautiful, people go long distances
to see them.

Do you know what a cathedral is? A cathedral is not just a large
church. It is the church of a bishop. In the chancel of this church
there is a special chair for the bishop. This bishop’s chair is called
in Latin a “cathedra,” and so his church is named a cathedral after
this chair.

These churches and cathedrals were nothing like the old Greek and Roman
temples; they were not like anything that had ever been built before.

If you have ever built a house out of blocks, you probably did it this
way: first you stood two blocks upright, and then you laid another
block across the top of these for a roof. This is the way the Greeks
and Romans built.

But the Christians throughout Europe at that time did not build in this
way at all.

When you were building toy-houses, instead of laying a single block
across the two standing ones, you may perhaps have tried leaning two
blocks together like the sides of a letter A for a roof? If you did,
you know what happened: the two leaning blocks pushed over the sides,
and _crash_! everything tumbled. Well, these churches were built
somewhat in this way, with stones arched across the standing stone
columns. But to keep the stone arches from pushing over the standing
stone columns the builders put up props or braces. These props or
braces were made of stone, too, and these props of stone were called
_flying buttresses_.

[Illustration: Flying buttresses--Apse of Notre Dame.]

The people in Italy thought this a crazy way of building. They thought
such buildings must be shaky and might easily topple over--like a
house of cards. The Goths who had conquered Italy in 476 were wild
and ignorant and after that people called anything wild and ignorant
“Gothic.” So people called all buildings such as I have just described
“Gothic,” although the Goths had nothing to do with the buildings, for
they had all died long years before.

Indeed, from my description you, too, may think such buildings propped
up by flying buttresses must have been tottering and ugly, but they
were neither. They were not rickety, for though occasionally one that
was not carefully built did collapse, the largest and best are still
standing to-day. And although there were old-fashioned people who
thought no building was beautiful that was not built in the Roman or
Greek style, we have come to admire the great beauty of these so called
Gothic buildings.

But there were other ways in which the Gothic churches were different
from the Greek and Roman temples. Before a Gothic church was started,
a very large cross was first drawn on the ground with its head
towards the east, because that is the direction of Jerusalem. On this
cross-shaped plan, the church was built so that if you looked down from
above on the finished building, it was shaped like a cross with the
altar always toward the east.

Gothic churches had beautiful spires or _arrows_, which have been
likened to _fingers pointing to_ _heaven_. The doorways and windows
were not square or round at the top, but pointed, like hands placed
together in prayer.

Nearly the whole side of a Gothic church was made of glass. These large
windows were not, however, plain white glass, but beautiful pictures
made of colored glass. Small pieces of different colors were joined
together at their edges with lead to make what looked like wonderful
paintings. But these pictures were much finer than ordinary paintings,
for the light shone through the stained glass and made the colors
brilliant as jewels--blue like the clear sky, yellow like sunlight, red
like a ruby. These pictures in glass told stories from the Bible. They
were like colored illustrations in a book. So the people who could not
read, and very few could read, were able to know the Bible stories just
by looking at these beautiful illustrations.

Statues of saints and angels and characters in the Bible were carved in
the stonework of the church. So the churches were like Bibles of stone
and glass.

Besides these holy beings, strange, grotesque beasts were also made in
stone--monsters like no animal that has ever been seen in nature. These
creatures were usually put on the outside edge or corner of the roof
or they were used for waterspouts and called _gargoyles_. They were
supposed to scare away evil spirits from the holy place.

No one now knows who were the architects or the builders of these
Gothic churches or who were the sculptors or artists. Almost every one
did some work on the church, for it was _his_ church. Instead of giving
money he gave his time and labor. If he had any skill, he carved stone
or made stained glass. If he had no skill he did the work of a common

[Illustration: Gargoyle.]

Some of these Gothic churches took hundreds of years to build, so that
the workmen who started them never lived to see them finished. Some of
the most famous cathedrals are Canterbury Cathedral in England, the
Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, and Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

Cologne Cathedral took the longest of all to build, as it was not
entirely finished until about seven hundred years after it was begun!
The beautiful Cathedral of Rheims in France was almost destroyed by the
gun-fire of the Germans in the Great War only a few years ago.

Gothic churches were built, with loving care, of stone and jeweled
glass. Nothing but the best was thought good enough. To-day almost all
churches are still built with spires, pointed doors and some stained
glass windows, and often the altar is toward the east. But although
they imitate the Gothic style in these things, they seldom have stone
ceilings, as Gothic churches had, nor flying buttresses, nor walls of
stained glass. The ceilings are usually of wood, the spire often of
wood, also, and even the whole building of wood or some cheap material.
Real Gothic was enormously expensive and difficult, and nowadays people
haven’t the time, the money, nor the interest to build in such a way.

And that is the story of Gothic churches that the Goths had nothing to
do with.



John, Whom Nobody Loved

Richard, the Lion-Hearted, whom everybody loved, had a brother named
John, whom nobody loved.

This brother John became king, but he turned out to be a very wicked

He is another one of the villains in history, whom we do not like, but
like to hear about, and like to clap when he gets what he deserves.

John was afraid that his young nephew named Arthur might be made king
in his place, and so he had him murdered. Some say he hired others to
do the killing; some say he murdered him with his own hands. This was
a very bad beginning for his reign, but things got worse and worse as
time went on.

John got into a quarrel with the pope in Rome. The pope at that time
was head of all Christians in the world and said what should be done
and what should not be done in all churches everywhere. The pope
ordered John to make a certain man bishop in England, and John said he
wouldn’t do it. He wanted another man, a friend of his, to be bishop.
The pope then said he would close up all the churches in England if
John didn’t do as he was told. John said he didn’t care. Let the pope
go ahead and close up all the churches if he wanted to. So the pope
ordered all churches in England to be closed until John should give
in. Nowadays this might not have made much difference, but then, as I
have told you, the church was the one most important thing in every
one’s life; in fact, nothing else mattered so much. The closing of
the churches meant that no services could be held in any church. It
meant that children could not be baptized, and so, if they died, it
was believed they could not go to heaven. It meant that couples could
not be married. It meant that the dead could not be given a Christian

The people of England were shocked. It was as if Heaven had put a curse
on them. They were afraid that terrible things would happen to them. Of
course the people blamed John, for he was the cause of the churches’
being closed. They were so angry at him that he became scared--afraid
what his people might do to him. When at last the pope threatened to
make another man king of England in his place--yes, the pope had as
much power as that--John in fear and trembling gave in and agreed to
do everything that at first he had said he would not do and more
besides. But John was pig-headed. He was always doing the wrong thing
and sticking to it.

John had an idea that the world was made for the king and that people
were put upon the earth simply so that the king might have servants to
work for him, to earn money for him, to do what he wished them to do.
Many of the kings of olden days felt the same way, though they did not
go as far as John did. John would order people who were rich to give
him whatever money he wanted. If they refused to give him all he asked,
he would put them in prison, have their hands squeezed in an iron press
until the bones cracked and the blood ran, or he would even put them to

John got worse and worse until at last his barons could not stand his
actions any longer. So they made him prisoner and took him to a little
island in the Thames River called Runnymede. Here they forced John to
agree to certain things which they had written down in Latin. This was
in the Year 1215; and 1215 was a bad date for John, but a good date
for the English people. This list of things which the barons made John
agree to was called by the Latin name for a great agreement, which is
Magna Carta, or Charta.

John did not agree to Magna Carta willingly, however. He was as angry
and furious as a spoiled child, who kicks and screams when forced to do
something he does not want to do. But he had to agree, nevertheless.

John was unable to write his name, and so he could not sign the
agreement as people sign contracts nowadays. But he wore a seal-ring
which was used by people who could not sign their names, and this seal
he pressed into a piece of hot wax which was dropped on the agreement
where one would have signed.

John agreed in Magna Carta to give the barons some of the rights that
we think every human being should have anyway, without an agreement.
For instance, a person certainly has the right to keep the money that
he earns, and he has the right not to have it taken away from him
unlawfully. A person also has the right not to be put in prison or be
punished by the king or any one else unless he has done something wrong
and unless he has had a fair trial. These are two of the rights that
John agreed to in Magna Carta. There were quite a number of others.

John didn’t keep his agreement, however. He broke it the very first
time he had a good chance, as a person usually does when he is forced
to agree to something against his will. But John died pretty soon; and
so, as far as he was concerned, Magna Carta didn’t matter much. But
kings who came after him were made to agree to the same things. So ever
after 1215 the king in England was supposed to be the servant of the
people, and not the people servants of the king as they had been before
that time.



A Great Story-Teller

Far away from England,

Far off in the direction of the rising sun,

’Way beyond Italy and Jerusalem and the Tigris and Euphrates and Persia
and all the other places we have so far heard about, was a country
called Cathay--C-A-T-H-A-Y.

If you looked down at your feet, and the world were glass, you would
see it on the other side.

Cathay is the same place we now call China. The people in Cathay
belonged to the yellow race, the same race to which the Chinese belong.

There had been people living in Cathay, of course, all through the
centuries that had passed, but little was known of this land or of its

But in the thirteenth century or twelve hundreds, one of these tribes
of yellow people called Mongols or Tartars, arose out of the East, like
a black and terrifying thunderstorm, and it seemed for a while as if
they might destroy all the other countries whose histories we have been
hearing about. The ruler of these people was a terrible fighter named
Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan had an army of Tartar horsemen who were
terrific fighters. Genghis and his Tartars were a good deal like Attila
and his Huns--only worse. Indeed, some people think Attila and his Huns
were Tartars also.

Genghis usually found some excuse for making war on others, but if
he couldn’t find a good excuse he made up one, for he was bent on
conquering. He and his Tartars thought no more of killing than would
tigers or lions let loose.

So Genghis and his horsemen swept over the land from Cathay toward
Europe. They burned and destroyed thousands upon thousands of towns and
cities and everything in their way. They slew men, women, and children
by the million. No one was able to stop them. It seemed as if they
were going to wipe off of the face of the earth all white people and
everything that white people had built.

Genghis Khan had conquered the whole land from the Pacific Ocean to the
eastern part of Europe. But at last he stopped. With this kingdom he
seemed to be satisfied. And he might well have been satisfied, for it
was larger than the Roman Empire or that of even Alexander the Great.

Even when Genghis died, things were no better, for his son was just as
frightful as his father and conquered still more country.

But the grandson of Genghis Khan was much less ferocious than his
grandfather had been. He was named Kublai Khan, and he was quite
different from his father and grandfather. He made his capital at
a place in China now called Peking and ruled over this vast empire
that he had inherited from his father. Kublai’s chief interest was in
building magnificent palaces and surrounding himself with beautiful
gardens, and he made such a wonderful capital for himself that Solomon
in all his glory did not live in such splendor as did Kublai Khan.

Now, far, far off from Peking and the palace of Kublai Khan, in the
north of Italy was a city built on the water. Its streets were of
water, and boats were used instead of carriages. This city was called
Venice. About the Year 1300 there were living in Venice two men named
Polo. The Polos got an idea in their heads that they would like to see
something of the world. So these two Venetians, and the son of one
of them named Marco Polo, started off toward the rising sun looking
for adventure, just like boys in story-books who go off to seek their
fortunes. After several years of travel, always toward the east, they
at last came to the gardens and to the magnificent palace of Kublai

When Kublai Khan heard that strange white men from a far-off place and
an unknown country were outside the palace, he wanted to see them.
So they were brought into his presence. They told Kublai Khan all
about their own land. They were good story-tellers, and they made it
interesting. They told him also about the Christian religion and many
other things that he had never heard of.

The emperor was so much interested in the Polos and in the stories they
told about their country that he wanted to hear more. So he persuaded
them to stay with him and tell him more. He gave them rich presents.
Then he made them his advisers and assistants in ruling his empire.
So the Polos stayed on for years and years and years and learned the
language and came to be very important people in Cathay.

At last after they had spent about twenty years in Cathay the Polos
thought it was about time to go home and see their own people again. So
they begged leave to return. Kublai Khan did not want them to go. They
were so useful to him and helped him so much in ruling that he didn’t
want to lose them. But in the end he did let them go, and they started
back to what once had been their home.

When they at last arrived in Venice, they had been away so long and had
been traveling so far that no one knew them. They had almost forgotten
how to speak their own language, and they talked like foreigners.
Their clothes had become worn out and ragged by their long trip. They
looked like tramps, and not even their old friends recognized them. No
one would believe that these ragged, dirty strangers were the same fine
Venetian gentlemen who had disappeared almost twenty years before.

The Polos told their townspeople all about their adventures and the
wonderfully rich lands and cities that they had visited. But the
townspeople only laughed at them, for they thought them story-tellers.

Then the Polos ripped open their ragged garments, and out fell piles
of magnificent and costly jewels, diamonds and rubies and sapphires
and pearls--enough to buy a kingdom. The people looked in wonder and
amazement and began to believe.

Marco Polo told his stories to a man who wrote them down and made a
book of them called “The Travels of Marco Polo.” This is an interesting
book for you to read even to-day, although we cannot believe all the
tales he told. We know that he exaggerated a great many things, for he
liked to amaze people.

Marco Polo described the magnificence of Kublai Khan’s palace. He told
of its enormous dining-hall, where thousands of guests could sit down
at the table at one time. He told of a bird so huge that it could
fly away with an elephant. He said that Noah’s Ark was still on Mount
Ararat, only the mountain was so high and so dangerous to climb on
account of the ice and snow with which it was covered that no one could
go to see if the ark really were there.



“Thing-a-ma-jigger” and “What-cher-may-call-it” or a Magic Needle and a
Magic Powder

About this same time that Marco Polo returned from his travels, people
in Europe began to hear and talk about a magic needle and a magic
powder that did remarkable things, and some say that Marco brought
them back from Cathay, but this we doubt. The little magic needle when
floated on a straw or held up only at its middle would always turn
towards the north no matter how much you twisted it. Such a needle put
in a case was called a compass.

Now, you may not see why such a little thing was so remarkable. But
strange as it may seem, this little thing really made it possible to
discover a new world.

Perhaps you have played the game in which a child is blindfolded,
twisted around several times in the center of the room, and then told
to go toward the door or the window or some other point in the room.
You know how impossible it is for one who has been so turned round to
tell which way to go, and you know how absurd one looks who goes in
quite the opposite direction when he thinks he is going straight.

Well, the sailor at sea was something like such a blindfolded child. Of
course, if the weather were fine he could tell by the sun or the stars
which way he should go. But when the weather was cloudy and bad there
was nothing for him to go by. He was then like the blindfolded child.
He might easily become confused and sail in just the opposite direction
from the way he wanted to go without knowing the difference.

This was perhaps one of the chief reasons why sailors, before the
compass was used, had not gone far out of sight of land. They were
afraid they might not be able to find their way back. So only that part
of the world was known which could be reached by land or without going
far out of sight of land.

But, with the compass, sailors could sail on and on through storm and
cloudy weather and keep always in the direction they wanted to go. They
simply had to follow the little magnetic needle suspended in its box.
No matter how much the boat turned or twisted or tossed, the little
needle always pointed to the north. Of course sailors did not always
want to go north, but it was very easy to tell any other direction if
they knew which was north. South was exactly opposite, east was to the
right, and west was to the left. So all they had to do was to steer the
boat on the course in whatever direction they wished.

It was a long while, however, before sailors would use a compass.
They thought it was bewitched by some magic, and they were afraid
to have anything to do with such a thing. Sailors are likely to be
superstitious, and they were afraid that if they took the compass on
board it might bewitch their ship and bring them bad luck.

The other magic thing was gunpowder.

Never before 1300 had there been such things in Europe as guns or
cannons or pistols. All fighting had been done with bows and arrows or
swords or spears or with some such weapons. A sword can only be used on
a man a few feet away, but with guns an enemy may be killed and walls
battered down miles away. But after gunpowder was invented the armor
which the old knights wore was of course no longer of any use, for it
could not protect them from shot and shell. So gunpowder has changed
fighting completely and made war the terrible thing it has become.

Although Marco Polo was supposed to have told about gunpowder and its
use in cannons as he had seen it in the East, most people think that
an English monk named Roger Bacon knew about gunpowder and also about
the compass and perhaps invented them. The monk Bacon knew about so
many things which people at that time thought were magic that he was
supposed to be in league with the devil, and so he was put in prison.
Bacon was the wisest man of his time, but he was ahead of his time.
If he were living now he would be honored as a great scientist and
inventor. But people thought he knew _too_ much--that any one who knew
as much as he did was wicked--that he was prying into God’s secrets,
which God did not want any one to know.

Others, however, give the credit or the blame for the invention of
gunpowder to a German chemist named Schwarz. They say that one day
Schwarz was mixing some chemicals in an iron bowl with an iron mixer
called a _pestle_, such as druggists use, when, all of a sudden,
the mixture exploded and shot the iron pestle right up through the
ceiling. Schwarz was much surprised; he had had a narrow escape from
being killed; but this gave him an idea. Immediately he set to work
to think out a way to use the same mixture in battle to shoot iron
pestles at the enemy. Some people think it would have been far better
if the pestle had struck and killed Mr. Schwarz at the time, and if his
secret had been destroyed with him. We might then never have had the
terrible wars and the killing of millions of human beings which have
resulted from this discovery. It was quite a while, however, before
gunpowder was made strong enough to do much damage. In fact, it was
over a hundred years before fighting with guns entirely took the place
of fighting with bows and arrows.



Thelon Gest Wart Hate Verwas

Is this another Latin heading?

No, it’s English.

Don’t you understand English?

It was 1338, and Edward III was king of England. Edward III wanted to
rule France as well as England. He said he was related to the former
king of France and had a better right to the country than the one who
was ruling. So he started a war to take France, and the war he started
lasted more than a hundred years. So this is known as the Hundred
Years’ War and it is:

 The Longest War that Ever Was!

The English army sailed over from England and landed in France. The
first great battle was fought at a little place called Crécy. The
English army was on foot and was made up chiefly of the common people.
The French army were mostly knights clad in armor on horseback--the
society people.

The French knights on horseback thought themselves much finer than the
common English soldiers who were on foot, as a man in a motor-car is
likely to look down on the man who is walking.

The English soldiers, however, used a weapon called the _longbow_,
which shot arrows with terrific force, and they completely whipped the
French knights in spite of the fact that the knights were nobles, were
trained to be fighters, rode on horses, and were protected by armor.

Cannon were used by the English in this battle for the first time. The
cannon, however, did not amount to much nor do very much harm. They
were so weak that they simply tossed the cannon-balls at the enemy as
one might throw a basketball or football. They scared the horses of the
French but did little other damage. But this was the beginning of what
was before long to be the end of knights and armor and feudalism.

The battle of Crécy was only the beginning of the Hundred Years’ War.
The next year after the battle of Crécy a horribly contagious disease
called the Black Death attacked the people of Europe. It was like the
plague in Athens in the Age of Pericles, but the Black Death did not
attack just one city or country. It was supposed to have started in
Cathay, but it spread westward until it reached Europe. There was no
running away from it. It spread far and wide over the whole land and
killed more human beings than any war that has ever been. It was called
Black Death because black spots came out all over the body of any one
who caught it, and he was certain to die within a few hours or a day
or two. There was no hope. No medicine had any effect. Many people
committed suicide just as soon as they found they had the disease. Many
died just from fright, actually “scared to death.”

It lasted two years, and millions upon millions caught the disease.
Half of the people of Europe died of it. Whole towns were wiped out,
and in many places no one was left to bury the dead. Dead bodies
lay where they had fallen--on the street, in the doorway, in the

The crops in the fields went to waste, for there was no one to gather
them. Horses and cows roamed over the country at will, for there was
no one to care for them. The plague attacked even sailors at sea, and
ships were found drifting about on the water with not a soul alive left
on board, with not even one left to steer the ship.

What if it had killed every last man, woman, and child in the world!
What then would have been the future history of the world?

But, as if there were not enough people dead already, the Hundred
Years’ War still went on year after year. The soldiers who had fought
at Crécy had been dead for years. Their children had grown up, fought,
and died; their grandchildren had grown up, fought and died, and their
great-grandchildren had done the same; and the English army was still
fighting in France. The French prince at that time was very young and
weak, and the French were almost in despair--hopeless--because they had
no strong leader to help them drive out the English after all these
many years.

Now, in a little French village there was living a poor peasant girl,
a shepherdess, called Joan of Arc. As she watched her flocks of sheep,
she had wonderful visions. She heard voices calling to her, telling her
she was the one who must lead the French armies and save France from
England. She went to the prince’s nobles and told them her visions.
But they did not put any faith in her or her visions, and they did not
believe she was able to do the things she thought she could.

To test her, however, they dressed up another man as the prince and put
him on the throne while the prince stood at one side with the nobles.
Then they let Joan into the room. When Joan entered the royal hall, she
gave one look at the man who was seated on the throne and dressed up as
prince. Then without hesitating she walked directly past him and went
straight to the _real_ prince. Before him she knelt and said, “I have
come to lead your armies to victory.” The prince at once gave her his
flag and a suit of armor, and she rode out at the head of all the army
and had him crowned king.

[Illustration: Joan of Arc at the stake.]

The French soldiers took heart again. It seemed as if the Lord had
sent an angel to lead them, and they fought so hard and so bravely that
they won many battles.

The English soldiers, however, thought that it was not the Lord but
the devil who had sent Joan and that she was not an angel but a witch,
and they were very much afraid of her. At last, the English made her
prisoner. The French king, whom she had saved, in spite of all she
had done for him, didn’t even try to save her. Now that things were
going his way, he didn’t like to have a woman running things, and the
soldiers didn’t like to have a woman ordering them around, and they
were glad to be rid of her.

The English tried her for a witch, judged her guilty of being a witch,
and then they burned her alive at the stake.

But Joan seemed to have brought the French good luck, to have put
new life into their armies, for from that time on, France increased
in strength, and after more than a hundred years of fighting at last
drove the English out of the country. In one hundred years of fighting
hundreds of thousands of people had been wounded and crippled and
blinded and killed, and after it all England was no better off, just
the same as when she started--all the fighting all for nothing.


Print and Powder or Off with the Old On with the New

Up to this time there was not a printed book in the whole world. There
was not a newspaper. There was not a magazine. All books had to be
written by hand. This, of course, was extremely slow and expensive, so
there were very few of even these handwritten books in all the world.
Only kings and very wealthy people had any books at all. Such a book as
the Bible, for instance, cost almost as much as a house, and so no poor
people could own such a thing. Even when there was a Bible in a church,
it was so valuable that it had to be chained to keep it from being
stolen. Think of stealing a Bible!

But about 1440 a man thought of a new way to make books. First he put
together wooden letters called type, and then smeared them with ink.
Then he pressed paper against this inky type and made a copy. After
the type was once set up, thousands of copies could be made quickly
and easily. This, as you of course know, was printing. It all seems so
simple, the wonder is that no one had thought of printing thousands of
years before.

It is generally believed that a German named Gutenberg made the first
printed books about 1440, so he is called the inventor of printing. And
what do you suppose was the first book ever printed? Why, the book that
people thought the most important book in the world--the Bible. This
Bible was not printed in English, however, nor in German, but in Latin!

The first book printed in English was made in England by an English
man named Caxton, and you would never guess what the English book was.
It was a description of the game of chess, the game that the Arabs had

[Illustration: Gutenberg at his press. Comparing a printed sheet with a

Before this time few people, even though they were kings and princes,
knew how to read, because there were no books to teach them how to
read and few books for them to read if they had learned, and so what
was the use of learning.

You can see how difficult it must have been for people throughout the
Middle Ages, without books or newspapers or anything printed, to learn
what was going on in the world, or to learn about anything that one
wanted to know.

But, now that printing had been invented, all that was changed.
Story-books and school-books and other books could be made in large
numbers and very cheaply. People who never before were able to have
any books could now own them. Every one could now read all the famous
stories of the world and learn about geography, about history, about
anything he wanted to know. So the invention of printing was soon to
change everything.

The Hundred Years’ War had at last come to an end soon after the
invention of printing.

At the same time something else that was a thousand years old came to
an end.

The Mohammedans whom we haven’t heard of for a long time, had tried to
capture Constantinople in the seventh century, but had been stopped, as
I told you, by tar and pitch that the Christians poured down on them.

But in 1458 the Mohammedans once again attacked Constantinople. This
time, however, the Mohammedans were Turks, and they didn’t try to
batter down the walls of the city with arrows. They used gunpowder and
cannon. Cannon had been used at Crécy more than a hundred years before,
but they had done little damage. Since that time, however, they had
become greatly improved. Against the power of this new invention the
walls of Constantinople could not stand, and finally the city fell.
So Constantinople became Turkish, and the magnificent Church of Santa
Sophia, which Justinian had built a thousand years before, was turned
into a Mohammedan mosque. This was the end of all that was left of the
old Roman Empire--the other half of which had fallen in 476.

Ever after the downfall of Constantinople in 1453, wars were fought
with gunpowder. No longer were castles of any use. No longer were
knights in armor of any use. No longer were bows and arrows of any
use--against this new kind of fighting. There was a new sound in the
world, the sound of cannon-firing: “Boom! boom! boom!” Before this,
battles had not been very noisy except for shouts of the victors and
the moans of the dying. So 1453 is called the end of the Middle Ages,
and the beginning of the New Ages that were to follow.

Gunpowder had put an end to the Middle Ages. The invention of printing
and that little magic needle, the compass, did a great deal to start
the New Ages.


A Sailor Who Found a New World

What book do you like best?

“Alice in Wonderland”?

“Gulliver’s Travels”?

One of the first books to be printed and one that boys at that time
liked best was

  “The Travels of Marco Polo”

One of the boys who loved to read these stories of those far-away
countries of the East with their gold and precious jewels was an
Italian named Christopher Columbus. Christopher Columbus was born in
the city of Genoa, which is in the top of the “boot.” Like a great many
other boys who were born in seaport towns, he had heard the sailors on
the wharves tell yarns of their travels, and his greatest ambition in
life was to go off to sea and visit all the wonderful lands of which
he had read and been told. At last the chance came, and, though only
fourteen years old, he made his first voyage. After that, Columbus made
many other voyages and grew to be a middle-aged man, but he never got
to these countries he had read about in “The Travels of Marco Polo.”

Many sea-captains of that time were trying to find a shorter way to
India than the long and tiresome one that Marco Polo had taken. They
felt sure there was a shorter way by sea and now that they had the
compass to guide them they dared to go far off searching for such a

By this time many books had already been printed. Some of these books
on travel were written by the old Greeks and Romans and declared what
was thought to be a crazy notion that the world was not flat but round.
Columbus had read these books and he said to himself that if the world
is really round, one should be able to reach India by sailing toward
the west. It should be much easier and shorter that way than if one
took a boat to the end of the Mediterranean Sea and then went over land
for thousands of miles the way Marco Polo had gone.

The more Columbus thought of the idea, the surer he was that this could
be done and the more eager he was to get a ship to try out his idea.
But every one laughed at him and his notion as foolish. Of course,
being only a sailor, he had no money to buy or hire a ship in which to
make the trial and he could find no one to help him.

So first Columbus went to the little country called Portugal. Portugal
was right on the ocean’s edge. It was to be expected then that the
people of Portugal would be famous sailors, and they _were_--as famous
as the Phenicians had been of old. So Columbus thought they might
be interested and help. Besides, the king of Portugal was extremely
interested in discovering new lands.

But the king of Portugal thought, as the others did, that Columbus
was foolish and would have nothing to do with him. The king wanted to
make quite sure, however, that there was nothing in Columbus’s idea.
Furthermore, if there were any new land, he wanted to be the first to
discover it himself. So he secretly sent some of his sea-captains off
to explore. After a while they one and all returned and stated that
they had been as far as it was safe to go and that positively there was
nothing at all to the west but water, water, water.

So Columbus in disgust then went to the next country--Spain--which at
that time was ruled by King Ferdinand and his queen Isabella. King
Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were just then too busy to listen to
Columbus. They were fighting with the Mohammedans, who had been in
their country ever since 732, when, you remember, they got as far north
as France. But at last Ferdinand and Isabella succeeded in driving the
Mohammedans out of their country, and then Queen Isabella became very
much interested in Columbus’s ideas and plans and finally promised to
help him. She even said she would sell her jewels, if necessary, to
give him the money to buy ships. But she didn’t have to do this. So
Columbus with her help was able to buy three little ships named the
_Niña_, _Pinta_, and _Santa María_. So small were these three boats
that nowadays we would have been afraid to go even out of sight of
shore in them.

At last everything was ready, and Columbus set sail from the Spanish
seaport of Palos with about a hundred sailors. Many of the sailors
were criminals, who had been given a choice between prison and this
dangerous voyage. They chose to risk their lives rather than to stay
in prison. Directly toward the setting sun into the broad Atlantic,
Columbus steered. Past the Canary Islands he sailed, on and on, day and
night, always in the same direction.

See if you can get this idea--the idea that every one had at that
time--that all there was of the world was what we have so far been
studying about. Try to forget that you ever heard of North and South
America. They, of course, knew of no such lands. Try to think of
Columbus on deck scanning the waves in the daytime or peering off in
the darkness at night, hoping sooner or later to sight, not a new
land--he wasn’t looking for a new land--but for China or India.

[Illustration: Columbus arguing with his crew.]

Columbus had been out for over a month, and his sailors began to
get worried. It seemed impossible that any sea could be so vast, so
endless, with nothing in sight before, behind, or on either side. They
began to think about returning. They began to be afraid they would
never reach home. They begged Columbus to turn back. They said it was
crazy to go any farther; there was nothing but water ahead of them, and
they could go on forever and ever, and there would never be anything

Columbus argued with them, but it was no use. Finally he promised
to turn back if they did not reach something very soon. As the days
went on still with nothing new, the sailors plotted to throw Columbus
overboard at night and so get rid of him. They would then sail home and
tell those back in Spain that Columbus had fallen overboard by accident.

At last, when all had given up hope except Columbus, a sailor saw a
branch with berries on it floating in the water. Where could it have
come from? Then birds were seen flying--birds that never get very far
away from shore. Then one dark night, more than two months after they
had set sail, they saw far off ahead a twinkling light. Probably no
little light ever gave so much joy in the world. A light meant only
one thing--human beings--and land, land--land at last! And then on
the morning of October 12, 1492, the three boats ran ashore. Columbus
leaped out, and falling on his knees, offered up a prayer of thanks
to God. He then raised the Spanish flag, took possession of the land
in the name of Spain, and called it “San Salvador,” which means in
Spanish, “Holy Saviour.”

Now, Columbus thought this land was India that he had at last reached,
though of course we know now that a great continent, North and South
America, blocked his way to India. In fact, it was only a little island
off the coast of America where he had landed.

Strange men were the human beings he saw there. Their bodies and faces
were painted, and they had feathers in their hair. As Columbus thought
they must be people of India, he called them Indians, the name they
still bear.

Columbus went on to other islands near-by; but he did not find any gold
nor precious stones such as he had expected, or the wonders that Marco
Polo had described; and as he had been away so long, he started back
again to Spain the way he had come. With him he took several Indians
to show the people at home, and also some tobacco, which he found them
smoking and which no one had even seen or heard of before.

When he at last reached home safely again, people were overjoyed
at seeing him and hearing of his discoveries. Everyone was wildly
excited--but only for a while. People soon began to say it was nothing
for Columbus to have sailed westward until land was found, that anyone
could do that.

One day when Columbus was dining with the king’s nobles, who were
trying to belittle what he had done, he took an egg and, passing it
around the table, asked each one if he could stand it on end. No one
could. When it came back to Columbus, he set it down just hard enough
to crack the end slightly and flatten it. Of course, _then_ it stood
up. “You see,” said Columbus, “it’s very easy if you only know how. So
it’s easy enough to sail west until you find land after I have done it
once and shown you how.”

Columbus made three other voyages to America, four in all, but he never
knew he had discovered a new world. Once he landed in South America,
but he never reached North America itself.

As Columbus did not bring back any of the precious jewels or wonderful
things that those in Spain expected him to, people lost interest in
him. Some were so spiteful and jealous of his success that they even
charged him with wrongdoing, and King Ferdinand sent out a man to
take his place. Columbus was put in chains and shipped home. Although
he was promptly set free, Columbus kept the chains as a reminder of
men’s ingratitude and asked to have them buried with him. After this,
Columbus made one other voyage, but when at last he died in Spain he
was alone and almost forgotten even by his friends. What an end for the
man who had given a new continent to the world and changed all history!

Of all the men of whom we have heard, whether kings or queens, princes
or emperors, none can compare with Columbus. Alexander the Great,
Julius Cæsar, Charlemagne, were all killers. They took away. But
Columbus _gave_. He gave us a new world. Without money or friends or
luck, he stuck to his ideas through long years of discouragement.
Although made fun of and called a crank and even treated as a criminal
he never

  gave up,
    gave out, nor
      gave in!



The New World had no name.

It was simply called the “New World,” as one might speak of the “new

It had to have a name, but what should it be?

Of course if we could have chosen the name, we should have called it
“Columbia” after Columbus. But another name was selected, and this is
how it happened.

An Italian named Americus made a voyage to the southern part of the New
World. Then he wrote a book about his travels. People read his book and
began to speak of the new land that Americus described as Americus’s
country. And so the New World came to be called America after Americus,
although in all fairness it should have been named after Columbus;
don’t you think so? Children sometimes have names given them which they
would like to change when they grow up. But then it is too late. So we
often speak and sing of our country as Columbia, although that is not
the name on the map. And that is why we call a great many cities and
towns and districts and streets Columbus or Columbia.

After Columbus had shown that there was no danger of falling off the
world and that there really was land off to the west, almost every one
who had been hunting for India now rushed off in the direction Columbus
had taken. “Copy cats!” A genius starts something; then thousands
follow--imitate. Every sea-captain who could do so now hurried off to
the west to look for new countries, and so many discoveries were made
that this time is known as the Age of Discovery. Most of these men were
trying to get to India. They were after gold and jewels and spices,
which they thought they would find in India in great quantities.

Now we can understand why people might go long distances in search
of gold and precious stones, but they also went after spices--such
as cloves and pepper--and you may wonder why they were so eager to
get spices? You yourself may not like pepper very much, and you may
dislike cloves. But in those days they didn’t have refrigerators filled
with ice, and meats and other foods were often spoiled. We would have
thought such food unfit to eat. But they covered it with spices to kill
the bad flavor, and then food could be eaten that otherwise one could
not have swallowed. Spices didn’t grow in Europe--only in the far east.
So people paid big prices to get them, and that is why men made long
journeys after them.

A Portuguese sailor named Vasco da Gama was one of those who were
trying to get to India all the way by water. He did not, however, sail
_west_ as Columbus had done, but _south_ down around Africa. Others
had tried before to get to India by going south and around Africa, but
none had gone more than part way. Many frightful stories were told by
those who had tried but had at last turned back. These stories were
like the tales of “Sindbad the Sailor.” They said that the sea became
boiling hot; they said that there was a magnetic mountain which would
pull out the iron bolts in the ship, and the ship would then fall to
pieces; they said that there was a whirlpool into which a ship would
be irresistibly drawn--down, down, down to the bottom; they said there
were sea-serpents, monsters so large that they could swallow a ship at
one gulp. The southern point of Africa was called the Cape of Storms,
and the very name seemed to be bad luck, so that it was changed to Cape
of Good Hope.

In spite of all such scary stories, Vasco da Gama kept on his way
south. Finally, after many hardships and many adventures, he passed
round the Cape of Good Hope. Then he sailed on to India, got the spices
that then were so highly prized, and returned safely home. This was in
1497, five years after Columbus’s first voyage, and Vasco da Gama
was the first one to go to India by water. Spain had the honor of
discovering a new land. Portugal had the honor of first reaching India
by water.

[Illustration: 15ᵗͪ Century Map of Africa]

England also was to have the honor of making discoveries. In the same
year that Vasco da Gama reached India, a man named Cabot set sail
from England on a voyage of discovery. His first trip was a failure,
but he tried again and finally came to Canada and sailed along the
coast of what is now the United States. These countries he claimed for
England, but he returned home, and England did nothing more about his
discoveries until about a hundred years later.

Another Spaniard named Balboa explored the central part of America. He
was on the little strip of land that joined North and South America
which we now call the Isthmus of Panama. Suddenly he came to another
great ocean. This strange new ocean he named the South Sea, for
although the Isthmus of Panama connects North and South America, it
bends so that one looks _south_ over the ocean.

Then came the longest trip of all. A Portuguese named Magellan wanted
to find a way to India _through_ the New World, for he thought there
must be some opening through which he might pass this new land that
blocked the way. He tried to get his own country to help him. But
again Portugal made the same mistake she had made in the case of
Columbus. She would not listen to Magellan. So Magellan went to Spain,
and Spain gave him five ships.

With these five ships Magellan sailed off across the sea. When he
reached South America he sailed south along the shore trying to find
a passage through the land. One place after another seemed to be the
passage for which he was looking, but each one turned out to be nothing
but a river’s mouth. Then one of his ships was wrecked, and only four
were left.

With these four ships he still kept on down the coast until he finally
reached what is now Cape Horn. Through the dangerous opening there,
since called after him the Straits of Magellan, he worked his way. One
ship deserted and went back home the way it had come. Only three were
then left.

With these three ships he at last came into the great ocean on the
other side, the same ocean that Balboa had called the South Sea. This
Magellan named the “Pacific,” which means “calm,” because after all the
storms they had had it seemed so calm and quiet. But food and water
became scarce and finally gave out. Magellan’s men suffered terribly
from thirst and hunger and even ate the rats that are always to be
found on shipboard. Many of his men were taken sick and died. Still
he kept on, though he had lost most of the crew with which he had set
out. At last he reached what are now the Philippine Islands, where the
people were savages. Here he and his men got into a battle with the
natives, and Magellan was killed. There were now not enough men left
to sail three ships, and so one of these was burned, and only two were
then left.

[Illustration: Magellan’s Victoria. (From an old print.)]

Two of the ships, however, out of the five with which Magellan had
started out, still kept on. Then one of these was lost, disappeared,
and was never heard of again, and only a single ship named the
_Victoria_, remained. It seemed as if not one ship, not one man, would
be left to tell the tale.

Around Africa the _Victoria_ struggled. Magellan’s men, worn out with
hunger and cold and hardships, still battled against wind and storm.
At last a leaky and broken ship with only eighteen men sailed into the
harbor from which it had set out more than three years before. And
so the _Victoria--Victory!_--Magellan’s ship, but without the heroic
Magellan--was the first ship to sail completely round the world. This
voyage settled forever the argument that had been going on for ages,
whether the earth was round or flat, for a ship had actually sailed
around the world! And yet in spite of this proof for many more years
thereafter there were people who still would not believe the world was
round, and even to-day there are people who say the world is flat, but
now we call them _cranks_.

[Illustration: 1520 A.D.]


The Land of Enchantment or the Search for Gold and Adventure

All sorts of marvelous tales were told about the wealth and wonders of
the New World.

It was said that somewhere in the New World there was a _fountain of
youth_, and that if you bathed in it or drank of its water, you would
become young again.

It was said that somewhere in the New World there was a city called El
Dorado built of solid gold.

So every one who liked adventure and could get enough money together
went off in search of these things that might make him famous or
healthy, wealthy or wise, or forever young.

One of these men was Ponce de León. Ponce de León was looking for the
_fountain of youth_. While searching for this life-giving water, he
discovered Florida. But instead of finding the fountain of youth, he
lost his life in fighting with the Indians.

Another one of these men was de Soto. He was searching for El Dorado,
the city of gold. While doing so he discovered the longest river in
the world--the Mississippi. But instead of finding El Dorado, de Soto
was taken sick with fever and died. Now, the Spaniards, to make the
Indians fear them, had said that de Soto was a god and could not die.
So in order to cover up the fact that de Soto had actually died his men
buried him at night in the river he had discovered. They then told the
Indians that he had gone on a trip to heaven and would presently return.

The central part of America was called Mexico. Here lived at that time
a tribe of Indians known as Aztecs. These Aztecs were more civilized
than the other Indians that the explorers had come across. They did not
live in tents but in houses. They built fine temples and palaces. They
made roads and aqueducts, something like those of the Romans. They had
enormous treasures of silver and gold. And yet the Aztecs worshiped
idols and sacrificed human beings to them. Their king was a famous
chief named Montezuma.

A Spaniard named Cortés was sent to conquer these Aztecs. He landed
on the shore of Mexico and burned his ships so that his sailors and
soldiers could not turn back. The Aztecs thought these white-faced
people were gods who had come down from heaven and that their ships
with their white sails were white-winged birds that had borne them.
They had never seen horses, some of which the Spaniards had brought
over across the water, and they were astonished at what seemed to them
terrible beasts that the white men rode. When the Spaniards fired their
cannons, the Aztecs were terrified. They thought it was thunder and
lightning that the Spaniards had let loose.

Cortés moved on toward the Aztec capital, the City of Mexico, which was
built on an island in the middle of a lake. The natives he met on the
way fought desperately, but as they had only such weapons as men used
in the Stone and Bronze Ages, they were no match against the guns and
cannons of the Spaniards.

Montezuma, their chief, wishing to make friends with these white gods,
sent Cortés rich gifts, cart-loads of gold, and when Cortés reached the
capital city Montezuma treated him as a guest instead of an enemy and
entertained him and could not do enough for him. Cortés told Montezuma
all about the Christian religion and tried to make him a Christian
also, but Montezuma thought his own gods just as good as the Christian
God, and he would not change. Then suddenly Cortés took Montezuma
prisoner, and terrible fighting began. At last Montezuma was killed,
and Cortés of course succeeded in conquering Mexico, for though the
Aztecs fought desperately and bravely, shot and shell were too much for

In Peru in South America was still another tribe of civilized Indians
even more wealthy than the Aztecs. They were called Incas, and it was
said that their cities were paved with gold.

Another Spaniard named Pizarro went to Peru to conquer it as Cortés had
conquered Mexico. Pizarro told the ruler, who was called the Inca, that
the pope had given the country to Spain. The Inca had never heard of
the pope and must have wondered what the pope had to do with Peru and
how he could give it away. So naturally the Inca would not give up his
country to Spain. Then Pizarro _took_ it away. He had but a few hundred
men, but he had cannon, and of course the Incas could not stand out
against cannon.

France and other countries of Europe also sent out explorers to conquer
parts of America, and then missionaries to teach the Indians the
Christian religion, but these you will hear more about when you study
American History.

Many of the explorers were really pirates, even worse pirates than the
Norsemen who raided England and France, because they murdered people
who were without equal weapons to fight back. The excuse they often
gave for doing so was that they wanted to make the natives Christians.
No wonder that the natives did not think much of the Christian religion
if it taught murder of people who could not defend themselves. The
Mohammedans made converts with the sword, but the Christians made
converts with shot and shell.



Born Again

Here is a long word for you: it is Renaissance.

It means: born again.

Of course, nothing can be born again. But people call this time we have
now reached the Renaissance, the born-again time. This is the reason
why they call it that.

You remember the Age of Pericles, don’t you? when such beautiful
sculptures and buildings were made in Athens. Well, in the fifteen
hundreds not every one was rushing off to the New World in search of
adventure. While the discoveries that I have told you about were taking
place, there were living and working in Italy some of the greatest
artists the world has ever known.

Architects built beautiful buildings something like the old Greek and
Roman temples. Sculptors made statues that were almost as beautiful as
those of Phidias. People began to take an interest once more in the old
Greek writers, whose books were now printed for every one to read. It
seemed almost as if Athens in the Age of Pericles had been born again.
So that is why people speak of this time as the Renaissance.

One of the greatest of these artists of the Renaissance was a man
named Michelangelo. But Michelangelo was not just a painter; he was
a sculptor, an architect, and a poet as well. Michelangelo thought
nothing of spending years working on any statue or painting that he was
doing. But when he had finished he had done something that people now
go from all over the world to see.

Nowadays, sculptors first model a statue in clay and then copy it in
stone or cast it in bronze, but Michelangelo did not do this. He cut
his figures directly out of the stone, without making a model first. It
was as if he saw the figure imprisoned in the stone and then cut away
the part that closed the figure in.

A large block of marble had been spoiled by another sculptor.
Michelangelo saw a figure of David _in_ it, and, setting to work, he
cut this young athlete _out_.

He made also a statue of Moses sitting down. It is now in a church in
Rome, and when you walk up to it it is so lifelike that it seems as if
you were in the presence of the prophet Moses himself. The guide tells
you that when Michelangelo had finished this statue of Moses he was so
thrilled by the figure he had created that, feeling it must come to
life, he struck it on the knee with his hammer and commanded as he did
so, “Stand Up”! And then the guide shows you a crack in the marble to
prove that the story is true!

[Illustration: Michelangelo at work.]

The pope wanted Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of his own private
chapel in Rome. This was called the Sistine Chapel. At first
Michelangelo didn’t want to do the painting. He told the pope he was a
sculptor and not a painter. But the pope insisted, and Michelangelo at
last gave in. Once having agreed to do the work, however, Michelangelo
gave himself heart and soul to it.

For four years he lived in this room--the Sistine Chapel--and hardly
ever left it day or night. Beneath the ceiling, he built himself a
platform, and, lying on this scaffold, he would read poetry and the
Bible and work “as the spirit moved him.” Locking himself in, he would
let no one enter, not even the pope himself. He wanted to be alone and
to be left alone.

The pope, however, felt that he was a privileged character, and one
day, when he found the door left open, he came into the chapel to see
how things were getting along. Michelangelo, thereupon, accidentally
dropped some of his tools, and they just barely missed hitting the pope
on the head. The pope was very angry, but he never returned uninvited

People now go from all over the world to see this ceiling, which only
can be viewed comfortably by lying on the floor or by looking at it in
a mirror.

Michelangelo lived to be nearly ninety years old, yet he had very
little to do with people. He could not stand being bored by them. So he
lived apart in the company of the gods and angels that he painted.

Raphael was another famous Italian artist. He lived at the same time as
Michelangelo. Raphael, however, was just the opposite of Michelangelo
in most ways. Michelangelo liked to be by himself. Raphael loved
company. He was very popular and constantly surrounded by his friends
and admirers, for everybody loved him on account of his genius and
kindly nature. Young men swarmed about him, drinking in his words and
humbly copying everything he did. He had fifty or more pupils studying
and painting under him, and they went along with him whenever he went
out even for a walk. They almost worshiped the ground he walked on.

Raphael painted many beautiful pictures of the Virgin Mary with the
infant Jesus. These were called Madonnas. Madonnas were almost the only
kind of pictures that artists painted at that time. Raphael painted
one especially beautiful picture of Mary and the Christ-child called
the “Sistine Madonna.” This is considered one of the twelve greatest
pictures in the world. It was painted for a little church, but it is
now in a great picture-gallery, where it has a whole room to itself. No
other pictures are thought worthy to have a place close by.

Raphael died when he was still a young man, but he worked so hard and
so continuously that he has left a large number of pictures. He painted
only the very important parts of his pictures himself--perhaps only the
faces. The body and hands and clothing he usually left to be painted
by his pupils. They were glad to be allowed to do even a finger of a
painting on which their master had worked.

Michelangelo’s paintings were strong and forcible as a man is supposed
to be. Raphael’s paintings were sweet and lovely and graceful, as a
woman is supposed to be.

Leonardo da Vinci is another great artist who lived at this time. He
was left-handed, yet he could do any number of things exceptionally
well. He would be called a jack of all trades, but unlike most jacks
of all trades, he was good at all. He was an artist, an engineer, a
poet, and a scientist. It is said that he drew the first map of the
New World that had the name of America on it. He made, however, very
few paintings, because he did so many things beside, but these few
pictures are extremely beautiful. One of these is “The Last Supper.” It
is considered, as is the “Sistine Madonna,” one of the twelve greatest
paintings in the world. Unfortunately, it was painted directly on a
plastered wall, and in the course of time much of the plaster with the
paint has peeled off, so that there is little now left of the original

Leonardo usually painted his women smiling. One of his most famous
paintings is the picture of a woman called “Mona Lisa.” She has a smile
that is called “quizzical.” You can hardly tell whether she is smiling
_at_ you or _with_ you.


Christians Quarrel

Some people say young boys and girls can’t understand this chapter.
They say it is too difficult. But I want to see if it is.

Up to this time, as I have told you before, there had been only one
Christian religion--the Catholic. There was no Episcopalian, nor
Methodist, nor Baptist, nor Presbyterian, nor any other denomination.
All were just Christians.

But in the sixteenth century some people began to think that changes
should be made in the Catholic religion.

Others thought changes should not be made.

Some said it was all right as it was.

Others said it wasn’t all right as it was. So a quarrel started.

This is the way the trouble began: The pope was building a great church
called St. Peter’s in Rome. It took the place of the old church that
Constantine had built on the spot where St. Peter was supposed to have
been crucified head down. The pope wanted it to be the largest and
finest church in the world, for Christ had said, “Thou art Peter, and
upon this rock [Peter means rock in Latin] I will build my church....”
So the Church of St. Peter’s was to be the Capitol of the Christian
religion. Both Michelangelo and Raphael had worked on the plans for the
new church. In order to get marble and stone and other materials for
this Church of St. Peter, the pope did as others before him had done;
he tore down other buildings in Rome and used their stone for the new

But besides all this the pope needed an enormous amount of money to
build such a magnificent church as he had planned. So he started to
collect from the people. Now, there was a man in Germany named Martin
Luther who was a monk and a teacher of religion in a college. Martin
Luther thought that not only this but also other things in the Catholic
Church were not right. So he made a list of ninety-five things that
he thought were not right and nailed them up on the church door in
the town where he lived, and he preached against doing these things.
The pope sent Luther an order, but Luther made a bonfire and burned
it publicly. Many took sides with Luther, and before long there was a
great body of people who had left the Catholic Church and no longer
obeyed the pope.

The pope called on the king of Spain to help in this quarrel with
Luther. The reason he called on him was this: The king of Spain was
Charles V, the grandson of the Ferdinand and Isabella who had helped
Columbus. He was not only a good Catholic but the most powerful ruler
in Europe. The Spanish explorers had discovered different parts of
America, and so Charles was owner of a large part of the New World. But
he was emperor not only of these Spanish settlements in America but of
Austria and of Germany as well. So it was quite natural that the pope
should go to Charles for help.

Charles commanded Luther to come to a city named Worms to be tried. He
promised Luther that no harm would be done him, and so Luther went.
When Luther arrived at Worms, Charles ordered him to take back all he
had said. Luther refused to do so. Some of Charles’s nobles said Luther
should be burned at the stake. But Charles, as he had promised, let him
go and did not punish him for his belief. Luther’s friends were afraid,
though, that other Catholics might do him harm. They knew Luther would
take no care of himself, and so they themselves took him prisoner and
kept him shut up for over a year, so that no one could harm him. While
Luther was in prison he translated the Bible into German; it was the
first time that the Bible had been written in that language.

The people who protested against what the pope did were called
Protest-ants, and those Christians who are not Roman Catholics are
still called Protestants to-day. The time when these changes were made
in the Catholic form of worship was called the Re-form-ation, as the
old religion was _re-formed_.

Now, you may be a Catholic and your best friend may not be a Catholic,
but that makes no difference in your friendship. But at that time those
who were Catholics were deadly enemies of those who were not. Each side
was sure it alone was right and the other side was wrong. Each side
fought for the things it thought were right, fought the other side as
furiously and madly and bitterly as if the other side were scoundrels
and devils. Friends and relatives murdered each other because they
thought differently about religion, and yet all were supposed to be

Charles was greatly worried and troubled by the religious quarrels
and other difficulties in his vast empire. He became sick and tired
of being emperor and of having to settle all the many problems he had
to solve. He wanted to be free to do other things that he was more
interested in. Being king did not mean being able to do whatever you
wanted, as some people think. So Charles did what few rulers have ever
done voluntarily: he resigned--“abdicated,” as it is called--and gave
up his throne to his son, who was named Philip II.

Then Charles, glad to be rid of all the cares of state, went to live in
a monastery. There he spent his time doing what he liked--what do you
suppose?--making mechanical toys and watches--until he died!

Now, the king of England at this time, when Charles was king of Spain,
was Henry VIII. His last name was Tudor. So many kings had first names
which were alike that such names were numbered to tell which Charles or
Henry was meant and how many of the same name there had been before.
Henry VIII was at first also a strong Catholic, and the pope had called
him Defender of the Faith. But Henry had a wife whom he wanted to get
rid of because she had no son. In order to get rid of her so that he
might marry again, he had to have what was called a divorce, and the
pope was the only one who could give Henry a divorce. Now, the pope at
Rome was head of the Christian Church of the whole world and said what
Christians could do or could not do, no matter whether they were in
Italy or Spain or England. So Henry asked the pope to grant him this
divorce. The pope, however, told him he would not give him a divorce.

Now, Henry thought it was neither right nor proper that a man in
another country, even if he _were_ pope, should say what could be done
in England. He himself was ruler, and he didn’t intend to let any
foreigner meddle in his affairs or give him orders.

[Illustration: Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn.]

So then Henry said that he himself would be head of all the Christians
in England; then he could do as he wished without the pope’s
permission. So he made himself head, and then he divorced his wife.
All the churches in England were now told by the king what they should
do; the pope no longer had anything to say in the matter; the English
churches obeyed the king, not the pope. This made the second big break
in the Catholic Church.

After this Henry VIII had five other wives, six in all; not of course
all at one time, for Christians could only have one wife at a time. His
first wife he divorced, the second he beheaded, the third died. The
same thing happened to his last three wives: the first he divorced, the
second he beheaded, and the third died--but Henry died before she did.

Is this too difficult for you to understand?


King Elizabeth

King Henry VIII had two daughters.

One was named Mary, and one was named Elizabeth.

Their last name was of course Tudor, the same as their father’s,
although we do not usually think of kings and queens as having last

King Henry had a son, also, and he was first to become king after his
father died, for though he was younger than his sisters, a boy was
supposed to be more fit to rule than a girl. But he didn’t live long,
and then Mary was the first of the two sisters to become queen.

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary” did not approve what her father had done
when he turned against the pope and the Catholic Church. Mary herself
was a strong Catholic and ready to fight for the pope and the Catholic
Church. In fact, she wanted to have all who were not Catholics, all
those who were Protestants, put to death. She thought that all those
who did not believe as she did were wicked and should be killed. Like
the queen in “Alice in Wonderland,” she was always saying, “Off with
his head!” This seems to us very unchristian, but in those days their
ideas about such things were peculiar. Mary had the heads of so many
people cut off that she was called Bloody Mary.

Mary married a man who was just as strong a Catholic as she and even
“bloodier.” He was not an Englishman, but a Spaniard, Philip II of
Spain, son of Charles V, who had abdicated.

Philip II was much sterner than his father had been. Philip tried
to make those who were Protestants, or who were supposed to be
Protestants, confess and give up Protestantism. If they did not do so,
they were tortured as the old Christian martyrs had been tortured. This
was called the Inquisition. Those suspected of being Protestants were
tormented in all sorts of horrible ways. Some were tied up in the air
by their hands, like a picture hung on the wall, until they fainted
from the pain or else confessed what they were told to confess. Some
were stretched on a rack, their heads pulled one way and their legs
the opposite way, until their bodies were nearly torn apart. Those who
were found guilty of being Protestants were killed outright, burned to
death, or put slowly to death, so that they would suffer longer.

The people whom Philip chiefly persecuted were the Dutch people in
Holland. Holland then belonged to his empire, and a great many of the
Dutch people had become Protestants.

Now, there was a Dutchman called William the Silent, because he talked
little but did a great deal. William was furious at the way his people
were treated. So he fought against Philip and at last succeeded in
making his country free and setting up the Dutch Republic. But William
the Silent was murdered by order of Philip.

And that’s the kind of man Bloody Mary had for a husband.

After Mary Tudor died, her sister, Elizabeth Tudor, became queen,
though she ruled like a king. Elizabeth had red hair and was very vain
and loved to be flattered. She had many lovers but she never married,
and as a woman who never marries is called a virgin she was known as
the Virgin Queen.

Elizabeth was a Protestant and was just as bitter against the Catholics
as her sister and her sister’s husband had been against the Protestants.

A relative of Elizabeth was queen of Scotland. Scotland was a country
north of England, but at that time it was not a part of England, and
its queen was named Mary Stuart. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was
young, beautiful, and fascinating; but she was a Catholic, and so
Elizabeth and she were enemies.

Elizabeth heard that Mary Stuart was trying to become queen of England
as well as Scotland, so she had her, although a relative, put in
prison. In prison Mary Stuart stayed for nearly twenty years and was
then at last put to death by Elizabeth’s orders. It is hard for us to
understand how any one could have his own relatives killed in this
cold-blooded way, especially any one who pretended to be a Christian,
but in those times it was a very common custom, as we see when we
hear of so many murders committed by the rulers of the people. Philip
II, the great champion of the Catholics, made up his mind to punish
Elizabeth, his sister-in-law, for killing such a good Catholic as Mary

So he got together a large navy of very fine ships called the Spanish
Armada. All Spain was very proud of this fleet. It was boastfully
called the Invincible Armada; “invincible” means “unconquerable.”

This Invincible Armada set forth in 1588 to conquer the English navy.
Lined up in the shape of a half-moon, the ships sailed grandly toward

The English fleet was composed only of little boats. But instead of
going out to meet the Armada in regular sea-battle as the Spaniards
expected, the English ships sailed out and attacked the Spanish ships
from behind and fought one ship at a time. The English were better
fighters, and their small boats were quicker and more easily managed.
They could strike a blow and get away before a Spanish ship could turn
around into position to fire. So gradually they sank or destroyed the
big Spanish boats one by one.

Then the English set some old boats afire and started them drifting
toward the Spanish fleet. As all boats at that time were of course
made of wood, the Spaniards became frightened at these burning piles
drifting down upon them, and part of the fleet sailed away. The rest
tried to get back to Spain by sailing the long way round, north of
Scotland. But a terrible storm struck them, and almost all the boats
were shipwrecked, and thousands of dead bodies were washed up on shore.
So the great Spanish Armada was destroyed, and with it ended the power
of Spain at sea. She was no longer the great nation she had been.

At the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, the largest and most powerful
country in the world was Spain; at the end of her reign it was England
that was the most powerful. Ever since then her fleet, which King
Alfred started far back, has been the largest, and the saying is,
“Britannia rules the waves.”

People at that time thought it impossible for a woman to rule as well
as a man, but under Elizabeth’s rule England in turn became the leading
country of Europe. Then people said Elizabeth ruled _like_ a man, that
she had a man’s brain, a man’s will. In fact they said she was more man
than woman--that she was a tomboy grown up--that’s why I call her “King



The Age of Elizabeth

This story is about the Age of Elizabeth.

My father always told me that it was impolite to talk about a lady’s

But I’m not going to tell you how old Elizabeth was, though she did
live and reign a great many years.

I’m going to tell you some of the things that happened during her
long life, for the time when she lived is what is called the Age of

There was a young man named Raleigh living when Elizabeth became queen.
One day when it was raining and the streets were muddy, Elizabeth
was about to cross the street. Raleigh saw her and, to keep her from
soiling her shoes, ran forward, took off his beautiful velvet cape, and
threw it in the puddle where she was about to step, so that she might
cross upon it as upon a carpet. The queen was greatly pleased with this
thoughtful and gentlemanly act, and she made him a knight, so that he
was then called Sir Walter Raleigh, and ever after that he was one of
her special friends.

Sir Walter Raleigh was much interested in the new country of America.
Cabot had claimed a great part of it for England almost a hundred
years before, but England had done nothing about it. Raleigh thought
something should be done about it; he thought English people should
settle there, so that other countries like Spain, which had made so
many settlements in America, would not get ahead of England. So Raleigh
got together several companies of English people and sent them over to
an island called Roanoke, which was just off the coast of the present
State of North Carolina. At that time, however, almost the whole coast
of the United States as far north as Canada was called Virginia. It had
been named Virginia in honor of the Virgin Queen Elizabeth.

Some of these Roanoke colonists became discouraged with the hardships
they had to suffer and so gave up and sailed back home again. Those
who remained all disappeared. Where? No one knows. We think they must
either have been killed by the Indians or have died of starvation.
At any rate, not one was left to tell the tale. Among these Roanoke
colonists was the first English child born in America--a girl, who had
been named Virginia Dare, for the queen was very popular and a great
many girls were named Virginia after her.

Some tobacco was brought back from Virginia, and Sir Walter Raleigh
learned to smoke. This was such a strange and unknown thing at that
time that one day while he was smoking a pipe a servant who saw smoke
coming out of his mouth thought he was on fire and, running for a
bucket of water, emptied it over his head.

Virginia is still famous for its tobacco. At first tobacco was supposed
to be very healthful, for the Indians seemed to have very good health
and they smoked a great deal. Afterward, however, in the next reign,
King James so hated tobacco that he wrote a book against it and forbade
it to be used.

After Queen Elizabeth had died, Raleigh was put in prison, for it
was said he was plotting against the new king James, who came after
Elizabeth. The prison where he was placed was the Tower of London, the
old castle that William the Conqueror had built. Here Raleigh was kept
for thirteen long years, and to pass the time away he wrote a “History
of the World.” But at last he was put to death as many other great men
were also.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, there lived the great writer of
plays, the greatest writer the world has ever known. This man was
William Shakspere.

Shakspere’s father could not write his name. Shakspere himself spent
only six years at school. As a boy he was rather wild, and he was
arrested for hunting deer in the forest of Sir Thomas Lucy at Stratford.

[Illustration: Shakspere reading to Elizabeth.]

When still a boy Shakspere married a girl older than himself named Anne
Hathaway. After he had been married a few years he left her and their
three children, left the little town of Stratford, and went up to the
great city of London to seek his fortune. There Shakspere got a job
working around a theater, holding the horses of those who came to see
the plays. Then he got a chance to act in the theater, and he became an
actor, but he did not become a very good one.

In those days the theaters had no scenery. A sign was put up to tell
what the scene was supposed to be. For instance, instead of forest
scenery, they would put up a sign saying, “This is a forest,” or
instead of a room scene a sign saying “This is a room in an inn.” There
were no actresses. Men and boys took the parts of both men and women.

Shakspere was asked to change some of the plays that had already been
written, so that they could be better acted. He did this very well;
then he started in to write plays himself. Usually he took old stories
and made them into plays, but he did it so wonderfully well that they
are better than any plays that have ever been written before or since.

Though Shakspere left school when only thirteen years old, he seems to
have had a remarkable knowledge of almost everything under the sun. He
shows in his plays that he knew about history and law and medicine,
and he knew and used more words than almost any writer who has ever
lived. Indeed, some people say that with the little education he had,
he could not possibly have written the plays himself, and so they have
tried to prove that some one else must have written them. Some of the
greatest of Shakspere’s plays are “Hamlet,” “The Merchant of Venice,”
“Romeo and Juliet,” and “Julius Cæsar.”

Shakspere made a good deal of money for those times--almost a fortune.
Then he left London and went back to live in the little town of
Stratford where he was born. Here at last he died and was buried in
the village church. People wanted to move his body to a greater and
handsomer place, to a famous church in London. But some one, perhaps
Shakspere himself, had written a verse which was carved on his
tombstone. The last line of this verse said, “And curst be he who moves
my bones”; so they never were moved, for no one dared to move them.


  James the Servant
  What’s In a Name?

What does your name mean?

  If it is
    Baker or
      Miller or
        Taylor or
          Carpenter or
            Fisher or

it means that at some time one of your ancestors was a

  baker, or
    miller, or
      tailor, or
        carpenter, or
          fisher, or

If your name is Stuart or Steuart or Stewart or Steward, it means that
at some time one of your ancestors was a steward for in olden days
people knew very little about spelling, and they spelled the same name
in different ways. A steward was a chief servant.

There was a family named Stuart in Scotland, and from chief servants
or stewards they had become rulers of the Scots. Mary Stuart, whom
Elizabeth had beheaded, was one of them.

As Queen Elizabeth never married, she had no children to rule after
her. She was the last of the Tudor family. So the English had to look
around for a new king, and they looked to Scotland.

Now, Scotland, as I have told you, was then a separate country and
not a part of England as now. The son of Mary Stuart was then king of
Scotland. His name was James Stuart. As he was related to the Tudors,
the English invited him to come and rule over them. He accepted the
invitation and was called James I. So we speak of his reign and that of
his children as the reign of the Stuarts.

The Stuart family reigned for about a hundred years, that is, from 1600
to 1700, all except about eleven years when England had no king at all.

Many times the English must have been very sorry that they had ever
invited James to be their king, for he and the whole Stuart family
lorded it over the English people. They acted as if they were “lords of
creation,” and the English people had to fight for their rights.

A body of men called Parliament were supposed to make the laws for the
English people. But James said that Parliament could do nothing that he
didn’t like, and if they weren’t very careful he wouldn’t let them do
any governing at all. James said that whatever the king did was right,
that the king could do no wrong, that God gave kings the right to do as
they pleased with their subjects. This was called the Divine Right of
Kings. Naturally the English people would not put up with this sort of
thing. Ever since the time of King John they had insisted on their own
rights. The Tudors had often done things that the people didn’t like,
but the Tudors were English. The Stuarts, however, were Scotch, and
the people looked on them as foreigners; what they permitted in one of
their own family they wouldn’t stand in these strangers whom they had
invited into their family. So, of course, a quarrel was bound to start.
But the real fight came with the next king and not with James.

James was very fond of beefsteak, and one particular cut from the loin
of beef he liked especially well. It was so delicious he thought it
should be honored in some way, and so he made it a knight as if it were
a brave and gallant gentleman and dubbed it “Sir Loin,” which we still
call it to-day--although people have forgotten all about how it got
such a name, and some even say this is only a story and that he never
did such a foolish thing, anyway.

During King James’s reign the Bible was translated into English. This
is probably the same Bible you read and that is called the King James

Nothing much happened in England during James’s reign, but in some
other countries a great deal did happen, although the king had little
to do with it. English people made settlements in India, that far away
country of the Brahmanists, which Columbus had tried to reach by going
west; and these settlements there grew until India at last belonged to
England. The English made settlements also in America, and these grew
until at last part of America, too, belonged to England.

One of these settlements in America was made in the South, and one was
made in the North. Raleigh’s settlement at Roanoke had disappeared, as
I told you; but in 1607 a boatload of English gentlemen sailed over
to America looking for adventure and hoping to make their fortunes by
finding gold. They landed in Virginia and named the place where they
settled Jamestown after their king, James. But they found no gold, and
as they were not used to work, they didn’t want to do any. But their
leader, Captain John Smith, took matters in hand and said that those
that didn’t work shouldn’t eat. So then the colonists had to go to work.

Back in England people had learned to smoke, and so the colonists
began to raise tobacco for the English people. The tobacco brought
the colonists so much money that it proved to be a gold-mine--of a
different kind--after all. But the colonial gentlemen wanted some one
to do the rough work for them. So a few years later some negroes were
brought over from Africa and sold to the colonists as slaves to do the
rough work. This was the beginning of slavery in America, which grew
and grew until in the South almost all the work was done by colored

A little later another company of people left England for America.
These people were not looking for fortunes, however, as the Jamestown
settlers had been. They were looking for a place where they might
worship God as they pleased, for in England they were interfered
with, and they wanted to find a place where no one would interfere
with them. So this company of people left England in 1620 in a ship
called the _Mayflower_ sailed across the ocean and landed in a place
called Plymouth, in Massachusetts, and there they settled. More than
half of them died the first winter from hardship and exposure in the
bitter weather that they have in the North, but, nevertheless, none of
those who were left would go back to England. This settlement was the
beginning of that part of the United States called New England. You
will hear more about both settlements later when you study American
History. But at present we must see what was going on in England, for
there were great “goings on” there.



A King Who Lost His Head

Have you ever sung, “King William was King James’ son”?

Well, that must have been some other King James, for King Charles was
this King James’ son, and he was Charles I.

Charles was “a chip of the old block.” Like his father he believed in
the Divine Right of Kings, that he alone had the right to say what
should be done or what should not be done, and he treated the English
people as King John had; that is, as if they were made simply to serve
his pleasure and to do as he said.

But this time the people didn’t carry him off, as they had King John,
to agree to a paper. They started to fight. The king made ready to
fight for what he thought his rights. So he got together an army of
lords and nobles and those who agreed with him. Those who took his side
even dressed differently from those who were against him. They grew
their hair in long curls and wore a broad-brimmed hat with a large
feather and lace collars and cuffs of lace even on their breeches.

Parliament also got together an army of the people who wanted their
rights. They had their hair cut short and wore a hat with a tall crown
and very simple clothes. A country gentleman named Oliver Cromwell
trained a regiment of soldiers to be such good fighters that they were
called Ironsides.

[Illustration: King Charles and Oliver Cromwell.]

The king’s army was made up of men who prepared for battle by drinking
and feasting. The parliamentary army prayed before going into battle
and sang hymns and psalms as they marched.

At last after many battles the king’s army was beaten and King Charles
was taken prisoner. A small part of Parliament then took things in
their own hands, and though they had no right to do so they tried King
Charles and condemned him to death. They found him guilty of being a
traitor and a murderer and other terrible things. Then he was taken
out in front of his palace in London in the year 1649 and his head
was cut off. People now feel that this was a shameful thing for the
parliamentary army to do to the king, and even at that time only a part
of the English people were in favor of it. He might have been sent away
instead of being killed, or he might have had his office of king taken
away from him.

Oliver Cromwell, the commander of the parliamentary army then ruled
over England for a few years. He was a coarse-looking person with
very rough manners, but honest and religious, and he ruled England as
a stern and strict father might rule his family. He would stand no
nonsense. Once when he was having his picture painted--for there were
no photographs then--the artist left out a big wart he had on his face.
Cromwell angrily told him, “Paint me as I am, wart and all.” Cromwell
was really a king although he called himself Protector, but he did a
great deal that was good for England.

When Cromwell died his son became ruler after him, just as if he were
the son of a king, but the son was unable to fill his father’s shoes.
He meant well, but he hadn’t the brains or the ability that his father
had, and so in a few months he resigned. Oliver Cromwell had been so
strict that the English people had forgotten about their troubles under
the Stuarts. So in 1660 when the English found themselves without a
ruler they invited back the son of Charles I, whom they had beheaded,
and once more a Stuart became king. This was Charles II.

Charles was called the Merry Monarch because all he seemed to think
about was eating and drinking, amusing himself, and having a good time.
He made fun of things that were holy and sacred. To revenge himself on
those who had put his father to death he had those of them who were
still living killed in the most horrible way one could think of. Those
that were dead already, Oliver Cromwell among them, were taken from
their tombs; then their dead bodies were hung and afterward beheaded.

In his reign that old and terrible disease, the plague, broke loose
again in London. Some people thought that God had caused it, that
He was shocked by the behavior of the king and his people especially
toward holy things, that He was punishing them. The next year, 1666, a
great fire started and burned up thousands of houses, and hundreds of
churches were destroyed. But the Great Fire, as it was called, cleaned
up the disease and dirt and was therefore really a blessing. London had
been a city of wooden houses. It was rebuilt of brick and stone.

Only one more Stuart ruler shall I tell you about--or rather a royal
pair, William and Mary--because in their reign the fight between the
people and their kings was once for all finally settled. In 1688
Parliament drew up an agreement called the Declaration of Right, which
William and Mary signed. This agreement made Parliament ruler over the
nation, and ever since, Parliament and not the king has been the real
ruler of England. So I think we have heard enough of the Stuarts for a


Red Cap and Red Heels

The last Louis I told you about was a saint--the Louis who went on the
last Crusade.

The two Louis I’m going to tell you about now were not saints--not by
any means.

They were Louis XIII and Louis XIV and they ruled France while the
Stuarts were reigning in the seventeenth century in England.

Louis XIII was king in name only. Another man told him what to do,
and he did it. Strange to say, this other man was a great ruler of
the church called a cardinal, who wore a red cap and a red gown. The
cardinal’s name was Richelieu.

Now, you are probably sick and tired of hearing about wars, but during
the reign of Louis XIII another long war started, and I must tell
you something about it for it lasted thirty years. It was therefore
called the Thirty Years’ War. It was different from most wars. It was
not a war of one country against another. It was a war between the
Protestants and Catholics.

Cardinal Richelieu was of course a Catholic and the real ruler of
France, which was a Catholic country. Nevertheless, he took sides with
the Protestants, for they were fighting a Catholic country called
Austria, and he wanted to beat Austria. Most of the countries in Europe
took part in this war, but Germany was the battle-ground where most of
the fighting was done. Even Sweden, a northern country of Europe which
we have not heard of before, took part. The king of Sweden at this time
was named Gustavus Adolphus, and he was called the Snow King because he
was king of such a cold country, and also the Lion of the North, for
he was such a brave fighter. I am mentioning him particularly because
of all kings and rulers in Europe at this time he was the finest
character. Indeed, most of the other rulers thought only of themselves,
and they would lie and cheat and steal and even murder to get what
they wanted, but Gustavus Adolphus was fighting for what he thought
was right. Gustavus Adolphus was a Protestant, and so he came down
into Germany and fought on the side of the Protestants. He was a great
general, and his army won. But unfortunately he himself was at last
killed in battle. The Protestants came out ahead in the Thirty Years’
War, and at last a famous treaty of peace was made called the Treaty of
Westphalia. By this treaty it was agreed that each country should have
whatever religion its ruler had; it could be Protestant or Catholic as
the ruler wished.

During the Thirty Years’ War the plague, that old deadly contagious
disease we have heard of before, broke out in Germany. A little town
named Oberammergau prayed that it might be spared. The townspeople
vowed that if they were spared they would give a play of Christ’s life
once every ten years. They _were_ spared, and so every ten years, ever
since then, with only a few exceptions, they have been giving what is
called the Passion Play. As it is the only place in the world where it
is ever given, tens of thousands of Christians from all over the globe
travel to this little out-of-the-way village to see these peasants act
the stories of Christ’s life. The play is given on Sundays during the
summer of the tenth year and lasts all day long. There are about seven
hundred people who take part, half of all the people in the town. It
is a great honor to be chosen to play the part of a saint; it is the
highest earthly honor to be selected to play the part of Christ; and it
is a disgrace to be left out entirely.

The next French king to rule after Louis XIII and Richelieu was Louis

The people in England had at last succeeded in getting the power to
rule themselves through their Parliament. But in France Louis would
let no one rule but himself. He said, “I am the state,” and he would
let no one have a say in the government. This was the same as the
Stuarts’ Divine Right of Kings, which the English people had put an end
to. Louis ruled for more than seventy years. This is the longest time
that any one in history has ever ruled.

[Illustration: Louis XIV.]

Louis XIV was called the Grand Monarch, and everything he did was to
show off. He was always parading and strutting about as if he were
the leading character in a play and not just an ordinary human being.
He wore corsets and a huge powdered wig and shoes with very high red
heels, to make himself appear taller. That, I suppose, is why some
ladies to-day wear high heels called French heels. He carried a long
cane, stuck out his elbows, turned out his toes, and strutted up and
down, for he thought these things made him seem grand, important,

All this may sound as if Louis were a silly person with no sense, but
you must not get that idea. In spite of his absurd manners he made
France the chief power in Europe. He was almost constantly fighting
other countries, trying to increase the size of France and to add to
his kingdom, but I have already told you so much about so many fights,
that I’m not going to tell you any more about his just now, for you
would probably not read it if I did. So France had her turn as leader
of all the other countries as Spain and England had had.

Louis built a magnificent palace at Versailles in which were marble
halls, beautiful paintings, and many huge mirrors in which he could see
himself as he strutted along. The palace was surrounded by a park with
wonderful fountains. The water for the fountains had to be brought a
long distance, and it cost thousands of dollars to have the fountains
play just for a few minutes. Even to-day sight-seers visit Versailles
to see the magnificent palace rooms and to watch the fountains play.

But Louis surrounded himself not only with beautiful things. He also
surrounded himself with all the most interesting men and women of his
time. All those who could do anything exceptionally well, all those who
could paint well or write well or talk well or play well or look well,
he brought together to live with him or near by him. This was called
his _court_. Those in his Court were “in society.” They were the chosen
few who looked down on all the others who were not in society.

[Illustration: Louis XIV getting ready for bed.]

This was all very fine for the people who were lucky enough to be “in
society”--in Louis’s court. But the poor people of France, those not in
his court, were the ones who had to pay Louis’s expenses and those of
his court. They were the ones who had to pay for his parties and balls
and feasts and for all sorts of presents which he gave his friends. So
we shall see presently what happened. The poor people would not stand
that sort of thing forever. “The worm will turn,” we say.



A Self-Made Man

Who was the Father of His Country?

I know what you will say:

“George Washington.”

But there was another man called “The Father of His Country” before
Washington was born, and he was not an American.

In the east of Europe there is a great country as large as our own,
and its name is Russia. Very little had been heard of Russia before
the Year 1700, for although it was the largest country in Europe, its
people were only about half civilized. The Russians were a branch of
the great Aryan family called Slavs, but although they were white
people, they were living so close to the yellow people in China that
they had become much like them in many of their ways. Then, too, the
terrible Genghis Khan and his yellow Mongols had conquered Russia
in the thirteenth century and ruled over the land. So although the
Russians were Christians, they were in every other way more like the
people of the East than like Europeans. The men had long beards and
wore long coats. The women wore veils like those the Turkish women
wore. The people counted with balls strung on wires as the Chinese did.

Well, just before 1700 there was born a Russian prince named Peter.
When a small boy, Peter was very much afraid of the water. But he felt
so ashamed that he, a prince, should fear anything that he forced
himself to get used to the water. He would go to it and play in it and
sail boats on it, although all the time he was almost scared to death.
And so at last he not only got over this great fear but he came to like
the water and boats more than any other playthings.

When Peter grew up the thing he wanted more than anything else in the
world was to make his country important in Europe, for before this time
it had not been. It was big but not great. And his people had to be
civilized. But before he could teach his own people, who were most of
them very poor and ignorant, he had to learn himself. As there was no
one in Russia who could teach him what he wanted to know, he disguised
himself as a common laborer and went to the little country of Holland.
Here he got a job in a shipbuilding yard and worked for several months,
cooking his own food and mending his own clothes. While he was doing
this, however, he learned all about building ships and studied many
other things besides, such as blacksmithing, cobbling shoes, and even
pulling teeth.

Then he went to England, and everywhere he went he learned all he
could. At last he returned to his own country with the knowledge he had
gained and set to work to make Russia over. First of all, Peter wanted
Russia to have a fleet of ships as other nations had. But in order to
have a fleet he had to have water for his ships, and Russia had almost
no land bordering on the water. So Peter planned to take a sea-shore
away from the neighboring country of Sweden.

Now the king of Sweden at this time was Charles. He was the twelfth
king named Charles that Sweden had had. Charles XII was hardly more
than a boy, and Peter thought it would be an easy matter to beat
this boy and help himself to whatever land he wanted on the water.
But Charles was not an ordinary boy. He was an extra-ordinary boy,
extra-ordinarily bright and gifted, and he had been unusually well
educated besides. He knew several languages; he had learned to ride a
horse when he was four years old and how to hunt and to fight. Besides
all this, he feared neither hardship nor danger. Indeed, he was such a
daredevil that people called him the Madman of the North. So at first
Peter’s army was beaten by Charles.

But Peter took his beating calmly, simply remarking that Charles would
soon teach the Russian army how to win. Indeed, so successful was
Charles at first in fighting Peter and all others who threatened him
that the countries of Europe began to think of him as Alexander the
Great come to life again, and they feared he might conquer them all.
But at last the Russians did win against Charles, and Peter got his
sea-shore. Then Peter built the fleet for which he had been working and
planning for so many years.

The capital of Russia was Moscow. It was a beautiful city but near
the center of that country and far from the water. This didn’t suit
Peter at all. Peter wanted a fine city for his capital, but he wanted
it right on the water’s edge, so that he could have his beloved ships
close to him. So he picked out a spot not only on the water but mostly
water, for it was chiefly a marsh. Then he put a third of a million
people to work filling in the marsh, and on this he built a beautiful
city. This city he called St. Petersburg in honor of his patron
saint, the apostle Peter, after whom he himself had been named. The
name of St. Petersburg was later changed to Petrograd and recently to
Leningrad. Then Peter improved the laws, started schools, and built
factories and hospitals and taught his people arithmetic, so that they
could count without having to use balls strung on strings. He made
his people dress like other Europeans. He made the men cut off their
long beards, which he thought looked countrified. The men thought it
indecent to have no beards so some saved them to be placed in their
coffins in order that at the day of resurrection they could appear
before God unashamed. He introduced all sorts of things that he found
in Europe but which were unknown in his own country, and he really made
Russia over into a great European nation, so that is why he is called
Peter the Great, the Father of his Country.

Peter fell in love with a poor peasant girl, an orphan named Catherine,
and married her. She had no education, but she was very sweet and
lovely and bright and quick-witted, so the marriage turned out happily.
The Russians were shocked at the idea of having a queen who was not a
princess and was so low-born. But Peter had her crowned, and after he
died she ruled over Russia.


A Prince Who Ran Away

If you put a P in front of Russia it makes--Prussia. This is the name
of a little country in Europe, which is now a part of Germany. Russia
was big, and Peter made it great. Prussia was small, but another king
made it also great. This king was named Frederick. He, too, lived in
the eighteenth century, but a little later than Peter, and he, too, was
called “the Great”--Frederick the Great.

Frederick’s father, who was the second king of Prussia, had a hobby for
collecting giants--as you might collect postage-stamps. Wherever he
heard of a very tall man, no matter in what country and no matter what
it cost to get him, he bought or hired him. This collection of giants
he made into a remarkable company of soldiers which was his special

He was a very cranky, cross, and bad-tempered old king. He treated his
children terribly, especially his son Frederick, whom he called Fritz.
Fritz had curls and liked music and poetry and fancy clothes. And his
father thought he was growing up to be a girl-boy. This disgusted his
father, for he wanted a son who would be a soldier and fighter. His
father when angry used to throw dishes at him, lock him up for days
at a time, and feed him on bread and water and whip him with a cane.
Finally Fritz could stand it no longer, and he ran away. He was caught
and brought back. His father was so angry with his son for disobeying
and acting as he had done that he was actually going to have him
killed--yes, put to death--but at the last minute was persuaded not to
do it.

But here is a funny thing: When Fritz grew up to be Frederick, he
turned out just what his father wanted him to be--a great soldier and
fighter. He still loved poetry and even tried to write poems himself,
and he was very fond of music and he played the flute very well,
indeed. But Frederick wanted above everything else to make his country
important in Europe; for before his time it was of little account, and
no one paid much attention to it.

Now, the neighboring country to Prussia was Austria. Austria was ruled
over by a woman. This woman was named Maria Theresa. Maria Theresa had
become ruler of Austria at the same time that Frederick had become king
of Prussia. Some people thought a woman was not a fit person to rule
over a country. Frederick’s father had promised to let Maria Theresa
alone--he had promised not to fight a woman--but when Frederick became
king he wanted to add a part of Austria to his own country, and so he
simply helped himself to the piece of Maria Theresa’s country that he
wanted. He didn’t care if she was a woman or whether it was fair or
not. Of course this started a war. Before long almost every country in
Europe was fighting either with Frederick or against him. But Frederick
not only succeeded in getting what he was after; he succeeded in
holding on to it.

Maria Theresa, however, would not give up. She wanted to get back what
had been wrongfully taken away from her. So she began quietly and
secretly to get ready for another war against Frederick. Quietly and
secretly she got other countries to promise to help her. But Frederick
heard of what she was doing, and suddenly he attacked her again, and
for seven long years this next war went on. So this was called the
Seven Years’ War. Frederick kept on fighting until he had beaten
Austria for good and until he had gained his purpose, which was to make
his little country of Prussia the most powerful country in Europe.
He still held on to the part of Austria that he had at first taken
away. Maria Theresa was a great queen, and she would have won against
Frederick had he been an ordinary king. But she had too strong a ruler
against her. Frederick was one of the world’s smartest generals and too
much for her.

The Seven Years’ War, strange to say, was fought out not only in
Europe but in far-off America, also. England had taken Frederick’s
side. France and other countries had taken sides against him. So the
English settlers in America, who were on Frederick’s side, fought the
French settlers, who were against him. When, therefore, Frederick
won in Europe, the English in America also won against the French in
America. I am telling you all this because that is why we in America
speak English instead of French to-day. If Frederick had lost, France
would have won, and we here in America would probably now speak French
instead of English.

Frederick, like some other kings we have heard of before, thought
nothing of lying or cheating or stealing if he had to in order to
get the better of other countries. Fair means or foul means made no
difference to him. But his own people he treated as if they were his
children and did everything he could for them. Like a lioness with her
cubs, he fought for his family, even with the world against him.

There was a mill close by Frederick’s palace that belonged to a poor
miller. As it was not a pretty thing to be so near, the king wanted
to buy it in order to tear it down and get rid of it. But the miller
would not sell. Although Frederick the Great offered the miller a large
sum of money, he refused. A great many kings would simply have taken
the mill and perhaps put the miller in jail or put him to death, but
Frederick did neither, for he thought his lowliest subject had his
rights and that if he didn’t want to sell he shouldn’t be made to. So
he left the miller undisturbed, and the mill stands to-day as it did
then, close to the palace.

Though Frederick was a German, strange to say, he hated the German
language. He thought it the language of the uneducated. He himself
spoke French and wrote in French and only spoke German when he had to
talk to his servants or those who did not understand French.



America Gets Rid of Her King

Did you know that we once had a king?

His name was George.

No, George Washington wasn’t a king.

This was another George.

You remember the Stuarts in England--James, Charles, and the rest of
the family who ruled England for a hundred years from 1600 to 1700.
Well about 1700 England ran out of Stuarts--there were no more Stuart

As England had to have another king, they asked a distant relative of
the royal family over from one of the German states to rule England.
Yes, from Germany to rule England. His name was George, and the English
called him George I. George couldn’t even speak English. He was German
and loved his own country much better than England, but he had agreed
to come and rule over England, and he did so. You can imagine what sort
of a king he was. His son, George II ruled after him, although he,
too, was more German than English. But when the grandson, George III,
came to the throne he was a born and bred Englishman. It was in this
grandson’s reign, in the reign of George III, that our own country, the
United States, was born.

When a wheel turns over we call it a _revolution_, which is a big name
for a little thing.

When a _country_ turns over we also call it a revolution, which is a
big name for a big thing.

Our country had started with the two little settlements, or colonies,
as they were called, of Jamestown and Plymouth. But it had grown and
grown until there were now a number of settlements along the coast
of the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the people who had settled here were
English, and the king of England ruled over them. The king asked all
these people to send him money, which was called taxes. Now, the money
collected from taxes was not, of course, for the king to put in his
pocketbook to use as he liked. It was supposed to be spent on the
people who were taxed, to be used for roads, schools, police, and such
things that are for the good of all.

So these people along the coast who were paying money or taxes to the
king far off across the water thought they ought to have a vote to say
how this money should be spent and on what it should be spent. But they
did not have a vote, and so they thought they ought not to have to pay
taxes to the king away off in England.

One of the leading citizens of America at this time was a man named
Benjamin Franklin. He was the son of a candlemaker, but from a poor boy
who had once walked the streets of Philadelphia with a loaf of bread
under each arm he had risen to a very honored position in the country.
He had learned to be a printer and had started one of the first and
best newspapers in the United States. He was a great thinker and had
invented a stove and a lamp and had succeeded in getting electricity
from the lightning in the clouds by flying a kite with a wire during a
storm. He was one of the Wise Men of the West.

Franklin was sent over to England to try to get the king to change his
mind about taxing the colonies or to bring about some sort of agreement
with him. But King George was hardheaded, and Franklin was unable to
stop the king from doing what he had made up his mind to do.

So the people in America, finding that talking did no good, started in
to fight. They raised an army. Then they tried to find a good man to
command the army. Such a leader must be honest and brave; he must have
a good mind; he must love his country; and he must be a good fighter.
So they looked around for a man who had all these qualities, and they
found one. The man they picked was honest and brave, for when he was a
boy, he had cut down a favorite tree of his father’s just to try a new
hatchet he had been given. In those days to cut down a cherry-tree was
a crime for which by law a man could be put to death. When this boy was
asked by his angry father if he had done it he said, “I cannot tell a
lie; I did.” Of course, now you know who it was--George Washington.

[Illustration: George Washington surveying Lord Fairfax’s farm.]

George learned to be a surveyor--that is, a man who measures land--and
when only sixteen years old he was employed to survey the large farm
of Lord Fairfax in Virginia; that showed he had a good mind. He then
had been a soldier and had fought the Indians bravely and well; that
showed that he loved his country and was a good fighter. So George
Washington was chosen to lead the American army against the English.

The Americans did not at first think of starting a new country. They
simply wanted the same rights that Englishmen in England had. But
they soon found out that there was only one way to get those rights,
and that was to start a new country independent of England. So a man
named Thomas Jefferson wrote a paper which was called a Declaration of
Independence--can you say it?--because it declared that the colonies
were going to be independent of England. There were fifty-six Americans
chosen by the people to sign it. Each one of the signers would have
been put to death as a traitor to England if the United States had not
won, and each signer knew it, yet he signed it nevertheless. But just
signing this paper didn’t make England give up the colonies. Oh, no!
King George’s armies tried to stop the colonies from getting away from
the rule of England.

Washington had a very small army with which to fight the English army,
and very little money with which to pay the soldiers or to supply them
with food or clothes or powder and shot. One winter the soldiers nearly
froze and starved to death, for they had little clothing and hardly any
food but carrots, and it seemed as if the war could not go on unless
they got help. Yet Washington kept up their spirits.

Benjamin Franklin was sent across the ocean, not to England this time
of course, but to France to see if he couldn’t get some help from that
country. France hated England because she had lost part of America,
Canada, in the Seven Years’ War, but at first France would not help.
She took little interest in the fight for Washington’s army had lost a
number of battles against the English, and people don’t like to back a
loser. But the year after the Declaration of Independence the American
army beat the English badly at a place called Saratoga in New York
State. Then the king of France became more interested, and then he sent
help to the colonies to carry on the war. A young French nobleman named
Lafayette hurried over from France and fought under General Washington
and did so well that he has made a great name for himself.

England, seeing that things were going against her, now wanted to make
peace with the Americans and give them the same rights that English
citizens had, but it was then too late. At the beginning of the war the
Americans would have agreed to this and been glad to agree, but now
they would agree to nothing less than entire independence of England;
and so the War went on, for England would not let the colonies go.

The English had been beaten by the Yankees, as they called them in the
North, at a place called Saratoga. So then they sent their general,
Lord Cornwallis, to the south of our country to see if he could beat
the people there. General Greene was put in command of the Southern
American soldiers. Lord Cornwallis tried to fight Greene, but Greene
led Cornwallis a merry chase round the country until he was all tired
out and finally went into a little place called Yorktown in Virginia.
Here Cornwallis and his army were caught fast so that they could not
get out. On one side was the American army, and on the water side were
the French war-ships that had been sent over to help. So Cornwallis had
to surrender.

King George then said, “Let us have peace”; and in 1783 the war was
ended by a treaty of peace, eight years after it had started, and the
colonies were independent of England. This was called the Revolutionary
War, and after it was over our country was called the United States.

There were just thirteen of these original colonies that joined as
partners in this Union. That is why there are just thirteen stripes in
our flag. Some people think thirteen is an unlucky number; but our flag
with its thirteen stripes still waves over the land, and it has brought
us good luck; don’t you think so?

Washington was made the first President, and so he is called the Father
of His Country; the First in War, the First in Peace, and the First in
the Hearts of his Countrymen.



Upside Down (header upside down)

Measles and Mumps are very catching.

So are Revolutions.

Just a little later than the Revolution of the thirteen colonies, the
people in France had a Revolution, too. They saw how successful the
Americans had been in their fight against the king of England, and so
they rebelled against their own king and queen in France. This was
called the French Revolution.

The reason the French people rebelled against their king was because
they had very little, and the king and his royal family and nobles
seemed to have everything. Both the Americans and the French rebelled
against paying taxes. With the Americans, however, it was a matter of
principle more than anything else. Their taxes were not very large,
but they thought them unjust. The French taxes, however, not only were
unjust but they took almost everything away from the people.

I have already told you how bad things were under Louis XIV, and they
got worse until the people could stand it no longer.

At this time the king of France was Louis XVI, and his queen was
named Marie Antoinette. Although the people were so poor they had
hardly anything to eat except a very coarse and bad-tasting kind of
bread called black bread; they were compelled to pay the king and the
nobles money so that they could live in fine style and have “parties”;
and they had to do all sorts of work for them for nothing or next to
nothing. If any one complained he was put in a great prison in Paris
called the Bastille and left there to die. In spite of the fact that
all the people were so terribly poor, the king and the queen and their
friends lived in luxury and extravagance with everything in the world
they wanted, all paid for by the poor people.

Neither the king nor his wife was really wicked. They were simply young
and thoughtless. They meant well, but like a great many well-meaning
people they lacked common sense and did not know how others lived. They
didn’t seem to understand that people _could_ be poor, for they had so
much themselves. Marie Antoinette was told that her subjects had no
bread to eat. “Then why don’t they eat cake?” she is said to have asked.

To right the wrongs of the people, a body of many of the best men from
all France gathered together and, calling themselves the National
Assembly, tried to work out some plan to do away with all the injustice
the people had been suffering. They wanted to make every one free and
equal and give everybody a “say” in the government.

But the poor had become so furiously mad at the way they had been
treated by the rich that they would stand things no longer and a wild
and angry mob of them attacked the old prison of the Bastille. They
battered down the walls and freed the prisoners and killed the guards
of the Bastille simply because they were servants of the king. Then
they cut off the heads of the guards and stuck them on poles and,
carrying them aloft, paraded through the streets of Paris. There were
only about half a dozen prisoners in the old jail, so that freeing them
didn’t matter much, but this attack was to show that the people would
no longer allow the king to imprison them.

The Bastille was stormed on July 14, 1789. This is the beginning of
what is called the French Revolution, and this day is celebrated in
France in almost the same way that our Fourth of July is, for it is the
French Declaration of Independence against kings.

Lafayette, who was now back in France, the same Lafayette who had
helped the Americans fight their king, sent the key of the Bastille
over to George Washington as a souvenir that his own country had now
overthrown its king and declared its independence.

The king and queen were living in the beautiful palace at Versailles,
the palace that Louis XIV had built. All the king’s nobles, when they
heard what was taking place in Paris, became frightened and, deserting
their king and queen, took to their heels and left the country. They
knew pretty well what was going to happen, and they didn’t wait to see.

Meanwhile the National Assembly drew up what was called a Declaration
of the Rights of Man, which was something like our Declaration of
Independence. It said that all men were born free and equal, that the
people should make the laws and the laws should be the same for all.

Soon after the Declaration of Rights had been made, the mad mob from
Paris, ragged and wild-looking, carrying sticks and stones, and
crying, “Bread, bread!” marched out the ten miles to Versailles, where
Louis and Marie Antoinette were still living. Up the beautiful grand
staircase of the palace they rushed. The few guards remaining round
the king were unable to hold them back. They captured the king and
queen and took them prisoners to Paris. There they kept Louis and Marie
Antoinette prisoners for several years. Once the king and queen tried
to escape in disguise but were caught before they could get out of the
country and brought back.

Then it was that the National Assembly drew up a Constitution--a set
of rules by which the country should be justly governed. This the king
agreed to and signed.

[Illustration: French revolution crowd and guillotine.]

But that still wasn’t enough. The people wanted no king at all to rule
over them. So about a year later they started a real republic like our
own, and the king was sentenced to death. A Frenchman had invented
a kind of machine with a big knife for chopping off heads. This was
called the guillotine, and it was used instead of an ax, for it was
quicker and surer. So the king was taken to the guillotine, and his
head was cut off.

But the people did not settle down quiet and contented when they had
got rid of their king. They were afraid that those who were in favor
of kings might start another kingdom. The people chose red, white, and
blue as their colors and the “Marseillaise” as their national song; and
everywhere they marched they carried the tricolor, as they called the
three-colored flag, and as they marched they sang the “Marseillaise.”

Then began what is called the Reign of Terror, and this is a tale of
blood. A man named Robespierre and two of his friends were leaders in
this Reign of Terror. Any one whom the people suspected of being in
favor of kings they caught and beheaded. The queen was one of the first
to have her head cut off. If any one even whispered, “there’s a man,
or there’s a woman, or there’s a child who is in favor of kings,” that
man, woman, or child would be rushed to the guillotine. If any one
simply hated another and wished to get rid of him, all he had to do was
to point him out as in favor of kings, and off he would be taken to the
guillotine. No one was sure of his life for a day. He never knew what
moment some personal enemy might accuse him. Hundreds, then thousands,
of suspected people were beheaded, and a special sewer had to be built
to carry off the blood. But the guillotine, fast as it was, was too
slow for the Terrorists. It could cut off but one head at a time, and
so prisoners were lined up and shot down with cannons.

People seemed to have gone wild, crazy, mad! They insulted Christ and
the Christian religion. They put a pretty woman called the Goddess of
Reason on the altar of the beautiful Church of Notre Dame and worshiped
her instead of the Lord. They pulled down statues and pictures of
Christ and the Virgin Mary. In their places they put statues and
pictures of their own leaders. The guillotine was put up in place of
the cross. They did away with Sundays. They made a week ten days long,
and every tenth day they made a holiday instead of Sunday. They stopped
counting time from Christ’s birth, because they didn’t want anything
that had to do with Christ, and they began to call the year when the
republic was started in 1792 the year 1.

But Robespierre wished to rule alone, and he plotted against his two
friends. One of these he had beheaded, and the other was killed in his
bath-tub by a girl named Charlotte Corday, who was in a rage at what he
had done. So Robespierre was left alone. At last the people, in fear of
this man who was such a monstrous and inhuman tyrant, rose up against
him. When he found that he too, was to be put to death, he tried to
commit suicide, but, before he could do so he was caught and taken to
the guillotine, where he went to the same death to which he had sent
countless others, and the Reign of Terror was ended. It was a pity that
he hadn’t a thousand lives with which to pay for the thousands of lives
he had taken away.



A Little Giant

At last the Revolution was stopped.

It was stopped by a young soldier only about twenty years old and sixty
inches tall.

The Government was holding a meeting in the palace while a mad mob in
the streets outside were trying to attack the palace. A young soldier
had been given a few men and told to keep the mob away. The young
soldier pointed cannons down each street that led to the palace, and
no one dared to show himself. This young soldier was named Napoleon
Bonaparte. He made such a fine record that people wanted to know who he
was and where he came from.

Napoleon had been born on a little island called Corsica in the
Mediterranean Sea. He was born just in time to be a Frenchman, for the
island of Corsica had belonged to Italy and had only just been given to
France a few weeks before he was born. As soon as he was old enough,
he was sent off to a military school in France. There his French
schoolmates looked upon him as a foreigner and didn’t have much to
do with him. But Napoleon made high marks in arithmetic, and he loved
hard problems. Once he shut himself up in his room to work over a hard
problem, and there he stayed for three days and nights until he had
found the answer.

Napoleon showed by the way he put an end to the French Revolution that
he was going to be a fine soldier, and so when he was only twenty-six
years old he was made a general.

Now, at this time all the other countries of Europe had kings. France
had caught the fever of revolution from the Americans all the way
across the ocean and had got rid of her kings. The kings of these other
countries were afraid their people might catch the fever of revolution,
too. So all of these other countries became enemies of France because
France had put an end to her kings.

Napoleon was sent off to fight Italy. He had to cross the Alps, which
Hannibal in the Punic Wars had crossed long before. But Hannibal had no
heavy cannons when he crossed; it seemed impossible for Napoleon’s army
to cross with cannons. Napoleon asked his engineers, the men who were
supposed to know about such things, if it could be done. They said they
thought it was impossible.

“Impossible,” Napoleon angrily replied, “is a word found only in the
dictionary of fools.” Then he shouted:

“There shall be no Alps!” and went ahead and crossed them. His army won
in Italy, and when he returned to France he was greeted by the people
as a conquering hero. But the men who were then governing France were
afraid of him. They feared he might try to make himself king because
he was so popular with the people. Napoleon, however, asked to be sent
to conquer Egypt because he had an idea he could get the better of the
English there. He thought he might then cut England off from India, the
new country that they had won in the reign of James I. England had lost
America, but she didn’t want to lose India.

The French Government was very glad to get rid of Napoleon, and so they
sent him off to Egypt as he asked. He quickly conquered Egypt as Julius
Cæsar had done, but there was no Cleopatra to upset his plans. While
he was conquering Egypt, his fleet, which was waiting for him at the
mouth of the Nile, was caught and destroyed by the English fleet under
a great admiral, if not the greatest that ever lived. His name was Lord

Napoleon had no way to take his army back to France. So he left his
army in Egypt under command of another. He himself, however, managed
to find a ship to take him back home. When he reached France he found
that the men who were supposed to be governing were quarreling among
themselves, and, seeing his chance, he had himself made one of three
men chosen to rule France. He was called first consul; and there were
supposed to be two assistant consuls, but the assistants were little
more than clerks to do Napoleon’s bidding. It was only a very short
time before he was next made first consul for life. Then, not long
after that, he became emperor of France and also king of Italy.

The other countries of Europe began to fear that Napoleon would conquer
them, too, and make them also a part of France. So all the other
countries joined together to beat him. Napoleon planned to conquer
England first, and he got ready a fleet to cross over to England. But
his fleet was caught off Spain near a point called Trafalgar by the
same English admiral, Lord Nelson, who had beaten him in Egypt. Before
this battle, Nelson said to his sailors, “England expects that every
man will do his duty,” and they did it. Napoleon’s fleet was utterly
destroyed, though Nelson himself was killed.

Napoleon then gave up the idea of conquering England, and he turned his
attention in the opposite direction. He had beaten Spain and Prussia
and Austria. Almost all Europe either belonged to him or had to do
what he said. Then he attacked Russia. It was a great mistake he made,
for Russia was far off, and it was wintertime and very cold. Still, he
managed to reach Moscow way off in the center of Russia with his army.
But the Russians burned the city and destroyed all the food, so that
Napoleon had nothing with which to feed his army. It was terribly cold;
there were deep snows; and, in retreating, his army suffered enormous
losses. Napoleon himself soon made a bee-line to Paris leaving his army
to get back the best way they could. Men and horses died of cold and
hunger by the thousands. Napoleon reached Paris, but his fortune had
turned. All of Europe was getting ready to put an end to the tyrant,
and it was not long after this that he was hemmed in and beaten by his

When Napoleon saw that he was beaten, he signed a paper saying that he
would give up and leave France. And so he did, sailing away to a little
island called Elba, just off the coast of Italy, not far from the
island where he was born.

[Illustration: Napoleon at St. Helena.]

But Napoleon on the island of Elba got an idea that all was not lost
and that he might return to France and get back his power again. So all
of a sudden, to the surprise of France and the rest of the world, he
landed on the coast of France. The French Government at Paris sent an
army of his old soldiers against him with orders to meet him and bring
him to Paris in an iron cage. But when his old soldiers met their old
general they went over to his side, and so with them he marched on to
Paris. The English and German armies were north of France and preparing
to fight. Napoleon quickly got together an army and went forth to meet
them. At a little town called Waterloo, Napoleon fought his last
battle, for there he was utterly beaten by an English general named
Wellington. This was the Year 1815. We still speak and probably always
will speak of any great defeat as “Waterloo.”

There is a peculiar sentence which reads backward the same as forward.
It is what Napoleon might have said after all was over. It is:


After Napoleon was beaten at Waterloo, the English took him away and
put him on a little island far off in the ocean where he could not
possibly escape. It was a lonely spot named St. Helena after the mother
of Constantine. Here he lived for six years before he died.

Napoleon was probably the greatest general that ever lived, but that
does not mean that he was the greatest man. Some say he was the worst,
for just to make himself great, he killed hundreds of thousands of
people and brought destruction and ruin to the whole of Europe wherever
he fought his battles.

This brings us up into the nineteenth century, for Napoleon died in
1821. How long ago is that?


From Pan and His Pipes to the Phonograph

              Frogs croak;
              Cats me-ow;
              Dogs bark;
              Sheep bleat;
              Cows moo;
              Lions roar;
              Hyenas laugh;
  But only birds and people _sing_.
  All other animals simply make noises.
  But people can do what birds cannot.
  They can also make music out of _things_.

Have you ever made a cigar-box fiddle or a pin piano or musical glasses?

In the long-ago story-book times Apollo took a pair of cow-horns and
fastened between them seven strings made from the cow’s skin. This
was called a lyre. These strings he picked with his fingers or with
a quill, making a little tinkling sound that could hardly have been
very beautiful. Yet Apollo’s son Orpheus is said to have learned from
his father to play so beautifully on the lyre that the birds and wild
beasts and even trees and rocks gathered round to hear him.

Pan, the god of the woods, who had goat’s horns and ears and legs and
feet, tied together several whistles of different lengths and played on
these as you might on a mouth-organ. This instrument was called Pan’s

The lyre and Pan’s pipes were the two earliest musical instruments.
The first was a stringed instrument; the second a wind instrument. The
long strings and long pipes made low notes; the short strings and short
pipes made high tones.

From Apollo’s lyre we get the piano with its many, many strings. Did
you ever look at the inside of a piano and see the many strings of
different lengths? They are, however, not picked as the strings of a
lyre or harp are picked, but hammered by little felt-covered blocks as
you touch the keys.

From Pan’s pipes we get the great church organ with its pipes like
giant whistles. You don’t, of course, blow the pipes with your mouth
as you do a whistle. The pipes are so big you must blow them with a
machine like a tire-pump, and you do this as you touch the keys.

We know what the instruments in olden times were like, but we don’t
know what the music that people made was really like; there were no
phonographs to bottle up the sounds and, when uncorked a thousand
years later, to pour forth the old notes once again. The music went off
into thin air and was lost.

It was not until about the Year 1000 A.D. that music could even be
written down. Before then all music was played “by ear,” for there was
no written music. A Benedictine monk named Guy, or, in Italian, Guido,
thought of a way to write down musical notes, and he named the notes
do, re, mi, fa, and so on. These were the first letters of the words of
a hymn to St. John which the monks sang like the scale.

Another Italian is sometimes called the “father of modern music.” His
name is Palestrina, and he died about 1600. He set the church service
to music, and the pope ordered all churches to follow it, but the
people didn’t like his music very much; that is, it was not what we
call “popular.”

It was not until a hundred years later--that is, about 1700--that the
first great musician lived who wrote music that was really popular,
that the people loved, and that we still love to-day.

He was a German named Handel. His father was a barber, a dentist, and
doctor, and he wanted his boy to become a great lawyer. But the only
thing the boy liked was music.

In those days there were no pianos. There was a little instrument
with strings which was played by touching keys. This was called a
clavichord. Sometimes it had legs like a table. Sometimes it had no
legs and was just laid on a table.

[Illustration: Handel is found in the attic.]

Handel, though only six years old, got hold of one of these
instruments, and, without any one finding out about it, he had it put
up in his room in the attic of his house. After every one had gone to
bed at night he would practise on this clavichord until late, when he
was supposed to be in bed. One night his family heard sounds up under
the roof. Wondering what it could be, they took a lantern, and, quietly
climbing the attic stairs, they suddenly opened the door, and there sat
little Handel in his night-clothes on a chair with his feet reaching
only half-way to the floor, playing on the clavichord.

After that Handel’s father saw it was no use trying to make his son
a lawyer. So he got teachers for him, and before long the boy amazed
the world with his playing. He went to England, lived there, became
an Englishman, and when he died the English people buried him in
Westminster Abbey, a church in which famous Englishmen were buried.

Handel “set the Bible to music.” These songs with the Bible words
to be sung by a chorus of voices were called _oratorios_, and one
of these oratorios named “The Messiah” is sung almost everywhere at

Living at the same time with Handel was another German musician named
Bach. Bach played divinely on the organ as Handel did on the clavichord
and wrote some of the finest music for the organ that ever has been
written. Strange that both Handel and Bach went blind in their old age,
but to them it was sound, not sight, that counted most. Here is another
good subject for an argument: would you rather be deaf or blind?

Almost all musical geniuses have been musical wonders when they were
still babies. They have been great musicians even before learning to
read and write.

One such genius was born just before Handel died. He was an Austrian
named Mozart.

Mozart when only four years old played the piano wonderfully. He also
wrote music--composing, it is called--for others to play.

Mozart’s father and sister played very well, so the three went on a
concert tour. Mozart, the boy wonder, played before the empress, and
everywhere he went he was treated like a prince, petted and praised and
given parties and presents.

Then he grew up and married, and ever after he had the hardest kind of
a time trying to make a living. He composed all sorts of things, plays
with music called operas, and symphonies, which are written for whole
orchestras to play; but he made so little money that when he died he
had to be buried where they put people who were too poor to have a
grave for themselves alone. People afterward thought it a shame that
such a great composer should have no monument over his grave, but then
it was too late to find where he was buried. A monument was put up, but
to this day no one knows where Mozart’s body lies.

A German named Beethoven had read the stories of the boy wonder,
Mozart, and he thought he, too, would like to have a boy wonder to play
before kings and queens. So when his son Louis was only five years old
he kept the boy practising long hours at the piano until he became
so tired that the tears ran down his cheeks. But Louis Beethoven, or
Ludwig, as he was called in German, finally came to be one of the
greatest musicians that have ever lived. He could sit at the piano and
make up the most beautiful music as he went along--improvise, as it is
called--but he was never satisfied with it when written down. Time and
time again he would scratch out and rewrite his music until it had been
rewritten often a dozen times.

But Beethoven’s hearing began to grow dull. He was worried that he
might lose it entirely--a terrible thing to happen to any one, but
to one whose hearing was his fortune nothing could be worse. And at
last he did become deaf. This loss of his hearing made Beethoven
hopelessly sad and bad-tempered, cross with everything and everybody.
Nevertheless, he didn’t give up; he kept on composing just the same,
even after he could no longer hear what he had written.

Another great and unusual German musician named Wagner lived until
1883. Though he practised all his life, he never could play very well.
But he composed the most wonderful operas that have ever been written,
and he wrote not only the music but the words, too. He took old myths
and fairy-tales and made them into plays to be sung to music. At first
some people made fun of his music, for it seemed to them so noisy and
“slam-bangy” and without tune. But people now make fun of those “some
people” who don’t like it!

I have told you in other places of painters and poets, of architects
and wise men, of kings and heroes, of wars and troubles. I have put
this story of music of all ages in one chapter which I have tucked in
here between the acts, to give you a rest for a moment from wars and
rumors of wars.

When I was a boy I never heard any great musicians play. Now you and I
can turn on the phonograph any time and hear the music of Palestrina or
Mozart, of Beethoven or Wagner, of dozens of other masters, played or
sung to us whenever we wish; the greatest musicians become our slaves.
No caliph in the “Arabian Nights” could command such service to his


The Daily Papers of 1854-1865

If you could go up into your grandfather’s attic or the attic of
somebody else’s grandfather, or would dig down into some old trunk, you
might find some of the newspapers that were printed during the years
from 1854 to 1865. Then you might actually read in these daily papers
the happenings that I am now going to tell you about. Many people still
alive have taken part in some of these events themselves or know those
who have. Under the heading, “Foreign News,” you would probably find
some of the following things told about:

ENGLISH NEWS. At this time the queen of England was named Victoria. She
was much beloved by her people because she had such a kindly nature and
Christian spirit. She was more like a mother to her people than like a
queen. She ruled for more than half a century, and the time when she
ruled is called the Victorian Age.

The English news of 1854 would tell about a war that the English were
then fighting with Russia. Russia was a long way off, and so the
English had to send their soldiers in boats through the Mediterranean
Sea to the end, then past Constantinople in to the Black Sea. There in
a little spot of land that jutted out from Russia into the Black Sea
most of the fighting was done. This little spot of land was called the
Crimea, and the war therefore was called the Crimean War. In this war
in that far-off land thousands of English soldiers died from wounds and

Now, there was living in England at the time of this war a lady named
Florence Nightingale. She was very tender-hearted and always looking
out for and taking care of those that were sick. Even as a little girl
she had played that her dolls were sick with headache or a broken leg,
and she would bandage the aching head or broken leg and pretend to
take care of her sick patient. When her dog was ill she nursed him as
carefully as if he were a human being.

Florence Nightingale heard that English soldiers were dying by the
thousands in that distant land far away from home and that there were
no nurses to take care of the wounded. So she got together a number of
ladies, and they went out to the Crimea. Before she arrived almost half
the soldiers who were wounded died--fifty soldiers out of a hundred;
after she and her nurses came, only two in a hundred died. She went
about through the camps and over the battlefields at night carrying a
lamp looking for the wounded. The soldiers called her the Lady of the
Lamp, and they all loved her.

When at last the war was over and she returned to England, the
Government voted to give her a large sum of money for what she had
done. She, however, refused the money for herself but took it to found
a home for training nurses. Nowadays trained nurses are thought almost
as necessary as doctors, and any one who is sick can call in a trained
nurse to take care of him, but at that time there were no trained
nurses and no one had ever heard of such a thing. Florence Nightingale
was the first to start trained nursing, and so she is looked upon
almost as a saint by trained nurses.

In one battle in the Crimea a company of soldiers mounted on horseback
were given by mistake an order to attack the enemy. Though they knew it
meant certain death, they never hesitated but charged, and two-thirds
of them were killed or wounded in less than half an hour. Lord
Tennyson, the English poet, has told this story in verse which you may
know. It is called “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”

JAPANESE NEWS. Japan is a group of islands near China. Although I have
not told you about it before, it was an old country, settled in its
ways even before Rome was founded. In Europe there have been constant
changes of kings and rulers and people and countries. But in Japan they
have had the same line of kings since before Christ.

Japan wanted no white people in her country, and, with a very few
exceptions, she had always kept them out. But in 1854, the same year
that England began the Crimean War, an American naval officer named
Commodore Perry went to Japan and made an agreement, or treaty, as
it is called, by which Japan allowed white people to come in and do
business with her people. The Japanese seemed hungry for knowledge, to
learn how to do things in the white man’s way. When Perry first went to
Japan the Japanese lived the same way they had a thousand years before.
They knew nothing of the white man’s inventions or ways of living. But
in fifty years’ time they have jumped a thousand years in civilization!

These are some of the things you might read about in those old
newspapers. Such news would probably have taken up little space;
perhaps they would have been found down at the bottom of a column if
the newspaper were American. But if the paper was printed between 1861
and 1864, the greater part of it would be about a war that was going on
in our own country at that time. This was a war between our own people,
a family quarrel, which we call the Civil War.

Two parts of our country, the North and the South, did not agree on
several matters, chief of which was the question whether the South
could own slaves. So they went to war with each other. Each side fought
for what it believed was right, and thousands upon thousands gave their
lives for what they believed. The war lasted for four years, from 1861
to 1865, before it was decided that no one could ever again own slaves
in the United States.

Some of you who read these pages had grandfathers or great-grandfathers
who fought in this war. Some of these fought for the South; some fought
for the North. Some of them may have died for the South; some of them
may have died for the North.

The President of the United States at this time was a man named Abraham
Lincoln. Lincoln was a very poor boy who had been born in a log cabin.
He had taught himself to read by the light of a blazing knot of wood
at night after his day’s work was done. As he was very poor, he had
only a few books, and these he read over and over again. One of these
books was the same “Æsop’s Fables” that you read. When Lincoln was a
young man, he became a storekeeper. One day he found that he had given
a poor woman a smaller package of tea than she had paid for, and so he
closed the store and walked many miles to her house in order to return
the change. People began to call him Honest Abe after that, for he was
always very honest and kind-hearted.

[Illustration: Lincoln visiting camp and shaking hands with the

He studied hard and became a lawyer and at last was elected President
of the United States. One day while he was in a theater watching a play
he was shot and killed by one of the actors who thought Lincoln had not
done right in freeing the slaves.

Lincoln was one of our greatest Presidents. Washington started our
country; Lincoln prevented its splitting into two parts, and kept it
together as one big united land to grow into the great country it now


Three New Postage-Stamps

We are getting pretty close to the present time, to “Now.”

Let us look backward a minute to see what had been going on in Europe
since the time of Napoleon.

After Napoleon had been sent to Elba, the French had to have another
ruler. They wanted their old kings back again. The family name of
their old kings was Bourbon. So the French thought they ought to have
a Bourbon ruler over them. Accordingly they tried out three Bourbons
one after the other, all relatives of their last king, whom they had

But all of them proved no good, the French people had given the Bourbon
family a good tryout, and so at last they stopped worrying with kings
and started another republic.

Now, a republic has a president instead of a king, so that the people
had to choose a president; and whom do you suppose they picked
out? Why, the nephew of Napoleon. The nephew of Napoleon was named
Louis Napoleon. He had planned and plotted again and again to make
himself king of France, but again and again he had failed. And now he
was elected president! But Louis Napoleon didn’t want to be _only_
president. He wanted to be like his uncle the great Napoleon. He
dreamed of being emperor and conquering Europe, and so it was not long
after this before he had himself made emperor, and he called himself
Napoleon III.[5]

[5] Napoleon I had a young son who might have been Napoleon II if
he had lived. The story is, that when Napoleon III was made emperor
his name was printed simply with three exclamation marks after
it--“Napoleon!!!” and this was by mistake read Napoleon III.

Napoleon III was jealous of the neighboring country of Prussia. She was
getting to be too strong, he thought. Prussia had a king at this time
named William who was very able himself, and he had an able assistant
or prime minister named Bismarck, who was looking for an excuse to
fight France. So presently a war was started between the two countries
in 1870. Napoleon soon found he had made a bad mistake in picking the
war with Prussia. Prussia was not _getting_ too strong; she was already
too strong.

Napoleon III was completely beaten by Prussia, and he with a large army
had to surrender. Then in disgrace he went to live in England.

The Prussians marched into Paris and made the French agree to pay them
a billion dollars. When some of the French towns said they couldn’t
pay, Bismarck lined up the leading citizens of the place and told them
they would be shot if they didn’t raise the money that was demanded.
So France paid, and to the wonder and amazement of everybody she paid
this immense sum in two years’ time. But the French and the French
children have never forgotten the way they were made to pay and the way
they were treated by the Prussians, and so ever since then there has
been deadly enmity between these two countries. This war was called the
Franco-Prussian War, as it was between France and Prussia.

There were a number of little countries near Prussia. They were called
German states. But though their people were related, the countries or
states were separate. As a result of this war, Prussia was able to join
all these German states together and to make for the first time one
big, strong, powerful nation called Germany, feared by other countries
on account of her great army of fighting men. William was made emperor
of all Germany and called kaiser. He was crowned in the French palace
at Versailles that Louis XIV had built.

The French thought the Germans had been able to win this war because
they had public schools in which all their children were trained, and
because of the way their soldiers were drilled. So France set to work
and started public schools everywhere in France and imitated the German
way of drilling their army so that they would be ready for them in the
next war.

Ever since then France has been a republic with a president and an
Assembly chosen by the people.

At that time Italy was not a single country as now but like Germany a
collection of small states. Some of these were independent, some were
owned by France, some were owned by Austria. The king of one of these
Italian states was Victor Emmanuel. He wanted all the Italian states
to unite and become one single country like our United States. He was
helped by his prime minister, a very able man named Cavour, and by a
rough but romantic popular hero named Garibaldi, who was called the
hero of the Red Shirt.

Garibaldi, who had been a candle-maker in New York City, was always
poor and seemed not to care for money. He was so popular that whenever
he called for soldiers to fight with him for his beloved Italy, they at
once flocked around him ready to fight to the death.

And so at last these three, Victor Emmanuel, Cavour, and Garibaldi,
succeeded in making their country one big nation. The Italians erected
monuments to them and named streets after them. To Victor Emmanuel they
built a magnificent building on a hill in Rome overlooking the city, a
building that was intended to be more beautiful than anything built in
Athens during the time of Pericles or in Italy during the Renaissance.

If you collect postage-stamps it would be interesting for you to get,
if you can, stamps of these countries at that time, the New French
Republic, United Germany, and United Italy.

[Illustration: 1870]


The Age of Miracles

You may think the Age of Miracles was when Christ lived.

But if a man who lived at that time should come back to earth now he
would think _this_ the Age of Miracles.

If he heard you talk over a wire to a person a thousand miles away, he
would think you a magician.

If you showed him people moving and acting on a movie screen, he would
think you a witch.

If he heard you start a band playing by turning on a phonograph, he
would think you a devil.

If he saw you fly through the air in an airplane, he would think you a

We are so used to the telephone, telegraph, and phonograph; to
steamboats, steam railroads, and trolley-cars; to electric lights,
motor-cars, moving pictures, radio, and airplanes, that it is hard to
imagine a world in which there were none of these things--absolutely
none of these things. Yet in the Year 1800 not a single one of these
inventions was known.

Neither George Washington nor Napoleon ever saw a steam-engine, a
steam-car, nor a steamboat. They had never used a telephone nor a
telegraph nor a bicycle. My own grandfather never saw a trolley-car
nor an electric light. Even my father never saw a phonograph, a moving
picture, an automobile, nor a flying-machine.

More wonders have been made in the last hundred years than in all the
previous centuries of the world put together.

A Scotchman named James Watt was one of the first of these magicians
whom we call inventors. Watt had watched a boiling kettle on the stove
and noticed that the steam lifted the lid. This gave him an idea that
steam might lift other things as well as the lid of a tea-kettle. So he
made a machine in which steam lifted a lid called a piston in such a
way as to turn a wheel. This was the first steam-engine.

Watt’s steam-engine moved wheels and other things, but it didn’t move
itself. An Englishman named Stephenson put Watt’s engine on wheels and
made the engine move its own wheels. This was the first locomotive.
Soon funny-looking carriages drawn by funny-looking engines were made
to run on tracks in America. At first these trains ran only a few miles
out from such cities as Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Then a young fellow named Robert Fulton thought he could make a boat
go by putting Watt’s engine on board and making it turn paddle-wheels.
People laughed at him and called the boat he was building “Fulton’s
Folly,” which means “foolishness.” But the boat worked, and Fulton
had the laugh on those who had laughed at him. He called his boat the
_Clermont_, and it made regular trips up and down the river.

No one had ever before been able to talk to another far off until
the telegraph was invented. The telegraph makes a clicking sound.
Electricity flows through a wire from one place to another place
which may be a long distance off. If you press a button at one end of
the wire you stop the electricity flowing through the wire, and the
instrument at the other end makes a click. A short click is called a
dot, and a long click is called a dash. These dots and dashes stand for
letters of the alphabet, so you can spell out a message by dots and

  A is . --        dot-dash
  B is -- ...      dash-dot-dot-dot
  E is .           dot
  H is ....        dot-dot-dot-dot
  T is --          dash

An American painter named Morse invented this wonderful little
instrument. He built the first telegraph line in America between
Baltimore and Washington, and this was the first message he clicked
across it: “What hath God wrought!”

A school-teacher named Bell was trying to find some way of making deaf
children hear, and in doing so he invented the telephone. The telephone
carries words as the telegraph carries clicks. You do not have to know
a special alphabet or spell out words by dots and dashes as you do on
the telegraph. With the telephone any one can talk from one side of
America to the other.

Many inventions now in every-day use have been partly invented by
several people, so that it is hard to say just which one thought of
the invention first. Several people thought of a way to run a machine
by feeding it electricity. This was the electric motor. Then others
thought of a way to run a machine by exploding gas. This was the motor
used in automobiles.

Electric lights, such as we use indoors, were invented by Thomas Alva
Edison. Edison is called a wizard, because in the Middle Ages wizards
were supposed to be able to do and to make all sorts of wonderful and
impossible things, to turn lead into gold, to make people invisible,
and that sort of thing. But Edison has done things that no wizard of a
fairy-tale had ever even thought of. Edison was a poor boy who sold
newspapers and magazines on a train. He was interested in all sorts of
experiments and fitted up a place in the baggage-car where he could
make experiments. But he made so much of a mess in the car that at last
the baggage-man kicked Edison’s whole outfit off the train. Edison
invented many things connected with the phonograph and the movies, and
he has probably made more useful and important inventions than any
other man who has ever lived, so that he is much greater than those
mere kings who have done nothing but quarrel and destroy--without whom
the world would have been much better off if they had never lived!

Thousands of people who have lived in the past ages have tried to fly
and failed. Millions of people have said it was impossible to fly and
foolish to try. Some have even said it was wicked to try, that God
meant that only birds and angels should fly. At last, after long years
of work and thousands of trials, two American brothers named Wright did
the impossible. They invented the airplane and flew.

An Italian named Marconi invented the radio, and others every day are
still making wonderful inventions, but you will have to read about
these yourself, for we are near the end of our history.

Here is a good subject for an argument or debate: Are we any happier
_with_ all these inventions than people were a thousand years ago
_without_ them?

Life is faster and more exciting; but it is more difficult and more
dangerous. Instead of enjoying a book curled up in the corner of a
sofa by a crackling fire, we leave a steam radiator and go out to
the movies. Instead of singing or playing the violin, we turn on the
graphophone or the player-piano and miss the chief joy in music, the
joy of making it ourselves. Instead of the jogging drive in an old
buggy behind a horse that goes along through the country-side almost by
himself, we speed on in dangerous autos, to which we must pay constant,
undivided attention or be wrecked.

[Illustration: 1905]



The last chapter was one of the few without a fight in it. But now,
to make up for that, I must tell you about the greatest and the worst
fight in history.

There is a little country in Europe called Serbia. It is next door
to Austria. A young man who lived in Serbia shot an Austrian prince.
Little Serbia apologized to Austria for what one of her people had
done. But Austria insisted that the Serbian nation was to blame for
what had been done; she refused to accept the apology and started in to
punish Serbia.

I once saw a little dog snap at a big boy. The owner of the little dog
apologized to the big boy for what his dog had done. But the big boy
did not accept the apology, and he started in to thrash the little
boy for what his dog had done. Presently a crowd gathered round, the
friends of each boy took sides, and there was a general free-for-all

So it was in this case. One of Austria’s big friends, Germany, took
sides against Serbia, and Russia took the side of Serbia. Ever since
the time of the Franco-Prussian War and Bismarck and William, Germany
had been in training for a fight, and so had her neighbors. Nearly all
the countries of Europe had for years been getting together into two
groups, made up of the friends and the enemies of Germany; and the two
were ready to jump at each other as soon as Austria, or Germany, or
anybody else, struck at any one.

But Germany didn’t strike at Serbia; Austria didn’t really need her
help against Serbia. Germany was sure that France, who was her enemy
and Russia’s friend, would take sides against her; and so she rushed
at France to destroy her before Russia could hit hard from the other
side. Now, to get at France Germany had to get through the little
country of Belgium. She and France had agreed that neither would march
armies through Belgium, but when the war began her armies marched in
anyway and pushed aside the Belgians, who tried to stop them. And so
her armies rushed on toward the capital of France, Paris. She got as
far as a little stream called the Marne, only twenty miles from Paris.
But here the French under General Foch stopped her army. This battle of
the Marne is probably the most famous of all the battles you have heard
about in history, for though the war was not ended for four years after
this battle, if the Germans had won at the Marne, the war would have
been over, with Germany victor, and the rest of the world would have
had to do what Germany said.

Germany was the first to use poison gas, trying to smother her enemy;
she fought with submarines from under the sea; she attacked passenger
ships that could not fight back. The English navy was the strongest,
and it was only with submarines that Germany could fight at sea. This
war was the first one in history in which battles were fought not only
on land but up in the air and down under the water.

England took sides with France and Russia--and these were called
Allies--to fight against Germany and Austria, and at first the war was
between these countries only. Before the war ended, however, almost all
the countries of the world had taken sides against Germany, for they
knew that if she won she would be able to tell the rest of the world
what to do. Then all of a sudden Russia had a revolution. The Russian
people killed their ruler, the czar, and his family, and refused to
fight any longer. Things began to look pretty bad for the Allies.

The United States did not start into the war until 1917, almost three
years after it had begun; then she did so because German submarines
were sinking American passenger ships and killing Americans.

[Illustration: Surrender of Germans.]

America was so far off--three thousand miles away--and across an ocean
that it seemed impossible that she could do much in the war. But in
a very short time she had sent two million soldiers across in ships.
Under General Pershing they fought great battles. At last Germany was
utterly beaten, and on Armistice day, November 11, 1918, Germany
signed a paper agreeing to do everything the Allies asked; and so the
greatest war in history ended. The kaiser went to live in Holland, and
Germany became a republic.

[Illustration: 1918]


Yesterday, To-day, and To-morrow

There is a candy shop near where I live. On its sign it says, “Made
Fresh Every Hour.” History is being made every day. It is being made
fresh almost every hour. The newsboy even now is calling outside of my
window, “Extra! Extra!” Is it a new war? Is it a new discovery? If you
had clipped head-lines from the papers since the World War, here are
some of the things you might have pasted in your scrapbook.


  Nations Agree on Terms of Peace

  The Mohammedan Turks in the East Are
  Again Threatening the Christian
  Nations of the West


  After Centuries of Struggle to Become
  Independent of England, Ireland at
  Last, with England’s Permission, Has
  Set Up a Government of Her Own


  Read, an American, Crosses Atlantic
  Ocean for First Time in an Airplane;
  Lands at the Azores and Then in
  Portugal; Several Others Soon Follow,
  and the Ocean Is Crossed a Number of


  All Through the Ages Women Have Had
  Little or No “Say” in the Government;
  Now, for the First Time, They Can
  Vote in Our Country and in Most
  Other Civilized Countries


  The Use of Wine and Strong Drink,
  Which Has Caused So Much Crime,
  Disease, Death and Unhappiness, Has
  Been Forbidden in the United States
  and Limited in Many Other Countries;
  in the Generations to Come, Men Will
  Probably Marvel That There Was Once
  a Time When People Drank Poison for

From now on you will have to read your history in the daily papers.

Up to this time, history has been marked by the story of one war after
another, some big, some small, some short, some long. Almost always a
fight has been going on somewhere. It has been War, War, War; Fight,
Fight, Fight. Children scratch, kick, and bite. But the older we get,
the less do we use our fists and feet to settle quarrels. So fighting
seems to be a sign of childhood--that we are “kids”--and our fights,
that we call wars, a sign of how young the world really is and we
really are; a sign that the world is still but a minute or two old.

Now, we admire and praise as heroes Horatius, Leonidas, Joan of Arc,
and General Foch and those others who have defended their countries
against the attacks of the enemy, as we would admire a man who shoots a
burglar or a murderer that attacks his family in the night. But those,
whether kings, generals, or princes, who do the attacking and take life
with no other excuse than to add to their power or wealth or glory,
are no better than burglars who go forth with a gun and a blackjack to
waylay, rob, and murder for the same purpose. War kills, war destroys,
war costs millions of lives and billions of dollars--money that could
be used to make us happy, instead of causing bitterness, suffering,
misery, and unhappiness; blind men and cripples, widows and orphans. No
one is better off, not even the winner. It is a terrible game, in which
even the winner loses. And yet in the long run who knows? It may be the
only way the world can grow!

But this is certain: if wars do not end, they will be fought with
something more deadly, more terrible than shot and shell. Sooner or
later, some man of science will invent a disease more catching than
the terrible plague, more deadly than the Black Death with which to
attack the enemy. But if such a disease is let loose, once started it
will spread from one being to the next till every one has caught it and
died and no one will escape. Or he will invent a poison to poison the
air we breathe that will spread like the wind or like wildfire in dry
grass, and there will be no stopping it. The air that wraps the globe
will be a sea of poison gas. Every thing that breathes will take only
one breath, and every man, woman, and child, every beast of the field,
every bird and flying thing will drop dead. Or he will invent something
a million times more powerful than gunpowder or dynamite--something so
explosive that when discovered by some Mr. Swartz it will blow him, his
house, his town, his country, and the whole world to kingdom come--and
that will be the end of this little spark off the sun.

Perhaps you have looked through a microscope at what seem to be wars
between germs. As germs might look up at the eye of the microscope
through which we watch their life-and-death struggles, and wonder what
is up above on the other side looking down at them, so we may look
up at the blue eye of heaven above us and wonder what all-seeing,
all-knowing, all-powerful being up there is watching our own
life-and-death struggles here below.

Our little world, which seems so immense to us, is really only a tiny
speck, only one of countless other specks floating in space; it is like
one of the tiny motes which you may see any time in a sunbeam that
shines in at the window. Who has an eye so keen that he can count the
moving motes in such a beam of light? Who would miss one such grain of
dust if it should disappear? So this grain of dust we call the World
and all of us who live upon it could vanish without ever being noticed!

This story ends here, but only for the present, for history is a
continued story and will never end.

If you were living in the Year 10,000 A.D., as some boy will be, your
history would only be just begun when you had reached where we are now.
Even the World War would then seem as long ago as the fights of the
Stone Age men seem to us. You might think of us and all the inventions
we consider so wonderful as we think of the discovery of copper and

Will the history that is written in the Year 10,000 have any wars to
tell about? If the wars on Earth cease, will there be wars with other

And if there are no more wars, what will history tell about? Will it
be new inventions? What kinds? Will it be new discoveries? We know
every corner of the world now. Will it be the inside of this world or
other new worlds or a spiritual world?

Perhaps then people will no longer use trains, steamboats, automobiles,
or even flying-machines, but go from place to place as on some magic
carpet, simply by wishing. Perhaps then they will no longer use
letters, telephones, or telegraphs, or even radio, but read each
other’s thoughts at any distance.

And so on--World without end--AMEN!

[Illustration: NOW]


This list of the most important names in the book tells you on what
page you may find each name and how to sound those you may not know.

  Sound   a        as in hat.
    “    aw         “  “ saw.
    “    ah         “  “ ah!
    “    ee         “  “ see.
    “  e or eh      “  “ get.
    “    er         “  “ her.
    “  i or ih      “  “ hit
    “   igh         “  “ right.
    “    o          “  “ hot.
    “    oh         “  “ oh!
    “    ow         “  “ how.
    “  u or uh      “  “ up.
    “    ew         “  “ few.

  Aaron (air´ un), 262

  Abednego (a bed´ nee go), 261

  Abraham (ay´ bra ham), 49, etc.

  Acropolis (a krop´ o lis), 145

  Adolphus, Gustavus (a dolf´ us), 396

  Æneas (ee nee´ as), 190 etc., 196

  Æneid (ee nee´ id), 196

  Æsop’s Fables (ee´ sop), 447

  Africa, 169, 348, 352

  Age of Discovery, 347

  Age of Miracles, 454

  Aix-la-chapelle (ayks - la - sha pell´), 258, 298

  Alaric (al´ a rik), 224

  Alcuin (al´ kwin), 259, 260

  Alexander the Great, 159 to 168

  Alexandria, 163, 164

  Alfred the Great, 264 to 270

  Allah (al´ ah), 244 to 247

  Alps, 173, 429

  America, 271, 346

  Americus, 346

  Angle-land, 223

  Angles, 223 to 230

  Anglo-Saxons, 223, 229

  Anno Domini, 26

  Antony (an´ to nih), 190 to 192

  Aphrodite (af ro digh´ tih), 60

  Apollo (a pol´ lo), 58 to 63

  Arabesques (air a besks´), 252

  Arabia, 242, 252 to 256

  Arabian Nights, 442

  Arabs, 244 to 256

  Ares (ay´ reez), 58

  Arch of Constantine, 216

  Arch of Titus, 216

  Aristides (air is tigh´ deez), 133, 134

  Aristotle (air is tott´ ell), 160, 166

  Artemis (ar´ tee mis), 58

  Arthur, 234, 311

  Aryans (ar´ yans), 23, 56, 220, 256

  Asia, 162, 248

  Assurbanipal (ass er ban´ ih pal), 97, 98, 164

  Assyria (as seer´ ih ah), 42, 94 to 98

  Astarte (ass tar´ tih), 76

  Athene (a thee´ nih), 59, 60, 145 to 154

  Athene Parthenos (par´ the nos), 194

  Athenians, 83, 114, 140 to 145, 236

  Athens, 60, 83, 114, 126, etc.

  Attila (at´ tih lah), 225 to 227

  Augustan Age, 196

  Augustus, 195 to 197

  Austria, Austrian, 396, 408, 409, 440, 462

  Azores, 466

  Aztecs (az´ tecks), 355 to 357

  Baal (bay´ al), 76

  Babylon (bab´ in lun), 98 to 103, 106 to 108

  Babylonia, 43 to 48

  Babylonians, 45 to 49, 75

  Bach (bahk), 439

  Bacon, Roger, 324

  Bagdad, 243, 254, 262

  Balboa (bal boh´ ah), 350, 351

  Baltimore, 455, 456

  Bastille (bas teel´), 421, 422

  Beethoven, Louis (bay´ to ven), 441, 442

  Belgium, 461

  Bell, 457

  Belshazzar (bel shaz´ zar), 108

  Benedict and Benedictines (ben´ eh dickt), 237

  Bethlehem, 197, 216

  Bible, King James, 387

  Bishop of Rome, 218

  Bismarck, 450, 451, 461

  Black Death, 328, 468

  Black Sea, 21, 169, 444

  Blondel (blon dell´), 300

  Boleyn, Anne (bool´ in), 370

  Bourbon (boor´ bun), 449

  Brahma, Brahmanism, Brahmanists (brah´ mah), 111, 112

  Britain, 186, 223, 229

  British Museum, 33

  Bronze Age, 19 to 22

  Brutus, 121, 189, 190

  Bucephalus (bew sef´ a lus), 160

  Buddha, Buddhism, Buddhists (bood´ dah), 112, 113

  Byron, 97

  Byzantium (bi zan´ shi um), 217

  Cabot (kab´ ut), 350, 379

  Cadmus (kad´ mus), 74

  Cæsar, Augustus (see´ zer), 193, 196

  Cæsar, Julius, 184 to 192

  Cairo (kigh´ ro), 38, 196

  Canaan (kay´ nan), 50, 54, 55, 70

  Canada, 350, 417

  Canary Islands, 340

  Canterbury Cathedral, 309

  Cape of Good Hope, 348

  Cape Horn, 351

  Cape of Storms, 348

  Carthage and Carthaginians (kar´ thij), 78, 170 to 176

  Caspian Sea, 21

  Cathay (ka thay´), 316 to 322, 328

  Cathedral of Notre Dame (nohtr´ dam), 309

  Cathedral of Rheims (rhance), 309

  Cathedral of St. Peter, 201

  Catherine, 406

  Catholic, 365 to 371

  Cave Man, Men, People, 12, 22, 66

  Cavour (ka voor´), 452

  Caxton, 334

  Ceres (see´ reez), 61

  Chaldea, Chaldeans (kal dee´ ah), 43, 49, 55

  Châlons (sha lahng´), 226

  Charge of the Light Brigade, The, 445

  Charlemagne (sharl maign´), 257 to 263

  Charles the Great, 257, 259, 264

  Charles I, 390 to 393

  Charles II, 393

  Charles V. of Spain, 367 to 369

  Charles XII, 404, 405

  Charles the Hammer, 249, 250, 257

  Cheops (k ee´ ops), 38, 39

  China, 316, etc.

  Christ, 197 to 202

  Church of St. Peter, 258, 366

  Cincinnatus (sin sin nah´ tus), 122

  Circus Maximus, 195

  Civil War, 446

  Clavichord (klav´ ih kord), 438

  Cleopatra (klee o pah´ tra), 30, 188, 192

  Clermont (kler mont´), 456

  Clisthenes (klis´ the neez), 116, 117 133

  Clotilda (klo till´ dah), 233

  Clovis (klo´ vis), 233, 234

  Cologne Cathedral, 309

  Colosseum (kol o see´ um), 195, 205

  Columbia, 346

  Columbus, Christopher, 337 to 345

  Commodus (kom´ mo dus), 213, 214

  Confucius (kon few´ shus), 113

  Constantine, 215 to 218

  Constantinople, 217, 228, 231, 232, 248, 335, 336

  Corday, Charlotte (kor day´), 427

  Cordova (kor´ do vah), 243, 254

  Corinthian, 148, 149

  Cornelia, 182, 183

  Cornwallis, Lord, 418

  Corsica, 428

  Cortés (kor´ te), 356, 357

  Crécy (kres´ sih), 327 to 329, 336

  Crimea, Crimean War (krigh mee´ ah), 444, 445, 446

  Crœsus (kree´ sus), 104 to 106

  Cromwell, Oliver, 391 to 393

  Crusades (kroo say´ dz), 297 to 299, 302, 303

  Cuneiform (kee nee´ ih form), 45, 75, 97, 99

  Cupid, 60

  Cyrus (sigh´ rus), 104 to 109, 124

  Czar (zahr), 190

  da Gama, Vasco (day gah´ mah), 348 to 350

  Damascus (da mas´ kus), 254

  Danes, 265, 266

  Dardanelles (dar da nellz´), 135

  Dare, Virginia, 379

  Darius (dah righ´ us), 124 to 127, 132

  Dark Ages, 229, 231, 261

  David, 70, 71

  da Vinci, Leonardo (dah vin´ chih), 364

  Declaration of Independence, 416, 417, 423

  Declaration of Right, 394, 423

  Defender of the Faith, 369

  Delphi (dell´ figh), 63, 106, 139

  Delphic Oracle, 63, 107

  Demeter (dee mee´ ter), 61

  Demosthenes (dee mos´ the neez), 157 to 159

  De Soto, 354

  Diana (digh an´ ah), 58

  Divine Right of Kings, 386, 390, 398

  Domesday Book, 290

  Doric (dor´ ik), 148, 149

  Draco (dray´ co), 114, 115

  Dutch, Dutchman, Dutch Republic, 374

  Edison, Thomas Alva, 457

  Edward III, 327

  Egypt and Egyptians, 22, 27, 28, 30 to 41, 188, 192, 430

  Elba, 432, 449

  El Dorado (el do rah´ do), 354, 355

  Elizabeth Tudor, 372, 374 to 381

  England, 186, 223, 264 to 268, 284, 312, etc.

  Epicureans (ep ih kew ree´ ans), 236

  Epicurus (ep ih kew´ rus), 213

  Episcopalians, 304, 365

  Eternal City, The, 195

  Etruscans (ee trus´ kans), 121, 122

  Euphrates River (ew fray´ tees), 21, 22, 26, 42, 100, 106

  Excalibur (eks kal´ ih ber), 234

  Exodus, 54

  Fairfax, Lord, 416

  Fates, 61

  Father of his Country--Peter the Great, 402
    Washington, 419

  Ferdinand, King, 338, 344, 367

  Feudal System (few´ dal), 273, 277

  Florida, 354

  Foch, General (fush), 461, 467

  Forum of Rome, 195, 206, 216

  France, 224, 297, 395, etc.

  Franco-Prussian War (frang´ ko-prush´ an), 451, 461

  Franklin, Benjamin, 414, 417

  Franks, 224, 233

  Frederick Barbarossa (bar bah ross´ ah), 297, 298

  Frederick the Great, 407 to 410

  French Assembly, 452

  French Revolution, 420, 422, 429

  Freya (fray´ ah), 222

  Fulton, Robert, 456

  Gabriel (gay´ brih ell), 244

  Gargoyles (gar´ goilz), 308

  Garibaldi (gar ih ball´ dih), 452

  Gaul (gawl), 169, 186, 223

  Gautama (gaw´ tah mah), 111 to 113

  Genghis Khan (jen´ gis kahn), 316, 317, 402

  Genoa (jen´ oh ah), 337

  George II, 412

  George III, 413 to 418

  German, 297, 366, 407, 451, 460

  Gipsies, 24, 26

  Gladiators (gla dih ay´ tors), 181

  Godfrey, 296

  Goddess of Reason, 426

  Golden Age, 19, 97, 143, 150

  Goliath (go ligh´ eth), 70

  Gordian Knot (gor´ dih an), 163

  Goshen (go´ shen), 51

  Goths (gahths), 224

  Gracchi (grack´ igh), 183

  Graces, 61

  Grand Monarch (Louis XIV), 398

  Great Fire, 394

  Great War, 309

  Greece, 56, etc., 64, etc., 124, etc.

  Greene, General, 418

  Greenland, 271

  Guido (gwee´ doh), 437

  Gutenberg (goo´ ten berg), 334

  Guy, 437

  Hamites (ham´ ights), 23, 26, 28, 56

  Hamlet, 383

  Hammurabi (hah mew rah´ bee), 48

  Handel, 437 to 440

  Hannibal, 173, 174, 175, 182, 395

  Harold, 286, 287

  Haroun-al-Rashid (hah roon´ al rah´ shid), 262, 263, 267

  Hastings, Battle of, 289

  Hathaway, Anne, 381

  Hanging Gardens, 101, 108

  Hegira (he jigh´ rah), 244 to 249

  Hellas (hell´ as), 56

  Hellen, 56

  Helen, 65 to 67, 79

  Helena, 216

  Hellenes, 56

  Hellespont (hell´ ess pont), 135, 162

  Henry VIII, 369 to 372

  Hephæstus (he fess´ tus), 58

  Hera (hee´ rah), 57

  Hercules (her´ kew leez), 214

  Hermes (her´ meez), 58

  Herodotus (he rod´ o tus), 149, 150, 157

  Hieroglyphics (high´ er o gliff icks), 30, 33

  Hiram, 76

  Holland, 464, 374, 403

  Holy City, Holy Land, 293, 296

  Homer, 68, 69, 79, 89

  Horace, 196

  Horatius (ho ray´ shus), 121, 467

  Horus (hoh´ rus), 34

  Hundred Years’ War, 327 to 329, 335

  Huns, 225 to 227

  Iceland, 271

  Iliad (ill´ ih ad), 67

  Incas (in´ kas), 357

  India, 109, etc., 165, 387

  Indians, 109, 343

  Indo-Europeans, 23

  Inquisition, 373

  Invincible Armada (ar mah´ dah), 375

  Ionic (igh on´ ick), 148, 149

  Ireland, 465

  Irish Free State, 465

  Iron Age, 19 to 22, 64, 66

  Ironsides, 391

  Isabelle, Queen, 339, 367

  Isis (igh´ sis), 34

  Islam (iss´ lam), 245 to 250

  Israel (iz´ rah ell), 50, 51

  Israelites (iz´ rah ell ights), 302

  Italy, 89, etc., 173, 452

  Jacob, 50

  James I, 380, 385 to 387, 390, 412, 430

  Jamestown, 413

  Japan, 112, 445, 446

  Jefferson Thomas, 416

  Jerusalem, 70, etc., 205, 292, etc.

  Jesus, 197, 363

  Joan of Arc (jone of ark), 330 to 332, 467

  John, King, 311 to 314, 390

  Joseph, 50, 51

  Juno, 57, 65, 211

  Jupiter, 57, 61

  Justinian (jus tin´ i an), 231 to 233, 336

  Kaiser (kigh’ zer), 190

  Knights of the Round Table, 235

  Koran (koh´ ran), 245, 252

  Kublai Khan (koo´ bli kahn), 318 to 320

  Laconia (lah koh´ ni a), 82

  Laconic (lah kon´ ik), 82

  Lady of the Lamp, 445

  Lafayette (la fay et´), 417, 442

  Laocoon (lay ock´ oh on), 66

  Last Supper, The, 364

  Lavinia, 90

  Lebanon, 72, 78

  Leif Ericson (leef ehr´ ick son), 271

  Leningrad (len´ in grad), 405

  Leo I (lee´ oh), 226

  Leonidas, 137 to 140

  Lictor (lick´ tor), 121

  Lincoln, President Abraham, 447, 448

  Lion of the North, 396

  Louis I (loo´ ih), 302, 395

  Louis XIII, 395, 397

  Louis XIV, 395, etc.

  Louis XVI, 420

  Lucy, Sir Thomas, 381

  Luther, 366, 367

  Lycurgus (ligh ker´ gus), 79 to 82

  Lydia (lid´ i ah), 104 to 106

  Macedonia (mass ee doh´ ni ah) 156, etc.

  Madman of the North, 405

  Magi (may´ jigh), 104

  Magellan (ma jell´ an), 351,352

  Magna Carta (mag´ nah kar´ tah), 313, 34

  Marathon, 127 to 130

  Marco Polo (mar´ koh po´ loh), 318, 337, 338

  Marconi (mar koh´ nih), 458

  Marcus Aurelius (mar´ kus ah ree´ li us), 211, 213, 220

  Maria Theresa (ma righ a te ree´ sah), 408 to 409

  Marie Antoinette (mah ree´ an toah net´), 321 to 423

  Marne, 461

  Mars, 58, 61, 222

  Marseillaise (mar say ly ayz´), 425

  Masks, 145

  Massachusetts, 388

  Mayflower, 388

  Mazda, 104

  Mecca (mek´ ah), 243 to 246, 248

  Medes (meeds), 98, 103, 104

  Media (mee´ di ah), 100

  Medina (meh dee´ nah), 243, 244

  Meditations, 212

  Mediterranean Sea, 21, 22

  Menelaus (men ee lay´ us), 65, 66

  Menes (men eez), 28

  Merchant of Venice, The, 383

  Mercury, 58, 61

  Merry Monarch (Charles II), 393

  Mesopotamia (mes o po tay´ mi ah), 21, 42, 44, 95

  Messiah, The (oratorio), 439

  Methodists, 304, 365

  Mexico, 355 to 357

  Michelangelo (migh kell an jee loh), 360 to 366

  Middle Ages, 304, 335, 336

  Miltiades (mill tigh´ a deez), 128

  Minerva, 59, 60, 65

  Mississippi, 355

  Mohammed (mo ham´ ed), 242 to 245, 247

  Mohammedans, 245, etc.

  Moloch (moh´ lock), 76

  Mona Lisa (moh’ nah lee’ zah), 364

  Mongols (mon´ golz), 316, 402

  Montezuma (mon tee zoo´ mah), 356

  Morse, 456

  Moscow (mos´ koh), 405, 432

  Moses, 52, 154, 360

  Moslems, 247 to 257

  Mount Ararat (ar´ a rat), 43, 321

  Mount of Olives, 216

  Mount Olympus (o lim´ pus), 57, 64

  Mount Parnassus (par nas´ us), 62

  Mount Sinai (sigh´ nigh), 54

  Mozart (mo´ tzart), 440 to 442

  Muezzin (moo ez´ in), 246

  Muses (mewz´ ez), 61

  Napoleon Bonaparte (na poh´ le on bon´ na part), 428 to 434

  Napoleon, Louis, 449

  Napoleon III, 449

  National Assembly, 422, 423, 424

  Nebuchadnezzar (neb oo kad nez´ ar), 99 to 103, 261

  Nelson, Lord, 430, 431

  Neptune, 57, 61

  Nero, 203 to 205, 211

  New Forest, 290

  Nightingale, Florence, 444, 445

  Nicæa (nigh see´ ah), 217

  Nicene Creed (nigh´ seen), 218

  Nile, 22, 27, 28

  Niña (nee´ nah), 340

  Nineveh (nin´ eh veh), 94 to 100, 168

  Noah’s Ark, 48, 321

  Normandy, 286, 287

  Normans, 286, 288

  Norsemen, 270, 284, 286, 357

  North America, 340 to 344, 350

  Notre Dame (nohtr dam), 309, 426

  Oberammergau (oh ber am´ er gow), 397

  Octavius (ock tay´ vi us), 192, 193

  Odysseus (o dis´e us), 68, 90

  Odyssey (od´ ih sih), 68

  Olympia (o lim´ pi ah), 84, 85, 101, 147

  Olympiad (o lim´ pi ad), 87, 89

  Olympic games, 86 to 88

  Orpheus (or´ fe us), 436

  Omar (oh´ mar), 247, 248

  Osiris (o sigh´ ris), 34

  Ostracism (os´ tra sism), 117, 118

  Oxford, 267

  Palestine (pal´ es tighm), 216

  Palestrina (pah les tree´ nah), 337, 442

  Palos, 340

  Pan, 436

  Pantheon (pan’ the on), 194

  Pariah (pay’ rih a), 110

  Paris (the city), 234

  Paris (the man), 65

  Parliament, 386, etc.

  Parthenon (pahr the non), 145 to 148, 194

  Pass of Thermopylæ (ther mop’ ih lee), 140

  Passion Play, 397

  Peking, 318

  Peloponnesian War (pellv oh poh nee´ shan), 153, 156

  Peloponnesus (pell oh poh neev sus), 152

  Pericles, Age of (per´ i klees), 144, 147, 149, 150

  Perry, Commodore, 446

  Pershing, General, 464

  Persia, 124, etc.

  Persian Bible, 104

  Persian Gulf, 21, 22

  Peru, 359

  Peter the Great, 402 to 406

  Peter the Hermit, 293, 295

  Petrograd, 405

  Pharaoh (fay´ roh), 33, 39, 52

  Pharos (fay´ ros), 164

  Pheidippides (figh dip´ ih dees), 127, 129

  Phenicia (fee nish´ ih a), 95

  Phenicians (fee nish´ ans), 74 to 78, 170, 171

  Phidias (fid´ ih as), 146, 147, 154, 359

  Philip, 156 to 159

  Philip II, 369, 373 to 375

  Philip of France, 297 to 299

  Philippics (fih lip´ icks), 158

  Philippine Islands, 352

  Pilate, 198, 199

  Pillars of Hercules, 77

  Pinta (pin´ ta), 340

  Pisistratus (pi sis´ tra tus), 115, 116

  Pizarro (pi zair´ oh), 357

  Plato, 161, 166, 211

  Pluto, 61

  Polo, 318 to 320

  Pompeii (pom pay´ yee), 207, 208

  Pompey (pom´ pih), 186 to 188

  Ponce de León (pon thee dee lee´ on), 354

  Portugal, 338, 339, 350, 351, 466

  Portuguese (por´ chew geese´), 348

  Poseidon (poh sigh´ don), 57

  Priam (prigh´ am), 65

  Primitive Men, 13, 93

  Primitive People, 16, 17

  Protector, 393

  Protestants, 368, 372, 373, 374, 395 to 397

  Protestantism, 373

  Prussia, 407 to 409, 431, 450, 451

  Prussians, 450

  Ptolemy I (tol’ ih mih), 167

  Punic War (pew´ nick), 171, 172, 175, 182

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, 378, 379, 380

  Rameses (ram´ ih sees), 23, 52, 53

  Raphael (raff´ ay ell), 362 to 366

  Red Sea, 21, 54, 301

  Red Shirt, Hero of, 452

  Reformation (reff or may´ shun), 368

  Reign of Terror, 425, 427

  Remus (ree´ mus), 90, 91, 196

  Renaissance (ren ay sahns´), 359, 360, 453

  Revolution, 428

  Richard of England (Richard the Lion-hearted), 297 to 301, 311

  Richelieu (rish´ ih lew), 395, 397

  Roanoke (roh´ a nohke), 379, 387

  Robespierre (rob´ bes pyer), 425, 427

  Robin Hood, 301

  Rollo, 284, 286

  Roma, 92

  Roman Aqueduct (ack´ we duct), 179

  Roman Catholics, 368

  Roman Senate, 186, 189, 216

  Rome, 89, etc.

  Romeo and Juliet, 383

  Romulus (rom´ yew lus), 90, 92, 93, 196

  Romulus Augustulus (a gus´ tew lus), 228

  Rosetta Stone (roh zet´ a), 32, 33

  Roxana (rocks an´ a), 167

  Rubicon (rew´ bih kon), 187

  Runnymede (run´ ih meed), 313

  Russia, 402 to 406

  Sabines (say´ bighns), 92

  Sahara (sa hah´ rah), 28

  St. Helena (hell´ ee nah), 217, 434

  St. John, 437

  St. Louis, 302

  St. Paul, 201 to 203

  St. Peter, 201, 203, 217, 218

  St. Petersburg, 405

  St. Simeon Stylites (sim´ ee on stigh ligh´ tees), 236

  Saladin, 300

  Salamis, Bay of (sal´ ah mis), 140, 141, 151

  Samuel, 55

  San Salvador, 343

  Santa Maria, 340

  Santa Sophia, 232, 336

  Saracens (sair´ ah sens), 248, 249

  Saracenic Empire (sair ah sen´ ick), 243

  Saratoga, 417, 418

  Sargon I (sahr´ gon), 48

  Saturn, 222

  Saul, King, 55, 70

  Saul (Paul), apostle, 200

  Saxons, 223

  Schwarz, 325

  Scipio (sip´ ih oh), 175, 182

  Scotland, 374 to 376, 385

  Scots, 385

  Semites (sem´ ights), 23, 52, 56, 76

  Seneca (sen´ e kah), 203

  Sennacherib (se nack´ e rib), 96, 97

  Serbia, 460, 461

  Seven-League Boots, 89

  Seven Wonders of the World, 101, 147, 164

  Seven Years’ War, 410, 417

  Shakspere, William, 190, 380 to 383

  Sheba, 72

  Sicily, 170

  Sidon (sigh´ don), 77

  Sistine Chapel (sis´ teen), 361, 362

  Sistine Madonna, 363, 364

  Slavs, 402

  Smith, Captain John, 388

  Snow King, 396

  Socrates (sock´ ray tees), 153 to 155, 161

  Solomon, 71 to 73, 76, 101, 103, 104

  Solon (soh´ lon), 115, 116

  South Sea, 350, 351

  Spain, 169, 339, etc.

  Spanish Armada, 375, 376

  Sparta, 79, 82, 83, 126 to 129, 134, 151, 152, 153

  Sphinx, 39

  Stephen, 301

  Stephenson, 200

  Stoic (stoh´ ick), 210 to 213, 236

  Stone Age, The, 11, 14, 17

  Strait of Gibraltar, 77, 248

  Straits of Magellan, 351

  Stratford, 381, 383

  Stuarts, 385, etc.

  Sweden, 396, 404

  Tarquin (tahr´ kwin), 119 to 121, 189

  Tartars (tah´ tahr), 316, 317

  Ten Commandments, 54, 55, 113

  Tennyson, Lord, 235, 445

  Terrorists, 426

  Teutons, 220 to 236

  Thames River (temz), 289, 313

  Themistocles (thee mis´ to klees), 133, 134, 140 to 142

  Thermopylae (ther mop´ ih lee), 137, 140

  Thirty Years’ War, 395, 396, 397

  Thor, 222, 230, 233

  Tiber River, 90, 91

  Tigris River (tigh gris), 21, 22

  Titus (tigh´ tus), 206 to 208

  Tiu (tih´ ew), 222

  Toledo, 254

  Tours (toor), 243, 249, 250, 257

  Tower of Babel (bay´ bel), 44, 45, 108

  Tower of London, 289, 380

  Trafalgar (trah fal´ gar), 431

  Travels of Marco Polo, 320, 338

  Treaty of Westphalia (west fay´ lia), 396

  Trojan War, 64, 67, 234

  Trojans, 66, 67

  Troy, 65 to 67, 90, 104

  Tudors, 385, 386

  Turkish, 336

  Turks, 293, 335, 465

  Tu-tank-amen (too tank a´ men), 36

  Twenty-third Psalm, 71

  Tyre (tihr), 77, 170

  Ultima Thule (ul´ tih mah thew lee), 20

  Ulysses (yew liss´ ees), 68

  United States, 413, etc.

  Ur (er), 49, 55

  Urban (er´ ban), 293

  Valhalla (val hal´ lah), 222

  Vandals (van´ dalz), 223, 224

  Venetians, 318

  Venice, 318, 319

  Venus, 60, 61, 65, 154

  Vergil, 90, 196

  Versailles (ver´ sah´ ye), 399, 423, 451, 465

  Vesta, 61

  Vesuvius (vee soo’ vihus), 207, 208

  Victor Emmanuel, 452

  Victoria, 352, 443

  Victorian Age, 443

  Vikings, 270, 271

  Vineland, 271

  Virgin Queen, 374, 379

  Virginia, 379, 387

  Vulcan, 58, 60, 207

  Wagner (vahg’ ner), 441, 442

  Walter the Penniless, 295

  Washington, George, 412, 415 to 419, 422

  Waterloo (waw ter lew´), 433

  Watt, James, 455, 456

  Wellington, 434

  Western Empire, 231

  Westminster Abbey, 439

  William the Conqueror, 286, 290

  William and Mary, 394

  William of Prussia, King, 450, 451, 461

  William the Silent, 374

  Wise Men of the East, 161

  Wise Men of Greece, 161

  Woden (woh´ den), 221, 222

  World War, 465, 469

  Worms (vohrms), 367

  Wright, 458

  Xantippe (zan tip´ e), 154

  Xerxes (zerks´ eez), 132, etc., 140 to 143.

  Yorktown, 418

  Zama (zay´ mah), 175

  Zeno (zee´ noh), 211, 212, 213

  Zeus (zews), 57, 84

  Zoroaster (zoh roh as´ ter), 103, 104

  Transcriber’s Notes:

  Italics are shown thus: _sloping_.

  Small capitals have been capitalised.

  Variations in spelling and hyphenation are retained.

  Perceived typographical errors have been changed.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Child's History of the World" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files. We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's search system for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.